Thursday, December 11, 2014

Changing Your Holiday Feasting Mindset

The holidays shouldn’t be binging until there’s no tomorrow, but also shouldn’t be a time of restriction. There are special dishes and treats that only appear once a year and you can still enjoy it! Here are a few tips to help get you through the holiday parties:

Don’t skip meals- trying to save up for the main event will cause even a greater risk for overeating. Truly, the body only needs a certain amount of carbohydrates, fats and proteins at one time and then either excretes it, uses it, burns it or stores it. If excess calories are taken in, the extra will be stored as fat—thus the weight gain. Instead try to eat balanced meals including breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch and dinner.

Check the beverages- another main cause of holiday weight gain in the extra calories taken in by drinks. Mixed alcoholic drinks are typically the most calorie and sugar laden. Stick with water, wine and beer in moderation because these are on the lower calorie side. If you would like a drink, have it before or after the meal. Most people do not really taste their drinks while eating, so enjoy it more before or after the meal.

Take food home- if friends or relatives always give you food to take home, then save some of the food you would like to have for leftovers. Make your plate up with the foods you absolutely want, and the others can be packed in portions for the next day.

Ultimately, you get to make the food choices. Enjoying food does not mean you have to overdo it at each and every party, which can make the world of difference with holiday weight gain.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Vegetarians and Vegans Converting Back to Meat-Eating

A recent study found that 84% of vegetarians and vegans have found their way back to eating meat again. Dietitian, Lisa Young, suggests that the reason this is happening so frequently is because these individuals may have gone cold turkey too dramatically. Starting to slowly remove these certain food groups can give the individual a better perspective on how life would be without these food groups. The cravings of meat are typically the reason why they abandon these diets that are actually short lived of about 2 years. On the other hand, this research also found that 37% of these prior vegetarians and vegans said they would be interested in returning back to this diet in the future.

So, if you are considering implementing a plant based diet, such as veganism or vegetarianism into your New Year’s Resolution, be sure to take smart steps to adapting this diet. Also, refer to a Registered Dietitian, Physician and health care professional about diet adequacy before starting. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Triggers of Unhealthy Snacking

Snacking can be incorporated into a healthy diet as long as good snacking choices are being made. Recent research has identified reasons that consumers choose unhealthy snacks, which were defined as “foods consumed between the three main meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) containing high amounts of ingredients like fat and sugar”. The largest reported reason for unhealthy snacking was “enjoying a special occasion”. Younger people indicated a higher score for each reason of choosing unhealthy snacks, showing that differences among age groups were the largest. This research will help guide health education development in the future with a focus on healthy snacking at social gatherings. These new educational tactics will help better the health of many people.

For more information on this study visit: 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Tips to Having a Healthier Thanksgiving

1) Balance your plate- Whether you serve the Thanksgiving meal family style or from a buffet line, you should know some tips to fill your plate. To help prevent overeating, fill half of your plate with vegetables because they are filled with fiber and will help keep you fuller longer. Then fill 1/4 of your plate with turkey or other protein source, then the last 1/4 of your plate with starches, such as potatoes or stuffing. Before filling up a second plate, your vegetables should be eaten. When filling up again, do it the same way as your first plate.

2) Enjoy your holiday favorites in moderation- Allow yourself to enjoy your favorite holiday foods and beverages that you truly look forward to. If there are foods that you can enjoy at any other time of the year, consider skipping them. Otherwise, take a moderate serving that will satisfy you. 

3) Smaller servings- If you are preparing part of the meal or dessert to bring to the host's house, or you are serving the meal at your house, prepare the special appetizers, treats and drinks in smaller portions. By doing this, the batch that is made will serve more guests, and will help keep servings in checks. Also opt for using smaller serving plates and smaller glasses to help with serving sizes. 

4) Bring a dish to share- This can be a great idea if you or a loved one deals with food allergies or dietary restrictions. By preparing a dish yourself, you will know exactly what is in it and you will have piece of mind that they will be a dish that you can enjoy. Also, it can encourage other guests to try it as well. Try bringing a vegetable tray for an appetizer or quinoa stuffing. 

5) Pace yourself- Take time between bites to make meaningful conversation with the ones that you are with. This will also help for your brain and stomach to communicate to let you know when you are getting full, and may prevent overeating. 

6) Move- There are many holiday races that your family and friends can enjoy together. Consider signing up for a walk or run to help keep your activity levels up and create some memories. This can even start a new tradition! 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

November is American Diabetes Month!

While there is not a one size fits all diabetic diet, there are two major components to diabetes care. You probably guessed it! DIET AND EXERCISE. Below are some quick nutrition tips to help manage diabetes.
1.     Consume healthful carbohydrate sources: Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are all examples of healthful carbs and should be included in your daily diet. Another benefit from getting your carbs from these sources is that they help provide fiber!
2.     Avoid sugar sweetened beverages: Sugar sweetened beverages can raise blood sugar making it harder to control. Instead of soda or sweetened iced tea, try flavoring your water with fresh lemon juice.
3.     Decrease the sodium: Most Americans consume more salt than necessary in their daily diet. To help with diabetes and weight management try to stay under 2,300 mg of sodium each day. For some individuals, especially those with high blood pressure, this still may be too much.

For additional help managing diabetes contact a registered dietitian or certified diabetes educator!

Information adapted from:

Saturday, November 15, 2014

You Can "veg out", but Eat Your Veggies!

The analysis of the 2007-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) found that Americans are under consuming dark green, red, and orange vegetables. The Dietary Guidelines recommend 1.25 cups of total vegetables and 0.50 cups of dark green, red, and orange vegetables per 1,000 calories for a 2,000-calorie diet. This may come as no surprise to you, but how are we going to fix this long-lasting shortfall within our country? 

Well here are a few tips to increase your dark green, red and orange vegetables in your daily diet:
·         Add veggies you almost like to dishes you already love.
-Layer zucchini slices, chopped spinach, or cooked carrots into lasagna, stir broccoli florets into macaroni and cheese, toss whatever veggies you like into an omelet or quesadilla.
·         Try them in soup.
-Embellish your favorite soups with added veggies. Most canned and commercial choices can stand to have their veggie quota bumped up. Just add the raw or frozen vegetables while you are cooking or heating the soup.
·         Take raw vegetables skinny dipping.
-Have you tried using plain Greek yogurt with a Ranch or Onion seasoning mix to make a light vegetable dip? You will be getting live active cultures, protein and all of the benefits of the vegetables, talk about double dipping!
·         It's all about the cheese.
-When all else fails, you can always sprinkle a little grated, reduced-fat cheese over the top. Drizzle it over vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower and suddenly, it's a whole different ball game.

Source: United States Department of Agriculture-Economic Research Service

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Smart Spices to Add to Your Meal

It can be easy to pick up the salt shaker, especially if the prepared food is flavorless. How can you fix this at home? Add some spices! This will reduce the need to add salt, and may even health benefits!

Here are some to try:
-Oregano has antibacterial properties which can help prevent an upset stomach. Try seasoning brown rice, vegetables or a lean protein.

-Cinnamon has been shown in research to improve blood sugar levels, which can be especially helpful in diabetics. Other studies have shown that it is beneficial in reducing inflammation in the body. Try adding it to sweet potatoes or a bowl of oatmeal.