Healthy Road Trip Snacks

Going on a road trip this summer? Here are a few healthy snacks you and your family can enjoy!
Ants on a log: This snack is perfect for any age.  Prepare these treats ahead of time by taking a slice of celery, swiping it with peanut butter, and adding a few raisins on top. Put them into a closed container and you’re ready to hit the road!
Veggies or wheat thins and hummus dip: Carrot sticks, celery, and broccoli can easily be chopped in advance and tossed in your cooler. Each vegetable go well with hummus, the traditional Middle Eastern dip made from chickpeas. With 63% less fat than ranch dressing, this dip makes veggies more delightful without the empty calories.
Popcorn: Don’t have time to prepare a snack? Companies offer packaged popcorn with light flavoring. It’s a better alternative to potato chips, especially if you pick up a low-sodium variety. It is low in saturated fats and cholesterol, but high in fiber. A great snack that only takes a minute! 

Don’t forget to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated!!

Posted by: SSG


Artificial Sweetners- For Diabetics

Sweeteners, whether they be nutritive which provide calories, or non-nutritive which do not provide calories, are added to a multitude of foods and beverages. Nutritive sweeteners fall under the category of foods called “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Non-nutritive sweeteners, more commonly referred to as artificial sweeteners, have been used for decades to add a sweet flavor to foods without adding significant calories or promoting tooth decay. Many foods containing artificial sweeteners still have calories and carbs, so be sure to check the nutrition facts label.
There are five artificial sweeteners that have been tested and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA):
  • acesulfame potassium (also called acesulfame K)
  • aspartame
  • saccharin
  • sucralose
  • neotame


 Posted by: SSG



Making healthy choices can be a challenge. Here are just a few facts on foods that may taste better, but not be the best choice.
Grilled vs. Fried Chicken
Roasted or grilled chicken is a better choice than fried or breaded chicken because it is lower in calories and fat.
Wheat vs. White Pasta
Whole wheat pasta, like whole wheat bread, has soluble fiber, which may help lower cholesterol. There is a possibility it may help you stay full longer.
Sweet vs. White Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a better nutritional choice than white potatoes because they have a lower glycemic index, which means the effect on blood sugar is slower. Sweet potatoes also contain beta-carotene and Vitamin A.
Posted by: SSG

Importance of Family Meals with Adolescents

Did you know that family meals have a great impact on your children becoming overweight? When families have dinner together at home, they tend to eat more fruits and vegetables. When younger kids eat healthy dinners with their families, they are less likely to become overweight. By practicing dining at home with fresh cooked meals at the dinner table, the child will most likely start making better healthy choices as they become older. If a parent is constantly buying fast food for their child, they will only demand fast food over time.
Two cross-sectional, direct observational studies examining interpersonal dynamics at family meals with overweight children found that families with an obese child had difficulties with interpersonal dynamics during the family meal time, such as managing family members emotions, interpersonal involvement, parental discipline, and role division during family meals as compared to family with non-overweight children.
Here are some key points to induce great family dinners:
  • Make it enjoyable. Leave the serious discussions for another time. Family meals are for nourishment, comfort, and support.
  • Use the crock pot. Put everything together before leaving for work in the morning. You’ll come home to the delicious smell of a cooked meal.
  • Avoid portion distortion. Keep serving sizes under control, whether you’re at home or eating out.
  • Get the family involved. Let kids help prepare meals and set the table.
  • Keep it simple. Family meals don’t have to be elaborate. Work salads and vegetables into meals. Focus on familiar favorites!


Posted by: SSG


Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia nervosa is a frequent and routine pattern of behavior which involves binging on a large amount of food in a short time period followed by purging via vomiting or laxatives. Individuals will generally binge on what ever food is available, it does not need to be something particularly good or enticing. They may make a special trip to the store to purchase binge foods which can makes this disorder very costly.

Discussions of binge episodes in my office include 8-12 bagels with cream cheese, bags of cooked frozen vegetables, 6-8 donuts, large bags of chips with salsa, entire box of girl scout cookies (this is obviously seasonal) several slices of bread and butter or excessive amounts of grahm crackers or saltines. This food is consumed with no connection to hunger or fullness — it is all about the emotions and feelings of the moment.

Signs of binging and purging:

  •  disappearance of large amounts of food in short time periods, evidence of food/candy wrappers or empty containers of food..
  • Frequent trips to the bathroom immediately following meals,
  •  odor of vomitting or frequently brushing teeth to disguise the odor of vomitting ,use of breath mints,
  • purging may take place in trash bags kept in their car,stop by public restrooms or purge in the bushes outside a home.
  •  You may also notice swelling of the teeth or jaw area due to frequent vomiting.
  • Purging may be in the form of laxative abuse, or excessive exercise which are also methods to rid the body of calories.

Bulimia nervosa can be extremely harmful to your entire body. Your digestive tract will be negatively impacted from excessive food intake and recurrent purging in short time periods. Muscle spasms, esophogeal tears, abdominal bloating, cardiac arrhymthmia, kidney damage, frequent dental problems, increased cavities, loss of tooth enamel will be common.

The new DSM-V diagnostic criteria for bulimia nervosa indicates the binge eating and compensatory purging behaviors both occur on average, at least once per week for 3 months

If your binge purge behavior continues for months and months you may eventually discover your food comes up naturally and it is difficult to keep anything down. I have seen this in my practice and it is an extremely dangerous situation. Following months and years of binging/purging anything the patient tries to consume be it water, gatorade, cereal bars, chicken, fruit, vegetable all come back up within a few minutes of eating. This is very scary and frightening for the eating disorder patient to realize what they have done to their body functioning.

The first time you decide to experiment with purging following food intake — call and get help immediately. Do not let this behavior grow into a torrential monster which can consume and devour your life! cb

Summer Snow Cone!

Mango Strawberry Snow Cones
Prep Time: 10 mins
Yield: 4 servings
2 mangoes, peeled and chopped
1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 lime juiced, plus wedges for garnish
Fill a food processor with ice. Process until the ice is very fine, like snow. Add the mangoes and strawberries and pulse to blend. Pile the crushed ice into dessert glasses or dishes and squeeze over the lime juice. Garnish with lime wedges; serve immediately.

Posted by: SSG 


Long-Term Effects of Protein Shakes


Protein drinks are being advertised as a way to boost fitness, and that marketing targets everyone from body builders to teenagers. According to a new study, over-consuming some of those products could be dangerous, and may cause health problems over time. The investigation found some contain things like arsenic, cadmium, and lead. Experts say too much protein can lead to:

  • Dehydration
  • Digestive problems
  • Increase your risk for osteoporosis
  • For some people, cause kidney problems.
Consumer Reports says three products were of particular concern. Consuming three servings a day could result in exposure to arsenic, cadmium or lead that exceed proposed limits for contaminants:
     • Eas Myoplex (Arsenic, Cadmium)
     • Muscle Milk-Chocolate (Cadmium, Lead)
     • Muscle Milk-Vanilla Creme (Lead)
Urvashi Rangan, Consumer Reports, said, “What we’re concerned about here is the chronic low level exposure of a heavy metal. And what people should know, is that heavy metals, once they come into our bodies, once they’re metabolized, they tend to stay there for a long period of time.”
There other ways to get protein at a cheaper price, such as:
• Half a chicken breast (27 grams of protein, 62   cents per serving) 
 • Three glasses of milk (23 grams of protein, 60 cents per serving)
• Three scrambled eggs (20 grams of protein, 46 cents per serving)


 Posted by: SSG

Immune-Boosting Nutrition!


Maintaining good nutrition is essential to a strong immune system. This will offer protection from seasonal illnesses, health problems, such as arthritis, allergies, abnormal cell development, and cancers.  
Protein is part of the body’s defense mechanism. Include protein into your diet, such as,  seafood, lean meat, poultry and eggs.
Vitamin A will help regulate the immune system and protect you from infections by keeping skin and tissues in your mouth, stomach, intestines and respiratory system healthy. Foods that provide Vitamin are sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, spinach, and many more.
Vitamin C protects you from infection by stimulating the formation of antibodies and boosting immunity. Vitamin C foods include, citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit and tangerines, or red bell pepper, papaya, strawberries, tomato juice or foods fortified with vitamin C, such as some cereals.
Vitamin E works as an antioxidant, neutralizes free radicals and may improve immune function. Include vitamin E in your diet with fortified cereals, sunflower seeds, almonds, and many others. 
 Posted by: SSG

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

 Maintaining a diet high in anti-inflammatory foods can ease the adverse reactions to medications, but it also adds a healthy and tasty mix of foods into your meals. These foods also supply us with essential vitamins and minerals that help boost our immune system.
Turmeric:This powerful Asian spice contains a natural anti-inflammatory compound, curcumin, which is often found in curry blends. It is said to have the same effect as over-the counter pain relievers (but without their side effects).
Green Tea:Like produce, this tea contains anti-inflammatory flavonoids that may even help reduce the risks of certain cancers.
Sweet Potato:A great source of complex carbs, fiber, beta-carotene, manganese and vitamin B6 and C, these potatoes actually help heal inflammation in the body.
Blueberries:Blueberries not only reduce inflammation, but they can protect the brain from aging and prevent diseases, such as cancer and dementia. Aim for organic berries, as pesticides are hard to wash away due to their size.
These are just a few of the anti- inflammatory foods!


Posted by: SSG


The DASH Diet

DASH: which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension was a study of the effect of different dietary patterns on reducing high blood pressure. Researchers found that volunteers who followed the DASH diet had significantly lower blood pressure after just a few weeks.
Here are some tips to get you started on the DASH diet:
  • Add a serving of vegetables at lunch and at dinner.
  • Add a serving of fruit to your meals or as a snack. Canned and dried fruits are easy to use.
  • Use only half your typical serving of butter, margarine, or salad dressing, and use low-fat or fat-free condiments.
  • Drink low-fat or skim dairy products any time you would normally use full fat or cream.
  • Limit meat to 6 ounces a day. Try eating some vegetarian meals.
  • Add more vegetables and dry beans to your diet.
  • Instead of typical snacks (chips, etc.), eat unsalted pretzels or nuts, raisins, low-fat and fat-free yogurt, frozen yogurt, unsalted plain popcorn with no butter, and raw vegetables.
  • Read food labels carefully to choose products that are lower in sodium.
  • Eating more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods
  • Cutting back on foods that are high in saturated fat, cholesterol, and trans fats
  • Eating more whole grain products, fish, poultry, and nuts
  • Eating less red meat (especially processed meats) and sweets
  • Eating foods that are rich in magnesium, potassium, and calcium
Interested staying on the DASH diet? Here are some suggested serving amounts for the diet.
  • Grains: 7-8 daily servings
  • Vegetables: 4-5 daily servings
  • Fruits: 4-5 daily servings
  • Low-fat or fat-free dairy products: 2-3 daily servings
  • Meat, poultry, and fish: 2 or less daily servings
  • Nuts, seeds, and dry beans: 4-5 servings per week
  • Fats and oils: 2-3 daily servings
  • Sweets: try to limit to less than 5 servings per week
Reduce your blood pressure starting today! 
Posted by: SSG