Main Nutritious Intent Website

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