Sunday Session – Paleo Infused Bites, Pumpkin Soup +

In one way or another we all know that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Relating to health and healthy eating, this is so true. It’s hard to eat the right things if you do not have food in your kitchen. If you have nothing on hand, take-out usually falls into place. And even when you have plenty of food stocked in your refrigerator, if you don’t think about when you are going to eat what, food may spoil, you may not get as much satisfaction out of your meals and more.

One solution is to carve out some time during the week to make some meals and snacks for the following 5-7 days. A few items I did this Sunday included:

Pumpkin Ginger Soup

Ingredients: Japanese pumpkin, vegetable stock, coconut milk, onion, ginger, garlic, pepper, salt

Method: First heat the pumpkin in the oven for about 15 minutes on 400F. Take out, let cool to the touch. Slice off peel with a good knife  Cube and place in a slow-cooker. Add in a gluten free stock, coconut cream and remaining spices. Let cook for ~6 hours and then puree with a hand blender.
Usage: Easy compliment to lunch/dinner. Exploding with nutrients, and making me feel healthy going about the week.



Paleo Infused Bites (very similar to what you see in the store as Lara Bars)

Ingredients: Almonds, cocoa nibs, dates, prunes.
Method: Mix the nuts and cocoa nibs first, until it becomes close to a paste/butter. Mix in the dates and once it is finely blended, add in prunes to make it all stick together better. Portion the ingredients into balls and let sit for a few hours to dry-out.
Usage: Easy, satisfying snack for when time is short. Lately I have been eating these before a 6:30pm yoga session.










Salad – this is as easy as it sounds.

Ingredients: Spinach, carrot, scallion, basil, green bell pepper
Method: Use some sort of leafy greens for the base and add in whatever other raw vegetables you have on hand.
Usage: A colorful and premade salad is more tempting than a bag of spinach sitting in the back corner of my refrigerator. This preparation makes it uber easy to throw together a meal for lunch during the week.


Hard Boiled Eggs

Ingredients: Free range eggs
Method: Boil eggs on a stovetop. Trick to make them easier to peel is to add teh eggs after the water is brought to a boil.
Usage: Protein rich food to have as a snack or to add to a meal/salad.

Don’t Miss the Boat

In this not so lovely recession, it has been noted that many consumers are purchasing more vitamins. I am by no means the vitamin police but I want to stress the importance that diet should not be overlooked while taking supplements. It is great that people are thinking of their well-being in these tough times but don’t miss the boat that nutrient-dense food is what does your body good. Think of it this way — Did your great grandma run to the market to buy MonaVie juice? No. Decades ago these type of supplements were not available and people were eating whole, unprocessed food. If you choose to supplement your diet with vitamins, etc., be sure to continue to focus on what you are eating too.

A few pointers for staying on the health track (these tips are not ranked in any way):
  1. Eat your meals and stop at a point where you would normally want two more bites. Eating less means having to buy less BUT do not eat too few calories. Click here for guidance.
  2. Eat breakfast! I can’t say this enough; it can do wonders for your body and metabolism! But, be sure to make it a healthy and balanced meal. Sample: Greek yogurt and whole-grain, high fiber cereal, topped with fruit.
  3. Drink plenty of water. Finally, a new study revealed a connection with drinking water and weight loss. Published in Obesity, researchers found that women who had up to 1 liter of water a day dropped as much as 5 pounds in a year.
  4. Eat enough protein. Protein can play a strong role in satiety (feeling of fullness). Try to incorporate lean protein either from dairy, meat, beans or vegetarian products in most of your meals and/or snacks. My favorite afternoon snack right now is edamame!
  5. Sleep. Yes cardio and anaerobic exercise does wonders to our bodies but what good can it do with no sleep? Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night.
  6. Strive to always do your best and take care of yourself and your health.

Have a healthy and fit day!

A Juicy Story – And a Nutritious One

When you’re thirsty, a refreshing, fruity beverage often hits the spot. Drink 100 percent juice for the greatest nutritional benefit.

Good examples include pink grapefruit juice and orange juice. Choosing juice for nutrition means reading the label. Check to be sure that the product is 100 percent juice. Read the ingredient list carefully to make sure that juice is one of the first ingredients.

As with most fruits and vegetables, the more colorful the juice, the more nutrients it contains, that may help protect against some cancers, heart disease and other chronic health conditions.
As more and more juices are fortified with calcium, you can double your benefit. But, since juices lack fiber, try to keep your intake to one serving daily.

Please let me know what your favorite juice is. I love carrot juice….yum!

Have a healthy and fit day!

Produced by ADA’s Public Relations Team

I am a dieting diabetic dietitian that takes supplements

I am a sole believer that “food is thy medicine” and that all consumers should eat food closest to the farm as possible; meaning that we should eat food in its most natural form. However, from reviewing peer-reviewed articles and reading newly published studies, the average person (myself included) can be deficient in some crucial vitamins and minerals.

Overall, I think I eat a balanced diet but I take daily supplements to make sure I meet all my needs. So what do I take?

Vitamin D. In addition to drinking my milk, I take a vitamin D supplement. Why? Three out of four people are deficient in vitamin D. This “super” vitamin plays a significant role in our bodies beyond bone health. From diabetes to multiple sclerosis to mortality, this vitamin has a place in our diet.

Fish oil. I have dived deeply into the research on a low inflammation diet; which has confirmed my thoughts on the need of a fish oil supplement. Not often enough do I eat the amount of fish I’d like a week, so I supplement with these pills to get the recommended omega-3 fatty acids I need.

Multivitamin. I take this to round out any nutrients I miss from my meals and snacks.

Make sure to talk with your doctor before you start any supplements. Certain vitamins can interact with medications.

Have a healthy and fit day!

Future foods will cater to personal health

Wouldn’t it be great if you knew which foods you should be eating based on your own personal health profile?

What’s for dinner? In the future, you should know exactly what’s best for your body, experts say.

We know that certain foods are bad for people with particular conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes. Advising a generally healthy person on foods that will prevent future disease, on the other hand, is far more complicated, and represents one of the challenges for scientists working in food science.

In the future, people should be able to tailor their diets and supplements to their particular biochemistry, said experts presenting at the annual meeting of the American Association of the Advancement of Science this week.

Right now the food industry is centered on products, said J. Bruce German, professor and food chemist at the University of California, Davis. That means profits depend on lowering the cost of production and making things cheaper.

“No one’s getting healthy in this model,” he said. “It’s clear we have to move toward a consumer-driven food supply.”

In a consumer-driven food world, the industry would focus its goals on improving all aspects of the consumer’s health, he said. People would receive dietary recommendations based on a very specific individualized health assessment, taking into account age, sex and medical history, he said.

Once scientists have a better understanding of the way metabolism works — research that is well under way — people will be able to better personalize their diets to meet their own health needs, German said.

Right now, the blanket recommendations are missing the mark. For example, look at omega-3 fatty acids, which may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Although most people don’t get the recommended intake of omega-3s, found mainly in fish oils, different healthy people react very differently to these acids, meaning some need them a lot more than others, German said.

Moreover, there’s little hard evidence supporting the use of vitamin C and zinc supplements, although they’re widespread in pharmacies, said Dr. M. Eric Gershwin, professor of medicine at the University of California, Davis.

As for herbal supplements like ginseng, Gershwin and colleagues found in a survey of products in Davis and Sacramento that half of the ginseng they bought actually contained no ginseng.

The immune system, “a complicated, multiorgan, chemical and genetic nightmare,” evolved about 250,000 years ago, meaning it’s unlikely that we can improve it much just by eating certain foods, Gershwin said.

What we do know is that being thin is good for the immune system, and that foods rich in antioxidants have the potential to reduce inflammation that occurs in the body, he said.

It’s also important to recognize that the immune system slows down with age. When a baby gets hepatitis A, parents may not even know the child is sick, but older adults have a 25 percent chance of death from the disease, he said. In thinking about how to improve diets in the future, age is therefore a huge factor.

Educating the immune system at a young age is also key, and that means it’s actually good that babies get exposed to some bacteria. Gershwin advises that if your child’s pacifier falls on the floor, put it right back in his or her mouth.

In fact, one theory, called the hygiene hypothesis, is that allergies to foods and pollens in America are so rampant because we’re too clean, experts say.

The bottom line is that being deficient in a nutrient such as vitamin D has harmful effects, but once you achieve a certain level, it’s not clear that excess vitamins will help the immune system, Gershwin said.

Another direction that food science is taking is genomics. Researchers are looking at the genes of edible organisms to figure out what about them makes them beneficial to humans, knowledge that may enhance diets in the future.

For instance, scientists are looking into how human milk evolved. Curiously, one component of breast milk is something that infants cannot digest: oligosaccharides. Research in the last few years has shown that these oligosaccharides stimulate particular bacteria in the intestine, which is a beneficial process.

“The mother is recruiting another life form to baby-sit the infant,” German said.


Stepping up to the plate on greater food regulation

State and local officials push trans fat bans and menu labeling. Some restaurants, diners and manufacturers object.

By Jerry Hirsch 10:14 PM PST, December 16, 2008

Restaurants are being told to list calorie counts on their menus. Schools are banning bake sales, and cities are outlawing new fast-food restaurants in some neighborhoods.State and local governments, concerned about the growing cost of obesity and diabetes and the ever-higher cost of healthcare, are acting more like food police. And more regulations may be ahead.

Decades of federal inaction in fighting the nation’s obesity epidemic and regulating dangerous food ingredients such as artery-clogging trans fats are behind these local and state efforts, said Michael Jacobson, director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.The Obama administration, with large majorities in Congress and headed by a president who made healthcare a centerpiece of his campaign, could launch a new era of food regulation, he said. “The Obama administration clearly believes strongly that government has a major role to play in many arenas, including protecting the public’s health.”Jacobson and other proponents of more oversight of what and how the nation eats want to see the Food and Drug Administration split into two agencies, with one focusing on food and the other on drugs and medical devices.

They say the FDA commissioner traditionally has been preoccupied with drug regulation and has allowed food oversight to flounder. Critics cite what they characterize as the agency’s weak, slow and inept efforts this year when melamine was found in contaminated infant formula in the United States and a months-long outbreak of salmonella poisoning in produce sent 286 consumers to the hospital.Greater regulation of food production, preparation and consumption — whether on the local or national level — is controversial.”The government might have good intentions, but can’t average citizens make up their own minds on what to eat? This is an example of nanny government,” said Bill Whalen, an analyst at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.Despite some criticism from food manufacturers and restaurants, state and local officials are setting the pace and defining the agenda. New York City, Philadelphia and California have banned trans fats.Several local health departments — including Los Angeles County — want the federal government to reclassify salt as a food additive, a move that would pave the way for greater regulation.More than a dozen states and numerous cities are pondering legislation patterned after a new California law forcing chain restaurants to list calorie counts on menus. Los Angeles has a one-year moratorium on new fast-food outlets in a 32-square-mile area of South Los Angeles that is home to 500,000 residents. San Jose is looking at a similar proposal.A legislative and consumer backlash against trans fats has pushed big restaurant chains — including KFC, Burger King, IHOP, Applebee’s, Starbucks, Subway, Taco Bell and Denny’s — to begin to eliminate trans fats from their foods.Yum Brands Inc., the parent of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, isn’t waiting for more legislation. It plans to add product calorie information to menu boards in its company-owned restaurants nationwide and to encourage franchise owners to do the same. The company said the calorie information would be phased onto menu boards starting this year and be completed by Jan. 1, 2011.It’s a big move by one of the largest purveyors of fast food. Louisville, Ky.-based Yum franchises or owns about 20,000 U.S. restaurants.So far, the local regulatory initiatives have gained momentum because of rising rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease, said Amy Winterfeld, a health policy analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures.”If Americans ate healthier food and were more active they would not be as obese and there would not be as many obesity-related healthcare costs,” Winterfeld said.Yet restaurant customers don’t always agree that legislating food rules or forcing chains to post nutritional information is the best way to tackle the problem.”They are going too far trying to regulate people’s lives and health. Soon they will be regulating portions,” said David Yochelson, an Encino attorney who dines out with his family several times a month.Policies such as the fast-food establishment moratorium in Los Angeles border on racism, said Joe R. Hicks, vice president of Community Advocates Inc., a Los Angeles civil rights organization.”It’s insulting. They are saying that if you live in Brentwood you have the ability to make choices for yourself but if you live in South Los Angeles you don’t,” Hicks said.

The restaurant industry calls the trend to legislate food choices a case of mistaken priorities.”With crime and budget-shortfall issues, why are city and state legislators focusing on trans fats and fast-food restaurants?” asked Jot Condie, president of the California Restaurant Assn.

State Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) disagrees. The author of the menu-labeling legislation believes government has a legitimate interest in food-related health issues because of how poor diet affects health and, by extension, state and federal budgets.”As long as we have an obesity epidemic and a health crisis in our communities there is a role for government to play. The debate comes over how much is too much and how much is too little,” Padilla said.Menu labeling gives people the information to make healthful eating decisions, he noted, but it doesn’t tell people how to eat or limit options.

Jacobson said there was already evidence that increased food regulation was paying off.Just two years ago Harvard University medical school researchers estimated that artificial trans fats — from partially hydrogenated oil — caused 72,000 to 228,000 heart attacks annually in the United States.Jacobson said that number was already dropping as cities and states started to ban trans fats and restaurants and food producers moved to remove them from their offerings.In July, California became the first state to require restaurants to cook without trans fats. The law requires restaurants to use oils, margarines and shortening with less than half a gram of trans fats per serving by Jan. 1, 2010, and applies the standard to deep-fried bakery goods by Jan. 1, 2011.Menu labeling is another trend. Some health advocates believe that if people see the amount of calories, fat and salt in meals before they order them, they gravitate to more healthful selections.Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation in September requiring chain restaurants in California to display calorie counts with each menu item. It was the first state law of its kind in the nation but won the support of the California Restaurant Assn. because it standardized requirements and preempted local ordinances in Santa Clara and San Francisco.The new law applies to restaurants with 20 or more locations in California, about 17,000 eateries. Beginning July 1, they must provide brochures with the number of calories and grams of saturated fat for each item. Starting Jan. 1, 2011, all menus and menu boards will have to include the number of calories for each item.Other cities have different approaches. New York requires the posting of calories, whereas Seattle requires listing calories, sodium, saturated fat and carbohydrates.Although many cities and states like the local autonomy, the National Restaurant Assn. is pushing federal legislation that would end local rules and increase flexibility, said Dawn Sweeney, CEO of the group.[email protected]