With the holiday season here, I turned to Leah McGrath, RD, LDN, Corporate Dietitian for the last ten years for Ingles Supermarkets in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Here are McGrath’s responses in my first ever Holiday Supermarket Smackdown blog:
Best strategy BEFORE you set foot in the supermarket: First, gather your recipes and ideas and make a list. Plan to include some lean protein at every meal (for example seafood, pork loin, or even beans) and have more than just starchy vegetables as your sides; for example, try some colorful foods like dark green leafy vegetables (like kale or collards), Brussels sprouts, purple cabbage, bok choy, or broccoli.
9 must-have items to stock up on for the holidays:
1. Low sodium chicken/vegetable/beef broth. Great as a starter or base for making soups, stews and gravy.
2. Canned pumpkin. A great source of beta carotene, plus you can use it to make smoothies, pancakes, breads, and muffins–and of course, to make pie.
3. Whole grains such as whole wheat pasta and brown rice. These are great to have with leftover turkey or ham.
4. Canned beans. These can be used to make soups, stews, and casseroles with leftovers, or use them to make chili or have as an appetizer.
5. Good quality spaghetti sauce. You can only eat leftovers so many times, and you may really get a craving for a pasta dish one night.
6. Butter/Canola blend. This can be used as a spread instead of butter or margarine, and also works well in many recipes for baked items.
7. Eggs. You ALWAYS need eggs for baking or to make breakfast items.
8. Fresh herbs. There’s nothing quite like fresh herbs to add a flavor dimension to stuffing and sides…sage, basil, oregano…dried are fine if you can’t find or keep fresh ones.
9. Fage 0% plain Greek yogurt. Makes a great calcium-rich base for dips or smoothies, or to have as part of your breakfast or in-between meal snack.
Top money-saving tips to help you feed lots of hungry mouths:
Plan, plan, plan; use coupons; check for sale items; buy store brands whenever possible; and ask relatives or friends to make their favorite dish or bring a beverage when they’re coming over for a holiday meal. Having said that, be sure and keep your eyes open for fruits and vegetables that are in season and look especially fresh; these are great to incorporate daily into your meals and snacks.
4 shop-smart strategies:
1) Don’t go shopping when you’re stressed out or really short on time and try not to wait until the last minute. Also, don’t shop late at night; often stores are not continuously stocked after 6pm.
2) Don’t go shopping when you’re hungry– this can be fatal! Everything will look too good and it’ll be hard to resist when you’re hungry.
3) Bring reading glasses (if you need them) to check the unit price so you can make the best shopping decision.
4) Be sure to look on top and bottom shelves– sometimes you’ll find the best deals there.
5 rules for calorie- and health-conscious people:
1) Don’t be fooled by packaging, or led astray by numbers or stars– read the Nutrition Facts Panel.
2) Pay attention to portion sizes.
3) If you’re buying things in bigger quantities to save money, this may not be a wise thing to do if the foods tempt you. If that’s the case, buy smaller amounts so you’ll eat less of them!
4) If you’re very tempted by certain foods like ice cream or chips, either don’t buy them, or buy them in flavors you don’t like so other family members or friends can enjoy them.
5) Try to buy packaged items that have the fewest ingredients– those that aren’t full of artificial flavors, colors or additives.
How kids can help mom or dad with grocery shopping:
Kids can help you create a holiday meal (and a list of items that go along with the meal). At the grocery store, they can weigh produce items, match coupons with products, find items on the grocery list, and keep a running tally of how much money you’re spending on a calculator/cell phone.
What helps you when you shop over the holidays?
Leah McGrath, RD, LDN is the Corporate Dietitian of Ingles Supermarkets.www.ingles-markets.com/ask_leah Find her on Twitter as @InglesDietitian or follow Ingles Supermarket on Facebook www.facebook.com/InglesMarkets. Leah also hosts a radio program that streams on www.wwnc.com on Saturday mornings at 8:05EST; you can listen to podcasts of her previous shows on the Ingles website.click to comment
Love lentils? Here’s a short piece I wrote about these lovely legumes for ADA Times Magazine (reprinted below with permission), followed by a terrific kale and lentil soup recipe (also reprinted with permission!) from the great book 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life. Enjoy!
For the Love of Lentils
Why give lentils a prominent place on your plate? Because one cup of these rich, nutty legumes provides 18 grams of protein, 15.6 grams of fiber, less than one gram of fat, no dietary cholesterol and only 230 calories. Lentils are also packed with vitamins and minerals including folate, manganese, thiamin, potassium and copper. Lentils are low in the essential amino acid methionine, so pairing them with whole grains can provide a source of high-quality protein for vegetarians and vegans.
Despite this impressive nutritional profile, evidence demonstrating the health benefits of legume consumption is limited—perhaps because dry beans, peas and lentils are not prominent in many Western diets. in fact, while the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend three cups of legumes each week, only 8 percent of American adults consume legumes on a given day.
Studies of legume consumption (not including soy) and body weight show mixed results: One meta-analysis associated eating legumes with decreased body weight, but a more recent review found insufficient evidence that legumes specifically have an effect on body weight. And according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report, there also is insufficient evidence of a relationship between legumes and type 2 diabetes.
However, their soluble fiber content gives legumes a unique ability to lower blood lipid levels. Regularly eating (non-soy) legumes may help lower serum cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triacylglycerol levels, and increase HDL cholesterol levels. Other studies show eating legumes at least four times per week may lower risks of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease, as well as lower levels of proinflammatory markers and improve lipid profiles and blood pressure levels.
Lentils contain raffinose and other oligosaccharides that may cause flatulence. This lessens with more regular legume consumption, but soaking then rinsing lentils before cooking may also help minimize gaseous effects.
Comforting Kale and Lentil Soup By Rosalie Gaziano
Makes 16 one-cup servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 24-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup dried lentils
1/3 pound whole grain macaroni of your choice
1 pound fresh kale chopped fine
3 quarts water
1 cup Parmesan cheese (freshly grated) to sprinkle on top.
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil macaroni, rinse and set to the side. Rinse lentils and add to a separate small saucepan with enough water to cover and cook until tender (about 20 minutes.) Meanwhile, peel and chop onion. Mince garlic cloves. Add olive oil to soup pot and heat. Add garlic and onions to pot and sauté until translucent being careful not to burn. Remove center vein from kale leaves and chop coarse. Add kale to onion and garlic mixture and sauté for 10 minutes. Add 1 can chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper, and let simmer 10 minutes. Add water to kale mixture, bring to a boil and let simmer 30 minutes. Add cooked lentils and macaroni to soup and let simmer together another 5 minutes. Serve hot with Parmesan cheese grated on top. Serve with crusty Italian or French bread.
Nutrition Information Per Serving:
Calories: 130; Total Fat: 4.5 g; Saturated Fat: 1.5 g; Cholesterol: 5 mg; Total Carbs: 16 g; Dietary Fiber: 3 g; Sugars: 3 g; Protein: 6 g
1. ADA Times Magazine, Fall 2010
2. 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life (Bantam, 2008) by David Grotto, RD, LDN.
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Here are two delicious pumpkin recipes from the the new cookbook, No Whine With Dinner, by the fabulous Meal Makeover Moms themselves, Janice Bissex and Liz Weiss. These registered dietitian moms know a thing or two about getting healthful, but more importantly, delicious meals (including dessert!) on the table to please both kids’ and adults’ palates alike. The first recipe is for an oh-so-delicious bundt cake; the second for decadent chocolaty bars. Either make great homemade gifts for you to give to the hostest with the mostest, or someone else you love over the holidays. I bet those of you who watch weekend or Monday night football (or watch the men in your lives watch football!) will also enjoy a slice or a bar! So what are you waiting for?
Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake
Made with an entire can of pureed pumpkin, each slice has nearly a day’s worth of immune-boosting vitamin A. There’s nothing tricky about this treat. It’s easy to prepare and the flavor can’t be beat, especially when it’s dusted with confectioners’ sugar or topped with a small scoop of frozen low-fat vanilla yogurt.
Makes 16 Servings
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup wheat germ or ground flaxseed
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 large eggs, beaten
1 15-ounce can 100% pure pumpkin
1/3 cup low-fat milk
1/3 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup dried currants
2 tablespoons powdered sugar, optional
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously oil or coat a 10-cup bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
2. Whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, wheat germ, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt, cloves, and nutmeg in large bowl until well combined.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin, milk, oil, and vanilla until well blended. Pour the liquid ingredients and the currants over the dry ingredients and stir until just moistened.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan.
5. Cool the cake completely, and dust the top with powdered sugar as desired.
Nutrition Information per Serving (1 slice): 210 calories, 6g fat (0.5g saturated, 0.5g omega-3), 230mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 5g protein, 80% vitamin A
Chocolaty Pumpkin Bars
Makes 30 bars
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup pecans, very finely chopped
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, beaten
One 15-ounce can 100% pure pumpkin
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup 1% low-fat milk
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil or coat a 15 x 10 x 1-inch rimmed baking or jelly roll pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
2. Whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, pecans, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until well combined.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin, oil, and milk until well blended. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
4. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes before slicing into thirty, 2 x 2½-inch bars.
Tip: For maximum freshness, store leftovers in a plastic container or zip-top bag in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Information per Serving (1 bar): 140 calories, 6g fat (1g saturated, 0.4g omega-3), 95mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 2g protein, 45% vitamin Aclick to comment
People always ask me “what’s a healthy snack?” My answer is always the same–a healthy snack is one that you can identify as coming from one or more of the key food groups–fruits, veggies, grains (especially whole grains), lean meat and beans, and low fat dairy foods (or calcium-rich dairy alternatives). My personal favorite healthy snacks include one or more of the following: a small handful of raw cashews, a hunk of cheddar cheese, 1 cup of cantaloupe, some baby carrots or cold Brussels sprouts, a bowl of pink grapefruit sections, or a bowl of whole grain, high fiber cereal with skim milk and banana.
I asked some of my favorite food, health, and nutrition experts and authors for their personal favorite grab-and-go snacks. Try some of these in-between meals, after school or work, or before heading to a big party to meet your nutrient needs and temper your hunger. And please let me know how it goes!
“I love layering 2 rice cakes with sliced tomato and low-fat cheese (reduced fat cheddar or Swiss, or cottage cheese).”
~Joy Bauer, MS, RD, Today Show diet and nutrition expert and New York Times bestselling author
“Fuji apples — I obviously can’t prove that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but I do eat one Fuji apple daily and I feel GREAT! They’re my favorite kind of apple–tart and sweet. I LOVE THEM.”
~Lisa Lillien (aka Hungry Girl), New York Times bestselling author
“I like 2-3 tablespoons of a high fiber cereal in a small container of plain, low-fat or fat-free Greek yogurt.”
~Margaret M. Furtado, MS, RD, LDN, RYT, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
“A hard cooked egg and whole grain crackers, or a toasted whole wheat English muffin topped with 1/2 cup no added salt low fat cottage cheese are two of my favorites.”
~Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, author of Expect the Best: Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, and After Pregnancy
“A black bean taco made with a corn tortilla and one tablespoon of shredded 2% Mexican cheese and salsa.”
~Robin Plotkin, RD, LD, Culinary and Nutrition Expert
“1/4 cup chocolate milk with 3/4 cup skim milk tastes great, especially when it’s warm and steamy.”
~Bonnie Taub-Dix, MA, RD, CDN, author of Read It Before You Eat It
“A nut-free granola bar (such as Enjoy Life Foods) and a small apple– one of my favorite portable snack combinations.”
~Lisa Stollman, MA, RD, CDE, CDN
“I love to make “pizza bites;” I cut a few small squares out of a damacus bakery flax seed wrap, top them with yummy toppings (such as homemade pesto with spinach and goat cheese), and warm them in the oven for a few minutes.”
~Cait Morth, NSCA certified personal trainer
“I love pretzel crackers with hummus- you can even buy individual pre-portioned servings (or portion yourself to save $).
~Heather Mangieri, MS, RD, CSSD, Spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association
“Apple Triscuits made with Gala apples and sharp cheddar cheese, sliced and layered on Triscuits and broiled until warm..yum!”
~Wendy Jo Peterson, MS, RD, a San Diego, CA-based dietitian
“Roasted edamame or raw cashews– so easy to grab and go with either of them!”
~Keri Gans, MS, RD, CDN, Spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association
“I keep a big handful of grapes in the freezer. On the way out the door, I grab some frozen grapes and a cheese stick and there’s my snack!
~Rebecca Scritchfield, MA, RD, a Washington, D.C.-based dietitian
“I love to make a Garden Deli Sandwich made with a whole-wheat pita bread (2 ounces), 1/4 cup cream cheese (preferably low-fat or fat free), 1/2 cup sliced cucumber, not peeled, 4 tomato slices, and 1 cup chopped lettuce. 1/2 sandwich makes a great snack.”
~Brenda J. Ponichtera, RD, author of the Quick and Healthy Cookbook Series
“One of my favorite snacks to have at work is a yogurt parfait made with fresh blueberries and a container of light blueberry yogurt; it’s easy, takes little time to eat, and gives me a boost of calcium and antioxidants.”
~Bridget Swinney MS, RD, LD, author of Healthy Food for Healthy Kids
“I roast edamame with plenty of spices including garlic powder, dried oregano, dried thyme, cayenne, salt and pepper, and a little olive oil until it’s completely crispy. I tuck it into baggies and off I go (with napkins in tow).”
~Robyn Webb, MS, cookbook author, culinary instructor, and Food Editor, Diabetes Forecast Magazine
“I make my own trail mix with almonds, dried cranberries, and whole grain dry cereal and put it in resealable bags and eat in the car on the run.”
~Sandy Nissenberg, MS, RD, author of The Everything Kids’ Cookbook
“For a super satisfying, fiber-rich snack, I love a small sweet potato (about 4 ounces), baked or nuked for about 6 minutes, sprinkled with low-fat cheese; dolloped with Greek yogurt in place of sour cream; or dashed with cinnamon and a touch of salt.”
~Corinne Dobbas, MS, RD
“I enjoy a handful of seedless red grapes, 1 slice Swiss cheese and 11 unsalted almonds
or 2 tbsp of brazil nuts and 1/4 cup of raisins mixed into 1 cup of high fiber cereal.”
~Susan Weiner, RD, MS, CDE, CDN, Contributing Medical Producer, dLife TV
What’s your favorite grab-and-go snack?click to comment
If you’re like many Americans and get bored by the same old, same old each and every morning, here are some delicious, quick and easy out-of-the-box breakfast ideas to reignite (or spark) your love for a healthful and satisfying morning meal. Even if you only have a few minutes, the breakfasts below pack in protein, fiber, and tons of vitamins and minerals and other key nutrients to keep you feeling energized, alert, and start your day off on a healthy note.
Not your mother’s English muffin
I grew up devouring English muffins, usually the white kind toasted and topped with tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella, or with butter. Though I have graduated to whole wheat English muffins, I love to have them toasted and super crunchy topped with a teaspoon of vegetable oil spread and a scrambled egg with cheddar cheese.
Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association and author of The Flexitarian Diet loves to top a toasted whole grain English muffin with a mixture that contains 2 tablespoons each of chopped pears, walnuts, and low-fat cottage cheese, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a drizzle of honey. “This breakfast is not only delicious, but it’s super easy and not too sweet” says Blatner. She adds “The protein in the cottage cheese and fiber in the pear give this breakfast staying power, the walnuts provide heart-healthy omega-3 fats, and the cinnamon may even help regulate blood sugar.”
D. Milton Stokes, MPH, RD, CDN, coauthor of Flat Belly Diet! for Men, recommends pairing a toasted whole wheat English muffin with an egg or two (poached in a microwave egg poacher or fried in a pan coated with cooking spray), 1/4 cup sliced avocado, and a slice of low fat cheddar cheese. “This breakfast takes less than five minutes to prepare, and provides fiber and protein to fill you up as well as heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and bone-building calcium.”
Instead of sowing your oats, spice them up!
“I like to plan ahead the night before and make “overnight” oats” says Janel Ovrut, MS, RD, a Boston-based dietitian and blogger (www.EatWellwithJanelBlog.com). She adds “If you soak a serving of rolled oats in skim or soy milk overnight, you can enjoy them cold like a pudding or heated in the microwave the next morning.” Ovrut also likes to add a level tablespoon of peanut butter to her fiber- and protein-filled breakfast bowl for a boost of healthy fat. To jazz it up even more, Ovrut adds a few tablespoons of canned pumpkin and a dash of cinnamon, or some mashed banana and a teaspoon of honey.
Keri Gans, MS, RD, CDN, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, can’t wait to get up in the morning just to start her day off with a bowl of oatmeal. She loves to heat 1/2 cup quick cooking oats with 1 cup nonfat milk in the microwave for two minutes, and then top with a dash of cinnamon, one tablespoon of ground flaxseed, and about 1/4 cup of low fat cottage cheese.
Have dinner for breakfast
Felicia D. Stoler, DCN, MS, RD, FACSM loves to recommend leftovers for a quick and easy, heat-and-eat meal. For example, you can make a dish inspired by her husband’s father who learned to love eggs and rice when in Korea on a peace-keeping mission after the war. To make a variation of this basic dish, you can scramble an egg in a skillet with cooking spray on medium heat, and add to the mix a 1/2 cup each of brown rice and veggies like broccoli (you can use last night’s Chinese food leftovers). Sprinkle in a few tablespoons of shredded nonfat crumbled feta cheese (or another shredded cheese), cover, and voila—you’ll have a delicious, nutritious frittata.
And for those who think oats are the only hot cereal grain, think again. “I love to recommend quinoa, or brown or black rice for breakfast to my clients” says Lauren Slayton, MS, RD, owner of FoodtrainersTM in New York City. Her favorite toppings include coconut milk and honey as well as walnuts and chopped pears combined with fresh ginger.
Get yourself to the Greek
According to The Nutrition Twins®, Tammy Lakatos Shames, RD, CDN, CFT and Lyssie Lakatos, RD, CDN, CFT, co-authors of The Secret To Skinny, “Our clients love what we call an Apple Muesli Strudel.” To make it, cut an apple into chunks and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg (optional), and a sweetener of choice (a teaspoon of sugar, or a packet of Splenda, or Stevia). Heat in the microwave for about 45 seconds (or until the apple chunks are soft). Combine 3/4 cup of nonfat Greek yogurt with 1/4 cup whole oats in a medium-sized bowl and stir the apple chunks into the mixture. “The Greek yogurt is creamy, satisfying, and a great source of protein, the oats are a great source of soluble fiber and energy-revving carbohydrates, and the apple mixture adds a unique twist not to mention some fiber and a powerful boost of antioxidants” according to Shames and Lakatos.
Gans and Stoler also love to recommend nonfat Greek yogurt (plain, vanilla, or another flavor) mixed with 1/2 cup of All Bran Fiber Buds (or some other whole grain cereal with at least 5 grams of fiber) and 1 cup of berries, sliced banana, or melon.
What’s your favorite out-of-the-box breakfast?click to comment
It’s that time of year when sniffling, sneezing, and coughing once again take center stage to the dismay of many of us. According to Joan Salge-Blake, a nutrition professor at Boston University and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, “Americans suffer from about a billion colds each year, and there are more than 200 varieties of viruses cause colds that can last up to 2 weeks.”
We all know the basics about prevention—we need to wash our hands and keep them away from our eyes, noses, and mouths, especially after we touch surfaces such as handrails, telephones, and computer keyboards. But sometimes, no matter what precautions we take, those tiny germ droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze can land on us and start their dirty work towards infecting us.
Why does the end of Summer and back to work and school routines often mean more time in-between the sheets (and not for good reason, if you know what I mean)? “Spending more time indoors (which makes germ-sharing easier) and low humidity levels in the air can cause the inside of our noses to dry up and be more open to invasion by viruses,” says Salge-Blake.
But who has time to succumb to a cold? And if we get one, what should we do about it? Here are some top dietary and lifestyle tips to help you and your family not let a cold bust you up this Fall and Winter:
Get Hot. “As soon as a cold starts, I recommend grating fresh ginger root into hot tea and starting saline nasal washes” says Christine Gerbstadt, MD, MPH, RD, CSSD, also a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. To ease aches and soothe the body, Gerbstadt also recommends hot steam showers with eucalyptus oil and epsom salt soaks in the tub.
Zero in on Zinc: Gerbstadt recommends including plenty of zinc-rich foods such as beans, ready-to-eat whole grain cereals, lean beef, and endive in your diet to fight a cold. She adds “These foods are also help build up your immune system so that you’re less vulnerable to cold-causing viruses.” Salge Blake says that although some turn to zinc supplements to blast a cold, results of studies on their effectiveness are mixed. She adds “Too much zinc (from supplements) can be toxic and can actually suppress your immune system.”
Get Your C’s: Gerbstadt suggests loading up on foods rich in vitamin C, including strawberries, tangerines, and pineapple. What about supplements? Salge-Blake says that despite what you may have heard, “Study after study has shown that megadoses of vitamin C don’t prevent colds.” She also cites research that looked at over 30 studies with more than 11,000 participants that showed no benefit of vitamin C supplements on either preventing a cold or reducing its duration. Her best advice? “Vitamin C-rich foods first.”
Call it a Night: Sometimes, you just need to surrender to a cold and give your body extra rest. Though it’s VERY hard for me to make time to relax (even when I have a cold, I usually go about my normal routine, and even exercise), I decided to spend an entire day in and around my bed just last week when I came down with a nasty cold. Allowing yourself time to rest and recover is important, especially when you feel your symptoms are worsening. I know for me, that one day of being home, taking steam showers, and drinking tons of water helped me feel much better. So the next time you’re sidelined by a cold, ask others to help with childcare or other things you need to get done and take a few hours, or a day or two to rest up to get yourself better faster.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also recommends rest and plenty of fluids (chicken soup and 100% fruit juices count as fluid!), gargling with warm salt water or using throat lozenges for a sore throat, and dabbing petroleum jelly onto a raw nose to relieve irritation. Of course be sure to discuss other remedies for you and your family (including over-the-counter medicines) with a physician before you play doctor yourself!
What do you do to blast or prevent a cold?click to comment
Have a cold? Planning a feast for family or friends? Enjoy this holiday lifesaver dish (even before the holidays!) from the new cookbook, Holiday Secrets.
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cups cooked chicken breast, without skin, cubed
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (peas and carrots or vegetable soup combo)
2 cups uncooked ribbon noodles
2 cups chicken broth (low sodium if possible)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon oregano
Black pepper to taste
1. Heat vegetable oil in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Sauté the onion for a few minutes; then add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil.
3. Lower heat and cover the pan.
4. Simmer until the noodles are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
5. Serve hot.
We found some really large handmade noodles for this recipe that gave it a real home-style feel. The garnish is chopped parsley and a little black pepper. Making this recipe is a great way to use up leftover chicken from the night before.
Each serving: 1 cup.
Nutrition Information Per Serving:
Calories: 291, Total Fat: 6.5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 90mg, Sodium: 213mg, Carbohydrates: 27g, Dietary Fiber: 5g, Protein: 30g
Total Preparation & Cooking Time:
30 min. (10 Prep, 20 Cook)
About the Author:
Judy Doherty, PC II is the chef and Publisher of Food and Health Communications. Judy became interested in cooking at an early age, when she helped her grandmother in the kitchen.
She graduated 2nd in her class from the Culinary Institute of America. Judy attended the Fachschule Richemont in Lucerne, Switzerland, where she studied pastry arts and baking. She has many awards including the prestigious American Culinary Federation Gold Medal. She has ProChef II Certification from the CIA.
Food and Health Communications is a private publishing company that is dedicated to making nutrition education look and taste great. They have been in business for more than 17 years. For more information, visit http://foodandhealthbooks.com.
I’ve been a lover of diet soda—Diet Coke® in particular—for years. Memories from my childhood include sipping it from a big cup loaded with ice while scarfing down fast food or a bag of chips. Though I’ve long given up my fast food habit, improved my food and fitness habits, and have lost and kept off more than thirty pounds since high school, Diet Coke® has remained a staple in my life. While I drink it for the taste of it (I love it’s bubbly sweetness), I also enjoy the emotional lift it gives me (especially since I’m not a coffee drinker). It’s also a calorie-free snack I look forward to. Although I don’t credit Diet Coke® for my weight loss success, my intake has gone up (and is currently at an all-time high) as my weight has gone down.
I know I’m not alone in my love of Diet Coke®. I recently learned that my friend Tracy Minucci, a NYC-based hedge-fund trader, and I share more than our passion for the Yankees. On our way to our first ballgame together, I pulled out a bottle of Diet Coke® from my purse and explained that I bring one with me whenever I go to the stadium since they only serve Pepsi® there. She then pulled one out of her bag—well, not really, but she may as well have! “We’re soul sisters!” she said, and admitted that before every game, she gets her own bottle at a deli across the street from the stadium. Although Tracy used to think it would help her keep her weight down, she now drinks it for the same reasons I do.
I also have those friends who know me so well, like Cheryl Harris. Whenever we go out for lunch or dinner, Cheryl usually takes care of ordering Diet Coke® for the both of us.
But with every sip, I feel pangs of guilt and wonder if my habit will lead to health problems down the road. And because so many people turn to diet soda, especially to lose weight, I was prompted to research and write about the topic; please check out my latest MSNBC.com column: Dieting? Why you should ditch the diet soda: http://bit.ly/cZ96Dv.
Michael F. Jacobson, PhD, executive director of Centers for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) suggests Americans skip diet soda altogether, citing concerns about ingredients such as phosphoric acid (that can promote dental caries and weaken bones), artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and acesulfame-K (that may be linked to increased cancer risk), artificial colors, and caffeine. Emerging research also suggest links between increased diet soda intake and metabolic syndrome (a cluster of symptoms that increase the risk for heart disease), kidney problems, preterm delivery, weaker bones, and other adverse health effects.
Believe me, I want to curb my intake especially since as a registered dietitian I preach moderation and would strongly encourage any client or consumer to cut back if they drank several cans a day as I typically do. Zari Ginsburg, one of my BFFs, and I recently decided to set goals and check in with each other to reduce our intake (her daily vice is a 20 ounce diet Dr. Pepper®).
Interestingly enough, as I write this blog, I have a head cold. To hydrate and heal, I’ve been drowning in good old water and have only had 3 sips of diet coke in the last 3 days. Is this just the beginning of the end of my daily soda fix? I’ll check back with you and let you know.
Do you drink diet soda? Do you think diet soda is the devil? Have you, or do you want to, kick the habit? Would love to hear your story…..
Artificially Sweetened Beverages: Cause for concern. Journal of the American Medical Association, December 2009: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19996404
Fueling the Obesity Epidemic? Artificially Sweetened Beverage Use and Long-Term Weight Gain, Obesity, 2008:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18535548
Non-Nutritive Sweetener Consumption in Humans: Effects on appetite and food Intake and their putative mechanisms. American Journal Clinical Nutrition, January 2009: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedclick to comment
I’m thrilled to share with you some tips to help you prevent and combat cancer from Karen Collins, MS, RD, Nutrition Advisor to the the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR). Karen and I met (and instantly bonded) when we were co-presenters at the Dr. Oz-headlined Food For Your Whole Life conference in New York City this past June, and I truly appreciate her willingness to share information that is sure to be helpful to millions affected in some way by the “C” word.
When someone is diagnosed with cancer, what are the first dietary steps (if any) he or she should take?
Don’t automatically assume your eating habits should be different than basic healthy eating habits. However, different types of cancer treatments can have different effects on eating. In some cases, people need a different eating pattern during treatment because they can’t tolerate certain foods and need to rely on other foods to meet their nutrient needs. Ask your cancer treatment center or doctor for a referral to a registered dietitian, preferably one certified in oncology nutrition, to help you make sure you are meeting your needs and provide ideas to fill any gaps. Some people may need help to minimize weight loss that can occur during treatment, while others may need help to minimize weight gain; both goals are important.
When diagnosed with cancer, people feel a range of emotions; since many of us can be emotional eaters, do you have any tips to help those with cancer manage stress without turning to food?
Try not to use food to meet non-food needs. Emotional needs are real, but foods can’t fill the hole created by emotions like anxiety or depression. Regular physical activity—at even a modest level if that’s all you can do—seems to improve quality of life and helps many people better cope with emotions. Others find that massage, meditation, prayer, music, humor and relaxation techniques (which are easy to learn) help deal with emotions.
Eating well can do a lot to support your health during this time, but don’t let health concerns remove the enjoyment of foods’ flavor. For some people, treatment side effects can impede enjoyment of food, but if you don’t have those problems, don’t think so medically or scientifically about your food that you can’t savor it. Eat healthfully and enjoy food as much as you can.
Do you have any nutrition/diet tips for those who care for someone with cancer (to help themselves as well as their loved one)?
Try not to pressure yourself to provide “perfect food.” Sometimes we want so much to do something to help our loved one faced with cancer, and we identify food as something that we can control. But if our loved one can’t eat what we offer, it’s easy to become frustrated and anxious, and that adds a layer of tension to the act of eating. If you notice that your loved one is not eating well, do bring it to the attention of his/her doctor or ask to see a registered dietitian if one is one staff. But try not to get over-burdened by thinking that it’s up to you to save your loved one’s life by getting them to eat what you think they need.
For those who have overcome cancer, any special tips for how to eat?
Research is still underway to clarify the role healthy eating can play in reducing the risk of cancer recurrence, but recommendations from the American Institute for Cancer Research urge cancer survivors to follow the recommendations for cancer prevention. Growing evidence show that survivors can benefit from weight control, regular physical activity, and a mostly plant-based diet. Evidence does not suggest that any of these steps need to be carried to an extreme, and other than to resolve a deficiency that has developed (perhaps during cancer treatment), supplements do not seem to protect against recurrence. Vitamin D supplements may play a role for many people, but even here it’s not a matter of “the more the better” for everyone.
What are your 3 top tips for those who want to prevent cancer?
Aim to reach and maintain a healthy weight. Be physically active every day in some way–aim to accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate activity through the day; 60 is even better. Finally, focus eating around vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans. Make these plant foods at least 2/3 of your plate each time you eat.
A landmark report from the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) says that we can prevent about a third of our most common cancers with healthy eating, regular physical activity and a healthy weight. Unfortunately, people often are confused or overwhelmed by what a diet to lower cancer risk actually involves. A simple concept without all kinds of rules conveys the target: Aim to have plant foods—vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans—supply at least 2/3 of what you eat at each meal, with animal foods comprising no more than 1/3 of your meal—that’s the New American Plate! (see resources below).
Karen Collins, MS, RD speaks widely to the public and to health professionals and writes a syndicated nutrition news column (HealthTalk) and regular in-depth nutrition research reviews for health professionals that run on the AICR Web site.
Here are some resources Karen suggests:
The New American Plate: http://www.aicr.org/site/PageServer?pagename=reduce_diet_new_american_plate
To sign up for an AICR e-newsletter, check this out: http://www.aicr.org/site/PageServer?pagename=enews_subscribe
For people in cancer treatment: http://www.aicr.org/site/PageServer?pagename=pub_nutrition_cp
For cancer survivors: http://www.aicr.org/site/PageServer?pagename=pub_nutrition_csclick to comment
If you recently lost weight—even just a few pounds, or upwards of 20 to 50 pounds or more—chances are you’re enjoying the glory many of us feel when we fit better into our clothes, can buy a smaller jeans size, see a number on the scale that seemed to have been long gone, or hear a compliment from a friend. But while it certainly takes a lot of effort and hard work to take off weight (especially stubborn body fat), it’s particularly challenging for most of us to keep it off long-term.
But there is some good news; adopting a few simple habits and tweaking your attitude can go a long way to help you increase your chances of maintaining your new, healthier body weight for years to come. Here are five tips to help you become a successful long-term weight loser:
- Learn from the Pros. Participants in the National Weight Control Registry, a database of American adults (80 percent of whom are gals like us!) who have lost and kept off between 30 and 300 pounds for at least one year (and up to 66 years!) report several behaviors that have helped them keep weight off. These include eating breakfast on most if not all days; weighing themselves at least once a week; watching minimal amounts of television (less than about 10 hours); and exercising often (at least an hour per day).
- Be Boring. Sometimes, when people lose weight, they’re firmly committed to reducing portion sizes and increasing their physical activity for a finite period of time—for several days, weeks, and sometimes even months. But what makes some successful losers more able to keep weight off than others is being consistent with eating and fitness habits long after the weight has come off. After all, if you revert to old eating habits, you’re more than likely to regain weight. Maintaining similar behaviors that helped you lose weight long after the number has gone down can be a key strategy to help you keep it off. You don’t need to eat exactly the same foods, or do exactly the same physical activities and exercises (of course it’s always good to shake things up to prevent boredom or overcome weight plateaus), but maintaining routines, eating at similar times throughout the day, and staying on some sort of schedule can help your body and mind get used to your new, more healthful weight.
- Treat Every Day Like a Vacation Day! Having lost and kept off more than 30 pounds for several years, I’ve learned that just because it’s a weekend, just because I’m out to dinner or at a food-filled event, or just because I’m on vacation doesn’t mean I should stop paying attention to what and how much I eat or skip exercise. If you always try to make wise food choices and keep food portions relatively small, especially when you’re away on vacation, at a restaurant or event, or at someone else’s home, you’ll learn that you can still feel satisfied and enjoy yourself without feeling deprived. Finding time to incorporate fitness—even brisk walking—is also important, because you can’t expect your body that’s used to moving and being active to be happy when you’re pace slows substantially. It’s ok to take breaks—go to town at one meal, or skip exercise—but you may find that doing so makes you feel lethargic and unwell. Over time, you may see that being consistent in your food and fitness habits help you feel more in control, more relaxed, and even happier!
- Plan for Plateus. It happens to everyone; you lose some weight and are able to maintain it for a time, and then all of a sudden, for no apparent reason, the number on the scale creeps up or your pants get too tight. Keeping track of your weight, even if it’s only once a week or once a month, or using a tape measure to detect changes in your waist, hip, or thigh size, for example, are some ways you can learn to track how you’re doing. When you find the numbers go up, taking a few less bites at each meal, putting less food on your plate, and adding even 15 or 20 minutes a day to your fitness routine can make all the difference and help you keep your weight within a 2 to 5 pound range (or whatever weight range is comfortable for you). Keeping a detailed food log, tweaking your food choices, and embarking on different types of exercises or physical activities can also give you just the metabolic and psychological boost you need to get right back on a more healthful track.
- Have a Can-Do Attitude. Ultimately, although several variables and factors affect what, when, and how much you eat and drink, you are ultimately in charge of what passes your lips and moves your hips. If you envision yourself doing something—keeping weight off, or accomplishing a professional or personal goal, you’re more likely to succeed than if you surrender and tell yourself you can’t.
Source: National Weight Control Registry, http://www.nwcr.ws/click to comment