ask the nutritionist: omega 3 fatty acids

Lucky you – two Ask the Nutritionist posts in the same week! You can go into the Holiday Weekend feeling really healthy! ;) {This post on Omega 3′s is sponsored by Eggland’s Best}

Omega 3 Fatty Acids are prevelant enough that you have probably heard of them and you probably know that you should be consuming them but you may not know why or where to even start! Omega 3′s (aka a good fat) are very important to our health for a number of reasons and because our bodies can’t produce these types of fats on its own, it is imperative that we get them through our diets.

Why we Need Omega 3′s:

  • it can lower lipid levels (triglycerides and cholesterol)
  • it is anti-inflammatory
  • it can reduce risk of heart disease and stroke
  • thought to help with depression
  • want to aim for about 2,000- 4,000 mg/day
  • ideally we would have a ratio close to 1:1 (omega 3 to omega 6) but Western diets typically have a ratio of up to 1:30

Where can we get Omega 3′s from?

  • Seeds & Nuts: flax, hemp, walnuts
  • Fish: salmon, sardines
  • Fortified foods: milk, eggs, peanut butter, orange juice, chocolate
  • Eggs: Eggland’s Best eggs contain 115 mg Omega 3′s – average eggs contain 49 mg
  • Supplements: EPA & DHA fish oil are most common 

Sources: flax, egg, supplement, peanut butter, fish

Delicious ways to incorporate Omega 3′s into your diet:

Omega-3 Breakfast Bowl: Add an egg while cooking oatmeal ala Custard Oats. Top with flaxseed, walnuts and brown sugar.

Smoked Salmon Scramble: 2 eggs + 1 servings smoked salmon + chives

Omega-3 Salad: butter lettuce + steamed asparagus + hard boiled egg + canned sardines + hemp seeds + dressing made with flax oil

What are your favorite ways to get in Omega 3′s?

review: go picnic

I first saw the Go Picnic products at Expo West this Spring and with life about to get even more hectic, I thought they would be the perfect thing to try out. I wasn’t sure how I would do with little “snacks” but thought it would be easy enough to add an easy salad for a well-rounded meal.

The little package of food is adorable, don’t you think?

Liked:

  • Vegan, Gluten Free, All Natural
  • “Grown up” flavors – hummus and crackers, dark chocolate, edamame, etc.
  • Doesn’t require any refrigeration
  • Hummus! I am super picky about hummus (I prefer my own) and I wasn’t really expecting to like it but I was pleasantly surprised!
  • Convenience factor – obviously!

Wished:

  • There was less packaging – BUT getting take out typically still has more and using plastic baggies for everything in your lunch is essentially the same thing
  • It is great for snackers, but doesn’t necessarily feel like a real meal
  • There were more crackers. :)

They also have a few different varieties – salami + cheese, tuna + crackers, peanut butter + crackers, etc. that I’m tempted to try out next. I haven’t seen these in stores, but I ordered them online from amazon – super easy and delivered right to my door, along with a few books. :)

build it better: yogurt & granola

Spring is finally here, although it is currently snowing in Minnesota. I’m ignoring it and moving on with Spring. :)

I’ve been ready for warm weather meals like yogurt & granola, cereal and smoothies for the last few months (or maybe I’ve just been longing for warm sun) but they often leave me hungry by 10am. Luckily there are a couple of ways to make these breakfasts last the entire morning:

  • Yogurt: Use Greek yogurt or Skyrr as it has a lot more protein than regular yogurt (and it is worth the extra $)
  • Cereal or Granola: Should be whole grain, high fiber and extra points for protein and good fats (Uncle Sam Cereal or Kashi Go Lean are great ones)
  • Good Fats: Will add staying power to your meal – chopped nuts or nut butter are great, easy additions
  • Fresh Fruit: For flavor, sweetness, something fresh and some natural beauty ;)

Your typical yogurt and granola is probably full of added sugars and lacking in protein, fiber and good fats. Make a few of the changes I’ve suggested and you’re starting your day in a great way.

Nutrition Stats: 428 calories, 13 g fat, 30 g protein, 17 g fiber (Using 1 cup 2% Fage Greek Yogurt, 3/4 cup Uncle Sams Cereal, 1/4 oz almonds (about 6), 3/4 cup raspberries)


What do you add to breakfast so that it stays with you until lunch?

blue cheese & walnut crackers

You know how much I love cheese and crackers. And if you don’t, know that if we don’t have cheese and crackers in the house, the world is just not right. I grew up eating cheese and crackers almost every night and I’ve since continued that habit. :) This recipe combines the two – cheese and crackers bundled up in one package? I’m in!

I’ve seen the Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten) episode (twice!) where she helps her friend plan and prepare a cocktail party and she makes these cute little blue cheese & walnut crackers. Both times I’ve thought they would be kind of fun and I finally got around to making them. I think they would be fabulous alongside some champagne myself and that is how I plan to enjoy the ones that I don’t give away!

Blue Cheese & Walnut Crackers - adapted from Ina Garten

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 8 oz blue cheese, crumbled and at room temperature
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon water for egg wash
  • 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts

Cream together butter and cheese. Add flours, salt and pepper and mix until it is in large crumbles. Add 1 Tablespoon of water and mix until combined.

Dump flour on counter and roll into a long log. (I wanted my crackers a little smaller, so while Ina says to roll into 12 inch log, I did about double that). Brush log with egg wash and roll in chopped walnuts, pressing them into the log. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 days.

Preheat oven to 350º F.

Cut the log into thin slices (about 1/2 inch) and place on baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Cool and serve at room temperature.