Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

    Nia: Thurs at 9 am

    Yin Yoga: Mons at 11:30 am

    Gentle Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

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  • My Bloggey Past

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Posts Tagged ‘legumes’

Hmm, I Guess I DO Like Legumes

Posted by terrepruitt on June 9, 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, NiaBefore I started teaching Nia, I had always had corporate jobs.  I remember learning about jicama when I worked at my first “real” job. So that had to be between . . . . well, let’s just say it was a long time ago.  I remember being amazed at how it tasted like nothing, but had a little hint of sweet and dryness about it.  I love it.  When I see it on vegetable trays and in salad bars I always get some.  Even though I love it, I have only bought one once.  I don’t know how to pick it out and I always forget that is what the people who work in produce can help you do.  They can help with picking out produce. My dad always has jicama.  My dad always has a container of raw, cut and washed vegetables in the fridge and often jicama is in that container or one of its own.  Next time I go to the store I am going to buy one.  Jicama is considered a root vegetable, but is actually a legume.

It actually looks like root and tastes like a root.  Very plain, but with the slightest hint of sweetness.  I have always eaten it raw.  Cut into pieces and just eaten it raw, but in my quest for nutritional information on it I saw that people do cook with it.  I will have to write another post for that because I have never even thought of cooking it!

One suggestion I saw . . . and if you’ve eaten jicama you will agree . . . said that jicama can replace water chestnuts in recipes.  And, of course, they seem exactly the same!

It is pronounced HEcamuh.  I have always thought it was HICKamuh.  I will work on that!

Some nutritional information on jicama:

-low in calories; 38 calories per 100 grams
-high dietary fiber; 4 grams per 100 grams
-contains the anti-oxidant vitamin C; 33% of the RDA’s Daily Value (DV)
-contains vitamin B
-contains 1 gram of protein per 100 grams -contains 150 mg of Potassium (about 6% of the DV)
-no fat per 100 grams

Additional details (per 100 grams):

Cholesterol 0 mg  /  Sodium 4 mg  /  Total Carbohydrates 9 g

According to WiseGeek:

“When choosing jicama at the store, look for medium sized, firm tubers with dry roots. Do not purchase jicama that has wet or soft spots, which may indicate rot, and don’t be drawn to overlarge examples of the tuber, because they may not be as flavorful. Jicama will keep under refrigeration for up to two weeks.”

But information on Wiki says to never refrigerate.  So I guess you will have to decide that for yourself.  I guess if you refrigerate your other root veggies you might as well refrigerate this one too.  I think I might not refrigerate it until I cut it.

The outside skin needs to be peeled or cut off, then you can cut up the vegetable anyway you would like to eat it.  I tend to like it in long pieces of about an 1/2 inch around.  Usually you can only get that out of the middle as it is a round veggie so you end up with some odd shaped pieces.

Are you familiar with jicama?  Do you eat it?  Do you cook with it?

Posted in Food, Vegetables | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Colors And Odors Are Brought To You By Phytochemicals

Posted by terrepruitt on April 5, 2012

Phytochemical are the reasons that fruits and veggies have color and smell.  There are 1000 known phytochemicals, with an estimate of over 10,000 different ones potentially able to affect diseases.  These chemical compounds are thought to have a big affect on health but are not considered as essential nutrients.

Some phytochemicals are antioxidants or have antioxidant activity and they have shown that they may reduce the risk of cancer.  They have been proven to have anti-inflammatory effects.  And now many doctors and scientists are starting to acknowledge the link between chronic inflammation in the body and disease.  So — to me — anything that can safely help with inflammation in the body is a good food to eat. 

The Linus Pauling Institute at the Oregon State University has a list of phytochemicals.  Under each type listed there is a further breakdown of names of the specific phytochemical, here are just a few highlights

Carotenoids are found in red, yellow, or orange vegetables and fruits.  As with a lot of nutrients, fat helps with absorption.  So using a little bit of healthy oil can help with availability of the nutrient to the body.
 
Chlorophyll & Chlorophyllin are responsible for the green in veggies.

Curcumin is what gives turmeric its deep yellow color.  Turmeric is considered an anti-inflammatory.

Fiber is a group of different compounds.   Different kinds of dietary fiber include: Lignin, Cellulose, Beta-Glucans, Hemicelluloses, Pectins, Gums, Inulin, and Resistant starch. Research is showing that people with diets high in fiber have less risk of disease.  Fiber helps keeps the body’s digestive system moving things out.

Flavonoids in the case of the phytochemicals are thought to be better helpers in cell-signalling then in antioxidants.  While flavonoids have shown to help with curbing the free radicals, they really seem to shine when it comes to the cell signaling pathways.  They’ve shown themselves to be great at regulating the flow of information in the communication pathways of the cells.  There are different classes of flavanoids, they can be found in red wine, green, white, and black tea, berries, apples, chocolate, citrus fruits, yellow onions, soybeans, legumes, scallions, kale, and broccoli.

Garlic is thought to have antioxidant properties.  Garlic and its Organosulfur Compounds are thought to help fight cardiovascular disease and inflammation in the body.  (And some are now saying that it is inflammation that causes cardiovascular disease.)

Indole-3-Carbinol is found in coniferous vegetables.  These types of veggies are thought to help prevent certain types of cancer.  Some of the veggies that this phytochemical can be found in is cabbage, broccoli, and brussels sprouts.

Isothiocyanates is also found in coniferous veggies.  This one can be found in cabbage, broccoli, and kale.

Lignans (phytoestrogens) are found in plants while Lignan precursors are found in plant-based foods.  Eating a variety of seeds, whole grains, and legume along with broccoli, curly kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, carrots, green and red sweet peppers, apricots, strawberries, peaches, pears, and nectaries will net you both.  (according to Livestrong)

Phytosterols can be found in unrefined vegetable oils, whole grains, nuts, and legumes and inhibit the intestinal absorption of cholesterol.

Resveratrol was found to increase the lifespan of some living organisms.  It can be found in grapes, red wine, purple grape juice, peanuts, and some berries.

Soy Isoflavones (phytoestrogens) is one of those things that is good for you, but some evidence says that too much is not.  But they are not clear on that or how much “too much” is. 

As with much of our food supply harvesting and processing diminishes the nutrients available to us.  The amount of phytochemicals actually in our fruits and vegetables after commercial harvesting, processing, and cooking is significantly reduced.  Since the nutrients that we actually get from the food we eat seems less than was intended by nature it is a good thing that most fruits and veggies can be eaten in high quantities without adding much fat or many calories to the diet. 

Additional information from wiki states that phytochemicals have been used as drugs for millennia.  The willow tree leaves were used to reduce fevers and later used as aspirin.

There is much research to be done on phytochemicals.  But it is interesting to know that the color and odor causing compound in our fruit and veggies might also protect us or help us combat disease.  Seems like if we eat a large variety in addition to large quantities of fruits and vegetables daily will be get a good amount of phytochemicals.  One thing I like to think about and try to do is “eat the rainbow”.  Sounds silly, but it really is eating all the COLORS in the rainbow.

Do you eat a variety of fruits and veggies?  Do you eat the colors of the rainbow?

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

Salad On My Mind

Posted by terrepruitt on April 21, 2011

What do you think of when you hear “salad”?  When I was young when I heard salad I thought of lettuce with a few veggies in it.  I don’t eat potato salad and egg salad so I never thought of them, but they are salads.  There are so many other types of salads too.  Wiki says:

“Salad is any of a wide variety of dishes including: vegetable salads; salads of pasta, legumes, eggs, or grains; mixed salads incorporating meat, poultry, or seafood; and fruit salads.  They may include a mixture of cold and hot, often including raw vegetables or fruits.”

Salads could be considered the perfect food.  At least in my opinion.  As mentioned in wiki there are “vegetable salads” and “pasta salads”.  When you put veggies and meat in a pasta salad you can have a pretty balanced MEAL.  It also depends the ingredients you use when talking meal.  Like my last post, the quinoa has a good amount of protein so mixing it with veggies makes a great meal.

There are salads that are a meal and salads that are a side.  When I make a green salad I add cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers, sometimes tomatoes, sometimes broccoli, sometimes nuts, sometimes cheese, sometimes seeds.  For a long time we were using baby spinach as our “lettuce” but then I switched to a mix of lettuces.  We buy spinach every once in a while.  Either way I like the green for a salad.  I don’t use iceberg.

Salads are fascinating.

I mean we even call jello with fruit in it salad.  And they are really fun because they are usually prepared in a jello MOLD so you have a salad in a fun shape.  And oh, fruit salad.  When I was young we called one salad fruit salad and one ambrosia.  Fruit salad was all different kinds of fresh fruit cut up and put tossed together and served in a bowl.  Ambrosia was the same thing but with cool whip mixed in with all the fruit.

Ha . . . I should have checked my past posts before I posted because I already have a posted about salad, pretty much the same thing.  But I can tell you a bit about the salad I posted about.  It is clear to me that some of us have ideas in our mind about what a salad is because there was a time when my hubby (yes, Dear, I am dragging you into my post again!) wouldn’t eat a “salad” that didn’t have lettuce in it.  He would claim it was not a salad, even though his family is a “jello salad family”.  But after we visited Europe and they would often serve a “salad” without lettuce I was able to do the same thing when we got home.  Ahh . . . travel is awesome.   (I think I’ve said this before in a post too!  The part about my hubby.)

One of the comments on my one of my previous posts about salad talked about the dressing on a Greek Salad.  The commenter said she didn’t like the dressing.  But that is one of the great things about a salad if you make it yourself you can put whatever dressing you want on it!

I have yet to make the tomato and watermelon salad that my friend mention in the comments of my “salad” post.  I am putting that in my calendar in June.  So I remember.

Usually I check my blog to see if I have posted about a subject before, but it was late (really late) and I didn’t check and now that I am looking I have several posts on salad*.  As I said and as is now totally obvious, salads are fascinating.

*Here’s a few of the “salad” posts:

Quinoa Salad

Bean Salad

Awesome Salad

Summer Salad

So?  I’ve said a whole lot about salad.  What do you have to say?  Have a recipe?  Like one thing over another?  Have you tried any of the salads on my blog or the suggestions people have posted?  Do tell?  Salad is awesome!

(I think I need to make a “Salad” Category.)

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