5 Simple Tips For A Simply Healthier You This Fall Holiday Season

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.

Photo Credit: AlphaTangoBravo / Adam Baker via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: AlphaTangoBravo / Adam Baker via Compfight cc

1. Connect Food 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.
Photo Credit: Chris Blakeley via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Chris Blakeley via Compfight cc

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!

Prostate Cancer: News and Recommendations

Prostate Cancer: News and Recommendations
By Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among males, following skin cancer. It is currently most common in men over 50 years of age. An estimated 1 in 5 men will be diagnosed with cancer. Prostate cancer involves the prostate, an organ associated with the male reproductive system. We spoke last week about breast cancer and wanted to continue to raise the awareness of our EALM readers by covering the ins and outs of prostate cancer; including nutritional and lifestyle recommendations to benefit the health of men.

photo courtesy of Cleveland Clinic
photo courtesy of Cleveland Clinic

Causes and Contributing Factors:

As of now, the medical community has no knowledge of a definitive cause of prostate cancer. However, the American Cancer Society has highlighted some documented risk factors:

  • Prostate cancer is more common in men over the age of 50. And about 6 in 10 cases of prostate cancer are found in men over the age of 65.
  • It has been suggested to run in families. In fact, having a brother or father with prostate cancer more than doubles a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer himself.
  • Some studies have suggested that inherited mutations of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes (seen in families with higher risks of breast and ovarian cancers) may increase the risk in some men. Though these genes most likely account for a smaller percentage of prostate cancer cases.

Diet and Lifestyle:

It remains unclear how big of an effect diet has on the development of prostate cancer, although a large number of studies have found that diets higher in red meat intake, dairy products and diets high in total fat increase a man’s chance of getting prostate cancer. A study performed in Canada found that a diet high in saturated fat was associated with a “3-fold” risk of death following a prostate cancer diagnosis[i] when compared to a diet low in saturated fat[ii].

 Ripe Tomatoes

Conversely, diets consisting of fiber-rich foods, lycopene (found in tomatoes), and cruciferous vegetables have been shown to be associated with a lower risk of developing prostate cancer. It is important to note that lycopene is more easily digested after cooking, so look for recipes with cooked tomatoes like homemade marinara sauce, tomato soup, and ratatouli. Fish and intake of foods high in omega 3 fatty acids, have been linked to a decreased risk of death and recurrence of prostate cancer[i]. A recent article published in the Chicago Tribune states “men with early stage prostate cancer may live longer if they eat a diet rich in heart-healthy nuts, vegetable oils, seeds, and avocadoes”[iii]. It is because the heart-healthy fats found in nuts and vegetable oils increase antioxidants, which act to protect against cell damage and inflammation[iii].

Recommendations:

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends the following to maintain a healthy diet for those affected by prostate cancer:

  • Eating a very high amount of fruits and vegetables per day, 5-9 servings is ideal and focus on foods darker in pigment, as those tend to be higher in antioxidants.
    • Specifically cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and kale, as they have been found to have cancer-fighting properties.
    • Increasing intake of omega 3, our recommendations can be found here. However, we feel it’s important to mention that a recent study found a possible link to an increased cancer risk and the digestion of omega 3s. However, the study did not question where the omega 3s came from. Therefore, it remains unclear whether it is omega 3s from food or the omega 3s from supplements increase prostate cancer risk in men. All in all, we recommend eating natural sources of omega 3s in moderation, like eating fish and a handful of nuts a few times per week[iv].
    • Similar to omega 3 supplementation, medical professionals advise patients to avoid using supplements, unless authorized by their doctors. In 2012 it was found that vitamin E supplementation could actually be linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer.
    • Although this has yet to be definitively proven in studies, many believe that drinking 2-3 cups of green tea could help fight off cancer cells. While there is little evidence to this, we don’t think it would hurt swapping your second cup of coffee with a nice cup of green tea.
    • Exercise has been shown to decrease the risk of prostate cancer reoccurrence. It is recommended that men get an average of 30 minutes of exercise about 5 days per week.

What activities do you do with your family to keep healthy and active? What are your favorite recipes with lycopene, cruciferous veggies, and omegas? We especially love this Tomato Soup recipe from Cooking Light!

 

For more resources and information on prostate cancer, we recommend the following websites:


[i] Epstein, Mara M., Julie L. Kasperzyk, Lorelei A. Mucci, Edward Giovannucci, Alkes Price, Alicja Wolk, Niclas Hakansson, Katja Fall, Swen-Olof Andersson, and Ove Andren. “Dietary Fatty Acid Intake and Prostate Cancer Survival in Örebro County, Sweden.” American Journal of Epidemiology. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 10 July 2012. Web.

[ii] Berkow, Susan E., Neal D. Barnard, Gordon A. Saxe, and Trulie Ankerberg-Nobis. “Diet and Survival After Prostate Cancer Diagnosis.” Nutrition Reviews 65.9 (2007): 391-403.

[iii] Cortez, Michelle F. “Healthy Fats May Prolong Lives of Those with Prostate Cancer.”Chicago Tribune: Health. Chicago Tribune Company, LLC, 3 Oct. 2013. Web. 13 Oct. 2013.

[iv] Brasky, T. M. et al. Plasma phospholipid fatty acids and prostate cancer risk in the SELECT trial. J. Natl Cancer Inst. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djt174.

Is Greek Frozen Yogurt Everyone's Answer to Dessert?

yogurt

In the past few years, frozen yogurt has become an increasingly popular food. With its creamy texture, thick consistency, and boasting more protein than regular yogurt, it’s no surprise that Greek yogurt has expanded to a wide variety of products on the shelves. From shelf stable products like cereals or covered pretzels to Greek frozen yogurt ice cream, are the commercial products that contain this tangy yogurt just as healthy as Greek yogurt itself? Read on to find out if Greek frozen yogurt is everyone’s answer to dessert!

What Is Greek Yogurt?

The processing, flavor, and nutrition content of Greek yogurt differs greatly from regular yogurt. Greek yogurt has been strained, and the whey is removed; which yields a thick and creamy product. It is also tangier than regular yogurt. Its thick consistency allows for it to easily act as a substitute for many ingredients. For example, Greek yogurt can be used as a substitute for recipes that call for whole milk, sour cream, or even cream cheese! (Try Fage non-fat, plain Greek yogurt for a healthier alternative to cream cheese. It’s thick consistency allows it stay in tact yet spreadable on toasts!) Compared to regular yogurt, most Greek yogurts have higher protein and calcium content and lower added sugar content. Note that calcium content can vary depending on the brand and flavor of the yogurt. When food shopping, check the back of the nutrition label to see the percentage of calcium that the product contains. Typically it can vary from 20-50% calcium.

Is it Healthier?

With it’s reputation for being healthier, a recent trend is that people have been substituting Greek frozen yogurt for ice cream or frozen yogurt. But is it really healthier or just as healthy as Greek yogurt itself?  Here is breakdown of some popular items’ nutrient compositions:

Screen Shot 2013-09-03 at 3.56.41 PM

From the information above, you can see that Chobani non-fat Greek yogurt has the least calories as well as the most protein. Instead of focusing on the calorie content however, note that the protein content is what really sets Greek yogurt apart from the frozen products. The protein will increase satiety—essentially helping to keep you feeling full, longer—and it won’t spike your insulin. Compared to its frozen counterpart, this makes Greek yogurt a great everyday food choice for those who may have diabetes or are insulin resistant. And if you’re looking to reap the health benefits of Greek yogurt, enjoy it straight from the container or use it as a healthy alternative for recipes like salads, dips, and even cheesecakes!

It’s important to recognize that while Greek yogurt itself can be a nutritionally dense and tasty food, know that not every Greek yogurt product is going to have the same nutritional value. Unfortunately, the labeling of the product as “Greek frozen yogurt” may create a perception that it provides the same benefits as regular Greek yogurt. Products that claim to contain Greek yogurt (whether frozen or shelf stable) often contain added sugars like syrups or candy pieces, and fillers, which increase the saturated fat and dwindle the amount of Greek yogurt that is actually in the product.

Despite the differences between Greek yogurt or Greek frozen yogurt, the takeaway is that it is perfectly OK to enjoy Greek frozen yogurt (or simply ice cream!) sometimes as a snack or dessert. Remember, here at Eating and Living Moderately, we believe in enjoying all foods in moderation and balance!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nuts

Screen Shot 2013-08-06 at 3.08.52 PMMost people are confused about whether nuts are good for you. In the past, nuts have gotten a bad rep for being a “bad fat.” However, nuts are high in vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber and fat, and a handful of nuts go a long way. These bite sized powerhouses are in fact highly nutritious and beneficial to the body. All nuts have different nutrition profiles and offer different benefits. Read on to find out which nuts are rich in calcium or boast the most protein per serving.

Almonds
Brazil Nuts
Cashews
Hazelnuts
Macadamia Nuts
Peanuts
Pecans
Pine Nuts
Pistachios
Walnuts

Nuts for Seeds
If you’re allergic to nuts, seeds are similar in flavor. They offer a nutty taste and crunchy texture without the health risk.

Sunflower Seeds

Pumpkin Seeds

Watermelon Seeds

Too Much of a Good Thing

Although nuts are a healthy choice themselves, like all foods, too much of a good thing isn’t always healthy. Nuts are small but are more nutritionally dense in both fat and calories. So, keep in mind that while a handful of nuts can be a healthy snack choice between meals, too many handfuls may ruin your appetite altogether.

Fish Oil Linked to Prostate Cancer?

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Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for men in the United States. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lifetime. Some studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of certain cancers and have anti-inflammatory properties but the ACS reports that such studies are still inconclusive.  But with so much talk about the Mediterranean diet and omega-3 fatty acids lowering the risk of heart disease, chances are that you or someone you know is probably consuming more fish oil supplements or eating more fatty fish like salmon, herring, or mackerel. Despite the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, a recent study found that fish oil may increase the risk of high-grade prostate cancer.

The latest study on the association between prostate cancer and omega-3 fatty acids, “Plasma Phospholipid Fatty Acids and Prostate Cancer Risk in the SELECT Trial,” was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, and was funded by National Cancer Institute and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The study analyzed levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood of 834 men who had been diagnosed with cancer, and 156 of them were diagnosed with high-grade cancer. (In the study, researchers defined omega-3 fatty acids as EPA, DPA and DHA.) They then compared the results with blood samples from 1,393 cancer-free men. Men with the highest level of omega-3 had a 43% increase in risk for prostate cancer and a 71% increased in risk for high-grade cancer (the most fatal) (Brasky, JNCI 2013).

It’s important to note that the study shows that there is an association between increased omega-3 fatty acid plasma levels and prostate cancer but does not demonstrate that the intake of omega-3 fatty acids causes prostate cancer. The study measured blood levels in the participants but did not include information on their eating habits. Thus, the effect between fatty acids from a fish source or supplements is not differentiated. As of now, the cause and effect relationship of the two is still unknown and much more research is needed. The study concludes that men with a history of prostate cancer should discuss with a health professional if fish oil supplements are safe for them. Since fish oil supplements are a concentrated form of omega-3 fatty acids, it can add up to a lot.

While the study sends a conflicting message to many who follow the Mediterranean diet or taking supplements, it’s simply important to remember that consuming any food in excess is not healthy. Men would benefit from consulting their doctor while continuing to read relevant research on this topic before taking fish oil supplements.

To learn more, check out the American Cancer Society for more information.

Chaise23 Fitness Giveaway

chaise

Chaise

Think Pilates chair (aka “chaise”) meets aerobics on 23rd Street in New York City.  It’s one of NYC’s newest fitness studios and doesn’t disappoint! They offer a variety of classes from Ballet Bungee to the Chair Challenge. (You can checkout a description of each of their classes here.) Whether you’re a beginner or an athlete, it’s definitely a fun way to get your heart rate pumping!

 

When we asked Chaise 23 if they would agree to share a free class with one of our readers, they enthusiastically said “Yes!” So get moving! Comment here for a chance to win 3 free classes at Chaise 23! And don’t forget to say “hi” if you see me there!

What is Chaise23?

Chaise23 is a culmination of Lauren Piskin’s years as a competitive figure skater and over 30 years experience in the fitness industry. As one of the first certified Pilates instructors Lauren has seen it all. Thus Chaise23 and The Reinvention Method was born.

The Reinvention Method:

What is better than a workout that can actually redefine the shape of your body. The Reinvention Method is specifically designed to create a long, lean, and sculpted body. We have fused together the sculpting power of Pilates with aerobics, strength training, and ballet, to create a unique workout specifically designed to target those hard to reach trouble areas (think lower abs, glutes, and under arms). The Method is comprised of two complementary classes – Reinvention Chair and Cardio Chair.

 

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

One lucky winner will receive 3 classes at Chaise 23 in New York City!

Enter by one of the following ways. You can submit more than one entry by doing any of the following. Just be sure to leave an additional comment letting us know you did! Good luck!

  • Leave a comment here and  “Like us” on our Facebook page
  • Follow @MomDishesItOut and tweet @MomDishesItOut is having a @Chaise23 #Giveaway
    We’d love to hear about what ways you like to stay physically active and moving!. Giveaway ends on Sunday, June 30th at 6:00 PM EST.

4 Smart Superbowl Swaps

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

Broiled Buffalo Wings

INGREDIENTS
Serves 10

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

1/4 cup of your favorite hot sauce

Dash of cayenne pepper

1 clove garlic

METHOD

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

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

Broccoli and Cheese Twice Baked Potatoes

INGREDIENTS
Serves 8 

8 large baking potatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

3/4 pound broccoli florets (approx 5 cups)

1 large onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups grated low-fat Cheddar

1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt

1/4 cup skim milk

Salt and pepper

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

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

Chili Lime Tortilla Chips

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

12 6-inch corn tortillas

Canola oil cooking spray

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

METHOD 

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

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

Cucumber Salsa

Serves 8

 INGREDIENTS

2 cups finely chopped seeded peeled cucumber

1/2 cup finely chopped seeded tomato

1/4 cup chopped red onion

2 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley

1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and chopped

4-1/2 teaspoon minced fresh cilantro

1 garlic clove, minced or pressed

1/4 cup 0% nonfat Greek yogurt

1-1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1-1/2 teaspoon lime juice

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt

METHOD

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

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

 

6 Nutrition Trends of 2013

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia

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

Natural sugar “alternatives.”

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

Self Monitoring

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

Gluten-Free Foods

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

Juicing

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

A Simpler Life

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

A Plant Powered Lifestyle

Sharon Palmer, who is also a Registered Dietitian, recently sent me a copy her new book, The Plant Powered Diet. (We’re also giving away one copy to a lucky reader.. for details read on!) While incorporating research studies, an array of informational charts and recipes, Sharon’s book comes down to one main point:

EAT MORE PLANTS!

After a few pages and a chapter or two in, it became clear that despite the title, this is not a typical “how-to diet book.” In fact, the author does a great job of not labeling any foods good or bad, but does an excellent job of providing an abundant amount of information, allowing readers to make his or her decisions about which plant-based foods are best to eat. From shopping organic, cooking, dining out, and teaching you how to calculate your protein needs, Sharon has covered nearly every topic or question you might have about eating more plant-based foods.

Nearly every holiday is centered on the 4 F’s: family, friends, fun and food! Quite often, the day is centered on the latter. For many, a turkey, chicken or roast beef is a focal point of the holiday meal. This year however, I challenge you to power the holidays with a more plant-based approach.  Whether you’re a committed omnivore, vegetarian or vegan, try incorporating more vegetables, fruits and whole grains into the holiday festivities! With family gatherings and parties, take advantage of this holiday season by using it to expose your loved ones to more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

A great takeaway from this book is that vegetables, fruits and whole grains can be incorporated into many dishes, savory or sweet. They can act as substitutes in your favorite dishes or shine on their own. The important thing to remember is that this shouldn’t be view as a temporary diet, but rather a lifestyle change. Change doesn’t begin overnight but it can be a start! Begin by trying one new vegetable every week, or simply ensuring you are eating vegetables throughout your day, whether in your meals or snacks.

Here are 3 of our favorite tips from Sharon’s book, that can help steer you in a healthier direction:

1. Stem-to-Root Eating — One of our favorite sustainable tips from the book, Sharon emphasizes consuming every part of the plant. Sometimes we lose site of the best parts of a plant that are very much still edible. Instead of tossing out your broccoli stalks, kale stems or beet tops, give it a second chance to become a tasty part of your meal!

2. For any favorite recipe, try substituting a whole plant fat like avocado for refined oils — In cakes, you can substitute half the amount of butter or even a mayonaise-like spread with pureed avocado.

3. For dessert recipes, try substituting whole fruit for added sugar instead — “Use the natural sweetness of fruits to sweeten breads, cookies and desserts while gaining a serving of antioxidant-rich fruit.”

For a chance to enter into our giveaway for a copy of Sharon Palmer’s The Plant Powered Diet, click here!

Is food always on your mind?

 

 

5 Signs You May Be Eating When You Don’t Need To

  1. You sneak food.
  2. You eat every time you come home regardless of your hunger level.
  3. You eat in bed.
  4. You always eat when you are sad or angry.
  5. You eat food just because it is there.
If you answer yes to any of the questions above, read the article below. 

ENDING THE INTERNAL FOOD FIGHT

By Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDS

You’ve finished eating dinner. You’re satisfied and feel good. But coming from the other room is a voice. It whispers, “Eat me. You’re tired, and I will make you feel better. You gorged last night. . . and every night the week before—why not tonight?” So you get off the couch and sink, bite by blissful bite, to the bottom of a pint of your favorite ice cream.

Moments later, your feeling of bliss is gone. Guilt, remorse, shame and loss set in. You just ate an entire pint of ice cream when you weren’t even hungry. You feel that food is controlling you and that you just can’t win.

Well, you can win. Food needs to be balanced with your physical needs and sometimes your emotional needs. You can break the cycle of behavioral eating by giving yourself time and working in phases. This article outlines six phases to end the internal food fight and gain a neutral relationship with eating. Each step focuses on a small behavioral change designed to prevent the feeling of deprivation. The continuation and accumulation of the new habits can lead to big health and lifestyle changes for your future. Give yourself a week or two to move through each phase.

This article addresses night eating of previously restricted foods and builds off the ice cream example above, but these phases can be applied to many other eating habits. Other non-hunger reasons for eating include eating to comfort yourself, eating something after a meal because you grew up eating dessert, and eating socially because your friends are eating. Using the steps below as a guide can help you break these too. Before you begin, however, you have to first identify and accept your counterproductive habit. Only then can you begin the journey toward freedom from your internal struggle.

Phase 1 (Weeks 1 & 2): Once you’ve identified your behavior, embrace your habit or forbidden food. Give yourself permission to eat ice cream past your point of fullness. Allowing yourself the food or behavior removes the guilt and releases you from the internal struggle. Enjoy the food/habit, recognizing how your body feels as you are indulging. In our example here, remember how good that first bite of ice cream tastes (it’s often what your body remembers most, because as you continue to eat, your senses are dulled).

Phase 2 (Weeks 2 & 3): It’s time for another small change. Start by reducing your portion to three quarters of its original size. While you’re modifying your behavior in a healthy way, you’ll still be allowing yourself to enjoy the food. You aren’t depriving yourself, and you’re beginning to be mindful of your physical needs.

Phase 3 (Weeks 4 & 5): Decrease your portion to half the original size over the next two weeks. While slowly reducing the portion, you shouldn’t feel restricted or deprived. Savor your food; notice the color, the texture, the taste, and how it makes you feel during and after eating it.

Phase 4 (Weeks 5 & 6): You have experienced your food fully and have probably realized that a smaller portion satisfies you. Now change the food you are eating. Using our example, try a creamy sorbet. If nuts are your night food of choice, try switching to another salty finger food, like popcorn.

Think about why you are eating. Do you want to keep this habit? While you’re continuing to eat at night, you’re now doing so with a neutral food (one that was not formerly restricted), which is less numbing. Your relationship with food should feel more balanced.

Phase 5 (Weeks 6 & 7): Get ready to reintroduce your original food. Alternate eating the halved portion of regular ice cream with one of sorbet. When you crave the ice cream, eat it. And when you want the sorbet, dig right in. Try to alternate your snack every other night and eat your food at the kitchen table with no other stimuli (watching TV, talking on the phone). This creates an environment that allows you to be mindful, and intuitive. Hopefully you feel freer and are better able to enjoy both foods.

Phase 6 (Weeks 7 & 8): Incorporate your night foods in moderation. Enjoy the food while paying close attention to your body’s needs. Remember that your night eating should be stimulus-free and at the kitchen table. Alternate your foods, follow your cravings and, most important, if you aren’t hungry, find something else to do.

Follow this proactive plan, and after 12 weeks of gradual changes, you will be eating less and feeling more empowered and less controlled by food. Don’t be tempted to race through phases. There’s no reward for finishing first, so remember to take your time. Doing so will help make your new habit a permanent one, and you’ll be more in tune with your body’s needs.

Moving forward, you can repeat the phases if you feel the need to further reduce your portions or if your old habit recurs. Finally, remember that you can always receive additional support from trusted friends, family, self-help books or a registered dietitian.

Phases 1 through 6, in Brief

Phase 1: Allow yourself your chosen food or behavior for the first one to two weeks.

Phase 2: Reduce your portion size to ¾ its original size.

Phase 3: Decrease your portion further to ½ its original size.

Phase 4: Choose a different food. Change the food you are eating.

Phase 5: Alternate eating the halved portion of original food with its healthier counterpart. Remember to eat in a stimulus-free environment at the kitchen table.

Phase 6: Incorporate all foods, in moderation. Choose ice cream one night, sorbet one night and perhaps nothing another night (if you are not hungry), maintaining your new healthy habit.

 

The above is not intended for those suffering from eating disorders.