Saturday, June 30, 2012

Ranking Fruit

All fruit is good for you! Eat whatever is in season and whatever fruit you like!

Here is the ranking of fruit according to their content of 9 vitamins and fiber. The higher the score, the more nutrient dense the fruit is. As expected fresh fruit is better than juice or canned fruit

  • Watermelon, 2 c                         310
  • Grapefruit, 1/2                            263
  • Papaya, 1/2                                223
  • Cantaloupe, 1/4                         200
  • Orange                                      186
  • Strawberry, 1 cup                      173
  • Kiwi, 1                                      115
  • Raspberries, 1 c                         106
  • Tangerine, 1                              105
  • Mango, 1/2                                  94 
  • Honeydew, 1/8                            85 
  • Apricot, 2 fresh                            78
  • Banana, 1                                     47
  • Peach, 1                                        46
  • Pear, 1                                          44
  • Apple, 1                                       43
  • Raisin, 1/4 c                                 24
  • Pear, Canned                               20
  • Apple juice, 1/2 c                        14

Taken from Nancy Clark's Guide to Nutrition


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Friday, June 29, 2012

Sports Nutrition Q & A

Nancy Clark is a Registered Dietitian with a great book called Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook. If you are into sports nutrition, its worth reading, and since its written by a Registered Dietitan you know you can trust it! 

Here is some interesting information for the book:

If you start and exercise program, you'll lose body fat. 
- You will only lose body fat is you create a calorie deficit for the whole day. A lot of people start exercising but do not lose any weight because they end up "rewarding" them seleves with food after they exercise that is as much or more calories then they just burned. Even though they exercise, they end up eating more calories which does not result in any calorie deficit that day. If you want to lose weight you will have to also consume less calories that day, and you should concentrate on doing exercise that builds muscle. building muscle increases your metabolism and helps burn more calories throughout the day, as opposed to fat which is inactive and burns nearly no calories at rest. Also, when you exercise your body gets more hungry and causes you to consume more calories to compensate for the calories lost, make sure you understand this and keep the amount of calories you consume in check.

Men are more likely to lose weight with exercise than are women. 
- Women are built to have more fat on them because they are fertile and need to be able to carry a baby. Men are meant to be thinner because they are the hunters. Studies show, that with the same amount of exercise men lose significantly more weight then women do. This is due to many factors, but one is that men are able to eat less that day and women's appetite keeps up with the amount they exercise, so they end up eating more and creating less of a calorie deficit for that day as opposed to men.

To reduce fat around the stomach and hips, you should incoprotate sit ups into your exercise program. 
- Vigorgous exercise for one spot such as sit-ups wont reduce fat cells in that area. To lose fat cells you need to lose weight, and you will lose fat cells everywhere. You lose fat by creating a calorie deficit. Doing sit-ups will result in more abdominal muscles which is great, but unless you created a calorie defifit and lose weight as well you will still have the same amount of fat in your stomach or thigh area.

Conclusion about Sports and Nutrition:
Nancy Clark suggests exercising for other purposes than to lose weight. If you exercise to lose weight you will give up, you need to have a purpose and meaning that makes you enjoy exercise so that it is a part of your routine for the rest of your life. Examples incluse exercising to release stress, exercising to feel better, walking with your dog a few miles every day, exercising for a marathon, bicacling to work, or doing bike tours with family and friends. Try to find exercises that you can enjoy outside of the gym like paddle boarding, skiing, surfing, gardening, roller blading, riding bicacle, walking your dog. Bring with you your favorite music or friends to make the time pass more quickly. Exercising should be fun or else you will have a hard time sticking to it.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Mediterranean diet part 2

In continuation of the last post post that went over the basic features of the Mediterranean diet, here is more tips and information on how to incorporate this tip into your life.

Mediterranean diet shopping list 

  • Protein  
    • Halibut 
    • Salmon 
    • Sole 
    • Tilapia 
    • Trout 
    • Tuna 
    • Shrimp 
    • Boneless skinless chicken breast 
  • Fruit - fresh or frozen 
    • Apples 
    • Bananans
    • Cherries 
    • Citrus
    • Berries 
    • Dates 
    • Grapes
    • Melons 
    • Nectarines 
    • Peaches 
    • Pears 
    • Pomegranate 
    • Any fruit that is in season and that you like! 
  • Vegetables - fresh, frozen, or canned with low-salt
    • Asparagus 
    • Broccoli 
    • Beets
    • Bell peppers
    • Brussels sprouts  
    • Carrots 
    • Corn 
    • Cucumbers 
    • Eggplant 
    • Fennel 
    • Green beans 
    • Peas 
    • Onions 
    • Olives
    • Mushrooms 
    • Spinach 
    • Lettuce 
    • Green leafy vegetables 
    • Tomatoes 
    • Avocado 
    • Any vegetables that are in season and that you like! 
  • Grains - Whole grains 
    • Barley 
    • Brown rice 
    • Buckwheat 
    • Bulgur
    • Whole-wheat Couscous 
    • Faro 
    • Oatmeal 
    • Quinoa 
    • Wheat berries
    • Whole wheat bread 
    • Stone-ground tortillas and breads 
    • Woole-wheat pasta 
  • Legumes, nuts, and seeds 
    • Almonds 
    • Black eyed peas 
    • Cashews
    • Chickpeas 
    • Hazelnuts
    • Kidney beans 
    • Lentils 
    • Pecans
    • Pine nuts
    • Pistachios 
    • Flax seed meal 
    • Walnuts 
    • Black Beans 
  • Herbs and spices - fresh or dried 
    • Basil 
    • Paprika 
    • Turmeric 
    • Mrs. Dash seasoning mix 
    • chili powder 
    • Cinnamon 
    • Cumin 
    • Garlic 
    • Ginger 
    • Mint 
    • Organo 
    • Parsley 
    • Pepper 
    • Rosemary 
    • Saffron 
    • Sage
    • Thyme 
  • Dairy products 
    • Low-fat milk 
    • Low-fat yogurt and kefir 
    • Reduced fat cheese (Feta, Yellow, Cream)  
  • Oils 
    • Olive oil 
    • Canola oil

Tips for eating more like the Mediterranean diet
  • Boost fruits and veggies - add more fruits and veggies to each meal you have. Snack on fruits and veggies. Add veggies to soups and casseroles, add fruits to yogurt, cereal. 
  • Switch to olive oil - use olive oil when sautéing veggies instead of butter, use with lemons as dressings of salads, use light olive oil in baking.  
  • Choose fish more often 
  • Serve petite portions of meat - eat meat as a side dish 
  • Use more whole-grains - for added fiber 
  • Snack on nuts and seeds - snack on a handful of nuts for healthy fats and protein 
  • Use alternative proteins such as legumes - all beans are super high in fiber and protein and low in calories, so eat up! 
  • Spice up your food - use spices instead of oils, butters, and salts to add flavor. Experiment!  
  • Savor food slowly - Enjoy meals with friends and family and eat slowly so you eat less. 
  • Share desserts with friends for a guilt free sweet - Enjoy desserts like fruit and cheese, fresh fruit with biscotti, sorbet, dark chocolate. 
  • Enjoy wine, if you drink, in moderation - 1 cup a day for women and 2 cups a day for men
Good luck! 

Taken from Today's Dietitian Magazine 
Come back for more health, weight loss, and nutrition tips 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Your guide to the Mediterranean Diet - Part 1

The Mediterranean Diet is a delicious and easy way to get your health in check. Mirroring the way people eat in the Mediterranean, this diet has vast amount of health benefits. This diet is high in fresh vegetables and fruit, olive oil, olives, wine, fish, and whole grains.
 I am a strong believer in this way of eating because this is how I grew up eating in Israel.
Image courtesy of

Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet 
  • Increases your life span 
  • Decreases risk and deaths due to heart disease
  • Improves brain function 
  • Improves eye health 
  • Decreases risks for some cancers
  • Decreases risk for diabetes 
  • Lowers blood pressure and LDL Cholesterol (The bad cholesterol) 
  • Protects against Alzheimer's & Parkinson's disease 
  • Improves symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis 
  • Lowers risk of risk 
Basically, every person can benefit from this way of eating, and as a bonus, its delicious! 
The root of the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet is that it is anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is the underlying cause to many chronic diseases. Also, this diet reduces oxidative stress because it is high in anti-oxidants. (Read more about the importance of an anti-inflammaotry diet in my previous post, here.)

Image courtesy of

Features of the Mediterranean Diet 
  • Grains, Vegetables, and Fruits are a part of most of your meals 
    • These foods are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber
    • whole grains, minimally processed 
    • fresh vegetables and fruits, unsweetened 
  • Olive oil and olives are the main source of fat 
    • Limit all other types of oils and spreads which are pro-inflammatory  
    • Eat olives whole
    • Use olive oil in cooking, baking, preparing salad dressings, and cooking vegetables 
  • Nuts, beans, legumes, and seeds 
    • provide healthy fats, protein, and fiber
  • Herbs and spices used in large amounts 
    • Can add flavor to your food without sodium or fat 
    • Most herb and spices have additional health benefits and anti-oxidant properties 
  • Cheese and Yogurt 
    • Low-fat dairy products 
    • Important for bone and heart health in low amounts 
  • Fish 
    • High in omega 3s, high in protein, and low in calories and saturated fat 
  • Eggs 
    • Used in place of meat in meals, limit a whole egg to 1 per day. 
    • Good source of protein 
  • Meats are limited 
    • Poultry breast is eaten most often 
    • Lean meats are eaten less often 
  • Sweets are limited 
    • Fruits are used as dessert 
    • Sweetened desserts are consumed less often and in smaller portions 
  • Wine is consumed often 
    • 1 cup per day for women, and 2 cups per day for men. 
    • Red wine has vast amount of health benefits 
  • Water is the primary beverage of choice 
  • Portion sizes 
    • limit your portions of meats, sweets, wine, poultry, and eggs 
  • Moderation is key 
    • You may enjoy all your favorite foods in this diet, but in moderation. 
  • Daily physical activity 
    • include activity daily, from swimming to biking, do your favorite exercise. 
  • Enjoy meals in the company of others 
    • Enjoy your meals among family and friends 
Come back tomorrow for easy ways to integrate this diet into your life. I will include a shopping list, and quick tips. 


This information is from the may 2012 issue of Today's Dietitian, a periodical for health professionals 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Portion Control Tips

Controlling the size of the portions you eat can be a great tool to allow you to enjoy all the foods you like and still maintain your goal weight.
Many people have no idea how much they should be serving of each  food or they don't know how much they have eaten.

Quick health tip:

  • Always pre-portion your food - never eat out of family-size chip bags, ice-cream carton, ect. - Serve yourself a portion and go eat it away from the kitchen. 
  • Buy calorie controlled bags (ex. 100 calorie packs) or if your buy a regular size bag, portion out servings into individual sandwich bags. 

Know your serving sizes: 

Look how serving sizes can make a huge difference in the amount of calories you consume:

Here is a quick reference to what your servings should look like:

When it comes to meat, grains, oil, salad dressing, butter, and cheese you want to stick to these serving sizes.
Fresh fruits, fresh veggies, and cooked veggies without added oil is what you can serve more of.

Print out a copy of this and place on your refrigerator for a quick reference. 

How to set up your plate:
  • If you take a standard size plate and make it look like this during lunch and dinner - your servings will be on point. 
  • If you are itching for 2nd servings ONLY SERVE FRUIT AND VEGETABLES (boiled, baked, raw, or steamed without added fat) 
  • Get more information on
  • For general health 
    • choose whole fresh fruit over canned 
    • choose whole grains 
    • choose low-fat dairy 
    • choose protein such as beans, chicken breast, or fish 
    • prepare vegetables by boiling, steaming, baking, or grilling, or raw 
  • Read more on this topic from my previous post about how to set up your plate and get additional weight loss tips here.

Hope this helps!


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