Thursday, April 23, 2009

Grocery Shopping Just Got Easier!

Have you ever stood in the aisle looking at all the products, trying to decipher the ingredient lists and the nutritional information only to throw up your hands and grab the item with the prettiest package?

I know how you feel. Just recently I was at a new store looking for some whole grain bread. I had about four different loaves all lined up trying to figure out which one to buy. They all had different pluses and minuses and I found myself getting pretty frustrated. AND I'M A HEALTH COACH!

Luckily for us David Katz, a nationally recognized authority on nutrition has come to our rescue. He got together with a team of nutrition and medical experts from leading universities and health organizations to create an algorithm that scores food based on its nutritional value.

The scores will be found on the price tag that is posted on the shelf in the grocery store. It will be easy to use because items will have a score of 1 thru 100. The higher the number, the better choice it is.

The thing that makes this scoring system different is that it is independent. It has been funded by Griffin Hospital without any funding from manufacturers or anyone interested in promoting their product. It also takes 30 different nutrients and nutritional factors into account so it is giving a very accurate representation. Here is a list of some of them:

Vitamin A
Vitamin C
Vitamin D
Vitamin E
Vitamin B12
Vitamin B6
Omega-3 fatty acids
Total bioflavanoids
Total carotenoids
Saturated fat
Trans fat

Right now the scoring system can be found in Price Chopper stores on the east coast and Hy-vee stores in the Midwest. I heard that it was going to be in Mejier stores on Monday, April 27. I actually went into my local Meijer store to inquire about it and I was excited to find out that it is true, it will be available. I made sure to tell them how thrilled I was and that I would be sharing the information with everyone I knew.

I can't wait to go in and check out all the numbers and see where the different brands score. If you have a store that has the NuVal scoring system, I invite you to check it out. If not, you can make it known that you would love to see something like this in your local store. You can also go to the website and sign up to receive updates when new stores are available.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring Entertaining

I was recently invited to a wonderful evening with a group of fellow IIN students. We all got together at my friend Holly's house. She lives on the 58th floor overlooking Lake Michigan. Wow! It was breathtaking.

I wanted to bring a dish to share with everyone and I wanted to keep it healthy. So often the recipes for entertaining can be heavy on the fat, sodium, calories and processed foods. I am not opposed to that kind of thing occasionally but it seems like I am hosting or attending some kind of function every week so I have made it a priority to find things that will taste good without all the junk.

I found this recipe while watching Everyday Italian on the Food Network. I was a bit nervous about it because to be perfectly honest, I don't even like peas and that is the base of the recipe. I decided it was worth a shot so I made it. I am so glad to did. It was really good! It's quick, easy and healthy.

Sun-dried Tomato and Peas on Endive Spears
Prep Time: 10 min Level: Easy Yield: 4 to 6 servings

1 pound frozen peas, thawed
8 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, drained (about 3/4 cup)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 heads endive, ends trimmed and leaves separated

Combine the peas, sun-dried tomatoes, and garlic in a food processor. Pulse the machine until the peas and tomatoes are finely chopped. Add the olive oil and pulse until the olive oil is incorporated and the mixture is minced but not yet pureed. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the salt and pepper. Serve as a dip with the endive spears alongside

Michelle's Note:
I scooped the dip into the endive spears and assembled them onto a platter to serve them. It looked really nice.
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