7 Healthy Chia Recipes That Go Beyond Pudding

phpThumb_generated_thumbnailYou’ve probably heard a lot about chia in the past few years. The black, white, and gray edible seed of the Salvia hispanica plant, it seems like the superfood has quickly popped up everywhere, from smoothies and muffins to pudding and cookies. Read the full article on Chowhound where I’m interviewed on the topic.

Eat Healthy! Be Happy! Xo Nicolette

Spring Allergy Relief with Diet Changes

If you find yourself suffering this Spring with sneezing, itching or coughing well you’re not alone.

During peak allergy season you may find relief from staying away from certain foods that can intensify your symptoms and make matters worse. While these foods are healthy, if your susceptible to pollens from trees, grass or weeds, see what simple diet moves can do to not aggravate the problem.

Take a look at my segment on CBS 2 to learn more!

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Eat Healthy! Be Happy!

Too Many Nutrients? Watch me on CBS The Couch to find out more…

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This morning I was up bright and early to appear on CBS’s Live from the Couch to discuss five vitamin supplements to think twice about. Watch as I discuss  how taking too many nutrients can disrupt the balance of your body. You’ll be surprised to learn that all of the key nutrients and vitamins you need are found in delicious foods that can easily be incorporated into your daily diet.

Eat Healthy!  Be Happy! Nicolette M. Pace

Popular Salads Can Be Nutritional Losers

You can call it another chapter in the  unhealthy “health food” saga, where a seemingly good for you and harmless diet food like salad can be turned upside down by either a fast food giant or by a restaurant who aims to please our insatiable appetite for value based large portions.

These favorite popular salads that are found at fast food/restaurant chains, diners and delis have either more fat, saturated fat, calories or sodium than a typical fast-food burger. To help you compare, the values for this burger are 550 calories, 29 grams fat (10 grams saturated) and 1000 mg of sodium in a 7.6 oz serving.

SOUTHWEST” SALADS – AKA SANTA FE OR JUST FIESTA

Call it what you like and hit the trail but, essentially this salad is a deconstructed taco without the limiting benefit of a contained “shell” – full of calorie laden over the top ingredients like cheese, sour cream, guacamole & tortilla strips.

* Can run between 800-1200+ calories – worst offender I found had 92g fat, 24g saturated fat & an alarmingly high 3500 mg sodium

ASIAN GRILLED CHICKEN SALAD

Take a cultural sidestep and check out this deceptively damaging salad which is built with healthier-type ingredients like grilled chicken, almonds or cashews, fruits and a vinaigrette dressing – but also crispy fried noodles & sodium rich dressing…fat is as high as the southwest salad!

* Highest values had over 1200 cal, high sodium (over 2000mg) & over 12g saturated fat (79g fat)

COBB SALAD

Go for the infamous 1930’s Hollywood Salad that is experiencing regained popularity now and a top seller in many restaurants. It seems healthy with grilled chicken but couple that to bacon, egg, cheese & dressing and you can see why it will top a fast food burger easily.

* You are looking at a whopping 1200+ calories, 25g of fat & 10-12g saturated fat

CRISPY CHICKEN CAESAR

Basically fried chicken served up salad style…and if that’s not enough calories & fat to sink your teeth into be sure to use the creamy, cheesy Caesar dressing (200 calories) that will send this salad to the moon.

* Can easily reach 1000 calories (remember that’s 2 Burgers) and 12 g sat fat

 CHEF SALAD

A favorite of low-carb dieters – but more calories than a stack of pancakes! Loaded with protein & the saturated fat that is married to it. Take a simple veggie base (100-200 cal) & pile on about 8oz worth of turkey, ham, roast beef, cheese, egg…then dose it in a ranch or thousand island dressing…

* Easily can get over 1000 cal (again, 2 Burgers)

GREEK SALAD

The basic ingredients are healthy choices – but watch out for the amount of add ons like dolmas (grape leaves), olives, feta & olive oil dressing where you can add hundreds of extra calories and sodium.

* Typical salad will have about 800 cal & 1000+ mg of sodium – if you use the oily vinaigrette you’ll pour on another 200-300 cal!

Next time your in the market for a meal gather your resources and use them to help you make a choice that’s right for you. 

The best advice on what to do comes from learning how to plan what to eat before you get hungry. 

Visit Tips & Tools to see how easy it can be to let salads work for you the way nature intended!

 

10 Foods that Bust Belly Fat

By Nicolette M. Pace MS,RD,CDE,CDN,CFCS

We all recognize how unsightly a misshapen midsection can be and how it can dampen your hope of showing off trim abs and a slender waistline, but do you cover it up and hope it goes away?  Or, do you fight the forces that push that muffin top-beer belly to a new level so you can avoid your worst health nightmare?

Fighting fat  has never been easier when you know what it is that works!

Core clogging fat surrounds vital organs needed for metabolism, detoxification, nutrient absorption and gas exchange so if it takes over, major health problems that affect your liver, pancreas, digestive system and breathing occur.  Sluggish internal machinery spits off toxic byproducts, gives inflammation room to grow and diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, sleep apnea and asthma become real.

Its time to reverse the disruption and reset the body’s balance toward a healthy and happy body!

Work these 10 foods into your diet to help normalize a return to healthy glucose and fat metabolism, stabilize sugar swings, appetite and storage hormones and bust belly fat once and for all!

1)  Citrus: These fruits are powerhouse of nutrients and fat fighting compounds that can help you trim that bulge. Each shares a unique set of vitamins and plant chemicals to help deliver antioxidants, fiber and work as a buffer to the high fat, high carb diet. Grapefruits in particular are being studied for their effect on fat metabolism as are oranges, lemons and all types of citrus. Plant chemicals like naringenin and lemonene  may hold the key and be a useful addition to your fat burning diet.

2)  Soy:  If you are still soy shy, its time to revisit this rare and 100% complete plant protein. Not only can it help to moderate a too high animal protein diet but do so in an extremely versatile and recipe friendly way.  This will  leave you feeling full but without all the sluggishness that comes with high saturated fat meals.  Soy’s secret weapon is a plant version of estrogen which can promote a diet induced balance in mood, stabilize inflammation from belly fat, improve insulin resistance, and age related changes in our metabolism.

3)  Brewed Tea: These powerful potions can enhance your metabolism with numerous plant chemical compounds which give you an edge for healthier hydration without belly fat promoting sweetened beverages. In addition all types of tea (green, white, oolong) will work wonders and help you reduce fat by providing different ratios of antioxidants (polyphenols, flavinoids), as well as  tannins, catechins and caffeine to raise metabolism.  Brewed herbal teas like mint, chamomille, rose hips, ginger are also waistline friendly and work toward helping you to clean out toxins.

4)  Probiotics:The latest research is uncovering another and great health reason to include probiotic foods in your diet. When bad bacteria in your gut takes over, increases in waist size and midsection fat can follow. Common digestive problems like reflux and diverticulosis march in and the battle lines are drawn. Put fat fighters into your system by looking  for low fat fermented dairy products like kefir, yogurt, lebneh, buttermilk and some cheeses that carry the phrase contains live active cultures.  Be sure to include other little known sources of probiotics from soy like miso and tempeh for a double duty fat fighting  finish.

5)  Aromatic Herbs:  Herbal lore goes mainstream in the belly fat fighting arsenal and should be a staple in your whole foods kitchen. Garlic, onions, basil, mint, parsley, sage,  rosemary and thyme are among nature’s remedies to level the metabolic playing field. Each contains volatile compounds for helping to regulate body fats by lowering cholesterol and fatty acid buildup so be sure to use them frequently to enhance your recipes.

6)  Dark Leafy Greens: Give belly fat a dark and dismal bye-bye by eating richly colored lettuce and tender cooking greens daily. This shade of slender heaven is enjoyed with spinach, chard, beet tops,dandelions and all types of exotic lettuce including arugula and watercress. The very rich vitamin content and specialized plant chemicals are therapeutic and cleansing for midsection fat, tone the liver and improve  digestion for the very best in metabolic health.

7)  Cabbage Family: Look to enjoy an ample portion of super low calorie veggies  in this family of cole crops that includes cabbage, brocolli,  cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi and brussel sprouts among others. In additon to fiber, vitamin C, calcium and magnesium, these foods contain glucosinolates to revive your metabolism, encourage fat burning and reduce inflammation.

8)  Whole Grains/Seeds: Switch out refined starches and improve your fat burning profile by using about 3 servings a day of whole grains like barley, oats, cracked wheat, quinoa, corn and limit other waistline widening starches to one per day during your belly fat burning project. These nutrient dense complex carbs will help to bring about reductions in your waist size from plant chemicals, inflammation fighting fats, fiber, vitamins and trace minerals.

9)  Legumes: Beneficial beans and lipodissolving lentils are not only high on the antioxidant list to detox your belly fat but are an appetite fix providing you with starchy vegetarian protein instead of refined carbs and fatty meats. Plus the gooey fiber in these foods works like a club bouncer to escort your unwanted party guests out by helping to capture some fat digestion byproducts so they do not return back to your liver to do damage.

10)  Detoxifying Veggies & Fruits: Aside from promoting water loss and digestive relief from fiber, there are a myraid of tasty and therapeutic plant foods that offer specialized skill to give you a super food fighting chance of burning out fat. Look to celery, artichokes, chili peppers, asparagus, eggplant, berries, apples and melon to stop free radical damage from unhealthy blood fats, cleanse your organs and give you the final say over your body, your belly fat and your health!

The Bare Truth on 5 Diet Bars

By Nicolette M. Pace

Ever wonder which bar is right for you?  With the multitude of options out there, it can be confusing to pick one that does the job right.  Here’s what to look out for and expect when you choose a healthy bar for you!

1. Meal Replacement Bar: On the go lifestyles demand attention so next time you run out of steam and reach for an artery clogging and “feel not so happy” meal, bring along a rescue bar to crowd out less careful food choices. Look for ones that are heavy in weight (2-3 oz) and provides about 1/3 of the daily value for key nutrients like protein, fiber and key vitamins and minerals to be sure you get good nutrition on the go.

2. Breakfast Bar: Cereal, milk and fruits sounds yummy in the morning but when you’re not near your kitchen table and pressed for time, take along a high fiber (5 grams) whole grain bar with added protein that will give you flavor and nutrition to start your day right. Stick to healthy add-ins like nuts, oats, flax, millet, triticale and dried fruit and skip the candy pieces to help avoid sugar crashes and calorie overload.

3. Low-cal/quick snack Bar: In between meal nourishment can save you and your hunger from building up to be the next meal catastrophe when you opt for a snack bar that satisfies your taste and doesn’t stretch your waist. Look for psychologically satisfying 100 calorie portion controlled amounts to pick you up in the afternoon or relax you in the evening so you don’t go down the calorie drain.

4. Nutrient Bar:  A way to supplement your diet with nutrients that may be needed at different times such as during illness or recovery, surgery or when your diet falls short in nutrients that can help you maintain good health. These functional bars can contain any variety of ingredients such as beneficial fats like omega 3, probiotic bacteria for gastrointestinal health, high quality proteins for tissue repair or soluble fiber to help stabilize blood sugar numbers.

5.   Energy Bar:  Not to be confused with energy drinks or with the idea that it will pick you up if you have a sluggish metabolism, energy bars are dense, concentrated sources of calories to sustain you during peak high energy need. Think vigorous activities like hiking, climbing, biking, skiing, running, and competitive sports. Healthy energy bars will have recognizable whole food ingredients like nut butters, high quality proteins and natural sugars and a minimum of chemical ingredients.

Be sure to recognize not only the differences in diet bars but how they can best be used for optimum results.  Some bars must be therapeutic in design (contain certain levels of nutrients) to properly fit into a program for weight loss, blood sugar control, nutrient repletion or physical performance. This is espeically true for meal replacement, diet and nutrient bars so be on the lookout for great ways to boost nutrition and be sure to discuss with your health provider which ones may be right for you and enjoy!

Be Healthy! Be Happy!

Nicolette M. Pace MS,RD,CDE,CDN,CFCS