Nutrition News

This category contains 106 posts

The 4th of July 2018

The 4th of July 2018 – food recovery

Elaine Hastings and her dad giving food tips and recovery from over eating. The 4th of July 2018.

Ritz Carlton Naples Florida.

Food Safety after flood and power outage… now what?



Food Safety after flood and power outage… now what?

Food Safety after flood and power outage… now what?

What does your kitchen color say about you?

Kitchen Color affects Weight, Nutrition, Health & Mood
Your kitchen is the center of your nutritional hub. It’s where you make your decisions on how (and how often) to fuel your own body, and the bodies of others you may be responsible for feeding. For some of you, it’s also the place where meals are served and consumer: at a bar or island, for example, or a casual kitchen table.
You’ve already taken control of what goes in your refrigerator; now summer’s your chance to take control of the mood your kitchen sets. Believe it or not, the color of your kitchen walls can have an impact on your diet. Perhaps it’s time to evaluate how you want your kitchen to make you feel, and seize the day.

Learn how to get started on your weight loss!

First of all, there’s a reason that McDonald’s, Burger King, and every fast food restaurant known to man incorporates red and yellow in their logos and décor. Want to guess why? Let’s start with yellow. This cheery hue is good for optimism and hope. But it also stimulates the appetite, pure and simple. You just thought you wanted a salad . . . now you want a Big Mac with fries.

Yellow is happy, but to overweight people, it can also be a tad dangerous when applied to kitchen walls. Better to let a good workout stimulate the appetite than the mere presence of a color.

Unless, of course, you are underweight. (Yes, we know you’re out there, even though those “other” people get all the reality shows). Need to beef up? Head for the yellow section of the paint store and slather it on. Think butter, egg yolks, lemons . . . mmm, I’m getting hungry already. But yellow helps the memory, so it could be useful if mom’s not available for a recipe consult.

Orange stimulates learning. If you’re a new cook, or aspiring chef or nutritionist, opt for orange. As for red, it is a complex color, perhaps the most of all. Red engages us and brings out our emotions. Remember the saying “seeing red?” Here’s the amazing thing about this color: to calm people, it is exciting, in a good way, a little thrilling. But for folks who are more anxious in nature, red is disturbing.

The last thing you want is to be disturbed 8-12 times a day, so be honest with yourself about your nature, and that of others with whom you may live.
Red walls trigger the release of adrenaline (which can be good for cooking, I suppose). And like yellow, it also stimulates the appetite, while simultaneously stimulating the sense of smell. If your idea of a romantic evening is enjoying a glass of red wine, cutting up some veggies, and canoodling, while sautéing a clove or two of garlic . . . then you know what to do. Red walls can also increase your blood pressure and breathing rate, but then again, you’ll never know if it’s the walls or the canoodling.

Blue is opposite of yellow, on the color wheel, and in terms of appetite. It decreases blood pressure, the breathing rate, and the desire to eat, as do indigo and violet. So if you’re determined to drop 20, 30, even 40 pounds . . . coat your walls in hues of blueberries, grapes or plums. This will also remind you to eat antioxidants, which is a good thing. You win on two counts! Pink is also proven as a winning weight-control color, at none other than prestigious Johns Hopkins Medical University in Baltimore.

Violet is known for its ability to create balance. So as you’re planning your menus or dishing out portions of lean protein, fresh veggies and multigrain bread, look to your walls for inspiration. (Violet is also good for migraine sufferers)

This brings us to green, the color of all things fresh and good for our bodies. Green is relaxing, and also creates a sense of balance. It relaxes the body, and helps those who suffer from nervousness, anxiety or depression. Green may also aid in raising blood histamine levels, reducing sensitivity to food allergies. Antigens may also be stimulated by green, for overall better immune system healing. They don’t tell us this in the paint section at Home Depot, do they?

Placing your sunlit fresh herbs near a green wall brings the outdoors in. Which might also make you think about starting a garden, going for a walk or run, or cycling around the neighborhood. This is a win-win.

Brown enhances a feeling of security, reduces fatigues and is relaxing. Black is a power color. If you have six-packs and you know it, raise your hand. Gray is the most neutral of all colors for the kitchen: not much happening there. Brighter hues inspire creativity and energy, while darker colors are peaceful and lower stress. Beige and off white are “learning” colors, if you need to justify it to a partner with a bright personality.

Make good choices, on your walls, as well as your plate. What color should your kitchen be?

Family, Friends & Food

with Elaine Hastings, RD, LD/N

My childhood has been filled with memories of some of the most wonderful family gatherings that included a huge extended family of aunts, uncles, 1st, 2nd & even 3rd cousins; if you were not blood-related by the time you left one of our gatherings you became an adopted family member. Coming from a traditional European family (consisting of Turkish, Hungarian, Armenian, and Polish descent), you would find some of the most exotic homemade dishes such as Pierogies covered in sour cream, Chicken Paprikash laden with sour cream and served over dumplings, Cream of Mushroom soup poured over the most fluffy, buttered filled mashed potatoes and Rice Pilaf sautéed in butter. Of course, the aroma would fill the air of all the delicious desserts such as rolled coffee cakes filled with nuts, poppy seeds, and sugar.

  Cody Ratcliffe and his grandfather getting ready for their next Turkish meal in Kadikoy, Turkey

As I entered my teenage years, I realized that many of these people that I come to love were passing away at a very early age due to health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease brought on by their poor eating habits (many in their 50s); at the same time as I found myself dealing with my own self-image to manage my weight. I was driven not to gain weight and became obsessed with being the best athlete that I could be; the problem was that I did not think about nutrition and hindered my chance to be a pro-athlete. Recognizing that poor eating habits jeopardized my ability to live a happy and healthy life was the turning point in my life and it was then that I made my decision to become a Registered Dietitian so that I could help others who struggle with their eating habits.

Today’s society has marketed a belief that there is a miracle pill out there; anybody who tells you you’re going to drop 10 pounds in five days and keep it off is not offering you a healthy eating plan that should include a variety of food groups. Fad diets will not teach you how to eat in moderation and watch your portion sizes (have you noticed they come and go). Today my family continues their traditional family gatherings, but many of these exotic dishes have been replaced by low and fat-free dishes. Our family is much more committed to change those statistics of dying young. You will find our family and friends being very open with each other and sharing their struggles with food, lack of exercise, and encouraging each other to keep trying. When you ask me why I choose my career path, all you have to do is look around at the human race and see how we are struggling to remain healthy as we continue to live in a world that is a faster pace than we can keep up with.

Elaine Hastings is a registered dietitian of Associates in Nutrition Therapy in Fort Myers. She has been practicing for over 20 years and has been the past president of the Southwest Florida Dietetic Association.  A “nutrition entrepreneur,” she works contractually and is also a writer, motivational speaker, product researcher, counselor, sports nutrition, and eating disorder awareness advocate. You can contact Elaine at info@elainehastings.com or call her at 239-281-7955 or visit her at http://www.AssociatesinNutrition.com.

#eatgreatbegreat #thenutritionkid


When to buy organic produce?

DietLike.Me with Elaine Sirt-Hastings 
We should celebrate, though. Florida is a fertile source for many produce favorites and when our growing season is over, our neighbors to the north are still harvesting delicious fresh vegetables and fruits for us to enjoy.

Eat Great. Be Great

Savannah Hastings. The Nutrition Kid

We learn that ignorance is bliss, however, when we discover that celery can be coated in 67 pesticides. Yes, sorry, that tuna salad in the fridge is possibly dosing your family with chemicals designed to kill weeds and creepy crawly pests.
However, a new report by nonprofit public health advocates Environmental Working Group is a blessing to all of us who like to keep our produce drawers full and our doctor visits to a minimum. 
The report is the result of poring through thousands and thousands of USDA pesticide reports. This determined which fruits and veggies have the best and worst chemical residue.

Here’s the good news. You can reduce your pesticide exposure by up to 80 percent simply by buying the organic version of the 12 worst offenders. This is an easy change which makes a major difference in your family’s health risks. And you’ll be hard-pressed to say it’s an expensive change, when you factor the cost against the reward.
The U.S. government says ingesting low volumes of pesticide is not harmful. But several scientific studies have shown possible links between pesticides and cancer, nervous system problems, weakened immune systems and attention deficit disorder.
The “Dirty Dozen” produce list is compiled of 12 items that contain 47 to 67 pesticides per serving. Here, in no particular order, are the 12 fruits and veggies you should definitely consider buying in the organic version: apples, celery, domestic blueberries, imported grapes, lettuce, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, spinach/kale/collard greens, strawberries and sweet bell peppers. The report lumps all the dark leafy greens together, making them easier to remember.
You’ll have to go to a little more effort to find organic versions of the risky 12, but you do have options. Mother Earth Natural Foods, Whole Foods, Fresh Market and The Sandy Butler carry many of these items in their organic section. Sweetbay and Publix also offer pesticide-free produce, so take note what’s available in the store where you usually shop, or explore a new source. 
Punta Gorda’s own Worden Farm has a subscription service for its organic produce; check out its website to see what’s grown there.
I also like to buy cage-free, organic eggs.
The report’s news isn’t all bad. Have a look at the fruits and veggies that are least likely to be covered in pesticides, but don’t get these lists mixed up.
The cleanest produce outside the organic section are logically deduced, to some degree: many have protective outer coverings that are inedible. They include asparagus, avocados, cabbage, cantaloupe, eggplant, grapefruit, kiwi, mango, onions, pineapple, sweet corn, sweet onions, sweet peas, sweet potatoes and watermelon.
You might want to tuck this column into your purse or glove box until its contents are committed to memory. Now what’s for dinner?
#eatgreatbegreat #thenutritionkid

Eating healthy doesn’t have to cost more! 

Eating healthy doesn’t have to cost more! #eatgreatbegreat #winknews #winknewsnow

1200 Calorie Meal Plan

with Elaine Hastings, Registered Dietitian …

The Nutrition Kid: Lions and tigers and berries, oh my! 

Nutrition Notes: Berries may slow aging, protect against ailments

By: The Nutrition Kid 

Elaine Sirt, RD, LD/N, CSSD

Lions and tigers and berries, oh my! When following the yellow brick road to good health, berries are a wonderful snack to enjoy along the way.

costa rica missions trip- savannah hastings

costa rica missions trip breakfast w/ Savannah Hastings

You may already be adding sliced strawberries to your granola or cereal in the morning, but once you uncover the many different health benefits of berries, you will want to add those little marvels to every meal. Why not? They are berry, berry good for your skin, health and heart. Check out one of my favorite skin care experts…  Brazilian Silouette

Berries are the perfect snack food. Not only are they naturally sweet and low in calories, but they are also high in fiber, making them a great choice for fending off the between-meal munchies. In addition, berries are loaded with vitamin C and powerful antioxidant that give your immune system a boost while helping to prevent the cell damage that leads to diseases such as cancer.
Eating the sweet treats may even help slow down the natural aging process, improving skin’s appearance from the inside out. Berries are truly little wonders of nature. Each type of berry carries its own special health properties. 
For example:

– Blueberries contain anthocyanins, a group of 

antioxidants that help with memory functions.

– Raspberries are full of ellagic acid, a compound that is known for its cancer-fighting abilities.

– Strawberries are high in vitamin C, a powerful anti-inflammatory agent.

– Cranberries contain compounds that can treat or prevent many urinary tract infections.

In addition, research is under way to determine how different berries contribute to weight loss. In order to obtain the wide spectrum of health benefits that berries provide, it is best to add a variety of different types to your diet.

Choosing from the large selection of berries that are available in your local farmers market, supermarket or health food store will prove to be a fun and delicious experience. Along with the more well-known choices such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and cranberries, expand your tastes by Exploring the delectable flavors of blackberries, boysenberries, currants and honeyberries.

Selecting fresh, local, organic berries is always the best option, yet berries retain most of their nutritional value even when they are frozen or dehydrated. So, stock up on fresh berries when they are in season, but feel free to opt for canned, frozen and dried berries to benefit from their valuable phytonutrients year-round.

Just be sure to read nutrition labels when buying dried or frozen berries. Steer clear of those that contain added sugar or are packed in heavy syrup, which adds unnecessary calories.

With just a quick rinse, most berries are ready to be tossed into a storage bag or portable container for easy snacking on the go. While berries are delicious and easy to enjoy on their own, there are many more ways to enjoy those nutritional powerhouses.

– Blend frozen berries with fat-free yogurt for a refreshing smoothie.

– Top fresh berries with low-fat whipped topping for a speedy dessert.

– Add berries to whole-grain waffles or pancakes for a filling breakfast.

– Layer berries with granola and yogurt for a decadent parfait.

Now that you know the numerous health benefits surrounding berries, and are ready to add them to every meal, head out to your local market or produce stand to load up on the ultimate treat – just watch out for any lions, tigers and bears on the way.




Men’s HEALTH and VITAMIN D… Are you defecient? 

Are you defecient?  

42% Of Americans Are Deficient In Vitamin D. 

Here’s How That Affects Your HealthThis shockingly common health problem can take years off your life
June 22, 2016

Don’t end up with vitamin d deficiency!

Savannah Hastings + vitamin D

Savannah Hastings + vitamin D

If you live in North America, there’s a pretty good chance you’re low on vitamin D. About 42% of U.S. adults are deficient in the nutrient, according to the journal Nutrition Research.

And that’s not good. A vitamin D deficiency is associated with a slew of health risks. 

No one’s exactly sure why low levels of D are tied with poorer health outcomes. However, experts suggest that the Institute of Medicine’s current recommended daily intake—600 IU for men and women—is simply too low.

“Optimal blood levels of vitamin D to reduce your risk of disease is 28 to 42 ng/mL,” says Joel Fuhrman, MD, author of Super Immunity. “Many people need about 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day to achieve that level.”

He suggests getting your vitamin D levels checked by your doctor in order to determine how much D you need to raise your levels within the optimal range.

Here’s the lowdown on how a vitamin D deficiency can seriously compromise your well-being and take years off your life.

1. You’re more likely to be depressed.

People with low levels of vitamin D in their blood were more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression than those with higher levels, according to a study in the British Journal of Psychiatry that included more than 31,000 participants.

The hippocampus and other areas of the brain involved in regulating your mood contain vitamin D receptors, so low levels may affect the ability of these regions to function normally, researchers suggest.

2. You’re less likely to survive cancer.

Cancer patients who have higher levels of vitamin D when they’re diagnosed tend to live longer and remain in remission longer than patients who are deficient, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Researchers found that every 10-point increase in vitamin D levels was associated with a 4 percent increase in survival among people with cancer. The strongest link between vitamin D and survival rates were found in patients with lymphoma, colorectal cancer, and breast cancer. 

3. You’re more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer.

The risk of aggressive prostate cancer was 4 to 5 times greater in men with low vitamin D levels, according to a study in the journal Clinical Cancer Research. The reason isn’t yet understood, though researchers say that screening for vitamin D deficiency and treating it may become an essential part of cancer care.

4. You have an increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Adults who were moderately deficient in vitamin D had a 53 percent increased risk of developing dementia, and those who were severely deficient had a 125 percent increased risk of the disease compared to individuals with healthy levels, reports a study in the journal Neurology.

A deficiency in the nutrient was also associated with up to a 122 percent increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

More research is needed to better understand the connection, but researchers suggest that you face a double whammy as you age: Not only are you more at risk of developing cognitive problems, your skin becomes less efficient at converting sunlight into vitamin D, putting you at an increased risk of deficiency.

5. You may be more likely to have psoriatic arthritis.

About 30 percent of patients who have psoriasis also have a condition called psoriatic arthritis, in which the immune system attacks the joints causing pain and inflammation.

And a recent study found that up to 62 percent of people with psoriatic arthritis have insufficient levels of vitamin D, reports the journal Arthritis Care & Research. Previous research shows that low levels of D may make inflammatory conditions such as psoriatic arthritis worse, possibly by increasing white blood cell levels.

6. You may be at risk for more severe heart disease.

People with vitamin D deficiency had a 32 percent increased risk of coronary artery disease compared to those with normal levels.

They were also 20 percent more likely to have a severe form of the disease, affecting multiple vessels, according to research presented at last year’s American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session.

Vitamin D may improve immune function and control inflammation throughout the body, which can help reduce the risk of heart trouble, researchers say. (Check out 7 more weird ways you’re increasing your risk of heart disease.)

7. You could get pneumonia.

The risk of developing pneumonia is more than 2.5 times greater in people with the lowest vitamin D levels in their blood, researchers at the University of Eastern Finland found. Previous research suggests that vitamin D deficiency weakens the immune system, which increases your risk of contracting illnesses such as respiratory infections.

8. You’re more at risk of being developing schizophrenia.

People with vitamin D deficiency were more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia compared to people who had sufficient blood levels of the vitamin, reports the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. More research is needed to understand the role vitamin D plays in psychiatric health.

9. It may speed up multiple sclerosis.

Previous research has found that low vitamin D levels are associated with an increased risk of neuromuscular disorders such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and others. Now, a new study suggests that if you have multiple sclerosis, low levels of D could speed the severity and progression of the disease, JAMA Neurology reports.

Researchers found that early-stage multiple sclerosis patients with adequate levels of vitamin D had a 57 percent lower rate of new brain lesions and a 57 percent lower relapse rate than those with lower vitamin D levels.

Identifying and treating vitamin D deficiency should become part of the care newly diagnosed patients receive and may actually boost the effectiveness of certain therapies such as interferon beta-1b, the researchers say.

10. You’re more likely to die prematurely.

People with low blood levels of vitamin D are more likely to pass away sooner than those with normal levels, reports an analysis of 32 studies published in The American Journal of Public Health.

People with vitamin D levels less than 30 ng/mL had the highest risk of premature death due to all causes than those with levels greater than 30 ng/mL. More isn’t always better: Researchers found no additional benefit for people with levels above 50 ng/mL.

The 10 Worst Things That Can Happen When You Don’t Get Enough Vitamin D originally ran on Prevention.com



March 2023
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