That extra scoop isn’t HELPING!

Portion Control and Diet: 10 Easy Tips for Smaller Servings

The good news is that with a little practice, portion control is easy to do and can help people be successful in reaching and then maintaining a proper weight. Here are 10 simple ways to keep your portions a healthy size:

1. Measure accurately. For foods and beverages, use gadgets like a measuring cup, tablespoon, teaspoon, or food scale.

2. Learn how to estimate serving sizes. “‘Ballpark’ food portion sizes by estimating serving sizes in comparison to known objects,” says Rose Clifford, RD, clinical dietitian in the department of pharmacy services at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC. “For example, three ounces of cooked meat, fish, or poultry is about the size of a deck of cards.” Other easy measurements to eyeball include:

  • ½ cup is the size of an ice cream scoop
  • 1 cup is the size of a tennis ball
  • 1 ounce of cheese is the size of a domino

3. Use portion control dishware. Pick out smaller plates, bowls, cups, and glassware in your kitchen and measure what they hold. You might find that a bowl you thought held 8 ounces of soup actually holds 16, meaning you’ve been eating twice what you planned.

4. Dish out your servings separately. Serve food from the stove onto plates rather than family-style at the table, which encourages seconds.

5. Make your own single-serving packs. “Re-portion bulk quantities of favorite foods such as pasta, rice, and cereal into individual portions in zipper bags so that when you’re in the mood for some food you’ll instantly see the number of portions you’re preparing,” says Jennifer Nasser, RD, PhD, assistant professor in the department of biology at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

6. Add the milk before the coffee. When possible, put your (fat-free) milk into the cup before adding the hot beverage to better gauge the amount used.

7. Measure oil carefully. This is especially important because oil (even the healthful kinds like olive and safflower) have so many calories; don’t pour it directly into your cooking pan or over food.

8. Control portions when eating out. Eat half or share the meal with a friend. If eating a salad, ask for dressing on the side. Dip your fork into the dressing and then into the salad.

9. Add vegetables. Eat a cup of low-calorie vegetable soup prior to eating a meal, or add vegetables to casseroles and sandwiches to add volume without a lot of calories.

10. Listen to your hunger cues. Eat when hungry and stop when satisfied or comfortably full. “Try to gauge when you are 80 percent full and stop there,” says Clifford. “There will be more food at the next meal or snack!”


Heat and summer myths DEBUNKED

Always wait a half-hour after eating before swimming
This one has been around for generations and it’s not even clear anymore how it got started.
Yes, it’s true that you can get a stomach cramp if you try to exercise vigorously after eating, but it won’t be a cramp that would impair your ability to swim or to keep your head above water. Chances are if you’ve eaten a big meal, you’re probably not interested in going for a swim anyway. It’s also not clear where the 30-minutes wait window came from either, since it typically takes a lot longer — three to four hours — for the stomach to empty.

A base tan will help prevent sunburns
Contrary to popular belief, a tan does not do a really great job of protecting your skin from skin damage. In fact, the extra melanin the sun produces in your skin offers a sun protection factor (SPF) of only about 2 to 4 — nowhere near the recommended SPF of 15 that helps protect the skin from sunburn and cancer.

When barbecuing burgers, colour is the best way to tell if they’re done

If you’re used to grilling burgers until you no longer see pink, you may not be cooking them enough. Meat can turn brown before all the E. coli and other bacteria are killed. The best way to check for done-ness is to use a digital thermometer to take the temperature in the thickest part of the meat and ensure it’s reached 160ºF (71 C).  Even burgers that are still pink inside can be safe to eat if — and only if — they’ve reached this temperature.

When driving, open windows are more fuel-efficient than the A/C
The Society of Automotive Engineers tested a sedan and an SUV, at speeds of 50 km/h, 80 km/h and 110 km/h to see whether the wind drag of opening the windows burned up more gas than the air conditioning system. What they found was that the ambient heat didn’t matter much, nor did the size of the engine or the vehicle. What it really came down to was speed.
When driving at a low speed, say in the city, it’s more efficient to leave windows open, they found.  When the speed picks up past 65 km/h though, the wind drag effect really kicks in and you end up using less gas by switching on the air conditioning.

Remind HIM about taking care of his feet

Not many men really think about foot care, but the summer months can be tough on feet!

Infection protection
Summer is prime time for foot infections such as athlete’s foot, cellulitis and plantar warts
Infections like these are caused by fungi, bacteria and viruses that thrive in the warm, moist environments where we tend to wander barefoot

Prevention is as easy as slipping your feet into flip-flops when out gallivanting, but there’s also some preventative steps and simple foot care steps that can help.  Some podiatrists recommend a pedicure about every two weeks no matter if it’s sandal or boot season. Whether done at the salon or done on your own:

1. Rub away rough skin
In addition to your full foot care routine every other week, use a pumice stone weekly, scrubbing away dry skin and calluses a little at a time.

2. Exfoliate to remove dead skin
The skin on the top of your foot is far too thin and delicate for a stone, so you need to use an exfoliating scrub to get rid of dry skin there.

3. Moisturize immediately

Your feet have fewer oil glands than other parts of the body, which makes moisturizing them more important. Dry feet can easily crack and become infected. The best time to moisturize is right after you’ve scrubbed away dry skin.

Homemade creamsicles!

Mix together fruit juice and vanilla ice cream in a large bowl.

Then, gradually add milk and continue to mix. Finally, pour the mixture into small paper cups and place them in the freezer.

Once they are partially frozen, insert popsicle sticks into them and place them back inside the freezer.

When they are frozen solid, peel off the paper cups and enjoy the creamsicle!

Happy National Creamsicle Day!

Lessons we can learn from kids

We can learn a lot from a 3-year-old…

James Tufts, 3, has just been named MAYOR of a small town in Minnesota, following in the footsteps of his older brother Bobby (pictured, who served consecutive terms when he was 3 and 4). James says the keys to being a strong leader: “Being nice, and no poopy talk.”


myFM listener: “When yo gotta go, you gotta go. (Not necessarily applying to potty)”

10 Life Lessons we can learn from children