June 16, 2015
Trans fats have been around for over 100 years. Crisco was first made in 1911, and was almost entirely made of hydrogenated oils (=trans fats). Their use expanded pretty continuously, and they appeared in all kinds of foods– I remember going through the grocery store one night, and finding them in Raisin Bran Crunch and Fiber One cereals, Healthy Choice microwave dinners, as well as in the foods you would expect to find them, such as desserts and processed foods. Research started showing negative effects of trans fats on cardiac health– specifically linking them to heart attacks– in the 1990s. It wasn’t until 2006 that the FDA created requirements that food products had to state on the label if they had trans fats in them. As more and more evidence has shown the severity of the threat to people’s health from trans fats, the FDA removed the “Generally Recognized as Safe” classification from trans fats in 2013. So, two years ago, the FDA recognized that trans fats are not safe, but yet it was only yesterday the news broke that the FDA said they are starting the process of banning them from our food supply. According to FDA, food manufacturers will have three years to take them out of their products. So, trans fats will be around until at least 2018.
There is actually more bad news that is not, well, in the news. While the word has been spreading the past few years that trans fats are bad, some food manufacturers have given in to public pressure, and started changing their foods. They started taking out the trans fats in their products, and replacing them with mono- and diglycerides. You may have seen these listed in the ingredients for many foods you buy at the store. And guess what: they have been around since the 1970s, there has been almost no current research on their food safety, and they are “Generally Recognized as Safe” by the FDA— at least, at expected levels of consumption…. in the 1970s. Of course, consumption will skyrocket as their use skyrockets to replace trans fats. And guess what may be contained in mono- and diglycerides…. Trans fats!
So, this move by the FDA to ban trans fats is something, but if it in any way makes people in the US feel more secure that they are being protected from harmful substances– I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist or anti-government doomsdayer– but please understand how incredibly unprepared the FDA is to fight food companies. Now maybe people will stop examining boxes they buy at the grocery store (if they even checked in the first place), figuring the FDA is making food companies make their products more healthy, so they think they can stop worrying. The truth is that nothing is really going to change that much. Mono and diglycerides are something to avoid, too! Just another example that if you can’t pronounce it, you likely shouldn’t be eating it. Please, please, read labels of foods you buy at the store. Opt for healthy, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and healthy protein sources. Remember: healthy, clean eating can be delicious, too!
April 10, 2015
I have created a recipe for a chocolate snack that I have made for a few people, and have gotten positive feedback. It took a bunch of tries — adapting it constantly to try to get the consistency, taste, and healthy value to be in balance (not too easy!). I am happy with this creation. I hope you will try it, and love it! It has only healthy ingredients, and has healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and is a complete protein– perfect for vegetarians! Please watch my video on YouTube, and if you subscribe to my channel (which is free), I will send you the recipe (or just send me an email to get it for free). This recipe is great for a snack for adults or kids, can cure a chocolate craving– with no guilt!– or be easily carried for lunch to work or school for the kids, or just eaten with a spoon, or mixed with peanut butter, or as a frosting. Thanks so very much for watching, and I hope you will watch my other videos, too!
January 6, 2015
Get Lean in 2015!
New ways to get in shape!
I have started a YouTube channel! It is completely free. I have (so far) posted two workout videos for anyone to do at home. One is a basic workout–a beginner’s level–emphasizing strengthening around the hips. The other is a harder workout, targeting the underarm area, and is meant for those who are looking for a challenge. Please go ahead and try them out, and let me know what you think! I am hoping to keep making more and more videos, so you could pick your level, and what area you want to target that day. Could you help me out? In order to make this worth spending all the time filming (and re-filming when I mess up, and re-filming…!), I have asked YouTube to put ads on my videos. The more people watch them, or click on them, the more money that would come to me. It is kind of a long shot– I think it works out to 10,000 views gets you about $1— but if I could get a couple of bucks, it would help me be able to reserve time to keep making more videos. I would really appreciate if you would have patience with the ads! Thanks so very much for your support!
Also, I have been inspired to teach a class just for women about the basics of football. I feel bad watching friends get teased by their boyfriends or brothers when they ask a question about what is going on during the game. So, with Super Bowl Sunday coming up, I thought I would teach the basics to women, in a supportive and friendly environment. If you want to have more to talk about with male (or female!) co-workers, or want to better enjoy time with a significant other or friends who are football fans, please sign up for this class! I am offering it at three different times, at three different locations. Since I have spent 3 of my high school years and my college years on the sidelines of my schools’ football games as a student athletic trainer, and grew up going to football games with my die-hard football fan dad, and teach the history of sports at Scottsdale Community College, I have learned the game over the years. I would love to help improve your life! This is meant to be a basics class, ideal for those who don’t know what “4th down and 2” means.
Cost: $15 to cover the cost of room reservation and printing.
Seated is Limited! Must register at least three days in advance.
Locations and Times:
Scottsdale Kierland Area:
Thursday, January 15th 1:00 till 3:00 pm
To register for this location and time: http://jackyaburke.eventbee.com/event?eid=177028333
Old Town Scottsdale Area:
Monday, January 19th (Martin Luther King, Jr Day) 10 am till 12noon
To register for this location and time: http://jackyaburke.eventbee.com/event?eid=167128733
Tuesday, January 20th from 6:00 to 8:00pm
To register for this location and time: http://jackyaburke.eventbee.com/event?eid=197928834
Feel free to share this email with a friend. Thanks! Email or call me with any questions, tips for upcoming videos, other classes you would like to see me offer, etc!
Have a wonderful 2015, every day, the whole year through!
October 29, 2014
Help For a Healthy Halloween
Here are some tricks to avoid the bad treats!
Halloween is generally the start of the holiday season. Many Americans exercise less and eat more during this time, and therefore end up gaining body fat. Avoid it this year! In fact, I hope you can get into better shape this holiday season, and that your family enjoys doing it with you!
I have a recipe for carrot cake that I would like to share. It is perfect for Halloween, thanks to its orange color. Plus, while it is yummy, the cake part is almost healthy. I will give you two options for cream cheese frosting, so you can let the angel or the devil in you decide which one to make.
1 Cup Old Fashioned Oats (either quick or regular)
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Allspice
1 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Coconut Sugar
1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts, plus some to sprinkle
4 Egg Whites
2 cups Pureed Carrots
1/3 cup Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
1 TBS Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Crushed Pineapple Bits, plus some to sprinkle
1/2 cup Raisins (optional)
1. Put oatmeal into a food processor, and process until a fine powder. Put into a mixing bowl, and add all dry ingredients. Mix.
2. Add all wet ingredients, and stir until smooth and blended.
3. Spray/coat muffin tins or a small baking dish with olive oil, and place batter evenly in pan or tins.
4. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees. The cake will still be moist when done cooking, but will firm up when cool. (If you still don’t like the consistency when done, don’t put the pineapple bits into the batter– keep them out and just add them over the cake or muffins when serving.)
5. Add frosting when cool. Sprinkle with remaining walnut and pineapple pieces when serving.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING RECIPE (DEVIL VERSION):
8 oz Cream Cheese, or Neufchatel Cheese
1/4 cup Mascarpone Cheese
4 TBS Powdered Sugar
2 TBS Condensed Milk
1 TBS Vanilla Extract
Mix all ingredients together with a mixer.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING RECIPE (ANGEL VERSION):
8 oz Cream Cheese, or Neufchatel Cheese
1 TBS Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup Coconut Sugar or Nectar
Mix all ingredients together with a mixer.
Tone those Triceps!
Doing some weight training helps tone lean body mass. Lean body mass is metabolically active, so it helps keep our metabolism higher when we tone and challenge it. Skullcrushers are a great exercise to help tone those upper arms. Start lying on the floor with a pair of free weights, or anything heavy that you can hold easily. Extend your arms straight up in the air–like the first picture above. Keep your elbows still, directly over your shoulders. Bend arms at elbows (elbows don’t move!) and bring the weights down toward your head, carefully! You should look like the second picture above. Extend arms back up, until arms are straight. Repeat until the back of your arms are burning (not painful!), hopefully around 12 or 15 or 20 reps. Take a break for about a minute, and then repeat. Can do three or more sets if desired.
LAST TIP: AVOID TEMPTATION
So, eat healthy treats instead of evil ones this Halloween, incorporate some weight training into your day, and you will start this holiday season off right and on the best track for a healthy you. Another trick to avoid ghoulish body-fat-creating candy is to keep it out of your house. Yes, handing out candy is a tradition on this holiday. Buy candy that you don’t love, so it is less likely to tempt you. Afterwards, if you have leftovers, donate it to the local food bank. The kids they serve likely don’t get candy very often. To find the food bank in Arizona that is closest to you, click here:
Food Bank Locator
Remember that great company makes the holidays happy, not the food and drinks. I wish you a very Happy Halloween!
July 7, 2014
Way to go, Always brand, for a fantastic ad.
April 17, 2014
The morning news shows are all talking today about a new report about how skin has been shown to stay healthier due to exercise. The great results from a study just published (link here to the NY Times report) showed that people who exercised had skin of 20 or 30 year olds, even if they were over 40, or even over 65!
But, this isn’t even the whole story!
I just talked about this in one of my classes, actually! I teach Exercise Science classes at two local community colleges. Another reason they didn’t touch on in this article is that cortisol, the “stress hormone”, causes our bodies to stop the re-building of collagen (collagen is constantly being broken down and rebuilt by our bodies). When we are stressed, we create cortisol, and the breakdown of collagen still happens, but the rebuilding is slowed or stopped entirely. Exercise is the best way to “burn off” cortisol; but, if we don’t exercise, we have to wait a bunch longer for the stress to go away and therefore our levels of cortisol to decrease. Of course, if we are constantly stressed, like many Americans, and don’t fit in exercise, then we don’t ever get our cortisol levels down. So, collagen keeps getting broken down. Collagen is a connective tissue, and makes a firm matrix in many tissues, like our skin, and in our cartilage, like the cartilage in our knees, for example. Without healthy collagen in our skin, our skin sags. Plus, the cartilage in our knees, and other areas of our bodies, is weaker, which can lead to an increased risk of damage to our cartilage– leading to meniscus tears, or increased risk of arthritis.
So, exercise truly is the best thing we have to a fountain of youth! Do some exercise *today* to stay young and vibrant!
December 27, 2010
Of the top Resolutions year after year, losing weight, getting finances in order, and organizing the house are always at the top. I would love to make some suggestions to help you be successful at your Resolution, and hopefully you’ll feel better, look better, and get the most out of your life!
For losing weight, I thought I’d give a few tips, and if you follow the suggestions below, you are sure to get some results without dieting or feeling deprived.
1. Eat off small plates. This is an easy change that definitely made a difference to me. It makes it so much simpler to figure out portion sizes without having to measure, weight, count calories, etc. If you eat off a smaller plate, the same amount of food seems like so much more than if you put it on a big plate, so you are tricking your brain into eating less. If you eat off a big plate, you are more likely to fill it up with more food, and then you are more likely to eat more. The opposite happens with small dishes, so try this handy trick that I stick to as much as I can.
2. No deprivation! If you tell yourself you are never going to eat a food you consider “bad” then you are setting yourself up to fail if it is ever put in front of you. I am a nutritionist and a personal trainer, and I want to represent self-control and the epitome of health and wellness. But, I eat pizza! I drink wine! I do choose to make these things as healthy as I can when I have them–I don’t eat meats on my pizza (those can be the worst part–meaning the pepperoni and sausage); instead, I pile on veggies and pick pizza places that are more mom-and-pop kind of places instead of cheaper chains, so that I feel like the ingredients are more natural and not as processed. Yum! And, if I have a chocolate craving, I have healthier options that I like just as well as the bad ones–like my Healthy Brownie recipe, or dark chocolate bars from Trader Joe’s. There are only a few food items that I would tell someone to never have–but they do include fast food burgers, and anything containing trans fats. Other than that, I don’t deprive myself if I want something, but gradually over the years I have found options for almost everything that I love and thoroughly enjoy and aren’t as awful for me. And I don’t feel guilty! No guilt!
3. Drink water! I know you have heard this so many times, but it is important. Lots of times, you think you are hungry, but you are really just thirsty, and if you had a glass of water you’d suddenly realize that you aren’t hungry any more. Plus, if you drink water before a meal, you are likely to eat a lot less but still feel just as full. In addition, the biological process of burning body fat requires water, so if you are dehydrated–even if you are regularly exercising–you won’t burn fat as well.
4. Eat more fruits and vegetables. I know, I know, you remember your mom nagging you and it brings up images of you as a kid refusing to eat brussels sprouts. There just has to be a few fruits and even a few vegetables that you like. So what if you like cheese on your vegetables? So do I! Granted, I don’t use processed cheese that would probably survive a nuclear holocaust! Try roasting different veggies–like asparagus, potatoes (yes, potatoes are good for you), squashes, carrots, even broccoli–by just cutting them up and putting them on a pan in the oven with olive oil and garlic (depending on the veggies). Bake at around 400 degrees for 30 minutes and then sprinkle some cheese on top, and enjoy a guilt-free, nourishing side! Add a breast of chicken or fish and you have a very healthy, well-rounded meal. Try adding a fruit to breakfast and lunch and you will be getting “A”s in nutrition! Plus you will be amazed how you start losing weight, and then it stays off!
5. Go for a walk. You have probably heard this one so many times now, too. But, we live in one of the best states as far as weather for most of the year, and it is a shame to live here and miss out on it! You don’t have to do anything fancy, don’t need fancy work-out attire, just some good shoes… so put them on and just walk around your block! Walking is such good exercise for you, and it is a great opportunity to clear your mind and have time for yourself and help reduce stress. Just do it, as they say. Like showering or brushing your teeth or doing your hair, it is a part of your day so just do it. Slip on your shoes and make it happen. It doesn’t have to be an hour to matter. If you can do it just a few times, you’ll love the time you get to yourself, and then you’ll miss it if you don’t get it. Don’t be afraid to tell family members that you need this for yourself, or just bring them along!
For help with lots of other areas of life that hit the top New Year’s Resolutions, please take a look at this NewYearNewYou flyer for some contacts of local business women who want to help you reach your best potential! Happy New Year and best wishes for success and feeling great in 2011!
December 8, 2010
Brownie Recipe ( <– click here)
After many tries and revisions, I have finally “perfected” (if you’ll let me use that word without sounding like I’m bragging) my Healthy Brownie recipe! There are only healthy ingredients in this recipe! Yes, these brownies are actually GOOD for you! And I think they taste great (again, don’t want to brag) and they are so easy to make. Enjoy!
November 11, 2010
I did the first ever Women’s Half-Marathon in Scottsdale/Tempe this past Sunday. I can’t really say I officially trained for it, but I have been trying to walk/run with my dogs trying to get me in some sort of better shape. I am not a big runner–it feels awkward to me, and I prefer to ride my bike or use my elliptical so much more, so I usually pass on running. Still… I haven’t done much more than a half an hour at a time on the elliptical, and I haven’t ridden my bike in quite a while.
But, I gave it a shot. And I really pushed myself hard at the half-marathon. I was whipped by the time I finished. I had done the PF Chang’s Half-Marathon the past two Januarys, and was really hoping just to tie my best time… or at least just finish (I had trained before those races). I did finish, and I did beat my best time. Yay! Before, my best was 3 hours and 15 minutes. Sunday, I did the Women’s Half-Marathon in 2:53! I was pretty happy with that. But, then I looked closer…
So you understand that I’m a personal trainer. I do try to be faithful to practicing what I preach so that I can look my clients in the eye when I say that they can fit in exercise, that I do too and I’m busy. I think people’s expectations of me are that I am in pretty good shape, and I think they are very justified in having that expectation.
I looked at the results from Sunday based on age. Out of my age group (35-39), I came in 531 out of 680. Wow, that’s pretty darn low. That shocked me. I took another look at the results for other age groups. Here’s how it played out:
From the 50-54 range, 167 participants out of 259 beat me (more than half!). The winner of this age group beat me by 1 hour and 14 minutes.
From the 55-59 age group, 69 out of 115 beat me (more than half!). The winner, at age 58, beat me by 1 hour and 15 minutes.
From the 60-64 group, 21 out of 53 participants beat me (almost half!). The winner, at age 64, beat me by 1 hour and 11 minutes.
From the 65-69 age group, 9 out of the 17 participants beat me (more than half!). The winner, at age 65, beat me by 51 minutes.
So, I hope you find this encouraging. If you are reaching the “mature” age groups, there may be no reason why you couldn’t try to do a half-marathon. There are others out there doing it! And, they are beating me! Maybe you will, too!
October 27, 2010
One of my favorite nutritionists is Dee McCaffrey. She is a local person, if you live in the Phoenix area. She often speaks at Sprouts stores, so if you have one near you, check out their calendar of events and chances are you’d have a chance to meet her. Anyway, she has two great books out with recipes in them that are healthy and yummy! This is one of my favorites. It is different but in a very pleasant way, and tastes wonderful. There are so many different flavors and they blend together so well. Try it sometime! It’s easy to make, too!
Southwestern Sweet Potato Wraps
Makes: 6 burritos
1/2 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (15 ounce) red kidney beans (preferably organic), drained and rinsed
1 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce or reduced-sodium wheat-free tamari sauce
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, baked and then peeled and mashed
6 (10-inch) whole-wheat tortillas or whole spelt tortillas, warmed
4 ounces cheddar cheese (preferably organic), shredded, about 1 cup
Preheat oven to 350F. Place whole sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until soft through the center. Remove from oven but leave the oven on for warming the burritos.
Allow sweet potatoes to cool, then cut open and scrape out all of the inside part of the potatoes and place them in a bowl. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher. They can still be slightly lumpy. Set aside.
Heat coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft. Stir in the beans, and mash them with a masher. Gradually stir in the water, and heat until warm. Remove from heat, and stir in the chili powder, cumin, mustard, cayenne pepper, and soy sauce or tamari sauce.
Warm tortillas by placing them in a dry skillet over medium heat. When the tortilla is warm to the touch, remove from the skillet and lay the tortilla on a flat surface, such as a cutting board or a plate. Add equal amounts of the bean mixture and the mashed sweet potatoes down the center of each tortilla. Top with cheese. Roll up the tortilla burrito style, and place burrito on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Bake the burritos for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, just enough to lightly brown the tops of the tortillas. Serve immediately.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Plan-D: The Amazing Anti-Diet That Will Change Your Life Forever by Dee McCaffrey, CDC. © 2009 Center for Processed-Free Living,