Main Nutritious Intent Website

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Beat the Heat

Before you know it, summer will be upon us and temperatures will start to spike.  Do you have some strategies to keep your nutrition level high when the mercury starts to rise?  Here are a few tips to beat the heat in a healthy way:


Staying hydrated is critical when it comes to the summer months.  Drinking lots of water is always a healthy habit, but sometimes our outdoor activities require a bit more hydration.  Sports drinks like Bodyarmor work well because it has potassium-packed electrolytes, coconut water and vitamins.  That’s it.  No artificial flavors or sweeteners. 

Freeze your fruit:

Instead of reaching for a popsicle or other form of artificially colored sugar, try frozen fruit.  Simply stick a popsicle stick into a wedge of melon, a spear of pineapple, or even make a kebab-pop by freezing a fruit kebab. 
Not only will it cool you down and add in some hydration, but you’ll be getting all the wonderful nutrition of eating more fruit.  Few people get more than a couple servings of produce, so this is a refreshing and delicious way to get it in. 

Countertop Cook:

A lot of folks don’t feel like heating up the kitchen to cook dinner in the summer, and often turn to take-out, or scrounging around for prepackaged foods as a result.  You can still enjoy all the nutrition of a home-cooked meal without heating up your house.  Plan in a few nights of main-dish salads and consider counter-top cooking ideas.  Slow-cookers are a cooler way to bake potatoes.  Waffle irons cook anything from hash browns to paninis with less heat, and don’t forget the cooler convenience of a countertop grill.  Chicken, fish, and beef are all quick to prepare without heating the oven. 

With a little planning, you can beat the heat in healthy, delicious ways. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Eggs Explained

Eggs are amazing little packages of nutrition.  In this tidy little 70 calorie package you get: 6 grams of protein and 13 vitamins and minerals.  However, there are lots of choices out there that might confuse any egg consumer. 

The shell color of an egg does not make it more or less healthful than another egg.

Nutrition differences:
  • Free-range, or enhanced diet chickens can lay eggs that are higher in certain nutrients such as Vitamin A, E, and Omega-3 fatty acids.  However, you should be wary when it comes to these labels.  Cage-free can mean that the hens are raised solely indoors, but without cages, while 5 minutes of access to the outdoors can constitute free-range, so not all eggs are created equal. 
  • All eggs including conventional eggs are hormone and antibiotic free, so brands that tout those points may be looking for ways to increase their sales price. 
  • The best option for those looking for optimally nutritious eggs should find a local source where you can see for yourself where and how your eggs are produced.

  • Price becomes a definite issue when it comes to making the egg decision.  With prices ranging from $1 - $5/dozen eggs, you could be buying an 8 cent egg or a 40 cent egg.  
  • Eggs are generally play a frequent, yet small role in our overall varied diet so the need to spent 5 times as much for a bit more of certain vitamins may not be so critical.

Eggs and Food Safety:

  • Eggs should be purchased by the sell-by date, but you have around 3 weeks to use them after that purchased date.  Be sure to store the eggs on an interior rack of your refrigerator (the door is the warmest part of the fridge). 
  • Cooking eggs to a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 minute is sufficient to destroy any salmonella that may be present in the egg. 
  • Remember that with Easter around the corner, you need to keep those hard-boiled eggs refrigerated.  They should be out for no more than 2 hours. 
Since eggs can be budget-friendly protein source, consider a few more creative ways to incorporate them into your menu:

Monday, April 3, 2017

Moderation Monday: Grocery Shop Shaming - Stop It!

Waiting in line at the grocery store, watching the person in front loading their cart's contents onto the conveyer belt. . . fruit snacks, ramen, candy bars drift by.  What goes through your mind?  Ever catch yourself comparing your cart to those around you?  Just stop.  

Let me say right now that dietitians have housefuls of teenagers, toddlers, and sick kiddos in need of a candy bar poster just like anyone else.  I remember once when I was preparing for a TV segment on the topic of chips and healthful snacking, I had a cart full of chips of various types and flavors.  What appeared to be a crazy, binge-sized amount of chips was the only thing in my cart that day.  Yep.  A few raised eyebrows made me suspect they thought their local dietitian had gone off the deep end.

The facts are these (and you'll see this applies to more than the grocery store):
  1. It's none of your business
  2. You never know the whole story

So this Monday, moderate your reaction to what others are eating.  And on the flip-side, don't worry about what others might think about what you are buying or eating.  

Embrace a healthy life in the real world.  Sometimes that means candy bar posters, sometimes it means a cartful of in-season produce, sometimes it means a cart full of chips.  Worry less, and live more.