Diane May Nutrition Blog

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Foods To Give You Energy In 2019

January 1st, 2019

It’s that time of year when everyone is starting their New Year’s resolutions. We all need energy to start these New Year’s plans! Food has the power to energize us and give us the motivation and strength to get the job done. There are a number of foods that assist with energy and help us feel our best. Foods high in B vitamins tend to give us energy. These include whole grains, meat, eggs, dairy, beans, seeds, nuts, dark leafy vegetables, citrus, avocado and bananas. Below are some energizing foods to incorporate into your diet:

  • Fatty Fish: Fish such as salmon, mackerel, trout and tuna are high in Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, B vitamins, protein and vitamin D. Fatty fish delivers huge cardiovascular and brain benefits as well as helps to reduce inflammation. The American Heart Association recommends at least 2 servings (3.5 ounces per serving) of fatty fish per week.
  • Plain water: The most basic of liquids, water is critical to our bodies, helping to transfer oxygen to cells.  It repletes our body when we are dehydrated. When we are dehydrated we feel tired and have no energy-we also feel hungry-therefore, when you are well hydrated it also helps with weight loss.  It is the best sports drink and overall hydrator. You should have a goal of 64 ounces a day.
  • Apples: Loaded with dietary fiber, antioxidants, B vitamins and Vitamin C as well as calcium, potassium and phosphorus, apples are low in sugar and satisfying. They can aide in weight loss, cardiovascular and brain health, reducing constipation and help to maintain blood glucose. Green apples may have a slightly higher fiber content and are lower in sugar, but chose the apple that you enjoy the most.
  • Sweet Potato: This tuber has a lot of fiber, beta carotene, B vitamins, Vitamin C, iron, calcium and selenium. They have anti inflammatory properties, help our skin glow and can support weight loss. Roast until tender for this naturally sweet treat that is low in sugar and does not spike our glucose.
  • Legumes: Beans and lentils are high in fiber, protein and B vitamins. They have been shown to aide in glucose control, heart health and reduce our risk of cancer.  A great source of plant protein (add a grain to make a complete protein), use them once a week in place of animal protein. If using canned, make sure to rinse before consuming. 
  • Brown Rice: Whole grains are always best and brown rice is high in fiber, iron, magnesium and B vitamins. It helps to move waste through the body, can help to reduce cholesterol and maintain blood glucose. Pay attention to portions as a serving is 1/2 cup (about the size of a tight fist). 
  • Yogurt: High in protein, calcium, B vitamins and probiotics. Yogurt is helpful with our gut microbiome, immune function and bone health. Make sure to always keep dairy products low or non fat.
  • Chia seeds: Packed with fiber, protein, Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, iron, calcium and B vitamins. They can assist with heart health and potentially aide weight loss. Start with 1 tablespoon a day. You can use in place of granola or sprinkle over cereal. 

Having a well balanced diet and staying well hydrated are the best way to have energy throughout the day, but making sure you incorporate these foods will give that added push you need to accomplish all your life goals.  Happy New Year!

Honey-Soy Broiled Salmon

From: EatingWell Magazine, August/September 2006

A sweet, tangy and salty mixture of soy sauce, rice vinegar and honey does double-duty as marinade and sauce. Toasted sesame seeds provide a nutty and attractive accent. Make it a meal: Serve with brown rice and sautéed red peppers and zucchini slices.

  • By:EatingWell Test Kitchen

 

Ingredients

    • 1 scallion, minced
    • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
    • 1 pound center-cut salmon fillet, skinned (see Tip) and cut into 4 portions
    • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds, (see Tip)

Directions

  • 1Whisk scallion, soy sauce, vinegar, honey and ginger in a medium bowl until the honey is dissolved. Place salmon in a sealable plastic bag, add 3 tablespoons of the sauce and refrigerate; let marinate for 15 minutes. Reserve the remaining sauce.
  • 2Preheat broiler. Line a small baking pan with foil and coat with cooking spray.
  • 3Transfer the salmon to the pan, skinned-side down. (Discard the marinade.) Broil the salmon 4 to 6 inches from the heat source until cooked through, 6 to 10 minutes. Drizzle with the reserved sauce and garnish with sesame seeds.
  • Tips: How to skin a salmon fillet: Place skin-side down. Starting at the tail end, slip a long knife between the fish flesh and the skin, holding down firmly with your other hand. Gently push the blade along at a 30° angle, separating the fillet from the skin without cutting through either.
  • To toast sesame seeds, heat a small dry skillet over low heat. Add seeds and stir constantly, until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool.
  • People with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity should use soy sauces that are labeled “gluten-free,” as soy sauce may contain wheat or other gluten-containing sweeteners and flavors.

Nutrition information

 

  • Serving size: 3 oz. portion salmon, ¾ tsp. sauce & ¼ tsp. sesame seeds
  • Per serving: 160 calories; 5 g fat(1 g sat); 0 g fiber; 6 g carbohydrates; 23 g protein; 16 mcg folate; 53 mg cholesterol; 4 g sugars; 4 g added sugars; 200 IU vitamin A; 2 mg vitamin C; 55 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 324 mg sodium; 451 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: ½

 

How To Make Weekly Meals Easier

December 3rd, 2018

One of the most frustrating and daunting tasks is meal planning for the week, especially during the holiday season, when time is so precious.  Being prepared and finding quick and easy ways to get meals on the table can make life so much easier. Start with a shopping list that you pair with your weekly recipes. Find recipes that can be cooked in large batches such as chili, stew, sheet pan and crock pot meals.  It helps to have a master list when you go to the supermarket. Below is a basic template (try and by produce seasonally and utilize frozen fruits and vegetables):

  • Protein-Chicken, fish, turkey, reduced sodium deli meats, eggs, shellfish, beans, soy
  • Dairy-Low fat/non fat milk, cheese and greek yogurt-can also use plant based cheese, yogurt and milk
  • Vegetables-Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, green beans, dark leafy greens, mushrooms, onions, garlic, peppers, potatoes, squashes, tomato, beets
  • Fruits-Apples, pears, berries, banana, grapes, citrus, melons
  • Grains-100% whole wheat bread, brown rice, oatmeal, low sugar/low sodium cereal, quinoa, bulgar, Farro, whole grain/bean pasta, popcorn
  • Condiments-Tomato sauce and paste, mustard, vinegars, olive oil, salsa, non fat cooking spray, herbs and seasoning

Once you have your basic list, you can add ingredients according to the recipes you plan for the week.  Collect recipes in a binder that you can go to for inspiration.  I recommend sites such as eatingwell.com, cookinglight.com and hungrygirl.com. One pot/sheet pan meals and crock pot meals take away a lot of prep and clean up, so they are great options when you are too busy to make a more involved recipe.  You can also cook in larger batches and freeze a portion of what you cook ahead.

  • When making sheet pan meals, find a large sheet pan.  Use hearty vegetables that can be roasted.  Make sure they are uniform in size and use proteins that are not tough (shanks, shoulders or ribs), try chicken breast, shrimp, tofu, and softer cuts of meat such as tenderloin. You can use any seasonings, but at the very least, toss with some oil, salt and pepper. Play around and find the mixes that work for you.
  • One pot meals need a little more prep and organization (but you will save on clean up). When possible, brown protein first, then add veggies and starch. Use high quality stock as a braising fluid. Try to use fresh herbs when possible.

Keep in  mind that you can prep up to five days in advance, but only three days can stay in the fridge and the rest should be put in the freezer. Pick a day to do your weekly food shopping and food prep.  It will save so much time and make your life easier, and you will have delicious and nutritious meals all week!

Rosemary Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

From: Diabetic Living Magazine

Chicken and sweet potatoes unite with the delicious taste of rosemary in this easy, one-skillet meal. Because we use par cooked and unseasoned sweet potatoes, the cooking time is much shorter—making this recipe perfect for weeknight cooking.

Ingredients     4 servings

  • 4 teaspoons canola or olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon snipped fresh rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 20-ounce package refrigerated diced sweet potatoes, such as Simply Potatoes®
  • 2 (8 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, halved crosswise
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced

Preparation

  •  Prep       20 m
  • Ready In    35 m
  1. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet heat 3 teaspoons of the oil over medium. Stir in garlic, ½ teaspoon of the salt, ¼ teaspoon of the rosemary and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper. Add potatoes; toss to coat. Cook, covered, 5 minutes (do not stir).
  2. Push potatoes to one side of skillet. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil to other side of skillet. Arrange chicken in skillet alongside potatoes. Cook, uncovered, 8 minutes.
  3. Stir potatoes and turn chicken. Sprinkle chicken with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, rosemary, and pepper. Top with lemon slices. Cook, covered, 8 to 10 minutes more or until chicken is done (165°F) and potatoes are brown. (If needed, remove potatoes as they are done and continue cooking chicken

 

Nutrition information

 

  • Serving size: 1 chicken breast and about ⅔ cup potatoes
  • Per serving: 283 calories; 8 g fat(1 g sat); 5 g fiber; 27 g carbohydrates; 28 g protein; 83 mg cholesterol; 12 g sugars; 417 mg sodium;
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2
  • Exchanges: 3½ lean protein, 1½ starch