Thursday, November 7, 2013

3 Tips for Learning to LOVE vegetables

Can’t see yourself ever liking vegetables? Neither can a lot of Americans, honestly. The SAD (Standard American Diet) diet consists of doughnuts, sweet rolls, and refined grains along with high fat (dairy, meat, fried) foods. Then of course, a lot of times it's washed down with liquid candy (sweet tea, soda, kool-aid, etc)

Not surprisingly, American's average weight has ballooned from this type of diet. If you've tried to lose weight, only to gain more back, look at your vegetable intake. 

It might not be rainbow bridges and flying ponies at first...vegtables might taste bland, boring, or incredibly terrible to you. It's because you've been consuming SO much sugar/fat/salt and your body needs to adjust to foods that have more acceptable levels. So, if you're desperate to improve your health, stick with the non-starchy vegetables. 

Here's how...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Rewards for Weight Loss and Healthier Eating

If I told you to run a mile, would you? What if I said that if you’d do it, I’d give you a free trip? A real one...not some scam. Would you be more interested?

Rewards can be powerful motivators. That’s why two important strategies for forming healthier eating habits (and weight loss) are setting specific, reasonable goals and following through in giving yourself the reward when you meet the goal.

Rewards can be as small as a paying for a few songs on iTunes or as big as a new car. As short as a movie (maybe even without the kids) or as long as a week vacation. They can be one-time...or weekly. Free...or expensive. They’re your chance to make healthy eating and weight loss even more exciting and enjoyable while adjusting. So, ask yourself what is it in life that you really enjoy? Or what would you like? 

You can be creative in picking rewards, but it’s not a good idea to use food. For example, “If I go for a run tonight, I’ll reward myself with Starbucks in the morning.” You can see how that would be counterproductive. Yet saying, "If I go for a jog tonight, I'll treat myself to watching my favorite episode/show on hulu." Find what works for you and then commit to it.

In terms of changing your eating habits, you may set a goal to eat more fruit. Let's say, at least 3 servings a day 5 days of the week. Well, a serving can be half a banana, a piece of fruit the size of a tennis ball (1/2 cup), or 2 tablespoons dried fruit. So always make sure your goals are measurable. And if you don't meet your goal for that day/week/month, sigh it out with a big exhale, let it go, and move on. Although rewards are nice incentives, most of the time life is much more precious than focusing too much on what you did or didn't do. 

So, take some time to plan a few specific goals and then how you will reward yourself for accomplishing those goals. Don’t forget to also reward yourself along your journey for the positive things you’re doing. Keep plugging away and you'll get there. :)


Note: This exercise is meant to get you started, but giving yourself rewards is a tool you should use often when trying to make new habits. Some people feel silly rewarding themselves for eating healthier, especially if it's contributing to weight loss. They may think they should never have gained the weight in the first place, and losing weight is their duty. If that’s you, take a chill pill. Healthy eating is a big achievement; and I believe it’s definitely worth rewarding. :)

What are some rewards you've given to yourself? How did they work in motivating you? 

Questions?... E-mail me at: morgan@livepoweredbyplants.com

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Rustic Tomato Soup

Earlier this week, I posted a vegan twist on the infamous grilled cheese that stacks up very well if I don't say so myself. Today, I wanted to share the delicious tomato soup I accompanied it with.

Now, this is not your ordinary tomato soup. This is easy peasy, done in 10 minutes with nutritional boosts all the way around kind of tomato soup. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Grilled Hummus "Cheese" Sandwich

Part of the reason traditional grilled cheese is an American favorite is because of the ooey gooey warm comforting cheese. Nearly the same sensation can be recreated with hummus as the "glue" and a dabble of your favorite toppers...I prefer spinach and onion.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

To Gain or Not to Gain...It's up to you!

As I was driving back from Atlanta yesterday, I was thrilled to see billboards for more than your typical interstate fare of McDonalds, Wendy's, and here in the south, Cracker Barrel. There were a ton of Moe's billboards! Moe's is one of my favorite burrito places. To be fair, Chipotle and Qdoba are my favorites too. Moe's is one notch above simply because protein rich tofu is available, but unfortunately locations aren't as ubiquitous (yet). 


Some people say the burrito joints popping up are just glorified fast food. Sure, they serve up quite a bit of sodium, but they also can offer good food at a reasonable price served quickly when eating on the run (or on the road as in my case). 



They are good places to eat if you want to gain weight. Which, I'm betting most people don't want. Ironically, they are also good places to eat if you don’t want to gain weight.  Let me illustrate with two burrito samples... 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

BEST Portable Plant Protein

I’ve come to the place where if I don't get a cup of beans a day for my fiber-rich source of protein, I start searching for them. And since I love to cook, I’m totally into fixing beans in as many delicious ways as I can. Which reminds me, I need to post more bean-lovin' recipes!

The problem comes when I travel: it’s hard to get beans at most restaurants.

Solution!

Seapoint Farms Dry Roasted Edamame.

For those who don’t know, edamame refers to young green soybeans. These have been dry roasted and lightly salted so they’re crunchy. You can find these at health food stores and Sam’s Club in bulk. Other brands are out there too.

I put ½ cup portions in snack-size baggies and put several in my suitcase and one in my purse. They don’t need refrigeration and aren’t heavy to carry around.

I sprinkle them on salads, add them to pasta dishes and eat them as a side. Every ½ cup portion gives me a whooping 28 grams of protein and 16 grams of fiber for only 260 calories. Cool beans! (literally!)

An added bonus if you’re concerned about this sort of thing: they’re non-GMO.

If you aren't traveling anytime soon, you can still enjoy these beans as a quick snack at work or in the car. If you give them a whirl, let me know what you think.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Thick and Raw Lemon Bars

With summer in full swing, simple, refreshing desserts are sometimes all you need after a light meal. While these aren't the lowest calorie dessert (thanks to the coconut oil), they are just divine and a small nibble will do you. I prefer them mostly frozen for an extra special summer treat. :)

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Why aren't you hungry at breakfast?

Imagine you've planned a summer road trip to one of your favorite spots.

Question: when would you fill the gas tank of your car? Before you start your trip or after you get there?
Am I really serious? What a stupid question. Everybody knows you “fill ‘er up” before you start.

Another Question

OK, that one was pretty easy. Now try this one.
If food is to your body what gasoline is to your car, when would you want to eat the most food? In the evening before going to bed or in the morning when you get up?

In case you’re not sure, the correct answer is: in the morning.

That’s the Reason

It’s a common American custom to eat the biggest meal at the end of the day, often followed by a snack before going to bed. That results in food being digested throughout most of the night, which eliminates the hunger for breakfast.

What to Do

So if you want to be hungry for breakfast, try doing two things:
  1. Lighten up your supper so it digests before you go to bed. Two examples of a light supper include a raw veggie salad with fat-free dressing or tacos sans cheese and sour cream. The idea is eating a small amount of food that is not loaded with fat as fat takes a long time to digest.
  2. Don’t eat anything after you finish your dinner if going to bed within 3 hours.

An Added Bonus: You’ll sleep much better.

Try it and let me know what you think!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Tomato, Basil, and Avocado Salad!

There are salads, and then there are SALADS! This is one of the most fresh and delicious salads you are sure to taste. Not only are the flavors incredibly sublime, the textures also bring this dish together to make this a very unique salad indeed. It is the finishing touch, the avocado dressing, that makes this dish pop and one you will be wanting to make time and time again. This can be served alongside any main dish or served as a light lunch as is.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Blueberry Heaven - July is Blueberry Month!

July is National Blueberry Month. Celebrate all the health benefits of blueberries – the latest superfood. Blueberries are among the fruits with the highest amount of antioxidants, which is a healthy addition to any diet. If you aren't eating them on a daily basis, find out why you should start...

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Crunchy Thai Styled Salad

I have this family. This wonderful extended family. The sort of people who are warm and kind and want to keep your belly full with divine desserts. And I’m not just saying that. They really do.

Which is all well and fabulous until you return from North Dakota and Minnesota (where they live) to find yourself feeling heavy, full, and in a perpetual food coma. To snap out of it, I've essentially been consuming my weight in dark green leafy vegetables. Not really, but salads have taken over my plate. All sorts of salads ...Mediterranean, throw in the kitchen sink salads, and this Thai inspired salad.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Apple Pie Kale Chips

Friday, June 7, 2013

Simple Peanut Butter Granola

Life is so good. The weather is warm. The weekend felt luxuriously long. Yesterday, an all day tropical storm poured down. I kept stepping outside (under the awning, obviously) taking in that sweet smell of clean water and wet dirt seeping into ground. Everything felt suspended in aliveness and I wished I could hold it, but recognized the absurdity of such an idea. For, it’s only in the fleetingness of this perfection that it can be so utterly, and blessedly enjoyed.

I’ve really been trying to simplify things lately. I find I enjoy things so much more when I’m not rushing, running, and rambling. Which is not to say I’ve yet figure out how to stop rushing so much, but more that I’m at least attempting to wipe a few of to-do flair’s from my list, and settling (quite contentedly) instead for more of less.

Whatever side of the rush you're on - slow and sweetly simple or jam packed - how do you feel about an incredibly simple, highly delish bowl of peanut butter granola for breakfast this weekend?? An early reminder to simplify and enjoy. :)

Friday, May 31, 2013

Wedding Season Nutrition Tips!

With Memorial Day just behind us, that means wedding season has officially begun. Similarly to the holiday season, wedding season can be another time of the year that high fat, unhealthier options sneak into our lives. True love is a continuing to eat a high fiber, plant-based diet that keeps you feeling and looking marvelous.


Here are my top 5 to-do's when heading to see the "I do's:"

1. Drink a glass of water in between alcoholic drinks and 1 big glass of water before consuming your meal. Calorie containing beverages provide the calories without the fill factor. By increasing the volume (more water), we will fill up faster leaving less room for the unhealthy options.

2. Decide the specific point when you are content after slowly chewing and eating. Not full and not starving still. Sometimes it helps to talk in between bites. Bottom line, with all that food around, it can be easy to continue grazing and turn the reception into one long 6 hour meal with caloric beverages to boot.

3. If there's a buffet, that makes it easier to fiber fill your plate. Remember the plate method by filling half of your plate with the non-starchy vegetables, one quarter protein (preferably a bean/legume base), one quarter your starch/bread/pasta/etc.

4. By human nature, we like options. When there are an overwhelming number of options in terms of flavor, color, or size, we are wired to think we need to try one of everything. We don't. So, peruse the dessert or appetizer table completely, identify a couple of your favorites, then make a conscious choice on which ONE you'd like. Or, swap bite size pieces with friends and others at your table. I'd also recommend nonching down on fruit to satisfy the sweet tooth if the desserts aren't drop dead amazing to you.

5. Dance the night away. It keeps you moving and burns calories. If you don't like or want to dance, drink more water so you'll be taking more walks to the bathroom. :)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Roasted Red Pepper and Almond Sauce

I love sauces. Dipping is always a treat. I dab some on vegetables, grains, and beans and it turns a boring midweek meal into flavorful fun. This is especially true when I'm sleepy and my creative juices are running dry. Like today. Not much else to say! Thank you red-eye flight, which was indeed my terrible idea.
 
Roasted Red Pepper and Almond Sauce
 
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/2 - 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 large jarred roasted red peppers, whole
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
In a small pan over medium-low heat, sauté the tomato paste, garlic, and almonds in the oil, stirring often, until the tomato paste starts to darken, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
Purée the sautéed ingredients with the roasted red peppers in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Season with up to ½ tsp. of salt.

Note: you could use cashews or walnuts instead of the almonds.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter Cups

Some things are worth celebrating with a delightful treat. Things like when your intern passes her national exam with flying colors because that's just how awesome she is. Being a part of someone's professional growth is just plain fabulous. Being able to make chocolate coconut peanut butter treats = even more fabulous!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

3 Reasons the Food You Eat is Making You Tired

The main reason you need to eat is for energy but have you ever noticed awhile after eating a giant piece of cake you feel anything but energized? In fact, you may feel very sleepy and ready for a nap? This is a result of three factors, all of which lead to delayed breathing, and a feeling of sleepiness.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Carmelized Brussel Sprout Salad

With so many transitions happening in my life...learning how to best balance yoga teacher training, a work schedule that keeps getting busier, a long distance beau, etc. etc. ...I've really been slacking in the recipe department lately. Not because I haven't been cooking, but with multiple projects going on, the cooking/blogging/photographing project seemed to demand more time than I had to give it. So, I've refocused my efforts a bit and evolved more into health tips and topics that answer health and nutrition questions I get asked on a very regular basis. However, working on recipes is an absolute blast and I'll forever be glad to keep sharing the nutrition love.


This recipe takes one of my all time favorite ways to eat brussel sprouts but with a little twist. Maple syrup and a dab of lemon juice are an absolute divine way to enjoy these little bites of goodness. By slicing the sprouts thinly, cabbage slaw style, the flavor can meld in, and the leaves will get caramelized (you have to limit your stirring to caramelize though...patience little ones!).

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Vegan Protein Powder Guide - HUGE

Why vegan protein you ask? 

Starting off, as we know protein is an important nutrient required for building, maintaining, and repairing tissues in the body. Amino acids, or the building blocks of protein, can be synthesized by the body or ingested by food. There are 20 different kinds of amino acids in the foods we eat, but our body can only make 11 of them. Hence, the other nine are referred to as essential amino acids, which must be obtained in the diet. A variety of grains, beans/legumes, and vegetables can provide all the essential amino acids our body needs. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Rethink Your Drink

Yesterday I had the pleasure of counseling a newly diagnosed diabetic. At 34 years old, he drank more sweetened beverages than ever. Trust me when I say, sugared beverages can be the culprit to increased weight and potentially develop into diabetes. Sure, energy balance and caloric intake is important but rethinking your drink should always be step 1 since it's usually the simplest form of excess calories and carbohydrate to identify.
When rethinking your drinks, here are 4 tips to quench your thirst without packing the pounds.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Added Sugar - Recommendations and How Much is TOO Much?

Lately, the question I've been getting more than any other is, "How much sugar should I consume?" Well, the truth is a little gray, but what we're primarily talking about is added sugar...not the sugar found in fruits or other whole foods.

I adapted my "added sugar" tip board from a health fair awhile ago to help point you in the right direction. As always, direct your questions to: morgan@livepoweredbyplants.com.

Sugar
-      Now added to more foods/beverages than ever before
o  May be a contributing to the rise in obesity and other health problems
-      Added sugar provides NO nutritional value, but added to boost flavor, as a preservative, as a bulking agent in baked goods, to balance the acidity in foods containing tomatoes, and to fuel fermentation to (helps bread rise)
-      Sugar is a carbohydrate
o  Your body uses carbohydrates as it's main source of energy
§  Turns into glucose and uses what it needs for energy right away, stores the rest until needed
o  Naturally occurring sugar tend to be low on the glycemic index, having minimum effect on your blood sugar
o  Added sugars are high on the glycemic index, causing your blood sugar to spike
 Daily Recommended Amount
Natural sugar (fruit, starchy vegetables) is not concerning, but added sugar has no nutritional value and only adds calories. The American Heart Association recommends limiting your added sugars to:
Women: 6 teaspoons or 100 calories
Men: 9 teaspoons or 150 calories

Risks of Added Sugar
-     Energy Dense and Nutritionally Lacking
o  Weight gain common
o  Increased weight contributes to diabetes, heart disease, etc.
o  Added sugar foods lack a lot of vitamins and minerals
-     Increased Triglyceride Levels
o  Increases risk of heart disease
-     Tooth Decay

Monday, March 25, 2013

Have extra basil? 3 ideas

Today I bought an enormous bag of basil from the farmer's market (yes, I know it's easy to grow) and immediately felt overwhelmed. I should have taken a picture because this bag could have started a pillow fight. Ahh, hindsight.

If you anticipate buying buko basil anytime soon, come back and use these ideas!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Are Weekends Sabotaging Your Health/Weight Loss Goals?

Ever get that hankering for something naughty? The food equivalent of a lacy set of matching bras and panties. (Which, BTW’s, we’re all wearing, right? Time to toss the ugly bra’s ladies, because you just feel so much better when you’re wearing a decent one with a set of coordinating underroos. Splurge on five sets. One for each weekday. Go purple. Get on red. It’s worth every penny. Just sayin.

So, "the hankering" happened to me the weekend before last. I was standing in the kitchen after yoga, humming away sun salutations, when I realized I needed carrot cake and I needed it stat. I had a mini piece the night before at a friend's but got distracted doing yoga with the kiddos that I never really finished it (Dan did). Something about not finishing dessert screamed I need another hit, stat. I made a half batch, ate my piece, and handed out the rest to neighbors and co-workers.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Juicing: One Dietitian's Take

Juicing has really taken off, but before you spend a fortune on a fancy juicing machine, make sure you're aware of the potential health risks and benefits.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Do carbohydrates really pack on the pounds??

Some carbohydrates are much more likely, but complex carbohydrates help you lose weight and control belly fat.

Eat complex carbs like oatmeal and fruit!
A lot of trendy diets claim that all carbohydrates are bad guys, yet of the three macronutrients that provide calories in our diet (carbs, protein, and fat), carbohydrates are the body’s primary fuel source. They’re responsible for managing your heart rate, digestion, breathing, exercising, walking, and thinking.

Roughly 70 percent of your daily calories should come from complex carbohydrates. The ones to avoid are called simple carbs.

Both types of carbs break down into the simplest form of carbohydrates, which is just a fancy word for sugar. Both are digested and converted into glucose, which is used by the body for energy: in the blood as glucose, or stored in either the muscles or the liver as glycogen. When consumed in excess, carbohydrates can be converted to fat. Just as an excess of protein or fat if the supply is greater than the demand.

Real food and complex carbohydrates do not come in neon colors...
Simple carbohydrates include table sugar, molasses, honey, alcohol, white bread, white pasta, white rice, fried chips, sugary cereals, fruit juices, candy, and milk. Most simple carbs are nutritionally empty because they have been tinkered with by humans, stripped of their fiber, minerals, and vitamins. They are digested quickly by the body and cause a sharp spike in your blood sugar levels.
In response to this spike, your pancreas pumps out insulin to transport and deliver the energy-bearing glucose to cells throughout your body. This process causes your blood sugar and insulin levels to swing like a pendulum, leaving you feeling fatigued, hungry, and craving still more simple carbohydrates.
 
In contrast, complex carbohydrates are nutritious, and include vegetables, whole grain breads and pastas, beans, peas, brown rice, sweet potatoes, oats, fruits, and whole grain cereals. They are loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients. Unlike simple carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates cause a balanced and controlled release of sugar into your system. This slow release gives the body more time to use the carbohydrates as fuel; as a result, fewer turn to fat and insulin remains stable.
Lentils and other beans are fabulously complex!
So if you consume, whole, good, natural carbs, you will enjoy more consistent energy throughout the day without gaining extra pounds.

As you can see, the two types of carbs differ immensely from a nutritional standpoint. Simple carbohydrates are calorie laden, providing little nutrition and causing weight gain. Complex carbohydrates are lower in calories and, because they are loaded with fiber, provide bulk that fills you up sooner, alleviates hunger pangs, and keeps you feeling satisfied longer.

So go eat your carbs—as long as they’re complex. Simple.

Questions? E-mail me: morgan@livepoweredbyplants.com

Friday, February 8, 2013

Fight the Flu! Best 5 Foods



How are you supposed to be successfully fighting cold and flu season when the people around you are dropping like flies? Here are a few, 5 to be exact, of my favorite foods to boost your defenses.
The food choices you make each and every day are a large part of warding of the flu or a cold. If you want a flu treatment or prevention plan...eat a well balanced plant based diet. Your immune system is in part built on what you put in your body. 
Try to incorporate the following 5 foods in to your daily and weekly eating plan and you will be healthier than everyone at the office. This is my list of the 5 best foods for the flu, but there are many more that could have been included!
The Quercetin Quota: Apples, Grapes, Blueberries/Blackberries, Broccoli, Cherries, Onions, and Leafy Greens.
Heard of quercetin before? Maybe, maybe not, but either way, I am here to introduce it to you this winter! Quercetin is one of a family of flavonoids that gives produce its’ gorgeous color. Flavonoids are antioxidants which help ward off detrimental free radicals, which can cause a host of diseases. With illness fighting and also anti-inflammatory properties, quercetin is a flu-fighting powerhouse!! Since foods like apples, onions, broccoli, and leafy greens are easily found in the produce section this winter, I suggest you stock up! It could be a matter of sickness or health. 

Feel Good Recipe (below): Roasted Kale and Apple Flatbread

Glamorous Garlic: Garlic contains a compound called allicin which has anti-microbial properties. Talk about majorly backing up your defenses. I add garlic to just about everything...try to do the same! 

Glorious Green Tea: Green tea is full of antioxidants, making it a super immune booster. In fact, “a recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition showed that subjects taking a special preparation of green tea as a capsule experienced 23% less bouts of colds and flu overall and 36% fewer sick days. Their immune systems also produced more cells that fought off illness-causing bacteria and viruses.”  Now, I’m not telling you to go out and buy green tea capsules, but start it as a beverage to incorporate on a regular basis. It has a mild flavor and can be a great alternative to coffee.
green cup of hot tea on wood background Stock Photo - 14413580

Awesome Almonds: Almonds are one of my favorite go-to snacks. They are easily portable, mighty tasty, and a little goes a long way to keep you full and satisfied. Did you also know that incorporating almonds in to your daily routine can help fight off the flu?? Interestingly enough, the skin of the almond is the most potent when it comes to fighting illness. According to Scientists from the Institute of Food Research in Norwich, UK, and the Policlinico Universitario in Messina, Italy, the skin of the almond helps improve function of our helper T-cells (a type of white blood cells) in identifying viruses and enhancing the body’s ability to prevent the spread and replication of viruses. Choose raw almond varieties to reap the most benefits (as these are the least processed and retain the most nutrients).
Marvelous Mushrooms: What you might not realize about mushrooms is that they are armed and dangerous when it comes to their flu-fighting capabilities. Mushrooms contain TWO immune boosting nutrients; selenium and beta glucan. Selenium is a trace mineral which help your white bloods cells do what they need to do in combat. Beta glucan is an antimicrobial which helps your cells locate and annihilate infections in the body. I love adding raw mushrooms to salads, but they are an excellent addition to just about any dish. Even if you think you don't like them, chop them finely and sneak them in.
I realize there are way more than 5 top flu fighters, but this list should give you a good start. Fighting the cold and flu season is not about a magic potion or buying exotic foods, but rather stocking up on wholesome goodness. 
What are your flu fighter foods? I'd love to hear your thoughts! 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Taco Soup - Veggie Loaded!

I can't believe January is already coming to a close. As I try to grasp the harriedness of here and there, (mostly the yoga teacher training program commitment and facilitating a fabulously energetic group of plant based eaters), I noticed that my meals have included a lot less prep and a lot more "one dish wonders." Because afterall, busy is just busy and sometimes we have to tweak our approach to food and cooking.

So, welcome taco soup. Tacos are typically a standby weekday dinner, but sometimes all the chopping and piling on the toppings seems just as time consuming as a "fancier" meal. (I'm not the only lazy prep chef, right??) So, I figured, why not put all the goods in one heart warming bowl? The mild taco spice is balanced by the cool, creamy avocado garnish and crisp cornbread (or chips). 


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Cereality Check: How to Choose a Cold Breakfast Cereal

I have my standard cereal selection when I go into the massive cereal aisle. I'm not that old, and even I can remember when the cereal options took up a fourth of an aisle, if that. Now, an entire stretch of the store has brightly colored boxes neatly pressed from side to side and top to bottom. The funny thing is that most of the cereals are the same sugar, corn, enriched wheat (whole wheat if you're lucky), and salt. They may come in different forms. For example, sugar can be corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, brown sugar, brown rice syrup, cane syrup/juice, and/or malt syrup. Similar formulas but repackaged and reprocessed in a different shape to entice children or adults.

There are a few guidelines I like to give people when choosing cereals. I listed them in order of importance.

1. Greater than 3g fiber per serving (this is a very modest amount...the more fiber, the better!)
        Choose cereals with whole wheat and other whole grains as the fiber source, not isolated forms like chicory root that haven't been proven to have the same beneficial powers as other natural occuring fibers.

2. Pack in some protein - at least 3g per serving.
        Fiber and protein will help keep you going until lunch time as they take longer to digest. Automatically choosing a cereal with whole grains will increase the protein content as you consume the hull, or shell of the grain where most of the protein is located.

2 (equal importance as protein!). Added sugar should be a miniumum (if any) - choose one with less than 6g of sugar per serving.
         If you don't think it's sweet enough, add chopped fruit or frozen berries. Sprinkling cinnamon can help too.

3. Limit salt in cereals to less than 175mg per serving.
        Breakfast cereals in general are not a yeast/bread baking type recipe, thus there shouldn't be salt. Salt is added as a preservative and should be limited.

Below is a table of some commonly consumed cereals. What do you think? Do you see a cereal you consume that's a good option? Or maybe, you can find a better option than the one you're currently eating. Hint: only about 3 are dietitian approved. :)



General Mills Cheerios®
Post Honey Bunches of Oats Honey Roasted
Post Shredded Wheat Original

Multi-Bran Chex®

Kashi®
GoLean® Original


Kellogg’s®
Special K®

Kellogg’s® Raisin Bran®
Contains at least
3 g of fiber/ serving


Contains no more than 6 g of sugar/ serving

*

Contains no trans fat

Contains no more than
175 mg sodium



Contains at least
3 g of protein/ serving



**Note: a variety of brands were shown for demonstration purposes, but other great options include: Kellogg's Bran Buds, Kellogg's All-Bran, Uncle Sam's cereal (incredibly affordable stuff!), other Kashi GOLEAN cereals, and others!

Have more questions about choosing breakfast cereals? Email me!