Food Ideas for Fall Fun

Fall is just around the corner and that means football parties, weekend getaways, and outdoor entertaining.  This week I appeared on Let’s Talk Live DC to share some of my fun and flavorful ideas to blend a little health and happiness into your fall gatherings. Watch the clip below or read on to learn more delicious fall food ideas.

Take Nutrition To-Go images index

Starting with the weekend getaway, whether you do a day trip to a local farm for apple picking or overnight at a B&B, nutrient-rich road trip snacks help keep you feeling full and satisfied. I love packing Sargento Natural Cheese Snacks for a delicious and convenient snack option that’s portion controlled. Sargento Natural Cheese Snacks are a natural source of high-quality protein offering 4-8 grams of protein per serving to help keep your body fueled. They are available in 15 delicious varieties, including the Sargento Natural String Cheese, which actually contains MORE PROTEIN than a serving of almonds or a hard-boiled egg. Another favorite in my house is the Sargento Natural Reduced Fat Colby-Jack. With the fresh flavor of real cheese, they’re a wholesome snacking option that doesn’t sacrifice on taste. Check out the Smart Snacker tool at Sargento to build your own snacks pairings.

Take Nutrition To-Go proimages

You also want to pack fruits for your weekend getaways. One food I’m loving right now is Sunsweet’s D’Noir Prunes, which are picked from among the best tasting “California reserve” prunes and packed without preservatives for an amazingly fresh flavor. They are an excellent source of fiber, and a smart choice as most Americans aren’t getting the recommended amount of fiber each day. That’s one of the reasons I love these as a choice for healthy snacking on the road, but you can also use them as a versatile recipe ingredient. The special care taken in growing these reserve prunes leads to a smooth, elegant, and complex flavor profile to compliment all your fall entertaining dishes. Make an easy party platter with the Sunsweet D’Noir prunes, the Sargento cheese stick chopped into bite size pieces, some nice crackers, hummus and green olives. Check out Sunsweet D Noir to learn more.

Entertain with Flavor and Funstrong_kind_asset_bars_vert

You know it’s not often that the dietitian gets to talk about beer. But I love looking for creative ways to help people enjoy foods and have fun entertaining. I’ve paired the Strong and KIND bars from KIND snacks with a few of my favorite brews – kind of like a wine and cheese pairing but with KIND and beers. The new STRONG & KIND bars offer BOLD and SAVORY flavors and 10 grams of protein per bar from almonds, seeds, and pea protein. These bars do not contain soy or whey protein. The Five Bold Flavors go great with some seasonal favorite brews, like Hickory Smoked paired with a dark stout beer, Honey Mustard pairs well with an IPA, Thai Sweet Chili is delicious with a seasonal Pumpkin ale, and Roasted Jalapeno pairs well with a crisp Oktoberfest. You really can’t mess it up. Have fun with it. Check out Kind Snacks for more info.

tostitos-scoopsAdd In Nutrition to Tailgates

Whether you are having people over to watch the game or tailgating at the stadium, you need something to crunch on. I like Tostitos® Scoops!® tortilla chips because they are made with simple ingredients – just corn, oils and salt. You can use Tostitos® Scoops!® tortilla chips as a vehicle to scoop up extra nutrition by pairing them with wholesome dips, like bean dip or veggie filled salsa. Fritolay has great recipe ideas, such as Cheesy Bean and Kale Bake that is a guaranteed crowed pleaser. Plus, you can feel good about serving Tostitos® Scoops!® tortilla chips to all your guests – even those with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, since they have been qualified as gluten free.

Share a Snackwonderful_hero

Like Wonderful Pistachios! Everyone will love this because Wonderful Pistachios taste great, they are FUN to crack, and they are CONVENIENT. Just pick them up in the produce aisle and put them in a party bowl. And Wonderful Pistachios are a high-quality food with great nutrition. They boast plant protein and fiber – and no cholesterol. Better yet, you get a whopping 49 nuts per serving, and the shells can help slow your eating pace and be a visual reminder of how much you are eating. That’s good news for the hours spent snacking in front of a game. Try Sweet Chili and Salt & Pepper flavor varieties. And of course, everyone loves the Roasted & Salted. Wonderful Pistachios even offer lightly salted and no salt. Check out Get Crackin to learn more.

Bring a Healthy Dish to PassOR_SpinachCheese_tort

It’s always good to serve something of “substance” at tailgates, but rather than rely on the store deli, you can do better on your own where you control the quality of the ingredients. Make a simple and healthy pasta salad using Three Bridges Organic Spinach & Cheese Tortellini. After a quick boil, cool pasta and tossed them with shredded carrot, chopped red bell pepper, arugula and Italian dressing. It really takes the chore out of cooking and empowers anyone to make a delicious dish. Three Bridges fresh-cut pastas are chef-crafted and available in the refrigerated aisle at Super Target’s and Safeway in the metro DC area. Visit Three Bridges to discover more tasty pastas and sauces.

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or send a tweet to@ScritchfieldRD to share your favorite fall recipes and activities.

Disclosures: I was compensated by Frito, Three Bridges, KIND Snacks, Sargento, Pistachios, and Sunsweet for my work on the TV segment, but was not compensated to write this blog.

Easy Weeknight Marinades Done Right

Grilled Tilapia2

I recently partnered up with the brand folks at Mazola Corn Oil to create this fun recipe for marinated grilled Tilapia with kiwifruit served over coleslaw. Mazola Corn Oil has more cholesterol-blocking plant sterols than other cooking oils, and can play an important role in lowering your cholesterol. It is a great source of healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. Its mild flavor and high smoke point also make it a fantastic all-purpose oil great for general cooking, baking, grilling, sautéing and stir-frying, and can be used as a butter substitute in certain recipes. It’s also the perfect oil to use in your coleslaw and marinades.

Why marinades? Because they help transform the taste of the foods without adding lots of fat, sugar, and salt to your meal. I love using fruit-based marinades because they add a delicious sweet, tangy flavor while making your dish even healthier. Plus, fruity marinades are perfect for the grill! You can make the marinade in advance to save time during the week – just throw in your favorite protein and you’re well on your way to a flavorful, wholesome meal. My basic marinade calls for just a few simple ingredients you probably already have on hand, which makes it quick and easy.

I chose to use tilapia in this fish-based recipe because it is economical and widely available. For a healthy diet, the American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least two times per week. Fish is a low-fat, high-quality protein filled with heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Fish is also a great source of vitamins and minerals.

Below are the recipes for the marinade, tilapia, and coleslaw for a tasty and easy weeknight meal.

MAZOLA and Kiwifruit Marinated Grilled Tilapia with Crunchy Slaw

by: Rebecca Scritchfield, MA, RD, ACSM HFS

Serves 6

Simple 3-Step MarinadeMarinade1

½ cup of Mazola corn oil

3 kiwifruits peeled and chopped

4 minced garlic cloves

¼ cup of fresh chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons of lime juice

1 teaspoon of black pepper

2 tablespoons of salt

Add all ingredients into a shallow bowl, mix with a wooden spoon until well blended and place in a gallon size zip-lock bag. Add the tilapia, and let it marinate for 30 – 60 minutes in the refrigerator.fishinmarinade

Note: You may also make this marinade ahead of time keep for up to 1 day refrigerated.

Tilapia

2 lbs of tilapia

Preheat grill.  When grill is ready, remove marinated fish from storage container and place on hot grill.  Cook for about 4-5 minutes on medium heat. Turn once and grill other side for about 4-5 minutes until cooked through.  Serve over coleslaw with additional kiwifruit and lime to garnish.

Coleslaw

Grilled Tilapia31/4 cup white vinegar

2 T sugar

2 T Mazola corn oil

16 ounces or 1 half head of cabbage, shredded

1 cup shredded carrots

1 tsp salt

salt and pepper to taste

Mix vinegar and sugar. Add oil. Add cabbage to dressing and season with salt and pepper. Toss with tongs or fingers to combine. Adjust seasoning to taste. Let stand 20 minutes. Re-toss and serve.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

Calories: 256

Protein: 32g

Carbohydrates: 10g

Fat: 11g

Saturated Fat: 2g

Cholesterol: 76mg

Sodium: 783mg

Fiber: 2g

Sugar: 8g

Share Your Favorite Grilling Recipes

What are your favorite marinades? Have you ever tried using fruit in your own marinades? Share your ideas in the comments below. Be sure to visit Mazola on Facebook to learn more health benefits and great recipes.

(Disclosure: I am currently working with Mazola as a paid spokesperson.)

 

Diet Fraud: Sensa/HCG Fined $34 Million for Fraudulent Health Claims

Oh happy day! Finally the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is hammering down on companies with misleading claims about their products body-slimming capabilities. Four companies, L’Occitane, Sensa, LeanSpa LLC and HCG Diet Direct, will all receive hefty fines for using deceptive language and fraudulent claims marketed towards diet-driven consumers. I was thrilled to appear on FOX News Your World with Neil Cavuto yesterday to discuss this issue.

Will an additive found in candy really make you less hungry? 

Not only are these companies claiming unrealistic weight loss results but they are also making false claims about their product ingredients.  Products like Sensa which claim to reduce hunger and melt away the pounds when sprinkled on foods primarily contain maltodextrin, a starch-based food additive commonly used for the production of soda and candy. HCG (made from human placenta) is supposed to be taken with a very-low calorie diet of less than 800 calories per day. Maybe that should be front and center on the label, instead of just in the fine print.

Will a slap on the wrist make them change their tune?

While these companies have agreed to refund many of these mislead consumers, $34 million in fines is a drop in the bucket for the $60 billion plus diet industry. Sensa and L’Occitane will continue to stand by their products and bogus health claims, selling desperate consumers hopeless creams and powders that will result in nothing more than a slimmer pocket book.

Click below to see my appearance on FOX News defending consumers’ rights in the need for government involvement in this matter.

Here are a few highlights from my segment :

  • People argue that consumers’ own common sense should be the judge versus the Federal Government in this dieting matter.
  • As a Registered Dietitian I believe that every consumer deserves to have accurate information about the products they purchase.
  • Consumers are desperate for quick weight loss fixes, but the truth is diets don’t work.  95% of all diets fail and most dieters will regain their lost weight in 1-5 years.
  • FAT CHANCE: There is no magic powder, cream, or pill that is going to make you skinny, yet consumers continue to buy into the multi billion dollar diet industry each year.
  • It’s about lifestyle choices. Less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day.

The Hard Facts About Dieting:

  • 35% of “occasional dieters” progress into disordered eating and as many as 25% advance to full-blown eating disorders.
  • Dieters typically make four to five attempts per year.
  • Only 5% of women naturally have the body type advertisements portray as real.
  • 90% of Americans eat more sodium than is recommended for a healthy diet
  • 75% of American women surveyed endorsed unhealthy thoughts, feelings or behaviors related to food or their bodies.

Weight-loss Frauds top FTC survey — excerpt from Consumer Health Digest

I’ve been an advocate for intuitive eating and take a weight-neutral, non-diet approach with all my clients. I’d rather help someone make changes they can maintain forever instead of promising a “quick fix” that would likely lead to weight cycling. It’s about self-care after all.

I saw this article in a recent Consumer Health Digest e-newsletter and wanted to pass it on. It sheds light on fraudulent marketing claims that many weight-loss products make, and the author suggests measures that can be taken to avoid this. Read on and let me know what you think.

Consumer Health Digest #13-16; April 18, 2013 
Consumer Health Digest is a free weekly e-mail newsletter edited by Stephen Barrett, M.D., with help from William M. London, Ed.D. It summarizes scientific reports; legislative developments; enforcement actions; news reports; Web site evaluations; recommended and nonrecommended books; and other information relevant to consumer protection and consumer decision-making.

A major FTC survey conducted in 2011 has found that consumers were victimized by fraudulent weight-loss products more than by any of the other marketing frauds covered by the survey. [Consumer Fraud in the United States, 2011: The Third FTC Survey. April 2013]

The products included nonprescription drugs, dietary supplements, skin patches, creams, wraps, and earrings. They were considered fraudulent if

(a) they were promoted as enabling users to easily lose a substantial amount of weight or to lose weight without diet or exercise and

(b) users lost a little of the weight anticipated or lost no weight. The study estimated that 5.1 million people age 18 or older (2.1% of U.S. adults) bought and used such products However, if purchasers who didn’t use the products were added, the percentage was 4.1%.

The survey also examined correlations between education, economic status, and risk-taking propensity and the extent of victimization. Overall, the study found that 10.8% of U.S. adults—25.6 million people—reported awareness of at least one incident of victimization.

The other areas noted in the report included prize promotions, buyers’ clubs, work-at-home programs, credit repair, debt relief, credit card insurance, business opportunities, mortgage relief, advance-fee loans, pyramid schemes, government job offers, counterfeit checks, and grants.

Fraudulent marketing in our society cannot be reduced unless scams are made less lucrative. Dr. Stephen Barrett believes that the following measures are needed:

  • Appointment of a task force whose members include regulators, consumer advocates, and legislators who can develop and promote model laws and regulations to combat fraud.

  • Finding ways to hold credit card companies, media outlets, and communication channels that enable and profit from the frauds responsible for the losses suffered by victims.

  • Multiplying government regulatory power by authorizing state attorneys general to obtain court orders that apply to the entire country instead of just their own state.

  • Forcing multilevel companies to disclose complete and truthful information about income prospects.

What do you think?

Leave a comment below and let me know if you think these marketing practices are ethical.

Attune Probiotics: Delicious Dark Chocolate!

By Carlene Helble- Elite Nutrition Intern

Whenever I see bars touting health claims in a chocolate flavor…I become a bit skeptical. If I buy this, is it really going to taste good? Should I just eat a high sugar candy bar if it makes me happier?As I tested an Attune probiotic bar from Rebecca’s Healthy Living Summit gift bag, I was totally blown away. The Dark Chocolate Raspberry bar was amazing. So amazing, I didn’t find myself wishing I was eating a candy bar.

Here are the highlights of the Attune Bar:

  • Dark chocolate with 68% Cacao (dark chocolate has more benefits for your body than milk chocolate.)
  • 4 g fiber
  • 90 calories
  • 5 times the live active cultures in yogurt
  • Very rich: Although the serving size is one bar, I had a friend try part of it, and they couldn’t manage more than 1/4 of the bar because it was so heavy. I could see myself having half of a bar as part of a mid morning snack with a banana.

What are probiotics anyway?

According to NIH “Probiotics are live microorganisms (in most cases, bacteria) that are similar to beneficial microorganisms found in the human gut. They are also called friendly bacteria”. Probiotics are generally used to offset any side effects of antibiotics or for general digestive well-being. You don’t need supplements to get probiotics though! Some yogurts, tempeh, and miso carry strains of ‘good bacteria’.

Read more about the other products I tried, like some delicious fruit leather you can make yourself!

Celiac Disease & Why the Gluten-Free Diet is No Joke

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of speaking with Shelley Case, RD, a dietitian from Canada who is an expert in Celiac disease and Gluten-free eating. I became interested in this subject due to the popularity of Elizabeth Hasselbeck’s book, The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide, and the way it had taken over the public by storm. In the hospital where I work, I noticed an increasing amount of people interested in Gluten-free options, and not because they had Celiac disease or a wheat intolerance.

I began to wonder why so many people were opting out of eating Gluten. I came to the conclusion that many people equated Elizabeth Hasselbeck’s physique with her Gluten-free diet. What people need to realize is that she suffers from a specific disease in which she cannot digest Gluten. The Gluten-free diet is not recommended for individuals that do not have Celiac disease or a similar intolerance to Gluten. Gluten-free eating can lead to nutritional deficencies, weight gain, more expensive groceries, and disordered eating habits.

source: WatchingTheView.com

Celiac disease is a serious disease that has many different consequences and varied symptoms that are hard to diagnose and treat. The majority of individuals have iron-deficiency anemia (approximately 66%), which is a non-GI symptom for a GI-specific disease. Sufferers of Celiac disease face certain issues that disappear once Gluten is removed from the diet. However, without the removal of Gluten, Celiac disease can cause many problems. Gluten is seen by the body as a foreign substance that the body attacks via antibodies. Celiac disease is an auto-immune disease and the antibodies attack the body, specifically the villi on the surface of the small intestine. This leads to problems with nutrient absorption and can also lead to intestinal lymphoma.

There is also non-Celiac Gluten intolerance and wheat intolerance – two disorders that are not Celiac disease and do not have the same long-term consequences. Individuals may feel better once they removed Gluten or wheat products from their diet. However, anyone who believes they may have Celiac disease should speak with their doctor about being tested for this disease before starting a Gluten-free diet. This is because once the Gluten is removed from the diet, the body stops making antibodies. The antibodies are used to determine through a blood test or gastric biopsy whether the individual has Celiac disease.

The bottom line is that Celiac disease is a major disorder that specifically responds to the Gluten-free diet. Those without this disease should not attempt to eat a Gluten-free diet, no matter which celebrities are endorsing it. It is also wise to do more research into a diet book and understand its message before diving headfirst into its recommendations; Hasselbeck’s book is for fellow sufferers of Celiac disease – not for every woman in America who wants to look like her.

Interview with Shelley Case, RD: Celiac and Gluten-Free Diet

I recently had the opportunity to speak with North America’s Gluten-Free Nutrition Expert,  Shelley Case, RD who is a dietitian in Canada  specializing in Celiac disease and Gluten-free eating. She is also the author of The Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide. I had the pleasure of interviewing her about the Gluten-free “trend” and what it means for individuals who mistake Gluten-free eating as an effective weight-loss diet.

source: sgvceliac.org

  • Can you give a brief explanation for our readers of what gluten is and how it affects those with Celiac disease?

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease in which the body recognizes gluten as a toxic substance and reacts by developing antibodies when gluten is consumed. The body attacks the lining of the GI tract and destroys the villi, which are responsible for absorption of iron, calcium, Vitamin D and other nutrients. Over time, more and more damage will occur, and gluten can also damage other organs in the body besides the GI tract.

  • What percentage of people currently have Celiac disease?

Currently 1 in 100 people have Celiac, but it is estimated that only 5-10% are officially diagnosed at this time. Many individuals are misdiagnosed with other conditions such as acid reflux, ulcers, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and ulcerative colitis. The current delay in diagnosis is approximately 12 years, according to research from 2007 in Digestive Diseases. Research by Peter Green from New York indicated that the delay is more than 10 years in the U.S. Doctors are not picking up this rare disease. Celiac is a multi-system autoimmune disease that affects other organs and is hard to treat. The most common non-GI symptom that presented in 66% of Celiac patients is iron-deficiency anemia. It is hard to treat and diagnose because it looks like other diseases.

  • Can you differentiate between Celiac disease and wheat intolerance?

There are 3 different conditions that must be differentiated. There is Celiac disease, non-Celiac gluten sensitivity (with similar symptoms but patients do not develop seizures, infertility, or intestinal lymphoma), and then wheat allergy. Gluten sensitivity and wheat allergies are not auto-immune and do not damage the villi in the small intestine. Patients should be thoroughly tested for Celiac if they present with conditions such as anemia, bone issues, thyroid and liver dysfunction, and arthritis.

  • What implications or affects are there for individuals who eat a gluten-free diet? Is there a risk of nutritional deficiencies or disordered eating with this diet?

There are many challenges with the Gluten-free diet. Many products on the market are not enriched with iron and Vitamin B. They are made with white rice flour or tapioca flour, which are low in nutrients. There are many fiber issues and deficiencies in trace minerals on the Gluten-free diet as well. Those on a Gluten-free diet should look for enriched products as well as using nutrient-rich sources of gluten-free grains, such as amaranth, sorgoum, flax, quinoa, and brown rice. Also be conscious of fiber intake, getting Gluten-free whole grains, flax, and iron-rich foods. It can be difficult for vegetarians on a Gluten-free diet because of the lack of iron.

  • What tips can you give to individuals who want to begin a gluten-free diet?

First of all, the diet is very overwhelming. You should shop the perimeter of the grocery stores and work your way into the middle aisles wisely. Read all labels and work with a Registered Dietitian. Gluten-free products are approximately 2-3 times more expensive, which can be very frustrating for Celiac patients.

  • Do you have any thoughts or concerns about individuals without Celiac disease who adopt the Gluten-free diet? Can it be helpful or detrimental for weight loss?

Many who start a Gluten-free diet will gain weight. Once you remove the Gluten from your diet your body is able to absorb nutrients and gain weight again. Gluten-free items also have twice the amount of carbohydrates from added sugars as well as extra fat. Many of the Gluten-free products you see are items like cookies, brownies, and desserts that are already high in fat and sugar, and which Celiac patients used to avoid because they contained Gluten. Eating these again, with additional fats and sugars than their Gluten-containing counterparts, can easily contribute to weight gain.

  • Have you noticed an increase in consumer interest in using Gluten-free eating as a way of dieting or restricting calories? In your professional opinion, does a Gluten-free diet guarantee weight loss? Why or why not?

Due to Elizabeth Hasselback’s book and celebrity endorsement, it seems to be the latest trend. But many gluten-free products are high in fat and sugar, and unless you have Celiac disease this is definitely not an ideal way to reduce calories or weight. A lot more people are interested in Gluten-free dieting, either from the publicity from this book or because they have noticed that they feel better when they remove Gluten from their diet.

The problem is that if a potential Celiac patient was to get on the Gluten-free diet before being tested and diagnosed, the test will not return positive. Once you remove Gluten from the diet, the body does not attack itself they way it does when Gluten and the antibodies produced from Gluten consumption are present. Blood tests to test for Celiac disease are 90% accurate, and only if the person is consuming Gluten, because the antibodies will be in the blood. A gastric biopsy is 100% accurate but more invasive.

Those who suspect they may have Celiac disease or an intolerance should first be tested to be sure. And those interested in Gluten-free diets for weight loss should be careful about what they are consuming. Because of celebrity endorsement, the diet has become more popular, but it is not recommended for weight loss or people who do not have Gluten sensitivity of Celiac disease.

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