Nutrition Math: Add Healthy First

When Plus Turns Into Minus

One great strategy that I have learned is that sometimes it's easier to add something in instead of cutting something out when it comes to great food.  The important part is to make sure those switches are well worth it and are working for you and your body over the long term.  Adding food that contains fiber, water, and nutrients is really the key.  

The NHANES Surveys (a national survery conducted that asks questions about health habits, nutrition, and physical activity) have told us time and time again the fruit and vegetable consumption in the US is below the Dietary Guidelines.  32% of Americans get the recommended two or more servings of fruit daily while 26% get the recommended three or more servings of vegetables daily.  Come on America, I think we can do a little bit better than that...  

How to Make a Change

Thinking of snacking on something?  Or feeling hungry before you start cooking dinner?  Adding in a healthy piece of fruit, fresh cut peppers with salsa, celery and hummus, or other healthy items can help.  The thing about this whole adding fruits and vegetables piece is that they are wonderful sources of nutrients and often help to replace the volume of something else that might be eaten; making them volume-filling, nutritious and calorically-cheap.  

I do want to reiterate that I'm not asking you to cut out part of dinner or your snack...  Simply start by adding.  You'd be surprised by how making a positive change will in turn impact some of those bad eating habits.  

Summertime Snacks

Beautiful Bounties

The summer months bring along a wonderful abundance of fresh and in season produce and the craving for lighter fare.  A combination that the dietitian in me enjoys!  With Farmer's Markets cropping up all over the place and better prices in the grocery store, now is the time to take advantage.  Here are some ideas for getting interesting and satiating snacks into your diet.

Some Snack Rules:

  1. Healthy, unprocessed carbohydrates will help curb any immediate feeling of hunger.  Fruit, vegetables, or whole grains are all great options.
  2. Pair it with a little bit of protein and/or fat to help stay fuller for longer.  
  3. Snacks are meant to keep your body supplied with energy when there are long bouts between meals.  Regimenting your body to expect healthy energy throughout the day may in fact improve your metabolism and help reduce hunger cravings.

Snack Ideas:

  • 1/2 whole grain english muffin or 1 slice whole grain toast with peanut butter
  • Strawberries with a little bit of vinaigrette to enhance the flavor
  • Low fat cheese slices or laughing cow cheese spread over cucumber slices (instead of crackers)
  • Fresh cut apples with peanut butter
  • Start dipping quarters of peppers into [spicy] salsa 
  • Any vegetable dipped in hummus (carrots and snap peas are a personal favorite)
  • Wrap sliced carrots and avocado in lettuce (and dip in a light asian sesame salad dressing)
  • Throw some frozen or fresh berries in low fat yogurt
  • Combine trail mix or granola with freshly sliced melon or berries


Enjoy the snack ideas, hopefully catered to your own taste!