Category Archives: Nutrition

water

Tonic Waters, Soda Water, Sparkling Waters,and Flavored Water

By:Jill Ouhrabka MS, RD, LDN, CHC

I have had several clients ask about alternative drinks to water. The best way to hydrate is water but if you want something else to drink, opt for water or sparkling water with some fruit slices, or lemon juice added for flavoring.

Q: “What is your opinion on Tonic Waters, Soda Water, Sparkling Waters, and Flavored Water?” -T.N.

A: “Great question! Essentially tonic water has added calories, sodium, and lots of sugar so not a good option.  Soda water has no sugar or calories but does has added sodium, flavored water such as crystal light may have added calories and sodium. If you are watching your sodium intake for blood pressure, you will want to watch how many tonic waters, soda water, and flavored waters you have in a day. Flavored waters (especially those with sugar alcohols) can cause intestinal issues such a gas, bloating, and diarrhea if consumed too frequently.  I would suggest drinking sparkling water and adding your own cucumber, orange, or lemon slices to it for flavor. Remember that any type of flavored water you buy will likely have preservatives/chemicals added for flavoring making less ideal than water/sparkling water Does this make sense? I have provided a breakdown for you below:

  • Tonic water: 124 calories per 12 oz, 32 g sugar, 44mg sodium
  • Soda water: 0 calories per 12 oz, 0g sugar, 75 mg sodium
  • Flavored water/crystal light: 10 calories per packet, 0g sugar, 35 mg sodium
  • Sparkling water: 0 calories, 0 g sugar, 0mg sodium (good for hydrating)

Remember, to tell if you are hydrated look at your urine, clear urine = hydrated, yellow = drink more water!

banana

Why I love Bananas

Composed of about 93% carbohydrate and about 100 calories, a medium size banana is a versatile, nutrient dense, delicious snack at any time!

A banana will provide you with essential nutrition including:

  • Carbohydrates for energy
  • Vitamin A, and C, a whole bunch of B vitamins
  • 2 to 3 grams protein
  • Prebiotics: Prebiotics are needed to help probiotics (the good kind of bacteria) grow and promote a healthy digestive system
  • Potassium to help protect against high blood pressure
  • Tryptophan, serotonin, norepinephrine each of which cab help prevent and improve depression
  • Bananas can also help alleviate heart burn by suppressing acid in digestion

How can you add more banana into your day?

  • Add a banana to:
    • A fruit smoothie
    • Pancakes
    • Salad
    • Peanut butter sandwich
    • Bowl of cereal or Greek Yogurt
  • Add a little peanut butter to a banana to give you essential protein and energy prior to your workout

    • This is an easily digestible snack
    • With less fiber than other fruits, bananas will not cause you intestinal distress during your workout

Do you have a creative way to incorporate more fruit into your diet? Let us know at info@restorativenutritionri.com .

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To help you get the most out of your calories and food try these foods!

I struggle to feel full during the day. To help curb my appetite I always make sure to have some carbs and protein.  This combination helps slow down the absorption of food so I feel fuller longer and am less likely to snack between meals.

My “go-to” food is Greek yogurt or 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese (both packed with protein) with 1/2 cup high fiber cereal mixed in.  It is very satisfying! Try these other foods to help fill you up for less calories:

  • Eggs (about 70 calories each) : Eggs are packed with high quality protein and healthy fat to help you feel full so you eat less
    • Greek Yogurt (about 100- 140calories each): Greek yogurt is high in protein, low in fat and added sugar and is a great mid-morning snack ii. To make it healthier get 0% fat plain Greek yogurt and add your own fruit
    • Go for Dark Chocolate (about 160 calories per 1 ounce):We all need something sweet now and again. Dark chocolate helps slow digestion to help you feel fuller longer and generally 1 piece (about 1 ounce) is satisfying so you won’t overdo on calories
    • Cottage cheese (about 80 calories per serving). Opt for low fat and fat free to help you feel full and get some additional protein and calcium
    • Skim Milk (about 80 calories per 8oz serving) i. Skim milk will help you meet your calcium and protein needs without the fat and calories of whole milk
    • Fruits and Veggies: Choose fruits and veggies that have the peel/skin intact. This is where the fiber is, you need the fiber to help you feel full (and fiber helps you manage a healthy weight). Fruits and veggies are also a lower calorie food so you can enjoy it without feeling any guilt!

Remember to eat every 3 hours to curb sugar cravings!

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Jeff’s Healthy Philly Cheesesteak Sub

by: Jill Ouhrabka MS,RD, LDN, CHC

You can still eat the foods you love, just make a few changes and enjoy a healthier option!

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4, 8” Whole Wheat Sub Rolls (1 sub per person)
  • 8 slices of 2% American Cheese slices (2 slices per person)
  • 16 oz deli sliced Lean Roast Beef  (Tip: opt for low sodium to decrease sodium content) (4 oz. per person)
  • Pepper,  Garlic Powder,  Onion Powder
  • Optional : 1 cup each of Onion, Pepper and Mushrooms

Directions:

  • Sauté the onion, pepper, and mushroom into a pan (use non-stick vegetable oil and/or a little oil in the pan)
  • Add the roast beef and spices
  • Toast the sub roll
  • Add the slices of cheese to the sub roll and allow to slightly melt (note: you can also cheese to the stir fry pan if you prefer
  • Place stir fried meat and veggies on cheese on sub roll
  • Enjoy!

How does this recipe compare to traditional recipes?

Jeff’s Homemade Philly Cheesesteak Sub vs. Traditional Philly Cheesesteak Sub:

The winner is…Homemade!!!

Traditional Philly Cheesesteak

Homemade Philly Cheesesteak

The Difference

The Healthier Option is:

Total Calories

710 Calories

420 Calories

290 Calories

Homemade

Total Calories from Fat

214 Calories

90 Calories

24 Calories

Homemade

Total Fat

24 grams

10 grams

24 grams

Homemade

Total Cholesterol

113 mg

100 mg

13 mg

Homemade

Total Sodium

1743 mg

1410 mg

333 mg

Homemade

Total Carbohydrates

72 grams

42 grams

30 grams

Homemade

Total Protein

49 grams

41 grams

8 grams

Traditional

Total Sugar

6 grams

3 grams

3 grams

Homemade

Total Fiber

6 grams

9 grams

3 grams

Homemade

quinoa

Quinoa and Bean Salad

Makes 4 to 6 servings for a main course or 8 as a side dish

Ingredients

  • 1 ½  cups quinoa
  • 1 ½  cups cooked black beans
  • 1 ½ cups cooked kidney beans
    • Tip: If you buy canned beans always rinse them so cut down on the sodium content
  • 1 ½  tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1 ½  cups cooked corn
  • 1 ripe avocado diced
  • Tip: Use fresh corn in the summer, or frozen in the winter, again if you use canned rinse it before cooking
  • 1 ½ cups diced tomatoes
  • ¾ cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • ¾ cup diced banana peppers
  • ¼  cup finely chopped coriander
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
    • Tip: If you are watching your sodium intake, use salt substitute
  • 1 ¼  teaspoons ground cumin, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

Making the Dish:

  1. Clean and prep quinoa as indicated on box or bag: Typically you will need to wash the quinoa under water until the water is clear
  2. In a large saucepan bring water to boiling, then add quinoa and cook for about 10 minutes
  3. While the quinoa is cooking, start another saucepan with about 3 cups of water for step 5
  4. Drain quinoa and rinse under cold water
  5. Next, using a sieve you will put the quinoa over a saucepan with boiling water, cover the quinoa with a towel and lid
    1. The object here is to steam the quinoa so you don’t want it touching the boiling water
    2. Steam until it appears light and fluffy (usually about 8 to 10 minutes)
    3. Once light and fluffy, put quinoa into a large bowl and let it cool (stir it occasionally to help cool faster)
  6. Mix the beans, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl
  7. Once the quinoa is cool, add the bean mix from step 6, the bell pepper, banana pepper, coriander, avocado, tomatoes and corn
  8. Make the dressing: Combine the lime juice, salt, and cumin ina small bowl.  As you whisk these ingredients together, add the oil and continue whisking. Once combined, add to the quinoa salad.
  9. Serve salad at room temperature and enjoy!

     

     

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Dietitian vs. Nutritionist

By Jillian Ouhrabka, MS, RD, LDN, CHC

Very often I am asked what is the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist. The answer is…a lot!

 

Registered Dietitian

Nutritionist

4 year Bachelor Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics

Yes

No

1200 hours supervised practice

Yes

No

Certification Exam accredited by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Yes

No

Covered by Health Insurance

Yes

No

The big picture:

Dietitians: Dietitians are held to a higher standard and go through a great deal of training.

  • All qualified dietitians have to meet national standards and statewide standards including passing a credentialing examination, fulfilling continuing education requirements, filing for state and national accreditation
  • Dietitians are covered by health insurance, nutritionists are not

Nutritionists: Anyone can claim to be a nutritionist, you don’t know what their training is.

  • Nutritionist is a non- accredited title that anyone can claim. This title can be used by anyone and is not protected-essentially you do not know what nutrition background this person actually has
  • Nutritionists do not have any professional practical training, are not registered, licensed, or held accountable for their practice

The bottom line: For any nutrition advice, you want to get sound, evidence based information. You can get this information if you seek the help of a qualified dietitian.

Tips: Look for an RD (Registered Dietitian) credential after the person’s name. This means they are Registered with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In Rhode Island a dietitian must also be licensed so look for an LDN (Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist).

 

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Lose weight naturally

By: Jillian Ouhrabka MS, RD, LDN, CHC

Its 2014, you are determined to start the New Year off right! You have set your health goals, maybe you want to lose weight, or start exercising more. Maybe you think about starting to take some weight loss shakes, or order some home delivery food to help you lose weight. You have joined a gym and already gone 5 times! You feel like you own this year!

Fast forward 1 month…

You decided the home delivery is too expensive, or it doesn’t fill you up. The gym is a good idea but you don’t feel like going as much anymore, you haven’t lost weight but you haven’t gained weight. This is the problem-diets don’t work! They are a short term solution and often people who go on “diets” or follow a high protein, low carb diet plan will not only gain back the weight they lose but often gain it back and then some!

Isn’t there a simpler, more natural and healthy way to lose weight? You want to do it; you just can’t seem to overhaul your current diet/lifestyle.

Enough already!

There are no magic tricks, not special diets that you need. If you are like most of my clients you can actually eat MORE and LOSE WEIGHT! So often we think we have to eat less to lose weight but actually just the opposite is true!

Can I really eat more food to lose weight naturally?

Yes! I struggled with weight and food addiction for my entire life. I restricted calories, and thought if I ate less I would lose weight.  That did not happen, instead I was so hungry I would eat sweets and crave high sugar, high calorie foods which did not help me lose weight. I have finally found freedom from food and been able to achieve my ideal weight by eating more.

I am eating regular meals and snacks, I eat lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein, and yes I eat sweets and treats IN MODERATION. I am eating more than I ever have eaten in my life and I have lost weight and kept it off! I feel fantastic, I eat what I want without feeling deprived and you can too!  I can teach you how to feel full, feel satisfied, and have energy all day. The best part is that you don’t have to buy shakes, or special foods to do to this! That means you can make changes to your lifestyle and keep the changes long-term!!! There is not diet or exercise plan to fall off of because you are just learning to eat right. 

How to eat more and lose weight naturally

Tip 1: Eat breakfast and then eat every 2 to 3 hours

  • Space your calories out so that you are eating every 3 hours. This will keep your energy levels up and keep sugar cravings and overeating away!
    • Your day should look like this:
      • 7am: Breakfast
      • 10am: Snack
      • 1pm: Lunch
      • 4pm: Snack
      • 6pm: Dinner
      • 8pm: Snack

Tip 2: Aim to eat 25 to 30 calories per kilogram of body weight

  • Take your current weight in pounds and divide by 2.2 to get to kilograms
  • Now multiply this number by 25 and then repeat this but multiply by 30
    • This will give you a range of calories that you should aim to stay within each day to lose and/or maintain weight (Note: a dietitian can help you calculate your exact needs)

Tip 3: Follow a high fiber diet, and include protein and carbohydrates at all meals and snacks

  • This combination will help keep your blood sugar stable, help you feel energized, and keep cravings for sugar and sweets at bay

Tip 4: Don’t be afraid of fat

  • Healthy fats and oils help you feel full so you are less likely to snack on unhealthy foods

Tip 5: Eat more fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, low in fat and calories so they offer a fantastic, nutrient rich option

Snacking on potato chips or candy bars will not give you the essential nutrition to help reduce your risk of certain types of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or lower your blood pressure or cholesterol, but…eating fruits and vegetables can!

  • Fruits and Veggies have antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals
  • Fruits and vegetables promote weight loss, great taste, and when you eat these instead of sweets you are replacing the less healthy foods you would be eating (this saves you calories for weight loss)

Tip 6: Follow the MyPlate guidelines for what your plate should look like: 

  • ½ of your plate should be fruits and vegetables
  • ¼ of your plate should be protein (opt for turkey or chicken breast, baked fish, ham or pork, beans, low fat cottage cheese, tempeh, soy or meatless options,  or egg whites for protein)
  • ¼ of your plate should be whole grains or starch (choose baked sweet potato, brown rice, wheat pasta, or whole grain bread)

MyPlate

Tip 7: Drink more water

  • Often when you feel hungry you are thirsty! Instead of reaching for some food, have some water to stay hydrated and curb your hunger between meals and snacks

    To learn more about losing weight naturally, or to set up an appointment to see how you can lose weight naturally and get healthier, happier, and live better contact us at info@restorativenutritionri.com . No matter what your goals we can help you!

overeating

Are you starving or tend to overeat when you get home from work?

By:Jillian Ouhrabka MS, RD, LDN, CHC

So many of my clients tell me they eat well all day and then they get home and they can’t stop eating. Does this sound like you? If you are like so many of us, eating lunch and then have nothing to eat until you get home from work-listen up!

The recommendation is to eat every 3 hours to keep sugar cravings away and help you eat less. So think about this….if you eat lunch at noon and nothing until after work you are going about 5 or 6 (or more) hours without eating. This is too long! Now your body/brain is so hungry that it wants to eat anything it can and it doesn’t want a little piece- it wants the whole cake…meaning you will have little to no willpower to make a healthy choice.  This is when you will be cravings sweets, and treats, and be more likely to eat the leftover pie than the leftover salad and you are more likely to overeat and consume excess calories.

How can you stay in control of your eating and cravings?

  • Aim to eat every 3 hours during the day, this means having a morning and afternoon snack
  • Plan to have your afternoon snack (between lunch and dinner) around 3pm
  • Drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated

What should you eat for a snack?

Ideally you want to eat something with protein and carbohydrates to help you feel fuller longer, give you energy and prevent sugar cravings. (Note: If push comes to shove, eating something with just protein or just carbohydrates is fine!)

What are some good afternoon snacks?  (Tip: Bring snacks to work and have on hand in your office for emergency hunger situations!)

  • String cheese and an apple or orange
  • Fat free Greek Yogurt with ½ cup high fiber cereal mixed in
  • 1/2 cup cereal with skim milk
  • A banana or piece of fruit with 1 Tbsp. peanut butter (slice the banana lengthwise, add the peanut butter and put it back together and eat it as you would a normal banana)
  • Save half your sandwich from lunch and eat it at 3pm
  • Share a bag of popcorn with a coworker (don’t add butter or salt to it)
  • Hummus with celery or carrot sticks
  • ½ cup low fat cottage cheese with sliced apple or on a piece of whole wheat toast (or crackers)

healthy snack

What else can I do to minimize overeating when I get home?

  • Keep some granola bars, nuts, cereal, or fruit in your car (I recommend keeping granola bars in your trunk and grabbing 1 as you get in the car).  When you leave work, eat the snack as you drive home.  This way, by the time you get home you will not be quite as hungry and can either wait for dinner or will be more apt to make a healthy option
  • Plan ahead: If you like to eat right when you get home, keep fruit salad, vegetable salad, or healthy leftovers in the refrigerator and PLAN to eat it when you get home.
  • Put it on a plate: Never stand in front of a cabinet or the refrigerator or eat directly out of a package/bag…always put your food on a plate, in a dish, or bowl and sit down to eat it!
  • Drink a glass of water when you get home-this will help fill you up so you are not as likely to overeat.  Often times we are actually thirsty when we think we are hungry-drinking water first will help you determine if you were thirsty or if you are hungry and can save you calories!

Late night snacking

If you find you are snacking a lot in the evening, take control and plan to have a snack after dinner. Opt for diet hot chocolate, a bowl of high fiber cereal with skim milk, a bag of popcorn, or Greek yogurt.

Tip: Try fat free plain Greek yogurt, mix in 1 to 2 Tbsp. sugar free pudding (try cheesecake, chocolate, or French vanilla) and enjoy a guilt free high protein, low fat, low calorie dessert!

For more tips on how to help maintain a healthy weight email us at info@restorativenutritionri.com or visit us at www.restorativenutritionri.com.

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coffee bean

What’s the skinny on coffee?

It wakes us up, it makes us feel warm and happy, but is there an actual health benefit from drinking it?  The answer is…yes (sort of)…

Benefits from coffee:

  • It may reduce your risk for type 2 Diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease
  • It is packed full of powerful antioxidants (these are nature’s health boost!)
    • Most of us get more antioxidants from coffee than any other food or drink!
    • You can get antioxidants from blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, broccoli, mango, nuts, dark chocolate, artichokes, and potatoes too!
  • It is low calorie (as long as you watch the cream and sugar)
    • 1 cup (8 ounces) of coffee has about 2 calories, zero fat, and zero sugar
    • Tip: To keep it low in calories:
      • Opt for skim milk, or half and half instead of cream
      • Use splenda, truvia, or other alternative sweetners
      • Add sugar yourself and use packets instead of spooning it!
        • 1 sugar packet = approximately 25 calories

Cons of coffee?

While studies suggest drinking more than 3 cups per day for some people can be beneficial, for others drinking more than 2 cups a day may:

  • Increase blood pressure
  • Cause spikes in blood sugar leading to sugar cravings
  • Inhibit sleep patterns
  • Heavy coffee drinkers are often more likely to be smokers

The bottom line is that coffee has pros and cons. If you are drinking more than 2 cups a day you should check with your doctor or primary care provider to make sure you it is okay.

By: Jillian Ouhrabka MS, RD, LDN, CHC

Get more tips and information or ask a question at: info@restorativenutritionri.com