Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Food Trend Watch: Seltzer Water

I try my best to be cool and hip these days and stay on top of the next big trends. I mean I wore Crocs way before they were even "cool."    

In terms of food trends, one of the ones that I have been on to for a while has been seltzer water.  After having been spotted by my entourage of paparazzi with a can of one recently, its popularity has spread like wild fire! The scene was a little like this…

 Ok so I MAY have embellished a little…but only about the whole wild fire thing J Anyways, seltzer water has been trending recently according to this article, so I figured I would give you the 411 on them.

What is seltzer water?
Essentially seltzer water is carbonated water. It can also be referred to as sparkling water, club soda, soda water, or the ever so eloquently name, fizzy water.  Ok so maybe there are some minute differences between them, but for this blog I am just going to generalize them all under one umbrella. If you really want to get technical about it, just read this article ok? Most of the brands try to make themselves sound real fancy,exotic with names such as La Croix, Perrier, and San Pellegrino, but even Dasani has jumped in on this trend with Dasnai Sparkling. 

Nutrition of seltzer waters
Seltzer water offers the same health benefits as regular water. Most contain no calories, sodium, or artificial sweeteners.  Now, they do make some flavored seltzer waters, most of which do not contain any calories or artificial sweeteners, but be sure to check out the ingredient list.  Don’t ask me how they actually flavor the water without adding calories, I am not a magician and therefore do not know.

Do you ever get tired of drinking plain water (assuming that you are all drinking enough water and not sodas)? Are you trying to ween yourself from soda? Do you want to be cool or pretend to be fancy? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, seltzer water is for you!

Breaking it down
Basically drinking seltzer water is like drinking regular water. It is not just for fancy, pretentious people who wear top hats to bed just for giggles. However, I just want to caution you so that this doesn’t happen to you:

Well I am off to evade my paparazzi entourage…

Until next time!

Keep it Fresh,
Keep it Green,


Monday, September 21, 2015

Enough is Enough: Protein

Recently I sitting at my desk going through my inbox and counting down the hours till I could go home having a grand ole time while perusing one of my daily dietitian newsletters (yes that is a thing and yes I know how cool I am), I found an article that really just riled me up so much that I opened a blank email and just fervently started typing my sentiments for this blog post. My typing fervently kind of looked like this…

...but I wasn’t just typing my name over and over again…this time anyways. What was this aforementioned article about you ask?  Protein water.

Beth, why the hostility towards protein water?
I will be the first to admit that I do tend to follow a more holistic approach to nutrition i.e. no supplements, powders, etc. All of my nutrients come from actual, real food. That being said, here is my take on this. Water, and other beverages for that matter, is for hydration. Thirsty? Grab a some water.  Similarly, if you want protein, eat meat, dairy, legumes, eggs, nuts, or vegetables (yes, vegetables contain protein).

Why is everybody obsessed with protein?
One of the things that everybody seems to obsess over these days is protein. Just because a product has protein in it does not make it healthy. Case in point…

I mean you could probably just whip up a batch of cookies or brownies and dump some protein powder into the batter and it would basically be the same thing.

PSA: Just taking protein powder will not make you look like this…

Yes these people may take protein powder, but they also eat healthy AND work out a ton and by working out a ton I don’t just mean a 30 min jog or one yoga or spin class. Just saying…

Anyways, Americans get enough protein. The average person needs around 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. (To figure out how much protein you need, take your weight in pounds and divide by 2.2 and then multiply that number by 0.8 to get how many grams of protein that you need in a day---Oh and by the way, you are welcome I just laid out all the math for you J

Can you over do it on protein?
Yes. Protein has calories in it just like fat and carbohydrates so if you are dumping protein powder into everything, it can add up and cause weight gain. If you are really concerned about being healthy, losing weight or whatever health related goal that you might have, why don't you focus on cutting back on things such as processed foods, simple carbohydrates, fried/fatty foods, added sugars, etc. and eat more fruits and vegetables. Just a thought...I know...call me crazy!

Breaking it down
As for me, I will take my water on the rocks—no protein powder or added flavorings necessary. As for my protein, I would like it not in the form of a powder, rather something that I actually enjoy eating…

But if you really are just that busy and hate the taste of real food, just jump on the soylent train like the other people who are just too busy to bother to eat…

Unfortunately, I am not that cool. My question is if you are too busy to eat, what do you do when nature calls? Just some food for thought. Well I am off to enjoy a water on the rocks and anything and everything pumpkin spice flavored! Until next time!

Keep it Fresh,
Keep it Green,


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Nutrients vs Foods

Omega-3, vitamin C, vitamin B, fiber, iron, etc., etc. We always hear about all of these nutrients and how healthy they are, which they are. However, there is a common disconnect between these nutrients and the foods they naturally can be found in. There is no vitamin C tree that just grows vitamin C. Believe it or not all of these nutrients can be found naturally in food, not just food sprinkled with the powdered form of these nutrients, and definitely not just supplements.  

Beth where are you going with this?
Funny, I often ask myself this same question J Let me, “illustrate” my point for you. Let’s pretend that bae comes down with a case of the sniffles and is being a bit of a drama queen about it...

Attempting to be a caring significant other, you fight through your anti-commitment issues and general annoyance with princess over there and head to the store to pick up some vitamin C supplements or just anything touting vitamin C in the label because everybody knows that’s what you need when you are sick (which is futile once you are already sick by the way but I already covered that in a previous post).  My question for you though is outside of supplements, where can you find vitamin C? Believe it or not, vitamin C is found naturally in foods such as citrus fruits, strawberries, peppers, kale, broccoli, etc. Ok so you probably got the vitamin C and orange juice thing, but what I am getting at is two things.
  1. You do not need supplements to get vitamin C—you can eat foods that naturally contain vitamin C.
  2. Vitamin C is only effective in helping lessen colds when used preventively, not when you already are sick

The same thing could be said for all of the other “trendy” nutrients such as omega-3. Instead of taking some fish oil supplement that makes your burps taste like fish, why don’t you actually eat some salmon or if fish isn’t your thing, try some walnuts. Just a crazy thought I know.

Why does this matter Beth?
Well, there are two reasons; the first and biggest reason is that food sources of vitamins and minerals are better absorbed by your body than those from supplements. The other reason being that people tend to think that you can eat like crap and then take a multivitamin or something and think that they are doing good. I hate to break it to you, but that’s not how it works.

Breaking it down
Should you be concerned with certain vitamins and minerals? If you eat a well rounded diet (aka eating fruits and vegetables) no, unless you are advised by your doctor. Not that I am the healthiest eater that ever roamed the earth (probs close to it though J ), but I don’t take any supplements and I also don’t keep a check list on me as to how many oranges I need to eat a day to ensure that I get enough vitamin C. I just eat a variety of foods that I enjoy. No need to haggle over certain nutrients and eat foods that you simply just do not like. So instead of running to get some vitamin C supplement the next time bae gets a ferocious case of the sniffles, tell him he should eat some oranges, strawberries, peppers, etc. on the regular to prevent them. After all, they taste better than the supplements do.  Well I probably should just take the rest of the day off; I feel a case of the sniffles coming on.  I am going to send this to my boss...

There is no way he can tell me no…kittens always win and I am even a dog person. I don't care who you are, that kitten is pretty cute. Until next time!

Keep it Fresh,
Keep it Green,


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Freshman 15: Fact or Fiction

Ahh tis’ that time of year again, back to school! How can I tell you ask? Well between the backed up traffic/lack of parking spots on campus, dozens of annoying banks trying to get me to sign up for a credit card, and freshmen walking around like lost puppies, sometimes with tears in their eyes, I think it’s a pretty safe bet. With the return of freshmen, comes the threat of the mythical freshman 15. However, just because you may not be a freshman, you are not exempt from weight gain. Quite frankly,  it only gets more difficult to avoid weight gain from here on out. Welcome to the process of aging my friends, where your metabolism starts to slow down and you can no longer eat or drink whatever you want without gaining weight! First, let me first address this whole “freshman 15” thing.

Freshman 15: Fact or Fiction
The freshman 15 is in most cases fiction. It is fiction in that most first year college students gain on average around five pounds or so. This is good news I suppose, but for those of you have never taken a stats class, this is just an average and there are outliers to this. Some people gain more, some people gain less, and some people just don’t gain anything.  

Well Beth, what causes weight gain?
Scientifically speaking, eating more calories than you burn.  Is there any specific food(s) that make you fat such as fat or carbs or sugar? Without getting too nerdy on you, the answer is no. Eating fat doesn’t make you fat in that singing Beyonce in your car does not in fact make you Beyonce.

Carbs and sugar, are not necessarily bad and are part of a balanced diet. What is the secret you ask? Everything in moderation. For example, I love pizza and COULD eat it every day in the dining hall, but I don’t.  Most people tend to over do it on fat, sugar, and carbs, which leads to weight gain. 

The part where weight gain gets a little more intricate is the part where your body burns calories and all of the factors that can affect that. Without getting into too much detail, some of these factors include: age, sex, muscle mass, stress, etc. I'll save those for another blog though.

How can I avoid weight gain?
It is pretty simple actually. Eat right and exercise--No need for some magical (and expensive) diet pill, detoxes, or cleanses. I don’t know about you, but I am no Kanye…

Breaking it down
The freshman 15 is a myth, but it is not as mythical as big foot or aliens, so keep that in mind. I mean weight gain during freshmen year may or may not have even happened to yours truly.

Gasp! I know right, you probably don’t want to think about your nutrition hero like that, but I’m just going to be real with you; I put my pants on one leg at a time just like everybody else J Well if you will excuse me, I need to go move my car (Note: I may have a touch of road rage)...

Until next time!

Keep it Fresh,
Keep it Green,