Showing posts with label Vegetables. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vegetables. Show all posts

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Avoid processed foods and added sugars.

Avoiding processed foods and added sugars is a good tip for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and achieving weight loss goals. Processed foods are often high in calories, saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars, which can contribute to weight gain and increase the risk of chronic diseases. Instead, focusing on whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats can provide essential nutrients and promote weight loss. Similarly, added sugars found in processed foods and drinks can also contribute to weight gain and increase the risk of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Limiting your intake of added sugars by reading food labels and choosing products with less added sugars can be beneficial for weight loss and overall health.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Top Dozen Pesticide-Laden Produce + The Top Fifteen Cleanest Produce

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently released a list of produce containing the most pesticides (yuck!) ... and the least.  Do you want to know which of these foods are going into your body?  Check out the below list.  (For more information, including details on certain produce, check out this EWG page.)

Sweet bell peppers
Nectarines (imported)
Cherry tomatoes
Snap peas (imported)
Hot Peppers

Sweet corn
Sweet peas (frozen)
Sweet potatoes

For more information, including details on certain produce, check out this EWG page.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Healthy Eating || How to Eat Healthy Without Spending Too Much

Eating healthy can sure be expensive ... but it doesn't have to be.  Check out these inexpensive options from Chef Marcus Samuelsson's blog:

Best Fresh Fruit: Banana
If you get hungry mid-day, a banana is the best snack at your desk, after a workout, or in between classes. Fruit is a very good snack in general. An apple will give you 14 percent of your day’s Vitamin C and 4 grams of fiber, but a banana, at half the price per pound, offers more Vitamin C and just 1 less gram of fiber.
Best Frozen Fruit: Frozen Blueberries The price of fresh fruits out of season is significantly higher than when they’re in season, due to transportation costs. And if you want to get your money’s worth, you’ll need to eat them within three days of buying, so they don’t spoil. 1 cup of frozen blueberries gives you just as much fiber as the raw variety, and a handful fewer calories. While fresh blueberries offer 18 percent more Vitamin C, that difference isn’t worth the extra cost. 
Best Vegetable: Broccoli Nutritionally, a half-cup of cooked broccoli delivers 24 percent of your Vitamin A, 84% of your Vitamin C, and 3 grams of fiber. This versatile vegetable is a great bang for the buck and packs a great nutritional punch. 
Best Salad Base: Cabbage The leafy greens in your salad can really vary in their nutritional content-iceberg lettuce, for example, is significantly less nutritious than romaine, which is yet again less nutritious than cabbage. In fact, 1 cup of cabbage gives you more than half of your daily vitamin K requirement-and it’s $1.29 less per pound than Romaine. Try using cabbage in a soup as well!

For the rest of the list, go to Chef Marcus Samuelsson's blog.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Healthy Recipes || Banana-less Green Smoothies

I have nothing against bananas (and actually enjoy their health benefits), but have you noticed how they are a critical ingredient in most "green smoothie" recipes?  I presume this inclusion is because blending bananas into such smoothies is a quick and easy way to sweeten or mask the taste of ... well, the green vegetables.  However, if for whatever reason, you do not want to add bananas to your green smoothies, there are banana-less recipes out there.  Here are a few:

{Image Source}
RECIPE #1 - Source
1 cup seedless green grapes
1 cup packed baby spinach
1/2 cup ice
1/4 cup coconut milk

RECIPE #2 - Source
 2 cups cantaloupe
1/4 avocado
1 tbsp mint leaves
1 tbsp basil leaves
splash of water
4-5 ice cubes

RECIPE #3 - Source
1 medium cucumber
1/2 Bosc pear
3-4 ice cubes

RECIPE #4 - Source
2 kiwis
1/2 cup chocolate almond milk
1/4 cup water
1 cup curly green kale
1 cup ice

For more recipes (with or without bananas), check out

Monday, November 5, 2012

Healthy Eating || How to Store Green Vegetables

Prior to watching the following video, I would just freeze my greens in order to lock in their nutrients.  Then I came across this video and kicked myself for never thinking about the method she uses.  It makes so much sense and is a simple way to keep your green vegetables fresh AND full of nutrients.  No need to freeze them anymore.

In the video below, Chef Ahki discusses this nifty, simple method to store green vegetables.   If you don't know about it already, you'll kick yourself too!  Trust me.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Healthy Recipes || My Mango Smoothie

I've been on a smoothie kick for some time given that it is an easy way to absorb multiple nutrients (especially via fruits and veggies) at once.  My staples are green smoothies and banana smoothies, but lately I've been wanting to experiment with other fruits -- like the mango.

Mangos are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, dietary fiber, and vitamin B6.

After playing around with various ingredients and having a few failed attempts, I've finally created a mango smoothie that I find tasty while being nutritious.  It contains mango (vitamins and fiber), peanut butter (protein), almond milk (calcium), ice, and a little honey (optional sweetener).  A banana can be thrown in for extra nutrients and/or in place of honey for added flavoring.

1 cup mango
1-1 1/4 cup vanilla-flavored almond milk (amount depends on your desired consistency)
2 tbsp natural peanut butter
4-5 ice cubes
1/2 tsp honey (optional, depending on your palate)
OR 1 banana (in place of the honey)

My smoothie regimen: one every morning, whether mango, banana, or green.

Smoothie suggestion: If you want to incorporate berries (antioxidants), I'd suggest blueberries and blackberries.  Stay away from raspberries because they tend to give the smoothie a sour taste (unless, of course, your palate does not mind).  Some strawberries can also do the same but not as intense.  If you do use raspberries or strawberries, I suggest sweetening their flavor a bit with the addition of a banana in your smoothie.

My green smoothie.  Contains kale, banana, almond milk, peanut butter, ice, and sometimes blueberries or blackberries.  (I no longer use soy milk.)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Another Case for Organic: The Sweet Potato Project

So it certainly is not new news that conventional produce (unlike organic produce) is generally subject to chemical exposure and genetic modification.  Nonetheless, this girl's science project brings an astonishing visual demonstration to the effects of using chemicals on produce.  In her particular project, she compares sprouting between a conventional potato, an organically labeled potato, and an organic potato from a certified organic market.  The project raises the question of what health effects (if any) chlorpropham can have on those who consume conventional potatoes and other produce that contain the chemical.  The project also raises the question of why is there a difference in sprouting between organically-labeled produce and produce from a certified organic market.  If you haven't seen this video yet, I encourage you to do so.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Raw Food Diet: The Basics

The "raw food diet" has been a big nutrition trend for some time.  What does it entail? Meals consisting of raw, unprocessed plant foods, such as vegetables, nuts, whole grains, beans, and fruits.  Is the diet worth it?  Well, that is a more complicated question to answer.

The concept behind the raw food diet is that foods are consumed in their most natural, and thus healthiest, form.  Cooking vegetables and legumes tends to kill the nutrients.  Processing such foods tends to add chemicals and preservatives.

At this point, the raw food diet is looking mighty enticing.  Compared to the average meal, a raw food alternative is higher in fiber, lower in fat, and lower in sugar.  However, one must beware of certain deficiencies (e.g., vitamin B12) that can occur when avoiding animal products in a raw food diet.  Additionally, certain foods need to be cooked in order to obtain certain nutrients.  For example, when tomatoes are cooked, the lycopene content is highest.  (Lycopene is a carotenoid thought to play a role in disease prevention.)  Meanwhile, eating raw egg whites can actually be a catalyst for a biotin deficiency. This is because avidin in the egg white binds to biotin in the egg yolk and prevents it from being distributed properly.  To avoid this, the egg should be cooked (which denatures the avidin) as opposed to eaten it raw ... or eggs should be avoided altogether and replaced with biotin supplements.

Now back to the original question: Is the raw food diet worth it? If done properly, the raw food diet can be beneficial.  The American Dietetic Association (ADA) offers the following guidelines for raw foodists in order to ensure sufficient intake of nutrients naturally found in animal products:
  • Eat almost twice the iron as nonvegetarians. Good sources of iron are tofu, legumes, almonds and cashews.
  • Eat at least eight servings a day of calcium-rich foods like bok choy, cabbage, soybeans, tempeh, and figs.
  • Eat fortified breakfast cereals, nutritional yeast, and fortified soy milk for B12. Supplements are a good idea.
  • Eat flaxseed and walnuts. Use canola, flaxseed, walnut, and soybean oil. These are all sources of omega-3 fatty acids. You may also want to take an omega-3 supplement.
I also recommend incorporating sushi into the raw food diet.  As always, please consult with your doctor before making any changes into to your diet or lifestyle.


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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011