Sugar vs Fat Study

krispy kremeI’m watching Rachel Ray, why I have no idea. The show has a study between two brothers who did a study on a high fat/low sugar/low carb diet and the other had carbs/sugar/no-fat. They concluded that the high fat/low sugar diet was worse that the carb/sugar/no-fat diet. Rachel was chiming in how a gluten-free diet made her very crabby because she didn’t have carbs.

I understand the underlying point was to see the effect of extreme diets. What annoys me is that neither of these was a balanced normal diet and the sound bite people take away is that sugar is better for you than fat. You can have carbs (vegetables and fruits are carbs) and healthy grains that don’t have gluten. Grains that will keep a healthy balance of yeast/sugar in your body and reduce inflammation.

What I did like out of the study was how our brains respond to foods we enjoy and foods we dislike. Our brains tell us when to stop eating a food we don’t like but not foods that we love. That’s interesting since you can adjust your eating plan accordingly. If you know you cannot stop eating chocolate it’s something you don’t keep in the house.

It’s possible to eat a balanced diet without going to extremes and still feel healthy and invigorated. Nutrition isn’t about diet foods or restrictive habits; it’s about feeling energized and empowered every day. Isn’t that what life is really about?

You can reach your personal goals through better nutrition and small lifestyle changes. Email me, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, for a 30 minute complimentary consultation if you would like to learn how.

Something Sweet & Green for St. Patrick’s Day

MintShakeSt. Patrick’s Day brings out some weird foods, I’m not a fan of green beer or bagels. I do like a Harp or a nice Irish Oatmeal Stout without any funky food coloring. I’m pretty partial to Irish soda bread and Irish breakfast tea as well. Corned beef is okay and I like cabbage but I can do without boiled potatoes.

I’m pretty sure I had the original Shamrock shake as a kid, I really don’t remember. I’m not going to tell you this shake recipe tastes exactly like it, it does not. But it is minty, sweet and made with ingredients I feel good about. I drink this for breakfast fairly often and even the husband likes it. You don’t taste the spinach at all.

Minty Green Shake

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 banana, frozen works best
  • 1.5 c fresh spinach or 1/2 c frozen spinach
  • 1 – 2 dates or 2 tsp honey
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I use Shakeology or Garden of Life)
  • 1 – 2 drops peppermint extract
  • ice if not using frozen ingredients

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

You can add chocolate protein powder instead of vanilla for a mint chocolate variation.

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Fast Food Done Right

shrimp stir fryLast week I shared my fast food grocery list. This week I’d like to share a few recipes to get you started. These meals can be made in less than 20 minutes using the ingredients from last week’s list for quick healthy meals that leave you feeling satisfied and energized. No need to hit the drive thru or call for delivery!

All are single serving recipes, double as needed or to have leftovers for another meal!

Breakfast:

Power Parfait

  • 3/4 c Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 c frozen berries
  • 1/3 c raw oats
  • 2 Tbs nuts or seeds
  • 1 Tbs unsweetened coconut (optional)

You can layer this in a bowl or jar for a quick filling breakfast. Feeling lazy? Just throw it all in together and stir. You could also add 1/2 cup of water and blend it for a breakfast smoothie.

Lunch:

Eggs & Greens

  • 2 eggs, poached
  • 2 c arugula
  • 1/2 scallion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 c cherry tomatoes
  • 1 Tbs sesame seeds
  • Dressing of: 2 tsp sesame oil, 1.5 Tbs rice vinegar (or white wine vinegar), squeeze of lemon, 1/8 tsp black pepper.

Assemble greens on a plate, top with scallions, tomatoes, sesame seeds and dressing. Place poached eggs over the salad & enjoy. For an on the go option use hard-boiled eggs or use tuna instead of eggs.

Dinner: 

Stir Fry in 15

  •  4 oz defrosted shrimp
  • 1/2 c onions & peppers
  • 1/2 c broccoli
  • 1 c zucchini
  • 1/2 c brown rice
  • 1 – 2 Tbs tamari sauce
  • 1 Tbs coconut oil

Defrost shrimp under cold running water if it’s still frozen. Let rice heat while cooking.  Heat coconut oil in a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add in onions & peppers, saute 3 minutes, add in broccoli, saute 3 minutes and add in zucchini, saute for 2 minutes. Next add in tamari & shrimp and saute for about 3 minutes, until it just starts to curl. Serve over rice.

Not in the mood for shrimp? This also works well with beef or chicken sausage. For the chicken sausage I’d skip the tamari. Asparagus and cauliflower also work well in this dish so alter it to suit your tastes.

Meals don’t have to be boring or complicated. You can make dinner quicker than it takes to have takeout delivered and feel great knowing that you put together a nutritious, healthy and delicious meal.

Need help putting together meals? Not sure which foods are best for you? Email me, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, for a complimentary 30 minute consultation. You will get at least two tips that you can start implementing immediately so you can feel your best.