The Juice Bust! Why you should cut back on juice in your diet.

orange-juice

Many of us believe that consuming loads of orange juice will fuel us with Vitamin C and many other fruity benefits. But… is it really all that good for us?

Juice is often misconceived as a healthy beverage to quench your thirst and fuel your mornings. Why am I personally against drinking juice (specifically pasteurized juices)? …

Empty calories and high sugar content. Pasteurization removes all the good stuff from our fruit and vegetables. I like to call it drinking empty calories (Empty: limited nutritional benefit).

What is pasteurization? Pasteurization is a high heat treatment process that almost all juices on the market go through to extend their shelf life and remove some harmful bacteria to make the product safe for consumption. Sounds good so far ….

However! Although the pasteurization process may remove the harmful bacteria, in doing so, the high heat also removes fibre, nutrients, good enzymes, and other nutritional components in the process 😦 

In addition to the removal of all these natural benefits, some juices have added sugars, coloring, preservatives, and flavourings. Again, another reason why to opt for the whole fruit versus the juice.

You are much better off eating a whole fresh fruit (e.g. an orange) versus drinking a cup of juice. This way you are getting the most nutritional content possible from the food itself. Choose WHOLE FOOD first! Picking food items in their natural form will have the most benefit on your diet and nutritional lifestyle. Try to avoid processed items as much as possible. Whole food items will keep you satisfied longer due to their higher nutritional content. 

As mentioned by Dietitians of Canada,

“Fruit juice and fruit beverages should be limited. Many of these beverages contain a high amount of sugar which can lead to weight gain.  Fruit juice, even labelled as ‘no sugar added’ still contains a high amount of sugar. Eat a piece of fruit instead of drinking juice. Whole fruits have the added benefits of fibre and other nutrients not found in juice.”

Tips for hydration: 

  • Water should always be your first choice! Stay hydrated throughout the day. Always carry a reusable water bottle with you.
  • Not a fan of plain water? Add frozen raspberries, mango, cucumber, or fresh lemon to your water to amp up the flavour!
  • Working to cut back on juice? Start slowly. Begin diluting your juice with water to lower the sugar and calories. Good things take time so start with small steps to make change.
  • If you must choose juice, choose 100% juice, cold-pressed, and juices with added vegetables to lower the sugar content.
  • What about Cold-Pressed? Again limit the cold-pressed fruit juice. Choose a cold-pressed juice mixed with vegetables and high vegetable content. Cold-pressed juices do not undergo the heat treatment therefore, they have a shorter shelf-life and maintain the fibre, nutrients, and good enzymes. This is why you see natural juices marked up to a high price with a short shelf life! Again whole food is best but, cold-pressed is a step up from pasteurized juice.

 

I hope you learned something new today!

Until next time,

B

 

Mexi-Quinoa Bake

Mexi-Quinoa Bake

 

Ahh!! We all love one-dish quick and easy meals. Right? Especially if they’re healthy ones. This Mexi-Quinoa bake is healthy, quick, delicious, and has just the right amount of spice. This recipe uses ground chicken instead of the traditional use of ground beef. Quinoa instead of rice. Nutritional yeast to lower the use of cheese. AND non-fat greek yogurt instead of sour cream. SEE! It is so easy to make delicious dishes with healthy ingredients.

Mexi Quinoa Bake 2

Ingredients (makes 4 large servings):

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/4 cup vegetable broth (or chicken broth)

1 lb ground chicken
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chili powder
1 garlic clove, crushed

1 orange pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1/4 cup frozen corn niblets
1 garlic clove, crushed

Top layer:
1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (can be found at bulk barn)
1/4 tsp cumin
2 tbsp shredded marble cheese/cheese of choice

Toppings:
0% plain greek yogurt
Freshly chopped tomato
Chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:
1. In a small pot, bring quinoa in vegetable broth to a boil, lower the heat, then allow to simmer until cooked (~25 minutes). **Follow the regular quinoa cooking directions on package ..just replace the water with vegetable broth for extra flavour**. You can also use chicken broth too.

2. In a large skillet on medium-high heat, add olive oil and the ground chicken. Break up the chicken with regular mixing. Add in the chili powder and garlic.

3. While the chicken is cooking, prep your vegetables. Chop and dice and put in a bowl. You will add the veggies and more garlic to the chicken skillet when the chicken is fully cooked.

4. When the ground chicken is cooked thoroughly (no pink throughout ~20 minutes cook time), add your diced/chopped vegetables.

5. Saute veggies with the chicken on medium heat for about 7-10 minutes. Turn oven on to preheat at 350F.

6. When quinoa is fully cooked, pour it into the bottom of a casserole dish.

7. Add the chicken/vegetable mixture on top of the quinoa layer.

8. Add the last top layer – sprinkle the chili powder, nutritional yeast, cumin, and cheese evenly across the top.

9. Bake on 350F for ~17 minutes and broil for the last 2 minutes.

10. Top your dish with plain greek yogurt (healthy alternative to sour cream), tomato, and cilantro…..and ENJOY 🙂

Nutrition Facts: (per 1 LARGE serving):
375 calories
38 g protein
18 g fat
28 g carbohydrates