From Our Blog
Stimulate the large intestine to empty its contents, which are primarily indigestible fiber and water. This occurs after food, nutrients, and calories are absorbed by the small intestine. Therefore any weight loss following the use of laxatives is primarily through changes in body fluid. Laxatives are often found over-the-counter in pill form. Using laxatives regularly and/or in excess can result in dependence and make it difficult for your system to work on its own.
Diuretics: Force the kidneys to increase urine output. Although using diuretics may result in weight loss, it is all water and electrolytes. Once an individual rehydrates, they will regain the weight. Diuretics are not only found in pill form, but also in drinks that contain caffeine such as coffee, tea, and energy drinks.
Both classes of drugs are dangerous in that they can cause serious damage to the body. Changes in mineral and electrolyte balance can disrupt the proper functioning of nerves, muscles, and organ systems. Some of the vital minerals affected include: sodium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Once an individual discontinues use of laxatives or diuretics, they can experience uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating, constipation, and even weight rebound caused by fluid retention.
If you or someone you know suffers from laxative or diuretic abuse, seek the help of a medical professional. Eating disorder treatment is most effective with a team that includes: a physician, psychiatrist/psychologist, therapist, and registered dietitian. A dietitian can help you gradually decrease laxative and diuretic abuse and help your body find and maintain its natural fluid balance.
Wow, so much has been going on here at Metrowest Nutrition that I haven't had a chance to update the blog! That's soon to change with all the extra mind power we've gained.
For starters, we are thrilled that veteran pediatric dietitian, Ashley Bade, RD, CPS has come on board full-time. If you call the office these days, you'll likely have a chance to talk with her live since she's now in charge of scheduling. I'd also like to congratulate Ashley on becoming a Certified Specialist in Pediatric Nutrition. For those who don't know what this is, believe me when I say it takes a lot of work and understanding of pediatric nutrition needs to earn this one. Way to go Ashley!
We've also welcomed back Kerri Steinberg, MS, RD who will be seeing clients on Tuesdays in our Framingham office. We're so excited to have her back and looking forward to having her clinical expertise to share with our clients. Kerri has a lot of experience with weight management, diabetes and other medical conditions and is looking for referrals so feel free to send people you know her way!
I'd also like to send out a warm welcome to Kristie Yeung, our nutrition intern. Kristie is a graduate of BU's Sargent School and has been helping us a lot. We're secretly all hoping she'll bring us all back to her homeland in Hawaii the next time she goes!
Stay tuned for some more great things coming down the pike!
Aloha for now!
Looking for a healthy alternative for the grill? Think salad. It's definitely not the first food you'd think of tossing on the fire but it's definitely one of the best things I've tried. I was out to lunch recently and out of curiosity ordered the 'grilled romaine hearts'. The salad came topped with chopped onions, grilled grape tomatoes, applewood smoked bacon and gorgonzola cheese and was dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette. Grilled shrimp was the perfect addition. It was absolutely delicious and I plan to attempt to reproduce the recipe at home. Let me tell you, this is a salad that won't leave you missing your burger! Find some other great grilled salad recipes here.
A colleague sent me this great article from the New York Times about the Human Microbiome Project. The microbiome are the trillions of bacteria living on our skin and in our gut. This article is a little lengthy but Michael Pollan gives a fascinating and in-depth look at the importance of these inhabitants to our overall health. Learn how our microbiome may influence the development of allergies, asthma and other increasingly common health conditions. Could we be accidentally killing off one of our greatest defenses with the wide use of antibiotics? What is the long term impact? Are babies born by c-section at an increased risk for allergies? If so, is there anything we can do to prevent this? Pollan discusses all of this in the article. He also discusses how our microbiome could even be connected to obesity. I highly recommend taking some time to read it.
Zinc is and important yet often overlooked mineral. Along with iron, it's one of the most common deficiencies in kids' diets. Zinc is essential for growth and development but also plays a critical role in appetite and taste perception.
As nutritionist and author Kelly Dorfman points out in her book, "What's Eating Your Child?", kids with zinc deficiency typically present as picky eaters with poor appetites and poor growth (although not ALL picky eaters have zinc deficiency). Zinc is not a standard test on most pediatric lab panels so deficiency can easily go unnoticed. If your child has a lackluster appetite, picky eating and/or poor growth it's probably a good idea to rule this out.
Foods highest in zinc are beef and chicken. Interestingly, those with zinc deficiency are often turned off by meat likely due to altered taste. Other great sources of zinc include toasted wheat germ, pumpkin seeds and dark chocolate. Fortified cereals are a great source of zinc for kids. The #1 source of zinc (although not a realistic option for most kids) is oysters with 154 mg in a 3oz portion.
The daily recommendation for zinc is 3mg for 1-3 years, 5 mg for 4-8 years, 8mg for 9-13 years and 11mg from 18 years on. Zinc deficiency has been seen in patients with depression and eating disorders and according to psychiatrist James Greenblatt, MD, repletion may eliminate the need for drug therapy in some cases. For children with zinc deficiency, a therapeutic dose of 35mg a day is recommended.
Do you have picky eaters in your family? Are you concerned about their health but are unsure how to manage it?
Join Ashley Bade, RD, LDN, CNSD of Metrowest Nutrition, and Healthy Habits Kitchen, creators of ready-to-cook, nutritionally-balanced meal kits, to learn how you can ensure your picky eater is getting the right nutrition by establishing a meal and snack routine, providing balance and variety, setting expectations and much more.
Plus, you’ll sample kid-friendly HHK dishes and learn how MetroWest Nutrition’s new food delivery service can help you save time and achieve your goals.
This is a FREE event and will be held on Thursday, May 30th from 11:30-1pm. Feel free to come for the whole time or just drop in! Please register below so we know how much food to have available.
Please join us for lunch THIS THURSDAY, May 23rd from 11:30-1 in our Newton Center office. Learn how understanding the Glycemic Index can help boost metabolism, increase energy and manage weight. Registered Dietitian, Amy Gardner will lead an active discussion on this topic and provide ample time for questions.
Healthy Habits Kitchen will provide samples of their meals and talk about a new program allowing clients to pick up meals at Metrowest Nutrition for a discounted rate.
This is a FREE event and we would love to have you there! Please contact Amy Gardner with any questions firstname.lastname@example.org
Yesterday I asked a 16-year old female client of mine to tell me the advantages of holding onto her restrictive eating behavior. She replied, "It makes me feel good, like I've done something." I took a risk and said "so does this mean your tombstone will read: great friend, mother, wife and restricter?" Thankfully, she laughed. Although it's great to bring humor into this work, eating disorders are certainly no laughing matter. This young girl is not unlike many others; she's looking for something to make her feel good about herself, something to be good at, to give her life meaning. Unfortunately, this desire gets projected onto the body all too often in a relentless battle towards perfection and ultimately ends in emptiness. Alternately, connection, purposeful work, philanthropy and spirituality hold much more promise when it comes to creating a richer, more substantial life.
I leave a little book called The Pocket Pema Chodrin by my bedside. Every once in a while, I'll open it and see where I land and what nugget of wisdom this Buddhist nun will bestow on me. Today, this passage was so apropos, I decided to share it in hopes that it might help any of you who are struggling with perfection whether it be via the body or any other form.
Perfection is like death
We think that if we just meditated enough or jogged or ate perfect food, everything would be perfect. But from the point of view of someone who is awake, that's death. Seeking security or perfection, rejoicing in feeling confirmed and whole, self-contained and comfortable, is some kind of death. It doesn't have any fresh air. There's no room for something to come in and interrupt all that. We are killing the moment by controlling our experience. Doing this is setting ourselves up for failure, because sooner or later, we're going to have an experience we can't control: our house is going to burn down, someone we love is going to die, we're going to find out we have cancer, or somebody's going to spill tomato juice [or ketchup] all over our white suit [yoga pants or jeans].
The essence of life is that it's challenging. Sometimes it is sweet, and sometimes it is bitter. Sometimes your body tenses, and sometimes it relaxes or opens. Sometimes you have a headache, and sometimes you feel 100 percent healthy. From an awakened perspective, trying to tie up all the loose ends and finally get it together is death, because it involves rejecting a lot of your basic experience. There is something aggressive about that approach to life, trying to flatten out all the rough spots and imperfections into a nice smooth ride. To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to be always in no-man's-land, to experience each moment completely new and fresh.
~ Pema Chodrin
Protein Boosts for Gluten/Casein/Soy Free Diets
For children with multiple allergies or sensitities, getting adequate protein can be a challenge. Although the typical American diet includes plenty of protein, it's the protein in foods that cause allergic reactions and food intolerances. Take dairy for instance - there are 8 grams of protein in a glass of milk but only 1 gram in rice or almond milk. Protein is important for growth, brain function and energy. An average 2-3 year old needs 15-20g of protein. This is no problem for the adult who easily consumes this in a single meal. But for a picky toddler with food allergies, it's another story. Here are some easy ways to add a little protein to your child's selective diet. Note, I've included some food allergens so just focus on the items your child CAN eat.
1. Add peanut butter to smoothies, toast and homeade baked goods
2. Add egg white protein (Deb-El Just Whites) to milk alternative of choice, smoothies, coconut or almond milk yogurts
3. Substitute 1/2 the flour with chia powder in baking
4. Use almond or bean flour in baking
5. Opt for quinoa pasta which has 8g of protein per cup versus 2g in rice pasta
6. Make homeade snack bars with nuts seeds and high protein flours like this recipe for Gluten-free & Vegan Breakfast Bars
7. Brush egg white onto homeade pizza dough or bagels
8. Mix beans, pea protein or vegetable protein powder into pasta sauces, stir-fry or other mixed dishes
10. Make popsicles out of frozen fruits & juices blended with various milks and protein powder
Shoot for (2) 8g servings of protein a day for toddlers or check out this formula to calculate your child's individual protein needs How Much Protein Does Your Child Need?