Poor eggs have gotten a bad wrap. It's unfair to compare an egg to something like a KFC double down. Yes there is more cholesterol in an egg, but this is just nutritionism (the idea that one nutrient in a food stands for the total health value of the food). Eggs are a source of Riboflavin, Vitamin B12 and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Protein and Selenium. KFC double down? Not so much. Eggs are also adorable when turned into a Japanese cartoon and given a theme song:
So by no means am I encouraging you to scarf down as many eggs as possible. Just know that in the right amount, they can be part of a healthy diet.
By request, the chicken recipe from my cooking demo on the weekend. Thank you so much to everyone that came out!
Texas Honey Chicken Breasts
4 skinless chicken breasts
1/8 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup honey
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
2 tbsp coriander
1 tbsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp red chilies
1) Mix honey and spices in a bowl
2) Add olive oil and lemon juice slowly to thin out paste slightly but only enough that it remains slightly thick
3) Rub mixture onto chicken breasts
4) Grill on BBQ 4 minutes on each side
Be sure to come out to the Market this Saturday at 11AM for my live BBQ cooking demo. I`ll be serving up three super tasty dishes you`ll be sure to love. Also, get out and enjoy the sun. I absolutely love this time of year!
Thought I`d share a funny video since it`s the end of the week. This cat kind of reminds me of myself when I`m hungry. Don`t touch my food!
Bones are vital to the human body. They help us move, give us form and really just keep us from falling apart. So it makes sense that people would be worried about keeping their bones in the best shape possible.
Most of the bone we have is made when we are teenagers. Once we reach adulthood, its all about keeping them as strong as long as possible.
Many of us know calcium is an important building block for our bones. Calcium can be found it lots of foods including dairy, the bones of fish, some green vegetables like broccoli and fortified foods such as orange juice.
But what many don't realize is that calcium isn't enough.
For starters, you need vitamin D in your body to help you absorb the calcium. Vitamin D is like the usher that leads the calcium in and out of the bones. Without it, all the calcium in the world won't do you much good. There are not a lot of great food sources for vitamin D. The best source is from the sun. Just be careful not to get too much as you might end up with a nasty sunburn.
A less well known nutrient we all need for bone health is magnesium. Magnesium does a whole slew of things in the body including being a building block for our DNA, controlling our blood pressure, working as a building block in our bones and helping in many enzyme functions. It's also responsible for how effective the vitamin D in our body is. Magnesium can be found in lots of great foods including whole cereal grains, cocoa (raw), tea and nuts.
So if you don't have magnesium, you can't convert vitamin D and if you don't have usable vitamin D, you can't absorb the calcium.
This is why it's a whole lot easier to get your vitamins from food rather than supplements. All vitamins and minerals are connected. Some compete in the body and others help each other. By the time you figure out what you need and when you have to take it to avoid not absorbing it, your head will be spinning.
So to keep your bones healthy, here is my advice:
1) Consume 2-3 dairy and alternative servings/day
2) Eat 4-5 servings of vegetables each day (Especially leafy green ones)
3) Eat fish 2x/week (keep the bones in if you can to get more calcium)
4) Choose whole grains
5) Exercise to keep the bones strong
Care for your bones every day. You only get one set!
For those that asked at the class on Friday and those that missed it, here is one of the two recipes that was demonstrated at the farmer's market.
This is my own tex mex quinoa salad. Loaded with lots of protein, fibre and colorful vegetables. This is a great recipe to take to parties because of how bright it looks. Not to mention it's super tasty.
Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad
½ cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 red pepper, diced
½ red onion, diced
1 avocado, chopped
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
¼ cup lime juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1 clove of garlic, diced
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
1) Bring chicken broth to a boil in a sauce pan, add in quinoa, cover and reduce to a
simmer for 20 minutes. Let cool and set aside
2) In a regular salad bowl, combine pepper, onion, avocado, black beans and
3) In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, cumin, chili powder and
4) Mix quinoa in with vegetables
5) Pour on dressing and finally mix in cilantro. Let sit in fridge for 15 minutes for
Makes 12 servings
We all want to eat healthier in order to live longer and feel better. However, one of the challenges with healthy eating is that it can get dull pretty quick if your are limited to a couple of dishes or foods (nothing like cottage cheese and fruit every single morning followed by tuna with salad for lunch).
Now some people can eat the exact same thing day in and day out. We've all met that person. The person that looks at food as just a fuel source. For the rest of us however, food is pleasure and when it's boring, it can be a whole lot of pain.
One of the reasons I find people get bored with healthy eating is that they don't give new foods a chance. They say things like "I don't want to eat like a bird" or "It all tastes like cardboard to me."
But have you really given new healthier foods a chance? Look at it this way: you have been eating a diet of mainly processed, salty, sugary, fatty foods for a while now, so your taste buds have gotten accustomed to a certain kind of flavor. You also probably haven't felt the need to add anything new to your diet because those less healthy options have been satisfying on their own.
So when these new healthier foods are put in front of you, what do you do? You turn up your nose and say "Gross!".
But did you even try it?
The response to this is often "Well I'm just a picky eater."
Well I'm here to say, "Don't knock it till you try it.". How can you know you won't like it? Do you have psychic powers? If so please send me an email with next week's lottery numbers. I'd like to buy myself a jet ski.
If you want to stand any sort of chance at improving your diet, you will have to try new things. Just take a couple of bites. If you don't like it after that, it's fine. We all have preferences. It's the same concept we use with kids when they act up at the table because you DARED to put broccoli on the plate.
Another thing you need to ask yourself is "was the food prepared well". If not, you may want to consider giving it another shot down the road when someone more experienced is making it.
For example, I used to despise cabbage rolls. That is, until I had them made properly by a sweet Slovenian grandmother that can make them in her sleep.
So don't give up on food. You might be missing out on some realy amazing flavors and if you really put the effort in, you might even surprise yourself.
You can get just about any oil in a supplement form: omega 3, omega 3-6-9, flax, salmon, vitamin E, krill, olive oil, black current oil, cod liver oil, safflower oil, coconut oil....the list could go on, but what do we need and what can we go without?
The first thing we need to realize with that any of these oils in any form are going to contribute calories. They are oils after all, which are made of fats that contribute more calories per gram than either protein or carbohydrates (the other two nutrients that give us energy). So my first piece of advice is if you are trying to add healthier fats to your diet through supplements you should look at SUBSTITUTING rather than ADDING. If you add, you add calories, when you replace, you keep your calories the same but improve the types of fats you are eating.
An example would be having salmon once per week in place of red meats in order to SUBSTITUTE the saturated fat (bad fat) from the red meat with the omega 3s (good fat) from the salmon. Another example would be using margarine or olive oil (plant based) in place of butter (animal based) while cooking.
So if you are trying to watch your weight and taking a lot of oil supplements, you may be setting yourself back. Look at the quality of the fats in your food before adding unnecessary fat to your diet in pills.
If you are eating a well-balanced diet, for the most part these oil supplements shouldn't be needed. The only one I might recommend is Omega 3. Omega 3 can improve your cholesterol level and I would only recommend this if you are not eating enough fish or omega 3 supplemented foods each week (usually 2x/week minimum).
Supplements that are not worth your money include omega 3-6-9 (We get enough 6 and 9 in our diet and the omega 3 is often quite low in these formulas) and cod liver oil (contains excessively high levels of vitamin A and D which can hurt your liver).
The others really carry mixed to very little benefit. So save your money and focus on changing the quality of the fats in your food first:
1) Overall choose lower fat
2) Watch out for trans fats in packaged foods (trans fats will be listed on the nutrition label)
3) Any fat you are having, try to get mainly from plants and fish
4) Speak to your doctor or local nutrition expert if you think you may be deficient and require further supplements
This review was not done by me but some fabulous dietitians over at Eat Right Ontario. They analyzed the top diabetes, gluten free and weight management phone apps and give a very honest review for each one.
I was particularly happy to see 'My Fitness Pal' as one of the top in the weight management category. It isn't the prettiest app out there but it's very well designed.
So take a look at their reviews. If you are someone tech savvy looking for on the go apps to help you manage your diabetes, help you identify gluten in products (if you have a gluten intolerance), or you're just trying to control you weight, you might find this useful in decided which app to pick.
Afterall there is pretty much an app for everything now.
Thanks again Eat Right Ontario.
Sorry for the lack of posts. I'm away this week catching up on some much needed TLC. I'll be back into full swing next week!
I recently came across this article on Yahoo by Korin Miller on "Foods with Surprising Amounts of Sugar." The sources Korin used included an RD from the states and a celebrity fitness trainer.
Now the article isn't completely without merit. I agree that things such as sweetened yogurt and sweet condiments like barbeque sauce can pack a whole lot of sugar. My problem is the lack of differentiating between the sources of the sugars.
For example, while red apples and regular milk do contain sugars, these are naturally occurring sugars that if consumed in reasonable amounts can be included as part of a healthy diet. These two foods are also loaded with lots of other nutrients like vitamin C, calcium and vitamin D. What really irked me was the suggestion to keep milk consumption down to 1 cup or as the writer put it "About the size of one latte".
I'm sorry, but since when is a latte okay but a couple of glasses of milk are taboo? What this writer doesn't realize is that adequate calcium intake has been linked to improved body composition (meaning better lean muscle mass and improvements in weight reduction). I think it's great to get calcium from other sources like broccoli, but the few grams of sugar in a glass of milk is hardly a good reason to avoid it.
Yes the apple has sugars, but it also comes with fibre. Yes bread contains sugars, but it also varies depending on the kind of bread. For example a loaf of whole wheat bread will have more complex sugar that takes the body longer to break down compared to white bread (even if it comes from the bakery).
Nutritionism is a dangerous thing. It focuses people in on the wrong things about food and makes them lose the big picture of "what am I actually eating".
Whole foods, local foods, balanced eating....period.