I had the pleasure of stopping by Katie recently to talk with Katie Couric about some of the hottest health trends in the supermarket. In case you're wondering, YES, she was as nice and approachable (and fun!) as you would think she'd be! Like most of us, she had several questions about some of the "super foods" that her friends, or people who work at the Katie Show, have been talking about. So here’s what we tackled:
Kate on Katie Couric
- Kombucha: The hype is that this trendy, tangy fermented tea beverage has been sipped for over 2,000 years, but is immensely popular in modern times because it merges many trends that are hot right now: probiotics, detox, and ancient Asian remedies. Kombucha devotees claim a wide range of benefits, from probiotics, enhanced immunity and energy, improved digestion and liver function, lower cholesterol and cancer fighting potential. But so far the science lags a bit behind…so is it worth the hefty price tag?
- Tart Cherry Juice: Does tart cherry juice act as a powerful natural anti-inflammatory, one that can even rival over the counter pain relievers in relieving aches and pains? That's what Katie had heard, and wanted to know if it was true.
- Hemp: The buzz is that hemp seeds are a superfood that pack powerful nutrition and unique health benefits.
Chat with Kate and the ClifKid ZParents this Wednesday!
Join me and fellow ClifKid ZParents for a special chat on the ClifKid's Facebook page:
October 16th, 9:00am PST/12-noon EST
ClifKid ZParents, Steph Morgan of Modern Parents, Messy Kids; Zina Harrington of Let's Lasso the Moon, and I will be joined by very special guest, Monica Potter, star of NBC's show Parenthood, and mom of three.
We will host a 90-minute chat with all of you about festive, creative family fun for the holiday season. Join us for great prizes and a great discussion!
Check out the flier below for more information about this upcoming chat:
As we head indoors with the cooler fall weather, many of us begin to fire up the stove again after a blissful summer at the barbeque.
While you're making this shift, let me ask you a question: when was the last time you shook up the kinds of cooking oils on your shopping list? To roast, saute, stir fry or add flavor or swirl a tasty few drops of at the end of a dish? Most of us succumb to being on autopilot, sticking to the same oils month after month, year after year, and (if we’re really being honest) decade after decade.
While you may have some fabulously healthy staples in your pantry (i.e. extra virgin olive oil, which a landmark study earlier this year found slashed the risk of heart disease risk by a whopping 30%), check out my recent Dr. Oz blog to discover a few deliciously healthy oils you can add to your shopping list to boost flavor and nutrition- I promise they will perk up your pantry and your taste buds.
If you're really adventurous, check out these uber new fun oils to try (including avocado, hemp, red palm and hazelnut oil) by my colleague Matt Kadey at Shape.
Have other oils you want to share with me? Like you, I'm working on settling into a healthy, fresh, yet sane back to school fall routine-and I've love to hear and tips you'd like to share.
Let me explain.
I recently returned from the Culinary Institute of America Greystone in Napa, where I attended "Healthy Kitchens Healthy Lives", a joint conference with the Harvard School of Public Health. The goal of the weekend, according to co-creator (and one of my new idols) Dr. David Eisenberg, is to forge a bold new paradigm for health professionals - one that replaces the prescription pad with the kitchen. And it was here, somewhere between the inspiring collaboration, glorious food, and a few glasses of local wine, that the concept of "wet carbs" was bandied about.
Never heard of "wet carbs"? Think of it as an "ultra carb" of sorts. It's a catchy term that simply refers to whole grains that must first be prepared with water or other liquid before they’re ready for you to eat (such as oatmeal). While you likely already knew that whole grains were good for you, it turns out that focusing on carbs that need to be prepared with liquid (which adds weight and bulk) can speed up your weight loss efforts. I shared my secrets on using wet carbs for weight loss in my latest blog for www.blog.doctoroz.com.
Okay, so by now we all know that whole grain carbs trump refined carbs for nutrition, weight control, and to reduce our risk of heart disease and diabetes. And that we should be sure to make at least half of our grains that we consume each day whole grains. But are you ready to take your weight loss a step further? If so, “wet carbs” are where it’s at...
How many of you struggle with "crunch time"? I know that I certainly do. A new poll has dubbed the harried hours between 3 p.m. and bedtime “crunch time” , and it's no surprise this is one of the most challenging times of the day when it comes to making the right food choices.
So I'm sharing my own secrets for conquering crunch time" in my latest blog for for www.blog.doctoroz.com.
If you’re a working parent, you know all too well how exhausting it can be to make the daily dash home from work, only to step directly into the vortex of the sports practice/homework/dinner/bedtime routine. In fact, a new poll commissioned by the Harvard School of Public Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation dubbed these hours “crunch time” – that harried window between 3 p.m. and bedtime. Perhaps not surprisingly, the study found that 60% of children were consuming foods and drinks that could lead to unhealthy weight gain... [Click here to Read More]
Fat fighting foods. I had a ball a few weeks ago chatting with audience members at The Dr. Oz Show about some of my favorite foods and nutrients that may give you an extra edge when it comes to fighting fat (especially visceral fat, the sort that’s most hazardous to your health). One thing’s for sure, it’s a topic that gets people paying attention: on the flight there, people perked up when I mentioned fat loss. On the flight home, people wanted to know when the segment was set to air.
So I wanted to share them here with you: You can read about my top 3 Dynamic Duos for fat loss in my latest blog post on The Oz Blog - Fight Fat Faster: 3 Dynamic Duos & Recipes,. Or get the live scoop from the television segment: Power Pairs to Melt Fat Faster.
What are some your favorite fat busting foods? I'd love to hear!
Fight Fat Faster: 3 Dynamic Duos & Recipes Can certain foods give you an edge in the battle of the bulge? The answer appears to be yes.
When it comes to whittling your waistline, research suggests that there may indeed be certain foods and nutrients that can help you lose more weight – or shed more belly fat – than simply cutting calories. Given that belly fat is one of America’s most common complaints, is hard to lose, and can raise your risk of metabolic syndrome and heart disease, it’s worth a closer look. Here are 3 “dynamic duos” I shared with Dr. Oz that you may want to add to your get-lean routine... [Click here to read more]
Power Pairs to Melt Fat Faster
Kate Geagan on The Dr. Oz Show - Click the video to watch the clip!
Wondering what to sip (or conversely, what NOT to sip) in 2013? Check out my latest post for The Oz Blog: 3 Surprising Truths About What to Drink in 2013. 3 Surprising Truths About What to Drink in 2013 For many of us, the New Year starts out with us telling ourselves all of the things we should start doing in 2013. But what about the things we’re already doing? What about the habits we have, the foods we are eating, or in this case, the things we are drinking? Start your 2013 with these three surprising truths... [Click Here to Read More]
Do you cop to having a short fuse when it comes to dealing with life’s everyday stressors, such as your boss, your spouse, or even your kids? Do you reach for food or caffeine during the day in an attempt to feel calm, to find a jolt of energy or a moment of bliss? But above all else, do you just really crave a better mood? I recently did a segment on the Dr. Oz Show that tackled this topic. If you want to feel significantly less cranky and more able to sail through your day, read on.
Seek Energy, Not Stimulation.
While good habits such as eating breakfast every morning and regular meals and snacks throughout the day form the cornerstone of an energized outlook, science has increasingly revealed the vital ways in which our food impacts our mood. And it may surprise you that some of the best weapons to help cure crankiness can be found in your local grocery store.
These 5 foods will help your mood in two ways: first, they deliver several key nutrients that science has found play a vital role in supporting brain chemistry to reduce the risk of depression and help improve the quality of your sleep. But they do something equally important as well: their powerful combination of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants help you build up your energy and capacity to handle life from your body’s deepest levels (your cells metabolic and energy pathways), rather than that quick burst of stimulation from a sugar or high caffeine fix that ultimate leaves you feeling cranky or tired. Try including them as part of a delicious new happiness routine.
In order for your brain to function optimally it needs to have the right nutrient building blocks available, and omega-3 fats are one of the most important when it comes to boosting your mood. The brain is 60% fat, and particularly loves omega-3 fats, but most Americans get far too little omega-3 in their diet. The problem with that? Growing evidence suggests that consuming inadequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids is associated with depression and poor moods.
Fatty fish like salmon is one of Nature’s richest source of omega-3 fats, so for a mood lift enjoy fatty fish 2-3 times each week. Odds will be you’re in happier company, as studies have found that people who infrequently eat fish are more likely to suffer from depression. For an extra “heaping of happiness”, coat the salmon with crushed hemp seeds (available in the natural foods section of most grocery stores) and top it with a radish sprout salad: both the seeds and the sprouts are rich in vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fats to further bolster mood, brainpower and immunity.
By eating this way, you’ll enjoy a double brain benefit, too: not only do foods rich in omega-3 fat help fight crankiness and improve your outlook today, they help you maintain a robust memory and significantly reduce the risk of developing dementia as you age.
2. Mushrooms Exposed to UV Light .
Vitamin D is another key part of “mood maintenance” because it helps regulate the activity of the brain’s neurotransmitters (serotonin, melatonin and dopamine) which have have a profound impact on mood. Studies have found the likelihood of having depression is significantly higher in people with deficiency in vitamin D compared to those who have normal levels. And chances are, you or someone you know might be deficient and not even know it (a blood test is required); by some estimates over 50% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D, making it a critical component in a crank-proof diet.
While it can be difficult to meet the RDA for Vitamin D through food alone (which is 600 IU for people ages 19-70), one fantastic food that has recently come to a supermarket near you is Vitamin D-packed mushrooms. These are mushrooms that have been exposed to UV light, which naturally boosts the vitamin D level, so that 1 cup of these mushrooms packs 100% of the RDA (look for this on the label). Serve these mushrooms over couscous for an easy and delicious dinner; the couscous is rich in selenium, another nutrient that has been linked to improved mood.
3. Tart Cherries.
Savor a handful of dried tart cherries before you turn in for the night and you’ll set the stage for a better mood when you wake up. Tart cherries are rich in a hormone called melatonin, which acts as a natural sleep aid by improving quality of sleep. As we age, our bodies’ natural ability to produce melatonin decreases (one reason why seniors can find it harder to sleep soundly), and things like stress or artificial light can also lower our body’s melatonin. And here’s an added bonus: cherries’ powerful bundle of antioxidants helps protect your brain from free radicals, which enables your brain chemistry to be optimized for a good mood.
4. Amaranth Popcorn.
This one’s fun as it is tasty! Amaranth is a delicious “new ancient grain” to try if you haven’t yet added it to your shopping list. This supergrain is loaded with antioxidants, minerals, fiber and iron, and was considered a life sustaining food of the ancient Aztec and Inca cultures.
Whole grains are a key part of any crank proof diet, as the carbohydrate in whole grain helps raise levels of the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin, which acts as the body’s natural anti-depressant. The fiber in amaranth also helps keep blood sugar stable, so you feel more alert and energized longer. This is a key reason to choose whole grains over refined grains and sweets when looking for a mood boost, for those sugary treats often trigger blood sugar to spike and plummet, leading to crankiness and faster fatigue.
Look for amaranth in the bulk section of your grocery store or in the natural foods aisle. For a fun twist, try amaranth popcorn: simply put a dry medium skillet over medium high heat, and when hot add 2 Tbsp. amaranth seeds: COVER QUICKLY WITH A LID so it doesn’t pop everywhere! Gently shake back and forth, and the grains will quickly pop into “micro popcorn” in about 10 seconds. Pour into a dish and repeat with another 2 Tbsp. Dust with cinnamon for an added antioxidant and flavor boost.
5. Medjool Dates and Cocoa.
Nearly all of the cranky viewers Dr. Oz and I spoke with sought out sweets at some point during their day; after all, who doesn’t like to feel that quick “pick me up” that sweetness can bring? The challenge is the sheer amount most of us are eating: Americans consume more than 22 teaspoons of sugar each day, According to a 2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
While the initial rush of sugar can indeed perk you up, it ultimately leads to the crankiness of that inevitable crash. A sweeter fix for your sweet tooth is to try my Decadent Chocolate Fix, made from just 3 superfoods: Avocado, Medjool dates, and cocoa powder. Aside from all the health benefits of cocoa for the cardiovascular system (mainly in the form of flavonoids) the reason cocoa often gives an instant feeling of happiness is due to the rush of dopamine that triggers the brain’s pleasure receptors, and endorphins which give a feeling of a natural high.
As with any sweet treat, even this one should be eaten in modest portions because it is high in calories, but at least you can go to the dark side in a delicious, healthy way.
- 6 Medjool dates (room temperature)
- 1/2 ripe Hass avocado
- 4 tbsp high quality cocoa
- 1-2 tsp water (optional)
Place all ingredients in a food processor or Vitamix and purée until smooth. Add 1-2 tsp of water to combine if needed.
What foods help you crank-proof your diet? I'd love to hear about them!
Written with help from Lindsey Toth, MS, RD
With the nominations in, the countdown has started for stars to get their bods ready for the red carpet. What are their celeb nutritionists and trainers telling them? For many of them, it’s all about 3 things: Protein, Portion Control,and Power Foods.
Even if you’ll be sitting on the couch instead of standing on the red carpet, these are strategies anyone can easily use to jumpstart their 2011 diet and slim down after all that holiday overeating and drinking. Delicious, satisfying and easy - what’s not to love?
Secret #1: Protein
The reason: Protein packs staying power; studies suggest that high protein foods, even at the same number of calories, have greater staying power than carbs or even fat, keeping you full and energized longer. Protein also helps preserve lean muscle tissue that not only looks great (think of that toned arms look), but your lean muscle tissue is your metabolic furnace, keeping your metabolism revved up.
What to do: Include protein in all your meals and snacks. Aim for 50-70 grams daily, or about 12-15% of total calories
What kinds? Here are some star staples that are a high nutrient, low calorie package:
- Protein rich breakfast: Greek Yogurt: 1 cup = 21 grams protein (preferably organic)
- Nuts: 1 oz. of almonds or pistachios= 6 grams of protein
- 1 cup soybeans/edamame: 22 grams protein
- 1 cup lentils in salad/soup: 18 grams of protein
- Salmon (3 ounces): 23 grams of protein (preferably wild Alaskan)
Secret #2: Perfect Portions
The reason: We eat with our EYES as much as with our stomachs, and no one wants to feel deprived, stars included.Cornell University’s Mindless Eating Lab has done some fun and fantastic research on this, and their findings are consistent: both our bodies AND our brains fight against deprivation - and visual cues are a key part of feeling satisfied.
What to do: Aim for 350-450 calorie meals and 100-150 calorie snacks. Avoid Portion Distortion: Remember big plates, big spoons, big cups = bigger servings and more calories.
The trick? Research suggests you can easily consume 20-30% less without even missing it, simply by serving on smaller plates, glasses and bowls. While stars may have personal chefs and meal delivery services to do this for them, you can easily do this at home:
- Serve breakfast, lunch and dinner on your salad plates or small soup bowls, not your large dishware. Your eyes and brain will be happier with smaller portions.
- Did you know you’ll drink 25-30% MORE out of a short wide juice glass than a tall skinny one? Drink from tall, skinny glasses.
- Don’t have a private chef? Hand it Over: Your palm, fist & thumb have all the sizes you need for perfect portions.
Secret #3: Power Foods
The reason: Calorie for calorie, these foods provide more nutrients than any food on the planet - which is critical to ensure you maintain a gorgeous glow from the inside out. They also help your body’s immune system stay primed and your energy up no matter how jam packed your schedule.
What to do: The best power-foods are plants that are loaded with color. Aim for 2 cups of brightly colored fruit and 3 or more cups of dark colored vegetables daily.
Some favorites? Here are a few of my favorite power foods that are a staple in many celeb meal plans:
- Cantaloupe cubes: Foods with high volume, low calorie are your best friends for slimming down. Cantaloupe fits the bill: it’s loaded with water and fiber, and 2 cups is only 100 calories. Bonus? It’s a fantastic food for your immune system, loaded with beta carotene and vitamin C.
- Avocados: Bite for bite, each has nearly 20 vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that keep you healthy, plus it’s loaded with monounsaturated fats that keep your skin glowing. According to some research, they also selectively blast belly fat.
- Kale: One of nature’s most potent health foods on the planet, packed with vitamin C, iron, and bone-building vitamin K. Contains 7-times the beta carotene of broccoli, and 2 cups has 3 grams fiber and 4 g protein.
Now, if we can just get them to include green (eco friendly) treats in all the Green Rooms, I’d really be happy!
It's been an exciting month! My book launched on March 17th, and my goal is to spark a national dialogue on the state of our plates, and how it is directly connected to the state of our planet.
Thanks to the folks at O, Body& Soul, Delicious Living and Time Magazines, the message is getting out there - my book, Go Green, Get Lean, is featured in this month's O magazine. And how fantastic to see that our First Lady Michelle Obama is as passionate about feeding good food to all Americans as I am! Check out her interview in this month's O magazine where she talks about the power of fresh local fruits and veggies - they're even planting a garden on the white house grounds. She's a fantastic example of living the message and looking your best. You can be, too.