Saturday, December 31, 2016

December 31, New Years Eve - Healthy Dining Out Strategies

To get the New Year started off right, here are strategies when dining out.
Healthy Dining Out Strategies

Foods Better Selections Limit
Beverage.
Request herbal teas; mineral or sparkling water; skim milk; unsweetened fruit juices and occasional decaffeinated diet drinks.
Alcohol; beer; wine; caffeine diet drinks, coffee, or tea; chocolate; cocoa; milk shakes and soft drinks.
Bread.
Request whole grains, 
biscuits, crackers, lavosh, muffins, or pumpernickel.
Glazed cakes; Danish; jelly filled or salt covered items; sweet rolls.
Appetizer.
Request bouillon, clear broth, or consommé; fresh fruit; fish or meat cocktails; gazpacho; raw or plain vegetables; tomato or vegetable juice; unsweetened fruit juice.
Breaded or fried items; canned fruit; dips; oil marinated or sauce covered items.
Salads.
Request fresh fruit; lettuce; tossed or vegetable salad.
Canned fruit; salads with dressings already mixed in.
Fats and Salad Dressings.
Request no butter or margarine, or little- or no-fat, low-salt, whipped or soft butter or 
margarine. Use lemon, vinegar, and mustard in salads or request 
olive oil. Request oil on the side.
Regular butter, margarine or oils; cream sauce; gravy; salads with mixed-in dressings.
Vegetables.
Request boiled, raw, steamed, or stewed.
Au gratin; cheese or sauce covered;  creamed, escalloped, fried, or sautéed.
Potatoes and Substitutes.
Request baked, boiled, or steamed potatoes; plain pasta or rice.
Creamed, Delmonico, escalloped, French-fried, hashed-browned, or mashed potatoes; potato chips and salads.
Meat, Fish, or Poultry.
Request meats to be trimmed of fat before it's baked, boiled, broiled, roasted, or stir fried.
Braised, breaded, fried, gravy covered, sautéed, or stewed.
Eggs.
Only occasional use of boiled (hard or soft), plain, poached, scrambled, or low-cholesterol substitutes.
Creamed, fried, or oil-cooked omelet's.
Desserts.
Request fresh fruit, jello, plain angel food, sponge, or unsweetened fruit filled cake.
Layered cakes, canned fruit, custard, ice cream, pastry, pie, puddings, or any sugar-based item.
Delicatessen Selections
Extra lean corned beef, pastrami, or roast beef, beef brisket, and turkey breast are best; whole wheat or multi-grain breads; chicken or tuna salad; chopped herring; chef salad; fresh fruit plate with cottage cheese; dry bagel; borscht or broth soup; tossed salad, sliced tomatoes, beet salad, or carrot raisin salad.
High-fat meats (regular corn beef, hot pastrami, beef bologna, hot dogs, knockwurst, liverwurst, and salami); potato salad; mayonnaise based salads; combo sandwiches (Reuben); smoked fish (lox); creamy coleslaw; chopped liver; excess cream cheese and cheese spreads; sauerkraut (high in sodium).
Pizza Parlor Selections 
You cannot go wrong by ordering extra toppings such as onions, peppers, mushrooms, tomato slices, broccoli and spinach. Other possibilities include chicken, crab meat, or shrimp.  
Fat starts with the basic cheese, so avoid extra cheese and in particular mozzarella. Other culprits include bacon, meatballs, pepperoni, sausage, and prosciutto, as well as anchovies.
Sandwich Shop Selections 
Both 100% whole wheat and pita bread are great choices. Good sandwich fillers are grilled chicken breast, ham, roast beef, and turkey breast. Instruct the server not to add butter, margarine, or mayonnaise to the bread and substitute with ketchup, mustard, or horseradish. Good salad choices include chef, garden, or Greek salads, but remember to ask for low-calorie dressings on the side and to omit egg or cheese. Broth-type soups are good, such as barley, beef, chicken, lentil, split pea, and vegetable noodle.
Avoid croissants, cheese, excess mayonnaise, egg, and creamy soups. Beware of "diet plates" with big burgers and scoops of cottage cheese, which have loads of saturated fat. Omit cheeseburgers, cheese sandwiches, or grilled cheese "melts" over chicken and seafood salads; and cold cuts. Combo sandwiches with meat and cheese and club sandwiches are best avoided due to the large portion size.

Remember that salad combos such as tuna, chicken, and crab meat have lots of mayonnaise. Avoid creamy soups such as chowders or cream of "anything."
Submarine Shop Selections
Order the smaller size roll or pita bread. Turkey, smoked turkey, ham, and roast beef are acceptable. Ask the server to go light on the meats, omit the mayonnaise or oil, and generously load up on the shredded lettuce, onion, peppers, pickles, and sliced tomatoes. Choose salads as alternatives when available, such as chef or tossed salads with perhaps a scoop of tuna, chicken, or seafood served 
with Italian or pita bread. 
Omit meats such as bologna, Italian cold cuts, salami (hard or Genoa) and sausages. Stay away from cheeses and steak and cheese. Other items to omit include antipasto salads, fried eggplant, and chicken cutlets.



Chinese Selections
Order plain steamed rice; boiled, steamed, or stir-fried vegetables (ask for little oil to be used); moderate fish and shellfish; non-fried tofu; skinless poultry and egg roll (insides only).

Anything fried (rice or crispy noodles), or with sweet and sour sauce; egg dishes or soups; salty soups; avoid duck and limit beef, pork and picked foods; excess soy sauce; ask chef to leave out MSG and cut down the use of commonly used corn starch, sugar, and salt.

Indian Selections
Order chutney (except mango); curry sauce (yogurt based); fish (omit butter basting); yogurt with shredded vegetables; basmati rice. Biryani (vegetable dish); chapatti or papadum bread; tandoori chicken; lentil or mulligatawny soups
Creamy or high-salt soups; clarified butter (ghee); deep fried meats; poori or paratha bread; fried samosa or pakora; ask to prepare dishes without excess salt and to omit coconut milk, if possible; omit garnishes with nuts or dried fruit.

Italian Selections
Order antipasto (no oil or excess meats); crusty bread (no oil or butter); broiled or grilled 
fish, seafood, chicken, and meats; garlic; plain or vegetable pasta; fresh unsalted mozzarella cheese; steamed leafy vegetables (kale and broccoli); salads; fresh tomatoes; zucchini; ices.
Garlic bread; stuffed pastas (ravioli and lasagna); fried eggplant; meatballs or sausage; sauces with butter, cream, oil, and wine base; pesto sauce; cheese-filled or parmesan style dishes; spumoni or tortoni ice cream. Beware of risotto rice; polenta; and high-fat, high-sodium prosciutto ham and pancetta; veal cutlets and Caesar salads.

Japanese Selections
Order rice; steamed fish; sushi; sashimi; miso soup; raw vegetables; tofu; sukiyaki (stir-fried); yakimono (broiled fish).
Tempura and other deep-fried food; excess peanut and teriyaki sauce; pickled foods; excess salt and sugar in sauces; excess salt in soy marinades and sauces. 


Mediterranean (Middle East) 

Selections
Order couscous, bulgar, and pita bread; legumes such as chickpeas, fava beans, and lentils; hummus; grape leaves; yogurt.
Phyllo dough dishes for sweet desserts such as baklava; feta and kasseri cheese; excess anchovies and olives; high sodium foods; feta, olives and sausage; appetizers in general, except salads; excess fat from butter, olive oil, omelet's and tahini.

Mexican Selections
Order soft-shell tacos; burritos; fajitas; salsa; chicken enchilada; black beans or Mexican rice; grilled fish or chicken; salads without chips or shells;  moderate corn or flour tortilla, using minimal oil; cerviche (marinated fish); gazpacho; chile con carne soup, with no cheese. Acceptable items include shredded lettuce; spicy meats; diced tomatoes; salsa verde; picante or tomato sauce; use Mexican salads as appetizers, with salsa as the dressing.
Chips, nachos; super nachos; chili con queso; fried taco or tortilla shells; guacamole; sour cream; cheese; refried beans; beef and pork dishes; olives; items such as chilies rellenos, chimichangas, chorizo (sausage), and flautas.



Thai Selections
Order steamed rice; broth-based soups (tom yum koang and pok taek); non-fried proteins, such as chicken, seafood, and tofu; vegetables; satay or steamed mussels; salads with light dressings, made with Thai spices.
Excess sodium; soy sauce and sugar; MSG; coconut milk, coconut oil; cream dishes, high milk and sodium soups; many fried appetizers; curry or curry sauce; fried eggplant; cashew and peanut toppings.


Friday, December 30, 2016

Bacon Day - Food Safety and Nutrition

Bacon day celebrations typically include social gatherings during which participants create and consume dishes containing bacon, including bacon-themed breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts, and drinks.

It's the "B" in a BLT sandwich, the star of breakfast buffets, the garnish on a spinach salad, and the "pork" in pork-and-beans. Bacon imparts a smoky flavor to many dishes. This ancient, cured meat now appears in such modern forms as shelf-stable or refrigerated fully cooked strips, bacon made from turkey and/or beef, and meats certified as organic.

The term "bacon" is used to describe the cured belly of a swine (hog) carcass. If meat from other portions of the carcass is used, the product name must identify the portions where the bacon comes from, e.g., "Pork Shoulder Bacon." Bacon is generally produced from young animals (6 to 7 months old) that weigh between 175 to 240 pounds.


Bacon and Food Safety
Bacon is made with salt as a curing agent, and nitrite (but not nitrate) is the other most frequently used additive. Bacon may also contain other additives such as sugars, maple sugar, wood smoke, flavorings, and spices.

Under certain conditions not yet fully understood, the products from the natural breakdown of proteins known as "amines" can combine with nitrites to form compounds known as "nitrosamines." There are many different types of nitrosamines, most of which are known carcinogens in test animals.

Not all cured meat products contain nitrosamines; however, when present, they usually are in very minute amounts. Many variables influence nitrosamine levels: amount of nitrite added during processing, concentrations of amines in meat, type and amounts of other ingredients used in processing, actual processing conditions, length of storage, storage temperatures, method of cooking, and degree of doneness.

Researchers at the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) found that the addition of vitamin C (ascorbate) and vitamin E (tocopherol) reduced the levels of nitrosamines in fried bacon and in nitrite-cured products. The findings led to changes in Federal regulations and industry processing to minimize consumer exposure to nitrosamines. USDA now requires adding 550 ppm (parts per million) of either sodium ascorbate or sodium erythorbate to pumped bacon. This addition greatly reduces the amount of free nitrite and, thus, minimizes the formation of nitrosamines. This regulation is found in 9 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 424.22 (b)(1).



Nutrition Information


BLT Sandwich


References
1. Wikipedia, List of bacon dishes
2. WebMD, 
Can Bacon Be Part of a Healthy Diet? Elaine Magee, MPH, RDN
3. Eat Right Chicago, Is Everything Really ‘Better with Bacon?’
4. USDA, Bacon and Food Safety
An educated consumer has the knowledge to make healthy choices - Choose Moderation




December 30, Bicarbonate of Soda Day - The Many Uses of Sodium Bicarbonate


The Many Uses of Sodium Bicarbonate,
also known as baking soda, bread soda, cooking soda,
and bicarbonate of soda 


1. Used as a leavening agent. It reacts with acidic ingredients that cause a food to expand. Acidic ingredients that create this reaction include phosphates, cream of tartar, lemon juice, yogurt, buttermilk, cocoa, and vinegar.
 

2. Reduces stomach acid. It is used as an antacid to treat heartburn and indigestion.

 
3. Known for treating burns and preventing blistering.


4. Used as an exfoliate to remove dead skin cells.


5. An ingredient in some mouthwashes, toothpastes, deodorants, and shampoo.

6. An effective cleaning and scrubbing agent for kitchen appliances, counter tops, pots and pans.

7. Commonly added to washing machines as a softener and also to remove odors from clothes.

8. An effective way of controlling fungus growth. In the United States, it is registered by the Environmental Protection Agency as a biopesticide.


9. Can extinguish small grease or electrical fires by being thrown over the fire. However, it should not be applied to fires in deep fryers, as it may cause the grease to splatter. 


10. Used to deodorize the refrigerator, trash cans, drains and garbage disposals, dishwashers, and lunch boxes. 


11. Removes odors from carpets. 


12. Can be administered to pools and spas to raise pH levels. 


Warning. 
Sodium Bicarbonate increases the amount of sodium in your body. If you are on a sodium-restricted diet, check with your doctor before taking any medication with sodium bicarbonate. 


5 Extraordinary Uses for Baking Soda

1977 Arm and Hammer "Onion Power" Commercial
 


Arm and Hammer baking soda (1996)
 
 

Arm and Hammer Essentials Laundry Detergent
  

  Billy Mays for Arm and Hammer Baking Soda
   


Resources.
Arm and Hammer  
Wikipedia. Sodium bicarbonate 
Medline Plus. Sodium bicarbonate 


Thursday, December 29, 2016

December 29, Pepper Pot Day Recipe

Pepper Pot is a thick stew of beef tripe, vegetables, pepper and other seasonings. Beef tripe is usually made from the first three chambers of a cow's stomach: the rumen, the reticulum (honeycomb and pocket tripe), and the omasum.


Pepper Pot Soup
Yields: 12 servings


Ingredients
1 pound sirloin steak, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (or 1 pound honeycomb tripe)
5 slices bacon, diced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
3 leeks, chopped
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
2 green bell peppers, diced
2 quarts low sodium beef stock
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 large potato, peeled and diced
2 large carrots, diced
4 tablespoons unsalted margarine
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Directions
1. Place the beef in a nonstick saucepan. Cook and stir occasionally until no longer pink on the outside, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and cut the beef into 
1/4 inch pieces. 
2. In a large kettle, saute the bacon until clear. Add the beef, onion, celery, leeks, parsley, and green peppers; saute until tender.
3. Stir in beef stock, thyme, marjoram, cloves, red pepper flakes, bay leaf, and black pepper. Bring the kettle to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook, covered, until meat is very tender, about 2 hours.
4. Add the diced potato and carrots, and cook for an additional 20 minutes.
5. Prepare the roux by stirring the flour into the melted margarine, and cooking for a moment on the stove. When the soup is done to your liking, stir in the roux. Simmer, stirring all the while, until the soup thickens a bit. Correct the seasonings.

Nutritional Information

Ensure accurate nutritional analysis for your recipes utilizing an extensive research database and over 25 years experience. A valuable service for the Recipe Blogger, Media, Cookbook Publishers, Writers, Chefs, and Recipe Websites. Your readers will benefit from the Nutrition information and a Registered Dietitian. Contact: Dietitians-Online.com; Sandra Frank, Ed.D, RDN, LN at recipenews@gmail.com 



Wednesday, December 28, 2016

December 28, National Chocolate Day
Chocolate and Your Health

Chocolate and Your Health


Chocolate is believed to protect the cardiovascular system. The health benefits of chocolate may come from the antioxidant flavonoids. Chocolate comes from the cacao plant, which is rich in flavanols, a type of flavonoid phytochemical. (Other foods rich in flavanols include tea, cranberries, and red wine.)

Flavonoids help protect plants from environmental toxins and help repair damage. When we eat foods rich in flavonoids, it appears that we also benefit from this "antioxidant" power. The more nonfat cocoa solids a chocolate product contains, the more antioxidants it tends to contribute.

The fat in chocolate comes from cocoa butter and is made up of oleic acid (a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat), stearic and palmitic acids. Stearic and palmitic acids are saturated fats. Saturated fats are linked to increases in LDL cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. Research shows stearic acid appears to have a neutral effect on cholesterol. Although palmitic acid does affect cholesterol levels, it only makes up one-third of the fat calories in chocolate. This does not mean you can eat all the dark chocolate you’d like.

Be careful about the type of dark chocolate you choose. Chewy caramel and nut covered dark chocolate is not a heart-healthy food option. Check extra ingredients that can add lots of extra fat and calories. If the chocolate contains fat ingredients other than cocoa butter, it might have more harmful saturated fats and trans fats, rather than stearic acid.

There is currently no established serving size of chocolate to help you reap the cardiovascular benefits. You can enjoy a moderate portion of chocolate, about 1 ounce a few times per week.

More research is needed, but recent studies suggest the following possible health benefits of dark chocolate and cocoa.
1. Reduce the Risk of Heart Attack.
2. Decrease Blood Pressure and Increase Insulin Sensitivity
3. Improve Arterial Blood Flow
4. Help People with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The health benefits of chocolate may vanish if you are adding calories above and beyond your regular intake. This could mean you're adding more pounds along with the flavonoids.





References
1. Cleveland Clinic, Heart Health Benefits of Chocolate
2. WebMD, Health by Chocolate





December Root Vegetable Month: Rutabaga, Parsnips and Carrots



Nutritional Information


Rutabaga, Parsnips, and Carrots

Serves 3 to 4

Ingredients
18.5 oz can French Onion Soup
1 medium Rutabaga*, peel, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 medium Carrots, peel, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 medium Parsnips, peel, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 tsp Curry Powder (or to taste)

Directions
1. Bring French onion soup to a boil.
2. Add the rutabagas, parsnips, and carrots into the soup. Add curry powder.
3. Reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes or until desired doneness.

*Due to arthritis, I had a difficult time cutting the rutabaga. I placed the peeled rutabaga into the microwave for 4 minutes. It will be very hot. Run under cold water until it is room temperature.

Nutrition Information

Rutabaga 101






Monday, December 26, 2016

Happy Kwanzaa

"Kwanzaa was created to introduce and reinforce seven basic values of African culture which contribute to building and reinforcing family, community and culture among African American people as well as Africans throughout the world African community. These values are called the Nguzo Saba which in Swahili means the Seven Principles. The Nguzo Saba stand at the heart of the origin and meaning of Kwanzaa, for it is these values which are not only the building blocks for community but also serve to reinforce and enhance them."   - Dr. Maulana Karenga (Founder and Creator)

Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration observed from December 26 to January 1 each year.
 

Edible Art: Seven Basic Principles of Kwanzaa.
The colors of the Kwanzaa flag are black, red and green; black for the people, red for their struggle, and green for the future and hope that comes from their struggle. It is based on the colors given by the Hon. Marcus Garvey as national colors for African people throughout the world.
 

The Kwanzaa art includes the following foods: apples, raspberries, strawberries, black beans, prunes, black berries, black rice, green bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, grapes, and string  beans.

             
Kwanzaa has seven basic symbols. Each represents values and concepts reflective of African culture and contributive to community building and reinforcement. The following are the basic symbols:

Mazao (The Crops) These are symbolic of African harvest celebrations and of the rewards of productive and collective labor. 

Mkeka (The Mat) This is symbolic of our tradition and history and therefore, the foundation on which we build. 

Kinara (The Candle Holder) This is symbolic of our roots, our parent people -- continental Africans.

Muhindi (The Corn) This is symbolic of our children and our future which they embody.

Mishumaa Saba (The Seven Candles) These are symbolic of the Nguzo Saba, the Seven Principles, the matrix and minimum set of values which African people are urged to live by in order to rescue and reconstruct their lives in their own image and according to their own needs.

Kikombe cha Umoja (The Unity Cup) This is symbolic of the foundational principle and practice of unity which makes all else possible.

Zawadi (The Gifts) These are symbolic of the labor and love of parents and the commitments made and kept by the children. 


The following videos share the history and traditions of Kwanzaa. The first video was created by Sesame Street and the story of Kwanzaa is told through a young  boy; the second video is a Happy Kwanzaa song by Teddy Pendergrass; and the third video is a trailer from "The Black Candle", narrated by Maya Angelou.

Sesame Street: Kwanzaa
 

Kwanzaa, a Celebration. 
"The Black Candle" trailer, 
narrated by Maya Angelou.


Wishing the lights of Kwanzaa
brings happiness, warmth and prosperity.


Resources
The Official Kwanzaa Web Site
The Official Kwanzaa Web Site, to make a donation  

 Wikipedia: Kwanzaa 


When you learn something from people, or from a culture,
you accept it as a gift, and it is your lifelong commitment
to preserve it and build on it. 

- Yo-Yo Ma





Twas the Day After Christmas,
a Dietitian's Version

Modified for the Registered Dietitian
by Sandra Frank, Ed.D, RD, LDN, FAND

Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the house
Nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.
The cookies I'd eaten, the eggnog I'd taste
The holiday parties had gone to my waist.

When I got on the scale there arose such a number!
The scale must be broken, I said with a thunder.
I'd remember the wonderful meals I'd prepared;
The gravies and sauces and beef nicely rare,

The wine and the pastries, the bread and the cheese
And the way I'd never said, "No thank you, please."
Nothing would fit me, I felt so depressed.
I knew it was time to start a new quest.

I picked up the phone, to call a dietitian,
Knowing this path was just the right mission.
I won’t feel guilty, I’ll try moderation,
Fad diets have failed and even starvation.

I’ll follow the plan, set up solely for me,
More Fruits and Veggies are part of the key.
I’ll eat more fiber and exercise I’ll start,
And limit the fat that is bad for my heart.

Yes, I’ll call a dietitian to provide inspiration and
Learn new ways to avoid temptation.

A Happy and Healthy New Year to you.
Remember to eat right and exercise too.



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