Three Things

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1. Is it surprising that young Americans drink more, eat worse, and stay skinnier? Well it seems that millennials have a lower obesity rate than that of Generation Xers and baby boomers. Millennials are classified as people between 20-36 years old. The data report came to the conclusion came to the conclusion that millennials have the least amount of disposable income leading them to choose less expensive, less nutritious foods. But, somehow millennials still have the lowest rate of obesity and it actually decreased since 2008. While it’s great that obesity levels among millennials has decreased, a healthier lifestyle with balanced nutrition is still the goal!

2. I occasionally keep a food diary. At one point I used MyFitnessPal then I transitioned to simply writing what I ate in a note on my iPhone and now I make mental notes. I enjoyed seeing my diet laid out in front of me, but now I feel confident in making the right choices when it comes to diet without a diary. The Wall Street Journal says there are new reasons to keep a food diary. Food diaries are a great way to help make a behavior and lifestyle change. They can be helpful in weight loss, identifying food allergies, and maintaining normal blood sugar levels. If you haven’t tried a food diary you should consider starting one to evaluate your diet.

3. These six nutrition rules are apparently what everyone can agree on. I must say I do agree with everything, but I would make one change! There’s no need to buy a food scale. Make sure you have measuring cups and know your portion sizes using your hand! For example, three ounces of meat is about the size of your palm and a tablespoon is about the size of the tip of your thumb. Correct portion sizes can help you with portion control!

Raquel

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

Nutrition 101

Eating a balanced diet is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. That being said… STOP DIETING! It’s all about balance, portion control, and lifestyle changes. Macronutrients are what make up our diet: carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Each category has choices that are better than others. But, don’t think you need  to cut anything out of your diet completely. I take that back, sugar sweetened beverages should be a no, no! Let’s get into the details.

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Careful Carbs

Carbohydrates are our main source of energy. They are broken down into glucose, better known as sugar. This sugar is used for energy in our cells. Carbohydrates can be simple or complex depending on their structure. Complex carbohydrates provide more vitamins, minerals, and fiber than simple carbohydrates. These carbohydrates take longer to be digested and can help you feel full longer, as well as help control blood sugar. Simple carbohydrates are found in some fruits, vegetables, milk, dairy products, and products with refined or added sugars. Simple and complex carbohydrates can both be perfectly healthful if you choose wisely!

  • Brown rice
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Whole wheat bread and pasta
  • Whole fruit
  • Low fat milk
  • Oats or oatmeal
  • Ancient grains
  • Beans and legumes

Lean & Clean Protein

Proteins are the building blocks of our cells. Proteins are broken down into amino acids which help create and repair cells and is important for growth and development. Amino acids can be essential or nonessential. Essential amino acids are not made in our bodies and therefore must come from a food source. A complete protein contains all of the essential amino acids. Examples of complete proteins are quinoa, buckwheat, hempseed, chia seeds, and soy. The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) for protein is 0.8 grams of protein/kilogram of body weight or 0.36 grams of protein/pound of body weight. On average this equate to 56 grams of protein for men and 46 grams of protein for women.

  • Chicken breast
  • Lean ground turkey
  • Fish
  • Shrimp
  • Quinoa
  • Greek yogurt
  • Low fat cheese
  • Bean and legumes
  • Edamame (soy)
  • Eggs

Health’full’ Fats

Fats are essential in our bodies. Fat helps to insulate our body and is used as an energy source. When there is no more energy from carbohydrates the body turns to fat. Fats also help the body absorb the fat-soluble vitamins: vitamin A, D, E, and K. There are multiple types of fat in foods. Saturated and trans fats can negatively impact our health. Unsaturated fats, on the other hand, can help lower the risk of multiple diseases. Recently, new research has shown that dietary cholesterol does not affect levels of LDL or bad cholesterol. Bottom line: we need fat in our diet!

  • Avocado
  • Olive oil
  • Unsweetened coconut
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Ground flaxseed
  • Natural peanut butter
  • Chia seeds

For information on vitamins and minerals check out my resources page.

Raquel