Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Celebrating Blueberries

On May 8, 1999 Dan Glickman, Secretary of Agriculture of the United States of America proclaimed the month of July as "National Blueberry Month".

Spotlight on Blueberries

Blueberry Facts.
Blueberries are a native North American fruit produced in 35 States.

Fresh blueberries are available for about eight months of the year from producers across the United States and Canada. North America is the world's leading blueberry producer. The North American harvest runs from mid-April through early October, with peak harvest in mid-May through August.

Blueberries can be found in the market all year round, along with frozen, canned and dried blueberries.

Blueberries are low in calories and sodium and are a good source of fiber.

Blueberries rank high in antioxidants that help protect against cancer, heart disease and other age-related diseases.

Researchers have found compounds in blueberries that may help prevent urinary tract infection.

How To Select and Store Blueberries

Purchasing Blueberries
When purchasing fresh blueberries, look for firm, plump, dry berries with smooth skins and a silvery sheen. Check the color - reddish berries aren’t ripe, but can be used in cooking. Avoid soft or shriveled fruit, or any signs of mold. Containers with juice stains indicate that the fruit may be bruised.

Storing Blueberries
Refrigerate fresh blueberries as soon as you get them home, in their original plastic pack or in a covered bowl or storage container. Wash berries just before use. Use within 10 days of purchase.

Freezing Blueberries
Freeze unwashed and completely dry. Discard berries that are bruised or shriveled. Blueberries can be frozen in their original plastic pack or in a resealable plastic or frozen bag or transfered to freezer containerRemember to rinse them before using.

Serving Suggestions
*Add blueberries to your favorite muffin or pancake recipe.
*Combine blueberries with yogurt and granola cereal.

*Sprinkle blueberries over mixed greens.
*Serve blueberries with sour cream, yogurt or cottage cheese.

Blueberry Smoothie
Makes 3 Servings.

1 small, ripe Banana
1 cup Frozen Blueberries
8 ounces low-fat Yogurt (Vanilla or Fruit Flavored)
3/4 cup low-fat (1%) Milk

1. Peel banana, cut into 1-inch chunks. Place the banana chunks into the blender.
2. Put the frozen blueberries, yogurt and milk into the blender with the bananas.
3. Cover and blenderize on high speed for about 1 minute or until the mixture is smooth.
4. Pour smoothie into cups.
Nutrition Analysis per one serving:
Calories (kcal) 124; Dietary Fiber (g) 2.2; Fat (g) 2; Calcium (mg) 177; Sodium (mg) 75

Fats Domino - Blueberry Hill

Celebrating Blueberries
During the month of July, we enjoyed the sweet flavor of blueberries in various recipes. Below are some of the photographs taken to capture their versatility and beauty.

Recipe. Frozen Blueberry Yogurt (low fat) with Fresh Blueberries 

Recipe. Blueberry Ices with Kiwi and Blueberries 

Recipe. Orange Sections and Fresh Blueberries 

Recipe. Blueberries with Vanilla Ice Cream (light),
Blueberry Ices and Frozen Blueberry Yogurt (low fat)

Recipe. Blueberry Crumb Ice Cream
with Fresh Blueberries

Recipe. Fruit Garden with Blueberries, Watermelon,
Pineapples, Grapes, and Kiwi

North American Blueberry Council. NABC, The North American Blueberry Council
U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council

Sunday, July 20, 2014

July 20, Food Highlights
Fortune Cookie Day and Lollipop Day

July 20, Fortune Cookie Day

July 20, National Lollipop Day
Lollipops are what we call "Empty Calories." A food labeled as empty calories provide little to no nutrients, except calories. The calories in the "Dum Dum Pop" comes from sugar and corn syrup.

Food Network - Dum Dum Pops Unwrapped

The Chordettes - Lollipop

Saturday, July 19, 2014

July is Sandwich Generation Month
“Three Generations Bound By Caring”

The Sandwich Generation is a generation of people who care for their aging parents while supporting their own children. It is a commemoration and celebration of dedication, patience and caring. The goal is to raise awareness of the tireless efforts of (and support available to) members of this growing generation.

Sandwich Generation Month is held every July and brings the community and families together to heighten understanding of the special needs of this generation. It also spotlights community support available to those working hard to maintain multi-generational families.

According to the Pew Research Center, just over 1 of every 8 Americans aged 40 to 60 is both raising a child and caring for a parent.

Sandwich Generation

To learn more about the Sandwich Generation, visit the Sandwich Generation Resource Group.

Friday, July 18, 2014

July 18, Nelson Mandela International Day

What Can I Do On Mandela Day?

The overarching objective of Mandela Day is to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better, and in doing so build a global movement for good. Ultimately it seeks to empower communities everywhere. “Take Action; Inspire Change; Make Every Day a Mandela Day.”

Individuals and organisations are free to participate in Mandela Day as they wish. We do however urge everyone to adhere to the ethical framework of “service to one’s fellow human”.

Nelson Mandela Tribute from George Stroumboulopoulos

A short biography of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela International Day:
If the legacy of Nelson Mandela’s life and work is to be dynamic, it must be “owned” by current and future generations. It must be accessible to everyone, and applied in constantly changing contexts of time and place.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Kids Eat Right Month Spotlights ‘Hungry-Overweight Paradox’


 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Encourages Policies 
that Provide Consistent Access to Nutrient-rich Food

KidsEatRight.orgCHICAGO – It may seem like a contradiction, but millions of American children are both hungry and overweight. During Kids Eat Right Month, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spotlights the “hungry yet overweight paradox” and ways to ensure children meet their nutrient requirements and maintain a healthy weight.

“Kids Eat Right Month provides us with a valuable opportunity to shed light on one of the most serious social and health issues related to childhood obesity – the ‘hungry yet overweight paradox’ of food insecurity that threatens the health of the nation’s children,” says registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy Spokesperson Angela Lemond.

Kids Eat Right Month focuses on the importance of healthful eating and active lifestyles for children and families, featuring expert advice from registered dietitian nutritionists. The Kids Eat Right initiative, created in 2010 by the Academy and its charitable Foundation, offers resources and information for Academy members and the public to encourage nutritious, healthful eating among children and families.

More than one in five kids lives in a food-insecure household, meaning their family’s income doesn’t allow for consistent access to food. “Meanwhile, a child can look overweight while still being hungry for nutrients because limited income leads to a trade-off between food quantity and food quality,” Lemond says.

“Individuals and families experiencing food insecurity often experience periods of time when they have full pantries, followed by periods without. When food is available, many children eat a healthy and steady diet, though some may overeat due to fear of lacking food in the future. When food is not available, children’s diets may be minimal or they may have to skip meals altogether. These wide swings in calorie consumption affect their metabolism and promote fat storage,” Lemond says.

The hungry-overweight paradox leads to serious, long-term health consequences. Children who are food-insecure are more likely to have iron deficiency, asthma, delayed cognitive development, increased stomachaches, headaches, colds and increased fatigue. “To successfully address the hungry-overweight paradox, the Academy supports programs and practices that combat hunger and malnutrition, encourage food security, promote self-sufficiency, educate consumers and health professionals, and are environmentally and economically sustainable,” Lemond says.
“Long-term, lasting solutions to the hungry-overweight paradox must include research, innovative and creative initiatives that show children and adults alike the benefits of good nutrition, and improving access to nutritious food for all people,” she says. 

Registered dietitian nutritionists help in developing school and workplace policies, community programs and cooking and shopping strategies for families and individuals. “The Academy and our members are strong advocates for programs that have been proven effective in reducing food insecurity and nourishing children, including school meal programs and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP,” Lemond says.

For more information about high-quality nutrition and balanced eating plans for kids, or to download the Academy’s Nourish to Flourish infographic, visit www.KidsEatRight.org.


All registered dietitians are nutritionists – but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians. The Academy’s Board of Directors and Commission on Dietetic Registration have determined that those who hold the credential registered dietitian (RD) may optionally use “registered dietitian nutritionist” (RDN) instead. The two credentials have identical meanings.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at www.eatright.org.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation is a 501(c)3 charity devoted exclusively to nutrition and dietetics. It funds scholarships and awards, public awareness and research projects and Academy strategic initiatives, and is the largest provider of scholarships and awards in the field of dietetics. Visit the Academy Foundation at www.eatright.org/foundation.

5 Mindless Habits that Can Add 6.5 Pounds
Guest Blogger: Michelle J. Stewart RD, LD/N

1. Cocktail Hour. The evening ritual of a frozen margarita or Pina Colada may seem like a harmless and well deserved treat after a long day, but be warned these cocktails can really add up. An 8 ounce frozen margarita will pack in approximately 300 calories and an 8 oz Pina Colada is almost 450 calories! If you drink one of these beverages three times a week you could easily gain two pounds in a month.

2. Eating from the “Bag”. The simple act of mindlessly eating your favorite chips or crackers while watching TV, reading a book, or hanging out with friend can easily add 300 - 500 calories in a sitting. A one ounce serving of corn chips is equivalent to 12 chips and 150 calories. It is not uncommon for someone to eat two to three times that amount while unconsciously eating from the bag. Munching from the bag two to three times a week could easily add one pound over a four week period. To combat this behavior, start by portioning out a serving of chips on a plate and leave the bag in the pantry.

3. Cleaning the Kids Plate. Cleaning your child’s plate by eating their “leftovers” can really add up. On average every extra bite of food will be approximately 25 calories. If you think that you eat two bites off of your kids plate, three times a day, seven days a week, this could add up to one pound over four weeks. 

4. Ordering In or Dining Out. Busy summer days can leave one tired and un-inspired to cook, which often leads to ordering in or dining out. While there is nothing wrong with enjoying a meal out or taking a night off from kitchen duties and ordering take out, if you are not aware of the choices being made the calories can really add up. Not only are restaurant meals known for their large portion sizes, but they usually have higher fat and sodium content than the home cooked version. For example, a traditional chinese dinner of Broccoli and Chicken with 1 cup of rice is approximately 750 calories, compared to a homemade version will be approximately 400 calories. Do this three times a week and this could easily add up to 1 - 2 pounds a month. 

5. Self Serve Treats. Frozen yogurt can make a delightful summer afternoon treat, and when reading the nutrition facts it appears to be a sensible choice when it comes to choosing a healthy food. However, the deception of frozen yogurt lies in the portion of self serve cups. A “serving size” is 4 ounces and can range between 80 - 130 calories. However a “small” serve serve cup at most of the popular frozen yogurt chains will be approximately 16 ounces, and a large cup can run up to 32 ounces. Fill your cup to the brim (or even half way) and you are in for a high calorie treat. Your 80 - 130 calorie “small” treat can easily turn into a 320 - 520 calorie meal...and this is before toppings! Indulge in self serve frozen treats 3 times a week and you could gain 1.5 pounds over the course of a month.

To summarize how these small “mindless” acts of eating can add up check the above graphic!

Michelle J. Stewart RD, LD/N 
Michelle J. Stewart is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian and better known as The Nutrition Planner. Founder of Michelle Stewart Consulting & Associates who has been leading the way to a healthier you for more than 25 years. Michelle is a Certified Diabetes Educator, and also holds certifications in Adult, Adolescent, and Childhood Obesity and is a Certified Wellness Coach. A Master’s In Public Health keeps her abreast of the latest health concerns and on the cutting edge of intervention. Focusing on aging and longevity with a holistic approach to living your best life is her pathway to inner peace and happiness.

You can learn more about Michelle's services by connecting to the following addresses.
Twitter. Michelle Stewart

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