We all carry traits of our parents. Maybe it’s our eyes, nose, chin, hair, or smile. For me, it’s many of those features. I have my dad’s green eyes, wavy hair, and thin-lipped smile. I also inherited his sense of humor. We were always joking around. I miss his funny quips and laugh.
I lost my dad in 2003 when I was pregnant. I was so ‘eggcited’ to be pregnant but also incredibly sad knowing he’d never meet our kids. My girls have his sense of humor, too.
If my dad were alive, I’m sure he’d share in creating my food puns. While he might not have worn tee shirts, I guarantee he’d use my food pun mugs. I inherited his love for coffee!
In honor of my dad (born in 1928), I’m having a Father’s Day sale. As my food puns have often been called “bad dad jokes”, it seems only fitting! I’m sure he would have worn at least a few of my tee shirts.
Now through June 19, use code Dad28 and take 28% off all food pun swag. I’ve got mugs, tees, tanks, totes, and more!
Ask yourself- who is your gyro? For me, it will always be my dad. RIP dad. I look forward to coffee and bad jokes with you on the other side.
Link to gyro tee: We could be gyros Short-sleeve unisex t-shirt | Sound Bites Nutrition
Link to Lettuce Beet Hunger shop:Lettuce Beet Hunger Food Pun Shop | Sound Bites Nutrition
Brussels sprouts are the blue cheese of vegetables, in my humble opinion. They’re quite polarizing. You either love them or hate them. Like blue cheese, they have a distinctive smell and taste. But when properly prepared, you’d be surprised how much you may enjoy them.
For starters, Brussels sprouts are fairly low in calories, providing just 62 calories per cup. Once they’re doctored up with a little oil, the calories go up a bit. Like other cabbage family vegetables, Brussels sprouts offer vitamin C, fiber and phytochemicals (plant chemicals) that may protect against heart disease and cancer. Cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts contain a phytochemical called sulforaphane.
A study published in 2020 indicates that sulforaphane found in cruciferous vegetables (including Brussels sprouts) shows promise in reducing the risk for neurogenerative diseases such as MS, Alzheimer’s dementia, and Parkinson’s disease. Researchers believe these vegetables have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties that protect against nerve damage.
How to make them delicious
If your only memory of Brussels sprouts is eating them boiled, you’re missing out on a world of deliciousness. Similar to kale, when Brussels sprouts are roasted or sauteed, they take on a whole new flavor. Roasting the tiny cabbages makes their leaves get crispy and mellows their intense flavor. Adding a few herbs or spices only sweetens the deal.
You can make these Brussels sprouts in your oven, but I used my air fryer to save time. From start to finish, it’s about 10 minutes to delicious sprouts!
Ginger garlic Brussels sprouts
One-pound fresh Brussels sprouts, cleaned and sliced
Juice from 1/2 a lime or 1 Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. canola or corn oil
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. ginger paste or grated fresh ginger
- Set your air fryer to 400 degrees and heat for 3 minutes.
- Place the sliced Brussels sprouts in a medium sized bowl.
- In a small measuring cup, whisk together the lime juice, canola oil, garlic salt and ginger.
- Pour the lime juice mixture over the Brussels sprouts and toss to coat them.
- Spray the air fryer with non-stick spray before placing the sprouts in the fryer.
- Air fry the Brussels sprouts for 8 to 9 minutes until crispy.
Makes 3 to 4 servings.
We’ve all likely experienced a bout of abdominal pain, diarrhea, or constipation in our lives. Food poisoning, a sensitive stomach, or travel may bring on these situations. But if you have IBS, you may be living with these symptoms regularly.
April is National IBS Awareness Month. IBS, AKA Irritable Bowel Syndrome impacts an estimated 10 to 15% of the US population or roughly 3 million people. Unfortunately, many more may be undiagnosed. 1
Symptoms of IBS can range from abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea and gas to chronic constipation. While people may complain of a sour stomach, it’s really the colon (large bowel) that’s affected. We’re talking about poop here.
You may have pain related to bowel movements, a change in bowel frequency, or a change in how your stool looks. It’s important to track how long this has been happening and how often. If you experience the symptoms above at least once a week for the past 3 months or symptoms started a minimum of 6 months ago, you may be diagnosed with IBS.
Dealing with IBS may cause fear of eating due to discomfort and pain. It can make social situations and travel difficult. The sooner it’s diagnosed, the better it can be managed.
Like other gastrointestinal disorders, IBS is multi-factorial. A family history of gastrointestinal disorders (Celiac disease, IBS, colon cancer, or inflammatory bowel disease) is a risk factor in addition to stressful situations, or anxiety related to the beginning of your symptoms.
The brain-gut axis is the connection between our brain and our gut. The hippocampus and amygdala are areas of the brain that regulate depression and anxiety. Scientists believe there’s a link between psychological health and gut microflora (bacteria in the bowel). 2
Bacteria can start inflammatory reactions in the bowel. In addition, our microflora is involved in metabolizing serotonin, a neurotransmitter needed to keep our brains calm. Anxiety and depression are both linked with IBS. 2
Because “what goes in, must come out”, diet plays a big part in IBS. Your doctor may ask about fiber and fluid intake as well as food intolerances, alcohol intake, and exercise. IBS is complicated but manageable.
A blood test may be done to rule out other digestive issues such as Celiac disease or colon cancer. Your doctor may also check for low nutrient levels such as iron, B12, or vitamin D that may be related to blood loss and/or anxiety.
A stool test may also be requested so your doctor can look for infection or blood. As bowel movements are a sensitive topic, men are less likely to discuss symptoms than women and may go undiagnosed or untreated.
As both diet and stress can play an important part in treating IBS, it’s important to track their relationship. Keeping a simple food diary and noting symptoms can help you determine if certain foods are giving you issues. Your doctor may advise a temporary elimination diet called Low FODMAPS. FODMAPS are fermentable, oligo-, mono-, and di-saccharides and polyols, which is a fancy way of saying, “carbohydrates that cause gas and discomfort”.
Common high FODMAPs foods include apples, milk, beans, and certain gassy vegetables. The diet can be difficult to follow but there are low FODMAPs foods that can be eaten without issues such as green beans, carrots, rice, and berries. What bothers some individuals may not impact others.
Working with a registered dietitian will help you follow a low FODMAPs diet and how to prevent nutrient deficiencies. The diet is NOT meant to be used long-term as it can be very restrictive. Reintroducing FODMAPs foods takes time and patience, but typically aids in the resolution of symptoms.
Having support during stressful times is also important in managing IBS. A counselor or therapist can help with stress management and dealing with anxiety. Medications such as anti-depressants or anti-anxiety drugs may also be used in treating IBS.
If you’re dealing with symptoms of IBS, don’t wait to get treatment. While it’s uncomfortable to talk about, management is possible. Isn’t making eating enjoyable again worth it? I think so.
Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD
- Definition & Facts for Irritable Bowel Syndrome | NIDDK (nih.gov)
- Moser G, Fournier C, Peter J. Intestinal microbiome-gut-brain axis and irritable bowel syndrome. Intestinale Mikrobiom-Darm-Hirn-Achse und Reizdarmsyndrom. Wien Med Wochenschr. 2018;168(3-4):62-66. doi:10.1007/s10354-017-0592-0
I often hear “I’m too busy to prep meals”. I get it. After a long day of work or being home with your kids, you may not be in the mood to chop a lot of food for dinner. With St. Patrick’s Day coming, I feel that it’s my duty to provide a simple cabbage-based recipe.
Fortunately, there’s lots of healthy short cuts you can take. For example, bagged coleslaw can be used in salads, stir fries or to top tacos. It’s already shredded and ready to go. Coleslaw is made up of two ingredients- cabbage and carrots. Both are a source of vitamin C as well as beta-carotene. Cabbage also provides vitamin K, a necessary nutrient for blood clotting and bone health. Being from the same family as broccoli, it’s also a source of phytochemicals, which help prevent cancer.
Rather than using a super sugary slaw dressing, I like to blend up citrus juice with simple ingredients like Dijon mustard, cumin or in this case, ginger paste. You’re welcome to grate fresh ginger for this slaw if you have it on hand, but I’ve gotten used to the convenience and shelf life of ginger paste. You can find it at most major grocery chains like Kroger or Aldi. If you use ground ginger, you’ll need half of what the recipe calls for as it’s a concentrated source of ginger.
I used canola oil in the recipe, but avocado oil or corn oil would work well, too. Olive oil has a distinct taste, so I don’t recommend it for this particular salad. If you don’t have limes or lime juice on hand, lemon juice or even orange juice would go well in this slaw. I add apples to mine, but if you’re concerned about carbs, you could use chopped cucumbers instead.
If you want to make the salad but have a nut allergy in your house, sunflower or pumpkin seed butter and sunflower seeds may be substituted for peanut butter and chopped peanuts. Pumpkin seeds could also be used.
This salad will last a two to three days in the fridge after making it. The vitamin C in the lime or other citrus juice keeps the apples from browning. Isn’t food science cool?
1 (14 ounce) bag coleslaw mix
1 Honey Crisp, Cosmic crisp or Fuji apple, cored and chopped
2 green onions, chopped (use green and white parts)
Juice of 1 large lime
1/3 cup canola oil
1 Tablespoon ginger paste
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon peanut butter
1/3 cup chopped peanuts
- Place the coleslaw, chopped apples and green onions in a large bowl.
- In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the lime juice, canola oil, ginger paste, honey and peanut butter to make a vinaigrette.
- Drizzle the dressing over the coleslaw mix and toss to coat.
- Top with chopped peanuts, toss and serve.
Makes 6 servings
I’m a wee bit late to the National Nutrition Month party. But with 31 full days in March, I’ll allow myself a little grace. This year’s theme is “Celebrate the flavors of the world”. Variety is the spice of life! Why not enjoy more flavors every day?
The first day of National Nutrition Month happened to coincide with Fat Tuesday. Coincidence indeed! This year, I opted to get my “last groceries” on March 1, which seems like a good Fat Tuesday thing to do. I’ve decided to give up shopping for Lent- including both groceries and otherwise. In the spirit of Lent and broadening my flavor horizon, I’ll be forced to cook creatively with what I have on hand. Consider it my individual version of Chopped!
As spring is here, I noticed asparagus on sale. This green veggie is a source of vitamin C, vitamin K and inulin- a type of prebiotic fiber that’s good for your immune system. You can even eat them raw!
I honestly never thought I liked asparagus. My mom used to cook it until it was khaki and stringy. It was my least favorite vegetable growing up. The good news is that your palate changes as you get older. Things you may have despised as a kid may now taste good to you. Or, like me- they may have been prepared differently and are worth a second chance.
We normally grill, roast or steam asparagus. grilling is great when it’s warm out and roasting warms up the house, but also uses gas. Last year I got an air fryer for Christmas and decided, why not try asparagus in it? The result was great! I no longer have to heat up my stove or go outside in cold temps to grill them.
To change up the flavor a bit, I dusted them with tarragon and a little bit of salt and olive oil. You can make these at home in your air fryer (set at 400 and ‘fry’ for 8 minutes) or sautee them lightly in olive oil for 3 to 4 minutes on the stove. Enjoy!