Archive for the ‘Health & Nutrition’ category

Eating Healthy on $20 a Week

May 21, 2010

Image courtesy of RedJar

Last summer, my younger brother Tim and I tried to devise a way to eat healthfully for $10 a week. We didn’t quite make it, but a year later I’ve figured out a nutritious way to eat for 20 dollars a week, without cutting coupons are going on radically extreme diets. (more…)

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Cava de Cano Quinoa

March 9, 2009
Quinoa, up close and personal.

Quinoa, up close and personal.

Quinoa (pronounce it ‘keen-wah’ and you’ll sound smart) is an important source of nutrition in much of South America. While not quite a grain, it’s often eaten like rice, either on it’s own or as a side, and can be prepared in a myriad of ways. Recently, it’s become my staple side dish because of it’s high fiber and protein content. 1 cup of cooked quinoa has 5 grams of fiber, and 8 grams of protein (source).

It’s not very well known in the states, so it can be hard to find outside of specialty food stores. However, if you have a Trader Joes near you, you should be in luck; they carry it.

This particular recipe was gifted to me by the chef at Cava de Cano Winery in Mendoza, Argentina (pic). Like all talented chefs, he had no idea how much of each ingredient he put into the dish, so it took a bit of experimenting to get the proportions just right. It’s light and zippy, and pairs especially well with salmon and chicken.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 Lemon (juice)
  • 1 Cup Fresh, Chopped Parsley
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced.
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • Pepper to taste

Instructions:

Combine Quinoa and water in a small pan and bring to boil. Immediately reduce to very low heat and cover. Cook for 15 minutes (or follow intructions on packaging). Do not stir. While waiting for quinoa to cook, squeeze the lemon juice into a bowl, taking care to remove any seeds, and combine with parsley, garlic, salt and pepper.

When quinoa is finished cooking, stir in lemon mixture, cover, and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

How many of you have tried Quinoa before? I’m curious.

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Can You Eat Too Much Flaxseed?

October 24, 2008

The short answer is no, not that I’m aware of. Let me tell you how I came to this conclusion.

I recently started weightlifting again and realized I wasn’t consuming enough protein to maximize muscle growth. So, I turned to the old standby: Whey Protein. Everything was fine and good until I realized I wasn’t quite as regular as I used to be. (I’m trying my hardest not to let this post descend into toilet humor. Please read on, it’s worthwhile.) The only real change I had made in my diet was the consumption of whey. It wasn’t such a leap in reason to assume that 2 whey protein shakes a day might have the same effect as eating half a brick of cheddar, they’re both dairy products after all. I didn’t want to give up the protein, so I started looking for a way to add more fiber into my diet to help counteract the cement like properties of the whey powder.

I discovered Bob’s Red Mill Flaxseed Meal and started mixing it in with my shakes. I tried a tablespoon or two the first couple of times but it didn’t seem to have much effect. Then, I tried a half cup. Hey, imagine that, it did the trick! From then my curiosity got the better of me.

I started mixing 1/2 cup of ground flaxseed with a glass of water and chugging that for breakfast every morning. It’s not exactly delicious without the chocolate protein powder, but I’ve been incredibly satisfied with the results.

I used to get ravenously hungry by 10am. When I have flax for breakfast, I’m satisfied well into the early afternoon. When I mix it with whey powder, I’m not even hungry until 3pm rolls around.

I trolled around on the web to see if there were any negatives associated with too much flax, and found that every website recommended taking less than 2 tablespoons a day, saying that much over that can “wreak havoc on your digestive tract, producing a laxative-like effect.” They all said this, and I’m calling bullshit. I’ve been at this for about a month now, and haven’t noticed any other side effects besides a loss of appetite and extreme regularity. Oh, and an inch off my waistline.

One word of caution, make sure you stay well hydrated if you eat this much flax. I’m talking at least 100 oz. a day.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter! http://twitter.com/dpwalsh

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Edit: I’ve noticed that I get a decent amount of hits on this post and I just wanted to make sure that I’ve answered any questions you might have. So, let me know if there is anything I haven’t addressed that you would like to know.