Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Snack Sack- Week 2

Hey guys! Snackin' again...as per usual. This week I am really trying to hone in on my inner-fruit love. I obviously went baserk at the farmer's market last week and had to deal with the consequences...strawberries at [almost] every meal! I give you week 2 snacks...

I am proud to report that today's strawb and grape snack mix (just grapes and strawberries halved with a drizzle of lemon juice) will mark the last of the strawberries! I am forever thankful for the delicious vitamin C packed boogers but I must admit, I won't miss eating them with breakfast tomorrow morning ;)
Picked up an orange at lunch for sometime this week too!

Once I pick one snack or have purchased a specific fruit in bulk (case in point: strawberries) I will try and snack on them all week; this way I can avoid being wasteful!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Snack Sack

Since I am your Smart Snacker, I thought it would be fit to start off with a weekly Snack Sack post. The thought would be that you get a feel for good snacking foods/ideas that you could hopefully incorporate into your daily routine. So I give you my snack from last week...



Obviously, the apple (small; ~ 80 calories) only lasted that day but the almonds have lasted throughout the week. They are a great, satisfying snack that curbs hunger and provides energy. At one ounce per serving I was able to fuel up for under 200 calories.  

Smart Snacker- Snack Sack Rule of Thumb: try and keep a piece of fruit around everyday...you will see my snacks usually contain grapes, bananas, apples, oranges or berries!

Friday, April 22, 2011

When life gives you strawberries...

...get in the kitchen and be creative! Nuff said.
Quite the predicament to be in, huh? I have so many strawberries- I obviously have no self-control when it comes to shopping at the Farmer's Market! Go figure!  

So, I give you...

Strawberries 10 ways:
1. Salad topper (spinach, blue cheese, candied walnuts and berries...YUM)
2. Slim strawberry shortcake (angel food cake topped with strawberries and nonfat whipped topping)
3. By themselves (no sugar sprinkle even necessary)
4. On top of hot cereal
5. On top of cold cereal
6. In a smoothie
7. Yogurt parfait
8. Edible breakfast garnish
9. Strawberry mojito (make it skinny- mix club soda with splenda or sugar-sub of your choice)
10. Chocolate covered

STILL have some left? Freeze 'em!

Quick Care Tips:
When purchasing: look for vivid red color, should not be wet or moist, choose smaller berries when possible and they should not be mushy or have whithered leaves.
Cleaning and Storing: wait to wash until you are ready to consume them; refrigerate.

The Skinny: 1 cup serving (whole) 46 calories, 0 mg cholesterol, 11 gm carbohydrates, 3 gm fiber, 7 gm sugar, 1 gm protein

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

To Detox or Not To detox?

I have forever been asked the same question; To Detox or Not To detox? Personally, this question aggravates me. Nutrition is always in the news with new trends, must-try diets and common misconceptions on whether or not you should do "this" or "that" to be "more healthy." So let's clear up the myth :"You must detox to clean your gut."

This notion has gained a lot of press thanks to celebrities proclaiming the benefits of a “detox” or “cleanse” diet program in popular magazines and on national TV. I think with all of the talk of benefits or personal testimonials revolved around this notion, it has left consumers confused.

Most of your popular detox programs involve diets, fasts, supplements, and enemas that claim that the body needs help detoxifying itself of its toxins. The real fact is that the human body is well equipped with its own detoxification system: the lungs, kidneys, colon, lymphatic system, and liver. It has been found by the Natural Standard, an organization that analyzes and validates scientific data on integrative medicine, there is insufficient evidence to support the validity of detox procedures and the idea that people can release toxins stored in organs and fatty tissues by changing their diet.

You can detox your body naturally by drinking plenty of water (at least 8-10, 8 oz glasses of water), consuming a diet rich in whole grains and fiber as well as, fruits and vegetables.

Cheers!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Get more from what you Eat- The 411 on Super foods

There are an abundance of foods that we consume daily that can provide essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients for optimal health. Foods that may promote additional health benefits beyond that of basic nutrition are coined functional or super foods. Super foods are multitasking foods that may provide multiple disease-fighting qualities while filling you up with taste good nutrients but without adding all the excess calories. Fight disease, stay satisfied and waist-line friendly? Why not! Super foods are recommended in the diet to prevent or reduce inflammation, lower total cholesterol, and lower blood pressure, help protect against heart disease and cancer while promoting digestive health.

Some of my favorite super foods to try in your diet:
-Beans/lentils/legumes: good for your heart; loaded with colon-cleansing fiber for good digestive health. Research has shown that fiber may also help lower cholesterol.
-Berries (blue, rasp, acai): loaded with antioxidants, fiber, low in calories and high in water . Help control your blood sugar and keep you full longer with the fiber.
-Green leafy vegetables/Spinach/Kale/Broccoli: packed with Vitamins A, C and K. Bone-building and immune boosting side dish.
- Red/Orange vegetables (sweet potato, tomato, carrots): promote eye health and decrease risk of age-related eye decline/ degeneration and cataracts.
-Salmon (and fatty fish): providing omega-3 fatty acids for optimal heart health. Two servings (3 ounces) per week are suggested.
-Nuts: filled with protein, heart-healthy fats, high fiber and antioxidant qualities (inflammation reducing), and perfect for snacking. Pistachios, almonds, peanuts, walnuts or pecans can all be enjoyed just remember the key is portion control.
-Low-fat or fat-free yogurt: high in protein, potassium and calcium; enriched with probiotics for digestive health. Consult your food label for varieties containing Vitamin D for added bone health.
-Eggs: quality protein, 12 vitamins and minerals including choline, which is good for brain development and memory. Now you know what to eat before a big test or presentation.

Having a diet that consists of fat-free or low-fat diary, whole fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates (whole grains) as well as, lean protein will help meet the recommendations and guidelines for all Americans according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Remember the key is always portion control. Regardless of the fact that these are healthy, nutritious foods, everything in moderation is essential to a healthy weight and optimal well-being. Too much of a good thing is not always best either!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

It could pass as sushi!

Hey guys- Happy April! Obviously, I am a little behind on the posts for April...but man it started with a bang and kept on running! I thought I would share a quick, SIMPLE, healthy recipe that I did for a cooking demo last week at work; I did this demo to round out the end of March aka National Nutrition Month. The theme this year was eating right with color. This is a simple way to add a ton of color in the way of vegetables to your lunch or the next party you attend...

It's a Veggie and Hummus Pinwheel that could pass as sushi!
Quite impressive...right?
Perfect for a lunch box or as an appetizer at a cocktail party!

Veggie and Hummus Pinwheels

Serves 4
Ingredients:
4 Tbsp hummus
1/8 C. Tomato
2 spinach or tomato tortilla
1/8 C. Red onion
¼ yellow pepper
1/8 C. Spinach
¼ of a cucumber
2 Tbsp Garlic-basil cream cheese

Directions:
1. Spread cream cheese out on tortilla and then spread layer of hummus over cream cheese.
2. Chop all vegetables and lay flat covering all hummus.
3. Roll tortillas up jellyroll style. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
4. Remove from refrigerator and slice at ¾ inch intervals. Arrange on tray and serve.

Nutritional analysis (per wrap): ~ 250 calories, 7.5 gm fat, 1 gm protein