Just How Much Food is on Your Plate?

 It is very easy to misjudge portion sizes. We get super-sized portions while dining out and most of us do not take the time to measure out what a true serving size looks like when we cook at home. Portion control can be your key to permanent weight loss or weight control. Before your next meal check this list from WebMD of foods, serving sizes and visual clues. Check in with yourself and see how many servings you are actually eating in one sitting.
1 cup of raw or cooked veggies= a baseball
1 ear of corn=length of a pencil or 8 inches
1 baked sweet or regular potato= a computer mouse
1 cup salad greens= a baseball
1 ½ ounces of hard cheese= 3 dice
½ cup frozen yogurt or ice cream= a light bulb
1 cup of yogurt (8 oz)= a baseball
1 bagel (3-4 inches in diameter)= a 6oz can of tuna
1 slice of whole grain bread= a cassette tape
1 cup of cooked pasta= a baseball
½ cooked brown rice= a light bulb
1 cup of popcorn= a baseball
¼ cup almonds (about 12) or ¼ cup walnuts (about 7 walnut halves)= a golf ball
3 oz of chicken or beef= a deck of cards
3 oz of fish= a check book
½ cup cooked beans= a light bulb
2 tablespoon hummus= a golf ball
3 oz tofu= a cassette tape
½ cup tempeh= a cassette tape
1 apple (1 cup)= a baseball
1 banana= length of a pencil (about 8 inches)
½ cup blueberries= a light bulb
1 ounce of dried fruit= a golf ball
½ cup grapes- about 16 small grapes= a light bulb
1 tablespoon margarine, butter, mayonnaise, or salad dressing= a poker chip
2 inch brownie or 1 oz of chocolate= a package of dental floss
1 slice of cake= a deck of cards
1 muffin= a hockey puck
1 cookie= 2 poker chips
1 burrito= a checkbook
1 hamburger with bun (3oz of meat)= a deck of cards
1 cup of chili= a baseball
1 cup of French fries-about 10 fries= a baseball
1 hero sandwich-about 6 inches= a checkbook
3 inch sq of lasagna= a baseball
1 cup of lo mein= a baseball
1 cup of mac and cheese= a baseball
1 slice of pizza=2 dollar bills


Eat Local

Have you noticed that you crave different foods in different seasons? Your body knows best what it needs and when it needs it. Foods that are in season provide us the most flavor, freshness and most nutritional value at the most affordable price. Modern food producing and distribution makes food available on your grocery shelves all year long, however, eating seasonally and locally not only benefits our bodies, but benefits the environment as well. By purchasing local foods that are in season, you eliminate the environmental damage caused by shipping foods thousands of miles and your family will reap the benefits of eating fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables. In different parts of the country, seasonal menus will vary, but here are some general guidelines to help you start shopping seasonally.

· In spring, focus on tender, leafy vegetables that represent the fresh new growth of this season. The greening that occurs in springtime should be represented by greens on your plate, including swiss chard, spinach, romaine lettuce, fresh parsley and basil.

· In summer, stick with light, cooling foods in the tradition of traditional Chinese medicine. These foods include fruits like strawberries, watermelon, peaches and plums; vegetables like summer squash, broccoli, cauliflower and corn. Include spices and seasonings like peppermint and cilantro.

· In fall, turn toward the more warming, autumn harvest foods, including carrot, sweet potato, onions and garlic, apples and pears. Also emphasize the more warming spices and seasonings including ginger, peppercorns and mustard seeds.

· In winter, turn even more exclusively toward warming foods. Remember the principle that foods taking longer to grow are generally more warming than foods that grow quickly. All of the animal foods fall into the warming category including fish, chicken, beef, lamb and venison. So do most of the root vegetables, including carrot, potato, onions and garlic. Eggs also fit in here, as do corn and nuts.

Fall is here, and is the perfect time to help your body transition from the warm months of summer to the chill of winter. Get out there and enjoy some fresh picked apples and pears and come Halloween, those pumpkins are not just for carving. By the end of October tough skinned pumpkins and squash are ready to be eaten. Listen to your body and enjoy the autumn harvest, which is a time of abundance and vitality.-Rachel Venokur-Clark, CHC, AADP

Father Time

Fountain of Youth...

We are bombarded everyday with images of what we are supposed to think is beautiful. A young, super skinny, airbrushed model is what many of us compare ourselves to on a regular basis. In a world where youth is idolized and aging is seen as something, well, less favorable, we are all searching for that magical fountain of youth. How about writing off the plastic surgeon for a while and starting from the inside out. According to the “Real Age” website, maintaining your weight and body mass index at a desirable level can make your Real Age as much as 6 years younger. What you put in your body can not only help to maintain a healthy weight, but can slow down the aging process and even reverse damage that has already been done. Based on that, I’d say Nutrition is the real fountain of youth. The general guidelines for looking and feeling younger include keeping your calorie intake down, limiting the number of saturated fats you eat, eat whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean protein (especially fish) and lower your salt and sugar intake. There are numerous foods, which can help keep that botox shot far away from you, and here are the top Ten to include in your daily diet.

Avocado: A good source of healthy monounsaturated fat that may help to reduce the level of bad cholesterol in body. Avocado is a good source of Vitamin E and can help to maintain healthy skin and prevent skin aging (vitamin E may also help alleviate menopausal hot flushes). It is rich in potassium which helps prevent fluid retention and high blood pressure

Berries: All black and blue berries such as blackberries, blueberries, blackcurrants and black grapes contain phytochemicals known as flavonoids-powerful antioxidants which help to protect the body against damage caused by free radicals and aging.

Cruciferous vegetables: The family of Cruciferous vegetables includes cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, turnip, brussels sprouts, radish and watercress. Cruciferous vegetables assist the body in its fight against toxins and cancer. If possible, eat them raw or very lightly cooked so that the important enzymes remain intact. Include as many dark leafy green veggies as possible on a daily basis.

Garlic: Eating a clove of garlic a day (row or cooked) helps to protect the body against cancer and heart disease. The cardioprotective effects of garlic are well recorded. One 1994 study in Iowa, USA, of 41,837 women between the age of 55 and 69 suggested that women who ate a clove of garlic at least once a week were 50 percent less likely to
develop colon cancer.

Ginger: This spicy root can boost the digestive and circulatory systems, which can be useful for older people. Ginger may also help to alleviate rheumatic aches and pains.

Nuts: Most varieties of nuts are good sources of minerals, particularly walnuts and brazil nuts. Walnuts, although high in calories, are rich in potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper and selenium. Adding nuts to your diet (sprinkle them on salads and desserts) can enhance the functioning of your digestive and immune systems, improve your skin, help control and or prevent cancer. Nuts may also help control cholesterol levels.

Soy: Menopausal women might find that soy helps to maintain estrogen levels. Soy may alleviate menopausal hot flashes and protect against Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, and heart disease. Look out for fermented soy products, like Tempeh, which are more easily digested, therefore more nutritional, and do not generally cause food intolerances.

Whole Grains: Complex carbohydrates provide a consistent supply of energy throughout the day and should be a part of your diet. Whole-wheat pasta, for example, is an excellent complex carbohydrate. It is high in fiber and contains twice the amount of iron as normal pasta. Brown rice is another recommended complex carbohydrate, which is high in fiber and B vitamins.

Watermelon: Both the flesh and seeds of the watermelon are nutritious. The flesh contains vitamins A, B and C; the seeds contain selenium, essential fats, zinc and vitamin E, all of which help against free radical damage and aging.

Water: Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day in order to remain healthy. Water helps us to get rid of the toxins and unwanted waste materials from your body. Don’t rely on thirst; this sensation diminishes with age. You can also get fluids from foods with a high water content like, watermelon, pickles, oranges, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers etc.

Although an anti-aging diet may not be able to promise to make you look and feel like you’re a kid again, it is certainly a great place to start. Eating smart, keeping your weight down, getting enough exercise and supplementing the diet vitamins and minerals, when necessary, are all ways to get you to start feeling and looking younger. And if you are young, why not hold off old Father Time a little bit longer.-Rachel Venokur-Clark, CHC,, AADP