Summer Squash

Squash is considered one of the oldest cultivated crops in the Western Hemisphere. It is low in calories – 1 cup contains fewer than 20 calories and it’s water content is more than 90 percent. They are excellent sources of vitamin C and potassium.

Zucchini: This is the most popular summer squash. It can be baked, fried, sauteed, grilled, steamed or shredded. It can be eaten raw or cooked!

Squash blossoms: These yellow or orange flowers can be used as a colorful garnish or can add to a mild squash flavor. You can stuff these with soft cheese and bake them or coat them in batter and lightly fry them!

Pattypan: This has a distinct saucer shape! You can slice this squash and pan fry, or scoop out the interior and stuff them.

Ronde de Nice: This French zucchini is firm and mild flavored. It is also sometimes called eight-ball squash. It is perfect for scooping out and stuffing with grains or vegetables before baking.

Yellow Crookneck: This bumpy yellow squash can be steamed, boiled, or sauteed. It is often used in soups and stews.

Source: July/August 2014: FoodandNutritionmag.org

Photo credit: www.homesteadanywhere.com

Clean Eating

Do:

1. Eat 5-6 small meals each day

2. Eat breakfast everyday within 1 hour of rising

3. Eat a combination of lean protein and complex carbohydrates

4. Eat healthy fats every day

5. Drink water often

6. Carry a cooler or bring with you to work clean foods every day

7. Vegetables and fruits should always be on your top list

8. Always be aware of your portion sizes

Don’t:

1. Over-processed foods especially white flour and sugar

2. Foods containing perservatives

3. Artificial sugars

4. Artificial foods

5. Sugar-loaded beverages

6. Excessive amounts of alcohol

7. Calorie-dense foods containing little or no nutrients

8. Super-size your meals!

Source: http://www.skinnymom.com

Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, All Kinds Of Berries!

Berries deliver fiber, vitamin C and a delicious taste for summer! Berries are also a great source of phytochemicals which help defend against heart disease and cancer. Fresh berries are a diabetes-friendly fruit and also great for weight management. They are a perfect snack, great in yogurt, smoothies and cereal and even in a salad!

Cranberry: Excellent source of fiber and vitamin C. They may play a role in preventing urinary tract infections.

Blueberry: Good source of vitamin C and fiber. They contain free-radical compounds which may provide heart health and cancer-fighting benefits.

Gooseberry: High in vitamin C. They are great in sauces or jams!

Raspberry: Low in calories and high in vitamin C. They have a whole 8 grams of fiber in one cup!

Strawberry: High in vitamin C and Folate. Great to use frozen strawberries when they are not in season!

Blackberry: Excellent source of vitamin C and fiber. Great in salads, sauces and as a dessert!

Boysenberry: Provide vitamin K and are an excellent source of fiber and folate. These are slightly sweeter than raspberries!

For more information: MAY/JUNE 2014 Edition. Food and Nutrition. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Source of Photograph: atlantablackstar.com

The US Compared To Other Countries When It Comes To Food

Such a great article I came across on Buzzfeed comparing what we eat here in the United States that are BANNED from other countries. Definitely worth your time reading and definitely an eye opener!
The 8 foods mentioned here are:

  • Artificial food dyes –  have been linked to brain cancer, nerve-cell deterioration, and hyperactivity in children.
  • Olestra – robs your body of its ability to absorb vitamins
  • Brominated vegetable oil – BVO is linked to major organ system damage, birth defects, growth problems, schizophrenia, and hearing loss.
  • Potassium bromate – linked to kidney damage, cancer, and nervous system damage.
  • Azodicarbonamide – known to induce asthma.
  • BHA and BHT -known to cause cancer in rats.
  • Synthetic growth hormones rBGH and rBST – potentially causing infertility, weakened muscle growth, and a whole array of cancers.
  • Arsenic - Used in some chicken feed to make meat appear pinker and fresher, arsenic is poison, which will kill you if you ingest enough.

 

Check it out here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/ashleyperez/8-foods-we-eat-in-the-us-that-are-banned-in-other-countries

Get The Scoop On Leafy Greens!

  • Collards: An excellent source of fiber, vitamins A and K, and calcium. Since they are full of Phytochemicals, they may help prevent cancers and promote heart health!
  • Mustards: These leafy greens have a spicy, peppery flavor. They have vitamins A, C, and K, calcium, and fiber!
  • Cabbage: Full of fiber and rich in vitamins C and K. Eating cabbage regularly may help reduce the risk of certain cancers.
  • Chard: Available in several varieties, this leafy green provides vitamins A, K, magnesium, potassium, and is higher on the sodium side (315 milligrams per cup)
  • Kale: An excellent source of lutein and vitamins A, C, and K, and a good source of calcium.
  • Arugula: This peppery salad green is an excellent source of vitamin K. It can be used a spice or eaten raw as lettuce leaves!
  • Romaine: A good source of folate and vitamin K. Tearing the leaves (not cutting) avoids the release of ascorbic acid oxidase which destroys vitamin C!
  • Watercress: An excellent source of vitamins C and K. It’s a great leafy green to add to salads or added to sandwiches.
  • Spinach: Raw spinach is 91 percent water! It is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, folate, potassium, and fiber. It is great cooked and raw!

What’s your favorite leafy green? Do you like eating it raw or cooked?

For more information: Leafy Greens Nutrition Rock Stars by Marisa Moore

Photo credit: microfarmgardens.com

National Nutrition Month 2014

The theme for this year’s National Nutrition Month is “Enjoy the taste of eating right!” Consumer research confirms that taste tops nutrition as the main reason why one food is purchased over another. This year’s key messages for NNM will focus on how to combine taste and nutrition to create healthy meals that follow the Dietary Guidelines recommendations.

What does this year’s slogan mean to you and your family? Is taste really the overall factor when it comes to deciding what to eat? Share your thoughts!

Visit for more details: http://www.eatright.org/NNM

Rethink Your Calories When Eating Out

This gives us all a great perspective on what we really are eating when we order from restaurants! This short video shows that it may not be a bad idea to over-estimate your caloric intake when reading nutrition information. Until the FDA makes food companies report accurate information for the public, remember to rethink what you actually are eating.

The Scoop On Protein

Many people believe they’re struggling to meet their protein needs through food sources when weight lifting. However, this is not necessarily true! Relying on expensive protein powders and supplements may not always be the right answer.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states that athletes who are weight training need more protein than the general population, roughly 0.54 to 0.77 grams per pound of body weight per day. That’s 81 to 116 grams of protein for a 150 pound person. And this amount can generally be met by eating food alone.
For example…
2 cups of 1% milk = 16 grams of protein
2 large eggs = 12 grams of protein
6 1/2 inch whole wheat pita = 6 grams of protein
2 oz. Swiss cheese = 16 grams of protein
3 oz. turkey breast = 26 grams of protein
7 oz. yogurt = 18 grams of protein
3 oz. lean steak = 23 grams protein
_________________________
Total = 116 grams of protein
Photo credit: www.medindia.net

February Means Heart Health Awareness!

February is all about heart health, so let’s take a look at The American Heart Association‘s healthy diet goals in maintaining a healthy heart!

  1. Don’t smoke
  2. Maintain a healthy weight
  3. Be physically active
  4. Eat a healthy diet — think a colorful plate!
  5. Manage your blood pressure
  6. Take charge of cholesterol
  7. Keep blood sugar at a healthy level

As part of a healthy diet, an adult consuming 2,000 calories daily should aim for:

  • Fruits and vegetables: At least 4.5 cups a day
  • Fish (preferably oily fish): At least two 3.5-ounce servings a week
  • Fiber-rich whole grains: At least three 1-ounce-equivalent servings a day
  • Sodium: Less than 1,500 mg a day
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages: No more than 450 calories (36 ounces) a week
  • Nuts, legumes and seeds: At least 4 servings a week
  • Processed meats: No more than 2 servings a week
  • Saturated fat: Less than 7% of total energy intake