WOW! I thought I took a short sabbatical from my monthly health letters, but when I sat down to start this one I found that my last edition went out in March. Boy, time does fly! Since that last post I had surgery to reattach my right proximal hamstring to my pelvic bone. I spent four weeks in a brace and on crutches. Now I’ve transitioned to the long road of physical therapy and strengthening. I’m equating this journey to pregnancy in my mind. It will be 9-12 months before I’m back to “normal.” That will certainly seem like a lifetime while I’m in this phase, but down the road, I’m hoping it will seem like a small blip Have you ever been injured? If you have, you know it’s difficult to be patient during the healing process. You may have wondered, other than the obvious approaches of icing, massage, physical therapy, strength work and rest, are there other ways to heal muscles, tendons and joints and to shorten the duration? Your body is built to heal from the inside out and eating nutritious foods is an important part of healing. Are there specific kinds of healing foods that aid in recovery and help decrease the healing...

~Written by Rose Colleran~   In January I jumped on the “it’s a new year” bandwagon and started a new “diet”. I’m not referring to the type of restrictive diet that people go on to lose 5-10 lbs. quickly following a holiday season of indulgence. I wouldn’t really call it a resolution either since I already live a pretty healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise. This was more of an experiment with an entirely new way of eating. I started following a method called “Macros” or “Flexible Dieting” (learn more here). This approach involves counting your macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate and fat) to help you achieve a specific body composition goal. I first started hearing about this practice toward the end of last year as a lot of CrossFit athletes began transitioning from Zone Blocks to Macros. What finally convinced me to give it a try was seeing my sister-in-law over the Thanksgiving holiday looking even more fabulous than usual. I asked her what she had been doing to lead to this change in her body and the answer was Macros. She had started tracking her daily macronutrient intake with the goal of hitting a certain ratio of each within her total daily...

~Written by Rose Colleran~ It’s no wonder people are confused about what they should be eating! Food science seems to be ever changing and the press is always reporting on some new study that contradicts the findings of some other study. Do you remember the “Low-Fat” and “Fat Free” craze of the 80’s and 90’s? We now know this has significantly contributed to an obesity epidemic not only in our country, but also across the world. Another tragic diet misstep was the recommendation to avoid eating eggs in fear that they would raise your cholesterol levels and lead to heart disease. Wrong! In the last 4o years, there has been significant research proving this to be a fallacy.   I eat eggs nearly every day: fried, scrambled, hard-boiled, in frittatas, omelet’s and even as a “muffin”. Why? Because remember the “Incredible Edible Egg” ad campaign? Well, it turns out eggs really are incredible! Eggs are an excellent source of protein that also include 11 vitamins and minerals and are a source of healthy fats. This article even coins eggs as “one of the healthiest, most nutritious foods on the planet.” The protein found in eggs helps to build strong muscles, slow the rate...

~Written by Rose Colleran~ Did you make any New Year's resolutions? This is the quintessential time of year when people jump on the "got to get healthy" bandwagon. People make all kinds of unrealistic declarations often focused around weight loss and improving fitness. Unfortunately, the majority of these resolutions don’t last. I believe one of the many reasons for the lack of success people have with resolutions like this could be tied to a theory I read about in an article the other day. How many times have you said or heard comments like the following: “I’ve been so good all week. I deserve a treat.” OR “I ate and drank all weekend. I need to go to the gym to work it off.” Food is not a reward and exercise is not a punishment. Now, read that again so it really sinks in. If exercise is viewed as either punishment (1) that you tolerate long enough until you feel a reward of food is earned or (2) that you discipline yourself with following perceived transgressions of eating in a unhealthy manner, it’s not a surprise that it’s not an enjoyable experience that will last. “This is a self-defeating cycle, in which two things that should both nurture and...

~Written by Rose Colleran~ Wouldn’t we all like to eat as much as we want without guilt or impact to our waistline? Especially at this time of year, right? This may surprise you, but I love to eat. If I don’t feel that good sense of satiety (fullness) at the end of a meal, I feel deprived and maybe even a little angry. My mother often reminds me: “You were such a happy child as long as we kept you well fed.” Well, if you ask my husband, not much has changed. On the other hand, I also like to fit comfortably into my clothes, be in good physical condition and feel good about my appearance. I’m sure you can appreciate how these two driving forces are in direct conflict with each other. The only strategy I have found that comes close to allowing these two desires to coexist is to eat a high plant-based diet. Aside from the fact that fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients, I have found that eating an abundance of plant-based foods can provide me with the kind of satiety I enjoy for a fraction of the calories of other foods. It’s a win-win!   The benefits...

~Written by Rose Colleran~ It’s that time of year when you see pumpkin everywhere: pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin beer and pumpkin pie, etc., etc. Did you notice last week that there is even a National Pumpkin Day now? (BTW… Am I wrong or is there a “National Day” for just about everything these days???) My mom loves pumpkin pie. While it’s not my favorite (I’m more of a chocolate kinda gal), I do love pumpkin lots of other ways, especially in my morning smoothie (see my favorite recipe below). It is certainly hard to imagine a Thanksgiving spread without the quintessential holiday dessert prominently featured. In 1705 the town of Colchester, CT actually postponed Thanksgiving for a week because there wasn’t enough molasses available to make pumpkin pie! It turns out Linus was on to something with the “Great Pumpkin”. While pumpkin is a tasty seasonal treat, it’s also overflowing in nutrients that offer many great health benefits. For example:   Vitamin A improves vision and prevents macular degeneration High fiber content aids in regularity and prolonged satiety which can result in weight loss Iron promotes fertility and wards against anemia The seeds contain a chemical that...

~Written by Rose Colleran~ You’ve heard the old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Ever wonder where that saying came from? It’s origin dates back to 1866 in Wales from a proverb “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.” It turns out the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables have been known for centuries! I don’t know if an apple a day alone will keep the doctor away, BUT they do offer some really great health benefits. In fact, just last year Medical News Today ranked apples #1 on their list of the Top 10 Healthy Foods. The article associates apples with improving neurological health, preventing dementia, reducing stroke risk, lowering bad cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of diabetes and warding off breast cancer. Here are a few reasons to eat an apple every day: Boosts your immune system with Vitamin C Promotes regularity and satiety due to their high fiber content Lowers the risk of death from both coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease according to the Iowa Women’s Health Study, which has been tracking more than 34,000 women for nearly 20 years. Increases your exercise endurance due to an...

~Written by Rose Colleran~ Back to school, back to life, back to reality!  Much like the beginning of a new year, autumn can signal a time of new beginnings - a time to start fresh by creating some new habits or perhaps changing or stopping some old ones that aren’t serving you well. I recently read an interesting perspective from Brad Pilon of Eat Stop Eat. He suggested that the whole philosophy of “starting” a diet or similar lifestyle change might be all wrong. Maybe the simpler solution is to “stop”. Wait… What? How many times have you said you are going to “start” eating better (or similar) on Monday, next week or after vacation, etc.? Maybe you planned to “start” after the holidays, when a big project at work is completed or at the end of the summer when your children return to school and you have more time. Rather than waiting for free time to suddenly appear or feeling overwhelmed by the idea of mastering complicated diets, counting calories and rules, how about you simply just stop? For example: Stop eating food from the vending machine. Stop drinking alcohol on a daily basis. Stop purchasing foods to fill your cabinets that you know are...

~By Rose Colleran~   Summer is, hands down, my favorite time of year. I love it when it’s not dark when I head out for a run at 5:30AM and I’m not wearing gloves and a hat. I love the reduction of chaos and driving around from one activity to the next. I love spending time having fun with friends and family. I truthfully think I go into a seasonal depression when the days start to get shorter and school starts again. There is one thing, however, that I find challenging about the summer. When the weather is fabulous and the days are long, everybody loves a barbecue. You round up family and friends, fire up the grill, serve up some cervezas, and feast. If you’re trying to, at the very least, maintain your weight, let alone lose any weight or adhere to healthy eating habits, these kinds of gluttonous food spreads can actually induce stress rather than the feeling of enjoyment that was the original goal. I find summer to be just as challenging to maintain my weight and my healthy eating goals as the holidays. The holidays are approximately six weeks long, while summer vacation can be closer to ten weeks. So, what...