We Need A Little Bacteria In Our Lives

KDSK Segment

The gut is made up of millions of microbes. The “good” bacteria play a role in synthesizing vitamins, digesting food, destroying the bad bacteria and enhancing the immune system. That said it is very important to make sure that you have enough good bacteria in your gut.

Fermented foods produce the good bacteria in foods that will populate your gut.

The following are popular fermented foods.

Kombucha

This fermented tea is characterized by a gelatinous “mushroom” of bacteria. It is made by fermenting a mixture of yeast, bacteria, sugar, and tea.

Kefir

Compared to a “liquid yogurt,” kefir was originally made from camel’s milk, but today it usually is made from fermented cow’s milk. It contains about 2.5% alcohol.

Kimchi

This is a fiery, pungent condiment made from fermented vegetables, such as cabbage or turnips. Kimchi is served at almost every Korean meal, and is made by pickling the vegetables and burying them in tightly sealed pots.

Black garlic

Black garlic is a South Korean delicacy prepared by fermenting raw garlic for 1 month. It is described as tasting sweet and syrupy with a licorice flavor.

Mead

Mead is a beverage made by fermenting honey, water, and yeast with flavorings such as herbs, spices, or flowers. It dates back to Biblical times.

Miso

Miso is a fermented soybean paste, which is an important part of Japanese cuisine. Cooked soybeans are injected with a mold cultivated from a barley, rice, or soybean base. It is aged from 6 months to 3 years. Miso is used in sauces, soups, marinades, dips, main dishes, salad dressings, and as a table condiment. More than 200 types of miso are available.

Natto

Natto is steamed, fermented, and mashed soybeans that has a strong cheeselike flavor. Natto is very popular in Japan, and often is mixed with mustard, soy sauce, and/or chives.

Tempeh

Tempeh is a fermented soybean cake, similar in texture to tofu, with a yeasty flavor.

Common fermented foods

Some of the more commonly known fermented foods are:

  • Buttermilk
  • Cheese
  • Greek olives
  • Yogurt
  • Sour cream
  • Bread
  • Wine
  • Beer
  • Cider
  • Vinegar
  • Ginger ale
  • Pickled fruits and vegetables
  • Soy sauce

Note: Many mass-produced varieties of these foods are pasteurized during processing and do not carry the health benefits associated with fermented foods.

The benefits

It is true that consuming fermented foods may improve digestive and immune health via the probiotics that these products contain. Further, it is thought that fermented foods contain higher levels of vitamins and minerals, and that these nutrients are easier to digest because they already are broken down to some degree by the fermentation process. Many of these foods are potent sources of antioxidants.

The proposed benefits of probiotics include:

  • Improved digestive health
  • Improved urinary and genital health
  • Improved immune function
  • Improved nutrient bioavailability
  • Improved management of atopic allergies
  • Improved synthesis of vitamins (niacin, folic acid, biotin, and vitamin B6)
  • Decreased lactose intolerance
  • Decreased blood cholesterol

Regulating these foods is becoming a tricky undertaking as the lines blur between food and supplement. It also is important to note that many of the herbs and raw products used in these foods can interact with medications. Many experts warn that pregnant women, people diagnosed with yeast or bacterial overgrowth, the elderly, children, and people with compromised immune function should not consume homemade fermented foods.

Convenience Keeps Me Happy & Sane!

As of January 2017,  I get clothes shipped to me in a box every month. I have food delivered weekly to my house, in a box. My daughter and I subscribe to a fitness box that we get quarterly. My youngest gets a craft delivered monthly, in a box. And as of yesterday,  I started a subscription service through Target that ships those pesky household items that I am forever running out of to my house, in a box!

I have to say that I don’t feel bad about my box habit but actually more deliberate and organized with all of these shipments. Each of these items in some way makes our lives a little less crazy, slightly more manageable and way more fun.

I specifically love the meal delivery service. I started using Plated in May of 2016. This was life altering 🙂 I dreaded going to the grocery store. My family is not helpful when it comes to dinner ideas. So every week I would find myself wandering through the grocery store trying to decide on dinner. We seemed to eat the same things over and over. Also my crew does not do well with left overs so I found myself throwing away a lot of food.  I stumbled upon Plated and fell in love. Plated is one of many meal delivery services on the market.  I no longer have to grocery shop for meals!!!!! Plated sends me everything (literally everything) I need to make a meal. Since May we have not eaten the same meal twice. We have gotten to try lots of new foods and everything tastes fantastic.

With two kids in sports, our evenings can be very busy. Knowing that I have all the ingredients in the fridge for meals makes dinner so much simpler.

Pre-portioned meal service has made me enjoy cooking again. I personally didn’t dread the cooking, I disliked the prep that went into having all of the ingredients in my house! These services also encourage families to use fresh produce that they may have been skipping. The portions are reasonable and the calories appropriate.

I encourage you to give a meal delivery service a try! Check out this segment on KDSK

 

 

National Breakfast Month

September is National Breakfast Month. Breakfast affects our waistlines more than you may think. Eating breakfast has been shown to reduce the number of calories that we consume each day !

One food that I encourage you to add to breakfast is the avocado. I love using Hass Avocados in my breakfasts because they’re a nutrient-dense, plant based food full of good fats, fiber, and folate.  Avocados contain naturally good monounsaturated fat and are cholesterol free. Naturally good fats are an important part of a balanced diet.  The good fats also help promote satiety.

Avocados are great for everyone but they’re especially important for babies and pregnant moms as they contain so many critical nutrients.  In fact a Paper published by Nutrients Journal names avocados as an optimal first food for babies due to nutrient density, texture/consistency and their neutral flavor profile.

Here are some great recipes using this nutrition powerhouse:

BABY FOOD AVOCADO CHICKEN PUREE RECIPE

SWEET POTATO AND AVOCADO BABY FOOD MASH UP RECIPE

Baked Egg in Avocado Nest

GRILLED AVOCADO WITH FRUIT SALSA RECIPE

Caprese Avocado Toast

Rock The Lunch Box

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School is back and one of the biggest struggles in my house is the school lunch!!! Forget about homework and crazy schedules, lunch is our tipping point. Yes, the struggle is real.I have joined forces with a campaign called  Rock The Lunch Box. It is an online resource for parents…Yeah!

The folks at Annie’s, Applegate, Honest Kids and Rudi’s Organic Bakery created Rock the Lunch Box to provide lunch packing inspiration and make building a better lunchbox easier. I will take any help that I can get.

Rock the Lunch Box is an online resource where parents can sign up to receive coupons from the brands they trust and search for rocking lunch ideas their kids will look forward to eating.

Have a picky eater? In need of nut free, gluten free, or vegetarian ideas? Visit their website at rockthelunchbox.com and search by category!

 From now until September 30th, Rock the Lunch Box is holding a sweepstakes where winners will receive a “Month of Lunches” prize pack that includes lunch-packing supplies and products from Annie’s, Applegate, Rudi’s Organic Bakery, and Honest Kids!

  • To enter the “Month of Lunches” Sweepstakes and for official sweepstakes rules, visit rockthelunchbox.com!

Here are some of the products that I used in my lunch creations:

Annie’s Homegrown Snacks

  • Organic Granola Bars
  • Cheddar Bunnies

 Applegate Natural Deli Meats

  • Natural Roasted Turkey Breast- 12g of protein per serving; Free of antibiotics and chemical nitrites
  • Natural Black Forest Ham

 Honest Kids Juice Drinks

  • Berry Berry Good Lemonade- Certified Organic and Non-GMO
  • Super Fruit Punch

Rudi’s Organic Bakery

  • Kid’s Soft Wheat- New! 9g of whole grains per serving
  • Kid’s Soft White
  • Multigrain Wrap

 

Master The Grill

 

Simple Steps for Safer Grilling

Cooking meat at a high temperature – like grilling – create a substance called heterocyclic amines (HCAs). These substances are carcinogens, with the potential to cause changes in DNA that may lead to cancer. There is not yet enough evidence to know for certain that grilling meat specifically increases risk for cancers. But that shouldn’t preclude backyard chefs from taking a few simple precautions.

1. Marinate: Studies have suggested that marinating your meat before grilling can decrease the formation of HCAs by 96%. Scientists theorize that the antioxidants in these marinades block HCAs from forming.

  1. A marinade usually contains acidic ingredients, like lemon juice or vinegar that break down proteins and work as liquid tenderizers. They also add flavor to meat and help keep everything moist. They’re especially good on dry pieces of meat, like chicken breast.
    1. Here is a great chicken marinade

2. Lower Temps: Grilling at a slightly lower temperatures is enough to reduce HCA formation. Trimming the fat off your meat can also reduce flare-ups and charring.

3. Cut it up: Cutting meat into smaller portions and mixing in veggies can help shorten cooking time.AICR recommends limiting red meat to 18 ounces of cooked meat per week and saving hot dogs or other processed meats (bacon, sausages, etc.) for special occasions.

4. Go Green: Grilling vegetables and fruits produces no HCAs — and diets high in plant foods are associated with lower cancer risk.

Creative Summertime Grilling!

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Grilling is a summer time staple, but this season I want you to get creative at the grill and try something new.

Georgia Peaches:

  • Georgia peaches are the quintessential summertime fruit, they are available now through August only! Locally you can find them at Schnucks. Peaches are very versatile; they can be used in a pie or prepared on the grilled.
  • When grilling peaches you want to cut them in half, remove the pit and place directly on the grates. The natural occurring sugar helps caramelize the bring out all of the flavor.
  • Grilled Fish Tacos with Fresh Peach Salsa

Grilled Vegetables

  • A great way to keep the house cool this summer is to grill your vegetables.
  • A Vegetable Basket is a great Father’s Day Gift
    • slice veggies in a uniform size
    • Coat vegetables in oil
    • Season with salt or pepper or your favorite seasoning mix

Tofu

  • Make sure you use extra firm tofu.
  • Dry it well
  • Use a thicker sauce, like your favorite BBQ sauce
  • Oil your grill
  • Place tofu on indirect heat

Games, Practices & Summer Exploration

Sports Mom Essentials

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Here are some tips to keep in mind to help your young athlete’s body reach its full potential:

1. When we’re talking physical activity we can’t overlook the importance of carbohydrates. They literally equal energy and a great convenient source of carbohydrates are both enriched and whole grain wheat foods.
2. Wheat foods do more than just provide energy for glycogen depleted muscles. They also provide B-vitamins to keep your metabolism going, and iron which is used to transfer oxygen to hard working muscles.

3. These foods will help your kids recover between games and practices, Plus, they are always “good-to-go” and make a great portable pre or post game snack or meal. These snacks do not have to be complicated!! If you are looking for some great snack ideas check out The Wheat Foods Council for recipes!

Examples:
1.Granola-recipe http://nationalfestivalofbreads.com/recipes/crunchy-granola
2. Apple, Nut Butter and Granola
3. Grilled Cheese Roll-Ups
4. Yogurt Parfaits
5. Cheese and Crackers
6. Bagel & Nut Butter

There is a new product on the market that I am excited about called BodyArmour. Finally there is a natural sports drink that does not contain artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners!!! BodyArmour is packed with potassium, coconut water and vitamins. It comes in 8 flavors and can be found everywhere including QT and Schnucks.

This is a drink that can be given to kids and adults during and after physical activity to help recover and rehydrate.

Road Trips and Snacks…

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Today on Show Me St. Louis, we thought through how to plan for a road trip. Snacks are a must pack when hitting the road, but what should you pack….

Healthy snacks = nutrition. A lot of our snacks just don’t provide any nutrition, they are basically empty calories.  When picking snacks try to pair two food groups. I like to pair a protein with a carbohydrate. This match provides us nutrition from two different sources and it also will make us feel satisfied thanks to the protein.

Here is a  list of favorite snacks!

I brought some portable snacks with me today to Show Me. St. Louis. I borrowed some very clever ideas from Pinterest.

These ideas make me think about upcoming softball tournaments or soccer road trips!

PS

Today is National Registered Dietitian Day #RDNday

Secret Ingredient!

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It is the last day of National Heart Month. Today’s show on Show Me St.Louis is a reminder to be kind to your heart. We can do this by lowering the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol that we consume from foods.

Today’s secret ingredient is tofu!

There’s still some tofu confusion out there: is it good for me? What is it? Well, it’s time for a tofu revolution! Tofu is made with soybeans, and eating 25 grams of soy protein a day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. That’s not just me saying that, it’s an FDA approved claim.

Tofu is a great protein source and it’s low in saturated fat, cholesterol free, and it’s a complete protein meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids.

I like working with House Foods Organic Tofu. Not only is it organic, but it’s made from U.S.-grown soybeans that are GMO-free!

Tofu is very versatile and really takes on the flavors of what it’s cooked with. Soft tofu is great for blended recipes like smoothies and firmer can stand up to grilling. Tofu is more than just stir-fry so today I’ve brought Strawberry Sunshine Tofu Smoothie, Ginger Spiced Tofu Cupcakes, and Tofu Mayonnaise.

Some Quick and Healthy Meals for the New Year!

Trying some new foods and fun recipes in 2016!

  • There is a new yogurt in the dairy aisle,  Plenti Oatmeal Meets Greek Yogurt.  It’s oatmeal and refrigerated Greek yogurt combined. It provides 16 grams of whole grain and 11 grams of protein. This is a great product to make part of your breakfast. Pair it with a fruit and you will be satisfied till lunch!
  • Have you heard of ZOODLES? These are noodles made from zucchini. Over the summer I bought a spiralizer from Sur La Table and went to town make pretty ribbons from everything! My kids especially loved the spiraled cucumbers with zesty Italian dressing and red onion. I recently found a recipe that used zucchini noodles with a spicy peanut sauce, it was amazing! You can always mix the zucchini noodles with lo men noodles if you are skeptical 🙂
  • I admit I have avoided the cauliflower rage. Cauliflower is now transforming into pizza crust and tater tots, it just seemed too much for me. Well, I decided to attempt the cauliflower sauce which has been described as an amazing low calorie alfredo sauce. I found a simple recipe and to my surprise loved the end result. Yes you can tell it is made from cauliflower, but I was amazed how flavorful it was on pasta. Try this for a quick lower calorie dinner!