It’s time for another edition of Ask the Nutritionist where I invite health and nutrition professionals to answer your toughest questions. Today I am thrilled to feature my dear friend Lindsay who you may know as The Lean Green Bean. She recently became a Registered Dietitian and I couldn’t be more proud of her accomplishments!
Name: Lindsay Livingston
Website: The Lean Green Bean (blog)
Day Job: Online Nutrition Coach, Freelance Writer, Healthy Living Blogger
Brief Bio/Background: I’m a 28 year old Registered Dietitian from Columbus, Ohio. I grew up in Kansas and moved out to Ohio to go to college (round 1). I met my husband, got a BA in psychology and we got married a couple years after we graduated. I spent time working in a preschool and for an insurance company before deciding to follow my dreams and went back to college (round 2) to become a Registered Dietitian. I wanted to spread accurate nutrition information to as many people as possible!
What is a common nutrition myth that you can dispel? That people don’t have enough time to eat healthy. I firmly believe that if you spend a little time on the weekends prepping some healthy foods, you can eat healthy all week long and only have to spend 15 minutes or so each might putting together a healthy dinner.
What is your favorite go-to healthy week night dinner? Oh I have so many! One of my favorites is a giant salad with roasted veggies and a veggie burger on top!
When reading food labels, how many grams of sugar is excessive?
When you see grams of sugar on a label, remember this: 4 grams of sugar = about 1 teaspoon of sugar. There are about 16 calories in a tsp of sugar. The American Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of added sugars you consume to no more than half your daily discretionary calorie allowance. For most women, this means no more than 100 calories per day and no more than 150 calories for men (6 teaspoons/24 grams for women and 9 teaspoons/36 grams for men). Here’s some great info from the American Heart Association.
In my opinion you should always aim for less than this. Most Americans are eating WAY too much added sugar every day so focusing on reducing your intake wouldn’t hurt!
What is a good substitute for almond flour in paleo cooking? You could try sunflower seed flour or pumpkin seed flour which can be hard to find in stores, but you could make them yourself by quickly blending the seeds (shelled) in a food processor or blender. You could also try focusing more on recipes that are designed for coconut flour. Coconut flour and almond flour behave differently so it probably won’t work to substitute them, instead, try choosing recipes that have already been tested with coconut flour and avoid almond flour all together.
Since we are all busy these days, what are some easy healthy snacks to keep in the pantry/fridge to grab quickly? There are tons of healthy grab-and-go snacks you can have on hand to help you and your family stay on track during busy days! Here are some of my favorites:
- Trailmix (make your own with your favorite nuts, seeds and dried fruit for an nutrient packed snack that doesn’t need to be refrigerated)
- Larabars /Kind Bars (You can make homemade larabars by blending together dates, nuts and dried fruit)
- String cheese and whole wheat crackers
- Yogurt or cottage cheese with fresh fruit
- Hard boiled eggs
- Apple slices with peanut butter
- Carrots with hummus.
- Half a peanut butter sandwich on 100% whole wheat bread
What is your favorite healthy casserole/comfort food? Lentil vegetable mac and cheese! It’s packed with vegetables, has lentils for added fiber and protein and you make the sauce at home so you can control the amount of cheese! Plus, it’s the perfect recipe to use frozen veggies, which means less chopping of your! If you’re a meat lover, you could easily add some diced chicken if you wanted to.
What’s the easiest way to ensure we are getting enough fiber into our meals?
- Choose 100% whole grain products whenever possible (Look for the whole grain stamp on the grain products you buy).
- Whenever you can, eat whole fruits and vegetables- the skin is often where the fiber is found. Fruits and vegetables are a great source of fiber so try to incorporate them into every meal!
- Add some beans and legumes to your diet! Beans, lentils and peas are packed with fiber and using them to replace meat at some of your meals, or even adding them to dishes that contain meat, is an easy way to increase your fiber intake!