Holiday gift ideas for the cook with GI issues

holidays_sqNot sure what to give or ask for this holiday season? Here are a few of my top picks for the cook who struggles with gastrointestinal issues.

Immersion blender
Sometimes called a stick blender or hand blender, this handheld appliance allows you to blend ingredients and puree food in the dish in which they’re being prepared. Folks with certain GI issues can’t eat too much fiber but pureed fruits and vegetables are usually well tolerated.

My patients love this inexpensive tool that makes ‘pasta’ out of vegetables. Veggie pasta, such as zoodles (zucchini noodles) are popping up on restaurant menus, but you can easily make them yourself with the help of a spiralizer. Excellent gift for anyone looking to increase their intake of fruits and vegetables and especially useful for someone following the Paleo or Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

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All plants have carbohydrates

ChemCompound_sqHere’s a typical exchange between a patient and me during a nutrition counseling session about carbs:

Me: Are there any foods or food groups that you avoid?
Patient: I avoid carbohydrates.
Me (internal gasp): OK, so take me through a day.  What do you eat for breakfast?
Patient: I eat yogurt with fruit.
Me (scratching head): Hmmm.

There’s so much confusion out there about nutrition and carbohydrates in particular.

The first time I received any kind of formal education on carbohydrates was during an elective nutrition course in college, so I’m hardly surprised that many people don’t know what carbs are or where they’re found.

However, what I do have a difficult time grasping is why anyone would want to completely avoid carbohydrates in the first place.

What exactly are carbohydrates and why are they important to our overall health?

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Basics of Nutrition: Calories

Books, magazines, the Internet, TV, all of them are full of nutrition “facts”. So much of it is misinformation or disinformation. Sometimes it helps to get back to basics. That’s what we aim to do with this new special.

Each week we’re profiling one of the building blocks of dietetics. Whether you’re new to nutrition or a long-time healthy eater, we hope you’ll enjoy this weekly primer on the basics.

This week we’ll talk about calories.  What is a calorie? Fundamentally, it’s a measure of energy. But not all calories are made equal.

Read on to learn more and at the very least you’ll be prepared for the next trivia night.
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