All Posts By Katie Cavuto-Boyle

Natural Sweeteners: Information and Uses

by in Healthy Tips, November 17, 2012

maple syrup
Added sugars in out diet have been shown to increase the risk of obesity and disease. Does this mean you can never have sweets again? The answer is no, but it is important to understand the facts. With constant media hype surrounding buzz words like high-fructose corn syrup and refined sugar, how do you know what to choose and how much is too much? And are natural sweeteners really better for you?

The truth is, all sweeteners (both refined and natural) are considered to be discretionary calories. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar a day for women, or about 100 calories worth. Men should aim for about 9 teaspoons a day, or 150 calories. The problem is, with so many added sugars in our diet (surveys have shown that the average American consumes about 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day) we can achieve this quite quickly. A 12-oz soda contains 8 tsp of sugar. Many cereals, even the “healthy stuff” have 3-4 tsp of sugar per serving and the same goes for flavored oatmeal, some tomato sauces, condiments like BBQ sauce and even that granola bar you are eating. Needless to say, the teaspoon of honey you put in your tea is rarely the culprit.

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Building Strong Bones

by in Healthy Tips, November 11, 2012

kale
About 10 million Americans are estimated to have osteoporosis and an additional 34 million are estimated to have low bone-density which places them at risk for developing osteoporosis, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Although you hit your peak bone-mass early in life, usually around 20 years of age, there are simple changes you can make in your diet in order to reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis later in life. Here are some nutrients to know when it comes to planning a healthy diet to prevent osteoporosis.

It is no surprise that calcium is at the top of the list for foods that prevent osteoporosis but you may be surprised to know many Americans don’t consume enough of this important nutrient.  Though diary is an excellent source of calcium it’s not the only one.  Tofu, dark leafy greens, sardines, canned salmon and calcium fortified foods like orange juice are other options.

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Food for Sight

by in Healthy Tips, November 5, 2012

carrots
It’s a well-known fact that carrots are good for your eyesight, but did you know there are several nutrients that can keep your eyes healthy throughout your life? A healthy diet may help reduce the risk of vision issues like cataracts, glaucoma, age related macular degeneration and diabetic retinaopathy and help promote good eye health from as early as infancy. Why is this important? Over 21 million Americans suffer from vision trouble and the number of Americans with eye health problems is expected to double in the next 30 year. So what foods should you include in your diet to protect your vision?  Here’s the low-down:

Keep eating carrots: the beta-carotene found in carrots turns into vitamin A in your body. Vitamin A helps you focus better in low light. In addition to carrots, good sources of beta-carotene and vitamin A include fortified milk, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and spinach.

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Cookbook Giveaway and Interview With Tina Ruggiero, Author of The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet

by in Cookbooks, Giveaway, October 17, 2012

cookbook
Tina Ruggiero is a dietitian, spokesperson, special correspondent for the Tampa Tribune and author of the cookbook, The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet. We chatted with her about her book recently and she offered to give you, our lucky readers, the opportunity to win a copy of her book!

Q: What inspired this cookbook?

A: Prior to writing the book, I had 17 friends and clients who where either expectant or new moms. They each had the same questions about infant and toddler nutrition, and at that point, I realized I needed to write this book.

Q: What does healthy mean to you?

A: To me, healthy means having the ability to enjoy life to its fullest. “Healthy” is a state of mind, a lifestyle and something to be embraced and celebrated. Healthy goes beyond food. When you have your health, you can achieve anything.

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Seasonal Ingredient Apothecary

by in Healthy Recipes, October 14, 2012

beet and apple salad
Eating seasonally is a delicious option for many reasons. Not only are you getting produce at the peak of its flavor, you are also getting it at the peak of its nutrition. While it can be sad to see the summer tomatoes, berries and corn disappear from the market, fall brings its own delicious bounty to the table and each seasonal ingredient is packed with nutrients that do your body good. Food is medicine. Food nourishes. That’s why we eat, right?  Fall and winter produce offerings often match the colors of the season and those colors boast a variety of good-for-you nutrients. Here is a breakdown of ingredients the season has to offer and why you should be eating it.

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All About Sprouts

by in Uncategorized, September 27, 2012

sprouts
Sprinkled on a salad, tossed in a stir-fry or stuffed in a sandwich, sprouts are tasty seeds that pack a nutritional punch. There is a sprout for every taste preference, including bean, alfalfa, pea, clover and broccoli sprouts, to name a few, as well as a variety of sprouted grain products. Sprouts are simply germinated seeds. Some types are eaten raw, while others must be cooked before eating. However, foodsafety.gov, which is managed by the US Department of Health and Human Services, recommends cooking all sprouts before eating, especially for pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems, as sprouts have been linked to more than 30 reported outbreaks of foodborne illness since 1996.

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Modernize Your Bagged Lunch

by in Back to School, September 7, 2012

lentil quinoa salad
With back-to-school season in full swing, talk of bagged lunches is a regular most mom-groups. As many of us do, we put more time into our kids and what they are eating and let our own diets fall by the wayside. Well, bagged lunches are not just for little ones. Planning and packing your own lunch is a sure-fire way to control the types of foods you are eating and the portion size. If you’re like me, you might need a little motivation. When my work-out gets dull a new sports bra or pair of sneaks often does the trick. Next thing you know I go from barely running a block to feeling like I could run a marathon with my new kicks on.

So, here are some really fun lunch-packing goodies to get you motivated to join the brown-bag movement. Hey, a few of these items may appeal to your kids as well and get them psyched about that extra piece of fruit or healthier snack you packed for them!

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Healthy Snacks for a Day at the Beach

by in Uncategorized, August 11, 2012

beach picnic
About 2 hours into my first day on the beach this summer I realized I had not planned well. The ice cream man began ringing his bell which automatically triggered my hunger. I dug through my beach bag and found nothing resembling food. After taking a swig of warm water from my half-filled water bottle I realized I needed to plan a bit better for my next day in the sun.

It’s easy to crave to junk food when on vacation or stranded on the beach for several hours. For me, packing healthy snacks is the way to go especially because the last thing I want is to feel bloated or sluggish in my bikini. Here are my picks for beach-friendly snacks that can translate easily into options for any outdoor outing this summer.

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Cooking With Wood Planks

by in Uncategorized, July 28, 2012

cedar planked salmon
Cedar and other wood-plank cooking is probably one of the oldest “new” food trends around. It’s a technique that was used by the Northwest Native Americans to roast fish, meats and fowl. Nowadays, adventurous chefs can choose between baking and barbeque planks in variety of woody flavors. Baking planks may be used again and again to impart subtle flavor while maintaining the natural juices in meats and vegetables alike. Barbeque planks also add truly unique flavor, combining the earthiness of the wood plank and the smokiness of the grill.

When choosing planks, pick only untreated cedar, alder, hickory or maple. Using treated wood may actually poison the food as well as the person enjoying it. Also remember that some woods are bolder than others— cedar is more aromatic and adds stronger woodsy flavor while alder is milder and sweeter, with a very subtle flavor. If you are baking with a cedar plank, be sure to keep temperatures at or below 425°.  For grilling, soak the plank for one to four hours in water, wine, or apple, citrus or berry juices. You could even use tea. This adds moisture to the wood along with complimentary flavors, which prevents the plank from burning on the grill or in the oven.

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The Versatile Coconut

by in Uncategorized, July 14, 2012

coconut
For many people, coconuts conjure up an image of a tropical island vacation but this versatile fruit has far more benefits and applications than flavoring  a piña coladas. Coconuts have been studied for their antimicrobial, antiviral and immune boosting properties due to the medium chain fatty acids, lauric acid and capric acid, found in them. Fresh coconuts can be found whole in many grocery stores and ethnic markets. Coconut has been getting quite a bit of buzz lately and you may have seen a wide variety of coconut products available at your grocery store.  Have you been wondering what are they and if they’re good for you?  Well I did too, and here is the scoop.

Coconut water is the thin, slightly opaque liquid found inside freshly cracked coconuts. One cup of coconut water has 46 calories and is a good source of fiber, potassium, magnesium and vitamin C. Opt for an unsweetened version; the added sugars and flavors make a good thing less healthy really quickly.

Coconut milk is a creamy, non-dairy alternative made by processing coconut meat with water. Again, unsweetened is best.  Coconut milk is used in many non-dairy ice creams as well and let me tell you, it is tasty!

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