Q&A With Olympic Gold Medalist Summer Sanders

by in Fitness, August 12, 2016

If you’re like us, you’ve got a full-blown case of Olympic fever. That’s why we were so excited to talk to Olympic gold medalist Summer Sanders, who is now in Rio reporting on the latest news (just try to keep from crying when you watch her get emotional commenting on Simone Manuel’s historic gold medal.)

Sanders emerged from the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona as the most decorated U.S. swimmer and ever since, she’s been a valuable advocate for fitness and health issues. When we caught up with Sanders at the Partnership for a Healthier America’s “Building a Healthier America” Summit, we were thrilled at the chance to pick her Olympian brain about how she stays fit and inspired, eats well and gets her kids to eat healthy too.

Nutrition News: Diet Discrepancies, Curbing Cravings, Nutrition-Trained Doctors

by in Food News, August 12, 2016

Where our diets go wrong

When it comes to the healthfulness of Americans’ diets, something’s not adding up. Even though more than 80 percent of us don’t eat the recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables, many of us overdo it with refined grains and sugar, and 36 percent of us are obese, 75 percent of us claim our diets are healthy, NPR reports, citing a recent national poll it co-conducted. What gives? Experts tell NPR it could be a matter of portion size — that we’re overeating foods that are healthy when consumed in moderation. Another factor in the discrepancy might be that we’re eating foods — like sugar-loaded granola bars — that we think are healthy, perhaps because they are marketed to us that way, but that really are not so good for us.   Read more

How to Use Up a Batch of Fresh Tomatoes

by in Healthy Recipes, August 11, 2016

Save your canned tomatoes and jarred sauces for winter, when ripe-off-the-vine tomatoes are impossible to come by. Now that we’re in the height of summer, we’re taking every opportunity to consume this ruby-red fruit in its freshest forms, and preferably the same day we buy it (or shortly thereafter). Whether you get your tomatoes from the grocery store, the farmers market or your own garden, these healthy recipes will inspire you to use this essential summer ingredient in smooth soups, hearty salads and more. Here are just a few of our favorite applications.

Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes
If you can get your hands on some heirloom tomatoes — or better yet, if they’re growing in your garden — put them to use in Food Network Magazine’s easy summer appetizer. Each tomato is stuffed with a salty cube of feta cheese.

Read more

The New Wave of Nondairy Milks

by in Grocery Shopping, Trends, August 10, 2016
The fruits and flowers of a macadamia tree

 

New nondairy beverages beyond soy and almond are popping up on market shelves left and right. Here are some of the lesser-known varieties you’ll want to add to your repertoire.

Macadamia
One cup of original macadamia milk contains 70 calories, 5 grams of fat, 1 grams of saturated fat, 1 grams of protein and 6 grams of sugar. The calories and nutrients vary between brands, so be sure to check the nutrition facts panel. Many brands fortify their macadamia milk in order to up the nutrition. Look for macadamia milk with added vitamins A, B-12 and D.

Where to buy: Suncoast Gold and Milkadamia make original and unsweetened varieties.

Oat
Made with oats, oat bran and salt, oat milk has a creamy texture and helps you get the daily recommended amount of whole grains (though without all the fiber). As with many other milk-alternative beverages, oat milk beverage isn’t a suitable substitute for the recommended daily servings of dairy. It does naturally contain calcium and iron, but do look for fortified versions that also contain other nutrients, like vitamin D, riboflavin and vitamin A.

Where to buy: Pacific Foods and Living Harvest make organic plain and vanilla varieties. Read more

Can’t Make It to Rio? This Lightened-Up Feijoada Is the Next-Best Thing

by in Healthy Recipes, August 9, 2016

OK, so you’re watching the Summer Olympics from your couch instead of live in Rio de Janeiro. Time to make a batch of feijoada — the Brazilian black-bean stew that’s considered the country’s national dish — invite some friends over and throw a summer games viewing party. Feijoada (“fay-jwah-duh”) is a comfort-food staple in Brazil that’s traditionally made with beans and lots of fatty meats. Our version cuts way back on the fat and calories, highlights the healthiest attributes of the dish (fiber- and protein-filled legumes and aromatic vegetables and herbs) and has just enough meat to lend the dish its signature smoky flavor. Read more

Mango Spring Rolls with Ginger-Peanut Sauce

by in Healthy Recipes, August 8, 2016

Celebrate mango season with these fresh spring rolls! I’m a big fan of spring rolls for a light, refreshing meal. Packed with whatever fruit or vegetable I can get my hands on, they are the perfect dish to make when you have a bunch of vegetable scraps lying around. As with most good recipes, once you get the hang of stuffing and wrapping these, you can customize them to whatever you have on hand. As long as the ingredients taste good together, they will taste great wrapped in a spring roll.

For easy assembly, you’ll want to have the filling chopped and ready to go ahead of time. Thin strips of vegetables are easier for stuffing and won’t poke through the delicate rice paper as heartier chunks might. Make sure to use a damp paper towel for lining the prepared rolls so they don’t dry out and crack. While these will keep in the fridge, they taste best when enjoyed right after making. To transition these rolls to a heartier meal, add in precooked shrimp, chicken or baked tofu. Enjoy any leftover filling and sauce like a salad. Read more

Tomatoes, 3 Ways

by in Healthy Recipes, August 7, 2016

There’s nothing like a ripe tomato to get your summer juices flowing. Whether you grow your own in your garden or get seduced at the market, these recipes are perfect individually or even as a complete menu for a get-together on a hot summer night. Bonus: The recipes are not only satisfyingly refreshing, but also easy on the waistline.

Shrimp Scampi Risotto-Stuffed Tomatoes (pictured above)
Entertaining? Just double this recipe for your next get-together.
Serves 4

1/4 cup finely crushed brown rice cereal
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 large ripe tomatoes (about 3 pounds)
1/4 cup uncooked Arborio rice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 pound medium shrimp — peeled, deveined and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 tablespoons dry vermouth, optional

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the cereal, 2 teaspoons of the parsley and half of the chopped garlic.
Cut tops off tomatoes and reserve. Carefully scoop out the tomato pulp, leaving the tomatoes intact, and place in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in the rice, salt, pepper, lemon zest, shrimp, olive oil, remaining chopped garlic, remaining 2 tablespoons parsley and vermouth, if using.

Place the tomato cups in a baking dish and fill evenly with the rice mixture. Top generously with the crumb mixture and drizzle with olive oil; top with the tomato tops. Bake until the rice is cooked through, about 1 hour. Serve warm or chilled. Read more

Eat Like an Olympian: Marlen Esparza

by in Fitness, Healthy Tips, August 6, 2016

Ever wonder what it must be like to walk in the shoes of a professional athlete? We chatted with 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Marlen Esparza about boxing and what it takes to eat like a champion.

Is nutrition an important part of your training?
Nutrition is an extremely important part of any athlete’s training. What you eat fuels your body for your sport, and if you want to be the very best and at the top of your game, you have to fuel your body in the healthiest way possible.

What are some of your favorite pre- and post-workout snacks?
Before workouts, my “go-to” is a smoothie with Nutty for ‘Nana yogurt from Chobani [Esparza’s sponsor], plus sliced bananas, organic honey, powdered peanut butter, chia seeds, almond milk and steel-cut oats all blended together.

One of my favorite post-workout snacks to cut down on cravings would be black cherry Greek yogurt topped with fresh raspberries, coconut flakes, dark chocolate chips (not too many) and sliced almonds. Read more

Nutrition News: Foods We Crave, GMO Labeling, Light and Obesity

by in Food News, August 5, 2016

Can’t eat just one …
We eat in hopes of satisfying our hunger, but some foods actually do the opposite, activating areas in our brain and gut that stir our desire for more. “The sight, smell, or taste of some food will trigger the cephalic food response,” Dr. Belinda Lennerz, an endocrinologist affiliated with Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, told Time. The news magazine’s website fingers nine foods that create, rather than curb, cravings. They are … processed carbs like 1) potato chips, 2) crackers and 3) bread; sugary foods like 4) cookies, 5) cake and 6) sweets; easy-to-swallow foods like 7) low-fat, single-serve yogurt; and 8) diet drinks and 9) artificially sweetened snack foods. Read more

7 Summer Dishes That Aren’t Complete Without Basil

by in Healthy Recipes, August 4, 2016

It’s that time of year when basil is abundant everywhere we turn, from our own herb gardens to top restaurants’ menus. We’re finding the fragrant green leaves torn and mixed with salad greens, muddled at the bottom of highball glasses, blended into ice cream and pulsed with garlic, Parmesan and pine nuts until a fragrant pesto sauce comes into being. Part of the beauty of this leafy summer herb is its approachability; in other words, you don’t need to be a trained chef in order to dream up some creative takes on it. If you’re like us and keep a fresh bundle in a vase on your countertop all season long, waiting for the perfect excuse to snip off a few leaves, then you just found a reason to celebrate. Here are seven in-season (and healthy!) dishes that just won’t suffice without basil.

Bruschetta
In its purest form, this rustic summer appetizer consists of toasted baguette slices topped with an ample scoop of chopped tomatoes, garlic, onions and basil. A snack this simple is only as good as its ingredients, so splurge on the freshest produce you can find — especially the basil, which makes a gorgeous leafy topper for each neatly portioned bite in Giada De Laurentiis’ Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Bruschetta recipe.

Read more