Tag Archives: nutrition expert

Fresh and Fit Diet Advice

13 to go

Weight loss regimens are a national obsession especially at the start of the New Year when fitness centers fill up with new converts and supermarket carts fill up with salad fixings.

gym

Whether your goal is to trim a few pounds or overhaul eating habits for the long haul, here is a round up of fresh nutrition wisdoms from registered dietitians who specialize in health coaching.

It’s All About You

One size does not fit all fits all when it comes to nutrition. Changing what you eat can make you feel better and your jeans fit better but it can’t make you into a six-foot tall supermodel. So have realistic expectations.

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“People, like dogs, come in differing sizes and shapes,” says registered dietitian Nancy Clark, author of the Sports Nutrition Guidebook. “There are St. Bernards, greyhounds, Labs, poodles and Chihuahuas. Be proud of your ‘breed’, honor your genetics, and treat your body with respect,” says Clark.

Fitness Friends

Congratulations

Phone a friend. Registered dietitian Annette Schottenfeld, of Nett Nutrition says, “Walk with a co-worker. Meet new friends in dance class or team training at the gym. Stay connected with fitness friends to ensure you will show-up, motivate each other and share successes.”

Some Like it Hot

carrots

Fed up with cold rabbit food?  “Rather than trying to eat more and more salads, cook vegetables the way Mediterraneans do by roasting or stewing them with olive oil, onion, tomatoes and herbs,” suggests registered dietitian Elena Paravantes, health editor of Olive Oil Times. 

Learn by Example

peach dish

Demand for home delivered kits of pre-measured fresh ingredients with easy to follow recipes is heating up nationwide.  Mary Alice Shreve, registered dietitian with Atlanta based meal kit delivery service Peach Dish makes sure recipes feature healthful foods with seasonings that add flavor without relying on salt. How about a Super Foods Salad with kale and sunflower seeds or Red Quinoa Parsnip Stew? Shreve says, “It’s all about getting people back in the kitchen. If you can put olive oil in the pan you can handle these recipe.”

Add to Your Diet

fruit

Registered dietitian Toby Amidor author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen, advises setting short term goals, “It’s very important to establish short-term benchmarks and achieve different ones every few weeks,” says Amidor. “Short-term goals should be positive. For example, eat a fruit during at least one snack time each day.”

healthy new year

Goals should be measurable and pleasurable!

 

 

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Happy Healthy Thanksgiving!

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Whether you’re doing the cooking at home, taking a dish to a gathering or making restaurant reservations for Thanksgiving dinner Atlanta area chefs offer some inventive ideas to add a deliciously healthy twist to menu traditions.
While Thanksgiving is not a day for dieting, it’s certainly smart to up the flavor appeal of holiday favorites with creative recipes that help keep the calories down. That way you have room for a bigger slice of pumpkin pie. Yes, you can indulge without the bulge.

Here’s the How to Indulge without the Bulge segment for #HealthyThanksgiving I did for WGN TV with Chicago food stylist Connie Pikulas.

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Enjoy Winter Salads

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Look at these beautiful Brussels sprouts!

The very first Thanksgiving’s mission was to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. Chefs turn to the season’s harvest for culinary inspiration. Salads are often overlooked in the parade of roasted turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy.
At newly opened Paces & Vine, chef Ian Winslade’s Tuscan kale salad with mandarin orange dressing, crystalized ginger and local radishes, is a great winter produce idea. The Thanksgiving to-go menu at Murphy’s, also under Winslade’s direction, features a winter salad of mixed greens, pears and walnuts as well as butternut squash soup with the flavors of apple and ginger cream.
Sweet New Ideas
What Thanksgiving spread would be complete without sweet potatoes? Sweet potatoes are rich in healthy fiber, potassium and beta-carotene. Chef Carvel Gould suggests roasting sweet potato wedges and tossing them together with parsnips and rutabaga wedges cooked in a non stick pan with some garlic and shallots for about four minutes until their tender but still have some texture.

Chefs at Seasons 52 restaurants, who specialize in creating just-as-tasty but lighter, lower calorie dishes are serving maple-glazed roasted butternut squash with their Thanksgiving menu this year.

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Modern Family Menus
From the head of the table to the kids’ table, there are bound to be a few folks at Thanksgiving gatherings this year who have unique diet needs including a nut allergy, a gluten intolerance or are vegetarian or vegan. No doubt whoever’s cooking the meal will feel a bit challenged. Sous chef Cooper Miller of JCT Kitchen says, “We are used to special diet requests so we create a bunch of sides that anyone can enjoy without nuts, bacon or breadcrumbs. Then we throw in a few dishes loaded with all of those ingredients for those who want to splurge.” An easy idea for home entertaining: create a condiment platter of ingredients so each guest can customize their plates depending on allergies or food preferences.

Everybody’s happy on Thanksgiving.

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How Not to Get Over Stuffed on Thanksgiving

• Fill your plate with your personal holiday favorites first. Don’t waste your calories on foods you can eat all year long.
• Turkey and all the trimmings may be the draw, but remember the main event should be sharing time with family and friends.
• Start a new tradition by taking a walk with family and friends after the big meal and serving dessert after the stroll. You’ll feel better and dessert will taste even better.
• Give thanks that even dietitians believe Thanksgiving is not a day to diet. You may not lose any pounds over the holidays, but if you maintain your weight you’re doing great.

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Don’t Ban the Bon-Bons! Happy Healthy New Year!

If you’ve already banned bon-bons and sworn off French fries, I don’t need to tell you that New Year’s diet resolutions are among the most popular annual self-improvement declarations. 
My New Year’s Resolution is to swim more! 
But, the trouble with telling yourself you’re going to make big changes – whether it’s with food or finances – is that it only takes a few little slip ups and you’re back to your old tricks again.  
That’s why nutrition experts say don’t be so rough on yourself because adopting healthier eating behaviors takes some time. In her new book, The Food Lover’s Healthy Habits Cookbook, registered dietitian Janet Helm writes, “One recent study found that it takes an average of 66 days before a new habit becomes automatic. 
Helm’s Food Lover’s Healthy Habits Cookbook features expert tips from RD’s like moi! Page 205 folks on olive oil!!!
So commit to 30 days, then the next month will be much easier to sustain.”  She adds that long-term behavior change is the result of small victories and little daily tweaks.  For instance, when ordering a veggie omelet ask the kitchen to double up on the veggies and halve the cheese to shave off significant calories and add fiber and nutrients. 
Sometimes a new habit means continuing to enjoy the splurge foods you love, but less often. “Eat your special foods in reasonable amounts,” suggests registered dietitian Jill Nussinow.  “If you love cheesecake and eat it a few times a year, that’s fine. Love great croissants? Eat them occasionally, as in when you go to Paris or the best bakery around.”  You had me at Paris. 

Be Specific

Be Specific: I’ll only use a sprinkling of salt on the top of foods. OK, not as pictured!!!

Diet declarations such as “I’ll never eat ice cream again!” or “I’ll never eat out again!” are just way too broad to be believed. Helm advises being as specific as possible so goals are action-oriented. For instance, instead of “I’ll be more active” make the change to “Get up 30 minutes earlier so I can walk in the morning before work.” 

Be Specific: I will try to limit happy hour to one hour.


Or, let’s say you love southern foods. Rather than promising to back away from bacon and sweet tea, learn to enjoy southern flavor favorites in moderation.   At Buttermilk Kitchen in Buckhead, share an order of pimento cheese and house pickles with a few friends. Order the grilled chicken sandwich that comes with avocado, spinach, grilled onion and bacon but ask to skip the creamy ranch dressing.  Servers are happy to customize your iced tea by adding just a splash or two of sweet tea to take the edge of the unsweetened tea.  

Pimento Cheese on toast with house made pickles and tomato jam at Buttermilk Kitchen, Atlanta
Survey the list of side dishes to see that Buttermilk Kitchen owner and Chopped winner Suzanne Vizethan let’s you order a broiled half grapefruit for a naturally sweet and low calorie dessert.

Resolve to Eat More

While most folks think of nutrition improvements as a list of the things they’re not to suppose to eat, registered dietitian David Grotto has come up with the lists of food you should be eating more of to be healthier.  
Dave is who we call a “Guy-a-titian”
In his new book, “The Best Things You Can Eat” he ranks nutrient rich foods “For everything from aches to zzzz.”  For instance, rather than maligning the ingredients associated with causing heart disease Grotto’s top foods for lowering cholesterol fall into three categories – whole grains, berries and legumes.  Garlic, apples and oatmeal make the list too.  
Another happy side effect of eating more of these healthy foods is that they taste great and keep you feeling full while crowding out the junk foods and fast foods you may be trying to consume less of this year. 

Happy New Year, New You and New Healthy Things to do!

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Finding Fitness in a Fattening World


The best formula for weight loss is and always has been consuming fewer calories and burning more of them through exercise.

But, keeping track of calorie counts has never been easy. There are charts and graphs and lists of the calorie counts of foods to refer to, but it’s time consuming and often confusing. Even dietitians who analyze diet records admit it’s often a frustrating chore, especially when clients overestimate and underestimate some amounts.

Say you had a glass of wine with dinner? Okay. But, was it in a 16-ounce tumbler? You had a salad with lunch? Great, but was it a few lettuce leaves drowned in ranch dressing or a large bowl of mostly vegetables, lightly dressed?

Dietitians are trained to be diet detectives to help ferret out the truth and teach clients how to better communicate exactly what and how much they’re consuming. That way they can figure out why the client isn’t losing weight and help design a diet that hits the mark with the right number of calories to consume each day.

Calling for help

Research shows that dieters who keep food journals noting what they eat lose twice as much weight as those who don’t. Adding notes on physical activity is critical, too.

But the pages of a journal don’t tell you how many calories in a croissant.

Enter an age of technology-aided dieting. Weight-loss programs available on smart phones, including the iPhone and BlackBerry, make it easier to tabulate calorie intakes and even help plan diet goals. While there are no long-term research studies yet to show how well these apps help shed pounds, weight-loss experts are enthusiastic about these new tools. Losing weight is hard enough; so if keeping track of calories is easier, more accurate and perhaps even more fun using your iPhone, then chances are you will be more successful.

Popular, free weight-loss apps to try include LoseIt for iPhone and Calorie Counter by Fat Secret, for all smart phones.

Little things are big things

Apply the little proverb to weight control: Little things mean a lot. Little bouts of exercise — as short as 10 minutes in duration — can add up to significant gains in fitness. Unfortunately, it’s also the little bites eaten here and there above daily caloric needs that can add up to sizable weight gain over time.

Call it the “creep” — the cumulative effect of small daily errors in energy balance that slowly but surely feed the growth of body fat.

As obesity expert Dr. Robert Kushner of Northwestern University explains, “By consuming just 12 calories more per day you can gain two pounds a year. By eating 125 calories more per day you can gain more than 12 pounds in a year.” The sage budget advice to “watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves” holds true here, too.

On the exercise front, registered dietitian Ruth Ann Carpenter of the Cooper Institute in Dallas summarizes physical activity guidelines for weight maintenance. “Do 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week, such as walking, biking or gardening. Split it up into at least three days a week with no less than 10-minute bouts at a time.” If you want more health benefits, you’ll have to do more exercise.

It’s the calories, folks

Bottom line: to prevent weight gain, each day you should walk 2,000 steps and cut 100 calories. (Skip the cheese on the burger and pass on another pat of butter.) To support weight loss, you should walk at least 10,000 steps and cut 500 to 1,000 calories a day.

Learning how to make these healthy lifestyle choices is not easy in a world that weight control experts call an “obesogenic environment.” But it is a critical survival skill needed to prevent weight gain and related illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.

I’ve taken Dr. Kushner’s list of forces that contribute to obesity and given them healthy makeovers.

Finding fitness in a fattening world

– Hurried life, always rushing: walk even faster to burn more calories, take the stairs instead of waiting for the elevator, park farther away and walk instead of circling to find the closest parking spot. Make moments of calm count. Savor your foods.

– Food available everywhere: this often means more variety, so be more selective about what you choose. Since weight loss apps are mobile, you can keep track of your calorie totals as the day progresses. Think twice before taking a second helping.

– Eating out more: whether it’s a fast-food or fancy place, become familiar with the calorie counts of your favorite foods at restaurants you frequently visit. Weigh-loss apps tap into databases with nutrition information on thousands of foods. Check them.

– Exercise engineered out of our lives: take the stairs, hide the remote, just say “no” to robot vacuum cleaners, open the garage door manually, ditch the drive-thru and walk into the restaurant. Weight-loss apps include extensive lists of the number of calories used during various physical activities. Track your totals so you’ll know how many more stairs to climb before the end of the day.

Carolyn O’Neil is a registered dietitian and co-author of “The Dish on Eating Healthy and Being Fabulous!” E-mail her at carolyn@carolyn
oneil.com.

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Dive Into the Pool! Solving Summer Diet Slow Downs

Heirloom Tomatoes from JCT Kitchen “Killer Tomato Fest”…proof that summer flavors are hot!
So how are you doing on that summer time slimming regime? If you’ve lost a little steam and starting steering away from the low calorie side of the menu, you’re not alone. Nutrition researchers have found that our enthusiasm for the “diet” version of foods slows down over time. A study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that after just five days of feeding participants lower calorie versions of recipes such as spaghetti and meat sauce satisfaction ratings fell by 30 percent. This might help explain why so many people are easily side tracked from healthy eating goals in a relatively short period of time. So, what can you do to keep your mind and taste buds motivated to choose the meals more likely to help you meet summer weight control goals? Here are a few strategies and suggestions to help keep boredom at bay.

Know Which Flavors are Free – There are plenty of ways to jazz up steamed vegetables, grilled fish and other menu choices you might otherwise garnish with a high fat sauce. Lemon juice, salsa, steak sauce, barbecue sauce, hot sauce, soy sauce and vinegars are low cal or no cal options for adding flavor without fat. If you’re watching your sodium intake choose lower sodium versions of soy sauce and go easy on the steak sauce.

Add Detective Novels to Summer Reading – Learn to read between the lines because menu descriptions don’t always tell the whole story about the added fat and calories in a dish. If it says “crispy coating” it probably means it has been deep fat fried or pan fried and always ask the server about how sauces are made. For example, is it a “light” tomato sauce because it’s made with cream and color is lighter? It can happen! And did you know that many restaurants poach seafood in oil? When you see “poached” it doesn’t always mean in low calorie water based broths.

Get what you want but skip the extras– Give in but don’t give up. It’s not the craving for pizza that ‘done your diet wrong’, it was the decision to add extra pepperoni or double cheese that sent the fat and calories over your limit. Watch out for extras such as fried croutons on salads, bacon slices on burgers and cheese sauce slathered on steamed broccoli. Use cravings as an opportunity to add good nutrition such as more veggies on pizza. In the dessert department enjoy a large bowl of fresh berries topped with a small serving of ice cream, instead of a huge bowl of ice cream topped by a few berries!

Find Farms on the Menu

Fresher flavors make for happier taste buds, so summer’s bounty of just picked produce can help keep healthy fruit and veggie focused meals more interesting. The good news is that a bumper crop of chefs today are enthusiastic about featuring top notch organic and locally grown ingredients on their menus. Carvel Gould, executive chef at Canoe in Vinings buys as much as possible from local farmers and added raised bed gardens to the landscaping around the restaurant. Jimmy Carter owner of Milton’s Cuisine and Cocktails in Alpharetta tends an acre garden overflowing with corn, heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, squash, herbs and other tasty treasures for chef Boyd A. Rose to feature on their menu of “new southern cuisine.” City chefs focus on rural riches, too. Thomas McKeown ‘s menu at Terrace restaurant at The Ellis Hotel in downtown Atlanta reads like a road map of Georgia with heirloom cherry tomatoes from Crystal Organic in Newborn and lettuces from Indian Ridge Farm in Clarksville. He says, “I try to keep the food as natural as possible and let the food speak for itself. When you start with high quality product it is easy to make great dishes.”

Happy with the Taste but Want to Eat More?
Well, then you’ll have to move more. Whether it’s a morning jog before it gets too hot, a lunchtime cardio class or dancing after dinner, exercise not only helps you maintain the weight loss you’ve achieved; it allows you to eat more without regaining. Trade in some hammock time and step up your activity level this summer and you’ll burn the calories needed to savor a ballpark chili dog or poolside frozen cocktail.

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About those recipes…..on Fox 5 Atlanta

The Lady of the Refrigerator…reveals……

Avocado Spring Rolls
Makes 8 rolls

3/4 cup finely shredded Napa cabbage (packaged angel hair works great too!)
1/4 cup fresh Thai basil leaves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 cup cucumber, peeled, thinly sliced
1/2 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 avocado, sliced ¼” thick lengthwise
1/4 cup citrus dipping sauce*

Optional:
4 ounces (1/4 pound) cooked chicken breast (Rotisserie chicken is perfect for this)

*Citrus dipping sauce:
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil

Whisk all ingredients together

16 rice paper wrappers

Make the citrus dipping sauce and set aside for flavors to blend.
Remove skin from chicken breast and shred into small pieces. Combine the cabbage, basil, mint, cilantro and toss. Cut the red pepper, cucumber and avocado.

Fill a shallow pan with hot water. One at a time, dip the rice paper wrappers in the hot water until soft and pliable. Spread the hydrated rounds onto a clean, flat, dry surface. Arrange avocado and peppers in a single layer across the center of the rice paper round; spread 1/4 cup of the cabbage mixture on top then 1/2 oz. chicken. Drizzle with the dipping sauce. Fold the bottom end of the rice paper over the top of the mixture, fold the sides up and then roll into a tight cylinder, “burrito style”. Repeat until all ingredients are used. Cut diagonally and serve with the dipping sauce.

Watermelon and Mango Salsa
Serves 6

1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons crystallized ginger, finely minced
1 small jalapeno pepper, core and ribs removed, finely diced
1/4 cup red onion, 1/4″ dice
2 cups watermelon, 1/4″ dice
1 ripe mango, peeled and 1/4″ diced
1/2 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, 1/4″ diced (1 small cucumber)
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, very thinly sliced

In a large bowl, whisk lime juice, brown sugar, salt, ginger and pepper until sugar dissolves. Dice the onion and soak in ice water to remove acid and crisp. While onion is soaking, cut watermelon, mango, cucumber, and mint and add to the bowl with the dressing. Drain the red onion and add to the fruit mixture; gently toss. Cover and chill. Season with salt to taste and serve cold.

This is great with a baked, whole grain tortilla chip or over grilled fish or chicken.

See these recipes on Fox 5 Good Day Atanta

http://tinyurl.com/2dn2spn

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The New Picture of Health

What should Americans be eating today?
Congratulations to those who say they’re trying to eat a better diet to lose some weight and improve their overall health.

As you’ve no doubt heard, the American diet could use some improvements to battle obesity and help prevent diet-related illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. But what does a healthy diet look like these days?

Does it mean trading steaks on the grill for tofu and bean sprouts? Should salad bowls be bigger and ice cream bowls be banned? Are there clearly defined dietary devils and angels?

Addressing these questions is the job of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. It was established to update the 2005 Dietary Guidelines by taking a look at the latest and greatest nutrition research and then advising leaders at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on what Americans should be eating today.

In its report, released this month, the committee concludes that, “On average, Americans of all ages consume too few vegetables, fruits, high-fiber whole grains, low-fat milk and milk products, and seafood, and they eat too much added sugars, solid fats, refined grains, and sodium.”

Translation: Spend more time exploring the produce section and less time eyeing fried chicken in the deli.

Get off the ‘soFAs’

Remember all the talk about “couch potatoes,” referring to sedentary habits that contribute to weight gain? Well now couches are joined by sofas! The 2010 Dietary Guidelines report warns that “SoFAS” (solid fats and added sugars) contribute about 35 percent of calories to the American diet for kids, teens and adults.

“Solid fats” refers to the fat in butter, cheese, stick margarine, vegetable shortening (oils that are hydrogenated to be solid at room temperature) and the fats in meats.

“Added sugars” doesn’t need much explanation, but don’t forget that includes soft drinks. The report states, “Reducing the intake of SoFAS can lead to a badly needed reduction in energy intake and inclusion of more healthful foods into the total diet.” So couches and sofas are out, but tables are in. The committee included advice to encourage the enjoyment of healthy food and pointed to the benefits of Mediterranean-style dietary patterns.

Translation: Set a table outside with platters of grilled fish and lemons, vegetables drizzled with olive oil and sliced melon for dessert; preferably with a view of the sea.

The 2010 ‘Uncle Sam Diet,’ if you will.The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee report: “Shift food intake patterns to a more plant-based diet that emphasizes vegetables, cooked dry beans and peas, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds.”

Translation: Check out the vegetarian entrees on menus when dining out, even if you’re not a vegetarian, to increase intake of valuable nutrients including fiber and antioxidants.
The report: “Increase the intake of seafood and fat-free and low-fat milk and milk products and consume only moderate amounts of lean meats, poultry and eggs.”

Translation: You don’t have to cut milkshakes or steaks from a healthy diet. Lean toward low-fat dairy and lean meats. For instance, from flank steak to top sirloin, there are 29 different cuts of beef that qualify as lean with less than 10 grams of fat per serving.
The report: “Significantly reduce intake of foods containing added sugars and solid fats because these dietary components contribute excess calories and few, if any, nutrients.”

Translation: Don’t waste calories on sugar-sweetened beverages and deep-fried foods. If you do, spend those calories wisely with smaller portions enjoyed less frequently.

The report: “Reduce sodium intake.”

Translation: Shaking a salt habit doesn’t have to mean suffering with bland foods. Add a world of healthy flavors with fresh herbs, dried herbs, spices, citrus, vinegars, salsas, garlic and mushrooms. Cooking techniques such as grilling, roasting and pan searing caramelize the natural sugars and proteins in foods to add flavor.
The report: “Lower intake of refined grains, especially refined grains that are coupled with added sugar, solid fat, and sodium.”

Translation: Looks like we’d better go easy on the doughnuts and tortilla chips.
To read the full report from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, go to www.dietaryguidelines.gov.

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