Salt: Friend or Foe?

New York City, as recently as November 30th of 2015, placed a warning symbol on many high salt dishes (higher than 3400 mg sodium) on the menus of its local restaurants. For example, two of the most popular, but salty, menu items were a Cheddar Bacon Burger and a Buffalo Chicken Salad, which respectively had 4280 mg sodium and 3460 mg sodium.

Recommended Salt Intake & Restaurant Transparency

City health authority has warned that Americans eat too much salt and as a result are adding to their health risk for high blood pressure and heart disease. The average person, they state, “should have 2300 mg sodium per day.” By having these standards set in restaurants patrons will have a chance to have the facts necessary to make better decisions about their salt usage. Health department officials feel they have made the right decision to alert the general public; as they await the new federal standards of salt use due out later in 2016. Continue reading Salt: Friend or Foe?

A Guide to Choosing Healthier Condiments

Most of the time we think primarily about the meat entrée we are going to serve for dinner, and not about the condiments we are going to serve with it. Today, we have many different choices to suit anyone’s palate, but what about all those added ingredients in condiments? For example, there are a variety of various ketchups, mustards, mayonnaise products, and pickle relishes.Have you ever taken a good look at the label of ingredients and found out what you are really eating? Continue reading A Guide to Choosing Healthier Condiments

Building a Better School Lunch—Hot or Cold

By Rita Larsen, RDN; Elite Sports Clubs Nutrition Educator & Diet Counselor

Many children have a wonderful time taking a break in the day with their school lunches. Some families prefer a hot lunch, some prefer cold lunch, and some do a combination depending on the hot lunch being served and if the child likes it or not.

With the costs of food going up, it is important to plan a lunch that children will actually eat at school, after all, the school lunches are moving toward three dollars per student.

Continue reading Building a Better School Lunch—Hot or Cold

9 Everyday Tips for Healthy Bag Lunches & Snacks

By Rita Larsen, Elite Sports Clubs Registered Dietitian & Nutrition Counselor

Guidelines for Healthy Eating and Snacking on a Daily Basis

Whether the kids are headed off to school or you are brown bagging it to work, many of us prepare and pack our own snacks and lunches every day. Use the tips below to help you be mindful of your food choices not just during lunch, but all day long!

  1. Not all foods are created equal! Pick out foods that are best for your normal day, every day.
  2. Plan to emphasize what is most important in your diet. For example, high quality protein, fiber, and fulfilling daily fruit/vegetable requirements.
  3. Make a schedule for yourself and include times, places, and content of what you will be eating for the day to hold yourself accountable.
    • 10:00am Snack: Fruit
    • Noon Lunch: Entree, salad, milk (school lunch)
    • 3:00pm Snack: Popcorn
    • Also have an idea of what your night time dinner will be like and what time you plan to eat (so the whole family can attend & you can give yourself enough time to prepare)
  4. Drink plenty of fluids, including water throughout the day.
  5. Be aware of the salt content of most snack foods.
  6. Make comparisons of packaged food items–making sure you have selected the best in terms of calories, salt, and fats.
  7. Remember, too many calories and fats can lead to feeling sluggish and tired in the afternoon.
  8. Keep your eye on the caffeine in beverages–too much soda or caffeinated beverages cause you to feel jittery later in the day and actually take away from your energy base.
  9. Choose foods that provide the most energy throughout the day.
    • Whole Wheat Toast vs. Sweet Roll
    • Baked Potato vs. French Fries
    • Fruited Yogurt vs. Chocolate Cake

Try including the following recipe in your next bag lunch as a snack with tortilla chips or compliment to your entree (such as a chicken breast or fish).

Quick Easy Black Bean Salsa

Quick & Easy Black Bean Salsa

1-15oz. can Black Beans
1-11oz. can Shoepeg Corn
1-16oz. jar Salsa with Cilantro
1 medium Red Pepper, chopped
1 bunch Green Scallions, chopped
Lemon juice, cumin, and minced garlic to taste.

Mix all ingredients. Best if prepared the day before.

1/3 cup = 75 calories

Looking for more nutrition advice or other snack and lunch recipe ideas? We offer plenty of ongoing group & private programs with Elite’s own Registered Dietitian. Just let us know a little about yourself and your goals to get started!