Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday's Hodge Podge

I just LOVE the American Dietetic Association’s quote of the week:

"Those who think they have no time for healthy eating will sooner or later have to find time for illness." - Edward Stanley

Could this be any less true? Along the same lines is financially supporting health and disease – putting in a bit more each trip to the grocery store can same hundreds of thousands in medical expenses down the road. That’s all I’ll say, I don’t have time to step on my soap box today!

My morning started off with a delicious smoothie to go, containing whey protein powder and flaxseed oil. As for fruit, I threw in raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, banana, kiwi, grapes, peach, and pineapple. Did I miss a color in there? Definitely started the morning off with a rainbow of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals - yum! A friend at work was asking for my smoothie recipe, so I hooked her up with a mini smoothie, too! P.S. The cup wasn't as big as it looks...I got a serious close up!

Today was taste test day at work. Some of the employees requested comfort food, so I chose a mac'n cheese recipe...made in the crock pot (but of course!). It was my first time trying this recipe and I will SURELY be making it was amazing! Almost TOO cheesy, I may use 3 cups of cheese next time. It served a bunch of people, though...and all good reviews! 

Crockpot Mac ‘n Cheese

1 c. skim milk

1 can evaporated milk

1 can cheddar cheese soup

4 c. 2% cheddar cheese, shredded

16 oz. box elbow macaroni

¾ c. egg substitute (i.e. Egg Beaters)

½ c. Smart Balance butter

½ Tbsp paprika (optional)


Start crock pot. Melt butter in crock pot and pour into separate dish after melted. In a pot, boil macaroni until almost done. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, milk, evaporated milk, soup, and 3 cups of cheese. Pour macaroni into bowl, pour over butter and then wet mixture. Mix slightly.

Allow to cook on low for 3 hours. Pour remaining cup of cheese on top and sprinkle with paprika.

Makes 30 servings (1/2 c. per serving)

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 143 calories, 6 g. fat, 15 g. carbohydrate, 8 g. protein

My email was PACKED with some really interesting articles out today and of course, I would like to share them with you.

Mega doses of antioxidants such as vitamin C and E may do more harm than good in type-2 diabetics

While exercise increases insulin sensitivity, exercise also produces oxidative stress. What we know of antioxidants such as vitamins C and E is that they help reduce free radicals in the body produced by oxidative stress. According to recent research, antioxidant supplements may block the oxidative stress…but also interfere with the beneficial effects of exercise on insulin sensitivity. While exercise is a proven means for increasing insulin sensitivity in the body and reduces the risk of developing diabetes, antioxidant intake may be best advisable through whole foods and not supplements [1].

Case in point: move more and never neglect the diet; supplements are not a cure-all and not always advisable.

The changing dinner party -- cooking together in the Chicago Tribune.

This article hit close to home as the subject lives in Forest Park, Illinois, one suburb west from my home town of Oak Park. Sheridan, an interior designer and avid home cook, has switched gears for entertaining -- she asks her guests to bring ingredients with them and she and her dinner guests cook together as a team. This way, the preparation, cooking, and cost are distributed among both host and guests. A Chicago-based research firm, Technomic, states that 33% of polled consumers reported entertaining in the home more often than a year ago. With economic hardships, American’s are finding new ways to get together without stretching the budget. Sheridan states, “There’s something so earthy about cooking with other people in your home. I think people are going to do more of this [2].”

What do you think of this means of entertaining and hosting a dinner party?

I have to admit, I think it’s a WONDERFUL idea! I think there’s lots of positives that come from participating in such an event, such as:
- Trying new foods
- Learning the preparations of new foods
- Locating new foods in the grocery store – wouldn’t want to bring the wrong item!
- Increasing the frequency of get-togethers with friends
- Saving money
- Eating less (restaurant portions are huge!)
- Togetherness (the home seems much more intimate than a restaurant to me, anyways)

On a completely unrelated note…

Study links kids’ unhealthy exercise and eating habits to moms who work.

British researchers found that children of mothers who worked part-time of full-time were more likely to have bad diet and exercise habits than those whose mothers stayed home. The results were recently published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. The children of working moms were more likely to drink sugary beverages between meals, watch TV or use the computer at least two hours a day, and be driven to school rather than walking or biking. Dr. Jennifer Shu, a pediatrician in private practice in Atlanta and co-author of a book on parenting says she worries that “parents will feel guilty about working, when most do so out of necessity…Parents shouldn’t feel guilty about leaving kids in other people’s care [3].”

Of the 12,576 5-year old children assessed in the study, 37% snacked on potato chips or sweets, 41% drank sugary beverages between meals, and 61% watched television or used the computer at least 2 hours a day. It should be noted, “In initial analyses, children whose mothers worked actually had healthier habits. But after adjusting for possible confounding factors, such as income and education, those relationships reversed.” Why was this? Likely due to the fact that most of the working women were “relatively advantaged” and had higher levels of education and incomes, according to the researchers who concluded in saying, “Health behaviors in childhood are going to be influenced by a range of factors, and this might be one [3].”

Interesting. Do you feel the children of stay-at-home-moms are at deceased risk of developing poor diet and exercise habits?

Hopefully I can catch up with DVR and watch the Biggest Loser, but it may get pushed back another night, we'll see! Catch ya tomorrow...Day #1 as a diabetic!

[1]. Neff, Barbara C. Vitamins, Exercise & Diabetes. Naperville.
[2]. Levin, Amelia. The Dinner Party Has Changed: Sharing the Cooking – and Costs – of Dinner Parties at Home. Chicago Tribune. September 30, 2009.
[3]. Fiore, Kristina. Kids May Be Less Healthy if Mom Works. MedPage Today; ABC News. September 30, 2009.


  1. I think this study needs some fine tuning. There are plenty of mothers out there who work while managing their family and putting enough solid effort into the health of their child that positive effects are seen. My mom was a perfect example. She worked, and still works, full time when I grew up and she still managed to teach me great habits.

    Meanwhile, I know PLENTY of mothers who don't work, and they are home all day with their children, yet those children's habits are awful!! I just did a diet consult with one such family, actually.

    The Mac and cheese looks fabulous. Thanks for the recipe! I'm into mac and cheese lately.

  2. wow you wrote it all out, better to tweet it lol, good looking smoothie oh and love the quote

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