Phoenix-based nutrition writer, dietitian, and Cordon Bleu-trained chef Michelle Dudash appeared on ABC's The Chew this afternoon to compete in the Weight Watchers Chef Competition. Dudash is a registered dietitian and author of Clean Eating for Busy Families. Over the next few weeks, she'll be appear on the show to vie for a consulting job with Weight Watchers that will involve recipe development for the weight-loss company.
We caught up with the busy nutrition expert to talk about the show and to get a few tips on healthy eating -- including some insight into the perils of eating too much kale.
Today's episode of The Chew, which aired at noon on ABC, pitted Dudash against one of the other six finalists. The pair competed in a Healthy Family Dinner Plans contest, in which each chef was asked to create an easy meal with a busy family in mind. Dudash offered up Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps, which she says are a take on a recipe in her book for Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps. The dish is "versatile" and "easy to prepare," Dudash says.
The dishes also had to use ingredients from the Weight Watchers new Simple Start program, a two-week plan that allows users to begin Weight Watchers without having to count points. Instead, the Simple Start plan provides users with a list of ingredients to use for the first two weeks of dieting.
"It's actually a really well-rounded diet," Dudash says. "There are a lot of things you make with the list."
But if you're looking to improve your health through diet changes, you don't have to limit yourself to a specific list of foods. Dudash has three simple changes you can make that can improve your health.
1. Add more fruits and vegetables
"The key is making sure you keep your kitchen stocked," Dudash says. She suggests fruits such as apples, pears, kiwi, and bananas since they are available throughout the year. Easy to snack on vegetables include sugar snap peas and baby carrots.
Dudash also addressed those recent concerns about eating too much kale (and other cruciferous vegetables) saying, "The amount [of kale] that most people are eating is probably not concerning. You really have to eat a lot of those foods to have problems."
If you are conceded about hypothyroidism, Dudash recommends you see a endocrinologist.
2. Drink more water
Staying hydrated will also keep you energized, Dudash says. Though it's important to note that you don't have to drink water only. Tea and sparkling water are good options as well.
3. Use portion control
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"You might be eating a healthy diet, but your eating too much of it you're still going to gain weight," says Dudash.
You can buy Clean Eating for Busy Families at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe. The book offers family dinners targeted for busy families, though Dudash says the recipes will work for just about anyone. The clean eating aspect of the book means the recipes use mostly "whole foods in their least processed state."
You can watch The Chew's Weight Watchers Chef contest on ABC. For more information about the contest and the show, visit The Chew website.