Food Trends to Try in 2017

Standard

15833681821_dd283a3f9d_o.jpg

You all know I am not a fan of fad diets so you won’t get any advice for me on that front. I believe in healthy eating for life. With that said, I do get excited about some health food trends that the media grabs onto. Here are my top three favorites:

  1. Veggie pasta

Move over ancient grain and whole wheat pasta, hello veggie pasta. I often teach my clients to switch over their pastas to whole wheat pasta or ancient grain pasta, such as quinoa pasta. While these are great ideas for adding fiber into your diet, they are not quite as nutrient-rich as the real deal—whole grains unadulterated, in their original form.

BUT who needs grain-based pasta, when you can make pasta out of a veggie like zucchini? Look into picking up a spiralizer to try this trend that is sure to stick!

  1. Spices galore

In 2016, the FDA announced its plan to reduce sodium in processed foods. This is excellent news! Salt is the number-one culprit in high-blood pressure, which is a huge contributor to heart disease.

As a result, many food companies are doing something that I have recommended to many of my clients. They are using spices like oregano, ginger, cumin, paprika, and turmeric instead of so much salt! Get creative. Google “homemade healthy spice blends” and you will find a plethora of delicious ways to flavor your food with little to no salt!

  1. Plant butchery

Yes, you read that right. What is plant butchery? It is the art of using plant-based food in traditional meat dishes and making it taste “just as good” to big-time carnivores. For example, portabella mushrooms can stand in for burgers. Look out for options of chickpeas and legumes as stand-ins for meat. We’re not talking mock meats that are processed like soy dogs or seitan stir-fries, we’re talking plants instead! This is so awesome!

Try some of these trends for yourself. I guarantee restaurants will begin offering them and recipes galore will be entering the scene daily!

 

Advertisements

New Year’s Resolution: Convert your Kids to Healthy Snackers

Standard

5330108093_46f5eee785_o

Childhood obesity is an epidemic in our country. It’s not uncommon for children to be overweight, but think about the convenience foods on the market. They are loaded with sugar…even some foods that we think are “healthy.”  And. sugar converts to fat and has even spiked incidents of type-2 diabetes in children

Start reading labels when you go grocery shopping and have your children “investigate” with you. Look at yogurt for example; it’s marketed as healthy, but many yogurts have 16 or more grams of sugar. That’s crazy—every four grams of sugar represents a teaspoon and your kids up to the age of 8 really should not be having more than 3 to 4 teaspoons of added sugar per day. This means that one container of yogurt could take up all the added sugar they should have in a day (try plain Greek yogurt instead and add fruit for sweetness).  Older kids and teenagers should limit themselves to no more than 5 to 8 teaspoons of added sugar each day.

You will find that sugar is everywhere when it comes to packaged foods, so your best bet is to try to get your kids hooked on fresh fruit for a sweet treat. Here are some other healthy snack ideas:

  • Mixed Nuts
  • Trail Mix
  • Edamame Poppers
  • Hummus Dippers
  • Greek Yogurt and Granola
  • Tuna and Whole Grain Crackers
  • Roasted Chickpeas
  • Popcorn
  • String Cheese
  • Hardboiled Eggs
  • Greek Yogurt & Berries
  • Dried Fruit
  • Frozen Watermelon Kiwi Or Grapes
  • Melon Kabobs
  • Cherry Tomato & Cheese Kabobs
  • Whole Grain Cereal Dry

Also make sure that your kids drink a lot of water, avoid soda, and when they drink juice, make sure that it is 100 percent fruit juice.

I hope these tips help you help your kids! It takes a little planning, but the snacks I listed are “almost” as convenient as sugary granola bars, yogurts and other not-so-healthy snacks that are marketed otherwise.

Improve your Heart Health this New Year

Standard

8483070607_685f3e7557_o

I have a lot of clients who come to me seeking to lower their alarming cholesterol levels, lower their blood pressure, or both. Both of these conditions affect your heart health and I want to give you some tips on how to improve both.

Let’s start with blood pressure. To lower your blood pressure through diet, you want to consume foods high in potassium and low in sodium.

Reduce canned or processed foods. Much of the salt you eat comes from canned or processed foods like soups or frozen dinners—even poultry or other meats often have salt added during processing. Eating fresh foods, looking for unsalted meats, and making your own soups or stews can dramatically reduce your sodium intake. Cook at home, using spices for flavor. Cooking for yourself enables you to have more control over your salt intake. Make use of the many delicious alternatives to salt. Try fresh herbs like basil, thyme, or chives. In the dried spices aisle, you can find alternatives such as allspice, bay leaves, or cumin to flavor your meal without sodium. Substitute reduced sodium versions, or salt substitutes. Choose your condiments and packaged foods carefully, looking for foods labeled sodium free, low sodium, or unsalted. Better yet, use fresh ingredients and cook without salt.

Potassium helps you heart by reducing the effects of sodium! Many people turn to bananas for potassium. Yes, they are a great source, but there are some tasty veggies with even higher amounts. Some foods that are high in potassium include avocados, spinach and sweet potatoes.

Now, let’s talk about lowering your cholesterol. There are multiple ways to address your cholesterol nutritionally Increase your soluble fiber intake; soluble fiber reduces your LDL cholesterol. A common food choice that truly helps to do this is oatmeal! Check out my blog with overnight oat recipes. Having a high-fiber breakfast will also help your metabolism and maintain a healthy weight, both of which also help your heart health. Other foods high in soluble fiber include: apricots, mangoes, oranges, grapefruit, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, and turnips.

Healthy fats raise your ratio of HDL (or good cholesterol)  to LDL (or bad cholesterol). Some healthy fats to consider are salmon, olive oil, nuts, and seeds. And there are certain flavonoids found in dark chocolate, red wine, apples, spinach and tea that help lower cholesterol.

Here’s to your heart! Stay tuned for more heart health blogs in February, in honor of heart health month!

Help prevent cancer this New Year

Standard

vege-1-1

The scary “c” word is hard to think about. Chances are you have known someone diagnosed with cancer. In fact, 40 percent of all men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime! It’s a terrible, terrible disease, one that you wouldn’t wish upon even your worst enemy.

Unless the person has been previously diagnosed with cancer, it’s rare that I have a client who creates a New Year’s Resolution about developing a cancer prevention plan. In my series about New Year’s Resolutions, I am including this because I think it’s a great one for everyone to have! Here are my top tips to help prevent cancer through your food choices.

Tip # 1: Focus on eating mostly WHOLE foods.

You don’t have to become a vegetarian on my cancer prevention plan, rather, just eat food in their most original form. Eat potatoes, not potato chips or French fries. Aim to have half of your plate be vegetables and include dairy and a lean meat. Try to kick out most of the processed food in your diet.

Tip # 2: Get serious about increasing your fruit and veggie intake!

Fruits and vegetables contain fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They contain minimal fat, sodium, and calories. These characteristics are what your immune system requires to protect against illness, including cancer! Try to get in at least five servings of veggies and fruit!

Tip # 3: Reduce your meat intake and increase your fiber!

While I mentioned that you don’t need to become a vegetarian on my cancer prevention plan, you should at least reduce your meat intake. Research does show that vegetarians are 50 percent less likely to get diagnosed with cancer. The main reason for this is that meat lacks fiber, so reduce your meat intake and increase your fiber intake.

You will automatically increase your fiber intake by following tip # 2. Another way to increase your fiber is by consuming whole grains, which in part, is what tip # 1 includes. Have oatmeal for breakfast. Have whole-grain bread when you eat sandwiches. Have brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, or millet with your dinner.

When it comes to meat, pay special attention to reducing red meat and processed meats (deli meat, hotdogs, sausage, bacon, etc.). Reduce the portion sizes of meat. Consider adding it for flavor in a casserole instead of having a whole hunk of it as the main portion of your meal—see it more as a condiment!

Tip #4: Get 30 minutes of exercise a day!

Most people don’t associate exercise with cancer prevention, but there is a huge association! Physical activity decreases the risk of colon, endometrial and postmenopausal breast cancer. As fitness improves, aim for 60 minutes or more of moderate, or for 30 minutes or more of vigorous physical activity every day. Definitely be under a doctor’s guidance if you are not used to regular exercise.

I sincerely hope you follow these tips not just for the New Year, but as a lifestyle. Not only will they help lower your risk of cancer, they will help you live a healthier life for a long time!

 

Weight-loss Tips for the New Year!

Standard

Weight Loss

Hi everyone! Happy New Year! My next several blogs will relate to popular New Year’s Resolutions with tips I have to help you succeed.

The first NYR I will focus on is one of the most popular: to lose weight!  I wish I had a magic bullet for this one, but the truth of the matter is that to lose weight healthfully, a fad diet will not do the trick…you have to reconstruct the way you eat and stick to it. It doesn’t have to be depriving and you can even indulge a little. It takes dedication, but I promise you it’s not that hard once you get started!

Here are a few of my favorite tips to help you lose weight. These are not the typical tips you hear like stop eating fast food, eat more vegetables, stop snacking all the time, etc. Yes, those points are important to your weight-loss efforts, but these tips might make you think deeper or may even be something new for you.

Tip # 1: Go Slow and Steady!

Slow and steady wins the race. Aim to lose one to two pounds a week to ensure healthy weight loss. Losing weight too fast can take a toll on your mind and body, making you feel sluggish, drained, and sick.   When you drop a lot of weight quickly, you’re actually losing mostly water and muscle, rather than fat.

Tip #2: Combine your favorite treats with something healthy.

You can still enjoy your favorite high-calorie treat, whether it’s ice cream, chips, cake, or chocolate. The key is to eat a smaller serving along with a lower-calorie option. For example, add strawberries to your ice cream or munch on carrot and celery sticks along with your chips and dip. By piling on the low-cal option, you can eat a diet-friendly portion of your favorite treat without feeling deprived.

 Tip # 3: Drink a lot of water!

You have probably heard this one before, but I want you to really think about this. You can HUGELY reduce your daily calorie intake by replacing soda, alcohol, or coffee with water. Thirst can also be confused with hunger, so by drinking water, you may avoid consuming extra calories. Do you get bored by drinking water? Try infusing it with lemon, lime, strawberries, watermelon, or mint!

Tip # 4; Get good sleep!

Lack of sleep has been shown to have a direct link to hunger, overeating, and weight gain. A few hormones regulate normal feelings of hunger and fullness. These hormone levels are affected by levels of sleep.  When you’re short on sleep your appetite is stimulated so you want more food than normal, and you won’t feel as satisfied as you normally would and will want to keep eating. This can lead to overeating and, ultimately, weight gain. To keep your diet on track, try to get about eight hours of quality sleep a night.

I hope these four little tips truly help you with your weight-loss goals! Feel free to contact my team if you need a professional helping you and cheerfully rooting for you!