Eating Right in a Heat Wave – CNN Consumer Watch

An extreme heat wave has been sweeping the nation. Some people have even died, unfortunately, due to complications relating to the heat. The weather is not letting up either. My own area, Washington D.C. is facing the hottest weather of the year this week.

CNN Consumer Watch – Eating in the Heat Wave

I was on CNN discussing some of the foods to eat and avoid during a heat wave. [watch the full clip].  Of course, I said a lot more than what actually made it on air. Thank goodness for a blog!

Eat, Even if You Don’t Feel Hungry

Your appetite might be lower, but you still need energy.

Choose the right foods.

  • Fruits and veggies are almost 100% water so they will hydrate and nourish you. Try frozen fruit or a fruit and yogurt smoothie.
  • Avoid high sugar beverages (energy slumps and lacks nutrition) and too much caffeine (those Sbux trenta iced coffees may be a little too much for your poor heart if you aren’t used to it.) Instead, drink pure water with a little citrus, berries or mint mixed in if you need flavor.

Keep it cool.

Eat cold foods over hot ones – try gazpacho or ceviche if you’re out at a restaurant. Skip the fried stuff, where the extra fat can be difficult on the digestive system.

Pee clear.

The ultimate test is for your hydration. Get that pee nice and clear to a lemonade yellow and you should be on top of your hydration. Might sound “gross” but hey, it’s something quick EVERYONE can do.

When “Reality” Hits – Advice from Biggest Loser Mom, Mandi Kramer

Mandi Having Water and a Chat

Mandi Kramer

I am thrilled to bring you this interview with “mom” (and former Biggest Loser contestant) Mandi Kramer. Ever feel like you are superwoman? Trying to juggle the needs of your kids, spouse, friends, and other family members? It’s a wonder you get ANY work done. Exercise and eating healthy seem more like a pipe dream. Of course you “want” to do it, but who has the time? You put yourself last over and again and sooner or later your behaviors catch up with you… and you’re frustrated, scared, or worried that things have spun out of control and you’re not sure how to get your life back.

Chances are, if this is not you, it is someone you know. So make sure they get to read this interview with Mandi Kramer. You may remember from the finale that Mandi and her sister Aubrey both struggled with weight loss on the ranch and when they got back home. The truth is… there experiences were likely to be THE MOST REAL compared to other contestants. I hope this interview inspires you. She has some amazing insights… and you can tell they are practical and EASY! Thank you Mandi for helping to change people’s lives – especially moms.

1. Why was it a good time for you to take the huge step to apply for The Biggest Loser as opposed to a previous year?

You have to want it so badly that you can’t even imagine not doing it — you have to wait for that moment when the switch goes off and you want it more than anything!  Before this year I was happy living my life the way I was and then something just clicked to make this the year for me!

2. What three things did you learn on the ranch that most affected you and continues to influence you?

1. You have to eat to lose weight

2. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day

3. Don’t sit down — ever.

3. What do you think are the top barriers that get in mom’s way of eating healthy and exercising?

I think the top barriers are having easy foods for your kids to eat when they’re hungry and having no set schedule so you grab whatever is fast. When you grab what’s handy it’s usually unhealthy food. As far as being active goes, kids are really good at entertaining themselves so unless you force yourself to be active with them days will go by when you haven’t moved.

4. I’m sure now people come to you for diet and exercise advice – what are your top tips for struggling moms?

Always keep healthy snacks in your car like almonds, dried fruit, air popped popcorn in the bag, water bottles and chewing gum. Also — the “Sneaky Chef” book shows you how to make kid’s food healthy — go through cook books and make a list of what you need to buy to make specific recipes and stick to the list.

For exercising, I just had this same question from someone on my website, so I will borrow from my answer on my blog (

Incorporate your kids with your exercise – take them to the park or the walking path or green belt – it’s fun for the whole family – helps you all get closer together – and everybody gets exercise.

Be really active with your kids – don’t just sit on the couch but get up and go play with them. You will burn more calories than you think if you are active with the kids.

I used to sit on the couch and say to the kids, “Go get this for me, run to the kitchen and get that for me.” Just making the conscious decision to get up and get stuff for yourself will make a big difference.

Mandi at BL Finale - Healthy and Fit

Mandi at BL Finale - Healthy and Fit

5. Describe a healthy lifestyle teachable moment you had with your kids.

I was afraid to have my sons try asparagus and I made it for dinner one night — and they loved it!  If I just introduce a new food to them, they usually like it!

6. What day to day challenges do you face and how do you attempt to overcome them?

If I don’t get up and exercise first thing in the morning it is really hard for me to make the time later in the day.  It’s easier for me if I get it out of the way first thing each day. Every meal that I eat I consciously have to be aware of what I am eating — it’s so easy to fall back into my old habits.

7. What would you say to a friend who has kids and is “in denial” about developing a healthy lifestyle?

People with younger kids — think about your kids — you want to be healthy for them. Even if you think “Oh, I’m not that bad …” if you are lying around and eating unhealthy food then that is what you are teaching them.  If you have older kids, whether they say it or not, they are thinking it…a lot of kids don’t know how to say it to you without hurting your feelings. They know what’s going on — they are not dumb.

8. What would you say to a friend who has kids and finds it too difficult to change?

Think of your kids.  Be a role model — you are not taking time away from them you are adding quality of life to them.

Links for Mandi:

Biggest Loser page –

Blog –

Twitter –

Mandi’s ad:

Mandi is currently living in Boise, ID and as a part of her new healthy lifestyle she now includes in her health regimen a daily ounce of super anti-oxidant “Jus.” Mandi has noticed her sweet cravings are reduced, her hair is thicker and her skin has cleared up! Mandi is so excited about the health benefits she has experienced, in fact, that she has started representing Jus. For more information

Healthier Fast Food Menu Options… Coming Soon

Here are some of the latest “healthier choice” announcements for all you on-the-go eaters. 

  • Jamba Juice is testing a new breakfast menu consisting of on-the-go products including granola, yogurt, and chunks of fruit
  • (good idea, but check the sugar before you guy because there is bound to be some added sugars in the yogurt and granola and make sure the portion you buy is one serving. if it’s not then don’t eat it all for breakfast. save half for the afternoon snack.)

  • Burger King is planning a healthier kids options for 2008 – flame-broiled Tenders and organic unsweetened applesauce.
  • (ohhh… sounds good… I’d get this as an adult! Actually, that’s a good tip. I rarely eat fast food, but when I do I go for the healthiest option which is usually NOT a salad believe it or not. It’s usually a grilled chicken on whole wheat bun with dijon mustard instead of mayo and all the veggies they have. However, if you gotta have a burger and fries… go for the kids meal. It is still a portion reasonable for an adult and you will save so much calories, fat and sodium!)

  • Burger King is also developing BK Fresh Apple Fries – a 35 calorie serving of apple slices shaped like fries
  • (hmm… sounds gimicky… apples are apples… and they are delicious! why do they need to be made to look like fries? McDonalds has wonderful apple slices. I tried them at a recent Food and Nutrition Conference. They don’t have the skins so they lack fiber but this is so younger kids and seniors with chewing problems can eat them… smart idea.

    Here’s a tip: if you take your kids to fast food once a week or more – no need to identify yourself I am not the food police – set standards for what you will let them order most of the time. For example, most of the time, they can get a happy meal with the apple slices and milk. Let them choose between a hamburger, cheeseburger or nuggets. On occassion, they can have the fries and soda or chocolate milk if they really want it. This way, nobody is deprived and you are teaching valuable skills about balance and moderation.)

  • Subway has added Danone’s Dannon yogurt to its Fresh Fit Menu. One cup has 110 calories and 1g fat
  • (Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyy. I wish they would add their “light and fit carb and sugar control”, my absolute favorite.)

  • Dunkin’Donuts announced that its US menu will be zero trans fat by Oct 15, 2007
  • (This is hugggggggggggggggggggggge! Dunkin donuts have 4g trans fat each. The recommended amount is zero grams and the “upper limit” is average of 2g per day. Now, the donuts have the same amount of fat and calories… it is just not trans fat that damages your heart and raises your bad cholesterol worse than saturated fat.)

  • All menu items are Au Bon Pain are now trans fat free
  • Yippie… see above… also, they have wonderful soups. I was at the ABP at BWI airport (that’s Baltimore) and they had 3 varieties, 2 of which were low sodium. One was a delicious black bean soup with a whopping 14g fiber per half cup serving…. eat it up… Combine that with a side garden salad with light dressing and you have a healthy lunch or dinner to power you through the rest of the day.

  • Qdoba has announced that its frying oil now contains zero artificial trans fat. They reformulated their tortillas and brownies to contain no artificial trans fats in 2006
  • (in an effort to refrain from beating the dead horse I’ll just say yay, way to go… check out the comment under Dunkin’ Donuts.)