Archive for June, 2012

June 30, 2012

What is Yucca?

yucca, what is yucca, yucca food, yucca health

freshfruitfarm.com

By: Dana Baardsen

Yucca is a root vegetable which grows naturally in Southwestern United States and South America.

This unique veggie can be compared to having the same consistency of a potato, yet blander in flavor. Aside from being a staple in several South American dishes, cooked yucca holds health benefits which trace back to the Native Americans.

Not only are there claims of yucca healing arthritis symptoms, but this root vegetable contains resveratrol which prevents blood vessel damage. Another powerful healing property of the yucca is it’s saponin content. Saponin particles attach to cholesterol and prevent the body from absorbing it. Incorporate yucca into your diet if you consume foods high in cholesterol!

The yucca plant actually develops beautiful edible flowers which are high in thiamine and some b vitamins. Check out this quick cooking demonstration:

You should also note the flour produced from the root, is gluten-free!

Step out of your comfort zone and enjoy this yummy earth food! You can serve yucca instead of bread, or even make yucca fries. Have fun! NB

June 25, 2012

After taking my first Bikram (hot) yoga class, I wanted to do a little more research on the different types of yoga. This is a simple yet informative blog posted by yogaposition.wordpress.com– Check it out!

June 24, 2012

Check it out!

Bates Folk and Food

I moved back up to Lewiston a few weeks ago to start research for my senior thesis in geology. Geology theses are kind of unique; it’s mandatory that you take a full year to complete your work, and students usually begin their research well before the start of the academic session. This will be my first summer spent in Maine, and I’ve got big plans. Not in Maine this summer? Fear not! I plan on carefully documenting my Vacationland escapades. Here’s a preview:

A day trip to the marine lab on the Isles of Shoals, off the coast of Maine and New Hampshire:

There will be lots of cooking:

And sunsets:

And…coloring?

Hey, if a waiter at Flatbread Pizza handed YOU crayons while you were waiting for your meal to come out, would you really pass up the opportunity? (This is Ellis the educated elephant, in case you were wondering…

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June 18, 2012

Workout Buddy! Cute.

June 18, 2012

Sun-Protective Foods & Recipes

By: Dana Baardsen
Click: Sun-Protective Foods & Recipes: Slideshow
iVillage.com (NBC Universal)

Source: soc.li via Dana on Pinterest

June 18, 2012

Lose Ten Pounds

Dr. Oz, Diet, Weight Loss, Fitness, Lose Weight

doctoroz.com

By: Dana Baardsen

Doctor Oz came up with a list of ten things YOU can do right now, to lose ten pounds. My favorite suggestions of his are to cut out soda consumption and stay on top of taking your multi and B complex vitamins.

We only have a few weeks until July, and if you haven’t prepped your body properly for bathing suit season, you might want to take some of his ideas into consideration.

Here are ten tips I’ve created for optimal weight loss in a short period of time:

1. Mindful Eating: It may seem pretty basic, and you might think your eating mindfully– but really take a second to think about what you consume on a weekly basis. Rather than focusing on daily intake, (“I only had a FEW potato chips today”) focus on what you consume during the week.

Are you going through full bags of potato chips? Or are you going through full bags of spinach? Are you going through a tub of ice cream? Or are you going through a tub of low-fat Greek yogurt? This leads to the second point:

2. Cabinet Makeover: If your serious about ditching this extra weight, then it’s time to cleanse your kitchen! Go through your cabinets and refrigerator and get rid of anything which could be detrimental to your diet. Work out an understanding with your family and try to keep sweet-eating out of the house.

3. Sayonara Sodium!: Salt is SO important for our cells, because (Sodium) is one of the main electrolytes in our bodies. However, excessive sodium leads to water retention…which leads to packing on extra “water” weight.

Foods you should avoid: Pre-made soups, processed/frozen dinners, canned foods, salty snacks etc.

Salt is often used for a preservative, so while your trying to cut these ten pounds, avoid preserved foods. Look for terms like, “low-sodium” or “unsalted”. Finally, try not to add extra salt to your meals.

4. Fat from Fruit?: Eeek! Could fruit make you fat? Maybe. When eating produce, try to fill up your cart with mostly veggies and limited fruits. Fruits tend to be higher in calories and much higher in sugar. When we have excess sugar in our bodies– it becomes converted and stored as fat. It doesn’t matter if the sugar comes from a grape or a donut, if it’s excess then you don’t want it.

Make sure fruit is your main source of sugar-intake and be “mindful” of not over-doing it!

5. Good Morning, Body: Rather than avoiding the world and throwing the covers over your head when the alarm goes off in the morning, try some light stretching. When we stretch before we even get out of bed, it starts the flow of blood in our bodies so that when we actually get out of bed, the idea of doing a few push-ups or sit ups isn’t so painful. Once you get a light workout in at the start of the day, you will be more conscious to avoid unhealthy decisions throughout the rest of the day.

6. Drink!: Soda, Alcohol, and Juices often contain too much sugar or food dyes and chemicals which can hinder weight loss. Even diet soda contains a chemical which actually slows metabolism over time.

By drinking water (add lemon or mint) you will stay hydrated and rid your body of unwanted toxins.

By drinking tea (especially green) you will actually boost your metabolism and pump your body with antioxidants. How could you go wrong?

7. Break Bad Habits: Turn sedentary activities into fat-burning. Walk instead of driving or taking the bus. Stretch while you watch TV. Do a wall sit while you brush your teeth.

The possibilities to be more active are endless! No excuses this summer…

8. Brown vs. White: It’s important to incorporate brown (breads, pastas, rices) into your diet rather than white. The simple sugars in the white product spike blood sugar and increase body fat percentage. The sugars in brown products are often paired with fibers and nutrients which cause a slow release of sugars into the blood stream. There is no overload of sugar into your body which means a less of an impact on body fat percentage.

9. Prepare Your Meals: Know what you are eating, by developing a relationship with food.

When we eat out of laziness or boredom, the last thing we want to do is actually prepare a meal. We might heat something up or grab a bag-o-somethin’ from the cabinet…but never do we find ourselves chopping fresh veggies and making home made hummus to feed our fix.

If your not willing to prepare something, then you probably aren’t about to eat because your body needs to.

By all means, prepare and store for later use…but make sure you are eating for the right reasons while steering clear from a diet which mainly consists of processed foods.

10. Love Your Body, Know Your Body: Remember not to get hung up on the scale. Know what your body looks and feels like. If you lost seven pounds and can’t seem to drop any more weight, but you notice your body toning up and transforming into something more energetic and flexible–than you’ve succeeded.

Muscle weighs more than fat anyway and it’s better to just decrease your body fat percentage than to focus on a number. NB

June 15, 2012

A Warrior’s Prayer

A warrior’s daily prayer is to have the strength to love all of herself. -Debbie Ford

June 15, 2012

You Are What You Eat…

Food, Diet

June 14, 2012

What the heck is Jicama?

Jicama

By: Dana Baardsen

Alright, so you may or may not have heard of the South American root vegetable- Jicama. Either way, you should know that it is a great food to incorporate into your diet. Here’s why:

First of all, it’s delicious. Jicama has a crispy sweet flavor which is somewhere in between the flavors of an apple and water chestnut.

Secondly, It’s easy. Jicama can be eaten raw or cooked. It is easy to slice, chop, julienne, or whatever you feel like! You just have to peel off the outer layer first.

Thirdly, Jicama is low-cal, fat-free and nutritious. It provides lots of fiber and Vitamin C.

There are three main nutritious qualities about Jicama which actually contribute to weight loss:

  • Jicama contains Vitamin C which utilizes glucose for energy rather than storing it as fat.
  • There are significant amounts of fiber in Jicama. Fiber is what helps your body eliminate waste. Without fiber your body would begin to harbor harmful toxins and it would also become more difficult for you to lose weight.
  • The most unique quality about Jicama is that it contains significant levels of ellagic acid. Ellagic acid actually will help you control and lose weight because it takes the calories from food and helps the body use those calories for energy, rather than storing the unwanted cals as fat.

My favorite way to eat Jicama is to either chop it fresh and toss into a salad, or make Jicama Fries. It’s so simple, all you have to do is coat your chopped Jicama with a small amount of olive oil, and let them bake in the oven. You can season the fries with whatever you like…the flavor of Jicama is so versatile you could season the fries with anything from garlic to cinnamon. NB

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