Archive for the ‘General Nutrition’ Category

WHEN “NATURAL” ISN’T

Friday, October 9th, 2015

I really wanted to like this product.

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“Wild Ophelia” http://www.wildophelia.com/#our-chocolate, an offshoot of the Chicago-based, woman-owned company Vosges Haut-Chocolat https://www.vosgeschocolate.com/story and the brand behind this particular chocolate bar is described as “the spirited younger sister of Vosges Haut-Chocolate”.  I mean, consider the things we have in common; Chicago is my adopted hometown, there’s a “sisterhood” of women biz owners, I’ve eaten Vosges products before and LOVED them, and dark chocolate holds ever-steadily at the top of my list of food must-haves. . .I really, really wanted to like this product.

And in support of my October breast cancer action to highlight food and nutrition to elevate health and optimize healing, good quality chocolate is a topic that fits right in – it’s flavorful, satisfying, and a source of antioxidants http://www.med.umich.edu/umim/food-pyramid/dark_chocolate.html

Earlier this week I attended a conference where piles of this chocolate bar were available, serving both as a complementary snack and a clever marketing initiative to ~ 2,000 women.

Never mind that I was drawn to it as a treat for my husband.

I like my dark chocolate either straight up, or smeared with homemade peanut butter; he fancies the kick of chili pepper.

Perfect. I snagged a couple.

But as I examined the label more closely it struck me (and not for the first time), how consumers trying to make conscious choices for health – particularly my audience of women eating to elevate health and optimize healing in the fight against breast cancer – can easily be duped.

Notice the words “ALL NATURAL” stamped predominantly on the front. But flip the package over, scan the ingredient list, and you find “soy lecithin.”

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Spoiler alert. The only thing natural about soy lecithin is that it originates (very early on in processing) as a soybean.

Hopefully, yet potentially not, a non-GMO soybean.

Here are two links to info on what soy lecithin is and how it’s actually derived from the soybean plant – the first, a quick read, the second, a deeper dive; 1. http://blog.fooducate.com/2009/07/07/what-is-soy-lecithin-and-why-is-it-found-in-so-many-products/, 2. http://www.soyinfocenter.com/HSS/lecithin1.php.

Essentially, soy lecithin is added to foods as an emulsifier to help prevent oil from separating from other ingredients while allowing the ingredients to bind or blend nicely together.

My concern with “natural” splashed across the front of so many food labels – you simply need to buy food to see hundreds of examples – is that it misleads people to believe that the food they’re eating is somehow “better or healthier” for them, when in fact that doesn’t always hold true. Here’s an article that speaks more to this issue: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/what-does-natural-really-mean-on-food-labels/

Let me be clear. I’m not saying “DON’T EAT” this product. It’s strictly a personal choice to determine which ingredients (and how much of them) you’re ok with. Will occasionally eating one of these chocolate bars trigger illness or death (as some would lead you to believe)? Of course not. My goal is simply to educate my readers so that they can make confident decisions on their own.

Katrina Markoff’s initiative and mission behind “Wild Ophelia” is incredibly laudable, http://www.wildophelia.com/#our-chocolate, and if my previous experiences with her product hold true, the chocolate bar is AMAZING (full disclosure – I haven’t tasted it). It’s simply my hope that small, “do-good” food companies such as hers will lead the effort in using food labeling terms responsibly and authentically so people can feel confident making food decisions for health.

I strongly encourage breast cancer patients and survivors to consider everything they put into (and on!) their body by asking themselves; does this support health, optimize healing, and support an internal environment inhospitable to cancer? Those questions can be game-changers; for both the woman, and food manufacturers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRAVEL WELL

Monday, October 5th, 2015

Happy Monday!

For me, blogging consistently throughout the month of October accomplishes two goals:

#1 Helping women who HAVEN’T been diagnosed with breast cancer use nutrition, food and fitness to elevate their health – from whatever level of health they’re currently at.

#2 Helping women who HAVE been diagnosed with breast cancer use nutrition, food and fitness to optimize healing. That means during treatment, “assisting” radiation and/or chemo without further compromising health, and after treatment, to regain strength and vitality, and reduce risk of recurrence.

Today, I’m writing a healthy tip for travel.

If you’re working to optimize your nutrition and fitness routine, but get thrown off track when wanderlust kicks in, this tip that may help you stay steady.

First of all, realize that NO ONE eats a perfect diet, 100% of the time – even for someone focused on optimal health. It’s impossible. Boring. Limited. And yes, cancer treatment and travel do happen at the same time – so think about taking care of yourself wherever you are.

We all know that travel is about new EXPERIENCES, and trying regional, local foods is one of them.

When I’m on the road, starting the day with foods that nourish and sustain me sets the tone for making healthier choices (yes, new food experiences and healthy can co-exist) for the remainder of the day. And it FUELS me for whatever comes my way before lunch.

So when packing my luggage, I also pack my breakfast. Wait, don’t freak, stay with me here for a moment.

I know you’re probably thinking, “This woman is crazy. I barely can get my bags packed, let alone think about schlepping food.” But let’s make a deal. Just try it once, and let me know how it goes.

Here’s what I do:

  • To a Ziplock baggie, add 1/3 cup quick cooking oats, 1 scoop protein powder, 1.5 Tablespoons ground flax, 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon, 2 Tablespoons raisins.
  • Make one for each day you travel. Toss them all in a gallon Ziplock bag, along with a piece of fruit (apples and oranges travel best) for each day. In the photo below you also see Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter; I had an extra package and tossed it in – because it’s HEAVEN stirred into oatmeal.
  • In the morning, simply dump the contents of your packet into a coffee cup, add hot water from the coffee maker and voila. . .you’ve got a healthy, delicious, nourishing, energizing start to your day.

You probably don’t want to hear this, but I also sometimes pack a sturdy, large mug. . .what can I say? Many hotel rooms only provide styrofoam cups, but I encourage you never to use them – once hot water hits the styrofoam, nasty chemicals are released – and trust me, there are enough cancer-promoting toxins floating around our environment; there’s no need to ingest them intentionally.

So there you have it. My “on-the-road”, keeping it healthy tip. If you try it, PLEASE let me know how it worked out for you. Call me crazy, but I think you’ll thank me.

If you liked this post, please share on FB, Twitter, etc., and follow me on Twitter and Instagram at @cathylemanrd.

Have a happy, healthy day!

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“Tricked Out” Veggies For Your 4th of July Table”

Monday, June 30th, 2014

For many, the 4th is a favorite holiday, what with no obligatory gift giving or main event meal requiring days of advance preparation. But every holiday has its celebratory foods – and why should the 4th be any different?

Holiday foods ARE fun, but they tend to include choices you may not make on a regular basis. With a typical 4th food lineup boasting pounds of barbecued meat, gallons of alcoholic beverages, and loads of frozen desserts, “balanced nutrition” can be pushed ever so slightly out of balance.

It’s important to remember that one meal, heck, even one day of eating “out of balance” doesn’t make or break a healthy diet; it’s the choices you make day in and day out that matter over the long haul.

Even still, it never hurts to offer healthy choices, for yourself and your guests; they’ll appreciate it, and you’ll feel good about it.

Since there’s often a dearth of vegetables on the 4th table – so sad considering this is the time of year when they’re plentiful and at their peak – here are a couple to consider, tricked out to taste delicious and deliver an explosion of flavor.

Roasted Carrots and Garlic w/Honey Drizzle and Sea Salt: Stop by your farmer’s market for fresh carrots, garlic, and local honey. Clean, peel and chop carrots into 2 inch pieces. Peel several large cloves of garlic. Drizzle the carrots and garlic with olive oil and roast at 450 degrees for ~ 30 minutes. When they’re fresh out of the oven, toss with honey and sprinkle with sea salt.

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Sauteed Cabbage Ribbons: While you’re at the market, pick out a heavy, green cabbage. Use a food processor attachment or sharp chef’s knife to make thin “ribbons”. Saute the “ribbons” in olive oil with a sprinkle of sugar and kiss of sea salt until buttery soft and translucent in color. Delicious as a side dish, or piled high on a veggie burger. Cabbage dscn07301

 

 

 

 

 

Drop Gluten, Drop Weight?

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

Is going gluten-free all it’s cracked up to be?

If you suffer from celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, the short answer is yes.

And that still holds true for those with a definitive diagnosis of celiac. But just last week, new research out of Monash University in Australia called into question whether non-celiac gluten sensitivity even exists (Gluten Sensitivity and Study Replication).

In 2011, an experiment at Monash was instrumental in coining the term “non-celiac gluten sensitivity” as a way to describe the gastrointestinal distress experienced after eating gluten-containing foods in people without celiac disease.

This recent study cycled self-identified gluten-sensitive participants through high, low and no-gluten diets. In the end, ALL of the diets triggered some level of discomfort, regardless of whether the diet contained gluten or not, leaving the researchers to postulate that gluten may not be the culprit in the participant’s GI discomfort.

Interesting, you say, but what does this have to do with weight loss?

First, let’s be clear. True celiac disease is an auto-immune disorder. It must be managed for life with a gluten-free diet consisting mostly of naturally gluten-free whole foods including fruits, vegetables, dried beans, nuts, seeds, dairy, fish, and lean meats; the same healthy diet recommendations made for those without celiac.

The gluten-free “craze” however, leads consumers to believe that eliminating gluten-containing foods or eating (expensive) “gluten-free” products results in weight loss (read any popular celebrity magazine/blog. . .you’ll see what I mean).

For example, according to independent research firm Mintel, 27% of Americans specifically choose gluten-free foods as a way to help them lose weight.

For those struggling with eating disorders, citing a gluten allergy or intolerance is viewed as a valid way to skip meals (where non-gluten items aren’t available), or eliminate certain foods from the diet altogether – behaviors that fuel the eating disorder.

I’m all about helping people nutritionally manage medical conditions; it’s what I love to do. But at the end of the day, here’s the honest truth.

There is no magic food, pill or potion that will help you lose weight and keep it off.

Dumbbells

 

NOTHING, AND I MEAN NOTHING BEATS THE COMBINATION OF EATING HEALTHY AND EXERCISING REGULARLY.

You’ve gotta make the commitment.

Now, what will it take to make that combo non-negotiable for you?

Not sure? NutriFit can help.

Call 630.469.6548 today to schedule a  consultation. You’ll learn just how easy “non-negotiable” can be.

 

Reference: http://www.todaysdietitian.com/enewsletter/enews_0514_01.shtml

Feed Me Friday!

Friday, November 8th, 2013

I am a huge fan of cooking on the weekend for the week ahead. It saves time, money, energy and YOUR SANITY!

That said, I know how easy it can be to get into a cooking rut, making the same dish over and over and over; many of my clients struggle with this. Because my mission is to provide nutrition solutions to my client’s nutrition dilemmas, I thought a “Feed Me Friday” theme, featuring a new plant-based recipe each week could help.

I don’t have an actual pic of my dish, simply didn’t get it done, so I’m using “other” photos. I’ll be better in future – promise!

The photo below is one I took while dining at a Persian restaurant in San Diego. My dish is similar in appearance, so this gives you an idea of the finished product.

Here’s my inaugural post, I hope you enjoy the delicious results.

Curry-Kissed Lentil Millet Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 medium onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons turmeric

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 tablespoon curry powder

3 tablespoons black mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 can pumpkin (not pie filling)

1 can tomato paste

8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

3/4 cup green lentils

1/3 cup millet

1. In a large stock pot, saute onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons water until soft (add more water as needed to prevent sticking).

2. Add turmeric, curry powder, black mustard seeds and kosher salt, mix well with the onion and garlic. Cover the pot; the mustard seeds will begin to pop and jump and you don’t want them to escape. When the popping stops, remove the cover and stir the spices again, adding a bit of water as needed to prevent sticking. Cook the spices and vegetables ~ 5 minutes.

3. Stir pumpkin and tomato paste into the spice/veggie mixture, blend well and cook for 5 minutes.

4. Add broth, lentils and millet, stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down so the soup simmers gently. Partially cover the  pot and let cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally until lentils are soft.

NutriTIPS

* Add more water if you like “soupier” soup.

* Find millet in grocery stores sporting a bulk section that includes a variety of grains, dried beans, etc. Whole Foods, of course, but also check co-ops and other nutrition-forward locations. If you can’t find (or don’t want to search for) millet, don’t let it stop you from making this soup; it’s delicious even without it. However, this small yellow grain is a good source of fiber and protein, vitamins and minerals. It also contains the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, beneficial in promoting eye health. Learn about millet.

millet-raw

Raw Millet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* This particular collection of spices is common in Indian cooking. As a whole, this combination adds a rich, satisfying layer of flavor; individually these spices contribute important vitamins, minerals and strong antioxidant properties.  About this link: I haven’t used this particular company to purchase spices, but the founder is a fellow Chicagoan (solidarity!). I ran across her work one day and was smitten, partially because I love Indian food, but also because I found her story fascinating! Indian Spice Selection.

Indian Spice Collection

Indian Spice Collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooking My Way Through “Forks Over Knives” – Better Late Than Never

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Though “The How-To Companion” to the feature documentary “Forks Over Knives” has been out for a couple of years, I’ve only recently picked up a copy. The reasons for only now getting to this small but mighty book are many, but primarily, I didn’t know it existed.

Yum Yum!

Yum Yum!

I did, however, know about the documentary, and this past weekend I actually viewed it. What can I say? It’s a “must-see”, even if like me you’re a little late to the party. As a nutrition professional, my radar is always up for the latest on the health and nutrition frontlines, but it can be a struggle to keep up with it all. I mean, even though I LOVE my field, there are times I want to simply absorb a great foreign film and give my professional brain a (temporary) break.

That said, I highly recommend both the documentary and the book (you can check out both from your local library to sample, then purchase your own copy). The great thing about the book is that parts 1 and 2 illustrate the connection between a plant-based diet and health (in a reader-friendly way), and highlight some of the folks featured/profiled/starring in the film, while part 3 is all about the recipes. The bonus? Part 3 is bigger than parts 1 and 2 combined! Why is that so exciting? Because the recipes offer so much in the way of variety that I can’t imagine my taste buds ever getting bored. Oh, and every, single recipe that I’ve prepared has been surprisingly DELICIOUS.

It’s not that the actual deliciousness of plant-based recipes surprises me. On the contrary. I’m a longtime vegetarian/vegan constantly on the prowl for new plant-based recipes and ideas. The surprise comes from discovering such a strong consistency of deliciousness. Sometimes cookbooks have a handful of stellar recipes while the remainder merely fill pages. I’m five recipes into this cookbook and haven’t found that to be the case – so for me, it’s a winner.

I’m including a soup recipe here, along with the changes I made. Unfortunately there’s no photo – we ate it before I snapped a pic! Even though summer is in full swing here in the Chicago area, my husband and I love soup. Any time of year, really. It’s easy to tote to work, quick to re-heat for lunch, and is typically a meal-in-one-bowl. Love soup’s simplicity and utter satisfaction, especially this one.

 Yellow Split Pea and Leek Soup

2 cups yellow split peas

6 cups water

2 carrots, cut into small dice (I had no carrots, so I used a large sweet potato, peeled and diced)

1 red onion, cut into small dice

3 leeks, white and light green parts, cut into small dice

4 celery stalks, cut into small dice

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons low-sodium tamari

1. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil and add the peas. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the peas are soft (start checking them 45 minutes into the cooking time; it will vary).

2. When the peas are soft, add the carrots, onion, leeks and celery. Cook for 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Add salt and tamari, stir to blend well.

** I used an immersion blender to produce a smooth, creamy textured soup. I also added a cube of vegetarian bouillon (can’t remember the brand) along with the vegetables. Although I used water as the base, a good vegetable stock would also work nicely.

 

 

 

Shedding “The Shoulds”

Friday, June 28th, 2013

This past week I sort of felt like I was in a nutrition therapy session loop (nothing to do with my Chicago loop office, just a rather continuous conversational loop).

Repeatedly my clients used the word “should”, like this: “I SHOULD not have ordered that sandwich, but I did anyway”. “I thought I SHOULD have eaten less of that, but it tasted so good”. “It was my birthday/anniversary/golf outing, so even though I didn’t think I SHOULD eat X, I told myself it was ok”.

See what I mean? Over and over and over. The theme of “should”.

There’s nothing wrong with “shoulds” when they’re used to keep you safe, healthy or happy, or make things convenient. For example, you should brush, floss, and shower daily (healthy, happy – you and others). You should keep gas in your car’s tank (safe), and extra toilet paper under the bathroom sink (convenience). Outside of that, where else does “should” serve you, or serve the process of eating intuitively and mindfully?

That’s the thing about “shoulds”. They don’t allow you to intuitively listen to, nor honor, the subtle signals that your body constantly sends you.

Your body will tell you what you’re in the mood for (maybe you actually DO want a sandwich). It will tell you how much to eat (maybe the amount you ate was adequate, instead of too much). And, your body will tell you when you’ve had enough (we all eat “celebratory” foods at celebratory occasions – your body will signal you to stop).

You can’t out-think, out-analyze, out-rationalize, or outsmart your body’s wisdom. . .don’t even try. Yet when my clients employ “shoulds” based on outside information (plate size, occasion, menu items), that’s exactly what they’re trying to do.

Speaking of “shoulds”, I frequently remind my clients that exposing themselves to foods they feel they should avoid lessens the power of that particular food. The food becomes less scary, and they’re less frequently confronted with, “I should not have eaten that entire batch of cookies”.

To that end, I’m sharing one of my favorite oatmeal cookie recipes; cookies regularly top the “should not eat” list.

I respectfully disagree.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIES (Vegan)

Makes 2 dozen cookies.

1/3 cup soy milk

2 tablespoons ground flax seeds

2/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (fresh is best)

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 quick-cooking oats

1/2 cup raisins

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, use a fork to vigorously mix together the soy milk and flax seeds. Add in the sugar and oil and mix until it resembles caramel, about 2 minutes. Mix in the vanilla. Sift in the flour, spices, and salt, mixing the dry ingredients as they are being added. Fold in the oatmeal and raisins.

3. Drop dough in generous tablespoons, about 2 inches apart, onto the baking sheets. Flatten the tops a bit (use a spoon dipped in warm water) since they don’t spread much. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

4. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Store in a tightly covered container.

From “Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar” by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero

 

 

Countdown to 1/2 Marathon – Day 16

Friday, April 12th, 2013

This week has been quite the week at the NutriFit studio for nutrition questions and discussion about who is qualified to know their (nutrition) stuff or not. I know this post is starting off a bit differently from my other Countdown posts, but at the end of the day, let’s not forget that I AM a dietitian/nutritionist, who also happens to be a fitness professional and a running junkie.

First up, the nutrition questions. I received two separate questions about SUGAR, and one, just this morning as I was working out, about PROTEIN SHAKES. I’ll save those for a future post, and for now will address the issue top of mind for me; who, exactly, is qualified to work as a nutrition expert? Two things got me going on the topic.

The first: The gym where I work out each day (no, I don’t work out at my own studio, I’m too busy WORKING when I’m here) is kicking off a series of nutrition programs led by a woman who, to the best of my knowledge (because if she had credentials they’d be highlighted on all of the program materials, right?) has only the experience of “The Academy of I Lost Weight” as her nutrition training. No nutrition degree, no credentialing by The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Nothing. Zip. Nada. Wait, she is listed as a “Healthy Living Adviser”. . .which is what, exactly?

The reason this sticks in my craw is because I worked long and hard to earn my nutrition degree, complete my internship, and earn my masters degree. I do medical nutrition therapy, and work as a nutrition therapist, helping people each and every week make changes that literally save their lives. I take the work that I do VERY seriously, and am privileged to be able to do it.

Not that this woman doesn’t take nutrition seriously. In fact, I’m sure she’s very enthusiastic and pro-nutrition, and probably a generally lovely person. I mean, good for her that she wants to help people be healthier – nothing wrong with that. But when, during the course of her programs she receives questions that can’t be answered from her book of “life-experience-with-losing-weight”, I shudder to think how she’ll respond. People frequently receive erroneous (and potentially harmful) nutrition information from people not qualified to be sharing it. This is also how nutrition myths and untruths are fueled.

The second: This article,”Actually, No You’re Not A Nutrition Expert”, by Dr. David Katz, eloquently and brilliantly captures the essence of the madness that surrounds the “everyone eats, so everyone is a nutrition expert” school of thought. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-katz-md/nutrition-advice_b_3061646.html. Thank you, Dr. Katz, from a highly credentialed and experienced nutritionist who can proudly and legitimately call herself a nutrition expert.

The moral of this post? Check out the cred of anyone who calls themselves anything other than a registered dietitian/nutritionist. To be fair, I know there are qualified nutrition experts who aren’t RDN’s, but then, I know what to look for in credentials and can ferret them out – but I’m not confident the general public can.

Whew. Thanks, I feel so much better.

Generally Agreed Upon To Be a Healthy Choice.

Tossed, Green Salad. Generally Agreed Upon To Be a Safe, Healthy Choice.

 

 

Remember When Soda Pop Was A Treat?

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Yesterday, I had a conversation with a client that flashed back a memory of my childhood. He shared how each Friday his mom would make popcorn for him and his three siblings. When they had popcorn, and only when they had popcorn, they got to drink SODA. Root beer, to be exact.

When I was little, my mom would let us have Pepsi (the REAL thing mind you – diet Pepsi didn’t exist, gasp!), only when we had pizza (homemade, of course – not takeout – that wasn’t available where I lived, either) or movie night popcorn. Oh, and this was a t.v. movie – no dvd’s, no video, no dvr. Lord. How did we survive?

Anyway, it’s not that I’m oblivious to or surprised by the fact that now, many people consume soda pop – diet or otherwise – practically nonstop throughout the day. Heck, my brother is one of them! It’s that the memory made me think about how at the time, neither my client nor myself considered drinking pop only for a treat as unusual – it was simply the norm at the time.

It made me think just how far “the norm” has shifted.

Meal, Ready-to-eat (MRE)

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

I have 5 amazing nephews, one of whom happens to be a Marine. I was fortunate to spend time with him over the Labor Day holiday when he made an unexpected trip home, brimming with stories of weeks in “the field”, grueling training sessions, and of course, the food. 

When he first arrived in California (a mere 12 months ago), I found it particularly endearing when he recounted his meals during our phone calls. He excitedly described meals loaded with fruits, veggies, and protein – no junk. This from a kid who was practically raised on junk.

As much as I don’t like to think about it, he’s being trained to fight – and that training regimen requires calories. Lots of ’em. He’s young, he’s more physically active in one afternoon than most people are in one week, he carries 100+ pound packs for miles, and on occasion totes guns and other weapons that he’s told me weigh as much as I do.

He trains in conditions ranging from blistering desert heat to relentless rain and numbing cold. He has to be mentally and physically tough, and he has to be well-fed, getting plenty of nutrients that support both.

MRE

MRE

When out in the field, he carries his own food; Meals, Ready to eat, or MRE for short. He brought one home with him and demonstrated the preparation method. We all tasted “veggie burger in barbecue sauce” – it was fascinating, and I found the language on the box especially interesting.

“You are more active during field training, deployment and combat than in garrison. You need to eat more and drink more water or other fluids in these situations. When you don’t eat enough to meet your body’s energy needs, you lose weight. This can lead to a loss of body fluids and degrades your performance. In the field you NEED three meals per day. Restriction of food and nutrients leads to rapid weight loss which leads to: loss of strength, decreased endurance, loss of motivation, decreased mental alertness.”

And there you have it. Food = fuel = energy = improved performance and alertness; something even us civilians can benefit from.

MRE

MRE

Fun Nutrition Presentation!

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

This morning I was privileged to be featured as a speaker at our local cozy, cute bookstore aptly titled, “The Bookstore” http://www.justthebookstore.com/. Two women from my community are participating in the AVON Breast Cancer walk and were interested in bringing folks together over healthy food in support of their fund raising efforts. I came in to speak about nutrition and cancer prevention, and eating to fuel activity (like a 2-day, 30+ mile walk!).

A few points that I made during the program were 1) focus on REAL food, 2) choose food that is as close to its original form as possible, 3) focus on a plant-based diet.

I prepared energy bars made with wheat germ, nuts, dried fruit, and oats, and whipped up soy smoothies made with vanilla soy milk, frozen strawberries, and orange juice concentrate. I wanted to share these easy recipes and tips to show just how simple (and inexpensive) it is to make your own energy bars.

I find that many of energy/meal replacement bars on the market are glorified candy bars. Preparing them yourself allows you to control the sweet, salty, and fat components of the flavor profile. You can even customize with your favorite dried fruit and nut combo – recipes are really just a guideline.

We had a great turnout, everyone loved the food, and we had an interesting conversation about the power of “real” food. As I like to say, make your kitchen your medicine cabinet!

Here’s the recipe for the smoothie we sampled; enjoy!

Fruit and Soy Smoothie

  • 2 Tbs. orange juice concentrate
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries, unsweetened
  • 1 cup vanilla soy milk

In a blender, puree all ingredients until creamy. Serve immediately.

Welcome.

Monday, May 11th, 2009

An updated website certainly deserves to be outfitted with all of the latest site “must-haves”, and without question a blog is the perfect accessory. I’ve been reading about, hearing about, learning about blogs for at least a year; at one point I even attempted to create one, but wasn’t at all sure how to go about it. Thank heavens for my genius website designer. I’m still way behind the learning curve, but I’d say this is progress!

I really think that my blog needs a name, other than, blog. I didn’t want to hold up the launch of my new site any longer while I vascillated between a couple of different blog names. . .so for now, blog it is. I’ve got a name in mind that I really like – but I’d love to hear your clever, catchy ideas. Send me your thoughts by June 1, 2009. If I select your idea for the new title, you’ll receive a complimentary copy of my booklet, “Eat Healthy. Live Healthy. 114 Easy Ways To Make Good Nutrition A Habit”.

So welcome to my blog and my inaugural post. I hope you visit often, and I promise to remain true to my commitment to blog regularly. Because nutrition is constantly on the front lines, it’s my professional duty and my pleasure to keep you accurately informed. I don’t portend to know EVERYTHING, and luckily have a whole host of wonderful resources to tap when I’m stumped.

My mission for my blog is simple. 1) separate the nutrition hype from the help 2) help you eat nutritiously, simply 3) provide healthy inspiration and ideas for nutritious choices and getting regular exercise 4) encourage healthy conversation about eating well and staying fit.

There are a handful of topics about which I am passionate and vocal, and will blog about consistently; women’s nutritional health and self-care, emotional and disordered eating, cooking at home, eating out judiciously (notice I didn’t say “less”?), getting and staying fit, and the power of a healthy diet.

Obviously, those topics pave the way for a vast list of subtopics, but that’s the point, right? I’m very excited – there’s just so much to talk about!