May is here and Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner. You know what that means: Guacamole season—which in my mind lasts from around May through September—is upon us!
It may be obvious, but Guacamole is probably my favorite food, one of the three things I would want with me on a desert island. A few years ago I even had a “guac off” for my birthday party, asking guests to bring different versions of the classic green condiment/first-course which we of course then taste-tested and voted on. Versions included one with cranberries, one with chipotle chilis, and one with bacon. All were delicious, no surprise.
The good new is, guacamole is made of all sorts of good for you stuff: the avocados are full of heart healthy omega 3s and the onions, cilantro, jalepeno, and so forth provide a ton of nutrients. But moderation is not something I have an easy time practicing with guacamole, and I know I’m not alone: nutrition sites suggest a serving size of 1 oz., or about 2 Tablespoons. But as anyone who’s ever planted themselves next to the guac bowl at a party, it’s hard to stop there. I’ve easily eaten 2/3 of a cup on my own, which contains more like 244 calories. (Let’s not even get into the calories from the chips, which shoot this number way way up!)
I like food trends far more than I do fashion trends. For one, even if cupcakes aren’t “in,” it’s still socially acceptable to eat them. The black Crocs in the back of my closet, well, I’m saving those for a bad Halloween costume.
One of the biggest food trends this summer has been the one ingredient banana ice cream, which we shared a few weeks ago. For those who love ice cream or have a sweet tooth, it’s got to be the best idea ever. Freeze bananas, blend, and watch it turn in to a creamy ice cream texture that would have you believe it’s the real deal. Except, it’s totally good for you. How could it not be when it’s just bananas?
Well, I don’t love bananas, but I do have a full blown obsession with avocados. That creamy, buttery flavor that’s neutral enough to go with just about anything… could these be my banana ice cream?
I took advantage of a 10 for $10 special at the grocery store and got enough to experiment with avocado frozen yogurt and have plenty for sandwiches, smoothies, and salads all week. Yes, I eat that many avocados. (Hello… they are so good for you.)
I started with six avocados and split them lengthwise so the pit could be removed and the flesh easily scooped out. These avocados were perfectly bright green and separated from the pits without much mess. They were also a little firmer than I might ordinarily use for guacamole, but certainly not nearly as hard as the ones you could play baseball with.
The Food and Drug Administration determined many years ago that there was no definitive link between artificial food colorings and health problems in children or adults. However, it recently decided to review the evidence and consider possible policy changes that include placing warning labels on food containing the artificial colorings.
Dr. Jeffrey A. Morrison, MD, author of Cleanse Your Body, Clear Your Mind has studied the links between toxins and chemicals in our food and environment to health and behavior. He advises his patients to avoid all artificial colorings and food dyes whenever possible.
“Artificial food colorings and dyes have been used for many years but only recently have they been under investigation with the FDA,” Morrison said. “In particular, red dyes have been known to cause hyperactivity and gastrointestinal discomfort in children and adults.”
Though many people don’t realize it, stress symptoms have a negative impact on your health. In the short-term, stress can cause fatigue, gastrointestinal discomfort and headaches, among other ailments. Over the long-term, stress can make you susceptible to more severe conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease and even some cancers.
While stress management is a powerful thing, not everyone has time to devote to techniques that have been proven to help, like yoga and meditation. Luckily, you can manage some of your stress with what you eat. When people think of eating to combat stress, they often think of comfort foods that are not typically very nutritious: ice cream, macaroni and cheese and calorie-laden mashed potatoes.
Luckily, there are a variety of healthy foods – even super foods – that can help your body manage your stress levels and help you prevent feeling the stress – physically and mentally.
March might be almost over, but it isn’t too late to note that it is Colorectal Cancer Awareness month. More than 50,000 people – one every 9.3 minutes – die from colon cancer each year, despite the fact that it’s the most treatable cancer when detected early through proper screening. Olympus, the Colon Cancer Alliance and Colorectal Cancer Coalition, is encouraging all Americans to help beat colon cancer by learning more and committing to be screened for the disease.
The National Cancer Institute estimates that 35 percent of cancer deaths may be linked to dietary factors. In honor of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, check out some new colon cancer fighting food facts below and start to incorporate some of these healthy foods into your own diet.
February is American Heart Month, but that doesn’t mean you should only worry about having a healthy heart for 28 days out of the year. Heart health is incredibly important; if you take care of your heart, you’ll be less likely to suffer from heart disease and stroke, the most common killer in the USA.
The foods that you eat can have a great impact on your heart’s health. Think of your heart as a high performance sports car: if you put super-premium fuel in, you’ll get better results. Here are nine super-premium foods to keep your ticker in tip-top shape:
Oatmeal Oatmeal is good for your heart because it contains omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, potassium, and folate. The fiber in oatmeal is very beneficial for your heart because it can lower levels of your bad cholesterol (LDL), which can clear up your arteries.
Avocados Like oatmeal, avocados will help lower your LDL cholesterol levels; they will also raise the amount of good cholesterol (HDL) in your body. They also make it easier for your body to absorb other nutrients that are good for your heart, such as beta-carotene and lycopene.
There’s something about Mexican food that makes people want to gather together and turn any ordinary afternoon or evening in to a celebration for nothing in particular. The center of these gatherings being chips, guacamole and salsa. Now, these snacks can be high in calories and fat and just one more empty calorie fiesta. The best way to handle this is to prepare it yourself, but not everyone has the time (or even the money) to make a fresh batch of salsa or guacamole on demand. Eat, I mean meet, the next best thing – Wholly Guacamole!
You might think any ‘ole guacamole from the store will be fine, but an article at Yahoo! this week by Men’s Health editor David Zinczenko revealed that those premade guacamoles aren’t actually made with avocados. In fact, their ingredient labels show less than two-percent avocado with the rest being “green goo [and] a cluster of fillers and chemicals, including modified food starch, soybean oils, locust bean gum, and food coloring.”
Wholly guacamole starts with fresh Haas avocados, then adds onion, garlic, tomatoes, jalapenos and cilantro for a flavorful, fresh snack that can’t be beat by other grocery brands. (more…)
One of the best ways to lose weight and be healthy is to stock up on fresh fruits and veggies and make them a large part of every meal and snack. Filled with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and water, fruits and veggies fill you up and give you quite the nutritional bang for your bite. In fact, studies show that high consumption of fruits and veggies can prevent cancer and lower blood pressure.
Although you may think of summer when it comes to the best fresh produce (strawberries, tomatoes and watermelon, oh my!), fall and winter are also a surprisingly tasty time to eat fresh. The in-season fruits and veggies for November are hearty, chock full of nutrition and darn delicious, and because they’re in season, these guys are usually cheaper and easier to get fresher than out-of-season produce. Bonus!
Women’s Health has released a list of 9 Power Food Pairings – combinations of food items that give you more nutritional value when eaten together. Even better, they seem like pretty easy combinations to work into your diet. Check out Women’s Health for the full list and read my favorites below.
That time of the month may have you reaching for less nutritious foods, but research shows less pre-menstrual irritability in women who ingest the most calcium and vitamin D. Eggs are an excellent source of vitamin D, and broccoli provides easily-absorbed calcium. I tend to crave a little fat, so a broccoli and cheese omelet sounds ideal to me. (more…)
Today, September 16, is National Guacamole Day! It’s also Mexican Independence Day. Who knew?
This doesn’t mean that you should go crazy with the chips transporting said guacamole into your mouth. But guacamole is an amazing source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Avocados contain the same type of fat found in olive oil and almonds. Avocados are one the best choices in fruit for magnesium, vitamin E and folic acid. They have 60% more potassium than bananas. If that’s not enough reason to make avocados a part of your daily diet, they are also free of sodium, cholesterol and trans fats.
In one study, volunteers who ate avocados every day for a week experienced an average 17% drop in total blood cholesterol (Archives of Medical Research, Winter 1996). Try guacamole on a grilled chicken breast, as a spread for a whole grain turkey sandwich, or dip your carrots into it for an out of this world snack. (more…)
With season nine of The Biggest Loser wrapped up, you may be wondering where you can get your latest Biggest Loser fix. Cheryl Forberg, RD, the show’s dietitian, has a book out – Six Weeks to a Healthier You – which focuses on quality foods that provide a powerhouse of nutrients for the calories.
In this video, Cheryl shares one of her recipes from the book, a Grilled Shrimp Salad with an Avocado Aioli. The avocado aioli has over 20 vitamins and minerals and heart healthy, unsaturated fats. With help from avocados and Greek yogurt, the luscious and creamy quality of the aioli gives you a nutrient dense alternative to the typical bottled creamy dressing high in saturated fat.