Jul 26

Diabetes and Womanhood

Granted I have yet to learn what it feels like to be in menopause and the likes, I surely know how to ride the insulin roller-coaster from past pregnancies, 12 months of nursing and frankly, being a fertile women. It’s not an easy road, and typically, with a normalizing cycle, my first sign I need to adjust my insulin based on hormone influxes (ovulating/menstruating) is a high blood sugar reading without good reason. Also, let’s be honest, there are a few cravings too.diabetesexpertmomnutrition

So is it fair to say it’s harder to be a female than a male in controlling blood sugars because our monthly hormonal, and eventually menopause changes? I don’t know, as I only know what it’s like to be in these shoes, but I fathom we all have our own challenges. Yet, what can a solution be or a plan for keeping and having the best blood sugars possible? Let’s see:

  • Basal testing. Have you heard of this, or tried it? To have the best A1C or best blood sugars, we want to ensure we are on the right dose of insulin, let it be multiple daily injections or an insulin pump.
    • Furthermore, it can also be helpful to have a second basal rate for the week before a female’s (on insulin) period. The extent of time to use a second basal will take some individual experimenting. Some woman will use a higher basal the week before and during a period, where others need less insulin as blood sugars plummet upon a period. Take notes each month, even if you just insert a few sentences in your calendar. We all say we will remember next month, but trust me, these notes will be handy. A quick example of how I use 2 basals: my normal, non-period basal is just shy of 10 units, and then my PMS basal is 11.5 units of Humalog. As you can see, I just need a pinch more of insulin, but it’s so helpful.
    • Know that with every month, the fluctuations and impact a period has on someone not only varies with the person, but can vary from month to month.
  • Enhance insulin sensitivity. How?
    • First look at lifestyle. Are you moving throughout the day (get your lymph system flowing), are you active enough, drinking enough water, sleeping 7-8 hours (at least), managing stress, engaging in positive things, socializing, etc?
    • We want to move every 30 minutes. This can be as basic as standing up to fill up a water bottle or using the restroom. A fast paced walk is even better. As soon as we start to sit, enzymes that help break down fat decreases by 90%, and if we were to sit for nearly 24 hours, insulin sensitivity drops 24%.
    • Drink half of your weight in ounces, and keep juices, coffees, sodas, caffeine to a minimum. If you want to have a cup of Joe, match that amount in water, and do not count this fluid intake towards the half of your weight/ounce goal. Being and staying hydrated is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to be your healthiest. Where is your water bottle?
    • Secondly, remove inflammatory foods from your diet. It’s becoming more common sense that processed foods and fried foods don’t optimize our health, but also assess how gluten, dairy, corn, soy, wheat, and eggs make you feel. Perhaps pull one, or all, of these out of your diet for 1-3 months to truly test. In the process flood your body with nutrient-dense foods. See below with more tips on diet.
    • How rich is your diet in magnesium? If like most Americans, it’s scarce, and therefore I have a standing recommendation for most people with diabetes and/or high stress, as magnesium is depleted with stress, to take a supplements, specifically, I like the drink Natural Calm.
  • Decrease PMS and menopause symptoms. PMS and menopause symptoms are not normal. Heavy cycles, extreme hot flashes, mood swings, weight fluctuations can be minimized by resolving the imbalance of hormones, blood sugar variability, resolving a nutrient deficiency and or better handling stress. Some basic thought starters to get going on this:
    • Eat within 30 minutes of waking, followed by eating every 3-4 hours. Eat more real food (produce, high quality fish and animal protein, good fats, lentils, beans), than processed foods, man-made oils and grains. In all strive for 6-10 cups of vegetables a day, chew your food, enjoy the gift of having readily available food and have some delicious chocolate. Have each meal highlight vegetables as the main dish, fill up on sides with satiating and delicious protein and fat. Also, do not be afraid of foods that are high in carbohydrates. Our thyroid thrives on carbs, and the best ones include starchy vegetables, fruits, legumes (if tolerated) and gluten free grains.
    • Nurture your liver. Yup the liver, our fat burning machine and hormone metabolizer. It’s hard to say which organ is the most important in our body, as one needs to lean on the other, but the liver is pretty high on the list. Help the liver out, by avoiding overeating, choosing high fiber foods, bypassing canola oil, sunflower/safflower oils, margarine and fried foods. Eat colorful meals and snacks and go easy on alcohol. I love sipping on dandelion root tea too.
    • Optimize gut health. Follow the advice on eating low inflammatory food, but also foods that feed your gut. This certainly includes carbohydrates (75-200g), and certainly probiotic and prebiotic foods. If consuming foods rich in probiotics isn’t realistic, consider a supplement. 

While there is loads more I can list, these are the top things to consider when you are feeling moody from hormones, and maybe even moodier with blood sugars that don’t line up.

Please share your thoughts on these recommendations, and let us know what works for you.

Cheers to you and good health,

Kelly

Resources:

http://www.diabetes.co.uk/periods-and-diabetes.html

http://www.medicalbillingandcoding.org/

 

Jul 17

Diabetes Support

In 2011 I was in an accident in Melbourne, Australia where I had to be taken under for a trauma surgery to my jaw. It may sound like blasphemy, but when I was in the OR bullpen (I am sure there is a more appropriate name!), the anesthesiologist was kindly telling me what they were going to do, and kept asking if I could remove my insulin pump and the entire site (a band aid like adhesive where a hairlike need is inserted into my skin so insulin could flow into my body).

I obliged. I didn’t want to take it off, because I knew for one, my backside is one of the best spots for my pump, and getting a good site that absorbs the insulin efficiently, for me then, was not a quick process. Above all, I was fasted for far too long, not thinking entirely clearly and was in severe pain despite the medication I was on and did not want to twist my body in the needed fashion to get a new site. Secondly, I assumed I had to manage getting a new site myself because this method of controlling my blood sugars was not common in Melbourne, a common wealth country where the government funded the medical supplies. Thirdly, I didn’t see the need. He wanted to remove it to prevent a bed sore/bed wound, and I knew I was a healthy 20-something and the surgery was not anticipated to be an all day event, or days event. So the anesthesiologist and I met in the middle. He took my pump, I left on my site.

While my blood sugars were tested throughout the 4 hour surgery, and I am guessing the range was flexible, I did not have insulin administered at all during that time. I have a vague memory post-op, which was late in the evening, of my Certified Diabetes Educator running into my room asking for my glucose reading because the pump removal was against her orders. Sure enough I was loaded with ketones, which thankfully recovered, but I could easily say, I was scared for my life. How could this top level trauma hospital in all of the country, let alone state, miss this? No doubt the doctor did call me after I was discharged acknowledging the mistake.

While this story has more details, and I will spare them, it is an example of a moment, and not the only one in the decades I have had type 1 diabetes, that I felt alone, without a team that I fully trusted to care for me entirely.

As a newly diagnosed 8 year old, a growing teen, a new college student transitioning to an insulin pump, a soon-to-be mom monitoring blood sugars throughout pregnancy (2x) like a hawk, I’ve met with many health care professionals shedding loads of advice on how to best manage my disease; and many tips are still with me, but also occasions when I thought, “I wish they knew how to do this 24/7, 365 and reconsider what they are asking of me.”

Where I am getting, and perhaps you can relate, I want to be your person, helping you in the journey of living with diabetes emotionally and therapeutically. It far more than a game of counting carbs and drawing up a dose of insulin or medication, or manipulating a diet to fit the need. I am currently working on a Diabetes Bootcamp, a 8 week program, focusing on best practices for taking care of blood sugars, including observations on insulin therapy, testing timing, basal testing, and the cornerstone of nutrition, including calculating calorie requirements, macro-nutrient ratios, unique to your lifestyle and medical history, and providing grocery lists, sample meal plans, accountability, stress management and more.

In the meantime, I am taking clients per usual as shown in my Services, and I will be sending updates as the Bootcamp progresses. Stay tuned!

Jul 10

FAQ’s When Working With Kelly

With our new location to Columbus, Ohio, we thought we would post some of our FAQs to help people understand the steps involved in working together.

WHEN AND WHERE DO YOU SEE CLIENTS?

I am located in Bexley, OH and meet with clients in the library or a quiet coffee location. However, I try my best to accommodate patients schedules by providing various times throughout the day including evening appointments. FaceTime or phone appointments are also available. Skype is not HIPPA certified and therefore not a recommended platform to meet on. If keen to do a video conference, Zoom or Chiron can be used.

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT IN A CONSULT?

An initial consultation will last an hour and will include a full nutritional assessment- diet history (Kelly will request a 3 day intake prior to the meeting), recent lab review/discussion, weight history, family history, lifestyle, stress and sleep management, patient goals and patient needs.

Nutrition follow up appointments will include nutrition recommendations (meals, snacks, recipes), nutrition counseling, and support.

HOW OFTEN DO I COME?

Each patients needs vary. Most clients follow up in 1-2 weeks initally and then may continue to come in weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or as needed.

WHAT SHOULD I BRING?

Before your appointment please fill out your paperwork. Kelly will email you all of the forms necessary in advance. These forms include: Food Log_Questions Form and Client Agreement.

WHAT PAYMENT METHODS ARE ACCEPTED?

Check, Chase Quickpay, Credit Card (Kelly uses Square), PayPal and Cash are all accepted.

DO YOU TAKE INSURANCE?

No, I do not take insurance. However, I can provide you with a Superbill to submit to insurance for out of network benefits so that you can receive reimbursement directly from your insurance company.

IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A REGISTERED DIETITIAN (RD/RDN) AND A NUTRITIONIST?

A Dietitian (RD/RDN) has obtained a minimum of a BS in Nutritional Sciences, completed 1200 hours of supervised practice in various fields, as well as, has passed a National Boards Exam administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. Registered Dietitians must complete continuing education to maintain their license.

A nutritionist is not a national title and there are no guidelines for being a nutritionist.

Jul 06

Hormonal Balance

I look forward to setting a few minutes aside most days to read one of my favorite e-newsletters from Mind Body Green. Have you heard of them? If not, head their way. They have a treasure chest of feel good health articles, covering diet to meditation to movement. Yet, getting to the topic of today’s post, after reading an article on foods to avoid for hormonal imbalance, I want to give feedback on one of the author’s, Alisa Vitti, statements. And to expand on the word “feedback,” I do not intend to suggest she is wrong, I am right, I just want to add more information to educate consumers as we are on the same team here.

The full article is here, but in summary the author suggests striving for hormonal balance by avoiding:

  • raw kale,
  • soy,
  • stevia (and I really appreciated this on the list as so many women are confused what to use as a sweetener, especially when they are pregnant),
  • red meat and
  • “cooling foods.”

Guess which one I want to address? Red meat.

I am not sure I am sold, as I have written an article on Pregnancy Staple Foods and included red meat (grassfed/organic) as a nutrition powerhouse.

After the listing of “red meat” in the hormone article, the author includes, “Many of my clients with PCOS have been told to follow a meat-heavy Paleo diet, but in my experience, this isn’t the best option.”

I agree with that –  a meat heavy diet would not be good for anyone’s long-term health, let alone hormone balance. Carbs are crucial for health. Yes, there are people fitting for a very low carb diet or a ketogenic diet, but carbs should not be the new weight-gaining phobia. In the 80s people learned to fear fat, and in the last decade or more, carbs have become the bad guy. However, carbs are needed for thyroid health, adrenal health, satiety/sleep and weight loss! Protein is needed, in a calculated/intuitive amount, and healthy red meat is a GREAT option.

All in all, I don’t have beef with beef if it’s sourced well, and I don’t want consumers to either. When able, purchase beef that is grassfed and organic (although, did you see the news on organic meat? Either way, it’s best to err on the side of caution and go with organic). So I think this is a great article, yet, I’d change up the wording of red meat, to avoid a heavy meat diet, especially conventionally raised meat.

Cheers to you and good health.

 

 

Jun 23

5 Snacks For A Metabolism Boost At Work

This post is coming from guest blogger – Daniel Pawlak, a writer for SnackNation

So, you exercise regularly and you eat healthy during meals, but you need that extra boost during the day to keep your metabolism going (and your stomach from running on empty).

Sounds simple enough, right? Yet, choosing healthy foods that boost your metabolism and don’t taste half bad can be a challenge, especially when there are so many tasty snacks in the aisle of the grocery store.

Eating healthy at work doesn’t have to be a struggle. In fact, a lot of metabolism-boosting snacks can keep your taste buds happy and kick-start your calorie burning. Here are five of the tastiest snacks to help you jumpstart your metabolism.

  1. Greek Yogurt

Ask any gym rat what the secret to building muscle is and they’ll answer with one word: protein. While consuming protein alone might not aid in boosting your metabolism, protein combined with exercise is great for building muscle and keeping energy levels up pre- and post-workout.

With twice the amount of protein as regular yogurt (15g per 6-oz container), getting enough protein is a breeze with Greek yogurt. It also has the added bonus of probiotic bacteria (which help you digest complex foods) and an amazing taste. Internationally acclaimed chef Maria Loi even uses it as a healthier substitute for butter in many of her baking recipes.

The one downside to Greek yogurt is that many commercial varieties are made unhealthy by the amount of sugar the brand uses. When looking for a good Greek yogurt, try to stick to plain, organic options and always be sure to check the label for sugar content. High sugar content could offset the health benefits of the yogurt.

  1. Almonds

High in protein, fiber, vitamin E, and a healthy source of calories, almonds both boost your metabolism and give you the energy to get through your day.

In fact, several studies cited by Livestrong suggest that daily almond consumption causes no weight gain and encourages additional calorie burning via exercise.

The one precaution you should take is making sure that you purchase plain almonds. Though candied, salted, and otherwise manipulated almonds might be more to your liking, the processes used to create these treats compromise the overall health of the food.

Additives like sugar and salt make almonds and other tree nuts much more unhealthy and outweigh the benefits. Therefore, always make sure you are buying raw, unroasted almonds for maximum health benefits.

  1. Certified Gluten Free Oatmeal

This favorite breakfast dish is not only filling; it is also great for your metabolism. Being both low in sugar and high in fiber, oatmeal will keep you full until your next meal, making you less likely to reach for the unhealthy snack later in the day.

According to Livestrong, the reason oatmeal is so good for keeping your metabolism up is because it is composed of whole grains and fat-soluble fibers. The complex structure of whole grains means that your body has to work harder to break it down, burning more calories in the process.

For additional flavor in your oatmeal, add some banana slices or antioxidant rich blueberries, both of which also boost your metabolism and add some flavor to this healthy snack.

  1. Hot Peppers

Ok, cards on the table: this snack will not be for everyone, especially for the faint of heart. For those who can tolerate the spice, though, hot peppers like jalapeños are great for boosting metabolism.

In fact, the very chemical that makes peppers spicy is what makes them great for your metabolism. Capsaicin works to speed up your metabolism by sending a chemical signal to your brain to get your heart beating faster and burning more calories.

But who wants to bite into a jalapeño in the middle of a workday? Not many are up to the task. Luckily, many jalapeño-flavored snacks have enough of a kick of capsaicin to give your metabolism the needed boost. Just be sure to check the label for any unwanted additives before you indulge!

  1. Beans

Beans, like black beans, chickpeas, red beans, and lentils, are incredibly high in protein and have valuable vitamins that help you boost your metabolism.

Vitamins B and zinc are both found in beans and increase testosterone levels, which increases energy and helps build calorie-burning muscle, according to famed workout guru Jillian Michaels.

Of course, eating dried beans doesn’t sound the most appetizing way to calm a hungry stomach. Luckily, many snack food companies have been making beans tastier by turning them into chips, or even flavoring dried beans.

One such company, The Good Bean, flavors roasted chickpeas and makes them into irresistible snacks for your workday. The healthiest way to consume beans, though, is to buy them fresh and cook them yourself.

Putting some of these cooked beans in a Tupperware container and taking them with you to work is probably your best option for a metabolism-boosting snack.

Keeping your metabolism going before or after your workout might seem like a challenge, but if you eat the right snacks and cook the correct meals, you are more likely to keep that metabolism running at full speed.

 

Author: Daniel Pawlak is a writer for SnackNation [http://www.snacknation.com], an office snack delivery service. His goal is to make healthy snacking fun, life more productive and workplaces awesome.

 

 

Jun 22

Crush of the Month – Thrive Market

I am sure you have heard of it, but have you tried it? I learned of Thrive Market over a year ago, but never saw the need as I am a savvy shopper sourcing groceries from Costco weekly and Aldi, with a few stops at Whole Foods and our local grocer. But with our recent move to Bexley, OH, where the trip to such stores is more than my past 10 minute walk in Lincoln Park, I have fallen madly in love with Thrive Market. Even more, I have learned of new great products.

Before I dive in and mention some of the new things i am trying, I’ll give an elevator description of Thrive.

Thrive Market is some of the healthiest consumer products (beyond food), that many health conscious consumers buy. It is in a way an online health store at Costco prices. The caveat with this is – it does come with a membership fee, but that is quickly earned back with a few purchases. Indeed, they also have (quick) shipping when you spend a specified amount with each order. If you want to learn more, head to their site. 

Onto some of my favorite monthly buys I get from Thrive:

  • Mushroom coffee
  • Natural mascara
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Sunblock for myself and kids
  • Sauerkraut
  • Protein bars and powders
  • Ghee
  • Vinegar and coconut aminos
  • Tea
  • Nuts and seeds – it’s nice to get these at a discounted price
  • Olive oil
  • Adzuki beans
  • Seasnax

And many more. Every time I get on their site or app, I find something new.

What are you crushing on this month?

May 25

Soak Up Health this Summer

This season lends itself to what I believe to be the healthiest few months for eating and lifestyle. More and more farmer’s markets become available, pools open, there are outside activities galore (camping, beach trips, evening walks, local races); I am sure I am preaching to the choir.

However, when it comes to food, the definition of healthy varies with many. I bet what I define as healthy is different than the chiropractor or nutritionist down the street. As a dietitian for almost a decade and someone with type 1 diabetes for most of my life, healthy food should be something that makes us thrive, nurture our blood sugar and gut health and make us feel good and happy. All in all, there are solid recommendations that overlap with many health conscious beliefs and practices, from my advice to Dr Hyman’s thoughts, the Wild Diet, pescetarians, paleo/primal folks, the no sugar, no grains crew, etc. Even if you do not fall in the few groups I listed, consider the below with your efforts in being your healthiest this season.

  • Give your innards a morning bath

I wish I could claim this metaphor, but I will give a shout out to the awesome podcaster Shawn Stevenson at “The Model Health Show,” for coming up with such. Aiming to drink 20-30 ounces of water first thing is good for your body, mind, metabolism, weight loss goals, blood sugar stability needs and energy. Yet, how many of us start with a cup of Joe? An easy way to do this is to place a water bottle on our nightstand or in a 20 ounce mason jar, so come morning it requires little effort to get the job done upon rising.

  • Eat local and seasonally

Think about how much flavor there is in a tomato now verses February. Is your mouth watering just thinking about it? Enjoy all the flavors and colors we have readily available this summer. The sooner we eat fruits and vegetables from when they were picked, the more nutrition the food can have in it. Vitamins such as A, E, C and B vitamins start to deteriorate as soon as the produce is cropped. Another bonus, eating local is good for the environment.

  • Focus on real food and fiber

While there are limitations with nutrition/food logging research, there are numerous studies supporting the conclusion that real food, that is minimally processed like fruits and vegetables support health more than any other food group. Being healthy is beyond the idea of eating low carb, low fat, or high protein, etc. Health is an umbrella of consuming needed micronutrients that energize our cells and allow us to thrive. Having fiber with our meals and snacks keep our weight goals easier, allow our food to digest slower, thus buffer the digestion of carbohydrates/controlling blood sugar and is good for our digestive system. Getting most of our fiber from vegetables is goal. Just tonight I had an awesome salad mixed with romaine, kale, red and green cabbage, carrots, fresh chives and basil, toppe dwith cracked pepper, sea salt, Italian olive oil and fresh blue berries. It was heavenly.

  • Soak up the vitamin D

Get in touch with nature, and not only have fun with this suggestion, but support your circadian rhythms. Exposing ourselves to nature can allow such things. As well, getting more vitamin D,means getting more sun, which can follow through as more activity. If you find it hard to be active enough in the day, especially during the work week, review some of Dr Axe’s tips on 20 ways to get in more movement. Link here. 

In closing, regardless of the season, eat intuitively, seek out activities that make you happy and hang with people who make you feel good about yourself.

Sources:

  1. http://www.myfit.ca/foods_that_speed_metabolism.asp
  2. http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/6-reasons-to-drink-water?page=2
  3. http://www.dorchesterhealth.org/water.htm
  4. http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/newsreleases/2010/august/clinical-trial-confirms-effectiveness-of-simple-appetite-control-method.html
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19335713

Apr 07

Recipe: Flaxseed “Grain-less” Granola

I picked up this recipe after reading “The Plan,” by Lyn-Genet Recitas. While I have modified the recipe to my liking, it was easy to make and currently my go-to afternoon snack. I mix about an 1/8 of the recipe with a clean protein powder/water drink and about 1/2 cup of frozen berries. This is a great snack on active days and when I know it’s going to be a later dinner. As it’s satiating, it’s a great balance for my blood sugar (to-date I’ve had type 1 diabetes for nearly 2.5 decades).

Curious to learn more about how I eat and how I maintain optimal blood sugars, check out my most recent published book. flax

Ingredient:

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cup whole flaxseeds
  • 1/2 T local honey
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • sea salt to taste
  • ½ cup raisins (optional – as noted, I prefer frozen berries)

Combine water and flax – let sit for 30 min. and mix again. Preheat oven to 275F. Add honey, spices, vanilla and flax together. Spread granola in thin layer on baking sheet and bake for 50 min. Reduce oven temp to 225F. Cut sheet o granola into clusters, flip and bake an additional 35 min., until thoroughly dry. Add raisins and store in airtight container. Or omit this step and add fresh or frozen fruit when enjoying the recipe. Have as a cereal with coconut milk or blend protein powder with water to increase the protein amount of the snack/meal. As a meal this makes 4 servings, as a snack, makes 8.

Apr 05

Weight Loss Food Myths

If you didn’t catch my social media posts about an interview I had with Redbook Magazine, catch the details here. 

9 “Healthy” Foods That Are Actually Destroying Your Weight Loss Goals

Like that cup of yogurt, for starters. 

You know that all-too-familiar feeling: The one when you desperately need a snack, so you pour a quick bowl of whole-grain cereal or grab a bag of pre-portioned pretzels. Smart, right? Ehhh. It might make you even more hungry, unfortch. “When you eat processed carbs (anything made with refined grains, flour, or wheat), your blood sugar rises quickly because there’s little to no protein or fiber,” says Akilesh Palanisamy, M.D., an integrative medicine physician and author of The Paleovedic Diet. What’s worse: They could be sabotaging your weight loss goals, wreaking havoc all over your digestive system and making it virtually impossible to lower that number on the scale. So read on to learn more about the foods you thought were a wise choice—especially when you just need something other than kale—and what you can swap ’em out for instead.

Quinoa Chips

This new-to-the-scene snack food features all the buzzwords that make it sound like the ultimate healthy snack: It’s asuperfood! And gluten-free! There’s protein and fiber! The problem: They’re basically corn chips with a little quinoa thrown in, says Kelly Schmidt, R.D., a nutritionist and blogger at Paleo Infused Nutrition. And the quinoa itself has been so highly processed that it’s lost the nutritional boost that made it healthy in the first place. Need proof? Just compare the stats of one cup of cooked quinoa (8g protein, 5g fiber) to one serving of quinoa chips (1g protein, less than 1g fiber)—and then listen to your stomach make noise because it’s still going to be hungry.

The better choice: Beyond nuts and seeds, there are plenty of ways to get that crunchy texture. Choose super-portable whole fruit like an apple or pear, or go for freeze-dried fruit—it has a sweeter, crispy taste and way less sugar than dried fruit, says Schmidt. Bonus: They’re not super perishable, so they can be the go-to snack in your purse for a few days.

Microwaveable Popcorn

Nutritionists always say popcorn is ahealthy snack, and it is, so long as it’s made right. “The microwaveable kind has cancer-causing chemicals in them,” explains Palanisamy. One is called PFOA, which the EPA says is likely a cancerous carcinogen that’s found in the plastic of the bag. The other is in the butter flavor, and it’s known as diactyl, an organic compound that’s been linked with breathing issues and lung disease, thus making “popcorn lung” a real—and serious—health concern.

The better choice: Still go for the fiber-filled popcorn, just DIY it on the stove (using heart-healthy olive oil) with an air popper like this one from Cuisinart. And don’t be afraid to play with flavors, asadding in spices like turmeric or cinnamon can kickstart your metabolism without adding calories.

Fat-Free Cheese or Greek Yogurt

The obsession with low- and no-fat products we had in the ’90s still lingers, but reaching for them isn’t better than grabbing the full-fat kind. Researchers found that people who ate full-fat dairy tend to have lower body weight, less weight gain, and a lower risk of obesity compared to those who continued the fad. They think it’s likely because when you remove fat from dairy, you also strip away beneficial fatty acids that can help you feel full, so you end up eating more in the long run. Plus, a lot of people opt for flavored yogurt, which has tons of sugarthat, once again, put your blood sugar on a crazy roller coaster ride.

The better choice: Go full-fat—and don’t feel one stitch of guilt about it. As for flavor, mixing in natural foods like fruit, honey, or coconut chips can take your spoonful in whichever direction you crave.

 

Pretzels

 These salty bites may sound like a smart snack since they’re lower in fat and calories than potato chips, but they actually won’t do your waistline any favors. “They don’t contain any nutrients,” says Palanisamy. “They’re basically all carbs and loaded with sodium,” so they’ll put your blood sugar on a roller coaster ride, spiking your levels sky-high only to make you hungry as soon as it drops back down.

The better choice: Coconut chips, says Schmidt. Never heard of ’em? Get acquainted, as these babies are filled withhealthy fats to keep you full. And while they’re typically sweet, savory lovers can get in on the action now as brands likeDang Foods offer up flavors like bacon or chili lime.

Vegetable Chips

Chips made with sweet potato, beets, or parsnip—those ought to be healthy, what with vegetables being the primary ingredient and all. But Palanisamy says they’re pretty high in fat—around 9g per serving—and it’s not the good kind. The oils used range from canola to sunflower or safflower, all of which contain omega-6 fatty acids, which promote inflammationthat’s been linked with autoimmune diseases, heart disease, cancer, insulin resistance, and weight gain. Plus, the whole reason you’re eating them—because you want those good-for-you nutrients from the veggies—is a farce. Palanisamy says the chips have been stripped of those benefits, and they provide no protein and little-to-no fiber.

The better choice: If you’re craving the crunch, go for a handful of nuts (almond or macadamia) or seeds (sunflower or pumpkin) instead, says Palanisamy. Yes, they’re high in fat, but it’s the healthy omega-3 kind associated with heart health, lower risk of cancer, lower blood pressure, and reduced inflammation.

Rice Cakes

These have the perpetual stigma of being a smart, low-cal “diet food,” and sure, they’re not the worst idea in the world. “Rice cakes can make a good snack for people who are transitioning toward agluten-free diet if it’s a smart health decision for them to do so,” says Schmidt. But since they’re high in carbs, they’re high on the glycemic index, and a recent study found a potential link between high-glycemic foods and lung cancer. Not to mention high-glycemic foods tend to cause your blood sugar to spike, then crash, which makes you hungry all over again shortly after you snack.

The better choice: Top your rice cake with almond butter or mashed avocado to give it some staying power, suggests Schmidt. The spreads contain healthy fats and protein, which will keep you full longer and your blood sugar from rising too quickly.

Cereal

Truth: The breakfast staple usually plays a major role in taming mid-afternoon hunger because it’s fast, convenient, and you can eat it straight from the bag. But therein lies the danger—it’s super easy to eat a reasonable portion, and then some more, and more after that. Then you’ve blown over 200 calories on an unsatisfying snack, because most of the time it’s made from refined grains that aren’t rich in nutrients, says Palanisamy. Another problem: Boxes tout being “high in fiber,” but it’s usually insoluble fiber that’s been shown to cause irritation in the gut, bloating, and other GI issues, he adds. Healthier, soluble fiber is what you find in foods like barley or beans.

The better choice: Make a bowl of plain oatmeal as it has the soluble fiber that can reduce your risk of heart disease and help food move along your GI tract (not to mention nix bloat and constipation), says Palanisamy. Ramp up the flavor—and score extra nutrients—by adding berries and chia seeds, which have a high level of omega-3s.

Popped Chips

Sadly, “popping” chips instead of baking or frying them doesn’t make much of a nutritional difference, says Palanisamy. Yes, they slash the fat content in half compared to regular potato chips, but they don’t offer any micronutrients, like vitamins and minerals, and their paltry fiber and protein quotas (1g of each)—not to mention calorie count—is comparable to what you find in a serving of the regular stuff.

The better choice: First, figure out if you’re actually hungry. Schmidt says people often reach for processed snacks when it’s a craving, and not true hunger. Ask yourself, “Would I eat carrots or an apple right now?” If the answer is yes, trythese junk food swaps. If not, grab a glass of water instead.

100-Calorie Snacks

Seems like a genius idea: Grab a bag and you have a pre-portioned, calorie-conscious snack at your convenience for those times you’re craving dessert. But you’re better off grabbing a more caloric snack that has tons of nutrients to actually keep you full. “When you’re eating a small 100-calorie bag of cookies or crackers, you’re not really getting what you want,” says Schmidt. And that makes you much more likely to reach for another, and another, and another.

The better choice: “If it’s not a whole food, it’s not worth your money,” says Schmidt. If dessert is what you’re after, try foods that are naturally sweet, like dates stuffed with peanut butter or any of these healthy options.

Mar 30

We Are On the Move

For any viewers I do not have your email, please see an update below I sent out last month. If you would like to be notified of any of my updates, please send me an email to Kelly@Paleoinfused.com.

Hi Friend,

I am sending this email with a heavy heart as my family and I are starting the process of relocating to Columbus, Ohio. As you likely know, Chicago is a city like no other, and I trust that is because of the lovely people that live here. Furthermore, this was the perfect place for me to start my practice, and I have you to thank for that. I look forward to carrying my experiences on and expanding my services come Fall of this year in Ohio.

As this change means I will no longer be in Lincoln Park come May, please know I am still accessible and interested in continuing helping you. I am also using this summer and opportunity to reconsider how to help more people, more often, going along the lines of creating more FREE content and communities for my viewers. I will still be doing remote counseling and plan to join the Columbus, Ohio local JDRF committee, but want to push myself to new heights. Stay tuned and I will do my best to keep you updated, while not spamming you.

On this note, I have had clients suggest business ideas to me – if you are interested in a RD tackling something you see a need for and I am fitting, let me know what that is. It can be from a new book idea (a client told me to write a book on “Honey I shrunk my A1C%,” for example) to a health workshop, etc. I am all ears here.

I am ever so thankful for you and being able to practice something I love.

Shall your kitchen ongoing be your pharmacy and your grocery list, be your prescription pad. I hope to stay in touch.

Healthy regards,
Kelly

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