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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Deb Kennedy, Author of a New Culinary Medicine Textbook, Dishes on Building Healthy Food Habits | Food + Drink Features | Seven Days

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Deb Kennedy isn’t a fan of so-called “energy” drinks. In fact, the health and nutritionist landed in the New York Times in 2013 for stating loud and clear in her newsletter Build Healthy Kids that children should never drink them. Monster Beverage, maker of Monster Energy, threatened to sue her for defamation even though she didn’t mention the product by name. “I’m known as the mother who took on the monster,” Kennedy said.

For her latest venture, the South Burlington mother-of-two took on what is perhaps an even more challenging – if less contentious – task. Kennedy’s newly published The Culinary Medicine Textbook: A Modular Approach to Culinary Literacy aims to help people change their eating habits.

It consists of five volumes, three of which were published on January 1st. Part 1: The Basics explains and explores the field of culinary medicine. Part 3: The Diets reviews the facts and myths behind popular diets. And Part 4: The Kitchens describes how to organize and use kitchens to teach and promote healthy eating.

Part 2: The Food will be published in mid-February. It looks at the specifics of food groups, including their history, science, and culinary approaches. And Part 5: The Specialties will follow in May and will cover dietary advice for specific demographics such as athletes and those with food allergies.

Aimed primarily at health and nutrition professionals, the ambitious textbook features contributions from a wide range of scientists, nutritionists and chefs. But of the parts published so far, those on the basics and the diets offer many treasures for the layperson willing to sift through the sometimes dense material.

Kennedy relocated to Norwich from Connecticut in 2015 to take a position as the inaugural director of the Weight and Wellness Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. She has previously published three books for a more general audience on how to raise healthy eaters, including Beat Sugar Addiction Now! for Kids: The Cutting-Edge Program That Gets Your Kids Rid of Sugar Safely, Easily, and Without the Fights and Drama (Fair Winds Press, 2012).

Kennedy spoke to Seven Days about her own sugar addiction, cooking craving broccoli and how to improve your diet one step at a time.

SEVEN DAYS: Let’s start with your food and nutrition background.

DEB KENNEDY: I’m a nutritional biochemist with a PhD from Tufts University. Before that, in my teens and twenties, I trained as a pastry chef and worked in restaurants and hotels up to sous chef level. I know food from a scientific point of view and from a chef’s point of view. But the most important viewpoint is someone who has struggled with sugar addiction their whole life. I understand what it’s like to have to fight these demons.

SD: In part one, you explain that culinary medicine is an approach that “teaches and enables humans to translate clinical nutritional recommendations into culinary skills.” What does that mean in practice?

DK: It helps people cook again. My goal is really to make people fall in love with food and cook real food, real food, nutritious food. Anyone who can cook can use damn culinary medicine. I love to cook and I see people making enemies of food. That’s why they’re not in a relationship, why they didn’t get a promotion, or — they fill in the blank. It reads, “If I can get to that weight, then everything will be fine.”

SD: You write that a lot of people are “tired of being told what to eat and what not to eat, so they tune it out”. How do you fight this?

DK: When we ask someone to change their diet, we ask them to do over 160 different things [clinical nutrition recommendations] at once. Add the 220 meal choices [most people make] per day, and people just implode. They don’t even know where to start.

I’ve done a lot of research on how people change their behavior. I’ve spent 13-14 years researching and doing this modular approach. I just want you to focus on one thing at a time. [For example,] Focus on fruit this month. By the end of the month, the goal is for you to eat two servings of fruit a day. When you focus on one thing and find success, you want to try another.

SD: Did that work for your sugar addiction?

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  • The Textbook of Culinary Medicine: A Modular Approach to Culinary Competence

DK: The first step was to find out why I had it. We all have our own food stories that we carry around with us and if we don’t understand them it becomes really hard for us to make healthy dietary changes.

I grew up in an alcoholic Irish Catholic family. Sugar was my only safe place. And it wasn’t until I was able to honor Zucker and thank him for saving my life [that I could] then take away the shame and guilt. Today I have one piece of chocolate a day, 1.5 to 2 ounces. I don’t beat myself up and tell myself that I’m a failure and [that] When I’ve eaten the chocolate, I’ll eat the cookies and I’ll eat the ice cream.

SD: Is there a way to create a broccoli craving that matches many people’s chocolate cravings?

DK: Chefs know how to make desirable, delicious food. We must teach people how to prepare healthy, craving and delicious food. Adding an acid source to your food, primarily lemon and lime, will brighten up your dish and take it to the next level. And salt is not the enemy. We get most of our salt from processed foods. If you cook at home, you can use salt, but know when to use it. If you use it throughout the cooking process instead of throwing it in at the end, you’ll use less of it. Then there are different cooking methods like caramelizing. If you’ve never eaten caramelized roasted vegetables, you don’t know what you’re missing out on.

SD: Can you highlight the benefits of mindful eating that you describe in the book?

DK: To eat mindfully, you can’t have your phone at the table and chaos around you. You have to listen to your inner voice which is really drowned out by the outside noise. I know that almost every one of your readers has had the experience of eating something and then you don’t even remember eating it. This could be a chocolate chip cookie, for example. It was a craving and you ate it but you didn’t taste it; you didn’t give yourself a chance to really enjoy and connect with it. In the end you always want more.

I always say food is about connection. Eating with others is a connection, and we can actually connect to the earth based on our food choices. It is really this connection that nourishes us. If you eat disconnected, you will always be hungry.

SD: Part of The Culinary Medicine Textbook is about designing kitchens that promote and teach healthy eating. What can we do in our home kitchens?

DK: The modular approach works here too. You have your freezer, fridge, countertop and pantry. Clean them up and put the healthy items within reach. Always make the healthy the easy option. Before COVID, I used to meet up with a friend on Saturdays or Sundays and we [would] Cut up a gallon of veggies that sat in our fridge into stir-fries, soups, omelettes or whatever.

SD: We all know that we should eat more vegetables. More tips?

DK: I use the word plant-forward. If you can pick more plants, do so. I look at my protein source when planning breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but that’s just the tiny bit in the middle. The other whole set of characters are my veggies and my whole grains. If you don’t eat veggies, let’s just start by getting one every day. And once you’ve gotten one in and that’s okay, let’s try two. Then try different strains and different colors because each color has a different superpower when it comes to health.

SD: I love your “dilution” approach. can you explain

DK: When I go to get Chinese food, I take half of it home. I can make dinner for four out of this because the sauce is already there. I’ll top the leftovers with about three cups of steamed veggies. [Or] If you’re making a taco, add a can of black beans to the ground turkey.

It also helps people eat whole grains. For example, I would have her make 3/4 white pasta with 1/4 whole wheat pasta, then half and half, and so on. If you can make it to the end, great. But if all you get is a quarter, yay for you.

It’s not all or nothing. Every little decision you make throughout the day – make more of those healthy choices, and that’s the direction you’re going.

This interview has been edited and abridged for clarity and length.

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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Expert’s nutrition tips for runners

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Running is a very popular sport, thanks to its simplicity and many health and fitness benefits. It’s versatile and inexpensive, requires very little equipment, and it’s an excellent way to strengthen your cardiovascular health.

Nutrition plays an important part in optimum running performance. pexels

With the competitive nature of the sport, runners continuously challenge themselves and each other to improve. In addition to training, proper fuel for the body is vital for peak sports performance.

Noted medical and nutrition specialist Dr. Korakod Panich provided the five best nutrients for optimal running performance.

Nutrition is important for runners because it plays a vital role in overall health and can also support performance. A balanced diet for healthy runners should include these five key nutrients:

1. Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates—which can be found in food such as fruits, dairy products, and starches such as rice, bread, and pasta—are the most important source of energy for the body.

For runners, a small meal, taken an hour before running, consisting of carbohydrates and a bit of protein can provide the energy needed to run effectively. A smoothie made with milk and fruit, or some yogurt topped with berries, provides the nutrients needed and is easily digested before a workout.

Consuming the right amount of carbohydrates before exercising can help you maximize your workout.

2. Protein
Protein—found in meat, milk, eggs, and soy—helps repair and rebuild tissues and muscles that could be affected during physical activities. With the proper amount of protein and adequate sleep, muscles repair, rebuild, and become stronger.

Soy is a good protein source as it is one of the few complete plant-based proteins containing all of the nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. Runners should consume a combination of carbs and protein 30 to 45 minutes after exercising.

Carb to protein ratio should be 2-3:1, with 20 grams of high-quality protein after a workout and between 40 and 60 grams of carbohydrate. A sandwich on whole-grain bread with a piece of fruit or a high-protein recovery shake would fill the bill.

3.Fat
Fat serves as an essential energy source. It is often used as fuel, particularly during moderate-intensity exercise that lasts for an extended period, such as a moderate jog lasting at least 30 minutes or so. The body will utilize more fat than carbohydrate for fuel in an attempt to conserve carbohydrate that is stored in the liver and muscles.

Choose beneficial fats—such as those found in olive oil, avocado, and nuts—and avoid saturated fats¬¬that can raise the risk of heart disease. This means staying away from fatty red meats, and ultra-processed foods, such as fast food or bakery items.

4. Vitamins and minerals
There are different kinds of vitamins and minerals that help maintain the balance in body system functions; fruits and vegetables are the best sources to obtain them. During exercise, the body excretes waste in the form of sweat, which also removes important minerals from the body. If you opt to exercise for more than one hour, energy and mineral drinks are highly recommended to replace lost fluids and minerals.

5.Water
The human body is made up of 70 percent water, which is why staying hydrated is crucial. Water helps deliver nutrients to the cells and plays a significant role in eliminating waste. Runners need to maintain body water balance before, during, and after workouts because water provides nourishment that the body needs for almost every single function. It also helps limit changes in body temperature.

Make sure not to lose more than two percent of your body weight in fluids during exercise, as it can reduce your strength and affect performance. If you exercise regularly, check your weight before and after a workout to keep track of water loss and be sure to replace those losses. For every pound of weight lost during exercise, replace with 2-3 cups of fluid (or 1 liter of fluid for every kilogram lost during exercise).

Nutrition and running style

Aside from understanding the importance of nutrients, it is also essential for new runners to learn the proper way to run. Running not just makes our bodies stronger; it also helps burn calories and fat, depending on the goal.

If you have little time and would like to burn calories and fat, you can do interval training, which alternates short work intervals (80-90 percent of maximum heart rate for 30-60 seconds) with rest periods (50 percent of maximum heart rate for 1-2 minutes). This helps improve circulation and enable the heart to pump blood and make it healthier while strengthening the muscles.

If your main aim is to burn fat, and you have some time, you can run slowly to raise your heart rate to 40-60 percent of your maximum, for at least 45-60 minutes.

Korakod Panich is a member of the Herbalife Nutrition Advisory Board.

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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Weekly Spotlight: Make the Perfect Spring Vegan Pasta Salad!

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Pasta salad is a wonderful spring meal, plus it’s a wonderful plant-based meal that can easily be veganized! It’s a meal that you can add any veggie that you want to, making it super versatile for this time of year. When spring produces like arugula, garlic and some herbs are hitting their peak season, you might have extra veggies on hand or are looking for a way to clear out some veggies from your fridge. Pasta salad is also easy to whip up, and you can either do a simple dressing or a more involved creamy dressing to top it.

Depending on your time and how you want to enjoy your pasta salad, this guide splits pasta salad recipes depending on their sauce base. The simple oil and garlic type dressings are lighter in flavor, allowing whatever you hand (veggies or herbs) to stand out in your final pasta salad. However, if you’re looking for a creamier and more hands-on homemade dressing, we’ve got you covered too! These are topped with a dressing that uses a base of tahini, tofu, or even hemp seeds to create a delicious creamy dressing. The last group focuses on taking a traditional pasta salad adding a twist, like a clever flavor or mixing up the base grain!

We also highly recommend downloading the Food Monster app — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest meatless, vegan, plant-based, and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help you get healthy! And, don’t forget to check out our Weekly Meal Plan Archives!

Are you ready to have a week full of delicious, high-protein, whole-food vegan food that leaves you nourished and content? Let’s get started!

This week, we’re bringing delicious pasta salad recipes that are fully vegan and plant-based!

Pasta Salads that Use a Mayo, Sour Cream, or Simple Oil Dressing:

Vegan Spring Pea and Arugula Pasta Salad

Source: Spring Pea and Arugula Pasta Salad

These quick pasta salads are great to throw together for the week! Their light dressing makes it excellent to eat on its own to get a variety of simple flavors and enjoy the fresher crunch of the veggies in these dishes.

Pasta Salads that Use a Tofu, Tahini, Homemade, or Cashew Based Dressing

Vegan Easy Vegetable Pasta Salad

Source: Easy Vegetable Pasta Salad

These creamy pasta salads are excellent to enjoy on their own, or if you’re looking to add even more veggies, you could enjoy these over a base of greens for an extra crunch of texture! There are so many ways to make a creamy pasta salad with vegan ingredients; you could use cashews, tofu, tahini, or even hemp hearts to get a creamy sauce.

Pasta Salads that Are a Twist on a Classic Dish:

Vegan Greek Pasta Salad with Tofu Feta

Source: Greek Pasta Salad with Tofu Feta

Cacio e Pepe as a pasta salad? Using orzo instead of pasta? There are so many ways to change up the flavors and inspiration you use for your pasta salads. If you’re looking for a way to enjoy a new way of eating pasta salad, this is your list right here!

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Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home

Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental well-being, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, good health other more! Unfortunately, dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer, and has many side effects.

For those interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend purchasing one of our many plant-based cookbooks or downloading the Food Monster app which has thousands of delicious recipes making it the largest vegan recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental other health benefits of a plant based diet.

Here are some resources to get you started:

For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!

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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Food Therapist Debunks Myths About Veganism

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Veganism is a lifestyle that is based on the ideology that humans should not exploit animals or the environment for their needs. Vegans refrain from utilizing any kind of animal products for food, clothing, or work, among other things, and they do not differentiate between any species as they consider all animals equal. Simply put, veganism is the practice of avoiding the use of any animal products—particularly in our diet—including meat, eggs, and dairy products.

Myths about veganism

Additionally, there are countless myths, misconceptions, and assumptions about being vegan from all corners. We got Nidhi Nahata—Founder, Justbe Resto Cafe, Bangalore, and food therapist—to debunk a few common floating speculations.

1. Milk has a lot of calcium

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There is an existing misconception that only cow milk contains calcium. So, what is the optimal source of calcium? Like plenty of other nutrients, calcium is readily available in a variety of plant-based foods that are better absorbed by the body than dairy. Think broccoli, cabbage, kale, almonds, chia, beans, pulses, leafy vegetables, and more. Therefore, even if you are not vegan, having a wide range of calcium sources in your diet can be a healthier option.

2. Animal protein is more important than plant protein

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

Incidentally, the animals that are consumed for so-called protein are fed on a plant based diet, which basically means that we are consuming the same and/or processed protein through dead tissues or extracted produce from an animal. For those on the lookout for plant-based protein sources, there are plenty of options like soya, lentils, pulses, broccoli, seaweed, peas, spinach, beans, brown rice, whole wheat bread and pasta, quinoa, peanuts, cashews, almonds , pistachios, walnuts, oats, and seitan tofu.

3. Vegans have B12 deficiency

Vegans, vegetarians, or non-vegetarians—all could have deficiency because of vitamin B12, which is a bacteria found in nature. The sources of vitamin B12 are commonly questioned in reference to being vegan, since the most common source is assumed to be animals and animal products. But the reality is that vegans can achieve the intake needed through reliable sources, such as supplements or fortified foods.

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

Vitamin B12 is produced by certain microorganisms and is processed while consuming cobalt from a plant base. However, our modern day agriculture prevents these nutrients to be transferred into our bodies through either sources-–animals or plants. Therefore, vegans, vegetarians, or non-vegetarians need to normally be given cobalt or B12 supplements to attain suitable levels regardless of their dietary preference.

4. Vegan lifestyle is very expensive

food item
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The limited accessibility to vegan food and alternatives is one of the biggest restrictive misconnects prevalent in our society. The reality is that, similar to any diet, plant-based eating is only expensive if there are a lot of quick-to-eat processed foods, readymade meal preps, and products from vegan-specific brands. There are plenty of vegan foods and ingredients that are affordable in India, especially if the diet is centered around cheaper foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, lentils, beans, and several others. Good planning can make vegan diet more affordable than the ones that include animal products.

5. Pregnant women need milk and dairy

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

“You cannot be vegan when pregnant” is a common misconception for soon-to-be vegan parents. The basic fact is that pregnancy is a challenge for the body, no matter what diet you are on and usually requires additional nutrients. It is advised to be closer to iron and vitamin B12, which can be attained on a vegan diet as well. The tradition of milk being one of the most integral components of our diet has been prevalent for decades. We need to be mindful and bring logical reasoning in choosing food for soon-to-be parents as well as children.

6. Soy increases the chances of breast cancer

  7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

There is no convincing evidence that eating soy-based food increases the risk of breast cancer in humans. This misunderstanding, however, might arise from earlier studies conducted on rodents. Scientists of this study showed that when these animals received large amounts of soy-compounds called flavones, they showed likelihood to develop breast cancer.

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

A study published by the International Journal of Epidemiology, in February 2020, searched associations between soy intake and breast cancer risk by following 52,795 cancer-free women in the US for an average of 7.9 years. In the results, they found no substantial association between soy intake and breast cancer, but they did identify a link between dairy (milk) and breast cancer.

Soy as an ingredient is loaded with fiber and is a good source of protein, omega 3, and antioxidants. Research also suggests that soy has a good amount of protein which is well absorbed by the body, and the best way to consume it is in bean form, tofu, tempeh, and other such forms.

7. Veganism is a cult

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

Being compassionate and conscious can never be a cult. Veganism is a lifestyle that utilizes an ideology to bring people closer to their instincts. This means bringing us closer to eating what nature has designed and grown for us, rather than exploiting animals and other sentient beings.

Lead Image Credit: Alia Bhatt and Yami Gautam Dhar, Instagram

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