Learning to shop healthy

Learning to shop healthy

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June 25, 2012
Sherri Meyer, MG Registered Dietitian,

As a mother I want to involve my children in the process of purchasing our foods, learning about money, etc, etc.  However, lately our grocery store trip has become a high powered negotiation of what my boys can and cannot put in our grocery cart.  Angry Birds, Sponge Bob, Star Wars, Super heroes, the list goes on and on.  Somehow food (and non food) is just more appealing when it has a beloved character on it (or any character for that matter).  Now, this is not new information and maybe I am preaching to the choir here, but it is a topic that keeps coming up. 

Take children’s breakfast cereals, one of the biggest sources of sugar and refined carbohydrates in our children's diets.  A recent “Cereal Facts” study from Yale University noted that while cereal companies are making healthier cereals, they are still spending top dollar to promote their unhealthiest products.  On average, children consume 2 servings of breakfast cereal meaning that presweetened cereal consumption can put them at their sugar maximum (20 grams a day) before they even make it out the door. 

I wish in writing this blog I had the answer, but being a dietitian does not give me magical powers and honestly sometimes I just don’t want to fight with my children in the grocery store.  But that doesn’t mean I am going to constantly load my cart with pint sized Oreo’s, M & M’s  and everything else at their hand level during checkout.  So, my “answer” right now is to allow some “treats” as my boys call them, talk to them about food costing money (Oliver says “you mean its not free”) and set a good example by making wise food choices myself (which I often think they don’t pay attention to, but I still try). I combat my grocery store challenges by taking them to the farmer’s market on Saturdays (no media advertisement there) and letting them help me pick out the food.  Oliver had a ball picking out baby squash for us to grill, getting a thrill out of the “twins” that were in the bin.  We have a small garden, which allows the boys to check the “progress” on our tomatoes and maybe someday they will actually take a bite of that juicy fruit!

Weekly Wisdom – How to translate being more healthy.. Part 2

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June 20, 2012
Sherri Meyer, MG Registered Dietitian,

How to Translate:  “Eat more fruits & veggies, cut back on salt & sugar, switch to whole grain, exercise”
Part 2

  • Try nuts instead of croutons  Unlike croutons (salty white flour bread) nuts have plant protein & polyunsaturated fat
  • Work out to TV  Do some crunches, push ups, bicep curls, lunges, etc.  Have a treadmill or stationary bike…park it in front of the TV

July recipe: Caprese bites

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Makes 24

1pt — local grape tomatoes
4oz — fresh basil leaves
1lb — fresh mozzarella balls
1c — balsamic vinaigrette
  fresh cracked pepper 3" toothpicks or skewers

  1. Wash tomatoes and basil leaves; drain on paper towel
  2. Marinate tomatoes & mozzarella balls in vinaigrette
  3. Assemble bites onto skewers: tomato, folded basil leaf, cheese ball
  4. Garnish with fresh cracked pepper
 

Good things come to those who wait

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June 12, 2012
Sherri Meyer, MG Registered Dietitian,

Good things come to those who wait…for a reason.
I have been patiently waiting for salmon to come into season, specifically sockeye salmon from Alaska (as local as we get here in Lynchburg for wild salmon).
On Saturday my dream was realized when husband procured some delicious wild salmon from Blue Marlin.
This tasty fish doesn’t need much adornment, just simply grill and top with your favorite barbeque sauce (mine comes from Bedford Avenue Meat…keeping it local) and voila…fish heaven.  This “superfood” is high in protein, low in saturated fat, loaded with antioxidants and contains omega 3 fatty acids, which are found in their fish oils. A 3 ounces of cooked salmon contains just 127 calories, 22 grams of protein, and 3.8 grams of fat (.6 saturated).  Wild salmon are caught from cold-water oceans therefore making it nutritionally superior to farmed fish, which may be raised, in less than desirable conditions.  So if you happen to be near Bedford Ave in Lynchburg the next few days you know where to stop…..

 

 

Trash Talk – Recycle rainwater

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June 11, 2012
Becky Tweedy, Assistant to the President

Recycle Rainwater
Not only good for the environment, it can also be fun!

  • Use to water plants & shrubs
  • Garden plants thrive because rainwater is free of treatment chemicals
  • Direct your downspout to a storage device (see instructions / video / link)
  • Get really serious and supplement household needs (see additional link!)

 
Do something to help the Earth today!

 

 

 

Food addiction

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June 7, 2012
Denise Simmons, Corporate Chef

Is there such a thing?  There’s a lot of controversy about it in the news these days.  I tend to think people can become addicted to food the same way we become addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, etc.  The euphoria of the high, regardless of how we achieve it, is a very intoxicating thing-pardon the pun.  Unfortunately, regardless of what our addiction may be, the high never lasts long enough, so we either learn to live without it, or we chase it until it kills us. 

So how do we deal with food addiction?  Every successful program designed to help addicts recover is very straight forward-we have to stop doing whatever it is we do for our high.  The thing about food addiction recovery is we can’t just stop eating.  We have to learn how to continue the behavior, but without the resulting high.  We have to retrain how we think & feel about food.

Do we have to give up the foods we crave most?  Like a heroin addict can never shoot up again, can the food addict never have another piece of candy (or cake, fried chicken, greasy burger…).  If that’s the case, where do we draw the line?  It’s ok to have a muffin but not a piece of cake?  How do we qualify what’s ‘good’ food vs ‘bad’ food?  Is it the same for everyone, or does every individual have their own food demons?

I’ve spent close to 40 years on the diet roller coaster.  During the ‘good’ times, i.e., times of weight loss, it’s about depriving myself, beating myself up for not living up to the expectations of eating only the diet foods I’m allowed to eat.  This results in the ‘bad’ times…when I finally cave and eat what I want.. the weight comes piling back on-all that I lost during the good time, plus an extra 20-30% for good measure.

Can eating mindfully be the answer?  If I say to myself I can have anything I want, as long as I’m truly hungry for food (not for companionship, comfort, love…), and I stop eating once I’m satisfied, can I become be a healthier person?  By not focusing on weight, but on what my body tells me it needs, can I achieve a healthier weight?  So far, the answer is yes.  It’s not a quick recovery, but I’m hoping it’s a long term solution that I can live with for the rest of my life.
 

 

 

Weekly Wisdom – How to translate being more healthy.. Part 1

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June 5, 2012
Sherri Meyer, MG Registered Dietitian,

How to Translate: “Eat more fruits & veggies, cut back on salt & sugar, switch to whole grain, exercise.”
Part 1

  • Replace processed meats with no nitrate deli meats (look for no nitrate added, lower sodium or no added salt)
  • Go for a whole grain version of your favorite cereal. Kashi 7 Whole Grain Nuggets instead of Post Grape Nuts, bran flakes instead of corn flakes & Total instead of Product 19.