Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Bigger Portions Means Bigger Employees

Today's  post is from a guest blogger who is helping out ILSHRM on WOWIE Wednesdays . Our guest blogger is Melanie Jatsek RD,LD.  Melanie is a registered dietitian, nutrition expert and author Melanie Jatsek, shows people how to get the most out of what they eat by choosing foods that supercharge their health and energy.  
Hello there Illinois SHRM members! Would you agree with the old saying “Your eyes are bigger than your stomach”?  Think about it—as busy Human Resource professionals, do you often find yourself in a hurry, loading your plate mindlessly with large portions of food when you’re hungry without giving it a second thought? It doesn’t help that portion sizes have exploded over the past 20years. Take a look at the following examples and see if you’re convinced:

20+ years ago                                         That same food/beverage today

Bagel- 120 calories                                          350 Calories
Fast-food hamburger- 333 calories                  590 Calories
Spaghetti and meatballs- 500 calories             1025 Calories
Soda (6.5 oz.)- 85 calories                              250 Calories
French fries- 210 calories                                610 Calories   
Turkey sandwich- 320 calories                        820 Calories
8-oz coffee w/milk and sugar- 45 calories        410 Calories
Blueberry muffin- 210 calories                         500 Calories
2 slices of pepperoni pizza- 500 calories          850 Calories
Box of movie popcorn- 270 calories                630 Calories (For a tub)
Cheesecake- 260 calories                               640 Calories
Chocolate chip cookie- 55 calories                  275 Calories

So if you find your pants getting a little tight, control those portion sizes! Pretend you're living in the 80's and:

  • Split that bagel or muffin in half
  • Order a burger from the kids menu
  • Use a salad plate for your spaghetti and meatballs instead of a dinner plate
  • Make that fancy Starbucks drink an occasional treat instead of a daily indulgence
  • Eat one slice of pizza and then fill up on a nice green spinach salad with a splash of oil and vinegar
  • Of course it also doesn't hurt to lace up your tennis shoes and hit the pavement with a nice jog or walk on your lunch hour
To keep your portion (and waistline) in check today, remember two things:

1. If it’s not on your plate, you won’t eat it
2. You control the portions, they don't control you

Go ahead...I dare you to make a change in your eating habits!

Today’s guest blogger is Melanie Jatsek RD,LD. She is actively involved in the National Speaker’s Association, the American Dietetic Association, and has partnered with The American Heart Association to help prevent the nation’s number one killer— heart disease.  Melanie has been seen offering her nutrition expertise on ABC, NBC and CBS.  Her brand new book for employee wellness, Healthy You: 10 Secrets to a Healthier Body Despite Your Busy Life!, helps employees improve their health behavior for real (and measurable) results! 

You can visit her website at  or see Melanie's latest television appearance: 10 Foods That Can Keep You Healthy!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Going to SHRM National and Traveling By Yourself

SHRM Leadership Conference 2010

The conference season is upon us.  With the SHRM BIG SHOW coming up at the end of June, and many of State conferences (like  ours on August 22 & 23) on the horizon, this got me to thinking about conferences the other day.  I have been fortunate to get to attend a number of events.   I was recounting these in my mind and trying to think what was the most memorable conference/event that I have attended. Of course, many people would think the best stories from an HR conference might be those of drunken debauchery – in the vein of Hangover or Cedar Rapids. And I could go that way but it would embarrass good friends, and me as well, so I will take my post another direction.

I attended a SHRM Leadership Conference last year in the D.C. area. I had planned to go for a while and my travel and accommodations were being funded through my SHRM affiliation and position.   I was staying at the conference hotel and planning on having a good time, meeting up with some old friends and making some new ones. 

After signing up for the conference,  it had come to my attention that a younger colleague of mine was interested in attending but his chapter could not finance the entire trip.  Well, since I already had a room – paid for- with the caveat that “I snore” I offered up a bed and shared shower and toilet.   So to make a long story short here – if you have complimentary accommodations (especially the $200+ a night rooms) and are attending a conference, it might be a most enjoyable experience to offer up free room to a younger HR pro who might not otherwise be afforded the opportunity to attend.)   It was in fact for me, one of the most enjoyable conferences I attended.

And if you are in the giving mode too – you might want to buy them a meal or two or a drink – depending upon their fancy.   Keep in mind that if you got there for free, and staying for free; doubling up on a couple meals won’t break you.

At many conferences, hotel rooms are usually nothing more than a bed and a shower, so for $200 a night you are getting double the value if you use two beds and take two showers.  You might also make a new friend for life, while you enjoy some communal living and share stories of the other conference happenings.
For the record I made the same offer to another colleague to attend HREvolution with me as I had committed to going and paying for a hotel room. Sadly he declined.

Moving forward, as these events continue to cost more and more to attend – it is a way more of us can enjoy and share the experience.   I hope others can at least think about this and maybe put it into action a time or two in the upcoming conference season.