Fiber! Part 2: The Downfalls of Eating Fiber

By Rita Larsen, RD; Elite Sports Clubs Dietitian and Nutrition Counselor

Fiber Part 2: The downfalls of eating fiber

This is Part 2 in a 4-part series on the wonderful world of FIBER! (Read Part 1 here.) In recent years, fibrous foods have received praise for their health benefits. Dietitians and doctors encourage their patients to increase their fiber intake. However, eating even a moderate amount of fiber foods can have some downfalls. Continue reading Fiber! Part 2: The Downfalls of Eating Fiber

Fiber! Part 1: Types, Sources, & Recommended Intake

By Rita Larsen, RD; Elite Sports Clubs Dietitian and Nutrition Counselor

Fiber is critical for every adult and child in this country. In the future, it may be the difference between health and disease; and between living a shortened or longer life. There’s so much to say on it too! So, get comfortable, because we have a 4-part series coming on FIBER!

Fiber Part 1: Types, Sources, & Recommended Daily Intake

Many individuals elect to go on a high fiber diet because of the health benefits the diet offers. Consistently eating fiber and nutrient-rich foods decreases the risk of constipation and diabetes, as well as enhances the body’s ability to lose weight. Continue reading Fiber! Part 1: Types, Sources, & Recommended Intake

How Can I Get Enough Calcium in My Diet If I Follow a Vegan Lifestyle?

By Rita Larsen, RD; Elite Sports Clubs Dietitian and Nutrition Counselor

For those of you who choose to follow a vegan or even vegetarian lifestyle, you know best that sometimes one needs to get creative with their food to get all of the necessary nutrients for a healthy diet. Today I’d like to focus on just one of these necessary nutrients, calcium. Below you will find plenty of options for calcium-rich foods that are considered vegan, plus compare which ones are best for absorbing that calcium into your body.

How can I get enough calcium in my diet if I follow a vegan lifestyle? Continue reading How Can I Get Enough Calcium in My Diet If I Follow a Vegan Lifestyle?

It’s about time you tried a Green Smoothie!

By Rita Larsen, RD; Elite Sports Clubs Dietitian and Nutrition Counselor

Many people are busy today with work and activities other than preparing meals. You may want to try this smoothie recipe as a fun addition to your meals.

One good suggestion is taking this to work with you after you have prepared it and frozen it in freezer cups. Then, throughout the day, you are able to take out of your lunch bag and let it defrost. Shake well and it is ready to drink!

Try a Green Smoothie

Reasons to hop on the Green Smoothie craze:

  • It can contain all the fruits and vegetables that you need daily.
  • It can also have additional ingredients based upon what you have on hand.
  • Protein powder can be added in the form of soy, whey, rice, or casein. If you do add one of these, you can consider this smoothie a complete meal!
  • It tastes great! See for yourself if this is something that would be tasty for breakfast, lunch, snack, or dinner!

Note: It is best to use a high powered blender. Don’t have one? Then just remove some of the peel from citrus.

Mmm Green is Good!

Green ingredients can often vary based upon your tastes. (But, not all greens are easy to blend!) Try these ingredients at your own pace:

  • Seedless cucumber, 1/3 to 1/2 English version
  • 1-large bunch Spinach (or Kale!), fresh and cleaned (sometimes it helps to freeze in advance)
  • 1-Kiwi, peeled and diced
  • 1-Avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1-Lime, whole including the rind, cut into at least 8 pieces

Try adding these for additional flavor, texture, & nutrition!

  • Bananas
  • Cuties or mandarin oranges, including the skin
  • Grapes
  • Flax Seeds, 2-Tbsp. or Flax Seed Oil
  • Plain or Greek yogurt

These smoothies provide all the nutrients that a meal could provide. They are especially high in antioxidants, B complex vitamins, minerals, such as iron and potassium, and are high in fiber.

Just another way to increase our nutritional strength without all the fuss in the kitchen!

Calories: 16-oz. portion for 175 calories; with 2-scoops of protein added, 16-oz portion for 375 calories. For more helpful nutritional advice and recipes, tell us a little more about your goals! Or check out our ongoing health & nutrition programming for everyone from children to adults!

There are MANY more possible green ingredients to include in smoothies. What are some of your own suggestions? Do you drink green smoothies?

3 Healthy Food Products Worth Trying

By Rita Larsen, RD; Elite Sports Clubs Dietitian & Nutrition Counselor

Every year we have changes in the rational of what makes for “good health” and what makes for “good food” products to support this health plan. This year we are following many new low cholesterol food selections and also we are looking at foods that are gluten free. You may be interested in taking a look at these items:

  1. Farm Fresh Eggland’s Best All Natural, Vegetarian Fed Hens Eggs:

    Eggland Broccoli Frittata These eggs are low in cholesterol (only 175 mg), but quite high in vitamin D, B12, and E. They are made from real shell eggs, but have no antibiotics, animal by-products, or added hormones. The eggs, I can tell you, are rich and delicious. (Check out this recipe for a Broccoli & Cheddar Frittata using Farm Fresh Egg.land’s Best All natural, Vegetarian Fed Hens Eggs.–I’d suggest also adding 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme, and 1 teaspoon of fresh basil to boost the flavor without adding calories!)

    Just how are these eggs produced? As mentioned, these are real eggs. Hens are fed a special combination of all-natural, vegetarian feed of healthy grains, canola oil, and an all-natural supplement of rice bran, alfalfa, sea kelp and vitamin E. And for our use at home, still comes out a natural egg. They are more expensive; but research has shown that these eggs, even consumed twice daily for a week, will not contribute to a higher cholesterol level. They may be worth a try!

  2. LÄRABAR snack bars:

    LARABARS The “original fruit and nut bar,” according to the company. They are gluten free, dairy free, soy free, vegan and kosher. Each bar is small but contains enough fruit to equal ¼ cup of fresh fruit. They each are 190 calories, so they are equal to any health bar recommended as a snack serving. The fiber and protein is fairly high. As most gluten free users can find it hard to find good food products, these rank high for taste and satisfaction. They are a little more expensive, as are most gluten free products. They would be worth your trying.

  3. Yonanas Banana Ice Cream Maker:

    Recently purchased at Target for $49.00, this machine was demonstrated at our Scamp Kids Nutrition program this summer at Elite Sports Club-Brookfield. Kids enjoyed seeing the bananas become a smooth ice dessert right in front of their eyes. Primarily, the machine works with bananas only, it can also handle additions such as strawberries, pineapple, and kiwi fruits. The object was to demonstrate yet another way of incorporating fruit into the children’s diet, and in a fun way.

    The machine is easy to operate and to clean up. I would still suggest an adult being nearby. Bananas are high in antioxidants and potassium. Children can participate preparing the bananas by peeling the skins off and placing in the freezer for 24 hours before making into the dessert. Overall, this is a fun activity for the entire family.

Staying in touch with new products and new appliances will help to increase the choices that you have to improve the quality of your diet and to keep your selections interesting! What new health foods or kitchen gadgets have become your favorites lately?

For more helpful nutritional tips & recipes, let us know a little bit more about your goals and we’ll get you in touch with our Registered Dietitian, Rita. You are also more than welcome to check out our other health & wellness programs offered at Elite Sports Clubs.