Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

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Find a treat that comes in at 100 calories or less
By SparkPeople.com Posted January 25, 2011 from SparkPeople.com

Are you jonesing for a treat after dinner? Dying for a snack in the middle of the afternoon? Check out these 10 treats: Each is 100 calories or less!

Chocolate with a Conscience
Top 4 ounces of sugar-free chocolate pudding (made with skim milk) with a 2 tablespoon dollup of fat-free whipped topping: 75 calories

Berry-riffic Boost
Mix 1/4 cup of low-fat vanilla yogurt with 1/2 a cup of blueberries and raspberries: 90 calories

Italian Delicacy
Chop an ounce of low-fat mozzarella cheese and 6 fresh basil leaves, then eat with a cup of cherry tomatoes: 100 calories

Filling and Fiber-Rich
Fill 5 ribs of celery with one tablespoon of peanut butter: 100 calories

Morning Perk
Enjoy an 8-ounce skim milk latte: 85 calories

Protein-Packed Pleasure
Wrap 1.5 ounces of low-sodium turkey deli meat around one small sliced apple: 100 calories

Movie Night Necessity
Sprinkle a tablespoon of parmesan cheese over 2 cups of air-popped popcorn: 85 calories

Midday Munchies
Top half a medium apple with a 1-ounce slice of low-fat extra sharp cheddar cheese: 90 calories

Sweet and Savory
Top 2 ounces of low-fat cottage cheese with one medium peach, sliced: 80 calories

Irresistible Luxury
Top 8 ounces of sugar-free hot chocolate with 2 tablespoons of fat-free whipped topping: 95 calories

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by Guest Blogger Rob Wildman Ph.D. on January 28, 2011

Over the last few decades of research — and my simple observation of glowing mommies-to-be and their bouncing babies – I’ve come to see that nutrition is absolutely critical to a healthy pregnancy and infant.  

As a nutritionist to many mommies-to-be and a proud father of two, I’m often asked what are the best foods for pregnancy?

I’ve made it easy with a list of seven foods that can make every bite count toward a healthy pregnancy. These foods are practical and also enjoyable during a time when a woman’s tastes, cravings and lifestyle are all in constant states of change.

Here are my top seven:

  1. Coconut Water – It’s typical for a woman to gain more than 15 pounds of water during pregnancy as her blood volume expands and she creates amniotic fluid, not to mention the water going into the developing bundle of joy. Be sure to get at least 8 cups of fluid daily, including water and non-caffeinated beverages. Coconut water is an especially nice and delicious option because it provides natural electrolytes, such as circulation-supporting potassium.
  2. Yogurt – Yogurt provides protein, calcium and probiotics to build bacteria that supports the immune system, healthy blood glucose levels and the digestive tract. Also, because constipation is common during pregnancy, some women can help keep regular by eating yogurt daily.
  3. Cranberries – Pregnancy brings an increased risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Cranberry acts as a natural antibiotic in the urinary tract by providing special nutrients that decrease the ability of bacteria to stick to the wall of the urinary tract.
  4. Spinach – This leafy green contains vitamin A, calcium, B-vitamins and folate for energy and neural tube development. Spinach is also well known for its eye-protective properties because of its lutein content, which literally functions as sunglasses for the eyes, helping both you and your baby.
  5. Omega-3 Fat – Omega 3 fatty acids from fish and algae — as well as flaxseed — support a healthy, developing baby brain, as well as circulatory system.  



Robert Wildman, Ph.D., is a nutritional expert and registered and licensed dietitian with a focus on teaching people how to eat to live longer and healthier. He has authored several nutritional books including The Nutritionist: Food, Nutrition, and Optimal Health.

source: http://healthbistro.lifescript.com/2011/01/28/7-super-foods-during-pregnancy/

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Design*Sponge » Blog Archive » in the kitchen with: mud australia

Soft-centred chocolate puddings

Makes 4
• 4 tbs granulated white sugar (60g) + 2/3 cup sugar (160g)
• 100g butter, chopped
• 200g good quality dark chocolate, chopped
• 3 eggs
• 2 tbs self-rising flour (30g)*
• Icing sugar (powdered) & thick cream, to serve

* To make your own self-rising flour, for each cup of all-purpose flour (125g), add 1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5g) of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt (2.5g).

Step 1:
Preheat oven to 200°C/390F. Lightly grease 4 x mud australia Limoges porcelain baby noodle bowls (or similar oven-safe bowls). Sprinkle 1 tbs sugar into each bowl and turn so sugar coats inside of the bowl.

Step 2:
Place the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir with a metal spoon for 5 minutes or until mixture is smooth then remove from the heat.

Step 3:
Using electric hand mixer, beat eggs and remaining sugar on high speed until pale and slightly thickened. Pour warm chocolate mixture into egg mixture. Sift flour over mixture and stir gently to combine. Pour mixture evenly between bowls. Place onto a tray. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until well risen.

Step 4:
Dust with icing sugar and serve with thick cream if desired.

Read more at Design*Sponge http://www.designspongeonline.com/2007/11/in-the-kitchen-with-mud-australia.html#ixzz1BAD0G57j

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Discover what to munch on before a workout, after a night out and more

By Alexandra Gekas Posted January 27, 2011 from WomansDay.com

You know you’re supposed to eat healthy, which is no problem when you’ve got plenty of time on your hands. But what about on those difficult days, when you’re on your way to the gym, slammed at work or battling a late-night snack craving? Read on to discover eight common situations and the best foods dietitians and nutritionists recommend you nosh on.

Before a Workout

Whether you work out first thing in the morning or after work, you don’t want to go to the gym on an empty stomach. "Before a workout, you want carbohydrates to fuel your muscles," says Ursula Whitney, RD, president of North Shore Nutrition Consultants in Danvers, Massachusetts. That means an English muffin with peanut butter for carbohydrates and protein, oatmeal with fruit or berries for staying power or even whole-grain pancakes. "You don’t want to get bogged down, but you do want to get a good carbohydrate source," she says. Photo: Thinkstock

After a Workout

Post-gym, your body has different needs. "You’re replacing carbohydrates, so you can start building up your stored energy as well as getting some protein, to help with muscle repair," says Bethany Thayer, RD, a Detroit-based spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. "A glass of milk is one of the best after-exercise foods," she says. "Even chocolate milk, which gives you a little more carbohydrates, is OK because you want to replenish the stored fuel in your muscles." Other good post-workout snacks include trail mix, crackers with peanut butter or chopped vegetables with hummus. Photo: Shutterstock

Quick Lunch

Whether you’re eating in a rush between meetings or your kids’ activities, speed is often the name of the game. But that doesn’t mean you want to sacrifice quality; seek quick options that still provide a healthy balance of nutrients. Whitney recommends no-cook meals like refried beans spread on a tortilla with cut-up veggies, hummus with crackers, an English muffin pizza (an open-face English muffin with pizza sauce and a sprinkling of lowfat mozzarella), hard-cooked eggs or water-packed tuna in a pita. Photo: Shutterstock

Afternoon Slump

It happens every afternoon—around 3 or 4 p.m., you hit a wall. A cup of coffee is tempting, but drinking it that late in the day is bound to keep you up half the night. Instead, "have something that smells delicious, like an orange," says Lisa Cohn, RD, nutrition strategist at Park Avenue Nutrition & Spa in New York City. "It’s a happy scent, it’s hydrating and refreshing, it’s easy to digest and it gives you a little sugar and vitamin C." If you’re bottoming out, Whitney also suggests a carbohydrate and protein one-two punch for energy and lasting power. That means whole-wheat bread with nut butter, yogurt with a sprinkle of granola or an all-natural granola bar such as KIND Bars, which mix whole grains with nuts and a bit of honey. Photo: Shutterstock

Before Dinner

It happens time and again: You’re so famished when you get home from work that you can’t wait until dinner. You either gorge on cheese and crackers or end up dipping into what you’re cooking. Either way, your appetite is shot. To curb your hunger without ruining dinner, Whitney suggests slicing up some fruit like cantaloupe, honeydew or watermelon ahead of time so you have "something that’s [appealing to the eye] and easy to grab, hand-to-mouth." Plus, the low-calorie, water-dense fruit will curb hunger pangs without filling you up. Photo: Shutterstock

Late-Night Snack

Whether dinner just didn’t do the trick or you got home late from work, you don’t want to eat too much close to bedtime. "It’s important that you don’t overeat, because that can really interfere with what kind of sleep you get," Thayer says. Instead of digging into cookies or leftovers, try a small bowl of cereal or a glass of warm milk, she suggests, which will sustain you but not fill you up. If you want something comforting, Cohn recommends part-skim ricotta cheese on toast with a drizzle of honey, plain Greek yogurt with a few berries or a sweet potato cooked in the microwave. Photo: Shutterstock

After Cocktails

One of the pitfalls of an evening out is that craving for a not-so-healthy late-night snack. But pizza or pasta is not the way to go. First things first: Cohn suggests drinking one 8-oz glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you consumed. Then, for a little more sustenance, eat fruit. It’s a great option "both because it’s hydrating and it gets a little bit of sugar in your system," Cohn says. "And if you really want to do the right thing, have a low-sodium vegetable beverage. Part of the brain drain comes because the liver is trying to process the alcohol, so the best thing to do to detox is have your greens," she says. Photo: Shutterstock

Morning After

You aren’t as young as you used to be, so even one or two glasses of wine can make you feel a little off the next morning. In addition to vegetable juice for its detoxifying properties, Cohn suggests blueberries, which are great for settling your stomach. "Keep a bag of frozen blueberries in the freezer and nuke them before mixing with Greek yogurt," she says. "They’re amazing for the tummy, they’re low in calories and the antioxidants will help everything else." She also recommends aromatic teas such as green tea, peppermint or chamomile, which are both hydrating and have anti-inflammatory properties. Photo: Shutterstock

source: www.womansday.com

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Holy Smokes Batman!


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Happy Saturday everyone! Hope you all found something fun and relaxing to do…me, I woke up at 4:30am to brave an international airport! Securities, rolling suitcases rigged to trip, those dumb hacky-sack players, and pushy passengers. Then a 5 hour flight to paradise: Hawaii. Needless to say, it was worth it.

Though this is not the reason I am writing to you all, I have health news! While I do hate flying, and all that comes with it – the cramped seats, static hair, weird temperatures, and usually any food served on board – this time they had a dish worth talking about, as well as eating.

They called it the “Smart Heart” meal, which doubled as a choice for vegetarians or as they put it, “for anyone at anytime”. So I helped myself! Here is what was included:

  • Tree Top Apple Sauce
  • Trophy Farms Almonds
  • Corozona’s Oatmeal Square
  • Sunbutter Sunflower-seed Spread
  • Dickenson’s Strawberry Preserves
  • Partner’s Crackers

I figured that with all the stress I’ve been going through lately, my body could use a sort of “cleansing” and what better time to start then in paradise? I’m eating healthy and taking my mind, body, heart, and soul for a little sun therapy.


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Reach for one of these healthy ingredients the next time your head is pounding
By Sarah Jio Posted June 16, 2010 from WomansDay.com

When a headache strikes, you may run through your usual routine: Turn out the lights, lie down and pop a pain pill. But did you know that certain foods may ease, and even prevent, headaches? Add these soothing foods to your shopping list and find out for yourself.

1. Baked Potato

The side you love with dinner could help soothe your aching head, especially if your headache is alcohol-related, says Erin Palinski, RD, a registered dietician in private practice in New Jersey. “Since alcohol is a diuretic, it can not only cause dehydration, but also cause you to lose electrolytes such as potassium,” she says. “Eating potassium-rich foods can help to alleviate hangover-related headaches.” Surprisingly, a baked potato (with the skin) is one of the most impressive sources of potassium, containing a whopping 721 mg. By comparison, a banana serves up 467 mg.

2. Watermelon

Dehydration is a major cause of headaches, explains Stella Metsovas, BS, CN, a nutritionist in private practice in Laguna Beach, California. So instead of popping a pain pill next time your head throbs, consider reaching for water-rich foods, like watermelon. “The natural water contained in both fruits and vegetables contains essential minerals, like magnesium, that are key in headache prevention,” she says. Try this tasty, hydrating watermelon smoothie: In a blender, combine 2 cups seeded watermelon chunks, 1 cup cracked ice, ½ cup plain yogurt, a drizzle of honey and ½ tsp grated ginger. Blend and enjoy. (Bonus: The ginger can help ease headache-induced nausea symptoms!) Other foods with high water content include berries, cucumber, melon, soups, oatmeal, tomatoes and lettuce.

3. Coffee

Java has been a folk remedy for headaches for centuries, but does it really work? Yes, but in moderation, says Palinski. “Alcohol can cause blood vessels to expand, exasperating headaches,” she explains. “Since the caffeine in coffee is a vasoconstrictor, it can help alleviate a headache by helping to reduce the size of the blood vessels.” But hold off on the triple venti. Too much coffee could make matters worse. “Caffeine is also a diuretic, which can increase dehydration and increase the severity of a headache,” adds Palinski. “The bottom line: One cup of coffee may be helpful for decreasing hangover-related headaches, but drinking coffee throughout the day would not be the best choice for curing a headache.”

4. Whole-Grain Toast

Low-carb dieters beware: Too little carbohydrates and you might bring on a headache. “When you follow a low-carbohydrate diet, you begin to deplete glycogen stores, which are a main source of energy to the brain,” says Palinski. “This also causes an increase in fluid losses from the body, which can trigger dehydration. By reducing energy to the brain and causing dehydration, these low-carbohydrate diets can trigger headaches.” When one hits, consider reaching for healthy carbs, such as those found in whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, fruit or yogurt. Bonus: A healthy boost of carbs may also improve your mood, as they help your body to release serotonin, the feel-good hormone.

5. Almonds

According to past research, magnesium, found in almonds, may protect your body from the brunt of a headache by relaxing blood vessels. Migraine sufferers may also experience relief by following a diet rich in magnesium, some experts believe. “To increase your magnesium intake, try consuming magnesium-rich foods such as bananas, dried apricots, avocados, almonds, cashews, brown rice, legumes and seeds,” suggests Palinski.

6. Spicy Salsa

Can you say caliente? It may sound unusual, but spicy foods such as salsa and hot peppers may help you snap back from a headache faster. “Depending on the type of headache, spicy foods may be helpful,” says Palinski. “If a headache is due to sinus congestion, spicy foods may help to decrease congestion and open the airways, helping to decrease pressure and the accompanying headache.”

7. Yogurt

When your head is pounding, your body may be calling out for calcium, says Metsovas. “The brain depends on calcium to function efficiently,” she adds. “Make sure you are consuming calcium-rich foods, like fat-free plain Greek yogurt, which is a great source of calcium, with no added sugars and beneficial probiotics for your gut.”

8. Sesame Seeds

Sprinkle them on salads, in oatmeal or on top of soups and stir-fries. Why? These tiny seeds pack a big nutritional punch. “Sesame seeds are rich in vitamin E, which may help to stabilize estrogen levels and prevent migraines during your period,” says Palinski. “It also improves circulation, which helps prevent headaches.” Bonus: Sesame seeds are also rich in magnesium, which may give them added headache-preventing power.

9. Spinach Salad

What worked for Popeye may work for your headache. “Spinach has been shown to help decrease blood pressure, prevent hangovers and may help to alleviate headaches,” says Palinksi. “Try using spinach leaves instead of lettuce for a headache-preventing power salad.” This summer salad is packed with headache-soothing foods: Toss together 2 cups spinach leaves, 3/4 cups cubed watermelon, 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots and 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts or almonds, and drizzle with raspberry vinaigrette.

All photos by Shutterstock.

Sarah Jio is the health and fitness blogger for Glamour.com. Visit her blog, Vitamin G.

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If you’re one of the few Americans who are underweight, you know how hard it can be to pack on the pounds. But just as it is in losing weight, a little planning and attention to good nutrition can help you gain weight.

By Dulce Zamora
WebMD Feature Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario

Do you find it hard to gain weight? If so, you’re probably the envy of family and friends. It seems as if you can eat as many cheeseburgers and chocolate bars as you would like, and still not register an ounce.

Yet little do people know how much you’d love to put meat on your bones, perhaps to feel less lanky, to be able to wear certain clothes without appearing scrawny, or to just be healthier.

Ken Chuk is one such person. He is a 32-year-old finance manager who wishes he could put on a business suit without looking like he just got out of college. His fast metabolism and tendency to feel full with smaller portions, however, make it hard for him to add anything to his 5′ 11″, 140-pound frame. He’s tried to lift weights, suck down protein shakes, and stuff himself with ice cream, cookies, or cereal at bedtime — all to no avail.

“Everyone in my family is thin,” explains the New York native. “I’ve given up trying to gain weight because I figure it will happen eventually.”

Chuk is right in that all of us will tend to become heavier as we age, but health experts say there are plenty of things people can do now to build critical mass.

The Skinny on the Underweight

What’s so wrong with being too thin when it seems to be a non-problem compared with obesity? The truth is that being underweight has its own risks.

Those who are extremely lean tend to have weaker immune systems, making them prone to infections, surgical complications, and slower recovery times for illness. They tend to have low muscle mass, and less than ideal hair, teeth, and skin composition. They may have disruptions in the ability to regulate hormones and protect bone health, and women could become unable to menstruate.

All of this could be avoided by maintaining a healthy weight, a measure that obviously differs from person to person. As a rough rule of thumb, women should be at least 105 pounds for the first five feet of height, and another five pounds per inch after that; men should be at least 106 pounds for the first five feet, and an added six pounds per inch, says Dan Heinemann, MD, a board member of the American Academy of Family physicians.

Another gauge could be an individual’s body mass index (BMI), which is a system to categorize size based on a person’s height and weight. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute reports that people with normal weight have a BMI of 18.5-24.9. Anything below that is underweight, and anything above is overweight (25-29.9) or obese (30 or greater).

Why So Thin?

There are many reasons why people may find it hard to gain weight. Genetics can obviously play a role, but individual personalities and the environment can be strong factors.

“Sometimes people think they just have a fast metabolism, but that’s not always the case,” says Cindy Moore, MS, RD, director of nutrition therapy at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association (ADA). “They just might be more physically active.”

For example, there are people who tend to move around more, burning more calories than they take in. They’re either always the first ones to volunteer to pick up after a spill, to do the chores, to walk everywhere, or to play a lot of sports. This level of physical activity is not a bad thing, says Moore, but being aware of it is important in understanding the factors affecting one’s weight.

Then there are others who lose their appetite, experience a change in metabolism, and/or lose poundage and muscle mass fast because of various reasons, including illness, chronic pain, depression, stress, and side effects from drugs.

In children, the inability to gain weight may signal a condition known as “failure to thrive,” which means a kid is not growing appropriately for his/her age. This may be caused by an illness, or eating patterns dictated by a parental idiosyncrasy. According to Wahida Karmally, DrPH, RD, spokesperson for the ADA, there have been kids who have not developed properly because they did not receive enough nutrients from being on a raw food, macrobiotic, or vegan diet.

Assuring Healthy Weight Gain

Whatever the suspected cause for being underweight or for unexpected weight loss, and as much as some people may be happy about being thin — as opposed to being fat — it’s important to discuss the matter with a medical professional.

“If somebody’s losing weight, and they’re not trying to lose weight, they need to talk to their doctor to find out what’s going on, because that is not a normal phenomenon,” says Heinemann, noting weight loss may signal a disease such as diabetes.

Being able to eat anything with abandon is also deceiving — even the skinny need to worry about having too much sugar and fat for good health. Poor diets can lead to ailments such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Plus, people who gain weight eating anything and everything tend to retain it as fat, and in much more undesirable places. For a more ideal distribution of weight, it’s best to stick to nutrient-rich foods, and to exercise at the same time.

“If you want to have a nice shapely body to go along with this extra weight, you’re going to need to work out so that you put the weight on in the form of muscle as opposed to the form of fat,” says Heinemann, recommending a combination of aerobic exercise and strength training for the whole body.

Heinemann, Moore, and Karmally have more advice for people wanting to pack on the pounds in a healthy manner. In following their suggestions, it’s important to do things in moderation and to have patience. Healthy weight gain, just like healthy weight loss, takes time and requires a conscious effort to apply good habits.

Recommended Ways to Gain Weight

  • Have meals with the right balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and the right kinds of fat (such as unsaturated and monounsaturated fats, olive oil, canola oil, pistachios, almonds and walnuts). Heinemann suggests the following ratio: 60%-70% carbohydrates, 10%-15% protein, and a small amount of fat.
  • Eat foods higher in calories, vitamins, and minerals, as opposed to higher in fat or sugar.
  • Pack more nutritious calories in each serving. For example, you may add grated cooked eggs to mashed potatoes, ground chicken to soups and gravies, cheese in casseroles, eggs, and soups, and nonfat dried milk in soups, shakes, milk, and mashed potatoes.
  • If you get too full too fast, try having more high-calorie foods or slices of foods as opposed to consuming the whole thing (raisins versus grapes, granola and Grape Nuts versus corn flakes, mango slices versus the whole mango).
  • Limit drinking beverages to a half-hour before and after a meal.
  • Drink mixed juices (apple/berry, peach/orange/banana as opposed to one juice beverages) for a higher calorie intake.
  • Try a small amount of alcohol (4 ounces of wine, 6 ounces of beer, or a half-ounce of liquor with juice) before a meal, as it could stimulate appetite. Moore warns, however, that this recommendation must be cleared with your doctor, especially if you are on any medication. Too much alcohol can be detrimental to health, and could lessen your resolve for eating healthy.
  • With moderation, you may add in good fat sources to meals such as nuts, avocado, olives, and fatty fish (salmon and mackerel).
  • Snack in between meals. Nuts, dried fruits, and yogurt are good options, but it’s also important to find nutritious foods that you will enjoy.
  • Have a nutritious snack before bedtime, such as a peanut butter sandwich.

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