Fat Burning Pasta – Can It Be?

Now you know how I feel about foods that make health claims, so let me make this disclaimer: There is NOTHING you eat that is a miracle or can be eaten without consideration of total caloric intake NOR do I endorse all the marketing tactics of this product. You can’t eat these noodles with a pound of sausage on them and expect to lose weight! However this product IS a very good choice when your are avoiding a lot of pasta and grains.

Earlier this week in class we talked about choosing carbs, particular grain products, that have more than 3 grams of fiber and less than 10 grams of sugar. If there is any “magic” it is the ability of fiber to keep you feeling full, your blood sugar stabilized and insulin at bay. This is why cruciferous green vegetables should be eaten often.

Without further adieu, let me introduce you to the Shirataki Noodle. This Asian noodle is easy to prepare, has the fiber and nutrient profile we are looking for, and works great in a ton of recipes that call for noodles or pasta.

You can ignore the “miracle” hyperbole, but check out the video as highlighted on the news, as well as a page from Men’s Health:

Shirataki Noodle

Here’s a tasty and health recipe from Nancy so you can put your new found noodle (k)nowledge to good use! 🙂

Pasta with Mushroom Marinara Sauce

2 (8 oz.) packages of Shirataki Noodle or Shirataki Fettuccine Shape
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. chopped garlic
2 1/2 cups (6 oz.) fresh sliced mushrooms
2 cups prepared marinara sauce
4 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Prepare noodles according to package directions below. Cut into 3 to 4-inch lengths. In non-stick skillet, toss noodles over medium-high heat until dry. Set aside. Heat oil in skillet, add garlic and mushrooms. Cook over high heat, stirrin continuously until mushrooms are golden. Add marinara sauce. Bring to a simmer, cook 3 minutes. Stir in noodles, cook 3 minutes. Garnish with basil. Serve with cheese (optional).

For more info on the shirataki noodle, visit http://www.miraclenoodle.com

Nancy’s Top 5 Grocery Shopping Tips

Shopping, in particular  grocery shopping is one chore I actually look forward to every other week. I enjoy taking my kids out for a few hours to choose the foods we will be eating. They actually like to go to. With three pre-schoolers in tow, here are a few helpful, healthful tips to keep in mind.

1. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. This is where you will find the fruits, veggies, meats, seafood, and dairy sections. These are the healthiest choices while the inside of the store contains those items that are less perishable in boxes, cans, jars, and bags. Think of if this way, chose items that will perish in days or weeks instead of years.  It is scary to think of how long you can keep some items on your pantry shelf.

2. When choosing fruits and veggies, make a wide range of color selection. Think of eating all the colors in the rainbow. You can chose yellow summer squash, red tomatoes, purple cabbage, orange sweet peppers, blue berries, and green beans. Many grocery stores stock a wide range of fruits and veggies. Make it a habit to try one new variety each week.  Often stores have a recipe card section to encourage shoppers to try something they offer.

Grocery Produce

3. Meats are my next stop around the store. The USDA now requires meats to list their fat content on the packaging. This makes choosing lean meats easier. But check out the difference for yourself. Pick up a package of hamburger containing 75% lean meat and one containing 90% lean meat. Turn the package over and notice how many calories you will be saving by using the 90% instead of the 75% per serving. It is huge. Do the same thing with ground turkey and ground turkey breast. This will shock some of you. But ground turkey is white, dark, skin, and other parts of the turkey ground up while ground turkey breast is only the white lean breast part of the turkey. Do I have to tell you which one has the fewer fat calories?

4. The Seafood department is another one of those unexplored areas of the store for most people. Eating seafood provides you with some very beneficial vitamins and minerals as well as some fantastic fatty acids our body’s crave. Deep Cold water seafood like Salmon, Flounder, Herring, and Tuna.

“The biggest problem in this country is that we eat too little fish, not too much, and overall everyone would benefit from increasing their fish consumption,” says Joyce Nettleton, an expert on omega-3 fatty acids. “We don’t have anything in the marketplace that has the potential to benefit health the way fatty fish do.”

5. Now, this is not to say that I never buy food in the aisles. I do, but I try to keep with the healthiest choices if possible – whole grain items, frozen vegetables without sauces, canned tuna and salmon, etc. While we are on the subject of whole grain, be very careful of labels that read whole grain on the front. Always, always turn the package over to read the nutrition label. Only on the nutrition label will you see the truth. Choose items that are higher than 3 grams of fiber and less than 10 grams of sugar. Higher fiber and less sugar is the rule to keep in mind. There are better choices than others so don’t be fooled. Choosing the healthiest bread or cereal for your family will take some doing the first time out but after that you can avoid all the choices and just pick the ones you have already found to be high fiber and low sugar options.

There are so many options in a super market. It can be an overwhelming chore to make the healthiest choices for you and your family. Stick to these rules and you’ll be on your way to easier healthy eating.

Don’t make it a chore – Make It Fun!


Is Your Kitchen Making You Fat?

During my recent trip to Louisville, I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Chris Mohr give us a presentation on nutrition for kids. He and his wife, Dr. Kara Mohr run a successful fitness bootcamp program in the Louisville area, and Chris has a real knack for making nutrition “easy”.

“Is Your Kitchen Making You Fat?” is the title of the Mohrs new DVD, and I wanted to share a brief excerpt with you. Let me know what you think!

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