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 [...]

Stress Eating

The strongest food cravings seem to hit when you are at your weakest point. I’m sure we can all think about a time when the stress of life was piling up, and in turn we coped by eating a pile of cookies. Many people experience stress eating, but making a habit of it can be detrimental to our weight loss goals. There is much power behind the term “stress eating”. Stress, the hormones it releases, and coping strategies involving comfort foods, all can factor into overeating. Research has shown that both stress and weight gain go hand in hand, which is alarming when nearly a fourth of Americans rate their stress as an 8 out of a 10-point scale. So, why do we turn to food in times of stress? Stress Eating, Hunger, and Hormones Appetite can react to stress [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Top 10 Gifts for the Foodie

If you’re stumped on what to give the self-proclaimed chef of your life, look no further. To help make your holiday shopping easier this season, we’ve found the top 10 gifts for your foodie friend. Think time-saving gadgets to toss together the most delicious and unique recipes, stocking stuffers that are sure to bring a smile to their face, or something tasty they can incorporate into their everyday cooking. These must-have picks are so fabulous, you may save some for yourself! 1. Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug, $69.99 at Amazon.com Coffee and tea drinkers alike will never go back to their old mug after sipping their brew from this patented technology. Simply set your mug to your preferred temperature and enjoy your morning beverage just the way you like it. 2. Polished Marble Rolling Pin with Wooden Cradle, $16.99 at [...]

Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte

Needing a PSL? Fall brings around the ever-devoured and sought after Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL). However, a drive through the Starbucks coffee line will have you consuming nearly 14 grams of fat and 50 grams of sugar. Instead, opt for making your own PSL at home with brewed hot coffee and low-calorie dairy free milk. Prep time: 5 minutes  Cook time: 5 minutes Servings: 1 Ingredients 8 ounces brewed coffee or 1-2 shots of espresso ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk 3 tablespoons canned pumpkin or homemade pumpkin puree ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice ½ teaspoon vanilla 2 teaspoons maple syrup, or sweetener of choice Sprinkle of cinnamon Instructions With a handheld frother or blender: In a cup or saucepan, mix together almond milk and pumpkin and cook over medium heat on the stove top or microwave for 35-45 seconds. [...]