Can You Snack Healthy?

There are more options than you think!!

Sometimes, the whole world of snacking seems to be based on the one thing you’re supposed to limit: refined carbs. Even the “healthier” packaged items, like granola bars, smoothies, and crackers, are full of them. If you look past the vending machine, though, you’ll find plenty of other tasty options, like these smart snacks. The best part? They’re as easy to toss together as they are delicious. 

#1 Low carb snack

Apples and Cheese

  
Sweet and salty flavors add up to a great snack. Pair half a cup of apple slices with string cheese for about 10 grams of carbs. The combination of protein, fat, and fiber makes it a filling and satisfying nosh.
#2 low carb snack

Avocado on a Crisp

  
Avocados have a place in your diet outside the guacamole bowl. Mash one-quarter of a ripe avocado and spread it on two light rye crisps for a crunchy, creamy snack with 18 grams of carbs, plus plenty of fiber and heart-healthy fat. It’s like a mini open-faced sandwich.
#3 low carb snack

Yogurt and Cucumbers
  Take your yogurt in a savory direction. Use a cup of low-fat, plain Greek yogurt as a creamy dip for 1 cup of refreshing cucumber spears. It adds up to12 grams of carbs and a mega dose (20 grams) of appetite-satisfying protein. It’s like a version of the famous Greek dish, tzatziki.

#4 low carb snack

Turkey Roll-Ups

  
Deli turkey has uses beyond a sandwich filling. Lose the bread and roll up 1 ounce of sliced turkey in lettuce leaves with mustard. This light, crisp snack has about 3 grams of carbs and will get you through the afternoon.

#5 low carb snack 

Cottage Cheese With Berries

  
Cheesecake doesn’t make for a healthy snack option, but you can mimic a little of the flavor in a healthier way. Pair a cup of low-fat cottage cheese with half a cup of fresh or frozen blueberries and a little of your favorite no-calorie sweetener. The result? A dessert-like snack with 18 grams of carbs.

#6 low carb snack

Better Beef Jerky

   
Jerky has been going upscale in recent years, and there are better options now than the over-processed mystery-meat versions you’ve had before. Look for jerkies made from grass-fed beef, which have big flavor and just 10 grams of carbs per serving (about 1.5 ounces). 

#7 low carb snack

Celery and Peanut Butter

  
Remember eating this snack with your homework after school? It’s still a good idea! Fill two medium celery stalks with 2 tablespoons of natural-style peanut butter for a nibble that will take you back to your childhood, with only 9 grams of carbs.

#8 low carb snack

Hardboiled Egg With a Kick Nuts

  
Mixed nuts are an all-time snack classic for good reason. They’re just as satisfying at your desk as they are at a party. One ounce of crunchy, salty, mixed nuts will keep your energy up for hours for only 5 grams of carbs per ounce.

Hard-boiled eggs are the original grab-‘n’-go power snack. Cut one in half and spread on a little hot sauce (such as sriracha) to make it as full of flavor as it is of protein. That’s a zesty bite for less than 1 gram of carbs.

#9 low carb snack

Nuts

  
Mixed nuts are an all-time snack classic for good reason. They’re just as satisfying at your desk as they are at a party. One ounce of crunchy, salty, mixed nuts will keep your energy up for hours for only 5 grams of carbs per ounce.

#10 low carb snack
Kale Chips

  
Even kale haters come around when they taste kale chips. Some store-bought varieties have less than 10 grams of carbs. You can cut that number even further by making them at home. Tear the leaves from a bunch of kale. Rinse and dry them. Toss with 1 tablespoon of oil and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Roast them in your oven at 300 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until the kale is crispy.

#11 low carb snack

  
Edamame

Also called steamed soybeans, edamame taste great, are full of fiber and protein, and have just 8 grams of carbs in a half cup of shelled edamame. They’re easy to make in your microwave, so keep a bag in your freezer.

#12 low carb snack

Hummus and Red Bell Pepper Wedges

  
Though they’re often spotted together, hummus isn’t married to high-carb pita bread. Spread 1/4 cup of hummus onto wedges cut from one red bell pepper for a filling, tasty snack that has 16 grams of carbs.

#13 low carb snack 

  
Stuffed Tomato

Get the health benefits from tuna without all the carbs that come with your typical tuna sandwich. Pack 3 ounces of canned tuna into a ripe tomato half for a hearty snack with only 3.5 grams of carbs.

Gluten-Free Carrot Muffins

Gluten-Free Carrot Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Moist, sweet and subtly spiced, these muffins will become a new favorite.

Ingredients

2 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped 1 cup chopped pitted dates 1/2 cup chopped walnuts 1/4 cup melted virgin coconut or high-heat sunflower oil 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup 3/4 cup amaranth flour or millet flour 3/4 cup ground almond flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Method

Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or oil with natural cooking spray and set aside. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place carrots and dates in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse and then blend until finely chopped. Add walnuts and pulse to finely chop.  Transfer to a bowl; add oil, eggs and maple syrup, stir to combine completely. In a separate bowl, combine all remaining dry ingredients. Pour liquid ingredients over dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Nutrition

Per serving: 240 calories (110 from fat), 13g total fat , 1.5g saturated fat, 35mg cholesterol, 170mg sodium, 29g total carbohydrate (4g dietary fiber, 16g sugar), 6g protein

http://wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/2893   another great recipe – visit their site for more fabulous ideas.  Jax xx

Learn to Cook: Grilled Summer Vegetables

Learn to Cook: Grilled Summer Vegetables

Serves 4

When eggplant, peppers and summer squashes are in season, use a simple cooking method such as grilling to fully enjoy them and benefit from their nutrients.

Ingredients

1 green bell pepper, quartered 1 eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch-thick rounds 1 red bell pepper, quartered 1 yellow squash, cut crosswise on the bias into 1/2 inch-thick slices 1 zucchini, cut crosswise on the bias into 1/2 inch-thick slices 2 tablespoons chopped herbs, such as tarragon, thyme and/or basil 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Method

Preheat grill to high heat. Working in batches, arrange veggies on the grill and cook, flipping once, until tender and just beginning to char, 3 to 5 minutes for the zucchini and squash, 6 to 8 minutes for the peppers and eggplant. Spread out to cool slightly on a large baking sheet.
Roughly chop hot veggies into bite-size pieces and toss with herbs, vinegar, salt and pepper on a large platter. Serve warm, at room temperature or cold.

Nutrition

Per serving: 70 calories (5 from fat), 0.5g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 160mg sodium, 16g total carbohydrate (7g dietary fiber, 8g sugar), 3g protein

http://wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/2987

see whole foods market site for more fabulous recipes…. we especially like the Gluten free ideas and How To Cook entries. Enjoy Jax xx

 

Basil-Spinach Pesto

Basil-Spinach Pesto

Makes about 1 3/4 cups

This pesto features spinach in addition to the traditional basil and whole olives instead of olive oil. Enjoy it as a dip or spread or as a topping for pasta, rice or quinoa.

Ingredients

2 cups fresh basil leaves 2 cups fresh spinach leaves 1 cup pitted green olives, such as Castelvetrano 1/2 cup walnuts 1/2 cup pine nuts 2 garlic cloves 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Method

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined. Transfer to a bowl, cover and chill until ready to serve.

Nutrition

Per serving (about 1/4 cup): 140 calories (120 from fat), 14g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 170mg sodium, 4g total carbohydrate (1g dietary fiber, 1g sugar), 3g protein

Chocolate-Almond Banana Smoothie

Chocolate-Almond Banana Smoothie

Items to add:

  • 1 banana, sliced and frozen
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

 

Chocolate-Almond Banana Smoothie

Serves 1

Ripe banana and almond butter give this delicious smoothie body and a light sweetness without the addition of sugar or other refined sweetener. For a sweeter drink, you can add 3 to 4 pitted dates and blend for 1 minute. Using frozen banana makes the drink cold and extra thick, but an unfrozen banana works well too with the addition of an ice cube.

Ingredients

1 banana, sliced and frozen 1 cup unsweetened almond milk 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond butter 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Method

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and serve immediately.

Nutrition

Per serving: 280 calories (110 from fat), 13g total fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 180mg sodium, 38g total carbohydrate (7g dietary fiber, 20g sugar), 7g protein

Soy Friend Or Foe? Shocking Facts….

Are Soy Milk, Soy Protein, Tofu, and other Soybean-Based Foods Good For You? Or are They Just Making You Fat and Un-healthy?

A look into some of the possible dangers and negative effects on your health of eating too much soy — Can soy even increase belly fat? I wanted to include this article because every day I see so many people that don’t realize that soy is NOT A HEALTH FOOD! Most people have been deceived and mislead by billions of dollars of advertising that soy protein, soy milk, soybean oil, and processed soy foods are “healthy”… when the truth is that soy has many anti-nutrients and negative factors on the body that we should be concerned about. In fact, there is evidence that soy foods could possibly even INCREASE YOUR STOMACH FAT if you eat too much soy or too often. The Dark Side of Soy READ THIS IS MIGHT MAKE YOU CHANGE YOUR VIEW OF SOY PRODUCTS….

Only a few decades ago, unfermented soybean foods were considered unfit to eat – even in Asia. These days, people all over the world have been fooled into thinking that unfermented soy foods like soymilk and soy protein are somehow “health foods”. If they only knew the real truth! The soybean did not serve as a food until the discovery of fermentation techniques, some time during the Chou Dynasty. The first soy foods were fermented products like tempeh, natto, miso and soy sauce. At a later date, possibly in the 2nd century BC, Chinese scientists discovered that a puree of cooked soybeans could be precipitated with calcium sulfate or magnesium sulfate (plaster of Paris or Epsom salts) to make a smooth, pale curd – tofu or bean curd. The use of fermented and precipitated soy products soon spread to other parts of the Orient, notably Japan and Indonesia. Growth-depressant compounds are deactivated during the process of fermentation, so once the Chinese discovered how to ferment the soybean, they began to incorporate soy foods into their diets.

The Chinese NEVER ate large amounts of unfermented soy foods or soymilk

The Chinese did not eat unfermented soybeans as they did other legumes such as lentils because the soybean contains large quantities of natural toxins or “antinutrients”.

First among them are potent enzyme inhibitors that block the action of trypsin and other enzymes vital for protein digestion. These inhibitors are large, tightly folded proteins that are not completely deactivated during ordinary cooking. They can produce serious gastric distress, reduced protein digestion and chronic deficiencies in amino acid uptake. In test animals, diets high in trypsin inhibitors cause enlargement and pathological conditions of the pancreas, including cancer.

Soybeans also contain haemagglutinin, a clot-promoting substance that causes red blood cells to clump together. Trypsin inhibitors and haemagglutinin are growth inhibitors. Weaned rats fed soy containing these antinutrients fail to grow normally.

Soy also contains goitrogens – substances that depress thyroid function. Although soy has been known to suppress thyroid function for over 60 years, and although scientists have identified the goitrogenic component of soy as the so-called “beneficial isoflavones”, the industry insists that soy depresses thyroid function only in the absence of iodine. The University of Alabama at Birmingham reports a case in which consumption of a soy protein dietary supplement decreased the absorption of thyroxine. The patient had undergone thyroid surgery and needed to take thyroid hormone. Higher oral doses of thyroid hormone were needed when she consumed soy — she presumably used iodized salt so iodine intake did not prevent the goitrogenic effects of soy. A very large percentage of soy is genetically modified and it also has one of the highest percentages of contamination by pesticides of any of our foods.

Soybeans are high in phytic acid, present in the bran or hulls of all seeds. Phytic acid is a substance that can block the uptake of essential minerals – calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc – in the intestinal tract. The soybean has one of the highest phytate levels of any grain or legume that has been studied, and the phytates in soy are highly resistant to normal phytate-reducing techniques such as long, slow cooking. Only a long period of fermentation will significantly reduce the phytate content of soybeans. When precipitated soy products like tofu are consumed with meat, the mineral-blocking effects of the phytates are reduced.

The Japanese traditionally eat a small amount of tofu or miso as part of a mineral-rich fish broth, followed by a serving of meat or fish. People who substitute tofu or bean curd for meat can get severe mineral deficiencies Vegetarians who consume tofu and bean curd as a substitute for meat and dairy products risk severe mineral deficiencies. The results of calcium, magnesium and iron deficiency are well known; those of zinc are less well known, but equally as bad.

Far far more healthy is to eat pure grass fed meats, cheese, and butter all high in nutrients and protein rich. Zinc is called the intelligence mineral because it is needed for optimal development and functioning of the brain and nervous system. It plays a role in protein synthesis and collagen formation; it is involved in the blood-sugar control mechanism and thus protects against diabetes; it is needed for a healthy reproductive system. Grass fed beef is very high in this necessary nutrient, in contrast to soy.

Soy processors have worked hard to get these anti-nutrients out of the finished soy product, particularly soy protein isolate (SPI) which is the key ingredient in most soy foods that imitate meat and dairy products, including baby formulas and some brands of soy milk. Soy Protein Isolate is an Industrially Produced Food — Far from Natural or Healthy! SPI is not something you can make in your own kitchen. Production takes place in industrial factories where a slurry of soy beans is first mixed with an alkaline solution to remove fibre, then precipitated and separated using an acid wash and, finally, neutralized in an alkaline solution. Acid washing in aluminium tanks leaches high levels of aluminium into the final product. The resultant curds are spray – dried at high temperatures to produce a high-protein powder. A final indignity to the original soybean is high-temperature, high-pressure extrusion processing of soy protein isolate to produce textured vegetable protein (TVP).

Nitrites, which are potent carcinogens, are formed during spray drying, and a toxin called lysinoalanine is formed during alkaline processing. In feeding experiments, the use of SPI increased requirements for vitamins E, K, D and B12 and created deficiency symptoms of calcium, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, copper, iron and zinc. Phytic acid remaining in these soy products greatly inhibits zinc and iron absorption; test animals fed SPI develop enlarged organs, particularly the pancreas and thyroid gland, and increased deposition of fatty acids in the liver. Yet soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein (TVP) are used extensively in ready meals, convenience foods, commercial baked goods, diet beverages and fast food products. They are heavily promoted in third world countries and form the basis of many food give-away programs.

Soy Protein Isolate was once considered a waste product (before they discovered they could make money promoting it as health food!) Advances in technology make it possible to produce isolated soy protein from what was once considered a waste product – the defatted, high-protein soy chips – and then transform something that looks and smells terrible into products that can be consumed by human beings. Flavourings, preservatives, sweeteners, emulsifiers and synthetic nutrients have turned soy protein isolate, the food processors’ ugly duckling, into a new age swan. “The quickest way to gain product acceptability in the less affluent society,” said an industry spokesman, “is to have the product consumed on its own merit in a more affluent society.”

So soy is now sold to the upscale consumer, not as a cheap, poverty food but as a miracle substance that will prevent heart disease and cancer, whisk away hot flushes, build strong bones and keep us forever young. Or so they want you to believe! The appropriate government bodies have duly demonised the competition -meat, milk, cheese, butter and eggs -. Soy serves as meat and milk for a new generation of virtuous vegetarians.  In the USA the soy industry hired Norman Robert Associates, a public relations firm, to get more soy products onto school menus. The USDA responded with a proposal to scrap the 30 per cent limit for soy in school lunches. The ‘NuMenu’ program would allow unlimited use of soy in student meals. With soy added to hamburgers, tacos and lasagne, dieticians can get the total fat content below 30 per cent of calories, thereby conforming to government dictates. With the soy-enhanced food items, students are receiving better servings of nutrients and less cholesterol and fat, so says the soy industry. We now know this to be a negative, rather than positive addition to their food supply.

You’ve been deceived into thinking Soy Milk is healthy Soymilk has posted the biggest gains, soaring from $2 million in 1980 to $300 million in the US last year. Recent advances in processing have transformed the grey, thin, bitter, beany-tasting Asian beverage into a product that Western consumers will accept – one that tastes like a milkshake, but without the “guilt”… they claim. The long and demanding road to FDA approval actually took a few unexpected turns. The original petition, submitted by Protein Technology International, requested a health claim for isoflavones, the estrogen-like compounds found plentifully in soybeans, based on assertions that only soy protein that has been processed in a manner in which isoflavones are retained will result in cholesterol lowering. In 1998, the FDA made the unprecedented move of rewriting PTI’s petition, removing any reference to the phytoestrogens and substituting a claim for soy protein – a move that was in direct contradiction to the agency’s regulations. The FDA is authorized to make rulings only on substances presented by petition.

Are soy isoflavones actually toxic? The abrupt change in direction was no doubt due to the fact that a number of researchers, including scientists employed by the US Government, submitted documents indicating that isoflavones are toxic. The FDA had also received, early in 1998, the final British Government report on phyto-estrogens, which failed to find much evidence of benefit and warned against potential adverse effects. Even with the change to soy protein isolate, FDA bureaucrats engaged in the rigorous approval process were forced to deal nimbly with concerns about mineral blocking effects, enzyme inhibitors, goitrogenicity, endocrine disruption, reproductive problems and increased allergic reactions from consumption of soy products. One of the strongest letters of protest came from Dr Dan Sheehan and Dr Daniel Doerge, government researchers at the National Centre for Toxicological Research. Their pleas for warning labels were dismissed as unwarranted.

Research that ties soy to positive effects on cholesterol levels is incredibly immature, said Ronald M. Krauss, MD, head of the Molecular Medical Research Program and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He might have added that studies in which cholesterol levels were lowered through either diet or drugs have consistently resulted in a greater number of deaths in the treatment groups than in controls – deaths from stroke, cancer, intestinal disorders, accident and suicide. Cholesterol-lowering measures in the US have fuelled a $60 billion per year cholesterol-lowering industry but have not saved us from the ravages of heart disease. The health risks of soy are finally becoming known in the media The media have not only questioned the health benefits of soy but begun reporting on the risks. In July, the Israeli Health Ministry warned that babies should not receive soy formula, that children should eat soy no more than once per day to a maximum of three times per week and that adults should exercise caution because of increased risk of breast cancer and adverse effects on fertility. The Ministry based its advice upon the conclusions reached by a 13-member committee of nutritionists, oncologists, paediatricians and other specialists who spent more than year examining the evidence. They concluded that the estrogen-like plant hormones in soy can cause adverse effects on the human body and strongly urged consumers to minimize their consumption of soy foods until absolute safety has been proven. Soy has the potential to disrupt the digestive, immune and neuroendocrine systems of the human body and its role in rising rates of infertility, hypothyroidism and some types of cancer including thyroid and pancreatic cancers.

Soy is also highly allergenic.

Most experts now place soy protein among the top eight allergens of all foods, and some rate it in the top six or even top four. Allergic reactions to soy are increasingly common, ranging from mild to life threatening, and some fatalities have been reported.

People are finally starting to learn that soy is NOT a miracle health food, and more and more expert scientists are issuing warnings about soy. I hope this article has convinced you to consider reducing or eliminating your consumption of soy foods, soymilk, or soy protein.

Fermented soy such as tempeh, natto, and miso are ok on occasion and in moderation.

Interesting stuff – Eh?….