July Newsletter


In This Issue
Food as Medicine!
Veggies Never Tasted So Good!
A Note from Lauren...

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Lauren Antonucci, MS, RDN, CSSD, CDE, CDN
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Issue: #93 July 2018

Food As Medicine!

    As Dietitians, we help individuals, groups and families modify their nutrition and health habits to increase their energy, and improve medical conditions as well as improve overall health and vitality. There are plenty of foods that are good for us all to consume on a regular basis (think nuts, seeds, fish, avocados), as well as specific foods that can help improve many medical symptoms and/or test results. If you have been diagnosed with anything from high cholesterol to hypertension to diabetes to cancer, there are certain foods that will be better for you to eat than others.
    As of last year, about 60% of adult Americans have at least one chronic health condition, which account for billions of dollars in health care costs each year. As of 2013, 70% Americans are on at least one prescription drug and 20% of patients are on five or more medications, and these numbers are only increasing! While it is always important to take your medications as prescribed by your doctor(s), we are here to remind you that food is medicine too! You have likely heard many times before that it is important to consume a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and unsaturated fats -in order to help prevent onset of diseases and maintain optimal health. Now we dig a bit deeper and help you understand which foods are best for YOU based on your medical history. We have also included simple, delicious  recipes that incorporate the specific foods for your area of concern:

If you have or are concerned about Cardiovascular disease (CVD)...
Eat more quinoa, avocado, nuts, and salmon

The main areas of concern with CVD include unhealthy lipid levels, low fiber diets, and weight status. Quinoa and nuts are high in fiber, which helps reduce LDL ("bad" cholesterol) levels, controls blood glucose levels, and feeds your gut bacteria. Nuts, salmon, and avocado have plenty of healthy unsaturated fats, which can help reduce triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels.

Making It Happen:
Try these recipes for quinoa crackers and avocado fudge:
If you have or are concerned about Hypertension...
Eat more red beets, bananas, spinach, and berries

These foods are all capable of working to help reduce blood pressure. Due to their high potassium content, spinach and bananas help your kidneys remove more sodium through your urine (which lowers your blood pressure). The beets and berries also reduce blood pressure by dilating your blood vessels.

Making it happen:
Here are easy recipes for beet hummus, blueberry banana pancakes, and a blueberry banana spinach smoothie:
If you have or are concerned about Cancer...
Eat more tomatoes, strawberries, and carrots

Tomatoes contain lycopene, which as you may have heard, can be an important antioxidant for preventing certain cancers, specifically prostate cancer. Strawberries and carrots also have antioxidants that may slow the growth of cancer cells. An important thing to remember for people with cancer or concerned about reduction cancer risk is to avoid char-grilled or deep fried foods (as if we need another reminder NOT to deep fry...) as well as reduce overall intake of red meats. Char-grilled foods have higher levels of carcinogenic byproducts created by cooking over high heat. Meanwhile, higher intake of red meats has been shown to be correlated with higher incidences of many cancers.

Making it happen:
Try this homemade tomato sauce-Bonus points (for you!) If you add in some chopped carrots!
If you have or are concerned about Diabetes...
Eat more nuts, green leafy vegetables, broccoli

Consistent and moderate carbohydrate intake are the keys to controlling diabetes, as the main concern in diabetes is controlling blood sugar levels. Not only are nuts and green veggies low in carbohydrate, but nuts are also a good source of fiber and healthy fats-which slow digestion and help reduce post-prandial (after eating) blood sugar. Green leafy vegetables contain fiber (again to slow digestion) and to fill us up. They also contain high amounts of vitamins including vitamin C, which help reduce inflammatory markers. Broccoli can even reduce oxidative stress in the body- which is helpful as oxidative stress increases insulin resistance and destroys beta cells in the pancreas.

Making it happen:
Here's a tasty recipe for almond crusted salmon!

At Nutrition Energy we love helping people come up with new and interesting ways to incorporate more delicious and healthy foods into their busy live, and helping them improve their laboratory results and overall health. We hope the above tips will help you do just that!

Veggies Never Tasted So Good!

    Everyone is constantly being reminded to eat their vegetables-right?!

    Would it help convince you to eat more veggies if you knew more behind the WHY?

    We are happy to explain! Vegetables are packed with fiber-which is good for digestion, colon health, lowering cholesterol levels and and feeding your gut bacteria. Vegetables also contain a plethora of important vitamins and minerals, are generally low in calories (as long as you don't drown them in cheese sauce!), and we are here to say that they can also be extremely tasty! Overa a lifetime, an increased intake of vegetables can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes.

    We know from both personal and professional experience that children are notorious for not eating their vegetables, but unfortunately adults are not too different. According to the Centers for Disease Control, only 9% of Americans actually meet their minimum vegetable recommendation(gasp!). In case you need a reminder, adults should be eating 5 servings of vegetables each day- which is equivalent to 2-3 cups of vegetables. We understand that this can be a huge challenge for those of you who hate eating anything green or leafy, and we are here to help! We want to make it easier for you to eat your veggies, and enjoy them too. Hopefully these recipes below can help you find veggies more tasty. Try them for yourself and let us know what you think.

Broccoli Meatballs
50+ Servings

  • 3 cups broccoli florets (roughly 1 head of broccoli)
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa and/or brown rice
  • 3/4 cups of oat flour/almond meal
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 heaping tablespoon spices (chili powder, paprika, and/or cumin will work)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a frying pan with a thin coating
  • Broccoli: Cook the broccoli florets in a pot of boiling water for about 5 minutes, till fork-tender. Drain well.
  • Mix: Pulse the quinoa and broccoli through a food processor until semi-smooth (see pictures for texture). Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and combine with all other ingredients. Stir until everything is incorporated. Roll into small balls (about one heaping tablespoon per ball was best for me).
  • Cook: Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat - add the balls and cook for a few minutes on each side - they will need to be gently turned every so often to get browned all the way around. Serve with yummy sauces, salads, bowls, or freeze for later!
Vegan Beet Burger
4 Servings

  • 2 cups grated raw peeled beet; ~ 2 medium bee (you can use pre peeled and pre-cooked beets available in most groc stores)
  • 3/4 cup large flake rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup cooked lentils (I used canned when I am in a pinch)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 yellow onion , finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic , finely minced
  • 1 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  1. If you have a grater attachment for your food processor you can use it to grate the beets directly into the processor. If not grate beets with the grater you have, then add the beets, along with all of the remaining ingredients to the food processor. Pulse, stopping to scrape the sides, until the mixture comes together.
  2. Form into 4 patties. The patty mixture will be very sticky, so wet your hands in between forming each patty, to help stop the sticking.
To fry the patties (my fave):
  1. Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the patties. Cooking them low and slow is the key for good texture. Cook about 3 to 5 minutes per side, until they are nicely browned on both sides and hold together well. Serve hot on a bun with your favourite burger toppings.
To bake the patties:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F (180C). Lightly grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.
  2. Lay the patties out in a single layer with room around them for air to circulate. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, flipping halfway through until firmed up and lightly brown on both sides. Serve hot on a bun with your favourite burger toppings.

Vegetable Pancakes
8 Servings

  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper. In another bowl, beat together the egg, milk, carrots, zucchini, and onions. Add this to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  2. Using a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Pour the batter by tablespoons into the pan, making a few pancakes at a time. Cook about 2 minutes on each side and golden brown. Add the remaining oil to the pan as needed. Serve pancakes at once.

At the end of the day, whether it is something sweet or savory, you can always find a way to sneak some vegetables into your favorite foods without noticing such a drastic flavor change. We challenge you to try some of these recipes or create your own to get those veggies on your plate and in your mouth!

A Note from Lauren...

We're happy to announce the hiring of our new Admin, Kelly Green!  Kelly hails from Long Island where she has worked as a bookkeeper and receptionist for the past few years.  She is also a competitive dancer and assistant dance teacher, teaching children the fundamentals of dance.  Help us welcome Kelly to Nutrition Energy when you see her at your next visit!

We've included a bunch of recipes and links in this month's newsletter.  We hope to entice you to try something new - like avocado fudge, which is creamy and smooth and just melts in your mouth!

Do you like the recipes we included this month?  Are there any healthy recipe options you love making?  Tweet us @NutritionEnergy or let us know on  Facebook
Lauren Antonucci, Director
Nutrition Energy