The EALM Blog Shelf

While Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Team work on some new and exciting projects, you may notice less posts on the Eating and Living Moderately Blog. We have created a “blog shelf” below to keep you entertained and educated. Get caught up on the latest nutrition education by clicking on each year below. We will send you nutrition updates, but we will not be inundating your mailboxes on a weekly basis. If you want weekly “love” and inspiration, subscribe to our Mom Dishes It Out blog for weekly posts and recipes. Mom Dishes It Out provides expert advice from mom Registered Dietitians and mom Speech Pathologists on the “how to” of health promotion!

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The EALM Blog Shelf

Please feel free to peruse our posts organized by year below. Or take a look at the categories listed at the bottom of the page to find a post in the desired.

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

The Pros and Cons of Being a Vegetarian Fitness Enthusiast

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

Pros      

  1. Eating a plant-based diet provides a plethora of antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Vitamin A to fight free radicals caused by exercise (where free radicals are produced at a greater rate).
  2. You are forced to focus on your dark leafy greens like spinach and collard greens and high Vitamin C foods like peppers and oranges to absorb the non – heme iron found in plant foods.
  3. Pre training foods like bagels, yogurt and peanut butter are already a part of your daily intake.
  4. You’re at an even greater advantage to prevent heart disease by exercising and eating the healthy fats such as almonds, avocados and lean proteins like beans and fish.
  5. Your physical activity and plant based lifestyle are dually protective against diabetes. Vegan diets have been shown to lower one’s average 3 month blood glucose.

Cons:

  1. You must make extra effort to get your  8 essential amino acids needed for muscle and hormone synthesis by eating a variety of protein sources like beans, peanut butter, tofu and quinoa.
  2. You may need to take an omega 3 Fatty Acid supplement if you are not consuming deep sea fish. There are vegetarian marine algae forms of DHA available.
  3. Caution – place extra emphasis on eating complex carbohydrates such as whole-wheat pasta, barely, and millet.  Avoid grabbing easy and available processed stand – bys like chips, packaged cookies, and boxed macaroni and cheese.
  4. Don’t fall prey to quick soy proteins sources like veggie burgers, “unchicken” fingers and fake meat. These products are highly processed, high in sodium and artificial fillers. In addition, limit soy intake to whole soy foods like tofu, tempeh, miso and edamame.  Choose one soy food /day.
  5. Bring on the Vit. B12. Vit. B12 is generally not found in plant sources. Milk, Fortified breakfast cereals and nutritional yeast are vegetarian friendly form of this water-soluble vitamin needed for red blood cell synthesis.

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?

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!

Screen shot 2014-10-25 at 10.24.41 PM
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.

Screen shot 2014-10-25 at 10.18.01 PM

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”!

What is Gluten? Setting the Record Straight for Celiac Awareness Month

What is Gluten? Setting the Record Straight for Celiac Awareness Month
By Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

 

WE LOVE THE Jimmy Kimmel video titled ‘What is Gluten?’! In case you missed it, we’ll give you a quick recap. A reporter over at Jimmy Kimmel asked a number of people if they were on a gluten free diet. They all answered yes, yet could not define gluten. That’s right, people are avoiding gluten but they have no idea what it really is or is not. While the video clip hits on the lack of food and nutrition knowledge of many Americans, EALM feels it is necessary to educate the public! So here you go!

 

 

Gluten is made up of two proteins known as gliadin and glutenin. Gluten is the “glue” that holds most baked goods together and is found in wheat, rye, barley, and contaminated oats. While it may seem easy to some to cut gluten out of your diet, gluten has a way of sneaking into foods unnoticed.

Photo Credit: me'nthedogs via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: me’nthedogs via Compfight cc

Here’s a list of ingredients that contain gluten [i][ii]:

  • Barley
  • Bulgur
  • Durum
  • Farro/Faro
  • Graham flour
  • Hydrolyzed wheat protein
  • Kamut (a type of wheat)
  • Malt, malt extract, malt syrup, and malt flavoring
  • Malt vinegar
  • Malted milk
  • Modified wheat starch
  • Oatmeal, oat bran, oat flour, and whole oats (unless they are from pure, uncontaminated oats and properly labeled as gluten-free)
  • Rye bread and flour
  • Seitan (A meat-like food derived from wheat gluten used in many vegetarian dishes)
  • Semolina
  • Spelt
  • Triticale
  • Wheat bran, flour, germ, or starch
Photo Credit: Leo Reynolds via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Leo Reynolds via Compfight cc

Gluten can also be lurking in the following food items, so be sure to read the label when shopping to ensure that you’re getting a gluten-free product1, 2.

  • Breading and bread stuffing
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Bouillon cubes
  • Broth or stocks (including beef, chicken, or vegetable)
  • Candy
  • Cooking sprays (especially baking varieties)
  • Cold cuts, hot dogs, salami, sausage
  • Communion wafers
  • Dried fruits (some can be covered in flour to prevent sticking)
  • French fries
  • Gravy
  • Imitation fish (surimi)
  • Licorice
  • Ketchups (be sure to read the label)
  • Matzo, matzo meal
  • Rice mixes (pre-boxed)
  • Sauces
  • Seasoned meat and poultry
  • Seasoned tempeh and tofu
  • Seasoned potato or tortilla chips
  • Soy milks (some varieties)
  • Soy sauce
  • Tamari sauce
  • Teriyaki sauce

 

 

For more information on all things gluten including Celiac Disease, gluten free grocery shopping, label regulations and gluten free nutrition, check out the following list of blogs:

 

All About Gluten: Your Questions Answered

New FDA Ruling Making Waves in Gluten Free Community

Eating Healthfully When Gluten Free

Navigating the Gluten Free Aisle: A Guide to GF Shopping

 

 

 


[i] Case, Shelley. Gluten-free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide. Regina: Case Nutrition Consulting, 2002. Print.

[ii] Thompson, Tricia. The Gluten-Free Nutrition Guide. McGraw-Hill, 2008. Print.

 

FODMAPS: A Look at their Role in Managing IBS

FODMAPS: A Look at their Role in Managing IBS
By Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

 

Can you recall the last time you felt bloated, gassy, abdominal cramping, diarrhea or constipation? For most people, these symptoms are mild and once in a blue moon, but for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), there is no cure for this gut disorder and these symptoms are chronic issues that can disrupt the quality of life. The great news is that you can help manage your symptoms through nutrition!

Photo Credit: visualpanic via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: visualpanic via Compfight cc

When people think of gut symptoms like those mentioned above, one of the most common suggestions is limiting irritating food triggers like caffeine, alcohol, and fatty foods, as well as increasing fiber intake and fluid intake. However, when dealing with IBS, since these gut symptoms are broad and can vary from person to person, managing them with a one-size-fits all approach is not ideal. While there are various treatment suggestions for those suffering from IBS, following a low-FODMAP diet is the new nutrition therapy approach in town that has the potential to manage symptoms in most people with IBS.

 

Last month, we were fortunate enough to attend the Nutrition Grand Rounds at New York-Presbyterian Hospital to learn more about FODMAPs and their potential benefits in the treatment of IBS. The presentation featured two speakers Dr. Julie Khlevner, M.D., an expert in pediatric gastroenterology who oversees the new Pediatric Gastrointestinal Motility Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, and Patsy Catsos, MS, RD, LD, author of the book IBS – Free at Last!. While Dr. Khlevner and Patsy both discussed treatment options for people with IBS, each speaker touched on very different areas and treatment options. Dr. Khlevner explained the process of testing, diagnosing and treatment in children and young adults. In terms of treatment options, Dr. Khlevner suggested keeping a food log, keeping an eye on trigger foods, taking probiotics, as well as IBS hypnotherapy. Patsy educated the audience on a food-based approach to treating IBS and the potential benefits of this dietary therapy.

 

Patsy Catsos explained dietitians play a starring role in the management of IBS. A high fiber intake has been a common recommendation for treating IBS symptom management, however, research has found that few people find the increased fiber to be helpful. Thankfully the use of FODMAPs has been becoming increasingly popular in the management of IBS symptoms and with a relief in symptoms. In fact, evidence has shown a FODMAP-elimination diet to reduce symptoms in 3 out of 4 people with IBS1.

 

 

What is IBS?

To start, lets give a background on Irritable Bowel Syndrome. IBS is classified as a Functional Gastrointestinal (bowel) Disorder and can consist of a variety of symptoms. Dr. Khlevner explained the symptoms as the “ABCs of IBS” –

 

  • Abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Bloating, flatulence
  • Change in bowel habit
    • Stool urgency or straining
    • Incomplete evacuation

 

These symptoms often greatly impact a patient’s quality of life, especially in children and adolescents. Treatment for IBS can vary greatly per patient; however, common treatment options can include the use of probiotics, increased fiber intake, pharmacological interventions, psychological therapy, and lifestyle and dietary modifications.

 

 

What is a FODMAP?

FODMAPs are short-chain carbohydrates that tend to be malabsorbed in people with IBS and can trigger or exacerbate symptoms. FODMAP is an acronym that stands for:

Fermentable (Produce Gas)
Oligosaccharides (Fructans and Galacto-oligosaccharides)
Disaccharides (Lactose)
Monosaccharides (Fructose)
And
Polyols (Sorbitol and Mannitol)

 

How do FODMAPs affect IBS?

The origination of IBS symptoms can, too, be caused by a number of factors, some including, chemicals found in packaged foods, such as nitrates or sulfites, as well as FODMAPs. The ingestion of FODMAPs are not the cause of IBS, rather what can trigger the troublesome symptoms like abdominal pain or bloating. Patsy spoke about the use of FODMAP elimination trials in patients with IBS. This idea behind FODMAPs is that when people with IBS consume sugars that their body can’t properly breakdown, it contributes to their symptoms. The FODMAP approach includes a 1-2 week elimination of all FODMAPs, which Patsy called the Elimination Phase. The FODMAPs are then reintroduced into the diet one at a time to allow for proper monitoring of the patient’s tolerance. It can help you determine which sugars you may be sensitive to, and what foods to limit in quantity or what foods to avoid altogether.

 

Photo Credit: La Grande Farmers' Market via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: La Grande Farmers’ Market via Compfight cc

Where are FODMAPs Found?1

Oligosaccharides

  • Fructans, galactooligosaccharides (GOS), and inulin
  • Found in foods like:
    • Vegetables: artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, onions, garlic
    • Grains: wheat and rye
    • Fruits: watermelon

Disaccharides

  • Lactose
  • Found in:
    • Milk, yogurt, ice cream

Monosaccharides

  • Fructose
  • Found in:
    • Fruits: apples, pears, peaches, mangoes, watermelon, dried fruit, and fruit juices
    • Sweeteners: honey, agave nectar and high-fructose corn syrup
    • Alcohol: sherry and port wine

Polyols

  • Found in:
    • Fruits: apples, apricots, blackberries, cherries, nectarines, pears, peaches, plums, prunes, and watermelon
    • Vegetables: cauliflower, button mushrooms, and snow peas
    • Sweeteners: sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, maltitol, and isomalt (often found in sugar-free products like gum, mints, cough drops, and medications)

 

Important to Note:

Many foods contain FODMAPs and they may be very hard to avoid. You’ll likely find hundreds of food lists and suggestions of foods to avoid, which can lead to both confusion and restriction. Because of this, it’s very important to understand that the FODMAPs approach is not recommended for everyone to follow and is certainly not a weight loss diet or a cleanse, but a nutrition therapy that has the potential to help people with IBS figure out what foods trigger symptoms (…because let’s face it, constant bloating and gas isn’t fun for anyone or anyone around you!). If you’re still unsure about how to treat or manage your IBS symptoms, speak with your doctor, your dietitian, and/or check out the resources below:

 

 

 

  • And yes, there is an app for that! The research team at Monash recently launched a smartphone application: The Low FODMAP Diet. The app provides a list of hundreds of foods using traffic light signals i.e., (Red = Avoid and Green = Eat without fear) and according to serving sizes since smaller portions may be better tolerated.

 

 

 

References:

1. Scarlata K. The FODMAPS Approach – minimize consumption of fermentable carbs to manage functional gut disorder symptoms. Today’s Dietitian Website. Available at: http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/072710p30.shtml. Published August, 2010. Accessed April 16, 2014. 

Navigating the Gluten-Free Aisle: A Guide to GF Shopping

Navigating the Gluten-Free Aisle: A Guide to Gluten-Free Shopping
By Lindsay Marr and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

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

The gluten-free world can be daunting, especially for a newly diagnosed celiac or gluten-intolerant. Navigating the aisles of the grocery store can seem even scarier. Thankfully, there are more gluten-free options in stores and the labeling laws are becoming stricter, making gluten-free shopping less of a matter of chance. We took to the grocery stores to try and help ease the confusion and offer you a list of some healthful gluten-free tips.

 

You may remember we wrote about the new gluten-free labels this past summer and touched on the different aspects of the gluten-free diet in the fall. To touch base, the FDA has decided to consider foods with no more than 20ppm (parts per million) of gluten as gluten-free. But, what does 20ppm mean, you ask?  20ppm is the least amount of gluten that can be found in foods via reliable scientific analysis testing. It is also the level that meets many other countries’ standards for safety.

 

Can you trust a gluten-free label?

With the new FDA rulings, you can expect food companies to be more cautious in their labeling. In fact, we may even see a few gluten-free products come off the shelves, as some manufacturers may not want to go through the trouble of abiding by the FDA’s gluten-free rulings. If you feel uneasy before the August 2014 deadline, you can look for two seals on packages to assure the products you’re buying are gluten-free.

Screen shot 2014-04-06 at 10.34.22 AM
This image was used with the permission of The Gluten Intolerance Group.

Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO): The GFCO is currently the leading gluten-free certification program in the world. It is an independent organization that verifies the “quality, integrity, and purity of products” and certifies gluten-free products to no more than 10 PPM.
Click here for the label.
CSA (Celiac Sprue Association): The CSA seal is given to products that have undergone a review and testing of ingredients to ensure the product is free of wheat, rye, barley and oats.

 

Which gluten-free products should I choose? 

Gluten free food companies are making efforts to make their food products more healthy by adding fiber, using brown rice flour instead of white rice flour and some are even using gluten free grains like buckwheat for this first ingredient. EALM was quite impressed to see these changes. However, some food labels noted the addition of added fibers like inulin, which is a non-digestible form of fiber that can cause gas.

 

Photo Credit: Caden Crawford via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Caden Crawford via Compfight cc

Let’s Go Shopping!

When searching for the gluten-free foods with the most nutrition, we recommend using the following tips:

 

  1. Always double check!
    • Be sure to read the ingredients list for potential gluten, even if the product boasts a GF label or seal of approval from the organizations mentioned above. Food products and manufacturing practices change often and some companies even use the GF seals fraudulently. So, be aware and read those ingredients!
  2. Read the ingredients to educate yourself on which product is more nutrient dense!
    • When searching for healthier GF packaged goods look for nutrient-dense flours like quinoa, garbanzo bean, and brown rice. Also watch where these items are listed within the ingredient lists – ideally they are listed in ingredients one through five.
  3. Look for natural fiber!
    • As mentioned before, many high-fiber GF foods contain added carbohydrates like inulin or psyllium husk. While these carbs add fiber without affecting the texture or taste of the food, they can result in gas production (not so comfy for sensitive stomachs). Look for products that are naturally gluten-free, like corn meal or certified gluten-free oats. When in doubt, you can increase your fruit and vegetable intake for a boost of fiber, too.
  4. When in doubt…
    • Tap into some resources! There are a number of apps, subscription services, and organizations that keep consumers updated on all news relating to gluten-free. Take a look at our list below that will help you be a GF detective.

 

GF DETECTIVE Resources:

Celiac Disease Foundation

  • The CDF offers numerous resources for those affected by Celiac Disease, including a list of GF medications and supplements, tips for managing the holidays, as well as the latest research and gluten-free news.

 

Celiac Sprue Association

  • The CSA’s website offers a host of resources for those with Celiac and gluten intolerance. With lists of restaurants, recipes, and information on GF labeling, you are sure to find great information on all things gluten-free.

 

Gluten Free Watchdog

  • This handy monthly subscription is run by registered dietitian, Tricia Thompson, and for only $4.99 per month, you can have access to the latest in gluten free news and product testing results.

 

Gluten Intolerance Group

  • The GIG offers an annual membership with perks including access to food and medical information, educational programs, events, and even summer camps for children with gluten-sensitivities.

 

National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (Celiac Central)

  • The NFCA offers a list of GF manufacturers, keeps readers updated on GF news, and provides free webinars for readers. This is a great site when looking for GF news and information.

Healthy Fast Food: The New Norm?

Healthy Fast Food: The New Norm?
By: Laura Cipullo, RD CDE CEDRD CDN and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

 

For all of you New Yorkers out there, have you noticed the new trend on the streets of NYC? And, no, we’re not talking about shoes, clothes, or fashion trends. We’re talking about fast food: healthy, fast food to be exact.

 

If you’ve walked down a city street recently, you’ve most likely noticed a new restaurant or food store. While New York City is known for its abundance of restaurants and diverse food scene, we’ve been noticing a trend among newly opened restaurants. Not only are they focusing on fast service, but also, they’re offering healthier menu options to boot. To name a few, we’ve made a list of some these healthier restaurants, a couple in NYC and a handful located across the US:

 

 

Chipotle

www.chipotle.com

Setting: Sit-Down/Takeout

Cuisine: Mexican

Kids’ Menu: Yes

Price: $$

 

Chipotle offers a Mexican cuisine with sit-down and takeout options. This restaurant is vegetarian and vegan-friendly, plus the majority of their menu is gluten-free, as long as you avoid the tortillas. We love the fact that many of the menu items have a high amount of fiber and protein; you can view this by using their nifty nutrition calculator! Their vast food options make Chipotle a great place to eat, whether you want to sit and relax or pick up while you’re out and about.

Photo Credit: Mr. T in DC via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Mr. T in DC via Compfight cc

Our favorite lunch options:

  • Veggie burrito bowl with black beans and brown rice. With just over 500 calories, this veggie bowl has over 30 grams of fiber and about 13 grams of protein, this veggie bowl makes a fast and balanced meal.
  • Chicken quesadillas with black beans and brown rice. This children’s meal option ranks in with under 500 calories, 12 grams of fiber and over 25 grams of protein. Even though it’s for the kids, we adults like to order this from time to time.

 

 

Fresh & Co

www.freshandconyc.com

Setting: Sit-Down/Takeout

Cuisine: Traditional

Kids’ Menu: No

Price: $$

 

Fresh&Co is a popular lunch choice for those working in Midtown Manhattan. With pre-prepared meals and freshly prepared items on their menu, you are sure to find something to suit your fancy. Fresh&Co serves locally grown foods that are free from synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and additives. They offer salads, pastas, and sandwiches on their menu, all of which can be calculated on their nutrition calculator found on their website.

Photo courtesy of Fresh & Co
Photo courtesy of Fresh & Co
  • Sesame Ginger Seitan with quinoa, kale, seitan, white cabbage, carrots, daikon, broccoli, scallions, pickled ginger and cilantro with soy ginger sauce this is a delicious lunch/dinner option that will surely satisfy.
  • Long Island Local salad with kale, baby spinach, baby arugula, grilled chicken, grilled sunchokes, and apples this salad is loaded with healthy greens and has over 20 grams of protein from the chicken, making this a great meal to grab during your lunch break.

 

 

Hu Kitchen

www.hukitchen.com

Setting: Sit-Down/Takeout

Cuisine: Natural

Kids’ Menu: No

Price: $$$

 

On its website, Hu Kitchen totes itself as the first “ultra-high quality restaurant and market” that makes food for humans. Hu Kitchen works under an 8 Pillar approach: “unprocess, count ingredients – not calories, pull plants – push animals, minimize grains – always whole, embrace fat, get back to animal too, sweeten wisely, and eat clean”. Located just below Union Square, on 5th Avenue, Hu Kitchen offers everything from fresh juices and coffee, to soups and burritos. Plus, their entire restaurant is gluten-free, and a good majority of the menu is dairy and grain-free. While the prices can be a bit steep, you know that you’re getting quality nutrition for your buck.

Our favorite lunch options:

  • Grandmaster Veg with eggplant, carrots, green cabbage, cashews, garlic, chili flakes, and a homemade marinara sauce this is a vegetable powerhouse of a lunch.
  • Hu Bowls with options of quinoa, vegetable mash, or a vegetable medley, these bowls are sure to please. Plus you can add beef, mushroom, or chicken on top for some added protein.

 

 

Hummus and Pita

www.hummusandpitas.com

Setting: Sit-Down/Takeout

Cuisine: Mediterranean

Kids’ Menu: No

Price: $$

 

This lovely establishment currently has two NYC locations, Chelsea and TriBeCa, and is a great option when you’re looking for a quick meal. Whether you want to sit at a table, order takeout, or have your lunch delivered to work, Hummus and Pita, Co can do it all! With a make-your-own-meal style, you can virtually customize any dish to your liking. There are a number of vegetarian options and while there is not a separate children’s menu, you can find a variety of options for kids. We especially love their large selection of hummus!

Our favorite lunch options:

  • Falafel pita with beet salad, chickpeas, hummus and tzatziki. This lunch option comes in at just over 500 calories, 16 grams of fiber, and over 20 grams of protein.
  • Chicken taboon bowl with baba ganoosh, corn and carrot salad, brown rice and tahini this meal is a great source of protein, complex carbohydrates and fat.

 

 

Muscle Maker Grill

www.musclemakergrill.com

Setting: Sit-Down/Takeout

Cuisine: Traditional

Kids’ Menu: Yes

Price: $$

 

This franchise first opened shop in Colonia, New Jersey. Due to its increasing popularity, owner, Rod Silva, officially made Muscle Maker a franchise in 2007 and now has over 200 restaurants across the US. The restaurant offers salads, wraps, and shakes, just to name a few items. Plus, they provide a children’s menu, cater to vegetarians and offer some gluten-free options. With so many locations, Muscle Maker Grill makes a great option for those looking for a quick, and healthy meal.

Our favorite lunch options:

  • European wrap with grilled chicken, spinach, roasted peppers and Parmesan cheese. This meal boasts over 40 grams of protein which will leave you feeling satisfied until dinnertime.
  • El Mexicana with grilled chicken, fajita vegetables, cheese and salsa all served over brown rice and beans. It’s a tasty dish making it a great choice for lunch or a convenient dinner.

 

 

Prêt A Manger

www.pret.com

Setting: Sit-Down/Takeout

Cuisine: Traditional

Kids’ Menu: No

Price: $$
If you live in NYC, you’ve probably seen a few Pret A Manger’s around. This franchise is a great place to go when you’re looking for a salad or wrap to go, or if you want to sit and enjoy a coffee. With a café-like environment, Pret A Manger offers a nice environment and good quality food. Their website states that they create handmade natural food and avoid ‘prepared’ and ‘fast’ foods. They offer online ordering and are conveniently located around the city, making them a great option for your new lunch spot.

Screen shot 2014-03-03 at 2.39.10 PM
Photo courtesy of Prêt A Manger

 

Our favorite lunch options:

  • Balsamic chicken sandwich with antibiotic free chicken, avocado, mesclun, and balsamic vinegar served on granary bread. This meal is an easy grab and go sandwich with 8 grams of fiber and 19 grams of protein. So when you’re in a rush and literally need to pick up a sandwich, you can find this tasty sandwich waiting for you at Prêt A Manger.
  • Aztec quinoa chili with cannellini and pinto beans, quinoa, amaranth and millet, this grain-filled chili won’t disappoint. Not only is it suitable for vegans and vegetarians, but it also has over 10 grams of both protein and fiber.  

 

 

 

We have to ask: do you think that these establishments are changing the face of fast food? We love the fact that we can purchase food conveniently without having to sacrifice nutrition or taste. We’d love to know your thoughts on these healthier fast food options!

 

Who Owns That Health Food Company?

Photo Credit: ChowKaiDeng via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: ChowKaiDeng via Compfight cc

Do you have a favorite food brand that you constantly buy? We all have our go-to, tried and true brands that we stock in our cupboards and pantries. Maybe your favorite brand is a classic like Progresso breadcrumbs or Hunts tomato products. Or perhaps it’s a smaller brand like Alexia Foods or Happy Family Foods.

 

We all pick the foods we purchase based on different reasons. Some of us decide depending on the price of the food, the ingredients, the nutrient content, or even the company’s mission and values. Take natural food brands for example, they advertise their efforts to only choose natural and wholesome ingredients, maybe they’re organic or don’t contain GMOs. And who doesn’t love the idea of supporting a company that gives back to the community?

 

Maybe you pick a food brand to avoid another brand whose mission you don’t agree with? You may not purchase the major soda brand because you don’t agree with their negative health effects, so you opt for the all-natural, organic juice company instead. You may think that you’re avoiding the big soda company, but you might actually be purchasing from them anyway. That’s right, the larger food corporations own a number of these smaller natural and organic food companies. To see what we mean, take a look at the list below:

 

 

Coca-Cola Company

  • Odwalla Smoothies and Juices – listed under brands on the Coca-Cola website. Coca-Cola purchased Odwalla in 2001 in an effort to compete with rival company, PepsiCo.
  • Vitamin Water – listed under brands on the Coca-Cola website.
  • Honest Teapurchased by Coca-Cola in 2011

 

 

ConAgra Foods

  • Hunt’s Tomato Products – Hunt’s wears the label 100% natural on the majority of its products. It is listed on ConAgra’s list of brands.
  • Alexia Frozen Foods – Alexia Foods also totes the 100% natural label. They are also listed on ConAgra’s list of brands. ConAgra was sued earlier this year when customers questioned the company’s “all-natural” labeling and their use of a chemical to prevent browning in their potato products. The case settled.

 

 

General Mills

  • Cascadian Farms Organics
  • Food Should Taste Good – This company was acquired by General Mills in 2012 as an addition to it’s Natural Snack Food Business sector. The founder of Food Should Taste Good, Pete Lescoe, continues to act as the company’s creative director.
  • Larabar – Larabar is listed under General Mills’ brands on their website. A letter written by Lara, the founder of the acquisition of the company can be found here. The site also states that Larabar remains 100% committed to their values.

 

Photo Credit: Shutter Ferret via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Shutter Ferret via Compfight cc

Group Danone

  • Happy Family Brands – their site states their partnership with Group Danone earlier this year.
  • Stonyfield Yogurt – According to a press release on Dannon’s website, Group Danone acquired 40% of Stonyfield Farm in 2001, with Gary Hirshberg remaining as active CEO, chairman, and President. Group Danone currently owns Stonyfield Farm and Gary Hirshberg has since resigned as CEO, but remains an active chairman.

 

 

To put these lists in perspective, we wanted to share The Cornucopia Institute’s 2013 Organic Industry Structure chart. Their newly updated chart has grown immensely from their 2008 Organic Industry Structure chart.

 

 

Were you aware that these small companies are owned by larger food companies? Will this change your choices the next time you go to the grocery store? Tell us your thoughts below. 

Nutrition Trends: 2014 Edition

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Photo Credit: Glyn Lowe Photoworks, 2 Million Views, Thanks via Compfight cc

Nutrition Trends: 2014 Edition
By Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD, CDN and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

 

We took to the blogosphere earlier this year to highlight the food trends of 2013. We focused on chia seeds, natural sugar “alternatives”, self-monitoring, gluten-free foods, juicing, and leading a simpler life. And we have to say that those trends were pretty accurate. In honor of the New Year quickly approaching we wanted to share some of our predicted food trends of 2014.

Alternative Sugars

There’s no question that alternative sugars have become increasingly popular these past few years. With products like Stevia and coconut sugar leading the way last year, we have a hunch that Pyure will take the lead this coming year. It’s organic, non-GMO, and has a decent amount of fiber in a serving. According to their website, Pyure is an organic stevia blended with agave inulin fiber, which can act as a probiotic and digestive aids. With claims like that, we foresee a surge in popularity for this stevia sweetener. This does not mean we are fans rather we are just letting you know!

Beans, Beans, They’re Good for your Heart…

The editors at Eatocracy predict that beans will be a big trend among the culinary scene come 2014. We’d have to agree with them. Chefs have been featuring more protein-rich beans on their menus. We love it! Beans are a great source of fiber, protein, not to mention vitamins and minerals. Plus, they hold up well and can serve as the protein source in a main dish. It’s quite the win-win situation for restaurants, as beans are typically less expensive than meat and they draw in the vegetarian and vegan crowds. Just remember, you need 1.5 cups of beans to equal 3 oz of animal protein.

Photo Credit: Admanchester via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Admanchester via Compfight cc

Cauliflower

Who didn’t know someone who tried cauliflower pizza this past year, are we right? Cauliflower has been making headway in the online foodie scene recently. With recipes like cauliflower pizza, fritters, and mashed “potatoes,” cauliflower is quickly becoming the “hidden” vegetable. Don’t let the white color fool you, cauliflower is packed with vitamins and minerals, and we just can’t wait to see the new recipes to come next year! Check out one of our favorite recipes here.

Allergy-Friendly Foods

While we predicted gluten-free foods to be a trend in 2013, we have a feeling they’ll continue to rise in popularity come 2014. We, also, think that allergy-friendly foods, brands like Enjoy Life Foods, will become popular this year. With more and more food brands toting the gluten-free, peanut-free, and casein-free logos, we predict they’ll continue to grow. Food allergies seem to be on the rise, especially among school-aged children, so keep an eye out for kid and allergy-friendly foods.

Photo Credit: prideandvegudice via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: prideandvegudice via Compfight cc

Healthier Fast Food

Fast food continues to stay popular among Americans. We predict a surge of newer fast food options this year. Not only do we think (hope) that the main fast food companies, like McDonalds and Burger King will work to provide healthier food options for consumers, but we also think that some new options will emerge. In NYC alone, there are a number of healthy “fast food” joints popping up all over the place. With options like Hu Kitchen, Mulberry & Vine, and Fresh & Co the idea of grabbing a quick bite to eat may mean going to buy a quinoa-kale salad rather than a double cheeseburger.

Food Apps/Health Trackers

There’s no question that the app business has been drastically growing these past few years. We predict that it will continue to grow, especially in terms of food and health tracking apps. Apps like Fooducate, MyFitnessPal, and Lift have become quite trendy. We also think that their health tracker program counterparts will follow suit. Programs like fitbit, the Jawbone UP band, and Nike+ Fuel Band all track certain aspects of your health and allow you to sync with your computer (or phone) and track your health.

Probiotics

Who knew the word bacteria would be so trendy? 2013 was a big year for probiotics, and we don’t think that they will be going anywhere in 2014. With benefits ranging from improved digestion and preventing constipation, it’s no wonder these little bacteria get so much attention. It’s important to note that the research is still out on all their health effects, however, when on antibiotics or prescribed by a doctor, these microorganisms have been shown to balance the bacteria in your intestines. We’re looking forward to seeing more news and research on probiotics and any additional benefits they may have. Learn more by watching our video here.