Give it up for fat!

With so much media attention on fat, it concerns me a little how we seem to forget the importance of fat in our diets.  Fat has been made out to be the bad guy quite a bit lately. Because of that, I’ve been considering writing a post discussing the difference between good and bad fats as well as the importance of including fats in our diet.

In looking up some information to refresh my memory of all those physiology and nutrition classes I took once upon a time, I came across a great article that I decided to send you to instead.  With so much great information already included in one place, I don’t see a need to duplicate it.  The people on this site essentially did everything that I wanted to (and much more) and they did it much more concisely than I could have.

My favorite part is where they give guidelines for choosing healthy fats:

“With so many different sources of dietary fat—some good and some bad—the choices can get confusing. But the bottom line is simple: don’t go no-fat, go good fat.

If you are concerned about your weight or heart health, rather than avoiding fat in your diet, try replacing saturated fats and trans fats with good fats. This might mean replacing some of the meat you eat with beans and legumes, or using olive oil rather than butter.”

I would add, if you are concerned about your weight, pay more attention to how many calories you’re eating compared to how many calories you are expending than to whether or not you’re eating fat-free.

Anyway, I’ll stop typing so you can read what these smarter people say.  Its good stuff.

Remember, the choices you make determine the life you live.

Help reducing allergies?

With some early blooms this year I’ve been getting pounded with allergies more than most years.  It was great to come across this post talking about what the research says these days about food and allergies/asthma.

No matter what they say, I’m still heading to the farmer’s market to get some raw, local honey.  It costs almost the same, helps keep the bee-keepers in my area working, tastes oh-so-good, and actually did seem to help with my allergies last year.

Read up on what researchers have to say about honey, raw milk, salt and fruit helping out with allergies and asthma.  Then let us know what foods you’ve found helpful.  Do you have a favorite home remedy for those pesky allergies?

Remember, the choices you make determine the life you live

Simple tips

Check out this great post by John Chase, a personal trainer certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.  Simple tips like these are great to come across because they’re easy to implement quickly and they actually make a difference.  These are some of the tips John has:

Eat from smaller plates or bowls. The bigger the plate, the more you’ll eat.

Increase your veggie variety to decrease boredom.

Try a veggie burger. They’re pretty tasty!

Use spinach in your salad

Eat slower. Take your time and enjoy the meal. You’ll be less likely to go back for seconds when you take your time as well.

Chew your food better. It aids digestion.

Make and take your lunch to work. You’ll make better food choices, you’ll eat less, and you’ll save a ton of money.

Use olive oil when cooking.

Fill half your plate with veggies. That leaves less room for the stuff that doesn’t help you get to your goals.

Eliminate soda, sports drinks, and fancy coffee. We get 22% of our calories through drinks.

Have fruit as a snack instead of processed sugars

And my personal favorite, of course: Eat a real breakfast. A pop tart doesn’t count. Neither does the donut and/or cup of coffee.

If you’re looking for simple ways to improve your nutrition, take a good look at John’s list and pick out a couple to start implementing right away.

Remember, the choices you make determine the life you live

Restaurant Nutrition App

Trying to watch what goes into your body while eating out?  Check out this cool app brought to us by Unified Lifestyle.

The app store description touts Restaurant Nutrition as being “loaded with over 250 Restaurants” and “60,000 food items”.

That’s mucho food!

If you’ve had a chance to try this out, let us know what you think.  Is it worth having?  Does it help you make better choices or does it just leave you feeling guilty?

Leave a comment or find us on Facebook and Twitter to let us know.

Remember, the choices you make determine the life you live

The problem with pancakes

I love pancakes.  My wife loves pancakes.  My kids love pancakes.

Pancakes are a problem.

The problem with pancakes is that they just don’t fill me up very quickly.  They become a vehicle for whatever variety of syrup we’ve got around that day.  I know it doesn’t sound like much of a problem but because I love them, I’m weak-willed, I drown them in syrup, and they don’t fill me up very quickly, I end up eating way more than I need to.

The solution?

Dee’s Cereal Whole Grain Pancakes!

Super yummy, full of all the goodness found in Dee’s Cereal, and they will actually fill you up and keep you going.  They’re not much more time consuming to make than regular pancakes either.  Alright, they’re harder than pouring water on a mix of Krusteaz but I’m talking about making pancakes the awesome way; from scratch.

Try out the recipe and let us know what you think.  You can also find this recipe along with other ways to eat better and enjoy Dee’s Cereal at deescereal.com in the recipes link.

DEE’S CEREAL WHOLE GRAIN PANCAKES

  • ½ Cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ Cup Dee’s Cereal
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar (or Sucanat)
  • ¼ tsp. salt (or sea salt)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • dash cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 Cup skim milk
  • 1 Tbsp. butter (or coconut butter)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Combine flour, cereal, salt, baking powder and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.  Set aside.
  2. Combine egg and brown sugar.  Beat with fork until sugar is mostly dissolved.  Add milk and vanilla. Stir.
  3. Add melted margarine as you stir the liquid mixture.  Hint: Melt the margarine in the skillet you intend to use to cook the pancakes.
  4. Add dry ingredients and stir gently until blended.  Let stand 3-5 minutes.
  5. Ladle onto a preheated non-stick skillet or griddle.  Cook until lightly browned on each side, turning only once.
  6. Top with syrup, fruit spread or fresh fruit of your choice.  Applesauce is especially good.

Servings: 3 to 6 pancakes.

Remember, the choices you make determine the life you live

Really? They don’t talk about diet and exercise?

Check out this article about how cancer is being shown to help cancer survivors.  Then, if you care, come back to read my ranting.  http://www.telegram.com/article/20120426/NEWS/120429637/-1/NEWS04

What blows my mind is not that diet and exercise is being shown to help prevent the recurrence of cancer.  I’m not surprised that people use exercise to improve their moods and overcome the depression that can so easily follow such a devastating diagnosis.  I’m not even shocked that the American Cancer Society issued new guidelines (finally).

What I find staggering,  astonishing and even distressing is the comment that “usually the last thing on (a doctor’s) mind is to talk about diet and exercise”.  Really?!  Is that really the case?  Has our medical system really strayed so far from helping people actually overcome disease?  Has it simply become a system where we try to alleviate symptoms rather than alter root causes?

I am not a doctor.  I have no interest in going to medical school.  I did, however, study exercise science and was able to take many of the classes required for pre-med.  I sat in the same room as many people in my area who are now studying to become or are practicing as medical professionals.  I cannot fathom that those people studied what I did, listened to the same lectures, read the same books, prepared presentations on the same topics (on top of everything else they later went through in medical school) and would still have the mentality of diet and exercise being the “last thing on their mind…to talk about” with their patients.

I understand that “there hadn’t been much [statistical] evidence on the effects of diet and exercise for people who had had cancer” but, seriously, how can you work with patient after patient dying from a disease that has long been shown to be tied to obesity and lack of activity and not promote a healthy diet and exercise?

Could you please enlighten me?  Is it really true that doctors don’t help patients with improving their diets and fitness levels?  Has this been your experience or have your doctors talked about diet and exercise?  I am having such a hard time imagining this to really be the case.  What have you experienced?

Remember, the choices you make determine the life you live

Corn. Yeah, it really is that good.

Poor corn.  So faithful.  So forgotten.

For generations, corn has been a staple for whole civilizations of people.  Today, however, not many people toot its horn.  Let me change that for just a minute.

One of the most well-known benefits of corn is its huge fiber content.  It has so much fiber that it is really difficult to digest.  A single ear of corn (medium size, about 7″ long) has 3g of dietary fiber.  One cup of corn has 14.3% of the daily needs of fiber.  The insoluble fiber found in corn is great for working on (and preventing) digestive issues like constipation and hemorrhoids.

Anyone who has eaten corn knows how hard it is to digest and has experienced its benefits but did you know that corn also has the following benefits?

  • Corn is a good source of Vitamin C and manganese.  These are both well-know antioxidants that help protect many of the body’s systems and its cells.
  • More recently, corn’s phytonutrients have been documented to be good antioxidants and also to help reduce the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular problems.
  • Some of the phytonutrients found in corn include beta-carotene and lutein, both of which help keep our eyes healthy.
  • Corn is a low-calorie food that still has enough fiber to actually makes you feel full.  One ear of corn has only 77 calories.
  • Corn is also a good source of folic acid.  The importance of folic acid (especially for pregnant women) was discussed in more detail in a previous post.
  • Surprisingly, there is a decent amount of protein found in corn, with a single ear having 3g.  The best part of the protein found in corn is that it is high quality with a great amino acid score of 83.
    • Let’s see if I can explain the amino acid score without putting anyone to sleep.
    • Protein is made up of amino acids.  The body breaks protein down into its amino acids in order to use them.  There are 9 essential amino acids, or amino acids that the body can’t produce on its own so we have to get them from our diet.
    • Amino acids can only be used by our bodies in specific proportions.  If you have 100% of 8 amino acids but only have 50% of the 9th, the body will only use 50% of each of the amino acids.  This is a simplification, I’m sure, but you get the point.
    • The amino acid score is a number (from 0 – 100) that tells you how proportionately balanced the amino acid in that food is.  By comparison, a sirloin, which is considered a great protein source, has an amino acid score of 94.
    • In other words, corn is a good source of good protein.
  • The high fiber and good protein quality in corn help regulate how quickly it passes through the digestive system.  This benefits blood sugar by regulating the uptake of sugar from the digestive tract into the blood stream.  This makes corn great for diabetics and anyone trying to control blood sugar.
  • Corn just tastes good.

There are many reasons corn is a great staple for our dinner tables.  If you haven’t had the pleasure of eating some delicious corn lately, look up your favorite recipe and have some tonight.

And, of course, with so many amazing health benefits, you know you can find corn in Dee’s Cereal.  You can read a little more about corn and the rest of the ingredients found in Dee’s Cereal on our nutrition page at http://deescereal.com/nutrition/.

Remember, the choices you make determine the life you live

Sources that weren’t knowledge gained from classes, past reading, and life experience: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=90http://home.howstuffworks.com/corn3.htmhttp://nutritiondata.self.com/

 

City Weekly Best of Utah picks Dee’s Cereal!

Have you checked out the City Weekly Best of Utah 2012 yet?  After scouring the great state of Utah, the good people at City Weekly put together 6 different lists of the very best we have to offer:

We’re happy to say Dee’s Cereal was one of those named Best of Utah 2012.  Not only were we named one of the best products, but it was in the category of best AND healthy!  We would keep providing a healthy, delicious, balanced cereal without the recognition but it is definitely nice to get noticed too.

Here’s what City Weekly had to say about us:

The company’s founder was a diabetic facing multiple weight- and lifestyle-related health complications when he decided to change his eating habits—and subsequently turn his “a-ha” moment into a Pleasant Grove-based business. Dee’s unique blend, available in Utah health-food and grocery store refrigerated sections, combines grains like rice, barley and quinoa with fruit, nuts and a variety of more unusual ingredients—like amaranth and garbanzo beans—for a cereal that’s bursting with protein, amino acids, vitamins and fiber, all without processed sugars and preservatives. It’s so fresh, you won’t be able to store it in the pantry; use the refrigerator, and start your day with hot or cold cereal for better health. - DeesCereal.com

Perusing the lists they put together I found some places, items and events I’m going to have to check out for myself.  Here’s a taste of some that interested and intrigued me, and some that are just too great to pass up.  Check out the lists for yourself to find the best in the Beehive State.

  • One that I’ve always wanted to try:

Best Way to Settle a Feud - Salt Lake City Fencing
Clubs and axes could surely settle a feud, but they lack a gentleman’s grace and sportsmanship. And a 10-pace draw lacks any sense of parrying. But, ho: Fencing’s games of foil, sabre and épée have stood the test of time—fencing is one of four games to have been included in every Olympic games. The sport isn’t just for Olympians: The folks at Salt Lake City Fencing can teach the art of swordsmanship and all the fancy footwork needed to end a feud (or just have some fun) with individual or group lessons.
3030 S. Main, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, 801-455-1747 - www.slcfencing.info

  • One that I haven’t tried in way too long:

Best River Rats - Red River Adventures
In Moab, there are plenty of river adventures to be had, and plenty of river guides to take the daring down the wild Colorado River. But if you want to experience white-water rafting and all its grandeur without being babysat, you’ll want to trust the competent guides of Red River Adventures. Travelers on Red River’s small boats get to do their own paddling, facing the breaks and waves head-on for single-day and multi-day trips. The guides ensure a safe adventure, but also a fun one—which means you should be ready to get tossed into the drink and really enjoy the Colorado the way it was meant to be enjoyed—by the mouthful.
1140 S. Main Street, Moab, 435-259-4046 - RedRiverAdventures.com

  • One that blows my mind:

Best Musical Wood - Violin Making School of America
The art of handcrafted violins dates back to the 1560s in Northern Italy, but gone are the days of student apprentices. Now, many would-be violinmakers venture to Utah’s Violin Making School of America—it was America’s first school of its kind, and is one of just three other established American schools. Students come from all over the world to attend classes in the three-year program. They learn to whittle wood into something that sounds as beautiful as it looks, all while surrounded by wood shavings and the smell of linseed oil. And, most important of all, these students are keeping this art alive.
304 E. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-209-3494 - VMSA.net

  • One I have got to go check out:

Best Hidden Used-Book Harvest - The Book Garden
Who knew there were so many books in Bountiful? The Book Garden has packed its 4,000 square feet with books for every taste—from vintage collectibles to the latest kids, teen and adult best-sellers. Occasional huge sales mark down all adult fiction titles to $1, making it almost too easy to turn your “to read” list into a wheelbarrow full of books.
2 N. Main, Bountiful, 801-292-2818 - BookGarden2.com

  • One I’m glad I didn’t experience the last time I drove here:

Best RoadKill Procurement - Highway 40
Not a hunter? Don’t even know how to operate a gun? Want some free meat? No problem. During the winter, Highway 40 is lined with freshly plowed deer for your pickin’ and eatin’. You can eat like your hunter-gatherer ancestors did, without all the work. A sharp knife, a tarp, a cooler and a rudimentary knowledge of how to field dress (look it up online) are all you need. You’ll also need to get a DWR permit (or call the local authorities) before you get started. Highway 40 (from Heber to Vernal)

  • And one I just couldn’t pass up (and will definitely have to try):

Best Tres Leches - Anayas Market
Tres Leches is a sponge cake drenched in three types of cream: sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream (which is also whipped into a topping). With all this cream and syrup, Tres Leches cake becomes sweet, dense, moist and basically to die for. But if you don’t make it yourself, you’re taking a chance that a bakery cake could be soggy and mushy. Luckily, the folks at Anayas Market have figured it out. Plus, on the whipped topping, they’ve artistically arranged a swirl of candied fruits and drizzled chocolate on the sides. What’s the Spanish word for decadent? “Yum,” we think.

Multiple locations –  AnayasMarket.com

Remember, the choices you make determine the life you live

Something missing in whole grains?

When researching for a previous post about whole grains I came across some interesting information from the Mayo Clinic.  This is what they had to say:

A word of caution - If all of the grains you eat are whole grains, you may need to take extra care to get sufficient folic acid, a B vitamin. This is because whole grains are not a natural source of folate, and some may not be fortified with folate. Look for whole grains that have been fortified with folic acid, such as some ready-to-eat cereals. Folate is also found in other foods, including fruits, vegetables and legumes. Folic acid is especially important if you’re a woman who could become pregnant or is pregnant.

This got me hunting down information on folic acid.  It turns out the combination of ingredients in Dee’s Cereal helps alleviate some of these concerns about eating whole grains.  But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

The form of folic acid naturally occurring in our bodies is called folate so you’ll see the terms used interchangeably.   It helps with body functions such as cell division and growth.  It also helps in making healthy red blood cells.

Folate is especially important for women who could become pregnant because many of the birth defects that a folate deficiency can cause happen before a woman even knows she is pregnant.  Some of the major birth defects that can occur due to a lack of folic acid are spina bifida (where the spinal cord is left unprotected and nerves in appendages don’t work properly) and anencephaly (where the brain doesn’t fully develop).  This is why doctors recommend that women who could become pregnant take a multi-vitamin, such as a prenatal vitamin, that contains 100% of the daily folate needs, even if they don’t plan on getting pregnant.

If we don’t have enough folate in our bodies, we can also have problems making healthy red blood cells.  Folate deficiency can lead to a type of anemia.  That means that the red blood cells can’t carry enough oxygen or that there is a lower number of red blood cells than are needed to get oxygen to the rest of the body.

Taking pills (including vitamins) should always be done with prudence and normally under medical supervision, but as far as we know, we can’t consume too much folate from food.  I have always preferred to find ways to consume the nutrients my body needs through food rather than having to take a pill.  Pregnant women aside (and those who could become pregnant), the rest of us don’t need quite as much folic acid.  Most of us can get a sufficient amount of folate through our diets, if we pay attention to what we are eating.

Leafy greens are a great source of folate.  Eating legumes, liver, kidney and sunflower seeds is also a good way to get folate in your diet.  We haven’t gone quite far enough as to add leafy greens, liver or kidney to Dee’s Cereal, but we do use garbanzo beans and sunflower seeds…alright, so maybe the sunflower seeds don’t sound so weird but I get plenty of funny looks when I tell people we’ve put garbanzo beans in our cereal.

If you missed the blog on the amazingness of garbanzo beans you can read it here, so I won’t bore you with more of that here.  What I will tell you is that a 3.5oz serving of garbanzo beans will get you 43% of your daily folate needs and the same serving of sunflower seeds will get you a whopping 57%.

I’ve always known that the combination of foods in Dee’s Cereal is what makes it such a great product.  Thanks to the Mayo Clinic inspiring some research, I now know a little more about why that combination is so good.  If we learn to watch what we eat and eat a large variety of foods, we can usually get the nutrients our body needs.

As you enjoy that next bowl of hot Dee’s Cereal or toss that next cup into your favorite recipe, remember that you’re getting an amazing combination of nutrients to fuel your body right.  Eat up and enjoy!

Remember, the choices you make determine the life you live 

Follow your effort (by Mark Cuban)

I don’t have a set work schedule and a lot of what I do I have the great fortune of doing from home.  Any of you who are in the same boat know that those things can be a blessing and a curse.  Like right now, for example.  How fantastic is it that I have an adorable 2-year-old standing next to me asking, “Can I push that button?”.  Well, when you’re trying to be productive, its not so fantastic. Point made.  Thanks, Abram.

As I was sitting here thinking about some of the things I needed to get done today, I did the ultimate slacking-at-work thing and logged onto Facebook.  True, I’m supposed to keep up the Facebook account to stay in touch with customers but I didn’t really have a reason to go on there.  I just got tired of thinking about what I was supposed to do to actually be productive and logged on to see what everyone else was doing to be unproductive…just like me.

Ironically, I came across this blog post by Mark Cuban that one of my friends commented on: Don’t Follow Your Passion, Follow Your Effort.  Now, I’m not here to debate whether Mr Cuban is right about someone following their passion or not.  He’s the billionaire so I’ll let him have his say when it comes to business and work ethic even though, if you read the comments, not everyone agrees.

What struck me about the post was this:

“1. When you work hard at something you become good at it.

2. When you become good at doing something, you will enjoy it more.

3. When you enjoy doing something, there is a very good chance you will become passionate or more passionate about it

4. When you are good at something, passionate and work even harder to excel and be the best at it, good things happen.

Don’t follow your passions, follow your effort. It will lead you to your passions and to success, however you define it.”

Interesting how we seem to come across the things we need to hear even when we’re not being the most productive people we can be.  As Mr Cuban states elsewhere, our effort is really the only thing we can control.  Its so true in so many facets.  I have a lot of things I need to focus my efforts on more than I have been.

Where do you think you could improve your efforts?  How would that change impact your life?

Remember, the choices you make determine the life you live