We have all heard about the new “MyPlate” encouraging Americans to eat more veggies. We need to cover half of our plate with little green gods and goddesses of the garden. Lets put our words into action by using these seven tips to get our plate in veggie shape, after all, it is National Nutrition Month. Start by incorporating one tip a day.
Add shredded carrots to your wraps.
Bust out the beets for salad toppers.
Use guacamole rather than cheese on sandwiches.
Grill (or broil) asparagus with a drizzle of olive oil and sea salt.
Shred brussel sprouts and make a roasted brussel sprout slaw.
By Katherine Kaczor, Nutrition Assistant and Intern
We all want to eat right, but no one can (or should) have a perfect diet. This perfectionist mentality limits our enjoyment of food and ultimately out of life. Perfectionism does not belong at the table. Follow these tips to have a healthier relationship with food.
Make foods morally neutral– Labeling foods “good” or “bad” gives them way more power than they deserve. Foods are meant to provide energy, nutrients, and enjoyment. Each food has its unique set of nutrients that can find its place in a healthy diet. Following a diet that restricts certain foods takes away from this enjoyment and can ultimately lead to feelings of deprivation and ultimately overindulgence.
Live in the present– Don’t put your life on hold while you attempt to meet your dietary goals. Start living today! The positive experiences you go through will help motivate you to make healthier choices.
Take a mindful approach- Take the time to truly savor your food. Experience all the flavors, textures, and aromas of the food. Listen to your body’s hunger signals and honor them. Try not to eat on the run or while distracted by television or reading material. This can inhibit your ability to enjoy the meal and reach a point of satiation and consequently, lead to over or under eating. Eating in a mindful manner will allow you to consume the appropriate number of calories and obtain the proper nutrients you need.
Don’t listen to critics– These days it seems like everyone wants to be the food police. Do not allow people in your life or the promotion of fad diets steer you away from a wholesome lifestyle. Just because Dr. Oz or your mother-in-law scrutinizes you for eating a bagel, do not allow them to upset you or perpetuate you into restriction or overeating. Everyone has his or her own nutrition needs. Talk to your RD about your individualized needs and stand up for yourself when critics arise.
Make SMART goals- Trying to change all of your eating and exercise habits at once is unrealistic and unsustainable. Accomplishing small goals over a period of time leads to greater success and helps ensure the changes become permanent. To make your goals smart, make sure they are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and provide a time frame for yourself. An example of a SMART goal would be: I will eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily for at least 4 days per week by the start of next month. Work with your RD to help find the SMARTest goals for you.
So it seems many schools have a suggested snack list. Moms keep asking what is appropriate for snack and how do you make a balanced snack choice. In honor of National Nutrition Month (Get Your Plate In Shape), here is my recommended snack list. You can modify if your school follows Kosher or Allergy Free guidelines. Happy Snacking!!
Suggested foods that are ideal for health and growth:
Organic and or local foods especially dairy and fruits; No added sugars are highly encouraged. Please try to buy products with sugar as the third ingredient or more, no preservatives and no artificial colors.
The children often enjoy participating in the shopping for their snack week. Let them help you choose snacks for the week. Try to purchase seedless varieties when possible especially for the 2’s and 3”s. Older children may be open to varied textures and more robust flavors.
Refer to Web MD’s To Buy or Not Buy, Organic: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/ss/slideshow-to-buy-or-not-to-buy-organic
Chemicals in our food: http://www.cspinet.org/reports/chemcuisine.htm
Please remember to bring enough snack for ___ children for the entire week.
Snacks: We recommend serving a healthy protein and or healthy fat (real cheese, hummus, edamame), and 1-2 carbohydrates, 1 whole grain (spelt pretzels, multi grain cheerios), and 1 fruit or vegetable equivalent (organic apples, clementines, carrots). There must always be a fruit or a veggie option on a daily basis.
Beverage: Water only.
Protein/Fats: Choose 1/day to serve
Real Cheese: Mozzarella, Cheddar (the sticks tend to be very popular)
Hard boiled eggs,
Greek yogurts (Oikos), Yogurt Squeeze (Stonyfield or Horizon, no Danimals)
Soy Butter, Sunflower Butter (class specific)
Carbohydrates: Whole Grains: Choose 0 -1/day to serve
The oats found in oatmeal are a rich source of beta-glucans which provide a source of dietary fiber to the body. The beta-glucans found in oats and other grains such as barley and rye contain soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and can also regulate blood glucose levels due to the way it is digested in the body. The insoluble fiber helps keep your bowel movements regular! Beta-glucans have also been claimed to boost immunity.
5 Tips for Getting the Grains:
Add oats to a cookie or muffin recipe.
Include barely in soups and stews.
Swap sprouted barely bread for other sandwich breads.
Hide oats in your turkey meatloaf.
Start your day with hot oat bran cereal and slivered almonds.
Recipes to Rave About:
American Heart Association’s Oat Recipes – http://bit.ly/y8KOq9
Heart Healthy Living has a list of 21 oat and oatmeal recipes so you can have a nutritious breakfast that never gets boring. (Oatmeal also makes a great snack!)
You need to love yourself, in order to take care of yourself. On this Valentine’s Day, learn to how to keep your heart healthy. Get you cholesterol and coconut questions answered!
By Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE
Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services
Q) Does eating cholesterol really impact cholesterol level?
We have know for years that saturated fat is the true culprit to raising LDL production by our body. One should decrease their saturated fat intake to decrease their LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein- aka bad cholesterol). Many people have misunderstood this for years. The focus should not be on a cholesterol free product such as palm oil but rather a lower saturated fat and higher monounsaturated fat like almonds. Decreasing dietary cholesterol intake lowers your LDL about 3-5% where as decreasing your saturated fat intake decreases your LDL by 8-10% as reported by the National Cholesterol Education Program.
Q) Will this depend on other nutrients that the food contains? If it’s not, what does impact cholesterol levels then?
Yes, levels of saturated fat, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, exercise, stress and genetics all effect our cholesterol levels. A favorable fat profile of a food should look like this >Monounsaturated fats> Polyunsaturated Fats> Saturated Fats (need more research as to which saturated fats may be more beneficial).
Q) What about coconut oil and is it true it may help you to lose weight?
The American Dietetic Association does not recommend consuming tropical oils such as Coconut oil. According to the Natural Medicines Database, ”there is insufficient evidence to rate the effectiveness of coconut oil for weight loss, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, chronic fatigue, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome and thyroid conditions.”
Q) From the types of saturated fats such as stearic acid, lauric acid, etc, are there any with health benefits?
OMGoodness there are so many mixed messages about heart health. Read on tho make sense of sugar and saturated fat as it pertains to our heart health. Lets prevent Cardiovascular Disease (aka CVD).
Q) There are experts who are now saying that the evidence between saturated fat and CVD may have been biased because research didn’t take into account the sugar content of the diet. Is sugar the real culprit?
Added sugar is associated with increased TG levels and increased LDL cholesterol (hyperlipidemia being a risk factor for CVD). However, there is an inverse relationship with increased intake of healthier carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, meaning the more you eat these foods, the less likely you are to increase your risk for CVD. Saturated fat remains a part of the picture. Now the question is which type of SFA may be more closely associated with the increased cholesterol-raising effect of cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors. More research is needed to clarify. Most importantly focus on including fruits, veggies and whole grains and limit added sugars.
Q) What is the role of saturated fat in CVD risk?
Saturated fat is associated with CVD. Studies show an increase in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol after eating a meal high in saturated fat. However, recent studies are examining the different roles of the specific types of saturated fats: Short chain, medium chain and long chain SFA. This means continue to minimize your intake of saturated fat like the visual lard on a steak until more research is available. A simple guide: choose products with < 2 grams/ saturated fat per serving. Rather focus on including monounsaturated fats like olives and avocado.
Q) There are studies that show total blood cholesterol is not a reliable indicator of CVD. If it’s not, what are the indicators then?
Total Cholesterol is not a biomarker of CVD rather one’s ratio of Total Cholesterol to HDL ratio. HDL also known as high density lipoprotein is the good cholesterol (h for helper) and LDL, low density lipoprotein (l for want less of) the bad cholesterol. The greater your HDL and the lower your LDL, the more favorable your cholesterol profile will be and the decreased chance of cardiovascular disease. Studies indicate a Low HDL, High LDL and High TG are associated with risk for CVD. You must ask the doctor for your cholesterol breakdown and the ratio with a goal < 5. Always ask for a copy of your blood work.
Q) If a higher sugar intake may be dangerous, why aren’t triglycerides (blood levels) more important when assessing the risk of CVD, since this marker has a good correlation with simple carbohydrates intake?
TG’s are a good indicator of risk for CVD and it should be included in the lipid profile to assess for CVD risk. However, the ATP III report issued by the NIH, encourages using TG’s as a marker for other lipid and nonlipid risk factors that ultimately raise the risk for CVD. Ask Your medical doctor for your TG level and aim for < 150 mg/dl.
Check back for Happy Heart Health Month Part 2 or like Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services on Facebook to get weekly nutrition updates.
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Laura’s Take on the Let’s Move! Campaign. Listen to Laura talk with Rita Cosby on wor710.com on 2/1/2012 or via podcast.
As a leader Michelle Obama is in a unique and powerful position to empower Americans to live healthier lives. She can influence food companies to provide less processed, higher quality foods to schools and to our supermarket shelves. She can raise the energy and spirit of health by advocating for health awareness and encouraging physical activity. Her celebrity status can help bring the USDA’s “MyPlate” to more families’ tables. She can help spread the message to fill your plate with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low fat dairy. Thankfully, Michelle Obama also stresses moderation and admits to eating her burgers and fries.
Let’s Move! is taking information that is already out there and bringing a greater awareness on how to access such health education. Many of the materials and guidelines are those developed by the USDA.
Michelle Obama has companies like Goya and California Fresh Work Funds trying to help initiative change.
Is this the right campaign?
At the end of the day, bringing awareness to health promotion and disease prevention needs to be the ultimate goal of someone like Michelle Obama. However, rather than fight obesity, the campaign may want to rephrase their negative spin and create a new positive tone to Let’s Move!
How about let’s move more, let’s move towards eating real wholesome foods and let’s move towards eating less processed food. Let’s move to building self esteem!!!
Can one person create change?
Yes, Jaime Oliver’s Food Revolution and The Biggest Loser are just two examples of how change happens. Even, the presidential chef is making change. In the Washington Post today, the presidential chef Cristeta Comerford reports losing 15 pounds and eating healthier with her own home garden. She was influenced by her boss, Michelle Obama!! That’s right, the White House has their own garden and serves seasonal garden veggies to their guests. Comerford now has her own garden too.
What can you do to make a difference? Can you change your language about health or perhaps just add a half cup of veggies to your dinner plate?
Tropical berries such as gogi berries, acai berries, and more have been bombarding the food industry and the media. These products claim almost magical health benefits including a more youthful feeling, lowered cholesterol, and weight loss. But are these products really all their manufacturers claim?
For centuries, the Asian population has included Gogi Berries as part of their diets in hopes of longer lives and to reduce aliments. This is due in large part to their high antioxidant content. Antioxidants may slow the aging process by minimizing damage from free radicals that injure cells and damage. By doing so, antioxidants help reduce the risk of disease and possibly aging. A research article from The Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, found that subjects who drank gogi juice daily for a 15 day period reported significantly higher energy levels, athletic performance, quality of sleep, ease of awakening, ability to focus on activities, mental acuity, calmness, and feelings of health, contentment, and happiness compared to the control group.
More popular than the gogi berry are the acai berries. These berries are also packed with antioxidants and are also good sources of fiber and monounsaturated fats (the good fats!). A pilot study published in a 2011 edition of The Nutrition Journal, found that in patients suffering for metabolic syndrome, supplementation of acai berry led to improved cholesterol as well as better fasting glucose and insulin levels. Other students have found that use of acai berries can reduce inflammation.
So, are you all set to run out and buy a bottle of juice or a box of supplements?
Not so fast.
While it is true that added these foods into your diet may have some health benefits, there is little research to indicate that these benefits are above and beyond those one would find from “non-exotic” products.
All berries are wonderful sources of antioxidants, fiber, and other nutrients. There is little evidence to show that gogi and other berries are better sources—only that they are significantly more expensive. There is no reason to spend $40 when you could simply add local blueberries or raspberries to your diet. Also, eating whole foods rather than swallowing supplements is the recommended way to get your macro and micronutrients.
So, these “super berries” are just as super as your raspberries and blueberries. To have a lifestyle of health and longevity, fill your plate with fruits and vegetables daily. They don’t have to be from an exotic location, rather it is preferred if they were from your backyard or a local farm!!
Photo provided by Ambro: <p><a href=”http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1499″>Image: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net</a></p>
The Hollywood image that’s plastered everywhere—online, on TV, in magazines– is simply not realistic and can be harmful. Yet, it’s what some women and men strive for. They may see how skinny Demi Moore or LeAnn Rimes have gotten and think this is the ideal. I want to remind everyone that most people do not have such bodies naturally! Most people do not have the time or money to focus on their bodies the way the Hollywood stars do. Most people can’t afford a full staff of a dietitian, a trainer, an esthetician, a chef, and a dermatologist…. Plus, celebrities are getting paid A LOT of money to look this way and if they don’t meet the criteria there is always editing and airbrushing to attain the super skinny, youthful look. To meet the Hollywood ideal, most men and women need to restrict their intake to a caloric level that is equivalent with that of an eating disorder. Most stars don’t acknowledge that they have an issue, although Victoria’s Secret model Adriana Lima openly admitted recently that she simply stopped eating solid food 12 whole days before the Angel runway show!
Remember, beauty is from the inside and shines when one is confident from their inner core. There is a great new web site promoting a new definition of beauty – check it out at www.BeautyRedefiend.net/.