Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tasty Tricks for a Healthy Heart

Healthy foods are too often considered boring and tasteless.  What if healthy tasted good, while saving your HEART in the process? February is National American Heart Month, and for good reason! Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the U.S.  Lucky for us, heart disease is preventable with food, and delicious foods at that! Use these tasty tricks to keep your heart healthy.
Swap fats: Swap saturated fat for unsaturated fat. Unsaturated fats are found in avocados, fish, canola and olive oils, nuts and seeds. Choose low fat dairy products, skinless chicken and turkey, fish, and lean beef on most days. Make it tasty by swapping avocado for mayonnaise.
Love your Fruits and Veggies: Aim for at least 5 servings each day combined. Sneak vegetables in by adding to sandwiches, soups, and pasta dishes. Flavor vegetables with herbs or low fat dips and use fruit in salads, desserts, cereals, oatmeal, or yogurt. Make it tasty by adding Ranch seasoning to plain Greek yogurt for a dip.
Choose less processed foods= Look for “No Salt Added,” “Reduced Sodium,” and “Low Sodium” versions of canned vegetables, soups, cheeses, snack foods, and lunch meats. Make it tasty by adding fresh herbs, citrus juices, or salt-free seasonings to dishes.
Drink alcohol in moderation- Enjoy 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men, any more than this may have a negative impact on our heart. Make it tasty by adding fresh fruit slices to your bubbly.
Eat more fiber- Choose whole grain pastas, rice’s, breads, cereals, bagels, and wraps and choose more beans, fruits, and vegetables. Aim for 25 grams of fiber per day for women and 38 grams per day for men. Make it tasty by topping oatmeal with fresh fruit.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mindful Eating: Eating with a Purpose

It is thought that the average human makes 250 decisions per day related to eating and food. Surprise!, most aren’t related to hunger but to advertisements, smells, treats, or food-related activities such as Sunday Football or Holiday parties.  Research has shown that people don’t just eat because they’re hungry but because of MANY other factors. Family and friends, the sizes of food packages and labels, the sizes of serving spoons, plates, and cups, colors of foods, shapes of foods, and distractions while eating all play a part in how much food we consume.

 


Keeping the key reason for eating in the back of your mind, that is.. that it's for energy, is a strategy to keep decisions resulting in healthy choices (but not a very fun one!). Instead enjoy eating but try paying attention to your surroundings... picture yourself eating a meal, what setting are you in (is it noisy, busy, cluttered), who is with you? (friends, family, or are you alone), are you really paying attention to what your eating? (are you doing another activity, focusing on what the food will do for your body, how it tastes, where it came from), and how fast are you eating (are you thinking about the next bite before you’re done with the first)? A lot of thinking goes into a meal, though we don’t normally analyze it to this extent, nor do I ever want to every time- I need my energy for other things! So you may ask, what happened to just enjoying a meal, feeling satisfied, and moving on with the day? Realistically, we have distractions. Realistically, we are being served larger portions on larger plates and using larger utensils. Realistically, holidays come packed with traditional dishes and traditional desserts, cookies, etc. Realistically, we must learn to eat in the world we live and focus on our meals. So in the theme of being realistic- don’t over analyze your food, just enjoy it with a purpose and every so often, pay attention  to your surroundings. You may be surprised by what you find. 


Nutritious Me with Lacey D
Distractions may cause sour consequences.


Try to focus mealtime on meals, not TV.




Thursday, November 3, 2011

Desserts that won’t spoil your diet

If you are anything like me, your sweet tooth often ruins your days healthy eating regimen. While desserts can be high in sugar, fat and calories, there are healthy options available that still allow for a sweet ending to a meal (thank goodness!) Try some of my favorites when you need something sweet.

Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich: Around 140 calories and comes in various flavors: Mint, Vanilla, Chocolate, and Peanut Butter

Hot Cocoa (Sugar Free): Filling, sweet, and around 25 calories per packet




Smart Ones brand Desserts: Individually portioned and come in decadent flavors of brownie sundae, strawberry shortcake, key lime pie, fudge brownie, and even eclairs. All around 150-200 calories

Dessert-flavored yogurt: Red velvet cake, apple crumb cake, key lime pie, boston cream pie, strawberry shortcake, chocolate raspberry, and even cheesecake are options available in light yogurts averaging about 150 calories

Fudge pops and fruit popsicles (sugar free or 100% fruit): Portion controlled and super sweet for about 20-100 calories

Chocolate cereal (Chocolate Cheerios or Special K Chocolate Delight) with skim milk: Stick to the serving size for a chocolate fix at about 150 calories

Dessert flavored rice cakes: Tasty flavors include caramel, apple cinnamon, and chocolate



“Live each moment as if it was your last. In case it is, eat dessert first."



Looking for more healthy options available at the grocery store? Check out Simply Smart Nutrition Grocery Tours

Nutritious Me with Lacey D

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hot Cocoa: 6 Ways

It is the time of year to break out the hot cocoa! While unsweetened cocoa powder can be low in calories, it still gives sweetness and a chocolaty flavor to anything you add it to. Try these non-traditional ways to use it this winter.

1. Cocoa smoothies- add a packet of cocoa powder to a smoothie for an extra chocolaty flavor

2. Cocoa Pancakes- add the packet of cocoa into the batter of pancake mix

3. Cocoa cottage cheese- Chocolate flavored cottage cheese? High in protein and sweetness, add some trail-mix on top for a treat.

4. Chocolate Yogurt- flavor vanilla yogurt with cocoa powder for a chocolate dessert without adding lots of sugar or calories

5. Chocolate peanut butter- add powder into peanut butter for a chocolate spread for toast or fruit

6. Chocolate Fruit Dip- add powder to vanilla Greek yogurt and use as a chocolate-flavored fruit dip

Enjoy!

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Buyers Guide to Milk


Cows milk

Non-dairy milk

 Type

Non-fat (Skim)

1%

2%

Whole

Rice

Soy

Almond

Hemp

Oat

Calories

90

120

130

150

110

90

70

130

130

Fat

0g

2.5g

5g

8g

2.5g

3.5g

3g

3-7g

2.5g

Carbs

13g

14g

13g

11g

20g

10g

9g

20g

24g

Sugar

13g

14g

13g

11g

13g

6g

8g

15g

19g

Protein

10g

11g

10g

8g

1g

6g

2-9g

4g

4g

Calcium

30%

30%

30%

30%

30%

30%

30%

46%

35%


*Per 1 cup serving

While numerous milks line the shelves these days, it may be confusing which one to pick! While cows milk is still a staple, most alternative milk products are made from non-dairy sources such as almonds, rice, or soy. It is important to know that they do have different amounts of calories, fat, protein, carbohydrates and calcium.

Why all the choices? Milk protein allergies and lactose intolerance are common among the U.S. population, causing those individuals to restrict milk and milk products. Alternative non-dairy milks are made without these proteins and without lactose to allow those individuals to keep milk in their diets (and in their cereal!). 

Nutritional content:
Almond milk is the lowest in calories and also lower in protein than cows milk. If milk is a primary source of your protein at breakfast, aim for additional protein when drinking almond milk (such as peanut butter, eggs, whole wheat toast, or a breakfast meat).
*Watch for added sugar in alternative milks such as sweetened vanilla soy milk or almond milk. They can have high amounts of added sugar. 
Got milk?

Learn more about different dairy products and other products lining grocery store shelves with Simply Smart Nutrition Grocery Tours.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Top 10 Healthiest Condiments

All too often we worry about the food we eat. What about what we put on TOP of our food? Check out this list of the top 10 healthiest condiments. 
  • Ketchup- 20 calories (1 packet)
Sticking to one or two packets makes for an easy way to add sweetness to your burger or sandwich. 
  • Almond butter – 200 calories (2 Tbsp.)
While higher in calories, the healthy protein and fat in this condiment are unbeatable.
  • Hershey’s Sugar Free Chocolate Syrup- 15 calories (2 Tbsp.)
A little sweetness goes a long way with this condiment. 
     Salsa- 10 calories (2 Tbsp.)
A great mix of vegetables and flavor for a low calorie price. 
  • Hummus- 70 calories (2 Tbsp.)
Protein and heart healthy fat make up this condiment to keep you satisfied. Try a flavor such as sun dried tomato hummus for an extra kick.
  • Vinegar, assorted varieties- 0-10 calories (1 Tbsp.)
                                                            Great for flavor and low on calories. 
  • Vinegar dressing, assorted varieties- 60-130 calories (1 Tbsp.) 
A great alternative to creamy dressings. 
  •  Sugar Free Pancake Syrup- 20 calories (1/4 cup)
Regular pancake syrup can total up to  150 calories per 1/4 cup. Use the sugar free version to sweetened oatmeal, cereal, pancakes, waffles, or french toast.
  • Plain Greek Yogurt- 30 calories (2 Tbsp.)
Use instead of sour cream, creamy dressings, or as season with spices for a healthy chip dip. 
  • Low Sodium Mustard- 0 calories (1 tsp)
While regular yellow mustard can be high in sodium, it is calorie free. Try the low sodium version when available.