Monday, August 30, 2010

The New Dirty Dozen: 12 Foods to Eat Organic

The New Dirty Dozen: 12 Foods to Eat Organic

We all know that buying organic can be expensive, BUT it may be worth it in some cases! Check out the dirty dozen. By choosing the organic version of these foods you have the potential to reduce your pesticide exposure by 80%!!!
1. Celery
2. Peaches
3. Strawberries
4. Nectarines
5. Potatoes
6. Apples
7. Blueberries
8. Bell peppers
9. Spinach
10. Kale
11. Cherries
12. Grapes

If you are unable to find these varieties of organic fruits and veggies try substituting for these 15 CLEAN foods that you do not have to buy organic.
2. Avocado
3. Sweet corn
4. Pineapple
5. Mango
6. Asparagus
7. Sweet peas
8. Kiwi
9. Cabbage
10. Eggplant
11. Papaya
12. Watermelon
13. Broccoli
14. Tomato
15. Sweet potato
Remeber eat 5 servings or fruits/veggies per day

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Portion Control

Here is some food for thought!

I just got back from a camping trip with my family, and of course when you go camping you have got to make s mores!

My brother and sister in law made sure we were equipped with the finest GIANT MARSHMALLOWS, delicious graham crackers, and of course the best part, chocolate squares.

Being the dietitian of the family I looked at these giant marshmallows and thought...."I wonder how many calories are in these?" 90 calories was the answer! I put one on a stick, shoved a chocolate square in it and started the roasting process.

Across from me was my other sister in law roasting the typical sized marshmallows. So I had to ask, "how many calories are in those?" 40 calories for 2 was the answer.

Typically I would be satisfied eating one regular s mores, but these giant marshmallows where just too cool to pass up!
So instead of eating 1 marshmallows on my s mores (20 calories) by choosing the cool GIANT MARSHMALLOW I was accidentally eating 4 (90 calories)!

WOW that is what you call portion distortion!

Here are some tips to cut back on portions, thus decreasing calorie consumption.

*Eat off of a smaller plate

*Use smaller spoons and forks. Set down your spoon or fork after each bite.

*When at a social event (BBQ, open house, pot-luck, etc) fill your plate only to the inside circle instead of all the way to the outside rim.

*After you are full, don't leave the plate of unfinished food in front of you, push it away of set a napkin on top to limit mindless eating while socializing.

*Read labels on food to see what the appropriate portion is

*If you over do it! Get up and MOVE!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Normal Weight Obesity

Calculate Your BMI - Standard BMI Calculator:

What is your BMI??

BMI is a ratio of height and weight to help determine the health status of an individual.

Underweight = BMI < 18.5
Normal weight = BMI 18.5-24.9
Overweight = BMI 25-29.9
Obesity = BMI > 30

Although BMI works well in most cases there are limitations to using this method.

The more accurate way to determine health in an individual is looking at body fat percentage.

Women should be 30% body fat or below
Men should be 20% body fat of below

How to determine body fat.
Many methods are used to determine body fat. The most accurate way is to do either underwater weighing or the Bodpod, but these tests can be expensive.

Local gyms or doctors offices typically have other methods such as skin callipers or biological impedance (Tanita scales).

Different scenarios

Have you ever been around that person who is a "twig" but eats a ton of junk and doesn't work out? Their BMI may be in a normal weight range, but guaranteed their body fat is above 30% thus placing them at risk of heart disease, diabetes, and many other co-morbidities. I call this a skinny fat person, or normal weight obesity.

Or what about the body builder who has a lot of muscle mass and very low body fat, but their BMI states that they are obese? It would be silly to call a fit individual obese.

It is important to know where you stand! What is your BMI? What is your body fat percentage? Where do you want to be?

What is one change that you would like to make in your diet/exercise pattern to improve your health??

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Get the Skinny on Your Coffee

You may already know that coffee is naturally a very low calorie drink. Then how do all those calories creep in there? Check out the calories in these popular coffee drinks!

White Chocolate Mocha (16oz, 2%milk) - 400 cal., 11 g. fat, 61 g. carbs, 15 g. pro.

Carmel Macchiato (16oz,2%milk) - 240 cal, 7 g.fat, 34 g. carbs, 10 g. pro.

Flavored latte (16oz, 2%milk) - 250 cal, 6 g. fat, 36 g. carbs, 12 g. pro.

Carmel Frappuccino (16oz, whole milk) - 390 cal, 15 g. fat, 61 g. carbs, 4 g. pro.

Her are some tips for the next time you are at your favorite coffee stand.

REMEMBER Although milk is very nutrient dense it also contains calories.

Fat free (skim)/low fat (1%) milk = 100 cal, 12 g. carbs, 8 g. pro.

Reduced fat (2%) milk = 120 cal, 12 g. carbs, 8 g. pro.

Whole milk = 160 cal, 12 g. carbs, 8 g. pro.

*Instead of a Latte try having an Americano topped with nonfat milk. Add a sugar free flavor if you like your coffee sweet.

* Always ask for a skim milk vs. whole milk that is typically used (this can save you 60 calories for every 8oz of milk used)

Is your sweet coffee really worth all the calories?? of course you deserve to treat yourself sometimes, but think about your long term goals! It might taste good now, but how will is affect you in the long term? Every little bit helps.

There are 3500 calories in 1 lb. By decreasing your calories by 500 each day that is 1 lb. weight loss over the week, 4 lbs a month, and 52 lbs a year!


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Africa 2010

As I arrived in Africa I was told by one of the missionaries based there that this trip would change my life more than I would have ever thought. He was right! Not only was I able to help those in need, but the people of Africa taught me a lot about faith, love, and hope!

Here is a video from when I went to Africa earlier this summer! I learned a lot from the people of Uganda. They are so generous yet have absolutely nothing. We were able to give them HOPE by showing them love and fulfilling their basic needs (food and clothing).

Hopefully, watching this video will motivate you to help those in need. I truly believe that humans are innately good people and want to help others, but we get so busy in our daily tasks and forget to take time to give back!

I encourage you to get involved. It doesn't have to be a big trip to the most remote corrupt areas of the world but how about; donating clothes to the homeless, working at the local food bank, being a mentor to a young child or teen, or helping an elderly person with chores around the house.

I would love to hear your stories about helping others and how by doing that you truly helped yourself! :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

In Defense of Food

Michael Pollan, Author of In Defense of Food, an Eaters Manifesto, conveys in his book that because of the technology/food science of today what we are eating isn't really food but substances and how we are eating (on the run, in front of TV) isn't really eating.

The fact that food has been replaced by nutrients and common sense with confusion is what Pollan describes as the American Paradox : The more we worry about nutrition, the more unhealthy we seem to become

Here are a couple of rules that Pollan expresses in his book to help us on our quest for health.


1- Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food

2- Avoid foods products containing ingredients that are

A) Unfamiliar

B) Unpronounceable

C) Have more than 5 in number
3- Avoid products that make health claims

4- Shop the outside of the store, and stay away from the middle

5- Get out of the supermarket whenever possible

In today's society it is hard and maybe unrealistic at times to stick to these rules, but the small things you do can make a big difference!

An easy way to get started is find out where your local farmers market is at. You wont find any hydrogenated oils or high fructose corn syrup there. Buy fresh and local!

Sample meal plan: here is a quick menu to give you some ideas




3 egg omelet with veggies for taste (spinach, onion, tomato)
1/2 c. oatmeal topped with cinnamon and fresh fruit

All natural Vanilla Chobani Greek Yogurt
Add fruit and nuts if you choose


Grilled chicken taco salad (top salad with beans and fresh salsa)

To season chicken use natural spices such as cumin, chili powder, cilantro etc...

All natural tortilla chips

Hummus dip and carrots


Skewers on the BBQ

Choose your favorite meat, veggies, and fruit (pineapple, mango, etc)

Skewer and drizzle with olive oil and favorite spices

Sliced fruit (melons and berries)