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Healthy Eating for the Holidays

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7 Tips for avoiding over-indulgence at Holiday parties:

  1. Spend time making conversations instead of stuffing yourself with foods/drinks.
  2. Have a 200-350 Kcal snack before you arrive the party (ex. a handful of nuts, a non-fat Greek yogurt with 1 Tbsp of flaxseed/chia seed/fresh chopped berries, a piece of fruit with 1 Tbsp natural Almond Butter).
  3. Suggest guests to bring a healthy dish along with recipes to share with friends and family.
  4. Limit alcohol consumption. Choose wine or straight spirits over mixed drinks or beer. Have at least a glass of water in between drinks.
  5. Eat slowly and enjoy every bite of your meal.
  6. Stick with the 3 bites rule if you want to have cheat foods (ex. high calorie pie).
  7. Have fun and dance off the calories with friends and family.

Holiday Meals

Holiday Food Choices:

EAT MORE

  • Vegetable or Fresh Fruit Salad with light dressing (ex. Greek yogurt)
  • Steamed/Roasted Vegetables
  • Mashed sweet potato/pumpkin
  • Boiled Fish/Chicken breast/Turkey breast
  • Water

EAT LESS

  • Eggnog/Soda/Juice
  • Gravy/Cream/Butter sauce
  • Baby ribs
  • Holiday pies/cakes/bread pudding
  • Fried Foods
  • Alcoholic beverages

 

Food & Travel- New Orleans

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport

Dining out for every meal while you travel can make every bite matters a challenge. Although your nutrition intake won’t be perfect, there are some #nutritiontips that can improve your travel-eating.
Step 1: Bring a healthy snack for flights. I am hooked on the @bramibeans #lupini beans. My favorite is the Chili Lime #brami.
It keeps me full until I arrive my destination.

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Other good choices include: Raw nuts & seeds, dried dates, Justin’s Almond Butter packet, Kind bars (with less than 4g of sugar per bar), 80% dark chocolate

KIND Breakfast Peanut Butter- 115 Kcal, 4g Sugar, 2.5g Fiber per Bar
KIND Breakfast Peanut Butter- 115 Kcal, 4g Sugar, 2.5g Fiber per Bar

Step 2: Drink water when flying. Aim for at least 8oz per hour of flight. Dehydration often exaggerates jetlag, which can be a real drag to fun travel.

❌Pass on alcohol and soda.

Step 3: During meal time, start with a tall glass of water with lemon. Next, include a #salad in most meals. Leave the dressing on the side.

❌Skip croutons, cheese, raisins, bacon bits, white bread.

Avocado Salad at Vitascope Hall- Simple, Fresh, Delicious
Avocado Salad at Vitascope Hall- Simple, Fresh, Delicious

Step 4: Taste everything, Enjoy the local specialty, and Double the veggies.

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Love the daily Farm-to-Table 3-course menu at Coquette in the beautiful Garden District

Step 5: Share your food with friends and puppies.

Coquette
Coquette

Step 6: Refill a few more rounds of water with lemon.

Step 7: Have your King Cake and eat it too. Finish your meal with fresh tasting fruits and maybe a sweet note of local favorite. ???

The King Cake Story
The King Cake Story
indulge in every bite of @courtoftwosisters 's gourmet selection. ??☘??
Indulge in every bite of @courtoftwosisters ‘s gourmet selection. ??☘??
Enjoy the great jazz ambience, admire the spectacular Wisteria trees, listen to the running water of the blue fountain
Enjoy the great jazz ambience, admire the spectacular Wisteria trees, listen to the running water of the blue fountain

Step 8: Enjoy a glass of drink if you like but limit high-sugar cocktails to 1 glass per day/night.

Sip on a glass of dry red wine, champagne, spritzer, or Ketel One with club soda ??

Vitascope Hall by the Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Vitascope Hall by the Mercedes-Benz Superdome

Step 9: Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. ?

Step 10: Allow yourself a spurge you would love. The #beignets and dark roasted coffee & chicory at #cafedumonde were worth it ?☕️

Cafe du Monde
Cafe du Monde

Step 11: Dancing and Walking are exercises. Keep moving ???

Oak Alley Plantation
Oak Alley Plantation

Step 12: Choose healthy snacks such as fresh fruits, baby carrots, coconut water, Kombucha, or legumes & lentils while soaking up the sun and making Vitamin D.

❌ Avoid snacking on candies, chips, pretzels throughout the day. You have too much exotic dishes to explore/taste.

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Happy Memorial Day! Summer is officially here. Enjoy the journey! ✈️⛵️

Fort McHenry National Monument
Fort McHenry National Monument

Not all fish are created equal

The American Heart Association recommends to consume at least two servings (~8oz) of fish per week for heart health. You are studying the restaurant menu at length, couldn’t decide between the Tilapia or Sea Bass? Use the following nutrition tips to cut through the confusion and enjoy your seafood meal. If you would like to expand your ethnic culinary repertoire, check out my recipe for Chinese-Style Steamed Strip bass

Nutrition Tips:

  1. Choose a variety of fatty fish and focus on wild-caught species (ex. Pacific sockeye salmon) instead of farm-raised species if possible.
  2. Choose steamed/baked seafood over fried/smoked seafood.
  3. Choose seafood with a high omega-3 FA to omega-6 FA ratio, such as Pollock, Sea Bass, Cod, Caviar (roe), and King Crab.
  4. Limit seafood with a high omega-6 FA to omega-3 FA ratio, such as Tilapia and Catfish.

Omega-6 fatty acids to Omega-3 fatty acids ratio?

Increasing omega-3s through fish or shellfish intake is preferable. The most beneficial omega-3s are EPA and DHA. Read more about the anti-inflammatory benefits of EPA and DHA on my Instagram post here The box of dreams .

Unlike omega-3s, consuming too much omega-6s can lead to inflammation, which increase risk of rheumatoid arthritis, blood clots, cancer, and Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It’s essential to maintain proper ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in our diet.  Studies found that a ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 of 4:1 to 1:1 is considered healthy. Unfortunately, most of us are consuming a ration of >20:1 in modern diet.

Omega-6 fatty acids are loaded in vegetable oil  (sunflower, safflower, corn, grape seed), peanut oil, salad dressing,  margarine, fried food, and chips.

Not all fish are created equal. Farm-raised tilapia and catfish has a high ration of omega-6 to omega-3 (11:1) compared to the Wild-caught trout and salmon (1:1). Choose cold water fish such as Wild-caught trout, salmon, tuna, sardines for the benefits of EPA and DHA.

Avoid/limit imported fish/seafood as they may be contaminated or loaded with antibiotics that are banned in the US.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, a high quality, purified fish oil would be the safest source of EPA and DHA.

Poon Choi: Sea Cucumber and Cancer Prevention Potential?

“Poon Choi” (pot of goodness) is a Chinese New Year dish filled with layers of seafood delicacy, such as abalone ?, sea cucumber ?, giant sea prawns ?, and dried scallops ? + shiitake mushrooms, vegetables.

Poon Choi was invented during the Song Dynasty, in Walled Village, Hong Kong. The Walled Village residents focus on eating hearty dishes and fresh food in season.

Kay Hing Wai- photo source:  ilovehongkong.com
Kay Hing Wai- photo source: ilovehongkong.org

Sea cucumber and Abalone are my favorite seafood. According to Memorial Slogan Kettering Cancer Center, “In vitro studies have shown that the saponins and fatty acids present in sea cucumber are responsible for its anti-angiogenic, anti-tumor, antiproliferative, and antiviral properties”.

Another study published in Plos One indicated that an organic compound in sea cucumber may be able to inhibit angiogenesis!

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/23308143/

More studies are needed to support claims of sea cucumber and cancer prevention. However, no adverse effects have been linked from its use (unless you have seafood allergy). Leap into the year of Monkey and prosperity with Poon Choi! Enjoy!

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