Nutrition and Food

Interview – Her Motivational Moment

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Dana is a young professional with a love for cooking and staying active. It didn’t start out that way – she didn’t always love to cook, or even know how to cook for that matter. Dana’s skills in the kitchen hovered just above knowing how to boil water. And her physical activity level was a far cry from a fitness enthusiast.

Back in 2012 Dana went to her Physician for her annual check-up. In her appointment she took a look at the height and weight chart that calculates your Body Mass Index (BMI). Dana calculated her BMI and was surprised that at her current weight she was considered overweight. She was surprised because “she didn’t feel that way,” but “couldn’t hide from the numbers.” Dana decided she had two choices, “live with it or make a change.” She decided to make changes and has successfully maintained a weight loss of 30 pounds for more than two years, gone from a size 8 to a size 2, lost 2 bra sizes and gained an entire new wardrobe! We asked Dana if she would share her experience with B.Komplete in an effort to help others in their quest for making healthy and sustainable lifestyle changes.

When you decided to make changes in your life what was the first thing you did?

The moment I decided that I wanted to make changes in my life I took some time to reflect on my choices. I didn’t begin making lifestyle changes right away. I took about a week or two to “check myself” by asking questions such as, was I living up to my ideal life. I allowed time for self-awareness and assessment. I did a mental inventory of my life.

How did you begin the physical process of changing your life?

I started running with my boyfriend. I wanted to spend more time doing activities together. In the beginning, I wasn’t able to keep up with his pace, “I was no speed demon.” But, wanting to spend time with him and being competitive helped to motivate me and work harder. My goal was to keep up with him on our runs. In the beginning it was difficult to keep up but I kept at it.

What type of goals did you set for yourself?

I didn’t set a big goal like “I’m going to lose this much weight by this date.” I set small goals along the way. If I ran for ten minutes without stopping one day I would shoot for fifteen minutes the next day. I set small achievable goals and made small incremental gains that resulted in larger gains over time.

What other changes did you make?

I did multiple things over a long period of time. I’m a “food nerd” so the thought of a restrictive diet was a worse case scenario for me. I began to learn how to cook. My weight was reflective of my lack of cooking skills. I learned a few simple things in the beginning to get started. I would choose recipes that were easier to make. Now, cooking has become a hobby for me. I have learned to cook many recipes from scratch. I view cooking as equally as important for sustaining my weight loss as I do the physical activity.

Was there anyone in particular who helped motivate you?

Beryl and I were room-mates for a year.  I witnessed that she practices what she preaches for nutrition consumption and portion control.  Beryl’s recipes are well-balanced, from a nutrition and a flavor standpoint.  Beryl is always active, and supported me in my pursuit by joining me at my level as a reliable work-out buddy. As I began to change so did my relationships and conversations with other people. My conversations became more about health. I would ask my family questions about cooking which lead to more conversations geared toward health.

Were your friends and family supportive of your efforts?

No one really noticed I was loosing weight until about a year after I began. Because I was making small changes over a long period of time I don’t think it was immediately noticeable. For the most part, people were supportive. But, sometimes they could make less than complimentary comments. I feel as though people sometimes feel a twinge of jealousy. It’s human nature to feel a bit jealous and have a lapse in support when someone else is accomplishing something you have not been successful in doing. It makes people look at themselves and reflect on their life and recognize their choices.

What resources do you use to help keep you going?

I have a never-ending supply of healthy recipes and workout plans. Having these tools eliminates the excuse of not knowing what to do or what to cook. I like Cooking Light for recipes and Fitness Blender for exercise routines. I like Fitness blender because the trainers doing the workouts are not “just in their sports bras with their hair down.” They’re saying “wow, I’m sweating” and I’m thinking yeah, me too, I’m glad to know they are feeling the same way I do when I work out!

Do you have a personal mantra or inspirational quote that you like?

I believe everyone needs one; mine is “yes you can.” On those days when I feel like my workout is to difficult I say to myself “yes you can.”

What are you most proud of?

I’m proud of my life. I never set out with the goal of just losing weight. I wanted to increase my activity level and share more time with my boyfriend. As my activity level increased I began to lose weight. I have always liked me but now I like me even better. 

What advice would you give to someone starting out on a similar quest?

Start with small challenges that are achievable. If you hit a plateau push yourself to get through it. Be kind to yourself. I think people give up because they are too hard on themselves. Glitches happen, go back to your “mental buzzer” when you’re doing something that won’t help you reach your goal. If you make one “mistake,” don’t make two. Also, my activities became my hobbies. I stick with things I like which makes it easier to do. Find things you like to do. You need to have balance between physical activity and eating healthy in order to be successful.

Nutrition and Food

B.Komplete Explore the Store Supermarket Series: Oil

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Come with us as we ‘explore the store’ in our quest to teach consumers the most nutritious and delicious ways to enjoy food products!  

Our focus in January is on Oil.  Did you know…

  • Safflower and Canola Oils have the lowest saturated fat content compared to other oils
  • Coconut Oil has the highest saturated fat content compared to other oils
  • Olive oil is far higher in monounsaturated fatty acids than any other fat or oil
  • Unsaturated fatty acids are thought to be better for your health than saturated fatty acids, with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated the ones to look for
  • You can make delicious salad dressing with avocado, walnut, grape-seed, sesame, flax and olive oils
  • You can cook with canola, sunflower, safflower, and coconut oils

We will be back next month exploring the Herb & Spice aisle.

Nutrition and Food

Pass the Pineapple

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Pass the pineapple! Not only is pineapple a delicious way to get vitamin C and manganese, pineapple provides bromelain which reduces harmful inflammation.  Whether you are looking for a well-balanced smoothie, or a guilt-free cocktail, pineapple is the perfect ingredient to use.  

B. Komplete Tropical Green Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup chopped pineapple
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 handful fresh spinach
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 plain yogurt (I like Greek)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup water (per your consistency preference)

Blend and enjoy!

Nutrition and Food

Memorial Day: Eat Right for Your Life

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Whether you will be hosting or attending the party, there is no doubt food will be a central part of the celebration. Among friends and family, traditional holiday fare and other favorites, you think to yourself ‘there is no way, healthy fits in with Memorial Day’. No need to worry anymore, follow these healthy tips with the following great recipes to help you enjoy the holiday – guilt free!

cilantro-lime-shrimp-kebabs

Go Lean on the Grill.  Enjoy lean meats and fresh fruits and vegetables.

 

buffalo-wings

Recipe Makeover. Enjoy the favorites among family and friends with a healthy twist.

 

Santa-Fe-Black-Bean-Salad

Find Your Healthy Options. The easiest way to fight the temptation is by snacking on the foods that are naturally lighter.

Enjoy the time with your family and friends, and have a wonderful holiday.

Nutrition and Food

Up the Protein in Your Guacamole: Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly Recipe for Edamame Guacamole

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Guacamole, we know it, we love it, and we eat it year round at parties,  restaurants, and events. When guacamole is served the traditional accompaniment is tortilla chips. 1 serving of tortilla chips will run you about 140 calories and 6 grams of fat, but who just eats 1 serving of chips? You may ask yourself, “is there a way to make guacamole a more nutrient dense snack choice?” Normally guacamole is full of healthy monounsaturated fats but lacking on the protein. Not anymore! With this delicious Edamame Guacamole Recipe by B.Komplete, you can have all that avocado goodness with the added bonus of extra protein. The serving size for guacamole is 2 tablespoons. However, the typical amount consumed is more like 8 tablespoons. With the typical serving size in mind, the B.Komplete recipe contains 120 calories and 8 grams protein per 4 ounces serving. This makes it a healthy and filling snack when served with some vegetables like radishes, endive, and carrots. If you are craving chips, try whole-wheat tortilla chips to keep the snack as healthful as possible. 

Check out this video to see how it’s made!

B. inspired, B. educated, B.Komplete!

Nutrition and Food

10 Steps to the Happiest, Healthiest, and Safest Holiday Season for 2015

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What a year it has been!  As we all gear up for the December Holiday Season we at B.Komplete wanted to share with you our favorite tips for staying healthy and safe during the holidays, and all year round.  If you choose to use all 10, or pick 1-2 that work for you, please let us know how the tip has helped you! 

Savor Your Favorites
  • Scan the menu in advance and figure out which foods will provide you the most satisfaction to get the biggest enjoyment for the calories. Decide how much you can consume without overdoing it. If you enjoy appetizers or desserts select a few of your favorites to enjoy. Avoid mindlessly munching on foods that you aren’t crazy about.  When its time to enjoy your favorite food, eat it slowly.  Focus on all sensory aspects of the food.  
Live in the Moment
  • The holidays don’t have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change also. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones. Focus on being present in the moment and focusing on the positives of right now. 
Plan Fun Exercise
  • Research has proven that if you enjoy exercise and think of it more like a fun activity you are more likely to do it, and also less likely to reward yourself with a food treat afterwards. Check out a new class at your gym, plan outdoor winter activities, take up a winter sport, or get creative at home – dance
Prune Your To-Do List
  • It’s really easy to let the to-do list pile up. And one sure fire way to reduce stress is to:  prune your to-do list. Ask, “If I don’t do this, what will happen?” Aim to knock down the list of “to-do” to the rock-bottom necessity.
Make a Budget
  • The American Psychological Association cited lack of time and money as biggest common stress producers for individuals during the holidays. Create a budget that works for you before the holidays start, and stick to it.  Check out Christmas Organized Home for some great resources and ideas on holiday budgets.  
Take a Breather
  • Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Even Oprah does this! Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm.  Some options may include:  Taking a walk at night and stargazing, listening to soothing music, getting a massage, or reading a book.
Lighten Up Recipes
  • GREATIST has the greatest, healthy ideas.
  • The American Diabetes Association provides useful tips on how to enjoy and keep it healthy.
  • The team at Joy Bauer has some helpful tips to keep your holidays healthy: 
Happily Hydrate
  • Water may very well help keep your metabolism moving. And it is no secret that if you are dehydrated you are going to feel lousy.  Get extra water through broth based soups, decaffeinated tea, fruits and vegetables.  And enhance your water with citrus, cucumber, or berries.  
Rest Well
  • A good night’s rest can help your cognitive function, concentration skills, mood, and boost your immune function. Trouble sleeping?  The National Sleep Foundation provides helpful tips to give you a restful nights’ slumber. 
Laugh Often
  • Studies show that humor and happiness are associated with the ability to enhance our immune function, decrease our risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease. Schedule time for activities that make you laugh such as watching a funny movie or television show or spending more time with that one friend who makes you laugh.  There are many really funny videos on You Tube that only take a minute to watch, and can make you laugh to hard you have a positive outlook for the next hour.  
Nutrition and Food

So You Think You Know Nutrition? Details behind the Fact and the Fiction

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Why is nutrition so confusing? To start, there is a plethora of conflicting information available on the subject. Many people *think* they know how to eat right. There are individuals giving advice to the public without the proper nutrition knowledge or credentials (Registered Dietitians are the food and nutrition experts). And the diet industry continues to come out with the next best supplement/pill/meal replacement, etc. There are roughly 100 million dieters and it’s a 20 billion a year industry. Can you guess what percentage of those who lose the weight gain it back (and more)? Researchers debate this, however the number can be stated at over 90%.

B.Komplete wants to help dispel some of these nutrition myths.  Here are a few common nutrition misconceptions, with the truth.

Misconception 1: Diets are the best way to improve your health

Research has studied popular diets and found that the diets don’t provide enough or the right macro (protein, carbohydrate and fat) and micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals). People who stay on these diets for an extended time period may face health risks. So, what is the best way to lose weight? A healthy lifestyle that includes a variety of foods and is abundant in fruits and vegetables along with regular physical activity can help most people manage and maintain weight loss. Take into account other factors in your life such as stress, sleep, support and time, that all impact your overall health, weight and wellness.

Truth 1: Realistic, holistic, improvements are the best way to improve your health.

Misconception 2: Don’t eat or exercise later than 6 PM

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Weight Control Information Network, “it does not matter what time of day you eat. It is what and how much you eat and how much physical activity you do during the day that determines whether you gain, lose, or maintain your weight.” In terms of timing for exercise, a study from the Arizona State University in Phoenix found that it was entirely appropriate to exercise at any time during the day or evening.

Truth 2: This is highly individualized, and it is possible to eat and exercise past 6 PM for optimal health

Misconception 3: A healthy weight is your lowest weight

A healthy weight is one that is right for your body type and height and is based on your body mass index (BMI) and the size of your waist (waist circumference). Your BMI is only one measure of your health. A person who is not at a “normal” weight according to their BMI may be healthy if she has healthy eating habits and exercises regularly. People who are thin but don’t exercise or eat nutritious foods aren’t necessarily healthy just because they are thin.

Truth 3: A healthy weight is based on numerous factors including your BMI and waist circumference

Misconception 4: The internet is the source for reliable nutrition information

The internet has been compared to the Wild West. There are no rules, and anyone who is a little computer savvy can put up a website and write whatever she thinks sounds good/will sell/interest people. In general, be cautious of any website telling you that you must never do something or you must buy their products to achieve the nutrition result you are looking for. Some useful websites that B.Komplete will reference in research include: WebMD (http://www.webmd.com), The Academy of Dietetics and Nutrition (http://www.eatright.org/Public), PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed), The American Heart Association (http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG), USDA (http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome), FDA (http://www.fda.gov/Food/default.htm), and the Mayo Clinic (http://www.mayoclinic.org). All of these websites are from accredited sources and/or agencies and reference clinical research.

Truth 4: Certain accredited websites and Registered Dietitians (RDs) are the source for reliable nutrition information

Misconception 5: Avoid ‘processed’ food

It is impossible to avoid processed food, because a food has been processed after it has been harvested. There is a very wide spectrum of processed food; from minimally processed (bagged spinach) to highly processed (shelf stable meat). Processed food can be beneficial to your diet – it is all about choosing wisely. Milk can be fortified with calcium, vitamin D and omega-3, and breakfast cereal may have added fiber. Frozen fruits and vegetables can have even more micro-nutrients than fresh. Meals created from your local markets can be a nutritious option. Eating processed food is unavoidable, and be aware of hidden sugar, sodium and fat.

Truth 5: Processed food can offer nutritious and well-balanced options AND select wisely

B.Inspired. B.Educated. B.Komplete