Omega 3’s are Important

Omega 3’s are Important

 

rudog omega 3 liquid supplement with vitamin D3

Omega 3 Capsule with Vitamin D3.

There is so much to say about Omega 3’s, I am simply going to devote the next several posts to talking about what they are and why they are important.

Omega 3’s are a type of fatty acid that is unsaturated. For the chemistry buffs out there, this means that they have one or more double bonds. In other words, the double bonds means there is more room for more hydrogen. Thus the term “unsaturated”. They ARE NOT saturated with hydrogen.

The number (as in omega 3) indicates where the first double bond occurs. So with an omega 3, the first double bond is 3 carbons from the end of the fatty acid chain. You have probably heard of other types of fatty acids, like omega 6 or omega 9.

When a fatty acid only has 1 double bond present, it is referred to as a MONO (meaning 1) unsaturated fat. When there are several double bonds, they are referred to as POLY unsaturated fats.

Ok, that’s enough chemistry.

Omega 3 fatty acids have studied for their protective effects on the cardiovascular system. The research goes back to the early 70’s, and the body of research since then has continued to affirm these results. Research has also begun showing positive effects of omega 3’s in brain and retinal development. This is why you will see infant formulas supplemented with DHA and EPA. These are the two types of omega 3 fatty acids associated with these benefits.

Additional research is also looking at the role of omega 3’s in Alzheimer’s Disease, depression disorders, chronic inflammation, inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. The list goes on, but this gives you an idea of how significant these fatty acids can be.

This is absolutely something you should be supplementing on a regular basis. The Rudog Omega is a concentrated liquid filled CAPSULE with NO aftertaste or burping. Taking it every other day is plenty, unless you just never eat fish. If that’s the case, then simply 1/day is sufficient. Each bottle has 60 capsules, so should last you 2-4 months.

Ladies—do you want healthier hair and skin? This is how you get it.  Order some today! Rudog Omega is only $25.

Mary Cabral, RD/LD

Tuna Tataki

This is such an easy recipe and the taste is amazing. To start, you have to purchase some good tuna steaks. Fresh tuna is very expensive right now, but there are certainly frozen varieties that are fine to use. I actually purchase my steaks from Market Street. They have a seafood freezer where they have a great selection of shrimp, scallops, and fish. The tuna is hidden in there :). You can purchase two steaks for roughly $12-$18 dollars.
You only need to partially thaw the tuna before you cook it. I usually let it thaw in cold water (still in its vacuum pack) for about 30 minutes. It should be sort of soft on the outside, but still very firm or partially frozen in the center. Get a large bowl of ice water ready and set aside. While the tuna is thawing, this is a good time to fix your rice. It can be cooking while you are preparing the dressing and the tuna.

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For the Dressing:
4 Tbsp Soy sauce plus 2 tsp
2 Tbsp Rice wine vinegar plus 2 tsp
4 tsp Water
1 tsp Sugar
2 Tbsp Peanut oil plus 1 tsp
2 Tbsp Sesame oil plus 1 tsp

Combine the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, water and sugar and whisk well. Continue to whisk oils slowly into the soy sauce mixture. You can adjust the ingredients to suit your taste preferences. Set aside until ready to use.

Cooking the tuna:
Remove partially thawed tuna from the packaging and place on a cutting board. Sprinkle kosher salt on both sides and then completely cover with fresh ground pepper on both sides.
Preheat a non-stick skillet to medium high and let it get really hot. Place the tuna in the skillet and let it cook just until the side that is facing down begins to turn solid gray, but only a few millimeters thick. Turn and cook the other side the exact same amount of time, or until the solid color is the same thickness as side one. This happens FAST. You should also begin to see solid juices running out and striations in the fish just start to appear. Take it from the heat and immediately place in ice bath. The ice bath stops the cooking and allows the center of the fish to thaw completely, while keeping it very cold.

Get your choice of greens ready to go in your salad bowl. I usually use mixed greens, but arugula works well,too. Note: arugula is spicy! You might want to mix it with another type of green lettuce.

Take the tuna from the ice bath and pat dry with paper towel. Put back on cleaned cutting board and use a sharp knife to slice the tuna into thin slices. Use the parts of the tuna that won’t slice as a topping for the middle of your salad. I call these “nuggets”.

Lay the tuna slices on top of the salad greens. Drizzle your dressing on top and serve with a side of rice. You can also top with cilantro. Enjoy!

Mary Cabral, RD/LD
www.rudog.com

Get Your Weight Loss on Track!

Get Your Weight Loss on Track!

 

Look familiar?

Look familiar?

Get your weight loss on track?

Yes, yes, yes EVERYONE talks about doing something new at the beginning of each year. And then they talk about it AGAIN as summer approaches. This year will be no different. MILLIONS of dollars will be spent on gym memberships, trainers, bogus supplements, gluten free foods, Fitbits, pedometers, sauna suits, and NEW bathroom scales. (Because we all know the old one must be defective!)

The truth is, deep down inside, people believe that if they spend enough money on something it WILL work. It HAS to. Failure is not an option when your are heavily invested in something.

And yet, most people will fall off the exercise/diet/torture myself bandwagon because it simply isn’t sustainable long term. It’s exhausting and usually puts a person at odds with the realities of every day life.

How about no more bandwagons? No more New Year Restarts? How about learning to make small, significant changes to what you are already doing? How about getting real answers about supplements and taking only what is helpful and rooted in legitimate research? Maybe you need some help understanding your diabetes or your post-bariatric surgery diet. Maybe you just need a little “know how” when it comes to grocery shopping.

That’s what the dietitians at Rudog do. We help by educating you and working with you, where you are right now in your health pursuits. No gimmicks, no magic pills, just the truth.

If you need additional services, like a trainer or blood work done, we can point you in the right direction.

Talk to a real dietitian and get your questions answered today. Waiting changes nothing, calling can change something.

Your choice.

Mary Cabral, Registered Dietitian  (9728808443)

Some visits could be covered by insurance, always ask!

 

Why Rudog is the Right Choice

Why Rudog is the Right Choice

Most of our clients already have a very good understanding of the basics, they just need some help figuring out how to put them into practice or stay focused.

You may be looking for some help understanding and managing:

  • Diabetes or your A1C
  • Hypertension
  • Cholesterol management
  • Inflammatory Bowel or flare ups
  • Anxiety

Maybe you are thinking about bariatric surgery, or are faced with having to do a revision. These are big decisions, and should not be taken lightly. Discipline with your diet is essential to your success. We already work with some of the most respected surgeons in the field of bariatric surgery. We know exactly what you are going through and we have dietitians that specialize in this area. Let us help you experience successful weight loss, healthfully.

Rudog can help you! We take the time to listen to you, answer your questions, and help you understand what to expect. We also take insurance, and many of the conditions listed above are covered by insurance.

If you are looking for supplement recommendations, Rudog is the place to be. We will answer your questions candidly and honestly. We can help you find the right kind of supplements for whatever your unique health or fitness situation is.  We are also your resource for information on CBD supplementation. You probably are curious and we are the perfect place to ask those questions!

For those who are athletes, your Rudog Dietitian will help you understand the significance of your diet to your performance and recovery. You will learn how to adjust your carbs and protein to get the most out of your workouts and minimize injury.  We will also work with you to build a healthy routine of workout, sleep, and recovery.

The Rudog Dietitians are all registered, licensed and clinically trained. They provide customized counseling in many areas including weight loss, diabetes management, post bariatric surgery meal planning, nutrition coaching, menu planning, and more.  We have dietitians that specialize in unique areas such as post bariatric surgery recovery and mixed martial arts.

Thank you for checking us out, we. look forward to working with you. We take many forms of insurance including BCBS, UHC, Cigna, and  some Aetna plans.

Mary Cabral, RD/LD
Owner, Rudog
[email protected]

Creamy Alaska Salmon Pasta

Creamy Alaska Salmon Pasta

This recipe is from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, check out more of their stuff by clicking here.

salmon Pasta

Ingredients:

I pkg      Macaroni or small shell pasta

½ cup    Creamy Garlic Herb or Lemon Dill Mix

1 Tbsp   butter

1              shallot, finely chopped (you can use a regular onion instead)

1 cup     Your favorite vegetable, like peas or mushrooms

1 tsp      lemon juice, preferably fresh

1 can      skinless, boneless salmon

 

Directions:

Cook pasta according to the package instructions and drain.

In a small sauce pan, gently heat the sauce of your choice and set aside.

In a large pan, melt butter and sauté shallot and vegetables until tender. Stir in the warmed sauce. Stir well.

Add the lemon juice, pasta, and salmon to the sauce mixture.  Toss well and serve.

 

 

Kitchen Shears: Get Some!

Kitchen Shears: Get Some!

A must have for the kitchen!

A must have for the kitchen!

Have you ever wondered if you needed kitchen shears? The answer is YES. Almost anything that can be done with a knife can be done with shears more easily, and often more safely. Here is a short list of some kitchen tasks that are perfect for shears:

  • Trimming any kind of meat, like chicken, pork, beef, fish and bacon
  • Cutting meats into pieces or chunks
  • Cutting herbs and salad greens
  • Cutting dried fruit
  • Trimming dough (like pie crusts, cookie dough, or pizzas dough)
  • Cutting whole canned tomatoes
  • Cutting vegetables (like cauliflower, broccoli, and asparagus)
  • Cutting pita bread or quesadillas
  • Cutting fresh noodles
  • Cutting crab claws or legs

I could keep going, but you get the idea. Shears are especially good for use with foods that are slippery, thick, or hard. A good pair of shears will also come apart for easy cleaning and drying. This is important to prevent rust. Many times shears will have additional features, such as bottle openers or shell and nut crackers.

For a good multipurpose shear, you want shears that have a carbon steel blade or stainless steel. Handles may come in various styles and materials, but ideally you want something coated with silicon because it is comfortable to hold. Blades that are serrated and offset are better suited for cutting slippery foods and for cutting at an angle.

There are shears specifically for cutting poultry. These will be more curved, and may also have a blunt tip that can help prevent meat from tearing apart.

Herb shears (or just multipurpose shears) are so much easier and safer to use than trying to snip or cut with a knife. Once you try it this way, you will NEVER go back to chopping again!

A good pair of shears will cost anywhere from $15-$50. You get what you pay for, so don’t be afraid to invest in something that is high quality and will last a while. I also suggest buying more than one pair. There are 4 pairs of shears in my kitchen and there are days where I wish I had one more pair.

(I cook a lot……)

Happy snipping!

Mary

How to evaluate advertising

It’s extremely important to be able to read supplement advertisements with a critical eye. Your health depends on it! With this article you are going to learn how to decide if a supplement is legitimate or not and what kind of questions are good to ask. First, start with common sense. Ask things like:

  • Does this sound too good to be true?
  • Does the add use lots of fancy terms and make big promises?
  • Is it expensive?

If the answer is “yes” to any of those questions, you should be suspicious. Then, ask more questions like the following:

  • What kind of research was done on the product? Was it done by a company NOT owned by the manufacturer? Was it a double blind study?
  • Has more than one study been done? Did any studies show the product NOT effective?
  • Was any of the research published in MAJOR peer-reviewed science journal (Journal of American Medical Association, Journal of Clinical Nutrition)
  • Is this product being promoted primarily by testimonials instead of scientific research?
  • Have there been any risks or side effects identified with use of the product?
  • Were the studies done on animals or people?

If an advertisement references clinical studies that have been done on their product, they are trying to make it sound like hard core, irrefutable studies have been done. You need to find out.  It’s important to know who PAID for the study to be done.  Results are more believable when studies are paid for and conducted by people who aren’t related to the product being studied. This removes the bias.  For example, if I am Gatorade and I have a new product that is supposed to help people run faster, I want to do research that actually yields this result. I am not interested in research that might say it doesn’t work. So I would do the research and studies myself. Hmmmmm….questionable.  However, I could hire a company to test my product for me.  That would be much less questionable. See the difference?

The design of the study contributes to the validity of the results. It’s important to point out that studies done on animals is cheaper and less complicated than using people. Usually, products have to be tested on animals before they can test on humans.  The bigger the study, the more complicated, the longer, the more control, the better. These are more expensive, though, and take much more time.  A random trial, or study, is preferred. This means the people in the study receiving the product were picked randomly and not pre-selected. Even better is a double blind study.  A double blind study means that the people in the study do not know if they are actually being given the product being tested, as well as the people conducting the study do not know who is being given the actual product. This is the best, but much more complicated and difficult to implement.

When a product has been well tested and has nothing to “hide”, it will be published in scientific journals. Not just magazines, but highly respected journals that are peer reviewed. This is important, because a journal that is peer-reviewed means that very strict criteria have been met by the article before it can be published. It has been reviewed, or looked at, by other professionals and has been thoroughly critiqued. This means the professionals have asked questions about the design of the study and the interpretation of the results. The author(s) of the article have to defend it. Once it is satisfactorily defended, only then will the peer group recommend it for publication. This is really, really important. Journals that do this are probably not ones that you read, but that you have heard of. JAMA, or Journal of the American Medical Association, is one. JCN, or Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is another. Popular magazines do NOT do this.  So, just because you read about something in a muscle or health magazine doesn’t necessarily mean you should accept it as fact. It means you should look for more information to back up what you have read.

Perhaps most importantly, you need to find out if the studies that were done showed any side effects (or death!!)  to use of the product.  Many times studies will say that no serious side effects were experienced after 6 weeks, or 6 months. But it is extremely important to know if there were any side effects after 1 yr, 5 yrs, 10 yrs, and 20 yrs! That means they have to study it for a really long time and spend a LOT of money to do it. That’s why many of the products in the supplement industry are questionable. They have not put the time and money into showing the safety of the product over a long period of time and at variable dosages.

So, based on what you have read here, you should have a pretty good comfort level with being able to assess whether or not a supplement is worth considering.   A few easy ones to start with:

  • Is this too good to be true?
  • Has it been independently studied? On animals or people?
  • How long was it studied for ?
  • What journals has it been published in?
  • Side effects?

When products can show that they have been independently researched, well published, and that the studies have produced consistent results, then you can start to consider them seriously.  Everybody wants a quick answer, but quick is rarely wise.

Chicken with Turmeric and Cumin

Chicken with Turmeric and Cumin

Spiced ChickenThis is a Rudog original recipe. This is a GREAT way to get some turmeric and cumin (superfoods!) into your diet!

I actually use frozen thighs, so my cooking time takes around 20 minutes. Obviously fresh or thawed chicken will cook more quickly. You can use breasts, but they aren’t as tender. No recipe is ever set in stone, so feel free to adapt it how you like it!

Check out this link to learn more benefits about turmeric!

 

  • 6 chicken thighs (boneless and skinless)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1-2 cups chicken broth, could be more…..
  • 1 can green peas
  • 1-2 tsp cumin
  • 1-2 tsp turmeric

In a large skillet, pour the chicken broth over the chicken thighs. It doesn’t have to completely cover them,  but it should be deep enough to  bathe them. Add the tomatoes, undrained, and as much of the canned peas as you like. You can actually save half the can to add to some rice later….your choice. Season with a little salt if you want, and then cumin and turmeric. Start with a tsp of each, and then add more if you decide you like it stronger.

Let simmer on low to medium  heat until the chicken is completely cooked. Probably around 15 minutes. I like to cover this in the beginning, and then uncover it for the last few minutes of cooking to thicken up a little bit. The chicken will be tender and easy to cut when it is ready.

This is fantastic when it is served with basmati rice. Cook the rice in chicken broth instead of water for a little more flavor. Toss in some of those peas at the end (if you saved any) and serve!

This is a well balanced meal that has carbs, protein, and a little fat. Perfect.

You can love yogurt! Noosa Mates is one to try!

You can love yogurt! Noosa Mates is one to try!


You can love yogurt—it’s not just for women or for dieting anymore. Anybody remember the slimy, wet Yoplait yogurt from the 70’s?

Today things are different. Very different. Not all yogurts are created equally! Each brand has its own bacteria combination, its own texture and color, as well as flavors. If you think you don’t like yogurt, you haven’t really given it a fair shot. It is truly worth the time to spend a few extra dollars and purchase 5-10 different yogurt brands and go home and conduct a taste test. Taste them all at the same time. My suggestion is to stick to vanilla, so that you can compare the yogurts evenly. Keep in mind that yogurts with a higher protein content are going to be thicker (which I like!). These are also great options to use when making dips or smoothies. Regardless, you have to get out there and try them all before you can really make an informed decision. One brand that you should definitely look for is Noosa. Noosa Mates comes in LOTS of flavor combinations, but 3 to look for are caramel chocolate pecan, coffee chocolate almond, and blueberry walnut granola. You could eat these for breakfast or as a snack. Go get some.

 

You can love yogurt

You can love yogurt!

Probiotics

Probiotics

Hyperbiotics Pro-15

Hyperbiotics Pro-15

 

It’s always a good idea to re-evaluate your supplement regimen, or to simply evaluate if there is something you should or need to be taking. Research changes constantly, so it’s a good idea to try to keep up. I’m not an advocate of supplementing lots of stuff, and I rarely “recommend” anything. However, I am a fan of looking into probiotics as a mainstay of the diet. If you are someone who doesn’t eat lots of yogurt or milk based foods, you should consider a probiotic supplement.

Ideally, you should increase these types of foods in your diet, but a supplement is a good second choice. There are different forms of supplementation, but I really like the probiotics from a company called Hyperbiotics. Specifically, Pro15.

Why take probiotics? They not only improve gut health, they also boost the immune system. For individuals whose diets vary drastically, or who are engaged in extremely physical/stressful activity, or who don’t eat a nutritionally balanced diet, probiotics are a great way to add a little “insurance” and help the body keep itself in good health. Check out the different options here.

This is not expensive and it’s not complicated. Give it a try for at least a week and see if you don’t notice a difference in the way you feel.

Breakfast Burrito

Breakfast Burrito

Egg Burrito

Need a fast, high energy, nutritious breakfast? Think Breakfast Burrito. No, not fast food. You make this one yourself. SUPER SIMPLE.

  1. 3 Eggs
  2. 2 Flour tortillas
  3. 2 oz shredded cheese (Mexican blend works best)
  4. Salsa, taco sauce, or picante sauce

Scramble the eggs, put in warmed tortillas, top with cheese and salsa. You can wrap these in plastic wrap to eat later if you want.

Suggestion: Make a lot of these ahead of time, wrap them in plastic and keep in the fridge. When you are ready to eat one, you can just pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds or so.

This is the kind of thing that is so simple, but so smart. You’re getting protein, a little fat, and some carbs.  A great kick-start to the day or an afternoon snack.

Egg burrito photo by Flickr user jeffreyw
Rice: Get beyond white!

Rice: Get beyond white!

Types of rice

If you are one of those people that thinks rice is either white or brown, and both are boring, you are mistaken. There are so many different kinds of rice, each with a unique flavor and many with a unique use. You would serve yourself well to venture out and try some of the different varieties. Several are mentioned here with brief descriptions and suggestions for use.

  1. Basmati

An aromatic, long-grain rice from India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. It comes in brown or white. It has a distinct flavor, “nutty” might be a word to describe it. It is a tender, fluffy rice and does not stick. It is used in curries and stir fry, but can also just be served as a side dish.

  1. Brown

This is available in short, medium, or long varieties. It is higher in magnesium, selenium and fiber than white rice. Can be eaten as a breakfast cereal, used in sushi and puddings, and can be substituted for white rice most of the time.

  1. Arborio

This is a medium or short grain rice with a high starch content. It is used to make risotto. (Risotto is an Italian rice dish that is stirred and cooked slowly in a broth to a creamy consistency) Arborio is also used for pudding and other desserts.

  1. Black

Sometimes also called “purple” or “forbidden” rice. It is dark due to the anthocyanin content. It is a whole grain rice and comes in long and short grain varieties. The short grain type is often used to make sticky rice, porridge, and rice pudding.

  1. White

This comes in short, medium and long grain varieties. Most white rice in the U.S. in enriched with thiamin, niacin, folic acid, and iron. Don’t rinse white rice before or after boiling to prevent washing the nutrients away.

  1. Jasmine

This is originally from Thailand and has a very distinctive floral aroma and nutty flavor. It pairs well with Mediterranean food. It is light and fluffy, and can be white or brown. Steaming works better than boiling with this grain.

  1. Wild

Wild rice is actually not rice at all. It is a semi-aquatic grass species grown in North America. It is dark, long and slender with a nutty flavor. The texture is chewy and it is higher in protein than white or brown rice. This is usually mixed with other rices or bulgur wheat. It goes very well with red meats, stews, soups, pilafs, and fruit.

  1. Red

This is a whole grain rice, very rich in antioxidants and other nutrients.  It is a long grain rice from Thailand or a medium grain from Bhutan. It is nutty, chewy and great to add to pilafs, rice salads, and stuffings. Plus it’s beautiful!

All rice varieties have carbohydrate, a little protein, a tiny bit of fat, and all are gluten free. Whole grain rice will have more protein, vitamins, and fiber than white rice. Colored rices will have more antioxidants.

The shape and length of the rice determines its texture when it has been cooked, as well as what dishes to use it in. Long grain rice generally cooks light and fluffy. It is good for adding to rice salads, jambalayas, curries, and stuffings. Medium grain rice is moist and tender. It is better suited for things like paella and risotto. Short grain rice is much moister and stickier, making it a great option for rice puddings and eating with chopsticks.

Rice is a great way to make soups and casseroles even heartier, as well as stretch the food budget.

Get out there and try some rice that isn’t white!

Mary Cabral, Fight Dietitian

What about fat in your diet?

Many of the fighters and athletes that I work with really don’t have a good grasp on how much fat they are eating, let alone how much fat they should be eating. They are frequently focusing so much on eating protein or not eating carbs, that the fat content kind of gets ignored. I mentioned in an earlier article that MOST of men who are training full time (2 times a day most days, plus additional cardio) need at least 3000 Kcals.  This is based on an average male body size of 5’10” and 200lbs, with an average age of 28. This is not designed to promote weight loss, but to provide adequate fuel for training and maintaining muscle mass.

For a 3000 kcal diet, a reasonable fat goal would be 20-25%, or 600 – 750 kcals. That’s the equivalent of 66 – 83 fat g/day. This would mean that the carb intake would be around 50-55% and the protein intake around 20-25%.

On diets that are a little higher in protein, they tend to be a little higher in fat. That’s because animal based protein carries with it more fat. For example, a 6oz portion of fairly lean beef is going to have upwards of 42g of fat. The same portion of chicken breast will only have 18-30g fat. The type of meat you select will greatly affect the amount of “fun” fat you can build into the diet. Dairy products are often used as protein sources and they can carry additional fat (especially saturated fat) as well.

It’s also important to point out the if you prefer to use whole grain foods and higher fiber foods, they will typically be a little higher in fat than lower fiber choices. The bran portion of the grain is where the fat content is contained. Cereals (think granola) that are higher in fiber can also be higher in fat because of the nuts they use to boost the fiber. They also cook or roll the granola in oil, be sure to read the label.

It is certainly easy to get too much fat, but you don’t want to be so careful that you don’t get enough. Many of the guys I work with admit that they are afraid to eat fat at all. Here are a few of the problems that can happen if you don’t eat enough fat:

  • You will end up feeling not satisfied. This eventually leads to a “binge” where you seek out pizza or something that has the fat you are craving in it.
  •  Fat in the diet provides a mouth feel that communicates to the brain “this is yummy and I like it it.” It signals the serotonin response that tells your brain you are satisfied and done. If this “trigger” doesn’t happen, your body puts itself on a mission to make it happen.
  • Over time, when there isn’t enough fat in the diet, you put yourself at risk for essential fatty acid deficiency. There are lots of special fats and fat soluble vitamins that are present in fat. When you over restrict fat, you miss out on these. This can cause drying of hair and skin, brittle nails, hair that breaks, and an overall dullness to the skin.

If you are eating a balanced diet (which means adequate carbs, protein and fat) that provides the right amount of calories, and you aren’t going crazy with high fat food choices, your fat intake will be right on target without you having to measure it. However, if you want a little help or affirmation that what you are doing is right for your training goals, just talk to a dietitian  to see what and how you are actually eating. Knowledge is what gives you the power to change.

Mary Cabral, RD/LD
Owner, www.Rudog.com

 

 

Probiotics can help with the Holiday Binge??

Probiotics can help with the Holiday Binge??

This article is taken from the Hyperbiotics.com website. They did it so well, I wanted to share!

The holidays are just about here, and as excited as we are to dive into all of the delicious goodness likely to be on our tables this year, there is one aspect that some of us don’t so much look forward to: digestive troubles from a holiday binge.

From meats and cheeses to bread, fruits and baked veggie dishes (don’t forget dessert), sharing the annual meal of gratitude with the ones you love often means that overindulging – and the feelings that follow – are inevitable.

The good news is that probiotics can help. In fact, there are several steps you can take toward proper gut health that can have you saying goodbye to seasonal struggles with your digestive system when your inner foodie comes out to play for the holidays.

Go with Your Gut

The key to feeling great during the gluttony of the holidays is to maintain a healthy gut environment on a consistent basis. Gut health is not only important for experiencing optimal digestion and regularity, but it also affects all other supportive systems, like the nervous and immune systems.

You may even be able to improve your mood and boost overall energy in the days and weeks leading up to the holidays by making simple, healthy choices in favor of your GI tract – like eating probiotic-rich foods or taking a probiotic supplement.

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that colonize within your gut, and their presence can help to balance out the microbes that live there – keeping you feeling your best when it comes to foods, drinks, stress, and other holiday elements that can weigh heavily on your digestive system. A probiotic supplement that can effectively deliver good bacteria to your GI tract can help support regularity and even reduce bloating and gas – two of the most common complaints after a jubilant meal.

A high-quality probiotic like Hyperbiotics PRO-15 can pack billions of beneficial, living microbes into a single serving and might just help you enjoy your holiday feast without falling asleep at the dinner table or feeling backed up and uncomfortable in the days that follow. Simply put, a healthy gut environment can help you enjoy the time spent with your loved ones.

Focus on the Right Foods

It’s all about the details (or should I say micronutrients) when it comes to the foods that we eat around the holidays. So, to really curb the digestive distress, focus on foods that provide nourishment to your body vs foods that leave you feeling overly-stuffed and depleted.

For example, did you know that the right carbohydrates like whole grains and healthy complex carbohydratescan help keep glucose levels steady? As well, fibrous compounds from fruits and vegetables also support energy levels throughout the day and provide food and energy for the probiotic colonies in your gut – helping them to colonize and keeping your system supported.

Lean meats are great energy foods because they contain protein, vitamin B12, and essential amino acids like Tyrosine, an important amino acid for regulating hormones released in the gut environment which affects how we feel almost instantly.

Fatty acids like Omega-3 can be found in nuts, leafy greens, and fish and are important for many functions, including mood regulation. Fatty acids also help maintain a healthy gut lining, so they’re relatively gentle on the digestive tract.

Secure a Good Night’s Sleep

The night after a celebratory dinner can be a tricky one to get through, especially if you’ve really indulged in all that the seasonal fare has to offer. Interestingly enough, a December 2014 article called “The Gut Microbiome and the Brain” published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Medicinal Food describes a direct connection between your gut bacteria and your sleep and circadian rhythms. Balancing the bacteria in the gut through probiotic supplementation and conscious food choices can help you bust through a bout of post-feast insomnia.

A gigantic meal of any sort can leave you feeling exhausted, and while a cup of coffee might sound like the perfect digestif, caffeine can disrupt your REM sleep. When you’re not getting enough REM sleep, mental clarity often suffers as a result. Secure a good night’s sleep by choosing tea or hot water with lemon after your meal and increasing your intake of probiotic and prebiotic foods and supplements as the holidays approach.

Get Ahead of Bloat and Digestive Upset

Overeating is the most common cause of bloating, and gas can easily get trapped in your stomach from fatty foods, carbonated beverages, sweeteners, and dairy. Unfortunately, our culture is one adorned with buffets and double cheeseburgers, making overeating not just a holiday tradition, but a common occurrence. By eating slowly, listening to your body, and stopping once you are satisfied (not stuffed), you can start to rise above the temptation to overeat and feel great this season.

As well, when we’re not experiencing “business as usual”, it can be very hard to give thanks or focus on anything else for that matter. Digestive issues are incredibly distracting and no one should be burdened with them when it comes to enjoying a little time off with your family.

One of the best ways to combat digestive distress is to stay hydrated. It seems simple, but water helps keep digestive flow in motion, and you can achieve a healthier system simply by allowing more water to move through your digestive tract and break up anything that might be slowing you down. Try drinking an extra large glass of warm water with fresh squeezed lemon and a dash of pink Himalayan salt first thing in the morning to jumpstart  your hydration (and bathroom) routine.

 

Attitude is Everything

Whatever you do, don’t beat yourself up about a hearty holiday meal. Because the body metabolizes guilt in a multitude of ways, one of the best things you can do is to prepare for your indulgences ahead of time.

Prior to your foodie festivities, plan for a healthy holiday and aim to increase your workouts or stay physically active, eat prebiotic and probiotic foods that can more positively impact digestion, and stick to limited portions so that you can ensure that the bounty you consume in the future is properly processed by the GI tract, and moves through your body quickly and without issue so that you can cherish another year of happy memories with your family. Because let’s face it, there’s not much better than feeling your best while being with the people you love.

Want to try a probiotic that will change your life? Order yours here and get a discount because of Rudog Nutrition.

We’d love to hear from you! What are some of the ways you cope after a holiday meal?

Breakfast Skillet from Leftovers

Sometimes a leftover potato can be the basis for an easy, healthy breakfast. I had a small potato sitting around, along with some remnants of my Easter ham. I got inspired (because I was hungry) and decided to whip up a skillet concoction using my leftovers and some ingredients I already had on hand. This is just what I ended up making, but it could certainly be adapted to use whatever YOU have on hand. This would be great with ANY meat remnants, like steak or pork, or sausage. This serves two people easily, or one VERY hungry man.

Ingredients:
1 small potato
1 oz chopped ham
1 oz shredded cheese
2 eggs
1/2 oz ghee (butter or oil of your choosing)
salt and pepper to taste

Enjoy!

Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos

Ever had one? These are popular in Texas for sure, but anyone can make a great fish taco. These are particularly good because they can be very low in fat, high in carbs and protein and loaded with flavor.

Things you will need to have on hand:

Fish of your choice, but white fish works best. Look for swordfish, sea bass, or tilapia. Salmon also works well.

Green or Red Salsa (or a hot sauce that you like)

Limes sliced into wedges

Corn tortillas

Onions, chopped

Cilantro, fresh is best!

Avocado, optional, sliced

Tomatoes, chopped

Grill your fish of choice. Be sure to add flavor! Brush with olive oil, garlic, peppers, whatever you like! Grill it with the skin side UP first and cook about 2/3 through. You can tell how much it is cooking by looking at the color of the flesh. It will turn from clear to solid. Flip it and finish grilling. If you are feeling a bit gourmet, use banana leaves to flip the fish on to when on the grill. This will make it easier to remove from the grill. You can just flake the fish apart while still on the leaves and clean up is WAY easier.

To prep the tortillas, brush with a little olive oil and heat briefly on the grill. All you have to do now is assemble your taco! Make it any way you like. J Top with a squeezed lime wedge and you are ready to eat!

Tip: If you are one of the lucky ones who need to increase your calories to gain some weight, you can double up the tortillas on your taco.

Eat smart!

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