Cottage Cheese- good news/bad news

When I was in high school  a ball of cottage cheese  on a ring of canned pineapple was the ultimate diet meal.  Former President Nixon made headlines when  he shared that his favorite lunch was cottege cheese topped with ketchup. For years these slightly sour milk curds were  the ultimate symbol of weight control.  Over the years, cottage cheese has fallen out of favor — a loss for easy  healthy meal plans. 

Cottage cheese is made  from the separation of solids and liquid in milk.  The whey is poured off and the cuds are rinsed, but not pressed into true cheese.  ( and yes, this  is where the nursery rhyme “curds and whey” came from). Cottage cheese is a wonderful source of  protein and vitamin B12.  One half cup of full fat … Continue Reading…

The Beauty of Butternut Squash

The yellow and rust colors of fall  have  made me hungry  for the sweet, fleshy meat of  winter squash.  Butternut, crook neck, turban and acorn  are shaped differently  but offer very similar  nutritional payloads.  The deep orange color is packed, I mean packed with vitamin A and beta-carotene.   One half cup of  cooked squash   can have 100-200% of  the RDA for  this essential  vitamin as well as 25% of the RDA of vitamin C.  Fat free and salt free, one half cup has 120 calories and 12 grams of carbs.   By comparison, the same amount of a white potato has about 60 calories  and the same amount of carbs.

Given the slightly stringy/gritty texture of winter squash I expected squash to  be a good source of fiber.  I was wrong.  In fact … Continue Reading…

The Magic of Mushrooms

Mushrooms are one of my favorite  veggies– except that they’re really not a vegetable at all.  Mushrooms are a fungus- a plant that has no leaves, no roots, and no seeds.   Mushrooms don’t have chlorophyll, vitamin A or vitamin C.  But its not what they aren’t or don’t have that make mushrooms  so important for a healthy diet. 

Mushrooms have this wonderful meaty texture yet clock in at only 20 calories per cup which delivers a few grams of protein as well as healthy amounts of B vitamins and iron. Keep in mind that dried mushrooms lose a good deal of  this nutrition.  Fresh cooked mushrooms have 3X the niacin, 2X the iron and 15X the riboflavin of serving of canned mushrooms.  This is not such a hardship since canned … Continue Reading…

Diet for Beauty– Day One

Its  hard to open up a health or beauty magazine without an article that links diet and beautiful skin.  While its certainly a no-brainer that what we eat affects how we look I want substantive claims that directly link good nutrition  to smooth younger looking skin.   

Some of the best evidence comes from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, aka  the NHANES study.  This  long ( ten year), large  (17K  men and women) study  compared daily food intake with a wide range of health issues including diabetes, heart disease and cancer.  But what makes this a must  keep study for me is the relationship they studied between diet and wrinkles.  To bottom line it, the NHANES found that  people on diets  high in protein, fiber, vitamin C, linoleic acid and … Continue Reading…

Kale: The Ultimate Beauty Food

I’m working my way through the vegetable aisle, picking out items in no particular order.  Recently I added  big bunch of curly kale to my cart  and started to explore its nutritional profile.  I was blown away!  This common, affordable leafy green is so high in nutrients its ridonkulus.  One half cup of cooked kale,  which clocks in at just 21 calories, is practically bursting with a boatload of the strongest  antioxidants.  Its got twice the RDA for both vitamin A and vitamin C–both key anti-wrinkling nutrients.  It even has respectable  servings of calcium, iron and fiber.  But wait there’s more.  There is evidence that  kale is anti-inflammatory, offering a healthy dose of cancer fighting indoles.  Even better, Kale preserves these nutrients   after steaming, a stint in the microwave  or stir … Continue Reading…

Fashion Flash #4

This   week Fashion Flash is hosted by The Shoe Dish – an incredible site devoted to footwear.  Now I like to think I have a black belt in shopping, but The Shoe Dish introduced me to  new styles and brands that I never knew existed.  For example, on The Shoe Dish I found a pair of back kitten heel D’orsay pumps that were as comfortable as they were sexy.  Wore them last week to a reception and it was the first time in years I didn’t limp home.

A Biotin Success Story

During the fall my once boringly normal nails became soft and peeled off.  At first it was  just an annoying cosmetic problem — but then the peeling problem took my nails below the fingertip.  It didn’t look good and felt worse

Surfing the web  for solutions, I read that biotin, a form of B vitamin, had been linked  to soft peeling nails  and biotin supplements  could help.  if,  But and its a big  but,  biotin deficiencies are considered very, very rare.  Best sources of biotin are commonly found foods includinng eggs, fish, beans, yeast  and potatoes.  Here was  my first clue. 

After the  BP oil spill in May, I decided to stay away from fish.  In June the wide spread  Salmonella outbreak in eggs, had me crossing off eggs from my shopping list. Add to that that I don’t like beans, avoid carb rich potatoes  and  who actually eats yeast … Continue Reading…