Autumn has arrived, and so have the colder temperatures. Warm sweaters and jeans are a welcome change for many of us. However, if your fall clothes are not fitting as well as you would like, make some healthy changes immediately! October tends to be a quiet month, and therefore, it is the perfect time to take inventory of your diet and fitness regimes. With the busy holiday season lurking, now is the time to take action, shed a few pounds, and get into tiptop shape.
In this month's newsletter, I will review some strategies to prevent Halloween candy from haunting you! I will also uncover some "high calorie" secrets lurking at your local sushi bar; you'll be astonished at how this so-called health food can be thickening your waistline! And, finally this month's "Fresh at the Market" and recipe sections, will offer up some healthy additions to your autumn menus.
October Nutrition Tips
Halloween Sweets: Trick or Treat? With an estimated $1.93 billion in candy sales, Halloween is the sweetest holiday of the year, beating out Easter, Valentine's Day, and Christmas. With Halloween haunting us at the end of the month, now is the time to think about which sweets are unhealthy "tricks" and which are healthy "treats". Many of us will be tempted by our kid's goodie bags or by workplace candy dishes. The list below offers up some suggestion on how to have a "controlled" indulgence without going overboard on fat, calories, and sugar!
1 "fun" size Snickers (99 calories, 5 g fat, 10 g sugar)
10 candy corns (50 calories, 0 g fat, 5.5 g sugar)
1 blowpop (50 calories, 0 g fat, 11 g sugar)
2 Hershey kisses (50 calories, 3 g fat, 5 g sugar)
1 "fun" size bag of Skittles (77 calories, 0.8 g fat, 14.5 g sugar)
1 "fun" size bag of M&Ms (105 calories, 4.5 g fat, 13 g sugar)
4 Starburst chews (40 calories, 5 g fat, 34 g sugar)
1 Hershey's miniature - Special Dark, Krackel, Milk Choc, or Mr. Goodbar (45 calories, 2.5 g fat each)
The key to this, and every holiday, is moderation. By keeping your sugar intake moderate, you will not run the risk of gaining weight, or of becoming "hooked on sugar". So limit yourself to about 100 calories of sugar per day, and restrict your Halloween indulges to a day or two. This way there won't be any long lasting detrimental effects (weight gain!).
Sushi Secrets: Many studies have revealed that a diet abundant in omega-3 fatty acids may prevent conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. And there is no better place to get omega 3's than from fish. So, sushi probably sounds like the perfect health food, right? Well, while traditional sushi with raw fish is nutritionally impressive, it's a mistake to think that all sushi is a dietary bargain. Although the portions aren't "super-sized" like most fast food chains, Japanese restaurants still hide some sushi secrets behind the bar. Take a look below at some typical menu items that you may find at your favorite sushi bar:
Add together a few of these menu items, and you have a meal that is very high in fat, calories and carbs!!
- Green salad (with 3 Tbsp of sesame dressing): 260 calories, 24g fat, 3.5g carbs
- Vegetable tempura appetizer: 255 calories, 15g fat, 22.5g carbs
- Eel and avocado roll: 372 calories, 17.5g fat, 57g carbs
- Philadelphia roll (salmon, cream cheese, avocado): 319 calories, 5g fat, 56g carbs
- Spicy tuna roll: 290 calories, 11g fat, 54g carbs
- Shrimp tempura roll: 544 calories, 13g fat, 128g carbs
- Spider roll (fried soft shell crab): 317 calories, 12g fat, 64g carbs
Now, unwrap some healthy options at the bar:
By limiting your intake of the "heavier" items (in the first list), and by choosing more plain "sushi" you can do a great job at filling up on omega 3's without going overboard on fat and calories.
- Miso soup (1 cup): 85 calories, 3g fat, 11g carbs
- Edamame, shelled (4 oz): 160 calories, 7g fat, 12g carbs
- Tuna (2 oz): 60 calories, 0g fat 0g carbs
- Salmon (2 oz): 82 calories, 3g fat, 0g carbs
- Seaweed (1 slice): 10 calories, 0g fat, 1g carbs
- Tuna nigiri (2 pieces over rice): 240 calories, 1g fat, 53g carbs
- Salmon sashimi (2 pieces, no rice): 164 calories, 6g fat, 0g carbs
Keep in mind that large deep-sea species of fish, such as tuna and swordfish, are particularly susceptible to mercury contamination. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cautions pregnant and nursing women, women of childbearing age, and small children to avoid these types of fish. Check the FDA's site for regular updates: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/.
Overall, choose low-sodium soy sauce; avoid extras such as mayo, ginger or sesame dressing, cream cheese, and "fried" dishes (i.e. dumplings, tempura, and even fried ice cream!) Finally, remember that there are many good choices when it comes to sushi so try to stick to just 1 or 2 of the lower calorie rolls, while ordering sides such as steamed veggies or cooked seaweed to fulfill your sushi satisfaction!
Fresh at the Market
Cauliflower, as its name implies, is a flower growing from a plant. In its early stages, it resembles broccoli, which is its closest relative. The lack of exposure to sunlight does not allow chlorophyll to develop, so color is not produced, and the head remains a white color. Touted as an "anti-cancer veggie", cauliflower contains a high amount of vitamin C, folate, fiber, and complex carbohydrates, and has only 13 calories per cup. Remember to steam or microwave cauliflower to best preserve its vitamin content.
Cauliflower is generally available year round, but it is usually more plentiful in the fall. During selection, look for heads that are white or creamy, firm, compact, and heavy for their size. There should not be any speckling of discoloration on the head or leaves. Avoid cauliflower with brown patches. A medium-size head, that is 6 inches in diameter and weighs about 2 pounds, will serve 4 to 6 people. Keep the head stem-side up to prevent moisture form collecting on it. For the best flavor, cauliflower should be eaten as soon as possible.
A relative of the apple, pears can be eaten and used in a lot of the same ways as the apple. One distinct feature of the pear besides its shape is its soft texture. This texture, sweet, rich flavor and delicious fragrance make it irresistible all year-round. Many different colorful varieties fill our markets each season. This month take a bite into the aromatic Anjou, while sampling some Bosc and Bartlett pears, which are still peaking from last month! Not only are they delicious, but also pears make your meals and snacks extra healthy with ample amounts of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. Each medium sized pear will contribute about 120 calories to your daily total.
When selecting pears, avoid ones with bruises or cuts and dark brown colors. It is best to purchase pears while slightly green because they ripen better and faster off the tree. Look for pears with a smooth unblemished skin. If unripe, place them in a paper bag at room temperature for 2 to 3 days or store them in a ventilated fruit bowl in a cool, dark place, and refrigerate as soon as they ripen. Ripe pears should be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for up to 3 days.
October Recipes: Time to try something new!
Herb Crusted Orange Roughy
I included this recipe for anyone that is intimidated by the thought of making fish. This is absolutely the easiest fish recipe ever! You can substitute any white flaky fish, such as tilapia, cod or flounder for the orange roughy. You can also substitute the herbs de Provence with another fresh or dried herb of choice. Try to include a fish dinner 1-2 times per week: it will do a heart good!
Makes 2 servings:
2 6-8 ounce orange roughy filets
3 tbsp seasoned breadcrumbs
2 tsp salted butter, cut into thin shavings to place on top of fish
1 tbsp herbs de Provence
Preheat over to 400 degrees.
Season fish fillets on both sides with salt, pepper, and herbs de Provence. Spray a broiler pan with cooking spray and lay the fish fillets on top. Evenly spread the butter shavings on top of the fish fillets (should have about 3-4 pieces of butter on each fillet). Then sprinkle 1 tbsp of breadcrumbs over each piece of fish.
Place fish in to the oven, and cook for about 12 minutes ? or until almost fully cooked. Then switch the over to broil, and allow the breading on the fish to get brown and crispy ? about 2 additional minutes.
Serve with fresh lemon wedges.
Nutrition Information per serving:
5 grams of fat
8 grams of carbohydrate
27 grams of protein
0.5 grams of fiber
Quinoa Pilaf (pronounced Keen-wah)
Quinoa has the highest protein content of all grains. It is also gluten free and easy to digest. As with most grains, it contains a good amount of calories and carbohydrates so if you are watching your weight, make sure to watch your portions.
Makes 6 servings:
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 tbsp olive oil
Ď cup chopped onion
Ď cup chopped carrots
Î cup chopped celery
Ď cup chopped red pepper
2 cloves minced garlic
8-10 large button mushrooms, sliced or quartered
2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme or other herb of choice (optional)
Add the olive oil to a non-stick skillet and place over medium heat. Add the chopped onions to the skillet and cook for about 3 minutes ? until onions begin to turn translucent. Then add remaining vegetables (celery through mushrooms). Cook for another 5-8 minutes until vegetables just begin to soften and give off flavor and juice. Remove from heat, stir in fresh herbs, and set aside.
Place 2 cups of chicken stock and 1 cup of quinoa in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, until all water is absorbed and the grain is soft and translucent.
Stir veggies into the cooked quinoa and serve!
Nutrition Information per serving:
4 grams of fat
25 grams of carbohydrate
6 grams of protein
3.5 grams of fiber
Enjoy the beautiful weather that October has to offer. Try to get out on some long walks, and stay focused on your "healthy resolutions"! As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns!
All the best,
Sara Ryba Nutrition
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