How to create a perfect healthy Party Platter

Have you ever been invited to a party and you don’t know what to bring? Or are you planning to do a party at Christmas day and you don’t know what to do?

Making a healthy platter is an art especially if is about to put healthy ingredients all together.

If you can master the art of the healthy party platter is all you need to surprise people and make everybody happy.

Just think: It’s the perfect appetizer situation. First, making one super simple, since it’s almost all about assembly rather than labour – intensive cooking.

Second, If you do it right, it basically doubles a decor since it would bring a gorgeous mix of colours and textures.

And finally, it’s all about variety there will always be something for everyone (lots of exciting flavours) to eat.

A perfect platter should contain protein, antioxidants, fibre, vitamins, minerals and good fats for instance:

cheese, salmon, blueberries, strawberries, veggies, roasted nuts, and much more.

Cheese is one of my favorites , because with a little will make you feel satisfied, it provides protein and calcium.

You can choose at least two kinds for your platter.

Veggies add colours, fibre and antioxidant, also add water volume to fill us up. For example: Radish, carrots, peppers, celery, tomatoes, broccoli and always get a dip from supermarket it could be:

hummus or any other you would like.

Sweet: Add some dry fruits to your plate ; it gives a little bit of sugar like: apricots, dried cherries, cranberries, or simply fresh fruit like : grapes, strawberries, blueberries.

Roasted nuts: cayenne flavour and crunch or tamari nuts. They are fantastic to add a little but of spice to the nuts.

Olives: good source of source and omega 3 spicy!

Crackers: grains free, make them at home If you like.

It will give you fibre and lots of healthy and protein.

So Christmas is all about to share and to enjoy your time with family and friends and why not have…

Party on!

With love!

AndreaP

xxx

The month of awareness

I don’t know what happened this week but I feel like I did not have enough time to do it all. When I have the kids with me, my week go so fast, of course, I am usually a taxi driver which is fine, waking up early in the morning, breakfast, lunchboxes which takes me forever and rushing to go to high school, the primary school. For some of you who don’t know me, I have four wonderful boys who keep my life entertained.

One of my sons was diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes at the age of two and since then, it has been like having another child, for a number of responsibilities that this condition brings and the awareness of how sugars and a diet high in carbohydrates can change the wellbeing of a person with Diabetes.

As a Dietitian and Nutritionist, I was always aware of having a healthy diet, exercising, reducing simple carbohydrates, lean meats and wholemeal bread, fruits etc, but I am naughty and I do have biscuits as well in my pantry …There is nothing more exciting than Friday night when we all indulge and have a bowl of popcorn and an ice cream, and maybe a biscuit, we deserve it and we all enjoy these treats very much. In my personal experience I do my best to give to my children a healthy diet, therefore they don’t have cravings for sugar, therefore, the glucose levels remain stable therefore less insulin for the next injection.
A Diabetic must have a healthy diet and families need to support and being an example for society. We all know the importance of reducing simple carbohydrates, fruits with the high content of sugar, high content of sodium and proteins with the high content of saturated fats.

HAVE YOU EVER MET SOMEONE WITH DIABETES?

DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT MEANS?

img_2973A person with Diabetes produces insufficient insulin to control glucose levels in their blood. Each of us needs glucose in our blood but the levels of glucose cannot be too high otherwise can damage your body with time. Glucose in the blood stream comes from carbohydrates which are change into glucose after you have eaten them.Your liver makes some glucose. The INSULIN is a hormone produced by the pancreas so for a person with DIABETES the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to keep your glucose levels in the normal range.

This happens because

The pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the body has become insulin resistant (insensitive to insulin) and the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin.

WHAT IS TYPE 1 DIABETES?

If you have type 1 Diabetes your body does not produce any insulin (or it produces very little). Type 1 Diabetes is most commonly diagnosed in children and adolescents; however, it can occur at any age. This type of Diabetes cannot be prevented, but it can be managed through a combination of healthy food choices, exercise and medication (INSULIN). We as parents generally carry with us this every day.

Syringes

Insulin Pen

Jet injectors that use high pressure to send a spray of insulin through the skin

Insulin pumps that dispense insulin trough flexible tubing to a catheter under the skin of the abdomen

A periodic test called the A1C blood test estimates glucose levels in your blood over the previous three months.Its used to help identify overall glucose level control and the risk of complications including organ damage.

CHANGE IN LIFESTYLE IN PEOPLE DIAGNOSED WITH TYPE 1 DIABETES

Frequent testing of your blood sugar levels
Careful meal planning
Daily exercise
Taking insulin and more medications as needed

TYPE 1 DIABETES IN ADULTS

When I finished my degree in 1998 Diabetes type 1 was common in kids and young teenagers, but nowadays it can be developed at any age. Adults may develop a specific form of type 1 diabetes known LADA (Latent autoimmune diabetes adulthood). It tends to develop slowly than type 1 diabetes in children and young adults and people with LADA may be misdiagnosed as having type 2 diabetes.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO DEVELOP TYPE 1 SYMPTOMS?

The symptoms of type 1 diabetes in children and young adults tend to develop quickly over a few weeks or a few days. Type 1 diabetes is a dangerous condition If is left untreated for too long

SYMPTOMS OF DIABETES TO BE AWARE OF

Excessive thirst
Unusually high levels of urination
Feeling tired all the time
Loss of muscular weight and unexplained weight loss
Pains in the stomach
Extreme tiredness

TYPE 2 DIABETES

Is a lifelong disease that affects the way your body manages glucose in the blood. The insulin produced in our pancreas lets cells turn into glucose from the food we eat into energy. People with type 2 diabetes make insulin, but their cells don’t use it as well as they should.Doctors call this insulin resistance.

At first, the pancreas makes more insulin to try to get glucose into the cells.But eventually it cannot keep up and the sugar builds up in your blood instead. There are a few others that are related to the source of the condition.

GENES: There are different pieces of DNA that affect how your body makes insulin

EXTRA WEIGHT: Being overweight or obese can cause Insulin resistance, especially If you carry your extra pounds around the middle, it seems that type 2 diabetes is affecting more children and teens, adults because of the childhood obesity.

METABOLIC SYNDROME:

People with insulin resistance often have a group of conditions including high blood glucose extra fat around the waist, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides.

TOO MUCH SUGAR FROM YOUR LIVER:

When the blood sugar is low your liver makes and sends out glucose.After you eat, the blood sugar goes up and usually the liver will slow down and stores glucose for later, but some people livers don’t.

BAD COMMUNICATION BETWEEN CELLS:

Sometimes cells send wrong signals or don’t pick up messages correctly. When these problems affect how your cells make and use insulin or glucose a chain reaction can lead to diabetes.

BAD COMMUNICATION BETWEEN CELLS

Sometimes cells send the wrong signals or don’t pick up messages correctly. When these problems affect how your cells make and use insulin or glucose, a chain reaction can lead to diabetes

BROKEN BETA CELLS

If the cells that make insulin send out the wrong amount of insulin at the wrong time, your blood sugar gets thrown off. High blood glucose can damage these cells too.

Other factors that are very common nowadays are affecting more people with Diabetes.

Getting too little or no exercise

Smoking

Stress

Sleeping too little or too much

Diets high in simple carbohydrates (sugars)

There are other kinds of Diabetes-like GESTATIONAL DIABETES

HOW CAN WE HELP AND ADVICE PEOPLE WITH TYPE 1AND TYPE 2 DIABETES?

Is important to stop and think for a minute the importance of having a healthy lifestyle and is not necessary to be ill to realised the importance of being healthy , and feeling healthy to make the right choices every time we go to the supermarket, every time we go to a restaurant, every time we go to a birthday party.

Once your mind and body create new and healthy habits will be difficult to fall into sugar temptations. IS important to work in any physical activity.People with Diabetes should get at least 150 mins of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise spread out over at least three days a week, housework or gardening will be fine.

EATING FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

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Aim for at least two servings of non-starchy vegetables each day, especially leafy greens.Like spinach, kale, swiss chard, bok choy. They are very low in calories and have wonderful vitamins and minerals and antioxidants. Enjoy fresh fruit every day, except apples and grapes and banana as they have the high content of sugars.

One of the most important recommendations is being Mindful of food. Take the time to sit on the table, ask yourself … What Am I eating? Am I hungry, nervous, anxious, bored?

Am I eating this for the sheer pleasure of it?

If we stop and become aware of what we eat , this will be half of the battle.

Some of the information contained in this article is coming from New Zealand Diabetes Association, WebMD, and the Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

If you have any comment or any experience with Diabetes please write and say something to me. I would love to hear from you. Si me quieren escribir en Espanol por favor no lo duden.

Un abrazo!

With love!

AndreaP

 

 

In the beginning of November…

I cannot believe we are already in November. Every year seems to go faster I dont know If it is because we are busier in our  life or because we are just getting older and taking live seriously.

Halloween just happened and I am surprise to see how New Zelanders are enjoying this American tradition.

I remember 5 years ago when I arrived to this small town Queenstown NZ, nobody worried about dressing up or making parties about Halloween. It was just another day. It was seen like a horror tradition. Look how interesting is that when this country is not Catholic at all.

In my Country Colombia, Halloween was a big celebration. All kids were so looking forward to dress up and put their best costume and it was not just horror or terrifying outfits.

When I was about 8 years old I remember going to the mall with my parents because it was the only place where I can show off my dress but instead, we were stuck in the traffic so my father after 3 hours , inside of the car, decided to go back home so the idea of picking up sweets and showing off my princess dress was just an ilussion

I am a mother of four, so I try to organise parties or playdates for my boys. After being separated, being a single mum, I have lost my interest I dont even have more energy to get together with people but of course I love to see kids all dressed up and going trick or treating on the streets, seeing my boys all happy and just enjoying  people around them. It takes  part of the best memories.

I know is a little too late to talk about Halloween and  healthy recipes but I want to share an easy recipe for the kids . It does not necessary need to be halloween to make it, you can use any other cookie cutter even for christmas , or just circles or triangules or any other shape you have in your mind.

The recipe is with the popular SWEET POTATOES.

Do you want to know what are the nutritional advantages of sweet potatoes?

In one medium spud ,there is over 400 percent of your daily Vitamin A requirement , plus loads of fiber Calcium and Vit B6. They have more grams of natural sugar than a regular potatoe but more overall nutrients with fewer calories.

Nutritional content of the sweet potatoe:

Per 100 grams

Calories:86

Total Fat:0,1g

Cholesterol:0 mg

Sodium 55 mg

Potassium 337 mg

Total carbohydrate 20 g

Dietary fiber: 3 g

Sugar 4,2

Protein 1,6

Vitamin A 283%

Calcium 3%

Vitamin B6 10%

This is what you have to do with the sweet potatoes. You can have this for dinners with protein like meat, chicken or pok or even by themselves.

Welcome November

It is hard to believe we are already in November. It seems every year goes faster and faster. Well this week we celebrated Halloween with my sweethearts and as you can see I dont really know what they are wearing but they just had fun. One of the boys was shy and even cried before putting the costume (kind of) on.

I remember when I moved to New Zealand , the idea of celebrating Halloween was unreal. People used to say that it was an American tradition. In Colombian tradition, Halloween is a very important date, for adults as well as kids.

Kids go trick or treat in malls as is safe and more practical than being on the streets although some neighbourhoods make special celebrations for the kids.

I was so happy seeing lots of kids around and the people’s generosity. One of my sons is Type 1 Diabetic and that means that his pancreas does not produce insulin which is the hormone that controls sugars in our blood stream. He needs injections of insulin every day so in case you wonder having a bomb of sugar is not a good idea.

He knows it and it does not mean that he cannot go and trick or treat.

It sounds terrible , being on Halloween , trick or treat and not having any sweet…?

Well I just let him have one candy thats all! he was happy with that and in the end of this day I have to say that his sugar levels were perfect yey!!!

He has created good habits for his future .This is why is so important to have good healthy habits from early ages. Is the guarantee of longer younger life.

 

I made a lovely recipe with sweet potatoes.

Have you ever wonder what are the qualities of sweet potatoes?

  • Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes may be one of nature’s unsurpassed sources of beta-carotene. Several recent studies have shown the superior ability of sweet potatoes to raise our blood levels of vitamin A. This benefit may be particularly true for children. In several studies from Africa, sweet potatoes were found to contain between 100-1,600 micrograms (RAE) of vitamin A in every 3.5 ounces—enough, on average, to meet 35% of all vitamin A needs, and in many cases enough to meet over 90% of vitamin A needs (from this single food alone).
  • Sweet potatoes are not always orange-fleshed on the inside but can also be a spectacular purple color. Sometimes it’s impossible to tell from the skin of sweet potato just how rich in purple tones its inside will be. That’s because scientists have now identified the exact genes in sweet potatoes (IbMYB1 and IbMYB2) that get activated to produce the purple anthocyanin pigments responsible for the rich purple tones of the flesh. The purple-fleshed sweet potato anthocyanins—primarily peonidins and cyanidins—have important antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory properties. Particularly when passing through our digestive tract, they may be able to lower the potential health risk posed by heavy metals and oxygen radicals. For more details on purple-fleshed and orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, please see our Description section below.
  • It can be helpful to include some fat in your sweet potato-containing meals if you want to enjoy the full beta-carotene benefits of this root vegetable. Recent research has shown that a minimum of 3-5 grams of fat per meal significantly increases our uptake of beta-carotene from sweet potatoes. Of course, this minimal amount of fat can be very easy to include. In our Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes recipe, for example, we include 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, and with just this one tablespoon, each of our 4 servings for this delicious recipe provides 3.5 grams of fat.
  • Some nutritional benefits from sweet potatoes simply may be easier to achieve if you use steaming or boiling as your cooking method. Recent studies show excellent preservation of sweet potato anthocyanins with steaming, and several studies comparing boiling to roasting have shown better blood sugar effects (including the achievement of a lower glycemic index, or GI value) with boiling. The impact of steaming is particularly interesting, since only two minutes of steaming have been show to deactivate peroxidase enzymes that might otherwise be able to break down anthocyanins found in the sweet potato. In fact, with these peroxidase enzymes deactivated, natural anthocyanin extracts from sweet potato used for food coloring may be even more stable than synthetic food colorings. This benefit isn’t limited to the food’s appearance since the anthocyanins have great health benefits as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients.
  • Most dry beans and tubers have their own unique storage proteins. Soybeans have glycinins, potatoes have patatins, yams have dioscorins, and corn has zeins. While researchers have long been aware of sporamins—storage proteins in sweet potato—only recently has research shown some of their unique antioxidant properties. The potential health benefits of the sweet potato sporamins in helping prevent oxidative damage to our cells should not be surprising since sweet potatoes produce sporamins whenever subjected to physical damage to help promote healing.

WHFoods Recommendations

Sweet potatoes don’t have to take a long time to prepare. Cutting them into 1/2-inch slices and Quick Steaming them for just 7 minutes not only brings out their great flavor but helps to maximize their nutritional value. And you can add cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or cloves for extra flavor and nutrition. For more on The Nutrient-Rich Way of Cooking Sweet Potatoes see the How to Enjoy section below.

Sweet Potato, baked
1.00 cup
(200.00 grams)
Calories: 180
GI: medium
NutrientDRI/DV

Hope that from today on you have some potatoes as a good source of complex carbohidrates . You can eat eat with lots of green leaves, and some animal protein as meat, fish or pork or If you are vegetarian with some lentils, beans , hallumi cheese or just feta cheese.

xxx

AndreaP

 

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