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My Blog

How to Talk to the Kids about the Hot Dog/Lunch Meats study










DISCLAIMER:  I am not a therapist but as a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist I do work with many children and adults with eating disorders and disordered eating.  These tips are meant to be used as a guideline. Thanks!

Wondering how to talk to the kids about the recent WHO studies which showed a link between hot dogs, lunch meat, etc. and cancer?  

My advice:  don't create panic.  I would just explain (only if they are old enough for this conversation) that they should not eat those foods on a regular basis but if they are offered a hot dog at the BBQ or ballpark they will not suddenly get cancer.  It's probably better to have this discussion with the older children because they may start hearing about it in school.   With toddlers and young elementary students you have the control to not serve these foods.  They are probably too young for this conversation.

The reason this is a delicate subject is that you don't want to create a fearful situation around these foods.  Children need to know that this study was about what would happen over time.  

Children may develop anxiety if they think one time eating the food can cause cancer.  The more you can reinforce once in awhile is ok, and not all the time can help to take away the "all or nothing" way of thinking out of the picture.  This explanation may help to alleviate some of the anxiety if they were to eat one of these products. 

Hope this helps!

No ham, No salami, No deli turkey??? What Do I Eat?????













EEEEKKK!!!!!!!! What can I eat anymore now that lunch meat and hot dogs and salami cause cancer?????

Does this sound like you?  Don't know what to eat?

Read below to get answers!!!!!

Ok, so you are not going to buy that salami, ham or deli turkey anymore, right??

Right.  Here are some new lunch ideas:

Grill or bake chicken, then add a little reduced fat mayo and some parsley to make chicken salad.  Add lettuce and tomato.  You can put this in a whole wheat wrap or on whole wheat bread OR just slice the chicken and add lettuce and tomato (with a little mayo or mustard) on your sandwich.

You can also make a chicken caesar salad- just be sure to have a whole wheat roll on the side to get some whole grain carbs!  Just put sliced grilled chicken over greens, add as many veggies as you like and add a low fat caesar dressing or  I would highly recommend Organic Goddess dressing by Annie's.

Buy precooked turkey at the deli and have them slice it -(the one without any preservatives, etc)- you
also can make a turkey salad, or add a slice of cheese, lettuce and tomato and have a turkey sandwich. 

The ol' pb and j is always a good standard.  

Have a whole wheat wrap with hummus and tabouli (usually can find both in the deli area of           your grocery store).  Just add some lettuce greens and you're good!

Egg salad!  Just try and not go overboard on the mayo.  Use a little of the Hellman's light.  Yes, eggs are fine (1 per day for most, 3 a week for diabetics).  Or, sliced egg sandwich. (It gets really fun when you have one of those egg slicers-whoo hoo!)

Tunafish is ok once per week also.  Get some water packed tuna, drain it, add celery and parsley- can also put this in a wrap or on whole wheat bread with some lettuce and tomato. 

Add 1/2 cup of your favorite beans to a vegetable salad (my personal favorite are chickpeas).  Drizzle on an Italian or balsamic dressing, add a small whole wheat roll on the side.  

Go Greek-  a greek salad (with toasted pita on the side)  or a wrap with:   feta cheese, pitted kalamata olives, arugula or spinach, lettuce,  tomato.  You can add chickpeas to this one for extra fiber and taste!   I also recommend a balsamic vinegar based dressing for this one.  

Buy some fresh mozzarella and slice it (or pre sliced mozzarella is ok too), avocado slices, sliced carrots, lettuce and tomato.  Drizzle with a balsamic salad dressing (like Paul Newman's) and put on some nice Ciabatta bread.  

Leftovers are also always a simple, easy idea!

Hope this gives you HOPE for your lunches!!

Enjoy!!!!

Do You Go into AutoPilot with Your Food Choices?

When you go into autopilot mode while driving around stressed from place to place you are usually not going to make the best food choices.  

Here's a tip for you:  Just for today,  just notice how many times your hand ends up in the candy bowl at work (yes, autopilot!) or when you stop and grab that snack at Starbucks (autopilot!) or Dunkin Donuts(autopilot!).  Or  maybe you grab a quick lunch at McDonald's (autopilot!) because you have no time to eat. 

Solution?  Plan the day before.  Look at your schedule.  Pack a lunch      ( sandwich or wrap with some protein and veggies, and fruit) and some healthy snacks (cheese sticks and crackers or yogurt and granola, protein bar,  to name a few). Have these items packed with you in the morning in your cooler bag.  It does take some planning but it is worth it!  You will be more prepared, and will be eating more healthfully.  

To Carb or Not to Carb?

"











Do I really need carbs?

I get this question all the time.  
And yes, the answer is yes. 
Why? 
Your brain needs them for functioning
Your muscles need them (especially before and after exercise) 
They provide your body's PRIMARY energy source
They help regulate blood glucose
They prevent the use of protein for meeting energy needs
They provide fiber, which helps you feel more full (esp. whole grains)
Aim for at least 6-8 servings per day
Did I convince you? Did I?

Artichoke Chicken Lunch Recipe!










Hi everyone!  I just came up with a great Mediterranean lunch recipe.  I must admit that I took some ideas for this recipe from my George Foreman cookbook.  Recipe called "Artichoke Stuffed Chicken".   

In a food processor throw in one can of drained artichoke hearts, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese and 1 clove of chopped garlic, and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.  

Grind until it is blended. 

Put some mayonnaise (1 tsp per slice) on each slice of a nice whole grain bread.  Add some grilled sliced chicken breast.  Put the artichoke sauce over the chicken (about 1/8 cup).  Add some roasted red peppers (from the jar is fine- quicker!).  Throw on some slices of lettuce (dark greens- romaine or spring mix, etc).  And you have yourself a great healthy sandwich!

Enjoy!

Need healthy breakfast ideas?












Hi  everyone.  As we are getting our New Year off to a new start, I thought I'd share some healthy breakfast ideas with you.  

To keep full (so you don't have as many urges to overeat later) , have low sugar and high fiber I recommend the following:

1/2-1 cup of bran flakes cereal, low fat milk or soy milk and 1/2 cup berries or a regular sized banana (1/2 if large)

1 cup of Wheaties and milk/fruit mentioned above

1-1 1/4  cup Cheerios, milk, fruit

1/2 cup Wheaties or Cheerios and 1/2 cup Kashi GoLean Crunch Honey Almond Flax with milk and fruit

1 cup of homemade oatmeal with 1-2 tsp. brown sugar, 1/4 cup chopped walnuts and raisins mixture (throw on some milk too if you like it with milk) 

1-2 slices whole wheat toast with 1-2 tsp. real butter, Greek nonfat or low fat yogurt on the side 

1-2 eggs and 1-2 slices whole wheat toast, 1-2 tsp. real butter, fruit on the side
OR put scrambled eggs in a whole wheat burrito, sprinkle on a little sharp cheddar cheese (1/8 cup approx) add some salsa, and roll up!

For waffles, I recommend Van's multigrain.  Have 1-2 with fresh fruit and a tablespoon real maple syrup.  Also add a glass of low fat milk or yogurt.  

Hopefully these ideas help you to get healthier in the New Year!

Enjoy!



Penne With Tofu-Basil Pesto




Here is a delicious vegetarian recipe using tofu that I adapted from Cooking Light that is fairly simple to prepare.  A bonus is that this recipe will give you some protein from the tofu.

Penne with Tofu-Basil Pesto

Serves 4 (serving size- 1 ¼ cups)
 
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup silken tofu
¼ cup grated fresh Parmesan
2 tbsp. fresh olive oil
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. salt
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tsp olive oil
2 ½ cups sliced cremini mushrooms
¼ cup minced shallots
4 cups hot cooked penne (about 8 oz. uncooked)
 
1.Combine first 8 ingredients in a food processor or blender, and process until smooth.  Place pesto in a small nonstick skillet; cook over low heat until warm.  Remove from heat, keep warm.
2.  Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Add the mushrooms and shallots, and sauté 4 minutes.
2.  Combine penne, pesto, and mushroom mixture in a large bowl, toss gently. 
 

Enjoy!

A Piece of Toast Is a Piece of Toast- or is it?


 







Do you tend to think of something as “good” or “bad” when
you are eating it?   Who assigns these labels?  You!
 
Think of where you may have learned these labels and why they have stuck with you.  Remember, a piece of toast is only a piece of toast until you label it as something else.
 
Try this for today:  notice how often one of these labels comes up when you are eating.   Try and remind yourself that the food item is just the food item, nothing else.   It is when we use these labels that guilt and shame may enter the equation.  
 
So try and ditch the labels, see what happens.

Enjoy!

 

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

This is the best roasted pumpkin seed recipe ever! Don't throw out those pumpkin seeds after pumpkin carving!!!!

From all recipes.com

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds
2 teaspoons butter, melted
1 pinch salt

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
2. Toss seeds in a bowl with the melted butter and salt. Spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown, stir occasionally.  

These are wonderful!  Enjoy!



Evening snacker?









Are you prone to snacking shortly after dinner when you are not even that hungry but you don't know why?  

Here's a tip:

STOP for a moment when you go to that pantry or kitchen shelve to grab the item.

THINK and CHECK IN:  "Am I really hungry?"  "Am I bored?"  "Am I eating because something stressful that happened today at home or at work?"

If it has been a couple hours since dinner, then you might really be hungry.  Notice how your stomach feels.  Is it empty and in need of food or are you just feeding a feeling you have?


It can be helpful to have a notebook nearby to track some of these thoughts.  

Try going into another room, away from the kitchen.  Start getting ready for bed, practice an instrument, listen to music, read, brush your teeth, etc.  If you are still thinking about hunger in about 20 minutes, you are probably hungry.  If you are so engaged in what you are doing that you forgot, you probably didn't need it anyway!

If you are truly hungry and decide to have a snack, portion it out into a small bowl.  Then sit down, eat slow, and really taste it.  Usually with mindless eating we are barely even aware that we have just eaten something, it can happen so fast.  Sitting down and being mindful can help you to taste the food, and send messages to your brain that you are eating and you are enjoying it, and to stop when nearly full. 

Enjoy!

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