Nutrition Blog

Protein Energy Bites

By: Theresa Shank, Registered Dietitian

Don't get caught in a snack time rut! Try these natural protein balls from health coach Jessica Wyman for a quick energy bite pre- or post-workout. 

Theresa recommends that you try to incorporate some source of fuel 30 minutes to one hour before exercise. Two to three of these balls have enough satiating protein to get you through your workout. You can also pop a protein ball after your workout to hold off your hunger until your post-workout meal; which should be consumed no later than an hour after exercise to gain muscle-replenishing benefits.   

Raw protein energy bites

Yield: 48 servings

  • 2 cups rolled oats, thick
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1. In a large mixing bowl, fold all ingredients together. Mix thoroughly.

2. Using your hands grab some of the mixture and start rolling together in about one inch balls. Squeeze them firmly to help everything stick together.

3. Place the rolled energy balls on a cookie sheet.  You can place them in the freezer for a couple minutes to help them get firm.

4. The peanut butter will start to dry out, so this needs to be done fast. It is helpful to have two people or consider doing a half batch, which really makes it more fun. I do such a large batch because once I make them they are gone pretty fast. 

How to Give Your Midday Sweets Craving a Healthier Tweak

By: Theresa Shank, Registered Dietitian

Throughout my years of practicing as a registered dietitian, I have been presented with numerous healthy lifestyles and/or weight loss questions, one of the most common being “why do I crave chocolate after a meal and how can I control this habit”. My response usually to this question is that our bodies crave sweets for several biological, psychological and lifestyle-related reasons such as low serotonin levels, an unbalanced diet high in carbohydrates, fat restriction, or purely psychological conditioning such as a dessert is what signifies the end of a meal. Regardless what the reason behind your sweet craving is, if you are trying to live a healthier lifestyle or possibly your goal is to lose weight, you’ll have to curb (not eliminate) your daily indulgence.

So let’s be honest, any alternative that truly satisfies a sweet tooth is not going to be the epitome of a healthy snack, but my suggestions could shave off some calories (all suggestions are under 150 calories!),fat and sugar in your afternoon indulgence or late night trip to the candy drawer or freezer. 

·         3 cups of air popped popcorn with 2 tbsp of Bell Plantation, PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter Chocolate ( 138 calories)

·         4 Hershey Kisses ( 100 calories)

·         1 Small Chocolate Covered Banana: I love this recipe from Eatingwell.com (100 calories) http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/chocolate_covered_bananas.html

·         20 Blue Diamond, Oven Roasted Dark Chocolate Almonds ( 132 calories)

·         1, 5.3 ounce ChobaniSimply 100, vanilla yogurt with 2 tbsp of Bell Plantation, PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter Chocolate or 1 piece of Dove, Promises Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate. ( 145 calories)

·         1 Enlightened, Fudge Bar ( 70 calories) http://www.eatenlightened.com/products/fudge/

·         ½ Quest, Chocolate Brownie Protein Bar ( 85 calories)

·         24 Annie's Chocolate Chip Bunny Graham cookies (140 calories)

Roasted Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Kale Salad

Yield: 6 servings

Recipe inspired by Two Peas & Their Pod and Eat Yourself Skinny

INGREDIENTS

·         2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

·         1 Tbsp olive oil

·         1 tsp. garlic powder

·         1/2 tsp. onion powder

·         1/2 tsp. oregano

·         1/2 tsp. chipotle chili powder

·         1/2 cup uncooked quinoa

·         3 cups kale or mixed greens

·         1/4 cup dried cranberries

For the dressing:

·         1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

·         1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

·         2 Tbsp olive oil

·         1 tsp. minced shallots

·         1 1/2 Tbsp honey

INSTRUCTIONS

1.     Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2.     Rinse and peel sweet potatoes, chopping them into 1/4 inch cubes. Toss with olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano and chipotle chili powder until completely coated. Spread sweet potatoes out on prepared baking sheet in a single layer and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, flipping them once.

3.     While sweet potatoes are roasting, using a mesh strainer, thoroughly rinse the quinoa. Add a 1/2 cup of water to a small saucepan and add rinsed quinoa. Bring quinoa to a boil, cover and reduce heat and simmer for about 13 minutes. Remove from heat, keeping quinoa covered, and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes then fluff quinoa with a fork.

4.     Combine kale, quinoa and cranberries in a large bowl and toss with dressing. Fold in roasted sweet potatoes, serve and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Serving Size: 1 cup • Calories: 204 • Fat: 7.6 g • Carbs: 31.4 g • Fiber: 3.3 g • Protein: 3.8 g • WW Points+: 5 pts

- See more at: http://www.eat-yourself-skinny.com/2014/02/roasted-sweet-potato-quinoa-and-kale-salad.html#sthash.5WXqUn8i.dpuf

How To: Keep Summer Celebrations Healthy

By: Theresa Shank, Registered Dietitan 

July 4th and other summertime celebrations are meant to be celebrated and enjoyed, but you don’t have to sacrifice your health or beach body every time you attend a BBQ or picnic this summer.

Use these helpful tips from our Registered Dietitian to keep your health and body in check during your summer time celebrations.

1. Use small plates

Studies have clearly shown that by eating off of smaller plates you are likely to consume up to 50% less calories than you would consume by eating off of a larger size plate. Try borrowing a plate from the kids table or the dessert tray to slash your calorie intake in half.

2. Eat the healthy options first

Fill up on fruit salads or veggies tray options before heading over to the grill for a hamburger or hotdog. Fruits and vegetables have lots of fiber, which is a nutrient that keeps you feeling full longer and more satisfied. After you get your dose of fruits and vegetables, choose a lean protein such as grilled chicken or tuna salad to reduce your intake of saturated fat, because ladies, we all know, saturated fat is not our friend!

3. Skip the refined carbohydrates

Refined carbohydrates are the worst things you can eat because they offer little satisfaction and loads of calories. BBQs are filled with wonderful food, so do yourself a favor and save your calories for the really good stuff.

Not saying that you have to eat your burger without a bun, but pass on the pointless chips and other snacks that lure you when you’re not thinking.

4. Watch your toppings!

Skip toppings like cheese, mayonnaise and bacon on your favorite grilled options and choose healthier toppers such as Dijon mustard, avocado or sliced tomatoes and lettuce.

5.  Bring a healthy version of your favorite July 4th dessert

Everyone loves brownies or strawberry short cake to end their July 4th meal, but why not be the friend that brings a crowd pleasing dessert that doesn’t hurt the waistline? Try our registered dietitian, Theresa Shank, favorite July 4th dessert recipe for a healthy ending to your celebration.

This flag cake recipe has less saturated fat and calories than regular versions. Theresa enjoys this recipe because it replaces some of the butter with healthy oil and uses reduced fat cream cheese and Greek yogurt to replace full fat cream cheese for the delicious frosting. Enjoy!  Recipe is from www.Eatingwell.com

Flag Cake Recipe

Makes: 20 servings

Serving Size: 20 servings

Active Time: 1 1/4 hours

Total Time: 3 hours

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature (see Tips)
  • 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour (see Tips) or all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
FROSTING & DECORATION

  • 12 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 3 tablespoons low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups raspberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 2 cups strawberries, sliced
PREPARATION

1.     To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper; coat the paper and sides of the pan with cooking spray.

2.     Beat granulated sugar, oil and butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until just incorporated.

3.     Whisk whole-wheat (or all-purpose) flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Combine buttermilk, lemon zest, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons vanilla and almond extract in a measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl alternately with the buttermilk mixture, beating just until incorporated after each addition, scraping down the sides as necessary. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.

4.     Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 28 to 34 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn out onto the rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.

5.     To prepare frosting: Beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, yogurt and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a mixing bowl until smooth.

6.     To decorate: Invert the cake onto a platter. Spread the frosting over the top and sides. Mark 3 horizontal lines for the white “stripes” and a rectangle in the upper lefthand corner for the “blue rectangle.” Gently pat berries with a paper towel to dry. Make 3 “stripes” of raspberries on the marked lines. Place half of the blueberries in the “blue rectangle,” leaving space between each berry. Sift the remaining 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar over the raspberries and blueberries to make them the white “stripes” and “stars.” Fill the rest of the “blue rectangle” with the remaining blueberries. Place strawberries between the rows of raspberries as the red “stripes.”

The Benefits and Dangers of Soy: What You Need to Know

By: Christina Ushler, Registered Dietitian

Soy seems to be a hot topic lately. The pending question seems to be whether or not we all should consume it or not. Certain authorities are recommending to avoid it altogether while others are stating it is a safe food for a healthy diet. Here are the facts.


Soy is a big business in our country and can actually be found in most processed foods.  Marketing claims discuss the health benefits of soy even though research is conflicting. Asian’s eat soy as a condiment rather than a staple food, something marketers fail to mention. It also is being used in various and questionable forms today. Questionable forms include soy oil, soy lecithin, soy flour, soy concentrate, hydrolyzed soy protein, and soy isolates. Soy oil has become a base for many vegetable oils. Soy lecithin is the waste product left over when the soybean is processed and is used as an emulsifier. Soy flour appears in baked and packaged goods. According to one article, soy protein isolate has been invented for use in cardboard and is found today in many processed foods (http://www.alternet.org/story/56087/the_dark_side_of_soy). Soy also is a food most likely to cause an allergic reaction (in addition to wheat, corn, eggs, milk, nuts, and shellfish). It is hard to digest for many people and it contains phytates that could reduce mineral absorption.

In addition, soy is said to interfere with hormones in the body because of their phytoestrogens (“phyto” means plant). Phytoestrogens act similarly to hormones and can cause an endocrine imbalance. They bind to hormone receptors and interfere with the production of hormones as well. Timing and exposure of phytoestrogens in important. Times to be cautious of your intake of soy include during pregnancy, infancy, puberty, reproductive years and around menopause because of your fluctuating hormone levels.

Soymilk and soy infant formula is very questionable. Soymilk contains hard to absorb supplemental calcium and it contains vitamin D2 (we need D3). To make this even more confusing, research on soy is conflicting. There is research that shows soy can have a therapeutic effect.

The bottom line is soy is safe in it’s whole-food form: edamame, miso, tempeh, and natto as these have less processing. Tofu has slightly more processing than the aforementioned but is still considered safe in moderate amounts. You should check the ingredient labels for all soy foods, especially veggie burgers, soy nuts, soy snacks, soy shakes, and soymilk. Soy in moderate quantities (a few times per week) can be beneficial and healthful. However, always opt for higher quality, whole and organic soy. Genetically modified soy is controversial as well and has higher levels of pesticides. Excessive soy consumption causes question and you shouldn’t eat soy more than 3 times per week.

8 Tips for Cleaning Up Your Diet This Spring

By: Theresa Shank, Registered Dietitian

The arrival of spring is certainly a reminder that you have one more season to clean up your diet before summertime arrives! Maybe you let your healthy diet habits hibernate over the long drawn out winter we just had but this month it’s time to spring clean your diet and life style to get back on track! Instead of trying a new fad diet, detox or meal replacement regimen, try these 10 tips to make sure you are bikini ready and feeling healthy by summer.

1.Drink at least 48 ounces of water a day:It is important to stay hydrated throughout the day for various reasons. Staying hydrated not only helps with your alertness, controlling appetite, and improving physical activity, but it also keeps everyday symptoms like fatigue, headaches and dry skin at bay.

2.Incorporate a color into every meal: Eating a diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables has been linked to improved health, and for good reason. Veggies and fruits (both fresh and frozen) are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber (a satiating nutrient) and antioxidants. In addition to bursting with healthy nutrients, fruits and vegetables are low in calories, which make both a great choice for the waistline.

3.Avoid processed carbohydrates:  Consuming processed carbohydrates such as white flours in breads, pastas, cookies, cakes etc can contribute to weight gain due to the effects that they have on blood sugar levels. Try to only consume whole wheat/ whole grain products when eating carbohydrate sources other than fruits. Examples of whole wheat/whole grains sources include breads made with 100% whole wheat flour, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, popcorn (unsalted and non-buttered), oatmeal, quinoa, millet, barely, couscous, whole wheat pitas and tortillas. When choosing whole grain wraps, crackers or breads, aim to find bread that lists the first ingredient as 100% whole wheat flour and contains at least 3 grams of fiber. 

4.Eat vegetarian once a week for all three meals:Cutting down on your animal consumption helps to slash saturated fat and cholesterol intake in the diet which can help reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity while trimming your waistline of fat and calories. Some delicious vegetarian protein options include tofu, seitan, brown rice with beans and tempeh. My personal favorite vegetarian protein dish is Whole Foods “General Tso Chicken”, which is made with seitan. I promise you will not regret trying it!

5.Add a source of protein to your snacks:To truly satisfy your hunger in between meals, add some protein options into the mix. Opt for a non fat plain Greek yogurt, string cheese, almonds, cottage cheese , hummus or nut butter along side of a piece of fruit or serving of raw vegetables.

6.Incorporate yogurt into your routine:Yogurt is a wonderful source of protein, calcium and gut friendly bacteria that helps keep your GI system healthy by alleviating constipation and diarrhea. Try non fat plain regular or greek yogurt and add your own fruit for a sweet touch

7.Aim for 3 servings of whole grains per day:Eating whole instead of refined grains substantially lowers total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or bad) cholesterol, triglycerides, and insulin levels. Not only are whole grains beneficial to the heart but they will keep your hunger at bay between meals. Try having oatmeal for breakfast, add quinoa to your salad at lunch and incorporate couscous into your evening meal to reap all the benefits that whole grains offer to your diet.

8. MOVE MORE:Even though this is not a diet tip, it’s a statement to live by when trying to lose weight. By moving more you will burn more calories and build muscle. Aim to incorporate at least 10,000 (about 5 miles) steps per day which is equivalent to moderate exercise. If you are really trying to lose weight, I recommend that you engage in atleast 250 minutes of exercise per week.


Tips on Staying Healthy this Winter

By: Christina Ushler, Registered Dietitian

Here are a few tips on creating a vibrant winter!

Sleep: Most authorities are recommending 7-9 hours of sleep every night. It is important to listen to your body and do what feels best. Try to get to bed and wake up at the same time every day to avoid confusing your body. When the body is lacking in sleep, stress goes up and immunity goes down. You may also eat differently than if you were properly rested. Many clients notice they might crave more carbohydrates or coffee if they are sleep deprived. They also notice dips in energy and mood swings throughout the day. Your body needs sleep to recover and refuel for the next day.

Fruits and Vegetables: Aim for consuming at least 3 fruit per day and at least 3 vegetables per day. Fruits and vegetables provide vitamins, minerals, nutrients and antioxidants. They are nutrient dense and lower in calories compared to other foods. Antioxidants help fight disease and improve immunity. Greens are great for detoxifying the body and increasing energy. Soups and stews are an easy way to get more veggies in. Blending and juicing are also great options.

Hydration: You may not be as thirsty in the winter but it still is essential to drink appropriate amounts of fluid for preventative measures. Instead of drinking cold water, try drinking water at room temperature or boiled. It is recommended to drink half of your body weight (pounds) in ounces of water per day. Therefore, a 140 pound person needs to consume 70 ounces of water or 8.75 cups fluid per day (8 ounces = 1 cup). Plain water is best. Coffees, teas and juices can dehydrate you further and should not be included in total intake.

Sugar: Watch the sugar intake! Many are overdoing it in the sugar department, especially in the cold winter months. Holiday parties and alcohol can cause our intake to increase dramatically. Sugar can suppress the immune system, accelerate aging, and even feed cancer. It is important to check the ingredients because sugar can be hidden in many foods. Try using natural sweeteners in recipes like honey, agave nectar, or 100% maple syrup. To knock out a sweet craving, try incorporating more sweet vegetables into your diet like yams, squash, carrots, and beets. Increasing naturally sweet foods in the diet will reduce your cravings for sugary foods and beverages.

Physical Activity: Stay active. Schedule in physical activity you enjoy. Otherwise, it may feel like a chore. There are plenty of opportunities to stay active in the winter. For example, you can join a gym, aerobics class, or take up skiing. There also are plenty of opportunities to do exercise from the comfort of your own home. YouTube is a great resource to find exercises and workouts for free. You can also purchase exercise videos from your favorite trainers or watch them for free on your TV. Exercise helps to detox the body and releases feel good hormones that keep us feeling good. It is recommended to schedule in at least 30 minutes per day.

Manage Stress: Chronic stress can lead to increased susceptibility to illness. When was the last time you scheduled time for your self? Schedule a massage, take on meditation, hire a coach, practice daily yoga, reduce your hours at work, or schedule in one night per week to devote 100% to your own needs. Some other suggestions might be to reduce your intake of drugs and alcohol, or even seek out therapy from a professional for new ideas and insights.

Remain Social: The cold weather might tempt you to avoid leaving the house and stay warm and cozy by the fire. However, this might cause you to feel isolated from the rest of the world. Statistics show that social activities help to bring happiness and connectivity to the world. Perhaps consider doing something different this winter, like skiing or ice skating. You might consider planning a vacation to somewhere warm during the colder months. There are also countless opportunities from joining a club, such as networking groups, painting classes, or a volleyball team.

For more tips on what you can do to stay healthy this winter, schedule an appointment with one of our Registered Dietitians today.

Our Dietitian’s New Year’s Resolutions for Weight Loss

By: Theresa Shank, Registered Dietitian

Welcome to the New Year! Let this year be a year for a renewed commitment to living healthy. If you have thought about taking action towards better health or are currently taking action and making changes to your life, add these wellness resolutions provided by our dietitian, Theresa Shank, into your routine to keep you motivated, energized, fit and feeling healthy and beautiful inside and out this year.


Typically New Year resolutions are unrealistic and poorly executed. The first step to making a change that will last is changing a single behavior one at a time. Unhealthy behaviors develop over the course of time. Thus, replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones will require time. Stay underwhelmed instead of overwhelmed and not think that you have to reassess and change everything in your life. Instead, work towards changing one thing at a time this year such as the changes listed below.

Mindful eating is very important while keeping your brain sharp and your waistline down. If your resolution was to eat healthier try practicing mindful eating techniques during before and during each meal. Ask yourself questions such as; does my body need this? Am I craving this just because I am sad, bored or stressed out? Engaging in mindful eating does not require lots of practice or training. Try focusing on what you are eating, notice aromas, texture and tastes and your responses both physical and emotional. Take at least 20 minutes to eat your entire meal; that’s how long it takes your brain to notice if it is full. The principle to mindful eating is learning to hear what your body is telling you about hunger and satisfaction.

Add meatless Mondays into your weekly schedule. Challenge yourself to not include meet into your eating routine on Mondays. This will help you to decrease your overall intake of fat and saturated fat that is shown to increase LDL cholesterol levels. Try making stir-fry with tofu instead of chicken or combining a mixture of beans and vegetables to make a nutrient rich and fiber filled meal that will help keep your hunger at bay.

Pile on the veggies. It’s no secret that almost all vegetables are naturally low in fat and calorie, good sources of dietary fiber, potassium, folate, and vitamins A and C. In order to meet the recommended daily intake of 4 servings of vegetables a day, try setting a goal to incorporate a color into every meal to insure consuming enough vegetables throughout the day.

Slash added sugar intake to cut calories and ease weight loss. Women should not consume more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar a day, which equates out to 24 grams of sugar. Sugar is hidden EVERYWHERE so please look at labels and monitor your intake throughout the day. Added sugars include soft drinks, sweetened teas and juice drinks, and sport drinks such as Gatorade. Additional sources of added sugars include sweet treats such as cookies, cakes, ice cream, coffee creamers, candy, salad dressings, syrups, crackers, bread etc. Look at your labels and try choosing foods that contain less than 8 grams of added sugar per serving to keep your intake in check.

Lastly, try to avoid refined carbohydrates. By reducing your intake of refined carbohydrates you will better be able to control your blood sugar levels, sustain your hunger and help promote healthy bowel movement regimens. Refined carbohydrates include refined flours found in sources such as white bread and pasta, white rice, fruit juices, and all sweeteners, such as white sugar, corn syrup, fructose, and cane juice. One or more of these are found in most processed, boxed, canned, frozen, commercially-prepared, and fast foods. Instead of refined carbohydrates, try to only consume whole grains when eating carbohydrates. Examples of whole grains include breads made with 100% whole-wheat flour, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, popcorn (unsalted and non-buttered), oatmeal, quinoa, millet, barely, couscous, whole-wheat pitas and tortillas. When choosing whole grain wraps, bread, crackers etc aim to find bread with 0 grams of sugar and at least 3 grams of fiber.

All of these tips are manageable and applicable to the average woman’s daily lifestyle. This year make a change and stick with it because you are worth it. By following these tips, Theresa guarantee’s that weight loss will happen. After accomplishing these goals, we encourage you to schedule a visit with Theresa to learn how to maintain these goals and create news ones so that you can continue to live a happy and healthy 2014. 

Healthy Winter Soup Recipes

By: Christina Ushler, R.D.

The cold season is here! Soups are a great way to stay warm and healthy during this season. They are also quick, easy and taste great. Typically, soups served at restaurants can be high sodium, fat, and/or calories. When homemade, you can control the ingredients and how much salt is added. They are easy to reheat and an easy way to get more vegetables in your diet. Here are a few of my favorite healthy recipes.


Carrot Ginger Soup

Cooking Time: 
30 minutes

Yields: 4

Ingredients:

6 carrots

1 medium onion

1 teaspoon sea salt

4 cups water

6-inch piece fresh ginger, juiced

Fresh parsley to garnish

Directions

1.        Wash, peel and cut carrots and onion into chunks.
2.        Place vegetables and salt in a pot.
3.        Add water and bring to boil. Cover with a lid.
4.        Simmer on low heat for 25 minutes.
5.        Transfer soup into blender, adding water if necessary to achieve desired consistency.
6.        When blending is done, squeeze juice from grated ginger and add to soup.
7.        Garnish with parsley.

Notes

          For extra flavor, sauté vegetables before cooking.

          Substitute carrots with squash, parsnip or beets. Squash and beets need 35 to 40 minutes to cook.

Creamy Parsnips Soup with Polka Dots

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Yields: 4

Ingredients:

4-6 parsnips, cut into chunks

1 large yellow onion, cut into chunks

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon sea salt

4 cups water

1 cup green peas

Directions

1.        Place parsnips, onion, nutmeg, salt and water in a pot and bring to a boil.
2.        Cover the pot and simmer 20 minutes, or until the parsnips are soft.
3.        Using an immersion blender purée soup until very creamy. If necessary add more water to get desired consistency.
4.        Add green peas and mix with a spoon.
5.        Once peas are heated through, serve in individual bowls

Notes

          Use 2 cups rice or soy milk and 2 cups water for a more silky texture.

          Replace some of the parsnips with carrots.

Creamy Broccoli Soup


Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Yields: 4

Ingredients:

1 bunch broccoli

5 cups water

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons barley miso

1 cup cooked brown rice

Directions
1.        Wash broccoli and separate stems from florets.
2.        In a pot, bring water to a boil.
3.        Add broccoli stems, onion and garlic.
4.        Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
5.        Remove 2 cups of liquid from pot and dissolve miso paste in the liquid, return to pot.
6.        Add brown rice.
7.        Use an immersion blender to cream the soup.
8.        When smooth add broccoli florets, cook 10 more minutes.

Chicken Ginger Soup


Cooking Time: 60 minutes

Yields: 4

Ingredients:

21/2 pounds skinned chicken (on the bone)

3 long stalks celery

1/2 bunch scallions

3-inch piece fresh ginger, cut into slivers

Sea salt to taste

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 bunch chopped fresh parsley or cilantro

Directions

1.        Place the chicken in a pot with enough water to cover it.
2.        Cover the pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
3.        Add celery, scallion and ginger.
4.        Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 11/2 hours.
5.        Remove the chicken, allow it to cool. Pull the meat from the bones.
6.        Return chicken to the pot and add salt, lemon juice and parsley or cilantro.
7.        Mix well and serve





What is the FODMAP Diet?

By: Theresa Shank, Registered Dietitian

Recently, patients have been asking about the FODMAP diet. Typically, this food method is often recommended to relieve chronic digestive complaints such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain. FODMAP is an acronym for Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, and Mono-saccharides And Polyols. This is a diet that limits, but does not eliminate, foods that contain:

• Lactose

• Fructose

• Fructans

• Galactans

• Sugar alcohols (polyols)

These compounds in food are poorly absorbed and rapidly fermented by GI bacteria, leading to increased water and gas in the GI tract, which then leads to GI tract distention that causes changes in GI motility, bloating, discomfort and flatulence.  

To assess your tolerance for these compounds, eliminate foods high in FODMAPs for 6-8 weeks and then gradually reintroduce foods to identify bothersome foods. Reintroduce one food every four days with a 2-week break between symptom causing foods. The goal is to identify the threshold at which you are able to consume FODMAP containing foods without causing negative GI symptoms.

In order to follow the initial FODMAP process, an individual must be able to identify which foods are to be avoided during the 6-8 weeks of elimination. Foods that contain lactose should be avoided. Lactose is a carbohydrate found in cows, sheep’s and goat milk. Foods such as yogurt, ice cream, milk, and ricotta and cottage cheeses should be limited.

Fructose is a carbohydrate found in fruit, honey, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and agave syrup, but not all fructose containing foods need to be limited on a low FODMAPs diet. Fructose malabsorption is similar to lactose intolerance, in that fructose is not completely digested in the GI tract due to the lack of an enzyme, but unlike lactose intolerance the absorption of fructose is dependent on another carbohydrate, glucose. Therefore, fructose containing foods with a 1:1 ratio of fructose to glucose are generally well tolerated on the FODMAPs diet. Foods such as apples, pears, and mangoes will likely trigger abdominal symptoms because these fruits have excess fructose compared with glucose. Try to avoid fruits such as apples, pears, cherries, raspberries, peaches, watermelon, orange juice, and blackberries.

Fructans are carbohydrates that are completely malabsorbed because the intestine lacks an enzyme to break their fructose- fructose bond; thus leading to symptoms of bloating and gas. Foods that contain fructans include wheat, onions and garlic.

Galactans are carbohydrates are malabsorbed for the same reason as fructans; the intestine does not have the enzyme needed to break down galactans. Examples of galactans include beans and lentils.

Lastly, Polyols are also known as sugar alcohols. They are found naturally in some fruits and vegetables and added as sweeteners to sugar-free gums, mints, cough drops, and medications. Sugar alcohols have varying effects on the bowel. When trying to limit sugar alcohols, look at ingredient lists for the following: sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol and maltitol.

Following a low FODMAP diet can be a challenge without the help of a FODMAP knowledgeable dietitian.  As with any diet change, be sure to discuss whether the low FODMAP diet is appropriate for you with your health practitioner.

For further explanation as to which foods should be limited and which foods are suitable for a FODMAP diet please reference the various resources listed below.

http://stanfordhospital.org/digestivehealth/nutrition/DH-Low-FODMAP-Diet-Handout.pdf

http://www.ibsgroup.org/brochures/fodmap-intolerances.pdf

http://www.med.monash.edu/cecs/gastro/fodmap/low-high.html

http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/072710p30.shtml

 

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