Kitchen makeover means a healthier diet in the New Year

Kitchen Makeover Means a Healthier Diet in New Year

FOLLOW THESE STEPS TO GIVE YOUR KITCHEN A HEALTHY MAKEOVER FOR THE START OF THE NEW YEAR

There is no better time than the first day in the first week of a brand new year to make a fresh start on the road to healthy eating. And there’s no better place to take the first step on that journey than your kitchen. January 1st is a perfect time to clean out your cabinets, purge your pantry and rid your refrigerator of any foods that might sabotage your diet in 2012.

Let me lead the way to your kitchen makeover!

The first thing you must consider is whether you alone can take control the contents of your kitchen? If not, you will need to include the other decision makers in your household before undertaking this project.

Next you must have a clear vision of what types of foods your new eating plan includes. Does it allow pasta sauce in a jar or just canned tomatoes to make your own sauce? Can you eat tortilla chips if they are made from organically grown corn, yet still snack chips? Will you be able to use any of your collection of bottled salad dressings, or must they all go?

Once you have those guidelines in place, you’ll need a large trash bag for the food you’ll dispose of and a sturdy box for the food you can donate. And you’ll need a pad to begin writing your shopping list of the better-for-you replacement foods you’ll need to buy when you’re done.

Starting with the cabinets, cupboards and pantry, remove everything in a jar, bottle, can, box, bag, or pouch. Immediately discard anything opened that does not “belong” in your new food plan. Then put the unopened versions of any unwanted foods in the donation box.

Now make a list of the items you’ll need to fill in the gaps with the good stuff.

The final step is to wipe down the shelves before returning just those foods you want to see on your plate at future meals.

With that done you’re ready to tackle the refrigerator and freezer. Start with containers stored on the shelves in the doors of the refrigerator. Remove everything from those shelves, sort it, discard what you don’t want, clean the shelves and return the items you want to keep. Don’t forget to add the foods to your shopping list you want to replace. Next empty the drawers and do the same thing. Then you can clear out the open shelves and lastly, hit the freezer.

This is just one step towards better eating habits, but it’s a giant step. You can’t continue your habit of eating a bowl of ice cream in front of the TV every night if there’s no ice cream in the freezer. And you can’t establish your habit to eat more brown rice and whole grain pasta if they aren’t in the cupboard.

Wishing you a satisfying journey on the road to good nutrition!

Food Trends Forecast What We’ll Eat in the New Year

Best Top Ten Food Trends for 2012 From The Everyday Dietitian

TOP TEN FOOD TRENDS FOR THE NEW YEAR PICKED BY THE EVERYDAY DIETITIAN

The final predictions have been made for what we’ll see on restaurant menus in 2012 and what foods we’ll be serving at home. Based on all the forecasts from all of the experts, I have prepared my list of the Top Ten Food Trends I found most favorable, foreboding or fascinating for the coming year.

The Hartman Group – This market research firm studies consumer culture and behavior and sees a continuing shift away from traditional meals. Their forecast for 2012 and beyond has is eating alone more, less eating together as a family and more doing your own thing, more snacks/ fewer meals, distinct “food occasions” replacing traditional meal categories and food decisions for “immediate consumption” based on mood or whimsy.

Technomic – The visionaries at this food service research and consulting firm predict the uncertain economy will make consumers less willing to take risks when dining out, so familiar foods will be given a new twist instead. Expect innovations in sandwiches, wraps, pizza and pasta. Cost-consciousness will also be seen by the use of simpler ingredients, such as beans, artisan grains and cheaper cuts of meat, presented as “rustic fare” in place of premium ingredients.

Mintel Group, Ltd. Anticipating ongoing economic and health concerns, these forecasters say restaurants will feature more “Double-Sided” menus giving consumers the choice of healthy options on one side and the usual indulgences on the other. This concept will also allow restaurants to offer premium and value pricing on opposite sides of the menu.

Phil Lempert’s Supermarket NewsSupermarket Guru Phil Lempert describes “Xtreme Home Cooking” as a way people will save money in 2012. Home cooks will strive to make the ultimate “value meal” by placing price and taste ahead of convenience. Lempert also says stores will be catering to the 76 million baby boomers now turning 65 who will control over half of the $706 billion spent on groceries by 2015! As the largest food influencers and purchasers, manufacturers will be motivated to develop more products featuring health and wellness benefits.

Small Business Food Trends – Entrepreneurial restaurant owners looking for an edge will be serving more appetizers or small plate portions on their menus. Customers love them because they allow sampling and sharing, appeal to health-conscious diners and are less expensive than entrees. Chefs like them because they can experiment with new ingredients and recipes without great risk.

Leatherhead Food Research They predict a continuing rise in the sales of “free-from” foods, such as free-from gluten, lactose, soy or nuts, to meet the demands of both the growing aging population and more health and nutrition conscious younger consumers.

Functional Ingredients and Nutraceuticals World – Both of these ingredient suppliers anticipate consumers will continue their search for “clean” labels. They say “pure” is the new “natural” and the meaning of “green” has diversified beyond responsible and sustainable to also mean ethical, less wasteful and more authentic.

The Food Channel A key trend in their sights for 2012 is more “Shopping Schizophrenia” with the revival of butchers, bakers and other specialty food shops right in your neighborhood. These Mom & Pop shops offer a more intimate shopping experience to compete with one-stop shopping in big box stores.

National Restaurant AssociationKids are prominent in the NRA’s vision for 2012. They see more healthful kids’ meals on restaurant menus, children’s nutrition as a culinary theme, more whole grain items in kids’ menus and smaller versions of adult meals served as “children’s mini-meals.”

American Council on ExerciseWeight loss won’t just about diet and exercise in 2012, it will include “lifestyle coaching.” Gyms will staff nutritionists, physical therapists and psychologists in addition to personal trainers to conduct “wellness programs.” Local employers will use these services to try to keep their work force healthy. There will be more mobile apps for interactive and online workouts accessible from smartphones and tablets.

What’s on your list of Top Ten Foods to Eat in 2012?

How to select the right diet foods for your holiday menu

Diet Foods for the Holiday Menu

USE THIS CHECKLIST BEFORE SHOPPING FOR SPECIAL DIET FOODS

Preparing a holiday meal is no longer a matter of recreating the traditional family recipes handed down through the generations. Now more than ever people are following medically prescribed or self-styled diets that make menu planning a challenge. And when extended family members don’t gather around the table that often, it’s even harder to know who eats what?

Let me offer some advice.

If you’re hosting the meal, ask in advance about special food restrictions so you’re prepared. You don’t have to be a short-order cook, but you should have something on the menu for everyone. Recipes can be modified and alternate ingredients used to make them fit.

If you’re going to be a guest, don’t make assumptions about what will be served. Call ahead to explain not only what foods you can’t have, but what you can. Then offer to bring something from the “can eat” side of your diet.

Here’s a quick checklist of 10 lesser known diets to guide you before you go shopping:

Special Diet Checklist

  1. Baby Food Diet – Only allows pureed baby food in jars as snacks or for up to two meals a day
  2. Gluten-Free Diet – No croutons, bread stuffing, crumb-topping, rolls, pie crust
  3. Low Carb Diet – No potatoes, yams, winter squash, any of the gluten-free choices, anything candied, cranberry sauce, fruit, dessert other than nuts
  4. Halal Observant – No coffee, tea, alcohol, pork, gelatin, improperly killed animals
  5. DASH Food Plan – Very little added salt and mostly low sodium foods, no processed meats or high fat cuts, only low fat or fat free dairy products, lots of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds.
  6. Low Purine Diet – No organ meats, gravy, goose, butter and spreads, nuts, cream
  7. Macrobiotic Lifestyle – Depending on the stage, they may eat nothing more than brown rice or be a vegetarian who eats fish, but preferably only locally grown foods that are minimally processed
  8. Raw Food Diet – No cooked or commercially processed plant foods, although blending, pureeing and dehydrating them is acceptable
  9. Stone-Age, Caveman or Paleo Diet – Only those foods that could be obtained by hunting, fishing or gathering, nothing grown by modern agriculture or made by food processing
  10. Low Residue Diet – No whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, coconut, raw vegetables, edible fruit skins or seeds