Nutrition and Food

What Foods to Eat in the Summer

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Warm days means fresh summer foods. Wondering what foods can help you stay in shape all summer long?  Eating well and keeping yourself hydrated is important to keep yourself ready and energized for summer activities.  B.Komplete Registered Dietitian Nutritionists can help you learn more about these foods for when you’re having fun in the sun!

Summer Foods

Watermelon: The perfect fruit to keep you hydrated without a whole lot of calories. Check out this watermelon feta mint salad

Berries: Blueberries. Raspberries. Blackberries. Jam packed with fiber and antioxidants. Toss them in your plain yogurt or oatmeal for some added natural sweetness. Want to try berries in a delicious savory dish? Try this recipe for grilled salmon and blueberry sauce!

Tomatoes: Rich in an antioxidant called, lycopene and perfect tossed in a salad or to simply enjoy alone (especially grape tomatoes).

Avocados: Yes, you should eat fat! Especially the heart-healthy fats in avocados to keep you satisfied as well as add some creaminess to your dishes.  Try swapping out butter or cream cheese for ¼ of a mashed avocado on your toast/bagel. How about making a delicious creamy avocado sauce for your pasta or “zoodles”? 

Corn: Get the local grown corn and throw it on the grill for some sweet BBQ crunch! You gain 4 grams of fiber in just ½ cup of kernels.  Click here to learn more about your local farms.  Learn more about eating organic and fresh foods here.

Zucchini: This vitamin C-rich veggie is perfect for grilling or making “zoodles”. The Food Network has wonderful recipe ideas.  Love Pad Thai?  Try this lighter version that uses “zoodles.”  Click here to purchase for a budget-friendly spiralizer to make your “zoodles”.

Nuts: A good source of healthy fats, protein, fiber and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Try a small handful of dry-roasted unsalted almonds, cashews, walnuts or pistachio as an on-the go or pre-workout snack.

Want to try multiple summer-friendly foods all in one dish? Try this grilled corn, watermelon and avocado salad!  Substitute the apple or celery for jicama if you are having trouble finding it.

Resources

Interested to learn more about seasonal foods and how to enjoy summer food? Below are links to help guide you:

https//snaped.fns.usda.gov/seasonal-produce-guide

http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/whats-in-season-summer

Nutrition and Food

Does the Paleo Diet Work?

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What is the Diet?

The Paleo diet theory is based on citing the errors in current Western eating patterns, and how different these consumption patterns are from the eating design of the Paleolithic period. The Paleo diet advises us to eat similarly to how our Paleolithic ancestors once did; consume foods as close to a natural state as possible, which includes meat and produce. Avoid foods that would not have been available during that time period; grains, dairy products and sugar. The Paleo diet claims that “this is how humans were designed to eat.

What is Good about the Diet?

  • Focus on whole foods and eating foods in a natural state. Our Paleolithic ancestors consumed foods as close to fresh as possible. This is sound advice, as the nutrients in foods are typically highest when the food is the most fresh. To find out what produce is in season, check here  
  • Eating grass-fed meat.  100% grass-fed beef comes from cows who have grazed in pasture year-round rather than being fed a processed diet. Grass feeding improves the nutrition of meat making the beef richer in omega-3 fats, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and healthy fats.  For more information on grass-fed meat visit world’s healthiest foods 
  • Recommends eggs, nuts, and healthy oils. Some of the recommended fat sources in the Paleo diet are rich in nutrients, mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids, and antioxidants.
  • Limits alcohol and diet soda.  Limiting alcohol consumption (< 1 drink/day for women and < 2 drinks/day for men) is recommended for heart health . While the health verdict is still out on diet soda, consuming less of it may be a good idea.
  • Recommends cooking for yourself. Learning how to prepare meals for yourself and your family is tremendously beneficial; it enables you to control the additives in your food, to season food without adding salt, and generally eat less total calories.

What isn't Good about the Diet?

  • Elimination of major food groups. A Paleo dieter can be categorized by what they have removed from their diet; Paleo dieters generally do not eat dairy or grains of any kind, peanuts, lentils, beans, peas and other legumes are eliminated, and added sugars are prohibited.
  • Whole grains.  Whole grains are associated with healthy digestion and metabolism, and a reduced risk of heart disease. Removal of whole grains makes it harder to get your daily recommendation of fiber. 
  • Dairy.  Consumption of dairy products (low fat and fat free) is associated with satiety, bone health, reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension in adults. Removal of this entire food group makes it hard (if not impossible) to get some of the health benefits that dairy provides.
  • Legumes. Beans are high in minerals and fiber without the saturated fat found in some animal proteins. Eating beans may reduce blood cholesterol, a leading cause of heart disease. Adding beans to your diet may help keep you feeling full longer. Removal of legumes will make it harder to get the recommended daily fiber intake, as well as providing a vegetarian protein option.
  • Starchy vegetables.  No more crunchy carrots for a snack. No more corn on the cob at a cook-out. No more baked potato, soup with potato, or even baked potato chips! Reducing the amount of starchy vegetables may be OK for weight loss, BUT to eliminate completely is hard (if not impossible) over the long-term.
  • Diet can be hard to follow, hard to maintain over time, and very expensive. Imagine a life without a sandwich, ever. No more cereal, rice, bagels, or whole grains. Say goodbye to peanut butter. No more milk, yogurt, cheese, and ice-cream. If you enjoy chili, you are out of luck. And like any eating plan, it can indeed be expensive – especially since Paleo relies so heavily on the produce section and meat counter.
  • Not highly researched/without long term studies /making unsubstantiated health claims. “Loren Cordain, PhD, who literally wrote the book on The Paleo Diet, claims that by eating like our prehistoric ancestors, we’ll be leaner and less likely to get diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other health problems” . Many of the health claims made in the Paleo diet books are either not supported by research or have not been studied (1, 2).
  • Hard if not impossible to meet RDA of micronutrients.  Research has shown that micronutrient deficiency is high in individuals who are overweight or obese (2/3 of the U.S. population), and it is unlikely (if not impossible) to correct any micronutrient deficit following any food based diet (3).
  • Can have very high consumption of saturated fat with high meat consumption. Meat is consumed in large quantities, often cooked in animal fat of some kind which is very high in saturated fat. Eating foods that contain saturated fats raises the level of cholesterol in your blood. High levels of LDL cholesterol in your blood increase your risk of heart disease and stroke (4).

Overall Advice

U.S. News ranks Paleo low for overall diet credibility; not guaranteed weight loss or weight loss maintenance, health claims are unsubstantiated, higher than recommended levels of fat and protein, not adequate in fiber, micronutrients (5).

Any diet plan that is very restrictive, hard to follow, expensive, unbalanced in nutrients and even unpalatable doesn’t seem like a sustainable lifestyle choice… My advice is: take the good ideas from Paleo, and modify to fit into a well-balanced, healthy, happy, and enjoyable eating plan!

Exercise

How to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle with a Busy Schedule

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Read on to learn about how to maintain a healthy lifestyle when you have a busy schedule…

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Keep healthy breakfast and snack options at work
  • Everybody has those occasionally late days; avoid that unhealthy pastry from the coffee shop by keeping healthy food options at work.
  • Keep instant oatmeal topped with nuts or a banana with some peanut butter on hand
  • Healthy snacks include nuts, like almonds or walnuts eaten with a piece of fruit
Get up and get moving
  • Working out in the morning can guarantee that you fit your workout into your busy schedule. With an on-the-go lifestyle, so many things can get in the way – meetings, events, dinner with colleagues. Prioritize your workout by getting it done before life takes over!
Prep your meals ahead of time
  • Prepping meals a few days ahead of time can make it quick and easy to get out of the house and on with your day. Try prepping meals on your slowest day of the week (maybe a Sunday for those who follow a regular work week). Put the meals for the first few days post-prep in the fridge and freeze the rest to keep your food from spoiling.  Have a CrockPotTM or another slow cooker? If you have time in the morning, you can put your meal together then set it to cook while you are work, leaving you with a delicious, healthy meal to eat when you get home.  Meals can also be prepped the night before if you have the time.  Leftovers make a convenient lunch for the next day!
  • Mason Jar salads for lunch or dinner
  • Overnight oats or smoothies for breakfast
  • Making dinner using the slow cooker
  • Plan your schedule to include exercise
    • Sometimes the hardest part of exercise is figuring out when to do it. Leverage your phone or your computer calendar or even buy a planner. Schedule your exercise like you would any appointment. This will help you organize your entire schedule for the day and ensure that you have time devoted for exercise.
Join a gym close to work
  • Going to the gym can be a real hassle, try joining a gym close to your work to make life easier. Then you can go straight to work post-workout, get a quick workout during your lunch break, or stop over before heading home.
Get a workout buddy
  • Have a friend at work with the same hectic schedule? Try planning your workouts together! Working out with a friend can keep you motivated and prevent you from ditching out on your workout.
Eating out
  • Whether it is for business or pleasure, eating out is a part of life. Keep you your dinner healthy by looking for dishes that are baked, grilled, steamed, poached, roasted, or broiled to keep the calories down. Also avoid sides like French fries or mashed potatoes, which can be high in saturated fat. Instead opt for a side of vegetables or rice. (Many restaurants will allow this change with little or no cost to you). Or stick to a salad with the dressing on the side
Enjoy sleep
  • Sleep is hugely important to keep your body functioning at its best. Pick a set time to go to sleep and wake up (even on the weekends). This can ensure that you get an adequate amount of sleep to keep up with your busy schedule.
Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle(R)
  • March is National Nutrition Month(R) created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle” with these healthy on-the-fly snack and meal ideas in Foods for your Lifestyle
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.