Watermelon Fun!

Today is the first day of July and the summer time is here! What better way to celebrate the first day of July with a fun watermelon drink? Watermelon is a good source of vitamin C,  has plenty of antioxidants (watermelon gets it reddish-pink shades primarily from lycopene!), and has a rich supply of an amino acid called citrulline.

A fully ripened watermelon will feel heavy for its size. Heaviness in a watermelon is a good thing because the water content of a watermelon will typically increase along with ripening, and a fully ripened watermelon will be over 90% water in terms of weight! A fully ripened watermelon will also often have a ground spot that has turned creamy yellow in color.

Looking for ideas on what to do with watermelon? Make it into a fun drink. I used plain seltzer water mixed with watermelon for a light spritzer drink to enjoy on a hot day. About 1 liter of seltzer mixed with the inside of the watermelon makes a fantastic drink! I scooped the inside of the watermelon out with an icecream scoop and blended it in a blender with the seltzer water. You can add a hint of lime juice to the drink if needed. I picked up a handy watermelon kit at my local ShopRite that came with stands to hold the watermelon balanced, and a spout to pour the drink out of the watermelon– very easy to use!!

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I also made a delicious watermelon and feta salad last month! It was DELICIOUS! Did you ever think of mixing watermelon with cheese? The next time you are thinking of making a salad and you are a watermelon lover, this is definitely the choice for you!

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The possibilities with watermelon are endless! What better way to enjoy the summer than with a refreshing watermelon recipe?

 

 

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Choose to Feed Disease or Fight It!

 

Every time you put something into your body think of where your food is coming from. You can either be fighting off disease or feeding it to become worse! NUTRITION is everything. Our moods, emotions, health, thinking, etc. all stem from the nutrients and food we put into our bodies! Remember to eat clean whenever you can! Make it a lifestyle change and you will feel so much better!!!

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A Serious Case of “Rethink Your Drink”

The next time you pick up Gatorade to re-store your electrolytes, you might want to rethink your decision. How does the FDA approve Gatorade to contain the ingredient brominated vegetable oil? The ingredient shares an element, bromine, with some flame retardants used in furniture and plastics. Some studies on BVO indicate it can build up in fatty tissues and cause reproductive and behavioral problems in rodents.

It’s illegal to use the chemical as a food additive in the European Union, India, Nepal, Canada, Brazil and Japan, so why not the United States? Other ingredients that are allowed in American food but not in other countries include certain artificial colors and additives to flour. 

How can we stop this? Are you aware of this ingredient in your drink? What are your thoughts/comments?

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For more information: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/health/ct-met-banned-food-practices-20130121,0,5307425,full.story

Say NO To The Candy!

“An estimated 600 million pounds of Halloween candy is purchased in the U.S. each year – that’s an average of about two pounds of candy per person.”

Try these strategies to stop your sugar cravings:

  • Completely cut it out of your diet: Sugary sweets and other processed carbohydrates are absorbed into the bloodstream almost immediately, causing a rapid rise then crash of blood sugar, insulin, and energy. The result: We continue to look for more sugar! This might not be an easy thing for most of us, but be patient because it can take up to days or several weeks for cravings to disappear.
  • Read labels: Even if you think something is healthy or appears to be healthy, it can still be loaded with sugars. Whole grain breakfast cereals, cartons of low-fat flavored yogurt, granola bars, 100% fruit juice etc, are all loaded with sugars that can be hidden.
  • Try cutting back on alternative sweeteners it may train your taste buds and brains to become acclimated to intensely super-sweet foods and drinks.
  • Protein, protein, protein: Incorporating enough protein – particularly at breakfast – can help to curb cravings, burn more calories, and consume fewer calories throughout the day.
  • Keep a glass of water by your side at all times: One of the first signs of being even slightly dehydrated is fatigue, and when that sleepiness hits, we most likely turn to sugar for a quick pick-me-up.
  • SLEEP, DREAM, NAP: Studies have consistently shown that lack of sleep can negatively impact hormones that regulate our appetite and blood sugar levels.

So, when you go to pick up that piece of candy or sugary food.. think twice! The sugar will make it hard to just eat one.. it will have you wanting to come back for more! You have control, you can control your diet and how you feel!

For more information: http://www.nola.com/health/index.ssf/2012/11/cant_stop_eating_halloween_can.html  Molly Kimball is a registered dietitian in New Orleans

Got Milk?

There are a lot of different varieties of milk out there. It’s been shown that women drink 19 gallons of milk each year, mostly in their cereal. It is a great source of Calcium: one glass packs a quarter of the daily 1,000-milligram requirement (you should get 1,200 if you’re 51 or older).

Organic milk comes from cows raised organically, meaning they eat feed grown without chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Some experts advocate for organic milk because they believe that the synthetic growth hormone given to many conventionally raised cattle may cause health problems. However, studies have shown that there not enough evidence that shows organic is safer.

Ultra-pasteurized milk is designed to keep dairy products fresh for longer. It is heated to a higher temperature than regular, pasteurized milk (280 degrees Fahrenheit versus the usual 161). Milk that’s ultra-pasteurized isn’t any safer or more nutritious, but it could be a good pick if you’re slow to start a carton or like to buy in bulk.

Fortified milk packs extra nutrients such as Vitamin A, D, C, omega-3s and fiber! Fortified skim milk is a smart pick if you don’t like low-fat milk but want to avoid the fat and calories in whole.
Lactose-free milk is good for the 6% of Americans who can’t digest the sugar, lactose, found in dairy. If you’re lactose-intolerant, this milk can help you get the calcium and vitamin D you need without gastric distress.

Rice, soy, and other nondairy milk is more common than ever, giving vegans, the lactose intolerant, and those with no special dietary needs an alternate pour for their cereal. If you’re swapping one in for regular milk, make sure it’s fortified with calcium and vitamin D (unless it’s soy milk, which has the same amount of both nutrients as cow’s milk). If you’re a vegan look for added B12 as well.