March is almost over, I can’t believe how fast this month has flown by. We are having gorgeous Spring weather and my garden is blooming. Can’t wait to pick the first ripe tomatoes!
April 1st is a Sunday this year, so I hope you can find some time to play with food and make a fun surprise for your family or friends. If you need inspiration, look here at Family Fun for ideas and recipes; or browse around Food Network for fun ideas; or use mine from last year- Cupcakes for Dinner.
I think I might try sushi this year!
One of the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans is “reduce the intake of calories from solid fats and added sugars” (otherwise known as SoFAS). An estimated 35% of our daily calories currently comes from SoFAS; items such as cookies, cakes, pastries, candies, ice cream and sweetened beverages.
Solid fats are any fat that is solid at room temperature; think of butter, stick margarine, poultry skin, the layer of fat on the outside of a pork chop or steak, shortening and lard.
Added sugars are all sugars that don’t occur naturally in foods in their whole state, but instead are added during processing; think honey, agave nectar, molasses, high-fructose corn syrup, sugar and other syrups.
The suggested intake on an average 2000 calorie diet is less than 250 calories from SoFAS; that equals roughly a 2 ounce candy bar or one glazed donut per day. Where does your intake fall? You can use the ChooseMyPlate website to adjust your calorie needs based on your age, gender and weight.
Now, of course, SoFAS has another meaning too, and also ties in to the Dietary Guidelines. Get OFF the sofa and get moving! If you are sedentary, try adding a 10-20 minute walk to your daily routine to begin moving, and increase your distance and pace as your health allows. If you are currently getting a daily dose of aerobic activity, then try adding some strength training to your “sofa time”. Get up and do some push ups, sit ups and bicep/triceps curls while watching your evening program.
Small changes done every day can add up to big results!
What do you like to cook for St. Patrick’s day? Do you favor beef stews or Shepard’s pie? Do you bake homemade bread?
Here’s where I got my inspiration for last year’s recipes and I think I’ll make them again this year!
Irish Beef Stew with Guinness Stout although after browning the meat on the stove top I toss it all in the crock pot and let it cook on low for 6 hours, and I add potatoes!
had to borrow this photos of bread since I haven’t made it yet this year!
Brown Irish Soda Bread:
3 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp quick cooking or regular oats (not instant)
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Sift flours, salt and baking soda together into a large bowl. Stir in the oats. Make a well in the middle, pour in the buttermilk and stir with a wooden spoon until mixture just comes together in a soft, moist dough.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a large rounded disk about 8 inches diameter. With a sharp knife, cut a deep cross through the center of the dough disk, almost into quarters. On a buttered baking sheet bake bread on the middle rack of oven for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 20-25 minutes until bread is crusty and richly browned.
HAPPY REGISTERED DIETITIAN DAY!
3/14/2012 8:33:40 AM by Erin Sund
Today marks the 5th annual Registered Dietitian Day—a day to recognize RDs as nutrition advocates and dedicated health professionals. RDs are the food and nutrition experts who can translate the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living. RDs work in diverse locations like schools, hospitals, corporations and restaurants (to name just a few). Here are several ways RDs help improve our health:
RDs work with public health, government, schools and local leaders to create wellness programs that promote healthful eating and physical activity.
RDs help support patients battling diabetes, heart disease, eating disorders and other challenging health problems.
RDs support breastfeeding moms by making sure they and their infants get enough critical nutrients.
An RD can help you learn how to prepare healthy family meals on a limited budget.
An RD can help you improve your performance in sports and set goals to achieve results.
An RD can create a personalized weight loss plan that fits your needs and lifestyle.
Want to learn more about how RDs improve the health of Americans? Looking for ways to celebrate RDs today? Check out this list of resources and go to the NNM catalogue for some RD gifts to celebrate the day!
and a little fun about what we do as registered dietitians from fellow RD blogger Amber Pankonin at http://beginningwell.com
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It literally does what is says…breaks your fast after a night of good sleep. You need to wake up your metabolism and get your blood sugar stabilized each morning, and the best way to do that is drink a large glass of fresh clean water and eat a breakfast that contains protein, carbohydrates (preferably complex CHO with a significant amount of fiber) and a small amount of fat.
Here’s a pretty quick and healthy breakfast idea if you have a busy day or heavy workout ahead of you.
One whole bagel (I had an Einstein bros onion bagel on hand)
Two egg whites cooked in a non-stick skillet
Reduced fat cheddar cheese slice-1oz.
Filling, good source of protein, low fat, and a half a vegetable serving…all for around 350 calories. Add a half a grapefruit for additional vitamin C and one fruit serving!
My son came home the other day and asked if I could make something for him to bring into Spanish class for a celebration of practicing ordering food in Spanish. I had lots of ideas that were vegetable based, but he shot me down on each one!
This is what we agreed upon, though it was my very generous daughter who helped with the assembly!
Boil 2 peeled plantains (about 2 cups sliced plantains) in water about 10 minutes until tender. Mash with approximately 4TBSP fat-free sweetened condensed milk. (NOTE: if you have no other use for the rest of the can of condensed milk, try it in your coffee! YUMMY). If you’ve never peeled a plantain before, check out a quick video on youtube, surprisingly easy if you make the shallow cuts down the ridges.
Lay out 3″ circles of dough (I didn’t have enough time to make homemade, so these are thawed puff pastry sheets cut into circles) on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet and moisten the edges with a dab of water.
Place one and a half to 2 teaspoons of filling on each circle. Fold over and pinch edges together to make sealed half-moon shaped pockets.
Brush tops of sealed empanaditas with milk and sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar. Bake in 400 degree oven for approximately 17 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Melt 1/2 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl with 1-2 tbsp milk and drizzle on empanaditas.
Puff Pastry is so adaptable; you could fill these with just about anything sweet or savory! I filled a few of the leftover circles with homemade nutella (roasted hazelnuts and cocoa powder) for a little afternoon treat.
Ingredients for Empanaditas with Sweet Plantains and Chocolate:
2 ripe plantains
4 TBSP fat-free sweetened condensed milk
2 packages frozen puff pastry sheets
1/2 cup chocolate chips
To find out how your plate stacks up to the current Nutrition Recommendations, please read below; then schedule an appointment with a Registered Dietitian today.
Food, Nutrition and Health Tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Get Your Plate in Shape
Before you eat, think about what goes on your plate or in your bowl. Foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean protein foods contain the nutrients you need without too many calories. Over the day, include foods from all the food groups. Try the following tips to “Get Your Plate in Shape.”
Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
Eat a variety of vegetables, especially dark- green, red and orange vegetables plus beans and peas. Fresh, frozen and canned vegetables all count. Choose “reduced sodium” or “no-salt-added” canned vegetables.
Add fruit to meals and snacks. Buy fruits that are dried, frozen or canned in water or 100% juice, as well as fresh fruits.
Make at least half your grains whole.
Choose 100% whole-grain breads, cereals, crackers, pasta and brown rice.
Check the ingredients list on food packages to find whole-grain foods.
Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk.
Fat-free and low-fat milk have the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as whole milk, but less fat and calories.
If you are lactose intolerant, try lactose-free milk or a calcium-fortified soy beverage.
Vary your protein choices.
Eat a variety of foods from the protein food group each week, such as seafood, nuts and beans, as well as lean meat, poultry and eggs.
Twice a week, make seafood the protein on your plate.
Keep meat and poultry portions small and lean.
Cut back on sodium and empty calories from solid fats and added sugars.
Drink water instead of sugary drinks. Select fruit for dessert. Eat sugary desserts less often. Choose 100% fruit juice instead of fruit-flavored drinks.
Look out for salt (sodium) in foods you buy. Compare sodium in foods and choose those with lower numbers. Add spices or herbs to season food without adding salt.
Make major sources of saturated fats such as desserts, pizza, cheese, sausages and hot dogs occasional choices, not every day foods.
Select lean cuts of meat or poultry and fat- free or low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese.
Switch from solid fats to oils when preparing food.
Enjoy your food but eat less.
Get your personal daily calorie limit at http://www.ChooseMyPlate.gov. Keep that number in mind when deciding what to eat.
Avoid oversized portions. Use a smaller plate, bowl and glass.
Cook more often at home, where you are in control of what’s in your food.
When eating out, choose lower calorie menu options. Choose dishes that include vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
Write down what you eat to keep track of how much you eat.
If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so sensibly. Limit to 1 drink a day for women or to 2 drinks a day for men.
Be physically active your way.
Pick activities that you like and start by doing what you can, at least 10 minutes at a time. Every bit adds up and health benefits increase as you spend more time being active.
Children and teens: Get 60 minutes or more a day.
Adults: Get 2 hours and 30 minutes or more a week of activity that requires moderate effort such as brisk walking.
Source: Let’s Eat for the Health of It, http://www.ChooseMyPlate.gov.
©2012 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Reproduction of this tip sheet is permitted for educational purposes. Reproduction for sales purposes is not authorized.