Hi everyone! LTNT: long time, no type! So what have I been doing the last few weeks instead of blogging? A selection:
(1) Enjoying two smoked Thanksgiving turkeys (yes, TWO) – Peter-prepared, of course. He wanted to compare a turkey smoked in an electrical smoker to a Big Green Egg-smoked turkey. Don’t ask me why. I just know that his Big Green Egg cart is dubbed the “Egg Cartin’” (no, I’m not kidding).
The embroidery on Peter’s “smoking shirt”, a Christmas gift from Peter’s brother (thanks a lot, Dave):
(2) Moving. A few of you have heard about our “adventures” moving to a townhouse down the street: for several reasons, we recently decided to move out of the apartment we’ve lived in for over 1.5 years. Peter and I have moved many times, but it struck me this time how much stuff we’ve accumulated since our last move. I’m not sure when this epiphany occurred – I think it’s a tie between when I hauled the seventh box of kitchenware down to my station wagon and when I saw the same station wagon filled to the brim – with just plants.
(3) Playing with Peter’s dad’s DSLR camera. I had a few successful shots:
… and, some not-so-successful photos:
(4) Finally, I’ve been enjoying a good book:
Remember my FNCE encounter? I finally had the chance to sit down with the new edition of “Fueling the Teen Machine” and I’m so glad I did! As I wrote in the FNCE post, Ellen Shanley and Colleen Thompson are two University of Connecticut dietetics professors. Ellen is also a member of the American Dietetic Association‘s Nominating Committee and Colleen is the president of the Connecticut Dietetic Association. Talk about experts in their field!
Colleen signing my copy:
Displaying my very own signed copy at FNCE!
(Before I begin, I want to emphasize that I am not being paid to write a review – you know, free will and all that 🙂 )
“Fueling the Teen Machine” is an excellent resource for teens AND parents. Colleen and Ellen take teens seriously: they refuse to talk down to their readers, instead providing practical information in a fun and engaging manner.
The book begins with an overview of the basics: food groups, physical activity, and weight management. Next up are chapters with intriguing titles, such as “Find Your Fuel”, “Vitamins and Minerals”, and “Let’s Move” – all written with the modern teen in mind. They offer up-to-date suggestions for healthy living, such as texting to help encourage exercise and mobile phone apps for everything from meal tracking to activity-logging. Did you know you can even download a pedometer app to keep track of the number of steps you take per day? I particularly liked their charts that condense info into bite-sized portions: for example, the many “to do” and “top ten” lists offer a lot of info in a short time, which is perfect for busy teens. I know I’ll be using their “10 Ways to Stay Motivated to Move” list!
The book has a helpful BMI chart on page 55 that requires no calculations: all you do find your weight and trace your finger up to your height to estimate your BMI. Ellen and Colleen emphasize the fact that a teen’s healthy weight may be different than his or her friends’ healthy weights or the healthy weights of other people they know. This section is great for teens who often compare themselves to others and may help with self-acceptance. In addition, they emphasize that even if a teen’s BMI is high, he or she may be at healthy weight if, for example, he or she is muscular (great for student athletes!). It’s not all about the numbers, folks!
Colleen and Ellen also do a great job talking about special issues for teens, such as body fat and adolescent girls, and athletes who want to “make weight” (and who might harm their bodies at the same time!). In their “Eating Disorders” chapter, they give clear explanations of different eating disorders, ways to identify them, and where to get help. I love the term “Twinkie vegetarian” in the “Vegetarianism” chapter – you’ll just have to read the book to find out what it means! 😉
Athletes will enjoy the “Sports Nutrition” chapter and its guide on what to eat before, during, and after exercise, as well as the section on performance supplements, like creatine and sports bars. The book even has a “Funky Foods” chapter about herbal remedies, superfoods, and functional foods, including the dos and don’ts of using herbal remedies (which are increasingly popular these days). Check out the chart of functional foods (such as carrots, oats, broccoli, and yogurt) and their health benefits on pages 121-122.
The “Fast Facts on Fast Foods” chapter is important for teens who often eat out at fast food places. Instead of swearing off fast food, which is unrealistic for many teens, the authors help teens make healthy choices when they go out to eat. The chart on page 128 gives healthy choices at specific fast food joints, like McDonald’s and Wendy’s. By giving them knowledge, Collen and Ellen empower teens to make their own choices.
The book ends with chapters on meal planning and cooking that offer quick meal suggestions, as well as break down the Nutrition Facts label. The book contains a concise Food Label Terms chart on page 161, explaining what terms like “low-calorie” and “high fiber” actually mean. There’s even a section on food safety – a subject that I knew very little about until I started studying nutrition! Finally, the book gives nearly 75 pages of simple healthy recipes for teens and adults. How many teen nutrition guides have a whole cookbook in them?
“Fueling the Teen Machine” is a great for everyone, even adults! It offers a helpful overview of everything you wanted to know about nutrition, including what to eat and how to move. I can see teens using the book as a jumping off point to read more about the topics in which they are most interested. If you’re looking for a fun, informative nutrition and physical activity book for your teen, check this book out! You can buy the book on Amazon here.
Until next time, have a great week!
Q: What’s the most interesting thing you did over the past few weeks?