All Entries For food
One thing I don’t have patience for is being hungry. I’ve never been one of those people who can go all day without remembering to eat. My body is like an alarm clock, and when the buzzer goes off that it’s time to eat, it just keeps getting louder until I do something about it. When I get really hungry, the first thing I grab for is usually a granola bar or something else that’s high in carbohydrates. I always figured that’s because it’s quick and easy, but new research shows that my growling stomach could be causing me to gravitate toward these types of foods. Read More ›
A staggering 63 percent of Americans are overweight. The most common cause? We eat more food than we need—and we're all guilty of doing it: mindlessly munching on a bag of pretzels during a reality TV marathon or treating ourselves to a second helping when the first was plenty. But boredom and indulgence aside, why else are we reaching for a snack when we should feel full? Some of it can be blamed on habit, while other triggers have more to do with our body's hunger signals. Check out the list below to find out the most common overeating pitfalls and simple solutions for avoiding these traps.
1. You didn't get enough sleep last night.
Lack of rest stimulates two faux hunger triggers: energy deficiency, to which our natural reaction is to nourish our bodies, and appetite hormone confusion. "When our bodies are drained, levels of leptin—a hormone produced by our fat cells that controls our appetite—decrease, while levels of gherlin—a hormone produced by our stomach that stimulates our appetite—increase," explains American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Karen Ansel, RD. That's two hormones working against you. "Getting eight hours of sleep a night is the easiest thing you can do to prevent overeating." If you do fall short on zzz's, be sure to load up on nourishing, naturally energizing foods—such as fresh fruit, complex carbohydrates and lean proteins—throughout the day to help your body feel satisfied.
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Disney began focusing on providing healthier kids' meals at their Parks and Resorts beginning back in 2006. Now kids' meals routinely include low-fat milk and carrots unless parents opt out. Disney internal statistics reveal that parents will stick with these healthier side options six out of ten times instead of requesting substitutions. With more than 12 million kids' meals served annually in Disney Parks and Resorts in the U.S. alone, the changes are making a difference in how children are eating. In September of 2010, The Walt Disney Company launched Disney Magic of Healthy Living, a national multimedia initiative to help families raise healthy, happy kids.
Last month the Walt Disney Company took another step forward in their brand commitment to healthy eating by introducing new food advertising standards. Under Disney's new standards, after 2015 all food and beverage products seeking advertisement, sponsorship, or promotion on any Disney-owned television channels (including Saturday morning programming on Disney owned ABC), radio stations, or Web sites will need to comply with the company's new nutrition criteria for programming targeting children under the age of 12.
By the end of 2012, consumers will also begin seeing the new Mickey Check symbol on Disney-licensed food products. Disney anticipates this tool will help consumers easily identify nutritious choices in stores, online and while visiting Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Disney also updated their nutrition guidelines to reflect current federal standards and recommendations. The new criteria include not only specifics related to calories but also to reducing saturated fat, sodium, and sugar.
Let's take a closer look at the details of the Disney Nutrition Guideline Criteria to see how they stack up nutritionally.
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It’s not exactly a news flash that milk can give you strong bones and carrots help sharpen your eyesight. But what you may not know is that you can get more disease-fighting bang by eating certain foods together. Think Simon and Garfunkel, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers—one’s good, but together they’re even better. Here, seven power couples.
1. Calcium + Inulin = Healthy Tummy, Strong Bones
If you’ve ever had a bout of tummy trouble, you should know about inulin (a type of fiber), which helps balance the levels of “good” bacteria in your digestive system. Inulin also benefits your bones by enhancing calcium absorption. You’re most likely to run across it as a fiber supplement (Fibersure) or added to foods like yogurt (Yo-Plus, Activia Fiber), but there are a few good natural food options.
Good Sources of Calcium: Milk, yogurt, cheese (all kinds), broccoli, kale, canned-with-bones salmon and sardines, tofu made with calcium chloride or calcium sulfate, almonds, fortified orange juice; fortified soy, rice or almond milk.
Good Sources of Inulin: Artichokes, dandelion greens, onions, garlic, leeks, chicory, bananas, whole-wheat flour, asparagus.
• Bananas in cereal with skim milk
• Grilled asparagus with shaved Parmesan
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Are there times that you feel like you're stuck in a rut with your current meal plan or that you just don't know what to make for certain meals? If so, then the Mix and Match Meal Planner may be just what you are looking for!
The Mix and Match Meal Planner is a tool that is very easy to use and can help you plan out healthy meals that meet your nutrition goals. Planning out your meals ahead of time can help you stay on track a lot easier than if you wait last minute to decide what you might eat. If you are anything like me and you don't like to cook and/or would like to find some quick and simple meals, then the Mix and Match Meal Planner may be just the thing to help you get on track (and stay on track) with eating healthier meals overall. This interactive feature allows you to choose the food items that you like, but it will also make sure you pick the right items to make it a complete meal that is healthy and tasty.
With all the different options available in the Mix and Match Meal Planner, there are numerous meals that you can create to give your meals quite the variety. You can not only save time with your meal planning, but you can also say goodbye to boring meals!
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The supermarket aisles are flooded with health claims from "healthy, all-natural" frozen dinners to "cholesterol-lowering" granola bars. We're constantly getting conflicting messages on what to what to eat — from organic produce to free-range or grass-fed meat — and what to avoid — from trans fats to high fructose corn syrup. It's not surprising that most consumers are left wondering what to believe and what it all means.
When it comes to making your selection it can be simple. Leading nutritionist and author of What to Eat, Marion Nestle, Ph.D, MPH advises
"Never buy anything that has more than five ingredients, any ingredients you can't pronounce, anything artificial, with a health claim, or with a cartoon on the package."
The goal of this article is break down the information on the front of the packaging so you can make a more informed decision on the quality and content of the product you are purchasing. Words like organic and free-range may not be what you thought; can you trust these terms on labels or is it a marketing ploy? While certain labels are regulated, others are not. We have offered you a reliable list to follow when making your selections. The outcome: more conscious food choices that will benefit your body and the planet.
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Mexican dishes often combine both healthy and not-so-healthy ingredients. Although they include a lot of fresh produce (lettuce, tomatoes, and corn) and complex carbohydrates like beans and rice, the meals are also sometimes cooked in lard and topped with lots of melty cheese. Taco salads, for example, are usually chock-full of veggies, but they can also be piled high with cheese, meat, and deep-fried chips. And chicken fajitas are made up of mostly healthy lean protein and veggies, but are often stir-fried and wrapped in an empty calorie tortilla. For a healthier Cinco de Mayo feast, should you dig into a taco salad or a plate of chicken fajitas?
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A few old college friends and I were at a birthday party, sitting near the birthday cake and talking about our dieting struggles and how hard it is to lose weight. We spoke of how many failed attempts and programs we had under our belts. We decided it was terribly daunting and only a miracle could save us from our fate of being overweight the rest of our lives. We griped about how society, work, stress, so many things played into the weight loss equation. One of my friends' youngest children, who had been listening, came in and sat at the table, listening intently, and then said, ''Just don't eat the whole cake.'' So pure!
That is really the essence of it all. One slice has less calories than two. You can always track it in your plan. No more throwing out the ''day'' because of a treat. ''Just don't eat the whole ___.'' Split it with your friends, your husband, a take-home box. The truth is, our portions are just too big for most of our activities during the day. We don't burn off enough calories.
I'm not saying this lightly. Honestly, we can choose to be happy. If things get tough, we have to get tougher. At 460 pounds, I didn't have it in me to get tough, but I did have it in me to make baby steps. That was the toughness that I needed at that time. Through these very baby steps, I lost 200 pounds and gained the ability to walk again. Read More ›
For the record, let me just state that I am currently sitting in my kitchen, writing this blog, and watching the Simmental cows and calves graze on lush, green pasture land outside my deck window. Yes, many of those calves will end up as retail cuts of beef. Yes, I eat beef. Yes, I am a farm girl, and have been since my birth over 50 years ago. So I was somewhat concerned that red meat (beef, pork and lamb) has been recently cited as a major risk factor in increased death due to diseases such as heart disease and cancer. But before you throw up your hands in frustration and start shaking your finger at the food police, read on.
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Hello, dailySpark readers! This is Anne from the food and fitness blog, fANNEtastic food. I’m currently nearing the end of my graduate program (I’m getting a Masters of Public Health from UNC-Chapel Hill and will be a Registered Dietitian), and between that, blogging, and planning my wedding, I don’t have a whole lot of time left to cook. As a result, I’ve become an expert at quick, simple meals. In today’s post, I’ll share some of my favorite quick breakfasts, and I’ll be back for another guest post soon to share my favorite quick dinners!
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My family recently had a rare weekend free of commitments so we started looking for something in the Dallas area that would be fun for all of us. We came up with a solution that satisfied all four of us and I wanted to share this experience with you.
We agreed on a field trip of sorts to three different markets: the Dallas Farmers Market, Central Market and the Hong Kong Market.
The Dallas Farmers Market was for me, Central Market for my wife and Hong Kong Market for our daughters.
For some, a trip to the farmers market isn’t unusual, but for me, this was truly an adventure. I have always been a very picky eater and haven’t really eaten many fruits or veggies in my life. I am usually stopped by textures. I love most flavors, but I just can’t handle the textures of different foods. However, as I continue to free my mind and keep moving forward in my quest for a healthy life, I am working toward jumping this hurdle as well. I was very excited about this trip. Read More ›
Foods You Should Love
Portion control can be one of the most difficult aspects of maintaining a healthy diet. To help curb over-indulgence, here are 50 nutritious foods—and their correct portion size. From fruit to fish, these satisfying eats will help fill you up for just 100 calories or less.
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As my kids get older, I find myself focusing even more on meal planning. I want my kids to try a wide variety of foods. I don’t expect them to like everything I cook, but I want home cooked, healthy meals to be second-nature to them. Growing up, my mom was (and still is) a great cook. She was always trying new recipes, and now I’ve become just like her. My husband commented the other day that “you never know what we’re going to be having for dinner” because I’m constantly mixing things up. Granted, I’m just like my mom in that I don’t deviate from recipes. Someday I’d love to learn to really cook, where I can throw together a bunch of random ingredients in my refrigerator to create a delicious meal. But I’m not at that point yet. Read More ›
Have you ever seen some of the old Seinfeld episodes with The Soup Nazi? He has a small soup kitchen/diner on the show, and very strict rules about how you get your food. You must enter in a certain line, refrain from speaking, ask no questions, order correctly, slide over and pay, pick up your soup, and leave. If you fail at any of the steps, he grabs your order and yells ''No Soup For You!'' and you have to leave, hoping that sooner rather than later, you’ll be back in his good graces and allowed to enter the diner to try one more time to get your soup.
The longer I am able to maintain my weight loss, the more successful I am with exorcising the food police mentality from my life. I’m not quite sure when any of us learned the thought process that if we eat something that we deem ''unhealthy'', we should just give up for the remainder of the day. I know my parents didn’t teach me that. Can you picture how it would be if our parents had treated us the way we treat ourselves as grownups? It would have gone something like this:
Mom to Jane: ''I saw how much chocolate cake you ate at that birthday party! You should be ashamed of yourself! Since you messed up like that, you cannot have any healthy food for dinner. Here’s a bag of Cheetos and a quart of ice cream. In the morning, I’m going to rehash this again and make you feel guilty about it, and then feed you nachos for breakfast. Heck, now that I think about it, I don’t know how long I’ll hold this over your head. You better go get the fat jeans out of your closet!'' Read More ›
This is not a campaign to encourage you to stop eating junk food. A little bad is good—the keyword being little.
Here are some other tips to help you indulge without doing in your diet.
- Choose Wisely. Chocolate, candy, and other sweets contain empty calories that can translate into high amounts of fat, sugar, salt and not many vitamins or minerals. Instead of splurging on everything, opt for one of your favorites. You don’t have to eat everything you love in one day.
- Reasonable Portions. Be mindful of the serving size of your treat. Many junk foods come in mini, prepackaged portions. Aim for no more than 200 calories.
What are your rules for eating junk food? Read More ›