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Posts Tagged ‘Healthy snacks’

Look Great and Feel Great This Summer

An easy way to remember the servings of fruits and vegetables you should be eating daily is to think, “five is fine, nine is divine”.

Everyone wants to look great and feel great, especially in the summer months. Cooper Clinic dietitian Elana Zimelman, RDN, LD, CDE, provides simple strategies to wear summer tank tops, shorts and swim suits with confidence.

Hydrate every day. It is recommended that women get 11 cups of fluid per day and men get 15 cups of fluid per day. These do not have to be solely water. Keep a water bottle handy so you have it on your mind and have it with you all of the time. Water prevents over-snacking; we think we are hungry but we are probably thirsty. Not only will hydration help you feel great at the pool, but studies show dehydration can affect energy levels, fitness and even job performance.

Don’t overdo the alcohol. Moderation is essential when it comes to alcohol, because there’s a fine line between a potential benefit of a glass of red wine and doing harm to your body. Alcohol provides extra calories—that add up quickly! It reduces your inhibitions, which leads you to eat unhealthy foods and more of it. To moderate your alcohol intake, alternate each alcoholic drink with a glass of water, decaffeinated tea or another sugar-free beverage.

Don’t eat a lot of salty foods. To look and feel your best, plan a clean diet with fresh produce, fruits and veggies. This is easy to do in the summer with watermelon, peaches, plums and more, all in season. Elana says fruit is nature’s candy—enjoy it!

With a turkey sandwich for lunch, replace the starchy pretzels, crackers or chips with crunchy carrot sticks or cucumber slices. This will help get rid of processed foods that are high in salt, which makes us retain water.

Receive proper nutrition every day and keep your calories in check.

  1. Eat breakfast every day. Eating breakfast has proven to decrease the chances of overeating during the day and it helps to pack in the nutrients early! Aim to pair fiber and protein to start your day. Prepare a bowl of oatmeal, sweetened with raspberries with a side of egg whites. If you’re not an oatmeal lover, try natural peanut butter on 1-2 slices of whole wheat toast with a sliced banana.
  1. Eat every 3-4 hours. Plan three meals, with 1-2 snacks prepared throughout the day. Measure and pre-package snacks to manage portion control. Ideally each snack should be approximately 150-200 calories. My two favorite snacks that Elana suggested to pack for the office are 1) a small handful of nuts (10-14 almonds) with an apple and 2) a high fiber granola bar like the Kashi® Dark Chocolate Mocha (it goes great with a cup of decaffeinated coffee!) When selecting protein or snack bars, look for lower amounts of sugar and plenty of protein and fiber. View Cooper Clinic healthy snack recipes here.

With these helpful strategies, soak up the sun (don’t forget SPF) and enjoy the beautiful summer weather. For information about Cooper Clinic Nutrition services, click here or call 972.560.2655.

Toss This, Try That: A Healthy Game Plan for Super Bowl Sunday

January 31, 2014 Leave a comment

Super Bowl Sunday is quickly approaching. Not surprisingly it’s one of the biggest calorie-fests of the year, second to Thanksgiving, with the average football fan consuming about a day’s worth of calories from the first quarter to the last. The U.S. Calorie Control Council estimates that Americans pack away 11 million pounds of chips and 1.25 billion chicken wings on just this one day alone! If you intercept with some smart eating strategies you don’t have to toss out all your nutrition plans for the New Year on Super Bowl Sunday.

1) Prepare a healthy dish. Whether you’re hosting or attending a party, you can provide some healthy options to accompany all the other “less healthy” dishes. Whip up a calorie-conscious dip by subbing out high fat for low fat ingredients. For example take a recipe for spinach artichoke dip and make it with light mayonnaise, reduced fat cream cheese and part-skim mozzarella. Pair it with baked chips and you have a delicious treat! You can turn the many “traditional” football-watching eats from nutrition disasters to real winners, such as baked veggie fries made with zucchini sticks, oven “fried” chicken breast strips, turkey bean chili made with extra lean ground meat and high fiber beans. Check out our recipes here.

2) Kick off with fiber-rich vegetables. Go straight for the raw veggie platter first. Go easy on dips and dressings, even if they are low fat. Portion out 2-3 tablespoons of dip on your plate. Go back for seconds of low-calorie vegetables instead of the high-calorie foods.

3) Pass on Super Bowl-sized portions. Use a small plate to sample a small amount of the less healthy foods. Pick your most favorite item whether it’s chicken wings, pizza or burgers and plate a half or even a third of what you normally would. Skip the stuff you don’t “love.” Avoid seconds except for the veggies.

4) Don’t hang out by the food table. Take your plate and plant yourself far away from the food. Focus on the game and hanging out with friends instead of standing near the spread. This will make it much easier to be mindful of how much you eat and keep you from continuously filling up your plate.

5) Alternate alcohol with water and other zero-calorie beverages. Drink a bottle of water prior to the festivities and have an intentional plan to drink less alcohol. The more you drink, the lower your resistance is to overeat. Enjoy your favorite drink of choice, whether it’s a cocktail, wine or beer, and do so with more reserve. It’s easier than you think to alternate alcohol with sparkling or bottled water, unsweetened tea or a diet beverage. Try it!

6) Get back on track. So you may have exceeded your daily calorie load on Super Bowl Sunday, but not all is lost. Don’t let that one day get you discouraged. Pull back on your food intake for the next couple of days and get up and move your body.

End the first month of the New Year with resolve to mindfully manage Super Bowl Sunday and it will be a win-win situation for you and your favorite team.

For more Health Tips connect with Cooper Aerobics on Pinterest and Twitter.

Healthy, Portable, New!

December 6, 2013 Leave a comment

We’re well into the holiday season—that time of year when we’re all on the move. Whether we’re on planes, taking a road trip or in the mall there’s little time to think about healthy eating on the go. Cooper Clinic Registered Dietitian Meridan Zerner understands this dilemma well and has scoured the grocery stores for the newest, nutritious, portable snacks. She found snacks that are easy to pack and carry around, not messy, and delicious, of course. From bars to crackers and nuts, these snacks pack a punch of nutrition to keep you going.

Bars: Bars are a great grab-n-go snack because they combine whole grains, proteins and carbohydrates in one bar. Here are a few tasty options:

Chips: These chips are a crunchy option for those who like a saltier snack:

Crackers/Granola: Crackers and granola can also add variety to your snack options:

Nut Butters: These nut butters provide added nutrition to a cracker, a piece of fruit or even a vegetable like celery.

Gourmet Nuts and Seeds

Visit our website for more health tips and snack recipes. For more information on Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services download our brochure, call 972.560.2655 or request an appointment online.

Savor Healthy Eating This Summer

Summer is a time for bare feet, swimming at the beach, backyard barbecues and vacation adventures! Kids are out of school and home from college and the leisure days can get you out of your normal routine. Cindy Kleckner, RD, LD, a registered and licensed dietitian at Cooper Fitness Center shares how to brighten up your family’s eating habits and make good nutrition a part of your summer.

Explore the local farmers markets. Take your family on a field trip and enjoy the open air markets. Everyone can pick a new food to try, which gets kids involved in the process and makes them more likely to eat fruits and veggies! When local produce is at its peak, getting your nine servings in a day effortless. You’ll also support your local economy and community.

Enjoy the wide variety of summer fruits and veggies. It’s easy to sink into a vegetable rut. Summer includes a colorful variety that gives your body a nutrient kick! Find seasonal recipes, purchasing tips, and much more from Fruits & Veggies More Matters.

Use the backyard grill to say yes to simple suppers. Cook the whole meal on the grill: meat, seafood and veggies. Combine a few simple ingredients for exceptional flavor. You’ll enjoy easy prep time and real cost savings using a variety of grill baskets or Reynolds Wrap® foil packets.

Downsize your dinnerware by switching from a 12-inch dinner plate to a 10-inch plate can help reduce calorie consumption by 20-22 percent. That can equate to nearly two pounds of weight loss per month, without changing any other aspect of your diet.

Get inspiration for a new recipe from cookbooks but pay more attention to flavors than instructions. Experiment with different herbs and spices. Let your palate embrace a spirit of discovery with bold and unique flavors. Science continues to reveal the promise of many health benefits from the antioxidants in these treasures.

Hydrate often. The Texas summer heat makes you more susceptible to dehydration. Start your day by drinking two glasses of water and keep drinking at each meal, as well as before, during and after workouts. Carry a reusable bottle as a reminder to drink up! For some added flavor squeeze a slice of lemon, lime or orange. For workouts lasting longer than 45 minutes, grab a sport drink to help maintain energy and increase endurance.

Eat healthy on the go. While at the beach or pool steer clear of the concessions by planning ahead. Pack a cooler with ice, bottled water, sandwiches on wholegrain bread, pita chips, hummus, yogurt, nuts, and lots of fruit. As summer months heat up, remember to put your health in center stage and you’ll reap the benefits year round!

For more healthy eating tips from Cindy Kleckner, grab the family for a culinary class with emphasis on healthy cooking at Cooper Fitness Center at Craig Ranch.

How to Build a Healthy Sandwich

Sandwich

The next time you make a sandwich, think beyond a boring piece of meat between two slices of bread. Get a bit creative and squeeze in most of the food groups for a high fiber, high protein and healthy fat combo meal. Here are some ideas on how to mix and match different ingredients to build a health savvy and satisfying sandwich.

Start with Wholegrains:

There’s a wide array of options beyond sliced bread. Check the food label for 100 percent wholegrain or wholewheat as the first ingredient and aim for 3 grams of fiber or more per slice. Fiber will give you staying power to keep you going through the day. Beyond bread, choose from any of the following wholegrains: wholewheat sandwich thins, pitas, Kaiser rolls, tortillas, bagel thins, English muffins and Flat Out wraps.

Go for Lean Protein:

For a heart healthy sandwich, go for a lean protein filling. On the deli route, pick healthier meats free of additives and nitrates and compare labels to find a lower sodium option. Examples are: turkey breast, chicken breast (deli sliced or fajita style), roast beef, lean ham, reduced fat cheese made with 2 percent milk, tuna, salmon or chicken salad made with low-fat mayonnaise. Get creative with tuna or chicken salad by incorporating some extra crunch and flavor with diced celery, onions, relish, water chestnuts, shredded carrots, chopped pecans or walnuts, raisins or dried cranberries.  Fill your sandwich with about a 3 oz. protein portion. Shop for canned tuna, salmon or chicken packed in water.

Pile on Produce:

Bulk up you sandwich with lots of veggies. The sky’s the limit! If they start falling out, you can enjoy a small salad on the side. Pile on leafy greens, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and onions rings. If you’re stuffing a pita or rolling a tortilla you can add shredded carrots or broccoli slaw. You might also enjoy thinly sliced apples or pears for a sweet kick with crunch.

Hale to Healthy Fats and Low-Fat Spreads:

Use all fats, including these healthy ones, sparingly because they carry a hefty calorie load. Add a small amount of hummus, avocado/guacamole (I like Wholly Guacamole), chopped olives, light mayonnaise, reduced-fat salad dressing, flavored vinegar or mustard (spicy, wasabi, honey or plain). Don’t forget to mix in chopped up nuts in your tuna or chicken salad.

The Finale:

To add color and crunch to your sandwich, skip the chips in favor of these other options: carrot chips, baby carrots, sliced cucumbers, sweet bell pepper rings, celery sticks, Cherub or yellow sunburst tomatoes, etc. And don’t forget fruit or fat-free yogurt for dessert!

To find more healthy lunch options and recipes from our Cooper Clinic dietitians, click here.

Snack Time: Try Kale Chips

KalechipsA few months ago I worked with Amber Odom, RD, LD, one of our Cooper Clinic dietitians, to get a few green recipes for a Dallas Morning News story around St. Patrick’s Day. One of the recipes Amber shared was for kale chips. She listed kale as the number one way to Go Green Healthfully because it is high in vitamins A, C and K and is also an excellent source of fiber, folic acid and potassium.

Amber mentioned that kale chips are super easy to make, and even her kids love them. Since the story ran, I have been wanting to test out this recipe. I finally got the chance to make it last night, and it lived up to the hype. It was delicious! This will definitely be a go-to snack at my house. Here is Amber’s recipe:

Kale Chips
Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups fresh kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon Morton Kosher salt (I added a little black pepper, too)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray baking sheet with olive oil.
  2. Wash and cut kale into 2-3 inch pieces.
  3. Spread kale out on baking sheet in single layer.
  4. Mist the kale with olive oil spray and lightly sprinkle with salt.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, or until edges are crisp and begin to turn brown. Be careful not to burn.

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories: 53.39
Fat: 2.72 g (0.37 g sat)
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 185.66 mg
Fiber: 1.34 g
Carbohydrates: 6.71 g
Protein: 2.21 g

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.

Game Day Menu: Tailgating Tips and Recipes

September 20, 2012 Leave a comment

By Amber Odom, RD, LD, Registered Dietitian, Cooper Clinic

It’s that time of year again…fall, cooler weather and football season! Whether you are tailgating at the football game with a few friends or hosting a football extravaganza, here are some healthy tips for a winning game plan this season.

What’s on the Menu
Before you head to the game, don’t forget to put lots of ice in the cooler for food safety. Here are a few low-calorie ideas to get your party started for appetizers:

  • Fruit and Veggie Tray (made ahead of time or purchased from the grocery store deli)
  • Baked Lays potato chips, pretzels or multi-grain tortilla chips
  • Dips – salsa/picante sauce, hummus, guacamole or spinach dip
  • Laughing Cow Cheese (Light) with raw veggies, Kashi TLC crackers or reduced-fat Triscuit crackers

Go for the Grill
When you think of tailgating, go for the grill! It can be a fun and healthy way to enjoy your favorite pre-game foods. Here are some grilling ideas for the main entrée/protein:

  • Chicken – use breasts for grilled chicken sandwiches or kabobs; or try marinated chicken for fajitas
  • Fish – try wrapping your favorite fish in foil with fresh herbs, garlic & lemon and it will be ready for the grill, or you can try salmon (marinated in a little olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice and basil) grilled on a cedar plank, or shrimp for kabobs
  • Pork – marinated pork tenderloin
  • Burgers – 97% lean ground beef or ground turkey (use 2% milk cheese slices if making cheeseburgers)
  • Hotdogs – try fat-free Ball Park, turkey Oscar Meyer or 97% fat-free Hebrew National (use 2% shredded cheese and 99% fat-free, turkey chili if making chili cheese dogs)

When packing the tailgating mobile, don’t forget to throw in a pot or pan to cook or heat up the veggies/sides:

  • Grilled onions for sandwiches, burgers, hotdogs, or fajitas
  • Chunks of tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, peppers, squash, and zucchini on skewers for kabobs
  • Baked beans
  • Brown rice to serve with kabobs
  • Whole-wheat buns for burgers and/or hotdogs
  • Whole-wheat tortillas for fajitas
  • Fresh fruit tray
  • Pineapple chunks on skewers for kabobs

By following these tips and meal ideas you’re sure to have a great tailgating bash. Remember – it is not about deprivation but moderation. Enjoy the game!

 

Amber Odom, a registered and licensed dietitian, joined the Cooper Clinic Nutrition Department in 2004 and specializes in preventive and cardiovascular nutrition and weight management. She leads grocery store tours educating attendees on how to navigate the store and select healthier food items and teaches nutrition classes to Cooper teammates as part of the CooperFit wellness program. In 2002, Amber was named “Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year” by the Texas Dietetic Association. She received a Bachelor of Science in food and nutrition from Texas Tech University and completed a combined Bachelor of Science and internship in nutrition at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.