School is either already in session or about to begin again for the year. So venture out to do one of these activities that encourage physical activity while exploring the outdoors before summer is over.
1. Shop at the outdoor mall or outlet mall
2. Visit the local zoo
3. Peruse the free park
4. Go for a bike ride-rent bikes if you don't own them
5. Walk along the canal (if you live near Indy), or other trail system near by
6. Spend a day on the local reservoir
7. Hike in a state park
8. Go to a local orchard and pick your own fruit
9. Visiting a local farmers market
10. Attend a local fair
Monday, August 29, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Tuna that is...particularly the white tuna canned in water! It is a great source of protein containing 22 grams in a 3 ounce serving for only ~100 calories. It also boasts omega-3's, DHA & EPA, which are well known essential fatty acids that play an important role in brain function and normal growth and developement. Worried about mercury contamination in canned tuna? Don't be. Government testing has shown that canned ALBACORE (white tuna) and fresh/frozen tuna steaks have higher levels of mercury than canned tuna.
How much is recommended? The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least 2 times a week so why not include this delicious and versatile food in your meal plan? Canned tuna is great for travel or when you are on-the-go and even come convienantly packaged in pouches or cans with pull tabs for easy opening. Tuna salad is not the only thing that can be made with canned tuna so be creative!
To get recipes and meal ideas visit the StarKist website.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Do you enjoy fresh & local produce? A lot of stores like Meijer, Marsh & Kroger in the Indianapolis are carry some local produce, but to find the jack pot you should find a farmers' market near you. With over 20 farmers' market locations there has to be one with in a short drive from your house. Check out this website that provides a map of some of the Indianapolis area farmers' markets.
Two locations not listed on this map that are located in Hendricks County include:
1. The Avon Farmers Market sponsored by Hendricks Regional Health is Tuesdays from 4 pm to 7 pm in front of the Hendricks Regional Health Office in Avon.
2. The Brownsburg Farmers Market which is held on Thursdays from 3:30 pm to 7 pm in the green space in front of the Brownsburg Town Hall (61 N. Green Street, Brownsburg, IN 46112)
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Knowing the vitamins & minerals isn't enough, you have to consume it to get the benefits. But knowing how to incorporate it in your meal plan can sometimes be a challenge if it's a new food for you. Salads are a great way to boost your spinach intake. Purchase ready-to-eat spinach out of the bag and making a nice healthy-portion salad by including your favorite veggies and a low-calorie salad dressing. Spinach makes for great flavor addition to sandwiches, pitas, wraps, etc. by just adding a thick layer of leaves! Or, you could make a spinach and low-fat cheese omelet or egg scramble (using an egg substitute) to get more spinach in for breakfast.
Finecooking.com has great recipes & other helpful information about spinach benefits & uses.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Extreme couponing has become a crazy phenomenon since the new show "Extreme Couponing" aired on TLC a few months ago. Couponing is not something that is new, but it does require skill. There are a lot of coupons to be found that could be very useful in helping you save money while purchasing groceries, however, that doesn't mean that every coupon you have should be used!
Food coupons are often frozen or processed foods that if eaten in moderation can fit well into a balanced meal plan. However, too much of the processed foods can begin to replace consuming adequate numbers of fruits & vegetables so you must be careful. Here are some tips on how to be frugal & still be fit and on your meal plan:
- Call or email all produce companies (Dole, Chiquita, Del Monte, etc) and let them know that you really enjoy their products, but that you never see coupons. They will often send coupons periodically upon your request.
- Look in FREE store magazines for coupons on produce. For example, the dietitans that work for Meijer publish a booklet every now and then & the booklet had coupons for prepackaged Dole Salad in July 2011
- Coupons.com has printable coupons & every now and then has fresh produce coupons.
- Local newspapers every now and then will have coupons for apple slices, bagged salads, melons, etc
- Always look for reduced priced items. These items may need to be eaten with in a few days, but they can save you 50% or more! Most noted are the manager specials at Meijer & Kroger for their reductions in price on the already cut veggies/fruits or salad bowls.
You probably aren't going to walk out of the store with an entire cart full of produce and lean meats for free, but you will be able to continue living the lifestyle that HNT has helped you to build & save a bit of money while you do it!
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Monster, Red Bull, 5-Hour Energy, Rockstar, AMP, have become some of the most popular beverages on shelves at convenience stores, big retail markets and grocery stores. Energy drinks are on the rise, surpassing colas, by Americans. Many people are looking for specific health or nutritional benefits in a quick gulp and those people are turning to these energy drinks to obtain those so called "benefits".
Energy drinks fall under the umbrella of Functional Drinks. Functional drinks are promoted to have specific health benefits such as heart health, joint health, satiety, improved immunity, digestion, or energy boosting (primarily the "benefit" promoted by energy drinks).
Caffeine is found in energy drinks just as it is in sodas, however, the amount of caffeine in a 12 oz. energy drinks can be up to 21 times the amount in a 12 oz. can of diet soda! A 12 oz. serving of soda may contain anywhere between 20-45 mg of caffeine while a 12 oz. serving of 5 Hour Energy Drink contains 828 mg, 12 oz. of Monster Hitman Sniper has 960 mg, and 12 oz. of Rockstar 2X has 250 mg of caffeine! That's an outrageous amount of caffeine!! Look here to see how much caffeine is in your favorite beverages. In addition to providing lots of caffeine, some energy drinks have excess amounts of sugar which could lead to weight gain if intakes are not controlled.
So, do these energy drinks provide what they are touting? Should you drink them? Is it a good idea to drink them if you need additional energy for playing sports, etc? How much is too much? Are they safe?
According to the American Dietetic Association (ADA), Many of the energy drinks that claim 'energy boosting' contain caffeine as well as the amino acid taurine & several B vitamins (which some sources claim helps to boost energy). The science behind these claims shows that they only HELP the foods we eat to provide us with energy. As Registered Dietitians, we know that our bodies can make the energy we need if we are fueling them with proper nutrition. Focus on including balanced proportions of carbs, proteins, & fats daily along with adequate sleep and you should have all the energy you need.
With regards to drinking before sports or physical activity bouts: research has shown that water is all one needs when participating in any activity less than 1 hour. However, in really humid or hot conditions or when participating in activity longer than 1 hour, a sports drinks is necessary to replenish electrolytes that are lost from sweating while rehydrating your body. Recommended drinks include those with little or no calories such as G2 or Powerade Zero.
Are energy drinks safe? Because they include lots of caffeine as mentioned above, they are going to provide a short lived burst of energy. In addition to that energy they may provide some or all of these negative side effects because of too much caffeine consumption: nervousness, irritability, rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure, or insomnia noted by Mayo Clinic.
Are they OK for children to drink? Click Here to read more from WebMD on this topic.
To summarize...Energy drinks are like anything else-one once in a while is probably not going to cause you much or any harm at all, however, they are not necessary to drink to provide you with more energy. Getting adequate nutrition and sleep can help to give you a boost of energy you are needing with out the extra side effects, calories, and worries!
|(photo courtesy of: qsrmagazine.com)|
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Meijer has implemented a nutritional scoring system called NuVal that gives consumers a quick way to determine the degree of nutritional value they would be getting in foods. Have you seen this symbol when shopping at Meijer?
NuVal was developed by medical and nutrition experts that gives a food a score from 1-100. The higher the score the better the nutrition and therefore the better option! The factors that influence the NuVal score include:
1. Fat Quality: omega-3's, poly- and mono-unsaturated vs. saturated or trans fats
2. Carbohydrates: foods with fiber score higher than foods with more added sugar
3. Vitamins & Minerals: the major vitamins examined include A, B6, C, D, E, folate, potassium, calcium, & magnesium
4. Carotenoids & Flavonoids: foods that are high in these antioxidants score higher than foods with no or low amounts of antioxidants.
Some foods that have higher scores include: pineapple (99), blueberries (100), grapefruit (99), green beans (100), broccoli (100), tomatoes (96). Find out the scores of the foods you eat most by going to NuVal's website scoring page.
Obviously, a nutrition scoring systems gives rise to the good foods vs. the bad foods mentality. It tells consumers not to eat foods with scores that are low and vice versa for foods with scores that are high. At HNT we recommend a well rounded meal plan that can be made up of all foods in moderation. This system is just one way to help guide your decisions if you are trying to consume foods that have more nutritional value that the foods you are currently consuming.
Next time you're in Meijer or another store that has NuVal Scores, check out the scores of the foods you are placing in your cart-you might be surprised with some of the numbers!
Monday, August 8, 2011
The HNT Pennsylvania clinic has openings for the Kick-Off class starting August 15th. Center Valley has a great Health Educator, Tina Graves who is ready to work with individuals who want to work on their health and weight management. Weight loss in the HNT program comes at as much as 50 pounds in the first 20 weeks! If you are interested in finding out more about HNT's program for health and weight management & live in or near Center Valley, PA come check us out! Call 484.707.1012 to schedule your spot NOW! Time is closing in on the start date quickly.
We are here to help YOU!
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Avocados are fruits with tons of flavor and richness to add to sandwiches, salads, or dips like guacamole. They are a great source of monounsaturated fats that have been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease. They contain other nutritional components like thiamine, riboflavin, beta carotene, and vitamin C. Avocados have the highest content of the carotenoid lutein, which is important for eye health.
For tips on selecting and storing avocados, check out this YouTube video. To learn more about the two main types of avocados, Hass & Fuerte, click here. How do you like your avocados?
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Accountability is necessary in any adventure, even weight loss. Great accountability tools, such as calorie trackers or daily planners, can be found online or available in downloads for smart phones as apps. Check out these FREE websites that some of our patients have used to see what works for you!
Find other weight loss tracking tools and apps in this article. What do you use for accountability?