If You Really Have to Buy Something Processed part 1

I am currently taking part in a trial run of The Daniel Plan at Hope Lutheran Church in West Des Moines.  Myself, staff, and a few other health professionals are embarking on a 6 week trial to see if it is something we can be rolled out to the church in 2013.  This would be the start of the new Health and Wellness Ministry!  I am super excited about this.  God wants us to treat out bodies like temples for the healthier we are the better we can serve!  To learn more about The Daniel Plan…check it out at www.thedanielplan.com
I found this three part article on the site and had to share! 

If You Really Have to Buy Something Processed part 1

By Dr. Mark Hyman

“If it has a label don’t eat it,” is what I preach. However, there are some exceptions. But think about this: If there is a health food section in the grocery store, what does that make the rest of the food sold there? The general rule: If it has any ingredients you don’t recognize or pronounce, put the item down. Be a smart label reader. Labels contain both the ingredients and specific (but not all) nutrition information. Here are keys to know about contents listed on labels included on packaged foods.

Beware of marketing. Remember, the front of the label is food marketing at its cleverest. It is designed to seduce you into an emotional purchase and may contain exaggerated claims. Look for quality ingredients. Organic whole foods are now available in packages, cans and boxes.

Where is the ingredient on the list? If the real food is at the end of the list and the sugars or salt is at the beginning of the list, beware. The most abundant ingredient is listed first and then the others are listed in descending order by weight.

Beware of ingredients not on the list. Foods that are exempt from labels include foods in very small packages, foods prepared in the store, and foods made by small manufacturers.

Look for additives or problem ingredients. If it has high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated, or partially hydrogenated oils, put it back on the shelf. Search for any “suspect” additives.

Look for ingredients that don’t agree with you. Identify food ingredients you are sensitive or react to, such as gluten, eggs, dairy, tree nuts, or peanuts. Be vigilant about reading labels, as these ingredients are often “hidden” in foods you least suspect. The labeling of common allergens is not always clear or helpful and there have been recent recommendations to improve this for consumers as in the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act 2004. (See www.celiac.com for lists of gluten containing foods.)

Investigate unfamiliar ingredients. Investigate or use an Internet search engine to find a credible source for any unfamiliar ingredients on the label before you buy such as carmine, quorn, diacylglycerol, etc. Credible internet sources tend to be on government or educational sites ending in “.gov” or “.edu” rather than “com.”

Discover if any “functional food ingredients” are being added to the food product, such as live active cultures, beta-glucan (a viscous fiber), or plant sterols. Though they may be helpful, more often than not, they are “window dressing” present in small amounts, and with minimal value, except to the marketing department of the manufacturer. Examples of this include live active cultures added to high sugar, high fat yogurts or vitamins and minerals added to gum balls. In other words, it’s best to get healthful, functional food ingredients from their whole food sources, rather than as additives to otherwise nutritionally depraved foods.

Would your great-grandmother have served this food? Finally, before you analyze the numbers, ask yourself if this food could have been served at your great-grandmother’s table. She only served real food.

Thoughts about the article or the Daniel Plan?  Please share!

Until next time…
Look good, feel good, do good
Sara B.

Peanut Butter Banana Pudding

Here’s a healthy snack that can be whipped up in no time.  After school snack, midnight cravings, or just because! 

Peanut Butter Banana Pudding:
recipe from www.nutritiontwins.com 
1 plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
2 large ripe bananas
3-4 Tbsp peanut butter, chunky/salted
2/3 cup maple syrup (if you choose sugar-free syrup and you’ll save 105 calories per serving!)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
|Add all ingredients to blender, blend. Pour into serving dishes or a large bowl. Chill in fridge or freezer until thick. Serve and enjoy!

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good
Sara B.

Pan Fried Tilapia

I’m back!  Thanks for being patient as I enjoyed time with our new baby girl Charlee.  Everyone is adjusting well.  Trey likes to give her kisses in the morning and thinks it is necessary to give her a pacifier at every waking moment.  J and I cherish our growing family…even if things are a little bit crazier, the house is a bit messier, and meals aren’t quite as fancy. 
A few weeks ago J fixed up this beautiful and nutritious meal.  He has been helping with the “house” duties even more now that we are on “man-to-man” defense. 

Pan Fried Tilapia
2 eggs
1/4 cup crushed crackers or whole wheat bread crumbs
2 T Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds fresh tilapia fillets
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves

In a shallow dish crack two eggs and beat. Coat tilapia in eggs. In a plastic bag combine crackers, Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper. Place tilapia in plastic bag and lightly coat each side. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place coated fish in oiled pan. Brown on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side or until fish flakes apart with fork.  Garnish with parsley.

Easy tartar sauce: few tablespoons olive oil mayo, dash of lemon juice and pickle juice, and diced up pickles.  Stir to combine and serve overtop fish.

I appreciate you all sticking with me during my leave!  I plan to keep bringing you healthy, nutritious meals but not as often.  However, searching past recipes will always give you new ideas.  Each month go back to the previous years and try a new meal! 

Until next time…
look good, do good, feel good
Sara B.

Charlee Elizabeth Schwertfeger

Jeremy, Trey and I feel so blessed to have welcomed the 4th member of our family on August 12th at 6:13pm.  Charlee Elizabeth was a pleasant early birthday gift for me…God sure knows how to give the best presents. 
Charlee (pronounced like Charlie) came into this world at 7lbs 9oz and 19 inches long.  She also arrived just a little bit faster than her brother (see Trey’s birth recap here)…I see a little competitive drive already 🙂
Here’s how it all went down:
Sunday morning J, Trey and I decided to make a little road trip to Ames to walk around the ISU campus and have brunch at The Cafe.  We had a great time chasing around Trey as he explored the campanile and Cy’s statue. 

On the way home around 12:45pm I felt my first contraction.  Upon arriving home J and I decided to get the bags packed.  We then proceeded to head outside to throw our new ISU football around with Trey 🙂 Around 3pm Kelli came over and we went for a walk. While walking I decided this was the real deal. A little history: I showed up at the hospital for Trey at 9cm and had him within a half hour….so we knew we needed to be a little bit more proactive this time or J would be delivering this baby at home. 
We packed up the car, took Trey to Kelli’s and arrived at the hospital at 4:30pm.  I was 6cm dilated and started to hit some decent contractions.  I made the commitment to myself to go all natural (no drugs) so I clenched my teeth, took deep breaths and squeezed J’s hand.  My water was broke at 5:30pm and for motivation I kept asking to see how dilated I was. It was music to my ears when they said it was time to push.  I took a deep breath and pushed.  The first push we saw the head, the second push the head came out and on the third push I looked down and saw a baby GIRL!  Charlee was born at 6:13pm.  I cannot thank J enough for helping me through labor as well as the wonderful nurses at Methodist West and Dr. MacEntaffer. We also want to give a special thanks to those that watched Trey while were were at the hospital: my sister and brother-in-law, Tara and family, and Kelli and family.   
We are tickled pink and look forward to the many memories Charlee will bring us. 

I plan to take some time off from Sara B Consulting, I appreciate your understanding!

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good
Sara B.

Power 9

You may have heard a little about the Blue Zones and Power 9.  Blue Zones are places around the world where people are recorded to live longer….were talking well into the 100s.  These places include Sardinia, Italy; Okanawa, Japan; Loma Linda, CA; Ikaria, Greece; and Nicoya, Coast Rica.  Research shows that there are 9 common characteristics of these communities that contribute to their longevity.  These are known as the Power 9.

So here it is….the secret to a long, healthy, and happy life:
Power 9
1. Move naturally
De-convenience your home, take the stairs, park farther away from the entrance and grow gardens.  Have an errand not to far away…walk!  Walking one of the best activities for longevity.
2. Know your purpose
Know why you wake up each day!  This alone can add seven years to your life.  Be able to articulate your values, passions, gifts and talents.
3. Down shift
 Stress leads to chronic inflammation which is associated with every major age-related disease. Find your de-stressor: meditate, nap, pray, or enjoy happy hour.
4. The 80% rule
Cut 20% of your calories with evidence based practices: eat a big breakfast, eat with your family, use 10 inch plates, and stop when you feel 80% full.
5. Plant slant
Eat a plant-based diet that’s heavy on the beans, nuts and green plants. 
6. Wine at 5
Moderate drinkers outlive non-drinkers.  The trick is to drink 1-2 drinks per day and not a drop more.
7. Family first
Living in a loving and thriving family can add six years to your ticker!  Invest time in your kids, nurture a monogamous relationship and keep aging parents near by. 
8. Belong
 It doesn’t matter if you’re Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish or some other religion that meets as a community.  Research shows that attending faith-based services four times per month will add 4-14 years of life expectancy.
9. Right tribe
Take stock in who your friends are and extend your social circle to include healthy-minded, supportive people. 

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good
Sara B.

Baked Corn Dogs

In honor of the Iowa State Fair today’s recipe is for CORN DOGS!  You heard me right!  However, instead of the fried dough and not so natural hot dogs, this recipe offers all the goodness your kids…and maybe you love 🙂 and none of the icky.

Baked Corn Dogs
1 1/2 C whole grain yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 plus 1/3C whole wheat or white whole wheat flour
3 T sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
4 T unsalted butter, frozen
1 C low fat buttermilk
10 all natural uncured nitrite-free beef hot dogs (I used Applegate Farms’ The Super Natural Uncured Beef Hot Dog)
2 large egg whites
10 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
In a large bowl, whisk cornmeal, 1 1/2 C flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, onion powder and cayenne  With the large holes of a box grater, shred the butter over the top of the flour mixture, stopping 2 or 3 times to toss flour over butter to prevent clumping.  Stir until combined, breaking up any large clumps.  Add buttermilk and stir until just moistened.  Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead briefly with floured hands just until dough forms a ball.  Divide into 2 equal pieces and press each into a thick disk.  Wrap each loosely in plastic wrap or parchment paper and freeze for 10 minutes.  Do no freeze for more than 10 minutes.  
Preheat oven to 400F.  Meanwhile, pat the hotdogs dry with paper towels and stick a skewer 2 to 3 inches into 1 end of the dog.  On a large plate add remaining flour.  In a wide, shallow bowl lightly beat egg whites.  Remove 1 dough disk from freezer and transfer to floured surface.  Roll into a 13 inch wide and 1/4 inch thick oval.  Cut into 4- 3 1/4 inch wide strips that are about 2 inches longer than the hot dog.  Dip 1 hot dog in flour, shaking off excess, then dip in egg whites.  Transfer to 1 dough strip and wrap with dough, gently pushing seams together to seal.  Pinch off excess dough from ends to completely cover tip, leaving a 1/4 inch of hot dog exposed at skewer end.  Transfer to a greased pan.  Repeat with the remaining dogs and dough.  Bake until bottoms are golden brown and dough is cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Obviously, this recipe takes a little more time and love so save for a special occasion…like fair week!

Until next time…
look good, do good, feel good
Sara B.