Could giving up make you feel better?
Dean Carlson, Pn2
True story. I had been eating the same breakfast almost every day for a couple years. Greek yogurt with a scoop of UMP whey protein mixed in. It was my favorite! High protein, really tasty, and so quick and easy to make. What I didn't know is that it was also the cause of some of the "intestinal distress" I was having at times.
And then we did our first "21-Day Detox", which is really more accurately called an elimination diet. The purpose is to remove some foods that are associated with allergies and sensitivities, and then gradually add them back in and see what happens. What I found out after adding dairy back in is that it made me really sick! My stomach was not happy at all. And I confirmed it was not a "one off" situation by trying to add it back more than once, and each time things didn't go too well.
It's a possibility that you also have a food sensitivity, and like me, you don't even know it.
There are a wide variety of foods that can contribute to sensitivities, two of the more common being dairy and wheat, but also certain citrus fruits, nightshades (ask Tom Brady), and even certain spices and sweeteners.
Well, food sensitivities can affect anything from your general health, your skin, even your mood. And they are not necessarily benign, as the GI issues they can cause can create a damaging cascading effect on the rest of your body.
Elimination diets seek to "hunt down" what might be causing the issue by removing certain foods, temporarily, and then slowly reintroducing them. Like me, you might find a certain food make you feel pretty ucky. Other times you may notice other symptoms, such as a runny nose, which can often happen when reintroducing wheat. Hmmm....
Take a look at the infographic below, and then Print This Guide and see if an elimination diet might be a good idea for you.
Sound like a daunting task? Knowing what to do isn't always easy, but we can help you make sense of it. Contact Us Here to find out how The Grateful Plate nutrition coaching works, and why nutrition coaching can help smooth out the rough spots.
You can also check out the accompanying article by our friends at Precision Nutrition: Food sensitivities and intolerances: How to do an elimination diet. for a more in depth study of elimination diets.
There is no debate!
Dean Carlson, Pn2
I'll raise my hand and plead "guilty", because I too have been caught up in this debate. The reality is that choosing between sweet potatoes and "regular" potatoes is like choosing between a BMW and a Mercedes. I think most of us would be happy with either. So it's even cooler when we don't have to choose and can have both!
It's really easy to get caught in the weeds when we are talking about what we "should" and "shouldn't" eat.
We are bombarded daily with seemingly contradictory "evidence" that this or that food is good or bad.
So it's really no surprise that something as humble as the potato got caught up in one of these fierce discussions. I mean it seems to make sense that since potatoes are one of the dreaded "white" foods, like bread, pasta or rice, that avoiding them is probably better.
And if the only way you are eating potatoes is in the form of french fries, you probably are better off keeping them off your plate.
But both white and sweet potatoes, as part of a balanced and intentional diet, provide a great variety of nutrients and are just plain tasty!
Download this infographic from my friends at Precision Nutrition to learn more and find out when you can and should consider adding them to your nutrition plan.
Pretty cool huh? Share this infographic with your family and friends by downloading it here.
Want to learn more?
Most of us know that getting enough sleep, moving more, eating well and stress management are important for looking and feeling great. But often there is a gap between knowing and doing, right?
At The Grateful Plate, we help you close that gap and make it easier in the context of an already too busy, stressful life. Check Out how we help people stop dieting and start living healthier lives, one step at a time.
I love broccoli, but I can't eat it plain every time! This is a great way to add some flavor to your broccoli but still keep the prep and cook time simple. It comes out delicious!
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl, toss the broccoli florets with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Spread the broccoli in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until florets are tender enough to pierce with a fork and the edges are browning, about 15 minutes. Turn once halfway through the baking process and add red pepper flakes, if using. After baking, squeeze lemon juice liberally over the broccoli before serving.
My daughter has fallen in love with kale chips. Brookford Farm’s CSA program delivers a large bag of kale to us each week. Before it even gets into the house, she is asking to make kale chips. Since they take about 15 minutes to make, the kale chips at our house will be devoured in less than 45 minutes after it arrives fresh at our door. In short, my kids love them!
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the kale by taking the large rib out of each leaf. We do this by holding the leafy part of the plant and pulling the stem up towards our hand until it breaks off. Depending on the size of the leaf, we might break the leaf in two pieces.
Lay the leaves out so that none are overlapping each other on a cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil across the leaves and then use your hands to mix the olive oil around on the kale. Again, lay out the leaves so they aren’t overlapping each other. Sprinkle garlic powder on top. You’ll have to judge how much you want to your taste. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the leaves are crispy. My kids eat them right off the pan as soon as they are cooled!
Right now is the perfect time for some tomatoes fresh out of the garden! Pick a few of your own and dress them up with this simple but delicious recipe!
Slice tomatoes and lay out on plate or serving dish. Brush on olive oil with a pastry brush. Sprinkle on Mrs. Dash’s Garlic & Herb seasonings (all Mrs. Dash seasonings are salt free). Cover and let sit for 30 minutes to an hour at room temperature.
This hummus has a great smoky flavor and is sure to be a favorite. Try this as a dip for cucumbers and carrots or as a spread for your favorite burger this summer.
Smoky Cauliflower Hummus
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put cauliflower florets in a large bowl and add 1 tablespoon oil, the paprika, ½ teaspoon salt, the cumin, chili flakes, and garlic. Toss to coat thoroughly.
Spread florets evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast for about 18 to 20 minutes, stirring once, until florets are cooked through and a little crispy. Let cool.
Put ½ cup water in a blender with roasted cauliflower and garlic, lemon juice, remaining 3 tablespoons oil, the tahini, and remaining 1½ teaspoons salt. Blend, adding more water if needed and scraping sides often, until you have a creamy purée, about 4 minutes. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice if you like.
Spoon into a serving bowl and sprinkle with a pinch of smoked paprika. Make up to 3 days ahead and chill in an airtight container.
Did you know that I am not normal? And maybe you aren’t either!
And I mean that in a good way.
I’m not normal in the sense that I want to be the best version of the healthiest me I can be. I am constantly looking for ways to challenge myself to become better.
Sadly, that's not normal.
Most people just coast through life not wanting to put in the time or effort to be the best.
Unfortunately, most people coast through life accepting their health as unchangeable. They do what is typical in our society - eat too much, sit too long, go for the easy way out.
I enjoy physical activity! I prep food every week. I care what goes into my body. And I'm guessing but I probably eat more than the average person when it comes to vegetables.
I don't have any hard data on this, but just by talking with hundreds of people, I would guess the average person consumes less than two servings of vegetables per day.
And most of those are the same ones, over and over again.
A lot of people just don't know what or how to cook certain foods.
My biggest challenge doing this over the computer is that while I can tell you all about a certain vegetable, I can show you what it looks like, I can even tell you what is great about a certain veggie... until I can get you to experience it, it’s just to ‘weird’ to even think about.
I’m going to introduce you to jicama today. Just to say it seems a bit odd, but think of the first letter as being an “H”. It looks a bit like an odd shaped potato. In fact you would peel it like a potato and the inside reminds me of a white potato. BUT the similarities stop there. It tastes different, in fact ,you can eat it raw or cooked.
Jashbrowns are a favorite way to cook jicama for rockstar Jennifer.
I peel the jicama, which is a root vegetable, and then slice it into thin French fry shapes. I add these to a taco salad so that I have crunch without a taco shell. My kids love it this way too.
Check out this recipe highlighting jicama paired with cucumbers as a side dish.
Jicama Cucumber Salad with Chili Dressing
Puree vinegar, oil, onion, chili powder and salt in a blender until smooth. Toss jicama and cucumber with the dressing in a large bowl; stir in mint. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle the salad with more chili powder before serving, if desired.
A simple concept - eat five servings of vegetables every day. I’m hoping I’ve given you enough education so that jicama doesn’t feel so weird when thinking of vegetables. By adding jicama to your grocery list, you can up your vegetable count.
To your best health,
Everyone knows that vegetables are good for you. Medical professionals are always shouting out the goodness of adding more and more vegetables to your nutrition plan. These lists are your reasons for eating more vegetables. I gave you some ideas but don’t copy my list, create your own.
Each list has a purpose. Each list is real and true.
On one list, identify the grievances, the fears, and challenges with adding more vegetables to your day.
It's all legitimate, it's all real. Don't hold back.
On the other list, write down the benefits, advantages and opportunities you have when more vegetables are on your plate each day.
Now, take one list and put it in a drawer. Take the other list and tape it up on your refrigerator. Read the list in the drawer once a month or once a year, just to remind you that it's safe and sound. Read the other list every day.
The daily list will determine what you notice, how you interpret what you see and the story you tell yourself about what's happening and what will happen.
You get to pick which list goes where.
Picking your list is possibly the most important thing you'll do all day.
To your best health,
Rock stars Deb and Adam have been talking up a new salad they created for months. They practically handed me all the ingredients one day so I could make this salad. It was delicious just as they said. Why, oh why, did it take me so long? I am grateful I made it before the summer was over. This is going to be hit for picnics.
D.A. Summer Salad
Mix, chill, and serve. Yep, it's that easy.
If you don't have access to a Trader Joe's, this will take a bit longer. You can also be creative as this recipe will work wonderfully with coleslaw mix, riced broccoli, or any blend of greens. You'll need about 6 cups of greens.
Creamy Italian Dressing
Mix all ingredients in a blender. If mixture is too thick, add either vinegar or water. Remember, your dressing will get slightly more liquidy as you toss it with your salad.
Place egg, dry mustard, salt and lemon juice in the blender. Add 1/4 cup of olive oil and whirl until well mixed. Slowly incorporate the remaining olive oil. Drizzle it in with as small a stream as possible. You'll hear it start to emulsify. Don't rush this. Be patient. Continue to blend until the oil is incorporated and your mayo is light and fluffy.
Who doesn't need to challenge themselves to eat more veggies?
Veggies are the triple win:
That's a triple win. Now I want you to eat more of these triple win foods.
Here's the ABC Veggie challenge. Your goal for the next 30 days is to place a check mark next to each letter of the alphabet (each letter stands for a veggie that you'll be eating). These are the rules. You can only check off one letter each day. You must have already eaten that vegetable before checking it off. For example, if I ate spinach today I could check off the S. I will have kale with breakfast tomorrow, so after I eat breakfast I can then check off the K. Its a 30 day challenge and only 26 letters so you have a bit of lee way. The vegetables listed are just ideas; you can pick another vegetable that starts with that letter. You don't have to go in order but you need to check off all 26 in 30 days. Who's up for the challenge?
A is for asparagus and artichoke
B is for beets, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts
C is for cucumber, carrot, and cabbage
D is for daikon and dandelion greens
E is for endive and eggplant
F is for fiddleheads
G is for green beans
H is for herbs of all kinds
I is for icy (came from the freezer)
J is for jicama
K is for kale
L is for leeks and lettuce
M is for mushrooms and mustard greens
N is for not bought in a grocery store (grown at home, CSA, farmer's market)
O is for okra and onion
P is for parsnips, peppers and peas
Q is for quiet when eaten (think raw crunchy carrot vs. softer cooked carrot - much quieter)
R is for radish, romaine, and rutabaga
S is for spinach and Swiss chard
T is for turnip and tomato
U is for veggies grown underground
V is for very spicy vegetables
W is for watercress
X is for an "xtra" serving of veggies
Y is for yams, yellow squash, and yellow peppers
Z is for zucchini