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Honestly speaking, the vegan diet seems near impossible to maintain. Unless, of course, there's a medical reason motivating you to follow it. For those of you who don't know, vegans eat nothing that comes from an animal. Nothing. No eggs, no dairy, and obviously no meat, fish or poultry.
So how do they survive? Wouldn't you gain weight if all you ate was carbs all the time? There is a healthy way to be a vegan. And if done correctly, vegans can be in great shape physically! Their diet consists of LOTS of fruits and vegetables. In fact, the rest of us could probably benefit from spending some time with a vegan and learning how to incorporate more of these nutrition powerhouses into our diets.
Check out the link below to hear about a local Birmingham restaurant that provides vegan options. And then do me a favor, try to get in 5 servings of vegetables a day and 4 servings of fruit...it's doable. I promise.
The change to a healthy diet isn’t always an easy one. Breaking habits and learning to make good food choices takes consistent effort. While your willpower and determination play a huge role in the success of any eating plan, sleep – a necessary biological function – impacts your appetite far more than you might think.
Sleep, or more accurately a lack of thereof, alters the amount of hunger and satiety hormones in your body. When you don’t get a full seven to nine hours of sleep, your body releases more of the hunger hormone ghrelin and less of the satiety hormone leptin. The combination leaves you more likely to overeat because it’s harder to recognize when you’re full.
But sleep deprivation affects more than how hungry you feel. Several studies have shown that lack of sleep increases cravings for unhealthy foods full of fat and sugar. Partially to blame are the changes in the reward center of the brain that take place when you’re tired. The same part of the brain that’s stimulated by marijuana use is also affected by lack of sleep, and they share a similar side effect – a case of the munchies. When your brain’s getting a bigger “hit” from those unhealthy foods, it is far harder to resist them.
If you want to give yourself an extra advantage when it comes to healthy food choices, make sleep a priority.
The good news is that there are a lot of things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep. Start by taking a good look at your bedroom to make sure there isn’t anything getting in the way of a good night’s rest. For example, an old lumpy mattress could cause discomfort and wakefulness during the night that leaves you tired the next day. Even if your mattress is supportive, you might need help keeping your spine aligned for a full seven hours. You might sleep better with a mattress topper or an extra pillow for added comfort. These seemingly small efforts can have big rewards.
You also need to consider the daily habits that contribute to the quality of your sleep like:
Sleep is an integral part of a healthy diet. When you give your body the nutrition and rest that it needs, a healthy lifestyle begins to feel like second nature and you’re well on your way to better you.
Start your kids off with these mashed "potatoes" and they'll never ask for the fatty, high-calorie alternative.
2 small baking potatoes steamed
2, 1lb bags cauliflower florets, steamed
milk (skim or 1%)
Chop potatoes and place in food processor with cauliflower florets. Add milk until smooth.
Top with salt, pepper, green onions, and shredded cheddar cheese if desired
It's 3:15 on a Wednesday. My lunch is no longer satisfying me and I'm getting sleepy. Because I am getting sleepy, my typical afternoon instinct is to eat something (usually high in sugar or fat) or drink something with caffeine. My husband's sour cream and onion Lays potato chips are shouting at me from the pantry. Surely you've been in my shoes before. It's tough!
Recently, I have tried a new alternative...Nugo Slim Bars. They are all around 17g of protein, 2-3g of sugar, no artificial sweeteners, ~180calories, and a good source of fiber. If you are thinking that 180 calories is a lot for a snack, think again. 2 handfuls of Lays and you're in over 180 (without the protien and fiber).
I have tried brownie crunch, chocolate peanut butter, and raspberry truffle. Their flavor is good. The chocolate coating is like that of a real candy bar b/c it is not fake sweetener. I would not say it tastes like a candy bar but I'd give it a 8 or 9 on the protein bar scale. They make vegan and dairy free bars to try as well.
Not only could Nugo Slim bars satisfy your afternoon munchies, but they could be a great on-the-go breakfast! With 17g of protein, they'd be perfect for after a workout with a bowl of fruit. You can buy them at your local grocery or here: https://www.nugonutrition.com/products/slim/
Throw off the afternoon monster within you by grabbing a Nugo Slim. I promise it'll keep you til dinner :)
Currently, I am consuming a venison burger. No bun. Just ketchup, mustard, pickles. Anyone else eat venison? If done correctlly, venison is lean and tasty. As I sit here 2 days before New Year's Eve, I want to discuss one of the more popular New Year's Eve entrees: steak.
Is it ok to eat red meat? If so, how much? What type? Is pork a red meat?
Answers: yes, 1-2 times per week, "loins", and yes!
Don't stop reading there just because you got your answers. Hear out my explanations. Consider this: any meat that ends in "loin" is a safe bet for a red meat. Lean = Loin. When going the burger route, consider ground sirloin, ground venison, or bison. Yes, bison.
Now, what will you have with your steak? Well, wine of course! As a dietitian, I get even more questions about alcohol than I do red meat. Here is my biggest bit of advice: double fist! Wine in one hand, Water in the other. Alternating every glass of alcohol with water is beneficial in several areas...
1) It keeps you hydrated
2) Hydration makes you feel better the next morning
3) It decreases the amount of alcohol consumed in short periods of time. This prevents you from losing your will-power and ordering something you ordinarily would not order.
4) Water helps you feel full
5) It's cheaper!
So, finish off 2016 on a good. Satiated and Satisfied. Happy New Year!
Enjoy this video from Whole Foods on how to roast brussel sprouts. You could easily use this same method to roast any vegetable from asparagus to string beans! (I'd probably only use 1Tbsp of oil though)
Tis the season for EATING! Warm comfort foods like casseroles and creamy dips fill our kitchen and our dens while friends and family wine and dine in our presence. During this time, do you ever feel like it is impossible to do anything right as far as diet goes? I do! I want to enjoy all the tasty foods but I don't want to get way off kilter. One thing you can do is try to continue consuming high amounts of fruits and veggies. And I don't mean the ones smothered in butter and cheese! Below are some tips from a fellow RD that I couldn't agree with more:
Look for seasonal produce
Stick with produce that is in season, as much as possible. The following fruits and vegetables are abundant and fresh during the winter months:
Grapes Brussels sprouts
Mandarin oranges Lettuce
Winter squashFill up on fruits and vegetables first
One of the main reasons that people eat fewer fruits and vegetables during the winter months, and particularly during the holidays, is because they fill up on other types of food first. Make eating fruits and vegetables first a priority, and then eat other types of food afterward.
Keep it simple
Do not overthink the idea of including fruits and vegetables—just work it into your daily plan. Try these ideas:
Choose from all forms
You do not need to always use fresh fruits and vegetables. Frozen, canned, and dried fruits and vegetables count just the same as fresh ones. If the fruit is canned in heavy syrup, drain it well. If vegetables are canned with salt, drain and rinse them before eating.
Make it appetizing
Some people notice that their appetite changes during the winter months. Warm food and spices may seem more appealing. You can make most fruits and vegetables suit your need for comfort foods during the cold months. For example:
When you read the title of this blog, "Prepared Soups", what comes to mind? Can't have them...too much sodium, atificial ingredients, etc. Not with Trader Joe's! Their Organic, Low Sodium Butternut Squash Soup is the perfect way to cheer up those winter blues. Here's the break down:
Serving Size: 1 cup (I always have more)
This stuff is delicious. I add a scoop or two of pumpkin and some cinnamon for a kick. Pair it with 1/2 a sandwich or a salad and boom, you've got an easy, satisfying lunch that will make you feel good. So go ahead Birmingham, please clap your hands for Trader Joe's deciding to finally make an appearance here!!