Smart Nutrition Notes – June 2015
Welcome to Summer
There is no denying it. School is out. The solstice has come and gone and it is finally summer! There are lots of healthy choices all around us. This is a great time to year to get out in the sunshine and get some exercise. Fresh fruits and veggies are starting to come in and strawberries are everywhere in the northeast.
It’s also a great time for celebrating and eating. The summer time barbeque is often a laid back great way to entertain. Check out the best advice for navigating the seasonal BBQ in this issue and get some great recipes (below) to help you stick with your resolve to get healthier.
Enjoy the long days and evenings ahead!
Managing the Summer Cookout
Just because you are watching your nutrition doesn’t mean you need sacrifice quality and taste when it come to the barbeque. Mayonnaise laden salads, fatty meats and gorgeous desserts can make it challenging. But it’s not impossible!
- Eat the veggies first — Find the crudités platter and fill up on raw vegetables because they will fill your belly and you will have less room for fattier dishes. Choose the undressed salads and cover at least half of your plate with veggies. Dress it yourself so you have more control.
- If you love a burger, go for it. It’s an excellent source of iron. Just watch the cheese. It adds a whopping 100 extra calories. Fill your burger with lots of veggies such as lettuce, tomatoes, sautéed onions and mushrooms.The more room you take up with veggies the less saturated fat you will be eating.
- It’s a smart move to bring a side dish or two to the party. Vinegar based salads are much better for you than mayonnaise. And you can use Greek yogurt to get that creamy taste that you might be looking for. If you are in a crunch for time you can always bring a store-bought hummus, guacamole or salsa as a good alternative. Consider the Black Bean & Quinoa Salad with Avocado or the Broccoli Slaw in the recipes below.
- Skip the barbeque sauce which is loaded with sugar for something lighter. Homemade marinades made with vinegar can be made in a snap. I like to use the Good Seasons Italian. Or, you can go for store bought salad dressing which can really slash the calories. BUT, be careful to read the label on salad dressing. Many of them are high in sugar.
- Use more fish and chicken as an alternative to red meat. Grilled salmon au natural is delicious or marinate in a mix of olive oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and lime juice to jazz up the flavor. A less expensive choice is salmon burger made from wild canned salmon.
- Nix the potato salad and go for the coleslaw. Potatoes are much higher in calories than cabbage and if the salad is made with full fat mayo will cost you about 360 calories and 20 or so grams of fat per cup. Cabbage is low in calories and more importantly loaded with phytochemicals that can stimulate enzymes in the body that detoxify carcinogens before they damage cells. Check out our recipes below for No-Mayo Coleslaw or the Black Quinoa & Mango Salad.
- Watch the condiments. Ketchup can be a major source of hidden sugar with almost a teaspoon of sugar in every tablespoon and mayo packs about 50 calories and 5 grams of fat. Mustard is the best choice.
- Steer away from the soft drinks and sugary cocktails like margaritas. A standard 8 ounce margarita will set you back about 455 calories. Opt for a light beer or a wine spritzer instead. If you are avoiding alcohol, a soft drink of the same size is 150 calories. You would be better off with a spritz of fruit juice or lemon in a seltzer water.
- Sweets can be a slippery slope but grilled fruit is delicious. Once the fire has died down, place the fruit on the grill and watch it caramelize. Great fruits for this include peaches, nectarines, pineapple, bananas and pears. Just make sure the fruit is not overripe because it can get messy. The heat pulls out the fruits natural sweetness so there is no need to add any additional flavor. Although adding a small dollop of mascarpone cheese can be delicious (Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone Cheese Recipe below).
- The biggest thing to remember is to relax and enjoy yourself. If you eat some foods that are not totally nutritious remember it’s not what you do once in a while but what you do every day that counts.Let’s say it’s the Fourth of July and strawberry shortcake is your most favorite dessert in the world. Plus strawberries are at their peak and you just gotta have it! Be smart about other choices you make at the cookout and take half the portion offered or share with somebody else.
Don’t put yourself in the position of depriving yourself. If you do you will likely make up for it with something that is not anywhere near as satisfying. Be mindful of your choice. Take a nice walk at the end of the party and/or exercise a little longer the next day to make up for it. And make sure you savor and really enjoy the choice you made.
Recipes of the Month
We’ve got 5 great recipes this month, all sure fire winners at a cookout – or anywhere.
Black Bean & Quinoa Salad with Avocado
A delicious salad -healthy, quick and easy
An amazing blend of colors – healthy & delicious
Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone Cheese
Simply scrumptious with fresh summer peaches
Quick & easy with great crunchiness
A great, healthy substitute for the traditional
For individual recipes click the titles
Download the entire set of recipes HERE
Here’s what is coming up in July:
Clean Skin and Nutrition
—Feel Fabulous From the Inside Out
July 29 – Peterborough
As a seasoned practitioner with over 30 years’ experience as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Ruth will help you understand how vitamins and minerals from a nutritious whole foods diet can treat acne, wrinkles, and other problem skin conditions. “This is a great way to motivate people to change their diet because simple changes in diet can have a significant impact on the appearance of your skin in a fairly short period of time”, says Clark. “When people see results it helps to reinforce the changes they are making.”
Ruth will be offering this talk at European Esthetics Skin Care in Depot Square, Peterborough, NH at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, July 29. Please join us for a fun evening. Register at European Esthetics at (603) 924-9123 or you can contact Ruth Clark directly to register at 924-9505 or ruthrd@SmartNutritionLLC.com.