Black Bean Brownies

Black beans in brownies?? YES!

This trend has been around for a few years now. The first time I made black bean brownies was in 2015…I was getting ready to pack up my car and move to California to attend Loma Linda University to become a registered dietitian.  Before I left for school, I made my family a special treat…and I didn’t tell them what was in it…

Now, I am going to give you a little background on my childhood…when I was a little girl, maybe 6 or 7, I LOVED “playing” in my mom’s kitchen experimenting with foods…that could be why I decided to become a dietitian and do recipe development professionally!

I can remember making a jello dessert and putting what I thought was orange zest in it for a little extra flavor…turns out I was zesting too much and ended up putting the orange peeling in it instead…and my brothers never let me forget it! They’re always kind of afraid to try new foods I make despite the fact that I’ve gotten wayyyyy better at recipe development.

Back to before I moved away, I made a special dessert for my last night in North Carolina…I made black bean brownies. After everyone took a bite and decided they tasted good, I had them guess what they thought was in it…no one knew!

“Black beans!” Course, we grew up eating beans so my brothers weren’t too put off…but my sister-in-law was like “Ew, gross” and decided they were not fit to eat. However, everyone else LOVED them, and you will to!

 

I’ve adapted my recipe over the years. Today I am using black beans and sweet potato in this recipe and I guarantee you will love it! Fudgey, smooth, and perfect for a warm, brownie sundae!

Black Bean Brownies

  • Servings: 16 squares
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

1 can black beans

1/2 c almond flour

1/2 c sweet potato

1/2 c unsweetened apple sauce

1/4+ 2 tbs maple syrup

2 T cocoa powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 T vanilla

1/2 c dark chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Drain and rinse black beans very well.
  3. Add to high powered blender or food processor.
  4. Add almond flour, sweet potato, unsweetened applesauce, maple syrup, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and vanilla to blender/food processor.
  5. Blend until smooth.
  6. Add to mixing bowl and fold in chocolate chips.
  7. Pour mixture into greased baking dish.
  8. Sprinkle more chocolate chips on top.
  9. Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes.
  10. If brownies are still goopy, bake for additional 5-10 minutes and let cool. The batter will thicken as it cools.
  11. Enjoy!!!

Have you ever tried black bean brownies ??

Until next time,

Happy Chewing!

Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Follow me one social media!

@livebetterwithkatdetter

 

 

What It Means To Be Healthy

“It’s called the South Beach Fat Flush, and all you drink is cranberry juice for 72 hours.” – Regina George from Mean Girls

This is the world we live in. People going on fad diets, cleanses, detoxes, and fasts to look a certain way. This is what people think it means to be healthy.

As I have mentioned before, being healthy is not a one-size-fits-all approach. What I do on a daily basis may not work for you, and vice versa. However, there are healthy living practices that we can use as a guide to help inspire us to live a better life.

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  • Be active most days of the week

This is kind of vague, but it goes back to my point of every body being different, and we all have different goals. A person beginning their fitness journey may not run as far as the person training for their first half marathon. The body builder working toward a competition likely works out hours a day while the person wanting to tone works out for an hour…all of that is irrelevant. Do what works for you and your goals. The most important thing is that you are active.

  • Eat your veggies

…or all plants for that matter. Plants are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and water, making them BEST for your body. Strive to get the majority of your diet from plants, making half of your plate non-starchy veggies at meals. Not only will it be kind to your waistline, but the fiber will help you feel full for longer periods of time AND will help keep your digestion regular.

  • Stay hydrated

This is so vital. Our bodies are 55-60% water, so it is important that we replace what is lost. Water can be lost in the obvious ways–urine, sweat, and bowel movements…but we also lose water when we breathe and stress! When we are dehydrated, our body’s cortisol (the stress hormone) levels increase–making it another good idea to drink water consistently throughout the day to decrease stress levels.

  • Limit added sugars

Women should truly be consuming 25 grams or less of added sugars daily, while the recommendation for men is 36 grams per day. On average, one 12 ounce can of soda contains 39 grams of added sugar–that is over a days worth! Added sugar can also wreck your immune system, making it easier for you to get sick. While I am not saying you can never splurge and have sugar, be mindful of where your added sugars are coming from and limit them most of the time.

  • Engage in healthy relationships

We were made to communicate with each other–as much of an introvert I am…I realize how important it is to be part of a community. Spend time with your family and friends–go out of your way to be kind to others. Socialize with people you’ve just met. Get to know someone new. You will be more fulfilled, create new relationships, and grow as a person.

  • Grow spiritually

Regardless of your religious preferences, take time for your spiritual life daily. It can be so easy getting caught up in the chaos of every day, but make time for your devotions. As a Christian, I talk to God throughout the day, multiple times a day. Writing in my prayer journal is another way I feel connected with Him, and it is neat to look back on past entries to see what He has done to help me overcome past issues.

 

What other guides do you use to stay healthy?  Remember, healthy living is individualized to your own personal needs. If you’d like help meeting those needs and want to jump on the healthy lifestyle bandwagon, send me a message!

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!

Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Follow me on social media!

Instagram: @betterwithkatdetter_rd

Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube: Live Better with Kat Detter

 

 

 

Kat’s Kitchen: Banana Berry Oatmeal

Are you always on the run in the morning and find yourself grabbing sugary, processed breakfast items because you simply don’t have enough time to make a nutritious and delicious meal?

OR are you eating the same nutritious and delicious meal every morning because you aren’t sure what else will give you energy and satiety (feeling of fullness) all morning long?

You’re in luck!

Today is the FIRST launch of Kat’s Kitchen mini cooking series that I hope you all find helpful. Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated, and I hope you find my recipes easy, affordable, and delicious! Feel free to share on social media! 🙂

 

Below is my banana berry oatmeal cooking demo. Underneath the video you will find a detailed ingredients and directions list.

Banana Berry Oatmeal

  • Servings: 1 serving
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana-the riper the better
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup UNSWEETENED almond milk
  • 1 dash of vanilla
  • 1/2 cup of berries (I used raspberries and blueberries)
  • 1/4 cup of English Walnuts, raw
  • 2 tablespoons powered peanut butter (you could use natural peanut butter or protein powder of choice)

Directions:

  1. In a microwave safe bowl, mash 1 banana until smooth. Add in oatmeal, almond milk, and vanilla and stir until combined.
  2. Place bowl of oats in a microwave for 2 minutes or until oatmeal reaches desired consistency.
  3. Once cooked to liking, add in powdered peanut butter (mix well), berries, and walnuts.
  4. Enjoy in your home for a quick brekky or put oats in a to-go container and enjoy at work or school!

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I hope you all liked the mini cooking show. This month video series is all about “on the go” breakfasts. Tune in January 23 for another Kat’s Kitchen cooking demo.

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Follow me on social media!

Facebook: Live Better with Kat Detter

Instagram: @betterwithkatdetter_rd

Pinterest: Live Better with Kat Detter

Youtube: Live Better with Kat Detter

Pickin’ Up Pawpaws

Put ’em in your pocket…

Texture like a ripe avocado, mouthfeel of a banana, and taste of mixed tropic fruit, this “hillbilly mango” is native to 26 states in North America ranging from northern Florida all the way up to Ontario, Canada and go as far west as Nebraska.

Also called the “poor man’s banana”, this indigenous fruit provided nutrient dense food for wild animals, Native Americans, and even European explorers and settlers back in the day. Pawpaws are still cropped in the US today and enjoyed in many rural areas. They bloom in the spring and then harvested in late August through mid October, making pawpaws a seasonal fall crop.

Several years ago, my father planted some pawpaw trees on his farm in Western North Carolina, and this year they are producing gobs of fruit. The first time I tried a pawpaw, I did not really know what to think…the texture was like a very ripe avocado but flavor was like an earthy banana with a faint taste of mango and blueberry…weird combo, right? It is by no means a favorite fruit of mine (doesn’t even make my top 10), but it is still fascinating to learn about fruits our ancestors cultivated and ate for proper nutrition.

That brings me to the nutrient facts of a pawpaw! Pawpaws are fruit, so they are full of similar nutrients like a banana, however they are higher in protein and fat content.  One pawpaw has 80 calories, 1.2 grams of fat, 18.8 grams of carbohydrate, and 2.6 grams of dietary fiber.

Pawpaws contain 1.2 grams of complete protein…that’s right! Pawpaws contain all of the essential amino acids our bodies need. Pawpaws are one of the few plants that contain all essential amino acids. Other complete protein plants include soy and quinoa…that is what makes this fruit so unique and interesting!

Now, of course you can eat this fleshy plant raw off the tree, but there are numerous other ways to utilize this fruit! The fruit is ripe when it becomes soft on the tree and can be eaten right away or stored in a refrigerator up to one week. It is a little difficult to process as it contains many big, black seeds, but I found that peeling the fruit with a knife and pressing it through a strainer works well. At that point, you can use the flesh in baked goods or freeze it for a later use. Because the fruit is naturally fatty and creamy, it would make a great base for a smoothie or custard.

When my dad gave me pawpaws last week, I had to get in the kitchen and experiment!  I ended up making “Pawpaw-Nut Muffins” with the recipe below. Try it out and let me know how ya like ’em!


Pawpaw-Nut Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup pitted and chopped dates
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup smashed pawpaw fruit (1 large pawpaw)
  • 3/4 cup of nuts (I used English walnuts)
  • baking spray

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, add water, dates, and cranberries and bring to boil. Stir in applesauce and honey and allow to boil for 1-2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a blender, pulse together the oats, AP flour, eggs, baking soda, and nuts–roughly. Then pour into a mixing bowl and combine together well, making a dough-like texture.
  3. Mix in the cooled applesauce mixture and pawpaws to dough. Put in refrigerator for 15-30 minutes.
  4. Spray muffin tins and fill with batter 3/4 of the way up, allowing room to rise. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes or until cooked all the way through.

What do you think? Are you curious to try a pawpaw now? Check your local farmer’s market to see if they’ve got any in stock and let me know how you like them!

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

References: 
Cooking with Pawpaws. Axonopus affinis. hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/ksu-pawpaw/cooking/html. Accessed September 9, 2018.

 

6 Tips to Choose Health Promoting Goals with Your Spouse

bobkat

Have you ever wanted to make a really colorful, nourishing recipe you found on Pinterest for you and your significant other, and then as soon as you put it on the table your spouse has a hard time choking it down? Yeah, I have been there, too. My husband and I have been married for about 2.5 years now, and we share similar health promoting behaviors, but he definitely turns his nose up to quinoa, tofu, chickpeas, avocado, and beets.

Today I am going to share some ideas on how to get your spouse involved in developing health promoting goals with you.

  1. Shop Together

Weeks get busy really fast, but if you take some time during your weekend to go grocery shopping together, it can really make a difference in what healthful meals you can both agree on. Try to make a list beforehand and while you are shopping together, ask for your significant others opinion on produce, whole grains, and proteins. Don’t buy a bag of avocados if your spouse hates them! Lesson learned: it is hard to eat a whole bag of avocados by yourself before they go rot.

  1. Purchase Plants They Like

This is one thing I do all year round! My husband is very selective when it comes to fruit and literally will not eat it unless I sit it in front of him. Fruit is one thing I like to have on hand for snacks for a mid-day energy boost. The fiber keeps me full & regular, making my body physically feel its best. For instance, Bobby likes strawberries, watermelon, and bananas. Even if they are not in season, I still buy them so he has access to fibrous foods he actually enjoys.

Luckily, it is summer time so I can get his favorite (watermelon) frequently!

  1. Cook Together

What a fun way to spend date night! It is known that if a person helps in the cooking process of a meal that they will be more likely to enjoy it. Experiment with flavors, food, and spend some quality time together in the kitchen. Put your spouse to use in washing and chopping up fresh veggies for a stir fry, or cracking eggs for a breakfast veggie omelet. Getting involved in the cooking process can also help you make sure you are cooking things you both can enjoy – a foundational part of mindful & intuitive eating!

  1. Incorporate Plants into Your Dishes

This is something we do a lot in my kitchen because sometimes you are just not in the mood for plain veggies on the side. There are many different opportunities to add plants to your meals. For example, when we make rice, I add 1 cup of riced cauliflower to 1 cup of cooked rice providing extra fiber and nutrients to the dish–and Bobby loves it! Let’s say your spouse only likes iceberg lettuce in salads. One option is to mix in some freshly chopped spinach to the iceberg to give more texture, flavor and micro-nutrients to the salad.

  1. Presentation is Key

It is so easy to get in the habit of using paper plates-it is a faster cleanup! However, food looks way better on a pretty plate! Once the food is cooked, plate the entree and sides on your fine china and garnish with your favorite herb. It will be appealing to the eye and increase meal satisfaction. To add some more pizzazz during your mealtime, light a candle and dim the lights. The ambiance with make your at-home dining experience more enjoyable.

  1. Move Together

You know that one couple in the gym that are so stinking cute that it is almost nauseating? THAT COULD BE YOU! Working out together in the gym, at the park, or even in the home can help you both physically feel your best. Do something you both can enjoy. Bobby and I go biking, hiking, and play tennis together a few times per week. Think about it: you are bonded by law to have a lifelong accountability partner. Embrace that bondage by getting sweaty together.

Challenge for the week: Choose at least one of these tips with your spouse to help one another live your best life.

Download my FREE 6 Steps to Mindful Eating guide here.

Until Next Time,


Happy Chewing!
xoxo
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
Follow me on social media!

5 New Ideas for Summer Crops

watermelon

It is officially summer, if you couldn’t tell by the sweltering heat and humidity (if you are on the east coast), which means our gardens will be spitting out fresh produce for us once again. I have to be honest, I get excited about summer produce initially, but by the end of the season, I am sick of corn and zucchini! Have no fear! I have chosen 5 popular summer crops to research the history, nutrition, and cooking ideas to beat the boredom this season.


…Summer Squash


Fun fact: Did you know that all squash in general are native crops of North America? The Wampanoag Indians cultivated winter and summer varieties in the early stages of America. Summer squash such as yellow squash and zucchini are relatives of winter squash such as butternut, acorn, and pumpkin.


Nutritionally, summer squash are rich in Vitamin C, an antioxidant which aids in collagen production, wound healing and iron absorption. In just one ½ cup serving, squash contains 15% of the daily recommendation for vitamin C. In addition to that, summer squash contains 1 gram of fiber per ½ cup serving.  Fiber aids in digestion and helps you have a healthy colon. 


Make no mistake, I love some squash, but I get tired of eating it sautéed for 2 months straight. You can grate squash and add to your baked goods or salads for some extra nutrition and flavor. Or, you can boil, microwave, sauté, roast, and of course-fry this delectable veggie. Most recently, my favorite way is grilled, thanks to my husband.


Directions: First, prep your veggies. Wash the squash and cut the ends off. DO NOT PEEL! Most of the nutrition is in the skin. Chop your squash in whatever form you like best. I prefer circles. Second, grab some aluminum foil and make a “foil packet” as shown above. Add another sheet of aluminum foil to the top forming a pouch to enclose the veggies. Add in your chopped veggies with a little drizzle of canola, grape-seed, or avocado oil. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the top. If you want to get a little creative, add herb of choice: rosemary, oregano or basil would be good options for a burst of flavor. Third, place foil pack on your grill for about 20 minutes or until tender. You will be AMAZED with how delicious this is. I could eat a mountain of grilled summer squash!

…Basil


An herb used in many Italian and Thai dishes, basil is another fun summer plant.  The origination is debatable as the plant has been cultivated in many different areas for many years, but it is thought to originate in India6. Oddly enough, in ancient Egypt times, basil was used as an embalming agent and has been found in tombs and mummies since then.
With virtually no calories, basil is a great addition to foods to achieve flavor without extra sodium.  Adding fresh basil to soups, pastas, curries, and even fruit can add a burst of flavor. Below is my take on basil pesto.

green leaf plant on brown wooden surface
Photo by monicore on Pexels.com

Directions: Gather your fresh, clean basil (1 cup) and add to food processor or blender. Add: ÂĽ cup olive oil, 3 tablespoons of walnuts or pine nuts, a dash of parmesan cheese, and 2 fresh garlic cloves. Pulse mixture together until smooth. Serve over pasta, spread on toast or sandwiches, or use as a dip for veggies. Make a double batch to have on hand for whenever you want it!


…Watermelon

“How do you put water in a watermelon?”

“You plant it in the spring!”

(go ahead, laugh at my corny joke.)

It’s a hot summer’s day, you are chilling at the pool and want a refreshing snack.  What better way to enjoy a nice chunk of watermelon! Watermelon is the definition of summer, and quite possibly my favorite summer crop.

eat watermelon


Cultivated in South Africa, watermelon quickly made its way to Egypt, to Europe, to the Mediterranean, then to India and finally to China. Interestingly enough, China is the world’s largest producer of watermelons5. Watermelon later made its way to America through the slave trade.


Watermelon is a very nutritious fruit made mostly of water (91%) with 6% sugar. This fruit is loaded with vitamin C while low in fat and sodium. Another fun nutrition bit on watermelon is that it is full of fiber! Yes, fiber which we know aids in digestion. One cup of watermelon contains about 50 calories and 1 gram of fiber.


Recipe time! One thing I think pairs well with watermelon is feta cheese-you get a little bit of salty/sweet action. Below is my recipe for Watermelon-Feta Salad.

Directions: First, prep your watermelon by cutting it in half and using a melon baller to form melon-balls. You will want to spoon out about 3-4 cups of watermelon. To the watermelon, add ¼ cup of feta cheese crumbles. Mix together.  If you want to get a little spunky, add some freshly chopped basil. This fruit salad is a great dessert option for a patriotic holiday cookout.


…Beets


Did you have that one vegetable growing up that you absolutely loathed and begged your parents not to make you eat? Yeah, beets were that vegetable for me, and of course my father made me eat at least one each time it was on the menu. They say your taste buds change every seven years-must be true because I love them now!


Originally from the Mediterranean, the actual beetroot was generally used medicinally.  That’s right, people generally ate the greens from beets before discovering the fleshy, earthy part many of us enjoy today7. Due to their strong staining effect, beets were used to dye clothing in the olden days.
Beets are highly nutritious for the fact they are good sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants are generally in substances containing vitamin C and remove potentially harmful oxidizing agents in a living organism, which potentially can decrease the amount of cancer cells8. Per 1 cup of beets, there are about 60 calories, 13 grams of carbs, and 4 grams of fiber. Beets are rich in vitamin C and potassium, which help maintain our natural acid-base balance in the body.


Beets are mostly canned or pickled, but my favorite way to cook beets is by roasting in the oven.

sliced red beets
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Directions: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Peel and wash your beets. Chop beets into bite sized pieces. Drizzle oil of choice-I choose one with a high smoke point like canola or grapeseed oil. Add: ½ tablespoon of honey, 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon of onion powder, and 1 teaspoon of garlic salt. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until tender. Add to a nice spinach salad with your favorite goat cheese for some extra flavor. Roasted butternut squash or carrots would be a nice addition to that salad, as well.


…Corn


When I think back to my childhood and helping my dad in his garden, corn was always something we had an abundance of, and to be honest it was my least favorite summer crop (and still is). However, the history behind it is very neat!


Corn was actually nonexistent in the wild until it was cultivated in Central Mexico many, many years ago. Eventually when the Mexican culture migrated to America, they cultivated this crop in the Americas. Later when the Europeans came over, it was the Native Americans job to teach them how to cultivate many grains-especially corn. There are many varieties and colors of corn out there-blue corn, yellow corn, sweet corn, popcorn…which is your favorite? Corn can then be processed into many things we eat today from chips to grits (if you are a Southerner like me) or polenta.

corn kernel
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Though is does contain calories and carbs our bodies need, corn is actually one of the least nutritious grains. It contains poor quality protein (mainly because it is incomplete, as most grains are) and there is no niacin in this grain. Niacin is the precursor to tryptophan, an essential amino acid in our body. Essential amino acids are those that are not naturally made by our bodies. We have to eat foods that contain essential amino acids to make proteins in our body. Without niacin, our bodies will not make tryptophan. Corn does have some benefits though as it contains numerous vitamins and minerals to aid in processes in our bodies.

Wanna fight the boredom with this starchy grain? You can do many things with it-saute, boil on the Cobb, creamed…the recipe I am sharing with you is corn salsa. If I have to eat it, I prefer it with the Mexican flavors.


Directions: First, obviously, get to shuckin’! Once you have gotten all the silk off the corn, wash thoroughly. Next, cut corn off the Cobb and add to a bowl. Add: 1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed), ½ cup of diced tomatoes (I like using Roma or grape), a bundle of finely chopped cilantro, lime juice, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon of cumin, salt and pepper to taste. Then just mix it all up!  Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flavors to integrate. Serve with your favorite tortilla chip or top a salad with it for some extra flavor.


What’s your favorite summer crop?

Jumpstart your mindful eating journey by downloading my 6 Steps to Mindful Eating guide here – it’s free!

Until Next Time,
Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
Follow me on social media!

References:
1.    Horttech.ashspublications.org. (2018). [online] Available at: http://horttech.ashspublications.org/content/6/1/6.full.pdf [Accessed 27 Jun. 2018].
2.    National Museum of American History. (2018). From the Victory Garden: American history told through squash. [online] Available at: http://americanhistory.si.edu/blog/2011/11/from-the-victory-garden-american-history-told-through-squash.html [Accessed 27 Jun. 2018].
3.    Whatscooking.fns.usda.gov. (2018). [online] Available at: https://whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/factsheets/HHFS_SUMMERSQUASH_900151Dec2012.pdf [Accessed 27 Jun. 2018].
4.     Encyclopedia Britannica. (2018). Corn | History, Cultivation, Uses, & Description. [online] Available at: https://www.britannica.com/plant/corn-plant [Accessed 27 Jun. 2018].
5.    Vegetablefacts.net. (2018). History of Watermelon – Origin of Different Types of Watermelons. [online] Available at: http://www.vegetablefacts.net/vegetable-history/history-of-watermelon/ [Accessed 27 Jun. 2018].
6.    The Spruce Eats. (2018). The History of Basil From Food to Medicine to Religion. [online] Available at: https://www.thespruceeats.com/the-history-of-basil-1807566 [Accessed 27 Jun. 2018].
7.    The Spruce Eats. (2018). With Their Earthy Flavor, Beets Fan a Love ‘Em or Hate ‘Em Debate. [online] Available at: https://www.thespruceeats.com/the-history-of-beets-1807568 [Accessed 27 Jun. 2018].
8.    Nutritionfacts.org. (2018). beets | Health Topics | NutritionFacts.org. [online] Available at: https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/beets/ [Accessed 27 Jun. 2018].

“DIET”…It’s a bad word

woman measuring her waist
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

How many of you have gone on a diet?  To be honest, who hasn’t?  In the past, I have definitely tried different fad diets. When I was a young teenager, I told myself I would only eat fruit to lose weight. As I got older, I thought restricting my calorie intake through skipping meals, only eating almonds and carrot sticks for lunch, and exercising all the time would make me lose weight.   Do you want to know what the outcome of all these “diets” were?  I lost weight! But, as soon as I lost the weight and started eating real foods again, I gained it all back. You see, the problem was not that I was eating ‘bad foods’–it was that I did not know how to eat.  I did not understand how the body works and why it needs energy.

Let’s look at some popular diets and see what they all have in common.  In general, when people “diet” they are on a special food plan and usually restrict certain food items solely to lose weight.  Diets like Atkins, NutriSystem, and Jenny Craig are specific, planned out meals that are sent to the consumer ready to eat (with minimal preparation involved).  These programs are carefully thought out by their inventors generally based on calories—calories in, calories out.  These programs for sure can help you lose weight, but when we stop purchasing these products, we don’t know how to eat for ourselves. People get in the routine of the prepackaged meal that when it comes down to a free-range way of eating, we don’t know where to begin.

Weight Watchers is one of those diets where you kind of have free range in what you eat as long as you keep up with the points system. This diet does give you ‘free range’ to choose what you want – but what happens when you’re out of points for the day and you’re hungry? You restrict until morning. We can get so preoccupied on that point system to where we become obsessed with food but not in a healthy way. It is a constant battle of “oh this has 10 points, and I am only allotted 23 in one day” or “fruits are free! I can eat as much as I want to”.

Another somewhat recent diet immersion is the keto diet. I scroll through Facebook and Pinterest and see keto recipes and products that made me wonder…are people really putting their bodies in ketosis to lose weight?

Ketosis is a metabolic state characterized by raised levels of ketone bodies in body tissues.  This is usually the result of a diet that is very, very low in carbohydrates.

In my profession, the keto diet is primarily used in children who are diagnosed with epilepsy. The thought behind the keto diet for epilepsy and some other nervous system diseases is to utilize ketone bodies (made from fat) instead of glucose (from carbohydrates) to help reduce seizures. Typically, our bodies utilize glucose to make energy,  but when we restrict glucose (and I mean truly restrict carbohydrate intake), our bodies go into a mode of starvation-ketosis. Scientists are still researching exactly how it can help seizures, but statistics show that the keto diet truly only benefits about 1/3 of people who have epilepsy.

Below is a diagram of what a true keto diet for epilepsy consists of.

photo found at https://medium.com/@beepucsd/sports-performance-altered-by-ketogenic-diet-4d04898b3afe

This diet is majorly fat, little bit of protein, and even less carbohydrates. Though this may benefit someone with a nervous system disease, for the average American, this diet may not be the answer.

Many people on a true keto diet may struggle with constipation because the diet is heavily fats and extremely low in carbohydrates, meaning fiber is difficult to get unless supplemented.

Sources of fiber: fruits, grains, vegetables which brings me to my next point.

10-Important-Tips-for-Digestive-Health
photo found at https://www.medicalindiatourism.com/blog/tips-digestive-health.html

Many of us know what foods contain carbs. Grains and fruits contain about 15 grams of carbohydrate per serving.  In the keto diet, 1 serving of carbs is about all you would be eating daily. However, people generally do not think about vegetables containing carbs. Vegetables contain about 5 grams of carbs per serving.  One half a cup of cooked broccoli contains 5 grams of carbs, but let’s be real…who only eats 1 serving of cooked broccoli?  I know I eat at least 1 full cup which would contain 10 grams of carbs…but that is okay. There are so many other vital nutrients in vegetables (and fruits) that our body truly needs!  Fiber, vitamins, minerals, CARBOHYDRATES.

Carbs are the body’s main source of energy, and when you restrict carbs to lose weight, it can hinder the metabolic process. Take it from me. I have restricted, and I have lost weight, but it was not until I found mindful & intuitive eating that I was finally able to find my body’s natural ‘happy weight’- or set point weight. You see, the more a person restricts, the harder it gets for the body’s metabolism to work the way God intended it to.  The older we get, the slower our metabolism is, especially if we have spent our lifetime restricting vital nutrients.

A GREAT BOOST FOR YOUR METABOLISM
photo found at https://thecalorieninja.com/tag/weight-loss

Many of you may be thinking, “how do I make this lifestyle change when we live in a world that promotes dieting?”

 You see, the reason I hate the word “diet” is because I constantly hear people say “oh, I am starting my diet tomorrow” or “I’m trying to lose weight…I should go on a diet”, but we really shouldn’t be.  One of the most enjoyable parts of life is enjoying what we eat. I hear all the time “eating healthy just isn’t as good as the real stuff”, but the beauty of food is that we can be creative and make it taste good!  Making a lifestyle change instead of going on a fad diet can do a multitude of things for us. This will help our bodies stabilize at the weight it function best and help us develop a healthy relationship with food.

My challenge for you is to not promote any diet but to promote mindful & intuitive eating. By doing so, you’ll say “buh bye” to diet culture, food rules, and weight stigma and finally be at peace with your body, mind and food choices.

Jumpstart your mindful eating journey by downloading my 6 Steps to Mindful Eating guide here – it’s free!

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
Follow me on social media!

References:
  1. Ketogenic Diet. Epilepsy Society. https://www.epilepsysociety.org.uk/ketogenic-diet. Published March 1, 2018. Accessed June 13, 2018.
  2. Precision Nutrition (2018). The Ketogenic Diet: Does it live up to the hype? The pros, cons, and the facts about the no-so-new diet craze. [online] Available at https://www.precisionnutrition.com/ketogenic-diet. Accessed June 13, 2018.
  3. Popsci.com. (2018): Consent Form | Popular Science. [online] Available at: https://www.popsci.com/not-in-ketosis. Accessed June 13, 2018.

Healthy Living 101

This post may seem super basic to some of you, but it never hurts to have a refresher of what our bodies need to feel its best.  Before I go into the basics for the average person, remember that every body is different and has different needs.  What works for me may not work for my best friend, but these reminders are the absolute basics.

  1. Eat fruits and vegetables.

This one seems so simple yet many of Americans are not getting enough of them!  Fruits and veggies are packed with tons of vitamins, minerals, water, and fiber.  We need all these nutrients for the metabolic processes in our bodies, and the fiber helps our digestion.  Fiber keeps us â€śregular”, if ya know  what I mean.  This is very important as it can help prevent diverticular disease.  Interesting fact: Diverticular disease generally begins with diverticulosis, which is essentially pouches in your intestines. It then can become inflamed from non-fibrous foods getting stuck in the pouches leading to diverticulitis.  Untreated diverticulitis can lead to a number of things, including colon cancer, which is the #3 cancer found in both men and women.  Eating fiber can help push your food though the intestines quickly so minimal residue gets stuck in those pouches.

food salad healthy summer
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Have a hard time eating fruits and veggies and want a tip?  Eat the ones you like! It is as simple as that.  If you can only tolerate broccoli with cheese sauce, then add cheese to your dish! Only like carrot sticks with ranch dressing?  Go ahead and use it. Try to get at least 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

  1. Include 100% Whole Grains

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that half of your daily whole grain intake be 100% whole grain.  How do we know if we are eating 100% whole grain?  Read the nutrition label.  The thing to keep an eye out for should be “100% whole grain” as the first ingredient.

close up of wheat
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Whole grains are important because they contain a lot of B vitamins, which are essential for many metabolic pathways in the body.  They also contain fiber, which I mentioned before being great for digestion.  I challenge you to try and make half of you grain servings whole grain today.  The dietary  guidelines recommend women get 3-6 servings of whole grains daily.  For  men, it is recommended to consume 4-8 servings of whole grain.

  1. Add in some healthy fats.

But wait, fat makes you fat!  WRONG!! This could not be more far from the truth.  Our bodies need fat for producing hormones, transporting fat-soluble vitamins, and helping the brain function—just to name a few.  The body needs 2 essential fatty acids: linoleic acid and linolenic acid.

Linoleic acid is more commonly known as omega-6 fats which is found in vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds.  Linolenic acid is omega-3 fats and is found in fish, walnuts, flaxseed, canola oil, and soybean oils.  These are polyunsaturated fats.

avocado blur close up focus
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Monounsaturated fats are great for the body too.  These fats are found in olive oil, avocados, and nuts.  Try to incorporate these into your meals and snacks in moderation.  Fatty foods are high in calories so we do not need to eat as many of them because they provide satiety.

  1. Exercise.

Ah, yes.  This is one of my favorite things to emphasize!  I believe diet is just as important, especially since I am a registered dietitian and spent many years studying nutrition.  However, you cannot do one without the other!  Americans are known for living sedentary lifestyles and developing heart disease and diabetes.  Guess what?  These diseases can be prevented by diet and exercise.

How can we make it a part of our lifestyle?  The biggest tip I can give you is do something you enjoy and can stick with it.  It can become hard in the craziness of life, but it can be done.  Scheduling time for exercise is the best way to meet your goals.  It takes 21 days to build a habit, so try it and see how it works!  Check out my blog on “Being Active with a Busy Schedule” for more tips.

run
  1. Drink Water.

After all, our bodies are at least 60% water.  It is important that we replenish our bodies with water because we lose a lot of it when we use the bathroom, sweat, and breathe.  Drinking 64 ounces every day can help ensure we are getting enough water.

If you are a coffee drinker, make sure you bump up your water intake.  Coffee acts as a dehydrator for our body, so drink extra water if you do choose coffee.

clean clear cold drink
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Having said all of this, I am also an avid believer in enjoying life, and one of those pleasures is food.  Enjoy FUN foods–it is ok!  Your body can handle it.  Just make sure that you incorporate nutrient dense options on the regular.

I hope my take on “Healthy Living 101” helps some of you as you begin your mindful eating journey.

Jumpstart your mindful eating journey by downloading my 6 Steps to Mindful Eating guide here – it’s free!

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing!
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
Follow me on social media!