Category Archives: Nutrition Info

Hangry Hangry Hippos

 [hilarious hangry pillow]

 

You know what I’m talking about. You’re out and about one day and it’s been far too long since you last ate. You have no snacks on hand and suddenly you turn in to an irrational crabby monster.

 

You feel like the world is going to end and you can’t think about anything other than how hungry you are.

 

You’re hangry.

 

What exactly is hangry?

 

The horrible moodswings associated with being hangry are due to hypoglycemia.

Hypoglycemia is low blood sugar and often results in agitation, difficulty concentrating, irritability, fatigue, weakness, trembling, and more. This is a complication often associated with type II diabetes. A majority of the general public also self-diagnoses themselves with hypoglycemia without actually testing blood glucose (sugar) levels.

Glucose is the body’s main source of energy. Common sources of food that our body converts to glucose include carbohydrates such as fruit, bread, pasta, and cereals. The stomach and small intestine digest the glucose and release it into the bloodstream. When the glucose enters the bloodstream it is either used immediately for energy or stored in the body to be used later.

Carbohydrates are  necessary people! I’m so glad that the public is finally starting to realize this and ditch terrible low-carb diets (like Atkins).

I often can’t go more than 2-3 hours without snacks or meals or a hangry meltdown will occur. I’ve learned to pack my lunch everyday and carry snacks with me (such as trail mix) everywhere I go to prevent this.

The best way to prevent a “hangry” episode is to eat small frequent meals throughout the day. Good snacks include: fruits, vegetables, nuts, cheese, eggs, & tuna. By eating adequate protein and healthy fats in your meals and snacks you can avoid this blood sugar roller coaster and decrease the likelihood of hangry symptoms.

 

 

What do you do to prevent hangry moodswings?

 

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Nutritional Perks of Pumpkin

 

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With all this pumpkin talk lately, I thought it would be an appropriate time to remind you why this popular orange squash is so wonderful.

 

I know all of you are going pumpkin crazy lately. I’ve seen so many amazing recipes and baked goods all over Pinterest and Instagram within the past month.

Not only is pumpkin great to bake with, but it actually has some nutritional value as well. However, I wouldn’t go ahead and say this means pumpkin pie is good for you due to all the added fat and sugar. I also don’t mean that gross pumpkin pie filling from the can. I’m talking about the actual pumpkin itself or the pure canned pumpkin puree.

 

Pumpkin in it’s raw form is actually high in fiber and vitamin A and low in calories. 

 

Pumpkin is also a rich source of iron. Just one cup of pumpkin puree supplies around 3.5 grams (43% of your daily value) of iron.

 

Don’t forget about the seeds either!

 

Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium which participates in the phosphate transfer in adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Over your head?  Magnesium helps with the energy production process in the body!

The seeds are also a great source of zinc and omega-3 fatty acids. Pumpkin seed oil has also been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory effects.

 

Now go ahead and feel better about all that pumpkin bread, cookies, and pastries you’ve made lately. I might even make another batch of these pumpkin cookies this weekend. Indulge responsibly my friends!

 

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National Pumpkin Day is on Saturday, how are you celebrating?

Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut

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Happy National Nut Day!

 

No, I’m not nuts. These little nutritional wonders actually have their own day dedicated to them.

I eat nuts almost everyday. They’re an easy topping on oatmeal, greek yogurt, or to pack by themselves as a snack when I’m on the go. I’m especially nuts for almonds, walnuts, and cashews. I can’t get enough of them!

Nuts such as almonds, cashews, and pistachios are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein.

Walnuts in particular, are especially good for your heart as they contain alpha linoleic acid (ALA), which helps with heart arrythmias. Walnuts also decrease inflammation and oxidation in the arteries after consuming a fatty meal.

Almonds (among other nuts) are a great source of Vitamin E as well. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant in the body by maintaining cell membranes and protecting them from oxidative stress. Vitamin E also inhibits blood clotting, which reduces the possibility for a heart attack or stroke.

A study from the British Journal of Nutrition looked at the potential antioxidant role in nuts to reduce oxidative stress. This study found that there was a reduction in the number of deaths associated with cardiovascular and coronary heart disease with a diet high in nut (and peanut butter) consumption. Wow!

 

Hopefully this post didn’t drive you nuts! Ok, I’m done with the terrible jokes.

 

Happy Snacking!

An Apple A Day

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Since apple season runs from September through January, I thought it might be fun to remind you why apples are so good for you. Apples not only taste good and are a convenient snack, but they are also a nutritional powerhouse. Here’s just a few reasons why:

 

  • Apples contain a variety of phytochemicals, which act as antioxidants. Phytochemicals protect against oxidative damage and have been shown to possibly reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.

 

  • One medium apple packs around 4 grams of soluble fiber (and we all know why that’s good for us!) which is why they are such a filling snack.

 

  • The skin of apples is rich in the soluble fiber pectin which reduces cholesterol levels.

 

  • Apples are a good source of vitamin C as well. The vitamin content varies based on the different varieties, but most contain anywhere from 15-25% of the recommended daily intake. Check out this post to learn more about vitamin C.

 

  • Apples are the perfect pre-workout fuel as well. They contain an antioxidant known as quercetin which helps with your endurance by making oxygen more available to your lungs. That little antioxidant also protects your lungs from pollutants. Crazy!

 

I’ve been eating an apple everyday for as long as I can remember. It’s become  a habit, but I particularly love autumn when apples are in season.  (And wicked cheap!) I’ve been encorporating apples into more of my recipes this year as well, but I’m still on the hunt for more.

 

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Do you eat an apple everyday? What’s your favorite apple recipe?

Simple Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread

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I felt the need to add the adjective “simple” to the title of this recipe because it really doesn’t get much easier than this when it comes to making bread. Seriously, I promise you won’t be able to mess this one up!

Ask my fiance, I have screwed up a fair share of baked goods in my day. Baking is very particular when it comes to measuring everything out precisely to find what works best, which is something that I didn’t understand until recently.

I shop at Trader Joes a lot and a majority of their fresh produced is pre-packaged in various containers. When I want to buy zucchinis, I’m forced to buy a minimum of 5 of them at a time. I bought some for veggie tacos last week, and they were laying around in my fridge for far too long. Eventually I had the urge to make zucchini bread to put them out of their misery  put them to good use.

 

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Simple Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 2 medium zucchinis, grated
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup raisins (optional)
  • 3/4 cup walnuts (optional)

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray a standard loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray

2. Lightly beat together the eggs, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla until it is combined well

3. In a medium bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, pastry flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon

4. Mix the dry ingredients into the egg/sugar mixture and stir thoroughly

5. Stir in the zucchini, raisins, and walnuts until well-combined

6. Pour the mixture into the loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the bread cool for 15 minutes before serving

 

Enjoy!