Tag Archives: food

Pumpkin Nutrition

Sandy              By: Sandy Spitler (Dietetic Intern)

Pumpkin is everywhere as the fall season comes full circle, from carving them at Halloween to the endless variety of pumpkin flavored coffee drinks, it can incorporated into almost anything you can think of. While pumpkin compliments breads, ravioli, beer, and pie, this fall squash also packs a bounty of health benefits. Below provides evidence to why it is perfectly acceptable to obsess over pumpkin not only this fall but all year long: 

  • Pumpkin seeds help elevate moods and improve sleep  – especially needed during the fall and winter months as the weather cools down and daylight fades away. Pumpkin seeds are rich in the essential amino acid tryptophan needed in the production of serotonin – a major hormone that affects mood and sleep. Regular consumption of pumpkin may even help prevent depression.
  •  Aids in weight loss – as good source of fiber, with 3 grams per 1 cup serving, and only 50 calories, pumpkin can help you feel fuller longer, preventing you from reaching for the candy corn or indulging in a candied apple.
  •  Protects your heart – nuts and seeds, including pumpkin seeds, are naturally abundant in phytoesterols, plant-based chemicals shown to reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and blood pressure. After carving all your pumpkins, keep the seeds to roast in the oven to use as a snack or added crunch in salads.
  •  Keeps vision fine-tuned – 1 cup of mashed pumpkin provides more than 200% of the recommended daily intake for vitamin A, aiding to keep your eyesight sharp. 
  • May reduce risk of cancer – pumpkins are rich in carotenoids, displayed by their bright orange color, enhancing the antioxidant beta-carotene, possibly aiding to prevent cancer. These antioxidants also foster skin’s smoothness by helping to prevent wrinkles.
  •  Refuel after a tough workout – 1 cup of cooked pumpkin gives you 560 milligrams of potassium compared to a banana’s 420 milligrams. Potassium aids to restore your body’s electrolyte balance after a grueling workout allowing your muscles to perform at their best.

The endless supply of pumpkin goes hand in hand with its long list of health benefits, giving perfect reason for the obsession with this fall super-food. As the fall air cools down and winter nipping at our toes we begin searching for warm, filling, meals to fuel our bodies through. Warm up with this comforting, delicious, and nutrient dense pumpkin chili, easily modified to please any palate. Recipe below:

Slow Cooker Pumpkin & Bean Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 can (15oz.) black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 can white northern beans, drained & rinsed
  • 3 ½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 can solid-packed pumpkin
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 4.5 oz. can chopped green chile
  • 1 cup fresh tomato, diced OR 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 avocado, sliced and used for topping
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, used for topping

 

Directions:

  1. 1. Heat medium sauté pan over high heat and add ½ teaspoon olive oil to pan
  2. 2. Add onions then garlic to heated oil in pan and cook for 3-4 minutes
  3. 3. Add cooked garlic and onions to crock pot followed with remaining ingredients (except for the avocado and cilantro saved for topping). Allow ingredients to cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours
  4. 4. Top with cilantro and avocado if desired.  

Tip: You may also replace 1 can of beans with ¾ lb. lean ground turkey by simply browning the turkey in sauté pan and then combine with remaining ingredients in crock pot.

mom and child picnic

Healthy Habits Start at Home

by: Jillian Ouhrabka, MS ,RD, LDN, CHC

Attention Parents! Do you have a picky eater or worry what your child is or is not eating? Well, help your child learn how to eat right, you are your child’s first teacher and they follow your example. This means your child picks up on all your habits and behaviors (good and bad)! 

 You are their role model and they want to be like you

 They will copy what they see you (the parent) do

 If you do or don’t try a food, they likely will too

 If you eat healthily, they will too!

Set a Good Example

  • Try new foods: If you try it, your child is more likely to too!
  • Keep introducing new foods: It often takes children about 11 times of seeing a new food before he/she will even attempt to try it. Don’t make a fuss if your child does not try it, just offer it and let them do the rest! 
  • Eat meals together and SIT down:
    • Use meal time to catch up on everyone’s day and be a family
    • Even if your child does not want to eat, have them sit at the table until everyone else is done and the meal is over (often times kids think if they don’t eat they can go play, breaking that notion will help them realize meal time is important)
  • Turn off distractions
    • This means television, cell phones, and video games
  • Shop, Cook, and Bake together
    • At the store, let your child pick out some new fruit or vegetables to try
    • Your child will be more likely to try new foods if they are involved in making them
  • Keep it positive
    • Avoid making faces at food or judging it before you eat it
    • If your child does not want to eat it, don’t force it-then food starts to become about control or lack there of

Your job is to provide healthy, nutritious food for your child, their job is to listen to their body and determine what they want and how much!

image via harvard school of public health

Your weight does NOT define you!

By: Jill Ouhrabka MS, RD, LDN, CHC

Working with clients, particularly those who are struggle to lose weight there is a common theme…they all are focused on the number on the scale!  Once they let go of weighing themselves they stop focusing on calories and food and end up loosing weight!

Why is this?

When you weigh yourself, you feel good if your weight is where you want it and badly if it is not where you want it. This reaction to the number on the scale can fuel your mood for the day causing negative (or positive) thoughts and emotions particularly related to body image and food choices. You may find yourself restricting calories or food to try to lose weight or making poor food choices because your weight is where you want it. Why does your weight make it okay or not okay to eat certain foods?

By focusing on your weight, you are so focused on changing the number on the scale that you are not actually listening to what your body needs and this can cause many weight issues. You are also not taking into account that your weight can fluctuate a great deal during the day and depending on what is going on with your body.

What is the answer?

If you have to weigh yourself, do it once a week as an objective measure. Don’t let the number define you.  Remember that the number you see on the scale says nothing about your body composition including body fat versus lean muscle. It does not account for height or body frame.

Focus on how you feel in your body. When you are eating well, exercising in moderation, and your clothes fit well, you are going to feel good about your body! When you stop focusing on the number, you can focus on how you feel and what your body needs (as far as food, sleep, nutrition, exercise, meditation, etc).

How can you get to a healthy weight?

Focus on balance. Eating foods that are healthy most of the time, and those less healthy foods in moderation- don’t deny yourself, eat less.

Diet: Focus on eating breakfast everyday and then eating every 3 hours.

Exercise: Aim to exercise most days of the week for 30 to 45 minutes/day.

Sleep:  Get enough sleep! If you are tired, your body will think it needs energy and you will end up eating more!

Stress: Manage stress with exercise, meditation, and yoga. Stress can cause weight gain so managing it daily is essential.

Catherine A

Simple Roasted Carrots

Restorative Nutrition is happy to promote Catherine Amoriggi and her creative recipes. Catherine has a deep love of cooking and passion for creating new recipes. We will be featuring some of her recipes and you can get more ideas at her blog: http://www.cookingwithcath.com/

Simple Roasted Carrots

By: Catherine Amoriggi

Is that a rainbow?? Nope, it’s only carrots! Only carrots? Carrots are a great source of vitamin A and antioxidants so unleash the power of beautiful skin while eating something simply delicious.

This is a really great simple side dish that would go great with any main course (particularly a nice roasted meat or a hearty pasta). Carrots are a refrigerator essential. They have a good shelf life and are relatively inexpensive. Sometimes carrots get a bad rap for not being the most flavorful vegetable, but I simply adore them. When you roast carrots, they take on a very sweet, caramelized flavor. I roasted different colored carrots for this dish. This is the perfect side dish because although the carrots would be great served hot, you can also enjoy them at room temperature or cold. So lets get cooking!

Ingredients:

1 bunch of purple carrots
5 medium sized orange carrots
3 tbs. olive oil
2 whole garlic cloves, still in the  peel
sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper
crushed red flakes
1/2-1 tbs. balsamic glaze
1/2 tbs. roughly chopped fresh parsley

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Wash, trim and peel all of the carrots. Cut the carrots into similar sized matchsticks. Do this by cutting the carrots in half width wise and then half length wise (or so forth).
  3. Toss the carrots in a roasting pan with the olive oil, garlic cloves, salt, black pepper and red pepper. Make sure that the carrots are spread out in one layer.
  4. Place the pan with the carrots in the oven.  Roast for about 8-15 minutes or until the carrots are tender yet brown and caramelized. Take the pan out of the oven.
  5. Top the carrots with the parsley, balsamic glaze and salt and pepper to taste. Put into a serving dish and enjoy!
Catherine A

Light Pumpkin Bread with Olive Oil

Restorative Nutrition is happy to promote Catherine Amoriggi and her creative recipes. Catherine has a deep love of cooking and passion for creating new recipes. We will be featuring some of her recipes and you can get more ideas at her blog: http://www.cookingwithcath.com/

Light Pumpkin Bread with Olive Oil

By: Catherine Amoriggi

This is not the most traditional pumpkin bread recipe that I make; however, it is special. The olive oil adds a nice citrusy note and the whipped egg whites make it super light and airy. It is a nice change of pace from the typical pumpkin bread.

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of fine sea salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup+ 1 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. vanilla extract
1/3 cup chocolate chips
5 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup milk

  • Tip: To make this recipe even healthier, substitute egg beaters for the egg yolk, and use low fat or skim milk in place of regular milk. 

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease two 9 by 5 by 3 inch loaf pans with olive oil.

  1. In a medium sized bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger and cinnamon; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the brown sugar and olive oil until well combined. Next beat in 2 eggs (one at a time). Incorporate the pumpkin, vanilla extract and milk into this mixture.
  3. Next add the flour mixture and chocolate chips into the pumpkin mixture. Make sure everything is well combined; set  aside.
  4. Separate your remaining 3 eggs into whites and yolks. Place the egg whites in a mixing bowl and beat until you get soft peaks, about 3-5 minutes.
  5. In batches, gently fold your whipped egg whites into the batter mixture. Once incorporated, place an even amount of batter into each loaf pan. Immediatley, place them into the oven and cook for about 30-45 minutes or until a  wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Then remove from the pan and let it cool on a wired rack for about 30-40 minutes.
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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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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.

image via harvard school of public health

Testimonial: Restorative Nutrition is not just nutrition

“I was so nervous to go to a nutritionist. I thought she would tell me what I should eat or could not eat but it wasn’t that way at all! She actually showed me how to eat more so that I am full and able to burn more calories to lose weight. Jill offered me 24/7 support and I could call her anytime.  This was a huge plus for me because I struggle with overeating and to be able to call someone who will literally come over and help me stop was huge. I am looking forward to a thinner and healthier me in 2014!!! Thanks so much Jill!!!!! If you want to lose weight or kick overeating call Jill. I am so glad that I did!!!!” ~Meg C, Newport, RI