Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Folate, Zinc & Fiber...LEGUMES!

yes, I said it, Folate, Zinc & Fiber...just a couple of the nutrients found in powerful little legumes. Legumes are plants with double seamed pods and single rows of seeds. Some examples of legumes are: lentils, peas, soybeans, peanuts and dried beans). Legumes are often dubbed the meat alternative, a frequent staple for those eating a vegetarian diet or those who like a variety of protein. Legumes, nuts and seeds are storehouses of nutrients and are extremely rich in protein.

Picture courtesy of zimbio.com, my camera is acting wacky!

Legumes have about two times the protein per serving of fortified cereal and half as much protein as it's lean meat counterparts. They are naturally low in fat (except peanuts and soybeans), high in phosphorus, have some iron as well as, folate, zinc & fiber [as mentioned above]! 1/2 cup of legumes = 4 -10 grams of fiber! Legumes are also a cholesterol free food made of complex carbohydrates suggesting that they maybe a heart healthy dish!...I think the only downside could be it's possible side effect of flatulence...yipes! You weigh the pros and cons here ;)



Monday, June 28, 2010

Surfin' the web

Hey guys! Sorry about the few and far between posts but man, have I had a strange couple of weeks!

So let's just get down to business...since I am in the shifting phase where I am studying constantly for my RD (Registered Dietitian) Exam and getting ready to start a job where I can actually practice what I love...I have been surfin' the web a ton!
It helps me stay abreast of the current research trends in nutrition so I can than deliver sound nutrition information to my patients! Aside from the obvious, it's also helping with my studying and well, I just love learning new things so it helps with that too ;) easily entertained...

The latest article was particularly fascinating. It never fails that in healthcare guidelines are forever changing and new research studies are being put into place...Get Moving, is an article on new guidelines for our loved ones with cancer! Be sure to check it out, pretty great research!


Stay tuned... :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer Sandwich

I want to share with you my favorite summer sandwich!  My Cuke and Tomato Sandwich...I like this sandwich because it's light, refreshing and holds me over! It's also a great way to sneak in some extra veggies to meet your daily needs.

Between the toasted Sprouted Grain Bread:
-Tomato Slices
-Cucumber Slices
-Smear of mayo
-Dash of S&P


Don't like the mayo? this sandwich is also great with hummus, a lowfat cream cheese spread, your favorite slice of lowfat cheese or some other sort of dip/spread! The lowfat cheese and hummus spreads will also add some aditional protein which is always a plus and a high rank in the satiety department!




Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Don't miss out!

Hey SS readers! If you haven't caught up on all my product reviews or "Best of" Smart Snacker tips and tricks, be sure to check out my Best of Page. Don't miss a beat...there are products to taste and tips to try!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Go-to Snack(s)


Hi bloggies! Yep, that's one of my favorite go-to snacks to have around the house; A simple fruit salad. Fruit salads remind me of my Mom; she makes them a lot and with such love! I always try to replicate hers, but there's just something about the way she does it that makes it ohhh sooo goood!

I made this one yesterday to have with my "brunch inspired" sunday meal. I had a ton of fruit in the fridge that I knew I wouldn't be able to get to before more than half of it spoiled so I threw it all together and made a tasty, refreshing and healthy snack.

"Everything in the Fridge" Fruit Salad:
Strawberries
Blueberries
Granny Smith Apples
White Peaches
Splash of lemon juice
Drizzle of Agave Nectar

I love bananas in my fruit salad so when I go to serve it I will cut the banana up. This will keep the banana from getting mushy in the mix!

So on top of my "Everything in the Fridge" Fruit Salad, I managed to pick up more fruit today to snack on [as if I didn't have enough]! I ventured out to the grocery store in hopes to throw a couple of meals [in mind] together for the week and I found some irresistible fruit in the process and to make it even MORE unavoidable...it was ON SALE. So what's another couple go-to snacks [and desserts!?]...




...and no I didn't devour all of that watermelon already!! I simply chopped it up and put it in some tupperware to make it even more go-to!

Enjoy the rest of your Monday! I'm off to the gym soon for some serious group fitness therapy ;)




Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bringing the Diner to the House

Hey guys! Happy Father's Day to all the Dad's out there (especially my Dad)!

I have been suffering from the ultimate writer's block and it did not help that this week was completely chaotic! But, I'm back and have a great post for you today...so without further ado...

Today I am Bringing the Diner to the House with my newest brunch product. When the weekend rolls around the last thing you want to do is have your morning ritual bowl of oats/ cereal or quick breakfast bar, no, you actually have time for a nice well-balanced meal. Sometimes this extra time on the weekends ends up being a stretch on the belt buckle (literally) because we want to head out to the local breakfast joint or ihop diner. Well, to keep myself from those temptations and to keep my weight in check have incorporated "brunch inspired" meals on the weekends into my routine. Usually, saturday mornings I don't do anything special because I get up early and head to the gym but Sunday is the day I like to sleep in and make a good breakfast.

Scrambled eggs, toast and a breakfast meat is my go to for a satisfying "brunch inspired" meal. It's well-balanced and sure to please everyone! The only down side is the breakfast meat; often laden with fat, hidden saturated fats and sodium levels through the roof. Well...I found just the product for us...

Healthy Canadian Style Bacon by Celebrity Foods. I found it while scanning the aisles of Trader Joe's. It's a great alternative to your sausage, scrapple, pork and even turkey bacon. It's definitely a great treat to have every now and again.
The skinny: 3 slices; 60 calories, 1 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat (it's an animal source), 30 mg cholesterol, 350 mg sodium (50% less sodium than other leading brands), 1 g carbohydrate, 0 g sugar, 10 g protein, 4% iron

The meat was pretty flavorful. I cooked it in a stovetop pan; it's already ready to eat, you simply heat and serve! It's commpletely fool proof, I love it!! It's quick, satisfying, a good source of lean protein and it was not too salty like its breakfast meat counterparts.


What's your favorite brunch splurge? french toast, waffles, bacon?


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Change

Good afternoon all! It's Wednesday, which means we are that MUCH closer to the weekend :)

Check this out...if you haven't heard yet, let me be the one to inform you! The New USDA Nutrition Guidelines are in the making and have a different focus! Be sure to check out the newest recommendations.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A new way to hydrate

hydrate naturally...at least that's what the container says I'm doin'...and to be honest, I'm totally diggin' this stuff!


VitaCoCo's coconut water with acai & pomeganate. Sounds refreshing, right? So why not?

This delicious thirst quencher is all the rage. Boasting above the rest with it's claims of hydrating you with more electrolytes than leading sports drinks with 15 times the potassium, having more potassium than two bananas- keeping your body properly hydrated and preventing muscle cramping and of course, it's 100% natural!

I am definitely a fan of this drink. I drank it all day Saturday after a hard spin class in the morning and throughout the day. I felt energized and replenished. Something else that caught my eye was that it has no added sugars, it's all natural! Just like the carton says it's "like sticking a straw in a coconut!"

The skinny: 17 fl oz (whole container): 120 calories, 0 g fat, 60 mg sodium, 30 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 30 g sugar, 2 g protein, holy Vitamin C (360%), 8% Vitamin E, 8% Calcium and Phosphorus then rounding it out with 16% Magnesium (hello energy)!

I have also tried the peach & mango flavor which is a little better than acai & pom! Try it out today and see for yourself....
I think I might actually buy in bulk tonight....yes, it's that good!





Friday, June 11, 2010

Healthy Brown Baggin' Ideas

Happy Friday to all! TGIF!

I had a recent request for lunch ideas. I know we can get bored with the same old Turkey or PB & J sandwiches...how about some variation!
First we want to make sure our lunches are well-rounded and satisfying; this will help us get through the 3 o'clock energy slump and keep us from jumping into a convenience shop for a chocolate bar! Not only is this going to trim your waist, it will also trim your budget! A well-rounded lunch will have a tid-bit from every macronutrient group- some healthy fats, lean protein and complex, whole grain carbohydrates! Check out some examples below...

Healthy Fats:
Olive oil, avocado, nuts (walnuts), seeds (flaxseed, sunflower seeds), nut butters
Lean Proteins:
Turkey, fish and seafood, tofu, sliced eggs, fat free or low fat cheese, skinless chicken, skim or low-fat milk, skim or low-fat yogurt, lean pork (tenderloin), beans


Complex, Whole Grain Carbohydrates:
Whole wheat and whole grain bread, pasta, rice, bagels, cereals, oatmeal

Sandwich lovers: to get out of a boredom rut use a variety of whole-grain breads, pitas, and wraps to spice up your meals. When filling your sandwiches choose lean fillings like sliced eggs, tuna fish, cheese or lean meats. Add some pizzazz with different veggies; cucumbers, sprouts, pesto spreads, hummus, sun-dried tomato, carrots, peppers, onions, tomatoes, fresh herbs. The options are endless...this is where you need to be creative!

Rabbits: love a salad filled to the brim of the bowl with veggies? Just because your on the go doesn't mean you can't nibble on one! Build it at home! Use dark leafy greens for the base (spinach, spring mix), top with avocado, seeds, any kind of bean you like, hummus, corn, cucumber, carrot...whatever you like. Make it a taco salad, mediterranean or fruit inspired (I'm thinking Panera)! Splash it with a Tbsp or 2 of your favorite flavored vinegar. My newest favorite is white balsamic vinegar! Lip smacking good!

Seriously, Quick: If your really pinched for time and cannot find a second to sit and eat a meal, pair whole pieces of fruit (apple, orange, banana, peach) with a bar (with less than 12 gm of sugar) and some veggie sticks (peppers, carrots, celery all travel well).
-A couple of crackers with a laughing cow cheese wedge and a piece of fruit
-Nut butter (almond, peanut, cashew) smeared on an apple or banana and a yogurt
-String cheese, greek yogurt, cottage cheese and dried cereal (low sugar) are all great go to items too.
*Again, make sure you pair a fat, carbohydrate and protein for ultimate satiety.

Leftovers: This is my favorite kind of lunch. It is great for variation and portion control! Anything you make at home can be transported to the office : )

Keep it safe! Can't throw your food in the fridge when you get to the office? Invest in a lunchbox, Thermos, reusable plastic containers, plastic baggies, and ice packs to keep your lunch at the proper temperature.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

2 Months Later

Before...


After...
badddaaabing!! It's ready for picking!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

This Weeks Dinner Plans

Hey guys! I know I am not the only one when I say that sometimes I am so clueless when it comes to what to make for dinner. Well, I have taken a personal pledge to "Get it together" and make my weekly dinner plans ahead of time. So this morning, I spent all of 30 minutes figuring out some simple yet, HEALTHY recipes I can throw together in a pinch. I checked some of my favorite meal planning, go-to sites:

Self
Food Network
Real Simple

These recipe databases are ideal for me. I like them merely for their easy to follow recipes [for the amateur cook in me] and their nutritional information they provide. What more could you ask for?

Here are couple of recipes that I am incorporating in my kitchen this week:

Lean Lasagna - I have been craving a comfort dish! This recipe looks like it will satisfy my cravings while not undoing all my hard work at the gym ; ) I am also banking on leftovers for a lazy or late night when I just can't get home fast enough to even throw a sandwich together. I can also freeze leftovers and just whip 'em out for nuking!

Chicken and Bok Choy Stir Fry - A healthy alternative to our favorite japanese and asian dishes. I am really looking forward to this dish! It's hardly a damper on the daily calorie allowance!

Taco Salad - With the help of Real Simple, I am making a take on my own version of this taco salad. All the same ingredients sans sour cream, cilantro and tortilla add extra salsa! Not because it necessarily makes it "healthier" but I am just not a huge fan of those ingredients on my ideaaaal taco salad!

A lot of these websites (especially Real Simple) have a ton of tools to help you in your kitchen. It's ultimately fool proof; With grocery lists for your selects recipes, meal planning and cooking tips!

Get cookin'!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

New Gadget

Hey guys! Check out these great little measuring cups I got...

They came in 1 cup, 1/2 cup, 1/3 cup and 1/4 cup increments
Here I am using the 1/2 cup bowl to portion out my blueberries for my fruit smoothie I was making

I got this widget at Pier 1 Imports but I have seen some lookalike's on the Food Network website. For me, it was one of those moments when I was shopping for something other than kitchen gadgets but eyeballed these things and OBVIOUSLY,  it was love at first sight!

I think these are great tools for portion control and could be fun little bowls to snack out of. This way you know exactly how much your nibbling on!


Speaking of Food Network, Next Food Network Star started tonight...thank goodness for DVR.
I am starting it now...goodnight!



Friday, June 4, 2010

Calcium

Calcium is an essential mineral required for ample growth and strength for your bones and teeth.

Often times we come across the occasional consumer who would rather eat cardboard than a dairy product. Sound familiar? Well, heres a couple nondairy items that can sneak calcium into your diet...

Sesame seeds

Bok choy

Almonds

Salmon
 
Tofu

Rhubarb

Sardines

Collard greens

Spinach

Turnip greens

Okra

White beans

Baked beans

Broccoli

Peas

Brussel sprouts


Are you getting enough calcium?
How much calcium do your kids need?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

This for that

or tit for tat! Sick of nut butters (peanut, almond and cashew butters...), have a peanut allergy, or want to try something new? Swap that nut butter for this SunButter!

I have personally tried a sample of SunButter and loved it! It was so creamy, flavorfull and delicious. The flavor is comparable to your average nut butter.
From the SunButter website: SunButter® is a great tasting alternative to peanut butter. A seed butter that is made in the USA from specially roasted sunflower seeds, SunButter® products are completely peanut-free, tree-nut free, and gluten-free. The sunflower seed spread products are all processed in a peanut-free and tree-nut free facility, making them an excellent choice for people with peanut allergies or gluten intolerance.


*A great alternative for a childs lunch in an allergy laden enviornment or try it for yourself. Your never to old for a SunButter and Jelly Sandwich ; )

So, are you going to try it? Click here to find SunButter near you!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

On the hunt

Hey guys, I seriously went the whole weekend without internet...crazy, right!? Not going to lie, I didn't hate it. It sure was completely relaaaaxing. This long weekend, actually felt long and tranquil for once! It was pretty funny...everyone I asked today, had the same calmed feeling : )

So get this; I was traveling...of course and came across a new farmer's market, just inside the Delaware state line, by Middletown, Delaware. I was on the hunt for some good eatin'...






It was this cute barn looking building offering everything from vegetables, breads, fruits, jams/jellies, dairy and homemade ice creams to honey sticks and marinades!

I got some fresh cherries for snacking, juicy-just-picked strawberries that we threw into our salad and a mini blueberry loaf for breakfast! Don't think I got outta there without some homemade ice cream and whipped cream for left over berries and dessert!?
The homemade ice cream came in the perfect little cups for sharing. We got vanilla, strawberry and chocolate...hands down, creamiest vanilla bean ice cream I have had to this day!

Farmer's Markets are a great place to stop in for a snack or when planning a meal.
Did you find a new one yet?

I'm working in VA for a couple of days...than I'll be home and off the road for a few weeks! Yaahoo. For now...

...hi ho hi ho it's off to work I go!!