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Showing posts from 2011

Food Trends: Addicted to sugar? Blame it on the brain.

I have worked with hundreds of clients, some who come right into my office and tell me they are addicted to sugar.It’s a common theme that is explored individually.After reviewing patterns and lifestyles, recommendations are made to change the makeup of meals as well as the timing and almost always we are able to decrease the intensity of the cravings once we fuel the body correctly. I was intrigued to read the study led by Yale University and the University of Southern California who reviewed the relationship between glucose drops and responses by the brain.The study was published September 19th in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.The Yale scientists manipulated glucose levels intravenously and monitored blood glucose levels while subjects were shown pictures of high calorie foods, low calorie food, and non food items.Each subject underwent MRI scans which showed that when glucose levels dropped, the hypothalamus sensed the change. The insula and striatum, other parts of the brai…

Common Challenges:Healthy Thanksgiving Tips

Here we are again, it’s the holiday season. It seems to come up faster and faster the older I get.As I continue to see clients and get busier and busier, the common theme during the holidays is to work towards a goal of weight maintenance or continued weight loss through the holidays. This can certainly be a difficult thing to do as the holiday season is themed around all different types of food events.Ask anyone what they think of when they hear Thanksgiving and I guarantee the majority say turkey with all the fixings. Since our society puts a lot of focus on food and how it makes us feel, it’s no wonder that some can become quite anxious this week.I’m choosing to forego any big research topics this week to provide some tips on how to make this holiday healthy. 1)Focus on the true meaning of the holiday and not the food it’s centered around.Celebrate the relationships you are thankful for and make this the priority for the day.
2)Remember you can always have any of the foods that will b…

Family Nutrition: Is it possible to predict obesity by 3.5 years old?

A recent study completed by the University of Montreal and published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine suggests that it may be possible to predict obesity as early as 3.5 years of age.Laura Pryor, a PhD candidate, and her team analyzed data drawn from the Quebec Longitudinal study of child development which ran from 1998 to 2006.1,957 children’s height and weights were analyzed from 5 months to 8 years of age.In addition to weight and height, BMI’s (body mass index) were configured and analyzed and differentiated into three trajectory groups: children with low but stable BMI, children with moderate BMI, and high- rising BMI (elevated BMI that was rising). An interesting summary from this study was that the research team noticed that all three trajectory groups were similar until about 2.5 years of age.The BMI’s of the high-rising trajectory group increased significantly at 2.5 years of age and by middle school 50% of these children were obese.When looking into factor…

Guest Post: Squash- Fall’s most Colorful Vegetable

As we enter into the month of November and gear up for the holidays, Angela Farris helps familiarize us with the many types of squash as well as giving us tips on how to prepare.  Enjoy!
Squash is not only colorful, it’s tasty! Winter squash varietals come in various shapes and sizes but share similar characteristics. Winter squash tends to have a hard outer shell that encloses a vibrant flesh that can boast many vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, C & E, beta-carotene, magnesium, manganese and potassium.
A quick, easy way to prepare your squash is to oven bake it. Preheat your oven to 350°. Scrub the outside of your squash thoroughly, cut in half length wise (Beware! squash can be difficult to cut due to its size and firmness. Take extra precautions and find a firm grip before slicing), remove the seeds and place face down in a roasting pan. Add half an inch of water in the bottom of the pan to provide moisture. Depending on size, bake between 1 – 2 hrs or until flesh is t…

Sensible Sports Nutrition: Running and enjoying the journey

As some of you know, I trained for and completed my first Half Marathon Saturday October 15, 2011.In my younger years (high school) I ran sprints and hurdles in track along with all year round soccer.I continued soccer through my college years and in my twenties through club and co-ed teams and also ran, mostly for exercise, right up until I had children.I would say I’ve always been an athletic person by nature but running anything more than 200 yards really wasn’t my cup of tea. As years passed on, I started my family and was very lucky to have two beautiful children seventeen months apart.Boy did that put some stress on my body!After three years of being pregnant and breast feeding you can imagine how off my game I was with the whole physical activity aspect of life. For a dietitian, who has always been active, you can imagine how lost I felt as I continued to put myself at the bottom of the priority list.So, last October I went out and bought a treadmill.My youngest was 20 months old…

Guest Post: Recovery and Strength - a guest blog by Sarah

Read below as  Sarah writes about recovery and strength.  Sarah is hopeful and determined and making strides each and every day.  Let's cheer her on as she continues to gain strength through her recovery process.

In the past several weeks, I have been on the threshold of recovery's door demonstrating a balancing act most trapeze artists would be in awe of. Each time I have found myself faced with which direction to step, each time, I somehow found the strength to step towards change and recovery.
In my opinion recovery is different for every one. So I had to stand back and ask myself “What is recovery to me?” Is recovery the switch that has gone off in my head which says, “Fight harder! You are not going to let this control you anymore!”? Is it the ghost of a friend saying, “What are you doing?! I had no choice in my death, you do! Wake up!”? Is recovery the hope and dream to one day wake up and never have to think about food? Is it the chance to finally be comfortable with m…

Family Nutrition: Parents- Powerful or Powerless When it comes to Food Choices by Toddlers

I see clients of all ages, from infancy to geriatrics.The common theme of all of my clients is at one time or another they were toddlers.Sometimes I see older clients who describe early patterns that I suspect are partly responsible for the way a current client eats or “diets.”At other times, I see toddlers who “rule their roost” and need a little nudge from their parents for a stricter regimen. I’ve written a lot about toddlers.Mostly because I think this is a very specific time to start introducing good nutrition habits, but also because I am in the toddler zone with a four and almost three year old.This is a time when textures, smells, and taste can be very scary.If you mix that in with a child who is developing their independence, this can be one challenging time. I have many parents ask me what the right thing to do is for their toddler and I’ve addressed this in some of my other articles (check them out by searching toddler in the blog search).Here are a couple of things I will al…

Guest Post: Are you BPA Free?

By Angela A. Farris BPA has been in the news for years. Articles focus on potential harm and health dangers of using products containing BPA. Should we really be worried? BPA, or Bisphenol A, is an organic compound with properties used to produce clear durable plastics and strong hold resins. Current research reviewed by the National Toxicology Program at the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration found that low levels of BPA exposure could have potentially harmful effects on the brain, prostate gland, and fetuses, infants and young children. BPA mimics the sex hormone estrogen found naturally in our bodies and can alter our hormonal balance. Disrupting this balance could affect a range of functions like reproduction, development, and metabolism. Individual state governments are working to ban BPA in baby bottles, but it is not currently banned on a federal level. The FDA is taking precautionary steps to reduce the exposure of BPA in our food supply and prod…

Food Trends: Lipid Lowering Foods

A multi-center study including 351 people took a good look at dietary intervention and the ability to decrease LDL cholesterol.David J. A. Jenkins of St. Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto and colleagues compared dietary interventions of a control diet and a portfolio diet for six months.The control diet emphasized high fiber and whole grains and the portfolio diet emphasized soy protein, plant sterols, viscous fibers, and nuts.Diets were randomized from June 2007 to January 2009 and counseling was delivered at routine dietary portfolio (two visits in six months) or an intensive dietary portfolio (seven visits in six months). Results showed that the control diet decreased LDL Cholesterol numbers by 8.0 mg/dL and the Portfolio diet decreased LDL Cholesterol by 24 mg/dL for the routine counseling and 26 mg/dL for the intensive counseling. This research study proves a relationship with food, dietary adherence, and reduction of LDL Cholesterol.When looking at the portfolio die…

Guest Post: Introducing Kindred's newest Guest Blogger

As most of you know I am a big  fan of guest bloggers and am always looking for a way to communicate the right information to the Kindred Community.  I am feeling really excited to be able to introduce a new guest blogger.   Recently I met Angela Farris, a dietetic intern at the University of Maryland at College Park. I am excited for you to get to know her just as I have.  Angela will be appearing in guest blogs and helping out with some other very neat things with Kindred Nutrition and The Center for Intuitive Eating.  Check out her bio below and look for her first guest post September 29th.

Angela A. Farris Biosketch

Angela is a dietetic intern with the University of Maryland College Park. Her program emphasizes information management and communication enabling her to visit a variety of sites over the next year; including IT rotations at the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion and the International Food Information Council. Prior to starting her dietetic internship Angela rece…

Family Nutrition: Overweight toddlers and children: To restrict or not to restrict?

I was asked this specific question a lot in the last two weeks from clients, friends, and a physician group I work with.We’ve all heard that our children are the first generation that will not outlive their parents.Fifteen percent of children in the United States are considered overweight and another fifteen percent are at risk of being overweight.There’s a lot of scary statistics out there and it's starting to cause some panic. Here are my thoughts.I feel strongly that it’s important to catch irregular eating, unhealthy habits, or weight gain in kids earlier than later.When I say early I mean as early as two believe it or not. There’s a reason that pediatricians and dietitians recommend changing from whole milk to skim after the age of two, as brains no longer require the extra fat intake for development. If your child is in the toddler years or beyond and eats multiple servings of food, is ‘addicted’ to junk food, or there is concern of weight gain or excess weight for height, it …

Spotlight: Around the Plate Award- Nutrition Expert of the Year AND Blog of the year goes to....

I hope you all had a great labor day.  I had a wonderful one filled with friends and family.  I was especially excited when I was notified at the end of the weekend that my Ask Amy's blog was awarded Nutrition Expert of the Year AND Blog of the year through Around the Plate. 
Have you checked out Around the Plate?  It's a great blog that consists of many Nutrition Experts, Healthy Eating Champions, and Recipe Guru's.

Check out the other winners in each category here.

As always thanks to all of my fans who follow Kindred Nutrition's Ask Amy blog.  It's a passion of  mine and I especially love to compile blogs based off of your suggestions.  Have any nutrition questions that have been on your mind?  Email me at agoldsmith@kindrednutrition.com  and I'll get you the answers.

I hope everyone has a fantastic week!

Common Challenges: Top culprits that can squash your weight loss

Most of my blogs are based off of current research or are responses to questions asked by people in and outside of the Kindred Community.For today, though, let’s change it up a bit and discuss constraints or obstacles I see in my current practice. My clients are very motivated and for the most part are very successful but when analyzing each client there are specific culprits that challenge every client’s success.I figured if it’s happening within the Kindred Community it's most likely happening outside of it. Let's discuss the white elephant in the room, shall we? 1.Foregoing the food diary: Let’s face it.Keeping a food diary is a complete drag.It’s time consuming and it holds you accountable to all those little morsels you drank or ate that are easily forgotten.Unfortunately, this is exactly why I recommend keeping a food diary.You can’t get to where you want to go without knowing where you came from.Once you keep a journal and are able to assess your intake it’s easier to imp…

Miraculous Misconceptions: Obese and Healthy?

A study published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism this week concluded that obese people who are otherwise considered healthy, live as long as their “skinny” peers. The study also suggests that healthy obese individuals are less likely to die from cardiovascular complications than their lean counterparts.
I silently laughed as the media got a hold of this study with titles such as, “Fat and Healthy? Study finds Slim isn’t always Superior”, or “Being fat isn’t a death sentence at all”, or my favorite “Obesity Police busted? Study says fat people can be healthy.”
The study monitored 6,000 obese Americans over 16 years and compared them to the death rate of lean individuals.Once compared, the conclusion was found that the mortality rate of obese individuals who had none or minor co-morbidities were no higher than that of lean people.
CBS interviewed Dr. Kulk who stated "I think this is a common notion, that if you are overweight you are unhealthy and that if you are s…

Guest Post: Coming Out of Hiding - A blog post from a client..

As Sarah continues to make her way to progress to recovery from Anorexia, she has found it helpful to express her thoughts and feelings by writing guest blog posts.  If you've ever known anyone who struggles with Anorexia, have struggled with eating disorders in the past, or just want to educate yourself some more read below.  We are all cheering for Sarah as she works her way to recovery.
One of the hardest things for me to do is to come out of hiding. To stop hiding what I do not eat, stop hiding behind clothing, to not hide my emotions, and most of all to not hide the fact that yes I do indeed have an eating disorder. The biggest step for anyone with an eating disorder to take is to admit they have a problem and to seek help.For me, it took almost 22 years.There are days when I wish I would never have opened my mouth as it was so much easier to hide.
Coming out of hiding means confiding in friends and family and let me tell you, in my situation, not everyone is supportive.Some…

Miraculous Misconceptions: Oh brother: Healthy eating privilege of the rich?

I just love when I get questions or blog ideas from my Kindred Community and have to give my husband kudos for forwarding this study to me and asking me what I think.Today a study was mentioned on Yahoo titled “Healthy Eating Privilege of the Rich?”The study focuses on the food pyramid changes in 2010 recommending an increase in consumption of potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin D, and calcium rich foods.Two thousand individuals in the state of Washington participated in a telephone survey which then led to the request for a printed survey to be completed.Only 1300 of the printed surveys were returned.The information provided in this article states that the printed survey focused on food eaten. Nutrients were then analyzed and estimated in cost.
Conclusions from this study state that the more money spent on food, the closer the people were to meeting the food pyramid guidelines of potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin D, and calcium which then led to a request for the government to do more…

Food Trends: McDonalds is changing it's Weighs...

I was wondering what we’d start seeing as the National Calorie Labeling Law comes into effect and I have to say I’ve been quite impressed with multiple restaurants attempting reformulations or portion size changes.For instance, this week I read that the Cheesecake Factory is going to create a Skinnylicious menu where entrees would be less than 590 calories.Of course I love this idea, the name not so much.

Of all the changes I’ve seen so far, McDonalds seems to have the most in depth plan to date.On July 26, 2011, the President of McDonalds announced the following commitment to offer improved nutrition choices.
1)To automatically include produce or low fat dairy products in happy meals by the end of Q1 2012.This will provide a 20% reduction in calories.
2)To reduce added sugars, saturated fat and calories by 2020 and reduce sodium by 15% by the year 2015.
3)To offer increased access to nutrition information.McDonalds will even be launching their own mobile application for McDonalds provid…