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Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, my friends! Can you believe today is October 31st meaning only 2 more months left in 2016!? Starting today, and for the remainder of the year, it’s really easy to over-do it on food. So really focus on moderation. As a dietitian, I am never going to tell you NOT to eat something, but I will tell you that you can’t eat EVERYTHING.

Instead of having to give up any foods (ie Halloween candy) I just make sure to include plenty of good things for me in the day too. Whenever I get the opportunity to sneak some fruits or vegetables into my diet I certainly do. This week, in honor of Halloween, see if you can sneak a little extra orange into your diet. Try including oranges, orange bell peppers, sweet potatoes, or butternut squash into your meals and snacks this week. Pictured below is a very festive snack using clementines– definitely something to keep in mind if you have kids. Enjoy!

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Recipes

Simple Mills

image2-4I was at Target the other day and came across this HEALTHY BOXED cake mix!? For me, this was basically like coming across a unicorn because I really didn’t think such a boxed cake mix existed!

The product is called Simple Mills and they have a whole line of gluten-free products. But the thing is they aren’t artificially gluten free with a bunch of weird substitutes and words I can’t pronounce. These products are all naturally gluten free and made with almond flour and coconut flour. There are only 7 ingredients in the mix!

This one I tried is a banana muffin mix, they also had a chocolate cake one available at my Target. According to their website they have a ton of other products as well. This banana nut one was delicious and I strongly strongly strongly encourage everyone to give it a try!

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Not only gluten-free, this product is also paleo-friendly, grain free, dairy free, soy free, and low carb… but honestly tasted AMAZING and was so EASY to make! Whenever I’ve tried to make my own healthy desserts I can usually tell right away something is off about it, but with this boxed mix I thought it tasted just like a normal muffin.

I actually believe this product could be vegan too. The recipe calls for 2 eggs, however I only had 1 egg so I did a flax ‘egg’ substitute and it was so good even with the substitute. (Flax egg= 1TBS flax +2TBS water = 1 egg replacer) If someone tries to bake this vegan, let me know how it turns out.

Nutrient Info for 1 muffin (or 2 mini muffins pictured above)|

90 calories| 3g fat| 14g carbohydrate| 2g fiber| 7g sugar| 2g protein

Everyone reading this right now should go onto the Simple Mills website and see what stores near you sells this amazing product!

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#foodday2016

FoodDay Linear-No Date

Happy Food Day, my food loving friends! Every October 24th, a new theme is selected for food day that encourages people to get thinkin’ about their food. This year we are focusing on taking steps towards a greener diet.

Interested in knowing how well you know food? Take this fun quiz to find out! I took it and even learned quite a few things about the food and environment connection.

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Now that you’re thinking about food, and how well you know food, I want you thinking about one thing you can do this week that is healthier for you, our environment, or both! Here are just a few ideas to get started:

  • Drink more water instead of soda; bonus points if it’s in a reusable water bottle
  • Try out one meatless meal this week and make sure to increase your veggies in that meal
  • Visit a local farmer’s market and see what’s available in your area
  • Start a compost to decrease food waste in your home, or simply meal plan better to produce less waste
  • When at the grocery store, try to purchase items with minimal packaging (Think fruits and veggies, most of the time the skin of the fruit or veggies provides it’s own natural packaging!)

Have a healthy and happy week!

 

Thoughts of a Dietitian

HYDRATE | HYDRATE | HYDRATE

This is one thing I am TERRIBLE at… I never drink enough water throughout the day. And did you know, by the time you are thirsty (feel thirsty) you are already dehydrated!? Your body is up to 60% water- so your body needs water! Staying hydrated helps regulate body temperature, lubricate and cushion joints, protect your spine and other sensitive organs, and eliminate waste through urine and perspiration.

Here’s some Q&A about water to help get you properly hydrated!

How much water should a person drink? The amount of water a person needs depends on many factors, so it’s hard to set one standard. It’s best to sip on water throughout the day to ensure adequate hydration. However, if you are looking for a starting goal the USDA recommends women drink 10 cups per day and men drink 15 cups per day. Lastly, check the color of your urine. It should be a pale yellow color.

Is there such a thing as being over-hydrated? What are some of the signs of over-hydration? Typically, kidneys will excrete extra water to prevent over-hydration. Although rare, over-hydration can be a concern if excessive water is causing your sodium levels to decrease. Signs of over-hydration can actually be similar to dehydration and include lethargy or confusion. As long as you have

What are some ideas you can offer for people who don’t like water? Most people have heard about lemon water- but what about lime, orange, kiwi, strawberry, melon, or mint water? Slice up your fruit and toss into water. The flavor will intensify if you leave the water to sit for several hours.

  • Also try seltzer, flavored water, like Aquafina Flavor Splash or Hint water, or unsweetened tea.
  •  Freeze water bottles to keep water cold, as most people prefer the taste of cold water.
  • And finally, use post-it notes to leave reminders to drink water throughout the day.

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I scream, you scream, we all scream for… FNCE!?

Last weekend was a huge conference us dietitians and soon-to-be dietitians call FNCE! And lucky for me, this year the conference was held in Boston. This was my first time going and I am already so excited to go back next year!!!

There are so many sessions offered throughout the event and some of the sessions I attended involved Brain Health, Passing the Registered Dietitian Exam, Cooking Classes, and this new type of eating disorder called Orthorexia, which is basically when people become obsessed with eating healthy in order to have a ‘clean’ or ‘pure’ body. I learned so much and got to meet many amazing people and even catch up with some old classmates.  (Side note, I am getting so happy just thinking about it!)

Aside from learning a lot, the event also hosts a HUGE food show where literally every health related food product is out there handing away free samples. I got to taste (and take home!!) a variety of granola bars, protein supplements, probiotic drinks, lower calorie ice creams, yogurt, power shakes, high protein chips, etc. Plus many of the vendors give out other items like cutting boards, whisks, sunglasses, and reusable shopping bags. The amount of stuff I came home with was ridiculous- I wish I had a picture to show you all.

Needless to say almost every dietitian is actually screaming for FNCE and many people describe it as a “Dietitian’s Christmas!” I hope to be able to do some more detailed posts about what I learned when I have some more time. But the one thing I wanted to leave everyone with is:

In the early 1900s the average person consumed 1.5tsp of sugar per day…

Today the average person consumed 47tsp of sugar per day!

I hope everything is thinking HOLY COW right now and hopefully starts becoming a little bit more aware of the problem we are facing as a nation.

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Some of the vendors in the food show set up photo booths to take silly pictures with their products! Talk about a great marketing technique because you know everyone loves posting silly pictures.
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Spread Some Sunshine

Happy Monday Friends! I came across this awesome organization this weekend and wanted to share it with everyone: The Secret Sunflower Project!

The idea is that you can buy a package of sunflower seeds through this organization, which you then plant somewhere where many people will be able to enjoy their beauty. Additionally, your purchase comes with a second seed package to give to a friend, so that they can spread some beauty and happiness as well. I personally love sunflowers and I am totally enamored when I see them growing wildly. Plus this awesome cause donates some of the money to raising awareness to Alzheimer’s Disease! Make sure to check out some of the videos under the media section of the website.

I know we are heading into the chilly months up here, but consider this project for next summer. But remember, don’t wait until next summer to start spreading some sunshine!! Every day is a great day to spread some happiness through a random act of kindness! #motivationmonday #randomactofkindess #sunflowerproject

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Some beautiful and happy sunflowers my boyfriend got me earlier this year! Do you love sunflowers as much as I do?
Recipes

Chicken Quinoa Soup

We’re back talking about quinoa again today and let me tell you– this is not your traditional chicken noodle soup! As we learned before, quinoa is a seed (which we consider a grain) that is full of protein, fiber, and antioxidants. Plus, making your own soup will be lower in sodium compared to canned soup. This easy one-pot recipe will leave you feeling full and warm on a chilly night!

Recipe: Serves 4 |  Recipe Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces prior to cooking
  • 8 cups Pacific Brand low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed (Can substitute 1 cup rice if desired)

Instructions

  1. Set a large soup pot over medium-low heat with olive oil and butter.
  2. Once the butter has melted, add the onion, carrots, and celery. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Sauté until soft. This will take about 10 minutes.
  3. Add in the garlic and dried thyme and stir for another minute
  4. Add in the broth and the chicken breasts and bring everything to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes
  5. Pour in the dried quinoa (or rice) and fresh parsley and cook for another 10 minutes (or until grain is cooked.)

Nutrition Information: 414 calories • 13 grams fat • 4 grams saturated fat • 37 grams protein • 39 grams carbohydrate• 5 grams fiber • 265 milligrams sodium • 86% vitamin A • 26% iron

Written by: Emily Incledon, Student Dietitian at Framingham State University

Emily has always had a passion for food, cooking, and eating. Emily is now pursing her Masters of Science in Nutrition at Framingham State and on the path to become a Registered Dietitian. After graduation, Emily aspires to combine her passion and education to help people discover how delicious healthy food can be!

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