Sniff Rosemary

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Yes, you read that right.  Several new studies have found that the scent of rosemary stimulates the brain and can possibly boost mental speed and accuracy.  And, of course it’s a good spice to use in the kitchen as well!

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.

Control The Condiments

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Sometimes we think we are being healthy by having a salad or light sandwich.  However, extra calories can creep up on you from salad dressings, mayonnaise, mustard, BBQ sauce, etc.  Always ask for condiments on the side and add as needed.  You may be surprised how much less you use!

 

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.

April Food of the Month

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Asparagus is a super food in season this month.  It is high in various important nutrients, including fiber, folate, and vitamin A.  However, it is particularly high in vitamin K.  In fact, one serving equals seventy percent of the average adult’s daily recommended value of vitamin K.  What does vitamin K do?  We hear a lot about vitamins A, C, or D, but not so much about vitamin K.  Its primary function is blood clotting, yet vitamin K also helps to build and maintain bone strength.  If you’re not a huge fan of plain asparagus, try hiding it in some dishes to get more vegetables in your daily diet without noticing it.  Throw some in an omelet.  Toss some into macaroni and cheese or your favorite pasta meal.  Get creative!

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.

Spring Cleaning

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IT’S SPRING CLEANING: Give yourself time to clean out your mind as well as your house!  Take a few minutes each day to rest/reflect on your life.  Being grateful for everything, both the good and the bad, can change your perspective, relieve stress, and improve mental health.

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.

American Diabetes Alert Day!

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The fourth Tuesday in March is American Diabetes Alert Day.  Below is a link to a diabetes risk assessment.  If you have never been screened for diabetes, or are curious to know your risk, I encourage you to complete this short, 7 question risk evaluation.  Not all risk factors can be controlled, but this may help you identify which risks ARE within your control.

http://www.diabetes.org/assets/pdfs/at-risk/risk-test-paper-version.pdf

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.

Eat Plenty Of Nuts!

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EAT PLENTY OF NUTS!  Flaxseed and nuts contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation and may lower your risk for developing arthritis (among other benefits).  Of the various types of nuts, walnuts have the greatest amount of omega-3s. 

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.

 

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth with a Piece of Fruit

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If you’re craving sugar, the natural sugar fructose found in fruit can be a great way to fill that fix while still getting some vitamins and minerals!

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.

Bake up Some Whole Grain Goodness

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Experiment by substituting buckwheat, millet, or oat flour for up to half of the flour in pancake, waffle, muffin, or other flour-based recipes for some added nutritional value. They may need a bit more leavening in order to rise.

Source:
United States Department of Agriculture
http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/downloads/TenTips/DGTipsheet4MakeHalfYourGrainsWhole.pdf 

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.

March Food of the Month

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Oats are one of various types of whole grains.  Whole grains are types of grains which contain all parts of a grain: the bran, germ, and endosperm.  Refined grains only contain one of these parts.  By choosing refined grains instead of whole grains, you can miss out on important nutrients that keep your body healthy and prevent heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.  In addition, oats can help to lower bad cholesterol and prevent asthma.  They are also high in folate and iron, making them a smart choice for expectant mothers.  Don’t like oatmeal?  No worries.  Oats take on the flavor of the food in which they are mixed.  They can be added to pancakes, smoothies, salads, breads, you name it!  There are plenty of ways to fit this super food into your diet on a daily basis.

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.

Do Health and Let Weight Fall Into Place

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This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness week.  To observe this, I wanted to emphasize that it’s not all about weight and numbers.  We are all built differently and so a “healthy weight” looks different for each individual.  It is more important to focus on health and let your weight fall naturally into place.

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.

National Cancer Prevention Awareness Month

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February is National Cancer Prevention Month.  CHOOSE A DIET HIGH IN FRUITS AND VEGETABLES TO REDUCE YOUR RISK FOR CANCER.  For men, in particular, lycopene has been shown to aid in prostate cancer prevention.  Lycopene is very rich in tomatoes and tomato products.

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.

Easy Weight Lost Tips

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It takes 3500 calories to gain a pound.  If you want to lose 1 pound in a week, cut out 500 calories from your intake per day.  This is the equivalent of two 20 oz. bottles of Pepsi a day, for example.

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.

February Food of the Month

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Sweet potatoes are nutrient-packed starchy vegetables.  Their bright orange color is from a pigment found in vitamin A, the same component in carrots that everyone tells you to eat to protect your vision. Vitamin A also keeps your skin young and healthy.  Sweet potatoes, compared to regular white potatoes, contain more fiber, calcium, copper, and vitamin C.  While white potatoes are not a bad choice, replacing items such as French fries, chips, baked and mashed potatoes with sweet potatoes is an easy way to pack a few more nutrients into your diet.  Sweet potatoes are at their peak in the Northeast during the winter season, making them a very affordable food this time of year.

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.

Be An Active TV Watcher

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During your shows can be a great time to lift weights or run on the treadmill.  Even if you only get up during the commercials of an hour long show to move, that’s close to 20 minutes!  Think about how much activity you could have gotten in during Super bowl commercials last night alone…

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.

Season Without The Salt

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In our culture, we tend to season everything with salt.  However, salt can be replaced in a lot of dishes with bold flavors such as pomegranate seeds, cilantro, garlic, wasabi, or chipotle pepper.  Get creative, and don’t be afraid to try some of the other options on your spice rack!

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.

Skip The Skin

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Removing the skin off of meats such as chicken is a great way to save some extra fat and calories.  However, it doesn’t have to also skip out on the flavor.  Cooking with the skin on and then removing it just before eating still allows flavor to spread through the meat, giving you a healthier, yet still delicious alternative!

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.

Know The Truth About The Coconut Craze

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There’s a lot of hype right now about coconut oil.  Is it healthy?  Should I use it instead of canola or olive oil? 

Coconut oil can be a good substitute for solid animal fats such as butter and shortening.  However, when compared to other plant oils, coconut oil is much higher in saturated fat and lower in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.  It is recommended to consume LESS saturated fat and MORE monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats for heart health and healthy cholesterol levels. 

Therefore, I would say use to coconut oil sparingly and keep canola and olive oil in your pantry as staples.

Use It or Lose It!

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Weight and BMI tend to peak between ages 50 and 59.  If you don’t use your muscles regularly and exercise (for anyone, but especially during this age range), it can be very easy to lose a healthy build and put on extra pounds.  Be proactive about your health.

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc

January Food of the Month

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Barley is one of various types of whole grains.  Whole grains are types of grains which contain all parts of a grain: the bran, germ, and endosperm.  Refined grains only contain one of these parts.  By choosing refined grains instead of whole grains, you can miss out on important nutrients that keep your body healthy and prevent heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.  Barley, in particular, is high in fiber, potassium, and selenium, important nutrients for everyone’s diet.  These nutrients aid in digestion, blood sugar stabilization, lowering blood pressure, and the prevention of inflammation – a win, win!  Don’t know where to start with barley?  It is a great addition to soups, pilafs, and hot cereals, the perfect hearty food to add to your diet during the cold winter season!

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.

Free Your Mind At Bedtime

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Create an evening ritual before settling down for the night to “wind down,” whether it’s reading a book or listening to music.  Research suggests that creating this daily routine can prepare your body for a good night’s rest (which I’m sure we all desire!). 

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc