How to Stay Healthy on the Campaign Trail


Hit the Campaign Trail Without Gaining Weight

For presidential candidates, zigzagging across the country month after month can be mentally, physically and emotionally draining. The last thing candidates need is to gain weight and increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer after the election.
Getting votes is a priority but preventing health problems should be a concern. Here are five helpful tips for candidates who want to look and feel their best and have loads of energy to bring in the votes.
1)      Avoid gaining weight, because it’s much harder to lose weight than to gain it. Who could resist the juicy, slow-cooked barbecue ribs in Memphis? Or a 12-layer dark chocolate cake in Seattle? It seems like there’s some type of deep-fried food offered in every city. Unfortunately, an extra 100 calories a day will add ten pounds in a year! Once the weight is gained, most people don’t lose it. Older adults need to eat less just to maintain their weight. To be consistent, bring along a small bathroom scale and weigh in 2-3 times a week. Steps should be taken immediately if extra weight starts creeping up.
2)      Stick to a routine with similar amounts of calories per meal. As an example, choose oatmeal, fruit and nuts for breakfast; a salad with some type of protein for lunch; dinner can include a small amount of protein and carbohydrate and fill half the plate with fruits and/or vegetables. Limit fried foods, creamy sauces or decedent desserts for a special splurge. When eating at restaurants, it’s common to consume too much sodium and saturated fat. Find ways to fill up on fruits and veggies!
3)      Watch the calories from alcohol. After a stressful day of speaking, relaxing with a few cocktails can quickly and easily add excess weight. To reduce the risk of cancer, moderation for women is no more than one drink a day and no more than two drinks a day for men. Keep in mind, alcohol is metabolized straight to fat.
4)      Balance a hectic schedule with exercise.It’s important to make time for exercise, which also helps reduce excess weight. If walking around town or working out in the hotel gym is not realistic, bring along resistance bands for strength training and a jump rope for cardio. A few stretches can be invigorating. Physical activity relieves stress, anxiety and improves sleep. There are no excuses for not exercising. Make physical activity part of the daily routine.
5)      Steer clear of emotional eating. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” Ha! Human hearts are not carved out of stone. Day after day of hurtful verbal assaults will inevitably take its toll on emotional well-being. It’s important to remember that food may be an escape but doesn’t solve problems. To avoid emotional eating, keep it REAL:
·         Recognizeemotions and the triggers. “When I am exhausted, eating toasted sourdough bread with butter is comforting.”
·         Expressemotions. “When people insult me and call me names, I feel angry.”
·         Accept the emotions. Accepting and acknowledging emotions relieves the pressure. “I am stressed and that’s okay. I can deal with this.”
·         Loveyourself. Tell yourself what you want to hear. “I am a good person and doing a great job.”
Not many people can eat or drink whatever they want without accumulating unwanted weight. To prevent the extra bites from adding up, hit the campaign trail with moderation and a little discipline. The real winning candidate not only beats the opposition but also stays healthy.

Stress Can Lead to Emotional Eating During the Holidays

You can’t see it or taste it, but stress is everywhere. It may be especially abundant during the holidays. Don’t let stress ruin your fun!

Physical activity is a great but simple stress buster. Why not! It makes you feel better, and it also burns calories.

Day 28 Stressed? Wanna Eat? in the Amazon #1 best-seller, The Food Is My Friend Diet, has lots of great tips to control stress. Be Happy!

For National Nutrition Month 2013, “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day”

 Everyone has unique tastes and habits. For National Nutrition Month this year, why not go global? Fine tune your eating habits to include healthy foods from around the world. To make it easy, use the USDA’s MyPlate as a guide.

  • ·         Make half the plate fruits and vegetables. For Asian Indian, try fruit chutney; for Middle Eastern, try grilled pineapple (yum); for Latin American, try a mango smoothie or cactus salad, for Asian, try stir-fried greens, for African, try baked pumpkin sprinkled with cinnamon (so healthy!).
  • ·         Make about one-quarter the plate protein, such as lean meats, black beans or tofu. How about making a Chinese dish with stir-fried chicken or tofu with bok choy, snap peas, carrots and bean sprouts?
  • ·         Include one-quarter of the plate with grains – Half of the day should be whole grains. Ever try quinoa from Latin America? Or whole grain couscous from Africa?
  • ·         Add some calcium to get all the nutrients you need. Low fat or fat free milk, yogurt or cheese would be good choices. Go Greek. Try tzatziki sauce, a creamy dressing made from yogurt, garlic and cucumber.

March is my favorite month. It’s a reminder how much I enjoy helping people eat healthfully. For lots of tips and useful resources check out, http://www.eatright.org/nnm/