Monday, March 31, 2008

Nutrient Loss During Cooking, Freezing, Drying and Reheating

Nearly every food preparation process will reduce the amount of nutrients in food. Processes that expose the food to high heat, light or oxygen will create the greatest nutrient loss in your food. It is always best to keep these processes to a minimum; consuming raw foods is definitely the best way of getting the most out of your food.

Below is a general table showing the nutrient loss for common food processing methods. Actual losses will vary with the type of food, cooking time and temperatures.

Typical Maximum Nutrient Losses (as compared to raw food)
Vitamins Freeze-
Dry- Cook+Drain -Reheat
Vitamin A 5% 50% 35% 10%
Retinol Activity Equivalent 5% 50% 35% 10%
Alpha Carotene 5% 50% 35% 10%
Beta Carotene 5% 50% 35% 10%
Beta Cryptoxanthin 5% 50% 35% 10%
Lycopene 5% 50% 35% 10%
Lutein+Zeaxanthin 5% 50% 35% 10%
Vitamin C 30% 80% 75% 50%
Thiamin 5% 30% 70% 40%
Riboflavin 0% 10% 45% 5%
Niacin 0% 10% 55% 5%
Vitamin B6 0% 10% 65% 45%
Folate 5% 50% 75% 30%
Food Folate 5% 50% 75% 30%
Folic Acid 5% 50% 75% 30%
Vitamin B12 0% 0% 50% 45%

Calcium 5% 0% 25% 0%
Iron 0% 0% 40% 0%
Magnesium 0% 0% 40% 0%
Phosphorus 0% 0% 35% 0%
Potassium 10% 0% 70% 0%
Sodium 0% 0% 55% 0%
Zinc 0% 0% 25% 0%
Copper 10% 0% 45% 0%

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Why Use Sea Salt?

There are so many varieties of salt to choose from these days such as table salt, kosher salt, sea salt, grey salt, pink salt and more. For clean eating, sea salt is best because it contains many minerals needed by the body. Ordinary table salt is stripped of all minerals and worse off, aluminum silicate is added to give the salt a smooth texture. Sea salt resembles that of the human blood with the content of minerals and trace elements it contains; it contains approximately 80 of these - even more reason to make the switch!

Once you use sea salt, you'll find that you need to use less in your daily cooking when compared to regular table salt because of the high mineral content that brings out the strong salty flavor.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Read It Before You Eat It!

It's important to pay attention to everything you are putting into your body. With the way foods are currently processed, you need to watch out for foods that are made up of trans fats, sugars, chemicals and way too much sodium. The best way to do this is to analyze the ingredient list on any food you intend to purchase.

Ingredients are listed from highest to lowest. If the first ingredient listed is "whole wheat flour" there is more of that ingredient than anything else. Avoid foods that have fats and sugars listed at the top of the ingredient list.

Sugar can be listed under many names; fructose, sucrose, dextrose, lactose, maltose etc. - remember that these names rhyme with "gross." There are other forms of sugar such as honey, molasses, corn syrup or grape juice concentrate but try limit yourself to small amounts of any sugar products.

You should always avoid foods that are processed with words such as "high fructose corn syrup," "partially hydrogenated" or "hydrogenated". These ingredients are not natural and with time, will do damage to the body.

A good rule of thumb is if you can't pronounce ingredients in the ingredient list, it's most likely not good for you. It's always good to do your own research but many of the "hard to pronounce" ingredients are chemicals that you do not want to put into your body.

Eat Slowly!!!

Why is it important to eat slowly and stop before you are full? It can take up to a half an hour for your brain to process that your stomach is give yourself some time before you go back for seconds.

Only dish yourself out healthy serving size portions and then give yourself time to really digest what you have eaten before you allow yourself to overeat. You want to feel satisfied, not full. This is the best way to prevent yourself from overeating.

Eat Clean Diet Plan

Meal 1: 2 scoops *protein powder mixed with 1 cup frozen fruit,
1 cup water and 1/2 c. ***spinach

Meal 2: 2 hardboiled *eggs, 1 serving size of any ***fruit
or ***vegetable

Meal 3: 3/4 cup whole grain ***oatmeal w/ 1/2 scoop *protein
powder, 1 serving size of any ***fruit or ***vegetable

Meal 4: 1 serving size of any whole ***fruit, 1 serving size of any
*lean protein

Meal 5: 1 serving size of any *lean protein, mixed **veggies
steamed or cooked lightly in ****olive oil w/ sea salt (any natural spices are fine)

Meal 6: 1 spoon of ****almond butter (protein as well as complex

*Lean Protein Options
Cottage Cheese
Egg Whites
Whey Protein Powder
Home Cooked Beans (Black or Pinto)
Yogurt (No sugar added)

***Complex Carbohydrates
Whole Wheat, high fiber wrap
Whole Wheat/Semolina blend pasta
Brown Rice
Whole Wheat Bread (Try to limit your bread
Home Cooked Beans (Black or Pinto)

**** Use sparingly

Drink plenty of water! (Minimum of 8 glasses a day!)

The Importance Of Taking A Multivitamin Supplement

It's absolutely crucial that your body gets the nutrients it needs to function effectively and efficiently. The daily stress of pollution, fatty and processed food, and stress deplete your body of nutrients and it's up to you to replace these nutrients. You can do this through healthy nutrition, or even better, through healthy nutrition and proper supplementation.

For the average person, it's difficult to get the proper amount of nutrients needed from food alone. Even the healthiest of eaters might not be getting the recommended amount of vitamins and minerals. This is because it's hard to judge exactly how much nutrients you are getting from the food you are eating, not to mention certain forms of cooking actually destroys the vitamins and minerals in the food. This is why taking a multivitamin supplement is so benefiting.

The best thing you can do for your body is to eat a balanced diet and supplement it with a quality multivitamin. You'll get the nutrients your body needs from the food and then back it up with the multivitamin for a power packed effect.

There are four forms of multivitamins you can buy: capsule, tablet, soft gel, and liquid. Avoid tablets at all costs because they are the hardest for your body to breakdown and absorb. Liquid multivitamins are the easiest for your body to absorb because there's nothing for your body to breakdown, but capsules and soft gels are also good forms of multivitamins in reference to absorption rate.

So which multivitamins are good ones to buy? Generally speaking, you pay for what you get. The cheap supermarket multivitamins are inexpensive but can't compare to a quality, more expensive multi. Your best bet is to decide how much you can afford to spend and then do research on the Internet on the multivitamins that fall within your price range.

Multivitamins are probably the single most important supplement you can take. If you aren't taking one, you really should consider doing so.


Black Bean Lime Salsa

1 c. black beans
1 tomato, diced
1 lime cut into small pieces
1/2 onion, diced
1 T. balsamic vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 c. coarsely chopped or torn fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp. dried cayenne pepper
1/2 T. hemp oil
1/2 T. flaxseed oil
1/4 tsp. sea salt

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate for a few hours!

*Optional - Add diced avocado to salsa mixture when ready to serve.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Fruit Smoothie Protein Shake

1 cup water
1 cup of your favorite unsweetened frozen fruit (my favorite is blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and pineapple)
1/2 cup fresh organic spinach (you won't even taste it)
1-2 scoops vanilla whey protein powder

Blend all ingredients in a blender until nice and smooth. You may need to add an additional 1/2 cup of water to help the blending process.

This is so wonderful after an intense, cardio or weight training workout - excellent for muscle recovery!

10 Best Metabolism-Hyping Tips

  1. Water, water, water. Hydrate yourself with water to encourage optimal bodily function and speed up the metabolism.
  2. Eat a palm-sized serving of protein along with complex carbohydrates every 2-3 hours. That means six meals a day not three squares.
  3. Burn fat efficiently by adding essential fatty acids like flaxseed and unsaturated oils to the diet.
  4. Fiber fills you up, sustaining you for longer than foods without it. Certain foods like flaxseed, wheat germ and bran stimulate lazy bowels.
  5. Vitamins and minerals complement a clean diet, protecting against deficiencies and boosting the immune system.
  6. Don't go past the point of hunger. Skipping a meal triggers a starvation response in the metabolism, making it slow down. Eating clean foods frequently sustains a highly charged metabolic rate.
  7. Each meal should include a 4 or 5 ounce portion of lean protein from chicken, turkey, egg whites, pork tenderloin or white fish sources.
  8. Sugar is the white poison, sending the metabolism into a slow tailspin. All simple sugars - refined sugars - must be avoided to keep the metabolism burning quickly.
  9. Complex carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables satisfy the needs of an active body. Each meal should include generous servings.
  10. Certain foods have a high glycemic index. This means they induce a similar negative effect on metabolism to eating sugar. Rice cakes, carrots, potatoes and fruit juices have a high glycemic index and should be consumed in moderation.

~Information was obtained from The Eat-Clean Diet Book by Tosca Reno

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Taco Soup - Fast & Easy

1 lb. lean ground turkey (85%-90% lean ground turkey is best)
1 28 oz can tomato sauce
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 14 oz can corn (drained)
1 14 0z can kidney beans (drained)
1 package taco seasoning mix (check out your local health food store for a healthy taco seasoning mix)

Cook the ground turkey and drain the excess oil. In a saucepan add turkey to remaining ingredients. Add 4 cups of water to the mix and cook on med/high heat until nice and warm. Serve with home baked chips, light sour cream and a little cheese. Yummy!

*Optional variations:
Cook turkey with desired amount of onion.
Use textured vegetable protein or any other meat substitute in place of turkey.
Use low-fat plain yogurt in place of light sour cream.
Frozen corn can be used in place of canned corn.
Black or pinto beans are also a wonderful additon!
Add tofu for a creamier texture with the added benefits!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Chai Frappuccino

1 c. skim or low-fat milk

6 Ice cubes

4 packets of Splenda

Dash of cinnamon

Dash of nutmeg

Dash of cloves

Vanilla (optional)

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until nice and frothy. A yummy, satisfying treat!

Free Radicals and Antioxidants 101

Free Radicals are present in our food, air and environment; they enter our bodies every day. Free radicals are compounds that attack cells by removing an electron in order to become atomically balanced. By removing electrons from healthy compounds, free radicals inflict damage—often known as oxidation—which is irreversible.

Antioxidants are substances or nutrients in our foods which can prevent or slow the oxidative damage to our body. Antioxidants act as "free radical scavengers" and in return prevent and repair damage done by these free radicals by replacing cells with their missing electrons. Health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer etc. are all contributed by oxidative damage. Studies have found that 5 servings of fruits and vegetables (which are excellent sources of antioxidants) reduce the risk of stroke by 25 percent. Antioxidants may also improve your immune system and therefore lower the risk of cancer and other infections.

Many vitamins and minerals act as antioxidants in their own right, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, lutein, lycopene, vitamin B2, coenzyme Q10, and cysteine (an amino acid). Herbs, such as bilberry, turmeric, (curcumin), grape seed or pine bark extracts, and ginkgo can also provide powerful antioxidant protection for the body.

I like to think of antioxidants as the "Fountain of Youth" as they also help with the aging process.

Consuming a wide variety of antioxidant enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and herbs may be the best way to provide the body with the most complete protection against free radical damage.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

How Much Water Should You Be Drinking?

Take your weight, divide it by 2, and that's how many ounces of water you should be drinking daily. But at the very minimum, drink at least 64 ounces per day (2 quarts).

For example:
If you weigh 160 pounds, drink 80 ounces of water. (10 cups)
Drink an additional 8 ounces per day for every 25 pounds you are overweight.

Did you know that your brain runs on electrical impulses? Guess how the electricity gets around? It travels through the water in your brain. So drink your water!

Did you also know that if you wait until you're thirsty before you reach for that glass of water then you're already dehydrated and the damage is done? When the body is dehydrated, it often sends out signals that are misread as hunger pangs. Mild dehydration actually slows down body metabolism, so not only will you feel tired but it may be easier to gain weight.

Signs of dehydration:
  1. Fatigue
  2. Lethargy
  3. Irritability
  4. Headache
  5. Blurred vision
  6. Flushed skin
  7. Lack of mental clarity
  8. constipation
  9. Cystitis
  10. Back pain
  11. Excess Weight
  12. High cholesterol
  13. Cellulite
  14. Water Retention

Benefits Of Drinking Water

1. Assists the body in metabolizing stored fat by allowing your kidneys and liver to function at their best. Your liver metabolizes fat and it can’t do that at 100% if it is doing the kidney’s job.

2. Reduces fat deposits in the body.

3. Relieves fluid retention problems - If you don’t give your body enough water, it will retain it.

4. Reduces sodium buildup in the body.

5. Helps to maintain proper muscle tone.

6. Rids the body of waste and toxins.

7. Relieves constipation.

8. Relieves headaches.

9. Suppresses appetite.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Taco Filling

1 lb. ground turkey (or extra lean ground beef)
14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes - no sugar added
14 1/2 oz can black beans - drained
14 1/2 oz can garbanzo beans (chick peas) - drained
1 package *taco seasoning
1 package *ranch style dressing
2 cups salsa or picante sauce

Brown meat and drain fat. Put all ingredients in a crockpot and cook on high for 4 hours. Use the filling on top of salad, or as burritos in a whole wheat tortilla. (Freezes well)

*Check out your local health food store for healthier versions of these seasonings.

Submitted by Jenny Creviston

Monday, March 17, 2008

What Does It Mean To Eat Clean?

Ever eaten your way through a giant muffin, a large chocolate bar, a whole bag of chips or a greasy piece of takeout chicken and felt good? Apart from the guilt trip, your body usually feels clogged, stuffy and congested after heavy sugary or fried foods, and you can feel tired and sluggish for the next hour or so. High sugar and fatty foods are not the normal foods our bodies were meant to have to digest, and consequently when we eat them, our digestive system slows down just as if we had poured mud down the bathroom plughole.

Do calories count?
The basics of nutrition tell us that if we want to reduce weight then the exercise we do must use up more calories than those we eat. However, there are more to calories than meets the eye. The popular theory that a calorie is a calorie whether it comes from an apple or a chocolate chip cookie may look good on paper, but in reality your body may respond and function many times better to the ‘clean’ food (i.e. the unprocessed, un-sugared food). When you think about it, the apple is always going to have so many more vitamins, minerals and fiber than the choc chip cookie ever will have. Foods that are high in fiber and deliver large amounts of vitamins and minerals without a lot of additives, sugar, fat, or processing, are the foods that bodies seem to function best on.

What does "Eating Clean" mean?
By eating clean we get back to foods that our body feels most comfortable about digesting, we have less digestive problems, less skin problems, and less period problems. We are more likely to feel energetic and healthy, and lose weight without trying because our body systems are working more healthily.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Onion Rings

1 large onion

1/4 cup original Egg Beaters**

1/2 cup crushed Fiber One

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut edges off onion, and remove outer layer. Cut onion into 1/2 inch wide slices, and separate into rings. Next, fill a small bowl (just large enough for onion rings to fit in) with Egg Beaters. Using a blender or food processor, grind Fiber One cereal to a breadcrumb-like consistency. Pour crumbs onto a small dish. One by one, coat each ring in egg and then crumbs (give each ring a shake after the egg bath). Place on an oven-safe baking dish sprayed with nonstick spray. Cook for 20-25 minutes, flipping rings over about halfway through. Serves one!

Serving Size: 15 rings; one recipe

Calories: 153

Fat: 1g

Sodium: 225mg

Carbs: 41g

Fiber: 16g
Sugars: 7g

Protein: 9g


2 tsp. olive or canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 lbs. canned pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 lbs. canned white pinto beans, rinsed and drained
Chili powder to taste (about 2 Tbsp.)
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. garlic

In a nonstick pan, saute onion, green pepper, and garlic in oil over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes until tender. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Cover, reduce heat to medium/low, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring several times while cooking. Serves 6.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30-45 minutes

Nutritional Information

Calories 250
Carbs 45 g
Protein 13 g
Fat Total 4 g
Fiber 15 g
Saturated Fat 0 g

Pumpkin Pancakes

1/3 cup whole grain oats

1/2 cup egg whites

1 tbsp. fat-free cottage cheese

2 tbsp. canned pure pumpkin

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

2 T. of Sucanat

Blend all ingredients together with a hand mixer or blender. Spray your pan with nonstick spray and cook on medium/high heat until bubbly. Then flip your giant pancake and finish it off until golden brown. Top with agave or sugar-free syrup, applesauce, cinnamon and splenda, etc.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

How much protein is enough?

Most men and women do not consume enough protein. Protein intake is crucial not only for leaning out but also for building muscle. With out it, you will not have the building blocks to create a healthy, beautiful body.

If you are trying to build muscle and you work out 3 or more times a week, you want to consume 1 gram of protein for every pound you weigh. If you weigh 150 pounds, try to consume 150 grams of protein every day. Look for lean proteins such as whey protein shakes, turkey, chicken, tofu, cottage cheese, low fat fish, yogurt and eggs. These are all easily digested and excellent sources of complete* proteins.

Proteins are composed of amino acids, 12 of which are manufactured by the human body and another 9 essential amino acids that are not. With essential meaning your body does not produce it, you will need to obtain these amino acids from food sources. Some of the best sources of protein are animal proteins as they contain all 9 of the essential* amino acids or also known as complete proteins. Vegetable proteins may lack or be low on one or two of the essential amino acids so it is best to combine vegetables with other foods when trying to obtain all of the required essential amino acids. For example: when eating brown rice, combine it with beans to obtain all 9 of the essential amino acids.

If you feel you are struggling to get enough protein, whey protein powders are a wonderful supplement in helping you meet your protein needs.

Leaning Out?

If you are looking to reduce your body fat percentage, be aware that you may be lacking many nutrients. It is always best to obtain nutrients from food but if you are on a restricted diet you may need to obtain those required nutrients from supplements. Below are recommended daily allowances for specific nutrients you may be lacking from a restricted diet.

Nutrient - RDA
Calcium - 1,000 mg
Potassium - 4,700 mg
Fiber - 25 mg
Magnesium - 320 mg
Vitamin A - 2,310 IU
Vitamin C - 75 mg
Vitamin E - 15 mg