Q:    I know enriched wheat flour is a no-no, but I am getting a little sick of whole white. What other breads are good to eat?

 

A:    I suggest avoiding products that contain plain or enriched wheat flour because the product has been stripped of its fiber and nutrients, leaving behind just the starch. This type of fast-digesting, high-glycemic carb boosts insulin levels, which is fine after workouts but not at other times when it encourages fat storage and blunts fat-burning. I recommend breads that are low-glycemic and slow digesting such as whole-wheat bread, which has all its original fiber. There are other breads that are low-glycemic and one of the best is Ezekiel 4:9 bread. It doesn’t contain flour, and is a mix of organic sprouted whole grains (wheat, millet, spelt, and barley) and legumes (lentils and soybeans). Because it contains grains and legumes, the bread is a complete protein, which means it has all nine of the essential amino acids your body can’t produce on its own. Its whole grains and legumes are also very slow-digesting, making this bread a smart choice for most meals.

Rye is another low-glycemic bread; its kernels have been found to significantly slow digestion. And if you’re craving white bread, eat sourdough (think pannini). It contains both processed and bleached wheat flour, but the lactic acid produced during its fermentation process makes it a low-glycemic carb.

1. Cayenne pepper:

Contains the ultimate fat-fat burning compound – capsaicin. Try chili power, paprika or jalapeño peppers; which also contain capsaicin.

2. Cinnamon:

This thermogenic spice is linked with curbing cravings, controlling blood sugar levels and burning fat.

3. Curry powder:

The turmeric found in curry powder is a well-known fat-burner. It will keep you sweating as well as burning calories.

4. Spinach:

Magnesium and B vitamins are extremely important for all body functions – metabolism included. Spinach provides both nutrients.

5. Nuts:

Walnuts and almonds are full of fat-burning omega-3′s.

6. Grapefruit:

A compound found in grapefruit (naringenin) is being linked with fat loss.

7. Berries:

A handful of fibrous berries helps keep your metabolism going by providing the necessary sugars to curb cravings, with fever calories.

8. Zucchini:

This vegetable is fibrous and water packed, meaning its fills you up and is easy to digest.

9. Yogurt:

Combines carbs and protein. Perfect for snacking, warding off hunger and building muscle.

10. Edamame:

The isoflavones found in edamame (a.k.a. soybeans) are linked to less belly fat. Edamame is a great alternative to fried appetizers.

Finally, finally. As a resident of the Silo Point condominiums in Locust Point, I had the pleasure of attending the “sneak peak” and grand opening of Miguel’s Cocina y Cantina as part of Silo Point’s retail and restaurant expansion. Restaurant owner and Chef Michael Marx has once again delivered to this proud Texas foodie. Marx, owner and chef for Rub BBQ in Federal Hill, has hit Texas BBQ spot-on with quality meats, kick-ass sauce, and flat- out good-ole-fixin’s. And with this in mind, Miguel’s Cocina y Cantina surely won’t disappoint.

Situated off the main lobby of Silo Point, Miguel’s is 4,000 square feet of concrete and glass – enough space for a full kitchen, bar  and restaurant seating.  Suspended from the restaurants high urban ceilings are oversized tin stars that glow,  playing off the funky yet dramatic folk art which mimic’s Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. Diners can also enjoy views of the condominiums swanky outdoor seating  – which overlooks landscaping reminiscent of the silo’s grain operation and charming yellow box cars from the functioning B & O railroad.

The menu Marx created  for Miguel’s includes delicious and imaginative small plates that are sure to bring variety at a small cost. Of my favorite samplings were the handmade empanadas, the thick homemade corn tortilla chips, and of course the guacamole which had a nice “kick.” An array of tequilas were also on hand for sampling as well as an assortment of imported mexican beers and house made margaritas. I found Miguel’s margaritas to be average but good. I couldn’t help but to be biased when sipping my rita because of the serious love affair I have with the fresh ones my Chris makes – the kind that make my cheeks flushed, my nose tingle, and my laughs hard from the belly. Miguel’s however, will definitely rank as ‘the place to be’ in south Baltimore  - the place to dine on great regional mexican food, catch a Raven’s game, or meet friends after work for a round or two of chips and margaritas.

Grapefruit is by far my favorite of all fruits and having lived in Texas for 10+ years, I can tell you that there is no other place in America that can grow such a citrus fruit like the Rio Grande Valley. On frequent trips to south Texas, my mom and I would always look forward to making our usual pit-stop at one of the local fruit stands to pick up a 20lb bag of the Texas sweet treats - for about a buck. Now living in Maryland where citrus is scarce, I am having a hard time finding good varieties of my juicy bliss. It seems as though most grocery retailers here in the East are only carrying Florida varieties – puh! Its peak season for grapefruit and I’m sacrificing time, money, and taste buds in an attempt to enjoy what Florida can provide.

My grapefruit habit has become somewhat of a morning ritual and I feel as though I can’t begin the day without meditating over the peeled citrus rinds. I love everything about grapefruit. The smell, the texture, the taste. Not to mention the overall feeling of total wellness that I have after devouring the tangy and sweet softball, section by section. To me, grapefruit is a super food. Better yet, a miracle food. It’s bright color indicates powerful nutrients such as Vitamin C , Vitamin A and potassium and is rich in phytonutrient lycopene which is also found in tomatoes. “Lycopene is recognized as one of the strongest cancer fighting antioxidants.” A simple grapefruit can help fight hunger and fatigue, combat colds and insomnia, protect against certain forms of cancer and heart disease, as well as promote bone and digestive health. What more could you ask for!

In an attempt to find my peace this morning, I peeled a $1.79 Florida grapefruit only to find the usual spongy white center to be brown, seeping, and sickly looking. Today, I mourn over nonexistent 44¢ Texas Rio Star grapefruits.  However, I found a website with a listing of  Texas grapefruit shippers that will certainly ward off any future pains.

For you grapefruit connoisseurs: http://www.texasweet.com/Shippers

Nutrient Values of Grapefruit per 100g
Calories
42kcal
Energy Value
176kj
Total Fat
0.14g
Carbohydrates
10.66g
Sugars
6.89g
Dietary Fiber
1.6g
Protein
0.77g
Sodium
0mg
Zinc
0.07mg
Potassium
135mg
Iron
0.08mg
Magnesium
9mg
Copper
0.032mg
Calcium
2mg
Vitamin C
31.2mg
Vitamin E
0.13mg
Vit. B3 (Niacin)
0.204mg
Vitamin B6
0.053mg
Vit. B1 (Thiamin)
0.043mg
Vit. B2 (Riboflavin)
0.031mg

Hello foodies and dieters!

We have officially bid a bittersweet farewell to 2009 – a splendor that brought us loves, pleasures, sorrows, fortunes, laughter, victories, and losses. As we turn to the new year, we often find ourselves with left-over guilts and resentments of I “should have’s” and I “shouldn’t have’s.” There is no doubt that our conscience has been sent into severe over-drive this holiday season. We have become overwhelmed, we’ve over indulged, and now that  the holidays have passed, there is a burning desire to… well, burn fat. Constantly on the road to self-improvement, we are given the opportunity to once again wipe the slate clean. That is, develop a New Year’s Resolution that we hope will ultimately break ourselves of  destructive behaviors.

What is the no. 1 New Years resolution?

Yes, you guessed it. To lose weight. And I am assuming that this may be your resolution? Instead of focusing on the latest diet fads and trends (I call them “flops”) try focusing on building a better you – all around.

While researching dieting and New Year’s resolutions, I came across a quote by Ms. Oprah Winfrey. Being that Oprah is a t.v. icon and legend in most households,  many women (mostly women are Oprah enthusiasts) have witnessed Oprah’s conflicts and can relate to her battle with weight and the yo-yo diets that never really seem to work. Oprah’s struggle with weight has been an ongoing issue that is made public time after time and instead of using the usual “woe is me” crutch, Oprah has turned her weight issue into a political thrust that targets the average, overweight  American. This is Oprah’s “big picture.” I call it a cop-out.

“My goal isn’t to be thin,” Oprah writes in O Magazine. “My goal is for my body to be the weight it can hold — to be strong and healthy and fit, to be itself.”

Whoa! Let’s read Oprah’s statement one more time… “to be the weight it can hold,” “to be itself.” Oprah’s overall health goal suggests that if the body can withhold the weight and as long as the body still feels strong, healthy, and fit, then it is ok to be overweight. Well, does that mean one is healthy when they are heavily overweight? Moderately overweight? What about heart disease and diabetes? What Oprah should have said was, “my goal is to reach my ideal body weight.” Oprah’s comment on her weight and dieting foolishly leads followers into believing that weight is not the issue.  It’s the hidden message that will quickly send dieters and weight loss seekers on a road to destruction.

Be aware when looking for health and wellness inspiration for the new year. Instead of sitting in front of the television and watching a talk show host speak ignorantly on health issues, battle the bulge by finding a plan that works for you and influences the future of your health – in a positive way.

Happy New Year!

Katy

no. 4

From the Greater Self, in the Beginning, came Space.
From Space came air; out of Air, Fire; out of Fire,
Water, and from Water came Solid Earth. From Earth
arose all Living Plants and from them came Food.
The Body, composed of the Essence of Food, is the
Physical Aspect of the Greater Self.

– Taittriya Upanshad

I came across this short but beautiful article – I just had to share it will you all.

“During the Dust Bowl, soybeans did more that just revive the earth. They helped revive America.”

The 1930′s. The Great Depression turned the land of opportunity into a land of despair. Struggling farmers, in an attempt to read greater profits, cultivated large tracts throughout the Great Plains. This removed precious nutrients and moisture from the soil, putting a great strain on the land. Couple that with cattle overgrazing and a drought courtesy of Mother Nature, and the Dust Bowl was born.

Enter the soybean. Packed with soil-replenishing nitrogen, it gave back to the land what crops like corn and wheat stripped away. Planted in large quantities, and utilized in crop-rotation practices first developed in ancient China, soybeans helped suppress erosion and hold the ground together.

With the stabilization of the land helping to stabilize the economy, America was slowly pulled out of the Great Depression. Thanks in part to the amazing soybean – for over 5,000 years an integral part of cultures and diets.

Edamame anyone?

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