Use less salt, here’s some tips
If you’ve followed me or know me at all, you’re bound to know that my favorite vegetable is by far, spinach. Apart from its fantastic nutritious qualities, its not only good for you, but it tastes amazing! Growing with such a limited amount of food (a.k.a what my parents like to eat), leafy greens consisted of iceberg lettuce and… iceberg lettuce. Even my dear spinach rarely made an appearance (mainly, believe it or not, this was my fault because I used to HATE spinach). It wasn’t until I lived in Florida that a certain leafy green came into my diet for the first time. My first night there, I was hanging out with my new roommates and we decided to go over to one of their friend’s apartments. The rest of us tagged along wanting to meet new people. When we arrived, we found his roommate in the kitchen super excited about his trip to the grocery store (like a girl when she gets new shoes excited). What was this crazy guy so excited about? Kale. Up until that day I had never met anyone besides myself that could get excited about vegetables like that, let alone the super healthy ones. Long story short, I ended up falling in love with the crazy kale guy and now he likes to point out that kale is superior in nutrient qualities than my beloved spinach. Regardless, I still eat spinach like its going out of style.
This post however, is not to compare the two, but highlight what kale has to offer to you. Kale, like most vegetables, is considered nutrient dense (foods that are high in nutrients, but low in calories). It’s pumped with micronutrients, like Vitamins A, B6, C, E, and K. Phytochemicals are rich throughout and help with your daily intake of antioxidants (which can help prevent cancer), and not to mention, there’s always that lovely little thing called Fiber. Don’t forget the iron, calcium, copper, manganese, potassium, and even Omega 3 fatty acids, just to name a few… If you’d like to read up a little more, here’s a link my boyfriend so lovingly sent me as “Suck it spinach, Kale is the koolest.”
Switch out the usual hamburger to a turkey burger! You won’t even miss the taste of the cow! (I’m sure I will expand on this later)
Now out of anyone, I often feel tempted to eat things I don’t need. Mainly because every time I go to work, I’m literally surrounded by desserts. I work in a bakery (every nutritionist has to start somewhere I guess…) in a grocery store. Part of my job involves decorating cakes… another part of my job involves handing out cookies to kids. Great idea. Now sometimes I don’t mind handing out cookies to them, it just really bothers me when you can tell the most exercise the kid got that day was running from the front door of the store to the bakery. Running to get a cookie? I don’t really get that. Anyway, that’s not my point of this article. The point is, you have the power to say no to the cookie (sometimes I lose my battle due to hunger and the need to eat something-hear an excuse… me too). I would love to grab the nearest box of whatever I can find, go hide with a half gallon of milk and shove my face into it. But imagine how that would look when my boss walked in seeing me sitting on the floor, milk dribbling down my chin, and half a cheesecake sitting in front of me and the remains of the other half on my shirt. Not attractive.
Now how do I resist all this temptation that surrounds me? Easy really. I tell myself I don’t need it because I simply know I don’t. I know the only thing I’m going to get out of it is pleasing my taste buds and then regret later. Not to mention my biggest fear: waking up one day and saying to myself, “What the hell happened to you?”
Find what works for you and you’re golden! It’s all a mind game and YOU can beat yourself (if that makes sense!).
The average American today consumes 2-3 pounds of sugar a week as opposed to Americans in the late 19th century who consumed 5 pounds of sugar a year? YIKES!
I was asked a question in regards to my recent article, “Well Ain’t That Sweet” on what the differences were between sugar and agave nectar. First let me apologize for not going into further detail on that subject. (Note to self: Stop writing at 1:30 in the morning). So let me delve in that department a little further…
First of all, (as I touched before) agave nectar is more natural than our regular sugar. It is processed only for consumption (processed meaning it is heated at a low heat to break down the carbohydrates into sugar), and although slightly processed, it is still less processed than sugar. The more processed it is, the more of the natural benefits are lost. Batta Bing, Batta Boom.
Secondly, unlike sugar, it has a low glycemic index. This means those with Diabetes will not have to deal with a spike in their blood sugar levels. This also means, that unlike sugar, agave nectar does not trigger the body’s ability to store fat. Also meaning that it is good for those trying to maintain their weight and lose weight as well.
Third of all, while the amount of calories doesn’t lower with agave, the amount used does. Agave is about 40 times sweeter than sugar, meaning less is needed to be used.
Another question asked was my opinion on Splenda vs. Sugar. Now as a culinary major, I’m going to say Sugar and as a Nutrition major, I’m still going to say sugar. Surprised? Well you shouldn’t be. Knowing that sugar aids in cooking (i.e caramelization), Splenda only provides the sweetness of the sugar. I haven’t been able to find any information backing up why Splenda is better than sugar, unless you’re diabetic or looking for primarily just the sweet flavor without the added calories. Nor have I found any added nutritional value, which is why sugar is better in my opinion. AGAIN, JUST AN OPINION!
Just remember after reading all of this, the key you need here is moderation. Whether you prefer agave, sugar, or Splenda, whatever you use can be extremely unhealthy if you use too much of it.
Yes, yes it is. If you follow the world of health even a little bit, I’m pretty positive you’ve heard of agave nectar (or syrup, but really they’re the same thing). Ahhh you were wondering when I was going to get there, weren’t you my little health nuts? Now, for those of you who don’t know what it is, agave nectar comes from the agave plant (really?! woah!), which is also the same thing tequila comes from. But this won’t take your clothes off (unless you feel the need to be naked, but that’s totally up to you). It’s a great NATURAL sweetener. Unlike America’s beloved sugar which isn’t so natural.(but we’ll get into that another day!)
Unlike SHU-GARRRR, agave nectar has nutritional values and a low glycemic index (agave=27>92=sugar), meaning there won’t be a high spike in your blood sugar levels. Back to the health benefits, agave has anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties. It helps in weight loss thanks to the fiber within it and offers a decrease in appetite. Hmmmm… sweet can be good after all, can’t it?
I found this on the livestrong website! It helps you keep track of your meals, calories, and tells you how many calories you should eat (as well as how many you still need for the day) based on the given information. It even has a fitness log! Great stuff!
Drink water before your workout to have your muscles hydrated before hand.
I was visiting a friend a few weeks ago and as he was making me pancakes for breakfast, he told me he only drank organic milk now. Ok, I said rolling my eyes. Milk is milk and I have a love-hate relationship with organic. I didn’t put much thought into it after that and gladly ate my pancakes, washing it down with my glass of “organic” milk. Whatever.
It wasn’t until I was reading 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth that I realized what my friend was saying had a very good point. Obviously I knew very little about the difference between what I was drinking everyday and what my dear friend was drinking.
First off, let my start by saying that the “Dairy” section of this book has a total of four contenders. The simple title of “Milk” is not in there. However, “Raw Organic Milk” is. Score 1 for him. Zilch for me.
“…but even calves probably wouldn’t touch the stuff we get in supermarkets.” (well isn’t that comforting)
Dr. Jonny Bowden goes on to explain that the main difference between what we would traditionally buy and organic milk is what the actual cow is eating. Grocery store milk is milk from comes that eat corn and grains. Organic milk comes from cows that eat the natural diet of a cow, a.k.a grass. (He compares this to a Lion surviving on chocolate chip cookies). Not to mention, the cows that give us this “grocery store milk” are pumped with antibiotics, steroids, and growth hormones that inevitably end up in the milk they produce. Ummm Yuck?! Not only do we have all these lovely factors floating around in that tall glass of milk, but it’s also lacking some “vitally important health-giving compounds” taken out during pasteurization. Sorry Louie, but your methods aren’t helping us here.
“Pasteurizing milk destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamins, denatures fragile milk proteins, destroys vitamins B12 and B6, kills beneficial bacteria and promotes pathogens”-Dr. Joe Mercola
Raw Organic Milk is unpasteurized, unhomogenized and comes from grass fed cows, meaning it contains all the good stuff without all the bad stuff. It’s also a good source of Omega 3’s. The only problem with this yummy stuff is that it isn’t readily available to the public. Remember, I’m talking about raw organic milk. Check out www.realmilk.com to find some in your area.
With all this being said, grocery store milk is still better for you than any pop (or soda) that you drink. You just now know that there’s more you could be doing for your body.
Summer time often brings road trips and on every road trip you have to eat something, right? Most people find the golden arches or the girl with the red pigtails, but let me direct you away from the over-processed “foods” for just a minute. Instead of saying, “Oh we’ll just stop and get something along the way.” Why don’t you make something that’s good for you (and you know what’s in it!) before you ever leave? A quick sandwich or a wrap, some fruit, some veggies, a nice big bottle of water, maybe some crackers, and a cheese stick in the cooler. Guaranteed to be a full and happy stomach for awhile. Unless of course you’d rather sit in the car stuffing down french fries and wiping the grease all over the steering wheel. You’re choice.
My friend was telling me how he was reading this book and he couldn’t put it down. Being the semi-bookworm that I am, I asked what it was and what it was about. Next thing I knew I was buying the book off Amazon.com. It’s called 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth by Jonny Bowden, Ph. D., C.N.S. Not only does it break these foods down into categories (vegetables; fruit; etc.), but it also tells you why they’re good for you and what they’ll do for you. One of the things I try to do from time to time with “Healthy You.” So if I’m overbearing with my new wealth of knowledge on food in my upcoming posts, I apologize, but if there’s anything that gets me excited it’s food and health. Of course I can’t exactly copy and paste it here, nor can I do his work justice, but you can read the book! Really, it’s eye opening.
10 Benefits of my friend-the avocado :)
Here’s the smoothie recipe as promised.
*note: use frozen fruits as opposed to fresh to achieve the texture and if you use fresh, you’re just making juice.
1 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed OJ is the best!)
1 cup *frozen blueberries
1 cup *frozen blackberries
1 cup *frozen strawberries
2 whole *frozen bananas
Blend all of these together to experience a little piece of heaven!
Please note that smoothies are high in calories and make a great breakfast by themselves (and they’re really filling!). Also, you can use any type of fruit you like as long as you like it!Nutrition Facts 1 Serving