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Post No-Sugar Challenge Wrap-up, Hints, and Recipes

Posted by on 3:26 am in Nutrition, Nutrition Tips, Recipes | 0 comments

Post No-Sugar Challenge Wrap-up, Hints, and Recipes

As the no sugar challenge comes to an end, I am sure most of you are feeling much more confident in your ability to steer clear of that processed white stuff you used to crave all the time. Now the question becomes, what do I do now? After the challenge is over, do I allow myself to go on a sugar binge to make up for lost time? Or will I decide to just eat sugar every now and then as a treat? This challenge was not designed to tell you to never again eat added sugars. It was designed to show you that it is possible for you to live without it. Sure, it takes a little extra work and planning on your part, but hopefully this challenge has shown you how much better you feel without sugar. What we hope you take from this challenge is two things. Number one, sugar is served best in moderation.  Number two, we hope you learned that sugar is hidden by manufactures in almost everything. Our intention was for this challenge to equip you with the tools you need to decipher which of the many confusing words on the ingredients panel actually mean sugar, so that you can make more informed dietary choices.  As the challenge wraps up, I would like to share a few sugar-less alternatives with you so that you can continue to keep your sugar intake minimal: 1)     Freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice: add this to your plain or sparkling water to keep you from reaching for the soda. The tart and tangy flavor will keep your taste buds satisfied and curb that sugar craving. 2)     Cinnamon: add it into your morning coffee and oatmeal. This spice has a subtle sweetness as well as antioxidant effects. 3)     Cranberries: skip the cup of sugar added to your muffin mix, and thrown in a handful of these tart berries instead. You can also add them to scones. These berries contain vitamin C and fiber, an added bonus you won’t find in refined sugar. 4)     Pureed banana: in your next loaf of fresh bread, try adding extra ripe bananas instead of the sugar. Bananas are naturally high in fruit sugar, especially when ripe, but also have potassium, vitamin C, and fiber, so it is a great trade off. 5)     Homemade ketchup: if your family eats a lot of ketchup, this switch is definitely worth the little extra time. Bottled ketchup is almost purely high fructose corn syrup, a form of processed sugar. Making it yourself allows you to control the amount of sugar you add. Although this alternative does contain 1 tsp refined sugar, if you just cannot resist adding to your foods, it is much less than what you would get from premade ketchup. Here’s how: 6 oz can tomato paste, ¼ cup honey, ½ cup white vinegar, ¼ cup water, 1 tsp sugar, ¾ tsp salt, ¼ tsp onion powder, 1/8 tsp garlic powder. Combine all of the ingredients and simmer over medium heat until smooth. Here is also a great recipe for you to try that does not have any added sugar and is super easy to make: Overnight cocoa steel cut oats: This breakfast is something you can whip up the evening before and cook over...

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Fall in Love with the Autumn Harvest

Posted by on 6:30 am in Nutrition | 0 comments

Fall in Love with the Autumn Harvest

By Katie Fruit Although the cooler weather may be approaching, your produce choices are currently heating up. The official start of fall is just a few days away. As people gear up for the cooler weather and put their summer barbecues behind them, remember that it is prime time for lots of delicious, seasonal fruits and vegetables. Head on down to one of Austin’s many farmers markets to check out the harvest. My personal favorite market, the downtown location on fourth and Guadalupe, has tons of venders that will soon be showing off their hearty greens, crisp apples, and delicious root vegetables that are especially enjoyed this time of year. What is great about fall is that many of these seasonal items are filled with great nutrients, so it should be simple to load up on all of those essential vitamins and minerals in order to keep you from catching that pesky winter cold. Incorporating some of these fruits and veggies into your holiday meals is also bound to help you curb your calorie intake. Here are my top five fall foods that I love to incorporate into my diet this time of year: 1)  Sweet potatoes- These can be used in so many ways other than that sweet potato casserole always served at Thanksgiving. Fall is the best time for this root vegetable. Sweet potatoes are jam packed with vitamin A, almost 90% of your daily recommended intake, as well as vitamin C. They are a great alternative to their white-counterparts. Poke a few holes in the potato, pop it in the microwave for about 4 minutes, sprinkle a little nutmeg or cinnamon on top, and you have the perfect side to your lunch or dinner. 2)  Apples- Although it is easy to buy apples year round, there is just something about fall that makes me crave them. I think it always takes me back to eating my mother’s warm, homemade applesauce whenever it gets chilly outside. It is easy to make a quick, healthy version of applesauce by cooking your favorite apples (I love pink ladies), and adding cinnamon, water, and a little sprinkle of brown sugar on top to serve as an evening snack. 3)  Pumpkins- Make sure to save the pumpkin seeds after you carve your jack-o- lantern. Drizzle a little olive oil, sea salt, and roast in the oven at 350 degrees for about ten minutes, and you will be glad they did not end up in the trash can. These seeds are full of magnesium, zinc, and if you eat the shells you will even be getting a little extra fiber. 4)  Cauliflower- This cruciferous vegetables nutty flavor is perfect for a fall side dish. I love mine simply roasted in the oven. It can also be mashed to create a potato like texture to be used in soups and purees. Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C. One cup provides almost 85% of your daily recommended value. 5) Mushrooms- While most mushrooms are available year round, they are often at their peak during the fall months. Portabellas are a great replacement for a beef patty on hamburgers while a porcini mushroom-brown rice risotto would make a perfect addition to a main course. Mushrooms are very versatile and can be a great...

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“Natural” does not necessarily mean healthy OR organic

Posted by on 6:28 am in Nutrition, Nutrition Tips | 0 comments

“Natural” does not necessarily mean healthy OR organic

“Natural” does not necessarily mean healthy OR organic – by Katie Fruit “Natural” has become a carelessly used buzz word among food manufacturers recently. The word gives people comfort that the products they are buying are less refined and more wholesome choices than other items.  What consumers do not realize is that this word is not officially defined by either the FDA or USDA; therefore the definition is left up to the subjectivity of the manufacturers. Here are some foods labeled with the word natural and why they actually are not: Sodas- High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is now commonly used in place of sugar cane in many sweetened drinks and processed foods. It is made in a lab from corn, and is far from anything you can find out in nature.  Because of HFCS’s chemical makeup, it is actually sweeter tasting than table sugar.  There is controversy as to whether or not your body processes it in the same way as regular sugar. What we do know is that upon the introduction of HFCS into the American diet, obesity and diabetes rates have significantly increased. Lay’s potato chips- These chips typically contain over twenty different chemical ingredients, one often being monosodium glutamate (often known as MSG). This additive is added to thousands of processed foods to intensify their flavor, and to make them appear fresher than they are in reality. Consumption of MSG has been linked to a variety of health ailments, but is still considered safe by the FDA. Corn and canola oils– According to the USDA, 88 percent of corn and 90 percent of canola in America come from genetically modified crops. This means that these plants have had their genetic makeup altered to exhibit traits that are not naturally theirs. The crop’s genes are copied from one organism that shows a desired trait and transferred into the genetic code of another organism. Any of this sound “natural” to you? Because this process has become so widespread only recently, not many long term studies have been performed to determine if genetically modified crops are harmful to our health. Suspicions are that these crops may cause people to develop food allergies. What to do if you are looking for healthier options: Look for the USDA label- This means the product is certified organic by the USDA, and has much more merit than the word natural. The organic label means the item must be made with ingredients grown or raised without artificial fertilizers, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, or genetic modification. Stick with foods that have minimal ingredients- Check the label. If the product has a list of twenty ingredients that you have no idea how to pronounce, chances are the food you are purchasing came straight out of a lab. The food with the least and the simplest ingredients is typically the healthier the option. Non-GMO label- Unfortunately, it is not currently required by any company to label their product if it contains an ingredient that is genetically modified. People are fighting for this to become law, but until then, if you are concerned about these items, there is an optional label from the Non-GMO Project that companies can put on their products packaging if the item contains zero genetically modified organisms. Steer clear of any food dyes- Check...

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BEET your race time: improve your performance with this nutrient packed juice

Posted by on 6:26 am in Nutrition, Nutrition Tips | 0 comments

BEET your race time: improve your performance with this nutrient packed juice – by Katie Fruit Ever struggle to find energy for that last extra push at the end of your workout? A lot of cutting edge research is currently being done on the juice that comes from beetroots. The juice is thought to boost stamina in order to allow you to work out for longer periods of time. 2727788545_3220a9779c_nAlthough research on this juice is underway, scientists are beginning to unravel all of its intriguing health benefits. The process works through a chain reaction: your body converts the important nitrates in beet juice into nitric oxide, a molecule that enhances blood flow and helps lower blood pressure. Don’t be alarmed when you see the word “nitrate.” This is commonly known as a harmful compound in hot dogs and processed meats that health enthusiasts encourage us to avoid. However, the compound you want to steer clear of is nitrite. There is a big difference between these two closely spelled words. Nitrates are good for your health while nitrites are not. About 300-500 milliliters of beetroot juice provides the amount of nitrate needed for the average person to increase the concentration of it in their blood. Research shows this juice, once converted to nitric oxide, reduces the amount of oxygen it takes for an athlete to produce energy. It has been shown that a runner can reduce their mile time by five seconds if they begin to consume a beetroot juice shot before training on a regular basis. Consuming the shot two to three hours before exercise is ideal for exercising when nitric oxide levels peak. In general, athletes tend to see about a 1.5 percent increase in their performance Check out Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, and the Vitamin Shoppe in Austin to give it a shot. Please let us know what you...

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Hot Oat & Quinoa Cereal

Posted by on 7:36 pm in Nutrition, Recipes | Comments Off on Hot Oat & Quinoa Cereal

Hot Oat & Quinoa Cereal

Our dietitians share their passion for food in a monthly recipe club. They are using their subscriptions to Bon Appétit Magazine to inspire new ideas and encourage each other to try new foods. Last month, they both made Hot Oat & Quinoa Cereal. This is a batch recipe that makes 4 servings and it reheats easily for a quick, hearty and delicious breakfast. The timing for this recipe couldn’t have been better for Haley, who recently moved houses. She made a batch on Sunday night, packed up her kitchen and ate the leftovers the remainder of the week until she moved. This recipe was delicious, but Laura recommends decreasing the salt – ¼ tsp is plenty. Consider sharing your passion with food with friends, family and coworkers in your life. Having accountability with like-minded people will surely get you into the kitchen. If you have a recipe you want us to try, shoot us an e-mail at...

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Haley’s Favorite 10-Minute Meal: Loaded Sweet Potato

Posted by on 9:26 am in Nutrition, Recipes | Comments Off on Haley’s Favorite 10-Minute Meal: Loaded Sweet Potato

Haley’s Favorite 10-Minute Meal: Loaded Sweet Potato

Haley’s Favorite 10-Minute Meal Loaded Sweet Potato Wash the sweet potato and poke several times with a fork. Microwave until cooked (6-8 minutes; varies with size). Rotate every 1-2 minutes for even cooking. While sweet potato is cooking, fry an egg on the stove. I love using my cast iron skillet Microwave ½ cup of black beans. Cut open sweet potato. Sprinkle with cinnamon and cumin (or your favorite spices. Fill with black beans. Serve with veggies – steamed broccoli, carrot sticks, etc.    ...

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SKRATCH Labs Sport Drink Mix: the hows and the whys from the who behind it all!

Posted by on 9:23 pm in Nutrition, Nutrition Tips, Uncategorized | Comments Off on SKRATCH Labs Sport Drink Mix: the hows and the whys from the who behind it all!

SKRATCH Labs Sport Drink Mix: the hows and the whys from the who behind it all!

Operational Lead Mallory Horton got some great info on SKRATCH LABS sports drink mix from the owner and creator himself, Allen Lim! Athletes, you really need to try Skratch, which has taken the market by storm because of it’s innovative approach to simplicity! How was Skratch created?  Skratch originally began in 2008 when I was working with the Garmin Professional Cycling team as their Director of Sport Science. Many of the athletes were diluting their sports drink, complaining that at full strength commercially available sports drinks left a bad taste in their mouth and upset their stomach. Unfortunately, the problem with diluting most sports drinks is that this also dilutes the electrolytes, in particular sodium, that are lost in sweat. So Skratch initially began as a home made brew of cut drink mix that we added extra sodium back to. Eventually, the drink mix evolved as we realized that there were still a lot of problems with conventional sports drink – primarily all of the excess ingredients that are used to color and flavor drinks. So, literally starting from scratch, we began making different formulations in my kitchen. What we ended up with was an incredibly simple drink mix that provided only the most basic ingredients necessary to make a sports drink work – less calories, more electrolytes, and actual fruit for flavor. At first, we just made the mix for athletes that I was coaching, but demand grew rapidly by word of mouth so last February of 2012 with a group of close friends we officially launched Skratch here in Boulder, Colorado. How did you come up with the idea for Skratch?  Skratch didn’t start as an idea, it started as a solution to a problem. That problem was the constant complaints of “gut rot” and gastrointestinal problems caused by commercially available sports drinks – too much sugar, funky artificial flavors, excess ingredients, and not enough electrolytes. We just addressed those problems and Skratch was born. There are a lot of hydration mixes out on the market.  How do your ingredients make Skratch stand out? Our ingredients are as simple as it gets for replacing what you lose in your sweat and for helping to fuel active muscle while exercising. There’s not much to our ingredient list and we only use extremely simple all natural ingredients to make our hydration mix. There’s a lot of misconception and misnomer about sports drinks out in the market. We’re all led to believe that we need the latest new chemical or formula to make us go faster. All we’ve done with Skratch is create a very simple all natural sports drink that provides a little bit of calories, a light flavor, and an electrolyte profile that matches what you lose in your sweat. Nothing less. Nothing more.  Is Skratch aimed toward a specific diet? or intended for pre/during/post workout? Skratch is not aimed toward a specific diet or trend. It’s just aimed to hydrate people who sweat. That’s all.  What is the Feed Zone and how does it correlate with Skratch?  The Feed Zone is a cookbook I co-wrote with Chef Biju Thomas. It’s a list of simple and healthy recipes that anyone (even kids) can use to create great meals geared for an active lifestyle. It’s a no-nonsense approach to...

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Q: Energy bars are so convenient. Are there any that you recommend?

Posted by on 9:49 pm in Nutrition, Nutrition Tips | Comments Off on Q: Energy bars are so convenient. Are there any that you recommend?

Q: Energy bars are so convenient.  Are there any that you recommend?

Q: Energy bars are so convenient.  Are there any that you recommend? Haley Hall, RD, LD: I love the Bearded Brothers Mighty Maca Chocolate Bar. This bar features clean food ingredients – dates, almonds, cashews and chia seeds, to name a few. The Mighty Maca Chocolate flavor has 8 grams of protein, the equivalent of an egg or 8oz of milk, which will promote fullness and aid muscle recovery post-workout. Laura Ugokwe, RD, LD: The Peanut Butter ProBar is one of my favorites due to taste and nutrition.  It contains 15 whole foods, no preservatives and is extremely filling.  It is higher in calories than most bars which makes it an appropriate and satisfying quick breakfast.  With 12g of protein and 41g of carbs, the ProBar is also a great post-workout snack for someone looking to build...

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Tips to Curb Evening Snacking

Posted by on 10:49 pm in Nutrition, Nutrition Tips | Comments Off on Tips to Curb Evening Snacking

Tips to Curb Evening Snacking

Laura CaJacob Ugokwe recently had a client break a long time habit of snacking in the evening.  This has really helped him lose some weight.  Here are his tips based on his experience:  – When I’m home, I’ve been very deliberate about getting upstairs; the farther I get from the refrigerator at night the better!   – I’ve found myself going to bed earlier as well, which has been helpful.   – Being sure to eat a snack late afternoon; I definitely feel less hungry after dinner when I do this.   – Not eating too early – careful here about not eating too late either, but I err on the side of eating later.  If I eat before 6, almost guaranteed that I’ll be up for another snack/ meal by 10.   – While I’ve been eating smaller portions, I do load up on vegetables and other nutrient dense options.   – I’ve been pretty diligent about continuing to read up on good health practices; helps me to keep it front of mind and stay focused on making right choices....

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Nick + Haley + David = Weight Loss Results!!

Posted by on 7:53 pm in Nutrition, Nutrition Success | Comments Off on Nick + Haley + David = Weight Loss Results!!

Nick + Haley + David = Weight Loss Results!!

Pure Austin member, Nick Jenkins, started working with Haley in September and has since lost over 15 pounds and 4% body fat! He is right on track and almost halfway to his goal weight. Nick is also working hard in the gym with personal trainer David Schulze. David noted Nick’s commitment to exercise and his strong work ethic as two major contributors to his continued results. Haley said that the best part about working with Nick is his eagerness to learn and his steadfast motivation. Nick is learning how to fuel his body appropriately with food and how to identify and manage cravings.  He is also starting to increase his confidence in the kitchen. Nick successfully navigated the holidays, with Haley’s advice, and lost 3 pounds over Thanksgiving! David and Haley both feel confident that Nick is on the right track to sustainable results. Keep it up, Nick!  “Working with Haley has been a tremendous experience.  She has really given me the tools I need to achieve my goals.  Her positive attitude and  moral support have helped me over many of the obstacles I faced in previous attempts to change.  And if you add David Schulze – who truly  loves to motivate people through exercise – you have a winning combination!” – Nick Jenkins...

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