All Posts By Dana Angelo White

Supplement Savvy: Diet Pills

by in Diets & Weight Loss, October 21, 2011
diet pills
Is it ever a good idea to take diet pills?

These various concoctions of vitamins, herbs, caffeine (and who knows what else) promise to shed pounds in the blink of an eye. Not only are these pills and potions too good to be true, they’re downright dangerous!

Dangers
Diet pills are some of the most dangerous supplements out there. They’re unregulated mixtures of bizarre ingredients and people tend to take them often and in large quantity quantities. We’ll remind you again – the supplement industry is poorly regulated and just because you can buy it over-the-counter doesn’t mean that it’s safe!

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Make Your Own Peanut Butter Cups

by in Cookies & Other Desserts, October 19, 2011

peanut butter cups
There’s nothing wrong with a little trick-or-treating but some Halloween goodies can be downright spooky! Why not make a few of the classics on your own, and eliminate some of the preservatives found in store-bough treats? Here’s a recipe for one of our favorites: peanut butter cups.

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Food Fortification: How Much Is Too Much?

by in Food News, October 11, 2011
cereal and milk
Cereal

Most health conscious folks are looking for foods full of vitamins and minerals, but some products tout good stuff that doesn’t exist there naturally. Is pumping foods with extra nutrients just as good? We’ll give you the facts.

What is Fortification?
Fortifying or “enriching” foods is the process of adding supplemental vitamins and/or minerals. Since the amount added can vary, read labels carefully. To see if a food has been fortified check the ingredient list, any nutrients listed as ingredients were added in.

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Coconut Water: Is It Healthy?

by in Is It Healthy?, October 6, 2011
coconut water
Is this stuff worth the hype?

Everyone from celebrities and athletes to causal exercise enthusiasts is buzzing about the benefits of this “natural” alternative to sports drinks like Gatorade. Do the health claims about coconut water live up to the hype?

Yes?
Not to be confused with high-fat coconut milk made from pureed coconut flesh, coconut water is the clear liquid that comes from the inner chamber of immature coconuts. It’s low in calories (an 8 fluid ounce serving has about 42) and naturally contains numerous nutrients including important electrolytes like sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium. Most labels of coconut water will also list vitamin C, but this is due to the addition of the preservative absorbic acid; coconut is not a natural source of the vitamin.

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Market Watch: Early Butternut Squash, and a Butternut Squash Focaccia Recipe

by in Farmers' Market Finds, October 5, 2011

butternut squash
Typically winter squash isn’t ready until mid-October, but I get to enjoy it extra early since I grow this special variety in my garden.

While it’s too late now to plant it in your garden, put these seeds on your list for next year. Be on the lookout for it at the local farmers’ market too, its name is simple to remember, it’s actually called Early Butternut Squash. The sweet and tender squash will be ready to eat as early as August and the plant will keep producing through October. Make soup, add roasted chunks to pasta or make this crowd-pleasing foccacia recipe.

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Supplement Savvy: Protein Powders

by in Uncategorized, October 4, 2011

protein powder

It’s a common misconception that you must take an extra protein supplement to build muscle. Most folks are getting plenty of protein from food so there’s no need for more from a supplement. But if your diet is too low in muscle-building protein, then a supplement may be a good idea. The question then becomes — if a protein supplement is warranted, are how can you be sure it’s safe and effective?

Dangers
Walk into any health food store or vitamin shop and you’ll find a mountain of powder-filled canisters promising to help you bulk up or lean out. Unfortunately, the majority of the protein powders on the market come loaded with a variety of other vitamins, minerals and herbs. These can be dangerous when taken large doses or in combination with certain medications or other supplements. If you’re on any medication, always check with your doctor before taking any vitamins or supplements.

Too much protein can also be a bad thing – mega-doses can cause stomach upset, dehydration, and in severe cases, kidney problems.

When choosing a brand – simple is best. Check labels for a source of protein (see examples below) along with some flavoring – that’s all you want in there!

Read more about supplements to watch out for and how much protein is right for you.

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31 Days of Pumpkins

by in In Season, October 3, 2011
alton brown's pumpkin bread
What to Do With Pumpkins idea #15: make Alton Brown's pumpkin bread.

Whether it’s for dinner, dessert or carving Jack-o-lanterns, nothing says fall quite like shiny orange pumpkins. We’ve got ideas for every day of the month.

1.    Check out your local farm or farmers’ market for unique varieties like “Oz” or “Spooktakular”

2.    Did you know? Pumpkins can be found in different colors, like orange, green and white.

3.    Find out where the “pumpkin capital” of the United States is.

4.    When you’re at the pumpkin patch – choose pumpkins with smooth, hard skin that are free of bruises or blemishes.

5.    It’s not pumpkin season until you make Pumpkin Pie – try our slimmed down recipe.

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Herb of the Month: Oregano

by in In Season, October 2, 2011
oregano
Try cooking with fresh oregano, it's much different than the dried stuff.

Sweet and spicy fresh oregano is totally different than the dried version in your spice rack. Fall is the perfect time to enjoy this pungent green herb.

Oregano Basics
Greek for “joy of the mountain” Grecian brides and grooms would wear a crown of oregano leaves to ward off sadness. Found in Mediterranean countries for hundreds of years, oregano gained popularity in the U.S. after World War II when soldiers returned from Italian assignments singing its praises.

In addition to its historical culinary uses, these tender green leaves were also prescribed to treat a variety of ailments including toothaches, muscle pain and bacterial infections.

A close relative to mint, leafy oval-shaped, oregano has a fresh and somewhat piney flavor. There are over 20 varieties including the bold and spicy “Mexican” and the more traditional “Mediterranean,” which is more mild but still full of flavor.

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How Much Exercise Do You Need?

by in Healthy Tips, September 25, 2011
women walking
How much exercise do you need, and what kind is best?

Do you spend countless hours at the gym each day or is the thought of a 20-minute workout too much for you to handle? Tackling a regular exercise routine can be daunting and might cause you to give up on working out all together. Use these tips to make the most of your exercise time.

How Much?

According to the American College of Sports Medicine and the CDC, you should shoot for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity per week. You can break up this time in a variety of ways. Feel the burn for 30 minutes, 5 days a week or try a split of 30 and 60-minute workouts over the course of 3 days. Even if 150 minutes is more than you’re ready for, every little bit helps. The American Heart Association reports that every hour of walking may increase your life expectancy by two hours.
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10 More Foods That Are Healthier Than You Think

by in Healthy Tips, September 22, 2011
swiss cheese
Great news: lower-fat cheese, like Swiss, is healthier than most people think.

There are lots of misconceptions about healthy eating. Some folks kick their favorite foods to the curb because they think they’re no good. We’ve already given you a list of ten — here are 10 MORE foods that offer more nutrition than you’re giving them credit for.

1. Cheese
While you will find some unhealthy fats, don’t count out cheese! It’s an excellent source of protein, calcium and even contains a small amount of vitamin D.  Watching your waistline? Keep portions to about 1-ounce and choose lower fat varieties like Swiss, Parmesan or part-skim mozzarella and ricotta.

2. Bread
Some people are still afraid of eating carbs and bread is usually the first to go. But don’t toss those loaves out just yet! You’ll be missing out on nutritious goodies like fiber and important B-vitamins. Limit intake to no more than a couple of slices per day and choose whole grain varieties most of the time.

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