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Apr 27

Do You Need More Carbs?

Within the last decade, low-carb eating has picked up a great deal of momentum. Evolving from diet campaigns like South Beach and Atkins, the strategy is now employed by people following plans like Paleo and Whole30.

Some people are even attempting to do "zero carb," putting their bodies in a state called ketosis that's designed to burn more fat.

Despite their current reputation, however, carbs are not an enemy. As part of one of the three macronutrients the body requires, carbohydrates play a key role in nutrition. They're a main source of fuel, crucial for organ function (including the brain), and essential for digestive health.

Some carbs are more beneficial than others — think whole grains over processed white flour, for example. But in general, it's important to focus on getting the right amount for your activity and energy levels. Here are some signs that you might need to be upping your healthy carbs:

You have no energy: If you're dragging yourself out of bed in the morning (hey, why else would your clock even have a snooze setting?), and then fueling with caffeine to jolt yourself through the day, your carb amount may be off. There can be many factors for energy imbalances, but since carbs are the body's fuel tank, you need to make sure you've putting in enough gas to get you through the day.

Your fitness is suffering: In addition to providing consistent energy during the day, carbs are particularly essential during more intense activities like running or strength training.

Digestion has hit a roadblock: Many people on low-carb or zero-carb diets have to supplement their eating with additional fiber, to address constipation. But even that strategy doesn't always work. Often, they have to introduce additional starches or increase carbs to get back to regularity.

Wondering about how carbs should be incorporated into your overall nutrition plan, especially as your goals change? Talk with one of our nutritional counselors to find the balance that's right for you.


Apr 22

What to Expect from Nutritional Counseling

Although there's a ton of food-related advice in the media, the fact is that everyone has different needs when it comes to nutrition. Your age, health history, physical activity level, goals, weight, and even hormones can have a direct effect on what might work best for you nutritionally. That's why an individualized approach is key. 

But how do you determine what that eating plan should be, especially as you focus in on goals like injury and illness prevention, surgery recovery, and higher fitness levels? Fortunately, you don't have to become an expert in nutrition to come up with a solid strategy—because there are already experts who can help.

Registered Dietitians have a passion for improving physical performance, recovery, and prevention. Here's what you can expect from your consultations:

Assessment of your goals: Everyone wants to eat healthier, but what does that mean to you personally? Do you want to pursue carb cycling to maximize strength training for a sport, or do you want to incorporate more vegetables into your meals as a way to control high blood pressure? With an understanding of your current health issues and long-term goals, registered dietitians can help you put an eating plan together.

Inspiration that keeps you on track: Steamed vegetables and chicken breast for dinner every night? Yawn. Registered dietitians know that meals need to be enticing and flavorful, and that including diverse ingredients can help you get the micronutrients you need. They can help come up with ideas for making your meals into delicious favorites, instead of a chore.

Friendly support: Like any change, simply knowing what needs to be done is only the start. Nutritional counseling sessions are designed to give you the resources and knowledge you need, but the meaningful change will come from you. But you won't have to do it alone— registered dietitians are partners, and work to support you, so that you can be successful in making sustainable shifts in your nutrition. 

One thing you can expect not to hear? Lectures. No matter what you eat, nutritional therapists prefer to help, not harangue, and that means your appointments will be free of scolding and judgment. Health is about what you could be doing better, and working together toward a plan. So, make the most of a professional's nutritional expertise and consider scheduling a consultation

 

Did you know you can contact Viverant without a doctor referral to schedule an appointment regarding nutrition and other services that may help you?


Apr 15

Ditch the Cookie Cutter

With our busy lives, eating right and understanding how to strike the proper balance can be tricky—especially since your goals and needs may be different from those around you. Check out our nutrition guide with some simple steps to help you make a plan that fits you and your lifestyle.


Apr 12

3 Healthy Fats to Keep You Fuller, Longer

For decades, Americans were warned that eating certain types of fat would lead to problems like heart disease and obesity. Health experts acknowledged that certain fats — like those found in nuts, seeds, and fish — were beneficial, but there was a general anti-fat sentiment that led to low-fat diets and avoidance of some dairy and meats.

New research is revising that advice considerably. Over 70 studies have shown there's no link between saturated fat and heart disease, and researchers are continuing to dive into how fat affects us. What is known already is that fat is a macronutrient that is crucial for our bodies, because it's necessary for absorbing certain vitamins. It's also fat that provides the most satiation during eating. 

Does that mean you can eat a few sticks of butter, maybe wrapped in bacon and dipped in corn oil for good measure? Well, not so fast. Not all fats are equal, and some choices are more beneficial than others. Here are three good choices to consider:

Fatty Fish: There are mercury concerns with larger ocean dwellers like swordfish, but you can still reap plenty of omega-3 advantages with smaller fish and fresh water choices. These include wild salmon, sardines, lake trout, tuna, and mackerel. Not only are these tasty, but they're also good for your heart

Nuts and Seeds: Although nuts and seeds are high in calories and should be eaten in smaller portions, they pack a big punch when it comes to healthy fats. They also boast protein, fiber, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts, are particularly useful since they contain the highest amount of plant based omega-3.

Avocados: During the anti-fat crusade, the innocent avocado often got shunned because of its high fat content. But now it's back on plates, and that's an excellent change since the fruit is rich in monounsaturated fat as well as folate, potassium, fiber, and several vitamins.

Wondering about how to fit fat into your overall nutrition profile? Talk with one of our registered dietitians to find the balance that's right for you.


Apr 01

Food Tracking Made Easier

When it comes to developing an individualized approach to your nutrition plan, one of the best ways to start is by tracking what you eat. After all, if you don't know your starting point, it's harder to set goals and gauge progress. 

But who wants to write down every single ingredient, meal, snack, and drink consumed over the course of a day? And what about keeping that kind of log for multiple days or even weeks? It doesn't take long for the practice to turn into a slog, especially if you're trying to estimate quantities—did you have half a cup of blueberries, or 1/3 cup?—and then share those with a registered dietitians.

Fortunately, food tracking doesn't have to be a pain. There are a few ways to make the practice easy and workable:

Set a timeframe
To get a glimpse of how much you eat, when you eat it, and what you're eating, schedule a certain timeframe for the effort. One day of food tracking is usually not enough to see what your consumption patterns are like, especially since people who know they're being tracked sometimes eat differently than they would usually (choosing carrots instead of cupcakes, for example). Set aside one week or at least establish a specific endpoint. That will make the effort feel more like a project and less like a homework assignment.

Get into a food photo habit
Keeping on top of your food intake may be as easy as reaching for your smartphone or camera. Whenever you put together a meal or have a snack, take a photo. There's no need to arrange the dish artfully like you're trying to win Instagram—it's just a way to create a record that you and your registered dietitians can look at later.

Use an app
There's an app for almost everything, and food tracking is no exception. Some even help to pinpoint your macronutrients, and record activity levels. These are more time consuming than simply taking a photo, but they also provide insights into how your physical activity fits together with your food intake.

Getting even a rough idea of what you eat every day, and in what amount, can help you and your registered dietitians to understand how food is fitting into your life. From there, you can set a plan together that works for your health and fitness goals.


Dec 28

Rethink Your Drink

When thinking about New Year resolutions, many people opt to commit to something food or exercise related. But have you ever thought about the impact certain beverages can have on your health? Americans consume nearly three times the daily recommended amount of sugar each day, and for many, a good portion of it comes from the things they drink. Excess sugar consumption is a contributing factor for health issues like obesity, tooth decay, diabetes, heart disease, and more, so it’s important to be conscious of the amount of sugar you ingest each day.


Dec 23

Tips to a Healthy Holiday

The holidays are a time for celebration with family, friends, and of course, food! Unfortunately, it is also a time when many struggle with over-eating and weight gain.


Nov 25

Next Day Turkey Primavera

Healthy Thanksgiving leftover recipes!


Nov 23

Healthy Thanksgiving leftover recipes!

Start Black Friday with this healthy breakfast using leftover turkey! Turkey Frittata                        
(Photo source: foodnetwork.com) Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 red or green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup boiled potatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup leftover cooked chopped turkey
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup cream*
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, basil or cilantro
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar, Monterey jack or mozzarella

*To make this recipes healthier, substitute cream for skim milk. Directions:

  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and bell pepper and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in potatoes and cook until golden brown. Add cooked leftover turkey and toss to coat.
  3. In a mixing bowl beat together the eggs and cream and season with salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture into skillet and stir in chopped herbs. Top with grated cheese and brown under broiler for about 2 to 3 minutes until the frittata puffs.

(Recipe source: foodnetwork.com) You may also like Southwestern Turkey Soup!


Nov 22

Healthy Thanksgiving leftover recipes!

Turkey sandwiches the day after Thanksgiving are great but, if you're looking for something a little different, you've come to the right spot! Over the next three days we will be sharing easy and healthy recipes all using leftover turkey. Southwestern Turkey Soup! 

(Photo source: allrecipes.com) Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked turkey
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
  • 2 Roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 avocado - peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
  • 1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

Directions

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, combine turkey, broth, canned tomatoes, green chilies, fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic, and lime juice. Season with cayenne, cumin, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Stir in avocado and cilantro, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, until slightly thickened. Spoon into serving bowls, and top with shredded cheese

(Recipe Source: allrecipes.com) Check back tomorrow for a fun breakfast option using leftover turkey!


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