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Here you will find science-based nutrition information about a variety of topics, such as diabetes, sports nutrition, healthy recipes, and more. Use the search bar to the left to locate a topic of interest or click on the topics tabs to peruse info within the same category. Check back regularly for new information. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook where we aim to create a daily conversation regarding nutrition, health and wellness. Let us know if there's something you'd like to see covered here.
Every March, the American Dietetic Association celebrates National Nutrition Month (NNM). This year's theme is Eat Right with Color. A fellow Registered Dietitian wrote a great blog about the many reasons to eat a variety of colors. For NNM, try to focus on a new color each week!
In addition to NNM, March 9th is Registered Dietitian Day! Watch the video below to learn how a Registered Dietitian can help you.
The Center for Living Peace in Irvine, CA will be hosting a series of workshops with urban farmer Eugene Cooke, the first of which focuses on Edible Gardening. Cooke has been growing food and supporting sustainable community projects for over 15 years. He is the former technical director of Food Forestry International in Los Angeles. He is currently developing the infrastructure, operations and curriculum for Truly Living Well Center for Urban Agriculture in Atlanta. His gardens are feeding families from the US to Kenya, and he’s recently been spending more time in Southern California, sharing his knowledge and experience in classes, workshops and neighborhood gatherings.
In this Edible Gardening workshop, participants will learn:
The class will be held on Saturday, March 12th, at 11am at the Center (4132 Campus Drive Irvine, CA 92612), for a fee of $22 (with a $12 student discount). Pre-registration at is highly encouraged. Interested parties can contact Sabrina Talukder at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
I received the following email from a client's wife the other day. I worked with her husband almost a year ago and it was so great to receive such a positive update!
Janice,You may recall that my husband MB was referred to you late last May because he had Type 2 diabetes, was having trouble controlling his blood sugar (even with medication), and was experiencing some edema.You gave us a great deal of useful information, but the most helpful tips were to (1) reduce sodium, (2) begin eating before you feel hungry, (3) stop eating before you feel too full, and (4) increase your exercise.Since our meeting with you, MB has retired (after 48 years in the aerospace and defense industry), has reduced his salt intake substantially, has begun a program of regular exercise, and has lost almost 25 pounds (down from 227 pounds on May 6, 2010, to 204 pounds on January 19, 2011).As you might imagine, his edema has disappeared, and all of his numbers (i.e., those associated with glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol, and kidney function) have improved.Many thanks to you for your sound advice and for the difference it has made in our lives.Gratefully,
If you are looking to make a delicious, but healthy Valentine’s Day treat for someone special, try dark chocolate covered strawberries. Strawberries not only look like a heart-shaped valentine, they actually have heart protecting qualities, as well as anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. They are filled with vitamin C and antioxidants, which prevent oxygen damage from free radicals in your body’s cell structures and organs, and minimize the effects of aging. By dipping them in dark chocolate you are piling on the health benefits. And here’s how:
Chocolate is made from cacao beans (cocoa beans). The chocolate making process destroys up to half of the flavonoids in the cocoa beans, which are the antioxidants in chocolate. However, dark chocolate is produced to retain 95% of its flavonoids. The higher percentage of cocoa in your dark chocolate, the more beneficial it is for your health. Studies and clinical trials have proven that flavonoids slow the processing of "bad" LDL cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, help prevent plaque formation in arteries, and improve blood flow. By providing good blood flow the strain on your heart is reduced. Dark chocolate also has a low glycemic index, preventing your blood sugar from spiking after eating it. Lastly, dark chocolate affect’s your brain too, by improving mental function and elevating your mood. If you want to let someone know just how much you care about them, make them some of these sweet and healthy treats this Valentine’s Day.
This post prepared by fitness professional and dietetics graduate student Jacqueline Scaramella, CPT
You have most likely heard Vitamin D discussed in the media and other heath news sources, but have you heard the most recent news? After years of questioning, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently reviewed the Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin D and Calcium. The IOM was encouraged to do this because of new research suggesting that the previous guidelines, set in 1997, were outdated. In addition, it has come to light over the past several years, that a good majority of Americans are either Vitamin D deficient or insufficient. A 2009 report (Arch Intern Med 2009;169(6):626-632) found 3/4 of US teens and adults to be deficient. In addition, Vitamin D deficiency disproportionately affects races with darker skin colors: only 3% of African-Americans sampled in 2004 had Vitamin D levels in the recommended range (down from 12% two decades earlier). Most labs indicate that a Vitamin D (OHD2) of less than 30mg/dL is considered deficient, however the IOM considers deficiency to be a level of less than 11 ng/mL. Using the IOM threshold for deficiency, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition last November found that about 10% of the population is deficient. The Vitamin D Council recommends that blood levels measure between 50 and 80 ng/dL for optimal health and disease prevention.
Vitamin D Sources: Vitamin D is converted to its active form in the skin with the contact of UV light. According to the Vitamin D Council, Caucasian skin produces approximately 10,000 IU vitamin D in response to 20–30 minutes of summer sun exposure. However, darker skin colors need up to six times more sun exposure to get this amount and using a sunscreen with as little as 15 SPF can block the skin's Vitamin D production up to 99%. In addition, there are few sources of the vitamin in our diets. Some of the few food sources include salmon, tuna, mackerel, and vitamin D fortified products, such as milk. Thus, because most people aren't getting enough sun exposure and/or dietary intake of Vitamin D, a supplement is necessary for many people.
How much Vitamin D? This is where it gets controversial. Many health care professionals expected the IOM substantially increase the recommendation for Vitamin D in their newest report, but the IOM failed to do so. The new IOM report can be found here. Basically, the IOM committee concluded that the majority of Americans and Canadians are receiving enough Vitamin D and calcium, despite a volume of research suggesting otherwise. Dr. John Cannell, Executive Director of the Vitamin D Council, issued a scathing response to the IOM's revision, or lack thereof, to the current standards. In his response, Cannell outlines the many reasons (with supporting research) that the Vitamin D recommendation should have been substantially increased. Additional statements have been made by William B. Grant, PhD, Bill Sardi, investigative journalist, and Joel Fuhrman, MD & Mark Hyman, MD for the Huffington Post. Additionally, an action alert by the Alliance for Better Health recently questioned whether the IOM may have ties to big Pharma, thus influencing their decision to leave Vitamin D recs basically unaltered from their 1997 state.
What to do now? Well, if you haven't had your Vitamin D levels tested, get them tested. How much Vitamin D to take will be based on your lab results. You can either ask your physician to order this lab test for you or you can order a Vitamin D test kit and do it yourself. Below are some guidelines for supplementation as recommended by Michael F. Holick, MD, PhD published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM 2007; 357: 266-81):
Children who have been breastfeeding without vitamin D supplementation (up to 1 year):
Children with inadequate sun exposure/supplementation or those with dark skin (age 1 through 18 years):
Adults who are pregnant or lactating (fetal utilization, inadequate sun exposure or supplementation):
Adults with Obesity
*NOTE: Always consult with your Physician, Registered Dietitian, or other licensed healthcare professional before starting treatment.
Happy 2011 (almost)!! Are you making resolutions for the new year? If so, vow to make them S.M.A.R.T.
SMART goal setting is a way to create goals that will be appropriate for you and specifically tailored to what you wish to achieve. SMART is an acronym:
So when setting goals for the new year, remember to make them specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-oriented. For example, rather than stating "I want to exercise more next year," make your goal SMART by instead stating, "I will walk for exercise 3 times per week for at least 30 minutes for the next 8 weeks." This goal is specific (type of exercise), I can measure it (did I walk for 30 min 3x/wk?), it is a realistic and achievable goal (I know I can find 30 minutes in my day to walk for exercise), and it is time-oriented (it is not an indefinite goal; at the end of 8-weeks I can revise my goal if necessary). Now you try!
Tonight I made a chicken sausage paella, slightly modifying a recipe from Ellie Krieger's book So Easy. It was delicious and very easy. I served it with a spring mix salad with cranberries, walnuts, tomatoes, feta and my own apple cider vinaigrette dressing (3 parts apple cider to 1 part canola oil plus ~1 tsp sugar per 1/4 cup of dressing).
Krieger's recipe calls for chorizo and chicken thighs, but I just used chicken sausage instead. I also found special paella rice at Bristol Farms, which worked wonders for the dish. Here is how I made the paella:
Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, celebrates the victory of the Jewish Maccabean revolt against a mighty Syrian Greek army in the year 165 BCE.When the Maccabees went to rekindle the holy light in their Great Temple, they found only enough oil to burn for a single night. It was here that the Hanukkah miracle occurred. The oil in the tiny cruet burned for eight straight days and nights. Hanukkah is unique among holidays in that its liturgy urges the consumption of oil, in celebration of the Hanukkah miracle. To celebrate, Jews light candles in menorahs and eat foods that are fried in oil. Traditional fried foods include soufganiyot and latkes. The following are some healthier takes on traditional Hanukkah dishes.
Serves: 8 | Prep: 20 min | Cook: 15 min.
Nutrition Facts (for 6 or 7 latkes): 192 calories, 4 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 9 grams protein, 35 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 82 mg sodium
Recipe By: Steven Raichlen, Cookbook Author
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