Monthly Archives: February 2016

The Importance of Nutrient Dense Food

Nutrient density is the last thing we think about before eating something, yet it is one of the most important aspects to consider. Nutrient density is the ratio of nutrients/calories in any type of food. Fairly recently our population has become extremely aware of how many calories we are consuming. To solve this we process our food more, which in turn lowers the nutrient value significantly. Foods like ice cream, cake, cookies, and chocolate are all foods that are higher in calories then nutrients. The chart below shows the percentage of nutrients to calories. For example red meat has only 8 percent nutrients and 92 percent calories. That seems like a lot, but on occasion the nutrients are worth the calories gained. Anything above 8 percent would be considered on the healthy side of foods, while anything below 8 percent would not be considered necessary and would only be harming the body rather than improving it.  nutrient-density-chart

What we need to realize is there is an extremely low possibility to consume too much nutrients, while it is very possible to consume too many calories. Too many calories will result in weight gain and an excess of free radicals, which cause your body to break down from the inside out. Nutrients on the other hand, like antioxidants, neutralize these free radicals. The diagram below shows all the benefits antioxidants give us.benefits-of-antioxidants

What may deter people from choosing to eat properly is price and time available to cook something starting from scratch. This can be remedied with a simple search online where there are many easy low calorie recipes under 5 dollars. For example when I typed in “under 5 dollar meals” and clicked on the first link, it gave me breakfast, lunch, and dinner options to feed 4 people under 5 dollars. With this information at our finger tips the only thing that should be preventing us from choosing the proper foods is our ever growing levels of laziness.

-Tucker Moe


Dirt biking Nutrition Facts

To generalize this blog, I am very avid about motocross and dirt biking in general. Overall, I wanted to look deep into the nutrition of my passion of dirt biking and spread my findings with the community. The link presented:  is the best general overview for a healthy riding diet. The link states three main points: Stay hydrated and replenishes electrolytes, eat a balanced glycolytic foods and fatty foods, don’t skip breakfast and limit caffeine. Of these three main points I wanted to prove two of the three to fully understand their validity.

“Stay hydrated and replenishes electrolyte” I believe in the world of motocross is well understood. That being said, “Staying hydrated and replenishing electrolytes” in any sport should be well understood.  The first point that I wanted to discuss was the “eat a balanced glycolytic foods and fatty foods”.  Glycolytic foods are those such as fruit that provide healthy sugars. According to  ”Sugars are particularly important fuel molecules, and they are oxidized in small steps to carbon dioxide (CO2) and water”. This means that are easily broken down into two things we can easily excrete from our body’s and provide fuel. What do you need when you’re riding dirt bikes? Fuel! Fatty foods, such as almonds provide large amounts of slow-releasing energy that can keep you riding all day. The second point that I was wondering about the validity was “don’t skip breakfast and limit caffeine”.  Not skipping breakfast seems like a good idea if you’re planning on doing an all-day activity. Why limit caffeine? According to  “your body eventually adapts to the effects of caffeine, limiting the performance benefit”. Drinking coffee all the time builds a tolerance in people. What I mean is that you drink coffee and perform well for a short time, but next time you go to drink coffee you have to drink twice as much to get the same performance bonus.  The down side is slower CNS when coming down from effects of caffeine, and is terrible in high amounts on the heart and cardiovascular system.

Concluding the information I gathered from on nutrition about dirt biking, I feel it provides very useful, healthy and beneficial tips to staying active while dirt biking.

A Look At Intermittent Fasting

When the word ‘fasting’ comes to our heads, we think of starving ourselves, and it doesn’t take a dietician to tell us that starving our bodies isn’t healthy. Diets trends come and go, but intermittent fasting is an eating pattern, not a diet. There are multiple variations of the intermittent fasting lifestyle, but I’m going to talk about one in particular.


Instead of eating 3-6 meals per day, intermittent fasting is cycling in between periods of eating and not eating. My favorite variation is fasting for sixteen hours followed by an eight hour window to fulfill your caloric needs (example above). The food in which you eat in your eight hour window should be whole, unprocessed, nutrient dense food. If you think about it, fasting makes more sense to our bodies than eating throughout the day. Humans have been fasting for over 3 million years because they weren’t able to eat multiple times a day. Is there any benefits to fasting when we now have the luxury to eat whenever we’re hungry?

Studies show that intermittent fasting can benefit both your body and mind. Here are some health benefits found in intermittent fasting:

  • Lowers insulin levels which increases fat burning (1)
  • Lowers risk of type two diabetes (2)
  • Lowers risk of heart diseases (3)
  • May help prevent risk of cancer (4)
  • May protect brain health (5)

Intermittent fasting is not for everyone, but you should not feel afraid to try it out. Especially if you’re someone who lives a busy lifestyle. Keep in mind that this is an eating pattern and not a loophole to eat cheeseburgers and still lose weight. A healthy diet is necessary if you choose to give intermittent fasting a try.



Two Hundred Calories

After a long day on campus, I usually go right for the easiest a quickest meal that I can get to and I’m sure many other college students do the same in order to keep going with their busty day. Although it might be easiest to grab the chips and dip or maybe that handful of chocolates sitting on the counter to nibble on and get on with your day, but not to worry, there are many other healthier options at hand.

Watching this five-minute video will, not only have you second-guessing that ice cream sandwich in the freezer, but it will also show some other ideas as to what to prepare for lunch, or for the snack you will have ready to eat on campus for the day.

After watching the video, although it may be a bit rough around the corners as far as the limitations on some of our favorite snacks, it does give us a good idea for how much we should indulge ourselves in in these different favorite foods.

Though this short video goes through the measurements of the different favorite foods of Americans, I don’t know how necessary it is to, lets say, count out 100 grapes so you don’t go over the limit of two hundred calories for that days snack. Or measure out the cream cheese on the bagel with the fourth cut out of the side of the bagel. But, visually, giving us a good idea as to what our separate snacks and dishes should incorporate.

Image result for carrots VS. Image result for doritos

In the United States, we have many diverse food options to pick from every day. Anywhere from a bag of chips, and apple, a banana, or even a slice if pizza, but being able to recognize the quality of the food that we are consuming daily should be of high priority. Distinguishing the quality between an avocado and a bag of pre-popped popcorn should be something Americans should be able to tell the distinction. The truth is, however, that some Americans don’t know, don’t care to know, or know and are ignoring the component of quality over quantity. But showing videos and enlightening the quality over quantity of foods is important.

~Margaret Dufficy


TheTalko. (2016). This Is What 200 Calories Look Like: Junk vs. Healthy Food. Retrieved from

Nutrition and Athletic Performance: What to eat and when to eat it



Desert Road Runner

Nutrition and athletic performance does not only apply to competitive athletes but to recreational athletes as well. One of the most known fitness myths is: You should never eat before a workout. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, eating before a workout significantly improves athletic performance. If there is not enough glycogen stored in the body for a workout, the body turns to muscle as its main energy source. This has the opposite effect on an individual trying to build muscle, because it results in breakdown of muscle and invitation for more build up of fat. That being said, eating before a work out is the best bet.

Carbohydrates work to fill muscle glycogen stores and prevent hunger. One hour before exercising, 1 gram of carbohydrate per body weight kilogram should be consumed.

Carbohydrate foods to consume before exercise

  • Whole grain crackershji
  • Whole grain spaghetti
  • Cereal
  • Pretzels
  • Energy bars


If a workout or competition lasts for an hour or longer, carbohydrates need to be consumed during the workout to prevent glycogen depletion. The most common way to prevent this is to drink a sports drink during the duration of exercise.

After a workout or competition, recovery nutrition works to refill glycogen and fluids that were lost during the time of exercise. Recovery nutrition also helps build muscle by making new muscle protein. The preferable time for athletes to partake in recovery nutrition is within 45 minutes from the end of the workout or competition. An after workout meal needs to have carbohydrates to replace glycogen and protein for protein synthesis. A combination of these two food groups is the best way to take advantage of recovery nutrition.

Foods for Post Workout/ Competition

  • Protein shake
  • Carbohydrates
    • Potatoeshj
    • Rice
    • Whole grain bread
    • Oats
    • Pasta
  • Protein
    • Eggs
    • Beans
    • Yogurt
    • Meatuik
    • Fish
  • Nutrient rich foods
    • Spinach
    • Peppers
    • Apples
    • Kale
    • Broccoli

By: Elizabeth Koprucki


Ladies, Are You Missing Something?

Many of you may already know that as women get older, their risk of developing health problems increases. This is very prevalent after they go through menopause. When women go through menopause, their estrogen levels decrease, which then makes them have an estrogen deficiency. Estrogen deficiency puts many women at risk for heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in women. Despite the inevitable menopause, there are some key nutrients that could aid in the prevention of heart disease in aging women.

The first key nutrient is Vitamin D. Vitamin D is obtained from our diets, vitamin supplements, and our skin. As we get older, our skin lessens its ability to create vitamin D from being exposed to the sun. Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium and calcium helps our bones stay strong as we get older. Women can increase their vitamin D intake by having four 8-ounce portions of some type of low-fat dairy products every day.

The next nutrient is Calcium. Calcium aids our bodies in making new bone cells. When women reach menopause, their bodies ability to make new bone cells will decrease. It is very important for women to obtain foods that are rich with calcium, as well as, take calcium supplements. The two most common calcium supplements are calcium carbonate and calcium citrate. Calcium can also be found in kale, tofu, and soy beverages.

Omega-3 fatty acids are another important nutrient for aging women. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat, which is a healthy fat that can increase high-density lipoproteins (good cholesterol). It is also found to lower blood pressure and risk of heart disease.

Another nutrient is vitamin B12. With the lack of vitamin B12, menopausal women have an increased chance of becoming anemic. A lack of B12 can result in fatigue, weight loss, poor memory, depression, and dementia. B12 can be found in meat, fish, eggs, and fortified breakfast cereals.

The final necessary nutrient in aging women is folic acid. Folic acid helps build new tissues in the body and our bodies need it to create red blood cells. Low levels of folic acid in older women can result in high levels of homocysteine in the blood, which is a risk factor of heart disease. Women can obtain folic acid through citrus, berries, nuts, and leafy green vegetables.

It is very important that we continue on living healthy lives so that we don’t develop these potential risks of heart disease. Consuming enough nutrients while we are younger will set us up for a healthy future.



Kelsey Hodera

Crinkly and cool…Carrots?



babycarrotssammlung_0004_4By: Cory Babb

This past fall I stumbled upon the 2010 campaign “Eat ‘em Like Junk Food” the California produce farm conglomerate boldly ran in the middle of recession at the small price of 2 million dollars for a single year. That is an incredible investment in advertising for any company, let alone a produce company.

Why you ask? Well this was all the idea of the new Bolthouse CEO, Jeffrey Dunn, who’s previous experience had been an executive for Coke. This campaign included everything from carrot launcher videos with explosions, to vending machines packed full of carrots in crunchy junk food-esque packaging.

The craziest thing was that it worked. Sales increased 13% and Bolthouse has not stopped their aggressive campaigning. In 2014 the company ran a social media campaign called “the Food Porn Index” which encouraged social media posters to post more healthy food because -we are what we eat.

The company has since been purchased by Campbell’s and adopted the new mission of “Inspire the fresh food revolution”. According to a Harvard Business Review article written by Dunn, they utilize 3A’s in this process. It is these three A’s that seem to fully embody the community nutrition principles. They are: accessibility, availability and affordability.

In Dunn’s article, he goes on to explain how these pillars of his company are not only tailored towards introducing fresh products that will compete in the marketplace with junk food, but also to educating consumers and their families so that they become lifelong fresh food eaters no matter their demographic and food enviroment.

It is exciting to see this mentality and behavior coming from a large company. We have become some enamored with the belief that a sustainable food system starts with local food purchased at your farmers market but in reality that change requires a total reversal of our current food system. This embracing of the current model and utilizing it to create change is both refreshing and ingenious.

As nutritionists and community activists we must encourage fresh food consumption above all, and then work to educate each community further about their options in buying fresh foods. It is this encouraging behavior that should be embraced rather than the chastising of everything that comes in crinkly packaging that is so much a part of the current food system- especially in impoverished areas.

To read the full interview with Jeffrey Dunn and the see the rest of Bolthouse’s campaigns, check out :

Saving America One Vegetable at a Time

The United States of America, once one of the healthiest and most prosperous nations on earth, is facing an unprecedented crisis. We are killing ourselves with poor eating habits and physical inactivity. The US Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 68.8% of adult Americans are either overweight or clinically obese. But, they didn’t suddenly become fat once they graduated into adulthood. No, nearly one-third of American children aged 2 – 19 are also classified as overweight or obese. In those formative years when children should be running and playing and enjoying exuberant good health, too many are sidelined, unable to do simple things like ride a bike or jog around the block without being out of breath. To solve America’s overweight epidemic, I believe we must focus on our kids and get them started on a path of eating for health.


The Roman philosopher and politician, Cicero, is quoted as having said, “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need”. We have half of that equation in American schools. I believe it is time to start planting vegetable gardens in every elementary school in America and teaching our young people where food comes from. I had that opportunity and it has been a source of great joy to me throughout my childhood into young adulthood. My preschool had fruit and nut trees. I planted my first apple tree from seed in kindergarten. All children should have such blessings. This doesn’t have to be a huge investment. We can start small with simple solutions like milk-jug greenhouses for lettuce and windowsill gardens for science projects. There are many simple ideas that make gardening on a small scale affordable and practical for all. In the words of actress Audrey Hepburn, “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow”.

beautiful garden picture

Kellynn Churchill

Red Curry-What is it? How to make it!


Last Summer I traveled to Bangkok, Thailand to visit my friend B who was born and raised in the beautiful country. I was so anticipating the food more than anything else I was going to experience there. I love to cook, I have a huge love for Asian food and lucky for me I was going to have a Thai woman showing me how to cook authentic Thai food. I was so lucky!

My favorite thing about Thai food is that it always uses the most fresh and most local ingredients. Fortunate for them they live right by the ocean, so fresh seafood is very accessible. The food markets you can attend are amazing, filled with seafood caught that day, fruits and vegetables that you would drool over, so fresh. Some places you can even choose the fish you want to eat while it’s still alive, now that’s fresh! Before visiting Thailand I didn’t know much about curry, by the end of my trip I had a huge spot in my heart for red curry. I love the heat of the red curry paste and the grain-e-ness of the texture.

What is red curry paste?

Red Curry paste is used as the base ingredient to make curry dishes. It’s a blend of various herbs and spices with shrimp paste. The dominant flavor is red chili and shallots. It is often mixed with coconut milk to soften the intensity and compliment the flavor. After I got home from Bangkok I came up with a simple way to make my new favorite red curry dish.

Red Chicken Curry over White Rice

1 tablespoon Coconut Oil

1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 cup uncooked White Rice

2 tablespoons Red Curry Paste

1 can Coconut Milk

1 lime

2 tablespoons Fish Sauce

5 leaves Thai Basil

2 stalks Lemongrass

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 handful of Cilantro

1 head Broccoli

1 Red pepper

1 box Mushrooms

½ bag frozen peas

2 trimmed Chicken Breasts

  1. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the 2 tablespoons of Red Curry Paste (depending on how hot you like your curry), 1 can Coconut Milk, the juice of one lime and the 2 tablespoons of Fish Sauce and set aside.
  2. In a medium pot follow the instructions on the bag for the 1 cup of White Rice.
  3. Cut the Broccoli down to bite-sized portions, cut the Red Pepper into long strips and slice the Mushrooms.
  4. In a large skillet heat the Coconut Oil on medium heat and place the vegetables in and cook until tender, then add the frozen peas, the mixed curry from earlier and put on simmer.
  5. In a small skillet heat the Extra Virgin Olive Oil on medium/high heat then place in the Chicken Breasts and cook until done. After, cut the Breasts into long strips and then half the strips. Add the cut Breasts to the curry and vegetables and continue to simmer.
  6. Add in halved Lemongrass stalks, the 5 leaves chopped of Thai Basil and the Cilantro to the simmering skillet. Let simmer for 15min. then add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Plate rice and put curry mixture on top of the rice. ENJOY!

-Alexandra Dubin

You Aren’t Always What You Eat: Choosing Healthy Fats

Oftentimes fats are lumped together into one category and labeled as bad for your health. This projection that all fats are bad is not representative. Although there are bad fats that increase cholesterol and could contribute to your risk of certain diseases, many fats protect your heart and support overall health. It is important to make this distinction and replace bad fats with good ones instead of completely eliminating all fats. Healthy fats contribute to your overall well-being by boosting your mood, contributing to mental alertness, energy levels, and controlling weight. Get the most out of your fats!




Unsaturated Fats & Oils

Foods rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat can lower the risk of heart disease while also improving overall blood cholesterol levels. Unsaturated fats and oils can also be helpful if you have type 2 diabetes by controlling blood sugar.

Healthy Unsaturated Fats:

  • Avocados
  • OlivesNatural-Oils-For-Healthy-And-Beautiful-Hair1.jpg
  • Nuts (almonds, pecans, cashews, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts)
  • Sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds
  • fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines)

Healthy Unsaturated Oils:

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • peanut oil
  • sesame oil


SUPER FATS: Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fat. They contribute to cognitive function and emotional health. Research has shown that it could reduce symptoms of depression, memory loss, heart disease, stroke, cancer, joint pain, inflammation, fatigue, and mood. While many people consume abundant amounts of omega-6s it is important to consume more omega-3s in order to reach a healthy ratio of fatty acids in your diet.

Omega 3 Sources:

  • Salmon
  • Troutimages
  • Sardines
  • Tuna
  • Mackerel
  • Herring

Vegetarian Omega 3 Sources

  • Walnuts
  • Flaxseed
  • Kale & Spinach
  • Fish oil


Eliminating the Trans and Making Friends with the Good Fat

Trans fats are responsible for raising LDL (bad) cholesterol levels while lowering HDL (good) cholesterol levels which can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. In addition to naturally accuring trans fats, there are artificial trans fats. Artificial trans fats are ones that have had their molecules deformed and mutilated through a process called hydrogenation.

It is recommended by the USDA that trans fats should be limited to no more than 2 grams per day. You can avoid these fats by scanning food labels for hydrogenated oil, avoiding fast food, cooking with olive oil instead of hydrogenated oils, and much more.

Food High in Trans Fat

  • trans-fat-art.jpgFried Foods
  • Pre-mixed Products/Commercially-baked goods
  • Packaged snack foods
  • Partially hydrogenated oil
  • Solid fats (shortening, margarine)




Add Good Fats in a Flash:

  • Replace stick margarine or canola oil with olive oil.
  • Reach for nuts as a snack or use them in dishes to replace breadcrumbs, etc.
  • Eat more avocados-use them in salads, on toast, in sandwiches, or plain for a filling and healthy snack
  • Make your own simple salad dressing with olive oil or flaxseed oil instead of the saturated fat/high calorie premade dressings

Read More on Healthy and Unhealthy Salad Dressings

Author: Amelia Pape