Friday, December 2, 2011

Food For Thought - Nutrition

I haven't blogged in a very long time but I really wanted to share an assignment I had to do for my nutrition class this week. I recieved some great feedback from my instructor and other students and as I thought through it all I really was impressed that I'd come up with some of this information. We were given a situation for James who was having health issues and his doctor had explained that he need to make changes in his diet. He met with a nutritionist but is reluctent to make necessary changes. Here are my thoughts and research.

To begin with, if James has health issues for which his doctor is recommending some changes in his diet it would be best to strongly look at ways to follow that advice. His doctor most likely knows more about his body on the inside than James does himself so those are things to accept and follow. Just because he needs to cut saturated fat and cholesterol doesn’t mean all will be tasteless. In fact more and more chef’s and individuals are learning about the world of spices for adding flavor and taste without adding fat and cholesterol. Also just because these things need to be lowered doesn’t mean he can NEVER have them in his diet. He just needs to learn new ways of eating the recommended ways and having full flavored meals too.

The fats he would need to avoid are things like shortening, stick margarine, heavy sauces and gravy, mayonnaise and even limiting chocolate. He can use other things such as canola oils, nuts (oils can be made from these as well), low-fat or nonfat dressings and mayonnaise, and it’s very important to stay away from a lot of convenience foods like lunch meats and grab and go foods. You should choose proteins such as chicken, fish and lean meats. “If you eat raw meat, limit to no more than three servings per week and choose loin or round cuts” (University of California San Fransisco Medical Center, 2011). You don’t have to completely do away with what you like it just needs to be limited.

In looking at high protein low carb diets we find some advantages but many risks as well that could make someone with health conditions have more problems. For example, by restricting carbohydrates drastically to a mere fraction of that found in the typical American diet, the body goes into a different metabolic state called ketosis, whereby it burns its own fat for fuel” (Gelfand, 2010). This state, also helps a person to not feel as hungry and thus eat less. However, it can cause other serious health conditions such as kidney failure, heart disease, high cholesterol, stroke and even cancer among other things. Everything should be considered when making changes in ones’ diet and consulting with a doctor.

I do not believe both diets help him achieve his goals for lowering cholesterol and weight loss. I still believe after everything I’ve read that a healthy diet is one that changes some things you eat but doesn’t force you to only eat certain things. There are too many more risks that out weight any advantages with the high protein, low carb diets. The quality of fat content would refer to the type of fat used and how it can affect things such as cholesterol and blood pressure.

The Atkins diet would be most like the high protein diets and the cons that go with it totally blow away any pros in my opinion. I know that has been a popular diet choice for many people but having read up on it and knowing a few people who have used it and had adverse outcomes leads me to believe it is not a great choice. There are many other diets out there that have pros and cons as well. I do not like diets that force you to eat what they prepare for you or what you pay for and have shipped to you. Why can’t a diet teach you how to eat properly and prepare your own meals? That’s the type that would be best something that allows you to eat things you like and teaches you how to prepare them in healthy ways.

The media has played a roll in dietary habits of people which is ridiculous. It’s as if people can’t think for themselves and make correct choices. Many days you will hear about foods that should not be in our diets and stories in the news or in papers about these things. Even our own government is trying to get in the picture. It is all craziness and if we don’t take control of ourselves and our children who knows what might be next. We are in charge of our lives and how we live them but we need to be responsible as well. Don’t blame others for why we eat things we do and don’t look to others to make those decisions for us either.

Drummond, K., & Brefere, L. (2010). Nutrition for Foodservice and Culinary Professionals (7th ed.). Hobboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Gelfand, M. J. (2010, March 5). High Protein, Low Carb Diets. Retrieved from Web MD:
University of California San Fransisco Medical Center. (2011, August 17). Guidelines for a Low Cholesterol, Low Saturated Fat Diet. Retrieved from

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Healthy Diabetic Tips

I believe these guidelines are important for everyone whether you have diabetes or not. I gathered this information so I could learn and better understand about Diabetes. Hope it will help you too!

Guidelines for eating well when you have Diabetes
10 tips for staying healthy:

1 ~ There are neither magic bullets nor forbidden foods in a diabetic diet--it's about making educated choices, practicing portion control and moderation and choosing nutritious foods the whole family can enjoy. Every day, include a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, and high-fiber whole grains and beans.

2 ~ Carbohydrates are the primary fuel for your body and brain. They also contribute most to your blood sugar and glucose levels. They're found in breads, grains, beans, fruits, vegetables and dairy products, as well as in table sugar, cakes, cookies, ice cream, and other sweets. Adults should aim for 50 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per meal, and 10 to 30 grams per snack.

3 ~ Sugar and sweets can be part of a diabetic diet, but should be combined with other foods to lessen their impact on blood sugar. If you choose to have dessert, plan ahead, substituting it for other carbohydrates in the meal (like pasta, rice, or bread). When preparing desserts, reduce the sugar, when possible, to about 1/3 to 1/2 of the original amount, or use sugar substitutes.

4 ~ High-fiber foods help stabilize blood sugar and lower cholesterol. Aim for 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day. High-fiber foods include oats and barley, whole grains, beans, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.

5 ~ For protein, select lean meats, seafood, low-fat dairy, 1 egg per day, or legumes (which includes beans, soy products, and peanut butter). Aim for 15 to 20% of your daily calories to be from protein (or 75 to 100 grams daily on a 2000 calorie per day diet). Any extra protein will be used as calories or stored as fat.

6 ~ Fats are a necessary part of any diet. With diabetes, excess weight and risk of heart disease are concerns, so managing fat intake is especially important. Avoid saturated fats, like those found in full-fat dairy, red meat, and chicken skin -- and also trans fats, found in commercially fried and processed foods. All fats, even the healthy ones, are high in calories, so use them sparingly.

7 ~ Water and other low-calorie beverages are the best ways to quench your thirst without adding excess calories and carbohydrates.

8 ~ If you drink alcohol, limit drinks to 1 per day for women and 2 per day for men, and always consume it with food.

9 ~ Weight loss and daily exercise lower blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol -- which in turn may lower amount of medication you need.

10 ~ Managing your diabetes is crucial. Work closely with your health care team, and if they have a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), sign up for classes. Schedule a session with a Registered Dietitian to work out an eating plan and to stay current on the latest research. And involve your family -- research shows that family support is one of the strongest predictors of successful management of diabetes.

I hope you enjoyed these tips. Periodically I will be posting Diabetic and Heart Healthy recipes so be sure to check back often!

Here's to a New Year!!!

I am making so major changes to this blog. Up till now I haven't had a reason, other than for myself, to have this blog. Now I am focusing on the true purpose for this.

2011 will be a great year for so many reasons but most importantly I am launching a new career with many goals in mind.

This blog will now provide you with a wide range of ideas and meal plans for everyday life as well as special occasions. I will also post critics on places I may go, i.e.: eating establishments, food events, entertainment information I receive or come across, that I find of interest and hopefully you will as well.

I hope you will enjoy what you read here and please provide me with comments and/or suggestions so I may provide you with the pertinent information you seek!

Thanks so much for taking the time to learn of my new blog. I sure hope you will return often and some how feel of my true passion and love of cooking and food!


Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I haven't posted on this board in a while. Partly because I don't know that anyone even reads it cause I rarely get comments and the other reason is because I have just been busy!! But I thought that since the weather here, in the St. Louis area, has warmed up dramatically I needed to post some things to drink to quench your summer thirst! So here are a few smoothie recipes that I've found but if you don't want to make your own you can always go to Panera Bread Co and get a Strawberry or Mango Smoothie. They even have a frozen Lemonade that is great! Well, enjoy and happy spring/summer.

Tropical Juice
1-1/2 c unsweetened pineapple juice
1 ripe banana
2 t honey
juice of 1/2 lime
garnish with sprigs of mint

Mix all ingredients together in a blender and you have a wonderful smooth juice to drink!!
4 servings

Iced Fruit Smoothie
1/2c strawberries
1/2c bananas
1/2c cantaloupe
1/2c honeydew melon
ice to taste
1c yogurt (any kind you like)

Chop up fruit into small bits. Mix strawberries, bananas, cantaloupe, and honeydew in blender for at least 1-2 minutes. Then blend in ice and serve.
4 servings

Breakfast Smoothie
1c strawberry yogurt, non-fat, no sugar
2c frozen strawberries
2 bananas
2c juicy juice, berry flavor

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. A very refreshing and simple drink for any time! Healthy too!!!
4 servings

Strawberry Smoothie
1c frozen strawberries
1 large banana
1c strawberry-banana yogurt
1/2c milk
1-1/2c apple juice

Put all ingredients into blender and mix until smoothie reaches preferred consistency. Now it's ready to serve.
4 servings

These are very simple and kids love them. Well some kids. I can actually get Kyle to try these and he likes them and that's a miracle!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Spinach #2

Okay so it took me more than a week to try this but I have now! I have finally done it though! I finished them today and they really are great. They take time to make but they are worth it. Except now I have to figure out what type of possibly dipping sauce to put it up with. I don't know what Emeril teamed it with but it could go with or without something else! I'll let you know! And if you live close by maybe I might share with you!!!


Monday, April 28, 2008

I'm Going to Try this One this Week


For the dough:

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature

6 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

2 slices bacon, cooked until crisp, drained and crumbled (drippings reserved)

1/2 pound fresh spinach leaves, washed

2 tablespoons minced onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup cottage cheese, farmer's cheese, or ricotta cheese


Freshly ground black pepper

Pinch ground nutmeg

1 egg, lightly beaten

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter on high speed until very smooth, pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, little by little, and the salt, and process until just combined. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly. Form the dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to overnight.

Heat 1 teaspoon of the reserved bacon drippings in a medium nonstick skillet and, when hot, add the spinach. Cook, stirring frequently, until the spinach is wilted and has released its liquid, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the spinach to a colander to drain. When the spinach has cooled enough to handle, squeeze to release any excess water, then transfer to a cutting board and finely chop. Set aside.

Add 2 more teaspoons of the bacon drippings to the same skillet, then add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft but not browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the reserved spinach, crumbled bacon, cottage cheese, pepper, nutmeg and mix thoroughly. Transfer to a mixing bowl and allow to cool thoroughly. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and lightly grease a baking sheet.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and, working on a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough to a thickness of about 1/8-inch. Using a biscuit cutter or a small glass as a guide, cut the dough into as many 3-inch circles as possible. Place a teaspoonful of the spinach filling in the center of each dough circle. Using your fingers, lightly moisten the edges with some of the beaten egg-water mixture, then fold 1 side over so that the edges meat, and press to seal. Crimp the edges using the tines of a fork and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all of the empanaditas are assembled. Brush the tops of each empanadita with some of the beaten egg and bake uncovered until golden, 12 to 15 minutes.

Serve either warm or at room temperature.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Two Recipes in One ~ Enjoy!

2 sides pork spareribs (about 6 pounds), separated
1 (28-ounce) can chunky tomato sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Place the spareribs in the bottom of a slow cooker. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Reserve 6 tablespoons for BBQ Pizza.
Pour the mixture over the spareribs. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.

Reserve 1/2 of the ribs and pull the meat from the bones for the BBQ Pizza recipe.

1 store bought pizza crust
6 tablespoons BBQ sauce
1 cup cooked BBQ pork, diced or shredded
1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted
2 tablespoons pickled jalapeno rings
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Roll out the pizza dough and place on a pizza pan or large baking sheet. Spread the BBQ sauce all over crust. Top with the pork, corn, jalapenos and cheese.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese melts and the crust is golden. Top with fresh cilantro.

Serve with a simple green salad.