The benefits of eating beets (+ salad and dessert recipes)

Like all vegetables, beets (aka, beetroot) make a wonderful addition to your healthy weight plan. They are high in antioxidants and an array of important micronutrients including folate, manganese, potassium and vitamin C.  One cup of beets contains just 59 calories and about 15% (3.8 grams) of all the fiber you need for the whole day.  Fiber promotes a healthy weight because it moves very slowly through the digestive tract which helps to keep you feeling full.

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Although beets are available throughout the year, their peak season runs from June through October making them readily available at farmers markets in the summer.  They come in a variety of beautiful colors including purple, red, pink striped, and golden.  They can be eaten raw, boiled, or roasted and taste great when paired with cheese, added to salads, made into a slaw, or used in smoothies. Because of their natural sweetness, they even work well in certain dessert recipes.

In addition to the beetroot, beet greens are actually completely edible and rich in nutrients including beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. They taste similar to Swiss chard and can be used interchangeable in recipes so be sure not to throw them away.

Besides the role beetroot plays in weight loss, it may help to decrease inflammation.  Although far from conclusive, research suggests beetroot supplementation holds promise as a future strategy to at least help manage some of the symptoms of inflammation in cancer.  In one human study, it was shown that both cooked beets and beetroot juice were able to lower levels of inflammatory markers in people with high blood pressure.

Make beets part of your healthy weight, anti-inflammatory eating plan.

TRY THESE DELICOUS BEET RECIPES 

Refreshing Strawberry Ginger Beet Sorbet makes the perfect dessert on a hot summer day.

This Roasted Beet Salsa can be eaten with tortilla chips, over a taco salad, or served on top of fish.

If you’d prefer not to turn on the oven to roast beets, you can steam or boil them.

Prepare these Sautéed Beet Greens in about 15 minutes for the perfect side dish.

Naturally sweet, this Beet, Apple, Lemon + Spinach Smoothie is a nutrient-packed thirst quencher.

Lorraine

PS…

Looking for more healthy recipes?  Get your own Anti-Inflammatory Diet Plan with recipes for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks.  Try it out for FREE today.

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Is corn okay to eat? The answer may surprise you.

Fresh sweet corn on the cob is one of my favorite seasonal vegetables.  It’s so delicious and yet corn has the reputation of being a food to avoid – especially by dieters.  Fortunately this bad reputation is unwarranted.  Corn (which is actually a vegetable, grain, and fruit) is relatively low in calories – a large ear of corn has only  about 125. It has more protein and fiber than white bread, breakfast cereals, baked goods and most other refined grain products – and no added sugar.

grilled corn on cob

Corn on the cob (and even plain popcorn) has plenty of nutrients. They include:

  • protein
  • fiber
  • vitamin A
  • vitamin C
  • B vitamins: thiamine, folate, B-6
  • magnesium
  • potassium

Some of the health benefits of whole corn:

  • supports the immune system and defends the eyes and skin against oxidative stress due to its carotenoid antioxidants especially lutein and zeaxanthin.
  • contains a good dose of fiber that feeds the “good” gut bacteria creating a healthy microbiome and digestive system.
  • complex carbohydrate content supports a steady energy level and longer feeling of fullness than refined carbohydrates.

Although whole corn is nutritious, many processed packaged foods contain unhealthy corn-derivative ingredients. Therefore, its best to eat mostly real whole foods and limit those that come in packages as much as possible to minimize consumption of GMO-corn, corn oil, and high fructose corn syrup.

Try this recipe:  Learn how to cook perfect corn on the grill with these tips and recipes.  Be sure to go easy on the butter and salt.  Enjoy!

Have a safe and fun Fourth of July.

Lorraine

PS…

Ready-to-go meal plans with recipes and grocery lists make it easy to eat healthy.  Give it a try with this FREE TRIAL. Click here to learn more and get started today.

 

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Get Your 28-Day Summer Refresh Meal Plan

Are you struggling to lose those extra pounds you gained over the winter?  If so, you’re not alone. I’ve been hearing this lately from quite a few of my clients. It’s frustrating; and what’s worse is the feeling of sluggishness and fatigue that goes along with the weight gain and unhealthy eating habits.

Ready to do something about it?

Kick off the summer with my 28-Day Refresh Plan and jump-start your weight loss!

Unlike most cleanse plans that require severe calorie restrictions by drinking only special juices or teas, the 28-Day Refresh Plan is not dangerous for your health – it’s a healthy cleanse.  In fact, this plan contains selected low-glycemic recipes aimed at stabilizing blood sugar, promoting healthy weight, normalizing hormones, supporting healthy digestion, and reducing inflammation associated with many chronic diseases.

I worked with a team of credentialed nutrition professionals and chefs to create this plan to help you get started with meeting your health goals. You will receive delicious recipes for three meals per day plus snacks – all with easy-to-follow directions for people of all cooking levels.

This healthy eating meal plan emphasizes the preparation of whole, plant-based foods.  Research suggests that these life-giving foods should make up at least 75% of your plate.  Wondering about the other 25 %?  That’s easy – you’ll get recipes for high-quality proteins that can be simply prepared.

plant-based foods

Grab your FREE trial for the 28-Day Refresh Plan and start your transformation today.  You’ll receive delicious recipes for meals and snacks as well as grocery shopping lists to help you get started.  I know you’ll love it!  And if you have any questions at all, please get in touch any time.

Lorraine

PS…

The 28-Day Refresh is a great way to get your metabolism humming and jump-start your health this summer.  Click here to learn more.

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Burn more calories by eating whole grains + Summer Salad Recipe

Have you been told to cut out carbs (aka, grains) in order to lose weight?  Well, get this?  According to a recent study, whole grains increased weight loss by decreasing the number of calories retained during digestion, while simultaneously speeding up metabolism.  Researchers say, “The extra calories lost by those who ate whole grains was equivalent of a brisk 30-minute walk – or enjoying an extra small cookie every day in terms of its impact.”  The scientists caution that the study doesn’t prove that whole grains cause weight loss, but they suspect that it does. It’s estimated that this could translate to losing around  five pounds a year – just by just eating grains.  Now, who wouldn’t want that benefit of whole grains?

When planning meals and snacks, aim to make at least half of the grains you eat whole grains. 

What are whole grains? When shopping for whole-grain foods, look for labels that say “100% whole grain” or “100% whole wheat.”  Terms like “multigrain” or “made with whole grains” are usually not 100% whole-grain products. This stamp on the label from the Whole Grains Council is an easy way to identify authentic whole-grain foods.

To lose weight, you may need to cut down on your total grain consumption.

In general, 1 slice bread, ½ small bagel, 1 cup ready-to-eat cereal, or ½ cup cooked rice, cooked pasta, or oatmeal is considered to be one (1 ounce-equivalent) serving.  The number of servings of whole grain foods you need each day will depend on your overall calorie and nutrient requirements, as well as any health issues.  Consult your registered dietitian nutritionist for personalized recommendations.

I prepared this delicious whole grain recipe instead of potato salad at my Memorial Day BBQ this year and it was a big hit.  My family gave it two thumbs up and asked that I make it again.  Happy to oblige!

Meditarranean Farro SaladWant more recipes like this?  Let’s talk. Learn how to prepare delicious quick meals for yourself and your family – and lose weight while you’re at it.

Lorraine

PS…

Losing weight is easier when you have a personalized eating plan and support.  I’d love to help you with that.  Give me a call today and let’s set up a time to meet.

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Do you tend to blow it on the weekends?

The unofficial start to summer is finally here!  Memorial Day Weekend is the first of many weekends ahead filled with outdoor parties and summer BBQs.  It’s the perfect season to GET HEALTHY!

Don’t let the summer weekends ruin your healthy eating plan. 

You’re so “good” during the week; then the weekend comes and you blow it.  Many of my clients report this scenario – not just in the summer but all year long. They stick closely to their healthy eating plan during the work week and then overdo it with junk food, restaurant meals, and alcohol from Friday through Sunday.  It’s no surprise that this eating pattern will not work if you are trying to lose weight and improve your health.

The extra calories and you consume on the weekend will cancel out any deficit you create during the week. Furthermore, this pattern of overeating tends to include too many foods containing unhealthy refined carbs and saturated fats, and not enough fruits, veggies, and fiber.

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Simple solution:   KEEP A FOOD LOG

To stay on track with your healthy eating plan on the weekends, commit to writing down everything you eat and drink.  Use a form, notebook, or app on your phone.  Be diligent about it and don’t skip anything.

This doesn’t mean that you need to deprive yourself. If you want to indulge a bit on the weekend, go for it; just do it mindfully. Plan your indulgence, enjoy it thoroughly, and then add it to your food log.   This accountability will help you stick to the plan.  For a greater degree of accountability, share your food records with someone. It can be a huge motivation to eat healthy when you know that your healthy eating buddy (or nutritionist!) is going to be reviewing your food log.

Don’t have a healthy summer eating plan?  I’d be happy to help you with that!  Give me a call so we can set up a time to meet.  Learn the best nutrition for weight loss. Together we will create an eating plan for a FUN and HEALTHY summer.

Lorraine

PS…
Grab your free copy of the Daily Monitoring Form to help you stay on your healthy eating plan.

 

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5 Tips to Lose Belly Fat

Fat on the body, like gas in a car, is stored energy.   But when there is too much – especially around the middle – we tend to not like the way it looks.  Unfortunately, it’s more than just tight pants; an expanding waistline can be seriously unhealthy.  Excess belly (or visceral) fat is a major risk factor for insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

Some people are predisposed to having an unhealthy apple shape due to genetics.  Age and gender also play a role.  As we get older, our lean body mass (muscle) tends to decrease while fat increases, especially in men whose testosterone levels start dropping around the age of 40. In aging women, hormonal changes are a contributing factor, but inactivity seems to be more instrumental in belly fat.

If you want to check your waist size, it’s easy; all you need is a tape measure.  According to the American Heart Association, you have abdominal obesity and are at risk for chronic disease if your waist measures greater than 35 inches in women and 40 inches in men.

Although losing fat from this area of your body can be difficult, there are a few proven strategies effective in decreasing belly fat.  Do it for the health of it!

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USE THESE 5 TIPS TO HELP REDUCE YOUR BELLY FAT

  1. Exercise regularly. To help trim belly fat, get at least 30 minutes of moderate cardio exercise at least 5 days a week. Walking counts, as long as it’s brisk enough that you breathe harder and get your heart beating faster than usual. Strength training (weight lifting) is important as well.  Based on research in people with prediabetes, type-2 diabetes, and fatty liver disease, it can support stomach fat loss. Furthermore, strength training helps to preserve as well as increase muscle mass.  If you are new to it, check out this strength training video for beginners.  It’s only 17 minutes and you don’t need any special equipment.
  2. Eat adequate fiber. Getting enough fiber can help you lose weight; and belly fat usually goes first.  In one study, researchers found that people who ate 10 grams of soluble fiber per day – without any other diet changes – built up less belly fat over time than others.  Amongst the best sources of dietary soluble fiber are oranges, black beans, and flax seeds.
  3. Cut back on sugar in processed foods and soft drinks. When consumed in excess, added sugar especially high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) can have a very negative impact on your health. Some sources of sugar are worse than others – sugary drinksappear to be the worst.  They are loaded with liquid fructose which can increase belly fat.  This primarily applies to sugary soda, but also to fruit juices, highly sweetened coffees, and other sources of liquid sugar like sports drinks.  To quench your thirst and keep your body hydrated, drink water, unsweetened herbal teas, and sparkling water with a wedge of lemon or lime.
  4. Get adequate sleep. Sleep is important for many aspects of health, including your weight.  Studies show that people who don’t get enough sleep tend to gain more weight including unhealthy belly fat.  Aim for at least 7 hours per night and make sure you’re getting good quality sleep.
  5. Manage stress. Stress is a major culprit in the accumulation of belly fat.  This happens because stress triggers the adrenal glands to produce cortisol – a stress hormone.  Research shows that consistent high cortisol levels increase appetite and contributes to the accumulation of abdominal fat.  To help combat this, look for ways other than eating to relieve stress such as meditation, yoga and mindfulness.

Please get in touch if you have any nutrition or diet-related questions.  I’d love to hear from you.

Lorraine

PS…

Spring is the perfect time to get back on track with healthy eating.  Let’s talk about how we can create the perfect plan for you.  Give me a call today!

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Which vegetables are best for weight loss?

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that vegetables are good for you. But which ones are best when it comes to managing your weight?   Research shows that vegetables with a higher fiber content or lower glycemic load are more strongly associated with a healthy weight.  This includes carrots, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and string beans.   Here’s why –

  • Lower blood sugar and insulin spikes
  • Controlled food cravings
  • A longer-lasting “full” feeling

However, ALL veggies have health benefits and support a healthy weight.  They are incredibly low in everything we don’t want too much of (calories, fat, and sodium) and packed with all of the things most of us need more of like antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

saute veggies

Use these ideas to eat more veggies every day –

Please get in touch if you have any nutrition or diet-related questions.  I’d love to hear from you.

Lorraine

PS…

Spring is the perfect time to get back on track with healthy eating.  Let’s talk about how we can create the perfect plan for you.  Give me a call today!

 

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Can chia seeds help you lose weight?

Remember those ch-ch-ch-chia commercials years ago for Chia Pets?   As a kid I found them so intriguing.  They were selling kits that included a little terracotta pot and a small packet of black seeds.  In just a few days, you could grow a green-haired puppy, pig, or even Mr. T.

Now-a-days those little black chia seeds are often referred to as a superfood.  Claims have been made that chia seeds can help with weight loss.  This seems to make sense since chia seeds are a good source of fiber and high fiber foods help people feel full for longer, and they are usually low in calories.

chia seeds on spoon

However, there is not much evidence to support these claims. A review, published in the Journal of Obesity, concluded that “there is limited data to suggest the use of chia seeds for weight loss.”  Another study, published in Nutrition Research, concluded that, in overweight adults, chia seeds have “no influence on body mass or composition, or various disease risk factor measures.”

Although they may not help to shrink your waistline, chia seeds are nutritious and have some health benefits.   Plant-based foods have long been associated with a reduced risk of many adverse health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Chia seeds are black in color and they have a mild, nutty flavor.  They are relatively easy to find online or in any major grocery store.  They can be sprinkled on cereal, yogurt, and oatmeal or added to smoothies.  They can also be used in baking.  One tablespoon of chia seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of water will form a gel that can be used instead of eggs in baking.

strawberrie chia

One of my favorite uses for chia seeds is to make pudding.  If you’re looking for a dairy-free creamy dessert, check out this Strawberries and Cream Chia Pudding.  For those times when you’re craving chocolate but really don’t want to eat junk food, give this easy recipe for Overnight Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding a try.

Lorraine

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Whole grain salads for your Easter table

Cut out carbs!  Carbs will make you fat!  If you want to lose weight, don’t eat carbs!

Sound familiar?

This dieting rule has been around forever and I’ve heard it many times from my clients.  Truth be told, carbohydrate is a macronutrient that we cannot live without.  In fact, carbs are vital for optimal health.

  • Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy. You need to eat them every day to fuel not only your muscles – your brain, digestive system, and nerves need carbs too.
  • Complex carbohydrates contain dietary fiber which keeps your digestive tract running smoothly and can promote weight loss by keeping you feeling satisfied between meals.
  • Eating carbs can boost your mood by increasing the production of serotonin (the feel good chemical) in your brain.
  • Carbs taste good and satisfying foods are an important part of a healthy balanced diet.

It’s time to stop demonizing carbohydrate foods – in particular, grains.

Earlier this month, I lead a grocery store tour at my local Whole Foods that focused on healthy whole grains. We met with Luis at the bulk bin section who shared many interesting facts about grains.  I was surprised to learn that barley is the top selling grain from the bulk bins at Whole Foods.

Luis from Whole Foods

The tour participants learned how to shop for the healthiest grains and had an opportunity to taste farro and bulgur.  Like most of my clients, they were impressed with the nice flavor and texture.

When eaten as part of a balanced diet, whole grains will not cause you to gain weight or prevent you from losing.  Don’t be afraid to eat them.  They are a good source of many nutrients, including fiber, B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folate) and minerals (iron, magnesium and selenium).

golden beet and barley salad

These whole grain salads would make a perfect side dish for your Easter dinner menu:

Farro Apple Pecan Salad, Broccoli Tabbouleh, and Golden Beet and Barley Salad

Enjoy!

Lorraine

P.S.
Are you ready to get off the diet roller coaster and GET HEALTHY? I’d love to hear from you. Let’s talk about how we can work together so you can achieve your personal best weight and maintain it with ease. NO MORE DIETING.
 

Image Credit:  https://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-riff-golden-beet-and-ba-88567

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Are you a speed eater? Tips to help you slow down (+Shamrock Shake recipe)

You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy a delicious healthy green smoothie (a.k.a. Shamrock Shake).  The recipe is down below but first, let’s talks about how quickly you’re eating.

green smoothie

Do you find that you eat faster than everyone else at the table? Are you always the first one done?  You may want to take a pause and slow down.  According to research published in the online journal BMJ Open, your eating speed may be negatively impacting your weight.

Researchers suggest that slowing down the speed at which you eat, along with cutting out after dinner snacks and not eating within 2 hours of going to sleep may help you to decrease your waistline and body fat.  Furthermore – and more importantly – interventions aimed at reducing the speed of eating may be effective in preventing obesity and lowering the associated health risks such as impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance.

Eating slowly can help you feel full with less food and fewer calories.

Use these 5 simple tips to help you slow down, enjoy your food, and eat less.

1.  Avoid extreme hunger. Eating slowly can be near impossible when you’re feeling famished.  Most people need to refuel every 3 – 5 hours so never let more than 5 hours pass without eating.  If you allow yourself to get very hungry, you’re likely to inhaling your food and end up overeating.

2.  Chew each bite thoroughly. Take small bites and increase the number of chews before swallowing.  Aim to chew each bite of food about 10 – 15 times.  Savor the food as you chew and be sure to swallow before taking the next bite.

3.  Drink water with your meals. Research has shown that sipping on water during meals can help slow down the pace of eating and influence weight loss.

4.  Pay attention while you eat. Multitasking – like eating while watching television or working – can distract you and result in overeating.  Whenever possible, sit down to eat in a calm environment with minimal distractions.  Give full attention to your food while you are eating.

5.  Take a pause during your meal. About half way through your meal or snack, take a few minutes to assess your level of hunger/fullness.  Push away from the table a bit and take some deep breaths.  If you are starting to feel satisfied, it’s time to stop.  If you continue to eat beyond this point, you’re likely to end up feeling too full or stuffed.

Don’t forget to grab your Shamrock Shake recipe.  Enjoy!

Lorraine

PS…
Are you ready to get off the diet roller coaster and GET HEALTHY? I’d love to hear from you.  Let’s talk about how we can work together so you can achieve your personal best weight and maintain it with ease.  NO MORE DIETING.

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