FDA Bans Ingredient That Never Belonged in our Food

fast-food Photo Courtesy
Artery-clogging trans fats can be found it a whole slew of foods, from peanut butter, to pot pies. The levels of trans fats in foods have been lowered over the last two decades, but the Food and Drug Administration announced yesterday they are eliminating all of them.

 Trans fats are no longer “generally recognized as safe” and any use of them will require permission from the FDA. Of course, it will take some time before all trans fats are eliminated from the products that line our grocery store aisles.

Trans fats have been found to cause many health problems. These fats raise your “bad” LDL cholesterol and lower your “good” HDL cholesterol. This combination increases your risk for heart disease, which is the top killer of men and women in America. Trans fats clog arteries, and can lead to an elevated risk of coronary heart disease and heart attacks.

There is also some evidence that trans fats can lead to increased risk of other chronic health problems, including, diabetes, cancer, and obesity. However, there is less scientific research on these disorders.

How to Avoid Trans Fats!

Transfat

1. Read Food Labels: Food products are allowed to label foods that contain less than 0.5g Trans fats per serving as having No Trans fats. (This is a HUGE problem when the FDA advices citizens to only ingest 1gram of trans fat PER DAY) Which they then joyfully display all over their colorful packages. Don’t believe what products display on the front, flip it over and read the ingredient list!

         Trans fats can be disguised as: Partially hydrogenated oil (soybean, canola, or others)

It sounds counterintuitive, but “fully” or “completely” hydrogenated oil doesn’t contain trans fat. The artificial process used to make completely hydrogenated oil doesn’t result in trans-fatty acids- like it does when partially hydrogenated oils are created. However, if a food label lists “hydrogenated” vegetable oil, it could mean the oil contains some trans fat. To be safe, it is best to avoid any foods that list any form of hydrogenated oils.

2. Limit intake of processed foods. Foods that have added trans fats are usually processed foods- not whole, real foods, with an easily comprehendible  list of ingredients.

3. Limit intake of fried foods. Some restaurants fry their foods in partially hydrogenated oils. This also means limiting fast food stops!

4. Cook and bake at home! If you are making your own food you know exactly what goes into it! (and what doesn’t!)

5. Support local farmer’s, buy from markets and produce stands, or plant your own garden!
GardenTrans Fat Bans Around the World
Denmark: First country to enforce strict laws limiting the sale of foods containing trans fats, in March 2003.
Switzerland: Banned trans fats in 2008.
Iceland: Total ban on trans fats.

Now that the FDA has announced the ban, the next step is removing it from foods in our grocery stores. AND making sure the replacement isn’t something just as unhealthy for us. Interesterified oil may not be the answer.

How do you feel about this recent ban? Are you happy with the FDA’s decision?

Sources: ABC NEWS
MAYO CLINIC
FDA
New England Journal of Medicine

Homemade Apple Molasses

Apple MolassesKeeping in theme with fall, cider making, and apple season, today I am sharing another wonderful thing that comes from apple pressing…Apple Molasses!

Apple Molasses goes by many other names. It is also called apple syrup, cider jelly, or cider syrup, but really it is just boiled cider. It is sweet, tangy, and delicious. It will bring fall right back to you, even in the cold wintery months. If you went outside when the leaves were bright orange, red, and yellow and slowly drifting on a light breeze- stuck a jar out to bottle it all up and corked it, this syrup would be an exact replica! Apple molasses is autumn all bottled up!

To properly test the height of the cider turn the burner off and let the bubbles retreat before using your stick or ruler. Two gallons should boil down to about 750ml, enough to fill a small wine bottle.

Apple Molasses1

**Watch the pot closely when the liquid is nearing the bottom of the pan. Don’t leave your house to go weed your garden, and completely forget about the scalding liquid boiling away on your stove- because you will be greeted by a plume of black smoke overtaking your kitchen and living room…not speaking from experience of anything. :/

I found this recipe in an old New England Cider book. But! Foodie with Family has a similar recipe on her blog as well as some fantastic ideas about what to do with your fresh bottle of apple molasses!

I LOVE this recipe even more because it has a single ingredient: Apples! The sweetness is completely from the natural sugars in the apples. I have been known to use this sweet syrup to replace sugar, honey, or maple syrup in many recipes. Here are some other ideas!

What do I do with my Apple Molasses!?
Healthy Apple Cider Soda
Add to a Peanut Butter Sandwich!
Apple Cider Molasses Vinaigrette

 

Simple, healthy apple crisp recipe to come! With all REAL ingredients!

Home Brewing! (Update!)

We finally finished and bottled our first home brew! Read about the first steps in our brewing endever here. To quickly catch you up, a couple of weeks ago we started a batch of Coffee Stout. We decided to add a whole bunch of vanilla beans too and ended up with a fantastic beer. It is smooth, complex, and delicious. There are hints of coffee, chocolate, and vanilla. Last time we chatted I walked you through steps one, two, and part of three. This post will cover the rest of step 3-bottling and drinking-the best step of all!

ocweekly-beergraphic-credit-tyler-hoehne(Source)

After we waited about 10 days we added 8-10 vanilla beans to each of the carboys. We also brewed two pots of coffee using fresh ground beans from The Dali Java and poured one into each 5-gallon bottle of brew. YUM!

So on to the fifth step in STEP 3…Bottling. Our beer didn’t taste half bad, even flat, which is a good sign. In order to add carbonation we needed to “prime” the beer with fermentable sugars. We also placed one carboy of beer straight into the kegerator, which will force carbon dioxide into the beer, therefore no need for priming sugar.
HOmebrew2

SIDE NOTE: I made my boyfriend a new tap handle for our kegerator. It was inspired by Salvador Dali. There are magnetic labels that can be removed or placed on the tap to label what is in the keg…This isn’t a great picture, but you can kind of see what it looks like.
P1100039Shout out to Naked Dove!
The other 5-gallon carboy filled 53 bottles, which were capped and will be ready to drink in about two weeks!

P1100167P1100163Clementine was such a great helper…And now to enjoy a pint!
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What I Ate Wednesday, Number 3!

Yay! I’m starting to feel like What I Ate Wednesdays are giant picnics, and I love it! I am inspired by new recipes that I want to try, and tips too! Thanks PeasandCrayons! MY WIAW is actually a what I ate…yesterday. ( I need to start being more creative with these). In theme with sensible snacking month I tried to replace my snacks with healthy alternatives to what I usually munch on.

WIAW3

A. BREAKFAST! Whole wheat english muffins with homemade peanut butter, and a kiwi. Does anyone have a recipe for homemade english muffins?
B. LUNCH! Wegman’s veggie sushi, yum!
C. SNACK! Peanuts. obviously. I passed on the chips and dip and dug into some shelled peanuts instead.
D. DINNER! Hand-picked asparagus, and a buffalo “chicken” wrap. I used some of the buffalo roasted chickpeas from the other day and mixed it with some extra buffalo sauce, a tiny bit of ranch dressing, banana peppers, mozzarella cheese, and spinach from the garden. SO. Good.
E. DESSERT! My new addiction is graham crackers smeared with more homemade peanut butter (holy cow was I craving peanuts or what, I just noticed). It tastes just like a nutter butter from when I was a little kid. This isn’t the healthiest snack, but it is much better than most desserts. I want to make my own graham crackers so that I am aware of the ingredients included in them, and make them a bit healthier than the store bought version.

In honor of the sensible snacking theme, here are some of my favorite homemade snacks:
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FroYo!
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Crispy Buffalo Chickpeas
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Trail Mix Cookies!

HoneyNuts

Honey Roasted Peanuts!

And if you are planning a road trip this summer here are some great ideas for healthy snacks to bring on the road!

Have a great wednesday everyone! I can’t wait to see what everyone is munching on. If you have any english muffin, or graham cracker recipes, that would be fantastic! Stay tuned for buffalo-style hummus and a spaghetti squash recipe!

What I Ate Wednesday!! (The Second One)

There are so many people joining the WIAW party, it’s so groovy! (Yes, I just said groovy). If you missed my First WIAW, you can find out more info about it, and what the host, Jenn, has to say!

Now for the goods. This is what I ate yesterday, I am feeling quite under the weather (where did that saying even come from) So I really didn’t eat as much as I should of, and I drank so. much. tea. Hopefully I’ll be all healthy again by tomorrow.

WIAW 2

BREAKFAST: The first tea/drink I had for breakfast is my go to drink whenever I’m feeling…well…crappy. It consists of:

– 1/2 teaspoon honey
-1/4 tsp cinnamon
-2 tbsp Braggs Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
Place all of these in a coffee cup then fill with  hot water. I also had an orange.

Apple cider vinegar is awesome…There are all sorts of health benefits! But it is quite a sour and acidic drink to swallow. This concoction balances the vinegar with honey!

LUNCH: A handful of some assorted nuts. And a lean green smoothie. Here is the recipe!

GreenSmoothie

I thought it tasted awesome, and I couldn’t really tell how much spinach was actually in it, but that could also be because I am all stuffed up and sickly, so my tastebuds aren’t working properly…no promises. I thought it was pretty good, lemme know what you think!

DINNER: The best meal yesterday, by far! A caprese panini from Macri’s. With fresh mozzarella, basil, and balsamic vinegar. SO. GOOD. And fresh picked asparagus…my boyfriend literally went to the field near our house and picked it. Yum!

Oh and this little guy…!

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Can’t wait to see what everyone else had 🙂 Happy hump day!!

Intense Leg Workout!

Today’s CrossFIT workout was really, REALLY, difficult, but I loved it!

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35 Handstand pushups
100 pistol squats
100 pull ups

There was a 15 minutes time cap, I only finished the handstand pushups, pistols, and 50 pull ups. Woo! My legs were shakin like bacon, and I prolly won’t be able to walk tomorrow. But this workout was my motivation for today’s Intense Leg Workout! This is a good one for those strong, toned, shapely legs…and butt!

First, I will explain the pistol. It’s pretty much a one legged squat, it’s an awesome exercise, but it also very difficult. If you can do the pistol, it is a great leg strengthening movement, and will tone your entire lower body. But there are many ways to scale this movement…or make it a bit easier than being able to balance and squat your full body weight on one leg.

single-leg-squat-pistol-squat(Source)

You can use a medicine ball, chair, or block behind you so that you don’t have to squat down all the way to the floor before coming back up. You can also hang on to a pole or something upright and use that to slightly pull yourself up out of the squat. It can also be used to keep your balance.

Alright, so let’s get to the workout!!

LegWorkout(Source)
Woo Wee!! This one will leave your legs burning, and yellin at ya tomorrow, be careful going down the stairs 🙂 Perfect for the upcoming shorts season!!

What I Ate Wednesday…Numero Uno!

So I have been reading the spectacular blog, Peas and Crayons for a while and love reading Jen’s What I Ate Wednesday Posts. So I FINALLY decided to join the party with my own daily eats. This is what Jen says about What I Ate Wednesday!

—-What WIAW isn’t about—-
Comparison – Judgement – Restriction – Guilt
—-What WIAW is about—-
Celebrating one of the glorious things we all have in common: We all eat!
WIAW is about food and fun! It’s about making new friends, breaking out of a food rut, noting changes in your diet/lifestyle, inspiring yourself & others, embracing fruit & vegetables, nourishing your body with the foods that work for you, finding new ways to eat your favorite foods, and so. much. more. ❤
Celebrate Food.  Celebrate blogging.  Celebrate Individuality.
[Cause over here, we like to party!]

I think this is a great idea, and a great way for people with an interest in food and nutrition to connect. So here it goes! WIAWBreakfast: Whole wheat english muffin with homemade peanut butter. And coffee. My favorite pre-workout breakfast. Snack: Cake Batter protein bar after CrossFIT (one not four) Lunch: Peanut butter yogurt! Snack: Almonds, I’m addicted. Dinner: Leftover cauliflower crust pizza. I also had some green beans that aren’t pictured…I ran out of fruit, I need to run to the grocery store!Happy Hump Day!