Written by Sonya Luisi, M.S. Dietetics & Nutrition
Scientists are claiming camel’s milk as an amazing superfood and the American dairy industry is responding favorably. Farmers and entrepreneurs are preparing to meet the demand, so moo-ve over cows because the camel population is about to increase!
Camel’s milk has been a staple commodity in the Arab countries for centuries. The Amish communities have also touted camel’s milk to have healing powers, including its ability to help improve symptoms of child attention deficit disorder and autism.
The nutritional benefits over cow’s milk are impressive. Research has shown Camel’s milk
- Has higher levels of minerals than cow’s milk, including potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, sodium and zinc
- Has lower cholesterol than both cow and goat milk
- Contains three times the amount of vitamin C and 10 times the amount of iron than cow’s milk
- Is high in unsaturated fatty acids and B vitamins but lower in vitamin A and B2 than cow’s milk
- Contains more fat and protein than cow’s milk
In addition to its impressive nutritive benefits, camel’s milk has additional health benefits beyond its basic nutrition. Scientists have found the following health facts about camel’s milk:
- Protects against colon, liver and breast cancer cell proliferation and mortality – the substance lactoferrin found in camel’s milk has antibacterial, antiviral and antitumor properties.
- Treatment for type 2 diabetes – the high levels of insulin (52 units per liter) passes through the stomach without being destroyed.
- Protects against Alzheimer’s disease
- Treatment for Lyme disease – it enhances good gut bacteria, supports and controls the immune system.
- Protects against Hepatitis – the antiviral properties dispel the inflammation of the liver
Proposed pricing is currently $18 a pint, which will be unaffordable for most people. However, long-term health benefits may outweigh the anticipated high cost.
Written by Sonya Luisi, M.S. Dietetics & Nutrition
One of my personal favorite foods – kale – made an appearance at lunch in a refreshing, seasonal salad with strawberries. Although apprehensive at first, our guests gained a better appreciation for the cruciferous super food during our “nutrition fact of the day”. Kale can be found in either curly, ornamental or dinosaur varieties. It is a rich source of immune boosting antioxidants vitamins A, C and K and minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus. It is also a rich source of phytochemicals such as carotenoids and flavonoids, which research has shown may have cancer-fighting properties1. If this isn’t enough to get us eating more kale then surely the following nutrition facts will:
One cup of raw kale provides approximately 36 kilocalories and 5 grams of fiber. Kale contains more iron per calorie than beef and more calcium per calorie than milk!! It is anti-inflammatory, a source of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, and is a sustainable crop.
Curious on how to chose and store this powerhouse leafy greens?
Choose firm, deeply colored leaves with hard stems. Store kale, unwashed, in an airtight zipped plastic bag for up to five days in the refrigerator.
- http://www.livestrong.com/article/375090-kale-and-its-nutritional-content/ Updated Feb 6, 2011.
- http://www.naturalnews.com/035986_kale_beef_plants.html Updated May 27, 2012
Written By: Christina Schoerner, MS, RDN
As a dietitian at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts, our guests often ask me “what is the difference between regular yogurt and Greek yogurt.” Is Greek yogurt just the newest fad? Or it is worth making room for in your diet?
Greek yogurt has taken the yogurt aisles by storm the past few years, and it also has grabbed the attention of many dieters and weight conscious individuals. The main reason is this; Greek yogurt is naturally high in protein. Greek yogurts can contain up to 2x the protein that regular yogurt contains. The protein found in dairy (milk, yogurt, & cheese products) contains the 9 essential amino acids that the human body can’t produce, making it a ‘complete’ protein (this is a good thing).
How is it made?
-The production of Greek yogurt uses 3-4x the amount of milk used to make regular yogurt. Both regular and Greek Yogurt start out the same: milk and live cultures (probiotics). Next the yogurt is strained to concentrate the solids and remove some of the whey. This process also removes some of the lactose sugars, salt and water. What’s left is what everyone is raving about- a thicker, creamier yogurt that is higher in protein but lower in sugars and carbohydrates than regular yogurt.
-Just because it says Greek on the label does not mean it is always the healthiest choice. Check the ingredient list to ensure there are no unwanted ‘added’ ingredients. Check for added sugars and added thickeners and proteins (corn starch, whey concentrates, – “gums”). The more natural the better.
Additional benefits of Greek yogurt:
- Contains less lactose than regular yogurt and therefore is beneficial for those who are lactose intolerant.
- Provides 15% of your daily calcium needs (% based on a 2,000 calorie diet)
-Contains live and active cultures: Probiotics! I personally like to picture little tiny creatures in my belly working hard to keep my intestines in shape while helping my digestion and immune system.
Striking Differences in taste:
- Upon the first taste of Greek yogurt you will notice the tart flavor and creamy texture.
If going Greek is something in your future, I encourage you to try several different brands of Greek yogurt. Each has an individual taste! I just love the yogurt aisle – you can just choose one individual serving size to taste. No commitment to a 6-pack.
While trying to lose weight, always go for the non-fat yogurt choice. You are saving calories from fat but still receiving the most important benefits of yogurt: calcium + protein.
How do you “dress” Greek yogurt?
Save calories by picking the plain yogurt flavor and adding your own healthy toppings. The options are endless and I encourage you to get creative! Here are some quick and easy go-to toppings.
|½ cup fresh berries or 2 tbsp dried fruit|
|1 oz nuts|
|1 tsp brown sugar or honey or sweetener|
|1 tsp cinnamon + 1|
|½ cup dry cereal (fiber-rich)|
|1 tbsp dark mini chocolate pieces (makes a sweet dessert)|
Written by: Christina Schoerner, MS RD
I can remember the days when I played tennis for hours in the hot Georgia sun preparing for my high school regional and state tennis tournaments. Pushing my body in the intense heat led to dehydration and cramping. My coach would toss a banana across the fence. “Eat it, it has potassium,” she called. So exactly why did she toss me a banana? What role does potassium play in exercise?
In the body, potassium is the major intracellular cation. It works along with sodium to maintain the body’s water balance. Having potassium levels that are below the recommended level may be a contributing factor to muscle cramps 1. Consuming foods rich in potassium can replace what is lost from muscle during exercise and the smaller amounts lost in sweat 2.
On those hot spring days, I was most likely experiencing heat cramps. Heat cramps are muscle spasms that occur during or after vigorous activity in a hot environment. Hydration, sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium all play a contributing role in heat cramps. The body can lose as much as 6 g per day engaging in activity that causes profuse sweating 1.
Recommendations from the National Research Council suggest intake of 4,700 mg of potassium a day for adults. However, most Americans do not meet this recommended intake because of the lack of fruits and vegetables consumed in their diet.
Was my tennis coach right when she tossed me a banana in order to increase my potassium intake? YES. Bananas are an excellent source of potassium along with other fruits and vegetables. Foods that contain greater than 300 mg of potassium per serving are considered exceptionally rich. See the list below to see what potassium rich sources to include in your diet.
Potassium also plays an important role in health, particularly blood pressure health. It is known that a diet low in potassium and high in sodium is a leading link to high blood pressure. So consuming a diet rich in potassium will not only replenish your body during and after exercise, but it can benefit those who have hypertension 2.
|Potassium Rich FoodsMore than 300 mg per serving|
|Winter squash||Banana, Oranges|
|Avocado||Prune and Carrot Juice|
|Brussels Sprouts||Cantaloupe, Honeydew Melon|
|Potatoes, Yams||Papaya, Peaches|
|Green Leafy Vegetables||Raisins|
|Zucchini, Broccoli||Yogurt, Milk|
|Mango, Apricots||Halibut, Tuna, Cod, Trout|
- Gaby, Alan. Nutritional Interventions for Muscle Cramps. Integrative Medicine. 2008. 6:20-23.
- Anderson, J., Young, L., Long, E. Potassium and Health. Colorado State University. http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09355.html
- Gropper, S., Smith, J., Groff, J. Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism. 5 ed. Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. 2009.
Beans and legumes rocked our menu this week at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts in New York, providing our busy bodies with quality plant-based protein. We’ve all heard the adage “magical beans” which is most appropriate due to beans’ incredible health benefits. Researchers have shown that butyrate, a fatty acid by–product of the digestion of dietary fiber by gut microbes and found in legumes, reduces proliferation of cancer cells and blood vessels that feed tumors1. Other studies have associated legume consumption with reduced heart disease and improved blood sugar levels2.
Why do we love legumes so much at Shane? As if the scientific research on the chronic health benefits of the “magic bean” alone is not reason enough, then we love legumes for their excellent source of quality plant-based protein! Not all protein sources are equal, and therefore, cause us to question which source (animal or plant) provides our bodies with proper energy.
Nutritional research have shown that all – yes, ALL – plants contain protein. Legumes provide approximately nine or more grams of protein per cup and are highly digestible. Broccoli contains more protein per calorie than steak and spinach contains equal amounts of protein as its animal-based counterpart, chicken and fish. Not all plants supply the 20 essential amino acids needed to make a complete protein, so, chose a wide variety of sources to meet your nutritional needs. Quinoa, however, is a complete protein (contains all 20 amino acids) and consuming one cup of this ancient grain provides 9 grams of protein, which is one gram more than a medium chicken egg.
Beans and legumes are easy to prepare in meals and can be purchased fresh, frozen or canned. In our menu this week we added legumes to our chili, fish tacos and even our evening snack of black bean brownies!
The Week’s Menu Favorites, voted by our guests:
Favorite Meal: Turkey Bean Chili and Corn Bread
Runner up: Mango and Blueberry Quinoa
Favorite Snack: Black Bean Brownie
Runner up: Greek Yogurt and Raspberry Jam
Written by Sonya Luisi, M.S. Dietetics & Nutrition
Who knew the crisp, juicy, sweet and refreshing taste of watermelon on a hot summer day was helping keep you hydrated. This bright pink fruit weighs in at 91 percent water and provides Vitamin A and C, lycopene, fiber and potassium.
For some people, staying hydrated is a daily struggle. It is reported that 75% of Americans are ‘chronically’ dehydrated. Checking daily the color and quantity of urine is the simplest way to tell if you are dehydrated. Check out this chart below to see how you compare.
The Institute of Medicine’s Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for water differs with age and gender. DRI’s state Males 19 years and older need 3.7 liters (125 oz) of water a day, and females 19 year and older need 2.7 liters (91 oz) of water a day.
As a general rule of thumb, health care providers will recommend drinking 8 cups of water a day (1 cup = 8oz.) However once you do the math, the recommendations really come to 11.4-15.6 cups a day.
Now a question for you all…. be truthful: Are you meeting your water needs?
Now nothing tops a nice tall glass of ice cold water, but luckily, for most people, 20%- 30% of our hydration needs are met through foods with high water content. Summer is a great time of year to find these foods fresh and affordable. What perfect timing; the time of year when we are increasing our outside activity and our sweat rate.
Pictured below are high water content foods that can keep you hydrated, provide nutrients that your body craves, AND are low in calories.
Find your favorites and “drink” up!
Written by: Christina Schoerner, MS, RD
Written by Sonya Luisi, MS Dietetics and Nutrition
This week at Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts (SDR) NY, the Nutrition Team led a cooking demo on how to incorporate whole foods in your diet with a peach and tomato salsa recipe and baked whole-wheat pita chips. Fresh salsa uses an array of whole foods, or foods in their natural state with all of its nutrients in tact. Tomatoes, peaches, garlic, jalapeno, lime, and cilantro pack this salsa with a potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C.
Including peaches in salsa makes a luscious, flavorful and affordable summertime treat since peaches are in season from June to September. Serve as an appetizer while entertaining guests, or save in Mason jars for a daily nutrient packed and low-calorie snack!
Makes 10 servings
Serving Size: ½ Cup
Combine all ingredients, cover and allow flavors to marry for at least 1 hour. Season to taste before serving.
2 ½ cups peaches, peeled and pitted, small diced
2 ½ cups tomatoes, seeded, small diced
4 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
½ jalapeno, diced (remove all seeds and white ribs)
½ tsp. garlic, crushed
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 lime juiced
¼ tsp. salt
Total Fat: 0.3 g
Total Carbohydrates: 7.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.4 g
Protein: 0.7 g
Spring is the perfect time to embrace the idea of seasonal eating. Right now there are so many fresh fruits and veggies available, such as asparagus, broccoli, pineapple, mango, collard and mustard greens, snow peas, strawberries, and so much more!
Eating produce based on what is available seasonally has several benefits. First off, it is a great money-saver – when certain produce is in season, prices tend to be much lower for those foods than they are the rest of the year since the availability is so great. These foods will also taste better. Simple concept behind this point: when fruits and vegetables are in their peak season, there is more flavor, and also greater nutritional value. If you’ve ever walked into the produce section during the summer and immediately caught the sweet aroma of the fresh peaches, you’ve experienced the difference of the smell/taste of produce that are in season.
Most of us enjoy a little variety in our eating plan, and changing up foods each season can be just the thing to help stay on track with diet while adding different produces and spices throughout the year can be just the thing to keep your diet interesting and delicious!
Check out this website to find out which fruits and veggies are in season:
Nutrition Spotlight: Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are tiny black and white seeds that have recently caught the health industry by storm, and with good reason – These little seeds are a nutrition powerhouse. With origins in Mexico and South America, chia seeds were once thought to have supernatural powers. They are in fact excellent sources of several nutrients; just 2 tablespoons (one serving) contains 138 calories, 9 grams of heart- healthy fat (excellent source of omega-3), 5 grams of protein, and 18 percent of the Daily Value for calcium. The taste is very similar to flax seeds, mild and nutty, and chia can be used similar to flax.
If you’re looking for a nutritious recipe and simple ways to boost your eating plan, try sprinkling ground or whole chia seeds over foods like yogurt, cereal, salads, mixing them in smoothies, or even use as a replacement for eggs in baked goods. One very unique property of chia seeds is the ability to form a gel when mixed with liquid. In just a few minutes, a smoothie will thicken into a creamy texture; you can even make jams and pudding out of them.
Info gathered from Food and Nutrition Magazine, Jan/Feb 2014 Issue
Here’s a nutritious recipe to try:
Lemon Chia Pudding
Makes 4 servings
Recipe from Food and Nutrition Magazine, Jan/Feb 2014 issue
• 1 TBS olive oil
• 2 TBS maple syrup
• 2 TBS granulated sugar
• 1 large lemon, juice and zest
• 1 cup nondairy milk, such as coconut or almond
• ¼ cup chia seeds
Blend together the olive oil, maple syrup, sugar, lemon zest and juice, and almond milk. Add the chia seeds, whisk together and let sit for 15 minutes until gelled.
Amber Ketchum, MDS, RD
Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts
Original Article Courtesy: La Agencia De Viajes Magazine.
Translation: Miranda Southwell
San Antonio is, for many, the shopping mecca of the United States. But, beyond the shopping, the locale offers an ideal space for travelers looking to change their eating habits for the better. Shane Diet & Fitness Resort is located in the La Cantera Hill Country Resort hotel and offers physical fitness and weight loss programs for adults. The Executives: Ziporah Janowski, co-founder and president; Debbie Davis, program director and fitness coach; and Jackie Poplanski, program developer and behavior coach, are the ones responsible for personally tending to guests of the resort and offering them access to nutrition programs, physical fitness and dietary counseling so that, day by day, they learn to incorporate healthier choices into their lifestyle.
Eating proper portions of well-balanced meals, learning how to change unhealthy dietary habits, developing a regular exercise plan and being able to do it all in a setting that truly encourages and inspires its guests are the four fundamental cornerstones that the program offers potential visitors.
Regarding the variety of different people that attend the program, Janowski commented that there were distinct plans to accommodate every circumstance, such as their Corporate Weight Loss and Bridal Packages. “The Corporate Package is designed for business executives and human resource professionals who need to deal with their own weight issues and physical fitness needs with a personalized plan of 3, 7 or 21 days,” she told us.
It’s important to note that Shane Diet & Fitness Resort is in operation throughout the year with programs that vary in length, starting with the shortest 3-day program. Rates include luxury accommodations, meals, group classes, workshops and activities as well as individual sessions with nutrition and fitness professionals.