Sundays with Stassi: Healthier Eating

#tuesdaytips

TheWRITEaddiction.com

Every trip to the mainland is filled with shopping nowadays. Mostly food shopping as I search for less expensive high quality organic food. So, the last time I was there I spent some time in one of those very small, in the middle of downtown in a major city Whole Foods Market. How delighted was I to be reacquainted with some decent prices for high quality food!! I went for grains and beans since those are pretty easier to toss in my suitcase, which I finally got TSA approved locks for since I’ve had waaay tooooo many luggage mishaps in the last 9 months. No, seriously…One time my luggage arrived with one of my packages of Oreos missing like 3 or 4 cookies like I wouldn’t realize the seal was broken or that one row had tons more movement than the other. Oh and another time my bag came off…

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#tuesdaytips = beets

BEETS…that’s what’s for Lunch!

Beets are root vegetables that are FULL of nutrients! In short, you can find the following in the roots and/or the green leaves on top:

  • Like vitamins A & C in the greens or the B-complex vitamins in the roots.
  • There is an ok amount of potassium found in beets. Remember my rant on how potassium balances sodium consumption?…(if not, you can find it in my peanut butter talk)
  • Well, these things are pretty low in calories…that is unless you add things like butter and sugar or other unnecessary additions to mess up the delicious natural taste of beets!
  • As you can expect, there’s no cholesterol & very small amounts of fat & a good amount of fiber.
  • You can check here for a table of nutritional info and other safety precautions and more: http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/beets.html

I re-tried beets for the first time in my adult life at a conference last fall. Well, actually I didn’t realize I was eating beets, which made me appreciate the dish even more! It reminded me of scalloped potatoes, but it was more of alternating roasted & sliced potatoes & beets. About a month ago, I even tried a beet juice recipe, which made me realize that I actually LIKE Beets! It was Delicious!! I joined Joe Cross’ 5-day Juice Challenge (www.rebootwithjoe.com) and I fell in love with the Anti-Aging Beet Grape Juice. The recipe calls for grapes (I didn’t have any so I think I just used apples), celery stalks, beets, and carrots. Mmmmm mmmm Good!!

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A couple of week’s ago my focus on veggies was “BEETS,” so I decided to make an attempt to re-create the conference dish. I made a Roasted Beets and (white & sweet) Potatoes Casserole! Delicious! I used canned beets and modified the recipe here: http://www.purewow.com/entry_detail/recipe/12260/Oven-roasted-beets-and-potatoes.htm

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Since my meal plan includes a sandwich and salad for lunch this week, I grabbed a couple of beetroots from the grocery store to add to my salad (but for future reference I will only use fresh beets for juicing and canned beets for other uses). Today’s salad included: arugula/spinach mix, tomatoes, English cucumbers, chia seeds, roasted beets (I peeled, sliced, & roasted beets for about 30min last night), shredded cheese, and a homemade balsamic vinegar/olive oil/lemon juice salad dressing.

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I even wore a deep purple shirt today in celebration of BEETS! LOL!

Salivating over Beets,

Stassi Nicole

#Tuesdaytips = The Yogurt dilemma

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Last summer I had to opportunity to meet (& share a room for a week) a fantastic New Mexico science teacher. We were tired of the unhealthy food options offered to us and we decided to walk to the grocery store in the midst of downtown Kansas City (YES!! I was sooo happy to find a REAL grocery store with regular people prices in the middle of downtown in a city!!). She picked up PLAIN Greek yogurt and I was internally disgusted because I knew the taste of plain regular yogurt very well since I used to make my microbiology class make yogurt in lab as soon as I taught them sterile laboratory techniques. We then discussed the difference in flavored vs. unflavored yogurt and I had never really paid much attention to the sugar content. Besides “they” say yogurt is good for you, especially women, so we should eat more yogurt and that’s what I did. However, all yogurt is not created equally!!

 

First, most flavored yogurts are filled with extra sugar and preservatives, so if you’re concerned about your daily sugar intake then this is problematic. Next, there’s this matter of whether you should eat regular or Greek yogurt. Honestly, it doesn’t matter which one you pick in the grand scheme of things as long as you choosing plain, nonfat or lower fat versions of yogurt. The type you choose is based on your preference. Personally, I like to purchase things that can serve as double or triple duty (i.e. food to eat and hair products) and Greek yogurt can be used as both, as well as used in cooking various dishes. So it’s Greek yogurt for me!

Here’s some stats of plain, nonfat Greek vs. plain, nonfat regular yogurt: Greek yogurt is

  • higher in protein (almost double)
  • lower in carbs
  • lower in calcium (so if you monitor your calcium intake, then you may want to stick to regular yogurt)
  • lower in sodium
  • calories are similar

Additionally, Greek yogurt can be used to make dips, smoothies, sauces, and desserts (such as swap out eggs & oil in baked dishes or in place of mayo, cream cheese, sour cream or other fats in recipes).

 

Now I buy Plain, Nonfat Greek yogurt. When I just want to eat the yogurt as a snack, then I add my own ingredients such as honey, fruit, nuts, and/or granola.

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#Tuesdaytips = Chia seeds

Remember my cleaner eating goals from my New Year, New You post? Well, one of them was:

My SECOND goal is to get back to adding chia seeds to everything. You already know I added them to my oatmeal, but soon I’ll be learning to grind them because I don’t like the seed taste in my food. Chia seeds are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, and they are a plant-based source of complete proteins. Oh and if you’ve ever used them you know that they like to absorb water and swell up much bigger than their tiny size and even form into a gelatin-like texture…think about that in your tummy!! Some people say chia seeds help with weight loss because they help you feel full due to this swelling phenomenon. And honestly, I barely got through that one serving of oatmeal this morning…usually I eat one serving and start looking for something else to eat.

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So, here’s this week’s #lunchtimetips … For an extra boost of goodness while you’re “watching what you eat,” grab some chia seeds & sprinkle them on salads, oatmeal, yogurt (speaking of yogurt, here’s next week’s tip)…these little seeds have protein, fiber, antioxidants, calcium, omega 3 healthy fats & other nutrients.

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