Wednesday, September 15, 2010

umm…you should buy a spiralizer.

I’m usually not one to get attached to a piece of kitchen equipment, especially with all of the crazy things being invented every millisecond. However, I’ve been completely blown away by the spiralizer (no, I don’t get paid for writing a positive review)!

There’s something about changing the texture of vegetables that makes them more appealing. The simple ingredients for stir fry…

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…dressed up with spiralized zuke noodles, farmers’ market fresh vegetables, a drizzle of tahini, and your choice of spices.

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You can also spiralize cucumbers, carrots, and red onion for a fresh salad. Spiralizing increases the surface area of vegetables exposed to the dressing, creating a more flavorful dish. I dressed this salad with a little Fig & Walnut Balsamic Vinaigrette from Lucini Italia, and it was delish.

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Last but not least…to all of you who are obsessed with sweet potato fries, the spiralizer does it right.

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Add 5 tbs dijon mustard, 2 tbs olive oil, 1 clove garlic (chopped), and 1 tsp Italian herbs to a gallon plastic bag. Shake to mix.

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Bake at 450 F for 30-40 minutes and voila…restaurant quality sweet potato fries without the frying! The spicy mustard really adds a lot of flavor to these fries.

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If I can’t get pumpkin during this fallish weather, I guess I’ll just have to settle for sweet potatoes. Has anyone been able to find pumpkin lately?!

On the job front, plans might be changing a little, and if you’re interested in online nutrition counseling, you should stay tuned!

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p.s. who's interested in winning an entire case of Larabars? see ccv's site for details!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

will clean eating destroy my life savings?!

….probably not…but if you aren’t around to enjoy them, what’s the point, anyway?

This weekend I helped pass out food from a gleaner’s truck as a part of my church’s outreach program. Most of the food was actually fresh (or fairly fresh) produce, and I was pleasantly surprised to see how many people were excited about eating fruit and vegetables.

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So many of us struggle with choosing to eat healthfully, and it makes me think we have too many options. If you were offered only fresh produce, you’d be pretty happy to eat it…right?

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Which brings me to another issue. Is eating healthfully more expensive than eating fast food or heavily processed food?

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Yes and no. If you’re buying a lot of local, organic produce, it will probably cost more money up front. At the same time, choosing to eat healthfully now will likely save you more money in the future in relation to health care costs.

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In terms of fast food and packaged products, you can actually save a lot of money (and calories) by preparing homemade versions.

homemade hummus $0.12/oz    vs.    Garden Fresh hummus $0.38/oz

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Caloriewise they probably aren’t too different, but packaged hummus can add up to 3x the cost of homemade hummus!

What about a grilled cheese sandwich made from local tomato basil bread and local Gouda cheese?

homemade grilled cheese: $2.63        vs.       Steak and Shake: $3.17

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Ok, so not a huge savings…but I’m pretty sure S&S serves American Cheese on their sandwiches, and their bread is definitely not local. I say a penny saved is a penny earned.

Clean eating can be kind to your wallet and your waistline. Other money-saving stories slash thoughts?!

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Friday, September 10, 2010

salads are not boring, people

I’ll never forget the time I told a friend in college that I was studying dietetics. He said, “So…you eat a lot of lettuce, right?!” For some reason, eating healthfully is synonymous with bland and boring in the eyes of most Americans. Simple does not mean tasteless.

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Yes, I do eat a lot of salads, but I think they’re pretty far from boring, especially when using my new fave kitchen tool. CSN was kind enough to provide this spiralizer for review [yes, it looks like a modern day torture machine, but I promise it’s harmless].

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In 10 seconds, cabbage becomes coleslaw. I have to admit that I was pretty skeptical about the efficiency of this machine, but it was pretty impressive. I think this would be a great way to get kids to eat more veggies. Sometimes it’s more fun to eat vegetables and fruit in interesting shapes.

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Add carrots, celery seed, Vegenaise (or mayo if you’d prefer), and a few other ingredients for a quick weeknight salad. Try this recipe!

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Spiralized apples put a fun twist on regular old waldorf salad…and take the work out of chopping 60 billion apples.

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Research has shown we crave variety, and I think this is certainly true for food preparation. However, let it be known that I’ve been stuck in an oatmeal rut for about 3 years now?!

If you’re getting tired of eating vegetables, try a different prep method. Experiment with different shapes, mixing hot and cold ingredients, a new dressing, or even a blended salad.

Fave salads or salad dressings? Please share…I’m sure we’re all looking for interesting new ways to eat veggies!

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Thursday, September 2, 2010

clean eating

As a Featured Health Editor for Healthbuzz, I’ll be publishing a variety of posts about clean eating in the month of September. I’ve heard this term floating around the blogworld for months, but it’s not clearly defined and rarely presented from an evidence-based standpoint.

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What is clean eating?

To me, clean eating means consuming products as close to nature as possible. This means focusing on a diet of vegetables, fruit, and whole grains and limiting consumption of highly processed foods. I do want to point out that processed foods are not necessarily harmful. It is our abuse of these foods that makes them harmful. One cheeseburger will not cause heart disease, but eating 3 cheeseburgers a day for 3 years may give you a run for your money.

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Why should we participate in clean eating?

A steady diet of processed foods may lead to health problems. Processed foods are often calorie laden and contain high levels of sodium, sugar (the number one food additive in the US), and fat. When we crowd our diets with these foods, we leave out nutrient-rich foods that contain the vitamins and minerals our bodies need to run.

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Controversies in clean eating?

To some, clean eating means elimination of all animal products, including dairy. To others, this means abstaining from added sugars. I think clean eating is very personal; each person’s diet can be adjusted differently to achieve benefits. If you’re currently eating a diet heavy in red meat, you may reduce consumption to 1-2x a week. If you’re eating a diet of mostly convenience foods, you may decide to pack a sandwich 2 days out of the 5 day workweek. Clean eating should be achieved without judgment, peer pressure, or feelings of superiority.

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What it is and what it’s not.

I think clean eating should evolve into more of a lifestyle as it is practiced. Most everyone can benefit from consuming more vegetables. Clean eating should not be a sort of wacky detox diet that is used to make up for poor eating choices. To experience benefit, clean eating should be implemented continually.

Future Posts

You may see new posts on the Healthbuzz site, but you can also expect to see some previously written posts, as well. Feel free to email me with questions you may have concerning this topic!

How do you define clean eating?

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