Sneaky Ways to Get Vitamin D

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, November 9, 2016

During this overcast time of year, the sunshine vitamin isn’t so easy to get. Adults need 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily. But many Americans (specifically, 3 percent of non-Hispanic whites, 12 percent of Mexican-Americans and 31 percent of non-Hispanic blacks) aren’t getting enough, according to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vitamin D is important for muscle and bone strength, immunity and more — and come July 2018, a food’s vitamin D content will be listed on its label. Until then, this handy guide to food sources will help you get your daily requirement.

1 egg (41 IU): Earlier this year, the new 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans gave us clearance to eat the whole egg, waving away concerns that the cholesterol in the yolk affects blood levels of cholesterol. So it’s good news that an egg’s vitamin D is in the yolk: A large egg contains about 7 percent of your daily need.

1 cup cremini mushrooms (3 IU): This amount will increase a lot, to 1,110 IU, when the mushrooms are grown while exposed to ultraviolet rays. UV-grown shrooms are usually listed as such on the label. Read more

Fitness at Every Age

by in Fitness, November 7, 2016

Many things about the body change with age, and our nutrition and exercise needs are no exception. Certain types of food and exercise can optimize health from decade to decade, so a little know-how may help you avoid illness and injury. Use these tips to help stay fit at any age.

20s
Your 20-something years are all about establishing good habits. As grown-up responsibilities begin to set in, the stress of joining the workforce, paying bills and possibly even getting married can take up a lot of time and attention. Make your health and fitness a priority by eating less takeout, getting enough fruits and veggies, and setting up a consistent exercise regimen.

30s
The sad truth is that your metabolism begins to slow down when you’re in your 30s. Eating consistent meals and choosing healthy, balanced snacks like vegetables and hummus can help keep energy levels high and prevent overeating. It’s also a great time to increase cardiovascular exercise to help promote heart health. Kara Lydon, registered dietitian, yoga teacher and author of the Nourish Your Namaste e-book recommends taking your yoga practice to the next level. She says: “People in their 30s should take advantage of their strength and stamina to learn more challenging poses like inversions, arm balances and back bends … it’s also important to adopt a restorative yoga practice during this decade. Restorative yoga (supported poses held for long periods of time) will help the practitioner to feel more grounded, calm and relaxed amidst a number of life transitions.” Read more

Dessert Deception: Apple Galette with Caramel Sauce

by in Healthy Recipes, November 6, 2016

This decadent-looking dessert has a secret. It may look (and taste) like it would be laden with calories, and like it would be difficult and time-consuming to make, but neither is the case.

In fact, this gorgeous darling has only 309 calories a slice with the sauce. Its good looks belie the fact that you can make the apple galette in about 15 to 20 minutes of prep time, and make the caramel sauce by the time it comes out of the oven.

Ready-to-use pie crust dough is a big timesaver and works especially well for this recipe. (It’s generally sold in the refrigerated area near the dairy products, and can also be kept on hand in the freezer.) Simply roll it out thinner to make the dough easier to pleat and to ensure that the finished size of your galette is that of a pie.

As you peel and slice the apples, keep them in a bowl of cold water with a squeeze of lemon to prevent the apples from browning. Drain off the water before you proceed with the recipe.

This recipe makes a double batch of the salted caramel sauce, so use half and set the rest aside for later. (There will be no shortage of uses: You can spoon it over ice cream, angel food cake or any chocolate dessert.) If the sauce gets too thick as it stands, simply warm it on the stove or in the microwave.

The galette is best made far enough in advance of serving that it can cool a bit before slicing. The sauce may be made up to a week ahead and kept refrigerated. Read more

Building a Better Nacho

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, Healthy Recipes, November 5, 2016

This Tex-Mex favorite can rack up the calories and fat rather quickly. Instead of ruining your healthy eating plan, use these tips to lighten up this popular appetizer.

Holy Nacho Calories!

Head to the Cheesecake Factory and order the Factory Nachos with Spicy Chicken and that’ll cost you 965 calories, 31 grams of saturated fat, 52 grams of carbs and 1,390 milligrams of sodium. At home, the numbers can be similar if you pile on chili, sour cream, guac and other calorie-laden toppers. Making your own allows you to control the ingredients and portions so you can enjoy the game while indulging in a lightened-up version.

The Base

With a plethora of chips hitting market shelves, you can now find better-for-you varieties that are made with whole grains and contain more fiber. Some chips to choose from include:

Remember, it’s still about portion size, so aim for 1 ounce (about 15 chips) per serving. Read more

Nutrition News: Bubbles to Quench, Cranberry Effects Questioned, Benefits of Slow Eating

by in Food News, November 4, 2016


Slow … down
If family dinner with your kids sometimes feels like a race to the clean-plate finish line, nutrition educator Casey Seidenberg knows how you feel. Writing in The Washington Post, Seidenberg suggests explaining to your kids, as she has to her sons, the digestive ramifications of all that rushing: “shoveling our food creates all kinds of issues, such as indigestion, constipation, inflammation and malabsorption of nutrients, which can then contribute to larger health problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis and heart disease.” So it makes a lot of health sense to eat meals a bit slower, rather than wolfing them down. Take a moment to “cherish” the way your meal smells and tastes, she advises; then chew the heck out of it. “In this fast and furious world, any time to slow down together sounds awfully nice,” she says. Hard to argue. Read more

5 Healthier Ways to Spruce Up Brussels Sprouts

by in Healthy Recipes, November 3, 2016

Brussels sprouts are a pretty divisive vegetable: You either love them or hate them. But developing a love of these cabbagelike little bundles really comes down to finding a preparation method that suits your tastes. Some eaters adore the nutty intensity of roasted whole Brussels sprouts. Others might prefer them deconstructed in a salad, or doctored up with nuts or bacon. Taking the time to find your favorite preparation method is well worth the effort, since Brussels sprouts can produce some of the easiest, most-affordable side dishes around. Here are a few renditions that you’ll definitely want to tuck away in your recipe book, especially with Thanksgiving right around the corner.

Winter Slaw
Similar to a coleslaw but so much lighter, Ina Garten’s autumnal side dish includes Brussels sprouts, radicchio and kale, which are all finely shredded and tossed in a lemon vinaigrette with dried cranberries and Parmesan cheese.

Read more

11 Questions With Eddie Jackson

by in Chefs and Restaurants, Fitness, November 3, 2016

There’s a lot to know about Eddie Jackson. Not only did this Texas-born chef win season 11 of The Next Food Network Star, but he’s also a personal trainer, food truck owner…and he had an impressive career in the NFL. Eddie’s passions are fitness and good food, and he knows the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive — the healthy recipes in his playbook taste absolutely delicious. In fact in Eddie’s world, there is no need for a “cheat” day, because his good-for-you food is packed with flavor and doesn’t leave you feeling deprived. To learn more about our favorite fit “Jack of all trades,” we quizzed Eddie as part of our friends at the Partnership for a Healthier America’s “11 Questions” series.

1. If you were stranded on a deserted island, and only one vegetable grew on that island, what vegetable would you want it to be?
One? That’s so hard! But I’d have to say collard greens. They’re sturdy, versatile and so good for you. I use them in soups and sautes, and as sandwich wraps.

2. What is your healthiest habit?
I do some form of exercise every morning as soon as I wake up, whether that’s push-ups or hitting the gym. It’s so important to get your body moving within an hour of getting out of bed.

3. What is your go-to nutritious breakfast?
Oatmeal topped with roasted sweet potatoes. Read more

Adjusting Your Workout When Daylight Saving Time Ends

by in Fitness, November 2, 2016

As soon as we “fall back” at 2AM this Sunday, November 6th, we lose an hour of daylight in the evening…which means it’s already dark by the time we head out of the office at the end of the day. But that doesn’t mean you necessarily have to give up on outdoor exercise until we change the clocks again in the spring. There are plenty of ways to make your post-work walk or run safe and enjoyable — even after dark. Lisa Jhung, a veteran runner and author of Trailhead: The Dirt on All Things Trail Running (VeloPress, 2015) has these tips:

Lose the Headphones
You need to be able to hear oncoming traffic and not be distracted by listening to music or a podcast. “If you absolutely can’t run without music, keep the volume very low and keep the earbud on the road side of your head out,” suggests Jhung.

Bring Your Phone
A good idea when it’s light out too — you never know when you might need to call for help. Read more

Asian Pesto Chicken Meatball Lettuce Wraps

by in Healthy Recipes, November 1, 2016

Nourishing and delicious, these Asian Pesto Chicken Meatball Lettuce Wraps are packed with protein, fiber and skin-friendly beta carotene to give your complexion a healthy glow into fall and beyond!

In addition to one of fall’s favorite foods, sweet potatoes, these Chicken Meatball Lettuce Wraps contain heart-healthy oats, flax seeds and cashew nuts. Oh, and about that Asian pesto sauce, fair warning: You may want to eat it by the spoonful. It’s that good!

I used a combo of dark-meat and white-meat chicken, along with some egg, ground oats and ground flax seed, to keep the meatballs moist. But feel free to experiment with all-white-meat or all-dark-meat chicken, and to sub almond flour for the oats if you prefer a grain-free version.

The pesto sauce is easily made ahead of time, as are the meatballs, so you can pull the recipe together quickly to enjoy it as a complete meal for lunch or dinner whenever you’re ready to eat. Read more

A Michelin-Starred Veggie Stock

by in Chefs and Restaurants, Healthy Recipes, Vegan, October 30, 2016

The truth is that lots of the world’s top Michelin-starred chefs turn up their noses at the idea of cooking for vegetarians. “Some chefs don’t see the fun in working with vegetables. But I really enjoy the challenge of creating a vegetarian dish, especially when it wins over meat lovers,” says Heiko Nieder, the head chef at The Restaurant in Zurich’s Dolder Grand Hotel, and the founder of its annual Epicure Food Festival for fellow Michelin-starred chefs (over the course of his career, he’s been awarded four stars). A fan of getting creative with veggies, he also designed an entire vegetarian tasting menu at The Restaurant, something that is extremely rare for ultra-fine dining.

One of Chef Nieder’s favorite healthy, vegetarian options on the menu is a “high-end-version of your grandmother’s vegetable soup.” To kick up the flavor without adding any fat, he uses herbs — parsley, bay leaves and thyme — and two types of mushrooms, his favorite veggie to cook with. “They make vegetable stock taste special and give it an unbelievable depth,” he says. Here, he topped the ultra-flavorful broth with tomato, basil, celery and parsley. “It’s not necessary, but it makes for a beautiful presentation and adds to your vegetable intake,” says Chef Nieder.

Make it all fall and winter, and prepare to win over vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Read more