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Posts Tagged ‘Nutrition’

If you are what you eat, then the contents of your mini fridge certainly reveal something about you. Here are some suggestions for foods that will fit in your mini fridge and fuel late night study sessions!

Apples. This post is titled “Your Daily Apple” so of course apples are a must to include. Did you know apples are more effective at waking you up then coffee? In addition their juicy goodness will appease any sweet cravings.

Raw Vegetables. When you get the midnight munchies, try noshing on some crudite. According to the American Heart Association, vegetables contain fiber that will keep your hunger at bay for hours!

Hummus. If raw vegetables seem bland by themselves try dipping them in hummus. Chickpeas are a great source of vegetarian protein. To add some spice to your life, purchase the roasted garlic variety.

Almond Butter- Bored of peanut butter? Try almond butter! As Jane E. Brody of the New York Times notes, Almond butter contains healthy mono-saturated fats that keep you full for hours. For a decadent (and antioxidant rich) snack, spread almond butter on a square of dark chocolate.

Yogurt– According to the website www.mypyramid.gov, yogurt provides a healthy amount of calcium necessary to build strong bones. Many brands, however, contain as much fat and sugar as a candy bar! My personal favorite is Greek yogurt, which has a thicker consistency and less sugar than regular yogurt. Here is an idea for a quick, filling breakfast or a yummy snack: Top one container of Fage (zero or two percent) with one sliced banana, chopped dried figs, wheat germ, and a drizzle of honey. Delish!

Seltzer Water– Instead of reaching for that tempting can of cola, try sipping on some seltzer. If you do not like the taste of plain seltzer, add a small amount of pomegranate juice for an added antioxidant benefit. Tara Parker-Pope, of the New York Times, even lists pomegranates as one of the top eleven foods people should eat in her blog. Garnish with a lime wedge and you have got a zesty concoction!

Any other suggestions for must-have fridge items? Please share in the comments section!

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Sometimes we need foods that are not available in Morton Williams or Westside Market and wonder if there are any specialty food stores in our area. If you walk down Broadway you will find plenty of great health stores that carry a variety of health and food products.Three of my favorite stores are right on Broadway!

At Barzini’s (2451 Broadway) I often find that some of their prices are lower than other markets in our area. The store seems crowded and the aisles small but at least their selection of nuts and dried fruits are cheaper. Down the block from Barzini’s is Gary Null’s Whole Foods Uptown at 2421 Broadway. This store is larger than Barzini’s and offers a wide variety of organic, natural, gluten free, and Kosher food products. They also have a supplement and personal care aisle in the store.

The third of my favorite stores is The Health Nuts, which is much larger than Barzini’s and Gary Null’s Whole Foods Uptown. Because it is larger, I usually find what I am looking for. Conveniently, The Health Nuts is closer to us on 2611 Broadway.

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With winter comes one of our favorite types of precipitation. Also, the New Year and the season of gift-giving. Many of us may not appreciate, however, the wonderful seasonal produce of winter. Partaking in these offerings is not only a great way to enjoy succulent, fresh produce and nourish ourselves with important vitamins and minerals, but it is also cost-effective, because seasonal produce costs less than does produce that is not in season, as an article published by the Medill School of Northwestern University explains.

Got vitamin C? A whole crop of winter citrus fruits do: grapefruit, oranges, and tangerines are in their prime. They are excellent sources of the vitamin, which our bodies use to create collagen, which comprises our tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels, according to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University.

Carrots as well as sweet potatoes and winter squash provide us with vitamin A, which helps boost our immune systems.

Spinach and other dark and leafy greens contain fiber, which aids in digestions, as well as folate, which we use in new cell development.

The Food Network website features innovative recipes using the season’s offerings.

Whether we follow these recipes and make a great squash soup or eat an orange or two, enjoying these fresh fruits and vegetables will remind us why we love winter so much.

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Mardis Gras is soon upon us, and though we may be far from New Orleans, Barbelle wants you to be able to celebrate Mardis Gras in style! This, of course, requires that you bake King Cake, a sweetened yeast bread absolutely required to complete a Mardis Gras celebration. Being a strong, beautiful, Barnard woman does not require that we miss out on this fun food tradition, but it may help if we use a slightly more health-conscious recipe when we decide to bake in honor of “Fat Tuesday.”
And so, thanks to Weight Watchers, Barbelle brings you this year’s King Cake recipe of choice, with less fat and fewer calories. Laissez le bon temps rouler!  (Let the good times roll!)

Ingredients:
1 cup skim milk
4 tablespoons reduced-calorie margarine
Two ¼ oz packets of yeast
2/3 cup warm water
½ cup sugar
½ cup fat-free egg substitute
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
5 cups all-purpose flour
Cooking spray
½ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup raisins
½ cup of chopped pecans or walnuts
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon melted reduced-calorie margarine
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons granulated decorating sugar

Dough: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine milk and margarine. When bubbles appear, remove from heat and set aside to cool
Meanwhile, mix yeast, warm water and 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar, and then it stand for 5 minutes.  Beat in egg substitute and the cooled milk mixture, along with the remaining granulated sugar, salt and nutmeg.
Add flour, cup by cup, and mix until blended and no longer sticky (this will take 4 to 5 cups; you don’t need to use all 5).  Knead the dough until smooth and elastic (this should take about 2 minutes using a dough hook on your mixture or 8 minutes by hand). Shape the dough into a ball.
Next, coat a large bowl with cooking spray and add the dough to it, coating all sides. The bowl should be covered with plastic wrap; let it rise in a warm place for about 1 ½ hours (until it doubles). Then, punch the dough down with your fists, and then roll it into a large rectangle (about 14 x 18 inches) and set it aside

Filling: Mix brown sugar, raisins, nuts, cinnamon and melted margarine in a bowl until the mixture is crumbly.
Then, sprinkle the filling over the dough (although not all the way up to the edges of the rectangle). Along the wider side of the rectangle, roll the dough up tightly like a jelly roll, and then bring the ends of the roll together to form a ring. Put the dough on a pre-sprayed baking sheet and pinch the ends together. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes (until it doubles in size).

Preheat oven to 375ºF.Cut slits about 1/3 of the way through the dough all around the ring, about an inch apart. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the dough is golden.
***When you remove the cake from the oven, you can insert a plastic baby doll into the bottom of the cake so that it’s hidden.***

Frosting:
Whisk together powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons of water, and then spread it on the cake while it’s still warm. Colored sugar should then be sprinkled over the cake.

~Esther

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Our busy schedule sometimes prevents us from maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Lately, some of my friends have been complaining about all the work they have. They lament that sometimes they do not have time in their schedule to eat a meal in peace. Some of us walk around campus without our healthy eight hours of sleep, while others go straight to class without eating breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for us college students. A good breakfast sustains our bodies and minds during our busy schedules. A healthy lifestyle therefore requires that we eat a good breakfast that will provide us with energy and the essential nutrients we need to start our day right.

When I think of breakfast ideas, I usually aim for foods that will keep me full until lunchtime. These foods are usually high in protein and fiber. Protein is great because it provides my body with energy, while helping me build and maintain my muscles. Some good ideas for your morning protein are cheese sticks, yogurt, lox, turkey, or tofu. What I love about fiber is that it keeps me feeling full for a longer period of time. Another benefit of fiber is that it helps with digestion. The Tufts University Guide to Total Nutrition recommends that we eat a variety of fiber rich foods to get our recommended 20 to 30 grams of fiber each day. Good sources of fiber are fruits, grains, vegetables, and nuts.

I have found that planning my breakfast the day before will guarantee that I will eat my breakfast the next morning. I usually think about the time I have to wake up and how much time I will have available for breakfast before class. If I have enough time to sit down and eat breakfast in the morning, I usually make oatmeal with a boiled egg and some fruits on the side. If I know I have to run to class, I take fruit and yogurt to class. Most of the time, I have cereal while I check my email in the morning, or while I do some reading before class. A good cereal with fiber and protein is a good alternative to the usual meat and eggs breakfast. For example, I just bought the new Kashi Honey Sunshine, which I love. A serving has 100 calories with 6 grams of fiber but it only has 2 grams of protein. However, this is still a great cereal because when I add my serving of milk, the entire bowl will have about 10 grams of added protein. Adding fruit to the cereal will add more fiber and nutrients to my breakfast, so I like to add  blueberries. I recently discovered Fairway’s 100% Squeezed Orange Juice, which actually taste like fresh squeezed orange juice and not like Tropicana. When I have this juice available in my fridge, I have a cup in the morning with my breakfast for added vitamin C and calories to sustain me.

 

See, Breakfast is Yummy.

See, Breakfast is Yummy.

In order to keep our bodies healthy, we need to start at some point and what better time than during breakfast time? Lets  kick start our metabolism as soon as we wake up by eating a balanced breakfast with protein and fiber. We all have busy schedules but we need a balance in our lives. We need to make time for the important aspects of our lives, which include the health of our bodies. We can’t complete our tasks if we do not take care of ourselves. If you can’t make time to sit and have breakfast in the morning plan ahead and have something handy that could provide you with a healthy breakfast, like a granola bar.

 

Gershoff, Stanley. The Tufts University Guide to Total Nutrition. Second Edition. HarperCollins Publishers, 1996.

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In honor of Valentine’s Day, I have done an interdisciplinary study of the heart (a.k.a love) and red wine (a.k.a. it’s RED and it’s oh-so-romantic). Even though this is now old news, I feel it merits repeating during the days leading up to our time-honored celebration of the commodification of love. (End rant). First, a few disclaimers: Barbelle does not condone underage drinking or excessive drinking, and in no way does this post serve as the final word on the matter of alcohol and health. However, studies show that in moderation, red wine can reduce the risk of heart disease.

The flavonoids – a type of antioxidant found in red wine – may be the main cause of the health benefits of red wine. However, the American Heart Association stresses that flavonoids can be found in non-alcoholic drinks as well, such as grape juice, and the health benefits of alcohol should not outweigh the negative aspects of addiction and over-consumption. They further point out that the healthy hearts of wine drinkers may be due to exercise, diets high in fruits and vegetables, or other factors. They maintain that there has been no conclusive evidence that proves the specific properties of red wine prevent against heart disease. That said, red wine does contain elements that can improve health

Despite the AHA’s reticence, Harvard researchers have shown that resveratrol, another property in red wine, can reduce the formation of blood clots, the negative effects of a high-fat diet and the effects of aging. Of course, the AHA is quick to point out that aspirin can act as a blood thinner as well.

Although my research has not proven as clear-cut as I wanted, I can safely say that you may imbibe one glass of red wine at your Valentine’s Day dinner – if you are over 21 – without fearing for your health. Still skeptical? Go for the grape juice instead.

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With Valentine’s Day comes a barrage of candy hearts, paper hearts, and heart-shaped boxes filled with chocolates and valentines. Yet, amidst this inundation of material hearts,  it is important to remember that we are always accompanied by (one might even say, indebted to) another heart.  Yes, I’m talking about the heart that’s beating in your chest right now,  circulating oxygen throughout your body.

We don’t show our hearts enough love. Sure, we love them, and may become particularly aware of them when participating in the pledge of allegiance. So let us rise to the occasion. This Valentine’s Day, there are some simple changes we can make to strengthen our hearts and make us healthier.

1.) Eat less salt: The American Heart Association stipulates that we consume less than 2,300 milligrams of salt per day.  Excessive salt intake can lead to high blood pressure. Many prepared foods, a la Hewitt and John Jay, are comprised of salt. An easy fix? Choose fresh vegetables from the salad bar instead of the cooked ones.  Also, when cooking, use cinnamon, lemon juice, garlic, or hot chilli instead of salt for flavoring for heart-healthy culinary innovations.

2.) Get moving: We hear it and read it all the time, but it’s true: our bodies really do require cardiovascular exercise most days of the week. Aim for at least thirty minutes of cardiovascular exercise five days per week and you’re golden.

3.) Swap unhealthy fats with healthy fats: Lower your intake of trans and saturated fats; these fats raise our cholesterol, heightening our risk for having clogged arteries. Try to eat monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in their stead, as from nuts and olive and canola oils.

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