Posts Tagged ‘resolutions’
 
July 17th, 2013 |

The power of taking a stand.

This post is comes to light from recent political events that involve food and nutrition: the passing of the farm bill by the House of Representatives – a version that purposely neglects the SNAP or “food stamps” section. Real-life hunger games anyone? Obviously the president will never sign such a bill; it’s simply the result of political drama. And for those who rely on food stamps, while they may be frustrated – it’s good to know that the program will run as usual regardless of this bill being passed. The bad news is that it weakens the program, making it more vulnerable to budget cuts in the future.

Leaving out the food stamp section is a blow to the face to millions of Americans including farmers. For me this whole ordeal is maddening. The farm bill is supposed to be the authority on food policy; it’s a blueprint of how we feed ourselves. How can we improve our food system if we waste all this time and energy in a political battle?

This is where public policy comes into play. One of the most important things I’ve learned in nutrition is the power of speaking up and advocating for what is right. Whether it be voicing your opinion in a lecture hall or climbing the stairs of the state house – being heard and taking a stand in something you believe in is powerful.  And it feels pretty awesome too!

As a nutrition student, it was easy to find opportunities to advocate. I could watch and learn from others how to make a strong case on a particular issue. But for many health and nutrition professionals, day-to-day life makes it difficult to (a) gain knowledge of the issues and (b) take that extra step to advocate. For all of you who have thought about getting involved in public policy in the past, now is the time to take the plunge.

Tips and resources needed to take a stand on food and nutrition related issues:

  • Food Politics by Marion Nestle – a great blog and resource written by Marion Nestle, author of Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health. Marion provides real information in an easy-to-understand kind of way.
  • Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) is the leading national nonprofit organization working to improve public policies and public-private partnerships to eradicate hunger and malnutrition in the United States.
  • Action for Healthy Kids – a non-profit organization dedicated to improving children’s nutrition and physical activity by collaborating with stakeholders to advocate and promote school health initiatives. Check out the website to volunteer and inquire about legislative breakfasts at your state’s capitol!
  • Eat Drink Politics – Michele Simon a public policy lawyer and author of Appetite for Profit: How the Food Industry Undermines Our Health and How to Fight Back. Michele writes about policy solutions to food industry and political dilemmas with the goal of improving public health.
  • Center for Science in the Public Interest – CSPI’s goal is to educate the public and advocate government policies that are consistent with scientific. Make sure you sign up for their “nutrition action” newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest nutrition and policy news.
  • Public Policy Workshop – run by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics this workshop is for all you dietitians and dietetic interns out there. A 3-day intensive learning experience that culminates with “hill visits” to speak your mind and share your experiences with US legislators.

Empower yourself by learning about nutrition and food policy, then go out there and speak your mind!

By Liz Schneider

 
July 10th, 2013 | 2 Comments

Review of the FitBit One

The FitBit One is a wearable fitness tracker that I’ve been using for about a month now and I love it. The FitBit One measures and tracks your daily calories burned, steps taken, distance traveled, stairs climbed, and even your sleep activity.

Reasons why I love the FitBit One:

  • The small and sleek design. The FitBit is tiny and comes in a nice silicone case that can be clipped to clothing like jeans, sneakers, or even a bra.
  • Long lasting charge. Even though the FitBit is worn all day long (and all night if tracking sleep) it only needs to be charged every week or two. It charges fast too (within a couple hours) via USB connection to your computer.
  • All you have to do is wear it. FitBit connects via Bluetooth and uploads your usage data automatically to your own FitBit dashboard. Your data can be accessed online, on your smartphone, or even fitness apps like MyFitnessPal.
  • Easy user interface. The FitBit dashboard produces straightforward charts and graphs to help you visualize patterns of your activity throughout the day and sleep throughout the night. You can also track food intake to compare energy in vs. energy out.
  • Competing against family and friends. My family has FitBit and we are all connected online, each week we see who is “winning”. This sparks the competitive side in almost anyone.
  • Way more than just a pedometer. I’ve never really thought twice about my sleep patterns but now I do. The FitBit One comes with a small soft wristband you can wear to bed. It measures the duration of your sleep, number of times you rustle, and how many times you were awakened. You can even program a silent alarm that gently vibrates to wake you up so your partner can stay sleeping.
  • FitBit motivates. Digital messages pop up every so often like “Move It” or “Rock on” to encourage you to keep active. Also, a small digital flower grows according to your activity level. Nice touch.

It appears that the developers of the FitBit have thought of it all. FitBit One is a smart, sophisticated, and powerful little gadget. I love learning about my own fitness level and challenging myself and family to move more. With many other personal fitness trackers on the market these days, like Nike Fuel Band and JawBone Up – I am perfectly happy with my FitBit.

By Liz Schneider

 
June 19th, 2013 |

Wedding season is here.

Are you prepared to make an entrance? Whether it’s a graduation, reunion, or wedding celebration – there’s always something happening during the summer – and with all that partying comes the challenge of looking your best. Many people use desperate measures to look good. But what if I told you that focusing on how you feel is really what’s most important. Wouldn’t it be nice to feel healthy, fit, and confident for the big day? Here are some tips on how to make positive changes so you can feel your best for summer’s occasions.

5 healthy changes to try now:

  • Quit a bad habit. Overcome your tendency toward a bad habit by making daily goals. If you have failed at changing your behavior in the past, investigate why and learn from your mistakes.
  • Take up a healthy habit. Do something that inspires you. You’ll be happy to have a genuine response to the inevitable party question, “What have you been up to?”
  • Make healthy eating choices. Start in the grocery store where you hold all the power. Focus your shopping around the perimeter of the store where you’ll find whole foods like fruits, vegetables, meat, and eggs.
  • Sleep better. Try going to bed earlier and waking up with the sunrise. Summer mornings are incredible for contemplating, exercising, and getting things done.
  • Develop an exercise routine. Don’t bother with an activity you hate doing – find something that’s fun, you’re more likely to stick with it. Buddy up with a friend and keep each other going.

Not ready to change? No problem. Change is hard and achievable only when you are motivated. Afraid of failure? Prove yourself wrong. The best way to achieve something you do not think you can do is to reach out to people who have already accomplished that thing. It’s pretty easy to find experts in almost any area of your choosing.

Go forth and find inner peace in the things you can change to feel great, let go, and have fun at this summer’s festivities.

By Liz Schneider

 
January 20th, 2013 | 1 Comment

Rusty Resolutions?

Have your shiny new 2013 resolutions lost some luster? Letting your resolution muscle lose some strength by mid-January is as predictable as the Patriots in the playoffs. It happens. Here’s how to get on with it.

Revise. Most resolutions are too lofty and create “false-hope syndrome”.Try again. Set resolutions that are specific, measurable and do-able within a certain time frame.

  • I’ll include a piece of fruit with my lunch 5 days/week for both January and February. (more…)
CATEGORIES: Motivation