Category Archives: Whole Food Plant-Based nutrition

Whole Food Plant-Based Nutrition Tips

Talking About Tofu

TofuThere are foods that make my mouth water. Tofu is not one of them!

I have never looked at tofu and thought “yummy!” Mostly it is a vaguely gelatinous food with no color and very little taste. Turns out that because of the texture, color and taste, tofu can be easily transformed into a tasty source of protein.

Much of the tofu in the USA is genetically modified so it is important to look for non-gmo organic tofu. I personally like sprouted varieties the best. (more…)

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Eggplant (sort of) Caponata

eggplant
Summer in New Orleans means eggplant and lots of it! The abundance of it, particularly coming out of garden has forced me to find creative ways to serve it.

Don’t get me wrong, I like eggplant. I use it in various Asian dishes, grilled (used as a sandwich filling), in salads and still I have more eggplant. (more…)

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Spring – New Orleans One Week Miracle

For one glorious week in May, we have spring here in New Orleans! Right around Mother’s day the threat of frost leaves, the rains die down and the weather is reasonably cool. That’s it! One wonderful week before it gets too hot and muggy to want to move.

crop tomatoes
The big news in our house is that we picked and ate our first tomato of the season. We started the seedlings in February. We planted seven different kinds of seeds: cherries, local creole strains and several hot weather varieties. We watched them come up, replanted them in larger pots carefully fed and watered them.  We transfered them to their permanent homes at the beginning of May. Right now we have one cherry tomato with a bunch of fruit and a lot of the others are in full flower. If we can fight off the black cutworms, the green horn worms and the swarms of insects that love this city,  we are set to have a great tomato crop. (more…)

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Energy Cookies

ECOOKIESLITTLEvery now and then your body screams at you — “I need fuel”. Something more than a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit. It wants something solid and chewy. Which is why energy bars were created in the first place.

Unfortunately, commercial energy bars are almost always filled with strange ingredients, sugar and preservatives.

My solution, of course, is to make my own.  I have tried all kinds of things. I wanted a basic recipe that could be adapted to various food plans and tastes.  So with out further ado, here is my latest attempt. (more…)

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Time to Eat

weightlossLike most women, my most persistent life struggles have been in and around my weight. That struggle is what prompted my interest in nutrition. As a teenager and young woman I went on many, many diets. Lost weight and promptly regained it all and then some. In my mid-30’s I found the ways to eat and exercise that finally resulted in a stable weight. Between 35 and 50 my weight never varied more than a couple of pounds one way or the other. As I aged and went through menopause all bets were off. I struggled again as I had to find a new balance. Pounds would magically appear and they were much more difficult to lose.

What I learned was that I had to be more conscious of my overall habits. I need to re-evaluate my portion sizes and return to some of the things I had learned over much earlier in life. For example, when I was a teenager I figured out that if I didn’t eat at night I lost more weight if I didn’t eat at night. The calorie count could stay the same, but the timing mattered. Along with that it became apparent that lack of sleep was a real problem. I began to notice that if I didn’t sleep enough I was not only tired and crabby, but seem to magically add a pound or two. I have always assumed that it was just how my body worked. (more…)

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Organic Produce vs Conventionally Grown

organic
When shopping for fresh produce, I really, really want to buy organic. I believe it is healthier and I am careful about what I put in my body.

But for all my good intentions there are time when I can’t/won’t buy organic: can’t find the organic produce I want. Either it is unavailable in the store, the price is astronomical or I want a specific item that is hard to find. At times like that I stand in the store wondering if it really matters all that much if the food is organic or not.

I found some info what makes the choice a little easier. Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) annual Shoppers’ Guide to Pesticides in Produce is a treasure trove of useful information. (more…)

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New Recommendations: Eat Less Sugar; Fat not so bad . . .

sugar
Seems that what we have been told for the last 25 years is really not to great advice.  A new report says that cholesterol and fat are not the enemy after all. Turns out the real enemies are sugar, salt and maybe saturated fat.

This comes from the The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee and is significant because this group shapes our national dietary policy. The guidelines influence FDA policy which ultimately effects  school lunch, SNAP and WIC programs. (more…)

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One of those days . . .Stress Management

overwhelmedToday is one of those days – everything I touch turns to crap! I woke up a year older, my treadmill decided to break, breakfast burned, the bank locked me out of my online banking and so it goes!

I have valiantly tried to take it all in stride. And failing that tried to remember and practice some stress management techniques:

  • Staying solution oriented: telling myself that there are no problems only opportunities. . .
  • Letting it go: this worked fine at first but as things started to accumulate I started to sink
  • Exercise: See part about the treadmill
  • Expecting good things to happen: evidently expectations aren’t always a good predictor of what is going to happen
  • Breathing: took myself to my chair, closed my eyes and tried to breath (peace in and stress out). I am happy to report that this worked for the few minutes I sat in the chair. All of the sudden the fire alarm started beeping (needs a new battery)
  • Stretching: Gave me some short term relief
  • Music: relaxing music got on my nerves, but Eric Clapton playing the blues at very high volume got me moving (even dancing) and within minutes I was feeling better

The point of all this is about having a stress management toolbox and persistence. If the first few tools don’t work just keep trying something else.

If you are wondering about a toolbox, there is a great site that may help you out—The Center for Stress Management. I keep a link to the site on my computer and on my iPad. I have found over the years that when I start the spiral of stress I tend to forget everything I know. A quick look at this site reminds me that there are tools and what some of them are.

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Calcium without Dairy

calciumWe have all heard “milk does a body good.”
If you bother to examine the facts about milk, however, you may not be so convinced that the slogan is right.

If you are lactose-intolerant you figured out a long time ago that milk definitely doesn’t’ do your body good.

If you are vegan, you have already given up milk because it is an animal product and don’t believe that dairy does any body good.

I am willing to bet that after the question about how to get enough protein the next question you are asked is “How do you get enough calcium?’ (more…)

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Childhood Obesity

download
Started a new semester at Tulane last week. My most interesting class (to me) this semester is on childhood obesity.

There is a lot of concern about childhood obesity these days! Depending on whose statistics you read/believe, 18% of the children in the US are obese. This is a concern because obesity is a risk factor for a cascade of medical problems including type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, metabolic disorders, cardiovascular diseases, orthopedic injuries and sleep apnea.

There are those who believe that obese children turn into obese adults. They site a variety of statistics to fortify this claim. One researcher even declared that due to obesity the current generation of children will be the first to die sooner than their parents. Very scary stuff!

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