Category Archives: Nutrition

BITTER Sweet … Don’t Let Them Fool You!

Apparently I’m kind of obsessed with sugar, which is odd since I’m not a real sweets fan.  I looked over past blogs to see if I’d  given this information before and I haven’t, so I think you’ll appreciate all of the names on labels that really mean sugar.  Here’s why it’s important:  SUGAR IS PHYSICALLY ADDICTIVE.  Just like a narcotic.  It affects dopamine receptors and causes the brain to behave as if it’s reacting to a narcotic pleasure loop.  And sadly, almost anything “white” has hidden sugar in it.  Here are most of the names you will find on the back (or FRONT!) of a food label that mean SUGAR:

*Fructose
*Sucrose
*Agave
*Dextrose
*Lactose
*Galactose
*High-fructose corn syrup(we all knew that didn't we?)*Xylitol
*Sorghum
*Stevia
*Treacle
*Sucanat
*Panela
*Evaporated Cane Juice
*Dextran
*Anhydrous Dextrose

 

Sweet Potato or Yam, Ma’am?

Tis the season…and Oh, the drama!  Which is it?  They are NOT related, and another fun fact, the sweet potato isn’t even related to the potato!  First, let’s scientifically (but not TOO scientifically) differentiate:

Sweet Potato:    Originated in Central/South America.  A relative in the Morning Glory family.  Skin a plethora of colors.  Flesh a plethora of colors – the lighter the starchier.   The bad news is…you can never tell the color of the flesh until after you buy them!

Yam:        Originated (and 95% still comes from) Africa/Asia.  A member of the Lily family.   Mostly soft fleshed.  Can grow to over 100 pounds!  Sweet Potatoes are frequently mislabeled in the US because African Americans called them Yams as they resembled them.  Yams are hard to get in the US.  You’d have to go to an international market.  You WILL see sweet potatoes labeled as yams in grocery stores.  But if you look closely, they are also labeled sweet potatoes, because it’s the law.  A wonderful use of sweet potatoes, on the menu now at Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering is our Roasted Sweet Potato Salad! You can order as a side with your lunch or entree at www.lulasforlunch.com  Yummy Yummy!!

The Vampire Diaries – or, GARLIC 101 Redux

Science is bearing out lots of ancient folklore regarding the medicinal uses of garlic. Ancient Egypt recorded exactly 22 medicinal uses for garlic – from healing open wounds to extending one’s life if eaten religiously. The more “intact” you can keep the garlic (fresh cloves vs. powdered, for instance) the better the benefit.

We use lots of garlic at Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering – sometimes overtly, and sometimes it’s in our ‘secret” sauces as a “secret” ingredient. You’re always eating healthy with Lula’s. Here are some things that garlic has been proven to help with: Garlic kills bacteria, and can lower the risk of stomach cancer. Garlic slows the growth of many cancers. Garlic lowers blood cholesterol, and helps prevent heart disease. Let us know YOUR garlic experiences at http://lulasforlunch.com/blog – we look forward to your input!

Black Garlic: All the Rage

If your foodie friends are talking about Black Garlic and you’re NOT in the know… it is aged and fermented raw garlic.  It is rife with “umami” – that raw protein richness that some foods carry like mushrooms.  Since it’s fermented, it will keep a really long time (about a year after opened on the counter!).  It comes in foil pouches, and can be eaten directly – which alot of people are doing for the health benefits of garlic.  It goes down much easier than “raw” garlic! Yum!  To your health, Lula

Sunflowers…Yet ANOTHER Milk Alternative!

 

We’re all familiar with dairy alternatives in the form of Soy and Rice Milk, and personally, since my age is now limiting my lactose intake, I’m using Almond Milk in my coffee, but yet another milk has hit the scene…it’s called Sol, and it’s made from sunflower kernels!  Sol contains the same amount of calcium as cow milk – roughly 30% of your daily allowance.  So if you have a lactose problem, your choices have just widened.  I personally haven’t tasted it yet – let me know what you think!  Let Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering know if you have a dairy problem and we’ll certainly work around it!   We here at  www.lulasforlunch.com wish you some Yummy for your Tummy!

 

 

 

 

A Slice of Lemon, Please

Next time you order iced tea and the waitress asks, “With Lemon?” do yourself a favor and say yes.  If you make iced tea at home, a slice of orange will do almost the same good as the lemon, with a slice of lime coming in third.

Researches at Purdue University say adding the citrus slice helps you absorb far more of the antioxidants in tea, whether it’s green tea or black.

Citrus fruit is wonderful for you in many ways.  Lula’s for Lunch… and More! Catering incorporates citrus fruit into MANY of our dishes, sometimes overtly, and sometimes you’ll never even know it’s there!

lemons'nlimes

Nuts about Almonds

Shelling out for a bag of almonds might not be a bad idea if you need to lower your cholesterol.  Almonds are recognized as a cholesterol-lowering food; studies also show that they can reduce the risk of heart disease.

One ounce of almonds, about 25 nuts, contains 164 calories and 1.10 grams of saturated fat.  That same ounce is also a good source of protein, potassium, vitamin E, and magnesium, and has no cholesterol.

The “ancients” seemed to already know these facts.  Ancient desert nomads combined almonds with chopped dates, bits of pistachios, sesame oil, and breadcrums and rolled them into balls.  The world’s first trail mix!!

King Tut apparently knew the nutritional value of almonds.  Several handfuls of them accompanied him into the tomb, perhaps to nourish him on his post-life journey.

Lula’s for Lunch…and More! Catering www.lulasforlunch.com uses all KINDS of nuts in every way possible.  We LOVE them for their deliciousness and their nutritional value.  We always label our foods that contain nuts, however, for our clients that may have nut sensitivities .

Bourbon Pecan Bark
Bourbon Pecan Bark

Some Lentil Learnin’

10,000 years and counting…they must be good, right?  And they’re an absolute POWERHOUSE of nutrition!  Lentils contain the highest protein content of any vegetable other than soybeans (negligably higher)…fat free…cholesterol free…higher in folate than any other non-fortified food…and a really good source of iron (make sure you eat the lentils with Vitamin C foods so you get maximum absorbtion of the iron: tomatoes, green bell peppers, etc).

Simmer (bubbles JUST breaking the surface – I call it “smiling”) your lentils without salt – as salt toughens the skin.  Add the salt at the end to taste.  One part lentils to 3 parts liquid is a good place to start if you want maximum absorption.  The Red Chief tends to be my favorite, as it gets mushy and I like to puree it for a “fine” soup, but beware, they turn yellow, they are not red after they’re cooked!  Golden Lentils cook more quickly if you’re short on time.  French green lentils (Lentille du Puy) contain less starch so they’re firmer when they’re  cooked.  Brown lentils are cheap and easy to find.  They take alot longer to cook though – around 45 minutes because they have tougher skins.  These days, though, you can find multiple varieties of lentils in almost any grocery store!!

Thomas Jefferson – our Father of Slow Food

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So we all think we know a lot about the big TJ, but did you know he was one of our nation’s first true experimental farmers?  He liked “killing plants” in the form of importing stuff from across the pond and trading stuff from different zones in the US, planting them, and seeing what would and would not survive.  He experimented with terracing and placement for sun and wind, and was an avid “seed swapper” (shhhhh….don’t tell Monsanto).

The farm went into disrepair and mostly became a flower garden for a long time but in 1977 things took a turn and under new direction, the Director of Horticulture began reaching out to people and places like The National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation.  Even individuals came to the rescue like John Coykendall of Knoxville, TN, who gave back the Red Calico Lima Bean seed that was once grown on Monticello’s farm.

Jefferson considered seed saving and swapping to be really good insurance.  And so should you.  If you want to know more, or buy seeds from Monticello, click here.

“Money” Greens

Collard Greens, which are eaten year round down south but particularly on New Years Day, are eaten that day because they supposedly bring good financial health, as they resemble money when folded.  I want you to be “armed and ready” for the new year so you’re getting this offer in plenty of time!   Collards (as well as Tuscan Kale, Kale, and Mustard Greens) are absolutely LOADED with good for you vitamins A, C, K, and Calcium, as well as contain a good amount of antioxidants and protein (3 grams per 1/2 cup cooked), no fat, and are incredibly low in calories.  They are in the broccoli family.    Enjoy! – Lula