Aug 27

Foods I ALWAYS Have in My Freezer

  1. Berries (always organic) – perfect for dessert with some full fat heavy whipping cream, or smoothies, added to a green smoothie.
  2. Seafood (wild, never farmed) – tilapia, salmon, halibut. shrimp
  3. Vegetables (likely broccoli)
  4. Breakfast Meat (sausage, bacon, canadian bacon)
  5. Grassfed Beef/Bison – ideal for burgers, spaghetti (squash) sauce, meatballs, stuffed peppers, tacos, chili, etc.
  6. Frozen Bananas – staple for paleo pancakes, plain with some chocolate chips, smoothies,paleo ice cream and more.
  7. Free-range Chicken – great to have on hand for salads, chicken salad, kebabs, and more.

What items do you always have on hand?

Aug 01

Costco Inspired – Vineyard Chicken Salad

Strolling through Costco I was happy to find a chicken salad that wasn’t loaded with canola oil or soybean oil-filled mayo, and since they were sampling the product, I read the ingredients (looked pretty clean; not perfect) and really liked what I was tasting. This is indeed a great summer entree. I can have it on some lettuce greens, or make a romaine lettuce sandwich out of it. Best of all, my husband can’t seem to get enough. Win-win.

Ingredients:

  • 2 free-range, organic chicken breast, boiled
  • 4-6 celery stalks, chopped
  • 16 grapes, red
  • 1/3 cup almond slivers
  • 4 T of Greek yogurt
  • 1 T raw honey
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • Salt/pepper to taste

Boil the chicken for 15 minutes, or until there is no pink in the middle. Strain and allow to cool. Once cool. shred chicken and mix in teh ingredients. Allow to chill in the refrigerator up to 30-45 minutes and enjoy.

Jul 31

Snack Idea – Soaked Chia Seeds

Oh the many ways to enjoy this nutritious food. Have you ever tried them? If so, how?

Lately, I have been soaking 1 tablespoon of chia seeds in 1/3-1/2 cup of almond milk, coconut milk or water (certainly make more if you want this to be your sole snack or meal, as I usually use it as a partial snack or condiment). Combine the seeds and liquid of choice and stir for a minute, 5 minutes later stir again and let soak overnight. Come morning I will then mix in either some cinnamon, maybe some sliced strawberries or banana or both and/or some protein powder.

I have even put soaked chia seeds over my banana pancakes (2 eggs, 1/2 banana, mashed and cooked into 2 pancakes). All so satisfying.

If you can’t be bothered to make soaked chia seeds, they sell Chia Pods at some grocery stores. Give them a whirl.

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Check out these chia seed recipes too. 

Jul 23

Anti-inflammatory Food List

Often when speaking with clients, I find myself applauding folks on eating whole, real food, while suggesting they need to add more anti-inflammatory foods. And as you can imagine, people just look back at me as if I have 3 heads. What do you mean, and what foods does this include?

Overall, an anti-inflammatory diet is important for optimal health. It can combat heart disease, joint pain, enhance performance, among many other things. When people are inflamed, they may not know it. Dr Sears calls inflammation a silent epidemic that triggers chronic diseases over the years. Indeed the Standard American Diet is very pro-inflammatory as is processed food. Yet, even eating a whole food-based diet can still lack phytonutrients to help calm inflammation in the body, and therefore this list calls for attention.

My favorite anti-inflammatory foods, and always remember to fill at least half of your plate with produce:

  • seaweed including kelp (yet go easy on the seaweed snack as they are loaded w/ salt and potential vegetable oil/safflower oil/canola oil)
  • spices including turmeric (don’t buy spices in bulk either. They can easily grow mold in them and lose their nutritional benefits if not used up quickly. I love Costco for many things, yet, spices is not one of them).
  • seafood – wild salmon, sardines, mackerel (farmed fish does not hold a candle to wild, cold water fish. Read labels).
  • mushrooms
  • tea, especially green tea
  • berries
  • walnuts
  • extra virgin olive oil – Explore an olive oil store (I love the few in Lincoln Park) or take my word on this online one, it is guaranteed to have no fillers and it tastes awesome.
  • cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. Cauliflower can be the perfect comfort food too.
  • sweet potato and pumpkin
  • spinach and Swiss chard
  • avocado
  • grapefruit
  • pineapple
  • macadamia nuts
  • tuna

 

Jul 22

What I’ve Eaten So Far Today – 7/22/13 – 36 wks Pregnant

One thing about logging my food during pregnancy is that I need to plan a bit more on what I am going to eat. Just with the slightest increase in hunger, I find myself more likely to reach and crave foods that I don’t usually snack on, or build in my meals. Indeed, I have added an AM snack on many days since being pregnant. Having a plan of what to eat is one of the things that has helped me gain (thus far!!) a healthy amount of weight. And tracking a food log has helped me to ensure I am getting plenty of variety, color and flavor in my meals.

7:30AM – Breakfast – Blood Sugar 81 mg/dl

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2 over easy eggs, cooked in Kerrygold butter, 1 slice of back bacon and grilled zucchini and onion

Water

Supplements: probiotics, fish oil, catalyn GF, vitamin D (I source these from Standard Process)

Disclaimer: some people may shy away from undercooked eggs when pregnant. This is a choice I knowingly make, having confidence in the high quality eggs used. 

10:30AM – Snack – Blood Sugar 79 mg/dl

1 mini kind bar, 32 ounces of filtered water

By this time, heading into lunch, I had walked about 3 miles.

Lunch – 12:30PM – Blood Sugar 89mg/dl

Romaine (organic) lettuce sandwich

– Columbus brand Herb Roasted Turkey

cheddar cheese and mustard.

Carrots and 1 spoonful of nut butter (not shown)

Soaked chia seeds (overnight in almond milk) with 2 sliced large organic strawberries

Herbal passion tea, chilled

Photo1 (1)3PM – Blood Sugar – 112 mg/dl – corrected to be in the 80s.

3:30PM – SnackGo Raw Chocolate square (raw cacao contains the highest level of anti-oxidants, including magnesium and chromium, of any whole food)

5:30PM – Dinner – 110mg/dl

Homemade Chicken Salad

– organic, free range chicken

– Greek yogurt

– honey

– apple cider vinegar

– almond slivers

– organic raisins

– salt/pepper

1 small orange

Butter lettuce

Extra virgin olive oil

Photo1

Overall, it’s a little hard to eat what I want in the latter part of the day this late in pregnancy. I am very insulin resistant and have to choose my carbs wisely. The resistance is starting to tapper down, and I likely over did it on carbs at dinner. At my 7:30PM check I was 141 mg/dl and I will eat something again before bed.

 

Jul 08

How to Stay Young

1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height.
2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.
3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. ‘An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.’
4. Enjoy the simple things.
5. Laugh often, long and loud Laugh until you gasp for breath and your belly hurts.
6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.
7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your place. Do with it what YOU want…
8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help from someone who looks healthy and fit.
9. Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.
10. Tell the people you love that you love them, and at every opportunity.

… AND ALWAYS REMEMBER

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
but by the moments that take our breath away.

**Dotti’s Newsletter

Jul 02

What I’ve Eaten So Far Today

It’s been too long since I have captured what I have eaten on my blog, and when asked by a client today, I thought I’d share with all. Thirty-three weeks pregnant, with few to no cravings, yet, anything too flavorful or sweet upsets my stomach.

8AM – Breakfast – (Blood sugar 86 mg/dl)

Beet Protein Smoothie

- 1 large cooked beet (picked up some from Costco)

– 5 large celery stalks

– 1 tablespoon of soaked chia seeds

– 1/2 tsp of maca powder

– 4 ounces of almond milk

– 4 ounces of water

– 1 scoop raw protein powder

While making smoothie I had a spoonful of almond butter (I was starving)

 

10:30 – AM Snack – (Blood sugar 96 mg/dl)

Kind mini bar

1 oz of Kerrygold grass-fed cheese

 

12:15 – Lunch – (Blood sugar 111 mg/dl)

Romaine lettuce sandwich

- 2 large romaine lettuce leaves

– 3 ounces of Chicken Columbus brand deli meat

– 2 large green garlic stuffed olives, sliced for “sandwich”

– Yellow mustard

5-8 baby carrots w/ tahini dip

1/2 large organic apple

1 square of dark chocolate

 

3:30 – PM Snack – (Blood sugar 81 mg/dl)

Second half of organic large apple

1 hard boiled egg

2 strawberries

 

Overall, I have found that having set meal and snack times is important to control my blood sugar, portions and hunger. Overall, I am eating more carbohydrates during pregnancy, and focusing heavily on eating intuitively. One thing is for sure, I can’t eat spicy food like I used to!

Jul 01

Elimination Diets

Most recently, I was interviewed by a fellow dietitian, Aglaee Jacobs about how I use elimination diets with my clients. Her well-written article captures some great research and suggestions for patients who manage their arthritis, diabetes, IBS, and other chronic conditions with diet.

Have a read by clicking on this Today’s Dietitian link.

 

Jun 17

Using the Paleo Diet to Manage Type 1 Diabetes & Hypothyroid

alexiskimphotoMost recently I have conversed with some lovely individuals about how we use diet to stabilize blood sugars. Today, I have captured a Q & A with Alexis to inspire others to focus on diet to gain health.

How long have you had diabetes? I was diagnosed in 2012 at the age of 28.  I had gestational diabetes with my daughter the year before and when I initially found out they insisted I was Type 2 (even though both of my uncles found out they were Type 1 in their 30s).  They wanted me to take medication as a Type 2 but after 3 weeks of having blood sugars in the 200s and 300s I insisted they put me on an insulin regimen. More bloodwork was done and type 1 diabetes was confirmed along with hypothyroid. Haven’t looked back since

What eating regime have you found to be most helpful in managing stable blood sugars and how did you come to find this diet? I was extremely proactive about managing my diabetes after I found out. Sure I was upset at first but at the time I had a 2 ½ year old and a 1 year old and all I could think of was how horrible it would be for me to leave my children with no mom. I discovered paleo early on by doing online research and intentions to keep carbs to a minimum.  My A1c went from 8.3 when diagnosed to 5.5 in just a few months. If that’s not proof I don’t know what is!

What main improvements in your health have you observed, diabetic-related or not? Overall health has improved. I have much better mental clarity.  I feel less moody and irritable. I also notice a difference in my hair, skin and nails. I have tons of baby hair growing and I no longer have strange ridges in my nails. After being diagnosed I also discovered that I am definitely gluten intolerant and cannot eat legumes.  I used to think I had acne in high school but in retrospect it was these things manifesting themselves. My skin is perfectly clear after going paleo. Paleo has also helped me maintain my weight. I weighed 103 when diagnosed and looked very malnourished. I gained some weight back but have been able to maintain it by eating this way. I also have to add that my dental health has improved ten fold. After many years of terrible dental visits I haven’t had one cavity and in fact, the last time I went for a cleaning my dentist said my teeth were so clean he didn’t even need to clean them!

Do you find the diet realistic and something to maintain long term? Would you recommend it to others managing their diabetes? I don’t consider paleo a diet. It is a lifestyle. In my case I had been eating and doing things a certain way for 28 years and then all of a sudden was told that I had to change. I was forced to make a change because of my diabetes and I consider that a blessing but others who want to make a change without being forced to may have difficulty in the beginning. With that said, after small steps, it is definitely realistic and easy to maintain long term. I recommend this way of eating to everyone not just diabetics. It is my opinion that if it is good for a diabetic then it is probably good for you too!

What does a typical day of food look like to you? I am so lucky to be married to a Korean man! I love Korean food, especially authentic Korean food. My mother in law is one of the last generations to ferment her own kimchi (not just cabbage either, this woman knows how to ferment ANYTHING).  She also ferments her own soybean paste which is a lost art even in Korea these days. We eat some sort of soup at least once everyday. My kids really like Korean seaweed soups and bone broth. My favorite dish is Korean style braised pork belly (super easy!). I never take a grocery list to the market. I buy what looks good or is in season and then I work with that. In general as my mother in law has taught me, I try to cook with what I have without having a structured menu. My carbs mainly come from vegetables unless I treat and have some roasted sweet potato.

What is the best thing about the diet? The best thing about eating this way for me is the mental clarity and amazing amount of energy I now have. I feel so much more alive like I am actually living after eating this way. One can take being diagnosed as diabetic as an early death sentence but managing my diabetes this way makes me feel so much more appreciative and satisfied with the life I am living.

Any tips for someone getting started on this type of diet? The first book I read was Mark Sisson’s the Primal Blueprint. I loved that it was written simple enough for everyone to understand. When it is easy for us to understand it is much easier for us to make a change. Also, it is easy to want to feel like you need to dive right in, but really what helped me in the beginning was taking small baby steps. For example, at first, I didn’t eat rice (blasphemous in a Korean house!). I still would have a piece of bread but no rice. Then, no more bread, after that, no oatmeal,. then eliminated grains, then legumes, then I started focusing on the quality of meat I was eating, etc.  If I hadn’t done it that way I am sure I would have felt overwhelmed and deprived.  At some point I decided on what number of carbs I wanted to eat everyday as well. That definitely helped the transition.

Anything in addition you’d like to say? There is a lot of misconceptions about what paleo is. It is more about what it is not.  It is also not one size fits all and others should keep in mind that there is an experimentation period. I believe this is necessary. You have to eat everything and then listen to your body. It may say “I don’t like that but I love this!”  Although the word paleo is often used I personally like to use the word primal. If you look up the word primal in the dictionary it also means important. And that is what my health and well being is to me! I have created this beta website www.modernprimalexchange.com to encourage this health movement to grow!

Jun 15

Eating Right Sans Chef Skills or CEO Paycheck

Eating a balanced diet doesn’t need to be labor-intensive or costly. With proper planning, savvy shopping and smart choices, you can save your mola and feel good. Here I am highlighting some how-tos on eating healthy on a budget, catered to those looking after blood sugar control, which in a way, relates to everyone. What do I mean?

Even people without diagnosed hypoglycemia, diabetes, insulin resistance, etc, should still consider how food affects blood sugar control. Blood sugar affects our moods, sleep, inflammation, energy and more. Overall, a diet balanced in good fat, protein and moderate carbohydrates is a recipe for well-being, thus, the more nutritious a diet, the less food required to meet one’s needs. Prevention trumps treatment. 

Invest in your health today, so you do not have to pay for it tomorrow.

To begin, assess what your next 7+ days look like:

  • Do you have dinner plans anywhere, will you be able to reheat or cook at home for dinner, lunch and/or breakfast? If so, how often this week?
  • How many people are you responsible for feeding? (You will need to buy more, make more)
  • Do you have any long days of work ahead, or night errands to run? (You will need something portable)
  • Make a grocery list with meals in mind, yet, don’t feel the need to buy everything raw or from fancy health stores. 

The most important thing to eating right is a plan. I always tell clients, “If they fail to plan, they plan to fail.” And this is quite important so one knows the proper amount of food to buy. We don’t want to buy a garden of produce if we end up tossing it out. Literally sketch out 7 days and plot 3 meals, based on real food, plus snacks (if needed) for each day. Real food is real medicine.

A French man once said he walked into a North American grocery store and couldn’t find any food.

How does this make sense? Well, if you think about and roam the aisles and food labels enough, you will find that this certain man is onto something. A majority of our food in the US that has a label on it, is not real food. Just this morning I was running grocery errands and picked up a dozen of products and set them right back down because of cheap, unhealthy ingredients listed such as GMO beets (sugar), canola oil (very inflammatory), food colorings, chemicals, HFCS, more sugar, MSG, artificial sweeteners, BHA/BHT, nitrates, sulfates, the list goes on. Yet, my point is, know what is good for you and have an idea of where to get it.

Next up, shopping. Some places of interest and easy on the wallet:

Costco – Kerrygold butter and cheese (comes from grassfed cows; richer in fat soluble vitamins and CLA), organic greens, organic frozen veggies and fruit (frozen items are one secret to not wasting food and always having something healthy available), Columbus Deli Meat (gluten free, hormone free), raw nuts, Clean 15 fruit, organic free range chicken, organic eggs, almond milk, canned tuna, canned tomatoes, spices, nuts.

Trader Joe’s – organic greens, organic apples, grassfed ground beef, or lean beef, tahini dip (to help enjoy vegetables), wine, nuts, coffee, Kerrygold butter, New Zealand cheese (grassfed), gluten free oats, black rice, almond butter, spices, prosciutto, Columbus brand deli meat, uncured turkey bacon, chicken sausages, organic tomatoes, organic tomato paste, almond milk, coconut milk, rice cakes, nut butters, nuts.

Walmart Express – they also have a great organic section (buy organic only when budget allows and focus on the Dirty Dozen). Walmart Express also has a great seafood section with lots of wild fish (vs farmed), almond milk, coconut milk, almond meal, condiments.

Overall these suggestions can be applied to local grocery stores too.

Additional ways to save:

  • Look at ads, use coupon apps available on smartphones
  • buy ingredients, not products
  • by produce in season, when cheapest
  • grow your own vegetables/herbs
  • never overeat and see how the quality of food, not volume, makes you feel satisfied (intuitive eating)
  • cook in bulk and freeze portions for leftovers
  • buy in bulk, and choose ingredients that can used in multiple dishes
  • buy whole, canned wild fish, frozen fish
  • buy fruits and vegetables frozen (just as healthy, if not more healthy)
  • buy cheaper cuts of meat and slow-cook it to get it tender
  • don’t major in minor things. Focus on buying real food and don’t stress if you can’t get organic or grassfed
  • avoid foods void in nutrition, which can simply just increase appetite. For example, gluten containing grains, sugar, processed food, granola bars
  • cut out the extras – coffee, bottled water, etc
  • keep food simple, yet, have variety so your palate doesn’t get bored.

Food prep can be therapeutic; especially when you look at it as a time to unwind and forget about work stresses, etc. We need to unplug, to recharge. Set aside time, one time a week, to prep meals and snacks, so when you come rushing in the door, or out, you have something nutritious to quickly reheat or consume within a short window of time.

Meal Ideas:

  • Frittata – these are great, and can be made in advance, sliced and heated or chilled for a well-rounded breakfast or lunch. The ingredients do not need to be elaborate. Choose some produce, lean meat and spices. 
  • Salad with Tuna – as simple as it sounds. When I was on the road a lot with work, I would run to the grocery before Monday AM, pick up a bag of lettuce greens, canned tuna, eggs (then hard boil them) and some other type of produce, and throw it all together for 3 lunches or so a week. 
  • Lettuce Tacos – buy some lean meat, mix some spices and throw it over some vegetables or romaine leaves. Leftover meat is great with eggs too. 
  • Grilled Fish and Frozen Veg with spices – buy some frozen fish in bulk, pull out however many filets you need in the morning, thaw in the refrigerator, and cook in a skillet with some lemon, butter and pepper and pair with a vegetable. 
  • Scrambled Eggs and Ham – simple, cheap and satisfying. 
  • Banana Pancakes – take 2 eggs and one small banana, mash, and make 2 pancakes. 

Real change is not easy, but it is worth it.

Cheers to you and good health,

Kelly

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