Apr 07

Recipe: Flaxseed “Grain-less” Granola

I picked up this recipe after reading “The Plan,” by Lyn-Genet Recitas. While I have modified the recipe to my liking, it was easy to make and currently my go-to afternoon snack. I mix about an 1/8 of the recipe with a clean protein powder/water drink and about 1/2 cup of frozen berries. This is a great snack on active days and when I know it’s going to be a later dinner. As it’s satiating, it’s a great balance for my blood sugar (to-date I’ve had type 1 diabetes for nearly 2.5 decades).

Curious to learn more about how I eat and how I maintain optimal blood sugars, check out my most recent published book. flax

Ingredient:

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cup whole flaxseeds
  • 1/2 T local honey
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • sea salt to taste
  • ½ cup raisins (optional – as noted, I prefer frozen berries)

Combine water and flax – let sit for 30 min. and mix again. Preheat oven to 275F. Add honey, spices, vanilla and flax together. Spread granola in thin layer on baking sheet and bake for 50 min. Reduce oven temp to 225F. Cut sheet o granola into clusters, flip and bake an additional 35 min., until thoroughly dry. Add raisins and store in airtight container. Or omit this step and add fresh or frozen fruit when enjoying the recipe. Have as a cereal with coconut milk or blend protein powder with water to increase the protein amount of the snack/meal. As a meal this makes 4 servings, as a snack, makes 8.

Apr 05

Weight Loss Food Myths

If you didn’t catch my social media posts about an interview I had with Redbook Magazine, catch the details here. 

9 “Healthy” Foods That Are Actually Destroying Your Weight Loss Goals

Like that cup of yogurt, for starters. 

You know that all-too-familiar feeling: The one when you desperately need a snack, so you pour a quick bowl of whole-grain cereal or grab a bag of pre-portioned pretzels. Smart, right? Ehhh. It might make you even more hungry, unfortch. “When you eat processed carbs (anything made with refined grains, flour, or wheat), your blood sugar rises quickly because there’s little to no protein or fiber,” says Akilesh Palanisamy, M.D., an integrative medicine physician and author of The Paleovedic Diet. What’s worse: They could be sabotaging your weight loss goals, wreaking havoc all over your digestive system and making it virtually impossible to lower that number on the scale. So read on to learn more about the foods you thought were a wise choice—especially when you just need something other than kale—and what you can swap ’em out for instead.

Quinoa Chips

This new-to-the-scene snack food features all the buzzwords that make it sound like the ultimate healthy snack: It’s asuperfood! And gluten-free! There’s protein and fiber! The problem: They’re basically corn chips with a little quinoa thrown in, says Kelly Schmidt, R.D., a nutritionist and blogger at Paleo Infused Nutrition. And the quinoa itself has been so highly processed that it’s lost the nutritional boost that made it healthy in the first place. Need proof? Just compare the stats of one cup of cooked quinoa (8g protein, 5g fiber) to one serving of quinoa chips (1g protein, less than 1g fiber)—and then listen to your stomach make noise because it’s still going to be hungry.

The better choice: Beyond nuts and seeds, there are plenty of ways to get that crunchy texture. Choose super-portable whole fruit like an apple or pear, or go for freeze-dried fruit—it has a sweeter, crispy taste and way less sugar than dried fruit, says Schmidt. Bonus: They’re not super perishable, so they can be the go-to snack in your purse for a few days.

Microwaveable Popcorn

Nutritionists always say popcorn is ahealthy snack, and it is, so long as it’s made right. “The microwaveable kind has cancer-causing chemicals in them,” explains Palanisamy. One is called PFOA, which the EPA says is likely a cancerous carcinogen that’s found in the plastic of the bag. The other is in the butter flavor, and it’s known as diactyl, an organic compound that’s been linked with breathing issues and lung disease, thus making “popcorn lung” a real—and serious—health concern.

The better choice: Still go for the fiber-filled popcorn, just DIY it on the stove (using heart-healthy olive oil) with an air popper like this one from Cuisinart. And don’t be afraid to play with flavors, asadding in spices like turmeric or cinnamon can kickstart your metabolism without adding calories.

Fat-Free Cheese or Greek Yogurt

The obsession with low- and no-fat products we had in the ’90s still lingers, but reaching for them isn’t better than grabbing the full-fat kind. Researchers found that people who ate full-fat dairy tend to have lower body weight, less weight gain, and a lower risk of obesity compared to those who continued the fad. They think it’s likely because when you remove fat from dairy, you also strip away beneficial fatty acids that can help you feel full, so you end up eating more in the long run. Plus, a lot of people opt for flavored yogurt, which has tons of sugarthat, once again, put your blood sugar on a crazy roller coaster ride.

The better choice: Go full-fat—and don’t feel one stitch of guilt about it. As for flavor, mixing in natural foods like fruit, honey, or coconut chips can take your spoonful in whichever direction you crave.

 

Pretzels

 These salty bites may sound like a smart snack since they’re lower in fat and calories than potato chips, but they actually won’t do your waistline any favors. “They don’t contain any nutrients,” says Palanisamy. “They’re basically all carbs and loaded with sodium,” so they’ll put your blood sugar on a roller coaster ride, spiking your levels sky-high only to make you hungry as soon as it drops back down.

The better choice: Coconut chips, says Schmidt. Never heard of ’em? Get acquainted, as these babies are filled withhealthy fats to keep you full. And while they’re typically sweet, savory lovers can get in on the action now as brands likeDang Foods offer up flavors like bacon or chili lime.

Vegetable Chips

Chips made with sweet potato, beets, or parsnip—those ought to be healthy, what with vegetables being the primary ingredient and all. But Palanisamy says they’re pretty high in fat—around 9g per serving—and it’s not the good kind. The oils used range from canola to sunflower or safflower, all of which contain omega-6 fatty acids, which promote inflammationthat’s been linked with autoimmune diseases, heart disease, cancer, insulin resistance, and weight gain. Plus, the whole reason you’re eating them—because you want those good-for-you nutrients from the veggies—is a farce. Palanisamy says the chips have been stripped of those benefits, and they provide no protein and little-to-no fiber.

The better choice: If you’re craving the crunch, go for a handful of nuts (almond or macadamia) or seeds (sunflower or pumpkin) instead, says Palanisamy. Yes, they’re high in fat, but it’s the healthy omega-3 kind associated with heart health, lower risk of cancer, lower blood pressure, and reduced inflammation.

Rice Cakes

These have the perpetual stigma of being a smart, low-cal “diet food,” and sure, they’re not the worst idea in the world. “Rice cakes can make a good snack for people who are transitioning toward agluten-free diet if it’s a smart health decision for them to do so,” says Schmidt. But since they’re high in carbs, they’re high on the glycemic index, and a recent study found a potential link between high-glycemic foods and lung cancer. Not to mention high-glycemic foods tend to cause your blood sugar to spike, then crash, which makes you hungry all over again shortly after you snack.

The better choice: Top your rice cake with almond butter or mashed avocado to give it some staying power, suggests Schmidt. The spreads contain healthy fats and protein, which will keep you full longer and your blood sugar from rising too quickly.

Cereal

Truth: The breakfast staple usually plays a major role in taming mid-afternoon hunger because it’s fast, convenient, and you can eat it straight from the bag. But therein lies the danger—it’s super easy to eat a reasonable portion, and then some more, and more after that. Then you’ve blown over 200 calories on an unsatisfying snack, because most of the time it’s made from refined grains that aren’t rich in nutrients, says Palanisamy. Another problem: Boxes tout being “high in fiber,” but it’s usually insoluble fiber that’s been shown to cause irritation in the gut, bloating, and other GI issues, he adds. Healthier, soluble fiber is what you find in foods like barley or beans.

The better choice: Make a bowl of plain oatmeal as it has the soluble fiber that can reduce your risk of heart disease and help food move along your GI tract (not to mention nix bloat and constipation), says Palanisamy. Ramp up the flavor—and score extra nutrients—by adding berries and chia seeds, which have a high level of omega-3s.

Popped Chips

Sadly, “popping” chips instead of baking or frying them doesn’t make much of a nutritional difference, says Palanisamy. Yes, they slash the fat content in half compared to regular potato chips, but they don’t offer any micronutrients, like vitamins and minerals, and their paltry fiber and protein quotas (1g of each)—not to mention calorie count—is comparable to what you find in a serving of the regular stuff.

The better choice: First, figure out if you’re actually hungry. Schmidt says people often reach for processed snacks when it’s a craving, and not true hunger. Ask yourself, “Would I eat carrots or an apple right now?” If the answer is yes, trythese junk food swaps. If not, grab a glass of water instead.

100-Calorie Snacks

Seems like a genius idea: Grab a bag and you have a pre-portioned, calorie-conscious snack at your convenience for those times you’re craving dessert. But you’re better off grabbing a more caloric snack that has tons of nutrients to actually keep you full. “When you’re eating a small 100-calorie bag of cookies or crackers, you’re not really getting what you want,” says Schmidt. And that makes you much more likely to reach for another, and another, and another.

The better choice: “If it’s not a whole food, it’s not worth your money,” says Schmidt. If dessert is what you’re after, try foods that are naturally sweet, like dates stuffed with peanut butter or any of these healthy options.

Mar 30

We Are On the Move

For any viewers I do not have your email, please see an update below I sent out last month. If you would like to be notified of any of my updates, please send me an email to [email protected]

Hi Friend,

I am sending this email with a heavy heart as my family and I are starting the process of relocating to Columbus, Ohio. As you likely know, Chicago is a city like no other, and I trust that is because of the lovely people that live here. Furthermore, this was the perfect place for me to start my practice, and I have you to thank for that. I look forward to carrying my experiences on and expanding my services come Fall of this year in Ohio.

As this change means I will no longer be in Lincoln Park come May, please know I am still accessible and interested in continuing helping you. I am also using this summer and opportunity to reconsider how to help more people, more often, going along the lines of creating more FREE content and communities for my viewers. I will still be doing remote counseling and plan to join the Columbus, Ohio local JDRF committee, but want to push myself to new heights. Stay tuned and I will do my best to keep you updated, while not spamming you.

On this note, I have had clients suggest business ideas to me – if you are interested in a RD tackling something you see a need for and I am fitting, let me know what that is. It can be from a new book idea (a client told me to write a book on “Honey I shrunk my A1C%,” for example) to a health workshop, etc. I am all ears here.

I am ever so thankful for you and being able to practice something I love.

Shall your kitchen ongoing be your pharmacy and your grocery list, be your prescription pad. I hope to stay in touch.

Healthy regards,
Kelly

Mar 25

Work It Gurl! #BloodSugarControl #Fitness

Hey Peter Cottontail, you are not the only one feeling lively with the dawn of Spring. With longer periods of daylight and warmer temps, folks are moving more and brewing up fitness goals. If like me, my diabetes is something I have to keep tabs on daily, but with an influx in exercise, I especially have to assess and measure it more. As a refresh, here is a laundry list of areas to consider to have optimal blood sugar control with an enjoyed workout:

  • Pick a form of exercise that makes you feel alive (like a kid) and assess what type of shape you are in before jumping in. Have you been hibernating more this winter than wearing out your tennis shoes? If yes, make a point to take additional steps before starting the exercise as it will impact your insulin sensitivity more drastically than if it’s a routine event. Quick example – I had a baby girl last summer and took a good 3 months off before pushing it hard in the gym again. With this drastic change of initiating set exercise, I had to further tinker a snack before my workout, further adjust a temp basal 30-60 minutes before the exercise and/or also cut my basal rate/insulin requirements while working out.
  • Hydration is so important. Drink half your weight in ounces, and then for exercise drink an additional ~10 ounces every 10-20 minutes of exercise. Herbal teas, coffees, sodas, etc, do not count towards this goal. And periodically tally how many ounces you are drinking. It’s funny, when I have clients write their food and drinks down, we often underestimate food, and overestimate water. If you plan to sweat longer than an hour, plan to include some electrolytes with the water. You can opt for a healthy non-Gatorade option too. Heat is also to be considered with these estimated needs. Know that when you have a sense of thirst, you are already behind on your water needs.
  • Start small (with fitness). I was so thrilled when a number of my friends joined my gym a few months back, and with that they all wanted to do every offered class from spin classes, to other high intensity workouts, etc, daily. As I was excited to join in, I also knew I needed to be more cautious and assess when I’d be ready to partake in such. Things I wanted to think through was what time of the day was the class? I do best about 60-90 minutes after a meal, or having a class right before lunch. This way I can plan to have a base of food to help nurture stable blood sugars coming off the exercise, and I’d adjust how much of the meal I’d cover with my insulin dose. Not only does the timing of meals around an exercise matter, but so does the overall time of day. For an evening or late afternoon workout, I will have to cut insulin needs more than if the same exercise were in the morning. This is to be something to self experiment with; I am not suggesting all fellow diabetics should do what I do. It’s helpful to take notes and review this stuff.
  • Have a workout goody bag. Perhaps I can have a better name for this, but have some forms of sugar (fast acting and stabilizing foods) handy. I used to use glucose tabs as they could help me precisely estimate how many I needed based on a low blood sugar, but now I have moved onto using either fruit leathers or dates. I also carry Quest bars with me. They are a great option to lift my sugars post workout at a slower rate, but also hold them at a good level. For a cardio class I will have about half the bar before hand, blood sugar pending, and the remainder if needed post-workout. I test (BG), I don’t guess, after classes as my senses can be off with the work I put myself through. Another good bar option pre-workout include these mini Raw Rev bars, and post workout, these protein Raw Rev Glo bars. 
  • Give the instructor a heads-up that you are new to the class and you may need to step aside in the middle of class to take care of your blood sugar. If you feel a little uncomfortable, maybe send them an email before hand or just let them know you can have episodes of hypoglycemia. Wearing emergency alert bracelets, etc is also a brilliant idea.

These are just a few things to remind ourselves to do when getting back to a fitness routine. However, I am sure I have a few things missing; I’d love to hear from you. Let me know what your go-to practices are.

Cheers to you and good health,

Kelly

Mar 08

Paleo Infused News to Use – Love Sweet Potatoes?

But have to keep a close eye on managing your blood sugars? I do to both, and as someone with type one diabetes, I consciously and subconsciously make note of how all food makes me feel and how food affects my blood sugar.

Thanks to some advice I picked up from the Fat Burning Man, Abel James, who was a listed expert on “My Diet Is Better Than Yours,” he highlighted how to simply cut the glycemic impact of a sweet potato in half by boiling or steaming a sweet potato verse baking it.  How easy! And so much more gentle on my blood sugar. In doing this small trick I can more often enjoy more sweet potato in one sitting. It’s the small things right? Recipe below if you want some hand-holding on how to make the best sweet potato.

 

Prep and Cook Time: 7 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb sweet potatoes, diced (if organic, do not peel)
  • 2 cloves chopped or press garlic
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 TBS ground pumpkin seeds
  • 2 TB fresh chopped rosemary
  • Optional:
  • 1/2 onion slice (cook with the sweet potatoes)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves

Directions:

  1. Fill bottom of steamer with 2 inches of water.
  2. While steam is building up press or chop garlic and let sit for at least 5 minutes to bring out more of its health-promoting properties.
  3. Cut potatoes in half and cut into 1/2″ slices. You do not neet to peel if they are organic.
  4. Steam sweet potaotes for no more than 7 minutes.
  5. Transfer to a bowl. For more flavor, toss sweet potatoes with the remaining ingredients and any of the optional ingredients you desire while they are still hot.

Serves 2

Recipe credit: http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=recipe&dbid=325

Mar 01

My Crush of the Month – Chicago Bone Broth

I had a mug of broth this AM before breakfast, and it was honestly amazing. I can easily sense the passion and patience put into the broth sourced from Chicago Bone Broth. While (I think) I am pretty decent in the kitchen, my broth hasn’t ever been anything to write home about. The flavor I enjoyed this morning was the offered spicy broth – and it is not a cheap Franks Red Hot spicy, it drew me to believe specific herbs and vegetables were chosen, selectively to give the balanced and enjoyed flavor. And don’t get me wrong, I love me some Franks, just used in the right places; like chili!

If you can’t tell, I am truly crushing on this healing food, and love supporting a local Chicago company. Head over to Chicago Bone Broth’s website to learn more, and if you want to have some of your own, plug in “paleoKelly” for a discount. They have various pickup locations in the city and feel good about your purchase as it also they are partnered w/ Inspiration Corp., whose mission is to help people improve their lives and increase self-sufficiency though social services, employment, placement and housing.

What are you treating yourself with this month? #TreatYoSelf

Jan 25

National Heart Health Month & Our Friend Diabetes

February is all about the heart. From the Hallmark holiday of Valentine’s Day to advocacy and awareness of heart health. In relation to diabetes, heart health and the former share some common ground. For worse, one complication increases the risk of the other, yet, on the positive, these health conditions provide a push to take extra care of our health and food choices.

In the least, here are some small steps that can aid big health results for blood sugar control and caring for our heart.

  • Nurture sleep. Tis the secret sauce of our health. We should act like we are getting paid to sleep; because in the end, we really are regarding health. When we are sleep-deprived, we are not only sparking a cascade of events in hormonal imbalance, including insulin resistance, but we are also throwing our cravings for a loop. Even if you are not able to pack in the needed 8 hours of sleep by catering to a bedtime, etc., then strive for quality sleep. How? Make sure your room is cool (68F), pitch black, quiet and calm. Get blackout curtains if needed, use some ear plugs if you are a city slicker like myself and detox from electronics a good our before making it to your pillow. Lastly, look into trying a magnesium supplement. Every night I have a routine of sipping on some tea with some unflavored Natural Calm (a magnesium drink).
  • Choose each meal based on a combinations of vegetables and some fruit. From there add in high quality protein. Indeed, make the target of vegetables 2 cups per meal and select of variety of color.  Does this recommendation sound familiar? It not only stems from my philosophy of eating more real food, but rides on the recommendations of one of the top-rated diets in the last 6 years, the DASH diet. 
  • Measure your current weight, and then take that number and divide it in half. The number you get is the value of ounces you should drink within a day. And sorry, the liquids from coffee/tea do not go into this estimation. Find a good water bottle and take it along with you EVERYWHERE.
  • Get up every 60 minutes. Sitting in the modern cigarette. It’s hurting our health on a daily basis. If you follow the tip to drink more, you very much so will be getting up to use the loo more. Either way, cardiovascular health isn’t about hitting it hard in the gym, although that can be a plus if monitored in a healthy dose, but just moving more each hour of the day can please your body, improve blood sugar control, production and more.
  • Lastly, it’s not only about what we feed ourselves with food, but it’s also about what we feed our mind. Pay attention to how you talk yourself, and if the tone can be more gentle or nicer, start changing your thoughts. Be kind, supportive and reassuring.

Jan 14

Crush of the Month – Roasted Cabbage

Sure I’ve seen roasted cabbage on Pinterest a zillion times, however, never did I ever until now try it. And good golly, it’s amazing. Loaded with fiber and nutrients that aid our liver for detox, this extremely economical vegetable needs some promotion and love. Curious for more health information on cabbage? Check out this write-up I did in months past. 

IMG_0785

When I roast cabbage I so easily reach my goal of 6-10 cups of vegetables a day. If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a go without delay.

RECIPE:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a piece of foil over a baking sheet. Spray a light layer of olive oil onto the foil, then place the sliced cabbage on the foil.

Spray another light layer of olive oil on the top of cabbage and sprinkle on s/p. Bake for 20 minutes, flip cabbage over, and bake for a final 20 minutes.

Dec 20

Local Chicago Company – Sustainable Jerky

While at a holiday party this month, I ran into the owner, Ricky Hirsch, of Think Jerky and was a bit blown away when tasting a sample of his turkey jerky, among other sustainable flavors. Our conversation flowed and I asked if Ricky could share a little of his story on my blog. Enjoy!

Per Ricky: “Jerky has always been my favorite food until I was old enough to realize that it just wasn’t healthy. Gas station jerky has always been pumped full of hormones, antibiotics, and preservatives. I gave up eating it because I thought that’s how jerky had to be.

Two years ago I came to the realization that jerky is just baked protein and has the potential, if made properly, to be one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Since I’m not a cook, I partnered with three of the best Chefs in the country to make the recipes. Our Chefs include:

  1. Laurent Gras | Three-Star Michelin Chef
  2. Gale Gand | Food Network Host
  3. Matt Troost | Farm-to-Table expert

We are the first company ever with a collection of Chefs like this and the first company ever with a three-star Michelin Chef. Think Jerky only uses sustainable-raised proteins, with restaurant quality ingredients in recipes by famous Chefs. All of our ingredients are gluten free, Non-GMO, all natural, no nitrites, and have no added hormones or antibiotics.

Our jerky is perfectly portioned in single-serve 100 calorie bags that have 16g protein and only 6g carbs, and is the perfect snack for traveling and the 2pm snack.

We are just launching this week and completed our Kickstarter where we ended up a top 5 most backed food ever. We have already been featured in Food & Wine Magazine, Eater, Crain’s, Paleo Magazine, WGN TV, Splash, Chicago Tribune, Michigan Avenue Magazine, and many more, pretty crazy for a product that’s not fully launched yet.

You can find our jerky online at www.ThinkJerky.com and locally in Chicago

Thank you for letting me share a little of our story and hope your readers can easily find our product and enjoy the benefits, including flavor!”

Ricky

Dec 01

Crush of The Month #Instacart

Have you heard of Instacart? It’s a new go-to in my health toolbox. With road-trips and holidays away, I simply draft up some meals for the week following my return home and place an Instacart grocery delivery upon my arrival. The best thing, I think, about this convenience tactic is I always place an order of organic rotisserie chicken with my grocery order and have a healthy dinner ready to eat while unpacking. Win, win.

What are some of you modern day “tools” for health these days?

 

(And while I understand Instacart is a local Chicago offering, I do believe many groceries are now offering such services to have delivery in other cities).

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