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Favorite Food: Eggs

Next up in my Favorite Foods series is the incredible egg!

Eggs have gotten a rotten rep over the years because they are a high cholesterol food. We once thought that eating high cholesterol foods would increase the cholesterol in our body. However, that’s rarely the case. I will say in some cases it may be a wise choice to cut back on eggs in certain people with elevated blood lipids, but it’s really an individual case by case situation.

Cholesterol is affected by the fat you eat and can be affected by concentrated sweets as well. Trans fats and saturated fat increase the LDL (bad) cholesterol in your body. Trans fats also decrease the HDL (good) cholesterol which is the opposite of what we want to happen.

Monounsaturated fats decrease LDL and increase HDL while polyunsaturated fats lower both LDL and HDL. I’ll go into more detail in a future post about fats, but this is the main gist.

Eggs are a very inexpensive, nutrient dense food. They are high in protein and are a good source of other important nutrients like vitamin D, phosphorus, riboflavin and selenium. Eggs have one of the highest amounts of choline of any food. Choline is involved in memory, mood, and other brain/nervous system functions. The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin are two antioxidants found in an egg which help protect and maintain eye health.

I pretty much eat eggs daily. Sometimes it’s the egg whites, but either way, they are a good source of protein for me. I buy them in the big packs from Costco weekly 🙂 It’s one of those foods I really don’t get tired of eating.

Another no-brainer recipe in the Instant Pot is hard boiled eggs! Simply add 1 cup of water to the bottom of the instant pot pan. Place the rack (which comes with the Instant pot) inside and place the eggs on top. Choose high pressure on manual, 5 minutes. Natural release 5 minutes then use quick release placing a towel over the valve so steam doesn’t get everywhere, then quickly place eggs in a cold water bath. Eggs are perfectly cooked and easy to peel!

egg1

For more nutrition facts on eggs, check out this post from Real Mom Nutrition.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Waffles

If you’re like most people you may tend to eat more pumpkin foods in the Fall. I fall into that category too (pumpkin latte, pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin smoothie, pumpkin pie!) but this is one recipe that I eat year round. These waffles are gluten and dairy free and the recipe is inspired by this one at Fit Foodie Finds. Berries are the perfect topper for this light and fluffy waffle. I make a batch and freeze the leftovers and they taste just as good reheated in the toaster oven.

Ingredients

Wet

  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • splash of vanilla
  • 1 cup almond milk, unsweetened

Dry

  • 1.5 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used Oat flour)
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Instructions

  1. Begin by preheating your waffle iron to medium.
  2. Next, in a large bowl, mix together the wet ingredients.
  3. Then, add in dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  4. Once waffle maker is completely heated, lightly spray with oil on both sides. Then, pour about 1 cup of batter onto waffle maker, close, and flip. Let cook for about 4 minutes. Flip waffle maker and open. If it needs a little be more time to cook, close and flip over, let cook for about 20-30 seconds longer.
  5. Use non-stick tongs to remove waffle from iron.

Weight Fluctuations? What Gives?

What I hear:

I gained a pound this week! What am I doing wrong?

My weight stayed the same this week! This is not working.

I only lost two pounds this week! I want to quit. 😦

I lost 5 pounds in 10 days – woohoo!

What I say:

What you should do at this point in time… RELAX!!!

You did not gain three pounds of fat overnight – it is impossible, and you did not lose three pounds of fat overnight either.

Body Weight Fluctuations of 1-5 Pounds a Day are Perfectly Normal.

1. Sodium: Think of your body like a pendulum scale. If you eat more salt than usual one day, your body will react by trying to balance the scale by retaining more water. Eat less salt than usual, and you have the opposite affect.

2. Alcohol: This diuretic causes dehydration in the body, which leads to water retention. The water retention is a result of your body wanting to make up for the difference in water levels drinking alcohol has caused.

3. Carbohydrate Intake: The body turns the majority of eaten carbs into glucose for immediate energy. Glucose that is not used for immediate energy, turns to glycogen. Glycogen is stored in the muscle tissue and liver, which is stored with water. Eating a low-carb diet often leads to weight loss as you use up your glycogen stores and the stored water is released. In the long run, fatigue can set in as your quick energy source (carbs) is depleted and not replaced.

4. Strength Training: Lifting weights or doing body weight exercises causes trauma to muscle tissue. This is how the muscle rebuilds itself and makes you stronger. But in order to rebuild the muscle fibers, your muscles retain water to help speed up the process in the cells.

5. Restroom Usage: 1-3 pounds a day of body weight change can be seen by using or not using the restroom. I’m not going to go into detail here, because I think this one is pretty self-explanatory.

6. That Time of Month: Most women are probably familiar with this one already. Experts believe that water is retained when hormones fluctuate, especially about one week prior to your monthly visitor. Once your cycle is over, the water is released.

7. Stress and sleep: High cortisol levels affect water balance in your body by regulating anti-diuretic hormone (ADH). ADH tells your kidneys how much water to hold back and pump back into your body.

PRO tip: Don’t stress about the number on the scale. It does not define you (up or down). Subtle changes are normal and should not affect you emotionally (for help with body image click here).  As you can see from the above, daily weights are mainly fluid shifts within your body. If you’re trying to lose weight, don’t think of it as a quick process (quick means fluid). Think of it as a long term goal where you slowly see progress over many months. You will see ups and downs along the way. This is totally normal as it’s not a linear process. Stay the course because your consistency is what maters most.

Bloating: How to Cope

Bloating is generally the result of not being able to properly digest foods. These not-so-easily-digested foods feel like they’re just sitting around causing discomfort and a general feeling of being stuffed and ‘windy’!

It can happen at any age, but if it seems to be more frequent as you’re getting older it can very well be because of your stomach’s reduced ability to produce enough acid for proper digestion.

Normally, when we eat, cells in our stomach release more acid which is important for so many digestive processes like breaking down foods. As we age this process can become less efficient and the result can feel like it’s wreaking havoc on the rest of the digestive system.

Unfortunately, this can have wide-ranging effects on all of our digestion abilities and can result in bloating.

Bloating Reason #1:

Sometimes our bodies are (or become more as we age) sensitive to the fiber in certain fruits or veggies. This can also occur when we introduce new ones into our diet as it may take a while for our body to get used to them.

Try chewing your vegetables more thoroughly, or lightly cooking or steaming raw ones. If a fruit or veggie seems to be consistently related to bloating try eliminating it for a few weeks and monitor your symptoms.

Bloating Reason #2:

Decreased stomach acid can reduce the activation of a key protein-digesting enzyme “pepsin”. This means that the proteins you eat aren’t broken down as much and they can pass through your system “undigested”.

You may consider reducing the amount of animal-based foods you eat and see if that helps.

Bloating Reason #3:

All this lack of digesting in your stomach and small intestine puts extra stress on the large intestine. The large intestine is the home of all of your wonderful gut microbes that have SO many functions in the body.

Try eating more fermented foods. Fermented foods contain probiotics which will feed the good bacteria and microbes in your system to keep the bad bacteria at bay. This includes things like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, and kimchi. Make sure they’re unpasteurized and contain live cultures.

Ginger has been found to help with digestion and reduce nausea for certain people. And peppermint is thought to help your digestive muscles keep pushing food through, so it doesn’t stay in one spot for too long.

Consider drinking a digestive tea like peppermint or ginger.

If bloating is a serious problem for you, always consult your doctor for evaluation.

Let’s Keep it Positive

Reality is what is lost on social media.

We emphasize the best versions of ourselves instead of the real versions.

Here are two ways to be less influenced by social media and some tips to follow on how to clean up your social media accounts.

  1. Reduce your time on social media.

This can be a challenge since we live in a culture that puts such a high value on social media outlets. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Allow yourself five to ten minutes a day to check your social media accounts and then be done with it. Especially avoid looking at profiles of people who trigger thoughts of comparison. You have nothing to gain in doing so besides anxiety and sadness.

  1. Redirect your focus on the things that really matter.

When you direct your attention toward the real world, you have less time and energy to direct toward meaningless activities such as social comparisons.

Focus on a high-energy work out at the gym or finishing a book you’ve been putting off. Immerse yourself in activities that leave you feeling better for having engaged in them.

I love these tips from fellow RDs who are trying to pave the way towards a more positive social media world.