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11 Grocery Shopping Mistakes That Are Wrecking Your Diet.

 

We’ve all gone to the grocery store for two things – and walked out with a cart full of snacks we didn’t exactly need. Here is  how to plan your next trip for a smarter haul.

1. You forgot to eat lunch.Healthy eating tips

Yes, you may have heard the “don’t go grocery shopping when you’re starving” thing before — but there’s a good reason for it. Not only are you susceptible to overspending, but you’re also more likely to overeat what you do bring home. So whenever you’re heading to the store, make sure you’ve had a snack or a meal first — your wallet and waistline will thank you.

2. You’re unprepared.

Going to the supermarket without a list is like walking into the SATs without studying. (Well, close enough.) Feeling unprepared makes you vulnerable to poor choices — much like going in hungry! If that slip of paper usually gets left on the kitchen counter, make a list on your phone. Bonus: Then you can also use recipes from cooking apps or photos of favorite cookbook pages.

3. You start on aisle #5.

Bear with me: There’s a strategy to the way a supermarket is laid out. Shopping the perimeter first loads up the cart with the good stuff like fresh fruits and veggies, dairy products, and whole grains. Then, the chips, cookies, crackers, cakes, and soda that line the inner aisles have less room to squeeze into. This theory, also applies to mealtime, too: Fill your plate with with these healthy items, and leave whatever “room” you’ve got left for dessert.

That said, hit up perishable or frozen items last: That will help keep the food you’re prepping stay at the appropriate temperature. Safety first!

4. You beeline for the deli counter.

I’m always in favor of a good, healthy sandwich — but not all deli meats (and cheeses!) are created equal. Many can come loaded with sodium, so even if it’s something lower in fat (like turkey), it may still be chock-full of salt. The better bet: Rotisserie chicken or roast beef. To top it off, pick reduced-sodium cheeses, or swap those slices for 2 tablespoons of hummus or a couple slices of avocado.

5. You’re only shopping “organic.”

Sure, buying organic foods can be beneficial and sometimes safer. But keep in mind it’s most important to buy food that’s healthy. Don’t let the fact that a food is part of the “dirty dozen” (like spinach or kale) keep you from just buying the regular version if your budget doesn’t allow for organic right now. All or nothing attitudes for food and health may not be 100% sustainable for your lifestyle 100% of the time. (Plus, organic food may not be worth the skyrocketing costs.) The bottom line is that some veggies always beat no veggies in your cart!

6. You skimmed the nutrition facts — but not the ingredients.

Fruit juice concentrate and puree aren’t technically added sugar according to the FDA, but they add extra calories to a food item you could eat in a more nutritious form. For example, look for fruit-based products that say “mangoes” or “strawberries” as the first ingredient instead of mango or strawberry puree, and avoid ingredients like “apple juice concentrate.”

7. You’ve stocked up on the wrong things.

I’m looking at you, “lower-calorie,” “reduced fat,” and 100-calorie packs. Let me explain: Those tiny packs are often unsatisfying empty calories, so you’re more likely to blow through a couple at once. If you’re looking for a snack that will give you a real energy boost, go for protein and fiber combos, like fruit with peanut butter or cheese with whole-grain crackers. 

And the same goes for low-cal and reduced fat items. Without the fat, they’re often not as filling so it’s easier to overdo it. Also, when you remove the fat, it’s typically replaced with something — usually sugar. (Frozen yogurt is the worst culprit.) Unless you’re choosing items that cut down on fat without added sweeteners or fillers (good examples include light mayonnaise, low-fat milk, or popcorn made with less oil), you may be better off with the real thing.

8. You’re skipping the freezer aisle.

Sure, you’re avoiding the temptations of ice cream, pizza, and a slate of other treats that remind you of childhood. While I can’t fault your risk aversion, you’re missing out on some frozen gems. They shouldn’t be the bulk of your grocery list, but frozen fruits and veggies along with breads, waffles, and pancakes made from 100% whole grains, and even a single-serving ice cream sandwich can help you make smarter choices.

9. You skipped the canned goods.

First, stop judging: This aisle has more than the slimy green beans of your childhood memories! Canned beans, lentils, chickpeas, and fish (tuna, salmon, sardines, and anchovies) can be incredibly healthy and convenient. Plus, my personal favorite canned food is pumpkin — try it in Greek yogurt with cinnamon and a little honey! Just look for lower-sodium options (140 milligrams or less of salt per serving), canned in water when possible, and drain and rinse before eating.

10. You bought it “on sale.”

Would you normally eat that? If not, a sale isn’t enough reason. When it comes to discount items, double up on things you know you’ll use and that are good for you, like eggs, yogurt, canned or frozen foods, and pantry items like nuts and nut butters.

11. You didn’t make an impulse purchase.

Listen, those little last-minute buys at the checkout line (including the latest issue of Good Housekeeping!) can be well worth it — if you do it right. You’ve already got a cart full of good foods you need, and none of the bad stuff you don’t. So it’s okay to buy a single-serving chocolate bar or candy. Why? Because when you skip large quantities of fatty processed foods, sugary beverages, and other sneaky stuff, you leave room for a smart indulgence that satisfies your sweet tooth and won’t make you feel deprived. So, enjoy!

By Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, Good Housekeeping Institute/ Aug 9, 2018

 

Healthy Eating on a Budget

 By Marcia Sikorski, RD, LDN, CDE

There is a misconception that healthy eating is expensive. In many cases, basic healthy foods are not only less expensive but often more nutritious than the more expensive processed foods. With a little planning and wise food shopping, you can get the nutrients you need while staying within your budget. Continue reading “Healthy Eating on a Budget”

Summer Time: Increase Healthy Produce!

 

by Marcia Sikorski, RD, LDN, CDE

Thanks to summer gardens and local farmers markets, the warm months are the perfect time to increase your family’s intake of fresh, healthful produce. Variety is the key, along with eating enough vegetables, anywhere from 1½ cups for children to 3 cups for adults. It is the types of vegetables you eat that really matter. Vegetables are divided into subgroups based upon their nutritional content, so it truly does take a diet full of color and variety to fuel your body with the nutrition it needs.

Continue reading “Summer Time: Increase Healthy Produce!”

The Importance of Paying Attention to Prediabetes

Written by Marcia Sikorski, RD, LDN, CDE; member of PMA Diabetes Education Team

Diabetes awareness is becoming a focal point to help reduce the consequences of the disease and to provide information about its management and prevention. Prediabetes is the red flag waving to tell you that you are on the path toward diabetes.  There is good news about this waving flag, if you take action at this stage you may never experience the many complications of diabetes. Continue reading “The Importance of Paying Attention to Prediabetes”

Delicious Low Calorie Soup

lowcalsoup

This hearty soup is loaded with super foods and antioxidants to promote weight loss. What’s the best part of the soup aside from the flavor? It’s only 88 calories per cup, making it the perfect, low calorie meal option. 

Ingredients:

1 small, white onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 oz package sliced shiitake mushrooms
3 carrots, sliced
1 zucchini, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
8 oz fresh green beans
15 oz can organic kidney beans
3 cups shredded purple cabbage
3 cups low-sodium organic veggie juice
2 cups organic, low-sodium chicken broth
2 – 14.5 oz cans organic, no salt added diced tomatoes
1 tsp Italian seasoning
salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. Spray a large frying pan with cooking spray. Sauté onion, garlic, mushrooms and carrots for five minutes over medium heat. 
  2. Combine sautéed onion, garlic, mushrooms and carrots with remaining ingredients in slow cooker. Stir until combined. 
  3. Cook on high for three hours. 

Nutrition (Per 1 cup serving):

Calories – 88 
Fat – 0g
Carbohydrates – 19g (15g net carbs)
Fiber 4g
Protein 4g
Sugars 6g

 

Summer Salad Recipe

summer_salad_recipe

Ingredients:

• 5 oz mixed lettuce leaves
• 1 pint blueberries
• 1 pint strawberries
• Few sprigs of parsley
• Few sprigs of mint
• 4 1/2 oz Brie cheese, sliced into small pieces
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tsp honey
• Salt & pepper
• Almonds

Directions:

• Place first six ingredients in a serving bowl
• Make dressing by mixing all other ingredients in a small cup until thoroughly blended
• Drizzle dressing over salad
• Top salad with almonds

 

Enjoy!

Staying upbeat with beets!

beets

Health benefits of beets:

  • Beets are high in many vitamins and minerals: potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron; vitamins A, B & C; beta-carotene, beta-cyanine; folic acid.
  • Beets cleanse the body: by detoxifying the liver and purifying the blood
  • Beets help your mental health: they contain tryptophan, which relaxes the mind and creates a feeling of well-being. They also contain betaine, a substance that is used in some treatments of depression.
  • Beets can lower your blood pressure
  • Beets are used as a stomach acid tester
  • Beets are a high source of energy

 

Beet and Grapefruit Salad:

Ingredients: 

3 medium beets (greens removed)
2 red grapefruits
1 teaspoon honey
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F
  2. Wrap beets individually in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet
  3. Roast until beets are tender (50 to 60 minutes)
  4. When cool enough to handle, unwrap beets and rub each with a paper towel to remove skins
  5. Halve and slice beets
  6. Peel grapefruit and remove all skin from each section
  7. Toss grapefruit (and juices) in a bowl
  8. Gently stir in honey and salt
  9. Add beets and toss
  10. Garnish with mint

Enjoy!

Benefits of Eating Vegetables

benofveg
Everyone knows they’re supposed to eat at least two cups of vegetables every day to reduce the risk of chronic diseases. However, there are even more health benefits to getting the recommended serving of vegetables. 

Eating vegetables daily can:

  • Reduce the risk for stroke and a range of other cardiovascular diseases
  • Reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes
  • Reduce the risk of mouth, stomach and colon cancer
  • Lower the chance of developing kidney stones
  • Helps decrease bone loss
  • Assists with weight loss due to low calorie intake

What Nutrients are Found in Vegetables?

Most vegetables are potassium rich, which helps with maintaining a healthy blood pressure. 
A majority of vegetables contain a good amount of dietary fiber, which helps you feel full with fewer calories.

Vegetables have a high amount of vitamin A, which keeps eyes and skin healthy. Vitamin E, which protects essential fatty acids from cell oxidation, is found in vegetables. Because vegetables contain vitamin C, they can help speed up cuts and wounds and keep gums healthy. 

Brain Power Snack Ideas for your Children

brainpowersnacks

With your busy schedule and active lifestyle, it can be difficult to pack healthy snacks for your children. While pre-packaged snacks are an easy choice, they are often loaded with processed ingredients that can be harmful for kids. Here are a few options for easy, healthy snacks that are kid-approved:

1. PB and fruit protein rolls 

Peanut butter and jelly is always a hit when it comes to children. These no bake, PB and fruit protein balls taste like peanut butter and jelly, but they pack an extra protein punch. All you need is a cup of dried fruit, ½ cup of natural peanut butter, a cup of flake oats, two scoops of vanilla protein powder, ¼ cup ground flax and 3 tbsp of vanilla almond milk! Find out how to make them here. 

2. Cheese and cucumber sandwiches

This healthy snack can be made in just a few minutes. It still has the great crunch of cheese and crackers and it gets your kids about ¼ of their recommended daily vegetable intake. 

3. Apple sandwiches

Apple sandwiches are the perfect after-school snack. The combination of apples, almond butter and granola gives your children enough protein to stay full through after-school activities until dinner. All you need is five minutes to core and slice apples and mix almond butter with granola. 

4. Banana bites

Banana bites are a great portable snack and are also perfect for an addition to lunches. All you need to do is spread natural peanut butter on a whole wheat tortilla, place a banana on the tortilla, roll the banana into the tortilla and cut it into bite-size pieces. 

5. Veggies and hummus in a mason jar

Pack the bottom of a mason jar with hummus and place your favorite vegetables on top for an on-the-go snack. If your kids aren’t a fan of hummus, try adding peanut butter or homemade yogurt dip with natural peanut butter, Greek yogurt and honey.