Monthly Archives: June 2010

How soon we forget…

…to make the things we love!

It only took one bite of farro to create a serious love connection. So why have I not made farro since March? GOOD QUESTION! Probably the same reason I hadn’t made pesto until this week…no good reason at all!

I once again made the Greek Farro Salad I love, but instead of purchasing bell peppers, I substituted in a TON of home grown cherry and heirloom tomatoes from my garden

Greek Farro Salad adapted from The Food Network

1 1/2 cups farro (dry), cooked
1 cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and diced
1 red bell pepper, large-diced
1 yellow bell pepper, large-diced
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 red onion, sliced in half-rounds
1/2 pound 6 ounces feta cheese, 1/2-inch diced (not crumbled)
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved

For the vinaigrette:

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup 1/3 cup olive oil

Directions:

Place the cooked farro, cucumber, peppers, tomatoes and red onion in a large bowl.

For the vinaigrette, whisk together the garlic, oregano, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Still whisking, slowly add the olive oil to make an emulsion. Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables. Add the feta and olives and toss lightly. Set aside for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Serve at room temperature. Serves 12 (3/4 cup per serving)

Nutrition Information (per serving): 243 calories; 15.4 g. fat; 505 mg. sodium; 20.9 g. carbohydrate; 2.4 g. fiber; 6.5 g. protein

Result: Just as amazing as I recall 🙂

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I wanted to give a quick update accountability check on my 101 Days of Summer Challenge with Biz. My goal was to run 70 out of 101 days…at least 1 mile!

30 days in….hmmmm.

I have run 16 out of 30 days which is less than 4x a week. Ooops. I am not going to meet my goal at this rate….gotta step it up! I have, however, run an average mileage of 2.93 per run with only ONE run being 1 mile (+ a hockey game). If you remove the loner 1-miler, my average run is 3.06 miles. I exercised a total of 20 times, however — 15 runs, 1 run + hockey, and 4 days of 1-2 hockey games each. I just can’t seem to push through 2 games of hockey and THEN run. My longest run has been 5 miles this month.

Bring it on, July!

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And do you know what tomorrow is?

The day before my birthday…yes. But, no! …Half-way to New Years! How are YOU doing on your New Years Resolutions for 2010? You didn’t forget about those, did you? 😉 Status update on my progress tomorrow!

Question: What’s your favorite form of exercise at the moment? And your favorite grain?

I leave you with some cuteness:

Well, maybe only a mother finds that cute 😉

Happy Hump Day!

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Filed under challenge, dinner, dog, exercise, fruits and vegetables, garden, hockey, pets, physical activity, recipe, running, salad, Uncategorized

Drool-worthy Pesto

…Lily thought so, too (yes, my dog drools THIS much!)

[Miss Lily has packed on 5 POUNDS since her last check-up 1 ½ weeks ago!!! Oklahoma heat = lazy pup and lazier owners!! I think she needs a dietitian 😉 ]

Anyways, pesto is one of those things I love to order when out. But after seeing classic pesto on Jenna’s blog, I wondered, why not make my own? Sounds simple enough, right? And it is…very simple. And divine!

Classic Pesto adapted from Cooking Light

2 Tbsp coarsely chopped walnuts or pine nuts
2 3+ garlic cloves, peeled
3 tablespoons 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups basil leaves (about 4 ounces)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan or Parmigiano Reggiano + shavings for garnish (optional)
1/4 ½ teaspoon salt
14 ounce box whole wheat pasta
12 ounces chicken breast, grilled and chopped
Pine nuts, garnish (optional)

Directions:

Cook pasta according to directions. Transfer to a large serving bowl after draining.

Grill chicken breasts until cooked through. Chop into strips and add to pasta.

In a food processor combine pine nuts, garlic, olive-oil, basil, cheese, and salt. Process until smooth.

Top the chicken and pasta with the pesto. Stir until well combined. Garnish with Parmesan or Parmigiano Reggiano shavings and pine nuts, if desired. Serves 7.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 402 calories; 17 g. fat; 47 mg. cholesterol; 346 mg. sodium; 39.8 g. carbohydrate; 5.1 g. fiber; 25.7 g. protein

Result: This was heavenly!! I only wished Mr. Prevention was there to share it with me. Or my BFF…she’s a pesto lover, too! I will definitely be making more pesto! And with the addition of chicken, it’s a great balance of complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy, mono and polyunsaturated fats. I love balance and all-in-one meals!

Life update: We have a house (after approximately 4,345 counter offers over the weekend)! We are scheduled to close July 30th…and I’m very excited about this house (even though I’ve never seen it in person – HA!). More excited than the first home which BOMBED the home inspections. Like so many of you said…everything has a way of working itself out and everything happens for a reason! ALSO, I have received not only one job offer, but a second job offer! While neither of them is in diabetes specifically, one of them has to do with diabetes, and both are wonderful offers. I’ll go into that more when I actually accept one of them. But for now I feel confident in saying, I have a job and that as much as I love my current job, I am embracing the change into a new arena of dietetics. I am feeling very blessed and much more “at ease” with the transition. You know, income and shelter…kinda, sorta important! 😉

It’s been a serious TASK to manage Lily, Mr. Prevention out of town during the week, 12-hour work days with my commute, and keeping a house on the market clean enough to be shown at any time! Plus, interviews and paperwork for real estate up to wazoo!

Happy birthday to my car! It is ONE year old today and has 24,550 miles on it! Holy moly!

Question: Do you drive a lot? How long is your commute to work/school each day?

Thanks for all your support and love during all my life changes! Means so much! Hugs!

Be well,

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Filed under Cooking Light, dietitians, dining out, dinner, dog, exercise, fiber, garlic, grilling, healthy cooking, herbs, MUFAs and PUFAs, pets, protein, recipe, stress, work

Mystery Gift

Over the weekend I made a few sweet treats 🙂

In the months leading up to our wedding last year, gifts arrived almost daily to our door step. It was like Christmas every day for weeks! One day, an ice cream maker (!!) arrived. Mr. Prevention and I were surprised to see this gift as we hadn’t registered for it, but thrilled nonetheless! I thanked my friend, the sender, and she responded with a confused, “I’m glad you like the gift…but I didn’t send an ice cream maker.” Huh? The mystery never got solved and the ice cream maker remained in its box until this weekend.

A tragedy, I now know!

Mocha Chip Ice Cream slightly adapted from Cuisinart

1 cup whole milk, well chilled
3/4 cup sugar
2-3 Tbsp instant espresso or coffee, to taste
2 1 cups heavy cream, well chilled
1 cup half-and-half, well chilled
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup chocolate pieces, roughly chopped

Directions:

In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer or whisk to combine the milk, sugar, and espresso powder until the sugar and espresso are dissolved, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in the cream, half-and-half, and vanilla. Turn the machine on, pour in the mixture, and let mix until thickened, about 25-30 minutes. Add chocolate in the last 5 minutes of churning. Makes 10 servings, 1/2 cup each.

Nutrition Information (per 1/2 cup): 218 calories; 13.3 g. fat; 48 mg. cholesterol; 44 mg. sodium; 21.2 g. carbohydrate; 0 g. fiber; 1.6 g. protein

Result: Lalalala…I was in heaven 🙂 I am a mocha chip ice cream lover! Using 1 cup of half-and-half in place of a second cup of heavy whipping cream cuts nearly 50 calories PER 1/2 cup, as well as 5.6 grams of fat. That’s a lot of calories and saturated fat removed without sacrificing any flavor.

And then after my blackberry extravaganza I made…

Blackberry Crisp from Homemade by Holman

2 pints fresh blackberries (about 4 cups)
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup all purpose whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup 50/50 Smart Balance Blend butter, cold, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place berries in baking pan. Sprinkle berries with sugar. Combine lemon juice and cornstarch and stir until smooth. Pour over berries and toss together gently. In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in butter using a pastry blender, forks or your fingers until it resembles coarse crumbs. Top berries evenly with crumble mixture. Bake about 20-25 minutes until bubbly and topping is lightly browned. Cool about 15 minutes and top with vanilla ice cream or as desired. Serves 8.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 232 calories; 11.6 g. fat; 15 mg. cholesterol; 101 mg. sodium; 30 g. carbohydrate; 5 g. fiber; 1.5 g. protein

Result: This was divine! And so simple to make! I love that dessert can provide a good source of fiber, too! Most of the fat in this dish is mono and polyunsaturated and it is carbohydrate-friendly for a dessert. Thumbs up!

Question: What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

Have a super week!

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Filed under butter, carb-controlled, carbohydrates, dessert, healthy cooking, heart health, low-carb, MUFAs and PUFAs, recipe

Blackberry Pickin’

No more than a mile from our home, there’s a blackberry farm. On my last trip to the grocery store I saw this sign:

I had to go.

And so I did 🙂

And they are soooo good!

Question: Have you ever picked fruit? Berries? Apples? Pumpkins?

Happy Saturday!

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Filed under farming, fruits and vegetables, local produce

Barbecue Newbie

One of our engagement photos taken in Italy ❤

Alison posted about her missing wedding rings this week. Luckily, she found them. When I read about her missing rings, I remembered my engagement ring SCARE! Just a few months after Mr. Prevention and I moved to Tulsa and into our first home, I was making homemade pico de gallo. I usually take my rings off and set them on the counter while I’m cooking. As beautiful as eternity bands are, they collect dirt, grime, and nastiness really easily! So we eat supper and after kitchen clean-up, I couldn’t find my ring.

I searched for hours. There were tears. Alligator tears. And then I got frantic. I started checked absolutely everywhere. The rings were no where to be found.

Several hours and a long emotional roller coaster later, I find my rings. In a bag…of cilantroin the fridgein the produce drawer. WHY would I look in the cilantro bag? I don’t know, but I am SO glad I did! Needless to say, I am now a bit more careful about where I leave my rings when I’m cooking…right next to my iDock in the kitchen 😉

Since it’s cooled off to a tolerable 96 degrees in Tulsa (okay, it’s really 94, but it’s been 98 for WEEKS!)…I decided to grill. And not just grill…but BARBECUE! Confession: I was a barbecue virgin until last night. Things went well and my BBQ drumsticks turned out so well! As did my home-grown squash! Mmmm!

BBQ Drumsticks

8 chicken drumsticks, skin removed
½ cup barbecue sauce
Tin foil

Directions:

Remove skin from drumsticks. Coat with barbecue sauce.

Place tin foil on grill grates and pre-heat grill. Cook drumsticks on the tin foil until cooked through. Serves: 4 (2 drumsticks each)

Nutrition Information (per 2 drumsticks): 310 calories; 10 g. fat; 210 mg. cholesterol; 520 mg. sodium; 12 g. carbohydrate; 0 g. fiber; 44 g. protein

Result: Does it get any more summery than this? Delicious…and easy! Nutritious, too!

…Too bad Mr. Prevention was delayed in Columbus and got stuck there for the night! More for me Lily! 😀

This lucky girl has a hair appointment and a vet appointment with Miss Lily today to check on her abscess on her eye. Did I mention she has an abscess on her eye? Shouldn’t be shocking, there’s always something wrong with baby girl!

Question: Have you ever lost something really important? Did you end up finding it?

P.S. Cherry cabinets won the popular vote, but white weren’t far behind!! I’ll let you know what we end up with 😉

TGIF,

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Filed under dinner, dog, fruits and vegetables, garden, grilling, meat consumption, pets, protein, recipe, travel

Fish tacos & a kitchen question

Fish tacos are one of those items on a menu that either turn out really good…or reeeeaaally bad. I got brave this week and decided to make homemade fish tacos Prevention-style.

The salsa I borrowed:

Corn and Jicama Salsa from Cooking Light

1/2  cup  fresh corn kernels (I used canned)
1/2  cup  finely diced peeled jicama
1/2  cup  canned black beans, rinsed and drained
2  tablespoons  chopped fresh cilantro
1  tablespoon  fresh lime juice
1/4  teaspoon  ground cumin
1/4  teaspoon  salt

Directions:

Chop ingredients, toss together, and refrigerate to chill. Serves 4.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 52 calories; 0.5 g. fat; 260 mg. sodium; 16.5 g. carbohydrate; 2 g. fiber; 3 g. protein

Result: Delicious! The jicama adds such a nice crunch to the beans and corn, I enjoyed this salsa more than I expected, actually! Mmm!

I put 2-3 ounces of cod seasoned with lemon pepper which was pan sauteed in 1-2 teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil along with Corn and Jicama Salsa, avocado slices, and fresh cabbage in a each of 2 corn tortilla. Mmmm!

Result: Best fish tacos…ever? Ooooh yeaa. They were delicious! I can’t wait to make these again! 😀

I was going to grill up the HUGE squash I picked from my garden yesterday, but I saved it for tonight!


Question: Which cabinetry do you prefer?

White…

[source]

Or cherry…

[source]

Nice kitchens, huh? I can dream, right? 😉

I selfishly ask this question about cabinet color 🙂 We’ve seen homes with both and Mr. Prevention is not a fan of the white. Personally, I like both…so long as the kitchen is large and comes with plentiful cabinets and counter space!

And food-related…

Question: Have you had jicama before? Did you like it?

Nearly the day before the weekend…and it is the day before the weekend for me. Woo!

Ciao!

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Filed under dinner, fruits and vegetables, garden, healthy cooking, herbs, recipe

Q&A: ginseng, hidden sodium, and raw milk

Quick update: Home inspection did NOT go well…at all (you can’t judge a book…or a home…by its cover!). Back to square one. Oh the joys of buying a home…I’ll keep you guys posted. Thanks tons for all of your support and well wishes on our big move. Despite the hurdles and big changes, I need to stay positive while we’re in transition!!

As for the job-hunt, I am trying to keep an open mind but I want to still keep my paws in diabetes…some how…some way. I am nearly 50% complete with my 1,000 diabetic education hours needed to sit for the exam and I am not giving up that easily on pursuing my CDE. Diabetes is my passion!

And on to a most excellent line-up of Q&A!

Jodie of Jodie Pilates: I would like to know your opinion on ginseng, specifically for energy. Are there any other supplements you can suggest for energy?

Prevention RD: Caffeine and ginseng are the two most natural stimulants that come to mind. I recently started taking ginseng for my blood glucose and have noticed no increase in energy*. However, ginseng is most commonly found in large doses in energy drinks, such as Red Bull and Monster and is most “famous” for its stimulant-effects. I feel both caffeine and ginseng can be a part of a healthy diet, but I think a good night’s sleep is the best energy boost of all! 😉 Note: If you do utilize ginseng or caffeine, do so earlier in the day to help avoid sleep disturbances.

*Ginseng is working beautifully in lowering my fasting blood glucose, however! My fasting blood sugars have gone from 95-103 mg/dl into a much preferred 83-90 mg/dl range. In less than a week, I am SO pleased with the results!

Liz in Dallas: My grandmother and my dad have both recently been put on low-salt diets. It is easy for them to deal with at home, since my grandmother and my mom cook all their own food and very rarely eat anything processed. The problem seems to be out at restaurants. Both of them eat out for lunch pretty much every day, and my grandmother also goes out to eat for dinner quite frequently. What should they be ordering to avoid sodium overload? Are there dishes that they should always avoid? What do you think are the most sneaky sources of sodium?

Prevention RD: Low-sodium “diets” are tough…really, really tough. Restaurants are notorious for using exorbitant amounts of salt. If it’s possible, your grandmother and dad could decrease the frequency of meals out, or dine at restaurants with published nutrition information (e.g. Chili’s, Applebees, Subway, etc.) so they are sure to make a salt-friendly meal selection. If meals out are a must, there is plenty to know, however! Anything breaded or fried is going to have more salt, so looking for key words on menus such as baked, broiled, steamed, and grilled can be helpful in reducing salt. Chips, fries, and other side dishes such as potato salad are also high in sodium, as are sauces, dressings, and other condiments. Because sodium is hidden in just about everything, the best thing to do at restaurants is to exercise portion control, especially since the portion sizes are generally rather large. When ordering food at a restaurant, they can ask the server to put dressings and sauces on the side so they can control how much they consume. And it’s always an option to take home half their meal and have a small snack before and/or after dining out. Sharing meals is another great option. Best of luck to them! Great question 🙂

Lena of LMC in the World: I read an article in a recent Economist magazine about the trend of raw milk. It was saying there are some nutritional benefits which are eliminated in the pasteurization process and some people are selling/buying raw milk. Had you heard of this trend? It also said the FDA has not identified any nutritional benefits and there are still a number of laws to restrict the sale of raw milk because it can be dangerous. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Prevention RD: What a great question! This is a HOT trend right now, you betcha! Raw milk and dairy simply not been pasteurized, as you stated. Unpasteurized dairy can contain harmful and potentially fatal bacteria including E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella. The National Dairy Council, Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control, American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, among others, endorse pasteurized milk and dairy. According to the National Dairy Council there is no scientific evidence to suggest that there is any nutritional benefit to raw milk and dairy of that which has been pasteurized. In fact, pasteurized milk is fortified with vitamin D, making is a more nutritionally desirable product over raw milk. And did you know that it is actually illegal to sell raw milk in some US states? Check out your local raw milk and dairy laws if you choose to consume raw dairy. While raw milk and dairy carries some risk of bacterial contamination, I think the larger issue is knowing where the products come from and the cleanliness of the site. I know there are many raw milk and dairy advocates out there, but I tend to side with the majority on this one. Would I try raw milk or dairy from a dairy I trusted? Probably. Is it recommended for the young, old, or uninsured? Probably not. 😉

I’ll leave you with a picture of my sleepy girl after her day at camp. She snored ALL night!

Question: What supplements do you take and why?

Happy half-way to Friday!

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Filed under blog topic request, blood glucose, coffee, complimentary and alternative nutrition, condiments, diabetes, dietitians, dining out, enriched/fortified, farming, fast food, food safety, hypertension, minerals, raw food/rawism, restaurant, sleep, sodium, supplements, vitamins