Weight Loss Videos at North Memorial

Get solid advice from a registered dietitian

Need some weight loss coaching?  Do you need a doctor’s advice about starting an exercise program?  Check out the library of videos available to you online at North Memorial.  The short informative videos answer questions about a variety of topics including weight loss, type 2 diabetes, exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight.

In a video about how to stay motivated for weight loss, for example, registered dietitian Deb Vevea talks about the things that will keep your weight loss plan effective in the long run.  She suggests making sure that you have a strong network of support and that you maintain an exercise program.

Check out the focused answers to your questions at the new website.  And for more weight loss advice be sure to visit the North Memorial Healthy Weight Loss website and Facebook page.


Make Healthier Fall Soup

Make healthier soup (photo source: clarita/morguefile)

What’s your favorite fall soup?  When the days get shorter, the leaves start to drop and temperatures fall, most of us love to sit down at night to a nice bowl of creamy soup.  But sometimes the calorie and fat content in the soup is too high if you are trying to maintain a healthy diet.  Use these tips to make your favorite recipe with fewer calories and less fat and sodium.

4 Tips for Making Healthy Soup

  1. Use non-stick pans.  Many soup recipes require that you sauté vegetables in butter or oil before you add other ingredients.  Instead, soften the vegetables in a non-stick pan and use just a tiny amount of oil, or better yet, use no oil at all.  You’ll still get plenty of flavor without the added fat or calories.
  2. Use low sodium stock.  If you are trying to limit the salt in your diet, use homemade stock without added salt or use store bought stock that is low in sodium.  Check the Nutrition Facts label to make sure you are buying the brand with the lowest level of sodium.
  3. Skip the cream. Does your recipe call for heavy cream or half and half?  You can get  the creamy texture you love by substituting pureed white beans instead.  Keep in mind, however, that beans often contain higher levels of sodium.
  4. Give it time!  Season your soup with herbs.  Then, before adding salt or cream give it an hour or two to settle.  After you cook a pot of soup, you’ll notice that flavors get stronger as the soup cools and “rests.”  The soup will also thicken during this time. If you wait to add salt and cream, you’ll probably notice that you don’t need to add as much.

Get more advice about healthy eating at North Memorial Healthy Weight Loss or visit us on Facebook and Twitter.

How to Stretch After a Walk

(photo source: jzlomek/morguefile)

If you haven’t started a walking program yet, now is the time to start.  Grab some friends, head outdoors and enjoy the local paths and lakes.  Make the most of your activity by ending each walking session with five minutes of flexibility training.

Benefits of Stretching

Stretching increases the range of motion in your joints.  This helps your body to move more comfortably through your daily activities and helps to prevent injury as well.  A regular habit of stretching will also help you to stand tall and maintain good posture.

Stretching is also a great way to reduce stress and relax.  Just five minutes of stretching each day can lower your blood pressure and improve your quality of sleep.  Add a few minutes of quiet mindful breathing or meditation and you’ll increase the benefit even more.

How to Stretch

You may have been taught to stretch before an exercise session. But in recent years, experts have found that it is safer to stretch your muscles when they are warm.  That means stretching after your exercise session is finished.

Watch this video to learn some basic stretches.  You can also find more helpful videos about starting an exercise program at North Memorial Healthy Weight Loss.

Are You Too Old to Get Healthy?

(photo source: PatriciaEGreen/morguefile)

Are you ever too old to improve your diet and exercise habits?  Is it ever too late to lose weight or start a fitness plan?  According to Mike Moreno, M.D., bestselling author of The 17 Day Plan to Stop Aging, the answer is no.  Dr. Moreno will be hosting a fitness walk tomorrow, Wednesday September 19th, at the Mall of America at 8 a.m. in the rotunda.

3 Simple Steps for Aging Adults

In an interview with the physician, Dr. Moreno laid out the simplest steps that anyone can take, regardless of age, to improve their health.

  1. Maintain a healthy weight.  Carrying excess weight can lead to a wide range of chronic conditions.  If you are overweight or obese, talk to your doctor about a healthy weight loss plan.
  2. Stay hydrated.  Drink water instead of highly caffeinated or high calorie sodas, teas or sport drinks.
  3. Keep moving!  Find a physical activity that you enjoy and that allows you to maintain a daily habit of movement.  Moreno suggests that you focus on what you can do, rather than on what you can’t do.

Remember that your best resource for making healthy changes is your own health care team.  Talk to your North Memorial Medical Center primary care provider to get more information about starting a healthy diet or exercise program.

Have you visited our Facebook page or followed us on Twitter?  Join the conversation today!

Count Calories at McDonald’s

Make healthier choices at McDonald’s (photo source: McDonald’s Corporation)

Whether you are on a diet or not, it’s always a good idea to limit visits to fast food restaurants.  But sometimes we end up in the drive-thru lane anyway.  The good news is that starting next month it will be easier to make healthy choices at McDonald’s.  The fast food restaurant company announced yesterday that they will begin posting nutrition facts on their menus both in store and in the drive-thru lane.

Eating Healthy at McDonald’s

McDonald’s has made several recent improvements to their menu to help consumers eat better when they visit.  Have you checked out the Favorites Under 400 Calories?  This list provides diners with a few choices that will keep their calorie count in a reasonable range.  But keep in mind that each item runs about 400 calories.  If you add extras like fries or a dessert, the calorie count will escalate into an unhealthy range.

Eat Healthy at Other Fast Food Restaurants

Even though all restaurants don’t post nutrition facts on their in-store menus, most of them post nutritional information online or in printed materials that you can ask for before you order.  To make healthier choices, look for sandwiches or salads that are grilled and choose fruit or a small salad instead of fries.  You can also drink water instead of soda to decrease the calorie count of your meal.

Looking for more ways to stay healthy when dining out?  Visit North Memorial Healthy Weight Loss website for a list of tips.

Why Artificial Sweeteners May Be Bad for Your Diet

Add sliced fruit, berries or cucumber to your water

Are you cutting calories by eating foods that are artificially sweetened?  You may be doing more harm than good to your diet.  Researchers are finding that even though artificially sweetened foods are lower in calories, they have an effect on our minds and bodies that cause us to eat more and store more fat.

In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, obesity expert Dr. David Ludwig, said that when dieters drink artificially sweetened foods and beverages they get accustomed to the intense taste and ultimately “find less intensely sweet foods, like fruit, less appealing and vegetables downright appalling.”   Fruits and vegetables are the building blocks of most healthy weight loss programs.

Your first step to healthier eating…and drinking

The best thing you can do to prevent this from happening to you is to take small steps to change your diet.  A good first step is to drink water instead of soda.  It sounds boring, but there are ways to make water more flavorful without the addition of a little yellow packet.  Try adding sliced citrus fruit, berries or cucumber.  Keep a pitcher in the refrigerator of your favorite flavor so a cold glass of naturally sweetened water is the first thing you see before you are tempted to grab a high calorie beverage or a low calorie beverage that uses artificial sweeteners.

Are you ready to take another step towards healthier living?  Start a fall fitness plan, join our healthy weight loss Facebook page and visit the Healthy Weight Loss website for more information and tools to get started.

Make a Healthy Lunch for You and Your Kids

Make a healthy lunch for yourself or for your kids (photo source: mconnors/morguefile)

It’s only the first week of school and many of us have already run out of ideas for a healthy lunch.  It’s easy to send your kids (or yourself) out the door with processed, high-calorie, high-sodium and high-fat, pre-packaged foods.  But with a little bit of preparation, you can make yummy to-go meals that will satisfy any fussy eater, even if the fussy eater is you!

Healthy Lunch Ideas

  • Lean deli meat roll ups, banana, almonds.  Roll your lean, low-sodium deli meat around veggies like sliced carrots or cucumber and slice them like sushi rolls to make them more fun to eat.
  • Greek yogurt and Grape Nuts.  Put a ¼ cup scoop of Grape Nuts cereal into a small plastic container, then at lunchtime add the Greek yogurt and stir.  The crunchy cereal adds taste and texture to the yogurt.  Add some berries for more flavor.
  • Hard boiled egg with hummus, carrot, yellow pepper and zucchini spears.  At lunchtime, peel your egg, dump the yolk and fill the middle with hummus.  Use a little extra hummus as a dip for the sliced veggies.

Healthy Lunch Ideas for Kids by Kids

Want more healthy kid-friendly recipes?  Download a free copy of the winning recipes of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge .  This contest was a collaborative effort between Epicurious.com, ChooseMyPlate and First Lady Michelle Obama.  Kids submitted their own recipes and the winning kid-friendly foods were featured online and in the cookbook.  The website also includes more tips for making kid-friendly meals.

Do you have a healthy snack or lunch idea?  Post it on our Facebook page!  We love to hear from our readers. And if you haven’t visited the North Memorial Healthy Weight Loss website, do it today.