Main Nutritious Intent Website

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Health at Every Size

Funky Kids

Health at every size is a movement in healthcare that is gaining traction.  In a world where body shaming, weight stigma, and food fear and guilt are showing up in subtle and not-so-subtle ways on our feeds, pages, and inboxes, the concept of Health at Every Size provides a refreshing alternative.  HAES celebrates body diversity and honors differences in individuals, challenges the narrow cultural assumptions on weight, encourages finding joy in being physically active and eating in a flexible, mindful way that values pleasure and health.

It is some brilliant but scary marketing that allows a 66 billion dollar weight loss industry to continually grow when 95% of diets fail long-term.  Ironically and sadly, the success of the industry is built on the failure of individuals.  What’s more, the reality is that the more America diets, the less healthy we become. We accept all sorts of diversity in people, but very little diversity is accepted when it comes to body size.  

At this point most people raise the issue, “but doesn’t being fat mean you are unhealthy?”  Maybe yes, and maybe no.  Some health issues are governed largely by genetics and other factors outside out control, while other aspects of our health are well within our control through our behavior.  But let’s be clear.  Weight is not a behavior.  Think about that for a moment.  These are behaviors:
·      how we move and exercise
·      what, when and how we eat
·      how much sleep we allow
·      how we balance work and relaxation
·      how well we hydrate ourselves
·      how often we seek medical care
These are all behaviors that we can alter and improve. We can improve those behaviors, but body weight and size may or may not respond in the way we expect.  Fitness and fatness are not mutually exclusive terms, and it is important to realize that while every body is a good body, every body should and will look different.  Health doesn’t have a specific look or shape.  I recommend that everyone watch the Youtube video Poodle Science with their family as a way to start thinking about your views and perspectives on weight, size and shape.

It’s important to understand that the term is Healthat Every Size, not apathyat every size.  This is encouraging healthful lifestyles, but in a gentle, individual approach that helps heal relationships with food and is based on self-compassion, not guilt.  If repeated dieting causes you to become a casualty from the war on obesity, embrace the new peace movement, Health at Every Size.  

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Brunch Better

Weekend brunch is a tasty tradition for many folks.  However, it can also be a calorie and fat-laden meal if you don't take care.  Here are a few tips to ensure that you not only optimize nutrition, but will also keep you from blowing your whole day's worth of calories before noon.
Minimize your caloric beverage.  If you are set on drinking juice, you serve it in a small glass.  A serving of juice is 4 oz and contains 60 calories.  So with just a few swigs, you've downed a bunch of calories without the satisfaction of actually eating.  It’s better to go with water.
Make meat a side dish, not the anchor of the meal.  Breakfast meats such as bacon, sausage and ham are typically high in sodium and saturated fat, so keep portions small.  I love bacon, but a slice or a link is enough to satisfy that craving.
Consider yogurt.  A great source of protein, calcium, vitamin D and probiotics, it pairs well with fruits and whole-grain cereals for a beautiful and tasty addition to your brunch.
Incorporate fruits and veggies.     
Fruit plate or salad
Fresh berries to top waffles, pancakes or yogurt.
Hashbrowns (shredded potatoes or the loose hashbrowns have less fat than the formed, patty-style).
Roasted potatoes or other veggies make a great savory breakfast side.
Mix vegetables into eggs, stratas and omelets  
Go with whole grains in baked goods.  From pancakes & waffles, to french toast, to muffins and coffee cakes, swap out at least half of the flour with whole wheat or choose whole grain bread that contains at least 3 grams of fiber per slice.  Breakfast can be a great way add in fiber through whole grains.  Oatmeal brulee is one of my favorite whole-grain brunch foods.
Oatmeal Brulee: Make traditional, quick or steel cut oats according to the package, stir in some chopped dried fruit of your choice while it cooks.  Add a sprinkle of cinnamon, a splash of vanilla or grate some nutmeg in to bring a bit more flavor to the party.  Dish up into bowls, sprinkle with brown sugar, and caramelize under the broiler or with a culinary torch.  Serve with some milk on the side.

A few small tweaks will leave you with a satisfied, delicious eating experience without feeling sluggish the rest of your day.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Healthy Easter Basket Alternatives

Easter is becoming a pricier holiday every year.  With almost 2 ½ billion dollars spent on the holiday, you might want to consider not just how much but where that money is going.  Baby boomers spend an average of $114 on Easter, GenX-ers spend $127 and Millienials spend $177.  And a lot of those dollars translate into extra empty calories.  So here are some tips and ideas to keep the candy content low, but the thoughtful factor high. 
1.    Don’t buy candy just because it is festively packaged or cute.
2.    Keep the quantity low when it comes to your favorite candy.
3.    Personalize your purchases to the individual. 
4.    Encourage activity and experiences not just calorie consumption.
Here are some examples of thinking outside the basket of peeps when putting together your Easter baskets. 

Sports-lover:  Encouraging outdoor activity is always a healthy way to go.  If you’ve got a serious athlete you might want to add in a water bottle and  some hydration options for electrolyte replacement. Drinkable yogurt makes a great recovery drink and for the athlete looking for a little extra protein, try some lower-sodium jerky.

Artist:  A few washable paints, sidewalk chalk or other art supplies are always a fun and exciting gift to inspire the artist in your family.  A few healthful snacks to keep them painting for hours on end are fine such as nuts, fruit (fresh or dried) are always a nutritious choice. My favorite choice is freeze dried fruit - that offers a sweet crunch.  Check your local dollar store for bargains when it comes to dried and freeze-dried fruits.

Game-lover:  A few fun games, or even just some traditional toys are a great way to relax and reduce stress for kids and adults alike!  Some popcorn and dark chocolate, or roasted almonds provide more nutritious, yet handy snacks.  Dark chocolate even contains polyphenols that helps protect the enamel of your teeth.

Foodie:  A gourmet salsa basket is a fun, fresh surprise that will be a tasty way for everyone to enjoy more veggies and fruit and inspire a little culinary adventure for the whole family.  Add some colorful blue corn-chips and you're set for a south-of-the-border snack during the Easter weekend.

Green Thumb:  A little nudge to get things growing indoors or out always improves one’s health.  Growing your own herbs in a window, starting your own sprouts, or trying a few veggies in your yard can be just the ticket to inspire more homemade meals, plus a few edible seeds like sunflower seeds, pistachios, and maybe some Corn Nuts might just be the perfect snack break for your favorite green-thumb.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

March Madness Munching

There’s a lot of buzz about what to eat on Superbowl Sunday, but don’t forget to revisit the topic when March Madness rolls around.  While the Superbowl lasts 3-4 hours, March Madness lasts about 3 weeks!  So your March Madness eating habits can actually have a much larger impact on your health. 
Since 86 percent of employees will devote at least part of their workday to March Madness and 57 percent of employers will allow or embrace it, healthful food choices for those 3 weeks should be on your radar not just at home, but in the break-room at work as well.  

Strategic snacking.  One day of crazy snacking is one thing, but 3 weeks worth is another story.  Your employer is taking enough of a hit with the lost productivity that they don’t need you missing work for health-related reasons.  And coming off of heart-health month, you might want to consider making – SpicyRanch Dip which is a great way to work those veggies into your mouth at home or in the break-room.  Not only will this be a delicious hit with co-workers, but the plant sterols in corn oil block cholesterol.  And to use some sports vernacular, there’s no substitute for a good defense, especially when it comes to reducing cardiovascular disease risk. The American Heart Association’s new presidential advisory strongly advised replacing saturated fats like those found in coconut oil with polyunsaturated fats like corn oil to reduce cardiovascular disease risk by 30 percent.  That is a great defensive strategy.  Working in veggies and whole grains every time you nosh will keep your nutrition high.
Make water your fast-break.  Whether you’re stopping to check scores, or need a breather from an intense overtime, make it a habit to drink water at every break.  Staying hydrated without drinking calories will help keep your body in better game-day shape whether you’re hitting the court or the couch.

Avoid full-court press when it comes to portions. Just because there’s a game on, doesn’t mean you need to eat.  Always obey your body’s natural hunger and fullness signals.  Sometimes that means portioning up and moving away from the food source to eat during the game.  Never move the buffet within reach of the couch.  Keep the food at a distance so that eating remains a deliberate choice. 
Here's my summary of the topic on Good Things Utah: March Madness Munching

Monday, February 19, 2018

Family Dinner for Working Parents

Family dinner may seem like an all-to-ideal goal for many working families.  If you want to smooth the way to the dinner table, here are some tips to get you well on your way to a family dinner routine.
Tips to help get a quick meal on the table:
Frozen bread loaves or rolls.
  • They have whole wheat and white and if you keep some in your freezer, you can pull some out in the morning, put them in a greased pan in your fridge, then when you get home from school, pull them out of the fridge, and when they look nicely raised, preheat your oven to 375 and 30 minutes later or so, you have fresh bread.
  • If a loaf is too much for the two of you to eat, then try tossing 4 or 5 rolls into a loaf pan and letting it raise.  I might be a bit of a bumpy looking loaf, but will be just as tasty.
  • You could also just put them in a pie tin and let them raise as separate rolls.
  • You could put some rolls in the fridge in the morning, then after school, roll them out flat, and make individual pizzas.  This really is super easy – a bottle of pizza sauce lasts quite a while in the fridge, you can keep grated cheese and pepperoni in the freezer, and pull some out, sprinkle on your mini pizza dough and bake at 425 for 15 – 20 minutes.  You can even open a can of sliced olives, and keep the rest in the freezer, as well as pineapple tidbits and Canadian bacon.

Pre-made pizza crust
  • For the times when you don’t want to roll out and deal with pizza dough, keep a pre-made pizza crust in the freezer.  Pizza is a great way to use leftovers: leftover taco fixings become Mexican pizza, leftover barbeque chicken = BBQ chicken pizza, leftover bacon = BLT pizza.

Crock-pot/slow cooker (with leftovers planned into the menu)
  • Pot roast with carrots, onions and potatoes is a great meal, but don’t chuck the leftovers.  Before you put that clean crockpot away, add some tomato juice, a bay leaf, a rinsed can of white or navy beans, maybe some pearl barley and a little beef broth.  Put that on low while you’re at work and come home to a hearty soup.
  • Toss some chicken breasts or tenders into the crockpot with your favorite barbeque sauce.  When you get home, add some fruit and a salad and you’ve got a great meal.  When cleaning up dinner, shred that chicken and put in the fridge for the day after tomorrow (you may not want 2 BBQ meals back to back).  Pull a pre-made pizza crust out of the freezer before work.  When you get home, top with BBQ sauce, shredded chicken, some frozen corn and Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese.  Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes.  Serve with a salad and you’ve got a delicious meal with very effort.

Salad Spinner

  • I’m not one to go for every kitchen gadget known to man (mostly because I don’t have the space).  But the salad spinner can be a very healthful gadget.  Whether you are buying a bag of salad, or harvesting your own from your garden, the salad spinner not only helps clean and dry the salad, but it is a great storage solution that will allow you to eat salad all week.  Salad stays fresh for days and you can just pull some out to add to any meal.  For example: Monday you might want taco salad.  Keep the leftover greens in the salad spinner and the next day you can add a side salad to your crockpot chicken menu.  Maybe the following day you can have a salad-topped pizza (another use of the pre-made pizza crust).  And to use up the last of your salad, it might go into BLT wraps the following night.