Natural Remedies: Ginger & Nausea Relief

  • posted by Marci Evans
  • Saturday, March 27, 2010
Sorry for my delay in blog posts!  Not only have I been busy at work, but I had the misfortune of acquiring some sort of terrible stomach virus.  Fortunately, I felt well enough to speak at the WECAN event at Harvard this afternoon on the topic of "Becoming Your Own Nutrition Expert."  

One of the attendees was curious to know about natural, nutrition based remedies.  And I had a great recommendation based on my recent stomach upset.   It is the perfect "natural" antidote to a queezy stomach.  It's called a Ginger Steamer from Crema Cafe' in Harvard Square. They use a ginger broth and add fresh lime juice and honey.  Not only is it delicious, but totally warm and soothing. If you are on the verge of getting sick, have a bit of an upset tummy, or just want a feel good kind of drink- I highly recommend it!

Here's some reliable information from WebMD on ginger as an anti-nausea remedy.

Jillian Michaels: Sued

  • posted by Marci Evans
  • Thursday, February 11, 2010
According to the Associated Press:

Jillian Michaels has been sued for alleged false advertising by a woman who claims she was duped into buying a diet supplement endorsed by the celebrity trainer.

Christie Christensen of Lake Elsinore, Calif., is seeking class-action status for the case she filed Tuesday in Los Angeles. Michaels is a hard-charging, no-nonsense trainer best-known as one of the stars of NBC's hit reality show, "The Biggest Loser."

Christensen's lawsuit claims she bought a product called "Jillian Michaels Maximum Strength Calorie Control" last month and that it has failed to lessen her appetite or cause her to lose weight as advertised.

Michaels' picture and endorsement appear on the packaging, touting her as "America's Toughest Trainer." The product and a Web site advertising include the claim, "Two Capsules Before Main Meals and You Lose Weight ... That's It!"

"Ms. Michaels knows better - taking two pills before eating does not miraculously cause weight loss," the lawsuit states.

Not that I'm defending Jillian, but duh!!!  I'm amazed at the number of false and flat out ridiculous claims that supplement makers advertise.  Unfortunately, the supplement industry is unregulated so false advertisers may get punished after the fact, but most get away with it.  Jillian Michaels just happens to be high profile enough.  But in my opinion, lawsuits for false advertising doesn't have enough.

The dieting industry is a money-making system. What I'm curious to know is why do Americans continue to pour their hard earned dollars into it?  According to Business Week the diet industry raked in 80 billion dollars in 2008.

If you want to invest in your health buy more produce, buy new walking shoes, hire a registered dietitian for a couple of nutrition counseling sessions but don't throw your money away for useless weight loss supplements!

Staying "Regular" Through the Holidays

  • posted by Marci Evans
  • Sunday, December 06, 2009
Bet you never expected to find an article on bowel health during the holidays! But let's be honest, at this time of year, most of us are thrown from our regular routines and this can affect how things are going (or not!) in the GI department.  Here are a couple of ideas:

1.) Move your body.  Evening parties and social gatherings may interrupt your exercise regimen.  Regardless of your current commitment to physical activity, you may need to shift your schedule and make an even greater effort stay physically active.  This will help your stress levels and your bowels.

2.) Don't forget to include whole fruits and vegetables at every meal.  Fruit on cereal, chili for lunch, and roasted veggies at dinner are essential to keeping things flowing as they ought to. :)  Too many baked goods and processed sweets will have you backed up in no time.

3.) Drink plenty of fluids.  Keep a water bottle with you and try to avoid caffeinated beverages.  They may give you the burst of energy you need to make it through the day but can also be dehydrating.  Hot herbal tea in the evening can be particularly helpful if you are feeling constipated.

4.) Try Magnesium.  If a healthy diet and exercise isn't doing the trick, you may want to consider 250 mg of magnesium in supplement form.  Just don't go overboard or you may find yourself racing for a bathroom at an inopportune moment.  Now that would be a bummer for your holiday shopping...

As a nutritionist in Cambridge, I refer my clients to check out Cambridge Naturals for their supplement needs.  The staff is knowledgeable and friendly and they have just about everything under the sun.

Here's to wishing you a holiday season that is nothing but smooth sailing!

Sports Drinks

  • posted by Marci Evans
  • Monday, November 23, 2009
On Saturday I had a great time teaching a workshop at Wu Dao Kung Fu on fueling for exercise and everyday living.  One of the things we discussed was using sports drinks for hydration, a topic that I thought others might be interested in as well. 

I see people sipping on powerade, gatorade, vitamin water, etc. all the time.  One thing to consider is that the purpose of the extra sugar and electrolytes is to replenish what is lost during extensive and very vigorous exercise.  So I typically recommend using those types of drinks if you are exercising vigorosly for more than an hour.  If you are exercising less than that, plenty of water along with a diet rich in whole fruits and veggies is likely sufficient.

Exercise & Osteoporosis Prevention

  • posted by Marci Evans
  • Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Turns out that October 20th, 2009 is World Osteoporosis Day.  Additionally, the National Osteoporosis Foundation is celebrating its 25th anniversary.  They've developed several useful handouts:

25 Facts about Your Bones & Osteoporosis

25 Calcium Rich Foods

25 Ways to Improve Your Bone Health

25 Ways to Prevent Falls

While you might not be able to control some of the risk factors for developing osteoporosis (being female, Asian/Caucasian, and getting older) there are a handful of really important things you can do NOW to prevent osteoporosis. 

You may already know this but consistent exercise is one of the best things you can build healthy bones.  And the National Osteoporosis Foundation has a great article on their website.  Below is a basic run down of the types of exercises and their effectiveness in improving bone health.

Weight-bearing, High-Impact Exercises are best for building bones in people who do not have low bone mass, osteoporosis or are frail.

Some of these exercises include:
High-impact aerobics
Jumping Rope
Stair climbing

Weight-bearing, Low-Impact Exercises can also help to build bones and are safer for people who cannot do high-impact exercises.

Some of these exercises include:
Elliptical training machines
Low impact aerobics
Stair-step machines
Walking (treadmill/outside)

These exercises include activities where you move your body, a weight or some other resistance against gravity.

Functional movements, such as standing and rising up on your toes
Lifting weights
Using elastic exercise bands
Using weight machines
Lifting your own body weight

These exercises can help you to improve balance, posture, and how well you move in every day activities. These exercises can also help to increase muscle strength and decrease the risk of falls and broken bones.

Some of these exercises include:
Balance exercises. Exercises that strengthen your legs and challenge your balance, such as Tai Chi, can decrease your risk of falls.

Posture exercises. Exercises that improve your posture and reduce rounded or “sloping” shoulders can help you decrease the risk of fractures, especially in the spine.

Functional exercises. Exercises that improve how well you move can help you in everyday activities and decrease your risk of falls and fractures. For example, if you have trouble getting up from a chair or climbing stairs, you should do these activities as exercises (try standing up and sitting down several times until you are tired).

Yoga and Pilates can also improve strength, balance and flexibility; however people with low bone density or osteoporosis should avoid certain positions to prevent fractures. These include forward-bending exercises. A physical therapist should be able to help you learn which exercises are safe and appropriate for you.

These exercises can be part of a well-rounded exercise program, but do not help to build bones. If you like these activities, try to add in others that work your bones

Some of these exercises include:
Bicycling/indoor cycling
Deep-water walking
Stretching and flexibility exercises
Water aerobics

So get your body movin' today, your bones will thank you for it!  You may want to check out an old posting I did on Vitamin D supplemenation.  Calcium and Vitamin D supplementation is essential for healthy bones.