3 Reasons Why Your Low Carb Diet Isn’t Working

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Written by Jacqui Campbell MS, RD, CDN

Low carbohydrate diets have been popular on and off for decades now.  We, at Bordeaux Nutrition, agree that low carb diets are best for weight loss and management of many chronic health problems.  However, we see our fair share of people coming in who are already following a low carb diet and struggling. Why? There’s a lot of possible reasons.

1. You’ve cut your carbs, but not replaced them with anything else. small-portion

This is the most common problem we see. In cutting back on carbs, people are cutting their calories too much.  Not eating enough leads to a slower metabolism and thus slowed weight loss.  When drastically reducing your carbohydrate intake, you want to replace them with protein AND fat. Which leads me to the next problem you may be having…

2. You’re not eating ENOUGH fat. 

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We see a lot of people cut down on carbs and replace it with only protein and you end up with a low-carb and low-fat diet.  Replacing carbohydrates with foods rich in fat keeps you satisfied and avoids spikes in blood sugar and insulin.  Improved blood sugar control is not only important for those with diabetes or pre-diabetes, but it aids in weight loss by directing your body to burn fat storage for energy. Studies have shown that people eating a higher-fat diet have faster metabolisms than those eating a lower fat diet with the same number of calories.  Healthy fats include avocado, nuts, seeds, coconut, olives, and oils from these foods.

3. You’ve cut down on grains/starches only.

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Source: The Greatist.com

Many people reduce their intake of breads, pastas, rice, and sweets, but neglect to pay attention to the amount of starchy vegetables and fruit they are consuming.  Starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, squashes, corn, peas, beans and fruits are all sources of carbohydrates.  These are healthy carb options that we want to make sure to include in our diets, but excessive quantities can impair your ability to lose weight and actually contribute to high blood sugar and triglycerides.

To figure out the best diet for you, it is important to meet with a dietitian to assess your individual needs and help you form a personalized plan.

Fun With Baby’s First Foods

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Written by Jacqui Campbell MS, RD, CDN

I want to start out by saying there are lots of opinions and mixed recommendations for when to start solids with babies. This blog post is not intended to provide recommendations as to when and how much to feed your baby, only to share my experiences. As with everything, it is important to talk to your pediatrician, do your own research, and trust you gut when determining if you and your baby are ready to start introducing solids. Every baby and every situation is different so just do you, boo boo!

Being not only a dietitian, but a foodie also, you can imagine how excited I was when we got the green light from our pediatrician to start feeding our little guy solid foods. As someone who loves to cook and play around in the kitchen I knew I wanted to try to make my own baby food.  Not only that, but homemade baby food:

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Jackson enjoyed organic sweet potatoes as his first food

  1. Saves money, even if using organic produce.  Organic baby food goes for at least 99cents for a 4oz jar.  I found a deal on organic pears, a 2lb bag for $1.99 at Aldi! Plus, I had lots of organic sweet potatoes and squash from our Oxen Hill Farm CSA.
  2. It’s fairly simple, and you can use the same foods you’re preparing for yourself.
  3. Avoids additives and preservatives. You know exactly what goes into it.

As I went through the list of “first foods” I googled “how to make whatever fruit/vegetable baby food” and found it to be fairly simple and straight forward.  If you think about it, you don’t really need a recipe for a one-ingredient food. The important thing when making baby food puree is to ensure you can get a smooth, soft consistency.

Making baby food purees

I start by first looking at the food and asking “would I cook this to eat it?”img_20161202_093917

  • If yes, obviously I cook it.  I make sure it’s pretty soft and easily stabbed with a fork.  Examples include sweet potatoes, butternut squash, peas, and green beans. So far I’ve used a mixture of fresh sweet potatoes and squash, and frozen peas and green beans.
  • If no, ask “is this food soft enough to mash with a fork?”.
    • Bananas and avocados can be mashed with a fork and fed like that. I personally felt a little nervous about getting it mashed up enough, so I still used the food processor to ensure an even consistency.
    • Fruits like ripe peaches and pears do not need to be cooked, but do require a little more processing.
    • If the food is too tough to mash raw — i.e. apples, less ripe pears, carrots — I either steam or boil until fork tender.

You don’t need to invest in a fancy “Baby Bullet” or other costly appliance. A decent quality blender or food processor will work fine. Just blend until food is smooth and not too thick.  With any food, liquids like water, breast milk or formula can be added to achieve a smoother consistency if needed.

I used a small food processor for most foods so far, but found that my Vitamix did a better job at getting the pea puree smooth, it was just a pain to clean out.

Storing

Homemade purees can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days. I use little 2 oz baby food blocks to save individual portions, but you could also just store in a larger container and take out one portion at a time. It is important to discard any leftover food that has been eaten from since bacteria can grow, so don’t spoon out more than your baby will eat.

Purees can easily be frozen for longer storage, since even just 2 apples made more than enough for 3 days. I have frozen some food in the 2oz containers, but have also frozen the purees in ice cube trays.  This allows for you to thaw out individual ~1oz portions easily. In the case of the butternut squash I just made an entire squash and froze most of it in 2 ice cube trays.  For optimal nutrient retention it’s best to use within 3 months, so don’t go too crazy. Plus, in 3 months your little one will likely be moving on from purees anyway.

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Frozen puree cubes

We’re still working our way through the first foods, so stay tuned for more as we advance to mixing foods and trying more.  So far Jackson has liked everything we’ve tried, but seems to especially like the apples and pears.

We’d love to hear others experience with first foods!

What were your little one’s first and favorite foods? Did you make your own baby foods? Did you skip purees all together?

Think a friend or family member would benefit from this article? Don’t forget to share!

Healthy Holiday Gift Ideas

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Trying to keep your family on track during the holiday season? Have a family health nut? Buying for your favorite dietitian? We’ve rounded up a list of holiday gifts perfect for the health conscious, Paleoesque person on your list.91gvisfpcyl-_sl1500_

Kitchen Gadgets

Spiralizer: Who doesn’t love making zoodles or other fun veggie spirals? They make ’em in all shapes and sizes from this budget friendly version to a fancier one to an attachment for a Kitchenaid mixer (also a great item if you’re looking to splurge on someone who loves to bake).

71-ak79nv1l-_sl1500_Instant-Pot: This all-in-one kitchen gadget is great for both the busy home cook and the more adventurous kitchen creators. This particular model is a 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Cooker–Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Saute/Browning, Yogurt Maker, Steamer & Warmer.

Cookbooks: A few recommendations include Practical Paleo, Nom Nom Paleo, Against All Grain, and other Top Paleo Cookbooks on Amazon

Food Saver:  Eating healthy often means buying in bulk to lower costs, so a vacuum sealer is a great gift.

Novelty kitchen items make cooking fun! Check out this owl kitchen timer and olive oil sprayer.  I know I would love to get one of these nifty avocado huggers.

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Glass Waterbottle: We love Life Factory bottles that come in all different sizes and colors. They also make food containers and wine glasses!

Reusable Snack Bags or glass storage containers are great for the eco-conscious.

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Gift Basket: Either make up one yourself or buy a premade Paleo Gift Basket.  Ideas for 12509677_1041914339163133_4329125001892968906_nhomemade baskets include Paleo baking staples (coconut flour, almond flour, coconut oil, local honey, spices/seasonings), or Paleo snacks (nuts, fruit, bars, dairy-free dark chocolate). Make a batch of Paleo Christmas cookies, or try making homemade spice mixes, too!

Artisan oils and vinegar: O’Live a Little is a great local, small business in South Windsor and Canton, CT

Essential oils are a great gift too. Check out this article that shows how to combine oils in your diffuser to create holiday scents!

Stocking Stuffers

Dark Chocolate: Because who doesn’t love chocolate in their stocking? Paleo brands include Pur 7, Eating Evolved and Hu.

Snacks: Krave Jerky or Epic snacks are tasty jerky options. Lara bars. Single serve nut butters packs, like Justin’s, that can be found at Target. Nuts and dried fruit packed in festive jars spice up a basic snack.

What is your favorite gift you’ve received or given?

You may also like: Mindful Eating Techniques, Prepare Now To Start Your New Year Right

‘Tis the Season for Pumpkin EVERYTHING

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Written by Jacqui Campbell MS, RD, CDN

I think every year the stores roll out more “pumpkin spice” flavored and scented

pumpkinramen_charityowlthings than the last. Some of the odd things spotted so far this year include pumpkin chicken sausage and pumpkin spice dish soap. I personally think that’s going too far and I am a sucker for all things pumpkin.  The thing is, I love PUMPKIN things, not PUMPKIN SPICE, so I’m always on the hunt for things made with REAL pumpkin and not just added cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and orange food coloring.  So while this guy spent two weeks eating ALL THINGS PUMPKIN, I decided to try to find decent pumpkin products that are gluten free, dairy free, and even paleo.

This year’s top finds so far:20161004_102751

Larabar Pumpkin Pie – paleo approved! Ingredients: Dates, cashews, almonds, dried pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger.  If you like Larabars and pumpkin you’ll love this fall treat.

KIND Caramel almond pumpkin spice – I got super excited about this because I love KIND bars. Downside is the caramel contains ‘milk powder’ so they are not dairy free.

Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice Almond Beverage – tasty almond milk with real pumpkin and spices.  I really liked this and was happy to see it is sweetened with cane sugar instead of stevia like the So Delicious brand I tried last year. I think this would taste great in coffee, tea, smoothies or anything you might normally add almond milk to. Use it to make your own paleo pumpkin spice latte! Be aware it does have 15g sugar per cup though.

Trader Joe’s Cold Pressed Pumpkin Harvest Juice – if you’re a fan of green juices this is for you. Every bottle of Pumpkin Harvest Juice contains 10.5 ounces of pumpkin, 2 carrots, 3/4 stalk of celery, 1/8 sweet potato, 1 inch of ginger, and a hearty pinch of turmeric.  Paleo approved, but like all juices it’s important to be mindful of the naturally occurring sugar from the starchy vegetables – 23g per bottle. Make sure to have with some nuts or other source of protein to balance the carbohydrates.

Pumpkin Spice Cheerios – gluten free, dairy free (not paleo as they are grain-based). These are actually made with pumpkin puree and are quite tasty.   I used them to make snack bars by mixing in chopped pecans and raisins and using peanut butter and honey to keep them together. Trader Joe’s also makes similar cereal called Joe’s Pumpkin O’s which I tried last year and found to be a little less strong on the spice (still gluten and dairy free).

Other healthy ways to enjoy pumpkin:

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Smoothie – A favorite of mine and so easy to make.

  • 1 cup dairy-free milk
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ frozen banana
  • 1 TBSP almond butter
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • Optional sweetener: honey, maple syrup or dates

Paleo Pumpkin Pie Spice Creamer – avoid the chemicals and dairy found in the store bought creamers and make your own using canned coconut milk, pumpkin, and spices.  I’ve made this recipe before and it’s delicious.

Pumpkin Porridge – try this as an alternative to oatmeal in the morning

  • ½ cup pumpkin puree canned
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp honey.

Mix ingredients together. May eat at room temperature or microwave for 30-60 seconds.

4-Ingredient Pumpkin Pancakes

  • 2 eggs, beat
  • ½ banana, ripe and mashed
  • 2TBSP pumpkin puree
  • Dash of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon and nutmeg

Mix together banana, pumpkin and spices. Add eggs.  Heat pan on medium heat and grease pan with coconut oil or oil of your choice before pouring batter.

**Make sure when buying canned pumpkin you get “100% pure pumpkin” and pumpkin is the only ingredient. You do not want “pumpkin pie mix” which has added sugar and spices.

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Feeling ambitious? Follow these instructions to make your own pumpkin puree.

Want more? Check out 25 Paleo Pumpkin Recipes here.

What’s your favorite pumpkin product or recipe?

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You may also like:

Winter Squash 101

Time for a Post-Thanksgiving Diet Reboot?

 Know someone who could use a hefty dose of pumpkin? Don’t forget to share!

 

Zucchini Recipe Round Up

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Written by Jacqui Campbell MS, RD, CDN

If you garden and have planted any zucchini plants you’re likely starting to get a harvest of at least one or two zucchini.  If you’re like any of us at Bordeaux Nutrition you’ve already got zucchini coming out of your ears. Since zucchini tends to be abundant and last throughout much of the summer we’ve put together some recipes (all paleo approved or easily adapted) to help you from getting bored.

First zucchini from Jacqui and Jackie’s gardens (with a side of baby bump and spinach)

Simply grill, saute, or roast/bake – My go-to is to slice zucchini thinly lengthwise or into coins, toss with olive oil and herbs (or oil based salad dressing) and grill or saute in a pan.  You can also roast in the oven at 450° for about 15 minutes, flipping half way. one-pot-spicy-thai-zoodles_thumb

“Zoodles” – a simple and quick substitute for spaghetti/noodles in any dish.  You can use a spiralizer for spaghetti-like noodles or a simple vegetable peeler or mandolin for long, flat noodles for lasagna.

Fritters/latkes – Zucchini can be shredded and made into fritters very similar to potato latkes. Just be sure to drain the shredded zucchini well or they will come out soggy.  Paleo Zucchini Fritters recipe.

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Taco Zucchini Boats from 5 Dollar Dinners

Zucchini Boats – Slice zucchini in half length wise and hollow out the inside.  Fill with ground/shredded meat, spices and other veggies. Bake for about 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees or until the boat is soft enough to cut through.

 

 

Zucchini Meatballs to go with your zoodles.  This recipe adds zucchini to traditional meatballs, while this recipe from Skinny Taste is for vegetarian “meatballs” made with mainly zucchini. Make them paleo by swapping out parm and breadcrumbs for almond flour or gluten free bread crumbs.

One Pot Meals

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Flourless Chocolate Zucchini Muffins from Running with Spoons

Sweet Treats (all Paleo!)

No matter how you slice it (haha!), there are tons of ways to utilize zucchini from your garden or CSA. If you’re really sick of it, try freezing it. Cut into bite-size chunks, blanch in boiling water before freezing to lock in the freshness. Store in single-serve bags. You can freeze the chunks on a cookie tray to keep them from sticking together. Once frozen, scrape them off with a spatula and store in a freezer bag. Do this quickly so they don’t thaw. With this method, you can store a large batch in a 1-gallon freezer bag, but makes it easier to pour out a small portion out at a time.

Happy gardening!

National Frozen Food Month

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What do you think of when you hear “frozen food”?  I’m sure a lot of6rzlh_ff_02 people automatically think of frozen meals like pizza or “diet” entrees.  Premade frozen meals are usually loaded with sodium and preservatives, are high in carbohydrates, and low in protein, so overall not the healthiest of options.  Freezing in itself is a method of preservation, so there really is no need to add preservatives to foods that will be frozen.

When I think of frozen foods, I think of individual, unprocessed foods and homemade items that offer convenience and provide several options to make a simple, healthy meal.

Individual Frozen Foods

Frozen fruits and vegetables are picked at peak ripeness and are flash frozen to lock away the nutrients.  These may actually be healthier than fresh produce because you have no way of knowing how long those products have been in transit and sitting on the shelves losing nutrient contefrozen-fruit-raspberries-blackberries-e1440786210865nt.  Frozen fruits and vegetables are great to keep on hand to supplement any meal, whether it be frozen berries or bananas in a smoothie or a steamer bag of veggies to compliment dinner.  Just be aware of added ingredients such as sugar or other sweeteners added to fruits or sauces on vegetables.

Frozen meats, fish and seafood are great protein sources to keep on hand. Prepackaged items like chicken breast are available at the store, or buy it fresh and store in freezer or vacuum sealed bags. Don’t forget to date it so you know how long it’s been in there. Most are best if taken out to thaw the night before like larger cuts of meat or fish.  Small seafood like freezer-burn-preventionshrimp and scallops thaw quickly and can be cooked easily in a pan to add to an array of different meals.  Last night I made a quick meal of a frozen stir fry vegetable blend and some frozen shrimp. Some meats can be found pre-cooked, but pay attention to added ingredients like salt and other preservatives.  Burgers are something that can be cooked straight from the freezer.  You can pre-cook meats and freeze them yourself.  Great examples are meatball or mini-meatloaf muffins or slices.

Homemade Foods to Freeze

Leftovers – Nothing beats the convenience of popping a frozen meal in the microwave after a long day. Sometime you just don’t want to cook. The secret is in your meal prep. Simply double your recipes and save the leftovers if freezer containers. Make sure to freeze in individual servings to be defrosted for a quick lunch or dinner later on. I often freeze soups, chili, or casseroles. Soon your freezer will resemble the frozen food aisle, without all of the extra preservatives.

742b403301e1b7f701b9a416e156251eSauces, stock, or pesto – Freeze in quart size bags or in ice cube trays for easy thawing. It sure beats seasoning mixes that are full of chemicals.

“Crock Pot Dump Meals” – Combine all (or most) of the ingredients needed for a meal in a gallon size freezer bag. Use a sharpie to label and write cooking instructions on the bags.  When ready to prepare, take out the night before to thaw in the refrigerator, then pop it in the crockpot the next day. You can find some great paleo freezer meal recipes here and here.

You can actually freeze A LOT of foods. Save time and money when shopping by buying certain items in larger quantities and freezing them.  Check out this article for what you can freeze and how to do it. Having items ready to go in the freezer can save you time and can help you make better meal choices. Success is all about making good choices easier.