Judy's Blog

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More H20 May Be the Way to Go

You have probably heard it a million times: Drink more water. Drink water to prevent dehydration. Drink water before a meal to prevent overeating. But recent research has linked drinking water with preference for healthier foods. Researchers at the University of Oregon found that participants were more likely to choose raw fruits and vegetables when they drank water with their meal. Both kids and adults were also more likely to choose foods high in salt and calories when they had sweetened beverages, like soda.

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Fat from Food Goes Straight to Your Waist

Thinking about ordering that fried piece of chicken? You may want to think twice. New research has found that fat can reach your waistline within just three hours of a meal! Researchers at the University of Oxford analyzed how long it would take to convert fat from a meal to fatty tissue around the waist. By the time three to four hours have passed, most of the fat from a meal has already turned into fat stores around your waist. The good news? Researchers say that the fatty tissue stored around your waist is short-term and can be used for energy during exercise. So if you must indulge, you can still work off that fat before it sticks to you for good! But be careful. Daily high fat intake can result in those short-term stores transferring to long-term stores throughout your body. If you like to indulge once in a while in Fried Chicken, see our picks for Zaxby's, Buffalo Wild Wings, Popeyes and Chick-fil-A.

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Amish Mall - anyone?

The original concept for Jeatwell was to help people find healthy things to eat when they travel. My patients often ask me to help them find something healthy on their trip to the West Coast or on a cruise. However, we decided to start with all the major chain restaurants to get every city on the map. Now we plan to switch gears back to our original plan and add more local joints. My family is on vacation this week to Leo-Cedarville, Indiana to visit family. We've mostly been eating at the house and didn't have an opportunity to taste the local fair. But we did venture out and had lunch at the Grabill Country Sales (aka the Amish Mall). We won't be reviewing their menu afterall. Although, the food was delicious, they don't have a standard menu... oh and also... most of the patrons don't have internet.... or electricity! I don't think I'll have a lot of readership from the Amish. I did see a few Amish in the store on their iphones (odd) - so I guess they could access the site. But based on the selection at the Amish Mall, I suspect they aren't watching their carbs or Calories. The buffet had a variety of fried foods (chicken, mozzerella, etc) meatloaf (my choice), mashed potatoes, Amish noodles, Asian vegetables (not sure of the connection) and the usual salad and soup buffet. The meatloaf was delicious and the Amish noodles were a treat. I hadn't had them since my daughter was born. But it may be a telling sign of her Amish heritage that during my pregnancy I craved those noodles all the time and my husband so graciously made them for me many a night. I have to say that his were better than the real deal, but I did enjoy the nostalgia that they brought. I also craved sweets and especially gummies when I was pregnant. It was so strange to me until I made the Amish connection. The Amish mall inventory is 75% sugar of some form. Mostly in the form of gummies. They had the biggest selection of gummy bears (mixed or sold in bulk separated by color/flavor), 5 pound bags of gummy worms, gummy flowers, gummy butterflies (didn't know they existed), gummy coke bottles and more. I saw for the first time chocolate covered gummy bears - they had a lot of potential but I'm a little sad I "wasted" my gummy purchase on them. My first thought was "where was this place when I was pregnant?". Then on second thought.. "I'm so glad I hadn't discovered this when I was pregnant!" They had rows of other non-gummy candies, such as twizzlers of every kind (regular, watermelon, sour apple, etc) chocolate covered ginger, easter candy (also odd), and candy cigarettes (I didn't even know these were still legal!). Even the traditionally non-sugar items had sugar. The Amish peanut butter has corn syrup in it! My husband Shane thinks the Amish might be part hummingbird or part elf. Their foods seem to follow all the Elf food groups (candy, candy cane, candy corn and syrup). It's possible they burn up all that sugar with all the work they do. Aside from the Amish, you don't often seeAmericans using horses pulling tractors to plow the fields and laundry being washed all by hand. I didn't have any hard work or chores to do during my trip, but I did manage to squeeze in a few runs while I was here to burn up all the yummy Amish delights. If I'm mistaken and Jeatwell does have some Amish followers, let us know!

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Salad… without the Dressing??

Salad is a great way to get in a lot of those vegetables we miss out on everyday. But for some, the best part of a salad is the dressing! I know many of you Jeatwell users have been wondering about the some of Jeatwell’s salad picks that leave out the dressing. While salad dressing may make it easier to get salad down, dressings can add large amounts of fat and calories that no longer make your salad pick a healthy one. We have blogged in the past about the salads being the highest Calorie choices at some restaurants. People think they are eating healthy, but the salad can be higher in Calories and fat than many other options like the steak! But not even a little dressing, you ask? Some dressings are lower in calories and fat (like anything that says “vinaigrette” on it) can be a better choice in moderation. Heavier salad dressings like Ranch and French also have “light” options but many of these dressings are high in sodium and do not beat the taste test. But who eats salad without salad dressing, right? Not necessarily. There are some tasty dressing alternatives out there. Before you start drowning your salads in “lighter options,” cut out the calories, sodium and fat by trying some of these dressing alternatives:

Vinegar (alone or with a splash of olive oil)--Perfect for anyone who has a preference for Italian or other oily dressings.
Salsa--Fresh made salsa with tomatoes and cilantro can be a nice addition to any salad.
Lemon Juice and Berries--Many people just add lemon juice; try adding strawberries or raspberries to add a nice sweetness to the tartness of the lemon juice.
Low-Fat Sour Cream, Cottage Cheese or Greek Yogurt
Cooked Vegetables---You can add some cooked vegetables to your salad an drizzle a little bit of the "juice" from the vegetables on your salad.
Fruits---Fruits usually have their own natural juices and are a fresh and tasty way to enjoy salad without dressing

If you are still wanting a little dressing on that salad, try the salad sprays. They are usually only around 5 calories per spray. Do you have any other suggestions? Let us know what you like on your salads.

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IHOP's Secret New Breakfast Campaign

An article was published this week in the LA Times announcing IHOP's new focus on Breakfast. I guess I missed the shift when the "International House of Pancakes" wasn't about breakfast? Although I knew they served lunch and dinner, I didn't really think it was the "focus" per se. But apparently it was. Breakfast still accounts for more than 60% of IHOP's sales. However, Breakfast also accounts for more than 60% of the restaurant industry growth over the last 5 years. This means more American's are eating their first meal of the day away from home.

This week IHOP is launching their new Breakfast campaign. They are trying to draw younger patrons using social media and serving more meals under 600 Calories. They are also using more blends of folk, indie and pop music in the advertisements (what were they playing before- waltz, swing jazz and the polka? The company will not disclose the new campaign so we'll all have to wait to hear the slogan that goes with their young folk's music.

We reviewed IHOP's Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. We chose their Simple & Fit Spinach, Mushroom and Tomato Omelet with Fresh Fruit which fits the 1200 Calorie, low sodium, low carb vegetarian and gluten free diets. If you follow the saying of "when in Rome" and just have to have pancakes, we did make some pancake picks like the Chocolate Chip pancakes with Turkey Bacon which fits our 1800 Calorie diet. I can still remember the happy face out of whipped cream from my child hood and the lingonberry syrup - which I can't say that I've seen at any other place besides IHOP. See the rest of our IHOP picks here.


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Amazon Gives Discounts for Gluten-Free Month

On a gluten-free diet? You might want to do some shopping this month on Amazon. In honor of gluten-free month, Amazon is offering all kinds of gluten-free goodies at discounted rates. All Natural Kind Bars, Popchips, Bisquick Baking and Pancake Mix, Pamela’s Baking and Bread Mixes, Baby Food, Noodle Rice…you name it, Amazon has it on sale this month.

Check out what items they have here http://www.amazon.com/gp/browse.html/ref=pe_stripe/?node=2204829011

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Boston Market: Sides + Sides + More Sides!

At Boston Market it’s like Thanksgiving every day! Boston Market is probably one of the closest fast food options to home cooking but it’s easy to get carried away. There are a lot of options that are really good on this menu and many individual items that are lower in calories. But how many servings are you actually eating when you go to Boston Market? If you’re loading your plate like its Thanksgiving, then it’s likely the “good for you home-style cooking” won’t be so good for you.

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Happy Mother's Day! Bringing Mom into Dairy Queen today??

Most people aren’t worrying about calories when indulging in a sweet treat at Dairy Queen. But now DQ has added Grill options to the sweet treat haven. Yet many of the food options outweigh the desserts. Their Baskets, like the Chicken Strip Basket, all run over 1000 calories with plenty of carbs (more than 100 grams) and a lot of sodium. Their burgers are a little lower in calories than the baskets but still high in carbs and sodium. If you are going for a burger, try going for the ¼ lb instead of the ½ lb.

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Smokey Bones: Food that’ll be Sure to Sticks to your Bones…and Your Arteries!

The food at this bar and fire grill is sure to stick to your bones but not necessarily in a good way! The menu at Smokey Bones features a lot of high calorie items, which is to be expected of an American bar and grill that promises good drinks and a good time. More food to soak up the alcohol! Their Crowd Pleaser platter may be pleasing to the eye but is a whopping 1650 calories and contains 5170mg sodium (more than double the recommended amount of sodium in one day)! Their Nachos run anywhere from 1700 calories (Basic Nachos) and 2300 Calories (The Double Cheese Nachos), and these are just the starters! Their entrees can also be very high in fat and calories. 8 Buffalo Wings will cost you about 1500 calories (with 1000 of those calories being from fat) and their burgers like the Smokestack Burger (2980 calories, 211 g Fat, 2370mg sodium) are sure to weigh you down.
Smokey Bones does, however, have some Fire Grill favorites that are not as heavy on the calories (at least not in the 4 digits). Their 7oz Top Sirloin Steaks all fall around 400-500 calories. We like the Top Sirloin with Mushroom Sauce and Steamed Broccoli option. Other lower calorie but tasty options include their Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Chipotle and Steamed Broccoli or their Pulled Pork Sammie and Steamed Broccoli. For the vegetarians out there, a smokehouse grill may not seem like it has many options but they do have a flavorful Veggie Burger option as well as plentiful salad options. But be careful not to be fooled by the salads…salad does not mean low calorie at this bar and grill. Their Baked Potato and Caesar Brisket salad runs you almost 1500 calories (without dressing)! And their Steak and Spinach salad runs about 930 calories with 6000 mg of sodium. We like the Bones Signature Salad (no bacon) with Peppercorn Ranch dressing which falls under the 1200 calorie diet as well. If watching your calories and sodium, try the $5 portions when ordering salads. The Nutty Chicken Salad ($5 portion) is a tasty option. For a restaurant that has a lot of high sodium options, we looked for some entrees lower in sodium like the Smoked Beef Brisket and we found that many of their menu options were gluten-free including many of the options highlighted here. See the rest of our Smokey Bones picks here.

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Romano’s Macaroni Grille- Gluten Free pasta!!!

This Italian favorite is, of course, loved for their Italian specialties: the anti-pastas, pastas, pizza, flatbreads…and that can all get a little carb heavy, very fast. Yet Macaroni Grille does offer some lighter carb options and we are pleased with the variety of foods for all diets. For some low carb options, you can choose from items like the Pan Seared Brazino. They have some delicious sounding vegetarian and low-calorie options like the Half Caprese Panini with a Fresh Greens Salad. Their Grilled Shrimp Spiedini falls under 400 calories and is also a great high fiber option. For people on a Gluten Free diet, Italian restaurants are often avoided, as options are limited. Well Romano's has Gluten Free pasta! For a Gluten Free option try their Pollo Caprese with Gluten-Free Penne. Check out the rest of our Macaroni Grille picks here.

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