Nutrition Fact Friday: Calcium

Hey ya’ll! Friday is the best day because that means it is Nutrition Fact Friday. Every Friday of the week, I will be providing ya’ll with a mini nutrition education lesson on a nutrient, food, or something nutrition related. This week I have a special guest who goes by the name of Calcium. Calcium is considered to be the most abundant mineral in the body. It is found in some foods, added to others, and it can be in some medicines. This mighty mineral is needed for a variety of things to function in your body. Some things calcium impacts are vasodilation, muscle contraction, and hormone secretion. Calcium, in the average person’s mind, is considered to be a bone mineral. They are right in some ways because 99% of calcium is stored in the bone, but there are so many functions of calcium! One of the most common problems in society is that most people assume calcium is found in milk, so they push milk consumption like crazy. However this is not completely true! Calcium is found in a ton of options, so lets check them out:

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Since calcium is found in so many foods, you can plan your diet around many options in order to get your daily intake amount in. This is especially important to notice if you are vegan or lactose intolerant because you don’t consume milk in those populations, so having many options like different vegetables allows every population to not be calcium deficient. Calcium deficiency, also known as hypocalcemia, can be a huge problem since calcium regulates many things such as blood pressure and it helps construct bones. Side effects that occur when there isn’t enough calcium in the body are osteoporosis, eye damage, and abnormal heartbeats. Therefore it is extremely important to consume calcium regularly in the diet.

The recommended intake for individuals, male or female, from ages 19-50 is 1000 mg. This is a pretty good number to try to reach every day. For individuals that are younger the requirement is usually less than 1000 until children reach the age of development, which is 9-18 years old and they consume around 1300 mg. The same is true for the population as it ages because there is an increased risk of developing osteoporosis. There is no maximum amount of calcium to limit yourself to because no adverse effects have been seen. It is important though to mix up your sources of calcium because when you consume things such as spinach, collard greens, and oranges you are giving your body other vital nutrients and minerals that are needed for the daily intake. One of the key things of living a nutritious and healthy life is following variety!

Now for the fun part of the nutrition fact Friday. The recipe ideas to help you consume more calcium. Each week on Friday, I will round up some of my favorite recipes that utilize a major source of that week’s topic in them. So this week it is all about those delicious calcium recipes!

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What a good way to get a good amount of calcium then by consuming more than one source in one sitting! This amazing recipe from Simply Life uses tofu and broccoli to create a stunning Chinese inspired dish. For one thing, it is sesame tofu, which maybe one of my favorite dishes to order at a Chinese restaurant (specifically Rice Bowl in Austin, currently having a drool sesh right now as I write this post). This recipe is incredibly easy to follow, it contains tons of healthy ingredients, and it is packed full of awesome flavors. This probably contains around 446 mg of calcium in it. That is a pretty great amount. The more broccoli you put in the dish, the more the calcium level will increase. A great idea would be to include some bok choy too. That way you are getting a large amount of fiber with your calcium, so you will feel fuller for a longer period of time.

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Another great recipe to get in your calcium requirements is seen on the Preppy Paleo. This recipe is for Maple Almond Salmon. Once again the recipe is using two sources of calcium, which is amazing. Coating fish in a crust is a good way for people that don’t eat a lot of fish or particularly like the texture of fish to enjoy it. I love almonds and salmon, so I will definitely have to try this one out. This recipe has a little lower average value of calcium, which would be around 250 mg for a serving. However you could definitely increase your amount by adding a side of broccoli to the dinner or a nice plate of collard greens, which pack in a total of 357 mg of calcium (wow, those Southerners sure now how to get that calcium in their diet).

Calcium is really easy to consume throughout the day as long as you are having balanced meals. One of the easiest ways to get a dose in with breakfast is to consume dairy products, such as yogurt, cheese, or milk. However for those who don’t want to go the dairy path, focus on having an orange or a freshly squeezed glass of orange juice. Other options include a vegetable omelet with spinach. Snacks are easy to because you can just grab an orange or a handful of nuts to take along with you.

Keep those bones and teeth strong and the heart pumping! Don’t forget to get your calcium in daily. A healthy reminder is that consuming calcium chews or multivitamins does not help you reach your daily value. When you consume those, they tend to go out of your body immediately through your urine. That means that you need to eat fresh foods daily in order to consistently reach your daily requirements!

What is your favorite source of calcium?
Do you have any good calcium rich recipes?

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Spicy Peanut Tofu with Bok Choy

Hey ya’ll! I have a total case of the Mondays. Actually I’m pretty wide awake since I got a total of 12 hours of sleep (yes I was in recovery from my birthday). I more have a case of the Mondays because it is Columbus day, but I have school. WHAT IS THIS COLUMBIA? I need this day off to recuperate and study for my first graduate school midterm. Oh well, luckily I’m a champion and will survive (even though I have my two most boring classes today). On to the good stuff though. RECIPE! Peanut tofu served with bok choy. Um yes. This was one delicious recipe, so lets get to sharing it!

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Spicy Peanut Tofu with Bok Choy

1/2 package of firm tofu
Bok Choy
Broccoli
1-2 tsp of olive oil
Green onion
3 T of Soy Sauce
2 T of prepared PB2
3 T of Rice Vinegar
1 T of Agave
2 T of Water
1-2 T of Sriracha

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1. Place olive oil in pan, turn on medium high heat, and toss in chopped up tofu.

2. Cook until crispy on most sides of the tofu. Then remove and place on a paper towel placed on a plate.

3. Add the rest of the olive oil, the bok choy, and broccoli. Cook until the bok choy has become wilted and has become crisp.

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4. Whisk together the peanut butter, rice vinegar, water, soy sauce, and agave. Once it is thoroughly mixed, add in the sriracha. If you want it spicier, keep adding sriracha until you have the taste you want.

5. Place the tofu in the pan with the broccoli, turn the heat to low-medium, and add in the sauce. Cook for 1-2 minutes until sauce has thickened and thoroughly covered all of the tofu and vegetables. Then remove and it is ready to serve. Top with chopped up green onion.

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This dish is amazing. Not only is is extremely healthy for you, but it is packed with a ton of flavor. The spicy peanut sauce packs a kick, but has a subtle sweet flavor from the peanut butter. The green onion gives a nice addition to the sauce too. Bok choy and broccoli are definitely the best vegetables to go with this Asian inspired stir-fry. This makes a ton of food too depending on the amount of vegetables you add in. Of course ya’ll know I love vegetables, so I probably had way too much food. I ended up using this as my go to school packed dinner a couple of times because it was easy to pack in plastic ware and could be heated up in the graduate school microwave. Success. Everyone was always staring at me in class because the dish smelled so good. Definitely made a few people drool.

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Tofu is a good source of protein for those of you that don’t want to eat meat or just want an alternative source of protein a few days a week. Bok Choy is a very good vegetable to consume in your diet. It contains a wide variety of antioxidants, which protect against cancer and heart disease. It has a good amount of Vitamin C in it, which helps with immune function (I totally could use some of that right now – cold weather problems). Also it is a good source of folic acid, which is a really important nutrient in regards to pregnancy. You definitely aren’t losing out when you consume bok choy and broccoli since both are from the same family, it is as if you are getting a double dose of these healthy nutrients!

I hope ya’ll are having a great Monday! Enjoy my recipe.

What is your favorite tofu dish?
Do you eat a lot of peanut sauce on things?

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Hey ya’ll! Hope everyone is having a good Monday instead of having a bad case of the Mondays. I love Monday because I don’t have class until 3 in the afternoon, so I can wake up around 8 am and get all the things I need to do done for the day before class. It is a nice schedule. In more delicious things, I have another yummy recipe to share with ya’ll. This one uses one of my favorite vegetables: cauliflower. Ya’ll know how much cauliflower I eat from my Cauliflower Pizza Crust recipe. I could just eat those things forever (I have basil in my fridge right now just so I can make some pizzas). But back to this new recipe. It contains a few of my favorite things: Asian food, pineapple, and cauliflower. Hmmmm what could that be? CAULIFLOWER FRIED RICE!

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Cauliflower Fried Rice

2-3 cups of finely grated cooked cauliflower (I used a food processor to chop it up)
3 tbsp of soy sauce
1/2 c of egg white liquids
1/2 c of chopped onion
1/3 c of chopped garlic
1 c of vegetables/mix ins (pineapple, peas, carrots, broccoli, etc)

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1. Chop up onion until fine pieces. Place into a pan sprayed with cooking spray and heat until the onions become see through.

2. Add in your mix-ins, such as broccoli, peas, carrots, pineapple, tofu, etc. Cook until you can see the vegetables are cooked and have lost all traces of frozen marks.

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3. While the vegetables are cooking in a pan, place your cooked cauliflower into a food processor to chop. Mix it in until it appears to look like a rice texture.

4. Also in a small pan, cook the liquid egg whites until you have a pan filled with scrambled eggs.

5. Toss in the scrambled eggs, chopped cauliflower, and 3 tbsp of soy sauce until all is throughout mixed.

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6. Once everything has cooked through for 3-4 minutes, you are ready to enjoy. This dish makes about 2-3 servings depending on how much extras you add in.

This dish is seriously delicious. You are getting a ton of nutrients while consuming a tasty meal. Fried rice can be full of calories for a variety of reasons. This fried rice is a much better and healthier option for you, especially for those of you that don’t get enough vegetables throughout the day! Cauliflower is such a good base to use in a variety of recipes. Cauliflower can be considered an antioxidant due to it containing Vitamin C and manganese. These help lower the levels of oxidative stress, which is extremely important in regards to a wide spectrum of health problems. Cauliflower also contains Vitamin K, which helps play a role in anti-inflammatory (good for me since I always need to decrease my inflammation)! Also cauliflower aids in digestive and cardiovascular health. It contains around 12 g of fiber for ever 100 calories of cauliflower. Wow! That is awesome. Plus you are getting fiber and other beneficial nutrients from whatever you add in.

I ended up topping mine with some sriracha because I needed that little extra kick with my meal. With my leftovers, I’m going to add in some tofu to give it some protein. I think that will be perfect along with some more sriracha sauce. I’m bringing this to class for dinner. People will probably stare at me, but not like I care. I’m always eating in class. I bring the loudest snacks ever to class like carrots and apples. It is always super awkward when it gets quiet and I’m like chomping away on things. Anyways I hope ya’ll enjoyed this! I definitely recommend going out and making this immediately!!

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What is your favorite Asian dish?
Do you eat a lot of cauliflower?

Barley Swine (Take 2)

Hey ya’ll! Sorry I’ve been gone for a long time. I’ve been a busy bee. Traveling around the US, applying to graduate schools, and of course the busy work of being a senior in the undergraduate nutrition program while working on a review paper. What have I been up to food-wise? A LOT! So I’m going to bombard ya’ll with a crazy amount of posts about restaurants, recipes, and places I’ve eaten at on my travels. The other night my dad, my younger brother, and I went to the Barley Swine in Austin. We love this place so much because of the exquisite small plates that are offered there.

DSC02741This is grilled broccoli, fermented chili, and crushed duck egg. The crushed duck egg was creamy and smooth with a hint of garlic that melted perfectly in the mouth. The broccoli was crispy and was a nice combination with the fermented chili that was scattered around the plate. This was definitely one of my favorite dishes because of the garlic chips in the dish added a nice hint of flavor the already perfect dish.

DSC02742This was the second appetizer dish. One of the good thing about all the appetizer plates is that they are all vegetable based. On this plate were hay roasted beets, mole, crispy rice, and goat cheese. It was delicious. I’m not a big beet eater, but this definitely has changed my mind. The beets were soft, which was great when you added in the crispy rice since it gave it a nice crunch. The variety of flavors in the dish were amazing. I definitely will go for more beet dishes after this.

DSC02743This thing looks like a pile of goop.However it is an amazing pile of goop. Underneath the garlic chips there were bay scallops, cauliflower, masa, raisins, and chipotle. The chipotle provided a sweet smokey flavor to the dish. It was amazing. The scallops were tiny, which was nice because I hate when there are only one to three large scallops. The cauliflower was creamed into the sauce, so it wasn’t overwhelming.

DSC02744Hello to one of the greatest dishes of the night. This was goat, walnut, kohlrabi, fenugreek, wild rice, and green garlic. The goat was cooked to be extremely tender, so when you bit into the meat it fell apart in your mouth. That is my kind of meat. The sauce that went along with it was so creamy, and added a sweetness to the tender cooked meat.

DSC02745I’m still not sure what to think about this dish. It is a soft poached egg, celery, dill, popcorn, and fermented goats milk. Yes, I did say popcorn? I am not sure the popcorn was so great on the plate, but when you had a bite of the egg with the goats milk it was extremely delicious. The foam was one of the interesting parts about the dish. I was sort of ambivalent about the dish.

DSC02746This dish was perfection. This was a smoked steel head trout, fennel, pine, and shiitake mushrooms. This was like a high end and creative version of lox. It was like a Jewish girl’s heaven. All I needed was a fancy bagel to go along with this dish and it would have been like Saturday Kiddush bruncheon after services. This was one of the specials they had on the board, so if you go within the week definitely get this dish.

DSC02748This looks a little creepy, but I promise it is good. It is lamb sausage, mint, sunchoke, and bacon broth. BACON BROTH?!? Yes, one of the greatest things that has ever existed on the planet. I wish you could order bacon broth everywhere you went because it is just that amazing. The lamb sausage had a wide variety of flavors with a bit of a kick. It was spicy, but the perfect amount so it didn’t overwhelm you.

DSC02749I could eat ten of these plates because it was just that awesome. It had bacon, brussel sprouts, hot sauce, hay butter, and hoe cakes. I love the hoe cakes at Barley Swine. They are delicious. The bacon was thick square pieces that went along nicely with the crunch of the roasted brussel sprouts. The hot sauce on the plate had a nice addition. It was more of a sweet hot sauce, so it wasn’t too overwhelming to the palate.

DSC02750What is this? It is pig three ways. It is crispy trotter, pig’s face, and loin. The rest of the goods on the plate are pinto beans and sauerkraut. The crispy trotter was stuffed with foie gras and some cheese. That may have been my favorite because you definitely can’t go wrong with anything that is fried. However the pig face is also extremely delicious. They cook the face of the pig and once the meat is extremely tender, the chef cuts out the softest pieces to serve on the plate. The loin was delicious, but the others were my favorite.

DSC02751This dish was the best of the night. The picture is a little dark because the restaurant started to change the mood for an upcoming party at 7:30. This was duck, foie gras, carrot, lavendar, farro, and hibiscus. The duck was crispy on the outside and extremely tender on the inside. It was the perfect cooked duck. The foie gras was heaven. It was so soft and melted in your mouth as you combined it with the farro and cooked carrots. I wish I could have eaten this dish over and over again.

DSC02752Time for dessert. Always one of my favorite parts of the meal. This was a meyer lemon tart, basil, quinoa granola, and rooibos tea sorbet. The lemon was sour and sweet at the same time providing for a delicious treat.

DSC02753Chocolate heaven. I have a huge weakness for chocolate, so as soon as this dessert came out I had my spoon ready to dig in. My family laughed because they discovered my biggest weakness (they kept getting annoyed because I would slap their hands, so that I could take a photo of each plate). This was a milk chocolate ganache topped with sweet potato marshmallows, whiskey, and orange. I was in heaven. There was also chocolate meringue chips that topped the dessert. It was amazing. I had died and gone to a chocolate bliss world.

If you are ever in Austin, please please go to this restaurant. You should order 3-4 small plates per person in your group. We ordered everything, but then again we like to eat a lot of food to sample everything a place has to offer.

Have an awesome weekend! I’m off to watch Once Upon A Time and Revenge. I love being on spring break and having time to relax!

 

WIAW on Your Healing Diet

Hey ya’ll! One of my favorite parts of being a part of the healthy living community is the greatest day of the week: What I ate Wednesday. Thank you to the lovely Jenn for hosting such a fun day where everyone shares what they have been eating. I especially love the recent themes of sensible snacking because what can I say, but I love to snack. My brothers call me snacky or snack monster. It is all out of love or at least I hope it is. Anyways lets get to the fun of what I ate while following Your Healing Diet!

Thank god on Your Healing Diet you can consume whole grains because I might die if I was not able to get my weekly bowl of oats (more like 3 times a week oats). For this week I had a typical creative Lindsay bowl of oats that was super delicious. They are Apple Pie Cheesecake Oats. The recipe will definitely be coming soon to an audience near year, but everything in the bowl fit in with the diet since it was just oats, almond milk, water, cooked apples with cinnamon, and some other delicious things. Oatmeal is definitely something great to eat if you need to be full for a long period of time because the fiber in it provides that satiety to keep you going.

Here is my snacking. Since I have class from 8 am to 2 pm every single day of the week, I have to pack a bunch of snacks to eat throughout the day. The taffy isn’t on Your Healing Diet, but I thought I deserved a little treat of an apple and cinnamon flavored candy. My other snacks are a granny smith apple, a pear, a bag of cherry tomatoes, a bag of cherries and blueberries, and a chocolate covered cherry granola bar. The granola bar is a little processed, not on the plan, but it has a lot of fiber and I think kashi is one of the better options out there if you are going to consume any processed foods.

This is my favorite sandwich ever. I love making peanut butter and jellys with fruit in the middle. I used 100% whole wheat bread, PB2, bananas, strawberries, and an organic all natural raspberry jam from central market. Totally on the plan and totally delicious. I eat this as a snack sometimes, but I also have it as a lunch like I did this day. I served it with carrots and celery, which are not in the picture. I guess I like to eat rabbit food.

To be honest, this is not really on any plan. Whatsoever. Do I care? Not really since I was given a box of truffles by a really nice guy. They are lava cake truffles and they are mind-blowing. Seriously. Go out and get one. Godiva offers a free membership, where they give you a card and you can go each month and get a free truffle. Umm helloooo. Best deal. My mom and I go every month together. It is one of our fun mother daughter traditions.

How can you say no to that? When you bite into the decadent chocolate truffle there is a thick creamy chocolate and a liquidy chocolate that oozes out into your mouth when you bite into it. The truffle is also dusted in light powdered sugar. I only eat one every few days, and I justify it on Your Healing Diet by saying that chocolate is good for you. Ha ha ha.

For dinner, I’ve been enjoying a nice tofu stir-fry. This is definitely on Your Healing Diet. Since it is a mainly plant-based diet, if you want something that is meat like then tofu is your way to go. I personally love tofu, so following this plant based diet is not a problem. I just chop up my tofu into small squares, throw it in the pan, dump in the broccoli, and add some type of sauce to mix it up in. I usually serve it over a bed of brown rice or I just eat it all by itself.

I hope everyone has a fantastic Wednesday and What I ate Wednesday. If you want to go drool over food, I would definitely head over to Peas and Crayons for the weekly food event.

What have you been snacking on lately?
What is your favorite flavor of truffle?