Bits and Bites

News from Jen Messer Nutrition

Our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) has started! Check out Hungry Bear Farm if you think you’d like a summer share of fresh local produce.

Spring and Fresh Seasonal Produce are here! 5 tips for increasing your Veggie intake.

A while back I took a course on “raising healthy eaters.” The bottom line was there are ways to encourage your family to eat more veggies. The funny thing is that most of the tips can apply to adults too!

  1. Start with veggies first. Get home late and hungry? Waiting for everyone to get home so you can all eat together? Serve your veggies as an appetizer! A salad, broth-based vegetable soup, or a little dip and some low effort/preparation vegetables can do the trick.

  2. Add ons! What can make veggies more appealing? Roast your asparagus with garlic and a sprinkle of parmigiana cheese. Try your spinach sautéed with onions and tamari and a dash of sesame seeds. Maybe green beans with a pinch of nutritional yeast for a cheesy taste.

  3. Veggie Dippers are fun, try this spinach artichoke dip, tzatziki, hummus, nut butters, salad dressing, or even honey mustard!

  4. Early and often! Breakfast is the perfect time to add spinach, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, peppers, and asparagus - you name it to eggs or a savory oatmeal. Or create a breakfast bowl with another type of whole grain.

  5. Smoothies are the easiest way to combine greens into your day. Baby spinach is the all-time MVP (most valuable produce) in the chocolate smoothie department. Almond milk, spinach, and chocolate protein powder is a simple mix add a frozen banana to bring it next level.

The New Buzz on Coffee

Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases 2021 311325-1338DOI: (10.1016/j.numecd.2020.12.032) Copyright © 2021 The Authors Terms and Conditions

As a coffee lover and someone with a family history of cardiovascular disease, this research article immediately caught my attention. We all know that according to the CDC, heart disease is the number one killer of Americans. Elevated low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the bad cholesterol, is a major cause of heart disease. LDL causes the build-up of fatty deposits within arteries, reducing and sometimes eventually blocking the flow of blood and oxygen needed by our hearts. This can cause a heart attack. Several foods have been shown to modify LDL cholesterol levels which is what excites me about good nutrition. This particular research study, a new meta-analysis, compiled evidence from serval studies. The findings were that the brewing method of coffee has an influence on LDL levels! Just like a good friend filtered is good, unfiltered is not.

What does this boil down to? Drinking unfiltered coffee is not recommended for your cardiovascular health. Unfiltered coffee contains high levels of chemicals that impede lipid-protein metabolism. This means coffee preparations like the French press and fancy coffee machines at cafes and restaurants that don’t use filters have a high number of these chemicals in their cups of Joe. Luckily, for coffee lovers like me, these chemicals called diterpenes are easily removed from our favorite brew by using a paper filter, so enjoy your Americano filtered.

My other takeaway? In looking at the study’s picture graph (above) I can continue to enjoy my avocados in everything, keep added sugars to a minimum, and continue to avoid saturated fats to take care of my heart.

Looking for a possible perk to your coffee addiction? Check out this recent study Effects of Multi-Ingredient Pre-Workout Supplement and Caffeine on Bench Press Performance: A Single-Blind Cross-Over Study. The findings? Save your money and skip the pre-workout. The researchers hypothesize that there is possibly a negative interaction between some of the ingredients in the pre-workout. However, your cup of coffee may not be the answer for which you are looking. Some research shows that anhydrous caffeine, a purified, concentrated, and dehydrated form of caffeine, is superior for performance compared to the caffeine found in coffee.

Client testimonial

This makes me so happy!

“Jen is incredible! I love working with her. She is so knowledgeable, approachable, and nonjudgemental. She meets you where you are when you start your program- and builds from there. Her method of nutrition works and she has such a vast library of ideas and recipes that make each day easy. On top of all her knowledge and her clinical expertise- she is an amazing listener. An added bonus is she works with most insurers and does the work for you- what an amazing benefit.”

If you know someone who could use help managing a condition through nutrition have them reach out to me. I accept Anthem/Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Cigna, United Health, Wellsense, NH Healthy Families, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, FSA/HSA accounts, and private pay.