How do you know you have a food allergy?

Which is it??

Food allergies are all around us. Gluten free, dairy free, nut free, meat free…

I’m only half kidding on the meat free one.

Food allergies are real; 15 million Americans have food allergies. While there is no denying the validity of food allergies, there is some misused labeling happening across the nation.

Some people are claiming to have “food allergies” when that’s not the case. What they could have is an intolerance or a sensitivity.

Food Allergies (1)

Food Allergy vs Food Intolerance

According to the Cleveland Clinic, a food allergy is based on a reaction from the body’s immune system. This means that the body does not recognize an ingredient in the food, which is usually a protein, and the body attacks it, thus affecting organs and potentially creating serious reactions.

An intolerance to a particular type of food is a based on a reaction from the body’s digestive system. Upset stomachs, nausea, cramping, and diarrhea are common symptoms of a food intolerance.

*Food allergies are more serious and severe than a food intolerance*

Food Sensitivity

Going even further, there’s what is called a food sensitivity. Not many studies have been done on food sensitivities, but there is a main difference between a sensitivity, a food allergy, and an intolerance.

A food sensitivity is not an immune reaction, so it’s not an allergy. With most food sensitivities, the body has unpleasant reactions, including nausea or acid reflex, which is similar to a food intolerance.

 

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Photo from: www.two-views.com

However, with a food intolerance, the reactions typically happen the same way every time after eating the food, not periodically or every once in a while, like it does with a sensitivity.

Now, that’s not to say that you have an intolerance to greasy food because it gives you heartburn. It’s because of the greasy food.

This is an area I’ll be learning a lot more about with first hand experience. I believe I have a food intolerance, but am not sure. I plan on getting it checked out within the next week. I’ll keep you all posted.

In the meantime….

Let’s get energized! 🙂

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Kale not worth the “nutritional” hype?

Do you know what a powerhouse fruit or vegetable (PFV) is? The exact definition is, as Dr. Jennifer Di Noia says, “lacking.

Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables

According to the Centers for Disease Control Prevention, PFVs are fruits and vegetables with nutrients that can reduce the risk of chronic diseases, but gives no other guidelines.

Dr. Noia and colleagues have now determined guidelines for PFVs thanks to their study. In essence, they wanted to see which foods pack the most nutrition.

To define what a powerhouse food is, they developed and  validated a classification system. The system says, on average, that the food must contain 10% of 17 nutrients in 100 calories.

They studied 47 foods, and 41 qualified as a PFV. You’ll be surprised what topped the list as the most nutrient dense food. It’s watercress, a leafy, green vegetable.

Watercress is the new Kale

I would have thought Kale would be number 1. It’s up there, but it doesn’t even rank in the top ten of the 47 foods tested!

I’m about to go look up some recipes for watercress now. Who knew?!

Let’s get energized! 🙂

 

Banana Almond Butter Blueberry Bites

Stroke of Genius I did a late workout the other night. I had already ate dinner, did some homework, then went to the gym. It was a good workout, and I needed some fuel after to help build my muscles. It was late, I had already ate dinner, what was I going to eat? I had no idea, so I looked to see what I had. It’s amazing how the best inventions come from the spur of the moment. That’s exactly what this recipe is. A spur of the moment, fantastic, healthy recipe. Without further ado, I bring to you Banana Almond Butter Blueberry Bites:

Ingredients

Directions

  1. cut banana in half length wise

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2. spread almond butter on banana and cut into bite size pieces

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3. place blueberries on each piece; the bigger pieces get two!

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4. sprinkle granola over bites

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5. Enjoy!

Great to refuel

This is a great refuel snack. It’s got carbs from the banana, protein and fat from the almond butter, and the blueberries are just an added bonus, but who’s complaining? My mouth is full of banana almond butter blueberry goodness. Mhmm 🙂

Now let’s get energized!

Different types of oats

oatmeal

Which oat is which?

You may have noticed, while walking down the aisles at your grocery store or perusing through different recipes, that there are different types of oats. Rolled oats, instant oats, steal cut oats, oats, oats, oats, oats…

If you’re anything like me, you wondered, “what’s the difference?” The answer: it deals with processing. Yupp. Oats are processed! (Let the gasps begin.)

Oats are processed. Did you know that? I didn’t think of it. However, I think the majority of us think that processed refers to  chemicals and artificial additives in our food. This is true, but the definition of processed is actually broader than we think.

Processed refers to any change in the food before we eat it. I think I’ll leave it at that because that can be saved for another post. Let’s get back to oats…

Which oat is best?

The more processed the oat, the less the nutritional value.

According to Oats: A Case Study, here is the least processed oat to the most processed:

  1. oat groats
  2. steel cut oats
  3. scottish oatmeal
  4. oat bran
  5. old fashioned oats
  6. quick oats
  7. instant oatmeal
  8. oat flour

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photo credit: http://www.eatingrules.com/2012/10/types-of-oatmeal/

Just because oats are processed does not make them bad for you. In fact, they’re very good for you, and offer many health benefits. Be cognizant of the type of oat you’re eating. It’s okay to have instant oatmeal, but do try to mix different types of oats into your diet.

 

Now, let’s get energized!