Healthy Should Taste Good!

I wanted to give a shout out to my two amazing USA Baseball players that we had the pleasure of hosting in our home last week.  Brick Paskiewicz came from Arizona and Touki Toussaint from Florida to play in the USA Baseball Tournament of Stars featuring the top 18U players in the country. These are the guys we will see in the College World Series and out on the MLB fields in just a couple of years!

This was my family’s third year hosting two players and each year has been a wonderful experience for all of us, especially my children.  I always send the players a welcome email the week before their arrival and ask what their favorite foods are in order to begin to stock the pantry.  Not being used to feeding two BIG teenage boys, and elite athletes at that, I am always prepared to shop for items that do not normally have a space on my shelves…like pop-tarts, chocolate milk, and Lucky Charms:)  I knew they both liked eggs so I made eggs and bacon the first morning they were here and my favorite green mango smoothie for me but doubled the ingredients.  I ask them to give the smoothie a try and they drank it right up!   They also cooled off with frozen smoothie pops in the afternoon, snacked on fresh raspberries and blackberries, and finished off the edamame at dinner.  I could not have been happier when they told me, “We didn’t realize that healthy could taste this good.”   It made me realize that just adding in a few healthy items every week for those just starting down the healthy road is a great way to get started.  Little changes will eventually add up to a mountain of changes!

So thanks guys for trying everything I put in front of you!  Your good manners and sense of humor were truly appreciated.  You are both such great examples for my kids, showing them that working hard every day on their dreams WILL turn them into reality.  You will always have a bed in our home and a seat at our table.

XO,

Melissa

For all of you up for the July 80/20 Challenge, check back here tomorrow for our first challenge of the month!  Let’s stay healthy and strong in July!

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10 Tips for a Healthy Summer

As we gear up for our 80/20 challenge beginning July 1st (that’s Sunday!), I thought I’d share this article from O Magazine with some fun healthy tips to try this summer.  Check back on Sunday for Day 1 of the 80/20 challenge!

http://www.oprah.com/health/The-10-Smartest-Things-You-Can-Do-for-Your-Body-This-Summer

Stay Cool!

Melissa

Roasted Radishes

Let me just start by saying that radishes are probably my least favorite vegetable.  After they started showing up in my Produce Box I wasn’t sure what to do with them.  However, after trying them roasted, I decided they are not so bad.  I actually liked them, my husband loved them, and we ate them all up before the kids even got to try them.

Radishes are full of folic acid, Vitamin C, and anthocyanins. This makes them a cancer-fighter!  It is said that radishes are effective in  fighting oral cancer, colon cancer and intestinal cancer as well as kidney and  stomach cancer.  They are also great for the respiratory system and clearing congestion which makes them perfect for asthma sufferers.  Radishes also act as a diuretic for those days when you are feeling a little puffy.

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches fresh radishes, washed, dried, sliced in half
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Dried thyme (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place a sheet tray lined with foil in the oven to get it hot.
  2. In a bowl, toss radishes in oil (just a little bit), salt, pepper, and thyme. When tray is hot, toss the radishes on the tray (they will sizzle) and put the tray back in the oven.
  3. Every 3-4 minutes or so, stir the tray so the radishes in the corners move to the middle, and vice-versa. Total cooking time should be 10 minutes, depending on the size of the radishes.
  4. When ready, they’ll be blistered and pink with just a little bite left to the texture.
  5. Serve as a side dish with a drizzle of fresh olive oil and sea salt.
  6. Serves 4-6.

Live 80/20 in July Challenge

July is a very challenging time for me as well as many others when it comes to staying with the 80/20 rule.  What’s the 80/20 rule?  It’s just a little rule I like to live by, eat great 80% of the time and have a blast the other 20%.  My July involves much traveling, seeing family and friends, nutty baked goods, beer, wine, cook-outs, lots of Uncle Rays (home-made ice cream and frozen yogurt-mmmmmm)beer, wine(oh I already mentioned that), Mexican. Any way you get the picture.

This July we decided to do a 80/20 challenge for anyone who would like to help me, Melissa and many others stay on the 80/20 track while having fun at the same time.  Here’s what you can expect:

  • 30 days worth of fun-loving support as you celebrate the good, the bad and the ugly.
  • Fun weekly challenges that are focused on eating right, exercise, spending time with your loved ones and YOU!
  • Healthy recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and HAPPY HOUR!
  • Get up and go challenges to keep you moving.
  • Tips to jumpstart your metabolism (incase you spend the day lying in the sun, getting your vitamin D of course).

More to come on how to get in on the fun.

Happy first day of summer! -Andrea

How to Spot the “Functional” Designer Food Scam by Integrative Nutrition

How to Spot the “Functional” Designer Food Scam

Posted on May 9, 2012 by Integrative Nutrition

integrative nutrition scamBrain-boosting mayonnaise? Heart-healthy margarine? Infection-fighting strawberry yogurt? This latest marketing scam is probably not what Hippocrates had in mind when he said, “Let food be thy medicine.”

The Truth Behind the “Functional Food” Fraud

Eager to make smarter food choices, millions of Americans are falling victim to a clever hoax that advertises items as “functional foods” – foods that promote optimal health or reduce the risk of disease.

Of course, all foods are functional in the sense that they have nutrients that support vital processes, and many foods have been proven to be exceptionally beneficial. Chocolate, for example, is not only delicious; its heart-healthy flavonoids are proven to lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol.

So where is the scam? It lies in manufacturers who deceptively emphasize a single “functional” ingredient in products that otherwise aren’t very healthy at all. Because food industry advertising is loosely regulated, it’s easy to fraudulently misrepresent or exaggerate claims; some go so far as to present these processed food items as drugs capable of curing disease and illness.

White Bread for a Healthy Brain?

Take, for example, Sara Lee’s white bread. Made from the most refined wheat flours, this product offers little nutritional benefit and can cause blood sugar spikes and insulin crashes.

Yet one of its newest products, Soft & Smooth Plus Made with DHA Omega 3, is marketed with the claim: “Parents of little ones will love our bread with DHA Omega-3, a nutrient that helps support healthy brain development during the early years.”

If you aren’t familiar with it, celebrity health supplement omega-3 is the “hot” ingredient that’s featured in countless functional food scams. It’s now included in everything from eggs to granola to margarine, but the question remains: can a single nutrient really redeem an entire food product?

Much of the hype surrounding omega-3 fatty acids is 100% true. EPA and DHA, two types of omega-3 fatty acids that are commonly found in marine plants and cold water fish, are powerful anti-inflammatories that have been shown to boost cardiovascular health, improve rheumatoid arthritis, ease asthma, reduce the symptoms of ADHD, improve mood and reduce depressive symptoms, assist in the neurological development of fetuses, infants, and children, and even protect against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

The Scam: Not all Omega-3 Fatty Acids are Created Equal

Many of the foods that brag about containing omega-3 fatty acids in fact contain ALA, a third fatty acid that is found mostly in plants such as flax, soy, and walnuts. Once consumed, ALA is inefficiently converted to EPA and DHA inside the body; some estimates say the rate is as low as 5%. Simply put, the purported health benefits of consuming “omega-3 fortified” pastas, cereal, and margarine are a far cry from the value you’d gain by digging into a can of sardines.

How to Spot and Avoid the Functional Food Scam

integrative nutrition scamUltimately, these “designer foods” are just part of a scam that lures people away from the true functional foods: fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and whole protein sources.

The government is making slow strides in regulating the fraudulent labeling and advertising that is so rampant in the food industry. In 2009, the FDA warned General Mills about the health claims made on boxes of Cheerios, one of which included, “You can lower your cholesterol 4 percent in six weeks.” The FDA responded to this misleading assertion with a tongue-in-cheek recommendation: that Cheerios could keep their box as-is…provided that the cereal applied to be recognized as a drug.

Which health claims can you believe, and what can you do to steer clear of the hoaxes? Stick with whole, unprocessed foods. Want to eat a meal rich in omega-3s? Enjoy a delicious wild salmon filet. As visiting teacher Dr. Mark Hyman points out, “The best way to avoid foods that are bad for you is to stay away from foods with health claims on the labels. They are usually hiding something.”

I just love IIN and the constant up to date information they make available.  I really liked this bit and thought I would share.  Since my kids were little I tried to teach them about false advertising for those “thrilling” toys that never worked the way it was promised.  Talk to your kids about food labels and make them the wiser.  No one likes to be taken for a fool, not even a five-year old.

Have a great day! – Andrea

Related Content: Healthy Tipsscam

Happy Father’s Day!

What a beautiful day to celebrate the dads in our lives!  I have an amazing father who has become just about the greatest grandfather any kid could ask for.  I also feel like I hit the jackpot when I married my husband, Rich, and soon saw the father that he would become.  My kids are very lucky to have him and I know that someday they will become terrific parents due to the example that he has shown them.  I love this Father’s Day poem so thought I’d share it.

Here’s to all the great dads out there!

XO,

Melissa

Life Lessons

You may have thought I didn’t see, Or that I hadn’t heard, Life lessons that you taught to me, But I got every word.

Perhaps you thought I missed it all, And that we’d grow apart, But Dad, I picked up everything, It’s written on my heart.

Without you, Dad, I wouldn’t be The person I am today; You built a strong foundation No one can take away.

I’ve grown up with your values, And I’m very glad I did; So here’s to you, dear father, From your forever grateful kid.

By Joanna Fuchs

Portobello Perfection

My absolute favorite thing to grill in the summer are Portobello mushroom caps.  Brush each side with a little olive oil, place on a well-oiled grill or tin foil and grill for about 7 minutes each side.  I also like to slice a Vidalia onion, toss with olive oil, and grill alongside my mushroom.  Topped with a slice of cheddar, the grilled onions, avocado, tomato, spinach and mayo…this is my “burger” all summer long.  Yum!

Mushrooms can be a great substitute for meat.  At less than 50 calories apiece, less than 1 gram of fat, and 3 g of protein, Portobello are also perfect for those trying to eliminate or cut back on their red meat intake.  To round out their bragging rights they also boast more potassium than a banana and 6.7 grams of calcium per serving!

peas and portobellos,

melissa