Showing posts with label Healthy Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Healthy Food. Show all posts

Friday, September 19, 2014

Crookneck Squash
Day 19

A Different Fruit A Day Personal Health Challenge

Even though most people identify squash with vegetables, from a botanical standpoint, they're considered fruits because they contain the seeds of the plant.

Even though most people identify squash with vegetables, from a botanical standpoint, they're considered fruits because they contain the seeds of the plant. Squash are divided into two categories -- summer and winter squash.

Summer squash are generally divided into four groups -- crookneck, zucchini (green and yellow), straightneck, and scallop (pattypan). They have thin, edible skins and soft seeds, and are high in vitamins A and C, and niacin.

Oma had never had a Crookneck Squash before and you really cannot just eat it like most other fruits. So the search for a recipe began. Oma loves any recipe with the “Easy” in it.

Ridiculously Easy Roasted Yellow Squash and Onions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Lightly spray a baking sheet with canola or olive oil
  3. Trim the ends of the squash, cut off the slender necks, and slice the necks in half, lengthwise. Then slice each squash into lengthwise slices, about 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick. Lay the slices on the cooking sheet in a single layer.
  4. Trim the ends of the onion and peel it
  5. Slice into thin wedges.
  6. Bake for about 15 minutes, until bottoms of squash begin to brown. Sprinkle with pepper and salt, turn each slice over, and bake until bottoms of squash are browned, about 15 minutes more. Serve immediately, hot out of the oven.

Pretty easy and yummy too!

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Day 18

A Different Fruit A Day Personal Health Challenge


The Kiwi is also known as the Gooseberry. Almost all kiwifruit sold belong to the Haywood variety and has a fuzzy, dull-brown skin, and bright-green flesh. Packed with more vitamin C than an equivalent amount of orange, the bright green flesh of the kiwifruit speckled with tiny black seeds adds a dramatic tropical flair to any fruit salad.

It is a small fruit approximately 3 inches long and weighing about four ounces. Its green flesh is almost creamy in consistency with an invigorating taste reminiscent of strawberries, melons and bananas, yet with its own unique sweet flavor. At approximately 42 calories, Oma finds the Kiwifruit a healthy yet tasty snack!

Interesting Fact:

Kiwifruit and Latex Allergy

Like avocados and bananas, kiwifruit contain substances called compounds that are associated with the latex-fruit allergy syndrome. There is strong evidence of the cross-reaction between latex and these foods.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Passion Fruit
Day 17

A Different Fruit A Day Personal Health Challenge

Passion fruits are a vigorous, climbing vine - Sweet yet tangy.

The passion fruit is a vigorous, climbing vine that clings by tendrils to almost any support. It can grow 15 to 20 ft. per year once established and must have strong support. It is generally short-lived (5 to 7 years).

When Oma opened her passion fruit, she was pretty disappointed. The inside of the tough outer shell was almost empty. This would help explain the low 17 calories per fruit. Nevertheless the contents were surprisingly pleasing; both sweet yet tangy.

While purple passion fruit is high in vitamin C, riboflavin, vitamin B2 and copper; yellow passion fruit generally has a higher nutritional value and contains alpha-carotene. The pulp of the purple is less acid, richer in aroma and flavor, and has a higher proportion of juice (35-38%).

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Day 16

A Different Fruit A Day Personal Health Challenge


Corn kernels are technically fruits.

This one was a surprise to Oma - Corn kernels are technically fruits. Corn is a grain, and all grains are fruit. Corn is a healthy grain to consume. It is actually a compound of carbohydrates that is rich in vitamin C and dietary fibers, called pericarps. The kernel of the corn is a huge storehouse of a large amount of proteins and starch.

Corn will improve blood pressure, is rich in antioxidants, good for your eyes and alleviates constipation.  An ear of corn is approximately 74 calories.

GMO Warning: Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are becoming more and more prominent in today’s marketplace, so it is important to understand what they are and some of the issues they raise. A GMO plant has been genetically altered using genetic engineering techniques, and is commonly found in crops such as corn, soybeans, cotton and canola.

In general, these plants are modified to express a resistance to herbicide, which can be beneficial to farmers, allowing for less work so more crops can be harvested. As of 2006, there were 102 million hectares of GM crops worldwide, and that number has only increased, with a 10% jump from 2007 to 2008 alone. In fact, the United States alone recently neared 60 million hectacres (1).

Be sure to research the GMO Controversy so that you can make an informed decision.

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Day 15

A Different Fruit A Day Personal Health Challenge


Oma likes to start the day with a fruit salad with a bit of cereal sprinkled over it -LOL. Pictured above is the start of Oma's breakfast; banana slices, strawberries and blueberries.  Then the bowl is topped off with some coconut flakes and just a few pinches of cereal.

In terms of U.S. fruit consumption, blueberries rank only second to strawberries in popularity of berries. After many years of research on blueberry antioxidants and their potential benefits for the nervous system and for brain health, there is exciting new evidence that blueberries can improve memory. This little super-fruit also packs a serious punch as an antioxidant powerhouse and a disease fighter, among its many other health benefits.

The taste and texture of the blueberry are not Oma's favorite - however, it is an awesome fruit to add to our daily juice as well.

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Dark Chocolate Strawberry Halves
Day 14

A Different Fruit A Day Personal Health Challenge

Oma was not feeling well today. Not sure what was wrong . . . symptoms consisted solely of Oma being very tired! However, that does not mean that Oma could not continue with her “New Fruit a Day” Project.

Since Oma was drained and not very hungry, a little creativeness was required. Luckily, Dole Frozen Strawberries reside in Oma’s freezer. Oma loves how the dark chocolate blends with the strawberry halves!

Technically, the strawberry is an aggregate accessory fruit, meaning that the fleshy part is derived not from the plant's ovaries but from the receptacle that holds the ovaries. Nevertheless compared to fruits like apples, oranges or bananas, strawberries have the highest amount of nutrients.

Health Benefits of Strawberries

  • Helps burn stored fat
  • Boost short term memory
  • Low in Calories – High in Fiber
  • Ease Inflammation
  • Lower cardiovascular disease
  • Promote bone health
  • Prevent oesophageal cancer
  • Anti-aging properties
  • Good for weight loss
  • Promote eye health

One cup of Strawberries contains only 54 calories.

DOLE Strawberry Dippers are fresh frozen strawberry halves covered in dark chocolate. Each individual pack contains 4 halves, and are only 60 calories per pack! Oma simply pulled a pack from her freezer and enjoy her healthy fruit of the day!

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#GetFrozen #TeamDole

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Day 13

A Different Fruit A Day Personal Health Challenge

Botanically the coconut fruit is a drupe, not a true nut. A drupe is a fruit in which an outer fleshy part surrounds a pit of hardened endocarp with a seed inside.

A coconut, and all drupes, have three layers: the exocarp (outer layer), the mesocarp (fleshy middle layer), and the endocarp (hard, woody layer that surrounds the seed).

Eating coconuts supports the development of strong, healthy bones and teeth. It does this by improving the body’s ability to absorb calcium and magnesium. It also prevents osteoporosis, a condition in which the bones become thin and fragile and lose their density. This makes coconuts a good, healthy alternative for those who are lactose intolerant, but still want to have strong bones and teeth. Those who prefer a vegan diet can benefit from it as a good source of protein and fatty acids.

The Pacific Islanders believe that it is the cure for all illness, which is why the palm tree (from which coconuts are grown) is known as “The Tree of Life.” Coconut oil is thought to possess healing properties above and beyond that of any other dietary oils.

Because of its strong antioxidant properties and health benefits, the coconuts can be used to:

  • Lower cholesterol
  • Improve digestion
  • Ward off wrinkles
  • Stabilize glucose levels
  • Fight off viruses
  • Build cells
  • Regulate hormones
  • Increase thyroid production
  •  Lose weight
  • Increase metabolism
  • Fight infections
  • Stave off memory loss
  • Kill bacteria

Coconuts also alkalize you (increase your pH) and are natural electrolytes (it re-mineralizes you - a natural gatorade).

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Day 12

A Different Fruit A Day Personal Health Challenge

Oma and Reef both enjoy eating their Avocado straight out of the shell! Avocados are flavorful, rich and creamy.

The avocado is a tree native to Mexico and Central America. Also known as the alligator pear this fruit is botanically a large berry that contains a single seed.

Avocados are a great source of healthy fats and protein. They are also with monounsaturated fat which is able to help reduce LDL cholesterol and even lower the risk of stroke and heart disease. Because they contain a fair amount of protein too (4 grams), they make a great substitute for meat in a sandwich or dip.

Oma and Reef both enjoy eating their Avocado straight out of the shell! Avocados are flavorful, rich and creamy. A cup of avocado is about 240 calories.

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Day 11

A Different Fruit A Day Personal Health Challenge

Pears are one of Oma’s favorite fruits. Pears are consumed fresh, canned, as juice, and dried. Pears are a good source of dietary fiber and a good source of vitamin C. However, you should keep in mind that most of the vitamin C, as well as the dietary fiber, is contained within the skin of the fruit!

In recent studies measuring risk of type 2 diabetes in U.S. women, pears have earned very special recognition. Researchers now know that certain flavonoids in food can improve insulin sensitivity, and of special interest in this area have been three groups of flavonoids (flavonols, flavan-3-ols, and anthocyanins). A medium pear contains approximately 100 calories.

Interesting Fact: Did you know that pears are a member of the rose family of plants (Rosaceae), which, in addition (of course) to roses, contains a long list of fruits including apples, apricots, cherries, chokeberry, crabapples, loquats, peaches, plums, quinces, raspberries, serviceberries, and strawberries as well as the tree nut, almonds?

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Day 10

A Different Fruit A Day Personal Health Challenge

Mangoes taste so good that it is easy to that they are also very healthy! The mango is native to southern Asia, especially Burma and eastern India. It spread early on to Malaya, eastern Asia and eastern Africa. Mangoes were introduced to California (Santa Barbara) in 1880.

Oma has a mango tree; however the weather is must not be right because it does not hold its fruit to maturation. 

Health Benefits:

  • Prevents Cancer;
  • Lowers Cholesterol;
  • Clears the Skin;
  • Eye Health;
  • Alkalizes the Whole Body;
  • Helps in Diabetes;
  • Improved Sex;
  • Improves Digestion;
  • Remedy for Heat Stroke;
  • Boosts Immune system. 



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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Day 9

A Different Fruit A Day Personal Health Challenge

The Pitaya, more commonly known as the Dragon Fruit,  is an unusual fruit grown in Southeast Asia, Mexico, Central and South America, and Israel. The plant is actually a type of cactus, and the fruit comes in three colors: two have pink skin, but with different colored flesh (one white, the other red); while another type is yellow with white flesh.

The  Dragon Fruit pictured above was bought at Jimbo's…Naturally and was red inside.  Warning, this fruit is a bit on the pricey side.

Dragon fruit is low in calories and offers numerous nutrients, including Vitamin C, phosphorus, calcium, plus fiber and antioxidants. Dragon fruit tastes wonderful! - very sweet and crunchy, with a flavor that's like a cross between kiwi and pear.

Oma has a Pitaya plant growning in her garden.  It's fruit is red on the outside and white inside.

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Habanero Pepper
Day 8

Oma discovered volunteer red peppers growing in the garden this morning. That made Oma think; are hot red peppers a fruit?

The chili pepper is the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, members of the nightshade family. The substances that give chili peppers their intensity when ingested or applied topically are capsaicin (8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide) and several related chemicals, collectively called capsaicinoids. From the mild and sweet to the super spicy, peppers are seedy and thus categorized as fruit.

Opa made Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice)
Opa made Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice)
Red chilies contain large amounts of vitamin C and small amounts of carotene (provitamin A). The pepper Oma and Opa put in their Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice) tonight was very flavorful and very spicy hot. Oma believes it was a Habanero pepper.

Interesting fact: Capsaicin extracted from chilis is used in pepper spray as an irritant, a form of less-lethal weapon.

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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Day 7

A Different Fruit A Day Personal Health Challenge

Despite popular belief that watermelon is made up of only water and sugar, watermelon is actually considered a nutrient dense food.

Watermelon is the fruit of a plant originally from a vine of southern Africa. The watermelon fruit, loosely considered a type of melon (although not in the genus Cucumis), has a smooth exterior rind and a juicy, sweet, usually red interior flesh.

Despite popular belief that watermelon is made up of only water and sugar, watermelon is actually considered a nutrient dense food, a food that provides a high amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for a low amount of calories.

At 46 calories per cup, watermelon offers 20 percent of your daily intake of vitamin C and 17 percent vitamin A, according to the USDA. That's not all. "Watermelon contains dietary fiber for digestive health as well as potassium, a mineral that helps keep blood pressure capped," says Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, Health's contributing nutrition editor.

Interesting Watermelon Facts:
  • It has more lycopene than raw tomatoes; 
  • The juice can relieve muscle soreness; 
  • It's a fruit AND a vegetable; 
  • It's packed with, well, water; 
  • There's a yellow variety

Grandma Wendy made this Watermelon Fruit
Basket for Reef Indy's 1st Birthday.

Tip:  Want to bring something fun and healthy to your next party?  A watermelon fruit  basket can be used for many events, such as school meetings, church socials, and spring holiday parties. It is festive, adorable, and delicious.

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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Day 6

A Different Fruit A Day Personal Health Challenge

A grape is a fruiting berry of the deciduous woody vines of the botanical genus Vitis. Grapes can be eaten raw or they can be used for making wine, jam, juice, jelly, grape seed extract, raisins, vinegar, and grape seed oil. Grapes are a non-climacteric type of fruit, generally occurring in clusters.

The health benefits of grapes include their ability to treat constipation, indigestion, fatigue, kidney disorders, macular degeneration and the prevention of cataracts. Grapes, one of the most popular and delicious fruits, are rich sources of vitamins A, C, B6 and folate in addition to essential minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and selenium.

Grapes contain flavonoids that are very powerful antioxidants, which can reduce the damage caused by free radicals and slow down aging. Grapes, due to their high nutrient content, play an important role in ensuring a healthy and active life.

Oma loves that one of her favorite beverages – a good bottle of wine, is made from this delicious fruit. They are also the perfect “snack” when you crave something quick but sweet!

If you think about it ahead of time, you can freeze your grapes! The grapes will keep their crunchy character while the inside becomes a smooth sorbet surprise.

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Friday, September 5, 2014

Day 5

A Different Fruit A Day Personal Health Challenge

Bananas are both sweet and nutritious. Since bananas come neatly packed in their own wrapper, they are very portable. They may be eaten in their whole form, sliced into fruit salad or mashed and added to muffin and bread recipes. A banana averages about only 110 calories.

Bananas are both sweet and nutritious.

Frozen bananas can be added to smoothies in place of yogurt or ice cream. A serving size is one peeled medium-sized banana, about 7 inches long.  By eating a banana you can Indulge your sweet tooth without ruining your diet.

 DOLE Banana Dippers - the goodness of bananas comes together with the rich, indulgent taste of dark chocolate!

Oma has recently discovered DOLE Banana Dippers - the goodness of bananas comes together with the rich, indulgent taste of dark chocolate!

DOLE Banana Dippers are fresh frozen banana slices covered in dark chocolate. Each individual pack contains 4 slices, at aproximately 100 calories per pack. You simply pull these treasures from your freezer and enjoy anytime, anywhere! Since Oma is Lactose intolerance the DOLE Dippers are a perfect snack for her.

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Day 4

A Different Fruit A Day Personal Health Challenge

Oma did not know that the nectarine, is a smooth-skinned peach that is grown throughout the warmer temperate regions of both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. 

A genetic variant of common peaches, the nectarine was most likely domesticated in China more than 4,000 years ago.  Nectarine and peach trees are virtually indistinguishable! 

The nectarine is a smooth-skinned peach that is grown throughout the warmer temperate regions of both the Northern and Southern hemispheres.


  • Very low in saturated fat
  • No cholesterol
  • No sodium
  • High in dietary fiber • High in niacin
  • High in potassium
  • High in vitamin A
  • Very high in vitamin C


  • Very high in sugar

A nectarine has approximately 62 calories – what a great snack.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Day 3

A Different Fruit A Day Personal Health Challenge

Peach varieties can be either clingstone, where the flesh of the fruit clings to the Clingstone Peachesstone, or freestone, where the stone readily twists away from the fruit. The former type is generally used for canning; the latter is generally found in supermarkets. Clingstone and freestone peaches are available in both white and yellow varieties.

Peaches are a good source of vitamins A, B and C. A medium peach contains only 37 calories.


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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Black Plums
Day 2

A Different Fruit A Day Personal Health Challenge

There are few fruits that come in such a panorama of colors as the juicy sweet tasting plum. The plum season extends from May through October with the Japanese varieties first on the market from May and peaking in August followed by the European varieties in the fall. Plums belong to the Prunus genus of plants and are relatives of the peach, nectarine and almond. They are all considered "drupes," fruits that have a hard stone pit surrounding their seeds. A plum has about 30  calories.


  8 health benefits of eating plums

  1. Protects your heart.
  2. Protect against cancer and cell damage.
  3. Prevent diabetes.
  4. Improves bone health.
  5. Low in Calories.
  6. Plums destroy breast cancer cells.
  7. Beat diarrhea and constipation
  8. Improves brain memory.

Oma loves plums! Plus, plums are a low-calorie power-food that won’t spike your blood sugar levels



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Monday, September 1, 2014

Day 1

A Different Fruit A Day Personal Health Challenge

For day one, Oma selected the apple! There are approximately 71 calories in a medium Gala Apple. Oma and Opa really like Galas. These apples are small and are usually red with a portion being greenish or yellow-green, vertically striped.  They are fairly resistant to bruising and are sweet, grainy, with a mild flavor and a thinner skin than most apples


14 health benefits of eating apples

  1. Get whiter, healthier teeth
  2. Avoid Alzheimer’sProtect against Parkinson’s
  3. Curb all sorts of cancers
  4. Decrease your risk of diabetes
  5. Reduce cholesterol
  6. Get a healthier heart
  7. Prevent gallstones
  8. Beat diarrhea and constipation
  9. Neutralize irritable bowel syndrome
  10. Avert hemorrhoids
  11. Control your weight
  12. Detoxify your liver
  13. Boost your immune system
  14. Prevent cataracts

Related Post:

A Different Fruit A Day Personal Health Challenge

Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Different Fruit A Day
Personal Health Challenge

This seems the era of challenges. Oma decided to do a challenge for fitness. Oma dared herself to consume and photograph one different fruit every day for the month of September. Many do not know the difference between a fruit and a vegetable; nor the benefits of eating fruits. 

Jimbo’s Local and Organic Produce - freshness and quality, and minimizing the carbon footprint.
Local and Organic - Once harvested, the produce is usually delivered
directly to theJimbo’s stores, thereby maximizing freshness and quality,
and minimizing the carbon footprint.

Botanically speaking, a fruit is a seed-bearing structure that develops from the ovary of a flowering plant, whereas vegetables are all other plant parts, such as roots, leaves and stems. By those standards, seedy outgrowths such as apples, squash and, tomatoes are all fruits, while roots such as beets, potatoes and turnips, leaves such as spinach, kale and lettuce, and stems such as celery and broccoli are all vegetables.

All most everyone has heard the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

According to the research published in the British Medical Journal by researchers at Oxford University, 8,500 deaths from heart attacks and strokes could be prevented in those over 50 in the UK just by eating one apple per day.

That study also indicates that those who choose to eat an apple could gain the same benefits as those who opt for the drug, statin, which reduces the cholesterol in the body.

The goal of this experiment is to educate while renewing this easy augmentation to a healthy menu.