Health & Food

Biggest Loser Review and Nutrition Tidbit; Flaxseeds

This post is dedicated to our dear friend Jillian Michael’s, who was recently sued for selling a “weight loss supplement” that apparently doesn’t work. You’re kidding?? Way to go Jillian! I mean I knew you were backing a lot of completely ridiculous products, but this one takes the cake (oh wait, we aren’t allowed to eat cake…sorry…we’re just supposed to work our butts off, eat 500 calories a day, and take a weight loss supplement…RIGHT!).

Ok, I’m finished.

Biggest Loser ReviewBiggest Loser Review and Nutrition Tidbit; Flaxseeds 2Likes

  • Bob’s conversation with Koli.He was really motivational and reassuring. I do really like bob. I don’t think he’s extremely sexy, like some of you do
  • Did you do the lunges during the commercial break?I did! I actually barely got a workout on Tuesday (remember the Tweets?) so it was something I actually enjoyed. They should do that more often (actually I already do it sometimes, and I learned some great tips for commercial workouts from Jess at Fit Chick in the City)
  • Did you ever use one of those slides with the booties, to workout?I was about 11 years old when those were popular. I remember my cousin had one and I used to “pretend” to use it (she was 15, so a bit more coordinated that I was!). I bet the contestant had some serious lactic acid buildup from doing that. It was a fun childhood flashback.
  • I think this show could be really useful for those who are trying to lose weight.Not because you necessarily learn a lot, but because it’s a look into just how difficult it is to lose weight. These people clearly work extremely hard, and some lose only 4 pounds in a week (which doesn’t seem like a whole lot considering their 6 hour daily workouts!) These days people expect miracles, but four pounds is about as much of a miracle as anyone will see in 1 week, without being incredibly dangerous. I hope people walk away from this show with motivation and more realistic expectations when it comes to losing weight.
  • Melissa was super mature.And, maybe she wasn’t lying after all? Or do you think it was the traveling that caused her to gain the weight? I know I get a little constipated (the only time, ever) when I travel. Sorry. Graphic.
  • The one-on-one challenge at the end.Fantastic idea! After I Tivo’d through the weigh-in, that was a nice little twist.


  • Eat like an Olympian? Yeah right! They didn’t eat like Olympians. Olympian’s aren’t trying to lose weight. They eat from “1600-8000 calories”, Adam said. The Biggest Loser contestants eat much less than that. Liars!
  • Adam was a “nutritionist”. Did you know that technically means nothing?? Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist! He probably had a degree of some sort in nutrition, but he wasn’t an RD. I’m not saying he didn’t know his stuff (clearly they wouldn’t hire an idiot to help teach the Olympians about nutrition) but I wish they would have used an RD.
  • The meal for the speed skater was full of simple carbohydrates, and no fruits or vegetables. Plus, no lean meat. The weight lifter’s meal was packed with fruits and vegetables. That doesn’t seem right. It’s not like a speed skater needs less vitamins and minerals, and it’s not like speed skaters shouldn’t be eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Wrong message to send.
  • Why don’t they ever show the conestants eating during the day? The contestants make comments like, “Colorado was like a vacation, sometimes I didn’t eat what I should have.” Why don’t they show that? People need to see reality, and this show needs to start giving suggestions for things like eating healthy while on vacation! This was a perfect opportunity, and they bombed.
  • When the girl (name??) was eying the spinning dessert showcase, and Bob said “I’d much rather you have a 5 calorie piece of Extra sugar free gum”. LOL, ummm…no thanks! There are so many alternative, and better options for a low calorie treat! What a joke.

Nutrition Tidbit
FlaxseedBiggest Loser Review and Nutrition Tidbit; Flaxseeds 3What are the benefits of flaxseed?

– Flaxseed oil provides a good source of the essential fatty acid Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA; an Omega-3 precursor to the EPA and DHA found in fish oil). Ground flaxseed is best because the hard outer shell of flaxseeds have been shown to ineffectively break down in the body, therefore making it more difficult to absorb the Omega-3 found in the flaxseed oil.

– 2 T ground flaxseed provides about 2 grams of soluble fiber, and about 3.6 grams of insoluble fiber.

– Flaxseed contain lignans, which are phytonutrients that have been shown to have cancer protection properties.

What does research suggest?

While flaxseed contains many beneficial properties, research has only supported the efficacy of the claim that they may help relieve constipation (thanks to the high fiber content). Studies supporting the efficacy of the claim that flaxseeds may be able to improve blood lipids are mixed. Currently there are not enough studies supporting their use for cancer prevention, and reduced risk of heart disease and stroke .

Bottom Line: Despite the lack of appropriate evidence for the use of flaxseeds for several of its purported benefits, it’s still a healthy food that would make a great addition to a well-balanced diet. Foods like flaxseed may be especially important for vegetarians and vegans, who don’t eat fish or take fish oil, and who must rely on ALA for their EPA and DHA intake. Additionally, 1 T of ground flaxseed, or 1 tsp. of flaxseed oil, can provide you with the Adequate Intake of ALA for the day, which is 1.1 grams for women, and 1.6 grams for men. Other sources of ALA includes walnuts, fortified products (like my Smart Balance peanut butter!), soybeans, and canola oil.

Coming Up

Tomorrow Nick and I are celebrating Valentine’s day! We can’t do it on Sunday because he works, so tomorrow will have to do. He’s making steak and lobster (umm, I’m scared…) so I’ll be sure to post a recap on Sunday! Tomorrow I will be posting the winner of my “random giveaway” then on Saturday I’ll post my new list of favorite supplements (not including Jillian’s weight loss supplement) and sweeteners.

Health & Food

Gina’s “Superfoods” (Last 5 of 10)

I enjoyed reading everyone’s own list of whole grain and fruit/vegetable “superfoods”! I realize I didn’t put any fruits on my list, likely because I just don’t eat much fruit. Of the fruits I do eat, frozen blueberries and blackberries are my favorite. Apples used to be my favorite, until I realized they cause me to get bloated, so sad

Today’s list consists of my favorite sources of dairy, fat, and a sweet indulgences (starting with one more vegetable!):

6) Spaghetti Squash

When you can’t eat wheat, foods like this are just what the doctor ordered. Heck, even if I could eat wheat I would still eat this daily! It’s a non-starchy vegetable (right Sophia??) that is the perfect replacement for pasta (well, maybe not perfect, but close). While it doesn’t provide as much protein as pasta, nor does it provide the phytonutrients found in whole grain pasta, it is lower in calories, and provides more vitamins and minerals.Gina’s "Superfoods" (Last 5 of 10) 5 7) Kefir

Come on, who doesn’t like fermented milk products?! haha. Yeah, if you’re anything like my boyfriend, Nick, you’ll despise this stuff. I love it. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you, try Lifeway Kefir, it’s just as good. I like to buy the plain variety and add Truvia and unsweetened cocoa powder. This is how I get my daily dose of probiotics (although I don’t really think the amount I consume provides me with the appropriate amount for clinical purposes). It also contains inulin (a prebiotic that is the food for the probiotics), vitamin D, 11 grams of protein, and of course calcium.

8) Greek yogurt

I don’t necessarily prefer Oikos, in fact I think Chobani is the creamiest. I like to eat Greek yogurt right before bed, after my popcorn. The casein in Greek yogurt is a “slow protein”, which means it’s absorbed slowly and studies have shown it continuously provides the muscles with energy to repair and rebuild through the night. Of course it’s also good to eat on top of soup, tacos, or potatoes as a replacement for sour cream.

9) Peanut butter!

Seriously, do I have to explain? When I was anorexic I didn’t eat peanut butter. Three years of my life, three years worth of peanut butter consumption, down the drain. What the heck?! Yeah it’s got a lot of fat, but it’s healthy fat, and when eaten in moderation (which in my opinion is about 4 T per day, and depends on how much other fat you are consuming) it’s just fine! The Smart Balance brand has flaxseed oil in it for added Omega-3.Gina’s "Superfoods" (Last 5 of 10) 610) Lindt’s 85% dark chocolate

Another one of my favorite night time snacks. I eat 2 squares of this stuff every night. Since it’s 85% cacao, I’m fairly certain this dark chocolate is providing me with a decent amount of polyphenols (a phytonutrient that may benefit the heart). When it comes to dark chocolate, don’t be fooled, as their is no legal definition of dark chocolate so companies can write it on their labels either way. One taste of this stuff (Lindt’s 85%) and it’s pretty clear that it is actually dark chocolate, and not just chocolate that has been made darker…..Isn’t it great what food companies can make you believe?!Gina’s "Superfoods" (Last 5 of 10) 7Question: What are your top five favorite sources of dairy, healthy fat, and sweet indulgences?

Coming Up

Tomorrow I will be posting my Biggest Loser review (did you watch?!) and also a “Nutrition Tidbit” regarding flaxseed. On Friday, or later next week, I will provide my list of favorite supplements and sweeteners. Now I’m off to finish the Bachelor. We stopped half way through on Monday because we were both really tired. I can’t believe we managed to wait this long to finish!!

Thanks for reading, and have a great night/day!

Health & Food

Gina’s “Superfoods” (First 5 of 10)

When I first started blogging, one of the first posts I wrote was focused on my “must have foods”, which included frozen vegetables, avocado, SOYJOY, and tuna! It’s no wonder no one commented on that post, what a random list. I do still eat those foods, but they are no longer part of my “must have foods”. Here is my new list, which I now call my “Superfoods”:

1) Quinoa

It’s easy to prepare, full of high quality protein, gluten and wheat free, and of course very tasty. I add this to soups, use it as a side, or eat it with sauteed vegetables. Quite honestly, the possibilities are endless when it comes to this whole grain.Gina’s "Superfoods" (First 5 of 10) 92) Steel Cut Oats OR Oat Bran
I never thought I would turn into a hot cereal girl, but now I’m hooked. These two products have between 5-6 grams of protein, and 4-6 grams of fiber, per serving. They are both whole grains, which means they also contain healthy phytonutrients.

3) Popcorn
Indeed Julie, I did include popcorn! This is my g0-to nighttime snack, on most days of the week. I like to add garlic, a bit of salt, and sometimes cinnamon (thanks to Julie’s suggestion). Three cups of popcorn is one serving of whole grain (you should get between 3 and 6 servings of whole grains per day, depending on your dietary needs). Popcorn is also a good source of fiber, with 3 grams per 3 cups.Gina’s "Superfoods" (First 5 of 10) 104) Sweet potatoes

I still can’t believe I used to only eat these in the form of fries (which, of course, is a wonderful form, it just gets old after a while). After reading the posts by Abby for quite some time, and reading about the goodness of a simple sweet potato, eaten whole, and not made into chips or fries, I found myself hooked. Now I literally keep cooked sweet potatoes in my fridge so I can just grab and eat one on the run. I even like them cold!

1 medium sweet potato has about 100 calories, 4 grams of fiber, 37% DV vitamin C, and over 400% beta carotene (antioxidant)Gina’s "Superfoods" (First 5 of 10) 115) Kale
Originally I bought kale to make into “cooked kale”, with canned tomatoes and garlic (a lovely side dish), but now I like to switch it up and make kale chips on occasion.
1 cup of kale, on average, provides 40 calories, 3 grams fiber, 2 grams protein, over 350% DV vitamin A (in the form of beta carotene), and about 85% DV vitamin C. But most importantly, it doesn’t give me gas, yeah!Gina’s "Superfoods" (First 5 of 10) 12Question: These are my top five fruits/veggies and whole grains, what are some of yours?

Coming up

Tomorrow I’ll finish my list, obviously I won’t leave you hanging. For now, I’m off to watch the Biggest Loser! Nick better not lose in poker again tonight, because if he does I’m making him watch it with me. Muahaha

Thanks for reading everyone, and have a great night/day!

Entrees (Vegetarian)

Veggie Omelet and Nutrition Tidbit; Chia Seeds

Thanks for all of your fantastic comments about my issue with the “NOT SO HEALTHY” section in the grocery store. You all made such great points and some of you gave me a good laugh  Ironically I found this article today online, which focused on the same exact issue!!

I’ve been on a roll lately with my recipes for my 2010 cookbook. I’m now on to number 10. This means I’m right on target with my new year’s resolution of two new recipes a week!

Quick, Healthy, and Cheap Recipe #10
Veggie Omelet

2 eggs
1/4 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup spinach
1 t oil (for the pan)
2 T plain Greek yogurt
1 T cheddar cheese
Dash of salt and pepper

Possible Modifications

  • Use egg beaters
  • Use any non-starchy vegetable, in place of spinach
  • Use 1% milk, soy milk, rice milk or almond milk
  • Add any kind of cheese
  • Use light sour cream
  • Use butter to grease the pan, instead of oil


Crack the eggs into a small bowl. Add the milk, salt, and pepper. Use a whisk to beat the eggs and milk until blended. Add oil to the skillet and turn on the heat to low/medium.

Heat the skillet for about 30 seconds. Add the egg and milk mixture to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until eggs are “set but still shiny”. Add the spinach on top of the eggs in a single layer, then fold the omelet in half. Cook for another 30-60 seconds.

Take out of pan, place on a plate, and add a dollop of Greek yogurt and the cheddar cheese.Veggie Omelet and Nutrition Tidbit; Chia Seeds 14
Check out those layers of spinach! I served this on top of some quinoa.Veggie Omelet and Nutrition Tidbit; Chia Seeds 15

Rate: 9.5 out of 10
I love eggs. Period. Nick doesn’t like anything in his eggs, other than cheese and Red Hot, so he didn’t try this amazing creation.

** I used Omega-3 enriched eggs for extra healthy fats!**

Nutrition Tidbit
Chia Seeds

What are they? Chia seeds come from the Salvia hispanica plant, which happens to be a member of the mint family.

Origin: It is believed that Chia seeds originated in Central America, where the seeds were a staple of the Aztec diet (I actually remember writing a report about the Aztecs when I was in 3rd grade! I don’t remember Chia seeds though…haha).

How do you eat them?: You can eat them raw, or add them to a variety of dishes, such as bread, biscuits, other baked goods, oatmeal, oat bran, or smoothies!

Why have they become popular?: Chia seeds have recently gained attention from health enthusiasts due to their high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids (in the form of ALA, a precursor to the EPA and DHA found in fish oils). They also contain protein, fiber, minerals, and antioxidants.

Research: Studies have shown that including chia seeds as part of a healthy diet may help improve heart disease risk factors, such as lowering cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure. However, there really aren’t many high-quality studies that have been done, and most studies have used either animal or a very small number of participants.

Bottom Line: If you like chia seeds, fantastic! Enjoy them as a part of your healthy diet. Don’t go out of your way to “try to like them” or to incorporate them into your diet as much as possible, as there are other foods with similar benefits, and which actually have reliable and valid research to back up their benefits.


  • Giveaway alert! If you want a chance to win a yogurt maker, baking pans, or a steamer, click the link here.
  • I posted new information about saturated fat on our Imagination To Burn
  • Don’t forget my own “Random Giveaway”, which ends on Friday. Check it out 

Coming Up

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing my new “must-have foods”. No, they will not all revolve around the FODMAPS diet, these will be foods that everyone can enjoy.

Thanks for reading, and have a great night/day!

Health & Food

Big City, Small Kitchen

I’m excited to be a guest blogger on The Candid RD. Gina is one of my dearest friends. Not only did we go to high school together, but we lived together in college. One of the best things about living with a Dietetics major? I got to taste test all of her creations.Big City, Small Kitchen 17For me, one of the biggest challenges living in New York is to not eat out all of the time. There are so many good restaurants and everyone delivers, but that’s certainly not the most healthy or economical way to eat. Another disadvantage of living in New York City — I don’t get to see my favorite RD very often, but she continues to inspire me with her blog.

Here are two great recipes: Butternut Squash and Duxelles Casserole and Tempeh Meatloaf. Both recipes came from “Vegetarian Times”. Even though I’m not a vegetarian I love this magazine! It’s a great resource for healthy recipes and they always feature vegetables that are in season.

Butternut Squash and Duxelles* Casserole

*Duxelle is a paste of finely chopped mushrooms and shallots – who knew?


8 oz. Fresh mushrooms (I used white button)

2 shallots, coarsely chopped (1/4 cup)

1 ½ tsp. Butter

1 Tbs. Finely chopped parsley

¼ tsp. Ground black pepper

1 cup 1% low-fat milk

2 Tbs. All purpose flour

1 clove garlic, minced

¾ cup shredded Gruyere cheese (3 oz.), divided

¼ tsp. Nutmeg

1 (2.5 lb) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/8 inch slices


  1. In food processor, pulse mushrooms 20 times or until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl. Place shallots in food processor and pulse 20 times or until finely chopped. Transfer to same bowl.
  2. Melt butter in skillet. Add mushrooms and shallots. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and stir in parsley and pepper.Big City, Small Kitchen 18
  3. Preheat oven to 350 and coat baking dish with cooking spray.
  4. Bring milk, flour and garlic to a simmer in saucepan. Whisk constantly. Cook for 2 minutes or until sauce is thick enough to coat the pack of a spoon, whisking frequently. Whisk in 1/2 cup of cheese and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Spread 1/3 of squash in prepared dish. Top with 1/3 cup cheese sauce and 1/2 mushroom mixture. Repeat layers ending with cheese sauce. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Bake 45 minutes or until squash is tender and top is brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.Big City, Small Kitchen 19

Big City, Small Kitchen 20Nutritional Facts per 1 cup serving: 134 cal.; 7 g protein; 5 g total fat (3 g sat fat); 19 g carb; 15 mg chol; 60 mg sod; 3 g fiber; 5 g sugars


This dish was amazing! It’s not hard to make, but there was a lot of prep. I’ll admit, I enlisted some help from my roommate, Kate, who made the Duxelle while I hacked away at the squash. Next time I make this dish, I’ll make sure to do all of my chopping before I begin.

Tempeh-Oatmeal Meatloaf


2 cups old-fashioned oats, divided

2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp), divided

1 bay leaf

1 small onion, chopped ( 1 cup)

1 Tbs. herbes de Provence

1 15-oz. Can chopped tomatoes

1 8-oz. Pkg. Tempeh

¾ tsp. vinegar

1/4 tsp. sugar

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 cups prepared marinara sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat large loaf pan with olive oil cooking spray. Bring 1/2 cup oats, 1 tsp. garlic, bay leaf, and 1 cup water to a boil in saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 10 minutes or until oatmeal is thick, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, remove bay leaf and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 3-5 minutes or until translucent. Add Herbs de Provence and remaining 1 tsp. garlic and sauté 1 minute more. Add chopped tomatoes and juice. Crumble tempeh into mixture and stir in vinegar and sugar. Season with salt and pepper.Big City, Small Kitchen 21
  3. Transfer tempeh mixture to food processor, add cooked oatmeal, and blend until combined. Add remaining 1 1/2 cup of oats and baking powder and pulse until combined.4. Spread oat mixture in prepared loaf pan. Spray top with olive oil cooking spray and pour marinara sauce over top. Bake 50 minutes to 1 hour or until top begins to brown.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 289 cal; 14 g protein; 10g total fat (2g sat fat); 38g carb; 1mg chol; 449 mg sod; 6g fiber; 10g sugars.


I really liked this recipe, but there was something missing, and I think it was a texture issue. I might add celery next time to give it a nice crunch, and although I’m not a big salt user, this could have definitely used a little more, but I never know how much to add when it says ‘to taste’! Finally, I’d make sure to get a nice and tasty prepared marinara sauce, it makes a difference.

Health & Food

Biggest Loser Review and Easy Veggie Polenta

I hope everyone had a nice Thursday. Tonight Nick and I are going to attempt to apply for a loan via a website my uncle (a realtor) suggested. I hope it goes well. I’m slightly nervous.

Look, I’ve finally posted another recipe for my 2010 cookbook!

Healthy and Simple Recipe #8
Spinach Polenta

2 cups skim milk
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups spinach

** Cornmeal isn’t necessarily the healthiest food, but it’s really no different than enriched wheat flour. I need to get my folate and starch fix from somewhere! **
Biggest Loser Review and Easy Veggie Polenta 23Possible Modifications

  • Use any type of milk (Almond, soy, 2%)
  • Use any kind of cheese (parmesan, Swiss, American)
  • Use any non-starchy vegetable you wish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch square baking dish. In a large saucepan, combine the milk and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Once it has reached the stage of a rolling boil, gradually add in the yellow cornmeal and use a whisk to mix. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and mix continuously until thick (between 3 and 5 minutes). Remove from the heat and let sit for about a minute. Then add the spinach and the cheese and mix them in. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes.

The finished product should have a nice, slightly baked top, and a smooth and creamy center!Biggest Loser Review and Easy Veggie Polenta 24I served mine with some spaghetti sauce on the bottom.Biggest Loser Review and Easy Veggie Polenta 25Biggest Loser Review and Easy Veggie Polenta 26The recipe makes 8 medium sized servings.
The nutrition facts are for 1 serving.Biggest Loser Review and Easy Veggie Polenta 27** Add some veggies on the side for more fiber!! **

Rate: 9 out of 10
Cornmeal is one of the few “flour-like substances” I can eat! This was so rich and creamy and it satisfied my starchy craving.

Nick: 7.5 out of 10
He felt it was just a tad better than “ok”. He liked his with extra sauce!

Biggest Loser ReviewBiggest Loser Review and Easy Veggie Polenta 28Likes
The two teams came back at the beginning and I loved the twist they did by giving the winning team immunity and the right to the only vote!

Loved the pre-workout snack suggestion. Smoothies are a great option, especially in the morning when you need an extra kick.

Jillian really worked on Ashley and got her to be upfront and honest with herself, and to let out her emotions about the loss of her father. I think that will help her later down the road.

Bob’s Yoga session. Great idea. I’m a fan. Why don’t they do that more often? Some of these contestants are so high strung and stressed out, yoga should be a part of every one of their workout sessions.

Bob told Melissa she gained back his respect because she finally lost weight last time. umm..she had no choice! If she would have only lost 1 pound again, they would have a) called her a liar again, or b) made her get tested for a metabolic disorder of some kind. She had to lose that weight, I still don’t really respect her.

I guess I liked that they did the demo with the chili and the lean turkey, but what’s wrong with lean ground beef? They just had to promote Jenni-O. And they didn’t include any information about the beans! Beans are so good for you and they missed the opportunity to share that knowledge with the world.

They had to plug the Yoplait smoothie. Lame. Why would I pay more for prepackaged frozen fruit and yogurt, when I can just get those ingredients separately, and make my own personalized smoothie, for less money??

Coming Up

This weekend Nick’s friend from California is in town, so we’ll be going out tomorrow night, and having some fun! Other than that I have a lot of work to do for the new business, and of course a lot of grocery shopping to tackle. Tomorrow you can look forward to a guest post by one of my best friends, Amanda, who lives in New York City. She’ll be posting her recipe for tempeh meatloaf.

Breads and Muffins

Wheat Free Vs. Gluten Free

Nick came home super early from poker last night (he lost, big time) and therefore I was unable to watch The Biggest Loser. Stay tuned for a full review soon, but if you want one now, check out Angie’s Blog, she is an RD and did a review very similar to mine.

Wheat Free Vs. Gluten-freeWheat Free Vs. Gluten Free 30

I get this question a lot; “What’s the difference between gluten-free and wheat-free?”

Here is the definition of gluten, from Wikipedia:
Gluten is a composite of the proteins gliadin and glutenin. These exist, conjoined with starch, in the endosperms of some grass-related grains, notably wheat, rye, and barley. Gliadin and glutenin comprise about 80% of the protein contained in wheat seed. Being insoluble in water, they can be purified by washing away the associated starch.

If food is “gluten-free”, it doesn’t contain wheat, barley, or rye (and sometimes oats) but if a food is “wheat-free” it could still contain gluten from of rye, oats, or barley. People with Celiac Disease stay away from wheat because it contains gluten, which is a protein. I need to stay away from wheat because of its high fructose content. Fructose is not a protein, it’s a monosaccharide (sugar). I have no problems with gluten (well, I still need to be tested) therefore I can consume barley, oats, and rye. When I consume foods that are high in fructose, it will bypass my small intestine and get fermented by bacteria in my large intestine. This fermentation causes gas and bloating (no fun).

A lesson in molecular biology: Sugar, or sucrose, is a disaccharide that is 50% fructose and 50% glucose. I can eat sucrose because of the equal amount of glucose aids in the absorption of an equal amount of fructose. When one molecule of glucose gets absorbed, it can take along with it one molecule of fructose. Therefore there is no problem. High-fructose corn syrup (which I normally don’t try to avoid, as it’s not any worse for you than regular sugar. Everything in moderation, right?!) has a bit more fructose (~55%), therefore I will may absorb it because of the lack of enough glucose to help absorb the extra fructose (~45% glucose).

Celiac disease is actually an auto-immune disease, unlike fructose intolerance. When someone with Celiac disease consumes gluten their body will react by increasing the inflammation in their small intestine (as a way to “fight the offender”). The villi in the small intestine, which normally aids in the absorption of nutrients, will shorten or flatten, thus will be unable to aid in the absorption of nutrients. Learn more about Celiac Disease here.

Another reader showed me this website, with fructose-friendly recipes. I will be using this site in the future. Check it out if you’re interested.

Coming Up

Tomorrow I will post my Biggest Loser Review, then on Friday my friend from high school (who currently lives in New York City) will be posting her recipe for tempeh meatloaf!

Our business has a great blog on which I recently started posting. Click here to view the post about the “fiber” found in your yogurt and sweeteners. Click here for my most recent post about sugar, and the latest recommendations.

Thanks for reading, and have a great evening/day!

Health & Food

Tuna Patty, Made the Wrong Way

In honor of my 27th birthday (tomorrow), I am taking a day off from the computer so I can pretend like I’m 10 again before the internet was invented. It’s only going to be for 24 hours, but I haven’t done that in so long. I’m seriously glued to the computer just about all day, mainly because my job requires it, and my eyes are starting to hate me. I probably won’t post again until Monday, unless I really feel like doing a post on Sunday, we’ll see how much fun I have tomorrow night (if you know what I mean…).

Check out the frozen yogurt I made last night! I used the normal recipe for vanilla ice cream (you can find it under “desserts” on my recipe list to the right) but I used about 2 T less sugar. I also added that sugar back by throwing in some granola, chocolate chips, and Reese’s Pieces!Tuna Patty, Made the Wrong Way 32

Tuna Patties

3 ounces of canned tuna
1 egg white
25 grams whole wheat crackers
1 tsp EVOO/or just PAM

** I use grams because most crackers will give the servings in grams, weirdly enough. You can just estimate, it’s not an exact science **

Possible Modifications

  • Use any type of cracker you wish
  • Use bread if you’d prefer bread over crackers
  • Add some spices. Maybe some garlic, pepper, or curry powder!
  • Use canned chicken or salmon!
  • Make the patty larger, or make more by doubling/tripling the recipe

This is an easy one. Put the crackers in a bag and crush them into pieces (no particular size, just try to make them uniform). After draining the canned tuna, and breaking it up with a fork, get a medium bowl and add to it the can of tuna and the egg white. Use a clean pair of hands (or a fork) to blend in the egg white with the tuna. Then add the crushed crackers and blend in with the tuna and egg white. Add some oil, or just PAM spray, to a skillet, and get it hot. Form the tuna mixture into a patty and cook over medium heat until both sides are slightly brown.

Final product!Tuna Patty, Made the Wrong Way 33

It looks a little prettier with the side of red peppers that I sauteed. Normally you would eat this with a bun or a couple of pieces of bread, but of course, I don’t have any wheat-free bread yet (I’ll save that story for another post).Tuna Patty, Made the Wrong Way 34

I actually had to use rice since I had zero access to wheat-free crackers or bread. I would NOT recommend using rice. The nutrition facts below are for the recipe above, which used whole wheat crackers:

Additional Benefit
~ 275 mg omega-3

My Rating: 7 out of 10
Obviously I think this would have been better had I had access to wheat-free crackers.

Nick’s Rating: HAHA!! Too funny, you think Nick would try a tuna patty?! Oh, you’re sorely mistaken.


Whenever I type “Coming Up” I imagine the guy on the Bachelor. He always says that when it goes to a commercial. Not that I watch the Bachelor…no…not me. So as I said, I’m not posting or even looking at my computer screen tomorrow (hmm, I may Tweet a couple of times…). We don’t have any outrageous plans, but I told Nick I wanted to go rock climbing. Now don’t forget, we live in Ohio. It’s not a bunch of farms like many of you might think, but they’re sure as heck aren’t many rocks to climb! That’s why we are going to a place called Vertical Adventures, which is filled with about 20 different “fake” rocks. So yeah, not as cool as the real thing, but still tons of fun. After that, we are going to a new sushi restaurant with my family. Low key, just how we like it. I did a happy hour with my mom and girlfriends last night. It was a really great time.

This may have to be my slogan for the next couple of days.

I’ll be back on Sunday or Monday. Until then, thanks for reading and have a wonderful weekend.

Soups and Chilis

Sweet Potato Soup, and an Update on Fueling for Exercise

I loved reading all of your comments on my blog yesterday. Apparently you all agreed with me about how annoying some people can be at the gym. If there is one thing you learn about me fairly soon after meeting me, it’s that I speak my mind all the time, and I’m very opinionated. This is both good quality and a bad one, as sometimes it can backfire.

Ok, now for some food!

Dinner #7 Sweet Potato Soup

Check out my soup, from scratch! I’m considering it part of Melinda’s “From Scratch Weekends” (or weekdays??).

(makes 1 serving)

1 sweet potato
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
3 ounces chicken
1/2 cup spinach
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
dash of garlic and pepper

Possible Modifications

  • Use any starchy vegetable (squash, beans, potato) as the base
  • Add any other vegetable you would like if you don’t like spinach
  • Add any protein you would like if you don’t want chicken
  • Omit some or all of the protein for a lighter, lesser calorie meal/snack (before an early workout!)
  • Use low-fat sour cream instead of Greek yogurt
  • Use beef broth or vegetarian broth
  • Use any kind of milk you want
  • Use any spices you wish!


Heat your sweet potato in the oven at 350 degrees for about an hour, or until soft enough to mash.Sweet Potato Soup, and an Update on Fueling for Exercise 36

Cut into cubes, add to blender, food processor, or Magic Bullet. Add in the broth and milk. Blend until you reach desired thickness.Sweet Potato Soup, and an Update on Fueling for Exercise 37

Dump into a small saucepan, add spinach and chicken. Heat until desired hotness is reached. Pour into bowl, add spices and dollop of Greek yogurt! Enjoy.Sweet Potato Soup, and an Update on Fueling for Exercise 38

Nutrition Facts
(For one serving)Sweet Potato Soup, and an Update on Fueling for Exercise 39
My Rating: 9 out of 10
It was super delicious, but kind of bland. Yet again, it perhaps could have used a tiny bit more salt.
Nick’s Rating: None, he hates soup. What a weirdo.

I realized I forgot to say something when I posted this information about eating before a workout:

Do you workout in the afternoon? Eat larger meals when you have at least 4 hours before workout. Use this time to incorporate some fat and fiber into your diet. Fat and fiber are both necessary in the diet but are meal components that you don’t want to eat right before a workout. So when you have plenty of time before your workout, focus on whole grains and healthy fats (vegetable oils, nuts, seeds).

** Here is what I forgot to say; your meal should be relatively high in carbohydrates, and moderate in protein. You want the carbohydrates because you need to maximize the maintenance of blood glucose. If you have plenty of time (at least four hours) the carbohydrate can be complex and contain fiber. If you don’t have much time, stick to the more simple carbohydrates, which are digested more easily. **

Coming Up

Today we are presenting our services to some more employees that work for Franklin County (the county in which I live). I have a PowerPoint presentation and I’m ready to go! Stay tuned for my next post, which will include my Biggest Loser Review. Did you watch last night?! My goodness.

Health & Food

Understanding The Whole Grain

Well, it’s another start to another week. But it’s not just any old week, it’s my birthday week!! I’m such a nerd, I’m actually excited about turning 27. Probably because I’m still 4 years younger than Nick, muahaha.

Updates since last time

– The house hunt continues. We’ve found some perfect houses, but Nick works all day on Sundays so we have yet to be inside any of them. Plus we have the small problem that I’m not full time yet, which may come to haunt us when asking for a loan.

– I have decided to post more often (maybe 4-5 times a week) but make my posts shorter. I find that I enjoy reading other blogger’s posts when they are shorter, therefore I should make posts how I like them, right? I guess I figure if I prefer shorter posts, other bloggers do too!

– We saw the movie “Doubt” on Saturday, and at first I doubted I’d like it (haha) but it ended up being a pretty great movie. Sort of somber and slow (which I normally can’t stand) but overall worth the 3 dollars we paid to rent it.

– Check out a fantastic giveaway from Kristen @EatingRD. And also check out her new blog!

Nutrition Tidbit
Whole Grains

This, my friends, is a whole grain.Understanding The Whole Grain 41

Picture Source: The Backing Association of Canada

Endosperm: Surrounds the embryo and provides nutrition in the form of starch, and contains some fat and protein.

Bran: Hard outer layer of the grain. Rich in dietary fiber (soluble mainly), protein, omegas, B vitamins, and minerals.

Germ: The reproductive part of the grain, which germinates to eventually grow into a plant. Contains essential fatty acids, vitamin E, folate, zinc, iron, magnesium, thiamin, and phosphorus.

Notice anything about the above definitions? The least nutritionally beneficial part of the whole grain is the endosperm. It just so happens that the endosperm is all that is left after grains are refined. When you see “enriched flour” or “wheat flour” or “refined flour”,
that means the company has refined the grain (taken out the bran and germ) and then added back the nutrients that were lost (called enrichment). The flour gets enriched with riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, and iron. But what about the healthy fats, the vitamin E, the magnesium, and the phosphorus? Sorry, most products won’t be enriched with those beneficial nutrients. What should you look for on labels? WHOLE GRAIN OR WHOLE WHEAT, which means it’s whole and includes the germ and bran!

Other Benefits of Whole Grains

You’ve seen more and more “fiber” popping up in stores everywhere. Sometimes even in your drinks! Read a great post by Nicole to learn more about this so-called “fiber”. Basically, the “fiber” in many of these new products are isolated, not intact. WHAT?! Well to explain it in easy to understand terms, real dietary fiber is the indigestible (“intact”) portion of plant foods. One of the problems with all this “nonintact fiber” being added to foods, in my opinion, is that people will resort to these products (yogurts, ice creams, juices, sweeteners) for their fiber, rather than whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. So you could drink a juice, or eat a cup of yogurt, or even a pack of Splenda with “maltodextrin or inulin”, but you’re missing out on some huge benefits if that’s how you are getting most of your “fiber”. There are helpful phytonutrients/antioxidants found only in whole fruits and vegetables, and especially in whole grains, on which you will be missing out.
Phytonutrients/Antioxidants and Whole Grains

  • Studies suggest whole grain products have strong antioxidant activity
  • Studies show that on average higher in antioxidants than products from refined rice or corn ingredients.
  • Studies show whole grain breakfast cereals have been found to be equal, or higher, in antioxidants than many fruits or vegetables!
  • There are also several phytonutrients found in whole grains, which have been shown to aid in healthy immune function and heart health. ***I will add to this by saying Inulin, an “isolated fiber”, also has some of these beneficial phytonutrients.**

**For more information about whole grains visit the Grain blog or the Whole Grains Council**

Coming Up

I may do a post tomorrow, or I may not. I’ve been trying to keep up with commenting on other blogs, and that’s the most difficult thing for me when it comes to writing a post every day, I get behind. So tomorrow you may see a post from me, which will include some new eats and eventually a soup made FROM SCRATCH! Melinda is doing “From Scratch Weekends”, but I turned it into “From Scratch Weekdays” haha.