Many of us seem to do really well getting vegetables or fruits in our daily eating, but not necessarily both. One-half cup of cooked vegetables, or one cup of fresh vegetables or greens counts as one serving towards our goal of “five a day”. Registered dietitian at Cooper Clinic Kathy Duran-Thal shares ten helpful ways to work more veggies into your daily diet.
1. Eat twice the servings of vegetables as starches per meal. In other words, 2 cups vegetables for 1 cup of rice, pasta or potato.
2. Strive to have one colorful, veggie-packed salad each day. Suggestions: dark leafy greens (spinach, kale), mixed leaf lettuce, shredded red cabbage, broccoli slaw, carrots, bell peppers, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and red onion.
3. Eat two or more meatless, vegetable-rich meals a week.
4. Keep fresh veggies handy for quick and easy snacks. Sugar snap peas, carrots, bell pepper slices and celery sticks are easy on-the-go snacks. Also carrots and celery sticks will stay fresh for several days in a container of water in the refrigerator.
5. Add fresh veggies to tuna or chicken salad. Popular ingredients include onion, celery, water chestnuts, etc. We’re talking veggies today, but apple slices or Ocean Spray Craisins (cranraisins) are also delicious.
6. Add vegetables to sandwiches. Opt for onions, bell peppers, bean sprouts, cucumber, tomato and lettuce. Build your sandwich like a local sub—shop and pile your veggies a mile high. Remember, vegetables not only add nutrients, color, flavor and volume, but they fill us up!
7. Add vegetables to your pot of beans—canned or fresh tomatoes, onion, carrots and celery.
8. Make your homemade soups and stocks chock full of your favorite vegetables. Cabbage, bok choy, spinach, carrots, onion, celery and tomatoes are great in a slow cooker.
9. Prepare a “stir-fry” and try experimenting with some new and exciting vegetables to tempt your palate while broadening your cooking horizons. We like bok choy, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, carrots, scallions, celery, kale, water chestnuts, and various colorful peppers, including jalapenos.
10. Add some flavor pizzazz to your vegetables by sprinkling on a zesty seasoning blend or melting an ounce of grated cheese over the top. Try spritzing lemon on broccoli, glazed carrots, or baked asparagus, topping cauliflower with Gruyere cheese (1 ounce grated cheese will flavor an entire head of cauliflower), and sprinkling tarragon on squash and zucchini and thyme on baked sweet onions.
For more information about Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services or to schedule a nutrition consultation, click here or call 972.560.2655.
It’s the start of a new year. For some it’s a time to look back and assess the previous year. For others it’s a time to set goals and resolutions. However you approach the new year, we want to help you make healthier choices and Get Cooperized in 2013.
With the launch of our new Pinterest channel, we are sharing a daily inspirational quote in January. Below are a few quotes to inspire you to make healthy choices this week.
My parents are from New York City and Italy, so in our house, we appreciate a good piece of pie. Yet many people think pizza cannot be part of a healthy diet. Think again! Don’t automatically assume that dinner at your favorite pizza joint is out of the question when eating healthy.
It is possible to eat out and eat healthy. Since pizza is made-to-order, simply choose a thin-crust pizza and ask for half or a third the usual amount of cheese. With plenty of flavorful toppings, the reduction in cheese is usually not missed – plus, you’ll enjoy the added benefit of a pizza crust that stays crisp longer.
I am definitely a plain jane when it comes to my pizza, but there are ways to save even more calories when choosing your toppings. Pick vegetable toppings and leaner meats. Canadian bacon and pineapple are delicious, and so is grilled chicken with onions and peppers or a bit of goat cheese.
If portion control is a problem, order the smallest size, and share with a friend. My husband and I always share a salad, too. So the pizza sitting on the table isn’t the only temptation, order the salad to come with your pizza – that way you’ll have a full plate which will contribute to your overall satiety.
Pizza can also be a quick and easy meal to make at home. Check out this recipe from one of our registered and licensed dietitians, Kathy Duran-Thal, RD. You can also use a ready-made, wholewheat pizza dough, which is widely available at most grocery stores. Just be sure to check the label and avoid any that contain trans fats. Also substitute low-fat cheese to lower saturated fat and cholesterol.
Make it pizza night tonight!
This was written by Christine Witzsche former Communications Director at Cooper Aerobics. Christine is no longer with Cooper Aerobics and we wish her all the best with her future endeavors.
Saturday was the 2012 Nutrition Seminar presented by Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services. For many of our attendees, their interest is often piqued when a friend tells them about their “great new diet” and the quick results that they’ve experienced. At Cooper we share lots of nutrition-related articles, hoping to help others learn healthy ways to improve their diet. With so many contradictory messages, it’s important to know the facts.
Our amazing team of registered dietitians cleared up the confusion this weekend. They dissected the latest diet trends and offered practical health tips that attendees could walk away with and incorporate into their daily life.
Here are a few takeaways from our rockstar dietitians:
- Some of the most popular foods of 2012 include: salmon, greek yogurt, almonds, green leafy vegetables like kale and berries.
- Gluten free diets are popular right now, but only three million Americans have actually been diagnosed with celiac disease. You should get tested by a dietitian and diagnosed with celiac disease before you make any adjustments to your diet.
- Drink more green tea –Two cups a day can boost your metabolism and reduce caloric intake.
- Is sugar toxic? Likely no, but in excess… problematic and unhealthy!
- Combine a protein, carbohydrate and healthy fat at most meals to sustain energy and curb hunger.
- Eating your favorite foods is part of healthy and sustainable weight loss. (This means you can eat frozen yogurt… in moderation, of course!)
- And one of our personal favorites… a little bit of chocolate never hurts anyone.
Did you also know that you can meet with our dietitians to analyze your diet and develop a personalized plan of action to improve your nutrition? You can click here or call 972.560.2655 for more information.
What’s your favorite healthy food?
If you’ve attempted to live healthily, then you know it’s difficult to navigate the myriad of diets and nutrition claims on the market. How do you distinguish what’s fact and what’s fiction? Are you really on the right track to live a healthy life?
Cooper Clinic is hosting its 2012 Nutrition Seminar on Saturday, October 6 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. here at Cooper Aerobics Center. Our leading registered and licensed dietitians will clear up your confusion about nutrition, weight loss and health with practical tips and strategies to achieve real results.
The seminar will cover hot topics like:
- The truth about the latest fad diets including Paleo, Dukan and more.
- What’s new in fitness and health.
- “Wheataphobia” vs. needing a gluten-free diet.
- New strategies to begin a well-rounded healthy lifestyle.
The seminar is $40 and will include a live cooking demonstration by a Cooper Clinic culinary expert Kathy Duran-Thal, RD, LD, and a healthy breakfast.
Click here to register.
We can’t wait to see you there!
The Collapsible 8’ Pop Strainer expands to the capacity of a full quart, and then collapses down to 1 inch taking up to 80% less space. It is cool because the handle is long enough to span ½ of the kitchen sink and will not be in contact with the bottom of the sink where contaminates may be.
4 Pack Heavy Duty Grippmat® Set - I like these because it helps prevent cross contamination when preparing foods. Red is for beef, green is for veggies, blue is for cheese and yellow is for poultry. They are non slip, dishwasher and counter safe. The grippmat is very flexible so you can lift it off the counter and add the food you have diced to your soup pot or salsa recipe.
4-in-1 Trivet with Raised Nibs - Multi-purpose trivet can be used as a pot holder, jar opener and spoon rest. I like that is comes in 3 colors. I have several that I keep on the counter.
Silicon Basting Brush- Flexible, silicon rubber bristles, this brush is a must have when basting, brushing and coating. Super easy to clean and heat resistant. This brush is really useful when I am cooking in my cast iron wok.
Watermelon Cutting and Serving Board - Prepare and serve watermelon on this artistic, non slip cutting board with a raised lip to prevent juices from spilling over. I use this to display all types of fresh fruit, cheese and crackers.
What is it?
It is the edible oil that is extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconut. The majority of the fat in coconuts is saturated, but this saturated fat is considered different than what is found in animal fats. Animal fats are composed of long chain fatty acids (LCFA); whereas, coconut oil is composed of medium chain fatty acids (MCFA).
MCFA are much smaller in size than LCFA, and this is what makes them easily digested in the body. The fats in coconut oil are actually so small that they are able to bypass the intestine in digestion, therefore not entering the bloodstream and going straight to the liver. In the liver, these MCFA are used as fuel to produce energy. The LCFA are digested slowly in the intestine. As they travel through the intestine, they are combined into bundles called lipoproteins, and these do enter the bloodstream. This is what is thought to cause artery blockage and heart problems.
What are the benefits?
Coconut oil is used for a variety of reasons. According to some, coconut oil has helped to treat heartburn and acid reflux. The main benefit that is being studied is that coconut oil may actually promote weight loss. One study that was done by the American Oil Chemists Society (AOCS) looked at abdominal obesity in women aged 20-40 years. The women who were supplemented with coconut oil showed a decrease in abdominal fat and an increase in high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the “good” cholesterol. The weight loss though could also be attributed to the fact that the women received dietary advice about physical activity and healthier eating habits during the study.
Also, this oil has been touted to help with hypothyroidism, which can cause weight gain, depression and fatigue. According to the Mayo Clinic though, there is still not enough research to promote this claim. An “immune system” booster is another claim that has been made about coconut oil due to the fact that it contains lauric acid. Lauric acid is a fatty acid that is found in breastmilk, and it helps infants to produce the substance monolaurin to fight off viral or bacterial infections. If consumed by an adult, lauric acid is thought to have this same effect. Lauric acid has also been shown to lower the total cholesterol to HDL ratio.
Should I use coconut oil?
Even with all of the benefits it is thought to have, coconut oil is still considered a saturated fat. The Cooper Clinic recommends for a 2,000 calorie a day diet only to consume 16-22 grams of saturated fat, less than seven percent of total daily calories. One tablespoon of coconut oil contains about 13 grams of saturated fat and 120 calories. Keep these numbers in mind if you do decide to use coconut oil. There still needs to be more research to study its long-term effects. For now, use it in moderation, and continue to follow a healthy eating-plan.
Whether you’re a die-hard fan or you’re just tuning in for the commercials, your Super Bowl watching party will likely include some tasty treats. So we asked Meridan Zerner, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, and Kathy Duran-Thal, RD, for their favorite delicious and healthy Game Day snacks. And yes, it is possible.
“Hail Mary” Muffins
(also known as Savory Corn Bread Muffins)
- 1 1/3 cups white wheat flour
- 1 1/3 cups cornmeal
- 1/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder
- 2 cut up turkey sausage patties
- 2-3 cut up slices of turkey bacon
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup ground flax seed
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup egg substitute
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
In a bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. In another bowl, combine, water, egg substitute and applesauce; mix well. Stir in dry ingredients just until moistened. Fill muffin cups coated with nonstick cooking spray two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 17-20 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
Bacon Wrapped Apricots with Jalapeno
(Can be made up to three days in advance and placed in the refrigerator)
- 16 dried apricot halves
- 2 fresh jalapenos, seeded and cut into 8 strips (you could also use poblano peppers)
- 2 pieces nitrite free bacon or prosciutto, cut each piece in half lengthwise and then cut again horizontally
Preheat oven to 325°F. Place 1 thin slice of jalapeno on top of apricot half. Wrap apricot half with 1 strip of bacon and secure with toothpick. Repeat procedure for remaining 15 apricots. Bake on cookie sheet for approximately 12 minutes. After about 8 minutes turn apricot halves over to allow browning on reverse side. When done, remove apricots from pan and place on paper towel to drain.
Artichoke and Spinach DipIngredients
- 2-14.5 oz cans of artichokes, rinsed, drained and chopped into 1/4 pieces
- 3/4 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained thoroughly
- 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup light sour cream
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (to taste)
- 1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce (to taste)
Preheat oven to 400° F. In a food processor, pulse to combine all ingredients. You may also choose to mix by hand. Spread into an 8-inch square baking dish that has been lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until heated thoroughly. Serve with whole wheat pita wedges or crudités.
Extra tip: Instead of fat free mayonnaise and light sour cream, you may substitute ½ cup of Fage 0% Greek Yogurt. This substitution will translate into each serving supplying approximately 55 calories and 2.5g fat total fat. For additional nutrition value and color, top this dish with red bell pepper strips.