Put Your Best Fork Forward – International Cuisine

March 13, 2017
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With the 2017 National Nutrition Month in full swing, there is no better time than now to learn how to enjoy International Cuisine.  Below are a list of cuisines where “putting your best fork forward” does not require a fork! 


Japanese:  A cuisine rich in fish, vegetables and rice, with many delicious and nutritious options.  Chopsticks are used to eat most Japanese Cuisine.  While traditional Japanese cuisine is prepared steamed, boiled or raw – be mindful of added sodium and fried preparation methods. 

Healthy Japanese Choices:

Steamed Edamame: Perfect as an appetizer – these crisp green beans have a slightly nutty flavor and provide protein and fiber.

Seaweed Salad: Try a different type of green salad that is packed with flavor and includes a good source of many vitamins including B12.

Hiyayakko: Cool tofu topped with daikon, grated ginger or mustard delivers a delectable flavor and gives you the benefit of protein and healthy fat.

Sashimi: Naturally high in protein and satisfying. Select from ikura (salmon), ahi (tuna), ika (squid), kani (crab), ebi (shrimp) and unagi (eel). 

Teriyaki: Chicken, salmon, shrimp or tofu with vegetables make a well-balanced meal.  Select your choice with brown rice.  Ask for your dish to be steamed, and for the sauce to come on the side.  This way you can control how much of the teriyaki sauce you use, and save yourself unnecessary calories, fat, sugar and sodium.   

Toppings: Apply wasabi and ginger liberally – both rich in spice and antioxidants.


Thai:  Traditional Thai dishes require a fork, and a spoon.  The spoon is used to move the food you are eating to your mouth, and the fork is used to help push food into the spoon. 

Healthy Thai Choices: 

Tom Yum Soup: Spicy and sour with ample herbs and spices, this soup will satisfy an adventurous palate. Please note, the soup may be high in sodium. 

Summer Rolls: Also known as “fresh spring rolls” this healthy appetizer is typically made with shrimp and vegetables and wrapped in rice paper.  Use the peanut dipping sauce sparingly. 

Satay: Grilled meat or tofu laced onto bamboo skewers – packed with protein and sure to satisfy.  When preparing at home, flavor with lime, turmeric, garlic and red chili.  If enjoying out, use the peanut dipping sauce sparingly. 

Broth Based Curry: The two most common curries, red and green curry, have fresh herbal flavor and pair well with seafood. Jungle curry (gkaeng bpah) and sour curry (gkaeng som) are popular broth-based soups, without the addition of heavy cream. These curries can be spooned over rice for a fulfilling meal. 

Pik Pow (Nam Prik Pao): Also known as “thai vegetarian chili paste” is a flavor-packed paste that is smoky, sweet, tart, and spicy. It can be used in stir-fry’s, as a rub, and used to dip vegetables. And the best part – the paste is extremely flavorful and a little goes a long way.

Pad Thai (without egg, and peanut topping on the side): A fresh, light-bodied dish and truly delicious with the variety of flavors and textures. Substitute egg for firm tofu and use soybean spread to replace the peanuts or peanut butter commonly used in traditional pad thai. This results in a healthy dish packed with plenty of protein and healthy fats.  Check out an egg-free recipe here.


Ethiopian:  Injera is a flatbread made from teff, a grass (not a grain, like wheat) that’s fermented with water for several days and then baked into large, airy pancakes that have the texture of crepes and the flavor of sourdough bread. Teff flour is incredibly nutritious – high in fiber, iron, calcium, and complete amino acid profile and gluten-free.  To eat Ethiopian food, tear off a piece of injera, scoop your food in it, roll it up, pop the whole thing into your mouth – and repeat until satisfied. 

Healthy Ethiopian Choices:

Split Pea Stew: Also known as “kik alicha” is a comforting stew made with savory ingredients such as ginger, garlic, red onions, split peas, and green chili. Choose to eat in a bowl or dip with injera. 

Lentils: Lentils are a great source of fiber, protein and iron. Season with berbere spice or simmer with herbs and vegetables as a healthful side dish.

Yetsom Beyaynetu: A vegetarian combination platter consisting of injera (flatbread) served with several vegan curries and vegetables–a light and healthy appetizer choice that gives you the ability to try a variety of curry.

Shiro Wat: A spicy chickpea-based dish seasoned with onions, garlic, and other spices. Use this as a dip for vegetables or injera. Chickpeas are a great source of fiber and protein.

Misir Wat: This red lentil curry made with garlic, olive oil, ginger, and onion–this is a great option if you are looking for a spicy, warm stew. 

Shiro Alecha: A mild stew of seasoned ground lentils, chickpeas and/or peas. This is a terrific option to be served with injera if you are looking for a dish with a milder flavor profile.

Gomen: Ethiopian style collard greens – perfect for your little leafy green lover. Pairs perfectly with fresh lemon juice! When preparing at home add paprika, ginger root, turmeric and all spice for flavor and a boost of antioxidants. 

Chicken Doro Wat: A flavorful chicken dish served in a slightly spicy sauce containing ginger and berbere over injera. The key: slowly simmer the chicken for enhanced flavor.


Mexican:  Eating tacos with a fork and knife is unacceptable in the Mexican culture. Therefore, be polite: use your hands to enjoy tacos.  Mexican cuisine is filled with flavors and ingredients such as cilantro, garlic, avocado, beans, onion, chili’s, and more. Maize, also known as corn, is a staple grain that is commonly used in this cuisine. Maize is the main ingredient in tortillas: used for burritos, quesadillas, and tacos.

Healthy Mexican Choices:

Salsa de Pina Picante: A sweet and fresh salsa option made with pineapple, cilantro, and lime juice. Enjoy with multi grain tortillas for a light, tropical appetizer.  Want to make at home – try this recipe.

Guacamole: Made from mashed avocados, guacamole is packed with healthy fats. Add tomatoes, lemon juice, jalapenos, and cilantro–these ingredients can give a kick of flavor to your traditional guacamole

Turkey Tacos: Great if you’re looking for a quick, easy taco dinner. Use lean ground turkey instead of ground beef, and wheat tortillas over traditional white tortilla. Add avocado, tomato, lettuce, and as much cilantro and chili as you like – for full flavor. 

Sopa de Habas: This fava bean soup is filled with a flavorful aromatic base of tomatoes, garlic, and onions. Not to mention, fava beans are very nutrient-dense, containing folate and iron.

Chicken Carnitas Tacos: Crispy, tender chicken with hints of lime, cumin, garlic, and– orange juice! These ingredients give your chicken carnitas a unique, pleasant taste and allows you to top it with your choice of veggies and herbs. The last step: stuff it all in a wheat tortilla.

We would love to hear what International Cuisine you try and enjoy – no fork required!  And in the meantime…

B.Educated, B.Inspired, B.Komplete


 

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B.Komplete Explore the Store: Snacking Solutions

March 6, 2016
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How to Find and Create Well-Balanced BFY Options in the Snack Aisle

In our third edition of our ‘explore the store’ series, with our mission to teach consumers the most nutritious and delicious ways to enjoy foods, we provide tips on smart snacking solutions! Watch our video here.

Have you tried…

  • Belvita tasty biscuits that provide sustained energy with whole grains, fiber, B vitamins and iron.  
  • Lance Snacks whole grain crackers with peanut butter or cheddar cheese that provide 5 grams of protein!
  • DIY Trail Mix with popcorn, whole grain cereal, nuts or seeds and dried or dehydrated fruit.
  • Nut Butter or Hummus with veggies or whole grain crackers; crunchy, satisfying, and flavorful. 
  • Convenient Containers to pack your meals & snacks in.

B. Educated, B. Inspired, B. Komplete

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Does the Paleo Diet Work?

March 24, 2015
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What is the diet?

The Paleo diet theory is based on citing the errors in current Western eating patterns, and how different these consumption patterns are from the eating design of the Paleolithic period. The Paleo diet advises us to eat similarly to how our Paleolithic ancestors once did; consume foods as close to a natural state as possible, which includes meat and produce. Avoid foods that would not have been available during that time period; grains, dairy products and sugar. The Paleo diet claims that “this is how humans were designed to eat.”

What is good about the diet?

  • Focus on whole foods and eating foods in a natural state. Our Paleolithic ancestors consumed foods as close to fresh as possible. This is sound advice, as the nutrients in foods are typically highest when the food is the most fresh. To find out what produce is in season, check here  
  • Eating grass-fed meat.  100% grass-fed beef comes from cows who have grazed in pasture year-round rather than being fed a processed diet. Grass feeding improves the nutrition of meat making the beef richer in omega-3 fats, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and healthy fats.  For more information on grass-fed meat visit world’s healthiest foods 
  • Recommends eggs, nuts, and healthy oils. Some of the recommended fat sources in the Paleo diet are rich in nutrients, mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids, and antioxidants.
  • Limits alcohol and diet soda.  Limiting alcohol consumption (< 1 drink/day for women and < 2 drinks/day for men) is recommended for heart health . While the health verdict is still out on diet soda, consuming less of it may be a good idea.
  • Recommends cooking for yourself. Learning how to prepare meals for yourself and your family is tremendously beneficial; it enables you to control the additives in your food, to season food without adding salt, and generally eat less total calories.

Paleo meat

What isn’t good about the diet?

  • Elimination of major food groups. A Paleo dieter can be categorized by what they have removed from their diet; Paleo dieters generally do not eat dairy or grains of any kind, peanuts, lentils, beans, peas and other legumes are eliminated, and added sugars are prohibited.
  • Whole grains.  Whole grains are associated with healthy digestion and metabolism, and a reduced risk of heart disease. Removal of whole grains makes it harder to get your daily recommendation of fiber. 
  • Dairy.  Consumption of dairy products (low fat and fat free) is associated with satiety, bone health, reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension in adults. Removal of this entire food group makes it hard (if not impossible) to get some of the health benefits that dairy provides.
  • Legumes. Beans are high in minerals and fiber without the saturated fat found in some animal proteins. Eating beans may reduce blood cholesterol, a leading cause of heart disease. Adding beans to your diet may help keep you feeling full longer. Removal of legumes will make it harder to get the recommended daily fiber intake, as well as providing a vegetarian protein option.
  • Starchy vegetables.  No more crunchy carrots for a snack. No more corn on the cob at a cook-out. No more baked potato, soup with potato, or even baked potato chips! Reducing the amount of starchy vegetables may be OK for weight loss, BUT to eliminate completely is hard (if not impossible) over the long-term.
  • Diet can be hard to follow, hard to maintain over time, and very expensive. Imagine a life without a sandwich, ever. No more cereal, rice, bagels, or whole grains. Say goodbye to peanut butter. No more milk, yogurt, cheese, and ice-cream. If you enjoy chili, you are out of luck. And like any eating plan, it can indeed be expensive – especially since Paleo relies so heavily on the produce section and meat counter.
  • Not highly researched/without long term studies /making unsubstantiated health claims. “Loren Cordain, PhD, who literally wrote the book on The Paleo Diet, claims that by eating like our prehistoric ancestors, we’ll be leaner and less likely to get diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other health problems” . Many of the health claims made in the Paleo diet books are either not supported by research or have not been studied (1, 2).
  • Hard if not impossible to meet RDA of micronutrients.  Research has shown that micronutrient deficiency is high in individuals who are overweight or obese (2/3 of the U.S. population), and it is unlikely (if not impossible) to correct any micronutrient deficit following any food based diet (3).
  • Can have very high consumption of saturated fat with high meat consumption. Meat is consumed in large quantities, often cooked in animal fat of some kind which is very high in saturated fat. Eating foods that contain saturated fats raises the level of cholesterol in your blood. High levels of LDL cholesterol in your blood increase your risk of heart disease and stroke (4).

Bean salad

Overall advice

U.S. News ranks Paleo low for overall diet credibility; not guaranteed weight loss or weight loss maintenance, health claims are unsubstantiated, higher than recommended levels of fat and protein, not adequate in fiber, micronutrients (5).

Any diet plan that is very restrictive, hard to follow, expensive, unbalanced in nutrients and even unpalatable doesn’t seem like a sustainable lifestyle choice… My advice is: take the good ideas from Paleo, and modify to fit into a well-balanced, healthy, happy, and enjoyable eating plan!

B. inspired, B. educated, B. Komplete!

Works Cited:

  1. http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v68/n3/full/ejcn2013290a.html
  2. http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol7/iss2/4/
  3. www.jissn.com/content/7/1/24
  4. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/Saturated-Fats_UCM_301110_Article.jsp
  5. http://health.usnews.com/best-diet/paleo-diet
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Up the Protein in Your Guacamole: Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly Recipe for Edamame Guacamole

March 16, 2015
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Delivering great taste, texture, and beautiful color

Delivering great taste, texture, and beautiful color

Guacamole, we know it, we love it, and we eat it year round at parties,  restaurants, and events. When guacamole is served the traditional accompaniment is tortilla chips. 1 serving of tortilla chips will run you about 140 calories and 6 grams of fat, but who just eats 1 serving of chips? You may ask yourself, “is there a way to make guacamole a more nutrient dense snack choice?” Normally guacamole is full of healthy monounsaturated fats but lacking on the protein. Not anymore! With this delicious Edamame Guacamole Recipe by B.Komplete, you can have all that avocado goodness with the added bonus of extra protein. The serving size for guacamole is 2 tablespoons. However, the typical amount consumed is more like 8 tablespoons. With the typical serving size in mind, the B.Komplete recipe contains 120 calories and 8 grams protein per 4 ounces serving. This makes it a healthy and filling snack when served with some vegetables like radishes, endive, and carrots. If you are craving chips, try whole-wheat tortilla chips to keep the snack as healthful as possible. 

Check out the video below to see how it’s made!

B. inspired, B. educated, B.Komplete!

 

 

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How to Maintain a Busy Schedule and a Healthy Lifestyle

March 6, 2015
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Overnight Oats

 

  • Keep healthy breakfast and snack options at work
    • Everybody has those occasionally late days; avoid that unhealthy pastry from the coffee shop by keeping healthy food options at work.
    • Keep instant oatmeal topped with nuts or a banana with some peanut butter on hand
    • Healthy snacks include nuts, like almonds or walnuts eaten with a piece of fruit
  • Get up and get moving
    • Working out in the morning can guarantee that you fit your workout into your busy schedule. With an on-the-go lifestyle, so many things can get in the way – meetings, events, dinner with colleagues. Prioritize your workout by getting it done before life takes over!

 

Mason jar salad photo credit

  • Prep your meals ahead of time
    • Prepping meals a few days ahead of time can make it quick and easy to get out of the house and on with your day. Try prepping meals on your slowest day of the week (maybe a Sunday for those who follow a regular work week). Put the meals for the first few days post-prep in the fridge and freeze the rest to keep your food from spoiling.  Have a CrockPotTM or another slow cooker? If you have time in the morning, you can put your meal together then set it to cook while you are work, leaving you with a delicious, healthy meal to eat when you get home.  Meals can also be prepped the night before if you have the time.  Leftovers make a convenient lunch for the next day!
    • Mason Jar salads for lunch or dinner
    • Overnight oats or smoothies for breakfast
    • Making dinner using the slow cooker

 

  • Plan your schedule to include exercise
    • Sometimes the hardest part of exercise is figuring out when to do it. Leverage your phone or your computer calendar or even buy a planner. Schedule your exercise like you would any appointment. This will help you organize your entire schedule for the day and ensure that you have time devoted for exercise.
  • Join a gym close to work
    • Going to the gym can be a real hassle, try joining a gym close to your work to make life easier. Then you can go straight to work post-workout, get a quick workout during your lunch break, or stop over before heading home.

Group Of Women Power Walking On Urban Street

  • Get a workout buddy
    • Have a friend at work with the same hectic schedule? Try planning your workouts together! Working out with a friend can keep you motivated and prevent you from ditching out on your workout.

 

  • Eating out
    • Whether it is for business or pleasure, eating out is a part of life. Keep you your dinner healthy by looking for dishes that are baked, grilled, steamed, poached, roasted, or broiled to keep the calories down. Also avoid sides like French fries or mashed potatoes, which can be high in saturated fat. Instead opt for a side of vegetables or rice. (Many restaurants will allow this change with little or no cost to you). Or stick to a salad with the dressing on the side

 

  • Enjoy sleep
    • Sleep is hugely important to keep your body functioning at its best. Pick a set time to go to sleep and wake up (even on the weekends). This can ensure that you get an adequate amount of sleep to keep up with your busy schedule.

 

  • Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle(R)
    • March is National Nutrition Month(R) created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle” with these healthy on-the-fly snack and meal ideas in Foods for your Lifestyle

NNM 2015

 B.inspired, B.educated, B.Komplete!

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March is National Nutrition Month(R) – “Bite Into a Healthy Lifestyle”

March 2, 2015
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in Blog
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BK Healthy Lifestyle Poem

Each March is devoted to nutrition through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  The theme this year is “Biting Into a Healthy Lifestyle.”  I was so inspired by this awesome theme, that I wrote the above poem to capture the essence of the effort.  What steps can you do to make this March your most nutritious month ever? 

 

 

 

 

 

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