Friday, May 28, 2010

Enjoying Whole Grains Can Be Easy

We all know the importance of eating whole grains as part of our healthy lifestyle. If you are not accustomed to eating whole grains, though, it may seem difficult. It is easier than you think.

Eat whole grain cereals, pastas, crackers, breads and snack items. Stop eating products made with refined or bleached flours.

Add some cooked barley to your soup. Enjoy a side dish of quinoa and mushrooms. (Learn more about quinoa in my whole grains cookbook). Use grains instead of potatoes for your side dishes.

Whatever amount of grains you eat, make half of them whole grains. Eating at least three ounces of whole grains daily is all it takes to improve your health.

Learn about portion control and what constitutes a serving. A serving of whole grain, for instance, is one piece of whole grain bread. ½ cup of cooked rice, pasta or cereal is one serving size. If you are eating whole grain cereals, one cup of cold cereal makes up one serving.

Read product labels. This will tell you how much a serving size is, the calorie count, amount of dietary fiber, amount of whole grains (hopefully), fat, cholesterol, etc. Whatever ingredients the product is made of will be on the label, also.

Look for whole grain as the first ingredient on a product label.

Check out the USDA's website at for more info.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Healthy Junk Food...WHAT??!!

With the increased importance of eating a healthier diet, it is interesting to me how many more foods are making it into our marketplace marketed as “healthy foods”. For years we have heard how important it is to decrease our consumption of junk foods. We've been told that junk foods are culprits for containing high fat, high calories and low nutrition. As our society shifts more towards “healthier” foods, suddenly there are more and more traditional-type junk foods being made with healthier ingredients. I have seen organic corn chips fried in canola (a heart-healthy oil). There are pita chips, cheese sticks, vegetable chips, potato chips, etc. I've even seen organic candy, cookies and snack cakes. I'm sure you get the drift here.

And because the products are so popular with the public, there is a new segment that the food manufacturers can make money, healthy junk food. Spare me.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Buying Whole Grain Cereals

With the popularity of whole grains anymore, there are so many varieties available, it can be confusing. It is important to read the product labels. Some boxed cereals are marketed as being made from healthy whole grains, but it's a deception. For instance, some store brands make their own version of Cheerios, a whole grain oat cereal. In Cheerios, the first ingredient is whole grain oats. Read the ingredient label on the store brand and you will see "oat flour". They are not the same.

Whole grain oats are the more nutrient-dense whole grain, obviously. Oat flour is whole grain oats processed into flour. The nutrient value is lessened. The fiber content is lessened, also.

You need to become aware of what food manufacturers are doing to our food supply. There is deception out there in the marketplace. Become a smart consumer by reading and understanding food labels.

Find helpful information on food labels at the USDA website at:

Monday, May 17, 2010

Poaching With Green Tea

We all are familiar with how nutritious green tea is. In addition to drinking it,there are different ways you can add it to your dishes. Thought you may enjoy an excerpt from my natural foods cookbook regarding this subject:

A great way to get some extra taste while cooking seafood is to add some green tea to the water when poaching. Simply add one teaspoon of green tea to one cup of water. Pour this into the bottom of a skillet. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and add your seafood. Simmer, cover, and cook until done.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Making A Tasty and Nutritious Oil Substitute..

You've heard of applesauce replacing oil in baked goods recipes? Here's another alternative....raisins or dates. Make a puree. It adds extra sweetness, fiber and moisture to your recipe.

Fill a small pan with 2” water. Place one-quarter cup of raisins or diced dates into the water. Place on burner. Cook over medium heat until a paste consistency is reached. You will need to stir frequently to prevent burning.

When the desired consistency is reached, remove from heat. Let cool either at room temperature or by placing into your fridge.

You can store the unused portion in a glass jar or another airtight container. Keep the container in your fridge.

This also makes a great toast topping or spread. Make a peanut butter and puree sandwich with whole grain bread for a tasty and nutritious sandwich.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Green Tea is More Than A Beverage

There are a variety of ways to use green tea. Green tea has been used in holistic remedies for centuries. The high level of antioxidants can benefit your immune system, your eyes, your skin and your overall health.

In addition to drinking iced or hot green tea, try using it in your cooking. Here's an easy way to get extra nourishment into your diet: Steam with it. How's that?

Put some water into a cook pot, as if you were steaming. It usually only takes about an inch or two of water. Add a tablespoon of green tea leaves to the water. Place your steamer device in place. You can buy a cheap metal steamer for around $5. It's not only cheap, but long-lasting. :)

Place some fish onto the steamer. This recipe works especially well with trout, mackerel, mahi mahi (dolphin fish), or other white fishes. Cover the pan.

Turn on your stove top to medium high. Steam your fish for about 10 minutes, til tender. Poke with a fork to test for doneness. Your fish should easily flake when it is done. Turn heat off and remove pan from burner.

Remove your fish and enjoy!

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Thursday, May 06, 2010

How to Enjoy Your Soy Milk

There are so many varieties of soy milk on the marketplace, it can be daunting to figure out how to choose. You have decided upon “Unsweetened Plain” since you don't want to be bothered with sweeteners or additives found in other soy milk flavors. You open the box and...yuck! don't like the taste. What now? Don't worry, the soymilk can be saved. Don't throw out the box...

Dilute your soy milk. Pour your soy milk into a glass or onto your cereal (or however you're using it). Simply add some filtered water. Mix so that you get watered-down soy milk. That's it. Adjust the dilution to your taste.

Not only with your soy milk taste better, it will last longer since you'll be using less. If I was a bird killer, I'd say...”You're killing two bird with one stone”. You get the idea.


By the way (BTW for short), you can do this with any variety of soy milk. Personally, I find that chocolate soy milk just tastes GREAT as is. It's up to you, however....

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