Tag Archives: sweet potatoes

Natural Alternatives to Potentially Dangerous Artificial Food Dyes

The Food and Drug Administration determined many years ago that there was no definitive link between artificial food colorings and health problems in children or adults. However, it recently decided to review the evidence and consider possible policy changes that include placing warning labels on food containing the artificial colorings.

Dr. Jeffrey A. Morrison, MD, author of Cleanse Your Body, Clear Your Mind has studied the links between toxins and chemicals in our food and environment to health and behavior. He advises his patients to avoid all artificial colorings and food dyes whenever possible.

“Artificial food colorings and dyes have been used for many years but only recently have they been under investigation with the FDA,” Morrison said. “In particular, red dyes have been known to cause hyperactivity and gastrointestinal discomfort in children and adults.”

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Use Low-Fat Bacon for a Healthier Heart

Did you ever think that you could eat bacon and still take good care of your heart? Well, not all bacon is synonymous with the artery-clogging saturated fat that so many of us avoid in our regular diets. Bacon is a well-enjoyed protein that, in moderation, can be part of a balanced diet.

If you enjoy the taste of bacon but are watching your fat intake, don’t eat it morning, noon and night. Incorporate lower-fat center cut bacon (look for a brand such as Oscar Meyer that touts 30% less fat than the leading bacon) into your favorite healthy recipes, such as this hearty skillet dish with robust flavors and seasonal vegetables.

The best part? A little bit goes a long way – and you won’t even miss the extra calories.

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We Love Alexia Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

As if keeping your dinner entrees interesting wasn’t task enough, what about the side dishes? It’s easy to fall in to a culinary rut, no matter how much you do or don’t like cooking. Personally, I love cooking. I don’t think it’s stressful to make dinner, I actually enjoy it. And while a lot of people like taking short-cuts, like buying pre-chopped vegetables or pre-shredded cheese, I enjoy taking on each of those steps in the preparation. But like everyone else, I too seem to serve the same roasted veggies and salad all. the. time.

When I stumbled upon the Alexia food products in my grocer’s natural food section, I hemmed and hawed over whether to even buy them. I bypassed everything that I know I could easily make myself, and took home a bag of the Alexia Spicy Sweet Potato Fries. Why? Because 1) side dishes get monotonous at my house and we needed something new, and 2) I’ve yet to conquer the sweet potato fry. Mine come out limp, wilty and nothing more than a chunk of mushy sweet potato. (more…)

Winter Soup Swaps and Additions To Maximize Nutrition

Especially this time of year when Old Man Winter is in full force, there’s nothing I love more than a bowl of soup as a meal. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or even a snack, soup is filling (hello Volumetrics!) and you can pack so much nutrition into a single bowl. Not to mention that soup is pretty fool-proof one-pot dish to make, and usually keeps well as leftovers.

Over the years, I’ve found that no matter what soup recipe you’re following, you can almost always up the nutrition and lower the fat and sodium with a few easy swaps and additions. The best part, because all the flavors in the soup meld together, as long as you keep the proportions right, no one usually notices the healthier changes!

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Healthy Recipes for Your Hanukkah Celebrations

Hanukkah might have already started, but luckily for everyone who celebrates, there is still almost a week left. That means six more nights of lighting the menorah, spinning the dreidel and digging in to your favorite healthy Hanukkah recipes.

Apple Cinnamon Fruit Dip: Some celebrate Hanukkah with jelly donuts called sufganiyot, but if you’re trying to make it through the holiday season without sacrificing a jeans size, opt for an apple cinnamon fruit dip that will take the edge off your taste for spicy sweets.

Apricot Souffles: Some people think it’s appropriate to indulge on a holiday, but when the holiday lasts eight days, ditching your diet can be detrimental. Stick with a lighter-for-you treat, such as an apricot souffle with less than 70 calories per serving.

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Sweet Potato Ranked First in Nutrition

By the time you read this, some of you will still be munching on Thanksgiving leftovers. But I wanted to take a quick look at one of the items on most people’s holiday plates: the sweet potato. Now, most of us are going to have it with all kinds of sweet treatments such as brown sugar, butter, or marshmallow, but if you can stand just adding a wee bit of butter or butter substitute, you are not only in for a treat, but a sweet nutritional surprise.

Maybe the most amazing thing about the sweet potato is how highly regarded it is by health professionals. In fact, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) ranked the sweet potato the most nutritious vegetable of all. (more…)

Potato Primer: 4 Healthy Ways to Prep Potatoes

You know you can mash them with cream and butter. You’ve heard of au gratin – butter and cheese. But did you know that there are plenty of ways to prepare everyone’s favorite starchy vegetable without added fat and calories?

Despite their reputation as diet delinquents, potatoes can actually be a healthy side dish, especially in the winter when people tend to crave comfort and carbohydrates. Instead of letting them derail your healthy eating plans, learn how to prepare them so that they can be part of your healthy, balanced diet. (more…)

Healthy Recipes for a Perfect Thanksgiving Feast

You might be a great cook but if you serve the same Thanksgiving fare year after year, your guests are bound to start going home hungry.

Whether you’re preparing a meal from start to finish in your own kitchen or toting a side dish and dessert to a nearby gathering, it’s easy to refresh your favorite classic dishes without piling on fat and calories.

Cheese Ball
It’s tempting to snack on rich cheeses and sodium-packed crackers while you’re waiting for the turkey to finish cooking. This year, skip the mindless snacking by presenting your guests with a cheese ball flavored with herbs and spices so tasty you’ll never know that you’re eating reduced-fat cheese. (more…)

Fall Veggies for Your Healthy Thanksgiving Table

We all know of Thanksgiving as a day of gluttony. I mean, a day of giving thanks for the people we love. Yes, that’s it. But in between bouts of gratitude, there is usually a large, figure-unfriendly meal involved with the national holiday.

Thanksgiving also kicks off the winter holiday season, which can be a season of sweets, treats and indulgences. To keep yourself from ditching your diet plan on Day 1 of the holiday season, make sure there are plenty of vegetables to go around on your Thanksgiving table.

Brussels Sprouts: The tiny green orbs might have a reputation for being less than favorable, but they also deliver a sweet, nutty flavor that is hard not to like. Shred the fiber-rich veggies into a salad with apples and raisins – the sweet fruit elicits the natural flavor of the sprouts. Toss them in your favorite vinaigrette and you have one side dish ready to go without even using the oven. (more…)

One Family’s Experience: Feed Your Family for $15 a Dinner

Feeding your family both nutritiously and inexpensively can be a challenge. Are you up for one?

When I posted a link to the Whole Foods Initiative, Feed Your Family of 5 for $25, many readers suggested that the $25 threshold wasn’t that big of a challenge. Readers felt that it would be more difficult to feed either a large family with that figure or spend less money. I decided to try to do both, and went to my local grocery store with a week of dinners planned. I gave myself a budget of $75 to feed 8 people for dinner. I did not include charges for staples or spices that you should have in your house, like garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil and honey. I was surprised to see that it was not as tough of a struggle as I had anticipated.  (more…)