Koslo's Nutrition Solutions

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Nutrition Tips For Nourishing Achy Joints

Your bones do such a good job of supporting your every move it is easy to take them for granted. But healthy joints equal a better quality of life, so regardless of your age, being proactive by taking a few simple steps can keep them in top form as you age.

A joint is where two or more bones are joined together. Joints can be rigid like the joints between the bones in your skull, or movable, like knees, hips, and shoulders. Many joints have cartilage on the ends of the bones where they come together. Healthy cartilage helps you move by allowing bones to glide over one another. It also protects bones by preventing them from rubbing up against one another.

Unfortunately, joint discomfort such as stiffness when standing or pain when walking up stairs can effect men and women of all ages and all levels of fitness. And if you don’t have cracking in your joints, stiffness, or pain now, the CDC paints a gloom picture reporting that 1 in 5 US adults currently has arthritis with a projected increase to 67 million by 2030.

Stiffness, pain, cracking, and discomfort are just some of the symptoms that can result from lack of joint care. Strains, sprains, dislocations, and arthritis are four more things you want to avoid as you age. And while you can’t bring back cartilage that’s already been lost, there are a number of steps you can take to either prevent the wear or reduce the pain associated with joint pain.

Fill Your Plate with Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Inflammation plays a major role in joint cartilage deterioration so aim to make most of your choices nutrient dense and high in antioxidants and phytochemicals. Fill up on whole unprocessed fruits, vegetables, grains, and include healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil, and omega-3’s found in chia, flax, hemp, and fatty fish. Limit consumption of red meat, full-fat dairy products, refined sugars, and highly processed foods.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Carrying extra weight puts additional strain on your joints. An extra 2 pounds of weight is equivalent to bearing an extra 6 pounds of force on the joints of the lower body. Research has shown that losing 5% of your body weight has a noticeable effect on reducing pain from arthritis.

Engage in Regular Physical Activity

Exercise can help you to lose extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight. Some research suggests that aerobic exercise (running, cycling) can also reduce joint swelling. It sounds counterintuitive, exercising when a joint hurts, however, the only way a joint gets nutrients is through exercise. Focus on low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, and cycling, and aim for 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week, or a total of about 150 minutes. If you are new to exercise, start slowing with 10-minute bouts such as a brisk walk at lunchtime.

Supplement Wisely

Certain supplements can promote healthier joints by reducing inflammation, or repairing damaged cartilage. This article on joint health by Dr. Lori Shemek provides a good overview on top supplements for joint health.

Cosamin DS, available at Walmart, is a supplement that contains a trademarked high quality glucosamine and chrondroitin sulfate combination, two of the most researched nutrients for joint health. Studies have confirmed that glucosamine is effective for reducing joint discomfort, and chondroitin can help reduce comfort and keep cartilage healthy. Before you hit the Walmart pharmacy, discuss the benefits of supplementing with your registered dietitian or doctor.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Mighty Magnesium

Is your diet plant-strong and rich in pumpkin seeds, almonds, Brazil nuts, leafy greens like spinach and whole grains like oatmeal?  This is just a short list of foods rich in the mineral magnesium, a nutrient that demands attention when it comes to health and wellness. First, what is magnesium good for? Magnesium is required by virtually every cell in your body and is vital to more than 300 processes that sustain human health and function including muscle contraction and relaxation, blood pressure, immunity, sleep, and bone health to name a few.  

Magnesium deficiency is more common in the U.S. than you might expect, as most people have an inadequate dietary intake due to low intake of whole grains, leafy greens, beans, and nuts and seeds. Dietary surveys show that 70% of the population consumes insufficient magnesium most likely due to the overreliance on processed and refined foods which are poor sources of this mineral.

Even if your diet is adequate you may losing more magnesium than you are taking in because there are physical and emotional factors that can increase depletion of the mineral through urinary excretion. Some examples are high levels of stress and intense physical training. Low levels can also cause release of certain stress hormones in the body particularly the “fight or flight” hormone, norepinephrine, which increases under stress. So what is the result? For many people low magnesium could make it harder to maintain a healthy blood pressure and for others it could affect sleep – both of which are linked to magnesium’s role in muscle relaxation. If you have ever suffered from restless leg syndrome than low magnesium could possibly be the cause.

The easiest way to ensure you are getting enough magnesium is to include leafy greens, fruits like bananas, nuts, seeds, cacoa/cocoa, and beans on a daily basis.  The RDA for adult males is 400-420 mg/day and for women 310-320 mg/day. If you think you might be low in magnesium, before supplementing, take a look at your diet and see how you can boost your intake. To help you out, here is a short list of rich food sources followed by a tasty recipe:

1 ounce almonds: 80 mg
½ cup cooked black beans: 60 mg
1 cup spinach: 154 mg
1/8 cup pumpkin seeds: 92 mg
1 square dark chocolate: 95 mg
1 medium banana: 32 mg
1 cup cooked oatmeal: 61 mg
½ cup shelled edamame: 50 mg

Creamy Zucchini Pasta with Pumpkin Seeds

Serves 1-2

For the noodles:
2 small zucchini

For the sauce:
¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
¼ cup shelled edamame
2 Tbs nutritional yeast
2 chopped garlic cloves
¼ cup chopped red pepper
¼ cup basil leaves
1 cup chopped fresh kale
2 tsp olive oil
as much nut milk or water as needed

1.     To make the noodles, slice the zucchini on a mandolin or spiralizer. Set aside in a big bowl.
2.     To make the sauce, blend all ingredients until smooth (adding water or nut milk until smooth).
3.     Massage the sauce into the noodles until evenly coated. Let them rest for a minute to soften and marinate.
4.     Enjoy! For even more magnesium sprinkle with a tablespoon of raisins.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Easy to Follow 7 Day Vegan Diet Plan

As the new year approaches you may be thinking about making some changes to your diet. Perhaps you want to eat less processed foods, incorporate more whole grains, or up your intake of fruits and veggies. You may even be considering trying out a vegan diet. People are drawn to veganism for a variety of reasons. Some of us want to live longer, healthier lives and do our part to reduce pollution and conserve the Earth’s resources. Others choose veganism because they are ethically opposed to eating animals. Regardless of the reason, people who follow plant-based diets tend to have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancers.

But before you take the plunge, it is important to remember that a vegan diet isn’t necessarily a weight loss diet and it is possible to be unhealthy if your diet is poorly planned and unbalanced.  Vegan diets tend to be higher in fiber, folic acid, vitamins C and E, potassium, magnesium, and many phytochemicals. They also tend to be lower in calories, total fat, cholesterol and saturated fat.

However, eliminating all animal products from the diet increases the risk of certain nutrient deficiencies including vitamins B-12 and D, calcium, iron, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. Despite popular belief, a well-planned vegan diet provides ample amounts of protein to support growth, repair and overall good health.

To get you started, here is an easy to follow 7-day vegan meal plan. Take note of how the meals are put together with a balance of food groups and feel free to switch out foods based on taste. Once you have a feel for how to structure your meals, find some recipes that appeal to you and have fun!


Oatmeal with walnuts and raisins

Fresh fruit
Soy yogurt mixed with granola

Fresh fruit
Tofu scramble with pepper, spinach and
vegan cheese in a
whole wheat tortilla
Smoothie made with vegan yogurt, avocado, banana, spinach
Whole wheat toast with peanut butter and banana

Black bean burrito with veggies in a whole wheat tortilla

Fresh fruit

Fresh fruit
Hummus and avocado in a whole wheat pita

Baby carrots

Vegan chili

Vegan cornbread

Peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread

Soy yogurt and berries
Black beans, baked sweet potato, steamed veggies

Baby carrots
Veggie burger on whole wheat bun with hummus and avocado

Lentil soup

Brown rice

Steamed veggies
Brown rice and lentil pilaf

Stir-fried tofu and vegetables and


Grilled Portobello mushrooms over brown rice

Steamed vegetables
Vegan tacos with vegan “ground round” and vegan cheese, lettuce and tomato

Steamed vegetables
Couscous with black beans, walnuts and mixed vegetables

Fresh fruit
Falafel, hummus, tabouli

Steamed vegetables
Soy yogurt with flaxseed and fresh berries

Almonds and fruit
Hummus and apple slices
Edamame, apple slices
Peanut butter and banana
Bell pepper strips, white bean hummus
Cereal and soymilk, fresh fruit

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Healthy Homemade Granola

Who doesn’t love granola? It makes a great breakfast, a tasty bar, and parfaits would feel naked without it. A wholesome and nutritious food, right? Well, it can be, but granola is tricky. Most granolas feature oats at their primary ingredient and as a fiber-rich whole grain, oats offer many benefits. However, having oats as a main ingredient doesn’t automatically make granola a health food and it definitely doesn’t make it low calorie. And then there is the serving size. A serving size of granola is typically listed on the nutrition facts panel as just ½ cup. Have you ever measured out ½ cup of granola? It isn’t very much. And in that ½ cup of store bought granola you can find upwards of 300 calories, loads of sugar, unhealthy fats and oils and unnecessary filler and ingredients.

The good news is that making your own granola is quick and easy, and allows you to control everything that is included. Using dried fruit and fruit juice for sweetness cuts down on added sugars, and the addition of lower calorie nuts and seeds and puffed cereals can keep calories in check. The amount and type of oil used can also be adjusted and unhealthy oils replaced with healthier ones like olive oil and peanut oil. You can even boost the protein content by using non-GMO texturized vegetable protein as one of the ingredients.

Here are two quick and easy healthy granola recipes to get you started:

Mango Pumpkin Seed Granola

·       3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
·       3 cups puffed millet cereal
·       1/3 cup lightly toasted slivered almonds
·       2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
·       1 tablespoon olive oil
·       3 tablespoons maple syrup
·       3 tablespoons apple juice or apple cider
·       1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·       1/4 teaspoon salt
·       3 tablespoons chopped dried mango

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and reserve.
3. Combine oats, puffed millet, almonds and pumpkinseeds in a large bowl.
4. Whisk together olive oil, maple syrup, apple juice, vanilla, and salt in a small bowl and toss with dry ingredients.
5. Spread on a large parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until golden brown, stirring occasionally, 20-25 minutes.
6. Remove from oven, let cool completely, and toss with dried mango.
Cherry Chia Granola
  • 3 cups uncooked quick oats   
  •  2 cups puffed rice cereal   
  •  4 Tbsp honey   
  •  1 tsp olive oil   
  •  1/4 cup(s) apple juice   
  •  1/2 tsp ground cinnamon   
  •  1/2 tsp ground ginger   
  •  1/2 tsp vanilla extract   
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  •  1/4 cup slivered almonds   
  •  1/4 cup dried cherries   

1.     Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix uncooked oats and puffed rice cereal together and spread on a non-stick baking sheet with sides; bake for 10 minutes, stirring once.
2.     Meanwhile, mix honey, oil, apple juice, spices and vanilla together in a cup. When oats and puffed rice are done, spoon into a large bowl; set pan aside. Add almonds and chia seeds to cereal mixture and stir to combine. Pour honey-spice mixture over cereal mixture and mix thoroughly to distribute and coat completely; spread mixture back over pan.
3.     Return pan to oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more, stirring every few minutes. Remove from oven and spoon back into bowl. (Note: Be careful that granola doesn't burn - especially cereal along sides of pan.)
4.     Stir cherries into mixture; let cool. Store in an airtight container.
5.     Yields about a half cup per serving. 12 servings