Friday, February 24, 2012

Why Your Man Is Still FAT...

I regularly meet women who are struggling with their weight. However, a majority of these women also complain of the weight gain of their significant other. Yes, he has gained a lot of weight too. Possibly due to her cooking methods and his “lack of portion control.” In another post ( I discussed the affect marriage has on the weight of each individual in the relationship. I also provided some tips of how to eat and make healthier lifestyle choices within marriage. The post was geared more towards women. However, in this post, I want to deal with health issues of men, and discuss simple dietary modifications for men.
Here are the numbers you need to know:
-At least 71% of men in America are overweight. About 29% of men in that 71% are obese. Being overweight can lead to obesity which can lead to greater issues in men like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease…
-Close to 32% of men have high blood pressure (surpassing women by a little over 1%). 
-13 million men, or close to 12% of men have diabetes (also surpassing women by a little over 1%).
-Being obese, having high blood pressure, and having diabetes can all increase a man’s chances of developing heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the United States. Over 70% of sudden cardiac events occur in men. Half of men who die from coronary heart disease have no symptoms.  
These stats should alarm us. These stats should cause us to take more preventative measures to prevent these diseases and issues from happening to the men in our lives. Obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease are all related to dietary factors and a sedentary lifestyle. Many health professionals as well as governmental entities and non-profit organizations have attested to the effect a good diet has on decreasing risks associated with these illnesses and diseases.
For men reading this post, one of the biggest things you can do to decrease your risk of these diseases and issues is to lose weight, and restructure your dietary habits. This does not mean that you won’t be able to eat some of the foods you like. It simply means that the best things you can do to stay healthy is to eat more fruits and vegetables, eat meats that are lean (chicken, fish, turkey) on a regular basis versus higher fattening meats (most red meats), and stop eating your meal when you are full. The reason so many of us (men and women alike) are overweight is because we keep eating, though we are full or not really hungry. This is something you will have to train your body to do; that is, to stop eating when its full, and to not eat when it is not hungry. For those men who are not overweight, and are actually looking to gain weight, the principles still apply, though you may be able to eat more food, you must still make wise choices. It would also be advantageous for you to include more protein in your diet to gain a little more weight.
As for exercise, men, you just have to make the time for it. At least 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week is best. Even if all you can do is walk, that is better than nothing. The main thing is to get moving. If you have always wanted to be ripped, with nice abs and strong arms, now is the time to do it! It will just take a little time in the gym (or pick up a good DVD like P90X or Insanity) and some modifications to the foods you eat. It is time for you to not only better your health, but to feel and look better. Wouldn’t it be great if you could fit into some of those clothes you used to be able to fit into? Wouldn’t you love for your woman to grab for your stomach and have nothing but muscle to grab? It starts with diet and exercise. I hope this post was helpful. Until next time…
-Jenelle N. Robinson

Diabetes. Retrieved February 24, 2012 from
Heart Disease. Retrieved February 24, 2012 from
High Blood Pressure. Retrieved February 24, 2012 from
Obesity. Retrieved February 24, 2012 from
Overweight and Obesity Prevalence and Trends Data. Retrieved February 24, 2012 from

Friday, February 17, 2012

Let's our Health...

I am not a big fan of water. Yes, I know all of its benefits, and I know I need it, but I have never really been able to drink a lot of it, unless I was exercising. Though we tend to focus a lot on whole foods, the LIQUIDS we drink can be just as important to our body as the whole foods we consume. Liquids are also easier for most of us to digest. Liquid drinks can also be very helpful in weight loss efforts as the trend for shakes and smoothies has become increasingly popular. Here are 7 drinks that may provide some type of health benefit, and may help in your weight loss efforts:
1.     Tea. Most any tea will do, though many have mentioned the “increased metabolism” effects of green tea. For me, a cup of tea at night before bedtime has a calming effect and lessens my hunger pangs if I am still hungry.
2.     Smoothies-HOMEMADE smoothies are usually high in nutrients and low in calories (100-200 calories or so per serving). Try BLENDING a cup of frozen fruit (I like strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries), a banana, 2 cups of orange juice, and half a cup of vanilla yogurt. If you like it a little sweet, add a teaspoon of sugar. This should give you 2-4 servings of a smoothie that can be frozen for later consumption, or shared with others.
3.     Milk (low-fat)-Milk does do a body good, especially when it is low in fat. Milk is a great protein source and has even been proven  to be a preferred fuel for some athletes (chocolate milk instead of Gatorade).
4.     Protein shake- Most protein shakes are high in protein, but several are also good sources of fiber. These shakes can usually be used to supplement a breakfast meal at 200-300 calories.
5.     Prune juice- Prune juice may help with constipation. Some may have not gone to the bathroom for weeks due to the problem of constipation. This is not good for your system and also causes you to carry additional weight.
6.     Cranberry juice (pure with no added sugars)-Cranberry juice contains polyphenol properties that may protect against diseases of the heart and immune system. It may also help in the prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections.
7.     Water-Though I am not a big fan of it, I can’t deny its benefits. It has zero calories. It is a natural cleanser of the body and helps to flush out the system. It helps prevent fatigue and dehydration. It also may help you feel fuller longer when consumed with meals.

I hope this was helpful! I didn’t mention any alcoholic beverages, but there are many noted health benefits of wine. Maybe I will talk about that in another post…Until next time…

-Jenelle Robinson

Thursday, February 9, 2012

SELF...and FOOD...

In my journey with weight loss, weight management, and just living a healthy lifestyle in general, I have discovered that I cannot live a healthy lifestyle and listen to my kid-self. I often tell people that we must be the adults, and treat ours inner-selves like kids. That is because inside each one of us is that kid that wants to do what they want to do, when they want to do it, and want to have what they want to have when they want to have it. As this mentality is not good for children, neither is it for adults. Especially when it comes to food. We must put our inner-SELF in submission to the ADULT in us. Now, America may tell us to self-indulge, have selfish pleasures, become self-absorbed, and put self first. Though there may be occasions where these ideas would be appropriate, none of them are appropriate when it comes to food. Now, I am not saying you should not enjoy food. On the contrary, it should be a most enjoyable experience. What I am saying is for you to redefine what it means to “enjoy food.” Enjoying food and what it can do for or against your body comes down to three basic principles.
The three things that we must always practice in relation to SELF and FOOD are self-control, self-discipline, and self-denial. There are different ways to elaborate on these topics, but I have chosen my own definitions of how these may be implemented within your life so that you may still “enjoy food” while keeping “self” in check. Pay attention closely…
With self-control and food, you are basically eating food, but eating it with some type of restriction. You are “controlling” how much food you eat. So how do you control how much food you eat? By always eating a little less food than what you normally would eat in that setting. Another way to practice self-control would be to eat less of a specific food you are used to eating more of. For example, I used to love French fries (still do). I would always HAVE to have large fries. But in order to practice self-control, I started to subject myself to the smaller fries. In this way, I was eating less fries. Whatever it is (food in general or a specific food)--- eat less of it. Even on days you feel the need to splurge, eat less than you would when you normally splurge. For example, if I wanted to splurge and go to a nice restaurant and get a high fat, high caloric meal, I would drink water instead of getting 3 strawberry lemonades or sweet teas. Again, here, I am taking in less than I would normally take-in in this particular situation or setting. This principle should be applied 24/7, 365 days a year.
With self-discipline and food, you should discipline yourself to not eat certain foods for a limited amount of time.  Many do this when they go through a detox, or take certain foods out of their diets for a certain amount of time to cleanse the body. Depending on the food, this could be good or bad for the body, however, the principle to remember here is that you must not become a slave to any food. If there is any food that you feel is causing you to crave more and more of it (and it is not a fruit or vegetable), you may need to stop eating it for a limited amount of time. This especially goes for those who feel like they can’t live without certain sweets, or those who feel they can’t live without eating bread at every meal. Whatever it is, you should practice going without it for a certain amount of time. This principle should be applied at least 3-5 days out of each month.
Lastly, with self-denial and food, you are just flat out saying you will deny yourself from eating certain foods. This is what I did when I gave up pork.  I haven’t eaten it in close to 6 years (to my knowledge). Everyone should have at least 2 foods or food products that they will absolutely not eat (for me it is pork, and catfish). Now, I want us to be realistic here. I am not talking about certain fruits and vegetables that you don’t like that YOU SHOULD EAT. I am talking about giving up one food that is NOT GOOD FOR YOU. It could even be a cooking practice that is not good for you (like deep frying). Whatever the case, you need to give something up and decide you won’t pick it back up for the rest of your life (or at least you will try not to). Usually, this comes with education. Some have read things about aspartame and have vowed never to eat anything containing it again. Some were addicted to McDonald’s hamburgers, but read information about them and gave them up. So have read information about hot dogs and how they are made and have vowed to never eat one again. Whatever it is, you know it is extremely bad for you, so give it up. If you can’t, try putting it in the self-discipline stage first, and then progress to the self-denial stage. Again, with this principle, you are denying self from eating certain foods FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.
Just like the 8 R’s given in another post, these 3 basic principles are key to living healthy, losing weight, and managing weight loss. However, these principles can be treated as 3 STAGES. If you fail in an area in relation to your eating, start over from stage 1 (self-control). Consistency is the challenge here (and in every area of our life). But know that you are worth the challenge…Until next time…

-Jenelle N. Robinson

Friday, February 3, 2012


When I was a teenager, my dad informed my mom, brother, and I that he had been diagnosed with diabetes. At the time, I didn’t know anything about diabetes. Since I could not see any physical symptoms of the disease, I actually mocked my father, and did not take the disease seriously. It was not until I got older that I started to realize the seriousness of this disease.
Diabetes affects over 20 million Americans. It is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is needed to change food into energy needed for everyday life. There are 2 major types of diabetes.  These types include type 1 and type 2 diabetes. With type 1 diabetes, the body fails to produce insulin, and people have to take insulin in order to survive. Having type 1 diabetes increases your risk of getting heart disease, becoming blind, having nerve damage, and kidney damage. Type 1 diabetes is more rare than type 2 diabetes, as it often stems from a family history.
In type 2 diabetes, the body begins to resist insulin, or is not using it properly. Type 2 diabetes has an increased risk based on family history, being within a minority group (i.e. African American, Hispanic, Native American), and being obese. With over 50% of the American population being overweight, and many in the obesity category, type 2 diabetes has become of more concern. Some symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes include fatigue, itching skin, frequent urination, and increased thirst. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, I would advise you to see a doctor to get your glucose level checked. Like type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes also increases your risk of getting heart disease, becoming blind, having nerve damage, and kidney damage.
I have been told that I am genetically predisposed to getting type 2 diabetes because of my strong family history of it. I have no interest in getting it, so I have committed to doing my part when it comes to eating healthy and exercising. Eating healthy and exercising are things that must be done after getting diabetes (in order to manage it), so why not do them in order to prevent diabetes? Many may suggest certain diets and regimens to prevent diabetes, however, I have no specific tips of preventing diabetes as many commit to eating healthy and exercising, but still get diabetes. However, I will say that I do believe  you can decrease your risk of getting diabetes when you decrease the fat and sugar in your diet, and increase the fruits, vegetables, and low-fat options. Also if you are overweight, lose weight in order to lower your chances of obtaining diabetes. That’s all I have for today. Until next time…

-Jenelle Robinson