Get your Engine Revin’ with Nutrition

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Yogurt I would have to say, weight-loss aside, the number one complaint I hear from my clients is tiredness. So many adults feel as though their energy is absolutely zapped. If you are sleep-deprived, of course you need to address that! Here are some nutrition-add-ons that can also help!

1.) Breakfast should be your heartiest meal of the day.

You have heard this time and time again; EAT BREAKFAST. When you have a breakfast that includes healthy fats, protein, and perhaps some complex carbs; this will help you sustain energy. It sets a great foundation for your day. Here are some ideas:

  • Omlette with some roasted potatoes (roast them the night before to save time)
  • Greek Yogurt with granola
  • Whole grain toast with avocado
  • Even pb + J on whole grain bread.

2.) Watch the sugar and caffeine consumption!

Keep an eye on how much sugar you intake. Sugar depletes nutrients and can result in low energy! Caffeine may increase your alertness, but definitely try to refrain from caffeine after 2:00 p.m. It can cause insomnia…and may even decrease REM sleep. In other words, it can affect your sleep even if you don’t realize it.

3.)Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

I can’t emphasize this enough. Water actually boosts your energy. It is crucial in the production of energy molecules. I often tell caffeine addicts to try a glass of water before reaching for their third cup of coffee of the day! If water bores you, consider infusing it with lemon, lime, or mint!

4.) Ditch the Diet.

Some people get confused hearing a dietitian advising not to diet. I’m all about eating REAL foods, NOT depriving yourself of foods. When you deprive yourself, your energy drops drastically and when your energy drops, guess what? Your body’s natural reaction is to grab something that will boost your energy rather quickly (sugary, refined foods usually) and those create a major dip in energy soon after…it’s a downward spiral!

5.)Beware of Booze!

Many people, myself included, like a nice glass of wine. For others, it may be a cocktail or a couple of beers. However, if you consume too much, it will cause fatigue. It can interfere with REM sleep just like caffeine. Alcohol also inhibits absorption of energy-boosting  B-vitamins.

Get some sleep, apply these tips, and watch your energy soar! When you feel more energetic and alive, everything in life seems brighter. Energy is essential in order to enjoy all life has to offer!

Celebrate World Milk Day

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Today, I have chosen to #RaiseaGlass to celebrate #WorldMilkDay!

World Milk Day is a day established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to recognize the importance of milk as a global food. It has been observed on June 1 each year since 2001.

I love milk because just one glass can deliver you some awesome nutrition. Here are just a few of the nutrients that make milk amazing and what these nutrients can do for you:

One nutrient that immediately comes to mind and that many of you know about is calcium. Milk is loaded with it; this nutrient is important for your teeth and your bones!

Milk also has phosphorous, which works in tandem with calcium for strong teeth and bones.

Milk is an excellent source of protein, which is absolutely essential for muscle growth, development, and repair.

Milk also has potassium, making it a great choice for keeping yourself hydrated!

Milk is rich in iodine, which is the most important nutrient for assuring that you have a healthy thyroid; it is also helpful in keep you energized!

Speaking of energy, the B vitamins in milk (B5, B2, and B12) are great for maintain great energy levels, keeping you focused and reducing fatigue.

I choose to give my girls milk for a bedtime snack. It keeps them feeling satiated throughout the night, giving them a good night’s sleep.

I also let them have chocolate milk for a snack! In fact, it is probably the healthiest sweet drink kids can have, especially when you make it with dark chocolate syrup (sans the high-fructose corn syrup) like I do!

#Raiseaglass with me today; milk is definitely something to celebrate!

By Kelly Spring, MS, RD, CDN

 

Five Healthy Swaps for Summer

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Where I live, in the beautiful Finger Lakes of New York State, Memorial Day marks summer more so than the earth’s tilt toward the sun. With the summer season starting up this weekend, I have been thinking about my favorite summer swaps. Here we go!

Swap Fruit Juice and Seltzer for Soda. Did you know that 16 ounces of soda has more than 10 teaspoons of sugar? And diet soda isn’t the answer either; researchers have discovered that diet sodas though calorie-free can make you gain weight. I tell my clients to satisfy soda cravings by mixing a mere three ounces of fruit juice with 12 ounces of seltzer water.

Swap Grilled Portobello Mushrooms for Hamburgers. Red meat is okay to consume on occasion, but consuming it regularly can lead to high cholesterol, weight gain, and in the long-term, heart disease. A recent study conducted by researchers at John Hopkins University found that replacing high-density foods like red meat with low density foods like mushrooms could fight obesity. Grilled Portobello mushrooms have a delicious meaty taste. If I can get my meat-loving clients to devour a Portobello burger, they must be scrumptious!

Swap Ice Cream for Banana Soft Serve. Summer for many means ice cream, especially on hot, humid days. Try to change it up sometimes with a healthier option: Banana Soft Serve. Chop and freeze several bananas. Whenever you get an ice cream craving, throw a handful of chopped frozen bananas in the food processor and blend them with some almond milk of coconut milk. Pineapple added in is a delicious treat as well!

Reduce the Mayo for Greek yogurt. Whether it’s potato salad or macaroni salad, most people I know make these popular summer salads with globs of mayo. Swap ¾ of the mayo with Greek yogurt—you will cut the calories yet boost the nutrition and keep the satisfying taste!

Go Mini with your Desserts. You don’t have to totally deny desserts! If you want to make cupcakes, make the mini ones and create a pact with yourself to only have one.  Cut your brownies very small and make the same pact. Really savor the sweetness!

I wish you all an awesome Memorial Day weekend! Let me know if these swaps helped you!

 

 

 

 

When in Italy…Eat like the Italians

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We all know of the Italian grandmother who makes you eat and eat and eat. What if you ate like that and lost weight?! Guess what? You can!

Recently, I traveled to Italy and it was oh-so-amazing! The contrast between the way they eat and the way (most) Americans do, has really inspired me to keep ardently educating people about the importance of eating fresh, wholesome food, like the Italians do!

Let me tell you about what I ate in Italy—I indulged to say the least!

Our trip to Italy started in Florence….can you say gelato? There were gelato stands about every 50 feet and it was the most delicious thing you have ever tasted! My favorite was the Nutella flavor.

As we walked through the beautiful city, we stopped and had freshly cut prosciutto with buffalo mozzarella and perfect cherry tomatoes with the absolutely best house wine!IMG_1805

We then ventured down to Siena where we had margarita pizza, octopus, and gnocchi. We also had more phenomenal wine called Brunello. It is grown in Italy and was so delicious.

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Lastly, we went to Cinque Terre (five villages on the sea). As we got off the train, we smelled something astounding! It was fresh calamari, shrimp, fish, and crab being served at a beach stand. Unbelievable! So good, so simple, and so fresh!

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The most shocking thing was that with all that food and wine, my boyfriend and I both lost weight!

You see, when you eat food that is fresh, there are no preservatives. There is no junk to quite literally weigh you down.

And then of course we walked 8 to 14 miles a day. I know that it is not realistic to walk that much in your everyday life and you probably shouldn’t gorge even on fresh food every day. However, I do encourage you to choose fresh food like I did in Italy for most of your food and truly savor it. Don’t count calories. Often low-calorie food is so junky and will not satisfy you!

Opt for the homemade ice cream from your local ice cream stand, not the chemical-induced soft-serve ice cream from the ice cream truck! If you live in the Finger Lakes like me, try some of our local wines and not wine that has traveled from across the world. Buy free-range eggs from a local farmer. When it’s taco night, make your own corn tortillas (they’re actually easy). Skip the frozen meals and make your own (Google “easy fresh meals;” you’ll find tons of five-ingredient recipes from popular publications like Bon Appetit and Cooking Light).

Choose fresh whenever you can and try to exercise at least 30 minutes a day! Your body will thank you today and for years to come. Fresh food isn’t great for weight loss alone; it’s great for helping to prevent the chronic illnesses that plague so many people throughout o

How to Breakup with Salt in your Home Cooking

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Did you know that May is High Blood Pressure Awareness Month? One of the biggest culprits of high blood pressure is sodium. And sodium abounds in almost every packaged food on the grocery store shelves and almost every dish you order at a restaurant.

The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams (mgs) a day and an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day for most adults. What can you do to reduce your salt intake?

One of the simplest ways to reduce salt intake is to cook more at home. This will help you control the salt that goes into your food. Soups for example are so easy to “throw together” and I promise you that almost every recipe will have less sodium than canned soup, many of which contain close to 40 percent of the amount of sodium you should have in a given day.

Here are some ways the American Heart Association recommends reducing salt when preparing food:

  • Use onions, garlic, herbs, spices, citrus juices and vinegars in place of some or all of the salt to add flavor to foods.
  • Drain and rinse canned beans (like chickpeas, kidney beans, etc.) and vegetables – this can cut the sodium by up to 40 percent.
  • Combine lower-sodium versions of food with regular versions. If you don’t like the taste of lower-sodium foods right now, try combining them in equal parts with a regular version of the same food. You’ll get less salt and probably won’t notice much difference in taste. This works especially well for broths, soups, and tomato-based pasta sauces.
  • Cook pasta, rice, and hot cereal without salt. You’re likely going to add other flavorful ingredients to these foods, so you won’t miss the salt.
  • Cook by grilling, braising, roasting, searing, and sautéing to bring out the natural flavors in foods – that will reduce the need to add salt.
  • Incorporate foods with potassium, like sweet potatoes, potatoes, greens, tomatoes and lower-sodium tomato sauce, white beans, kidney beans, nonfat yogurt, oranges, bananas and cantaloupe. Potassium helps counter the effects of sodium and may help lower your blood pressure.

You can learn more about ways to reduce salt at restaurants and even find recipes at the American Health Association’s Break up with Salt website.

Spring into Health: What in the World is Kohlrabi?

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I incessantly encourage my clients to eat more cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, bok choy).  They are loaded with phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals that can help with hormone balancing, cancer prevention, and heart disease prevention. Their natural anti-inflammatory properties can avert any form of inflammation.

If you dislike any of the aforementioned vegetables, no worries! There is an unfamiliar cruciferous vegetable that I love more than all of the above. It’s sweeter and more succulent. It’s called Kohlrabi–find one at a farmer’s market near you! Kohlrabi has more than 100% of your daily vitamin c needs and it is loaded with minerals as well as the cancer-fighting phytonutrients.

Try this recipe: kickin Kohlrabi Slaw.

Ingredients:

  • –          1 Kohlrabi, peeled and shredded
  • –          ½ cup plain yogurt
  • –          2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • –          3 Tablespoons of honey or agave nectar
  • –          2 shredded carrots
  • –          Handful of raisins
  • –          Sea salt to taste

Directions

Mix the yogurt, vinegar, and honey or agave nectar. Mix the kohlrabi and carrots. Pour yogurt mixture over the kohlrabi and carrots. Season with sea salt and toss in the raisins!

Enjoy the sunshine and fuel yourself with healthy choices like this! Two keys to vitality!

What I Mean by Real Food

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You know what my tagline is right? It’s, “We are real people who promote eating real food.”

I teach people how real food can prevent chronic conditions and I provide suggestions that work for the individual or family, sports team or corporation! This is not a diet! This is about building a healthy lifestyle. So what is real food, you ask. Here are some distinguishing facts about Real Food.

Real Foods have few ingredients,  are mostly unprocessed, and are nutritious.

There are several single-ingredient real foods. Think fruits and vegetables, low-fat cheese, lean chicken breast, plain Greek yogurt. There are so many healthy choices to choose from. There are some minimally processed real foods too, like whole grain bread or Kind bars for example. If a packaged food product has words on it you cannot pronounce, it is not real food!

The nutrition is what makes real food awesome. Whole, unprocessed foods are phenomenal for your health. Studies show again and again how these foods can prevent chronic illnesses and can help you to lose weight as well if you need to. A diet rich in nutrients helps weight loss by reducing nutritional deficiencies and preventing hunger.

Real Food is rich in protein.

Protein is absolutely essential as it is the building block to skin, cartilage, bones, and your blood. Eating a protein-rich diet helps you increase your metabolism, reduce hunger, and affects the production of hormones to help you maintain a healthy weight.

Real food sources of protein include lean meat, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and low-fat dairy.

Real Food is filled with fiber and antioxidants.

While I just promoted protein, do not misinterpret that as real food means avoiding carbs because real food carbs are good for you; in fact, they are imperative!

Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, teff, millet, or even whole grain bread are fiber-rich. Whole grains have been shown to help reduce risk of Type II diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. The combination of fiber and antioxidants makes whole grains so powerful.

Fruit, veggies, nuts and seeds are also packed with fiber and antioxidants.

When you eat fiber-rich foods, you are filling yourself up too, which helps with weight-loss efforts.

Want to give real food a go? Do you already eat a lot of real food, but fall for unhealthy indulgences a little too often? Feel free to email me at kspringer@kellyschoice.com to learn more about how I can help you. Once it becomes routine, you will find a real food way of life to be fun and easy!

By Kelly Springer, RD, MS, CDN