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Nutrition Bytes with Jessica Siegel, Registered Dietitian of Gelson's Markets | Health, Nutrition,
13 minutes | Nov 21, 2016
S2E09 - Happy Healthy Holidays
Happy, Healthy Holidays 31 Can you believe the holidays are here again? I know everyone wants to hear about how to not gain weight this season, and I will discuss strategies for that, but first I want to talk about a topic that I’ve been thinking about lately, which is the connection between happiness and health. I recently participated on a panel about spiritual, emotional and physical health and wellness. As you might guess, I was the food and nutrition expert. I loved that it got me really thinking about how eating and spirituality can intersect to actually promote a state of holistic, overall health and wellbeing. I think that right now, when we’re all wishing each other happy holidays and healthy holidays, is a great time to think about how to truly have a happy, healthy holiday season. Do you know what makes us happy? Gratitude! The more thankful we are for what we’ve got, the happier we are. And what makes us healthy? Lots of factors, obviously, but two big factors that we can control are what we eat and how grateful we are. Studies show that grateful people tend to take better care of themselves, sleep better, have less physical pain, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and less inflammation. You might be wondering why I’m talking about this at all—I mean, I’m just a dietitian. Well, there are tons of opportunities for creating happiness and gratitude in connection to food and eating. I’m sure you’ve heard me say before that how you eat is just as important as what you eat. Aspects of how we eat can contribute to wellness and happiness. For example, activities surrounding food such as grocery shopping, eating at restaurants, and eating with others add to our social health. Having a healthy relationship with foods and feeling good about what we eat contribute to our self-esteem and emotional well-being. Taking pleasure in food and eating can nourish your spirit. Most of our listeners know how passionate I am about the Mediterranean diet, and there are many aspects of this lifestyle approach that promote health, wellness and happiness, specifically: social support, eating together, not smoking, and being physically active. Research has shown that following the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle improves quality of life, vitality and longevity. One important part of the lifestyle is eating meals with family and friends. There are many benefits of family meals for adults: stronger social connections, better mental and physical health, lower blood pressure and obesity rates. So one goal I have for you this season is to savor your food and make meals into a social occasion to connect with family and friends. Now as I transition to discussing holiday eating, I want you to keep in mind the importance of eating with gratitude and enjoyment. Practicing these things requires you to be present and mindful and not distracted and rushed. This approach will in turn help you pay attention to what and how much you are eating. Making it through the holidays without gaining weight is not about dieting and willpower; it’s about having a plan! You can probably realize from my discussion about happiness, dieting makes you pretty unhappy and grumpy, which is not how you want to feel during the holidays—or ever. Let’s get some perspective. A few holiday meals won’t destroy your health or your weight; truly, it’s your overall eating pattern that is important for maintaining your general health, preventing disease, and achieving a healthy weight. My philosophy is that if you eat healthfully 80% of the time, then there is absolutely room in your diet to eat holiday foods, too. That works out to about three or four “special celebration” meals per week. The other 17 or 18 meals should be well-planned, balanced, and healthful. It can be close to impossible to lose weight during the holidays, but preventing weight gain is certainly an obtainable goal. Set yourself up for success by aiming to keep your weight stable now instead of planning to lose weight. Don’t try to be virtuous. Enjoy your food and the special holiday treats that are part of this season. If you give yourself permission to eat the foods you love and maintain structure with all of your meals, you will also be promoting your own wellness and happiness . Here’s how that looks: First, make structured meals and snacks a priority. Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day, even if your previous meal was huge. Eat at regular meal times and have snacks in between meals if you are hungry. Skipping meals is not a way to compensate for eating too much and actually sets you up for overeating again. Tune into your internal cues of hunger and satiety and eat the amount you are hungry for. Breakfast is especially important because it influences your appetite and the healthfulness of your food choices for the rest of the day. Another thing to do is plan your meals and snacks in advance. This can help prevent you from skipping meals, eating haphazardly, or arriving at a party starving. Having a plan, rather than relying on willpower will set you up to be successful with your eating this season. Next, make ceremony and pleasure part of your meals. Sit down, slow down, use dishes and silverware, take smaller bites, chew thoroughly, and savor your food. The faster you eat the less attention you pay to your food and the more calories you consume. Here’s another way to connect eating to gratitude and health. Say grace; it doesn’t have to be religious at all. It’s just about expressing gratitude for what you have in front of you. Acknowledge the fact that your food did not just appear on the table. Someone grew and harvested it, someone processed it, someone bought it, and someone cooked it. You can say thank you out loud or to yourself. I think this is a great way to slow down and become more present before you start eating, which will also help you stay connected to how much you are enjoying your food and when you start to feel full so you can eat the amount that is right for your body. Finally, try to have family meals where you eat with at least one other person—relative or friend. Family meals and structured eating go hand-in-hand. Part of your meal conversation could even include naming things you’re grateful for. Have I convinced you of the connection between happiness and health? I hope they will be everyone’s focus over the holidays. I want you to enjoy your holiday meals without feeling bad or guilty Paying attention to life’s simple pleasures, like sharing a good meal with your family, can help make your life more meaningful, increase your gratitude, and ultimately support your good health. I want to wish all of my listeners a truly happy and healthy holiday season! I believe that it’s important to fully enjoy the holidays by participating in the eating rituals and partaking of the special foods. Healthful eating is really about the overall quality of your diet and having a healthy relationship with food. Incorporate the strategies and menus that I discussed today. With these tools, you can successfully savor and appreciate everything you eat without feeling out of control this holiday season. Healthy holidays everyone!
33 minutes | Nov 19, 2016
S2E08 - Planning Family Dinners
Planning Family Dinners When my husband and I first got married 12 years ago, we were already committed to having family meals together. In our younger and freer days before having kids, we used to walk to dinner at 10 pm many week nights. Those spontaneous days are behind us now that we have two young daughters, but we are more committed to family meals than ever. The logistics are infinitely more complicated now though. That’s why when it’s 4:30 on a weekday, the last thing I want to be asking myself is “what’s for dinner?” It’s time to stop the weekday afternoon panic by getting organized and planning in advance. I’m going to share my menu planning strategies with you so that you too can get organized with a family-friendly dinner menu plan that will support you in having family meals. Family Meal Motivation Before I delve into how to become an expert menu planner, I want to make sure you’re sufficiently motivated to actually sit down with your family to eat! We all have our own personal barriers that prevent us from regularly getting a good family meal on the table. My barriers are disorganization and not having a lot of time. Other people’s barriers could be a lack of confidence in the kitchen, a near-empty pantry or fridge, a family of picky eaters, a busy family schedule, or even not being in the habit of eating together. However, the benefits of everyone sitting down to a meal together, especially a homemade meal, are enormous. Keep in mind that although dinner is the focus of this newsletter, any meal can be a family meal—breakfast may be easier than dinner for many families, and if you can make both breakfast and dinner family meals, that’s even better! Research shows that children who eat meals with their families perform better in school, eat a better diet, have better mental health and verbal development, and are at lower risk for obesity, substance abuse, and other risky behaviors. Family meals help children learn to like new foods by exposing them to variety and adult role models who hopefully eat and enjoy an array of foods. Adults who eat with other people tend to have better mental and physical health, stronger social connections, and have a lower risk of high blood pressure and obesity. I hope that’s sufficient motivation for you to start making family dinners a priority. You need to know that family meals are a commitment. Eventually they become second nature, but in the meantime, there are plenty of ways to get derailed. I hear from many people who get so bogged down with nutritional rules that they become paralyzed when it’s time to actually plan a meal because they are afraid that something won’t be healthy or that their child will eat too much or not enough. Sometimes, kids behave badly at meals, or even refuse to eat something you’ve worked hard to make. Yes, all of these things can be discouraging, but don’t give up on your commitment! Approach this with a positive attitude and resolve to enjoy your work--including the planning, shopping, cooking, and eating parts. This is important parenting because you’re facilitating structured family time that will provide exposure to new foods, social support, sharing, connection, and opportunities to model positive eating habits for your family. If you’re child’s behavior or eating habits are preventing you from even wanting to have family meals or are making your mealtimes together unpleasant, here is a life-changing strategy called the Division of Responsibility from the feeding expert Ellyn Satter: It is up to the parent or caregiver to decide what, when, and where kids eat and it is up to the child to decide whether and how much to eat. Everyone has a job to do with feeding and eating. Do yours respectfully and trust your child to do theirs in order to bring the joy back to mealtimes. To learn more about feeding kids, listen to my 4th podcast, called Family Meals. Your Menu Framework My goal is to teach you how to take one day a week to plan and shop for five night’s worth of dinners. But if you’re not yet in the habit of having family meals, first get into the rhythm of sitting down together to share a meal without worrying about the nutritional value or quality of the food. Go to a restaurant, order takeout, or pick up some items from our Service Deli. At the same time, start practicing Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility. Once you’ve got those pieces in place, you can add in menu planning and cooking. (By the way, menu planning is 100% your job, so please don’t ask your kids what they want for dinner.) I don’t expect you to cook every night, so I’m assuming you’ll eat out one or two nights a week and maybe have leftovers once. If cooking three or four nights a week is more realistic for you, that’s fine; it’s still worth the effort to take some time to plan, shop, and cook. Just be realistic about what will work for you and your family. As regular listeners know, my family uses the Mediterranean diet as a framework for our eating. That means we eat two to three vegetarian meals a day and eat animal flesh, such as fish or poultry, up to once a day. We usually make breakfast and lunch our vegetarian meals and dinner our higher protein meal where we basically have fish or chicken with a variety of non-starchy and starchy vegetables, I use organic extra-virgin first cold pressed olive oil for cooking (olive oil is an essential part of the Mediterranean Diet). We have fruit for dessert most nights and have portion-controlled “real dessert,” as my 7-year-old calls it, about twice a week. Recipes Redux Choosing recipes can be the most fun, but also the most time-consuming part of this whole process. The keys to success here are (1) finding recipes that match your cooking abilities and time limits, (2) using recipes your family likes, and (3) organizing those recipes so that they are easily accessible when it is time to plan your menus and cook. It’s important to have a reliable resource for healthful, easy and tasty recipes. I use my own recipes that are conveniently posted on the Gelson’s website at www.gelsons.com. Epicurious.com and cooking.nytimes.com are other great websites for finding good recipes because they are reviewed by people who have tried them. Magazines, cookbooks, family members and friends are other resources. I tear interesting sounding recipes out of my cooking magazines and store them in a folder that I can browse through on days when I’m looking for recipe inspiration. When collecting recipes, try to amass a good variety of fish, poultry and vegetarian recipes and always be on the lookout for easy vegetable recipes. There are many ways to organize your recipes. You can create your own shopping list and save the recipes you like to a personal recipe book on various cooking websites. For recipes you pick up at Gelson’s, print, or tear out of a magazine, try to use a notebook with clear plastic sleeves that will become an organized home for all of your recipes. If you also use cookbooks, you should keep a piece of paper in your recipe notebook with the name of the recipe, the cookbook it came from and the page it is on (you can download my “Favorite Recipes” form available on www.gelons.com). Alternatively, you can make a photocopy of the recipe from the cookbook and store it in the notebook. Some super-organized people actually scan their favorite recipes into their computers so that they can access them all from one place. Whichever method you decide on, finding one centralized home for your recipes is a must. Once you have been planning menus for several weeks, you can start to reuse the ones you like, so keep good records! Planning the Menus The best way to start the menu planning process is to pick one or two days a week when you have time to sit down, look at recipes, plan menus, and shop. On your designated menu planning day, begin by looking at your family members’ schedules to see what events that week might get in the way of your cooking or having a family meal. Perhaps you will need to schedule take-out or leftovers for a very busy night. Alternatively, if you will have some extra time one morning, make a slow cooker meal in which you prep all of the ingredients and add them to the machine so the meal will be ready at dinnertime on a night when there’s no time to cook. The menu should be the same for everyone, with textures and seasonings modified according to your child’s ability and age. You can be family-friendly with your menus without limiting them to only foods that your child likes. Do not short order cook! Do a good job with menu planning, cooking, and providing structured meals and snacks so your child can come to the table ready to eat the variety and amounts that are right for his or her body at each meal. Just try to include at least two healthful foods (like milk and fruit) that your child has accepted when planning your dinner menus, especially if you are trying a new recipe, or including new foods or not-yet-accepted foods. When planning dinners, try to envision a dinner plate arranged with at least one-half vegetables, a quarter protein, and a quarter starchy vegetables or whole grains. You’ll want to include a variety of colors, flavors and textures on the plate. Once in a while, a “one-pot” dinner is nice, too. One-pot dinners include vegetables, protein and starch all in one dish. Every week we also have “clean out the fridge dinners” where I heat up all of the leftovers from the last several days, put them on the table, and let everyone choose what they want. I include portion controlled desserts twice a week in order to teach my children how to handle sweets. To get started with planning your menu, first decide which protein you will have each night and build from there (for instance, fish on Mondays, poultry on Tuesdays, vegetarian on Wednesdays and Frid
25 minutes | Nov 18, 2016
S2E07 - Five Seasonal Seasonings
Five Seasonal Seasonings When my older daughter was a toddler, she was fascinated with herbs and spices. She would stand in front of our under-counter spice cabinet, one by one, unscrew the lid of each jar, sniff its contents, screw the lid back on, replace the jar, and move on to the next spice. Occasionally she would stick her finger or tongue into a jar and taste the spice, too. In the cutest way possible she was exploring the seasonings that contribute flavor and depth to the foods we eat. Herbs and spices minimize the need for us to add excessive amounts of salt to foods, and preliminary research is showing that they may add health benefits, as well. Many seasonings are concentrated sources of protective antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are plant nutrients that may be beneficial for health, so you can potentially reap big nutritional benefits just by eating small amounts of herbs and spices. Today, I’m highlighting five of the most nutritious, versatile, and delicious seasonings: Cilantro, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, and turmeric. Cilantro Let’s start with cilantro and coriander. This one is one of the most interesting to me. Cilantro and coriander are parts of the same plant, making it both an herb and a spice. The leaves and stems are called cilantro and the seeds are called coriander. The plant contains over 13 phytonutrients, including quercetin and limonene. Both the herb and spice may aid in blood sugar control. They may also help fight cancer and help you secrete digestive enzymes. Cilantro and coriander contain iron, magnesium, and manganese. Some people carry a gene that makes cilantro taste like soap, but to other people it has a pleasantly pungent, fresh, green flavor. Coriander is one of the main ingredients in curry powder and is therefore commonly used in Indian and Asian cuisines. Both the herb and spice are also used in Mexican, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern cooking. You can add them to salsas, soups, stews, curries, salads, vegetables, beans, fish, and chicken dishes. Cinnamon Next is everyone’s favorite: Cinnamon. It contains cinnamaldehyde, an essential oil that gives it both its flavor and aroma. Studies have shown it may be beneficial for blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity in people with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Additionally, cinnamaldehyde has antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory activity. Other studies have shown that smelling cinnamon may boost brain activity (be careful not to snort it, though)! The spice also contains calcium, iron, manganese, and fiber. You can sprinkle cinnamon powder in cereal, smoothies, and coffee. It can be used in baking and to season meats. I use cinnamon to add flavor to my oatmeal so that I don’t need to add any sweetener. Cinnamon can be combined with turmeric, ginger, and cumin to make a Middle Eastern-flavored seasoning for meat, poultry, and vegetables. Check out my recipe that uses this mixture on our Show Notes page. It’s called Fall Flavored Vegetables. Garlic Another popular seasoning is garlic, which is the bulb of the underground stem where the garlic plant stores its food. It contains sulfur compounds called allyl sulfides that may help prevent the growth of certain cancerous tumors. The sulfides can also help reduce cholesterol and make the blood less sticky, thereby possibly reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack. These sulfur compounds may also help boost our immune systems. Garlic is rich in the antioxidant mineral selenium, which is important for immune function and cancer prevention. The key to reaping all of garlic’s health benefits is crushing, chopping, or slicing the cloves before using in order to release these phytonutrients. Whole garlic cloves do not contain the active forms of allyl sulfides. Allow prepared garlic to sit for ten to 15 minutes before cooking with it. You can hardly ever go wrong with garlic; add it to any savory dish to enhance the flavor. It goes especially well with other vegetables, meats, and fish. Ginger Ginger might not be as popular as the three seasonings I’ve already discussed, but it is very healthful! The beneficial phytonutrients in ginger are gingerols and shogaols. These two phytonutrients are responsible for ginger’s pungent/hot flavor. They also work directly on the digestive tract to aid in digestion and calm motion sickness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and gas. Gingerols and shogaols also seem to be responsible for the anti-inflammatory activity of ginger. Ginger is often used in Chinese medicine to help treat inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. The mild anti-inflammatory properties may also be useful for controlling migraines, chronic pain, muscle aches, and arthritis. Finally, these powerful phytonutrients may help some people recover from colds and flus when drunk as a tea. A word of caution, however: individuals with gallstones and those with blood-clotting disorders or on blood thinners should not self-medicate with ginger supplements and should eat ginger sparingly. Ginger comes in many forms, ranging from fresh ginger root, dried powdered ginger, crystallized ginger, pickled ginger (which you eat with your sushi), ginger juice, ginger beer, and powdered ginger extracts in dietary supplements. It can also be used in a variety of ways. As a seasoning, fresh ginger can be peeled and minced, like garlic, and cooked with foods. In powdered form, it can be used in baking and cooking. Crystallized ginger is often eaten plain or used in desserts. For tummy troubles, try Reed’s Extra Ginger Beer (it’s non-alcoholic) or combine one tablespoon each ginger juice (made with a garlic press), lime juice, and honey. Turmeric The final seasoning I’m highlighting today is turmeric. This may be the most unfamiliar spice for most listeners. It comes from a rhizome (an underground stem), much like ginger. We have fresh turmeric in our produce departments at Gelsons. It looks like mini ginger roots, but it is bright orange on the inside instead of pale yellow. It is usually dried and ground and added to curry powder and is what gives curry its bright golden color. Curcumin is the phytonutrient in turmeric that makes it one of the healthiest spices in the world. Some preliminary studies have shown that this antioxidant and anti-inflammatory may help prevent certain cancers. Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory properties may also help in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, and possibly other auto-immune diseases. Though research is only in the preliminary stages, there even seems to be an association between turmeric intake and decreased risk or Alzheimer’s disease, as people in India consume large quantities of turmeric daily and have much lower rates of the disease than we do. Turmeric also contains vitamins B6 and C, iron, potassium, and manganese. I try to add turmeric powder to my cooking whenever possible. I add it to my Favorite Homemade Granola recipe, along with cinnamon and allspice, and I use it to season fish and soups. If you don’t care for the taste, add it to strongly flavored sauces, where its presence will not be detected. You can also cook with curry powder since it contains turmeric and has a more familiar, less astringent flavor. Yellow mustard usually contains turmeric. Fresh herbs are always my first choice, but dried herbs are usually a fine substitute. Dried spices and herbs should only be stored for one year at the most from the time they are opened. Older spices lose their potency and flavor if they are stored for longer than that (ground cloves and coriander only keep for half a year). I try to replace my spices yearly around this time of year, when I do more entertaining and cooking for holidays and want to make sure that my recipes are as flavorful as possible. Although most people think of herbs and spices as a way to add flavor and interest to recipes, they actually add nutrients and healthful properties, as well. Of course more research needs to be done to confirm the health benefits of herbs and spices, it is clear that they are nutritious and flavorful. I urge you to become more adventurous with your seasonings and try cooking more ethnic and highly spiced foods. Marinades made with olive oil, vinegar, herbs and spices (fresh or dried) or dry rubs are a great way to start experimenting. Additionally, play with seasoning your vegetables with more than just salt and pepper. For flavorful ideas and inspiration, check out my Seasoning Suggestions chart and try my herb- and spice-rich recipes this month, all available on Gelsons.com. Q: What other herbs and spices are especially healthful? A: Cloves, parsley, rosemary, oregano, mint, and all forms of hot peppers, both fresh and dried seem to have the potential to improve our health. You can read more about these seasonings, too in my October Nutrition Notes newsletter on Gelsons.com Seasoning Suggestions for Common Foods Protein Foods Spices Beans and legumes Basil, bay leaf, cayenne, chiles, cilantro, coriander, cumin, garlic, marjoram, oregano, paprika, parsley, rosemary, thyme, turmeric Beef Bay leaf, cayenne, chiles, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, curry, dill, garlic, ginger, mustard, paprika, marjoram, mustard, oregano, paprika, parsley, rosemary, savory, thyme Fish and Seafood Allspice, anise, bay leaf, cayenne, chives, coriander, cumin, curry, dill, fennel, garlic, ginger, marjoram, mustard, oregano, paprika, parsley, pepper, tarragon, thyme, turmeric Lamb Allspice, basil, coriander, curry, garlic, marjoram, mint, mustard, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme, turmeric Pork Allspice, bay leaf, caraway, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, fennel, garlic, ginger, marjoram, mint, mustard, nutmeg, paprika, parsley, pepper, savory, tarragon, thyme Poultry Allspice, basil, bay leaf, cayenne, chiles, cinnamon, cloves, cumin,
22 minutes | Nov 7, 2016
S2E06 - Super Snacking
Super Snacks I know my family is in a snacking rut, and I’ll bet yours is too. I have to pack my second grader snacks for school and I admit that my menus have become a little boring. So, today I’m going to lay out the five W’s (when, who, why, where and what) of snacking. I’ve worked with my daughters to come up with some fresh ideas for snacks that I think both kids and adults will love. You can visit our show notes page at Gelsons.com to download my freshest ideas and recipes for healthful, convenient snacks that your whole family can enjoy. Let’s get into snacking basics. When? Snack time should occur up to twice a day, ideally halfway between breakfast and lunch and/or again halfway between lunch and dinner. I’m not a proponent of snacking after dinner because it is too close to bedtime and I’ve noticed that a lot of mindless munching goes on at this time. Closing the kitchen after dinner is a healthy habit that is helpful for weight control, too. When it comes to providing snacks and meals for kids, our jobs as parents and caregivers is to decide the what, when and where, and kids decide whether and how much from what you’re offering. You need to consider their sleeping and activity schedules when planning their meal and snack times and make sure that snacks are spaced two to three hours after and before meals so that they will come to the table hungry. Structured snacks and meals are especially important for children of all ages. Aside from always making water available, do not allow grazing or panhandling for food outside of scheduled meals and snacks, or else kids won’t eat much at meals. It’s important to understand that it is not mandatory to eat if you’re not hungry. I often skip either my morning or afternoon snack, depending on how I feel and how soon my next meal will be. Children also have the right to decide not to eat, so don’t force them to eat snacks or meals if they are not hungry. Who? Snacking is for everyone, but it is especially important for children and older adults because it supplements calories and nutrients that may not have been eaten at regular meals. Children often can’t eat enough to meet their nutritional needs at meals because their tummies don’t hold a lot of food, and older adults do not always eat three meals a day for reasons such as illness, disability, a tight budget, or low energy levels that prevent them from preparing food. Small, simple, nutritious snacks can be a boon for both of these populations. Snacks are also good for people who are prone to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), are trying to lose weight, are active, or have diabetes. People with poor appetites can use snacks to supplement nutrients and calories that are lost at mealtimes. Well-balanced snacks are great for helping to control appetite and blood sugar levels. Why? Aside from supplementing important nutrients and controlling blood sugar, snacks can help give you an energy boost, especially if they include the ideal combination of carbohydrates, fat, and protein. They also help tame the hunger that can develop in the long hours between meals. Snacking can be healthful for everyone if it is done with some planning. Be sure to pack snacks when you or your children leave the house in the morning. Otherwise, unplanned haphazard snacking can get you into nutritional trouble. Where? Ideally, we will all sit down at a table to eat our snacks and not eat them while driving in the car, sitting in front of the TV or computer, or riding in a stroller. It is important that you pay attention to your food at meals and snacks, so that you can be aware of the amount you are eating. Respecting your food and avoiding distractions is crucial for savoring the food and staying in touch with your feelings of hunger and satiety so that you do not overeat. Furthermore, snacking in the car is dangerous, especially for kids, so try to plan a way to eat before you get in the car or when you arrive at your destination to avoid eating en route. What (and How)? Snacks can be small individual items, such as a handful of nuts, or they can be mini meals, like lentil soup. Including protein and fat is essential to creating balanced snacks that help you feel satisfied and energized so that you can get on with your day and not be hungry before your next meal. I prefer that snacks be mostly vegetarian, since we tend to rely too much on animal proteins at meals already. For the most part, think of snacks as opportunities to boost your nutrient intake. Snacks should be planned so that they can complement the other foods you eat during the day. For example, my kids don’t often drink milk by the glass, so I try to work in cheese or yogurt at their snack time. I don’t eat fruit at breakfast or lunch, so I try to include fruit in my snacks. My younger daughter usually has a starchy snack like crackers or pretzels at school and a sandwich for lunch, so I try not to give her snacks that contain even more wheat (my philosophy is eat a variety and enjoy everything in moderation, even healthful foods). As with meal planning, look at what is being eaten over the course of the whole day so that you neither repeat foods, nor leave out essential food groups. Variety is the spice of life! I cannot emphasize enough that snacks should not regularly consist of junk food, like refined-grain crackers (including graham crackers), puffed “veggie” snacks, gummy “fruit” bits, cheddar crackers shaped like animals, juice, or soda. However, once in a while, it is perfectly fine to enjoy these types of foods for a snack, though it is best to have the varieties that you really enjoy, not just like because it’s the more virtuous choice; satisfy your craving with the real thing. Plan to have as much as you want of your favorite ice cream or cookies or chips or soft drink for a snack for yourself and your family once or twice a month and have a portion-controlled dessert (or whatever “forbidden” food you like) twice a week, too. That’s right, don’t limit the quantity of treats at snack time but do limit it at dessert, since sweets and treats won’t compete with other foods at snack time but they will at a meal. Your snacking philosophy should mirror your healthy eating philosophy: eat minimally processed foods that mostly come from plants and don’t eat too much of anything. For great snack ideas, visit our Show Notes Page and try the excellent foods I suggest. The amount you have should be determined by how hungry you are and how large or small your next meal will be. If you want to eat less at your next meal, then try having a larger snack, but if you are eating well-balanced, satisfying meals, then a piece of fruit or a handful of almonds may be all you need to tide you over. However, kids should be allowed to eat as much as they want of what they are offered, so you must feel good about what you are serving. If you are active or need help with controlling your blood sugar, be sure to include protein and fat, such as nuts, seeds or yogurt. You can combine those types of foods with a minimally processed carbohydrate, such as fruit, vegetables, or whole grain crackers. Some of my favorite snacks are edamame, plain Greek yogurt with frozen blueberries, a handful of almonds with a piece of fresh fruit, peanut butter or almond butter on apple wedges, mini vegetable quiches. I have tons of ideas and recipes, so be sure to go online to check them all out. The possibilities are endless… Q: Are snacks good times to introduce kids to new foods? A: Yes! Kids do not need special foods, but they do need our support in learning to accept new foods and strong flavors. We parents and caregivers need to help them become competent eaters who can enjoy a variety of foods, and snack time can be a great opportunity to boost eating competence. Children need repeated exposure to all foods, including vegetables (at least 12 exposures, but often more), before they start to accept them. At snacks and meals, neutrally offer new foods along with familiar foods and quietly eat them yourself. Make sure they taste good and don’t be afraid to offer condiments like dressing, hummus, and guacamole to help make them more familiar. Super Snacks Nutrition Notes http://gelsons.com/portals/0/Images/Site/Marketing/Nutrition-Notes-Aug2016-LR.pdf Recipes Fruity Yogurt Pops http://gelsons.com/cooking/recipes/all%20recipes/Fruity%20Yogurt%20Pops?search=yogurt Sweet And Spicy Pumpkin Seeds http://gelsons.com/cooking/recipes/all%20recipes/Sweet%20and%20Spicy%20Pumpkin%20Seeds?search=pumpkin Peach And Heirloom Tomato Toast With Burrata http://gelsons.com/cooking/recipes/all%20recipes/Peach%20and%20Heirloom%20Tomato%20Toast%20with%20Burrata?search=peach Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins http://gelsons.com/cooking/recipes/all%20recipes/Blueberry%20Oatmeal%20Muffins?search=blueberry Seven-Layer Dip http://gelsons.com/cooking/recipes/all%20recipes/Seven-Layer%20Dip?search=bean Homemade Granola Barsv http://gelsons.com/cooking/recipes/all%20recipes/Homemade%20Granola%20Bars?search=bars Spinach And Cheese Mini Quiches http://gelsons.com/cooking/recipes/all%20recipes/Spinach%20and%20Cheese%20Mini%20Quiches?search=spinach White Bean Dip With Crudités http://gelsons.com/cooking/recipes/all%20recipes/White%20Bean%20Dip%20with%20Crudit%C3%A9s?search=dip
27 minutes | Sep 12, 2016
S2E05 - Taste of Italy—The Mediterranean Way
Taste of Italy—the Mediterranean Way Gelson’s is celebrating the Taste of Italy in October and my role here is not to just create a delicious new salad for our stores, which by the way is called Jessica’s Tuscan White Bean Salad. (If you haven’t tried it yet, get yourself over to Gelsons service deli for a sample!) My job is also to educate our customers and listeners about the health benefits of Italian food. Before we go any further, I need to clarify what I have in mind when I talk about Italian food because I know that pasta, pizza, and gelato are the first things that come to mind when most people think of Italian food. Those are absolutely foods that Italians enjoy, but they are a small part of their overall diet. Portion sizes are much smaller than the portions of pasta and pizza we eat, and they are usually a small portion of a meal, rather than the center of the plate. Traditional Italian food is very simple. It emphasizes local ingredients which are very fresh and high quality. The foods that are eaten daily are vegetables, fruits, herbs, extra virgin olive oil, beans and lentils, grass-fed cheeses, and small amounts of grains. These primary ingredients are combined to make simple, delicious dishes. In doing my research for this podcast, there were several recurring themes that I picked up on that seem to make us some rules of Italian eating. The cardinal rules of Italian cuisine seem to be: Eat locally Eat seasonally Eat high quality, minimally processed food Eat at a leisurely pace Eat with other people It seems like Italians eat a lot less than we do, and I think that has to do with the quality of their food. It’s minimally processed, it emphasizes a lot of vegetables, and meals tend to be balanced and follow a certain order. All of these factors seem to contribute to the satiety of the overall diet. Breakfast is very light: just a coffee and toast. Lunch is the largest and most important meal of the day, and it usually includes 3 courses. Dinner is often simple, maybe just a bowl of soup or a salad. Perhaps most ironically, the most healthful way to follow the Mediterranean Diet with an Italian emphasis is to eat like a peasant, since this keeps the emphasis on plant foods, rather than meat and processed foods which traditionally were more expensive and therefore eaten less often than vegetables, beans, nuts, fruits and whole intact grains. Think of a hearty minestrone soup made with beans, tons of vegetables, fresh herbs, and pasta or grain, like barley, and topped with some pesto or a shaving or parmesan cheese. Doesn’t that sound so delicious? Soups like this are believed to be one of the key dishes that contribute major health benefits to the Mediterranean diet. And that’s that an important motivator for following a Mediterranean diet eating pattern. The food is delicious and enjoying your food is one of the key principles. Food that tastes good and is satisfying is important, especially if you want to permanently adopt an eating plan. The Mediterranean Diet is the healthiest way to eat. It has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, certain cancers, alzheimer’s, parkinsons, overweight, and obesity. It can also be used to reverse heart disease and prevent second heart attacks. The Mediterranean diet is a framework for healthful eating. It’s a plant-based diet, which means that it is composed mostly of plant foods, but it doesn’t exclude anything—it emphasizes certain foods to eat daily, but it minimizes processed foods and meats. On a daily basis, eat two meatless meals, use extra virgin olive oil as your main fat, and make at least half of your plate vegetables at lunch and dinner. Include the following foods each day: Extra virgin first cold pressed olive oil Vegetables and fruits, including fresh herbs Whole intact grains and starchy vegetables Beans and legumes Nuts and seeds Yogurt and cheese Water Wine (optional) You should include the following foods on a weekly basis: Fish and Shellfish (at least twice a week) Poultry (up to three times a week) Eggs (up to seven whole eggs a week, up to four if you have diabetes; egg whites are unlimited) Sweets (two to three times a week) Limit red meat, including beef, pork and lamb to up to 4 times a month. I know you’re probably still wondering about pasta and pizza, and I’d like to end by talking about it a little more now. Contrary to popular belief, they can be a part of your healthy diet, especially pasta. Yes, eating too much pasta can make you fat, but eating too much of anything can do that too. Keep in mind that research shows that your overall eating pattern is what impacts weight and health more than any single food. Therefore, if you want to eat pasta, you need to make sure that your overall diet follows the framework of the Mediterranean diet: plant based, with two meatless meals a day, plenty of vegetables and liberal amounts of extra virgin olive oil. If you have that pattern in place, then you can include small portions of pasta fairly regularly. A portion is ½ cup of cooked pasta, and the sauce is generally light, and mostly vegetables. The same thing goes for pizza. Crust should be thin, maybe even cracker-like, and cheese and other toppings should be kept very light. Of course, portions are small and it is usually eaten as part of a light lunch meal on a weekend. Research on pasta shows that it is a low-glycemic food, when prepared correctly. It must be cooked al dente, or slightly firm. When it is over cooked the starch breaks down and it will raise your blood sugar, so be sure not to over cook it. Additionally, you may recall from my podcast about satiety, eating carbohydrates at the beginning of a meal can help you feel full sooner and satisfied longer. Traditionally, pasta is eaten as a first course, at the beginning of a 3 course meal, and is often followed by vegetables and protein, and then fresh fruit, to make a very satisfying and delicious meal. You can enjoy delicious and healthful Italian food! Approach it in the larger context of following a medieterranean diet pattern where you emphasize certain healthful plant-based foods daily and come to Gelson’s to see all of the delicious ways we celebrate a Taste of Italy. Resources Mentioned Nutrition Notes Recipes Tuscan Garlic Soup with with Kale & Eggs Ricotta Toast with Pears & Fennel Pesto Roasted Halibut
20 minutes | Sep 7, 2016
S2E04 - Fearsome Food News
Fearsome Food News Today I want to address all of the scary food news that we’ve been hearing lately about the association between processed meats, red meats, and certain carbohydrates with cancer. It’s certainly not news that ham and French fries aren’t health foods, but all of this negative food press can make us feel like there’s nothing safe to eat anymore. If you feel confused and worried about what you’re eating, I want to help guide listeners towards the healthiest approach to eating these potentially carcinogenic foods and offer some ideas for healthful alternatives. First, here’s some background on the recent report that made so many headlines. The World Health Organization (WHO) released a report in October stating that there is convincing evidence that eating too much processed meat can increase the risk of colon and rectal (and possibly stomach) cancer. The report also said that red meat is probably carcinogenic, as it is positively associated with pancreatic and prostate cancers. Although this is not exactly new or surprising news, the recent report has had the benefit of getting people to pay more attention to what they are eating, as few people may have realized that regular consumption of turkey deli meat (for example) could increase their colon cancer risk. I think it’s worth assessing how much and how often you eat red meat and processed meat. Although the lifetime risk of developing colorectal, pancreatic, and stomach cancers is low for most of us, the more often we eat processed and red meats, the more our risk of developing these cancers increases. So what exactly is processed meat? Processed meat is defined as meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, smoking, fermenting, or the addition of nitrates or other chemical preservatives. Poultry; fish; and Red meat, which includes beef, veal, pork, lamb, mutton, and goat; can all be processed meats. Here are some specific examples of processed meats. Processed Meats Hot dogs* Sausage Bacon Turkey bacon Canadian bacon Pepperoni Ham Prosciutto Jamon Cold cuts or deli lunch meats* (such as roast beef, turkey, pastrami, corned beef, bologna) Salami Jerky Smoked fish *including meats made with natural nitrates from celery juice You don’t have to give up processed meats completely, but you should eat them infrequently—once or twice a month. That’s going to be easy for some people who already eat them on occasion, but harder for people who eat a turkey sandwich for lunch every day or have a side of bacon with their eggs every morning. The same goes for red meat; you don’t have to give it up, but aim for a limit of eating it about once a week. When you do eat red meat, try to avoid charring the outside and cooking it over very high heat, as this causes the formation of additional carcinogens. Grass-fed beef and lamb is also preferable, since the meat from these animals contains anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats that are not present in conventionally raised meats. Here are six ways that you can reduce your intake of processed and red meats: Eat them on special occasions, like holidays, vacations, celebratory meals, and at sporting events. Think about having a hot dog at a baseball game, a steak at your birthday dinner, or some bacon at a Sunday brunch with some friends. Plan for these occasions rather than making a hamburger or pepperoni pizza your default meal. Use beans and lentils in soups, stews and chili instead of ham, sausage, and bacon. Flavor your mixed dishes with fresh herbs, garlic, onion, and dried spices instead of sausage. If you frequently eat eggs with a side of bacon, turn your eggs into an omelet filled with a variety of sautéed vegetables and skip the bacon. Try to eat more vegetarian meals. Two a day should be your goal. Instead of red meat, try beans, legumes, edamame, tofu, eggs, yogurt, milk, cottage cheese, nut butters, nuts, seeds, fresh turkey, chicken and fish. Substitute some of my suggested Processed Meat Alternatives for your deli meat sandwiches (discuss table). Visit gelsons.com for my recipes for tuna salad, egg salad, turkey salad, curried chicken salad, Chickpea spread, almond butter and banana blueberry tartines and more! Processed Meat Alternatives for Sandwiches and Wraps Tuna Salad Salmon Salad Egg salad Fresh chicken breast Fresh turkey breast Turkey salad or chicken salad Hummus Cheese Beans Nut butters If you’re interested in lowering your overall cancer risk but are wondering what to eat in place of your regular turkey sandwich, there are plenty of healthful alternatives! Please first consider vegetarian alternatives, since eating a plant-based diet, such as the Mediterranean Diet (which includes at least two vegetarian meals a day), has been shown to be the most cancer-protective eating pattern. As for burnt toast and crispy French fries, starchy foods that are well-cooked using high heat causes the formation of a substance called acrylamide, a “probable carcinogen” according to WHO. You can and should limit your intake of potato chips, French fries, and other deep fried foods, and try not to burn your toast. As with red and processed meats, these are foods to eat occasionally, not daily. When it comes to eating to prevent cancer, your overall diet pattern is the most important factor. If you eat a mostly plant-based, Mediterranean-style diet most of the time, then eating a hot dog or crispy French fries once in a while will probably not cause cancer. Eating red meat, processed meat, and well-cooked starches in moderation and without fear or guilt is the best and most realistic approach, since what you eat most of the time will have a much greater impact on your health than foods you eat only occasionally. Q &A Q: What foods are on the processed meats list that surprised you? A: I think the smoked fish, like lox, was the most surprising. Also, the deli meats made with celery juice was a bit of a surprise. Q: Do you ever eat any processed meats, and if so, what, and how often? Recipes for Show notes Page: Tuna Salad Egg Salad Turkey Salad Chicken Salad Hummus Almond Butter
27 minutes | Aug 31, 2016
S2E03 - Satiety Strategies Part 2
Satiety Strategies Part 2 In the last episode I talked about the factors that influence appetite and satiety, or how satisfied you feel after eating. In this episode, I want to discuss specific strategies for improving your satiety levels. After so many years of being a dietitian, I naturally incorporate strategies for feeling satisfied into my eating. There are many things you can do to help yourself feel satisfied throughout the day. Some of the strategies may surprise you, but it’s important to understand the reasoning behind them since that will give you more motivation to incorporate everything. Here are the approaches I take to maximize satiety from my meals and control hunger: Feed yourself reliably. That means eating according to a regular schedule, not skipping meals, and listening to your hunger. The most important way to be disciplined with your eating is not restriction, but structure. You must be reliable about feeding yourself regularly and making mealtimes a priority. Take your lunch break around noon, when you start to get hungry instead of ignoring your hunger and waiting until 2 or 3 in the afternoon to scrounge up some fast food. Instead of scarfing your food down at your desk or in your car, sit down at a table and eat without distractions like your Smartphone or the TV; ideally you will eat with at least one other pleasant person. At home, try to make breakfast or dinner “family meals” where you share your food around the table with others (relatives or friends). Haphazard eating sets you up for failure. An estimated 40% of Americans regularly skip breakfast, which not only increases appetite hormones, blood sugar, and weight, it also raises type 2 diabetes risk. Skipping any meal will cause you to overeat at the next meal—and possibly at the meal after that-- and make your blood sugar dip, but skipping meals on a regular basis can lead to weight gain and possibly diabetes. Eat breakfast within one hour of waking up to get your appetite hormones under control, follow with lunch approximately four hours later, consider an afternoon snack about three to four hours after lunch to tide you over until dinner a couple hours later. Do not underestimate the importance of eating on a regular schedule. Eat balanced meals and snacks. When I say balanced, I mean a mixture of the macronutrients protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Each of these components plays an important role in satiety—both how soon you feel satiated and how long that feeling sticks with you. Carbohydrates help you feel full the fastest, but you’ll be staving shortly after eating unless you include protein, which is the most satisfying of the three macronutrients. Protein satisfaction takes a little while to register, so it’s best to eat slowly and attentively. Adding some healthful fat to the meal is really important for extending the length of time that you feel satisfied. All three components are important not only for how they affect your blood sugar and other appetite hormones, but in how pleasurable your meal is to eat. Emphasize protein at breakfast. As I mentioned, breakfast sets the tone for your appetite for the entire day. Eating a protein-rich breakfast can really help to keep your appetite hormones and blood sugar under control and stabilize hunger all day, which can aid in weight control. Try eggs, Greek or Icelandic yogurt, cottage cheese, or tofu with your morning meal. Continue to incorporate protein into your subsequent meals and snacks, remembering that each meal must be balanced with protein, carbohydrates, and good fats to optimize satiety. Beans, legumes, edamame, nuts, nut butters, seeds, and fish are all satisfying, anti-inflammatory proteins to include at meals. Choose the right carbohydrates. Here are a few of my favorite carbs: non-starchy vegetables, starchy vegetables, fruits, whole intact grains, beans and legumes. The things they all have in common are that they are minimally-processed, nutrient-dense, voluminous, and high in fiber. Naturally occurring fiber is important to satiety because it triggers gut hormones that suppress appetite and it draws water to create bulk in your digestive tract, so that you feel full longer. These “good” carbs aid in blood sugar control because they are digested slowly and reduce carbohydrate cravings. Beans, legumes, certain vegetables (such as orange sweet potatoes, corn, and green peas), and whole intact grains (such as oats, barley, and brown rice) contain a substance called resistant starch that can help boost satiety hormones. Eat lots of vegetables. Vegetables are your best friend in weight control because they help fill you up and provide tons of nutrients, fiber, and water for virtually no calories. They are also voluminous, so they take up space on your plate to be visually satisfying and they take up space in your stomach to be physically filling. Do you think you don’t like vegetables? The obvious trick here is to make sure they taste good. Don’t just steam a head of broccoli and plop it on your plate! I have hundreds of vegetable-based recipes online at gelsons.com, and if you don’t cook, head to Gelson’s Service Deli and try some of my freshly prepared salads, such as Super Antioxidant Chopped Salad and Crunchy Kale Salad. Remember: healthy food is only healthy if it gets into your body, so make sure your veggies taste good. Drink more water. Research on water shows that people who increase their water intake decrease the amount of food they eat. Just one additional glass a day can make a difference. If you’re not drinking water, what are you drinking? Don’t drink your food. Calories in liquid form are not satisfying in the same way that calories in solid form can be. The process of chewing triggers satiety, while calories consumed as a soft drink, sports drink, juice, coffee drink, or even a smoothie do not register as fully as solid calories, but you can pack in liquid calories faster than you can chew them, effectively raising your blood sugar and contributing to weight gain. Research shows that the more time you spend chewing your food, the better you regulate your appetite, so foods that take a long time to eat can be more satisfying and helpful for weight loss. Eat the lowest energy density foods first. Since it takes a few minutes for satiety to register, a good strategy is to start your meals with the lowest calorie, most nutritious, highest volume foods (i.e. low energy dense). These are vegetables and fruits. Try starting lunch and dinner with a salad, vegetable soup, or even an apple. Get enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep negatively impacts your appetite hormones so that you feel hungrier the day after a sleep-deprived night. Sleep deprivation also seems to slow down your metabolism, so you need less food to run your body and maintain your weight. Furthermore, the less time you spend sleeping, the more time you can potentially spend eating. Cultivate mindfulness in your eating. We are all born knowing when we are hungry and when we are full, but somewhere along the way, we get disconnected from that innate self-awareness. It can happen as early as infancy, when babies are forced to finish their whole bottle, or in childhood when parents or caregivers control how much children eat by telling them to eat one more bite, limiting portions of foods, restricting foods, making kids clean their plates, or making them eat their vegetables before they can eat other foods. Later on, we learn the food rules and try to play along and “be good” with our eating for the sake of weight control or health. This leads to restrictive eating and overeating. We must find our way back to listening to our bodies, trusting ourselves to eat when we are hungry and stop when we are full, and allowing ourselves to take pleasure in the food we eat. Does this sound scary to you? You’re not alone, but this is important work! In order to truly reconnect with your feelings of hunger and satiety, you must pay attention to your eating. Plan and prepare a meal that you like, sit down at a set table with real dishware and utensils, turn off devices and eliminate distractions. Take a few slow, deep breaths, and begin eating slowly, paying attention to how the food looks, smells, tastes, and feels. Eat until you feel satisfied, don’t just stop because you think you should. Find the point of satisfaction that is right for you. Practice this for one meal a day until you find your fullness. This will take several weeks of practice, but you will be able to reconnect with your internal regulation by giving your food the attention it deserves. Honor your appetite. I don’t want you to think that the foods you love and the ways you enjoy eating are not important here! Listening to your body, including the foods you love, and enjoying food are vital to satisfaction. Give yourself permission to eat the foods you love within the structure that I discussed in strategy #1. Structure helps combat the nutritional chaos you will worry about when you give yourself permission to eat what you enjoy. Honoring your appetite will require trusting yourself and really listening to your body. Here’s my personal example: Long ago, I realized that frozen yogurt was not the right treat for me because I love ice cream. For me, frozen yogurt is a poor substitute for ice cream; it leaves me feeling unsatisfied and still craving ice cream, so I end up eating way more frozen yogurt in search of that satisfaction that I’m looking for. Now, instead of eating frozen yogurt every day, I eat ice cream two or three times a week as part of a family meal, or as an afternoon snack with my kids. Many of our listeners know that I love food and enjoy eating. Most of the foods I love are healthful, “everyday” types of foods, but I eat everything, including dessert. I don’t struggle with my weight because I know how to eat satisfying meals that keep m
16 minutes | Jul 21, 2016
S2E02 - Satiety Strategies Part 1
Satiety Strategies Part 1 Being hungry is not fun. It’s uncomfortable and distracting and it is a major reasons why people struggle with their weight. People experience hunger in different ways: some individuals can tolerate or even ignore hunger pangs, while even the slightest twinge of hunger can feel like an emergency to others. There’s no simple reason to explain those differences. Hormones, gut bacteria (microbiota), sensory processing, past experiences with starvation, emotions, and even the childhood feeding environment can affect how we sense and respond to hunger. Satiety is the state of feeling satisfied after eating. As you would imagine, it’s a crucial component of weight control, since hunger is a fundamental reason for eating. About 65% of Americans are on a diet at any given time, and of those dieters, two out of three admit that they are driven to “cheat” on their diet because of hunger. Hunger can undermine any attempts at healthful eating. I’ll tell you a personal story about one of my more memorable experiences with hunger. I recently had such a busy day traveling among stores for work that I inadvertently skipped lunch. By the time I got to my last store at 3:00 p.m., I was ready to eat anything that wasn’t nailed down! I ordered a slice of pizza and scarfed it down while standing over a trash can—not my finest moment as a dietitian. That experience was a good reminder of how powerful hunger can be. I naturally incorporate several satiety strategies into my daily eating, so I sometimes forget how hard it can be to make a good choice at a meal if I feel ravenous. Weight control is really complex, with many factors influencing success. Of course, we all want easy answers for weight loss like “eat fewer calories than you burn,” “use your willpower,” “cut out carbs,” or “eat like a caveman.” But, those simple recommendations just don’t address the causes of overweight and will not afford long-term success. For successful weight control, we need to take into account all of the different and complicated factors that affect appetite and satiety. Blood Sugar Control I have long said that everyone should eat as though they already have diabetes in order to prevent it and many other chronic diseases. It is also an excellent strategy for weight control. Processed carbohydrates from foods made with flour or sugar and carbohydrate-heavy meals all require your pancreas to secrete a hormone called insulin to collect and deliver sugar to your cells for energy. Insulin also tells your body to store fat. People who are insulin resistant or diabetic also become hungry when there is excess insulin floating in their blood, while the rest of us may experience a “crash” or blood sugar low after eating these types of foods, which can also trigger hunger and cravings for sweets and carbohydrate rich foods. Eating to control blood sugar is a good way for everyone to get a handle on appetite control. I’m going to talk more about eating to control blood sugar in my next podcast, but you can review this topic in depth with my tenth podcast called “Shaking off Sweets”. In a nutshell, you need to eat balanced meals that contain protein, some minimally processed carbohydrates, and some healthful fat—and you need to eat three meals a day. Good Gut Bacteria Our microbiome--the community of bacteria that live in our guts--is emerging as an influential factor in satiety. The microbiome can influence our appetite, metabolism, and even the number of calories we absorb from food. Obese people have higher representations of less desirable strains of bacteria, as well as fewer varieties of bacteria in their microbiomes. Studies indicate that people who have the greatest diversity of good bacteria in their microbiomes experience greater satiety with eating, and tend to be leaner. Eating a plant-based, vegetable-rich diet that also includes probiotic foods, like yogurt, can help to nurture a more diverse microbiome. You can learn more about this topic by listening to my podcast “10 reasons to grow your good bacteria.” Hunger Hormones One factor that makes appetite even more complex are the hormones that are involved in appetite regulation. Fat makes hormones and the more body fat you have, the more hormones you make. There is really interesting evidence that being overweight actually increases your appetite and makes it harder to feel satisfied. Furthermore, resistance to certain satiety hormones can develop in overweight individuals, making it harder to fill up and thus lose weight. If you think about what the implications of this cycle are, you can see how challenging it is to lose weight if the state of being overweight makes it harder to feel satisfied. One way to break this cycle is by eating a more anti-inflammatory diet since this cascade of appetite hormones that overweight people experience is considered a pro-inflammatory condition. Therefore, eating an anti-inflammatory, plant-based diet like the Mediterranean Diet is one approach that can help improve the situation. My listeners know how much I love the Mediterranean Diet as a framework for healthful eating. It’s great because it’s flexible and can be adjusted to fit your individual needs and preferences. It’s pretty much already an anti-inflammatory diet, but you can add extra anti-inflammatory emphasis to it if you understand both diets. I’ve covered the Mediterranean diet extensively in my first few podcasts, so you can go back and review them at anytime. Here are some important things to know about anti-inflammatory eating: most foods that grow on farms are anti-inflammatory and highly processed foods are pro-inflammatory. Since the med diet is a plant based diet that emphasizes minimally processed foods, you can see how easily these eating styles fit together. In order to combat inflammation, you need to replace most of the harmful pro-inflammatory foods in your diet with healthful, antioxidant-rich anti-inflammatory foods. Pro-inflammatory foods, which should be minimized or avoided are mainly unhealthy fats; processed foods; and processed foods that contain refined grains, sugars, and unhealthy fats. Make vegetables, fruit, whole intact grains, beans, legumes and healthful fats the basis of your daily diet. Produce (including herbs and spices) contains phytonutrients that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties; grains, beans and legumes are nutritious slow-digesting carbohydrates and proteins that help to control blood sugar; and extra virgin olive oil, nuts, and fatty fish are rich in monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, which are strongly anti-inflammatory. Try to eat plant proteins, like beans, lentils, and nuts instead of animal proteins. You can still eat fish and seafood, organic yogurt, cheese, milk, and eggs several times a week--but not necessarily daily, and poultry and red meat even less frequently, as it is better to reduce your consumption of animal products if you’re trying to reduce inflammation. Now that you understand some of the factors that can influence appetite and satiety, tune in next time when I’ll discuss some more concrete strategies for planning satisfying meals and snacks. Q: What are some of the most satisfying foods you can recommend to our listeners? Top Satisfying foods Almonds Apples Avocado Beans and bean soups Chia seeds Eggs Fatty fish such as salmon and sablefish Greek yogurt (plain) Oatmeal Water
26 minutes | Jul 1, 2016
S2E01 Growing Your Good Bacteria
The Care and Feeding of your Good Bacteria 22 Today I‘m going to talk about a topic that I’ve been following for a few years and I think we finally know enough about to make some useful dietary recommendations. I’m going to tell you about the care and feeding of your good bacteria. Believe it or not, the bacteria in your gut could hold the key to your health. There are over 100 trillion microbes living on us and inside us and they can influence factors as far reaching as appetite, mood, and even mental health. I have been fascinated for the last few years with this emerging area of research into what is called the human microbiota, or microbiome. The terms microbiota and microbiome may be unfamiliar to a lot of listeners, so before I go any further, I want to explain them. The human gut microbiota is defined as the trillions of microscopic organisms (including bacteria, viruses, and fungi) –some good and some bad – living in the digestive tract of the human body. And the microbiome is the whole community of microbes, or the collective “genome” of the microbiota (bacteria have genes, too!). There are usually over 1,000 different species of microbes in this diverse community, which used to be referred to as “flora”. Normally, the bacteria live in harmony with the human body and are, in fact, essential to human survival. By some estimates, we have more than three times the number of microbial cells in our bodies than we do human cells – in a way, we are more microbial than human! – though our collective microbiota only weighs about two and a half pounds. Humans’ microbiomes have evolved over thousands of years, but they seem to have changed significantly over the last few decades, which some researchers believe has contributed to the rise in autoimmune diseases, food allergies, asthma, and even obesity. They attribute this striking change to a handful of lifestyle factors, including a diet comprised of highly processed, industrialized food, aka the “Western Diet,” and an overly clean and sanitized environment that overuses antibiotics and antibacterial products. You’re probably wondering why I’m telling you all this? Well, I know the beginning of the year is the time that most people shift their focus from holiday eating to losing weight and eating better. Instead of putting yourself on a restrictive eating plan or a fad diet, I want listeners to instead focus on gut goodness. Set your sights on promoting the balance and diversity of your gut bacteria to influence your weight and health. Our microbiota can influence: Our immune systems Inflammation Moods and behavior Aging Diabetes, metabolic syndrome Obesity and weight loss Cancer risk Digestive health and regularity How well we absorb nutrients from our food And even susceptibility to allergies I’m not going to discuss the relationship between the microbiome and each of these aspects of health, but I will say that on a basic level, it’s probably easy to see how having a strong and diverse microbiome can keep you healthy by fighting off pathogens that you might eat or swallow and also how it can keep your digestive tract healthy. On a much more complex level, the microbial composition of the gut can affect parts of our bodies as far away as the brain! The gut microbiome can influence how our brain processes behaviors related to stress, mood, pain, and cognition in conditions such as depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, and anxiety. How fascinating is that? Suffice it to say that all of the ways our microbiome has the potential to influence our health is extremely complex and still very much unknown. In some instances, our microbiome may influence the onset of disease while, in others, disease may be altering our microbiomes. Either way, many researchers believe that promoting balance in our individual gut bacteria may be an important way to prevent or treat an amazing array of conditions and diseases. Ok, by now I hope I’ve convinced you that you should be thinking about how to influence your microbiome in order to improve your health. Here’s how you can achieve and Maintain Microbial Balance: First, let me tell you what not to do! Poor nutrition (especially, a high fat diet, a high sugar diet or a low-fiber diet) is terrible for your microbiota! Also, antibiotics, stress, inflammation, and a few other factors can negatively affect the diversity and robustness of our microbiota. We all encounter at least one of these issues sporadically in our lifetimes and in reality, it’s just part of life—sometimes you have no choice but to take an antibiotic and life can be very stressful at times. That’s why having a resilient bacterial community in place to help protect our microbiome from undesirable, lasting changes is important for our long-term health. The best way to influence your microbiota is through diet. We know that eating patterns can impact bacterial diversity. Plant-based diets, such as the Mediterranean Diet, as well as vegetarian and vegan diets are best for encouraging a good bacterial population that produces anti-inflammatory substances called short chain fatty acids (SCFAs). People whose diets consist of mostly vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, and grains tend to have well-balanced microbiomes. These eating patterns are also associated with good overall health and lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, overweight, and obesity. As most of my listeners already know, I recommend the Mediterranean Diet as the best framework for healthful eating. It emphasizes two vegetarian meals a day and extra virgin olive oil as its main fat, but is flexible so that fish, poultry, and meat can be eaten weekly. It is an enjoyable diet and most people are successful with this eating pattern because of its flexibility. You can change your microbiota quickly by changing your diet, but maintaining those changes for the long-term will be the key to life-long health benefits. There are three specific dietary factors that can alter your microbiome: (1) Fiber, (2) Probiotic foods and possibly supplements, and (3) Animal flesh and saturated fat. Dietary fiber plays a key role in influencing and nourishing your gut bacteria. Specific types of fiber that are only digestible in the large intestine are called prebiotics, and these are the desirable types for growing our good bacteria. (Other types of fiber are good for other purposes, so don’t exclude them simply because they don’t have prebiotic properties.) Naturally fiber-rich foods, such as vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and grains, provide nourishment for gut bacteria to flourish. When our gut bacteria ferment the fibers in these foods, they produce desirable SCFAs that promote the microbial diversity we are seeking to help prevent inflammation and chronic diseases. Our goal should be to eat a wide variety of naturally fiber-rich foods (not fiber-enriched processed foods). The average American who eats a typical Western Diet that is high in processed and refined packaged foods and low in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains consumes about 15 grams of dietary fiber a day, while our goal should be between 25 to 38 grams of fiber a day depending on age and sex. If you’re not currently eating a lot of fiber, it’s important to increase the amount of fiber in your diet slowly to prevent gas and bloating. You also need to increase the amount of water you drink as you up your fiber intake. Approach this fiber increase seriously, since if you develop gas and bloating by increasing your fiber too quickly, you may be more likely to give up on this important endeavor. Probiotics are good microbes that we can eat or take in supplement form to help introduce new species of microbes into our systems. Probiotic foods are important for supporting bacterial diversity in our microbiomes. They are found in cultured foods such as yogurt, kefir that say “live and active cultures” on the package, and in lower concentrations in cultured foods such as Kombucha, cultured butter, buttermilk, and cultured cheeses like cream cheese and crème fraiche. Probiotics are also found in fermented foods like unpasteurized sauerkraut, pickles, and kimchi, and miso, tempeh and sourdough bread. A list of probiotic foods and a listing of specific foods at Gelson’s that contain live and active cultures can both be found on the show notes page at gelsons.com. Try to eat at least one probiotic food daily, but experiment with different foods and even brands of yogurt and kefir to see which strains of bacteria make you feel your best. If eating fermented foods on a regular basis is not possible, consider a probiotic supplement, especially if you are taking antibiotics. Please keep in mind that the research in this area is still very young and we need more studies to confirm what certain strains and brands of probiotic supplements can—and can’t--do for us. These recommendations are general and are intended for healthy adults; individuals with compromised immune systems and those undergoing cancer treatment should not take probiotic supplements. Everyone should consult with their physician before beginning to take a probiotic supplement. Finally, consider the dietary factors you need to minimize in order to nourish your microbiome. Red meat (from beef, pork, and lamb) contains a nutrient that certain bacteria break down into a dangerous substance that can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Eating red meat up to once a week (as is recommended on the Mediterranean Diet) should not be problematic, so long as you are also eating a mostly plant-based diet. Eating red meat regularly, however, can be unhealthy for your microbiome and your heart. Additionally, saturated fat from animal flesh sources such as fatty steaks and chicken skin, can be problematic for our microbiome. Eating significant amounts of satur
32 minutes | Feb 23, 2016
022 How to Lose Weight
How to lose Weight 23 It’s a new year, so everyone has weight loss on their mind—at least they will for a few weeks! That’s where the fad diets come in. Anyone can stick with some crazy diet plan for a few weeks and lose a few pounds, but those results are only temporary. I don’t like diets because they don’t work. Here’s why: The term “going on a diet” implies that you will eventually go off of the diet—and back to your old eating habits. Diets are a quick fix that can lead to weight fluctuations and life-long struggles with your weight and weight-related health issues. I meet many older obese individuals who tell me they have “been on every diet there is.” Since the dieting mentality is one of short-term deprivation, it’s easy to convince yourself that you only have to give up soda, cake and cookies for a little while until you reach your target weight, but that’s a lie because true weight loss success is found in the ability to maintain your weight loss for the rest of your life. When you are truly committed to making changes to your current lifestyle, you will finally be able to end your struggle with your weight. Anyone listening to this who has ever lost weight knows that losing weight is easy compared to maintaining weight loss. Most people think that losing weight is about cutting calories, exercising intensely, and relying on willpower. In my experience, none of those things work for the long term. The keys to weight loss success aren’t what you think they are. Yes, what you eat is important, but it’s not about calories, because all calories are not created equal. 100 calories of cookies is not the same to your body as 100 calories of raw almonds. And drinking a calorie free diet soda is not the same as drinking 0 calorie filtered water. Calories from sugars and sweets are the least satisfying and promote carbohydrate cravings, while calories from protein, fats and fiber-rich foods are more satisfying, which can allow you to eat less. Like I said, it’s not really about calories, its about quality and balance. Minimally processed foods in their most natural form are the types of high-quality foods you want to focus on. Vegetables, fruits, beans, extra virgin olive oil, whole intact grains, small amounts of yogurt and cheese, nuts, seeds, eggs, and occasional fish, poultry, and red meat are the foods that should form the basis of your diet. Minimize packaged and processed foods—especially those that are promoted for weight loss! Meals and snacks need to contain some produce, plus protein and fat for balance to help control blood sugar levels. Focusing on balanced meals and snacks will help you feel more satisfied so that you’re not starving an hour after eating breakfast or craving sugar all day long. Losing weight permanently is about changing your behavior, so the key to success does not lie in a juice cleanse or even avoiding wheat. Instead, being aware of your hunger, satiety, emotions, and environment, as well as how your food tastes, is critically important to successfully transforming your relationship with food. You need to work on promoting good eating habits so that you will not feel the need to “detox” or go on a special crash diet. There is no substitute for good nutrition. Eating well is not a quick fix, but a life-long journey that takes commitment. Just focusing on what you eat is almost like a diversion from looking closely and honestly at what’s eating you. That’s really hard work! Eliminate emotional eating Eating is not an effective way to deal with anger, stress, boredom, disappointment, or anxiety. Food is not a reward or a band-aid, but many people over-eat for these reasons. If you often eat for emotional rather than physiological reasons, identify your emotional eating triggers and learn to refocus your negative emotions towards more productive and healthful activities. Direct that energy instead towards breath work, meditation, visualization, physical activity, yoga or other enjoyable or productive activities. This strategy can help curb emotional eating and bring your focus back to your health goals. One of my favorite strategies that I recommend to people is to turn a cookie jar into an activity jar. This works really well for people who eat out of habit and boredom, especially at night. I think it’s really important to make peace with food. You have probably learned to label food as “good” or “bad” and judge yourself as “good” or “bad” for making certain food choices. That approach to eating needs to change! Work towards practicing self-compassion and flexibility with your eating and you will have better success with weight loss. Incorporate structure. I can’t emphasize enough that eating can’t be haphazard if you want to have a healthy relationship with food. You must be reliable about feeding yourself regularly and making mealtimes a priority. Take your lunch break around noon, when you start to get hungry instead of ignoring your hunger and waiting until 2 or 3 in the afternoon to scrounge up some fast food. Instead of scarfing your food down at your desk or in your car, sit down at a table and eat without distractions like your Smartphone or the TV; ideally you will eat with at least one other pleasant person. At home, try to make breakfast or dinner “family meals” where you share your food around the table with others (relatives or friends). Write everything down People who use food journals are more successful at losing weight and keeping it off than people who don’t record every bite of food they put in their mouths. Journaling forces you to “own” your eating behavior and your food choices. It can also help you identify unhealthy patterns in your eating habits. Some people use a food journal to plan their meals ahead of time; they record what and how much they will eat and find it easier to stick to their plan once it is on paper. Download food journal pages at gelsons.com Foster flexibility Being adaptable with your eating habits seems to be one of the most important factors in long-term success in weight loss and maintenance. Planning your meals, having backup strategies and coming up with creative solutions to different eating challenges can make you more successful in achieving your goals. Losing weight is not all about self control and willpower; it’s more about adapting your new lifestyle to your current situation and having a strategy for dealing with difficult eating situations. When you have a good understanding of which foods are healthful and how to create satisfying, balanced meals, you can successfully plan for dealing with dining out with friends, eating lunch on the road, making good choices at your hungriest times of day, eating triggers, emotional eating, special occasions and people who push food on you. There are always going to be challenges to eating healthfully, but being prepared to deal with your personal obstacles is the smartest way to overcome them. Finding the balance between being flexible and structured is important. Plan an eating schedule and have sit-down meals and snacks daily. Put some thought into your foods, but don’t obsess over everything. While you are losing weight, try to stick to your eating plan 90% of the time and be flexible about 10% of the time (two meals a week); once you have reached your goal and are working on maintaining your weight, you can be more relaxed with 20% of your meals (about four meals a week). A rigid all-or-nothing approach is a recipe for disaster and a major reason why strict diets only work for the short term. Creating a healthy lifestyle and focusing on health, rather than weight and calories, is a good way to foster flexibility in adjusting your eating as the situation requires. Take the best of what fad diets have to offer Go ahead and eat grapefruit and cabbage soup as part of your diet! These are healthful foods that are certainly satisfying, nutritious and low in calories and they should be eaten regularly, but don’t eat them exclusively. Like many of these diets, I agree that you should pay more attention to your carbohydrate intake, but I don’t believe that you should avoid carbs completely. Limit your portions as appropriate to your body shape and try to choose minimally processed intact whole grains such as oats, quinoa, barley, and brown and wild rice. Eat fewer processed and packaged foods and more foods in their most natural form. Drink water exclusively and eliminate soft drinks (both regular and diet), juice and other sweetened beverages. Successful weight loss does not happen by accident; it takes thought, work, sweat, learning and dedication. Prepare yourself for the long haul and keep in mind that three years should be your time frame for permanent weight loss. Additionally, try to implement as many of the strategies covered here as you can, since the more you use, the more successful your long-term weight loss will be. Q&A Q: do some styles of eating work better for certain body types? A: Know your body Not every style of eating is right for every body. Emerging research indicates that different body types respond better to varying distributions of carbohydrates and fat. Most people (almost all men and about 35-45% of women) tend to store their excess fat primarily in their mid-sections. We call this body type “apple-shaped.” A smaller percentage of people are “pear-shaped” since they tend to store their excess fat around their hips and thighs. “Apple-shaped” individuals seem to have more success with weight loss and maintenance when they closely monitor the type and amount of carbohydrates they eat. (This is a lower carb diet, but not a low-carb fad diet.) Their diet should consist of mostly vegetables (carrots are fine!), plant proteins, lean
20 minutes | Dec 29, 2015
021 Boost Your Immune System in Three Easy Steps
Boost Your Immune System Were heading into prime cold and flu season now, so today I want to talk about things you can do to boost your immune system to help keep yourself health this winter. We’re all more susceptible to getting sick in the winter since we’re spending more time in dry indoor environments where we have more exposure to other peoples’ germs, and our protective mucous membranes are weakened when they are dried out. The holidays can also increase our stress levels and interfere with our sleep and digestion, which leaves us even more vulnerable to illnesses. Of course, our eating habits can also suffer during the winter months, especially during the holidays when nutritious foods tend be replaced by more “special occasion” foods. A less-than-optimal diet can lead to nutrient deficiencies, which in turn significantly weakens our immunity. Now I’m going to share some specific dietary components and lifestyle strategies that you may want to incorporate right now to give your immune system a little boost in defending itself against winter bugs: Antioxidants, specifically vitamins A, C, and E, are a key line of defense against immune system invaders since they keep our skin and outer mucous membranes healthy so they can block any germs that try to enter our bodies. They also help repair cells inside the body. Top food sources of vitamin A include carrots, orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, and kale. Good sources for vitamin C are red bell peppers, broccoli, kale, cantaloupe, citrus fruits, strawberries, and kiwi. And you can get vitamin E from nuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, avocado, and olive oil. If you want to make a delicious recipe that includes foods that contain all these antioxidants, I have a delicious recipe called Local Strawberry, Kale, and Avocado Salad* (please note that some of the ingredients for this recipe may not be available from local sources in the winter). Vitamin D plays an important role in immune system function; in fact, there is some evidence that people with the lowest levels of vitamin D are more likely to catch a cold. Really, the best sources of vitamin D are sunlight and supplements. But egg yolks, salmon, sardines, and tuna, as well as fortified mushrooms, milk, and cereal also contain some vitamin D. Honestly, though, it is very difficult to get adequate vitamin D through diet alone. Since it is almost impossible to get enough sun in the winter, even here in sunny Southern California, you may want to consider a daily vitamin D3 supplement. The best way to determine your optimal dose is to have your physician test your blood levels and recommend a supplemental dose based on your current level. The next group of nutrient to focus on are the trace minerals Zinc, iron, and selenium. They are all immune-boosting minerals found together in egg yolks, whole grains, lentils, chicken, turkey, beef, fish, and seafood. They work together to help produce white blood cells and other immune-protecting cells. Our bodies only need small amounts of these nutrients (that’s why they’re called trace minerals), so it’s not necessary to increase your portions of these foods or take supplements. So little is needed that target levels can easily be reached by eating a variety of the foods listed here. For a delicious recipe that includes foods with all these minerals, plus some omega-3s, try my recipe for Miso and Truffle-Glazed Sea Bass*. Beta glucans, a type of soluble fiber that enhances the immune system can be found in mushrooms and some whole grains, like oats and barley. Mushrooms, such as the shiitake, oyster, enoki, Portobello, and maitake varieties, are usually touted for their immune-boosting powers, and these large carbohydrate molecules are the reason. They may help increase the number and activity of immune cells and defend against bacteria and viruses that enter the system. Make a satisfying pot of my Mushroom Barley Soup for a beta-glucan boost.* Something else to consider are Probiotics. These are the live and active cultures found in yogurt and other fermented dairy products, like kefir. Certain probiotic cultures can help to strengthen the body’s defenses by populating the gut with “good” bacteria. Our digestive tract is considered the largest immune organ in the body. Probiotic bacteria, as well as our stomach acid, can help to fight off germs we ingest. Taking a probiotic supplement such as Culturelle and/or eating a good quality yogurt or kefir every day can help populate your gut with immune-enhancing bacteria. Look for dairy products that say “contains live and active cultures” on the container. You know, I have to put in a good word for water. Water is important for optimal hydration, which helps keep nasal passages and other mucous membranes moist so that they can act as barriers to bacterial and viral invaders. Water is also important for helping your immune system run smoothly. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. That’s all I have in the diet section, and I just have a few lifestyle tips to help with keeping yourself healthy. The first is actually the most important recommendation of all. It’s washing your hands frequently. Use soap and water and rub your hands together vigorously for 20 seconds (or sing “Happy Birthday” twice) to kill all the bacteria that can cause colds, flus, and diarrhea. Be mindful of what you touch and try to avoid touching your face, especially your mouth, nose, and eyes, as much as possible since they are common points of entry for infections. The next recommendation for helping to maintain a healthy immune system is for moderate, regular exercise, especially yoga and walking. Both have stress-reduction benefits, which can help free up our immune systems to make more powerful disease-fighting cells. Yoga seems to be especially helpful for those prone to respiratory problems, like colds, asthma, allergies, and chest infections. If you’re already sick though, try to stay out of the gym or yoga studio, since it’s bad karma to spread your germs and you may run down your immune system even more. Surprisingly, intense or prolonged workouts can actually weaken the immune system, so don’t overdo it. This final tip is the one I want to focus on most right now, Kris. It’s for getting adequate sleep since sleep helps your body repair itself and boost the number of killer cells your immune system makes to fight off illness. Even minor sleep deprivation can suppress our immune systems. Most of us need seven to nine hours of shut-eye each night. The best cold and flu protection is integral: try to eat a variety of nutritious foods, engage in regular aerobic exercise, drink plenty of water, attain adequate sleep each night, and have fun this holiday season. Laughing can help boost your immune system, too! Q &A Q: Do you have any other recipes that you use when you get sick to help you get better? A: Absolutely! An important recipe in my family is for chicken soup. We eat it pretty often when someone in my family is sick and my mom always has some in the freezer. Our family’s recipe is on our website. It’s called Nana’s chicken noodle soup. Lately, we’ve been turning this into a whole meal by adding in cauliflower florets and golden enoki mushrooms at the end. I also make a garlic and ginger tea when I have a cold, since these foods seem to have anti-viral properties. I slice up two cloves of fresh garlic and dice about an inch of fresh ginger, boil them in 1 cup of water for five minutes, then strain it into a mug with 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon of honey. It’s a very healing tea to drink when you’re feeling awful! Recipes for Show Notes Local Strawberry, Kale, and Avocado Salad http://gelsons.com/cooking/recipes/all%20recipes/Local%20Strawberry,%20Avocado%20&%20Kale%20Salad?search=local%20strawberry Miso and Truffle-Glazed Sea Bass http://gelsons.com/cooking/recipes/all%20recipes/Miso%20and%20Truffle-Glazed%20Sea%20Bass?search=miso Mushroom Barley Soup http://gelsons.com/cooking/recipes/all%20recipes/Mushroom%20Barley%20Soup?search=barley Nana’s Chicken Noodle Soup http://gelsons.com/cooking/recipes/all%20recipes/Nana's%20Chicken%20Noodle%20Soup?search=nana Contact email@example.com www.gelsons.com/nutritionbytes
20 minutes | Dec 16, 2015
020 Four Ways to Boost Your Metabolism
Four Sensible Ways to Boost Your Metabolism Who doesn’t wish they could burn calories like a fat-burning machine? We’ve all probably noticed how much more easily we gain weight than we used to—especially after a holiday or a weekend of eating out at restaurants. And we’ve all definitely become aware of how hard it can be to lose those few extra pounds that creep up on us year after year. Chalk it up to metabolism, dear listeners. Your metabolism—the rate at which you burn calories--is a key player in your weight control efforts. Genetics and hormones partly determine your metabolism, but even then your metabolism is not set in stone; there are many things you can do to help alter your metabolic rate, no matter your age or your weight history. It will take work on your part, but with commitment and planning, you should see the results you have always hoped for. Metabolism 101 In the most basic terms, your metabolism is the rate at which you burn calories, and it is mostly determined by your muscle-to-fat ratio, or body composition. The more muscle and less fat you have, the higher your metabolism and the more calories you burn at rest, at work, and at play. That is because muscle burns more calories than fat. Body composition is a major factor in determining how many calories your body requires to perform basic energy needs, like breathing and staying warm when you are idle (also known as your basal metabolic rate, or BMR). Your age is another important factor in determining your basal metabolic rate because muscle loss, hormonal changes and decreased activity levels are all factors in aging. Growing children and adolescents have higher calorie needs per pound of body weight than adults. Men have higher BMRs than women, because they are naturally more muscular and they tend to weigh more than women. The more you weigh, the more calories you burn moving your body. BMR represents about 60% of your body’s total calorie needs. The rest of your energy requirements come from digesting food (about 10%) and physical activity (variable, depending on how active you are). Genetics can also be a factor in your BMR, as some families tend to be leaner than others. As an adult, you have probably noticed a change in your metabolism that can be attributed to several different factors. As you age, your body naturally loses muscle mass, which causes your metabolism to slow down. If you diet and lose weight too quickly, you also lose muscle mass. If you then gain weight back after going off your diet you will gain fat, effectively making your metabolism much slower than it was before you went on the diet. That means it takes fewer calories to maintain your weight than it did before you lost it and regained it. Gaining fat in general will alter your metabolism, since carrying more fat alters the all-important muscle-to-fat ratio. So how can you Maximize Your Metabolism? Age-related muscle loss, yo-yo dieting and weight gain are common metabolism-busting scenarios, but they do not have to be your reality. There are several effective strategies you can use to boost or repair a sub-optimal metabolism: 1. Emphasize exercise I know you’ve heard this before, but you need to exercise. Remember that I mentioned that exercise contributes a variable amount of calorie burning to your metabolic rate? Well, exercise will be the key to your success, since you control the variable based on the type, time and intensity of the activity you choose. At the very minimum, you need to maintain your muscle mass as you lose weight or as you age. The way to do this is by using your muscles. A fitness routine that incorporates either weight training or resistance training, like pilates and some forms of yoga, with cardiovascular exercise is optimal. You do not need to lift big heavy weights or become a body builder, but you do need to spend about 30 minutes twice a week concentrating on using your muscles. Don’t think you have the time? The plain and simple truth about muscles is if you don’t use them, you lose them. An average woman in her forties who devotes 60-80 minutes a week to muscle building can increase her BMR by 100 calories a day. Cardiovascular exercise is important for burning calories and aiding in weight loss and weight maintenance. Another option is to incorporate intervals into your exercise routine. Interval training is one of the best ways to boost your metabolism and burn more calories and fat. However, you should be aware that both of these types of workouts can increase your appetite and cause you to eat more calories than you burn. Perhaps one of the greatest metabolism-boosting benefits of exercise is the afterburn. Studies show that physical activity raises your BMR by 20-30% for several hours after you exercise. The more intense your workout, the longer the afterburn lasts. 2. Dump your Diet Diets don’t work. In fact, if you’ve ever been on the on-a-diet/off-a-diet roller coaster, chances are your metabolism is a lot slower now than it was before you went on your first diet. Eating too few calories can reset your metabolism so that your body will find ways to lower your BMR as a survival strategy. The best way to lose weight is to do it slowly, not drastically. Start by making small, healthy changes in your diet, rather than huge, sweeping changes. Losing one to two pounds a week is optimal (a calorie deficit of 500-1000 calories a day); anything more than that likely means that you are losing muscle mass and slowing down your metabolism. Losing weight too quickly will also increase the likelihood of regaining it. Very low calorie diets (those under 1,200 calories a day) are considered extreme and dangerous because you are likely consuming fewer calories than your BMR requires. 3. Stop Skipping Meals Skipping meals actually lowers your BMR by putting your body into starvation mode. If you usually skip breakfast, you may be going without food for 17 hours! At some point, your body will break down its own tissue (muscle and fat stores) for energy. When you finally eat something, your body will store it rather than burn it because it doesn’t know when you will feed it again. On top of that, if you skip a meal, you will be more likely to eat more at your next meal than if you had eaten your skipped meal, and more calories mean more fat is stored. Breakfast is perhaps the most important meal you can eat, since it sets the tone for the entire day. Studies show that eating breakfast shortly after waking up can raise your BMR by as much as 10%. Eating a good balanced breakfast, such as slow-cooking oats with nuts, berries and milk or soy milk, can aid in weight loss and maintenance and help prevent diabetes and obesity. Eating at regular intervals throughout the day and not skipping meals – for instance, eating three meals and two snacks or five mini meals during the day – will support a consistent calorie burn, help you lose weight and boost your metabolic rate. The key to eating small frequent meals, is to make them balanced with protein, fat and minimally processed carbohydrates. (Cookies don’t count as mini-meals--they’re a treat.) Eating balanced meals will help control your blood sugar levels and therefore help prevent fat storage. An example of a balanced “mini” dinner might be three ounces of salmon, half of an orange-fleshed sweet potato, and one cup of steamed broccoli and cauliflower. For a larger meal, increase your salmon by two ounces and add two cups of salad with olive oil and vinegar dressing. Some people call eating mini meals grazing. Although the term “grazing” is often used to describe this style of eating small, frequent meals, keep in mind that you are not a cow, nor do you want to be. Even if what you are eating is a small portion, you must eat it mindfully while sitting at a table with a plate, utensils and a napkin. An energy bar that you eat in the car on your way to work does not fit my criteria for being wholesome or eating a proper meal. 4. Pay Attention to the Little Details I have already covered the most significant strategies for boosting your metabolism, but there are some additional ways to pack a little extra punch into your plan. You may not see big results from incorporating these suggestions, but every little bit counts. Drinking green tea (decaf or regular) can boost the rate at which you burn calories. The major antioxidant in green tea, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), may help you burn a little more fat when you drink just three cups a day. Adding spices to your food can also help you burn a few extra calories. Natural spices such as chili pepper (fresh, dried or powdered), black pepper and ginger can raise your body temperature slightly so that you burn slightly more calories (and possibly fat) when you eat them. Getting adequate sleep is also helpful for stoking your metabolism. Studies show that sleep deprivation can alter hormones that affect carbohydrate metabolism, fat storage and aging. Plus, when you’re exhausted, it’s harder to motivate yourself to exercise or make good food choices. And sleeping more means there are fewer waking hours in which you can eat, so you save calories by not being awake. A recent study also showed that eating all of your meals within a 12 hour window is best for weight control and metabolism. There are plenty of products and magical potions out there that claim to boost your metabolism and burn fat while you sleep, but the truth is, they’re more likely to burn your money than your fat. Don’t fall victim to the quick fix! I’ve talked about several different angles from which you can approach boosting your metabolism. My advice is to pick one, try it out, and then gradually add the second, and then the third. The goal is to incorporate all of these strategies into your lifestyle to keep yourself healthier, stronger and slimmer for the rest of your life.
28 minutes | Dec 1, 2015
019 Eating Healthfully while Traveling
Eating Healthfully while Traveling Podcast 19 I just returned from a fabulous vacation with my husband. We always joke that we just go from table to table when we are on vacation because food is such an important part of how we experience the places we are visiting. Whether I’m traveling for work or pleasure, I always like to enjoy the regional cuisine and try local specialties of the places I’m visiting—that meant jamon in Spain and gelato in Italy on my most recent vacation. And I was thinking that since so many listeners will be traveling over the upcoming holidays, it would be helpful to hear some of my strategies for eating healthfully while traveling. First, I want to make the distinction between different purposes of traveling, because in my mind, your approach should be different depending on the type of travel you are doing. In my mind, I divide this topic into two categories: Vacation travel Traveling for work or similar purposes when it’s not a vacation. Overall though, one important thing to keep in mind is that if you have an eating pattern that really works for you in your day-to-day life, then you know how good you can feel when you eat right. When you have a good eating plan in place, you don’t ever want to deviate from it too much because you don’t want to feel terrible while you’re traveling, especially if you’re on vacation! So my approach is to stick with my core healthy framework and give myself some extra flexibility. When I’m on vacation, I like to relax my typical style of eating a bit. I don’t go crazy, but I do eat dessert more often, dip into the bread basket, and drink wine with more meals. I like to sleep later whenever I can, so we typically end up sleeping through breakfast and going straight to lunch, so our calorie allotment in divided between two meals instead of among three meals, which can help to compensate for the little extra, bread, dessert, and wine. We are also a lot more active on vacation; we walk more if we are sightseeing and we swim more if we are just having a relaxing vacation with the kids. Being more active also helps compensate for some of the extra calories we consume. I want listeners to understand that vacation eating doesn’t mean that all bets are off, it really means loosening up the structure and routine of your daily life to allow for more foods while maintaining your core eating structure. When traveling for non-vacation purposes, it’s important to have a plan and lots of strategies for eating healthful meals and snacks. Although airport food is improving, you don’t want to find yourself stuck as a captive audience in an airport, or even worse an airplane and having to choose from mostly poor quality processed foods. I have some helpful strategies that will hopefully help you avoid that trap. Try these strategies for all of your travels to help you eat your best so you can feel your best when you’re away from home. Look for supermarkets so you can stock your hotel room with good foods. On day one of a vacation, I go to a local market and buy granola, soy milk, apples, nuts and some bottled water, plus some paper bowls and plastic spoons. That way we can eat a good breakfast in the hotel room and start the day right, plus you save time and money by not eating breakfast out. As for apples and nuts, it is so important to have healthy snacks that travel well at your fingertips. When you control your appetite with heathy snacks you are better able to make good choices at your next meal because you’re not starving. Having supplies for breakfast and snacks is especially important if you’re traveling with kids! Try some new foods. When we’re away from home and out of our comfort zone, I think it’s normal to look for familiar restaurants and familiar foods. Resist the temptation to go to fast food restaurants and instead try something new and local. As I mentioned, I love to eat the regional foods of the areas I’m visiting as part of my travel experience. Get restaurant recommendations from travel websites and the hotel concierge if there is one at the hotel you are staying at. Plan, plan, plan. Eating healthfully on a daily basis requires planning ahead, so it stands to reason that if you’re going to do it while traveling, you also need to plan ahead. If you have food intolerances or special dietary needs, this tactic is imperative. Use the internet, ask a friend who lives in the area, or call a hotel concierge for restaurant and market recommendations. In my experience, the restaurant theme doesn’t need to be healthy as much as it needs to be good quality: look for fresh, local food that is freshly prepared and has a good selection of vegetable side dishes. If you are flying to your destination, plan to pack food so you’re not eating airport food or even worse, buying airplane food. I like to go to Gelson’s either the night before or the day of a flight and purchase Sandwiches from the service deli --they have the best sandwich deal in town, where you can get a made-to order gourmet sandwich with two side salads for $9.99. You can also consider visiting the salad bar and making a big salad with a small cup of dressing on the side or put the dressing on the bottom and shake it up when you’re ready to eat. I look for similar supermarket or deli options for my return flight. I also pack some raw nuts, like almonds or walnuts, as well as some fresh fruit or dried fruit, or even a trail mix made with raw nuts and dried fruit. Keep in mind that if you pack yogurt, hummus, or salad dressings, they have to be in 3.4 ounce containers when they go through security or else they will get confiscated. A lot of listeners are probably thinking that you can make your own brown bag lunches at home to take on the plane, which is totally true if you are organized enough and have enough time to do it for your whole family yourself. I’m not that organized. Another alternative is to do some research into the best food options for the airports you are using. There are tons of websites and articles online that provide this information. I always buy a big bottle of water at the airport so I can drink throughout my flight. It’s really important to prevent dehydration, which can happen really easily on planes and I don’t want to have to wait for the beverage cart to get a tiny cup of water. By the way, it’s best to stick with water as your main beverage while flying, and while on the ground, most other beverages are too sugary, which isn’t great for your immune system, and alcohol is very dehydrating. If you get dehydrated, you’ll feel pretty bad by the time you get to your destination and it could set you up for constipation during your trip. If you are driving to your destination, you can pack a cooler with the types of foods I recommend for airplanes: sandwiches, salads, fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts, hummus, cut up vegetables, and dried edamame are all smart options. Or you can research healthy options along your driving route so you’re not stuck hitting fast food joints along the way. That can be a really fun part of your trip planning. I know that many listeners will be traveling over the holidays. That means you’ll probably be having at least one holiday feast in addition to eating most of your meals at restaurants while you’re away. Planning ahead will be your best bet for eating healthfully and feeling your best on your holidays. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, try to incorporate the strategies I discussed here so you can stay healthy and feel great when you’re away from home. Q: What do you eat if you are stuck with only airport food options? A: I look for simple foods that I can combine to make a satisfying meal. Fresh fruit and nuts are always available. Starbucks oatmeal is what I eat most often because it means I’m at the airport early in the morning and haven’t had a chance to eat breakfast beforehand. You can add nuts, cinnamon and milk so it ends up being similar to what you would make at home and it’s a really satisfying way to kick off your travels. I will also buy a salad if it looks pretty fresh. Sandwiches are not my first choice, but if I do buy one, I try to only eat half of the bread to help control some of the sodium to prevent bloating. Choosing lower sodium foods is a priority for me since they can make you feel pretty awful when combined with a dehydrating plane flight. As I mentioned, I also buy a big bottle of water to drink throughout my flight to help prevent bloating, dehydration, and constipation. Doing some research on healthy dining choices at your airport terminals beforehand will help you make the best choices. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
20 minutes | Nov 10, 2015
018 Healthy Holiday Eating
Healthy Holidays Can you believe holiday season is upon us already? Are you ready for all of the holiday feasting? Making it through the holidays without gaining weight is not about willpower; it’s about having a plan! Keep in mind that a few holiday meals will not destroy your health or your weight; rather it is your overall eating pattern that is important for maintaining your general health, preventing disease, and achieving a healthy weight. My philosophy is that if you eat healthfully 80% of the time, then there is absolutely room in your diet to eat holiday foods, too. That works out to about three or four “special celebration” meals per week. The other 17 or 18 meals should be well-planned, balanced, and healthful. It can be close to impossible to lose weight during the holidays, but preventing weight gain is certainly an obtainable goal. Set yourself up for success by aiming to keep your weight stable this month instead of planning to lose weight. Don’t try to be virtuous. I think it’s important to enjoy your food and the special holiday treats that are part of this season. If you give yourself permission to eat the foods you love and maintain structure with all of your meals, you will be successful. Here’s how that looks: · Make structured meals and snacks a priority. Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day, even if your previous meal was huge. Eat at regular meal times and have snacks in between meals if you are hungry. Skipping meals is not a way to compensate for eating too much and actually sets you up for overeating again. Tune into your internal cues of hunger and satiety and eat the amount you are hungry for. Breakfast is especially important because it influences your appetite and the healthfulness of your food choices for the rest of the day. · Next, make ceremony and pleasure part of your meals. Sit down, slow down, use dishes and silverware, take smaller bites, chew thoroughly, and savor your food. The faster you eat the less attention you pay to your food and the more calories you consume. · Finally, try to have family meals where you eat with at least one other person—relative or friend. Family meals and structured eating go hand-in-hand. Both are associated with more nutritious diets and the likelihood of being at a healthy weight. You can manage your weight by being prepared to take care of yourself and by being thoughtful about having really satisfying meals. Planning all of your meals can help prevent you from skipping meals, eating haphazardly, or arriving at a party starving. Having a plan, rather than relying on willpower will set you up to be successful with your eating this season. I have some menu suggestions you can use as inspiration for your regular, nonspecial occasion meals and visit our shownotes page on gelsons.com to try the delicious recipes I’m going to discuss to see how satisfying it is to eat fresh, balanced, and regular meals. Start your day right with breakfast! Don’t even think about skipping this meal unless you are going to a brunch party. To feel your best all day long, try to eat a balanced breakfast within an hour of waking up A balanced breakfast contains plenty of protein and fat and minimally processed carbohydrates. Good options are scrambled eggs sautéed with vegetables like kale, mushrooms, and onions in olive oil and a slice of Ezekiel toast Or for a nice dairy-free breakfast try oatmeal cooked with almond butter, chia seeds, and frozen cherries. For midmorning snack, have something as easy and balanced as a handful or raw nuts. You just need a little protein, fat and fiber to get you through until lunch. My morning snack is a cup of coffee with steamed whole milk for some protein and fat. Lunch should be a vegetable heavy meal with some protein and fat, as well. Vegetables are nutritious and filling. Try to make at least half of your plate vegetables at lunch and dinner. I always prefer to have a vegetation lunch with lots of beans. Salad bar with beans as my protein is my favorite feel-good lunch. As it gets colder, a nice vegetarian chili or lentil soup with lots of vegetables would be a wonderfully satisfying option, too. If you feel better when you eat more protein, then a tuna salad on a bed of greens with veggies and beans mixed in, would be a great choice. A nice afternoon snack would be hummus for protein and fat (try to get yours made with olive oil) and some carrots and other crudités. Or you could do nuts and a piece of fruit again. At dinner, I like to do lots of vegetables—at least two, but usually three—and some heavier protein, like fish or chicken, and maybe red meat once a week. To get a good variety of veggies, you can mix it up with a salad, some roasted vegetables, and a vegetable that is cooked with your protein. For instance a chicken stir fry with lots of veggies, some steamed sugar snap peas, and a side salad. Or do a large salad and a protein, like fish on the side. For example My Dried Fig, Goat cheese and arugula Salad and Wild salmon with orange olive tapenade are a nice combination. I like to end my dinner with fruit for dessert on most nights. Try to eat dessert as part of a full meal so the protein from the meal can slow the release of sugar into your system. Aim to eat fresh fruit most days and more indulgent sweets 2-3 times a week. I believe that it’s important to fully enjoy the holidays by participating in the eating rituals and partaking of the special foods. Healthful eating is really about the overall quality of your diet and having a healthy relationship with food. In other words, eat foods that are lovingly made with the best possible ingredients and feel good about the foods you choose to eat so that you enjoy every bite of your holiday meals. Incorporate the strategies and menus that I discussed today. With these tools, you can successfully savor and appreciate everything you eat without feeling out of control this holiday season. Healthy holidays everyone! Questions Q: Any tips for handling holiday buffets? A: Buffets can be challenging because they really encourage overeating. It’s a proven fact that just the sheer variety of foods to choose from can lead to overeating because you want to try so many foods and you end up filling your plate with more foods than you normally would. This is where the mindfulness and awareness practices I discussed can really be helpful. Remember, you want to enjoy your holiday meals without feeling bad or guilty afterwards, but that doesn’t mean tearing into a buffet with reckless abandon. Just take your time and make some informed decisions. I recommend surveying the spread first, and maybe even asking people who went before you what was good. Taste everything you want to taste, but really try to be critical about what you like. In other words, if the stuffing is just so-so, don’t keep eating it. Not all cookies that look delicious actually taste delicious. Try to pay attention to how things taste and only eat what you are enjoying. No matter how you end up handling your feast, resolve to not have any guilt or shame about what or how much you ate. I want you to be able to look back on the meal and recall how much you enjoyed it. Recipes Mentioned Sauteed Kale With Wild Mushrooms Cherry Almond Vanilla Oatmeal Super Antioxidant Chili Lentil Soup Mediterranean Tuna Salad Dried Fig, Goat Cheese and Arugula Salad Wild Salmon With Orange-Olive Tapenade Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with White Beans Roasted Yams and Shallots Asparagus and Chicken Stir-Fry Contact Email Jessica at email@example.com Disclaimer Gelson's Registered Dietitian, Jessica Siegel, has a Masters in Public Health. However, she is not a doctor and her nutritional recommendations are not tailored to specific health problems. Always consult your physician before beginning any nutritional program. > > >
26 minutes | Oct 20, 2015
017 Reproductive Cancer Awareness
Reproductive Cancer Awareness In this episode, Jessica talks about Reproductive Cancer Awareness and some changes we can make in our diets to help prevent these kinds of cancers. Every cancer is different, but there are a lot of general things you can do to help prevent cancer. There are three main factors that you can control and they have to do with diet, exercise, and not smoking. 1. Be as lean as possible for as long as possible. Being overweight is the biggest dietary risk factor in the development of cancer. Controlling your weight is one of the most important things you can to to help prevent cancer. 2. Eat a healthy diet. This will help with weight loss and keeping a healthy weight, as well as help prevent cancer. The Mediterranean Diet is emerging as the best framework for an anti-cancer eating plan. Plant foods are rich in phytonutrients (plant nutrients) and antioxidants that are important in the fight against free radicals (which can damage DNA and initiate cancer if their reactions are not repaired by antioxidants). Here are some of the foods that contain promising cancer-protective phytonutrients: • Those in the cruciferous vegetable family are of particular importance. Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, radishes, cabbage, arugula, and kale are all believed to contain compounds called sulphoraphanes that are especially good for inhibiting prostate and breast cancers. • Orange and green vegetables and fruits contain carotenoids, which are believed to help protect against breast cancer. • Pomegranates contain phytonutrients that seem to halt the growth of prostate tumors and possibly other types of tumors, too. • Tomatoes, especially cooked tomatoes, are rich in lycopene, a phytonutrient similar to beta carotene. Populations that consume lots of lycopene-rich foods have lower risks of prostate, cervical, and breast cancers. • Green tea and, to a lesser extent, black tea contain different classes of phytonutrients that may help reduce the risk of developing breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers. • Beans, legumes, and whole grains are high in fiber and are therefore believed to help prevent certain types of cancers by binding to hormones that circulate in the blood and carrying them out of our bodies quickly. Beans and legumes also contain compounds that can help protect against breast and colon cancers. Eat these plant proteins in place of red meat or poultry for one meal each day to receive significant benefits. Replacing meat proteins with vegetable proteins will help give you more protection against cancer as well. Certain anti-inflammatory fats like monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids are protective when eaten in the optimal ratio compared to other fats. Minimizing sugar intake is also an important aspect in of a cancer-protective diet. Finally, consuming alcohol has also been linked to certain cancers. 3. Get more active. Both inactivity and underactivity are significant risk factors for cancer. Exercise is beneficial for several reasons. First, it can help burn calories and therefore the excess body fat that is a risk factor for many cancers. It also helps reduce levels of circulating hormones that, when elevated, are linked to several types of reproductive cancers. Physical activity boosts the immune system, which helps fight off potential carcinogens and diseases. Exercise is important in the digestive process because it can tone gut muscles and help food move through you quicker, so that your exposure time to harmful substances is reduced. Being physically active on a regular basis has also been shown to increase survival rates and life expectancy for those with breast cancer. Cancer risk is different for each individual depending on many uncontrollable factors. However, weight, overall diet, exercise, and tobacco use are factors that we do have control over and they carry a lot of significance when it comes to lowering reproductive cancer risk and preventing or delaying these cancers. For these reasons, I urge you to live the healthiest life that you can to help reduce your controllable risk factors and boost your overall health as much as possible. Questions: What are some specific foods that women should emphasize to reduce their risk of breast cancer? Emphasize Organic extra virgin olive oil Fatty fish Walnuts Chia and flax seeds Cruciferous vegetables Other vegetables Fruits Whole forms of soy Green tea Minimize/Avoid Other cooking oils and fats Conventionally raised meat, poultry and dairy products Alcohol What foods should men emphasize to reduce their risk of prostate cancer? Emphasize Organic extra virgin olive oil Fatty fish Tomatoes, tomato products Cruciferous vegetables Other vegetables Watermelon Other fruits Whole forms of soy Fiber-rich foods, such as beans Green tea Pomegranate juice Minimize/Avoid Other cooking oils and fats Red meat Dairy products Do dietary supplements protect against reproductive cancers? Dietary supplements can be helpful for correcting nutrient deficiencies and treating or preventing some other health conditions, but for the most part, there is not yet enough evidence to support their use for cancer prevention (vitamin E supplements may even increase prostate cancer risk). One exception, is vitamin D supplements; they may be protective against prostate cancer in men with vitamin D deficiencies—ask your doctor to check you vitamin D levels. Forget about those broccoli pills, though—your best bet for optimal health and disease prevention is to eat between seven and 11 servings of produce daily. Contact Email Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org Disclaimer Gelson's Registered Dietitian, Jessica Siegel, has a Masters in Public Health. However, she is not a doctor and her nutritional recommendations are not tailored to specific health problems. Always consult your physician before beginning any nutritional program.
27 minutes | Oct 6, 2015
016 Five Favorite Pantry Staples
Five Favorite Pantry Staples In this episode, Jessica tells us about her five favorite items that you can find in your pantry. (Including some bonuses!) Oat Products She really likes steel cut oats because they take longer to digest. She does also use the instant oats as well. Oats also help your “gut health.” Jessica also likes muesli and granola. In fact she has her own recipe: My Favorite Homemade Granola. When she can’t make it, she really likes the Boulder Organic Granola which she pairs with Strauss Family Organic Yogurt or Organic Valley Grassmilk, or Westsoy Organic Unsweetened Soy Milk. Oats are good for blood sugar when you add protein and fat. Beans It’s one of Jessica’s main protein choices. It helps you to eat more vegetarian-based meals. You can add them to soups, quesadillas, salads, dips, etc. Beans are really high in antioxidants, have a lot of fiber, protein, and are a great source of iron. Sue uses both canned and dry beans. Try substituting meat with beans. Favorite canned beans are the S&W Organic beans. Olive Oil It’s a good main fat to use for cooking, dipping and making salad dressings. It has a lot of antioxidants. Favorite Olive Oil is the Napa Valley Naturals Organic Olive Oil. It’s good quality and flavor at a good price. Nuts and Seeds These are great for snacking and can be added to granola. They have healthy fat and protein to help. Try adding chia seeds to oatmeal and granola. Healthy fats can help you control weight. Go for the raw, plain, unsalted nuts. Jessica recommends Blue Diamond 100 calorie packs. They’re portable and help with portion control. Dark Chocolate Cocoa should be the main ingredient in the chocolate you get. It’s been shown to help prevent the oxidation of bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol. It can also help to bring your risk for strokes down. Jessica recommends Green & Black Organic 85% Dark Chocolate. If you’re eating milk chocolate, make gradual adjustments over a week or so going up to the more intense chocolates. A little goes a long way. Questions: Do you have a list of your favorite foods that listeners can reference when they shop? Jessica’s Healthy Shopping List Are there any other items in your pantry that you’d like to mention as well? (Honorable mentions.) Salt - Le Saunier De Camargue Fleur De Sel Sea Salt Bread - Look for a flourless sprouted whole grain bread like Food For Life Ezekiel Breads. Canned seafood - Wild Planet Tuna and Salmon Broths that are low in sodium like Pacific Natural Foods Organic broths and Imagine Broths. Green Tea like Mighty Leaf Organic Jasmine Green Tea. Contact Email Jessica at email@example.com Disclaimer Gelson's Registered Dietitian, Jessica Siegel, has a Masters in Public Health. However, she is not a doctor and her nutritional recommendations are not tailored to specific health problems. Always consult your physician before beginning any nutritional program.
32 minutes | Sep 15, 2015
015 Interview with Jessica Siegel
Interview with Jessica Siegel In this episode, I get the opportunity to interview Jessica about her career and her thoughts on different subjects. Here are the questions that I ask Jessica: • Career aside, could you talk about your personal journey in eating healthfully? • Could you talk about what got you started you in this field? What interested you in it in the first place? • What about Gelson’s made you feel it was the right fit for your talents? • Who are your heroes in the industry? Who do you most look up to? • How do you keep current in your field? • What are some things you would like to learn more about? • What’s your favorite part of being a dietitian? • You’ve created many salads in our service deli. Could you talk about your creative process you use to create your signature salads? • What is your favorite salad at the service deli currently? • What are some of your favorite ingredients you use in your cooking at home? • What is one quick tip for people looking to cook more healthfully at home? Contact Email Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org Disclaimer Gelson's Registered Dietitian, Jessica Siegel, has a Masters in Public Health. However, she is not a doctor and her nutritional recommendations are not tailored to specific health problems. Always consult your physician before beginning any nutritional program.
38 minutes | Sep 1, 2015
014 Nutrition for Healthy Aging
Nutrition for Healthy Aging In this episode, Jessica gives us some tips when it comes to eating for healthy aging. Eating well can really help us as we age. Our population is living longer so maintaining our vitality is an important goal in order to have the best quality of life for as long as possible. As we mature, certain circumstances, health issues, and lifestyle factors change that can, in turn, affect our diet and nutritional status. Here are some of the barriers that older adults need to consider when trying to eat optimally: Reduced absorption and utilization of nutrients. Side effects from medications. Oral problems that affect eating. Cooking for one is no fun. Lack of energy due to aging, frailty, and multiple chronic diseases. Disability can accompany advanced age. Tighter budgets. Practical Tips to Prioritize There are plenty of things you can do at any age to help prevent, delay, or treat nutrition-related conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, certain cancers, and cognitive decline. But having too many dietary and lifestyle changes to worry about can be overwhelming and discouraging. It helps to know what actions you should prioritize to make sure you are best meeting your nutritional needs. Using the Mediterranean diet as your framework for healthful eating is the best overall approach since it has been shown to have many health benefits. It is a plant-based diet that includes two vegetarian meals a day and uses extra virgin olive oil as the main fat. Pick up my Healthy Living Guide at your local Gelson’s or download my Nutrition Bytes podcast from iTunes to learn more about the Mediterranean Diet. Here are some practical diet and lifestyle tips to prioritize in addition to the Mediterranean Diet for healthy aging: • Eat less sodium and more potassium to keep your blood pressure under control. • Drink enough fluids. • Pick convenient produce. • Eat nutrient-dense foods. • Be active. Recipes Mentioned Shrimp & Melon Salad Lentil Pasta One-Dish Chicken Brassica & Butternut Squash Questions Asked What are some Ideas for simple meals? What Foods should older adults try to include every day? Contact Email Jessica at email@example.com Disclaimer Gelson's Registered Dietitian, Jessica Siegel, has a Masters in Public Health. However, she is not a doctor and her nutritional recommendations are not tailored to specific health problems. Always consult your physician before beginning any nutritional program.
25 minutes | Aug 21, 2015
013 My Five Favorite Kitchen Tools
My Five Favorite Kitchen Tools Jessica takes us into her kitchen and tells us about her five favorite kitchen tools! There are some gadgets that can make cooking faster, easier, and more fun. 1. Panini Press She uses this press to make panini for school lunches for her children. She developed two recipes: A Caprese sandwich with pesto, sliced mozzarella, heirloom tomato, and parmesan cheese. Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin with muenster cheese and sliced apple. Try cooking egg plant on a panini press! Brush it with olive oil and grill it for a few minutes. 2. OXO Salad Spinner It helps her to bring her kids into the kitchen to help her. Getting them interacting with preparing the food means they’ll be more likely to eat more of the food they help to prepare. 3. Digital Thermometer Keeping your food safe by making sure it reached a good internal temperature. References Food Safety Episode. Having digital thermometer as opposed to an analog one takes the guesswork out of whether the food is cooked well enough through. 4. Small Cutting Board They’re much easier to use, clean and store than the larger cutting boards. She doesn’t only use it for cutting food, but also for making sandwiches. 5. OXO mini measuring cups These are designed in such a way that you don’t have to look at the side to see how much food is in the cup, you can see from looking down from the top. Bonus: Her Microwave! She uses it for heating up food that’s already been cooked. It fits well into her and her family’s busy life. Questions Addressed What are some safe ways to use the microwave? Don’t microwave plastic, only use glass or ceramic containers. Don’t use it to cook food, only heat things up since microwaves don’t heat evenly. What are your favorite kitchen-cleaning tools? Small bar towels for cleaning dishes and surfaces instead of sponges. Parchment paper. She uses it to line pans so it makes cleaning easier. Contact Email Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org Disclaimer Gelson's Registered Dietitian, Jessica Siegel, has a Masters in Public Health. However, she is not a doctor and her nutritional recommendations are not tailored to specific health problems. Always consult your physician before beginning any nutritional program.
32 minutes | Aug 4, 2015
012 Fuel for School Lunches
Fuel for School How to feed your kids optimally when they go back to school. Start with Breakfast It’s the most important meal of the day and you should not skip this meal. Don’t feed them the sugary cereals, rather go with minimally processed foods, protein and healthy fat and food carbohydrates. This helps to set them up for the day. Some examples: Kind Cinnamon Oat Cluster Granola with Organic Valley Whole Grass Milk. Ezekiel Food for Life sprouted grain breads with organic peanut butter. Avocado Toast. Quaker Organic Instant Oat Meal and add Cinnamon & Raisins. Having a good breakfast is really worth the effort and doesn’t have to be complicated or stressful. Jessica makes breakfast a family meal. Lunch Don’t pack lunch in the morning, but do it the night before as you’re cleaning up for dinner so you can include any leftovers like cut up fruit or roasted & steamed vegetables. Things to consider when planning lunch: Incorporate different colors and textures because you “eat with your eyes” as well as your mouth. Modify foods to reduce choking hazards. Think ahead so as not to “double up” on any foods. If you’re going to have pizza for dinner, don’t feed them cheese sandwiches for lunch. Some examples: Cheese sandwiches Egg salad sandwiches Hummus wraps Salad with beans Tip: If you offer two vegetables, your kids will eat more vegetables than they would if you only offer them one. Beverages should be water. Try freezing the water bottle and keeping it in the lunch box to keep the lunch cold. Favorite ingredients for packing lunches: Ezekiel Food for Life Sprouted Grain Breads, English Muffins, and Tortillas Rudi’s Organic Whole Wheat Bread Applegate Organic Sliced Cheeses Gelson’s Finest Organic Omega 3 Eggs Follow Your Heart Vegenaise Yellow Mustard Cibo Naturals Pesto (Contains Nuts) Organic Valley Pasture Butter, Maisie Jane’s Almond Butter, Santa Cruz Organic Peanut Butter Various Fruits & Vegetables Jessica’s August Nutrition Notes Contains school lunch recipes and a sample two-week lunch plan. Jessica’s Favorite Tools to make packing lunches fun! Panini Maker: Jessica makes panini the night before and refrigerate it overnight for the next day. Making the lunches fun by having multiple matching themed lunch boxes, water bottles, and napkins like with Frozen or Dora the Explorer adds something special to their lunches. Sistema BPA Free plastic containers. Questions Addressed What if my child attends a nut-free school? Are your lunch menus good for adults or just kids? Contact Email Jessica at email@example.com Disclaimer Gelson's Registered Dietitian, Jessica Siegel, has a Masters in Public Health. However, she is not a doctor and her nutritional recommendations are not tailored to specific health problems. Always consult your physician before beginning any nutritional program.
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