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Nutrition from the Beginning

23 Jan

This semester has started so I thought it appropriate to start at the beginning of nutrition.  Hippocrates was the first to realize the important role diet plays in our bodies and how diet affects health.  Since this knowledge discovered in 400BC, the study of nutrition has become one of the “most talked about scientific disciplines.”*  A person’s body works best when the proper amounts of nutrients are consumed.  Nutrients are in food and are carbohydrates, fat, protein, vitamins, minerals, and water.  The body can create some of the nutrients it needs, for example Vitamin D, but there are 40 essential nutrients that the body can not make and therefore they must be eaten in order for the body to have them.  Are you beginning to realize the importance of a well-balanced and healthy diet?

I recently challenged you to increase your daily steps.  How are you doing with that?  I know that several areas of the country are freezing right now with the coldest temps in 2-3 years, but we all need to get moving–it’ll help you warm up! 🙂

*Boyle, Marie A., Personal Nutrition 8th edition. 2010.

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Let’s Get Moving

9 Jan

Did you know that 17% of children are obese?  That percentage is equal to about 12.5 million children aged 2-19 who are not just overweight, but who are obese.  The health issues related to being overweight and obese are many.  Some examples are joint pain, breathing problems, and cardiovascular disease. What child wants to deal with these issues?  What adult wants to live with these problems?  There are several factors that play in to how a person becomes overweight and obese, but two main causes are diet and exercise.  While diet is extremely important, so is physical activity.  One initiative to help get people moving is the 10,000 steps a day movement.  Ten thousand steps sounds daunting, but is equal to about 5 miles.  For adults, there are about 2,000 steps taken in each mile.  By parking a little further away, taking the stairs, walking to check the mail, and other small changes in our daily routine, we can increase the number of steps we take each day.  Cutting back on our sedentary lifestyle can increase our health and well-being.  So, today I challenge you to take 100 extra steps.  I think you’ll find that challenge one that will be easy to accomplish even if you have a desk job or stay at home.  For the next week, focus on increasing your step count (even without a pedometer) that extra 100 steps each day.  By the end of the week, think about how you feel.  Can you up your steps another 100 next week?

Altering Recipes

8 Jan

There are so many wonderful recipes out there!  Good news for those with food intollerances or allergies, many recipes can be altered some to fit your needs.  For example, the blog, Our Best Bites, often has some pretty delicious sounding and looking recipes but many times the ingredient list contains items that don’t work for my family–gluten and dairy.  Tonight’s dinner calls for some butter.  Instead of butter I can use either ghee (I buy this one at Whole Foods) or coconut oil.  Ghee is clarified butter.  Yes, it is lactose and casein free and therefore safe for those who need to be dairy free.  Ghee has a rich flavor and can be used in place of butter.  However, I choose not to bake with it because it is expensive.  I use it more to saute vegetables or to add a little bit to savory dishes.  When I bake I use coconut oil.  For tonight’s dinner, I will add some ghee because it will enhance the rich flavor of the bean dish.

For recipes that call for flour, doing direct substitutions can be tricky depending on the recipe and what is being used as the substitute.  If I’m making a roux or just need a tablespoon or so of flour, I will use either a rice or sorghum flour.  For baked goods I’ve been using coconut flour and almond flour much more.  With that said, know that you can NOT just substitute one of these flours in a gluten based recipe.  Most likely you would be very unhappy at the results.

If you have a favorite recipe that you are trying to convert but would like some help, I’d be happy to take a look at it for you.

Welcome!

7 Jan

Nutritive Wellness is where I share with you all the cool things I’m learning along the path toward becoming a dietitian/nutritionist.  Because several people know that I’m back in school (getting my second degree about a decade after the first one in elementary education) and that I have a complete over the top crazy passion for nutrition, I get asked many different questions, but lately a common one is, “How do I get started?”  Well, there are 2 approaches you could take.  One is all in and the other is baby steps.  Both methods have their benefits and I personally have used both methods for various reasons.  Last year, I quit eating gluten.  I went cold turkey on New Year’s day.  It wasn’t even really planned.  I just thought I’d give it a shot since I had read so much about the effect gluten has on the body.  Our second son had been diagnosed with Celiac Disease a couple of years prior and about the same time our oldest son was diagnosed with a severe dairy allergy.  The kids had been both gluten and dairy free for about a year, so I thought I’d give it a try too…at least the gluten free part.  So that has been my all in method.  My baby steps method has been used to increase our vegetables and decrease sugar consumption.  More on each of these soon.  So, while I get this site up and running with more and more information, check out the different pages, leave me a comment or two, introduce yourself, and feel free to ask any questions.  I love to talk food and nutrition!