ask the nutritionist: buying bread

Choosing a loaf of bread in the endless bread aisle can be confusing and down-right overwhelming!

It doesn’t have to be though, with a few quick tips and key things to look for you can leave the store with a wholesome loaf of bread, without spending a ton of time!

  • 100% Whole Grain – look for the whole-grain stamp and check the ingredients, the first few ingredients should at least be whole-grain
  • No sugar or high fructose corn syrup (If a sweetener is in the bread, it should not be in the first 5 ingredients)
  • Each slice should have at least 2-3 grams of fiber and 2-3 grams of protein – the combination of protein and fiber will help fill you up
  • All-Natural or Organic is always a bonus – long ingredient lists with tons of preservatives is never a good thing

I generally stick with sprouted bread and my beloved hemp bagels which are often found in the freezer, depending on the store. (And baguettes made with white flour on special occasions :) )

What kind of bread do you buy?

peel & eat shrimp

Peel & Eat shrimp always takes me somewhere warm and somewhere along the beach. I spend those long Minnesota winters imagining myself eating fresh shrimp in between sips of a salty corona and white sand beneath my toes. Winter is long gone, but I have yet to see the ocean so I can only think of the next best thing.

I’ve had some amazing salt & pepper shrimp before so that is where I wanted to go with this. So flavorful that cocktail sauce isn’t even given a thought. The marinade is simply olive oil, salt & pepper and then the shrimp were grilled, making them so good and so reminiscent of the beach that I could almost feel the sand beneath my toes.

Peel & Eat Shrimp - 2 servings

  • 1 lb peel-on jumbo shrimp
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Toss shrimp with olive oil and salt & pepper. Heat grill to medium-high. Place shrimp on grill and grill for about 3 minutes per side until shrimp is cooked through. Grind a little more pepper on if desired.



maple & mascarpone stuffed french toast

Sometimes breakfast can be a bit boring, or even mundane, but this? There is nothing boring about this breakfast. Buying those maple crystals has turned into a very good decision. Especially when inspiration for a mascarpone-maple stuffed french toast stemmed from them.

In terms of breakfast, I’ll choose eggs over french toast, waffles, pancakes, etc. any day. But this french toast may just make me reconsider that. The creamy, sweet filling between whole grain bread left the taster saying, “more please!”

I certainly don’t make french toast on a regular basis, perhaps partly because I always freeze my bread so I never need to use up bread, but I’ll be finding excuses to make this again. Buying too much fresh bread can never be a bad thing, can it now?

Make these for a special, lazy breakfast, for company or mini versions for bridal and baby showers - they are sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Maple & Mascarpone-Stuffed French Toast

  • 2 whole eggs, whisked
  • 2 oz mascarpone cheese
  • 1 Tbsp maple granules
  • Day old whole grain baguette, thinly sliced (about 10 slices)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • maple syrup

Heat large pan over medium heat. Mix the mascarpone and maple granules together. Spread about 1/2 Tbsp of the mascarpone mixture on bread slice and top with other slice. Let soak in egg bath for about 2 minutes per side. Add 1 Tbsp butter to hot pan and place french toast pieces in pan. Cook for about 2 minutes per side. Serve with a dollop of mascarpone mixture and drizzle with maple syrup.

ask the nutritionist: eating for bone health

One of the things I love about “nutrition” is that you can change and improve your diet to protect your health and actually see the benefits making a difference.

One of the many health topics women need to be aware of is bone health. I will admit, it is a topic that I’ve kind of ignored in the past, but because osteoporosis runs in my family, it is a topic that I can no longer be ignorant of. We often think of just getting enough calcium to prevent osteoporosis and while that is certainly part of the prevention plan, having a glass of milk won’t cut it on its own.

Osteoporosis literally means “porus bones” and it causes bones to become very fragile and brittle.  Low bone density is also problematic and can lead to osteoporosis.

What can we do to protect ourselves against it?

“How likely you are to develop osteoporosis depends on how much bone mass you attained in your 20s and early 30s (peak bone mass) and how rapidly you lose it later. The higher your peak bone mass, the more bone you have “in the bank” and the less likely you are to develop osteoporosis as you age.” source

I have a few years left to build up my bone mass and then its all about the maintenance. This is one of the reasons it is so important to be aware of bone health now – later in life, you can only maintain it, not build it!

The three main ways to build up and maintain bone mass are:

  • calcium: the recommendations change throughout a lifetime, if unable to reach these levels through food – a calcium supplement is recommended

Up to 1 year old — 210 to 270 milligrams (mg)

Age 1 to 3 years — 500 mg

Age 4 to 8 years — 800 mg

Age 9 to 18 years — 1,300 mg

Age 19 to 50 years — 1,000 mg

Age 51 and older — 1,200 mg

source

  • vitamin D: helps your body absorb calcium – your body can make on its own with sunlight, and it is also present in some foods but I also take a supplement because I don’t spend that much time in the sun. Optimal amounts are not yet known, aim for about 1,000 IU’s/day

  • exercise: helps build strong bones as well as slow bone loss – aim for weight bearing exercise and strength-training in addition to regular cardiovascular exercise

So what do we eat?

We all know that most dairy products are a good source of calcium, but many of us can not tolerate dairy or avoid it entirely.

  • Good sources of Calcium: dairy products, fish, tofu and tempeh processed with calcium, calcium-fortified foods, greens like kale, collards, mustard greens

Vitamin D as we know can be produced in our bodies with natural sunlight but there are also a few food sources that contain Vitamin D:

  • Good sources of Vitamin D: milk (most milk in the US is fortified with Vitamin D), eggs, fortified foods

Do you take precautions to ensure your bones are healthy?