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Food & Mood

THIRA Health / Food & Mood

Healthy Maple Pumpkin Bread

Looking for a healthy but yummy snack going into our holiday season? Pumpkin bread is the perfect food to have on hand morning, noon, or night.  Since it contains ingredients that pack a nutritional punch it is delicious anytime of the day.  Starting out the day with nut butter spread on a slice provides some satiating protein and fiber.  Having a slice mid-afternoon with a chai latte (think boost of Calcium) is a great snack to provide energy to last the afternoon commute.  Or enjoy after a bowl of chili on a cool Fall night to bring a sense of warmth and sweetness.  The ingredients in this recipe are easy to find in the grocery store or you may already have them in your kitchen cupboards.  See below to learn a little more about a...

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Pasta with Homemade Turkey Meatballs

Who doesn’t love a homemade pasta meal? THIRA Health’s team of dietitians has approved this healthy recipe, and elaborated on why substituting whole grain noodles or zucchini spiraled noodles and making your own homemade marina is such a great choice. Tomato sauce is not only delicious and versatile, it also contains lycopene which is the pigment in red fruits, including tomatoes, watermelon, and pink grapefruit.  Lycopene is plant-based antioxidant and studies have linked it to having decreased the risk of some cancers and contributing to heart health.  The mashed tomatoes in tomato sauce, as well as the presence of a fat (olive oil in this recipe), make it easier for the digestive system to absorb the lycopene. Whole grain noodles contain the entire grain kernel, meaning they contain a higher amount of dietary fiber versus white...

Pumpkin Energy Bites

Are you ready for it to be fall?  Do you love pumpkin spice lattes, comfy sweaters, and warm spices like cinnamon? Then this is just for you! THIRA Health is lucky to have a team of Diet Tech's and Registered Dietitians to monitor the nutrition of our patients and lead educational practices like Food and Mood groups. In Food and Mood groups clients learn how to make nutrient-rich meal and snack choices and how these choices will affect the way they feel throughout their day. This month, we are featuring one of the team's tasty fall favorites: Pumpkin Energy Bites! These energy bites make a great, nutrient rich snack for the fall. This recipe includes a mixture of carbohydrate and protein, a combination that provides our bodies with balanced...

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

By Emily Fitch, RD and Allison Thompson, RD   It’s National Eating Disorder Awareness week. We’ve been struggling with what to write – there are already blog posts with Eating Disorder (ED) facts, statistics, mottos for recovery, and much more out there. We know that children are 242 times more likely to develop an eating disorder than type 2 diabetes, for example – yet we hear so much more about the importance of a ‘healthy weight’, and not so much about how to promote balanced and nourishing messaging about health and weight. We know that recovery isn’t just about weight restoration, eating disorders often coexist with diagnoses like anxiety and OCD, eating disorders aren’t just about food, and recovery isn’t a straight line. Eating disorders are complicated medical and...

Daylight Savings Brings Shorter Days – Here’s How To Cope with Seasonal Affective Disorder

As the days get shorter and temperatures drop, it’s easy to get tired of the darkness and colder weather. It’s entirely possible that your mood can be affected too - afterall, we all rely on sunlight and Vitamin D to maintain high levels of energy and positivity. For people who struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder getting through the colder months can be especially difficult. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that relates to changes in seasons. Its onset happens in the fall or early winter, and ends around springtime, with possible symptoms including fatigue, moodiness and disorganized sleeping patterns. Those people who are prone to depression are especially at risk for SAD. As such, the team...

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15 Apps to Start Your Self-Help Journey

In light of Mental Health Awareness month, the team at THIRA would like to provide you with all possible resources to help cope with mental health challenges. Such resources can come in many forms, such as individual therapy sessions, support groups, and even health and wellness programs. However, we understand that in-person therapy (and therapy as a whole) may not be an option for everyone. In today’s digital world finding resources and answers for mental health challenges has become easier - as has to take that first step towards getting help. In light of this, we would like to recommend a few apps to help you get started on your self-help journey, improve your daily routines and practice DBT-based mindfulness skills in the comfort of your...

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Understanding Hunger: Decoding Important Messages from your Body

By Emily Fitch, Resident Dietician    Food is among the greatest, simplest pleasures of being human. Every piece of food we digest offers our bodies something different, and personally understanding our relationship to food is the first step in building health and mental well-being. For example, upon tasting something naturally delicious—like an apple—the human tongue sends immediate sensory reward signals to the brain, and within 15 minutes the apple’s carbohydrates are converted to blood glucose that gives our body a burst of energy and endorphins. Apples are rich in a variety of phytonutrients (plant chemicals), and studies have linked the consumption of apples with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, asthma, diabetes, and some forms of cancers. Food is a fundamental fuel for our personal and collective mind,...

How to Spot a Fad Diet — A Few Red Flags to Watch For

The characteristics of a fad diet are built around the intense, contagious enthusiasm for a niche weight-loss strategy, and the general promise of a faster and easier pathway to results. These crazes seem to emerge without scientific credibility or precedent, and are most often accompanied by the toned abdomen of a popular, fast-talking swami. Unfortunately and predictably, the individuals who are most easily victimized by the false pretenses of a fad diet are those concerned with so dramatically altering their physical appearance that they resemble another person—and to make matters worse, they want a shortcut for doing so. The language of dieting diversions is meant to exacerbate these feelings of insecurity and inaction, and to prey upon the confusion felt by an unsupported individual in need...

Healthy Brain Checklist: Different Ways to Feed Your Mind

Despite the fact that the hardest working part of the body is the brain, one is far more likely to hear commentary about nourishing only the visible parts of the body. Informed with new research, it’s clear that what we put into our guts—personally and collectively—has more influence on our brainpower and social wellness than previously thought possible. And while it’s admittedly harder to observe the gains of a well-fed brain than it is to appreciate the physical earmarks of time spent in the gym, nutrition is the key to getting the most from our work, our work-outs, and our brains in general. Here are four simple habits for building your brain up each day, and a friendly reminder that you’re a mental and physical by-product...

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