Our nutritional makeover series "Pantry Raid" most recently took us to the home of Mission Viejo resident Kristy Noble and her sons, Scott, 14, and Robert, 17. The Nobles face time and money limitations familiar to lots of families that want to eat more healthfully but don't have a lot of time to cook.
Registered dietitian Lisa Gibson offers advice to the family, but she also recommended these resources for more information on diet and nutrition:
"American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide" by Roberta Larson Duyff and the American Dietetic Assn. (Wiley, 2006): This book offers tips on eating more healthfully, incorporating more fruits and vegetables, navigating restaurant menus and devising safe ways to diet.
"Eating on the Run" by Evelyn Tribole (Human Kinetics, 2003): No time to cook? The author makes suggestions for healthful snacks on the go, gives advice on losing weight and emphasizes eating from all food groups.
"Cleveland Clinic Healthy Heart Lifestyle Guide and Cookbook" by the Cleveland Clinic, Bonnie Sanders Polin, Frances Towner Giedt and Dr. Steven Nissen (Broadway, 2007): Heart-healthy recipes fill this book, which also features advice on making lifestyle changes that last.
Magazines and newsletters on cooking and nutrition:
Cooking Light magazine and website: The magazine offers tasty, healthful recipes usually low in fat and calories, plus general health tips; the website also has recipes, plus information on health and entertaining.
UC Berkeley Wellness Letter: This ad-free newsletter from Berkeley's School of Public Health and other university researchers offers the latest in health research, translated for the layman. In addition to information on food and nutrition, it also includes wellness tips, plus information on exercise and preventive medicine.
Mayo Clinic Health Letter online: This widely read newsletter contains a plethora of health information on diseases, chronic conditions, exercise and more. It also features a recipe of the month.
Websites with information on nutrition and food:
American Dietetic Assn.: This site is packed with information on food and nutrition, and it links to MyPyramid, the customizable food and menu planner.
Healthy Dining Finder: Going out to dinner but not sure what you'll be faced with on the menu? Visit this site first, and find neighborhood restaurants featuring dietitian-recommended healthful items.
The lentil stew Kristy Noble prepared for dinner the night we were there was made with...
3 tablespoons of olive oil,
9 pork sausages,
2 cups of dried lentils,
1 1/2 cup of carrots,
3 medium potatoes, and
1 chicken bouillon cube.
It served about 12.
We decided to lighten up this family favorite, and the process isn't tough -- lean proteins can be substituted for fattier ones, and amounts of oil and butter can be greatly reduced. The numbers below show how the dish stacks up in terms of fat and calories, and how those numbers would change if lean turkey sausage were substituted for the pork, or if the sausage were left out altogether.
(Noble drained some of the fat from the sausage after cooking; estimating that half the fat was removed, the recipe would have 143.7 total grams of fat and 12 grams per serving.)
Recipe made with turkey sausage:
Total calories: 3,030
Total fat: 84.7 grams
Calories and fat per serving: 253 calories, 7.1 grams of fat
Recipe omitting sausage:
Total calories: 2,350
Total fat: 44.7 grams
Calories and fat per serving: 196 calories, 3.7 grams of fat
CalorieKing.com was used to calculate calories; all numbers are approximate.
-- Jeannine Stein
Photos: Top: Kristy Noble, left, gets nutrition advice from dietitian Lisa Gibson. Bottom: The stew would be more healthful with turkey, or no, sausage instead of the pork variety.
Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times