11 Questions With Eddie Jackson

by in Chefs and Restaurants, Fitness, November 3, 2016

There’s a lot to know about Eddie Jackson. Not only did this Texas-born chef win season 11 of The Next Food Network Star, but he’s also a personal trainer, food truck owner…and he had an impressive career in the NFL. Eddie’s passions are fitness and good food, and he knows the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive — the healthy recipes in his playbook taste absolutely delicious. In fact in Eddie’s world, there is no need for a “cheat” day, because his good-for-you food is packed with flavor and doesn’t leave you feeling deprived. To learn more about our favorite fit “Jack of all trades,” we quizzed Eddie as part of our friends at the Partnership for a Healthier America’s “11 Questions” series.

1. If you were stranded on a deserted island, and only one vegetable grew on that island, what vegetable would you want it to be?
One? That’s so hard! But I’d have to say collard greens. They’re sturdy, versatile and so good for you. I use them in soups and sautes, and as sandwich wraps.

2. What is your healthiest habit?
I do some form of exercise every morning as soon as I wake up, whether that’s push-ups or hitting the gym. It’s so important to get your body moving within an hour of getting out of bed.

3. What is your go-to nutritious breakfast?
Oatmeal topped with roasted sweet potatoes. Read more

Adjusting Your Workout When Daylight Saving Time Ends

by in Fitness, November 2, 2016

As soon as we “fall back” at 2AM this Sunday, November 6th, we lose an hour of daylight in the evening…which means it’s already dark by the time we head out of the office at the end of the day. But that doesn’t mean you necessarily have to give up on outdoor exercise until we change the clocks again in the spring. There are plenty of ways to make your post-work walk or run safe and enjoyable — even after dark. Lisa Jhung, a veteran runner and author of Trailhead: The Dirt on All Things Trail Running (VeloPress, 2015) has these tips:

Lose the Headphones
You need to be able to hear oncoming traffic and not be distracted by listening to music or a podcast. “If you absolutely can’t run without music, keep the volume very low and keep the earbud on the road side of your head out,” suggests Jhung.

Bring Your Phone
A good idea when it’s light out too — you never know when you might need to call for help. Read more

Asian Pesto Chicken Meatball Lettuce Wraps

by in Healthy Recipes, November 1, 2016

Nourishing and delicious, these Asian Pesto Chicken Meatball Lettuce Wraps are packed with protein, fiber and skin-friendly beta carotene to give your complexion a healthy glow into fall and beyond!

In addition to one of fall’s favorite foods, sweet potatoes, these Chicken Meatball Lettuce Wraps contain heart-healthy oats, flax seeds and cashew nuts. Oh, and about that Asian pesto sauce, fair warning: You may want to eat it by the spoonful. It’s that good!

I used a combo of dark-meat and white-meat chicken, along with some egg, ground oats and ground flax seed, to keep the meatballs moist. But feel free to experiment with all-white-meat or all-dark-meat chicken, and to sub almond flour for the oats if you prefer a grain-free version.

The pesto sauce is easily made ahead of time, as are the meatballs, so you can pull the recipe together quickly to enjoy it as a complete meal for lunch or dinner whenever you’re ready to eat. Read more

A Michelin-Starred Veggie Stock

by in Chefs and Restaurants, Healthy Recipes, Vegan, October 30, 2016

The truth is that lots of the world’s top Michelin-starred chefs turn up their noses at the idea of cooking for vegetarians. “Some chefs don’t see the fun in working with vegetables. But I really enjoy the challenge of creating a vegetarian dish, especially when it wins over meat lovers,” says Heiko Nieder, the head chef at The Restaurant in Zurich’s Dolder Grand Hotel, and the founder of its annual Epicure Food Festival for fellow Michelin-starred chefs (over the course of his career, he’s been awarded four stars). A fan of getting creative with veggies, he also designed an entire vegetarian tasting menu at The Restaurant, something that is extremely rare for ultra-fine dining.

One of Chef Nieder’s favorite healthy, vegetarian options on the menu is a “high-end-version of your grandmother’s vegetable soup.” To kick up the flavor without adding any fat, he uses herbs — parsley, bay leaves and thyme — and two types of mushrooms, his favorite veggie to cook with. “They make vegetable stock taste special and give it an unbelievable depth,” he says. Here, he topped the ultra-flavorful broth with tomato, basil, celery and parsley. “It’s not necessary, but it makes for a beautiful presentation and adds to your vegetable intake,” says Chef Nieder.

Make it all fall and winter, and prepare to win over vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Read more

Exploring The MIND Diet

by in Cookbooks, October 29, 2016

Diets come and go, but the MIND Diet has the potential to cut the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in half and keep the brain more than seven years younger. The author of The MIND Diet, nutrition expert Maggie Moon, M.S., RDN, claims this approach to nutrition “is heart-healthy and a solid foundation for healthy eating for just about anyone.” So what exactly does the MIND Diet entail?

The Origin of MIND
The MIND Diet is a cross between the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH Diet. “MIND” stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. The diet was developed by researchers at Rush University who created a nutrition plan shown to help lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by more than one-third. In this prospective study, 923 people between the ages of 58 and 98 were followed for four-and-a-half years while following the Mediterranean Diet, the DASH Diet and the MIND Diet. Those who adhered to the MIND Diet the most reduced their risk for Alzheimer’s by 53 percent compared with those who did not adhere closely to the diet. Even those who partially adhered to the MIND Diet were still able to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by 35 percent compared with those who did not follow the diet.

The Diet
The original diet was developed by Martha Clare Morris, Ph.D., a nutritional epidemiologist at Rush University in Chicago, and her colleagues, who identified 10 “brain-healthy food groups” that were brimming with antioxidants, resveratrol and healthy fatty acids. These foods included berries, green leafy vegetables, olive oil, nuts, whole grains, fish and beans. According to the researchers, strawberries and blueberries were shown to be the most-potent berries in terms of protecting against Alzheimer’s and preserving cognitive function. Read more

Nutrition News: Next-level healthy eating, diet and gut health, embrace moderation

by in Food News, October 28, 2016


Next-level healthy eating
You’d think eating foods that are good for you would be enough, but it turns out you can actually do more. Writing in The Washington Post, dietitian Cara Rosenbloom reveals eight ways you can take healthy foods up to the next level. For instance, if you add black pepper (even just a sprinkle) to curry, you boost the anti-cancer benefits of the antioxidant curcumin. If you drink wine with fish, you may elevate the levels of Omega-3 fats in your blood, which may help protect against heart disease. And when you eat an apple, cucumber, potato, peach or kiwi, leave on the peel, where most of the antioxidants, vitamins and fiber are stored. “In the case of apples, a major component of the peel is quercetin, which is an antioxidant associated with a decreased risk of Type 2 diabetes,” Rosenbloom explains. There are five more tips where those came from. Read more

6 Lightened-Up Sweets for a Healthier Halloween

by in Healthy Recipes, October 27, 2016

Halloween is not the night to restrict your diet, but that doesn’t mean your evening of revelry should be quashed by a candy coma. If you’re hosting a party this year, skip store-bought sweets and opt for homemade goodies instead. Don’t hesitate to whip up everyone’s favorites — cookies, caramels, even a cocktail or two. But a few mindful alterations (and moderation) can save you from a sugar hangover the next morning. Here are five festive recipes that are sure to hit the spot without going overboard.

Spider Bites
Sandra Lee’s homemade chocolate-peanut butter clusters are incredibly quick and convenient — and at a glance, they’ll raise the hair on the back of your neck. The recipe calls for creamy peanut butter; for an extra fiber boost, use all-natural PB.

Read more

DIY Healthy Halloween Treats

by in Halloween, Healthy Holidays, October 26, 2016

If you’re spooked by the overwhelming amount of highly processed junk coming into your house this time of year, try making some of your own treats. While these are certainly sugary confections, you control the quality of the ingredients and the amount of sugar, which helps make things a little less scary. Here are two no-fail recipes that the kids can help create.

Festive Dark Chocolate Lollipops
Makes 12 lollipops

You can use premade lollipop molds, but it’s even more fun to pour chocolate pops freeform. These impressive treats literally take only minutes to make! Get the kids in the kitchen to help decorate.

5 ounces dark chocolate
Halloween sprinkles and other edible decor

Line a sheet pan with a nonstick baking mat and arrange lollipop sticks in a row about 6 inches apart. Melt chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler. Pour a heaping tablespoon of melted chocolate over the top quarter portion of each lollipop stick. Decorate as desired and allow to set for at least 30 minutes. Enjoy immediately or wrap in plastic and use within 3 days.

Per serving (1 piece): Calories 63; Fat 4 g (Saturated 2 g); Cholesterol 1 mg; Sodium 0 mg; Carbohydrate 8 g; Fiber 1 g; Sugars 6 g; Protein 1 g Read more

Quick Weeknight Pho Ga

by in Healthy Recipes, October 25, 2016

The star of pho, the Vietnamese noodle soup sold throughout the country at modest stands or tables on the street, is its rich and deeply flavorful broth, made by simmering beef or chicken bones for many hours.

When there aren’t hours available, a shortcut version of this healthful, balanced meal in a bowl can be on the table in about 20 minutes. The key to giving store-bought broth extra flavor is to first char and toast the “aromatics” — that is, the onion, ginger and dried spices — under the broiler. Be sure to place the onion wedges over the dried spices so they don’t burn, which would make them bitter.

Traditional pho is served with all the additional ingredients, such as the greens, fresh herbs, sprouts, lime, and chile peppers (whole or sliced, depending on their size) or Sriracha, for each diner to add to taste. Read more

Cauliflower Piccata

by in Healthy Recipes, October 23, 2016

For this piccata recipe, roasted cauliflower steaks are cooked in a delicious sauce of butter, wine, parsley, lemons and capers. To me, the pairing of bright lemon and briny capers is almost magical; spooning it over tender cauliflower finished with a generous serving of parsley is an easy way to maximize vegetable intake.

This cauliflower piccata is a vegetarian showstopper, a beautiful main dish perfect for holidays yet easy enough to enjoy for weeknight dinners. To create cauliflower “steaks,” remove the outer leaves and the bottom portion of the stem. Then slice the cauliflower into 1-inch-thick slabs. Depending on the size of your cauliflower, you may have only three to four steaks per head. For a main dish, serve the cauliflower steaks with egg noodles or roasted potatoes — and extra piccata sauce. Read more