Three Things


1. Do you use a meal kit delivery service? New research suggests that people who are the least enthusiastic about cooking are more likely to use a meal kit delivery service. The younger generation is more likely to use the services and be away that they exist. These services can be a great way of staying on track and take the planning out of meal prep and grocery shopping. While I do love my grocery shopping, a meal service can be great for weeks I know will be super busy!

P.S. HelloFresh delivers great recipes and fresh ingredients to your home each week. Cook fast healthy recipes. Click here!

2. Healthy obesity is being questioned once again. Is it possible for someone to be metabolically healthy and obese at the same time? A marker for a metabolically healthy obese individual is high sensitivity to insulin which could indicate that someone may not need as much intervention to prevent obesity-related complications. A new study analyzing fat tissue showed a difference between healthy participants and insulin-sensitive and insulin-resistant obese individuals. In conclusion, it seems that samples from obese individuals that were either metabolically healthy or unhealthy showed almost identical, abnormal changes in gene expression in response to insulin stimulation.

3. It’s true that people sometimes ignore the advice of dietitians. But why would people do that?! It can definitely be hard for dietitians to interpret scientific evidence into information that the general public can use. Not only that, but there are multiple blogs, people and source giving uneducated opinions about nutrition and incorrect nutrition information. The best way to sort through all the noise is to ask a dietitian and use trusted sources for nutrition information.

Raquel

I received a credit to try HelloFresh as a result of this promotion. This post contains affiliate links.

Healthy Dining Out

Eating out with friends doesn’t have to sabotage your efforts to eat well. Healthy eating doesn’t stop on the weekends! Use these tips to keep your goals in sight and feel better after a weekend of some indulging.

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10 Tips for Dining Out Healthy

  1. Have a plan. Strategically pick a restaurant that you know has some healthy options. Convince your friends to eat there too! Eat a small snack a couple hours before dining out so you aren’t ravenous when you show up to dinner.
  2. Check the menu before you leave home. It is much easier to stick to healthy options when you’ve already decided before arriving. This way it will be harder for a less healthy menu item to sway your decision.
  3. Skip fancy drinks. Fancy drinks can be loaded with sugar. Stick to wine or a simple mixed cocktail that isn’t a sugar bomb. Remember, ordering water is healthy and helps save a bit of money!
  4. Ask how the food is prepared. You may not realize a menu item is fried or cooked in butter. So ask! The more you know, the easier it will be to make a decision.
  5. Customize your order. You can always make changes to what you order. Opt for a lighter salad dressing, a different cooking oil, or get something baked/steamed/grilled instead.
  6. Avoid ordering extras. Try not to add extra dressings, extra toppings, and anything “loaded.” This will save you calories and decrease the fat.
  7. Practice portion sizes. You don’t have to feel obligated to finish your meal. You can always take some home and eat it later. Eat until you are full and don’t over do it.
  8. Split menu items. Speaking of portion sizes – splitting food with a friend can give you that bite you are looking for without eating an entire portion of something you know you’ll regret later.
  9. Eat slowly. The slower you eat, the more you will be aware of when you are actually full. Not to mention you can focus on the conversation at the table instead of finishing your meal in record time.
  10. Skip dessert. I know it’s tough. But this will save you calories and money. Skip dessert and have a small piece of chocolate or fruit when you get home. You’ll thank yourself later.

Raquel

Fuel With a Purpose

Fueling with a purpose is extremely important! My lovely friend and fellow Registered Dietitian, Abby was previously a sports nutritionist at George Washington University in Washington DC. I hope you all find this post helpful in understanding proper pre and post workout fuel.


 

Pre and post exercise nutrition is a popular nutrition topic. Exercise is directly affected by how you fuel your body. Finding the right balance can help optimize performance and recovery. Having adequate energy stores in your muscles will give you the ability to have a productive workout. It will also reduce the likelihood for muscle soreness, allowing you to have better workouts each day. Let’s begin talking about the macronutrients and why they are important in “fueling” ones body.

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Nutrition basics

CARBOHYDRATES: Your body breaks down carbohydrates and uses them for energy in the form of glucose. Complex carbohydrates are not as processed and contain fiber, so they are digested more slowly and energy levels stay high. The major source of energy used during exercise is carbohydrates in the form of muscle glycogen. The greater your glycogen stores, the longer exercise can be sustained without exhaustion. It is important to keep these stores of glycogen high when you are an avid exerciser and during exercise, so you are able to have optimal performance.

PROTEIN: Protein is broken down into amino acids, which your body utilizes to rebuild muscles and repair tissues. Lean meat, skim milk, eggs, and Greek yogurt are great sources of essential amino acids to recover after weightlifting and workouts.

FAT: In general, fat intake should be around 20-30% of daily calories. Avocados, almonds, walnuts, peanut butter, and even salmon provide good sources of healthy unsaturated fat.

FIBER: Fiber is important to properly digest food that you eat and help maintain a steady blood sugar level. Aim for 20-35 grams of fiber per day.

WATER: Hydration is necessary during workouts because you are losing water and electrolytes through sweat. Dehydration can hinder athletic performance and it can be dangerous to your health. Make sure to drink water throughout the day and try to fill your glass or water bottle up at least 6-8 times a day.

Pre-exercise fuel:
1 hour or less: This should be mainly carbohydrate consumption. Carbohydrate consumption prior to exercise is key to top off glycogen stores and prevent early fatigue. Think sports drink, water, sports gummies, gel, a sports bar, piece of whole fruit, berries, or jam sandwich.

2 hours: Carbohydrate consumption with a small amount of protein constitutes an optimal pre-exercise snack. Limit fat and fiber consumption for better digestion and avoid processed foods.

3 + hours before exercise: A FULL MEAL. This should consist of a good amount of carbohydrates to fuel your muscles.

  1. Oatmeal with berries, almonds, and sugar, paired with a glass of milk
  2. Turkey Sandwich with whole grain bread, avocado, paired with a piece of fruit, glass of water
  3. Yogurt with berries, glass of 100% orange juice, handful of almonds, glass of water
  4. A salad with low fat dressing, whole wheat roll, apple with peanut butter, glass of water

During exercise fuel:
60 minutes or less, water is efficient to continue hydration. Greater than 60 minutes of exercise, carbohydrate intake is important to maintain glycogen stores.

Consume Gatorade or other sports drink with water. This helps relieve any GI distress from carb intake during exercise. Always consume water with your carbohydrates, protein, and fat to help aid in digestion. An orange or apple is also a good example, and sports gummies. Nutrition during prolonged exercise requires the proper mix and timing of fluids, carbohydrate, and electrolytes. Too little fluid or too much carbohydrate can result in cramping and other intestinal problems.

Post exercise fuel:
Your MAIN FOCUS should be consuming a good portion of carbohydrates and protein after exercise to rebuild and replenish your glycogen stores in the muscle. Replenishing your electrolytes lost through sweat is another important factor with recovery fuel. Provide protein to aid in repair of damaged muscle tissue and to stimulate development of new tissue. Fifteen minutes to one hour after exercise is the “window of opportunity.” A snack or meal with a 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein is ideal. If you do not have an appetite following a training session, choose liquid foods that meet your recovery goals (sports drinks, chocolate milk, 100% fruit juice).

Snack ideas: Chocolate milk, banana with peanut butter, Greek yogurt with granola, smoothie with fruit/veggie and some Greek yogurt of protein powder, and graham crackers with peanut butter + fruit.

Meal ideas: Whole wheat pita with hummus or turkey/chicken, whole wheat pita sandwich with turkey and veggies + pretzels + low-fat milk, rice bowl with beans, cheese, salsa, avocado + whole grain tortilla chips or whole wheat tortilla, stir fry with lean steak, broccoli, bell peppers, carrots + brown rice.

Eat Well, Live Well,

Abby

September Meal Roundup

Here is a roundup of my September eats:

image8Cashew & Lime Crusted Tilapia with a side of asparagus
Preheat oven to 350 F. Rub about a tablespoon of olive oil over tilapia filet and sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper on both sides. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and crust tilapia with chopped cashews, lime zest, and squeeze the juice of half a lime on top. Bake for an additional 5 minutes.


image7Grilled Peaches, Ham, and Arugula Pizza @ The Millworks, Harrisburg, PA
Jon and I visit friends and family in Harrisburg and we couldn’t wait to try this place. It’s a combination of art studios, a gallery, restaurant, and bar. My pizza was made with local grilled peaches, ham, goat cheese, and arugula. It was a sweet and salty meal.


image6California Quinoa Brown Rice Roll via Whole Foods with a side of edamame
Who doesn’t love sushi! When I’m in a hurry picking up sushi with a side of edamame makes for a convenient meal that feels fancy. Love the mixture of brown rice and quinoa in place of white rice. Edamame adds a touch of protein.


image5Egg White Frittata with Zucchini, Tomato, Spinach,and Goat Cheese @ Bank & Bourbon, Philadelphia, PA
Brunch is always the answer. Jon and I made our way into Center City one Sunday to try brunch at Bank & Bourbon. I had an egg white frittata and Jon went with the Cinnamon Swirl French Toast (which was delicious, of course).


image4Protein Veggie Bowl with ground turkey, black beans, mixed vegetables, and tomato sauce
Eating healthy doesn’t mean following a recipe at every meal. My protein veggie bowl can be mixed and matched with a different protein and different veggies every time! Plus, you can add some whole wheat pasta or quinoa for added bulk.


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Crab Pretzel @ The University of Maryland, Byrd Stadium
There’s not much to say about this massive crab pretzel except that it’s amazing. A gigantic soft pretzel topped with cheesy crab dip. Yes.

 


image2Mediterranean Pizza via Whole Foods with a side salad
This frozen thin crust Mediterranean pizza is a great alternative to ordering out. I like to add extra chopped olives, feta, and sun-dried tomatoes. You can customize pretty much any frozen pizza by adding additional ingredients or just more of what’s already there! A side salad with veggies never hurts either. Keeping mixed greens on hand is necessary.


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Cream Cheese Ice Cream Sandwiched between Cookie Dough and Brownie @ Zsa’s Gourmet Ice Cream, Manayunk StrEAT Food Festival
Manayunk has a food festival twice a year that brings dozens of food trucks to Main Street. Among a beer garden, taco trucks, mac & cheese trucks was this ice cream sandwich. Don’t worry, I shared.


mexibowl

Shrimp & Quinoa Mexi Bowl with black beans, salsa, broccoli, and lime
This is a great meal for lunch or dinner. Quinoa and black beans in addition to a protein (in this case shrimp) make for a filling dish. Half an avocado on the side gives it a Mexican feel.

 

Raquel