meat and pork liver with sauteed vegetablesThe Paleo Diet has exploded on the American culture within the last couple years and many people are wondering, “Is it for me?”  Lots of people have claimed to lose weight with the diet and feel better mentally and physically.  I am always asked, “What do you think? Is it good for me?  Is it bad for me? My cousin lost 20 lbs and I thought I would try it.”  My answer usually entails something to the effect of,  ”There are some concepts about the Paleo diet that I really like, but others that I do not think are necessary.”  Will you lose weight?  Most likely, but what are you missing in order to lose those 20 lbs?

The concept behind the Paleo Diet involves eating like those of our caveman ancestors. It encourages consumption of lean meats (preferably grass fed and organic), seafood, fruits, vegetables and a variety of nuts and seeds. The diet discourages the intake of dairy products, legumes, grains, potatoes, refined salt & sugar, and processed oils.

So what is good about the diet?  The inclusion of fruits, vegetables and nuts are my favorite parts about this diet.  Fruits,  vegetables and nuts provide a variety of different antioxidants and minerals to help your body function properly.   They also include fiber which is an important component of any diet.  In addition, eliminating processed foods from the diet tends to be a good thing for your body. Lots of excess fat, sugar, salt and preservatives found in processed foods do not provide any nutritional benefit and may lead to negative health consequences.

So what is bad about the diet?  The exclusion of any food group such as dairy or grains can put you at risk for nutritional deficiencies.  There are a variety of B vitamins and minerals found in whole grains which are important components of any diet.  Dairy contains calcium for bone health which many people are already lacking in their diet. Lastly, The Paleo Diet eliminates one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet…Legumes! While it is true that protein and other nutrients are more easily absorbed from animal sources than with legumes, I do not feel beans need to be eliminated from the diet.  They contain vital nutrients that animal products cannot provide enough of such as folate and fiber.  Folate is an important component of DNA synthesis and legumes are an excellent natural food source.  In addition, the fiber in legumes may be more effective against colon cancer than other fiber sources (1).

My question for you is, “Why do you want try this diet?”  If it is too lose weight then I feel there are many other ways to lose weight without feeling so deprived.  Any diet you are on should be something you enjoy and are willing to stick with long term.  By using the word “diet,” I mean what you eat normally everyday, not what you eat to lose weight.  Eliminating dairy and grains can be very socially isolating and you may miss some of your favorite foods.  Most people lose weight on this diet because they end up eating less calories and are hungry because they are not allowed to eat a variety of foods that are available to them.  When I spoke to people who have tried this diet they stated they ended up eating a lot of meat because it was easier to eat on the go.  A vegetarian diet consisting of only broccoli is not healthy, just how a Paleo Diet consisting of only meat is not healthy either .  A variety of whole foods is the key to health.

I have also heard stories from people who say they have more energy and generally feel better when they are on the Paleo Diet.  These people may have an intolerance against dairy or gluten.  It is difficult to diagnose an intolerance but if a client states they feel better when they eliminate a certain food, then I think they should continue eliminating it. But it is still important to make sure you are getting the nutrients from another type of food.  If you would like to try the Paleo diet, I encourage you to visit with a dietitian to make sure you are getting all of your necessary nutrients.

 

 

 

 

Bostic graphic proposed label 

Stephanie Bostic, a Ph.D student from Cornell University, contacted me this last week and wanted to share with my readers information regarding the new nutrition facts label.  She proposes a thought provoking article and I hope you enjoy what she has to offer.  Please comment or provide feedback to assist Stephanie in her project.

The FDA proposed a new Nutrition Facts Label recently.  At first glance, it’s quite similar.  It lists calories, fat, protein, vitamins, etc.  By using the Reasonable Person Model (RPM), we can guess how helpful they would be.  RPM suggests that we humans have certain needs: information gathering and exploration, being effectively focused, and taking meaningful actions.  When these needs are met, we are essentially happier, more pleasant people who do a better job of living meaningful, productive lives. (It’s probably a lot to ask of one label, but just think about the effect of one label multiplied by the 1000+ sources of information day you interact with, from a word processing program to ordering lunch or even doing laundry.)  Let’s see how well this proposed label performs.

Gathering and exploring information:  There are a few key features of the new label that support information gathering, which is highlighted in the graphic.  The addition of new nutrient types of public health concern (i.e. separating added sugars from sugars naturally in foods like fruit) and the adjustment in serving sizes to reflect servings of what we actually eat rather than USDA portion sizes provide more relevant information in our current food context.  These make it easier for you to actually monitor your calorie intake, since you might not have to adjust your serving sizes yourself.  Design changes also emphasize existing key features, like calories.  Unfortunately, despite improvements in the information listed, the proposed Nutrition Facts Label does not support further exploration of either the food itself or the topic of nutrition because they have no links to additional information.

Being effectively focused: One challenge we face is mental fatigue; each day, we’re asked to take in massive amounts of information, filter out whatever is irrelevant, and make decisions based on that info.  A good nutrition label would promote good decisions by providing enough info to be useful and the context to convince us it is important, while not giving us so much information we’re distracted and confused.  Except for the jargon-filled “footnote” in tiny font at the bottom (omitted from graphic for clarity), the current label just provides basic nutrient information without context.  Without that context, though, we’re less likely to categorize the label as relevant, remember it, and act on the information.

Taking meaningful action: Meaningful, of course, depends on what you care about.  Someone who is managing diabetes may find it meaningful to manage their carbohydrate intake and watch calories to lose weight.  Someone who is feeding a family may find meaning in providing a range of healthful foods.  Another person may find it meaningful to write to companies about reducing the sodium or added sugars content of a food.  Yet another person may decide to avoid most foods with labels altogether!  While the Nutrition Facts Label itself doesn’t directly suggest action, it does enable action for those who already have a particular focus.

Altogether, the proposed label has some minor improvements in design, but still lacks some components that could increase engagement and learning.  If you want to comment on the proposed new label (take meaningful action?), click here to review more details and to tell the FDA how the label could improve your experiences of exploring and acting on nutrition information.

The Reasonable Person Model was proposed by Rachel  and Stephen KaplanStephanie Bostic is a community nutrition PhD student at Cornell University with an interest in how our interactions with our food environment affect food choice.  She thanks Kristin Willard for hosting this post!

wheat grainsLots of attention is given to carbs, fat, protein and calories, but what about fiber? Fiber is found in plant products such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Fiber is considered indigestible by your body, but it can be fermented by the bacteria in your gut and provide you with lots of health benefits. Here is what fiber can do for you!

1. Promotes bowel regularity- The insoluble fiber found in the skin of fruits, vegetables and whole grains helps to increase the frequency of your bowel movements (Aka:poop). The less time your poop spends time inside your body, the less likely your will be exposed to carcinogens or toxins.

2. Feeds your microflora- Fiber helps fuel the good bacteria in your gut. These bacteria break down the fiber through a process known as fermentation. The by-products of this process, such as short chain fatty acids, help protect the integrity and health of the gut. In addition, fiber promotes more gut friendly bacteria in your colon which can improve your immune function.

3. Curbs your hunger- Soluble fiber can help the stomach to slowly empty into the intestines. This leaves you feeling fuller longer and more satisfied with your meal. Try to include a high fiber food item such as whole wheat bread or brown rice and water to gain the maximum benefits

4. Cancer protective- Evidence suggests that a diet high in fiber may lead to less risk of colon cancer. The exact mechanism is unknown, but it is thought that the increase in bowel regularity reduces the amount of time carcinogens are exposed to your body.

5. Reduces Cholesterol- In simple terms, fiber acts like a sponge in the intestines and absorbs cholesterol. Then you poop it out! This way cholesterol (in bile acids) is not absorbed back into your bloodstream. Isn’t that great? Way to go fiber :)

6. Reduces glucose and insulin levels- Studies have shown that fiber may help promote better glucose control. Remember how I explained fiber slows the emptying of the stomach contents? Well this also helps your blood sugars because it slows the absorption of glucose into your bloodstream. Thus, your insulin levels do not rise as high.

I hope I have provided you with enough reasons to include fiber at every meal. Aim for 25-38 g of fiber a day to gain the maximum benefits. Great sources of fiber are nuts, whole grain breads and cereals, beans, artichokes, broccoli and berries. Yum!

 

 

 

06. December 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Healthy Eating, Recipes
Fuyu Persimmons

Fuyu Persimmons

When I want fresh fruit during the fall the season I tend to reach for an apple, pomegranate or a mandarin, and hardly ever think about a persimmon.  I always assumed persimmons were used for baking cookies or bread and never thought to enjoy the fruit raw.  During this last Thanksgiving my neighbor brought me a grocery bag full of fuyu persimmons, which I was grateful for, but I honestly did not know what to do with them :) Even though the bowl of persimmons made a beautiful centerpiece on my table, I knew I needed to try and use them.  I cut the first one up like an apple and popped a piece into my mouth and immediately fell in love with the delicate, sweet, pumpkin-like flavor.

My first experiment involved dehydrating them.  I sliced the persimmons into thin pieces and placed them on a metal cooking rack on top of a cookie sheet  and put them in the oven under the “warm” setting.  I left them in the oven for about 6 hours. Once they were dehydrated I put the dried slices into zip lock bags with some walnuts     for ready to eat snacks.

My next experiment involved a smoothie.  I cut the persimmon into slices and placed them into my Vitamix.  Then I added vanilla yogurt, rolled oats, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.  I blended them all up and had a delicious smoothie to hold me over until my next meal.

Here are some additional food items persimmons can be added to;

  • Salads
  • Cereal
  • Cottage cheese or yogurt with a little cinnamon
  • Oatmeal
  • Chutney

Aside from the delicious taste, persimmons are an excellent source of fiber, Vitamins A and C, and manganese. This powerful blend of nutrients  may help protect your immune system during this years flu season.  So go ahead and start eating this delicious fruit before they go out of season!

hachiya persimmons

Hachiya Persimmons

(As a side note, make sure you are using the fuyu persimmon for these recipes. The fuyu persimmons are more squat in shape and have a firmer texture than oblong-shape hachiya persimmons. The hachiya persimmons are used more for baking and are only sweet when they are extremely soft)

 

Pot of teaRight now I am sitting at one of our local hot spots in Chico, California, the T-Bar & Fusion Cafe, and loving the change in weather and a warm cup of tea in my hand.  With all the different tea aromas circulating around me, I could not help but feel inspired to write an article on why I love tea. Now don’t get me wrong, I do have a soft spot for coffee as well, but tea was my first love. I still remember when my mom would brew Lipton’s Black Tea with a little sugar and milk in it for me on a cold day.  Since then my palate has expanded to enjoy a wide variety of tea leaves and I appreciate the earthy flavor of tea throughout the year.  I would not consider myself a tea connoisseur, but I don’t think of myself as a connoisseur of anything.  I just like what I like :) Here are my reasons for why I love tea!

1. The Flavor: First and foremost I love the flavor of tea.  It has a milder flavor than coffee and has many different varieties. I can always find one to fit my mood.  Green tea has more of a grassy flavor and a little more caffeine than other tea leaves so I tend to enjoy it first thing in the morning.  On a hot day I am always in the mood for a fruity tea, like peach blossom over ice to quench my thirst. Before bedtime I like a warm cup of chamomile tea with honey to help me wind down.  With hundreds of tea varieties to choose from, I am confident you can find a tea to suit your mood too!

2. Health Benefits: Every week it feels like there is more research boasting the health benefits of tea.  Green tea appears to get the most media coverage in regards to cancer prevention and promoting weight loss.  The bioactive compounds in tea have been shown to help reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, improve cognitive function, and increase immunity. Some studies have shown the health benefits of tea are inconclusive, but I personally feel drinking black or green tea can be good for your health and not pose any health risk.  Herbal teas lack the clinical evidence of health benefits compared to green/black tea, but they can still be a satisfying beverage during your day.  They too, contain antioxidants and bioactive compounds which may aid in your health.  If you are pregnant use these herbal teas with caution and let your doctor know.

3. Calorie Free: I am not one to count calories, but I can’t help but notice that tea contains healthy bioactive compounds and no calories.  Lots of drinks out there such as soda, sports drinks, and coffee concoctions contain lots of calories that may aid in weight gain and not offer any health benefits. Tea is a great substitute because it has lots of flavors and you can pair it with many meals and drink it throughout the day.  Even if you add milk and sugar it usually does not compare to the calories in soda. I like adding milk because it binds with the tannins in tea to help soothe the astringent flavor.

4. Cheap & Easy to Make: Tea is an inexpensive beverage.  A tea bag usually costs less than 20 cents, and if you use loose tea leaves it costs less than 50 cents a serving.   If you know how to boil water or heat water in the microwave you can make tea. Loose tea leaves tend to have better flavor than tea bags and may take a little longer to brew.  Click here if you want to know how to brew loose tea leaves.  There are some teas out there that may cost lots of $$, but as a general rule tea is cheap.

5. Connection:  Some of my favorite memories involve a conversation over a cup of hot tea.  Sharing a pot of tea with a new friend, family member or childhood friend can be a bonding experience.  Tea can also be a form of love, such as making a fresh cup of tea for sick loved one.  But you don’t have to take my word for it.  Cultures such as Britain and China have been socializing over tea for centuries.  Tea can also be enjoyed alone, giving you the opportunity to build a better connection with yourself and your own thoughts.

Now you know my top reasons for loving tea.  If you love tea for other reasons, please comment and let me know :)

 

12. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: About me, Healthy Eating, Stress Management

Lets face it. Life is messy sometimes and it can be difficult to sit down and eat a well balanced meal. Right now is one of those times for me. I recently went full time at my position at the local hospital and my husband and I just purchased our first home. Since we enjoy DIY projects we have been remodeling the home ourselves. At this moment our kitchen floor is pulled up because we are going to install new flooring. We had to relocate our refrigerator and stove into our living room until we finish the new floor. A weekend project has now turned into a month long project due to unforeseen obstacles along the way (which tends to happen with DIY projects :)) Without a working kitchen it has been challenging to prepare home cooked meals and eat my daily dose of fruits and vegetables. To be honest, it has not happened. So I have had to readjust my lifestyle for the time being. Life can come at you in cycles and sometimes you just have to be flexible. Here are 5 strategies to use when you can’t prepare a meal and want to continue to eat healthy.

20130711-172249.jpg                     20130711-172227.jpg

 

1. Be mindful- Sometimes it can be difficult to eat healthy when you are eating out frequently, and I don’t always want a low calorie/low fat option. I have been relying on my fullness and hunger cues to guide me through my meals. I tend to eat when my body tells me I am hungry, instead of relying on the clock to guide my mealtimes. I also try to stop eating when I am satisfied. There always comes a point in my meal, when I notice my stomach is beginning to feel full, and at that point I put my fork down. Try to trust your body to let you know when it is time to eat and when to stop.

2. Box it up- Once I feel satisfied with my meal, I push my plate away and ask for a box. Then I use my boxed up meal for lunch or dinner the next day. This saves me time, money, and most likely a lot of calories. I usually do not split my meal in half right way and box it up, because everyday is different and my hunger is different at each meal. There are days when I only eat 1/4 of my meal and others days when I eat my entire entree. Once again I go back to paying attention to my body.

3. Add extra veggies- When you are constantly on the go, it can be difficult to get in your recommended veggies for the day. When you order your meal such as a burrito, sandwich, salad, or pasta dish, ask if you can order extra veggies. Instead of dispersing your veggies throughout the day, it may be easier to eat a larger amount at one or two sittings. Veggies are packed with vitamins and minerals to help keep your immune system functioning at optimum level when you are stressed, and they are also full of fiber to help you feel fuller longer.

4. Grap a protein bar- Remember my previous article Are Protein Bars Right For You? I encouraged whole foods, but protein bars do have a place. They can help fuel your body when you do not have any time to sit down for a meal. Hunger does not always come at a convenient time, but a protein bar can help get you through the hunger spell until your next meal.

5. Sneak in physical activity- I know. I know. Being physically active when you are busy is difficult to accomplish, but any small amount can have health benefits. Park farther away from your work, take the stairs, or go on a 5 minute walk after meals. It all adds up. You might find during this time of the day you are able to relax and let go of your other daily stresses. Plus physical activity can help maintain your weight and release “feel me good” endorphins in your body.

At first eating so often often made me uncomfortable. But I have begun to learn how to embrace my reality and enjoy it for the time being. One day (soon hopefully) I will get my kitchen back and I will look upon the days of no dishes and a different cuisine every night as fond memory.

 

 

17. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Healthy Eating, Supplents · Tags: , ,

protein barsEvery time I go down the supplement aisle at the grocery store, I am amazed at how many protein bars there are to choose from.  When protein bars first came out they were gross and not appetizing, however, over the years protein bars have improved their taste.  With all the different flavors there are to choose from it can feel like you are picking out a candy bar instead of a health food (which sometimes the amount of sugar mimics those in candy bars).  Lots of people ask me if protein bars are suitable for them.  I say “It depends.”

Benefits

My favorite part about protein bars is their convenience.  You can carry them in your purse, gym bag or brief case and they hold up just fine (unless of course you place them the sun).  They are shelf stable and do not go bad like fruit or a turkey sandwich.  Plus you can find them in any grocery store and most gas stations. Another benefit for most people is that they are calorie controlled.  The packaging lists the exact calories in the item, which might make it easier for people who are counting calories to lose weight.  Basically, it takes the guess work out.  In fact, some studies have shown that people who use protein bars or shakes as meal replacements may succeed with initial weight loss attempts.  They can also be a beneficial after resistance training such as lifting weights to help replenish your energy stores and aid in muscle growth.

Disadvantages

One of the biggest disadvantages of a protein bar is the price.  I cannot believe how expensive they have become.  I rarely see a protein bar for less then $2.50 and most are over $3.00.  The amount can really add up even if you are having only 1-2 a day.  Even though most protein bars contain a variety of nutrients, they are not the way nature intended. Protein bars are a processed food and usually have added sugars in them to help make them taste better.  The vitamins and minerals might not help your body the same way as natural foods like apples or a string cheese.  Plus you may be missing out on other nutrients such as fiber and phytochemicals that occur naturally in food.  Lastly, if you are eating protein bars to help build muscle without combining it with resistance training you are wasting your money.  Protein consumption can only help aid in muscle growth if  combined with resistance training.

Conclusion

I think protein bars have a place, such as when you are in a rush or traveling.  In college I would pack a protein bar in my backpack if I was going to have a long day at school.  Even if it was smashed by a book I could still eat it :)  Protein bars might also help you reach your weight loss/gain goals.  But overall I feel natural food tends to be a better choice nutritionally and financially.  Try packing half a peanut butter/banana sandwich in your bag or a handful of almonds as a snack for later.  If you do choose to have a protein bar, try to aim for one that has 250 calories, less than 12 g sugar, and 10-15 g protein.

12. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Ethnic Cooking, Q&A · Tags: , , , , , ,
Ghee purchased from the local Chico Farmers Market

Ghee purchased from the local Chico Farmers Market

The other day I went to the farmers market and I came across a new booth that was selling ghee.  Ghee is clarified butter that is primarily used in Indian cooking.  I was very excited to see ghee being sold since it is difficult to find and takes time to make.  To make ghee, butter is cooked over low heat until the water evaporates and the milk solids separate.  The milk solids are then removed and you are left with ghee.  One of the best advantages of ghee is its high smoke point of 485 F, which allows you to use it for baking, sautéing or frying.  The nutty flavor of ghee tastes great in cooking and adds a flavorful richness to your foods.  It is also considered dairy-free and shelf stable.

Ghee has been touted by Ayurvedic medicine as being essential to a balanced diet.  It claims ghee can aid in digestion, improve memory function, and reduce inflammation in the body.  Ghee has also been used topically to soften skin and help heal burns.  But are these claims true?  Being the dietitian I am, I tried investigating research articles to see if any of the Ayurvedic claims were proven to be true.  To my disappointment there has not been much research involving ghee.  There were only two articles I found that pertained to ghee.  The first, published in the International Journal of Cardiologyfound that high consumption of trans-fat, milk, and clarified butter (ghee) combined with a sedentary lifestyle was associated with higher rates of coronary artery disease.   But to be honest, this is not surprising. Any diet high in animal fat combined with low physical activity may lead to coronary heart disease.

The second article I found was a little more promising.  This research was recently published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research, and demonstrated ghee was superior to soybean oil in the down-regulation of carcinogen-metabolizing enzymes in the liver of rats.  Ghee’s anticarcinogenic properties may be attributed to the conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) according to the researchers.  Even though this research may show ghee as beneficial we need much more research.  The research in this study was performed on rats which does mean the same benefits can be applied to humans.  In addition, the research was funded by the dairy council in India which may have had a vested interest in the results of the study.

So should you use ghee in your cooking? If you are looking for a healthy fat I would still recommend extra virgin olive oil, but if you want to try something new or want an alternative to butter I would say go ahead and give ghee a try.  Ghee is still considered a saturated fat and like any fat it should be used in moderation.   I would not expect any miracles to happen from ghee, but it might add some delicious flavor to your meals and help you prepare items that require a high smoke point.   If you would like to purchase ghee you can get it here.  Happy cooking :)

24. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Healthy Eating

Revive Your CookingDo you ever feel like all your meals start to look the same?  It can be challenging to prepare a variety of different recipes, especially if you are trying to prepare healthy meal options. Eventually all your meals begin to look like chicken breast, brown rice, and vegetables.  I have lots of clients tell me they get tired of the same old thing and need some inspiration for meals.  Here are 5 ways to help revitalize your cooking at home!

1. Try a different cuisine: Lots of us feel comfortable with cuisines that we are used to cooking.  My family is Italian and my mother taught me how to make delicious Italian food.  I feel in my comfort zone when I am cooking Italian.   But I am not as confident at Chinese, Thai, or Mexican food.  However, attempting to make these dishes can really spice up your menu at home.  Even if the first dish does not taste right, try it again.  You will become more comfortable with the recipes and cuisines the more you make them. Try developing a cultural foods night with friends to inspire you to try different dishes

2. Mimic your favorite entree:  It can be fun and less expensive to make your favorite dish at home.  It might not taste exactly the same way as the restaurant but that is okay.  Keep trying or add your own flair to it.  When you order your favorite dish out, pay close attention to all the flavors and try to reproduce it at home.  If you feel the dish is too decadent to have on a consistent basis, try to substitute healthier options such as non fat yogurt for sour cream.  It can be a fun game to try to mimic the dish at home.  Plus, you might appreciate the meal even more when you go out.

3.  Check out Pinterest- It is very inspiring to look at all the beautiful pictures of food on Pinterest.  Once you click on the picture it will lead you to the site that has the recipe.  You might even come across a blog that features a bunch of recipes you would like to try.  Even if you don’t prepare all the different recipes it can get the creative juices going.

4.  Get the family involved: Maybe another family member has a favorite dish they want to try at home.  The kids can look at pictures on the internet and pick out a recipe, or scrummage through magazines to help find new dishes.  Great places to look for recipes are Allrecipes, The Food Network, or Epicurious. Ask your family if there is anything they want to try prior to going to the grocery store.  This helps make your family more involved and does not put all the pressure on you.

5.  Ask friends and family: Try other people’s “usual” recipes instead of your own.  It must be a good recipe if they tend to make it a lot.  You could even take it one step further and exchange recipes through email among a group of friends and family.  This would give you a variety of new recipes to choose from.

Trying new recipes can be scary, but eventually you will become more confident in your cooking skills.  With time, you might even be able to develop your own recipes based on your newly developed culinary skills and creativity.

A delicious meal served at an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Conference

A delicious meal served at an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Conference

Did you know March is National Nutrition Month?  National Nutrition Month was developed by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics  to develop awareness of healthy eating habits and importance of physical activity.  This year the Academy challenged dietitians to blog about what “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day” means to them.  So I figured I would give it a shot :)

Eat Right

Throughout the course of my day I tend to focus on “what to eat” rather than “what not to eat?”  I aim to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables at each meal to help keep my body functioning properly and reduce  my chances of developing chronic disease.  I try to include a protein at every meal such as eggs, cottage cheese, beans, chicken or fish to help my body repair cells and make new ones.    Including protein at each meal, also makes my meals more satisfying.  Lastly, I tend to choose whole grains such as brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, or 100% whole wheat bread.  The fiber in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables may reduce my risk of developing cancer later on in life, and keeps my GI tract in working order.  As you can see I try to include variety on my plate and aim to include three or more  food groups at each meal.  For snacks I usually include at least two of the food groups such as a string cheese and an apple.  The SuperTracker on my plate.gov is a great resource to identify how many servings of each food group you should aim for each day.

Your Way

I am all about balance.  I enjoy eating wholesome foods but I also have a sweet tooth and I try not to deny myself good tasting food.  Health is about more than counting calories, it is also about enjoying your meals, laughing, exercising and spending time with people you love. I am never in perfect balance in life, but it is something I always strive for.  I also like to tell my clients that what works for me may not work for them.  Developing a balanced, healthy life is unique to each individual and it is important to explore what works for you and what doesn’t.  Keeping a journal is a great way to become more in tuned with yourself and identify healthful strategies that work for you.

Every day

Every day I try to make choices that increase my well being, whether that is a walk in the park, holding hands with my husband, or eating a delicious, healthful meal.  Somedays I may get off track and sway to one extreme or the other, but I know where my fulcrum is and I make it a priority everyday to try to get back there.  Every day presents new challenges and not every day will be easy, but if you know where your priorities are it will help guide your decisions.  I would love for you to share with me your ideas on what “Eat Right, Your Way,  Every Day” means to you.