Category Archives: caffeine

Up and at’em! (+ 5-Hour Energy Confession)

The drive in last night was long and sleepy. It was quite the week, even if only 4 days. There was a full week and then some crammed into Monday through Thursday and I found myself having trouble staying away one hour into my 5 1/2-hour drive back to Chicago. Of course, Mr. Prevention’s suggestion was 5-Hour Energy.

Well, friends, desperate times call for desperate measures. I stopped at some scary gas station in Indiana and picked up a 5-Hour Energy (pomegranate flavor…which was tolerable, by the way). I’ll tell you, the stuff really did the trick. It PAINS me to admit that, but it really did. I still don’t advocate for he MEGADOSE of B-vitamins (or 8333% the daily value of anything!), but my sleepiness was to the point I was going to have to pull over and grab a hotel room if something didn’t wake me up. And 6 hours later, I conked out the second I hit the pillow and slept through the night a full 8 hours. Hmmm?

I had told my parents last night that I wanted to sleep in. What a joke. I was up well before anyone else. I can attribute some of that to being on EST in a CST zone, but this is just another sign that I’m getting old(er). A sign I am totally okay with, so long as I get my 8 hours of beauty rest! 😀

When I got into town last night, my mom showed me a few recipes she had printed off that Taste of Home had sent this week. Of course, I had saved the very same recipes to try. Great minds think alike 😀 Sign up for Taste of Home email recipes if you haven’t already — they have healthy options, quick options, budget-friendly…it’s great!

Plans today include visiting family & friends, working out, and going out to eat at the restaurant my little brother works at 🙂

I won’t leave you guys recipe-less, however. I made this recipe before teaching on Monday night. It took all of 15 minutes and was absolutely wonderful. I turned my co-worker onto one of my favorite blogs, My Bizzy Kitchen, and she raved about this soup. So of course, I had to make it, too. Tomato soup takes me back to the days of living in my sorority house: everyone was always at lunch when tomato soup and grilled cheese were on the menu! 😉

Simple Tomato Soup slightly adapted from My Bizzy Kitchen

2-28 oz canned no-salt added tomatoes (one can diced, one can fire roasted)
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp Italian parsley, freshly chopped
1 serving Hot Sauce, Tabasco
1 cloves garlic, minced

Directions:

Gently heat the olive oil over medium heat and add garlic, taking care not to brown the garlic.

Stir in the canned tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to a boil.

Remove from stove, let cool slightly. Using a (stick) blender puree soup. Add in cream. Serves 4 (2 cups each).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 196 calories; 10 g. fat; 27 mg. cholesterol; 130 mg. sodium; 18.5 g. carbohydrate; 3.5 g. fiber; 5 g. protein

Result: This was delicious! Don’t freak out about the heavy cream…a little bit goes a long way! I used no-salt added tomatoes to knock the sodium content down and the recipe didn’t need any salt added…the cream, garlic, and oil season it beautifully. The portion is BIG and pairs so well with some homemade bread. The soup reheated great for lunches, and can be stretched to 6 servings or more as a side dish. Enjoy!

I think it’s time to get out of bed and get some coffee. I heard my mom pitter-patter down the stairs not too long ago. 😉

Question: Do you like tomato soup? Do you pair it with grilled cheese?

TGIF!!

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Filed under age, caffeine, coffee, exercise, fruits and vegetables, garlic, healthy cooking, low-carb, recipe, sleep, sodium, travel, vegetarian, vitamins

Food & Diet Myths

Hungry Girl is a fun email subscription. However, most of the emails I barely skim, if that. However, one recent email caught my eye. Here are Hungry Girl’s Diet Rumors:

Myth: Carbs make you fat.
Truth: Carbs are not the culprit for your weight gain, excess calories are.

Myth: Large water intake yields instant weight loss.
Truth: Not likely unless you’re replacing calorie-dense beverages such as sodas, juices, and alcohol with water.

Myth: Adopting a vegetarian diet will help shed unwanted pounds.
Truth: Wrong! Vegetarians can eat too much, too. There’s some research that says going vegetarian can actually stimulate weight gain as the carbohydrate-protein-fat proportions become skewed too heavily in the directions of carbohydrate.

Myth: Cutting out dairy can help you lose weight.
Truth: No way, Jose! Put down that copy  Skinny Bitch. Low-fat dairy provides an excellent source of low-calorie protein as well as calcium and vitamin D, among other essential vitamins and minerals.

And in other news…coffee & glucose metabolism

Coffee has been touted as a beverage which can decrease risk of type 2 diabetes. Good thing, I am insulin resistant and love coffee! Right? Maybe…

According to recent research recognized by the American Diabetes Association, caffeinated coffee may impairs glucose metabolism. The study discussed below assesses the acute effect of decaffeinated coffee on glucose and insulin levels. This study design was a randomized, cross-over, placebo-controlled trial of the effects of decaffeinated coffee, caffeinated coffee, and caffeine on glucose, insulin, and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) levels by means of a 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test in 11 men [source].

The study found that some types of decaffeinated coffee may impair glucose metabolism, but less than caffeine. Decaffeinated coffee acutely impaired glucose metabolism in healthy young men as both glucose and insulin were significantly higher after decaffeinated coffee than after placebo. However, decaffeinated coffee did not impair glucose metabolism as severely as caffeinated.

Hm, okay.

I’ll have my coffee with carb-free bacon and eggs.

Kidding…

Mr. Prevention and I are heading to Columbus, Ohio this evening and staying through Sunday. I’m not quite sure what the schedule brings, but I will have laptop in tow.

Question: Do you drink coffee? If so, what’s your coffee order? If not, why not? 🙂

Happy Hump Day!

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Filed under caffeine, carbohydrates, coffee, low-carb, research study, travel, Uncategorized

manic monday

I was on the red eye back to Tulsa last night (yuck!). I have a feeling after a mere 4 hours in the office last week due to the conference in San Jose and my doctor’s appointment, this week is going to be brutal! I was silly and checked my schedule for this week and next before leaving for the weekend and I have 16 patients on my schedule every day for the next 2 weeks. As in, no open slots! ::downing coffee::

Before I left Chicago, I knew I needed a game plan. I’ve had a few days to process my “diagnosis” (to be confirmed on Friday with an ultrasound), and I’m ready to do what it takes. Home was hard…restaurants, friends, etc. I mean, do you know how hard it is to say to Ron Pope and flan for this girl? But that’s reality and I made it work with my carbohydrate-controlled diet (you won’t hear me call it “low-carb” because it’s not).

I meal planned for the week and made a grocery list so that I can head to the grocery store after work today. It has been at least a week since I’ve been in the kitchen and that makes me sad!! 😦

But home was just what I needed after having my world rocked with this health scare. My 9-miler was a breeze — I did the 8 minutes of running (5.3-6.0 mph increasing 0.1 every minute) with 2 minutes of walking at 4.0 mph. I finished in 1:42:30 (11:23 min/mi). However, my blood sugar was NOT okay after my run and after some research, running and I may have to call it quits. It appears intense exercise raises my blood sugars not only DURING exercise, but for SEVERAL hours after exercise (thanks to hormones like glucagon and epinepherine for any nerds or curious minds out there). So frustrating! Just when you think you’re doing something right… Again, I can’t help but feel like this is a bad joke considering my DO What You DON’T Challenge goals were to increase my yoga/Pilates and weight lifting! Thank goodness this month has taught me to tolerate those activities 😉

Pictures from home:

Family dinner…salad included 🙂 Mmmm!

+ Gorgonzola 😀

I poached eggs for the first time!

My brother modeling his breakfast sandwich – hash brown, egg, and turkey bacon (loco!)

Celebrating Grannie’s 87th and Dad’s 65th birthdays!

Mom and lil brother at dad’s birthday dinner

Question: Have you ever poached an egg before?

Random Questions: How often do you get to see your family? How far do you live from your parents? How many brothers and sisters do you have?

Thank you again for all of your support with this PCOS business. I have received so many emails from readers, family, family friends, and complete strangers who have made this news so much easier to bear. Thank you, thank you. 😀

Hope everyone had an excellent weekend! Have a wonderful week! 🙂

Be well,

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Filed under blood glucose, breakfast, caffeine, carbohydrates, challenge, coffee, diet, dining out, dinner, exercise, friends, grocery store, hormones, low-carb, PCOS, physical activity, restaurant, running, salad, stress, travel, Uncategorized, work, yoga

Q&A

I think it’s been MONTHS since I posted 2x in one day! Whew! So much going on and so little time in which to share and catch up with you all! Forgive me for not being as “active” in the Blogosphere — work is busy and I am continuously striving for a healthy life-work-happiness-blog balance 🙂 Just like my garden should come with a warning, so should blogging — it quickly becomes very time-consuming!! 😉

If you haven’t already checked out my finished garden bed, be sure you do! I am very proud!

On to the Q&A…

Ambre: I’m a new-vegetarian…as of the end of November/beginning of December…Well, technically pescetarian. I’m doing the Susan G Komen 3-Day for the Cure in November (my 2nd time), which is a 60 mile walk over the course of three days. I found this information on their website, and I was wondering if there was anything else you recommend for me?

In order for vegetarian diets to support optimal athletic performance, it is important to incorporate an adequate amount of protein into your daily diet. Many people believe that following a vegetarian diet means they automatically will lose weight. This is not necessarily the case as many vegetarians inadvertently have a high fat intake based on whole-fat dairy products, butter, eggs, cheeses, nuts and seeds. Below are some tips for following a healthy vegetarian diet to help lose weight, maintain an optimal protein intake and support your training walks: 1. Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products or low-fat fortified soy products. 2. Build your protein around legumes, tofu and tempeh. 3. Watch serving sizes on nuts and seeds; they are full of healthy fat but are very concentrated in calories. 4. Avoid fried foods and choose those that are baked, broiled, or steamed. 5. Add protein powder to shakes or cereal if you are not getting enough. 6. Increase your bean intake; they are high in protein and fiber. 7. Add soy products to your diet. 8. Limit snacks that are high in sugar and fat. 9. Flavor foods with salsa, lemon juice and vinegars instead of high-fat condiments like butter, mayonnaise and high-fat dressings. Certain vitamins and minerals such as iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin B12, calcium and zinc must be consumed in adequate amounts. These typically are found in animal based foods. Fortified soymilks are great for boosting calcium and vitamin B12. Eggs also are a great source of B12. Outstanding iron sources include fortified breakfast cereals, bread, textured vegetable protein, legumes, dried beans, nuts, dried fruit and green leafy vegetables. Eating rich sources of vitamin C with meats will help enhance iron absorption.

Prevention RD: Great question, Ambre! The suggestions the website made are really helpful. I don’t agree that soy should be added to the diet, however. I think that there are some benefits of soy in moderation, but some research suggests soy intake is related to increased risk of breast cancer. I particularly like that the information fully discloses that a vegetarian diet does not necessarily produce weight loss. When you cut out major foods groups in the diet, intake of other food groups naturally increases. When meat is taken out of the diet, protein intake tends to drop and fat and carbohydrate intake goes up. Thus it is important to get adequate protein (0.8-1 gram per kilogram of body weight) and to ensure fat sources are rich in mono and polyunsaturated fat versus saturated and trans fat and carbohydrate sources are complex and high in fiber. I hope this helps! Feel free to email me any further questions on this and I can help calculate some nutrient goals for you! And thanks for walking the Susan G. Komen 3-Day! You are inspirational!

Also, please consider giving to Ambre’s fund-raising! A little bit will truly make a difference! I always feel so empowered after giving to a great cause!

John of Challenges 2010: When I get my blood checked can you give me an idea of what things to make sure they check. I mean they check for the good/bad cholesterol and blood sugar and really can’t remember what else. Reason I ask is I’m up here in Canada and it sounds like they don’t check out as many things or I just don’t know what other info I should be trying to get off them.

Prevention RD: This is a really great question and my answer may be biased from a nutrition perspective, but I’ll give it a go! I ALWAYS check: total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol (the “bad”), HDL-cholesterol (the “good”), triglycerides, GFR (kidney function), plasma glucose, HbA1c (on my diabetics and pre-diabetics), TSH (metabolism), hemoglobin, hematocrit, TIBC (total iron binding capacity), AST and ALT (liver enzymes). For what it’s worth our clinic runs a CMP (complete metabolic panel), lipids (cholesterol), TSH, and CBC (complete metabolic panel) on patients annually. This is going to include everything I look at as a dietitian and then some. Good for you for being an active advocate for your health! We cannot always leave our well-being in the hands of professionals.

John of Challenges 2010: According to SparkPeople I don’t eat enough carbs. I do not try to avoid carbs. I do try and get my macronutrients in a 40:30:30 ratio for carbs, fats and proteins. Is there a minimum number you recommend and can you give me some ideas besides arborio rice 🙂 that are higher in carbs but still not bad in calories?

Prevention RD: Risotto everyday! Just kidding…that’s a joke for John since he got me hooked on Arborio rice 🙂 I think knowing your body weight would give me a better idea of how many grams you need, but with all of your exercise I would think 50% calories from carbohydrates may be a better fit for your needs. I’m a fan of 40:30:30 for those who are inactive, but that’s not you. Exercise requires a lot of glycogen (carbohydrate stores) and replenishment of the glycogen stores after long workouts. For a 2,000 calorie diet, this would be 250 grams of carbohydrates. I never recommend much below 150-160 grams, and that’s for my diabetics or petite patients. As for sources of carbohydrate: fruits, vegetables, legumes, milk, yogurt, and whole grains (bread, rice, pasta, quinoa, millet, barley, oats, etc.). Of course juice, sugar, candy, pastries, and sweets will contain plentiful amounts of simple carbohydrates, as well. But aim to have at LEAST half your grains as whole each day!

John of Challenges 2010: Green Tea…what are the health benefits and is there a difference between the stuff you brew at home or pick-up bottled?

Prevention RD: Green tea — thumbs up! Green tea with aspartame or loads of sugar — thumbs down! Like many things health-related we can observe the practices of the East where tea (green and otherwise) are staple beverages. There is no denying that green tea offers a zero-calorie, antioxidant-rich, tasty thirst quencher with a MUCH lower caffeine content than most other caffeinated beverages, but what is added TO the green tea is the deciding factor in it’s benefit. Most of the green teas on the market which are bottled and sweetened contain excessive amounts of sugar (64 grams in some!) or aspartame. Additionally, many bottled teas are made from tea powder which lacks the antioxidants of brewed tea. The bottled green teas may also contain preservatives to extend shelf-life which many times add sodium to the tea, as well as making it less “pure” (I will NOT use the word “CLEAN”!). I hope this helps some…another really great question!

Rebecca from France: I’m curious to know your opinion on artificial sweetners/sugar substitutes.  My mother uses Splenda a lot and these types of sweeters are just starting to grow in popularity in France.  But how healthy are they really?  I ask because most people would agree that “processed meat,” for example, isn’t as healthy as a cut of meat.  So why, then, would processed/artificial sweetners be a good choice to put in our bodies (as opposed to “real” sugar)?

Prevention RD: I want to quote Cara from Cara’s Cravings. Last week’s Q&A had a question about sweeteners, and she left a great comment that read:

I don’t think there’s a definitive answer on what the healthiest alternative to sugar is. There are so many ways to be healthy! For some people, it’s really important to limit those extra calories, and I happen to think that some artificial sweetener here and there is not going to kill you, and can certainly help with a weight-loss diet. For some people, keeping it all-natural is a top priority. Personally? I’m somewhere in the middle so I use a variety of sweeteners – Truvia, agave in moderation, a little splenda here and there, and real sugar.

I agree with Cara’s words 100%. Working with a large diabetic population, I know the importance of artificial sweeteners. And for those watching their weight, artificial sweeteners allow a lot more flexibility in their diet. As someone who not only “knows” nutrition, but also struggles with their weight, I too see the value in non-nutritive sweeteners (calorie-free). However, I do believe artificial sweeteners are WAY over-used in our society. I aim to use a variety of sweeteners and ALL of them in moderation — I drink 1 can of Zevia a day (Stevia-sweetened carbonated beverage) and use Splenda, brown sugar, suncant, cane sugar, granular sugar, powdered sugar, agave, honey, molasses, maple syrup, and so on in cooking and baking. As far as artificial sweeteners, I strictly use Splenda and Stevia products and steer clear of aspartame and Sweet ‘n’ Low, Equal, Twin, etc. Bottom line is that there’s no single way to reach “good health” and that one person’s goals and needs are very different from the next person’s. I hope this helps — excellent question! 🙂

Thanks everyone for submitting wonderful questions! Feel free to send any nutrition questions my way and I will be happy to answer them on the next Q&A!

And an Oklahoma joke for the day…

You know you work in Oklahoma when the doctor on staff leaves at 1 pm to go deliver a calf. But, he’ll be back just as soon as he can!


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Filed under antioxidants, artificial sweeteners, blog topic request, blood glucose, caffeine, carbohydrates, cholesterol, diabetes, diet, dietitians, doctors, garden, hormones, low-carb, MUFAs and PUFAs, physicians, protein, reduced-calorie, saturated fat, sodium, Splenda, stevia, sugar substitutes, supplements, trans fat, vitamins, weight loss, weight maintentance

Butternut Squash Risotto & GERD

After last week’s delicious Gruyere risotto, I’ve been craving more risotto (Thanks, JOHN for turning me on to Arborio! Ahhh!) This risotto was laborious, but good. If you’re a lover of butternut squash, you will enjoy this recipe. It makes a TON, however…so make it for a crowd or look forward to leftovers all week…and then some.

Butternut Squash Risotto with Spinach and Toasted Pine Nuts adapted from Misadventures in a Healthy Life

1/4 cup pine nuts
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded,  and cut into 1/2- inch cubes (about 3 1/2 cups)
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground black pepper
4 ounces baby spinach
4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup water
4 tbsp unsalted butter 50/50 Smart Balance Butter Blend
1 onions, chopped very fine (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 3 medium garlic cloves (about 2 tsp), pressed through a garlic press
2 cups Arborio rice, dry
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 1/2 ounces finely grated parmesan cheese (about 3/4 cup)
2 tbsp minced fresh sage
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

Directions:

NOTE: You will only need one skillet for this recipe.  You just keep reusing it as you go.

Toast pine nuts in a dry skillet (about 5 minutes).  Set aside.

Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet (med-high heat).  Add 3 1/2 cups squash and cook without stirring until golden brown (4-5 minutes).  Add 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until squash is tender and browned (about 5 more minutes).  Transfer to bowl and set aside.

Return skillet to medium heat and add reserved fibers and seeds (and any leftover squash).  Cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned (about 4 minutes).  Transfer to a large saucepan and add broth and water.  Cover saucepan and and bring to a simmer over high heat.  Then reduce heat to medium-low to maintain simmer.

Add 1 tsp olive oil to skillet and add baby spinach.  Cook, covered, over medium heat until spinach begins to wilt (about 2 minutes).  Uncover and cook, stirring frequently, until completely wilted.  Set aside.

Melt 3 tbsp butter over medium heat.  Add onions, garlic, remaining 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened (4-5 minutes).  Add rice to skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until grains are translucent around the edges (about 3 minutes).  Add wine and cook, stirring frequently, until fully absorbed (4-5 minutes).

While rice is cooking in the wine, strain hot broth through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl.  Press solids to get out as much liquid as possible.  Return strained broth to saucepan and keep warm over low heat.

When wine is fully absorbed, add 3 cups broth, the wilted spinach, and half the reserved squash to the rice.  Simmer, stirring every 3-4 minutes until liquid is absorbed and bottom of skillet is almost dry (about 12 minutes).

Stir in 1/2 cup broth and cook, stirring constantly, until absorbed.  Repeat 2 or 3 more times until rice is al dente.

Remove from heat and stir in remaining butter, parmesan, sage, and nutmeg.  Gently fold in remaining cooked squash.

Top individual servings with toasted pine nuts. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Serves 12

Nutrition Information (per serving): 255 calories; 9.2 g. fat; 10 mg. cholesterol; 322 mg. sodium; 32.3 g. carbohydrate; 0.5 g. fiber; 6.4 g. protein

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Thank you SOOOO much for all the National Nutrition Month topics you’d like for me to discuss this month! You guys are awesome, I really appreciate inquisitive minds!! I’ve adapted the list and hope to help everyone out in learning more about nutrition! And for today…

Today’s NNM Topic: Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

GERD is commonly referred to as “acid reflux,” however GERD results from conditions such as hiatal hernias, weak gastric sphincters, reflex esophagitis, or abdominal obesity and/or abdominal pressure. There are MANY dietary recommendations for the treatment of GERD including:

Remaining in an upright position 45-60 minutes after eating
Avoiding eating 2-3 hours before bed
Eat smaller, more frequent meals
Drink fluids between meals
Avoid vigorous exercise immediately after eating
Limit caffeine intake (cola, coffee, tea, etc.)
Avoid chocolate
Avoid acidic foods (lemonade, fruit juices, tomato sauce and tomato products)
Avoid spicy foods such as pepper, chili pepper, hot sauce, etc.
Avoid peppermint and spearmint
Avoid alcohol
Avoid chewing gum
Adopt a low-fat diet
Reach and maintain a healthy weight, if applicable

Question: Do you know someone who suffers from GERD? What do they do to help alleviate their symptoms?

Random question: Do you let your dog/cat give you kisses? I have Lily in this bad habit of giving kisses when I get home from work. She likes me to lay on the ground and go at my face… for like 5 minutes! While I’m not opposed to doggie kisses, I hate for this to become a routine she comes to expect anytime I walk in the door! And she now kisses on command — kind of adorable, no? I know some people think animal licks are gross (and that’s okay!), but I thought I’d ask 🙂

P.S. I’m posting a Q&A tomorrow, so send any last minute questions my way! PreventionRD@gmail.com — thanks! 😀

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Filed under alcohol, caffeine, coffee, diet, dog, entertaining, garlic, pets, physical activity, recipe, sleep, weight loss, weight maintentance, wine

[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

Morning Joe Delight!

I blame my coffee addiction on Italy.

When I was a freshmen in college, I wanted to do it all….study, class, hockey, marathoning, partying, dating….everything. There just weren’t enough hours in the day, so I cut back my sleep to nearly none and relied on coffee to fuel me through my days…every day. By second semester I had decided that PROBABLY wasn’t a healthy way to live (duh)…so I cut the coffee cold turkey. 

Enter: worst headaches of my LIFE x 1 week. And I was still drinking diet soda to get a caffeine fix! Scary!

I remained “sober” (hehe) for YEARS…until I went to Italy with husband. My glorious 10 weeks in Italy reignited my love for coffee, particularly espresso and cappuccino! I’ve expanded my arsenal to most any form of coffee, just take a look at my kitchen…

My beloved Kitchen Aid espresso machine with frother for cappuccino. Yes, I have a mini Starbucks operation running over here!

And then I have my rinky-dinky Mr. Coffee coffee pot…which I opted for this morning.

Mmmm! And does everyone else have a favorite coffee mug? 
I am blessed to have a set of 6 so I never run out!

And how about coffee’s healthfulness, huh? Let’s consult WebMD for some truth…

Coffee is associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and colon cancer. Coffee can lift your mood and treat headaches…and lower the risk of cavities
…and the more your drink the better!

Harvard researchers found that consuming 6 or more cups of coffee daily reduced mens’ risk of type 2 diabetes by 54% and womens’ by 30% compared to those who don’t consume coffee [1].

The article states [1]:
“Consider this: At least six studies indicate that people who drink coffee on a regular basis are up to 80% less likely to develop Parkinson’s, with three showing the more they drink, the lower the risk. Other research shows that compared to not drinking coffee, at least two cups daily can translate to a 25% reduced risk of colon cancer, an 80% drop in liver cirrhosis risk, and nearly half the risk of gallstones.”
 
My take….
Drink in moderation. Too much caffeine can cause insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, stomach irritation, nausea, vomiting, an increased heart rate and respirations. Large doses of caffeine can cause headache, anxiety, agitation, chest pain, and ringing in the ears.
 
Question: Do you drink coffee?? Every day? How much? What’s your FAVORITE coffee drink??
 
DON’T forget to enter into my Giving Back Giveaway…just scroll down and leave a comment to enter! Drawing will take place today at 6 pm Central Time. Thanks for your support!

 A HUGE THANKS to Lindsay with the National Peanut Board. I received a most exciting package this week containing this:
Peanut oil, peanut flour, a beautiful letter, recipe cards, and patient information 
(diabetes + peanut butter = heck yeah!!!)
Thank you!!!!!!!

TGIF…enjoy it, bloggies!

[1]. Kirchheimer, Sid. Coffee: The New Health Food? WebMD.

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