All Posts By Michelle Dudash

5 Foods That May Help You Get Clear Skin and Rid Acne

by in Wellness, June 12, 2017

While the relationship between diet and acne has long been regarded as a myth, emerging scientific evidence is now alluding to how certain foods may help reduce acne. Even the American Academy of Dermatology is taking notice. If you’re fed up with acne despite your efforts, examining your diet for shortfalls is worth considering.

 

Low-glycemic load foods

Perhaps one of the best-studied areas of acne as it pertains to diet is the glycemic index. According to the “Guidelines of Care for the Management of Acne Vulgaris” published in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology, high glycemic index diets may be associated with acne. The glycemic load takes into account how quantities of foods each impact blood sugar. In a number of clinical studies with control groups, low-glycemic load and high-protein diets affected the hormone markers that influence inflammation and acne, resulting in significantly fewer acne lesions within 10 weeks. Read more

Make Whole-Grain Swaps to Burn Calories, Boost Metabolism

by in Food & Nutrition Experts, Food News & Trends, February 17, 2017


A new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that people who replaced refined grains with 100-percent whole grains absorbed fewer calories from foods eaten with whole grains and burned more calories. These losses added up to a 100-calorie deficit per day, according to the Tufts University researchers who conducted this 8-week study.

While 100 calories might not sound like a lot, eating 100-percent whole grains consistently could add up to significant savings when spanning weeks, months and years. Losing 700 calories per week by cutting calories with a traditional weight loss plan, for example, could add up to nearly a pound of fat loss per month. A brisk 30-minute walk also burns 100 calories.

Eating intact whole grains like brown rice and steel-cut oats versus those that are ground or milled could potentially offer more calorie-saving benefits, the researchers hypothesized.

If you’re ready to up your whole-grain game, there are a few things to consider.

 

What 100% whole grain is

A whole grain has the germ and outer bran either still intact, as in the case of brown rice, or ground, like in 100-percent whole-wheat flour. The milling process of refined grains, however, removes the outer bran and germ. During this process, fiber, protein, and other important nutrients decrease. Oftentimes food manufacturers add nutrients back in another form, as is the case for white fluffy bread. Read more

Is Sweet Potato Toast the New Avocado Toast?

by in Food News & Trends, Have You Tried, February 5, 2017

Thanks to the social mediasphere, sweet potato toast has emerged as one of the biggest food fads of the last several months. The concept of simply toasting a sliced sweet potato intrigued me, so I had to check out what the frenzy is all about. While I wouldn’t say sweet potato toast resembles toasted bread, it is an easy and delicious way to add more vegetables to your day, especially if you love sweet potatoes like I do. Plus, that vibrant color is sure to bring joy to mealtime. Here is what you need to know about sweet potato toast.

Nutritional benefits of sweet potatoes

Beta-carotene, the nutrient that the body converts into vitamin A, reigns as the nutritional crown jewel of sweet potatoes, providing more than 230% of the daily value in just one small tater. For the sake of this post, I’m using one small, 60-gram sweet potato, which is closest to the weight of a slice of bread that weighs in at 43 grams.

What’s better for you: sweet potato toast or whole-wheat toast?

Sweet potatoes count as a vegetable, and whole-wheat toast provides you with a serving of whole grains. Therefore, we’re not comparing apples to apples. Your body benefits from both whole grains and vegetables, since they provide different ranges of nutrients. Read more

5-Ingredient Chicken Sausage with Braised Red Cabbage

by in 5-Ingredient Recipes, Healthy Recipes, October 5, 2016

While attending culinary school years ago, I learned how to make classic braised red cabbage with a lengthy ingredient list, including some foods the average cook doesn’t tend to keep on hand. But that doesn’t mean you should have to miss out on the comfort and deliciousness of braised red cabbage on any night of the week. A little sweet, a little briny, this fall-inspired dish will warm your tummy. The leftovers are even tasty when enjoyed cold when you’re super-hungry and in a hurry.

Red cabbage is a low-cal, low-carb vegetable, and an excellent source of vitamin C.

When selecting chicken sausage, look for “natural” varieties, which are widely available in stores now in different flavors, like apple. My favorite type of chicken sausage for this recipe is savory herb. I like to round out the meal with quinoa pilaf or garlic toast. Read more

5-Ingredient Slow-Cooker Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

by in 5-Ingredient Recipes, September 14, 2016

For the past decade, I’ve been getting by with a $25 smallish slow cooker that I purchased from the grocery store. Recently I relocated, leaving my kitchen gadgets — including said slow cooker — behind, “forcing” me to buy a new one. Now I am thrilled to be sporting a slow cooker fit with a cook setting that automatically switches to warming mode after the cooking time has elapsed. Game changer. That was $49 well spent.

With fall comes peak sweet potato season. This dish highlights the savory side of this root vegetable, brimming with loads of vitamin A in the form of beta carotene, plus potassium and vitamin C. I opt for orange-fleshed taters because, to me, the presentation of a white sweet potato just doesn’t have the same panache.

I prefer to use chicken thighs with the bone in (skin removed, of course) in slow-cooked dishes because the result is juicy, tender pieces of meat. The natural gelatin from within the bones lends itself to a simplified bone broth — so good you’ll be sipping it from a spoon.

Toss these simple ingredients into the slow cooker and be on your way. Just a few hours later, return to your kitchen filled with a warm, mouthwatering aroma. Read more

5-Ingredient Grilled Halibut Pouches with Corn and Tomatoes

by in 5-Ingredient Recipes, Healthy Recipes, Uncategorized, August 1, 2016

There’s something particularly appealing about tossing aluminum-foil pouches on the grill: The simplicity. Memories from camping. No messy pan or counter cleanup! Possibilities exist beyond chicken and potatoes, like halibut. Fresh Alaskan halibut is in peak season late spring through early fall. When cooked properly, halibut is moist and “creamy,” yet light. Halibut is a good source of potassium and contributes roughly an entire day’s requirement (300 to 500 milligrams) of the Omega-3s EPA and DHA, which are recommended by the World Health Organization due to their protective benefits against coronary heart disease and stroke.

Corn adds more staying power to this dish with a light balance of complex carbs to round it out. And let’s not forget that corn counts as a vegetable, too. The juices from the corn, halibut and tomatoes simmer into a flavorful broth that you’ll find yourself sipping with a spoon. Next time you’re thinking about cooking fish for dinner, elevate your senses with these juicy halibut pouches. Read more

5-Ingredient Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Peaches

by in 5-Ingredient Recipes, Healthy Recipes, July 20, 2016

If you’re craving a juicy piece of meat from the grill but still desire a meal with a light finish, give pork tenderloin a try. Ounce for ounce, pork tenderloin is as lean as skinless chicken breast, making it a healthy choice in the meat aisle.

Peaches are in peak season all summer, timed perfectly for grilling. Peaches take on a concentrated, natural sweetness when grilled, as the cooking thickens their juices. To select peaches for grilling, opt for those that yield to gentle pressure when squeezed gently in the palm of the hand, while being free of wrinkled skins. A sweet peachy scent is another giveaway. Avoid using firm peaches, as the pits will be difficult to remove and the flesh will taste tart. Grilled peaches also pair well with chicken or can be enjoyed as a side dish for any barbecue. If you’re looking to spice things up, sprinkle on cinnamon. And for added entertainment, when someone asks you what’s for dinner, in a Southern accent drawl, “Pork ‘n’ peaches.” That’s what I do. Read more

5-Ingredient Strawberry and Black Quinoa Salad

by in 5-Ingredient Recipes, June 15, 2016

No doubt you’re familiar with white quinoa, which has become a healthy pantry staple in recent years. But you might be pleasantly surprised by the fun, pop-y texture and striking color of the black variety. Black quinoa also has an earthier taste, and works well in cold salads, since rather than clumping together, each seed of black quinoa can boldly hold its own. Even more important, black quinoa contains more than twice as much iron as white quinoa.

While quinoa is fine and dandy cooked in water, if you have some broth on hand, by all means cook the quinoa in broth for added flavor. And if the bottom of the rotisserie-chicken container has gathered juices, toss those in, too. This liquid gold equates to added depth of flavor in the finished dish.

Strawberries are gorgeous, sweet, juicy and fragrant during their peak season of summer, baring their fully red “shoulders” all the way up to the leaves — an indicator of truly ripe and delicious strawberries. The berries’ flavor is more pronounced at room temperature, so don’t be afraid to let them sit on the counter for a bit before you mix them into the salad. Read more

5-Ingredient Shrimp & Avocado Stir-Fry with Lemon

by in 5-Ingredient Recipes, May 25, 2016

We’re entering that exciting time of year when spring produce is in full gear and summer produce begins to surface. At this moment, avocado groves are brimming with luscious, creamy avocados, which can be used in all sorts of ways. Besides mashing avocados on toast and into guacamole, you can mix them into stir-fries, where they pair perfectly with a light, low-fat protein like shrimp. Avocados count toward your fruit intake, so you can feel good about that, too.

I’m a hungry gal, so I like to serve this dish over brown rice prepared with vegetable broth instead of water, for extra flavor. But feel free to break out your spiralizer to make zoodles (zucchini noodles) or serve the stir-fry in lettuce wraps for the ultimate low-carb meal that will fill you up while boosting your vegetable intake.

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5-Ingredient Quinoa Salad with Edamame and Carrots

by in Healthy Recipes, April 26, 2016

I love preparing batches of salads during the warmer months so I can enjoy them in light lunches throughout the week. Since quinoa is a complete source of protein containing all of the essential amino acids, you don’t have to worry about adding extra protein, unless you really want to. Quinoa is technically a seed, not a grain, providing both good carbs and protein.

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