Recipe

As American as….

Every year we make a trip right over the border to visit our favorite Wisconsin apple picking spot.  We load up on apples and cider doughnuts, say hello to the goats and visit the famous “Big Cheese.”

IMG_0224

It is a wonderful tradition shared with my husband’s family.  We get there as soon as it opens in the morning and get out before the crowds get out of hand and the bees attack.  There are always more apples than I intended so we eat a lot of apple dishes in September and October!

IMG_0216

Baking an apple pie is another part of the tradition.  I try to make the crusts the day before we go so we can have a homemade pie the same day we pick.  My lovely sister-in-law gave me an apple peeler/corer/slicer which makes prepping the apples go much quicker. I highly recommend using one if you have lots of apples that need peeling.

It is always a great day and a great way to welcome fall in our home.

The recipe I use is adapted from The Joy of Cooking, All About Pies and Tarts, cookbook.

 

 

Apple Pie

 

Health · Services

Fall Re-Boot

Autumn is a time of change.  School is back in session, leaves are turning beautiful new colors and you want to make some healthy changes in your life after a summer that may or may not have included overindulgences.

Join me on a 30-day reboot to get back on track.  It will run September 18th through October 17th . This is a completely virtual program, using the Healthie platform. We have a one hour,  initial virtual consultation during week one where we discuss your current eating habits, lifestyle, and exercise along with any medical concerns.  We will outline achievable goals to get you headed in the right direction.  There will be 2 15-minute follow-up sessions where we build on what you have learned and keep you on track and moving.  During the 30 days, you will have complete access to the food and photo logging component of Healthie as well as texting capabilities if any questions come up between sessions.  I will provide you with diet education and complete support so that you learn healthy habits applicable to your life.  I also teach menu-planning and prepping so you can keep this up on your own.  Local clients are also able to add a grocery tour at a reduced rate.

This is a great program to get your healthy eating habits tuned up and ready to face the upcoming holiday season with all it’s running around and temptations. I check in with you several times a week via text and comment on your food logging and will push you to keep it up. I will only be accepting a small number of clients for this program to give you the best results.  The cost for this amazing program is only $300.

Sign up today at Work With Me

 

Health

Fiber for Your Health

Are you getting enough fiber?  How much is enough?  What foods contain fiber?

First of all, why do you need fiber?  Fiber can help reduce the risk of developing various diseases such as colon cancer, diabetes, constipation, obesity, and heart disease.  It can help lower cholesterol, lower blood sugar levels, and keep the GI system healthy.   It also helps you feel full longer. Ok, great- that all sounds good, but how much do I need to eat each day?  The recommendation is 21-25g per day for women and 30-38g per day for men from food, not supplements. Americans generally eat about 15g, so there is clearly room for improvement.

Let’s talk food sources.  It is best to get fiber from whole foods, not processed foods.  High fiber foods include vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

Fiber 25-30g per day (1)

 

 

What foods give me the most bang for my buck? Beans are very high in fiber per serving.  However, if you are not used to eating beans in large amounts, take it slowly.  Gradually work yourself up to a full serving so that you do not experience bloating and gas.  Also note that when increasing dietary fiber, be sure to also increase your water intake. This will decrease gassiness and help move the fiber throughout the digestive tract.

 

High Fiber Foods

 

A good way to see if you are consuming enough fiber is by logging your foods for a few days, taking note of portion sizes and fiber intake.  You can do this by hand and calculate yourself, or use one of the many free online apps.  The USDA has one called super tracker that is user-friendly. If you are low in fiber, remember to increase slowly and also drink more fluids.   Check back later this week for a high-fiber soup recipe, just in time for fall!

Cheers!

Rachael

Farmers Market

National Farmers Market Week 2017

This week is National Farmers Market Week 2017!

Farmers markets are not just a trendy, passing craze.  These markets provide fresh, in-season, nutritious foods to their communities.  These farmers work very hard to bring these products to us because they see the importance of eating local, fresh food.  The time from field to market is very quick, often one to two days.  Compare this to the conventional produce that can be on trucks and shelves for many days to weeks.  Plants can start to lose nutrients from the time they are harvested, so the sooner you eat them, the more nutrients will be retained.  They also taste better!

NFMW-Graphics-1

At the markets, you can meet the people who actually grew and harvested your food, where else can you do this?  These farmers will often give you ideas for recipes and educate you on the health benefits of their specific foods.  One of my local farmers recently turned me on to duck eggs- I had no idea that they made baked goods so light and fluffy!  Thanks to Trogg’s Hollow for that tip.  Now my kids only want pancakes made with duck eggs!

There are many reasons to support farmers markets, besides the nutritional benefits.  Here is a graphic that explains it very well:

 

new-why-fm-20172

 

Join me in supporting your local farmers markets this week.  For my local friends, come visit me at the Huntley Farmers Market this Saturday from 8-1.  There are lots of events and activities to celebrate this week, should be fun!   Check out more here: Huntley Farmers Market

Cheers!

Rachael

Recipe

Summer Sweet Corn Salad

Sweet corn is in season and we have been seeing roadside stands pop up all over the place.  So yummy and so nostalgically summer.  I hope you are supporting your local farmers and picking a few ears.  I stopped by the local Huntley Farmer’s Market and picked up my ingredients from Johnson MicroFarm, Trogg’s Hollow and Providence Farm. I do love the traditional corn on the cob, but here is a recipe with a few more ingredients to brighten your dinner table.  Enjoy!

Recipe for Sweet Corn Salad

4 ears of sweet corn, cooked

1 medium tomato

1/4 c diced zucchini

handful microgreens

1T extra virgin olive oil

2t white wine vinegar

1/2t salt

pinch of pepper

1/2t garlic powder

 

 

Cut corn off the cobs.  Diced tomato and add to corn.  Mix in diced zucchini.  Set aside.  Combine oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Pour over corn mixture.  Add microgreens and basil on top and lightly toss.  Delicious!

Family Feeding · Food Allergy

Family-style Meals with Food Allergies: Part 2

To the many families living with food allergies, this post is for you.  I want to discuss different ways to address serving dinner in a family-style way when you have food allergies to deal with.  I understand that there are so many different situations out there and many ways that people deal with them.  What works for one family will not for another.  This is why I want to give several options.

First a talk on family-style meals.  What does it mean and why do I recommend it?  A family-style meal is when you serve food on the table.  Each person selects what they want and how much they want on their own.  Everyone serves themselves.  This is an important activity.  It teaches children table skills and manners.  It also presents food in a non-pressure environment.  Nobody has to take something they do not want to.  I know all you vegetable pushers are freaking out here, but listen.  Over time, this method is much more successful in developing healthy, diverse eaters, than forcing children to eat specific foods.  Do not be confused though.  I am not suggesting you cater to your children and serve them whatever they want- no, no, no!  You decide on the meal and serve it.  They decide how much they want to eat and what they want from what you offered.  This may mean they eat only pasta one night and hamburger the next.  It’s ok.  This is how they learn to try foods and listen to their hunger signals.  As long as you are providing healthy meals in a non-pressure setting, you have done your job.

As far as food allergy families go, family style eating can be more tricky.  I will first touch on the safest route. This means you avoid all allergens of anyone in your house.  If there are peanuts, fish and egg allergies, there are none of those items in your home.  Nobody consumes these.  Your home is a “safe” place for everyone.  This is especially ideal when young children are in the home and you are concerned about accidental exposure. In this instance, serving a family style meal should be straightforward.  Since all the foods are safe for everyone, any person can choose what they like from what is offered.

Another option is to allow foods that some family members are allergic to on your table.  This will likely result in having 5-7 food options at every meal to accommodate everyone.  This may not be appropriate if you have severe allergies and/or small children who can accidentally take an allergenic food.  I would recommend this for families who have a variety of food allergies that become overly restrictive when you remove all the foods that everyone is allergic to and also for those who are comfortable keeping food allergen foods in their home.  This is not for everyone.  This is also an opportunity for older children to interact with their allergic foods as they will have to do this outside of the home.  It is good for them to learn to identify their allergens and avoid them.

The third option is a bit of a hybrid between the two listed above.  This would mean permanently excluding certain foods (severe allergens) but allowing others.  I will give an example from my own house.  Our allergens include peanuts, tree-nuts, shrimp, pork, turkey, eggs, chicken as well as a dairy intolerance.  We never buy peanuts or shrimp.  While the kids have never had an anaphylactic reaction to either, they did react enough that we think they have no place in our home.  At dinner, we do eat chicken about 6 times a month.  The child who is allergic to chicken either eats multiple side dishes or a protein he can tolerate.   He knows he can’t eat it and has no desire to even touch it.  This works for us but it is a family by family decision.  I am very comfortable with my kids’ knowledge of their allergies and how to treat others with allergies different than their own (hand and face washing after eating, etc.)

I want to stress that all of these options are ok.  Every family has to decide what works for them.  Read this information from FARE regarding this here.  If having allergens in the house makes you a nervous wreck, do not do it!  If there have been severe reactions in the past, I also do not recommend keeping allergens in the home.  Unfortunately, past reactions do not necessarily predict future reactions.  Mild reactions in the past may still become anaphylactic in the future.  Again, if you do not feel comfortable, do not do it, it’s not worth it.  Always consult with your allergist and hopefully a registered dietitian nutritionist, who can help you navigate your specific food allergy situation.

Disclaimer
Rachael Costello, RDN, LDN, is a registered dietitian. The materials and content contained on this site (www.RachaelCostelloNutrition.com) are for general educational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Persons with serious medical conditions should consult a physician before beginning or modifying any diet, exercise or lifestyle program. The use of any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.
kids · Lunch · Meal Plans

Back to School Lunch Tips

As I am sure you do, I am having mixed feelings about school starting up again here soon.  I am eager for a little more structure to our days but I am not looking forward to the constant running around.  Back to school means back to packing lunches…not my favorite task by any means.  My kids are not huge sandwich eaters, so I am always looking for new ideas that provide healthy but tasty meals that can be eaten in the short 20 minute lunch period.  Here is some inspiration for you!

  • Use “bento box” style lunch containers.  These worked great for us last year.  One box, all the food.  This is not so good if you want to send something hot, like soup or pasta though.
  • Use a thermos to send hot soup, pasta, rice, etc.  It is a nice change of pace and hey, maybe you can send leftovers from the night before!  I boil hot water and fill the thermos and cover.  I heat up the food.  I empty the thermos of hot water and add the hot food.  I think this helps keep the food warmer longer.
  • Try a homemade “lunchable”  Cut up your own cheese, veggies, meat and send with some whole wheat crackers, like triscuits.  Besides being a healthier cracker, they do not break as easily as other crackers!
  • Wraps are a hit and so easy.  Use a whole wheat tortilla and fill with veggies, meat, and cheese.  Roll up and slice into smaller pieces.
  • Raw veggies with dip or hummus are a great addition to lunches.
  • When sending fruit, think ahead.  Younger kids may have a hard time or spend a long time peeling fruit.  Send cut up and ready to eat.
  • I always recommend sending water to drink.  Kids can fill up on their food, not beverages.
  • Popcorn and rice cakes are crunchy and healthy side options.
  • Send non-lunch food.  Breakfast food is fun- send cereal!
  • I love granola bars in the lunchbox.  Try Homemade Granola Bar Recipe
  • Pasta salad or a grain salad can be a way to get in veggies and protein.
  • Don’t forget to send any utensils they may need.
  • Keep the food cool with ice packs!  Also if sending a water bottle, freeze it the night before and it can defrost in the lunchbox, keeping food cool.

 

These are just a few quick tips and ideas.  Watch for more as the school year goes on!

Cheers,

Rachael