|100 calorie packs can leave you feeling
hungry for more.
|100 calorie packs can leave you feeling
hungry for more.
|Coconut water is all the rage and refreshing!|
I am a dietitian. I am also human, therefore I am NOT perfect when it comes to eating and drinking. Last week I had a heart-to-heart with myself and realized that diet soda is a horrible habit in my life that I’d like to rid from my daily routine.
I am not writing this post to say that diet soda is Lucifer in disguise as a refreshing, bubbly beverage. If you drink diet soda in moderation, as in a few glasses per week, you should be fine. Personally, I felt I was becoming addicted to diet soda, grabbing for it out of habit for an afternoon caffeine pick-me-up. I also realized I was feeling bloated after drinking it, yet wanting more. To me, that’s not how I want to feel after eating or drinking anything.
While water is best to keep you hydrated in this sweltering heat, it is nice to have something different here and there. Check out my list of some alternatives to regular and diet soda to keep things less boring while you hydrate this summer:
A few days ago I officially kicked off summer with my first visit to a local beach. Looking around, I saw people snacking out of huge bags of Doritos or standing in line for hot dogs and fries at the vending stands. These foods aren’t good for us in general. Do we really need to be eating mindlessly out of an endless bag of chips while we are doing nothing more than lounging in a beach chair?
During the lazy days of summer, it’s time to get smart about eating. Here are some tips to help keep you feeling better about yourself in a bathing suit during these summer months:
Ahhh, cereal. When the warm weather hits, I tend to trade in my oatmeal for cereal. The only problem is, my cereal bowl can get a bit out of hand to the tune of 100-200 extra breakfast calories. Definitely not a good thing for bathing suit season.
Perhaps some of you can relate to my cereal dilemma. Using your larger-than-normal bowl you pour in some cereal. Next you throw in some fruit. Then you pour an endless stream of milk, hopefully skim or 1%. If it’s 2% or whole milk, you’ve got even more problems with your cereal.
As a dietitian who counseled many clients on the importance of eating breakfast, I know that cereal can lead many into the high-calorie danger zone. Even me. Here are my tips when it comes to attempting a healthy cereal breakfast:
|Apples are on the hit list for high pesticide residue|
Perhaps you have heard of the “Dirty Dozen”. This is a list of the top 12 fruits and vegetables that are notorious for harboring the highest level of pesticides. This list includes celery, apples, strawberries, peaches, and potatoes. Experts recommend when it comes to purchasing these foods, you are better off buying organic, thus avoiding high levels of pesticides.
The article How Dirty is the Dirty Dozen? (LA Times) attempts to answer if we need to go crazy buying only organic versions of the produce on this hit list. What will happen if we buy non-organic? What are the top nutrition and food experts saying?
Most of us are fed up with hearing what they are NOT supposed to do when it comes to eating right. I remember Oprah once told her viewers they should NOT eat past 6 PM in order to help with weight control. Well if Oprah said it, we better listen, right?
WRONG! I came across this article today, What Time Should I Stop Eating? (Fox News Latino), on the topic of how eating a late dinner will actually not make you fat if you do it the right way. This is something I’ve routinely preached to nutrition clients. As the article mentions, many people living in Latino and European countries eat dinner as late as 9 PM and do not have the same obesity issues we have here in the U.S.
|Tip: Refuel within 30 minutes after a race or long run!|
The weekend is here! French fries are a great weekend food. But we all know they are not so great for our arteries and waist line. Why not take a few extra minutes and make your own healthier version of fries? Try using sweet potatoes (or yams) and making baked fries.
Sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber, beta carotene (protect from cancer and boost immunity), and vitamin C (cancer-protective and increases the absorption of iron). Not to mention, they taste amazing, with a cross between a sweet dessert and an earthy dinner side dish.
You’ll save a extra fat and calories with this recipe:
Baked Sweet Potato Fries
2 large organic or regular sweet potatoes
2 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp sea salt (optional)
black pepper to taste
a few shakes of garlic and onion powder
a few shakes of smoked paprika (keep to about 2 tsp if you don’t want the paprika to overpower)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Wash, then cut the sweet potatoes into long strips, imitating the look of a thick steak fry. You can peel the potatoes first if you desire, but I personally love leaving the skins on for extra flavor and crunchiness. Toss onto a non-stick cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and the spices. Toss the potato strips to coat evenly with the oil and spices. Place in pre-heated oven and bake approximately 30 minutes. Halfway through, take a spatula and turn them over for even cooking. If you like them crispy, cook approximately 10 minutes longer.
Sweet potato fries go great with baked or grilled fish, barbecue chicken, turkey or bison burgers. Baking them vs. frying eliminates trans fat, saturated fat and higher calories. Since sweet potatoes are sweet and bursting with flavor, you probably won’t need the ketchup, deleting more calories and sugar grams from your meal.
Greek yogurt has taken grocery stores’ dairy aisles by storm. Higher in protein and lower in sugar, it’s a great alternative to standard flavored yogurts that are lower in protein and higher in sugar or use sugar substitutes. Plain Greek yogurt can play many roles in your daily cooking, such as a base for your favorite veggie dip or an alternative to sour cream on your potato.
If you are feeling a bit lazy or simply don’t have the time to whip up your own recipes, now Greek yogurt veggie dips can be found pre-made. One I have stashed in my fridge is Marzetti’s Otria Cucumber Dill Feta Greek yogurt dip. Two tablespoons are 60 calories, 5 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 2 g carbohydrates, and 2 g protein. The well-known FAGE Greek yogurt line also carries a veggie dip.
Don’t be limited to using this dip only as a partner to a crudites platter. Here are some other great ways to use Greek yogurt veggie dip, whether you made it yourself or bought it at the store:
You may want to keep your eyes peeled for this latest trend: duck fat. Have you ever gone to an amazing French restaurant and had the duck entree, with its crispy (yet very fatty) skin? My favorite was a smoked duck quesadilla my husband and I found at this fabulous little restaurant, The Brown Dog Cafe & Wine Bar, in Lake Placid, NY.
According to a recent LA Times article, Pour on the Duck Fat, In Moderation, this bird’s fat is the hottest thing to be considered as a fat replacement at gourmet restaurants. Its nutrition profile boasts a high unsaturated fat content and its chemical composition is close to that of olive oil. Plus, duck fat is extremely tasty (opinion inserted here).
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrition Database lists duck fat weighing in at 62% unsaturated fat and 33% saturated fat. Duck’s saturated fat content is close to chicken at 30% and pork at 39%. So no, it’s not a huge difference when it comes to the artery-clogging, cholesterol boosting saturated fat. But it is a much better choice than cooking in butter, which is 50% saturated fat. Plus, duck fat has a whopping 62% of the heart-healthy unsaturated fat, of which other fat choices can’t compete, with the exception of olive oil.
The verdict is out whether duck fat is truly the most healthy fat alternative in cooking. For foodies and duck-loving die-hards, one can’t dispute the delicious and savory taste. For your health, give it a try and keep your eye out for future studies on its health benefits.