Kale smoothie?

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Kale is one of the most micro dense nutrient foods available, and here is a simple recipe to get more in your body!

Ingredients:

2 handfuls of baby kale

1 handful of frozen blueberries

1 handful of frozen strawberries

1 handful of frozen raspberries

1-2 ripe frozen or fresh bananas

handful of ice

about 1 cup of water

blend and that’s it!dense

Spicy Thai peanut sauce over brown rice and roasted sweet potatoes!

Delicious satisfying and spicy Thai peanut sauce recipe over brown rice and roasted sweet potatoes!  Click here for the recipe

Yours in great health!

Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

 


 

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What's up with a jackfruit BBQ sandwich?

I was at a party recently and tried a BBQ sandwich made without pork, but with jackfruit!  Never had jackfruit before, nor a jackfruit BBQ sandwich.  Guess what?  It was delicious!  Thought I'd share a recipe to try.   Click here.  Also included is an avocado slaw to pare the sandwich with.  This would work well for those interested in bringing a fun and different, but tasty dish to a BBQ or other event.  Enjoy!  Is jackfruit healthy?  Jackfruit is a good source of fiber at 3 grams per cup, as well as vitamin c, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese!

Yours in great health!

Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Nighttime snacking and cholesterol, what's the connection?

According to a research study (click here) conducted on eleven healthy young woman from Japan, a nighttime snack (192 calories snack at 11pm) increased LDL (the 'bad') and total cholesterol levels and reduced total body fat oxidation (fat utilized for energy). 

For those looking to control cholesterol levels for heart health, skipping that nighttime snack may be worth considering.  In addition, for those looking for help with body fat reduction, skipping the late night snack may help as fat used for fuel was reduced with the late night snack. 

Drawbacks from the study?  Short duration (13 days) and only 11 participants.  In addition, it would have been useful to test the nighttime snack at multiple time intervals (8, 9, 10pm) as well for those who snack at different times.

Now stopping late night eating is a challenge for some, and making this change is easier said than done.  First tip?  If possible, reduce or remove the high sugar and high salt snacks from the house to reduce temptation at night (when willpower is the lowest).  Tip two?  Brush and floss within 5-10 minutes after dinner.  Tip three?  Avoid the kitchen after dinner.   Tip four?  Put leftovers away immediately after dinner. 

Yours in great health!

Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

What not to eat at Red Lobster?

I recently checked out the menu including the nutrition facts for Red Lobster.  Click here for the PDF.  Whoa, while there are some healthy options, buyer beware for many options there.  Below is a sample appetizer with salad and main course:

Appetizer:  Crispy calamari with vegetables: 1830 calories and 4,720 mg of sodium

Salad:  Classic Ceaser:  520 calories and 1,050 mg sodium

Main course:  NY Strip with Lobster Tail:  1,140 calories and 2,360 mg sodium

Total =  3,490 calories and 8,130 mg sodium!

Considering the adequate intake (click this link for the definition of adequate intake) for sodium is 1500 mg/day for under 50 years of age, 1300 mg/day for 50-70, and 1200 mg/day for 71 and over, 8,130 mg is mind boggling (and this doesn't include what you ate the rest of the day)!  Upper tolerable limit is 2,300 mg/day, but this number is not a recommendation to aim for just the upper limit. 

If you remove the appetizer you'll cut your calories and sodium by about half, but the meal is still loaded with calories and sodium.

What to eat there?  The fresh fish options were all under 500 calories and the sodium was moderate too (except for the lobster dishes).  I get it, most of us want to enjoy a meal out and NOT think about sodium and calories.  I agree, from time to time, why not, right?  The question is, would you make some changes with your selections if you knew the calories and the sodium where off the charts?  Particularly if you are trying to manage a health condition?  Some research suggests if you make your selections online prior to going to the restaurant, you'll make better choices, and I'd have to agree.  Most chain, but not mom and pop restaurants, will have calories online and some in the restaurant.

Let's be honest, Red Lobster is not alone, try checking out some other menus online of your regular eating spots and see what you find. 

Yours in great health!

Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

What is the hunger fullness scale?

Do you ever eat when not hungry?  When bored, stressed, watching TV, holiday meals, late night snacking, deserts, chips etc?  Hey guess what, it's pretty common.  While there are many behavioral strategies to help with overeating, one that is gaining popularity is 'mindful eating.'  While for many, utilizing a combination of strategies is helpful, including mindful eating may improve success.  Check out this link from Harvard to learn more about 'mindful eating.'  A 'mindful eating' experience may include: slowing down and taking more time to eat, tasting each bite of food, and paying attention to your feelings of hunger and fullness.

Let's drill down a little further on our hunger and fullness cues.  To learn more about the hunger fullness scale, check out this link.  One is starving, ten is stuffed, three is hungry (clear signals to eat, but not uncomfortable), seven is satisfied/full (but not overly full or stuffed).  The goal is to stay in the grey zone (between 3-7), aiming to eat at a 3 and stop at a 7.  

How to get started?  Begin by becoming more aware of your hunger and fullness cues during and between meals.  Try not to judge yourself, just become more aware.  If you eat past fullness, it happens, so think about why it may have happened.  Aim to eat when hungry, not starving (a 3) and stop when satisfied (a 7).  Sometimes, eating at a 1 (starving) causes us to eat to a 9 or 10 (very full/stuffed), but not always, depends on the person and situation.  Are you really hungry 2 hours after dinner or is that habit instead?  Are you full, but still have a half a 1/4 plate of food left and keep eating?  Again, no judgement, just awareness.  One last note, if you are a late night snacker, it takes about 3-4 hours to digest a meal, so by hour 2 after a meal, your blood sugar is peaking and more food is usually not needed.  It's an interesting topic and certainly worth more exploration. 

Yours in great health!

Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN   Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

 

Do bananas cause weight gain? No chance. Here's why?

Ok, I know you've seen the pop up ads that say, 'bananas make you gain weight.'  Guess what, not true.  Bananas are a fantastic snack, moderate in calories (about 100 cal each), a good source of fiber, potassium, and moderate in naturally occurring sugars. 

I just had a new patient lose 7 and 1/2 lbs in the first two weeks of his weight loss program eating 2 bananas per day! 

Compared to a snickers which has 215 cal, a small bag of chips 150 cal, a banana (100 cal), has about 50-100% less calories respectively and is a much healthier option!

Other benefits of bananas?  Great to fuel your workouts (about 30-45 minutes pre workout), great between meal satisfying snack, or a satisfying post dinner light sweet treat (when you see the little brown dots, the bananas are sweeter)!

Other ways to eat bananas?  Try peeling, cutting into bite size pieces and freezing, and then add a little water and blend thick for a sweet non dairy desert!  For a change, swap your banana for jelly in a PBJ, or add to your salad (I know it sounds weird, but just tried it and was awesome!).  

If you are looking for a sweeter desert, try this chocolate dipped coconut frozen banana from eatingwell.com.  It's only 100 calories per serving.

Yours in great health!

Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

To Snack or Not to Snack for Weight Loss?

Check out this article in the Huffington Post from fellow Dietitian Manuel Villacorta! The article describes the relationship between ghrelin (the hunger hormone), snacking and weight loss.  Definitely worth a read! 

Yours in great health!

Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Can a veggie burger have taste? Maybe...check out my review of the Qrunch Burger.

Ok, I know what you're thinking...a blog about veggie burgers, you're kidding right?  Aren't veggie burgers those sad, tasteless, poor imitations of the real thing?  Well, maybe.  What if I told you that I found a veggie burger that both meat eaters and vegetarians agree is the real deal, has flavor, and is satisfying?  It's called the Qrunch Burger (not with a C, but with a Q).  Takes about 1 minute in the microwave or 5-10 minutes in the oven, these burgers are full of high quality, whole, natural ingredients that is subtle, but flavorful.  Check out the ingredients below from their 'original' recipe:

Water, Organic Millet, Organic Quinoa, Organic Refined Coconut Oil, Organic Onion, Organic Carrots, Organic Broccoli, Organic Spinach, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Sea Salt, Organic Arrowroot Starch, Organic Psyllium Seed Powder, Organic Garlic, Organic Sunflower Oil.

How do I like them?  2 slices of toasted whole grain bread, hummus spread on each side, sliced onion, cucumbers or lettuce, sliced red pepper and Sriracha sauce for a little spice.  If you're in a pinch for dinner, this burger's precooked (just keep frozen) and it's ready in just a few!

The question is, where to find these burgers?  Click here for a list of grocers from the Qrunch website.  However, while my local Whole Foods doesn't carry them, my local Mom's Organic does, so it may vary per your locale. 

Any way you slice it, if you're open to trying something new, this veg burger may just have what it takes, to make it on to your plate!

Yours in great health!

Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

P.S. I have no affiliation and receive no compensation from Qrunch. 

Does the NBA love PBJ? Yes...and we'll show you how to make a healthy one!

I admit it, I love a good PB and J sandwich and recently have been eating one most days of the week!  According to a recent article from ESPN, so do many NBA players!  Click here to read the original article!  Now wait a minute, I know what some of you are thinking, PB and J can't be healthy right?  White bread, processed sugar and fatty peanut butter?  Wrong.  How about unprocessed whole grain bread (Food for Life, the Breadery etc.), natural peanut butter (the kind with the healthy oils floating on top in a jar or just crushed peanuts from the health food store), with a natural preserve jam or jelly?  I say, the right PB and J is a highly nutritious, power packed meal (add some non starchy veggies to round it out) to fuel your work day, workout, or weekend!  Simple to prepare, easy to eat on the go, and can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner (if you're into that kind of simplicity for dinner), and works great for travel!  Ok, let's check it out what's in a healthy PB and J:

1. Whole grain bread- on average has 80 cal per slice (or 40 per slice for some low cal breads).  Should have the following ingredients (one or more whole grains such as wheat, barley, oats etc.) yeast, a little salt (or not), water and that's about it!  Check out the ingredients from this Flax bread from Food for Life.  This bread adds some wheat gluten as well, but they do make gluten free breads as well. 

2. Natural peanut butter- 1 tablespoon is 100 cal.  A good sandwich has between 1-2 tbsp IMO.  Ingredients should say, 'Peanuts,' and maybe 'salt' if you want it.  Are peanuts healthy?  You bet!  A good source have healthy monounsaturated fats, a moderate amount of plant protein, and no cholesterol (plants don't products cholesterol).

3. Jam, preserve, jelly, fruit spread to name a few or a banana- To complete the meal, a fruit or fruit spread is needed.  There are a large variety to choose from and average about 30-50 cal per tablespoon or about 50 cal for a 1/2 sliced banana.  I'd say, one tablespoon or two max is about right for a spread, but everyone is different.  I enjoy many varieties but Crofters is one that I like, among others.  Check out the previous link and scroll down for the ingredients and nutrition facts. Some are concerned that jelly or jam is all table sugar which are 'added' sugars and not naturally occurring such as found in fruit.  Not true for all.  Some have more added sugars than others and some not at all.  Unfortunately the nutrition facts label will not differentiate between 'naturally occurring' sugars found in fruit and 'added sugars' from processed table sugar.  The label just says, 'sugars.'  If you look at the ingredients listed, Crofters did not have 'sugar' listed, as it's sweetened with fruit and fruit juice, so that let's us know that no processed sugar was used in the spread.  Another option is a PB and banana sandwich which isn't quite as sweet, but can work well in a pinch!

What's the final calorie count?  350 calories = 160 cal- 2 slices bread, 1.5 tbsp PB- 150 cal, 1 tbsp jam- 40 cal = 350 calories.  Not too high or too low.  If you need more calories, aim for 2 tbsp's of PB, or if less, aim for 1 tbsp PB. 

All in all, PB and J with the right ingredients is a good source of healthy carbs for energy, protein, and healthy fats, all in moderation to provide the fuel you need to power your day!

Yours in great health!

Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Fantastic Lentil Soup Recipe!

A delicious and simple to prepare lentil soup recipe from Dreena Burton!  The soup has a rich and aromatic flavor that satisfies!  It's an easy lunch or dinner option and works great for easy to heat up leftovers too!  Add some veggies on the side either roasted, steamed or as a salad to round out the meal!  Good source of protein and carbs to keep you satisfied and fiber to help with healthy gut function!  Click here to check out the recipe. 

Delicious Thai Red Curry Recipe with Brown Rice!

Just made this delicious Thai Red Curry Recipe and wanted to share!  I cooked brown rice instead of white rice for a heartier meal and higher nutritional value.  Click here to view the recipe. 

Yours in Great Health!

Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Certified Personal Trainer

Can a Pecan Pie bar pack both flavor and health in one wrapper? Check out my review...

Looking for a sweet and healthy snack idea?  Try the Pecan Pie bar from Lara Bar!  Why do I like this bar?  It's simple, tasty, natural and healthy with only three ingredients (dates, almonds and pecans)!  I love products that are made of whole, natural ingredients and you won't do much better than this.  A healthy source of carbs for energy (from the dates), healthy fats (from the nuts), and fiber (from the dates and nuts), this bar has balance.  Protein is on the lower side at 3 grams, but this bar isn't trying to be a high protein bar, and the nuts help to keep you satisfied like a protein bar would.  Lastly, this bar is moderate in calories (220) which will help keep you satisfied between meals, but not too full.  Whether you choose to have a handful of nuts with a fruit or grab this bar instead, either would be a great choice for a snack!

Disclosure:  I have never received compensation from the Lara Bar company. 

Yours in great health!

Kevin Scott Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

To measure or not to measure? That is the question!

Need help reaching your weight loss goals?  If so, try measuring your proteins (with a food scale), fats (with measuring spoons), and starches (with either a food scale or measuring cups) whenever possible!  You may be eating more calories than you think and measuring (after cooking) may give you the data you need to get on track with your goals!

Check out these scales from Amazon that run only about $10-15!  I recently bought one for $15.00 and it works great!

Yours in great health!

Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified Personal Trainer

 

 

Do you want to get healthier in 2017? If so, check out Kevin in the Baltimore Sun!

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Do you want to get healthier in 2017? 

If so, click this link to read the article that feature's Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN in the Baltimore Sun!  The article is entitled 'Nutritionist's dish on New Year's Diet Resolutions.'

Wishing you a healthy, fit, and happy 2017!

Kevin

Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist
Certified Diabetes Educator
web: www.nutritioncoachingcenter.com
email: kevin@nutritioncc.com
Tel: 410-989-1886
57 W. Timonium Road Suite 111
Lutherville Timonium, MD 21093

What's in a slip? How to reach your nutrition goals despite a slip now and again?

Have you ever slipped with your diet and allowed that slip derail you?  If so, your not alone.  Many on the diet 'merry go round' have found themselves in a similar situation.  Guess what?  You don't have to let one slip stop you from reaching your goals!  Read on to learn more!

First of all, what's a slip (in regards to food and nutrition)?  It's a one time instance when you overate or ate something that wasn't what you intended.  Maybe it was that second piece of desert, or one too many late night tortilla chips and cheese, or some other food that you didn't intend to eat or overeat. 

How can we stop a one time slip from derailing our goals? 

  1. Build flexibility into your nutrition plan.  No one is perfect.  By allowing some flexibility in your plan, you may feel more confident in your ability to stay on track. I aim for one to two 'eating out' occasions per week.  This gives me the flexibility to have dinner with my family at a restaurant or enjoy a nice meal at a holiday occasion or event without feeling like I've 'failed' at my nutrition goals.  This way, if I eat a little 'off my usual eating plan,' it's actually 'on my plan.'  So, consider building in a little flexibility into your nutrition plan to help you stay on course! 
  2. Give yourself a break.   We all slip sometimes, and when you do, don't be hard on yourself!  We are all human, and it's totally normal to slip given the food temptations that surround us.  It's what you do after the slip that counts.  Next meal or snack, get right back on track!  Forgive yourself, drop the guilt, and move on.  When diets or workouts are too restrictive, a slip (one time), may turn into a lapse (multiple slips), a relapse or maybe even a collapse.  Not anymore, right?  Next time you slip , brush it off, forgive yourself, and get right back on track!

Yours in Good Health!

Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN