Weekly Scoop Pic Nov. 30

Yummy foods, Tennis shoes

by Callie Brust (MPH, RDN, CHES), Nutrition & Wellness Educator

I’m sure this is not news to anyone, but some of the tastiest holiday foods tend to be the highest in calories.

I know. I’m sad about that too. If you’re like me, you may have tried to make your dishes a little healthier. But as soon as you alter Nana’s recipe, your family kicks you out of the house for messing with tradition. Also… no matter how hard I try, I can’t escape the call for a second helping of my sister’s corn pudding. What to do, what to do!

It’s ok to indulge a little bit during the holiday season but you want to make sure you’re not over indulging. If you decide to double up on your dessert plate, maybe try to do a little more exercise than normal.

You’re eating extra energy (calories) so use up that extra energy through physical activity. I’m not talking about running a marathon after holiday gatherings. Start small! Here are some examples of easy activities to burn about 100 calories (a.k.a. 1 roll with butter):

• Walking stairs for 11 minutes
• Bike for 23 minutes of casual cycling
• Play basketball, shooting hoops, for 20 minutes
• Dance around the living room for 20 minutes
• Shop for 38 minutes
• Walk the dog for 26 minutes
• Carry an infant for 24 minutes

Click here for more ideas! 

It’s all about balance. Calories in calories out. After yummy foods, grab your tennis shoes! Get a game of football going in the front yard, make up a family dance to a recent song, or take a stroll around the block.

What are ways you stay healthy during the holidays?

Holiday meals can be delicious and healthy at the same time!

Nutrition Notes: Healthy Holiday Cooking

by Amanda Thomas, Nutrition Intern

As hard as it is to believe, the holidays are creeping right back up on us! Not only is Thanksgiving right around the corner, but so are the temptations of delicious and savory holiday comfort foods. The festivities involved in the holiday season are usually centered around eating a ton of delicious food—the latter of which can ultimately pose a big problem for everyone looking to stay fit and maintain a healthy weight.

That is why I have put together a list of healthy tips that will help you combat the excess calories, temptations, and weight gain that typically come along with the holiday season!

6 Simple Tips to Practice Healthy Holiday Cooking

1. Skim the Fat – Once your delicious homemade gravy has been made, refrigerate it to harden the fat. This will make it easy to skim the fat right off the top and save you a whopping 55 grams of fat. That’s almost 500 calories per cup of gravy!

2. Enjoy Skinless Turkey – Enjoy delicious turkey breast by omitting the skin of the turkey, which can save up to 11 grams of saturated fat per 3 oz. serving – that translates into almost 100 calories per serving!

3. Use Skim Milk in Mashed Potatoes – Using skim milk instead of whole milk and butter will save dramatically on the amount of fat present which in turn will save you calories! The addition of garlic powder, low-sodium seasoning, and Parmesan cheese will help provide a tastier bowl of mashed potatoes while leaving you guilt-free!

4. Homemade Holiday Nog – Because the holidays are just not the same without some delicious nog! Make your own holiday egg nog using 1.5 cups of skim or soy milk, four bananas, 1.5 cups plain nonfat yogurt, 1/4 teaspoon rum extract, and ground nutmeg. Blend all ingredients together except the nutmeg. Puree until smooth, and top with nutmeg.

5. Low-Calorie Vegetable Casserole – Bake fresh or frozen green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots. Top with low-sodium and reduced fat cream of mushroom soup and sprinkle with slivered almonds instead of fried onion rings.

6. Make a Crustless Pie – Use crushed gram crackers rather than a whole pie crust. Additionally, substitute 2 egg whites for a whole egg in your pie recipe and replace the heavy cream for low-fat milk in order to cut on fat, carbs, and total calories.

Berries aren't the only foods chock-full of antioxidants!

Nutrition Notes: Gotta Love Those Antioxidants!

by Amanda Thomas, Nutrition Intern

We’ve all heard the hype associated with antioxidants, but have you ever wondered what an antioxidant really is, and just why it is so significant? Antioxidants work to protect your body from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are typically formed when your body breaks down foods, as well as with increased exposure to tobacco smoke.

Studies have found that consuming a diet rich in antioxidants from natural food sources can prevent heart disease and certain types of cancer. So just how can you ensure that you are consuming enough of this powerful and extremely vital substance? Consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables will provide you with adequate amounts of Vitamins A, C, E and Selenium, which are all natural antioxidants.

For more information on how to add antioxidant-rich foods to your daily diet check out the recommendations below!

• Consume a wide variety of both fruits & vegetables.
• Add legumes (beans, nuts, peas, lentils) to salads, pastas, and other dishes.
• Replace snacks such as chips and cookies for nuts.
• Incorporate various herbs & spices in meals (basil, cilantro, oregano, etc).
• Fill your plate with color, to ensure variety of plant based foods.
• Avoid tobacco products.

Click here to learn more about antioxidants.

The group of students and staff stopped to take a photo celebrating their hours of community service at the San Diego Food Bank.

Volunteer Spotlight: St. Charles Borromeo Academy

by Cristina Sierra, Volunteer Engagement Coordinator

For the past twenty years, students at the St. Charles Borromeo Academy, grades kindergarten through eighth grade, have come to our distribution center each month to volunteer their time, which makes them a very special group to us! Twenty years? Amazing!

The Academy requires their studentsto learn about the importance of community service. Through their requirement, the children learn amazing skills such as team-building, the importance of service, team-buddy systems and mentorships.

We recently had the privilege of hosting the 6th grade class of St. Charles Borromeo Academy. The children were delighted to give their time to the Food Bank and had lots of fun working together as a class. Mrs. Goncalves-Paine, the teacher of the 6th grade class, shared her wonderful story about the children and the program.

“We like to inspire and motivate the children about community service.  I came to this school as a child and even volunteered my time with the Food Bank, so we have an outstanding legacy,” Goncalves-Paine said.

A legacy they absolutely have. The Academy shows their appreciation for their students by having a volunteer appreciation event for their students at their monthly assemblies. One student was so excited when I was talking pictures of his group, he asked if his class would get pizza for volunteering that day.

Twenty years of community service is amazing and we are so grateful for the parents, teachers, and students who are involved each month. The children were so inspiring, and I am grateful that I was able to meet all the children.

Cold season is upon us! Learn the immune boosting power of healthy eating below

Nutrition Notes: Immune Boosting Power of Healthy Eating

by Callie Brust (MPH, RDN, CHES), Nutrition & Wellness Educator

Cue the Clorox wipes, the elbow sneezes, and runny noses… cold and flu season is almost here. While washing your hands is the first line of defense, did you know your body has its own built in defense method? Your immune system!

Good, healthy, nutritious foods can help boost your immune system and may offer protection from infection. Consider adding nutrients like Protein, Zinc, prebiotics, probiotics, and essential vitamins to the toolbox of wellness your body needs.

1. Protein-rich foods help build your defense mechanisms like your skin and muscles. Fill ¼ of your plate with lean proteins like poultry, nuts, seeds, beans, and eggs at each meal.

2. Zinc is the healing mineral. Foods rich in zinc include lean meats, seafoods, poultry, and fortified cereals. Because zinc is more readily available in animal proteins, vegetarian eaters might need up to 50% more zinc than non-vegetarians. Find out more by clicking here.

3. Prebiotics and probiotics are intestinal health power tools. Prebiotics are components of food that provide fuel for probiotics, or good gut bacteria. Together, prebiotics and probiotics help balance your intestines and help with your overall heath. Prebiotics are found in onions, garlic, whole wheat foods, and bananas. Probiotics are typically found in fermented foods like kefir products, aged cheese, and sauerkraut.

4. Vitamins A, C, and E help maintain our tissues, antibodies, and antioxidants. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors will give you your daily dose of Vitamins A and C. For Vitamin E, aim to add seeds, nuts, and vegetable oils to your meals.

Take that flu! Prepare your body’s immune system by eating healthy, nutritious meals all year round!