Wednesday, January 25, 2017

January, National Oatmeal Month

Oatmeal is ground oat groats or porridge made from oats. Oatmeal can also be ground oats, steel-cut oats, crushed oats, or rolled oats.

Health Benefits
Consumption of oatmeal is known to help lower blood cholesterol because of its soluble fiber content. The popularity of oatmeal and oat products increased after January 1997 when the Food and Drug Administration allowed labels to claim it may reduce the risk of heart disease when combined with a low-fat diet.

Nutrition Information
3/4 cup Oatmeal, cooked
1/3 cup Raspberries

Steel Cut Oatmeal: Healthy Snack Ideas
St. Louis Children's Hospital

Resources and References
1. Wikipedia: Oatmeal
2. WebMD: 
Heartier Benefits Seen From Oatmeal

Nutritional Analysis Services

Ensure accurate and cost effective nutritional analysis and food nutrition facts labels for your recipes and menus utilizing an extensive research database. A great service for the Media, Cookbook Publishers, Writers, Chefs, Recipe Websites and Blogs. Your readers will enjoy and benefit from the Nutrition information.

For more information, visit Dietitians-Online Nutritional Analysis Services

Sandra Frank, Ed.D, RDN, LN

Sunday, January 22, 2017

January - National Birth Defects Prevention Month

 March of Dimes Report Card 

The health of babies in the United States has taken a step backward as the nation’s preterm birth rate worsened for the first time in eight years. According to the latest March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card, the U.S. earned a “C” grade amidst widening differences in prematurity rates across different races and ethnicities.

Birth defects are common, costly, and critical. Birth defects affect 1 in every 33 babies born in the United States and are a leading cause of infant mortality. Babies who survive and live with birth defects are at increased risk for developing many lifelong physical, cognitive, and social challenges. Medical care and support services only scrape the surface of the financial and emotional impact of living with birth defects.

Prevent Birth Defects

National Birth Defects Prevention Month is a time to raise awareness of birth defects and promote healthy pregnancies.

A birth defect is a problem that happens while a baby is developing in the mother’s body. One out of every 33 babies in the United States is born with a birth defect.

Many birth defects can be prevented. If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, these tips can help you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby:

* Take a multivitamin with folic acid every day before and during pregnancy.

* See your doctor or midwife regularly as soon as you think you're pregnant and throughout your pregnancy.

* Make sure your vaccinations are up to date.

* Eat well and stay active.

* Avoid alcohol, smoking, and other drug use.

* Prevent infections from food and other sources.

Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Diet and exercise
Eat healthy and exercise regularly. Health problems are linked to weighing too much or too little before and during pregnancy. Your health is affected by what you eat and by your physical activity.

Here are a few important guidelines for healthy eating:

• Eat lots of vegetables, fruits and whole grains such as whole wheat, oats, barley and brown rice. These are excellent sources of the vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber you need every day to feel your best.

• Eat less of the foods that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol, such as meat, poultry and whole milk dairy foods (low-fat dairy is okay). Saturated fat and cholesterol are strongly linked to heart disease, cancer and obesity.

Regular physical activity helps control weight, strengthen your heart, and give you more energy. It also reduces depression and relieves stress. It’s a good idea to exercise at least 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes.

Alcohol and drugs

Drinking alcohol or taking any type of legal or street drugs during the early weeks of pregnancy can hurt your unborn baby. That’s when the brain and other organs are forming.

If you drink alcohol, so does your unborn baby. Alcohol abuse during pregnay is a leading known cause of mental retardation. If you are considering a pregnancy, it’s best to stop drinking alcohol before you conceive.

Cocaine, crack, heroin, amphetamines and other street drugs can badly hurt your baby if you use them while you are pregnant. Your baby could suffer lifelong health problems. Get help to stop using drugs before you become pregnant and stay clean.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Look at Weight Bias,
Healthy Weight Week

During Healthy Weight Week, the issue of Weight Bias is addressed. The three videos reviewed look at this subject from the academic perspective, a personal view and government intervention. Though the videos discuss weight bias in relationship to overweight and obesity, the very thin often are a target of weight bias.

Weight Bias
Overweight and obese youth frequently are teased, harassed and mistreated because of their weight. Weight-related teasing ("weight bias") can have a damaging impact on both emotional and physical health. The Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University ( created this video to help parents and teachers understand the severity and impacts of weight bias in school and at home and to present strategies to help combat this problem for overweight teens and pre-adolescents.

The video host is celebrity, model and activist Emme and features Rudd Center experts: Dr. Rebecca Puhl and Dr. Kelly Brownell. The obstacles overweight and obese youth encounter with weight bias is presented using expert commentary and dramatic representation.

Discrimination Against Overweight People

"My old suitemate inspired me to make this as my final project freshman year. When she broke out of her shell and felt good about herself, her personality really began to shine. Everyone we lived with started to see past her "big girl" exterior and opened up to her more. We had creative freedom wth our final project so I decided to look at various aspects of the discrimination against larger individuals."

Should Weight Discrimination Be Illegal?


Monday, January 16, 2017

Healthy Weight Week
January 16 to 20, 2017

This week is Healthy Weight Week. Green Mountain at Fox Run is the sponsor of Healthy Weight Week led by Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD, president and co-owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run.
During Healthy Weight Week attention is focused on Lifelong Healthy Habits; Self-Esteem; Weight Bias; Fad Diets and Gimmicks; Women’s Healthy Weight; Health at any Size and Professional Resources. The goals are to prevent eating disorders and weight problems.

What is Healthy Weight Week?
Frances M. "Francie" Berg, MS, LN is the founder of Healthy Weight Week. She is a licensed nutritionist, family wellness specialist and adjunct professor at the University of North Dakota School Of Medicine. Francie is the author of 12 books and the founder, editor and publisher of the Healthy Weight Journal (established in 1986).

"Healthy Weight Network (HWN) provides a critical link between research and practical application on weight and eating issues. Recognizing weight is a complex condition of increasing concern throughout the world, the HWN is committed to bringing together scientific information from many sources, reporting controversial issues in a clear, objective manner and the ongoing search for truth and understanding.

Recognizing weight is an easily exploitable health and social concern, the HWN is committed to exposing deception, reshaping detrimental social attitudes, and promoting health at any size. Our mission is to be a voice of integrity and insight in a field that has been much abused and neglected."

Francie M. Berg, MS, LN

Every Girl Is Beautiful / Self-Esteem PSA

Do You Think I'm Fat?
A Public Service Announcement from the
National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).
For help visit 

January 16, National Fig Newton Day - Nutrition and How It's Made

Charles M. Roser is known as the man who created the Fig Newton recipe. He would later sell it to the Kennedy Biscuit Works (later known as Nabisco.) 

A Fig Newton is a soft cookie filled with fig jam. As of 2012, in addition to the original fig filling, Nabisco also makes several varieties of the Newton, including strawberry, raspberry, and mixed berry. The Fig Newton also comes in a 100% whole grain and a fat-free variety. There are Fig Newton Minis and a crisp version, called Newtons Fruit Thins. 

How Fig Cookies are Made


Wikipedia, Newtons (cookie) 
Fig Newton Products 

An educated consumer has the knowledge to make healthy decisions.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

January 15, National Strawberry Ice cream Day

January 15 is designated as National Strawberry Ice Cream Day. Many people associate ice cream as a high calorie dessert, but with portion planning you can turn ice cream into a healthy snack.

Portion Control

Strawberry Sundae with Granola
1/4 cup Light Strawberry Ice Cream
1 Tablespoon Granola
1/4 cup Strawberries, chopped
1/2 cup Strawberries

Strawberry Ice Cream
with Granola
1/3 cup Light Strawberry Ice Cream
2 Tablespoon Granola
1/4 cup Strawberries, chopped
1/2 cup Strawberries
1.5 teaspoons Strawberry Preserves

Nutrition Information. 165 Calories; 3 g Protein; 34 g Carbohydrates; 2 g Dietary Fiber; 3 g Fat (g); 7 mg Cholesterol; 49 mg Vitamin C; 120 mcg Folate; 48 mg Sodium

Strawberry Ice Cream Cone

Monday, January 2, 2017

National Weigh-in Day - Don’t Let a Number Define You

40 Ways to Measure Success Beyond the Scale
Emphasizing Health vs. Weight for Body-Positive Thinking, Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE,  FAND, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

January 2, National Buffet Day - Navigating a Buffet

A buffet is a system of serving meals in which food is placed in a public area where the diners serve themselves. A buffet can be difficult for a person wanting to control their weight. Planning, moderation and motivation are key to your success.

Seven Tips to Navigating a Buffet

 1. Never go to a buffet hungry. You may be tempted to overindulge. Have a light snack a few hours before arriving at the event.

 2. Use a salad plate, which holds less food than a dinner plate.

 3. Start off with fresh vegetables and/or salad greens. Serve with low-calorie dressing, vinegar, salsa, mustard, or lemon. Avoid the croutons, bacon bits, cheese and salads made with mayonnaise.

 4. Next go for a low calorie beverage, such as water, unsweetened ice tea or diet soda. If you are walking around with a beverage in one hand and a plate of vegetables in the other hand you can easily avoid the appetizers being passed around.

 5. Main meal. Fill half your plate with vegetables. Choose steamed vegetables and keep away from those with heavy sauces. Avoid pastry items, deep-fried, breaded and foods prepared with mayonnaise, sour cream and cheese sauces. Instead choose lean meats, poultry, or fish. If you want to try a variety of items, ask for small samples.

 6. Avoid breads and crackers, especially if prepared with added fat.

 7. If you want a dessert, choose a light alternative. Many buffets now offer low-calorie or sugar-free desserts, as well as fresh fruit.

Eating at a buffet can be challenging, but with planning, motivation, and moderation your success will be rewarded.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Modifying Recipes Related to Changing Nutritional Needs:
Carrot Ginger Bisque

As one gets older, some of our dietary needs change related to our health. This year I'm on a personal quest to prepare foods rich in flavors and colors, yet meet changing nutritional needs. 

A diagnosis of arthritis, can make it difficult to prepare some of your favorite recipes. Try improvising with some pre-packaged products and a touch of creativity.

Changing Nutritional Needs: 
1. Easy to prepare recipes (related to arthritis). Keep a pair of scissors around in order to open packages. Learn to slow down to avoid cutting oneself or dropping items.
2. Lower Sodium (related to hypertension; family history)
3. Increase Fiber (related to diverticulosis)
4. Monitor Calories and Increase Activities (related to a slower metabolism)
5. Easy to Chew (related to dentures and a recent stroke) 

6. Low in Cholesterol (related to history of elevated blood cholesterol; family history)

As I read this list, one might think I'm a mess, but I feel great. I am eating healthy and exercising at least one hour a day 5 to 6 times a week. I joined the silver sneakers program (free for many seniors depending on your health insurance). The SilverSneakers® Fitness Program is an exercise program helping older adults live healthy, active lifestyles. "Get fit, have fun, make friends!" I took my first Zumba class this week and had a great time. Next week I am looking forward to learning yoga.

Carrot Ginger Bisque
Yield: 6 servings
Serving Size: about 1 cup

2 cup Vegetable Broth, low sodium
1.5 cup Carrots, diced
1/4 cup Cranberries, dried, sweetened
1 box (17.6 oz) Cashew Carrot Ginger Bisque, Pacific Natural Foods
3/4 cup White Beans, unsalted, drained


Heat the vegetable broth. Add diced carrots and dried cranberries. Simmer until carrots and cranberries are tender. Using a strainer separate the carrots and cranberries from the broth. Reserve carrots and cranberries. 

Combine the broth and "Cashew Carrot Ginger Bisque". Heat over medium heat until hot, stirring occasionally. Add the white beans and reserved carrots and cranberries. Mix and reheat to serving temperature.

Notes. I used a low sodium vegetable broth to lower the sodium content of the Cashew Carrot Ginger Bisque. To increase the fiber content, I garnished the recipe with white beans, diced carrots, and dried cranberries.

Nutrition Information

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