Main Nutritious Intent Website

Monday, December 31, 2012

Thinking of starting a diet? Think again!

Before you make that habitual New Year's Resolution to go on a diet, chew on this food-for-thought first:
Dieting is a good predictor of weight gain. Two-thirds of those who diet will regain more than they lose.
Chronic, repeated or 'yo-yo' dieting causes some serious, long-term damage. Here are a few of the risks you take when you decide to embark on yet another diet:
- Your body retains more fat when you go off the diet and resume eating.
- Each time you diet, the rate of weight loss slows.
- Your metabolism will decrease.
- Your cravings and tendencies to binge will increase (resulting in guilt).
- You increase your risk of heart disease and premature death.
- Your body shape changes as you regain weight, with increases in the abdominal area.
- You lose touch with your body's natural hunger and fullness signals.
- You are at increased risk of eating disorders.
- Your example most likely will negatively affect your family's relationship with food and body image. As the lyrics in the musical Into the Woods say: "Children will listen".

We all know that the word diet is simply die with a 't' on the end. That 't' stands for temporary. Diets as the word is used in our society are a temporary means to an end. So if you aren't going to sustain the regimen happily for the rest of your life, don't start it at all.

I can't emphasize enough the power of your example to younger people within your influence. Young girls especially pick up on those subtle, destructive cues that teach: body size, shape and self-worth are inextricably linked. Just say no to that right now with your personal example of a healthy, non-diet lifestyle. Truly, if you cringe at the thought of an 8 or 10 year-old girl imitating your "diet", that should be a huge red flag. This advice does not just apply to parents. If you have nieces, nephews, neighbors, students, etc., please think about the message you send every time you go on another diet.

So, before starting another "miracle" diet, ask yourself if you're up to ending the year with more guilt, more girth and less health than you started. If that doesn't sound so appealing, you might want to consider a healthful, life-long, non-diet approach. Contact a registered dietitian and break the addictive cycle of dieting permanently.

(Source: Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole, M.S., R.D.; & Elyse Resch, M.S., R.D., F.A.D.A., C.E.D.R.D)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Healthful and Decadent Dessert

At our last class, we discussed creative uses of leftovers. So, for the tasting table I brought a chocolate dipped fruit plate.

Hopefully fresh fruit is a part of your year-round festivities. But rarely does one fit the entire carton of strawberries, or the entire pineapple on the fruit tray. So instead of forgetting about the delicious fruit until it starts to mold, re-invent it as a delicious, decadent dessert. Nothing could be simpler than following these steps:
1. Let fruit dry slightly. Lay the cut up fruit on paper towels and blot well. This will allow the chocolate to cling effectively to the fruit.
2. Melt some dark or bittersweet chocolate. If you don't have bittersweet on hand - melt some chocolate chips with a few squares of unsweetened baking chocolate and stir well. (Microwaving for 30 seconds at a time and stirring in between until melted is the easiest method.)
3. Dip about half of the fruit in the chocolate, allowing the excess to drip off, then place on a cookie sheet or tray covered with wax paper.
4. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes or until the chocolate has set up.
5. Plate up and enjoy. (after about a day, the liquid from the fruit will start to make an oozy mess of the chocolate.)

On this tray I used strawberries, pineapple, mandarine oranges, kiwi and I also dipped some fresh cranberry clusters (they are tart, but yummy). Not only does it make a gorgeous statement at any food gathering, but it doesn't get much healthier than fresh fruit and dark chocolate.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Amazing Avocados

Some of us shy away from buying avocados at the grocery store because we only need a few slices or half an avocado, and we know that the remaining half will only go brown and end up in the garbage. Well, no need to leave the fiber-rich, veggie known for it's heart-healthy fats on the produce display. Lets say you're planning tostadas for dinner. Dice up the half you'll use at the meal, then save the remaining avocado half with the pit in place. Fill a small bowl or container half full with cold water, place the avocado cut-side down in the water and keep in the fridge for up to a day.

Well, that might keep the avocado from going brown, but what to do with the remainder? Have a veggie sandwich at lunch, or make a California omelet for dinner the following night.

Ciabatta with swiss, avocado and some balsamic vinegar makes a great sandwich especially paired with some grape tomatoes and sugar-snap peas which are available year-round.
It may not be easy being green, but it sure is tasty!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Panzanella - Enjoy it Year-round

Panzanella salad is bread salad and is one of my favorite meals in summer. When garden-fresh tomatoes are available, I omit the canned, but the rest of the year, they work nicely. Just be sure to use the no-salt canned tomatoes. It is a great way to enjoy some fresh flavors in the colder months.

Year-round Panzanella Salad

Serving Size: makes 4 1 1/4-cup servings

Number of Servings: 4


4 slices french bread, stale or toasted and torn into pieces
1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half
1 cup (1/2 can) diced tomatoes
1 cup cucumber diced (1 small to medium cucumber)
1 avocado, peeled and diced
10 basil leaves torn or sliced into fine ribbons
2 oz. fresh mozzarella (either small perlini balls, or diced)
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Combine first 7 ingredients (bread through mozzarella) in large bowl. In small bowl combine remaining 5 ingredients and mix well. Toss salad with dressing and serve.

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe: 4
Serving Size: 1 serving

Amount Per Serving:
Calories 255.3
Total Fat 13.4 g
Saturated Fat 3.0 g
Poly. Fat 1.4 g
Mono. Fat 7.8 g
Cholesterol 8.2 mg
Sodium 441.5 mg
Potassium 398.1 mg
Total Carb. 27.6 g
Dietary Fiber 5.6 g
Sugars 2.2 g
Protein 8.2 g

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Pros of Probiotics

With cold and flu season upon us, we all think about vitamin C and possibly zinc when it comes to protection against infection.  We drink OJ and suck on zinc lozenges, but did you think to reach for the yogurt?  Numerous studies have shown probiotics to reduce the rate of upper respiratory infections by up to 12%.  Obviously, we're not talking about a cure for the common cold here, but every little bit helps.  Benefits of probiotics include:
  • Improvement of symptoms in irritable bowel and Crohn's disease
  • Reduction of diarrhea when taking antibiotics
  • Treatment/prevention of yeast infections
  • Protection against upper respiratory infections
So where do we get this multi-tasking microorganisms?  Yogurt, cheese, tempeh, miso, kefir & probiotic supplements - to name a few.  The most readily available sources for most  people will be yogurts with live cultures or supplements.  When choosing a supplement shoot for one that contains multiple strains from different bacteria and contains at least 1-10 billion organisms.  When incorporating probiotics from food sources, remember that the bacteria are killed by heat, so anything cooked will no longer provide the same benefits.

Although the complete story on probiotics is still emerging, they are generally considered safe as they naturally occur in our digestive tracts.  So with many pros and no cons - why not give probiotics a try?  Add a little bacteria to your breakfast with this tasty recipe from Cooking Light Magazine: Cinnamon Crisps with Blackberries and Yogurt

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fried Green Tomatoes

This time of year when the garden is facing the imminent threat of frost, grab a few of those green tomatoes while you're in the harvesting mode.  Not only do these tangy delicacies deliver great flavor, but vitamin C, potassium and beta-carotene as well.  Here's my favorite fried green tomato non-recipe (it's so simple you don't really need to measure anything).

Fried Green Tomatoes with Spicy White BBQ Sauce

2 -3 green tomatoes sliced about 1/4 inch thick
  • Flour Mixture: 1/2 cup white flour + couple dashes of salt, pepper and cayenne pepper
  • Egg wash: 1 egg + 1/4 cup milk (truly, nice pour will suffice - no need to measure)
  • Breading mixture: 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs + 1/2 cup corn meal

One you have your three bowls ready - flour, egg, breading - heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add a small amount of olive oil, then a few slices at a time, fry the floured, egged, and breaded green tomatoes.  Fry each side for 2-3 minutes until nicely browned.  You can also finish off the cooking process in a 350 degree F oven - just place the pan-fried tomato slices on a baking rack set atop a cookie sheet. 

Spicy White BBQ Sauce:
Mix equal parts greek yogurt and barbeque sauce, adding a few drops of tabasco or hot pepper sauce.