Fuel Up with Breakfast

healthy-breakfast

Many of you might be tempted to hit the snooze button in the morning and skip out on breakfast, but there are plenty of reasons to wake up and join in on the breakfast fun. Just like your mother always said, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Having breakfast allows your body to refuel and get energized for the day ahead. Studies have shown that adults who eat breakfast tend to eat more vitamins and minerals, less fat and cholesterol, and are able to control their weight better. These benefits don’t stop with just adults; studies have also shown that children who eat a regular breakfast are more likely to meet their daily nutrient requirements, be at a healthy body weight, miss fewer days of school, and concentrate better.

If fitting in breakfast is a challenge, try to make a plan the night before, know what you have in stock, and prepare ahead of time. If it requires cooking, try preparing breakfast the night before so you only need to reheat the food in the morning.

Not all breakfasts’ are created equal, so be sure to choose the right foods for breakfast to get the best health benefits. See the tips below and build your breakfast smart!

1. Protein. Avoid the mid-morning stomach rumble by adding lean protein. This will help keep you full until lunch. Eggs, peanut butter, cheese, lean meat or poultry are all good sources of protein for breakfast.
2. Dairy. Choose low fat or fat free milk, cheese, cottage cheese, or yogurt. Try choosing plain yogurt (or Greek yogurt) with your own toppings instead of fruited yogurt that can be high in sugar.
3. Fruits and Vegetables. Fresh, frozen, or canned produce make a great addition to any breakfast. Try fresh fruit that is in season on oatmeal or frozen fruit in a smoothie. If you like to have juice for breakfast be sure to choose 100% juice to avoid the extra added sugar.
4. Whole Grains. Whole wheat bread, whole grain cereal, or oatmeal all are great whole grain options for breakfast. Whole grains are higher in fiber than enriched non-whole grain products, the extra fiber in whole grain products will help keep you full longer.

Stumped on ideas for breakfast? Try these combinations below:

1. Veggie omelet with whole wheat toast
2. Whole wheat English muffin with low-fat cheese, a scrambled egg, and a slice of tomato or lean ham
3. Smoothie made with fruit and low-fat yogurt (you could even add spinach to get in a vegetable!)
4. Whole grain cereal with fresh fruit and low fat milk
5. Oatmeal made with skim milk, raisins and nuts, with a small glass of orange juice
6. Low fat yogurt and a piece of fresh fruit
7. Hardboiled egg and a banana
8. Yogurt with crunchy cereal and fresh fruit
9. Whole wheat toast with peanut butter and sliced banana
10. Poached egg with an English muffin and fresh fruit.

Although it’s easy to skip breakfast, it is crucial to make eating in the morning a top priority. You’ll find that starting your day off right with a nutritious breakfast will help you to maintain energy levels throughout the morning and feel your very best.

Stay Hydrated this Summer

Drop Falling into Water

It is important to stay hydrated, especially during the summer months when the temperature is rising.  Water makes up about 60% of your body weight.  Most people have been told to drink 6-8 glasses of water per day; actually, the amount of water you need depends on many factors, such as air temperature, age, exercise and medical conditions.  The Institute of Medicine recommends 13 cups of fluid per day for men and 9 cups of fluid per day for women.  Beverages, such as milk, juice and water can contribute to your daily fluid intake.  On average, food contains about 20% water.  However, certain foods, such as fruits and vegetables, are up to 90% water!

To make sure you are getting enough water during the day, try to stay on top of it and drink before you start to feel thirsty.  Keep a water bottle with you and be sure to finish it by the end of the day.  If you don’t like plain water, you can add a slice of lemon or add a sugar-free sweetener.  Another good tip is to drink water when you are feeling hungry.  Your body often mistakes hunger for thirst, and drinking water will help you to feel full if you are trying to lose weight as well.

Be careful not to drink too much water, as it can lead to hyponatremia (low serum sodium levels).  This is more common in athletes who participate in long-distance events, such as marathons, and do not replace the electrolytes that are lost during sweating.

If you plan on participating in moderate to high-intensity exercise, follow these guidelines from The American Council on Fitness:

  • Drink 17 to 20 ounces of water 2 to 3 hours before you start exercising.
  • Drink 8 ounces of water 20 to 30 minutes before you start exercising or during your warm-up.
  • Drink 7 to 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise.
  • Drink 8 ounces of water no more than 30 minutes after you exercise.

What about sports drinks?  Drinking water is usually sufficient unless you are exercising at a high intensity for more than an hour.  Then, you need to replace the electrolytes you have lost, and a sports drink is appropriate.

Be sure to drink enough water to prevent dehydration this summer.

Quinoa

quinoa

Have you tried quinoa yet?  It’s a grain that is originally from the Andes in South America, and is becoming more popular in the United States.  Quinoa is a rich source of protein, and contains essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source.  It’s also an excellent source of dietary fiber and is gluten-free.  Quinoa is very easy to cook, and is a great alternative to white rice.  Simply bring one cup of Quinoa and 1 1/2 cups of water to boil.  Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes.  I usually add a dash of olive oil.  You could also substitute the water for chicken broth or vegetable stock to add flavor.  For a quick and healthy dinner, add Quinoa, 2 cooked chicken breasts, 2 cups cooked corn, 2 cups black beans, 1/2 cup chopped red pepper, and 1/2 cup chopped onion.  Try it tonight!

Smart Phone Apps

phones

It seems that everyone is connected to their Smart Phones.  Luckily, there are some useful tools to help with weight loss and health maintenance.  Research has shown that people who keep a food journal can almost double their weight loss.  Keeping a food journal helps you to be more accountable and aware of what you are eating.  Fortunately, there are some high-tech resources to help.  Registered Dietitians with The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reviewed the best free apps for weight management, which include:

4.5 stars

  • Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitness Pal

4 stars

  • Calorie counter
  • Calorie Counter: Diets and Activities
  • Calorie Tracker by Livestrong.com
  • Sparkpeople Food and Fitness Tracker

3 stars

  • Calorie Counter by MyNet Diary
  • Lose it!

2 stars

  • Daily Burn
  • Weight Watchers Mobile

In addition, there are some helpful apps for diabetes management:

5 stars

  • Blood Sugar Tracker
  • Vree for Diabetes

4 stars

  • Bant
  • Diabetes Companion
  • GluCoMo
  • Glucose Buddy
  • WaveSense Diabetes Managers

2 stars

  • Carb Master Free
  • Diabetes Buddy Lite
  • Diabetes Log

Finally, Gluten-Free applications were reviewed:

4 stars

  • Eating Out G-Free

4.5 stars

  • Gluten Free Daily

3 stars

  • Find Me Gluten Free
  • Gluten Freed-Gluten Free Dining for Health and Celiac

2 stars

  • AllergyEatsMobile
  • CeliacFeed
  • Food Additives 2: Free
  • Gluten Free Restaurant Cards from CeliacTravel.com

1 star:

  • FoodWiz

What are your favorite aps to help you to stick to a healthy diet?  Let us know by posting a comment!

How is a Registered Dietitian Different From a Nutritionist?

logo_RDday2011

You may be wondering what a Registered Dietitian is, and how it is different from a Nutritionist.  Here is information from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

The “RD” credential is a legally protected title that can only be used by practitioners who are authorized by the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Some RDNs may call themselves “nutritionists,” but not all nutritionists are registered dietitian nutritionists.

The definition and requirements for the term “nutritionist” vary. Some states have licensure laws that define the range of practice for someone using the designation “nutritionist,” but in other states, virtually anyone can call him- or herself a “nutritionist” regardless of education or training.

Individuals with the RDN credential have fulfilled specific requirements, including having earned at least a bachelor’s degree (about half of RDns hold advanced degrees), completed a supervised practice program and passed a registration examination — in addition to maintaining continuing education requirements for recertification.

For more information, check out the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website at: www.eatright.org.

 

Healthy Road Trips

family-road-trip

With summer upon us, many families are planning road trips.  It’s easy to eat candy and soda from the gas station, but with a little planning, you can pack nutritious snacks for your family.  These healthy snack ideas are fun and good for your budget.

Healthy snack ideas for road trips:

  • Unsalted nuts
  • Fruit
  • Whole-grain crackers
  • Plain popcorn
  • Granola bars

Snacks for the cooler:

  • Cheese sticks
  • Reduced-fat yogurt
  • Hummus and veggies
  • Wraps made with deli meat

Healthy Beverages:

  • Seltzer water
  • Regular water with a slice of lemon or lime for additional flavor

Tips:

  • Prepackage snacks into single-serving baggies to control portion sizes
  • Pack a cooler and be sure to keep the temperature under 40 degrees.

Grilled Veggies

grilledveggies

Fresh produce is abundant in the summer.  With the nice weather, it is great to get outside and grill your veggies!

Corn on the Cob Facts:

  1. Corn is a starchy vegetable.  One ear of corn is about 77 calories.  Avoid adding extra butter to cut back on calories.
  2. Most sweet corn is not a Genetically Modified Organism (GMO), although Monsanto started offering a GMO sweet corn a few years ago.
  3. Cooked corn actually has more antixoidant activity than non-cooked corn.
  4. Corn is loaded with two phytochemicals (lutein and zeaxanthin) that promote eye health.  It is also a good source of fiber.
  5. The average ear of corn has 800 kernels and about 16 rows of kernels.

Tasty BBQ Grilled Corn on the Cob
Ingredients:corn
1 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp dried oregano
1 pinch onion powder
Cayenne pepper to taste
Garlic powder to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
½ c butter, softened
6 ears corn, husked and clean

Directions:
1. Preheat grill for medium-high heat
2. In a medium bowl mix together the chili powder, oregano, onion powder, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Blend in the softened butter. Apply this mixture to each ear of corn and place each ear onto a piece of aluminum foil big enough to wrap the corn. Wrap like a burrito and twist the ends to close
3. Place wrapped corn on the preheated grill and cook for 20-30 minutes, until tender when poked with a fork. Turn corn occasionally during cooking.

Makes 6 servings
Recipe Source: http://www.allrecipes.com

Grilled Asparagus Facts:

  1. Asparagus is full of vitamins and minerals, such as fiber, folate, chromium, and vitamins A, C, E and K.
  2. Asparagus is high in antioxidants that are similar to those in avocado, kale, and Brussels sprouts, which help to protect against certain types of cancer.
  3. Asparagus is noted as one of the top vegetables due to its ability to neutralize cell damaging free radicals, which could slow the aging process according to preliminary research.
  4. Asparagus helps to fight cognitive decline.
  5. Asparagus is high in an amino acid that serves as a natural diuretic, which increases urination and releases fluid and helps the body rid itself of extra salts.

 

Grilled AsparagusGrilled-Asparagus
Ingredients:
1 lb fresh asparagus
1 Tbsp olive oil
Lemon Pepper to taste
Garlic Powder to taste
Onion Powder to taste
Salt to taste

Directions:
1. Preheat grill for high heat
2. Lightly coat the asparagus spears with olive oil. Season with lemon pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt.
3. Grill over high heat for 2-3 minutes or to desired tenderness.
Recipe Source: http://www.allrecipes.com

 

Grilled Veggie Skewers
Try grilled veggie skewers as a side dish to a grilled entree.  Be sure to use a variety of colors to get plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.   Avoid seasonings that are high in sodium, such as Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce.

Grilled-vegetable-skewers1

Ingredients:
8 wooden or bamboo skewers
2 zucchini, cut into 1 inch slices
2 yellow squash, cut into 1 inch slices
½ lb whole fresh mushrooms
1 red onion, cut into chunks
12 cherry tomatoes
1 fresh pineapple, cut into chunks
1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
1/3 c olive oil
1 ½ tsp dried basil
¾ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:
1. Soak skewers in water for 10-20 minutes
2. Preheat grill for medium heat and lightly oil the grate. Alternately thread zucchini slices, yellow squash slices, mushrooms, onion, tomatoes, pineapple, and bell pepper on skewers
3. Whisk olive oil, basil, oregano, salt, and black pepper in a bowl; brush mixture over vegetables.
4. Cook skewers on preheated grill until vegetables are tender, turning and basting vegetables with olive oil mixtures occasionally, 10-15 minutes.
Recipe Source: http://www.allrecipes.com

 

Grilled Fruit

Grilled fruit is a tasty summer dessert.  Here are two recipes to try at your next barbeque!

Grilled Peach Sundaesgrilled-peach-sundae
 Ingredients
2 peaches, halved and pitted
1 tsp canola oil
2 scoops nonfat vanilla frozen yogurt or fruit sorbet
1 Tbsp toasted unsweetened coconut

Preparation:
Preheat grill to high. Brush peach halves with oil. Grill until tender. Place 2 peach halves in each bowl and top wtih a scoop of frozen yogurt and coconut.

Makes 2 servings
Active time: 10 minutes, Total time: 25 minutes

Nutrition per serving: 154 calories, 4 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 28 g carbohydrates, 4 g protein, 2 g fiber, 41 mg sodium, 319 mg potassium

_____________________________________________________________

Grilled Fruit Packetsgrilled-fruit-packets
Ingredients:
3 bananas, sliced 3/4 inch thick
1 pound strawberries, stemmed and halved
3 oranges, peeled, cut into segments
1/2 pineapple, peeled, cored, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
16 whole cloves
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup rum, optional

Preparation:

  1. Lay out 8 12 by 12 inches pieces of heavy duty foil on a counter top. Divide fruit evenly among foil pieces, placing it on bottom half of foil pieces. Mix sugar and cinnamon together. Put 2 cloves one ach square and sprinkle with sugar mixture. Dot each with 1/2 Tbsp butter and 1/2 Tbsp rum, if desired. Fold top half of foil over fruit and roll edges to seal.
  2. Preheat grill to low. Place packages on grill and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes. Carefully open packages, pour into bowls and serve with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

Serves 8
Cook Time: 10 minutes, Prep time: 30 minutes

Nutrition information per serving: 169 calories, 6 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 2 g protein, 30 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 15 mg cholesterol, 2 mg sodium

 

 

 

Portobello Mushrooms: A Tasty Alternative to Meat

portobello mushroom

If you are trying to cut back on your calorie and fat intake this summer, you may be looking for an alternative to a traditional hamburger. Portobello mushrooms are a tasty and healthy substitute for red meat. They have a thick and meaty texture, but are much lower in calories and in fat, particularly saturated fat. In fact, a study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that when one cup of mushrooms was used in place of ground beef in recipes such as lasagna, sloppy joes, and chili, people reduced their daily intake of calories by 123 and fat by 4 grams. This translated into a 7 pound weight loss over 1 year. Substituting high calorie and fat foods with a healthier alternative, such as mushrooms, can be an effective method to reduce daily energy and fat intake while still feeling full and satiated after a meal. Refer to the chart below to compare the nutritional value of Portobello mushrooms and ground beef.

Portobello mushroom (grilled), 100g
Calories: 29
Protein: 3 g
Carbohydrate: 4 g
Total Fat: 0.2g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Fiber: 1.5g

90% lean ground beef (100 g)
Calories: 217
Protein: 26 g
Carbohydrate: 0 g
Total Fat: 12 g
Saturated Fat: 5 g
Fiber: 0 g

During your next cook out, try this recipe for grilled Portobello sandwiches. It is a delicious and healthy meal for your entire family.

Grilled Portobello Sandwichesportobello
Ingredients
• 4 Portobello mushroom caps
• 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
• 1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
• 1 Tbsp olive oil
• 1 Tbsp chopped rosemary
• 1 ½ tsp steak seasoning
• 4 slices red onion
• 4 oz reduced fat Swiss cheese, thinly sliced
• 4 slices tomato
• ½ avocado, thinly sliced
• 4 leaves baby spinach or arugula
• 4 whole wheat buns

Directions
To prepare the mushrooms, remove and discard the stems and scrape out the gills. Wipe caps clean with a damp paper towel.
In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, soy sauce, oil, rosemary, and steak seasoning. Place the mushroom caps in the bowl and toss with sauce, using a spoon to evenly coat. Let stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes, turning a few times.

When the grill is hot, brush the grate with oil. Place the mushrooms on the grill, reserving marinade for basting. Grill for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, or until tender, brushing with marinade frequently.

Top the mushrooms with cheese during the last minute of cooking. While the mushrooms cook, grill the onions about 1 minute on each side and grill the buns until toasted.

To finish, place the spinach and grilled Portobello mushrooms on the buns and top with the grilled onions, sliced tomato and avocado.

Makes 4