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!
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.
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Some Things to Keep in Mind Before Your Next Sip By Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team
In honor of Labor Day Weekend, we wanted to share the following blog on drinking and alcohol. We wish you a healthy and happy holiday weekend!
In 2010, the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans included a recommendation to drink alcohol in moderation. Moderation here is defined as: one drink or less per day for women, and 2 drinks or less per day for men. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) notes that one alcoholic beverage is equal to 14 grams of alcohol. That means, one 5-ounce glass of wine, one 1.5 ounce serving of liquor (tequila, vodka, gin, and so on), or one 12-ounce bottle of beer. Alcohol can affect every person differently based on your height, weight, health status, family history, age and how often/how much you decide to drink.
Alcohol clocks in at 7.1 calories per gram, which is more calories per gram than protein and carbohydrates, but less than fat. So, how does alcohol breakdown in our body and is it a health risk? Contrary to popular belief, alcohol is considered a fat, not a sugar, when it is broken down in our body. The thermic effect (energy needed to breakdown foods/drinks) of alcohol is 15-22% versus the 12% for food. That means, it takes your body more energy to breakdown alcohol than food. Does that mean that people who drink will burn more calories and have a lower body weight? No. The research examining alcohol consumption and body weight regulation is mixed. Some studies concluded that alcohol consumption in women was related to a lower body weight, but the study could not control for exactly how many ounces these women drank. Another study found no correlation between alcohol and weight in women, but concluded that men who drank had a lower body fat percentage but not a lower waist-to-hip ratio (the ultimate indicator for heart health and diabetes risk). Most studies did not address long-term consumption either, so there is no evidence to see how one’s drinking habits affect them in the long run.
Extensive research from the American Institute for Cancer Research (aicr.org) has uncovered the link between alcohol consumption and breast cancer risk in women of all ages. The majority of the research found a 10% increased risk for breast cancer with every 10 grams of alcohol/day – that’s less than one drink. Alcohol is also an Oestrogen/Estrogen disruptor, as it influences the hormone levels and its receptors.
It’s also important to know that your body considers alcohol a toxin. When you consume it, all other metabolic processes slow down to get the alcohol out of your system more efficiently. And because alcohol is considered a fat (1 of the 3 macronutrients), other fat breakdown is significantly curbed at that time. Now, we shouldn’t start drinking alcohol on an empty stomach, rather we should be mindful of the foods we consume while we enjoy our drink. Alcohol can affect our mood and our brain function, which can ultimately affect our food choices. That’s why being mindful when we enjoy our drinks and food is important. The second we feel out of touch with ourselves from a cocktail, it may be time to stop sipping and stay present.
For a useful tool on calculating the amount of alcohol in your drink, check out:
Happy and Healthy Diabetes Friendly Holiday Meals with Dessert! By: Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD, CDN and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team
Have you or someone you know been diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes? We understand that adjusting to a lifestyle with diabetes can be overwhelming and frightening, especially when diagnosed near the holidays. It is for this very reason we are sharing my latest cookbook with you, The Diabetes Comfort Food Diet Cookbook. In concert with the editors of Prevention magazine, we set out to create a cookbook that gives families the tools they need to manage or reverse insulin resistance. By following the START approach, you learn to achieve and maintain a 5-10% weight loss all while continuing to eat the foods you love! This book contains an introduction to all things relating to diabetes and allows you to eat real sugar. No artificial sugar!! There are 200 recipes, plus a great deal of tips and tricks to maintain your blood sugar levels. Think cinnamon, monounsaturated fats and fiber.
As we say in the book: “a sweet life is possible.” It is in honor of our book that we wanted to share these 6 “Diabetes Friendly” holiday meal ideas (using recipes from the book DCFD) that are about 60 grams of carbohydrate or less to tantalize your taste buds and help to guide you to a successful self care dinner celebration. You can get started with a recipe straight from the pages of our book:
So as you can see, you can learn to eat real food, even warm comforting food that doesn’t spike your blood sugar. Happy and healthy holidays!! In honor of the spirit, we are giving away one free copy of the Diabetes Comfort Food Diet Cookbook.
Do you want a new favorite recipe? Click here to enter to win a copy!
The Art of the Bliss Point
By Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD
Beware of the bliss point this holiday season!! The term “Bliss Point” made headlines earlier this year when author Michael Moss’ book, “Salt, Sugar, Fat” was published. Bliss point, a term often used by the soft-drink industry represents the food manufacturers’ use of sugar, salt, and fat to increase taste and ultimately, the cravings of consumers. It is a specific term coined to represent the “specific amount of crave” which is smack in the middle of the sensory intensity (level)1.
Remember when Oreos were all over the news last month? A study performed by Connecticut College found that eating Oreos stimulate the same sensation in the brains of lab mice as drugs do, suggesting that Oreos may possibly be as addictive as drugs. “Our research supports the theory that high-fat/high-sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do,” says Joseph Schroeder, the director of the Behavioral Neuroscience Program at Connecticut College2. “It could explain why some people can’t resist these foods despite the fact that they know they are bad for them.”2 While the study is yet to be officially published and undergo the peer-review process, it is likely that the Oreos caused the mice to reach something like their bliss point. It is important to recognize that this does not mean the food itself is addictive (check back soon for a post on food addiction). If foods are eaten in combination with other foods especially proteins, the sensory experience of the food would be different and, therefore, not at the optimal bliss point.
Keep in mind, the food manufacturers are trying to achieve bliss point so the consumers continually buy and eat their products. This is a marketing ploy. The University of Indiana highlights the Bliss Point on their website, stating that the bliss point is the combination of “just the right amount of sugar, salt, and fat”. They report the food industry attempts to prepare all foods with at least 2 combinations of the earlier mentioned nutrients3. In fact, Moss says there are some foods on the market today that cause our bodies to feel hungry even as we’re eating them1.
Take an example by Moss, from his article in the NY Times, just a half-cup serving of a popular marinara sauce brand has more than 2 teaspoons of sugar (that’s more than two oreos worth of sugar). Moss states, however, that having too much of one sensation (ie sweetness, fat, or salt) can actually be off-putting to the consumer. It is a term called “sensory-specific satiety,” in which more distinctive flavors overwhelm the brain, therefore reducing the desire to eat more. Thus, not only do brands look for the perfect mixture of tastes, but they also measure them accordingly to ensure that they don’t reach the “sensory-specific satiety”1.
Can you think about a certain food like a potato chip or even an Oreo that has hit upon your bliss point? I can remember eating Pringles and one was just never enough. Even now, when I eat Oreos, having one is extremely rare. Rather I try to have Oreos with my lunch, or with milk or immediately after eating dinner to so that I get full from the other foods and also to prevent a blood sugar rollercoaster.
So what can we do, as consumers? As parents? We live in a busy world where too often convenience trumps nutrition. Despite having good intentions to eat locally sourced foods, time and lack of energy cause us to fall prey to packaged goods. It is truly a balancing act. Most important is that the consumer realizes this is happening and can make an educated decision regarding which brands to purchase, how often to eat packaged foods and to realize the body is not betraying you rather the big food companies may be!
Do you think food companies should be allowed to manufacture foods that achieve bliss point? Do you think overeating of these specific foods is the fault of the big food companies or the individual?
Moss, Michael. “The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food.” New York Times [New York City] 20 Feb 2013, Magazine n. pag. Web. 25 Nov. 2013. <http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/magazine/the-extraordinary-science-of-junk-food.html?_r=0>.
Martin, Amy, and Deborah MacDonnell. “Connecticut College News.” Connecticut College News. Connecticut College, 15 Oct. 2013. Web. 25 Nov. 2013.
“The Bliss Point.” The Bliss Point. Indiana University, n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2013.
5 Simple Tips For A Simply Healthier You This Fall Holiday Season
Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD
Autumn typically means cooler, darker days, busier schedules with school and work, oh, and we can’t forget about all of those holiday parties. When things get busy, to-do lists get longer, calendars fill up and our self-care can slip further and further down our priority list. Thankfully, there are some simple changes to re-prioritize and maintain or even improve your well being.
1. ConnectFood and Mood: After eating a meal, think does this make me feel comfortable, give me energy and improve my mood?
If the answer is no, you need a new comfort food. A great resource is to reach for my Diabetes Comfort Food Cookbook, filled with 200 healthy and comforting recipes.
A good tip to remember is that comfort food is meant to make us feel well, not sick and lethargic. So choose a food that will make you feel content, and increase your energy levels. Be sure to be eating when you are hungry.
2. Think brown for fall: Switch to brown bread and brown grains to get less processed, more wholesome natural fiber in your diet. This is also great for those favorite holiday recipes. Consider swapping white bread for a whole-wheat variety in a stuffing recipe to add more Vitamin B and Vitamin E, plus natural fiber. Or swap all-purpose flour for whole-wheat flour in your homemade baked goods. Here are some tips to go brown this holiday season:
Buy grains in bulk to really save money.
Be weary of the sugar content: choose grains with no added sugar.
Hello comfort food: whole grains can make a great comfy side dish. Whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, and quinoa all make wonderful sides.
3. Warm up! Fat is essential for body temperature regulation. Keep warm this fall and replace saturated fat and trans fat like margarine with heart helpful fats known as MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids). Here are some suggestions to help you stay warm and healthy.
Choose canola oil or olive oil.
Spread natural peanut butter rather than butter. (Hint: opt for a brand with minimal ingredients, only peanuts and/or salt is ideal).
Skip the cheese, avocado please! Swapping avocado for cheese increases your intake of heart-healthy MUFAs, B vitamins and even potassium.
4. Say Goodbye to Calorie Counting: Log hunger and fullness cues in a food log, not calories! This is the best way to learn if you are eating the right amount for you.
Log food, feelings and behaviors to identify obstacles to self-care and healthy habits.
Identify if you are eating for physical, emotional or behavioral reasons. Ideally you want to aim to eat for physical reasons.
If you are always full or just not hungry but find yourself eating, seek alternative comfort or distractions – find a new hobby or fun workout class to distract you. Even better learn to sit with your feelings. They will pass.
5. Carpe Diem!! Last but not least, relish the happy moments this holiday season. We know that the holidays can be stressful and hectic, but they are also a great time to catch up with family and friends. So relax, find positive moments and take deep breaths. You deserve it!
By Erin Potasnick, Nutrition Student at Yeshiva University and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team
Most people have heard of the term “fasting” before. And while we don’t encourage fasting for any reason other than religious holidays, like Tisha B’Av or Ramadan, we’ve come up with 7 Simple Pre- and Post-Fasting Tips to help you get through the process:
1. Schedule accordingly! – If you’re fasting for a religious holiday, many health care professionals encourage you to adjust your medications to the appropriate fasting times.
2. Stay hydrated ahead of time! – Hydration is critical when fasting, especially when some religious fasts call for no liquids. Therefore, be sure to consume roughly 8-10 glasses (~64 ounces) of water in the days approaching your fast. It is vital for pregnant women to drink plenty of fluids during the designated times of their fast, making sure to have water at their side at all times.
3. Eat a balanced meal pre-fast – Be sure to include complex carbohydrates, protein, and fats. This should allow you to begin your fast feeling neither hungry, nor full, but content.
4. Rest and take time for yourself! – What better time to take a mid-afternoon nap than during a fast? Not only will this keep your mind off the impending hunger, but it will also allow you to wake feeling refreshed and re-energized. On Yom Kippur, those in observance fast to ask God for forgiveness, making the fasting period a great time to reflect and gain insight.
5. Hydrate after fasting – When you break the fast, chose hydrating foods, like fruits, vegetables, and soups. It is important to rehydrate and take care of your digestive system post-fast. We encourage drinking herbal teas, like peppermint tea, with traditional post-fast meals, to help ease your digestion. We also suggest you to take a break, go for a walk, and think mindfully when eating to avoid eating in a binge-like manner and any stomach discomfort.
6. Stay true to your fast – stick with a buddy! Traditionally families fast together when observing Yom Kippur and Tisha B’Av. Sometimes having a partner or group of supporters can really help you stay motivated and stick to your plan!
7. Be safe! – If you are sick or pregnant, you may want to meet with your healthcare provider to make sure that fasting is appropriate for you at the time.
How do you prepare and stay on track while fasting? Have any tips or tricks? Stay safe and enjoy!
 Pathy R, Mills K, Gazeley S, Ridgley A, Kiran T. Health is a spiritual thing: perspectives of health care professionals and female Somali and Bangladeshi women on the health impacts of fasting during Ramadan. Ethnicity & Health [serial online]. February 2011;16(1):43-56. Available from: CINAHL Plus with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed September 8, 2013.
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.
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
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
12 6-inch corn tortillas
Canola oil cooking spray
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
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
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
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