Monday, April 14, 2014

SPRING BREAK

I'm calling this week "Spring Break." We are not going anywhere and I'm not even sure what we are doing for Easter Sunday but I am pretty sure that we will be roasting a prime rib and will have a lot of side dishes to enjoy. Do you have plans for Easter Sunday?

Here are a few decorations that are sitting around the 
house. I didn't put everything out this year!

I'm thinking of trying the Watergate Salad that I read about on a couple of Wednesday Hodgepodge answers from March 26th.  Also thinking of trying Plantation Pound Cake which I saw last week on CiCi's post. I like tradition but I also like trying new things!
Thought I would share a few nutritional facts that I came across in my REDBOOK magazine about eating your colors.

RED: The rosy hue in luscious red produce comes from lycopene, an antioxidant that protects skin from sun damage and decreases the risk of heart disease and certain forms of cancer, says Ashley Koff, a registered dietitian in Washington, DC. Plus, they maintains memory function and keep the urinary tract healthy.

ORANGE & YELLOW: Fruits and veggies in this color family are all immune-boosting powerhouses says Kroff, thanks to their carotenoids, which are converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is just as important as vitamin C, if not more so, when it comes to building a healthy immune system. "You might not think of mango and butternut squash as foods that can prevent you from getting sick, but they are,"says Frances Largeman-Roth, a dietitian. "Adding sunshine-colored foods to your diet also boosts reproductive health and gives you clearer skin."

GREEN: Doctors and dietitians agree that if your looking to lose weight, you should load up on greens. "That's because every vegetable in the green spectrum is low in calories and high in fiber," says Largeman-Roth. "You get a lot of nutrition in a low-cal package that'll fill you up." The chlorophyll in greens may help ward off cancer and has alkalizing benefits, helping to bring the body back to a healthy pH balance. (Most of us are acidic, thanks to the processed foods we eat.) Green foods also have high levels of certain phytochemicals that help break down carcinogens and strengthen bones and teeth, says Koff.

WHITE & TAN: So white and tan produce counts as nutritional heroes? Definitely, says Koff. These fruits and veggies may look bland, but they've got plenty of health benefits." They're loaded with anthoxanthins, which have been shown to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure as well as prevent heart disease. Many of the foods in this color group also contain allicin, which may decrease the risk of stomach cancer and inhibit tumor growth. Largeman-Roth adds another plus when it comes to white and tan produce: "These foods have a lot of texture going on which makes them interesting to cook and eat."

BLUE & PURPLE: These dark beauties have hefty doses of phenolics and resveratrol, two plant nutrients that reduce the risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease while they improve memory. And like produce in the red color group, blue and purple fruits ad veggies get cancer-fighting powers from anthocyanins, those powerful antioxidants. "While purple veggies like cabbage and eggplant might seem daunting to work into your diet, they're a lot easier to cook with than you might think, and less expensive than berries," says Largeman-Roth.

So there you have it, eat a rainbow of colors!

(No Wednesday Hodgepodge this week)

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