All Posts By Dana Angelo White

Diet 101: Flat Belly Diet

by in Diets, July 17, 2013

avocados
Seems like everyone has been asking me about ways to lose belly fat lately. Is the Flat Belly Diet the way? And which foods does the diet recommend? Find out.

Overview
From the editors of Prevention magazine, the Flat Belly Diet claims that followers can lose up to 15 pounds in 32 days. Researched in part by a registered dietitian (always a good thing), the plan focuses on taking in monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) from foods like oils, nuts and seeds, olives, avocado and dark chocolate. The author promises that dieters will want to follow this type of eating for the long haul.

The Plan
This 32-day plan includes a “Four Day Anti-Bloat Jumpstart” followed by a 4-week program. The jump start banishes caffeine and most sources of sodium from the diet to help promote a loss of water weight. The four-day meal plan is made up of low-fat foods, a minimal amount of starchy carbs and lots of lean protein and fruits and vegetables. Dieters must also guzzle “Sassy Water,” a concoction of water flavored with ginger, lemon, cucumber and mint created by contributing dietitian Cynthia Sass.

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Taste Test: Bottled Lemon Iced Tea

by in Taste Test, July 17, 2013

lemon iced tea
Looking for a refreshing beverage to beat the summer heat? See the results of this taste test before popping open a bottle of sweetened iced tea.

The Criteria
This taste test focused on sweetened teas with lemon (no other flavors for this challenge). Close attention was paid to ingredient quality, calories and sugar, and each tea was rated using a 5-point scale (5 being the highest). Although the teas came in various sized containers, all teas were scaled to 16-fluid ounces, the most popular size.

One thing that varied widely was sugar content, something worth keeping an eye on. The tea with the highest amount contained 48 grams, while the top-rated bottle had fewer than 10 grams. (To help put things in perspective, a 16-ounce soda/cola contains 52 grams of sugar.)

Here’s how the teas stacked up!

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Aronia: The New Superfood?

by in Food News & Trends, July 16, 2013

aronia berries
A buzz is brewing over this tiny berry. Have you heard about Aronia yet?

What is Aronia?
Unlike the majority of popular super fruits (think acai and pomegranate), this berry is native to North America. States like Iowa and Ohio have been growing quite a bit of it in recent years. Aronia melanocarpa (its proper botanical name) is also grown around the globe in countries like Denmark and Russia. Sometimes referred to as “chokeberry,” these deep black-ish purple berries look similar to blueberries but have a much more sharp and sour flavor.

Aronia Products
Aronia juice seems to be the most popular form out there; it’s often blended with sweeter flavors like apple and grape juices. Juice isn’t the only way to get some of this berry. Capsules, teas, syrups and even food colorings are some of the newer products beginning to hit the market. But why the hype?

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Omega-3-Rich Recipes (Guess What? They’re Not All Fish)

by in Healthy Recipes, July 12, 2013

spinach salad with pomegranate
Just about everyone could benefit from eating more of omega-3s, an essential fatty acid. Here are some delicious ways to up your intake.

The Guidelines
Omega-3 fats are found in fatty fish like salmon, tuna and sardines. You can also find them in plant foods like flaxseeds, walnuts, canola oil and soy. So there are lots of options when it comes to getting more of these healthy fats! That’s good news, since omega-3s are beneficial to the brain and cardiovascular system and promote skin and eye health. Omega-3s also have anti-inflammatory properties.

The current recommendations for omega-3 intake may vary depending on the type. The ALA form (mostly from plant based foods) ranges from 1.1 to 1.6 grams per day for men. The other types EPA and DHA (more plentiful in fish and other animal products) the daily range is 0.3-0.5 grams and 0.8-1.1 grams, respectively.

The Recipes

#1 Green Tea Poached Salmon with Ginger Lime Sauce
Fresh salmon is one of the best sources out there; this low mercury fish has more than 650 milligrams of omega-3 per ounce.

Percent daily recommended amount of omega-3 = 281% (men), 409% (women)

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5 Smart Ways to Stop Yo-Yo Dieting

by in Diets, July 10, 2013

yo-yo
Are you a self-imposed victim of the on-again, off-again diet? If you’re ready to get real about losing weight, read on.

# 1 Think Long Haul
Your state of mind plays a huge role in weight loss success. Instead of crash dieting by starving yourself, commit to making long-term diet and exercise changes that you can actually stand to stick to from here on out. The weight loss might be a little slower but that means you’ll have a better chance of keeping it off.

#2 Include, Don’t Exclude
Instead of cutting out major food groups, a move that can lead to nutrient deficiencies, allow yourself to eat all of the foods you enjoy, even if that means splurging sensibly from time to time. Allowing yourself a little freedom will keep you on the right path.

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Vegetarians: Myths vs. Facts

by in Healthy Tips, July 9, 2013

carrots
Vegetarians are often seriously misunderstood. It’s time to debunk some of the most common vegetarian myths!

Myth: Vegetarians don’t get enough protein
Fact: It’s actually pretty easy for vegetarians to meet their needs for protein, even if they choose not to eat eggs and dairy products. Thanks to plant-based proteins like tofu, beans, lentils and what’s found in whole-grains breads and cereals, getting enough protein can be deliciously simple.

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6 Healthy Pantry Must-Haves

by in Grocery Shopping, Healthy Tips, July 9, 2013

sambal oelek

Could your pantry use a healthy makeover? Use these six ingredients to infuse recipes with flavor.

1. Sambal Oelek
Quite possibly one of my favorite ingredients of all time, this blend of fresh ground chiles, salt and vinegar adds a flavorful heat to sauces, stir-fries and marinades. Mix with mayo, nonfat Greek yogurt and lemon juice for a sauce that tastes good on just about anything.

Recipe: Spicy Turkey and Green Bean Stir Fry

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How to Pick a Healthy Frozen Treat

by in Grocery Shopping, Healthy Tips, July 8, 2013

frozen treat
Nobody loves a good frozen treat more than I do, which is why it bugs me when I see store shelves overflowing with “diet” offerings that fool folks into thinking they’re better than good old ice cream. The next time you’ve got a hankering for a frozen treat, here are some useful tips.

Low-Fat Ice Cream
Light and low-fat ice creams make up for the removal of fat by adding thickeners like guar gum, locust bean gum and carrageenan (just to name a few). Since fat also provides flavor, some lightened varieties include more sugar to make up for it, which means the calories can wind up being similar to regular ice cream. More sugar, less fat, same calories – not exactly healthier. And don’t be fooled by the term slow churned; some brands may be using new technology to alter the consistency, while others may simply have more thickeners added in.

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5-Ingredient Recipes: Pasta Salad, 3 Ways

by in 5-Ingredient Recipes, July 7, 2013

pasta salad
Pasta salads may appear harmless or even good for you, but large portions of pasta, heavy dressings and high fat add-ins can ruin this picnic staple. Fresh ingredients, lots of vegetables, and a little portion control can make all the difference — here are 3 classic salads, re-created pasta style, each made with 5 ingredients.

Caprese Pasta Salad
Serves: 8

6 cups cooked whole grain pasta
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
2/3 cup balsamic vinaigrette

Combine ingredients in a large bowl; toss well.

Nutrition Info Per Serving:
Serves: 8; Calories: 300; Total Fat: 13 grams; Saturated Fat: 4 grams; Total Carbohydrate:  32 grams; Sugars: 4 grams; Protein:  15 grams; Sodium: 214 milligrams; Cholesterol: 18 milligrams; Fiber: 3 grams

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Herb of The Month: Marjoram

by in In Season, July 6, 2013

marjoram
This lesser-known herb is a must-have in my garden. Learn more about the flavor of marjoram, plus find out why the ancient Greeks would stock up on it for funerals.

Marjoram Basics
According to the Food Lovers’ Companion, marjoram was used in funeral wreaths to symbolize happiness in life and the afterlife. Sprigs of this herb tout small and delicate oval-shaped leaves that are bright green.

The most common variety is called sweet marjoram. It’s a member of the mint family but it has a flavor similar to oregano, only sweeter. It can be found both fresh and dried in large markets and specialty grocery stores – look for it fresh at the farmers’ market during the spring and summer months.

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