Exercise and childhood obesity

I ran across PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) years ago trying to find some help outside of pharmaceuticals for my migraines.  I’ve been following them on a more or less regular basis since and have learned quite a bit from reading their materials. This started with their Natural Approach to Migraines.  If you suffer from migraines, give it a read.

Yesterday, they posted a blurb about a study on exercise. Exercise is healthy (can anyone dispute that?), but it is not a determining factor in how much a child weighs. Socioeconomic status was relevant. While the study was done on 3-6 year olds, I cannot help but make the personal connection to the food we find in too many school cafeterias. However, just a little research shows that students throw better food choices away – something I personally saw in my last school when more fruits and veggies were placed on plates. So what is the answer?

Juicing my fruits and veggies

Bella JuicerI jumped into the world of juicing last week. I’d been reading about juicing. It kept cropping up periodically in my journey from vegetarian to vegan. But at the beginning, just concentrating on eating whole plant foods was enough. What really made me want to take the plunge, however, was watching Joe Cross’s movie, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. What a change juicing made in his life.

Ron and I headed out on a juicer hunt. We ended up with the Bella pictured to the side. I didn’t want to get an expensive one in case I didn’t like it, but I didn’t want to get one that was so cheap that it fell apart in the first week or worse – didn’t make quality juice.

I drank juice for breakfast and took three to work with me in mason jars for snacks and lunch. Most of my dinners were spinach salads. One night we splurged and I ate a grilled vegetable sandwich on rye with a side of fruit salad.

What I’m trying to decide is if I like juicing better than blending. The blender is much easier to clean up and there is much less waste than with the juicer. Blending keeps all the parts of the food and seems more filling, but the taste of the juice is oh so wonderful (absolutely wonderful!).

Oriental Pasta

I made this one up as I went, but it turned out to be really good.

  • 13.25 oz 100% whole grain penne
  • large floret of broccoli chopped – I steamed this
  • 1 small container button mushrooms halved
  • 1 can of mandarin oranges
  • 1 large bunch scallions chopped
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 small lime juiced
  • 1 jar oriental salad dressing. (I used the one pictured below but I found one at Harris Teeter when I ran in after dinner called HT Organics Miso Ginger. It cost less and had fewer calories per serving.

I put everything in a large bowl, tossed and chilled. I served it with a salad, and there are plenty of leftovers

oriental pasta
Ginger Dressig

MSG is in what?

no_msg_signI knew MSG was no good for us, but I didn’t know that it not only contributes to obesity, but it is in all kinds of products. I did a search on MSG induced obesity. This link is a couple of years old, but I love the charts. Make sure you look at the mice made obese by MSG injections! Ick!

MSG causes obesity and you won’t believe where it is hiding!

Back to basics – Greek Yogurt

Periodically, I need to re-evaluate what I eat due to my migraines. I can’t believe the junk I let slip in EVEN when I know it will hurt eventually, but I do.

I do much better on a gluten-free, processed food free diet. This time when I was honing my knowledge-set, I came across Greek yogurt.

From the About Yogurt site:

Why should  consumers choose yogurt with live and active cultures?

Researchers around the world are studying the potential attributes of live and active culture yogurt in preventing gastrointestinal infections, boosting the body’s immune system, fighting certain types of cancer and preventing osteoporosis. More research must be done to establish a definitive link between live and active culture yogurt and these health effects, but the results to date are encouraging.

Additionally, the live and active cultures found in yogurt break down lactose in milk. This allows lactose intolerant individuals who commonly experience gastrointestinal discomfort when they consume milk products to eat yogurt and receive the nutrients contained in the milk product without the side effects of abdominal cramping, bloating and diarrhea.

To make sure you are getting the benefit of the live cultures, find a yogurt with this seal:

So I’ve tried a few brands and my favorite so far is Fage 2%. It’s very thick and tasty. I’ve also been using it to make salad dressings.

Greek yogurt doesn’t even look too terribly hard to make. May give it a try after the holidays.

Jalapeño Cilantro Hummus

Wow! This is some good stuff. I got mine at Whole Foods today, but here is a recipe that looks about right:

Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus
CDKitchen http://www.cdkitchen.com
Serves/Makes: 2 cups    |   Difficulty Level: 3    |   Ready In: < 30 minutes

Ingredients:
2 cloves garlic
2 (15 ounce) cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced

Directions:
Place garlic in a food processor and process until minced, about 10 seconds. Add beans, lime juice and salt. Process into a puree. With the processor running, slowly add olive oil in a steady stream through the feed tube. Process until mixture thickens, about 1-2 minutes. Add cilantro and jalapeno and pulse throughout, about 10 seconds. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Recipe Location: http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/139/Cilantro_Jalapeno_Hummus43042.shtml
Recipe ID: 10582

Click on the picture for another one:

hummus.jpg