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8 Tips for Eating Healthier on Thanksgiving

Category : Healthy Eating

Traditionally, Thanksgiving dinner goes hand-in-hand with a huge meal followed reclining (or napping) on the couch…here are hints to help you feel great instead of stuffed! 1) Don’t starve yourself. Depriving yourself all day in anticipation of a big meal is not a good idea. Doing this just sets you up for a binge. You should definitely eat a healthy breakfast and depending upon when the big meal is being served you may need to eat a healthy snacks such as fruits or vegetables so that you aren’t ravenous by the time you sit down at the table. 2) Schedule the meal earlier in the day. Having the big meal as early as possible is a good idea because it gives your body a chance to digest your food before bedtime. Usually I’d suggest noon, but since the Packer game will be in full swing, perhaps an early evening meal  would be more realistic (with light snacks during the game, of course). 3) Take very small portions. As you fill your plate, remember there are typically a lot more dishes on the table to choose from compared to your ordinary meal. With this in mind, take very small portions so you have room to “taste” everything. 4) Minimize the carb overload. Just because sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing and rolls are on the table doesn’t mean you have to eat them all. You might not be in charge of planning the meal, but you are in charge of what goes on your plate and into your mouth. You can choose  NOT to put all of these carb-laden foods on your plate…just pick your favorite. It will save a ton of calories and you’ll feel less ‘stuffed!’ (pun intended!) 5) Eat lots of vegetables. Put veggies on your plate first so that they take up the majority of the space. Eat a salad first if  one has been provided…better yet, offer to bring a salad. Beware of  heavy-duty casseroles…look for simple plain vegetables. 6) Avoid seconds. Remember you will most likely be having dessert too, so one serving of dinner is enough. Pause and tune in to how you really feel…are you actually hungry or are you just trying to please your host by accepting seconds? It’s ok to say “no thank you” and perhaps offer to take home a small amount of left-overs instead. (If your mom is like mom she will appreciate this!) 7) Drink water. Drink a glass of water immediately before you eat. 8) Drink alcohol only in moderation. Remember that alcohol has a lot of empty calories and also lowers your inhibitions so you may throw caution to the wind and eat more than you intended.  Enjoy your family, friends and food (in that order) and you will feel great!

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Pumpkin Foodie: Pumpkin & Pasta

Category : Healthy Eating

Ingredients 1/2 small sugar pumpkin 4 T extra-virgin olive oil (divided) 1/2 t salt 2 T honey 1/2 lb. whole grain pasta 2 t minced garlic 2 minced anchovies (optional…we skipped these) 1/2 C  finely chopped walnuts 1/2 C grated Parmesan cheese 1) Peel half of a small sugar pumpkin and cut into 1-inch chunks.  (about 4 cups) Toss with 2 Tbsp olive oil, salt & honey. Roast on a baking sheet at 425 degrees until tender, about 45 minutes. 2) Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions. When done cooking, drain but reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water. 3) When pumpkin is done is cooking, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and add minced garlic, cook about 1 minutes (until garlic is softening) then add walnuts and pumpkin. Stir to combine without smashing pumpkin chunks. 4) Combine pasta with 1/2 cup pasta cooking water and Parmesan cheese. Drizzle with more olive oil. 5) Transfer to bowl and toss with pumpkin mixture. Serve! Nutritional info(serves 4): 521 calories 5 g saturated fate 21 g unsaturated fat 61 carb 16 g protein (that would be with the anchovies, mind you) 7 g fiber    

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Nutritional Benefits of Watermelon

Category : Healthy Eating

by Karin Jennings
I recently read a very interesting article about the nutritional benefits of watermelon. I have always been a fan of this fabulous fruit because it’s refreshing and sweet, but I learned there are even more reasons to enjoy watermelon!

Why eat watermelon?

  • First of all, it’s a great source of vitamin C, Vitamin A and potassium.
  • Secondly, it will help you stay hydrated because it is 92% water.
  • Also it contains citrulline and lycopene, according to Penelope Perkins-Veazie, a professor of horticulture in the Plants for Human Health Institute at North Carolina State University. (She has been studying watermelon nutrients for 15 years!!)

How does citrulline benefit your body?

I hadn’t heard of this non-essential amino acid prior reading about it last week, but here’s what found out: It is involved in producing nitric oxide which relaxes blood vessels and lowers blood pressure which benefits the both the brain and heart. It also helps to flush the kidneys.

How does lycopene benefit your body?

The tomato industry has been touting the benefits of lycopene for a while now (I see it on every bottle of ketchup), but it turns out that lycopene is more abundant and easily absorbed from watermelon than from tomatoes. (That’s good…I like watermelon better!) Lycopene reduces plaque build up in arteries and helps prevent prostate cancer.

For those of you who prefer lists…watermelons will improve the following:

  • muscle pain after workouts
  • blood pressure
  • plaque build up in arteries
  • inflammation of the prostate
  • erectile dysfunction
  • menopause symptoms
  • acid reflux

Watermelon is a very healthy snack…here’s the nutritional information:

Two cups of watermelon contains:

  • 80 calories
  • 21 grams of carbohydrates (mostly sugars)
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 0 grams of protein

What about all the sugar?

Don’t worry, according to Perkins-Veazie there is an enzyme present in watermelon which regulates the glucose. It is much healthier than any pre-packaged, processed snack you can buy off the shelf!

Go ahead, enjoy your watermelon!!

 

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Dairy Pros and Cons

Category : Healthy Eating

by Karin Jennings

 

June is Dairy Month, and at the risk of being thrown out of Wisconsin, I will say that dairy has its pros and cons. Contrary to what the USDA recommends you do not need to consume dairy products daily. Some people can enjoy dairy as part of a healthy diet, but many others cannot and should not consume dairy products.

 

Here are some frequently asked questions about dairy:

 

Do we need dairy in our diets?

It really depends upon who you ask. The USDA recommends three servings of dairy daily, but many nutrition experts will tell you dairy is optional or that you should avoid it completely.

 

Check out the difference between the Harvard Plate and the USDA Plate and you can see they are quite similar, but Harvard has left out the milk. Why? According to the Harvard School of Public Health website: The Harvard Healthy Eating Plate is based exclusively on the best available science and was not subjected to political or commercial pressures from food industry lobbyists. Read full article

 

Harvard School of Public Health

Harvard School of Public Health: Milk is NOT included as part of each meal They recommend one to two servings of dairy daily

   
USDA plate

USDA plate: Recommends 3 servings of dairy per day and implies drinking a glass of milk with each meal.

 

Dr. Mark Hyman, author of Ultra Metabolism argues against daily milk consumption: “From an evolutionary point of view, milk is a strange food for humans. Until 10,000 years ago we didn’t domesticate animals and weren’t able to drink milk (unless some brave hunter-gather milked a wild tiger or buffalo!). If you don’t believe that, consider this: The majority of humans naturally stop producing significant amounts of lactase — the enzyme needed to properly metabolize lactose, the sugar in milk — sometime between the ages of two and five. In fact, for most mammals, the normal condition is to stop producing the enzymes needed to properly digest and metabolize milk after they have been weaned. Our bodies just weren’t made to digest milk on a regular basis. Instead, most scientists agree that it’s better for us to get calcium, potassium, protein, and fats from other food sources, like whole plant foods — vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and seaweed.”

 

How do I know if I should give up dairy?

Try an elimination diet. Cut dairy out of your diet completely (no milk, cheese, yogurt, or ice cream) for two weeks and see if you feel better.

 

You may notice improvements with the following: · acne · sinuses · post-nasal drip · headaches · irritable bowel syndrome · body weight

 

After two weeks start eating dairy again and see how you feel. If you feel worse, you should try to give it up for life. If you don’t see any changes after eliminating dairy (except for craving ice cream) and you don’t note any difference when you add them back into your diet then you can probably continue to eat dairy on a limited basis.

 

Should I eat/drink low-fat or no-fat dairy products?

Here’s an excerpt from TIME magazine, March 2015: “In terms of obesity, we found no support for the notion that low-fat dairy is healthier,” says Dr. Mario Kratz, first author of the review and a nutrition scientist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Of the 25 studies included in his team’s review, Kratz says 18 reported lower body weights, less weight gain, or a lower risk for obesity among full-fat dairy eaters. The other seven studies were inconclusive. “None of the research suggested low-fat dairy is better,” he says.
According to Michael Pollan in his book In Defense of Food: “To make dairy products low fat, it’s not enough to remove the fat. You then have to go to great lengths to preserve the body or creamy texture by working in all kinds of food additives. In the case of low-fat or skim milk, that usually means adding powdered milk. But powdered milk contains oxidized cholesterol, which scientists believe is much worse for your arteries than ordinary cholesterol, so food makers sometimes compensate by adding antioxidants, further complicating what had been a simple one-ingredient whole food. Also, removing the fat makes it that much harder for your body to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins that are one of the reasons to drink milk in the first place.”

 

How much dairy should I eat?

As mentioned earlier, it depends upon who you ask. The USDA recommends three servings; Harvard School of Public Health recommends one to two servings and many other experts will say to skip it altogether. That leads us to another good question…

 

What is a serving?

At XO Fitness we have adopted Precision Nutrition’s advice and advise clients to use their hand to judge their serving sizes. Some dairy products are considered a protein such as cottage cheese so a serving would be the size of you palm (Men can have two servings while women should have one). Others are very high in fat (such as butter or cheese) so the serving size is one to two thumbs. In most cases, we recommend referring to the label on the package. Milk (skim & 1%) is not are considered a protein, but instead it is classified as a carbohydrate because is has a lot of sugar (lactose).

 

What are some good milk alternatives?

Lisa Leake, author of 100 Days of Real Food, suggests that if you drink milk alternatives you should be sure to choose those that are unsweetened. Her top choices would be either unsweetened full-fat coconut milk or almond milk…or even brown rice milk. She does not recommend soy milk because soy is already an additive in so many packaged foods.

 

Do I need dairy for healthy bones and teeth?

No. If you want healthy bones, get plenty of weight bearing exercise and supplement with 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily. In fact, some parts of the world with the lowest incidence of osteoporosis also have very low consumption of dairy.

 

What about getting enough calcium?

Dr. Hyman recommends getting your calcium from foods such as dark green leafy vegetables, sesame tahini, sea vegetables, and sardines or salmon with the bones.

 

So, here’s my two cents worth:

When it comes to dairy, the health effects seem to vary greatly between individuals. If it negatively affects you there is no harm in cutting it out of your diet. If you like dairy and it likes you then go ahead and enjoy it, but keep in mind the portion sizes mentioned earlier! Personally, I am able to consume dairy without any negative side effects. I avoid low-fat and no-fat dairy products, but eat cheese, cottage cheese, plain Greek yogurt, and use butter and half-and-half (coffee without it just isn’t the same). I choose not to eat meat, so I utilize dairy to help me get enough protein.

 

Brief Disclaimer: XO Fitness, LLC and employees do not claim to be dietitians and cannot render specific nutrition advice related to a medical condition or provide detailed nutritional analysis.  Individuals seeking these services should see a registered dietitian. The information in this article is meant to help the reader become more aware of the wide range of opinions on the consumption of dairy and encourage individuals to decide what is best for them.

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Avocado Toast

Category : Healthy Eating

Who knew mashing avocado on toast was trendy? Certainly not me…I’ve been making avocado toast for years because it’s quick, easy, delicious and nutritious.

I was very surprised to learn from a client (who travels a whole lot more than I do) that avocado toast is “a thing” on both coasts and here in the mid-west we’re missing out!!  I accidentally invented avocado toast (for myself) years ago because it’s a great substitute for some less desirable condiments such as mayo or butter.

Please, don’t worry about how many calories are in an avocado. The health benefits of the avocado far outweigh any concern you may have about the fat content… it’s monounsaturated fat which is “heart healthy” plus a little fat goes a long way toward helping you feel full longer so you will actually consume less calories throughout the day.

What’s so great about avocado?

  • They have more potassium than bananas
  • They are high in monounsaturated oleic acid, a “heart healthy” fatty acid that is believed to be one of the main reasons for the health benefits of olive oil.
  • A 100 gram (3.5 ounce) serving of avocado contains 7 grams of fiber, which is 27% of the recommended daily amount.
  • Numerous studies have shown that eating avocado can improve heart disease risk factors like Total, LDL and HDL cholesterol, as well as blood triglycerides.
  • Avocados are high in antioxidants, including Lutein and Zeaxanthin. These nutrients are very important for eye health and lower the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • They are rich in vitamins and minerals, such as B-vitamins, vitamin K, potassium, copper, vitamin E and vitamin C.
 
  • One of my favorite breakfasts...avocado and egg sandwich

    One of my favorite breakfasts…avocado and egg sandwich

Comments Off on When to buy Organic

When to buy Organic

Category : Healthy Eating

This is great time of year to buy fresh produce…But the burning question is: When to buy organic?

A nonprofit organization call the Environmental Working Group looked at 51,000 pesticide tests for 53 popular fruits and vegetables and then ranked them based on how much and how many different pesticides were found. The Dirty Dozen is their list of the 12 foods shown to have the highest levels. Whenever possible, buy the organic versions of these 12 fruits and vegetables.

Dirty Dozen

Apples

Strawberries

Grapes

Celery

Peaches

Spinach

Sweet Bell Pepper

Imported Nectarines

Cucumbers

Cherry Tomatoes

Imported Snap Peas

Potatoes

Giving credit where credit is due: This information adapted from an article by Dr. Mark Roussell PhD

Comments Off on Hangover Recovery

Hangover Recovery

Category : Active Living

Here are some tips to help with hangover recovery. Let’s face it, most of the time you are careful to eat and drink in moderation, but there are lots of parties this time of year and lots of opportunities to over-do-it. If you wake wake up with a food and/or beverage hangover here are some great tips from Mark Verstegen & Pete Williams authors of Core Performance for Women: What to do the day after…
  • Do not feel guilty for your indulgences.
  • Start your day off with water, green tea, a multi-vitamin, fish oil and a great breakfast.
  • Get in a workout. Sweat!
  • Jump right back into your schedule of eating 4-5 meals/day
  • Go to bed early so that you can get at least 8 hours of sleep
The important thing to remember is not to let this one day bender derail your good habits. After all, that one off day represents just 0.27 % of the entire year. What matters most is how you eat the following day. By employing these simple strategies, you’ll avoid a tailspin of poor nutrition and jolt you metabolism to start burning strong again! Have a Happy & Healthy 2015!!  

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Halloween Candy vs Burpees

Category : Healthy Eating

It’s the first week of October,

stores are well-stocked with trick-or-treat candy,

but does that mean you need to stock your pantry?!

 
Be realistic, if you buy Halloween candy now will it actually be around on October 31st when the kids come knocking?
 

Leave the candy in the store until just a few days before Halloween….

otherwise, stepping on the scale might get a little scary!

 

Burpee Calculator source: saratogamama.com

 This might help put things in perspective you love burpees, right?

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Freezer Meal Workshop-Saturday, April 12th

Category : Upcoming Events

Looking to make meal time healthy, quick & easy?

Attend the next

XO Fitness Freezer Meal Workshop!!

Saturday, April 12th at 12 pm

Deadline to register is March 31st!

The most fun & productive afternoon EVER!!!

Make 6 or 10 freezer meals in one hour!
• Perfect for Carb Cycling nutrition plan
• Each meal feeds family of 4-6
• Average cost= $2.30/meal/person
• Use leftover Wildtree products to make more meals
• Substitute any protein Ex. Ground turkey vs. ground beef

Basic SIX meals
1. Crock Pot Chicken Quesadillas
2. Lemon Rosemary Pork Tenderloin
3. Crock Pot Shredded Beef Burritos
4. Lemon Rosemary Chicken & Sundried Tomato Orzo
5. Oven Roasted Salmon w/ Lemon Rosemary
6. Southwestern Chicken Burgers

Upgrade to TEN meals:
7. Easy Skillet Jambalaya
8. Cajun Shrimp & Red Pepper Fettuccine
9. Perfect Roast Chicken
10. Hearty Italian Meatloaf w/ Marinara Sauce

**This workshop can easily be transformed to vegetarian!

Wildtree Spices are ALL NATURAL
* Certified Organic Handler/Processor
* Nutrient Dense Products
* No GMO’s
* No Preservatives
* No Food Dyes
* No MSG
* No Additives/Fillers
* No High Fructose Corn Syrup
* No Peanuts/Tree nuts

Interested?
Contact XO Fitness info@xofitness.com or 339-0630 to reserve your spot by 3/31/14
Amy Gajeski, our Wildtree Rep, will contact you with complete grocery list and payment. AGajeski1@gmail.com or 366-1916

Cost:
$59 for 6 meal workshop
$79 for 10 meal workshop

Meals made simple!
Amy will send you grocery list & prep document.
Go shopping. Prep your bags.
Come to workshop and we will make our meals.
Put them in the freezer.
Thaw & cook!
Enjoy your family meal together!

 

 

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Food Sensitivity Elimination diet: Adding Wheat back!

Category : Healthy Eating

This is my mini-chronicle of following the Dr. Oz and Dr. Hyman Food Sensitivity Elimination diet.  The beginning of this series and the links to the elimination diet can be found in this link: Click Here.

I have a family gathering this weekend (Happy Birthday, Mom!) and it’s not going to be easy being on the elimination diet.  Like it wasn’t bad enough that the only meat we eat is fish (yup, we’re pescetarians), but my brother-in-law is a seriously gourmet cook whose culinary skills I sorely do NOT want to miss out on. He’s making ratatouille as well as his homemade marinara and pasta. Wheat

So I have a plan. The first two foods I’m adding back are Wheat (so I can have bread and pasta) and Nightshades (Ratatouille has both tomatoes and eggplant).  Luckily, Wheat is Thurs/Friday and the Nightshades just happen on the day of the party.  Whew! Disaster avoided!!!

Days 6 & 7: Adding the big “W” -WHEAT back into my diet.  Unless you lack a heartbeat, you’ve probably heard all the hoopla about the benefits of eliminating wheat from your diet.  Many of our clients feel better when they don’t eat wheat.   There are also many people who have the very serious disease Celiac, which is actually an auto-immune disorder and not an allergy at all.   Randi Mann, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner at Wise Women’s Wellness in De Pere, says that simply eliminating wheat would help people lose much of the weight they need to lose.

So I was a bit apprehensive when I added wheat back into my diet because, well, I really like bread!  It’s no small task to eliminate wheat given that it is in so many food products as a thickener or filler.  Kiss any typical convenience foods or salty snacks good-bye!

My worries were for naught: Adding Wheat back to my diet was so easy and dare I say “fun”?  Instead of the cream of rice I chose the Hodgson whole grain hot cereal instead with walnuts and strawberries.  Not only did it taste good, I felt just fine thank you!

The funny thing is that now that I’ve added bread back to my diet, I can’t really do anything with it.  Everything I make seems to be missing something, like butter or cheese.  We made pizza tonight and I had more of a very thin focaccia than anything else.  Oh well.  Tomorrow I add tomatoes back and then I can have an avocado and tomato sandwich, one of my favorites!  Of course, in a few more days it will be better with a slice of cheese…