Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nutrition & Dietetic Students Being Filmed

I feel absolutely blessed to be working for one of the most wonderful universities there is, which is Loma Linda University. I am one of the assistant professors on the faculty of the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Allied Health Professions. The opportunity of working with and educating the future registered dietitians is what I love about my job. Our students are absolutely outstanding, amazing, hard working, and have great compassion for their patients.



For our capstone course for the M.S. students, we incorporated the opportunity for them to practice being media dietitians. For one of their projects, we had Stew Harty, media pastor of Loma Linda University Church (LLUC), work with our students in filming them and giving them media lectures. Before coming to LLUC, Mr. Harty was involved in the filming industry in Hollywood.  Needless to say, Loma Linda is very blessed to have Mr. Harty on board. Our students did a great job in their media video project. My apologies to all my awesome students that I don't have pictures of all of them due to my battery running out on the day of filming. However, I'm able to put a few here. 


The location of filming was in the newly renovated kitchen in our department where students learn the art of cooking.

Student Zsaleh presented a wonderful demo on cooking garlicky pasta.

Student Devon made a nice presentation on how to make "Berried Treasures", a beautiful fruit parfait breakfast for kids.

Student Jackie presented on the proper ways of motivating children to eat well.

Student Melani presented on the importance of meal planning and emphasized that it's not a hard thing to do.

Student Jigna actually had me be her "host" and she made an important presentation on foods those with diabetes can enjoy.


Our programs at Loma Linda University include a B. S. in Nutrition and Dietetics, M. S. in Nutrition and Dietetics, and an M.P.H. in nutrition. If you are interested in becoming a registered dietitian, you can find more information at www.llu.edu/nutrition. Come join us! We would love to have you.

We all had such a fun and great day filming. It was definitely memorable for all of us!

Monday, November 28, 2011

PRODUCT REVIEW: Uncle Sam Cereal

Have you ever heard of a wheat berry? Are you thinking it's a fruit? Well, it absolutely is not. Wheat berry is a term used to refer to the whole wheat kernel that is made up of the bran, germ, and endosperm. Guess what else? A delicious and good-for-you cereal is on the market produced by Attune Foods. Their Uncle Sam cereal line showcases different varieties of toasted whole wheat berry flakes. All varieties come packaged with flaxseed, but it can also be found with honey and almonds and strawberry.

My favorite as a stand alone cereal is the strawberry version. The freeze dried strawberries add a delicious kick to a morning meal that wakes up the taste buds very nicely. I've enjoyed this cereal with almond milk.This is a keeper for rotating through my morning meals.

I quickly made a last minute home-made trail mix on my way out the door one day with the honey almond version. I added walnuts, more almonds (because I love almonds!), and some shredded coconut. My home-made trail mix was absolutely delicious!

All varieties of the toasted whole wheat berry flakes are low in sodium unlike many other cereals out there. In addition, this line of cereal is lightly sweetened giving a nice additional flavoring. Many other cereals have a lot of added sugar to them. With the whole wheat berry flakes, you do not skip out on flavor at all. The other pluses to this cereal is that all varieties have a good amount of fiber and protein on top of having that heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids from the flaxseeds! If you want to try a new cereal, try the Uncle Sam Toasted Whole Wheat Berry Flakes line for good nutrition and good taste. 

*****

What other Attune Foods products would you recommend if you have tried any?






Friday, November 25, 2011

MY FAVORITE THINGS: "Chicken Soup for the Soul Runners"

For my birthday this year, my dear friend, Jackie Neff, gave me the book "Chicken Soup for the Soul Runners" by Dean Karnazes, Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hanser, Amy Newmark, and many other contributers. I have always loved any book of the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series; however, I especially LOVE this one! I don't want to finish it so soon. I want to draw it out and soak in every single story. True to its reputation, "Chicken Soup for the Soul Runners" its absolutely to the tee inspirational and encouraging to the max, while at the same time delivering warmth and fuzzy feelings to the heart. With my attempts to make this book last long, it is definitely hard to put this book down. If only someone would let me know that there is a volume two, three, or even four coming on the way, then I'll be able to read it a little faster.

I don't want to ruin it for anyone, just in case you want to read it, but I do have to tell you about one lady that one contributor shared about in the book. This lady is 81 years old and had won a full marathon in her age division in 2007. She wanted to complete another marathon with a finishing goal of sub six hours. The writer of the story mentioned that this time around, she incorporated speedwork, hill repeats, running on stadium steps, and running 50 miles each week along with having Jeff Galloway as her coach.The actual story is heart warming that you have to read it yourself to know what happened during this particular marathon. The story's end shocked me. It shouldn't have, because she was doing all that extra work, but I guess it's because of her age that it did. She shaved off 50 minutes from her previous marathon win a few short years ago!

Alrightee...hot diggity dog! I am not one who is particular about her finish time, but hey, if an 81 year old women can improve her time, then this person who is half her age certainly can for her next full marathon! Funny how the elderly people have been my inspiration when it comes to running.:) I am now so determined to improve my time, but even though I don't end up improving my time, I will still be happy to just finish.

Anyway, if you haven't read this book and want some incredible inspiration or if you just want to know how lazy you are, get this book immediately...and be inspired!

*****
What other books have given you running inspiration?

When Having Guests Over for a Meal

When you are a vegetarian and you invite friends to come over to your house for dinner, I can see how easy it is to prepare your favorite recipes. Some of those recipes may include veggie meat products made out of soy. It may be no big deal to you, because you like it. On the other hand, if you are non-vegetarian and you invite friends to come over to your house for dinner, I can see how easy it is to prepare your favorite recipes. Some of those recipes may include actual meat, like real chicken or turkey. There is nothing wrong with both scenarios.

When having friends or relatives over at your house for another meal, take into consideration their situation. If you, as a host, are vegetarian and you will prepare a dish made with soy meat, then provide an additional option, like a vegetable or bean casserole does not have any soy products. Some people may not like soy meats and may not really want to eat that Tofurky (even though I like it). When people are forced to eat something they don't like, it takes away from the pleasant moments of the meal. Having an additional vegetarian option, without the soy product, may be more appealing to them and will make your guest feel more relaxed.

If you are a host having friends over for dinner and you are non-vegetarian having vegetarian friends as your guest, I wouldn't necessarily not cook any meat dishes if that is what you personally like. Just make sure you also have some vegetarian options, so that your guests will not feel uncomfortable. They will be able to enjoy the meal in a more pleasant manner with you.

When you invite your friends over to eat at your house, take an extra brief moment to ask what their preference for meals are. Ask them if they are vegetarian or not, or if they do eat meat or not. It may also be a good idea to further ask them if they have any food allergies. This will help you in your food preparation.

Being considerate to your guests when it comes to eating will make the time together more memorable and enjoyable. Your meal planning will be better guided. You will feel better about the meal you will prepare for them.

Before I sign off on this post, will just share with you a little snapshot of yesterday's Thanksgiving feast. Friends and relatives made it a potluck at our house. Being filipino, we had both filipino traditions and American Thanksgiving traditions. We had choices for the non-vegetarians as well as for the vegetarians! We definitely covered all bases here.:)

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What are you doing with yesterday's leftovers?

Pumpkin Scone Recipe by Maya E. Nahra

I love the philosophy of food, cooking, and life by Maya E. Nahra, who is a registered dietitian and chef. Learn more about her, her recipes, and her point of view on cooking at her website found at http://intentfulchef.com/.

A few days ago, I embarked on making Maya's pumpkin scone recipe. I actually had fun making the scones and was very delighted with the outcome! The scones were delicious. The sweetness was just right without being overly sweet. You can find her pumpkin scone recipe by clicking HERE. Enjoy!

P.S. Maya, I ran out of all purpose flour, so I went ahead and used what I had at home...whole wheat flour...and it still worked great! That's why my scones may look different and besides, I'm not the pro scone maker like you.:)

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Have you made any scones lately at home? If so, please feel free to share your favorite scone recipe here.





Monday, November 21, 2011

PRODUCT REVIEW: VegeFish Fillet by Heritage Health Food

As much as possible, I keep eating processed veggie meats to "just a once in a while" deal. If they weren't processed and high in sodium, it sure would be nice to have them more often, because many of them taste so wonderfully good. Having said that, on to the product I just happened to stumble across while at Clark's Nutrition store.


My eye caught a VegeFish Fillet package. It had a "breaded/battered" look to it. I pulled it out of the the freezer and after looking it over, I decided to give it a try. This product is by Heritage Health Food. My first attempt with it was that I baked it in the oven.  Now, before I try any  "veggie meat" that is new to me, I tell myself..."Don't expect it to taste like the real deal! Appreciate it for its own flavor." As I paired it together with tartar sauce, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I actually liked it. Now, I must admit the second time I had it, I decided to just fry it a little...again, just a little with canola oil and not deep fried. Oh, it tasted even better with more crispiness. It definitely has a tasty flavor of its own, which kind of comes a little close to battered fish, but not really. However, as I said, I really liked it and it is worth trying.

Putting two fillets together of the VegeFish product has four more grams of protein, but with more sodium than the Van de Kamp's Frozen Fish Fillets. You would at least be getting two grams of fiber from the VegeFish Fillets.  In the Van de Kamp's Frozen Fish Fillets, you wouldn't. Again, when it comes to veggie meats, I don't like eating them all the time; however, for variety sake, I like to go ahead and have them every now and then. Try something different today. Try the VegeFish Fillet by Heritage Health Food.

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Have you tried other products by Heritage Health Food?  If so, which ones are your favorites? 



Sunday, November 20, 2011

How to Keep Sane and Healthy Through the Holiday Season

Going through the holiday season can either be a fun and joyful time for many, or it can be the most difficult time of the year for others going through difficulty or loss. Then there are those who make life too busy for themselves, so the entire holiday season is one big hussle and bussle time of the year for them. What's best to keep in mind through this holiday season (both Thanksgiving and Christmas) is that this season is not about us. Jesus Christ is always the reason for any and every season. Without Him, there would really be no reason to continue living. Because Christ unselfishly died on the cross for us showing us how much He loves us, let's keep passing God's love on to others.

Let's go through this list of how to keep sane and healthy through this season, so that we can continue being a blessing to those we come in contact with or to help those who are far away from us.


1. Keep excercising and don't stop. Even if you don't have much time, get a 20 or 30 minute walk or run in to keep our hearts healthy and strong.

2. Eat regular meals and never skip. You need energy throughout the day to keep you going.


3. Keep drinking lots of water and forego the sodas. Use up your calorie allowance for something that's worth it for your body and taste buds.

4.  Boost your immune system with lost of fruits and vegetables.


5. Enjoy the desserts of the holiday season, never deprive yourself, but do enjoy them in small portions.

6. Learn to say no. You don't have to go to every single party that you're invited to or you don't have to take on more responsibility than what you can handle. Set your boundaries.


7. Guard your sleep.

8. Do something for others you don't know or know. Sign up to buy a present for a child that an organization, like your church or others, is collecting wish lists for or make a monetary donation to your favorite charitable organization. Pray for a family or friend who is in need. Call up a family member or friend who needs comfort.

9. Keep a song in your heart.

10. Last, but certainly not least, and the most important of all, don't skip out on spending time with God every single day. Not only is it enough to pray, but make it a two-way conversation by having Him speak to you through His word. Start off the morning by spending time with Him in his word and prayer.



When we keep God at the center of our lives every day, He helps keep our lives on track, so that we can be a blessing to our family and to others. Enjoy the holiday season!

Thanksgiving Every Day

I love the Thanksgiving holiday!  In fact, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Why? Well, of course, here in America we are grateful for our history. We are thankful for the Native Americans giving seed to and showing the Pilgrims how to fish and establishing a wonderful relationship. We are definitely grateful to all who helped establish life here in this wonderful country. Beyond being grateful for our history, Thanksgiving holiday is a time we do reflect on all the blessings God has given to us in our lives day in and day out. Going through this reflection in our lives makes us be immensely grateful for what God has given to us.  

Although this holiday is wonderful and all, I personally love to thank God every single day. Waiting until the last Thursday of November isn't the only time we should be grateful in my opinion. I just know God loves it when we talk to Him throughout our day and thank Him for what comes our way. I am very thankful for numerous blessings daily. I am thankful for my parents, my cats, relatives, friends, health, and my job...just to name a few. There's definitely more! God hears it from me all the time!! 

Let's not wait for Thanksgiving day. Let's be thankful every day 365 days a year even when the going is rough! He helps us even through those times. "Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms." Psalm 95: 1 & 2.

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What are you thankful for? 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Whenever recipes call for added sugar, sometimes it just seems to call for too much sugar.  Of course, there are some recipes that truly need the amount that is originally called for.  However, I like to cut back on 1/3 less of the added sugar ingredient in a recipe whenever possible. I was wondering how this would turn out in a simple cranberry sauce. That's exactly what I did and added an apple instead. The calories in a sweet apple, like mcintosh or gala, will give back at least a few nutrients compared to the empty calories added sugar gives.

This is one item in your Thanksgiving meal you don't need to buy already made. On the other hand, if this was your one and only assignment for the Thanksgiving meal you're going to, even more so you shouldn't buy it.  This is the easiest recipe to make, which only takes a few short moments.

Ingredients:
1 cup water
1 bag of frozen cranberries
2/3 cup of sugar
1 peeled and cored gala or mcintosh apple chopped into  
   small pieces

Directions:

On medium heat, pour water into a medium-sized sauce pan. Pour in cranberries and sugar. Stir until boiling. Add apples.  Bring down heat to slow and continue to stir for a couple minutes more. Use potato masher to mash down cranberries and apples until satisfied with consistency. Turn off heat.


Cranberries are rich in dietary flavonoids and phenolic acids which provides the body with different health benefits.


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What other ways do you incorporate cranberries into the holiday season?






Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Creamy Pumpkin Soup

I had purchased a whole bunch of ingredients to make two kinds of scones last Sunday. My plan was to make pumpkin scones and cinnamon scones. After I made the cinnamon scones, I changed my mind and didn't make the pumpkin scones. (I still plan on making the pumpkin ones though!) As a result, I decided last minute tonight to use the pumpkin I bought and I came up with a recipe for creamy pumpkin soup, which my taste buds were in the mood for. I was pleased with this rich in beta carotene good-for-the-eyes-because-of-the-beta-carotene soup that I'm posting it right away! (Even though I should be practicing the songs I'm singing tomorrow on LLBN, which I am absolutely not ready for!)

Ingredients:
1/2 cup of margarine
6 Tbsp of whole wheat flour
2 cups of almond milk
3 tsp McKay's Beef-like powdered broth
1 can (15 oz) Pumpkin puree
1 chopped onion, chopped into very small pieces
6 cloves of garlic, minced and chopped into very small pieces
Pepper to taste
Dash of cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
Cilantro for garnishing (optional)

Directions:


In a medium-sized saucepan and on medium heat, combine margarine and whole wheat flour. Stir for a few seconds then add the almond milk and McKay's seasoning broth. Add pumpkin. Stir until well blended.  Add the onions and garlic, pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Stir well until everything is blended.  Just in case you don't want the soup to be thick, then add a little bit more almond milk.  Otherwise, stir and heat until soup is desired texture and temperature. Garnish as desired.

This doesn't take long to prepare! 


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What are you thankful for?
 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Let's Share Thanksgiving!


Many of us have Thanksgiving day in mind. We're thinking about the meal we will be preparing or the dish or dessert we have been assigned to bring for the Thanksgiving meal.  This is definitely an exciting and delightful time of the year. On the other hand, it may be a difficult time of the year for those who may live not too far from us who are going through grief, difficulty, or who are just in need.


The apostle Paul reminded us of what Christ told us, "It is more blessed to give than to receive". (Acts 20:35).  As we are doing our best to make our Thanksgiving meal for this year memorable, healthy, and delicious, let's also work together in helping families that are in need have a wonderful Thanksgiving meal as well! The amazing feeling of helping and reaching out to others cannot be bought. By helping others, we keep passing on the love Christ showed us and gave to us. Donate either food, your resources, or your time to your local church or organization who are conducting food drives to help those who are in need.


If you are in the Inland Empire area, Loma Linda University Church is partnering with ACTS to "Share Thanksgiving".  Food can be dropped off at the local Stater Brothers in the Loma Linda and Redlands areas and at the Loma Linda Market. If you don't live nearby and would like to help, contact ACTS (909-796-9267) and ask for their address to send a $50 Stater Brothers gift card to sponsor a food basket for a family.The goal is to pass out 400 food baskets.

Have a blessed upcoming Thanksgiving Day with your family and friends. 

*******
Where will you and your family be spending Thanksgiving this year?

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Running Breakfast

It never ceases to amaze me when I go on a long run with friends that there is always one person in the group who doesn't take the time to eat a good breakfast. When I say eat a "good breakfast", of course, I don't mean eat like a king for this meal. I just mean that having a sensible pre-run breakfast or meal is essential for anyone, so that he or she can feel good doing their long runs. Unless, there might be one or two people out there who doesn't want to feel good when they run, then my apologies!

I will go on to share what I personally do to ensure that I enjoy my long runs.  Of course, I hydrate really well seven days a week. I set my alarm to sound off two hours before my scheduled morning run. This is when I drink two cups of water. During the night, none of us drink in our sleep; therefore, we all wake up in a state of being dehydrated. Starting off a run in a state of dehydration calls for trouble. This type of trouble can show up in the form of feeling lightheaded, nauseated, and possibly throwing up later on during the run. I usually go back to bed for a little bit after drinking the two cups of water and then wake up in time to have that "good breakfast". Again, not a huge breakfast. 

This particular breakfast works very well for me. I really end up feeling like I'm starting on the right foot and I feel good from the get go. I make sure I have a protein source and a carbohydrate source or two.  What works best for me is an egg sandwich with my favorite "pepperjack cheese", 23 almonds, and half of a banana. This combo makes me enjoy the run.  Having a good protein source does wonders to steadying blood sugars whether you have diabetes or not. Right before the starting the run, I'll of course take a few more sips of water. Then during the rest of the run, replenishing my hydration stores, carbohydrates, potassium, and sodium is a priority.

I'm not promoting that you eat the same exact breakfast for your long runs. What may work for me may not work for you and what may work for you may not work for me. I just want to encourage those who go for long runs or long bike rides early first thing in the morning to take the time to do what's needed for optimum enjoyment. It's best to come up with a breakfast combination that works well for you and your body just as long as there is a good protein source and a good carbohydrate source.  My breakfast for other days of the week are different. This is just my "special" long run or long bike ride meal. Fuel well and your body will thank you! 

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Do you have a favorite route to do your long runs at?  If so, describe the scenery.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thanksgiving Meal Tip

If you will be in charge of preparing the Thanksgiving meal this year, that time of the year can be very stressful.  As much as it would be wonderful to prepare everything from scratch for your Thanksgiving dinner, the reality is that you will be better off purchasing some items already made.

As often as possible, I like to serve bread that are whole grain at most meals I prepare for family or friends. When purchasing pre-made bread, it is a must for me to see that the ingredient contains 100% whole wheat flour as its first ingredient. This type of bread is most desirable for eating right. Other breads that say it is a wheat bread may not truly be a whole grain bread. The bakers might have used wheat flour that was partially processed and stripped of its fiber, vitamins, and minerals content. Purchase bread that lists 100% whole wheat flour as its first ingredient to make sure that you will receive fiber, vitamins, and minerals that come along with this particular grain. In fact, the new "MyPlate" logo encourages individuals to make about 1/4 of your plate grains. I would like to add, it should really say whole grains.

What I am suggesting for your Thanksgiving meal is to buy some pre-made dinner rolls that are delicious and healthy for all who will be coming to your celebration.  It's not easy to find whole wheat rolls in stores.  Some grocery stores have them and some don't.  Surprisingly enough, Target sells wheat dinner rolls by Market Pantry.  The first ingredient is whole wheat flour, the taste is delicious, and the sodium content is reasonable.  It does have another flour in it, wheat flour, but at least its first ingredient is whole wheat flour.  Usually, other breads tend to be higher in sodium.

Don't let preparing your Thanksgiving meal be stressful. Let some items go that are not home-made and enjoy the blessings that God has given to your family and friends. 

******
Does your family have any special Thanksgiving traditions that you do when all of you get together?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

RECIPE: Lentil Potato Loaf

I am thankful for having the honor of growing up in a loving, Christian home...and a especially an Adventist home.  So, if you grew up in the Adventist circle, you know all about the infamous "Special K Loaf"...or sometimes known as cottage cheese loaf.  It's a favorite in potlucks for sure!  Amazingly, there are so many versions of recipes out there for this popular cottage cheese dish. In addition, depending on who's version or conglomeration of versions you use, the saturated fat content can be astronomical.  However, I am a believer in moderation, so it definitely doesn't hurt to have it once in a while.  

I was determined to make a spin-off version of this wonderful dish with maintaining flavor, but decreasing the saturated fat content.  The outcome is a lentil potato loaf. I have been working on this recipe for a couple weeks and I was able to fine tune it by the time Bible Study was at my house last Tuesday.  I made it for the gals and was very relieved when they wanted seconds.  So here it is...

Pre-heat oven at 375 degrees.
Lightly grease large casserole dish and lay aside.
Ingredients: 

3/4 cup cooked lentils
3/4 cup diced potatoes
1 cup of finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup of chopped white onions
7 cloves of minced and chopped garlic
2 eggs
3 egg whites
1/2 cup melted butter
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
5 tsp of McKay's Beef-Like powdered broth
Pepper to taste
5 cups of rice krispies


Directions:

Whisk the eggs until blended and set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, place lentils, potatoes, walnuts, onions, garlic, egg, butter, cream of mushroom soup concentrate,  and McKay's powdered broth.  Mix well by hand.  Add pepper to liking.  Fold in rice krispies.  Place mixture in casserole dish.  Bake for 40 minutes or until lightly crispy on top.

This dish is definitely lower in saturated fat content, boosting fiber and folate a little higher than the traditional cottage cheese loaf.

It's definitely different, and the concept may take some getting used to.

******

What are your running or exercise plans for this week-end?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

MY FAVORITE THINGS: Chomps

In my previous "My Favorite Things" post, I blogged about PowerBar Energy Blasts. Well, this is the wonderful counterpart, or the competition, called Chomps by Gu. I believe in variety, so that my taste buds don't get burnt out on my long runs. My key to avoid taste burn out is to alternate, from run to run, the Energy Blasts and Chomps. Eight Chomps provides about 46 gms of carbohydrate with decent amounts of sodium and potassium. This is comparable to the 9 Energy Blasts, which provides about 45 gms of carbohydrate and comparable amounts of sodium and potassium. So, they are both good products without the gooey, stickiness of gels.  

My favorite flavor for the Chomps is orange.  Sucking on these Chomps actually adds a nice pleasant feel to my run.  The other flavors that do not have caffeine are watermelon, which is a little more tart, and then there is blueberry pomegranate. I always make sure I get the non-caffeine versions, because caffeine makes my heart beat uncomfortably faster making my runs absolutely not enjoyable.

When I think about how God designed our bodies, I'm so glad He placed in each of us a sweating system to help cool us off. However, this cooling off system does include our sodium and potassium levels to decrease. I think it's great that God took care of this situation by giving man the wisdom to create things like Chomps and Energy Blasts, so that we can replace what we lose.

As I always love to say, nutrition can make you or break you.  I know...it's not a complete sentence, but basically what I mean by that is that the right nutrition can make you feel really good or the wrong nutrition or lack of nutrition can break you down really badly. Being mindful of replacing my fluids, carbohydrates, sodium, and potassium has been an important factor in helping me enjoy running to the max!  If you haven't tried Chomps for your long runs, I highly suggest getting some before your next long run. Enjoy!

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What "treats" do you take along on your longs runs?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

RECIPE: Almond Bell Pepper Quinoa

One of the whole foods I have learned to love in the past few years is quinoa! This pseudocereal can brag an impressive higher protein content complete with the essential amino acids.  I'll have to write more about it in a "Featured Whole Food" post.  For now, here's my simple and easy recipe to enjoy quinoa.

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
2 tsp McKay chicken-like broth (powder to be mixed with water)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup sliced Trader Joe's Fire Roasted Red Bell Peppers
1/2 cup chopped onions
4 cloves chopped/minced garlic
2 tsp canola oil
1 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
Cilantro for garnishing  (optional)


Directions:
Toast almonds in 415 degree oven for five minutes or until slightly brown. Then lay aside.

Place McKay powdered seasoning broth into water in a medium-sized sauce pan and stir. Add quinoa into liquid broth until water is boiling for a total of about 15 to 20 minutes. Then turn down heat and simmer for another few minutes.  However, while quinoa is in water until boiling, separately sautee onions and garlic in frying pan until slightly brown.  Then when quinoa and water are in simmering stage, add sauteed onions and garlic, red bell peppers, and almonds and mix.  Add lime juice. Add olive oil. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Resume mixing some more.  Make sure not to dry out quinoa too much; otherwise, dish will turn out to be mushy.  Garnish with cilantro. 

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What has your experience been with quinoa?






PRODUCT REVIEW: Galaxy Nutritional Foods Pepperjack Cheese

I'm definitely not one who goes non-fat/low-fat crazy.  That over-the-top way of living can lead to deficiencies in fat soluble vitamins and also dry skin. When it comes to eating and taking care of yourself...moderation should be your word. What I am conscious about is saturated fat intake. I know that it cannot be completely avoided, so I do the best I can to cut some corners here and there without sacrificing taste and enjoyment.

Because I love cheese and do not deprive myself of it, I do my best to eat as nutritiously as I can when I am at home.  This leaves me to enjoy real cheese whenever going out to eat once in while and at others' homes. Galaxy Nutritional Foods has a rice cheese that tastes delicious and melts beautifully. I particularly buy the pepperjack slice option, so I'm not sure how the others taste and melt. The source of this "cheese" is rice and not dairy...and also not soy.  However, for those who are vegan and concerned about whey and casein content, the version that I like does have whey and casein. Galaxy Nutritional Foods now has an additional rice cheese line made with no whey and casein.  I have not tried this version, so I cannot comment yet on that.

Just keep in mind though, when something has to give, something else has to be increased. So, although the saturated fat content is nice and non-existent compared to regular cheese, sodium content is about 100 mg higher.

I also use the cheddar flavor shredded version. This does taste wonderful and melts well too. Overall, their products are definitely worth looking into, especially if you're doing your best to decrease that saturated fat intake to make your arteries and heart happy.  I highly recommend trying Galaxy Nutritional Food products!

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If you have tried any Galaxy Nutritional Food products, which ones have you tried and what are your thoughts?


Friday, November 4, 2011

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT: Trust

My friend, Jackie, and her husband could not go to the Steven Curtis Chapman concert as they had planned to last night. I was then given the privilege to have the tickets placed in my hands. Off to the SCC concert I went bringing my Mom along with me, so that she can enjoy some good music as well.  

The evening started great with Steven Curtis Chapman, and his band, including Andrew Peterson and Josh Wilson.  What an amazing combination. Although I was swept away with the music, I was also reminiscing about the sudden tragedy SCC and his family had experienced three years earlier.  His youngest adopted daughter's life ended all to soon.  Through the songs being sung, I went through tears, laughter, tears, laughter, tears.  Through the pain, SCC, his wife, Marybeth, and children never lost their trust in their Almighty God.  Their continued faith in God through the pain and continued healing sustains them to this day. I was so encouraged seeing SCC be in such happy, joyful spirits despite the pain.  Steven Curtis Chapman reminded us that they will see his daughter again. The hope he and his family have is the same hope we all have too. The message of the evening boiled down to...trust in God...no matter what, no matter what you're going through, no matter if you don't understand...trust.  

Many times I don't understand why certain aspects in my life went the way they did that were disappointing, but I too, through all that I went through have left me with no other choice, but to just trust God.  What Steven, Andrew, and Josh made clear in their stories last night is that we all go through pain. God may not take away the pain when we're going through such difficult times, but God is there to hold us in His arms. Therefore, just trust. Trust God. This is exactly what we are told to do in Proverbs 3:5, 6..."Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not in your own understanding. Acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight".  Trust. I thank the gentlemen last night for a great reminder and for encouraging and inspiring us through their songs and stories.Trust. Trust in the Lord.

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What verse in the Bible do you remember when going through difficult times?