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Nutrient to Focus On: Water, H2O

As the weather heats up here in Maine, staying hydrated becomes even more important.  The weather in Maine is usually great. We have warm days and cool nights, which allows us to go without central air conditioning. This summer, the heat has been sticking around longer than usual. We have had far too many days in the high 80s and even into the 90s.  These warm summer days make staying hydrated even more important than usual.  Water is important for everyone, but H20 plays an important role in individuals with ADHD. Here are five major functions of water/H2O: The Functions of Water: Regulates body temperature Involved in blood circulation Plays a role in numerous biochemical reactions throughout the body Circulates key nutrients throughout the body Removes waste from...

When to Buy Organic

After my last post on organic vegetable gardening, I had some questions from readers about when to buy organic.  Choosing whether or not to buy organic fruits and vegetables can be overwhelming. Purchasing organic produce is often more expensive, but there are certain fruits and vegetables that are not worth the extra cost.  The question is, how do you know which foods to buy organic? You're in luck! Today I am going to give you a list of fruits and vegetables that are known to be significantly higher in pesticides that are worth the organic price tag and a list of foods are not worth buying organic. 16 Foods to Buy Organic: Strawberries Apples Nectarines Peaches Celery Grapes Cherries Spinach Tomatoes Bell Peppers Cherry Tomatoes Cucumbers Leafy...

5 Ways to Easily Add Protein

This week the Nutrient to Focus On is Protein! Yesterday you learned or were reminded of the importance of protein in your diet.  You should try to include protein at every meal, but this can be a challenge at times.  To help you include protein at each meal, here are five ways to easily add protein.

  1. Exceptional Eggs: One egg has 6 grams of protein. If you are short on time, try the recipe below or make sure you have hardboiled eggs ready to grab for a quick source of protein.
  2. Get Nutty! Nuts are a great source of protein. A one ounce serving of almonds contains 6 grams of protein. Just be careful not to eat too many because the calories will add up fast if you go overboard.
  3. Go Greek! 1 cup of Greek yogurt has 23 grams of protein.  Try substituting greek yogurt for sour cream and mayonnaise in recipes. Not only will you add protein, you will reduce the fat content as well.
  4. Just add beans: Keep a few different types of canned beans in your pantry. Beans can be added to numerous dishes like soup, salad or stew.
  5. Reconsider Milk: Milk products have become less popular recently due to the variety of milk alternatives available.  Just keep in mind that 8 ounces of low fat or non fat milk contains 8-10 grams of protein compared to 8 ounces of unsweetened  almond milk which contains only 1 gram of protein. Unless you are lactose intolerant, you should consider including milk in you and your child’s diet.

On the Go-Mini Frittatas

mini frittata

This recipe was inspired from Nom Nom Paleo

This is a great recipe to keep on hand. Utilize your weekends and make a batch or two of these.  These are a great on the go option because you can freeze them.  Then when you are ready to enjoy one, just pop it in the microwave for 15-30 seconds and you will have yourself a warm breakfast on the run.

Nutrient to Focus On: Protein

Nutrition is the process of taking in food and using it for growth, metabolism and repair.  Specific nutrients provide our bodies with the fuel that we need to survive.  These nutrients are categorized into two sub groups: macronutrients and micronutrients.  Protein is a macronutrient that our bodies cannot function without, which is why this week’s nutrient to focus on is protein.  Whether or not you have ADHD, protein is an essential nutrient that you must include in your diet.  For those of us with ADHD, there may be extra benefits to getting the amount of protein you need. Research suggests that ADHD is caused by low or abnormal levels of dopamine in the brain.  Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that carries nerve impulses across the brain.  Dopamine levels are associated with motor and cognitive function, both of which are related to  ADHD. You might be wondering, “What does dopamine have to do with protein? ” When you eat a source of protein, your body breaks the protein into amino acids and transport them across the body.   Amino acids are used to maintain your body’s muscles, blood, bones, and organs.  L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that can be used to form dopamine, which can lead to better motor and cognitive function and can potentially improve ADHD symptoms.  The bottom line: High quality protein sources can provide L-Tyrosine can lead to increased dopamine levels in the brain and potentially reduced ADHD symptoms.

Here are the six main sources of protein that you need to know:

  1. Eggs
  2. Nuts and Seeds
  3. Poultry
  4. Beans and Peas
  5. Meat
  6. Seafood

You now know the main sources of protein and how they can benefit those with ADHD.  Since it is a Monday, I want to share a “Meatless Monday” recipe with you all.  One of my go-to Meatless Monday recipes is tomato soup with chickpeas and pesto.  What goes better with tomato soup than grilled cheese? My husband and I usually split a grilled cheese sandwich to have with our tomato soup to cut down on the extra calories.  The chickpeas in this soup are a great source of protein and fiber.  What are some of your favorite Meatless Monday recipes?

Meatless Monday Recipe: Tomato Soup

Quick and easy tomato soup with chickpeas and pesto

Recipe Source: Runner’s World

Focus on Fitness for ADHD

Do you struggle to get yourself to exercise? I know I certainly do. Until recently, I used every excuse whenever my husband asked me to go to the gym with him. I’d say, "I'm still sore from skiing four days ago”(which was hardly an excuse) or "I think I might do something at home" (which I almost never did)  I enjoy going for a run and being active outside, but I absolutely hate going to the gym.  This past fall, my husband and I bought a house and had a lot going on. This chaotic time caused diet and exercise to drop down the list of priorities.  From October to December, I was eating calories like an Olympic athlete in training. Unfortunately, I wasn't exercising...

The Feingold Diet

Back in the seventies, Benjamin Feingold wrote a book called "Why Your Child is Hyperactive" that introduced an ADHD diet. He recommended eliminating artificial colors and flavors, preservatives, and natural salicylates from the diet because he believed they were contributing to increased hyperactivity in children with ADHD. The Feingold diet was dismissed by experts since then, but has started to make a comeback more recently. An article from the Chicago Tribune from 2013 investigates whether the Feingold diet should be introduced in children with ADHD. I was most surprised to learn that the European Union requires a warning label on foods that contain one of six artificial food dyes. What are your thoughts on the fact that the FDA has yet to enforce a similar warning? I...

Fight ADHD with Flaxseed

Last week, we discovered that Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential fatty acids that individuals with ADD and ADHD must include in their diets(in case you missed it, read more here). Omega-3s can help fight inflammation and improve ADD and ADHD symptoms. Yesterday we featured a delicious salmon recipe, but I realized many people do not eat fish for a number of reasons.   As a result, today I am focusing on flaxseed. Flaxseeds are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fiber, manganese, and vitamin B1. If you are anything like me, getting out the door in the morning can be a major struggle and I don’t even have kids to worry about. Thats why this recipe I recently discovered, No Bake Energy Bites, is one of the many quick bites I like to have for those (many) chaotic mornings.  I have created my own version of these, which I have included below.  I prefer almond butter, but you can substitute with other types of nut butter.  If you add the chia seeds to these delicious bites of energy, then you will increase the nutritional density of these delightful snacks. These energy bites are quick and easy to make and don’t require any cooking.   I hope you all enjoy.

No Bake Energy Bites (original recipe found here )

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ADHD and Me

I want to clarify one thing about my first post: I am not an expert on ADHD. I am, however, an expert on nutrition and dietetics.  I have read many books and other resources on ADHD and various strategies for coping with the challenges of ADHD.  As a result, I have chosen to combine these two areas. Since I was a child, I have struggled with ADHD and maintaining a healthy weight. My personal experience has lead me to believe that food plays an important role in the symptoms associated with ADHD.  If you yourself have ADHD or you are a parent of a child with ADHD, you may know that food affects behavior.  The question is, what foods improve behaviors and symptoms and what foods...

Hello world!

Welcome to my blog!  My name is Maddy Howard, MS, RD, LD and I am a Registered Dietitian with a masters in applied nutrition.   I am so excited to start a new adventure and take on a new challenge in my career. Unfortunately, over the last few months I have been struggling to find a full-time job. Instead of getting discouraged by the whole job search process, I have decided to pour my energy into something that I am passionate about. I came up with the idea for this blog while I was at home jumping from task to task (typical ADHD trait) and realized I could combine two topics that I know an awful lot about: ADHD and Nutrition! My goal is to...

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