Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

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Posts Tagged ‘RDA’

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?

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

RDA Is Not For Everyone

Posted by terrepruitt on September 22, 2011

The Recommended Dietary Allowance or RDA is part of old guidelines that were first brought about by concern for our country.  The government wanted to make certain that military personnel were receiving the nutrients they needed to remain healthy.  The standards would be used for more than just the military, but the military was the initial thought.  Over the years the RDA has been modified and revised.  The modifications and revisions can be results of new scientific information or as new foods become available.  Eventually the recommend dietary allowance became part of the RDI, Recommended Daily Intake, which has four separate values to consider.  This post is just a quick reminder of the RDA.

The RDA is actually for healthy people . . . .if you are the one of the “one in three” Americans that have high blood pressure, or the one of the “one in three” Americans that have high cholesterol, or one in the large percentage of Americans that doesn’t exercise regularly and/or eat a diet of fast food and/or have a high stress job and/or are overweight/obese/morbidly obese then these guidelines are not necessarily for you.  The recommended dietary allowance is for healthy people.  The estimated Daily Values that are disclosed on nutrition labels are for healthy people and the people eating a 2000 calorie a day diet.

As you can see the D in RDA stands for dietary, not daily, because we don’t need to eat each recommended amount daily.  But I didn’t see the information that explained how that is supposed to average out.  But even so, the amounts are based on averages and people who are healthy so it is kind of no wonder that Americans as a whole are not getting healthier.  If what we have to follow doesn’t even apply to 1 in three of us.  The recommendations really should be taken as very loose guidelines.  If you have high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol and you are on medication that brings you back into the normal ranges, then it could be that the RDA might work for you.  But it could also be that if you weren’t concerned with the RDA (which remember is meant for healthy people) and you actually ate to be healthy then it could be that a proper diet could make the medication no longer needed.

A great example to point out proof of this is diabetes.  You probably know someone who has it.  You know they don’t follow the RDA.  If they are concerned with controlling it they have a very different diet to follow.  You might even know someone who HAD diabetes and they were able to control it and get off the medications with a change in their diet.  I have heard a lot of testimony of exactly that happening.

Guidelines for healthy people also applies to the 30 minutes of exercise a day.  That 30 minutes is to MAINTAIN health.  Again . . . if you are unhealthy and want to improve your health exercising just 30 minutes a day might not do it.  More than likely you’re going to need more.

So this is just to help you remember that the dietary guidelines are just there to advise or guide on how one does not become deficient in a nutrient.  That is why they are really actually explaining how to stay healthy because they were created for healthy people.  And the recommended 30 minutes a day is to maintain health.  So for the people with health issues that actually want to use diet and exercise to improve their health they shouldn’t stick to the recommendations.  They are only guidelines and they do not apply to us all.  We all are individuals and we need to find out what works best for us.  There are doctors, nutritionist, personal trainers, dietitians, and a whole group of people who can help.  Don’t necessarily rely on the government recommendations to GET you healthy.  It is really up to you.

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Omega 3 – The Fat We Should Eat

Posted by terrepruitt on September 1, 2011

I have mentioned Omega 3 before, but I haven’t said a lot about it.  I thought sharing a few things about it would be nice.  Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid required by the body.  “Essential” means that our body must have it but can’t make it so we need to obtain the nutrient from our diet.  Since our cell membranes are made up of fatty acids it makes sense that our body needs fatty acids to function properly.  The key is making sure our bodies have the right kind of fat.  Omega 3 contains three fatty acids, a-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and is considered a polyunsaturated fat.  Polyunsaturated fat, unlike saturated fat, does not harden at room temperature.  Wanting a fat that makes up cell membranes that does not harden is another thing that makes sense, right?  Nutrients and waste have an easier time passing in and out of a cell membrane with a liquid consistency than one that is solid.

Research has been done in regards to Omega 3 on diseases and ailments with varied results.  Studies continue to reveal Omega 3 helps reduce heart disease risk factors such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure.  Omega 3 helps reduce inflammation.  We know chronic inflammation is not good because it is linked with or even thought to be the cause of many diseases.   Omega 3 could help with autoimmune diseases of which inflammation is present such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and diabetes.   With many diseases there is often multiple issues so it makes sense that if something helps with one thing it might help with another if it is a symptom or a result of a disease.  For instance, many people with diabetes have high cholesterol so, if Omega 3 helps lower the LDL and raise the HDL, that would be of assistance to someone with diabetes.  Science is continuing to discover things about Omega 3 and how each fatty acid has different effects on the body.

Omega 3 is interesting in that one of the three ALA is actually not used by the body until it is converted to the other two.  Some foods contain ALA, some contain EPA, and others contain DHA or a combination of them.  So as always recommended it is good to eat a variety of foods.  Eating a variety of foods containing Omega 3 will help ensure you get what you need.  Some of the food Omega 3 can be found in is cold water fish, flax seed, walnuts, and what some are calling “Omega 3 eggs”.  At present there is not a Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for Omega 3, but the consensus is that Americans should be eating more.

According to a the World’s Healthiest Foods website:  “the National Institutes of Health recommended that people consume at least 2% of their total daily calories as omega-3 fats.”

You might have heard the claim that Canola Oil is a good source of Omega 3, but then you might have also heard the processing the rapeseed plant goes through and the way the oil is made actually burns off the Omega 3 and becomes transfat.  This is one of those things you might want to research and decide for yourself.  It is your health.

Other foods containing Omega 3: beans, olive oil, hemp seeds, kale, collard greens, spinach, soybeans, cloves, oregano, green beans — yay, not just fish!  I am not a fan of fish although, the Omega 3 in fish is hard to beat, so I probably should start eating it.

Like so many nutrients being discovered as being necessary almost everyday it seems as if the best way to get what the body needs is to eat a variety of foods.  The less we eat of over-processes and packaged foods the better.  Finding a balance is also important.  It just really sounds as if, from all the information I have read, Americans consume less Omega 3 than we should, so — to me — it sounds good to add more to my diet.  What about you?  Are there ways you can add more healthy foods that contain Omega 3 into your diet?

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

How Do They Get More Nutrients In Those Eggs?

Posted by terrepruitt on August 30, 2011

Nia teacher eats eggs, Nia San Jose, Los Gatos Nia, Eggs Omega 3When I first saw an egg package that said the egg had more nutrients I made a mental note to look into that.  I had been thinking, “How can they do that?  Did they inject the egg with the additional nutrients they claimed it had?”  I mean it seems like that is how they would have to do it, right?

The last time I was in the store buying eggs I grabbed a carton that said, “Now!  For Your Nutritious Diet High In . . . ” in big flashy letters. All the while I am thinking, “Ok, I’m a sucker.”

First of all let me share with you some other information that I found while looking up the information on “more nutritious” eggs.

Brown eggs are NOT more nutritious than white eggs.  I was under the impression that brown eggs were better for you.  Don’t know when I heard that or who from, but that is what I always thought.  Turns out it is actually the color of the hen that determines the color of the egg.  A brown egg comes from a hen with red feathers and a white egg comes from a hen with white feathers.

A brown egg might be more nutritious than a white egg if the hen laying the brown egg was fed better feed.  Ya see, THAT is how eggs get more nutrition packed into them . . . the feed.  What the chicken eats is what affects the nutrition of an egg.  When I was looking for information I saw many things that said organic is best and free range is best.  This makes sense to me because eating food without a lot of chemicals on it seems to be better for all of us and being able to eat what is natural is another thing that seems to be best.  So an organic egg would mean that the chicken’s diet did not have a lot of chemicals on it.  A free range egg would mean that the chicken was able to roam free and eat what a chicken would naturally eat.

The eggs that I purchased claimed to have won awards for best taste.  I don’t eat eggs plain so I don’t know that I can actually tell a better tasting egg.  These eggs also claim that their hens are feed “an improved all-natural, all-vegetarian diet with no animal fats or animal by-products.”  The inside of the carton continues to say that the no hormones are added to the laying hens’ diets and no antibiotics are “used in the production of the Egg-land’s Best eggs.”

Now a hen’s natural diet would include insects.  I don’t know if insects are considered ok in a vegetarian diet or if these hens don’t actually get any insects.  But according to the packaging the diet fed to these chickens makes the eggs high in vitamins D, B12, and E.  Also the were able to produce eggs with 25% less saturated fat than regular eggs.  The pretty packaging claims there is 115 mg of Omega 3 and 200 mcg of Lutein.  At this point there is no RDA for either nutrient, but Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid that cannot be produced in the body.  Lutein acts as an antioxidant which helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.  So eggs containing these two nutrients seem like a better choice to me.

The Egg-Land’s Best claims their diet is patented.  From what I have seen in looking around, in order to produce Omega 3 enhanced eggs the hen’s would have to be feed flax seed or fish oils.  I am thinking that fish oil would make the diet not vegetarian.  Some things I glanced at in looking into this topic suggested that eggs produced by hens who had fish oil as part of their diet produced a fishy tasting egg.  Again, not sure about that, but it make me giggle.

I just think it is interesting that the only way to produce a more nutritious egg is to feed the hens better nutrition.  Kind of telling, yes?

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