Ask Em – June/July 2015

With Emily Grantz

In each issue of Extol, Emily Grantz will offer answers to your questions regarding health and nutrition.
If you have a question for Em, please send it to and put “Ask Em” in the subject line.


I live with a smoker who is “kind” enough to keep it outside, but I’m worried about my roommate’s health. She keeps saying she wants to quit, and I want to help her, but I have no idea how to assist.

Truly Yours,
A Worried Roomie

Your roommate is lucky to have
you as her friend. It is proven that smoking affects nearly every organ in the body and affects not just the smoker but everyone around them. Unfortunately, your friend won’t quit smoking until she is ready. Quitting smoking is tough but she doesn’t have to do it alone. There are plenty of options out there to help her
quit for good. The American Lung Association has a program called
“Freedom From Smoking” and it focuses on “how to quit, not why to quit.” The techniques of this program have been proven to help smokers quit for good. For more information go to


Good luck,



My best friend and I need your help settling a bet. She says the best way to lose weight is to exercise more and eat less, which includes skipping meals. But I have always been taught that mini meals and steady, consistent exercise that includes weight training are the keys. We’ve both lost weight following our own regimens, so there’s that.

Yours truly,
Loser Who Wants To Win

There’s no one diet that is right
for everyone, so it is important to follow a balanced diet that fits your lifestyle. Also, when considering a weight loss program, you should always consult your physician first. With that being said, what you have been taught is closer to the way someone should set out to lose weight. What works for your friend is not a recommended program for weight loss. Your friend may just have better genes and a faster metabolism than yourself. But,
the body needs fuel to function, especially right before exercising. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states, “Eating before exercise, as opposed to (exercising in) the fasted state, has been shown to improve exercise performance.” And, whatever you do, don’t settle for a one-size-fits-all fad diet. Try eating three balanced meals a day by filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables, 3 ounces of lean protein, whole grains and low-fat, dairy products when possible. Also, eat small healthy snacks in between your meals that should help keep you satisfied. And always always always eat breakfast and fuel your body in the morning – regardless of what you are told – you should eat within 60 to 90 minutes of waking up for the day.

Good luck and may the best loser win.




I wrote to you (and you answered!) in the last issue about my husband who hadn’t seen a doctor in 10 years. I wanted you to know he took your advice – we both did – and has now vowed to keep up on his health, start eating better and exercising. Just wanted to say thank you so much.

A Grateful Reader

Wow! Someone wrote back to me! I am so happy your husband and yourself took my advice! It is a step in the right direction for you and your family. Good luck and enjoy the summer!

Thanks for reading,





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