Category Archives: Food Education

Wendy’s Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger

The old me wants to try this. I love hamburgers. The me in the present wants to know what’s in it. This ruins it you tell me. My logic? I want to make a conscious decision. I need to know. 2 weeks ago I decided to no longer include pork or beef in my diet. So unless they make a turkey version I won’t be indulging anytime soon. My body. I have a right to know what I’m putting in it. In fact, I want it to be ruined for me, then I won’t eat it. I can live with that. Even a few weeks ago I may have tried it, but I would have definitely split it with you or saved half for later (assuming I recovered from what it does to my stomach).

Spoiler Alert! If you really don’t want to hear it, don’t read any further. I wouldn’t want to ruin it for you, unless of course, it’s what you want. 
So….This little contributor to obesity in America is 680 calories. Not the most calories of Wendy’s menu, but lets face it, nobody needs to put down this entire burger in one sitting, especially when you haven’t taken into account “Do you want fries with that?” Unless you are off to film Survivor of course.

Along with those calories comes 36 grams of fat that I’m willing to bet is mostly heart choking, artery clogging, and cholesterol rocketing saturated fat. Fact checker?? 
I’m shocked to say that 13grams of that is MUFA, however that’s even too much of a good thing. Lets layer on the other fats, including 1.5mg of trans fat and you’ve just consumed over 50% of your recommended fat intake for the day…and let it be said that, in my humble opinion, most of that should be MUFAs. 
1110mg of sodium? You need maybe 1500-2000mg PER DAY! Can you say water retention? I’m feeling dehydrated just thinking about it. Good thing you can get a soda with that….(but I won’t go into soda, here, that’s a rant for another day) 46 grams of carbohydrates and 7 grams of sugar are just ripe to be stored as fat. But of course, lets not forget my crazy revolution to get Newbury Park to #eatclean… the produce is not organic…tomatoes and lettuce are heavily sprayed with pesticides and no peel.  The beef is cornfed straight from Monsanto, not to mention the environmental impact of the whole Agro industry…and the pigs, you know they’re very intelligent? They know, when the guy is standing there with a prod in his hand, shits going down. 
I’m sure it’s GOOD. That’s what I keep hearing, but I know what kind of chemical mix it takes to make something good and frankly, since my pallet has been detoxed, stuff like this no longer tastes that good to me and I consider that a good thing.

yes I watched Veducated but I feel strongly about my decision to stop eating certain meats. It’s not  The me in this moment is good with that.
However, I think I may need a break from Netflix…

The Number 1 Rule of Healthy Eating? If You Don’t Know What it is…Don’t Eat It!

So you’ve decided to give up Gluten, you want to go Vegan and you’re concerned with products that have GMO’s. Nutrition is a mine field to maneuver through when you’re trying to do the right thing by your body. Manufacturers don’t make this any easier on us. Believe me, I’m a label reader and what I don’t understand I Google. The more I learn, the more I’m appalled at the wool being pulled over the consumer eyes.

Here’s a good example. This product is made by a company that’s family owned… ahhhhh, warm fuzzy feeling. It’s comparable to Doritos, but it claims to be made from Beans and Rice… that must mean it’s a complete protein, right?…and there it says 4g Protein, right on the bag with that handy little arrow letting me know that that chip I’m about to eat has not only Protein, but Fiber too! Even better, they’re ‘All Natural’, ‘Gluten Free’, ‘Corn Free’ ‘Non-GMO Project Verified’ AND the one that hits it home for most, ‘Vegan’… oh happy day, they must be really good for me!

Let’s get one thing straight. These are a processed food. A combination of ingredients, flavored and shaped into resembling a processed food that no one on the planet should consume. All the marketing all over the front of the package may sell it to some, but for me it’s a huge red flag. They’re overselling it, why, because it’s a processed food that metabolizes to sugar and gets stored as fat in your body. That in and of itself is why, if you are trying to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle, you should not eat these or any other processed food.

A look at the list of ingredients on the back read okay until they got to the ‘Flavoring’. This is where they get you my friends. They have to make sure it tastes good so you’ll keep buying them, or better yet, eat all 6 servings in one sitting (840 calories) and believe me, they’re flavored with a list of ingredients that you would not recognize, are highly questionable and 1 of which is Lactic Acid, which came up on my NO CORN list only yesterday. Digging a little deaper, I found that according to ‘The nutrients of GM plants that are used for the production of lactic acid are not subject to a labeling requirement.’  Interesting. So even though it’s NON-GMO Verified, it may contain an ingredient that may contain GMOs but are not required to label it as such.

Confused? Good. Let me make it easy for you. Vegan or Not. Gluten Sensitive or Not. Trying to lose weight or not. Don’t eat processed foods. Once in a while, I’m not going to tell you no. I did have to try one of these, for you guys. (I did it for you.) For the most part, 90% of the time, just eat real food. The way nature intended. Fresh, clean, organic, single ingredient, real food.

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Sunflower Seeds – Who Knew?

My friend Maryam is always pouring a small dish of sunflower seeds and chomping on them. I thought it was like a nervous habit, like when people eat the shelled ones? Turns out, she knew something I didn’t, or maybe she didn’t, doesn’t matter, she was doing something healthy and I’m all about that.

Recently I was doing some research on whole foods for helping with a hypo-thyroid issue. Turns out, Sunflower seeds are full of what you need if you suffer from hypothyroidism. In fact, they are so full of necessary vitamins and minerals, (Vitamin E, B1, Manganese, Copper, Tryptophan, Magnesium, Selenium, Vitamin B6, Phosphorus and Folate) everyone should add them to their diets. Packed with all these nutrients, they even lower LDL cholesterol.

Sprinkle them on salads. Keep a baggy in your purse for an emergency snack. Grind them up in your morning smoothie. Anyway you eat them, they are a really good addition to your new healthy you! So eat some!

Greek Yogurt

Wow! June got away from me and not a single post. Sorry folks, it was a busy month. However, today I got a little inspiration from a discussion in my Pilates class and thought I’d get the facts straight and share them with you.

What IS the difference between Greek Yogurt and regular? Does it come from Greek cows?

Well, no. The differences stem from the process in which Greek Yogurt is created (and I’m guessing this process is what is used by the Greeks for their yogurt, but that’s a guess, don’t quote me on that.) You see, Greek yogurt is strained. The straining process removes some of the salts and sugars, AND liquid whey making it creamier and thicker and most importantly, higher in PROTEIN than regular yogurt.

Greek Yogurt is lower in fat and probiotic-rich as well. As far as lactose intolerance is concerned, if you only have a mild intolerance, Greek Yogurt is a good option because of the removal of the sugars. The lactose is the sugar, and is the cause of discomfort for those individuals. The live cultures help to convert whatever lactose is left into lactic acid, making it easy for the body to absorb it. If your case is more severe, you might have discomfort eating Greek Yogurt so go carefully.

However, if you have no issues, enjoy it! It’s good for you and it’s versatility makes it a great option to use as a sour cream substitute, like in dips!

Spice up your Nutrition for Awesome Health Benefits: Cinnamon

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be a bland meaningless experience. Adding flavor to your food doesn’t even add calories. Using fresh spices or the dried ones you have in your pantry will not only flava up your food, but there can be some terrific health benefits as well. In some parts of the world, spices have long been used for their medicinal qualities. Here in the States, they are quickly gaining popularity again as we start to see the negative effects of Western Medicine and Big-pharma remedies. 

Follow me as I delve into some spices that really offer more than just a party for your taste-buds.

Cinnamon: One of the oldest spices known has become a topic of debate. Does it really do all the things the Internet says it does? When it comes to spices there is not a lot of medical research out there. Believe me, Big-Pharma is taking over the world and they would rather pump you full of potentially dangerous drugs and make a lot of money, then have you purchase a canister of cinnamon at your grocery store. I say, try it, if it works, great. If it doesn’t, what do you have to lose? Your toast sure tasted good this morning.

Personally, I’ve used cinnamon mixed with honey as a topical remedy for a pinched nerve. For those of you who have experienced a pinched nerve, you know the process to reduce the inflammation and get back to feeling normal or pain free is a long one. I had plenty of time to try everything I could find and I will tell you, it offered temporary pain relief and for that I was grateful. Draw backs for me were, slight skin irritation (I didn’t care, I was in so much pain) and it’s a messy treatment!

So here are the known benefits of cinnamon:

Cinnamon may be helpful in lowering blood sugar and there is research that it may be helpful as a supplement to regular diabetes treatment for people with Type 2. There was a study published in 2009 that found cinnamon taken twice a day for 90 days improved hemoglobin A1C levels in people with Type 2 diabetes. The theory is that it increases insulin action. I wouldn’t count on cinnamon alone of course, but with a proper diet, exercise and regular monitoring, what would it hurt to try? (Consult your doctor first before taking any supplements, especially if you have a medical condition.)

Cinnamon is known to have anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, and antibacterial properties which help to fight yeast infections, head lice and stomach ulcers.

It has a blood thinning compound and anti-inflammatory properties that assists in blood circulation which can reduce arthritic pain. 

It has been know to relieve indigestion, bloat and stomach upset.

Cinnamon is a natural source of antioxidants.

Now for the side effects, when used topically, as I stated above, it can irritate your skin. Ingested in high doses, it can harm your liver. As an addition to your daily diet, not overdone, it’s a good thing. Add it to your food, it will make it taste great and give you some health benefits as well.

To your Health!

Foods that Nourish you on the Inside and Outside – Cottage Cheese

Dairy is good for your bones and face. But it’s the selenium in cottage cheese, not the calcium, that makes it a beneficial food. Selenium, an essential mineral, teams up with vitamin E as a powerful free radical-fighting antioxidant duo. Plus, it’ll protect against skin cancer and fight dandruff.

Cottage cheese is rich in Calcium and full of protein, important for bone density, making cottage cheese a healthy addition to your diet. It also contains riboflavin, vitamins B-12 and B-6, folate and vitamin A. Cottage cheese is a source of other minerals such as zinc, potassium, and phosphorous. 

Foods that Nourish you on the Inside and Outside – Mushrooms

Rich in riboflavin, a B vitamin that’s vital to your skin. Riboflavin (vitamin B2) is involved in tissue maintenance and repair, and improves skin blemishes caused by rosacea. Mushrooms also pack more antioxidants than some vegetables according to WebMD – “Antioxidants help cells in the body ward off damage from dangerous oxygen molecules called free radicals. Free radicals may play a role in serious illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.”

Put them on your list. Mushrooms are good for the inside and out!

Foods that Nourish you on the Inside and Outside – Mangoes

Mangoes have more than 80% of your daily requirements for vitamin A, a rich antioxidant making them good for you inside and out. They’re such a great food for your skin as well because vitamin A maintains and repairs skin cells.

Bonus, they’re only 70 calories per serving! So throw some frozen mango into your protein smoothie to add that extra yum. 😉

Foods that Nourish you on the Inside and Outside – Avocados

Avocados – Full of essential oils and B-complex. They contain lots of Niacin (vitamin B3) is especially important for healthy skin. Niacin, an anti-inflammatory, it soothes irritated skin and red, blotchy skin.

One avocado has 3.8 mg niacin – 27% of your daily need

Bonus: Avocado fats are a Monounsaturated Fatty Acids. Mono’s are the good fats and are key when trying to lose weight.

Foods that Nourish you on the Inside and Outside – Baked Potatoes

Yes, baked potatoes! They contain 75% of your daily copper need, this essential mineral works with vitamin C (also contained in a potato) and zinc to produce the elastin fibers that support skin structure.

Potatoes are a complex carb loaded with fiber, which means they break down slower and make you feel fuller longer. Long snubbed by the GI, research has shown that the GI label is incorrect. Preparation can change the GI level, such as baking. Just be aware of what you put on it!

Tip: Try replacing sour cream with greek yogurt.

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