Thursday, December 17, 2015

My Favorite Ways to Prepare Oat Bran

My oat bran I packed for work this morning: made with oat bran, cashew milk, mixed
cooked fruit (strawberries, cranberries, apple, and banana), a spoonful of
Breakstone's 2% cottage cheese, and dash of pumpkin pie spice. 
If you are a client of mine, or have talked to a client of mine, you know that oat bran is my #1 recommended food. My previous blog on this magical food explains all the health benefits; primarily for its abilities to help lower cholesterol, aid in weight loss, keep blood sugar even, and providing satiety for several hours after eating. 

Oat bran is prepared the same way you would instant oat meal, so it’s a super quick and healthy breakfast. However, some of my clients are initially turned off the first time they make it if it is just prepared with water. That being said, I have listed below some of my favorite ways to prepare it so hopefully you will learn to love it like I do. While some combinations may sound bizarre, you just have to trust me and try it out yourself! 

You can find oat bran in the bulk bins at Whole Foods or Wegman’s (I really like Wegman’s Fine Oat Bran in bulk), or can purchase Bob’s Red Mill, Hodgson Mill, Quaker, and other brands in a normal grocery store (typically in the “natural food” aisle), and Trader Joe’s has their own version. I personally also top my oat bran with a high fiber cereal like Trader Joe’s High Fiber or All Bran twigs- adds a nice crunch and extra dose of fiber to fill you up!

I have listed the calorie breakdown of the traditional oat bran recipe, so you can have a better idea of how the tweaks in each recipe will change the nutrient composition.

OAT BRAN RECIPES

Traditional Oat Bran Preparation
1/3 c dry oat bran [~130 calories]
1 c skim milk [~80 calories]
½ c berries [~35 calories]
½ tsp Cinnamon [~10 calories]
1-2 tsp pure maple syrup or honey (optional) [~20 calories per teaspoon]

Traditional Prep Nutrition Info w/o sweetener: 255 calories, 3.5 g fat, 47 g carb [18 g sugar, 10 g fiber], 15 g protein (using unsweetened almond or cashew milk instead of skim cuts calories to 225, carbs to 43 g [sugar to 11 g] and protein down to 9 g)

Peaches ‘n Cream Oat Bran
1/3 c dry oat bran
¾ c unsweetened cashew milk
½ c sliced peaches
½ tsp cinnamon
Dash of salt
2-3 tbsp plain yogurt or kefir (add after cooking)

My Favorite Pumpkin Oat Bran:
1/3 c dry oat bran
½ c canned 100% pure pumpkin
1 c light vanilla soymilk
2 dashes pumpkin pie spice
1-2 tsp pure maple syrup (optional)

My Favorite [Cottage Cheese] Pumpkin Oat Bran
1/3 c dry oat bran
¼ c canned 100% pure pumpkin
¼ medium banana
¼- 1/3 c low-fat cottage cheese
¾ c light vanilla soymilk
2 dashes pumpkin pie spice
1-2 tsp pure maple syrup (optional)

Apple Pie Oat Bran
1/3 c dry oat bran
1 c milk (almond, skim, soy)
½ c chopped apple- cooked on stove or microwave until soft
Dash of salt
Dash of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
1 tbsp no sugar added apple butter

High Protein Oat bran
1/3 c dry oat bran
1 c milk (almond, skim, soy)
½ - 1 scoop flavored protein powder (I like Garden of Life RAW)
½ c cooked mixed fruit

Even Higher Fiber Oat bran
1/3 c dry oat bran
1 c milk (almond, skim, soy)
2 tbsp wheat bran
1 tsp inulin or other powdered fiber
2 tsp ground flax seeds
½ tsp cinnamon
½ c cooked mixed berries
·         Top with High Fiber cereal

PB banana honey Oat Bran
1/3 c dry oat bran
1 c milk (almond, skim, soy)
2 tbsp PB2 or powdered peanut butter
½ medium banana
1-2 tsp honey (optional)

Nutty calorie packed oat bran
1/3 c dry oat bran
1 ¼ c milk (almond, skim, soy)
½ medium banana
½ tsp Cinnamon
1 tbsp hemp/flax/chia seeds
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp pure maple syrup


Feel free to leave comments with your favorite way to prepare this breakfast staple!


Source for nutritional analysis: Diet Master Pro 


Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Powers of Sauerkraut


Sauerkraut is an amazing food and something that everyone should incorporate in their diet. First, sauerkraut is made from cabbage, which I rank as one of the healthiest, and cheapest, vegetables on earth. Cabbage is an all-star when it comes to cancer fighting benefits, because of beneficial compounds called isothiocyanates. When making sauerkraut, cabbage is fermented which results in the breakdown of glucosinolates, which works to enhance the carcinogenic properties, making sauerkraut an even stronger cancer-fighting food. In fact, in a study from 1998, researchers compared the breast cancer incidence in Polish women and Polish women who had immigrated to Michigan. The immigrants were 4-5x more likely to develop cancer compared to the women who had stayed in Poland. The researchers explained the main difference was the amount of cabbage and sauerkraut the women ate; with the women in Poland eating significantly more.

In addition to the antioxidant properties of sauerkraut, like raw cabbage, sauerkraut contains lots of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Furthermore, sauerkraut is a very low calorie food, making it an excellent way to beef up your meals for very few calories. 1 cup of sauerkraut contains about 27 calories, compared to 1 cup of cooked spaghetti at 220 calories! I have clients mix sauerkraut into their salads, pasta dishes, and eggs to not only enhance the nutritional profile, but also to add bulk to their meals as to dilute the calories. Sauerkraut is also a great source of healthy probiotics, so if you aren’t a yogurt eater, this is another way to get beneficial bacteria into your diet. Just be sure not to heat sauerkraut as doing so can kill the healthy probiotics which are a product of the fermentation process. For more info on probiotics, visit my previous blog on the topic.


My recommendation:

Begin incorporating sauerkraut and other fermented foods in your diet on a regular basis. Make sure you buy sauerkraut in the refrigerator section (by the pork and other meats) in bags which say “barrel aged” or in the can – but look at the ingredients to make sure cabbage, water, and salt are the only ingredients going into canned sauerkraut. If there is any vinegar or acid added most likely the product is not actually fermented and won’t contain the healthy components discussed above. I always recommend rinsing the sauerkraut to rid it of excess sodium. Also, try making your own! It’s not that difficult and can be a fun science experiment.  You can easily find recipes on the internet to make counter top fermented sauerkraut. Kimchi, a Korean fermented cabbage product, is very healthy too, though tends to be higher in sodium and very spicy, so not great for those with reflux or ulcers. So I urge you to try to incorporate more sauerkraut, and cabbage, into your diet- just don’t pair it with things like sausage, hot dogs, brats, and other harmful processed meats :/.

Reference:

1. Eeva-Liisa Ryhanen, Ph.D., research manager, MTT Agrifood Research Finland, Jokioinen, Finland; Yeong Ju, Ph.D., researcher, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Leonard Bjeldanes, Ph.D., professor, food toxicology, University of California, Berkeley; Oct. 23, 2002, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Kelly's Whole Grain Beer Bread

Most of my clients and my readers know that I am large proponent of whole grains- there are countless studies showing people who eat whole grains tend to be much healthier than those that don't. These people tend to live longer, have reduced rates of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, etc. Much of those findings can be attributed to the high fiber content, antioxidants, and nutrient quality of most whole grains. However, I am not advocating that people eat processed grains- as with everything food related, the closer to nature it is, the better it is. That is why I have my clients eating oat bran for breakfast and trying to cook bulgur, barley, quinoa, farro, freekeh, buckwheat, etc as their grains for lunch and dinner.

However, I realize sometimes it is unrealistic to expect a busy or traveling person to have cooked grains on hand at all times. I, personally, do enjoy a hearty piece of whole grain bread from time to time. However, with my affinity for baking, I realize it's silly to buy bread from the supermarket. Not only is this a pricey way to feed yourself, but it is not the healthiest with all the sugar, stabilizers, preservatives, etc that most manufacturers add to the product.

When I have time, I love to make a good homemade yeast bread or pitas. However, those are time intensive, and most of us don't have that kind of time every week to dedicate to preparing our family's bread basket. Enter the super simple, super delicious, and super quick BEER BREAD! Believe it or not, you can make beer bread healthy. I've adapted a recipe (which I modify slightly every time I make it depending on the ingredients I have on hand and the types of beer). While you may think using a light beer will really reduce the calories of the bread, I recommend going with something more flavorful- since the beer is diluted through the bread, a 120 calorie beer versus 200 calorie beer isn't going to make that big of a difference in 1/12 of a loaf. Below is my recipe (average) of what I generally put in my beer bread. This is a big crowd pleaser since I make it slightly sweet, and it has a very crusty crust and soft center that make it oh so delicious. But as with every carb, make sure you MOVE after you eat it- DO NOT SIT for a while after eating. ;)


Kelly's Whole Grain Beer Bread

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (I get in the bulk bins at Whole Foods)
  • 1 1/2 cups even mix of old fashioned oats, wheat flakes, wheat bran, and oat bran
  • 1 tbsp + 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4- 1/3 c pure maple syrup, honey, or agave
  • 1 - 12 oz bottle of a good beer (I recommend 5-7% ABV)

DIRECTIONS

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray loaf pan with light oil coating
3. Mix all dry ingredients, then add in beer and sweetener. 
4. Mix until just combined- do not overmix.
5. Pour into loaf pan.
6. Bake about 45-50 minutes until crust is browned and a knife inserted comes out clean.
7. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Two "Kelly Approved" Tasty Recipes! Cabbage & Apples + Asian Zucchini Salad

CROCKPOT CABBAGE & APPLES RECIPE

A few months ago, I came up with this recipe because I had cabbage, apples, and a bunch of beer leftover from a cocktail party I hosted. This is what I came up with after searching recipes… and it is delicious!

INGREDIENTS:
1 large onion, chopped
2 apples, chopped
1 tbsp avocado oil (can sub olive or canola)
1 head cabbage, chopped
1 cup of beer + ½ c chicken broth (can sub 1 ½ c chicken broth)
3 tbsp spicy brown mustard
1 tbsp garlic, chopped
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp honey, agave, or maple syrup

DIRECTIONS:


Put the chopped onion and apple in the crockpot with the oil until they begin softening with crockpot on medium-high. Then add the rest of the ingredients. Cover and stir occasionally (every 30 min). Cook until cabbage is soft, about 3-4 hours (depending on your crockpot, may be more or less time). Enjoy with pork tenderloin or chicken and a side of barley!


----------------------------------------------------------------------------

ASIAN ZUCCHINI SALAD RECIPE
INGREDIENTS

3 large                   summer squash/zucchini (yellow + green)- sliced into strips
2 large                   bell peppers (red, orange, and/or yellow)
1 tsp                      garlic
1 tbsp                    sesame oil
2 tbsp                    sesame seeds
1 tbsp                   low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp                    cilantro leaves, chopped
1 tbsp                    lemon juice

DIRECTIONS

1. Using vegetable peeler, peel zucchini into very thin strips.
2. Chop peppers and mix with zucchini
3. Mix all of ingredients together and chill.

NUTRITION: Makes 5 servings. Per serving: 100 calories, 5 g fat, 127 mg sodium, 12 g carb (4 g fiber), 3 g protein, good source of Vitamin C! Nutrition Info determined by DietMaster Pro Software.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

TrueFood Superfood Powder Review



I was recently sent two samples of TrueFood - chocolate and original- which are "superfood" powders that you can add to shakes, water, smoothies, and more. The TrueFood formula advertises that it is made with 75 ingredients including vegetables, fruits, herbs, probiotics, omega fatty acids, and more. 

While I always advocated eating a healthy diet filled with TONS of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, lean proteins, and low-fat cultured dairy, to get your nutrients, products like TrueFood can be added as a supplement to get more of a diversity of phytonutrients and food compounds. I like that this product has fifteen strains of probiotics, and is a healthier way to flavor milks and other things without added sugars (it does use stevia however). See the supplement facts below:



Since I've received the samples, I have been adding TrueFood to various things, but primarily in shakes and my oat bran in the morning. This product is definitely "earthy" tasting, so you have to be the type of person that likes things that taste healthy... it adds a grittiness to shakes which I appreciate, but others may not. It does color your shakes and things you add it to green, but that is the wheatgrass, kelp, spriulina, kale, etc showing their true colors ;)

Below are pictures of the ways I have incorporated TrueFood into my diet:

This shake was made with cashew milk, 1/2 banana, and 1 scoop of TrueFood Chocolate. I blended with ice and it was a decent beverage to drink besides water all day long. I have also made very good shakes incorporating the TrueFood Chocolate, plain yogurt, and/or cottage cheese and PB2.



The next picture shows how I have added TrueFood original to my oat bran after it is cooked (you do not want to cook it with the TrueFood as it will kill the probiotics). 


In conclusion, I am impressed with the diversity and quality of ingredients in TrueFood. I feel that this could be a good supplement to anyone's diet, though it does not replace the need to eat several cups of vegetables each day, real fruit, real yogurt/kefir, etc. If you are looking for something to add flavor and nutrition to your shakes I would say TrueFood is for you. If you are eating very healthy and choose just to drink water or green tea all day long, I would say that you do not need products like this in your diet to be healthy.

For more information or to purchase this product, visit the TrueFood link at: http://brightcorenutrition.com/product/truefood-chocolate-premium-superfood-formula-30-servings/


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Disclaimer: I was sent 2 samples of TrueFood and was just asked to review the product. I was not given any guidelines on what I should say and given no other form of compensation besides the samples themselves. This is an honest review free of conflict of interest.

Picture Sources: 1st picture and nutrition facts source from Brightcore nutrition website.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

VIDEO: How to Eat Healthy When Dining Out


My tips for making healthy choices at restaurants. I recommend asking for foods without added butter, oil, and salt, ordering seafood since it's usually one of the healthiest options on the menu (depending on what it is served with, and assuming not fried!), getting dressing on the side, and avoiding/limiting cheese and cheese-based items.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Eating a Healthy Yogurt, or Is It Really a Sugar-Filled Dessert?


I am a big advocate for yogurt, and actually “mandate” that my clients consume 1 full cup (8 fl oz) of cultured dairy (i.e: dairy with probiotics like yogurt or kefir) each day. My rationale for this is that cultured dairy is an excellent source of probiotics, as well as protein, calcium, phosphorus, riboflavin, vitamin D, and other important nutrients. Yogurt is incredibly healthy and extremely versatile so there are many ways you can fit it into your diet even if you dislike the texture.

However, not all yogurts are healthy. Don’t be fooled by the fact that a yogurt advertises that it has probiotics. ALL yogurts have probiotics! I don’t recommend all yogurts, and actually, I recommend only a few specific types. The main danger with yogurt is the added sugar. For example, the new and improved Yoplait lowfat flavored yogurts have 25% less sugar than they did previously… that’s a whopping 2 grams fewer than Coca Cola cup for cup! Chobani 0% flavored has 22.6 g sugar per 8 oz, whereas Coca Cola has 26 g sugar. For some reason, many people believe vanilla yogurt to be low in sugar, though Dannon Vanilla Low fatyogurt has 33 g sugar per 8 oz, which is higher than Coca Cola! Granted, some of that sugar is naturally occurring through lactose, though that is only about 12 g out of the 33 g… I am by no means advocating you drink soda instead, but eating vanilla yogurt in the morning with fruit is definitely a high sugar way to start the day.

The yogurts I recommend are pretty much any brand of non fat or low fat plain yogurt- whether it’s Greek, regular, Icelandic, Indian, whatever- they are all made similarly with bacteria and have no added sugar. If you must go for a flavored yogurt, the brand I recommend the most is Siggi’s. On average, a 5.3 oz container of Siggi’s yogurt has just a few grams of added sugar for a total of 11 g/container (compared to almost double the added sugars with the other main stream Greek yogurts- keeping in mind some of the sugar is naturally occurring lactose… I’m talking about ADDED sugars). Many brands now have lighter versions of yogurts that have fairly basic ingredients and are sweetened with stevia instead of artificial sweeteners. I am okay with these, as long as you aren’t eating much stevia or artificial sweeteners elsewhere in your diet. There is research showing that the artificial sweeteners (4 different ones in the study) change the gut bacteria in mice and increase their risk of diabetes. Since the human GI tract is similar, the researchers suspect a comparable effect in humans. Stevia is a naturally occurring plant, though, since it is not metabolized much in the body, my guess is it goes to the gut just like artificial sweeteners and is metabolized similarly by gut bacteria as sucralose or aspartame.
 
My recommendations: Stick with plain non-fat or low-fat yogurt and kefir, then add your own fruit. If it isn’t sweet enough, add some cinnamon and maybe a teaspoon or two of pure honey, maple syrup, or agave. Try incorporating yogurt as a snack, in a smoothie, mix with salsa as a salad dressing, or make your own tzatziki sauce with cucumber and dill. Eat it with meals like many Indian populations by dunking your chicken, beans, and vegetables in it. Use in place of mayo or sour cream. There are so many options there is no reason not to eat yogurt unless you are allergic! Be sure to stick with organic yogurt if possible and made with real milk- yogurts made with soy, coconut, almond milk, etc. have too many additives, thickeners, and often added sugars that make it unhealthy. Plus, they have to fortify many of the nutrients that exist in natural milk yogurt.

Disclaimer: No, I am not given any source of compensation for recommending Siggi’s yogurt. They do send me coupons from time to time to hand out to clients which I do an greatly appreciate b/c this is a brand I have always recommended! However, other yogurt companies send me coupons too…

References:
http://www.yoplait.com/products/yoplait-original-style-less-sugar 
http://www.dannon.com/dannon-classics/  

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v514/n7521/abs/nature13793.html
Pictures Sources: http://www.dannon.com/wp-content/themes/ultrasimpleRes/images/productos/brand-products/classic/flavors/2_1.png   
http://siggisdairy.com/products/detail/skyr/plain/15/#sthash.wAAaswGc.dpbs 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Philly.com Contribution: The Best Thing I Ever Ate in Philly: Healthy Food-Truck Finds



My recommendations at the Magic Carpet and Ka' Chi Food trucks in the city of Philadelphia (click here)

Kelly Strogen, MS, RD, LDN of Club La MaisonBest thing I ever ate: It’s a tie!Marinated tofu salad with tzatziki, hot sauce and whole wheat pita at Magic Carpet
I love this place because you can mix and match and get creative with your meals. My salad choice is a perfectly well-balanced meal (veggies, protein, whole grain) with a cool creaminess and kick all in one. Everything here is great for meat eaters and vegans alike.”
Chicken skewers at Ka’ Chi
“I love anything with Asian flavors, so the soy-ginger chicken is super tasty and pickled veggies add an interesting flavor explosion! I usually get a side of kimchi to add some spice to my life (fun fact: both the pickled veggies and kimchi are a good source of probiotics). This place has a lot of good, healthy options that are delicious. Depending on how hungry I am, I might also get a side of their soba noodles which offer whole grains.”

From: http://www.phillymag.com/be-well-philly/2015/07/01/healthy-food-truck-lunch/#wr345wl3k8k3Ktv2.99

Friday, June 5, 2015

Pregnant Women Should Eat More Seafood ~ My Article on Philly.com


I have been recommending everyone eat more seafood ever since I began practicing as a dietitian. The evidence is too strong that people benefit by eating more seafood, and most health experts agree the benefits greatly outweigh any potential negatives from mercury or contamination. See my article on Philly.com for more info!

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/goal-getter-nutrition/Pregnant-or-breastfeeding-Eat-more-seafood-to-ensure-optimal-growth.html#disqus_threadVis


Picture Source: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-n_1VgcvzZLk/Tf9yQ0PlEYI/AAAAAAAAA_g/pDxpSxHJcYQ/s320/Hills.jpg

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Pick a day to be "Cook in Bulk Day"!



For those people who feel they have no option but to eat out or eat processed foods because they “don’t have time” to cook and prepare foods… re-evaluate what you are saying. I stress with everyone that you make time for things that are important in your life. If you have a boyfriend, you make time to see him. If you have a child, you make time to go to his/her soccer game. If you have a toothache, you make time to go to the dentist. If you think you are important, you will MAKE the time to dedicate to healthy eating and exercise. One of the things you must do in order to eat healthy is dedicate time for grocery shopping and food preparation.

What I personally do, and what I encourage most of my clients to do, is dedicate a few hours over the weekend to cook in bulk. I turn on the oven, wash and cut up all my veggies, throw them on a pan, and roast them under tin foil with some liquid (dash of oil, balsamic vinegar, and a little water), and cook until they are soft and browning. Since the oven is on, I usually cook up a bunch of chicken breasts for the week, and throw in a piece of fish for my dinner that night. While all of that is going on, I cook up a big batch of a whole grain (quinoa, barley, millet, bulgur, farro, etc.). After all is said and done, I portion out 3 lunches for the week with my veggies, protein, and grain. I then save enough grains and veggies to last me a 3 days for dinner, then freeze the rest so I can pull them out whenever I’m in a pinch for a quick lunch or dinner. Each day, you can flavor your meal different (add Teriyaki for Asian night, marinara for Italian night, etc.). Since there are a variety of vegetables I roast up, you can either eat a variety each day, or eat broccoli one night, roasted asparagus the next, etc.

Yes, cooking this way is a time commitment on that day. Sometimes I spend two to three hours on a Sunday doing this. Even easier, use your slow cooker to cook veggies and some chicken for the week, then you can even run out and get your errands done. But it saves me a ton of time during the week since my lunches are already made, and dinner basically just needs to be heated and seasoned. You can add beans one night, buy some greens and make a roasted vegetable salad with chicken (throw in some feta to go Greek), etc. The options are limitless! I guarantee that I am eating healthy, and I save a TON of money by not having to eat out or even buy frozen packaged meals. Once you get into this routine, there is really no going back. Furthermore, on days you bake more, you freeze more, and that holds you over on those weekends you don’t make the time to cook because you are away or have other obligations.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Should I go Gluten-Free? Is it Healthy???

This video goes through the common misconceptions about a gluten-free diet, and what I recommend you do if you have to go gluten-free. If you are interested in learning more about your diet, you can email me at work: nutrition@clublamaison.com to set up an appointment. Most insurance companies reimburse 100% for nutrition counseling (preventative healthcare!).

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Looking for a sweet creamy treat? Try my Choco PB Banana Smoothie!



Below is a recipe for something I make quite often as a dessert. It's creamy, tastes indulgent, and is actually pretty healthy- what a winning combination!


INGREDIENTS:

¾ c unsweetened chocolate almond milk (can sub regular or soy milk)
2 tbsp PB2 (available at Whole Foods and Giant... Wegman's has Betty Lou's brand which is similar...)

½ frozen banana

2 tsp honey or agave (optional- can use stevia too)

½ c ice cubes

DIRECTIONS:

Put all ingredients in a blender (I like the Magic Bullet) and pulse until smooth. Enjoy! Makes 1 serving.

Nutrition Content Per serving w/ agave (analyzed using DietMaster Pro): 177 calories, 4 g fat, 35 g carb, 6 g protein


Picture Source: Bell Plantation website: http://www.bellplantation.com/4-pack-chocolate-pb2-powdered-peanut-butter-6-5-oz-jars.html

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Which to Eat First: The Chicken or the Egg?


After all of the Easter egg hunts coming this weekend, I’m sure many people will have leftover hard boiled eggs and are curious as to how many hard-boiled eggs they can safely eat. Eggs have confused people for decades, since the research and recommendations waver back and forth as to if they are healthy or not. Much of the controversy stems from the fact that they are high in cholesterol, which was previously thought to raise blood cholesterol levels. However, over the past decade, more research has come out showing that dietary cholesterol doesn’t seem to be much of a concern when it comes to the risk for heart disease; saturated fat and components in foods that are high in saturated fat, seem to be the stronger link. The thing is, most foods that are high in saturated fat are also high in cholesterol, so they typically go hand in hand. Cholesterol is only found in animals, and typically fatty animal products tend to have higher levels of cholesterol. However, foods like shrimp, which are virtually fat-free are high in cholesterol… which is okay! 

So, the question remains, how many eggs can one eat in a week? The American Heart Association now says it is okay to eat one egg per day, so seven per week. I am okay with people eating eggs, as long as the eggs are a way to consume lots of vegetables, and not served with bacon, butter, and lots of cheese. One large egg has 70 calories; an egg white has about 16, and is mostly pure protein.  So, I often recommend for my weight loss clients to eat one egg with two or three egg whites with TONS of vegetables as a meal (breakfast, lunch, or dinner). Quiches and egg, bacon, cheese croissants are not the recommended ways to get in eggs since they are loaded with saturated fats and other unhealthy components (not to mention calorie dense!).

Eggs are actually quite nutritious and the yolk is one of the most antioxidant and nutrient dense foods that exists. The yolk is full of omega-3’s, Vitamin E, choline, biotin, Vitamin B12, phosphorus, Vitamin A, and Vitamin D. Eggs are especially high in choline, which is essential for fetal development, but also important in brain (i.e.: memory) and liver health.  In addition to being a great source of all of these vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, one egg contains about 7 grams of high quality protein, which can help prevent muscle breakdown associated with aging. Furthermore, a new study which followed the dietary habits of men in Finland found that men who ate 4 eggs/week (on average) had a 37% lower risk of developing Type II Diabetes over the 19 year follow-up period compared to men that only ate 1 egg/week (on average). More eggs did not translate to a lower risk.


My recommendations:  Feel free to eat your eggs with lots of veggies! Just be aware that when you eat out at a restaurant and order an omelet, it will typically be three eggs (210 calories) with added butter/oil and salt (another 100 calories)… and most likely cheese, which will contribute at least another 100 calories and more sodium and saturated fat. That doesn’t even include the processed fatty meats or hash browns that many people get with their omelets. And Don't even get me started on hollandaise sauce! So, best to eat your eggs at home or eat hard boiled eggs as a daytime snack. Try to buy eggs off of a farm or pasture-raised eggs if you can find them, or if not, stick to organic, which allow more free roam for the chickens and typically the yolks will be more packed with nutrients due to their healthier feed (compared to conventional eggs). To answer my question above, I feel that both eggs and chicken are healthy sources of protein. The egg has a greater diversity of nutrients and fits into a ovo-vegetarian meal plan, so I would choose 1-2 eggs plus egg whites as a meal option over chicken.

References:
1. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=92
2. http://www.incredibleegg.org/health-and-nutrition/egg-nutrients
3. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-berardi-phd/egss-and-health_b_3499583.html
4. Jyrki K Virtanen et al. Egg consumption and risk of incident type 2 diabetes in men: the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition., March 2015 DOI: 10.3945/%u200Bajcn.114.104109
5. Picture Souce: Yelp Review, Eggs Benedict at Nudy's Cafe in Wayne, PA: http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/nudys-cafe-wayne#uPz2ny1Gwat6OZPmv7M8tw

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Improve the Quality of your Diet, Improve the Quality of Life!


March is National Nutrition Month and a time where everyone should look to their diet and evaluate the quality. Most of my clients come to me and say that they “know how to eat healthy” and think they “eat pretty healthy.” However, if you think you have a pretty poor diet, even one small change can have measurable effects and I can guarantee you will notice significant improvements. Some people come to me without consuming one vegetable or fruit on any given day. By just adding half a cup of fruit and vegetables per day you will see noticeable benefits. Add more, and you will experience even better results.

If you already think you eat healthy, it’s time to zone in on what you are missing, or maybe overdoing. When I perform a diet analysis for a client who believes they eat pretty healthy, there are always things I point out that they can improve upon. I have never seen anyone with a “perfect” diet, and I admit, not even myself. With just small tweaks in your diet, my clients generally notice an increase in energy, better sleep, improved immune function, and eventually they notice their mid-section getting smaller. Do not underestimate the power of diet. According to a research article published in 2008, it is estimated that as many as 30-35% of cancers are linked to diet. Certainly added sugars and refined grains in the diet have been linked to obesity and diabetes risk. Now, there is incredible research showing the link between diet, gut microflora, and disease risk (including Autism, obesity, Alzheimers, diabetes, and more). What you eat affects how you feel, how you look (see my blog on attractiveness), speed and endurance, mental clarity and performance, and so much more! At this time, I encourage everyone to eat more fruits and vegetables, less processed foods, more whole foods, and less meat. 

Also, look into your health insurance [Independence Blue Cross, Aetna, BCBS, Highmark, AmeriHealth, etc.] and see if nutrition counseling is a covered benefit as most plans do offer this under the new healthcare law. Even if you think you eat healthy, you can always learn more and improve something about your diet. Take this time to invest in yourself and your future!



References: 

Anand, Preetha et al. “Cancer Is a Preventable Disease That Requires Major Lifestyle Changes.” Pharmaceutical Research 25.9 (2008): 2097–2116. PMC. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
https://www.autismspeaks.org/science/science-news/spotlight-gut-bacteria-brain-connection-autism
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jalz.2014.11.009
Consumption of whole grains and cereal fiber and total and cause-specific mortality: prospective analysis of 367,442 individuals
Tao Huang, Min Xu, Albert Lee, Susan Cho and Lu Qi BMC Medicine 2015 doi:10.1186/s12916-015-0294-7

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Kelly’s Favorite Kale Salad with Quinoa, Edamame, Brussels Sprouts and Squash


This recipe was inspired by a fantastic salad I had at a new restaurant in Radnor, PA called “Honeygrow”- where I altered their “Vegan Kale Salad”, then recreated it at home with ingredients I had on hand. Delicious!


Ingredients:
2 cups raw kale, chopped
¾ c other raw veggies, chopped
½ c cooked edamame
1/3 c cooked quinoa
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

¼ c Brussels sprouts
¼ c butternut squash, cubed
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp avocado oil (can sub olive or canola)

Directions:
Toss squash and Brussels sprouts with maple syrup, oil, and salt, then place on cookie sheet in oven (350-375 degrees) for about 10 minutes, flip, then 10 more minutes, or until brown.

Mix all other ingredients together in large salad bowl. When baked veggies are done, add to salad and enjoy!


Nutrition info: Makes 1 serving: 415 calories, 13 g fat, 61 g carb (12 g fiber, 17 g sugar), 22 g protein. Good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Folate!

Picture Source: http://www.foodspotting.com/places/684693-honeygrow-bala-cynwyd
Nutrient Analysis by Diet Master Pro

Friday, February 20, 2015

Kelly's Pumpkin Cottage Cheese Recipe



Here is a recipe for my favorite healthy snack: pumpkin cottage cheese! The name may sound gross, but if you like pumpkin pie, you should like this. You can also visit my blog on pumpkin to learn about the health benefits and for a recipe for homemade pumpkin butter! If you are really opposed to cottage cheese, you can substitute a plain low-fat (regular or Greek) yogurt.

Ingredients:

  • ½ c Breakstone’s 2% Cottage cheese, 30% Reduced Sodium (or any other low-fat cottage cheese like Trader Joe's- higher in sodium)
  • 1 ½ tbsp Kauffman’s No Sugar Added Pumpkin Butter (20 cal/tbsp) or Trader Joe's Pumpkin Butter (40 cal/tbsp- has honey so added sugar...)
  • ½ c canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (can sub cinnamon and/or nutmeg and cloves)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Orange zest

Directions:
Mix all together and enjoy! 

Note: If you can’t find the Pumpkin Butter, you can substitute no sugar added apple butter, or 1 tsp honey.

Nutrition info (estimated by Diet Master using Kauffman's No Sugar Added Pumpkin butter): 1 serving= 180 calories, 3 g fat, 17 g carb (4 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 13 g protein   
Good source of Vitamin A!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Quick Tip: Eat a mostly plant-based diet for health & weight loss!





            As a dietitian, I always preach to my clients to cut back on their meat intake and eat as many non-starchy vegetables as possible each day. Extra meat leads to extra calories being consumed… and meat contains no fiber. Fiber helps to fill you up, breed healthy probiotics, and keep food moving through you so not every calorie is absorbed. I met with a client the other day who is just another who has been super successful losing weight and keeping it off. She claims: “I attribute the majority of my weight loss to the fact that you told me to eat 5 cups of vegetables per day.” It’s true- my clients that eat the most non-starchy vegetables tend to be the most successful for losing weight and improving their lab values.

            Luckily, yet another study has come out backing my claims. This study looked at 15 studies where participants followed anything from a vegan to a vegetarian diet either for weight loss or for other health reasons. There were over 755 participants among these studies who were not given any calorie goals nor exercise routine to follow. These individuals were merely given instructions on what type of vegetarian diet to follow (vegan, lacto-ovo-vegetarian, etc.). The average weight loss for participants was over 10 pounds in a 44 week period (keep in mind, the study lengths varied), with people starting with heavier weights losing more. The takeaway from this meta-analysis is that you can lose weight (and improve health!) by simply consuming a plant-based diet. Imagine the results if you paid attention to calories and exercised too!


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Source: Barnard NB, Levin SM, Yokoyama Y. A systematic review and meta-analysis of changes in body weight in clinical trials of vegetarian diets. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2015 January [epub ahead of print] doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2014.11.016.
Reference: http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-plantbased-diets-weight-20150122-story.html
Picture Source: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/sweet-and-sour-chicken-or-tofu-and-vegetables

Friday, January 30, 2015

Get a Valentine to Make You More Successful with Your New Years’ Resolution!


I am always thrilled when I have clients that encourage their spouse to see me too. The reason is because I know that they have a stronger likelihood of being successful with their goals by changing their food and exercise habits. I see it time and time again; the couples that I work with tend to reach their goals much easier than those that are going in alone without their partner. Typically, it is easier for them because they are on the same page as far as what they have learned is healthy. For example, if the husband is doing Paleo, the wife will have trouble abiding by my recommendations and making a meal with farro, vegetables, beans, and fish because her husband’s diet forbids grains and beans. Similarly, if your spouse wants meat and potatoes for dinner every night, that will make it more of a challenge to stick to my recommendations and make a more well-balanced meal. On the other hand, if you both are on the same page with their diet, then you can make and enjoy meals together. Furthermore, you keep each other in-check with regards to portion size, food choices, and meal balance. 

Additionally, becoming more physically active becomes easier when both parts of the couple are meeting with me and on the same page. I have had many couples take up an after-dinner walk to help reduce blood sugar after the meal per my recommendations. Many couples also start taking long bike rides together (when it’s nice out), which is a great way to spend time together while exercising. However, I do have some other clients that report their significant other just wants to lay on the couch and cuddle after dinner, so that makes it harder for my client to have the motivation to go out and exercise at that time.

In an ongoing cohort study in the UK, a study analyzing more than 3,000 married couples (most ages 50+) found results that support my experience with clients. In this study, published in the January 19th online issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, the researchers found that men and women who were looking to adopt new healthy habits had much higher rates of success if their partner also enlisted in those changes. With regards to weight loss, men and women who had a healthy weight partner were not more likely to shed pounds, but those who had a spouse that was also trying to lose were much more successful. In fact, about 25% of men and about 33% of women lost weight when their spouse was losing weight too, compared to 10% and 15% respectively for men and women whose spouses did not lose weight. With regards to physical activity, 67% of men and 66% of women became more physically active when their spouses became active too compared to 26% and 24% respectively when the spouse did not.

The main message of the study mentioned and my experience with my clients is that most people are more likely to be successful if they have a partner to make goals and changes with. If you aren’t married and don’t have a significant other, don’t fret! You too can be successful by finding a friend or even a colleague at work, the gym, or on the internet that can keep you motivated and on track! But since it’s almost Valentine’s Day… might not be a bad idea to head to the gym and try to pick up someone with similar goals as yourself so you can conquer them together. An added bonus is you can then have a Valentine too! ;-)



References:
http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2091401
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/behindtheheadlines/news/2015-01-20-becoming-healthier-may-motivate-your-partner-to-join-in/
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150119124551.htm
http://consumer.healthday.com/public-health-information-30/marriage-health-news-462/want-to-get-healthy-get-your-partner-involved-695591.html
Picture Source: http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/6-ways-for-couples-to-diet-together.html