March is National Nutrition Month!

March is National Nutrition Month! This month, the theme is biting into a healthy lifestyle. I believe that all of us, no matter what age, should take control of what we are eating. It’s time to make healthier lifestyle changes and recognize how many chronic diseases we can prevent just from making small changes to our lifestyles! It’s time to focus on all colors of the rainbow from each food group (fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy) and making the healthiest choices for a better life. You will never have to “diet” again when you take control of your lifestyle and realize that the focus here is everything in moderation and watching portion sizes! You don’t have to give up any foods when it comes to living healthier, but just know the more healthier choices you make, the better off you will be. Once you start, you are going to feel much better and have much more energy!

Don’t wait to start living a healthier life– start today!!

http://www.nationalnutritionmonth.org/nnm/

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Could you be Magnesium Deficient?

If you are feeling exhausted or noticing weird muscle cramps, you might be suffering from a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions in your body. It affects everything from your heartbeat to your muscles to your hormones

The 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) revealed that at least half of the U.S. population had inadequate intakes of magnesium.

Loss of appetite, nausea, fatigue — the initial symptoms of magnesium deficiency. While initial symptoms can be minor, a magnesium deficiency may eventually cause noticeable problems with your muscle and nerve function such as tingling, cramping, numbness and contractions. In its worst stages, magnesium deficiency could even cause seizures, personality changes, or abnormal heart rhythms. Since only 1% of magnesium is found in your blood (most is in your bones or organs), a simple needle prick often won’t help determine your levels. Instead, diagnoses are usually made through process of elimination and by examining a patient’s lifestyle.

The main culprits seem to be soda, caffeinated beverages and alcohol. Consuming too much alcohol can interfere with your body’s absorption of vitamin D, which aids magnesium absorption. Food sources are the safest to consume of magnesium rather than supplementation. Focus on consuming leafy greens — one cup of cooked spinach provides 157 milligrams of magnesium. Legumes are a solid choice too, with a cup of cooked white beans coming in at 113 milligrams of the nutrient. And if you’re a fan of squash and pumpkin seeds, one cup packs in a whopping 649 milligrams. Other great options are nuts, including almonds and cashews, most types of fish, and whole grains.

For more information: http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/31/health/magnesium-deficiency-health/index.html?hpt=he_c2

The US Compared To Other Countries When It Comes To Food

Such a great article I came across on Buzzfeed comparing what we eat here in the United States that are BANNED from other countries. Definitely worth your time reading and definitely an eye opener!
The 8 foods mentioned here are:

  • Artificial food dyes –  have been linked to brain cancer, nerve-cell deterioration, and hyperactivity in children.
  • Olestra – robs your body of its ability to absorb vitamins
  • Brominated vegetable oil – BVO is linked to major organ system damage, birth defects, growth problems, schizophrenia, and hearing loss.
  • Potassium bromate – linked to kidney damage, cancer, and nervous system damage.
  • Azodicarbonamide – known to induce asthma.
  • BHA and BHT –known to cause cancer in rats.
  • Synthetic growth hormones rBGH and rBST – potentially causing infertility, weakened muscle growth, and a whole array of cancers.
  • Arsenic – Used in some chicken feed to make meat appear pinker and fresher, arsenic is poison, which will kill you if you ingest enough.

 

Check it out here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/ashleyperez/8-foods-we-eat-in-the-us-that-are-banned-in-other-countries

Can We Really Call This “Stuff” Food?

I was just on http://www.buzzfeed.com (awesome website by the way!) and happened to come across a link to 12 fast food items that have a disgusting amount of ingredients.

Here’s a quick breakdown for you..

  1. Dunkin Donuts pumpkin pie donut — around 50 different ingredients (you may want to rethink your “sweet tooth” on this one!)
  2. Burger King french toast sticks — 82 different ingredients (think again when you’re craving a breakfast food, you’re better off making your own french toast!)
  3. McDonald’s filet-o-fish — 101 different ingredients (think you’re making the right choice by choosing fish? Think again…)
  4. Taco Bell’s Doritos loco taco — 72 different ingredients (if only they advertised all the ingredients on this new product in their commercials.. maybe it wouldn’t be so popular!)
  5. Subway Italian sub — 95 different ingredients (we might think that we’re making a healthy choice going with Subway.. I mean come on, Jared Fogle lost so much weight from eating sandwiches from here!)
  6. Starbucks birthday cake pop — 60 different ingredients (what a great present to give someone for their birthday… a cake pop filled with massive amounts of ingredients.. enjoy that for a birthday present why don’t ya!)
  7. McDonald’s chicken Caesar salad — 69 different ingredients (hmm… who knew a salad could have SO MANY ingredients?!)
  8. KFC pot pie — 208 different ingredients!! (but it’s not fried…)

So, you might want to think again when you go into a fast food restaurant! Even though something may be lower in calories or look like a healthier choice, look closer at the ingredients listed on a food product. Do your research. This is your body, your child’s body. We only get one body to live in. Why wouldn’t we feed it the nutrients it needs? Don’t give in to temptation and advertisements. Stick to simple, fresh, wholesome foods. We don’t need all of this “fake” food to survive.

no-fast-foodPhoto credit: robertdaylin.wordpress.com

If It’s March, It’s National Nutrition Month!

Happy National Nutrition Month! National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign is designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

This years theme, “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day,” encourages personalized healthy eating styles and recognizes that food preferences, lifestyle, cultural and ethnic traditions and health concerns all impact individual food choices. Registered dietitians play a critical role in helping people eat right, their way, every day.

It’s important to realize that eating your way can be possible when you pay attention to portion control, smart eating, and including all food groups into your diet when possible. Anything can be incorporated into your diet– the important thing to recognize is that moderation is key. You can still indulge in your favorite foods, but pay attention to the serving sizes you eat and how often you eat a particular food item. Also, pay close attention to the beverages you consume! One 20 oz. bottle of soda is equal to one hour of walking to burn it off! Stick to water as much as possible (it’s all we need to survive!) Don’t look into diets, look into LIFESTYLE changes! Feed your body what it deserves: a balance of nutrients that make you glow and feel healthy because nothing looks as good as healthy feels!! And never forget that moving your body with some sort of physical activity is needed in order to live a healthy lifestyle as well!

Promote and support nutrition awareness starting today, for the rest of the month, and for the rest of your life! Today is the day to make a change and stick to it for a lifetime. You deserve to be happy and full of energy through nutrition and fitness!

nnm

For more information: http://www.eatright.org/nnm/#.UTAUbze_CSo

Choose to Feed Disease or Fight It!

 

Every time you put something into your body think of where your food is coming from. You can either be fighting off disease or feeding it to become worse! NUTRITION is everything. Our moods, emotions, health, thinking, etc. all stem from the nutrients and food we put into our bodies! Remember to eat clean whenever you can! Make it a lifestyle change and you will feel so much better!!!

food

Summer eating Strategies

Simple strategies to stay healthy during the summer..

  • Eat Breakfast: eating breakfast has been shown to help minimize impulsive, unplanned snacking during the day. Examples:  Greek Yogurt, berries, and whole grain cereal. A whole wheat English Muffin, melted reduced fat cheese and a piece of fruit.
  • Include protein in your meals and snacks: Protein will have the most dramatic effect on satiety or that feeling of fullness.
  • Eat salad before your dinner: Consuming a large, high volume, low calorie salad before a meal can reduce the calories eaten at that meal by over 10-percent.
  • Add fruits or vegetables to all your meals: They will fill you up!
  • Add healthy fats to your meals and snacks: Fat slows the movement of food out of the stomach into the intestines so it will also prolong satiety.

For more information: http://www.necn.com/05/29/12/Summer-slim-down-strategies/landing_health.html?blockID=715824&feedID=4210

Fiber Sources

A high-fiber diet may help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Women should try to eat at least 21 to 25 grams of fiber a day, while men should aim for 30 to 38 grams a day. Looking for some high fiber foods? Here are some good sources..

  1. Nuts– 1/4 cup almonds has 4 grams of fiber
  2. Frozen peas
  3. Chia seeds– Full of soluble and insoluble fiber, 1 tbsp. has about 6 grams of fiber!
  4. Onions– Full of Inulin to help lower cholesterol
  5. Bulgur– 8 grams of fiber per cup
  6. Kiwis– 2 grams of fiber
  7. Apples– About 4 grams of fiber

For more information:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-fiber-foods/NU00582

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/29/high-fiber-foods_n_1543165.html#s=more228603

Foods for energy

Looking for a little more energy during the day? Well, the foods you’re eating may have an influence on how you are feeling! Try these foods for more energy:

  • Melons–such as cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon
  • Icelandic yogurt–also known as skyr
  • Polenta–Made from cornmeal; lots of complex carbs!
  • Farmers cheese–protein-rich foods can help you stay awake and alert
  • Walnuts– contain melatonin
  • Coffee– studies show that coffee can help reduce your risk of depression
  • Green tea–It’s rich in L-theanine, an amino acid that makes you feel alert
  • Crab– It’s packed with vitamin B12, which balances mood and fights fatigue
  • Brown rice– top source of magnesium and great source of complex carbs!
  • Edamame– fiber and healthy fat
  • Whole grain cereal and low fat milk
  • Lentils

For more information: http://www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/nutrition-101/foods-for-energy-00412000075711/page16.html

Eating Out & Staying Healthy

Remember.. balance is key! The first questions that should pop into your head when eating out should be, what have I already eaten today? Plan to select the menu items that will fill in your day’s eating plan.

For breakfast, make sure to consider some protein and good fat to keep you energized for the morning, and some fruit or vegetables if these are likely to get skipped later in the day. Some great ideas would be: eggs, whole wheat toast, peanut butter, oatmeal, low fat milk, high fiber cereals, or fruit.

For lunch, choose all-veggie, lean chicken breast, lean roast beef, or tuna salad. Ask for whole- grain bread, lettuce and tomato, and mustard or low fat dressing for the condiment. Choose broth-based instead of cream-based soups. Go for greens, oranges, reds, and purples in a salad! Add nuts or seeds, beans, lean poultry, and dressing on the side.

For dinner, watch your portions! Often, many restaurants serve dinner in way too big of portions. Be sure to take some home with you and eat slowly.

For dessert, save money and go home and eat something more healthy with less calories. Or if you really want the dessert that the restaurant is offering, share it with someone, unless you haven’t met all your daily nutrients for that day.

For more restaurant tips visit: http://www.coopfoodstore.coop/content/best-restaurant-choices Mary Saucier Choate, M.S., R.D., L.D