Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fall "Phyto" Foods

Fall "Phyto" Foods

As seen on Chgannel 7 11:00 AM News

This Thanksgiving doesn't have to be a food fiasco, filled with heavy or fat-filled options. Feature fall foods for your Thanksgiving meal that really pack a nutritional punch.

Phyto-Friendly Foods and Tips:

 Fall is a great time to enjoy traditional foods that are so associated with colder weather, warmth and comfort and the upcoming holidays.
 Luckily many of these foods are also nutrition powerhouses, packed with nutrients to keep you healthy and strengthen you immune system
 Choose foods that are phyto-friendly. These are foods that contain important phytochemicals, antioxidants, and fiber, plus many other nutrients.
These same foods are budget-friendly, too. Each is in-season and can be easily obtained.
 Pumpkins - contain phytochemicals, carotenoids, such as beta-carotene; excellent source of Vitamin A, good source of Vitamin C
 Walnuts -Omega 3s (a beneficial fat), phytochemicals and Vitamin E
 Apples - contain phytochemicals, including flavonols, excellent source of fiber
 California Raisins - contain phytochemicals, potassium and antioxidants, along with fiber and inulin, which promote a healthy heart and digestive system
 Cranberries - contain many phytochemicals and antioxidants that may help to prevent diseases including cancer and heart disease, along with slowing the aging process. Harvard study shows can help prevent urinary tract infections
 Brussels sprouts - a cruciferous vegetable, along with broccoli and mustard greens that contains Sulphoraphane. Stimulates the body to produce its own protective enzymes, and neutralizes free radicals.

Take these phyto-friendly foods and create something unique and delicious this Thanksgiving by trying these recipes:

 Pumpkin Tamales filled with shredded beef and raisins (pumpkin, raisins): Substitute shredded turkey for shredded beef, which gives you a delicious way to use your leftover turkey!

 California Waldorf Salad (apples, raisins, walnuts): plus low in calories and high in fiber

 Cranberry Orange Sauce (Cranberries, oranges plus skin)

 Golden Crusted Brussels sprouts (Brussels sprouts, olive oil)

 Raisin Pumpkin Cake (raisins, walnuts, pumpkin): This is so easy because you start with a yellow cake mix; add raisins, nuts and spices. Get non-guilty pleasure from a delicious dessert.


Recipes for the Pumpkin Tamales, California Waldorf Salad and Raisin Pumpkin Cake can be found on www.loveyourraisins.com

For Cranberry orange sauce and Golden Crusted Brussels Sprouts, click on "Recipes" at www.maryleechin.com

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

On The Write Path as seen in the Denver Post October 20, 2008

On the Write Path
By Greg Henry
Special to The Denver Post
Article Last Updated: 10/18/2008 04:28:16 PM MDT

Dear Diary: Today I ran 20 miles but scarfed a bag of M&MsThe best way to lose weight might be to put down your fork and pick up a pen and a piece of paper.

A person who keeps a daily food journal can double his or her weight loss, according to a study by Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research published in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

"It seems that the simple act of writing down what you eat encourages people to consume fewer calories," said Jack Hollis, lead author and a researcher at Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore.

Food diaries, from simple to complex, are available at bookstores, on the Internet or through your doctor or local nutrition experts to suit your individual needs.

Getting started

Mary Lee Chin, a registered dietitian and media consultant on food issues, says to decide what your objectives are first and then figure out how much time you have to keep a diary. "Think it through first," Chin says. "Find a program — (either) a notebook or a simple to complex program online. Lastly, don't expect miracles without effort on your part."

A diary can be as simple as including what, when and the amount you eat or as complex as logs that track your mood, nutritional information, exercise data and more. The important factor is being honest, sometimes brutally truthful.

"I know sometimes when we keep a food journal, we have a tendency to just want to record the days that we perceived as really good, the sort of 'perfect days,' " says Suzanne Farrell, registered dietitian and owner of Cherry Creek Nutrition. "You don't want to go beyond that and get those days when you're off your ideal way of eating."

The simple fact of seeing your daily food intake on paper or a computer screen is critical.

"It's the ultimate wake-up call," Farrell says. "Especially like when you use one for calories. Once you track that and pay attention and learn some of the calories in certain items, like a tuna salad sandwich. You may not realize that can be a high-calorie meal."

Customize your approach

Figure out what kind of food journaling fits your lifestyle.

"For a person who's on the go all the day and is moving around and isn't in front of a computer all the time, perhaps a small notebook in your pocket or pocketbook would be the way to go," Chin says. Office workers who spend all day at their desks might want to use an online program. Many programs calculate how many calories you're eating and give a quick nutritional analysis of the foods, as well.

Also important, Farrell notes, are the times you eat.

"In terms of assessing how you're eating, recording the time that you eat is an important factor because you can start to identify your meal patterns," she says. "For instance, if you have breakfast at 8 and then you're not eating again until 3. That's a very large gap. . . . So that could be contributing to why you overconsume when you get home at night."

More than weight loss

Experts claim a food dairy can be useful for anyone wishing to improve his or her health. Whether you're pre- diabetic, have high blood pressure or have high cholesterol, a food journal can help you track what you eat and help change your eating habits.

"It could help people who must go on clinically oriented diets, such as people with diabetes or heart disease," Chin says. "It can help us identify foods that we may be eating too much of, such as high-saturated-fat foods or high-sodium foods."

A food journal also can reveal the foods and nutrients missing from your diet.

"It's not so much what people are consuming always, but what is being left out of the diet," Farrell says. "You notice trends of very low fruit and vegetable intake or low fiber. So you pick that up from food journals. I want people to focus on what's missing from this diet."

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Kids in the Kitchen

As seen on WB-2
Recipes at the end of the backgrounder below

"10 Simple Strategies: Shopping with Kids" by Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, posted after the recipes
For more information go to: www.maryleechin.com

Kids in the Kitchen: Make Healthy Eating Fun

The best way to get your kids to eat healthier is to make healthy eating fun and get them involved with all aspects of food: planning, in the grocery store, and in the kitchen.
Ø Important as kids need to achieve eating the recommended 2 cups of fruit/day plus 2 1/2 cups of vegetables. It is a very difficult recommendation for people to reach, especially kids.
Ø Just 1/4 cup of dried fruit, such as California Raisins, counts as a fruit serving. It's easy to reach the daily goal of 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables when you focus on including a variety of them in every meal and snack.
Ø Here are some tips and recipes from registered dietitian Mary Lee Chin, for getting your kids to eat healthier—and they won’t even know it!

Does grocery shopping with young kids test the limits of your patience and sanity? Do rambunctious little ones and temper tantrums make shopping more drama than it's worth?
Ø Fear not. Given the right conditions, taking toddlers and preschoolers to the supermarket can be productive, educational, and dare we say it -- fun.
Ø You're serving as a role model when you grocery shop with kids, especially when you stop to chat with them about healthy foods.

OK, you're sold on the idea of grocery shopping with your young children. Here are 10 tips to make it easier. Go to www.maryleechin.com to get the ten tips, and here are a few to get you started. More at the end of the recipes below.
Ø Let your child help you make a grocery list
Ø Take your child shopping and let her pick out one new fruit or vegetable to try.
Ø Ask your child to choose four apples, or four green apples, or four round fruit.

At home, involve your child in the kitchen-let them help you cook.
Ø Keep plenty of healthy snacks on hand such as Snack-sized California Raisins
Ø Provide fun, colorful ingredients for your child to sprinkle on their foods-such as cherry tomatoes or raisins, or diced red or green peppers. Bumps on a Bagel recipe below.
Ø A simple game for kids to encourage trying a new fruit/veggie is to place food in a brown paper lunch bag. Kids put hand in the bag and try to guess what it is. Cook with the child using the new item at the next meal to introduce new food. Fruit Salsa Salad recipe below.

And here are some kid favorite recipe tips
Ø Add nutritious ingredients to foods you know they already love to eat. Freckled Salad recipe below.
Ø Find simple recipes that even 2 or 3 year old kids can help cook. Toasted Apple Raisin Munchables recipe below.

And finally-provide a sweet dessert with some nutritious bits!
Ø Favorite Oatmeal Raisin Cookies recipe below.

For more information and recipes go to http://www.calraisins.org/raisins_home/


4 servings

2 bagels, split
2 small ripe bananas
1/2 cup California raisins

Toast bagels. In medium bowl, coarsely mash bananas. Spoon onto bagel halves; sprinkle with cinnamon. Top each with 2 tablespoons raisins; press gently.
Notes: Substitute 1 teaspoon grated orange peel for cinnamon; stir into mashed bananas.Substitute chocolate syrup for cinnamon; drizzle onto mashed bananas.

Nutrition Facts (per serving) Calories 210 (4% from fat); Total Fat 1g (sat <1g,> Cholesterol 0mg; Protein 5g; Carbohydrates 46g; Fiber 3g; Iron 2mg; Sodium 190mg; Calcium 36mg

Fruit Salsa Salad
Makes 4 cups

cups fresh pineapple chunks, cut up
1 kiwi fruit, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 large orange, peeled and coarsely chopped
3/4 cup California raisins
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon honey, if desired

In medium bowl, combine all ingredients; stir well. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or until chilled. Serve the same day for best flavor with broiled or grilled chicken or pork.

Nutrition Facts (per serving) Calories 190 (3% from fat); Total Fat 1g (sat 0g, mono <1g,> Cholesterol 0mg; Protein 2g; Carbohydrates 47g; Fiber 5g; Iron 1mg; Sodium 5mg; Calcium 46mg

Toasted Apple Munchables
Serves 8

1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 medium apple, cored and diced (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup California raisins
8 very fresh, whole-wheat bread slices

In a small bowl, stir sugar and cinnamon together. Add dried apple and raisins; stir together. Cover with wax paper and microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir and microwave for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes more or until the apples are soft. Meanwhile, trim crusts from bread slices and discard them. Flatten the slices to 1/8-inch thick with a rolling pin. Spoon about 2 tablespoons raisin mixture on one corner of each bread slice and spread slightly. Fold bread over filling to make a triangle. Seal edges by pressing with fork tines. Toast in toaster oven or under broiler until lightly brown on one side; turn and brown other side.

Nutrition Facts (per serving) Calories 100 (9% from fat); Total Fat 1g (sat 0g, mono <1g,> Cholesterol 0mg; Protein 3g; Carbohydrates 22g; Fiber 2g; Iron 1mg; Sodium 120mg; Calcium 25mg

Freckled Salad
Serves 4

1 package (3 ounces) lemon flavor gelatin
3/4 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold water
Ice cubes
1 cup crushed pineapple, well drained
1/2 cup California raisins

Spray 4 tea or coffee cups lightly with nonstick cooking spray. In medium bowl, combine gelatin and boiling water; stir until gelatin is dissolved. Add ice cubes to cold water to equal 1 1/4 cups. Stir until gelatin is thick; remove remaining ice.
Add pineapple and raisins to gelatin; refrigerate 15 minutes or until starting to thicken. Stir to distribute fruit evenly. Carefully spoon into tea or coffee cups. Refrigerate 2 hours or until completely set. Run knife around edge of each salad; unmold onto individual serving plates.
Note: An easy recipe for kids. Parents may want to handle the boiling water.

Nutrition Facts (per serving) Calories 190 (1% from fat); Total Fat <1g> Cholesterol 0mg; Protein 3g; Carbohydrates 47g; Fiber 2g; Iron 1mg; Sodium 80mg; Calcium 17mg

Our Growers Favorite Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Makes 36

The perfect oatmeal-raisin cookie from California raisin growers.
2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 large eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups rolled oats
2 cups California raisins
2 cups pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper; set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter, sugars and vanilla together until light and fluffy and sugar is completely dissolved. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well with each addition. Combine flour, baking soda and cinnamon; mix well and gradually stir into creamed mixture. Fold in rolled oats, raisins and pecans. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in preheated oven at 350°F. Remove cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.

Nutrition Facts (per serving) Calories 290 (46% from fat)total Fat 15g (sat 7g, mono 6g, poly 2g);Cholesterol 40mg; Protein 3g; Carbohydrates 37g; Fiber 2g; Iron 1mg; Sodium 180mg; Calcium 17mg;

10 Simple Strategies: Grocery Shopping With Kids
From: By www.ElizabethWardRD.com

WebMD Feature April 1, 2008

1. Consider Timing. There may be no perfect time to shop with a rambunctious 3-year-old or a toddler who is teething, but some times are better than others. When possible, go grocery shopping with a well-rested child.

2. Allow Plenty of Time. Grocery shopping with small children is typically not a quick affair. Give yourself plenty of leeway to get the job done.

3. Focus on the Familiar. Grocery stores are noisy, bustling places that may overwhelm a young child. Bring along a favorite toy, blanket, or book from home to make them feel more secure.

4. Have Realistic Expectations. Small children tire easily. An hour-long foray into the grocery store may be enough. Don't push it by trying to do all of your errands at once.

5. Set Limits. Begging for treats at the store can really get on your nerves. Make it clear when grocery shopping with your kids what will happen once you're in the store. No matter what, stick to your guns to minimize whining next time.

6. Involve Your Kids. Kids love to feel a part of whatever is happening. The more you give kids to do and think about, the easier and more fun grocery shopping is for everyone.

7. Try Not to Think Too Much. Figure out what you need to purchase at home, then make a list. Your powers of concentration may be limited by your child's needs once you're grocery shopping.

8. Reward Good Behavior. You expect your toddler or preschooler to behave in public, but doing so in a grocery store may prove particularly taxing because it's such a stimulating environment. Let kids know how good they were in the store by taking them to the park later, or reading them a story when you get home.

9. Be Prepared to Leave. Young children are fickle. You may be gung-ho to get two weeks worth of grocery shopping done, but 10 minutes into the trip, it's clear your little one wants out.

10. Stay Safe. An American Academy of Pediatrics study revealed that more than 20,000 children under the age of 5 were treated in emergency rooms in 2005 for injuries related to shopping carts. Falls from carts topped the list of trauma. Cart tip-overs, becoming trapped by a cart, and being run over by a cart were injurious to young kids, too. Never let kids stand up in the cart and don't let them ride on the front, back, or side. Children should not push carts by themselves. When seated, use a seat strap to keep kids secure. Little ones who are on foot should hang on gently to the cart while you slowly push it.

The first time or two you go grocery shopping with your kids you may leave frazzled, with fewer groceries than you went in for. Yet remember, this is a skill you're both developing. Like teaching your tot to get back on his or her bike, don't be afraid to try, try again!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Beef, Tomato, Green Pepper Stir-fry

Learn more at: www.maryleechin.com

Looking for a great Chinese dish for dinner? Try this acclaimed recipe from my mother.
(It's at the end of the cited blog)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Family Mealtimes - Slow Down Childhood Obesity?

As seen on KMGH-TV 7

Learn more at: www.maryleechin.com

Parents are concerned about all aspects of a child’s development-physical, mental, behavioral, social and educational.
Ø Multitudes of studies show that regular family mealtimes influence children more than time spent at school, studying, church, playing sports or in art activities
Ø Mealtimes at home are the single largest predictor of achievement scores and fewer behavioral problems for children.

Fifteen percent of children and adolescents are too heavy, with teenage obesity rates more than tripling in the past 20 years.
Ø The rise in obesity in the nation's young people may be partly due to fewer home-cooked meals, more calorie-dense foods, and more takeout and prepackaged dinners.
Ø Alarmingly some health care professionals suggest that the 25 million American kids, who are obese, may be the first generation to live sicker and die younger than their parents.
Ø Surge in children diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Less than 4 percent of childhood diabetes cases in 1990 were type 2, that number has risen to approximately 20 percent, varying from 8 percent to 45 percent, depending on the age of the group.
Ø Of children diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, 85 percent are obese.

That is why I am here today promoting family mealtimes. Studies have shown that intervention programs at school can help children make better food selections, and decrease risk of overweight and obesity. You can download a free kit to help your family have great mealtimes: www.beefnutrition.com/matedownloadsforpatientsandclients.aspx

Ø Studies provided education and intervention with parents as an important component of those programs.
Ø Kit-lots of resources that families can download to produce quality mealtimes

Ø Fun tips for cooking with kids
Ø Making mealtimes enjoyable
Ø Kid-tested, quick and easy family recipes

Children who have regular dinners with family also have better nutrition intake, consuming more fruits, vegetables, vitamins and minerals, and less saturated fat and trans fat.
Ø Recipe-heavy on veggies-Cool Veggie Pizza (below)

Making it fun:
Ø Conversation – Share funny stories and Conversation Starter Cards
o What made you laugh today?
o What is the nicest thing you did for someone today?
o Name the 2-3 of the most important people alive today
Ø Participation
o Recipe – fruit salad –What is the fruit? Take turns picking fruit and everyone eats at the same time. (below)
o Recipe – Beef Pitas (below)

Introduce new foods and traditions
Ø http://www.earthcalendar.net/index.php - daybook of celebrations around the world
Ø http://www.mydailyplan-it.com/
Ø http://www.brownielocks.com/month2.html
o National Nutrition month
o National Noodle Month
o Go Nuts over Texas Peanuts Week
o National Chocolate Week
Ø My mother’s recipe for Noodles with Peanut Sauce

Compared to children in the control group, those in the intervention program ate less junk food, more fruits and vegetables, and drank less juice and more 1 percent milk. When they compared the children in the study group to those in the control group, the researchers concluded that the program is an effective obesity prevention strategy.

Ø http://www.school-wellness.org/
Ø http://www.beefitswhatfordinner.com/
Ø http://www.yum-o.org/
Ø http://www.mealsmatter.org/
Ø http://kidsinthekitchen.ajli.org/
Ø http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/


Cool Veggie Pizza

Crust1 pound frozen whole wheat bread doughAll purpose flour1/4 teaspoon cornmealPreheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray 12-inch pizza pan lightly with nonstick cooking spray or coat pan lightly with oil. Sprinkle pan with cornmeal, shaking to coat bottom. Thaw bread dough according to package directions. On a lightly floured board with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough into a 14-15 inch circle. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until lightly golden.

8 oz. low-fat cream cheese
1 teaspoon dill
1 package ranch dressing mix
Mix filling ingredients until thoroughly blended. Spread on cooled baked bread dough crust.

Top with a combination of raw veggies: grated zucchini, grated carrots, chopped tomatoes and green peeper, broccoli, cauliflower, and scallions. Use your imagination to add what you have on hand.

Star Fruit SaladMakes 4 servings - Each serving equals 1 cup of fruit or vegetables From Produce for Better Health

2 star fruit 2 kiwis 2 bananas 1 cup mango fruit nectar 1 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
Peel kiwi and banana, cut into medium size pieces. Slice star fruit into ¼-inch thickness. Combine all fruits in bowl. Add nectar over mixture. Refrigerate for 3 hours. Top with vanilla yogurt.

Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 201, Protein 5g, Fat 2g, Calories From Fat 7%, Cholesterol 3mg, Carbohydrates 46g, Fiber 6g, Sodium 46mg.

Stir-Fried Beef Gyros in Pita Pockets Makes 4 servings.
From www.beefitswhatfordinner.com

1 pound beef round tip steaks, cut 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, halved, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 pita breads, cut in half
2 small tomatoes, thinly sliced
½ cup prepared cucumber ranch dressing

Stack beef steaks; cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1-inch wide strips. Toss with garlic and oregano.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion; stir-fry 3 to 4 minutes. Remove.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in same skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add 1/2 of beef; stir-fry 1 minute or until outside surface of beef is no longer pink. (Do not overcook.) Remove.

Repeat with remaining beef. Return beef and onion to skillet; heat through. Season with salt and pepper. Serve in pita pockets with tomatoes and dressing.

Nutrition information per serving: 503 calories; 24 g fat (4 g saturated fat; 5 g monounsaturated fat); 75 mg cholesterol; 721 mg sodium; 40 g carbohydrate; 2.2 g fiber; 29 g protein; 7.2 mg niacin; 0.4 mg vitamin B6; 1.3 mcg vitamin B12; 3.9 mg iron; 43.2 mcg selenium; 4.6 mg zinc.

Chinese Noodles with Peanut Sauce
(Mary Lee’s mother’s recipe)

12 oz. noodles

Peanut Butter and Pepper Sauce
2 Tablespoons peanut butter diluted with 3 Tablespoons warm water
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon cayenne
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tablespoons finely chopped scallion

Mix all ingredients except garlic and scallion into a very smooth sauce. Add garlic and scallion before serving.

Selection of Garnishes:
Chopped scallions
Chopped cilantro
Fresh Chinese bean sprouts
Fresh raw snow peas
Sliced cucumber
Fresh spinach
Shredded cooked chicken

Cook the noodles "al-dente," drain, and allow to cool.
Pour sauce over the noodles and toss to coat. Each person males a selection of garnishes and serve.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Which water to drink?

Which water to drink?
By Suzanne S. BrownThe Denver Post
As published in the Denver Post 03/09/2008
Learn more at: www.maryleechin.com

We know we're supposed to drink water to stay healthy. But increasingly the message is that it's not enough to drink tap water when a bottle can give you an alphabet's worth of vitamins, berry extracts, herbal stimulants and sweeteners to boost flavor and health benefits.

These so-called "enhanced" waters can be fine for you, but read labels and don't be misled by language crafted to sell the beverages, says Mary Lee Chin, a registered dietitian. "Words like 'enlighten' and 'challenge' aren't health claims," she says. "You need to separate the marketing phrases from the nutrient content."

In 2006 alone, 140 new products were added to the $10.8 billion wholesale bottled-water market. The category continues to show double-digit growth, says Gary Hemphill, managing director of the Beverage Marketing Corp., a New York research and consulting company.

"Companies are using water as a platform for innovation, adding flavors, sweeteners and nutrients, minerals and vitamins," he says.

While beverage makers are promoting their waters as being superior to what flows from the tap, do these liquids do any more for workout buffs and office workers than drain their wallets and contribute to the mountains of plastic in landfills?

Adding a splash of flavor is good if it gets people to drink more water, says Jacqueline R. Berning, associate professor of nutrition at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and consultant for the Denver Broncos and Cleveland Indians. The athletes she works with — and Americans in general — don't drink enough water, but she says enhanced waters can be trouble, too.
"First they added a splash of flavor. Then they added a splash of vitamins. The problem became the typical American thing: If a little is good, more is better. What you don't want is to get 100 percent of your (recommended daily allowance) of a vitamin and then be drinking three bottles (of enhanced water) in a day," Berning says.

"I tell my high school athletes they should be drinking water from the fountain every time they walk by it and to use these other beverages to top off the tank to provide fuel and electrolytes when they need them during practice or games."

Find your flavor
For the rest of us, dietitians say flavored water is OK for those who don't like it plain, but they also caution consumers to read labels to avoid getting too much sugar, too many calories and unhealthy quantities of vitamins or other additives.

Chin, the registered dietitian, says she has three simple tests for each glass of water she drinks: Does she like the taste, is it safe and is it cheap?

All three factors are met by the water that comes out the faucets in her Denver home, but like Berning, she acknowledges people are bored with plain water. And if people don't like the taste of their water, they can filter it or add their own flavoring, she says.

The nutrition part is where Cynthia Sass sees some potential problems. "I don't like people to look at water as a source of energy boost or amino acids," says Sass, a registered dietitian and nutrition director at Prevention magazine who writes about enhanced waters in the April issue.
Sass prefers that people meet their nutrition needs from food or multivitamins. "People who tend to gravitate to these things are already taking a vitamin. And drinking too many stimulants, whether it's ginseng or green tea, can cause a spike in blood pressure."

She also says that drinks can be fairly empty calories. Eating an orange, apple or banana will give you more nutritional value.

Sass recommends saving money and controlling the content and flavor of your water by amending it yourself. That's what she does because she's among the many who don't love the taste of tap water.

"I'll just add a squeeze of lemon or lime, pure fruit juice or fruit-infused green tea," says Sass. Vary the flavors, alternating blueberry, cherry and other types of juice, she suggests. "It's a great opportunity to take in a wider spectrum of antioxidants. I think of them as little bodyguards, protecting us from the effects of aging and disease," she says, adding that a study of women who ate a variety of produce found that they had significantly greater levels of antioxidants in their blood than women who ate the same thing every day.

For Sass, the choice of water comes down to two things: flavor and temperature.
"I tend to like water at more of a room temperature, but some people want it really cold," she says.

"Whatever it takes to keep you drinking it through the day is what you should do." How much do you need?

There's been plenty of debate about how much water to drink, and not everyone believes in the old eight-glasses-a-day recommendation.

Let your thirst, activity level and diet guide you in how much to drink, says Chin. The dietitian cites a 2002 study published in the American Journal of Physiology that found healthy adults living in temperate climates and not engaged in rigorous activities didn't need large amounts of water.
Researcher Heinz Valtin recommended simply drinking when thirsty, and he wrote that caffeinated drinks can count toward satisfying fluid requirements. In February 2004, the Institute of Medicine issued new recommendations agreeing with Valtin.

The new guidelines remove the eight- glasses-a-day recommendation and suggest healthy adults allow thirst to determine their fluid needs.

But Chin says to be mindful of physical activity, heat and humidity, which boost a body's need to rehydrate. And those who are going to be physically active for long periods should consider sports drinks that hydrate and provide easily usable sugar and electrolytes.

Illnesses accompanied by increased body temperature, excessive perspiration, vomiting, frequent urination or diarrhea can also increase hydration needs.

While water is an important ingredient for staying healthy, people should never look at it as a substitute for a well-balanced diet, Chin says. "Don't fool yourself into thinking that if you didn't have five servings of vegetables today you can make up for it with water."

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Food Facts and Fallacies-Answers to Quiz

As seen on KMGH-TV7

Learn more at: http://www.maryleechin.com/

Thanks to all who took the quiz to learn more about the facts behind the food myths, and earn a chance to win a copy of “The American Dietetic Association’s Complete Food & Nutrition Guide.” Below are the correct answers to the quiz.


1. FALSE. If you feel tired and run down, you probably should take more vitamins and minerals, especially those labeled “natural.” There is no substitution for healthy eating by popping a pill. Scientists believe that it is the combination of nutrients, the vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and phytonutrients that work more effectively when obtained from their basic source of food. Supplements can be used to top up your nutrient intake if, occasionally, you feel your diet has been less than adequate, but they shouldn’t be relied upon on a long-term basis.

2. FALSE. Cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil is better for you than other oils because it contains less fat. "Cold-pressed" actually refers to a production method of olive oil, which involves minimal processing at low temperatures. All oils and fats supply the same amount of fat calories, 9 per gram and should be consumed in moderation.

3. TRUE. Honey, brown and raw sugar is nutritionally the same as white sugar. The brown sugar sold at grocery stores is actually white granulated sugar with added molasses. Brown sugar contains minute amounts of minerals, but unless you eat a gigantic portion of brown sugar every day, the mineral content difference between brown sugar and white sugar is absolutely insignificant.

4. FALSE. Sugar causes diabetes. Diabetes is caused by a lack of insulin, not an excess of sugar in the diet. However, once someone has diabetes it is critical to watch the frequency, amount, and types of carbohydrate consumed, including sugar, to maintain good blood sugar control.

5. FALSE. You should limit your starches when trying to lose weight. Starches are an important source of energy for your body. They become high in calories when you fry them, make them with rich sauces or top with high-caloried fats like butter, sour cream, or mayonnaise, or eat too much of them. Choose starchy foods that are high in fiber, like whole grains, beans, and peas. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends 6 to 11 servings a day from the bread, cereal, rice, and pasta group. An example of a serving size is 1/2 cup of pasta, rice, or cooked cereal or a single slice of bread.

6. FALSE. Eating after 8 p.m. causes weight gain. It does not matter what time of day you eat. It is what and how much you eat and how much physical activity you do during the whole day that determines whether you gain, lose, or maintain your weight. Too many calories at any time of the day will cause your body to store extra calories as fat. However many people will overeat in the evening, seeking to relieve the stress of the workday, or may consume excess calories unconsciously while watching TV.

7. FALSE. Eating red meat is bad for your health and will make it harder to lose weight. Red meat, pork, chicken, and fish all contain some saturated fat and cholesterol. They also have nutrients that are important for good health, like protein, iron, and zinc. Eating lean meat (meat without a lot of visible fat) in small amounts can be part of a healthy weight-loss plan. When choosing cuts of meat, look for the term “loin” which provides a lower fat content.

8. FALSE. New research confirms “eating for two” is necessary during pregnancy. Energy requirements vary among individuals. Unfortunately, the idea that pregnancy is an ice cream free-for-all is a nutrition myth. It is generally recommended that pregnant women increase their daily intake by 100 kcal in the first trimester and 300 kcal in the second and third trimesters. An extra snack before bedtime consisting of a fruit, a serving of milk or yogurt, and a few biscuits is often enough.

9. FALSE. For high school athletes, consuming extra protein is necessary to build muscle mass during their adolescent period of high growth and activity. Contrary to claims of body building magazines and protein supplement companies, extra protein does nothing to bulk up muscle unless you are also doing significant weight training at the same time. Even then the increased requirement can easily come from food. A potential problem with supplements is the body has to work overtime to get rid of excess protein, and kidneys can become distressed as a result.

10. TRUE. Drinking chocolate milk immediately after a workout will improve muscle recovery. This popular drink refuels tired muscles and repairs minor tissue damage. Researchers at Indiana University recently found that athletes can consider refueling with chocolate milk, which can refresh exhausted muscles after exercise. The study found when athletes drank lowfat chocolate milk after an intense bout of exercise they were able to work out longer during a second round of exercise compared to when they drank a carbohydrate replacement beverage.

Food Facts and Fallacies: What’s the truth for a healthier diet?

Sure, your friends and family mean well - but how accurate is that advice they've been giving you all of these years?
Ø Many myths and misperceptions exist within the field of food & nutrition.

So why do so many of us fall for these?

Ø As a country we're prone to fads.
Ø We absorb "guidance" from our families, many which are “old wives tales” that nutrition science has shown not to hold up as a truth.
Ø We want instantaneous gratification: fad-diet books are so popular.
Ø We have that beacon of frequently off-the-wall information, the Internet.

As part of March National Nutrition Month, we are going to find out the truth behind some common food facts and fallacies.
Ø Many are common beliefs that we have had so long, that seem to make sense, that they were accepted as truth.
Ø Recommend American Dietetic Association (ADA) and registered dietitians as a resource.

Today we are setting the record straight, looking at five food beliefs you might have heard --but maybe should or shouldn't believe.

Fresh is always best and contains more nutrients than frozen or canned food. false
Ø Frozen, dried and canned fruits and vegetables can be just as nutritious as fresh.
Ø Frozen or canned produce is often packaged right after it has been picked, which helps keep most of its nutrients.
Ø Processes help to extend shelf life, make food safer and in some cases can actually improve its nutritional quality.
Ø Beta-carotene in canned carrots is more available to the body than that fresh ones. Fresh peas, which have been harvested and frozen immediately, have more vitamin C than peas that have been stored at room temperature for a few days before consumption.
Ø Fresh produce can lose nutrients after being exposed to light or air, subjected to too long transport, or improper handling.

Everyone should drink at least eight glasses of water a day. false
Ø Everyone has heard the age-old advice to drink eight to ten glasses of water a day.
Ø A 2002 study published in the American Journal of Physiology evaluated the old advice of 8 ounces of water, 8 times a day. After a thorough review, researcher concluded there was inadequate evidence that healthy adults -- living in temperate climates and not engaged in rigorous activities -- need large amounts of water.
Ø In 2004, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued new guidelines that remove the eight-glasses-a-day recommendation for normal, healthy adults and said that healthy adults may use thirst to determine their fluid needs.
Ø Water is a terrific thirst quencher (and the price is right), but milk and juice -- even coffee, tea and soft drinks, and food -- contribute to your water requirements.

Eating an egg or two every day is safe for most people. true
Ø Current American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines suggest most people can enjoy an egg a day as long as they watch their overall cholesterol intake. They recommend people limit their daily cholesterol intake to 300 milligrams or less. Egg yolks contain 214 to 220 milligrams of cholesterol.

Ø Eggs are a nutrient dense food. They are an inexpensive source of complete protein and contain a variety of nutrients including healthy doses of vitamins A, B12, D, K, and riboflavin.
Ø This myth began because egg yolks have a concentrated amount of cholesterol of any food. However, it’s the dietary saturated fat in a food that causes blood cholesterol to rise, not the cholesterol, if consumed in moderation.

Avoid processed foods. false
Ø Some processed foods, such as breads and breakfast cereals, have vitamins and minerals added for extra nutrition.
Ø The growing interest in health and nutrition has spurred the production of a whole new range of foods with added health and nutritional benefits (called "f
unctional foods") such as fat spreads with added fiber to lower cholesterol.
Ø Processing can also make some nutrients more available. For example, removing phytic acid from grain foods by removing the bran helps to improve the absorption of
iron from a food.
Ø Processing tomatoes into a tomato paste or sauce increases the amount of lycopene (an
antioxidant) that is available to the body.

Healthy food always costs more. well-maybe: choosing carefully is important
Ø This is a difficult one to deal with. It does seem that a bag of chips costs less than a dozen apples. But if you look closely, and shop wisely, you'll see that some of the healthiest foods don't cost much.
Ø In general, the less packaging, the less you'll pay. Look for bulk cereals from bins, not only in health food stores, but the local supermarket.
Ø In the produce aisle, keep in mind that eating seasonally and locally can help your bottom line; midwinter blueberries can cost up to $4.99 a pint, but local summer berries are about half that price.
Ø When the weather warms up, in Colorado we have access to many farmer’s markets. Less packaging, no middleman, and decreased costs of transport.
Ø Finally, healthier food choices can lower your risk for chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes, lowering the cost of your health care in the long term.

For more information go to: http://www.eatright.org/

Monday, March 3, 2008

Fruits & Veggie-More Matters!

Next Generation of 5 A Day!
Fruits & Veggies-More Matters

As seen on KMGH-TV7

Learn more at: http://www.maryleechin.com/

Do you remember the Five a Day Program? The recommendation was for Americans to consume 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Now, new research shows that eating more of the plant stuff confers even better health benefits.

To more effectively meet your needs, there is a new health initiative that takes the 5 A Day Program a step further. This program builds on the momentum that 5 A Day created, taking it to the next level by encouraging you to eat more fruits and veggies at every eating occasion.

Fruits and Veggies: MORE matters
Ø The new recommendations call for none servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
Ø This translates into 2 cups of fruit/day plus 2 1/2 cups of vegetables per day.
Ø About 90 % of Americans don't eat the recommended five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As a registered dietitian I know people are convinced they need to eat more fruits and vegetables, but they find the task daunting-so are skipping it.
Ø That's alarming, considering how important vegetables are to maintaining a healthy and productive lifestyle — but not surprising, given that many people would love to have barbecue sauce, French fries and ketchup classified as vegetable servings and be done with the whole affair.
Ø Eating produce help lower cholesterol, prevent diseases like cancer and heart disease, aid in digestion and help maintain satiety, so you feel full for a longer amount of time.

For March National Nutrition Month, I come armed with a sample day’s menu to illustrate how to fit in the recommended 4 ½ cups.
Ø People aren’t opposed, they just need more tasteful ideas.
Ø And today, I decided to go a bit more gourmet. I know everyone is busy, time-challenged to shop, and cook. But there is keen interest in fine dining and gourmet cooking.
Ø I have brought elegant food dishes that look complicated, but in actuality are simple to make.

Let’s start with breakfast: Fiesta Brunch Strata
Ø Filled with raisins, and spiced with pimentos, green chilies and salsa. Serve with red potatoes, and a beautiful assortment of fresh fruit, and tomato juice with celery.
Ø Already you have 3-4 servings of fruits and vegetables
Ø Raisins are an easy way to slip in extra nutrition. Low-fat, and filled with fiber, anti-oxidants, potassium and flavor, just ¼ cup equates to a fruit serving. The vitamin C content of the tomato juice helps absorption of the iron content of the eggs and raisins.

Lunch: Caramelized Onion Soup with Golden Raisin Pesto
Ø The savory soup is filled with onions and tomatoes. An elegant pesto of cilantro, pine nuts and golden raisins tops the soup.
Ø Serve with a sandwich of thinly sliced turkey. Use olive or raisin bread to add to the veggie count. And don’t wimp out with a limp piece of lettuce. Stuff your sandwich with crunchy cucumber slices, and sprouts to up the veggie count.

Snack: Try zucchini bread or carrot-raisin bran muffins. That way, it doesn't seem like you're being forced to eat a side fruit or plate of veggies.

Family social hour: Pour everybody a glass of his or her favorite juice over ice. Add some straws, cocktail umbrellas and sit together to talk about how everybody’s day went.
Ø We want the kids in on the elegance too!

Dinner: Maple-Pesto Salmon Salad with California Golden Raisins and Toasted Pine Nuts
Ø An easy way to fit more veggies in is to serve main dish salads. These can be cold, or try this hot dish made with salmon.
Ø Pile asparagus spears, hearts of palm and California raisins to towering heights and top with grilled salmon.
Ø Congratulations: you have just finished your veggies servings.

For those who just can't — or won't — make vegetables a part of their daily diet, there are always supplements that can be taken.
Be warned that many vitamin supplements are not well absorbed by the body, nor do they take the place of real food.
Trying to take separate nutrients in pill form can never compare to eating real, whole foods.
Scientific evidence shows that the protective nutrients found in vegetables work in harmony to improve health, rather than alone, as in supplements.


Fiesta Brunch Strata
Make it; keep it in the refrigerator overnight; bake it and serve a hearty brunch entrée.

12 slices bread, lightly buttered and cubed
3 cups finely chopped cooked chicken
1-1/2 cups California raisins
2-1/2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided
8 eggs, beaten
3 cups milk
1 can (4.5 ounces) chopped green chilies, drained
1 jar (2.5 ounces) diced pimiento, drained

Arrange half the bread cubes in bottom of 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan. Spread chicken and raisins over bread. Sprinkle with 2 cups of the cheese. Top with remaining bread cubes. In large bowl, combine eggs, milk, green chilies and pimiento; mix well. Pour over bread cubes. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Cover tightly. Refrigerate overnight.
Heat oven to 350°F. Uncover strata. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve with salsa, if desired.

Serves 12: Nutrition Facts (per serving) Calories 320 (23% from fat); Total Fat 8g (sat 2.5g, mono 3g, poly 1g); Cholesterol 165mg; Protein 27g; Carbohydrates 34g; Fiber 3g; Iron 3mg; Sodium 540mg; Calcium 330mg;

Caramelized Onion Soup with Golden Raisin Pesto

Olive oil, as needed
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped or sliced
4 large ripe tomatoes; cored, peeled and diced*
1 quart chicken broth
Salt and pepper, to taste
Golden Raisin Pesto
1/2 bunch cilantro
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Olive oil, as needed
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 cup California golden raisins
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cilantro leaves; for garnish
Whole California golden raisins; for garnish

In sauté pan, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil until almost smoking. Add onions and cook until caramelized, stirring constantly. Stir in garlic and tomatoes, stirring all the while; cook about 5 minutes. Then add broth; bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes more. Salt and pepper to taste.
Golden Raisin Pesto
In blender or food processor, combine cilantro, lemon juice, olive oil as needed, pine nuts and raisins. Pulse until well blended and smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, adjust seasonings in soup; divide and ladle into bowls. Garnish with dollop of pesto, fresh cilantro leaves and whole raisins.

*One can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes may be substituted

Serves 8: Nutrition Facts (per serving) Calories 130 (22% from fat); Total Fat 3.5g (sat 1g, mono 1g, poly 1g); Cholesterol 0mg; Protein 4g; Carbohydrates 23g; Fiber 3g; Iron 2mg; Sodium 70mg; Calcium 28mg

Maple-Pesto Salmon Salad with California Golden Raisins and Toasted Pine Nuts

3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon good-quality maple syrup
2 teaspoons prepared basil pesto
12 to 15 thin asparagus spears, blanched or lightly steamed
1 cup California golden raisins
1 can (7.75-ounce) hearts of palm, drained and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 pound salmon steak, divided into 4 pieces
4 large red lettuce leaves
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts (pignoli), coarsely chopped

Whisk vinegar, olive oil, maple syrup and pesto together in bottom of a large mixing bowl. Reserve 2 tablespoons. Cut asparagus spears into 1-inch pieces and add to bowl with raisins, hearts of palm and basil. Toss to coat and combine. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.

To serve, brush salmon with reserved dressing and let stand about 30 minutes. Place one red lettuce leaf on each of 4 individual salad plates. Divide chilled salad and spoon on top. Quickly grill or broil salmon and arrange on top of salads. Sprinkle with pine nuts.
Note: Even better with additional vinaigrette on the side.

4 Servings: Nutrition Facts (per serving) Calories 410 (26% from fat); Total Fat 13g (sat 2g, mono 0g, poly 0g); Cholesterol 75mg; Protein 35g; Carbohydrates 44g; Fiber 5g; Sodium 360mg; Daily Values: Vitamin A 15%, Vitamin C 25%, Calcium 10%, Iron 25%.

Hot and Sweet Watermelon

This sweet and spicy dessert is refreshing and very healthy.

¾ tsp. whole peppercorns or coarsely ground black pepper
1 ½ tsp. very finely chopped mint leaves
6 cups ¾-inch seedless red watermelon cubes
Fresh mint leaves

Place peppercorns on chopping block. Using the bottom of a heavy saucepan, press firmly, into a heavy downward motion and crush peppercorns into a semi-coarse texture. Combine ground peppercorns with finely chopped mint. In a large bowl, toss spice mixture gently but thoroughly with watermelon cubes. Spoon into 4 individual serving glasses or bowls. Serve chilled, garnished with a fresh mint leaf.

4 Servings: Nutrition Facts (per serving) Calories: 71; Total Fat: 0.4g; Saturated Fat: 0g; % of Calories from Fat: 5%; Protein: 1g; Carbohydrates: 18g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sodium: 2mg

For more information and recipes

Friday, February 29, 2008

Resistant starch: The new power nutrient

As seen on KMGH-TV7

Learn more at: www.maryleechin.com

March National Nutrition Month 2008 It’s always been fascinating to work in the field of nutrition. New and interesting nutrition science research findings constantly emerge. The challenge is to tease out the relevant and truly useful information, from the promises of quick fixes. For 2008 March National Nutrition Month, I am going to explore something new and a bit different. While this may be the first time you have heard of it, it’s actually been a part of your diet most of your life. Research, well-documented and replicated, points to the health benefits of a component in starchy food called resistant starch, a type of dietary fiber.

Those on low-carb diets may have been avoiding starchy foods such as potatoes, grains, beans, corn, rice, bread, pasta and cornflakes, billed as causing blood sugars to rise, and packing on unneeded calories. But all these foods contain resistant starch, formed particularly when cooked starchy foods are cooled.

Keep it cool Cooking causes starch to absorb water and swell. As it slowly cools, portions of the starch crystallize into a form that resists digestion. Cooling either at room temperature or preferably in the refrigerator will raise resistant starch levels. Don’t reheat. That breaks up the crystals, causing resistant starch levels to plummet.

It gets its name because it “resists” digestion in the body, and though this is true of many types of fiber, what makes resistant starch so special is the impact it has on weight loss and health overall.

Health benefits More than 160 studies have examined this little-known nutrient’s health and weight-loss benefits. A WHO Expert Consultation on Human Nutrition statement, "One of the major developments in our understanding of the importance of carbohydrates for health in the past twenty years has been the discovery of resistant starch.”

Resistant starch has shown that can it increase your body’s ability to burn fat. Escaping digestion in the small intestine, it passes to the large bowel for fermentation, and creates a beneficial short-chain fatty acid called butyrate. Butyrate may block the body’s ability to burn carbohydrates. Instead the body burns both stored fat and recently consumed fat for energy---preventing it from ending up on your thighs.

It shuts down hunger hormones. Animal studies have found that resistant starch prompts the body to stimulate production of a satiety-inducing hormone, a peptide (PYY), which increases feelings of fullness. You eat less.

Cancer Research shows that the butyrate created by resistant starch is protective of colon cells, making it less vulnerable to the DNA damage which can lead to cancer. It can also create a pH drop inside the colon, which boosts the absorption of calcium and blocks the absorption of cancer-causing substances.

Diabetes Like other fibers, resistant starch helps control blood sugar levels. Because it skips routine digestion, researchers see lower blood sugar and insulin levels following a resistant starch-rich meal. Another exciting area of research is looking at its ability to improve insulin sensitivity.

How to eat enough Right now, there is no recommendation from USDA for resistant starch intake. Preliminary data shows the average American woman consumes about 4 grams of resistant starch each day. Nutrition experts believe the research is strong enough to advocate doubling that to 8 grams per day. Simply adding ½ to 1 cup of cooled resistant starch-rich food per day can help you get to that level.

Tips for adding resistant starch to your diet

Beans 8 grams per ½ cup
Ø Dust off your recipe for a traditional Three-bean Salad
Ø Snack on hummus or bean dip with whole grain crackers or crisp carrot sticks
Ø Savor Spicy Black, Pinto Bean and Corn Salsa (recipe below)

Bananas (slightly green) 6 grams per small piece of fruit
Ø Slice and mix with yogurt and granola
Ø Top a favorite curry with banana chunks
Ø Think kid…peanut butter and raisins on banana for classic “Ants on a Log”

Potatoes and yams 4 grams per ½ cup
Ø Serve cold potato salad
Ø Toss chilled, chunked red potatoes into a green salad
Ø Go elegant and serve Vichyssoise--cold potato soup

Barley 3 grams per ½ cup
Ø Create a cold barley salad of cooked cooled barley, red peppers, peas and Italian dressing
Ø Sprinkle onto leafy green garden salads
Ø Mix with chopped fresh basil, olives and olive oil and stuff into hollowed tomatoes

Corn 2 grams per half cup
Ø Combine cooked cooled corn with tomatoes, cucumbers and green onions
Ø Sprinkle on top of your green salads
Ø Wrap it up in your taco

Spicy Black, Pinto Bean and Corn Salsa

2 - 14 ounce cans black beans, drained
1 - 14 ounce can pinto beans, drained
1 - 14 ounce can corn, drained
3 large tomatoes, chopped
½ medium red onion, chopped, or I bunch scallions, chopped
1 bottle hot sauce (I used ½ bottle of Cholula’s)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 T olive oil
½ bunch cilantro, chopped

Combine all. Good served immediately but even better if it can sit in refrigerator for an hour for flavors to blend. Serve with whole grain corn chips as a dip, or over chopped green lettuce for a main meal salad.