Tag Archives: fruits

Resolve to Eat More Colorfully: Mango-Cherry Chia Pudding Parfaits

chia-pudding-parfaits

By Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, author of Eating in Color

I’m on a mission to get people to eat more colorfully. Why? Brightly hued fruits and vegetables are loaded with compounds that reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, some cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, and obesity. You’d think that should be enough to convince anyone to throw some color on their plate! Unfortunately, the reality is that most of us are falling seriously short of getting enough fruits and vegetables.

eating-in-color-book

That’s why I create fun and delicious ways for people to eat their colors, like the recipes in my cookbook Eating in Color. In my newest cookbook, I showcase just how vibrant and delicious real food can be. The book includes 90 family-friendly recipes that are fruit, vegetable, and grain focused that you’ll actually want to eat. With recipes like Caramelized Red Onion and Fig Pizza, Cran-Apple Tarte Tatin, and Roasted Tri-Color Carrots with Thyme, tasting the rainbow has never tasted so good, nor been so easy. (more…)

Produce Over Pills: Your Doctor’s Newest Rx Option Comes from the Garden

vegetable-RX

It was Hippocrates who first said “Let thy food be thy medicine.” And while it may have taken a few thousand years for this to really catch on, doctors in New York City have finally started applying this concept to their patients.

NYC docs involved in the Wholesome Wave program have now started writing prescriptions for fruits and vegetables for their patients battling obesity, diabetes, hypertension, high-cholesterol, and other weight-related diseases. Instead of drugs for weight loss, doctors provide these patients with a “prescription” of sorts to eat more vegetables and fruits.

It is this program’s goal to empower under-served and low-income communities with access to healthy foods in efforts to manage obesity and its resulting health conditions. In recent coverage from the New York Times, success stories are popping up throughout the 1200 different low-income families enrolled in the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program, or FVRx, in four major hospitals throughout New York City.

Most astonishing is that after just four months in the program, 40% of children successfully lowered their body-mass index (BMI) once they ate their prescribed fruits and veggies. (more…)

Pulp Fiction: Why My Misadventures in Juicing Left Me Feeling Terrible

carrot juice

By Cat Poland, a writer who shares her experiences with life and motherhood at Mom on the Range.

You know what’s cute? Baby bellies. Aren’t pregnant women adorable?

You know what’s not so cute? Baby bellies when you’re not pregnant. I’m not making a blanket statement about the size of other women’s bodies and what I think they should or shouldn’t look like. I’m talking solely about my own.

It’s annoying. Pants don’t fit well, and forget about wearing maxi dresses without getting “the look” from others. Is she, isn’t she? When a family member put her hand on my belly and asked if I had “news,” I lost it.

What if I did a juice fast? (Or cleanse, as some might call it.) I just wanted to look not so pregnant. And I was curious. Would I have renewed energy as some claimed? Would I cure my pesky battle with constipation (thank you, hormones). Would I feel rejuvenated? (more…)

High and Dry: The Perks of Dried Fruit

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist

I just dotted my opened-faced peanut butter sandwich with dried cherries (and a little bit of honey) and wondered, “How much nutrition is left in these cherries, or other dried fruit, for that matter?” Quite a lot, I discovered after consulting recent studies. While vitamins, like vitamin C, may dwindle with drying, phytonutrients—beneficial plant compounds—remain.

dried fruit

Here’s what I found:

Dried Cherries

I buy “sour” or “tart” cherries, and a study in the Journal of Food Science found that these dried fruits are rich in compounds that clobber two types of free radicals, harmful molecules that promote heart disease, cancer and neurological disorders.

(more…)

7 Holiday Cooking Staples That Just Might Kill You

Oh, the holidays. A time for fun, family and potential cyanide poisoning. I know that last one isn’t a common item on people’s list of things to think about when preparing for Christmas, but maybe it should. Many of the foods that are commonly used in holiday dishes are surprisingly dangerous.

christmas dinner

We’ve listed the seven most serious offenders so you can be on the lookout at your Christmas dinner.

Cherries
With his nose like a cherry, Santa sounds like he’s as much of a fan of the ruby fruit as we are. We’ll put cherries in pretty much anything, including the summer mainstay cherry limeades. Learning the cherries can also be harmful is the pits. Literally, the pits. Cherry pits are full of cyanide, but thankfully it can only cause harm if you manage to chew through them.

Almonds
I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite things about fall and winter is breaking out the nutcracker and mixed nuts, especially almonds. Something about the flavor instantly makes me think of the holidays. That flavor comes from sweet almonds which, unlike their wild cousins, don’t contain cyanide. (more…)

The 5 Diet Hurdles You Can Overcome for Weight Loss Success

Have you ever thought to yourself, “Why can’t I lose weight and keep it off?” Today, we are going to talk through the five biggest diet hurdles that many people face and the simple tips to overcome them.

Watch our G+ Hangout with Stefanie Painter, RD from Retrofit who explains more.

True Hunger

With food in our sights while walking down the street, in our office break room, or next to the cash register at the store, we are prompted to want to eat at any turn. Also, many times we will use food for comfort after having a stressful, long, or emotional day. However, our bodies do not know that we got yelled at by our boss, had back to back meetings, or broke up with our boyfriend. So, eating outside of hunger sabotages our efforts. When we have ignored what true hunger feels like for a long time, we have to retrain our bodies (and brains) to understand when and how much we actually should be eating for a healthy weight.

Think of a hunger gauge like a gas tank: On empty, we are the most hungry we have ever felt in our entire lives, like when you have had to fast for a medical test. At full, we are so stuffed that we can’t imagine eating another bite, like on Thanksgiving. These are the extremes that we need to avoid as much as possible. When you are feeling hunger (belly rumbling), then you are at one-quarter of a tank and it’s time to have a meal or snack. As you are eating, slow down and savor each bite so you can feel when you hit half of a tank. This is when hunger is gone. Four to five bites later, you will hit three-quarters of a tank and it’s time to be finished, no matter how much food is left on your plate.

women salad

Moderation vs Deprivation

Most diets require us to take something out of our food choices or make certain foods “off limits.” While this will create a calorie deficit and result in weight loss, it is not realistic for a long term lifestyle, especially because we are often forced to stop eating some of our favorite foods. Deprivation can quickly lead to disaster!

Make ALL foods part of our healthy eating plan! Yes, focus on the healthiest foods — fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, dairy products, and whole grains, as your main choices — but plan for treats and heavier meals in your day or week. For example, if you love chocolate, have one small piece (of dark) every day so you do not feel deprived. If your favorite meal is a burger and fries, make that part of your weekly plan so you can enjoy it. No food is “bad” when we plan for it!

Produce, Produce, Produce

Fruits and vegetables are truly powerful foods. They are super nutritious, low calories, and crazy high in fiber. When we work on adding more produce into our life, we can fill up on lower-calorie, high-fiber foods and decrease our portions of higher-calorie foods. Plus, fiber is much harder for the body to break down, so our metabolism goes in to over drive to digest and use produce for fuel. This helps boost our metabolism and burn more fat.

Getting in more produce can be a challenge, especially when we aren’t used to eating it often. Start small… add a piece of fruit with breakfast, then some veggies at lunch and dinner, and lastly work on using fruits and vegetables as part of a snack. The ultimate goal is to have 50 percent produce at all of your meals and snacks.

Portions

Portion distortion is running rampant. Everywhere we go, bigger is better, but not so much for our waistlines. As mentioned before, one of the best ways to start to decrease portions of higher-calorie foods is to aim to make half of your meal or plate produce.

Another handy tip is to use your hands as a portion size guide. Put both of your hands out in front of you flat, fingers closed, thumbs tucked in, and touching. This is the appropriate portion of a meal for your body. Most restaurant meals, or even meals that we cook at home, are much larger than this. Pairing your hands as a portion size guide with listening to your hunger/fullness queues using the Hunger Gauge is a dynamic combo to keeping your portion sizes in check.

Planning Ahead

Planning ahead can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s not so much about planning, but more about being prepared for whatever your specific challenge may be.

  • If you are going to a restaurant, check the menu and nutrition info online first so you don’t have to make a choice while you are tempted by the dozens of menu items.
  • Headed to a party? Have a snack before you go,so you are not as hungry, and give yourself a drink and/or food limit, such as, one plate of food and two glasses of wine.
  • If you struggle with nighttime snacking, think about what your nighttime snack is going to be as you are preparing dinner. Put together your nighttime snack then, too. Set an alarm on your phone so you know when and what you will be enjoying as your late treat.

Thinking about diet hurdles you have faced in the past, how can some of these tips help you stay on track in the future?

retrofit weight loss program____________________________

By Stefanie Painter, a registered dietitian for Retrofit. You can save $50 at Retrofit with this coupon. #Sponsored

Also Read:

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12 Ways to Get Your Preschooler to Eat Their Fruits and Veggies

Listen up parents! Making sure our preschool children get their ‘5 a day’ (servings of fruits and veggies) can be easy and painless… if you are prepared. Providing our kids with a healthy foundation, helping them acquire a taste for fruits/veggies will be something that stays with them for the rest of their lives. If they get used to eating fresh produce as kids, that will often translate in to adulthood.

Working with a pediatric population, parents repeatedly ask the same questions. So here’s what I tell them.

kid fruit veg

Kids can get overwhelmed when they see large portions. Serve appropriate amounts for the child’s age. A 2-3 year-old needs one cup fruits and one cup veggies while 4-8-year-olds should consume half a cup more, respectively, per day.

Offer a healthy snack consisting of fruits/veggies every afternoon. Before long kids will know what to expect and look forward to this healthy treat. A few ideas to get started include Fruit Kabobs with Yogurt Dip, Fresh Strawberry + PB Sandwich, and One Ingredient Banana Ice Cream.

Try a new fruit/veggie tomorrow. If today it’s pears, tomorrow try oranges. Mix it up and keep kids interested. Have them take a bite and if they don’t like it now, let them try it again another time. “I don’t like it now” doesn’t mean “I don’t like it forever.” (more…)

We Love Copy-Kids Eat Fruits and Vegetables DVD

Admittedly, I was somewhat skeptical about the video Copy-Kids eat fruits and vegetables, but I was still interested in reviewing it. I was sure that it could not hurt, but I wasn’t sure if it would be as powerful as all of the testimonials I had read.

My nephew is an awesome eater who loves healthy foods. It seems that he would eat as much quinoa as we would give him. However, he is somewhat moody on whether or not he wants fresh blueberries, so I sat down with him with a small bowl and turned on the blueberries segment. At my house, he never watches television, so that might account for his quiet focus. He sat in my lap, and I held the bowl of blueberries in front of us. As he watched the first couple of children, he held a blueberry in his fingers, then he looked back and fed one to me before eating one himself. He silently, but with increasing gusto, ate all of the blueberries and immediately wanted more.

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Leave Baby Food to the Babies – Not Your Diet

Baby food is for babies? Not exclusively. Hollywood A-listers are eating baby food now. The Baby Food Diet, made famous by Tracy Anderson, is for those who want to control their food portions and curb cravings with pureed fruits and veggies. The diet works for celebrities, but for those who would rather not revert back to their infant days it isn’t an ideal diet.

I asked our resident dietitian Mary Hartley, RD if the serving size of a baby’s jar would satisfy grown adults? She tells us, “No. A little four-ounce jar of pureed baby food ranges from 40 to 80 calories, and so an adult would need many, many little jars if the diet consisted only of baby food.”

The jars of baby food might make reasonable replacements for snacks during the day, but frankly, just eating the whole fresh fruit or vegetable is going to be far more satisfying, as many if not less calories, and none of the preservatives or other additives common to jarred baby food. (more…)

Chobani Blood Orange Smoothie Perfect for Rising and Shining

There are stories that Elvis Presley would eat one food, in particular meatloaf, for weeks. It would be the only thing he’d eat. I tend to get in to similar ruts with breakfast. It will be three months of nothing but scrambled eggs and toast. And then I’ll switch to months and months of Cheerios, or yogurt with granola. Last week, it was time for a change, and I rediscovered my blender.

Smoothies are a perfect breakfast. They are fast, simple, and can give you several full servings of fruits and vegetables in a glass. Drink it on the go and you can’t complain about not having time for breakfast!

I assessed the smoothie-making ingredients I had on hand… fresh baby spinach, an avocado, a pint of blueberries, bananas, ice, and Chobani Greek yogurt. I had a few flavors to choose from (because we’re rarely without) and I opted for the brand new blood orange. I hadn’t yet tried it, and figured this was a perfect opportunity to add a burst of sweetness to my smoothie. The color, when all stirred and combined, wasn’t as bold as I’d expected (I mean, have you seen the raspberry Chobani? Pop!), but the flavor was perfect. (more…)