5 EVERYDAY INGREDIENT SWAPS FOR HEALTHIER EATING

SWAP - QUINOA

Quinoa for Rice

Replace a carbohydrate-rich staple like rice with nuttier quinoa seeds to give you more flavor and nutrients. One cup contains eight grams of protein and plenty of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron. Serve with vegetables and even more protein for a full meal.

 

SWAP - GREEK YOGURT

Greek Yogurt for Sour Cream

Greek yogurt has one-fifth of the fat and a similar texture and taste and can be used as a substitute in baking, dips, baked potatoes, tacos, and chili.

 

SWAP - AVODADO

Avocados for Mayo

For sandwiches and salads like egg salad and tuna salad, avoid the artery-clogging fat of mayo, and mash half of an avocado to use as a spread instead. On top of the extra flavor, you’ll get a shot of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, vitamin E, and other nutrients.

 

SWAP - OATMEAL

Oatmeal for Bread Crumbs

For recipes that call for bread crumbs, you can use vitamin B–rich oats instead. Use them for dredging chicken and salmon, yielding satisfyingly crunchy results, or add them to meatball and meat loaf mixes as a binding agent.

 

SWAP - CHIA

Chia Seeds for Eggs

Combine one tablespoon of ground chia seeds with three tablespoons of water, and let the mixture sit for five minutes, until it turns goopy. Use it to replace eggs in baking, and enjoy the extra fiber, antioxidants, other minerals, and good-for-you fatty acids.  This trick is used by strict vegans.

HERE ARE TWO SITES TO PURCHASE CHIA SEEDS:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Nutiva-Organic-Chia-Seed-12-oz/26968734

http://www.amazon.com/HealthWorks-Chia-Seeds-2-Pounds/dp/B000WV0RW8

Chia seeds may be available in local supermarkets too – I’ll let you know.  One word of warning I noted while researching on the internet is to avoid chia seeds from china – stick to USA seeds like those from Bob’s Red Mill.  http://www.walmart.com/ip/Bob-s-Red-Mill-Chia-Seed-16-oz-Pack-of-4/17339994

Adapted from:  http://www.takepart.com/photos/healthy-kitchen-swaps/chia-seeds-for-eggs?cmpid=foodinc-fb

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BREAKFAST WITH SUPERFOODS

oatmeal with fruit

A healthy breakfast is important for everyone to give you energy to start the day and get your metabolism going.  Get the morning nutrition you need with these quick breakfast ideas.
• Make instant oatmeal with low-fat milk instead of water. Toss in raisins or dried cranberries and chopped walnuts.
• Layer low-fat plain yogurt with your favorite crunchy cereal and blueberries.
• Blend a breakfast smoothie with low-fat milk, frozen strawberries and a banana.
• Make one packet of microwave oatmeal with low-fat milk. Mix in 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce. Sprinkle with apple pie spice or cinnamon.
• Top a toaster waffle with low-fat yogurt and peach slices.
• Stuff a whole-wheat pita with a sliced, hard-cooked egg and low-fat shredded cheese.
• Spread a flour tortilla with peanut butter. Add a whole banana and roll it up.
• Spread low-fat cream cheese on a whole-grain toasted bagel. Top with sliced strawberries.
• Add lean ham and low-fat Swiss cheese to a toasted whole-grain English muffin.

Springtime Cereal

breakfast
Makes 2 servings
3⁄4 cup wheat and barley nugget cereal
1⁄4 cup 100% bran cereal
2 tsp toasted sunflower seeds
2 tsp toasted almonds, sliced
1 tbsp raisins or craisins
1⁄2 cup bananas, sliced
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1 cup raspberry or strawberry yogurt, low-fat
Mix the wheat and barley nugget cereal, bran cereal, sunflower seeds and almonds in a medium bowl. Add raisins, bananas and half of the strawberries. Gently stir in the yogurt and divide between two bowls. Scatter the remaining strawberries over the top and enjoy!
Nutrition Information per serving:
Calories: 352
Fat: 6 g
Saturated fat: 1 g
Carbohydrate: 69 g
Sodium: 272 mg
Fiber: 8 g

Granola you can take on the go!

granola

1/3 c vegetable oil
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c honey
1 tsp cinnamon
6 c rolled oats
2 c nuts (pecans, walnuts, slivered almonds, sunflower seeds)
1-2 c dried fruit (raisins, craisins, apricots, bananas)

Combine first four ingredients and microwave on high until you have a nice syrup (less than a minute usually).  Mix remaining ingredients in a large bowl.  Drizzle brown sugar syrup over top and mix well.  Spread on waxed paper lined cookie sheets.  Bake 275 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour until golden brown.  Store in air tight containers or zip lock bags.

Have granola on its own or serve over plain nonfat yogurt or Greek yogurt.  Add a fruit cup and even a dollop of fat free whipped topping!!

WHAT ARE SUPERFOODS?

Superfoods are foods that are dense in nutrients and antioxidants that provide many health benefits.  They have deep colors like those of the rainbow.  Some examples are strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, spinach, kale, collard greens, broccoli, carrots and squash.

TRY THIS SUPERFOOD SMOOTHIE FOR A QUICK BREAKFAST!

smoothie

8 c baby spinach or kale
1 c pomegranate juice
1 cup blueberries, frozen if not in season
1 cup strawberries, frozen if not in season
8 dates, cut in half
2 Tbsp flaxseeds, ground
1/2 avocado, optional

Blend all ingredients together – serves 2 in just 5 minutes!

THE POWER OF KALE!

  • Great source of antioxidants:  Sulforaphane is released when you chew kale.  It is a cancer fighting agent and increases the activity of antioxidants.
  • Low in calories, ideal for weight loss
  • Great source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Beta-Carotene

EVEN A QUICK BREAKFAST CAN BE PACKED WITH NUTRITION AND PREPARE YOUR MIND AND BODY FOR A BUSY DAY!

OATMEAL IN YOUR GLUTEN FREE DIET?!

Historically, oats were not allowed on the gluten-free diet (GF diet) used to treat those with celiac disease. Oats were believed to trigger the same toxic reaction in the small intestine as wheat, rye and barley. However, many studies from Europe and the U.S. reveal that consumption of oats is safe for the majority of children and adults with celiac disease. Most of these studies used pure, uncontaminated oats, but it should be noted that a very small number of individuals with celiac disease may not even tolerate pure oats. The mechanism causing this intolerance has yet to be established.

oatmeal

Related: Essential guide to celiac disease

Based on this new research, a growing number of health professionals and celiac organizations around the world now allow consumption of moderate amounts of pure, uncontaminated oat products in a GF diet.  Adults with celiac can safely consume half to three-quarters of a cup (50 to 70 grams) of dry rolled oats per day. For children, it’s one-quarter cup (20 to 25 grams) per day.

Unfortunately though, most commercial oat products on the market have been cross-contaminated with wheat, barley and/or rye, which occur during harvesting, transportation, storage, milling, processing and packaging.

The good news is there are specialty companies in North America and Europe who produce pure, uncontaminated oat products that are grown on dedicated fields and equipment and packaged in dedicated gluten-free facilities. Cream Hill Estates (Lara’s brand) is a Canadian company.  The American companies include Bob’s Red Mill, Gluten-Free Oats, Gifts of Nature and Montana Monster Munchies (Legacy Valley).

Many other companies are using these pure, uncontaminated oats from the producers listed above (and in the chart below) in their gluten-free products. Examples include Glutenfreeda Foods oatmeal, NoNuttin granola bars and granola, and Holly’s oatmeal.

Before adding pure, uncontaminated oat products to your diet, I recommend that you consult with your physician and dietitian. It is also very important that your celiac disease be well-controlled on the GF diet and that you have no gastrointestinal complaints.

A diet containing oats is often higher in fiber than the typical GF diet, therefore some individuals may experience a change in stool pattern or mild gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal bloating and gas. This will resolve as the body adjusts to the change in the amount and type of fiber. When adding a new fiber source such as oats, it is important to consume more fluids, especially water.

Company Products Website
Cream Hill Estates (Lara’s brand) Rolled oats, oat bran, oat flour www.creamhillestates.com
Bob’s Red Mill Rolled oats www.bobsredmill.com
Gifts of Nature Rolled oats, oat groats www.giftsofnature.net
Gluten-Free Oats Rolled oats, oat groats www.glutenfreeoats.com
Montana Monster Munchies (Legacy Valley brand) Rolled oats, granola, oat bran, oat flour, oatmeal cookies www.mtmonstermunchies.com

Related stories:

Tricks to easy gluten-free eating
Allergic Living’s gluten-free recipes
Miley Cyrus on her gluten “allergy”

OATMEAL: YOUR SPA AT HOME!

oatmeal

Scrambled oats is one of the easy pack foods that may taste great on a cold morning while going to work. However, it makes you think. Instead of just using oatmeal for an ordinary breakfast or even a great breakfast for that matter, what if people use oatmeal to solve the impact of health and household problems? CREATE YOU OWN SPA AT HOME USING OATMEAL!

General skin problems
You can make oatmeal scrub or oatmeal soap and, of course, pricey commercial oatmeal skin products are also available for tackling other skin problems. An option is to grind two tbsp of oatmeal into a powder in a blender. Then add a tsp of baking soda and enough water to make a thick paste. Spread on a clean, dry face and rinse after 15 minutes. It is recommended doing a patch test first, as your skin can be sensitive to the baking soda.

Oatmeal can also be used as a remedy for Acne
If you are a teenager addled with acne or a menopausal woman with adult acne, make your breakfast oatmeal, let it cool and then spread it over your problem skin. Wait for about 10 minutes and then rinse. This old remedy has some sound logic, according to the research foundation. Oatmeal can remove and absorb oil and bacteria from skin and exfoliate dead skin cells, all of that can fight acne. Tea tree oil and honey are helpful additives too.

Poison ivy or chicken pox
If poison ivy, chicken pox or even sunburn makes you itch like crazy, try an oatmeal bath. Grind oats or oat flour into a fine powder, and then pour it into cheesecloth or an old but clean piece of pantyhose. Tie it around the bathtub faucet and draw a tepid bath and periodically squeeze the water into the tub or rub the pouch straight on the itchy skin. I don’t recommend putting the oatmeal directly into the bathwater as I have then had to work on a clogged drain at the end of the bath.

OATMEAL 1

Exhaustion
Oatmeal is not just good for ailing skin. You can make a rejuvenating and soothing facial mask right in your own kitchen. One digest book offers the following recipe: Blend a half cup hot water with 1/3 cup oatmeal for three or four minutes, then add two tbsp each plain honey and yogurt, plus an egg white. Spread thinly on your face, then relax for 15 minutes and rinse with warm water.

Stress
You do not need to get poison ivy to have an excuse for an oatmeal bath. Experts suggest adding 1 cup of milk, 2 cups of oats and 1 tbsp of honey to the bath to moisturize the skin and relax the body. You can also use scented oils in a ground oatmeal pouch, as described in the chicken pox paragraph above.  Again, I recommend the pouch for the oatmeal!

OATMEAL 2

Diet helper
Replace all flour with homemade oat flour
by grinding oats in a processor for baking pancakes, cookies and quick breads. You get two times more fiber so you feel fuller with fewer calories.

Exercise booster
Eat some oatmeal pancakes for a better training. Do not believe it? Researchers have found that oatmeal boosts endurance if eaten about two hours before workout. Oats trigger your body to burn fat more quickly for fueling muscles.

TREAT YOURSELF TO A DAY AT THE SPA AT HOME!

OATMEAL 3

ALSO LOOK FOR MY UPCOMING BLOG ABOUT OATMEAL BEING SAFE IN A GLUTEN FREE DIET!