Tag Archives: childhood obesity

Avoid this Four Letter Word….DIET!


Ok, we made it through the holidays and it’s time to follow through with our New Year’s Resolutions.  The most common resolution I hear about seems to deal with a Diet. I feel that the word “Diet” is one of those four letter words you would get your mouth washed out with soap for saying. The correct term should be “lifestyle change.”  People always go on and off diets, but a lifestyle change is permanent.  For the purpose of this article I’ll use that four letter word and hope there’s no soap around. The word “Diet” doesn’t always mean eating less to lose weight—although that’s what we commonly associate it with today. Someone “on a diet” is trying to eat less, or stop eating sweets to fit into a smaller pant size.

There’s so much confusion when it comes to dieting.  Atkins, Metabolic, or remember last year, the Drive-Thru diet from Taco Bell?  This year there is even a Twinkie diet!  I’m not making those last two up!  No wonder everyone is confused.  When I recommend the Taco Bell or Twinkie Diet you better run because you know the world is coming to an end!  Low calorie and fad diets can have serious health implications—insufficient vitamin and nutritional intake, lethargy, slowed metabolism, hormonal effects, and even dehydration.  Dieters commonly experience intense feelings of hunger and deprivation, which can lead to “cheating” or bingeing over time.

Improving your normal diet by making gradual, but permanent changes is a healthier way to lose weight than by just restricting calories.  Below are a few tips to help you decrease your caloric intake without “dieting” or feeling deprived.

1.  Drink more water.  Hunger is often mistaken for thirst, so if you find yourself wanting to mindless snack, drink water instead of grabbing the chips.  Also try to drink 2 cups of water before a meal and you will feel more satisfied!

2.  Familiarize yourself with portion size.  We are bombarded with “Portion Distortion!”  Read the labels and measure your food until you get an idea of what an actual serving size is.

3.  Be prepared!  Plan out your meals and always have a healthy snack ready to grab.  You don’t want to go too long without eating; not only will you be too hungry to make a good decision, you will inhale your food and eat more than you should.

Order your copy of New Mommy Makeover today, and make 2011 your healthiest year yet!  Remember, I offer on-line coaching too!

Yours in health,







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Filed under colleen riddle, Fat loss, healthy children, Healthy lifestyle, healthy moms

Tips for Healthy Traveling

For those of you that were missing my blog last week, sorry but I took a few days off and went to New Mexico to visit family.  If you get the chance I highly recommend it…gorgeous! The week before I left we talked about doing the small things to make big differences.  Well I wanted to give you a glance at how I make these small decisions work for me when I travel, and how they can work for you too.  First thing I did was do a little planning.  I looked at my flight itinerary to see what time I was departing and landing.  Armed with this information I was ready to plan my attack.  My plane left around 12:30 so I knew I needed to start with my lunch.  I packed some turkey and lettuce, wrapped it in a whole wheat wrap and cut up some cucumber slices (my chips) as a side.  I arrived to the airport a little early and found a spot to sit and eat my lunch before going through security.  The less you take through the better off you are.  This a picture of my lunch(I know; only I would take a picture of my lunch).

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Of course I packed some water for lunch, but they will not let you take water through security so only pack what you are going to drink before security. Now once past security you can purchase water at one of the stores, but be ready to pay more than usual (a lot more). It’s worth it though because one of the leading factors of jet lag is dehydration.  Also if you’ve ever been stuck on the tar mat you know they don’t usually serve drinks; so be prepared!  Also in my little bag of goodies were some almonds, apples, and snack bars.  This keeps you from getting hungry during the flight, the dreaded layovers, or those delays I mentioned earlier.  I also suggest packing a few more snacks than you think you need.  You may end up needing them later, or your new best friend sitting next to you may not have planned as well as you, this way you can help them out (pay-it forward). Now I know there is nothing here you probably don’t know, and that is one of the points I’m trying to make.  Most of us know what we should do, but sometimes it’s just easier not to do them.  Now I’m not going to say that I went on vacation and did not indulge with some of my meals.  But the time and place was up to me and not some someone else.  To take care of those indulges I incorporated exercise into my vacation.  I went for walks and runs through my father’s neighborhood, and for a my tough workout I went for a 7 mile hike up and down some mountains (felt like more up than down).

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You’re on vacation so of course you are going to indulge and that’s part of vacation, but with a little planning and a little exercise while you’re there you can enjoy yourself and not fall short of your health goals.
Happy traveling,


Coaching Success Story:

I want to brag on my dad for a minute.  Last year he lost over 20lbs and has KEPT it off for over a year.  Don’t ever think you are too old to make healthy changes!!  Go Dad…so proud of you!

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Filed under colleen riddle, Fat loss, Healthy lifestyle, healthy moms, New Mommy Makeover, New Moms, post pregnancy, Post pregnancy weight loss, weight loss

Winning at the game of Life

I have a friend who entered a 5k race last weekend, completed it, but did not win. Her post on Facebook said, “Will I ever win?” And she went on to congratulate the race winners. Like I said I know this person and I’m here to tell you she is already a winner in every sense of the word. Now did she win the race, no, but that’s not the point I’m trying to make here. She constantly gives of herself to help others in the community, she challenges herself to stay healthy, and she inspires others. This puts her on the podium of life’s winners every day! It’s not always where you finish in the race, but who you helped along the way. Remember last week I talked about your life being a marathon and not a sprint (In case you missed it, look below). In today’s fast paced society so much emphases is put on where you finish we sometimes forget to help others along the way. When we reach the end of our marathon what do you think we will be remembered for? The things that we collected along the way or by the positive changes we’ve made in someone else’s life? Ok, so how can you inspire others to be their best? First, lead by example. Become the leader that’s inside you by making positive changes in your life, and get your health in order. You’ve already started just by taking a few minutes to read this email. Second, find people around you that inspire others; watch and learn from them (my friend for example). Third, and maybe the most important, take action. This one can be tough because you don’t know where to begin. JUST START somewhere and you’ll be amazed; before you know it you’ll be making a difference and standing on that podium next to my friend.

Yours in health,


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Filed under childhood obesity, colleen riddle, Fat loss, healthy children, Healthy lifestyle, healthy moms, healty moms, New Mommy Makeover, New Moms, obesity, post pregnancy, Post pregnancy weight loss, Uncategorized, weight loss

The Secret to Success

We all are looking for THE secret to weight loss and good health.   We see fit models on T.V. telling us about a new diet or revolutionary piece of equipment that is going to melt the fat away, or even worse the dreaded diet pill.   So we buy it, in hopes that with little or no effort we will look just like the model.  But in reality we use the product a few times and the fat doesn’t just melt away like they told you.  Frustration sets in; you stop, and end up with a garage full of equipment you don’t use any more.  What most of miss as we are running around looking for those magic solutions to our problems, is that the secret to our success lies within ourselves; not on T.V. or in a magazine.  That’s right the answer has been there the whole time.   We’ve been too busy looking for other people to come up with the solution we forgot to look in the mirror.   You know the saying, “If you want to hide something put it in plain sight.”   Drum Roll….the secret to your success lies in the decisions you make every day.   Those little ones that you think don’t matter.  Guess what they ALL matter!  That coke you grab instead of water, the piece of cake at the office party, the fast food you pick up because it’s easier than cooking, or skipping a workout.  Now these decisions by themselves may not seem like a big deal.   Will they harm your health the next day, probably not.  But one day in the future all these tiny decisions you made will catch up leaving you unhealthy and unhappy.  You will look in the mirror and wonder what happened.  There was not one big decision that led to where you are now.  If it was that easy, of course you would have made the right BIG decision, this is your health and who would intentionally make a bad decision when it comes to your health?  Fortunately all is not lost, there is still time to work on making the right choices and this is where education and some consistent good decision making will come in.  Now I’m not going to sit here and say it will always be easy.  Life just isn’t that way.  But we are talking about your health; this is the most precious commodity you have.  No matter how much money or fancy “things” you have, if your health goes you may not be around to enjoy them.  Your life is not a sprint it is a marathon, but it’s a great marathon.  I want to help you enjoy the journey.  If I can help please let me know.
Yours in health,

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Filed under Fat loss, Healthy lifestyle, healthy moms, healty moms, New Mommy Makeover, New Moms, obesity, post pregnancy, Post pregnancy weight loss, weight loss

Stress Test

Slow traffic. Screaming children. A job interview. A crumbling marriage. Any of these could be a stressful situation. We all face stress in our lives, and some days are more stressful than others. Stress can take its toll on our physical and mental health. Learn more about stress and its effects by taking this multiple-choice quiz.

Stress Test

Now that you had a chance to gauge your stress level here are 4 easy ways to help reduce it.

1.  Exercise:  Surprise, surprise….yes I recommend exercise!  Aerobic exercise or strength training can greatly reduce your stress level.  Natural endorphins (feel-good hormones) are released when you exercise.  It’s also a time where your brain can focus on something other than your worries.  You can get in tune with the movements of your body, your breath, and your muscles.

2.  Sleep:  One of the most common reasons for stressful behaviors is lack of sleep.  I know as moms this can be a great challenge!  If you aren’t getting the proper amount of sleep, your body doesn’t have time to recover from the day and therefore can feel tired and sore. This tired and sore feeling can cause physical and mental stress throughout the day, making anxiety more prevalent.

3.  Eat right:  Another surprise, huh?!  If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed it’s easy to reach for the quickest (which tends to be the fattiest) food.  Try to plan ahead by cutting up fresh fruits and vegetables and grilling extra chicken breasts on the weekend to have ready to throw on top of salad or into a wrap.  Trust me you will feel so much better eating something healthy, than the greasy, to-go foods.  I know personally if I eat badly when I’m stressed, then I feel fat AND stressed….not a good combo :-)!

4.  Relax:  Many people are so focused on work, family, and other responsibilities that they forget to relax. Relaxation techniques such as meditation and massage therapy have long been known to reduce stress levels. People often forget that relaxing is a part of a healthy lifestyle and by skipping this aspect, people often cause more stress and feel the effects of stress more profoundly.  So just BREATHE!

Hope you find these tips helpful.  I’m here for you, just let me know what I can do to help!

Yours in health,


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Filed under childhood obesity, colleen riddle, Fat loss, healthy children, Healthy lifestyle, healthy moms, healty moms, New Mommy Makeover, New Moms, obesity, post pregnancy, Post pregnancy weight loss, weight loss

7 Foods to Make You Smarter

If the rapidly approaching school year has you scrambling for tips on how to move your kids to the head of the class, or if you’re looking for ways to increase your own productivity, start by examining your diet. Studies have shown that certain foods act like fuel for our brains by increasing concentration and memory function. Some foods have even been shown to slow down the mind’s natural aging process.  Combine these foods with other good habits, like working out and you’ll soon find yourself at the head of the class—at any age.                                                

Spinach. At only 40 calories a cup, a serving of spinach contains almost half your daily requirement of folic acid, an essential nutrient for cell growth, blood production, and preventing memory loss. And spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense foods available—just 1 cup contains all your body’s daily requirements of vitamins A and K, plus most of the folate and manganese you need each day. These nutrients improve brain function and slow down the effects of premature aging by preventing the negative effects of oxidation on the brain.

Smart Tip: Try replacing iceberg lettuce with spinach leaves in your next dinner salad, or add fresh spinach to an omelet.

Oatmeal. As a strong source of insoluble fiber, oatmeal provides a stable energy that helps your brain maintain consistent focus and concentration. Eating oatmeal can also slow down the digestion of starch, reducing the frequent spikes in blood sugar that usually occur after a big meal.

Smart Tip: Avoid the instant flavored packets, which are loaded with sugar, and stick with the plain, slower-cooking kind—it still cooks up in the microwave in just 2 or 3 minutes.

Fish. Many studies have shown that eating oily fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids can boost memory, concentration, and mental acuity. Omega-3 acids also appear to strengthen the brain’s synapses that are directly related to learning and memorization.

Smart Tip: Watch mercury levels when choosing fish, and consider wild salmon, albacore tuna, and mackerel, which all contain omega-3s with minimal environmental contaminants.

Walnuts. Eating just a handful of these nuts every day can prevent the decline of cognitive and motor function, increase brain resiliency, and improve cell functioning. Walnuts are loaded with protein and omega-3 fatty acids that balance the unstable neurotransmitters that can cause depression and other mood swings.

Smart Tip: Sprinkle a handful of chopped walnuts on salads or fill a travel container for a healthy on-the-go snack. You’ll feel full longer, reducing the temptation to binge between meals.

Berries. Many types of berries, especially blueberries and strawberries, contain flavonoids, which have been linked to brain cell growth and improved memory. Berries with the darkest, richest colors offer the most nutritional value. The antioxidants, vitamin C, and anti-inflammatory properties in berries have been shown to preserve brain function and are a factor in the prevention of  dementia.

Smart Tip: Sprinkle berries on salads, cereal, or yogurt, or make yourself a fresh berry fruit smoothie.

Yogurt. Widely known as a top calcium source for bone development and strength, yogurt also contains enough protein and carbohydrates in just one serving to keep both the body and the brain energized throughout the day. Yogurt also contains amino acids that encourage the production of neurotransmitters, and enough vitamin B to encourage—along with the protein—the growth of brain tissue while slowing down the aging process.

Smart Tip: Eat yogurt topped with berries for breakfast or lunch, or if you’re having a salad, nix the bottled dressing and make your own by mixing a quarter of a cup of plain nonfat or low-fat yogurt with fresh herbs.

Eggs. These low-calorie, nutrient-dense wonders are rich in protein as well as choline, an important nutrient that helps regulate the brain and nervous system by acting as a messenger between muscles and nerves. If you’ve been avoiding eggs because you’re worried about your cholesterol, take note: Numerous research studies have shown that eating eggs as part of a healthy diet is not a contributing factor to heart disease.

Smart Tip: Enjoy an egg and spinach omelet for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

By Suzy Buglewicz

Yours in health,


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Filed under childhood obesity, colleen riddle, Fat loss, healthy children, Healthy lifestyle, healthy moms, New Mommy Makeover, New Moms, Nursing Moms, obesity, Post pregnancy weight loss, weight loss

Diet Sodas Linked to Premature Births

A study recently published in the American Society for Clinical Nutrition showed premature births and regular consumption of artificially sweetened soft drinks could be linked. The study, which was commissioned in Denmark, looked at 60,000 pregnant women births and their consumption of diet soft drinks.  They discovered that women who had a higher intake of diet soda had a significantly higher risk of delivering their babies preterm.  Women who consumed one diet soda a day had an increased risk of around 38%, than woman who had none at all.  What’s even scarier is they found that women who had four or more diet sodas per day increased their risk by 80%.
Now this study only links premature births and artificially sweetened sodas, not regular sodas. This would suggest the link lies in the commonly used artificial sweeteners in soft drinks and not with sugar.  Aspartame and saccharin are the artificial sweeteners that are typically used in soft drinks to make them taste sweet, but aspartame seems to be the most popular.  I don’t think it would be much of a stretch to say foods that are sweetened with these artificial sweeteners can’t be much healthier.  What do you think?  Alarming is the ability aspartame has to break down in the body to other toxic compounds like formaldehyde (put into dead bodies) and formic acid.  The recommendation has always been that consuming these artificial sweeteners in moderation during pregnancy was acceptable, but I think this new study may prove otherwise.  So, if this study has you looking for a healthier alternative, you can’t go wrong with good old fashioned water sweetened with a splash of cranberry juice.  And now for those of us who are saying, “I’m not pregnant, nor do I plan on getting pregnant,” you’re not out of the woods either.  If these artificial sweeteners are actually causing premature births, what effects do you think they are having on your health?  Something to think about!

Yours in health,






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Filed under childhood obesity, colleen riddle, Fat loss, healthy children, Healthy lifestyle, healthy moms, New Mommy Makeover, New Moms, Nursing Moms, obesity, post pregnancy, Post pregnancy weight loss, weight loss