Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Something Green for the Big Apple Crunch

Day four’s photo challenge was to take a picture of something green.


A big, juicy green apple that looks as delicious as it tasted. Though there are other colors added to this photo it is a display of an array of apples taken today because I was one of the many New Yorkers who joined in the crunching of a healthy delicious apple for the Big Apple crunch today.

According the, on food day which was today, October 24, 2012, a world record was trying to be set by having the most participants in an Apple-Crunching Event.  Many different organizations took part in this event and a plethora of people in New York were all crunching on a healthy snack at the same time and in the same city.

It has been said that an apple a day keeps the doctors away. I am guessing that was one of the aims of the Big Apple Crunch today; to get people all over New York eating healthy. I mean what is healthier than an apple?

For one, it can satisfy a portion of one’s daily fruit intake. It is packed with Vitamins A and C which the body needs.  It can be eaten as a snack or even as part of a meal which in turn can help to lower cholesterol. Apples keep your blood sugar levels good.  It can actually give someone energy. It is an antioxidant which can help to prevent cancer. Eating apples can help someone to lose weight. 
I think eating healthy period is helpful. If not an apple, how about a pear, or an apricot. How about truly controlling portions and not eating in excess or having things that we know we ought not.  Let's not go for the biggest tub of popcorn with all the butter we can add just because it is available to us.
Why are we going for seconds when the firsts in our plates should be enough to satisfy our needs?  How is it that some people can eat one meal a day because they have no choice and seem okay but if we miss one of our many meals, it seems almost as if we had not eaten a thing all day?  I still cannot figure out the answer to that but I think in many ways, we allow food to have control over us when we can take control back by adding good, healthy and satisfying foods to our diet that can both nourish and benefit our lives.

Over the past few months, I have learned that eating healthy could truly benefit my life.  I can admit to living a life of eating unhealthy and never thinking about my own health. But one thing I began to realize was that as we start to get older, our bodies are not able to handle the same things anymore. I would rather change my eating habits for my own self as opposed to hearing a doctor telling me I have to change my eating habits because of an illness.  That is what eating healthy can do for you. That is what trading in the beef jerky or bag of greasy potato chips for an apple can do for you. 

Here are some additional articles on the topic of apples that you might find interesting.
Big Apple Crunch Big Apple Crunch

Monday, October 22, 2012

Experimenting with Grains: Quinoa

I have been meaning to add more grains to my diet to try to keep a better balance. 

About three months ago, I cut out eating my usual daily portion of meat and substituted it with other things like beans and vegetables. I actually love vegetables so it has not been such a hard thing to maintain. But lately have found it harder to keep interest in my new lifestyle because the variety comes rarely. While meeting with my nutritionist one day, she suggested I add a grain known as quinoa to the mix.

I had never heard of quinoa before but after my nutritionist talked to me about it, I came across it on Pinterest which had a plethora of different links to recipes and nice looking dishes made with the grain. I put it in my plan to one day try it and for the first time today, I did.

I am used to having corn meal but wanted to try something a little different. Actually, corn meal has been one of my favorite foods since I was a kid. The difference between corn meal and quinoa is that the latter is an organic food and is made with whole grains. Much healthier in other words. I also hear that quinoa is a superfood. I have to say, I enjoyed the taste more than I expected to and made a nice dish with it.

Here is the recipe I tried

Quinoa and Black Bean medley
Serving Size 5
157 calories per serving
Cooking time: 45 minutes – 1 hr
Nature's Promise - Black Beans 1 can
Green Giant - Whole Kernel Sweet Corn 1 can
Natural Earth Products - Organic quinoa whole grain 3 1/3 cup
Shoprite - Frozen Chopped Kale, 1/3 cup
Cherry Tomatoes, 1/2 cup
Olive Oil - Extra Virgin, 2 Tablespoons
Real Lemon - 100% Lemon Juice (Corrected), 2 tsp.
Salt, 3 tsp
Water 2 cups

Fill a medium pot with water and add olive oil, black beans and salt over a medium fire. Add corn, kale and tomatoes. Bring water to boil and add quinoa.  Add lemon juice and stir. Leave over medium fire until water dries and quinoa thickens. Lower fire and cover pot and let cook for another 15 minutes. Best served hot.
I think I have found a new favorite food because I can use it to prepare the same quality meals and also different ones with a great outcome.  

Sunday, October 7, 2012

My Fitness Pal

I was never a fan of calorie counting until recently when I made an appointment with my nutritionist and she told me that it would be helpful in attaining my fitness goals and so now, I try to keep track or at least a memory of what I eat and also the exercises that I do.

I can honestly say I am not the best person at doing things manually or remembering to write things into a calendar being that I spend most of my day on the computer when I am at work or even at home or in my phone on different apps.  But then, my nutritionist suggested using which is a site on-line that also has an app that is easy to access and simple to use.

Myfitnesspal is another of the many social blogging sites found on the internet. It is a community of individuals with a heart and the desire to eat right and exercise.  On the site, you can track the foods you eat, your exercises, or strength training activities and it will give you an idea of how many calories you’ve used or burned and how many you have left to eat. If you add a fitness goal, the program bases your calories on that specific day’s worth of exercise and food by calculating how much calories you have left in your personal goal and if you have gone over, met your goal or were under it.

Besides keeping track of your calories, you can log on and add a status, write a blog, join in on the community of message boarders and/or communicate with other like-minded individuals all with the same types of goals of staying on track with eating healthy, exercising or losing weight. You can actually find people to help keep you motivated or inspire someone else seeking the story or experiences you might want to share.
I really like the site and have accessed it every day since the first day I’ve visited the site and it is helpful to me. Since I started using the site, I've lost 11 pounds.  In total, I've lost 20. Lately, I have even found myself wanting to exercise just to add it to my daily progress. Maybe I am a little crazy,  but sometimes when you are an individual who battles with weight,  you can go overboard.  This site helps you to see that and makes a good difference that leans a lot towards change. Very helpful I must say. Hopefully it will also be helpful to you.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

How Do You Pick A Good Pomegranate?

On a sparkling spring day, all the beautiful flowers and fruits begin to take root and make our gardens beautiful; but my favorite fruit is not any of the ones you would find there because my favorite fruit is a fruit you start to see at farmer's markets in the fall known as a pomegranate.

What I love to see is when the warm temperatures start to die down and the supermarkets start featuring the big red fruit to their fruit displays. It has a great taste even though it takes a lot to eat one.  But each seed has a delicious flavor that just melts in your mouth.

While I appreciate the sunshine of any day and season, the joy of the day is truly felt when I see the beautiful red peel of the pomegranate available somewhere and at a good price. The problem is, I do not know how to pick them.

If I am lucky, a good one will unwind in my arms and when I cut it in half, I see nothing but red, juicy seeds.  But sometimes when I cut them in half, I see a rotten pomegranate that makes me a little disappointed to  have gotten my taste buds ready. Yet, I do love them.

My question is though, how can you truly tell what you are going to get?  How do you pick a good pomegranate?