Tag Archives: watermelon

How Healthy is Watermelon?

I am reblogging this because I just learned that today, August 3, is National Watermelon Day!

Enjoy!

Tony

One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

July is watermelon month here in the U.S. so I thought it might be nice to discuss this giant member of the Cucurbitaceae family. Watermelon harvests also peak in July. It is now the most consumed melon in the U.S. followed by cantaloupe and honeydew. Although watermelons are sold year ’round, summer is their season and that’s when you get the best tasting ones. It is aptly named because a watermelon consists of 92 percent water. Can you say super-hydrator?

Full disclosure: Mr. Lazy Cook loves watermelon. What’s not to like? It is utterly simple to deal with and tastes delicious. Below is a photo of my first watermelon this year. Yum.

My first watermelon of the season

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How Healthy is Watermelon?

July is watermelon month here in the U.S. so I thought it might be nice to discuss this giant member of the Cucurbitaceae family. Watermelon harvests also peak in July. It is now the most consumed melon in the U.S. followed by cantaloupe and honeydew. Although watermelons are sold year ’round, summer is their season and that’s when you get the best tasting ones. It is aptly named because a watermelon consists of 92 percent water. Can you say super-hydrator?

Full disclosure: Mr. Lazy Cook loves watermelon. What’s not to like? It is utterly simple to deal with and tastes delicious. Below is a photo of my first watermelon this year. Yum.

My first watermelon of the season

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Filed under Exercise, exercise benefits, hydration, watermelon

Watermelon Fun!

Here is yet another way to enjoy the wonderful cooling and healthy benefits of watermelon.

I am a giant fan of watermelon. Check out my posts for further details:

How healthy is watermelon?

How about some polar opposites: watermelon and Twinkies?

More good reasons to eat watermelon – Infographic

Vita Mix – Drinking a watermelon

Tony

Eat well, Live well

Today is the first day of July and the summer time is here! What better way to celebrate the first day of July with a fun watermelon drink? Watermelon is a good source of vitamin C,  has plenty of antioxidants (watermelon gets it reddish-pink shades primarily from lycopene!), and has a rich supply of an amino acid called citrulline.

A fully ripened watermelon will feel heavy for its size. Heaviness in a watermelon is a good thing because the water content of a watermelon will typically increase along with ripening, and a fully ripened watermelon will be over 90% water in terms of weight! A fully ripened watermelon will also often have a ground spot that has turned creamy yellow in color.

Looking for ideas on what to do with watermelon? Make it into a fun drink. I used plain seltzer water mixed with watermelon for a light spritzer drink…

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More reasons to eat fruit – Infographic

As warm weather is upon us and summer approaches, I thought it might be nice to see the health benefits of some of our summer favorites.

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My own personal favorite among these is watermelon. Check out these posts for more health benefits of watermelon:

Vita Mix – drinking a watermelon

What about some polar opposites – watermelon and Twinkies? – Infographic

More good reasons to eat watermelon

Tony

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Filed under fruits, healthy fruits

How About Some Polar Opposites – Watermelon and Twinkies? – Infographics

I ran across two interesting infographics today that I thought you might enjoy reading. One is fresh and will help you to live longer, the other lasts forever, but will not help you to do the same.

The first is watermelon whose season is near its end in these waning days of summer. For the record, watermelon is one of my favorite foods. I eat some virtually every day of the year. I am fortunate that I have food markets here in Chicago that get watermelon sent up from Mexico in the winter months. I love its natural sweetness.

c97576a7a69613fb482634514791d7f4The second is about a non-health food: Twinkies which is never out of season because its shelf-life is infinite.

I wrote a while back – A Love Letter to Hostess Ho-Ho’s and Twinkies – NOT. I don’t love its unnatural sweetness.

34db9c2a0c73fa49972a680d4f11fde8Tony

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More Reasons to Eat Fresh Fruit – Infographic

One of the good things about summer is that there is an abundance of fresh fruit available. A look at the infographic below will remind you how good it is to enjoy some of those fresh offerings.

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Tony

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Infographic: What Thousands Years of Breeding Has Done to Corn, Watermelon and Peach

Regular readers know how much I like watermelon. To read further about modern watermelons, check out:
Vita-Mix: Drinking a Watermelon
How Healthy is Watermelon?
More Good Reasons to Eat Watermelon

Tony

Cooking with Kathy Man

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A Dozen Super Hydrating Fruits and Veggies – Infographic

Everyone knows about drinking eight glasses of water a day, but they forget that we get a lot of water from fruits and veggies. This is another good reason for integrating fresh fruits and veggies into our daily diet.

15+-+1-1

I often eat fresh watermelon after a bike ride. Besides tasting wonderful, I have found it to be a super re-hydrator and energizer. To read more check out:

How Healthy is Watermelon?
Vita Mix – Drinking a Watermelon
Vita-Mix – Watermelon Sorbet Recipe
Watermelon Cooler – Guest Post Kelli Jennings

Tony

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7 Super Fat Burning Foods – Infographic

Although the orientation on this blog has shifted from straight weight loss to outright good health and long life, I thought this was an interesting and useful infographic. Besides the fact that these are ‘fat burning’ foods, they also happen to be wonderful nutritious foods with good calories, not the stuff you get in fast foods or junk foods. To read the other side of the good calories vs. empty calories coin, check out my post – A Love Letter to Hostess Ho Ho’s and Twinkies – NOT.

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Tony

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20 Snacks That Burn Fat – Infographic

Everybody does it. Who doesn’t like to snack? It can make a football game more fun to watch, but it can submarine your best laid weight loss plans. I hope you enjoy this snacking infographic. To read more detail on snacking check out my Page – Snacking – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. With apologies to Sergio Leone.

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Tony

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A Complete Guide to Drinking Water – Infographic

Water is probably the Cinderella of the nutrition world. Totally unappreciated. Most people don’t think twice about it. No calories, no fat, no problem, right? Wrong.

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To read further, here are a couple of posts on the subject: Why Drink Water First Thing in the Morning? Dehydration Nation? How Much Water Do We Really Need? Oleda Baker – Drink Enough Water – Guest Post Remember, water is the main element in Watermelon: How Healthy is Watermelon? Vita Mix – Drinking a Watermelon, Dr Oz on Eating Watermelon More Good Reasons to Eat Watermelon – Infographic, Watermelon Cooler – Guest Post Kelli Jennings.

Tony

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How to Practice Weight Control at Cookouts

It isn’t easy. After all, the half the fun of a cookout is seeing the meat being grilled outside.

But WebMD has some words of wisdom regarding that grill full of goodies. “A 20 ounce T-bone steak can weigh in at 1,540 calories and 124 g fat.  An average cheeseburger has 750 calories and 45 grams of fat. What about pork or beef ribs? They come from the fattiest part of the animal.”

barbecue-ribs8-1

Remember, the average adult needs about 2200 calories to maintain body weight. Being careless at a cookout can put you way over budget as far as calories are concerned. Or, should I say, weigh over budget?

WebMD suggests going lean with cuts like pork tenderloin, skinless chicken breast and lean ground beef. If you can get these onto the grill without insulting your host, you are home free. If not, you need to be careful and cut way back when it comes to plate-filling. Those calorie bombs go down easy, but take hours of sweat to burn off. We all know the cliche Seconds on the lips forever on the hips.

One of the tricks that works well and is more subtle than bringing your own lean meat is to bring a tray of appetizers that includes carrots, celery, etc. You can work on filling up on those munchies so that a smaller portion of the high fat meat will satisfy you.

When the meal winds down to dessert time, beware of the cakes and pies. Once again, you can do an end run here, and bring some healthy pineapple slices or, better yet, watermelon. Everyone loves watermelon and it is minimal in calories. Watermelon happens to be one of my favorite foods. Check out How Healthy is Watermelon? to read further about how healthy it is.

There are few treats more refreshing than watermelon on a summer day.

There are few treats more refreshing than watermelon on a summer day.

The old saying an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure applies here. Paying attention to serving size and exercising portion control can keep you on the safe side. If you don’t overdo the eating and drinking, you won’t have to worry about extra exercise to work it off.

Focus on lean eating and conversation and avoid at all costs mindless munching.

Tony

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Watermelon Cooler – Guest Post Kelli Jennings

ser·en·dip·i·ty noun \ˌser-ən-ˈdi-pə-tē\
: luck that takes the form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for

Having just posted about the benefits of eating watermelon yesterday, I consider it most serendipitous to have come across this post today.

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.

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 Watermelon Cooler (Great Recovery Option) that I thought would interest you.
=======================

watermelon
I was in the middle of a 5-hour ride last weekend, and it was hot. For some reason, I couldn’t get the thought of watermelon off my mind. Just seemed so refreshing, and I really, really wanted some. When I got home I did get a melon. But, it sure would have been nice to have this week’s Loving the Bike Recipe ready for recovery.
Deliciously Refreshing Watermelon Cooler Recovery Drink

Ingredients:

1 cup cubed watermelon
1/2 cup frozen berries or cherries
½ cup coconut water (or plain water if no coconut water available)
6 ounces organic plain yogurt or 1/2 scoop protein powder
5 grams
l-glutamine (optional)
1 Tbsp fresh minced ginger (optional)
ice, if needed for consistency
Instructions:
Place all ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth.

Comments:
Watermelon seems to be popping up at more and more aide stations across endurance races. And for good reason. Not only is this hydrating fruit a refreshing choice, it’s also packed full of great nutrients for athletes.

Here’s what a little watermelon can do for you:
Like other red fruits and vegetables, watermelon is high in lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid phytonutrient that’s especially important for our cardiovascular health, and an increasing number of scientists now believe that lycopene is important for bone health as well. Cardiovascular and bone health and function are incredibly important to a cyclist.

Citrulline – an important amino acid. Citrulline is an amino acid that is commonly converted by our kidneys and other organ systems into arginine (another amino acid). When our body absorbs this citrulline, one of the steps it can take is conversion of citrulline into arginine. Particularly if a person’s body is not making enough arginine, higher levels of arginine can help improve blood flow and other aspects of our cardiovascular health. In fact, arginine is used to help produce nitric oxide in the body, the same muscle and vessel relaxant that’s increased with beets intake. This can mean improvements in blood and oxygen flow and uptake by the muscles, which is especially important for performance and recovery.

Phenols in watermelon have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant functions. These can reduce chronic cellular inflammation in the body and fight free radicals and oxidative stress, which damage cells and tissues.
Although watermelon is a wonderfully healthy choice most anytime, it can be especially beneficial for athletes before, during or after training. If a hot day on the bike has you daydreaming of this sweet, satisfying, hydrating, fruit, don’t be afraid to make it a part of your recovery. In my opinion, whole foods are the best recovery choice when you’re able to use them. Watermelons are deliciously in season this time of year. This week, use your melon and recover well!

Fuel Your Ride. Nourish Your Body.

Kelli

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Filed under biking, Exercise, watermelon, Weight

More Good Reasons to Eat Watermelon – Infographic

Regular readers know that watermelon is one of my favorite foods in the world. Although I live in a four season city – Chicago, I am able to eat watermelon year ’round because I have access to some good grocers who get it from Mexico in the winter. I eat watermelon every time I ride my bike because it replenishes my energy – besides tasting wonderful! It’s a party in my mouth.

Here is a cool YouTube technique on serving a watermelon.

Here are some posts for further reading: How Healthy is Watermelon? Watermelon – It’s the Berries! Dr. Oz on Eating Watermelon, Vita Mix – Drinking a Watermelon, Vita Mix – Watermelon Sorbet Recipe, Pay Attention to Portion Sizes, You CAN Have Too Much of a Good Thing.

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Tony

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Watermelon Cooler – Guest Post Kelli Jennings

ser·en·dip·i·ty noun \ˌser-ən-ˈdi-pə-tē\
: luck that takes the form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for

Having just posted about the benefits of eating watermelon yesterday, I consider it most serendipitous to have come across this post today.

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 Watermelon Cooler (Great Recovery Option) that I thought would interest you.

=======================

watermelon
I was in the middle of a 5-hour ride last weekend, and it was hot. For some reason, I couldn’t get the thought of watermelon off my mind. Just seemed so refreshing, and I really, really wanted some. When I got home I did get a melon. But, it sure would have been nice to have this week’s Loving the Bike Recipe ready for recovery.

Deliciously Refreshing Watermelon Cooler Recovery Drink

Ingredients:
1 cup cubed watermelon
1/2 cup frozen berries or cherries
½ cup coconut water (or plain water if no coconut water available)
6 ounces organic plain yogurt or 1/2 scoop protein powder
5 grams l-glutamine (optional)
1 Tbsp fresh minced ginger (optional)
ice, if needed for consistency
Instructions:
Place all ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth.

Comments:
Watermelon seems to be popping up at more and more aide stations across endurance races. And for good reason. Not only is this hydrating fruit a refreshing choice, it’s also packed full of great nutrients for athletes. Here’s what a little watermelon can do for you:

Like other red fruits and vegetables, watermelon is high in lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid phytonutrient that’s especially important for our cardiovascular health, and an increasing number of scientists now believe that lycopene is important for bone health as well. Cardiovascular and bone health and function are incredibly important to a cyclist.

Citrulline – an important amino acid. Citrulline is an amino acid that is commonly converted by our kidneys and other organ systems into arginine (another amino acid). When our body absorbs this citrulline, one of the steps it can take is conversion of citrulline into arginine. Particularly if a person’s body is not making enough arginine, higher levels of arginine can help improve blood flow and other aspects of our cardiovascular health. In fact, arginine is used to help produce nitric oxide in the body, the same muscle and vessel relaxant that’s increased with beets intake. This can mean improvements in blood and oxygen flow and uptake by the muscles, which is especially important for performance and recovery.

Phenols in watermelon have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant functions. These can reduce chronic cellular inflammation in the body and fight free radicals and oxidative stress, which damage cells and tissues.
Although watermelon is a wonderfully healthy choice most anytime, it can be especially beneficial for athletes before, during or after training. If a hot day on the bike has you daydreaming of this sweet, satisfying, hydrating, fruit, don’t be afraid to make it a part of your recovery. In my opinion, whole foods are the best recovery choice when you’re able to use them. Watermelons are deliciously in season this time of year. This week, use your melon and recover well!

Fuel Your Ride. Nourish Your Body.

Kelli

2 Comments

Filed under biking, Kelli Jennings, watermelon, Weight, weight control

What are Some Super Snacks Under 100 Calories?

One of the secrets of super snacks under 100 calories is portion size. If you control the amount you are snacking on, you can enjoy just about anything. Moderation is key.

A great example of a super snack under 100 calories is watermelon. This is one of my favorite snacks and I have some almost every day. One serving of watermelon, 5.4 ounces, or one cup, yields 46 calories, no fat or cholesterol, one gram of fiber and also protein. Check out How Healthy is Watermelon for more on this super snack.

watermelon-wedges

While snacking always keep portion control in mind. Don’t go nuts doing it. But wait, you can go nuts, just limit your quantities, Harvard offers the following: “Unsalted nuts and seeds make great snacks. Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, roasted pumpkin seeds, cashews, hazelnuts, filberts, and other nuts and seeds contain many beneficial nutrients and are more likely to leave you feeling full (unlike chips or pretzels). Nuts have lots of calories, though, so keep portion sizes small.”

WebMD offers a great example of this: “When the munchies strike while you’re on the go, there are few things more convenient than nuts. You can eat 14 almonds without hitting the 100-calorie mark. Plus, they’re rich in fiber and protein, which help keep hunger at bay.”

Personally, I am a big fan of popcorn and often have it evenings watching movies. You can have several cups of popcorn popped with coconut oil and remain under 100 calories. Snacking tip: Eat one kernel at a time and consciously enjoy it. Your snack will last longer and you will appreciate it more. I found this out when I had some dental work done last winter. I asked the dentist if I could eat popcorn. He laughed and said I could if I ate one kernel at a time. I have been doing it ever since.

Roasted seaweed from Costco is another winner. I wrote about these a year ago February.

Roasted seaweed is subtle and delicious. It comes in delicate little sheets. I think it melts in your mouth. Costco sells it in packages of 17 grams. Nutritional breakdown: 100 calories. There are 300 mg of sodium which may be off putting to some. I don’t have a lot of sodium in my diet so I don’t mind.

WebMD has a nice collection of snacks under 100 calories that you can explore here.

Their first suggestion is 1/2 cup of slow-churned ice cream. “Surprise! Ice cream tops our list of low-calorie snacks. The key is to look for slow-churned or double-churned varieties. This refers to a process that reduces fat and calories while retaining the creamy texture of full-fat varieties, so 1/2 cup has just 100 calories. As a bonus, you’ll get some protein and calcium.”

Full disclosure: I am an inveterate snacker, so I have to really police myself in order to maintain my healthy weight. If you want to read further on snacking, check out my Page: Snacking – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Tony

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Filed under calories, Costco, portion control, portion size, snack foods, Snacking, Weight, weight control, weight loss