Tag Archives: vegetables

High-fiber diets

All About Fiber

January is Fiber Focus Month and it couldn’t fall at a better time. Almost every popular New Year’s Resolution can be more successful by adding fiber! So what is fiber? Dietary fiber is a type of non-digestible carbohydrate found in plant foods. There are two types of fiber – soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps remove cholesterol from your body, which is good for heart health. Both types of fiber increase feelings of fullness are good for regular bowel movements. Adults should be aiming for 25 – 35 grams of fiber each day, although most are only getting an average of 16 grams per day. Keep reading to learn why fiber is such an important part of a healthy diet. Continue reading

Matthew’s SNAP Challenge Day 3

Today’s post is part of a series written by a dietetic intern working with us over the past month. As part of their internship experiences, I like to have them do a SNAP Challenge to better understand the experiences of people trying to eat smart on a tight budget. ~Austin

Waking up this morning was not as bad as yesterday. I was a little more hungry this morning than I normally am. I had a glass of milk with overnight oatmeal and added peanut butter to it. By adding peanut butter to the oatmeal, it would help boost my energy, while keeping me feeling full all morning and get me closer to the MyPlate recommendations. I also just love peanut butter!


Overnight Oatmeal, peanut butter and milk

Breakfast kept me going all throughout the morning. Lunch was black beans, chicken and rice with ratatouille, olive oil, garlic powder and ginger powder. I was not rushed to eat lunch today, so I took my time and mindfully ate, just like I have been trying to do with every meal. By eating mindfully, I focused on the flavor of my lunch and paid attention to my body’s hunger and fullness signals. That helped me feel comfortably full from a slightly smaller than usual meal, instead of worrying about the Challenge.


Beans and rice with ratatouille and chicken

I wanted something different for dinner tonight. I was in the mood for some sort of soup since it was cold and rainy outside. I made a butternut squash and apple soup with lentils and chicken. It was a nice addition to my menu because it was seasonal and it hit the spot. The soup, was, to say the least, really good! I actually had to stop myself if I was going to make it last. I ended the night with a glass of milk and an apple with peanut butter.


Butternut squash soup

Apples and peanut butter late snack



After having a couple of days where I was under my calorie needs, I realized that I needed to eat a little more. As a  result, I ate more than I needed. It is possible to eat more calories than is needed in the day while on SNAP benefits. But, often times, the calories come from cheaper, but less healthy foods. This can put a person on a tight food budget at an increased chance of becoming obese.  For me, I could have balanced out my grains and proteins by not eating as much of the soup as I did and adding more rice at lunch and dinner.

Calorie intake

Calories and food groups eaten today (from MyPlate.gov)


Fall Fruits and Veggies Recipe Round-Up

The first day of fall was this week and already the weather is beginning to change. The nights are cooler and the days are noticeably shorter. As sad as I am to see summer go, I am excited about all of my favorite fall foods- apples, pumpkins, winter squash, cranberries, etc.

What fall foods are you most looking forward to?

Fall Produce

Fall Produce Recipes

Whoa, that’s a lot of recipes! The good news is that you have all of fall to try them out. Add one or two to your weekly meal plan as you find good prices on the seasonal produce.

Let us know in the comments which recipes you plan to try!


Summer Produce Recipe Round-up

Do I sound like a broken record yet? Seasonal produce saves money, tastes better and is more nutritious. Buy it at the Farmers Market or harvest from your garden. Summer is the best time for buying, cooking, and eating fresh fruits and veggies, as it’s the height of the growing season. What is your favorite summer fruit or vegetable?


Fruits and vegetables in season in Virginia in Summer

What’s your favorite?

If you need some inspiration for new summer produce recipes, check out this list.

Summer Recipes

Kimchi, the Korean Superfood

Written by Jack Peacock
Part of National Nutrition Month 2014

How could anything containing cabbage, radish, garlic, red pepper, onion and ginger not be considered a healthy choice? Those are some of Kimchi’s star ingredients and not only do they offer enormous health benefits on their own but when mixed together and fermented as they are in Kimchi they make this food into what many consider to be worthy of the title superfood.

The fermentation process uses probiotics like lactobacilli which have been found to strengthen the immune system, decrease inflammation as well as help the body keep a healthy digestive system. Kimchi also has been known to boast antioxidant, antimutagenic, and anticarcinogenic benefits. Vitamin C, B vitamins, Beta- carotene, calcium, potassium, iron and dietary fiber are also a part of what makes this dish a powerful health promoter.

One study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food has found a correlation between asthma sufferers and their kimchi intake using data from the fourth and fifth Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. It suggested that there’s an increased risk of asthma associated with low intake of the nutrients that Kimchi provides as one of the staples in the Korean diet.

kimchi in a meal

Image by Jack Peacock

Kimchi, like most fermented foods, comes with an odor that might take some getting used to. It is usually served as a side dish or incorporated into a main dish such as Kimchi fried rice. The taste is that of a refreshing salad and can be spicy. Overall, Kimchi is deliciously different and a great addition to any diet intended to promote health and longevity.





Boweden, J. (2007). The 150 healthiest foods on earth. Gloucester, MA: Fair Winds Press.

Hyesook Kim, Se-Young Oh, Myung-Hee Kang, Ki-Nam Kim, Yuri Kim, Namsoo Chang (2007-2011) Association Between Kimchi Intake and Asthma in Korean Adults: The Fourth and Fifth Korea National Healthand Nutrition Examination Survey. Journal of Medicinal Food, 17, 172-178.

Kun-Young Park, Ji-Kang Jeong, Young-Eun Lee, James W. Daily III (2014) Health Benefits of Kimchi (Korean Fermented Vegetables) as a Probiotic Food. Journal of Medicinal Food, 17, 6-20.