Oct 22

Eating Out

Nearly 60 billion meals will be eaten in restaurants and school or work cafeterias this year.  Most of these meals aren’t even remotely healthy.  People who frequently dine out get more starch, sugar, salt, and fat than those who eat prepared meals at home.  What can you do to help curb this trend?

The Plan for Eating Out

1.  Make healthy choices when you eat out. Most restaurants, even those that serve fast food, now have salads and other low-fat, low-sugar choices.
2.  Look for a sign on the menus.  Many restaurants have a symbol next to their meals that are more healthy for you.
3.  Compile menus from local eateries and identify healthy items to choose from.
4.  Try not to eat at restaurants or cafeterias more than three times a week.  Take a sack lunch a couple of days a week, or have several healthy meals that are fast and easy to prepare at home.

Jan 04

Fruit Yogurt

Fruit Yogurt
(Nurturer, Warrior)

1 1/2 cup nonfat yogurt
1 cup fruit*
1/4 cup white grape juice and peach juice concentrate

Put a coffee filter or a cheesecloth into a colander and pour yogurt in. Place a bowl under the colander to catch the liquid that will drain out. Let stand overnight in the refridgerator. Pour off the liquid and put yogurt cheese in a bowl, and with a wire whisk stir in juice concentrate until smooth. Cut fruit into small pieces and add to yogurt mixture.

*Berries, bananas, pineapple, peaches, and pears are all good. You may use cherry juice concentrate with berries. For a variety, use almonds or sunflower seeds.

Makes 2 servings

Diet Sodas

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Diet Sodas

Question:
If one woman typically drinks calorie-free soft drinks and another typically drinks a regular soda (usually containing about 150 calories), who is more likely to become overweight over time?

According to an eight-year study done at the University of Texas Health and Science Center the more diet soda a person drank on a daily basis, the greater risk she had of becoming overweight. Surprising? The findings are opposite of what we would expect. What factors could be contributing to this?

The researchers came up with two conclusions:

  1. Artificial sweeteners in diet drinks may actually increase food cravings for some people and they will be more likely to overeat.
  2. Diet-soda drinkers may think that they can afford to indulge elsewhere. A rationalization could be “I can have a hot-fudge sundae since I had a diet soda.”
Jan 03

Detox Diets

Detox Diets

What is a detox diet?
A detox diet is any change in our eating habits that is geared towards eliminating toxins that
are believed to build up in our bodies. A toxin is a chemical or poison that is known to have
harmful effects on the body. Toxins can come from food or water, from chemicals used to
grow or prepare food, and even from the air we breathe. Claims are made that toxins can
cause all kinds of problems, from tiredness to headaches, nausea to acne, and even as
precursors to cancer.
There are many versions of detox diets. The basic idea behind most is to temporarily give
up certain kinds of foods that are thought to contain toxins, and then gradually reintroduce
healthy foods over a period of time. The point is to purify and purge your body of all the
“bad” stuff. Some of the diets encourage including certain herbs, pills, drinks or teas, skin
cleansing, or detox baths.

Should I consider a detox diet?
Your body is designed to purify itself. Your liver and kidneys will do the job they’re supposed to do if you eat a healthy diet that includes fiber, fruits, veggies, and plenty of water. Eating a healthy diet on a daily basis will help the body function properly and it shouldn’t be necessary to pursue a detoxification regimen. One of the safest and most effective ways of ensuring the efficient and complete expulsion of waste from the body is to eat a high-fiber diet. Wheat bran is especially effective in helping clear your system.

If you do find the urge to detox, keep it simple. Don’t eliminate any of the food groups from your diet for an extended period of time, and don’t spend a lot of money on fancy detoxification products. You could do something as simple as making the commitment to cut sweets and soda out of your diet for a couple of days. Then let the willpower you used to do that help you kick-start a new healthy eating regime.

Dec 22

Cravings

Food Cravings

A food craving is more than a preference for particular foods, or an impulse to buy certain snacks. A food craving is an insistent desire for a type of food (eg. candy, pizza) which we often go to some lengths to satisfy.  Cravings can be detrimental for our dietary goals! Fortunately, with a little forethought and planning, it is not too difficult to curb our craving desires.

What causes food cravings?

Cravings are usually more psychological than physical. The most common emotional or psychological triggers for food cravings are stress, depression, boredom or a general need for comfort.  Changes in hormone levels (such as during PMS), or low or imbalanced blood sugar levels can also cause cravings.

How can I avoid cravings?

  1. Eat small, frequent meals. When you get hungry between meals, enjoy a healthy snack.
  2. Reduce your intake of sugar and salt since overconsumption of these foods can aggravate cravings.
  3. Drink water instead of searching for a snack.   Oftentimes, we confuse thirst with hunger.
  4. Food cravings are satisfied best by the actual substance that is craved.  Forget eating carrot sticks to satify your craving for ice cream.  Instead have a reasonable portion of ice cream.  In moderation, favorite high-calorie foods can help you stay within a well-balanced diet and achieve a healthy weight.”
Dec 22

Cereal

Smart eating by the bowl!

Nutritionists never recommend that you live on one dish alone, but if they had to pick one, whole-grain cereal and milk would be it. Whole-grain cereals are packed with fiber, nutrients and protein. Be sure to check the nutrition panel of your favorite cereal to find out if it is a ‘green light’ cereal. To help get you started here is a list of some of the best.

Barbara’s Shredded
spoonfuls
Serving Size: 3/4 cup
Calories: 120
Fat: 1.5 g
Protein: 4 g
Fiber: 4 g
Sugar: 5 g

Post
Grape-Nuts
Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Calories: 200
Fat: 1g
Protein: 7 g
Fiber: 6g
Sugar: 5 g

Cheerios
Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories: 110
Fat: 2 g
Protein: 3g
Fiber: 3g
Sugar: 1 g

Post Shredded
Wheat
Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories: 170
Fat: 1 g
Protein: 6 g
Fiber: 6 g
Sugar: 0 g

Quaker
Oatmeal Squares
Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories: 210
Fat: 2.5 g
Protein: 6 g
Fiber: 4 g
Sugar: 9 g

Kashi
Go Lean
Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories: 140
Fat: 1 g
Protein: 13 g
Fiber: 10 g
Sugar: 6 g

Kellogg’s Complete
Oat Bran Flakes
Serving Size: 3/4 cup
Calories: 110
Fat: 1g
Protein: 3 g
Fiber: 4 g
Sugar: 6 g

Wheat Chex
Serving Size: 3/4 cup
Calories: 160
Fat: 1 g
Protein: 5 g
Fiber: 5 g
Sugar: 5 g

Cereal is a great way to start your day, but you can also use it as a nutritious snack or recipe ingredient. You can make your own trail mix with whole-grain cereal, nuts and dried fruit. Or use it as a coating for chicken, in your favorite cookie batter, or as a substitute in a muffin mix.

Dec 22

Canned, Frozen or Fresh

Which is Best? Canned, Frozen or Fresh?

Many people believe that unless produce is raw, it’s nutritional value is deleted. Yes, it’s true that fresh fruits and vegetables are most nutritious and best tasting when they are picked at their peak. Plus, fruit and vegetable lovers usually prefer the superior taste, texture and look of fresh produce. However, don’t under-estimate the nutritional value of produce prepared in other ways. Consider this….

  • Some vegetables become MORE nutritious when cooked.(It is better to steam most vegetables than to cook them for long periods of time at high temperatures.)
  • Canned produce is usually processed immediately after harvest, when nutrient content is at its peak. Some canned produce can be high in sodium and/or sugar, however, check the nutrition labels for low sodium and low sugar versions of products.
  • Few preservatives are used in frozen foods. Frozen foods are nutritious because most nutrients are retained during the process. Soon after being picked, the foods are quickly blanched in water and then frozen. This helps to preserve freshness.

A message nutritionists have long emphasized is this: canned and frozen produce is a nutritionally sound alternative to fresh fruits and veggies. Frozen and canned products are particularly good to have on hand for times when you can’t get to the store for fresh products or
when fresh fruits and vegetables are out of season or out of your price range.

The bottom line is still EAT MORE FRUITS AND VEGGIES. Canned, frozen, fresh or slightly cooked, they are a good thing!

Dec 22

10 Ways to Make You Look and Feel Better

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Ten Ways to Make You Look and Feel Better!

  1.  Make up your mind. Decide you are going to change. Partial commitment will yield partial results. Consistency is the key.
  2. Think before you eat. Assess what you are considering to eat. Ask yourself, “Will eating this get me closer to my goal?” If not, make a better choice.
  3. Eating for pleasure is distinctly a human experience. Choose foods on nutritional value not simply taste.
  4. Food choices are a habit. Replace poor choices with good ones, and it will become a new habit. It is simple, bad food make you feel bad, and healthy food make you feel good.
  5. Do not buy junk food. Similar to #4, omitting these foods at home will make a huge difference. If they are not around you won’t eat them.
  6. DO NOT SKIP MEALS! Te key is to keep you body’s metabolism burning all day. Food is your fuel. Skipping meals will lead to a decline in your metabolism.
  7. Listen to your body. When you are hungry eat. Stop when you are comfortable, not when you are stuffed.
  8. Be honest with yourself. Half a cookie still contains calories. Little bites throughout the day add up to a meal. Everything counts, so count it!
  9. Weigh and measure food for a week. This may be inconvenient, but can be very valuable in educating oneself about nutrition.
  10. You have to move. Incorporate more movement into your daily routine. Park further away at work or at the store. Use the stairs, or start to exercise. Do not take the path of least resistance. It will pay off. And remember, BE CONSISTENT!




Dec 22

7 Ways to Win the Desk Diet

7 Ways to Win the Desk Diet

DESK-JOB DIETERS HAVE A COMMON CONCERN:  HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO LOSE WEIGHT WHEN IʼM SITTING IN FRONT OF A COMPUTER ALL DAY?

This can be a big problem for many individuals.  Proper nutrition is key in losing or maintain­ing weight with a sedentary, working lifestyle.  Weight control is a simple equation in nutrition terms.  Calories in = Calories out.  If calories in is greater than calories out you will gain weight, and vice versa.  Here are some simple suggestions to help win the desk diet battle.

Snack wisely.  A lot of individuals tend to snack while working on the computer or watching television.  If you are one of those people, keep healthy snacks available at all times.

Drink Up.  Keep water at your desk.  Water quells the appetite, and it is healthy for you.

Plan Lunch.  Do not skip meals.  Cravings tend to creep up on us when we forget to eat regular meals.

Move.  Moving at least 10-15 minutes per day at an elevated heart rate is a great start.  Use the stairs, park at the far end of parking lots, or walk to lunch.  The key to moving is to move, start today!

Exercise dur­ing off hours.  If you live close to work, try walking or riding a bike.  Exercise at home or a fitness club in the morning or just after work.

Find Help With friends.  Everyone has heard that “ Two Heads Are Better Than One.”  This saying goes for exercising as well.  Fitness can be a lot of fun when you involve others around you.  Get a coworker active or take your spouse or children to the gym with you.

Use Your Tools.  This means to be creative.  Trade in your work chair for a fitness ball  This will do wonders for your posture.  We cannot carry a treadmill or weights around with us to use anytime, so give yourself options.  Research exercising tips while on your computer, plan your meals each day, get encouragement from those you work with and your family.  Most importantly, make a com­mitment.  Changing your lifestyle is not easy, but living a high energy lifestyle is worth all the work.  Do not forget to reward yourself.  Good luck, remember to have fun and enjoy life.

Dec 22

Butter v Margarine

“So which is better for me…

Butter or Margarine?”

This is one of the most frequent questions nutritionists get asked!  And it’s  no wonder with all the conflicting reports out there.  We all know that both are forms of fat and so both should be used sparingly, but which is the better choice for the occasional compliment to cooking or as a savory spread? Let’s take a closer look at both forms of flavor!

Butter

The two biggest troubles with butter are its saturated fat content and the presence of dietary cholesterol.  Saturated fats increase your “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and increases your risk for heart disease.  A healthy range for saturated fat is 10-15 grams a day.  Just one tablespoon of butter contains over 7 grams of saturated fat! Cholesterol is found only in animal based products, so you won’t find it in plant-based foods (such as marga­rine). A healthy person should consume no more than 200 milligrams of cholesterol per day.  There are 33 milligrams of cholesterol in one Tablespoon of butter.

Margarine

The controversy with margarine lies with its level of trans fat which is largely a man-made fat.  Trans fats have been shown to increase LDL cholesterol similarly to satu­rated fats and they tend to lower “healthy”

Cholesterol when eaten in large amounts. Trans fats also tend to make our blood platelets stickier.  One Tablespoon of stick margarine containes 3 grams of trans fat and two grams of saturated fat.

Nutrition is not an exact science because researchers are discovering new things about the human body all the time.  But the basic recommendation right now is that margarine is the better choice.  Although margarine contains more trans fats than butter, when you look at the overall fat level, margarine comes out ahead. (butter contains 7.5 grams of trans + saturated fats per serving as compared to 4.7 for stick margarines and 3.0 for tub margarines.)  Switch to tub or liquid margarine.  Also look for spreads that claim “trans fat free or zero-trans fat”.  This means that the margarine contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fats per serving.  Some great brands are  I Can’t believe It’s not Butter  spray or soft Shedd’s Spread Country Crock with Yogurt.  Ask your doctor for other recommendations according to your health needs.