Celiac Awareness Month

Photo credit: Whatsername Via Flickr

Photo credit: Whatsername Via Flickr

Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease that damages the villi of the small intestine when gluten (protein in wheat) is digested.  The body is unable to digest the protein in wheat called gluten. This leads to damage in the small intestine, which disrupts the absorption of nutrients from food. When a person is diagnosed with Celiac Disease and continues to eat wheat (gluten), their body will continually attack itself. Basically the wheat (gluten) that you eat tells your small intestine to attack itself causing damage.

The outcome: malnourishment and other health problems.  What is the solution? A wheat and gluten free diet.  Since the body is unable to digest the protein in wheat called gluten, the person should avoid all products containing gluten.

Gluten can be found in: 

Wheat, wheatberries, durum, emmer, semolina, spelt, farina, spelt, farina, farro, graham, khorasan wheat, rye, barley, triticale, malt (malted barley flour, malted milk or milkshakes, malt extract, malt syrup, malt flavoring, malt vinegar, brewers yeast, wheat starch

Foods that may contain gluten:

  • Energy bars/granola bars
  • French fries
  • Potato chips
  • Candy/ candy bars
  • Soup
  • Multigrain tortilla chips
  • Salad dressings, starch or dextrin
  • Meat substitutes, pre-seasoned meats, or processed lunch meats
  • Soy sauce

It is extremely important when going completely gluten free to always read the label. On the label you will find the list of ingredients that may contain hidden gluten ingredients. So a word for the wise is regardless if it says gluten free, check the label yourself to be 100% for sure.

The good news about going gluten free is there are several brands and chain restaurants that are providing gluten free products. Gluten free products are becoming more and more popular. Along with the popularity they are becoming better quality as well.

Below you will find a recipe for Banana Bread. When cooking gluten free you will find that several recipes call for several types of flours. I have found that this can be extremely overwhelming and costly. The best substitute flour I have found is King Arthur Rice Flour. This flour can be substituted into just about any recipe. This brand has several different pre made mixes that I would highly recommend to the newly diagnosed celiac patient. 

Photo credit: Robyn Anderson Via Flickr

Photo credit: Robyn Anderson Via Flickr

Banana Bread

Ingredients:

  • 2 Small Bananas
  • 5 1/3 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1 Cup Rice Flour (King Arthur Brand)
  • ½ Cup Sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Milk
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp. baking Soda
  • ¾ tsp. xanthan gum
  • ½ tsp. salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8 in. square-baking pan.
  2. In a small bowl mash the bananas well and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl mix the butter and flour. Add all the other ingredients, including the mashed bananas. Mix well. (The batter will thicken as you mix it.)
  4. Pour into the lightly greased pan. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the banana bread tests cleanly.

Written by: Nicole Herrera, CDA-OD Fundraising Co Chair. Nicole is currently finishing her last year at California State University, Long Beach and will graduate with a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics in May 2015.

H2 O-Yea!

Photo Credit: Alessandro Demetrio via Flickr

Photo Credit: Alessandro Demetrio via Flickr

With the summer season fast approaching it’s important to remember to stay hydrated when the temperatures start to rise.  Our bodies perspire more during this time of the year due to the heat so it’s important to drink enough water.

How do you know if are drinking enough fluids? The amount of water a person needs varies depending on climate, type of clothing worn, and exercise intensity & duration. People who tend to sweat more will need to drink more than people who don’t. Remember, if you are thirsty, you’re actually already dehydrated.

Some signs of dehydration include:

  • Little or no urine, or urine that is darker than usual
  • Dry mouth
  • Sleepiness or fatigue
  • Extreme thirst
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness or lightheaded feeling
  • No tears when crying

What should you drink to stay hydrated? Water is the best option. Other drinks and foods can help you stay hydrated, but they might add extra calories such as fruit and vegetable juices. If you’re bored with drinking water add some cut fruit or vegetables to your H20 to spice it up, such as cucumbers, strawberries, or watermelon.

Tips to stay hydrated:

  • Keep a bottle of water with you during the day.
  • Always remember to drink water before, during, and after a workout.
  • When you’re feeling hungry, drink water. Thirst is often confused with hunger. Note: true hunger will not be satisfied by drinking water.

Written By: Julie Cho. Julie is currently attending CSULB as a graduate student and dietetic intern with plans for graduating with a Masters in Nutritional Science in May, 2015. She will complete the coordinated internship program in nutrition and dietetics (IPND) in July, 2015, with the goal of becoming a registered dietitian by the end of summer 2015.

National Nutrition Month 2015®

Photo Credit: Anthony Thomas Bueta via Flickr

Photo Credit: Anthony Thomas Bueta via Flickr

The NNM theme for 2015 is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle.”  This year’s theme aims to encourage everyone to adopt healthy, manageable lifestyle interventions that are focused on:

  • Nutritious, daily dietary choices
  • Making informed food choices
  • Getting daily, enjoyable physical activity

In order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease and promote overall health.

*Send questions about National Nutrition Month & Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day to nnm@eatright.org

Source: http://www.nationalnutritionmonth.org/nnm/

Written by: Brittney Widler, RD

Vitamin C and its Role in Health

Photo credit: John Delcourt

Photo credit: John Delcourt

During winter months the last thing we want to deal with is being sick. The big question is how can we prevent ourselves from becoming sick?

Practicing good sanitation habits, getting enough sleep, and eating nutritious meals are all important in the continuous fight to stay healthy and free from illness. Certain nutrients, such as vitamin C, play a vital role in how the body defends against illness and in the promotion of overall health.

Vitamin C has several roles in the body:

  • As an antioxidant, vitamin C defends against free radicals and oxidative stress.
  • As a cofactor, vitamin C is involved in collagen formation, energy metabolism, and in the creation of hormones.
  • When the body is under stress, such as dealing with an infection, physiological needs for vitamin C increase.
  • Vitamin C might also have an important role in the prevention and/or treatment of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, cataracts, and other diseases.

RDA for Vitamin C

Males (19-70+ years old) 90 mg per day
Females (19-70+ years old) 75 mg per day

Seek fruits and vegetables that are in season. Foods grown and harvested in season contain the highest amount of nutrients, such as vitamin C, compared to foods grown and harvested out of season. Check out the following link for typical winter fruits and vegetables grown and harvested in Southern California: California Crop Harvest Calendar

  • Oranges and mandarins are excellent sources of vitamin C and are in season and harvested in Southern California from January through April.  One medium-sized orange provides approximately 70 mg of vitamin C.
  • Beets are perhaps an unexpected vitamin C source and happen to be in season year-round in Southern California. One-half cup of sliced raw beets provides approximately 3 mg of vitamin C.

Choose vitamin C-rich foods every day to ensure adequate intake for overall health and to support a strong immune system.

The following recipe provides for a tasty and colorful way to get your vitamin C during winter months by combining tangy oranges or mandarins and earthy beets on a bed of seasonal mixed greens!

Beet, Orange and Mixed Greens Salad

Photo credit: John Delcourt

Photo credit: John Delcourt

Recipe by Sarah Delcourt

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 large beets (or 4 small beets), rinsed and scrubbed
  • ½ pound oranges (or mandarins), peeled with pith removed,
  • separated into slices
  • 4 cups seasonal mixed greens, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange (or mandarin) juice
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar         Photo Credit: John Delcourt
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil (for roasting beets)
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Place cleaned beets on a large piece of aluminum foil. Pour canola oil over beets and coat beets entirely. Wrap beets in foil and bake in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes or until a knife inserts easily into the center of the beets. Remove beets from the oven and allow beets to cool. When sufficiently cooled, peel the outer skin off of the beets and discard. Chop the peeled beets into 0.5”- 1.0” pieces and set aside.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and extra virgin olive oil. Taste the mixture and adjust the acidity by adding a little more vinegar or orange juice as desired.

3. Toss the roasted beets with 1 tablespoon of the dressing. Toss the mixed greens with 3 tablespoons of the dressing and arrange on a platter or in a wide bowl. Top the mixed greens with the beets, orange slices and feta cheese.  Drizzle the remaining dressing over the entire dish. Garnish with the chopped cilantro and walnuts and serve.

Written By: Sarah Delcourt. Sarah graduated with her Bachelors in Nutrition and Dietetics from California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), in May 2014. She is currently attending CSULB as a graduate student and dietetic intern with plans for graduating with a Masters in Nutritional Science in May, 2015. She will complete the coordinated internship program in nutrition and dietetics (IPND) in July, 2015, with the goal of becoming a registered dietitian by December, 2015. Sarah is passionate about nutrition and its role in promoting health and wellness.

Apps to Help you Stay on Track with your New Year’s Resolutions

Photo Credit: Manuel Joson via Flickr

Photo Credit: Manuel Joson via Flickr

It’s the beginning of a New Year, and time for a fresh start.  The top three New Year’s resolutions are to lose weight, eat healthier, and exercise more. However, it can be challenging to stay on track and stay motivated throughout the year.  Fortunately, with today’s technology some of the challenge can be alleviated to help us achieve our goals.  There is just about an app for everything ranging from food and exercise trackers to motivational and workout apps.

Top Rated Food and Exercise Tracker Apps

My Fitness Pal

Track your progress by entering your daily food and exercise from the largest food database of any calorie counter with over 4,000,000 to choose from.

Lifesum – Lifestyle Tracker & Calorie Counter

This app helps you make better food choices and improve your exercise by allowing you to enter your food intake and daily exercise. With a built in bar code scanner, you can input the foods you purchase from the store.

Lose It!

This invaluable tool can help shed some unwanted pounds put on with the holidays. Track your intake and exercise while connecting with others through their social features to help stay motivated.

Top Rated Workout Plan Apps

7 Minute Workout

For those of us who don’t have time to spend an hour at the gym, but would still like to get in some physical activity, this is for you.  The unique design of this app keeps you motivated, by only giving you three lives like any video game. If you skip a day, you lose a life. If you miss three workouts in a month your progress resets to zero and it’s game over.  No equipment required!

Radius Fitness

If a personal trainer is more your style, then check out this app. Follow the on screen videos featuring world-class trainers with personalized fitness programs, and unlimited options. Regardless of your fitness level they have something for everyone.

Strava Running and Cycling GPS

Track your running and cycling with GPS. Challenge yourself and friends by staying connected with their built-in social features. Track your progress by checking your distance, pace, speed, elevation gained, and calories burned. 

Top Rated Motivational Apps

Human – Activity & Calorie Tracker

Inspires you to move 30 minutes a day or more the way you want: walking, running, dancing, or cycling. Track your progress through your active minutes, distance covered, and calories burned. Human tracks your movements when you have been active for a minute or longer.

Step Buy Step

Step Buy Step is not just another pedometer. While is does keep track of your steps, it is also an adventure game.  Each real world step you take earns you Stepps.  With your accumulated Stepps you can purchase creature companions to join you on your journey.

Lift – Your Daily Coach

Lift coaches can help you reach your goal with over 200,000 to choose from.  Coaching ranges from simple reminders to hiring one of their 700 expert trainers.

Written by: Cortney Kaller, CDA-OD Fundraising Co-Chair

Nutrition and Immunity

Photo Credit: Pink Sherbet Photography via Flickr

Photo Credit: Pink Sherbet Photography via Flickr

The season for flus, colds, and illnesses is here. So what can you do to help prevent yourself from getting sick? Fortunately, proper nutrition can stimulate and boost immune function. Making sure you eat the right foods can help you fight off harmful infections and prevent sickness. Let’s get down to it—what nutrients can specifically help towards boosting your immune system?

Protein

Protein is needed for a variety of bodily functions, one of which is immune function. Particularly, antibodies are proteins themselves, and as such, the human body needs dietary protein to replicate and replenish these stores. Strive to eat high-quality protein from whole foods such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, legumes, and soy.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A helps towards gene regulation and plays a huge part in the health of membranes lining the mouth, intestines, and skin (which are all opportune places for bacterial activity!). You can find high amounts of vitamin A in bright-colored red and orange foods, such as carrots, apricots, sweet potatoes, as well as in spinach, kale, and foods that are fortified with vitamin A (milk being the most common). Make sure you get at least one good source of vitamin A every other day to help boost your immune system (and eye health, as everybody knows!).

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Photo Credit: Pink Sherbet Photography via Flickr

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is widely known as an anti-oxidative nutrient, and can thus fend off free radical activity. Vitamin C can also help with antibody production, making it a vital nutrient for immune health. Vitamin C is available from foods that contain citrus—oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes—and other foods such as red bell peppers, strawberries, blueberries, and cantaloupe.

Zinc & Folate

Zinc and folate are two minerals that can boost immune function. Zinc is widely known for its role in proper immune function as well as wound healing (which creates less opportunities for infection), and can be found in a wide variety of foods such as meat, fish, poultry, whole grains, and dairy. Folate primarily helps with cell division, and can ensure that enough immune cells are present to fight off infection. Folate can also be found in numerous foods—such as dark, leafy vegetables, meat and poultry, eggs, nuts, and beans—and was also added to enriched grains back in 1998.

Prebiotics & Probiotics

Pre- and probiotics can help foster beneficial gut microbes, which can prevent more dangerous bacteria from infecting the body. These can be found in many fermented and cultured foods, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, sourdough bread, and some soft cheeses.

Try and incorporate a bunch of foods that contain the above nutrients into your daily routine to help build a healthy and strong immune system!

Written by: Francis Dizon, Francis is finishing up his senior year at California State University, Long Beach and is pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. He is a firm advocate for health and fitness, and believes proper nutrition is key in disease prevention and long-term wellness.

Balancing the Holidays

Photo Credit: Michael Hall via Flicker

Photo Credit: Michael Hall via Flicker

When the holidays hit, everyone seems to worry about weight gain and how horrible they ate at a holiday party the night before. The guilt of holiday treats almost seems to take over and make us feel like we have ruined everything.

But why? Why do we make ourselves feel so guilty for indulging when the truth is, we want to eat that chocolate, and take a bite of the pie, oh and you can’t forget the eggnog that everyone says is “a must try”. Eating treats at special occasions isn’t the end of the world…nor is it going to make you gain 20 pounds over night. We shouldn’t make food about guilt and bad decisions, it’s okay to enjoy seasonal foods.  Now, I didn’t say its okay eat everything in sight, either.

What is important is making sure we maintain a healthy and mixed diet throughout the holiday season. Eating healthy is something we strive for at every meal, whether it’s including an extra vegetable, choosing whole grains, adding a fruit, or even taking a smaller portion. The point is, indulging at a holiday party is not what defines our overall health. If you want to taste that chocolate cake, go for it…that doesn’t mean you have to eat the entire thing. Split items with your spouse or a friend. Have one special drink and then switch to water. We cannot hide from the holiday parties, and many of us don’t have the will power to say “No” to everything (that’s okay- I sure can’t). It is not to say it is okay to eat every treat and sample every food offered, but allowing ourselves a few treats is okay. We must find the balance.

Here are some things to remember during the holiday season:

  • Choose fruits and vegetables when possible
  • Stay consistent throughout the day
  • Stay physically active
  • Don’t deprive yourself
  • Just because it is there, doesn’t mean you need to eat it
  • Don’t go on fasting diets just because you have a holiday party coming up, the theory doesn’t work, and its definitely not good for your body

Enjoy the holidays for what they are, bringing family and friends together. Many people love to make food for people, as it is their way of showing love and thoughtfulness…so don’t offend them and tell them you’re too good for their food. Balance the good with the bad.

Written by: Megan McGinnis, CDA-OD Hospitality Chair. Megan is currently finishing her last year at California State University, Long Beach and will graduate with a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics in May 2015.