Monthly Archives: June 2017

Grilled Peach Salsa

Grilled Peach Salsa

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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This salsa is the definition of sweet and spicy while the grilled flavors add the perfect smokiness to give it a unique twist.

Ingredients

  •  1 peach
  • ½ ear of corn
  • ½ cup tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup green onion, chopped
  • ½ Vidalia onion, diced
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 1 jalapeño, diced
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Directions

  1. Cut peach around the pit. Remove the pit. Place two halves flesh side down on the grill.
  2. Husk corn. Wrap in foil. Place on the grill.
  3. In large bowl mix the ½ cup chopped tomatoes, ¼ cup chopped green onion,½ diced Vidalia onion, ¼ cup chopped cilantro, 1 diced jalapeño, 1 tbsp. lemon juice and 2 cloves minced garlic.
  4. Chop the peach and add to the bowl.
  5. Cut the corn kernels off and add to the bowl.

Healthy Hair, I Care

Have you gone to every extreme to get thick, long and HEALTHY hair?  I know I have very dry and coarse hair so it takes a little extra TLC to make sure it looks beautiful and shiny instead of dull and frizzy.  Especially now that summer is here, its time I up my efforts to keep that lion’s mane down!   I have tried several brands of hair, skin and nails pills.  However, I feel while when taking these, my nails in particular became more brittle.  I have also tried taking prenatal pills as a cosmetologist had recommended these to me.  I did not notice much of a difference after using them.  Obviously, knowing me I turned to food to help my hair get to where it is today, as there are several nutrients that are beneficial for our hair.

If you have tried a hair, skin and nail supplement, one nutrient you would for sure find is biotin.  Biotin is one of the B vitamins.  Within the body biotin plays a key role in protein synthesis, or the making of proteins within the body.  One protein it helps to synthesize is keratin.  Keratin is what our hair is made of.  You may see products in the hair care isle marked “keratin oil.”  Although, this topical treatment may help your hair increase in shine because it is an oil, it is not going to have the same impact as the keratin synthesis occurring in our bodies.  Because of this, another important nutrient to consume in adequate amounts to ensure healthy hair is protein.  Within the body we have something called an amino acid pool.  Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins.  Our body is continuously breaking down and building proteins from our food intake and the protein stored in our muscles.  For example, if our amino acid pool is low, protein from our muscles will be broken down into individual amino acids and sent into our blood or “pool”.  These amino acids can then bond to form new proteins, such as keratin as needed.  To avoid the breakdown of muscle protein, we need to make sure we are consuming adequate protein so we can use the amino acids from the metabolism of this not muscles.  Again, biotin and the other B vitamins play critical roles in both metabolism of protein we consume as well as the synthesis of new proteins within the body. Continue reading

Fish Tacos with Corn Salad

Fish Tacos with Corn Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A fresh, tangy, and delicious cod taco bursting with crunch and flavors.

Ingredients

  • 1 mango
  • 4 Jalapenos
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • ¼ cup chopped green onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 limes
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 ¼ tsp chili powder
  • 4 pieces of cod (16 oz total)
  • olive oil
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 2 ears of corn
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 avacados
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 6 Tbsp cilanto
  • 2 cups black beans (1 can)
  • Salt and pepper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directions

For Tacos:

  1. Slice the mango and cut the fruit into big chunks. Salt and pepper the mango and jalapeños, then grill the mango and two jalapeños until tender. Cut mango into cups and dice jalapeños. Add to a mixing bowl.
  2. Shred one cup of carrots and one cup of red cabbage. Add to mixing bowl with ¼ cup chopped green onions and 2 cloves of minced garlic.
  3. Add 2 tsp. rice wine vinegar, 2 tsp. honey and the zest of one lime to mixing bowl.
  4. Stir and add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Mix 2 tsp. paprika and ½ tsp chili powder. Salt and pepper both sides of the cod. Rub paprika and chili powder on both sides of cod.
  6. Cover bottom of pan with olive oil. Heat olive oil over low heat on stove. Raise to medium heat and put cod in hot oil.  Cook for 4 minutes on both sides.  Remove from heat and allow fish to rest.
  7. Preheat oven to 350. Put 8 corn tortillas on a cookie sheet and cook for 5 minutes.
  8. Remove corn tortillas from oven. Cut fish in strips and put half a fish on each tortilla. Add slaw to each taco.  Top each taco with chopped cilantro.

For Corn Salad:

  1. Remove husk and clean the corn. Add salt and pepper to the corn, the 2 jalapeños and the red pepper. Wrap corn in foil and place on grill with the two jalapeños.
  2. Remove from grill and allow the corn to cool. Cut the corn off the cob and add to a mixing bowl. Dice the jalapeños and red pepper and add to the bowl.
  3. Dice two avocados and add to bowl.
  4. Chop 1/3 cup red onion and 4 Tbsp cilantro and add to bowl.
  5. Add 2 cups of black beans to the bowl with ¾ tsp chili powder and the juice of two limes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Tip: When cutting the mango, slice a flat surface on the bottom of the mango.  Stand the mango up on the flat surface you created and slice the skin away as closely to the flesh as you can.  Feel for the pit with your knife to get the biggest pieces of fruit!

Citrus Is In Season, Y’all

What Are Citrus Fruits?

Citrus fruits include oranges, lemons, limes, clementines, mandarins, tangerines, grapefruits and several other exotic fruits.  They are classified by their outer peel and segmented flesh.  Citrus fruits are also known for their acidic content.

What Are the Benefits of Adding Citrus Fruits to Your Diet?

Citrus fruits offer a variety of health benefits to our diets.  Citrus fruits contain several antioxidants including vitamin A, C and E.   Flavonoids are responsible for the vibrant colors of citrus fruits and also have antioxidant qualities.  Adding these nutrients to your diet can help prevent a range of health concerns including cardiovascular disease, cancer and inflammation.

Citrus fruits also contain many minerals including calcium, which plays a major role in maintaining bone mass that can decrease as we age.  Potassium is present in citrus fruits and also plays a very important role in bone health.  Additionally, potassium can help maintain normal blood pressure.  Folate, a B vitamin, plays an important role in our blood and is found in adequate amounts in citrus fruits.  This is an especially important vitamin for expecting mothers.

As with all fruits, fiber is another nutrient found in citrus fruits. More than half of the fiber found in citrus fruits is soluble fiber, which can help prevent spikes in blood sugar and lower cholesterol.  The insoluble fiber will help prevent constipation. Both are critical to our overall health.

How Can I Add Them to My Diet?

Because of all of these benefits, it is important to find ways to work these into your diet.  Some simple ways include adding a lemon wedge to your water or tea, or having a glass of orange juice each day.  Lime is great to cook with when preparing savory dishes and can also be added on top of chicken or rice after being cooked for an extra punch of flavor.  Mandarin oranges and almonds are great toppings to salads.  Citrus fruits are also healthy substitutes for those salty or sugary snacks we often crave throughout the day.

Should You Be Supplementing with Branched Chain Amino Acids?

Trendy supplements used by athletes today are branched chain amino acids (BCAA).  These proteins include leucine, isoleucine and valine.  Athletes are using these with the intent of improving performance through reduced protein turnover and muscle breakdown during exercise.

BCAAs are present in our amino acid pool located in our blood.  To keep the levels of BCAAs maintained during endurance exercise, protein breakdown from the muscles is necessary. However, the oxidation of BCAAs in skeletal muscle often exceeds their supply from protein during prolonged exercise. This results in the BCAAs being taken from our pool, decreasing concentrations in the blood to maintain adequate amounts in our muscles (Ohtani,2006).

As concentrated levels of BCAAs decrease, an increase of tryptophan is present in the blood- brain barrier.  BCAA and tryptophan share the same binding site in the brain.  When BCAA are limited, the tryptophan increases binding at this site.  This switched binding is often associated with fatigue in athletes. This is because an uptake of tryptophan across the blood–brain barrier increases serotonin formation in the brain.  Increased serotonin results in a fatigue termed central fatigue.

Also associated with central fatigue is an increase of free fatty acids delivered to the muscles for energy during exercise.  Thus, the ratio of fat in the muscle increases while the amino acid concentration is decreasing, creating an imbalance.  Tryptophan levels are also affected due to this.  Tryptophan increases because as free fatty acids rise in the muscles, tryptophan is displaced from binding to albumin, creating free tryptophan, which can then easily be transported and bind in the brain and again increase serotonin levels to increase fatigue. (Gleeson, 2005). Talk about a double threat!  Continue reading

Gluten Free Diet: Fad Diet or Legitimate Weight Loss Promotion?

Gluten.  This protein is being promoted and talked about everywhere lately.  Celebrities are endorsing it, claiming it will help people lose weight fast, give people more energy, and help people feel physically better overall.  An article stated approximately 30% of Americans are currently avoiding gluten containing foods or eliminating gluten from their diets all together  (1).  With that said it, is no wonder that the gluten free food industry is worth 2.6 billion dollars (2). However, what exactly is gluten and is there actually evidence to support these claims of benefits from adhering to a gluten free diet? Continue reading

Sports Nutrition

As the science behind nutrition and athletic performance continues to be investigated, the importance of what athletes are eating shows to have an increased impact on their sport’s performance.  Water is one of the most important nutrients an athlete needs as hydration status has a distinct influence on performance.  This goes for any sport, under any conditions.  Basketball is a unique sport due to the fact it combines the endurance to run up and down the court for a full quarter, as well as the speed, quickness, and agility needed during one-on-one plays.  Basketball is also a very long season, which takes place during the colder winter months.  This could give the players the need for specific nutrients that could potentially become depleted from the increased training and decreased exposure to sunlight.  With that said, the increased stigma that supplements are needed for athletes, is something that needs to be addressed.  Although it is safe to say athletes expending a much greater energy load than the average person needs increased energy, it is important to know which macronutrients will help fuel workouts.  Along with these macronutrients, it is important to understand when they should be consumed, as the research in nutrient timing proves to help enhance athletic performance. Continue reading