Pasta does not make you fat!

I repeat – Pasta does not make you fat!

What puts on the pounds is how much we eat and what we put on our pasta. The full plate of fettuccine alfredo..although yummy…is not the most healthy way to make pasta. The USDA recommends we eat 6-11 servings of whole grains per day. This includes pasta and it’s good for you. It fills you up, gives your body time-released energy, and is usually enriched with folic acid which is known to support a healthy heart and prevent birth defects. Runners eat it before races because of the steady energy it provides.

There is also the whole wheat variety which is widely available now. This kind has more fiber in it than regular pasta but not everyone likes the stronger ‘wheaty’ taste and it’s double or triple the price. Sometimes, I’ll mix it in with regular pasta to get the best of both worlds!

And back to the serving sizes…one serving size is roughly 1/2 cup of cooked pasta. That’s it. I don’t know about you but I’m still hungry after that 🙂 BUT, remember we get 6-11 servings of whole grains spread throughout the day and we don’t need to eat them all in one sitting. So, if you have 1 cup of cooked pasta (equaling 2 whole grain servings) you get 4-8 servings left…plenty of room for cereal in the morning! Still hungry thinking about only 1 cup of pasta? Add 2 servings a veggies &/or a serving of protein (chicken, shrimp), drizzle a little bit of antioxidant rich Extra Virgin Olive Oil and you have a pretty satisfying and healthy meal that’s not heavy on the carbs or calories.

Try it this week and let me know how creative you can make your healthy pasta dishes!

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“Supplement” to Anti-depressants

I felt the need to write a little bit more on this subject because I received a lot of feedback on it. So the basic concept is that we should understand that there are other options to relieving depression and anxiety besides taking an anti-depressant. The last time we talked about exercise in any form whatsoever. Another option that will play very nicely with exercise is a healthy diet.
A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids has been known to reduce the feelings of depression and anxiety. Eating fish is probably one of the best ways to get our omega-3’s. Salmon, bluefish, shrimp, scallops, even anchovies & sardines are all good sources. I’ve also heard that organic red meat has a decent amount of omega-3’s too. Who wouldn’t want a little surf & turf?

There are also two supplements worth mentioning – Fish Oil and St. John’s Wort. You don’t need to take them together although there’s nothing to say that you can’t. The fish oil can be used as a supplement to your omega-3 intake…or if you’re not particularly fond of fish. St. John’s Wort is said to promote a healthy mood. Just make sure you read the instructions on the label and always check with your doctor or pharmacy if you’re taking other medications.

So, a little cardio workout + fish for din din = healthy & happy 🙂