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Whole Grain Benefits

How Healthy Eating Looks to a Dietitian with a Green Thumb



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As a nutritionist, I help my clients develop sustainable, nutritious eating habits and healthy lifestyles so that they can feel their best, whether or not they have a chronic condition.

While my specific dietary recommendations will depend on factors such as blood sugar control and digestive health, I recommend that all of my clients eat a nutrient-rich diet that consists primarily of whole foods.

I also practice what I preach.

This is what healthy eating looks like to me.

Over the years, I’ve found that a nutrient-rich diet consisting mostly of whole foods makes me feel best and keep my Hashimoto-related symptoms under control.

Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid gland. In this article, you will learn about diet and lifestyle changes that will help manage Hashimoto’s symptoms.

Nutrient-rich foods – which I focus on in my diet – are those that are high in nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, proteins, fiber, and healthy fats. These include fruits, vegetables, seeds, chicken, fish, beans, and nuts.

I’ve been eating mostly gluten-free and grain-free since my Hashimoto diagnosis, although I do eat small amounts of gluten-free grains like quinoa and brown rice.

This diet works for me and absolutely makes a difference to my Hashimoto symptoms.

I also attach great importance to eating as sustainably as possible and am fortunate enough to grow my own food, keep chickens and live in an area with many farms.

These practices not only make me feel good about what I put into my body, but they also make a huge difference in terms of my environmental footprint.

Local and seasonal food is associated with a number of health and environmental benefits, and I encourage you to support local farms if possible or try your own growing (1, 2).

In addition, a nutritious diet with lots of regional and sustainable foods makes life easier for my husband and me when it comes to meals. While some people think that eating this way takes hours in the kitchen, it is not.

Meals can be as simple as a brown rice bowl with vegetables and chicken or a sweet potato stuffed with vegetables, beans, and eggs.

Although my diet consists mostly of whole, nutritious foods, it doesn’t make it boring.

I know how food can promote or damage health, and it is important to me that I treat my body well and fuel it with the right foods.

However, I also understand that sustainability, variety, and consistency are the most important factors in any healthy diet – and that means that I can really enjoy the foods I eat, even if they are not the most nutritious.

I have a balanced nutritional approach with myself and my clients. Enjoying your favorite ice cream or a tasty slice of pizza can be part of a healthy diet, as long as that diet consists mainly of nutritious foods.

Life is too short to be obsessed with food choices, but life is also too short not to care about health. Although I love foods like funfetti cakes, pizza, and ice cream – and enjoy them occasionally – these foods are not part of my daily diet.

Instead, I choose meals and snacks based on what my body needs and how I feel about them.

I have been working from home and have been for years so almost all of my meals and snacks are homemade.

I let my hunger guide me, so sometimes I eat three meals a day, sometimes two. Sometimes I snack, sometimes not. And that’s fine! I listen to my body and eat when I’m hungry.

I have a few favorite lunch and dinner dishes depending on the season, but here are some of my favorite breakfast and lunch dishes.


  • two eggs from my hens with half an avocado and Cleveland Herb Roasted Garlic Sauerkraut
  • an egg and vegetable omelette with some cheddar cheese and a side dish of berries or grapefruit
  • Lavva yogurt with mixed berries, a scoop of natural peanut butter, cocoa nibs, unsweetened coconut, and chia seeds

Having lunch

  • a large mixed green salad with chickpeas, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, sun-dried tomatoes and a fried egg
  • Wild Planet Tuna with Primal Kitchen Mayo, Dill Pickles and Simple Mills almond flour crackers
  • a snack plate with everything that looks good in my fridge and pantry (this could be a combination of fresh fruit, sliced ​​vegetables, hummus, cheese, nuts, crackers, dried fruit, and more.)

I drink coffee in the morning and drink water and unsweetened hibiscus tea during the day.

My husband and I have dinner together every night and take turns cooking. We both like to eat healthy foods and have a few meals that we love to prepare.

In spring, summer and autumn we use vegetables from our backyard such as vegetables, asparagus, onions, zucchini, winter squash, peppers, potatoes, aubergines and tomatoes. Vegetables are always the star of our dinners.

My husband is an avid fisherman so we eat the fish he catches including leeches, black fish and sea bass. Other sources of protein include eggs, chicken – which we buy from local farms whenever possible – and turkey.

We mainly rely on sweet potatoes, beans, potatoes, winter squash, brown rice, and quinoa as sources of carbohydrates. We love too Tinkyada brown rice noodles.


Here are some of our favorite foods that are filling, tasty, and easy to prepare:

  • Stuffed sweet potatoes. We roast sweet potatoes and then top them with sautéed vegetables and a source of protein such as eggs, beans or chicken. Here is a delicious stuffed sweet potato recipe for you to try.
  • Almond-crusted fish. My husband makes breading from mixed almonds into crusty fish like leeches. We fry it and serve it with sautéed broccoli and fried potatoes.
  • Chicken Burger. We often make chicken or turkey burgers and serve them with sweet potato fries and a large salad.
  • Whole fried chicken. This is a winter dish. We source whole chickens from local farms and fry them in a pan with carrots, onions and potatoes. I like to make broth from the chicken carcass to use as broth or for soups.
  • Chunky summer vegetable sauce and brown rice noodles. In summer, when we have a lot of vegetables, we often prepare a chunky sauce with aubergines, onions, zucchini and tomatoes and serve it with brown rice noodles with fresh parmesan.
  • Curry. I love making curries with coconut milk, potatoes, carrots and lentils in winter.

As you can see, our meals are fairly balanced and always include sources of fiber, protein, and healthy fat.

When I want something sweet after dinner, I sometimes snack on a date filled with nut butter with chocolate chips or a piece of chocolate with peanut butter. Even so, to be honest, I’m mostly happy with dinner and don’t want a nightly snack very often.

Don’t get me wrong – I love candy and if I want something, I get it. It’s just that a balanced and filling diet that provides enough calories often results in fewer snacks, especially at night.

I never feel disadvantaged for honoring my body by energizing it with delicious, nutritious, and nutritious foods.

While I consider my current diet to be balanced and nutritious, I haven’t always had the best relationship with food.

When I was in my late teens and early twenties, like so many other women, I was uncomfortable with my body and turned to a restrictive diet to achieve a certain look and size.

My relationship with food and my body has evolved over the years. Studying nutrition, training to be a nutritionist and learning what makes me feel best has earned me a lot of respect for myself and has resulted in my consistently healthy care of my body and mind.

Developing a healthy relationship with food takes time. It’s not an easy ride for many, myself included.

When you have diet, body image, or health issues, getting the right help is important so that you can live your happiest, healthiest life.

This can mean working with a professional such as a registered dietitian or therapist.

You may be wondering if it is healthy for everyone to follow a nutrient-rich diet that is high in whole foods.

Yes! (Still, not everyone has to or shouldn’t eat gluten or cut down on grains. It’s a decision I make based on my health to look after my own health.)

In general, however, everyone can benefit from a diet high in whole foods such as vegetables, fish, fruits, beans, nuts, and seeds.

Also, cutting back on highly processed foods will likely help you feel better overall, reduce disease-related symptoms, and protect your future health (3, 4, 5).

If you’re looking to eat more whole, nutritious foods, start small by eating at least two servings of vegetables a day and cooking at home a few times a week.

Once these changes become routine, try adding other goals, such as: B. swapping highly processed snacks for more nutritious options like fresh fruit and nut butters.

Small changes over time are the way to go when it comes to making permanent dietary changes. So take it step by step.

Whole Grain Benefits

For the 55-and-over crowd, March 27-April 3, 2022 | Local News



For information about services available to older adults, contact Pam Jacobsen, director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program and Helen Mary Stevick Senior Citizens Center, 2102 Windsor Place, C, at 217-359-6500.

RSVP and the Stevick Center are administered by Family Service of Champaign County.


  • Active Senior Republicans in Champaign County’s monthly meeting will be held at 9:30 am on April 4 in the Robeson Pavilion Room A & B at the Champaign Public Library. This month’s speakers will be Jesse Reising, Regan Deering and Matt Hausman, Republican primary candidates for the newly redrawn 13th Congressional District.
  • Parkland Theater House needs four ushers each night for “The SpongeBob Musical,” opening April 14. There will be nine shows in total — April 14-16, April 22-24 and April 29-May 1. For details, call or email Michael Atherton, Parkland Theater House Manager, or 217-373-3874.
  • Parkland College also needs four volunteers for commencement. The commencement ceremony will be in person at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at 8 pm May 12. Volunteers needed from 6:30 to 8 pm For details, contact Tracy Kleparski, Director of Student Life, at or 217- 351-2206.
  • The Milford High School National Honor Society and Student Council is hosting a Senior Citizens Banquet at 6 pm April 22. The event will be held in the MAPS #124 Gymnasium (park at south doors at Milford High School. To RSVP, call Sandy Potter at 815-471-4213.


Knit or crochet for those in need:

Meditative Movement with Yoga:

  • 9 to 10:15 am Tuesdays and Thursdays.


  • 11 am to noon, second and fourth Tuesdays. Call 217-359-6500.


  • Noon to 3 pm Thursdays.


Card game 13:

  • To sign up to play, call 217-359-6500 and ask for Debbie.

Men’s group:

  • 9 am Monday-Friday. Join us for a cup of coffee and great conversation.


The Peace Meal Nutrition Program provides daily hot lunches at 11:30 am for a small donation and a one-day advance reservation at sites in Champaign, Urbana, Rantoul, Sidney (home delivery only), Mahomet (home delivery only) and Homer.

For reservations, call 800-543-1770. Reservations for Monday need to be made by noon Friday.

NOTE: There is no change for home deliveries, but at congregate sites, you can get a carry-out meal.


  • BBQ pork sandwich, mini potato bakers, corn, creamy cole slaw, bun.


  • Turkey pot roast with carrots and celery, Italian green beans, pineapple, whole grain roll.


  • Savory sausage stew, broccoli, chunky apple sauce, biscuit, surprise dessert.


  • Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and brown gravy, tomatoes and zucchini, apricots, whole-grain roll.


  • Chef’s choice — regional favorites will be served.


If you are 55 and older and want to volunteer in your community, RSVP (funded by AmeriCorps Seniors and the Illinois Department on Aging) provides a unique link to local nonprofits needing help. We offer support, benefits and a safe connection to partner sites.

Contact Pam Jacobsen at or 217-359-6500.


Senior Volunteers.

  • RSVP of Champaign, Douglas and Piatt counties/AmeriCorps Senior Volunteers is your link to over 100 nonprofit organizations. Please contact Pam Jacobsen at or call 217-359-6500 for volunteer information.

Food for seniors. Handlers needed to unload boxes of food for repackaging at 7 am on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. We are looking for backup delivery drivers to deliver food to seniors. Contact Robbie Edwards at 217-359-6500 for info.

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Whole Grain Benefits

The future of nutrition advice



By Lisa Drayer, CNN

(CNN) — Most of us know we should eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

So why would the National Institutes of Health spend $150 million to answer questions such as “What and when should we eat?” and “How can we improve the use of food as medicine?”

The answer may be precision nutrition, which aims to understand the health effects of the complex interplay among genetics, our microbiome (the bacteria living in our gut), our diet and level of physical activity, and other social and behavioral characteristics.

That means that everyone could have their own unique set of nutritional requirements.

How is that possible? I asked three experts who conduct precision nutrition research: Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology and chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, and Martha Field and Angela Poole, both assistant professors in the division of nutritional sciences at Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology.

Below is an edited version of our conversation.

CNN: How is precision nutrition different from current nutrition advice?

dr Frank Hu: The idea of ​​precision nutrition is to have the right food, at the right amount, for the right person. Instead of providing general dietary recommendations for everyone, this precision approach tailors nutrition recommendations to individual characteristics, including one’s genetic background, microbiome, social and environmental factors, and more. This can help achieve better health outcomes.

CNN: Why is there no one-size-fits-all prescription when it comes to what we should be eating?

Huh: Not everyone responds to the same diet in the same way. For example, given the same weight-loss diet, some people can lose a lot of weight; other people may gain weight. A recent study in JAMA randomized a few hundred overweight individuals to a healthy low-carb or low-fat diet. After a year, there was almost an identical amount of weight loss for the two groups, but there was a huge variation between individuals within each group — some lost 20 pounds. Others gained 10 pounds.

Martha Field: Individuals have unique responses to diet, and the “fine adjust” of precision nutrition is understanding those responses. This means understanding interactions among genetics, individual differences in metabolism, and responses to exercise.

CNN: How do we eat based on precision nutrition principles now?

Huh: There are some examples of personalized diets for disease management, like a gluten-free diet for the management of celiac disease, or a lactose-free diet if you are lactose intolerant. For individuals with a condition known as PKU (phenylketonuria), they should consume (a) phenylalanine-free diet. It’s a rare condition but a classic example of how your genes can influence what type of diets you should consume.

Angela Poole: If I had a family history of high cholesterol, diabetes or colon cancer, I would increase my dietary fiber intake, eating a lot of different sources, including a variety of vegetables.

fields: If you have high blood pressure, you should be more conscious of sodium intake. Anyone with a malabsorption issue might have a need for higher levels of micronutrients such as B vitamins and some minerals.

CNN: There is research showing that people metabolize coffee differently. What are the implications here?

Huh: Some people carry fast caffeine-metabolizing genes; others carry slow genes. If you carry fast (metabolizing) genotypes, you can drink a lot of caffeinated coffee because caffeine is broken down quickly. If you are a slow metabolizer, you get jittery and may not be able to sleep if you drink coffee in the afternoon. If that’s the case, you can drink decaf coffee and still get the benefits of coffee’s polyphenols, which are associated with decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes without the effects of caffeine.

CNN: How much of a role do our individual genes play in our risk of disease? And can our behavior mitigate our disease risk?

Huh: Our health is affected by both genes and diets, which constantly interact with each other because certain dietary factors can turn on or off some disease-related genes. We published research showing that reducing consumption of sugary beverages can offset the negative effects of obesity genes. That’s really good news. Our genes are not our destiny.

Another area of ​​precision nutrition is to measure blood or urine metabolites, small molecules produced during the breakdown and ingestion of food. For example, having a higher concentration of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) strongly predicts one’s future risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The blood levels of BCAAs depend on individuals’ diet, genes and gut microbiome. We found that eating a healthy (Mediterranean-style) diet can mitigate harmful effects of BCAAs on cardiovascular disease. So measuring BCAAs in your blood may help to evaluate your risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease and encourage dietary changes that can lower the risk of chronic diseases down the road.

fields: The environmental effects can sometimes be on the same magnitude as the genetic effects with respect to risk for disease.

CNN: Our individual microbiomes may be able to dictate what type of diet we should be consuming. Can you tell us about this emerging research? And what do you think of microbiome tests?

Poole: Research has shown that in some people, their blood sugar will spike higher from eating bananas than from eating cookies, and this has been associated with microbiome composition. Scientists have used microbiome data to build algorithms that can predict an individual’s glucose response, and this is a major advance. But that’s not an excuse for me to shovel down cookies instead of bananas. Likewise, if the algorithm suggests eating white bread instead of whole-wheat bread due to blood glucose responses, I wouldn’t just eat white bread all the time.

At the moment, I’m not ready to spend a lot of money to see what’s in my gut microbiome… and the microbiome changes over time.

Huh: Microbiome tests are not cheap, and the promise that this test can help develop a personalized meal plan that can improve blood sugar and blood cholesterol … at this point, the data are not conclusive.

CNN: How will nutrition advice be different 10 years from now?

Poole: I think you will receive a custom-tailored grocery list on an app — foods that you want to buy and foods that you want to avoid, based on your blood sugar responses to foods, your level of physical activity and more.

Huh: We will have more and better biomarkers and more affordable and accurate nutrigenomics and microbiome tests as well as better computer algorithms that predict your response to food intakes.

But these technologies cannot substitute general nutrition principles such as limiting sodium and added sugar and eating more healthy plant foods. In a few years, you may be able to get a more useful response from Alexa if you ask her what you should eat — but like other answers from Alexa, you’ll have to take it with a grain of salt.

The CNN Wire
™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

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Whole Grain Benefits

Are Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches Healthy?



In order to assess its nutritional value, first we must discuss the breakdown of this sandwich.

Typically, there are three main ingredients — bread, peanut butter, and jelly — each with different nutritional values.

Nutritional value of bread

Bread can be a part of a balanced diet. The nutritional value of bread depends on the type chosen.

For starters, whole-grain bread is the best option because it provides a higher amount of nutrients. Whole grain kernels have three parts: the bran, endosperm, and germ (1).

Because whole grain bread retains all three parts, it’s higher in protein and fiber compared with other breads. These nutrients slow the absorption of sugar into your blood stream and keep you full longer (2, 3).

Whole grain bread is also richer in key nutrients, like B vitamins, iron, folate, and magnesium. Look for the word “whole” as part of the first ingredient in bread’s nutritional label (2).

Choosing sprouted grain bread, like Ezekiel bread, is also an excellent choice. The sprouting process increases digestibility and bioavailability of nutrients. Studies show sprouted bread has more fiber, vitamin E, and vitamin C, and beta-glucan (4).

Sourdough bread is fine, too. Although it’s not as high in fiber and protein, it has a lower glycemic index than white bread.

Glycemic index measures how quickly food increases blood sugars. In general, foods with a lower glycemic index better support your overall health.

But keep in mind that glycemic index doesn’t tell the whole story. We must look at the meal as a whole — for example, what we add to the bread. Nutrients, like protein and fats, can help lower the overall glycemic load of a meal, and serving sizes also play a role (5).

As a guideline, look for whole grain breads that offer at least 2 grams of fiber per slice. We also suggest using bread that contains 3 grams of protein or more per slice.

If that’s not available, sourdough bread may be your next best option.


Choose breads that are higher in fiber and protein, like whole grain bread or sprouted grain bread. These varieties help slow absorption of sugars and keep you full longer.

Nutritional value of peanut butter

Many people find peanut butter delicious.

Nutritionally, it also delivers. Peanut butter is a good source of protein and healthy fats, important for all stages of life, especially growing children. Plus, it’s a good source of fiber.

Two tablespoons (32 grams) of smooth peanut butter contain 7 grams of protein, 16 grams of fats, and 2 grams of fiber (6).

Importantly, the majority of fats in peanut butter are unsaturated fats. Research consistently indicates that replacing saturated fats found in animal products with more unsaturated fats (like those in peanut butter) may lower cholesterol and improve heart health (7, 8).

For growing kids, healthy fats are vital for healthy development. Plus, fats help absorb the vitamins A, D, E, and K, all of which play a synergistic role in supporting immune and brain health (9, 10).

Contrary to popular belief, conventional peanut butter doesn’t usually have more sugar than 100% natural peanut butter. However, it may have more salt (6).

When shopping, check the nutrition labels to ensure it doesn’t contain additional ingredients other than peanuts.

When enjoying natural peanut butter, the oil will separate from the peanut butter. Not to fret — just give it a good stir! This helps mix the oils with the solids.

Pro tip: You can store peanut butter upside down in the fridge to keep it from separating again!


When available, choose 100% natural peanut butter, as it’s lower in salt. Remember to stir the peanut butter before eating to mix the oils with the solids.

Nutritional value of jelly

The PB&J sandwich isn’t complete without jelly or jam. What’s the difference, anyway?

Well, while jellies and jams have similar nutritional value and taste, there’s a slight difference: Jellies are made with fruit juice, while jam is made with the fruit juice and pulp (7).

Both jellies and jams contain pectin (artificially added to jelly), which has prebiotic effects that may improve gut health (8).

However, both are naturally high in sugar, so enjoy them in moderation. To have more say in the ingredients used, you can try making your jelly at home.

If you’re buying from a store, look for jellies with no added sugar in the ingredients list. Alternative names for added sugars include glucose, sucrose, dextrose, and fructose.


Jellies are high in natural sugars and contain pectins that may have a beneficial effect in promoting good health. Try to choose jellies with no added sugars.

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