Fruits & Veggies Month - blueberries, lettuce, strawberries

September is Fruits & Vegetables Month!

Fruits and vegetables are important for a well-balanced and healthy diet. They contain key vitamins and minerals that your body needs to be able to function properly.

According to the CDC, only 1 out of 10 adults get enough fruits and vegetables every day. That means that most people are missing out on the essential nutrients and fiber that these foods can provide. The CDC also stated that 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in United States are from chronic diseases and by consuming a diet that has higher amounts of fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of developing these diseases. Some of those diseases include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and obesity.

Each color of a fruit or vegetable tells a lot about what that produce item contains. All fruits and vegetables contain many nutrients, but the color gives a hint of the key nutrients. Make sure to try and eat as many different colors as possible to ensure you are getting enough of all of the nutrients that your body needs. Below is a quick summary of what each color means for fruits and vegetables.

Rainbow Produce Benefits

Red – contains Vitamins A & C, manganese and antioxidants.
Aides in heart health.
Foods: tomatoes, red peppers, beets, red apples, red potatoes, grapefruit, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon

Orange – contains Vitamins C, A & B6, potassium, folate and antioxidants.
Aides in eye health.
Foods: carrots, orange peppers, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, oranges, peaches

Yellow – contains Vitamins C, A & B6, potassium, folate and antioxidants.
Aides the immune system health.
Foods: yellow peppers, squash, bananas, cantaloupe, pineapple

Green – Contains Vitamin K, B vitamins, folate, potassium and antioxidants. Aides in strong bones and teeth.
Foods: broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, green peppers, dark leafy greens, peas, green beans, zucchini, avocados, kiwi, green apples, pears

Blue & Purple – Contains B vitamins and antioxidants.
Aides in memory.
Foods: eggplant, red onions, purple cabbage, purple potatoes, blueberries, blackberries, plums

White – Contains Vitamins C & K, folate, potassium and antioxidants.
Aides in immune system health, and healthy eye, skin, bones.
Foods: cauliflower, garlic, jicama, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, turnips, potatoes, rutabagas 

Wellness - exercise, nutrition, balance

It’s National Wellness Month!

Wellness is a term that can encompass things such as mediation, exercise, making time for friends and family, or just your general lifestyle. Whether you are just starting your wellness journey, or you are trying to refine some aspects, everyone can improve parts of their life to live a healthier and more fulfilling life. One important aspect of wellness is nutrition; the things you eat today will not only affect your overall life now but also help improve your quality of life in the future. Here are some key features of a healthy diet.

  • Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables: set a goal to include at least one fruit or vegetable into each meal and snack.
  • Remember to eat high fiber foods: high fiber foods are whole grains, many fruits and vegetables, beans and split peas.
  • Limit the number of sugary beverages and foods: exchange sodas, sweet tea and other high calorie drinks for water, unsweet tea, and low calories drinks.
  • Go for the whole grain options: whole grain options include cereals, pasta, bread, brown rice, oatmeal and popcorn.
  • Make sure you are getting enough calcium and vitamin D.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation.
  • Slow down while eating, the faster you eat the more calories you tend to consume.
  • Make sure you are consuming enough water.
  • Remember to exercise- start with small changes, like taking the stairs, park your car at the end of the parking lot, take a daily walk or do simple exercises during commercials while watching TV (try sit ups, jumping jacks or lunges).

A consistent, healthy diet rarely happens overnight so try to incorporate small changes at a time and continue to add them to achieve an overall healthier lifestyle. Wellness is about making yourself feel the absolute best and by improving your diet, you will begin to feel better.  It can help reduce chronic disease risk for your future.

Stress prevention through nutrition and exercise

Managing Stress with Nutrition

Everyone has some kind of stress in their life, whether that be with your relationships, careers, finances or just day to day tasks that need to be completed. During these times of stress, it may feel nice for a moment to reach for the candy, TV remote or even alcohol but all of these are temporary escapes. To truly manage your stress in a healthy way, it takes a change in your lifestyle. A good diet is key to reducing stress and feeling better in your body.

 According to Harvard Health Publishing, short term stress can actually slow or stop your appetite, this is caused by your brain releasing corticotrophin hormone and your kidneys releasing epinephrine. The opposite is true if the stress is long term; if the stress persists, then your adrenal glands release cortisol which can increase your appetite. Research has shown that people tend to go for the more fatty and sugary foods during this time because of the perceived effects that these “comfort foods” have on them. Along with a poor diet during times of stress, many other factors may play a part in increased weight gain such as loss of sleep, less exercise and more consumption of alcohol. Along with the preexisting stress that is causing all of this to happen, these factors can also add to the stress that a person is dealing with and then a bad cycle forms. To reduce the impacts of stress, it is important to learn how to deal with stress.

6 helpful tips that can help you manage stress and keep it from getting out of control:

  • Eat and exercise regularly
  • Get healthy fats, such as from flaxseeds, walnuts and fish oils.
  • Eat your vegetables
  • Add high fiber foods such as oatmeal, nuts, beans, fruits and vegetables.
  • Try to get more sleep instead of drinking caffeine
  • Buy healthier snacks in case you do feel like stress eating

Along with these healthy lifestyle tips, these foods have been shown to help reduce stress:

  • Vitamin C such as oranges and other citrus fruits have been shown to lower cortisol levels.
  • Complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables have been shown to help increase serotonin levels and stabilize blood pressure.
  • Magnesium such as spinach, leafy greens, salmon and soybeans can help improve sleep quality.
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids such as fatty fish (salmon and tuna), nuts and seeds (flaxseeds, pistachios, walnuts, and almonds) can help reduce stress hormones.
  • Herbal teas have been shown to have calming effects and decrease stress inducing insomnia, anxiety and anger.

A healthy balanced diet is the first step in trying to manage your crazy stressful life because what you put into your body effects how it functions and how you feel. A healthy lifestyle can not only help you manage your stress but also live a fuller happier life.

Sources

https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/how-stress-can-make-us-overeat

https://exploreim.ucla.edu/nutrition/eat-right-drink-well-stress-less-stress-reducing-foods-herbal-supplements-and-teas/

https://campushealth.unc.edu/health-topics/nutrition/nutrition-and-stress

Paleo vs. Keto

Keto vs. Paleo: What’s the Difference?

Sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill

When it comes to paleo vs. keto diets, the details and differences between the two can at first seem confusing. 

Overall, the paleo diet tends to emphasize whole foods and eliminate grains, legumes and processed foods. The keto, or ketogenic, diet tends to be more calculated in the way it handles the adjustment of carbs, proteins and fats (with a big emphasis on the fats).

Let’s take a closer look at the keto vs. paleo diet and see which plan is right for you!

Basics of the Paleo Diet

Keto vs. Paleo: What's the Difference? | Bob's Red Mill Blog

Sometimes referred to as the “caveman diet,” paleo eaters avoid legumes, sugar, dairy, processed foods and grains. Instead, they enjoy grass-fed meat, vegetables, seafood, eggs, fruit, nuts (like almonds), almond and olive oil, coconut and tubers. They believe that following a pre-agriculture diet helps with increased energy and weight loss. Get in with the hunter-gatherers that came before us and thrive.

At Bob’s Red Mill, we have a whole line of paleo-friendly foods, like Paleo Style Muesli, Paleo Baking Mix, Almond and Coconut Flours, seeds and more. 

Paleo Recipes

From brownies to energy bites, here are a handful of our favorite paleo Bob’s Red Mill recipes. 

Paleo Brownies 

These Paleo Brownies are rich, fudgy, moist and delicious! They’re made with just eight ingredients: honey, unsweetened chocolate, coconut oil, vanilla extract, eggs, cocoa powder, salt and our Paleo Baking Flour. This brilliant multi-purpose flour is a wonderfully unique blend of almond flour, arrowroot starch, coconut flour and tapioca flour. These ingredients are combined in perfect proportions, which makes it ideal for grain free baking and cooking. Not only can you use it to create delectable brownies, but it’s also good for grain free pizza, flatbread, crackers, cookies, muffins, cakes and pancakes. 

Paleo Muffins

If you’re looking for a tasty paleo breakfast, these Paleo Muffins are the way to go! They’re made with Paleo Baking Flour and burst with flavors of lemon and blueberry. We love that they’re so easily customizable. You can mix in anything like fruits, nuts, seeds and dark chocolate. This particular recipe makes 12 muffins, so you can double it and keep them on hand for the week ahead. If you’d like a little extra paleo-friendly protein, consider a dollop of almond butter on top and a smoothie on the side.

Cassava Pasta

Keto vs. Paleo: What's the Difference? | Bob's Red Mill Blog

Cassava flour is an excellent choice for paleo pasta! If you’re intrigued by the idea and looking to experiment, try this Cassava Pasta recipe from Bob’s Red Mill. The pasta itself is made from our Cassava Flour, egg and turmeric, though there’s also an option for an egg-free version of the pasta. The end result is tender with a mild flavor due to the flour. If love the taste of the flour, you can use it to bread meat and seafood, too, or even use it to replace the breadcrumbs in meatballs and veggie burgers. 

Paleo Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Escape to the tropics with this Paleo Pineapple Upside Down Cake. It’s paleo, vegan and a beautiful addition to gatherings of all sorts. After the pineapple slices and maraschino cherries have been arranged to your liking, pour the batter over the fruit and let it bake. Once it cools, you can top it with whipped cream or coconut cream or fresh fruit. Pair this cake with some tropical tea and tropical tunes and melt into the ultimate mode of relaxation!

Paleo Cashew Vanilla Energy Bites

These Paleo Cashew Vanilla Energy Bites from Kelly of Tasting Page are a great snack when you’re on-the-go. Whip up a batch and pop them in your mouth before or after the gym, on your way to work or in between breaks at school. There are lots of variations for paleo energy bites, but the flavor of these ones is just delicious! With just organic cashews, unsweetened coconut, dates, vanilla, coconut oil and our Vanilla Protein Powder Nutritional Booster, you’ll be good to go for the afternoon ahead!

Basics of the Keto Diet

Keto vs. Paleo: What's the Difference? | Bob's Red Mill Blog

When it comes to keto vs. paleo diet, the keto diet is low in carbohydrates and rich in fat. Also known as the ketogenic diet, this diet has become known as a popular potential way to lose weight.

Although it’s similar to the paleo diet, the keto diet is known for its high intake in fat content and moderate intake in protein content. Paleo, in contrast, is known to be high in protein and moderate in fat. 

Keto Recipes

If it’s something keto-inspired you’re searching for, try one of these delightful recipes below!

Allspice Keto Muffins

These Allspice Keto Muffins from The Keto Diet by Leanne Vogel are chock full of nutritious ingredients. They’re filled with ingredients like almond flour, flax seeds, coconut oil and raw walnut pieces. One of the main differences you’ll notice in keto vs. paleo is that keto encourages alternative sweeteners, like the confectioners’ style Erythritol that’s used in this particular recipe. Slather some coconut oil on top to give these muffins an additional boost of fat and enjoy! 

Avocado Lime Smoothie 

Keto vs. Paleo: What's the Difference? | Bob's Red Mill Blog

This Avocado Lime Smoothie was developed by superfood chef Julie Morris and features the flavors of creamy avocado and bright lime. Not only does it taste great, but it’s entirely gorgeous and vibrant, too! Simply add Protein & Fiber Nutritional Booster to your blender alongside avocado, baby spinach, lime juice, fresh mint leaves, coconut water and ice, then sit back and sip!

BBQ Chicken Pizza

It’s true, you can still eat pizza even when you’re trying out a new diet or lifestyle! At Bob’s Red Mill, we love pizza and we think it’s so fun to experiment with different crusts and flavors. This BBQ Chicken Pizza is made with a paleo pizza crust created from our Paleo Baking Flour. Topped with barbecue sauce (make sure it’s keto friendly), creamy cashew sauce, red onion and cilantro, this pizza is perfect for a quick and easy lunch or dinner. It’s a good one to make for a gathering where some folks are keto or paleo and some aren’t, as you can customize the crust to fit your taste!

Coconut Crusted Mahi Mahi

Seafood is a large component of both the paleo and keto diet. This Coconut Crusted Mahi Mahi is gluten free, lactose free, soy free and high in fiber. The beautiful mahi-mahi fillets are crusted with our Organic Coconut Flour, Shredded Coconut, minced ginger, sea salt, garlic powder and lime. Honey is also incorporated, though if you’d prefer to leave out the sweetener, you can omit that. Pair this fish with a side of leafy green sautéed in coconut oil for an extratropical flavor. 

Blackberry Vanilla Protein Pops

If you thought you weren’t allowed to have popsicles while following a diet, think again! These Blackberry Vanilla Protein Pops are ideal for warm-weather days spent in the sunshine. They’re made with fresh blackberries, lemon zest, hep milk and Vanilla Protein Powder Nutritional Booster. The recipe calls for agave nectar but again, you can keep out that sweetener to stay more closely in line with a strict keto diet. 

Pumpkin Seed Butter

Keto vs. Paleo: What's the Difference? | Bob's Red Mill Blog

Whether you’re throwing them into your salads or making your own butter, seeds are a fantastic addition to the keto diet. This Pumpkin Seed Butter calls for just two ingredients (pumpkin seeds and salt) and is so easy to whip up. You can keep it in the fridge and let it come to room temperature before your snack attack arises. Spread it across celery sticks and top it unsweetened dried cherries to stay in line with all things keto. 

When it comes to paleo vs. ketogenic diet, the main differences are the contrasts of fats to proteins. Keto tends to be higher in fat, whereas paleo tends to be higher in protein. 

Of course, as with any diet or lifestyle change, so much of it is up to how it makes you, the eater, feel! At Bob’s Red Mill, we love the idea of moderation and incorporating whole ingredients that make you feel good from the inside out.

After all, is there anything more blissful than a slice of chocolate cake or a Saturday morning donut? The real beauty lies within the fact that foods are so easily customizable! Your cake can be made paleo and your donut can be made keto.

The options truly are endless and for that, we’re thankful!

From all of us at Bob’s Red Mill, thank you for reading!

Recipes with fruits and vegetables

Balanced Meals with Libby’s® Fruits & Vegetables

What exactly is a balanced meal? There are so many factors that help define a meal – there are seasonal, cultural and holiday considerations and occasions, time of day differences, dietary preferences, allergy restrictions, and more. Even the size and frequency of your meals is up for personal interpretation.

While what you prefer for breakfast during the work week is going to be different than what you eat at a family holiday party, both are considered meals, and there are ways to create a something nutritious and balanced in both scenarios.

There are two, fairly easy questions you can ask yourself when making a meal:

    What is my source of protein?

    What is my source of carbohydrates?

These two questions will help you balance out your meal to make sure you are getting enough of the right nutrients. The best part? These two questions work for gut-checking what you’re preparing at any time and for any occasion.

Here is why you should focus on your sources of protein and carbohydrates:

Protein is needed for growth, repair, and maintenance.  This includes muscle tissues, bones, nails, hair, skin, blood, and cartilage. Food sources: Meat, fish, seafood, beans, eggs, nuts, soy.

Carbohydrates provide your body with fuel for energy.  The fiber from carbs promotes good digestion, blood sugar decrease, and heart health benefits. Food sources: Potatoes, rice, bread, vegetables, fruits, sugar.

Libby’s® Canned Fruit & Vegetables are a source of carbohydrates that can provide your body some of the nutrients it needs. You can easily open a can of Libby’s® fruits or vegetables, add a protein of your choice, and just like that you have an easy balanced meal covering your nutrition basics.

Below are some recipes showing you how Libby’s® can be incorporated into a balanced meal.

http://www.getbacktothetable.com/index.php/recipes/sweet-and-spicy-grilled-jerk-chicken

http://www.getbacktothetable.com/recipes/easy-vegetable-beef-soup

http://www.getbacktothetable.com/recipes/skillet-chicken-pot-pie-pasta

For more recipe ideas and inspiration, check out Libby’s® Recipe Box and Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

Sponsored by Libby’s & Seneca Foods

Traditional Medicinals Tea info for wellness

11 Plants for Wellness

Those mints offered at the end of your meal have a story to tell. They’re modern day descendants of the peppermint plant, also known as Mentha x piperita. In the past, it was widely known that peppermint aided digestion.

When did people start using manufactured products more than home remedies? It wasn’t that long ago. Most of our great-grandparents relied almost entirely on plant allies for wellness.

Some people, thankfully, never forgot the power of the plants. In 1974, Traditional Medicinals was founded with a goal to pass along centuries-old herbal wisdom and a vision for the rebirth of herbalism in North America. Forty-five years later, the company is still passionate about connecting people with plants through high-quality herbal products formulated by herbalists.

Here are 11 plants Traditional Medicinals love, all of which are easy to use at home to support health and wellness:

Click here to learn more.

Sponsored by Traditional Medicinals.

20 Ways to Enjoy More Fruits and Vegetables

Building a healthy plate is easy when you make half your plate fruits and vegetables. It’s also a great way to add color, flavor and texture plus vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. Make 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables your daily goal. Try the following tips to enjoy more fruits and vegetables every day.

1. Variety abounds when using vegetables as pizza topping. Try broccoli, spinach, green peppers,tomatoes, mushrooms and zucchini.

2. Mix up a breakfast smoothie made with low-fat milk, frozen strawberries and a banana.

3. Make a veggie wrap with roasted vegetables and low-fat cheese rolled in a whole-wheat tortilla.

4. Try crunchy vegetables instead of chips with your favorite low-fat salad dressing for dipping.

5. Grill colorful vegetable kabobs packed with tomatoes, green and red peppers, mushrooms and onions.

6. Add color to salads with baby carrots,grape tomatoes, spinach leaves or mandarin oranges.*

7. Keep cut vegetables handy for mid-afternoon snacks, side dishes, lunch box additions or a quick nibble while waiting for dinner.Ready-to-eat favorites: red, green or yellow peppers, broccoli or cauliflower florets,carrots, celery sticks, cucumbers, snap peas or whole radishes.

8. Place colorful fruit where everyone can easily grab something for a snack-on-the-run. Keep a bowl of fresh, just ripe whole fruit in the center of your kitchen or dining table.

9. Get saucy with fruit. Puree apples, berries,peaches or pears in a blender for a thick,sweet sauce on grilled or broiled seafood or poultry, or on pancakes, French toast or waffles.

10. Stuff an omelet with vegetables. Turn any omelet into a hearty meal with broccoli,squash, carrots, peppers, tomatoes or onions with low-fat sharp cheddar cheese.

11. “Sandwich” in fruits and vegetables. Add pizzazz to sandwiches with sliced pineapple,apple, peppers, cucumber and tomato as fillings.

12. Wake up to fruit. Make a habit of adding fruit to your morning oatmeal, ready-to-eat cereal, yogurt or toaster waffle.

13. Top a baked potato with beans and salsa or broccoli and low-fat cheese.

14. Microwave a cup of vegetable soup as a snack or with a sandwich for lunch.

15. Add grated, shredded or chopped vegetables such as zucchini, spinach and carrots to lasagna, meat loaf, mashed potatoes, pasta sauce and rice dishes.

16. Make fruit your dessert: Slice a banana lengthwise and top with a scoop of low-fat frozen yogurt. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of chopped nuts.

17. Stock your freezer with frozen vegetables to steam or stir-fry for a quick side dish.

18. Make your main dish a salad of dark, leafy greens and other colorful vegetables. Add chickpeas or edamame (fresh soybeans).Top with low-fat dressing.*

19. Fruit on the grill: Make kabobs with pineapple, peaches and banana. Grill on low heat until fruit is hot and slightly golden.

20. Dip: Whole wheat pita wedges in hummus,baked tortilla chips in salsa, strawberries or apple slices in low-fat yogurt, or graham crackers in applesauce.

*See “Smart Tips to Build a Healthy Salad” at www.eatright.org/nutritiontipsheets for more tips on creating healthy salads.

Authored by Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics staff registered dietitian nutritionists.