Category Archives: Nutrition

Steps to Better Blood Sugar

Posted on: November 21, 2016

If you are at risk of developing or have been told you have pre-Diabetes it is imperative to learn lifestyle changes to prevent or delay the diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes. Here are 4 ways to achieve better blood sugar control and a better awareness. By Registered Dietitian and Outpatient Nutrition Program Coordinator at Northern Westchester Hospital, Pat Talio, MS, RDN, CDN, CDE. 

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Controlling Blood Glucose with the Glycemic Index

Posted on: November 14, 2016

The Glycemic Index (GI) – Think of a ranking system in which foods are measured based on how quickly they raise blood sugar and keep you satiated. Though some aspects of the GI diet still remain in question, it is important to know how to choose foods with kinder, milder effects on blood sugar – something this diet does well. Read on to find out more about the Glycemic Index and its effectiveness for maintaining normal glucose levels. By Northern Westchester Hospital’s Clinical Dietitian and Outpatient Nutrition Program Coordinator, Pat Talio.

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Staying Healthy without a Fad Diet

Posted on: November 8, 2016

Adopting a healthy lifestyle and getting your weight under control is a goal for many. It is particularly important for those concerned with Type II diabetes prevention or self-management. With so many fad diet programs and books available to you, how do you choose the best one? You don’t have to. While low carb diets like Atkins, South Beach, and Dukan are widely accepted for weight loss – eating healthy and staying consistent is the key to diabetes prevention. Here, I’ll give you tips to maintain a healthy lifestyle without the drawbacks that may come with fad diet programs. By Jill Ashbey-Pejoves, MS, RD, CDN, CDE, Northern Westchester Hospital.

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A Frightful Evening for Health-Conscious Parents

Posted on: October 31, 2016

It’s the morning of October 31st and our tiny ghouls, goblins and ghosts are waiting in anticipation for the school day to be over so they can go door-to-door, collecting candy and sweets from countless neighboring homes. While many health-conscious parents dread the arrival of All Hallows Eve, there are ways to give children a healthy balance. Here, I will give you tips for a health conscious fright night – without resorting to the dreaded toothbrush giveaway. By Jackie Farrall, RD, CDN, Northern Westchester Hospital

Have your Mini-Frankenstein’s Eat before they Trick-or-Treat.
What child doesn’t want to quickly devour the bounty of sweet treats they worked so hard to gather? Studies show that eating a healthy meal, packed with fiber and protein, before trick-or-treating reduces a child’s temptation to overindulge in sweets as their tummies will already be full. This is a great way of controlling the amount of sugar your children are consuming throughout the evening.

Best Costume Award Goes to: Non-Sugary Treats
Animal crackers, granola bars, popcorn, or even mini pretzel bags are fun and healthy options for children this Halloween. While kids may find these healthy treats a bit boring on such a festive night, you can look for fun packaging that may dress up these options and make them more eye-catching and appealing! You can also try making homemade popcorn or nutritious muffins and letting your little one help package, or costume it, in a spookily-clad bag– instantly making homemade wholesome treats more fun and engaging!

Like Children, Monsters Need Moderation, too!
Limiting the size of trick-or-treat bags for children is a great tip to keep things moderately healthy on Halloween. Instead of giving your child a pillowcase – which can hold nearly 48 pounds of candy — choose a small gift bag, instead. Once the night is over and costumes are hung up, limit candy to 1-3 small pieces per day. The rest of the candy should remain out of sight out and out of mind. This will show kids that they can still enjoy a special treat without going overboard.

MUAH-HA-HA You’d Never Think These Halloween Treats Have Half the Sugar

Pumpkin Spice Kettle Corn Popcorn

pumpkin-spice-kettle-cornIngredients
1 Tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 Tsp of nutmeg
1/4 Tsp ground ginger
1/2 Tsp of coconut oil
1/2 cup of popcorn kernels
5 Tbsp of sugar
1/2 Tsp salt

Directions
In a small bowl, combine cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, set aside. Melt the coconut oil in a medium pot over medium-low heat. Once melted, add popcorn kernels, sugar and salt, cover with a lid. Shake the pot every 3 seconds until a full 3 seconds elapse in between kernel pops. Pour the popcorn into a bowl. Sprinkle with spice mix, and toss. Let popcorn sit for 5 minutes, until the sugar coating turns from sticky to crunchy.

Recipe Courtesy of: Amy’s Healthy Baking 

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Mini Muffins

chocolate-chip-pumpkin-mini-muffinsIngredients
2 cups of whole wheat flour
4 Tsp of ground cinnamon
1 ½ Tsp baking powder
1/2 Tsp baking soda
1/2 Tsp salt
1 Tbsp coconut oil (can use unsalted butter instead)
1 ½ Tsp of vanilla extract
4 Tsp of sugar
3/4 cup of pumpkin puree
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup nonfat milk
1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly coat 32 mini muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together coconut oil and sugar. Stir in pumpkin puree and Greek yogurt – mixing until smooth. Stir in flour and milk. Fold in 3 Tbsp of mini chocolate chips. Next, divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups and gently press the remaining chocolate chips into the tops. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Recipe Courtesy of: Amy’s Healthy Baking

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Slow Cookers for Fast Movers

Posted on: October 4, 2016

We’re one month into the school year – between dropping the kids off at basketball practice, dance class or SAT Prep – it might feel overwhelming, or even impossible to squeeze in a healthy, home-cooked meal for dinner. Enter the slow-cooker. You’re new in-home chef, and my personal best friend when I need a pork shoulder to lean on for a weeknight dinner and don’t have the time to cook. Here, I’ll explain the many benefits of the Crock-pot and share two of my favorite slow-cooker recipes for a healthy autumn. By Jackie Farrall, RD, CDN, Northern Westchester Hospital.

Is Fresh Always Best?
Though it’s a slow cooker, you may want fast preparation. You can always throw in some canned veggies and let the slow-cooker work its magic, while you work yours – outside of the kitchen. Crock-pot meals are simple because they often contain canned produce, no need to peel, cut or dice ingredients. Sure, you can always use fresh produce and though some will argue that “fresh is best,” when it comes to produce – canned fruits and vegetables, free of added salt and sugars, have the same nutritional value.

Turn up the Heat, Without Losing Nutrients
Canned tomatoes are a staple ingredient in a variety of crock-pot meals. When tomatoes are heated, the powerful antioxidant lycopene – linked to heart health, cancer prevention and even improved mood – becomes more readily available to your body.

Vitamin C, Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Folic acid and water-soluble vitamins are sometimes lost during cooking. However, in a slow cooker, lost vitamins are incorporated into the cooking liquids within the crock-pot. You can even use the remaining liquid in the pot as a gravy or sauce to top off the meal. This is the best way to maximize vitamin retention.

An Expensive Taste for a Cut of the Price
Using low-temperature cooking, slow-cookers make less expensive cuts of meat unbelievably tender. In fact, this technique is extremely effective for tough cuts of meat as they typically contain more connective tissue, which remains tough unless cooked slowly. Cooking meat slowly at low temperatures causes less moisture loss than high heat – resulting in a moist, tender meal at half the price.

The Colors of Autumn Will Fill your Crock-Pot with this Sweet Potato Chicken Quinoa Soup

sweet-potato-quinoa-soupIngredients
1 ½ lb boneless skinless chicken breast, remove fat
1 cup of quinoa, rinsed
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 15oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14oz can of diced tomatoes
1 Tsp of minced garlic
1 ½ Tsp of chili powder
½ Tsp ground cumin
5 cups of low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
Nonstick spray

Directions
Spray slow cooker with nonstick spray. Add all ingredients – chicken breasts, quinoa, sweet potatoes, black beans, tomatoes, garlic, chili powder, cumin and chicken broth to slow cooker. Slow-cook on high for 3-5 hours.

Recipe adapted from Chelsea Messy Apron


This Apple Pie Oatmeal May Cook Slow, but Will Be Devoured Fast!

apple-pie-oatmealIngredients
1 cup steel-cut oats
2 large apples, peeled, cored and chopped into roughly ¾ inch pieces
1 ½ cups almond milk, unsweetened
2 ½ cups of water
2 Tsp ground cinnamon
¼ Tsp ground nutmeg
1 Tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp hemp seeds (or flax seeds)
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp coconut oil/cooking spray

Directions:
Use coconut oil or cooking spray to grease slow cooker. Add all ingredients – oats, apple slices, almond milk, water, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, hemp seeds and maple syrup – to slow cooker and stir. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours. Give this delicious oatmeal a good stir and serve!

Recipe courtesy of Domesticate Me