Food Synergy 

Nicole Palmieri, who is currently studying Dietetics at the University of Dayton, shared with Healthy Lombard that…

Certain food pairings will increase nutrient absorption to create a possible health benefit, which is also known as food synergy. These are great to utilize in order to boost our bodies’ protection level from diseases and overall health. Here are a few notable examples of food pairings:

Vitamin C with Iron

Specifically speaking to non-heme iron, or the iron that does not come from animal meat, plant-based iron can be better absorbed when paired with foods rich in Vitamin C. Plant-based sources of iron include legumes, nuts, seeds, quinoa, spinach, iron-fortified grains, and more. Foods rich in Vitamin C include tomatoes, oranges, grapefruits, bell peppers, broccoli, and more. Making a meal such as a lentil salad with cooked bell peppers and broccoli, or a snack platter of mixed unsalted nuts with vegetable sticks and tomatoes are great for food synergy!

Vitamins A, D, E, and K with Fat

Vitamins are classified as either fat-soluble or water-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins include Vitamin C and B Vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins are Vitamins A, D, E, and K. Since these are absorbed alongside fats, it would make sense that these are better absorbed when consumed with fats! The fats that we are talking about are healthy fats, such as monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, versus saturated and trans fats. Examples of healthy fats include olive oil, avocado, nuts, chia seeds, fatty fish, and more. Examples of foods plentiful with fat-soluble vitamins include dark leafy greens, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables (Vitamin A), egg yolks and other animal products (Vitamin D), almonds, and sunflower seeds (Vitamin E), and dairy products and dark leafy greens (Vitamin K). Cooking a meal such as avocado toast with scrambled eggs or a grilled 6 oz. salmon with a side salad of dark leafy greens topped with sunflower seeds and olive oil are great options for this pairing!

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Junk Food Put To The Test 

Meal Prep Ideas to Start Your Week Strong! 

Nicole Palmieri, who is currently studying Dietetics at the University of Dayton, shared with Healthy Lombard that… whether you are busy running around with kids, completing errands, or constantly working, it seems that there is always another task on the to-do list to cross off. Being on the go for most of the day can create little time and energy given to the food we choose to eat. Instead of grabbing the most convenient meal or snack, preparing your meals at the beginning of the week will be a time-saver and ensure you are fitting in a nutritious meal, even on your busiest days!

Here are some ideas for meal prep:


  • First, pick your base: arugula, spinach, a spring mix, or kale.
  • Then, pick your protein: chicken, tofu, a hard-boiled egg, edamame, or chickpeas.
  • Next, pick your starch: sweet potato, corn, peas, squash, and there are plenty more options!
  • Now, load up on the vegetables – select your favorites! I like adding tomatoes, cucumbers, and roasting broccoli, red onion, and zucchini.
  • Finally, top it off with a healthy fat such as avocado slices, a sprinkle of hemp hearts, walnuts, or a drizzle of olive oil! Save the olive oil to add on the day you are eating it, so the salad does not get soggy!

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Kimchi and its Health Benefits 

College of DuPage Nursing Student Jennalyn Mendiola shared with Healthy Lombard that food can often bring communities closer together. In the current world, it is easy to eat dishes from around the world without having to travel far. One dish called kimchi is a traditional staple that comes from South Korea. Kimchi is fermented vegetables. Vegetables are salted and seasoned and left to ferment giving it their signature tangy taste. Kimchi can be made from a variety of vegetables, but the most well-known is the napa cabbage. It is often used as a side dish in everyday life in South Korea, but it has grown in popularity worldwide in recent years. It is beneficial to gut health, has great nutritional value, and is known for boosting immunity.

Fermented foods such as kimchi have high amounts of probiotics that are especially beneficial to digestive and gut health. Probiotics are living organisms that aid in colonizing guts with beneficial bacteria. Lactobacilli bacteria are found in kimchi. This bacterium is also found in yogurt and other fermented foods. These bacteria help to maintain the balance against bad bacteria. Unbalanced gut flora can lead to inflammatory bowel disease and inflammation (Dimidi et al., 2019). Therefore, eating kimchi helps to prevent such diseases. Kimchi can also help with constipation and diarrhea because it creates a healthy digestive system. Read more 

How Eco Eats Supports Green Businesses 

Eco Eats is a Social Enterprise with a food app designed to deliver extra food to charities from grocery stores. It also connects people to restaurant foods and categories like Fresh Finds, Flash Sales, and $9.99 and under!   The company cares about the environment and with each meal ordered, plants a tree to be carbon emission-free.  In that

How many of you get to Friday and think, ‘I could really do with a takeaway’? Well before you reach for your old favorite food delivery app, think again. Eco Eats is a new, unique food delivery service with a difference; it works with the environment by supporting local farmers and encouraging sustainable business practices.

By setting your address, Eco Eats generates restaurants that are available to you. The app automatically sets a 5-mile radius for your local restaurants. This means you reduce carbon emissions by limiting how far your food has to travel. You can choose from a selection of restaurants that have been rated not only on their food but on their environmental impact. There are 10 green flags that restaurants can achieve to show how they are making a difference and promoting a green economy:

  • Food donation: Restaurants donating their leftover food means less food goes to waste and into landfills. It additionally means the food that would normally be in the bin can go towards people who might really need it.

  • Recycling: This should be a given for most restaurants, as there are plenty of facilities that enable restaurants to recycle their waste, preventing it from going to landfills.

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Gluten Free Dining Options 

Nicole Palmieri, Senior at Glenbard South High School, shared with Healthy Lombard that In the past 20 years, our world has seen more awareness for “gluten-free,” “gluten allergy,” “gluten sensitivity” options at restaurants and fast-food chains. It can get all too confusing, so here is a comprehensive list of fast-food places and restaurants in Lombard, or near the area, that have gluten-free options, menus, and which ones to steer clear of. Also in this article, you will learn about the difference between celiac disease and gluten intolerance.

Fast-Food that Offer Gluten-Free Options:
• Many fast-food chains offer gluten-free french fries upon request. This includes Chick-Fil-A, Five Guys, Sonic and Arby’s.

• Chains that have the worst opportunities for gluten-free options (according to include Burger King, McDonald’s, Taco Bell and KFC “as they have extremely limited options and the risks for gluten crossing-contamination are high.”

  • Those with severe celiac disease should be cautious when ordering food that has any possibility of cross-contamination. In this case, the more questions the better!
  • Cross-contamination appears often in fried foods, so ask if your food will be cooked in oil that is specifically meant for gluten-free items. Also, ask if equipment like toasters, pizza ovens, panini presses, different spatulas, etc. are used for the purpose of keeping conscious of those with a severe gluten allergy.
  • Again, the more questions the better! If you have celiac disease and are asking your waiter or cashier, try to gauge how secure they are in their answers. If they do not seem to know, ask to see a manager! Better to double-check then risk it.
  • Arby’s has a separate gluten-free menu, but most foods that are not potato-based or eaten without bread are gluten-free there. Chipotle is almost unanimously gluten-free, except for its soft flour tortillas. (

Another tip is to ask the fast-food place, or any restaurant for that matter, if the food is prepared specifically on a separate surface from gluten-containing items. Read more 


Rise and Shine shared that while the holidays are a great time for indulging in your favorite sweets and treats, they can be stressful if you have a child with diabetes. You’re tasked with paying close attention to your child’s eating choices while making sure he or she doesn’t feel left out of the festivities.

With careful planning, your child can participate and enjoy the holidays with friends and family.

Monitor blood sugar levels frequently

High carb holiday foods, including cakes, bread, and pasta can cause blood sugar levels to spike. Therefore, it’s a good idea to check your child’s level more frequently during the holidays and dose insulin accordingly; keeping in mind that activity may also affect blood sugars.

Different insulin regimens require different strategies

If your child is on an insulin regimen requiring two or three shots per day (known as conventional insulin therapy), try to time the holiday meal around dinner so that the short or rapid-acting insulin can be easily adjusted. Otherwise, if the meal is in the afternoon, consider adding an extra dose of rapid or short-acting insulin to cover the meal. Please discuss details with your child’s diabetes team, which will happily assist in managing insulin doses during holiday festivities. Read more 

Spice Up Your Winter 

Parents for Healthy Kids ask if you are sick of the chilly, dark weather yet? Well, put a little southwestern spice into your dinner, and imagine you’re on a sunny vacation.  If so, try this for dinner tonight:

Southwest Stuffed Peppers

All your favorite parts of a veggie burrito but with a different shell.


  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 1¼ teaspoons iodized salt, divided, plus additional to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 3 bell peppers, halved and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus additional to taste
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • ½ cup button mushrooms, diced
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup black beans
  • ½ cup frozen sweet corn
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 avocado, sliced

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Thanksgiving Cauliflower Substitutes 

College of DuPage Nursing Student Nikita Sojka suggests that you can replace those high carb ingredients with low carb cauliflower in your Thanksgiving sides. Your children will not be able to taste the difference.



  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped or thinly sliced
  • 1 small head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 c. chopped mushrooms
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh sage (or 1 tsp. ground sage)
  • 1/2 c. vegetable or chicken broth



  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion, carrot, and celery and sauté until soft, 7 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add cauliflower and mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes more.
  3. Add parsley, rosemary, and sage and stir until combined, then pour over vegetable broth and cover with a lid. Cover until totally tender and liquid is absorbed, 15 minutes.
  4. Serve






Replacing Carbs with Vegetables 

College of DuPage Nursing Student Nastika Cukali shared that pizza, sandwiches, and pasta are all comfort foods that we end up consuming regularly. The over consumption of these carbohydrates can be detrimental to our health. Carbs are digested in our bodies and become sugar, which then enters the blood. A recent study shows that high-carb diets — containing an average 77 percent carbohydrates — were associated with a 28 percent increased risk of death versus low-carb diet. Looking for new ways to introduce vegetables in your diet? There are great recipes that use vegetables to replace cabs. Although we don’t have to completely eliminate carbs from our diet, we can make smarter choices. When making a sandwich opt to use whole wheat bread instead of white bread. Instead of having your cheeseburger with a bun, you can use lettuce leafs and still enjoy your meal without loading up on the hamburger bun. Down below you will find an easy and delicious recipe on how to use squash to replace regular pasta!


Spaghetti Squash Recipe

Prep time: 15 mins, Cook time: 30 mins, Ready in 45 mins


-1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded

-2 table spoons olive oil

-1 onion chopped

-1 glove garlic minced

-1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes

-Tomatoes on the Vine Red Cluster

-3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

-3 tablespoons sliced black olives

– 2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

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