Sweet Potato vs. White Potato

sweetpotatochips_6454A friend once asked me why I choose sweet over white potatoes if sweet potatoes have more sugar?

Despite their name, they don’t!

On the glycemic index compare 45 to 75-100 on the white potato.

Sweet Potatoes are also richer in anti-oxidants. The deeper the color of flesh, the greater the antioxidant content.  If you can’t see the flesh buy the variety with the darkest skin.sweet potato salad

A note on cooking these sweets…Steaming, roasting or baking them can double their anti-oxidant value while boiling reduces it.

One sweet potato delivers 438 percent of your daily value of Vitamin A, eye health, while a single spud serves up none.  They also provide a third more vitamin C, has more fiber and has fewer calories and carbs.

Clearly the sweet potato takes root.

GO for Life! ™joycethumb

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Reference information for this blog post from “Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health”  – Jo Robinson

Sautéed Basil Pesto Zucchini & Yellow Squash Veggetti®

vegetti squashThis Summer pair is a light dish for hot weather months.  Though available year around zucchini & yellow squash are best in summer.

Prep time: 10 min  Cook time: 10 min

NO EXCUSES!

 

Ingredients:
Veggetti® see pic*veggetti
1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
2 Tbs EVOO
2 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbs fresh basil, chopped
Coconut butter, a dollop

Directions:

  1. Veggetti® the zucchini & squash
  2. In a blender put EVOO, garlic & basil, chop
  3. In a large skillet, on medium heat, add oil mixture
  4. Add veggetti squash and sauté on med heat until soft .
  5. Add salt & pepper and simmer on low heat to let flavors blend
  6. Top with a dollop of coconut butter

FYI:
An entire medium zucchini – 33 calories, .6g fat, 6g carbs, 2g dietary fiber, 2.4g protein
One cup yellow squash-18 calories, .2g fat, 3.8g carbs, 1.2g fiber, 1.4g protein

My friends LOVE this one & I hope you will too..Enjoy!

GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Broccoli Soup Recipe -Vegan, Paleo or Not this is a Nutritional POWERHOUSE

broccoli soupVegan, Paleo or not, here is a simple & tasty recipe for Broccoli Soup.

Besides being high in both soluble & insoluble fiber this Powerhouse is a rich source of •vitamin-C
•vitamin A
•iron
•vitamin K
•B-complex vitamins,
•zinc
•phosphorus
•phyto-nutrients
Broccoli contains a compound called sulfophane which  can block cartilage –destroying enzymes by intercepting a molecule that causes inflammation and may help to fight osteoarthritis.

Clean & simple with whole ingredients you can eat this anytime, it’s low in carbs, high in fiber, and nutrient dense too!

BROCCOLI SOUP RECIPE
serves 4-6

Ingredients
1 large onion, chopped (or shallots, which I prefer)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbls Coconut or olive oil
1 1/2 lbs broccoli florets
3-4 cups chix, veggie or no chix-chix stock ( your choice)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
salt ( optional to taste)
cilantro (optional too)
Directions
Sautee onion & garlic in olive or coconut oil in a skillet for about 20 min on low heat til soft.
Meanwhile, in large pot bring 3 cups of stock to a boil with chopped broccoli
Reduce the heat & simmer 10-15 minutes or until broccoli is tender.
Put both mixtures in blender & puree til smooth.
Return to large pot and heat slowly.
Add 1/4 tsp nutmeg (be careful too much will mess it up)
add pepper & salt to taste (if Paleo, no salt)
for a more liquidy soup or to reheat add the remaining broth.
Garnish with cilantro for an extra kick

Soup is Good Food : P

GO for Life! ™jefitthumb2

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Carbs & the Insulin Response

Tim asks “In what way do carbs “hold you until the next meal? Carbs provide an insulin response, which is quick, and wear off quick. This results in your energy going up, then back down quickly, resulting in a feeling of needing more energy sooner, compared to a low carb meal. Protein creates a hormone response that signals a felling of satiety to you brain (feeling of fullness). Mixing some protein with carbs will probably slow this effect somewhat, but it won’t stop the insulin release, and creation of body fat if the energy is not used immediately.”

Yes, indeed they do provide an insulin response, that is exactly why your timing is crucial and the kind of carbs you eat even more so.

Always think whole and unprocessed.

Lower glycemic index carbohydrates tend to enter the bloodstream slowly, they are therefore able to maintain a steady release of insulin that activates the enzyme glycogen synthetase, which is essential for glycogen storage.  This is what gives you long lasting energy.

Not to mention,
for appearance sakes makes your muscles look fuller and you look leaner :D !

Some good  lower glycemic complex carbs are steel- cut, oatmeal, yams, butternut squash.

The protein together with the carb slows down the insulin response so it enters the bloodstream slowly and lasts longer for sustained energy.

Again, there is time and place for these carbs,

•In the morning when your glycogen stores are empty.

•2-2 ½ hours before a workout for optimal performance.

•After a workout to replenish used glycogen stores.

Eaten at these times, the body will use them instead of storing them to then later appear as fat.

Eat smart &jefitthumb2

 GO for Life! ™

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

“The Healthy Show”

P& me wide[1]Q&A

We live in a multicultural society, and we are eating food from different cultures and countries. We also want to try the new gourmet restaurant or the new diet. Some people want to go vegetarian, but they get tired in the process…

HOW DO WE EAT HEALTHY with all this influence around us?

What will be your best advice to our audience?me full body

There are so many options today.. More than ever I Feel.   There’ s Paleo, Vegan, Low Carb, Low Fat , High Protien, The Ducan Diet, just to name a few…

The best advice I can give is to find a nutrition plan that works for you.  What might work for someone else may not be right for you.  Think of it as a way of life, NOT a diet. It’s something you will have to live with day in and day out. It requires Discipline.

The one thing that will work for everyone is to think WHOLE.   Lean Protein sources, healthy fats, fresh vegetables & fruits…organic whenever possible.  When eating complex carbohydrates stick to unprocessed sources like potatoes and butternut squash. Whole foods – means nothing processed.

photoHow did you become a nutrition specialist?

     When I began strength training, my trainer taught me that if I was going to be training hard I had to eat to supplement my training. That is eating the right food at the right time so I could see the results of what I was training for.  Working out alone just wasn’t going to cut it.   Eating right had to be integrated in the plan.  Soon it became a way of life and I improved with time as did my physique. I wanted to learn more so I went back to school and got certified.me cropped

Thank you Kiko Ricota & Mauricio Portillo  for the opportunity to appear on your show, Penelope Sosa for making it easy  & Valerie Girard for your beautiful make-up artistry.
I feel blessed.

GO for Life! ™

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Pumpkin Muffins & Protein Pumpkin Pancakes (Wheat & Gluten-Free)

For years I’ve been playing around with recipes trying to make healthier versions that would satisfy and remain tasty to the palate.  My mother had mastered this art after my dad’s heart attack when trying to prepare Cuban and Turkish culinary dishes that were heart healthy that my dad could and would eat.  She had a knack for bringing out the flavor in food without all the fat, and cholesterol that would clog his arteries and still feed him the food he loved to eat.

I love pumpkin muffins, and here is a version I can live with…

pumpkin muffin 2PUMPKIN MUFFINS  (gluten, wheat, & sugar free)

¾ cup almond flour
¼ cup coconut flour
¼ tsp pink Himalayan Sea salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 TBL cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ginger
dash cloves
1 tsp vanilla (or a little more)
3 TBL Organic Agave
¼ tsp stevia (can use honey if you don’t have a sensitivity to it….. I DO )
3 Eggs
1 cup organic roasted pumpkin

optional: stevia sweetened cocoa chips & unsweetened shredded coconut
1.preheat oven to 350 degress
2.In a bowl combine flours, salt, baking soda &    spices
3. Add pumpkin, stevia, agave, & eggs in blender & mix

  1. add dry mixture to wet mixture & blend
  2. put into muffin tins
  3.  top with stevia sweetened cocoa chips & unsweetened shredded coconut
  4. Bake @ 350 for about 22 minutes
  5.  Cool for 1 hour
  • they taste even better the next day

makes about 10 muffins
approx. 112 cal, 5.6g fat, 11.2g carbs, 7.6g protein

protein pumpkin pancakesPROTEIN PUMPKIN PANCAKES (wheat-free, gluten-free too)

3 egg whites
1 whole egg
1 scoop vanilla ISOPURE ( whey protein, This Is the brand I use)
Additional vanilla to taste (I am generous with vanilla)
Cinnamon to taste
Ginger to taste
2 tablespoons of coconut flour
Add half a can organic pumpkin
Add stevia sweetened cocoa chips

add a little almond or coconut milk for consistency

Best to cook on griddle

Top with sugar free syrup or real maple syrup

Please let me know how you like them.

YUMMM!

GO for Life! ™

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

The “Skinny” on Artificial Sweeteners & Your Alternatives

Joycelyn-253webArtificial sweeteners are used in abundance in almost every “diet” drink, “lite” yogurts, puddings, and ice creams, most “low-carb” products, and almost all “reduced-sugar” products.

Yes, artificial sweeteners save you calories, but there’s growing evidence that they can increase your appetite for sweets and other carbohydrates causing you to eat more later.  Therefore, you don’t really save any calories at all.

Some of the most popular artificial sweeteners on the market today:

 

Splenda (sucralose)- Yellow

Aspartame-Blue

Saccharine- Pink

Also, studies have shown that artificial sweeteners can stimulate high insulin levels in your body too, which again can promote fat storage.

So yes, these artificial sweeteners can make you FAT!!!!

Some natural sweetener options are  honey, organic maple syrup & organic agave, but still these options are high in calories, carbohydrates and sugars.

Your alternative?  STEVIA

I’ve yet to see any negative reports or health concerns regarding STEVIA and only positive potential health benefits.

The herb Stevia Rebauadiana, has been used for centuries by the Guarani Indians of Paraguay nutritionally and medicinally.

STEVIA acts as general tonic which increases energy levels & mental acuity

STEVIA is

•both carb-& calorie-free

•helps with digestion, reduces gas & stomach acidity

•used topically as an ointment in the treatment of eczema & acne

•an ideal sweetener for people w high blood pressure, it helps lower hypertension

•helps to reduce cravings for sweets & fatty foods and serves as an exceptional aid in weight loss & management.

 Rule of thumb: 1 tbsp is roughly equivalent to one cup of sugar in sweetness. It’s 30x sweeter than sugar.

My personal favorite based on taste is NuStevia™

“Health is Wealth”

GO for Life! ™

In peace, health & with much love

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

If you would like to be added to the weekly nutrition/fit tips mailing list pls submit your contact info on the contact page of this website….Thanks for reading and taking an interest in your good health!


Sub High-Carb Meals with this Rockstar Vegetable

Joycelyn-253webOde to the Cauliflower

Cauliflower is…

A cruciferous vegetable in the same plant family as broccoli, kale, cabbage and collards.

•Nutritionally dense & full of vitamins and minerals
•An excellent source of vitamin C
•Contains many vitamins from the B group especially Folate
•B5, B6, B1 & B3
•Vitamin K
•A good source of minerals such as manganese, copper, iron, calcium and potassium
•Has Phyto–nutrients that help prevent prostate, ovarian & cervical cancers
•High in dietary fiber

All these vitamins are required from external sources to replenish and required for fat, protein & carbohydrate metabolism.

Cauliflower contains just 25 calories, 5g carbs per cup and has 0 g of fat and 0 mg of cholesterol.

Remember carbs are good to eat, but not at night!

This rock star vegetable can take the place of high starch potatoes for a low carb meal.

Try these cauliflower recipes:

Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Faux Rice
Cauliflower- just the head  (lightly steamed)
2 Tbsp Lime Juice
2 Tbsp Cilantro-Chopped
Garlic -Chopped
1 Tbsp Coconut oil or Olive Oil
Put Cauliflower, Cilantro, Lime, in blender on chop
heat Pan with coconut oil and garlic and sautée blended ingredients in pan

Mashed Cauliflower
Cauliflower-head only (boil)
Almond milk or coconut milk  (a splash)
Vegetable Broth (optional)- I do without
Garlic (minced)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Put all ingredients in the blender. Add Almond milk to create desired consistency

*For People with thyroid dysfunction- excessive use of cauliflower as with other members of the brassica/cruciferous family may cause swelling of thyroid gland and thyroid hormone deficiency.

Bon appetite!
GO for Life! ™

In peace, health & with much love

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer


The FAT FREE Myth

Is FAT FREE really FREE of FAT?

Labels can be misleading and so confusing.  They may read one way but they really mean something else.  Take for instance FAT FREE.  Ok, so they removed the fat, but to give it taste they added sugar, any unused sugar in your body turns to fat.  Did you really think you were going to use that extra sugar before it turned to fat?  That is how fat free is not so free of fat.

Staying away from processed foods is the key.  The easiest and safest way around that is to think whole foods.

GOOD FATS help you lower your  LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise your HDL (good) cholesterol decreasing the risk of heart attack.

Eliminating Fat entirely is dangerous.  Healthy Fats are one of the key essential nutrients needed for our bodies to function properly. When eaten in the right amounts GOOD FATS will actually get you lean.

Healthy Fats include:  avocados, Salmon and other cold water fish, olives, olive oil, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, Hemp seeds, Flax seeds, Chia seeds, almonds(6), and other nut butters.

Keep the GOOD FATS  to limited amounts but do include them in your diet and stay FREE of FAT.

In peace, health & with much love

Joycelyn
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer