Tag Archives: Food

Lose Centimeters off Your Stomach

bowl of fruit - lose centimeters off your stomach

Fruit nutrition facts

Why fruits?

Fruits are nature’s wonderful medicines packed with vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and many phyto-nutrients (Plant derived micronutrients). They are absolute feast to our sight, not just because of their color and flavor but help body keep fit and healthy!

Fruits are low in calories and fat and are a source of simple sugars, fiber, and vitamins, which are essential for optimizing our health.

Fruits provide plenty of soluble dietary fiber, which helps to ward of cholesterol and fats from the body and to get relief from constipation as well.

Fruits contain many anti-oxidants like poly-phenolic flavonoids, vitamin-C, anthocyanins. These compounds, firstly, help body protect from oxidant stress, diseases, and cancers, and secondly, help body develop capacity to fight against these ailments by boosting our immunity level. Many fruits, when compared to vegetables and cereals, have very high anti-oxidant values which is something measured by their “Oxygen Radical Absorbent Capacity” or ORAC.
Anthocyanins are flavonoid category of poly-phenolic compounds found in some “blue fruits” like blue-black grapes, mulberries, acai berry, chokeberries, blueberries, blackberries, and in many vegetables featuring blue or deep purple color. Eating fruits rich in blue pigments offers many health benefits. These compounds have potent anti-oxidant properties, remove free radicals from the body, and thus offer protection against cancers, aging, infections etc. These pigments tend to concentrate just underneath the skin.

Fruit’s health benefiting properties are because of their richness in vitamins, minerals, micro-nutrients, anti-oxidants which helps body prevent or at least prolong the natural changes of aging by protecting and rejuvenating cells, tissues and organs in the human body. The overall benefits are manifold! Fruit nutrition benefits are infinite!
You are protecting yourself from minor problems like wrinkling of skin, hair fall, memory loss to major ailments like age related macular degeneration of retina in the eyes, Alzheimer’s disease, colon cancers, weak bones (osteoporosis)… and the list of fruit nutrition benefits never ends!Antioxidant rich jambul fruit

Here is an impressive list of fruits with complete illustrations of their
health benefits and nutrition facts:

Lose Centimeters off your Stomach
How much fruit nutrition should be included in our daily diet?

Research studies suggest that one may eat any servings of fruits daily. It is recommended to eat at least 2-3 servings of fresh fruits every day.

The term one fruit serving is about 250 g of cleaned, edible-portion of the fruit, excluding discards like peel, seeds etc.

Include seasonal fruits in the daily diet. Variety of fruit’s type, color, and flavor should be encouraged to get maximum health benefits. Yellow and orange color fruits are rich sources of α and β carotenes, zea-xanthins and crypto-xanthins, while blue, black colored like black or blueberries are good source of poly-phenolic anthocyanin anti-oxidants.

Selection of fruits

To avail maximum fruit nutrition benefits eat organic produce. Many “wild” varieties of berries and “tropical tree” fruits have still not treated with any kind of fertilizers or chemicals and can be readily purchased from local farm owners. Organic fruits tend to be smaller, however, they feature special flavor and richness in vitamins, minerals and stuffed with numerous anti-oxidants.

In the store, however, choose fruits that feature freshness, bright in color and flavor and feel heavy in your hands. Look carefully for blemishes, spots, molds, and signs of insecticide spray. Buy whole fruits instead of section of them (for example, buy a small size watermelon instead of a section of big size melon).

Dry fruits

This image shows various dry fruits.

This image shows various dry fruits. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Summer berries.

If you need to store them, place them in plastic wrappings or in zip pouches to keep them fresh for short periods until you use them. Eat fruits as a whole without any additions to get their original flavor, taste, and to get maximum fruit nutrition benefits.

Source: http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/fruit-nutrition.html

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keeping it natural

homemade peanut butter

In March this year I had my left breast removed including all the lymph nodes removed under my left arm.  I’m totally clear of all tumors now, however since having such a life threatening scare it tends to make you more conscious of what you are putting into your mouth on a daily basis.

So, these days I’d like to keep it as natural as possible. I’ve always been quite healthy and conscious of what I each and lately I’m attempting to keep it as natural as possible. Fresh is best as they say and my mum recently reminded me of the homemade peanut butter she made when I was a young girl.

I have to be honest I can’t remember it so I’ve found a recipe to test out on my boys. We all love peanut butter to the extent that sometimes we even just have a spoonful.

spoonful of peanut butter

It’s easy to make your own homemade peanut butter if you have a food processor or heavy-duty blender. The flavor of the peanuts really shines through when you make it yourself.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup roasted, unsalted, shelled peanuts
  • 1-1/2 to 3 tablespoons peanut or safflower oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Sugar to taste, optional

Preparation:

Blend in food processor or blender adding just enough oil to make it smooth. You can use salted peanuts and omit the salt, or omit the salt entirely with unsalted peanuts. Add sugar to taste, if desired.

If you want chunky peanut butter, add chopped peanuts after you have made the smooth version.

Store peanut butter in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Use within two weeks.

Yield: about 1-1/2 cups

Source: http://homecooking.about.com/od/nutrecipes/r/blsnack19.htm

Peanut butter isn’t that great for the waistline, but as I’m keeping it natural these days…..  and of course, everything in moderation.

Crunchy would have to be my favourite…… how about you…….. crunchy or smooth?

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skinny overnight oats in a jar

You’ll be pleased to know you can’t see black banana you just enjoy the banana flavour.

A hearty healthy breakfast packed with fiber, vitamins, and nutrients… in a jar (no cooking required)!

Now that the weather is warm, almost every weekday morning after the gym I have either a green smoothie or a bowl of berries, topped with some crunchy granola, nuts and chia seeds with a little almond milk. It’s my favorite quick breakfast and fills me up.

Overnight Oats in a Jar is very popular on Pinterest these days. Have you tried them? Some add Greek yogurt to their oats for more protein, but personally I’m not a fan of the tangy taste of yogurt in my oatmeal. Since granola is basically toasted oats, I decided to take my favorite morning combination using oats instead of granola and place them in a jar overnight to see how they taste the next day!

Verdict: after removing the jar from my refrigerator this morning, I let is sit on the counter while I went to the gym to get the chill out of it. Oatmeal was on my mind all morning as I ran on the treadmill and when I got back I was excited to have breakfast right there on my counter waiting for me and I enjoyed every last spoonful! Yum!

True story: My younger brother had very high cholesterol (he’s thin) in his 30’s and was able to lower it by over 100 points without the help of any medication, just buy eating raw oats every morning for about 6 months and getting regular exercise. He also increased some healthy oils, but he swears by the oatmeal. The doctor was amazed because they wanted to put him on Lipitor, but my brother insisted on trying to lower it with diet first to see if he could. Oatmeal has since been a part of his daily breakfast routine.

p.s.- I was never a fan of the taste of Stevia until I tried the liquid drops from NuNaturals. Stevia lovers always told me good things about NuNaturals so when I finally got to try it, I see why. You don’t get that bitter aftertaste you get with other brands on the market. You can find it at Whole Foods or online, but if stevia isn’t for you, use whatever you prefer in your home, a little brown sugar or maple would also work, or you can leave the sweetener out completely. Enjoy!!

Skinny Overnight Oats in a Jar
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 1 • Serving Size: 1 jar • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 244.9 • Fat: 10.8 g • Carbs: 35.4 g • Fiber: 8.5 g • Protein: 6 g • Sugar: 12 g
Sodium: 94.7 mg

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or skim, soy)
  • 1/4 medium banana, sliced (freeze the rest for smoothies!)
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 4-5 drops NuNaturals liquid vanilla stevia (or your favorite sweetener)
  • pinch cinnamon

optional toppings:

  • 1 tbsp chopped pecans (or any nut)

Directions:

Place all the ingredient in a jar, shake, cover and refrigerate overnight. Add your favorite crunchy toppings such as nuts, granola, etc and enjoy the next day!

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3 great tastes for any day

Red Velvet Pancakes (Healthy, Alchy or Fats)

To spice it up a bit, we realize some of you health freaks (or anyone, really) may be looking for the best sites to go to for a little bit of health in the kitchen.  Below, I’ll list my Top 3.  One is for original taste, the other for original drinks, and the last for health.  It’s a great idea to have a mixture of them all, but to at least try to keep it healthy most of the time.  We don’t want to be the Paula Deen to your addictions!

For The Taste Buds

Carnal Dish is one of my favorite sites to check into when I’m only worried about eating something mouth-wateringly good.  And it’s a guaranteed bet you will!  Cooked, written, and shot (photos) by one of Twitter’s most vibrant personalities, @KanyeBreast, you can’t help but want more after seeing her enticing tweets before the final product.  Below are three of my personal favorite dishes.  Click the pic for the recipe and scroll through her site for more finger-licking good dishes.

Red Velvet Pancakes With Maple Cream Cheese Glaze

The Big K.R.I.T. “King” Burger

Grown-Up Bacon Mac-N-Cheese

For The Acquired Thirst

Joy The Baker is the second on my list for splendiferous reasons!  Her home-made recipes are far and wide as well, but her unique specialty is in drinks.  One day, I was sitting around my mother’s house, and almost suffered a panic attack because there were no water bottles, no juice, and no soda! (First world problems, I know.  But that’s besides the point!)  I found this wonderful site, with great recipes for original drinks, which I’m positive taste 10x better than bought in any store around America!  So here’s my top 3.  Click on the pic for the full pictured recipe and check out the site for more!

Home-Made Ginger Ale

Sweet Tea Bourbon Cocktails

Homemade Almond Milk

For The Health Freaks

Fat Free Vegan sounds like a place for lames (I mean, fat free AND vegan… c’mon!) but in reality, it’s one of the best around for all people.  The worst thing you can do is to skip over such a great site like this because you’re not vegan.  Eating meat, poultry and dairy are options.  Not having these options available makes for a super healthy meal, and what do ya know! it can be delicious too.  I actually have a bit of the most unpredictable food allergies in my family, so I feel like one day I may become vegetarian/vegan… but… today is not that day!  In digression, I scout this site for some interesting alternatives from time-to-time and here are my top 3 choices.  Click the pics for the full recipe and scope the site for more!

Javanese-Inspired “Chicken” Soup

Vegan Sausage and Mushroom Etoufee

Baked Falafel Pita Sandwich

What would life be like without us! Ahhhh…..

Source:  http://livingcivil.com/3-great-tastes-for-any-day-healthy-alchy-or-fats/

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guess what’s coming to dinner?

The unprocessed food challenge continues.

Guess what's coming for dinner

Photo by Dominic Gan.

Make no mistake: Processed food is out to get you. “No!” you can say. “I only want to eat whole foods! Just leave me alone!” But does processed food listen? No. It just kicks back and laughs. “Just try to get away from me,” processed food says. “I’m everywhere you look. I’m at the convenience store. I’m in your favorite restaurant order. I’m lurking in your pantry right now. That ‘natural’ box of cereal you bought? Full of high-fructose corn syrup! Bwahahahaha!”

It’s true. Processed food is a mighty foe. But, as I’m finding out, there are strategies we all can use to cut back. In my last post, I laid out a five-point challenge for rooting processed food out of my diet under the toughest of circumstances. Today, I tackle my first — and live to eat another day.

The challenge: dinner party

I love going over to my friends’ houses for dinner. I savor the laughter and the precious moments, sure, and also the fact that I didn’t have to buy, cook, or serve a single item on the table for once. (The key here is to always jump in with an “I’ll bring wine!” before your friend asks you to julienne anything.) But the hidden downside of the dinner party is that you’re at the mercy of your host when it comes to what’s on your plate. Is it healthy? Is it organic? Most importantly for this challenge, is it unprocessed? (Before you call me lazy, remember that I also do my share of entertaining.)

I stepped into these turbulent waters a few nights ago at my friend Evelyn’s potluck barbecue. The situation was fraught with tension — this was a summer barbecue, after all, dominion of the Oscar Mayer wiener (corn syrup and a slew of other additives, I’m afraid), packaged potato salad (is that xanthan gum I’m tasting?), and yes, the dreaded Dorito. At past barbecues, temptation and lack of other options have led me to gorge on potato chips, dry Chips Ahoy! cookies, and those so-called fruit salads that serve mainly as a vehicle for stuffing lots of mini marshmallows down your gullet. Hey, processed foods wouldn’t be such a megahit with the American populace if they didn’t go right for the caveman part of the brain with their salt-fat-sugar triple play.

To hedge my bets, I borrowed a classic move from the restricted-diet playbook and made a big batch of something I knew I could eat all by itself if worst came to worst. My offering: summer edamame salad, a yummy montage of soybeans, veggies, and oil-and-vinegar dressing. (I’ve included the recipe below.)

As I cleared a place for my bowl on the picnic table, I checked out the other guests’ handiwork. There were a few packaged side dishes in deli containers — steer clear, just to be safe, I told myself — but fresh fruit, grilled chicken breasts, gourmet cheese, and all manner of homemade dips, slaws, and salads dominated the buffet. Sure, it all looked good … but what kinds of additives and preservatives might be lurking here? Was the barbecue sauce really that color, or was I looking at the dastardly work of Red No. 40? I’d better figure it out soon, ‘cause I was hungry.

Ooh, a fresh-looking white dip with pita wedges! It looked innocent, but I had to be sure. “What is this? It looks delicious!” I diplomatically asked the man who brought it. “It’s tzatziki,” he told me. “I grilled a cucumber from my garden for it.” While I groped for a non-weird way to ask him to list the ingredients for me, he’d already moved on to asking me polite, get-to-know-you questions. I grabbed a pita wedge (whole wheat, natch) and dug in. It was indeed delicious (and likely contained approved items like Greek yogurt, lemon juice, fresh dill, and garlic, I discovered to my relief when I Googled recipes later).

tzatziki

The rest of the party went much the same way. Grilled whole carrots? Safe. Crackers with cheese? Totally cool. (I surreptitiously checked the label on the cracker box under the guise of refilling the plate.) Watermelon salad, sans dressing? Obvi. Then Evelyn’s boyfriend, Will, set down a bowl brimming with purple-red cabbage slaw. “I pulled this out of the ground this morning,” he told us with pride. A question about whether his dressing contained mayonnaise or any other bottled condiment died in my throat. This guy made the slaw himself, I thought. He grew the cabbage in his backyard! Six miles from here! Are you seriously contemplating not eating it on a technicality? What kind of jackass are you? I shut up and served myself a giant scoop.

The moral of this story is: Hang out with crunchy people. They make it a lot easier to eat right.

No, seriously, I got lucky. There weren’t many taboo items on the table, except those packaged salads, and maybe the tortilla chips (I didn’t get close enough to inspect them for fake lime powder). I’ve certainly been to much more challenging cookouts. On those occasions, the old BYO strategy would have been much more important.

Failing that, I have another idea: Give yourself a pass. Do as one reader suggested on my post last week and employ a “permanent guest exemption when it comes to processed food in other people’s bags.” Hey, if you strive for whole foods in your own home and eat most of your meals in your own kitchen, even a Dorito now and then won’t kill you. Because no matter how nicely you say, “Sorry, I don’t eat processed foods,” your host is likely to hear, “Let a crumb of that swill you people call food cross my lips? Never!” And then they’ll make fun of you when to excuse yourself for the bathroom.

Summer edamame salad

Summer edamame salad

16-18 oz. fresh soybeans
1.5 cups mini heirloom tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1.5 cups celery slices

Sliced fresh basil to taste
Pink Himalayan salt (or regular old salt)
Pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
Balsamic vinegar

Throw all the veggies into a bowl. Top with salt, pepper, olive oil, and vinegar. Serves 4-6.

Next up: The knotty challenges of unprocessed desserts, road-trip snacking, restaurant meals, and backpacking food.

Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan is Grist’s “Greenie Pig” — weathering all manner of inconvenience and insult in the name of forging a more eco-friendly life. She is a freelance writer and former editor at Backpacker magazine. Her writing has also appeared in 5280 (Denver’s city magazine), Women’s Adventure, and Spry.

Source: http://grist.org/living/guess-whats-coming-to-dinner-the-unprocessed-food-challenge-continues/

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