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

Image

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.”
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

Clean Greens

Clean Greens

Millions of us eat spinach and lettuce safely every day, so our chances of getting E.coli poisoning are small.  But with the recent outbreak of tainted spinach, we naturally feel more cautious when it comes to eating our leafy greens.

Here are a few tips to lower your chances of getting sick.

  • Wash your hands before you open the bag. It really is important.
  • Be careful not to allow either the bag or the salad to come close to raw meat juices (they might contain E.coli or other bad bacteria).
  • Before you buy, take a look at that sell by date and don’t buy the salad if that date has passed.
  • If the salad stays out too long (gets too warm) at home or starts to look brown or gooey around the edges — don’t try to save it, throw it away.
  • And if you do get sick, think salad! It might be the culprit…and if there is any of the salad left in the bag, don’t throw it away. (The salad may need to be tested.)
  • If you get really sick, sick enough to go to the hospital, let the doctors know you had salad in a bag. And if you find out you are contaminated with E.coli, call your local health department so someone else doesn’t get sick.
Dec 22

Cholesterol

Know your cholesterol levels

19% of Americans ages 20 to 74 have high cholesterol levels.  Are you one of them?

How do I get checked?

Your doctor can conduct a simple, inexpensive test to determine your cholesterol level.  When the test results are back your total blood cholesterol will fall into one of these categories:

Desirable — Less than 200 mg/dL
Borderline high risk — 200–239 mg/dL
High risk — 240 mg/dL and over

How often should I be checked?

Young Adults should be checked once every five years. Men over 45 and women over 55 should measure their cholesterol levels at least once a year.

Keeping tabs on your numbers can go a long way in preventing a number of serious medical complications (heart attacks and strokes included).

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.