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Before we get into readers’ questions, I’m curious – what would you most like to say to our readers as they kick off 2014? Any one thing you’d like for people to keep in mind when it comes to food and eating habits?
First of all, Happy New Year! I recommend doing a year in review – what went well last year that stuck? The main thing I like to focus on is “more”. Forget restrictive resolutions and instead think about what you can add in to your day to day life versus take away. I think that mental shift can have major results.
All roads lead to Carolyn – ha! I’m in total agreement. I’m all about focusing on what to add in versus what to take away, regardless of your health goal. Deprivation rarely equates to long adherence or health benefit. Adding in exercise, additional hours of sleep, positive thinking and healthy food options is the way to go.
I love that you both had the same advice in mind – and that it involves more instead of less!
My nickname is TBK – “The Bowel King” – ha! Probiotics do much more than helping with regularity – they also help with immune support. Fermented foods like yogurt, kefir and sauerkraut are naturally full of friendly bugs “probiotics”.
The big superfoods for 2014 are chia, goji berries and mulberries. I expect we will continue on the “exotic” superfood bandwagon a bit but there is a lot of great stuff that’s local too: kale and similar super-greens like swiss chard. I’ve also been hearing a LOT about broccoli making a comeback! Also, I totally agree with what Dave just mentioned about fermented foods – I see those as a 2014 superfood as they naturally have probiotics.
My favorite advice to patients when they are torn between dietary approaches is to think about those populations who manage weight the best. Are they paleo? Are they grain avoiders? Turns out that traditional Asian, Mediterranean and the recently nominated best overall diet – The Dash Diet – are all whole grain based and carb-loving. The key is calorie control!
I love raw cacao so much I’ve written about it for the webmd blog before. Raw cacao powder is loaded with antioxidants which help prevent a whole slew of diseases and lower cholesterol. Cacao is also a great source of magnesium – which is great for decreasing stress and can help with PMS symptoms (yes please!). I love adding a tbsp. a day to smoothies or on greek yogurt.
From a man with all women in the house including three teenage girls who are VERY appearance conscious, I would suggest NOT focusing on the number of pounds to lose or achieving an ideal “size” but rather adapting healthy choices. She is on the right track. Have her focus on half her plate as fruits and veggies. She can visit MyPlate.gov for more suggestions.
It's no lie that it can be tough to eat healthy on a budget. One way to get fresh produce on the cheap is to buy what’s in season – it’s typically on sale (don’t try buying strawberries this time of year, it’s citrus season!). The other thing is to buy frozen! My freezer is stocked with frozen broccoli and mixed fruits. Lastly, beans and eggs are two great, nutrient dense foods that tend to be pretty inexpensive.
Anti-inflammation diets are all the rage (couldn’t resist). Think of anything that ends in “erry” – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, pomegranate-erry all work. More fruits and veggies, less sat and trans fat foods like refined processed foods and fatty meats and dairy.
Great that you’re focusing on breakfast, my favorite meal of the day! Oatmeal packets are great and filling (I love vigilant eats superfood cereal which even comes with a spoon), I also love smoothies which I’ve blogged about before, a great super filling and nutrient dense start to the day (this is approved drink-and-driving). My f
avorite nutrition shake for on the go is orgain, an organic protein shake. Single serve nut butter packets with a piece of fruit can save the day too.
Fruits and veggies are important for digestion. The key is to have consistent vitamin K intake (found in green leafys), which is the concern with blood thinners. Ask you doctor if it would be okay for you to eat green veggies everyday. That way they could adjust your meds to your vitamin K intake. But you have to resolve to eat the same amount of greens everyday. Are you up for that?
I like fruit for weight loss but you can definitely “over fruit”. I recommend 1-2 servings per day for weight loss. Other great foods for weight loss are high protein sources - fish, chicken and eggs. Also nuts and seeds: a few of my favorites are almonds, walnuts, chia seeds and sunflower seeds. Portions are important, we don’t want to get too nutty. Also tea and water are fantastic weight loss tools
One way is to take the number of pounds you want to weigh and times that number by 10 as a starting point. See a registered dietitian for a tailored number to your needs. I’m a big fan of tracking what you eat, at least initially, so you can get a grasp of how many calories is right for you to achieve/maintain a healthy weight. MyPlate.gov has a free tracker that you can use. If you don’t want to count calories, try making half or what you eat fruits and veggies That alone will make a HUGE dent in your calorie intake.
Gaining weight can actually be a struggle for many people. While I cant recommend cheeseburgers on the regular, high protein sources like beef are not a bad idea! Small frequent meals with nutrient dense foods like avocado, nuts and seeds, and complex carbs like quinoa, sweet potatoes and beans are fantastic ways to put on some pounds (hopefully not PACK them on).
Vegan? Then best choices would be beans such as soy. I also suggest Seitan (wheat gluten) is also a great source or vegan meat substitutes commonly found in the marketplace. Lacto-ovo vegetarian? Dairy and eggs are excellent sources or protein!
Food combining is a really interesting nutrition topic. Having a protein or fat like string cheese or nut butter with fruit or a carb does slow down the breakdown and absorption of sugar and glucose, so yes I totally recommend pairing these.
An anti-inflammatory diet has more credence than consuming anti-inflammatory foods but not being active, overeating calories, consuming too much alcohol and eating too many trans fat sources. Think total approach rather than individual foods!
Over fruiting is just eating too much fruit. While fruit has tons of nutritional value in it’s fiber and vitamins and minerals, it does at the end of the day get broken down into sugar, and so unfortunately you cant eat unlimited fruit if you’re trying to lose weight. I recommend keeping it between 1-2 servings per day.
We have a question from lbuchanan: "You say the top rated diet is the DASH diet do you know why?"
The US News and World Report just posted their ranking of Best Overall Diets. The DASH Diet is all about fruits, veggies, whole grains lean meats and dairy products. This dietary approach has been very effective for reducing blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease, the leading killer of both men and woman.
I have to agree with you, going on a full juice diet detox is a bit “bunk” – it doesn’t work wonders for the average person who tends to regain any weight lost after juicing (and then some). Our bodies are pretty damn good at detoxing on their own. That being said, I’ve blogged about it before and I think incorporating a green juice in daily is a great way to get TONS of nutrition in in one little drink.