21/90

Posted on January 28

Grain Free Cookies

Posted on January 24

I have been sitting on this bag of nut flour blend for a few months, so I gave it a go today and made cookies.

I simply followed the recipe on the back but made a few small changes. I only used half the sugar it called for and replaced the rest with stevia and I added cocoa nibs for more flavor and nutrition.

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Is Your Workplace Making You Fat?

Posted on January 24

Candy dishes, cupcakes and cookies abound in the typical office, so if you're striving to eat healthy, the workplace can be a culinary minefield.

About one in four working adults get some food or beverages from work at least once a week. Many of those foods are high in calories, processed grains, and added sugar and salt.

The average worker eats about 1,300 calories of foods obtained at the office every week.

Foods consumed at work included those purchased from vending machines or cafeterias, as well as those eaten for free in common areas, meetings or worksite social events.

Among the top 10 items obtained at work -- either free or purchased -- were coffee, water, soft drinks, sandwiches and potato chips.

The highest calorie items people get at work -- free or purchased -- included pizza, soft drinks, sandwiches, chips, cookies, brownies, donuts, pastries and burgers.

Since many of these foods are free, workplaces can adopt healthy meeting policies that encourage healthy foods that are more in line with workplace wellness efforts. Workplace wellness programs are effective at reducing workplace costs and absenteeism.

It can be easy to underestimate the calories you eat at work. You don't think much about it if you grab a bag of chips in the break room, but that's 150 calories. And if you do it three or four days a week for months, those calories really start to add up.

And the ubiquitous office candy dish? You grab a pre-wrapped chocolate or two as you walk by and think nothing of the calories. But if you do that a few times every day, slowly those extra calories will put on the pounds.

If your office provides food in meetings, break rooms or a cafeteria, try to ask whoever does the ordering to include some healthy selections.

Also, just because cookies and other treats at work are free, it doesn't mean that you have to eat them.

It may be hard to turn down free food, but there are many days it's going to be someone's work anniversary or birthday. You don't have to eat something to celebrate with them.

It's easier to forgo office goodies if you're not hungry. If you're not hungry, you're more in control.

 

Diet Hunger

Posted on January 23

A common problem with reduced calorie diets is the nagging hunger that is generally experienced. So understanding which foods and combination of foods that offer optimal satiety be can be ideal for mitigating “diet hunger”. The longer it takes for foods to be digested and absorbed the greater the satiety. Meat, fish and fowl, contain fat and protein.. the two nutrients with the slowest gastrointestinal transit time (slow digesting).

Glycemic Index: All Carbohydrates Are Not Equal

All carbohydrates are not equal and have a great deal of variability, some digest quickly and some very slowly. What the Glycemic Index (GI) does is rank carbohydrates on a scale of 1 to 100. Carbohydrates with a low GI value (55 or less) are more slowly digested, absorbed and cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and offer more satiety.

Consuming Less Calories

Weight-loss requires consuming less calories. So combining slow digesting fat and protein food with low glycemic indexed carbohydrates can be most helpful in preventing “diet hunger” and tolerating reduced calorie weigh-loss or maintenance diets, as well as offering satiety and sound nutrition.

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4 Things We All Do That Make Eating Healthy Harder

Posted on January 22

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about eating healthy, it’s that for the most part, we all know how to do it. We know we need to eat more healthy fats and vegetables, and that we probably should be choosing fish more often than red meat. We’re not surprised that donuts should be limited, or that a cheeseburger with fries isn’t considered a balanced meal.

Plus, anything we’re unsure of we can always look up on the internet. Now I know, the internet is littered with unreliable sources and guidance. But if you know where to look, you can easily find reliable information about nutrition science and studies, as well as recommendations by credentialed health professionals.

You’d think with all this knowledge and access, eating healthy would be a piece of cake (pun intended of course)! Unfortunately that isn’t exactly the case. Yes we know how to eat healthy in theory, but making it happen in real life can be extremely challenging.

We may not have enough time to prepare healthy meals, or even enough money to buy nutritious foods. Our social interactions may revolve around food, or we may need to consider others’ preferences when cooking.

And we can’t forget about how easy it is to get less-than-healthy options. Feeling a little hungry on the way home from work? No problem! Stop by a fast food restaurant for some french fries and an apple turnover. The service is quick and you don’t even have to get out of your car!

These reasons all make it challenging to eat healthy, but a lot of them can be overcome in one way or another. However, because we just love making things difficult for ourselves, there are a few additional things we do that make eating healthy even more challenging. Read on to find out what those are, and how to overcome them.

1. We Have Unrealistic Demands

What? Unrealistic demands? All I want are healthy meal ideas. That are easy to make. And taste amazing. And are more interesting than boring old chicken and broccoli. Also, I can’t eat the same thing every day. Or leftovers…

Usually ready-to-go meals have more sodium and preservatives than we’d like, and healthy meals can be pretty simple. And as I’ve written before, simple doesn’t have to mean boring, but sometimes healthy foods just don’t taste that interesting!

We tend to want meals and snacks that satisfy all our cravings, while simultaneously providing us with nutrition. This wouldn’t be a problem if we craved foods like juicy strawberries or savory almonds, but most of the time our cravings are for much less nutritious foods.

Instead of looking for meals and snacks that are easy, healthy and tasty, choose two of those qualities to focus on. Come up with snacks that are healthy and easy to prepare but don’t exactly taste amazing. Test out recipes that are healthy and taste good, but that take a while to prepare. Start adjusting your food expectations and you’ll find that eating healthy gets a lot easier.

2. We Focus on Perfection

We’re so hard on ourselves when it comes to healthy eating! We may have eaten nothing but fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats for a week, but once we take one bite of a cookie, we think we’ve failed at eating healthy.

We have this idea that eating healthy means choosing the healthiest option every single time. And when that doesn’t happen, we beat ourselves up over our “lack of willpower”.

Even the words we use reinforce this drive for perfection: slipped up, cheated, got off track. Instead of framing our food selection as merely a choice we made, these phrases communicate that there is a right way to eat. They reinforce our belief that eating healthy means eating only good foods, and avoiding all the bad.

The thing is though, aiming for perfection is setting ourselves up for failure. We’re only human, and wanting delicious, satisfying food is in our nature. Of course ideally we’d choose the healthiest option most of the time, but there has to be space for us to sometimes choose differently.

Instead of thinking that eating healthy means always choosing the healthiest option, start thinking about how to make healthy eating a sustainable part of your life.

3. We Forget to be Critical

Have you heard that a low-carb diet could shorten your life? What about that high-fat dairy is now considered healthy? There are endless articles out there reporting on results from nutritional studies, but rarely do we take the time to read the actual study. Instead, we take these articles at face value, and start adopting their recommendations into our daily life.

Both articles I mention report on studies that have found some type of correlation. The first one found a correlation between a low-carb diet and early death, and the second one between high-fat dairy intake and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

If we were to read these articles (or possibly only glance at the titles), we might conclude that carbs and high-fat dairy products are now “good” for us. We could then throw up our hands and loudly complain about how nutrition recommendations change all the time.

However, it’s important for us to remember the difference between correlation and causation. These two studies found a relationship between low-carb diets and early death, and a relationship between high-fat dairy and decreased heart disease. What they didn’t find is causation. They didn’t find that low-carb diets cause early death, or that high-fat dairy causes decreased heart disease.

Any time a correlation is found, it’s important to keep an open mind about what that could mean. Sure, we could eventually find that low-carb diets do cause early death, but maybe we’ll find that people who follow low-carb diets are more likely to have additional unhealthy behaviors that contribute to an early death.

Thinking critically about what you read makes it easier to disregard outlandish claims. That means it’s less likely you’ll be swept up into the latest diet craze, and more likely to find a way to make healthy eating work for you.

4. We Fear Failure

OK, maybe we don’t exactly fear failure, but we sure don’t embrace it when it comes to eating healthy. The thing is, eating healthy is all about experimenting and figuring out what works best for us as individuals. There are many different methods and approaches out there, and it takes a lot of trial and error to find the ones that work for us.

However, all that experimenting means that we experience failure quite often. We may find that cutting out dessert causes intense cravings that result in a binge. Or we could learn that meal prepping on Sunday turns a cherished weekend day into one that’s unbearable.

When these things happen, it can be tempting to start thinking that healthy eating is impossible. Instead of viewing our failures as simply a method that didn’t work for us, we become discouraged and wonder why we should even try.

At these times it’s helpful to remember that eating healthy is an ongoing process. Perfection isn’t the goal, and there’s always improvements to make. Keeping this in mind makes it much less likely our failures will completely derail our healthy eating plans.

Sweet & Spicy Roasted Almonds

Posted on January 17

Ingredients

14-16 oz dry roasted almonds, walnuts or pecans
1 egg white

Sweet & Spicy Seasoning

2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ cup granulated baking stevia
1 tbsp coconut sugar or regular sugar

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat Mat OR non-stick aluminum foil. In a medium bowl, whisk egg white until frothy. Stir in stevia, sugar and spices to combine. Add nuts and combine until they are all coated with the spice mixture.
Spread out nuts on the pan and bake in oven for 20-25 minutes, making sure to watch them towards the end so that they do not burn. Allow to cool completely before storing- a mason jar works great.

Recipe Notes

Look for nuts that are dry roasted (no oil or salt added). If you can’t find these, you can roast raw nuts for about 15 minutes on 300 degrees to toast them before adding to the spiced egg mixture. If you don’t use dry-roasted nuts in this recipe, the end product won’t be as crunchy.
I used baking stevia to keep the sugar lower. Don’t swap honey or agave for the sugar as these will burn easier and add too much liquid.
Carefully watch the nuts towards the end of cooking time! They can burn easily!

Nutrition

(1oz serving) Calories 182; Total Fat 15g; Sodium 128mg; Potassium 213mg; Carbohydrate 10g; Fiber 3g; Protein 6g.

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Pepita and Cashew Granola

Posted on January 15

Ingredients:
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup oil (olive, avocado or any nut oil)
1 cup old fashioned (gluten free) oats
1/4 cup pepitas
1/4 c cashews
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/4 c dried cranberries

Directions:
Combine honey, oil, cinnamon and salt in bowl and whisk to combine. In separate bowl, combine oats, pepitas, cashews and dried cranberries. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture and coat evenly. Spread granola on parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes (325 degrees), stirring after 5 minutes to prevent burning. Let cool and crumble. Granola can be stored in airtight container in the refrigerator.

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Eye Health...

Posted on January 14

...hard work...

Posted on January 08

High Protein Breakfast Muffins (Gluten, Nut and Dairy Free)

Posted on January 04

Ingredients

7 large egg whites
3 large whole eggs
1 mashed banana
1/3 cup oat bran
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1/2 cup berries (optional)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, except for the berries, and mix until uniform consistency forms. Fold in the berries, if desired.
Pour into silicone muffin tins and bake at 375°F for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let cool and enjoy! Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To reheat before eating (if desired), microwave for ~30 seconds.

Note: For a sweeter muffin, you can add a few packets of Stevia. Nutrition Facts (per 3 muffin serving): 235 calories, 9.5g fat, 150 mg sodium, 23g carbohydrates, 8g fiber, 15.5g protein

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