About California Dietetic Association - Orange District

California Dietetic Association (CDA), Orange District is the advocate of the dietetic profession serving the public through the promotion of optimal nutrition, health and well being.

All the more reason to love spring

We all recall the saying as children, “April showers bring May flowers.” But what else do April showers bring? Rainbows! This serves as a reminder to make your plate a beautiful array of colors.

FruitKebob

Photo credit: Mazaletel via Flickr

Spring can bring a great selection of fresh fruits and vegetables. With mangos, fennel, asparagus and rhubarb in the produce aisles, get ready to excite your taste buds! Take cues from your supermarket and local farmers market for what is currently in season as they will feature the latest harvest and will also be more cost effective for your budget.

Farmers Market

Photo Credit: Frank Kehren via Flickr

When you purchase produce in season, these fruits and vegetables will be at their peak flavor. Health benefits of consuming a variety of colored foods include antioxidants, flavonoids, vitamin and minerals, dietary fiber, and hydration which help to promote a healthy heart and maintain a healthier weight.
Creating meals rich in color takes only a bit of planning and motivation to be adventurous in the kitchen. I recommend this free resource to help with meal planning: Fruits & Veggies- More Matters. This easy to navigate website includes information on what foods are in season, characteristics of each fruit and vegetable, and tips on how to keep healthy when buying on a budget.
They can also be followed on Facebook in which they post great recipes and share beautiful photos to motivate you to get more fruits and veggies onto your plate and into your mouth.

Resources:
• Fruits & Veggies- More Matters:

http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/

• Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/fruitsandveggiesmorematters

Contributed by Rachel Lynn Martin, MS Candidate in Nutritional Science

For the Love of Chocolate: How to find moderation with Valentine’s sweets

For the love of chocolate!

For the love of chocolate!


Just when you thought the rush of holiday goodies was over, a wave of Valentine’s chocolates crept in your office and home. Before admonishing your loved ones for helping you break your New Year’s resolutions, embrace the extra treats as an opportunity to practice moderation with your sweets. Here are some tips to help keep you from overindulging on heart shaped sweets:

Eat Before you Treat: Having a full stomach and incorporating something sweet in your meal, like fruit, will make you less likely to crave a large quantity of sweets. Having a full stomach tells your brain that you have had enough to eat so that you are likely to choose less and smaller treats after a meal or snack.

Just Dip it!: Consider melting down some of your Valentine’s goodies into a creamy sauce to use for dipping fresh fruits. Strawberries, bananas and apples are particularly delectable for this fondue treat. Incorporating fruit with your desert helps you to feel fuller faster, as well as gives you your daily does of nutrients that we all need. This recipe for fondue may be a great dessert for your family. http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/chocolate_fondue/

Out of Site out of Mind: Avoid keeping candies on your desk or in clear bowls on your kitchen counter. When we see these beautiful treats, it is a constant reminder that we can always have more. Keeping candy out of site is also a good way to keep your kids from constantly being reminded that Valentine’s Day means more sugar.

Pick a number: Deciding how many piece of candy you want before you reach for the jar may help you limit the amount you actually put in your mouth. Picking a number makes it easier to say “No, I’ve had enough today” despite what your taste buds might be telling you. Don’t let this holiday ruin your commitment to eat healthfully for the rest of the year. Allowing yourself to eat candy in moderation keeps it from being a ‘forbidden food, which usually makes you want it more.

Fun Fact!!! Before you throw out the whole box you should know that there are benefits to a moderate amount of chocolate. Dark chocolate is rich in bioflavonoids and antioxidants, which help prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease and help to maintain blood pressure.

Written by Vallary Townsell, MS Candidate in Nutritional Science and Community Nutrition Co-Chair for the CDA Orange District Dietetic Association

Valentine’s Day Recipe: No-Bake Chocolate Pudding Tart

Vegan No-Bake Chocolate Pudding Tart

Vegan No-Bake Chocolate Pudding Tart

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. After your romantic dinner you can snuggle up with your sweetheart and enjoy a slice of this decadent silky chocolate pie.

“No-Bake Chocolate Pudding Tart”
From: The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.

1 Cup (235ml) Water
1 T (8g) agar flakes
2 T (16g) unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Cups (350g) nondairy semisweet chocolate chips,
Plus ¼ cup (45g), chopped into small pieces for garnish
12 ounces (340g) silken tofu (firm)
¾ Cup (150g) granulated sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1/8 t sea salt
1 Brownie Crust, recipe to follow
1 recipe Raspberry Sauce, recipe to follow

In a small saucepan, combine the water with the agar flakes and cocoa powder. Heat until the liquid reaches a boil, then lower the heat and gently simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until agar is completely dissolved. At this point, turn off the heat and add the whole chocolate chips. Let them sit for a few minutes in the hot liquid, then whisk thoroughly to blend.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the tofu, sugar, vanilla, and salt and process until smooth. Pour the melted chocolate mixture into the food processor and process until everything is thoroughly combined. Pour the mixture into the tart pan to cover the brownie crust. The chocolate mixture should completely fill the pan.

Let the filling set for a few minutes, then sprinkle the remaining chopped chocolate chips around the edges to line the pan. Place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes, or until completely set and cool. Unmold and serve with raspberry sauce.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

“Brownie Crust”
From: The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

½ Cup (65g) whole wheat pastry flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup Sucanat
3 T (24g) unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ Cup (60ml) canola oil
¼ cup (85g) pure maple syrup
2 T (30ml) nondairy milk
1 t vanilla extract
¼ t salt

Preheat the oven to 350® F. Oil a 9-inch tart or pie pan.
In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, Sucanat, and cocoa powder.
In a small bowl, thoroughly whisk together the oil, maple syrup, nondairy milk, vanilla, and salt. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing just until the dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened. Pour the batter into the prepared tart pan and spread evenly with a metal spatula or your fingers to cover the bottom of the pan. It will be a thin layer. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the crust comes out clean. Let cool before adding any kind of filling.
Yield: one 9-inch tart or pie crust

“Raspberry Sauce”
From: The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

2 cups (220g) fresh or 10 ounces frozen raspberries, thawed
¼ cup (50g) dry sweetener (Sucanat is a great options)

In a Blender, thoroughly blend the raspberries and sweetener. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Yield: 2 ¼ Cups

Submitted by: Carole Bader, RD

POWER UP! How to Avoid the Second-Half Slump

Feeling lethargic sometime after your main meal is common. Often called the “mid-afternoon slump”, this lull can hinder your work performance. Whether your shift is late or early, you will benefit from avoiding a crash. The key is to keeping your blood sugar stable to feed your mind and body consistently.
Here’s how to do it –
 
  • Begin your day with a decent meal. It takes more than a glass of orange juice to start the day! A little nutrition goes a long way, and a whole meal lasts even longer. Include complex carbohydrates and lean proteins, such as shredded wheat and low fat ham, or oats and egg whites. Breakfast is an opportune time to include a calcium-rich food like milk or yogurt, too.
  • Skip the buzz. Caffeine and high-sugar foods might perk you up temporarily but could leave you feeling flat later. Like riding a roller-coaster — the greater the rise, the faster the decline. The fall from a high feels like a slump, whereas if you maintain natural momentum there is less fluctuation in energy. Instead of short-term stimulants, opt for fresh, crisp produce for refreshment, or carbonated water for an effervescence lift.
  • Be sure to include a little protein with COMPLEX carbohydrates (usually those with more fiber) to keep your energy levels stable. Digestion takes longer so the supply of sugar into the blood is gradual. Snack examples are peanut butter on Wasa crackers, or hummus and whole grain pita chips.
  • Avoid large volumes of food. You know that feeling after a mega holiday meal? Yes, that’s your gut working hard on processing all that food means less blood for your brain to function, not to mention the boost in serotonin causing sleepiness. Keeping portions small-to-moderate means no “food coma” and better alertness.
  • And, of course, get adequate sleep and exercise!

Debbie James, MS, RD

Healthy Snacking During the Holidays

Healthier holiday snacking Image Credit: emma@vanillasplash via Flickr

Healthier holiday snacking
Image Credit: emma@vanillasplash via Flickr

Snacking is a great idea, but during the holidays when candy and sweets surround us, it may be tempting to snack more often than usual.

Is it hunger or something else?

Before reaching for a bite of something, ask yourself if you are hungry. This might sound silly at first, but remember that we don’t always eat because we are hungry. Sometimes we eat because we’re bored, stressed, or simply because something tastes good. Other times, we may be offered a holiday treat by a friend, but don’t want to say “No, thanks!”, so it becomes easier to accept that homemade delicious cookie (and then the second, and the third) without even hesitating to ask your body if it wants it.

“Lead me not into temptation”

Do you keep candy in your office? Think about where that candy dish is located if you do. Keep it out of your direct vision so that you’re not eating for the wrong reasons. When hunger strikes and if you should choose to have some, then you can make the conscious decision to go for it. An even better option would be to forego the candy dish in your office to lead yourself not into temptation.

Habits to pick up, for the holidays and all year.

You might notice that Registered Dietitians often have snacks on them. It is smart to keep your hunger at bay to prevent an out of control hunger attack, which can creep up when you’ve gone all day without eating. Before you know it, you’re ready to eat anything in sight not making any conscious decision on how it will make you feel afterwards or when enough is enough. Keep your metabolism active with eating something about every 4 hours or less.

Take a tip from the pros.  Carry a healthier, nutritious snack with you whenever possible. This does require a little thinking ahead, but it doesn’t have to be big. Start small, so you don’t have to worry too much about preparation when grabbing something on your way out the door. String Cheese, trail mix, a piece of fruit (think banana, tangerine, apple), or even a granola bar can all fit easily into a purse or bag or be tucked away in an office. Aim for snacks to be less than 300 calories, and whenever possible, avoid snacks which are sold in plastic packaging because these tend to be more processed and less nutritious.

When given the option to separate a small portion from the whole container, always do. You will have a better idea of how much you are consuming. This means if you’re at home on the sofa watching your television show’s season finale and you want to dive into the pretzels, take a small amount (say, a handful) and leave the bag in the kitchen. Or if you go to the theater to catch that great flick that came out on Christmas and the person with you insists on getting some buttery popcorn, get yourself a cardboard box and portion out the amount you think you should have, so that you’re in control.

Snacking is a great way to stay energized and control your weight, but only when choosing healthy options. With that said, it doesn’t mean you have to restrict yourself completely during the holidays.  Mindfulness, preparation, and portion control are keys to success when it comes to eating healthy.

Let them eat cake…but in moderation!

If you feel like you’re out of control with poor eating habits during the holidays, don’t beat yourself up or you may fuel the fire and continue to make unhealthy food choices. So you ate 2 pieces of cake at that wedding? Let it go, and do better the next day. Just remember that it’s okay to splurge now and then, but healthy snacking all year long will resonate to healthy habits carried through the New Year.

A great way to become more mindful of your snacking habits is to start keeping a log of everything you are eating, including how much and what you were doing and/or feeling. Keeping a food journal, even for a couple days, can help you tune into your eating and honor your hunger. Before you know it, you’re paying more attention to how much snacking and what types of foods you’ve been having long after the journaling ends.

For more advice on healthy eating, consult your registered dietitian. Gym memberships spike after the start of each New Year, but consider how much easier it is to make good food choices than to burn off the calories of bad food choices! Contact an RD in your area today to help you reach your goals and implement healthy practices to last a lifetime.

Written by Ladan Tehrani, MS Candidate in Nutritional Science and Community Nutrition Chair for the CDA Orange District Dietetic Association

7 tips for healthier holiday celebrations

holiday meal by The Vault DFW Flickr

How can you create a healthier holiday meal?

The holidays are a time for us to be around the ones we love, enjoy a great meal, and who knows, maybe even watch some football. But it doesn’t have to wreck your diet, and leave you in a food coma with your waistline bulging.

Here are some tips for keeping your holiday food a little healthier this year.

  • Eat light and healthy all week. On the days just before the celebration, eat lighter meals, packed with fruits, vegetables and lean sources of protein, and try to avoid extra calories wherever necessary to allow yourself more wiggle room for splurging on holiday deliciousness.
  • In the morning, start your day out with a solid workout. Go for a 30-minute run, a nice hike with your family, or check out local events in your area. In Orange County, a very popular turkey day event is the Turkey Trot in Dana Point. Burn some calories before the big meal and enjoy that dessert because you earned it!
  • Skip the Whip. If you like pumpkin pie, avoid the whipped topping, and save yourself up to 75 calories! The same goes for hot cocoa or alcoholic coffee beverages.
  • Substitute chicken stock for butter if you are making stuffing. Stuffing deliciously dangerous. It can pack anywhere from 300 to 600 calories in one cup serving, depending on your recipe. If you’re like me and you love stuffing, wait until the end of your meal to have some, so you won’t over do it, and put a small amount on your plate at a time.
  • Start eating your vegetable side dishes, like salad, Brussels sprouts or carrots, before the more carbohydrate-rich sides like corn bread, or mashed potatoes.
  • Avoid the gravy.  Instead of gravy on your turkey, try dipping your turkey in the turkey juice left over in the cooking dish. Instead of mashed potatoes and gravy, make oven roasted potatoes instead.
  • Don’t put too much on your plate at once.  Your eyes are always bigger than your stomach, and besides, what is better than holiday leftovers the next day?

What will you do differently this holiday season to make them healthier?

Written by:
Helen Villarino, Dietetic Student at California State University, Long Beach
Student Representative for the CDA-Orange District Dietetic Association

Rethink your child’s drink

Image Credit: paul goyette via Flickr

Image Credit: paul goyette via Flickr

Why do I need to think about what my child drinks?

  • Sugary beverages may cause dental cavities.
  • Drinking sugary beverages may make your child full. When your child is full, they will not eat other foods that have nutrients to keep them healthy.
  • Children who drink sugary beverages are more likely to become overweight or obese. Being overweight or obese can lead to other diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.  Limiting sugary beverages can help keep your child healthy.

What are sugary beverages?

The best way to determine if a drink is a sugary beverage is to look at the nutrition label.

More than 12 grams of sugar per serving = Sugary Beverage

Most sodas, lemonades, juice pouches, and sports drinks have more than 12 grams of sugar per serving. These beverages do not have the nutrients to help your child stay healthy.

What are some healthier choices?

Beverage             Recommended amount for children       Grams of sugar per serving

Water                     6-8 cups per day                                                  0 g
Milk                         2 cups per day                                      11 g + other essential nutrients
100% fruit juice      up to 1/2-3/4 cup per day                      6-9 g + other essential nutrients

Other tips:  

Add slices of lemon to water for flavor.
Use part water with juice.
Freeze a piece of fruit in an ice cube and put it in your water to add flavor.

For other tips visit:  www.sugarydrinkfacts.org

Written post: Molly Frantzen, R.D. – Clinical Dietitian

Fun and Easy Homemade Baby Food

As a dietitian, I felt obligated to make my own baby food.  So when my daughter, Brinley, turned 6 months, I knew it was time to start cooking or in this case, pureeing!  At first it seemed daunting to prepare and store homemade baby food, but I have grown to really enjoy the process.  I started out by purchasing a variety of organic produce at the local grocery store.

Shopping for baby's first foods

Shopping for baby’s first foods

The first food we introduced was avocado.  I didn’t have to do much to it.  I just mashed it up and mixed it with a little bit of oatmeal.  Brinley loved it!

First foods for babies

First foods for babies

We introduced a new food every 3-5 days.  Some other great first foods we tried included kale, peas, and sweet potato.  I steamed the kale and peas in the microwave and baked the sweet potato in the oven.  I then pureed them with a little bit of breast milk in my Magic Bullet.   They turned out great, and it was SO easy!  You could use any food processor or food mill to get a nice puree consistency.   I stored the purees in small containers or ice trays in the freezer.

Homemade Baby Food

Homemade Baby Food

We have also introduced carrots, green beans, bananas, peaches, apples, and butternut squash.   For more information and recipes about making your own baby food purees check out these websites:

Not only was making my own baby food fun and easy, but it was much more inexpensive then purchasing pre-made purees.  So have fun with it mamas.  Feel free to share your favorite baby food recipes with us.

Written by:  Julie Barette, MS, RD, CNSC

CDA-Orange District Immediate Past-President and New Mama

Ten Steps of Intuitive Eating

Brownie Decadence

Image Credit: *Ann Gordon via Flickr

Who hasn’t felt bad about themselves at some point in time because of their food choices?  We live in a country that values self-control and the Puritan work ethic, ultimately leading us to miserably stuff ourselves with self-loathing every time a hefty helping of delicious, perfectly gooey, warm, chocolaty brownie (gasp!) makes its way into our mouths.  The astonishing reality is that the guilt of overeating causes overeating.  What?!  Overeating causes guilt causes overeating causes guilt causes… well, you get the point.

According to authors and California Dietitians Evelyn Tribole (MS, RD) and Elyse Resch (MS, RDN, CEDRD, Fiaedp, FADA), the way out is the way back.  Through their Intuitive Eating program, they aim to help individuals reconnect with their innate signals of hunger, fullness, and satiety by guiding them along ten steps toward a healthy relationship with food.  The ten steps, according to their book Intuitive Eating (2012), are:

  1. Reject the diet mentality
  2. Honor your hunger
  3. Make peace with food
  4. Challenge the food police
  5. Respect your fullness
  6. Discover the satisfaction factor
  7. Honor your feelings without using food
  8. Respect your body
  9. Exercise – feel the difference
  10. Honor your health with gentle nutrition

The steps essentially lead the reader toward self-acceptance, an annihilation of food-induced self-depreciating thoughts, words, and actions, and whole-body awareness in regards to food.

Whenever I am asked for a recommendation for a diet or something useful to read, I initially direct people to this book and the accompanying website (http://www.intuitiveeating.com).  I commonly refer to this book as the “Bible” of our profession (so far no one has taken offense to that reference, so I keep using it).  I firmly believe, and science agrees, that healthy-weight maintenance is nigh impossible to achieve without first having a healthy relationship with food.  Intuitive eating helps to restore food to its rightful purpose: physical nourishment and, yes, pleasure (without the binge-inducing guilt back-lash).

If you are interested in looking into this topic more deeply, check out these articles:

“Food as Ego-Protective Remedy for People Experiencing Shame. Experimental Evidence for a New Perspective on Weight-Related Shame,” by Ting-Hsien Chao, Chao-Chin Yang, and Wen-Bin Chiou (Appetite, October 2012)

Embodied Metaphors and Emotions in the Moralization of Restrained Eating Practices,” by Sana Sheikh, Lucia Botindari, and Emma White (Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, December 2012).

Happy eating!

Heather M. Campagna

Dietetic Intern

California State University, Long Beach

What’s in a serving?

Photo by Jordan Shakeshaft for The Greatist via Flickr

Photo by Jordan Shakeshaft for The Greatist via Flickr

What’s in a Serving?

It can be hard to know exactly what you are eating.  When you go to eat, it can even get more confusing.  The “it” I am referring to is portion sizes. Portions have gotten drastically bigger throughout the years adding more and more calories.  It can be easy to order a plate of pasta only to later come and realize that you have just eaten your day’s share of calories.  Realizing how much you are eating and managing your portion sizes is a great way to start to eat healthy.

So how exactly do you know what you are eating without taking out your measuring cups or start weighing your food at each meal?   There are easy and quick ways to figure out how much you are eating without using any tools.  While these methods might not be as precise as weighing your food they will still give you a good idea of portion sizes.

Quick Tips to Measure Serving Sizes

  • Cheese is probably one of my favorite things to eat.  A serving of cheese is 1 oz.  So instead of taking your scale just look at your thumb.  An ounce of cheese is about the size of your thumb.
  • A salad is a great way to incorporate a lot of good stuff like veggies or fruit.  A serving of raw leafy greens is 2 cups.  One cup is about the size of your fist.  That means a serving of salad would be about 2 fists worth of greens.
  • Dressings or sauces can be easy to add but also an easy way to add up extra calories.  Be careful with adding too much at one time, 1 tablespoon of dressing is about the size of your thumb and can be around 70 calories.
  • When choosing meats try and chose lean cuts. A serving of meat is 3 oz which equals about the size of your palm.  The meat should also be no thicker than your palm as well.
  • Last but definitely not leas a serving of veggies or fruits is ½ cup.  This is roughly the size of a tennis ball or a cupped hand.

What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to serving sizes? Which tip did you find most helpful? What other tips have you learned when it comes to estimating serving sizes?

Written by: Amanda Sauceda, RD - CDA-Orange District President Elect 2013-2014