What is the 5:2 diet?

Posted on May 28 by
in Blog

The 5:2 diet gets its name because it involves eating regularly for 5 days of the week while drastically limiting caloric intake on the other 2 two days.

Unlike a true fast, which involves eating nothing for a set amount of time, the goal of the 5:2 diet is to cut caloric intake on fasting days to 25 percent or just one-quarter of a person's regular intake on the remaining days.

Importantly, fasting days are not consecutive because it is vital to give the body the calories and nutrients it needs to thrive.

People typically space their fasting days out, for example, by taking their reduced-calorie days on Monday and Thursday or Wednesday and Saturday.

Part of the diet's appeal is this flexibility. Instead of severely restricting the foods a person can eat, the 5:2 diet focuses on strict caloric restriction on only 2 days of the week. This may help some people feel more satisfied with their diet, as they will not feel that they are missing out all the time.

Everyone's meal plan may look slightly different. Some fast day meal schedules include:

1. Eating three small meals such as an early breakfast, afternoon lunch and late dinner

2. Eating an early lunch and dinner

3. Eating a small breakfast and late lunch and skipping dinner

4. Eating a single meal at dinner or breakfast

In Season Produce...

Posted on May 16 by
in Blog

Spring has sprung — along with strawberries, blackberries, beets, broccoli and sweet corn. These, and many more fruits and vegetables, are now in season. Why is this important? There are many reasons to eat the fruits and vegetables that are in season. First and foremost, your health.

Fruits and vegetables contain tons of vitamins and minerals, but they also contain phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are nonnutritive compounds that are biologically active in the body. They can be categorized into many, more specific groups, but for our purposes, we will make it easy. We will divide them by color.

Below you can find a list of fruits and vegetables in season, but let’s start with the red, blue and purple ones. These include strawberries, blueberries, beets and cabbage, which appear red, blue and purple because they contain large amounts of flavonoids and anthocyanins. These are believed to exhibit strong antioxidant functions within the body, potentially decreasing your risk for high cholesterol or even cancer. This group is also typically high in vitamin C, a vitamin that is involved in creating new collagen and is essential for wound healing. Perfect for getting your skin ready for the summer.

Spring Fruits and Vegetables

Strawberries, Blackberries, Beets,Turnips, Avocados, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Carrots, Baby Arugula, Greens, Lettuces, Sweet Corn, Green Beans, Specialty Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Radishes, Leeks, Fennel, Cilantro, Parsley. Culinary Herbs, Tomatoes, Peaches, Blueberries, Plums, Squash, Cucumbers

Now let’s switch over to the oranges and yellows, which include carrots, sweet corn, sweet potato and tomatoes. Carotenoids and lycopene are the phytochemicals that contribute to their orange, yellow and even red colors. This group is typically high in vitamin A, which is involved in cell growth, bone development and immune function — all very important functions if you ask me.

Lastly, we turn to the green leafy vegetables: arugula, greens, lettuce, broccoli, cilantro and parsley. These contain a multitude of phytochemicals, including chlorophyll, with strong antioxidant power, and are typically high in vitamin K, a very important vitamin that activates blood clotting.

Why the urgency to eat these particular fruits and vegetables now? Well, they are in season. This means they are typically grown close by, they are fresh and have not traveled from far away. For many vegetables, top quality is obtained at harvest; the quality deteriorates afterward at a rate determined by external factors.

Typically, when fruits or vegetables are traveling far distances to get to your grocery store, they are treated with post-harvest technologies that will prolong their shelf life and appearance, which for the most part comes at the expense of nutritional quality. When you eat in season, you are likely eating local and more fresh fruits and vegetables. Meaning, they have been able to ripen on the vine and have not been treated for the long-distance ride to the grocery store.

Another perk: It’s usually cheaper! These fruits and vegetables are typically bountiful during their season, which means more product at a cheaper price.

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FIBER...

Posted on May 14 by
in Blog

FIBER is the sensible shoes of good nutrition: boring, but necessary. For decades it was assumed to be useful simply for bulking up food waste and keeping the digestive tract tidy. Unlike nutrients with sexier reputations, it was never touted for its power to reduce stress, alleviate mental fog, or boost sleep until now.

As a dietitian, I’ve been yapping for 20 years about the importance of fiber to help curb unhealthy food cravings, lower cholesterol, and prevent diet-related cancer, but as scientists have begun taking a hard look at human gut microbes, fiber’s reputation has gotten even more of an upgrade.

You eat fiber when you eat plants. As the structural backbone of plants, fibers are stubborn carbohydrates that resist digestion and therefore aren’t counted as calories. The fibers that dissolve in liquids are soluble, the ones that don’t are insoluble. Another type, resistant starch, acts like a digestible carbohydrate when cooked and eaten warm but behaves like fiber when cooled. For most people, as long as you’re eating a lot of unprocessed plant food, it doesn’t matter which physical type of fiber you’re getting. Every plant is a combo of fibers tightly interwoven with other nutrients. This organic knitting helps you out first by slowing down how quickly food gets turned into blood sugar, then by ferrying other nutrients to specific destinations along your bowels. It’s on this journey through the lower digestive tract that fiber’s power gets turbocharged.

The beneficial bacteria in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract do with fiber what your upper digestive tract can’t: transform indigestible carbohydrates into fuel. A big nutrition reveal of the past few years has come from observing what happens when gut bacteria eat your fiber. By-products made from digesting microbial fiber positively impact health issues as wide ranging as anxiety, depression, insomnia, attention, dementia, type 2 diabetes, and much more.

If you’re thinking you can fertilize your gut bacteria with an over-the-counter fiber supplement instead of natural food, it won’t work well. You need to eat a wide variety of plant food to coax your bacteria into working hard. Getting your fiber from food is critical because the heartier your gut microbe population, the better your overall health.

Fiber in over-the-counter prebiotics may offer an additional advantage to what you’re getting from food. These supplements should be used in conjunction with a diverse plant-based diet.

Some of my clients use drinkable fiber supplements in an attempt to manipulate their bowels, usually for weight loss or constipation. For someone with a healthy GI tract, this can provide short-term success, but long-term improvement in weight management and bathroom habits result from better food and lifestyle choices, not an over-the-counter supplement. When it comes to IBS or other digestive diseases, I use extreme caution when prescribing probiotics and supplemental fibers because they can trigger increased irritation and pain in some people.

HLY-Fiber-1

Garlic Zucchini Noodles

Posted on May 09 by
in Blog
 
 
Ingredients:
 
2 medium zucchini
2 TBSP organic butter (can sub vegan butter)
3 large cloves garlic , minced (or to taste)
3/4 cup parmesan cheese (can sub vegan parmesan cheese-- super yummy!)
Kosher salt or sea salt, to taste
Black pepper , to taste
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
 
Instructions
 
Cut zucchini into spirals or noodle strands using the vegetable spiralizer or julienne peeler. Set aside noodles.
Heat large pan on medium-high heat. Melt butter, then add garlic. Cook garlic until fragrant and translucent. Don't let the garlic burn.
Add zucchini noodles and cook until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Zucchini noodles cook really fast, so taste a strand as you cook and decide how firm or "al-dente" you want the zucchini. Don't overcook the zucchini noodles or else they'll become mush.
Remove the pan from the heat, add parmesan cheese and season generously with salt and pepper to taste. Add chili flakes then serve warm.
You could add chicken, shrimp, roasted tomatoes, mushrooms... get creative!
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