Pomegranate is one of the 10 produce items that are perfect for fall!

Nutrition Notes: 10 Fruits and Vegetables to Eat This Fall

by Michelle Tran, Dietetic Intern

As we make our way into the middle of October, we notice the weather shifting and our cooking ingredients changing. Some of the fruits and vegetables we were so used to having in the summer may no longer be here, but with a new season comes a variety of produce packed with differing nutrients and colors.

Check out the list below to see 10 fruits and vegetables that are in season this fall along with their individual health benefits!

1. Pomegranates

Between the months of August and December, these grapefruit sized fruits are perfect to top salads or incorporate into baked goods. The seeds, also known as arils, are bursting with flavor. The juice from the seeds can even be used for coloring food. They’re also a good source of vitamin C and K, folate, potassium, copper and even iron.

2. Avocados

Avocados are great for guacamole and a wonderful addition to sandwiches, salads, and rice bowls. You can put the creamy, heart healthy fat in basically anything to liven up the dish. The good thing about this vegetable is that they are in season year round in California so you can always incorporate it in whatever you are cooking.

3. Persimmons

Between the months of October and December, these sweet, orange fruits are perfect to snack on alone or incorporate into salads. Persimmons date back 2,000 years to Asia, and are packed with Vitamins A and C. They are also a great source of fiber and manganese.

4. Radicchios

This bitter leaf vegetable is perfect in salads or dipped in your favorite hummus or spread. They are packed with Vitamin K ,which is essential for blood and bone health. Radicchios are also a good source of folate, vitamin C and copper. The best radicchios are harvested during the colder weather as they are much tastier, but they are available  between the months of April and December in California.

5. Apples

There are countless recipes you can make with this sweet and crisp fruit. You can make pies, jams, baby food or add them in salads, oatmeal, you name it. The options are endless and better yet, they are packed with fiber and vitamin C. You can find them during their peak season from August to November. If you’re looking for a fun activity to do with the family, go apple picking!

6. Kale

This green powerhouse of a vegetable is loaded with Vitamin K, fiber, calcium and antioxidants in the form of carotenoids. You can find them year round in California although they are a cool weather crop. You can make salads, add them in your smoothies, or even sauté them with olive oil and seasonings. A crowd favorite are baked kale chips with a little bit of salt and pepper. Yum!

7. Mandarins

You’re just in luck because December is the month to grab these little fruits to combat the cold season. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, which prevents cell damage and have immune boosting properties. Other citrus fruits to look for during the winter season are navel oranges, tangerines, Satsuma, and Clementine. Pack it in your lunch bag for a quick snack or add it to your salads or smoothies.

8. Artichokes

These green, leafy, thorn-like vegetables may look intimidating to cook but if you break down the anatomy of it, you will soon learn that the artichoke has many great features to its complicated anterior. At the bottom of the artichoke you will notice the stem, moving north of the stem you will find the heart of the plant. Moving upward even more you will see the petals, which are also called bracts. All three of these parts of the plant are edible and are great steamed and dipped in your favorite sauce. They are loaded with fiber, protein and folate. You can find them between the months of September and December, as well as from February to June.

9. Figs

The sweet inner part of a fig is so great for jams or spreads. You can find natural sugars in this fruit to sweeten up baked goods. I like to pair it with Mascarpone cheese and honey atop a whole grain cracker! The best season to buy figs is from June to November in California. Did you know that a fig is actually a flower, grown inside out? They are a good source of vitamin K and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and manganese. Make sure to keep an eye out on the soft but not mushy ones, which is indicative of their ripeness. Be sure to steer clear of the sour smelling ones!

10. Arugula

Last, but not least, is the tender green arugula. They are available all year long but are traditionally a cool to moderate weather crop. There are many ways to add this green in your cooking: salads, sandwiches, pasta, pizza, in an omelet, the options are pretty much limitless. One of my favorite dishes is to make a bed of arugula salad and lay down grilled fish and sprinkle pomegranates on top! You will be sure to impress your guests with that one!

Source: www.seasonalfoodguide.org/california

You can help provide children living in poverty breakfast by donating $1, $3 or $5 at your local Albertsons or Vons at checkout – now until Oct. 15!

Hunger Is Supports the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank’s
Food 4 Kids Backpack Program

by Chris Carter, Vice President of Communications, Marketing & Public Affairs

The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank feeds more than 370,000 people every month in communities throughout San Diego County. While many associate the Food Bank with the homeless, the majority of the people the Food Bank serves serve are working-poor families, low-income seniors, and chronically hungry school children living in poverty.

The Food Bank helps feed children living in poverty through several programs, but one program that is critically important to the Food Bank’s mission is the Food 4 Kids Backpack Program.

Our community has a hidden problem – that is, tens of thousands of children in San Diego County live in poverty and face the threat of hunger every day. During the week, these children get school free breakfast and lunch through school feeding programs, but on the weekend they often receive little or no food at home.

In 2006, the Food Bank started the Food 4 Kids Backpack Program to provide weekend backpacks full of nutritious, child-friendly food to children in elementary schools throughout San Diego County. These weekend backpacks ensure that they have breakfast and meals they need see them through the weekend until they return to school on Monday morning.

Every Friday afternoon, students on the program are called out of class and are discretely given a bag of food which is tucked into their backpacks.

Thanks to grant funding from Hunger Is, children on the program receive nutritious and healthy breakfast foods including milk, cereal, oatmeal, and pancake mix along with other healthy foods including peanut butter and jelly packets, ravioli, stew, soup, tuna fish, vegetable and fruit cups, and granola bars that see them through the weekend until they can arrive to school on Monday where they are fed through the federal free and reduced school meals program.

Children who join the program are identified by school staff because they display signs of “chronic hunger” such as frequent stomach aches, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, difficulty interacting with classmates, hoarding food from the cafeteria, and absenteeism. Once a child has been identified as “chronically hungry,” a permission request form is sent to the student’s parents to enroll the student on the Food 4 Kids Backpack Program.

More than 2,000 children participate on the program at 43 elementary schools in 11 school districts throughout San Diego County. Children on the program have shown significant improvement in their grades, reduced absenteeism, improved interaction with other students, and are sick less often.

Thanks to support from Hunger Is and our program partners we are ensuring that our community’s youth have the nourishment they need to grow and thrive.

 

Nutrition Notes: On the Go? Make Loaded Toast!

by Michelle Tran, Dietetic Intern

If you’re usually on the run and skipping breakfast, worry no more because here are a few simple recipes that will leave you feeling full in no time. Loaded toast is quick and easy, and topped with heart healthy fats and fiber. You can eat it for breakfast or lunch. The beautiful thing about it is there is no exact recipe, and you can add whatever your heart desires right on top!

If you’re in the mood for something savory, toast up some multi-grain bread or sweet potato slices and add avocado, tomatoes, cracked salt and pepper. If you have time, put a poached egg on top! If you have a sweet tooth, slice up some bananas and smother almond butter on your toast and top it off with some honey and cinnamon. The options are endless! Scroll down for a few more ideas to make your favorite loaded toast.
 
Instructions for multi-grain bread:

Toast bread and add a base first (nut butter, avocado, hummus, etc). Add toppings. Serve and enjoy!

 
Instructions for sweet potato slices:

1. Wash and slice sweet potato long ways, about ¼ of an inch. (Tip: Take a slice off one side of the potato and rest it flat side down on the cutting board to prevent it from rolling).

2. Place in toaster on highest setting. Depending on the strength of your toaster, it will take about 15 minutes per batch of sweet potato. If you’re making a large batch, place sweet potato slices in toaster oven on 450⁰F. Flip every 5 minutes or so until they are nicely browned on the outside and fork tender on the inside, about 15 to 20 minutes total.

3. Place on plate and add a base (nut butter, avocado, hummus, etc). Add toppings. Serve and enjoy!
 
Combination Ideas:

1. Sweet potato slices + smashed avocado + cherry tomato slices + crushed red pepper flakes

2. Sweet potato slices + hummus + arugula + crushed salt & pepper + poached egg

3. Sweet potato slices + smashed avocado + sliced peaches + fresh basil

4. Sweet potato slices + smashed avocado + mozzarella cheese + ripe tomato slices + fresh basil + balsamic glaze

5. Sweet potato slices + tuna salad mix + sliced green olives + cayenne pepper+ chives

6. Multi-grain bread + nut butter + sliced banana + chia/flax seed blend + honey + cinnamon

7. Multi-grain bread + hummus + cucumber slices + cracked pepper

8. Multi-grain bread + smashed avocado + cherry tomatoes + balsamic glaze

9. Multi-grain bread + Nutella + blueberries

10. Multi-grain bread + avocado + smoked salmon + poached egg + red onion

Chef Michael Brown will showcase the new agave-centric Jalisco Cantina at A Taste of Oceanside.

North County Food Bank partners with A Taste of Oceanside!

by Chad Deal, Special Events & Development Assistant

Five or ten years ago, the idea of heading to Oceanside for a nice dinner and drinks would have been met with shrugs, if not scoffs. The waterfront military enclave was home to little more than a handful of quirky dives and late-night Randoberto’s, and locals would inevitably find themselves heading south for a night on the town. Then, in mid-2011, all that began to change.

“Roddy [Browning] over at the Flying Pig, was the first to take the leap, if you will,” says Chef Michael Brown of Barrel Republic self-serve tap house and the nascent Jalisco Cantina. “He’s the one who started putting Oceanside on the map. Then, because of the price of real estate, Oceanside became somewhat attractive, and obviously an easier market to get into than Carlsbad, Encinitas, or Del Mar. So all of a sudden, people who wanted to take a risk in the restaurant business started moving into the Oceanside area and growing the scene.”

With the help of the MainStreet Oceanside business association, the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce, and a small surge of enterprising restauranteurs, the homegrown culinary inkling sprouted into a bustling scene.

“MainStreet did a good job of getting us all in touch with each other and we all started doing these food festivals together,” Chef Michael says. “So pretty soon, after four, five, six of them, you get to know everybody. We all have different businesses. Down the street you have LTH [Local Tap House]. They do a lot more entrees and whatnot than we do here at the Barrel. Breakwater is brewing their own beer and making pizza. Further down the way, Wrench & Rodent’s doing sushi, Flying Pig is doing fresh pasta. None of us are stepping on each other’s toes with business, so it created this camaraderie where we end up working together and sharing employees. We all text each other. We all go to meetings together. Whenever we have problems, we all reach out to each other. I can pick up the phone and call any of the 15 Chefs or owners in this area and ask about an employee or ask about how their weekend was or get information on what’s going on in or around the Oceanside area. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before.”

And Chef Michael has seen a lot. Jalisco Cantina, opened mid-September sharing a split-kitchen with Barrel Republic, is his 29th endeavor nationwide and is owned by Barrel Republic proprietor David Pike. The cozy, 1,250-square-foot cantina specializes in about 40 tequilas and mezcals served in shots, flights, cocktails (accompanying novelties such as elderflower foam and activated charcoal), and infusions. Between the clever menu, a hammered copper bartop imported from Mexico, rollup windows, and confidential yet carefree ambiance, it’s easy to see Jalisco Cantina becoming a staple of downtown Oceanside’s foodie and mixology circuits.

“We set out to do craft cocktails with a tequila focus, looking for a little different Mexican fare,” Chef Michael says. “We did draw three dishes directly out of the Jalisco region, which is the region where agave [the plant that tequila is distilled from] is grown. We’re still developing the cocktails, but some of the standouts currently are an Elote Frappe which is a corn water that’s paired with a smoky mescal. Then we created this Cilantro Smash. We’re making a lime cilantro simple syrup and working it into a margarita. Food-wise, we’re doing tacos, like a lot of San Diego. What makes ours different is that we’re utilizing sous-vide, so our carnitas and birria are doing a two-to-three -day marinade sous-vide with orange, cinnamon stick, and cumin, and is then crisped up in a pan to serve. We’ve got a chile relleno topped with a sunny side up egg so the egg just runs all throughout the relleno. Much like the Barrel Republic, we run a fresh food, scratch kitchen. Jalisco Cantina does have a freezer, but that’s only for our chili pecan-infused ice cream and our shrimp.”

On Saturday, October 7 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Jalisco Cantina and Barrel Republic will be participating in A Taste of Oceanside along with over 30 other dining and drinking establishments. The event draws upwards of 800 visitors to nibble and sip their way across town with the help of two trolleys and specials such as Barrel Republic’s smoked shrimp chowder and neighboring Southern BBQ joint That Boy Good’s shrimp remoulade.

The North County Food Bank will be joining A Taste of Oceanside as the event’s nonprofit partner. We will be accepting food donations at check-in located at Oceanside City Hall, 300 North Coast Highway. In addition, $2 from every ticket sold will be donated to the North County Food Bank. Each $2 donation will provide 10 meals to North County residents in need, thanks to the Food Bank’s highly efficient food procurement and distribution model. The North County Food Bank, based in San Marcos, provides food assistance to working-poor families, fixed-income seniors, low-income military families, and children living in poverty in communities throughout North County. Stop by and say hello before your taste!

Hunger Awareness Month: Hunger Among College Students

by Nicky Riordan, Nonprofit Services Manager

September is Hunger Awareness Month and all across the country, hunger-relief organizations and their supporters are working to provide information to their communities about the long-term effects food insecurity can have on our neighbors. Many would be surprised to find out that food insecurity among college students is on the rise – risking their return on investment and future success due to inability to focus on their studies. Recent studies conducted in Wisconsin, through the Wisconsin Hope Report, highlighted the fact that food and housing insecurity among the nation’s community college students threatens their health and well-being, along with their academic achievements. Addressing these basic needs is critical to ensuring that more students not only start college, but also have the opportunity to complete their degrees and become self-sufficient.

Consistent with prior studies, 48 percent of student respondents to a recent survey reported food insecurity in the previous 30 days, including 22 percent with very low levels of food security. Of these food insecure students, 32 percent believed correctly that hunger or housing problems had an impact on their education. These students reported a range of consequences; 53 percent reported missing a class, 25 percent reported dropping a class, and 88 percent reported that they did not perform as well academically due to these issues.

The survey also found that food insecurity is a problem even for students who are employed, participate in a campus meal plan, or seek other financial or material help. 56 percent of food insecure students surveyed reported having a paying job and of those employed students, 38 percent worked 20 hours or more per week.

Food insecure students struggle to concentrate in class and suffer academically. Since a person with a college degree or vocational certificate is less likely to slip into poverty, providing food assistance to low-income students while they are in school can help prevent students from impoverished backgrounds from dropping out of college and falling into the cycle of poverty.

The San Diego Food Bank started our College Hunger-relief Program with the aim of building capacity on campuses across the county to meet this growing need. We currently work with nine different colleges in San Diego to support each college’s hunger-relief efforts, and we advocate in partnership with the San Diego Hunger Coalition for policies to improve the accessibility and utilization of CalFresh (formerly Food Stamps) benefits on campus. Over the past 2 years, we have advocated alongside Assemblywoman Shirley Weber’s office to pass state legislation clarifying the use of CalFresh on campuses and creating a funding structure for colleges to collaborate with food banks to serve their students.

For more information about San Diego Hunger Awareness Month, visit www.sandiegofoodbank.org/hunger or learn how to become a Hunger Free advocate through the San Diego Hunger Coalition by clicking here.

Hunger Awareness Month: Hunger Among Seniors Living on a Fixed Income

by Nicky Riordan, Nonprofit Services Manager

September is Hunger Awareness Month and all across the country, hunger-relief organizations and their supporters are working to provide information to their communities about the long-term effects food insecurity can have on our children, seniors, and families. It is no surprise that food insecurity can be detrimental and even dangerous for our seniors.

According to the Hospital Association of San Diego & Imperial Counties, food insecure seniors are at a high risk for lengthened hospital stays, readmission, and even death compared to food-secure seniors. Even more alarming is the fact that more than 50 percent of seniors admitted to the hospital are malnourished or at risk for malnourishment. Consuming fewer nutrients and calories reduces the iron and protein intake of seniors, which is crucial to their health and ward off many issues as they age.

One in four seniors in San Diego County are food insecure, and with potential rising costs associated with housing and health care, this is an issue that the San Diego Food Bank and San Diego Hunger Coalition are closely following as this number is likely to grow. The Food Bank administers the federal Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), or senior food box program, which provides staple items to seniors once a month across the county. Pairing this program with applications for CalFresh (formerly Food Stamps) can help a senior make it through the month on a limited income without watering down meals or forgoing necessary medication.

Only 42 percent of seniors who qualify for CalFresh are currently participating in the program, most likely due to the unique barriers and stigmas this population faces. Beginning in October of 2017, it will be easier than ever for seniors to apply for this program, thanks to the hard work of advocates across the state. New Elderly Simplified Application and Standard Medical Deduction rules provide that households with members over 60 without earned income will not need to re-certify for CalFresh for 3 years, and that households with medical expenses of at least $35.01 will receive a standard deduction of $120. This means larger benefit amounts and less work to re-certify for our senior population.

For more information about San Diego Hunger Awareness Month, visit www.sandiegofoodbank.org/hunger or learn how to become a Hunger Free advocate through the San Diego Hunger Coalition by clicking here.

To address child hunger, hunger-relief organizations like the San Diego Food Bank and San Diego Hunger Coalition create programs like the Food 4 Kids Backpack Program and advocate for policies that will help children in need have better access to nutritious food more often.

Hunger Awareness Month:
The Harmful Effects of Child Hunger and Solutions for Change

by Nicky Riordan, Nonprofit Services Manager

September is Hunger Awareness Month and all across the country, hunger-relief organizations and their supporters are working to provide information to their communities about the long-term effects food insecurity can have on our children, seniors, and families.

One in five children in San Diego County are food insecure, and studies are clear that this results in myriad detrimental outcomes for those children and their futures. According to the Hospital Association of San Diego & Imperial Counties, these outcomes include delayed physical and cognitive development, behavioral problems, and lower academic achievement and increased likelihood of needing to repeat a grade. Research has shown that physical sensations of hunger make it difficult for children to concentrate and learn, which means that food-insecure children often fall behind their peers in school. This increases the likelihood that the cycle of poverty will continue into adulthood, and for generations to come.

There are sensible and attainable solutions to solve this problem. Universal breakfast programs that serve children in class promote a healthy start to the day without stigmatizing the children who did not have breakfast at home. After-school meals through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) can be provided by community partners in safe places like recreation centers and affordable housing complexes to ensure that low-income children have adequate energy for homework and active play – and that they won’t go to bed hungry. The addition of increased food stamps benefits to families during the summer ward off the challenges of getting children to various summer meal sites, which are far underutilized.

The San Diego Hunger Coalition and the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank work in partnership to address these challenges throughout the year. The Food Bank provides weekend backpacks of food to children at schools across the county during the school year as part of our Food 4 Kids Backpack Program, and SDHC promotes and advocates for effective policy changes that focus on the systemic issues with existing federal meal programs.

Childhood food insecurity exists in all of our communities, and it is imperative that we do everything we can to solve this problem and give our children the opportunity they deserve to succeed. You can do this by donating to help fund the Food 4 Kids Backpack Program at the San Diego Food Bank, or working with the Hunger Coalition to advocate for proactive policies at the state and federal level.

For more information about San Diego Hunger Awareness Month, visit www.sandiegofoodbank.org/hunger or learn how to become a Hunger Free advocate through the San Diego Hunger Coalition by clicking here.

Hunger Awareness Month: How Hunger and Health are Intertwined

by Nicky Riordan, Nonprofit Services Manager

September is Hunger Awareness Month and all across the country, hunger-relief organizations and their supporters are working to provide information to their communities about the long term effects food insecurity can have on our children, seniors, and families. Nearly 1 in 6 people in San Diego County are food insecure and cannot sustain an active, healthy life. To put this into context, the percentage of San Diegans experiencing food insecurity is larger than those populations affected by the region’s top three health concerns: cancer, coronary heart disease and diabetes.

One emerging body of research is focusing on the connection between hunger and health. According to a 2016 needs assessment conducted through the Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties, food insecurity was cited most often as a social determinant of health and lack of access to healthy food was found to be closely tied to diabetes and obesity in the individuals surveyed. Moreover, recent research through the University of California San Francisco found that negative health outcomes for the food insecure population may be related to the myriad coping strategies that individuals must employ to avoid hunger. These include: consuming more low-cost and unhealthy but highly-filling foods, reducing variety, and trading off other expenses for food, like important medication. Long term use of these coping strategies not only exposes food insecure individuals to risk of chronic disease, but also to poor disease management, which forces them to utilize the health care system more often.

The good news is that this conversation is now reaching the highest levels of decision making in both health care and hunger relief fields, and important actions are being taken to reverse the trend. Hospitals and health care associations are beginning to screen patients for food insecurity, and they are working with food banks to provide food assistance to patients who have been identified as food insecure through this process. There are also efforts underway to ensure that patients who qualify for MediCal are connected to CalFresh (food stamps) as well, closing the loop on cold referrals for services that a patient most likely will qualify for. CalFresh allows families to purchase healthy food at grocery stores and farmers markets to supplement what their income allows. At some farmers markets, CalFresh recipients can even double their money on local, fresh fruits and vegetables.

According to the San Diego Hunger Coalition, evidence is beginning to emerge that such efforts reduce inpatient use of services, hospital visits, readmission rates, and emergency department use. Additionally, they are finding that the healthcare setting is an ideal place to connect patients to other resources that will impact their health outcomes; local efforts to provide on-site food assistance has successfully engaged patients in utilizing food resources, and individuals are more likely to sign up for food assistance when that becomes a health goal as part of the patient care visit.

For more information about San Diego Hunger Awareness Month, visit www.sandiegofoodbank.org/hunger or learn how to become a Hunger Free advocate through the San Diego Hunger Coalition by clicking here.

Photo credit: Frank Falcinelli on Epicurus.com

Nutrition Notes:
Chilled Summer Soup – Gazpacho

by Ira Sherbak, Dietetic Intern

With summer in full swing, it is not always fun to cook (or even eat) a hot meal. What sounds better than eating a chilled soup on a hot summer day?

Gazpacho is a cold-blended vegetable soup that originated in Andalusia – the southern part of Spain. No cooking is required to make Gazpacho, and the ingredients are all in season now. It is high in dietary fiber, potassium, along with vitamins A and C.

Here is a California style recipe you can try!

Gazpacho Soup – California Style
 
Makes 4 cups.
Prep time: 20 min plus 2 hours for chilling in the refrigerator.

Ingredients:
 
- 6 medium tomatoes or 1 28-oz can of peeled tomatoes
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 1 Persian cucumber
- ½ medium onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp chili paste
- Lemon juice from 2 lemons
- Salt and pepper to taste

Toppings for each serving:
 
- ¼ avocado
- Chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp low fat Greek yogurt

Directions:
 
1. Combine all the ingredients together in a food processor, pulse it until well chopped, but not completely smooth.

2. Refrigerate for two hours to let all the flavors fuse.

3. Serve chilled with sliced avocado, chopped parsley, and Greek yogurt on top.

For other chilled soup ideas, CLICK HERE.

National Nutrition Month:
Creating an Eating Style that Includes a Variety of Your Favorite, Healthful Foods

by Divya Denduluri (MS Nutritional Biology, CLEC), Nutrition Education Volunteer

Eating healthy is not just easy, but delightful when it includes all your favorite foods with a healthful twist. Making small changes, one forkful at a time, to our eating habits goes a long way to keeping our families healthy and hearty.

Cooking and eating healthy at home includes:

Using whole grains including brown rice, whole wheat, quinoa, oats, buckwheat, millet and barley instead of their refined counterparts. It takes a while to get used to the taste of whole grains, but it’s worth it as they are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. One way to introduce whole grains into your diet is to mix whole grains with refined grains while cooking – gradually increasing the amount of whole grains you use and decreasing the amount of refined grains.

Substituting red meat and fatty cuts of meat with lean meat, seafood, beans, lentils and tofu. So save the Porterhouse and New York Strip steaks for special occasions.

Experimenting with family recipes to add a variety of fresh, canned or frozen vegetables and fruits. We use a lot of tamarind in south Indian cooking to add some tanginess. I discovered that, here in the United States, fresh cranberries, available in November and December are a great budget-friendly and nutritious substitute for tamarind. I now freeze a few packages of fresh cranberries that I use throughout the year.

Including nuts, seeds and plant-based oils along with fatty fish like salmon with your meals or snacks. These all contain healthy fats rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fats.

Finding innovative and healthful ways to satisfy your sweet-tooth. I enjoy making and eating date-sweetened desserts with nuts like almonds and pecans to add an extra crunch!

Keep in mind that these changes do not need to change the food you eat on a daily basis, but should help increase the vitality of those foods. I am from India, and enjoy eating Indian food including spicy curries, rice and dal. For a fiber and nutrient boost, I try to use beans and whole lentils instead of the split lentils traditionally used to make dal. I also enjoy exploring different cuisines to create new recipes with exciting flavors and healthful ingredients. I occasionally enjoy my marinara sauce with a hint of garam masala, an Indian spice mix, to add that extra heat.

Eating healthy while eating out is also important. Most restaurants offer healthy eating options nowadays. Asking for salad dressings and sauces on the side and portioning out or sharing your entree helps keep up a healthful lifestyle while enjoying all the foods you love!

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