Marcia's Blog is a lifestyle change and dieting blog written by a beloved and respected nutritionist/weight loss counselor/lecturer Marcia Bodenstein. She has helped thousands of kosher consumers achieve and maintain weight loss.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Good morning everyone from around the world. Every time I write here, I think of how small our world has become, how easy it is to reach each other via phone, internet, sophisicated transportation. And how, in these technologically advanced times, the one thing that doesnt change is our bodies and their needs. Proper nutrition, hydration, sleep and exercise - the keys to how I am going to feel physically, mentally, and emotionally. Becoming irresponsible in any of those areas is the beginning of a downward spiral.
A few weeks ago I shared about a friend who had a heart attack. She's doing great(BH) and the advice given her? Proper nutrition, exercise, hydration and rest. Well, this weekend REALLY made me aware of 1) my age and 2) the importance of self-care. ANOTHER one of my friends had a stroke (mild, but a stroke nonetheless). He wisely did not ignore and "numbness and a little weakness". Tests showed some plaque and that he had had a series of mini strokes (called ischemic) in the past. THE ADVICE?
Proper nutrition, proper hydration, proper exercise, proper rest!! So, here's the question - WHEN ARE WE GOING TO START TO PAY ATTENTION? These problems do not spring up, they are the result of many years of abuse. So whatever your age, TAKE HEED. We tend to ignore health advice when we are young and feel well AND THEN WE PAY THE PRICE.
So, after hearing this news guess what I wanted? FOOD to make me feel better. I had to laugh at myself and think about how automatic my old thoughts and behaviors are, how strong that desire is, and how much some of my emotions feel like hunger. It was difficult to be rational, but I kept thinking about how my bingeig was not going to help my firend's situation (believe me, if it would make things better I would be eating out of control today) and it would only make things worse for me.
On a lighter note, it seems like the city has emptied out. It feels like everyone has made a mass exodus to the country. Less traffic, more parking, quieter streets - feels like a different Brooklyn. I also know that the 8 weeks flies time goes so quickly. Take advantage of whatever time you have....have a great week.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Good morning all on this very beautiful Sunday morning. I wonder how many weddings, bar mitzvahs, graduations, and barbecues you are all faced with - I know that my schedule is full - sometimes more than one in a single day! What a challenge this can be if you are not prepared, both mentally and physically. Every day there is a different "excuse" to overeat, to not exercise, to not drink water - and these days those excuses abound. So, mental preparation starts with a morning commitment - how do I want to take care of myself today? Do I love myself enough to nurture myself and to seek out the best for myself? Preparation for the day begins with breakfast - within 2 hours after arising or else the metabolism slows down 20%. I dont always want to eat at that time, but it is imperative to "jump start" the metabolism and the day. Certainly you wouldnt drive your car without gas, right? Physical preparation means having the right foods avbailable at home READY TO EAT! For me, that means having salad fixings all cut up ready to toss into a bowl with bagged lettuce (I'm lazy sometimes, or pressed for time, whichever sounds better, peeled carrots (or the baby ones in a bag, I'm lazy, remember?)steamed veggies in the fridge, and cooked fish (or chicken, if you eat it, I don't), a ratatouille to eat hot or cold, and most important a vegetable soup (made from unlimited veggies) ready to heat and eat. When I know I am prepared at home, it keeps me focused out of the house 'cause I know I am coming home to MY FOOD. A pitcher of ice cold lemonade helps too.
As usual, I thank you for reading and for your responses. Lovestoeat, the fact that you got back on program immediately is a HUGE SUCCESS - dont discount it. You could have just kept going on and on, but you didnt and thereby you saved yourself a lot of unhappy days and pounds. Imaof6, kudos to your husband. Notice that those "natural thins" are selective about what they eat. We can certainly learn from them.
Have a great week!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Start Fresh

Good morning and happy Father's Day! I am back to reality - vacation is over and it was REALLY tough to come back. It was a dream trip. Now there's real life.
I hope everyone had a beautiful Shevuos (I did), and I understand it was hotter in New York than it was in Israel (a preview of summer, which is quickly approaching).
This period between Shevuos and the summer is something I call "transition time" - school year coming to an end, summer plans being made, weather changes, and so many weddings to attend (I hope that's true for you too). Transitions can be tricky - I always need to watch for "hunger" during these times. As far as simchas - never never go there hungry! If you plan to eat the meal, be prepared. Eat a salad, a fruit, some yogurt, maybe some soup before you leave so that you can go to the simcha comfortably satisfied. It is so important to be able to make intelligent decisions about food - and we can only do that if we are not binging or starving. If you go too hungry, the smorgasbord is not a safe environment - it's hardly safe even when you are NOT really hungry. Think about "Marcia's rule of smorgasbord" - your handbag in one hand and a drink (water or seltzer) in the other, and then socialize, socialize, socialize and dance the night away. If you are going to the simcha to eat - STAY HOME!! Think about what you are really doing there - sharing in the happiness of the occasion. Overeating is just not part of that mix, right?
Imaof6 - I am so happy for you that you are planning the trip. I would love to see you visit our Start Fresh office in Boro Park - 1323 46th Street. You are so right - snacks for the airplane is a MUST! I found popcorn (Start Fresh, of course), fruit, and an occasional Start Fresh Biscotti invaluable on the flight. Dont forget the WATER - hydration is so important when flying such a long distance - any distance really. Also, try to walk around on the plane if you can.
In Israel - rely on the luscious fruits and veggies - they are SO DELICIOUS! As far as the yogurt is concerned, Dannon is just fine. The sugar is lactose - milk sugar - and it will appear on any dairy product. Just check to make sure there is no added sugar- such as cane juice or fructose. If you see sugar free, fat free yogurt (not ice cream, yogurt with live active cultures) go for it!
Wishing you all a great week...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Hi from Tel Aviv - I am still in Israel and getting ready for Shevuos. What a trip this has been! Lots of family and friends, loads of visiting, sightseeing, shopping and everything else one can do here. The time is passing so quickly. First, I want to say that I have walked enough this past week to last a month, but I am so grateful to be in good enough shape to do it. (Reminder: good, supportive sneakers are a must!) Also, since it is so hot here, I drank a small lake since I arrived, and I am so glad that I like water and have stopped drinking diet soda and coffee (neither of which quench your thirst). Some really good habits have helped me keep the food in check - 1) I dont stand when I eat, 2) NO SUGAR! NO SUGAR! NO SUGAR! - you'd be surprised how many things that leaves out! 3) no appetizers, no desserts.
The fruits and vegetables in Israel are so wonderful that it is really great to really taste and appreciate them. All in all, I think you can tell that this has been a dream vacation, a trip of a lifetime and it's hard to think about coming home.
Thank you all again for your comments - they keep you close to me. I am so glad, Shayna, that you appreciate the audio lecture. Lovetoeat, if there are "cheesecake kits" here, I haven't seen them not has anyone heard of them BUT it would be a great idea. Imaof6, your salmon blintzes sound divine. And as for the agave, it is like sugar, so I think I would stay away if I were you. Anonymous - I think it's great to get prepared food. Prepared food (and diet prepared food) is here to stay. It's convenience, a timesaver and keeps your exposure to the temptation to a minimum. Kudos to you that you realize this and are helping yourself. And to us all, everything is a process and a learning experience. Next year (please Hashem) we can look back and ask ourselves "what have we learned?" and behave accordingly. Never, never beat yourself up for a mistake. It is there to teach us for the next time.

A Good Yom Tov to all and next blog will be from home!!