Tag Archives: nutrition

Cooking 101: 5 Do’s for Better Nutrition

Include natural, low-fat proteins  in your daily meal plan

Include natural, low-fat proteins in your daily meal plan.

Better Nutrition? Yes, what you eat can make a big difference in how you feel, repair  cells, sleep, your energy level, fight disease and a host of other things going on in your body. Two thousand years ago a Greek physician taught his students to think of food as medicine for the body.  If this is true, what can you do to ensure you are getting the right kinds and quantity of food?

Here are 5 foods often found on most lists of nutritious foods. But first, keep in mind that some foods can interfere with medications so always see your doctor for special needs. Continue reading

It’s Berry Season: Fill Your Freezer The EZ Way

You can buy berries or pick your own directly from Boxx Berry Farm.

You can buy berries or pick your own directly from Boxx Berry Farm.

Isn’t it amazing how fast strawberry season passed us by? But don’t fret because new varieties of strawberries seem to last all year. Not so with the other berries found in the Pacific Northwest. Just a year ago we gave you a primer on preserving blackberries and now is a good time to talk about those super healthy raspberries and blueberries. Continue reading

Nutrition 101: Foods That Nourish or Not

Nutrition 101: Upcoming Series of Posts by donR

Choose My Plate guidelines would have you eat more leafy greens and cut back on simple sugars and saturated fats,

Choose My Plate guidelines would have you eat more leafy greens and cut back on simple sugars and saturated fats,

The Family Meals Project embraces the “Choose My Plate” principles as set forth by the US Department of Agriculture. A section of their plan discusses ‘dietary guidelines’, but just mentioning the word “Diet” can send out alarm signals to some people. The word is often associated with food restrictions, expensive interventions, supplements, weight loss programs and medical cures.

The FMP prefers to focus on meal plans that promote general wellness. We think of food as a nourisher and healer. It is not a diet plan, but it is difficult to discuss wellness without including some information about nutrition, inflammation, digestive disorders, and foods that directly affect other body systems. Nutrition 101 will attempt to shed light on foods and activities that promote wellness and at the same time lead you to other articles that explain how some foods can contribute to either sickness or healing.

The series will be posted each Monday. Some of the topics will include:

  • Dieting 101: What Are Proteins?
  • Dieting 101: Are There Good and Bad Carbohydrates?
  • Dieting 101: Exposing Fat Misconceptions.
  • Dieting 101: The Role of Vitamins and Minerals.
  • Dieting 101: Micro-nutrients– the Disease Fighters.
  • Dieting 101: What is ‘macrobiotic’?
  • Dieting 101: Inflammatory Foods in 200 words.
  • Dieting 101: Food Allergies
  • Dieting 101: Dieting 101: What’s all the fuss about gluten.



We Have No “Do Not Eat List”: But Think Twice At Malls.

Think Twice At Malls. by Don R

Weight watchers and dietitians generally agree that “Do not eat lists” act like red flags to a bull. Of course, we all indulge ourselves once in a while.  Even my daughter, who is a macrobiotic instructor, will succumb to sugar-packed cookies once in a while. But it seems like food vendors at malls compete with each other to offer the most decadent foods on the planet as described in “The Daily Meal.’

Today’s article in The Daily Meal “The Unhealthiest Foods in the Food Court” reminded me that It’s common to look at vendor’s nutritional information and see items with 75 grams of fat. Healthy diets allow for about 25 grams per day. So we are recommending that when you feel the urge to splurge, just cut back on other high calorie foods later in the day. Try to achieve balance in your weekly food choices.

kojoFortunately, our local mall has two vendors offering quality steamed or grilled food. Kojo of Japan and the Mongolian Grill cook vegetables and lean meat while you watch. With a side of steamed rice, the meal is a good choice for people on the go.

The Daily Meal: Do Not Eat List

picture of a smoothie

Are Smoothies good or bad for you?

Each day when we open our browser, we are bombarded with lists of healthy or unhealthy foods. Today The Daily Meal posted a list of twenty healthy “on the go” foods that are actually unhealthy  and how to fix them. Are you confused yet?  Or even worse, are you afraid to eat anything for fear it might be “bad”?  Let me unconfuse you by offering my own do and don’t list. Be ready for some surprises. Continue reading

Vegetables grnerally retain more nutrients when steamed or roasted (baked).

Vegetables generally retain more nutrients when steamed or roasted (baked).

Should vegetables be cooked? The answer is “It depends.” Each variety of vegetable contains differing amounts and types of nutrients. Some nutrients become depleted in boiling water, while others, like kidney beans, contain toxins and should always be boiled. Others need to be cooked in order for the body to absorb the nutrients. Confused yet?   Don’t be, because we found a chart that will help you select the best cooking method. Continue reading

Picnic Corn on the Cob

Having a large family picnic? You can cook corn an hour before serving and feed a large group. It’s easy if you follow these self-explanatory directions..

  1. corn-in-field-150xPick an organic ear of corn for each person plus 3 extra for Uncle Ed. “Right out of the garden.” says my Aunt Wanda, “It is best because corn gets tougher the longer you wait.”
  2. Keep the cobs hidden in their husks. ? (you will see why)
  3. Fill a huge pot 3/4 full of water and heat it to a full boil. (A crab cooker is perfect) Keep the kids far away to be safe.
  4. Toss corn (husks and all) into the pot until water rises near the top.
  5. corn-cooker-150xBring water back to a gentle slow roll, cover pot, and continue slow boiling for about 15 min from the time it comes back to a rolling boil. If it boils over, remove the lid.
  6. Use long tongs or a strainer to remove the corn.
  7. Immediately put corn (husks and all) into a cooler to keep warm. (no ice) If kept closed, corn can stay hot for up to an hour. . (unless you are having a picnic in a blizzard.)
  8. Bring water back to a boil and start the next batch.

corn-husk-150xWhen serving, peel the husk back toward the stem to make a handle. The hairs usually peel back with the husks.

Have a brush ready for butter plus assorted seasonings like Tex-Mex, Italian dressing, Cajun spice mix or just sea salt, garlic and freshly ground pepper.


Blackberries: Healthy, Delicious, Free.

pic of blackberries

Blackberries are packed full of important nutrients.

Part 1 of five articles to get you started gathering, preserving and using blackberries in low cost family meals.

Why blackberries? Aren’t they like noxious weeds? True, they are invasive and you can find them growing everywhere in temperate climate areas throughout the world. But the common blackberry is packed with important nutrients. They rank at the top as a source of antioxidants needed by the body to protect and repair body cells. By taking precautions, they are easy to harvest and preserve. Stay tuned throughout the week as we share ways to pick, preserve and use them in delicious recipes. Read more…

Blackberry varieties: There are over 300 varieties of blackberries found throughout the world.  Some are naturally trailing, erect, or growing in massive entanglements. But over the years they have crossbred naturally or by man, to produce commercial varieties that have thorn-less vines, huge fruit clusters and longer growing seasons. Regardless of the plant structure, each berry is a cluster of individual fruity seeds; bitter and hard when green but soft and sweet when mature. Himalayan blackberry and evergreen blackberry are the most common vines in the Northwestern US even though  they are both European imports. They are becoming a threat to native Washington plants. More…

Nutrients:  According to research studies listed below, berries are rich in fiber and contain a wide variety of nutrients that:

  • Improve brain function
  • Contribute to higher levels of good cholesterol,
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Offer reduced risk of cancer. Blackberries,
  • Contain the largest concentration of antioxidants when compared with over 3000 kinds of foods. (see chart)

Antioxidant content of common fruit including berries. (adapter from http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/berries/ )

Conclusion: Berries are rich in nutrients. (authors note: berries are certainly beneficial when included in a meal plan that includes a wide variety of natural foods. Most nutritionists recommend   1or 2 fruit servings per day)


Next:  Part 2: How to pick blackberries  without drawing blood.

*Consult your doctor if making changes in your food choices. Some fruit may interfere with the medications you are taking. Health information for our posts are based on writings from credible sources and intended solely to be discussion starters. In no way, implied or otherwise, is information to be used as medical diagnosis or prescribed medicinal therapy.  See a physician for diagnosis or remedies.




Yeager, Selene, and Editors of Prevention Magazine  “ The Doctor’s Book of Food Remedies” New York, NY. Rodale Press 2007