Tag Archives: healthy snacks

Vital Nutrients – Calcium

VN-Calcium-AlmondsCalcium is abundantly present in our bodies and is stored in our bones and teeth where it is distributed through the bloodstream for use by the heart and other organs. It is required for good bone health, efficient nerve and muscle function and cardiovascular health. Including this vital nutrient in your diet helps to replenish those stores to the bones where it can be used as your body needs it.

What you need to know about Calcium:

  • You need an adequate intake of Vitamin D to promote absorption of calcium.
  • Foods high in sodium, cause excessive calcium excretion through the kidneys.
  • Excessive sugar in your diet inhibits calcium absorption and depletes phosphorus as well, which is another important mineral in facilitating calcium absorption.
  • Phosphoric acid, found in regular and diet soda is associated with a reduction in bone mineral density.
  • Caffeine leaches calcium from our bones, and Alcohol is also associated with low bone mass.
  • Some legumes, such as Navy beans and peas are high in phytates that interfere with the body’s ability to absorb calcium, though they contain many beneficial nutrients so, moderation is your keyword when it comes to legumes.

Calcium is a mineral found in the soil, where it is absorbed into the roots of plants and eaten by cows. So even though we are all conditioned to believe that calcium comes from milk and dairy products, the real source of calcium is the soil. If the cow that you get the milk from is grain fed, as most industrial farmed animals are, then where does the calcium in milk come from? Additionally, our bodies only absorb about 30% of the calcium intake from dairy products, given that, maybe dairy isn’t the best source of calcium. Non-Dairy Foods High in Calcium:

  • Almonds 1/2 cup raw = 187mg
  • Collard Greens 1 cup cooked = 178mg
  • Broccoli 1 cup chopped cooked = 74mg
  • Bok Choy 1 cup shredded = 74mg
  • Napa Cabbage 1 cup shredded = 59mg

For more info on calcium and plant based diets, check out this link.

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Breakfast Muffins – Oatmeal on the go!

I see you everyday and you are busy! You’ve got work, appointments, kids, your days are a blur of getting things done, and on top of everything, you’re trying to eat right. It’s hard to balance your good health when you don’t have time to put together a healthy meal, much less sit down and eat it. Oatmeal is such a great staple in your healthy diet, but who has time to cook steel cut oats in the morning?

 I’m busy too, so here’s my solution, for both of us. I found this recipe on Pinterest  from Sugar Free Mom and with a little tweaking I’ve been able to increase the quality of the added sugar. Remember, even if you use honey, you’re still adding a sugar without fiber. But with 100% Raw Organic Honey, you’re getting some beneficial antioxidants as well as a natural antibiotic that won’t wreak havoc on your immune system.

Gluten Free, low in sugar, simply delicious

Gluten Free, low in sugar, simply delicious

UPDATED 2/20/2015: The very definition of Serendipity is: an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident. Well I made a batch of these babies yesterday and it was Serendipitous indeed.

To start with, I decided to try going down to only 1/4 cup of honey. That took it from 90g to 68g for the whole recipe, and I’d be willing to go down even further. I’ve reduced it before and it didn’t seem to be a detriment. The raw organic honey has a sweeter taste so I believed this was a win. The batter was slightly thicker than usual and I put only 1/2 cup in each one so I was slightly confused, but Cooking is therapeutic for me so I don’t get too analytical…until I have the result. After they’d been in the oven a good 5 minutes, it hit me. I forgot the Applesauce. Well I broke into a sweat for a minute; I scrambled to make a list of ingredients I would need to get at the store, in order to make a second batch. Then I took a breath and put it into the hands of the Kitchen Powers that Be.

I really couldn’t contain my excitement when they turned out really, really good. Passed 4 taste tests so I was thrilled because the Applesauce, though unsweetened, still contained 11g per serving of sugars, which kind of pushed these over the top for me. That was a total of 66g for the whole recipe. Cut. Gone. Buh-Bye! And they were still yummy! I served it warm with at Tblsp (maybe a tad more…it’s a big muffin!) of Grass Fed Butter and it reminded me of sitting in Gramma’s kitchen when I was a kid. She’d sit me on a stool and tell me how to cook. Whatever she made always tasted amazing. That’s what it tasted like, Gramma’s house.

That makes this an official Sugar Shaker recipe. Original Recipe: 253g  Sugar Shaker Recipe: 102g. That’s 151g of Sugar Shaken for this recipe.

Ingredients

2 Eggs
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Large Banana or 2 Medium
2 Tbsp of 100% Raw Organic Honey
1/4 Cup Coconut oil
2.5 cups Organic Rolled Oats
2.5 cups Organic Oat Flour
2 Tbsp Ground Flaxseed
3 Tbsp Cinnamon
3 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 Can Organic Coconut Milk
2 Cups of Blueberries. Can substitute cranberries or Raspberries (or go crazy and mix your berries.) I prefer the blueberries because of their nutrient density. More bang for your buck.

I’m not a food blogger so I’ll keep this as simple as possible. Mix all the wet ingredients EXCEPT the milk, with an immersion blender. Mix all the dry ingredients with a mixer. Pour the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients in the mixer,then add the milk. When it’s all blended, gently fold in the berries.

I use the large muffin pans so I get 12 meal size muffins. Grease the pan with coconut oil and add 3/4 cup of the oatmeal mixture in each. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes or until brown around the edges and a toothpick come out clean.

Perfect to grab and take with you. If you have a big family, you can use the smaller muffin tins. You should get about 18 muffins.

These take about 15 minutes to throw together. 35 minutes to bake. Less bake time for the smaller tins. Use a toothpick to determine if they’re done in the middle. Bon Appétit!

 

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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 GMO-Compass.org ‘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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