Well the Slim Down the South Celebrity softball game has “come and gone,” but the memories of the great day amongst the “stars,” will continue to be etched in my mind for a lifetime. The 3rd year was our best ever and we had some pretty amazing sponsors as well as friends give so much of their time, their treasure and their support. I can’t express to everyone how deeply indebted we are to the community at large for supporting such an important day and such an important cause. The childhood obesity epidemic will not go away easily -the only “leveling off,” of the obesity epidemic is between kids aged 2-4. Meanwhile there are still 12.5 million kids under 20 who are not just overweight in the U.S., they’re OBESE says the CDC. Thanks to guys like Michael Kohn, a relief pitcher for the LA Angels, and television superstar, Adam Rodriguez, pictured here, more than just our kids celebrated their successes this past year. Louie’s Kids has helped over 500 children lose over 5,000 unbelievable pounds this past 13 years. That’s a lot to want to celebrate! So if you came to the game, sponsored some kids at the game, gave of your time or your business support at the game I want to just say with a full and grateful heart, thank you.
So now the holidays are nearly upon us and for most of us that means spending time with family and giving thanks for all we have. At Louie’s Kids we are again reminded that not everyone has a refrigerator full of good and healthy foods to come home to during the holiday season. There are many Lowcountry children who not only struggle with hunger, they struggle with nutrition and with obesity -often they go “hand in hand.”
Louie’s Kids mission is to serve these and other kids in the community who are struggling with being overweight or are trying to stay athletic, or become athletic; think Run Buddies, through outreach programs like running groups, family workouts with trained coaches to hopefully help them become healthy and live a healthier life -maybe more than their parents or those before them have. But we cannot accomplish this without the help of generous donors like you. I hope through our “$1 per day for the 25 Days of Christmas,” campaign and our “wish list,” from coaches and kids you’ll understand why it’s as important as ever.
We did not create a nation of overweight and obese children overnight, it might take a lifetime to turn the tide on the epidemic, but we are Louie’s Kids believes it’s certainly possible #onechildatatime
Seasons Greetings and thank you again for the support!
I often get asked my thoughts on meal replacement bars and shakes. So, after attending Obesity Week last week (a conference for the two obesity related societies I am a member of) and bringing home several new protein bars to try I thought I would write about this and share my thoughts with you.
Along with many things I give advice on, there is not an easy yes or no answer. First, I want to remind you that I am neither a registered dietitian nor a nutritionist, but I am a clinical psychologist specializing in health, weight management, and obesity. I am also a runner, a health enthusiast, and am like you- busy and wearing several hats at the same time and running here and there. So, I have my recommendations that I give with the caveat “in the ideal world” and then I have the “let’s be realistic” recommendations. With that being said, of course I recommend real, whole foods whenever possible; they are packed with nutrients that are good for us. If it sits on a shelf, it can sit for a long time, which means it has preservatives and there are “other” things in it that our bodies do not need. One example of something added in most packaged foods is sodium, which we should be cautious of, but also how about those ingredients that are listed that we can’t even pronounce? Those surely can’t be good for us. But, here comes the “let’s be realistic” part– we are busy people, we are on the run, and we may not always have time to eat whole foods or may not have whole foods that are accessible to us at the time. We may have forgotten our apple that day to have in our bag just in case we were to get hungry and may not have time to go to the store to buy something. OR like me last week, I was packing my food for the day, packed my lunch, got my small container of flaxseed and granola ready to go for my yogurt, which I was very excited about, and perhaps so excited that I somehow left home without the yogurt. So, although I planned ahead, I still forgot something (life happens!). Unfortunately, I didn’t realize this until I got to my office and was unpacking my bag to put things in the refrigerator and soon realized there was no breakfast besides a small container of flaxseed, which of course I did not intent to eat by itself. So, I had a few options… I could have gone to the café or deli and got something that would have had extra calories, fat, and sodium in it than I would have wanted or I could have skipped breakfast all together. Luckily, I have at work a small stash of protein bars (or as I call them my emergency bars) so I didn’t have to go hungry and skip breakfast and/or go buy something that I knew I didn’t want. Instead I had a protein bar, which may not be all natural and may not have all the nutrients that my yogurt and flaxseed would have had, but it was not completely unhealthy and was still packed with protein, was filling, and did the job—it served a purpose.** So, you can see, there is a time and a place for meal replacements (i.e. protein bars or shakes). Because of that protein bar I did not have to spend unwanted money, or unwanted calories. Instead I made the healthier choice at the time and thankfully had a choice to make because I have “emergency food” easily accessible, just in case. So to sum this up, in a perfect world we would all eat whole foods all the time, but we don’t live in a perfect world and we are not perfect, so we have to come up with a plan that works for us and a meal supplement may just be the answer….on some occasions.
** Of course not all protein bars are made equal. There are better ones than others and a traditional candy bar is NOT a protein bar and some protein bars can have as many calories and/or fat as candy bars, so be careful and READ LABELS!
The holiday season has quickly approached us and it is important to stay focused during this time. Holidays can be both stressful and enjoyable, but don’t let yourself lose sight of your goals and end up eating your holiday stress. First of all, the myth is that the average person gains between 7- 10 pounds between thanksgiving and new years, but several studies suggest the average weight gain is only about a pound. Here are a few helpful tips to keep that weight in check:
- Focus on weight management NOT weight loss during the holidays. Your goal should be to maintain your weight. Holidays are tough, so don’t make them even tougher by also trying to lose weight.
- Set REALISTIC goals. Don’t set yourself up for failure by setting unrealistic goals. Be true to yourself. You know what you are going to do and what you won’t do.
- Keep an honest food diary. If you have been keeping track of your food, don’t stop now. Keep track of your food and be honest. Remember, if you bite it, write it!
- Choose wisely – “What do I really want and enjoy?” Examine the food available BEFORE picking up your plate and think about what you really want and enjoy and only put that on your plate. Also, don’t deprive yourself. Remember MODERATION. It is okay to have a little bit. Maybe take a spoonful of everything you enjoy, but don’t over do it!
- If you are going out and are unsure if there will be healthy food that you will want, make a healthy dish and bring it with you and/or eat something small before you go (i.e. small salad or piece of fruit).
- Plan on NOT dieting after the New Year. Remember it’s a LIFESTYLE
- Anticipate stressful or difficult situations and PLAN how you will handle thesechallenges. It’s easier to deal with a situation if you have planned ahead. Also, remember to set realistic expectations
- Get Moving! Continue your routine and stay active. This is a great time to be activewith the whole family. Encourage family or friends to take a walk with you. Start a new family tradition- sign up for a Turkey Trot or just take a family walk together while the turkey is cooking and/or after the thanksgiving meal.
**Celebrations are really about family and friends — not food.
Do you have a health tip to share that helps you stay healthy during the holidays? Please leave a comment with your health tip and/or questions.
Rachel L. Goldman, Ph.D.
We have two very important announcements for you.
First, the Free Family Workouts on Thursday nights at Hampton Park. at 6 p.m. have been moved to the lit area of McMahon playground in front of Hampton Park. When you drive into the park on Mary Murray Drive, the workout will be on the lit playground and ballpark on your left.
Second, we are excited to announce a new Free Family Workout location in North Charleston!
Please join the Louie’s Kids team at Cathedral of Praise, 3790 Ashley Phosphate Road, North Charleston, SC 29418 on Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The group will meet in the far field.
If you’d like to work out or volunteer, you are welcome any time and it’s free. However, we encourage you to attend regularly.
If you’d like to volunteer, please be on time, bring a towel and water and be ready to help the fitness instructors. Just let them know you are there to volunteer and they will sign you in and put you to work.
Thank you and see you at the workout!
Do your kids hate veggies? Does the mere thought of something green have them running away from the dinner table? Here is one solution to have them asking for seconds! This side dish is so good AND healthy that you won’t be able to stop eating! Just 4 ingredients and so easy.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees while you cut up your broccoli into florets (leave a little bit of the stem on). Put your broccoli into a mixing bowl and coat with olive oil and chopped garlic. Mix well. Spread broccoli mix onto a baking sheet covered in foil. Bake for 15-20 minutes OR until you notice the ends of the stems turning a golden brown color. Be careful not to let it burn. Remove from the oven and serve hot.
Note: For added flavor toss in a couple tablespoons of parmesan cheese once baking is finished.