- 26 January 2015
- Nutrition Blog
The days are cold, the skies are gray, and the motivation to eat healthy and exercise is harder and harder to find. Staying on track during the winter months is always a challenge, but one that you can conquer if you create a healthy plan and stick to it. Here are some tips for healthy eating and exercise to help you stay on track during the seemingly endless winter season.
· Think Ahead: Before starting another hectic week, take a few minutes to plan ahead for the meals and snacks you are going to eat that week. Create a shopping list, and hit the grocery store to stock up on everything you will need.
· Cook Ahead: Now that you have all of the healthy ingredients, make as much food as you can while you have some extra time to ease the stress of weeknight cooking.
· Get Creative: Find new recipes, try new dishes, and turn the same old veggies and protein into something new and exiting.
· Find a Friend: If you feel your motivation waning, recruit a friend to join in the challenge of staying healthy. Motivate one another and find the fun of healthy living once again.
· Purge Your Kitchen: Before we know it, unhealthy food has crept back into our pantries. Take a few minutes to purge your kitchen of all the junk, and start again with a clean slate of only healthy options.
Here’s a hearty and healthy chili recipe to help inspire some creative cooking.
Butternut Squash Chipotle Chili with Avocado
Modified from Cookie and Kate
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 2 red bell peppers, chopped
- 1 small butternut squash (1½ pounds or less), peeled and chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ground sea salt
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½+ Tbsp chopped chipotle pepper in adobo* (start with ½ tablespoon and add more to taste)
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, including the liquid**
- 4 cups cooked black beans or 2 cans, rinsed and drained
- 14-ounce can (about 2 cups) vegetable broth
- 2 Avocados
· In a 4 to 6 quart Dutch oven or stockpot, sauté the chopped vegetables (onion, bell pepper, butternut squash, garlic) in one to two tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high heat. You’ll need to stir the ingredients every few minutes so they can cook evenly.
· Once the onions start turning translucent, turn the heat down to medium-low. Add all of the spices and canned ingredients, and stir. Cover for about one hour, stirring occasionally. Taste test for spice level and add more chipotle if desired.
· By the time your chili is done, the butternut squash should be nice and tender and the liquid should have reduced a bit, producing the hearty chili consistency.
· Serve the chili in individual bowls with plenty of diced avocado. You can add a little sprinkle of red pepper flakes and cilantro to garnish (optional).
· Try Something New: Find a new class to try, jump on a new machine at the gym, or maybe hop in the pool to help spice up your workouts. Just when you are getting bored with your current routine, find something new to get you motivated once again
· Ditch The Excuses: Don’t let the never-ending list of excuses get in your way. Ignore that little voice in your head that is always making up reasons not to workout.
· Make Workout Appointments: Set aside specific time every day in your schedule, literally block it out on your calendar, for exercise, making it a priority each and every day.
· Find a Friend: When you know your friend is waiting for you at the gym, you are more likely to get there. Find a friend to hold you accountable and try new workouts together.
· Set An Event Goal: Sign up for a race a few months away, (The Broad Street Run, for example) and use that as motivation to get training. When you have a goal in the future and a reason to workout every day, you are more likely to stay on track.
Here’s a workout you can do right in your living room. You don’t even have to leave your house!
- 25 jumping jacks
- Go up and down your stairs
Workout: 10 reps of each exercise as many times as you can in 30 minutes
- Tricep dips on your coffee table or couch
- Sit ups
- Lateral lunges
- 02 January 2015
- Nutrition Blog
Start this New Year off right by purchasing kitchen tools that support healthy cooking and eating. Our registered dietitian, Theresa Shank, has shared her favorite kitchen must have for 2015 to keep your motivation for healthy eating strong and your belly full of wholesome nutrition!
This simple kitchen tool is the latest gadget taking healthy kitchens by storm! The spiralizer can turn vegetables such as zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes, or squash into spaghetti “noodles”.
Whether you are a vegetable lover, a low carb monitor, paleo fanatic, or have gluten intolerance, you’ll want to purchase this tool for your healthy kitchen!
The spiralizer can be found at most kitchenware stores such as William and Sonoma or on websites such as Amazon.
Try one of my favorite recipes using a spiralizer from SkinnyTaste.com
- 25 November 2014
- Nutrition Blog
Halloween candy, Thanksgiving feasts and holiday parties; the last couple of months until the end of the year can test the limits of even the most disciplined weight watcher. Our dietitian, Theresa Shank, has provided us with simple tips to avoid weight gain during the holiday.
Try to remember that the holiday season is about more than just food. Next time you go to a holiday party, take time to admire the decorations. If there is entertainment, be sure to enjoy it. Focus on visiting with friends and family whom you haven’t seen in a long time. That said, be honest and acknowledge that it would be unrealistic not to indulge in some holiday treats. The key is to do it mindfully, and in moderation.
Do Not Show Up Hungry
Indulge with a purpose. Do not show up to the party starving. Some people will skip breakfast and lunch because they want to save calories for their holiday feast. This is a big mistake because most people are then ravenous and end up eating more than they typically would. I encourage clients to eat something small as opposed to skipping an entire meal. Try having a yogurt with fruit and nuts for breakfast and a protein shake blended with fruits and veggies, this way you can get in your fruit and vegetables before carbohydrate and sweet overload.
Plan Your Plate
Set boundaries. Do not go on autopilot the moment the food is on the table; instead survey your options before piling up your plate. Once you observe your options, choose two options from the less healthy dishes and for the rest of your meal stick to healthier options, such as lean meat, complex carbohydrates and vegetables. To ensure that there is a healthy option available, offer to bring one yourself such as a salad with root vegetables or a side such as quinoa or roasted sweet potatoes.
The holidays are a time for cheering and making toasts. I am not suggesting that you do not drink but I do encourage clients to limit themselves to two drinks per gathering. Two drinks average anywhere from 200- 250 calories, which is the amount I suggest for snacks. Once you hit 3-4 drinks you are hovering close to 500 calories, which doesn’t account for the calories that are coming from your food indulgence. Be smart and drink less. Alcohol causes hangovers, which may cause you to skip the gym the next day. It’s a horrible cycle that can be avoided with control.
- 27 October 2014
- Nutrition Blog
Don't give up your morning smoothie because temperatures are dropping! Smoothies are a great way to consume more fruits and vegetables during the day. Registered Dietitian, Theresa Shank, recommends following Eatingwell.com 's structure for incorporating a well balanced smoothie into your daily routine!
Liquid - 1/2 cup: You’ll need some liquid to get everything whirring in your blender, but choose wisely. Skip juices—they’re high in sugar (even when they’re 100% fruit juice).
- Unsweetened almond milk or other unsweetened nondairy milks (soy, rice, hemp), low-fat milk, coconut water, water.
Frozen Fruit - 1/2 cup: Frozen fruit makes a frosty smoothie without added ice (some blenders can’t handle ice cubes). Buy already frozen fruit or freeze your own.
- Blueberries, cherries, strawberries, pineapple, mango, apples, raspberries, blackberries, grapes.
Protein - 1/3 cup: To give your smoothie staying power, add protein. Protein slows the digestion of carbs, keeping you full longer.
- Nonfat or low-fat plain Greek yogurt or cottage cheese, silken tofu.
Greens - 1 cup: Add 1 cup of greens to help meet your daily veggie quota without overpowering your smoothie.
- Baby spinach, kale (stemmed and chopped).
Health Bonus - 1 Tbsp.: Throw in chia seeds or flaxseeds, for a boost of omega-3s and fiber. Or add nut butters for healthy fats and a little more protein.
- Chia seed, flaxseed, hemp seed, peanut butter, almond butter.
Optional: Have a sweet tooth? Add up to 2 tsp. liquid sweetener like maple syrup or agave.
- 29 September 2014
- Nutrition Blog
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
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.
- 20 August 2014
- Nutrition Blog
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)
- 28 July 2014
- Nutrition Blog
Recipe inspired by Two Peas & Their Pod and Eat Yourself Skinny
· 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
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!
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
- 26 June 2014
- Nutrition Blog
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
- 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
- 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
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.”
- 29 April 2014
- Nutrition Blog
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.
- 31 March 2014
- Nutrition Blog
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.