Author and registered dietitian Heather Bauer joined me yesterday to share her top five nutrition tips and simple ways you can make your meals and snacks healthier!
Candace Rose: With this week being Simplify Your Life week, can you share your top five nutrition tips with us?
Heather Bauer: "Sure, it really is important to keep nutrition simple, and my advice is really to find ways to live your life and not your diet. As a nutritionist I work with so many different types of clients and they're all looking for the same thing- how do I live a healthy lifestyle that I can actually stick to. So today I really wanted to give you some tips that will really help you learn how to simplify your nutrition.
And I figure why not get started with breakfast? That's a meal that a lot of people either skip or they make the wrong choice because they say they don't have enough time. And I think if you have good healthy choices at your fingertips it's easy to make the right choice. So one recommendation would be to start with Greek yogurt. You take a low fat 0 or 2% Greek yogurt, add some high fiber cereal to it and then put some berries in it and that's a great breakfast that will get you started off on a much better note than if you end up eating a bagel for example at breakfast. You can also even opt for just two hard boiled eggs for breakfast- that's another great choice with just a piece of fruit. Again, you get the protein in and it really keeps you full until lunch and gets you jump started for a really good day.
When it comes to lunch, one of my suggestions is to brown bag it because I think a lot of us eat lunch at work anyway, and people say 'I don't have time to pack my lunch up'. But they still go out for lunch and bring it back to their desk. So I would say- 'pack it'. It takes three minutes. You could take light wheat bread, some organic turkey, lettuce, tomato and mustard- the whole thing with some veggies and a piece of fruit is almost under 300 calories, which is really amazing for lunch.
Breakfast and lunch- those are the two meals that we can control. Dinner gets a little more challenging, which I'll talk about in a minute. The afternoon snack is definitely an area where you can get caught up in white processed refined carbs because if you don't have the right snack at your fingertips it can be really tough. It's one of the reasons why I've partnered with Abbott because they have this great new snack which is the Perfectly Simple bar. I love the toasted coconut, it's delicious; but it also comes in peanut crunch and cranberry almond. But this bar is great because it only has 6 – 10 ingredients, which is really amazing for a bar. And it has 10 grams of protein, and it's gluten free which is a really nice bonus for a lot of people. So this is a really great option if you're looking for that sweet thing in the afternoon, but you still want to be healthy. If you're not into the bar thing, I would say do the Greek yogurt that I mentioned earlier with a piece of fruit or even have a string cheese with a piece of fruit. You can get an organic brand because that's a great way to keep yourself full until dinner.
Now when it comes to dinner it really depends on what your lifestyle is like but if you're at home the biggest key to success with dinner is having the staples there. Now if you have frozen chicken breasts in your freezer, take it out in the morning so that it defrosts during the day, that way when you get home all you have to do is take that chicken and dip it in some egg, dip it in some whole wheat bread crumbs and you can literally bake it in the oven at 425 for 20 minutes in a pyrex dish and you get the perfect breaded chicken cutlet, which you could use over and over again. You could use it one night with some arugula and tomatoes and make chicken Milanese with some balsamic vinegar. The next night you could make some healthy marinara with some low fat cheese and make healthy chicken parm. You could even use that chicken cutlet the next day and put it in some lettuce and make a great salad for yourself. So those are a just a couple great tips to keep you healthy for National Simplify week."
Candace Rose: What would you say are the most common nutrition mistakes that people make?
Heather Bauer: "I definitely think it's the mindless eating and snacking in the afternoon. I think that people don't have the right snack at their fingertips so they end up at the vending machine with the pretzels and the chips and the candy, and that just leads you to more bad choices. So having a snack like the Perfectly Simple bar is a really great option instead of that."
Candace Rose: Do you have any advice for those who are picky eaters or who have food allergies- should they be taking a supplement?
Heather Bauer: "I kind of believe that you get everything that you need through food and supplements are really for people who have deficiencies. For example if you're lactose intolerant and don't eat dairy, then you may need a calcium supplement. If you're someone who has that sort of deficiency like an iron deficiency, you may need a supplement. Or a vitamin D deficiency, but that's something that you should really talk to with your doctor. If you eat a healthy balanced diet, you should really be getting what you need nutritionally."
Candace Rose: Are there certain fruits and veggies that are high on the glycemic index that we should stay away from?
Heather Bauer: "To me, if you stick to fresh fruits and veggies, what I'd be avoiding is the juice and avoiding all dried fruit because those have half the sugar at least and they don't have the fiber in there."
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you'd like to share?
Heather Bauer: "For more information you can also go to ZonePerfect.com or you can also check out my website- I have a big blog there, which is NU-Train.com or you can get my book which is "Bread is the Devil."