Meditation:  What it can do for you

Meditation is one of the simplest forms of calming the mind and reducing the effects of stress.  Almost all religions practice some form of meditation.  Medical Practitioners advocate meditation for lowering blood pressure, relieving insomnia, and overall improved health.  It’s the best way to balance physical, mental and emotional states.  Meditation is not about squatting in the lotus position or chanting. Meditation is a process that can be simplified for the sole aim of serenity and calmness in our lives.

Here’s how:

Sit in a comfortable position, cross legged or sit on a straight back chair.  Be aware of your breath.  Feel the air entering your nose, traveling inside, rejuvenating your body.  Gradually exhale.  Initially, breathe in and out deeply.  Then slowly decrease the pace to a normal one and concentrate and focus on your breath. Thoughts of the past or future may come and wander in your mind.  Be aware of your thoughts but gradually return back to your breath.  Continue the process for about 20 minutes.

There exists over 100 forms of meditation.  All these techniques have been found to be very effective and they all have the same objective — to concentrate the mind and cut off external stimuli and let the mind dive within itself.  The breath meditation is most popular as it is simple and overcomes barriers of religion or understanding.

A majority of our health problems relate to stress.  And we treat these health problems with medication and surgery.  But it has been proven that meditation plays a  big role in alleviating these conditions.  When you practice meditation tension leaves the muscles, decreases anxiety levels and reduces stress hormones.

You are probably wondering how sitting still can make so much of a difference.  Studies show meditation effects brain activity and more specifically the part which controls metabolism, blood pressure, respiration and heart rate.  There are numerous anxiety and stress relieving drugs available on the market, but these drugs only offer temporary relief.  Personally, I have been on these medications but found the side effects and addiction far outweighed the good.

I have practiced TM (Transcendental Meditation) since 1973.  At that time I paid about fifty dollars to learn the technique from a practitioner of TM who was personally trained by the Maharishi.  Today, it would cost about 2,000 dollars.  But in reality, it is something you don’t need to invest anything other than your time and determination — a small technique that does a world of good for your health.

It’s simple; and can be practiced anytime and anywhere.

Why not take one step forward to good health and a stress-free life by practicing meditation today.  I’d be glad to provide you with additional information.

Diana Young, RD, LD/N, CDE
Registered and Licensed Dietitian
Certified Diabetes Educator

Change Won’t Power to Willpower


1. Plan ahead.

Define your obstacles and have a plan for overcoming them. Prepare for temptation. If you are dining out, look on the restaurant’s web site for nutrition information and plan what you’ll eat before you go. If you are going to a party, eat a healthful meal before you go and only snack on raw fruits and veggies if available.

2. Write up a contract for yourself.

A written contract for weight loss or blood sugar control will keep you on track. Better yet, go public with your plans. Create a written document of your goals and actions steps and post it

• on your refrigerator
• online via Facebook, blog, or social network
• on the bulletin board at work

You will gain more support and accountability if others know what your plans are.

3. Be physically active early in the day.

You are less likely to be active once your day is rolling. Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier to get in your favorite exercise routine. It can be as simple as walking.

4. Do you have a social network?

You’re more likely to lose weight if others join in. Enlist your spouse, family, friends or co-workers.
Now YOU have the tools to change won’t power to WILL power. You can do it!
See you on the sidewalk!

Contact me for additional information.

Diana Young, RD, LD/N, CDE
Registered and Licensed Dietitian
Certified Diabetes Educator

Homemade Hummus

Homemade Hummus  (easy)

4 Servings

3/8 t. garlic powder
1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1 T. lime juice
1 t. olive oil
1/4 t. salt
2 cups garbanzo beans


  1. Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Serve at room temperature with pita chips, crackers, carrots or other veggie.

Cost per recipe:  $1.28    Per Serving  $0.32

1 serving:

  • 160 calories
  • 2.5 grams total fat
  • 26 grams Carbohydrate
  • 5 grams fiber
  • 8 grams of protein
  • 190 mg. sodium

Fit Club Announcement

It’s official. We will be holding a fitness class every Wednesday at 4 pm in Lake County Florida. Contact me for details.

Our workouts are designed to get you moving and feeling good. Come for a jolt of endorphins and simple, healthy fun. Best of all, it’s FREE. From the makers of P90X®, INSANITY®, and TurboFire®.

Slim in 6 is our first scheduled workout on February 2nd and we will be giving out free samples of Shakeology.

Hope to see you there!

Handy Portion Control Guide

Handy Portion-Control Guide
By Debbie Siebers, creator of Slim in 6®

To achieve weight loss—and maintain that healthy weight once you’ve achieved it—it’s crucial to really understand what a portion is. Here’s what may prove to be an indispensable tip: use your hand as a guideline for portion sizes. (If your hands happen to be extra-large or extra-small for your size, adjust accordingly.)

Palm = Proteins: Make protein portions the size of your palm. Protein is found in animal products, like fish, meats, and cottage cheese. Some veggie protein sources include legumes (beans, etc.), tofu, tempeh, and wheat glutens.

Thumb = Fats: Fats are important, but they’re also very dense, so match fat portions to the size of your thumb. Good fat sources are avocados, olive oil, nuts, and seeds.

Fist = Fruits, Grains, etc.: Your bread, fruit, cereal, rice, and grain portions should be about equal to the size of your closed fist. Remember that it’s always preferable to consume whole grains.

Hand = Veggies: Open your hand and spread your fingers as wide as you can. That’s a good vegetable portion. Raw vegetables are loaded with fiber and nutrients, and they contain very few calories.

Prevent Hip Fractures with Calcium and Vitamin D

According to the CDC:  In 2004, there were more than 320,000 hospital admissions for hip fractures, a 3% increase from the previous year. However, from 1996 to 2004, after adjusting for the increasing age of the U.S. population, the hip fracture rate decreased 25% (from 1,060 per 100,000 population to 850 per 100,000 population).   In 1990, researchers estimated that the number of hip fractures would exceed 500,000 by the year 2040.7  In 1991, Medicare costs for hip fractures were estimated to be $2.9 billion.

A study revealed daily supplementation of 1.2 g (1,200 mg) of calcium and 800 IU (20 μg) of vitamin D3 given as two pills of 400 IU each was safe and decreased the incidence of fractures among elderly women.  As these results demonstrate, it may never be too late to prevent hip fracture.

Fracture reduction can be achieved by increasing bone density through a combination of medication, weight-bearing exercise, and a bone healthy diet that includes adequate calcium and vitamin D intake.   Food sources of vitamin D are limited. Fatty fish, cod liver oil, egg yolks, fortified milk, and other fortified foods (margarine, yogurt, juice) provide some vitamin D.   However, most people are not able to get adequate amounts of vitamin D through food sources. Therefore, vitamin D supplementation is usually recommended.

Foods high in calcium

300 mg

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup calcium fortified soy or rice milk
  • 1 cup calcium fortified orange juice
  • 1.5 ounces natural cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, or swiss)
  • 2 ounces processed cheese (american)
  • 1 cup ready to eat pudding
  • 1 cup macaroni and cheese

200 mg

  • 3 ounces canned salmon (soft bones)
  • 3 ounces sardines (soft bones)
  • 1 cup calcium-fortified cereal
  • 1 ounce feta cheese

150 mg

  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup tofu
  • 1 slice calcium-fortified bread

Do you meet the requirements for Vitamin D and Calcium on a daily basis?  For more information contact Diana.

Top 4 Recommendations for Successful Weight Loss

weight loss


The National Weight Control Registry is a group of people who have lost an average of 60 pounds and kept it off for more than 5 years.  Here are their recommendations for success:

  1. Eat breakfast every day.  High fiber cereal is a popular choice.
  2. Follow a low-calorie, low-fat meal plan and consume half of the calories from fruit, vegetables, grains and low-fat milk.
  3. Be active for 60 minutes each day.  Walking is a popular activity.
  4. Keep track of your weight, food choices and activity.  Personally, I would recommend to track your progress and success.    Contact me and let me know how it’s helping you.

Have you been successful on your weight loss journey?  What would you add to the list above?  Leave a comment below so others can gain valuable knowledge from your success.