12 QUICK HOLIDAY NUTRITION TIPS!

CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAYS A LITTLE HEALTHIER AND AVOID THE UP TO 15 POUND WEIGHT GAIN!

  • Focus on weight management rather than weight loss.

Standing on Scale

  • Plan time for exercise. Exercise helps relieve holiday stress and prevent weight gain.

FLAT ABS 5

  • Do not skip meals. Skipping breakfast or lunch before a big holiday dinner actually may cause you to overeat.
  • If you know that you will not find any healthy choices, offer to bring something along, such as a salad, vegetable dish, chicken, or fish.

Fresh vegetables falling

  • Pace yourself and become more aware of what you are eating and drinking. Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed.
  • Select small portions. This will allow you to enjoy all the different foods offered, while still controlling your calorie intake.
  • If you drink, select lite wines and beers, rather than mixed drinks. Alcohol is high in calories.  Use diet mixers if available.
  • Stand away from buffet tables and food trays to avoid the urge to nibble constantly. My husband’s problem!
  • Talk more, eat less. Make the holiday season about enjoying company, rather than all about the food.
  • Fill your plate with a rainbow of colors. Choose different varieties of fruits and vegetables often.

vegetables

  • Learn to say “no” politely. You can say: “No thank you. I have had enough. Everything was delicious.” This works even with someone who will not take “no” for an answer.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!
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THE RAW FACTS

vegetables

Have you always wondered how to prepare vegetables in order to maximize their nutritional content? There’s no easy answer, since some produce is most nutritious cooked, while other kinds do not need heat to bring out the best in them. Here is how to get the most from the farmers’ picks.

Onions

Just slice and eat them raw. You get less of the phytonutrient allicin, a hunger busting ingredient when you cook onions. On the other hand, they contain a flavonoid known as quercetin. It has anti inflammatory properties. Total amount of flavonoids can be increased by cooking. Yellow and red onions have more flavonoids than white ones. Sauté or bake onions for five minutes; any longer and the onion will begin to lose nutrients.

Broccoli

RAW3

Eat it raw. Heating deactivates myrosinase, an enzyme that helps cleanse your liver of carcinogens. Broccoli or other cruciferous veggies, such as cabbage, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts are good examples of vegetables which should be eaten both cooked and raw. Raw broccoli contains an enzyme called myrosinase which breaks down into sulforaphane, a compound helping to prevent cancer and stomach ulcers. Cooking damages myrosinase. On the other hand, cooking forms the compound indole in cruciferous veggies. It is a phytonutrient that fights precancerous cells before they turn malignant.

Beets

RAW1

Eat them raw. Beets lose more than 30 percent of their folate while cooking. Eating them raw will store this brain compound.

Mushrooms

Eat them cooked. Whether you heat, sauté, boil, roast or grill them, more muscle-building potassium will be brought out.

Red peppers

RAW4

Eat them raw. Their vitamin C breaks down while roasting, frying, or grilling above 370 degrees. Red peppers are high in vitamin C that is nutrient soluble in water. By boiling or cooking red peppers, the vitamins dissolve in the water. It is best to eat red peppers raw.

Spinach

SPINACH LEAVES

Eat it cooked. Have spinach cooked and you will absorb more iron, calcium and magnesium. Though raw spinach is still good, cooking makes it easier for your body to absorb the calcium it contains. Calcium is essential for teeth and bone strength, so make sure you get the most out of the spinach. Steam your spinach rather than boiling it to avoid losing nutrients.

Tomatoes

tomatoes

Eat them cooked. Are you surprised? When you eat cooked tomatoes, your body absorbs more cancer fighting lycopene. Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant linked to the prevention of cancer and other chronic diseases. Researchers have found that lycopene molecules change tomatoes’ shape, which makes them more usable by the body. The amount of lycopene in tomatoes is higher and it is better absorbed by the body after cooking with a little oil, and particularly processing, rather than eaten fresh or raw.

Carrots

Raw carrots supply polyphenols, chemicals with antioxidant properties thought to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. Boiling carrots destroys all the polyphenols as well as cooking, which breaks down the vitamin C found in carrots. This vitamin is easily degraded when exposed to heat. It is said that cooked carrots supply more of the antioxidant ß-carotene than raw ones. Your body converts this antioxidant to vitamin A.

Garlic

RAW

Cooking makes the herb garlic less potent because heat reduces the amount of healthy allicin, so it is best to add your garlic just before you finish cooking rather than at the start. Garlic contains chemicals that relax your blood vessels, helping to protect you from heart attack. Cooking garlic reduces the amount of these vital chemicals, so it is better to enjoy garlic raw.

WHEN IT COMES TO VEGETABLES, FRESH IS GENERALLY BEST BUT SOMETIMES A BIT OF STEAMING/COOKING MAY ALLOW VITAMINS AND MINERALS TO BE MORE EASILY ABSORBED BY THE BODY.

MY RULE OF THUMB: FRESH THEN FROZEN THEN CANNED BUT MOST IMPORTANT IS THAT YOU EAT 5-7 SERVINGS OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES EACH DAY!

HAPPY CRUNCHING!

VEGETARIAN MEALS: PREPARATION TIPS AND RECIPE

Vegetarian Meals: Preparation Tips

These suggestions may give you some new ideas for making vegetarian meals.

Beans


Try substituting beans for animal protein in all of your favorite dishes. For example, make black bean burgers instead of hamburgers, and bean enchiladas instead of traditional enchiladas. Even try mixing cannellini beans into your pasta or using kidney beans in place of meat in your favorite sloppy joe recipe.

Meat substitutes


Many meat substitutes are available at most major grocery stores. It is more than just veggie burgers anymore. Try meatless ribs, sausage, chicken wings, franks, and bacon or soy crumbles to replace ground beef.

Hearty vegetables

vegetables
Try using heartier vegetables, such as portobello mushrooms and eggplant, to create filling, healthy meals. Use these vegetables to replace meat in your favorite dishes, such as lasagna.

Tofu

tofu
Tofu picks up the flavor of any other ingredient that it is mixed with. If you mix it into a stir-fry, it will pick up the flavor of the soy sauce, and if you mix it into a fruit smoothie, it will pick up the flavor of the fruit. This versatile ingredient adds protein to any dish. You can even use soft tofu to create a vegetable dip for a fast and easy snack.

Grilled vegetables


Grill vegetables and top with cheese to make a fast and easy sandwich. It is especially tasty to brush the vegetables with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar before grilling. As an alternative, make marinated shish kebabs for a quick meal.

Soups
Enjoy split pea soup, lentil soup, or meatless chili, paired with whole-grain bread for a satisfying meal.

Ethnic foods
Experiment with different ethnic food dishes. For example, many traditional Middle Eastern, Asian, South Indian, and Mexican dishes are vegetarian.

Flavorings
Try a variety of flavored oils, vinegars, cooking wines, fruit and vegetable juices, herbs, and spices to liven up vegetable-based dishes.

Calcium
If you are trying to avoid cow’s milk, consume calcium-fortified soy milk, orange juice, breakfast cereals, bread, or other products to make up for the loss of calcium in your diet. In addition, include the following calcium-rich foods (1 cup of cooked or 2 cups of raw):

  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Collards
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Kale
  • Mustard greens
  • Okra

Nut butters


Use peanut, almond, and cashew butters to add a touch of sweetness, “staying power,” and nutrition to oatmeal, stir-fries, smoothies, etc.

COOLER WEATHER IS COMING! TRY THIS HEARTY VEGETARIAN CHILI MADE WITH TOFU CRUMBLES!  This cooks in the Crock Pot all day.

chili

1 (16oz) bag frozen onion and pepper stir fry mix
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 jalapeno peppers, minced (add more if you prefer a hotter chili)
1 (15oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15oz) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (12oz) can tomato paste
1 (28oz) can tomato puree
1 can Campbell’s Tomato Soup
1 (12oz) bag Morning Star Tofu Crumbles (Can use other brands)
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
5-6 tbsp chili powder

You can add portobello mushrooms or celery and carrots or even another can of beans. Place all together in the Crock Pot and stir to combine. Cook on Low 8-10 hours.

ENJOY CUTTING DOWN ON MEAT AND ADDING GREAT, FLAVORFUL ALTERNATIVES!

NUTRITION IQ: HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW?

TAKE THIS QUICK NUTRITION QUIZ TO SEE HOW NUTRITION SAVVY YOU ARE!

  1. If you are overweight, losing just 5% of your total body weight (or the equivalent of 10 pounds (lb) for a 200-lb person) can help lower your blood pressure and improve blood fat levels (triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, etc).
    1. True
    2. False

    Standing on Scale

  2. Partially hydrogenated oils contain which kind of fat?
    1. Saturated
    2. Monounsaturated
    3. Polyunsaturated
    4. Trans
    5. None of the above
  3. When the nutrition label lists a food and/or beverage as having “zero” grams of trans fat, it may still contain some trans fat.
    1. True
    2. False

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  4. Getting enough iron is especially important for premenopausal women and growing children. Which of the following items is an iron-rich choice?
    1. Yogurt
    2. Cheese
    3. Eggs
    4. Lean beef
    5. All of the above
  5. Your mother always told you to eat your vegetables, but now that you are an adult, just how much should you eat each day?
    1. 1 cup (C)
    2. 1½ C
    3. 2 C
    4. 2 ½ C
    5. It depends on how many calories you eat in a day

    wheat

  6. At least what percentage of your daily grain intake (bread, pasta, rice, cereals, oatmeal, grits, tortillas, etc) should come from whole grains?
    1. 25%
    2. 50%
    3. 75%
    4. 100%
    5. None of the above
  7. You are thinking about becoming more physically active. Which of the following activities will benefit your health if done regularly?
    1. Walking
    2. Gardening
    3. Dancing
    4. Housecleaning
    5. All of the above
  8. Which of the following fats have high levels of saturated fat?
    1. Palm
    2. Palm kernel
    3. Coconut
    4. Beef fat (lard and butter)
    5. All of the above

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  9. Which of the following is one serving from the grain group?
    1. ½ C cooked rice
    2. Half of an English muffin
    3. A DVD-size pancake
    4. One slice of whole-wheat bread
    5. All of the above
  10. Reducing the amount of cholesterol in your diet is the best way to reduce your blood cholesterol level.
    1. True
    2. False

Woman Measuring Her Waist

Answers

  1. a. True
    A gradual, modest weight loss of just 5% can have significant health benefits.
  2. d. Trans
    Trans fats are created during the hydrogenation process.
  3. a. True
    The definition of “zero” grams of fat is less than or equal to 0.5 grams/serving. Therefore, a food or beverage could contain partially hydrogenated oil and still contribute a significant amount of trans fat, if a person consumes considerably more than the serving size listed on the label.
  4. d. Lean beef
    Dairy products and eggs are not good sources of iron.
  5. d. 2½ C
    It depends on how many calories you eat each day. For adults, the recommended amount of vegetables is 2½ C/day.
  6. b. 50%
    Make at least half of the grains you consume whole grains.
  7. e. All of the above
    Any activity is better than none,  and all of these activities involve rhythmic movements that get the muscles moving and the blood flowing.
  8. e. All of the above
    Tropical oils and animal fats all have a significant amount of saturated fat.
  9.  e. All of the above
    One serving of grain is 1 ounce of bread, about 1 C of ready-to-eat cereal, or ½ C cooked rice, cereal, pasta, or other grain, such as couscous or quinoa.
  10.  b. False
    Reducing the amount of saturated fat and trans fat in your diet, and replacing them with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil and canola oil, is one of the best dietary changes you can make to reduce blood cholesterol.

HOW DID YOU DO?

5 SUPER REFRESHING FOODS

Slugging water isn’t the only way to stay hydrated!

You can get 20% to 25% of your daily water intake from food. A high percentage of fruits and vegetables weight comes from water AND they are packed with nutrition.

Cantaloupe: 90% of its weight is water yet this fruit contains 30 times more beta-carotene than oranges!

eggplant

Eggplant: 92% water weight, it draws its color from plant pigments called anthocyanins, antioxidants that protect our cells!

Spinach: 92% water, can be eaten raw or cooked (look for some of my upcoming recipes) and is very rich in antioxidants. Great source of potassium, folate (any women planning on getting pregnant should eat lots!), and magnesium. Did you know all these nutrients also help keep blood pressure down.

Slice of Watermelon

Watermelon: 92% Water but super high in lycopene, a phytonutrient important for cardiovascular and bone health (all you 50’s and older folks). Lycopene may also help protect against some cancers.

yellow pepper

Yellow Pepper: 92% water too plus 184mg of Vitamin C which is 307% of the Daily Value.

Western New York Farmer’s Markets

Vegetables

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables displayed at our local Farmer’s Markets

Summer is a wonderful time to explore the Western New York Region.  You’ll find winery tours, art festivals, county fairs, music, fireworks, corn festivals, and WHOLESOME FRESH FOODS!!

I found this link when I was looking for a good list of local Farmer’s Markets and was excited to find all the other links to fun things to do this summer within easy driving distance:

Local Farmer’s Markets and MORE!