Health & Nutrition blog
As we come to the end of the summer, don’t forget, grilling is STILL one of the best preparations for food.
While the average outdoor cookout meal exceeds 1500 calories, or almost an entire day’s worth of calories in one meal, the good news is with some minor adjustments, the barbecue season doesn’t have to be fattening. Read the following tips to grill your way lean!
On the Grill: Believe it or not, grilling is actually a very healthy way to cook meat. Of course the type of meat that you choose will make all of the difference. Burgers and hot dogs are traditional barbecue meats, but they aren’t the healthiest.
Here are 4 Tips To Make the Barbecue Work For Your waistline:
1. Choose the correct cuts of meat:
Choose lean cuts of beef, pork or poultry
Marinade with low fat dressing
Make hamburgers with extra-lean ground beef
Take the skin off chicken before grilling
Replace beef patties with ground turkey patties
Grill up salmon or cod
Forego the meat and grill veggie burgers
Side Dishes: This is where most people run into trouble. Barbecue side dishes are typically filled with loads of fat. Creamy coleslaw and potato salads can hold as much as 15 grams of fat per serving. Try the following instead:
2. Don’t Forget The Vegys!
Make veggie kabobs and grill them
Grill bok choy (see recipe below)
Replace the mayo in your salads with low-fat mayo
Serve fresh salad with light vinaigrette
Try whole-grain macaroni for your pasta salad
Grill up corn on the cob (pass on the butter)
Put out a veggie tray with low fat dip
Drinks: Most people don’t realize that beverages play a big role in summer weight gain. Margaritas, beer, soda and punch all contain lots of empty calories. Try the following:
3. Don’t Drink Those Extra Calories:
Drink water, it is always your healthiest option
Stick with light beer
If you have to have a soda stick with diet
Brew unsweetened ice tea and serve with lemon
Dessert: Yes, there are ways to satisfy your sweet tooth while getting lean. Think outside of the box instead of turning to the typical fattening options like ice cream, pie, cake or cookies. Try the following:
4. Don’t Forget Dessert!
Grill mango, banana and pineapple on kabobs
Stick with sorbet instead of ice cream
Replace peach pie with grilled peach halves
Choose light ice cream over regular
Remember, it’s ok to splurge every once in a while. Enjoy yourself. Just keep in mind that by taking a few of the above suggestions you can enjoy great food while getting back into great shape.
David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding sure think so. They did write the book on it: Drink This Not That. They’ve even gone so far as to claim that you could lose up to 32 pounds in a year just by changing what you drink.
What most people don’t know is that it’s a lot easier to drink extra calories than to eat it. So you really need to pay attention to what you’re sipping on.
Here is a sample of what their book has to offer.
While a cup of hot coffee or a glass of lowfat milk are both great ways to start your day, beware of the smoothie trap. More often than not smoothies are closer to milkshakes than protein shakes.
A study done at Virginia Polytechnic Institute showed that people who drink 17oz of water before sitting down for a meal ended up eating 9 percent fewer calories. Those calories can really add up over time.
When the afternoon rolls around most of us are ready for a pick-me-up. Too often caffeinated drinks are loaded with waist-expanding calories.
There’s no good reason to follow up a great workout with a sugar-filled beverage, even if it makes claims for quick recovery and muscle growth. After exercise your body is in need of protein, carbohydrates and potassium, so choose a beverage filled with these three.
There are known benefits to drinking alcohol in moderation (one or two drinks per day) such as raised HDL (good) cholesterol, boost in bloodflow, and improved sugar metabolism. A recent study in the journal BMC Public Health reported that people who have a daily drink were 54 percent less likely to be obese. However, it’s called a beer belly for good reason, since many alcoholic beverages are loaded with calories.
Recent studies are reporting that most of us drink 21 percent of our daily calories. That adds up to an average of 460 calories each day. It’s easy to see how these calories quickly add up into unwanted pounds. Pay extra attention to what you drink throughout each day. Make it a habit to pass on the calorie-packed drinks and to focus on drinking lots of water. Remember that small changes to your lifestyle over time will make the difference.
Consumer Reports latest tests of canned foods, including soups, juice, tuna, and green beans, have found that almost all of the 19 name-brand foods they tested contain some BPA. BPA has been linked to breast and colon cancer.
So, although it may be convenient to pull a can off the shelf for dinner, it may be worth the time to make a big pot of fresh soup and freeze some in BPA free containers. “I know. It seems like everything causes cancer these days. I think we need to get back to living more simply, when there wasn’t so much technology. You grew your food (without pesticides). You ate your food. And if it’s something the FDA is talking about, I’d rather get a jump on it than wait for an official regulation,” says Beth Mills.
I am excited to announce a new relationship between Capitol Rehab and The Humble Gormand . We are committed to the future of organic food and sustainable farming, so getting the opportunity to work with the Founder of The Humble Gourmand, Alison Pierce, promises to be a rewarding endeavor. Without further adieu, I would like to introduce everyone to Alison Pierce and let her tell us a little more about “Bringing the Farm to You”.
Grass-fed or corn-fed? Organic? Free-range? All-natural?
The terms confronting us in the grocery aisle these days are bewildering, but knowing they mean different things to different companies and farmers compounds the confusion.
Perhaps you’ve gone further and seen Food Inc., FRESH, King Corn, or another of the many food documentaries released recently. You may have found that a little knowledge goes a long way in driving educated consumers away from traditional food-purchasing channels (grocery stores, wholesale clubs) and toward locally, responsibly raised produce, meats, poultry, game, dairy, and eggs.
There are myriad reasons to eat locally grown food, including pasture-raised meats:
- Insulation from nationwide food safety scares (such as e. coli and salmonella outbreaks)
- Sustainable environmental impact
- Proper treatment of animals
- Health benefits (including ideal balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats)
- Ideal quality & taste
Yet in a reflection of the unfortunate, backwards priorities of the American food system, it isn’t always easy to obtain locally & responsibly grown food. To eat the way nature intended you must take extra steps to seek out farms and farmers’ markets in your area. That’s getting easier these days, given the explosion of interest and the Washington area’s support for “slower” food in restaurants, stores, and markets.
The Humble Gourmand takes this concept a bit further, delivering food from small Chesapeake Bay watershed farmers to customers in DC and NoVa. At the HG’s online store, we sell:
Deliveries are made to three pickup locations in NoVa once a week. Home and office deliveries are also available, subject to an order minimum and small delivery fee. It doesn’t get much easier than that – unless you’re ready to dive into farming yourself! We are thrilled to be part of a growing, grassroots movement that is certain to change the face of American eating: out with the hormones, chemicals, antibiotics, preservatives, and disease; in with the fresh, tasty, healthy food!
You can visit The Humble Gourmand’s online store at http://humblegourmand.com
About the author:
Alison McConnell Pierce founded The Humble Gourmand in 2007. A chef by trade, she also teaches fitness, cooking, and nutrition classes at Potomac CrossFit in Arlington. She travels occasionally to give cooking seminars and private lessons in clients’ homes. Alison is a resident of Del Ray, Alexandria. Contact her with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 286-5572.
So there seems to be an Omega-3 Fatty acid craze going on right now. Every time I get on CNN Health or Dr. Oz these days there is always something new I hear and learn about this subject. I thought I would look into it a bit more and share what Ive read. To be honest I didn’t really know much going in. All I knew was that my Mom always said to make sure I have my Flax Seed everyday because it was good for me.
So what are Omega-3 Fatty Acids and why are they so good for you?
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats found naturally in oily fish, nuts, seeds, and leafy green vegetables. Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to protect against heart disease, inflammation, certain types of cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and macular degeneration (a leading cause of vision loss). Omega-3 fatty acids are critical for proper brain development and neurological function in developing babies, too. They are often classed as “essential fatty acids”, meaning that they are necessary for our health and that our bodies are unable to produce them. There is a great article on WebMD that talks about how to best get your Omega-3. Many think the easiest and low-cal way to get them is through fish oil capsules. Not so according to one nutritionist they interviewed on the subject. Lona Sandon RD a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association said:
“There is something about whole food that when it goes into the body it’s more than 90% absorbed, while [with] a supplement you absorb only about 50%,” says Sandon.
Moreover, says Sandon, because the components of different foods work together, they may offer a more complete and balanced source of nutrients.
“It could be something more than just the omega-3s in fish that make it so healthy,” says Sandon. “It could be the amino acids that provide benefits we are not going to see in fish-oil supplements alone.”
There are many great articles written about this subject. Here are a few links if you would like to research it more.
Do you read the labels on your food? And if you do, do you know what they mean? “Early Show” contributor Katie Lee explains what “grass fed”, “free-roaming” and other terms mean. And I think its about time!
As the organic movement and the locally grown movement and the sustainable foods movements all gain acceptance, we, the consumer, are left to try and decipher it all.
So here are 6 basic nutritional concepts to keep in mind:
1. Why eat Organic? There are several benefits to incorporating organic foods into your diet, but the number one reason is to Reduce The Amount of Dangerous Pesticides you Ingest.
2. What are the “Dirty Dozen”? I wrote about this on a recent blog, but the Dirty Dozen are a group of vegetables shown to have the highest pesticide count. These are the vegetables you should consider replacing with organic choices. These foods include apples, lettuce, strawberries, peaches and grapes.
3. What are the “Clean 15″? These are the fruits and vegetables shown to have the lowest pesticide count. They include asparagus, pineapples, broccoli, sweet potatoes and tomato.
4. What is Organic Chicken? Chicken that has never been given antibiotics or hormones and have only been fed organic grains, (grains grown without pesticides or chemicals).
5. Wild caught fish are nutritionally far superior to farm raised fish.
6. “Whole Grains” are more complete and therefore better for you than “multi grain”. Whole grain means you are getting every part of the grain and therefore all of the fiber benefits. Multigrain simply means various grains, and more commonly, multiple forms of the stripped down refined forms of the grain.
For more nutritional information, visit my nutritional blog.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta will be presenting an enlightening report June 2 and 3 at 8pm on CNN, titled “Toxic America”. The report centers around a recent study which revealed that children exposed to higher levels of a type of pesticide found on commercially grown fruits and vegetables, are more likely to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than children with less exposure.
WOW! I reported in a recent blog about the “Dirty Dozen” foods that should be replaced by Organic Foods in your diet. I touched on the 12 foods that have been shown to contain the highest level of pesticides, and what that exposure could mean to your long term health. Now the science is starting to come out.
I find it fascinating that only recently have the really smart people started asking the truly critical questions.
-Why has there been such an increase in the number of people diagnosed with cancers?
-Why have so many children been recently diagnosed as ADHD?
-Despite the vast improvements in the health and medical sciences, why are heart disease and diabetes rates continuing to increase?
The answers may be staring us in the face. I would argue that we have yet to truly understand the damaging effects of a poor diet, lack of exercise, increased stress and environmental toxins.
I would urge you to watch the upcoming CNN specials and if you would like to read the CNN article in its entirety, click here.