EAT FIT HEALTH http://www.eatfithealth.com Nutrition & Health Consulting Sun, 04 Jun 2017 03:57:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 National Brown Bag It Day – May 25th http://www.eatfithealth.com/national-brown-bag-day-may-25th/ Tue, 23 May 2017 14:00:22 +0000 http://www.eatfithealth.com/?p=4099 It’s nearly impossible to keep track of over 1,200 National Days, but May 25th brings us one to put on your calendar. National Brown Bag It Day reminds everyone to skip the restaurant or cafeteria for a day and pack your lunch! Adults can brown bag it to work and […]

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It’s nearly impossible to keep track of over 1,200 National Days, but May 25th brings us one to put on your calendar. National Brown Bag It Day reminds everyone to skip the restaurant or cafeteria for a day and pack your lunch! Adults can brown bag it to work and kids can brown bag it to school. Packed lunches offer the opportunity to not only eat healthier, but also to save money! Between 2012 and 2013, Americans spent about $1,000 annually on lunch – and that was dining out an average of only twice per week. Imagine how much you would spend eating out every work day!

One of the main deterrents to packing lunch is having to transport and store your food. Keeping food safety guidelines in mind and choosing the right supplies will make packing lunch a walk in the park. Temperature is the greatest risk factor for contamination when transporting and storing food. The “Danger Zone”, when bacteria may grow most rapidly, is between 40 and 140 degrees. That means cold food should be stored below 40 degrees, and hot food should be stored above 140 degrees. Maintaining these temperatures sounds difficult, but with the right lunchbox, ice packs, and thermos your food will be safe until lunchtime!

Insulated food containers keep food safe for several hours, whether hot or cold. Filling the container with boiling water before loading hot food extends safe storage time, as does freezing the container overnight before packing cold food. Start the search for your new lunch container with this vacuum insulated model. Remember to include reusable ice when packing cold food. Multiple pieces, like this product, allow cold-packs to be placed between items so everything stays cold. For more food safety tips, check out these resources from the CDC and FoodSafety.gov.

Packing lunch can also help increase your intake of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and decrease your intake of sodium, added sugars, and saturated fats. It’s also a great way to use leftovers from last night’s dinner. To make the most out of your Brown Bag Lunch, follow these three easy steps:

3 Steps to a Healthy Packed Lunch

  1. Choose a Protein Source
    Protein supports your healthy weight and keeps you full during the day. You can include protein in your lunch whether you pack it cold, hot, or room temperature. Meats, fish, eggs, and dairy products should be stored cold. For a classic brown bag lunch, try nuts, nut butters, or dried meat or fish.
  2. Supplement with a Whole Grain
    Whole grains provide fiber and a source of healthy energy. Whole grain bread and rolls are great for sandwiches. For a cold lunch to reheat at work, try a grain like brown rice or quinoa. Add popcorn to lunch for a fun whole grain addition.
  1. Finish with a Fruit and Vegetable
    Fruits and vegetables provide a variety of vitamins and minerals, along with an extra boost of healthy energy and fiber. For a hot lunch, try adding diced vegetables to your homemade soup. For cold, pack some berries to add to your yogurt or salad. An apple, orange, or banana on the side never fails!

Now you know how to pack a healthy and safe lunch, and save money doing it! Give it a go this May 25th, and take National Brown Bag It Day as an opportunity to include a note to your child, significant other, or even yourself telling them why they’re important enough to pack a healthy lunch for. For more bagged lunch ideas and help with food safety, talk to your Registered Dietitian Nutritionist!

By Brian Behring
Graduate Student, Drexel University
MS In Human Nutrition

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Rethink Your Drink http://www.eatfithealth.com/rethink-your-drink/ Thu, 27 Apr 2017 12:30:30 +0000 http://www.eatfithealth.com/?p=4069 Summer is fast-approaching and many, especially those of us in school, will need a few extra cups of coffee to push us through the home-stretch until we’re kicking back on vacation with a cold drink. Refreshing yourself on healthy beverage choices now can save you wondering where those extra pounds […]

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Summer is fast-approaching and many, especially those of us in school, will need a few extra cups of coffee to push us through the home-stretch until we’re kicking back on vacation with a cold drink. Refreshing yourself on healthy beverage choices now can save you wondering where those extra pounds came from later!

Many of us have seen the classic demonstration showing the amount of sugar in a can of soda and the result is an alarmingly large pile of sugar. (For those of us who haven’t – click here!) Even after seeing this demo, it’s important to understand the impact beverage consumption has on the average diet. Children average about 225 calories per day from sugary drinks and 25% of adults consume at least 200 Calories worth of sugary drinks as well. Even worse, most of these individuals don’t decrease their food intake; they consume the extra calories in addition to their food intake. Since we discussed the dangers of over-consumption of added sugars back in National Heart Health Month, this month we’ll focus on easy substitutions for common sugary drinks and tips for avoiding some other ingredients hiding in your beverages.

Don’t let your morning stop at the coffee shop derail your healthy day! A grande frappuccino from Starbucks will add 240 calories and a whopping 50 grams of sugar to your morning routine. The recent limited time unicorn frappuccino had a whopping 410 calories and 62 grams of sugar for a grande (16 oz). Simply switching to a cup of unsweetened tea or black coffee could put you well on your way to a healthier lifestyle. Remember, you can always brew your own coffee and tea to control how much milk and sugar is added and maybe save some money along the way!

Starbucks Frappuccino (16oz) Home-Brewed Coffee w/ 2 tsp Skim Milk & 1 tsp Sugar (cup)
240 Calories 25 Calories
50g Sugar 5g Sugar
What Else? Natural And Artificial Flavors, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid What Else? A morning pick-me-up you can feel good about

When lunch time rolls around on a hot day it’s easy to reach for a cold Gatorade with your meal. Unless you’ve been exercising intensely, a sports drink is not the best choice. A 12oz sports drink will add 80 Calories and 21g sugar to your lunch, but you can get the same refreshment from home-made flavored water. If you’re feeling fancy, try some of these recipes from the Food Network, but any infusion water bottle makes preparation a quick and easy task for anyone!

Gatorade (12oz) Home-Made Fruit-Infused Water
80 Calories <5 Calories
21g Sugar <1g Sugar
What Else? Citric Acid, Gum Arabic, Sucrose Acetate Isobutyrate, Yellow 6 What Else? Water-soluble vitamins from fruit including Vitamin C

You’ve made it through the day making healthy beverage choices; don’t let your drink with dinner throw you off course. Cocktails often contain flavored liquors, fruit juices, and simple syrups that add lots of calories and sugar. Swapping in a glass of red wine or a light beer can save up to 500 Calories! If you prefer a mixed drink, try using club soda as a mixer with fresh lemon or lime.

Chili’s Patron Margarita Vodka Soda with Lime
310 Calories 100 Calories
39g Sugar <1g Sugar
What Else? Enough extra calories to make a second dinner What Else? Guilt-free refreshment

You may have noticed some of the additives and preservatives in the drinks we discussed. Just like food products, many drinks on the market today are full of artificial additives, preservatives, and sweeteners. Many diet and low-calorie drinks seem appealing at first glance, but their ingredients list might as well be written in a different language. With all your food and beverage choices, if you can’t picture all the ingredients, consider finding an alternative or preparing your own. Meet with your Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for more help rethinking your drink and carefully reading nutrition labels!

By
Brian Behring
Graduate Student, Drexel University
MS In Human Nutrition

 

 

 

 

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Put Your Best Fork Forward- National Nutrition Month http://www.eatfithealth.com/put-your-best-fork-forward-national-nutrition-month/ Fri, 31 Mar 2017 12:30:36 +0000 http://www.eatfithealth.com/?p=4024 March is here again and almost gone, and while many of us are still awaiting warmer weather, it’s the perfect time of year for healthy eating – National Nutrition Month (NNM)! This year’s theme from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is “Put Your Best Fork Forward.” This theme reminds […]

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March is here again and almost gone, and while many of us are still awaiting warmer weather, it’s the perfect time of year for healthy eating – National Nutrition Month (NNM)! This year’s theme from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is “Put Your Best Fork Forward.” This theme reminds us that we all have the power to make healthier choices for ourselves each and every day. More evidence emerges every day supporting the role of good nutrition in living longer and living healthier. This National Nutrition Month, I encourage everyone to remember some of the simple shifts to a healthier eating pattern suggested in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines. It’s easy to get caught up looking for the magic ingredient that leads to weight loss and improved health, but an overall healthy eating pattern is a lifestyle adjustment it’s never too late to begin working on.

Consume More Fruits and Vegetables
This recommendation is perhaps the most well-known diet advice of all, but most Americans still fall short of recommendations. All teens and adults should aim for about 2 cups of fruit and at least 3 cups of vegetables daily. Children should have about 1 1/2 cups of both fruit and vegetables daily. With so many varieties of fruits and veggies in the world, everyone can find something they like! A fun NNM activity for families is to try a new fruit or vegetable for each week of March. Don’t stop there; see if you can find a new one to try each month until next National Nutrition Month! Check out this free great fruits and veggies resource with recipes and more.

Opt for Nutrient-Dense Dairy
The dairy group provides essential nutrients including protein, calcium, and vitamin D. All of these nutrients support growth during childhood and bone health throughout the life cycle. Dairy is often the target of negative press, but in a 2016 review Thorning et al. found dairy supported a healthy change in body composition during weight loss. Further, dairy intake is associated with improved bone mineral density and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. For more nutrient-dense options, trade in the cheese for low-fat yogurt and milk, or try something new like kefir! Instead of buying flavored dairy products with added sugar, add your own fresh fruit, nuts, or seeds to mix in different flavors. If you do choose a dairy substitute, make sure it contains the same important nutrients. For example, Ripple plant-based milk has all the protein, calcium, and vitamin D with no lactose, soy, or nuts!

Variety of protein sources
The protein group is one in which many Americans regularly meet or exceed recommendations. We all know meat is a primary source of protein, and nothing beats a juicy hamburger every now and then. However, meat entrees often come along with a high amount of saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol. Including alternative protein sources can provide the same benefits without the risk of a higher intake of saturated fat and sodium. Good alternatives include fish, eggs, and plant-based protein including legumes, nuts, soy, and grains such as quinoa. Check out Meatless Monday for recipe ideas!

Try these recipes during National Nutrition Month as part of your healthy dietary shifts for 2017, or treat yourself to a visit with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for more individualized advice.

Cajun Roast Vegetables – Serves 6

Ingredients
1 Sweet Potato, thick julienned
2c broccoli florets
2c cauliflower florets
1c baby carrots
1/2 onion, cut into rings
4 cloves garlic, sliced thick
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
2 tsp garlic powder
2 1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 1/4 tsp dried thyme

Directions
1. Add all vegetables to a large bowl. Add olive oil and seasonings and mix with hands to coat.
2. Spray a baking tray with non-stick cooking spray. Spread vegetables and cook 20min at 375.

Nutrition Info Per Serving: Calories: 97, Protein: 2g, Carbohydrate: 11g, Fat: 5g

Stuffed Poblano Peppers
courtesy of A Couple Cooks – Serves 4

Ingredients
4 Poblano peppers
2c brown rice, cooked
2c black beans, drained
1 1/2c salsa
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne
1c shredded cheese, in 1/2c portions

Directions
1.
Cut peppers in half, remove seeds and ribs. Broil 5 min skin side up, flip and broil 5 min.
2. Combine rice, beans, salsa, 1/2c cheese, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne in a bowl.
3. Fill peppers with mixture, top with remaining shredded cheese, and broil until cheese melts.

Nutrition Info Per Serving: Calories: 375, Protein: 18g, Carbohydrate: 53g, Fat: 10g

By Brian Behring
Graduate Student, Drexel University
MS In Human Nutrition

 

 

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National Heart Health Month http://www.eatfithealth.com/national-heart-health-month/ Thu, 23 Feb 2017 13:30:33 +0000 http://www.eatfithealth.com/?p=3999 Added sugars have become a hot topic in nutrition and most of us have been advised to reduce our intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and desserts. This National Heart Health Month, it’s important to understand the role of added sugars in cardiovascular disease and easy ways to reduce our intake without […]

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Added sugars have become a hot topic in nutrition and most of us have been advised to reduce our intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and desserts. This National Heart Health Month, it’s important to understand the role of added sugars in cardiovascular disease and easy ways to reduce our intake without sacrificing our favorite treats.

Sugar seems to be hiding everywhere in today’s food supply, so knowing how to identify different sources of sugar is the first step to making heart-healthy choices. The Nutrition Facts Label is a good place start; it will tell you the amount of sugar in each serving, but it doesn’t differentiate between naturally-occurring and added sugars. Naturally-occurring sugars include the fructose in fruits and vegetables and the lactose in cow’s milk. These sugars are packaged along with essential nutrients including Protein, Calcium, and Vitamin C. Added sugars, on the other hand, are added during processing or preparation. Added sugars contribute calories to your diet, but no beneficial nutrients. Don’t worry, with a quick glance at the ingredients list you’ll be able to spot added sugars and steer clear! Look out for the added sugars hiding behind all these different names…

*Thanks to Professor Barry Popkin and Dr. Corinna Hawkes for this list

The most common sources of added sugars in the American diet are sodas, juices, sports drinks, cakes, pies, and cookies. The average American consumes over 67.5g of added sugars each day, accounting for 270 calories. Intake among children is even higher, averaging 80g each day accounting for 320 calories. This level of intake far exceeds the recommendations of the American Heart Association.

American Heart Association Guidelines for Intake of Added Sugars
Men 36g 150 Calories
Women 25g 100 Calories
Children 25g 100 Calories
Children under 2 avoid avoid

These recommendations are based on evidence supporting the maintenance of a healthy heart. Most of us equate a high intake of fat with elevated cholesterol and heart disease, but don’t realize the contribution of added sugars to cardiovascular complications. Added sugars add empty calories to the diet and contribute to unhealthy weight gain. Overweight and obesity is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, all factors in the development of heart disease. Some evidence suggests a high intake of added sugars increases triglycerides and blood pressure in children and adolescents independent of weight gain.

The most familiar health impact of added sugars is their effect on blood sugar. Complex carbohydrates from whole grains and whole foods keep blood sugar steady, but added sugars cause a sharp increase in blood sugar. This sharp increase causes an inflammatory response and may result in damage to blood vessel walls. Vessel damage is the first step of atherosclerosis, the build-up of plaque in our blood vessels that can eventually lead to blood clots, stroke, or heart attack.

Luckily, you can cut down on the added sugars in your diet today! Start at the grocery store by swapping sweetened processed foods for whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy. Try substituting Stevia or Monkfruit sweetener for table sugar in your next recipe. Check out this great AHA recipe for Frozen Yogurt Bark for a healthy treat and Edamame and Penne Salad with Feta as well as other recipes on their website.

Finally, talk to your Registered Dietitian Nutritionist about how to make and eat more nutritious treats and saving those less nutritious sweets for once and a while. Continue promoting heart health all year long.

By Brian Behring
Graduate Student, Drexel University
MS In Human Nutrition

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Beat the Winter Blues http://www.eatfithealth.com/beat-winter-blues/ Mon, 23 Jan 2017 13:30:13 +0000 http://www.eatfithealth.com/?p=3983 You’ve made your New Year’s resolution and you’re all set to begin your healthy diet and exercise regimen. You even bought running shoes that match the color of your new juicer! But then you realize it’s only twenty degrees outside and all those bright summer fruits and vegetables are missing […]

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You’ve made your New Year’s resolution and you’re all set to begin your healthy diet and exercise regimen. You even bought running shoes that match the color of your new juicer! But then you realize it’s only twenty degrees outside and all those bright summer fruits and vegetables are missing from the grocery store shelves. Not to worry, with a little creativity you can beat the winter blues and make good on your resolution!

Between the frozen cheeks and chapped lips exercising outdoors during the winter can be a challenge, and sometimes the snow and ice makes it downright impossible. Luckily, January is a great month to join your local gym or health club. Many facilities offer great deals on memberships at the beginning of the year, some as low as ten dollars per month! “The gym” certainly doesn’t mean what it used to. The trusty old free weights and treadmills remain, but are now joined by seemingly countless alternative options. Group fitness classes are popular among men and women of all ages, shapes, and sizes. Try yoga or pilates to destress after a long day and improve your balance, flexibility, and core strength. Hop in the pool and try the aqua versions for a new twist on these favorites. Spinning is a great way to get your heart pumping, especially if you’re not a fan of running! I usually have to drag my girlfriend to the gym with me, but she’s grown to love spinning because it allows everyone, beginner and expert, to go at a pace that’s appropriate for them. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, try CrossFit, SkyFitness, or Aerial Fitness, all available in the greater Philadelphia area.

New Year’s resolutions often revolve around weight loss, but it’s important to remember the benefits of physical activity and exercise extend far beyond the number on your bathroom scale. The recommended 150 minutes per week of exercise protects against cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. 150 minutes sounds like a lot all at once, but it’s really only one hour three times a week, or one hour on the weekend and twenty minutes after work each day. According to a 2014 review by Amlani & Munir, those 150 minutes can also prevent you from missing work and reduce your healthcare costs, helping you with your other resolution to save more in 2017.

After your workout, stop by the grocery store or farmer’s market to pick up some winter fruits and vegetables. Citrus fruits including oranges and grapefruits are in peak season. Don’t forget to grab radishes, snowpeas, cabbage, and kale to balance your basket. Try these easy recipes for healthy meal ideas during winter, and visit your Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for more advice on a Healthy New You in 2017. You can beat the winter blues!

Kale Citrus Salad*

Ingredients
4 cups chopped kale
1 orange or ½ red grapefruit
1/4 c orange juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1/2 clove garlic, pressed
1 heaping tbsp plain Greek yogurt
2 oz goat cheese
2 tbsp walnuts, chopped
2-3 sliced radishes for extra crunch (optional)

Directions

  1. Combine orange juice, EVOO, garlic, Greek yogurt and a dash black pepper in a glass jar and shake until smooth and creamy.
  2. Peel citrus fruit and cut into chunks, combine with kale. Toss with dressing and top with goat cheese and walnuts.

*Adapted from foodnetwork.com and minimalistbaker.com

 

Golabki (Polish Cabbage Wraps)
serves about 6

Ingredients*
1 head cabbage
1.5 lbs ground chicken or turkey  or substitute quinoa (about 3 cups cooked) for a vegetarian alternative
1 egg, beaten
1 cup brown rice, cooked
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 tbsp thyme
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 can crushed tomatoes, 28oz

Directions

  1. Boil large pot of water. In a separate pan, heat EVOO and sauté garlic and onions until onions are translucent. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine ground meat, egg, rice, garlic, onions, thyme, salt, and pepper and mix with hands.
  3. Core cabbage and blanch in boiling water until leaves are limp and peel off easily. Grease a glass casserole dish with EVOO cooking spray. Peel off leaves and fill each with about 2 tbsp of the meat mixture. Wrap and place seam-side down in glass dish.
  4. Pour crushed tomatoes over lettuce wraps. Bake at 350 degrees for 2 hours.

*adapted from food.com

By Brian Behring
Graduate Student, Drexel University
MS In Human Nutrition

 

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New Year’s Goals for 2017 http://www.eatfithealth.com/new-years-goals-for-2017/ Fri, 30 Dec 2016 16:53:41 +0000 http://www.eatfithealth.com/?p=3943 New Year’s is right around the corner! There are often people on both sides of making resolutions. People who are against choosing this time of  year to make any resolutions and those that really embrace making resolutions or goals for the New Year. Studies show about 50% of Americans make […]

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goalssignNew Year’s is right around the corner!

There are often people on both sides of making resolutions. People who are against choosing this time of  year to make any resolutions and those that really embrace making resolutions or goals for the New Year. Studies show about 50% of Americans make resolutions, but only about 8% achieve them. Check out this great short article for improving your success, “A Psychologist’s Secrets to Making New Year’s Resolutions Stick”.

smart-goalsWhen creating goals, think of the SMART acronym which stands for:
S = Specific (make your goal simple and clear)
M = Measurable (tracking in a way to show you have completed your goal)
A = Achievable (be realistic, your goal can be challenging, but don’t set yourself up for failure)
R = Results-Focused (measure outcome)
T = Time-bound (by when will you aim to achieve your goal, be realistic; you may break up a large goal into smaller goals to achieve along the way)

For more on using the SMART method, check this resource from the University of Virginia.

Use this worksheet I created to jump start your ideas for your Goals for 2017. Don’t feel like you have to make a goal for every category, choose what is important to you, but make sure to nurture your inner child. Also, check out our past posts including Season of Health.

We are happy to help you achieve your nutrition and health goals for 2017, feel free to reach out to us!

Make your 2017 New Year’s Goals the best yet!

Be Well,

Lori Enriquez

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & Health Educator

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Tips for a Happy & Healthy Holiday Season http://www.eatfithealth.com/tips-happy-healthy-holiday-season/ Mon, 12 Dec 2016 13:30:38 +0000 http://www.eatfithealth.com/?p=3924 Practice Mindful Eating Mindful eating is a practice that focuses on immersing oneself in the experience of eating and paying close attention to your body’s cues regarding hunger and fullness. With some practice, mindful eating can replace holiday diets and restrictions. Telling yourself “I can’t eat that” or “I can […]

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mindfulnessPractice Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is a practice that focuses on immersing oneself in the experience of eating and paying close attention to your body’s cues regarding hunger and fullness. With some practice, mindful eating can replace holiday diets and restrictions. Telling yourself “I can’t eat that” or “I can only have a little bit of this” is hard and often leads to failure. This holiday season, try to employ the principles of mindful eating instead for a happy and healthy holiday season. Start with these three practices and build on your success during the New Year!

mindfulness21. Before eating, take a minute to ask yourself if you are truly hungry. If you just saw a dish that looked appealing, wait until you feel hungry then go back for it.

2. Eat slowly and focus on enjoying every bite of your food. Try to taste all the flavors, spices, and seasonings. Consider the food’s texture and mouthfeel. Think about why you like the food and how you might include its characteristics in your culinary repertoire.

3. Focus on your body’s signals for feeling full. Give yourself 10-20 minutes between helpings to assess whether or not you are hungry for more. Stop eating when you feel full and you might be surprised at how satisfied you are with the meal.

Read more about mindful eating here!

Try a New Tradition

The Holidays are filled with fun and special traditions. Many of these traditions revolve around food and spending time relaxing with family and friends. Starting a new fitness-focused holiday tradition can allow you to enjoy the activities you always do and drop the not-so-fun tradition of holiday weight gain! Put a new spin on the “12 Days of Christmas” with this family-friendly workout I adapted from jessicavanden.com, self.com, and iliveitfit.com. If you do not celebrate Christmas, think it as the 12 Days of Fitness! The exercises don’t require any equipment so gather your family in the living room or the basement and get to it! Do Exercise 1 on Day 1, then Exercise 2 + Exercise 1 on Day 2, then Exercise 3 + Exercise 2 + Exercise 1 on Day 3, and so on until you have the whole family breaking a sweat on Christmas Day!

xmas-workoutDay 1: 10 Jumping Jacks

Day 2: 8 Bodyweight Squats

Day 3: 8 Push Ups

Day 4: 10 Hip Raises

Day 5: 10 Ab Crunches

Day 6: 6 Lunges (each leg)

Day 7: 10 Russian Twists

Day 8: 10 Calf Raises

Day 9: 8 Supermans

Day 10: 8 Mountain Climbers (each leg)

Day 11: 8 Leg Lifts

Day 12: 5 Burpees

 

Fornamentsor all of the baking fun and none of the calories, try this recipe for Non-Edible Cinnamon Ornaments. I made these with my grandma when I was in elementary school and they still make an annual appearance on her Christmas tree (and still smell good too)!

Plan for the Party

Holiday parties are often the culprit behind poor food choices and unwanted weight gain. Planning ahead will help you enjoy all of your parties without going overboard. Try eating a meal that promotes satiety shortly before you head to the party. Include lean protein and fiber to keep you feeling full all night! partyRemember, lean protein is found primarily in poultry, fish, legumes, eggs, and low-fat dairy products. Fiber is found in fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Try oatmeal with skim milk and blueberries, black beans and brown rice with a mixed greens salad and low-fat dressing, or a tuna sandwich with spinach on whole wheat bread. If you do feel hungry later in the night, enjoy a smaller portion and remember the mindful eating tips! Also, remember to check beforehand with the party host or catering company regarding food allergies and intolerances to avoid any incidents during the celebration.

Try these tips during the holiday season and talk to your Registered Dietitian Nutritionist about implementing them all year long. No matter what you and your family celebrate, here’s wishing it’s a happy and healthy holiday season!

By Brian Behring
Graduate Student, Drexel University
MS In Human Nutrition

 

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Lyme Disease & Other Stealth Pathogens http://www.eatfithealth.com/lyme-disease-other-stealth-pathogens/ Sat, 12 Nov 2016 15:24:14 +0000 http://www.eatfithealth.com/?p=3158 There is a lot of misinformation generated on social media about Lyme disease (Borrelia, Borreliosis) and other tick-borne illnesses. So, I thought it would be a good time to discuss some of the basics about Lyme disease and in the coming months I will cover some other areas.  I have […]

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tickThere is a lot of misinformation generated on social media about Lyme disease (Borrelia, Borreliosis) and other tick-borne illnesses. So, I thought it would be a good time to discuss some of the basics about Lyme disease and in the coming months I will cover some other areas.  I have learned a great deal about all of this for personal and professional reasons. As a nutritionist and health educator, I see clients who have medical conditions as a result of chronic Lyme Disease.

handsworldLyme disease is a pandemic, found all over our country and in other countries worldwide. Pennsylvania is one of the top states for Lyme disease. There are two schools of thought on Lyme disease and one is the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) and the other the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS). IDSA does not appear to believe in chronic Lyme or treating beyond 4 weeks. ILADS is an international progressive organization that understands that Lyme and other associated pathogens are stealth and need combination antibiotic therapy that addresses each pathogen and longer than 4 weeks in chronic cases. If you suspect you have chronic Lyme disease in my opinion you definitely want to go to a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor or commonly known as a LLMD or a Lyme Literate Nurse Practitioner, not someone who doesn’t believe in chronic Lyme. Also, unfortunately many pediatricians and primary care doctors are not adequately trained on Lyme and related diseases. It is much easier to treat these diseases early on then to deal with chronic infections.

ticksThere are over 100 strains  of Borrelia in the United States and over 300 world-wide. There are five subspecies of Borrelia Burgdorferi disease, but the one most well known is Borrelia Burgdorferi, named after Willy Burgdoerfer who identified the strain in 1982. Willy passed away in 2014. There is no safe amount of time for a tick to be attached. Ticks can transmit not only Lyme disease, but many other infections also known as co-infections such as babesia, bartonella, ehrlichia, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and more. The symptoms of the infections can overlap and testing for all of the infections is not that great and can be expensive. There are proper ways to remove a tick and if you do, you can also have the tick tested, information on this as well as good prevention strategies can be found on the Tick Encounter site by the University of Rhode Island.

This year the media has reported in many states that Lyme disease is on the rise. Also, there are many celebrities have been public about having dealt with Lyme disease, most recently Yolanda Foster, Avril Lavigne, and singer Rob Thomas’s wife Marisol Thomas.

take-a-bit-out-of-lymeIn the last few years I have read numerous books, attended and presented talks at various Lyme disease support group meetings, and watched numerous videos. I have attended several Lyme focused conferences including, the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) conference at Drexel University in 2015, the Pennsylvania Lyme Resource Network Patient Symposium in 2016 and last week I attended ILADS again here in Philadelphia. Last month, I gave a talk (the first ever Lyme talk to my knowledge) to at my professional at our annual meeting in Boston along with LLMD Dr. Garabedian of the Garabedian Clinic here in King of Prussia, PA. In a future blog post I will include some information from the most recent ILADS conference.

lyme-bullseye-400tThere are a lot of myths about Lyme disease and I have seen them over and over again in various social media forums. So, take some time to get educated on Lyme Disease if you haven’t and practice prevention. This could help you or a loved on. A few of the myths I have seen over and over are that a tick has to be attached for at least 24 hours to transmit Lyme, 2 weeks of antibiotics for a new tick bite is sufficient, if you don’t get a bull’s-eye then you can’t get Lyme, and that you can’t get Lyme in the winter.  In fact, there is no safe amount of time for a tick to be attached, 2 weeks of antibiotics for a new bite is not sufficient, many LLMDs will prescribe 6-8 weeks or even longer, less than 50% remember a tick bite or have a bull’s-eye, and ticks have been known to survive during winter, especially with our global warming. Ticks inject an anesthetic so you can’t feel a bite.

lyme-everyone-risk

Lyme Disease Advocate & Friend Amy Tiehel

ILADS has a lot of great information on their website including, Basic Information About Lyme Disease, Top Ten Tips to Prevent Chronic Lyme Disease, and Lyme Disease Guidelines. I have put together a Lyme Disease & Biotoxin Resources page on our website that has links to how to find a LLMD, Books, Blogs, Support Groups, and more. If you think you may have chronic Lyme, you can fill out this symptom list by Dr. Horowitz and seek out a LLMD. If you are in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Lyme Resource Network is a great resource!

Be safe!
Lori

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Tricks for Healthy Fall Treats http://www.eatfithealth.com/tricks-healthy-fall-treats/ Fri, 28 Oct 2016 12:30:13 +0000 http://www.eatfithealth.com/?p=3825 The weather is cooling off, the leaves are changing color, and the holiday season is fast approaching. With the holidays come food, and a lot of it! But don’t worry; with a few simple tricks you can serve healthy fall-inspired drinks, meals, and desserts all season long. 1. Use Alternative […]

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pumpkinsThe weather is cooling off, the leaves are changing color, and the holiday season is fast approaching. With the holidays come food, and a lot of it! But don’t worry; with a few simple tricks you can serve healthy fall-inspired drinks, meals, and desserts all season long.

1. Use Alternative Sweeteners, Flours, and Oils
Leave sugar, white flour, and vegetable oil on the shelf this year. Alternative options abound and are more widely available than ever before. Look back to last month’s blog post for some great products I found at Expo East you can use in your fall recipes. Monk Fruit and Stevia Sweeteners are sweeter than sugar, but have no calories and no effect on blood sugar. Try swapping out your normal white flour for banana flour or whole wheat flour. Banana flour contains resistant starch and promotes a healthy gut. Whole wheat flour contains the fiber and B vitamins white flour does not. We’ve all heard about “good fats” and “bad fats”, but how can you be sure to make the best choice when it comes to oil? Olive oil is great for cooking and salad dressings, but can add unwanted flavor to baked goods. For baking, try canola or avocado oil. These oils all have a high amount of heart- and brain-healthy Omega 3 and Omega 9s. If you’re feeling adventurous, try some of these oil substitutes to drastically cut calories from your dish!

spices2. Spice Up Your Life!
In the rush to get food cooked and on the table, many of us forget all the options available and use salt over and over again. Fall is the perfect time to experiment with new spices and seasonings that won’t have a negative impact on your blood pressure. Many fall-inspired recipes call for allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg, among others. Leave salt on the shelf this season, and experiment with these spices to bring a new flavor to your kitchen! If you need a little help along the way, check out this spice guide for seasoning and recipe ideas. You can make your own pumpkin spice latte at home and change out the sugar for stevia or monk fruit, saving money and calories!

squash3. Celebrate Squash
If you’ve been to the grocery store or farmer’s market lately, you’ve probably noticed the return of winter squash. Acorn, buttercup, butternut, spaghetti, and many more squashes in all their wonderful shapes and colors. Fall is the perfect time to add new recipes to your cookbook and a new vegetable to your dining room table! Because it comes in so many varieties, squash is super versatile and can be used to make soup, a side vegetable, or even a main course. Squash is packed full of vitamins and minerals, with none of the fat and all of the flavor. Try my personal favorite, stuffed acorn squash, and see what you think!

Ingredients
1 acorn squash, halved and seeded

4 tsp extra virgin olive oil

4oz cremini or button mushrooms, diced

½ yellow onion, diced

½ teaspoon dried thyme

½ cup brown or wild rice, cooked

1 cup fresh spinach

2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

Directionsrecipe
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Season squash halves with a dash of salt and pepper (or your favorite fall spice!) and drizzle each with 1 tsp olive oil. Place cut-side down on a baking sheet, cover with foil, and roast for 35 min.

2. Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushroom, onion, and thyme. Season with a dash of salt and pepper (or fall spice) and saute 8-10 minutes. Add spinach and rice, saute until spinach is wilted.

3. Remove squash from oven, uncover, and turn cut-side up. Fill with mushroom mixture and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Broil to melt cheese, about 2 minutes.

Recipe adapted from EVERYDAY FOOD, NOVEMBER 2012

This fall, remember that it’s okay to indulge every once in a while, but by using a few tricks, you can treat yourself to a fun and healthy holiday season! As always, if you need help with healthy food choices and recipe ideas, ask your Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

By Brian Behring
Graduate Student, Drexel University
MS In Human Nutrition

 

 

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Exciting New Eats at Expo East http://www.eatfithealth.com/exciting-new-eats-expo-east/ Mon, 26 Sep 2016 12:30:24 +0000 http://www.eatfithealth.com/?p=3761 Last Friday I was lucky to be able to attend New Hope Network’s Natural Products Expo East at the Baltimore Convention Center. The expo showcased healthy food and lifestyle products from around the country. I was amazed by the variety of products, and even more so by the creative minds […]

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expoLast Friday I was lucky to be able to attend New Hope Network’s Natural Products Expo East at the Baltimore Convention Center. The expo showcased healthy food and lifestyle products from around the country. I was amazed by the variety of products, and even more so by the creative minds behind them. High-protein low-carbohydrate foods were extremely popular with protein bars, jerkies, and nut butters leading the way. Fermented foods and yogurt products were also well-represented. These probiotics are highly touted for their contribution to a healthy gut microbiome, which benefits metabolism, the immune system, and GI health. Read on to learn about more products at the expo, including some you may want to try yourself! Some products are available in local grocery stores, but all can be found online at the company website or on Amazon.

Products that made me say “Wow!”bright-greens

  • Bright Greens Smoothie Shakers take all the work out of making your own smoothies. All you have to do is shake the frozen cubes in hot water and drink at least 6 servings of fruits and vegetables on your way out the door! Bright Greens provides all the taste and nutrition without all the clean up!
  • Modern Table Meals sells both dry pasta and meal kits. Their pasta is made from lentils and is packed full of protein and fiber. All the products are non-GMO and gluten free. I tried their Pesto Meal Kit and I was happy to learn I could find it in my local Target and prepare it at home in less than 15 minutes!
  • The Curious Creamery’s Ice Cream Mix allows everyone to easily create their very own flavor of ice cream. The mix is lactose free and does not contain any artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners. Simply add 200mL of liquid, mix with a handmixer, and freeze. I think this product offers a fun way to spend time together in the kitchen coming up with creative new flavors, including your favorite vegetable juices and purees! Check out the Curious Creamery’s website for recipe ideas including Yellow Bell Pepper and Tomato Basil Ice Cream – the possibilities are endless!

Products that made me say “Yum!”

  • Clio Greek Yogurt Bars were definitely one of my favorites. They taste just like cheesecake, but at only 140 calories and 6g of sugar per bar, offer a much lighter alternative. And they come with the added bonus of protein and probiotics!
  • Farmhouse Culture offers fermented vegetables, krauts, and “gut shots”. These products can be used as a side dish, a topping for burgers or salads, or an addition to salad dressings or smoothies. My personal favorite was the Ginger Beets, but no matter which product you choose you’ll reap the benefits of the probiotic cultures.goodseed
  • GoodSeed Hempseed Burgers are one of the products I will definitely be buying for years to come. These vegan, non-GMO, gluten- and soy-free patties are packed with seeds and vegetables that provide vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. Even as a meat-eater, I’d go for these burgers any day!

Products I Want in My Home

  • Brio Ice Cream has added vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. Brio offers a new way to get the micronutrients your body needs, especially for those picky eaters!

If I learned one thing at Natural Products Expo East, it’s that truly healthy foods exist to fit the needs of every dietary preference and restriction. Remember, if you are ever unsure of a product’s claims, or whether it is right for you, ask your Registered Dietitian Nutritionist! To read past Expo East blog posts check out Lori’s 2013 post and 2012 post.

By Brian Behring
Graduate Student, Drexel University
MS In Human Nutrition

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Score an A+ with Breakfast http://www.eatfithealth.com/breakfast/ Tue, 06 Sep 2016 14:46:49 +0000 http://www.eatfithealth.com/?p=3732 Back-to-school season is in full swing. Now that the pencils and notebooks have been bought, it is time to think about healthy breakfasts to fuel your children for a successful academic year. Students who regularly eat a healthy breakfast achieve better grades and higher test scores, especially in mathematics, and […]

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back-to-schoolBack-to-school season is in full swing. Now that the pencils and notebooks have been bought, it is time to think about healthy breakfasts to fuel your children for a successful academic year. Students who regularly eat a healthy breakfast achieve better grades and higher test scores, especially in mathematics, and spend more classroom time on-task. Do you know what to include in a healthy breakfast?

According to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, about 80% of Americans do not eat the recommended amount of fruit, vegetables, or dairy. These food groups are often replaced with added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium. Breakfast is a great opportunity to replace these less healthy choices with whole foods! Whole foods provide nutrients not always found in sugary alternatives. Simple changes to your usual breakfast can add a nutrient-packed punch to the start of your day!

Berry-and-Yogurt-SmoothieDairy products contain protein and calcium to support strong bones and muscles, especially important for growing children. Whole grains provide carbohydrates to give children the energy they need to power through a long school day. Whole grains also contain fiber, which promotes a healthy heart and keeps you feeling full. Include fresh fruits and vegetables to maximize fiber content and keep your students focused on learning instead of being hungry! Fruits and vegetables also provide a wide array of vitamins and minerals essential to the diet. It is important to eat a colorful selection of different fruits and vegetables to get them all. Fruits and vegetables support a healthy immune system to fight those back-to-school germs.

It may be back-to-school season, but adults can reap the same benefits of eating a healthy breakfast! Anyone can prepare a quick and affordable breakfast for the whole family without sacrificing good nutrition. Try some of the following ideas to kick off a great day at school and work!

almondsThe simplest way to improve your breakfast is simply to add fresh fruit! Fruit is a great topping for cereal, oatmeal, or yogurt. Check out this USDA page to see which fruits are in season. Add nuts and seeds to include heart-healthy fats and increase fiber. My favorites are almonds and sunflower seeds, but try flax, chia, and hemp seeds as well! Make sure to drink the milk in your cereal to get fortified vitamins and minerals that might have washed off the cereal. Lactose-free, almond, rice and other milk alternatives work too!

Many easy-to-make options come in a whole grain variety. Changing to whole wheat toast, waffles, and english muffins increases fiber and energy-producing B vitamins. Top with avocado and pair with a glass of milk to include multiple food groups.

oatsSmoothies and overnight oats are great options for on-the-go families. These breakfasts can be prepared the night before and refrigerated overnight. I eat these all the time because I can include my own favorite ingredients and hide fresh vegetables in my smoothies!

20160816_164015For slower-paced mornings, try your hand at making an omelet or breakfast taco. Eggs provide protein and taste great with spinach, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, and lots of other veggies.

Remember, breakfast doesn’t always have to be eggs, toast, and cereal. Don’t be afraid to mix it up and try a protein bar or trail mix for an on-the-go breakfast. Breakfast is also the perfect time to finish the leftovers from last night’s healthy dinner.

Make it a habit to break the fast and eat a healthy breakfast this school year and your children, and their grades, will thank you!

By Brian Behring
Graduate Student, Drexel University
MS In Human Nutrition

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Survive your Summer Picnics! http://www.eatfithealth.com/survive-summer-picnics/ Mon, 13 Jun 2016 12:30:14 +0000 http://www.eatfithealth.com/?p=3678 As we seemingly skipped spring and sprung right into summer, picnic season is upon us, as well as International Picnic Day on Saturday, June 18, 2016. And interestingly enough, there are more benefits to enjoying a picnic than you may think! In addition to choosing healthy picnic recipes, which we’ll […]

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picnic blanketAs we seemingly skipped spring and sprung right into summer, picnic season is upon us, as well as International Picnic Day on Saturday, June 18, 2016. And interestingly enough, there are more benefits to enjoying a picnic than you may think! In addition to choosing healthy picnic recipes, which we’ll go into detail about, picnics can be a great way to involve exercise and stress relief into your crazy schedule, all while enjoying time with friends and family.

posePlanning a picnic at a park is a great opportunity to take advantage of walking or biking trails that a lot of parks have. Or, better yet, consider riding your bike to your picnic, so long as you have a basket big enough to hold all of your yummy treats! Once you’ve established your spot, break out the Frisbee or football for a catch. Additionally, yoga has become a popular outdoor activity of late, especially with the warmer weather. Check out your local parks and recreation department, as many neighborhoods actually conduct free or low-cost outdoor yoga classes taught by a certified instructor. Recently, it was shown that those that participated in an 8-week yoga regimen had better mental stability and flexibility than their non-practicing counterparts.

Just the sheer practice of being outdoors has been shown to be beneficial to the human body and healthcare, as well. For one, the sun provides vitamin D that the body needs each day, so being outdoor for even 15 minutes will stock up your stores! Furthermore, a recent study implemented a nature-assisted rehab program in patients with mild to severe depression. Researchers showed that those participating in group and individual activities outdoors noticed a significant reduction in healthcare consumption throughout the year following implementation.

saladNow that we know the added benefits of taking our meals outdoors, let’s share some recipes! For a simple salad, toss halved cherry tomatoes with diced cucumbers, feta, black olives, olive oil and fresh dill to start! Easy and healthy chicken salad sandwiches can be made by mixing shredded baked chicken with Greek yogurt, grapes, walnuts, and celery thrown in a wrap or a couple pieces of whole wheat bread. Finally, for a light, refreshing dessert, toss diced strawberries with cubed cantaloupe, blueberries, and a hint of mint and lime. sandwich

As always, remember to keep food stored properly when transporting to your picnic. For meals prepped ahead of time, keep them in the fridge until you leave and transport them in a cooler and eat right away rather than let them sit in the summer heat. Check out this great resource for more information on summer food safety.

Also, remember to practice Lyme disease prevention during picnic season and all year. Check out these great resources from the Lyme Disease Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania and the University of Rhode Island’s TickEncounter Resource Center. Blankets and clothing can be treated or bought already treated to prevent attracting ticks from Insect Shield.

fruitFor more healthy recipes and ideas to survive your summer picnics, visit our previous blogs, Snacking Can Be Healthy, and Beat the Summer Heat. Check out Five Health Habits to Adopt in 2015 for more clever ideas for a healthy lifestyle.

Enjoy,
Kellsey O’Donnell

Eat Fit Health Intern
Graduate Student, Drexel University
MS in Human Nutrition, 2016

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Alcohol Awareness http://www.eatfithealth.com/alcohol-awareness/ Thu, 21 Apr 2016 12:30:01 +0000 http://www.eatfithealth.com/?p=3660 April is Alcohol Awareness Month. Because this month is centered right between two holidays associated with alcohol, St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo, now is a great time to discuss the recommendations related to alcohol use. What are the recommendations for consuming alcohol? The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics […]

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WineApril is Alcohol Awareness Month. Because this month is centered right between two holidays associated with alcohol, St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo, now is a great time to discuss the recommendations related to alcohol use.

What are the recommendations for consuming alcohol?
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the CDC recommend that adults age 21 years of age and older drink in moderation. This means women consume no more than one drink/serving per day, and men consume no more than two drinks/servings per day.

What is a serving of alcohol?Servings of alcohol
I often find there is confusion as to what constitutes a serving of alcohol, since there are so many options out there. A serving of alcohol is any drink that provides ½ fluid ounce of pure alcohol. This means a 12 oz. beer, 5 oz. of wine, or 1.5 oz. of 80-proof whiskey, scotch, gin, or vodka. Today, there are varying sizes of alcoholic drinks served at a bar or restaurant as well as for alcohol purchased at a store. You may be consuming multiple servings in “1” drink.

How many calories are in alcohol?
Sometimes we forget that the beverages we consume can have just as many calories as a meal, so we need to be aware of the drinks we consume. You can find a complete list of the caloric count of alcoholic beverages through the USDA. Below is the average calories for drinks.

Beer: 150 calories

Distilled Spirits: 100 calories

Wine: 100 calories for white, 105 calories for red

Alcohol Warning LabelsWho Should Avoid Alcohol?
It’s important to remember that alcoholic beverages are okay to consume in moderation, but there are certain populations who should avoid these drinks all together. Children, pregnant women, women of child-bearing age who are trying to get pregnant, individuals on certain medications that could interact with alcohol (ask your pharmacist), and some individuals who have autoimmune and/or inflammatory diseases should avoid alcohol. If you are following the Anti-inflammatory diet, it is important to avoid too much alcohol, practicing moderation and if drinking wine choosing red.

What Are My Options for Healthier Drinks?Alcohol Drinks
Okay, so we all want the opportunity to enjoy a drink every once in a while. Here are some tips for making healthier choices:

  • Make your own. You know what you’re putting in it, so you can determine the calorie count.
  • Get out the measure cups and measure the amount of alcohol you’re adding to your drink. They even sell special wine glasses with the oz. marked on the glass to help with portion control.
  • Ask for a glass of water, too. When you order your drink, ask the server for water, and drink the two together. This makes your drink last longer, you stay hydrated, and you don’t drink as much.
  • Be aware of mixed drinks. When you order or make mixed drinks, you are adding additional calories; think a rum and coke, or Red Bull and vodka. These may have twice or three times as many calories and sugar, because of the additional beverage. This is also the case for drinks with juice. Instead consider mixing with seltzer or club soda which are calorie free.

If you or someone you know is having trouble with alcohol and/or addiction, there are resources to help.
Alcoholics Anonymous
Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Often we work with clients who want to lose weight and they eat pretty healthy, but consume a lot of extra calories from alcoholic drinks which adds to their weight gain. Cutting back on frequency or quantity of alcohol drinks and/or changing to lower calorie options can help.

Also, a friendly reminder to not drink and drive! Call a sober friend, a taxi, or uber if needed!

Be Safe,

Megan

Megan Carrier, MS
Eat Fit Health Intern

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Mindful Eating http://www.eatfithealth.com/mindful-eating/ Fri, 01 Apr 2016 12:30:54 +0000 http://www.eatfithealth.com/?p=3639 March was National Nutrition Month. This year’s theme is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right”. The theme encourages us to take time to enjoy our food, appreciating the flavors and experiences that it provides. Mindful eating is about using your senses and listening to your body to be aware of […]

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MindfulEatingTags-300x193March was National Nutrition Month. This year’s theme is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right”. The theme encourages us to take time to enjoy our food, appreciating the flavors and experiences that it provides. Mindful eating is about using your senses and listening to your body to be aware of what you are eating, why you are eating, as well as to enjoy the experience. According to Baer et al., mindfulness practices advocate the regulation of attention through nonjudgmental focus on thoughts, feelings, and/or sensations. In fact, application of mindfulness principles can impact weight loss, decrease food cravings, and decrease Body Mass Index (BMI).

TCME_homepage-slider-04dIn a study recently conducted, researchers Kidd et al., implemented eight weeks of mindfulness practice to a group of twelve obese women. These eight sessions consisted of lessons on mindful awareness, the mindful environment and being in the moment, non judgment, letting go, and practicing acceptance, all to outline mindful eating and its principles while gaining acceptance of one’s self. The implementation of these sessions increased self-efficacy in the participants and their knowledge on how to understand their eating habits.

mindful-eating-1The Center for Mindful Eating describes the principles of mindful eating as deliberately paying attention in the present moment, being aware of your thoughts, emotions and physical sensations. It is allowing yourself to become aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities that are available through food selection and preparation. Taking the time to read ingredient and food labels impart additional knowledge regarding the content of your food so that you know exactly what you are putting into your body. Mindful eating can also be practiced in meal preparation. Knowing not only what you are eating, but why you are eating it will help to establish more intent and meaning to your meals, helping you to gain awareness of how you can make choices that support overall health and well being.

For more information on developing sound eating and physical activity habits, check out our blog post, Five Health Habits to Adopt in 2015! Also, head over to Recipes for Health & Yumminess for some new recipe ideas.

Enjoy,
Kellsey O’Donnell

Eat Fit Health Intern
Graduate Student, Drexel University
MS in Human Nutrition, 2016

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Savor the Flavor of Eating Right http://www.eatfithealth.com/savor-flavor-eating-right/ Fri, 25 Mar 2016 12:30:13 +0000 http://www.eatfithealth.com/?p=3598 March is National Nutrition Month and this year the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ theme is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right.” They are encouraging Americans to eat less sodium, sugar, and saturated fat. In simpler terms that means less than 2300 mg of salt a day, less than 25 […]

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NNM 2016 LogoMarch is National Nutrition Month and this year the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ theme is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right.” They are encouraging Americans to eat less sodium, sugar, and saturated fat. In simpler terms that means less than 2300 mg of salt a day, less than 25 grams of sugar for women and less than 35 grams of sugar for men a day while consuming less than 10% of the daily intake from saturated fat.

So what does that mean in terms of flavor? Some may ask, “Well, how do I make my food taste good now?” My answer is herbs and spices, which goes right along with this year’s theme. Herbs are the fresh or dried leaves of a plant, and spices are dried, ground parts of a plant, but do not involve the leaves. Herbs and spices are a great way to pack a big punch with flavor without all the negative benefits from added salt, sugar, and fat.

Here is my rundown of my favorite spices and herbs with benefits, and how to use them.

SPICES:
CinnamonCinnamon
: High in anti-oxidants, decreases blood pressure, and lowers blood glucose in diabetics. Use in oatmeal, coffee, and yogurt. I add a cut up apple to my oatmeal and stir in cinnamon.

Cumin: Aides in immunity, improves digestion, is rich in iron and Vitamin C, and has diabetes prevention properties. Use in soups, multi-cultural dishes, and fish dishes. It is also great sprinkled on sliced tomatoes. During my recent trip to Israel, cumin was used in most of the dishes I consumed.

GingerGinger: Useful in alleviating digestion issues, preventing inflammation, and has antioxidant properties. Use in vegetable dishes, fish dishes, and tea. I place fresh ginger in my water every day.

A colleague of mine who is from Morocco uses a combination of onion powder, cumin, and ginger over meat, fish, rice, roasted potatoes, and cooked vegetables. It is so good!

See my previous blog, Pumpkin Spice and Other Fall Flavors, for more ideas on how to use spices to flavor your foods and beverages.

HERBS:
Basil
: Reduces inflammation and fatigue, has anti-oxidants, and anti-aging properties. Use in pesto, pasta dishes, and salads. Plant basil in a small pot for your windowsill to enjoy all winter long.

MintMint: Helpful with digestion (except those with GERD and stomach cancers), respiratory issues and coughs, and weight loss, because it stimulates digestion. Use fresh mint in water, sorbets, tea, and savory dishes. This is another great herb for the windowsill, which can then be used in your water year-round.

PurslanePurslane: Contains omega-3 fatty acids, and Vitamin A, C, and B-complex vitamins. Do not use if you are prone to kidney stones. It is usually seen as a weed in your backyard, but it can be used in foods such as Indian dishes, salads, and stews. I have not had great success with this on the windowsill, but I’m trying again this year.

If you’re unsure of how to use a spice or herb, type it into a website like Eating Well, which will provide recipes based around ingredients or check out this herb and spice chart.  Using herbs and spices you can add flavor to your food while eating right!

Happy National Nutrition Month!

Be Well,

Megan

Megan Carrier, MS
Eat Fit Health Intern

 

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