All Entries For food
The Fourth of July is a time for flags, fireworks, food and fun! It’s also a time to remember that safe and convenient food has not always been readily available in our country. Today, the average person spends about 50 minutes in the kitchen each day preparing meals—about five minutes for breakfast, 15 minutes for lunch and up to 30 minutes for dinner. In colonial America, cooks would slave away over the stove for hours. Talk about your American Revolution!
However, some of our modern dining habits actually do bear similarities to those of our colonial ancestors. Beef, chicken, pork, fish, fruits, vegetables and baked products would have been familiar foods in colonial times. Colonial cooks used some of the same cooking methods we still use today, like frying, baking, broiling and boiling. And while the colonists enjoyed their coffee, tea, and hot chocolate like we do, they didn’t have a Starbucks in every neighborhood!
Not much else was the same. While we may not know exactly what George Washington ate for dinner on July Fourth, we do know several things about the preparation of foods in 1776. Here are a few highlights: Read More ›
I’ll admit it up front: I am a snacker. In fact, I have a snack twice a day. My body screams for food around three p.m. every day, even though I make a point to eat breakfast and lunch. If I ignore the hunger, I end up grabbing and devouring handfuls of chips or cookies as soon as I get home around five p.m. Therefore, I plan ahead and have a non-perishable snack stashed in my desk drawer at all times, usually homemade trail mix.
My second snack attack hits in the evening, and is not related to true belly hunger at all. In the evening, I want to eat food for comfort. You know what I’m talking about. At the end of a long day, all I seem to want is chocolate ice cream along with my favorite TV show, book or magazine.
There is nothing inherently wrong with snacking. In fact, snacking can help with weight loss by warding off afternoon and evening binge eating. However, the snack should be factored into your total calorie intake for the day, and should contain about 150 calories. A balanced snack should have about 15-30 grams of carbohydrates and three to five grams of protein.
Unfortunately, this type of healthy snacking is NOT happening in America, for children or adults. While I know you are probably not really surprised by this statement, you may be surprised at the numbers. Read More ›
Research has shown that at least 50% of all cases of colorectal cancer could be prevented by lifestyle, and one recent Harvard study found that risk could be reduced by as much as 70% to 75%! Here are 10 things you can do to minimize your risk for colon cancer:
- Maintain a healthy body weight. Watch portion sizes and balance your food intake with activity to reach or maintain a healthy weight.
- Be physically active. Walking just 4 hours a week significantly reduces your risk, and being active will also help you achieve tip #1.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking increases your risk of many cancers not just colon and rectal cancer.
- Practice moderation when drinking alcohol. For women this means consuming no more than one drink per day, for men no more than two. All of the following equal one drink:
• 12 oz. can or bottle of beer or wine cooler
• 5 oz. glass of wine
• 1½ oz. shot of hard liquor
- Eat a plant-based diet that’s high in fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants and are the best source of important phytochemicals. Green vegetables and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower are especially helpful as they may slow down or block the expression of cancer genes.
- Increase your intake of fiber. Whole grains, beans and legumes contain important vitamins and minerals, and are excellent sources of fiber. They help to soften your stools, prevent constipation and keep things moving through your GI tract.
- Eat less red meat and avoid processed meats.
- Don’t overcook your meat. It’s important to cook meats enough to prevent food-borne illnesses, but overcooking can cause cancer-causing compounds to form.
- Replace animal fats with nuts, seeds and vegetable oils. Olive and canola oil are great choices. Fish oils containing omega 3 fatty acids offer additional health benefits for your heart, brain and immune system.
- Be sure to get enough calcium and vitamin D. Studies have shown that low levels of vitamin D in the body are associated with an increased risk of colon cancer. For the best advice on whether you need extra calcium or Vitamin D, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian.
Since its inception, the Susan Cohan Colon Cancer Foundation (Susie’s Cause) has followed a specific road map for success and firmly established itself as the National Voice for the prevention, early detection, and treatment of Colon Cancer. (Susie’s Cause) will continue to strive to eliminate colon cancer as a life-threatening disease through the development and dissemination of grass roots educational programs and a robust online campaign to touch both medical professionals and the general public worldwide. Please support our efforts to save tens of thousands of lives each year.
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One of my biggest priorities as a mom is providing my kids with a healthy diet. Sometimes I'm met with success (they love vegetables), but other times it's a little more difficult ("Eww! What is this?!?"). I try to expose them to a wide variety of healthy foods, so that eating this way becomes a normal part of the rest of their lives. My kids are 6, 4 and 1, and even though I control most of what they eat at this age, I still shake my head at some of the food that's served when I'm not around. My kindergartner can't go to a Girl Scout meeting, sporting event or even morning snack at school without adults serving her junk food. So when I'm given the opportunity to bring something, I see it as a chance to show kids that healthy food can taste good.
Sometimes I get flak from other parents (including my own) because I don't let my kids order whatever they want at a restaurant or limit the foods I bring into our home. I don't think I'm denying my children the joys of childhood by not serving them many common "kid foods." If substituting vegetables for French fries or telling them they can't have the corndog on the menu is the worst thing I do as a mom, I think I'm on the right track.
At the same time, I realize that putting some foods off-limits often makes them the "forbidden fruit," and they can become the food my kids want most. Just like adults, completely denying yourself the foods you enjoy makes you more likely to binge on them later. I don't want my child to go crazy at a friend's house because their mom serves chocolate milk and I only serve plain. My kids get treats and snacks they like, but there are certain foods they will just never get from me. Recently, I read an article about the top foods nutrition experts won't feed their kids, which inspired me to write this blog. Wondering what foods are on the "off limits" list for this personal trainer's kids? Read More ›
The heat is on! But as much as we can complain about it, I am loving every minute of this summer. How about you? I've been enjoying just the right amount of busy-ness and relaxation, and I'm not letting the high temperatures get in the way of my fun—or my fitness.
Here are some of the fitness products, apparel, foods and otherwise healthy pursuits that I can't get enough of this season. Hopefully some of them will help YOU stay on track, too! Read More ›
One thing I don’t have patience for is being hungry. I’ve never been one of those people who can go all day without remembering to eat. My body is like an alarm clock, and when the buzzer goes off that it’s time to eat, it just keeps getting louder until I do something about it. When I get really hungry, the first thing I grab for is usually a granola bar or something else that’s high in carbohydrates. I always figured that’s because it’s quick and easy, but new research shows that my growling stomach could be causing me to gravitate toward these types of foods. Read More ›
Disney began focusing on providing healthier kids' meals at their Parks and Resorts beginning back in 2006. Now kids' meals routinely include low-fat milk and carrots unless parents opt out. Disney internal statistics reveal that parents will stick with these healthier side options six out of ten times instead of requesting substitutions. With more than 12 million kids' meals served annually in Disney Parks and Resorts in the U.S. alone, the changes are making a difference in how children are eating. In September of 2010, The Walt Disney Company launched Disney Magic of Healthy Living, a national multimedia initiative to help families raise healthy, happy kids.
Last month the Walt Disney Company took another step forward in their brand commitment to healthy eating by introducing new food advertising standards. Under Disney's new standards, after 2015 all food and beverage products seeking advertisement, sponsorship, or promotion on any Disney-owned television channels (including Saturday morning programming on Disney owned ABC), radio stations, or Web sites will need to comply with the company's new nutrition criteria for programming targeting children under the age of 12.
By the end of 2012, consumers will also begin seeing the new Mickey Check symbol on Disney-licensed food products. Disney anticipates this tool will help consumers easily identify nutritious choices in stores, online and while visiting Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Disney also updated their nutrition guidelines to reflect current federal standards and recommendations. The new criteria include not only specifics related to calories but also to reducing saturated fat, sodium, and sugar.
Let's take a closer look at the details of the Disney Nutrition Guideline Criteria to see how they stack up nutritionally.
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Are there times that you feel like you're stuck in a rut with your current meal plan or that you just don't know what to make for certain meals? If so, then the Mix and Match Meal Planner may be just what you are looking for!
The Mix and Match Meal Planner is a tool that is very easy to use and can help you plan out healthy meals that meet your nutrition goals. Planning out your meals ahead of time can help you stay on track a lot easier than if you wait last minute to decide what you might eat. If you are anything like me and you don't like to cook and/or would like to find some quick and simple meals, then the Mix and Match Meal Planner may be just the thing to help you get on track (and stay on track) with eating healthier meals overall. This interactive feature allows you to choose the food items that you like, but it will also make sure you pick the right items to make it a complete meal that is healthy and tasty.
With all the different options available in the Mix and Match Meal Planner, there are numerous meals that you can create to give your meals quite the variety. You can not only save time with your meal planning, but you can also say goodbye to boring meals!
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Mexican dishes often combine both healthy and not-so-healthy ingredients. Although they include a lot of fresh produce (lettuce, tomatoes, and corn) and complex carbohydrates like beans and rice, the meals are also sometimes cooked in lard and topped with lots of melty cheese. Taco salads, for example, are usually chock-full of veggies, but they can also be piled high with cheese, meat, and deep-fried chips. And chicken fajitas are made up of mostly healthy lean protein and veggies, but are often stir-fried and wrapped in an empty calorie tortilla. For a healthier Cinco de Mayo feast, should you dig into a taco salad or a plate of chicken fajitas?
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For the record, let me just state that I am currently sitting in my kitchen, writing this blog, and watching the Simmental cows and calves graze on lush, green pasture land outside my deck window. Yes, many of those calves will end up as retail cuts of beef. Yes, I eat beef. Yes, I am a farm girl, and have been since my birth over 50 years ago. So I was somewhat concerned that red meat (beef, pork and lamb) has been recently cited as a major risk factor in increased death due to diseases such as heart disease and cancer. But before you throw up your hands in frustration and start shaking your finger at the food police, read on.
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Hello, dailySpark readers! This is Anne from the food and fitness blog, fANNEtastic food. I’m currently nearing the end of my graduate program (I’m getting a Masters of Public Health from UNC-Chapel Hill and will be a Registered Dietitian), and between that, blogging, and planning my wedding, I don’t have a whole lot of time left to cook. As a result, I’ve become an expert at quick, simple meals. In today’s post, I’ll share some of my favorite quick breakfasts, and I’ll be back for another guest post soon to share my favorite quick dinners!
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My family recently had a rare weekend free of commitments so we started looking for something in the Dallas area that would be fun for all of us. We came up with a solution that satisfied all four of us and I wanted to share this experience with you.
We agreed on a field trip of sorts to three different markets: the Dallas Farmers Market, Central Market and the Hong Kong Market.
The Dallas Farmers Market was for me, Central Market for my wife and Hong Kong Market for our daughters.
For some, a trip to the farmers market isn’t unusual, but for me, this was truly an adventure. I have always been a very picky eater and haven’t really eaten many fruits or veggies in my life. I am usually stopped by textures. I love most flavors, but I just can’t handle the textures of different foods. However, as I continue to free my mind and keep moving forward in my quest for a healthy life, I am working toward jumping this hurdle as well. I was very excited about this trip. Read More ›
As my kids get older, I find myself focusing even more on meal planning. I want my kids to try a wide variety of foods. I don’t expect them to like everything I cook, but I want home cooked, healthy meals to be second-nature to them. Growing up, my mom was (and still is) a great cook. She was always trying new recipes, and now I’ve become just like her. My husband commented the other day that “you never know what we’re going to be having for dinner” because I’m constantly mixing things up. Granted, I’m just like my mom in that I don’t deviate from recipes. Someday I’d love to learn to really cook, where I can throw together a bunch of random ingredients in my refrigerator to create a delicious meal. But I’m not at that point yet. Read More ›
Have you ever seen some of the old Seinfeld episodes with The Soup Nazi? He has a small soup kitchen/diner on the show, and very strict rules about how you get your food. You must enter in a certain line, refrain from speaking, ask no questions, order correctly, slide over and pay, pick up your soup, and leave. If you fail at any of the steps, he grabs your order and yells ''No Soup For You!'' and you have to leave, hoping that sooner rather than later, you’ll be back in his good graces and allowed to enter the diner to try one more time to get your soup.
The longer I am able to maintain my weight loss, the more successful I am with exorcising the food police mentality from my life. I’m not quite sure when any of us learned the thought process that if we eat something that we deem ''unhealthy'', we should just give up for the remainder of the day. I know my parents didn’t teach me that. Can you picture how it would be if our parents had treated us the way we treat ourselves as grownups? It would have gone something like this:
Mom to Jane: ''I saw how much chocolate cake you ate at that birthday party! You should be ashamed of yourself! Since you messed up like that, you cannot have any healthy food for dinner. Here’s a bag of Cheetos and a quart of ice cream. In the morning, I’m going to rehash this again and make you feel guilty about it, and then feed you nachos for breakfast. Heck, now that I think about it, I don’t know how long I’ll hold this over your head. You better go get the fat jeans out of your closet!'' Read More ›
This is not a campaign to encourage you to stop eating junk food. A little bad is good—the keyword being little.
Here are some other tips to help you indulge without doing in your diet.
- Choose Wisely. Chocolate, candy, and other sweets contain empty calories that can translate into high amounts of fat, sugar, salt and not many vitamins or minerals. Instead of splurging on everything, opt for one of your favorites. You don’t have to eat everything you love in one day.
- Reasonable Portions. Be mindful of the serving size of your treat. Many junk foods come in mini, prepackaged portions. Aim for no more than 200 calories.
What are your rules for eating junk food? Read More ›