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

Eat nuts for heart and brain health?

Published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2013 , a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts or olive oil reduced the incidence of a major cardiovascular event for high risk individuals by approximately 30% compared to a low fat diet group.  However, if we drill down further, only stroke reached statistical significance and not heart attack and cardiovascular death from all causes.  

Who was considered high risk in the study?  Men aged 55-80 and woman 60--80 who had diabetes or at least 3 of the following:  smoking, high blood pressure, elevated LDL cholesterol ('bad cholesterol'), low HDL ('good') cholesterol, overweight or obese, or a family history of premature coronary heart disease.

The group that received the nuts (a mix of walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds) consumed about 30 grams per day, which is about a 1/4 cup or 1 oz.  How about other nuts?  Here's an article from Harvard Health about the benefits of peanuts and other nuts for heart health and here is the original research article.  In this study, individuals who ate nuts 7 or more times per week, had a 20% lower death rate.  However, this study was observational, and not direct cause and effect. 

So, how do you include more nuts in your diet?  Nuts are about 180 calories per quarter cup and while not low in calories, they are heart healthy, a good source of protein and healthy fibers and tend to be satisfying. Try eating about a 1/4 cup nuts per day or more for a snack and skipping the chips and other salty snacks more often.  Try including sunflower seeds in salads, cashews in a stir fry, peanut butter with apples or bananas, pistachios or other nuts/seeds for snacks alone or any other option that you enjoy!

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

 

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

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

Does Food Journaling Help You Lose More Weight?

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The answer is yes!  According to the following randomized controlled trials, clients who were more successful in losing weight and keeping weight off were significantly more consistent with self-monitoring (keeping a journal). 

Lose More Weight With Journaling

In a study by Baker and Kirschenbaum, 1998, 32 females and 6 males with a mean age of 43.6 years, self monitored (kept a food journal) for 10 weeks (3 weeks during holidays and 7 weeks during non holidays).  Results showed that highly consistent self-monitors lost an average of 10 pounds more than low self monitors!

Keep the Weight Off With Journaling

In another study by Mattfeldt-Berman et al 1999, 224 male and 84 female participants who successfully maintained weight loss were significantly more likely to adhere to the following strategies:  exercise, self-monitoring of food intake (keeping a journal), and weighing themselves weekly.

In practicing nutrition for over 15 years, I have found that patients who consistently keep a detailed food journal lose the most weight.

In addition to keeping a food journal, patients also need to have a target for the quantity of food in meals and snacks. Without targeted goals for total calories and portion sizes, weight loss will be less than optimal.  

What are the different ways to journal? 

Using an app, a computer based tracking program, and simple pen and paper are the most popular.  To minimize the time required to journal and simplify the process, I now provide my patients with a customized nutrition planner with exact portion sizes that drastically minimizes the amount of writing needed and removes the need to count calories by the patient.  So, instead of taking 10-20 minutes to journal daily (a barrier for some), my customized tracker takes about 1-5 minutes per day.

Top 5 benefits of keeping a journal:

  1. Helps to keep you focused on your meal plan and nutrition goals
  2. Provides a target for meal and snack portion sizes
  3. Keeps you accountable
  4. Reduces mindless eating
  5. Provides a written record and when combined with weight data, can provide valuable information as to how you lost weight!

Whether you prefer an app, a computer based version, pen and paper, or a customized meal planner from Nutrition Coaching Center, the key is to track your foods and portions to optimize your weight loss, keep it off, and help you accomplish your goals! 

Yours in Good Health,

Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, ACE-CPT, LDN