I am constantly looking for new ways to incorporate healthy ingredients into my meals, and that does not have to mean creating boring, uninspired dishes. I decided to challenge myself to take some good-old staple ingredients I use in several recipes and swap them out for more exciting and often more nutritious picks. The result was fun, tasty and oh-so-good spins on traditional dishes. Here are my top 5 swaps:
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February is the month to think red — and not just because of Valentine’s Day. The shortest month of the year is also American Heart Month and National Cherry Month. Celebrate by adding more red foods like tart cherries, tomatoes and red cabbage to your diet. We spoke with Dr. Wendy Bazilian, MPH, RD to find out why these red foods are so important.
It’s the battle over water! Should you be dropping cash on bottled versions or is tap the way to go? We’re diving into this controversy and sprinkling you with all the facts.
There are different varieties of bottled water, depending on their source. Here is a rundown:
- Mineral water comes from an underground source and contains a certain amount of minerals and trace element like copper, zinc, and arsenic.
- Spring water is collected from a spring that flows naturally through the surface.
- Municipal water comes from a public source that is usually treated before it’s bottled. You may see it labeled as “purified water.”
Having bottled water available when you’re on the go is convenient and less messy (many reusable bottles leak), but recent studies conducted will make any bottle-loving person a skeptic.
According to a 2008 investigation conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a variety of contaminants were found in every tested brand of bottled water. Although tap water is typically tested annually, bottled water doesn’t have to meet the same testing standards and they don’t have to disclose results of any contaminant testing conducted. After conducting this research, the EWG concluded that the “purity of bottled water cannot be trusted…[and] consumer confidence in the purity of bottled water is simply not justified.”
Also, bottled water has a larger carbon footprint than tap water and doesn’t contain any of the added nutrients found in tap water (like fluoride)—though you can find bottled water that has been fortified with fluoride. the problem is, over-consumption of fluoridated water can lead to fluorosis which causes a brownish discoloration on the teeth. It also costs thousands of times more than tap water.
The NBC hit show The Biggest Loser has helped contestants lose hundreds of pounds and motivate a country in dire need of weight loss. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes, including many hours of nutrition and food counseling provided by registered dietitian Cheryl Forberg.
Q: What was your role as the dietitian on The Biggest Loser?
As a member of the medical expert team, I participated in a week of screening physicals each season to help select the cast. I met with each prospective cast member to discuss their eating patterns, food preferences, weight loss/weight gain history to help me create personally tailored eating plans for each of them.
Q: I understand that you have both a culinary and nutrition background. Could you tell us about that?
Yes, I am a chef first, nutritionist second. I attended a sixteen month program in San Francisco to attain my chef diploma (formerly California Culinary Academy currently a Cordon Bleu school). I won an apprenticeship in France upon graduation and studied in restaurants in Champagne, Alsace and the Loire Valley. I returned to San Francisco to open Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio restaurant and moonlighted as a private chef to clientele, most of whom had some sort of dietary restriction — low fat, low sugar, low calorie. At the time there were few chefs with nutritional education and few dietitians with culinary training. I taught myself to adapt my classic French training to meet the needs of my clients. After several years as a private chef, I decided to legitimize what I was doing and returned to school at UC Berkeley to attain my BS in Nutrition and Clinical Dietetics and become a registered dietitian.
In honor of World Cancer Day, we’re focusing on cruciferous veggies—those from the cabbage family. Studies show that these vegetables have a special plant chemical that protects against cancer. Here are some ideas on how to incorporate them into your everyday eating plan.
Cruciferous vegetables include cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, kale, and Brussels sprouts. These superstar veggies are packed with so many nutrients it’s tough to keep count. They contain fiber, vitamins A and C, riboflavin, B6, folic acid, magnesium, potassium and omega-3 fats. What’s more, they also have plant chemicals known as glucosinolates that have been shown to help reduce the risk of various types of cancer.
A 2011 study in the International Journal of Urology found that the more veggies that were eaten from the cabbage family, the lower the risk was from prostate cancer. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, studies also link the various components in cruciferous veggies to helping reduce the risk of colorectal, esophageal, stomach, mouth and pancreatic cancer.
After giving birth to three kids in less than 5 years, I never had much time to sleep. Like most folks, I savor those nights when I can get 6 or 7 hours of shuteye. Now numerous studies tell us that getting our zzz’s also helps with our weight loss efforts.
A 2011 study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that folks trying to shed at least 10 pounds were more likely to achieve their goal if they slept between 6 to 8 hours a night and had lower stress levels.
A 2004 study by the Stanford School of Medicine found that the less you sleep, the more weight you’ll gain. They found that not getting enough sleep leads to higher levels of appetite-stimulating hormones and lower levels of the hormones that tell us when we’re full. Furthermore, lack of sleep was associated with a higher body mass index (BMI).
There are also numerous theories that find sleepless nights can lead to weight gain. One theory says that when you’re tired, you become less physically active during the day which can lead to weight gain. A second theory says that when you’re sleep deprived you don’t care as much to make conscious food choices—which can lead you off your healthy eating plan.
Cereal can be a healthy and quick breakfast, but all the information on boxes can be deceiving. We’ll school you on what to look for, plus fill you in on a few of our favorite brands.
What to Look For
1. Order of ingredients
Ingredient lists are required to display the recipe in descending order. If sugar or other suspect ingredients are listed in the top 3, move on to another option. Also be on the look out for artificial colors and preservatives.
It’s nearly the end of January and maybe you’ve joined our Healthy Every Week January Challenge, maybe you’ve done your own resolution-thing this year. Regardless, the new year often brings a surge of renewal and positive change. We toss out all of the leftover holiday junk food around the house (or in the case of my cousin, offer leftovers to guests as they leave the New Years’ party). We are determined to choose the grilled chicken salad over the two slices of pizza at lunch and turn down dessert when we go out to dinner. We buy lots of fresh groceries on January 2nd and whip up great home-cooked meals, such as lentil soup and baked salmon.
For the first couple of weeks, life is good. We feel better and start to look better too! Then we go back to our old routines at work, with our families and in our day-to-day lives. As a result, our eating and exercise habits often go back to the old routines too. We (and our bodies) are the result of our habits and routines. The biggest challenge for most people is harnessing the momentum and enthusiasm from the first few weeks of January and taking steps to make sure some of those initial changes in January become permanent habits by February.
While there’s no magic food to melt the years away, a poor diet can take its toll on your body. Protect yourself inside and out with antioxidants, fiber and other health-protecting goodies found in these ten foods.
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.