9/02/2014

BUSTED: Haagen-Dazs Corn Syrup Ingredient Alert

If you think that paying the price for super-premium products is a way to avoid ingredients WE don't want - like corn syrup - think again. After reading the fine print ingredients when I got it home, I recently discovered that the pint of Haagen-Dazs gelato that I paid about $5 for was made with corn syrup. I wrote to complain and was a bit taken aback by their response shown below. Let's forget that he called me Ms Raffle instead of Mr Raffle, and misspelled Karo syrup. Can we talk about arrogance?

According to Haagen-Dazs, corn syrup is a "kitchen friendly" ingredient. Is Lard also kitchen friendly? I think they really mean "bottom-line friendly." The thing that concerns me is that I like Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream, and I don't think it contains corn syrup ... yet. But I don't want to have to read the fine print to make sure I am not getting ingredients I don't want.

No apology for my dissatisfaction. No refund. No suggestion that if I prefer to avoid corn syrup as an ingredient (as many people do), I try their other products. Shame on Haagen-Dazs!

Dear Ms. Raffle,

Thank you for your email regarding Häagen-Dazs®. We appreciate the time you have taken to pass your comments on to us. The use of corn syrup goes along with the Häagen-Dazs® philosophy of using only "kitchen-friendly" ingredients. Corn syrup can be found in the kitchen and has many uses such as, pecan pie, apple butter, glazed pork, Asian b.b.q. sauce, balsamic vinaigrette, chocolate chunk cookies and many other desserts and food products.

At this time there is no intention to remove corn syrup from our ingredients. Corn Syrup is a common house hold ingredient like Kayro Syrup. I will be happy to report your comments and concerns to the appropriate department for review.

We hope that your questions and concerns have now been sufficiently answered. Should you require additional information, please feel free to contact us.Thank you again for contacting us.

Sincerely,
Angel Osorio
Consumer Response Representative

3/20/2014

Do You Need To Change Your Workout?

Whether your goal is to improve performance, slim down, cut-up, bulk-up, reduce risk of injury or work around a problem area, a carefully considered change up in your workout might be just what the doctor ordered.  In this issue, the signs that your fitness program needs a change and the changes that can take you to the next level.  

If any of these statements are true, a change in program is overdue.

You've been doing the same exercises for more than 6-8 weeks, the only change has been to increase weight.   Your body adapts to the exercises, you will experience a diminished return on investment in terms of muscle development, and changing body composition (gaining or losing weight). Planned changes, or periodization, can help you break through the plateau.   What's more, continually performing the same exact movements makes you more susceptible to repetitive motion injuries.  Read more here Machines vs. Free Weights

You're taking up or increasing participation in a sport or activity (running, cycling, hiking, basketball, soccer, and so on).  Your fitness program can complement and enhance your activities and sports participation, or it can conflict with them.  You may have noticed a particular problem since increasing your new activity, small adaptations to your workout can make a big difference.

Your goal or timeline has changed, you may want to get into shape for a vacation or wedding or the beach.  Simply doing more of the same thing may not be the optimal solution;  in fact, you're more likely to see diminished return and experience some sort of injury that prevents you from reaching your goal.

You've got a new health issue, to name a few common ones: back, neck or shoulder pain; blood pressure; broken bones; cancer; depression; diabetes; GERD; hernia; plantar fascitis; pregnancy; surgery; tendinitis.   Programs can be modified to achieve results and help deal with most issues. In some cases, exercise can be part of "the cure" or recovery.

You're bored or having trouble sticking with an exercise program.  A new routine can be just the thing to motivate you. Of course, it should also be relevant to your fitness goals and level.

Ten Changes to Make Today

1.  Get off the Machines They're a great place to start and can be an important part of the program... but if you've gotten stuck in a machines-only exercise rut you're doing more to work the machines than to work your muscle in a meaningful way.  Plus, they may put you at risk of repetitive motion issues.   Read more here Machines vs. Free Weights

2.  Decrease Stability/Decrease Weight/Increase Repetitions Strengthen your core and burn more calories as you workout. Performing exercises standing, on an exercise ball, on balance boards or with suspension training like TRX are a good way to go.  A stronger core can also improve your performance in lifting and many sports and give you a tighter and fitter appearance.

3.  Increase Stability/Increase Weight/Decrease Repetitions
Go heavy at almost any age to increase muscle - since muscle burns more calories than fat, you'll begin losing weight while you rest!  Carefully select exercises and pay attention to proper form.

4.  Change the Tempo  Increasing time spent on the eccentric (negative), adding an isometric contraction to exercises, or simply slowing the overall tempo - and increasing the time that the muscle is kept under tension rather than the weight - can help produce gains in strength, endurance and muscle size and break through plateaus.  Longer negatives increase strength and endurance, isometrics help cut and build muscle size.

5.  Plyometyrics   Increase explosive power, reduce risk of injury and have some fun with Plyometrics.  Participants in a well-designed program of stretching, plyometrics and weight training reduced landing forces from a jump by 20 percent, and increased their hamstrings strength by 44 percent.  Plyometrics can also be applied to upper body exercises and sport specific training.

Click here to learn about how many sets and reps you should be doing and see program examples at trainercary.com.

6.  Assess, Correct, Emphasize and Eliminate  Bad posture and movements patterns can reduce performance and increase risk of injury.  A movement and postural assessment like the one on my website can identify which muscles are tight and need stretching and which are extended and need strengthening, and help determine which exercises and stretches to add or remove from your program.  You can learn how to assess yourself at trainercary.com/fitness-assessment.

7.  Change the Mix or Timing of Strength and Aerobic Training  As a rule, if you want to get improve your running speed do cardio before strength, if you want to increase strength or build muscle, do cardio after.  The timing change that has personally helped me the most is to alternate days so that I can go all-in every day.

8.  Work One Side of Your Body at a Time  One side may seem weaker or smaller than the other, but that's only the beginning. Unilateral exercises can help improve core strength, and improve your overall strength by improving "neuromuscular efficiency" - the way your brain "recruits" muscle fibers.  This is time consuming, so you may not do it every time or for every muscle.  Read my article The Brain Train.

9. Superset and Circuit   Combine two or more different exercises for the same muscle group, with no rest in between, such as a chest press followed by pushup, and you can work the muscles longer and harder before tiring or risking injury.  Alternate between front and back of body or upper and lower body so that you don't have to rest in between, you will buirn more calories and increase the number of exercises per session.

10.  Interval Training  Alternating between higher and lower intensity in your cardio workout could be right for you if you have a good cardio base and want to improve performance or increase weight loss.  You'll also burn more calories for a few hours after exercising with interval training.  Read my quotes in this article The Best Interval Training Technique for You, on fitbie.com, from he publishers of Men's health

Still Stuck?  Get a Partner.  Join a Class,  Hire a Trainer  If two weeks or more pass by and you've skipped your exercise appointments, your plan isn't working.  Do you need an appointment with a friend or trainer so you don't cancel? Maybe a class? Or a written program to follow and log? Can you keep the commitment to exercise on your own? Do you get bored easily? Will you push yourself hard enough?   Do you need my help?

1/16/2014

What NOT To Do: The Six DO NOTS of Weight Loss



In this issue, six simple tips about the things that don't work and alternative that do to help you get the most out
of your efforts.  


1.  Don't Starve - Watching your calories is good, starving yourself and skipping meals actually works against
you. When you skip meals or reduce your calorie intake too low, your body thinks you're starving and goes into
"survival mode." It actually lowers your metabolism so that you burn less calories. Instead, plan on increasing
exercise and reducing caloric intake so that you have a daily "calorie deficit" of 500-1000 calories. At this rate,
you should lose 1-2 pounds of fat per week. The American Dietetic Association and American College of
Sports Medicine consider this level optimal for long term weight loss.

2.  Don't Do Just Cardio - Aerobic exercise is great for burning calories while you're doing them and for a
short time later. Strength training has the added advantage of building lean muscle - which means your
metabolism increases and you burn more calories ALL DAY LONG! Ideally, do a combination of both for
best results.

3.  Skip the Small Muscle Exercises - The larger the muscle, the more calories it will burn when you exercise.
Legs, Back and Chest exercises give you the most bang for the buck, while small muscles like shoulders,
arms and calves burn very few calories. Multi-joint exercises like those shown on the chart below give you
the biggest bang for the buck, and can hit smaller muscles in the process.

Skip These Small Muscle Exercises
Emphasize Big Muscles/Multi-Joint Exercises
Biceps, Triceps, Shoulder Press, Shoulder Lateral
and Front Raises, Calf Raises
Squats, Lunges, Pushups, Pullups, Chest Press, Rows,  
Lat Pulldowns, Hamstring Curls

4.  Cut the Down Time- Organize your strength workout into circuits so that you get more training volume
and keep your heart rate up by reducing idle time between sets. Examples of circuits include
lunge/pushup/pullup with no rest in between and chest press/row/squat. I've got some circuit training programs
on my website at programs.caryraffle.com.  

5.  Don't Go in Without a Plan - It is proven that having a plan and schedule lead to better results. Where,
when, how often will you exercise and what will you do in every exercise session? Base your plan on goals
that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.

6.  Don't Get Hurt - Overtraining, inappropriate exercise selection, and poor setup technique can lead to an
injury that derails your program - or worse. Give each muscle group a day off between strength training
sessions. Identify problem exercises for you with the mini-self assessment on my website
trainercary.com/fitness-assessment. Be careful with technique in getting in setting up weights or getting in and
out of machines. It is easy to get hurt grabbing for a weight in the wrong way or squirming in and out of a
machine without adjusting it properly.  If you've had a long break or are new to exercise, check with your
doctor first.

If you need help getting a safe, appropriate, efficient and effective program off the ground, I can usually get
someone on routine in as few as five sessions.  

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