Fall is in the air and that means apple season is on the way! This fiber packed fruit is rich in heart healthy antioxidants (quercetin in particular) and certainly a fall favorite. Crunchy, sweet and convenient, apples make the perfect snack. To change it up, try slicing and roasting with cinnamon sugar for a light and seasonal treat to satisfy your sweet tooth. And the best part? Approx. 150 calories per serving!
2 apples (mcintosh or granny smith or combo)
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup of kozy shack rice pudding or 0% vanilla Greek yogurt
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Chop the apples into bite sized cubes or wedges. Mix the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Toss together the apples and cinnamon/sugar mixture in a small cake pan or oven proof dish. Roast in the oven for 15-25 mins or until the apples are cooked through and the juices start to bubble. Granny smith apples will take slightly longer. Remove from the oven. Serve in a bowl with 1/2 cup of plain rice pudding or vanilla Greek yogurt.
In 2012 as part of the healthcare reform legislation, restaurant labeling laws will go nationwide, requiring any food business with 20 or more locations to reveal the calorie content of their items on menus and menu boards. Here in NYC, we are no strangers to restaurant menu labeling practices. Since 2008, chains throughout the city have been required to list calorie information on their menus in an effort to encourage New Yorkers to make healthier and more informed choices. Frequent your neighborhood Starbucks in the mornings? Calorie postings may reveal that switching from your grande latte with whole milk to a grande latte with skim milk saves you 90 calories! This is the hope. The good news is that studies have shown that our behavior is changing. Those of us who paid attention to the calorie postings (about 1 in 6) ordered items with approximately 100 fewer calories than those who didn’t. On top of this progress and in an effort to reduce the “sticker shock” aftermath of this new regulation, restaurant chains in New York and California (where the legislation was also passed) began introducing healthier options and decreasing calorie content in their menu items.
Eating out shouldn’t have to equal over-indulging! We hope these steps in the right direction will spread throughout the country and empower Americans to make better choices when dining out.
When eaten fresh with the pod, English peas are a crunchy, sweet and healthy snack all by themselves. If you’re lucky and have access to a garden, snap them straight from the vine for the freshest and tastiest. This spring and summertime veggie also makes a great side dish when paired with carrots (try roasting them instead of boiling) or summer corn (see below). Fresh peas are ideal but if you have trouble finding them, frozen are a convenient and healthy option as well.
What is it?
Also known as the common garden pea, English peas peak in the late spring and late summer. They are available fresh, frozen or canned but the canned varieties risk being high in sodium. Choose the more nutritious fresh or frozen when possible.
What’s it good for?
Fiber, Protein, Vitamins A and C.
Sauteed English Peas and Fresh Corn:
-Fresh kernels cut from 2 ears of corn
-1-2 cups of fresh English peas
-1 tbsp olive oil
-salt and pepper to taste
Steam the fresh English peas for a few minutes or until just softened. Remove from the steamer basket and set aside. Heat olive oil in a medium sized sautee pan over med-high heat. Add the corn and toss/stir for 2-3 minutes or until softened. Add the peas and toss together, coating lightly in the olive oil from the pan. Season lightly with salt and pepper for a summery side dish.
Staying aware while eating, or “awake behind the wheel,” is a crucial factor to your weight loss success. Eating mindfully presumes awareness – paying attention to physical hunger and satiety cues. Here are some tips to mindful eating:
- Food journal. It forces you to stay in the moment and pay attention to what you’re eating.
- Eat slowly. Put your fork down, engage in conversation, or have a sip of water after every few bites. It takes at least 15 minutes from your first forkful to your last for your brain to register fullness.
- Remove all judgments of yourself or the food you eat. You, nor your food, is never all “good” or “bad.”
- Avoid late night eating when your body is least likely to be hungry and you are most likely to mindlessly eat.
- Differentiate physical cues of hunger – they start in your stomach or head – from external factors influencing you to eat.
- Recognize what it feels like to be satisfied, not stuffed.
- Pay attention to the flavors, textures, aromas in your food. Notice when foods are too salty or too sweet.
- Ask yourself how food affects your emotional state.
- Explore other ways of handling uncomfortable emotions for you (stress, sadness, loneliness, anger, frustration, etc) rather than eating. Paint your nails, go on a walk, call a girlfriend on the phone, etc.
- Turn off the TV while you eat.
Lastly, imagine what it would be like to regain control, eating when hungry and stopping when satisfied. Mindful eating is a practice, so give it the time and patience any new activity takes to learn!
The Mangosteen is a tropical fruit native to Southeast Asia. It is touted for its high concentration of antioxidants. It is also being researched for it use in the treatment of certain cancers and its beneficial effects on weight loss. It is generally consumed in its natural state or as a juice. Pick on up today!
Most of us have felt the effects of a night lacking good sleep. Fatigue, sluggishness and crankiness are common and no fun. Even so, some of us claim we don’t need the 7-8 hours and others (an estimated 50-70 million Americans) suffer from chronic sleep loss and sleep disorders.
But did you know that a lack of sleep may be associated with weight gain as well?
According to this Reuters Health article, evidence suggests that a correlation between sleep deprivation and weight gain exists and a recent study adds support to the theory. Compared to the day after a good night’s sleep, researches found that participants in a sleep study consumed an extra 300 calories on average when sleep deprived.
Although it’s unclear exactly why, researches have several potential explanations for the link.
One possibility: How much sleep we get may play an important role in our hormone regulation. When we don’t get enough, the hormones that help control our hunger may be thrown off balance.
Another possibility: Sleep deprivation affects our decision making. The more tired we are, the more trouble we have resisting temptation.
So don’t take a good night’s sleep for granted – it may help you keep your healthy eating habits on track!
1 16oz can of chickpeas
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 Tbls lemon juice (adjust to taste)
1 1/2 Tbls tahini
1/2-1 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
2 Tbls olive oil
optional-add red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper for a spicy version
In a food processor add garlic and beans pulse until chopped.
Add remaining ingredients and blend until creamy and smooth. If necessary add water or vegetable stock to thin the hummus.
Add salt and/or optional ingredients to taste.
Use as a spread on sandwiches or place in a bowl and add serve with vegetables or warm whole wheat pita bread.
Elizabeth Goldstein MS, RD, CDN