Loyola University Maryland

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Healthy Hound Wellness Blog

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Meet Alicia—Our Corporate Dietitian

Alicia, Loyola Dining's corporate dieticianAlicia is Parkhurst Dining's Corporate Dietitian. She is originally from West Virginia and completed her master's degree and dietetic internship at Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va. She currently resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., but travels to all of Parkhurst's corporate and college sites to promote wellness and nutrition. She loves working with the Parkhurst chefs to create healthy, but delicious, foods. She promotes a plant-based diet with a focus on whole foods for the best approach to living well. She enjoys teaching about the health and environmental benefits of eating plant-based as well as how delicious and versatile it can be. She loves sharing new recipes and sampling foods that get people to think outside the box.

Alicia visits Loyola once a month for Wellness Wednesday to hand out wellness samples and nutrition information, and answer student's questions. You can find her in Boulder from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the following dates for the 2019-20 school year:

  • Sept. 11: Homemade Frozen Yogurt
  • Oct. 10: Fall Superfoods (Pumpkin Hummus)
  • Nov. 6: Functional Foods (Tumeric Lemonade)
  • Feb. 12: Dark Chocolate Bark
  • Mar 18: Nutrition Trivia & Giveaways
  • April 15: Brain Fuel

Brain Fuel Foods

As you power through the semester or prepare for finals, eating the right foods can give your brain the nutritional support it needs to perform at the highest level. Brain fuel foods such as fatty fish like salmon, green vegetables like Kale, berries, cherries, nuts, and seeds are crafted to fuel your brain with the nutrients it needs to help you function at your best.

Chickpea Energy Bites are a quick and easy snack that provides some brain super foods to help you perform your best during finals. Chickpeas are a complete package of protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. Combined with peanut butter, a source of Vitamin E, zinc, unsaturated fatty acids, and additional plant-based protein; and oatmeal, a source of whole-grain carbohydrates, fiber, and B vitamins, you get a delicious, brain nourishing snack. Your brain uses carbohydrates (specifically glucose) as its main source of fuel. By eating foods that are balanced with carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and fats you provide a steady supply of fuel to your brain. We use semi-sweet chocolate, but you can substitute some chopped 70% or higher dark chocolate to give your brain some extra anti-oxidants. Check out our video (below) for a great brain fuel recipe.

Good luck on your semester from Loyola Dining!

Fall Superfoods

Fall is the perfect time to eat seasonably and locally. Enjoy some of these superfoods while they are at the peak of flavor and nutrition this fall.

Cranberries: These often overlooked berries are one of the highest sources of the phytochemical group, proanthocyanins and linked to cardiovascular and urinary tract health benefits. One cup of cranberries only has 45 calories, 12 grams of carbohydrate and 4.5 grams of fiber along with vitamin K, vitamin C and manganese. Because these berries are so low in sugar and the nutrients are most available in the raw berry add them to smoothies with other fruits or in a cranberry relish or salsa.

Pumpkin and Winter Squash: Pumpkin most often gets all of the fall attention, but often the “pumpkin” we consume is in fact a variety of winter squash. When it comes to nutrition pumpkin and winter squash are equally fall superfoods. Pumpkin and Winter Squash are both excellent sources of Beta Carotene, the precursor to Vitamin A and other carotenoids as well as a good source of Vitamin C, Potassium and fiber. 1 cup of cooked squash has about 75 calories, 18 grams of carbohydrate and 5 grams of fiber. So look for different varieties of winter squash to roast up and enjoy such as delicata or sweet dumpling and don’t forget to roast up the seeds to get bonus protein and nutrients.

Kale: There is no doubt kale and other greens are superfoods anytime of the year, however, they are at their peak during cool weather. Kale is an excellent source of Vitamin K, Vitamin A, manganese and copper. It is full of fiber, potassium, folate and loads of other vitamins and minerals and phytochemicals. One of the benefits to getting kale from local farms or farmers markets is to enjoy the unique varieties beyond traditional curly kale. Varieties such as Red Russian, Dinosaur or Dwarf Blue are all fun ways to eat this superfood. Enjoy it raw in salads or slaws or wilted in soups.

Apples: Let’s be honest the main reason to eat apples this fall is for the flavor. Nothing bets the crisp, juicy crunch of biting into an apple at its peak ripeness. Nutrition benefits are an added bonus and apples are a good source of soluble fiber, vitamin C and the anti-oxidant group, phenols. Eating the skin of the apple is a must for all of the nutrition benefits so be sure to wash all your fruit and if you can buy from orchards that use low pesticides or buy organic.

Beets: Beets are unique in that they get their red color from a group of phytochemicals called Betalains so offer a different layer of nutritional protection for our bodies. 1 cup of cooked beets has about 75 calories, 3 grams of protein, 17 grams of carbohydrate and 3.5 grams of fiber. The are an excellent source of folate and a good source of potassium, iron and vitamin C. An easy way to cook beets is to wash and place in foil and roast in 425 degree oven for about an hour. Allow to cool and skins will easily slide off beet. Beet hummus is a another fun way to enjoy. Download and try Alicia's Beet Hummus recipe.

Check out these fall superfood recipes as well:

March is National Nutrition Month

Spinach leaves with text: 'It's Easy Being Green'Put your best fork forward! Go beyond lettuce to eat more green superfoods such as asparagus, kale, kiwi, or edamame. Try some of these great tips from Alicia to incorporate more greens into your diet:

  • Add a handful of spinach to your soup.
  • Add broccoli to your omelet, or your baked potato.
  • Add a few slices of avocado or spinach to your sandwich. Or use pesto as a spread in substitute of mayo.
  • Use edamame in place of chickpeas for hummus.
  • Add chopped kale to chili, stir-fry, or spaghetti sauce.
  • Spiralize zucchini and use it in place of pasta.
  • Puree your favorite greens such as spinach, kale, chard, basil, or broccoli and drizzle it over chicken.

Also, try these easy recipes for kale chips, powerfood pesto samples, or shamrock shakes that are packed with green superfoods.

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