Monthly Archives: February 2010

gardening class & progress

Um, tomorrow is March 1st. Ahh!

…Good thing Mr. Prevention and I attended a gardening class put on my 3 “master gardeners” from the Oklahoma State University Extension Group yesterday morning — it certainly lit a fire under my tush! I’ve just been obliviously going through the motions of life since I planned my garden several weeks ago. Maybe I was hoping it would assemble itself? 😉

After attending the class I learned that my plot selectionsucked. While the original plot I selected is on the south side of our house, some “research” proved that there’s just not enough sunlight.  So, I have decided on a raised bed garden. I was planning to smother the Oklahoma bermuda grass, but I’m going to do a little smother action with a raised bed.

Mr. Prevention and I pow-wowed today and one trip to a garden & nursery shop and one two trips to Lowes, we are nearly in gardening business.

The plan:

6 ft x 10 ft raised bed made with 2 in. (wide) x 8 in. (height) wood
8-inch tall 2 in. x 4 in. posted corners for stability
6 sheets of newspaper over the grass within the bed to smother and kill the grass
7-8 inches of soil to level with the top of the frame
8+ hours of daily sunlight exposure
close access to water
no more than 10% incline (fairly flat surface)

Garden cost:

3 bobcat loads of soil + delivery and taxes = $96
2″ thick wood for a 6′ x 10′ bed = $16
2 shovels = $32
hand tools = $20
wheel barrel = $37
nails = $4
seeds = $12
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$217 total

I must say, it was a sight to see Mr. Prevention, a wheel barrel, shovels, nails, gardening hand tools, and 2 x 8 x 10 wood planks hanging on for dear life from the back of my crossover (hatchback open) during the brief 2 mile ride from Lowes to home. One of those very few times, of course, I didn’t have my camera with me! 😦

The soil is being delivered to our driveway early next week so the garden should be fully assembled by next weekend!

BUT, I am already behind. I learned today that my lettuce, spinach, potatoes, and onions should already be in the ground! Oooops! Like I said, full speed ahead…we’ll make due!

Peppers and squash are planted later in spring, and tomatoes don’t go in til after the last frost: May 1st.

Did you know that you shouldn’t water the leaves of tomatoes? I do now! And that it’s best to water in the mornings? I do now! The class was great…I learned lots!

I’m really excited about my gardening prospects! Thus far, this project is much more time-consuming and costly than I had anticipated. But the prospect of home-grown, delicious vegetables and herbs will keep this project a priority for me and I will update you guys along the way! 😀

Question #1: If you get wood cut at Lowes/Home Depot free of cost…do you tip the person who helps you?

I say yes, husband says no. Just curious what you guys thought 🙂

Question #2: Does the cost of this gardening project surprise you? It sure does me!!

A reader emailed asking me to post about her fund-raising endeavors for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day. Ambre will be walking 60 miles over the course of 3 days and needs to raise $2,300. Having participated in the Avon Breast Cancer walk and needing to raise $2,300, I KNOW how difficult it can be. Please consider giving to this great cause, if even just a little. Go here to donate! Ambre and I both thank you in advance! Every dollar counts!

22 Comments

Filed under blog topic request, farming, fruits and vegetables

Prevention Kitchen…and Mishap

I have received several emails from readers wanting to know where the attempted magic of my cooking and baking takes place. I did not clean, organize, or rearrange anything. This is my kitchen in all it’s glory personality.

Our fridge is covered in a shrine of Lily, pretty much.

I want a gas stove — I hate the electric burners!!

Boring, lovely white dishes

The flavor cabinet…all the spices, sweeteners, and so on!

Pantry…some healthy…some not. You can tell what stuff is mine and which is Mr. Prevention’s 🙂

I told you I didn’t tidy up! But…safety first! We did register for a fire extinguisher for our wedding!

Baking supplies

Small appliances that don’t fit on the counter: waffle maker, immersion blender, fondue set, hand mixer, crock pot, cheese marble, standard coffee pot, etc…

iPod dock and cappuccino/espresso machine — kitchen must-haves

Wine glasses, cappuccino cups, coffee mugs, vitamins, and a lot of unorganized Tupperware + Mr. Prevention’s candy stash on the top shelf. Out of reach sight…out of mind!

The inside of the fridge (I just went grocery shopping…)

Glassware + all the ugly plastic bar/sports cups I can’t get Mr. Prevention to part with. Oh, the beauty of marriage.

Lily posing by my most favorite kitchen essential: a hands-free trash can. Motion sensors open and close this baby for you. Love it!!

This set-up is in the base of our pub table. I love the extra wine and wine glass storage, though most of our wine is in our wine fridge…. 🙂

Pub table/dinette

Love having a bar at my kitchen counter! Great for entertaining!

Wine cooler

That’s my kitchen! 😀

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Vegan Lemon Wheat Muffins adapted from Weekly Bite

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/4 cup applesauce
Juice of 1 large lemon
zest of one lemon
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 Tbsp poppy seeds (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Mix sugar, canola oil, applesauce, lemon juice, and vanilla. Slowly add flour mixture to sugar mixture. Once combined, gently fold in lemon zest.

Line muffin tin with liners. Spray a little non-stick cooking spray into each cup. Fill each muffin 3/4ths full.

Bake for 24 minutes or until golden brown or toothpick comes out clean. Place on cooling rack and cool completely.

Yield: 16 muffins

Nutrition Information (per muffin): 169 calories; 7.3 g. fat; 76 mg. sodium; 25 g. carbohydrate; 1.8 g. fiber; 0 g. protein

I ran out of muffin liners and decided to try without. Bad move! 😦 I was only able to salvage a few whole muffins. I’ll be making these again with the muffin liners so that I can enjoy them in one piece!

Question: What do you like/dislike about your kitchen? What is an absolute must-have in a kitchen?

I need plenty of counter space, and granite/marble counter tops is a huge plus! Someday, I want an island in my kitchen and hanging pot/pan storage from the ceiling!!

31 Comments

Filed under blog topic request, breakfast, dog, music, pets, recipe, Uncategorized, wine

Bloomin’ Onion

As I was driving home from work yesterday I got a craving. Smack. Straight out of left field. I wanted a bloomin’ onion. You know, the classic Outback Steakhouse appetizer extraordinaire. All 1,560 calories, 84 grams of fat, and 5,510 milligrams of sodium extraordinaire. Or…not.

One brief trip to the grocery store later, I was able to create a bloomin’ onion that surely wouldn’t result in immanent cardiac arrest.

Prevention Bloomin’ Onion

Onion:
1 large yellow onion
2 Tbsp cornstarch
pinch of paprika
pinch of cayenne
pinch of seasoning salt
pinch of pepper
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
canola oil cooking spray

Sauce:
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
2 Tbsp ketchup
1/4 tsp seasoning salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 tsp horseradish sauce
pinch of paprika

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 375 F.

Cut onion ends without separating onion layers, making sure one end flat enough to keep the onion standing on its side. Cut onion into a floret-style, carefully separating the onion layers.

Combine the cornstarch, paprika, seasoning salt, cayenne, and pepper. Spray the onion lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with cornstarch mixture. Drizzle egg whites over onion. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake for 45 minutes.

Combine the remaining ingredients: sour cream, ketchup, seasoning salt, cayenne, horseradish, and paprika.

Serve onion warm with the horseradish dipping sauce.

Yield: 6 servings

Nutrition Information (per serving): 85 calories; 2.5 g. fat; 298 mg. sodium; 11.5 g. carbohydrate; 0.8 g. fiber; 3.7 g. protein

Result: Yum!! My only advice: DON’T eat half of it…at least not without Tums. Or if you’re eating with someone you’d like to kiss sometime in the near distant future… 😉 Oops.

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Your comments from yesterday – wow! You guys are fat-savvy! I was really impressed with the opinions you all have regarding fat in the diet and the importance fat plays in satiety and balance.

I have already received lots of questions for next week’s Q&A (woot!)! Please pass along any questions you have for me!! Send’em to: PreventionRD@gmail.com

Question: Have you had a Bloomin’ Onion? Did you like it? What other menu items have nutrition stats that cause you to cringe?

TGIF!


44 Comments

Filed under dining out, fried food, guilt-free, healthy cooking, heart health, hors d'oeuvres, recipe, reduced-calorie, restaurant, saturated fat, sodium, Uncategorized

Saturated fat…bad? Or better?

Last month, a study from the Harvard School of Public Health and the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute negated an association between saturated fat intake and heart disease. Further, the study suggested that the limiting of fat intake is attributing to the rising obesity and diabetes rates in America. This report evaluated dietary data from a total of 347,747 subjects from 8 countries in 21 studies, over 25 years.

As the study points out, when fat is strictly limited in the diet, carbohydrate intake increases which can cause detriment to weight and blood glucose levels. Food is made up of 3 macronutrients – fat, protein, and carbohydrates. While (complex) carbohydrates should comprise the majority of the diet (50-60% of daily caloric intake in an average healthy adult), limiting fat (which is often found in high-protein foods), typically causes an increase in carbohydrate intake. This imbalance in macronutrients can cause an increase in weight and triglycerides, as well as an increased risk for developing diabetes. Additionally, excess carbohydrates are much more readily stored as fat when compared to fat and protein. The notion of “fat equals fat” couldn’t be further from the truth. A higher fat, moderate protein diet can increase satiety and better stabilize blood glucose levels when compared to a typical high-carbohydrate American diet.

For this very reason, I am a huge advocate of carbohydrate counting for weight loss. Not only is carbohydrate counting mathematically simpler than calorie counting, but it forces a balance in the diet. If I put a patient on a 1,600 calorie diet, for instance – they will put more emphasis on the totals rather than the components whereas carbohydrate counting creates flexible opportunity for the patient to balance their meals with protein, carbohydrates, and fat without meticulous calculations. Further, carbohydrate counting emphasizes portion control and regular meal times.

Whether I agree or disagree with this study, I think it surfaces some valid take-home messages regarding the make-up of our diets. Personally, I am a supporter of “diabetic” meal planning for patients looking to lose weight and use this approach on many of my patients.

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Today at work was TASTE TEST DAY! The recipe I chose to make this week was turkey goulash. I am a huge fan of this recipe — quick, easy, delicious, and a crowd pleaser. It’s also a traditional dish in Oklahoma.

And everyone loved it! The emails flowed in as the afternoon hours passed on…

Hey Nicole,

THIS WAS AWESOME AS ALWAYS…….THANKS SO MUCH!!!  The things you cook/bake are so good, is hard to believe these are healthy, you do a great job!

Have a good afternoon!

Joanna

Thank you, Nicole, for such an awesome job you do on the taste test. They are always so good! 🙂

Christina

Question: What do you feel the role of saturated fat in the diet should be? Less is more? Some is okay? Doesn’t really matter? Do you know anyone who is “fat phobic” despite the common knowledge of healthy fats (mono and poly’s) in the diet?

43 Comments

Filed under blood glucose, carbohydrates, diabetes, diet, dietitians, food journal, healthy cooking, heart health, hunger, low-carb, MUFAs and PUFAs, obesity epidemic, protein, recipe, reduced-calorie, research study, saturated fat, weight gain, weight loss, work

Oh, the irony! …and a Q&A

John asked a question last week on my Q&A regarding Arborio rice and it’s nutritional benefits. Or lack thereof. Oops. You know, like a kid told not to touch an open flame, I went and made an Arborio recipe (because 24 1/2 years was too long to go without this treat). But I blame Kerstin for this…her recipes are all too enticing! Behold:

Gruyere Risotto with Asparagus and Mushrooms adapted from Cake, Batter, and Bowl

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups 1 large bunch asparagus, chopped
2 cups mushrooms
1 tablespoon butter Smart Balance Light
1 yellow onion, 3 small shallots, chopped (I didn’t have an onion! The shallots were awesome!)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup Arborio rice, dry
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese (approx. 7 ounces)
2 tablespoons 1/4 cup lemon juice (juice from one lemon)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large pan and sauté asparagus and mushrooms until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, melt butter over medium high heat in a large stockpot. Sauté the onion for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender; add garlic and sauté for an additional minute. Add the rice and stir until well-coated and translucent. Reduce heat to medium and stir in 1 cup of chicken stock. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the stock has been absorbed; add another cup and continue in this way until all the chicken stock has been absorbed, for about 30 minutes. Stir in gruyere cheese, lemon juice, and salt and simmer an additional 5 minutes or until desired consistency is reached. Stir in asparagus and mushrooms. Scoop into bowls and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Makes 5 servings.

Nutrition Information (1/5th of recipe): 382 calories, 18 g. fat, 40 mg. cholesterol; 610 mg. sodium; 33 g. carbohydrate; 1.4 g. fiber, 19.2 g. protein per serving

Ok, sure…not the best stats, but this recipe is a W-O-W recipe! You know, the kind you make for a special someone you’re trying to impress…or when your in-laws come to town (my in-laws read my blog AND they’re amazing, so this doesn’t apply to me, of course!). At least it has vegetables!? But yeah, Gruyere doesn’t come in a low-fat version to my knowledge 😉 But MAN, it is GOOD! My husband was so sweet to me tonight. I got a, “Thanks for making dinner, babe! It tastes really Italian.”

::blink blink:: Thumbs upppppppppp!

And on to the brief (but good!) Q&A for the week…

…Or possible known as the once-a-week, really long, exhaustively detailed posts!

Biz of Biggest Diabetic Loser: If I know I am going to have a hard workout, I tend to give myself a bit less insulin at breakfast so my blood sugar doesn’t crash and burn. Take today for instance – I was 180 before working out, and when I got back it was a perfect 102.  I then took the right amount of insulin for my lunch. Do you think having that “temporary” high will hurt me in the long run? My blood sugar numbers on average for 30 days are between 116 and 125.

Prevention RD: For those of you who don’t know Biz, she is a type 1 diabetic and author of the wonderful blog, Biggest Diabetic Loser. I feel comfortable answering this because I know your HbA1c is just below 7.0% — my answer would vary for someone with a higher HbA1c. I think that if this is working for you, you’re fine to continue with this regimen (especially if you’re on an insulin pump, which I’m not sure if you are or not…). The one option you have is to take a ligher dose of insulin with breakfast – bolus for maybe half the carbs you consume with whatever carb:insulin ratio you use and exercise with a G2/water or water/juice mix and drink that throughout your workout. This would have you starting your workout closer to a 120-140 mg/dl reading (I wouldn’t recommend below 120 to start in case you don’t intake enough and risk bottoming out) and fueling your blood glucose as the exercise works to decrease the glucose, hypothetically keeping you right in the 100-130 range throughout the duration of your exercise. If you decide to take this approach, I would certainly have your monitor nearby and come prepared – glucose tabs, honey or whatever agent you use in emergency hypoglycemic instances. I do feel there could be some benefit in your HbA1c if you’re able to prevention missing any insulin doses in light of working out. It may take some trial and error to work out any kinks, but it can be done! The key with type 1 diabetes and exercise is consistency. I say it all the time – diabetics know their bodies better than ANYONE else…even the best of doctors and endocrinologists out there. I hope this makes sense and keep me posted – I want to know what you decide to try out, if anything! Awesome make-Nicole-think question! P.S. I ran this past both our Diabetes Nurse and one of the doctors on staff today, and they agreed! 🙂

Molly: I’ve been meaning to ask this question for quite some time.  I’d say I live a healthy life style; working out regularly and watching what I eat.  I try to eat  as balanced of a diet as I can, getting the right amount of good fats, proteins and carbohydrates.  But one thing that will ALWAYS be hard for me to control is my love for salt.  I definitely love salty over sweet and almost always salt my food (even if it doesn’t need it).  What I try and do to compensate for my love of salt is drink A LOT of water…I mean a lot.  I feel as though this will some how help or “reverse” the effects.  Is it crazy for me to think that or is there actually some logic behind it?

Prevention RD: Hey Molly! Good question! I have to put in my plug on the importance of a low-sodium diet. Salt is a hard habit to kick, so don’t wait until you’re any more set in your ways to change! The majority of the salt we ingest is present in our food through the processing it undergoes, so any additional salt to our diet is likely too much. Excessive salt intake can cause serious electrolyte imbalances, water retention, and hypertension – also known as “the silent killer”. Having high blood pressure puts undue strain on every vessel in our bodies and over time, this can cause serious internal damage and lead to strokes and cardiovascular disease. While I am catastrophizing (not a word…) some, it is a serious matter. Make sure you get your blood pressure checked regularly and exercise is definitely a huge help! How much water are you drinking? Large loads of sodium can off-set the sodium balance of the body and thirst does increase when this balance is off. If your high water intake is habitual that sounds fine, but if your thirst seems excessive, this could indicate a sodium in balance in the body. If this is the case, I would look to decrease your salt usage even more so. Another thing to consider is increasing your intake of potassium; potassium and sodium work together in the body to carry impulses through the body which are vital for proper health. Using less processed foods and cooking from scratch can help lower the salt in your diet without changing the content too much. But as far as water actually flushing out all the sodium, this isn’t really the case. Water can help ease the effects of bloating, but it doesn’t reverse salt intake. Sorry! Great question!!

Anonymous: I’ve read a lot about agave nectar being just as bad as sugar – is this true?

Prevention RD: I’m sure you’ve seen this claim a lot – it’s all over right now! Agave is the natural sweetener that comes from the same Mexican plant used to make tequila! Agave has similar calorie and carbohydrate content to sugar, however agave is three times sweeter and thus requires less to achieve the same sweetness. Agave can be up to 90% fructose – the natural sugar found in fruits which has a lower glycemic index than sugar itself. While agave nectar is a tasty, all-natural sweetener, it is still a high-calorie sweetener that should be used in moderation. Until we find a 100% all-natural, organic, calorie-free, perfectly safe sweetener, we will be able to find a problem with any other sweetener for one reason or another! People hear that something is “good” or “healthy” and they take that to mean more is better, and that’s just not the case. Really great question!

Alison of Waisting Duxie: I am trying to conceive. Can I get too much folic acid? Most supplements are 800 mcg, the supplement that I am taking to lengthen my luteal phase (gotta love pre-menopausal in my mid 30s) has 200 mg and I’m supposed to take it 3 times a day, BUT I often forget.  Is it better to take the 800 one in the morning when I know I won’t forget and then maybe get 400 more over the day? How much does a typical diet high in dark leafy green veggies add and ultimately is this one of those vitamins you can overdo.

Prevention RD: The “tolerable upper limit” for folate is 1000 micrograms a day, though risk for toxicity is low. Because so many foods in the US food supply are fortified and enriched, most Americans meet the 400 mcg recommended daily value. What I am unable to locate is any folic acid recommendations to lengthening of your luteal phase. Best as I can tell and rationalize, you shouldn’t need additional folic acid and 800 mcg’s should be more than sufficient. I would not recommend taking over 1,000 mcg’s a day as this exceeds the upper limit. Check with your doctor regarding the 3 doses a day. Other than better chances of absorption, I don’t know of any other rationale for the frequent dosing, but I’m not a MD! I hope this helps – really interesting question! And congrats to you in starting a family! 😀

Happppppppppy Hump Day! Half way there, folks!

Question #1: What vitamins, minerals, or other supplements do you take?

Question #2: What’s your take on agave nectar? Like? Dislike? Healthy? Not-so-healthy?

46 Comments

Filed under artificial sweeteners, blog topic request, blood glucose, butter, carbohydrates, convenience foods, diabetes, diet, dietitians, dinner, doctors, enriched/fortified, entertaining, exercise, fruits and vegetables, garlic, glycemic index, hormones, minerals, physical activity, physicians, prescription drug, recipe, saturated fat, sodium, sugar substitutes, supplements, water, work

RD Rants

I’ve been trying to make Tuesdays Q&A day (for no particular reason other than that’s when the first one was posted)…but I haven’t received any questions this week! So, if you think of something, send it on over (PreventionRD@gmail.com) and until then… 🙂

RANT #1: “I work(ed) hard for this body.”

I think everyone has their pet peeves and triggers. One phrase that tends to lather my face with the “oh-no-s/he-didn’t” expression is when I hear someone say something along the lines of, “I work(ed) hard for this body.” I am one of those in support of a healthy balance and de-emphasizing the outer appearance and emphasizing the body, mind, and spirit from a holistic view of health. Not only this, but lab data…show me the healthy numbers — the healthy insides. You know, what matters. This is what’s important to me, and I wish it were more important to those more focused on pants sizes and numbers on the scale.

Furthermore, there are people (::hand shoots straight up in the air::) who just aren’t meant to have an anatomically correct body and shape. If I “word hard” (so subjective…but whatever “work hard” means) on my body and physique, it doesn’t guarantee me anything similar to a perfectly flat stomach or wingless arms. Does this make my hard work not enough? I hear bloggers say that they feel inadequate at times when there’s so much with which to compare yourself, and I think this is one of the very few instances where I find myself feeling inadequate, too.

Question: Is there a situation or time you can think of where you’ve felt inadequate? Or is there something (health/nutrition/fitness-related) that others say that rubs you the wrong way? Are you with me on not being “anatomically correct”? J

RANT #2: “Clean food”

There’s been such a huge influx of the term “clean” into the nutrition world, and I wanted to share the American Dietetic Association’s definition of the word. Frankly, “clean” is a term right up there with “Superfood” in my list of petty annoyances. But anyways…here’s the definition from the ADA Times Winter 2010 Issue (p. 6):

Clean Food

The term’s imagery connotes a natural implication that a good that isn’t a “clean food” must be an “unclean food”. For this reason, it is unlikely that we will be seeing references to “clean” on food product labeling in order to avoid consumer confusion that could lead to potential food safety hazards. Nonetheless, “clean food” is popping up in several diet, lifestyle and cookbooks this year, though because there is no official definition of the term, one needs to consult the individual sources for the meaning in each context. Its most common usage seems to be replacing “beyond organic” for critics who feel current USDA organic standards are too low. In this instance, “clean food” refers to that which is in season, locally grown, 100-percent organic and in its natural state. For other people, there is an additional dimension of “clean food” that incorporates harmony and love into the kitchen. “Clean food” also has a religious dimension; some Jewish and Christian groups use the term to refer to the dietary codes of the Old Testament.

Question: Was/is your perceived definition of “clean food” anything close to the ADA definition?

P.S. If you use the word “clean” – that’s okay! It is pretty catchy, if I do say so myself!

RANT #3: Dietetic Internships

I get a LOT of questions from readers who are wishing to pursue a career as a dietitian. And while the schooling and internship requirements can be grueling, I was unaware of the shortages in internships until opening the most recent issue of ADA Times. The article states, “96 percent of dietetics students plan to become RDs. Less than half of them will find internships. The rest will become RD’s competition.”

In the November 2009 dietetic internship match, 573 nutrition students were competing for 196 available internship positions, leaving 66% of applicants unmatched. While this statistic is alarming and saddening, it is also resulting in non-credentialed nutritionists filling jobs which would otherwise be held be RD’s, creating a more saturated job market for those credentialed RD’s.

I am torn on this issue. Having gone through the dietetic internship match process, I am elated to have escaped unscathed. However, the number of strong applicants failing to be matched to an internship is saddening. While I feel that being credentialed is crucial to the outlook, credibility, and autonomy of the dietitian role in the medical field, I cannot discredit these unlucky applicants from seeking non-credentialed nutrition jobs. Sigh.

Question: Knowing this, would you second guess your decision to seek a career as a dietitian? Or does this simply indicate the regard of the dietitian title among other medical professionals?

Apologies for all the rants! I think most of you know that I’m a glass-half-full kinda chick, but today…I just needed to take a load off!

Have a wonderful day!

35 Comments

Filed under American Dietetic Association, dietitians, fit over fat, health at every size

[A Belated] Mardi Gras…and more!

Happy Monday! Yeah, yeah, yeah…I know 🙂 But I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! 😀

A quick “Hello!” from Lily! If that wrinkly face doesn’t brighten your Monday morning…you need more coffee! 😉

Tina over at Carrots ‘N’ Cake posted this picture yesterday…how cool is this! I want to borrow this idea and put this in my house! 🙂

Sums me up perfectly! I’ll run it past Mr. Prevention…

And a weekend isn’t a weekend without some serious sweat and tears in the kitchen. Those blasted decadent leftover truffles are going to WORK today! That is the only way to PREVENT me from inhaling them all!

And in addition to those truffles, I tried out 2 other new recipes! Both are deeeelic-e-oh-so! I also made MY Coconut-Almond (Kind) bars for the weeks…mmm!

PB & J Banana Bread from Healthy Food for Living and slightly adapted from Lucky Taste Buds
Yield: 12 slices

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
1/4 cup NuNaturals Stevia Baking Blend (or other sweetener of your choice — I used Splenda Granular)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed meal mixed with 4 Tbsp water or 2 eggs, lightly whisked (I used eggs)
1 cup all-natural smooth or chunky peanut butter (I used Krema smooth and chunky)
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 medium banana, mashed
2 Tbsp canola oil
1/3 cup jam of your choice (I used pomegranate – yum!)

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a loaf pan with canola oil cooking spray. Line the prepared pan with parchment paper.
Stir together dry ingredients (flour through baking powder) in a large bowl.

Combine wet ingredients (milk through canola oil) in a medium bowl. Pour wet ingredients into dry and combine until just moistened. Pour one half of the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Spread a layer of jam over the top of the batter. Pour the remaining batter on top of the jam.

Bake in oven for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of bread comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then remove the loaf with the parchment paper (this allows for easier cutting). Let cool another 10 minutes or so before slicing and devouring.

Nutrition Information (per slice): 260 calories*; 14 g. fat; 36 mg. cholesterol; 121 mg. sodium; 26.6 g. carbohydrate; 3.8 g. fiber; 9.8 g. protein

*While this bread is higher in calories it is high in healthy mono and polyunsaturated fat, low in sodium, and contains a generous 9.8 grams of protein per slice. This bread is much more filling than most breads (thanks to the fat, protein, and fiber!) and will make a great breakfast along side a piece of fruit.

And yes, we’re celebrating Mardi Gras a little late with this meal. But, better late than never! And besides, I am always a sucker for spiccccy jambalaya!

Forgotten Jambalaya adapted from Taste of Home

1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) beef or chicken broth
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
2 medium green peppers, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
2 teaspoons dried basil
1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon 1 Tbsp hot pepper sauce
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound 14 ounces turkey smoked sausage, halved and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 cups dry brown rice, prepared

Directions:

In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine the tomatoes, broth and tomato paste. Stir in the green peppers, onion, celery, garlic and seasonings. Stir in chicken and sausage.

Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or until chicken is tender. Stir in shrimp. Cover and cook 15-30 minutes longer or until shrimp turn pink. Serve with rice.

Yield: 11 servings.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 349 calories; 6.2 g. fat; 56 mg. cholesterol; 519 mg. sodium; 33.4 g. carbohydrate; 4.3 g. fiber; 23.8 g. protein

Question: Do you like something in your water to jazz it up?

Pretty clearly, I am on a citrus kick…and I think it’s helping me fight whatever my body’s trying to fight off! 😀

Have a wonderful & healthy week!

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Filed under breakfast, caffeine, coffee, dog, fiber, fruits and vegetables, MUFAs and PUFAs, pets, protein, recipe, reduced-calorie, self-control, sodium, Splenda, Uncategorized, water