Daily Eating Tips
Host, Gerry Barnaby - Hey, what’s happenin’, Barnaby here. Everybody eats at least three times a day but the big question is, what are you eating? Is it the best you can do to feel the best you can? This is another HelloLife Moment which is a life science and technology company out of Grand Rapids. Check it out. We have Jessica Butcher, who is our nutritionist. How are you?
Health Coach, Jessica Butcher, RD – Great, Barnaby. How are you doing?
Barnaby – Doing very well. So let’s talk about what you can eat for breakfast, snack, lunch and dinner that’s really going to get you out the door and on your way. So let’s start with breakfast.
Jessica – Alright. Well, of course, breakfast, everyone immediately thinks of cereal products. And when you face that cereal aisle at the grocery store, there are seemingly thousands of choices. How do you pick the right one? Well, we have lots of different choices and, of course, I’m going to recommend a whole grain product. And right here you do see the symbol for whole grain which is going to help you identify that yes, there are whole grains included. But, where the key is, you really have to look over here at the ingredients statement. And you see that the very first one listed is multi-grain flakes. That does not necessarily mean that it’s whole grain. You really want to see that word, ‘whole’ before whatever grain is going to be listed there on the product. So that’s really important. And that way, those whole grains are going to bring you more nutrition, more fiber and really help to stabilize your blood sugar to maintain your energy throughout the day. Really help you to feel full for a lot longer after your breakfast.
Barnaby – Well I tell you what, because it is perceived to be healthy, there is a caveat, and that is, you gotta watch out for the sugar content. You can’t just eat bowl after bowl saying, ‘It’s good for me! Why should I stop?’
Jessica – Definitely, definitely. A lot of products have tons of sugar. Especially kids cereals, though now we are starting to see a lot more that at least have that reduced sugar labeling. But where you’ll find out exactly how much sugar is in the product, you can come right back to that nutrition facts panel, which just has a wealth of information for you. And look right below the carbohydrate symbol and it will tell you the specific amount of grams that are in there. You really want to make sure – a good rule of thumb, I guess, look for at least five grams of fiber in your cereal per serving. That’s a really good rule of thumb for you to keep an eye out for. But really, just watching out for that whole grain in there. And this cereal, as an example, their famous claim to fame, is just that there’s as much protein as there is in an egg. That’s definitely a great option for you to help sustain your energy.
Barnaby – Ok, but man and woman does not live by grain alone. You have to have some fruit to kick start it in the morning. So, strawberries are getting a lot of press as being a darned near perfect fruit. But boy, again, watch out with that!
Jessica – well, definitely. Strawberries, I mean, think of all your berries. Their skin is so thin. Full of nutrients, of course, but, when it comes to pesticides, I highly recommend getting your berries organic. Because that skin is so thin, all the pesticides seep right inside it and you can’t exactly wash it off. And how many people are actually peeling their strawberries? So for products like these I would definitely recommend the organic option. But they’re so rich in anti-oxidants which are truly going to help fight away all those free radicals in your body and really help to keep down your inflammation.
Barnaby – Oh, but along ten o’clock, the tummy starts rumbling and people are lookin’ for the snack! And I’ll tell you, it’s not the vending machine that’s going to save you. It’s going to be something out of the refrigerator – something along the lines of yogurt?
Jessica – Yogurt would be a great option. Yogurt oftentimes has a lot of protein in it. Has a little bit of fat – definitely there’s a lot of fat free options. But the fat can truly help to sustain your level. I mean, the carbohydrates give you that quick burst of energy but if there’s some fats and some healthy proteins in there, it’s gonna help to stabilize and maintain that energy for a lot longer.
Barnaby – And if you’re looking to take a walk on the international side, there is the Greek yogurt. Let’s talk about that. What’s up with the Greek yogurt that’s different that the regular yogurt that most of us are familiar with?
Jessica – That’s true. Greek yogurt has been huge lately and I have lots of friends and family members that are asking me so many questions about Greek yogurt. Um, it starts out the exact same as regular yogurt. But they really strain off all that liquid – the whey that you see on top of normal yogurt. They strain it all off, which takes away a lot of the sugar in the yogurt – a lot of that lactose. It also is some of the protein. So that is something to keep in mind. But they have lots of flavorful ingredients out there filled with this Greek yogurt. Lots of new brands so it’s certainly a good one to try out.
Barnaby – Ok, so should we be having some protein at lunch too? Because that is what kind of fuels you immediately. The carbs sustain you but you need to have a little bit of a kick start so you’re not jacking the soda.
Jessica – Definitely. As I said, both protein and fat will help to sustain your energy level. And protein, of course, is a little bit of a healthier option, because it doesn’t come with the calories found in fat. So, of course, beans - I would definitely recommend as being a healthy option. Black beans are, really, just that color in itself tells you right away that there’s probably a lot more anti-oxidants in there and a lot more nutrition. Because that bright color, I mean, they really recommend – the USDA pushes us to get a rainbow of color on our plates. And now, with the 2010 dietary guidelines, they want us to make at least half of our plates filled with produce. They want get so much more color and really just spice up our diets.
Barnaby – That’s why we have molars. They are grinding teeth, not cutting teeth. Really gotta start stocking up on the vegetables. And here’s one of my favorites right here. It is the yam, or, the sweet potato. What a perfect food that is!
Jessica – The yam is excellent. It’s so rich in beta carotene, which is exactly the form of Vitamin A our body needs. So it will really help with our vision in one aspect but it’s so rich in anti-oxidants. One of my favorite ways to eat this my grandma taught me. You just bake it right in the microwave. You just slice it up into little fry-size pieces, coat them in egg whites and you can bake them right in the oven and then you have some sweet potato fries that are excellent, chock full of nutrition.
Barnaby – Ok, and, because we are in the middle of the cooler season, we have a lot of soups that are being offered up. And what better thing to put in soup than some chard. Why is that?
Jessica – Swiss chard – I love using Swiss chard in soup. I mean it’s a lot different than spinach, you hear all the time and Swiss chard still has the calcium that’s found in your spinach. But it really adds so much bulk to your soups. So it helps to sustain you and you feel like, even though you’re just having a cup of soup, I mean, it fills you up, because there’s so much fiber and great nutrition in there, your body just enjoys that food.
Barnaby – Alrightie. And then there is this lonely little fruit – or vegetable. I don’t even know what it is! I’ve never seen it before. What is that thing?
Jessica – This is a fruit. It’s found more so in your Asian markets. I believe it’s originally stemmed from Japan, but it’s called, ‘bitter melon’ and it’s a fruit. But, it has twice the amount of calcium that you find in spinach, double the potassium that you find in a banana, and they actually have, there’s lots of thought that it may actually help to stabilize your blood sugar. So actually, the pull the pieces, the nutrients right out of here and dry it into capsule form. And diabetics may take that supplement to help stabilize their blood sugar.
Barnaby – Boy, I tell you what. It’s all great information but we’re just scratching the surface here. Because Jessica knows so much more and thankfully, she’s going to be blogging. There’s going to be a section called, ‘Ask the nutritionist’ on the HelloLife.net website. So check back often, you know, because it’s all about what you put in your stomach. And this is a great start on the breakfast, lunch and dinner. Thanks a lot, Jessica!
Jessica – Anytime!