We mention antioxidants quite often when going over the benefits of different foods, but what exactly are antioxidants and how do they work?
• Antioxidants are molecules that process and remove free radicals in your body.
• Free radicals are waste substances made by cells as your body processes food and reacts to your environment.
• Free radicals need to be removed from your body and can start to cause damage if they’re present in large amounts. They’ve been linked to illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. Antioxidants work to remove them.
• Your body makes its own antioxidants, but certain foods can help bring in even more antioxidants to help fight free radicals.
• Foods High in Antioxidants: Eggs, berries, oranges, apples, bell peppers, nuts, leafy greens, tomatoes, black beans, green tea, dark chocolate, pomegranates.
Getting kids involved in cooking and creating meals for the family is something they can use the rest of their life. It also calls upon skills they’re currently learning such as reading, fractions, time, measuring, and following instructions. All kids develop at different rates, so follow your instincts as to what they can do, but here are some ideas to get things going:
• greasing pans
• setting the table
• pouring batter into muffin cups
• toasting bread
• putting dinner leftovers into containers
• reading recipes to you
• cracking eggs into a bowl
• peeling cooled hard-boiled eggs
• rinsing produce items
• setting a timer
• helping put groceries away
You may have seen turkey bacon showing up on our menu instead of pork. Turkey bacon offers several advantages over pork bacon. Let’s take a look:
• Lower in calories: A 1-ounce serving of turkey bacon has 100 calories, compared to 150 calories in pork bacon for the same amount.
• Lower in fat: Turkey bacon is leaner than pork and yields around 2g of saturated fat per ounce, while pork bacon comes in at almost 4g. Total fat for turkey is just under 8g, with pork around 11.5g.
• Good option if you can’t eat pork: Due to pork allergies, health reasons, or religious beliefs, some people can’t eat pork so turkey bacon is a good option for them to still be able to enjoy bacon while still meeting their requirements.
• Oil & Vinegar - One part oil, to two parts vinegar works nicely and the possibilities are endless with this combo. Switch up the type of vinegar by going with red wine, rice, or balsamic and consider infused oils for even more combos.
• Lemon Garlic - Mix up ¼ cup oil of your choice, ½ cup fresh lemon juice, and a few fresh minced garlic cloves and this refreshing dressing is ready to go.
• Apple Cider Vinaigrette - This deluxe vinaigrette only requires 1/3 cup olive oil, ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, a drizzle or two of honey, and 2 teaspoons dijon mustard. The flavors all balance and compliment each other perfectly.
• Fresh Herb Vinaigrette - Use equal parts oil to acid for this one. Olive oil and red wine vinegar pair nicely and offer lots of flexibility. Add in a ¼ cup of fresh herbs such as basil, cilantro, or parsley to complete the dressing. It can be used on a taco salad, Caprese salad, or even a Caesar salad.
• Creamy Greek Yogurt Dressing - A much healthier version of bottled creamy dressings, this one only requires ½ cup Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons lemon, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and whatever spices you’d like. We recommend dill, paprika, Italian blend, or even just garlic salt and pepper.
When it comes to cuts of beef, there are lots of good options and everyone has their favorites. We like to use sirloin because it’s a popular choice and offers lots of versatility.
- There’s a legend (though undocumented) that sirloin got its name after King James I of England was so impressed with this cut of beef, he knighted it and gave it the name “Sir Loin”.
- No bones and very little fat.
- Lean yet still juicy.
- Thin cut strips of sirloin can be as tender as filet mignon.
- Versatile and can be flavored many different ways or not at all.
- Can be broiled, sautéed, or grilled.
One of the sides on this week's menu is asparagus. It’s a great source of a variety of vitamins and offers many health benefits.
Aside from being a great source of energy, fats are needed by your body to perform basic daily functions. Healthy fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats from foods like salmon, avocados, eggs, nuts, and olive oil.
Here are some of the benefits of including healthy fats in your diet:
• Brain Function
Your brain and nerve tissues are largely made up of fat, so it’s important to get fatty acids in your diet. Low fat amounts can lead to brain fog.
• Heart Health
Healthy fats help supply you with omega acids that can reduce inflammation and increase heart health.
• Hormone Balance
Without enough healthy fats, your hormones can become unbalanced and lead to issues like mood changes and even infertility.
• Stay Satisfied and Avoid Overeating
Diets that include fat are better able to balance hunger hormones to help you feel satisfied and avoid cravings later.
• Reduce Risk of Diabetes
Healthy fats help you to control insulin levels and regulate blood sugar levels.
• Healthy Hair and Skin
Fats help your body absorb essential fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K which helps support healthy hair and skin.
Americans consume an average of 15 teaspoons of added sugars in a day and usually without knowing it. Sugar goes by many names in packaged foods, so it can be difficult to spot. Today we’ll show you some of the names used for added sugars in the foods you eat:
• Invert sugar
• Cane sugar
• Corn syrup
• Rice syrup
Our menu for the week of March 1st features two new items, one of which is fish tacos with wild-caught cod. Cod offers a variety of health benefits. Let’s take a look:
• Low Calorie, High Protein: A 3oz serving has 85 calories and 20g protein.
• B Vitamins: B6 and B12 vitamins found in cod help to protect your nerves and create red blood cells.
• Low in Mercury: Cod is lower in mercury than most other types of fish.
• Phosphorous: This mineral helps build strong bones and teeth.
• Selenium: An essential mineral (must be obtained through diet) that supports thyroid health and metabolism.
Featured on this week’s menu is our new Bang Bang Shrimp - and for good reason! Shrimp are a great combo of low calories with lots of protein and packed with nutrients.
• Low In Calories: 84 cals per 3oz (usually about 10 shrimp)
• High in Protein: 18g protein per 3oz
• No Carbs
• Good Source of Omegas
• Great Source of Iodine: Dietary iodine helps support your thyroid and brain health
• Great Source of Selenium: For thyroid function and metabolism
• A Variety of Other Nutrients: 20 vitamins and minerals such as B12, phosphorous, choline, and copper among others