Boring Breakfast Solution #8

Don’t suffer from a boring breakfast one more morning, or worse yet, skip it all together. This week I made my own Apple Pie Yogurt and guess what…it took less than 3 minutes. It is low in sugar, full of protein and quick. Here is the recipe:

Apple Pie Yogurt

recipe by eatlivefit.net

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 apple, cored and sliced into 1 inch chunks
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 cup of plain greek yogurt

Place apple in microwave safe dish and heat for 1 minute until soft but still crunchy. If you like your apple pie filling very soft add 20 second increments to cooking until soft enough. Sprinkle with dash of cinnamon while still hot. Top with 1 cup of Greek yogurt, and serve.

Is it Added Sugar?

I gotta say, I feel slightly badly about posting this incredibly yummy picture of chocolate at the beginning here. It makes my mouth water just looking at it. Here is why I put it here, as a reminder that it nutrition is mind over taste buds:

Making you aware of the recent trends in the food industry has always been a priority of mine, especially when you may think they are a positive change that will help you with good nutrition. So the question here is: Does substituting the white pulp of the cocoa bean count as added sugar in your diet?

The following is an article from That Sugar Film Website, that discusses the positive and negatives of this new trend.

“As awareness around limiting added and free sugar intake increases, food manufacturers are innovating and testing alternatives to provide (what they believe to be) a better, yet still sweetly satisfying, option for consumers to delight in.

Nestlé has recently announced it will be using the white pulp of the cocoa pod — the fleshy part that surrounds the cocoa seeds or beans — in place of “refined sugar” in some confectionery products.

Sounds great, right?

Before we start reaching for these pulp-sweetened chocolates, let’s clear up the confusion around the term “refined sugars”. 

In recent years, this term has been commonly used to differentiate between highly processed sugars, such as white table sugar, from those sugars or sweeteners some consider “healthier”, such as rice malt syrup or coconut sugar. 

But to the body, freely available sugar will still be treated and processed as sugar. Sure, there are better versions than others, but let’s not trick ourselves into believing that because a sugar or syrup is considered less refined, we can glug back a tonne of it. 

So, the removal of some “refined sugar” in a piece of Nestlé confectionery is irrelevant. It is what they replace it with we need to consider.

To our understanding, the cocoa pulp being used in place of stock standard sugar is processed into a dried fruit sugar product and maybe classified as free sugar.

This is because the powder is not an intrinsic sugar, the type of sugar found incorporated within the structure of intact or whole fruit and vegetables, or sugars from milk.Intrinsic sugars we are not concerned with (we absolutely endorse eating whole veg and fruit); it is the added and free sugars we need to keep an eye out for.

The original cocoa pulp, which contains intrinsic sugar, is dried and made into a powdered sugar alternative via a patented technique. It this processing that sees the sugars fall under the definition of free sugars, which includes those originally and naturally present in fruit and veg but processed into a powder, juice, concentrate, purees, and extruded veg and fruit products.2

Nestlé has stated that by using the powdered pulp, overall sugar content is reduced by 40%. That is a plus, along with claims Nestlé is using the cocoa pulp, among other initiatives across their food manufacturing processes, in an attempt to reduce food waste.

This is great from an environmental and business perspective as currently, a fair proportion of the pulp is wasted in the chocolate-making process. 

But this doesn’t make the chocolate they make a ‘health food’ at the end of the day, and if you are going to have some, such products should be treated as a once-in-a-while food.  And as with all other free and added sugars, consumption should still be limited to 6 teaspoons (25g) per day.”

Article By Angela Johnson (BHSc Nut. Med)

Boring Breakfast Solution #7:

I am always looking for new products that support healthy, clean eating. I realize that sometimes that means options that are in the processed food isles. Here are the latest items added to my local store that, with a little tweaking, are great breakfast ideas:

I tell clients all the time that as we demand better products, the industry will respond. This cereal is an affordable way to get a balance of fruit, fiber and protein with limited sugar. To make it a powerhouse breakfast, add a handful of your favorite nuts and/or fresh berries and serve with milk or plain yogurt. Now you have boosted the protein content and it keep you fuller longer.

This is a great one for Sunday mornings with the family. These pancakes only require eggs and milk/water. They are also low in sugar and bake up fluffy and light. Add berries or sliced banana and a smear of peanut butter and you have a balanced meal.

Foods to Ease Anxiety

Did you know that some foods will help ease anxiety and encourage “feel good” hormones in your brain (ie. serotonin)? With the hectic, busy lives we live these days, it is helpful to know what foods help you reduce anxiety and support your immune system for your best health.

Here’s a list:

Walnuts – high heart healthy fats, magnesium and Omega 3s

Oatmeal – a regular serving actually changes brain chemistry and activates serotonin. Also helps combat pain and bring on calm feelings. Not to mention the bonus of fiber since it is a complex carbohydrate.

Bananas – this fruit improves the transportation of tryptophan into the brain to be converted to serotonin

Salmon – Not only full of Omega 3s, but is rich in tryptophan (a precursor to serotonin)

Spinach – Nutrient dense powerhouse. A mood booster rich in magnesium, a natural way to relieve tension and relax muscles

Chia Seeds – touted as a tryptophan powerhouse. These little seeds help boost mood and promote restful sleep. Easy to sprinkle on salads, add to smoothies, and to garnish meats.

Perhaps some of these were a surprise to you, or perhaps you knew them all. Oatmeal was the one that I didn’t expect because I always focus on eating it for it’s fiber content. Find ways to include these in your daily eating and you will reap the benefits of less anxiety and a healthier body.

source: The Trails Mix July 2019 issue 146

Servin’ the side dish: Asparagus

This post is aimed at giving you new ideas to make vegetables interesting and tasty again. Whether it be for kids or your significant other, Asparagus is worth a second look. Here’s why:

a 1/2 cup serving delivers folate, vitamin C and iron. Plus 1/2 days worth of Vitamin K, which helps absorb Vitamin C.

Here are some ways to mix it up using asparagus:

  • Steam until bright green and slightly crispy. Overcooking them makes them limp and bland green, much less tasty.
  • Chop spears into bite sized pieces and add to a stir fry or fried rice recipe
  • Dredge spears in flour, dip into beaten egg, then roll in breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden. Or throw coated spears in your air fryer until golden brown.
  • Cut spears and cook in microwave for 3 minutes until slightly tender, then toss with rice or pasta, sprinkle with butter and shredded cheese.
  • Include lightly steamed asparagus with greek yogurt dip as a veggie tray snack for events or while doing homework/work before dinner.

resource: 7 Foods Your Kid Doesn’t Like (yet), Parenting Magazine, May 2019 modified by eatlivefit.net