Fourth of July Recipe: Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

With the 4th of July right around the corner, perhaps you have been invited to a cookout with family and friends. You may have even been asked to bring a dessert. If you’ve been on-track with healthy eating and living so far this summer, you don’t necessarily have to throw all of your hard work out the window. With these healthy, oatmeal raisin cookies, you can enjoy a sweet treat without having to feel guilty. Plus, they taste so great others may not even realize that they are actually good-for-you!

These cookies are full of sweet raisins (rich in B vitamins and iron), hearty oats (packed full of fiber) and warm cinnamon (can help to lower blood sugar levels). Store your cookies in an airtight container and they’ll last for an entire week (provided you do not eat them first)!

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 c (100g) instant oats
  • ¾ c (90g) whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ tsp (4g) baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp (4g) ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp (1g) salt
  • 2 tbsp (28g) coconut oil or unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp (5mL) vanilla extract
  • ½ c (120mL) agave
  • ¼ c (40g) raisins

Baking Instructions:

  1. Whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil or butter, egg, and vanilla. Stir in the agave. Add in the flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated. Fold in the raisins. Chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  3. Drop the cookie dough into 15 rounded scoops onto the prepared sheet, and flatten slightly. Bake at 325°F for 11-14 minutes. Cool on the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.

Important! Keep in mind that you need to measure the oats and flour correctly. Too much of either ingredient and your cookies will turn out dry and crumbly instead of soft and chewy!

Recipe Source: Amy’s Healthy Baking

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Superfoods for a Sizzling Summer

These nutrient-dense powerhouses are full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that will help keep you strong and energized no matter where your summer takes you. Whether it’s to the beach or exploring a new city, you’ll be feeling your best and enjoying all that summer has to offer. To maximize summer vacation, give these superfoods a try:

  1. Summer Superfoods- Nashua NutritionCherries. Cherries are in-season from May-August so now is the perfect time to take advantage of this super food. They are fun to eat and the perfect snack for on-the-go. They are rich in anthocyanin (which is an antioxidant), which can help to ease joint pain and fight inflammation.  Check out your local farmers market or grocery store for fresh cherries this summer. For that cherry flavor that won’t go bad, enjoy Bariatric Advantage Cherry Omega-3 Chewy Bites.
  2. Blueberries. Blueberries may be small, but they make a great summer snack. Packed-full of antioxidants, blueberries can help fight off disease and even boost your brainpower.Blueberries are great on their own, with yogurt or in a smoothie.
  3. Melons (watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe). Looking to stay hydrated this summer? Satisfy your sweet tooth and increase your water intake with sweet and juicy melon. Chop up a variety of different melons to create a refreshing fruit salad for breakfast or freeze pieces of melon on skewers for the perfect afternoon snack.
  4. Peaches. For many, peaches are a staple summer fruit. Peaches are sweet and loaded with potassium, vitamin C and fiber. Not many sweet treats can help fight bloating, control your weight and enhance the appearance of your skin. For a new treat this summer, try grilling your peaches. If you enjoy yogurt, chop up some peaches and use them as a topping.
  5. Corn. Corn is the perfect item to add to a summer cookout or any summer meal on the patio with family and friends. Corn is classified as a starchy vegetable. Full of plenty of nutrients, even the pickiest palates tend to enjoy corn. Enjoy corn on the cob with cayenne pepper and lemon juice on the grill. This vegetable is full of fiber and antioxidants.

Enjoy these superfoods to jumpstart a summer full of fun and memories with family and friends.

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The Benefits of Bariatric Surgery for Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

If you are overweight and suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA), bariatric surgery may be able to help according to a research study conducted by the Rheumatology Research Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Research shows weight loss following bariatric weight loss surgery has been associated with improved RA disease control, a decrease in the need for medication and lower markers of inflammation.

rheumatoid arthritis relief for bariatric patients

source: thermodic.com

Researchers followed patients a year after surgery and found out that a patient’s average weight loss was 90 lbs., which means patients lost 70 percent of their excess weight. As a result of drastic weight loss, RA disease activity had significantly improved according to Dr. Jeffery Sparks of Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

At 6 months post-operative, patients lost an average of 72 lbs. and 6 years after surgery patients lost an average of 78 lbs.

Following bariatric surgery, only 6 percent of the patients followed had moderate or high RA disease activity. Prior to surgery, 57 percent of those studied had moderate to high RA disease activity. At the 6-year follow-up visit, 74 percent of patients were considered to be in remission. At enrollment in the study, only 26 percent of bariatric RA patients were in remission.

Results of this research study suggest that bariatric weight loss surgery may be able to significantly reduce the need for RA medications and may even induce long-term remission in some patients with RA (meaning these patients would require no more medication).

This study followed 53 RA patients, who underwent bariatric surgery procedures between 2000 and 2012. The average patient age was 47.9 and 94 percent of patients were female. Of the patients followed, 26 percent also presented with a diagnosis of osteoarthritis. Twenty-five percent of patients had a diagnosis of asthma or type II diabetes.

This was the first study of its kind that actually evaluated the impact of significant weight loss in RA patients as well as surgical weight loss interventions. While this study shows promise for those suffering from RA and obesity. Further research will need to be conducted on a larger scale to further substantiate the claims.

If you or someone you love is considering bariatric surgery, consider Bariatric Fusion products for a complete line of supplements to ensure nutrition and health following surgery.

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Summer Fitness: Stay In Shape and Enjoy Your Summer

Stay In Shape During the Summer -Nashua Nutrition

Summertime can be more relaxed and less structured than the rest of the year. With vacations, cookouts and plenty of ice cream everywhere you look, it can be much easier to lounge poolside and enjoy the sweet and unhealthy treats that summer has to offer.

Just because the living is easy during the summer time, doesn’t mean fitness has to take a summer vacation as well. Follow these tips to help make sure you don’t undo all of the hard work you’ve completed earlier in the year.

  1. Never make excuses for not working out, always make time. Schedule fitness into your day much like you would a doctor’s appointment, a job interview or a meeting a work. Put your “fitness” appointment on a calendar or in your phone. When the time comes, be sure to workout! With summer being so relaxed at times, it can be very easy to say you’ll workout tomorrow. Instead of working out tomorrow, workout this morning. Workout early in the day before it gets too hot and you have other plans. A morning workout can help you feel energized and ready to take on the day. Walk your dog, go for a run, swim laps or take an exercise class.
  2. Workout consistently. Working out consistently does not mean you have to complete the same exact workout each time you workout. Consistently workout simply means that you always put worth the effort and exercise becomes a regular habit. You can swim one day and run the next. You can workout at lunchtime one day and in the evening the next day. Do whatever fits your schedule, but always make time for exercise.
  3. Take advantage of all the fitness resources available to you. You can beat exercise boredom. If you have come bored of running the same 3 miles each and everyday use the Internet as a solution. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Google, Instagram and Pinterest are amazing resources to help make exercise fun. There are so many exercise accounts that everyone is bound to find something they enjoy. You might enjoy a 30 minute ab workout on YouTube one day and the next you might take a few short Pinterest workouts to help target your upper body. Social media is also a great way to challenge your friends to be active.
  4. Avoid Unhealthy Temptations. Summer is full of unhealthy temptations. If you are not careful, these indulgences may start to show. Eating healthy is key to staying in shape. However, it is okay to treat yourself from time to time. Keep in mind that everything is okay in moderation. Before you head to a cookout, enjoy a small, healthy snack at home. This way you will be feeling full and much less likely to eat as much at the cookout. Limit your alcohol intake and always carry a bottle of water with you. Hydration is so important during the summer. For some great, on-the-go summer snacks check out Quest Nutrition.
  5. Don’t forget to have fun with your fitness. One of the biggest reasons people quit their exercise programs is because they are bored and are not having any fun. Exercise does not have to be boring. It’s summertime! Take advantage of the outdoors and get creative with your workouts. Put on some music and dance, go for a run, go hiking, go swimming, walk the dog or sign up for an exercise class with friends. Do whatever it takes to beat exercise boredom. Summer is the one time of the year when virtually any type of exercise is possible. Take advantage of the outdoors before you are stuck on the treadmill during the winter again!

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June’s 30 Day Squat Challenge

It’s almost June! If you feel like you are not ready for bikini season, then join us on our Squat Challenge. Beginning on June 1st, you will have a set number of squats you must do. The number of squats increases as the month progresses.

Remember it’s a challenge so it won’t be easy,  but will definitely be worth it! Save this on your phone or print it out, and get ready to get in shape. Exercise is only 25% of getting in shape. What you eat is important as well. Shop our products for snacks, meal replacements, etc.

Nashua Nutrition Infographic (5)

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Smoothie Recipe: Banana-Oat Protein

Whether you are looking for a nutrition-packed breakfast or an afternoon snack, this banana smoothie can fill you up with vitamins and nutrients. This high-potassium smoothie helps to promote heart health as well as aid in the absorption of calcium. Enjoy this smoothie before a high-intensity workout for a boost of energy and muscle cramp prevention. This sweet-tasting, good-for-you-treat tastes so great, that you may actually forget you are doing something good for your body. Grab your blender and get ready to do something good for your body.

Health Benefits of Bananas:

  • They are high in vitamin B-6, which is a must for cell production.
  • It’s packed with manganese, which helps to promote bone health as well as a healthy metabolism.
  • Bananas contain about 3 grams of fiber. Fiber can help you to feel fuller longer, which is great for weight loss.
  • Bananas are packed with carbohydrates, which can give you the energy you need to start your day or push through abanana-oat protein smoothie workout.

Serves: 1

Nutritional Facts:

(per 16-ounce serving size)

  • 499 calories
  • 7g fat
  • 78g carbs
  • 9g fiber
  • 30g protein

Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 scoops of vanilla protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons rolled oats
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 ice cubes

Preparation:

  • Combine ingredients
  • Blend until smooth
  • Enjoy

Recipe credit: DailyBurn.com

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5 Strategies to Help Satisfy Your Hunger and Help You Lose Weight

For many individuals on a mission to lose weight, hunger pangs can quickly get in the way of shedding those unwanted pounds. As you cut back on calories, your body starts trying out for food. This can wreak havoc on any weight loss plan. Hunger is a big part of why we eat. In early times, hunger was an important survival method. In today’s world, hunger can easily mean forgetting about one’s goals to eat healthy and succumbing to the fast food and junk food industry that is all around us. While it may not always be possible to control the unhealthy foods that surround you, you can work on appetite-control strategies to help you lose weight.

  1. Drink Plenty of Water and Stay Clear of Liquid Calories! Did you know that thirst could be mistaken as hunger? Next time you think you are hungry, try drinking a big glass of water first. You may not even be hungry at all; mild dehydration can cause a sensation that is very similar to feeling hungry. When you do pour yourself a drink, avoid liquid calories. Juices and sodas may taste great, but they don’t fill you up. Additionally, their rapid digestion can lead to spikes in your insulin levels. If you need to add flavor to your water, flavor it with cucumbers, lemons or strawberries. Using real fruit for flavoring can help to jazz-up regular water without adding unwanted calories.
  2. Eat slowly. Eating is not a race; you will not win a prize if you finish your dinner first. When you swallow your food, there is a delay before you actually begin to feel full. This delay usually is about 10-30 minutes. The delay in satiation is one of the biggest reasons why we overeat. To help slow your eating habits down, chew each bite of food 10 times before moving on to the next bite. By eating slowly, you are allowing your mind to catch up to how your stomach is feeling. As an added bonus, you will actually be taking the time to savor your meal.
  3. Make time for food; even when you don’t think you are hungry. To help yourself feel full and avoid overeating, eat even when you are not hungry. When you overeat, you tend to feel full. However, your insulin levels spike and you begin to feel tired. Before you know it, you are hungry again. It’s a vicious cycle. To avoid hunger all together, eat when you are not hungry or just a little hungry. This way you’ll consume less and likely take the time to enjoy your meal (meaning, you’ll eat it more slowly). As an added bonus, you’ll have plenty of extra energy!natural quest bars - nashua nutrition
  4. Leave yourself a healthy snack by the door! The front door technique is a great way to say no to junk food. Unhealthy foods are much easier to enjoy outside of the home. To help avoid the temptation, fill-up on healthy and filling snacks before you head out the door. Try a healthy snack, such as kale chips or almonds. Leave a healthy snack near the door and enjoy it on the way out. Once you arrive at your next destination, you will be feeling full and much more likely to avoid temptation. For a healthy snack on-the-go, give Natural Quest Bars a try.
  5. Enjoy a small, yet flavorless snack between your meals. This may sound boring and possibly even hard to enjoy, but having a small snack between meals can really help to prevent you from overeating. Try a handful of unsalted nuts in between meals. It may not be the most thrilling snack, but it can help you to lose weight. Why? Having a small, flavorless snack between meals regulates your hunger hormone (ghrelin) by weakening the flavor-calorie association. Keep in mind your snack must be bland and you should only consume water [nothing else] for one hour before and one hour after your snack.

Weight loss can be a battle and sometimes feeling full is half the battle.

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Stay Hydrated! Foods to Keep You Hydrated

Most experts recommend consuming at least 8 glasses of water per day. What you may not know is that approximately 20 percent of your daily water intake can actually come from solid foods, especially your fruits and veggies. This doesn’t mean you should skip out on the water — especially when the weather is warm. However, you can increase your water intake by consuming these highly hydrating foods — most of which contain at least 90 percent water according to weight.

  1. Celery. With about 6 calories per stalk, celery is a great way to get your fiber and quench your thirst. Additionally, the water helps to keep you feeling satisfied. This is great for weight loss. Celery also contains vitamins A, C and K as well as folate. If you are in need of fiber on the go, check out HealthSmart FIBERight in great flavors such as tropical punch.
  2. Radishes. If radishes are not already a staple in your salads this spring and summer, they should be. This root vegetable is packed full of antioxidants.
  3. watermelon and other appetite suppressing foodsTomatoes. Tomatoes contain almost 95 percent water. They can help to keep you hydrated as well provide you with a source of Vitamin A and C. Tomatoes are also powerful antioxidants that can easily help you to increase your water intake by simply adding them to your next salad, wrap or sandwich.
  4. Green Peppers. Green peppers contain the highest water content of all peppers (about 93 percent) and are a rich source of antioxidants. To help curb your appetite, enjoy sliced green peppers as an afternoon snack or a bedtime snack.
  5. Watermelon. Watermelon may seem like a no-brainer when it comes to hydrating foods. Be sure to enjoy it this summer! However, watermelon does contain more than just water. This melon is one of the richest sources of lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful, cancer-fighting antioxidant that is found in a large number of red fruits and veggies.

Hydration can come from more than just a bottle of water. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the flavors of spring and summer while curbing your appetite and enjoying the benefits of a large number of nutrients and antioxidants.

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