<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=424649934352787&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

NIFS Healthy Living Blog

’Tis the Season for Healthy Holiday Baking

78464944One of my favorite holiday traditions is making fabulous treats and snacks for friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors. Entire days are spent baking in the kitchen, and the best part (after sampling the treats first hand) is hearing how great everything tastes. Little do they know that with just a few simple tweaks, those cookies and candies can be dramatically lower in fat and calories. Here are a few easy ways to tweak your recipes for healthy eating.

Reduce

Many recipes call for an amount of sugar or fat well above the amount needed for taste and texture. Try reducing these ingredients by one-third or one-half when making your recipe. Also, by using nonstick pans and cooking spray, you can reduce the oil or butter on baking sheets and pans.

Substitute

There are healthier alternatives to use without compromising taste. Give the following substitutions a try.

  • Eggs: For every egg, use two egg whites or 1⁄4 cup egg substitute. Egg Beaters and other substitutes can be found in the dairy/egg section of the grocery store. You can also make your own version of egg substitute: 6 egg whites, 1⁄4 cup nonfat dry milk, 1 tsp. oil, and 6 drops of yellow food coloring. Refrigerate for up to one week.
  • Whipped cream: Make your own! Beat together 1⁄4 cup ice water and 1⁄4 cup nonfat milk powder until thick. Add 1⁄4 tsp. vanilla, 2 tsp. lemon juice, and 1⁄4 cup sugar. Another option is vanilla nonfat yogurt.
  • Baking chocolate: Use 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder for every ounce of baking chocolate.
  • Applesauce: Rather than using all of the oil, margarine, or butter in baked goods, substitute a portion with applesauce. For example, instead of 1⁄4 cup oil, use 2 Tbsp. of oil and 2 Tbsp. of applesauce. The applesauce provides moisture, but you still have the benefits of the fat in the oil and save 230 calories and 28 grams of fat.
  • Prunes: For your best baked chocolate recipes, try baby food prunes as a fat replacement. They retain moisture and add to the color. Substitute the same amount as in the recipe, or try replacing with a portion of the prunes.

For some ideas of healthier cocktails to go with your baked treats at holiday parties, see this post.

Whatever you decide to bake or eat this holiday season, just remember moderation. Enjoy one or two cookies, not the whole batch! Happy holidays and happy baking!

If you are interested in having your questions answered during a personal nutrition consultation, please contact me at ascheetz@nifs.org or 317-274-3432, ext 239. Learn more about Nutrition and Wellness services at NIFS.

This blog was written by Angie Scheetz, RD, Wellness Coordinator. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Like what you've just read? Click here to subscribe to our blog!

Topics: nutrition healthy eating recipes snacks calories holidays

Smart Snacking for Healthy Eating and Weight Management

184366974Some people think that snacking can sabotage your healthy eating and weight management plan. However, snacking keeps your energy levels up, and prevents you from becoming overly hungry, which can lead to poor food choices. Eating every three to four hours can also help regulate your metabolism, which ensures that you burn calories throughout the day. Strive for at least two small snacks per day, but try to limit yourself to 100 to 150 calories or less per snack.

Also, be sure your snack is balanced: it should offer complex carbohydrates for energy, protein for muscle building and repair, and a small amount of fat for satiety. You can ensure nutritional balance and prevent snack boredom by varying your daily choices.

The Benefits of Snacks

You may feel guilty about snacking, but snacks aren’t necessarily bad. In fact, mini meals several times a day can be beneficial. Here’s how:

  • Binge control: If eating several low-fat, whole-grain crackers, a few pretzels, a piece of fruit, or some raw vegetables keeps you from taking second or third helpings at your next meal, you may actually consume fewer total calories for the day.
  • Extra energy and nutrients: Traditional, made-at-home meals often lose out to busy schedules. A grab-and-go snack can be the difference between some nourishment and none at all.
  • Satisfaction for small appetites: Young children’s tiny stomachs can hold only small portions of food at a time. Older adults who are less active and who burn fewer calories also may feel comfortable eating smaller meals more frequently.

Healthy Snack Choices

Here are some great snack choices:

  • 6 oz. fat-free yogurt topped with 1 cup of berries
  • ¾ cup whole-grain cereal with nut and dried-fruit trail mix
  • 1 apple and 1 oz. low-fat cheese
  • 1 cup yogurt smoothie made with real fruit
  • 1 oz. baked tortilla chips with ¼ cup bean dip
  • 2 oz. low-fat cheese on 5 whole-grain crackers
  • 1 whole-wheat tortilla with 1 oz. melted cheese and ¼ cup salsa
  • 1 cup raw vegetables and 2 Tbsp. low-fat dip or hummus
  • 1 Tbsp. nut butter on a banana
  • 1 cup berries topped with ¼ cup low-fat granola cereal
  • ¼ cup whole-grain cereal and ¼ cup raisins with ¼ cup skim milk
  • ¾ cup pasta salad made with raw veggies, cheese, and low-fat dressing
  • ¼ pita pocket stuffed with raw vegetables and 1 slice low-fat cheese
  • 1 cup low-fat vegetable-bean soup
  • ½ turkey and cheese sandwich on whole-grain bread
  • 1 handful almonds and ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup cottage cheese and ½ cup pineapple
  • ½ peanut butter/banana sandwich on whole-grain bread
  • ½ toasted whole wheat English muffin topped with a slice of tomato and low-fat cheese

For more tips on eating well and feeling great, especially after age 40, check out this post.

If you are interested in having your questions answered during a personal nutrition consultation, please contact me at ascheetz@nifs.org or 317-274-3432, ext 239. Learn more about Nutrition and Wellness services at NIFS.

Like what you've just read? Click here to subscribe to our blog!

Topics: nutrition weight loss snacks metabolism weight management

The Health Benefits of Greek Yogurt—Plus Recipes!

There are a lot of hot new food fads right now, including coconut oil, kale, quinoa, and chia seeds. It seems like I have been seeing these foods everywhere, and while I do love them, I have been obsessing over another food fad for a while. Greek yogurt is one of those amazing foods that can be used in so many ways and is extremely good for you.

Why You Should Eat More Greek Yogurtgreek-yogurt

Here are the reasons why Greek yogurt can help with your healthy eating goals:

  • It is an excellent source of calcium, potassium, zinc, protein, and vitamins B6 and B12.
  • It contains probiotic cultures, which can help with gut regularity.
  • It's lower in lactose for those who have trouble digesting other dairy products.
  • Greek yogurt contains twice the amount of protein as normal yogurt, which can help keep you full longer and makes an impact on your weight management.
  • It has half the amount of sodium regular yogurt has, which is a plus for those watching blood pressure.
  • It can be enjoyed as a sweet or savory treat!

Recipes

Here are some recipes that can help you incorporate this super food into your meals and snacks.

Banana Oatmeal Smoothie

If you want to start your day with a protein-packed punch and also get to work on time, here is a quick and healthy breakfast smoothie incorporating Greek yogurt that can help you start the day off right!

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Bored with your normal lunch routine? Try this tasty buffalo chicken salad that has tons of flavor without all of the fat of traditional chicken salads.

Tzatziki Sauce

Stumped as to what to fix for dinner? This delicious topping for chicken, fish, or lamb is a quick and easy solution!

Creamy Peanut Butter Dip

Need to have that sweet ending after dinner? Try this alternative as a healthy treat! It's also a great midday snack.

I hope you try this tasty treat! Watch out for some varieties on the market that can be extremely high in sugar, calories, and fat. Look for a nonfat version to keep your saturated fat grams lower, and consider buying plain and flavor it yourself with fruit and flavored extracts to decrease the added sugar. The possibilities are endless!

Learn more about Nutrition and Wellness services at NIFS.

This blog was written by Angie Sheetz, NIFS Registered Dietitian. Read more about the NIFS bloggers.

Topics: nutrition healthy eating recipes snacks calories lunch breakfast weight management

Fit & Forty+ (Fabulous) Series—Eat Right to Feel Right

Fit & Forty+ (Fabulous) Series—Eat Right to Feel Right

In this video, I have asked our resident dietitian, Angie Scheetz, to give us some tips on getting your metabolism revved up. We look at how to fuel your body in the morning as well as pre- and post-workout.

Further Nutrition Tips to Boost Metabolism

  1. Eat every 4 to 5 hours. If you are eating more frequently, it makes your metabolism constantly have to work to break down fuel. This helps to keep it working optimally, as opposed to going long times in between meals.
  2. Eat more nutrient-dense foods. Your body naturally burns more calories when you eat foods that are more challenging to digest. For example, an orange takes more effort from the metabolism to break down than a glass of orange juice. The more effort it takes and the longer these items stay in your body, the more calories are burned, which keeps the metabolism revved! Choose more high-fiber food more often to keep your metabolism working.
  3. Drink plenty of fluid. If you get the slightest bit dehydrated, your metabolism drops by 3 percent. By making sure you are taking in plenty of fluid, especially calorie- and caffeine-free liquid, you can keep the metabolism working well. Foods high in fluid like fruits and veggies can also contribute. The best way to guarantee that you are hydrated is to check the color of your urine. After you go to the restroom for the second time during the day, it should be pale to clear.

Check out Angie’s blog on what a healthy lunch includes.

Food and Diet Myths

Lastly, Angie is going to dispel a few food and diet myths:

  1. Late-night eating has to be avoided; eat no later than 7 p.m. Your metabolism does not “shut off” after 7 p.m. However, this is when most of our mindless eating occurs. Instead of reaching for the salty or sweet snacks late at night, stop and think, “Am I truly hungry?” If the answer is yes, choose a reasonable snack between 100 and 150 calories. If the answer is no, have some water or hot tea, or distract yourself by brushing your teeth, doing a crossword puzzle, or getting up and taking a lap around the house.
  2. Supplements/fat burners really help you lose weight. Supplements and fat burners are not regulated by the FDA. These products can potentially be very dangerous and there is no research that supports that they work. Instead, focus on a balanced diet with exercise to get the results you want. If you want to check to see whether your current supplement has been tested, go to the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention website to see whether it has been evaluated.
  3. Women need protein only if they are body builders. Everyone requires protein after strength training, even if you are just toning up. The recommendation is 7 to 10 grams of protein within 30 to 60 minutes of the resistance training. Reach for a glass of low-fat chocolate milk, a Tablespoon of peanut butter on an apple, or a container of Greek yogurt to get in the ideal amount!
  4. You cannot indulge in your favorite foods if you want to lose weight. All foods can fit into your diet if you are trying to lose weight. The key is balance. Get in your recommended servings of fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean meat, dairy, and healthy fats each day and there will be room for the occasional treat. For most women this is around 150 calories per day, and for men it is around 250 calories. Make sure to get your base needs met first and then splurge on a favorite dessert or snack. Go to Choose My Plate for a personalized plan.
  5. You can never eat out if you want to lose weight. Most restaurants are attempting to offer healthier options for diners. It is up to you to choose these options! When dining out, remember to balance your plate. Half of it should be filled with fruits and non-starchy vegetables, one quarter with lean protein, and one quarter with grain and starchy veggies. This can be accomplished at all dining-out establishments. Remember portion control, too! Take some home or share with someone to keep portions in check. Use an app or website such as My Fitness Pal to look up the calories before ordering.

If you have just joined this series be sure to go back and read all the blogs. Including:

Getting Started

Foam Rolling and Increasing Your Range of Motion

Need help planning proper dietary habits into your lifestyle? Schedule a Personal Nutrition Coaching (PNC) session with Angie today!describe the image

This blog series was written by Kris Simpson BS, ACSM-PT, HFS, personal trainer at NIFS. If you have questions about something in this series or would like to schedule an appointment with Kris please contact her at 317-274-3432 or email. To read more about Kris and NIFS bloggers click here.

Topics: nutrition healthy eating snacks calories metabolism

Healthier Holiday Cocktails

The holidays are a challenging time because there are so many more delicious foods everywhere. For some people, this is a time of year when they consume more alcohol at holiday parties. Unfortunately, most of these cocktails are loaded with calories. Here are some tips that can help keep the party going—but not increase your waistline!

  • Choose cocktails that don’t add a lot of calories beyond the alcohol with high-calorie mixers. Order soda water and a splash of cranberry juice or diet soda as the mixer.
  • Have a non-caloric beverage (such as water, iced tea, or decaf coffee) in between alcoholic drinks.
  • Order your drink with extra ice.
  • Set a goal to stick to the alcohol recommendations for adults: 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men. A drink is 5 ounces of wine, 1½ ounces of liquor, or 12 ounces of beer.

Try some of these lower-calorie beverages at your next holiday party!

Made-over Eggnog egg nog

Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 5½ cups low-fat or skim milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup Splenda or alternative sweetener
  • 2 TB. cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 TB. vanilla
  • ½ tsp. (plus additional for sprinkling) ground nutmeg
  • ⅓ cup dark rum (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, with a whisk, beat eggs and egg whites until blended; set aside.
  2. In a heavy 4-quart saucepan, with heat-safe spatula, mix 4 cups milk with sugar, cornstarch, and ¼ teaspoon salt.
  3. Cook on medium-high until mixture boils and thickens slightly, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute. Remove saucepan from heat.
  4. Gradually whisk ½ cup simmering milk mixture into eggs; pour egg mixture back into milk in saucepan, whisking constantly, to make custard.
  5. Pour custard into large bowl; stir in vanilla, nutmeg, rum (if using), and remaining 1½ cups milk.
  6. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 6 hours or up to 2 days.
  7. Sprinkle eggnog with nutmeg to serve. Makes about 6½ cups.

Serves: 13  Serving size: 1 cup
Calories: 90   Fat: 2g  Carbohydrates: 10g  Protein: 6g

 

Sparkling Pomegranate Cocktailpomegrante drink

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups pomegranate juice
  • ¼ cup grenadine
  • 1 (750-milliliter) bottle Prosecco or dry sparkling wine, chilled
  • 6 lime slices (optional)
  • Pomegranate seeds (optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine pomegranate juice and ¼ cup grenadine in a 2-cup glass measure.
  2. Divide the juice mixture evenly among 6 Champagne flutes or wine glasses. Top each serving evenly with wine, and garnish each serving with lime slices and seeds, if desired.

Serves: 6  Serving size: ¾ cup
Calories: 164  Fat: 0  Carbohydrates: 21g  Protein: 0g

 

Spiced Hot Cidercider

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 whole cloves
  • ½ cup applejack (apple brandy)
  • 2 TB. cinnamon schnapps
  • Cinnamon sticks, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Bring apple cider, cinnamon stick, and cloves to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add applejack and schnapps. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and serve hot.

Serves: 6  Serving size: ¾ cup
Calories: 143  Fat: 0g  Carbohydrates: 23g     Protein: 0g

 

If you need more motivation to maintain your weight during the holidays, schedule a personal nutrition consultation for help surviving the holidays, contact Angie Scheetz, RD, at ascheetz@nifs.org or (317) 274-3432, ext. 239.

Topics: nutrition healthy habits healthy eating recipes snacks calories holidays

Enjoy Holiday Parties While Maintaining Your Weight

We have all heard the statistic that the average person gains 7 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. This is somewhat exaggerated; the actual number is a 1-pound weight gain. However, this pesky 1 pound usually hangs on year after year, so over 10 holiday seasons that is a 10-pound gain! The goal during this time of year is to maintain your weight, which is definitely a challenge with all of the extra food gatherings.

7 Tips for Holiday Eating

Here are some tips to help survive the holiday parties and make sure
your weight is the same on January 2 as it was on November 28.84468673

  1. Restrict the number of alcoholic drinks at holiday parties. At a minimum it is 100 calories per drink, and depending on what you are choosing, can be as high as 400 (eggnog!). The recommendations are one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. Instead of adding all of the empty calories from alcohol, save those calories for filling food!
  2. Have just single servings of your favorite foods. If you are super excited to have a food that comes around only once per year, enjoy every last bite of the single serving, wrap up some and enjoy it the next day, too.
  3. Don’t skip meals to “save room” at the party! This can lead to out-of-control eating. Instead, make sure to have balanced meals and snacks throughout the day, aiming for fruits, veggies, lean protein, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. You can even grab a snack before the party to help with the desperation eating. An apple with peanut butter, Greek yogurt and fruit, or a stick of string cheese with a handful of nuts would be a perfect filling and nutritious snack option.
  4. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and at the party. This can help keep you full; and if your hand is already occupied with a 178360614beverage, it will be more challenging to reach for the food!
  5. Remember that you can have some foods all year long, such as crackers, cheese, and pretzels. Choose the foods that are the most interesting and unique, and come around only once per year. Then frame it positively and say, “I want to save my appetite for the best” instead of “I am not allowed to eat these foods.”
  6. Repeat these words: “No, thanks, on the seconds. It was delicious, but I have had enough.”
  7. Instead of focusing on the food, put effort into enjoying the people and conversations, and really connecting.

Need a little extra help surviving the holidays? NIFS My Nuttrition Coach App, can help you keep track of your diet while receiving daily feedback from our registered dietitian, Angie Scheetz. To learn more click here.

Learn More

This blog was written by Angie Scheetz, RD, Wellness Coordinator. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

 

Topics: nutrition motivation healthy eating snacks holidays weight management

How to Live a Healthy Lifestyle in College

With NIFS being located on the campus of IUPUI, it is hard not to notice the campus’s schedule and all of the students bustling between classes. Several students stop into our fitness center for advice so they can avoid the “freshman 15” or get their healthy habits back on track.

Now that school is in full swing and you have your classes and routine figured out, it is a good time to take a look at your healthy habits or areas that could use a little tweaking in the health department. I know how tough being in college can be, but it doesn’t mean that all healthy decisions have to fall to the wayside. This is a crucial time in your life when new routines are developed, so why not develop healthy habits that you will have for life?

College is a time when you go through many changes all at once, so it’s important to not only focus on putting healthy foods in your body, but also to be healthy physically, mentally, and socially, too! Not to worry; it may be challenging at times dealing with so many new things all at once, but I promise you will make it through.

You may be a new college student, in your third or fourth year of college, preparing to go to college, or helping a loved one get ready for his or her college experience. Whatever the case, these tips will help keep anyone college-bound healthy, balanced, and happy!

1. Create a Routineplanner

Every person functions differently. Some people are planners and some people thrive on spontaneity. Whatever the case, your body needs a little bit of routine. Make sure that you are orderly with things you do each day. For example, keeping your keys, ID cards, and notebooks in the same place each day will save you the stress of searching and scrambling last minute to find these items before each class. This extra time will also allow for more “free time” when you can do spontaneous and fun things to keep your mental and social health balanced.

2. Begin with Breakfastpeanut oats

Breakfast is the meal that boosts your blood sugar and metabolism, and can set the tone for the entire day. Skipping breakfast can lead to moodiness, low blood sugar, and overeating later in the day. Remember that you don't have to eat "breakfast" for breakfast. If you want leftovers from the night before, go for it! The important thing is to include complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fat to increase your focus, metabolism, and energy. If you don’t want to eat in the dining hall, an easy dorm room breakfast is hot oats cooked in the community microwave topped with a dollop of nut butter and a side of fruit that you grabbed from the dining hall the night before.

3. Hydrate

Keep in mind that the calories in your drinks count toward your daily calories, too. If you are feeling thirsty, you are already dehydrated, and often thirst can be mistaken for hunger. Choose water when you can, and keep a fun water bottle or cup with you at all times to encourage drinking throughout the entire day.

4. Schedule Physical Activity and Make it FUN!group fitnees

Don’t like going to the gym? You don’t have to! Since I work at NIFS you probably think I am crazy for saying that! The thing is, your body doesn’t know whether you are running inside on a treadmill or playing a game of soccer. What your body does know is it was meant to move, so schedule some fun active time in your day just like a class or appointment. Sign up for an intramural sport, try a group fitness class, join a running group, volunteer at the animal shelter to walk dogs, sign up for a dance class, and get creative! Find something you love and do it.

5. Be Prepared

Although it may be hard to pack an entire healthy meal when living in a dorm, packing a snack can be easy! Some fruits and vegetables require little to no preparation (such as apples, oranges, peaches, cherry tomatoes, and snap peas) and can be thrown into your school bag for an easy energy booster. This can lift your mood and sharpen your focus to help prevent the afternoon blues and help increase your productivity while studying. Having water and emergency snacks on hand will also make it less likely for you to reach for fast food as a regular option.

6. Indulge!cookies

In moderation, it's okay to eat your favorite treat every once in a while. Things like ice cream, fast food, chocolate, or a special coffee drink are perfectly fine to enjoy...sometimes. It's not what you do every once in a while, it's what you do every day that makes a difference.

At NIFS we are here to help, and we couldn’t be more conveniently located for students in central Indianapolis.

We offer fun group fitness classes that are included in your membership. We have a Registered Dietitian on staff who can help you create a meal plan that will work with your campus lifestyle. And our Health and Fitness Specialists will create a workout plan for you for free.

If you have questions about student membership or any of the programs that we have available to help you live a healthy campus lifestyle please e-mail membership at membership@nifs.org.

This blog was written by Tara Deal Rochford, NIFS Membership Manager and a group fitness instructor. Author of Treble in the Kitchen.Meet our other NIFS bloggers.

Topics: NIFS exercise nutrition staying active healthy habits group fitness healthy eating snacks outdoors

Celebrate National Kale Day with Three Healthy Recipes


There are a lot of different days throughout the year devoted to certain foods, and October 2 is no exception. This day is reserved for all things kale!

So, if you have been hearing about this wonderful green, leafy vegetable and have been wanting to try it, or if you are already a lover of the vitamin-K-packed wonder, then definitely take this day to enjoy some recipes that incorporate kale.

Since kale thrives in cooler weather, this time of year is the perfect opportunity to sample it when other vegetables are out of season. To find the freshest kale, search for deeply colored leaves with hardy stems.

If you want to increase your intake of folate, calcium, iron, fiber, and phytonutrients, here are three ways to incorporate kale into your diet for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack time.

Orange-Blueberry Kale Smoothiekale smoothie

If the thought of drinking a green smoothie doesn’t appeal to you, try this delicious option that keeps the color a gorgeous purple!

1 whole orange

1 cup blueberries

½ cup vanilla almond or soy milk or ½ cup skim milk

2 cups chopped and loosely packed kale

1 cup ice

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Makes three 8-ounce servings or two 12-ounce servings.

 

Kale Salad

1 big bunch kale; chopped fine

1 cup cooked wild rice or brown rice, cooled (or try cooked quinoa)

1 red or orange bell pepper; chopped

¼ cup thinly sliced red onion or green onion

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins or bothkale salad

½ cup feta cheese

¼ cup grated parmesan

 

Dressing:

2 to 3 TB. olive oil

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

2 TB. Dijon mustard

1 to 2 TB. honey

Juice of 1 lemon (add zest if you want)

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Toss salad. Put all dressing ingredients in a shaker and combine. Pour over salad and enjoy.

 

Kale Chips

Slice kale into bite-sized pieces. Toss with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

 

For more information and recipes, check out the National Kale Day website.  

Schedule a personal nutrition consultation to plan how you can incorporate more veggies like kale into your diet.

This blog was written by Registered Dietitian at NIFS, Angie Scheetz, RD. To meet the NIFS Bloggers click here.

Topics: nutrition recipes snacks lunch breakfast

Start Your Day Off Right: How Not to Skip a Healthy Breakfast

If it is the most important meal of the day, why do about 31 million people (or 10 percent of the population) still skip breakfast? Here are the top three reasons people skip breakfast and how you can overcome those excuses to make eating breakfast a part of your daily routine.breakfast

I’m just not hungry in the morning.

You should wake up in the morning and be hungry. Your body has gone at least eight hours without food, so it should be ready for some fuel. If not, take a look at your before-bedtime habits and check to see whether you are constantly snacking on chips and ice cream late into the evening. If so, this can affect your hunger levels in the morning. Don’t go to bed hungry, but instead choose a reasonable snack around 100 to 150 calories like Greek yogurt or an apple with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter.

I don’t have time for breakfast.

If you would rather hit the snooze button a few more times than prepare breakfast for yourself, you might find yourself without enough time to eat in the morning. The key is to aim for three food groups at a meal, so even if you grab a turkey sandwich and a banana as you run out the door, you are still starting your day right. The key is to combine some protein and whole grains to help give you energy and keep you full. Breakfast is also a great time to get in a dairy or fruit serving, too!

If time is an issue, use this recipe to prepare breakfast for the whole week. Add the egg to an English muffin and grab a glass of milk or piece of fruit to go with it and you are set!

I want to save my calories for later in the day.breakfast

Some people think that if they skip breakfast, it will help with their weight-loss efforts or give them more calories to consume at lunch and dinner. Unfortunately, this is not the case. A recent study compared two groups: one ate more for breakfast and the other ate more at dinner, with both consuming the same amount of calories. The breakfast group lost more weight and inches than the dinner group. Typically people who skip breakfast overcompensate the rest of the day by eating more calories than if they had started their day with a balanced meal.

Whatever your reason for skipping breakfast, try to break that habit and start eating something every day. Start small with a glass of 100 percent juice or a piece of fruit and then work up to a balanced meal between 400 and 500 calories and at least three food groups!

Angie Scheetz, RD, is the wellness coordinator at NIFS and organizes the Mini Marathon Training Program, Dealing with Diabetes, and Lite ‘N Up. Enrollment for Lite ‘N Up is open though September 17, 2013.

Topics: nutrition weight loss healthy eating snacks breakfast

Dealing with Diabetes―Deliciously!

Diabetes is a disease that affects 8.3% of the population, or 26 million individuals. When it comes to diabetes, nutrition is key. The goal is to be able to choose foods that help to keep blood sugar levels under control and in the recommended range.

The best way to eat to guarantee optimum blood sugar levels is to always combine carbohydrate foods with a protein to help prevent levels from spiking too high. Foods that are carbohydrates are grains such as rice, cereal, and pasta; dairy foods such as milk and yogurt; and fruits and vegetables. Foods that have protein include meat, eggs, soy, beans, nuts, and dairy foods (which also contain protein in addition to carbohydrates).

Here are some diabetic-friendly recipes that follow this suggestion.

Mini BBQ Chicken-Topped Potato Halves

Ingredients:Shredded Chicken on Potato

  • —2 (1/4 lb total) new potatoes, scrubbed and pierced with a fork in several areas
  • —2 cups prepared shredded barbeque chicken
  • —1/3 cup fat-free Greek yogurt or fat-free sour cream
  • —1/4 cup finely chopped green onions (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Place the potatoes on a microwave-safe plate and cook five minutes, turn, and cook another 4 to 5 minutes until fork tender.
  2. Meanwhile, place the barbecue chicken in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, about 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir frequently. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
  3. Place potatoes on cutting board, cut in half lengthwise, top with equal amounts of chicken, and then top with the sour cream and green onions.

*Serving size is half a potato; makes 4 servings.

Calories: 83; Total Fat: 1g; Total Carbohydrate: 24g; Protein: 10g

Grilled Asparagus

Ingredients:asparagus new

  • —1 pound/bundle of fresh asparagus
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • —Pinch of pepper
  • —¼ tsp Mrs. Dash salt-free seasoning
  • —1 ounce Fresh lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. Heat grill to high heat.
  2. Lightly coat the asparagus with olive oil, squeezed lemon juice, pepper, and Mrs. Dash.
  3. Grill 2 to 3 minutes.

*Makes 4 servings.  **Pair this with your favorite grilled lean meat

Calories: 116; Total Fat: 10g; Total Carbohydrate: 6g; Protein: 3g

Strawberry Yogurt Parfait

Ingredients:strawberry Small

  • —1 cup Chocolate Cheerios®
  • —2 containers (6 oz. each) Yoplait Greek Strawberry Yogurt (1 1/3 cups)
  • —2 cups sliced fresh strawberries

Instructions:

  1. Save two teaspoons of Chocolate Cheerios for toppings.
  2. Take each of the serving glasses and layer 2 tablespoons of yogurt, 2 tablespoons of Chocolate Cheerios, and 1/4 cup of sliced strawberries, and repeat layers.
  3. Top with the remaining Cheerios and a whole strawberry.

*Makes 4 servings.

Calories: 136; Total Fat: 1g; Total Carbohydrate: 25g; Protein: 8g

Getting the Balance Right and Learning More About Diabetes

Most individuals need between 45 and 60 grams of carbohydrate per meal. Combine this with 15 to 25 grams of protein and blood sugar levels will remain stable and in the healthy range. By incorporating dietary changes, diabetics will be able to improve their health and manage their diabetes.

This blog was written by Angie Scheetz, RD. For more information contact her at ascheetz@nifs.org or 317-274-3432, ext 239.

Topics: nutrition healthy eating recipes snacks diabetes