Recipes for Wellness

Tips for Healthy Grocery Shopping Success

healthy-groceries250x250Have you ever left the grocery store with more food than you intended to buy? Has that extra food ended up being chips, cookies, or sugar-sweetened sodas? It’s easy to feel tempted by the products the store has on display. Keep in mind that the main goal of many stores is to advertise cheap and appealing products rather than healthy and nutritious ones. In order to help you maintain your healthy eating goals, follow these tips for grocery shopping success.

Before beginning your trip, make a list of items to buy. This will prevent purchasing unnecessary food. It may also help to eat a meal or snack at home before heading to the store. Shopping on an empty stomach makes it more tempting to purchase unhealthy junk food. If you do end up at the store while you are hungry, head straight for the produce section. Choosing your fruits and vegetables first will help keep your mind on track to shop healthy.

Often, companies advertise foods as healthy when in reality, they might not be the best for our bodies. For example, some cereals are advertised as “made with whole grains.” Although whole grains are a healthy choice, many of these cereals contain 10-15 grams of added sugars per serving. In order to understand the ingredients in your food, try looking at Nutrition Facts Labels. The goal is to keep total fat, sodium, and sugar as low as possible.

In order to help you keep MyPlate in mind while grocery shopping, follow these tips:

  • Fruits and vegetables
    • Purchase fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables. When buying canned products, look for “no salt added” vegetables. Fruit should be canned in juice rather than syrup.
  • Dairy
    • Look for low fat or fat free dairy options. You can also try an alternative dairy product, such as unsweetened almond milk or unsweetened soy milk.
    • Many brands of yogurt add extra fat and sugar. In order to avoid this, try plain fat-free Greek yogurt and add fresh berries and nuts or granola for flavor.
  • Protein
    • Canned or dried legumes are a great source of protein and fiber, keeping you full longer. Legumes, such as black beans, pinto beans, and black eyed peas are easy to add to soups and saladS.
    • When shopping for meat, choose leaner meats such as fish and chicken. If you do purchase red meat, look for 90% or greater lean products.
  • Grains
    • According to the Dietary Guidelines for America, half of your grains should be whole. Search for whole grains, such as 100% whole wheat products, corn, oatmeal, popcorn, brown rice, and whole barley.

For more information about healthy grocery shopping, visit these websites:
http://www.nutrition.gov/shopping-cooking-meal-planning/food-shopping-and-meal-planning/build-healthy-diet-smart-shopping
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/eat-right/smart-food-shopping.htm

Nourishing Our Bodies – Foods True Purpose

healthy-snack2Previously we introduced the topic of mindful eating. For many, this is a new concept; for others, this may be a part of your daily routine. Wherever you are on the spectrum, I would like to continue to delve further into the concept of mindful eating by discussing food’s true purpose – to nourish our body – in the hope it will illicit a better understanding of why we may eat vs. why we should eat, and how to battle some old habits.

We eat for many reasons. Some of those reasons include:

  1. when we are with others (celebrating/mourning, gathering with friends)
  2. when there is a medical need (taking medication, treating a low blood sugar)
  3. when we are by ourselves (comforting or punishing ourselves; boredom)
  4. out of habit (watching TV/movies, because it is your normal time to eat)

…and the list can continue. We may eat before a party so that we don’t eat at the party, but when we arrive at the party, we find ourselves eating anyway, whether to be polite or to indulge, etc.

Food is to nurture, not harm. Being completely honest with yourself, ask yourself these questions: If you eat a large meal, how do you feel? If you eat until your feel uncomfortable, did you eat too much? Why did you eat that quantity? Did it fulfill you and give you a sense of well-being, or did you undermine your needs and purpose by overindulging?

Implementing a mindful eating technique

Considering the reasons above, and any you may have thought of, answer the following: Is food really answering these needs? What other ways could you satisfy those needs without using food?

Ask yourself before you eat, “Do I need this food for nourishment, energy or another purpose?” Consider your answer honestly and entirely, and then make your decision to eat it or not.

Think of some ways that will help you remember to “check in” before you eat. With consistent thought, you will begin to make mindful choices based on your body’s needs and become a more active participant in your health!

New Year, New You: Successful & Lasting Weight Loss in 2016 Live Chat- January 19th

weightloss2016-cil638Is weight loss part of your New Year’s resolution? Let Emory Bariatrics help you make 2016 the year you commit to getting healthy through weight loss.

Please join us for a live chat on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. EST with Emory Healthcare registered dietitians, Victoria Delgado, RD, and Kasey LaPointe, RD. They will discuss healthful living tips to get you on the path to lasting weight loss and answer your questions about surgical and non-surgical weight loss. Weight loss can be a big challenge, both physically and mentally, but with hard work, a strong support system and a positive outlook, you can achieve better health in 2016. Register here for this chat!

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Healthy Eating Substitutions During the Holidays

Winter months are a time when food becomes the center of attention: Christmas, Chanukah, and New Years. Food weighs heavy on everyone’s mind, and unfortunately many times it ends up weighing heavy on our stomachs. We want to serve the dish that keeps everyone coming back for seconds. Unfortunately, these seasonal dishes tend to be high in sugar, fat, and salt if we aren’t mindful while we cook. But did you know that with the right resources, we can “revive” our recipes from the “nutrition grave”? Swapping some of the les
s healthy ingredients for more nutritious options can cut back on calories, fat, sodium, and sugar, all while maintaining that same tasty flavor.

Many of our favorite holiday dishes are “empty calories,” meaning they are high in calories and low in nutrients. However, there are simple food substitutes that can bring our favorite dishes back from the “nutrition grave.” For example, did you know you can use applesauce in place of butter in baked goods? This is a great alternative for desserts because it reduces the fat content while adding natural sweetness. Mashed bananas or avocado can also be alternatives to butter when baking. Sneaking whole grains into your meals is easy during the holidays as well. Try adding quinoa to your Christmas stuffing, or serving mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes. The table below lists more simple and easy cooking swaps to increase the nutrient value of your meals.

bariatrics holiday eating

Making just a few small substitutions can make a big difference. We challenge you to make just one healthy cooking swap this holiday season. This will get you ready for the new year and beyond.

For more information or questions about weight loss services offered at Emory Healthcare, call 404-778-7777 or visit http://www.emoryhealthcare.org/emorybariatrics/.

Power Up with Breakfast

oatmeal-breakfastYes, the old adage is true…breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Why is that? Research has shown breakfast eaters are more alert during the day, perform better at work and school, and are more likely to exercise. Eating breakfast can also help trim your waistline. When we eat breakfast, our metabolism is given a boost that last throughout the day. Eating in the morning also helps us to not overeat at lunch and dinner. Some people even feel less hungry at night when they eat breakfast compared to when they don’t.

The two most common reasons people don’t eat breakfast is: 1.) “I don’t have time.” and 2.) “I’m not hungry in the morning.” The answer to prevent number 1 is to plan ahead. Have “grab and go” foods in the house as you run out the door. Do any prepping or cooking the night before so you don’t have to in the morning. Try cooking a large batch of steel cut oatmeal on Sunday night and keep it in the fridge. Scoop out a serving each morning during the week, and then heat and eat.

Addressing number 2 is a little trickier. The reason most people are not hungry in the morning is that they have trained their bodies to not expect food (or they may have eaten too much the night before). Our bodies are meant to have food in the morning; therefore, it is up to us to train our bodies back. Try eating something light like low-sugar yogurt or a homemade fruit smoothie until your body gets used to eating in the morning again.

Here are some quick and easy breakfast ideas:

  • Oatmeal with dried fruit and nuts
  • Low-fat yogurt with granola
  • Whole-wheat pita with hard boiled egg and spinach
  • Whole-wheat tortilla, peanut butter and banana wrap
  • Leftovers from last night’s dinner

Below is a recipe to one of my favorite “grab and go” breakfast items. It is full of protein and will give you plenty of energy to get you through the morning:
——————

Overnight Peanut Butter, Banana and Honey Oats

Ingredients:
– ¼ cup steel cut oats
– 1 cup light vanilla soy milk
– 2 tbsp natural peanut butter
– ½ tbsp honey
– Dash of cinnamon
– ½ banana, sliced

Directions:
Mix together all ingredients and place in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Let sit overnight and enjoy in the morning. You can heat it in the microwave or eat it cold.
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Reference:
Lombardo M, Bellia A, Padua E, et al. Morning meal more efficient for fat loss in a 3-month lifestyle intervention. J Am Coll Nutr. 2014;33(3):198-20

National Eating Healthy Day

Pumpkin Soup RecipeThere are lots of holidays approaching this time of year, but there is one that we are particularly excited about. Did you know that Wednesday, Nov. 5 is National Eating Healthy Day?

We encourage everyone to strive to maintain healthy diets and remain active. Whether you overindulged on Halloween candy or need some new recipes to add to your fall dinner rotation, we have 3 delicious ones to try: pumpkin soup, Mediterranean baked sweet potatoes and cranberry Brussels sprouts.

Follow us on Pinterest (@EmoryHealthcare) to stay up-to-date on recipes. You can even share your favorite healthy recipes with others by posting to our community board, “Healthy Recipes We Love!

Click here to see our latest recipes on Pinterest!

Attend a Cook’s Warehouse Class taught by an Emory Healthcare Registered Dietitian!

Meagan Moyer, RD/LD Emory Bariatric Center

Adapting a healthy lifestyle and enjoying tasty food can go hand-in-hand. Meagan Moyer, RD, LD, a Clinical Dietitian at the Emory Bariatric Center is here to show you how with solutions to your New Year’s resolutions!  Meagan will take crowd pleasing recipes and give them a makeover to cut out fat, calories and sodium without taking away any of the things that make them taste delicious.

Join her and find out how to:

  • Lower fat and calories without sacrificing flavor
  • “Sneak in” vegetables
  • Make your baked goods and desserts healthier

In addition to these tips and tricks, Meagan will also be passing out free recipe idea cards and Emory Healthcare measuring cups to take home with you! The class will be held January 15, 2014 from 7-9 pm at the Midtown location.  Visit www.cookswarehouse.com for more information and to register!

Infused Water Recipes: Hydrate & Improve Health!

Infused Water RecipesOne of the keys to preventing dehydration is drinking plenty of fluids, including water. This is especially important as the temperature and humidity rise in the summer months. While water is almost always the best drink choice, a lot of people complain that they get bored drinking plain water. While you can add purchased flavored drink mixes to water, you can also make your own flavored water by infusing it with different fruits and herbs.

Infusing water with a little flavor is really simple. Fill a pitcher with water, add thinly sliced fruits, herbs or spices, and chill in the refrigerator. You also can add sliced fresh fruit to a reusable water bottle. The combinations are endless. Some fruits work better than others. Berries tend to break down faster than hardier citrus fruits like lemons or limes. For stronger flavored water, prepare it a day ahead and keep it in the fridge overnight before drinking.

A great benefit of infusing water with fresh fruits, herbs, and spices is that you can get some added nutritional benefit. Lemons, lime, oranges, grapefruit and berries all are excellent sources of vitamin C. Fresh ginger and fresh mint are both refreshing flavorings as well as being good for upset stomachs.

Making your own flavored water is also a good way to avoid the unnecessary added sugars, preservatives or chemicals that often are added to drink mixes or commercially available flavored waters. Eager to get started? Check out the simple infused water recipes below!

Cucumber Infused Water

What you will need:

  • 1 cucumber
  • A strainer or cheese cloth
  • Water and ice

For a slightly flavored infused cucumber water, cut a cucumber up into small slices or chunks, add it to your water and cover and let sit in the fridge overnight. Strain the mixture before drinking.

For a more flavorful cucumber infused water, blend the cucumber and pour it into a strainer and let drip overnight. In the morning, mix the cucumber juice with a pitcher of water.

Grapefruit, Orange, and Lime Infused Water

What you will need:

  • 1/2 a grapefruit thinly sliced
  • 1 Orange thinly sliced
  • 1/2 a lime thinly sliced
  • A few mint sprigs (optional)
  • Water and Ice (1 quart)

Chill for a stronger flavor or serve right away for a nice light refreshment

Pineapple, Ginger and Mint Infused Water

Ingredients:

  • Pineapple slices (6-10)
  • Thinly sliced ginger (5 slices)
  • Mint leaves (14)
  • Ice and water (1 quart)

Chill for a stronger flavor or serve right away for a nice light refreshment

Fruit Infused Iced Tea

What you will need:

  • Fruit flavored herbal tea such as Celestial Seasonings Red or Lemon Zinger or Tazo Passion
  • Cubed Pineapple
  • Sliced Tangerines

Some infused water recipes sourced from: http://www.infusedwaterrecipes.com/

Super foods for a Super Diet!

Super foods are foods that are professed to help with weight maintenance, fight disease and live longer. Blueberries, kale, tomatoes, spinach, salmon, walnuts and tea have all topped the list of super foods.

It may seem overwhelming to include super foods in your everyday diet, but from looking at the list above, you might already be consuming super foods without knowing it. Many super foods—which have similar characteristics to those found in a variety of whole and fresh foods—are super rich in nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients.

But be wary of foods labeled as “super foods.” Many health bars or energy bars that make such claims have instead been highly processed and fortified. Other items often have added sugars, saturated fat or sodium to make them taste better. As a general rule of thumb, if it’s processed, it’s not a super food.

Rather than focusing on increasing your intake of individual foods, focus instead on your total diet. Replace your breads and pasta with plenty of whole grains (high in fiber such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, and quinoa). Eat fruits and vegetables with most meals and for snacks because they are high in antioxidants and fiber. Eating foods that are naturally high in beneficial nutrients will help you have a Super Diet!

Below, we have provided one of our favorite recipes which includes a super food: salmon. We searched through several easy super food recipes and chose a baked salmon recipe to modify and help you kick start your Super Diet!

Super Food Recipe: Baked Salmon (adapted from allrecipes.com)
Parchment Baked Salmon Recipe
Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 25 mins
Serving size: ½ of recipe Makes 2 servings

Ingredients
1 (8 ounce) salmon filet olive oil cooking spray
¼ cup chopped basil leaves 1 lemon, thinly sliced
Pinch of salt & ground black pepper

Cooking Instructions

  1. Place an oven rack in the lowest position in oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Place salmon fillet with skin side down in the middle of a large piece of parchment paper; season with salt and black pepper. Cut 2 3-inch slits into the fish with a sharp knife. Stuff chopped basil leaves into the slits. Spray fillet with cooking spray and arrange lemon slices on top.
  3. Fold edges of parchment paper over the fish several times to seal into an airtight packet. Place sealed packet onto a baking sheet.
  4. Bake fish on the bottom rack of oven until salmon flakes easily and meat is pink and opaque with an interior of slightly darker pink color, about 25 minutes. An instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the fillet should read at least 145 degrees F. To serve, cut the parchment paper open and remove lemon slices before plating fish.

What’s your favorite super food? If you know of any super foods recipes that you love, or if you have a super food recipe of your own that you would like to share with us, feel free to leave it in the comment section below.

Author: Cecilia Batchelor, Emory Dietetic Intern

Diabetic-Friendly Recipes for the Thanksgiving Holiday

Diabetic Thanksgiving Recipes

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and with the Thanksgiving holiday right around the corner, Meagan Mohammadione, RD/LD of the Emory Bariatric Center has put together some tasty diabetic-friendly Thanksgiving recipes and menu items. After you check out her cranberry sauce and casserole recipes, make sure you take a look at the diabetic-friendly Crustless Pumpkin Pie recipe we shared earlier this week!

Diabetic Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

Casserole Ingredients

– 4 medium sweet potatoes (approximately 2.5 pounds)
– 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
– ½ cup skim milk
– 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
– 1 tablespoon agave nectar
– 2 tablespoons orange zest
– 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
– ½ teaspoon salt

Topping Ingredients

– ½ cup whole-wheat flour
– ½ cup Splenda®, granulated
– ¼ cup orange juice (100% juice)
– 2 tablespoons butter, melted
– ½ cup coarsely chopped pecans

Directions

    Diabetic Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

  1. Peel sweet potatoes and place them in a large saucepan of boiling water. Cover and cook the sweet potatoes over medium heat for approximately 10 to 15 minutes. You will know that they are done when they are tender and soft to touch. Drain sweet potatoes and return them to the saucepan. Mash the sweet potatoes until smooth with a masher or electric mixer.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Use cooking spray to coat a 2-quart (approximately 8-inch) square baking dish.
  3. In a medium size bowl, whisk eggs, oil, and agave nectar. Mix in the mashed sweet potatoes. Stir in the milk, orange zest, vanilla extract and salt. Stir until all ingredients are combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  4. In a small bowl, mix flour, Splenda®, orange juice, melted butter and pecans. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potatoes in the baking dish.
  5. Bake uncovered for approximately 30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are heated through and the topping is golden brown in color. The casserole is best when served warm.

Diabetic Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Ingredients

Diabetic Cranberry Sauce Recipe

– 1 cup Splenda®, granulated
– ½ cup water
– 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
– 1 Tablespoon orange zest
– 1 teaspoon ginger
– 1 teaspoon cornstarch

Directions

  1. Combine cornstarch and water in a medium saucepan until the cornstarch dissolves.
  2. Stir in cranberries, ginger, and orange zest and bring the mixture to a boil. Continue to stir constantly over medium-high heat.
  3. Once well mixed, reduce the heat to a simmer and add Splenda®. Let mixture simmer for five minutes or until cranberry skins begin to pop. You will know the sauce is done cooking when it is thick and appears gelatinous.
  4. Set the sauce aside to cool. Once it has cooled down, cover and chill the sauce for approximately 3 hours.

Diabetic Green Bean Casserole Recipe

Ingredients

Diabetic Green Bean Casserole Recipe

– 1 ½ pound fresh green beans, trimmed
– 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
– 1 ½ cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
– 3 tablespoons of whole-wheat flour
– 1 can of fat-free low-sodium vegetable broth (approx. 15 ounces)
– ½ cup skim milk
– ¼ teaspoon of ground white pepper
– ½ cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
– Salt to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook the green beans in boiling water (it is best to cook them in a large saucepan) You will know that they are done when they are crisp and tender. Drain and set the green beans aside.
  3. Heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium heat in a nonstick saucepan. Sauté the mushrooms oil for approximately five minutes. They should be tender.
  4. Stir in the whole wheat flour and gradually add the vegetable broth. Continue to stir the mixture until it is thick.
  5. Gradually stir in the skim milk
  6. Once the mixture begins to bubble add the green beans, ground white pepper and salt.
  7. Transfer the mixture to a 2-quate baking dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
  8. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until the bread crumbs are golden brown.

 

If you give any of the recipes a try, or if you have other tasty diabetic-friendly Thanksgiving recipes to share, let us know in the comments below!

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