How Not to Gobble Up the Goodies – and Get a Great Gift

Here’s a gentle reminder: If you keep your hands occupied, you won’t be likely to pick on so many goodies. And so with that in mind, I recommend knitting – not some giant, impossible project, but something easy and readily gift-able. I’m suggesting a no-brainer: this toasty over-sized cowl. The pattern for the Dobbs Ferry Knit Cowl. It is my Christmas gift to you. Trust me, it’s so easy and everybody loves it.

Well, east coast girls are hip, I really dig those styles they wear….

In his December 11, 2011 New York Times montage about NYC womens’ winter outerwear, Frosty, Bill Cunningham caught several fashionistas sporting over-sized cowls. They’re everywhere.

The pattern is from (whom else?) Martha Stewart and Lion Brand Yarn. Martha’s cowl is bigger than ours. You’ll have to decide how much over-sized cowl you can handle. We used two, not three, strands of yarn held together, and cast 40 to 50 stitches onto a Size-19 circular knitting needle. We ended up using two, not three, skeins of yarn, which was a real money saver. We adapted the final length of each cowl to the wearer’s height. Check out the photos of my daughter, ‘Liza, our close family friends, the Zuck sisters, Rebecca and Lillie, and me, all wearing over-sized cowls that we whipped up in a jiffy!

And so, how about putting that cookie down and picking up those knitting needles. Happy holiday to you!

Your thoughts: Will you make this knitted cowl?  If you do, please send a photo for our wall!

A Ditty to Slow Down Your Eating

Songs get stuck in our heads in ways that printed words do not. That’s why I’ve always said we should use  music to teach about how to eat.

You must know that “eating-too-fast-till-full” is a behavior associated with lots of problems: obesity, heartburn. bloating, breaking wind, and even death by choking. Geez!

Many people eat to the point of suffering because they stuff themselves with food in record time. Well, there’s a way to learn to eat slowly, a gift from an octogenarian in the form of a comment to my Calorie Count blog about The Hunger – Fullness Scale. Apparently, the fast eaters didn’t learn Mary Bruton’s song from the 1920s. Ms Bruton said,  “When I was growing up on a small farm in southwest Georgia, we had a song we sang at the 4 – H Club to the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat:”

Chew, chew, chew your food
Gently through the meal
The more you chew, the less you eat
The better you will feel

Pam Schiller, early childhood consultant and author, also tells us to teach that song to our toddlers, and she has another version about drinking milk: Drink, drink, drink your milk…

And so, here’s hoping you can’t get this ditty out of your head throughout the rest of the holiday season. Better yet, teach it to others. Now, that’s a gift worth giving.

Your thoughts:  Looking back, what have you learned through song?

Hello Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill!

I am Mary, Mary Hartley, registered dietitian and medical nutrition therapist. This is the homepage of my website and the place where I post my blogs. (There are 15 articles to date.) The blogs usually change, but now that I have a click-through ad running on the Brooklyn Heights Blog, I want to keep a proper greeting up for my new community.  I have a nutrition practice in the lovely, historic 11201 zip code area (and for everyone else, I practice here in cyberspace!), but in Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill, my new address is your address because I make house call visits. Read about why I support home visits for nutrition therapy and also read about when it makes sense to consult with a registered dietitian.

I hope you will stay and look around my site.  Please read about my Services and About me. I have been helping people to improve their diets, in sickness and in health, for 35 years.  Please leave a comment (click the thought-bubble next to the title; it’s like signing the guestbook) and feel free to contact me privately with your questions. Or, better yet, make an appointment and consider subscribing to my blog and following me on Twitter.

Business owners in 11201, I’m available for health fares and events. Let’s talk!

Thank you for visiting.

Your thoughts: Introduce yourself wherever you live!

Bring Nutritional Care Home

In last Sunday’s New York Times, op-ed contributor, Doctor Jack Resnick, wrote an article titled, Bring Health Care Home, in an attempt to push Medicare to issue the rules needed to create the Independence at Home Organizations mandated by last year’s health care reform act. Doctor Resnick’s patients are the home-bound elderly and people immobilized by accidents, multiple sclerosis and respirators.  Independence at Home helps to keep patients away from unnecessary hospitalizations and exposure to antibiotic-resistant super bugs.

Nutrition House Call Visits

Some of you know that I made the decision to see patients again – it’s the most authentic thing I can do – but, this time, I don’t plan to have a bricks and mortar office. Instead, I plan to visit patients in their homes. And why not?  A nutritionist needs almost no equipment and the service should be near to the food supply.  Here are a few more reasons why I embrace nutritional care at home:

  1. It Cuts Down on Lying
    Let me put it another way. Research shows that it’s easier for people to bend the truth when they are detached from their interlocutor. Let’s face it: it’s hard to look someone in the eye and tell them a lie. But lying is so expected in nutrition histories that it has a name, the Eye-Mouth Gap. The phenomenon explains why obese people report only half to one third of what they eat. Communications research shows that people fib in writing and email more than on the telephone and there is more fudging on the phone than there is face-to-face. Look, I just want to set the stage for an honest, long-term relationship. We can follow-up by telephone and email and with home re-visits as needed but, for now, let me see your cupboards and fridge. Busted!
  2. Everyone Can Be There
    Spouse/partner, children, parents, and friends – we are in this together. By meeting informally with every stake holder, everybody owns his part (including no part if we all agree that is best.) Group visits are great for filling-in the nutrition history and tying-in the genetic and environmental components. There’s something about the camaraderie that alleviates stress and builds understanding.  People get a lot from group visits and, again, we can follow-up by telephone and email.
  3. It Helps Older Folks
    As Doctor Resnick wrote, a lot of people just can’t get around, and so it’s better to travel to them. One thing I love about Brooklyn Heights, my new practice area, is the population of senior citizens there. Older people with chronic medical conditions are my specialty, and they shouldn’t be walking on those uneven sidewalks anymore often than need be.
  4. The Office is in My Computer
    My office is actually an iPad. Handouts, homework, articles to read; I used to be at Staples all the time.  But now, I have a digital office at Organized Wisdom. All of my papers are in one place ready for you to read. If you happen to need a printed copy, I’ll pop into Staples, or better yet, your loved one can copy it at work.

Finally, and this is not your concern, but getting out of the office helps me. I have reached my lifetime quota of being seated at a desk hunched over a computer screen. My hips need to recover and I need fresh air. Walking in one of America’s Most Beautiful Neighborhoods to see my patients suits me well.

And so that’s why I want to bring nutritional care home. I’ve limited my visit area to zip code 11201 because I can’t go running hither and yon.  For everyone else, it’s digital and telephone visits. I just hope my patients don’t lie.

Your thoughts:  Would you want a Nutrition House Call Visit?

Ten Reasons to Consult an RD

Here are 10 common reasons to consult with a registered dietitian courtesy of the American Dietetic Association:

    • You have diabetes, cardiovascular problems or high blood pressure. An RD serves as an integral part of your health-care team by helping you safely change your eating plan without compromising taste or nutrition.
    • You are thinking about or have had gastric bypass surgery. Since your stomach can only manage small servings, it’s a challenge to get the right amount of nutrients in your body. An RD will work with you to develop an eating plan for your new needs.
    • You have digestive problems. A registered dietitian will work with your physician to help fine-tune your diet so you are not aggravating your condition by eating the wrong foods and you are re-balancing your intestinal tract with the right food.
    • You need to gain or lose weight. A registered dietitian can zero in on the root of your issues and tweak (or overhaul) your diet and activity patterns to get results. An RD helps you to set  sensible goals and keeps you accountable so that you see results.
    • You’re caring for an aging parent. A registered dietitian can help with therapeutic diets, food and drug interactions, proper hydration, and the changing taste buds and digestion patterns and frailty that comes with aging.
    • You’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant. A registered dietitian can help make sure you get all of the nutrients you need to keep you healthy as you grow a perfect baby, and then get back into your jeans.
    • You need guidance and confidence for breastfeeding your baby (while trying to get back into your jeans.) An RD can help make sure you’re getting enough iron, vitamin D, fluoride and B vitamins for you and your little one.
    • Your teenager has issues with food and eating healthfully. A registered dietitian can assist with eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia and overweight issues.
    • You want to eat smarter. A registered dietitian can help you sort through misinformation; learn how to read labels at the supermarket; discover that healthy cooking is inexpensive, learn how to eat out without ruining your eating plan and how to resist workplace temptations.
    • You want to improve your performance in sports. A registered dietitian can help you set goals to achieve results — whether you’re running a marathon, skiing or jogging with your dog.

Your thoughts:  How can an RD help you?