Sticking to a vegan diet can be challenging without the right information. Food blogger Angela from The Veracious Vegan has some tips on how to play by the rules and love what you eat.
1. Meat substitutes
Both vegans and vegetarians commit to swearing off meat. For those transitioning to either diet, opting out of a steak dinner or crispy bacon can require an enormous amount of will power. However, there are plenty of vegan meat substitutes available for virtually any product. Angela suggests Field Roast deli slices as a vegan alternative for cold cuts, and Field Roast sausages as an alternative for heavier meat.
Both Field Roast products, which can be found at Whole Foods, come in a wide variety of flavors—for example, smoked tomato deli slices or smoked apple sage sausage.
Frozen yogurt can be a sugar-loaded, caloric treat, disguised as a healthier option to ice cream. But, with some self-restraint at the toppings bar, a cup of froyo doesn't have to be so bad. Try out some of these satisfying combos for your next health-conscious froyo trip in the DC area.
(Note: a small is equal to 1/2 cup)
The best bang for your buck at the grocery store tends to be in bulk packaging, which can make food shopping for one an excruciating process—especially while being mindful of nutrition. For a household of one, buying in bulk leads to a lot of waste, or a bland diet. Conversely, buying unpackaged items can get expensive quickly. We talked to nutrition consultant Rebecca Scritchfield for tips on efficient grocery shopping.
In 1971, H.P. Hood Dairy created America’s first froyo. They christened it Frogurt, but the popularity of the product fizzled in and out for decades—that is, until its surge of notoriety in 2010. Frozen yogurt is now an American staple, kicking ice cream to the curb in terms of consumer preference.
According to the United States Census Bureau, nearly 79 percent of Americans prefer the low-cal treat before ice cream, gelato and snow cones. Clearly, times have changed: I certainly don’t scream for ice cream, and statistics say neither do you.
Five years have passed and America’s love of fro-yo has stuck. And somehow, this product fluke has transformed into a $2 billion industry in the United States alone. There’s no better way to honor our favorite summer treat than to re-examine froyo itself—and America’s national affair with it.
Personalized nutritionist Katherine Tallmadge recommends eating in-season to get the best-tasting nutrition in your diet. Berries are currently in for the summer months, so we rounded up nine recipes to both satisfy your sweet tooth and maintain your health goals.
Getting through the workday without a pick-me-up is difficult, and in our 2 p.m. funk, it's easy to quiet our cravings with something quick instead of something healthy. Personal nutritionist Katherine Tallmadge offered six easy swaps to keep you energized throughout the week, without the calorie-overload.
As the weather heats up, it's easy to reach for ice-cold fraps and sugary drinks to quench the thirst, but artificial sweetners are a sure way to slow down your summer fun. Registered dietician Danielle Omar and nutrition counselor Katherine Tallmadge share their top tips for satisfying the sweet tooth while cutting out added sugar.
If you’ve hit that 3 PM slump and you’re reaching for your wallet to hit up the coffee shop on your block, be forewarned: you may be packing in a meal’s worth of calories and fat in those 16 ounces. While any drink that’s more cream and sugar than coffee isn’t a healthy choice, these drinks and pastries are particularly deadly.
With the help of local registered dietician and nutritionist Rima Kleiner, we got the skinny on the worst drinks and pastries from Starbucks, Corner Bakery, Dunkin’ Donuts, Peet’s, and Au Bon Pain.
Here’s a spoiler: anything with “chocolate” or “donut” in the name is likely a no-no.
White Chocolate Mocha with whipped cream (Grande, 16 oz., 2% milk)
The name sounds delicious, but the whipped cream alone packs a calorie-laden punch. “(This drink) contains nearly 500 calories, which is equivalent to the maximum amount of calories most of us (particularly women) need at a meal,” says Kleiner. “With 18 g total fat and 63 g carbohydrate, this drink isn't the worst of the offenders, but you won't be doing your waist any favors by sipping this drink.”
Old-Fashioned Glaze Doughnut
Just like your grandma’s cooking, this old fashioned treat is packed with sugary, fatty, when-did-these-pants-get-so-tight goodness. “This doughnut contains nearly 500 calories, with 27 g of fat and 1 measly gram of dietary fiber, which means that you can bet most of the 56 g of carbohydrates come from sugar,” says Kleiner.
Truffle Hot Chocolate with whipped cream (Medium, 16 oz., whole milk)
If you’re going to drink something with “truffle” in the description, you might as well just go straight for a Big Mac. “This drink contains nearly 500 calories and contained by far the highest amounts of saturated fat (12 g) and sugar (a whopping 72 g) of all the medium drinks,” say Kleiner.
Cinnamon Crumb Muffin
Have you ever seen a fit-looking Muffin Man illustration? Neither have we. “This muffin took the cake for the least healthy numbers--650 calories (260 of those from fat) and 90 g of carbohydrate (more than half of those carbohydrates from sugar), with only 1 g of dietary fiber,” says Kleiner. “In other words, this muffin will bulk up your calorie intake without filling you up.”
Frozen Caramel Coffee Coolatta with Cream (Medium)
As the temps warm up outside, sugary, frozen beverages get all the more tempting. “This is by fat the worst drink of all the offenders with more than 700 calories, 35 g of total fat (mostly saturated) and 97 g of sugar,” says Kleiner. “This sweet splurge supplies nearly four times the amount of sugar most adults should eat in one day with zero nutrients.”
Butternut Donut and the Blueberry Crumb Donut
We have a tie! “The only nutrition prize these donuts will win is ‘highest in empty calories.’ Each of these donuts contain about 500 calories and about 50 g of sugar,” says Kleiner.
Coffee Free Caramel Javiva (Medium, 16 oz, 2% milk)
Go ahead and drink this if you want all of your teeth to rot. “Even without the whipped cream, this drink contains nearly 450 calories,” says Kleiner. “While other drinks at this coffee shop contained more calories and fat, this drink contained almost twice as much sugar (90 g) as the other drinks.”
Apple Cinnamon Chip Muffin
Just because it has apples in it doesn’t mean it’s good for you. “This muffin contains a whopping 780 calories (with 230 of those calories from fat) and only 1 g of dietary fiber, meaning you'll feel hungry soon after eating a meal and half's worth of calories,” says Kleiner.
Hot Chocolate (medium)
You may need to think your winter warm-up go-to. “A plain hot chocolate sounds innocent enough, but this long-time favorite topped this coffee shop's worst offenders at 360 calories, 14 g total fat, 46 g of sugar and no dietary fiber,” says Kleiner.
If you’re trying to eat a couple ounces of nuts a day, don’t start here. “This list's second worst option tops out at 740 calories and a whopping 43 g of total fat. While this pastry provides a little fiber (due to the nuts), it contains 48 g of sugar and little nutritional value,” says Kleiner.
“Best picks at a coffee shop? Stick with a nonfat latte or cappuccino. If you're hungry, share a treat with a group of friends or opt for a carton of yogurt or a bag of trail mix,” says Kleiner.
Now that Valentine’s Day is behind us—and most of the clearance chocolate has been scoured from grocery aisles—it’s time to focus on a healthier celebration for the heart: American Heart Month.
Heart disease is one of the top deadly diseases in the US, according the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and nearly 50 percent of Americans have either high blood pressure or high LDL cholesterol, or they smoke—all of which can lead to heart disease.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Registered dietitian and longtime American Heart Association advocate Nancy Chapman shares easy tips for cutting back on bad fats and salts to make the switch a little less painful.
Focus on making it simple.
Chapman recommends filling half your plate with fruits and veggies and then adding lean or plant-based proteins. “Starting with fruits and vegetables will lower the saturated fats you add to your plate,” she says.
Using frozen fruits and vegetables is recommended, as they are easily stored, have a long shelf life, and are easy to add to lean-protein dishes, soups, or smoothies.
Be aware of portion size.
“A lot of excess sodium and fat from our diet just comes from eating too much food,” Chapman says. “If we eat more calories than we burn, we gain weight, and that extra weight puts stress on your heart and can raise your blood pressure.”
Also think about balancing your food groups. Fruits and veggies, whole grains, and proteins (especially plant-based proteins) should make up a meal.
Take a look at where you get your oils and fats.
“That which is liquid is better than that which is hard,” Chapman says. Basically: Avoid hard fats, such as the ones you'll find around meat, or the buttery fats in dairy products. Olive, coconut, and peanut oil are all heart-healthier options to cook with.
To quickly get an idea of the amount of fat your food has, Chapman recommends placing your food on a paper towel, which will wick up the excess fats and oils. “If the food is really greasy afterward,” says Chapman, “that’s a good sign that your food is particularly higher in saturated or trans fats.”
Use more herbs and spices.
“Over two weeks, your taste buds can lose the taste for salt,” Chapman says. To get through those two weeks when you're trying to cut down on salt, she recommends reaching for powerful flavors like garlic, cumin, turmeric, cilantro, and chili powder.
Be aware of your bad habits.
“We’re frequently influenced by the people we eat around,” Chapman says. If you know your friends or coworkers are going to persuade you to eat that extra cookie or go for the fries, she suggests doing healthier activities with those social groups to balance out the bad eating habits. “Try seeing if they’ll go for a walk with you after lunch—that way you can socialize and get in some exercise to counteract consuming higher-calorie foods.”
Focus on one meal at a time.
“Folks try to change a total day’s menu, and it makes the switch so much harder,” Chapman says. “Take a look at where you have the most amount of control, and then look at where you have the most difficult time making healthy choices.”
Focus on one meal, like lunch, where you can start brown-bagging a healthy salad or sandwich instead of eating out. Once you feel you have that habit under control, tackle something else, like those 3 PM snack attacks or breakfast on the go.
5 Heart-Healthy Recipes to Get You Started
These recipes all have components of a heart-healthy meal: lean proteins with omega-3 fatty acids, plant-based proteins, vegetables, and antioxidant-rich fruits (and chocolate).
On February 14, feel free to indulge in that box of chocolates.
Chocolate is actually pretty good for you. For one, it’s a good source of magnesium: One ounce of dark chocolate supplies about 20 percent of your daily needs, says Nicole Ferring Holovach, an integrative registered dietitian in Frederick.
“Magnesium is one of those minerals that is notoriously hard to get,” Holovach says. “It’s estimated that half of Americans don’t get enough.”
Dark chocolate has also been found to benefit cardiovascular health due to its high levels of flavanols, she says. Several studies have shown that flavanols are associated with significantly lower risks of heart failure, heart attack, and stroke, according to the National Confectioners Association. There’s also been some initial evidence that chocolate may help improve your mood and reduce anxiety, the association reports.
But not all chocolate is created equal. That’s why it’s important to read the labels. Here are some tips to make sure you’re getting the chocolate that’s healthiest this holiday.
1) Look for the fewest ingredients. Many large chocolate-makers add soy lecithin, milk powder, and other fats to their chocolate, says Adam Kavalier, cofounder of Undone Chocolate, the District’s first bean-to-bar chocolate-maker. This process “dilutes the health properties that are inherent in the natural cocoa bean,” says Kavalier, who has a Ph.D. in plant biochemistry. Holovach recommends brands such as Equal Exchange, Theo, Pascha, Enjoy Life, and Alter Eco because they contain only four ingredients: cocoa, sugar, vanilla, and salt.
2) Eat craft chocolate. The term “craft chocolate” means it’s made from bean to bar under one roof. Craft chocolate is also usually created with cocoa beans that are lightly roasted and carefully ground, which keeps the antioxidants intact in the final chocolate bar. Local companies that follow this bean-to-bar process include Dandelion Chocolate, Madre Chocolate, DickTaylor, and Taza Chocolate. Eating craft chocolate also helps you avoid chocolate processed with alkali, which is used to tone down the bitterness of chocolate but also reduces the level of antioxidants.
3) The more cacao, the better. Most dark chocolate is 50 to 60 percent cacao, but the higher the percentage of cacao, the higher the flavanol and antioxidant content, says Holovach. “I find 70 percent is what most people enjoy,” she says. “It’s right around the range chocolate is still sweet, with just a little bitterness.”