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Andrea D’Ambrosio, RD, Author at Dietetic Directions - Dietitian and Nutritionist in Kitchener/Waterloo - Page 24 of 33
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Author: Andrea D’Ambrosio, RD

Digestive Health: Exploring the ‘Gut-Brain’ Connection

It is well known that signals from our brain impact our stomach or gut. Think back to a time where you were extremely worried about a looming presentation and then felt butterflies in your stomach, a lump in your throat and noticed a change in your bowel movements. This is a demonstration of how your digestive system automatically responds to emotions experienced. However, have you ever wondered if these same signals can travel in the opposite direction, so that your gut can communicate to your brain and impact things like your emotional state? It appears that our gut is smarter than we anticipated and is in fact,...

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Curbing your Mindless Eating: Thanksgiving Edition

There is a very intricate (and fascinating) science behind why we eat what we eat and why we eat the amounts we do! Without even realizing it, we are inundated with subtle environmental cues, which cunningly lead us to eat more than we otherwise would. Brian Wansink is a food researcher and has written the indispensible book “Mindless Eating” which both exposes and explores these environmental cues in order to provide readers with tips for eating a little ‘less’ without even noticing it! So, in honour of Thanksgiving fast approaching, I thought this would be a timely topic to help us alter our environments so that we...

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Quinoa & Beef Stuffed Peppers

Growing up in an Italian family, I always enjoyed my nonna’s rice and ground veal stuffed peppers. Using this meal inspiration, I have created my own stuffed peppers where I substituted quinoa for rice for added protein and fibre. There is a lot of versatility with this recipe so be sure to toss in additional veggies or spices according to your tastes. This recipe is also gluten-free for those on a restricted diet. Serves: 4-6 Prep time: 40 minutes Cook time: 45 minutes Ingredients: 1 pound lean ground beef 1 cup quinoa (dry and rinsed) 14 oz canned tomato sauce 1 Tbsp Italian spices (pre-mixed) 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 6-10 mushrooms, chopped ½...

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Government now allowing vitamin D Fortified Breakfast Sugar…oops! I Meant Cereal!

I am pleased to introduce my guest blogger, Renu Arora, a fellow dietitian and friend of mine. Renu specializes in heart disease, diabetes and weight management with practices in both Mississauga and Etobicoke. Today, Renu will be exploring a hot, new nutritional topic on vitamin D fortified b-fast cereal! We’ve heard a lot about Vitamin D (aka “the sunshine vitamin”) in the news over the past few years. I myself have written on its increasing importance, and recommend that all Canadians supplement with it, especially in the winter months, as it is literally impossible for anyone to make enough of it naturally given our geography…the sun’s rays are...

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Thai Green Curry with Chicken

After an amazing trip to Southeast Asia, I am excited to share with you my own Thai Green Curry recipe. While in Thailand, I was exceptionally lucky to attend an authentic Thai cooking class instructed by the entertaining and talented Permpoon Nabnian. The recipe I am sharing today is a mix of Perm’s cooking tips, what was available in my own pantry as well as online recipe pointers. The finished product is a spicy treat that makes great leftovers as well! Serves: 2 Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 40 minutes Ingredients: 2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces 1 can (390mL) coconut milk 2 Tbsp green curry paste 1 clove of...

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Let’s Compare Super Seeds: Chia vs. Hemp vs. Flax

Now that you are familiar with the emerging chia seeds and hemp hearts from my past blogs, we are ready to 'dig in' and compare these super seeds to the famous flax seed.  Today, we will review what these seeds have in common as well as their distinguishing characteristics.   What do Chia, Hemp and Flax all have in Common? Plant based, vegetarian, vegan protein sources ‘Complete protein’ – all your essential amino acids All gluten free  * Contain heart healthy polyunsaturated fats (omega 3 & 6), which support immune function and brain functioning, and are cholesterol lowering and anti-inflammatory All are a source of both protein and fibre   Nutritional Comparison! Per...

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Eat Some Cha Cha Cha Chia Seeds!

Do you remember the chia pet phenomenon back in early 90s? With that catchy jingle and those captivating commercials where the chia pet would sprout before our eyes?  Well, little did we know that those little chia seeds were an ancient dietary staple for Aztec civilizations which would later emerge in North America as a Super Food. Today, I will explore the health and nutritional benefits behind that mighty chia seed and explain how to get some chia into your diet. In my next blog post I will be comparing chia seeds to hemp and flax seeds! Chia seeds are part of the mint family and are native to...

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Mediterranean Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese

Sometimes simplicity is the best thing! This recipe happened almost by accident with wanting to use up goat cheese and choosing to use canned lentils so that I could avoid using the stove on a hot summer day. This is the perfect recipe to bring to a potluck or have as a side dish for an outdoor BBQ. Serves: 8-10 Prep Time: 10-15 minutes Ingredients: 1 – 540mL can of lentils, rinsed and drained ½ cucumber, chopped 1 pint of cherry tomatoes ¼ cup fresh goat cheese ¼ cup olive oil 2 Tbsp of red wine vinegar ½ tsp dried oregano Fresh ground pepper to taste Instructions: 1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. 2. Stir in olive oil, red...

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How About Some Hemp Hearts?

The concept of a ‘super-food’ is an emerging phenomenon and encompasses foods with an extraordinary nutritional profile along with associated health benefits. Hemp is considered one of the world's most nutritious plants and definitely a ‘super-food’ you want in your pantry! What is Hemp? Hemp is a tall plant; in fact, the hemp plant can grow up to 18 feet high! Hemp has a strong, fibrous stalk and tiny, edible seeds known as hemp seeds or shelled as hemp hearts. Hemp can be eaten whole, pressed into an edible oil, or ground into flour for baking. Hemp has been cultivated as food for over 5,000 years and is...

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