Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Healthy Holiday Eating Made Easy

We all know the holiday season can be a stressful and overwhelming time. With large family gathers brings an overabundance of food. It is believed that the average American will gain up to 5 pounds throughout the holiday season, but that doesn’t have to be you! Enjoy the holiday season without packing on the pounds! Here’s how:

Holiday Guide #1: 4 Simple Shopping Tips for Healthy Holiday Meals
1. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, avoiding the center isles where “junk” foods lurk.
2. Choose “real” foods. Select foods labeled 100% fruit juice or 100% whole-grain. These items are less processed and contain fewer additives.
3. Avoid foods with cartoons on the label that are targeted to children. It is best not to keep “junk” foods in the house if you don’t want your kids eating them.
4. Avoid foods containing more than five ingredients as well as artificial ingredients. If you cannot pronounce the ingredients, don’t buy it.

Holiday Guide #2: How to Avoid Overeating During the Holidays
1. Create and maintain an exercise regime: During the holidays it’s easy to lose motivation to get to the gym. Because the holiday season is surrounded by an abundance of food and many of us tend to overeat, it is especially important to make time for daily physical activity. Team up with a family member or friend to encourage one another in meeting your exercise goals.
2. Don’t Fast Before a Party: Fasting before a party can lead to overeating and a decreased metabolism. Choose smaller portions and eat slowly so you can savor every bite. Eating slowly will allow you to recognize when you are full.
3. Eat Smart Before a Party: Choose foods high in fiber. Doing so will help you feel full, making it less likely for you to overeat at the party.
4. Drink Water: Drinking water throughout the holiday meal or party can help you to slow down your eating by taking smaller sips between bites.
5. Don’t Forget to Enjoy Yourself: Eat small amounts of your favorite holiday foods so you don’t feel deprived. Fill the rest of your plate with healthier options such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Trick or Treat: the top 10 healthiest Halloween candies

Annually, October brings a surplus of candies to the shelves of

grocery and convenient stores nationwide.  It is almost impossible

to go anywhere without candy at your fingertips.  Because the

availability of candy is everywhere, it is common to give into

cravings of these high calorie sweets.  Tired of packing on the

pounds? Below are healthy eating tips for this Halloween season as

well as the top 10 healthiest Halloween candies! 

1. Buy Candy Late: having tempting candy around can be a big diet

challenge.  Resist the urge to buy bags of candy until Halloween

night.  Not only will you save yourself the temptation, but you

will find big discounts on candy sold that late.

2. Buy Candy you don’t like: Keep cravings away by purchasing

treats that you don’t personally enjoy. 

3. Store Halloween Treats Out of Sight: We’re much more likely to

reach for candy when it is within view.  Store treats in drawers,

behind doors, on shelves or in out-of-the way pantries.  Resist

the temptation to open the bag.  It’s too easy to slip in for a

quick bite.

4. Enjoy Parties for the Atmosphere, Not the Food:  Attend

Halloween parties for the fun and friends rather than the food. 

Have a healthy snack before you go.  Plan ahead what you’ll allow

for food and drink, and then stick to your plan. 

5. Make Your Own Halloween Treats: Bring your own dish to your

next Halloween party.  Be sure to bake it shortly before the

party, so it won’t tempt you for days.  Try this popular heart-

healthy party recipe such as caramel popcorn.


#1 Gummy Bears - 9calories in 5 bears
#2 Dum Dum Pops - 20 calories per pop
#3 Jolly Ranchers - 23 calories in one piece
#4 Smarties (sweet tarts) - 25 calories in 1 roll
#5 Tootsie Roll - 26 calories in 1 roll
#6 Nerds - 40 calories in 1 small box
#7 Jelly Beans - 54 calories in 5 beans
#8 3 Musketeers - 60 calories in 1 fun size bar
#9 Kit Kat - 70 calories in 1 snack size bar
#10 Peanut or Plain M&M's - 90 or 70 calories in 1 fun size pack

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Top 7 Superfoods of Fall

Be on the lookout for these vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables at your local farmers market and or grocery store. Not only will these foods provide you the best flavor, but they will be also be of greatest value!

Apples - Eat the skin! The apples skin is full of fiber and contains a powerful anti-oxidant that may fight off a host of diseases. Apples are also high in calcium, folate, and Vitamin C.

Pumpkin - Just 1/2 cup of pumpkin contains about a full serving of Vitamin A in the form of beta carotene, plus a healthy dose of potassium.

Brussels Sprouts - this vegetable is incredibly good for you, containing more vitamin C than an orange! Brussels sprouts are also high in vitamin K, calcium and folate.

Kale - Just 1 cup of chopped raw kale contains more vitamin K than any other green! This dark leafy green also offers high amounts of beta-carotene, an anti-oxidant which is believed to boost the immune system and help ward off certain types of cancers.

Chestnuts - A serving of chestnuts offers about half a days worth of vitamin B6 - boosting the immune system, keeping skin youthful and possibly fighting lung cancer. These nuts are also high in fiber, helping to fill you up longer.

Pomegranates - this middle-eastern fruit is loaded with antioxidants and compounds called tannins that provide good heart health and lower "bad" cholesterol (LDL).  Just 1/2 cup of arils provides 5 grams of fiber!

Turnip Greens - Turnip tops are the most nutritious part of this Autumn root vegetable.  One cup provides 441 mg or about a half of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin A (beta-carotene - helps to promote good vision, fight illness and build strong bones). Turnip greens are additionally loaded with Vitamin C, folate, Vitamin K and calcium.  

Monday, July 15, 2013

Healthy Eating Tips for Your Summer BBQ

We all know the summer months bring parties, barbecues and an overabundance of high calorie foods - burgers, ribs, potato salad, coleslaw, rich desserts and alcoholic beverages.  As the popularity in outdoor activities increases, consuming excessive calories may become an issue for many - leading to lack of energy and or unwanted weight-gain.  The following simple tips can help you to indulge in your favorite foods while saving you the calories - helping you to achieve that swimsuit body you have always wanted!    

  1. Broaden Your Grilling Horizons
    • Grilling does not have to be limited to hotdogs, hamburgers and bratwursts.  Fruits and vegetables are additional foods that taste great when grilled and provide many nutrients the body needs for daily functions!  Brush with a small amount of olive oil and throw right onto the grill.  Try grilling romaine lettuce, summer squash, eggplant, red peppers, peaches, and nectarines at your next barbecue!
  2. Reinvent Old Favorites
    • Most barbecue side dishes tend to be saturated with full-fat mayonnaise. Swap out half the mayo with non-fat Greek yogurt and use light mayo in place of regular!  It tastes just as good without the excess calories.
  3. Sip Smart
    • Warm weather brings fruity calorically dense cocktails.  Stay festive this summer by choosing seasonal sippers such as unsweetened iced tea with lemon and mint or seltzer with a hint of juice!  Fruit infused water is another great choice!  Soak your fruit of choice in water overnight and it will be ready to enjoy the next day.  Cucumbers and or citrus fruits always work great!
  4. Don't Arrive Starved
    • We all know that all bets are off when arriving to a party or meal starved.  Choosing healthful choices becomes challenging when you are starving.  Before heading to your next summer cookout, reach for a protein and a fiber rich snack to keep you full and sane.  Such foods include but are not limited to hummus, string cheese, a handful of almonds and fruits. 
  5. Pick Your Indulgence
    • Never restrict yourself from your favorite dishes.  Instead, control your portion sizes.  Head to the party with a plan and decide ahead of time what your indulgence will be.  Keep the portion size small and eat slowly!  Eating slowly will help you to really enjoy it.  Fill up the rest of your plate with healthful eats and your cookout will be a success! 

Here are a few ideas for your next cookout! 
  • Baked Carrots & Zucchini Fries
    • voraciousvander.com/2011/12/05/the-best-way-to-cook-zucchini-and-carrots/
  • Fat Free Mayonnaise Substitute
    • recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=696239
  • Strawberry Watermelon Mint Infused Water
    • 10 large strawberries
    • 1/2 cup sliced watermelon
    • 1/4 cup mint leaves
    • 6 cups water
    • Ice
    • Directions:
      • Fill the bottom of a pitcher with ice cubes and top it with strawberries, watermelon and mint leaves.  Fill the rest of the way with filtered water and let it cool. 
  • Peanut Butter Cup Fudgesicles
    • dashingdish.com/recipe/peanut-butter-cup-fudgesicles/ 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Recapture the "Spring" in Your Step

As the weather continues to warm up, outdoor physical activity will begin to become of high popularity. With an increase in activity, more nutrient rich caloric foods will be necessary in order to properly refuel the body and optimize performance. Spring brings new seasonal produce that is readily available at local grocery stores and farmers markets. Stocking up on the following vegetables will help you to achieve daily nutrition requirements while providing your body with natural sources of energy that will enhance your overall performance.

Artichokes – antioxidants in preventing some kinds of cancer as well as heart disease; helps lower cholesterol by helping to excrete LDL (bad) cholesterol; helps balance blood glucose levels; improves liver function by ridding toxins and assisting in vital operations; digestive aid (stimulates gall bladder); high in
potassium helping with hypertension
Asparagus – good source of fiber, folate, Vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as chromium; detoxifying compound, glutathione, helping to protect against and fight some forms of cancer; rich in antioxidants

Green Beans – good source of fiber, vitamins A, C, K, as well as manganese and antioxidants lutein, zea-xanthin and beta-carotene; manganese can relieve the symptoms of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis as well as alleviating some PMS symptoms while helping the body to absorb vitamins B, E and the mineral magnesium
Leafy Greens – control blood pressure and blood sugar levels, lowering the risk for heart attacks; contains phytonutrients and antioxidants that prevent illnesses; high amounts of magnesium and the low glycemic index helps manage and prevent type-2 diabetes

Monday, March 18, 2013

Little things really do add up. Check out my talk at the Oxford Physical Therapy Center where I discuss some general nutrition tips that you can do daily to help you reach your goals!