Tag Archives: nutrition

Latest update on U.S. nutrition, physical activity and obesity

Each month, the office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion releases an infographic with the latest data related to a Healthy People 2020 Leading Health Indicator (LHI) topic. These infographics show progress toward Healthy People 2020 LHI targets — and show where there’s still work to be done.  

This month’s featured LHI topic is Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity. Check out the infographic below, then head over to the Healthy People 2020 LHI Infographic Gallery to see infographics for other LHI topic areas.

LHI_2017_November_Full-Infographic.png

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Filed under childhood obesity, Exercise, exercise benefits, how much exercise, nutrition, nutrition information, nutritional deficiencies, obesity

How to Cook Sweet Potatoes Without Losing Nutrients

I don’t do a lot of cooking items, but I wanted to reblog this for two reasons. I think sweet potatoes are delicious and also they are one of the under-appreciated foods. I bet you don’t eat them often enough.

Nutrition summary:

Calories
112
Fat
0.06g
Carbs
26.16g
Protein
2.04g
There are 112 calories in 1 5″ long Sweet Potato.
Calorie breakdown: 0% fat, 94% carbs, 6% protein.

Tony

Our Better Health

Few foods are as versatile as they are nutritious, but the humble sweet potato is one exception. Whether you bake, roast, grill, saute, steam or microwave it, the orange-fleshed root vegetable delivers substantial amounts of vitamins A, C and B-6, potassium, iron and dietary fiber. Boiling sweet potatoes is not the most nutritious option because some of the vitamins are lost into the cooking water. You’ll get the most nutritional value from a sweet potato if you eat the whole thing, as its skin is a highly concentrated source of minerals and fiber. You’ll also absorb more of the vegetable’s beta-carotene – which your body converts to vitamin A – by consuming it with a small amount of fat.

In the Oven

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2

Rinse the sweet potato under cool running water. Use your fingers to brush off any dirt, as…

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5 Tips on choosing healthy protein foods – Harvard

Unlike the weather, everyone talks about protein but they usually try to do something about it, too. MedlinePlus says, “Proteins are the building blocks of life. Every cell in the human body contains protein. The basic structure of protein is a chain of amino acids.

“You need protein in your diet to help your body repair cells and make new ones. Protein is also important for growth and development in children, teens, and pregnant women.”

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Here are some tips from Harvard on getting the most benefit from protein.

1. Upgrade the protein on your plate. The Healthy Eating Plate encourages you to eat protein-rich foods like beans, nuts, tofu, fish, chicken, or eggs in place of less-healthy options like red and processed meats.

For example, try a turkey or black bean burger instead of a traditional beef burger. Or slice up a fresh-roasted chicken breast or salmon for your sandwich instead of using processed high-sodium lunch meat.

2. Don’t stress too much about protein quantity. Most reasonable diets provide plenty of protein for healthy people. Eating a variety of healthy protein-rich foods—for example an egg with breakfast, some turkey or beans on your salad for lunch, and a piece of salmon or tofu with a whole grain side dish for dinner—will ensure that you get all the protein and protein building-blocks (amino acids) you need. Choose higher-protein foods instead of bulking up with pricey protein shakes or powders, since some of these are loaded with sugar or other additives.

3. Try a meatless Monday—or more. Diets high in plant-based proteins and fats can provide health benefits, so try mixing some vegetarian proteins into your meals. Going meatless can be good for your wallet as well as your health, since beans, nuts and seeds, and other minimally-processed vegetarian protein sources are often less expensive than meat. Eating plant protein in place of meat is also good for the planet. It takes a lot of energy to raise and process animals for meat, so going meatless could help reduce pollution and has the potential to lessen climate change.

4. Eat soy in moderation. Tofu and other soy foods are an excellent red meat alternative. In some cultures, tofu and soy foods are a protein staple, and we don’t suggest any change. But if you haven’t grown up eating lots of soy, there’s no reason to begin eating it in large quantities. And stay away from supplements that contain concentrated soy protein or extracts, such as isoflavones, as we just don’t know their long-term effects.

Scan the Nutrition Facts label before you buy highly-processed vegetarian “fake meat” foods, since these are often as high in sodium—or higher in sodium—than their processed red meat counterparts.

5. Shift the balance of carbs and protein. Cutting back on highly processed carbohydrates and increasing protein improves levels of triglycerides and protective high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in the bloodstream, and so may reduce your chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or other type of cardiovascular disease. This shift may also make you feel full longer, and stave off hunger pangs.

Tony

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Filed under Exercise, plant protein, protein, weight control

How Do We CREATE (CAUSE) Disease And Dysfunction?

This is a perfect description of the phrase “organic machines” which I use to describe our bodies.

Please check my Page – Important facts about your brain (and exercise benefits) to read further on this.

Tony

All About Healthy Choices

lived-700x476Most people think of disease as something we “CATCH.” The flu, chicken pox, sinus infections, are a few examples. Then there are diseases that are non communicable like diabetes, obesity and cancer. Dysfunction is a term that applies to the loss of muscle, vital organs (ex. heart, liver, gastrointestinal tract, etc…) joint, tendon or ligament function. These are the basic causes of health complications we contend with that affect the quality of life we live.

Many of you probably think of disease and dysfunction as a “NORMAL” aging process. It is commonly believed that “LUCK” determines who will suffer disease and dysfunction and who will remain healthy.

It is because of this FALSE BELIEF that I write this article!

.

screen-shot-2013-06-11-at-9-23-22-am-500Creating disease doesn’t mean placing your head in a vat of viruses and breathing deeply. It means CREATING AN ENVIRONMENT within the BODY and MIND that is so weak…

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Filed under cardiovascular diseases, chronic disease, coronary heart disease, Exercise, exercise and brain health, nutrition

Nutrition and Healthy Aging for Men

Here’s a closer look at five of the most common health conditions that affect men as they age, and how better nutrition and lifestyle changes can dramatically reduce their risk.

Excellent information in this. I must admit to being highly satisfied to see the increased emphasis on exercise.

Please check out my Page on Important Facts About Your Braind (and Exercise Benefits).

Tony

Cooking with Kathy Man

Judith C. Thalheimer, a dietitian wrote . . . . .

As men get older, their risk of developing chronic diseases increases. Adopting healthier lifestyle habits can decrease that risk and help ensure a higher quality of life for years to come.

“Eating a well-balanced diet with a variety of foods can help men promote their overall health and reduce their risk of chronic diseases,” says Ximena Jimenez, MS, RDN, LD, a national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (the Academy). By sharing that wisdom with male clients in a way that empowers them to take control of their health through lifestyle choices, nutrition professionals can have a major impact on their lives.

Here’s a closer look at five of the most common health conditions that affect men as they age, and how better nutrition and lifestyle changes can dramatically reduce their risk.

1. Heart Disease

The statistics…

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Health Benefits of Chicken Eggs

Eggs are also a rich supply of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. These are predominantly in the form of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which helps with the maintenance of brain function and normal vision.

I am a huge fan of eggs. I covered the shell egg futures market when I worked for Reuters and learned a great deal about them, from marketing to nutritional value. I still eat an egg almost every day.

Check out the following posts to read further on eggs:
Eating Eggs is Good for Weight Loss – WebMD,

Is it Healthy to Eat Eggs Regularly? What is the Food Value of Easter Eggs?

The Food Channel Puts Eggs in the Top 10 Breakfasts,

Eating Eggs is Good for You,

Nutrition Myths Debunked – Myth 2 – Eating Eggs raises your cholesterol levels.

Tony

Cooking with Kathy Man

Nutritional breakdown

Eggs contain many vitamins and minerals that are essential parts of a healthy and balanced diet. Below is a list of nutrients that can be found in eggs, along with a brief summary of what they are useful for:

  • Vitamin A: maintains the skin, immune system and normal vision.
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): aids energy metabolism, red blood cells, vision and the nervous system.
  • Vitamin B12: aids energy metabolism, red blood cells, the immune system and the nervous system.
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): aids energy metabolism and mental functioning.
  • Vitamin D: keeps bones and teeth healthy and aids absorption of calcium.
  • Vitamin E: keeps the reproductive system, nervous system and muscles healthy.
  • Biotin: aids energy metabolism, maintains skin, hair and the immune system.
  • Choline: aids fat metabolism and liver function.
  • Folic Acid: aids blood formation and tissue growth during pregnancy.

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Eating in season: Kale

Although this blog is based in Utah, the ideas about nutrition, appreciation and preparation are totally on point. Good recipes, too.
Tony

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Filed under calories, kale, nutrition

Peanuts: Nutrition Facts And Health Benefits

Here is another arrow in our quiver of healthy nuts and seeds.

Our Better Health

Posted in Nuts by admin on 20 May 2014  

Peanuts are salty and delicious pleasure. Ideal for appetizers while watching a sports game or a great substitute for potato chips while watching a movie. Besides being delicious, it can be very healthy.

  •     Regulate the level of sugar in the blood

For stable blood sugar throughout the day, eat peanut butter. It is recommended this product to eat for breakfast.

  •     Increase concentration and memory capability

Thanks to vitamin B3 that contain peanuts, helps the brain to function normally and increases concentration and ability to remember.

  •     Peanuts reduce cholesterol
Nuts

Although the belong in the category of products that contain high amounts of calories and fat, recent studies have shown that peanuts can act preventively heart disease and lower cholesterol and triglycerides without weight gain.

  •     Contains vitamins

Peanuts are rich in vitamins B1, B3, 3, magnesium, calcium, iron and…

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Blog-Hopping

When I started writing this blog in March 2010, I was excited at the prospect of sharing what I had learned about healthy eating and losing weight. I hoped to help  other folks avoid the eating mistakes I had made. Now, in the fifth year of blogging, I have made a number of discoveries. First, I had no idea how much I didn’t know about healthy eating and losing weight. I certainly learned more than I thought I knew before I started. Second, I was amazed to learn what interesting things were being created by fellow bloggers. I now look forward to reading the blogs daily rather than just writing my own.

Here are a couple of my favorites:

Shop with Vinny Grette for fun and good food

Shop with Vinny Grette for fun and good food

1. What are you working on?

Cook Up a Story, my food blog, grew out of a book I wrote for kids and their families by the same title. A retirement project, the book was an experiment in creativity and positive thinking.

You see, I spent my career editing and directing the production of scientific material for Canada’s Department of Agriculture. All of that seemed rather dry. Even the work we did getting science discoveries into the schools, although a lot more fun than the usual assignments, was subject to strict approvals at many levels. Most of the fun was edited out in the process.

My first adventure upon leaving the public service was a course on writing for children. It stirred up lots of fun material, all of which mysteriously contained some reference to food… or to food and science. So I decided: why fight it? I’d put together a book focusing on healthy eating for kids and their families, built on the backbone of six of my children’s stories.

2. How does your work differ from others of this genre?

As it turns out, the book is completely different from what is on the bookshelves. No-one publishes books that contain both fiction and nonfiction. Where would you put it in the bookstore? Even the famous Canadian author Yann Martel (who wrote Life of Pi) had the same problem getting his subsequent book published, because he wanted to intersperse his fantasy novel with critical nonfiction.

3. Why do you write/draw what you do?

So I decided to self-publish. I had no problem with the production of the book itself. In fact I was told by publishers it is extremely professional in its finish. But as far as promotion and distribution went, I was at a loss.

Enter the blog. And my life has never been the same since.

What began as a tool to promote my book took off with a life of its own.

I’ve tried to maintain the same fun tone in my blog as I use in the book. My goal is to get kids interested in thinking about how their food choices affect their health.

With newspapers and magazines full of stories about fast foods, processed foods, and sugar leading to rampant obesity in kids as well as their families, I thought my background might be suited to making some small difference in this area. This idea keeps me motivated.

Vinny goes to school

Vinny goes to school!

I began presenting in schools and in the community, in hopes of getting kids into the kitchen where they could learn to choose and make healthy foods for their table.

4. How does your writing/drawing process work?

I begin by choosing a healthy food. Then I give it a silly name and invent some kind of character for it. I try to find songs or nursery rhymes I can use to give more life to the piece. I create a little story to draw families into the recipe. The idea is to give people a reason to try the food, beyond it being good for you. Then I help with some tasty but simple ways to use the food. There is always a recipe :).

Often, I tried making the recipe with the kidlets in my family. That would lead to changes in the recipe or the description. I took lots of pictures. My aim wasn’t so much to show kids how to cook. There are all kinds of wonderful recipes books in the stores that do that very nicely. Rather, I wanted to teach them what to cook… and why they should make the effort to learn how to make these foods taste good.

I’m thinking of doing up a second book using material from my blog. There would be more recipes than I had in the first book, which should be considered the appetizer in the quest for knowledge about healthy eating. The new book would be the main course… the entree, so to speak.

It’s all fun. I may take a breather over the summer to collect my thoughts and see where to go from here. In the meantime, folks, keep on cooking!

Now where was that?

Vinny Grette wonders what to cook for dinner

The second is Rob Gott a genius with a pencil, or whatever it is he uses to draw those delightful characters.

Robin ( Rob) Gott grew up in North London, England, in the house once inhabited by the boy who would grow up to become Boris Karloff. Scared away by the ghost of the famous horror film actor, the family moved to a house in Stansted in Essex, previously owned by Douglas Fiarbank’s Junior’s daughter, and the venue of a Rat Pack party or two.

rob_portrait
Whether all this show business history had any effect on the youthful Robin is food for thought, but he did drift into working in the film and TV animation in London, as an artist and later working with story development. In 1994 he packed his bags, moved to Malmoe in Sweden, fell in love with the lovely Karin, and there he’s been ever since.

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He draws cartoons, acts and writes. He’s written songs, poetry, scripts for graphic novels, two screenplays (one commissioned by Per Holst, a Danish producer) and is now being encouraged by his two boisterous sons, aged 8 and 10, to write a children’s novel. This is very much in the early stages and at the moment he’s gathering all the ingredients for a hopefully wondrous concoction inspired by Anthony Horowitz, Roald Dahl and of course – Boris Karloff!

Rob loves being with his family, especially at their lakeside cabin nestled cozily in a Swedish forest, fishing, running, cooking, playing guitar and flopping about on sofas, drinking English ale and watching old black and white films.

You can learn more about him at www.robingott.com or on Facebook.

Tony

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Good Carbs vs. Bad Carbs – Infographic

Here is yet another infographic I found that is loaded with good info.

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The list of good carbs includes while grain breads, bran cereals, green vegetables and fresh fruits. The bad carbs: candy and desserts, sugared cereals, sodas and sugary drinks and refined breads.


For more details on Carbs check out 5 Carbs You Shouldn’t Stop Eating

Tony

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Green Ginger Grapefruit Smoothie – Guest Post Kelli Jennings

Regular readers know that I am a nearly daily bike rider here in Chicago. As such I read some cycling blogs, too. One of my faves is Loving the Bike.

And, one of that blog’s regular contributors is Kelli Jennings, an Expert Sports Nutritionist who writes Ask the Sports Nutritionist.

Kelli is not only a world class athlete, but also a first rate nutritionist who writes clearly and accurately about her subject.

She recently wrote an item Green Ginger Grapefruit Smoothie   that I thought would interest you.

red-grapefruit

 

I hate to be a downer, but I’ve got some bad news.  Grapefruits are tough to come by in the summer.  The prices go up and they’re not as plentiful.  I know, this likely ruined your Thursday.  I guess the only thing to do is eat ‘em up, while you can.

This week, we’ll review why grapefruits should be one of your go-to fruits and we’ll “wake it up” with a wonderfully refreshing grapefruit smoothie.  Grapefruits go above and beyond the nutrients of many foods, even other ones found in produce section.  Did I mention they can help you lose weight?  Bring on the grapefruits!

Recipe of the Week: Green Ginger Grapefruit Smoothie

Ingredients:
3/4 cup Greek yogurt or 1/2 scoop protein powder
1/2-1 pink grapefruit, peeled well
3/4 cup berries
1/4 avocado
1 cup spinach or other greens
1/2″ slice ginger
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup water ice, if desired for consistency

Instructions:
Place all ingredients in the blender and process until smooth. Enjoy!

Nutrition information: Approximately: 385 calories, 44 gm carbs, 11 gm fiber, 15 gm protein.

Comments:

1) In the picture, this smoothie is obviously not green. I call it “green” because it includes a grapefruitsmoothie1-225x300whole cup of green. The berries’ color overtake the green. Either way, it’s not easy being green, and it’s all good stuff.

2) This is not Jamba Juice. If you want your smoothie to taste like Jamba Juice, you’ll have to go there and pay for a smoothie much higher in sugar and processed ingredients. If not, I think you’ll feel refreshed and satisfied having started your day with some ginger, greens, and grapefruit. I know I do!

Next, there’s lots of good reasons to eat grapefruits while you still can. On the list, is potential weight/fat loss. You’ve heard of the grapefruit diet, right? Eat grapefruits and lose weight. And of course, most cyclists wouldn’t mind losing fat and improving strength to weight ratio. But, is it science or quackery? Is there something magic to the grapefruit? Well, you can rest assured that I’m certainly NOT recommending you eat nothing but grapefruits. But, it may help to add them. Here’s some food for thought: Continue reading

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Filed under biking, diet food, Exercise, ginger, LDL Cholesterol, Weight, weight control, weight loss

How About Some Granola Without any Grains?

Let me hear that, get me near that
Crunchy Granola Suite
Drop your shrink and stop your drinkin’
Crunchy granola’s neat ( Neil Diamond )


I agree with Neil about crunchy granola being neat. It has been a part of my diet for more years than I care to remember.

I know ‘Granola Without Grains’ sounds like something left over from April Fool’s Day. But it isn’t.  That’s why I was so surprised to discover Paleo Granola by CJK Foods of Chicago, IL.

“Granola,” according to Wikipedia “is a breakfast food and snack food, popular in the Americas, consisting of rolled oats, nuts, honey, and sometimes puffed rice, that is usually baked until crisp. During the baking process the mixture is stirred to maintain a loose, breakfast cereal-type consistency. Dried fruits, such as raisins and dates, are sometimes added.”

So, clearly, grains are an integral part of granola.

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I must confess almost total ignorance of the Paleo diet. I just checked the web and the first thing I learned is that they don’t eat grains. They do eat grass-produced meats, fish/seafood, fresh fruits and veggies, eggs, nuts and seeds and healthful oils, like coconut oil. Lots of good eating there. So, the fact that you don’t eat grains explains why the Paleo Granola has no grains in it.

Before going further, I need to tell you that I bought it from my local grocer who had a girl passing out samples. I tried one and was blown away by the taste. A party in my mouth! I went right back and picked up a package. I am now on my third one.

Okay, so what is in Paleo Granola?

The ingredients are Organic almonds, organic sunflower seeds, almond flour, organic cashews, organic walnuts, maple syrup, organic flax seeds, organic coconut oil, organic raisins, vanilla, organic coconut flakes, spices and salt.

Here is the nutrition breakdown:
Serving size 2 ounces, 57 grams
Calories 295
Total fat 23 grams
Saturated fat 8 grams
No Trans fat
Sodium 16 mg
Dietary fiber 4 grams
Sugar 11 grams
Protein 7 grams

A quick comparison with a regular granola, puts Paleo slightly higher on calories, a lot higher on total fat, due to the nuts and coconut, way down on sodium and higher on fiber and protein. Not a bad tradeoff, I think.

Although I am a big granola fan and have a bowl almost every day. I have found that I like the taste of this Paleo mixture so much that I use it as a snack and sometimes take chunks of it with me for energy breaks when I ride the bike.

While I usually refrain from writing up local products that are not available to readers of an international blog, I did this one because I thought you might enjoy being exposed to the concept of granola sans grains. Also, resourceful readers might even try to make it on their own with a little experimentation. You have all the ingredients.

If anyone does try to make their own, I hope you will share your experience with the blog.

For Neil Diamond fans, here is the best audio version I could find on You Tube:

Tony

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Filed under breakfast, eating, energy, energy bars, Exercise, fresh fruit, granola, health, healthy fats, healthy living, meat, nutrition, nuts, Paleo Diet, protein, salt, saturated fat, snack foods, Snacking, Weight

Let Ginger Be Your Medicine – Guest Post Kelli Jennings

Regular readers know that I am a nearly daily bike rider here in Chicago. As such I read some cycling blogs, too. One of my faves is Loving the Bike.

And, one of that blog’s regular contributors is Kelli Jennings, an Expert Sports Nutritionist who writes Ask the Sports Nutritionist.

Kelli is not only a world class athlete, but also a first rate nutritionist who writes clearly and accurately about her subject.

She recently wrote an item Let Ginger Be Your Medicine which I thought would interest you.

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With an average 80 revolutions per minute on the bike, knee flexion and extension occurs about 4800 times an hour. That’s a lot of joint use. Perhaps joint overuse throughout an entire season. It’s estimated that 50% of cyclists experience knee joint pain as an overuse injury, in addition to other joint overuse pain in the back, hands, and shoulders.

As you head into the on-season, you can plan to protect your joints. In fact, you can do so with your foods.

This week, we’re heading into the kitchen to whip up a wonderful dip for vegetables, meats, sandwiches, and more. It’s loaded with foods that protect, heal, and reduce pain in joints.

ginger-health-benefits-uses

Recipe of the Week: Delicious Spicy Ginger Dip

Ingredients:
Avocado Mayo:
1 avocado
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
6 Tbsp. olive or avocado oil
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp water

Ginger Dip:
1 Tbsp. liquid aminos or soy sauce
1 teaspoon white vinegar
5 Tbsp. fresh ginger (finely chopped) or 2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 dash habanero garlic hot pepper sauce

Instructions:

First, mix all ingredients of avocado mayo until smooth in food processor (or by hand if okay with more coarse mix). Then, add in the remaining 5 ingredients to make ginger dip. Use as a dip/sauce on chicken, beef, seafoods, vegetables or kale chips.

***Ginger tip: If using fresh ginger, easily remove the skin of ginger by scraping it with the edge of a spoon.

Comments
To a cyclist, joints are supremely important. They are what make the pedals go round. And when they hurt, they put the ride to a halt fast. Revolution after revolution, you need healthy, happy joints. And, believe it or not, some foods are pro-healthy-joint. This week, we’re reviewing the benefits and research on ginger and joints.

First, ginger is loaded with anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, and phytochemicals (trust me, all good things!), and specifically it has benefits for joint pain and joint health. Additionally, studies in the last few years show that it’s effective in reducing muscle soreness in athletes. In fact, in one study, participants took either 2 grams ginger or placebo each day for several days before strenuous exercise, and the ginger participants had a 25% reduction in soreness indicators vs. those on placebo.

To use ginger to reduce soreness (along with rest days, l-glutamine, recovery snacks, hydration, and activities like foam rolling), aim to get 2 grams per day. You can choose 4 ginger pill supplements per day (check out the label, but most are 500 mg each), 2 teaspoons of fresh ginger each day, or 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger.

Reduced muscle soreness is great, but what else do you get from ginger? You’ll get strong anti-inflammatory nutrients with (anti) inflammation score of +129, slightly better than garlic. Since inflammation plays a role with almost every chronic disease, oxidative stress, obesity, and fatigue, it is very beneficial to include as many anti-inflammatory foods in our diets as possible. Ginger also promotes gut health, may be anti-cancerous, is immune boosting, and anti-inflammatory.

Bonus: Find additional ginger recipes here.

Bonus: More joint health with dark cherry juice here.

You can keep your joints feeling great, and rotating smoothly this season. You can proactively nourish them. Let your food be your medicine.

Fuel Your Ride. Nourish Your Body.

Tony

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Filed under biking, diet food, Exercise, ginger

Sugar Overpowers Fat in Cravings Test

As a person who has battled his belt line over the years, I have overindulged in sweet treats like ice cream as well as fat treats like pizza. I know that each felt compelling at the time, but it turns out that sugar has more powerful impact on the brain’s pleasure centers than fat, according to a recent study published in the US National Library of Medicine.

Hostess Ho Ho's

Hostess Ho Ho’s

The New York Times picked it up and explained that it is the sugar and not the fat that primarily triggers the brain’s receptors.

“The new research tracked brain activity in more than 100 high school students as they drank chocolate-flavored milkshakes that were identical in calories but either high in sugar and low in fat, or vice versa. While both kinds of shakes lit up pleasure centers in the brain, those that were high in sugar did so far more effectively, firing up a food-reward network that plays a role in compulsive eating. Continue reading

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Filed under body fat, calories, chocolate, eating, fast food, fat, junk food, sugar, Weight, weight control, weight loss

Super High Energy Snack – Hot Roasted Chickpeas – Guest Post Kelli Jennings

Regular readers know that I am a nearly daily bike rider here in Chicago. As such I read some cycling blogs, too. One of my faves is Loving the Bike.

And, one of that blog’s regular contributors is Kelli Jennings, an Expert Sports Nutritionist who writes Ask the Sports Nutritionist.

Kelli is not only a world class athlete, but also a first rate nutritionist who writes clearly and accurately about her subject.

She recently wrote an item Hot Roasted Chickpeas (World’s Best Snack) which I thought would interest you.

Chickpea

I can’t stop eating these.  Seriously. I just about ate the whole dang batch.  I hate to brag, but they might be the best snack food in the world.  I’ve saved about 1/2 cup for my family to share.  And the only reason I’ve saved it and not finished them off myself?  To brag to them.

This week, we’re talking chickpeas.  We’re seasoning them (with real spices and not monosodium glutamate, right, corn nuts?), oiling them, lime-juicing them, and roasting them.  The whole prep process takes 5 minutes. Then, just stick ‘em in the oven…simple as that.

Have I convinced you to give them a try yet?  If not, hold on tight because there are many compelling nutrition aspects for a cyclist to consider as well.  Also, I may or may not have just licked the roasting pan.

Recipe of the Week: Hot Roasted Chickpeas

Ingredients:
• 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, thoroughly drained and rinsed (about 3 cups)
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• juice from one lime
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon chili powder
• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.
2. Place all ingredient in a large bowl and toss urntil thoroughly mixed.
3. Spread the chickpeas in a single, even layer on baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 40-45 minutes.
4. Try about 1 cup for a snack.  These may also work well as a spicy, salty fuel option for long rides.  Keep it to just 1/4 -1/2 cup or so at a time.  They are a great source of carbs and sodium, but the extra fiber may be too much for some cyclists while riding.

Comments:
These really are a great snack food.  How can I tell? When I’m looking at a recipe or a commercial product, I start with the ingredients, NOT the nutrition label.  You see, companies can make all sorts of non-real-foods seem good by manipulating them to appear good on the nutrition label. Then, they make all sorts of unsubstantiated nutrition claims about their nutrient-manipulated non-real-foods. What a crock. Instead, simplify.  Look for real, whole foods in the recipe or on the ingredient list.  If these check out, then move to the label (if you want) to see if they fit into your goals at hand.  Looking for carbs before a ride…take a look.  Need protein in recovery…check it out.  And, for a snack? How about a real food like chickpeas and spices that provides carbs, protein, and fiber. Done and done.  Nutrients can be important, but ALWAYS start with the ingredients.

And here’s some information on three of ours:
Chickpeas: Chickpeas are a high nutritious superfood that provide carbohydrates, protein, and fiber.  What’s more, they’ve been shown in research to suppress the appetite and allow for those trying to lose weight to eat less; improve blood fats and reduce LDL, total cholesterol and triglycerides; improve blood sugars and insulin secretion; and, improve digestion and intestinal health.  Sounds like a winner, huh?
Cumin: Cumin might be my favorite spice.  It’s delicious.  It’s flavorful. And, it’s good for you.  Find out all the details here.
Chili: A spice with a punch! Real chili (freshed or dried/ground) can clear sinuses, add antioxidants, and even rev up the metabolism.  If you want to know more, read about chili here.

Then, we round it out with lemon juice, salt, and olive oil.
How do corn nuts, a snack food some might think is similar to ours, “round it out?” How about some high omega-6 corn oil (not good) and monosodium glutamate instead of real salt (no thank you).

This week, it’s easy, it’s compelling, and it’s very tasty to snack smart.  It’s the perfect snack food for a cyclist who wants to maintain a lean weight and promote health and wellness. Most of my meal plans suggest a snack of about 150-200 calories for most clients…so about 1 cup of these will do nicely.  As if you can stop there! Hopefully you have more self-control than me.

Fuel Your Ride. Nourish Your Body.

I especially like Kelli’s comments on paying attention to the ingredients in a product and not being distracted by the nutrition label.

Tony

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Where Do I Find Hidden Sugar in My Diet?

Sugar, like other damaging white powders, salt, cocaine, can often be found in the most unlikely places. Locking down the top of your sugar bowl isn’t enough to save you from consuming too much of this sinful sweet.

WebMD has a super quiz that tests our “Sugar Smarts” which I recommend that you take as soon as possible.

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“Soda, fruit drinks and juices, sports drinks, energy drinks, and other sugar-sweetened beverages are the No. 1 source of added sugar in American diets. (Emphasis mine) A recent study found that drinking one or two sugary drinks a day raises the risk of Type 2 diabetes by 26 percent compared with those who limit sweet drinks to just one a month.

“But sugar alone isn’t to blame for diabetes. Diets that are high in calories from any source, like sugar or fat, lead to weight gain — and being overweight raises your chance of Type 2 diabetes,” the quiz says in answer to its fifth question – where do added sugars hide? That’s all the spoilers I’m going to give you.

The American Heart Association recommends a total of six teaspoons of sugar a day for women and nine for men. In fact, Americans consume an average of 22 teaspoons a day. Those teaspoonsful have little nutritional value but load you up with empty calories. For more on empty calories, check out my Page – A Love Letter to Hostess Ho Ho’s – NOT.

Is it any wonder that 60 percent of us are overweight and 30 percent obese?

Please take the WebMD quiz and learn more about this very damaging ‘nutrient’ in our daily diet.

Tony

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Filed under diabetes, food labels, fruit drinks, health, overweight, weight loss