Somehow the year of 2014 is coming to an end. Every year we all say “where did the time go?” but seriously, 365 days gets shorter and shorter. But with the close of one year, comes the beginning of another-and a new year full of health and nutrition happenings. I’m no Nostradamus, but I spend a lot of time in the nutrition world. Here is what I’m predicting will be big stories and hot foods in 2015……
Archives for December 2014
Santa needs cookies to fuel his big ride! Well, really Santa needs some quality protein & complex carbs to fuel his ride but we’ll stick with cookies for now 🙂
Granola is one of the first things I suggest removing if you want to lose weight. Oats, nuts, and dried fruit are all healthy foods in moderation, but when you combine them with oil and sugar, something goes horribly awry. And usually granola is eaten in excess of the 1/4 cup recommended serving size. That doesn’t change the fact that granola is one of the best foods on the planet. Certainly, making your own is almost always healthier than boxed varieties since you have control over the ingredients.
I often make granola for my dad as gifts. He loves to have it on Greek yogurt for breakfast. There are so many recipes out there and too many disappointing outcomes. I tried a plethora of recipes before settling on this one as my “go to”. …
I ask every patient what he or she eats on a typical day. This “dietary recall”, as it is called, gives me great insight into the likes, dislikes, habits, lifestyle, and eating patterns of my patients. The process takes a long time, because with good details and data I can pinpoint areas for improvement. Believe it or not, I don’t judge what you eat. Even in my young career as a dietitian, not much surprises me, so I’m over being shocked.
But what does surprise me, is that people will do anything to be on a “trendy diet”. I have had patients tell me their typical dietary intake, which doesn’t include a single vegetable, and then ask me about the “paleo” diet or “raw vegan” diet because they “heard” people see great results….
Today I’m sharing a post I originally wrote for the website Around the Plate as an intern. I’m now a “nutrition expert” for the site. It is a wonderful website sharing healthy tips, recipes, and information. For those near Mount Pleasent, MI they also have a great, kitchen retail store 🙂 Be sure to check them out on FB and Twitter.
Women across the United States have been asking themselves for years “why don’t French women get fat?” First, to be clear, French women do get fat. And they do get heart disease. Just often at a lower rate than seen in this US. But the question remains: how can a food culture rooted in the holy trinity of butter, bread and cheese possibly lead to health? To get the answer, you have to look beyond what the French eat and study how the French eat. French Tip #1: What you eat is just as important as how you eat.
French Women Don’t Snack
Snacking has long been touted as a great practice to fill in missing nutrients and prevent that “I’m so ravenous I’ll eat anything in site” hunger that leads to binges. And it is. The issue arises when a snack turns into an all day grazing event. A handful of nuts here, a donut in the office break room, snack mix out of the bag, a slice of last night’s pizza as a “pre-dinner appetizer”. Many people tell themselves that these snacks are the same type of snacks that registered dietitians applaud. Truthfully, this mindless grazing tends to add on hundreds of extra calories a day without people even noticing. Snacking isn’t even on the radar of French women, let alone this all day grazing event. French women eat sitting down. Preferably with utensils. Not in the car, while walking down the sidewalk, or while shopping. Eating in France is something to be savored. Keeping a snack or two in your day is perfectly fine, but try it the French way. Put your snack on a plate, sit down, and be mindful of what you eat.
French Women are Portion Conscious
Eating in France is such a pleasure. Not only because the food is a culinary masterpiece, but because the food is not presented in massive heaps that make you feel sick just looking at it. The French operate under the belief that quality beats quantity every time. French women appreciate 1 ounce of full-fat cheese and are fully satisfied, and guilt-free, eating it. They don’t eat fat-free cheese (which tastes like rubber by the way) and try to pretend it is the real thing. This practice only leaves you reaching for more and more fat-free cheese in the hopes that perhaps a higher quantity will satiate you like the real stuff. And guess what? It wont. And you will have eaten more calories than if you had the full-fat cheese to begin with. The same goes for bread and butter. Savor a delicious baguette with a pat of real butter. A small amount of the real stuff is far more gratifying than a flimsy, lower calorie bread with a fake butter spread (yes, I CAN believe you aren’t butter). Take a lesson from the French and eat real food. You will be surprised by how satisfying it is.
French Women eat Vegetables
On the side of the cheese and butter French cooking is synonymous with, is a pile of fresh vegetables. That means that French women are getting a big dose of heart-clearing fiber and health promoting antioxidants. In a word, their diet is “balanced”. Yes French women enjoy full-fat cheese and carbohydrate heavy baguettes, but they also eat more fruit and vegetables than most Americans. So tonight have your real bread, with your real butter but make sure to include lots of real vegetables!
Know what else the French are doing right? They walk everywhere. They’re less stressed. The spend hours savoring good food with good friends. There are many ways that French and American food culture differ that suggest the French Paradox might not be so paradoxical after all.
This was originally written for aroundtheplate.org on July 17, 2013
Phew. A busy week for me, hence missing my typical Wednesday post. Sorry about that! Warning: I have another busy week coming. I keep saying “yes”, which would explain why I’m working another 14 day stretch like I did back in November. It’s tough when hospitals don’t have “days off”.
Know what makes these weeks better? Muffins. Buckwheat banana muffins to be exact. As a dietitian, I consider baking/cooking with new ingredients part of the job description. I will buy anything that is “new” or exciting, which explains how I ended up with buckwheat flour….
Every patient I talk to has a unique story and struggle with his or her health, diet, and weight. That being said, there are very common dietary issues that come up again and again. I’ll feature some of the main issues I see over the next few weeks. Up first: portion control.
You know that old saying “everything in moderation”? Well, I don’t necessarily agree with that, mostly because people’s idea of “moderation” is skewed. Our idea of a “portion” has been so horrendously distorted throughout the past 50 decades. Plates have gotten bigger, steak houses are offering large slabs of meat, fast food can be “supersized”, and words like “33% more” are plastered on chip bags. The message continues to be that more is better….
If I could eat Indian food every day, I happily would. There is something about the creamy sauces that smother a largely vegetarian focused combination of beans, lentils, and vegetables. And the spices! Mhmmmm. The best part. Rich, deep flavor. Spicy, warming flavors that pair perfectly with fluffy basmati rice or naan.
From a health standpoint, Indian food has a lot going for it. The use of turmeric in curries is believed to be largely responsible for the sub-continent’s lower rates of Alzheimer disease. Also, the focus on vegetables and beans, make the cuisine high in fiber and phytonutrients. Just watch out for large portions of rice, refined naan bread, and an overzealous use of ghee (clarified butter)….
We eat 147 pounds of added sugar per year. That’s right-147 pounds of pure sugar thanks to a shift in our food production and food preferences. Sugar is without a doubt the dietary villain du jour. Excess sugar consumption has been linked to everything from weight gain and obesity, diabetes, cancer, inflammatory diseases (arthritis, autoimmune diseases), fatty liver disease, cavities, insulin resistance, acne, and hormonal disruption. Heck, weight gain and obesity alone have a huge list of health consequences so you can multiple the direct effects of sugar by 20….