A SAD Winter Made Happier

With cold weather comes indoor confinement and irresistible cravings. During the winter months, we tend to feel depressed and hungrier than usual. The ‘winter blues’, otherwise known as Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is caused by the lack of sunlight in the winter, ultimately lowering serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter made from tryptophan that is most commonly found in the brain and GI tract and plays a role in controlling mood. This ‘feel good’ chemical has been linked to studies involving depression, obesity, and Parkinson’s disease. According to WebMD, SAD affects twenty-five million Americans and can be characterized by symptoms such as depression, frequent napping, low self-esteem, irritability, shyness, and panic attacks. The winter blues may leave in a slump, feeling hopeless and sluggish, but beating the blues is easy with the right foods!

Tryptophan, the amino acid that synthesizes serotonin, is found in many foods also high in protein, iron, riboflavin, and vitamin B6. Eating foods high in tryptophan could potentially have an effect on serotonin levels and ultimately, your mood. To get your tryptophan fix and beat those blues incorporate some of these foods into your diet!

Nuts: Nuts and seeds have high levels of tryptophan as well as protein, carbohydrate and healthy fats. These tiny nutritional powerhouses make a perfect on-the-go snack and are a perfect topping for salads, fish, chicken and oatmeal.

Turkey: Turkey is one of the most abundant sources of tryptophan available. It is rich in the serotonin boosting amino acid and protein. Deli turkey tends to be high in sodium, so be sure to choose a low to no sodium option when purchasing it!

Eggs: Who doesn’t love a delicious omelet in the morning? Starting your day off with eggs is a great way to help boost your mood and keep a smile on your face all day long. Egg yolks are packed with tryptophan and tyrosine, an amino acid used to synthesize protein.

Salmon: Salmon is not only filled with omega-3’s and monounsaturated fats, but tryptophan as well! This protein rich fish makes a delightful dinner meal or salad addition.

Tofu: Vegetarians and vegans rejoice! Tryptophan is commonly found in tofu and soy products.

Along with Tryptophan, Eating foods high vitamin D could help prevent SAD. Seasonal affective disorder can be linked with lack of sunlight, which means less environmental vitamin D absorption. Increasing your dietary intake of vitamin D in the winter can help replace your daily dose of sunlight through food. Pork, tuna, salmon, eggs, milk, mushrooms, and orange juice are all great sources of vitamin D to help ‘D’-feat your winter blues.

 

TechTuesday: Higi

            With the beginning of the New Year comes the “New Year new me” trend. Gyms become crowded, motivational quotes flood social media, and several healthy Pinterest recipes are constantly being re-created. While ringing in 2016 with this mindset comes easy for some, creating and sticking to New Years resolutions can be overwhelming and challenging for others. People may find themselves in a slump, right back where they started, or believing they will never receive the results they so desire. Getting back on track and kick starting your health journey can be made simpler again using the Higi app.

            Higi believes that keeping tabs on your health should be rewarding and fun.  This is why the app works as a loyalty program for your body. Users can begin their “New Year new me” resolutions by downloading the app and using the map to find a Higi station near them. Higi stations are found in stores like Rite Aid, Stop & Shop, Whole Foods, Publix, Giant, ShopRite and Fred’s Pharmacy. After locating the nearest Higi stations, users can check in and begin earning points by taking their health vitals, or tracking their steps taken and workouts completed. Doing this, they will start accumulating points for their health accomplishments. Points can be acquired and exchanged for free merchandise, food and other gifts. Exchanging points for healthy products and active wear encourages users to continue their journey towards a healthier them.

            Higi also makes tracking your health worthwhile by allowing points to be exchanged towards charitable organizations. Users can feel rewarded and healthier while donating their points to children battling cancer, clean water for Haiti, pet shelters and more. The mobile app helps users track their progress by measuring their recent activity as their Higi score. The more active users are, the higher the score. Higi scores motivate users to continue tracking and reaching their goals.  Users can also help other friends and Higi members stay motivated by completing challenges together and sharing progress. Staying motivated by friendly competition and community involvement is a great way to improve health results.

            Using the Higi app is an empowering and simple way to keep your resolutions on track. Higi provides health and wellness articles filled with the latest news, tips and tricks to help users learn new things in order to become the healthiest and happiest version of themselves. Creating a new you in 2016 can be rewarding, easy, and fun beginning with Higi.

 

Download the Higi app and find a station near you today!

 

Keep up with the latest Higi news and updates on Twitter and Facebook.

 

Source: Higi

Monday RD Feature: 15 Favorite Recipes from 2015

Prevention RD, Nicole Morrissey wraps up 2015 by sharing some of her favorite recipes from 2015. Start the New Year off right by trying one of these delicious and healthy recipes.

My favorite post of the year! All of the best, all in one  place! Enjoy!

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Follow Nicole at Prevention RD on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Source: 15 Favorite Recipes From 2015

Monday RD Feature: Breakfast: Most Important Meal?

RDN Erin McNamara explains her views on breakfast and the importance of eating a nutrient dense meal in order to fuel your day. Implementing healthy eating patterns and habits is a great way to work towards your New Years resolution of a healthier, happier you!

BREAKFAST: MOST IMPORTANT MEAL?

Breakfast. I think we’ve all heard it before. It’s the most important meal of the day. Hmm, okay. 

What? Don’t think I’m on board with that? Well, sure. But I also think it depends. It depends on what you’re eating for breakfast. If you’re eating a balanced, nutritious breakfast, then I am all for it. But if you’re grabbing an extra large muffin or bagel to go or slurping down a bowl of sugary cereal, then no I’m not on board.

I’ll admit it. There were many years that went by when breakfast was not part of my day. And honestly it’s is my least favorite meal of the day. Mainly because “typical breakfast foods” were and are not appealing to me. Think about it. Pancakes with syrup, cinnamon buns, coffee cakes, doughnuts – this might as well be dessert! I hate to burst your bubble, but these are not the breakfasts of champions!

If breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day, then do yourself a favor and refuel your body properly. Your best bet? Try to avoid eating a breakfast consisting of mainly refined carbohydrates. What does that mean? Add some protein, add some fruit, add some vegetables! Ideally it should consist of a combination of grains (ideally whole), protein/dairy, fruit/vegetable and fat. This provides a good combination to carry you through the morning. 

When it comes to breakfast, think outside the box. I recently read that certain cultures insist on a salad at every meal. While a salad at breakfast may not be up your alley, there are many other ways to create a balanced breakfast. 

And I’ll admit. I’m not your typical breakfast eater. It’s not unusual for me to have a side of broccoli with my eggs. Or to have dinner leftovers or a big bowl of soup or a sandwich with a side of carrots. All true stories. It’s rare for me to have breakfast without vegetables. I know – I’m a little obsessed. But this is what works for me. If on a rare chance vegetables don’t make it to the table, there’s usually my newest fruit obsession taking it’s place. 

So as we head into the new year, rethink your breakfast. And it’s okay to indulge. Every once in awhile. Save it for a special occasion. I do. Of course my indulgence may still have a side of broccoli.

What do you eat for breakfast?

Keep up with Erin on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!

Source: Breakfast: Most Important Meal of the Day? Erin Dishes

Monday RD Feature: Build a Healthy Pantry with RD Holly Stevens

RD Holly Stevens helps us stay healthy this holiday season with tips on how to build a healthier pantry!

Building and sustaining a nutrient packed pantry is key to living a healthy lifestyle. First, a pantry should have food that can be made in to at least a couple of meals. That way if there is no time to go grocery shopping for a couple days, ordering take out can be avoided, which can sometimes lead to overindulging and unplanned expensive. Also, a pantry should have healthy and satisfying snacks, because when the munchies strike (and they sometimes will), options should be available!

Now I have learned that my 1-bedroom, urban apartment is not going to have the same available space as my mom’s pantry does, but I make it work, and I know you can too! The items below can ALWAYS be found in my kitchen.

 

  1. Chia seeds: By far my favorite food right now. I do not use granola on yogurt anymore because these little guys are so much better! In just 1 tablespoon, there’s a whopping 4 grams of fiber and tons of nutrients like omega 3 fatty acids (anti-inflammatory), iron, calcium and zinc. Chia seeds have also been shown to improve gut health and function.

  2. Frozen vegetables: Green beans, broccoli, stir-fry blend, any and all of these vegetables are great to have in the freezer. Purchase the steam ready bags if desired. Avoid frozen vegetables with sauce. This added sauce is usually high in sodium and processed ingredients, not to mention unwanted calories on delicious, nutrient-dense vegetables. Fun fact: frozen vegetables are typically more nutrient dense than raw, grocery store bought, produce because these vegetables are flash frozen soon after harvest. Raw produce typically travels hundreds of miles to get to your local grocery store and the more time that passes the more nutrients that are lost.

  3. Pizza dough: Best for the Friday or Saturday nights that you want pizza, but you may not want all the calories, grease and saturated fat that comes along with restaurant bought pizza. Plus, it is super fun to make your own pizza! Fresh pizza dough can be bought at the grocery store and put in the freezer for future meals. Wegmans, Trader Joes and Whole Foods sell whole- wheat pizza dough for under $4 dollars.

  4. Popcorn: Whole grain snack packed with fiber. I have an electric popcorn maker that pops delicious, crunchy popcorn, without the oil and preservatives found in packaged, microwave popcorn. Plus, you can get a bag of popcorn kernels for less than $2. Add different herbs and spices to flavor your popcorn! Think garlic or cumin!

  5. Frozen fruit: Buy already frozen or freeze your own fruit. I will freeze bananas if they start to get ripe and I know we won’t eat all of them. Frozen fruit can be defrosted and put in yogurt, or put in a smoothie. Tip: When freezing bananas take off peel prior to freezing.

  6. Quinoa: Protein, fiber, magnesium, folate and zinc are just a few of the nutrients found in quinoa. This ancient grain can be cooked in less than 20 minute. Mix quinoa in stir fry or use to stuff peppers or portabella mushrooms.

  7. Beans: Black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, make sure to keep at least one can in your pantry at all times. Beans can be added to salads, frittatas, stir fry, casseroles and can be used to stuff peppers or portabella mushrooms. Make sure to rinse beans thoroughly prior to use.

  8. Almond (or any nut) butter: Almonds are more nutrient dense than peanuts, thus almond butter is a better choice than peanut butter. Almond butter has fiber, monounsaturated fats, iron and magnesium. Almond butter is considered nutrient-dense, meaning that the serving size is small, ~2 tablespoons. If you don’t know how much that is, I suggest measuring it out to avoid over consuming.

  9. Canned tuna: Great source of protein that can be mixed with Greek yogurt and/or Dijon mustard then mixed in with a salad or rolled up in a whole wheat wrap. This shelf stable protein is great to have in the pantry when you need a quick, healthy meal.

  10. Rice cakes: When the munchies or your sweet tooth strikes, turn to a rice cake. Find a brand of rice cakes that has fiber, to help you feel fuller longer. My favorite treat is a rice cake topped with almond butter and sometimes a few chocolate chips.

What do you think about these pantry staples? What is a MUST in your pantry? Share your thoughts below or message me if you want any tips on how to stock your pantry!

And always remember that planning yields success!

 

Keep up with Holly on Instagram, and Pinterest!!

Check out Holly's website and the original post: Guide to Building a Healthy Pantry 

Nutrition in Healthcare: One Nation, Free of Heart Disease

    Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the United States today (1). It constitutes for a large range of conditions such as heart attack, stroke, heart failure and arrhythmia. With CVD on the rise, numerous medical professionals have sought out various ways to help prevent and reverse this condition. Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, is recognized as one of the impassioned medical professionals whom has devoted many years in researching and discovering the most effective ways to prevent heart disease. Dr. Esselstyn has written several books, scientific publications and narrated documentaries discussing his findings on preventing and reverse heart disease. Esselstyn is a strong advocate in the promotion of treating heart disease, specifically coronary artery diseases (CAD), through nutrition intervention.

    Plant-based nutrition provides us with a pathway to escape the coronary artery disease epidemic (2). Eating a plant-based diet typically calls for consuming a variety of different fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and grains, while avoiding meat, dairy, poultry and other animal products. Esselstyn believes that coronary disease has no building blocks from the plant-based diet. He has found that meat, cheese, milk, butter, ice cream, eggs, fried food, oils and margarine ate the lethal atherosclerotic lynchpins (2). His research has found that plant-based nutrition achieved coronary artery disease arrest and reversal (3).

    In one particular study published in July 2014 in the Journal of Family Practice, Esselstyn followed 198 consecutive patient volunteers to examine the adherence and outcomes of converting their usual diets to plant-based nutrition (3). 177 of the patients adhered to the diet and reported that they were interested in transitioning to consuming a plant-based as opposed to their current CVD treatment methods. Dr. Esselstyn found that those who followed the diet  and responded to counseling experienced a low rate of subsequent cardiac events, proving his theory that plant-based nutrition has the potential for a large effect in reversing the CVD epidemic.

    Throughout the study, patients were educated in plant-based nutrition and shown how it can reverse CAD by a previous study conducted by Caldwell. They were told to avoid all oils, processed food that contain oils, fish, meat, fowl, dairy products, avocado, nuts, excess salt, and eventually sugary foods, caffeine and fructose (3). Following these guidelines for 3.7 resulted in the symptom reduction was seen in 105 of the 177 patients and disease reversal was displayed in 39. This study is one of the few that Dr. Esselstyn has used to back his beliefs on plant-based nutrition intervention.


    Along with Caldwell Esselstyn, the American Heart Association (AHA) is implementing an impact goal to improve the cardiovascular health of Americans by utilizing a functional diet.   The AHA hopes that their 2020 Impact Goal will reduce deaths from CVD and stroke by twenty percent. Dr. Esselstyn and the AHA believe that the greatest controllable determinant of heart health is diet. With the 2020 Impact Goal, the AHA anticipates to examine and enhance the diets of those diagnosed with some form of heart disease as well as educate children on the importance of healthy eating behaviors. Real Dietitian is thankful to have received an innovation grant from the AHA and eager to help make a difference in the future of heart health by expanding access to Medical Nutrition Therapy via phone appointment. Together, Americans can spread cardiovascular disease awareness and work to improve the quality of our diets and lifestyles so that future generations can thrive.

Read more of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s research.

Learn more about the 2020 Impact Goal from the American Heart Association.

Sources:

  1. Leading Causes of Death

  2. Plant-Based Nutrition

  3. A way to reverse CAD?

TechTuesday: DinnerCall

Do you recall the last time you sat down and ate dinner with your whole family? Unfortunately, neither do most Americans. As a society, our busy schedules keep us constantly moving and often require families to establish separate dinner plans. Sitting down and eating dinner together has become less popular as our lives are becoming increasingly active. Most kids see eating dinner together as a chore; it requires them to leave their smart phones, laptops and video games. Families are skipping dinner together and growing further apart with rises in electronics, social media and inactivity.

            Billion Family Dinners and DinnerCall are campaigns advocating change in the way Americans eat. The Billion Family Dinners movement promotes eating together more consistently to increase mood, health and wellness and advocate family time as fun time once again. This campaign challenges families to eat ten dinners within two weeks and track their progress. The Billion Family Dinners challenge requires the effort of a family as a whole, and is now simpler than ever thanks to the DinnerCall app. DinnerCall allows families to track their meal occasions, number of people eating a meal, total number of minutes spent around the table and more. Throughout the challenge, families can compare their data to other families at a global level. They can also share their accomplishments, pictures and special memories to inspire others and spark creativity. The most rewarding experience DinnerCall brings to the table is time spent laughing and enjoying each other.

            DinnerCall has reported that research shows family dinners contribute to a healthier and more positive society. Family dinners correspond to lower obesity, substance abuse rates, more positive relationships, and happier, secure children. Family dinners are important in teaching kids healthy eating patterns and habits. Eating together can aid in conditioning younger children and teenagers to improve society by creating healthier, positive and loving attitudes. Join the Billion Family Dinners movement by downloading DinnerCall to help build a diverse, global family that brings love and joy much further than the dinner table.

Follow DinnerCall on social media for inspiration and fun dinner ideas! 

Twitter, Instagram, Facebook

Source: Billion Family Dinners, DinnerCall

Monday RD Feature: Mindful Monday With the Sassy Dietitian

Taking our time to actually enjoy the food we are eating is becoming more and more rare. We are losing the practice and gratification in savoring our meals. When we do not eat mindfully, we tend to eat larger quantities of food as well as food that may not be so healthy. With the holiday season approaching, it is important to remember to appreciate the meals that have been prepared by us and our loved ones. This Monday, prep yourself to eat mindfully with advice from the Sassy Dietitian!

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Mindful Monday: How to Enjoy a Meal

Happy Monday friends. I hope you all have been enjoying the beautiful fall colors out there. I know I sure have been. Find me on instagram (@thesassydietitian) or snapchat (@thesassyrd) and see what I am into this fall season. Relaxing weekends like this past weekend sure do make it hard to Monday (yes that is now a verb.) So that is probably why coffee was invented (or tea for you non-coffee folk).

This past weekend I went and leaf peeped up in Stratton Vermont (more on that later this week) and even enjoyed a bit of vitamin D, wooohoo! Dietitian win. I realized something this weekend (okay maybe not this weekend) that I wanted to share with all of you wonderful people (aka HI MOM!).

We are all so busy with our lives that we sometimes forget to stop and smell the roses. I had a good friend in college (hi JC!) who would always make me stop and enjoy the scenery. I used to laugh and keep walking because I was always the type that just wanted to get to wherever we were going. Poor JC would have to run and catch up with me every dang time. Anyway, tangent aside, we all tend to do this with meals. We eat on our way to work, to the gym, standing in the kitchen, watching tv, in the pantry, in bed (not sexy), you name it we have probably eaten there. This needs to stop!

How many of you have eaten a meal in the past week by yourself? Okay, how many of those meals have you enjoyed? My guess is the majority of the meals you have eaten alone have not been the most enjoyable. Now, how many meals have you eaten with family, friends, furry pets, or even coworkers? Think about those meals and think about how many of those meals you enjoyed. My guess is a whole heck of a lot more. So, why don’t we do it more often?

Eating with others has been a tradition FOREVER. You can go back in history (I probably won’t because history was never my strong suit) and find many examples of significant events that happened during a meal with good company. You probably can even name some of your favorite meals that happened with your own good company. So let’s get back to enjoying our meals and feeling good about food and meal time.

This weekend I was able to enjoy all my meals from Friday night to Sunday night with friends and family and let me tell you it was MUCH more enjoyable than the lonely breakfast I ate this morning, who is with me? Chances are you will eat less as well, double win.

Here are my 5 simple tips to enjoy a meal! Share with me your favorite shared meals below.

How to enjoy a meal:

  1. Invite friends, family, etc. to a meal. 
  2. SIT DOWN and relax. No computer, TV, phone, standing desk, car dashboard, etc.
  3. Show grace and gratitude. Be thankful for your food and the company.
  4. Have conversation between bites. Let’s be civil and chew with our mouths closed.
  5. CHEW YOUR FOOD. This can help slow you down, improve digestion and help you eat just as much as you need, not more, not less.

…repeat at all meals possible.

Alright, that’s it, that’s everything. I want to hear from you: Who are your favorite people to eat with? Let me know in the comments.

Have a great week.

xoxo, 

Sassy

Follow the Sassy Dietitian on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook!

Source: Mindful Monday: How to Enjoy a Meal

 

TechTuesday: Instacart

A new and innovative app called Instacart is changing the game in delivery service. Instacart is a grocery delivery service application that promises to have your personalized list of groceries and in hour or less! Instacart believes that everyone should be able to receive healthy food, even when they do not have the time to grocery shop. Instacart works with your local grocery stores such as Whole Foods and Costco in order to deliver fresh products to your home. 

With Instacart, your first grocery delivery is absolutely free. After your first free delivery, the service is only $3.99. Instacart is currently available in large cities such as San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Atlanta, Seattle and more.  Grocery stores that work with Instacart vary, so be sure to download the app and enter your zip code to find partnering stores. The app is perfect for busy people, who are constantly on the go. With just a few minutes to pick out your desired food items, Instacart’s Personal Shoppers will save you time by picking out your groceries and delivering them to you. Whether you don’t have time after work or simply want to enjoy the weekend, Instacart will save you from crowded stores, long lines, endless aisles, and loading and unloading!           

This convenient app allows users to order fresh produce and deli items from multiple stores at once. It also promotes re-ordering by remembering previous orders, making it easy to receive again with just one tap. Instacart allows users to plan out a delivery time that works for them; personal shoppers will deliver accordingly. You can even share your favorite shopping items with family and friends! Make eating healthy more accessible and simple by saving time to plan your meals. Instacart will save you time to plan healthier meals for you and your family by finding and delivering groceries for you. Eating better has never been easier, thanks to Instacart!

 

Instacart is available on Android and iOS.

Be sure to stop by Instacart's social media pages: Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

Source: Instacart

Monday RD Feature: Glamorization of Gluten by Janet Helm

Going gluten free is displayed throughout the media as a steadily rising and booming health craze. However, there is speculation on whether or not going gluten-free benefits those free of celiac disease or not. Janet Helm, RD, from Nutrition Unplugged tells us more about the trendy diet below in this weeks RD feature!

"When did it become hip to give up gluten?

Gwyneth Paltrow said she got rid of gluten to lose her extra “holiday” pounds. Miley Cyrus and Kim Kardashian declared their devotion to a gluten-free diet on Twitter. Now Lady Gaga is the latest celebrity to embrace a gluten-free diet, reportedly to slim down for her international concert tour.

Why is gluten-free the new diet craze?

That’s the topic of my recent post for WebMD: Will Going Gluten-Free Help You Lose Weight?

The answer is, it depends. There’s nothing inherent about a gluten-free diet that’s going to melt away the pounds. It may help if you “get rid of the junk” and eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains that are naturally gluten-free, says registered dietitian Shelley Case. But it certainly won’t help if you just simply load up on the burgeoning array of prepackaged gluten-free products that are selling like hotcakes.

An excellent research review article in the September issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics tackles this topic: Gluten-Free Diet: Imprudent Dietary Advice for the General Population?

Written by Glenn Gaesser and Siddhartha Angadi, the article looks at the data and makes the following conclusions:

While a gluten-free diet is important for individuals with celiac and gluten sensitivity, there’s no evidence to support that gluten-free diets are beneficial for weight loss
Some studies suggest gluten-free diets may actually make matters worse for some overweight and obese individuals (linked to an increase in BMI)
Research shows that gluten-free diets can be inadequate in essential nutrients (linked to deficiencies in B vitamins, iron and folate)
Gluten-free baked goods are often high in fat and calories
Going gluten-free for purposes of weight loss may have unintended consequences

Now gliadin may be the gluten, or at least if you buy into the book by Wisconsin preventive cardiologist and “seeker-of-truth in health” William Davis. Dr. Davis is building an entire empire on his Wheat Belly brand, but it’s based more on his opinions vs. fact. These bloggers have done a good job of breaking down the claims:

Wheat Belly Busted

Wheat Belly Review by Summer Tomato

Wheat Belly? Wheat Berry!

Slam Dunked and Wheat Belly

Dr. Davis makes a powerful case for his opinions, as you can see in one of his promotional videos below, but anecdotal observations are not a substitute for science.

Here’s an excellent article written by Julie Jones that analyzes the claims made in Wheat Belly. Hope it will help you think twice before buying the book or believing the hype.

Sure, we could all benefit from cutting down on refined, starchy, sugary carbs. No argument. But let’s not condemn whole grains, which have a bushel of studies supporting their positive impact on our health, including weight management.  

Image courtesy of disneymike on Flickr."

Follow Janet & Nutrition Unplugged on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!

Keep up with Nutrition Unplugged's blog!

Source: The Glamorization of Gluten-Free

Monday RD Feature: Six Slimming Fall Super Foods - Appetite for Health

Fall is here; and with the fall weather comes fall flavors! Read below to learn some of Appetite for Health's favorite fall foods that help shrink your waistline!

"Six Slimming Super Foods for Fall. In celebration of fall, we’ve put together our list of six super foods of autumn that will also help to slim down. We’ve included foods with a high fiber and/or water content that will keep you full for longer, helping you to reduce cravings.

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Apples

An apple a day keeps the doctor away  — and it may help keep those fat cells away too!  Versatile, portable and delicious, apples can be one of your secret autumn weight loss weapons.

Full of flavor, apples are also great sources of hunger-fighting fiber. Snack on one large apple (with the skin) for 116 calories, and you’ll consume 5.4 grams of fiber. The high water content and amazing amount of fiber will keep you full until your next meal, curbing hunger, and preventing the temptation to reach for a high-calorie nibble.

Apples are the perfect anytime-snack.  I also love them in oatmeal and salads.  For a lower calorie sweet treat try this amazing Cinnamon Apple Crisp from our friend Chef Gina at SkinnyTaste.

 

Pumpkin

Pumpkins aren’t just for Halloween!  Pumpkin is also a nutritional powerhouse. A cup of cooked pureed or mashed pumpkin contains just 50 calories, 2 grams protein, 3 grams fiber, 2.5 grams natural sugars and is loaded with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Pumpkin provides vitamin C, iron, zinc, potassium, and are among the best sources of vitamin A in the form ofbeta-carotene and several other carotenoids. Since most of us fail to get enough deep orange veggies in our diet, the new dietary guidelines emphasize the importance of getting 5-6 servings a week of red or orange veggies for their anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and heart health benefits.  And the fiber in pumpkinwill fill you up, not out.

There are endless ways to use pumpkins in your meals this fall.  Add chunks of pumpkin to chili, stir pumpkin puree into tomato-based pasta sauces, or of course, use pureed pumpkin for your pumpkin pie.  Try our Light & Delicious Pumpkin Pie recipe!

 

Pomegranates

While still considered an ‘exotic’ fruit in some places, pomegranates have been popular throughout history.  In fact, in Greek mythology the pomegranate is a symbol of abundance and procreation (which makes sense given that the average pomegranate has about 800 seeds!)

The sweet flesh of pomegranates provides vitamin C, potassium, and B6.  Pomegranate juice also provides these nutrients.  Look for domestic pomegranates from September though January.

Pomegranate juice is great for making sauces and marinades.  And the whole seeds are perfect for sprinkling on salads and desserts.  Try this Mixed Baby Greens & Pomegranate salad.

 

 

Dates

Dates are low in fat and high in fiber.  Just 1 date has 1.6 grams of fiber in fact.  Dates are available in both fresh and dried form.  Look for ones that are smooth-skinned and plump and that yield to pressure.  They should not be rock hard.  Although dates are available year-round, they are harvested in late fall and early winter.

Dates are a wonderful addition to yogurt, shakes, and salads.  We also love to make our own Homemade Energy Bars with them. Definitely try this recipe!

 

 

Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is another fantastic fall superfood. Inexpensive and versatile, you can use them for soups and stews, or roast or mash them as a delicious side dish.  1 cup of baked butternut squash has just 98 calories, 2 grams of protein and a whopping 6.9 grams of fiber! Plus it’s deep yellow-orange flesh is an excellent source of disease fighting beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant.

This rich, Roasted Butternut Squash soup will warm you up on chilly fall and winter days!

 

 

Oats

While oats are perfect for any season, I wanted to add them to our fall super foods list because oatmeal is an ideal breakfast for cooler autumn mornings.  Plus oats are inexpensive (less than 25 cents per serving!) and loaded with filling fiber.  A cup of cooked oats has about 4 grams of fiber — that’s about 16 percent of the total you need each day.  Research shows that the fiber in oats may also help control blood sugar and lower cholesterol.

In addition to oatmeal, you can also use oats for soups and stews.  The finer cuts will thicken the liquid.  You can also add oats to burger and meatloaf mixtures to “extend” your recipes."

 

For more fun, fall nutrition and recipes, check out Appetite for Health on:

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Source: 

Six Slimming Super Foods for Fall

 

 

 

 

 

TechTuesday: Sworkit!

"Sworkit" one step closer to health each day!

Are you constantly stuck at home with the kids? Too embarrassed to go to the gym? Don’t have enough time to workout? Begin changing your lifestyle and ditch the excuses by downloading Sworkit! Sworkit is a free fitness app, available at your fingertips. Sworkit is designed to help you workout anywhere, anytime and is personalized to provide the perfect workout for you.

With the app, users can pick a category of exercise they enjoy to participate in. They can choose from a variety of workout categories such as: stretching, pilates, yoga, cardio, strength and more. After they have chosen an exercise, the user can set a time limit to workout based on their schedule. Sworkit is meant to be flexible with your schedule. Fit a workout into your busy day in as little as five minutes! “Get to Swork” after you’ve picked your time limit by following the instructional videos provided on your phone screen. The app gives the users cues and walks them through their own personal workout, step-by-step. Equipped with thirteen different audio languages, Sworkit makes it simple for users worldwide to follow along. “No gym? No problem!”. You can Sworkit at home without needing any equipment.

Users can create custom workouts from a library of over 170 exercises. The custom workout builder can be used by anyone, whether you’re a beginner or professional. Create friendly competition by syncing and sharing your workout routines with friends, family, your client or your trainer! Using Sworkit is like having a personal trainer in your pocket. Everyday is a new workout designed to mix up users routines and challenge them to reach their goals. Staying active is an extremely important factor in optimal health and body function. Pairing a fitness routine, provided by Sworkit, with a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables is vital to avoid and reverse disease. Aim to incorporate physical activity and nutrition knowledge and awareness into your health regime!  

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Sworkit!

TechTuesday: WholeFoods App

Whole Foods Market is one of today’s leading grocery stores that is determined to make healthy living and eating easier and more accessible. Whole Foods core values ensure that they are consistently selling the highest quality natural and organic products in order to satisfy, delight and nourish customers. They are also involved advocates for promoting health through education. Whole Foods has made their customer education of healthy living and eating more simple and innovative by creating the Whole Foods Market app.

Using the Whole Foods app, customers can improve their healthy way of life by cooking meals from the collection of 3,700 kitchen-tested recipes. Users have even further access to cooking and meal prep with over 400 healthy recipes to try as well as cooking tips. The Whole Foods app makes eating delicious, nutritious and budget-friendly eating readily available with step by step cooking guides. Following your budget is also made easy with access to different information on specials and sales at your nearest Whole Foods location. Eating healthy on a budget can be challenging and may require planning ahead. Whole Foods provides plan-ahead features to ensure eating healthy on a budget is made easier for everyone.

Customers are able to create shopping lists on the app before they even set foot in a store! They can create various and diverse lists from the large collection of recipes with simply one click. In creating personalized grocery lists and browsing recipes, users can search by specific courses, cuisines, special diets and more. This feature allows customers with certain food allergies and sensitivities to be creative in the kitchen while avoiding products that could potentially harm them. Searching recipes and products by cuisines can be helpful to those with more particular tastes.  Wholefoodsmarket.com allows you to sync your shopping lists and recipe boxes between the app and website in order to create and build healthy eatng options on the go or at home on your desktop.

The Whole Foods believes that living and eating healthy should be fun and celebrated. This is reflected in their app by recipe creating and sharing. Customers can rate and comment on recipes as well as add their own photos of re-created recipes. Users can become inspired by positive feedback, learning more about certain ingredients and saving favorite recipes to test out later. Create the perfect, nutritious dinner for holidays, birthdays and other special occasions by using the Whole Foods app’s curated menu collections. Healthy eating is an important and crucial step in reaching a healthy weight, avoiding disease and optimal body function. Using their core values, Whole Foods has established a system that is easily accessible to all grocery shoppers. The many features offered by the app make it effortless to begin your healthy lifestyle transition today!

The Whole Foods app is available on all Android and iOS devices. Download it today on the App Store or Google play!

 

Keep up with the latest and greatest from WH on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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Our Apps

 

Monday RD Feature: Spice up Your Veggies!

Are you sick and tired of the same old boring, plain vegetables? Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Kath Eats tells us 20 ways how we can make eating vegetables more fun and exciting for the whole family! 

Raise your hand if you just looooove plain vegetables!

Sure some people will snack on raw green beans or eat a juicy ripe tomato* right out of hand, but most of the time vegetables need a little jazzing up to taste their best.

*YES, I know a tomato is a fruit. But for all practical purposes, I consider it a vegetable.

I thought it might be helpful to list out some of our other favorite ways to cook vegetables. Here are our staple flavors and techniques:

1) Lemon, Dill, Mustard – This is our go-to combo for green beans. A blob of Dijon mustard adds thickness, fresh or dried dill adds flavor and lemon brightens it all up.

2) Toss cooked veggies in prepared pesto – Pretty much anything is better with pesto!

3) Bake with parmesan – Sprinkle parmesan cheese over thinly sliced zucchini or eggplant slices and bake until the cheese begins to brown, about 20 minutes

4) Make “fries” – This is one of our favorite ways to eat okra. Toss the pods in a little olive oil and salt and bake or grill until they are tender. Dip in ketchup for the “fry” action.

5) Better-Than-Fried cornmeal crust – This is our other favorite way to eat okra! With bite-size pieces of anything, dunk in some egg and then in cornmeal and season with anything from herbs to Old Bay. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the cornmeal begins to brown.

6) Bring out the bacon – Pan-fry some bacon and then keep your grease to cook greens or other veggies. It’s not the healthiest method, but it sure adds a lot of flavor. And cooking vegetables in bacon is better than cooking something like a donut or steak in bacon grease!

7) Add a little maple – Our go-to greens recipes involves browning two slices of bacon and removing them from the pan. Then add the greens until they are nice and wilted and stir in a teaspoon or two of maple syrup at the end. The sweet – salty combo is just divine! If you’re baconless, just drizzle on a bit of high quality maple syrup to any greens like mustard greens, collard greens or kale to soften the bitterness and add some depth. A touch of Liquid Smoke will also add depth without calories or fat.

8) Chip ‘em – While we’re talking greens, can’t forget kale chips!

9) Smoked paprika – My favorite kitchen spice. Good on any vegetable! We particularly love it for grilling.

10) Herbs de Provence – Another good one to sprinkle on while cooking, say zucchini pieces or mushrooms.

11) Special sauces – Add in a bit of premade flavor with sauces like Dr. Pete’s Praline Mustard Glaze (great on green beans!) or Bone Suckin’ Sauce

12) Balsamic vinegar – Only the aged kind will do! Drizzle it on anything to finish or cook to let it thicken up a bit.

13) Reductions – Matt likes to take beer and cook it down until a thick, syrupy reduction. Drizzle on anything from beans to mushrooms to broccoli.

14) Massaged – Shout out to the massaged greens family. Add some olive oil, lemon juice and salt to trimmed and washed kale and massage until your hands hurt (about 5 minutes). The acid and massaging breaks down the kale so it’s tender enough to eat raw. We like our massaged kale salads with lime juice, red peppers and avocado plus a touch of balsamic vinegar for sweetness.

15) Jam – Another tribute to sweet savory, a hint of jam along with a teaspoon of mustard and a little olive oil makes a sweet dressing to drizzle over a savory veggie – like grilled radicchio.

16) Cinnamon + Cayenne – If you count sweet potatoes as vegetables (I do!) then the cinnamon and cayenne marriage is our favorite way to make sweet potato fries in the oven. We coat them in olive oil and salt and then sprinkle a little of each C+C on. Cinnamon for me, Cayenne for Matt! I love the hint of sweet spice.

17) Roast (or grill) – Every vegetable tastes better roasted with just a coat of olive oil and salt for flavor. Roasted Brussels sprouts are my wintertime favorite!

18) Add cheese – Think caprese salads, hot grated parmesan, or blue cheese tossed with collard greens. Cheese adds so much flavor.

19) Coconut oil and butter – This is a favorite way to cook butternut and acorn squash. Toss in coconut oil or melt some coconut butter and dip your roasted squash pieces in.

20) Make a salad and add good toppings – Lettuce and bell peppers taste better next to jalapeno hummus and goat cheese : )


For pictures and further recipes check out Kath's original article at: Spice up Your Veggies!

Follow Kath Eats on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest!!

Nutrition in Healthcare: Science and Awe of Healthy Eating

On September 11, 2015, MATTER of Chicago hosted Dr. Stephen Devries to speak about advancing the role of nutrition and lifestyle in healthcare. MATTER is a community on health care entrepreneurs and leaders that works to and supports innovatively advancing nutrition in health care. At this event, Dr. Devries reviewed the science behind optimal diets in relation to health with emphasis on practical application. He discussed nutrition related topics including food as medical intervention, benefits of natural foods, dietary changes leading to larger health benefits, and foods and nutrients to watch out for as well as consume more. Real Dietitian commends MATTER for supporting nutrition’s status in health care and advocating medical nutrition therapy more within health care facilities and doctoral programs.

“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”

    -Hippocrates

Dating back to 400 BC, ancient Greek physicians were infatuated with the healing powers of the Earth’s resources in treating disease. Hippocrates, in particular, was an advocate in believing nutrition and diet play an enormous role in disease prevention. He devoted much of his time to studying and teaching others the medicinal effects of food on the human body. Similar to Hippocrates, Dr. Stephen Devries, Executive Director of the Gaples Institute for Integrative Cardiology, believes that nutrition is the key ingredient to a healthy, disease-free life.

Dr. Devries outlines the facts behind the links of diet and disease in “Science and Awe of Healthy Eating”. According to his presentation, 80% of heart disease is completely preventable by lifestyle choices. Studies show that nutrition is the number one risk factor in early deaths caused by smoking, alcohol, and sedentary lifestyle. Healthy eating is an under-educated concept in the matter of disease prevention. Dr. Devries and other members of Gaples Institute seek to increase, advance and expand nutrition training for physicians and medical doctors. It is crucial that doctors know and understand how much proper nutrition can reverse and treat disease. In a study discussed during the “Science and Awe of Healthy Eating”, only 14% of physicians surveyed reported to have received adequate nutrition training yet 61% of the public believe doctors are a very credible source of nutrition info.

In nutrition education and disease prevention, a few noteworthy diets have been proven to be more effective than others. Consumers of the Mediterranean diet reported to have 72% fewer heart attacks than the control group who was told to eat less fat, but not follow a specific diet. The Mediterranean Diet has shown extremely beneficial results by eating a diet based off of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, fish, and olive oil. The diet focuses on eating less meat and more fatty fish to ensure that you are getting omega-3 fatty acids. Healthy fats, like omega-3’s are known to reduce risk of heart disease, increase brain function and more. Filling your plate with more fruits and vegetables will also provide you with your daily vitamins and minerals, no pills necessary!

The DASH diet is also a diet considerable to regulate blood pressure and treat hypertension. The DASH diet places emphasis on getting about eight to ten servings a day of fruit and vegetables. DASH dieting focuses on eating less sodium to treat medical conditions. Researchers found that in only two weeks DASH dieters blood pressure dropped seven points in persons with an average blood pressure and eleven points in persons with high blood pressure. In his presentation, Dr. Devries stated that each daily serving of dark green leafy vegetables can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease by 23% and also that eating three servings of blueberries a week reduced consumers heart attack risk by 34%. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can be immensely beneficial to improving overall mental and physical wellbeing.

When looking to reduce risk of chronic disease or illness, be sure to watch for artificial sugars/sweeteners. According to Stephen Devries, these sugary suspects hidden throughout our food encourage the growth of bacteria in our guts which in turn, causes the liver to produce more unwanted sugars. Too much artificial sugar within the body will cause larger, faster blood sugar spikes. Our body reacts to artificial sweeteners this way when one consumes diet soda. Dr. Devries also finds it important to replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated fat to reduce risk of heart disease. Simply replacing saturated fat with carbohydrates does not offer health advantages and typically leads to eating more refined carbohydrates.

Small changes make all the difference in terms of cleaning up your diet. Medical doctors and physicians would surely benefit from receiving nutrition training in order to maximize patient education and recovery. Doctors and patients must work together to understand how using food can speed up the recovery process by negotiating nutrition plans. For extended analysis, patients may seek a registered dietitian to assist with further education. Nutrition education for medical personnel can be as simple as what Stephen Devries discussed in the “Science and Awe of Healthy Eating”. Educating patients on topics such as the Mediterranean and DASH diets, artificial sugars and good/bad fats could have great effects on their treatment and recovery. Ancient physicians used and studied food as medicinal treatment for patients; using food as medicine today, is severely unregulated and overlooked.

Sources:

Dr. Stephen Devries “Science and Awe of Healthy Eating”

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TechTuesday: AliveCor Mobile ECG

  Cardiovascular disease has become the number one killer of men and women in America today. An increase in patients with high blood pressure, hypertension, heart palpitations and more have led to concern in heart rate monitoring. Most patients with heart disease are not aware that their condition can be controlled by diet and monitoring. With the constant rise in cardiovascular disease, patients as well as doctors and health professionals seek more education and understanding of heart and health status. With the latest innovative science, AliveCor allows patients with diagnosed heart conditions, medical doctors, and health conscious users to take an electrocardiogram (ECG) whenever and wherever need be. ECG’s are used to determine the electrical and muscular functions of the heart. With AliveCor, users can immediately tell whether their ECG is adequate or if atrial fibrillation is detected. Atrial fibrillation is a leading factor in the cause of stroke and one of the most common heart rhythm disturbances. According to AliveCor.com, two out of three strokes can be prevented if detected and treated, making AliveCor an excellent candidate in saving lives. AliveCor helps to relieve anxiety and stress from those who worry about their cardiovascular disease or health status. AliveCor’s FDA-cleared Normal Detector can tell you in as little as thirty seconds if your heart rhythm is normal or not. To use the device, rest your fingers on the sensory panel or lay the device on your chest while the AliveECG app on your mobile phone records an accurate reading. Using the AliveECG app, users can track and monitor symptoms such as heart palpitations, shortness of breath, alcohol and caffeine consumption as well as daily exercise and sleep. AliveCor makes it easy to manage heart health by allowing users to access past records and enter new data daily in order to further understand their health condition. Using e-mail, PDFs, and the Provider Dashboard, patients can simply send or share their logged data with their doctor at their next appointment or on the go. This is an extremely useful tool for patients and doctors expressing increased concern about their or their patients condition. AliveCor makes ECG monitoring accessible to everyone by offering reimbursement for reports conducted at the bedside or in office. This way, if doctors suspect arrhythmia in their patients, they can use AliveCor at their bedside to monitor atrial fibrillation cost-free. Doctors can purchase AliveCor to use in their own practice for accurate readings and to monitor their patients. The AliveECG promotes not only heart health, but over health and wellness. AliveECG can be used as a dietary journal to track food consumed. This feature can alert users and doctors as to what could be causing heart disturbance in their diet. Users can also enter journal notes about how they are feeling and any activities they have done throughout the day. Since nutrition is a significant impact to cardiovascular disease, patients can monitor and control their diet to eat better for their specific condition. Avoiding foods with high amounts of sodium, alcohol, and caffeine can help to reduce risk of heart disease. Patients diagnosed with cardiovascular disease or at high risk should also consume sources of heart healthy fats like fish, olive oil, nuts and avocado. AliveCor is an extremely useful and helpful invention for health care today. With the rising of cardiovascular diseases, this device and mobile app make it efficient for people of concern to reduce their chances of experiencing heart attack or stroke by being able to quickly access information about their heart health. ** Please note that Real Dietitian is a semi-finalist in the American Heart Association’s innovation forum. This forum will bring health care leaders nationwide to discuss and collaborate on ideas that will increase knowledge and understanding on how to treat cardiovascular disease. The event will take place on Thursday, October 29, 2015 at the Morgan MFG Innovation Lab. For more details please see:  http://www.heartinnovationforum.org ** Source: AliveCor Keep up with the latest AliveCor science and technology on social media! - Twitter - Facebook

 

Cardiovascular disease has become the number one killer of men and women in America today. An increase in patients with high blood pressure, hypertension, heart palpitations and more have led to concern in heart rate monitoring. Most patients with heart disease are not aware that their condition can be controlled by diet and monitoring. With the constant rise in cardiovascular disease, patients as well as doctors and health professionals seek more education and understanding of heart and health status. With the latest innovative science, AliveCor allows patients with diagnosed heart conditions, medical doctors, and health conscious users to take an electrocardiogram (ECG) whenever and wherever need be. ECG’s are used to determine the electrical and muscular functions of the heart. With AliveCor, users can immediately tell whether their ECG is adequate or if atrial fibrillation is detected. Atrial fibrillation is a leading factor in the cause of stroke and one of the most common heart rhythm disturbances. According to AliveCor.com, two out of three strokes can be prevented if detected and treated, making AliveCor an excellent candidate in saving lives.

AliveCor helps to relieve anxiety and stress from those who worry about their cardiovascular disease or health status. AliveCor’s FDA-cleared Normal Detector can tell you in as little as thirty seconds if your heart rhythm is normal or not. To use the device, rest your fingers on the sensory panel or lay the device on your chest while the AliveECG app on your mobile phone records an accurate reading. Using the AliveECG app, users can track and monitor symptoms such as heart palpitations, shortness of breath, alcohol and caffeine consumption as well as daily exercise and sleep. AliveCor makes it easy to manage heart health by allowing users to access past records and enter new data daily in order to further understand their health condition. Using e-mail, PDFs, and the Provider Dashboard, patients can simply send or share their logged data with their doctor at their next appointment or on the go. This is an extremely useful tool for patients and doctors expressing increased concern about their or their patients condition.

AliveCor makes ECG monitoring accessible to everyone by offering reimbursement for reports conducted at the bedside or in office. This way, if doctors suspect arrhythmia in their patients, they can use AliveCor at their bedside to monitor atrial fibrillation cost-free. Doctors can purchase AliveCor to use in their own practice for accurate readings and to monitor their patients. The AliveECG promotes not only heart health, but over health and wellness. AliveECG can be used as a dietary journal to track food consumed. This feature can alert users and doctors as to what could be causing heart disturbance in their diet. Users can also enter journal notes about how they are feeling and any activities they have done throughout the day. Since nutrition is a significant impact to cardiovascular disease, patients can monitor and control their diet to eat better for their specific condition. Avoiding foods with high amounts of sodium, alcohol, and caffeine can help to reduce risk of heart disease. Patients diagnosed with cardiovascular disease or at high risk should also consume sources of heart healthy fats like fish, olive oil, nuts and avocado.

AliveCor is an extremely useful and helpful invention for health care today. With the rising of cardiovascular diseases, this device and mobile app make it efficient for people of concern to reduce their chances of experiencing heart attack or stroke by being able to quickly access information about their heart health.

** Please note that Real Dietitian is a semi-finalist in the American Heart Association’s innovation forum. This forum will bring health care leaders nationwide to discuss and collaborate on ideas that will increase knowledge and understanding on how to treat cardiovascular disease. The event will take place on Thursday, October 29, 2015 at the Morgan MFG Innovation Lab. For more details please see:  http://www.heartinnovationforum.org **

Source: AliveCor

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Monday RD Feature: The Great Skin Diet! by Appetite for Health

Registered dietitians Julie and Katherine from Appetite for Health share with us six foods to nourish your skin, hair and smile! Read the article below to learn how to give your body a "beauty boost"!

strawberries-blueberries-rasberries-blackberries.jpeg

The Great Skin Diet! 6 Foods for a Beautiful Complexion

Let’s face it: we all want beautiful hair, radiant skin, and a bright smile.  Everywhere you turn, there’s another lotion, potion, or cream promising a youthful glow.  But real beauty comes from what you feed your body, not what you put “on” it.  So we’ve come up with our “Sexy Six” Beauty Foods: the “must-have” foods to give your body a beauty boost.

Kale

Kale is one of the best “superfoods” that the planet has to offer.  And when it comes to enhancing your skin, kale is truly “super”.  This is because it is loaded with many of the vitamins and minerals that are essential for healthy skin.  Kale contains potent antioxidants like vitamins A and C to help combat the stress of sun exposure and other toxins that can leave skin wrinkled and sallow.  Kale is also rich in iron and B6, which can keep hair looking full and shiny. Just 1 cup of kale has 180% of vitamin A and 200% of vitamin C.  All this in just 36 calories!

Not sure how to fit kale into your beauty routine? Check out this delicious recipe (Raw Kale Salad with Oranges) right here on AppforHealth.com.

Wild Salmon

In addition to their heart health benefits, the omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish like salmon are important for keeping skin smooth and healthy. While the research is still early, one recent study published in The Journal of the American College of Nutrition found older people who consumed more fish over their life had fewer wrinkles than those who ate more meat.

Salmon and other fish rich in omega-3s are easy to fit into a “beautiful” diet.  Try one of these tasty meals:

Grilled Gingered Salmon

Salmon with Lentils and Mustard-Herb Butter

Tea

Tea not only hydrates your skin, it also contains compounds known as polyphenols. Polyphenols have antioxidant properties and, according to some studies, may help prevent sun-related skin cancers and improve immune functioning.  Topical polyphenols may also help increase collagen production.  Green tea is especially rich in a compound known as EGCG which may keep skin looking youthful by reactivating dying skin cells. Potential beauty benefits aside, unsweetened tea is always a good hydration choice.

Berries

Vitamin C, plentiful in strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, is vital for the production and formation of collagen, skin’s support structure. A strong support layer helps smooth what’s on top and prevent wrinkles.  Vitamin C also helps fight against oxidative damage from sun, pollution, and stress.

Berries are delicious on their own, fresh or frozen.  Or you can try them in desserts or smoothies.  Check out some of these great recipes!
Berry Banana Smoothie
Sixty Berry Desserts

Yogurt

A beautiful smile can result from good genetics, a good dentist, and good hygene of of course.  But to keep your smile looking it’s best, calcium and vitamin D, found in yogurt and other dairy products, are essential.  Calcium and vitamin D work together to keep our bones strong.  Teeth are embedded in the jaw bone, so if you don’t have healthy bone density, your teeth will feel the effects.  Aim for 3 servings of fat-free or low fat yogurt or other dairy foods that are rich in both vitamin D and calcium.

Yogurt and Berry Parfait

Walnuts

Like salmon, walnuts also contain omega-3 fats that strengthen skin cell membranes, locking in moisture and nutrients. Studies indicate that these healthy fats may also reduce skin inflammation (read: fewer breakouts and irritations!) and play a role in protecting the skin against harmful UV rays.

Walnuts are perfect as a topping for cereal, yogurt, and salads.

 

Source: Appetite for Health

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Monday RD Feature: Tailgating Season Tips & Recipes by Karman Meyer

It's that time of year again: leaves begin changing colors, the weather becomes colder, and pumpkin flavored food is everywhere. With fall settling in, football season is in full effect! Football brings the fall season crazed fans, funky spirit wear, and of course, tailgates! To throw the best and healthiest tailgates for your family and friends, RD Karman Meyer shares with us some of her tips and tricks for the season.

The Best Tips & Recipes for Tailgating Season

There’s no doubt that Southerners love their college football teams. And just as much as they love supporting their team, the ritual of tailgating is equally important. For some, tailgating may actually be the main event. I would be included in this group because food always wins in my book!

As football fans across the country begin preparing for the season, here are a few tips and recipes to get you through the upcoming tailgating festivities without packing on the extra pounds.

The Warm-Up: Dips & Finger Foods

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What’s a tailgating event, or really any gathering, without some good guacamole? Amber at Homemade Nutrition has a simple guac recipe for you. You’ll probably score extra points if you serve it in the avocado skin!

And when there’s guacamole at the party, you have to invite pico de gallo! Betsy at Super Market Nutrition has a tasty recipe with a secret ingredient for extra flavor.  Pimento cheese is a classic Southern game day staple and Holley Grainger has a delicious, lightened up recipe on her blog. I love her idea of stuffing mini bell peppers with the cheesy goodness or topping cucumber slices with it.

Speaking of cucumbers, how about creamy and cool Cucumber Onion Saladfrom Jessa at In Wealth & Health to kick things off?

And of course, don’t forget the bean dip! Whether it’s black beans in this Zesty Loaded Black Bean Salsa from Jamie at Dishing Out Health or this Cheesy Black-Eyed Pea Dip from yours truly, a bean dip is essential. Take advantage of the opportunity to add in lots of veggies for more color and nutritional benefits.

The Big Event: Main Dishes

These Meatloaf Poppers with Cheesy Potato Topping from Emily at Zen & Spice are absolutely perfect for game day. Plus the recipe includes a brown sugar ketchup dipping sauce. Comfort food served tailgate-style! I could eat a dozen of these REAL quick.

Pulled chicken is another great main dish option for a crowd. You can serve thisPulled Chicken from Katie at Healthy Bites on a bun, in tacos, or simply by itself.

Once the weather cools off, it will be time to bring out the chili for game day. This is my favorite crock-pot chili recipe which uses lean ground beef for a heart-healthy version.

The Final Touchdown: Sweets

Make the most of summer fruits while they’re still around by serving this Tangy Fruit Salad via Dixya at Food, Pleasure & Health. I love the creative use of the chaat masala spice blend for a unique twist.

Seeing as football is an iconic American sport and apple pie is an iconic food for our nation, it only seems appropriate to serve some version of apple pie prior to the big game. These mini apple pies from Yummy Addiction should do the trick!

 

HOLY FUDGE. THESE BROWNIES –> Healthy Pumpkin Walnut Brownies from The Healthy Adaptation will have everyone fooled, but VERY happy. Serve these and you may be voted MVP of the tailgate scene.

If you’re a hardcore tailgater or know someone who is, “The Southern Tailgating Cookbook” by Taylor Mathis is the ultimate guide to food and football in the South. Taylor spent time tailgating at each of the schools mentioned in the book which allowed him the opportunity to experience foods and game-day traditions unique to each university.

Need more recipe ideas? Lindsey of Handmade Healthy and Jessica ofNutritioulicious both have Pinterest boards for your football party needs!

Finally, here are a few tips for a fun and safe tailgate experience!

What team will you be cheering for this season? Any tailgating tips you’d like to share?

Source: The Nutrition Adventure 

Be sure to follow Karman on Instagram and Twitter!

TechTuesday: POLAR

Created with athletic training and advancement in mind, the Finnish company, POLAR, has been ruling the heart rate monitor industry since 1977. POLAR’s first battery operated fingertip heart rate monitor changed the world of heart rate tracking as we know it. Thirty years later, POLAR continues evolving their products using innovation and science. POLAR watches and heart rate monitors provide wireless heart rate tracking and monitoring to help athletes and regular exercisers train like world champions no matter the activity. Their products help to motivate and push users to their maximum potential by providing complete training systems pioneered with technology.

POLAR currently has six newer products to benefit activity ranging from cross-training to running/multisport to cycling. These products offer GPS, speed & cadence, wireless syncing, 24/7 activity monitoring, heart rate measurement in water and are waterproof as well. POLAR 24/7 activity tracking monitors your daily steps, distance, inactivity cues and calories burned while reminding you to reach your input activity goal. With activity tracking, you can see daily, weekly, and monthly progress as well as learn other ways to keep active and reach your goals. POLAR products sync with a downloadable smart training app that allows your monitor to track and show you wide ranges of data on your smartphone. You can even connect MyFitnessPal with your POLAR app to track your daily total calorie intake and expenditure all in one place!

The creators of POLAR products understand users desire to get healthy in aspects of both fitness and nutrition. This is why POLAR products are equipped with accurate calorie counters based on individualized data, aerobic fitness tests that determine your maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max), heart rate intensity zones, and energy pointers which entail how much of your exercise promoted fat-burning or fitness improvement. By wearing the POLAR heart rate monitor around your chest and using your watch, you can progress in your health journey. Smart coaching features allow newer users to follow personal training programs to improve as well as recovery feedback. POLAR heart rate monitors are amazing devices that include several features readily usable by fitness beginners and experience athletes.

The app and the watches themselves can be used in combination to develop an overall, state of the art fitness-nutrition program specific to users needs. Using smart coaching, users can get encouraged and motivated to persevere through their health regimes and make long-lasting changes in their lives. To learn more about POLAR and browse products visit their website here!

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Source: POLAR

 

Monday RD Feature: 5 Ways to Optimize Bone Health by Julieanna Hever

Guest RD Julieanna Hever educates us on getting the most out of our diet in order to protect our bones. Bone health is extremely important in preventing osteoporosis and reducing risk of chronic diseases. Read more about the craze for calcium below!

5 Ways to Optimize Bone Health

By Julieanna Hever

Cray cray for calcium? Indeed! The dairy industry has brilliantly distorted the idea that the more of its products you consume, the better off your bones will be for the long haul. If only it were that simple….

Dairy products do indeed deliver a dose of calcium and fortified vitamin D, but that is not the end-all, be-all of healthy bone metabolism. Bone health is complex and multifactorial, incorporating genetics, gender, age, and lifestyle factors such as exercise and overall dietary intake. A plethora of nutrients play powerful roles and work synergistically to keep bone mineralization functioning in a healthy way. In addition to calcium and vitamin D, other crucial characters include protein, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, soy isoflavones, and vitamins B12, C, and K. As it turns out, the nutrients found in plants can more than meet your daily requirements.

Here are 5 ways to optimize your bone health:

1. Exercise against resistance consistently. Perhaps the most effective way to maintain bone (and muscle) mass is to incorporate resistance training into your daily movement protocol. Lift weights, hit the machines at the gym, use resistance tubing, play with body weight/calisthenics exercises, walk, run, and/or all of the above. Do what you love. Do it often. Hit your bones (and muscles) hard (and safely, of course).

2. Download your D. Ideally, we get our vitamin D from the sun. Oddly, however, the majority of the world’s population is not getting enough of it these days. Vitamin D ensures better calcium absorption, Ensure your vitamin D blood levels are adequate via a blood test. If not, try sun therapy (regular, safe doses of the sun without sunscreen at peak hours). If that doesn’t work, consider supplementing until your blood levels are up to par.

3. Alkalize your diet. Alkalizing your diet may support a healthy environment for your bones. This means eating ample servings of fruits and vegetables, herbs, vinegars, and “pseudograins” (e.g. buckwheat, quinoa, wild rice) as a foundation of your diet. Fruits and vegetables themselves have been shown to have positive effects on bone metabolism because of their overall high content of potassium and vitamin C.

4. Consume adequate calcium from plant sources. Yes, dairy contains calcium. However, remember that you can consume calcium until the cows come home (no pun intended), but what matters most is how much calcium is actually absorbed. Excellent plant sources include leafy green veggies such as bok choy, kale, broccoli, napa cabbage, and watercress, calcium-set tofu, dried figs, sesame seeds and tahini, tempeh, almonds and almond butter, oranges, beans, and fortified plant milks and orange juice.

5. Avoid processed foods. Processed foods – especially sodas and sugars – promote poor bone mineralization. Besides impacting bones directly, crowding out nutrient-dense, whole plant foods for nutrient-poor processed foods increases the potential damage. Stick to a minimally processed diet based on vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices to achieve nutrient requirements and reduce your risk for chronic diseases, including osteoporosis.

Resources:

Bone nutrients for vegetarians

Calcium in the Vegan Diet

Dietitian Perspectives on Protein, Calcium and Vegan Bone Health

Why and How to Ditch Dairy

10 Reasons to Ditch Dairy

The Alkaline Diet: Is There Evidence That an Alkaline pH Diet Benefits Health?

Public health impact of dietary phosphorus excess on bone and cardiovascular health in the general population

Optimizing Bone Density

Vitamin D

NutritionFacts.org’s Bone Health

Ginny Messina’s Update on Protein and Bone Health

Diet, Nutrition, and Bone Health

Phosphorus: Friend or Foe?

The Oslo Health Study: A Dietary Index Estimating Frequent Intake of Soft Drinks and Rare Intake of Fruit and Vegetables Is Negatively Associated with Bone Mineral Density

Sugar and Bone: A Not-So Sweet Story

Excessive salt consumption appears to be bad for your bones

Physical exercise and osteoporosis

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