All Posts By Toby Amidor

Nutrition Expert at

Healthy Diet Excuses and Solutions

by in Ask the Experts, Diets & Weight Loss, January 17, 2012
feet on scale
Do you need help keeping your new year's resolution?

If your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, it’s time to prepare yourself. Once times get tough, the excuses start coming. We asked top nutrition experts from around the country some of the most popular or outlandish excuses they’ve heard over the years. Do any of them sound familiar?

Excuse #1: “I end up eating my kid’s sweet snacks.”
D. Milton Stokes, MPH RD CDN, a Connecticut-based dietitian in private practice says “This is truly outlandish because the child doesn’t have to have those snacks (not that the snacks are forbidden, but unhealthy snacks aren’t manditory), but the parent seems to be using the child as a vehicle for dietary sabotage.”

Solution: Be mindful of the snacks coming into your home. Choose sweet snacks sparingly or for special occasions.

Read more

Top 10 Foods That Fill You Up

by in Healthy Tips, January 11, 2012
Nuts are a high-protein snack that will keep you feeling full.

Do you find yourself hungry 30 minutes after eating? Certain foods can help keep you satisfied so you avoid mindlessly munching throughout the day. Add these 10 filling foods to your daily repertoire.

#1: Oatmeal
A bowl of warming oatmeal can help jump-start a cold winter day and keep you satisfied, thanks to all that fiber.

Recipe: Apple Harvest Oatmeal

#2: Cottage Cheese
This underappreciated food has a perfect balance of fat, carbs and protein. You can count on the combo of protein and fat to help fill you up. Top ½ cup of low fat cottage cheese with fresh fruit or granola or use cottage in dip, quick bread, or pancake recipes.

Recipe: Cottage Cheese Biscuits

#3: Nuts
Pistachios, pecans, almonds, walnuts, or cashews— nuts contain healthy unsaturated fat combined with protein to help keep you satisfied. With an average of 7 calories per nut, a small handful (about an ounce) makes a great snack.

Recipe: Almond Lover Trail Mix

Read more

The Importance of Family Dinner

by in Food News, January 6, 2012

In my years of practice, I found that many families don’t eat dinner together – or any meal for that matter. A recent study released by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University revealed what a big difference family meals make in your children’s lives.

About the Study
Family mealtime has drastically decreased since the 1950’s. Although you may not initially see the connection, family meals play a huge role in your kids’ lives. Yes, it’s important to eat together in order to sit down and catch up on the day, but there’s more to it. The study called The Importance of Family Dinners VI dug deep to see if there was a connection between the frequency of family meals and teen substance abuse. It also explored what teens thought about the concept of family dinners. The results will shock you.

Read more

Spice of the Month: Cinnamon

by in Healthy Recipes, January 3, 2012

The ancient Egyptians used cinnamon to embalm the dead, while wealthy Romans used it in love potions and perfumes. Today, cinnamon is a popular spice that can jazz up both sweet and savory dishes.

Cinnamon Basics
Cinnamon is the inner bark of the tropical evergreen tree. The bark is peeled from the tree during the rainy season and once dried, it curls into long sticks which are either cut and sold as cinnamon sticks or ground into powder.

The two main varieties of cinnamon are Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) and cassia (Cinnamomum cassia). Ceylon is considered “true cinnamon” and is pale in color with a mild, sweet flavor. Cassia cinnamon is also known as Chinese cassia or Indonesian cinnamon, and has a dark red-brown color. It has a more pungent flavor than Ceylon and is somewhat bittersweet.

Read more

What’s Out, What’s In For 2012

by in Food News, January 1, 2012
Giant food is out this year.

Each year new nutrition fads appear and old ones head out the door. Here’s a look at what’s hot for 2012 and what’s fizzled out.

Out: “Toning” shoes
The makers of the shoes that claimed to help tone the lower body, agreed to pay $25 million settlement for making false claims.
In: Fun exercise classes
Zumba, kickboxing, boot camp, pilates and spin classes are just some of the ways Americans have been getting in shape.

Read more

Are Bar Snacks and Cocktail Condiments Safe to Eat?

by in Food Safety, Healthy Tips, December 30, 2011

Ever seen the movie Along Came Polly? There’s a scene where Ben Stiller explains why a bowl of nuts at a bar are so disgusting. Patrons drink, go to the restroom, don’t wash their hands and dig right back into that bowl. If you think you don’t want to hit a bar with bad-news-bearing Ben Stiller, I’m pretty much the same . . . maybe worse. Here’s why:

Read more

Nuts About Walnuts

by in Healthy Recipes, December 29, 2011

Last month we told you why we’re cuckoo for almonds. Now we’re talking walnuts. Did you know these babies have more omega-3 fats than any other nut?

Walnut Basics
Walnuts are the fruit of the walnut tree, which grows in temperate areas throughout the world. Walnut remnants were found in France over 8,000 years ago. They made their way from Europe to the U.S. by English merchant ships. Today, the main producers of walnuts are China, the U.S., Turkey, Romania, Iran and France.

The three main types of walnuts are white (AKA butternut), black and English (AKA Persian). English walnuts are the most widely available, they are found year-round, with California growing 99% of them.

Black walnuts have an extremely tough outer shell, making them very difficult to crack. They have a strong bitter flavor, and can go rancid pretty quickly due to their high fat content. White walnuts have a rich and oily center and are typically used for baked goods and candies. They also have a high fat content and go rancid quickly.

Read more

Cinnamon Buns, Lightened Up

by in Healthy Tips, December 23, 2011

This mouthwatering Christmas morning tradition will put some fat on your buns. Lighten up these bad boys by using some of these quick and easy tricks.

The Calorie Overload
Walk in to most malls and the smell of warm cinnamon rolls is overpowering. One of those Cinnabon Classics has a whopping 880 calories, 36 gram of fat, and 127 grams of carbs. In the mood for a Caramel Pecanbon? That’ll set you back 1,080 calories, 50 grams fat, and 146 grams carbs.

You can shave off many calories by turning to the pre-made Pillsbury Cinnamon buns—each has just 150 calories, 5 gram fat, and 23 grams carbs. However, they’re packed with a boatload of artificial ingredients and preservatives, so they’re not the best choice after all.

Homemade recipes also call for ingredients that are loaded with calories and fat—but when you make your own, you’re in control of what and how much you use.

Read more

Holiday Brunch for Everyone

by in Gluten-Free, Healthy Holidays, Kid-Friendly, Vegan, December 20, 2011

With family and friends visiting during the holidays, you’re bound to have a few folks who need a special meal. There’s no need to stress, we’ve got you covered with brunch recipes for special diets.

Bake a batch of gluten-free muffins a day or two before your guests arrive so you’ll have something on hand for them to munch on.

Recipe: Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins (above)

Read more

Hanukkah: How to Control the Fried Food Frenzy!

by in Healthy Holidays, December 17, 2011

Fried foods are a big part of this holiday of lights. Eight days of latkes and jelly doughnuts can rack up the calories in an unhealthy heartbeat. Here are tips to get you through this year’s Hanukkah festivities.

Read more