Tag Archives: diet

Healthy Connections July 2017

Health in the News with Nancy Oglesby

Harvard School of Public Health’s Nutrition Action Newsletter reports that, Improving diet quality over time linked with reduced risk of premature death”.The study shows the impact of making healthy changes over time, in this case twelve years. As many of you know, my book No Kale Required: Healthy Eating Ideas for the Rest of Us, is 90+ pages of simple changes you can make in your diet to improve your health. This research is validation that it’s worth it to start today!

Dr. David Katz is my go-to science guy. He breaks down the science that’s in the news, the trendy fad diets and puts it all in scientific perspective. His writing style is an acquired taste, but well worth getting used to! In this article, Two Diet Wrongs Don’t Make a Diet Right, he tells us how they got it wrong in What the Health, the new documentary on Netflix. (Dr. Katz’s Bio)

An excerpt: “If, for instance, my wife and I see a documentary advocating for vegan diets and the narrative suggests that (a) sugar in the diet is not a concern, or (b) deli meats are as likely to cause cancer as smoking, or (c) eating wild salmon is toxic for people, she turns to me and says: “I’m confused.” The goal of documentaries about diet should not be perpetual confusion and doubt.

If my wife is confused by food documentaries, I have to infer that she has a lot of company. Catherine has a PhD in neuroscience from Princeton, so she is extremely well educated and exceptionally smart. She lives with a nutrition expert husband, and is an expert cook in her own right. Yet, diet documentaries tend to confuse even my wife. Why?”

So, that’s the latest in health & wellness news. As always, I’d love to be considered for a speaking gig at your church, organization or company. For classes, visit my website at www.nancyoglesby.com, or shoot me an email.

I bridge the gap between what I should eat and what I do eat with the nutrition of 27 fruits and vegetables every day. This is what I call Nutrition Insurance!

Here’s a great video explaining the gap!

Pizza and Beer

_0jpjeqtsyg-carissa-ganPizza and beer? Really? What in the world does that have to do with living a healthy and fit lifestyle?

Wellness isn’t just about the food we eat or the exercises we do, it’s about joy and loving life, and if pizza is your favorite food, you will be stressed out and miserable when you see it in the grocery store, advertised in magazines, or when you’re out with friends and they order that extra-large, cheesy deliciousness and the server plops it down right in front of you so that the smell of the fresh-baked crust and those fabulous toppings drifts right up your nose!

So, we need to be realistic. Pizza doesn’t have to be on the list of foods you can never indulge in, but you can’t have it every day either. The solution? Eat healthy during the week and splurge on pizza and beer on Friday or Saturday night. Choose a time when you will really enjoy it and you’ll get an enthusiastic, “Go for it!” from me.

The key is to choose healthy foods during the week and keep your portions in check. What a terrific reward. Bada Bing!kindle-cover

To learn more about healthy eating, check out my book No Kale Required: Healthy Eating Ideas for the Rest of Us available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

 

Breakfast for Dinner?

Breakfast for Dinner?

Research overwhelmingly shows that a plant-based diet is the best choice in reducing and preventing chronic disease. In some cases, it can totally reverse existing disease. Being the Practical Health Coach, I understand that few of my clients, or their families, are willing to make the choice to eliminate meat from their diets, so my approach is to encourage and support them in reducing their reliance on meat-centered meals.

One popular suggestion is to have breakfast for dinner. Not only can breakfast be prepared quite easily and quickly, the ingredients are often inexpensive, and done properly can be quite healthy. Hearty cooked breakfasts bring back memories of relaxing weekend mornings or spending the night at Grandma’s … A nice way to ease some of the stress from a busy day!

My favorite is what I call a Scrambled Egg Omelet, fried potatoes

Photo by Jeremy Keith

Photo by Jeremy Keith

and fresh fruit. To make the omelet I caramelize onions, add in broccoli, snow peas, mushrooms and spinach (broccoli first as it takes a bit longer to cook). While they’re cooking, I whip up the eggs. After the veggies are cooked to the point that I like, I add the whipped eggs and stir until cooked. Season to taste and serve.

I cook thin sliced gold or red potatoes in a very small amount of coconut oil, over medium heat until browned on one side, then turn to brown on the other side.

Sometimes I cut and mix several fruits but if I’m in a hurry I slice and serve just one. If I’ve planned this out, I might have stopped at the salad bar or the veggies and fruit, then prep is simple! (See Get Yourself a Prep Cook)

If someone has to have bacon, or breakfast just doesn’t taste right without the smell of bacon cooking, crumble a half slice onto the top of their serving of either the omelet or the potatoes. (Buy nitrite/nitrate free bacon either from or Whole Foods or similar source near you.)

This is an inexpensive way to reduce your meal costs allowing you to use that money to buy a better, grass-fed, organic meat.

Next up: A meatless chili that leave no one asking, “Where’s the beef?”

THANKS!!
Nancy Oglesby, The Practical Health Coach
 

Just a quick disclaimer: I make a small amount if you purchase from the links I provide. However, primarily I add links because it allows you to know exactly what product I’m talking about when I identify brands that I like and use.

5 Freezer Hacks to Save Money

My freezer isn't always this organized. It's often totally out of control! Here we have some different gluten-free, vegan burgers, homemade broth, chili, pumpkin, green beans and a loaf of gf bread.

My freezer isn’t always this organized. It’s often totally out of control! Here we have some different gluten-free, vegan burgers, homemade broth, chili, pumpkin, green beans and a loaf of gf bread.

This is going to be short and sweet: Freeze Everything!

Okay, maybe not quite everything, but if you’re like me, there’s often a banana that’s about to go bad, oranges that you can’t possible eat in time or you can’t take advantage of the sale on grapes because there’s no way you can use them soon enough. Maybe you bought that bag of kale with good intentions, but the intentions didn’t follow you home from the store.

How many times do you end up throwing away produce? If you’re like I was, it’s a lot. What you buy will have a better chance of staying out of the the landfill when you begin to rely on your freezer. Here are five ways to get started:

  1. Buy a bag of already washed and chopped kale, and if you only use it in cooked dishes and/or smoothies, just toss it right in the freezer when you get home. This works for spinach as well. (It doesn’t work at all if you’re going to eat it in a salad or raw since when defrosted it gets pretty mushy.)
  2. Cookie sheet magic happens with most fruits and veggies that you want to use for smoothies or in cooked dishes. Are your bananas looking a bit beyond their deliciousness? Slice, lay out on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and slide in the freezer. When they’ve frozen, put them in a freezer bag. This works for apples (which don’t turn brown when cut up and frozen), peaches, cherries, orange sections, grapes, strawberries, mango, melon, celery, onion, garlic, ginger, peppers, snow peas, green beans … Well, just about anything! These won’t be good for eating thawed out, but they’re great for purees, smoothies, syrups, stir fries, soups and stews. You can even add frozen fruit to beverages for a pop of color.
  3. If you haven’t already tried it, eat grapes and cherries frozen. It takes you longer to eat them (reduced sugar intake) and they taste great!
  4. A treat with frozen bananas is to dip them in melted, dark chocolate (70% or higher) and refreeze … good for your health and fabulous for that chocolate craving! (Eat frozen)
  5. Can’t possibly go through a loaf of bread in time? Open the bag, fan out the slices, set in the freezer. Once frozen, put the loaf back together and seal the bag. You won’t have to jackhammer the pieces apart ever again!
Bags of kale and spinach, an ice cube tray of chicken broth, jars of soup, and fresh frozen basil ... handy!

Bags of kale and spinach, an ice cube tray of chicken broth, jars of soup, and fresh frozen basil … handy!

There you have it … Tips to help your budget, your health and the landfill!

If you’re in the Kansas City area, check out my upcoming events. They can be found on my website’s Events Page.

Thanks!
Nancy Oglesby, The Practical Health Coach

Pilaf … The Versatile Side Dish

One of the best things you can do to streamline your dinner prep is to always have a batch of already cooked rice on hand.(I cook mine in a big batch then freeze it in single serving sizes.) This will provide you with opportunities galore!

Pilaf … However you want it!
This is something you can make all your own. You don’t need a recipe! Using the salad bar as your prep cook, toss in whatever veggies and/or fruit appeals to you. Some of my favorites are a Mediterranean-flavored pilaf with spinach, garlic, onion, tomato and chickpeas tossed with olive oil, balsamic (lightly), oregano and basil. If you eat dairy, a touch of feta cheese would be lovely.

My favorite sweet pilaf has a drizzle of walnut oil, cinnamon pear balsamic vinegar, diced apples, carrots, celery and walnuts. If the cinnamon flavor isn’t enough for you, sprinkle on a bit of pumpkin pie seasoning.

You can add just about anything to rice to make it a delicious side dish: Onions, carrots, peas, peppers, radishes, edamame, beans, chickpeas, beets, mushrooms, bean sprouts, tomatoes, dried cranberries, nuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, peanuts …

You can dress it with whatever you like including, Asian style, Italian, Balsamic, Russian or French dressing. You can create your own dressing by combining oil and vinegar, soy sauce, spices … Bottled dressings often have a ton of additives or sugar so I usually make my own.pilaf nourish network

For pilafs, I just add what I think will work. I use either olive or walnut oil, then add spices to flavor it. For a Southwest feel, I’ll add chili powder, peppers, onions and cumin. If I feel like a trip to Italy I’ll add garlic, onion, parsley, basil, tomatoes, lemon, a touch of fresh parmesan and olive oil.

If you’re looking for specific recipes, just click on the pictures and you’ll be taken to the recipe on another website (not mine).

When creating sweet pilafs, I often blend fresh pineapple (usually from the salad bar) with yellow mustard and honey (in my NutriBullet) to create the dressing. It is DELICIOUS!! Just play with amounts. Start with the pineapple, give it a squirt of mustard and a teaspoon of honey. Blend, taste, adjust, blend, taste, adjust. Be adventurous!

pilaf epicuriousI hope you enjoy creating pilafs of your very own! Let us know the outcome and what flavors really worked for you in the comments below.

Are you wanting to taste an impromptu pilaf? Check out my Cooking … Fast, Easy, Healthy classes being held all over the KC Metro Area. You’ll find the list on my website at www.HealthWorksKC.com. Just click on the ‘Events’ tab at the top of the page.

Thanks!
Nancy Oglesby, The Practical Health Coach

Get Yourself a Prep Cook

Get Yourself a Prep Cook!

Get Yourself a Prep Cook!

The number one thing that stops me from preparing a healthy meal at home is the prep work. All that washing, peeling, slicing and dicing is not what I want to be doing when I get home from work.

One solution would be to hire a Prep Cook. Unfortunately, I’m not Oprah. My wallet currently does not support hiring a kitchen goddess. However, I’ve figured out the next best thing: Use the services of someone else’s Prep Cook. The salad bar at your favorite grocery store is the perfect place to find most of the ingredients you’ll need to create a delicious meal.

There are no signs up at the salad bar that say, ‘SALADS ONLY!’ Go ahead and load up on washed, peeled, sliced and diced onions, celery, carrots, beets, cabbage, mushrooms, snow peas, bean sprouts, spinach, kale … whatever you need. Going for a sweet dish instead of savory? They have cranberries, melon, strawberries and nuts as well. You can also get small amounts of cheeses and meats.

Kitchen Prep Made EasyThe per pound price might be higher, but I’ve saved a bundle by not buying the full-sized package or bundle of ingredients that I don’t need and often never use. After all, how many mung bean sprouts can a single person use in a few days? This choice also keeps a lot of food out of the landfill.

Want one more tip? While you’re there, pick up a salad for tomorrow’s lunch!

If you like these ideas, and are in the Kansas City Metro, check out my Class Schedule at HealthWorksKC. Just click on ‘events’ at the top of the page.

Next up? Make mine pilaf!
Nancy Oglesby, The Practical Health Coach

What Should I Stop Doing?

I was asked to write a blog about the single most important thing a person can stop doing to improve their well-being. Wow … One thing? There are so many things one can stop doing: smoking, eating sugar and processed foods, drinking excessively, overeating, doing drugs, staying up late and getting up early, living a stressed out life, ignoring issues rather than dealing with them. The list is long.

A colleague of mine recently wrote a short blog (check it out here) about whether or not you are the type to try to do something or if you just do it. When I was asked to write about what people should stop doing it Dana’s blog came to mind: They should stop trying.

What!?! Stop trying to lose weight/quit smoking/quit drinking/quit eating sugar/get to bed on time??? How will that improve my well-being? First, you won’t be buying into the excuses you come up with since they are no longer necessary. (Just this one, but it’s my birthday, but it’s my second cousin Rose’s birthday, but I did a good job today, but I had a hard day today, but my boss hates me, but I deserve it, but I’m lonely and sad, but, but, but.) Second, trying gives us an excuse to feel better about ourselves without really doing the work required … “Well, I’m trying to fix this.” Third, accepting responsibility for your choices will bring into focus your responsibility for the state of your well-being.

So, what’s the solution? Commitment.  Changing a lifetime of habits takes a commitment. Some habits require cold turkey techniques while others allow you to make small changes over time that add up to big changes … both require a major commitment.

Try saying these statements out loud:

  1. “I will not eat after dinner … no matter what! The way I feel and move depends on it. The quality of my days depends on it.”
  2. “I will try not to eat after dinner. I know it’s better for me.”

Can you feel the difference in these two statements? #1 just feels powerful: I’m in charge here and I accept responsibility for sticking to it! #2 gives up the power right out of the gate and allows for excuse making to take over.

As an example, I’ll use myself since I’m my most well-known subject! I eat when I’m ready to take a break from the day. One slice of watermelon is good, four is ridiculous. So, the above statements are mine. Once I truly commit to something, it happens. Until then, I play with it and totally buy into the excuses for the behavior.

So my advice is to stop trying and failing. It’s depressing as hell and self-defeating. When you’re ready to commit, go for it! If you need help solving a problem or getting to a place of commitment, seek the help of a professional. There are support groups for AA in every town and online. An online support group is what helped me quit smoking cold turkey in 1998. Of course, I recommend a Certified Health Coach (ME!) for weight loss and healthy habits. This is where making small changes can result in big payoffs! Learn more by visiting my website, HealthWorksKC.