Homemade Almond Butter

Do you know how easy making your own nut butter can be? I LOVE making my own nut butters because they are so easy to make and you only need one ingredient… your favorite nut! Some suggestions are peanuts, almonds, cashews, etc. The list goes on! All you need is a food processor to blend the nut together for several minutes. They will become hot in the food processor and if the consistency remains thick, you can add a little vegetable oil to it (you don’t need a lot!) What better way to add some nut butter to your sandwich or to enjoy as a dip and you can create your very own jar?

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*Picture taken by Danielle Colombo, RD*

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The Scoop On Protein

Many people believe they’re struggling to meet their protein needs through food sources when weight lifting. However, this is not necessarily true! Relying on expensive protein powders and supplements may not always be the right answer.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states that athletes who are weight training need more protein than the general population, roughly 0.54 to 0.77 grams per pound of body weight per day. That’s 81 to 116 grams of protein for a 150 pound person. And this amount can generally be met by eating food alone.
For example…
2 cups of 1% milk = 16 grams of protein
2 large eggs = 12 grams of protein
6 1/2 inch whole wheat pita = 6 grams of protein
2 oz. Swiss cheese = 16 grams of protein
3 oz. turkey breast = 26 grams of protein
7 oz. yogurt = 18 grams of protein
3 oz. lean steak = 23 grams protein
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Total = 116 grams of protein
Photo credit: www.medindia.net

Be realistic this New Year!

Happy 2014! New Year’s Day is one of the biggest days where we all set our year resolutions and a lot of the time these resolutions deal with weight loss. Let’s be realistic this year and set goals we know we can stick to!

START SMALL. We all want fast results, but being realistic means setting small goals and working our way up to where we want to be. Make a small, realistic goal each week to feel successful and look forward to achieving something new!

EAT MORE VEGETABLES.. AND FRUIT. By filling your plate for every meal with non-starchy vegetables and choosing to eat fruits wisely as snacks, you will be surprised how healthy you will begin to feel and might even see the weight start coming off just by switching to this simple advice! It may be extremely hard at first to get used to, but remember always start small! If you’re not used to eating vegetables at every meal, gradually introduce them into one or two of your meals and you will be surprised how fast your habits can change!

WHOLE GRAINS, WHOLE GRAINS, WHOLE GRAINS. Ideally as a nutritionist, we want everyone to eat only whole grains although the recommendation is make half your grains whole grains. If you want to feel fuller longer, I suggest that you eat as many whole grains as possible when it comes to choosing a grain. This will make you feel full because of the added fiber whole grains add to our diet! And remember, our bodies don’t require that many grains to survive, so slowly start cutting back if you are a grain-lover!

PORTION OUT YOUR FOOD. This can’t be stressed enough. Although it may be a lot easier said than done, once you get into the habit of portioning your food out, your body will thank you! With all the over-sized portions out there, especially in restaurants, we have tricked our minds and bodies into thinking we need more food when we really don’t. This may be a challenge at first, but trust me, it will become a lifestyle habit.

GET THE SUPPORT YOU NEED. It takes a lot to be successful if you don’t have people supporting you along the way. Find those who will support your goal and stick to it. If you need extra motivation and are lacking willpower, it’s important to find friends, family, or possibly a dietitian to help you many steps of the way!

Small Steps Is All It Takes!

We all want fast results to keep us motivated on the right path. But guess what?! The smaller the steps we take, the more likely we are to stick to a healthy lifestyle. Make a small goal each week to keep you motivated!

1. Increase your exercise a little each day. If you’re completely sedentary, start making small changes such as taking the dog for a 20 minute walk, or walking up and down the stairs for 15 minutes!

2. Start smiling more. Be happy with yourself going toward a new healthy lifestyle and all the small accomplishes you make each week! Your positive energy will make others around you happy as well!

3. Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Each added daily portion of these fiber rich foods lowers your risk of stroke, heart disease, and cancer. Start small and you will feel the difference!

4. Cut back on salty foods. A lot of us don’t realize how much salt processed foods contain. Slowly cut back on processed foods and switch over to FRESH foods to lower your blood pressure and have more energy!

5. Incorporate healthy fats into your diet. Replace saturated fats like butter with corn, sunflower, or safflower oil. But remember to watch your portion sizes because 2 tablespoons will be just fine! Healthy fats will lower your LDL cholesterol and chances of heart disease.

6. Say no to soda and other sugary beverages. If you drink one less soda a day, you will be saving 240 calories and this will help you lose weight! Save your calories for nutrient-dense foods and make soda a TREAT in moderation. Remember water is the only beverage our bodies need to survive. Even if you think this is an impossible task, believe in yourself– you can get there!!

7. Put down your phone, computer, and turn off that T.V. at night! Respect your body and give it the rest it needs to keep you well rested for tomorrow! Each night, go to sleep a few minutes earlier until you’re at your target sleeping pattern!

8. Watch your portion sizes. Instead of going for a super-size, go for a super food! Eat less with nutritious foods rather than  eating more with junk food.

9. Cut back on sugar, eat more natural foods. The more natural you eat, the less sugar you will consume. Take small steps to cutting back on one sugary snack each day. It will be hard at first, but you can do it if you keep your mind to it!
small changesPhoto credit: www.quoteswave.com

For more information: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/healthy-eating/nutrition/15-ways-to-eat-healthy/?page=7

Need Some Flavor In Your Water?

A lot of people I talk to have trouble drinking water without any flavor.. and I don’t blame them! Our taste buds like a little flavor, but there are healthier ways to add this flavor rather than buying flavored waters, drinking sports drinks, relying on soda to fill the need of flavor in our beverages. Here are some tips to adding NATURAL flavors to our water!

You will need…

-1-2 liters’ of water, depending on how strong you want it to taste
-Part of 1 watermelon or 1 cucumber
-1 lemon or lime
-A handful of fresh mint leaves (approximately 10-13)
-Ice cubes

Slice up a good amount of watermelon into cubes, rind and all, and put them into a jug or pitcher. Cut 1 juicy lime into wedges and toss in with the watermelon. Add a handful of fresh, fragrant, mint leaves and pour in 2 liters of cool water, filling the jug all the way to the top. Let this sit overnight in the fridge and let all the yummy flavors steep and infuse the water. When you want to drink it, put in a generous helping of ice cubes, pour, and enjoy daily.

Remember: You can always substitute a fruit or a vegetable depending on your own taste! You don’t have to follow this recipe step by step, this is just to give you an idea of how great you can make your water taste.. and look!

Doesn’t this look refreshing?

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Summer Snack.. A Must!

Looking for a new, healthy recipe for the summer?

Are you a peanut butter fanatic?

Than you must try this creamy peanut butter dip!

    • Take one 5.3-ounce container of nonfat Oikos Greek Vanilla yogurt.
    • Mix in two tbsp. peanut butter (I prefer crunchy), 1/2 tbsp. honey, and 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon.
    • Serve with slices of apple, banana, and pear. Store unused portion in the fridge.

Makes four, two-tbsp. servings. Each serving contains 66 calories, 3.75 grams of fat, .5 grams of saturated fat, .75 grams of fiber, and 5.5 grams of protein.

Visit www.fitsugar.com for more amazing recipes and nutrition tips! (What an awesome site!)

After Exercise

After you exercise, you continue to burn more calories than if you haven’t exercised at all. The body has to return to its normal temperature, heart rate, breathing, and hormone levels. The types of food that you eat and when you eat them could maximize your after burn benefit from exercising. Here are some tips:

  • Eat breakfast, including a source of whole-grain, complex carbohydrate and lean protein. This might be a whole wheat English muffin with egg whites and a slice of low fat cheese.
  • Have a mid morning snack such as a handful of almonds and a piece of fruit.
  • Eat lunch from home, again, including carbohydrates and protein.
  • Have a mid-afternoon snack with carbohydrates and protein. This might be a Greek yogurt with roasted pumpkin seeds.
  • After a workout, have a granola bar or drink 8-12 oz low-fat chocolate milk as soon as you walk in the door.
  • Fix a healthy dinner with plenty of vegetables, lean proteins, and one source of complex carbohydrate.

Remember to include strength training, as this encourages the use of fat as energy, increases lean tissue, and discourages the breakdown of muscle, as long as you are eating after exercise.

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By: Jill Koegel
LIVEWELLNEBRASKA BLOGGER

Healthy Living While on Vacation

Happy Friday everyone! Since summer is almost here, I feel it’s appropriate to share ideas on how we can keep a healthy lifestyle while on vacation and when we are traveling! Let’s face it, when we are away from our normal routine, most of us tend to step away from our healthy, active lifestyles. 

I am excited to share an article written by Cole Millen. His article shares wonderful tips on how to stay on track while traveling. He points out important key tips on ways to say no to tempting foods you may be offered, why it’s important to stay hydrated, doing your research before leaving for a trip, exercising while you are away, and plenty more! These are all awesome ways to keep your body on track to living a healthy lifestyle. 

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Going on vacation is a fantastic endeavor that can create memories that last a lifetime. However, it can be quite easy to not eat healthy and gain weight when visiting a different city, state or climate. Here are some tips for staying healthy, eating nutritious foods and in keeping the pounds off when going on vacation.

When it is time to go on the vacation, be sure to eat an excellent meal before getting on a plane or riding in a vehicle. When a traveler is full, they are able to make great decisions when offered expensive food on a plane or when visiting a gas station that offers sweet temptations in the form of candy bars or sugary sodas. It can help to bring healthy snacks such as low-fat trail mix or dried fruit for a long trip. In addition to this, be sure to drink plenty of healthy liquids such as water. Water can help reduce the pangs of hunger as well as keep the body hydrated during the trip.

Before going on the trip, do research in the area that will be visited during the vacation and carefully consider the food and dishes that will be consumed. Some areas are known for healthy foods with plenty of fruits and vegetables in the diet. Other locations are known for having deep fried foods. Consider the restaurants that are in the community. Some restaurants are known for healthy dishes. In fact, a number of them post their menus online, with the result that individuals can know exactly what they will be having. When looking at food served at potential hotels, go online or give each one a call and ask specific questions about dining options.

Often times determining which hotels and restaurants offer healthy options can be difficult. I have found that a little research goes a long way in this regard. On a recent trip out west, I found a great site called Gogobot that listed reviews for Las Vegas hotels regarding not only their amenities and offerings, but also the restaurants in the nearby area. This made it easier than ever to determine with choices had the best alternatives for my healthy lifestyle. Some hotels offer healthy choices for breakfast such as breakfast cereals and well as fresh fruit while others feature donuts and other sugary pastries. A fantastic breakfast or dinner can be a huge difference maker when on vacation. It is important to get the necessary energy to have a great day. The reality is that knowledge of the local diet will help individuals and families prepare for the road ahead.

When you are looking for a restaurant to eat at, take time to determine the type of food that is prepared and the way it is prepared.  It is best to stick with healthy option foods that are baked, boiled, broiled, fat free, fresh, light, and whole grain.  Some things you want to stay away from are basted, battered, breaded, buttered, country style, creamy, fried, and smothered.  Try to add vegetables as your side as often as possible. The key to being at a restaurant is to eat in moderation. Don’t just clean your plate because it is in front of you. Acknowledge that your body is telling you that you are full and ask for a box.

Be sure to do some walking in the vacation area to keep the heart rate up as well as keeping the metabolism in check. Furthermore, walking can keep the body and mind strong and vibrant while experiencing new things and as one is relaxing. In addition to this, be sure to keep a water bottle handy at all times. Sometimes walking and visiting sites can make one weary and it certainly helps to have a water bottle available. Many hotels have complimentary refrigerators and ice machines, which can keep water cool in the daytime.

Staying healthy while on a vacation does not have to be difficult. While it does take time to do effective research and to be intentional about what to eat, it is worth it. The body feels great while on vacation and is relaxed when it is time to go home.

Written by: Cole Millen

Everyone be sure to check out Cole’s amazing blog for unique thoughts and perspectives about health and travel: http://colemill.blogspot.com/ and if you want to get in contact with him for questions or comments feel free to email him at colemillen@gmail.com

If anyone has healthy topics they would like to hear more about on my blog feel free to email me at colombo.danielle@hotmail.com — don’t be shy 🙂

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