Vegetable stand-ins for carbs have hit the mainstream  

Maura Judkis in The Washington Post shared n the annals of the world’s biggest lies ranks this whopper: “Zucchini noodle recipes will make you forget all about pasta.”
No, when people twirl long green strings of zucchini on their forks, pasta probably will be on the minds of all but the strictest Paleo diet adherents. Of course we all want to eat more vegetables. We apparently just don’t want our plates to look so … vegetabley.

That’s why low-carb bloggers and eaters, including diabetics, have long been replicating their favorite starchy dishes with vegetable stand-ins. Grated cauliflower resembles rice and can also be baked as a pizza crust. If you squint really hard, a slice of sweet potato can be toast.

And if you use a kitchen device called a spiralizer, you can twist zucchini and squash into fettuccine or linguine noodles. (Or you can use a spaghetti squash – it’s nature’s spiralizer!)

They have a cutesy name, zoodles – or in the United Kingdom, where zucchini are called courgettes, it’s courgetti. They’ve even received the ultimate stamp of celebrity approval: Khloe Kardashian tweeted a recipe for zucchini noodle pad Thai, claiming it was “just as good as pasta.” But without that comparison, it seems we’re less inclined to eat vegetables for vegetables’ sake, no matter how prettily we whittle them down. The war against carbohydrates is one of ascetic virtues, and it cannot be won without replacing our most decadent culinary pleasures.

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Caffeine may protect women from dementia  

Good news, coffee lovers. A new study has uncovered a significant link between caffeine consumption in older women and a reduced risk of dementia, the Huffington Post reports.

Although researchers have yet to establish a “cause and effect” between the two, they did find a strong relationship between higher caffeine consumption in women 65 and older and a lower risk of developing dementia or cognitive impairment.

Specifically, those women who self-reported drinking more than 261 milligrams of caffeine per day, or about two to three eight-ounce cups of coffee or five to six eight-ounce cups of black tea, enjoyed a 36 percent decline in their risk of getting dementia during a 10 year follow-up period.

“While we can’t make a direct link between higher caffeine consumption and lower incidence of cognitive impairment and dementia, with further study we can better quantify its relationship with cognitive-health outcomes,” Ira Driscoll, the study’s lead author and a professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

“The mounting evidence of caffeine consumption as a potentially protective factor against cognitive impairment is exciting given that caffeine is also an easily modifiable dietary factor,” Driscoll said.

Prediabetes: Don’t let it turn into the real thing  

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Juicing for Better Living  

Carrie Raab at   shared that Fresh juice provides us with many essentials: minerals, vitamins, essential fatty acids, proteins and much more. All of these factors are vital to maintaining good health. You will find that when you make fresh juice a daily part of your diet, you will have increased energy, a glowing complexion, strengthened immune system, stronger bones and a reduced risk of disease. Isn’t that amazing!  It is recommended that you drink at least 16 ounces of freshly squeezed juice each day.  I wonder how many people actually do this.  Did you realize the benefits of juicing?

Although eating fruits and vegetables in their natural state does provide us with a substantial amount of vitamins and minerals, we only obtain the maximum benefits from them when they are juiced. Much of their goodness is locked in the fiber which is expelled from the body. When we juice the fruits and vegetables, their goodness is released from the fiber and we are able to drink their highly concentrated nutrients.  Juicing enables the nutrients to enter our bloodstream very quickly.  

Benefits of Juicing

  • Juices can flush toxins from your body, are good for your weight, heart, circulation and overall well being
  • Digesting the juice is rapid as compared to your stomach having to break down the foods
  • Juicing fruits and vegetables causes you to consume more than you would if you had to actually eat them
  • vegetables are alkaline and fruits are acidic– our bodies need to be more alkaline to prevent illness and disease

Girls & autism  

The gender effect is a hot topic in autism research and one that could lead to new ways of diagnosing and treating a condition that affects at least 1 in 68 U.S. children.

Better understanding of gender’s role is key to helping the most people, said Kevin Pelphrey, an autism researcher at George Washington University. “Autism may not be the same thing in boys and girls.”


The causes of autism aren’t known but various genetic mutations are thought to play a role and outside factors including older parents and premature birth also have been implicated.

Brain imaging suggests there may be an additional explanation for why many girls with autism have more subtle symptoms, Pelphrey said.

“The surprising thing we are finding is that even in girls who clearly have autism,” brain regions involved in social behavior that are normally affected are less severely impaired, he said. Read more


Nicole Meadow, MPN, RD, CLC is a Registered Dietitian with specialized training in infants, pediatrics and young adultsshared that all year we try to help our children choose health-promoting food…more antioxidants, more Vitamin D, less high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), no trans fats, and on and on. We read labels and cook so we can eat family meals. We look for deep reds and dark greens to provide vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. We steam, we bake, and we don’t fry. Then why do we abandon all our efforts on Halloween?

Before we think about WHAT we can do instead of having candy, candy, and more candy, let’s find motivation for making a change from research about food colorings and refined added sugars. Research published in the Lancet, a British medical journal, in recent years indicated that food colorings and the food additive sodium benzoate led to an increase in hyperactive behavior in both preschoolers and school age children. Most foods with added colors generally are NOT essential (or necessary in any way) for health. This includes candy—especially vibrant colored candy such as lollipops, fruit chews, candy coated chocolate, etc. (It’s amazing to think how many different candies kids will eat and how few veggies some are willing to accept—many the same color!) This year, as you begin to purchase your Halloween costumes and decorations, rethink what you can give out as “treats”… kids LOVE non-food items as much as candy or more healthful choices like pretzels or graham crackers.

Research regarding sugar and hyperactivity has never been conclusive. The most solid research suggests that the issue is the relationship of sugar (carbohydrate) to protein in the diet. Too many carbs and not enough protein lead to hyperactivity. But even if you pile on the chicken, beans, eggs or peanut butter before Trick-or-Treating, you will not reduce the health risks of sugar.

The American Heart Association, a non-profit organization recently recommended no more than 6 teaspoons a day of added sugar. A lollipop has two teaspoons of sugar, while conventional candy bars have 2 ½-3 teaspoons.

A little bit doesn’t hurt, or does it? Remember that chronic disease starts in childhood and it’s not just Halloween night but the weeks after, followed by the December holidays, Valentine’s Day, and then Easter! Excessive sugar intake is related to obesity (between 30-40% of American kids are obese) and all of the weight related disorders such as cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Even skinny kids eating excess sugar are at risk for heart disease, as sugar increases triglycerides and may also increase blood pressure. And we can’t forget sugar’s contribution to dental caries.

So let’s redefine what Halloween “treats” are and find some satisfying alternatives that keep our kids and us healthy. Remember you are your kids’ most influential role model. Be a good one!

Some alternative Halloween “Treats”:

· Pencils, erasers, crayons
· Memo pads, coloring books
· Individual packs of organic pretzels, animal cookies, or dried fruit
· Individual packs of Playdough
· Bubbles
· Piggy bank money

And if you can’t go straight for the non-candy Halloween just yet, here are some healthier options to pass out to to your Trick-or-Treaters…be a trend setter in your neighborhood!

· Unreal™ Candy
· SNAP Infusion®
· Angell Organic Candy Bars
· Surf Sweets
· Plum Organics Teensy Fruits
· Clif Kid Twisted Fruit
· Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate Bars

Remember, there are a lot of children with food allergies and other medical issues that prevent them from being able to eat candy, so offering non-food goodies allows everyone to take part in this fun day!

Eating Yellow Could Make You Happy  

Esquire UK writer Katie Jones shared that some say money buys you happiness, others believe in the power of positive thinking.

Turns out, there could be a cheaper and easier way to put a smile on your face. According to a new study, the answer lies in eating yellow foods.

Research by The Happy Egg Company found consuming yellow food releases significant levels of happy hormones because we associate the color with feeling joyful, Metro reports.

The study, which measured the response time of 1,000 people when answering questions about food colors and happiness, found that 70 percent linked yellow foods with feeling cheerful.

Sixty-one percent of those asked said omelets were the top “happy” food, followed by the ultimate comfort food, macaroni cheese, with 55 percent of the vote. Bananas, pancakes, and poached eggs were also ranked in the top five.

Neuropsychologist Dr. David Lewis said he was surprised by the overwhelming response to the color.

“There is lots of research to show how color can affect our emotions, but we were surprised to discover that so many yellow food groups evoked such strong positive feelings as well as stimulating taste buds,” he explained.

Psychologists suggest that our positive relationship with color starts from a young age. Yellow is also said to stimulate the left (analytical) side of the brain, which encourages us to perceive it as warm and fun in the spectrum of shades.

“The research revealed that 30 percent more people associate yellow with happiness than the other colors tested, and 62 percent of us want to see more yellow in our fridge.”

As for foods that supposedly make us feel blue, the clue is in the name. Stay clear of those pesky blueberries.

Celebrate National Farm to School Month  

October is  National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate the connections happening all over the country between children and local food! The 2016 National Farm to School Month theme, One Small Step, celebrates the simple ways anyone can get informed, get involved and take action to advance farm to school in their own communities and across the country. Take the  One Small Step Pledgeand you’ll be entered to win support for farm to school activities at the school or early care and education site of your choice! Whether you’re an educator, food service professional, farmer or food-loving family, there are countless small steps you can take to celebrate this October! Learn more about National Farm to School Month and take the One Small Step Pledge by visiting the National Farm to School Network’s website,

Prepping your food can make all the difference in your diet  

Salt and Pepper Ingredient

Joshua Steckler, the owner of Push Fitness  a personal training studio located in Schaumburg, specializing in weight loss, muscle toning, and nutrition.  He shared in the Daily Herald Newspaper on September 17, 2016 that if you consistently find yourself grabbing snacks from the vending machine or stopping off for fast food, it’s time to start prepping. Preparation takes time up front, but definitely pays off in the long run.

Try the following tips and never again settle for limited options.

1. Prepare your food ahead of time. OK, this seems obvious, but, if you don’t have food prepared, you’re going to grab whatever food is available at the last minute; and many times it won’t be a choice to be proud of.

If you don’t have time to sit down and make breakfast in the morning, make sure you have healthy options available to grab before you run out the door.

If you’re at the office all day, prepare your lunch and snacks the night before so you can grab it along with your breakfast on your way out in the morning. This way, you have all the healthy food you need to get you through the day. Read more