All Posts By Dana Angelo White

Kombucha: Good or Bad?

by in Is It Healthy?, October 2, 2016

With the exploding popularity of fermented foods, it’s likely that kombucha has ended up on your radar or even in your fridge. But is this drinkable fermented tea worthwhile?

The Good
A concoction of tea, sugar, fruit juice, bacteria and yeast are combined to create a pungent and slightly fizzy beverage. Homemade and store-bought versions require a jelly-like substance known as the “mother” or “scoby,” which introduces bacteria and yeast into the flavored liquid that’s then allowed to ferment. This drink is often touted for its tummy-pleasing probiotics plus numerous B vitamins. Some blends also include additional fiber and Omega-3 fats from add-ins like chia seeds, greens, herbs and algae.

The Bad
A potential downside of these drinks is the wide range of nutritional variation. Depending on the ingredients, calories can range from 60 to 160 per (16 fluid ounce) bottle. The fermenting process also creates a small amount of alcohol. Though they are desirable for their probiotic content, these beneficial bacteria are destroyed by pasteurization. Unpasteurized or “raw” varieties are available but could pose a food safety risk, as potentially harmful bacteria could grow in the liquid. For this reason, folks with weaker immune systems, including young children, elderly people and pregnant women, should steer clear. Read more

Have You Tried: Coffee Flour?

by in Food News, Trends, September 21, 2016

The hottest new trend in coffee couldn’t be farther from a cup of joe. It’s overflowing with nutrients, is gluten-free and helps to reduce food waste. Should you get your hands on some coffee flour?

What Is Coffee Flour?
Coffee flour is derived from the byproducts of coffee production. Coffee beans are encased within a small fruit. Once the beans are removed, the remaining fruit is typically discarded as waste. But now, this fruit pulp is getting salvaged, dried and ground into flour. Recommended uses include baking as well as incorporation into soups, sauces and beverages.

Coffee flour does not possess a strong coffee flavor but does have similarly deep and earthy characteristics. There is a floral undertone that resembles tea more than coffee. It also has a little bit of caffeine; according to Marx Pantry, each tablespoon of coffee flour contains roughly the same amount of caffeine as a third a cup of black coffee (they sell coffee flour for $9/pound).

Healthy Attributes
A small amount of coffee flour contains a huge amount of nutrients. One tablespoon holds almost 10 percent of the daily recommended amount of potassium and nearly 13 percent of daily iron. This plant-based flour is also gluten-free and an excellent source of fiber. Similar to coffee, coffee flour is also rich in cell-protecting antioxidants. Read more

Pre- and Post-Game Fuel for Kids

by in Fitness, Food and Nutrition Experts, September 10, 2016

Stumped by the question of what to serve hungry young athletes before and after practices and games? Check out our hit list of energy-boosting, muscle-building, lip-smacking grub that will give them the nutrition their bodies need to stay at the top of their games.

Sports Nutrition Crash Course
Young athletes don’t have the same nutritional needs as elite athletes, but they do need the proper fuel to perform their best. Kids participating in middle school and high school sports often run to their games right after a day of classes, long after lunchtime, leaving them low on energy and pressed for time. For this reason breakfast is a must, lunch can’t be skipped, and a snack leading up to an afternoon sporting event is a really good idea. Before exercising, easily digestible carbs are the best types of snacks – no one needs a bellyache on the field or court. Post-exercise eating is all about recovery of energy stores and repair of tired and worn-out muscles. Here the goal is to replenish with protein, carbs and fluid. Read more

Food Fight: French Fries vs. Sweet Potato Fries

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, September 5, 2016

French fries aren’t generally considered health food, but there are many options to consider. Are you baking them, frying them or getting them at the drive-thru? Is it a healthier move to order the sweet spuds when they appear on the menu? Here are the real differences between traditional french fries and those made from sweet potatoes.

French Fries
Potatoes have a bad reputation, but they’re actually filled with good-for-you nutrients, including fiber and potassium. The calorie count is also relatively low, coming in at about 170 calories for a whole potato. Armed with this knowledge, you can easily see how a sliced and roasted spud with a drizzle of olive oil can be a healthy side dish.

If you hit up the freezer section for a bag of fries, every 3-ounce portion (about 12 pieces) contains 120 calories, 5 grams of fat and 300 milligrams of sodium — but who eats only 12? Fast-food fries can get you into even more trouble, with a medium-sized order averaging 400 calories and 17 grams of fat. Sodium levels can range from 300 to more than 1,200 milligrams, depending on how those fries are seasoned. Read more

Creative No-Cook Recipes

by in Healthy Recipes, August 22, 2016

Beat the heat and spend less time in the kitchen with these healthy and inspired no-cook dishes.

Layered Squash
Try this out-of-the-box summer squash recipe to wow guests, or enjoy it as a simple weeknight dinner.
Recipe to Try: Summer Squash Carpaccio (pictured above) Read more

How to Use All That End-of-Summer Produce

by in Healthy Recipes, August 21, 2016

At this point in the season you might feel like you’re drowning in fruits and veggies. Don’t let all that summer produce go to waste. Here are some delicious and healthy ways to hold on to the goodness a bit longer.

Baked Goods
Bake an abundance of produce into muffins, cakes, pies cobblers, crisps and even cookies. User-friendly options include seasonal berries, chopped stone fruit and shredded summer squash and carrots. Herbs, onions, spinach kale and other savory items can be incorporated into breads, biscuits and pizza crusts as well.
Recipe to Try: Blueberry Whole-Wheat Muffins

Salads and Slaws
Get some extra mileage out of cabbage, kale, beet greens, kohlrabi and broccoli (stems and all). Shred or spiralize them, then give them a quick toss in a flavorful dressing. You can pack a whole bunch of nutrition into a side salad like this.
Recipe to Try: Cabbage-Kohlrabi Slaw

Read more

5 Strategies for Back-to-School Prep

by in Healthy Tips, August 20, 2016

Parents, you’ve made it through summer, and back-to-school season is upon us. Whether you’re shedding a tear or jumping for joy, it’s time to get organized for the unavoidable craziness of packing lunches and busy weeknight dinners. Here are five sanity-saving tips to kick off back-to-school on the right foot.

Make a Game Plan
Take a few minutes each week to chart out lunches and dinners. Let the kids take part in the brainstorming, to make it a family affair. Taking the guesswork out of each day will help the week run more smoothly.

Gear Up
Dig out those lunchboxes, bento containers and ice packs. If they’re scrappy and beat-up, consider investing in new ones — lunch vessels should be clean and functional. Bentology and EasyLunchBoxes have many fun and convenient options.

Batch Ahead
Set aside some time to make a few family-friendly meals for the freezer. Falling back on home-cooked dishes like lasagna and chili when pressed for time can turn a hectic weeknight into prime family time. And don’t forget about breakfast! Batches of muffins, granola bars and egg cups are terrific make-ahead recipes. Read more

Market Watch: Tomatillos

by in Farmers' Market Finds, In Season, August 14, 2016

One of the best things about going to the farmers market is you never know what you might find. I ran to my local market in the hopes of picking up some tomatoes, but instead I simply couldn’t resist these neon-green tomatillos. If you’re intimidated by this member of the nightshade family, don’t be; they are easy to cook with, and there are many ways to enjoy them.

Tomatillo Facts
Also known as a “jamberry,” the tomatillo is related to the gooseberry. Tucked behind a papery husk is a bright green fruit that resembles a petite tomato. Tomatillos are firm, shiny and slightly sticky to the touch. Remove the husk and wash before enjoying them cooked or raw. There’s plenty of nutrition packed into these beauties: One cup contains 42 calories, 1 gram of unsaturated fat and 2 grams of both protein and fiber. There’s also potassium, niacin, iron and more than 25 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C.

What to Do with Tomatillos
Choose tomatillos with intact husks and firm skin. They will keep at room temperature for a day or so and should then be stored in a paper bag in the refrigerator drawer for up to one month. Use them to create salsa (aka salsa verde) and guacamole. Blend them with chiles, cucumber, fresh herbs and vodka for a marvelous spin on a classic brunch cocktail. Read more

Can’t Make It to Rio? This Lightened-Up Feijoada Is the Next-Best Thing

by in Healthy Recipes, August 9, 2016

OK, so you’re watching the Summer Olympics from your couch instead of live in Rio de Janeiro. Time to make a batch of feijoada — the Brazilian black-bean stew that’s considered the country’s national dish — invite some friends over and throw a summer games viewing party. Feijoada (“fay-jwah-duh”) is a comfort-food staple in Brazil that’s traditionally made with beans and lots of fatty meats. Our version cuts way back on the fat and calories, highlights the healthiest attributes of the dish (fiber- and protein-filled legumes and aromatic vegetables and herbs) and has just enough meat to lend the dish its signature smoky flavor. Read more

Eat Like an Olympian: Marlen Esparza

by in Fitness, Healthy Tips, August 6, 2016

Ever wonder what it must be like to walk in the shoes of a professional athlete? We chatted with 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Marlen Esparza about boxing and what it takes to eat like a champion.

Is nutrition an important part of your training?
Nutrition is an extremely important part of any athlete’s training. What you eat fuels your body for your sport, and if you want to be the very best and at the top of your game, you have to fuel your body in the healthiest way possible.

What are some of your favorite pre- and post-workout snacks?
Before workouts, my “go-to” is a smoothie with Nutty for ‘Nana yogurt from Chobani [Esparza’s sponsor], plus sliced bananas, organic honey, powdered peanut butter, chia seeds, almond milk and steel-cut oats all blended together.

One of my favorite post-workout snacks to cut down on cravings would be black cherry Greek yogurt topped with fresh raspberries, coconut flakes, dark chocolate chips (not too many) and sliced almonds. Read more