All Posts By Dana Angelo White

Supplement Savvy: Probiotics

by in Healthy Tips, July 12, 2016

Looking for better digestion in a bottle? Here are some important tips to keep in mind when shopping for probiotic supplements.

What Are Probiotics?
Everyone’s gut is populated with bacteria. Some of these microorganisms have the potential to be harmful, but many of them are beneficial and help protect the digestive tract. The benefits of these “bugs” extend beyond digestion, contributing to healthy skin, blood and immunity as well. Probiotics can be found in supplement form as well as naturally existing in cultured and fermented foods. Common food sources of probiotics include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso and other fermented items. Probiotic supplements are most often available in capsule form but can also be found in liquid tinctures. More and more foods are being fortified with probiotics, including chocolate bars, beverages and breakfast cereals.

5 Tips for Buying Probiotics
The supplement industry remains poorly regulated, so it’s up to consumers to choose wisely. Since you can’t rely simply on what’s on the label, here are some tips.

1) Look for additional ingredients.
Many supplements contain more than just probiotics, and consumers should be mindful of other ingredients in case of allergies and to avoid experiencing interactions with medications or taking in toxic doses of nutrients they are already getting enough of. Read more

Market Watch: Sweet Cherries

by in Farmers' Market Finds, In Season, July 11, 2016

Few fruits taste as amazingly sweet and scrumptious as a freshly picked cherry. Head out to your local farmers market soon, as they are only available for a short time.

Cherry Facts

One cup of cherries contains 90 calories, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber and 1 gram of protein. You will also find about 10 percent of the daily requirement for potassium, 16 percent for vitamin C and 3 percent for iron. Cherries are rich in antioxidants known as anthocyanins, powerful plant compounds that may help reduce the risk of heart cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.

What to Do with Cherries

Enjoy cherries as part of snacks, baked goods, beverages and frozen treats. Accompany them with flavors like almond or vanilla to enhance the natural essence of this magnificent fruit. Sweet preparations are most intuitive, but the tangy flavor also works well in savory applications like salsas and pan sauces.

When at the market, look for cherries that are deep red in color, firm and unblemished. Once you bring them home, store them in the fridge wrapped in a plastic bag. You can also freeze pitted cherries for up to six months. Use this step-by-step guide to learn how to easily pit fresh cherries. Read more

Slimmed-Down Summer Cocktails

by in Healthy Recipes, July 9, 2016

Too many summer celebrations can get your waistline into trouble, especially when most popular mixed drinks rack up more than 500 calories each. Imbibe smarter with these three lightened-up versions of popular cocktails, each coming in at less than 300 calories.

Frozen Daiquiri

Gooey, sugar-laden daiquiri mixes are full of added colors, flavors and high-fructose corn syrup. A half-cup of the mix alone contains almost 200 calories. This recipe uses the natural sweetness of fruit and gets a boost of flavor from coconut rum and coconut water.

Mango Daiquiri

Serves 1

1 cup frozen mango

1/2 banana (preferably frozen)

1 1/2 ounces coconut rum

1/2 cup coconut water

Place ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Calories: 267

Read more

Good or Bad: Whipped Topping

by in Is It Healthy?, June 27, 2016

Everyone gets excited about a fluffy pile of sugary whipped goodness, dolloped high atop a slice of pie or ice cream sundae. Store-bought whipped topping may seem like a healthy alternative to decadent whipped cream, but you might want to read this before you garnish your next dessert.

Good
Whipped toppings tend to come in lower on the calorie-and-fat scale than traditional whipped cream. Two tablespoons of frozen whipped topping contain 25 calories and 1.5 grams of fat, while canned whipped topping has about 20 calories and 1 gram of fat for the same two-tablespoon serving. You may be shocked to learn that the same two-tablespoon serving of whipped cream has 100 calories and 10 grams of fat. And seriously, who eats only two tablespoons of any of this stuff?! Premade whipped toppings offer convenience, as a sweet and creamy serving is a quick spoonful or spray away. Read more

Burning Off High-Calorie Foods: Water Sports Edition

by in Fitness, Food and Nutrition Experts, June 22, 2016

Are water sports your activities of choice during the summer months? Along with kayaking trips and stand-up paddleboarding at the beach come trips to the snack bar, clam shacks and barbecues. Find out just how much water play it can take to work off those summer favorites so you can adjust your diet accordingly.

 

Mains & Sides:

 

Lobster Roll = 600 Calories

Hold your breath; that butter- or mayo-drenched lobster sammie will require two hours of snorkeling to work off.

 

Fried Clams = 400 calories

A small order of this fried fave will mean one hour of water skiing for you to break even. Read more

What Makes a Good Protein Shake?

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, June 21, 2016

Confused about protein shakes? You certainly aren’t alone. It’s tricky to tell what’s healthy to sip and what will lead to a calorie overload. Here’s how to build a healthier shake with all the nutrients your body needs (and nothing it doesn’t) after exercise.

Sports Nutrition

The best time to have a protein shake is after a workout, since in the hour immediately following exercise, your body is craving nutrients and fluids to help replenish energy stores and allow worn-out muscles to recover. A beverage can be a perfect delivery system, but that doesn’t mean you can just toss anything into a blender. Your muscles require a balance of carbohydrate and protein, ideally in a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio. In order to achieve this nutrient goal, choose from some of these star ingredients.

Fruit: Fresh and frozen fruit add natural sweetness as well as vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants to help fight inflammation after a hard workout. Read more

Market Watch: Fennel

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

If you don’t think you’re a fan of fennel, it’s the perfect time of year to give this remarkable veggie another chance. Head to the farmers market and pick up these sweet and delicate young bulbs while the getting’s good.

 

Fennel Facts

These edible bulbs of fennel are referred to as the “Florence” or “finocchio” variety. Don’t be turned off by the anise descriptor often attached to this member of the carrot family. Fennel’s licorice essence is extremely subtle and becomes even more subdued when cooked.

Fennel also contains plentiful amounts of vitamins and minerals, including A, C, folate, calcium and potassium. One cup has fewer than 30 calories but 3 grams of hunger-fighting fiber. Read more

How Local Can You Get? Bread  

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, May 29, 2016

Despite their unavoidable convenience factor, commercially baked breads often fall short when it comes to flavor and nutrition. Now that I’ve been sourcing local baked goods, I’ve all but given up on the grocery store bread aisle. Here are some tips to bring more local breads into your kitchen; you’ll support local businesses and get more nutritious options at the same time.

Homemade
Making your own bread isn’t really as difficult as it is time consuming. Budgeting time for the dough to rise (and then rise a second time) does take some getting used to, but the payoff is having complete control over the ingredients. A homemade recipe gives you the ability to lower the sodium and sugar content, while increasing the whole grains. From whole wheat to rye, sourdough to gluten-free breads — bakers’ catalogs offer a wide variety of ingredients and equipment to help bring out your inner baker. Instead of relying on only traditional yeast-leavened breads, add recipes for quick breads and pizza dough to your repertoire as well. Read more

4 Tips for Planning an Edible Garden

by in Healthy Tips, May 21, 2016

It’s the time of year when home gardeners begin to set a game plan for the season. Their excitement begins to build, as they know that what starts out as small seeds and plants will turn into a backyard bounty of edible goodness over the course of a few short months. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a horticulture newbie, use these tips to get off to a fruitful start.

 

  1. Find the right space.

The best place to start digging is one with lots of sunshine and plenty of soil. If you have a designated garden spot, try to rotate the main area every couple of years to help prevent depleting nutrients from the soil. If a new spot isn’t an option, plant items in different spots than the year before — tomatoes on the opposite side of the garden and so on. Also, consider using a combo of raised containers and in-ground beds so you don’t take up your entire lawn. If you live in a wooded area, consider how to set up protection from hungry squirrels, rabbits, deer and other four-legged friends. Read more

Good or Bad: Rice Pudding

by in Is It Healthy?, May 16, 2016

This traditional dessert has been making a comeback on social media, but is it a good idea to eat this comfort food regularly? Find out if you want to get involved with the recent renaissance of this dessert.

Good

The sweet, rich and creamy mixture is downright delish. You’ve got to love that it’s made from simple ingredients like rice, milk, sugar and eggs. While this is a dessert, it does offer some nutritional benefits, including almost 10 grams of protein and 15 percent of the daily recommendation for bone-building calcium per cup. Read more