Healthy Halloween Treats That Won’t Bore You to Death

29 Oct

Healthy Halloween Treats That Won’t Bore You to Death

Do you know that 4% of all candy consumed in the US is done so on Halloween? And this year the average American will spend $23 on Halloween candy.

Before the Halloween holiday breaks your bank – and your calorie budget, check out these healthy Halloween tips that won’t bore you to death:

Be Calorie Conscious

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Keep Kids on Track

  • Kids are excited for trick-or-treating, but they shouldn’t go out on an empty stomach. Feed your kids a healthy, balanced dinner before hitting the streets for trick-or-treat.
  • Incorporate fruits and vegetables in fun and innovative ways for Halloween celebrations this year. Check out good2grow’s 100% fruit and vegetable juices in spill-proof cartoon character sippa-tops. This is a non-GMO, BPA-free product parents can feel good about that kids actually love!

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Be Allergy Aware

  • 1 in 13 US kids has a food allergy. When it comes to classroom Halloween parties, selection foods to distribute that are tree nut free and peanut free
  • Somersault Snacks are nut-free sunflower seed snacks that come in 1/2-oz, 1-oz, and 2-oz portion sizes. They’re perfect for Halloween trick-or-treaters and are an allergen-free option with minimal amounts of added sugars in 5 delicious flavors.

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For more information on healthy Halloween tips that won’t bore you to death – check out my segment on Channel 7 NBC San Diego this week.

Next Generation Nutrition: The New Superfoods

27 Oct

Next Generation Nutrition: The New Superfoods

Superfoods get a lot of love. But there’s actually no legal or medical definition for the term superfood.

When a food wins the tagline “superfood” – it generally contains high levels of antioxidants or other nutrients.

If you think about it, all fruits and vegetables are especially “super” – given that they contain dietary fiber and other important vitamins and minerals.

But if you love healthy, high fiber foods and you’re looking to spiff up your superfood arsenal, check out these 5 new super foods you need to know about:

Amaranth

It’s time to cool it on the quinoa! Amaranth is an awesome, gluten free grain that has more essential amino acids than any other plant food:

  • Amaranth is the only grain with vitamin C
  • You can prepare amaranth as a hot cereal grain or combine into starch dishes as you would quinoa or barley
  • If you want a killer way to incorporate more amaranth, check out KIND Healthy Grains – a granola mix with 5 super grains, including amaranth

Super Seeds

If you’re tired of flax on your cereal and in your smoothies, check out these new super seeds:

  • Chia Seed: made from the same stuff as chia pets, chia seeds are high in fiber and help you feel fuller for longer
  • For an on-the-go chia solution, check out Chia Slims stick packs from Chosen Foods – simply add a Chia stick pack to 16 oz of water for 12% of your daily value for fiber
  • Daikon Radish & Broccoli Seeds: your favorite vegetables are now available in seed form, packed with antioxidants and great flavor too
  • Way Better Snacks’ Simply So Sweet Chili and Simply Unbeatable Blues tortilla chips contain sprouted daikon radish and broccoli seeds; sprouting increases digestibility and antioxidant content in these gluten-free and non-GMO corn torilla chips

Beet Juice

The green juice revolution is so passe! Red juice is now where it’s at!

  • Beet juice is an incredibly nutrient dense superfood with the proven capacity to boost energy for exercise and improve blood flow and blood pressure

Avocado Oil

Everyone knows olive oil is a heart healthy fat. But avocado oil is coming up strong as an alternate!

  • The majority of the fats in avocado oil are heart healthy mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • The high smoke point of avocado oil makes it a versatile tool in your kitchen

For more tips on becoming super food savvy, check out my segment clip from Good Morning San Diego.

World Food Day: Working Against Hunger

16 Oct

World Food Day: Working Against Hunger

Today is World Food Day – a day to honor the global commitment to eradicate hunger in our lifetime.

World Food Day was first established in 1979 and it falls on October 16 in commemoration of the creation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on October 16, 1945 in Quebec, Canada.

Hunger by the Numbers

 According to the FAO and the US Department of Agriculture, 1 in 9 people on the planet live in a state of chronic hunger.

Malnutrition and its associated health maladies disproportionately affect the most vulnerable populations:

  • 60% of the world’s hungry people are women
  • Nearly 5 million children under the age of 5 die annually from malnutrition-related causes
  • In the US, 1 in 7 Americans does not have enough to eat.

Take Action

In the US, 99% of our population does not work on a farm. And while farming in the US is dominated by large agribusiness companies, 98% of farms in the world are family farms.

This year’s World Food Day theme is “Family Farming: Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth”. To learn more about family farming and its impact on alleviating world hunger, check out the Perspectives page of the World Food Day website available at: http://www.worldfooddayusa.org/perspectives.

Find Events

The World Food Day project maintains that YOU are part of the solution to end world hunger. You can find out about World Food Day events going on in your neck of the woods by clicking here: http://www.worldfooddayusa.org/events

Some other ways you can help include:

  • Host a World Food Day Dinner
  • Attend a Hunger Walk
  • Organize a Meal Packaging Event

If you want to do something right now, consider taking the Hunger U Challenge Quiz available at http://hungeruchallenge.com/

To learn more about World Food Day, visit their site at http://www.worldfooddayusa.org/.

Consuming for a Cause: National Non-GMO Month

15 Oct

Consuming for a Cause: National Non-GMO Month

October is National Non-GMO Month.

Did you know:

  • In the US, foods with genetically modified (GM) ingredients do not have to be labeled as containing GM ingredients
  • More than 80% of the packaged and processed foods in the US contain GM ingredients
  • 90% of the corn, canola & cotton in the US is GM

Think this doesn’t affect you? Think again…because it does!

GM corn becomes GM animal feed, high fructose corn syrup and corn oil. GM canola and cotton turn up in your foods as canola oil and cottonseed oil.

So unless you are eating 100% organic – it’s pretty safe to assume you are eating genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Genetic modification is the use of the experimental technology called gene splicing to add DNA from one organism into another, creating a potentially unstable end product.

Because these products have only been in our food supply for a few decades, the jury is still out on whether or not GM foods are safe; however, many health advocates maintain that as a consumer, you should have a right to know what is in your food.

Enter the Non-GMO Project. The Non-GMO Project is the only independent 3rd party verifier of GM-free foods in the US. Their mission is to:

  • Preserve and build sources of non-GMO products
  • Educate consumers about GM ingredients
  • Provide verified non-GMO choices

You can find a list of GM-free products, restaurants and retailers on their website here.

To learn more about National Non-GMO Month, visit www.nongmomonth.org or check out my recent TV segment on eating GM-free foods.

Tricked Out Tortellini from Buitoni

6 Oct

Tricked Out Tortellini from Buitoni

Prepackaged pastas aren’t usually much to write about.

But the Whole Wheat Three Cheese Tortellini from Buitoni is a fabulous fiber find with flavor to boot.

The first ingredient – whole durum wheat – is a whole grain responsible for the 6g fiber per serving. Durum wheat is the hardest of all wheats, is high in protein, and is used to make pasta.

I found the Buitoni WW pasta product in the refrigerated aisle at Target. A 9 oz package (2 1/2 servings) runs you $3.99 and nets:

  • 300 calories
  • 10 g fat (3 g saturated fat)
  • 500 mg sodium
  • 6 g fiber
  • 16 g protein

Like all packaged foods, this tortellini is higher in sodium than a homemade whole foods version would be. However, if you’re not into making your own whole wheat pasta, then this is a pretty delicious alternative…if you can keep from eating the whole package in one sitting!