Is An Apple a Day Overdoing It?

22 Sep

Is An Apple a Day Overdoing It?

When it comes to fiber, fruit is your friend. Fruit generally has 3 or more grams of fiber per serving – not to mention it comes bundled with a bevy of other important nutrients.

But are we under sampling seasonal offerings of fruits? According to a study recently published in Pediatrics, American kids are agog for apples…and that’s about it.

Apples account for 20% of all fruit consumed by US kids and young people. If you pair that with apple juice, the number rises to 30%.

Not that anything is wrong with apples – but only 40% of US kids meet the USDA recommendations for 1-2 cups of fruit per day.

Could it be that a lack of variety is lessening our ability to meet fruit intake recommendations? If so, here are a few tips for firming up your fruit findings:

  • Check out seasonal availability of produce calendars like this one from
  • Explore what constitutes a serving of fruit at and add 1-2 new options per week to your routine
  • Eat the rainbow: make a concerted effort to add more colorful fruits (and vegetables) to grace your plate
  • If you have kids or feed kids, set a snacking example by making fruit your go-to snack, aiming for 2-3 serving of fresh fruit between meals if you’re not getting that at meal time
  • Eat your fruit, don’t drink it: whole, intact fruit is your best bet for fiber and calorie control; watch out for dried fruits that can have added sugar and high calorie juices without the fiber benefits.

To find out how many servings of fruit per day you should be consuming based on your age and gender, check out’s “Daily Fruit Chart” in the All About the Fruit Group page.

And if you’re fearful of fruit…forget that! Americans are often misguided about fruit – although fruit does have sugar (naturally occurring fruit sugar called fructose), it’s a great, low calorie source of other vitamins, minerals and fibers – making fruit definitely worth your while.

Beans & Beef Tie in Satiety Showdown

21 Sep

Beans & Beef Tie in Satiety Showdown

Satiety is a big buzzword when it comes to selling foods these days.

Satiety – which refers to the feeling of fullness – is the opposite of hunger; and don’t we all want to feel un-hungry?

In nutrition science, it is generally well established that protein, fat and fiber all contribute to satiety. Although proving as much has been difficult.

A recent study just published in the Journal of Food Science found that beans may be as satiating as beef – but consumers don’t expect it to be.

In this study, researchers from the University of Minnesota served subjects 1 of 2 different types of loafs:

  • A meatloaf containing 26 g protein and 3 g fiber
  • A bean loaf containing 7 g protein and 12 g fiber

Turns out, whether subjects were served the bean or the meatloaf had no impact on the amount of food and snacks ate later in the day – indicating similar satiety levels.

Now, when researchers ASKED the subjects about feeling full, when they knew they were getting the bean loaf, they reported feeling less full vs. the meatloaf. This indicated that the subjects were not expecting to feel as full from eating beans vs. fiber.

The authors suggest that this discrepancy in actual vs. perceived satiety can be described as “food neophobia” – and like most things in the satiety stratosphere, probably needs to be studied more.

Although this particular study is small, it contributes to a growing pool of evidence supporting the move towards a more plant-based diet and away from animals. Plant-based protein appears good for the planet, and perhaps for your appetite as well.

Succumbing to the King Arthur Cult

16 Sep

Succumbing to the King Arthur Cult

I’m not a big baker, but when a recipe recently called for whole grain spelt flour, I wasn’t about to go searching for stale spelt product at my local healthfood store.

So I was pretty stoked when I stumbled upon the fabulous online options available from King Arthur Flour.

Now a thing or two about the King: King Arthur has been in business for 225 years, so they’ve got the flour power bit down. As of 1996 the company transferred from a family-owned operation to an employee-owned operation and they became a Certified B Corporation in 2007, meaning they are deemed ethically and environmentally fit by the nonprofit B Lab.

According to Inc. Magazine, employees at King Arthur get 40 hours per year of paid volunteer time, free professional development, reimbursement for weight management and childcare. On top of that, lower-paid workers receive a subsidy for produce from a local farm.

So what does employee relations and business development have to do with flour? A company that takes care of its employees has those employees in turn producing the highest quality products.

I scoped a few baker blogs for King Arthur praise and apparently I’m 225 years behind the curve on this one. They all rave about the fabulous flour they’re churning out in Vermont.

Although King Arthur sells every type of baking flour imaginable, its’ the Whole Grain section that really gets me going. If you need wheat berries, gluten free brown rice flour or organic pumpernickel flour delivered to your doorstep, this is the place to go!

I also found their Videos selection incredibly helpful. Did you know that you’ve been measuring your flour wrong all this time? You’ve got to fluff first!

Lastly, if you find yourself stuck in a baker’s blunder, call up the King Arthur baker’s hotline. The number is (855) 371-2253. The friendly employer owners folks there know it all.

And if you’re curious how much fiber is in the organic whole spelt flour? It’s 3 grams fiber per 100 calorie 1/3 cup serving. I learned it from the hotline!

For a whole grain kick to your next morning meal, check out this super simple Spelt Pancakes recipe from the Whole Grains Council and King Arthur’s Flour:

Simple Spelt Pancakes

Serves: 4 (16 4-inch pancakes)


  • 2 cups (7 oz) whole spelt flour
  • 2 tablespoons (7/8 oz) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups (14 oz) milk
  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla (optional)


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the spelt flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  2. Combine the milk and melted butter, and the vanilla if you’re using it.
  3. Form a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Stir the batter just until the dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened: it will seem very wet, but will thicken as it sits. Let the batter sit for 15 minutes before you use it.
  4. Heat a non-stick griddle if you have one, or a heavy skillet, preferably cast iron. If your surface is not non-stick, brush it lightly with vegetable oil.
  5. When the surface of your pan is hot enough that a drop of water sputters across the surface, give the pan a quick swipe with a paper towel to eliminate excess oil, and spoon the batter onto the hot surface, 1/4-cupful at a time.
  6. Let the pancakes cook on the first side until bubbles begin to form around the edges of the cakes, about 2 to 3 minutes. You may need to adjust your heat up or down to get the pancakes to cook through without scorching the surface, or being too pale.
  7. When the cakes are just beginning to set, flip them and let them finish cooking on the second side, about 1 minute more, until they’re golden brown on both sides.

Nutrition Information (per 4 4-inch pancake serving)

  • Calories 137
  • Fat 4g
  • Carbohydrate 20g
  • Dietary Fiber 4g
  • Sugar 4g
  • Sodium 375 mg
  • Protein 5g

How to Drown Your Pomegranate Problems

15 Sep

How to Drown Your Pomegranate Problems

Fall is about to befall us, meaning that pomegranates are coming into peak season.

Pomegranates (Punica granatam) are a fruit-bearing shrub native to the area from Iran to the Himalayas. According to California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc., the fruit was first introduced in California by Spanish settlers in 1769. In the northern hemisphere we find pomegranates in peak season from September-January.

Like most fruit fans, I’m taken by how pretty pomegranates are. Their rich red arils (the brightly colored cover of a seed) augment any fall salad and make a colorful confection…but that same hearty hue will also stain the crap out of your clothes!

For a long time I was content to buy pomegranates already removed from the fruit’s inedible pulp. The convenience was a plus, but as a cost-conscious consumer, pre-prepared fruit is rarely worth the cost.

So I was pretty pumped when I heard about the best pomegranate preparation trick ever: the secret underwater pomegranate plucking.

All you have to do to get at that juicy goodness without the ensuing mess is:

  • Quarter or halve your pomegranate fruit
  • Fill a bowl with water
  • Submerge the quarter or half of fruit
  • Dig the arils out of the pulp under the water using your fingers

Voilà! You’ve got your own pack of pomegranate seeds at a fraction of the cost. The pulp and the mess stays submerged and you emerge with this fabulous fruit.

For not much work, pomegranates pack a nutritional punch. A one-half cup of arils pomegranate serving provides 72 calories and 3.5 grams of fiber and is a good source of vitamin C (14% daily value).

Like all fruit – you’re better served to eat your pomegranates than drink them. Don’t waste your time on pomegranate juice. Most commercial pomegranate “juice” contains more apple juice than actual pomegranates, not to mention that you forfeit the fiber when you extract its juice.

For a super fast supper feast, try out this pomegranate kale salad recipe:

Pomegranate Kale Salad

Serves: 4


  • 8 cups chopped baby kale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup pomegranate arils (about 2 pomegranates)
  • 1 English cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons goat cheese crumbles
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. In salad serving bowl, massage chopped baby kale with 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 30 seconds.
  2. Add pomegranate arils, diced cucumber and goat cheese crumbles to kale.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk remaining olive oil with pomegranate vinegar, dijon mustard and citrus juice.
  4. Add dressing to salad, season with salt and pepper and serve

Nutrition Information

  • Calories 275
  • Protein 10 g
  • Carbohydrate 39 g
  • Fat 12 g
  • Saturated Fat 2.5 g
  • Fiber 11 g



Back to School Roundup

25 Aug

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I was paid to represent the brands featured in the blog post and the associated TV segments.

Back to school season is in full swing! Evidence suggests that a well fed kid is more academically successful than a hungry one. Makes sense: it’s hard to concentrate if you’re hungry!

This year, set your kids on the path to better learning with these tips on building a better lunchbox:

Way Better Snacks

  • I love chips – but they have to taste great. That’s why this BTS season I’m into Way Better Snacks – a revolutionary line of chips and crackers that feature 100% whole grain, premium ingredients like sprouted flax, chia and quinoa.
  • In addition to being nutrient dense, they also taste amazing and have no artificial ingredients and are GMO free.
  • Personally, the 2 flavors I can’t get enough of right now are Sweet Potato and Simply So Sweet Chili – each have 3 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber to help keep you fueled throughout the day – on top of a killer taste profile!
  • Way Better Snacks are available at Whole Foods, or you can learn more at

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  • Healthy hydration is important at mealtime – but if you’re like me, and not a straight water person, you need to spice it up, and so BODYARMOR is a nice alternative.
  • BODYARMOR is a new, natural sports drink that is packed with potassium, electrolytes and coconut water, along with no artificial ingredients that comes in 7 great tasting flavors.
  • It’s a great option for younger athletes who don’t need all of the extra sodium and artificial ingredients found in other sports drinks – so one of those things kids love because of the taste, but parents love because of the quality.
  • Learn more at




  • CDC data suggests that 60 percent of children do not eat the recommended amount of fruit per day (1-2 cups/day depending on age).
  • Cranberries are a great way to get more fruit in your kids’ diet and to keep back to school lunches exciting while helping them get the nutrition they need to succeed.
  • Cranberries are naturally low in sugar and high in acid, so they require some sweetening to make them palatable – but they have no more sugar than other dried fruits.
  • Check out this easy Cranberry Chicken Salad Sandwich on Flatbread recipe for a healthy and convenient lunch option.



  • Protein is clutch for keeping you full – and we all know we should be eating more plant protein. Enter peanuts. With 7 grams of protein per serving, peanuts have more protein than any other nut; not to mention over 30 other vitamins and nutrients that make them truly a superb superfood!
  • I love peanuts for school lunch because they’re an affordable and convenient source of protein. You can pack a peanut butter and banana sandwich, a packet to dip apple slices into, or even add peanut butter to your smoothies for a meal on the move.
  • Peanuts also like to party. Try incorporating peanuts into your next gathering with this awesome Edamame Hummus with Peanut recipe.



  • When I was a kid, lunch wasn’t lunch unless there was dessert. Even as an adult I still have a sweet tooth – but as a dietitian, I know the importance of calorie control. Which is why I love BarkTHINS. Oh my word, these are amazing – especially the pretzel flavor!
  • BarkTHINS – whose tag line is “Break up with boring” – is a snackable chocolate made with real, simple ingredients like dark chocolate, pretzels, pumpkin seeds and coconut.
  • I love that all of their products are Fair Trade US Certified and non-GMO. They even come in resealable pouches – so you don’t have to eat the whole bag at once!



Three Bridges Pasta

  • If sandwich fatigue is getting you down, swap that sammie for some pasta! I love Three Bridges‘ line of refrigerated pastas and sauces. They’re convenient, delicious and super fresh for a healthy lunch in a jiffy.
  • I recently sampled the Organic Spinach & Cheese Tortellini. It’s a great option for families on the go who care about premium ingredients. Whereas a lot of frozen pasta products taste rubbery and are heavy on the pasta, light on the cheese – the Three Bridges tortellini are plump and fresh because they’re right out of your refrigerator!
  • There’s nothing artificial in any of the Three Bridges products, and I love that they even have “superfood” sauces that include ingredients like kale and porcini mushrooms.

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good2grow Organic Juicy Waters

  • Despite my distaste for plain old water, I’m still a huge hydration fan. But I feel it when parents say that most kids drinks are laden with extra sugars..because they are! That’s why I love good2grow Organic Juicy Waters.
  • These guys are just 30 calories per bottle with no added sugar. Kids love the adorable character sipper-toppers and parents love that they don’t spill, are BPA free and also reusable.
  • I found Organic Juicy Waters at 7-11 but they’re also available at Rite Aid, Walgreens and CVS pharmacies.



Biena Chickpea Snacks

  • 3 meals a day doesn’t cut it for kids (or adults for that matter). You gotta have some in between meal snacks to meet your needs and prevent overeating at the next meal. And those snacks should of course feature fiber.
  • I recently had the chance to sample the whole line of Biena chickpea snacks, and let me tell you – these are A+ on the snacking report card. They’re crunchy but not fried and each serving has 6 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber.
  • If you like spicy, you’ll love the Habanero flavor. All of the Biena products are non-GMO and gluten free. You can find these at Target or online at


For more info on Building a Better Back to School Lunchbox – check out these 3 BTS segments I did last week: