Tag Archives: Eating

Snacks for the On-the-GO

Ok, ok so this post isn’t exactly a recipe but I still thought it was information worth sharing. One of the questions we are most often asked is, “what can I eat on the go?” There are a number of things that you can do at the beginning of the week to make sure you have plenty of healthy snacks on hand. I make a couple of bags of mixed nuts up each week. One goes to the office and one goes in my purse. I’ve been caught with out anything to eat enough that now I don’t ever let it happen. I hate it when I’ve gone too long without eating because I start to get sleepy and cranky. Here see for yourself:

A glimpse inside Dr. Carrie’s purse.

If you look closely you can see something sitting under the nuts….that’s my backup snack. It’s a packet of almond butter with a little honey in it. I can get the little packets at the local COOP. They’re about 200 calories and perfect when I need something in a hurry and don’t want to eat crap.

Backup Snack

At the of office we often have a stash of apples/pears and cheese sticks in the fridge so we never to too long without eating. Other great snack ideas are hard-boiled eggs and veggies sticks. It just takes a few minutes to chop some fresh veggies and hard boil some eggs. In fact, you can chop the veggies while the eggs boil. Instead of cheese sticks you can always get a block of cheese and slice it up.  A little prep can go a long way in making sure you have healthy food on hand.

If you don’t have time to that you should keep some of these on hand….It’s called a PaleoKit and is one of our favorite snacks. You get them from Steve’s Originals.com.

PaleoKit from Steve’s Originals

I mentioned them in and email I sent out earlier this week. They are easy, yummy and healthy. We usually order a bunch at time. We like the grass-fed beef kit and often get the Coconut PaleoKit as well. He also carries a product called Just Jerky which is pretty self-explanatory. The PaleoKrunch bars are good when you need a sweet treat or they could be eaten after a workout to replace carbohydrate. Plus, 15% of the proceeds from the PaleoKits, PaleoKrunch and other Steve’s Original products goes to the Steve’s Club National Program to help bring Crossfit, nutrition and personal development to youth across the country. (We don’t do Crossfit but we do support programs that get children and adults up and active.)

 
You’ll notice that the focus is on snacks that for the most part of whole foods. There are tons of bars on the market but honestly I’ve not really found one that has enough protein that’s not soy or doesn’t have too much carbohydrate. Kind bars are one option that are low glycemic but often for me they still seem to have too much carbohydrate and not enough protein which leaves me feeling hungry not long after I eat it. However, if I manage to somehow run out of both of my snacks and need something quick I’ll probably grab one but it’s not my first choice.

 

What are your favorite snacks? Are they listed here? If not, share them with us.

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The New “Food Guide Pyramid”

Well, it’s not really a pyramid anymore.  It’s a plate.  And it’s still wrong.  But before I get into that let me focus on the

New design, same old (incorrect) message.

positives about it.

First, the design.  I like it.  It’s simple and much easier to understand than the old pyramid.  It’s also eye-catching.  It looks very modern and should attract more attention.

Secondly, fruits and veggies make up half of the new plate meaning that, essentially, half of your diet should be made up of fruits and vegetables.  I could not agree more.  When I make a meal I always include fruits and vegetables and I strive to have half of my plate at each meal filled with brightly colored fruits and/or vegetables.

That’s it.  That’s all I like about this new “MyPlate” setup from the USDA.

Here is what I don’t like.

First and foremost there is no area for healthy fats on this plate.  None!  That is a major disservice to the American public.  Every single cell in the entire body has fat in it.  Fat is necessary and essential to life.  If we don’t consume fat, we die. Period!

Additionally we know that omega-3 fats from nuts, seeds and fish are exceptionally important for maintaining cardiovascular health.  These are only briefly mentioned when you click on the protein section of the new plate.  There is also an “oils” section on the main website (www.choosemyplate.gov) that explains a little about oils and their properties.

My point is that the new “MyPlate” design is intended to be something that people can look at quickly and get a gross idea of how they should be eating.  When people glance and this plate they will infer that they shouldn’t eat any fat and that’s a major problem.  People should consume fat and they need to consume fat.

My second major problem is that grains are still too dominant in this design.  Yes, they stress whole grains, but they say that you only need to make half  (HALF!) of your grains from whole sources.  I would never encourage my patients to eat any refined grain on a regular basis, let alone half of their grains on a daily basis!

In my opinion, grains should be a very small of the diet, even if they are whole grains.  They don’t need to be eliminated from the diet, but they should never make up a full quarter of what you eat.  A diet high in grain leads to many problems such as inflammation and heart disease.  Human beings should consume a paleolithic type diet.

Unfortunately, despite the new design, this is still the same old information regurgitated based on science that is decades old.  The USDA needs to get with the times and reduce the grain recommendations and increase the healthy fat recommendations.  Until they do that I fear Americans will continue to lead the world in obesity.

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How to limit your child’s Halloween candy consumption

Jack-o-latern

Image via Wikipedia

It’s that time of year again.  Halloween!  I enjoy Halloween as much as the next person, but from a health standpoint this holiday is a nightmare!

Parents often say to me,”It’s just once a year. It won’t hurt them.”  While this is true, the candy that children accumulate during Halloween can last months.  I know when I was a child I used to come home with pillow cases full of candy.  Everything from Snickers to Smarties and everything in between!  Months of eating candy is not good for a child.

Today, I am going to give you some helpful hints on how you can control your child’s candy intake at Halloween.

First and foremost, remember that your child likes Halloween because they get to dress up and go from door to door in the neighborhood with their friends.  It really isn’t about the candy.  Yes, the candy is a bonus and they will enjoy the candy given the chance, but ask them whether they’d rather get candy or dress up and trick or treat? All of them will choose trick or treating over simply getting candy.

Secondly, be in control of the candy.  When your child returns from trick or treating they will want to dump out their candy and see what they got.  This is totally ok.  When they go to put it away ask them to select a couple of pieces that they’d like to keep in an easily accessible spot like the refrigerator.  All the other candy goes somewhere that is not easily accessible to them like on top of the refrigerator or a cabinet above the sink.  If they have an inordinately large amount of candy, throw small handfuls away from time to time.  It’s a little white lie, but it’s better than letting your children eat too much candy.  If you feel uncomfortable with this, tell your children the Candy Witch gets half of all kid’s candy at Halloween and ask them to donate it.  They usually don’t want to make the “Candy Witch” mad.

If you have children that are older you will have to be a little more upfront.  Try the honest approach and that you simply do not want them eating that much sugary candy.  Some teens are completely ok with this and won’t fight back.  If you suspect that will be a bit of a fight, tell them you need the candy for co-workers at work and ask them if you can have some of it.  If you want, bring it to work for others to share or throw it out.  Whatever floats your boat!

Thirdly, ration the candy.  If they want to have a piece from time to time, don’t be a miser.  The quickest way for them to build up excitement for the candy if for you to not allow them to have it. Let them have a piece after dinner at night.  Don’t let them snack on it mindlessly.  This just leads to belly aches and poor behavior.

Lastly, have fun with it!  A little candy here and there isn’t going to kill anyone.  Just don’t go overboard with it.  If you don’t make a big deal about it they won’t either.  If you already live a healthy lifestyle they are unlikely to be difficult with this process anyway.  Plus, they will likely lose interest in the candy after a few weeks.  Enjoy the trick or treating!

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