Holiday Cooking

Here are some smart solutions by April Graff to making your holidays a little more healthier!

To reduce fat:

  • Substitute unsweetened applesauce,  mashed bananas or pureed prunes
  • Use egg substitute in place of whole eggs
  • Use non-fat or light dairy products rather than the original version

To reduce sugar:

  • Consider alternative sweeteners such as Splenda, Delecta or stevia
  • Cut one-third to one-half of the amount in the recipe

To reduce sodium:

  • Cut the amount by half or eliminate completely
  • Substitute salt with festive flavors of onion salt, garlic salt, celery salt and seasoning salt with onion flakes, garlic powder and herbs

Reduce portion sizes:

  • Limit the number of options available to limit the number of temptations
  • Serve smaller portions of dessert items by cutting into bite-sized pieces

Add fiber and protein to your diet during the holidays to keep you full longer:

  • Add flax seed, chia seed or oatmeal to your recipes
  • Use whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour in breads, bars, muffins, pie crusts, and cookies to turn tasty treats into satisfying sweets
  • Dried fruits add fiber and flavor to recipe favorites
  • Nuts are packed with nutrients, including heart-healthy fats, fiber and protein

stk21300wcgPhoto credit: preschooler.thebump.com

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Foods For Weight Loss

According to Nicole Yorio Jurick from health.com, there are some foods that will help keep us feeling fuller for a successful weight loss.

  1. Baked Potato: Although sometimes baked potatoes are sometimes looked at as a “bad” food during weight loss, they are full of vitamins, fiber and other nutrients. They will fill you up with great energy.
  2. Eggs: this is one of a few foods that is a complete protein. About half of the protein is inside of the yolks, so it’s not always a good idea to throw away the yolks! Add some vegetables to your eggs and add extra fiber for just a few more calories!
  3. Bean soup: Soups have a high water content, which make you full faster. Broth-based bean soups are high in fiber and will have you feeling satisfied after consuming it. If you aren’t a fan of soup, add some beans to a salad!
  4. Greek yogurt: Consuming dairy proteins can increase satiety and keep blood sugar steady. Greek yogurt contains double the amount of protein and less sugar than regular yogurt.
  5. Apples: They contain pectin which naturally slows down digestion and promotes fullness.
  6. Popcorn: You can eat 3 cups of popcorn for the same amount of calories for a quarter cup of potato chips. Just make sure you are choosing a “smart” choice popcorn without the added butter to it.
  7. Oatmeal: Full of fiber and when cooked with skim milk or water, the oats thicken meaning you can last longer without eating.
  8. Smoothies: Watch out for fruit juices and flavored syrups which contain plenty of sugar and calories. Instead, opt for a smoothie with ice, skim milk or low fat yogurt, and fruit! Get creative!

oatmeal

Photo credit: http://www.grubgrade.com

Turn Your Halloween Candy Into A Nutritious Treat!

The average American eats 24.7 pounds of candy each year. Most candy contains high quantities of sugar with nothing but calories and no nutritional value. Here’s a quick little breakdown of Halloween candy calorie content that might make you rethink opening that wrapper this year …

Starbursts: 8 pieces = 160 calories — instead you could be eating one medium apple with 1 tbsp. of peanut butter!

York Peppermint Patties: 3 miniatures = 150 calories — instead you could be eating 3 cups of air-popped popcorn with 1 tbsp. of Parmesan cheese

Brach’s Candy Corn: 19 pieces = 140 calories — instead have a 6 oz. low fat yogurt with half a cup of blueberries and you will still be saving 20 calories.

Reese’s King Size Peanut Butter Pumpkins: 2 cups = 350 calories — instead try eating a nutritious meal of 6 oz. of grilled chicken, 1 cup of green beans, 2 tsp. of butter, 1 small tossed salad with 2 tbsp. of low-fat dressing,

Caramel Apples: 1 apple = 250-350 calories — instead you could be eating a whole meal of 2 oz. of tuna fish with 2 tsp. of light mayonnaise, with one 4 inch pita with 1/2 cup of spinach. This all could be served with an apple and 1 oz. of baked tortilla chips!

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate: 3 snack size bars = 190 calories — Instead you could be eating 10 baby carrots and 2 tbsp. of hummus and save yourself 20 calories.

Tootsie Rolls: 6 pieces = 140 calories –instead reach for a whole grain English muffin with 1 tablespoon of fruit spread and you will still be saving yourself 10 calories!

Skittles: 1 regular pack = 250 calories — instead you can eat an entire meal of 1 egg, 1 slice of whole wheat toast with 1 tsp. of butter, and 1 cup of strawberries.

calsPhoto credit: www.redbookmag.com

What To Eat For Breakfast

People who skip breakfast tend to weigh more than those who eat breakfast. It’s important to eat a breakfast that is rich in protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. Protein and fiber help slow digestion to keep you full until your next meal.

Eggs, milk, yogurt, nut butters, and seeds are all good examples of protein filled foods. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds are loaded with fibers. Eating a breakfast burrito with eggs, cheese and veggies is an excellent choice. Also, eating at least one serving of fruit or vegetables at breakfast is a good way to start the day!

Remember to keep in mind that sugary cereals and sweet rolls will leave you feeling hungry by mid-morning.. so aim for a protein-fiber packed meal to keep you going!

bfast

 

Sexy Snacks!

Here are some key foods you can add to your diet to help maintain good health & feel energized!

1. Salmon: Wild caught salmon is a great source of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA that help maintain the fluidity of our cell membranes. They keep our cardiovascular systems healthy by reducing inflammation, preventing excessive blood clotting, and keeping fats in the blood at healthy levels.

2. Avocado: They’re anti-inflammatory, so they support a healthy cardiovascular system and blood sugar regulation. In addition, they’re high in fiber and rich in antioxidants like vitamin C, the fat-soluble vitamin K, folate, and B vitamins. They’re also a source of high-quality protein.

3. Watermelon: Watermelon is rich in a chemical called citrulline that helps make nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels. It also contains the phytonutrient lycopene and beta-carotene, which act as antioxidants, protecting our cells.

4. Nuts: Nuts such as walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans are a good source of L-arginine which gets converted into nitric oxide. Walnuts also contain a plant-based omega 3 fat that’s necessary for a healthy cardiovascular system.

5.  Leafy Greens: Fresh spinach, kale, collards, arugula, mustard greens, as well as herbs like parsley and oregano contain high amounts of chlorophyll, which is purifying to the blood and helps to increase blood flow. Some, like kale, also contain essential fatty acids like omega 3 and 6. They’re a rich source of vitamins, including the fat-soluble A and K, and C, as well as minerals that keep the body rich in alkaline and improve energy levels.

6. Seeds: Seeds such as pumpkin and sesame are rich in zinc, as well as additional essential nutrients.

watermelon

Read more: http://www.youbeauty.com/nutrition/galleries/sexy-snacks#2

Know When To Toss Your Food

We all wonder how long we can go after opening a food product or how far you can stretch after the expiration date. Here are some tips on some popular foods by Jessica Girdwain

  1. Frozen Chicken:  Store it in a freezer bag and keep it in a single layer so it gets rock-hard quickly. Make sure to squeeze out as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn, and use it all within a month or two.
  2. Raw Chicken: It generally keeps 1 to 2 days in the fridge, but follow the expiration date listed on the package and if you know you won’t be eating it within the one to two days, FREEZE IT!
  3. Deli Meat: You can keep deli meat up to a week, but it’s recommended to eat within 3 days
  4. Leftovers: A week is still safe, though at that time, ingredients may start to separate. Ideally, you want to eat them within 2 to 4 days.
  5. Frozen bread/bagels: You can store them for a few months in the freezer, but bread may dry out and accumulate freezer odors in about 2 to 3 weeks
  6. Coffee: Buy a week or two’s supply of coffee (versus a whole giant can) at a time and store in an airtight container in a cool dark place
  7. Chicken/Beef broth: If the broth was canned, pour it into another container, refrigerate, and use it up in a few days.
  8. Eggs: You’ve got some wiggle room after the sell-by date by about 2 to 3 weeks. Five weeks is your max!
  9. Canned tomatoes: canned tomatoes can stick around in your fridge for a few days. Just don’t store them in the can after opening them–transfer them to another airtight container.
  10. Snack foods: When they hit their expiration date–or a month after opening (whichever comes first)–throw the bag away.

eggs

 

For more information: http://todayhealth.today.com/_news/2013/03/24/17420450-can-you-still-eat-that-or-should-you-throw-it-out?lite

 

Don’t Reach For A Sports Drink, You Most Likely Don’t Need It

Most sports drinks are loaded with sugar and are not necessary for consumption before, during, or after exercising, unless you are an athlete who does high-intensity workouts over an hour. Here are a list of beverages to keep in mind to skip the high sugary sports drinks the next time you exercise..

  • Best drink for hydration: Coconut water–  coconut water is low on the glycemic index, so it won’t dramatically affect your blood sugar, this drink may also promote heart health.

Vita Coco 100% Pure Coconut Water (1 bottle, 17 fl oz) 90 calories, 0 g fat, 22 g sugar

  • Best drink for enhanced performance: Coffee– scientific research has linked caffeine consumption with increased endurance and reaction times. The problem is, most caffeine-enhanced energy drinks are loaded with added sugars.

Coffee (8 fl. oz) = 2 calories, 0g fat, 0g sugars [without milk/cream or sugar of course!]

  • EBoost: A great way to get green tea on the go: EBoost. Unlike most green-tea based energy beverages, it’s sweetened with natural, zero-calorie Stevia, and it has an impressive antioxidant profile.

EBoost (1 packet): 5 calories, 0g fat, 0g sugars

  • Chocolate Milk: Drinking a combination of carbohydrates and protein after a hard workout can help restore your energy and aid in building lean, metabolism-boosting muscle

Low Fat Chocolate Milk (8 fl oz): 158 calories, 2.5g fat, 25g sugars, 8g protein

  • WATER!: Nature’s beverage is calorie-free, cost-free, and unless you’re an elite athlete who does high-intensity exercise for more than an hour at a time, it’ll take care of all your workout hydration needs.

Water: 0 calories, 0g fat, 0g sugars

2012-07-16-SportsDrinks

For more information: http://eatthis.menshealth.com/blog/5-sports-drinks-actually-work-0

 

Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian, Lacto-Vegetarian, Vegan Meal Plans

Are you a lacto-ovo vegetarian, a lacto-vegetarian or a vegan who is looking for some food options or meal plans? Some meat replacements that are useful are tofu, seitan, beans, quinoa, nuts, any soy products, eggplant, portobello mushrooms, legumes, tempeh, hummus etc.. These are all high protein foods packed with valuable nutrients. Here are some more options for you to choose from…

Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian Meal Plan (2,400 calorie diet)

Breakfast:

1/2 cup orange juice (calcium fortified)

1/2 cup cereal

1 egg

1 slice of bread

1 tsp. margarine

1 cup ( 8 oz.) milk

Lunch:

2-3 oz. meat alternative

1/2 cup potato

1/2 cup vegetable

1/2 cup-3/4 cup salad

2 tbsp. salad dressing

1 serving bread

1 tsp. margarine

1/2 cup fruit

1/2 cup (4 oz.) milk

Dinner:

2-3 oz. meat alternative

1/2 cup rice

1/2 cup vegetable

1/2-3/4 cup salad

2 tbsp. salad dressing

1 serving bread

1 tsp. margarine

1/2 cup fruit

1/2 cup (4 oz.) milk

Snack:

1/2 cup soy nuts

1/2 cup fortified tomato juice

Lacto-Vegetarian Meal Plan

Breakfast:

1/2 cup calcium fortified orange juice

1/2 cup cereal

1 egg

1 serving bread

1 tsp. margarine

1 cup (8 oz.) milk

1 cup coffee/tea

Lunch:

2-3 oz. meat alternative

1/2 cup pasta

1/2 cup vegetable

1/2 cup-3/4 cup salad

2 tbsp. salad dressing

1 serving bread

1 tsp. margarine

1/2 cup fruit

1/2 cup (4 oz.) milk

Coffee/tea

Dinner:

2-3 oz. meat substitute

1/2 cup brown rice

1/2 cup vegetable

1/2 cup-3/4 cup salad

2 tbsp. salad dressing

1 serving bread

1 tsp. margarine

1/2 cup fruit

1/2 cup milk

Snack:

1/2 cup soy nuts

1/2 cup fortified tomato juice

Vegan Meal Plan

Breakfast:

1/2 cup fortified orange juice

1/2 cup oatmeal

2 slices whole wheat bread

2 tbsp. peanut butter

1 cup fortified soy milk

2 tbsp. raisins

Lunch:

6 oz. lentil soup w/ 1/2 cup brown rice

4 sesame seed crackers

1 cup raw spinach

1/4 cup shredded carrots

2 tbsp. chopped mushrooms

2 oz. tofu

2 tbsp. low calorie dressing

1 fresh apple

1 cup fortified soy milk

Dinner:

2 burritos: 2-6 inches soft corn tortillas

1 cup pinto beans

3/4 cup shredded lettuce

1/2 cup diced tomato

2 tbsp. diced onion

1/4 cup salsa

1/2 cup broccoli

1 tbsp. margarine

1/2 cup fruit cocktail

1 cup fortified soy milk

Some Information:

A lacto-ovo vegetarian restricts all dietary sources of animal protein except dairy products and eggs. This is the most common type of vegetarian diet and is the easiest to prepare.

A lacto-vegetarian diet restricts all dietary sources of animal protein except dairy products.

A vegan diet restricts all dietary sources of animal protein.

The following foods provide approximately the same amount of protein as does 1 oz. meat (7 grams protein)

  • 1/4 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 cup regular or soy milk
  • 1 oz. cheese
  • 1/3 cup mixed nuts
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup legumes
  • 1/4 cup soy beans
  • 1 oz. processed soy protein
  • 1/4 cup tofu
  • 3/4 cup yogurt

All vegetarians should ensure adequate calcium for development and maintenance of strong bones. In place of dairy products, choose abundant amounts of dark leafy greens (kale, mustard and turnip greens, collards) bok choy, broccoli, legumes, tofu processed with calcium, dried figs, sunflower seeds, and calcium fortified cereals and juice. The following foods provide approximately the same amount of calcium as does 1 cup of milk (300 mg)

  • 1 cup calcium-fortified soy milk
  • 1 2/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup collards
  • 3 cups cooked dried beans
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 3 pieces enriched cornbread

Iron is also important to keep in mind. When consumed along with foods rich in Vitamin C, plant sources of iron are absorbed better. Some examples of high iron foods include legumes, dark green vegetables, dried fruits, prune juice, blackstrap molasses, pumpkin seeds, soy nuts, and iron-fortified breads and cereals.

Vitamin B12 which is only found in animal foods, is not much of a concern for vegetarians who consume eggs and dairy. Vegans should include vitamin B-12 fortified foods such as fortified soymilk and commercial breakfast cereals and/or a B12 supplement in their diets. Vitamin B12 is also found in Brewer’s yeast.

The primary source of Vitamin D is found in dairy products where most are fortified with it. The other main source is sunlight exposure. Foods containing vitamin D are fortified cow’s milk, soy milk, rice milk or nut milk. Supplementation is needed for those who don’t consume milk products and/or spend little time in the sun.

Zinc can also be a concern because most zinc is found in animal foods. Wheat germ, nuts, and dried beans can all be included in your diet to help boost your zinc!

Prevent Chronic Disease!

 

The roots of chronic adult disease such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity are based off of a person’s childhood developments. American children and adolescents have higher blood cholesterol levels and higher intakes of saturated fatty acids and cholesterol compared to other countries. Studies have shown that early coronary atherosclerosis begins in childhood and adolescence. Prevention of cardiovascular disease in children older than 2 years of age are the same for adults:

  • No more than 30% of calories from fat (10% or less from saturated fat, up to 10% from unsaturated fat and 10-15% from monounsaturated fat)
  • No more than 300 mg of cholesterol per day
  • Cholesterol screening is recommended for children with family risk factors

The American Heart Association have recommendations including:

  • A diet low in saturated fat and trans-fatty acids, increased fish intake, whole grains, vegetables and fruits, and limited juice and sweetened beverages
  • 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity daily
  • No more than 35% of calories from fat

Osteoporosis prevention begins early by maximizing calcium retention and bone density during childhood and adolescence which is a time when bones are growing rapidly and are most sensitive to diet and exercise. Studies show that in order to reach the maximum calcium balance during puberty children may need to consume more than the recommended amount. Because food consumption surveys show that children are drinking more soft drinks and non-citrus juices and less milk, education is needed to encourage young people to consume the appropriate amount of calcium from food sources.

Education about fiber and disease prevention has been focused mainly on adults and only limited information is available on the intake of fiber for children. Fiber is needed for health and normal laxation in children. Most children are consuming less than the DRI, studies have shown. Education is needed to help increase fiber intake in children.

A decreased level of physical activity in children has also been a problem for decades and is seen as a big contributor toward obesity in children. School physical education programs have declined and generally decreases with age. Regular physical activity improves strength and endurance, enhances self-esteem, and reduces anxiety and stress. It’s been said that exercising for at least 60 minutes a day is recommended for children.

Source: 
Mahan, L. Kathleen., and Sylvia Escott-Stump. Krause’s Food & Nutrition Therapy. St. Louis: Saunders Elsevier, 2008. Print.