Stay Healthy This Winter

Tips for staying healthy during the winter. - www.cobornsblog.com

Eat Healthy, Shop Smart with Ashley. www.cobornsblog.com
Ashley

I know what you are thinking: it’s cold outside, it gets dark early, and that all makes it difficult to be active, eat nutritious and try to stay fit and healthy during these long winter months.  That is why I want to take this opportunity to revitalize your desire to be well with some easy tips to keep you going through these harsh winter months.  Doing so will not only keep you in a better mood, but it will keep your immune system functioning at high speed, helping to prevent you from getting sick.

First, remember it’s not just being active and it’s not just eating right; both are important in combination with each other.

Tips for staying healthy in the winter: Join a gym with friends - www.cobornsblog.comJoin a Gym

For fitness, if joining the gym is in your budget and motivates you to exercise on a regular basis, that is awesome. Bring your friend or spouse along to keep it fun and to keep you committed. It’s warm indoors, plus it’s an opportunity to get out of the house and around others who share your passion for fitness and health.  There are usually fun classes offered to mix it up or you can use the equipment.

Keep in mind even just walking or biking is excellent exercise; even if just for 20 minutes, it really is better than nothing. Don’t forget your iPod with your favorite music! That is sure to amp up your energy level!  If you are still struggling like I am, and I am really struggling with this one personally because I don’t have the motivation myself, I will definitely be recruiting one of my friends.  When I lived with my cousin, we would go to the gym every night, and I can’t believe I am saying this, but I honestly looked forward to it. It was a way to unwind and have some girl time. We would walk alongside each other or ride bikes and just chat about our day and before you know it, there went an hour. Try to spend your time doing “mindless” exercise… rather than “mindless” eating.  It doesn’t have to be “typical” ways of working out at the gym, either. What about playing tennis, soccer, volleyball, basketball, or swimming at your gym? Sometimes all it takes is getting a new workout outfit, or new gym shoes, or even just a fun water bottle or gym bag!

Tips for staying healthy in the winter: Live an active lifestyle - www.cobornsblog.comLive an Active Lifestyle

Okay maybe the gym isn’t your thing, then be active in other ways. This is where the “living an active lifestyle” comes in.  These are all the tips, such as: taking the stairs, parking father away from the building, walking some extra laps around the mall when running errands, or having a family outing at the bowling alley or the roller-skating place instead of going out to eat.

Or how about embracing the winter and playing winter sports such as skiing, sledding, ice skating, hockey, or snowshoeing?

Tips for staying healthy in the winter: Stay active at home - www.cobornsblog.comStay Active at Home

Maybe you feel like staying in the house. Okay then, how about lifting soup cans, doing sit ups and pushups during commercials, or putting in a workout DVD? How about jump roping in your living room or buying a treadmill and setting it in front of the TV? O you can play an active Wii game with your kids! Guess what? Cleaning your house is even considered a form of activity! Did you know you can burn nearly 200 calories in an hour?!

Now for the eating right part…

First and foremost, don’t engage in another one of those fad diets. Just eat real food. Here are some basics to healthy eating:

  1. Eat enough fruits and vegetables – at least one of each with every meal – and add more at snacks! Remember, all forms count: Fresh, frozen, canned, dried, and 100% juice.
  2. Consume healthy fats, such as avocados, olive oil, canola oil, Smude’s sunflower oil, and nuts and seeds.
  3. Incorporate lean proteins. But don’t OD on the protein part. The average adult really only needs about 50 grams per day.
  4. Substitute refined grains for whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat pasta, and oatmeal, to name a few.
  5. Limit added sugars to 25 grams per day; this does NOT include whole fruits or 100% juice.  However, this does include honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, and raw cane sugar.
  6. Reduce sodium intake to 2300mg/day.
  7. Be aware of your portions.

This is what your plate should look like at each meal, including breakfast. ChooseMyPlate.gov

Keeping track of your progress really seems to work for a lot of people. It makes them aware of their daily needs, they can make goals based on that, and then track their progress. If you start to track, be sure to reward yourself when you reach those goals.

Good luck! Please reach out anytime you have a question or would like to learn more.  I always offer grocery tours; it’s a perfect environment to learn, hands on, more in depth about healthy eating.

Be sure to pick up a few of these tips from each category and you will be on the track to better overall health and wellness.

Peace and Wellness,
Ashley
Coborn’s, Inc. Registered Dietitian

Click Here for more articles written by Ashley

Eat Healthy Shop Smart with Ashley - www.cobornsblog.com

A Journey to Better Health

Eat Healthy, Shop Smart with Ashley. www.cobornsblog.com
Ashley

Well, it has officially been two years since I joined Coborn’s as their supermarket registered dietitian!  I can honestly tell you this has been such an amazing position to have; my favorite part; I am able to work with a variety of people in the community, like YOU.  So, instead of me writing another one of my blogs, I thought it would be a nice change to allow someone like YOU to write a guest blog for me on the ups/downs, challenges and ultimate successes with eating right and dieting.  I was so inspired by the story below and I know you will be as well!

I met Leni as he was cruising thru the aisles of his local Coborn’s scanning food items using the “lose it” app.  I introduced myself as the supermarket dietitian and asked him if he needed any help.  He was very excited to hear that I was a registered dietitian and began telling me about his current health situation and how he wanted to lose weight. After discussing his current eating habit, we set some obtainable goals.  I took Leni on a shopping tour pointing out the most nutritious foods and explained how we all should be eating at every meal.  Leni kept track of his daily intake with his app and would check in on a very regular basis, updating me on his progress throughout his weight loss journey. It was very motivating to see Leni not only reach his goals, but to see a more cheerful and happy person breaking through the wall of being overweight.  Now, that was incredible!  Leni wasn’t just focused on eating healthy, but living a healthy lifestyle that included regular exercise and being surrounded by positive people encouraging him along the way!  Now, that whole package was nothing but a recipe for success!!

Let’s give it up for Leni, here is his story…

A Journey to Better Health – by Leni DiMancari

A Journey to Better Health by Leni DiMancari - www.cobornsblog.com

I never in my wildest dreams thought that I could influence so many people to take better care of themselves and become healthy. I thought the only thing I could do to influence people was to be a better guitar player and manager. I didn’t realize that I was on the road to a shorter life because of the foods I was eating, the life I was living and not caring about what I put in my system. Here is my story that led up to my decision to live.

The choice to get healthy or die. www.cobornsblog.comIn the beginning

My journey to better health began in October of 2013 after finding out that I was on the road to heart issues and diabetes. There is a history of heart ailments in my family; my father and two sisters were both diabetic. I had consulted a physician about a lack of sleep and series of health issues that were starting to plague me. I was experiencing twitching, body aches, numbness in my fingers and shoulder, snoring, waking up every two hours, and not being able to focus at work. I was lethargic, unmotivated, and eating without thinking. At one point, I was drinking eight cans of Mountain Dew a day and eating fast food eight times a week with salt on everything. The doctor and I dug deep to find the root of my problems.

I didn’t realize what I was doing to myself physically until I found out that I was battling a lot of demons back then; I was swallowing a lot of depression. I began hating life and not caring if I lived or died, slowly poisoning myself with unhealthy foods, seasonings, soups and sugary treats. I didn’t realize that my eating was the problem until I went from a size 32 waist to a size 36 in just seven years.             

Over the course of 10 years since a divorce and quitting smoking, I had put on 60 lbs. I would un-tag myself in photos on Facebook, I would hide pictures of me on my timeline, and I would constantly graze. I would hide in my apartment with a case of Mountain Dew, a bag of chips, the TV, my PC and too much time on my hands. I would rarely go out in public.

 A turning point

It wasn’t until August of 2013 that I had a long talk with my sister about the negative effects of certain chemicals in food that could be a cause of the health problems I was starting to develop. She reminded me of her, my sister and Dad battling diabetes and heart issues, and after a long talk about the things I was eating and drinking, she thought I should talk to the doctor about how I was becoming. The doctor basically told me to “fix it or die.” I was depressed, lonely, and fat.  

I was overweight and on the road to the end. I had no idea of the amount of garbage I was putting in my system because you don’t think about the foods you eat sometimes; in turn, you just eat. I was physically inactive. My clothes were all oversized to hide my gut. My socks would tear, my pants didn’t fit, and my face was round. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with my food choices at the time, but I was wrong.

Quit Soda. Quit Liquor. Quit Smoking - www.cobornsblog.comI decided to make the changes. The doctor and I had a long discussion that really helped. He reminded me that I had already proven I was a strong-willed person when I had given up alcohol and cigarettes. If I could make those changes, I could certainly take on this challenge and win. Without health insurance, I was basically on my own and had to figure it out.

Meeting Ashley and beginning my journey

I then discovered that we had a registered dietician for free available through our grocery store. I went out to the store and met with her, and in two hours, I learned more about the negative influences of our food. I decided then that it was time to take the challenge head on and I did. I had a long talk with one of my close friends about smart phone apps, and then I downloaded the LoseIt.com program. 

I registered with the service, I picked up a mixed martial arts DVD, and I set out on a ten-month journey to a better life. The app keeps you in check, plus gives you a plan to work and goals to reach. It also sends you email stickers and awards for you when you reach peaks.

Ashley (the supermarket dietician) and I would look at the foods that had the worst issues on my list, and soda was the first to go. I tapered it down to zero soda by October 1st. I had no idea that the chemicals in soda were having such a negative effect on my health, until I had my first eight hours of uninterrupted sleep in years. I had no idea that my hypertension was caused by the amount of sodium I was ingesting daily. OMG, I was digesting over 4000 Mg a day; no wonder I was such a wreck. I cut my sodium levels down to under 2200 a day (less than the RDA). I was wide awake in the morning and I liked it a lot.

I eliminated the trans-fats and fried foods, too. I was starting to see changes, little by little. I also realized that I wasn’t getting enough fruits and vegetables. V8 doesn’t count; it’s too high in sodium. With the help of our dietician, the Lose It program, and a newfound confidence, I was ready to try and reach my target weight of 170 lbs. I was at 230 lbs. 

My goal

I wanted to be at that weight where I felt most confident (I wanted it to be the 1980s all over again). It was a huge goal, but I knew if I stuck with the program, dieted, exercised, made healthy food decisions, and eliminated the garbage foods, I could reach it within 8 to 10 months. Here’s what I did: I listened to our dietician. I took all of the high-sodium foods out of my diet and dumped the soda.

Coborn's Customer, Leni, shares his Journey to Better Health. - www.cobornsblog.com

The changes I made

Here’s what I changed from my diet:

I started my body furnace moving with breakfast: eggs, toast, turkey sausage, low-sodium cheeses, spinach, low-sodium tomatoes, flax seed, onions, and jalapenos. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

In the graphic below is the short list of foods that will never be in my house again.

13 Junk Food Alternatives - www.cobornsblog.com

You have to be willing to end your relationship with bad food, in order to appreciate all of the good food. I kept five foods that I still love in the mix, knowing now that my metabolism furnace can handle it now: Five Guys little burger, Culvers mushroom and Swiss, Ciatti’s (Because I’m Italian and it doesn’t taste corporate), La Casita (Mazatlan burrito with pulled chicken, artichoke and spinach), and my treat is the Dairy Queen small chocolate malt (high calories, but still high in protein). 

I calculate every meal based on calories and intake, along with a solid exercise program. I started slow to get into the groove so it became a routine daily, beginning with 15 minutes of cardio, and 30-second body planks to tighten my core. Since then, back aches are non-existent. I now do a routine of 30-45 minutes a day of cardio and kick boxing/MMA training, and I can plank for up to 25 total minutes, combining the first 15 minutes starting at a 5-minute hold, and going downward at 5-4-3-2-1. Then 5 minutes cool down planking (2 @ 2minutes, 1 at 1 minute.) The final 5 minutes is a combination of a circular plank that uses forearms, sides, back, alphabet abs and a mountain climber.  

In ten months, I’ve now lost 61 lbs. and have a new confidence, a girlfriend who works out with me, an entire new wardrobe (I was happy to donate all of the oversized clothes to charity) and a better attitude. To think back to where I was and to see where I am today, I will never relapse into food problems again. My biggest advice is to not be afraid to fix it and ask someone for help. READ THE LABELS on everything. If you slip, its ok, just get back on task, and always believe in yourself that you can do this, and you will feel great about yourself. There is nothing better than to have people you haven’t seen in a year tell you that you look great.

Here is the workout routine I use six days a week, with a light workout on the off day. I walk everywhere and I usually park far away from the door when shopping, rain or shine.

Mixed Martial Arts 30-40 Minute Workout Routine - www.cobornsblog.com

Leni DiMancari
Coborn’s Customer

I hope that Leni’s story was able to inspire you to make some positive changes in your diet and workout routine. Remember, if you ever need anything from me, I’m just an email away. Click Here and click on the “Ask Our Dietitian” button to connect with me today!

Peace and Wellness, Ashley
Coborn’s RD Supermarket Dietitian

Click Here for more articles written by Ashley
Eat Healthy Shop Smart with Ashley - www.cobornsblog.com