Tag Archives: National Nutrition Month

March Superfood: Kale

Kale, the dark green leafy cabbage is March’s featured superfood! Kale is a superfood because it is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables on the planet, carrying powerful antioxidants like quercetin and kaempferol.  Kale is a member of the cabbage family and is related to cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. Curly kale, or Scots kale, is the most popular type of kale although there are a variety of kale to choose from.  Leaves can be purple or green in color with a curly or smooth shape.

Ways to Prep Kale

Although it may sound silly, there is serious science behind massaging your kale before you eat it.  Cruciferous vegetables and leafy greens contain intense disease-fighting phytochemicals, or messengers that deliver antioxidants, hidden in the fibrous stems.   Massaging, chopping or blending kale will break the nutrient-dense cell walls and will release antioxidants that heat can’t perform alone.  Massaging your kale will also soften the fibers of the leaves.

Kale-Friendly Ideas:

  • Blend kale into a smoothie
  • Incorporate kale with your salad greens
  • Bake kale until crisp to make kale chips
  • Wilt kale into your favorite curry
  • Stir kale into your favorite soup

What are the Health Benefits?

A single cup of raw kale (about 67 grams or 2.4 ounces) has 33 calories, 6 grams of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of protein.   

  • Vitamin A: 206% of the RDA (from beta-carotene).
  • Vitamin K: 684% of the RDA
  • Vitamin C: 134% of the RDA
  • Vitamin B6: 9% of the RDA
  • Manganese: 26% of the RDA
  • Calcium: 9% of the RDA
  • Copper: 10% of the RDA
  • Potassium: 9% of the RDA
  • Magnesium: 6% of the RDA

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Sustainability and Food Waste

What is sustainability and food waste?

Sustainability is the study of how systems produce everything it needs for organisms (you and me) and the environment to remain in balance. Sustainability includes three pillars, which includes economic development, social development and environmental protection. The goals of sustainability include ending poverty and hunger, improved standards for education and healthcare, economic growth, and health of the land, air and sea. Food waste is the act of discarding or using food in a non-food that was safe and nutritious for consumption. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States estimates that each year one-third of all food produce is wasted.

How is Miami University Dining contributing to sustainability and reducing food waste?

  1. Miami University Dining utilizes recycling to help protect the environment.
  2. All trays were removed from buffet dining locations. Since our buffet locations are “all-you-can-eat” you have the ability to go back to buffet lines as many times as you like to get more food. By removing trays from all buffet locations, this encourages students and guests to fill up one plate at a time, instead of filling a whole tray.
  3. Dining staff utilizes batch cooking daily during service. This is where staff prep recipes and items prior to service, but do not cook them until they are needed. Once the food is cooked it is policy that it be thrown out after service has ended, regardless of how much is left. If it is not cooked then it can be frozen and saved for later use. By utilizing batch cooking, this allows staff to cook as needed and reduces the amount of produced food items that are thrown out, therefore reducing food waste.

How can you contribute to sustainability and reducing food waste in the dining halls?

  1. When you are dining at a buffet location try to only fill your plate with the amount you will eat. Start with small portions and if you are hungry after eating your first plate you have the ability to go back for seconds, and so on, until you are full and satisfied.
  2. When you are dining at an ala carte location save your leftovers for a later meal, instead of throwing them out.
  3. Be intentional with the items you purchase at markets or grocery stores so that you can help reduce food waste. When shopping at markets or grocery stores look at expiration dates on the items you purchase. Think about if you will be able to eat the products before the expiration date. If not, then reconsider why you want that item and what an alternative could be to reduce food waste.

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National Nutrition Month: College Eating Habits

Article Written by Sarah Erb. Junior and SAND (Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) Member

     Making sure to eat breakfast before my 8:30am is always the last of my worries on a Monday morning.  My biggest concern? Making sure my pants aren’t inside out before I walk into a lecture hall. So why fuss about what I eat while I’m in college?  I need fast, easy, and filling food.

    Without eating before your 8:30am, your body goes all morning while your brain and stomach are searching for fuel! Your stomach is rumbling before class is even over and by ten o’clock you have a hunger headache. Sometimes are bodies are giving us warning signs to tell us something is up. Usually, when your body needs some nutrients to go about its day, it will tell you! It may just be screaming via tummy rumble. Your 10:00 am headache may also be disrupting your concentration because you are dehydrated. Not getting enough water can make our minds cranky and affect our mood. Being hungry and dehydrated can cut into our study time and hold us back from completing daily tasks.

     Fast and easy foods for us college students usually mean something hot and greasy, something uptown with friends or between classes. Being ‘full’ and being ‘stuffed’ are two different things. If you’re feeling stuffed after eating then you probably should try slowing down while you eat your next meal. Make sure you have a glass of water to sip on in between bites. Talk and enjoy what you’re eating. Make sure to note how what you ate makes you feel later. Are you feeling greasy, sluggish, and bogged down? Maybe it is because of the grilled cheese, fries, and soda combo you chose to splurge on. The simplest (and grossest) way to tell if you’re being healthy on a daily basis: check your bathroom schedule.  Drinking eight glasses of water a day will have you using the latrine frequently! After a few of these eight ounce glasses, urine will be the desired pale yellow color. Looking at your bowels is another way to access your health from the past few days. If you haven’t had one of these in awhile then maybe it might be time for some fiber! Try whole grain bread options, or experiment with eating dark green leafy veggies.

Being healthy doesn’t have to be a stress on top of all our schoolwork! Carving out time in our days to fuel our bodies (and minds) with food will go a long way. We all want to get A’s but our bodies are also telling us signs of how well we are treating them! Eat breakfast, drink water, and remember to listen to what your body is asking for.


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National Nutrition Month: Improve Your Immune System

Article Written by Sarah Hagedorn, Junior and SAND (Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) Member

Improving your immune system can start with foods and vitamins you consume in your diet. This article will give you 5 steps in working toward the improvement of your immune system!

Step 1

Start every meal by loading your plate half full of fruits and vegetables.

Step 2

Choose whole grains. Pass up refined grains. What does this mean? Whole grain is 100% untreated grain. This includes foods such as 100% wheat bread, oats, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, and whole-wheat tortillas.

These whole grains have more nutrients and vitamins. Plus they can help prevent weight gain because whole grains are digested slower than refined grains (white bread, white rice, bagels). This means less of the bread you love to eat will be stored as fat. Look for 100% whole grains on the label.

Step 3

Choose lots of Vitamin C. Foods high in vitamin C include lemons, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, broccoli, oranges and many more.

Step 4

Eat healthy fats. All fat is bad right? No! Bad fats include trans and saturated fats. Healthy fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats; they are found in olive oil, nuts/seeds, and avocados.  Bad fats would be fats found in hamburgers, fries, and other greasy food examples.

Step 5

Drink and eat your calcium. Choose yogurt, milk, almond milk, coconut milk, soymilk, or low fat cheese every day.  Calcium is essential for our bodies to consume while we are young. Right now, our diet and physical activity determines how healthy our bones will be in later life.  Think about your bones and pour yourself a glass of milk!


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What’s Wrong with My Typical College Diet?

Article Written by Abby Larson, Junior and SAND (Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) Member

      The average college lifestyle is not conducive to healthful habits. Erratic schedules, inconsistent sleep, limited budgets, and constant temptations are characteristic of college life added to the already present challenges of a healthy diet.  In this blog I’ll detail some college staples and easy changes to flip the “freshman fifteen” to “freshman fit”.

Pizza

Organization events, Uptown, delivery services… pizza is everywhere for college students.  It’s easy, fast, and delicious.  Pizza varieties tend to be carb- and fat-laden, and deficient in important nutrients. Rather than the greasy, processed variety, try making pizza using whole wheat tortilla or naan bread with tomato sauce and topped with feta cheese, spinach, chicken, and basil. Substitute any other toppings for a pizza that’s just as satisfying without the guilt.

Ramen

Ramen is notoriously simple to make. The flavor pack for the chicken variety contains an alarming 1,820 mg of sodium, and the FDA recommends consuming at most 2,300 mg per day. With a lot of sodium and little other nutritional benefits, ditch the flavor pack for seasonings such as garlic, pepper, or fresh herbs along with vegetables and a protein, like chicken, beef, shrimp, or an egg.  

Ramen frequently takes the form of a midnight meal. The timing of meals is as important as the meal itself. Indulging late at night usually doesn’t involve nutrient-dense foods, and on top of this, these calories are more likely to be stored as fat in your body.

Dining Halls

In dining halls, it’s easy to fill your plate up (maybe two or three times) with all the mac and cheese, fries, and chicken strips that fit.  Doing so can result in overeating certain nutrients like trans-fat or carbohydrates and missing out on others like fiber or vitamins.  Instead, make the most of the meal plan swipe by going in with a plan and filling up on the healthy options. A balanced plate of vegetables, fruits, protein, and dairy leads to a more satisfying, and nutritious, experience.

In college, and in life, unhealthy and healthy options are available. By thinking about what you chose to eat and making healthful food choices will help you begin to make lifestyle changes. Preparing food by oneself takes a little more preparation and work but improves the taste and nutritional quality. Ultimately, healthy choices involves lifestyle changes that promote balance and variety. Making small changes can lead to significant improvements.


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March National Nutrition Month

Happy March! And Happy National Nutrition Month!

Did you know the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics puts on a campaign to promote nutrition education and information annually in March? The campaign began in 1973 as National Nutrition Week, but due to popularity it became National Nutrition month in 1980. National Nutrition month promotes the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and its members, Registered Dietitians, to the public and media as the most credible sources of nutrition information.

Each year National Nutrition Month focuses on a theme to share the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. National Nutrition Month’s 2018 theme is: Go Further with Food! The foods you choose to eat make a difference, whether it is choosing healthy snacks or reducing your portion sizes, in your overall health.

Go Further with Food Tips!

  • Eat Breakfast: start your morning with lean protein, whole grains, low-fat dairy, fruits and vegetables to jump start your day.
  • Make half your plate fruit and vegetables: they add color, flavor and texture to your plate, plus the added benefits of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Make 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables your daily goal.
  • Watch portion sizes: reducing your portion sizes and eating slowly will increase your satiety cues and allow you to not overeat. Follow the MyPlate guidelines when making your plate
  • Resolve to Reduce Waste
    • Plan meals and snacks based on the foods you have on hand.
    • Get creative with leftovers. Transform them into soups, salads or sandwiches.
    • Be mindful of portion sizes and avoid throwing out excess food.
    • Donate extra foods, that are still safe to eat, to a local food pantry or shelter.

What is Miami Dining doing for National Nutrition Month?

  1. When you are in the dining halls look out for nutrition facts posted near serving lines.
  2. Check out our Nutrition Walls in Garden Commons and Western Dining Commons for nutrition information and pamphlets.
  3. We will be focusing on our March Superfood: Kale! Find Kale at our dining locations and learn more about the benefits of this superfood and how to use it in many different ways!
  4. Follow us on social media! We will be posting nutrition tips, nutrition trivia questions, recipes, dining hall hacks, blog posts from our Registered Dietitians and Dietetic students, and more!
  5. Tag us in your #HealthySelfie Take a picture of your food or your food and you! Tag @MiamiUDining and use the #HealthySelfieMiami to be entered into our National Nutrition Month Raffle!

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Talking National Nutrition Month with Chef Mary Johnson

March is National Nutrition Month, which is a nutrition education and information campaign, focusing on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

So, we reached out to some of our talented and experienced chefs and asked them to share their advice for making healthy food choices this month and beyond. Today’s chef is Chef Mary Johnson.

Chef Johnson is an executive chef, overseeing hot production, grade manger and the bakery at the Demske Culinary Support Center, where all centralized production for campus takes place. Gingerbread houses and fruit carvings are her hobby.


Q: Tell me a little about yourself and your background in dining.

I am from Louisiana and have a passion for cooking and renovating. I am a mother of seven and after having the privilege of being a stay at home mom for 32 years, I returned to school and graduated from Cincinnati State with a culinary degree. I’ve been with Miami University for 11 years.

My experience at Miami has been challenging, rewarding, and fulfilling. I began as a senior cook, was quickly promoted to food production leader, and then chef. I am now an executive chef. I have worked in dining halls, restaurants, and hot production at the Demske Culinary Support Center (DCSC).

Gingerbread houses and fruit carvings are my hobby. I have recreated, in gingerbread, many of the buildings on campus including Lewis Place, McGuffey, Old Main, Upham Hall, and more. I have done many fruit carvings for different events at the president’s home, dining halls, and NACUF’s competitions.

Q: Tell me what you do here at Miami, the different tasks you are responsible for and what role you play in our dining services as a whole.

I am the executive chef at DCSC. Currently my responsibilities include oversight of hot production, garde manger and the bakery at DCSC, where all centralized production for campus takes place. My day-to-day duties include monitoring all activity between the three units, handling issues that develop during the day, notifying the units if products will be late, if substitutions will be made, and clarifying any discrepancies in orders. My most important role is to make sure all our customers get quality products, correctly, and on time. If at any time this does not happen, it is my responsibility to make the necessary corrections are made with as little inconvenience to the customer as possible.

I have input into menu choices, setting rotations for hot production’s soups and sauces, garde manger’s Uncle Phil’s Express items, and the desserts and pastries from the bakery. I also consult with different staff on event menus, providing information as to what my departments can provide. The bakery provides all the cakes, cookies, and specialty items for the “Me to You” program, and provides input on holiday promotions as well.

Q: The theme for National Nutrition Month this year is “Put Your Best Fork Forward” to emphasize that each of us holds the tool to make healthier food choices. What does this theme mean to you and in what ways do you believe people can make healthy changes to their diets during National Nutrition Month and beyond?

I think “Put Your Best Fork Forward” means that every bite counts and that taking small steps to changing our eating habits can be positive steps to, hopefully, lifetime changes. I think the key to success is finding a variety of healthy foods you enjoy. It is easy when you love what you eat. The MyPlate guidelines suggest half your plate should be filled with vegetables and fruits (adding slightly more veggies than fruits) and the other half should be filled with grains and proteins. Of course, color is key, so include a colorful mix and you will get plenty of nutrients. Oh, and don’t forget your dairy. A glass or low fat or skim milk is a great choice.

Q: In what ways do you think students at Miami can “Put their best fork forward”?

I think they can opt for healthy options offered by our dining services. Healthy options are a must on Miami’s menu. We work hard to give our students quality food. We give student access to ingredient and nutritional information and want to help them make informed, intelligent decisions. Healthy grab-and-go items are readily available if students are pressed for time. They should make a conscious, concerted effort to find healthy food they like, follow the MyPlate guidelines, make it colorful and it will be easy for them to “put their best fork forward.”


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Talking National Nutrition Month with Chef Scott Rouse

March is National Nutrition Month, which is a nutrition education and information campaign, focusing on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

So, we reached out to some of our talented and experienced chefs and asked them to share their advice for making healthy food choices this month and beyond. Today’s chef is Chef Scott Rouse.

Chef Rouse is an executive chef at Miami University with over 30 years of experience in food service. Chef Rouse is over Garden Commons, Martin Dining Hall and Dividends, in addition to the Middletown and Hamilton campuses, helping plan and execute Miami’s dining services.


Q: Tell me a little about yourself and your background in dining.

I’ve been in food service for 30 years. I’ve done many different types of food service. (i.e. Hotels, Fine dining, Senior living, Contract Food Service, Colleges, office buildings, and Free Standing Restaurants.) I’m a graduated from the New England Culinary Institute in May of 1991 and I love Creole & Cajun food.

Q: Tell me what you do here at Miami, the different tasks you are responsible for and what role you play in our dining services as a whole.

I’m one of the executive chefs here on campus. I’m over Garden Commons, Martin Dining Hall, Dividends, the Middletown campus and the Hamilton campus. I help plan and execute many different aspects of dining, from special dinners to limited time offers, to the regular four-week menu rotations. I oversee daily production of menu items and assist where needed; anything from covering for someone on their break in the production kitchen to stir-frying in the Asian concept Zen.

Q: The theme for National Nutrition Month this year is “Put Your Best Fork Forward” to emphasize that each of us holds the tool to make healthier food choices. What does this theme mean to you and in what ways do you believe people can make healthy changes to their diets during National Nutrition Month and beyond?

I believe people can make healthy food choices at any time, not just during National Nutrition Month. We always have healthy options available from baked fish to roasted vegetables to grilled skinless chicken breast. Not to mention all of the tasty vegan and vegetarian offerings. The hard part is sticking to those choices long-term to actually change your eating habits. I know this is much easier said than done. Believe me, I love a good cheeseburger just as much as the next person.

Q: In what ways do you think students at Miami can “Put their best fork forward”?

Neale Donald Walsch said “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” and I couldn’t agree more. Try something new. Maybe try the three sisters stew or the roasted cauliflower or some other dish you haven’t tried. Vegan, vegetarian or otherwise. Even if it’s just a bite of something new. You may just find your new favorite dish.


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Talking National Nutrition Month with Chef Casey Johnson

March is National Nutrition Month, which is a nutrition education and information campaign, focusing on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

So, we reached out to some of our talented and experienced chefs and asked them to share their advice for making healthy food choices this month and beyond. Today’s chef is Chef Casey Johnson.

Chef Johnson is an executive chef at Miami University, overseeing Armstrong Student Center, Bell Tower Place and King Cafe. Chef Johnson, originally from Ohio, went to culinary school in New York, interned in West Virginia and found his way back to Ohio before taking his current position with Miami University’s dining services.


Q: Tell me a little about yourself and your background in dining.

My name is Casey Johnson. I’m originally from Toledo, OH and have lived in both New York and West Virginia for some time. I attended college at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY and, while in school, I did my internship with the Greenbrier Hotel & Resort in White Sulphur Springs, WV.

After graduation I participated in the M.I.T program where I was a teaching assistant/sous chef at The Caterina de’ Medici restaurant on campus for Chef Alberto Vanoli for a year. Once I completed the M.I.T program, my wife and I decided to move back to Ohio for her to attend school, while living in Toledo. I worked in a couple different Italian restaurants and finally became sous chef for a local restaurant, Mancy’s Italian Grill.

From there I moved into a food & beverage director position for Hilton Garden Inn where I was one of the opening managers for their Findlay, OH property. During that time, my wife was accepted into the graduate program here at Miami University, so we moved south and I ended up getting one of the executive chef positions here at the university.

Q: Tell me what you do here at Miami, the different tasks you are responsible for and what role you play in our dining services as a whole.

I’m responsible for overseeing the management of Armstrong Student Center, Bell Tower Place, and King Cafe. That includes the day-to-day needs of each property, recipe management, proper food safety, and concept development. The chefs on campus are here to back up and assist the front line staff members. We obviously do a lot of the planning and technical recipe work, but the front line staff plays the biggest role in our dining service department on campus.

Q: The theme for National Nutrition Month this year is “Put Your Best Fork Forward” to emphasize that each of us holds the tool to make healthier food choices. What does this theme mean to you and in what ways do you believe people can make healthy changes to their diets during National Nutrition Month and beyond?

“Put Your Best for Forward,” to me, kind of summarizes what I had already planned for my year. Between the birth of my daughter at the end of 2015 and me turning 30 this year, I’ve decided to make healthier choices in my own life. I’d like to make the next decade of my life the healthiest one I’ve had thus far.

I’m a huge believer and advocate for the Farm-to-Table movement. I feel this movement can really help increase the healthier options on our plates. Eating whole, unprocessed food, and as locally as possible, is always going to be the best choice when trying to make a healthier choice. I believe this quote from Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food sums up my belief on healthy food, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Q: In what ways do you think students at Miami can “Put their best fork forward”?

I believe that if the younger generation helps to continue this Farm-to-Table movement by supporting local farmers markets and making seasonally, local choices, the demand for these product will increase, as will supply (hopefully). This will help make these whole, unprocessed foods more readily available, allowing more Americans to eat healthy at a lower cost.

The students here at Miami and at every university really do have the power to change something as long as they pay attention to the choices they make in their food. “Putting Their Best Fork Forward” is not only good for their health but the health of this planet.


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Talking National Nutrition Month with Chef Kiril Gallovitch

March is National Nutrition Month, which is a nutrition education and information campaign, focusing on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

So, we reached out to some of our talented and experienced chefs and asked them to share their advice for making healthy food choices this month and beyond. Today’s chef is Chef Kiril Gallovitch.

Chef Gallovitch is Miami University’s corporate executive chef, overseeing the culinary side of dining operations, including the planning of menus, production and more. Chef Gallovitch, a native of Bulgaria with classical European culinary training, has many years of experience working in different kitchens with different chefs throughout his professional career.


Q: Tell me a little about yourself and your background in dining.

I have been a chef for the last 20 years. I have extensive experience working with different chefs from all over the world. I started my career working for Sheraton Hotels in Europe. I also worked in a major strip resort in Las Vegas for 12 years. I’ve also been an executive chef of an upscale steakhouse, district chef for a large university for 10 years, and a regional chef for a company responsible for running events around the country and Canada.

Q: Tell me what you do here at Miami, the different tasks you are responsible for and what role you play in our dining services as a whole.

I am the corporate executive chef of Miami University. I am responsible for all of the dining facilities, chefs, Catering, and Concessions. My job is to oversee the operations, and provide guidance, planning menus, production, and special events.

Q: The theme for National Nutrition Month this year is “Put Your Best Fork Forward” to emphasize that each of us holds the tool to make healthier food choices. What does this theme mean to you and in what ways do you believe people can make healthy changes to their diets during National Nutrition Month and beyond?

To eat healthy starts with the choice of ingredients for the recipes. Focusing on things likes high quality ingredients, freshness, and local sourcing can greatly improve the nutrition content of the foods we consume. Balanced diet greatly depends on the choices each individual makes and making small changes to your diet can add up over time. Choosing the right nutrient-rich food can greatly improve our health and energy levels during our daily activities.

Q: In what ways do you think students at Miami can “Put their best fork forward”?

My suggestions for a healthy diet would be eating more of the following foods: vegetables, fruits, low fat dairy, whole grain foods, lean meats, legumes, and using high quality oils while preparing your food.


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