bozeman dietitian

What is 'Healthy'?

 
(This is the first pic that showed up when I typed 'healthy' into the stock photos site - I thought it was general, but fitting. Happiness can play a role in your healthy too, can't it?)

(This is the first pic that showed up when I typed 'healthy' into the stock photos site - I thought it was general, but fitting. Happiness can play a role in your healthy too, can't it?)

 

 

Everyone seems to have a different definition of 'healthy.' Which I think is great. There is no one definition and it is totally personal to your beliefs, health needs, lifestyle, and more. 

My healthy is a lot of different things. It means having the energy to do the things I love; being mindful and doing my best to listen to my hunger and fullness cues; choosing foods that make my body feel good most often; including lots of veggies; getting a good night's sleep on most nights; being active but choosing the types of activities I enjoy; being flexible around food and not having restrictions or labeling foods as 'good' or 'bad'; allowing myself to have chocolate or cookies or beer or fries if I want to.

I'm sure most people I see at my local co-op would include  'local' and 'organic' in their definition, while some of my patients at the hospital may include low saturated fat and sodium, and those with celiac may include gluten-free in their definition. I think this is great, and goes to show that there is no one perfect 'diet' or way of eating. Each person is unique and so are their health and nutrition needs.

 

 

You may or may not know that many of the food claims we read on food packages are regulated and defined by the FDA or USDA ('low-sodium', 'good source of', 'light' or 'lite', 'natural', 'organic', etc.)

In 2015, KIND bars were called out for labeling their bars as 'healthy.' Although they're made up of most poly and monounsaturated fats, the total fat content in the bars exceeded the amount allowed by the government's definition.

'Healthy' was originally defined back in the 90s when we all feared fat. Now that we know how essential fat is to our brain and body functions, and that different types of fat act differently in the body, we're taking another look at the word (20 years later!).

 

So, my question for you is...

How do you define 'healthy'? What does 'healthy' mean to you?

Is it based on certain nutrients or food groups? Does it have rules and regulations? Does it include exercise, movement, a good night's sleep? Is it your relationship with food? Let me know!

 

(btw...healthy can now be used on food labels if the fat content is primarily composed of mono and polyunsaturated fats or if the product contains at least 10% of the recommended daily value of either potassium or vitamin D)

5 Protein Filled Snacks to Bring on the Go

Some snacks keep us full till our next meal, while some snacks make us hungry half an hour later. The key to a good snack is protein. Protein helps to fill us up and keeps us full longer by slowing digestion. It is the key to satiety. Here are a few simple and delicious snack ideas that are easy to keep in your car, purse, or desk and will help keep you full till your next meal.

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1. Roasted Chickpeas or Edamame
Whether storebought or homemade these make a great high protein snack to bring on the go. Just a 1/2 cup of edamame or chickpeas contains 9 grams and 20 grams of protein, respectively. Although many companies are making these now (I like Biena Snacks and Seapoint Farms), they are just as easy (and likely cheaper) to make on your own. To make at home, place the beans on a sheet pan season how you like. Cinnamon is great on chickpeas! Cumin, or just salt, pepper, and a little olive oil are great choices too! Roast at 375 for about 30 mins. 

2. Homemade Trail Mix
If you're one of those people that picks out the peanuts or the raisins, etc. from the traditional store bought trail mix, it may be worth your while to make your own! Besides, many store bought varieties are filled with candy and sugar, something we may consider treat foods. Add the ingredients you like! I love almonds, walnuts (omega-3s!), popcorn (great source of fiber), and a few chocolate chips in mine :)

3. Peanut Butter Packets
There are so many varieties out there now! These make great, easy, and filling snacks to bring on the go. Pair with an apple, banana, celery sticks, whole wheat crackers, or eat it straight from the packet. You could also add a tablespoon or two to a small container to save a bit on cost. When buying peanut butter, I recommend the natural varieties. Read the ingredients, it should list peanuts and perhaps a bit of salt. Many of the pouch varieties have a bit of sugar added in as well. Choose varieties without hydrogenated oils (trans fats will soon to be out of our food supply!)

4. Tuna Pouch
Tuna is a great source of lean protein and omega-3s. The American Heart Association recommends we eat fish at least 2 times each week. Bumble Bee makes vacuum packed pouches that are easy for a day out and about- no need to refrigerate or drain any liquid. Pair it with whole wheat crackers or apple slices for a bit of crunch.

5. Meat Sticks or Jerky
I seem to be noticing more and more packaged, dried meat products lately. Vermont Meat Sticks are one of my favorites, they come in 8 flavors and have 6 grams of protein per stick. Epic and Krave are also popular brands that make some pretty awesome jerky. Like many packaged foods, jerky can be quite high in sodium. If sodium is something you are concerned with, be sure to read the nutrition facts labels (Epic products seem to be lower in sodium).