JULY FOOD BOX NEWSLETTER
Delivery July 21st
Confused by all the choices at the supermarket? Here are some savvy supermarket shopping tips that will have you reaching for healthier choices during your next trip
to the market, and saving money, too.
How do you think consumers should educate themselves before hitting the supermarket in order to make the healthiest choices? As a consumer, it is important to understand how to interpret a food label. First, look at the serving size. All nutrient values and calories are based on an amount of food which is frequently quite small. Next, look at key nutrients to see if it has good amounts of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Also, look for reasonable amounts of fat, sugar and sodium. Lastly, check the ingredient list for whole grains and limit foods with various forms of corn syrup, saturated fats (including partially hydrogenated oils) or sodium sources.
- Is it possible to eat healthy on a budget? What are your top 3 budget saving tips? There are many tips throughout the Pocket Supermarket Guide but 3 that yield big savings are:
- Check newspapers and flyers for sales and 2-for-1 specials and include those foods on your shopping list
- Find bargains on the top and bottom shelves because name brands (at higher prices) often are at eye level
- Clip coupons for foods you use and sign up for store discount shopping cardsQ. What are the most confusing “healthy” food items that really aren’t? Food marketers create a “halo of health” for many foods that are not particularly healthful. Some of these are organic candy and snacks, which usually have as much sugar, fat and salt as those without organic ingredients; highly sweetened granola products; fat-free salad dressings that contain lots of sodium and/or sweeteners; wheat bread that does not have whole wheat as the first (main) ingredient; beverages “made with real juice” that have only a small amounts of real juice and lots of sugared water.
- Q. What top 5 foods should be on a shopping list? It’s hard to limit it to five since there are so many great healthful foods. The most basic foods in each of the food groups of MyPlate should be most of the shopping list. To start with, I’d recommend:
- Q. I’ve heard that you should shop the perimeter of the store in order to decrease the urge to buy processed foods. Would you recommend this? Why or why not? Yes. Most stores have fresh produce, fresh meat, poultry, eggs and seafood, dairy products and baked goods including breads around the perimeter of the store. Processed, canned and packaged foods are typically located in the central aisles. Sure, you will need some items from the center of the store but shopping mostly at the perimeter generally keeps you in the territory of healthier food options.
- Fresh or frozen (unbreaded) fish and seafood
- Fat free or low-fat milk or yogurt
- Whole grains including cereals and breads
- Plenty of deep green, orange and red fruits and vegetables
- What foods should consumers avoid when at the market? Avoid or limit soda and other highly sugared beverages, anything fried (like chips, fried chicken, doughnuts), high-fat sausages and other foods that are high in saturated fat. In addition, steer clear of prepared mixes and packaged products that have very high amounts of sodium per serving. Check the percent daily value (%DV) and if it is over 33% (1/3 of the days recommended amount), think twice.
6 Magnesium-Heavy Foods You Should Be Eating Right Now
Chances are you’ve heard of magnesium; maybe you’ve even heard that it’s good to eat foods that contain this important mineral. But do you know why it’s so critical that we provide our bodies with a steady supply of magnesium?
The truth is that magnesium performs a number of important functions — it helps our bodies break down the proteins we eat; it helps maintain our blood-sugar levels; it keeps our blood pressure under control; it even helps encourage the proper functionality of our muscles and nerves. And that’s not all: failing to get enough of this mineral in your diet could leave your mental health in danger, with depression a known side effect of insufficient magnesium. So, now that you understand why it’s important to get magnesium, what foods can you look to for a supply?
Avocado, the popular fruit that’s most known for its role in guacamole, tastes more like a vegetable and makes a great addition to any sandwich or salad. But did you know that it’s absolutely jam-packed with magnesium?
Avocados are also a great source of potassium and protein, which helps keep us feeling full and aids in the muscle-building process. Just keep in mind that, unlike most fruits and vegetables, avocados are high in fat. Generally speaking, this is the “good” fat — it’s unsaturated fat — but it’s still a good idea to consume them in moderation.
- Leafy vegetables
It may come as no surprise that dark, leafy veggies like swiss chard, kale, and spinach are packed with magnesium. These kinds of vegetables, which have been considered “superfoods” for some time now, make an excellent addition to just about any dish. Not only are they high in magnesium, which can help regulate blood sugar and blood pressure levels, but they contain virtually no calories or fat.
Of course, that means they may not be very popular with every member of your family, especially the little ones. To mask the bold and sometimes bitter flavor of dark, leafy veggies like kale and spinach, cut them up into small pieces and try slipping them into particularly spicy dishes, like spaghetti sauce, curry, or chili. If you’re adding these superfoods to a smoothie — and that’s an excellent idea — you can mask their flavor by adding fruit like bananas, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.
Magnesium is present in high quantities in cashews, the delicious, buttery-tasting nuts. And because magnesium plays an important role in regulating blood-sugar and blood-pressure levels, that means cashews can help individuals with high cholesterol, hypertension, and other significant heart health issues.
Of course, like some of the other food items on this list — like dark chocolate and avocados — cashews are high in fat and calories. That means a handful of them each day should be enough to get the benefits of magnesium without introducing new health concerns.
- Tuna fish
The tuna is one very popular fish. Whether consumed raw in sushi or mixed with mayonnaise and dill in a tuna sandwich, it’s arguably the most versatile sources of protein out there. But it’s also jam-packed with magnesium, which can help people with diabetes and heart conditions regular their blood sugar and blood pressure levels.
Of course, tuna fish isn’t the perfect food item. While it’s high in protein and magnesium and low in calories and fat, it can contain significant amounts of mercury, which is very unhealthy if consumed in high quantities. Meanwhile, canned tuna — easily the most popular and affordable way to get tuna — contains lots of added salt, which will be a problem for people with heart conditions. So, try to limit your consumption of tuna and try to stick to the fresh variety.
- Pumpkin seeds
Every October brings a new Halloween and, for many people, lots of pumpkin carving. That means lots of scooping out pumpkin guts and, if you’re smart, separating out and roasting the pumpkin seeds. With a bit of oil and salt — and perhaps a dash of garlic powder — roasted pumpkin seeds make for a delicious snack.
But you shouldn’t restrict your consumption of pumpkin seeds to the weeks surrounding Halloween. That’s because they’re very high in magnesium, which can help your body in a variety of ways. Just make sure to leave on the shells, which contain many of the most helpful nutrients found in pumpkin seeds.
- Dark chocolate
As if anyone needed another reason to eat chocolate! Surprisingly, dark chocolate contains a significant amount of magnesium. However, this depends largely on the cocoa percentage — the higher, the better, with over 60 per cent being ideal. This means the (generally more popular) milk chocolate won’t do you much good.
That said, even dark chocolate has its drawbacks. Like milk chocolate, it’s high in fat, sugar and calories. For these reasons, it’s best to consume it in moderation — in other words, just because dark chocolate is rather high in magnesium doesn’t mean you can binge on it!
Roasted Corn, Black Bean and Tomato Salad
Prep time 20 mins
Cook time 20 mins
Yield Serves 8
- 2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cups corn kernels (from about 4 ears of corn)
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 15 1/2-oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 tomatoes (about 1 lb.), cored, seeded and chopped
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper
- How to Make It
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Warm 2 Tbsp. oil in a large, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in corn and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer skillet to oven and roast, stirring often, until vegetables are lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Immediately transfer to a plate and cool.
- In a large bowl, combine corn mixture, cilantro, beans and tomatoes. In a separate bowl, mix vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper, whisking until salt is dissolved and ingredients are fully incorporated. Slowly add 1/3 cup oil, whisking constantly until blended and thickened. Pour over corn mixture. Stir well and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
Summer is the season of communal and outdoor cooking, leaving about 48 million Americans with food poisoning, and 128,000 hospitalized due to food borne illness. Tip: Cook and grill meats thoroughly, keep food prep surfaces clean and sanitized, and don’t leave food out in warm temperatures where food bacteria tend to grow.
The sun’s ultraviolet rays are powerful, which leaves everyone at risk for painful and damaging sunburn and associated skin blistering and cancer—regardless of skin type. Tip: Apply 30+ sunscreen every few hours, more often following a swim or sweaty day. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, dark sunglasses, and seek shady spots for added sun protection.
Heat is a real killer—causing roughly 700 heat-related deaths annually in the U.S. Tip: All age groups can suffer heat stroke. If you feel cramps, exhaustion, and rash set in, take a break, find a shady spot, and hydrate immediately. Drink more water and take it easy on hot, humid days.
You might consider fireworks safety common sense, however, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission roughly 200 people visit the emergency room each year with fireworks-related injuries during the July 4th long weekend. Tip: Attend professional community fireworks shows and always stand clear to prevent hands, eyes, face, and finger injuries.
Even though your odds of being struck by lightning are quite low (only 1 in 500,000) you increase your risk if you continue to work, play, or swim outdoors during a lightning storm. Tip: If a thunder storm begins, get out of the pool and off the golf course immediately.
Grill fires and outdoor cooking mishaps (from campfires or BBQs) accounted for 10 deaths, 140 injuries, and almost $100-million in home-owner damages last year according to statistics from the National Fire Protection Association. Tip: Keep safety in mind this grilling season by only using charcoal and propane BBQ grills outside, well away from the house or deck, and well away from children and pets. A grill should never be left unattended for any reason.
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Nachos
- 4 small boneless chicken breasts
- 1 packet ranch dressing mix
- 1 cup buffalo wing sauce
- 1 bag tortilla chips
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Crumbled blue cheese, garnish
- Chopped celery, garnish
- Fresh fruit, as side dish
- Place the chicken breasts in the base of the slow cooker and sprinkle the ranch dressing mix over the top. Pour the buffalo wing sauce over the top.
- Set on low and cook for 8 hours. Once the chicken is cooked, shred with 2 forks and combine with the sauce.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Assemble the nachos on baking sheet with tortilla chips, shredded buffalo chicken and shredded mozzarella cheese on top.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese has melted.
- Prepare fruit.
- Serve Buffalo Chicken Nachos with crumbled blue cheese and chopped celery garnish, and side of fruit.