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Food Facts & Recipes for the New Year

The New Year is a great time to start fresh and discover new ways to improve your health and wellbeing. A good way to ease into better health is by taking simple steps to modify your diet to make sure your body is getting the most out of what you put in it.

One of the first things we can do to help guide us to better eating is to understand the Nutrition Facts label found on most foods we buy the grocery store. Learning how to understand and use the Nutrition Facts label can help you make healthier choices and identify nutrient-dense foods for a beneficial diet.

Here’s a video from Griffin Health’s nutritionists that explains what to look for on these labels.

Good vs. Bad Nutrients

The Nutrition Facts label helps us limit some nutrients that can harm our health and increase those that are beneficial to our bodies. For example, the labels show us foods that are high in detrimental nutrients like added sugars, saturated fat, sodium and trans fat. The labels can also help us get enough of the nutrients our bodies need, such as calcium, choline, dietary fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A, C, D and E.

Carb Counting

Carbohydrates are sugar molecules that are one of the main nutrients found in foods and drinks. The body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, or blood sugar, which is the main source of energy for the body's cells, tissues, and organs. While we need some carbohydrates for energy, it's important to eat the right kinds of carbohydrates for optimal health. Below are some tips to help improve your carb intake:

  • Choose whole grains - Whole grains are foods like whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole cornmeal, and oatmeal. They offer lots of important nutrients like minerals, vitamins, and fiber. To figure out whether a product has a significant amount of whole grain, check the ingredients list on the package and see if a whole grain is one of the first items listed.
  • Eat foods with lots of fiber – Check the Nutrition Facts label for foods that are high in fiber. High fiber foods are good for you because the body cannot break down most fibers, making you feel full and make you less likely to overeat. They can also help prevent stomach and intestinal issues. The Nutrition Facts label on the back of food packages tells you how much fiber a product has.
  • On average, you should take in 275 grams of total carbohydrates each day based on a 2,000-calorie daily diet. Your Daily Value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs and health. Click here to see a chart by the United States Department of Agriculture of the estimated calorie needs per day based on age, sex, and physical activity level. Consult your physician to see what calorie level is right for you.

Super Healthy Recipes for the New Year

These easy and delicious recipes will help you kickoff 2021 feeling healthy, refreshed, and ready to conquer the New Year!


Serves 1

1 cup purple cabbage, shredded
1 cup green cabbage, shredded
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp. cashews, chopped
6 oz. shredded chicken or other leftover protein

1⁄4 cup fresh lime juice
3 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tbsp. honey
2 tsp garlic, minced

Whisk together dressing ingredients and set aside.
Assemble all salad ingredients in a large bowl.
Toss salad with the dressing, then top with cashews and shredded chicken.


Cabbage: A sulfur-rich, cruciferous veggie. It helps your liver break down toxins so they can be more easily expelled. It also has diuretic properties to help rid your body of excess fluid, which carries toxins out with it.

Red bell pepper: Only the red bell peppers are the super-star cleansing pepper. That’s because they are loaded with 3 times the vitamin C of other veggies.

Cilantro: A heavy metal chelator, which means it binds to the heavy metals in your body and helps get them out of the tissue. Cilantro also supports efficient digestion, by helping to produce digestive enzymes that aid in the breakdown of foods.

Calories 466
Carbs 38g
Fat 10g
Protein 45g
Sugar 22mg


Serves 4

1 small eggplant, stemmed and chopped into 1” cubes
1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced into half-moons
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup finely shredded red cabbage
4 whole-wheat pitas, toasted
1 cup creamy hummus
4 hard-boiled eggs, thinly sliced
½ cup parsley leaves, roughly chopped


Cucumbers: Made from over 90% water, cucumbers help aid detoxification by flushing out water soluble toxins and keeping the bowels running smoothly.

Eggs: A complete protein, meaning they contain all of the amino acids.

Whole Wheat Pita: Promotes healthy gut functioning and stimulates the excretion of the bile made by the liver.


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. On a baking sheet, toss the eggplant and bell pepper with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast about 25 minutes, or until tender and golden.
Remove from oven and toss with grated garlic. In a small bowl, combine the cucumbers, tomatoes, mint, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with ½ teaspoon salt.
In another small bowl, season the cabbage with salt and pepper.
Stuff each pita with ¼ cup hummus, eggplant–bell pepper mixture, tomato-cucumber salad, cabbage, egg slices, and parsley.

Calories 497
Carbs 49g
Fat 27g
Protein 18g
Sodium 534mg
Sugar 8.7g