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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 Recipes
- Buenos Apple Nachos
- Carrot Pineapple Muffins
- Baked Apple Oatmeal Casserole
- Sweet Potato Pie
- Honey of a Pumpkin Bar
- Baked Apples
- Crustless Pumpkin Pie
- Apple Cranberry Pie
- Sesame Stir-Fried Brussels Sprouts
- Egg, Broccoli and Rice Stir-Fry
- Glazed Parsnips
- Delicata Squash with Walnuts
- Skillet Pork and Apples
- Chicken and Broccoli Crustless Quiche
- Turkey and Sweet Potato Dinner
- Broccoli Cauliflower Apple Salad
- Brown Rice, Broccoli and Carrot Salad
- Carrot Raisin Pineapple Salad
- Butternut Squash & Apple Soup
- Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup
- Baked Apple and Sweet Potato Casserole
- Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
- Fall Vegetable Skillet
- Lemon Spinach
- Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- Oven Roasted Vegetables
- Roasted Root Vegetables
- Pumpkin Dip with Ginger Snaps
- Apple Oatmeal Balls
Let us know in the comments which recipes you plan to try!
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?
If you need some inspiration for new summer produce recipes, check out this list.
- Peach and tomato salad
- Simple Summer Squash Recipe
- Simple Summer Squash
- Cantaloupe-Lime Salsa
- Cucumber Salsa
- Cucumber-Lime Cooler
- Eggplant Ratatouille
- Fresh Tomato Salsa
- Zucchini Oven Chips
- Lemon and Dill Green Beans
- Summer Bread Salad
- Summer Squash Medley
- Tomato Salad with Avocado, Tuna, Cilantro, & Lime
- Green Beans and Peppers with Lemon Dressing
- Melon Kiwi Smoothie
- Carrot-Pineapple Muffins
- Vegetable Frittata
- Grilled Corn on the Cob
- Spinach and Grilled Corn Salad
- Grilled Pizza
- Summer Grilling Marinade
- Garden Vegetable Wrap
- Italian Broccoli and Pasta
- Super Stir Fry
- Carrot Apple Salad
- Cucumber Salad
- Sweet ‘n’ Sour Tomato Salad
- Tomato Basil Salad
- Herbed Tomato Casserole
- Italian Style Garden Vegetables
- Lemony Summer Squash
- Oven Roasted Vegetables
- Summer Squash Medley
- Summer Squash with Garlic
- Vegetables with Lemon
- Zucchini Au Gratin
- Fresh Fruit with Cinnamon Yogurt Dip
- Fresh Fruit with Yogurt Peanut Dip
- Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips
- Melon Salsa
- Pablo’s Salsa
- Rainbow Fruit Ka-Bob
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, 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.