Carotenoids

Today is Friday, February 7th

The topic or question of the day is:

What are orange, yellow, red and sometimes green?

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            Carotenoids!  These are the beautiful colors of fall found in many fruits and vegetables.  Red, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables usually are loaded with carotenes with the exception of corn.  Carotene is found in foods such as apricots, cantaloupes, carrots, red and yellow peppers and sweet potatoes.  Beta-carotene is the most popular carotenoid and is a precursor for vitamin A.  Broccoli, kale, spinach and romaine lettuce also contain carotene only the yellow-orange color is masked by the chlorophyll in the leaves.  Fancy that!  There are 563 known carotenoids.

            No dietary RDA or reference has been established for carotenoids except as precursors to vitamin A, so once again be careful.  These carotenoids are anti-oxidants (see yesterday’s blog).  Eat yellow, orange, and red fruits and vegetables and you will acquire all the wonderful anti-oxidants and phyto-chemicals (another topic for later) your body needs from the carotenoids.  It is always best to get them from food sources and not supplements. 

Tip of the day: 

Supplements of beta carotene can be dangerous, especially for smokers.  It is always best to stick to the real foods God created and eat intelligently.  Remember excess of food can be dangerous.  I have seen several people turn orange from overeating carrots!

Take Action Today:

Make pumpkin fluff with a can of pumpkin (full of Beta-carotene), mixed with 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup, 1 tsp. vanilla, and pumpkin pie spices to taste.  Chill and enjoy.

(Some people need more sugar and add some brown sugar, but try to change your taste buds and use only the small amount of maple syrup)

 

 

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A Call To Action

Today is Thursday, January 16th

 The topic or question of the day:

 A Call to Action

Making slow changes in your day to day life can produce huge benefits.  It begins with thinking about food and taking action.  Did you know your body and your brain are tethered? Hippocrates said what goes on in your brain goes on in your body.  Another way of saying it from Proverbs is “As a man thinketh, so he does”.

With 2/3 of our population overweight, I don’t know many people who are not trying to lose weight or eat healthier.  The food industry and media are defining what is healthy for us, and we are mindlessly taking accepting what is said.  I ask you to THINK for yourself and examine yourself to see if you are falling prey to the gimmicks. 

Healthy weight loss does not happen fast.  Today we are going to talk about fat.   The “experts” are correct when they report that fat is 9 calories per gram, double compared to protein or carbohydrate.  This is why sliming down fat intake can cut your waistline. Instead of abruptly deciding no more fat…start slowly by tracking your visible fat and check out a food label or two.  Visible fat is fat YOU put on or in your food.  Salad dressings, butter, margarine, sour cream, mayonnaise, gravy, cream sauces, peanut butter on toast!  Try to use less visible fat this week or eliminate a good amount of it.  If your mayonnaise falls off your knife before it gets to your food, you took too much.  Use spray oils, make dips less fatty, or gravy with cornstarch and Hauser broth.  Use Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise, sour cream and cream cheese in recipes.  Make faux guacamole with thawed frozen green peas, pureed and add cilantro, chopped onions and tomatoes, lime juice and garlic.  We love the taste and feel of fat in our mouths, but like many things, intake must be moderated. 

Procrastination or lack of motivation tends to prevent succeeding with such changes.  I hear this statement often… “I just don’t want to mess up my kitchen!”  I encourage you to clean your Food Cookery if needed and try recipes using real food. Tomorrow we will talk about fake fats, the phony’s that you will want to avoid.  Stay tuned.

Tip or quote of the day:

“Procrastination is the most common manifestation of resistance because it’s the easiest to rationalize.  We don’t tell ourselves – I am never going to write a symphony.  Instead we say- I am going to write a symphony, I’m just going to start tomorrow.  Never forget: This very moment we can change our lives.  Sit down and start doing the work”. – Steven Pressfield

Take action today:

1.  Get into your Food Cookery (kitchen) and make something!

2.  Take note of your visible fat usage

3.  Start writing your symphony

 Peanut Carrot Dip

Mix peanut butter with purred carrots.  Homemade, baby food, or canned carrots, rinsed, drained and pureed will work.  Mix a percentage that tickles your taste.

For example:  70:30, 60:40, 50:50 ratios of peanut butter to pureed carrots.  This cuts way back on the FAT content.  Use as a dip for celery, mini shredded wheat, sliced apple rings or spread as peanut butter on a whole grain cracker.  Cinnamon can also be added.

2 T regular peanut butter = 22 g fat. 

2 T of a 50:50 version = 11 g fat

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