Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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Posts Tagged ‘fiber’

Guess What I Did With Delicata Squash

Posted by terrepruitt on November 20, 2012

Ha, ha, ha, ha.  So I received another new thing in the organic produce box I have delivered, Delicata squash.  It was delivered on the day before I was going to go to a week long (53 hours) training for Nia Blue Belt.  The box came Friday morning and I had a lot to do so I put the veggies in the fridge.  I was hoping that I would get to cooking it during the week, but I didn’t really count on it.  The training was an hour away from 8:00 am to 6:00 or 7:00 pm. Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba I think I had seen the squash on the list that comes with the delivery and I was thinking comparable to a zucchini.  I didn’t get around to cooking with it until the week after it was delivered.  It was the Sunday of the following week.  Since I was thinking zucchini like consistency and cooking time, I was going to bread it and cook it in the oven.  When I cut it I laughed because it was HARD.  It was like a pumpkin.  I didn’t know if I could roast it.  I didn’t think it would cook in the time I had alloted.  And even after I cut the ends off I didn’t think about it being seedy like a pumpkin.  It was.  So switching gears, I didn’t know what to do with it.  I decided to slice it in half and roast it with olive oil and salt —- big surprise, huh?  Me ROASTING a vegetable.  I was going to FILL it with cheese and just bake it.  Well, I cooked it a bit then decided to taste it.  It was really good without the cheese.  It was also sweeter than I had thought it would be so I didn’t think the cheese I was going to use was the flavor combination I was after.  So I switched cheese and decided to just put a little bit of cheese on it instead of filling it.  Instead of a lot of parmesan, I used a little cheddar and gouda.

I had also peeled it.  I didn’t know if the outside would become edible during cooking.  In my quest to cut it up I had started cutting it in slices so I had ended up with one slice with the skin/outside.  I cooked it to see if the skin would be edible.  It was.  I was disappointed that I had peeled the rest of it.

Well, this turned out to be one of those surprise vegetables that was just delicious.  As I said it was very good without the cheese.  So I would definitely cook this squash up with just a salt, a little pepper, and olive oil.  Adding anything to it is not necessary but could end up being great.  Just like the cheese.  I am glad that I tasted it before just piling on the cheese on it because it had a delicate flavor and so I used a lot less cheese and didn’t add any other seasoning.

I am not sure that I have seen these in the store or anywhere before.  I probably have but didn’t know what they were so I didn’t pay attention.  Now I will purposeful look for them.  (I have been looking and I cannot find them.)

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaAccording to Wiki, this type of squash is a winter squash also know as the Bohemian, squash, peanut squash or the sweet potato squash.  Further info states it belongs to the same species as the zucchini.

The World’s Healthy Food lumps winter squash together, their site states that it has the following percentages of the RDA of the nutrients listed:

vitamin A 214.1%

vitamin C 32.8%

fiber 22.9% (5.74 grams)

manganese 19%

vitamin B6 16.5%

potassium 14.1%

vitamin K 11.2%

folate 10.2%, in just a cup of baked squash.  I think it is a great addition to a healthy diet.  It is really delicious.  And this is one of the reasons why I decided to get an organic produce box.  I never would have thought to buy this!

Are you familiar with the Delicata Squash?  How do you cook it?

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Fennel Another One Of THOSE Foods

Posted by terrepruitt on November 17, 2012

As you may have read, I recently received fennel in my organic produce box that I have delivered.  I was excited because I have heard of fennel, but never cooked with it.  I think I might not have even realized that I have had some before.  As I am thinking about it, I bet I had it put on my plate at a restaurant and assumed it was onion and didn’t eat it.  It looks like onion to me although it does not have an onion flavor at all.  The information I am seeing is that it is compared to anise.  Fennel is an herb that is used both as a flavor and a vegetable.  The bottom portion, the bulb is eaten as a vegetable.  It is related to carrots, parsley, dill, and coriander as it is a member of the family Apiaceae (formerly the Umbelliferae).  Its fronds remind me of the greenery on carrots, so it doesn’t surprise me that they are related.  Fennel is vegetation of which all of it can be eaten, the bulb, stalk, leaves, and seeds (I know I’ve had the seeds).  According to the World’s Healthiest Foods, this plant contains a unique combination of phytonutrients.

There is one, anethole, that has shown in animal studies to help with the reduction of inflammation and help prevent cancer.  Now, I have stated over and over that chronic inflammation is the body is not good.  Inflammation is an immune response in the body so having the body be in battle mode all the time is not a good thing.  The American lifestyle with its high stress and the average Western Diet which is full of food stuffs have been shown to CAUSE inflammation.  Having herbs and vegetables that can be easily added to the diet and might help with a chronic condition sounds good to me.  Anethole has also been found to have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties according to Nutrition You Can.

Fennel also has vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.  Vitamin C is the antioxidant that helps fight against free radicals, the things, that in excess, can cause damage in the body.  Potassium is the electrolyte that is essential for the proper functioning of the heart, kidneys, muscles, nerves, and digestive system.  And dietary fiber is necessary to help with digestion and elimination, which when both are properly working systems tend to signify health.Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba

USDA National Nutrient database states the Nutrient value 1 cup of sliced fennel is as follows:

Energy kcal  27
Protein 1.08 g
Total lipid (fat)  0.17 g
Carbohydrate 6.35 g
Fiber, total dietary  2.7 g

Calcium, Ca mg 43 mg
Iron, Fe  0.64 mg
Magnesium 15 mg
Phosphorus, P 44 mg
Potassium, K 360 mg
Sodium, Na 45 mg

Vitamin C 10.4 mg
Vitamin A 117 AU

I am interested in foods that can help with chronic inflammation, I would like to have more of them in my diet.  At the same time I am interested in reducing the foods in my diet that cause inflammation.  How about you?  Are you interested in foods that might help with chronic inflammation?  Do you think you could add fennel to your diet?

Posted in Food, Vegetables | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Flax Seeds – Big Things In A Tiny Seed

Posted by terrepruitt on April 10, 2012

For a long time now, I have been hearing about the nutritional benefits of flax seeds. I know one of my Nia friends said she uses them. They have probably been in the spot light a bit more lately as more and more information becomes known and available about inflammation. Chronic inflammation is the body’s response to things in it that shouldn’t be in it—as in, a very large part of the average Western Diet. With the over processing of food comes a huge amount of chemicals and chemically altered compounds. These types of things are not meant to be in our bodies and used as “nutrition”. In addition, the average Western Diet contains too much omega-6 fats. Omega 6 fats are linked to health issues and inflammation. Flax seeds contain omega-3 which is an anti-inflammatory agent, among other things. There is a ratio of the fats that is thought to be the optimal. I’ve heard that it is 3 to 1. Wiki states: “Modern Western diets typically have ratios of n−6 to n−3 in excess of 10 to 1, some as high as 30 to 1.” 

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia,Flax seeds can be eaten whole, but they are difficult to digest so the common thought is to grind them so that their nutrition is readily available. I didn’t know that when I bought them otherwise I probably would not have bought such a HUGE quantity. I just remember see information that said to put them in things. I thought I could just toss them into — whatever. Well, it seems like I can, but I might not be getting all the nutrition out of them eaten that way then if I grind them.

Omega 3 is thought to do many wonderful things. It is thought to help protect against heart disease, cancer (both prostrate and breast cancer), and diabetes. And help with high blood pressure through both control and prevention. Also studies are showing that flax seeds can help lower cholesterol. Some studies show that flax seeds may help in reducing hot flashes. As little as “40 grams (1.4 ounces) of crushed flaxseed each day” (per WH Foods) cut the flashes in half.

Web MD says: “Although flaxseed contains all sorts of healthy components, it owes its healthy reputation primarily to three ingredients:

Omega-3 essential fatty acids, “good” fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s.
Lignans which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flaxseed contains 75-800 times more lignans than other plant foods.
Fiber
. Flaxseed contains both the soluble and insoluble types.”

Remember lignans are phytochemicals!

Flax seeds are best stored whole in the fridge. Once ground they tend to go rancid quickly, they should be used within a week. I guess I could grind some once a week and just make sure that I use it all. As with many foods that deliver great health benefits, they are still meant to be a part of a healthy diet. None of the amazing foods are meant to make up for an unhealthy diet, they are to ADD to a healthy diet.

As I first mentioned I know one of you uses them. But I don’t think she said how.  I could use some ideas as I now have four HUGE bags!

What about you, do you use flax seeds as a supplement? How do you use them? Do you grind them?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

The World’s Healthiest Foods Description of Oats

Posted by terrepruitt on March 27, 2012

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, SF Bay Nia, San Francisco Bay Area Nia, NiaNow.com,Oats are easy to grow because they can grow in soil that other crops cannot grow.  Oats have a lot of health benefits including fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals.  Because of the fiber and the nutrients a breakfast of oatmeal is often recommended as great way to start the day.  I do not like oatmeal and realized in writing this oat series that I haven’t bee that found of oats at all.  Since it has been a while since I have not liked them I forgot that I just didn’t like them.  They are really chewy.  But I do believe in the nutritional value and I am happy that I like them now.  I still do not believe that I like oatmeal, but I really don’t need to since there are really so many ways you can eat oats and get the benefit of all the great things they contain.

I love the website The World’s Healthiest Foods.  Here is what they say about the different types of oats:

“Oats gain part of their distinctive flavor from the roasting process that they undergo after being harvested and cleaned. Although oats are then hulled, this process does not strip away their bran and their germ allowing them to retain a concentrated source of their fiber and nutrients. Different types of processing are then used to produce the various types of oat products, which are generally used to make breakfast cereals, baked goods and stuffings:
                   
                    • Oat groats: unflattened kernels that are good for using as a breakfast cereal or for stuffing 
                    • Steel-cut oats: featuring a dense and chewy texture, they are produced by running the grain through steel
                       blades that thinly slices them.
                    • Old-fashioned oats: have a flatter shape that is the result of their being steamed and then rolled.
                    • Quick-cooking oats: processed like old-fashioned oats, except they are cut finely before rolling
                    • Instant oatmeal: produced by partially cooking the grains and then rolling them very thin.      
                        Oftentimes,  sugar, salt and other ingredients are added to make the finished product. 
                    • Oat bran: the outer layer of the grain that resides under the hull. While oat bran is found in rolled oats and 
                        steel-cut oats, it may also be purchased as a separate product that can be added to recipes or cooked to     
                        make a hot cereal.
                    • Oat flour: used in baking, it is oftentimes combined with wheat or other gluten-containing flours
                        when making leavened bread.”

I think that fact that oats do remain “whole” even after being processed (harvested and cleaned) is a great testament to the hardiness of this grain.  While I imagine that the least healthy of the oats described above would be the “Instant oatmeal” kind because they might already come with other ingredients added, but since oats sound “superfood”y to me, I would think you would still gain some benefit from them.

So seeing this description of oats might allow you to see how many different ways you can get oats.  It seems with them available in so many different forms it would be easy to add them to your diet even if you don’t like oatmeal.

Posted in Food, Oats | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Natural Appetite Suppressants

Posted by terrepruitt on January 31, 2012

Almonds – They have everything good in a meal; carbohydrates, fiber, fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals.  If you don’t have a nut allergy they are a great snack.

Water –  If you drink water you feel full.  In fact research has stated that sometimes the body indicates dehydration as hunger.  So it could be that you are not really hungry but dehydrated and in need of water.

Ginger – Is also an appetite suppressant.  Not only does it help suppress, but as mentioned on my blog before it helps with digestion once you do eat.

Avocado – Studies have shown that the body converts an acid contained in the avocado to a hormone that increases the feeling of satiety and fullness. But just as with almonds they do contain a high amount of fat so the key is still moderation.

Coffee – The caffeine, coffee stimulates the central nervous system and can suppresses the appetite.  Suppressing the appetite yet drinking  a lot of cream and sugar might not give you the result you want, so black coffee could be the answer.  Don’t drink too much because then you could get jittery AND hungry!  

Apples – With the fiber and the bulk an apple can help fill you up and help with regulating your system.

Sweet Potatoes – As a complex carbohydrate a sweet potato can give you the feeling of fullness and sustained energy.

Tofu – Studies have shown that the hormone peptide is an appetite suppressant. Tofu is a great source of protein and it is protein that is responsible for the release of this hormone.  Helps explain why a breakfast with protein keeps you feeling full longer than one just full of simple carbohydrates. 

Wasabi – Some say spicy foods make you feel full.  If you like hot and spicy you can be the judge.

Green Tea – Research has proven that green tea helps you feel full.  As with all of these listed, it really is up to you and what you think, but I am sure you have heard about the other benefits of green tea with its anti-oxidants.  Remember unless you get decaffeinated green tea, it does have caffeine.
 
Oatmeal – Slow cook oatmeal has a lot of fiber.  Fiber helps you feel full and stay full.

Green leafy veggies –  With leafy greens it is fiber and the fact that you can eat a lot and actually GET full!  So leafy greens actually fill you AND suppress the appetite.

Salmon – Salmon has Omega 3, fat helps you feel full.  It also has protein. 

Flax Seeds – Omega 3 and fiber.  A winning combination.

Cinnamon – Since cinnamon helps stabilize blood sugar and there is a link between hunger and blood sugar levels, it is logical that cinnamon would help suppress or at least help stabilize the feeling of being hungry or full.

Pine Nuts – Remember, we have already said that protein helps suppress the appetite, well, Pine nuts contain the highest amount of protein of any nut or seed. They also affect the hormones that work to signal the brain that you’re no longer hungry.

Some of these can be eaten as a snack in between meals to help you from being too hungry and maybe eating something unhealthy.  Or then can be added to a meal to help you feel more satisfied and stay full longer.  Or you can combine them to help you keep from in between meal snacking. 

You can add wasabi to your salmon.  Throw some flax seeds, pine nuts, or almonds on your leafy greens.  Sprinkle some cinnamon in your coffee.  Add some ginger to your water.  Apple in your oatmeal.  Avocado and tofu?  Either way you have some health natural ways to suppress your appetite and/or keeping you feeling full and satisfied.  What do you think?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

An Apple a Day

Posted by terrepruitt on May 3, 2011

You know that saying, right?  “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” I was in the habit of eating an apple about four to five times a week. But then I got out of that habit. This week I had one in my salad and it was very satisfying. It took care of any sweet tooth I had. It was nice.

I forgot that apples might even help with allergy relief. I wrote about it in my Allergy Relief post. Now that I am thinking about it my allergies have been better and I have eaten an apple the last couple of days. Amazing sometimes how I don’t even realize how some foods are helping me. Apples contain quercetin which acts as an antihistamine. As I mention in that post quercetin is also an anti-inflmmatory. I can see how — if apples help with just these two things — they can help keep the doctor away.

The quercetin might also help regulate blood sugar. We all understand high blood sugar is not good, neither is low blood sugar so a simple food, such as an apple, which helps regulate it is awesome. One thing that a regulated blood sugar does is help keep you feeling full. Which alone could help with blood sugar regulation because then I am not eating things that are convenient and maybe not so healthy.

Apples have good fiber, not great fiber, but added to a healthy diet they can certainly give you a good percentage of our daily needed fiber.

With all the good stuff apples have in them they might be considered to help protect against cancer. The dietary fiber helps with the elimination of cancer causing chemicals in the colon, according to “Power Your Diet”. Apples contain antioxidants which have been associated with prevention of some cancers.

As with most fruits and vegetables, raw is better in that it preserves a better portion of the nutrients, but an apple can be eaten so many ways. There is raw plain, or raw with a dip. There is baked or sautéed. They can be added to things. Plus there are so many types. I like hard apples, so I like Galas and Fujis. I am not a fan of Delicious apples, they are too soft. Pippins are really hard, but very tart.

I don’t like cooked apples. I like them raw. What about you? What is your favorite apple? What is your favorite way to eat apples? If your favorite way to eat an apple is in an apple pie, that’s ok, you can admit that here. We won’t judge, I mean, apple pie is American after all.

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Borscht is Beets

Posted by terrepruitt on January 6, 2011

My husband tweeted today that a co-worker made him Borscht.  He said it was the perfect thing for a cold day like, today, it has been pretty cold for us here in the Bay Area.  He also said that he loved it and was hoping that I would try making it.  I had to look it up.  It is beet soup.  Beet soup.  Of course, I had to look at what beets have to offer.  The nutrients are found in both the greens and the root.  I am seeing some articles saying that they are doing a lot of new research on beets and they might claim it a super food – at least in a juice form.

Beets have anti-inflammatory affects along with antioxidant properties. As with most vegetables, the more you cook them the more the nutrients get destroyed.  The best way to get the most out of this vegetable is to juice it.  The next best is to steam it or roast it less than 15 to 20 minutes.  These methods give the nutrients the best chance of surviving and actually making it into your body.

One study showed that a little over 16 and a half ounces a day lowers blood pressure.  Another study showed that beet juice can increase endurance.

Beets contain potassium, folic acid, phytochemicals, vitamin C, vitamin A, and some of the Bs (B2, B3, B5, and B6), iron, and calcium.  The greens have an even higher level of iron, calcium, vitamin a, and potassium than the roots.

Beets are also a good source of fiber.

According to Wiki, in Russian cuisine, Borscht usually includes beets, meat, cabbage, and optionally potatoes.  The Borscht my hubby had was made by a Russian co-worker so that is what I will be experimenting with.  I am sure that eating beet soup will be a healthy addition to his diet.

I might try grating them to put on salads.  Also roasting, you know how I love roasted veggies.  Do you eat beets?  How do you eat ’em?

Posted in Food, Vegetables | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Beans

Posted by terrepruitt on July 22, 2010

Beans are so good for you.  I don’t like beans.  Well, I like green beans.  I like hummus.  I can sometimes tolerate garbanzo beans in a green salad, but if there are too many, I push them off to the side.  I don’t like legumes.

According to all the information I have seen in my fact finding mission for this post:  beans help lower “bad cholesterol” by helping it out of the body.  Beans have an excellent amount of fiber (really excellent amount fiber).  Beans have a lot of protein.  The ratio of fat to proteis is awesome.  These are some of the reasons I think I need to learn like beans.

Let’s look at two examples the kidney bean and the garbanzo bean (also known as chickpeas)

Kidney beans – 1 cup has

Calories: 225
Protein: 15.3g
Carbohydrate: 40.4g
Total Fat: 0.88g
Fiber: 11.3g
Iron: 5.2 mg
Magnesium: 80 my
Folate:  229 mcg*

Garbanzo beans (canned), 1 cup has

Calories: 286
Protein: 11.8g
Carbohydrate: 54.3g
Total Fat: 2.7g
Fiber: 10.5g
Folate: 160 mcg
Vitamin B6: 1.13 mg
Vitamin C: 9 mg
Zinc: 2.54 mg*

My next post (Saturday) I will share a Bean Salad recipe.  Come back and check it out!

*Source:  Truthstar Health website

Some additional info at: WHFoods Kidney  and  WHFoods Garbanzo

 

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Veggie Burrito

Posted by terrepruitt on March 20, 2010

Some people Tweet what they had for lunch I blog about it! I think I was actually born to the wrong family because I love tortillas. As far as I am concerned you can put ANYTHING in a tortilla and you have a meal. The issue is that most tortillas are made with lard or loads of fat. The ones I used to get are low fat, but made with . . . . . guess? Yup, you got it partially hydrogenated oil. Even though the label says “Og TRANS FAT per serving” it stills has transfat (that’s the partially hydrogenated oil).

I found one without it. Doesn’t taste the same, but it is not bad. The other day I was craving veggies. Lucky me we had a lot in the fridge.

Here is what my lunch looked like

It was a low fat tortilla (98% fat free) with 8 grams of fiber (whoa!), then I filled it with broccoli, asparagus, and mixed greens. I had some cheese in there too! It was so yummy. I need to write about it when I am eating it from now on otherwise I end up wanting it again as I type!

I hear it is asparagus season (at the time of this post), which for us in San Jose, just means it get down to a reasonable price. Because otherwise we have it here all year round. Might not be at its peak, but . . . I like having it all the time. If you don’t know, I love asparagus.

Usually I roast it, but I had chopped it and sauteed it the night before and it workout that we had leftovers, so for this burrito that is what I had used.

So, tell me what do you put in your tortillas? How do you prepare them? Grilled? Micro-waved? Right out of the package? Does anyone make their own? I would love to learn how to do that!!!

Posted in Food, Vegetables | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Fiber Intake

Posted by terrepruitt on July 21, 2009

Do you know how much fiber is ideal?  Do you know how much fiber the average American eats?

First of all let me tell you a little “un-detailed” story.  I visited a friend on the outskirts of San Jose one day and she had a snack sitting on her counter.  She asked me to try it and she said if I liked it I could have it because she didn’t really like them and they “didn’t agree” with her partner.  Well, I liked them, and so she let me have them.  When I got home, I had to laugh.   I was looking at the Nutrition information on the package and one serving works out to be almost  as much fiber as the average American gets per day. So it dawned on me that maybe it “didn’t agree” with her partner because of that.

Ideally we should be eating about 35 to 50 grams of fiber a day.  The average American eats less than 1/3 of that—yes, about 10 grams a day.

Now, as a refresher, fiber is the plant material that is not digested by humans.  Our digestive enzymes just can’t cut it.  It can be found in whole grain, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and beans.

So, I’ll leave you with this suggestion, try to add a little bit more fiber in your daily intake.  Do not add a lot of fiber all at once.  But do try a little bit a day.  What could you add to your diet today that would add fiber to it?

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