November 19, 2018

Hedge Your Health

with Laura Georgy, MS, RDN, LDN


March 2017
In light of National Nutrition Month, let's bring a judgement-free awareness to our food choices and how foods actually make us feel. Less good vs bad. More "this makes me feel good" vs "this physically/mentally hurts".

Going forward, I vow to you (and myself) to be less judgy and to not demonize any particular food group. Instead, I'll aim to introduce and inspire alternative ways of eating to help you improve your relationship with food. #alternativefoods


9 Essentials Every Healthy Kitchen Needs

Add to or upgrade your basics for a fully functioning kitchen.

Without the right cooking equipment, we essentially bring a butter knife to a sword fight. Cooking becomes a dreaded challenge that deters us getting our hands dirty.

In the spirit of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ National Nutrition Month slogan, “Put your best fork forward”, let’s take it one utensil further to ensure our kitchens are stocked with tools to make cooking easier, healthier and faster.

Here’s the list of "kitchen assistants" that will get the job done:

  1. High-quality knife set… for a more enjoyable life – trust me on this one
  2. Citrus press… for everything from salad dressings to margarita mix
  3. Rice cooker… for lentils and whole grains – so much more than just rice!
  4. Food processor… for homemade pesto, purees and no-bake energy bites
  5. Cutting boards (different shapes and material)… for all things chopped, diced and sliced
  6. Ramekins… for portion control of snacks and desserts
  7. Collapsible colander… for draining pasta and rinsing veggies
  8. Cheese grater… for grating/shredding all the things
  9. Large nonstick sauté pan… for less intensive clean-up

Tip: This is a helpful list for wedding registries, too!


The RIGHT Way to Salad

6 steps to turn your salad frown upside down.

In your opinion, salads are:
A) healthy “rabbit food”.
B) something I was forced to eat as a child before I could have dessert.
C) boring, repetitive & unsatisfying.
  D) exactly what my body craves to regulate blood sugar, reduce cholesterol, fight signs of aging and improve digestion!

It’s time to turn your salad sads into salad glads! Honestly, these tricks and techniques will transform how you experience salads and will make you WANT to eat them as a meal or a side. Here’s how to bring salad’s sexy back:

1. Add a pinch of salt. This is a chef's secret. The aim here is not to make the veggies taste salty, rather the salt enhances the natural flavors and brings character to the dish.

2. Combine different textures. A forkful of crispy (celery, bell peppers or bacon), chewy (dried fruit), crunchy (roasted chickpeas or nuts/seeds) and creamy (avocado) will start a party in your mouth.

3. Prioritize proteins and healthy fats. Without protein and fats, you will miss the “OMG” target and feel underwhelmed by your meal.

4. Mix in chopped herbs. While eating a bowl of herbs on their own may not sound appealing, adding a handful of fresh cilantro, parsley, chives or dill to salad greens will take it from drab to fab.

5. Add some heat. When you include one warm item in your salad, everything changes. The heat from warm protein (grilled salmon, chicken, steak, beans, edamame), roasted veggies or warm salad dressing (vinaigrettes work better than creamy dressings due to food safety reasons) softens the raw vegetables and makes them easier to chew.

6. Go beyond a basic green base. Yes, spinach day in and day out can get old. Consider switching things up and using broccoli slaw, cauliflower rice or roasted squash as a base. Any veggie will do!

Client Confessional

Real life situations from anonymous clients who are trying their best.

Dear Laura: Office snacks get me every time. How do I stay away from the free sweets? I feel like I should "take advantage" of free food even though I know it's not great for me. Hmph

Dear Bargain Snacker: Here's my rec: Remind yourself that there is no such thing as a "free" donut or office cookie. What you don't pay for with $$, you pay for with drained energy, digestion discomfort and stubborn weight loss. In other words, it absolutely has a price.

Love yourself enough to say "no". The act of rejecting food when you’re not hungry can be very empowering. Instead, say yes to things that make you FEEL your best and say no to foods that drag you down and detract your health goals! (BTW - this is challenging for me, too. Because this food is never in my home... when I see it, I freak out and don't know how to handle myself.)

Remind yourself that these 'freebies' do not serve your best interests. They are a wolf in sheep's clothing and you LOVE yourself so much that it loses its power and no longer looks tasty.

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