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Category: Nutrition 101

Fresh Vs. Frozen

Fresh Vs. Frozen

image003-1Hello All,

When it comes to produce many of us struggle with keeping fresh fruits & veggies well stocked.

This is mostly associated with the “Fresh is Best” perspective applied to food, lack of time to prepare, and/or if it’s appetizing on any given day.

We are here to tell you that in the grand scheme of life, the universe and everything in it fresh produce is NOT THE ONLY OPTION.

So here is the 411 on FRESH VS FROZEN fruits and veggies:

• Most fresh fruits and vegetables are picked before they are ripe. This allows them time to fully ripen during transportation. It also gives them less time to develop a full range of vitamins, minerals and natural antioxidants. In the US, fruits and vegetables may spend anywhere from 3 days to several weeks in transit before arriving at a distribution center. Therefore, it’s important to focus on consuming fresh produce that is in-season.

• Seasonal Produce for the Fall includes: apples, beets, Brussel sprouts, cabbage (red & green), cranberries, pears, persimmons, pomegranates, pumpkins, rutabaga, turnips, squash, sweet potatoes, and more. For the fill list CLICK HERE!

• Bottom Line: Fresh fruit and vegetables are often picked before they are fully ripe. Transportation and storage can take anywhere from 3 days and up to 12 months for some types of produce…when it comes to fresh produce your optimal choices are whatever are in season during that particular time of year!

• Frozen fruits and vegetables are generally picked at peak ripeness, when they’re the most nutritious. Once harvested, the vegetables are often washed, blanched, cut, frozen and packaged within a few hours of being harvested. Fruits tend not to undergo blanching, as this can greatly affect their texture. Usually, no chemicals are added to produce before freezing.

• Bottom Line: Frozen fruit and vegetables are generally picked at peak ripeness. Therefore, when our produce is unavailable locally/organically we can check out that freezer section at the grocery store and still receive the same nutritional benefits as if they were freshly plucked.

Honorable Mentions:

• Local. The closer to your home the produce was grown the more beneficial it is for your body and the environment (less travel time for the food equals fresher quality, higher quantity of antioxidants, and less fuel emissions into the world). Your also supporting local businesses which stimulates your local economy.

• Organic. Organically produced foods avoid: synthetic chemical pesticides, shun genetically modified organisms, and avoid irradiated treated foods. Organically produced foods help: get you higher amounts of nutrients (think antioxidants), reduce pollution and protect our water & soil, create a healthier environment for animals, farmers & rural area residents, as well as, financially support a sustainable food production system.

• We recognize that not everybody can afford to incur the cost of purchasing 100% of their groceries as organic products. Never fear…here are the top 12 fruits & veggies that should always be organic: apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, grapes, cucumbers, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, imported snap peas, spinach, strawberries, and sweet bell peppers.

*** Check out this link for an in-depth look at the Buying Guide for Organic Produce article.***

Protein in Veggies…TRUE STORY!!!

Protein in Veggies…TRUE STORY!!!

Good Afternoon Everybody,

Vegetables and fruits are well known for providing a variety of natural occurring micronutrients (antioxidants, vitamins & minerals). Very rarely do we consider fruits & vegetables as good sources of protein…and we are missing out!

Below is a list of fruits and vegetables that offer a hefty punch of protein!


Sprouted Beans, Peas & Lentils (Soybean Sprouts)
Protein in 100g Per 1/2 cup (35g) Protein to Calorie Ratio
13.1g        4.6g        1g protein per 9.3 calories

Lima Beans (Cooked)
Protein in 100g Per cup (170g) Protein to Calorie Ratio
6.8g 11.6g 1g protein per 18.1 calories

Peas (Green)
Protein in 100g Per cup (145g) Protein to Calorie Ratio
5.4g 7.9g 1g protein per 15 calories

Succotash (Corn And Limas, cooked)
Protein in 100g Per cup (192g) Protein to Calorie Ratio
5.1g 9.7g 1g protein per 22.5 calories

Mushrooms (White, cooked)
Protein in 100g Per cup, sliced (108g) Protein to Calorie Ratio
3.6g 3.9g 1g protein per 7.2 calories

Mange Tout (Edible-Podded Peas, cooked)
Protein in 100g Per cup (160g) Protein to Calorie Ratio
3.5g 5.6g 1g protein per 14.9 calories

Sweet Corn (Yellow)
Protein in 100g Per cup (145g) Protein to Calorie Ratio
3.3g 4.7g 1g protein per 26 calories

Artichokes (Globe or French)
Protein in 100g Per artichoke (128g) Protein to Calorie Ratio
3.3g 4.2g 1g protein per 14.2 calories

Spinach (Cooked)
Protein in 100g Per cup (180g) Protein to Calorie Ratio
3g 5.3g 1g protein per 7.7 calories

Protein in 100g 1 cup chopped (91g) Protein to Calorie Ratio
2.8g 2.6g 1g protein per 12.1 calories

Beet Greens (Cooked)
Protein in 100g Per cup (144g) Protein to Calorie Ratio
2.6g 3.7g 1g protein per 10.4 calories

Brussels Sprouts (Cooked)
Protein in 100g Per 1/2 cup (78g) Protein to Calorie Ratio
2.6g 2g 1g protein per 13.8 calories

Bamboo Shoots
Protein in 100g Per cup (151g) Protein to Calorie Ratio
2.6g 3.9g 1g protein per 10.4 calories

Squash (Hubbard, cooked)
Protein in 100g Per cup, cubes (205g) Protein to Calorie Ratio
2.5g 5.1g 1g protein per 20 calories

Asparagus (Cooked)
Protein in 100g Per 1/2 cup (90g) Protein to Calorie Ratio
2.4g 2.2g 1g protein per 9.2 calories

Sugar Snap Peas (Green, cooked)
Protein in 100g Per cup, pieces (116g) Protein to Calorie Ratio
2.3g 2.7g 1g protein per 17 calories

Protein in 100g 1 cup chopped (107g) Protein to Calorie Ratio
1.9g 2.1g 1g protein per 13.2 calories

Pak-Choi (Chinese Cabbage, cooked)
Protein in 100g Per cup (170g) Protein to Calorie Ratio
1.6g 2.7g 1g protein per 7.5 calories

Click this link for further nutritional information.


Passion Fruit
Protein in 100g Per cup (236g) Protein to Calorie Ratio
2.2g 5.2g 1g protein per 44 calories

Protein in 100g Per fruit (282g) Protein to Calorie Ratio
1.7g 4.7g 1g protein per 49 calories

Protein in 100g Per avocado (201g) Protein to Calorie Ratio
2g 4g 1g protein per 80 calories

Have a great weekend!

Healthy Foods from A-Z, “Z”

Healthy Foods from A-Z, “Z”

Good Morning Everyone!

We have finally reached the end of our journey through the alphabet of healthy foods!  Hope you enjoyed it :).


If you want a vegetable that’s extremely versatile and has a variety of health benefits, look no further than zucchini.  Both raw and cooked zucchini are great for our overall health.  Its color can vary from yellow to dark green. 

Important Note: It is best when eaten prior to the skin becoming tough and the seeds growing large. 

Though they are grown all year long, the peak season is in the summer months.  Zucchini cannot be stored for long periods unless frozen.  You can freeze grated raw zucchini or lightly steamed slices.  Make sure to pack them in airtight containers!

 Health Benefits:

  • Contains good amounts of potassium which helps to reduce blood pressure
  • Considerable amounts of magnesium which helps to keep blood pressure at a normal rate and our heart beat at a steady rhythm
  • Incredibly low in calories
  • Keeps the body hydrated as it is made up of 95% water, giving us more energy and fewer headaches
  • Improves eye health and vision and helps to prevent age-related medical conditions affecting the eyes such as macular degeneration
  • Good source of vitamin C, good for fighting asthma
  • Contains anti-inflammatory properties that help keep our lungs open and clear
  • Contains calcium which gives strength to bones and teeth
  • Its high-fiber content helps in lowering cholesterol

For more information visit:

Some great and healthy recipes for zucchini include:

Crunchy Zucchini Rounds with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese –,,10000001886443,00.html

Black Bean & Zucchini Quesadillas –,,10000001992086,00.html

Zucchini Oven Chips –,,10000001087041,00.html

Zucchini Bread –

Zucchini Fritters –

Healthy Foods from A-Z, “Y”

Healthy Foods from A-Z, “Y”

Good Morning Everyone!

We are on to the letter “Y” in our journey through the alphabet of healthy foods!


As one of the oldest and most popular fermented foods, yogurt is known around the world.  It is produced by bacterial fermentation of milk. 

There are several different types of yogurt available:

  1. Whole-Food (Full-Fat) Yogurt
  2. Greek Yogurt
  3. Soy Yogurt
  4. Lactose-Free Yogurt
  5. Flavored or Fruited Yogurt (beware of the sugar content!!)
  6. Kefir

Yogurt is highly nutritious and is an excellent of calcium, potassium and a good sources of protein with Greek yogurt containing the most.  It also provides numerous vitamins and minerals.

Health Benefits:

  • Yogurt with active cultures helps our gut health and aids in treating certain gastrointestinal conditions like constipation and lactose intolerance
  • Contains probiotic strains that boost the immune system
  • Helps prevent osteoporosis
  • Reduces the risk of high blood pressure
  • Helps you feel fuller longer

Yogurt is extremely versatile.  You can dip it, spread it, freeze it, add fruit to it or eat it plain. 

Some other ideas of ways to eat yogurt include:

  • Make a breakfast parfait by layering yogurt, dry cereal or granola, and topping with your favorite fruit
  • Top waffles or pancakes with yogurt and sliced strawberries
  • Enjoy a mid-day snack by blending yogurt, fruit and juice to make a delicious smoothie
  • Dip raw vegetables in plain yogurt
  • Use yogurt for salad dressing and dips
  • Serve plain yogurt on quesadillas, tacos, soups and chili—as an alternative to sour cream

For more information visit:

**The nutritional value will vary depending on the yogurt you choose.  You can use www.myfitnesspa.coml or or calorie and nutrition information on some of your favorite yogurt brands:

Some great and healthy recipes for yogurt include:


Scallion-Dill Potato Salad –

Lemon Horseradish Dip –

5-Minute Healthy Strawberry Frozen Yogurt –

Quinoa Whole Wheat Greek Yogurt Pancakes –

Yams –

Yams, often confused with sweet potatoes, are a tuber native to Africa and Asia.  Yam flesh ranges in color from tan to pink or purple.  Yams tend to be dry and starchy, providing a healthy energy source with important nutritional benefits.

Health Benefits:

  • Good source of vitamin B6, believed to reduce the risk of developing heart diseases
  • A good source of important antioxidants like beta carotene and vitamin C
  • Low glycemic index food, diabetics can eat yams without worrying about a rise in blood sugar level
  • Reduces constipation and aids in healthy digestion
  • Helps to decrease bad cholesterol
  • Daily consumption increases nutrient absorption in the body
  • Has the ability to increase learning and memory capacity in our brains
  • A cancer deterrent especially of colon cancer

Be sure to choose yams that are firm and do not have any cracks, bruises or spots.

*Do not buy refrigerated yams as cold temperatures can alter their taste*

Yams can be used in a variety of cuisines, either boiled, baked and even roasted.  It can also be used in the preparation of cakes, muffin and bread.   

For more information visit:

For more nutritional information go to:

Some great and healthy recipes for yams include:

Yam, Bacon and Apple Hash –

Roasted Yams –

Healthy Candied Yams –

Oven Baked Yam Fries –

For more tips on how to cook yams visit:



Start Eating the Skin or Peel of These 12 Fruits and Veggies!

Start Eating the Skin or Peel of These 12 Fruits and Veggies!

Good Morning Everyone!

Do you peel your fruits and veggies before you eat them?  Well, there are 12 fruits and veggies you may want to consider leaving the skin or peel on.  Check out this article, it’s very interesting.  Below are six of my favorites :).

**Be sure to buy ORGANIC always is possible, but especially if you are going to consume the skin or peel – even with the best fruit and veggie wash it’s very possible you will still be consuming the pesticides and chemicals**.

One more thing – enjoy your fruit in an appropriate quantity for your activity level and if you’re not sure what that quantity is, I can help you figure that out.  Be aware of the sugar contentJ.

  1. Apples – ½ of the fiber and 1/3 of the vitamin C, A and potassium are in the skin.
  2. Potatoes – 90% of the iron and ½ the fiber is in the skin.
  3. Citrus (oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits) – 2x as much vitamin C in the peel as is in the flesh of the fruit.  Citrus also boosts iron absorption!
  4. Cucumber – most of the vitamin K is in the skin
  5. Kiwi – there are more flavonoids, vitamin C and antioxidants in the skin and double the fiber.
  6. Mango – Researchers found that mango skin contains properties similar to resveratrol, which helps burn fat and inhibits the production of mature fat cells. Mango flesh extracts were also tested, but did not produce the same results, which suggests that one needs to eat mango skin in order to get this beneficial property.  A mango’s peel also contains larger quantities of carotenoids, polyphenols, omega-3, omega-6 and polyunsaturated fatty acids than its flesh. Another study found compounds more heavily concentrated in mango’s skin that fight off cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

Have a great Thursday!!!!!

Healthy Foods from A-Z, “X”

Healthy Foods from A-Z, “X”

Good Morning Everyone!

We are on to the letter “X” in our journey through the alphabet of healthy foods!

Xigua (aka Watermelon)- 

Xigua, common in Africa, is just a specific type of the commonly known watermelon.  It is closely related to squash, cantaloupe, pumpkin and cucumbers.  Xigua is full of many valuable nutrients.  The xigua is synonymous with watermelon, the sweet melon produced in over 1,200 different varieties worldwide.  It shares the exact same health benefits of watermelon!

Melons play an important role in the treatment of many infections in the body, including inflammation of the joints.   

Watermelon can be eaten in entirety, the flesh, the rinds, and even the seeds! It is very good for us, as you may have guessed.  Since it is 91% water, consider it one of the best liquid vitamin drinks around, with vitamins A, B, C and lycopene.  Lycopene is good for our heart and may be important for bone health. 

While this is a healthy fruit to consume, please be mindful of the sugar content and your calorie needs as relates to your activity level.  Those who do a lot of cardio activity (180+ minutes weekly) can consume more sugar than those who don’t because they are using/burning more calories throughout the day.  Remember, the sugars your body does not use for energy immediately will be stored as fat. 

Watermelon seeds are also good for us!  They contain iron, zinc and protein.

***Did you know that the riper a watermelon is, the more nutritious it becomes?

For more information visit:

For more nutritional information go to:

Some great and healthy recipes for xigua (or watermelon) include:

Watermelon Mint Cooler –

Watermelon Gazpacho –

Melon Salad with Prosciutto –

Grilled Chicken and Watermelon Tacos –