All Posts In Healthy Tips

3 Ways to Be Mindful in the Kitchen

by in Healthy Tips, December 31, 2016

The kitchen can be a very stressful place, especially when things get busy. Weeknights in particular can get hectic with running errands, completing homework and cooking a healthy dinner. Here are three ways you can be more mindful in the kitchen to help alleviate some stress.

  1. Create calm out of chaos.

Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN, author of Body Kindness, recommends the following technique to help make rational choices in the kitchen: “First take a very deep breath and exhale to a slow count of 10. This simple exercise tells your body to relax and helps you make rational choices like actually cooking your meal instead of eating it cold from the fridge! (I know I’m not the only one.) Then do one quick thing that makes you happy. I like to play soothing or energizing music, depending on my mood. Even if you’re not excited to prepare your meal, find a benefit that does excite you — like ‘I’m happy to save money and take care of my body by cooking at home’ — and let that be your motivation to heat up the kitchen.”

  1. Cook simple and relax.

Instead of making your life difficult and more stressful, choose cooking methods that are simple with few ingredients. For example, use a dry rub or marinade for meat and poultry, then place the protein right in the oven or grill to cook. When your food is cooking, take a few minutes to sit in a chair, relax and enjoy the delicious smell of the food you’re about to eat. Read more

The Healthiest Fast-Food Options When You’re On the Road

by in Healthy Tips, December 22, 2016

Whether you’re heading to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for the holidays or are planning a family vacation, if a road trip is in your future, you’ll probably need to stop along the way for a quick bite to eat. The good news is that healthy fast-food options are popping up around the country. Here’s what to look for when you stop to eat, and the top five meal choices from joints around the country.

Guidelines for Ordering Healthy

Here are five things to keep in mind when stopping on the road to grab a meal:

  • Calories matter: Make sure meals don’t top around 550 calories each, including side dishes and dessert.
  • Choose lean protein: Whatever you choose should have at least 15 grams of protein per serving. Protein takes longer to digest, which will keep you fuller longer.
  • Steer clear of fried fare: Fried food like french fries and fried chicken can weigh you down and even give you some uncomfortable tummy troubles.
  • Look for veggies: Most Americans don’t get their daily recommended dose of veggies. More fast-food joints do offer veggie-filled meals and sides now, so keep your eyes peeled for them.
  • Opt for calorie-free drinks: Choose beverages without added sugar, like water, seltzer, plain coffee with a splash of milk, or unsweetened iced tea.

Read more

5 Ways to Navigate Food Allergies During the Holidays

by in Healthy Holidays, Healthy Tips, November 21, 2016

Have you ever hosted a holiday feast and genuinely enjoyed the gathering as much as your guests did? It can be a reality — with a little help from your friends. During the holidays, many of the top food allergens — especially gluten, dairy, eggs and tree nuts — appear throughout the meal. This year, we’re turning the tables on guests and preparing them with these five easy tips to make this season’s holiday feast fun, and safe from allergies, for everyone.

1. Be prepared.
Avoid anxiety by giving the host a heads-up about any food allergies or intolerances the moment you receive the invitation. Ask if you can bring your favorite dish or dessert. It’s an opportunity to share not only the gift of food, but also your personal food memories and family traditions.

2. Be generous.
If you approach the gathering from a place of gratitude rather than just focusing on the food, your experience will shift. How often do you get the chance to be with those you love or meet charming new people? Think of everyone you get to spend time with, the laughter and the all-too-rare, real-life interactions. Invaluable. Read more

A Nutritionist’s Tips for Eating Healthy While Traveling

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, Healthy Tips, November 15, 2016

I’ve traveled a lot lately, and have even set a new personal record with over a dozen plane rides thus far this year. I’ve been in airports with lots of options, and in others with surprisingly few — and figured out what’s worth buying and what’s a must-pack snack. Plan ahead by using my tips to BYO and make smart on-the-fly buys.

Pack small liquid-y snacks. Creamy snacks like yogurt and applesauce count as liquids or gels when you’re going through security, so buy them in snack-size containers smaller than 3.4 ounces, or pack your own in leakproof containers.

Try it: GoGo Squeez Strawberry Yogurtz, Mott’s Snack & Go Natural Applesauce, 2-ounce OXO Good Grips Mini LockTop Container

Scout a healthy breakfast. Omelets and oatmeal are good go-tos. Many terminals have Starbucks, which offers an oatmeal with little added-sugar — that is, if you skip the brown sugar packet that comes with it (the dried cranberries and cherries are already sweetened with a little sugar). Mix in the packet of nuts, then add a sprinkle of cinnamon. If you prefer fresh fruit, swap the dried fruit for a side of blueberries or a banana. Read more

Health Benefits of Pumpkin Spice

by in Healthy Recipes, Healthy Tips, October 22, 2016

Buried beneath the deluge of lattes, limited-edition snack foods and baked goods, the spice blend known as “pumpkin spice” has a nutritious foundation. And while it’s wise — for the sake of your waistline — to back off on the pumpkin spice Frappuccinos, ‘tis the season to take advantage of the health benefits of this ever-popular fall flavor combination.

Health Benefits
Different pumpkin spice blends may have variations, but the core blend usually includes ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice. Here are the health benefits of each.

Cinnamon
Rich in cell-protecting antioxidants and unmistakable warmth, cinnamon is the star ingredient of pumpkin spice. There is also some research to support that cinnamon may help diabetics better control blood sugar.

Nutmeg
Another warm fall spice, nutmeg boasts small amounts of fiber, numerous B vitamins and minerals. Read more

5 Snacking Pitfalls

by in Healthy Tips, Uncategorized, August 29, 2016

We’ve become a nation of snackers. Supermarket shelves are lined with snacking options, and many focus on the health-conscious consumer, providing snacks that are gluten-free, sugar-free, organic, vegan, kosher, dairy-free and/or GMO-free. However, you can overdo it even with the healthiest intentions. Here are five snacking mistakes that many folks make and what you can do to prevent them.

#1: Over-Grazing
Many folks tend to eat small snacks throughout the day, also known as grazing. If this habit is not kept under control, the few hundred calories you’re munching at each snack time can quickly add up and lead to weight gain over time.

Instead: Even if you’re a grazer, snacks and small meals should be scheduled throughout the day. This way you know when you’re eating, so you can have more control over what and how much you eat. Read more

5 Strategies for Back-to-School Prep

by in Healthy Tips, August 20, 2016

Parents, you’ve made it through summer, and back-to-school season is upon us. Whether you’re shedding a tear or jumping for joy, it’s time to get organized for the unavoidable craziness of packing lunches and busy weeknight dinners. Here are five sanity-saving tips to kick off back-to-school on the right foot.

Make a Game Plan
Take a few minutes each week to chart out lunches and dinners. Let the kids take part in the brainstorming, to make it a family affair. Taking the guesswork out of each day will help the week run more smoothly.

Gear Up
Dig out those lunchboxes, bento containers and ice packs. If they’re scrappy and beat-up, consider investing in new ones — lunch vessels should be clean and functional. Bentology and EasyLunchBoxes have many fun and convenient options.

Batch Ahead
Set aside some time to make a few family-friendly meals for the freezer. Falling back on home-cooked dishes like lasagna and chili when pressed for time can turn a hectic weeknight into prime family time. And don’t forget about breakfast! Batches of muffins, granola bars and egg cups are terrific make-ahead recipes. Read more

Healthy Hiking Snacks

by in Fitness, Healthy Tips, August 16, 2016

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service (NPS). To celebrate, take a hike on your favorite trail, or go to the NPS website to find a park near you, and take one of these healthy snacks along to fuel your journey.

Before You Head Out
Once you select a trail, do some research — especially if you’re planning on a full-day hike. Call the campsite, or research online where you can access water near the trail. Longer hikes may require you to bring water purification tablets, in case you come across a stream or natural source of water, which may contain harmful bacteria or parasites.
For shorter hikes, a Swell bottle can help keep your beverage of choice cold. Read more

Eat Like an Olympian: Marlen Esparza

by in Fitness, Healthy Tips, August 6, 2016

Ever wonder what it must be like to walk in the shoes of a professional athlete? We chatted with 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Marlen Esparza about boxing and what it takes to eat like a champion.

Is nutrition an important part of your training?
Nutrition is an extremely important part of any athlete’s training. What you eat fuels your body for your sport, and if you want to be the very best and at the top of your game, you have to fuel your body in the healthiest way possible.

What are some of your favorite pre- and post-workout snacks?
Before workouts, my “go-to” is a smoothie with Nutty for ‘Nana yogurt from Chobani [Esparza’s sponsor], plus sliced bananas, organic honey, powdered peanut butter, chia seeds, almond milk and steel-cut oats all blended together.

One of my favorite post-workout snacks to cut down on cravings would be black cherry Greek yogurt topped with fresh raspberries, coconut flakes, dark chocolate chips (not too many) and sliced almonds. Read more

Supplement Savvy: Probiotics

by in Healthy Tips, July 12, 2016

Looking for better digestion in a bottle? Here are some important tips to keep in mind when shopping for probiotic supplements.

What Are Probiotics?
Everyone’s gut is populated with bacteria. Some of these microorganisms have the potential to be harmful, but many of them are beneficial and help protect the digestive tract. The benefits of these “bugs” extend beyond digestion, contributing to healthy skin, blood and immunity as well. Probiotics can be found in supplement form as well as naturally existing in cultured and fermented foods. Common food sources of probiotics include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso and other fermented items. Probiotic supplements are most often available in capsule form but can also be found in liquid tinctures. More and more foods are being fortified with probiotics, including chocolate bars, beverages and breakfast cereals.

5 Tips for Buying Probiotics
The supplement industry remains poorly regulated, so it’s up to consumers to choose wisely. Since you can’t rely simply on what’s on the label, here are some tips.

1) Look for additional ingredients.
Many supplements contain more than just probiotics, and consumers should be mindful of other ingredients in case of allergies and to avoid experiencing interactions with medications or taking in toxic doses of nutrients they are already getting enough of. Read more