Happy October! An apology, and a challenge

Hi friends! I have been silent on this blog for a while, and I apologize — sometimes life just gets in the way, ya know?

One of the things that kept me busy this month was participating the Susan G. Komen 3-day, 60-mile walk for breast cancer research. As breast cancer awareness month wraps up, I wanted to share a photo of my sister and I at the finish line:

Image

With the flood of information we’ve received about breast cancer prevention this month, we may be paralyzed by the plethora of advice to do everything from getting a mammogram and exercising daily, to completing self-examinations and eliminating BPA from our diet… and we end up doing nothing at all! So my challenge to you is to pick one goal, and make it a habit. Mine? Less processed foods! What’s yours?

Start Up to Watch: Good Eggs brings local food to local people

Good Eggs - Screenshot of homepage

Good Eggs’ Home Page

As if I needed another reason to want to live in the San Fransisco Bay area… A brilliant new start up, Good Eggs, just set up shop in the area. This website serves as “a hub to bring people and food closer together.” The site features local farmers and small businesses that bring local, real food to the people in the area, making eating fresh, local produce easeir than ever!

If you live nearby, check out the site: www.goodeggs.com. For the rest of us, let’s hope they expand soon! In the mean time, we can take advantage of their blog, The Eater’s Digest, (https://www.goodeggs.com/digest), which already has some great content including information on seasonal foods, infographics and recipes.

Food Attitudes and Perceptions – An Infographic

This is an interesting infographic about the Americans’ attitudes toward food. Looks like it’s time to make some changes.

fueled by vegetables

View original post

Food for Thought: Produce Labeling

produce labelsYou know those little stickers on fruits and vegetables ? Well, as it turns out, the numbers printed on them have a meaning beyond price. Here’s a trick I just learned:

If the sticker has…

four digits, it is a conventionally grown product, meaning that it is grown with all the pesticides and fertilizers that organic produce lack
five digits and begins with an eight, it is a genetically modified food
five digits and begins with a nine, it is organic

I think this is especially useful for the genetically modified food groups, since grocers don’t put up signs for that the way they do for organic produce. You will also be able to tell if some produce is mislabeled as organic.  Be aware that there are some grocers who don’t follow these guidelines – but it’s a good rule of thumb!

Food for Thought: Vegetarian Seeking Protein

When I tell people I’m a vegetarian, the typical response is, “But how do you get enough protein?!” – and the answer, really, is that I get it everywhere: vegetables, whole wheat pastas, eggs, beans, cheese, milk, yogurt.

Most vegetarians don’t have a problem fitting enough protein into their diet as long as they are varying the foods they eat. But it is difficult to find good, vegetarian sources of complete protein. A complete source of protein has all nine amino acids that our bodies need, packed together in one food item.

Before you start to worry about what you’re missing as a vegetarian, you should know that the human body is pretty amazing and combines different types of amino acids from different foods you have throughout the day, so that it’s not necessary to always have a complete protein. (Another good source of complete protein is quinoa.)

Protein PowderBut, to make it easy on yourself, one great source of a complete protein is whey protein powder. It is high in protein (about 16-23 g per scoop) but low in fat and cholesterol. It is also what is considered a “fast” protein, meaning that it is easily soluble and easily digested, so that it is absorbed quickly for fast energy. A protein shake for breakfast can even replace your morning coffee.

The trick with protein powder is to disguise the taste – because let’s be honest, no one really likes the taste – with other ingredients. I’ve found that peanut butter covers it up nicely in shakes, and you can also put some protein powder in baked goods – get creative! Try this recipe for a Peanut Butter Banana shake.

Food for Thought: Benefits of Quinoa

 

The nutritious superfood Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) is a relatively new food item in the United States – first cultivated here in the 1980s – but it has been a staple for more than 5,000 years for the Incas of the Andes mountains. There are several benefits to eating quinoa, aside from its delicious nutty flavor and crunchy texture:

It’s a complete protein: A complete protein is one that contains all nine amino acids, which humans need for a healthy lifestyle. It is rare to find a vegetarian source of a complete protein, because plants are typically incomplete sources of protein. Quinoa has about eight grams of protein per cup.

It’s a nutritional powerhouse: Aside from protein, quinoa has several other nutritional benefits – it is high in iron (15% daily value), manganese (58%), magnesium (30%), phosphorus (28%), riboflavin (12%) and fiber (5g/cup).

It’s gluten-free: Though quinoa is often prepared and used as a replacement for other grains, it is actually a seed, closely related to spinach and beets. It is completely gluten-free. Quinoa flour is also available for baking and cooking, and there are “pastas” made out of quinoa.

It’s low in fat: Quinoa has very little fat and no saturated fat, so it is a friend to healthy-eaters everywhere.

It’s a complex carbohydrate: Quinoa won’t spike your blood sugar like refined grains will.