Protein, Fiber and a Booty Barre Class? Sign me up!

Two weeks ago, along with Tracey Mallett, founder of The Booty Barre, Kashi held a protein and fiber-packed media event to launch a new GOLEAN cereal that launches in June. The two-hour event included samples of Kashi’s newest addition, Vanilla Graham Clusters, and a “kick your booty” workout that Tracey led. She also discussed the importance of the protein and fiber found in Kashi cereals as well as how important it is to incorporate physical activity into any health-improvement plan.

What is The Booty Barre?

If you’re into fitness trends, and from the West coast, you’ve probably heard about The Booty Barre. But for those of you who don’t know about it—The Booty Barre is a high-energy workout combining Pilates, dance and yoga—all accompanied by upbeat, get-your-blood-pumping music. And let me tell you, once the music started, Tracey’s workout was no joke. It worked the “booty” and much more! New Yorkers, think “Physique 57” and Pilates combined.

We started with a warm-up at the barre including some combinations and several repetitions of toe raises and pliés. Then we progressed on to all kinds of different body movements in addition to “booty” shaking—curtsies, stretching, arm and ab exercises, plus routines focusing specifically on the gluteus (buttocks). At the end, we each received our own copy of the workout. While a barre is helpful, one can easily use a sturdy chair for balance when following the DVD at home or on the go. Tracey also suggested that the kitchen counter will do too. Just so you know, we (Laura C. and Laura I.) were sore 48 hours after!!

Protein and Fiber-Packed Aftermath

After the workout, we had the chance to create our own parfaits beginning with sample bowls of Kashi GoLean Vanilla Graham Clusters. Combined with fresh raspberries and bananas, Kashi’s new cereal provided us with a delicious way to refuel. It also gave us a great opportunity to meet other bloggers and media representatives. We even got to speak with Tracey and the ladies representing Kashi—an amazing group of women!

This new GOLEAN cereal contains 11g protein, 9g fiber and 30g carbohydrates per one-cup serving.The first ingredient on the label is soy grits. Hum, do you know about this seemingly new ingredient? Soy grits—soybeans that have been toasted and broken into fine pieces. They are a popular high-protein and fiber, low-carb alternative to yellow and white (hominy) corn grits. You can enjoy these Vanilla Graham Clusters alone as part of a midday snack or decide to incorporate them in creative ways such as adding them to your granola bar ingredient list or simply sprinkling them on top of Greek yogurt. Click the link here for more information on other varieties and ways to use Kashi’s Cereals.

This protein and fiber-oriented media event was awesome to attend! Yet again, this type of experience drives home some of the most basic principles of nutrition education—healthy lifestyles begin with the consumption of balanced meals which include wholesome carbs high in fiber and adequate lean protein combined with consistent participation in movements/physical activities that you love, are practical and motivating. Being a certified diabetes educator, I am always seeking cereals that make people feel full and help rather than hurt blood sugar management. Kashi GOLEANn has always and now continues to fit the bill! Thanks Kashi!

 

My Exercise Allergy

By Guest Blogger, Rebecca Weiss.

I used to joke and tell people I was allergic to exercise. It did seem that every time we were supposed to run around the track or play dodge ball in middle school I’d start to feel a bit unwell. Those Presidential Physical Fitness contests? I regularly threw up on those days. I think the main reason I hated exercise was that I couldn’t stand the sensation of being out of breath. It panicked me, and make me worry that I’d never catch my breath. It even led to some pretty serious anxiety issues as an adult. So, for the most part, when I ran as a kid, I would stop as soon as I wasn’t breathing normally. And, as a result, I never took to exercise. I did enjoy playing basketball in high school, but never really exerted myself because I hated the feel of my face getting red and my feet hitting the gym floor so heavily. I didn’t want to sweat in front of my classmates. I was too self-conscious to lose myself in the game.

And so, as an adult trying to improve my health and fitness level, I had to start from scratch. Now, people will tell you that all you have to do is walk a bit every day. And, certainly walking can be great exercise. But, I could walk so that I wasn’t burning any calories. My office is about a mile from Penn Station, with no good subway options, and I dreaded the walk every workday. I would adopt a slow pace, talk on my cell phone, take elevators or escalators when available—it wasn’t doing much for me. We all know that for exercise to have an impact you have to get your heart rate up. And, guess what, doing that might change your breathing or cause you to sweat. I did not want that.

One of my greatest role models for exercise was my paternal grandfather who, according to family lore, rode a stationary bike every day until his death at 92. So, at the age of 40, I bought a recumbent exercise bike. No one at the Sports Authority was any help, so I just picked the bike that felt the most comfortable in the store and wasn’t too expensive. Some people came to the house to set it up, and I was on my own. There were pre-set work out programs, a heart-rate checker, calorie counter and more, but I couldn’t figure out how to get my feet in the straps.

The first night I rode the bike for 10 minutes and thought I had made a terrible mistake. I had the tension set at level three (out of 10) and felt like my legs would fall off the entire time. My muscles were burning and I sensed that uncomfortable out-of-breath feeling creeping in. I hated hearing myself huffing and puffing for air. But, I told myself I had to keep trying to see if it got easier. And it did.

After about three weeks, I could ride at that same tension level for 20 minutes without feeling like I was going to die. I actually started to enjoy the feeling of sweat rolling down my face—it felt like I was accomplishing something. I settled into a routine of riding the bike for 30 minutes a night after my kids went to bed, while I watched all the trashy TV shows I could record on the DVR. The Real Housewives. The Soup. Say Yes to the Dress. Yes please! The best was Dancing with the Stars, as I found the music drove me to peddle faster.

After six months I was up to 35 minutes on some of the harder workout programs. I got used to the out-of-breath feeling, sometimes even embraced it. Look what my body can do! I can push myself to the point of discomfort and come out stronger. I don’t feel allergic anymore.

That time on the bike became “Me time.” I started to look forward to it. Even though the workouts were challenging, I craved them. I found that I was also pushing myself more on my walks to and from the office. Using the DWTS model, I listened to fast-paced music to inspire myself to walk faster. With my headphones on, I couldn’t hear myself huffing and puffing as my exertion increased. Using a pedometer helped me keep track of my distance and time, and showed me what a difference taking the stairs can make.

My dietician asked me recently if I think I will stick with this new routine, if it will be part of my life moving forward. I am almost positive that it will be. The truth is, I feel so much better now. I can run to catch my train without feeling that I’m over exerting myself. I have visible muscles in my thighs and calves that look great in skirts. I feel so amazing when I get off that bike each night—I don’t want to give that up.

I hope it means I’ll live to be 92 (or more), but for now it’s enough of a reward to see myself as someone who exercises regularly, and to have overcome fears that have slowed me down—literally—most of my life.

About Rebecca: 

Rebecca Weiss is a writer, mom of two, and director of communications for a New York City auction house. In 2012 she started a fitness and wellness journey. She is a monthly contributor to Mom Dishes It Out.

Power Up with Phytochemicals!

We’ve learned that eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables can be beneficial to our health. These foods are packed with essential vitamins, minerals and fiber; they are low in sodium and fat. But what is another great benefit we can get from eating more plant foods? The answer: Phytochemicals!

Just what are phytochemicals?

Phytochemicals (phyto means “plant” in Greek) are chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants; they contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties which can benefit our health or help prevent disease. For example, beta-carotene has been shown to promote good eyesight.

How do phytochemicals work?

The antioxidant properties of phytochemicals can help moderate cell damage done by free radicals. When the body uses oxygen, free radicals are produced. Over time, accumulating free radicals can lead to cell damage, cancer or heart disease. Damage in the body occurs when an unstable free radical starts pulling off an electron from other molecules in the body. Antioxidants work by readily giving an electron to these free radicals, ultimately helping to prevent cell and tissue damage.

The Takeaway: Eat Your Fruits & Veggies!

While phytochemicals are beneficial to our health, they are not essential to the body; therefore, no specific amount of intake is recommended for them. Note that a few do have identifiable side effects. Carotenoids, for instance, can tint the skin orange if eaten in huge amounts. Generally, it’s very difficult to overdose on phytochemicals unless they are taken in massive quantities in the form of supplements.

The best way to be sure that you’re reaping the benefits of these compounds is to try to eat fruits and vegetables in a variety of different colors. Because phytochemicals are also responsible for the vivid pigments found in fruits and vegetables, plants of similar colors typically contain the same phytonutrients. That’s why it’s particularly important to eat a colorful assortment of plant foods.

 

Phytochemical Color Guide

Blue/Purple: Flavonols and reservatrol are the big phytochemicals found in blue and purple fruits and vegetables. They support heart health, improve memory function and also are associated with a reduced risk of cancer. Examples: eggplants, prunes, plums, blueberries, figs and black currants.

Green: Some antioxidants found in green fruits are lutein, flavones and flavanones. Examples: broccoli, green beans, Bartlett pears, kiwis, green apples (with skin on), limes, avocadoes, celery, cucumbers and okra.

Orange/Yellow: These foods contain beta-carotene, flavonols and flavones which support good eyesight and promote anticancer activity, heart health and providing anti-inflammatory properties. Examples: carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, oranges, papayas, pumpkins and winter squash.

Red: Red foods contain lycopene—an antioxidant associated with reducing cancer activity, promoting heart health and providing anti-inflammatory properties. Examples: cranberries, tomatoes, red apples (with skin on), cherries, watermelons, strawberries, pomegranates and raspberries.

 

Love Your Heart with 8 Heart-Healthy Foods

February isn’t just the month of flowers, chocolates or spending time with the ones you love..but as heart health month, it’s also about loving your heart! Heart disease remains one of the leading causes of death for both men and women1. Lifestyle choices play a major role in preventing heart disease as well as controlling it. With this in mind, it’s never too early to start focusing on overall heart health. Show your heart how much you appreciate it by incorporating these heart healthy foods!

Berries – Please your heart with antioxidant rich berries like strawberries, goji berries and blackberries, which are an antioxidant powerhouse! Blueberries for example, house high amounts of phytonutrients like anthocyanidins, which aid in the process of neutralizing free radical damage in our cells. Consuming 1-2 portions of berries daily may help reduce cardiovascular disease risk2.

Brussel Sprouts – Tender, crunchy and just a little bit nutty, brussel sprouts have more to offer than just flavor. This cruciferous veggie contains vitamin C and vitamin A which help fight against heart disease, and vitamin Its high fiber content aids in digestion, helps lower cholesterol and reduces the risk for developing heart disease, stroke and hypertension3.

Chia Seeds – Chia seeds contain a high level of soluble fiber, which helps slow down digestion and regulates blood sugar levels. Soluble fiber can help lower LDL cholesterol, reduce risk for cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Just three tablespoons of these seeds can provide 37-44% of the American Heart Association’s recommended amount of fiber per day. Two tablespoons of chia seeds provide a 3:1 ratio of omega-3:omega-6 FA. With 3x more omega-3 than omega-6, adding chia seeds to a diet can help an individual reach optimal health by balancing out the ratio of fatty-acid intake in one’s daily nutrition. To learn more about chia seeds, click here.

Collard Greens – This cruciferous veggie is high in vitamins A,C, K and folate. It contains antioxidants and provides us with anti-inflammatory benefits.

Greek Yogurt – Low in saturated fat and cholesterol, Greek yogurt makes for a heart-healthy snack. It’s high in protein and calcium, which can help you stay fuller longer, while strengthening your bones.

Olives – Monounsaturated fats in moderation are heart-healthy fats that help lower blood cholesterol levels4. A rich source of monounsaturated fats is olives, which have been shown to lower LDL (“bad cholesterol”) and increase or maintain HDL (“good cholesterol”).

Salmon – High in omega-3 fatty acid, DHA and protein, salmon helps lower blood pressure and reduces inflammation5.

Wheat germ – Packed with B vitamins, the nutrients found in the grain play a vital role in maintaining heart-healthy bodily functions. In addition to lowering the risk of heart disease, B vitamins like folate are especially for women of childbearing age as well as any woman eating too little veggies or fruits. As an excellent source of fiber, wheat germ helps control cholesterol.

The Carbs & Cals & Fat & Fiber Counter Giveaway

The Carbs & Cals & Fat & Fiber Counter is suitable for diet, Type 1 & Type 2 diabetes management. With photos of food and drink items and carbohydrates, calorie, fat and fiber values displayed above each image, readers can use this book as a tool to help guide them in carbohydrate counting and learning portion control. What’s awesome is the 30-page preview of this book offered on their website… which you can check to see if this would be a tool that could work with you and your lifestyle.

One lucky reader will receive a copy of The Carbs & Cals & Fat & Fiber Counter. To enter, comment below and tweet about diabetes @MomDishesItOut by Friday, February 22, 2013!

The Feast on Fat Tuesday for those Who Don’t Cook

Eat like the French

Mardi Gras is french for Fat Tuesday so eat like the French in the book French Women Don’t Get Fat. Eat and enjoy a small amount.

No Fast so No Feast

Instead bring your Tupperware and Beads to the dinner party. Pack about half of your oversized portion and eat the other half on WEDNESDAY!

Focus on Friends not Food

Create Club Mardi Gras – celebrate with a dance party. Have friends wear masks, bring beads, and dance in celebration.

Secure a snack

Before leaving work make sure you are not starving, eat a snack to prevent overeating at the party. Try a eating a carbohydrate and a protein together such as low fat Greek yogurt with a handful of berries to balance your blood sugar pre -party.

Cap it at a Cup

Don’t miss the creole just serve yourself a cup full of the lobster bisque or broccoli hollandaise.

Navigating French Creole Fare:

Forgo the fried eggplant and forge forward with shrimp remoulade.

Choose the red remoulade as the white is mayonnaise based.

Choose the avocado and crabmeat salad.

Get the girlled Possion Provença.

Save room for dessert, just eat a few small bites like the French do.

4 Smart Superbowl Swaps

After the holiday madness, most of us made a resolution to start the new year on a healthy note.  We are only one month in and with Super Bowl weekend quickly approaching, many of us will be thrown off track by the endless buffets of fried foods, chips and dips.  You don’t have to deprive yourself during the big game, just make sure to practice intuitive eating and consume foods in moderation. Pay attention to portions, and always stock up on proteins and fresh fruits and veggies since they will help keep you satisfied longer!  If you are hosting the party or looking for something to bring, why not try a few of these healthy alternatives to traditional Super Bowl Sunday favorites that everyone will love and will not have you missing the extra fat and calories!

Broiled Buffalo Wings

INGREDIENTS
Serves 10

2 pounds chicken wings, split at the joint 
(~20 wings)

1/4 cup of your favorite hot sauce

Dash of cayenne pepper

1 clove garlic

METHOD

Place wings into a large pot and fill the pot with cold water to cover the wings by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, and boil for 10 minutes. While chicken is boiling heat your broiler to HIGH. When done, drain and place chicken wings on rimmed cookie sheet. Broil 6 inches from element or flame for 5 to 6 minutes per side. The skin should blister and brown. You will notice that the skin appears to be crispy. While chicken is in the oven, combine hot sauce, cayenne pepper, and garlic in small bowl.  Set aside. Put chicken wings into bowl or dish and toss with hot sauce to evenly coat.

Serving Size: 5 wings, 240 calories, 12 g fat, 4 g carbohydrates, 27 g protein, 1 g fiber

Broccoli and Cheese Twice Baked Potatoes

INGREDIENTS
Serves 8 

8 large baking potatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

3/4 pound broccoli florets (approx 5 cups)

1 large onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups grated low-fat Cheddar

1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt

1/4 cup skim milk

Salt and pepper

 Preheat oven to 375°F. Rub potatoes with 1 Tbsp. oil; pierce with a knife. Bake until tender, 1 hour and 30 minutes. Steam broccoli until tender, 5 minutes. Drain; rinse. Pat dry and roughly chop. In a skillet over low heat, warm 1 Tbsp. oil. Sauté onion until soft, 10 minutes. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Let potatoes rest until cool enough to handle. Set oven to 350°F. Cut top 1/4 inch off potato. Scoop out flesh. Mash potato flesh. Mix with remaining ingredients. Fill potato shells with mixture; bake 30 minutes.

368 calories, 6.0g fat, 10.4g fiber, 64.4g carbohydrates, 16.4g protein

Chili Lime Tortilla Chips

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

12 6-inch corn tortillas

Canola oil cooking spray

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

METHOD 

Position oven racks in the middle and lower third of oven; preheat to 375°F. Coat both sides of each tortilla with cooking spray and cut into quarters.
3. Place tortilla wedges in an even layer on 2 large baking sheets. Combine lime juice and chili powder in a small bowl. Brush the mixture on each tortilla wedge and sprinkle with salt. Bake the tortillas, switching the baking sheets halfway through, until golden and crisp, 15 to 20 minutes.

90 calories, 1.0g fat, 17.0 g carbohydrates, 3.0g fiber, 2.0 g protein

Cucumber Salsa

Serves 8

 INGREDIENTS

2 cups finely chopped seeded peeled cucumber

1/2 cup finely chopped seeded tomato

1/4 cup chopped red onion

2 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley

1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and chopped

4-1/2 teaspoon minced fresh cilantro

1 garlic clove, minced or pressed

1/4 cup 0% nonfat Greek yogurt

1-1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1-1/2 teaspoon lime juice

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt

METHOD

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and serve with toasted pita wedges or tortilla chips.

12 calories, 0.1g fat, 1.8g carbohydrates, 1.0g protein

 

What a Difference a Title Makes!

The titles “Registered Dietitian” and “Nutritionist” are used almost interchangeably, but the terms are far from synonymous.

A Registered Dietitian is a credentialed health professional. The title is earned after completing a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition and Dietetics followed by a postgraduate didactic internship at an accredited hospital or university. Only after completing these programs can one sit for the Registered Dietitian Examination (RDE). Upon passing the RDE, an individual finally earns the title of Registered Dietitian (RD).

Unlike RDs who are required to fulfill rigorous academic and internship requirements, nutritionists are neither registered nor certified. What does this mean? Just about anyone with an interest in food and diet may adopt the title. The dangers to anyone seeking truly reliable nutritional guidance from a nutritionist should be quite obvious. There can be critical lapses in knowledge about a wide variety of diet-drug interactions that one should (must) avoid. These possibly serious interactions include eating foods such as aged cheeses and red wine while taking certain commonly prescribed antidepressants.

Registered Dietitians receive formal training on the effects of diet on disease, can intelligently communicate with their clients’ physicians, and request the appropriate tests and studies. For instance, when a client reports that his or her doctor’s diagnosis is anemia, an RD knows this is an indiscriminate diagnosis. Most people assume that iron is taken to treat anemia; however, the RD knows this may not be true. Rather, some types of anemia may benefit from B12 or folate supplementation. The ability to make an educated assessment is the result of the RD’s schooling as well as hands-on clinical experience in a medical facility. A nutritionist without this training could, for example, recommend servings of soy milk to someone with kidney failure—a potentially harmful combination that could result in an elevated phosphorus level and a decreased level of consciousness.

When in need of food and diet advice, do yourself a very important favor—make sure that you seek recommendations from a Registered Dietitian. The American Dietetic Association (www.eatright.org or 800-877 1600) can provide you with a list of Registered Dietitians in your area that are qualified to make appropriate diet recommendations or perform nutrient or recipe analyses. 

6 Nutrition Trends of 2013

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia

These seeds are gaining even more popularity and are being called the “new flax seed”.  You can even find them in single serving pouches like you can nuts, etc. to make them easier to add to your meals and snacks.

Natural sugar “alternatives.”

Coconut sugar and coconut nectar are leading this battle. Coconut sugar comes from the nectar of coconut tree blossoms, but doesn’t taste like coconut. The sugar is simply the dehydrated form of coconut nectar. It may have slightly more vitamins and minerals (magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron and B vitamins) than white sugar.

Self Monitoring

Once again, fitness apps will influence consumers to utilize technology for tracking progress, motivation and guidance. Apps such as Nike Fuel and LarkLife are becoming vital parts of health and wellness for all ages as they offer not only personal fitness tracking but calorie counting and menu ideas as well.

Gluten-Free Foods

With over 11% of the US population suffers from a gluten allergy, becoming even more popular and common are gluten-free food products. Based on a survey from over 1,800 members of the American Culinary Foundation, the National Restaurant Association predicts annual menu trends, with gluten-free securing the same spot as in did in 2012, at number 8 on the list. Perhaps gluten free is not a fad but here to stay. Sorghum is a gluten-free whole grain with a neutral, slightly sweet flavor. It’s extremely versatile; it is expected to be in many products and on many restaurant menus in 2013. Experiment with naturally gluten-free grains like amaranth, brown rice, millet, oats, polenta, and quinoa, which have a variety of nutritional benefits and are delicious!

Juicing

With $5 billion in revenue this year and projected growth of four to eight percent, healthful, all-natural and raw fruit and vegetable juices (Organic Avenue, Cooler Cleanse, even Jamba Juice) will explode into the isles of mass supermarkets to offer customers the option of purchasing fresh pressed juices. Small shops are popping up everywhere, like Organic Avenue and Cooler Cleanse, specializing in fresh pressed juices.

A Simpler Life

School. Work. Family. Kids. Dating. Fitting in physical activity. When life gets busy, simple meals are a must. As consumers become more health conscious and saavy shoppers, companies are producing less processed and more wholesome ready-to-go foods. Grab and go items will have fewer ingredients to appeal to consumers, providing more fresh and simplistic meal and snack options. Natural and simple menus with few ingredients are going to gain in popularity as consumers are starting to realize that strict low carb and low fat diets are not always best.  Choosing high-quality calories and carbohydrates with more nutrition per bite, will be most important for achieving a healthy lifestyle. It’s not just about total calories, it’s about where those calories come from.

Hangover Remedies

You’ve partied all night, the sun’s up and you’re now feeling the repercussions of the dreaded hangover: a pounding headache, dizziness, nausea and dehydration. When it comes to hangovers, everyone seems to have their own remedy. From a piece of toast or a burger to “slow down alcohol absorption,” to sipping on a Bloody Mary cocktail, in terms of curing a hangover there aren’t actually any cures.  There are however, ways to prevent or alleviate a hangover. If your New Years celebrations involved one too many cocktails, wine or beers, here are some old-time remedies to ease the symptoms.

Rehydrate With Water – It’s nothing new, but rehydrating with water should be a top priority. Alcohol is a diuretic and can dehydrate your body…a major cause of the pounding headaches, dizziness and lightheaded feeling. Be sure that for every drink you have, replenish the body with a 1:1 ratio of alcohol to before dozing off to bed.

Pass On the Cup of Joe – Coffee can wake you up, but it like alcohol is also a diuretic. Drinking more diuretics can lead to further dehydration.

Potassium – When you lose body fluid, you also lose electrolytes and potassium. Replace loss electrolytes with a sports drink or whole fruit, like banana, which can also help raise your blood sugar levels if they’re down.

Ginger – Known to prevent symptoms of motion sickness, enjoy this natural herb in a tea or drink ginger ale to alleviate symptoms of nausea and dizziness.

Peppermint – The medicinal property of this natural herb can be effective in the treatment of tension or headaches.

So, what’s the best way to prevent a hangover? Enjoy alcohol in moderation and in appropriate portions. Here’s an idea of what one drink looks like: