Ilene’s Healthy Tips for August 11 – 15, 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014

Ilene Yalen, MSRD WellAmerica 2014

Ilene Yalen, MSRD
WellAmerica 2014

Are you eating healthy? One common mistake that many healthy eaters overlook is the amount of sodium consumed. Often when you’re weighing healthy options, the focus is on reducing calories, fat and getting enough protein. Remember, since sodium is firmly tied to an increased risk of high blood pressure, the Institute of Medicine recommends people limit their intake to below 2,300 milligrams per day, and 1,500 mg for people 51 and older, African Americans, and anyone with high blood pressure or diabetes. Common foods loaded with sodium are canned soups, vegetables, beans, tomato products and packaged meats and meals.  If needed, aim to salt your foods after they are prepared as you’ll consume much less sodium overall, or use spices and herbs for flavor instead.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Exercising too much? Pushing yourself is usually a good thing when it comes to physical activity. But your body needs rest too, especially after an extra-hard workout. Signs that you are working out too hard can be mental and physical, and include fatigue, difficulty sleeping, decreased immunity, muscle soreness, and injury. It is also common to eat more unhealthy foods throughout the day, when you’re fatigued, in order to increase energy. This only sabotages your efforts.  To keep your workouts fresh—and avoid overuse injuries—it’s a good idea to vary your routine, and give yourself a day off now and then. On day 6 or 7 every week, sitting back and relaxing may be better for your body than going to the gym.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Choose the rainbow of colors! By now, pretty much everyone knows they should be eating at least five servings of varied colored fruit and vegetables per day. Eating plenty of produce helps reduce your risk of heart disease and several types of cancer, and can help you manage your weight as well. But a recent state-by-state survey, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that just one-third of adults reported eating at least two servings of fruit a day, and only about one-quarter ate three or more servings of vegetables daily. Aim to consume at least 2 vegetable servings at every lunch and dinner and 3 pieces of fruit as part of your snacks between meals.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Coconut sugar? Refined, white sugar is proven to raise your risk of all chronic diseases, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up sweet  foods to eat healthy.  Coconut sugar, made from the sap of coconut-tree blossoms, offers the same number of carbohydrates and calories as table sugar however, coconut sugar ranks just 35 on the glycemic index, while regular table sugar ranks between 60 and 75, so it produces a less dramatic blood sugar spike. Coconut sugar also contains trace amounts of vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron and copper as well as phytonutrients, such as polyphenols, flavonoids and anthocyanidin, and antioxidants. Despite the name, it doesn’t have a coconut flavor; it has more of a caramel taste, which works well in coffee or tea. And because it’s granular, it can also be a great substitute for white or brown sugar in recipes.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Looking for condiments that provide some nutrition? Try Dijon mustard, hot sauce, humus, guacamole, pesto, Tahini, salsa, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and of course all your spices. Ketchup also offers lycopene, an anticancerous phytochemical, and you can make your own to greatly lower its sugar content.

Ilene’s Healthy Tips for August 4 – 8, 2014

Monday, August 4, 2014 – Forget diets, choose live-it

Ilene Yalen, MSRD WellAmerica 2014

Ilene Yalen, MSRD
WellAmerica 2014

Squash the excuses that keep you from eating healthier! We all know there are times when eating healthy are really difficult, but not every day.  Realize that it’s not your friends, family or coworkers fault for your food choices. The key is to take charge of your own health and pre-plan.  If you eat at restaurants often, skip the empty carbs, chips or bread.  If time is the issue, remember – if you have time to eat unhealthy, you have time to eat healthy – the key is to pre-plan; pack healthy snacks, block an hour a week to go grocery shopping and stock up on fresh produce, whole grains, healthy fats and lean meats. In the morning, eat something with protein.  It will help you feel full.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014 – Get it off!

Here are some successful tips of those who have lost weight and kept it off:

  • Eat in reverse – low calorie veggies first, and then lean protein.
  • Drink two glasses of chilled water before each meal.  It fools the stomach it’s full.
  • Set non-weight goals; running a 5k, fitting into old jeans, biking in El Tour….
  • Tell your closest friends and family what your goals are so you have some accountability.
  • Set up a social network with others who are staying fit. It will be very inspiring.
  • Be accountable to yourself by tracking your efforts in a daily journal. Some options to log are:  weight, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, water intake, mood, amount of sleep, duration and type of exercise, and everything you consume during the day. You could also log monthly measurements so you could see progress.
  • Exercise first thing in the morning if possible – otherwise responsibilities mound throughout the day and can sabotage your fitness plans.
  • Respond to frustration through exercise, and healthy stress relievers, not food.  If you can’t resist try apples or carrots.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 – Calorie bombs

Some foods considered “healthy” aren’t.  Because of the creamy dressing on coleslaw or potato salad, they have the same nutrient content as a double-cheeseburger.  Even specialty salads like the Fuji Apple Chicken Salad at Panera Bread, which is loaded with pecans and Gorgonzola cheese, is a whopping 580 calories, 30 grams of fat and 7 grams of saturated fat.  A McDonald’s double cheeseburger has 440 calories, 23 grams fat, and 11 grams saturated fat.  To keep salads healthy and reasonable in calories, choose dark green lettuce, order dressings on the side, and hold the cheese and croutons.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

What do dietitians order when eating out?  Salmon with grilled or oven roasted vegetables is a great option. It provides a rich flavor without needing to be dressed up, and it’s loaded with omega-3s, which help reduce inflammation throughout the body.  Asparagus is a winning grilled dish because it’s loaded with vitamins and antioxidants and it is easy to cook.  12 minutes from fridge to plate. Cut off the thick bottom.  Spread out on a baking sheet with a rim and pat dry, and sprinkle olive oil over the asparagus.  Sprinkle with kosher salt and ground black pepper.  Roast in a 425° preheated oven for 10 minutes.  For healthy carbohydrates, a good side dish would be a double portion of vegetables, minestrone soup with beans, or whole grain rolls if possible.

Friday, August 8, 2014 – Cache your cash

Don’t waste your money! Here’s a list of store pre-made foods you can make at home that give you more nutrition at a lower cost.

  • Nonstick Cooking Spray: create your own nonstick spray by filling a stainless steel or glass spray bottle with canola or olive oil- you’ll save more in the long run.
  • Vinaigrette Salad Dressing: In a jar, combine ¾ tbsp. mustard with 2 tbsp. vinegar, 1 tbsp. olive oil, 3 tbsp. of vegetable broth (optional) and a pinch each of salt and ground black pepper.  Cover, shake, and presto! A tasty dressing for two.
  • Spice Blends: gather up the dried basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, and thyme that you bought for other recipes and mix equal parts of each in a small jar. It’s perfect for tomato sauces and dishes like lasagna.
  • Prepackaged Greens: just get the garden variety bunch and wash and de-stem yourself.
  • Grated Cheese: it only takes a few seconds to grab a cheese grater.
  • Microwave Popcorn: drop 2 tbsp. kernels into a paper lunch bag, fold over the top and microwave two to three minutes, or until the popping stops.  Makes 2 to 3 cups popped.
  • Large bags of frozen fruit: Buy fresh fruit, and toss handfuls of your favorite combination into individual plastic bags before storing in the freezer so you’ll have ready-made mixes for smoothies or treats.  Be sure to put a date on the bags.
  • Bottled Water:  get a filter for your home water faucet or a filtered in-fridge water pitcher and use a BPA free water bottle.