What’s So Great About Broccoli?

26 06 2012

Article printed in the Weekly Record Herald on June 24, 2012

I had a hard time with broccoli as a child. Mom saying “it’s good for you” just wasn’t enough for me to choose to eat it. I guess I am the type of person that needs to know why. It wasn’t until I was older and started to focus on a healthier body that I realized how wonderful broccoli is. Now, I eat broccoli several times a week. Mom would be proud.

You may have read about cruciferous vegetables as must-have foods we should eat several times a week. The cruciferous vegetables have been linked to lower rates of cancer, containing phytochemicals that increase the activity of certain enzymes in our bodies that fight cancer-causing agents. Broccoli is in the cruciferous family. This is the kind of information I needed to include broccoli in my diet on a regular basis.

Anyone watching their weight may want to consider adding more broccoli to their diet. The fiber in broccoli helps with digestion and is filling, while low in calories and fat. Here is where you need to be careful! How the broccoli is prepared (sauces, other ingredients, etc.) can add calories and fat. It can be steamed, microwaved, stir-fried, eaten raw in salads, and baked in casseroles. Be careful not to overcook, which would result in lowering the nutritional value.

Broccoli is available year-round, but best in fall and winter. Look for sturdy, dark-green spears with tight buds, no yellowing. If broccoli tops have more purple, it indicates a higher level of carotenoids. The stems are edible, so don’t throw them away. Peel, chop, and serve with the florets. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Broccoli Slaw From Eating Well: Winter 2004, The Eating Well Diabetes Cookbook (2005). The original recipe has been lightened with reduced-fat may and yogurt. This makes eight servings, 3/4 cup each.

Ingredients:

4 slices turkey bacon

One 12-16 ounce bag shredded broccoli slaw or one large bunch broccoli (about 1-1/2 pounds)

¼ cup low-fat or nonfat plain yogurt

¼ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 teaspoons sugar

½ teaspoon salt, or to taste

Freshly ground pepper

One 8 ounce can low-sodium sliced water chestnuts, rinsed and coarsely chopped

½ cup finely diced red onion

Preparation:

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, turning frequently, until crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. (Alternatively, microwave on high for 2-1/2 to 3 minutes.) Drain bacon on paper towels. Chop coarsely. If using whole broccoli, trim about 3 inches off the stems. Chop the rest into ¼ inch pieces. Whisk yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add water chestnuts, onion, bacon, and broccoli; toss to coat. Chill until serve time. You can also make ahead, cover, and chill for up to 2 days.
Tammy’s Challenges

Growth does not come from one perspective. To achieve a healthy lifestyle, you must do more than concentrate on exercise alone. Diet changes will enhance your wellbeing, but it alone is not healthy. Let’s not forget the soul or spirit. It needs nurturing as well. So, here are a few mind (diet) – body (exercise) – soul (mental) challenges for you to try.

Mind: Try a new healthy recipe or make a favorite recipe healthier.

Body: Take the stairs, park further away from destination, bike or walk on errand.

Soul: Before bed imagine your perfect tomorrow.
I would love to hear from you.

Email: Tammy@TammYoga.com

Facebook: TammYoga

Twitter: @TammYoga.

Namaste  (The spirit in me respects the spirit in you.)

Tammy





The Scoop on Whole Grains

16 05 2012

Article printed in the Weekly Record Herald on May 13, 2012

Hi, my name is Tammy Shellhaas. I am a yoga instructor/personal trainer and I would like you to join me on a journey to challenge your mind, body, and soul. Every other week we will explore a new aspect of a healthy lifestyle. My hope is to offer new information, or a new perspective to what you already know, or reintroduce an idea that may have been forgotten. So, let’s get started…

When our children were small, I decided to make the switch to whole grain products. I admit, I was a little sneaky about it, but it was for the benefit of our family. So, I justified my underhandedness for our healthier lifestyle.

At first, I used whole grains, solely, when making out favorite dishes. That did not go over very well with the kids or John! (I have to admit, I was not a fan at first, either.) I did not give up. I decided to make small changes. I substituted a portion of the white flour in bread, cookie and pancake recipes with whole grain flour and gradually increased the amount as we became accustomed to the texture and taste.  I did the same when substituting refined grain pasta with whole grain.

I read labels to choose the best products I could find and we learned to enjoy and savor the taste of these healthier foods. The whole foods were denser and more filling, adding nutrients we were missing from our diet. By including whole grains to our diet, we increased our intake of plant-based proteins, fiber, and antioxidants. Plus, foods high in fiber and antioxidants have been linked to reducing the risk for certain health problems: obesity, stroke, and certain types of cancers.

What is a Whole Grain?

Following is the official definition of whole grains, approved and endorsed by the Whole Grains Council in May 2004:

Whole grains or foods made from them contain all the essential parts and naturally-occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed. If the grain has been processed (e.g., cracked, crushed, rolled, extruded, and/or cooked), the food product should deliver approximately the same rich balance of nutrients that are found in the original grain seed.

This definition means that 100% of the original kernel – all of the bran, germ, and endosperm – must be present to qualify as a whole grain.

I take this to mean that a food labeled whole grain is as close as possible to eating the food right from the plant. Can’t get much better for you than that! The Whole Grain Stamp is an easy way to spot products with ½ a serving (8 g.) of whole grains.

What are examples of whole grain?

What is a serving size?

  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice or other cooked grain
  • 1/2 cup cooked 100% whole-grain pasta
  • 1/2 cup cooked hot cereal, such as oatmeal
  • 1 ounce uncooked whole grain pasta, brown rice or other grain
  • 1 slice 100% whole grain bread
  • 1 very small (1 oz.) 100% whole grain muffin
  • 1 cup 100% whole grain ready-to-eat cereal

Some foods contain whole grains, as well as, refined grains. Crackers, pancake mixes, meal replacement bars, and products that contain a larger amount of whole grains, it is necessary to eat more of those foods. The recommended serving size for these foods is 16 grams.

Tammy’s Challenges

Growth does not come from one perspective. To achieve a healthy lifestyle, you must do more than concentrate on exercise alone. Diet changes will enhance your wellbeing, but it alone is not healthy. Let’s not forget the soul or spirit. It needs nurturing as well. So, here are a few mind (diet) – body (exercise) – soul (mental) challenges for you to try.

Mind: Try substituting a portion of the refined grains in recipes with whole grains.

Body: Try a new cardio machine (treadmill, elliptical, etc.) or change your workout route.

Soul: Write down 10 things that make you smile. Keep the list and refer to it whenever you need a pick-me-up.

I would love to hear from you.           Email: Tammy@TammYoga.com

Facebook: TammYoga

Twitter: @TammYoga

Namaste  (The spirit in me respects the spirit in you.)

Tammy