Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Healthy Holidays: Falling for Fiber

Happy first day of Fall! I love Fall; it’s my favorite season. I love the chill in the air, hot coffee, tea, soups, fires, and . . . fiber? Fall is a great time to add more fiber to your diet. Here are some ideas to help you fall in love with fiber.

Add fiber to breakfast.
Include oatmeal or muesli to your morning. I love hot cereal on a cold day. It’s a great way start your day . . . with fiber!

Bake your own whole grain bread.
I love bread. I have wanted to try to make my own bread from scratch. Since it’s cool outside, I might even conquer my goal to make homemade bread. Now, I can crank up the oven and not roast in my own kitchen. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Include fiber in your soup.
Include beans, peas, and other vegetables in your favorite soups. Think taco soup, broccoli soup, minestrone soup . . . I would continue, but I fear that I risk sounding like Forest Gump. Anyway, soup = yum!

Roast some root vegetables.
I usually prefer cooked vegetables to raw vegetables. Fall is a great time to crank up the oven and roast your favorite vegetables.

Choose fiber-filled desserts.
I love desserts! I would usually pick chocolate desserts, but I love warm fruit in my dessert. Cobbler, pie, and fruit crips are a warm, welcome change in the Fall and for the Holidays.

Many people struggle with health goals during the Fall and Winter. There are many parties and food seems to be available in excess. I hope these fiber-filled options help you make small, healthy choices during this holiday season.

For more tips and tricks for healthy eating, follow RDtipoftheday on PinterestInstagram, and Twitter.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Don’t Let My Food Touch!: Packing Lunches

I love everything in its place and having a place for everything. That doesn’t usually happen in my life, but when it does it gives me a ridiculously, glorious sense of satisfactions. I also haven’t quite outgrown the whole “ew, don’t let my food touch!” phase. So, I love packing my lunch for work in divided containers. It keeps my food from touching and encourages me to choose a variety of foods to fill the various compartments.

Here are a couple of my favorite container options for packing lunch to go:

Salad containers, sandwich containers, compartments, and more! I have not tried the salad one yet, but I may get it on my next grocery trip. I can see hummus and veggies, fruit and yogurt dip, or salad and dressing in my near future! Let me know if you have tried any of these products and your thoughts in the comment section below.

For those that prefer glass containers, there are many options available. I have not found any divided glass containers, but you could nestle a container within a larger container or use cupcake liners if needed.

I have great luck with my Pyrex containers. I have successfully transported soup to work in the round containers! I was careful to keep the container fairly upright, but I call it a success!

Hope this gives you some options and helps make packing lunch easier!

*Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. These companies have no idea that I exist. I like showing examples for clarification and to help those with similar problems of foods touching!

For more tips and tricks for healthy eating, follow RDtipoftheday on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

To Pack or Not to Pack: Are School Lunches Healthy?

I don't know of the proper definition of “healthy.” I guess this question would lead me to question you on your definition of “healthy.” 

What does healthy mean to me? With regard to food, I would say a balance. Aim for a variety of food groups, colorful foods, and age- and activity- balanced portion sizes.

Many people ask me if school lunches are healthy. So, this is a question of "to pack or not to pack."

The National School Lunch Program is making some health-related changes. They are including more whole grains, colorful fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, lowering the amount of saturated fat, lowering calories, and lowering the sodium content provided. The lower sodium content now meets DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet and low sodium diet restrictions. I see these as healthy, beneficial changes for the general population as a whole.

So, these changes fit my definition of healthy. Does it fit yours? If not, there is always the option to BYOL (Bring Your Own Lunch) that satisfies your health standards.

For more tips and tricks for healthy eating, follow RDtipoftheday on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

7 Quick Breakfast Ideas

I love breakfast! It’s my favorite meal, but I don’t usually get to sit down to a leisurely breakfast Monday through Friday. The morning rush seems to be a pretty typical problem for most of my patients. Here are a couple tips and tricks that will hopefully help you fit breakfast into your schedule.

Quick Breakfast Ideas

1)    Breakfast Burritos
My Texan sister-in-law recently introduced me to this delicious breakfast-on-the-go option. Many fast food restaurants offer this option on their menu, but I think a make-at-home option can be delicious, more healthy, and cheaper. Try a whole grain or spinach tortilla. Try 1 egg + 2 egg whites. Top with reduced fat cheese and vegetables like spinach, bell peppers, onions, or tomatoes. Try making a couple at a time. Freeze for later. Or, wrap in foil, and you have breakfast on the go.

2)    Smoothies
Smoothies are a great on-the-go breakfast drink. You can prepare smoothie pack by washing the fruits or vegetables you want to include and putting them in zip top bags or in mason jars. Then everything is ready to blend with yogurt, milk, or your favorite non-dairy option.

Summer Sunrise Smoothie
1/2 cup orange sherbet or frozen orange juice
1 cup watermelon
1/2 cup strawberries
1/4 cup peaches

Very Berry Smoothie
6 oz vanilla or fruit-flavored yogurt
¼ cup of your favorite frozen fruit (blueberry, strawberries, blackberries, cranberries, raspberries)
1 banana

Crunchy Monkey Smoothie
6 oz vanilla yogurt
1 Tablespoon crunchy peanut butter or nut butter
1 banana
¼ cup ice

3)    Greek Yogurt Parfait
Greek yogurt has more protein than most other yogurts. Look for brands that have 10 grams of protein per serving and little added sugar. Add your favorite fruit or a handful of nuts for crunch, flavor, and more nutrients.

4)    Cereal
I have always been a fan of dry cereal. Cereal is a great portable breakfast or snack. Just put the amount you want in a zip top bag, and you are ready to go! Look for whole grain cereal with > 2 grams fiber per serving and little added sugar. Aim for less than or equal to 10 g sugar per serving. If your favorite cereal has dried fruit, the sugar content will be high because of the fruit, but this is different from added sugar.

5)    Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a type of cereal, but I cannot imagine trying to eat it dry. Try make-it yourself options by buying your favorite oats and adding your favorite toppings. Add your favorite fruit, nuts, spices (like cinnamon or nutmeg) or a little brown sugar, honey, molasses, or your favorite sweetener.

6) Breakfast Sandwich
Toast your favorite whole grain toast or an English muffin, add your favorite reduced fat cheese, protein of choice (egg white, scrambled egg, turkey deli meat, etc.), and even some veggies (spinach, tomatoes, pepper). That is a quick breakfast with four food groups and an endless variety of customization! 

7) Waffle
You can make your own and freeze for later or take advantage of the pre-packaged whole grain variety. Add fruit and some milk to drink and you have a colorful, quick breakfast with three food groups!

For more tips and tricks for healthy eating, follow RDtipoftheday on PinterestInstagram, and Twitter.