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veggies

Healthy Holiday Tips

The holiday season is fast approaching, and for many its become a time for over-eating and weight gain. According to the National Institutes of Health, holiday eating can lead a one to two pound gain every year…multiply that times 5 and that is 5 to 10 extra pounds. Don’t let this holiday season undo all the hard work you have done the last year. Learn how to enjoy the holidays with a balance of food, friends and family, and fun. Try these tips to stay healthy and keep added weight off!

  • Have realistic goals- don’t try to lose weight over the holidays, try to maintain your weight instead
  • Never go to a party hungry- always eat regular meals and snacks so that you don’t over eat at a party and consume extra calories
  • Before going to a party, have a small snack such as a salad, vegetables and low fat cheese, or a handful of nuts
  • Move! Aim to exercise most days of the week, if you are traveling and can’t get to the gym get outside! Go for a walk or jog in the morning for 30 minutes, or break it up into three 10 minute walks or two 15 minute walks a day. (Ask a friend of family member to come and it will be a great chance to reconnect)
  • Make time to stay active and exercise- exercise not only helps prevent weight gain but it can help with the stress that happens around the holidays
  • Look before you eat. Buffets can be a quick way to overeat. Look at all the options available on the table, and then fill your plate with mostly vegetables and fruit, and then start with small servings of the less healthy options. You can always go back for more but start out small. When deciding between what food to eat, opt for the ones that you don’t get to have all year
  • Enjoy your food. Eat it slowly and mindfully. Pause between bites and talk during meals so you are less likely to overeat
  • Choose drinks carefully-eggnogs and alcoholic beverages can add extra calories very quickly
        • Opt for diet sodas, light beers, and/or wine
      • Have a glass of water between each drink to help fill you up
      • If you overeat at a meal, don’t skip the next meal but eat a smaller portion
      • When you go to a party or event, always bring a healthy dish that you can  have without feeling guilty (i.e. salad, vegetable sticks, fruit bites, and so forth)
      • If there is a food you really want, let yourself have it! If you deny yourself foods you will likely end up overeating later so its better to just enjoy it (start out with a small piece to start and see if you can be satisfied with that!)
      • Lastly, make the holidays about being together and not all about eating. Plan active activities such as ice skating, walks, and shopping to spend time together
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Do you struggle to keep your energy level up during the day?

Help keep your energy levels up by eating breakfast and then eating small, frequent meals every 3 hours. Aim to have some protein and carbohydrates at each snack and meal and drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Try one of these ideas for a high protein, energy packed small meal:

  • 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese on a slice of whole wheat toast or mixed into 1/2 cup high fiber cereal
  • 1/4 cup tuna salad made with light mayo on whole wheat bread/whole wheat pita and a piece of fruit, or add tuna to a green leafy salad with your favorite veggies and balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup egg salad made with light mayo with whole grain crackers and carrot and celery sticks
  • 4 oz sliced turkey and low fat cheese rolled up in a whole wheat tortilla with mustard, lettuce, onion, and tomato and a piece of fruit on the side
  • PB&J on whole wheat bread: Nuts are a great way to get added protein- add a piece of fruit or greek yogurt to complete this delicious meal
  • Choose a whole wheat bagel or multi-grain English muffin with 2 tablespoons peanut butter or  light cream cheese and smoked salmon
  • Oatmeal made with low fat milk and a tablespoon of peanut butter mixed in (or try sliced almonds) with fresh berries or sliced banana

Having a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack helps you stay focused and energized, not to mention it helps prevent overeating when you get home from work.Try these delicious snacks to keep energy up all day:

  • Greek yogurt with 1/3c trail mix (dried fruit and nuts)
  • 1/2c almonds with a string cheese and fruit
  • Peanut butter spread on an apple and a yogurt
  • Hummus with vegetable sticks/whole grain crackers and a string cheese
  • High fiber cereal (such as raisin bran, shredded wheat or grape nuts) with low fat milk and fruit
  • Low fat cottage cheese with sliced fruit
  • Try a fruit smoothie made with 1 cup fruit (try strawberries, banana, blueberries, or mango) 1 Tablespoon peanut butter, 3 Tablespoons Greek yogurt, skim or low fat milk, and 1 cup ice, blend and enjoy!

I hope these suggestions have been helpful, please let me know if I can help you further or if you have other questions. Good luck!

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Food Addiction Journal Entry

April 23, 2010

           “After my very inspiring entry on April 19th, 2010 I had another “bad” day on April 20th which I took very hard. I was extremely at peace with going to get the candy and didn’t even try to convince myself to stop. I was just like “ I want it” and it was full force. I felt very out of control and like I wasn’t the one in charge, it was scary. I told my boyfriend about it and he said the “maybe you really aren’t ready to get better” which really upset me-of course I want to get better! He is supposed to be supporting me no-matter-what and he says because I have a set back that I don’t want to get better??? Then I started thinking…could he be right? I don’t know. I don’t think he is right. I think that unless you have or are trying to recover from an addiction you really have no idea what its like. I think he thinks that it should be no problem to get over it if I really want to which makes me feel extra awful when I have a “bad” day. I accept that I will have good days and then a bad day and have to get “back on the wagon” and pick myself up until eventually the good days are easier and more numerous than the bad days. I just wish everyone else got that. Maybe I am fooling myself into thinking I am getting better but I am pretty sure I am getting better.

I look at my life at this time last year and I had just begun to be able to have “good” days during the week. The start of my recovery was really in March last year when we were in Hawaii for my sister’s 21st birthday. When we came back I was doing really well and I lost 10 to 15 lbs and looked great all summer. During the end of August, early September into October things were harder again. I found it harder to have a “good” day and easier to just cave in. I think a lot of it was that I was living with my parents and just not very happy. When I moved out in November I sort of restarted the whole recovery aspect and have been in full force ever since.  I honestly find my boyfriend to be a great source of motivation without his even knowing it. I want to get better so that we can do whatever we want whenever we want and I don’t get all weird or feel like I can’t enjoy the time because of my food addiction. I want to be well so I can enjoy life and do what I want when I want. This eating disorder holds me back from social outings, friends, family, and from being a normal well adjusted person.

Today I read a book at home and actually thought “this is what it should be like.” I was doing a normal activity and just at peace with the day/myself. I thought about buying candy, I even went to a store to buy gum and had to go to the candy aisle to do so. I left with gum, soda, and saline solution for my dog’s eye. I was so proud of myself for not caving. I can go into a store and not buy candy!! I think that is another thing that is hard, I am really all on my own for my motivation and praising myself. I have reached out to a lot of people for help and they are all willing to help however they can but ultimately it is up to me.

I have to say I am really happy that I am now able to go through a week and have more good than bad days. I feel like everyone else wants me to be well but truly has no idea how to help me and honestly I don’t know what to say in regards to that. I just need support and the hardest part is that I need the support the most when I can’t ask for it. How do I get that? How do I tell someone to help me when I need it the most but won’t ask for it?

This is definitely not an easy road to recovery and I find myself frustrated a lot but also am really trying to cut myself a lot of slack. I have my eye on the light at the end of the tunnel and I truly believe I will be well. If I can improve each month and each year then I can eventually be free of this horrible disease.

still contemplate entering rehab and perhaps it would be for the best because I would truly have to surrender my control and would be forced to face myself when I am in addict mode and will do anything for a “fix.” Unfortunately I am not in a financial position to get that sort of help and since I currently have no health insurance there is really no way for me to seek help. I could take out a loan or ask for money from my parents but I really think I can do this on my own with the support of professionals and those closest to me. My brother still asks me weekly (though its supposed to be daily) how I am doing and he keeps a weekly tally of good vs. bad days.  My boyfriend asks me daily for 3 reasons why I want to get better and he is so supportive of me though he often doesn’t know how to help he keeps trying. I have never had someone care so much about me and genuinely want me to be better. I am actually very afraid that I will lose him over this eating disorder. I am afraid he will just pack up and leave one day because he can’t handle “it” anymore or he will get sick of my failing. I would hope he would stick by my side thru thick and thin but I couldn’t blame him if he couldn’t deal with it. It’s a lot to deal with. I wish I could be “easy” and eat whatever I want. I wish I could indulge and enjoy it. I have never been and never foresee myself being the sort of person who enjoys unbuttoning their pants because they are so full. I would rather keep my pants buttoned and eat less. I don’t think that’s about control but more that I find a person should eat for energy and not for enjoyment. I know that so many people would disagree and that is okay…

I would love to see nutrition taught in the schools so kids learn how to eat right. Its ridiculous that there is no nutrition education and it makes me crazy because I really think if someone had pulled me aside or showed me how to eat for energy not for feelings of emptiness or sadness that I would not be the product of an eating disorder…”

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Food Addiction Journal Entry

Note: “This is a journal entry when I was at a pivotal point in changing my eating habits and behaviors. Journaling has really helped me learn why I binged, and struggled with food. I encourage you to start journaling and trying to understand why you are struggling to maintain a healthy weight or struggle with food. My hope is that by sharing these types of entries, you will realize you are not alone with your food addiction or weight struggles. I struggled for 16 years. You can get better, there is hope. Do not give up!!” ~Jill

April 19, 2010

To most people a cookie represents happiness. It is something sweet that they crave and eating it fulfills the craving which then passes. To me, a cookie represents fat, calories, and “being bad.” If I ate a cookie I would be “misbehaving.” This does not apply simply to cookies but also to pancakes, cake, pastry, candy, butter, lard, oil, essentially anything with fat and sugar. I realize as I write this how most people will roll their eyes and say “get over it” or “just eat it!” but I also realize that these people would have no comprehension of what it is like to be physically afraid of food.

More and more I am really getting the whole idea that food is what we need for energy.  This simple statement seems like a no brainer but if it was so simple to just eat for energy there would not be such an epidemic of obesity or a rising number of eating disorders and food addiction. I am continually trying to train myself to eat and think more in terms of refueling my body. I am thinking of my body as a car, it won’t work if it doesn’t have fuel. For instance, if I go for a run I will think of the energy I just used and realize that I need to “refuel” in order to continue to operate. I am thinking of my body in much nicer terms. I would not be able to live if it did not support me. I must support it with healthy foods and give it enough food. I am trying to appreciate myself much more.

In many ways I really love and admire my body. I find it amazing that my body can operate on its own and it will keep me alive as long as I provide it with the tools it needs.  While high fat/ high sugar foods are what taste great, they are not the best choice for providing the body with the energy and nutrition it needs to survive. The best choices are low fat, nutrient dense foods like brown rice, vegetables, lean meats/fish/protein, and dairy products.

My whole life I have looked at my body as a means of acceptance to others.  It was like a competition, everyone needed to be the same small pant size or something was wrong with you. I have thought that if my body could look a certain way then I will be more loved by my family and more accepted by strangers and the general population. I remember when I lost weight in high school and college- I loved when people would compliment me on my figure-it made me feel “better than the rest.” Now I realize that this method of thinking is absurd. The reality is that being a certain size is not what is important but rather what you are physically putting into your body (or not putting into it) that is important.

My goal going forward is to eat for health, not happiness/comfort/guilt/etc. I want to become one of those people who changes their whole life simply by eating better and exercising. My biggest challenge is eating right. I keep eating two and three hundred calorie meals and then snacking a lot because I am still so hungry. While I almost never go over my calorie allotment, I also never really feel full. This is something I would like to work on as well.

I really wish this was not such a struggle for me. I wish I could just eat whatever I want and not care but I can’t…not yet.

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Prebiotics versus Probiotics

If you are like many Americans you are probably hearing more and more about prebiotics and probiotics. Perhaps you are wondering what they are and why you are hearing so much about them. Many food products are claiming to have digestive health properties or offer improved immune function. These products are usually promoting prebiotic or probiotic components.

While not necessarily essential to be healthy, prebiotics and probiotics offer many health promoting benefits. When combined, prebiotics and probiotics form a symbiotic relationship promoting improved immune function and intestinal health.

Although research is still pending, health benefits associated with consuming prebiotics and probiotics include:

  • Protection against certain types of cancers
  • Promotion of healthy urinary tract infection
  • Improved immune system function
  • Better absorption of vitamins and minerals
  • Improved diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome and intestinal infections resulting from certain medications

*Tip: To help maintain a healthy gut, include a variety of prebiotics and probiotics.

Learn More:

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are beneficial strains of bacterial that help promote digestive health. When our body experiences chronic stress, poor dietary choices, and certain illnesses it can become unbalanced due to a loss of beneficial bacterial. When this happens you may experience severe bloating, gas, and low immunity towards illness and disease. Probiotics help regulate and balance our digestive tract so we can fight infections and maintain optimal health

Where are probiotics found?

Probiotics are found in many fermented foods including:

  • Active cultures found in yogurt
  • Acidophilus milk
  • Miso (fermented soybean paste)
  • Sourdough bread
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kefir (a fermented yogurt type drink)

What are prebiotics?

Simply stated, prebiotics are a non-digestible carbohydrate that fuels/feeds the probiotic microorganisms. Probiotics, or good bacteria, need energy to survive and flourish-this is where prebiotics come in providing the fuel source for probiotics to stay active and healthy.

Eat a variety of prebiotics to promote healthy growth of these good bacteria in your gut!

Where are prebiotics found?

Prebiotics are found in many foods, some common sources include:

  • Bananas
  • Honey
  • Legumes
  • Whole grains (oats, rye, wheat, barley)
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Asparagus

*Tip: To help you remember the difference, think of probiotics as healthy bacteria and prebiotics as the food they eat or think “prebiotics fuel probiotics.”

For more information email info@restorativenutritionri.com.

glutenfree

How to be Gluten Free

There are many reason’s people are going gluten free including many health related reasons.

What is gluten free?

A gluten-free diet is one that excludes gluten.

What is gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in grains and grain products including wheat, barley, rye, and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). If you have Celiac’s disease, eating gluten causes the small intestines to become inflamed thus eating a gluten-free diet will help with symptoms associated with inflammation of the small intestine.

How do I eat gluten free?

When you start eating gluten free it can be difficult but the more you follow the diet, read food labels, and learn the foods you can eat the easier the diet will be. A gluten free diet should include:

  • All fruits and vegetables
  • Fresh meat and protein including beef, poultry, fresh eggs, fish, and nuts in their natural unprocessed form
  • Most low fat dairy products
  •  Beans, and seeds
  • Grains: There are many grains that are allowed on a gluten free diet including: Amaranth, arrowroot, buckwheat, corn and cornmeal, flax, gluten-free flours (rice, soy, corn, potato, bean), hominy (corn), millet, quinoa, rice, sorghum, soy, tapioca, and teff.

Tips for eating gluten free:

  • Make sure to get enough vitamins and minerals, particularly iron, calcium, fiber, and B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate) you will want to eat a variety of different foods
  • Start to read food labels, and ingredient lists to make sure those foods are not processed or mixed with gluten containing grains, additives, or preservatives
  • Start trying and comparing products to see which ones you like and will fit into your diet the best!
  • Take this new diet as a way to find new foods you never would have tried, get creative!
  • When cooking, baking, or ordering out do not bread foods or order breaded items as these may have gluten in them
  • Look for gluten free foods in your supermarket, and talk to your grocer about which gluten-free grains they offer
  • Most of the grain cereals and containers have recipes on them- try to incorporate a new recipe into your meal planning!

How do I avoid gluten?

To avoid gluten, avoid eating:

  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Triticale
  • Wheat
  • Bulgur
  • Durum flour
  • Semolina

Unless the following products are labeled “gluten-free” and you verify this by checking the ingredient label you will want to avoid:

  • Beer
  • Bread
  • Cakes and pies
  • Candy
  • Certain cereals
  • Cookies
  • Crackers, and croutons
  • Gravy, soy sauce, and food cooked in sauces
  • Pasta
  • Seasoned snack foods including potato and tortilla chips
  • Oats: You can eat oats however they are often times contaminated with wheat during growing and processing and for this reason it is safest to avoid oats

Maintaining a healthy weight

Many people struggle to maintain a healthy weight when on a gluten free diet. To help promote a healthy weight:

  • Eat regular meals and snacks
  • Don’t skip meals
  • Watch portion sizes
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Stay within your calorie goal
  • Stay hydrated

The bottom line with weight gain is that if you are eating more calories than you need/ use, you will gain weight.

Following a gluten-free diet should not cause you to gain weight; you just can’t eat a lot of the high fiber foods that are typically recommended for weight management. Fruits and vegetables are gluten free and low calorie so enjoy these often!  Focus on eating a healthy, balanced diet and living an active lifestyle!

How can I get help or learn more?

If you have recently been diagnosed with Celiac’s disease, gluten intolerance, or have been told to follow a gluten free diet, contact us today! We will give you the nutrition education needed to follow this diet, meal plans, and make recommendations specific to your individual needs. Contact us today: info@restorativenutritionri.com

www. infinitelifefitness.com

The Importance of Snacking

Many people confuse snacks with treats but they are very different!

  • Snacks should be eaten regularly to help you get in your daily nutrition
  • Treats are part of a healthy, well balanced diet but should be consumed less frequently than snacks- eaten in moderation

Ideally you should start each day with breakfast, then have a snack, eat lunch, have a snack, eat dinner, and have a snack.

Benefits of snacking

There are many nutrition and health related benefits associated with snacking. Snacking benefits adults as well as children.  Some great benefits of snacking include:

  • Eat more to weight less:Eating small, frequent meals will help you eat less throughout the day which helps promote a healthy weight
  • Eat every 2-3 hours: Eating every few hours helps keep blood sugar stable which helps you avoid extreme hunger and helps you stay in control so you can make healthy choices and avoid sugar cravings from getting too hungry
  • Increase energy: If you are eating every 2-3 hours you are also keeping your blood sugar levels stable.  Stable blood sugar means your energy level will stay steady. If you don’t eat your energy level falls and you get tired, snacking helps keep you energized
  • Increase nutrition: Snacking is a great opportunity to get more essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrition into your diet! Since you are eating more often you can include a greater variety of healthy foods into your diet
  • Improved concentration: Snacking between meals improves concentration, focus, and performance at work and at school.

What is a healthy snack?

A healthy snack should ideally consist of a carbohydrate, protein, and healthy fat. Don’t be afraid of eating fat! Fat is what helps us feel full and satisfied after eating so we are less likely to overeat. You do want to choose healthy fats such as those found in olive oil, fish, nuts, and low fat dairy products. Choose a snack that is about 100 to 200 calories (depending on your specific needs) and aim to eat it between bigger meals.

What are some examples of healthy snacks?

  • Low fat cottage cheese (protein and fat source) with cubed melon (carbohydrate source)
  • Peanut butter (protein and fat source) on whole wheat crackers (carbohydrate source) or a sliced apple (carbohydrate source)
  • Low fat Greek yogurt (protein and fat source) with high fiber cereal (carbohydrate source) sprinkled in
  • Mixed berries (carbohydrate source) with sliced almonds (protein and fat source)

The bottom line:

  • Snacking improves overall nutrition status, energy levels and concentration, and helps you eat less!
  • The ideal snack should be about 150 calories (depending on your individual needs) and composed of a carbohydrate, protein, and healthy fat!