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Archive for the tag “nutrition”

Einkorn Ancient Whole Wheat Pasta by Jovial

I’m a fan of whole grain pastas.  The indulgence and comfort of warm pasta, with extra nutrition?  Works for me.

I was happy to test out some new Einkorn Pasta by Jovial, thanks to Lisa.

Jovial proudly presents First Ever™ Whole Grain Einkorn Pasta, made from the world’s most ancient wheat, first cultivated 12,000 years ago at the birth of agriculture.  The resulting products are wholesome, nutritious and surprisingly delicious. Einkorn was lost in time when new varieties of wheat with much higher yields were created by natural and commercial hybridization. In developing the Jovial™ brand, the company’s founders decided it was time to go beyond organic and take a closer look to find the purest of plant varieties.

    Einkorn Nutritional Highlights

    • High in Thiamin, essential dietary and trace minerals.
    • Good source of protein, dietary fiber and a number of B Vitamins.
    • Higher Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC-antioxidant capacities) twice that of durum and bread wheat.
    • Higher content of tocotrienols than other species of wheat, a potent form of Vitamin E.
    • Lower percentage of nutrient loss during processing
    • One 2oz. serving contains as much of the antioxidant Lutein as a whole egg (which provides nutritional support to our eyes and skin).

And how about the taste?  Hearty and flavorful, in my opinion.  That said, someone who loves “regular” white pasta may not appreciate the difference.  But anyone who already enjoys whole grain pasta might want to check this out!

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Five Super Spices

A site called Chicago Healers (www.chicagohealers.com) emailed me today to let me know about five of the most nutritious spices, compiled by practitioner Dr. Helen Lee. I don’t always agree with these types of superlatives, but I appreciated the refresher of which benefits certain spices have. (I say “spices” as a general term, encompassing herbs/seasonings/etc.)

1. Cinnamon
· Reduces blood glucose level in Type 2 diabetics
· Lowers triglycerides and “bad” LDL cholesterol
· Great anti-inflammatory helping to reduce pain and discomfort, soreness, and muscle aches

2. Oregano
· Powerful anti-oxidant and cancer-fighting herb
· Phytochemcals in oregano act as anti-bacterial/viral/fungal/parasite chemicals which also aid in optimal digestive health

3. Ginger
· Powerful antioxidant properties which help to reduce damage from free radicals that causes aging and degeneration
· Helps heartburn, morning sickness and nausea/motion sickness

4. Tumeric/Curcumin
· Decreases inflammation of arthritis
· Increases immune function, healthy liver
· Research is also finding it may prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

5. Garlic
· Helps to improve immune system, improve blood sugar, improve skin conditions such as acne & warts
· Reduces triglycerides and reduce arterial plaque between 5-18%

I frequently use cinnamon, ginger and garlic in my cooking, but not so much oregano and tumeric. Note to self.

Kernel Season’s Popcorn and Popcorn Flavorings

For people looking for a filling and guilt-free snack, popcorn is a safe bet. At 24 calories per cup, you can have five cups of air-popped popcorn for under 130 calories.

Of course, if you put butter or caramel on top, those numbers go up quite a bit.

Kernel Season’s has an extensive line of Popcorn Seasoning Flavors.  A little goes a long way so they won’t throw your diet out of whack.  The flavors are:
White Cheddar
Butter
Nacho Cheddar
Parmesan and Garlic
Ranch
Sour Cream and Onion
Salt
Caramel
Kettle Corn
Jalapeno

I’m pretty simple with my popcorn so Salt and Parmesan and Garlic were my favorite flavors.
Kernel Season’s also has its own Popping Corn.  The kernels are about twice as big as regular popping corn kernels.  I couldn’t believe it!

Justin’s Organic Nut Butter Single-Serve Squeeze Packs

I have a friend who loves peanut butter and almond butter but never buys it for herself.  Why?  She’s afraid that she’ll eat the whole jar.

Now I know what I’m getting her for her upcoming birthday: Justin’s Organic Nut Butter Single-Serve Squeeze Packs!

The 1.15oz squeeze packs (~180 calories and 6-7g protein; full nutrition facts via the linked website above) come in 6 flavors.  I’ve tried and loved all of them, but for interest’s sake I’ll rank them:

1. Almond Butter with Maple (very sweet and maple-y)

2. Peanut Butter with Cinnamon (not so sweet and, uh… cinnamon-y)

3. Almond Butter with Honey (um… kinda crystalized and honey-ey)

4. Peanut Butter with Honey (I suck at flavor descriptions)

5. Classic Almond Butter (#5 just since it wasn’t a new flavor for me)

6. Classic Peanut Butter (which, for many people, would be #1)

They’re sold at Whole Foods and many Starbucks.  So convenient for throwing into your bag with some crackers, carrots or an apple so that you have a healthy, filling snack for later!

The FruitGuys Fresh Produce Boxes

Everyone always talks about wishing they ate more healthy food, but it seems less common to change certain habits that are dietary pitfalls.

Consider for a moment staff rooms and our workplaces.  If someone brings in food to share, or if it’s someone’s birthday, or if you’re celebrating something as a group, what type of food do you have?  Cake, cookies, chips, candy or soda, right?  I’ve noticed that often this leaves us feeling lethargic and guilty, evolving into a discussion about wanting to eat healthier.

The FruitGuys is an awesome company that strives to change this experience across staff lounges, dorm rooms, and kitchens across the country. They work closely with farmers all over the country to ensure that they buy fruit local to the regions that they serve. 70-90% of their fruit mixes are locally grown within the three regions they serve (East Coast, Midwest, West Coast).  There is a great variety of fruit offered which makes the box colorful, exciting and likely to please anyone.

What’s more, their boxes are moving from 70% to 100% post recyclable and can be “eaten” by the earth in the same way their fruit is eaten. All of the insulation and padding in the crates are made from cornstarch and can be degraded easily and properly.

Re-Zenergized About Zenergize

I wasn’t so energized about Zenergize at first, but thanks to a shipment from the company, I was able to try four additional flavors, all of which were… re-Zenergizing! (Ie, tastier than the orange flavor.)

Acai + Pomegranate Super-v, Lemon Lime Hydrate, Raspberry + Green Tea Burn, and Peach + Green Tea Burn are all pretty good.  Just be sure to let the tablet completely dissolve before you take a sip!  The Acai + Pomegranate is my favorite: the flavor has just a hint of tartness, and the purple color is lovely.

I laughed when I saw the “burn” flavors advertising weight loss.  I’m not interested in that myself, but it seems to be a recurring theme now that I am engaged.  As soon as my relationship status on Facebook changed to “engaged,” I noticed that most of the advertisements on the sidebar of Facebook are now geared toward “wedding weightloss,” “diet for the big day,” etc.  And much of the wedding planning process assumes that all women of course would want to lose weight: Bridal Bootcamp, Get Hot Before the Honeymoon.  I’m not even making these up!  I’m sure men, however fat, aren’t preyed on in this way by advertisers and vendors.  Kind of a depressing state of the union (pardon the pun).

100 Foods for Energy, Eyesight, Sleep, Health

“Top 100 Foods to Improve Your Productivity” on Foodproof.

From the list:

  • Top foods for energy include: eggplant, raisins, lima beans
  • Top foods for improving digestion and sleep include: black beans, bran cereal, avocado
  • Top foods for eyesight include: strawberries, carrots, smoothies
  • Top foods for avoiding colds and other illnesses include: orange juice, bell peppers, green tea

I find lists of this nature to be a little silly, but still: I love them.

The general message of always to eat more nutrient-dense foods: fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains.

Putting it into a format like this is more exciting.  An instant tonic for our worries and ailments!  Or, in the least, a reminder of some super foods to work into our diets.

(via Huffington Post)

Spicy Black Bean Dip by Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s Spicy Black Bean Dip is my new favorite dip.

It’s perfectly spicy and simply delicious.  It’s a good source of fiber and fat free.

With Parmesan garlic flax crackers, it’s a nutrient-powerhouse snack.

Earl Grey Cookies

Earl grey tea leaves in crispy cookies make for a delicious and unconventional afternoon snack!

Earl Grey Tea Cookies
Adapted from The Kitchn‘s recipe

What I Changed (Reflected Below): Whole wheat pastry flour instead of white all-purpose flour for nutrition; Succanat instead of white sugar for nutrition; Pulverized tea leaves before adding to other dry ingredients to ensure tea flavor was distributed evenly.

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup succanat (sugar)
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon Earl Grey tea leaves (emptied from 3 or 4 tea bags), pulverized in spice grinder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon water
1/2 cup unsalted butter

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Pulse together all the dry ingredients in a food processor until the tea leaves are pulverized.

2. Add vanilla, water, and butter. Pulse together until a dough is formed. Form the dough into a log onto a piece of wax or parchment paper. Wrap the paper around and roll the log smooth. Freeze now, or chill for at least 30 minutes.

3. When chilled, slice the log into 1/3 inch thick pieces. Place on baking sheets, keeping room for spreading. Bake until the edges are just brown, about 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks.

Makes ~20 cookies

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Detox Diet

The latest installment of GOOP, Gwyneth Paltrow’s health and lifestyle e-newsletter, deals with New Year’s Detox.

While I find it hard to believe that she needs to lose a few pounds, she does have some nutritious and tasty-sounding recipes including: Broccoli and Arugula Soup, Blueberry and Almond Smoothie, and Teriyaki Chicken.

Happy 2009!  What are your resolutions?

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