The BEET: Heirloom Tomato, Peach, and Basil Summer Salad

Tomato-Peach-Basil-Summer-Salad

At the Foodbank, we pride ourselves in teaching others the importance of and value in preparing seasonal recipes that nourish our body.  And late Summer time is all about sweet and juicy tomatoes and peaches.  The sweetness of the peach perfectly balances the acidity of the tomato, and lucky for us, they are both in season together.  The colors alone will make your mouth water.

Tomatoes are an antioxidant powerhouse, their most famous antioxidant being lycopene.  Tomatoes are an excellent source of Vitamin C and beta-carotene, and a good source of potassium, vitamin K, and manganese.  Due to these powerful nutrients, tomatoes do a great job of protecting us from oxidative damage, reducing our risk for heart disease and certain cancers.  Some studies also suggest that tomatoes help protect our bloodstream as well as our bone and kidney health.

With the peach’s beautiful coral and golden orange colors, you can be sure you are eating a great source of Vitamin A.  Vitamin A is famous for promoting healthy vision, especially in low light.  Vitamin A also helps form and maintain healthy skin, teeth, and skeletal and soft tissues.  It’s a dynamite nutrient.

Please indulge in this delicious and colorful salad as you embrace the last few weeks of Summer.  Your body will thank you!

Heirloom Tomato, Peach, and Basil Summer Salad

     Prep Time: 5 Minutes                    Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 heirloom tomatoes (any color), cored and thinly slicedTomates and Peaches
  • 2 ripe peaches, cored and thinly sliced
  • ¼ of a red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup torn or julienned fresh basil
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste

Method

Combine the tomatoes, peaches and red onion in a bowl and toss with the basil, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper until evenly mixed. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to two days. Enjoy in the sunshine with family if possible!

Substitute:

  • Nectarines for peaches if you prefer smooth to fuzzy skin
  • Apple cider vinegar for Balsamic vinegar for a milder taste

Add:

  • A sprinkle of creamy feta or goat cheese for cheese lovers
  • Pistachios or walnuts for a sweet crunch
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The BEET: Meet Rhianna King, RD

Meet Rhianna King, RD

Rianna KingRhianna King is a clinical registered dietitian at Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, and works with cancer patients at the Mission Hope Cancer Center to provide appropriate nutritional counseling, information and recommendations.  She currently serves as the Clinical Nutrition Manager at Marian.  She graduated from California Polytechnic State University in 2009 with a Bachelors of Sciences in Nutrition.  She completed her Dietetic Internship through Cal Poly as well.  She encourages patients and clients to focus on eating mostly plants to optimize their health and prevent/fight disease.  She embodies what it means to be a connected and caring nutrition professional and registered dietitian, whose focus is to provide evidence based nutrition information throughout Santa Maria.

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“To me being healthy means feeling your best both physically and mentally to enjoy life to its fullest. This includes engaging in activities like healthy eating and regular physical activity that keeps your body functioning as it should.”

The-BEET-Question-2

“Our health directly impacts our quality of life. Living healthy means a longer life, less time spent in the hospital, and less time spending money on medications and procedures that have the potential to be prevented through proper nutrition and physical activity.  Food fuels our body and has everything we need in it for optimal health. If you look at the composition of a tomato for example versus a human being you might be surprised at all the similarities; water, carbohydrate, protein, vitamins, minerals, etc. Our body is capable of so many amazing things and proper nutrition is the required fuel.”

The-BEET-Question-3

“My motivation comes from my desire to have a positive impact in the lives of the people around me. I have knowledge in a particular field that can improve health, prevent and treat disease, and that knowledge needs to be shared. I want to help people take charge of their health and improve their lives.”

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“I think food insecurity can have a negative impact on both physical and mental health. Inadequate nutrition can also cause social anxieties and behavioral changes all leading to poor quality of life.”

The-BEET-Question-5

“Food First! I try to instill in everyone that consuming a variety of foods is the best way to achieve optimal nutrition, NOT through a pill. There is no “magic” single food or dietary supplement that creates the perfect diet. The FUNdamentals with Food class I started at the cancer center serves to be educational about healthy diet practices by exposing our patients to the variety of healthy foods we talk about through cooking demonstration and lecture.  I always comment that healthy food doesn’t have to be boring or taste bad and its part of my job as nutrition professional and advocate to prove that to you.”

The-BEET-Question-6

“Enjoy a diet that is 2/3 plant based and experience great health for yourself!”

For more information about the FUNdamentals of Food Class and other health and wellness classes run through the Mission Hope Cancer Center, please click here.

And check out Rhianna King’s Article The Red, White, and Blue of Summer Produce that shares the Nutrition Power of summer fruits and vegetables.

The BEET: The Power of Fruits and Vegetables

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Fruits and Vegetables in the News

We’ve all seen the news that eating fruits and vegetables helps us in all aspects of our lives. It seems like every day, studies emerge linking fruit and vegetable consumption to overall health and vitality like below:

 

Nutrition Headlines Graphic

 

Fruits and Vegetables are linked to reducing your risk of obesity, heart disease, and certain cancers.  They are even linked to improving your optimism and reducing your risk of death!  Is there truth to these claims?  YES!  While some of the statements are exaggerative, the truth is, fruits and vegetables help us in all these areas because they are nutrient dense and low calorie foods that the body needs and craves for optimal health.

Nutrient Dense Foods

 

 

When you eat nutrient dense and low calorie foods, like fruits and vegetables, you are maximizing the amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants you eat, while keeping your calorie intake low.

Nutrition Power

Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants help our bodies function properly and achieve optimal wellness. Vitamins and minerals in fruits and vegetables positively affect our metabolism, protein synthesis, brain function…the list goes on and on.

Auntie OxidantAntioxidants act as scavengers in our bodies, traveling through our tissues and cells, to locate the damaging free radicals that seek to harm our cells. These free radicals damage our body’s protein and fat cells, as well as our cellular DNA, increasing our risk for certain cancers and heart disease. Free radicals are unavoidable, as they are formed when we breathe in pollution or smoke, when we are stressed, or when we eat less healthy foods. We need these powerful antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables to confront these war-like free radicals and say “No, not in my body!”

Now think about what this means in terms of weight management and optimism. By eating more nutrient dense and low calorie foods, you are optimizing your health and supplying your body with what it truly needs. You can and should feel proud of yourself for treating yourself in the best possible way. I don’t know about you, but when I eat a fruit or a vegetable, I imagine my body thanking me for nourishing it. I feel healthier immediately, energized, and ready to take on the day. I feel confident that what I have just put in my body will sustain and take care of me. I feel more connected to the earth and what it provides for me, therefore, I have a more optimistic outlook on the day.

Give Peas a Chance

  (I am fully aware of how hippie-like this sounds, but it’s true!!)

Good Nutrition Equals Mental Health

By feeling healthier and more connected, you can tackle depressive moments and pessimistic views. Many studies have linked depression to being overweight or obese. By incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your meals, you are foregoing more calorie “rich” foods laden with starchy carbohydrates and saturated fat which have been shown to increase your risk for obesity as well as weigh you down physically and emotionally.

Vicious Circle

In this vicious circle, overeating unhealthy foods can lead to depression, and depression can lead to overeating unhealthy foods. It’s not science.

Optimistic Circle

 Putting This Into Action

So how do we do this?  Fruits and vegetables have a stigma, one that desperately needs to be eradicated.  As a dietitian, I hear all the time, “fruits and vegetables are expensive…they are hard to prepare…I don’t know how to use them…I know I should eat them, but…”

I don’t want to try and convince you that fruits and vegetables are cheaper than fast food, but if thoughtfully planned out, they can be a very affordable part of your diet, especially if you utilize the produce the Foodbank offers, or if you grow your own.  Fruits and vegetables also are less expensive if you buy them in season, because you don’t have to pay for the cost of transportation as well as other hidden costs.

Fresh Salad PrepAnd they are not hard to prepare!  As long as you have a knife and a cutting board, the time it takes to cut up a lettuce, carrot, cucumber, broccoli, and avocado salad is less than 5 minutes! That’s less time than it takes to go through a drive-through window.  And at the same time, you are breaking this “vicious circle” of poor diet and unhappiness.

I am confident, if you continue to tune into The BEET: All Things Nutrition, you will change the way you think about fruits and vegetables.  They will become staples in your kitchens, the center of your family dining experience, and important components of your everyday health.

Stay tuned for more of The BEET: All Things Nutrition. And make sure to sign up for the Foodbank’s e-mail newsletter to discover great new resources for our entire community.

 

 

August 25 – Lompoc Town Hall

Please join us for a Lompoc Town Hall Meeting – Hunger In Our Community
New Life Christian Center, 816 North C St., Lompoc CA 93436

On Monday, August 25th , 2014 6:00 – 7:00pm

Lompoc City Council Member Ashley Costa will facilitate a panel conversation on hunger and health in Lompoc. Our host will be Pastor Doug. Light refreshments will be served.

For more information, contact Bonnie Campbell at (805) 967-5741 ext. 121

Click here for a PDF flier in English
Haga clic aquí para un volante PDF en Español

Miembro del Concilio de la Ciudad de Lompoc Srita. Ashley Costa

“Preguntas y Respuestas” Reunión informativa para la comunidad

El hambre en nuestra comunidad. El público es bienvenido. Haga oír su voz

lunes 25 de Agosto 6:00p-7:00p

New Life Christian 816 North C Street Lompoc, CA 93436

Para más información comuníquese con Amy Lopez (805) 967-5741 ext. 115

Final Lompoc Town Hall FlierFinal Lompoc Espanol Flier

 

Butter Lettuce Nectarine Salad

Ingredients

1/3 cup walnuts
5 cups butter lettuce or any type of lettuce
2 ripe nectarines, pitted and sliced
2 tbls bottled raspberry vinaigrette dressing

Directions

  • Add walnuts to a skillet placed over medium, high heat.
  • Toast nuts until they start to deeply brown in spots and smell fragrant. Set aside.
  • Wash and dry lettuce and tear into bite sized pieces. Place lettuce in a large serving bowl and add nectarines.
  • Pour vinaigrette over salad and toss gently to coat.
  • Sprinkle with toasted walnuts.

Serves 4, serving size 11/2 cups

Colorful Kale Salad

Prep time: 10 minutes
Serving size: 1 ½ cups
Servings: 3
Tastes: 6

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon each salt and black pepper
  • 4 cups finely chopped kale, tough ribs removed
  • 2 cups finely chopped red cabbage
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 2 apples, grated with peels on
  • 2 Tablespoons roasted sunflower seeds

Directions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper
  • In a large bowl, mix together the kale, red cabbage, carrots, and apples
  • Pour dressing over the kale mixture and toss to combine.
  • Ideally cover and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, until the kale begins to soften and wilt
  • Sprinkle with sunflower seeds immediately before serving

 

GreenPeas

Easy Split Pea Soup

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

2.5 spicy Italian sausages, uncooked and removed from casing

1 large yellow onion

1 ¾ cups split peas

6 cups chicken stock

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a large stock pot heat olive oil over medium heat, add the sausage, using a spatula to break apart the meat, brown on all sides. Meanwhile dice the onion, add to the browned meat, and cook until onion is soft about 6 to 8 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the split peas stirring to absorb the cooking liquid, then add the stock, bring to a boil, and reduce heat. Simmer soup for 60 minutes or until the peas are very soft and beginning to break apart.  Season soup with kosher salt and freshly ground salt and pepper to taste. Makes 3 hearty servings. 

20 Ways to Enjoy More Fruits and Vegetables

Building a healthy plate is easy when you make half your plate fruits and vegetables. It’s also a great way to add color, flavor and texture plus vitamins, minerals and fiber. All this is packed in fruits and vegetables that are low in calories and fat. Make 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables your daily goal. Try the following tips to enjoy more fruits and vegetables every day.
1. Variety abounds when using vegetables as pizza topping. Try broccoli, spinach, green peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms and zucchini.
2. Mix up a breakfast smoothie made with low-fat milk, frozen strawberries and a banana.
3. Make a veggie wrap with roasted vegetables and low-fat cheese rolled in a whole-wheat tortilla.
4. Try crunchy vegetables instead of chips with your favorite low-fat salad dressing for dipping.
5. Grill colorful vegetable kabobs packed with tomatoes, green and red peppers, mushrooms and onions.
6. Add color to salads with baby carrots, grape tomatoes, spinach leaves or mandarin oranges.*
7. Keep cut vegetables handy for mid-afternoon snacks, side dishes, lunch box additions or a quick nibble while waiting for dinner. Ready-to-eat favorites: red, green or yellow peppers, broccoli or cauliflower florets, carrots, celery sticks, cucumbers, snap peas or whole radishes.
20 Ways to Enjoy More Fruits and Vegetables
Eat Right
Food, Nutrition and Health Tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
8. Place colorful fruit where everyone can easily grab something for a snack-on-the-run. Keep a bowl of fresh, just ripe whole fruit in the center of your kitchen or dining table.
9. Get saucy with fruit. Puree apples, berries, peaches or pears in a blender for a thick, sweet sauce on grilled or broiled seafood or poultry, or on pancakes, French toast or waffles.
10. Stuff an omelet with vegetables. Turn any omelet into a hearty meal with broccoli, squash, carrots, peppers, tomatoes or onions with low-fat sharp cheddar cheese.
11. “Sandwich” in fruits and vegetables. Add pizzazz to sandwiches with sliced pineapple, apple, peppers, cucumber and tomato as fillings.
12. Wake up to fruit. Make a habit of adding fruit to your morning oatmeal, ready-to-eat cereal, yogurt or toaster waffle.
13. Top a baked potato with beans and salsa or broccoli and low-fat cheese.
14. Microwave a cup of vegetable soup as a snack or with a sandwich for lunch.
15. Add grated, shredded or chopped vegetables such as zucchini, spinach and carrots to lasagna, meat loaf, mashed potatoes, pasta sauce and rice dishes.
16. Make fruit your dessert: Slice a banana lengthwise and top with a scoop of low-fat frozen yogurt. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of chopped nuts.
17. Stock your freezer with frozen vegetables to steam or stir-fry for a quick side dish.
18. Make your main dish a salad of dark, leafy greens and other colorful vegetables. Add chickpeas or edamame (fresh soybeans). Top with low-fat dressing.*
19. Fruit on the grill: Make kabobs with pineapple, peaches and banana. Grill on low heat until fruit is hot and slightly golden.
20. Dip: Whole wheat pita wedges in hummus, baked tortilla chips in salsa, strawberries or apple slices in low-fat yogurt, or graham crackers in applesauce.
*See “Color Your Plate with Salad” at www.eatright.org/nutritiontipsheets for more tips on creating healthy salads
Authored by Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics staff registered dietitians.
©2012 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Reproduction of this tip sheet is permitted for educational purposes. Reproduction for sales purposes is not authorized.
This tip sheet is provided by:
For a referral to a registered dietitian and for additional food and nutrition information visit
www.eatright.org.

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Why Is It So Hard to Exercise?

Why Is It So Hard to Exercise?

Get fit! Here are 5 steps to get you motivated to move.

WebMD Feature

By Linda Wasmer Andrews

Reviewed By Roy Benaroch, MD

You know you should do it. And you know why: Exercising — simply put, moving instead of sitting — is critical for safeguarding your health and setting a good example for your kids. So why does it seem so hard to get yourself moving?

The truth is: You can. But knowing how and why to exercise isn’t enough. You need to develop the right mind-set to get and stay motivated.

“Change is hard!” says certified health behavior coach Shelly Hoefs, fitness supervisor at the Mutch Women’s Center for Health Enrichment in Sioux Falls, S.D. “When we try to start exercising, we think of all the excuses for not doing it and all the things that have gotten in the way before. Getting fit starts to seem overwhelming. And that makes it feel stressful. Before long, we don’t want to do it anymore.”

Here are five steps to get you moving in the right direction — and keep you going.

1. Find Personal Motivation to Exercise

What you need to get you up off the couch is a reason that’s important to you. At first, that may be some external factor, says Cal Hanson, director of the Sanford Wellness Center in Sioux Falls, S.D. It could be a number on the scale that surprises you or your doctor’s recommendation that you need to move more to stay healthy.

There are all kinds of benefits to getting fit. Which matters most to you? Something as simple as taking a walk after dinner every night helps to:

  • control your weight
  • strengthen your bones
  • enhance your muscles
  • reduce your risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer

Plus, by becoming active, you’re being a good role model for your children.

These benefits may get you started, but they may not cut it when it comes to keeping you moving day after day, Hanson says. To keep up your motivation to exercise over time, you also need to find your internal motivators. Maybe taking a yoga class leaves you feeling more energized or less stressed. Maybe a run or walk every day helps you let go of stress. Hanson says these are the kind of rewards that are meaningful to you on a personal level and that can help keep you motivated.