DENVER, Col. - It's difficult to know which nutrition tip to take when it comes to eating the right foods and not feeling guilty in the process. Especially during the holiday season, women receive a variety of messages on how to eat, shop, clean, wrap packages . . . and increase their energy level. The result is simply less energy as these same women try to figure out just what they and their families should eat during this hectic time of year.

The Council for Women's Nutrition Solutions (CWNS) - a beef checkoff-funded, all-women advisory board of health and nutrition experts - has come to the rescue with The Energy Institute ( on, the leading online destination for women.

Developed with CWNS, The Energy Institute offers everyday heroes - busy, time-crunched women - simple everyday solutions to help them make individual choices. Making the right choices will help them embrace a more balanced lifestyle and maximize their time and energy so they can take better care of themselves and their families. The result will be overall good health and well-being, a crucial daily priority during this fun, but bustling, holiday season.

CWNS offers guilt-free everyday solutions, or realistic options, for everyday nutrition that will ultimately help meet energy needs of today's woman. The Energy Institute focuses on four areas to provide everyday solutions for everyday heroes: nutrition, activity, sleep and stress.

The nutrition area features tips for healthier eating with an emphasis on balance, moderation and variety as the "recipe" for success, incorporating the recommendations of the Food Guide Pyramid. The nutrition section also stresses the importance of iron, zinc and other key nutrients found in beef, necessary for optimizing everyday nutrition, as well as provides a "new way to eat lean." The site's Everyday Solutions are updated frequently so women can find new insights and current research. Highlighted below are holiday examples of Everyday Solutions for Everyday Heroes on The Energy Institute:

  • Fuel your body and fight illnesses...A 3-ounce serving of lean beef
    serves up 39 percent of the zinc most people need each day.
  • Eat something light, but filling, an hour or so before holiday events. Enjoy a piece of string cheese, some beef jerky or half of a roast beef sandwich before you go out.
  • Drink to everyone's health with a spicy tomato juice "mocktail" or
    hot apple cider.
  • Make protein and carbohydrate combos at the buffet: you'll feel full and gain extra energy. Add meat to a salad, crackers and cheese or veggie plate.

Iron and zinc are important nutrients to keep women energized and healthy during the holidays - yet many women are not getting enough of these key nutrients each day. In fact, 82.6 percent of women age 20 and older are not meeting their recommended dietary allowances (RDA) for zinc and 62.3 percent are not meeting their RDA for iron. Iron and zinc information on The Energy Institute includes:

  • Iron plays a role in a wide variety of body functions. For example, iron helps regulate the body's production of energy, supports the immune system and helps ensure optimal cognitive function and brain development. Iron is also needed to form healthy red blood cells and prevent anemia. Iron is especially important for women and children and can be easily obtained from sirloin, lean ground beef, top round, turkey, fortified breakfast cereal, and spinach.
  • Zinc also plays an important role in maintaining good health. Zinc aids in the growth and cognitive development in growing children, maintaining a healthy immune system, healing wounds and ensuring normal appetite and taste. Good sources of zinc that can fit in an everyday diet include lean ground beef, sirloin, skinless chicken, Raisin Bran, wheat germ, plain, lowfat yogurt, and baked beans.

The Energy Institute also features convenient and nutritious recipes and an expert Q&A area where women can pose questions to CWNS members about nutrition and other women's health issues, such as sleep, stress and activity.

National Cattlemen's Beef Association