Breakfast Bowls!

Bowls are some of the simplest dishes to put together. This week we are focusing on the versatility of bowls, from breakfast to snacks to lunch or dinner.  Every bowl starts with a base, such as a whole grain, and grows from there.  We like to make sure that all of our bowls include some type of complex carbohydrate (like a whole grain/leafy greens), protein (meat, fish, beans, etc), fiber (fruit, veggies, chia seeds) and healthy fats (avocado, nut butters). Including these four ingredients will keep you full from meal to meal!

We love a good bowl-centered meal because you can plan them out ahead of time or use it as a tool to create a meal with whatever is left in your fridge.  Here, we have created three breakfast bowls, which you can customize to your liking.

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Step 1: Pick a base. This is usually your complex carbohydrate. For this breakfast bowl we chose polenta, but you could use oats, quinoa, farro, rice, etc.  The possibilities are endless.

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Step 2: Add your veggies.  They are full of fiber and will keep you feeling full.These can be leftover in the fridge or freshly cooked. You can also defrost frozen veggies from your freezer.  Whatever you have on hand can be used! Sautéed kale and mushrooms with roasted tomatoes and sweet potatoes seemed like the perfect fit.

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Step 3: Add your protein.  For this we chose spicy chicken sausage and a soft-boiled egg.  You can go vegan by using chickpeas or tofu.  Chicken, fish and meat also work as well.

Step 4: Make sure you have a healthy fat! We used olive oil to sautee our veggies, but you could add avocado, drizzled avocado oil or sprinkle some toasted nuts on top.

Step 5: Enjoy!

Here are some of the recipes we put together to give you inspiration for your own bowl creation:

 

Spinach Blueberry Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients:

Smoothie:

  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen cauliflower
  • 1 cup Vanilla Unsweetened Almondmilk
  • 1 handful of Spinach
  • 2 scoops Further Food Collagen Protein Powder
  • 1 tbsp Almond Butter
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 date

Garnish:

  • 2 strawberries
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • Handful of Purely Elizabeth Maple + Almond Nut Butter Granola

Directions:

  • Blend all smoothie ingredients in high-powered blender until smooth.
  • Pour into bowl. Garnish with strawberries, chia seeds and granola. Enjoy!

 

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Cinnamon Chia Seed Oat Bowl:

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup quick-cooking steel cut oats
  • ¾ cup milk of choice
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp roasted Saigon cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp almond or peanut butter for serving
  • Fruit of choice
  • Siggis® yogurt for topping

Directions: combine all ingredients in a pot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer then turn to low heat. Stir occasionally so oats do not stick to pot. Serve once all liquid is absorbed and oats reach desired texture. Serve with 1 tbsp of nut butter. Enjoy!

 

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What bowl have you been making lately? Let us know!

xoxo, Melissa & Liz

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Love Is In The Air…

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…with chocolate of course! Valentine’s Day is actually one of our favorite holidays because it is all about our favorite food, chocolate!

We had so much fun working on these recipes (in between delivery from Cheu Noodle Bar and failed video attempts), and can’t wait to share with you our healthy spin on some delicious Valentine’s Day treats.

Valentine’s Day = truffles. How do you make truffles healthier? Use a high percentage dark chocolate and then roll them in super-foods! These vegan friendly truffles were made with creamy coconut milk and then rolled in 6 different toppings.

  • Matcha: We chose Matcha powder for its high level of antioxidants (and pretty green color!). For those of you who don’t know, Matcha is the finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves.  One serving of Matcha has 137 times more antioxidants than regularly brewed green tea so it is definitely a powerhouse!
  • Crushed nuts: You can choose any type of crushed nuts as your next topping, but we chose almonds because they’re a good source of vitamin E, which is great for your skin. 
  • Dried fruit: Again, you can use any type of dried fruit you like (raisins, cranberries, etc) but we chose dried tart cherries. Tart cherries, it’s juice in particular, is a great source of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone found naturally in your body that helps promote sleep. 
  • Cacao powder: Cacao powder is the purest form of chocolate you can consume. It’s extremely high in antioxidants and is a good source of magnesium. 
  • Coconut sugar…isn’t a super-food but it does taste delicious rolled on truffles! It pairs nicely with coconut milk used in the truffle mix. 

Vegan Dark Chocolate Truffles:

Ingredients:

  • 12oz vegan dark chocolate
  • 10 tbsp full fat coconut milk
  • Toppings:  Matcha, Crushed Nuts, Shredded Coconut, Dried Fruit, Coconut Sugar, Cacao powder

Directions:

  1. Make a double boiler by placing a pot of water on the stove, with a heat proof bowl on top.  Heat over medium-low.
  2. Add in dark chocolate pieces and coconut milk, stirring frequently til combined.
  3. When chocolate is fully melted and blend with coconut milk, remove bowl from stove and place in refrigerator, chilling for 1-2 hours until firm.
  4. Remove mixture from refrigerator and begin forming into 1/2″ round balls.
  5. Setup toppings in different bowls and roll each truffle until coated. Enjoy immediately or keep refrigerated in seal container for 2-3 days.

 

Next up we made Dark Chocolate Protein Muffins. These muffins can be eaten at breakfast paired with some Greek Yogurt and Berries or as a quick afternoon snack pre-workout! We love Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes Mix and this was our first time making muffins with them. We added our healthy twist but using cacao powder instead of regular cocoa for some added antioxidants. You can use any type of milk you like (almond, soy, etc) but we used Fairlife® Ultra Filtered Milk for it’s added protein. Finally, we substituted processed white sugar with maple syrup, which is a good source of zinc, magnesium and calcium! 

Dark Chocolate Protein Muffins:

Ingredients:

  • Two cups Kodiak® Cakes Power Cakes Mix
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Grease one 12-cup muffin pan, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine Kodiak® mix, cacao powder, and cinnamon.  Add in coconut oil and egg, mixing until combined.
  3. Add in milk, coconut milk, and maple syrup, whisking until batter forms.  Stir in chocolate chips using a spatula.
  4. Spoon batter evenly into the muffin pan.  Bake in oven for approximately 12-14 minutes, checking pan midway through.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool for 1 hour. Enjoy immediately or place in sealed container for up to 5 days.

 

We hope you enjoy these recipes, be sure to tag us on Instagram if you try either of them!

xoxo,

Liz and Melissa

Super Bowl Swaps

The Super Bowl is by far the biggest football game of the year.  This year our own team, the Philadelphia Eagles, is playing in the Super Bowl.  While neither of us are huge sports fans,  it is hard not to be excited when your team is in the big game!  Our favorite parts of the Super Bowl are the commercials, the Puppy Bowl/Kitten Half-Time show, and of course the food! The typical Super Bowl menu is full of wings, pizza, cheesesteaks, and beer.  While we believe everything is acceptable in moderation, we also know that with a few simple swaps you can save a ton of calories while munching during the game.  We have created a few healthier recipes to add to your Super Bowl menu.

In keeping with the Philadelphia theme, first up is this lighter cheesesteak served on a pretzel bun.  Yes, we combined two Philly favorites, the soft pretzel and cheesesteak, into one delicious sandwich!  Using flank steak and thin slices of cheese helps to save both calories and fat.  An original cheesesteak contains close to 950 calories and 40g of fat, while our healthy version comes in at 450 calories and 14g fat, leaving you room to enjoy other snacks as well!

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Ingredients:

  • 1lb flank steak, ask for your butcher to slice it thin
  • 1 red bell pepper, in strips
  • 1 green bell pepper, in strips
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • Provolone cheese, thinly sliced (or cheese of your choice)
  • 4 pretzel rolls
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt/Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium/high heat.  Add in diced bell peppers and onion, sauté until cooked through.
  2. Remove pepper onion mix once finished and add sliced flank steak to the pan. Cook evenly for about 5-8 minutes until tender.
  3. Add bell pepper mix back to pan with cooked flank steak.
  4. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  5. Divide flank steak and peppers evenly amongst the 4 pretzel rolls and top with a slice of cheese.
  6. Enjoy!

 

Next up, Buffalo Cauliflower Wings!

 

Your typical serving of Buffalo Wings (~10) rings in around 600 calories and 20g of fat. These Buffalo Cauliflower Wings are low in calories, full of fiber and have zero fat. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s Hot Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Trader Joe’s almond flour
  • water as needed to thin out

Directions

  1. Mix flour, hot sauce and water then dip florets and put on parchment paper.  
  2. Bake in the oven at 450 degrees for 25 minutes and voila! Buffalo “wings”!

Sweet Potato Nachos

 

Finally we have an alternative to your typical Chicken and Cheese Nachos, Sweet Potato Nachos! Your typical plate of nachos containing chicken, cheese, sour cream, etc can total almost 1,000 calories and 50g of fat! Oy. These sweet potato nachos contain no cheese, greek yogurt in place of sour cream and lots of veggies!

Ingredients

  • 2 sweet potatos, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup pickled red onion
  • 1/4 cup canned Black Beans
  • 1/4 Trader Joe’s Roasted Corn
  • 16oz Ground chicken
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt
  • Juice/Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes

Directions

  1. Spray sweet potatoes with olive oil.Bake thin slices of sweet potato in oven at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, then flip and bake for another 10 minutes. 
  2. On medium heat, cook ground chicken with smoked paprika, ancho chili powder and garlic powder.
  3. For the Lime Avocado Sauce, mix greek yogurt, lime juice/zest and avocado in bowl. Sprinkle with salt and smoked paprika.
  4. Layer baked sweet potato chips with chicken, black beans, roasted corn, pickled onions, cherry tomatoes, and jalapeno on a plate. Garnish with Lime Avocado Sauce.

 

Let us know what you think of our recipes and don’t forget to tag us on Instagram if you make them!

Go Eagles!

xoxo,

Liz and Melissa

There’s a Yogurt Out There for Everyone…

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Yogurt is as popular as ever and, just like milk, comes in many different forms other than traditional cow’s milk yogurt.  Most commonly eaten as a snack, yogurt is now popping up in breakfast bowls, being used as an alternative to icing, and replacing foods such as sour cream.

First off, what exactly is yogurt?

Traditional yogurt, is basically cultured milk that’s thickened through lactic acid producing cultures. It’s pretty thin because there is no straining involved. You can find hundreds of brands offering traditional yogurt, most often in plain or fruit sweetened varieties.

Greek Yogurt

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  • Made from cow’s milk, but different from traditional yogurt because it’s strained. This results in a thick, tangy texture.
  • Protein content is higher, typically 15-20g. The sugar content is often lower than traditional yogurt because of the straining process. A typical cup of plain Greek yogurt will have less than 8g of natural sugar.
  • We LOVE plain Greek yogurt for those of you that include dairy in your diet. It’s low in sugar, has a lot of protein and has great texture. Choose whole milk varieties for some extra healthy fat.

Icelandic Skyr

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  • Made with milk and strained 4 times.
  • The straining process means it is higher in protein and lower in natural sugars.
  • Siggi’s has yogurt that range from 0% fat to triple cream. We’re fans of the whole milk variety for added healthy fats or the triple cream for a good-for-you dessert!

Almond Milk Yogurt

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  • Almond Milk Yogurt is pretty new on the “yogurt scene”.
  • 1 serving is low in sugar, has a moderate amount of protein (6g) and natural healthy fats from the almonds.
  • What we didn’t like: the taste. Not good. at all. Also, the second ingredient was cane sugar! We looked up other flavors and they all have cane sugar as the second ingredient except for the Plain, Unsweetened (can’t imagine it would taste good).
  • Almond Milk Yogurt also has added thickeners to make it more yogurt like.

Coconut Milk Yogurt

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  • Coconut Milk Yogurt is made from coconut milk and live active cultures.
  • It’s typically very low in protein (this variety had <1g per serving), higher in saturated fat and sugar, and contains thickeners.
  • We thought this tasted great, but the nutritional value was poor. Treat this type as more of a dessert or treat than as breakfast or a healthy snack.

Soy Yogurt

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  • Soy yogurt is made from soy milk and live active cultures
  • It typically has added thickeners (i.e. corn starch) and added sugars from flavoring.
  • The Silk brand in the Peach-Mango flavor was pretty good! We liked that it had a decent amount of protein (6g) and reasonable calories. Unfortunately, “cane sugar” was the second ingredient and overall contained 13g of sugar 😦

Flax Milk Yogurt

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  • Flaxmilk yogurt is flaxmilk with live active cultures.
  • It’s dairy-free, lactose-free, soy-free and nut-free.
  • It has 5g of added plant protein (from pea protein) and omega-3’s from the flax.
  • A 6-oz container has 5-6g of protein, but the sugar content varies with the flavor. The blueberry flavor had 17g of sugar and the second ingredient was cane sugar.
  • For a dairy-soy-nut-free yogurt alternative this wasn’t bad. It was very sweet, so we would recommend trying the Plain flavor and adding your own sweetener.

RD Approved Tips

Ok, now that you know some of the different types of yogurt out there, which one is THE BEST? Well, that’s up to what you’re using it for and your specific preference. A few things we do recommend checking off your list for a “good” yogurt.

  • Sugar content
    • Plain yogurt has 12-15g of natural sugar (lactose) per cup.
    • Thicker yogurt, like Greek or Icelandic typically have less naturally occurring sugar. Per cup, this could be 6-8g of sugar.
    • RD tips: Choose a plain yogurt and add your own sweetener, like fresh fruit.
  • Protein
    • Greek yogurt is higher in natural protein than other varieties.
    • If you need a dairy free alternative that’s higher in protein, we recommend Soy or Almond.
  • Portion size
    • Most of the single serving cups of yogurt out there are 6oz. Pay attention to the serving size and the nutrition facts label.
  • Additives
    • Be mindful of your ingredient list, the shorter it is the better!
    • All yogurt should contain live active cultures, those are listed towards the bottom of your ingredient list.
    • If sugar in any form is the second ingredient, pass on it!

What type of yogurt do you like? Any favorite brands? Let us know!

xoxo,

Liz and Melissa

Got Milk?

Dairy is a big topic these days.  Many diets are limiting or eliminating dairy altogether because other alternatives are now available to use.  The debate is strong as to whether or not our bodies are able to handle dairy products and if these products really provide sufficient nutrients.  One argument is that while cow’s milk is a good source of calcium, there are plenty of other food items that calcium can be found in.  Leafy greens, white beans, and certain fish all contain calcium sufficient enough to meet our needs. 

Today we have copious different milk alternatives that are easily found in any grocery store.  Picking which milk product is best for you can be difficult when there are so many to choose from.  Not only can you purchase unsweetened versions, but you can get sweetened and flavored alternative milk products.  Added sugar can be found in many of these products, decreasing their health value.  We are here to break down some of the most popular milk alternatives, as well as cow’s milk itself, to help you make an informed decision of which product best suits you.

  • Cow’s Milk
    • This ranges in fat content, from skim to whole, therefore clocking in at 90-150 calories per cup.  Regardless, all cow’s milk contains 8g of protein per serving, 13g of sugar, and 30% of your recommended daily value of calcium.  Cow’s milk has a variety of uses from pouring over cereal, to using in baking recipes, or just drinking plain.  A new alternative is Fairlife®, which is ultra-filtered cow’s milk, contains 13g of protein and only 6g of sugar per glass.  It also has the lactase enzyme added, making it easily digestible for those with lactose intolerance.  Melissa prefers this brand to help increase the protein in her morning oatmeal or smoothies.
  • Almond Milk
    • Almond milk is one of the most common milk alternatives on the market.  It comes unsweetened (which is the best way to buy it), or sweetened and flavored.  Per one-cup serving, unsweetened almond milk contains 30 calories and 1g of protein as well as 45% of the daily value of calcium.  One cup of sweetened almond milk contains 60 calories.  While it lacks protein, it contains additional calcium beyond what cow’s milk has.  Almond milk is shelf-stable and contains additives to help preserve it’s shelf life. It is extremely versatile and can be used with cereal, smoothies, and oatmeal to name a few.

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  • Coconut Milk
    • Coconut milk is often used in cooking, such as curry recipes or soups; however, it is now available as a drinkable beverage.  The full-fat canned version, which is the kind used for cooking, contains 100 calories per 1/4 cup serving.  It is high in fat, low in sugar and protein.  Canned coconut milk also lacks many vitamins and minerals that can be found in traditional cow’s milk.  Coconut milk beverages, like the one pictured, contain 70 calories per one-cup serving.  Most brands are fortified with vitamins, making them an excellent source of vitamin B12 and vitamin D.IMG_7086
  • Cashew Milk
    • Cashew milk is similar to almond milk and often is found as a combination, such as almond & cashew milk blends or coconut & cashew milk blends.  Still, some companies make cashew milk just on its own.  One-cup has 35 calories, zero protein, 10% of your daily value of calcium, and 60% of your daily value of vitamin B12.  While it does not provide much in the way of macronutrients, it does offer some value with vitamins and minerals.  Cashew milk is good on its own or is great to use in salad dressings or smoothies.IMG_7085
  • Soy Milk
    • Soy milk is the most comparable to cow’s milk in calorie and protein content. One-cup of original soy milk contains 110 calories, 8g protein, and 6g sugar.  It also is fortified with various vitamins and minerals.  Soy milk has 45% of your daily value of calcium per cup as well.  There is debate on soy consumption, especially in females with concern for increasing risk of breast cancer development.  On the other hand, soy has been shown to lower cholesterol levels.  More research is needed, but at this time small amounts of soy consumption daily are considered safe.
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  • Oat Milk
    • Oat milk is popping up in coffee shops to be used in place of creamer in your coffee or tea.  One cup contains 130 calories, 4g of protein, and a whopping 19g of sugar.  It also contains 35% of your daily value of calcium.  Be cautious with consumption of this given the high sugar content.  This type of milk alternative is great for coffee or tea, or in small amounts used in baking. IMG_7089
  • Hemp Milk
    • With a nutty flavor, one-up of this milk contains 70 calories, 3g protein and zero sugar.  It has omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, making it heart healthy.  This milk is on the thin side, similar to skim cow’s milk.  It is best added to smoothies or used in cooking for mashed potatoes.  While the flavor appeals to some, this is not a product we would drink straight out of the glass.IMG_7088

As we mentioned before, the choice to drink dairy milk or use milk alternatives is individually based.  The options listed above all provide their own specific benefits, so if you are looking for protein cow and soy milk are the best, but if you are looking for high calcium go with almond or oat milk.  We recommend trying different types of milk and milk alternatives to see which one you like best!

xoxo, Melissa and Liz

 

2018 Wellness Trends

you're still a rockstar

 

Each year the “Wellness” world sees a surge in different supplements, workouts and overall health trends and 2018 is no exception. Last month we talked to BeWellPhilly about 2018’s food trends, now we’re ready to expand on that. “Wellness” is an overall state of good health, but it includes more than just nutrition and physical activity. Wellness takes into account your emotional and spiritual health as well. Read on to see what trends we think will stick around or start to blow up in 2018!

 

Turmeric

Turmeric is touted as an amazing spice for its anti-inflammatory benefits, and people are really starting to buy into that. We initially saw it just in curry, then Golden Milk Lattes, but now it’s being added to everything. RD tip: Make sure it’s paired with black pepper, which makes the curcumin in turmeric more bioavailable

Intermittent Fasting (IF)

IF is a pattern of fasting where you eat for a set amount of hours and then fast for a set amount of hours (think 10hrs of on, 14hrs off). The purpose of this is not to eat less, but the timing of when you eat. This then gives your body time to rest and reset. Studies have shown that IF assists in weight loss, blood sugar control and fights inflammation. This might not be for everyone though, studies are showing benefits for those with PCOS, type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Ketogenic Diet

We talked about this in our Sunday post, but despite the fact that the Ketogenic diet was ranked last by U.S. News, you’ll still see this diet everywhere. Once again, the research is still out on whether this diet will help with long-term weight loss or athletic performance. We see it used in a clinical setting for neurologic disorders, but not much else currently. Take this diet with a grain of salt, and consider sticking to an eating plan that is high in veggies and believes in moderation.

Gut Health

First it was taking a probiotic. Then it was drinking probiotics (i.e Kombucha). Now it’s consuming fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut (check out Check out Farmhouse Culture’s chips!), and kefir. Fermented foods contain natural probiotics, which help with your digestion and boosting your immune system. Collagen is also being touted as great for your microbiome. While we know it’s a versatile protein powder and great for your skin/hair, we’re still waiting for more scientific studies to prove this one to us!

Mindful Movement/Mindfulness

Meditation has been clinically shown to help reduce stress levels and overall health. If you’re a yoga fanatic, this is a normal part of your practice. Other fitness studios focus on mindful movement (hey barre3!) and now there are specific Meditation studios where you can take a class and work on your breath. Vitality Meditation in Philly is on our list of places to try in 2018!

Sleep

This seems kind of silly to be a wellness trend, but the Wellness world is focus on sleeping well! We currently live in a go, go, go society, where getting 8-hours a night can be difficult. Sleep deprivation has been show to cause weight gain, increased anxiety, hormonal imbalances and overall increased stress! This year we’ll see more people talking about how to get better sleep (Ariana Huffington), like meditating before bed and magnesium supplements.

Self-Care

Again, this seems kind of silly but most people have a difficult time scheduling any “me” time. Lack of self-care leads to higher stress, which we know can lead to weight gain, lack of sleep and poor immune function. You’ll see recommendations for taking a time out, whether that’s with meditation, a work out or reading a book.

RD tip: Wellness food trends can be fun and interesting to try, but remember that evidenced based wellness is the way to go.

What wellness trends are you looking forward to try in 2018?

 

xoxo,

Liz and Melissa

Diet Trends

Fad diets are diets that offer quick weight loss results through the use of overly restrictive eating habits.  Most of the time you can lose weight on these diets without exercising; however, a majority of the weight lost is water, which can quickly be gained back (and then some) once normal eating patterns are resumed.  These diets are not sustainable long-term as they limit too many food groups that are essential for our body to function properly.  We believe that balanced eating patterns, meaning everything in moderation, and portion control are the best way to lose weight and keep it off long-term.

As Registered Dietitians, we rely on evidenced-based research to guide our practice.  This means we recommend diets that have been tested under scientific methods to provide the best information to our patients.  Time after time, diets that emphasize large amounts of whole foods with occasional consumption of processed items have proven to be the best for long-term results and better overall health.  The meal below shows moderation.  A nutrient-dense meal with an occasional sweet-treat is what balance is all about.

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U.S. News just came out with their annual list of their Best/Worst Diets. There’s over 40 “diets” on this list, and we’re going to break down the best and worst ones for you.  For the full list, visit: health.usnews.com/best-diet/best-diets-overall

  1. DASH Diet: this tied for #1 with the Mediterranean Diet.  The purpose of the DASH diet is to prevent and/or lower high blood pressure.  It emphasizes consumptions of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meat/protein, nuts/legumes, and healthy fats such as olive oil.  The goal is limit sodium to less than 2,300mg daily, while eventually working toward a goal of no more than 1,500mg daily.
  2. Mediterranean Diet: tied at #1, this diet aims for weight loss and disease prevention.  It includes all the same criteria as the DASH diet with the additional recommendation to consume at least 2 servings of fish per week.  Dairy and sweets are to be consumed in moderation, as well as an occasional glass of red wine.  This is our favorite diet of them all!
  3. Weight Watchers: ranked #4 overall, this diet is based on a points system that is related to your gender, age, current weight, and height.  Similar to counting calories, the points add up to hit a maximum total each day.  Nutrient-dense foods have lower point values assigned to them, while highly processed foods have higher point values.  This diet is great because it allows you to eat whatever you want, but the points will add up quickly if you only choose “junk” food.
  4. Paleo: closer to the bottom of the list, this falls at #32.  This diet is based on what cavemen used to eat- indicating that if cavemen did not eat it, we shouldn’t be either.  This diet is heavily protein and plant based.  There are different levels of restriction, with the most restrictive level allowing just one “open meal” per week. This diet cuts out entire food groups such as dairy, which limits overall nutrient intake. It is hard to sustain long term, but can give short-term weight loss.
  5. Whole30:  This comes in at #37.  Liz has done the whole30 diet as a reset before, but does not recommend it as an everyday lifestyle, which the founders are in agreement with.  The purpose of this plan is to reset your body, especially if your diet has been high in processed foods.  It eliminates dairy, grains, all sugar, alcohol, and legumes.  There are no built in cheat meals, either.  We are doing something similar with the Barre3 challenge, but it is not as restrictive as the Whole30.
  6. Keto: Ranked at the very bottom,  this diet’s original intent was to help patients with seizure disorders because it switches the body’s main source of fuel.  We use it in rare cases in the hospital when a patient needs it.  This diet is very high in fat, moderate in protein, and low in carbs.  Think fatty fish, chicken thighs with the skin on, and higher-fat cuts of beef.  This diet is less than 15-20g net carbs per day, way less than your brain needs to function on a daily basis.  The keto diet is high in saturated fat as well, which is bad for our heart.  All fats are not created equal, and this diet is one that we can’t get behind.

myplate

If you are looking to eat healthier in 2018, we recommend using the MyPlate tool as a general reference for a healthy, balanced diet.  While we have done a few ‘resets’ ourselves, our typical day includes 80% ‘healthy’ foods and 20% ‘unhealthy’ foods.  Every aspect of life is about balance, so our diet should be too!

xoxo, Melissa and Liz