Spinach Cheesy Lasagna

By Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N.

Here’s an easy-to-fix lasagna that can be fixed ahead & makes a great family meal. The time consuming part of this recipe is cooking the lasagna. The rest is just matter of adding prepared ingredients & baking.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:  324 calories, 25 grams protein, 10 grams of fat,  36 grams of CHO, 4 grams dietary fiber, 928 mg sodium.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes Cook: 30 minutes 

Serves:  8

Ingredients

  • 2 cups 1% reduced fat or fat free cottage cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
  • 2 ½ cups (20 oz) spaghetti sauce with mushrooms
  • 9 cooked lasagna noodles
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 6 tablespoons of grated reduced fat Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Combine first 2 ingredients in a medium bowl, mixing well then set aside. Spread 1/3 cup spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 13X9X2-inch baking dish.  Place 3 noodles over the sauce then place 1/3 of spinach mixture, 1/3 of mozzarella cheese, 2 tbsp of Parmesan cheese.  Repeat with 1/3 spaghetti sauce, 3 noodles, 1/3 spinach mixture with 1/3 of mozzarella cheese, 2 tbsp of Parmesan cheese. Repeat but top with mozzarella cheese. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 – 35 minutes or until heated thoroughly. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

 

Shopping List

  • 1% reduced fat or fat free cottage cheese
  • eggs
  • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach
  • spaghetti sauce with mushrooms
  • lasagna noodles
  • 8 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • grated reduced fat Parmesan cheese

Image from: mnrecipes.com/hidden-spinach-lasagna/

Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N., is a registered dietitian with a Master’s Degree in clinical nutrition.  The former publisher of Kentuckiana HealthFitness Magazine, Kentuckiana Healthy Woman magazine and radio show host of Health News You Can Use, Barbara has over 30 years of experience in promoting healthy lifestyles to consumers.  Barbara worked as Nutrition Consultant to the Navy SEALs (8 years) and the University of Louisville Athletic Department (10 years). Barbara has private practice, DayByDay Nutrition, www.DayByDayNutrition.com, where she counsels clients on weight loss, cholesterol management, performance nutrition and an array of other medical issues.  Visit Barbara’s new website which is an on-line health & wellness magazine, www.KentuckianaHealthWellness.com. Barbara writes nutrition and health columns for www.LiveStrong.com as well as a weekly nutrition column for the Southeast Outlook. She also designs and presents employee wellness programs to small and large businesses. Barbara is a runner, cyclist, hiker and a mother and grandmother to 13 grandchildren.    

 

Fueling the ULTRA- Distance Athlete

By Nancy Clark, MS RD CSSD

If you are an endurance athlete who is training for an Ironman triathlon, century bike ride, or a swim across the English Channel, you need a food plan. Don’t be the fool  who comments, “My training program is good, but my eating is bad.” Performance starts with fueling, not training! This article provides nutrition tips for ultra-endurance athletes as well as ordinary exercisers who want ultra-energy.

Tip #1. Acknowledge the power of being well fueled. I counsel many already-lean athletes who are convinced they will perform better if they lose just a few more pounds. They fail to realize they will perform better by eating, not dieting, and by being properly fueled. Despite popular belief, the lightest athlete may not be the best athlete. The best athlete tends to be well fueled, well trained, and genetically gifted.

If your hours of exercise have not resulted in loss of those last few pounds, listen to what your training buddies and loved ones are saying about your body. If they agree you have fat to lose, perhaps you do. But if your mother or spouse complains you are too thin, listen up! It’s time to stop dieting and focus more on fueling better to perform better.

Tip #2. Optimize your daily training diet. Your goals are to constantly be fueling-up before workouts and then re-fueling afterwards by eating on a regular schedule carbohydrate-based meals and snacks (that also include some protein). By feeding your body evenly throughout the day (as opposed to skimping on wholesome breakfasts and lunches, then overindulging in “junk” at night), you’ll have steady energy all day with no lags. The trick is to make your breakfast and morning snacks bigger and your evening food intake smaller.

When I counsel athletes, I sketch out a sample meals that fulfill their energy needs. One ultrarunner needed at least 4,000 calories a day to fuel his 15-mile daily runs. I divided his calories into four 1,000-calorie meals/food buckets. The first bucket (6:00-10:00 a.m.) was to fuel-up and refuel from his morning run; the second bucket (10:00-2:00 pm) was for an early hearty lunch; the third bucket (2:00-6:00 pm) was for a second smaller lunch plus energy bar and sports drinks to energize his 5:00 pm workout; and the fourth bucket (6:00-10:00 pm) refueled his muscles after the second workout of the day. Knowing his calorie goals for each 4-hour block helped him maintain high energy so he could train hard yet still enjoy the training sessions.

As a hungry athlete, you need to develop a similar eating strategy to fit your training schedule. One triathlete devised this routine: he drank 16 oz. of juice (i.e., carbs) before his morning swim, refueled afterwards while commuting to work with breakfast in his car (big bagel with peanut butter, a banana, milk in a travel mug). He ate a hot dinner-type meal at lunchtime (from the worksite cafeteria). He also bought at lunchtime a yogurt to add to his second lunch (granola and raisins, stocked in his desk drawer) and his evening meal (turkey sub, chocolate milk). He kept those items in the office refrigerator. This program ensured healthful food would be conveniently waiting for him and prevented him from overeating fatty take-out food at night.

Tip #3. Create a feeding plan for during exercise. Knowing your hourly calorie targets can help you maintain high energy during exercise. A sports nutritionist can help you estimate your energy needs per hour. You should try to replace at least one-third or more of the calories burned during the ultra-distance event. A good target is about 240 to 360 calories of carbohydrate per hour (60-90 g carb/h). For example, during an extended ride a cyclist could stay well fueled by consuming 1 quart sports drink (200 cals/50 g carb) + 3 fig newtons (165 cals/33 g carb) per hour, or a Clif Bar (240 cals; 45 g carb) + a gel (100 cals, 25 g carb). The goals are to maintain a normal blood glucose; if you feel dizzy or lightheaded, you are failing to consume enough calories!

Tip #4. Practice your event-day fueling. An essential part of your training is to train your intestinal tract so you can minimize undesired pit stops. During long training sessions, you want to determine which food and fluids you prefer for fuel during exercise. That is, you need to know which settles better: Gatorade or PowerAde? energy bars or  gels? liquids or solids? By developing a list of several tried-and-true foods, you need not worry about making the wrong food choice on race day.

Also think about “taste-bud burn-out.” That is, how many gels per hour can you endure in a triathlon? When hiking, how many days in a row will you enjoy oatmeal for breakfast? Will you get “sugared-out” on sports drink during the century bike ride? Plan to have a variety of options available.

Tip #5. Good nutrition starts in the grocery store. All too often, in the midst of juggling work, family, friends, sleep plus training, endurance athletes have little time left to plan, shop for, and prepare balanced sports meals. By having the right foods ready and waiting for you, you’ll eat better.

Tip #6. Plan rest days. Because ultra-distance athletes commonly feel overwhelmed by their impending task, they tend to fill every possible minute with exercise. Bad idea. Rest days are essential to reduce the risk of injury and provide muscles with time to refuel. (Remember: The bad things happen when you train; the good things happen when you rest.) Rest days also allow time for you to—tah dah—food shop!!!

Tip #7. Drink enough fluids. Ideally, you should learn your sweat rate by weighing yourself naked before and after an hour of race-pace exercise with no fluid intake. One pound lost = 16 ounces of sweat. You can then target the right amount to drink/hour so you don’t get into a hole.

On a daily basis, monitor your urine. You should be voiding a light-colored urine every 2 to 4 hours. Morning urine that is dark and smelly signals dehydration. Drink more!

Tip #8. Be flexible. Although you will have a well-planned fueling program that ensures adequate calorie and fluid intake, you also need to be flexible. Tastes change during extended exercise! Your initial approach to consume   “healthy foods” may deteriorate into gummy bears and Pepsi. Worry more about survival than good nutrition during events. Any fuel is better than none, and sugar can help delay fatigue.

Eat wisely and have fun!

Image from: listverse.com/2010/04/13/10-grueling-endurance-events/

Nancy Clark, MS, RD offers personal consultations to athletes of all abilities at her office in Newton MA (617-795-1875). Her Sports Nutrition Guidebook is filled with great tips. See www.nancyclark.com for more info. Also see sportsnutritionworkshop.com for online education.

 

 

 

 

Sweet Potato, Spinach, Black Bean & Quinoa Burrito

By Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N.

I love sweet potatoes fixed almost any way. Here’s a really great recipe that adds a combination of vegetables and whole grains to make a delicious burrito.  If you don’t like sweet potatoes you can substitute acorn squash. You can also substitute kale or another green rather than use spinach.  You can also substitute another type of beans for the black beans. If you want to cut the calories, you can leave off the sour cream.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:  419 calories, 14 grams protein,  10 grams of fat,  63 grams of CHO,  9 grams dietary fiber,  1818 mg sodium.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes  Cook Time: 15 minutes

Serves:  4

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potato, cooked, cube
  • ½ cup quinoa, dry
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½  cups fresh baby spinach
  • 2 tsp kosher salt to taste
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 6 drops hot sauce (Frank’s Red Hot)
  • ½ black beans, cooked or canned (drained)
  • 4 whole grain tortillas
  • 1 cup of thick salsa
  • 1 cup of low fat sour cream

Instructions

Wash sweet potatoes. You can peel them or not. Cut them in small cubes. Place the sweet potatoes into boiling water. Boil until potato is tender to touch. About 15 minutes. You can also baked them as well & then cube them. To cook quinoa, boil 1 cup of water. Add quinoa & fresh spinach & simmer on low until the water is absorbed which takes about 10-12 minutes. In a bowl, mash sweet potatoes. Add black beans, garlic, spices and quinoa spinach mixture. Mix well. Divide sweet potato mixture equally over the 4 tortillas and fold.  Add ¼ salsa and ¼ cup of sour cream over the burritos. Enjoy.

 

Shopping List

  • 2 medium sweet potato
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • fresh baby spinach
  • kosher salt
  • ground cumin
  • hot sauce (Frank’s Red Hot)
  • black beans
  • whole grain tortillas
  • thick salsa
  • low fat sour cream

 Image from: http://tastykitchen.com

Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N., is a registered dietitian with a Master’s Degree in clinical nutrition.  The former publisher of Kentuckiana HealthFitness Magazine, Kentuckiana Healthy Woman magazine and radio show host of Health News You Can Use, Barbara has over 30 years of experience in promoting healthy lifestyles to consumers.  Barbara worked as Nutrition Consultant to the Navy SEALs (8 years) and the University of Louisville Athletic Department (10 years). Barbara has private practice, DayByDay Nutrition, www.DayByDayNutrition.com, where she counsels clients on weight loss, cholesterol management, performance nutrition and an array of other medical issues.  Visit Barbara’s new website which is an on-line health & wellness magazine, www.KentuckianaHealthWellness.com. Barbara writes nutrition and health columns for www.LiveStrong.com as well as a weekly nutrition column for the Southeast Outlook. She also designs and presents employee wellness programs to small and large businesses. Barbara is a runner, cyclist, hiker and a mother and grandmother to 13 grandchildren.    

 

 

 

 

Phytochemicals Can Help Keep You Healthy

By Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N.

It’s no secret, you are what you eat.  Phytochemicals which come from plants provide the plant color, aroma but more importantly provides protection from infection and predator cells which can cause cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and aging. Phytochemicals work effectively with vitamins and minerals to help fight disease in a concerted effort.  Check out the table below to see what foods and herbs contain phytochemicals and how they are beneficial in keeping us health.

Table 1. Phytochemicals Found in Food & Herbs*

Phytochemical Family Plant Sources Possible Actions & Benefits
Allium Compounds Allicin

Allin

Allyl sulfides

Chives, garlic, leeks, onions, scallions, shallots -Slow or stop the growth of tumors.

Foods in the allum family probably protect against stomach cancer.

Garlic probably decreases the risk of developing colorectal cancer.

Laboratory studies suggest that allium compounds might also protect against leukemia and cancers of the prostate, bladder, skin and lung.

Hint: Cutting or crushing garlic at least 10 minutes before cooking makes more cancers fighters available.

CarotenoidsAlpha-carotene

Beta-carotene

Beta-cryptoxanthin

Lutein

Lycopene

Zeaxanthin

Red, orange, yellow and some dark green

Fruits: apricots, cantaloupe, citrus fruits, nectarines, papayas, peaches, watermelon.

Vegetables: Bok choy, broccoli, carrots, corn, green (collards, kale, lettuce, spinach), pumpkin, red peppers, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and tomato products, winter squash

-Acts as an antioxidant.

-Inhibit cancer cell growth.

-Improve immune response.

Foods containing carotenoids probably protect against cancers of the mouth, pharynx and larynx.

Carotenoids in dark leafy vegetables might inhibit the growth of cancers of the skin, lung, stomach and some types of breast cancer cells.

Lycopene in tomatoes and tomato products may reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

Flavonoids (a group of Polyphenols)Anthocyanidins (cyanide, delphinidin, malvidin, pelargonidin, peonidin)

Flavan-3-ols (catechin, eicatechin, epicatechin gallate, epigallocatechin, epigallocatechin gallate, theaflavins)

Flavanones (hesperetin & naringenin)

Flavones (apigenin & luteolin)

Flavanols (kaempferol, myricetin)

Flavonoids (quercetin)

Isoflavones (see separate category below)

Fruits: Apples, berries, cherries, citrus fruits, cranberries, currants, grapes, pears, plums

Vegetables: Beets, bell peppers, broccoli, celery, chard, eggplant, kale, lettuce, onions, red cabbage, radishes

Beans: Black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans

Herbs: Parsley, rosemary, thyme

Other: Cocoa powder, dark chocolate, coffee, tea

-Act as an antioxidant.

-Increase the enzymes that protect the body from cancer-causing compounds.

-Stimulate self-destruction of abnormal cells.

-Inhibit inflammation that supports cancer groups.

-Inhibit tumor growth.

-Boost immune function .

Some flavonoids may help prevent colon cancer.

In laboratory studies, the phytochemicals in apples reduced the growth of lung cancer cells.

IndolesIndole-3-carbinol Cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, horseradish, mustard greens, turnips, watercress -Act as a antioxidant.

-Increase the activity of enzymes that protect the body from cancer-causing compounds.

– Helps repair damaged DNA.

-Block the activity of hormones that influence the development of some cancer (breast & cervical).

-cause cancer cells to die.

Laboratory studies suggest that cruciferous vegetables protect against cancers of breast, endometrium, lung, colon & cervix.

 

 

InositolPhytic acid (also called inositol hexaphosphate or IP6) Whole grains: Bran from corn, oats, rice, rye, and wheat

Nuts

Legumes: Soybeans and dried beans

-Act as an antioxidant.

-Slow growth of tumors.

-Cause cancer cells to die.

Laboratory studies suggest that phytic acid may prevent tumors from forming in the colon, lung, prostate & skin.

Isoflavones (a category of Flavonoids)Daidzien

Genistein

Glycitein

Soy: Soybeans & soy products (such as edamame, soymilk, tofu) -Acts as antioxidant

-decrease production of some hormones

-inhibit growth of tumors

IsothiocyanatesAllyl isothiocyanate

Benzylisothiocyanate

Crambene

Phenylethylisothiocyanate

Sulforaphane

3-phenylpropylisothio-cyanate

Cruciferous Vegetables: Arugula, broccoli, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cabbage (red & green), cauliflower, collard greens, horseradish, kale, mustard greens, radishes, rutabaga, turnips, watercress

 

-Act as antioxidants.

-Block tumor growth.

-Cause cancer cells to die.

-Inhibit inflammation that supports cancer growth.

-Increase the activity of enzymes that protect the body from cancer-causing compounds.

Laboratory studies & some small population studies suggest that cruciferous vegetables protect against cancers of the bladder, breast, endometrium, esophagus, lung, colon, liver, prostate, & cervix.

Isothiocyanates form when glucosinolates in cruciferous vegetables are broken down by an enzyme released when the vegetable is chewed or chopped.

Polyphenols (other than Flavonoids & Terpenes)Coumarin

Curcubitacin

Curcumin

Phenolic Acids (cafferic acid, ferulic acid, ellagic acid, gallic acid)

Stilbenes (pterostilbene, resvertrol)

Tannins (such as ellagic acid)

Fruits: Apples, blackberries, black raspberries, blueberries, cherries, red grapes, pears, pomegranates, strawberries

Other: Chestnut, peanuts, lentils, pecans, turmeric, walnuts

-Act as a antioxidant.

-Inhibit inflammation that supports cancer growth.

-Prevent cancer formation.

-Cause abnormal cells to die before they can become cancerous.

Cell culture & animal studies suggest pterostibene could help prevent colon, lung, skim stomach, pancreatic & breast cancers by inhibiting growth & stimulating destruction of abnormal cells.

In laboratory & animal studies, resverstarol has inhibited the formation or slowed the growth of cancers of liver, prostate, stomach & breast.

Resveratrol has caused the death of leukemia & colon cancer cells.

In lab studies, ellagic acid has inhibited the development of cancers of the colon, esophagus, liver, lung & skin.

In the lab, curcumin has reduced the formation & growth of breast, colon, & stomach cancer cells.

Protease Inhibitors Legumes: Beans, lentils, peas, soybeans & whole soy products (such as edamame, soymilk, tofu) -Inhibit cancer cell growth.-Prevent tumors from releasing compounds that can destroy nearby healthy cells.
SterolsBeta-sitostrol

Campestreol

Ergosterol

Stigmasterol

Vegetables: Asparagus, beets, Brussels sprouts,

Legumes

Nuts

Seeds: Flax, pumpkin, sesame & sunflower seeds

Most Vegetable Oils: corn, olive, safflower & sesame oils

Whole Grains

-Cause the death of cancer cells.

-Lessen the inflammation that supports cancer growth.

Terpenes (a group of Polyphenols)Carnosol

Curcubitacin

Limonene

Perillyl Alcohol

Fruits: Apples, cherries, citrus fruits, pears, prunes

Herbs: Bay leaves, dill, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme

Other Foods: Pumpkin seeds

-Act as antioxidant.

-Slow cancer cell growth.

-Boost immune function.

-Inhibit inflammation that supports cancer growth.

Laboratory studies suggest carnosol may decrease cells’ sensitivity to reproductive hormones that promote prostate cancer.

 

*From the American Institute for Cancer Research handout: Facts on Preventing: The Cancer Fighters in Your Food.

 Image from: www.thecompleterecipe.com

Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N., is a registered dietitian with a Master’s Degree in clinical nutrition.  The former publisher of Kentuckiana HealthFitness Magazine, Kentuckiana Healthy Woman magazine and radio show host of Health News You Can Use, Barbara has over 30 years of experience in promoting healthy lifestyles to consumers.  Barbara worked as Nutrition Consultant to the Navy SEALs (8 years) and the University of Louisville Athletic Department (10 years). Barbara has private practice, DayByDay Nutrition, www.DayByDayNutrition.com, where she counsels clients on weight loss, cholesterol management, performance nutrition and an array of other medical issues.  Visit Barbara’s new website which is an on-line health & wellness magazine, www.KentuckianaHealthWellness.com. Barbara writes nutrition and health columns for www.LiveStrong.com as well as a weekly nutrition column for the Southeast Outlook. She also designs and presents employee wellness programs to small and large businesses. Barbara is a runner, cyclist, hiker and a mother and grandmother to 13 grandchildren.    

 

Feel Better—The Answer is in Your Food

 

By Sandra Meyerowitz, MPH, RDN, LD, CLT

Do you suffer from symptoms like headaches, joint pain, anxiety, diarrhea, or reflux? And have you spent endless hours searching for answers that will alleviate your discomfort? The answers you are looking for are not always easily found and you may feel like this continuous search for relief will never end. You are not alone in your pursuit of feeling better. After visiting with numerous doctors without success, there may be one treatment option still undiscovered by you.

Melanie was in this position. She came to Nutrition Works after spending years looking for answers to her health problems. She suspected the food she was eating was making her sick, but no one had been able to verify that hunch and they sent her on her way. Every time she went to a doctor, she was told that everything was fine, but she knew that things were not fine. She had too many sick days accrued and spent too much time in pain for everything to be fine.

Melanie followed Nutrition Works’ LEAP program for food sensitivities and within six weeks she had reduced her symptoms drastically. Her symptom survey score (a tool that is used to measure symptoms all over the body) was 136 before she began the program and 27 after 6 weeks. She has generously allowed her story to be published here to share a treatment option that could provide others with relief also. In her own words, here is Melanie’s story.

Health wise, I was considered very healthy by any doctor I would visit.  I felt awful though and knew something was wrong but couldn’t figure out what.  I would complain to my doctor of all sorts of symptoms and I had all sorts of tests run… all showing I had nothing wrong.  I would miss work and social events often, because I literally couldn’t get out of bed.  Whatever was going on in my body was ruining my life.  So, I was referred to Nutrition Works by my physical therapist to have my food sensitivities checked.  No doctor ever told me about this option.

I was having many different symptoms, some were severe enough to keep me in bed all day and some were just constantly lingering.  I had migraines just about once or twice a week.  I felt like I had the flu everyday… body aches, no energy, sore to the touch, cranky, bladder frequency and urgency, diarrhea, gas and bloating, burning ears, yeast infections (that were resistant to Diflucan).  I felt like I had been run over by a truck and had no energy to exercise.  A nap was an absolute must every day.  I also had dizziness, lightheadedness, shaking, and nausea.

I had many different tests run by different doctors… blood work, endoscopy, colonoscopy, bladder installations.  Every doctor said the same thing as far as me having no deficiencies or odd results.  I was looked at like a hypochondriac.  I felt very alone and depressed about my health and the fact that I didn’t know what was wrong with me or if it would ever go away.  So basically I had no treatment or relief of my symptoms prior to the LEAP program.

Figuring out what foods I can eat has changed my life.  I am no longer a prisoner of my “sick” body.  I feel like I can do anything and not be held back.  My symptoms disappeared in about a week. I feel very fortunate to have found the LEAP program.

There were many surprising foods and chemicals that came back as reactive on the test.  I felt that a lot of these foods were “healthy” and I was eating lots of them.  I had no idea that certain foods converted into chemicals that my body could not handle.  Media and even a lot of the health and diet books I read would encourage copious amounts of these “healthy” foods.  While they may be healthy to some people, they are poison to my body.  I had to learn that everybody is different and what works for some may not work for others.  We are not one size fits all when it comes to a healthy diet.

I would recommend the LEAP program to everyone with general aches, pains, allergies, and digestive problems that most people just put up with.  It can also be a godsend to anyone who feels like something is wrong, but all of their tests are negative and their doctor finds nothing.  I tell anyone that asks what I have done and they are surprised that food can have such an effect on the body.

Food sensitivities are difficult to pinpoint because obvious symptoms may not show up for 72 hours. With the passage of time, it is very difficult to identify which foods or chemicals may have caused the problems. Working with an experienced registered dietitian who is a food sensitivity specialist eliminates the mystery so a custom made diet can be created. By following this special diet, symptoms can be greatly reduced and in many cases completely wiped out. Melanie is a good example of how following a personalized diet can allow someone to get their life back. Have you discovered this option yet? The dietary management of food sensitivities may provide you with the relief you’ve been looking for.

Image from: www.momandthepoplife.com

Sandra Meyerowitz, MPH, RDN, LD, CLT is the owner of Nutrition Works, a health promotion company specializing in food sensitivities, weight loss, and sports nutrition. She offers individual consultations, specialized programs and team and corporate seminars. She can be reached at sandra@smartnutritionworks.com or 502-339-9202. Visit www.smartnutritionworks.com to learn more about Nutrition Works and to subscribe to her complimentary nutrition and fitness e-newsletter.

Losing Weight: Dieting, Food & Exercise

By Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD

As an athlete, you are unlikely obese, but you may have concerns about your weight or have relatives who struggle with their weight. To address the complexities of how to deal with undesired body fat, the Weight Management Group of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics held a conference (Indianapolis, April 2013). Here are some highlights.

Dieting and weight

•  An estimated 35% of all US adults are not only overfat but also pre-diabetic, including 50% of adults over 65 years. Relatives who have watched a loved one needlessly die from diabetes see first-hand the need to prevent themselves from going down the same road. There are clear benefits from eating wisely and exercising regularly! Losing just 5% of body weight can reduce health risks attributed to diabetes.

•  Most dieters want to lose weight quickly. The problem is that plan tends to backfire. You can lose weight fast or lose weight forever—but not lose weight fast and forever.

• Most dieters regain about two-thirds of their weight loss within a year and all of it within 3 to 5 years. Tips to maintain weight loss include: exercise regularly, eat fewer fatty foods, watch less TV, have strong social support, and sleep more than 5 hours a day.

• Chewing gum can help lean people consume fewer calories, but that is not the case for obese gum-chewers. (Perhaps the act of chewing increases their desire to eat?)

•  To stay on track, successful dieters should plan ahead by predicting everything that could possibly go wrong with their eating plan and develop strategies to deal with the unexpected. For example, if the waiter serves the salad soaked with dressing (not on the side, as requested), the dieter knows he can send it back, not eat it, or eat less of it.

• If you “blow your diet,” please don’t hate yourself. Just regret you over-ate and learn from the experience. You learned to overeat for a reason. (For example, overindulging in birthday cake may have been your “last chance” to eat cake before your diet started again the next meal.) The better plan can be to enjoy a reasonable slice of cake for several days. You’ll feel less need to overindulge when you know you can have more cake the next day (just fit it into your calorie budget).

• Other success-promoting dietary habits include using portion-controlled foods and keeping food and weight records. High-tech diet aids include: tracking steps by wearing a pedometer (goal: 10,000 steps a day), and wearing an armband or other body-activity monitor that detects changes in activity over time. Some popular high-tech tools include New Lifestyles-1000 pedometer, FitBit Zip, and Nike Fuel Band.  (Note: Accuracy of the high-tech tool is less important than day-to-day reproduce-ability.)

• Websites or apps like FatSecret.com, CalorieKing.com, LoseIt.com, and MealLogger.com can also be helpful. In the near future, you’ll be able to take a photo of your meal and an app will then calculate the calories. This info will be very helpful when eating in restaurant with super-sized meals.

Food and weight

•  An estimated 80% of weight loss happens by eating fewer calories; 20% relates to exercise. You need to change your diet to lose weight and change your exercise to keep weight off.

• Overweight people tend to eat by time cues. Noon is lunchtime, regardless if the clock is significantly wrong!

• Adults may eat more of a food if it is deemed healthy. That is, subjects ate more oatmeal cookies when they were described as high fiber, high protein as compared to high sugar, high butter. And yes, even healthy high fiber and high protein calories count!

• In contrast, adolescents (who are heavily influenced by their peers) tend to eat less of a food labeled healthy.  For teens, eating carrots is just not as acceptable as eating chips.

• People who eat a high protein diet (25% of calories) tend to eat fewer calories per day. A protein-rich breakfast with 25 to 35 g protein helps manage appetite for the rest of the day.

• The decline in hearty breakfasts mirrors the rise in obesity. Try eating an 800-calorie protein-rich breakfast and see what that does to your appetite for the rest of the day!  You’ll undoubtedly notice you feel less need to “reward” yourself with evening treats.

• A 100-calorie portion of natural whole almonds actually has only 80 available calories due to digestibility. The same likely holds true for other high fiber, high fat “hard” foods, such as other kinds of nuts. People who frequently eat nuts are actually leaner than folks who avoid nuts;; hence, you need not fear them as being “fattening” (in moderation, of course, as with all foods).

Exercise and weight

• Weight loss is about quality of life; exercise is about health. However, exercise strongly predicts who will be able to maintain their lost weight. While the reason for this is unknown, some researchers wonder if purposeful exercise allows the reduced obese person to eat more calories? (You know—the more you exercise, the more you can eat.) Or perhaps exercise is a marker of discipline and dedication to maintain a healthier eating style and lifestyle?

• Lifting weights is a good entry point for unfit people who want to start exercising. First they get strong, and then they can add on the walking, jogging, and aerobic activities.

• Lifting weights reduces the loss of muscle that occurs with diet-only reducing plans and creates the same health benefits of slimming the waist-line and improving blood glucose levels (hence reducing the risk of diabetes).

• Because weight loss without exercise contributes to loss of muscles and bone-density, some health professionals advise against weight loss for older people. Instead they recommend that people over 60 years focus on adding on exercise rather than subtracting food. You are never too old to lift weights!

• An effective exercise program includes 110 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous physical activity and two times a week of lifting weights for about 20 minutes.

• Men who maintain a stable weight tend to be active about 70 minutes a day. In comparison, obese men are less active and likely to be frail. Do obese people become frail—or do frail people become obese?

The bottom line: Keep active, enjoy whole foods that are minimally processed, live lean, and be well!

Image from: ic.steadyhealth.com

Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD (Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics) counsels both fitness exercisers and competitive athletes in her private practice in the Boston-area (617-795-1875). Her Sports Nutrition Guidebook, Food Guide for Marathoners and Cyclist’s Food Guide all offer additional weight management information. The books are available via www.nancyclarkrd.com. See also www.sportsnutritionworkshop.com.

 

 

Chicken Crunch Waldorf Salad

By Barbara Day, M.S., R.D. C.N.

 

This is one of my favorite recipe combinations that I refer to as my comfort food. But I made a few changes. I like to use sweet apples like Gala or Red delicious but you could also use Granny Smith apples. Plus I added grapes because I like grapes, too. I use red grapes because they have more nutrients than green grapes.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:  320 calories, 24 grams protein,  14 grams of fat,  26  grams of CHO,  3 grams of fiber,  219 mg sodium.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes 

Serves:  4

Ingredients

  • 2 cups coarsely chopped cooked chicken breast
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped apples (sweet or tart)
  • ½ cup sliced celery
  • 1/3 cup light Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup walnut pieces
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 1 cup grapes

 

Instructions

Put all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. Place in refrigerator and let chill for 1 hour. Serve plain or on a bed of lettuce.

 

Shopping List

  • cooked chicken breast
  • apples
  • celery
  • light Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise
  • walnut pieces
  • raisins
  • grapes

Image from: wwwwhatdidyoueat.typepad.com

Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N., is a registered dietitian with a Master’s Degree in clinical nutrition.  The former publisher of Kentuckiana HealthFitness Magazine, Kentuckiana Healthy Woman magazine and radio show host of Health News You Can Use, Barbara has over 30 years of experience in promoting healthy lifestyles to consumers.  Barbara worked as Nutrition Consultant to the Navy SEALs (8 years) and the University of Louisville Athletic Department (10 years). Barbara has private practice, DayByDay Nutrition, www.DayByDayNutrition.com, where she counsels clients on weight loss, cholesterol management, performance nutrition and an array of other medical issues.  Visit Barbara’s new website which is an on-line health & wellness magazine, www.KentuckianaHealthWellness.com. Barbara writes nutrition and health columns for www.LiveStrong.com as well as a weekly nutrition column for the Southeast Outlook. She also designs and presents employee wellness programs to small and large businesses. Barbara is a runner, cyclist, hiker and a mother and grandmother to 13 grandchildren.    

 

 

McDonald’s Wraps – Are They a Good Nutrition Bargain?

By Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N.

 

Wraps may seem like a great nutritional bargain but if you look at the calories in some of the wraps you may want to reconsider.  Most of the wraps have from 250 calories (Grilled Chipotle BBQ Snack Wrap) up to 600 calories (McWrap Chicken & Bacon Crispy). Wraps at McDonalds are easy to eat on the run but if you add a medium order of French fries you could be up to 980 calories which means you would have to run for approximately 98 minutes (burn about 100 calories for 10 minutes of running) or walk for about 196 minutes (100 calories burned for about 20 minutes of walking) to burn those calories.  For under 600 calories, you could have eaten double cheeseburger (440 calories), Big Mac (550 calories), or Quarter Pounder with cheese (520 calories).  See Table 1. Nutritional Information for Selected McDonald’s Products . Buyer beware: before you buy check out the calories on the menu or menu boards. Knowing how many calories you need each day & how the calories will fit into your daily calories needs will help you maintain a good weight for your health.

Not all Wraps are Created Equal

If you go to a fast food type restaurant where you can tell the person exactly how you want it made, you may be able to get a better nutrition bang for your buck. For example, I would hold the mayonnaise, add extra tomatoes & lettuce (hoping the lettuce is romaine or leaf but probably just low nutrient CHEAP iceberg lettuce), add green peppers, onions, cucumbers & any other fresh vegetable they have.   I like mustard but it’s salty so if you are worried about salt you may want to not add it to your wrap.

Table 1. Nutritional Information for Selected McDonald’s Products*

 

Food Calories Fat CHO Protein Sodium Fiber
McWrap Chicken & Bacon Wrap
Crispy 600 30 54 30 1420 3
Grilled 440 16 40 33 1250 3
McWrap Chicken & Ranch
Crispy 590 29 56 26 1300 3
Grilled 430 16 3
McWrap Sweet Chili Chicken Wrap
Crispy 520 22 58 23 1200 3
Grilled 360 9 44 27 1030 2
Chipotle BBQ Snack Wrap
Crispy 330 15 34 14 720 1
Grilled 250 8 27 16 670 1
Honey Mustard Snack Wrap
Crispy 330 15 33 14 700 1
Grilled 250 8 27 16 650 1
Ranch Snack Wrap
Crispy 350 19 32 14 750 1
Grilled 270 12 25 16 700 1
Angus Deluxe Snack Wrap 410 25 27 20 960 2
Angus Bacon & Cheese Snack Wrap 390 21 28 21 1040 1
Angus Mushroom & Swiss Snack Wrap 430 25 27 22 730 2
Mac Snack Wrap 330 19 26 14 670 1
Big Mac 550 29 46 25 970 3
Quarter Pounder w/cheese 520 26 41 30 1100 3
Double Cheeseburger 440 23 34 25 1050 2
Crispy Chicken Sandwich 510 22 55 24 990 3
Filet-O-Fish 390 19 39 15 590 2
Medium Fries 380 19 48 4 270 5
Large Fries 500 25 63 6 350 6

 

* Nutritional Information from McDonald’s website.

Image from: www.manreviewsfood.com

 

Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N., is a registered dietitian with a Master’s Degree in clinical nutrition.  The former publisher of Kentuckiana HealthFitness Magazine, Kentuckiana Healthy Woman magazine and radio show host of Health News You Can Use, Barbara has over 30 years of experience in promoting healthy lifestyles to consumers.  Barbara worked as Nutrition Consultant to the Navy SEALs (8 years) and the University of Louisville Athletic Department (10 years). Barbara has private practice, DayByDay Nutrition, www.DayByDayNutrition.com, where she counsels clients on weight loss, cholesterol management, performance nutrition and an array of other medical issues.  Visit Barbara’s new website which is an on-line health & wellness magazine, www.KentuckianaHealthWellness.com. Barbara writes nutrition and health columns for www.LiveStrong.com as well as a weekly nutrition column for the Southeast Outlook. She also designs and presents employee wellness programs to small and large businesses. Barbara is a runner, cyclist, hiker and a mother and grandmother to 13 grandchildren.    

 

 

Easy Chicken Breasts A La Parmesan

By Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N.

This is an incredibly easy recipe. When my boys were home, this was one of their favorite recipes. In fact, when they went to college, all of them would make this recipe when they lived in their apartments. If you want to cut down on the sodium, you can use lower sodium spaghetti sauce.  Serve with whole wheat spaghetti, brown rice, whole grain couscous or quinoa, garlic bread and green leafy salad.

 

Nutritional Information Per Serving:  462 calories, 25 grams protein, 26 grams of fat,  32 grams of CHO,  4 grams dietary fiber,  1276 mg sodium.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes  Cook Time: 30 minutes 

Serves:  4

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness (1 lb)
  • 1 egg, beaten or 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2  tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups (1 lb) of prepared spaghetti sauce
  • ½ cup reduced fat Parmesan cheese

 

 

Instructions

Mix beaten egg and skim milk together and place in a flat bowl. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Dip the chicken breasts in mixture, then roll both sides of the chicken breasts in bread crumbs completely covering them with bread crumbs. Brown the chicken on both sides until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Place chicken in a baking dish. Cover the chicken breasts with mozzarella cheese.  Spoon spaghetti sauce equally over the chicken. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and  add thin strips of mozzarella cheese on top. Bake at 350° for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until bubbly.

 

 

Shopping List

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts (1 lb)
  • 1 egg or egg whites
  • skim milk
  • seasoned bread crumbs
  • olive oil
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese
  • 1 jar of prepared spaghetti sauce
  • reduced fat Parmesan cheese

 

 

 

 

 

Image from: www.wizardrecipes.com

 

Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N., is a registered dietitian with a Master’s Degree in clinical nutrition.  The former publisher of Kentuckiana HealthFitness Magazine, Kentuckiana Healthy Woman magazine and radio show host of Health News You Can Use, Barbara has over 30 years of experience in promoting healthy lifestyles to consumers.  Barbara worked as Nutrition Consultant to the Navy SEALs (8 years) and the University of Louisville Athletic Department (10 years). Barbara has private practice, DayByDay Nutrition, www.DayByDayNutrition.com, where she counsels clients on weight loss, cholesterol management, performance nutrition and an array of other medical issues.  Visit Barbara’s new website which is an on-line health & wellness magazine, www.KentuckianaHealthWellness.com. Barbara writes nutrition and health columns for www.LiveStrong.com as well as a weekly nutrition column for the Southeast Outlook. She also designs and presents employee wellness programs to small and large businesses. Barbara is a runner, cyclist, hiker and a mother and grandmother to 13 grandchildren.    

Budget Worries? Tips For Grocery Shopping On A Shoestring

By Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N.

Americans may find food shopping more challenging when trying to stay on track with their budget, while feeding their family a balance of nutrients each day. According to the USDA Economic Price Outlook for 2013, food prices will rise across the board 3-4% during 2013.

Here’s some suggestions that can help you get more bang for your buck:

 

  1. Plan your menus and make a list

Plan your weekly menus and make a grocery list.  Check out your pantry before going to the grocery. Stick to the list and don’t pick up any foods not on the list.

  1. Use coupons and reward cards

You don’t need to rely on the local newspaper for coupons.  Go to websites like www.coupons.com, www.shopathome.com, www.couponmom.com, www.grocerysmarts.com,   or even local grocery store chains like Kroger’s (www.kroger.com) and print out coupons.  You can also take advantage of rewards cards to get better prices.

  1. Purchase store brands

Research suggests store brands are 15% to 20% lower than brand named products. Many times the store brands have the same quality and taste the same as the name brand who spends millions on advertising and charges the higher price to pay for the ads.

  1. Buy food on sale and in bulk

If you have the room for storage, in most cases, the larger the quantity the less it costs.  But make sure you use it before it spoils.

  1. Read and compare food labels

Compare ingredients and nutrients using the % Daily Value so you can purchase more nutrient-dense foods.

  1. Compare unit prices not just the price on the container

Make sure to compare the unit price not just the size of the container.  Quick cook, pre-prepared items, and 100-calorie packets cost more.  You can make your own 100-calorie packets and save some money doing it. Calculate cost per serving not cost per pound when buying meat, poultry, fish, eggs and beans.  Typically, eggs, chicken, turkey, beans, peas and nuts are the least expensive sources of protein.

  1. Shop the perimeter of the store first

Foods on the outer perimeter of the grocery, fresh produce, meats, dairy products and breads are going to cost more per unit than canned foods.  The exception to that rule is cereal.  Cereal is typically very expensive.

  1. Buy produce in season and locally

Seasonal fruits and vegetables cost lessIn most cases, farmer’s market foods are less expensive.  Canned or frozen fruits and vegetables may be more economical than fresh if you are counting pennies.

  1. Prevent food waste

Check out the “sell by” and “best used by” to make good purchases.  You can use Debbie Meyer Green Bags™ to help keep your fresh fruits and vegetables fresh longer.  These bags are reusable.

  1. Check out your check out

Make sure you get the advertised price when checking out, especially on sale items or items that you have a coupon for.

Image from: www.texaschildrensblog.org

Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N., is a registered dietitian with a Master’s Degree in clinical nutrition.  The former publisher of Kentuckiana HealthFitness Magazine, Kentuckiana Healthy Woman magazine and radio show host of Health News You Can Use, Barbara has over 30 years of experience in promoting healthy lifestyles to consumers.  Barbara worked as Nutrition Consultant to the Navy SEALs (8 years) and the University of Louisville Athletic Department (10 years). Barbara has private practice, DayByDay Nutrition, www.DayByDayNutrition.com, where she counsels clients on weight loss, cholesterol management, performance nutrition and an array of other medical issues.  Visit Barbara’s new website which is an on-line health & wellness magazine, www.KentuckianaHealthWellness.com. Barbara writes nutrition and health columns for www.LiveStrong.com as well as a weekly nutrition column for the Southeast Outlook. She also designs and presents employee wellness programs to small and large businesses. Barbara is a runner, cyclist, hiker and a mother and grandmother to 12 grandchildren.