Friday, February 24, 2012

germtastic

Let me just preface this post by saying that everyone at my place of employment has some kind of cold or upper respiratory illness. This means I am slathering on the hand sanitizer like nobody’s business and using bleach wipes to clean my desk every day. Germs!

This makes green smoothies packed with greens, fruit, and oats especially appropriate. I drank one on my way to work the other day, and I’m sure everyone was wondering what sort of green sludge was hanging out in my to-go tumbler.

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One of my coworkers ate chicken noodle soup the other day, which I thought was pretty brilliant considering the cold weather and cold illness going around, so I decided to make my own version +/- a few ingredients.

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anti-germ vegetable soup

  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrots or sweet potatoes, chopped
  • 1 T butter or oil
  • 1 cup quinoa or noodles of your choice
  • 1 cup kale
  • 5-6 cups vegetable or chicken stock

Sauté onion and celery in butter until translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add carrots or sweet potatoes (or both) and cook for a few more minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and heat until quinoa or noodles are cooked.

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And when I feel a bug coming on, I usually do the following:

  • drink tons of water or hot tea
  • take vitamin C
  • eat more fruit and vegetables (natural nutrients)
  • get lots of sleep
  • cut out sugar

What’s the theory on sugar and infection? This one is up for debate, but some experts think that sugar inhibits the body’s natural defense against invading pathogens and promotes an environment favorable to the growth of pathogenic organisms. Others say the similar structures of sugar and vitamin C create competition for uptake into the body’s cells. Whatever the proposed theories, I have certainly found this to be true.

What about zinc and vitamin C as immune boosters?

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, oral zinc may help reduce the length and severity of colds, but it also has potential to cause side effects (GI effects) and participate in drug nutrient interaction. Intranasal zinc should not be used due to risk of severe side effects.

Vitamin C has not been proven to prevent colds but may slightly reduce their length and severity.

So, while everyone else is stocking up on puffs plus, I’m having another round of wheat grass [oh joy].

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what are your go-to strategies for preventing the plague of death?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

substitution

Umm, this is not a valentine’s day post. Sorry for the disappointment, but I feel like there’s enough schmooze going around the interwebs this time of year. Not that it’s a bad thing to celebrate love, but I think every day is a good day to love the people in your life…

So, let the swappage begin…

1} $9 wraps at the deli hurt the wallet and the soul

Good news; you can make your own. Roasted red pepper hummus + lettuce + grated and cooked sweet potato, onion, lentil, and egg mixture + feta cheese on a whole wheat wrap. And it doesn’t cost a kidney.

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2} goodbye office supplies of boringness and monotony that make me want to poke out my eyes.

This is my work survival stash: crazy colored post-its and highlighters courtesy of my very thoughtful boyfriend, gum, chapstick, inkjoy pens, peppermint tea, and lots of lined legal pads.

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3} bad restaurant food that makes your insides want to die.

I recently met a friend for dinner at the electric cheetah. Black rice with green beans, fresh mozzarella cheese, cherry tomatoes, and grilled tofu = extremely simple but delicious. One of those meals that I’d like to replicate at home.

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4} work clothes of uncomfortableness and varying shades of taupe.

Who decided that tailored trousers and uncomfortable tops and blazers were considered more work appropriate than say…colored skinny jeans, Toms, and cardigans? 

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And thus, I end my rant for the night. What sort of things are you swapping out these days?

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

february so far

Well, hello February.

January was a busy month as evidenced by my lack of blogging. This warm winter has been fantastic, though, especially because I walk to work. A couple of weekends ago we did finally get some snow, but it’s completely gone now.

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I don’t know if you’ve tried lentil hummus yet, but I’ve been a bit obsessed with it lately. It’s also really inexpensive to make, probably even less expensive than homemade bean hummus ($0.12/oz). The last time I did a comparison this = 3x cheaper than storebought hummus.  

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With the new month, I’ve noticed a change in breakfast patterns. I have been on 3 different breakfast kicks since starting this blog during grad school in 2009.

  • [2007-2010] oatmeal in every way imaginable
  • [2010-2011] egg + toast
  • [2012] green smoothies are making a comeback

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I have to admit that this latest kick has been inspired by convenience and trying to streamline my morning routine.

Overnight, I refrigerate directly in the blender container:

  • 1/2 cup oats,
  • ~1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup of raw kale
  • 1 T peanut butter
  • 1 banana
  • cinnamon, and a little vanilla extract

In the morning, I just turn the blender on, and breakfast is served in 2.5 seconds.  

Do you eat the same thing every day for breakfast?  

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And I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about food and the standard American diet (SAD), how nutrition is a simple yet seemingly impossible solution to a wealth of diseases, how we have the power to take control of our health yet continually choose quick fixes, and how we have to make decisions about whether or not what we buy at the grocery store is real food. Nutrition isn’t simple stuff anymore.

The ready availability of energy dense, nutrient poor junk food and fast food doesn’t help anything. I know a lot of these thoughts are coming from frustration after reviewing a lot of diet records filled with processed products, but it just makes me sad that so many people truly don’t know what it looks like to eat things that don’t come out of packages and boxes…and for that matter, why the American Dietetic Association even promotes some of these products. Personally, I find that incredibly shameful, and it’s part of the reason I’m no longer a part of that organization (still a registered dietitian, just not a formal member of the ADA).

But enough on that…in other [good] news, my ankle is nearly healed; thanks for all the well wishes. Running is such a huge outlet for me, and I’m glad that it can be part of life again. And I’ll try to be more careful this time. ;)

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