Move over TV dinners and say hi to this microwave meal.

It’s the end of August and we are all scrambling to get everything ready for the new school year. Sometimes meals become second priority. If you are lacking time and want something tasty, try Kashi’s Pesto Pasta Primavera. Add one half cup of beans (rec. no added salt) to this microwave meal and you have a balanced vegetarian lunch option with 18 grams of vegetarian protein and 14 grams of fiber.

Travel Healthy in Santa Barbara

Whether traveling solo or with your family, being active and healthy is easy. If you are heading to Santa Barbara, CA check out www.SBFitTours.com to get SUP (Stand Up Paddle) lessons or SUP Resistance Training. Channel Islands Outfitter offers kayak and paddle rentals for the more experienced. My favorite movement experience in Santa Barbara was the emPOWER Yoga class at Yoga Soup. It’s the right start to anybody’s day – well any yogi’s day. You can get more of yoga instructor Adrienne Hengel’s classes at her own studio Power of Your Om either in Santa Barbara or Chicago.

Find Your G Bar.

Finding your granola bar is no easy task. While traveling I have shopped at Von’s in Coronado, CA and King Kullen in Brigdehampton, New York. It is quite overwhelming by how many choices you, the consumer has. So here are some guidelines to find a bar to eat as a snack. Just so you know, I walked out of Von’s with no granola bars.

Quick Granola Bar Guidelines:

Calories< 150
Saturated Fat 3 grams
Protein > 4 grams

TOP CHOICE:
http://kashi.com/products/chewy_granola_bars_honey_almond_flax
http://store.gnufoods.com/store/

RUNNER UP:
http://www.clifbar.com/food/products_clif_kid_zbar/
http://www.cascadianfarm.com/products/product_detail.aspx?cat=21&upc=0-21908-28281-7

Are you at risk for CMR?

CMR is cardiometabolic risk. These risk factors help one to assess their overall risk for developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

The markers include the following:

  • Obesity
  • High LDL cholesterol
  • Low HDL cholesterol
  • High Triglycerides
  • Physical inactivity
  • Inflammation
  • Hypertension (aka high blood pressure)
  • Smoking
  • Insulin Resistance

The presence of the markers alone and or with multiple risk factors increases your chances of disease. If you have one or more of these risk factors, identify what you can do to make a small realistic change. For example, can you start a walking regimen of ten minutes four days a week during your lunch hour? Another possible change to implement could be to decrease your saturated fat by choosing prepackaged goods with less than 2 grams saturated fat/serving. Making just one change can decrease multiple risk factors. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, feel empowered.

If you feel you need additional support, check out programs like BMIQ (www.BMIQ.com) that provide evidenced based nutrition and lifestyle online group education. If you prefer to work with an expert in a private setting, consider consulting a registered dietitian. Visit www.eatright.org and www.LauraCipulloLLC.com to choose a registered dietitian. You can even work with a RD individually online at www.youronlinedietitian.com.

TTM Stages of Change – What stage are you at?

TTM is the transtheoretical model of change. TTM identifies 5 stages of change:

Precontemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Action and Maintenance.

Have you ever wondered why you know all of the latest nutrition trends, read food labels and know how many points each food is, yet you can’t seem attain your health goals? The stages of change can help to explain what stage you are in and help you understand the process of change you must endure before moving to the next stage. If you fit the example above, you are most likely stuck in the preparation stage. Now you need to identify how to proceed to the action phase.

Fight aging with fat.

Fight aging with fat! Stay young by consuming monounsaturated fats like almonds and avocados. These MUFA’s help increase our good cholesterol known as HDL. HDL cholesterol is anti inflammatory and heart protective. So add some almonds and avocados to your salad!

Health defined

Health as defined by WHO 1948
“As a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.”

Farm to Table

“The greatest thing you can do for your children is to cook and share food
with them. The precious moments you spend together around the family table
go way beyond the food itself; they lead to an understanding of the benefits
of healthy eating and are the basis for good family relationships.”– Jacques Pépin, national spokesperson of Spoons Across America

Jacques Pepin said it well. Fortunately, it is summer so sharing the education of where food comes from is easy. Grab your cotton, reusable tote and head to the Farmers Market. This is a great experience for you and your children to find new foods to enjoy. My favorite find at the Union Square Greenmarket – fiddleheads!

New York and LA Markets:

http://www.grownyc.org/ourmarkets and http://www.farmersmarketla.com/

Say no to the "Clean Plate Club."

Many of my readers find portion control to be quite daunting. You may hear the message that a portion is 3 oz of protein, 1 cup of grain plus 1.5 cup cooked vegetable. You think I can not eat that little amount and therefore you feel frustrated and eat even more. Don’t feel bad or overwhelmed. You were probably taught to clean your plate as a child. You may even feel guilty for leaving food on your plate at a restaurant. 

Instead, work with the idea of leaving one bite of food on your plate at meal times. Allow yourself to eat the majority of your food and get comfortable with what it feels like to leave one bite. It is likely you will be and feel successful. Keep repeating this effort until it becomes your new habit. Once the new habit is learned, you may want to consider leaving two bites on your overfull plate or just taking a smaller portion of food at meal times. The message is you can reach your nutrition goals, specifically portion control if you set small attainable goals and give yourself time to achieve the goals.

Prediabetes

Now you can tell if you have prediabetes by testing your Hemoglobin A1C. If your A1C test reveals a level >/= 5.7% and < /=6.4%, you are considered to have prediabetes. You can prevent diabetes by changing your intake and your lifestyle. If you have prediabetes, consider seeing a registered dietitian.