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Video Blog Episode 2 – How to choose your cereals?

Some tips from Janna Boloten R.D.!

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Who wants a quick E.A.S.Y. recipe?

Easy Asian Style Peanut Noodles

Today, I’m going to let you all in on a little secret of mine and that is, my family’s recipe for Asian Style Peanut Noodles. More specifically, Cold Taiwanese Peanut Noodles! This dish is great for outdoor picnics and a treat on a hot summer day. It’s easy, quick and the ingredients are usually already in your refrigerator.

What you’ll need:

  • Spaghetti or Spaghettini(Whole Wheat)
  • Garlic
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Peanut Butter
  • Water
  • Soy Sauce and Sesame Oil

Cook noodles al dente.

Rinse in cold water until cool.

Mince the garlic! Add lots and lots of garlic. I love garlic! We made a picnic portion so an entire box of spaghettini, we used an entire ball of garlic. I’d say half to one clove per bowl of noodles.

Equal Ratio of peanut butter to water, and mix till smooth. Per bowl, one spoonful of peanut butter. Add to taste later if not enough.

Mix till smooth!

Shredded Carros and Cucumbers. Leave the skin/peel on for cucumbers for more color.

Tablespoon of soy sauce per two servings(shown above) (so 1/2 for one).

Tablespoon of sesame oil per two servings also! It makes a huge difference!

Mix all the ingredients and the peanut butter mixture should be smooth enough to cover the plate of noodles. (Also, I’m sorry for not wiping the plate cleaner, the stains are bothering me so much!! Haha)

For protein, add shredded chicken or sauteed firm tofu! For a kick, add some asian hot sauce. My oh my, it is oh so good. Please try it!!!

– D the Intern 

Healthy Eating Tips for the Holidays

It’s that time of year where clients and friends start asking me for tips about holiday eating.  Here are my top 10:

  1. Have a snack before going to your party. The ideal snack contains protein and a carb to keep you feeling full and energetic.  Have an apple with a stick cheese or a tablespoon of nut butter on a slice of whole wheat bread.
  2. Make sure you are well hydrated before going out.  Often people mistake thirst for hunger.
  3. Remember my motto? Always ask yourself “is this worth the calories?”
  4. Plan, plan and plan some more.  Plan to workout either the day of or the day after the Christmas party.  Plan your breakfast, lunch and snacks to allow for a few extra calories at the party.
  5. Alcohol contains a lot of calories.  The daily recommendation for alcohol intake is 1 drink for women and 2 for men (12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor).  The caloric range for 1 of these drinks is between 110-150 calories.
  6. Keep a food diary over the holiday season.  Studies show that people who journal what they eat, consume less calories.  If you end up packing on the pounds a food diary is the best thing to bring to a dietitian come January.
  7. Everything in moderation! Have a little bit of this and a little bit of that but not a whole lotta this and a whole lotta that.  For example, have 2 or 3 hors d’oeuvres, 1/2 glass of wine, fill up on salad with a TBSP of dressing eat only 1/2 the main course and finish off with a couple of forkfuls of dessert.  That’s it!
  8. Consider the fact that it is easier to avoid the extra 500 calories than it is to burn it off with exercise.  (If you weigh about 150 lbs, it would take you an hour of jogging to burn off 500 calories).  If you can exercise like a fiend during this season, all the power to you! However, if you really don’t have time or you are just not motivated then the easiest way to control your weight is to watch what you put in your mouth.
  9. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables (frozen and canned have optimal amounts of nutrients at this time of year over fresh) and high fiber foods like whole wheat pasta, real multi-grain bread and high fiber cereals to help combat the effects of SAD.  Complex carbohydrates boost serotonin levels.
  10. Have fun and remember that mindful eating is where it is at!

In Ernie’s own words

-My LA friend told me about his weight loss experience and I immediately brushed it off as “undoable ” for me
-it helped to have bought a designer shirt that made me look pregnant and kept me motivated.
-One day, I was at a business lunch and people noticed I was eating salad… they said “what are you on a diet?” I said “yes, I just started yesterday”, we all laughed and took it as a big joke, but it committed me to the idea and that day was day one! Announcing your intention to people publicly keeps you committed to the cause (it’s a Tony Robbins thing…)
-My focus was purely on eliminating white carbs and sweets also (not adding) sugars to my food…calorie count, etc… was not my focus.
-I think by focusing on one thing (in my case 2 ) I was able to keep disciplined.
-I have never been a “scale ” person, but did a weigh in every 2-3 months….good things were happening and undoable became achievable
-Over the summer, I was very motivated to keep a healthy lifestyle, the goal was 4-5 activities / week (tennis,  swimming , hiking , walks…keep it fun & light )
– I lost 20 pounds between Jan-June, then put on 7 pounds in the summer….and since September that weight is off !
-the weight loss was steady, nothing drastic, and except for the summer glitch (which was due to mom’s pasta, which I have since got her to buy whole wheat) everything is back on track.
-another friend recently came over and warned me about the dangers of sodium. He went through my fridge and cupboards and told me how everything was a killer! Now I can spend 5-10 minutes in a grocery store comparing sugars & sodium content in granola cereal!!!!
-As you take the first step and get a comfort zone with it, you will be ready to add to the mix…first sweets then carbs, then sodium, then calories…until eventually I’ll be a pure vegan one day, Never !!!
-I am reading more articles and more keen to learning about nutritional/ health….and slowly you try to implement those lessons learned
-I’m not that obsessive, nor consider myself a detail oriented person, but I started to get it
-nutrition is also a great ice-breaker conversation topic…I find people latch on to the topic and more often than not people are concerned and taking steps to improve their health through nutrition & fitness. People want to let you know what they’re doing and want to talk about it…
-cheats: at first I went “cold turkey , but came to understand that the body can take small doses and restrictions are negative, so on the odd occasions a slice of cheesecake or tiramisu is in order, but a small piece !
-success leaves clues….people have noticed a change and are impressed, they want to know what I did , how I started and hopefully they find their own motivation and their own tricks for getting into better shape, for their reasons…

Scrambling for Supper? Read this

Keeping on top of social media, I follow many nutrition blogs, Twitter feeds and Facebook groups.  It keeps me up to date in the world of healthy eating.  Through this amazing cyber world I met Aviva Goldfarb who works and lives in Maryland.  She is the author of the new cookbook SOS! The Six O’clock Scramble to the Rescue.  I was trying to win a copy all summer but ended up heading over to Amazon.  It sounded like the ideal book for me.  It was described as being the perfect tool for busy health conscious moms.  Hey that’s me!  The majority of the recipes take about 30 minutes from prep to table.  That’s impressive.  The book is divided up by seasons to maximize seasonal produce.  I have been telling clients for years that this is the best way to cook.

The cookbook was deliverd in August but I didn’t read through it until a few weeks later.  I read cookbooks like other people read novels.  I take my time and go through every recipe. I fold over the corners if it’s a recipe I intend to make.  By the time I had finished reading this book I had folded over more than half the pages in the book and there were a lot of recipes in this book.  The recipes have codes for vegetarian, Kosher style, extra speedy and make ahead.

Here is where it gets interesting.  Aviva has a website that contains all the recipes in the book plus hundreds more.  If you are a subscriber, you get a meal plan in your e-mail box every Wednesday.  Each meal plan contains a variety of 5 recipes plus a grocery list.  All of these recipes are tested by Aviva and 5 other families.  Now if you like living on the edge than this is a no-brainer easy way to cook for your family.  However, if you are picky like me and always feel like cooking what you want to cook then someone telling you what to cook is not an option.  Guess what?  You can customize your weekly plan with Aviva’s site.  The first week I chose 6 recipes from her book that I liked.  Then I added them to the create my meal plan section and then (here is the best part) I clicked “print grocery list”.  It was stupid easy.  I used this method the week I got my new fridge so I needed to replace a lot of food.  The grocery list contained every single item I would need to make the 6 recipes I chose.  I had to replace a lot of staples.  The next week I typed in the protein I wanted to make and chose another 6 recipes but from the website list instead of the book.  I clicked the easy button again and voila my grocery list was printed.  The third week I tried a few web based recipes plus a few from the book.

I really don’t like following rules so the benefit to meal planning this way is that I can decide every night which of those meal I will make.  I know I have all the ingredients so it doesn’t matter which I order I cook them in. In the past, I tried chicken Mondays and pasta Thursdays but I got bored pretty quickly with this type of meal planning.  I need variety and spontaneity.  I am not saying this is a bad method because it works very well for many people.  I just know myself and cannot commit to Fishy Friday.

Aviva has generously donated a 3 month subscription to her awesome website.  If you are interested please leave a comment on this post and follow Aviva and me on Facebook.  I will randomly select a winner on October 26th.   Thanks!

Crazy Confusing Carbohydrates

The world of nutrition has been rocked by some recent studies.  In the past, the belief was that dietary fats were primarily responsible for heart disease and obesity.  The food industry responded by cutting fat in all their processed products.  Fat was replaced by sugars.

North Americans kept getting bigger and the problem with heart disease was getting worse.  People became fat phobic and shunned anything they perceived to be high in fat including healthy fats found in nuts and seeds, olive oils and even avocados.

It should come as no surprise that current research indicates that dietary sugar is problematic.  It seems that highly refined carbohydrates are worse for your heart than saturated fats.

Consequently, the term carbohydrate is horribly confusing for most people.  I ask all of my patients to define it for me.  90% will say bread, pastas, rice and cereal.  They are not wrong. However, those foods are considered simple carbohydrates because they are made from refined white flour.  Complex carbohydrates are not highly processed and have a low glycemic index value.  These foods include: legumes, brown rice, whole grain bread and whole wheat pasta.

To make matters even more confusing there are carbohydrates in fruits, vegetables and even milk.  However, the fiber in the fruit and vegetables and the protein in the milk are good for you.  These combinations are beneficial.

Consider foods such as pastries, cookies, Danish, muffins, crackers, chocolate bars, candy, cake, pies and you’ve got a list of foods made with added sugar and some of them with refined white based flour.  These foods are addictive and can lead to weight gain and health issues like heart disease and diabetes.

If you reduce your intake of sugar containing foods and sugar containing beverages like regular soda (and even diet soda) and juice then you can significantly improve your diet.

Replace white pasta with whole wheat and white rice with brown rice.  Use only whole grain breads and rolls when making sandwiches or toast.  Experiment with legumes in recipes.  Try making a lentil vegetable soup or a chickpea salad.  Instead of making mashed potatoes with white potatoes, use sweet potatoes as a substitute.  Consider baking with whole wheat flour and cutting down on the amount of sugar in the recipe.  Try using unsweetened applesauce in place of sugar.  Instead of juice, try homemade smoothies made from frozen fruit of your choice and milk or yogurt.

Ramblings from an overheated dietitian

The truth is my brain is too fuzzy, sweaty and hot to write
any thing profound about nutrition.  I
have no ac in my house and all I want to do is drink water and look for a
breeze.  I can barely concentrate and am
craving carbohydrates.

It seems my clients are feeling the same way.  Giving into abandon and eating what ever they
feel like because it’s just too hot to think.
At the very least stay well hydrated so water and fruit are your best
bets.  Personally, I like a little ice
coffee here and there.  Speaking of iced
coffee I tried to get one the local Tim Horton’s this week.  Apparently, they don’t make them
anymore!?  They only debuted last summer!!!!!  Anyway the girl at the counter offers me an
iced cappuccino instead and knowing how much junk is in there, I say sure but
make it a small and use milk instead of cream. She says ok and then a few
minutes later returns with this soupy grossness.  I say to her “isn’t this supposed to be made
with slushy ice?” With attitude she responds that they have been making a lot
of them and this how they are coming out of the machine and that it tastes good
if not better. Ya right.  Without the slushy
ice it just tastes like cold, sugary, over processed Coffee-mate.  It’s amazing how slushy ice can alter the
flavour, mouth feel and enjoyment of a food or beverage.

In other new, I was sitting outside drinking my 20th
glass of water of the day when a strange looking tattooed man jogged by with bare
feet.  He was going at a snail’s pace but
jogging nonetheless and talking on his cell phone.  I wasn’t sure if it was inspiring or like
looking at a train wreck.

Finally, I got Richard a bike today for his upcoming
birthday on Sunday.  He needs to get more
active and I always say you got to do something you love and that is fun.  Good luck to him.  He just rode off to Scrabble club.