Happy 4th!

This weekend is known for parties which could also mean that some of us may overeat on some of our favorite barbecue treats! Today, I have a healthy snack that you can bring with you to your next party. Not only is it very fast, but it’s also very simple to make! Bring it to a party for not only you, but your families, friends, coworkers, etc. Why not make something sweet and enjoyable for everyone to enjoy, even children! This is a sweet treat to make made from nature’s very own candy.. fruit! In the following recipe you will need toothpicks, raspberries, blueberries, and mini marshmallows. You can always substitute for other red fruits. Instead of using marshmallows you can also try to use bananas, however they might brown very quickly after slicing them.

The great thing about these little snacks is that you can enjoy them on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, or any other patriotic holiday to celebrate the USA! Happy 4th everybody! Enjoy the day and be safe!

*Pictures were taken by Danielle Colombo, RD*

 

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Cucumber Pomegranate Bites

These delicious cucumber bites are packed with vitamins and nutrients. They make a perfect snack or appetizer! Not only are they simple to make, but they are colorful and something that everyone can enjoy!

cucumber bites

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 6 (1/4-inch) cucumber slices
  • 1 TBSP whipped low fat cream cheese (or any type of spreadable cheese)
  • 2 TBSP pomegranate seeds

Directions:

  • Slice the cucumber into 6 slices
  • Add 1 tbsp. cheese (ex: cream cheese, feta cheese, goat cheese)
  • Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds
  • Keep chilled until ready to serve

 

Popcorn — A Popular Whole Grain Snack

Many people don’t realize that popcorn is 100% whole grain, low in calories, and a source of dietary fiber. A 3 cup serving of air-popped popcorn has fewer than 100 calories, 1 gram of fat, 3.5 grams of dietary fiber and 2mg of sodium. However, popcorn can become unhealthy and an addictive treat if it is not eaten in correct portion sizes and/or if it is eaten out of a tub in a movie theater. A large bucket of popcorn found in your movie theater can contain more than 1,000 calories and several day’s worth of saturated fat (the bad fat!). So remember to keep it simple and stick to the correct portion size!

Try these simple ideas on your popcorn to add flavor (skip the butter!)

  • Sprinkle with chili powder and a little bit of lime juice
  • Mix it with roasted chickpeas or nuts
  • Toss it with Parmesan cheese and fresh rosemary
  • Add some heat with cayenne pepper or Cajun seasoning mix
  • Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic and black pepper
  • Dust with cinnamon and a little brown sugar

For more information: Food & Nutrition Magazine, July/August 2015

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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Feed your need, not your greed

Stop making excuses for yourself: you can make a difference in your eating habits!

Do you think healthy food is too expensive?

  • It doesn’t have to be! If you’re looking for nutrient-dense but inexpensive foods, try fiber-rich grains such as barley and quinoa. Instead of planning meals around meat, choose less expensive proteins, including beans, eggs, skinless chicken thighs and canned salmon. And when buying fresh produce, get what’s local and in season.

Do you think it’s hard to eat healthy when you go out to eat?

  • Do some research before you go to the restaurant. There’s always healthier options on the menu to choose from. Many chain restaurants post nutrition information on their Web sites, allowing you to see which dishes best suit your dietary needs. If the restaurant you’re going to doesn’t provide nutrition information, scan the menu for grilled fish, chicken or vegetable dishes, which are often leaner and lower in calories than other items. And ask for salad dressings and sauces on the side.

Do you think it’s too hard to change your eating habits?

  • It can take up to 20 exposures to a new food for someone to accept it. The best way to regularly get more-healthful food into your diet is to make it a habit. The best trick is to keep trying. Experiment with different cooking techniques, temperatures and seasonings.

Do you have trouble controlling portion sizes?

  • Use smaller plates (10-inch diameter or less) and keep serving dishes off the table.

Why should you eat breakfast?

  • A meal of low-fat dairy, whole grains, fruit and protein is filling and sets a healthful tone for the rest of the day.

 

For more information: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/bad-eating-habits-canbe-corrected-by-using-the-right-workarounds/2012/09/24/50d585a2-c531-11e1-916d-a4bc61efcad8_story.html

Halloween Treats!

I recently read an article that was very interesting about halloween. I felt this was necessary since it’s that time of the year again! Here are some healthy Halloween tips in order to stop overindulging in the candy…

Setting a limit on halloween treats is important, especially for children. One or two treats a day is reasonable according to dietitian Kim Kramer. It’s important for parents to be involved in following the same rules they set for their children as well as explain to them the reasoning behind it.

Halloween Healthy tips:

  • Keep the candy out of reach of your children. Allow them to have a couple treats after dinner each week
  • Offer incentives such as trading in a certain amount of candy can get them a book or small present they want
  • Hand out healthier treats such as 100 calorie snack bags or hand out halloween pencils, erasers, stickers or tattoos!
  • Avoid sugar-free candies. These can lead to bloating and cramping
  • Another alternative to candy bars is snack-sized granola bars
  • Don’t overbuy at the store. Take any leftover candy to work or give it away to someone else!
  • Keep moving! Don’t let Halloween get you off track of being healthy and exercising!

http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/illinois/homewood/article_80fc3d38-efd5-5906-ad4b-deabca09b0ba.html