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9 tips for avoiding holiday weight gain

Amongst the cheer and merriment, parties and soirées, often come unwanted extra pounds that sneak their way around our waistlines. The span between Thanksgiving and New Years are filled with traditions and an extra average weight gain of 1-2 pounds. It may not sound like much, but consider over the course of a decade that can lead to an extra 10-20 pounds.  That extra luggage then leads to another tradition - the New Year’s resolution to lose weight!

Stop the insanity and start eating smart. Simple lifestyle changes will put an end to the cycle of overindulging, weight gain, and feeling miserable once the season is over. It is said the best offense is a good defense. By practicing these time-honored tips, you’ll likely feel fulfillment without getting overfilled.

1. Plan ahead.

If you know the party you are headed to will lack healthy options (hello, cookie exchange!) have a low-calorie, high protein snack prior to attending a party. This will keep your appetite in check and you will be less likely to arrive ravenous and overeat.  Hummus with vegetables, whole grain crackers and low-fat cheese, a piece of fruit with natural peanut butter, or Greek Yogurt with high fiber cereal are a few great choices to tide you over. Pair foods that are high in protein and rich in fiber to keep you satiated longer. At the party, keep to light appetizers.

2. Host a healthy holiday.

Control the nutritional content of the meal by throwing the party yourself. Plan the dinner menu with lean meats and seafood, fresh vegetables, fruits, whole-grains, beans, and low-fat dairy. Use the opportunity to try healthy recipes from sites such as www.cooklinglight.com and www.eatingright.com (Ed. Note – check out our healthy recipe collection here or on Pinterest.) In lieu of a potluck, have party guests bring non-perishable foods to donate to the food bank.

3. Lighten up your menu.

Revamp your recipes by ...

No-Cook Meals for Multiple Sclerosis - Week 4: Southwest Chop Salad

It may be the last official week of summer, but this no-cook meal for multiple sclerosis can be enjoyed during any season. This salad’s simple ingredients are available year-round. Make it now and enjoy it again when you need a break from winter weather.

Recipe: Southwest Chop Salad

 

Super Food: Avocado

The oleic acid in avocados will help keep you satisfied and full. Oleic acid tells the body to ...

No-Cook Meals for Multiple Sclerosis - Week 3: Tuna and Fennel Sandwiches

It’s back-to-school time and this week’s no-cook meal for multiple sclerosis is a twist on an American childhood mainstay; the tuna fish sandwich. Instead of mayonnaise and pickles, this meal uses flavorful olive oil, tangy vinegar and fresh crunchy vegetables.

Recipe: Tuna and Fennel Sandwiches

 

Super food ingredient: Chunk light tuna

There is strong evidence that the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish can lower triglycerides and blood pressure. Make sure to choose “chunk light tuna,” which is three times lower in mercury than the solid white or albacore tuna.

Also choose water-packed tuna over oil packed. Some of the omega-3 fatty acids leak into the added oil and will be lost when you drain the can. Because water...

No-Cook Meals for Multiple Sclerosis Week 2: Gazpacho

Last week, I shared the first of a few recipes that are easy to prepare, and don’t require heating up the kitchen on a warm summer day.

Heat sensitivity can be a serious issue for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS), causing a temporary worsening, or exacerbation, of their symptoms.

This week’s no-cook meal is a tomato-based soup that is traditionally served cold. It’s chilled serving temperature makes it a popular dish for summer months and it’s veggie content makes it a nutrient-packed part of your meal.

Recipe: Gazpacho

 

Super food ingredient: Olive oil

Olive oil is ...

Why you should have fiber in your diet

Fiber is a general term for the various plant cells that give plants their structure – it helps trees stand up tall, and is what makes fruits and vegetables crunch when you bite into them. No fiber naturally exists in meats or dairy products; fiber is found only in plants. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, along with other foods such as whole grains, are good sources of fiber.

Benefits and Types of Fiber

High fiber foods help to...

Beat the heat! Easy, healthy, no-cook meals for multiple sclerosis

Many people with multiple sclerosis (MS) have heat and temperature sensitivity.  Hot weather, running a fever, strenuous exercise or taking a hot bath or shower can cause a temporary worsening of symptoms. The last thing you probably want to do the mercury rises this summer is turn on your stove or stand over a hot burner. Fortunately, many healthy meals can be made quickly without ever cranking up the heat in the kitchen.

Each week for the next four weeks, I will share a new no-cook recipe; each with in a healthy, low fat diet. Each recipe will highlight one ingredient as a nutritional standout with an explanation for why these foods should be included in your diet. They all make about 4 servings, but can be adjusted up or down as needed, and are ready in 20 minutes or less.

This summer, don’t let the heat be an excuse for skipping a healthy meal and going to the drive through. Instead, enjoy the air conditioning at the grocery store and pick up supplies for one of these healthy meals.

Let’s start with a simple salad containing nutritious whole grains:

Recipe: Zucchini and White Bean Salad with Whole Grains

 

Super food ingredient: Whole Grains

Whole grains are ...

Cook food right to fight cancer (and other health problems)

After exercise, nutrition is the top factor in prevention of disease, including cancer. Eating the right foods, in general, and the right specific foods during illness can have a profound effect on quality of life and also recovery.

The question is, however, which foods and spices are the most beneficial during cancer treatment and beyond.

The standard American diet is a bit heavy on simple carbohydrates. In addition, because it is also high in processed foods, nutrient deficiencies, like magnesium, Vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids, are quite common. In general, a shift towards diets containing ample portions of protein, complex carbohydrates, good fats and low simple carbohydrates (25 grams for women and 35 grams for men per the American Dietetic Association) and five servings of leafy greens and fruit is beneficial. Diets should include minimal soda as well as minimal artificial sweeteners. Whenever possible use high burning oils, like coconut oil, to cook with if you are frying foods. Using whole, unprocessed foods containing minimal preservatives are also a good bet. An example of this would be using real butter instead of margarine as a condiment.

Conventional cancer treatment ...

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