Fat Is the New FAD—Product Review:

Fat Is the New FAD—Product Review: “Be Bright” Non-GMO Superfood Oil Blend
By Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

Screen shot 2014-12-28 at 8.49.31 AM

While all foods are super foods in their own right, Coromega has created a unique blend of this past year’s favorite fats. Chia, coconut, avocado, hemp, and black cumin fatty acids are now available in an all-in-one delicious oil.

 

Pros: Easy way to get your kids’ and your bodies the fatty acids we need; Formulated to be taken straight on a spoon or added to a smoothie; GMO free; Great for tropical and Asian flavoring.

 

Pros/Cons: Must be refrigerated and not a cooking oil; however, can be added as a salad dressing or grain topper; Has sugar but for a legit reason—a hint of non-GMO cane sugar is added to bring out the product’s delightful coconut-cream-meets-piña-colada flavor!

 

In addition, Coromega’s use of sugar promotes the microbiology stability of the product: It is used to bind free water in the formulation to prevent pathogen growth (which requires water). They chose not to use sweeteners, like xylitol, because they wanted Be Bright to be formulated with natural ingredients and believe pure cane sugar is the best option. The sugar is used at a very low absolute level, only 3 grams per serving.  When compared with an energy bar at 14–25g or a can of Coke at 38g, that’s a really small amount!1

 

Put the oil to your taste test with this Asian Soba Noodle recipe!

Make this for dinner or take for lunch the next day. To make this dish a complete meal, add chicken or tofu for protein. 

Be Bright Soba Noodles 

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • 3T honey
  • 1/2t salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1t ginger, minced
  • 2t be bright oil blend
  • 2T coconut oil
  • 2 zucchinis, diced
  • 8oz soba noodles or whole-wheat spaghetti
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chopped basil
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro

 

Directions: 

1. Prepare dressing and set aside: in a small saucepan, warm the vinegar, sugar, and salt. Add the garlic and ginger. Turn off the heat source, and let cool about 5 mins. Add the Be Bright oil blend, lime juice, and zest. Stir and set aside until the noodles and vegetables are ready to be dressed.

2. Cook the soba noodles as directed on the package. Drain and rinse with cold water.

3. Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil in a medium saucepan on medium to high heat and sauté the zucchini until tender.

4. In a large mixing bowl, toss the noodles with the dressing, zucchini, herbs, and onions. Option: Add tofu or chicken and mix. Chill for one hour and enjoy.

 

____________

1. As told by the PR company of Coromega Be Bright Oil.

EALM Product Review: Garden Lites Muffins

EALM Product Review:

Garden Lites Carrot Berry Muffins

These muffins are so tasty, even my picky eater approves of them!

Photo Courtesy of Garden Lites
Photo Courtesy of Garden Lites

With the most delicious taste accented by blueberries, everyone will love these adorable little muffins. The first ingredient is carrots so that is an obvious thumbs up. The second is egg whites so another thumbs up. And the third, a gluten free flour blend that contains brown rice, and flaxseed meal. Screen shot 2014-12-15 at 2.00.46 PMThis is a great snack option for kids. Especially those who need to consume more veggies. Plus, they’re allergy-friendly and make a great snack for parents!

5 Tips for Welcoming Herbivores to the Holiday Feast

Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver via Compfight cc

From vegetarians to vegans and pescatarians to gluten allergies, throwing a holiday feast can be quite challenging. If you are planning to host a dinner party this holiday season, rest assured, entertaining guests with multiple food sensitivities does not mean you need to toss out traditional or favorite Holiday foods. With a few modifications, many foods can be easily modified.  What should you do when welcoming herbivores to your holiday feast? We’re dishing out 5 tips you need to do and know before you start cooking this holiday season.

1. Confirm Your Guests’ Dietary Restrictions – First things first, before you start purchasing any ingredients find our what type of food preferences your guests have and if they have any allergies. Keep in mind that not everyone has the same food preferences. Some people will eat dairy but not eggs and vice versa. Knowing your guests’ food styles won’t just help you plan out what dishes you can serve, but it will ensure there is something at the table for everyone.

2. Always Serve A Main Vegetarian Dish – If you pass on confirming your guests’ dietary preferences, steer on the safe side by preparing a main vegetarian dish. This way, anyone who passes up the turkey or other main meat dish will still have something just as delicious and satiating as the latter. For large crowds, a dish like vegetarian lasagna can be appetizing for both non-meat and meat eaters alike.

3.  Make Your Side Dishes Veggie-Friendly – Make sure there are side dishes that everyone can enjoy. While you don’t have to dish out a whole chicken, turkey fish or tofurkey to meet all of your guests’ dietary preferences, side dishes are where you can make something suitable for everyone’s palates and preferences. To do this, keep an open mind by serving dishes other than a simple salad. Some side dishes can include sliced fresh fruits, cheeses, crackers, bruschetta, Brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce, deviled eggs, potato salad, roasted cauliflower, chickpeas, lentils, latkes, corn on the cob, cornbread, stuffed mushrooms, quinoa salad, garlicky kale or spinach.

4. Encourage Your Guests to Bring a Dish – After you letting your guests know in advance that you will be preparing vegetarian/vegan dishes, offer to let them bring a couple of dishes that they enjoy too. If you feel like you’re scrambling to find enough vegetarian/vegan dishes, allow your guests to bring dishes to share with everyone.

5. Prepare Two Dessert Options – When dishing out dessert, consider eggs and dairy products. If possible, it’s best to prepare one non-dairy dessert option. If you plan to make the dessert yourself, there are a ton of substitutions on the market that add flavor and moisture to your baked goods. For egg substitutes, you can try applesauce, chia seeds in gel form, or EnerG Egg Replacer, which can be found at a health foods store or Whole Foods Market. To substitute cow’s milk, you can use soy, almond or hemp milk and vegetable margarine in many baked goods. For those who are new to creating sweet concoctions without dairy and eggs, know that it is possible to serve a scrumptious vegan dessert!

 

Have you ever hosted a vegetarian or vegan dinner? What tips would you give to new hosts?

How to Get Your Nanny to Follow Your Food Style

Guest Blog by Debra Johnson

Photo Credit: Ioannis Karydis via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Ioannis Karydis via Compfight cc

Many children have special dietary needs that are a result of either a specific lifestyle or a health condition. A child may have an allergy to a specific food, or a family may have chosen to live a vegetarian lifestyle. No matter the reasoning for a special diet, leaving a child with a new caregiver or nanny can be a challenging experience for a parent. It can cause the parent to worry about how well the nanny will follow the child’s diet plan. For this reason, the following ideas are offered to help you teach your nanny the importance of following your child’s food style when you leave your child in their care.
1. Create a contract – When hiring a nanny, it is always a good idea to write up a simple contract that details the hours that they will work as well as other necessary guidelines. For a child who has a special diet, this can be outlined in the contract as well so that everyone understands how important it is for the diet to be followed.

2. Post a menu – Until a new nanny becomes accustomed to the child’s diet, it can be helpful to create a menu of meals for the nanny to follow. This can be posted in a visible area of the kitchen or in a manual that you create for the nanny.

3. Make it convenient – If a child’s diet is complicated, it could become overwhelming for a nanny at first. Therefore, it is a good idea to prepare meals ahead of time that can be frozen and reheated. Additionally, stocking up on approved foods and snacks will help your nanny to include a variety of healthy options for your child.

4. Avoid eating out – Spending a day out can be an enjoyable way for your nanny to provide your child with new experiences. However, navigating the menu at a restaurant can be challenging for someone who has special dietary needs. For this reason, you may prefer to pack a lunch or provide a list of safe food options for days when your nanny takes your child out on a day trip.

5. Post emergency information – Parents should also be sure to leave emergency information with a nanny. This is especially true for children with allergies who may require special medications in the event that they have a reaction. Make sure that your nanny has access to emergency information so that she can act quickly if necessary.

When it comes to special accommodations, a qualified nanny will have no problem making sure that your child’s needs are met. However, it is important to provide support to your nanny by making sure  they understand your child’s health condition and have access to the proper food. By making an extra effort to ensure that your nanny is knowledgeable, you will be able to enjoy the peace that comes with knowing they will provide your child with the best of care.

 

About the Author:

This guest post is contributed by Debra Johnson, blogger and editor of Liveinnanny.com. She welcomes your comments at her email, jdebra84@gmail.com.

To Prevent Kidney Stones

Photo Credit: Hey Paul Studios via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Hey Paul Studios via Compfight cc

To Prevent Kidney Stones: limit protein, sodium, calcium and oxalate in diet intake and increase fluid.

Beverages: Limit draft beer; chocolate beverage mixes, cocoa, instant tea and instant coffee

Breads and Cereals: Limit grits, wheat bran, instant cereal, any breads or crackers with salted tops, cheese pizza 

Desserts: Limit fruitcake, desserts made with chocolate, nuts, berries, red currants or rhubarb

Fats: Avoid nuts and nut butters, regular salad dressings, bacon fat, bacon bits, snack dips made with instant mixes or processed cheese

Fruits: Avoid Berries (blackberries, gooseberries, black raspberries, strawberries), concord grapes, red currant, lemon, lime and orange peels, calcium fortified fruit juice, grape juice

Meats and Meat Substitution: Avoid baked beans with tomato sauce, peanut butter, tofu, cold cuts, cured meats, hot dogs, bacon and sausage, imitation crab and lobster 

Potatoes: Limit Sweet potatoes

Snacks: Avoid chips, salted crackers and cheese

Soups: Limit canned soups or dehydrated soup mixes 

Vegetables: Limit beans (waxed and legumes), beets, celery, eggplant, leeks, summer squash

Other:

Calcium – 800 mg /day

Vitamin C – do not supplement as increases oxalate in urine

Fluid – 12.5 glasses/cups/day

Entertain the Concept of Health this Holiday Season

Photo Credit: ecstaticist via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: ecstaticist via Compfight cc

Tis the season of food, food and food. So how do we manage our health while entertaining and celebrating?  Instead of fearing weight gain or trying for weight loss during the holidays, let yourself maintain your current weight. Think slow and steady wins the race. However this is not a race rather an almost 2 month period of eating and drinking.  This year, vow to make the holiday season healthy with family and friends as the focus and these tips to plan a mindful season balanced between food and fitness.

5 Tips Celebrate Health and Holidays

  1. Focus on Family and Friends – Growing up in an Italian family I remember the holidays were about food and family. Instead of making food for 25 people, we made enough for 50 people. Instead of sitting around the fire, we sat around the table. If this was your family, start a new tradition this year. Celebrate you health and the holiday season by focusing on family and friends not food. Have family and friends come over to socialize rather than eat. You can serve food, but don’t center the evening on/around the food and the act of eating all of it.
  2. Plan Fitness – With limited time, shopping exhaustion and colder weather, our fitness routines get displaced. Since moving increases your energy, your mood and your metabolism, this is the last thing you want to give up over the holiday season. Instead, make dates with friends to go yoga together rather than getting drinks. Schedule spin class or any classes that you have to pay for if you miss. This is a great incentive to make sure you attend class.
  3. Make a date. Use you daily planner or PDA to schedule all activities, whether it is food shopping, meal prep, exercise or therapy. If it gets scheduled just like any important meeting, you will set the precedent to ensure this activity gets done.
  4. Slow down and Savor – Being a foodie, I know how hard it is not to celebrate with food. However, you can change your mindset of that of your guests too by hosting smaller more intimate holiday parties. Create small intense flavorful meals. Start the meal off with a prayer, a toast or even a moment of silence to allow you and your guests to refocus, create inner calm, and engage in mindful eating.
  5. Use Your Five Senses: Rather than race through your holiday meal and overeat, be sure to use all 5 senses while eating. Smell your food and think about memories the aroma may conjure up. Touch your food; Is your bread hot and crusty or naturally rough with seeds and nuts? Think about the texture and how it makes you feel. Really look at the plate. Is the food presented beautifully? Are there multiple colors on your plate, there should be. Listen to the food, yes listen to see if the turkey’s skin is crispy or the biscotti crunchy. And finally taste your meal!! Many people eat an entire meal and Can never tell you what it really tasted like. They were too busy talking, or shoveling the food in so they could either leave the dinner table or get seconds. This holiday season, be healthy mentally and physically by truly tasting your food and appreciating each bite. A small amount of food tasted will fulfill you more than a few plates of food you never tasted would.

 

 

Life after Menopause…

Life after menopause…
By Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

 

Menopause, the permanent end of menstruation and fertility, is defined as occurring 12 months after your last menstrual period. Women typically enter peri-menopause and then menopause in their 40s and 50s. The average age for menopause is 51.1 The transition into this phase in a woman’s life cycle and living optimally thereafter can be ameliorated through diet and physical activity. Embrace life after menopause by following these five tips for living life healthfully.

 

Photo Credit: brendan-c via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: brendan-c via Compfight cc
  1. Eat your estrogen through soy! Soybeans contain a hormone-like substance called phytoestrogen. It can mimic the effect of estrogen and have a vast impact on your overall health before, during, and after menopause. Fermented forms of soy are ideal. So choose miso, tempeh, natto, tofu and young soybeans in the pod known as edamame. Stick with eating soy in the real form rather than via supplements and bars.2
  2. Stand up straight. Now is the time to use light weights to counter osteoporosis. Osteoporosis, otherwise known as weak bones, is due to risk factors such as age, genetics, and dietary deficiencies in both calcium and Vitamin D. Women experience an increased rate of bone loss during menopause and for the ten years thereafter. Though osteoporosis is not reversible at this age, woman can manage, slow and or even stop it by strength training among other things. The act of weight training increases the activity of osteoblasts (bone building cells) and increases muscle strength which counters the effect of gravity. The effect of gravity on weak bones is observable as a “hunch back.” So stand strong—and be sure to incorporate light weights or resistant weight training twice a week.3
  3. Prevent weight gain in the waist area that is often associated with menopause. All you have to do is curb carb consumption at meals. With a decrease in estrogen, women are likely to see an increase in belly fat. While you cannot reverse aging, you can prevent a wide waist by limiting carbs at mealtime. When you eat carbohydrates and even protein, a hormone known as insulin increases to transport the carbohydrates (also known as sugar) into your blood cells. When insulin levels rise, research demonstrates there is likely an increase in belly fat deposition. Therefore, if you prevent insulin from spiking by minimizing the amount of carbohydrates you eat at a meal, not only will you be cutting calories, but you will also be preventing excess belly fat deposits. Women should use 45 grams of carbohydrate per meal and 15 grams of carbohydrate per snack as a guide.4
  4. Stay happy and heart healthy with essential fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are associated with decreased depression, inflammation and triglyceride levels.5 And women are more likely to experience both depression and heart disease after menopause.6 The key to omega 3 fatty acid intake is first ensuring that you are eating the right form—the fish form such as wild salmon, trout, bass and canned chunk light tuna. These fish contain higher amounts of the omegas known as DHA—docosahexaenoic acid. DHA is the specific fatty acid studied whereas the vegetarian sources of omega 3 fatty acids (pumpkin seeds, walnuts and even algae) contain ALA—alpha-linoleic acid. Only ten percent of ALA gets converted to the beneficial form of DHA. So go fishing for dinner.5
  5. Decrease vaginal discomfort…including dryness and incontinence. Some tricks of the trade help to reduce the pain and improve your sex life. During and after menopause, there can be thinning and inflammation of the vaginal walls. The decrease in the hormone estrogen affects the moisture level causing vaginal dryness and “pelvic relaxation.” Incontinence is the inability to hold urine from your urethra due to pelvic relaxation.7 The positive news is that research from the Mayo Clinic suggests limiting alcohol, caffeine and or acidic foods to lessen irritation. Practicing yoga and kegel exercises and participating in vaginal physical therapy can reduce pain and even incontinence.8

 

References

1. “Menopause.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 24 Jan. 2013. Web. 26 May 2014. <http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/basics/definition/con-20019726>.

2. Hyman, Mark, MD. “How Soy Can Kill You and Save Your Life – Dr. Mark Hyman.” Dr. Mark Hyman. DrHyman.com, 25 Feb. 2013. Web. 24 May 2014. <http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/08/06/how-soy-can-kill-you-and-save-your-life/#close>.

3. “General Facts on Osteoporosis.” National Osteoporosis Foundation (n.d.): n. pag. Web. 24 May 2014. <http://nof.org/files/nof/public/content/file/2681/upload/899.pdf>.

4. Cipullo, Laura. The Diabetes Comfort Food Diet Cookbook. New York: Rodale, 2013. Print.

5. “Fish Oil: MedlinePlus Supplements.” MedlinePlus. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 04 Sept. 2013. Web. 26 May 2014. <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/993.html>.

6. “Depression in Older Persons Fact Sheet.” NAMI. NAMI – The National Alliance on Mental Illness, Oct. 2009. Web. 24 May 2014. <http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=By_Illness&template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=7515>.

7. “Urinary Incontinence.” NAMS. The North American Menopause Society, n.d. Web. 23 May 2014. <http://www.menopause.org/for-women/sexual-health-menopause-online/causes-of-sexual-problems/urinary-incontinence>.

8. “Yoga, Kegel Exercises, Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy.” NAMS. The North American Menopause Society, n.d. Web. 23 May 2014. <http://www.menopause.org/for-women/sexual-health-menopause-online/effective-treatments-for-sexual-problems/yoga-kegel-exercises-pelvic-floor-physical-therapy>.

Boosting Positive Body Image

Take a moment this week to focus more on the positive, forget black and white thinking, and exercise your passion with this inspirational blog post!

Photo Credit: andresAzp via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: andresAzp via Compfight cc

More on the Positive – Instead of focusing on weight, scales or muscles, think about the positive characteristics you possess…humor, creativity, passion. Focusing your positive characteristics can help you build self-esteem and positive body image.

Forget Black and White Thinking – No food is “bad” or “good.” Food provides us with energy and nutrients but in varying amounts. By refraining from labeling foods, we can help prevent ourselves from internalizing those same labels. To learn more about how to foster a healthy habits with food, check out the Healthy Habits Program.

Exercise Your Passion – Do you enjoy swimming, hiking or basketball? Have you ever tried a relaxing yoga session or an upbeat spinning class? Trying a new activity with a friend or simply going hiking with your family can be a great way to socialize and fit in physical activity. Experiment with different activities and find what you enjoy the most. It’s important to exercise for health, wellness and enjoyment rather than just weight loss. For physical activity, think about overall wellbeing rather than pinpointing areas you find negative.

Additional Tips for Boosting Positive Body Image

  1. Surround yourself with positive people
  2. Accept that every shape and body size is beautiful
  3. Understand that the media portrays beauty in varying ways. The media and advertisements project images that are often not realistic.

Is “Gluten Free” for Your Family?: Autism and Gluten, Casein Free

*This post was originally published on the Bitsy’s Brainfood Blog. To see the original please click here.

Photo Credit: Whatsername? via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Whatsername? via Compfight cc

Is “Gluten Free” for Your Family: Autism and Gluten, Casein Free
By Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD, and Mom

There aren’t too many quality research studies reporting on the gluten-free diet and its efficacy for children with autism spectrum disorders. However, you definitely hear the media and parents supporting it. The latest solid research a.k.a. randomized double-blind study only had fifteen children with ASD. This particular study from 2006 looked at the effects of the gluten-free, casein-free diet on autistic symptoms and urinary peptide levels. Surprisingly, there were no statistically significant results, still leaving the need for more research and many parents without answers. When reading the overall research, it seems parents may notice behavioral changes but nothing consistent across the board and nothing significant enough to make the recommendation to follow this diet.

However, when you keep reading, the association between ASD and GI (gastrointestinal) complaints is quite clear. Adverse GI symptoms such as diarrhea and abdominal pain are reported from 9 to 91 percent in different study populations1. The cause of these GI problems is unclear, but it appears to relate partially to abnormal carbohydrate digestion1 and abnormal gut flora possibly due to excessive use of oral antibiotics2. If gut flora is a concern, probiotics may help decrease ASD symptoms.

As parents wait for more information, many are willing to try the variety of diets that promise decreased symptoms. Like any child, a child with ASD is an individual and may/may not respond to dietary changes. It could be like many other foods—there are intolerances or sensitivities not recognizable as food allergies. There are many questions for parents to ask themselves and/or their child’s team. Weigh the pros and cons and decide what you think is best for your child.

– See more at the Bitsy’s Brainfood Blog.

 

References:

1. Williams, B. L., M. Hornig, T. Buie, M. L. Bauman, M. Cho Paik, et al. “Impaired Carbohydrate Digestion and Transport and Mucosal Dysbiosis in the Intestines of Children with Autism and Gastrointestinal Disturbances.” PLoS ONE 6, no. 9 (2011): e24585. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0024585.

2. Adams, et al. “Gastrointestinal Flora and Gastrointestinal Status in Children with Autism–Comparisons to Typical Children and Correlation with Autism Severity.” BMC Gastroenterology 11, no. 22 (2011). doi:10.1186/1471-230X-11-22

Is Your Cow Grass Fed?

Is Your Cow Grass Fed?
By Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

Photo Credit: tricky (rick harrison) via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: tricky (rick harrison) via Compfight cc

We all know that organic dairy has become the thing to buy in health stores nationwide, but there has been a movement recently towards grass fed dairy products over just organic ones. Why is that?

Grass fed dairy comes from cows eating a natural diet of alfalfa sprouts, grass, and hay, not corn or soy feed. Grass fed cows are not treated with hormones or given any genetically modified products. Some studies have shown that grass fed dairy contains higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids than traditional or even organic milk. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to protect against heart disease and even stroke, and we cannot make them naturally, so we need to get them from the foods we eat. These are a few of my favorite companies making dairy products with grass-fed dairy; give them a try and see if you can taste the difference!

 

Kerrygold Cheese and Butter, has a wide selection of good butters and cheese free of artificial flavors and sweeteners that come from entirely grass fed cows in Ireland, who graze outside for over 300 days every year!

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Maple Hill Creamery, produces the 100% grass fed milk that goes into their yogurt cups and drinkables. Their yogurts have no added thickeners, preservatives, or unnatural flavors. I met a Maple Hill Farmer at Food Fête who is committed to raising cows that eat only grass and never corn or grains.

 

Organic Valley, has a whole line of products, from milk to cheese to soy products and meat that are organic and free of hormones and pesticides. They also have exclusive grass milks, made only from cows fed grass, nothing else.

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Thanks in part to Maple Hill Creamery, a new labeling initiative is being taken on to certify grass-fed verification and traceability so you know when you buy grass fed, that’s exactly what you’re getting! So be on the lookout for labels that say “100% GrassFed”!