Archive: Nutrition

The Foods of Solstice

According to the stargazers at the U.S. Naval Observatory, tomorrow, Dec. 22, is the first day of winter, beginning at 1:08 a.m. ET. It is also the shortest and darkest day in the Northern hemisphere, which means late rise and early to bed - and that at high noon, it's the farthest south in the sky. From a seasonal point of view, tomorrow is a day of both death and rebirth, because even though it's dark, the trees are naked and the squirrels have retired to their nests, the cycle is continuous, every day inching bit by bit towards longer days and the coming of spring in all its glory. Despite how frantic you may feel during the holidays, winter is a season of rest, restoration and reflection. Just last night, my friend Suzanne said that she was "looking forward to winter and being forced to spending time indoors." I...

 

By Kim ODonnel | December 21, 2007; 11:07 AM ET | Comments (0)

Don't Worry, Be Heart-Happy With Walnuts

The ongoing debate over eating fish continued last week with the release of two studies which both determine that the benefits outweigh the risks, even for pregnant women and children. For the consumer, it's yet another wrinkle added to the already-confusing conundrum of weighing the heart-healthy benefits versus mercury and PCB contamination that has become a great cause of concern, particularly for women of child-bearing age and children. Omega-3-rich walnut cookies. (Kim O'Donnel) It's been long established that seafood, by and large, is a leaner way to get your daily dose of protein, than, say from a big ole rack of fatty ribs or a T-bone steak. But the more recently touted advantage of eating fish is the heart-healthy effects of Omega-3 fatty acids. Quickly defined, Omega-3s are considered essential fatty acids, which means that the body needs them, doesn't produce them and must get them from food. There are...

 

By Kim ODonnel | October 11, 2007; 12:37 PM ET | Comments (7)

Cook for Me, Please

It's Friday, but this week, I won't be able to join you for cocktails. No playtime for KOD this weekend, I'm afraid. All week long, I've been burning the midnight oil, working into the wee hours of the morning in order to meet a deadline for my forthcoming holiday cookbook, and the frantic pace will continue right into the weekend. Yeah, I know, whine, complain. Pity me not (Although a massage would be lovely right about now, and there's a pimple on my right cheek that needs to disappear); I willingly embarked on this train and must endure the crazy ride for a little bit longer. But really what I need this weekend is a cook, someone who knows exactly how to feed a brain in overdrive, a nervous system that's a bit rattled and a spirit that could easily be defeated. Someone, please save me from the Pringles can...

 

By Kim ODonnel | October 5, 2007; 01:08 PM ET | Comments (22)

The Vegan Experiment

David Carver, of Reston, Va. was just three days into his 30-day vegan challenge when he posted a comment in the April installment of What's Cooking Vegetarian, my monthly vegetarian Web chat. "Being a huge lover of red meat, white meat, the other white meat and fish, this has been the single most difficult thing I have done," wrote Carver. "I feel like I am going through some detox phase only after 3 days." It was an intriguing concept, one that I wanted to hear more about. In addition to Carver, I heard from Kevin Goldberg, of Washington, who had embarked on a similar vegan journey, albeit with a drastically different outcome. Here are their stories. David Carver Yesterday, I caught up with Carver by phone, to see how the experiment was shaping up, and to see how he was faring. He was now in the fourth and final week...

 

By Kim ODonnel | May 15, 2007; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Do You Eat for Your Dosha?

Ever think about how food makes you feel? I'm not talking about emotional pleasure or food preferences, but rather physiological reactions -- how your body processes and reacts to the stuff you put in your mouth. The expression "You are what you eat" seems appropriate here, but in the ancient Indian healing science of ayurveda, the additional question is, "Who is eating?" The connection between diet and body type was the theme of a lecture I attended this weekend at Tranquil Space, my home-base yoga studio in Dupont Circle. Leading the conversation was yoga instructor Anne Thiel, who has been studying since January, 2006, at the School of Ayurveda at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox, Mass. Anne, who had long been concerned by erratic energy levels and her quick, impatient reactions to stress, said that "with ayurveda, things started to click." The first task on her...

 

By Kim ODonnel | May 14, 2007; 11:23 AM ET | Comments (0)

Getting a Cholesterol Clue?

I've got elevated cholesterol levels, and the problem runs in my family. My father died of a heart attack, and so did his mother. The word "arteriosclerosis" has been in my vocabulary since I was a teenager. Over the past few years, I've talked with my doctor about my borderline-high risk level -- as defined by the American Heart Association (last year it was 220 mg/dL) -- and we both know that a vigilant diet (for me that means minimal cheese and ice cream) and regular exercise at least 3 times a week brings my level closer to 200. The Clue Bar, oatmeal raisin style. (Kim O'Donnel) Although cheese is my weakness, I have long considered a daily regimen of cholesterol-lowering oatmeal every day, but that heart-healthy idea fizzled out quickly. I am always thinking about how I can amp up my soluble fiber intake to help sweep out the...

 

By Kim ODonnel | April 4, 2007; 12:22 PM ET | Comments (37)

Banana Muffins for a Good Cause

Today's post is for banana lovers only; if you're not a yellow-peeled fan, I apologize in advance (plus, I come without ideas for substitutions). However, the recipe in question, which comes from Heidi Swanson's "Super Natural Cooking," asks us to re-evaluate our pantries in the spirit of more wholesome, healthful eating. Swanson goes the extra mile to source out more wholesome ingredients for her recipes, which, in some cases, bear some explanation. Banana-walnut muffins flavored with a jolt of espresso. (Kim O'Donnel) To wit, the Espresso Banana Muffins that I tried out over the weekend call for natural cane sugar rather than regular ole white granulated stuff and white whole-wheat flour rather than all-purpose. Although I'm a regular user of natural cane sugar (sugar from sugarcane -- not from beets -- with a natural brown color), it was my first time working with white whole-wheat flour, and for that I...

 

By Kim ODonnel | March 19, 2007; 11:01 AM ET | Comments (16)

Nutritional 411 on Lulu's Cookies

The flurry of comments this week over Lulu's cookies has been fun to watch, and I'm delighted by all the reader enthusiasm. Since many of you expressed further interest in the nutritional value of the cookies, I asked Post Food section assistant editor Bonnie Benwick for an expert hand. With the whizbang help of Nutritionist Pro, the software used by the Food section for all of its published recipes, Benwick input the specs for Lulu's cookies. Below, the nutritional low-down, per cookie, approximating a heaping teaspoon before going into the oven: 125 calories 2 grams protein 1 gram dietary fiber 14 grams carbohydrates 7 grams total fat; 1 gram saturated fat 33 milligrams sodium 0 grams cholesterol Not exactly a low-cal item, but on the plus side, it's cholesterol free, low in saturated fat and considering its size, comes with a decent dose of fiber, which makes you feel full....

 

By Kim ODonnel | September 14, 2006; 11:21 AM ET | Comments (0)

 

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