Tuesday, February 14, 2017

What’s Lurking in Your Refrigerator?

A refrigerator is often seen as the safest place for food items.  However, this safety is greatly compromised if the cleanliness of the space is neglected.  A dirty refrigerator can be full of harmful bacteria, increasing the risk of food poisoning.  These potential pathogens make it imperative to keep all shelves, drawers, walls, and handles of this appliance clean.  

There are simple ways to maintain a clean fridge environment, including:
·      Weekly sorting of foods—this keeps your fridge clean and also helps your wallet by throwing out foods that have expired and quickly using those that expire soon.
·      Immediately cleaning spills—this is especially important for juices from raw meats that can spread e. coli or other foodborne illnesses.  Thawing meats should also be placed on the bottom shelf in covered containers to further prevent cross-contamination.
·      Cleaning the front grill—keeping this area free from dirt and dust allows for greater efficiency and faster cooling, which can keep foods from spoiling too quickly.
·      Keeping up with both the inside and outside of the fridge—the inside walls and shelves should be wiped down with warm, soapy water and dried while the outside handle should also be cleaned.  Some cleaners can leave a taste on food and/or cause damage to the walls of the fridge—avoid these.

These simple tips and more can be found at:

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Applebee's Has Nothing On Me!

Don't let eating out get in the way of your weight loss goals! Whether it is for a holiday, celebration or special occasion, dining out can be an enjoyable part of your meal plan! Follow the general strategies and restaurant tips below to make your next dining out experience fulfilling and rewarding!

Plan ahead: Balance a higher-calorie restaurant meal with lighter, lower-calorie meals during the day. For example, build up on fiber containing meals during the day, such as those including fruits and vegetables that will keep you feeling full and satisfied until you go out to eat.

Be assertive: Ask how the food is prepared. For example, are the vegetables buttered? Is the sauce made with cream? Make a special request if you would like, such as asking for chicken broiled instead of fried or asking for vegetables to be cooked in olive oil or balsamic dressing instead of a high saturated fat substance, such as butter. 

Stay in control: In order to curb your appetite, fill up on a low-calorie beverage, broth based soup or salad before the main course. Take one slice of bread without butter and then move the breadbasket away from you, or have it removed from the table. Ask for salad dressing on the side. If the portion is too large, eat half of it and take the rest home with you for another day. Share an entree! Remember to take a break from eating and enjoy conversation, as well as stopping to eat when you are satisfied, not when you are stuffed.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Is Your Body Trying to Tell You Something? Common Nutrient Inadequacies and Deficiencies

Vitamin B6

This vitamin helps maintain a healthy immune system, preserve normal nerve function and prevent certain types of anemia. A classic physical sign is a rash and other skin problems, which usually is seen as dandruff and red skin around oily parts of the body such as the face, chest, and back. Depression, confusion and even seizures can be present if the deficiency is too bad. To help prevent a B6 deficiency, eat foods such as fortifies cereals and grains, beans, poultry, fish, dark leafy green vegetables, oranges and cantaloupe.


The most common sign of a deficiency is fatigue. Other symptoms include dizziness, headache, chilly extremities, paleness in the skin and under the eyelids, and weakness. An unusual craving for non-food items such as ice is a telltake sign. Early detection helps promote healthy growth and development. The best sources of iron include lean meat, poultry, and seafood. Good plant-based sources include lentils, beans, spinach or iron-fortified cereals. Bonus points for eating a Vitamin C-rich food at the same time, since vitamin C increases absorption of iron from plant foods!

Vitamin D

The “sunshine vitamin” includes perks such as better bone health and boosted immunity. A deficiency may look like bone pain, muscle weakness or increased infection. Fortified dairy products, fortified orange juice, salmon and tuna are rich in this nutrient. Don’t forget that spending some time in the sun during the warmer months (without getting burned) helps your skin naturally make vitamin D.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C deficiency is not a thing of the past. People who don’t get enough fruits and vegetables are at risk of inadequate intake. If you notice bleeding gums, easy bruising and wounds that seem to heal slowly, you could have an insufficient vitamin C intake. In addition to oranges, pineapple, lemons and limes, other good sources of this vitamin include bell peppers, broccoli, potatoes, kiwi and strawberries.

If you have any symptoms or concerns, consult your doctor or registered dietitian nutritionist.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Are you Getting Enough Fiber?

Fiber is an essential nutrient. It contributes to our health and wellness in a number of ways. Firstly, it aids in providing fullness after meals, which helps promote a healthy weight. Second, adequate fiber intake can help to lower cholesterol. Third, it helps prevent constipation. And fourth, adequate fiber from food helps blood sugar within a healthy range.  Women should aim for 25 grams of fiber per day, while mean should target 38 grams.

So where is fiber found? Fiber is found only in plant foods. Eating the skin or peel of fruits and vegetables provides a greater dose of fiber. Fiber is also found in beans and lentils, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Typically, the more refines or processed a food becomes, the lower its fiber content. For example, one medium apple with the peel contains 4.4 grams of fiber, while 1/c cup of applesauce contains 1.4 grams, and 4 ounces of apple juice contains no fiber.

Here are a few foods that are naturally high in fiber:

·      1 large pear with skin (7 grams)
·      1 cup of fresh raspberries (8 grams)
·      ½ medium avocado (5 grams)
·      1 once almonds (3.5 grams)
·      ½ cup cooked black beans (7.5 grams
·      3 cups air-popped popcorn (3.6 grams
·      1 cup cooked pearled barley (6 grams)
When increasing fiber, be sure to do it gradually and with plenty of fluids. Fiber in your diet is similar to a new sponge; it needs water to plump up. If you consume more than you’re usually intake of fiber but not enough fluid, you may experience nausea or constipation.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Memory Boosting Munchies

Feeling forgetful? This could be due to lack of sleep, low levels of physical activity, or genetics. The types of food you eat play an important role in cognition, as well. In order to enhance overall brain function there must be good blood flow to the brain, which can be encouraged by a person’s diet. The following foods listed below have proven to do just that!
  • ·      Vegetables and lots of them! Vegetables a part of the cruciferous family, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and dark leafy greens are great foods sources that will boost your memory. These are a great source of folate, which is a water soluble vitamin that is known to help cognitive function. Vibrantly colored fruits and vegetables also help to keep cognition, memory and overall brain function sharp as we age.
  • ·      Berries are another type of food that will boost your memory. Dark colored berries, such as black berries, cherries and blue berries are rich in flavonoids which have been shown to reduce inflammation, not only in the brain, but all over the body. This reduced inflammation plays a role in increasing cognitive function.
  •  My oh my, do Omega-3 fatty acids play a role in memory! Omega-3 fatty acids also known as docohexaenoic acid (DHA) is one of the most abundant fatty acids in the brain. By keeping a sufficient amount of it your blood stream, the brain is able to extract this and use it in order to operate properly. Fatty fish, such as salmon, Bluefin tuna, and sardines are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Other types of seafood like scallops, shrimp, and algae are good sources of this important fatty acid, as well. In effort to consume a sufficient amount of omega-3 try substituting fish for meat 2 to 3 times a week. If you are not a seafood person there are fish oil, seaweed or microalgae supplements you can take, as well. Before taking a supplement be sure to discuss the options with your primary care doctor or a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN).
  •      Get wacky for walnuts! Walnuts are not only good for heart health, but they support good brain function, as well. Walnuts like fatty fish contain high levels of DHA.


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Platypus Venom: The Diabetes Treatment of the Future?

The native Australian mammal the platypus is quite the anomaly! For starters, it is one of the only mammals that lay eggs. Professor Frank Grutzner from the University of Adelaide and Associate Professor Briony Forbes at Flinders University, conducted research on this extraordinary mammal which yielded some exciting findings that could affect how diabetes is treated in the future.
What Professor Grutzner and Proffessor Forbes found was that glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which is the hormone that stimulates the release of insulin in both humans and animals in order to lower blood glucose levels, is not only found in the guts of platypus, but in their venom, as well. The platypus use their venom for mating purposes, and the GLP-1 found in their venom is a much more stable form compared to the GLP-1 found in the guts of humans. Individuals who suffer from type II diabetes have an insufficient amount of GLP-1 circulating in order to keep blood glucose at a normal level. The researchers apart of this experimental team believe that this stable form of GLP- 1 found in the platypus can potentially be used  to treat type II diabetes in the future. Of course there will have to be further research done on this matter, but Professor Grutzner and Professor Forbes believe that their findings are a step in the right direction to finding a new treatment for this disease that effects nearly 30% of the American population.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Beat Your Kid's Winter Blues

            On those cold, snowy days we all have the winter blues. Especially children. Not being able to exercise and get outside regularly can affect our children’s moods during the winter. Believe it or not we can help eliminate this gloomy mood, even for our little ones with these five simple foods.

1.     Salmon
            Tryptophan is a forerunner to serotonin, a brain chemical that regulates mood.

      2. Clementines
Kids love these because they are fuss free and parents love all the nutrients they are full  of! Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium are essential for bone strength and muscle development to keep our kids going.

     3. Winter Squash
Squash is high in Vitamin A and carotenoids to promote a healthy immune system.

     4. Sweet Potatoes
        Sweet potatoes are full of fiber, Vitamin A, and potassium. Because of their mellow flavor,   they can   be incorporated with all kinds of recipes kids love.

     5.  Cauliflower
            Cauliflower can blend into recipes easily which makes it easy to eat for those picky eaters, while being high in Vitamin A, C, K, many B-Vitamins, and a small amount of protein so you get the bang for your buck.

 Cording, Jessica. "The Best Winter Foods for Kids." Www.eatright.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2016.