Keep the Party Going! Food Safety

  The air is warmer, the sun is shining, and cookouts are quickly approaching. Did you know that approximately 1 in 6 Americans get sick from foodborne illnesses each year.  So, don’t commit these party fouls with these common food safety mistakes this summer.  Keep the party in the yard and not running to the restroom! Mistake 1: Washing your meat before cooking. Wash your hands, not meat or poultry. Washing meat or poultry can spread germs to countertops and other items in your kitchen like fruit, which can make you ill. Washing your hands not only keeps you safe but protects your guests as well. A study found that “only 5 percent of people who used the bathroom washed their hands long enough to kill the germs that can cause infections.” Grab that soap and be sure to wash [...]

Nutrition and Mental Health

  Eating healthy can help us to look and feel our best physically. But little is discussed about how the food we eat can affect our mental health. Eating a diet rich in nutritious foods can help us to feel more alert and think clearly. Well-balanced meals and snacks can also help us to concentrate and improve attention span. On the other hand, eating a diet high in unhealthy foods can affect our brain in a negative way. An inadequate diet can lead to fatigue, impair decision making skills, and slow down reaction time. A poor diet can aggravate or lead to stress and depression. Stress and Depression It has been shown that sugar and processed foods can cause inflammation throughout our bodies. Chronic inflammation can contribute to mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. According to the Academy of [...]

Flavors of the Season: Spring Produce

Fruits and vegetables can be enjoyed all year round. In season fruits and vegetables are usually more affordable and make great additions to meals and snacks. Spring offers a variety of fruits and veggies including apricots, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, celery, collard greens, kiwi, pineapple, spinach, strawberries, etc. Produce has many health benefits but unfortunately most people are not meeting the recommended five servings of fruits and veggies each day.  In fact, research has found that, “just 1 in 10 adults meet the federal fruit or vegetable recommendations.” Not only are fruits and vegetables delicious but having a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and certain cancers. Reflect on your habits. Where can you add an additional serving of produce? Can you add a piece of fruit as a [...]

Nutrition Review of Meal-Kit Delivery Programs

  Lock us down and Americans will eat it up. Literally! While in quarantine many of us ate like bears preparing for hibernation. More time at home to cook and limited access to grocery stores spawned an explosion of meal-kit delivery programs. Our lead dietitian tried several of them to assess the nutritional value of these “healthy, convenient meals”. Overall, we found these options to be heavy in salt and fat, and low on produce portions. The meals seemed to be kept at a low price-point by substituting processed foods for fruits and vegetables. In several the produce seemed more of a garnish. Upon closer review of each program, we often found that choices classified as “healthy” seemed to have had a very loose definition of health. For example, Marley Spoon has no information on the site as to the [...]

Cooking With Fresh Herbs 

  Skip the salt shaker and start adding flavor to your home cooked meals with the help of fresh herbs. Herbs are a delicious and health conscious way to add life to dull dishes, without packing on the sodium from salt. Some of the world’s most renowned chefs swear these versatile leaves are the secret to a perfect dish. Coming in a variety of forms and flavors, herbs are sure to bring delight with every bite. Follow our guide to use more in your own kitchen. With these tips, your friends and family will think you’re a top chef! Basil This clover-like herb is one of the most popular in the United States. Basil comes in a variety of different forms with the most popular being sweet Italian and Thai purple. Adding basil to your dishes will give it a [...]

Heart Month-Boosting Soluble Fiber to Knock Down LDL

  February is American Heart Month. There are so many ways to be proactive in taking care of your heart health such as exercising, managing stress, reducing sodium intake, switching to healthy fats, and increasing your soluble fiber intake. Are you wondering to yourself “What is soluble fiber?” Soluble fiber lowers LDL (lousy, bad) cholesterol and is found naturally in many types of foods. Try adding soluble fiber rich foods into your meals to help support your heart. Sources of Soluble Fiber Vegetables Certain fruits and vegetables are higher in soluble fiber than others. Brussels sprouts, carrots, winter squash, broccoli, peas, etc. provide soluble fiber. Be inspired by the rainbow when picking produce. Choose different colors to give your body a variety of nutrients. Try this penne pasta dish that is loaded with soluble rich foods including broccoli and garbanzo [...]

Salmon Rice Bowl Recipe

Coming up in February is American Heart Month! Any movements such as walking, biking, and other exercises that increase our heart rate can improve cardiovascular health. Good nutrition can also impact our hearts in a positive way. Ways to improve heart health through eating include: Less saturated fats such as butter, lard, and animal products Lower sodium foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes More fatty fish like salmon, cod, and mahi-mahi are high in omega-3 fatty acids Below is a recipe that includes salmon, brown rice, and vegetables that are perfect for a heart-healthy diet! Salmon Rice Bowl Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 15 minutes Servings: 2 Salmon Ingredients: 6oz Salmon Filet (3oz for each bowl) 1 teaspoon minced garlic ½ teaspoon ground pepper 1 Tablespoon lemon juice Rice Bowl Ingredients: 1 cup brown basmati rice or other brown [...]

2022 Food Trends

  Just as fashion trends come and go throughout the years, food trends are no different! 2022 is here and experts have narrowed down the food trends to watch out for.  Trend-watchers and foodies alike are predicting a focus on sustainability, more spice, and entertaining galore.  While you are probably tired of hearing social media trends like 2021's baked feta pasta and nature's cereal, rest assured 2022 food trends will extend far beyond the corners of your phone. Almost 2 years into the coronavirus pandemic, you'll notice many of the trends pivoting to meet the needs of our "new normal". While other trends are just fun! Think: life with fewer boundaries and tables filled with loved ones.  More Nostalgia  Food that reminds us of good childhood memories like grandma's pasta sauce or the apple pie after school snack can also [...]

Nutrition and Thyroid Health

    "I can't lose weight because I have thyroid problems". You have probably heard this complaint time and time again from others. Although some may eye roll this comment and chalk it up as an "excuse" to getting healthy, your friends are actually not wrong. It's estimated that nearly 12% of Americans will develop a thyroid condition in their lifetime which can lead to excessive weight loss or gain. In fact, more than half (60%) of folks with thyroid disease are unaware they even have an issue. Although the exact cause of disease formation is unknown, the thyroid has a profound impact on our body's metabolism which can cause a slew of problems if not managed. Facts About the Thyroid  The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ located at the front of the neck. Although small, this gland affects [...]

Thyroid Awareness Month

  Happy January and Thyroid Awareness Month! New Year’s resolutions are usually weight oriented.  So let’s talk about one of the many reasons people have challenges with weight gain.  Thyroid tests are not routine for most doctors to order. The best way to tell if your thyroid is working correctly is to be aware of the signs and symptoms of thyroid disease.   Thyroid diseases are relatively common, affecting up to 20 million Americans. Allow us to give you some basic facts about this important little gland. The thyroid gland is a relatively small gland that is found in the neck right below our Adams Apple.  To appreciate the importance of thyroid health, we must first understand hormones. Hormones are chemical messengers that provide signals to the rest of our body to keep us alive and functioning well. The thyroid gland [...]