Sunday, March 27, 2011

For the love of Fiber!

Being that we discussed the benefits of our complex carbohydrates, abundance of nutrients including our filling fiber, provided by the Sweet Potato, I am glad to share this new research I have stumbled across.

I am sure that you have heard lots in the news, magazines and through word of mouth that fiber is good stuff. Healthy, important in a healthy lifestyle and can reap some great benefits. Well, it has been known that fiber is good for lowering cholesterol. It's bulking-agent qualities and ability to cleanse the colon has been the "ah-ha moment" of good health. While cholesterol builds in the arteries making it hard for the blood to flow to the heart, the fiber can come in and help clear the cholesterol making way for good blood circulation and in turn lowering one's risk of a heart attack. Sounds like a little wonder, that fiber.

Now research is being done on the affect that fiber has on cardiovascular health...so for the love of fiber- read about it now in USA today!

How do you know if your getting enough fiber in your diet?
The current recommendations for fiber are based on gender; up to 38 grams of fiber per day for Men and up to 25 grams of fiber per day for Women.


What foods contain fiber?
- Fruit (berries, apple/pear with the skin, bananas, prunes, raisins)
- Whole grains (whole wheat breads/pastas, bran, barley, oatmeal, popcorn, brown rice and oat bran)
- Legumes, nuts & seeds (split peas, lentils, sunflower seeds, almonds)
- Vegetables (potatoes with skin, raw vegetables)
For exact an exact count of fiber grams and high fiber foods see The Mayo Clinic's Suggestions.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Potato, Patato

So I am beyond sure that there has been a time or two that someone has told you to eat a sweet potato instead of a white/russet potato...am I right?
Potato, Patato? The Sweet versus the Russet.

This could seem pretty bais because I LOVE sweet potatoes but I will try not to take sides. Just know I could eat sweet potatoes everyday. I could eat them any way...mmm.

So to clear up your potato confusion...
Sweet Potato (with the skin): loads of vitamin A, C, B6, dietary fiber, iron and potassium among other nutrients. The only problem with writing about the benefits from sweet potatoes is the fact that it could take 10 minutes, this whole blog post and be too much to read; in that case, I'll touch on the basics! The sweet potato can definitely boast about it's antioxidant qualities, anti-inflammatory nutrients, and blood sugar-regulating nutrients. Mash 'em, bake 'em, puree 'em, chip 'em, roast 'em or stick 'em into another dish! 1 cup has roughly 95 calories.

Russet/White Potato (with the skin): Well it obviously doesn't have the beta-carotene hue that it's friend has...it does have some great nutrients (Vitamins C and B6, potassium and dietary fiber). The good, old comfort food shouldn't always get the snuff, it is a good low fat, cholesterol free starch that can make a great accompaniment in a dish. Just know most of the nutrients are always found in the skin; Fresh potato skin as well as flesh are good source of antioxidant vitamin; vitamin C. When consuming vitamin C in the diet daily, it may help the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.  I cup has roughly 132 calories.

Tonight I had my favorite of the two...
 
Sweet Potato Chips
Preheat oven to 450*. Chop into chips. Line the soliders on a baking sheet. Spray them with nonstick spray (sans the calories/fat). Bake for about 20 minutes- watch 'em good. Remove and enjoy!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

So delish, Not So nutrish

Hey guys! Coming back from a HUGE weekend of fun, excitement and accomplishments! More to come on that later...

So as I promised, Greek yogurt news first! Last week I sampled my Stony field Greek Cherry Yogurt. Okay guys, more often than not it's an issue of brand loyalty for me but this time I thought new Greek yogurt out? must try it! Well the truth is I loved it; it was creamy, satisfying, flavorful and filling; all the qualities you look for in a great snack. Well, turn it over to the nutrition facts label and it's another story [unfortunately]. So delish but not so nutrish...
Despite the fact that there is a great amount of healthy qualities I have a hard time outweighing them with the whooping 26 grams of sugar! Compared to the other leading Greek yogurt brands (Chobani, Yoplait, Okios, Dannon), this brand does have the highest calories and least amount of protein per serving (whomp, whomp). In Stony field's defense, this is the 2% Greek so it will have more fat and the serving size of the container may vary among distributors. Even still, the flavor was out-of-this-world delicious...so it could be supplemented for your usual dessert craving during the week!?
To put it in perspective for ya: This has the equivalent of about 2.5 doughnuts or 1 snicker bars worth of sugar! Ouch.

Smart Snacker conclusion? Instead of a weekly snack this looks like it will move to the monthly treat or dessert alternative...What are your thoughts on the product?

PS- Yoplait has a coupon...print one today :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Never Have I Ever...

Eaten a Kiwiberry! Have you?

Sweeter than a kiwifruit, these little grape or berry looking boogers can be eaten WHOLE. No need to peel or pick out seeds just start poppin'! What's the nutrition on a kiwiberry look like? For 3.5 oz serving it runs you 77 calories, 3 gm fiber, 7.6 gm sugar and loads of vitamin C...

I am very, very intrigued.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Heaven

I think I died and went to heaven the moment I set foot in North Raleigh's new Whole Foods. In case you're in the area and haven't got around to seeing it yet, fear no more! I completely became a freak paparazzi once I broke through the front doors and managed to get out with some great pictures! It's absolutely AWESOME, especially if you're a foodie [like me] and love shopping in these kinds of places :)



Bountiful selection of fresh [delicious looking] produce. It was hard to walk in the store an hour before work and not be able to leave with grocery reusable bags full of good Whole Foods (pun intended)!

Colorful olive bar, fresh salad bar, baked goods, produce, tons of new things to try; a isle 10 miles long of nut butters and oils! Obviously I was pretty impressed ;)

...And did you seriously think I wouldn't find SOMETHING to buy?

A little "lunch box" never hurt anyone ;)
Especially some kale salad, quiona salad, cabbage crunch salad, roasted chickpeas & fresh berries!


Locals, have you been yet? locals or not...What's something new you've tried at your favorite grocery store?


PS- we are three days out from my first half marathon people! I'm FREAKING.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New & Improved.



NEW

IMPROVED

N E W & I M P R O V E D.


...Stay tuned for the product review ; )

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Adding Flavor, Holding [off on] the Calories

In the kitchen I am adding flavor, while holding the calories! Every year for Christmas my Mom gives me a box of Penzys Spices. I look forward to the box of goodies every year- all different flavors each time; from taste-bud tingling Florida Pepper to 4 different types of sweet cinnamon. I have quite the collection now- it makes for a fun time in the kitchen! I get to try different flavors daily that add great taste to my meals [but hold the calories] and still watch my waistline!

Why I'm diggin' Spices:
- Healthful qualities, good for ya!
- Flavorful
- Virtually calorie free

Some of my favorite...
Paprika: contains a nutrient called capsaicin, whose anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects may lower the risk of cancer (also found in cayenne and red chili peppers).
Garlic: good for your heart, keeps your blood pressure in check and has anti-inflammatory properties. Good with anything!
Cinnamon: may lower blood sugar levels, also helpful in lessening inflammation; containing calcium and fiber to improve colon health and protect against heart disease.
Dill: containing iron, maganese and calcium; it's a flavorful way to help prevent bone loss. Native to southern Russia, western Africa and the Mediterranean region, it was often used to promote healing. Dill contains two unique types of healing components: monoterpenes and flavonoids.
Rosemary: contains substances that are useful for stimulating the immune system, increasing circulation and improving digestion with fiber, iron and calcium. Research has shown that rosemary may increase the blood flow to the head and brain thus to improve concentration!
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Mix of sweet paprika, dill, celery, garlic...etc etc etc

Old World Penzy in use- Baked Chicken with Potatoes
What are some of your favorite spices to cook with?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My Newest Snackobsession

So remember back when, when I was having this weird obsession that turned into the Battle of the Nut Butters? Well, I am still obsessed [surprise!!] but I have found the Newest Snackobsession...hold on to your seat...
Oh my word people! This is the greatest seed butter of all [forget the nuts]!
Cinnamon, Vanilla Sunflower Butter- with flax and hemp seeds. Sounds particularly healthy, no? Gluten and Vegan free and to top it all off it's USDA Organic! Shaazam!
I think I am [most] thankful for the fact that the nutrition facts panel is no where to be found on the label [weird!!] however, I can guess that it is [probably] between 150-180 calories per 2 Tbsp serving with 14-18 grams of fat and an extraordinary amount of heart healthy fats (poly- and monounsaturated fats, that is)! I might also add that it has NO hydrogenated oils and trans fat but tons of OMEGA's [3, 6 and 9]! An RD's dream snack...I would probably considered this a super food too!
Why am I loving this? satisfying, healthy, subtle sweetness. I am finding when I have a piece of toast with a schhmear of Naturally Nutty in the AM, the slightly sweet taste helps control my sweet tooth later in the day! What's not to love about that? 
I think I may have a nut/seed butter problem : /

Don't judge me! Just get out there and try one! ;)