Ask the Expert

Q: What makes up my immune system?

A: Your immune system is made up of white blood cells, lymphatic vessels, skin, and mucous membranes. Your skin and mucous membranes work to keep invaders out of the blood stream. If they do enter, say through a wound in your skin, your white blood cells travel with help from lymphatic vessels to catch the intruders. Other parts of your immune system include the tonsils and adenoids, thymus, spleen, lymph nodes, appendix, parts of the small intestine, and your bone marrow.

Q: How do I avoid all the tempting food that seems to be everywhere I turn during the holidays?

A: Between holiday parties, work potlucks, and dining out more often with family and friends this time of year, it can be quite difficult to keep your healthy eating habits intact. The best defense against tempting treats is a well-planned offense! Here are five tips to help you survive the calorie-laden smorgasbord that awaits us this time of year.

  • Arrive prepared. If it’s a party or a potluck, bring a healthy dish to pass so you know you’ll have at least one guilt-free option to choose from. Other guests watching their waistlines will secretly thank you! If you’re dining out, choose your entrée before you get to the restaurant by checking out the online menu. Resolve to make a healthy choice before you show up and you’re less likely to be tempted by more fattening fare once you arrive.
  • Make smart swaps. Satisfy your cravings with healthy alternatives. Instead of soda, drink sparkling water with a little fruit juice. Instead of pie, enjoy fresh fruit for dessert.
  • Fill up ahead of time. One of the easiest ways to avoid temptation is to arrive at the party with a full stomach. By preparing a healthy meal before the party, you won’t be hungry once you’re there. It sounds simple and it will still take discipline, but at least your tummy won’t be rumbling as you pass the dessert table.
  • Go for sound starters. If you’re out to eat, start with a garden salad with vinaigrette on the side or a broth-based soup. You should also try to drink a glass of water at the start of your meal. By filling up on low-calorie grub and H2O, a known appetite suppressant, you’ll easily leave lots of your entrée – and the calories it contains – behind.
  • Don’t completely deprive yourself. After all, this time of year should be enjoyed at least a little! When there’s a table loaded with temptations, pick one to indulge in. Can’t resist mom’s mashed potatoes? Take a small portion, savor every bite, and don’t regret it. Just make healthier picks for the rest of the meal and enjoy an after-dinner walk or game of touch football to help everyone burn some post-meal calories in a fun way. 
  • Food is one of the greatest pleasures in life. Enjoy your favorite treats in moderation and try to remember that food is the fuel you need to get through your day. By making conscious choices to fill up with healthy options, you’re placing value on yourself and your well-being. Consider eating well a gift to yourself!

Find more tips for eating out in the NUTRILITE® Eating Out Guide.

Q: I like to compete in endurance-type athletic events, such as marathons and triathlons. How do I avoid hitting the wall toward the end of my race?

A: While some amount of fatigue is unavoidable, proper fuel is the best way to avoid that tired, can’t-move-another-step feeling, sometimes referred to as bonking at the end of a race. 

Read this article for specific ways to fuel up so you don’t end up crashing!

Q: Why is physical activity important as we continue to age?

A: If anything, staying active as we age gets more important. By continuing to push your body physically, you can help ensure that you’ll retain balance and flexibility, which can help you avoid falls and other negative physical consequences of aging.

If you haven’t been active in a while, talk to your physician about how to get started and what a proper exertion level would be for you. Physical activity can be moderate in intensity and still provide great benefits, so don’t assume that you’ll have to go all out. Find the activity that works for you.

Once you find your workout and stick to it, you can be proud that you’re protecting your health. Exercise can help improve blood pressure and lower cholesterol, and can help postmenopausal women retain bone density. 

Start your exercise routine today for a healthier tomorrow. 

Q: How do I get my kids to be more active?

A: This is an important question because the more your kids move, the less likely they are to fall victim to the ills of childhood obesity.

There is no right answer, but here are some suggestions based on their age:

  • For young children, simply taking them outside will usually do the trick. Play simple games together such as tag, Duck, Duck, Goose, or Simon Says to get them moving. This is a good time for Mom and Dad to set a healthy, active example. If younger children see that exercise can be a normal part of life, they’ll be more likely to stick with the habit themselves.
  • For preteens, exercising outside with Mom or Dad might seem as cool as showing up to school with outdated clothes on. Try to gauge your child’s interest in joining a sports team at school, or if that’s not something they’d enjoy, a family membership to a gym with a pool could be just the incentive they need to reap the benefits of physical activity in a fun, social setting. Other alternatives include enrollment in a martial arts or yoga class.
  • For teenagers, the social stigma of hanging out with Mom and Dad might be subsiding. If so, consider training together for a local 5K run or walk. Once you’ve reached that goal, go for something longer! If your teen would prefer not to work out with you, invest in a workout DVD they’re interested in that they can do in the family room.

At every age, be encouraging. Talk to children about exercise as a way to be healthy and strong, not in the context of losing weight. Kids have enough pressure without worrying about their developing bodies. 

Q: Are meal replacement diets safe?

A: As with any new diet or exercise program, it’s important that you first talk to your doctor and get his or her blessing before starting.

Typically, meal replacement diets encourage you to swap one or two meals per day with some type of meal replacement product, such as a bar or shake, consume a healthy dinner, and supplement your daily food intake with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.

As long as you’re consuming at least 1,200 calories per day, meal replacement diets are a perfectly safe way to limit portion sizes and get started on your weight-loss journey. They are especially convenient for people who are constantly on-the-go and find it difficult to adhere to a meal plan that requires a lot of meal preparation.

Try the NUTRILITE® Weight Management Program Switch2Slim Plan to see if a meal replacement eating plan is right for you!

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