Spicing Up the Holidays with Healthy Spices

My daughter and I spent the better part of last week in the kitchen trying to get our holiday baking done. We’ve got a few more batches of cookies to go before I can collapse under the Christmas tree and start enjoying the fruits of our labor. It’s been hectic, but there’s nothing better than having your home smell like the inside of a spice factory. The mouth-watering aroma of warm spices got me thinking about the nutritional value of some of the ingredients we’ve been adding to our recipes—-namely the spices. Obviously spices make a dish taste good, but … Continue reading

Making Healthy Choices at the Thanksgiving Dinner Table

For many people who watch what they eat on a daily basis Thanksgiving is the one day of the year that they throw caution to the wind and devour whatever their stomachs desire. Not my sister-in-law. In fact, she won’t eat a bite of turkey (or ham) today. Rather, she’ll fill her plate with samples of all of the fabulous side dishes that surround the sliced up bird. It’s not because she’s a vegetarian; rather she believes that she’s doing her body good by skipping the meat dishes and eating the lower calorie menu options. (To each her own I … Continue reading

Is Pasta Really Healthy?

This Sunday more than 35,000 runners will take to the streets of the Big Apple for the 2007 New York City Marathon. Prior to making their way along the 26.2-mile route runners have the opportunity to participate in the traditional night-before pasta dinner. Carb loading before a big race is part of the training process. At least it was for me. I pigged out on pasta before I ran the Chicago Marathon. I gorged on ziti at the Olive Garden before I ran the Madison Marathon and I had two plates of spaghetti plus four pieces of garlic bread the … Continue reading

Health Benefits of Mushrooms

Did you know September is National Mushroom Month? I didn’t either until I saw a sign in the supermarket yesterday encouraging shoppers to “Celebrate the Mushroom.” At first I thought it was a ploy to get customers to buy mushrooms. But when I got home I did some research and learned that this month is indeed National Mushroom Month. I also discovered that the formidable fungi offer many health benefits. In fact, several Eastern cultures have long revered mushrooms as both food and medicine. But it wasn’t until just recently that researchers have been able to back up those claims … Continue reading

Eating Healthy At The State Fair—It Can Be Done

I know what you are thinking… Is it possible to eat healthy at a place where just about everything is deep-fried and impaled with a stick? Moreover, does anyone try to eat healthy at a local fair? I know I don’t. But then there are people like my friend (and running partner) Kim who do. Recently I detailed my adventures at our local fair and listed all of the tantalizing on-a-stick-creations my daughter and I gorged on during our time there. Kim attended the same State Fair with her kids and she left without ever wrapping her lips around a … Continue reading

What Do You Mean Pop-Tarts Are NOT Healthy?

Okay, I’m not completely nutritional challenged. I know that the popular toaster pastry isn’t exactly packed with vitamins and nutrients. However, I didn’t realize that you are better off skipping breakfast altogether than downing one as you dash out the door. It was news to me. A nutritional update I got directly from someone who knows a thing or two about the health benefits of food. Last week I drove to the TV station I used to work for to drop off a birthday present for a friend/former colleague. (I was out of town and missed her party.) As I … Continue reading

Nutrition 101: Health Benefits Of End Of The Summer Produce

Monday is Labor Day and the unofficial end of summer (or at least the end of summer vacation for many school kids). The long holiday weekend also marks the end of the gardening season, and if you are like my mom you likely have an abundance of tomatoes, peppers and squash (and have been generously doling out to friends, family and co-workers). In my mom’s case, her bumper crop has yielded so many tomatoes she’s been complaining that if she eats one more she’ll turn into a tomato herself. It got me thinking about the benefits of a diet high … Continue reading

Nutrition 101: Health Benefits of Bison

I suppose it’s saying a lot about me that I accept food from strangers. Let me qualify that. I accept food from strangers dressed in white uniforms who work in meat markets. Nope. That doesn’t make it sound any better. But, what was better than any snack I’ve had in a long time was the free sample of cooked bison meat I got during a recent trip to the market. Bison (also known as buffalo) is becoming increasingly popular in America. It’s sometimes called the “better red meat” and is a great choice for people who are looking for ways … Continue reading

Why Does My Body Need Phosphorus?

Phosphorus is a mineral that has many useful roles for the body. It is used in energy metabolism, to help the body use some B-complex vitamins, for muscle and nerve function, and for kidney function. But one of the most important roles of phosphorus is to help the body maintain its calcium balance. This mineral is essential to the formation of bones and teeth, and bone and tooth health throughout all stages of life. Cool phosphorus fact: approximately one percent of an adult’s total body weight is phosphorus. However, most of that phosphorus (about 85%) lives in your bones and … Continue reading

Be Careful With Zinc — Especially During Cold Season

Think zinc is the answer to all your seasonal cold problems? Think again! Zinc supplements can help boost your immunity, but there is a down side. A recent joint study between American and European researchers found that there may be a link between zinc and age-related macular degeneration. Eye deposits in people over sixty with age-related macular degeneration contain high levels of zinc! So overdosing yourself with zinc in order to ward off a cold may cause vision problems later in life. More research into the exact source of the zinc in eye deposits is underway. Zinc supplements may or … Continue reading