Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wellness Wednesday / "Delia's Dose"

This week’s blog is short and sweet… inspired by the fact that it is the end of August and like the end of every August here in the Midwest…it’s HOT!! 

When it’s hot and humid, one of my favorite summer time fruits to enjoy is a juicy, ripe, peach!! Did you know that August is National Peach Month!? Yup, back in 1982 President Reagan made it official!

Peaches have many health benefits:
*rich in Vitamin A…important for our eyes
*they are 80% water..good for hydration
*a good source of dietary fiber…good for helping with regular bowel movements!
*rich in Vitamin C, E, and K…immune boosters, antioxidants
*rich in potassium…helps maintain healthy blood pressure, prevents kidney stones, bone loss, and charlie horses!
*an average size peach contains about 68 calories! A delicious, sweet treat that is low in calories!
*the skin of a peach contains chlorogenic acid…that helps to get rid of free radicals, which cause aging, chronic diseases and inflammation.

Here is one of my favorite summer time peach recipes…this is really good for dessert or even breakfast!
GRILLED PEACHES with YOGURT and ROSEMARY HONEY(or as my daughter calls it…”peaches with the tire marks”)
*4 firm but ripe peaches
*1 rosemary sprig
*2 cups Greek yogurt
*1/2 cup honey
*Canola oil

Prepare the grill…medium heat
Cut the peaches in half and take out the pits. Brush the cut sides with the oil.
Put the peaches on the grill. Turn once. Cook until the grill marks are visible and the peaches are tender but not falling apart-about 2-3 minutes per side.

While the peaches are on the grill, put the rosemary sprig and honey into a microwavable bowl and heat for 1 minute.

To serve, put ¼ cup yogurt into serving bowls(or I’ve used pretty glasses) then top with the slices of the grilled peaches. Top with another ¼ cup of yogurt and more peach slices, then drizzle with the rosemary infused honey. 

DEEEEELICIOUS! Sweet and Savory!

Have a healthy week!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wellness Wednesday / "Delia's Dose"

This week’s blog is inspired by the fact that I keep waking up in the middle of the night with horrible Charley (or Charlie) Horses! Yes, that muscle spasm in your calf, foot, or thigh that  jars you from your sleep and causes you to pace around your pitch black bedroom trying to “walk it out” at 3 am while secretly hoping you are making enough noise to wake up your significant other so they will offer to rub your leg for you!!

What are some of the causes of these muscle cramps?

*poor blood circulation: this is when blood flow becomes restricted in certain parts of the body. This is not a good thing because it usually means that there is plaque in the arteries. What’s plaque? I always think of it as sludge or “gunk” that builds up in the arteries of your heart.  This sludge is caused by bad cholesterol, which comes from diet and lifestyle choices. The American Heart Association recommends we consume less than 300 mg of cholesterol per day and that’s if you are a healthy individual! If you already have some gunk building up in those arteries you should only have 200 mg of cholesterol a day. So if my boss has her Mc Donalds “Mc Double”  for lunch,  she consumes 65 mg of cholesterol. That’s actually not bad compared to the famous Sausage Mc Muffin with Egg that has a whopping 285 mg of cholesterol!! Bring the heart paddles with ya next time you sit in the drive thru for that one!! Yikes!
*overexertion of the muscle during exercise: basically, don’ t over do it! Know your limits, set obtainable goals!

*exercising in the heat: I say- just don’t do it, exercise in the morning or evening when it’s cooler outside. Our bodies way of cooling itself is to sweat, and if you are sweating A LOT our muscles can get dehydrated and that affects their ability to contract and relax.

*not enough stretching before exercise: stretching increases the blood flow to our muscles..that’s a good thing!

*muscle fatigue: this is when your muscles aren’t able to contract and help you move. When we need our muscles to move, our brain sends a signal to the muscle fibers…”hey, I need you to lift your 38 lb child now!” The fibers shorten and contract the muscle which then pulls on your bones to make you move. If there isn’t  enough water, nutrients, or oxygen present, the muscles get tired and can’t do their job.

*dehydration: I have talked about the importance of drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of water a day…this will help avoid leg cramps. Eating foods high in water content is a good idea too…watermelon, leafy greens, tomatoes

*calcium deficiency: well, I could talk about myofilaments and myosin, troponin, tropomysosin, sarcomeeres, and bone density and how all this is very important for our muscles..but instead I will say…we need calcium!! We need about 1,000-1,200 mg a day. Calcium rich foods: milk, yogurt, cheese, kale, salmon, tofu, broccoli, sardines, oranges, oatmeal, dried figs, arugula

*pinched nerve in the neck or back which can cause calf and thigh cramps

*magnesium and or potassium deficiency: maybe you’ve heard someone say to eat a banana to help with muscle cramps…that’s because they contain potassium. Potassium is very important for our cells, tissues, and organs to function properly. Think of our muscles and cells as highways that run through our body. If potassium isn’t moving along those highways due to blockage or deficiency, then the muscles can cramp up! Eating a banana won’t instantly stop your muscle cramp, but maintaining good levels of potassium in your body regularly can help!
Here’s a list of foods high in magnesium and potassium: bananas, prunes, dried apricots, raisins, cantaloupe, spinach, avocados, artichokes, almonds, cashews, peanuts, peanut butter, kidney beans, pinto beans, yogurt, halibut, mushrooms, baked acorn squash.

One  way to  avoid Charley Horses is to make sure you wear shoes with proper support.  Also, if you’ve been having them regularly, they say a hot shower before bed helps. 
Here’s a delicious Summer Time recipe with potassium rich ingredients! Get out your popsicle molds and let the kids help!

2 large ripe bananas
¼ cup peanut butter(or almond butter)
¼ cup water
2 tbsp cacao powder
2 tbsp vanilla extract
Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour mix into popsicle molds and freeze. YUMMMY!

Have a Healthy Week!

p.s. Wonder why we call it a Charlie Horse? Apparently there are several theories…In the 1880’s a famous baseball pitcher named Charlie Radbourn, nicknamed “Old Hoss,” suffered from leg cramps=Charlie Horse. There’s also the stories of the 17th century policemen in England, called Charleys. They were required to do a lot of walking and suffered from aching legs=Charley Horses?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Wellness Wednesday / "Delia's Dose" on Thursday

This week’s blog is inspired by the mass amount of donuts that I witnessed my coworkers devour for breakfast the other day!

Let’s look at the Nutritional Value of those fried, glutinous, sugary, do they go better with a glass of milk or cup of coffee, treats…

Glazed Donut(from a very famous donut shop chain) : 260 Calories/14 grams of fat, 6 grams Saturated Fat/0 cholesterol/330 grams of sodium/31 grams of carbohydrates/12 grams of sugar/3 grams protein

Now let’s look at the nutritional value of a Whole Grain Bagel(from a very famous bread company chain): 340 Calories/25 grams of fat, 0 Saturated Fat/0 cholesterol/400 grams of sodium/67 grams of carbohydrates/5 grams of sugar/13 grams of protein
Now, let’s assume that you add butter, jelly or cream cheese to your bagel.

2 oz of Plain cream cheese: 190 calories/18 grams of fat, 11 Saturated Fat/55 mg of cholesterol/ 210 grams of sodium/2 carbs/1 gram of sugar/3 grams of protein

Soooo, as you can see...I am about to do something I’d never thought I’d say, think, or type….READY… here goes……It’s better to eat that darn donut than a big bagel with cream cheese!!!

Ok…I need a minute(take a deep breath Delia)………………Ok…I’ll be ok. But, can you see why I can say that? OBVIOUSLY, as with a lot of goodies…MODERATION is the key…but, the donut has less calories, less fat, less sodium, and less carbs! It does not however have less sugar…BUT…the amount of carbs in the bagel is just as bad!  Refined processed carbs are the worst kind for us. Think about how you feel about an hour or so after you eat that donut or bagel. Carbs break down into glucose for our body to use as fuel/energy. If it’s a “good type” of carb, from fresh fruit, veggies, or WHOLE unprocessed, unrefined grains then it takes longer for your body to break it down, thus avoiding the SUGAR HIGH and then the SUGAR LOW that you experience if you have that “bad type” of carb from something like a donut or bagel.  Basically I don’t approve of either of these items, ESPECIALLY for breakfast—the most important meal of the day!

Alright, so what are some better breakfast alternatives? And no, I am not talking about that processed frozen sodium loaded preservative filled fake egg muffin thing that you heat up in the microwave at work!
Try some of these options. Yes, it may require you getting up 10 minutes earlier in the morning…but you can do it! For your own health and well-being!!

*Hard boil some eggs on a Sunday afternoon and have them ready to eat in your fridge for the entire week-a great grab and go protein packed breakfast
*Breakfast Smoothies are a great idea and when you run that blender at 6:45am it is sure to wake up the kids! Try this one: 1 cup milk, 1 heaping spoonful of peanut butter or almond butter, half a banana, 5 ice cubes. You can add a couple scoops of your favorite protein powder if you want(I’ve made this without it though and it’s yummy!)and blend it up!
*Put ¾ cup of cottage cheese or your favorite yogurt in a cup. Top with a cup of pineapple chunks, peaches, or berries and sprinkle with a little wheat germ(found at most grocery stores..full of vitamins and minerals and a good source of fiber!)
*Mini Breakfast Pizzas: Scramble up some eggs. LIGHTLY toast some English muffins. Spread tomato sauce on the English muffin. If you are really being healthy put cooked spinach on top of the tomato sauce then top with the scrambled egg, add some shredded cheese and broil on low until the cheese is melted! You can make up several of these for everyone in the family to have a delicious breakfast!

Have a healthy week!

Just for the fun of is the ingredient list for a Glazed Bavarian Kreme Donut from that really famous donut shop
Donut: Enriched Unbleached Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Iron as Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamin Mononitrate, Enzyme, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Palm Oil, Water, Dextrose, Soybean Oil, Whey (a milk derivative), Skim Milk, Yeast, Contains less than 2% of the following: Salt, Leavening (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda), Defatted Soy Flour, Wheat Starch, Mono and Diglycerides, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Cellulose Gum, Soy Lecithin, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Artificial Flavor, Sodium Caseinate (a milk derivative), Enzyme, Colored with (Turmeric and Annatto Extracts, Beta Carotene), Eggs; Bavarian Kreme Filling: Water, Sugar Syrup, Modified Food Starch, Corn Syrup, Palm Oil, Contains 2% or less of the following: Natural and Artificial Flavors, Glucono Delta Lactone, Salt, Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Benzoate (Preservatives), Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Titanium Dioxide (Color), Agar; Glaze: Sugar, Water, Maltodextrin, Contains 2% or less of: Propylene Glycol, Mono and Diglycerides (Emulsifier), Cellulose Gum, Agar, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Vanillin (an Artificial Flavor).