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Main Article: "Put Your Best Fork Forward"

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Main Article: "Put Your Best Fork Forward"

Main Article: "Put Your Best Fork Forward"

Written by Desireeh Chevere | Reviewed by Adiana Castro MS, RDN, CDN, CLT

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has created a campaign, called National Nutrition Month, for the month of March to advertise nutrition education and the importance of it. It is focused on helping people make informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. What’s great about the Academy is that they have professionals that can help guide the public on gradually shifting toward a healthy lifestyle instead of doing it all on your own. The Academy is able to help the public by promoting National Nutrition Month activities and messages throughout the month. They make sure to promote the most valuable and credible source of timely, scientifically-based food and nutrition information, so be sure to be on the lookout for that!

This year the theme is “Put Your Best Fork Forward,” which serves as a reminder that all of us have the necessary tool to make healthier food choices. This month is dedicated to helping people feel empowered to making small changes in their daily lives to help improve health now and also in the long run. A healthier lifestyle doesn’t always happen overnight, so that is why this month is for helping people making small changes over time. The Academy encourages people to balance food and beverages within an individual’s energy needs, rather than focusing on a specific type of food or meal. This month is important because it will help people realize that making healthier eating choices requires a long-term commitment, which will in turn lead to a healthier and more enjoyable life. Below you will get a taste of what the Academy is promoting:

1. Think Nutrient-Rich  

Think nutrient-rich rather than “good” or “bad” foods. The majority of your food choices should be packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients. Making smart food choices can help you stay healthy, manage your weight and be physically active.

2. Focus on Variety

Eat a variety of foods from all the food groups to get the nutrients your body needs. Fruits and vegetables can be fresh, frozen or canned. Eat more dark green vegetables such as leafy greens and broccoli and orange vegetables including carrots and sweet potatoes. Vary your protein choices with more fish, beans, nuts and seeds. Try to choose whole-grains when eating cereals, breads, crackers, rice or pasta.

3. Cook More, Eat Out Less

Convenience food isn’t as convenient as we would like, they often cost us more! Try to switch out the frozen dinners and fast food for foods that are prepared at home. Go back to the basics and find simple, inexpensive and healthy recipes to make with your family.

4. Frozen Food

Don’t let all frozen food go, especially not frozen vegetables. At certain times of the year frozen vegetables will not only help save some money but it will also last longer than fresh. For instance, you can try cooking frozen broccoli with a side of rice or pasta and chicken.

5. Plan Ahead

Planning ahead can be quite beneficial, especially when you’re busy throughout the week and don’t have much time to do things. A helpful suggestion is to plan what you would like to eat for the week before going to the grocery store. You can plan by reviewing your favorite recipes and see what kind of ingredients you will need. Also, be sure to see what foods you already have and make a list of what you are missing. This list will help avoid buying any extra items.

References:

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/resources/national-nutrition-month/national-nutrition-month 

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New Trend: Hawaiian Poke

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New Trend: Hawaiian Poke

Written by Desireeh Chevere | Reviewed by Jennifer Calo MS, RDN, CDN, CLT

Calling all seafood lovers! Have you heard of the popular new food trend, Hawaiian Poke? The dish has been around for centuries but has become increasingly popular in NYC in the last couple of years. Poke (pronounced “poh-KAY”) means “chunk” in Hawaiian and it is a raw seafood salad cut into chunks, often marinated with soy sauce and sesame oil. There are many variations of the dish, but the most common is raw tuna in a marinade with onions, scallions, and seaweed.  It is similar to tartare and ceviche, but with a bolder, less acidic flavor. Not only is Poke a delicious and colorful meal, it offers nutritional benefits as well!

Fish is a great source of protein that is  overall low in calories and saturated fat. Poke is rich in heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids that can reduce blood pressure, heart rate, while also improving other cardiovascular risk factors. According to the American Heart Association, eating fish in moderation, such as twice a week, can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.  Fish intake can also lower your risk of mental decline and depression. While fish does contain mercury, research confirms the benefits of omega-3s far outweigh the risk of mercury contamination. Those concerned about the mercury levels of fish can opt for salmon, which is significantly lower in mercury than tuna.

There are endless varieties of Poke, and you can even make it at home! Make sure to purchase local, very fresh sashimi or sushi-grade fish. All you need is your choice of fish (salmon or tuna), vegetables (edamame, onions, carrots, or cucumber), soy sauce, sesame oil, and the best part- the seasonings! Have fun experimenting with wasabi, ginger, scallions, and even avocado for a savory flavorful meal.

This delicious food trend gets the stamp of approval from Registered Dietitian Nutritionists!

 

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True or False: Coffee is bad and should be avoided.

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True or False: Coffee is bad and should be avoided.

Good news for coffee lovers, this is false! Coffee has been consumed for generations and can provide us with great health benefits when consumed in moderation. Research shows that coffee drinkers reduce their risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, certain cancers, heart rhythm problems, and strokes.

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Main Article: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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Main Article: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so it’s time to kick it into gear to save those tatas! Although there is not a sure way to prevent it, there are things you can do to lower your risk. Even though there are certain factors about you that may put you at a higher risk for breast cancer, such as being a woman, getting older, or inherited genes, there are life-style related factors that can be improved to lower your risk.

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August Seasonal Recipe

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August Seasonal Recipe

Zucchini is a type of summer squash, which can be found at your local farmers market or at the grocery store. It is mostly water and has a tender texture with a slightly sweet flavor. 

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Nutrition Trend: Juices Pretending To Be Water

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Nutrition Trend: Juices Pretending To Be Water

Nutrition Trend:  Juices Pretending To Be Water

Written by Kelli Baker | Reviewed by Nikita Kapur, MS, RDN, CDN, CLT

A recent trend on grocery store shelves has been the emergence of alternative water sources such as coconut water, watermelon water and maple water all spouting superior nutritional benefits to the consumer.  These products are hyped up to have additional ingredients to regular H20 including vitamins and minerals that are naturally occurring and capable of enhancing a person’s health akin to a superfood. Essentially what the marketing industry has done is combined our image of water as being essential, hydrating and replenishing with healthy words like coconut, watermelon and maple all in an effort to sell a sugary drink. 

Coconut water, one of the first to capitalize on this marketing scheme, has been touted as “mother nature’s sports drink” because of its high potassium content and ability to replenish electrolytes after a tough workout similar to a sports drink.   Watermelon and maple water have similar health claims of electrolyte replenishment and product descriptions often include advantageous components like antioxidants and phytochemicals. 

While it is true these water sources have various natural vitamins and minerals within them that are beneficial to our health, they also contain added sugar and calories that can add up quickly. These waters have more in common with juices than actual water and are easy to over consume. Moreover, since these drinks have added sugars, they can easily spike your blood sugar levels especially when drinking without exercise, which may also lead to energy crashes. Coconut water for instance contains 6g of sugar and 46 calories per 8oz serving while watermelon water has the same amount of calories with 10g of sugar and maple water contains 25 calories with 5g of sugar per 8oz serving.  This may not seem like a significant amount, but for someone who wants to lose weight these unnecessary drinkable calories and grams of added sugar can add up throughout the day.  With that being said, if you still feel the urge to enjoy natural flavored water like coconut, watermelon or maple, the best time is an hour after a workout when a quick source of these nutrients is optimal to consume.  Enjoy these juice waters as a post workout treat while sticking to regular water throughout the day. 

So, if you are looking to lose some weight and save some money, seeing as one bottle will cost you between $3 to $5, you are better off eating your calories instead of drinking them. The truth of the matter is you could drink some plain H20, eat some coconut or watermelon, or any other fruit or maybe even add some maple syrup to your breakfast pancakes and receive the same nutritional benefits that you would from drinking one of these higher priced waters with the added benefit of feeling fuller. 

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HEALTHY EATING AT BARBECUES & PICNICS

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HEALTHY EATING AT BARBECUES & PICNICS

HEALTHY EATING AT BARBECUES & PICNICS 

Written by Kanika Kohli| Reviewed by Adiana Castro, MS, RDN, CDN, CLT

Summer is finally here and it’s time to be outdoors to get some sun. Weather you are planning on hitting the beach or going out for picnics and barbeques you need to keep in mind that summer does not give us an excuse to eat poorly.  It is very easy to make poor food choices when outdoors, especially with fast foods and sugar-laden foods being ubiquitous.

So to make sure we eat well when outdoors, we need to plan ahead and carry foods and snacks that not only taste good but also are nutritious.

Here are some tips to help you eat healthy through the summer season.

Tips to eat healthy at a BBQ

Contribute something that's good for you: if you bring a healthy dish/snack, you know you will be able to eat something nutritious, no matter how decadent the other dishes are.

·      Make or Bring your own salad: BBQ’s are notorious for having salads of every type, most of which are salads by name only such as pasta salad, taco salad, macaroni salad, and potato salad. So, bringing a green-based salad with an olive oil/lemon juice/vinaigrette dressing will ensure you have a healthy option for salad.

·      Make or bring a healthy appetizer: Chips and dips are enjoyable to eat but can load up on calories, so make sure to bring at least one healthy appetizer like vegetables and hummus to munch on while the grill is firing up.

2.     Fill up on vegetables and healthy items first: Try to load up on the green salads or grilled vegetables first before you fill your plate with high calorie foods (ribs etc.), doing so will not only give you a dose of antioxidants and fiber, you will also be less likely to overeat the higher calorie foods.

3.     Choose lean protein and healthy fats: Lean protein and health fats help you to feel fuller than carbohydrates, so enjoy a lean beef burger, a piece of chicken or fish and some tofu.

4.     Be mindful and eat slowly: eating slowly will prevent you from overeating

5.     Watch portion size: Here are 3 easy points of reference

·      A tennis ball or clenched fist = one cup. This measure is useful for sides such as pasta salad, potato salad or Cole slaw. Aim for 1cup total of these starchy (often calorie laden) side dishes.

·      A deck of cards = 3 ounces of meat or 1 serving. This measure is useful for food like steak.

·      Your thumb = about 1 tablespoon. This is good for estimating salad dressing or spread.

6.     Watch those liquid or alcohol calories: Sweet and sugary drinks can load up on calories (have a few hundred calories), so make sure you don't overdo it.

7.     Go easy on dessert: If there is something like fresh fruit being served take that first and then go for the dessert.

TipTips to pack healthy snacks for the beach or a picnic

Summer picnics and beach outings occur at the peak of the fresh fruit and vegetable season. This is the time to add color to your meals and to fill your picnic basket or beach cooler with fresh produce like peaches, mangoes, berries, cherries, watermelon, tomatoes, avocados, corn, zucchini, peas and fresh herbs – they are not only packed with antioxidants but also taste delicious.

Carry Light and crunchy appetizers

·      Pack crisp raw veggies like cucumber, carrots, celery, asparagus tips, cherry tomatoes and radishes and enjoy them with nutritious dips like hummus, salsa, eggplant dip, bean dip, avocado dip or Greek yogurt with herbs and spices.

·      Carry wholegrain crackers such as oat crisps instead of high fat chips and enjoy them with nutritious dips.

2.     Carry wraps/sandwiches as a main dish: Wraps are easy to transport and eat, and can be super nutritious when made with whole grain tortilla/bread, lean protein, veggies and homemade Ranch dressing or salsa.

3.     Carry nutritious snacks like

·      Greek Yogurt

·      Granola

·      Fresh fruits/frozen fruits

·      Ruby rocket’s frozen veggie and fruit pops

·      Wholegrain crackers with nut butter or cheese

·      Trail mix

       4. Carry lots of frozen/cold water bottles

Stay hydrated

It is very easy to get dehydrated without even knowing it when you are outdoors

(BBQ, beach or picnic) in the sun, that's why it is very important to make sure you consume plenty of fluids throughout the day to avoid getting dehydrated.

A strategy to avoid dehydration is to carry a water bottle to sip on water regularly.

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Trends : Kombucha

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Trends : Kombucha

You may have heard your friends talk about it, or seen it sold at your favorite lunch place, but what is Kombucha? Simply, Kombucha is a slightly bubbly, sweetened black or green tea that is produced by fermenting the tea with what is called a SCOBY (a “symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast”). Sometimes the tea also has added flavors like fruit juice. 

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Supper Clubs

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Supper Clubs

In New York City, underground supper clubs are nothing new, but many venues are invite-only or entail a long wait list, such as Studiofeast, Forking Tasty, and Dinner Lab. However, now Supper Clubs are becoming less exclusive thanks to online social services...

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Can food help your mood?

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Can food help your mood?

While there is no magic food that can cure depression or put an automatic smile on your face, there are a number of foods that can’t hurt. With more and more research on the topic each week, we are just starting to learn how to modulate our mood with nutrition.

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Compass Nutrition