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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 08-21-2002, 08:47 AM
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Question 8 A-DAY?

Last time I checked the "Pyramid"...I thought they recommended 5 fruits and veggies a-day....A minimum of 3 veggies and no more than 2 fruits...(or was that weight watchers?) LOL! :p

I know they say 6-8 glasses of H20...,but there's got to be easier ways to get vitamins and fiber... don't you think?

Yes, I know that 1/2 cup cooked veggies, and 1 cup raw leafy veggies is a serving, but still. That's an awful lot of salad every day.

I prefer to get my veggies primarally in the form of salad bar lunches. I think it's such a treat. I also like the Asian resturants that let you pick your own ingredients and then they stir fry them for you.

We have a salad at dinner most nights and always a veggie with the dinner meal. I usually snack on cut up veggies with dips during the afternoon.

If sandwiches or burgers or soups are on the lunch menu, they automatically have a veggie served with them in the form of tomato, lettuce, beans, pickles or onions. And don't discount pasta sauces and salsa.

I prefer real fruits to the juices, as their sugar content is lower and the fiber content is higher.

So trainlady, you may be getting more veggies than you think you are. But do you really need 8 every day? I'm not sure.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 08-21-2002, 02:42 PM
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It is hard and time consuming to prepare and eat 8 fresh fruits and veggies a day. My solution has been to make a fresh fruit salad. I use melons( watermelon, cantalope,honey dew) necterine's,grapes,oranges,blueberries,pineapple. Pretty much anything you want with exception of bananas. It only takes a few minutes and can be stored in the fridge for several days.........but I gurantee it will not last that long. As for veggies.....try a veggie plate with a low fat dip. It is refreshing and better raw. You will get all the vitimins and give your teeth and gums a good work out. Kids love both and enjoy helping to make them.
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Old 08-21-2002, 08:21 PM
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I don't find it hard at all to eat 8 fruits and veggies a day...I usually have 2 pieces of fruit in the morning with cup of tea, fruit and veggies at lunch and veggies, protein, fruit for dessert at dinner. A serving is 1/2 cup, 1 cup for lettuce. Since I eat meat sparingly I find it easy to get my requirements in for the day.

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Old 08-22-2002, 01:50 PM
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Mega Leather

Dean Pomerleau came up with this idea for Mega Leather.

His recipe is great because it helps get in all sorts of nutritional goodies, and packs it in a small punch. Tasty, too! Visually unappealing (it's green from the kale). I'm going to post a lot of the info he shared about it too, so the following perspectives are his words. He gives amounts in grams--I've converted most of those to make it easier on myself. I'm making this two messages, so that the entire recipe and health info comes through
Nutritional info at bottom of 2nd message, and sorry this presented concept is so long!!

Message 11780 of 17854 Ingredients: ------------
Kefir, skim milk 1000g (35.3oz or 4cups & 3.3oz or 1 qrt & 3.3oz) Vinegar, cider 125g 4.41oz
Oil, olive, salad or cooking 40g 1.41oz
Oil, flax seed 5g (1 tsp)
Whey Protein Powder 30g 1.06oz
Brewer's yeast, GNC brand 30g
Nuts, almonds, dried, unblanched 40g 1.41oz
Sucralose 0.2g (1/4tsp) (this is a sugar alternative, for those sensitive to sugars)
Spinach, raw 225g 7.94oz
Kale, raw 225g 7.94oz
Mushrooms, raw 225g 7.94oz
Strawberries, frozen, unsweetened 300g 10.6oz
Sweetpotato, raw 175g 6.17oz
Psyllium husks, raw 50g 1.76oz
Peppermint extract 13g (1 Tbsp)

This is a dehydrated recipe, similar in form to "fruit leather" (also called "fruit roll-ups" in the US) or "beef jerky". I considered calling it "Mega-Jerky", but that name seemed to have a rather negative connotation to it. Plus I thought "mega-leather" had a manly rugged sound to it, befitting of the end product.

* "Mega" Nutrition - Mega-leather has 10%+ of the RDA per 100kcal for all nutrients except sodium and zinc.
* Portable - easy to eat on the go. With mega-leather I could pop them in my pocket (in a plastic bag) and eat them in the car, at my son's ball game, anywhere, since it is compact, and keeps better at room temperature (due to the low moisture content and probiotics). Mega-leather is naturally divided into bite size chunks as well, making it easy to sneak a bite out of your pocket every minute or two in a meeting :-). Also, the pre-cut bite size chunks make it easy to eat slowly, reducing mega-leather's impact on blood glucose.
* Keeps better at room temperature - The very low moisture content means you COULD store mega-leather at room temperature for an extended period without problem, although I keep it in the refrigerator for extra insurance.
* Very tasty - the flavorings and sucralose give mega-leather a very nice taste, along with the strawberries. Flavors I've tried with great success include licorice (anise), chocolate, coffee, strawberry, cherry, peppermint, coconut and "jerky".
* High in "good" fat - Nearly all the fat comes from monounsaturated olive oil and nuts, as well as a little flax seed oil for the short chain Omega-3 ALA. The olive oil and flax seed oil can be easily traded off to adjust one's ALA intake as desired.
* High quality protein - Whey protein powder and skim milk provide good, lean protein in mega-leather.
* Favorable (Zone) macro nutrient ratio (24P:40F:36C).
* High in both soluble and insoluble fiber (total of ~4g/100kcal) - therefore mega-leather is quite satisfying, despite its compact form.
* Contains apple cider vinegar - Both a tasty ingredient and high in acetic acid, which lowers mega-leather's glycemic index.
* As a result of previous three attributes, and all the low GI ingredients it contains, mega-leather is a low glycemic index food. Test showed my BG at 0, 30, 60, 90 minutes after eating 250kcal snack of mega-leather: 85, 84, 83, 84 mg/dL - in other words no detectable impact on my glucose level. This low GI and the fiber results in feeling satiated for quite a while after eating a mega-leather snack.
* Ca:P ratio of 1:1 - near optimum for bone health. The calcium in mega-leather is very bioavailable, coming from kefir (a milk product) and kale, perhaps the most bioavailable vegetable source of calcium.
* Contains no grains - grains are calorie dense and nutrient poor. The anti-nutrients in grains are not particularly good for one’s health either, in that (among other things) they tend to prevent absorption of minerals like calcium in other foods.
* Vitamin A and C - heat from baking likely destroys much of these temperature sensitive nutrients. The low temperature preparation of mega-leather reduces this problem. There is undoubtedly some loss of these two nutrients due to exposure to air during the dehydrating process, but the recipe starts out with 81% and 48% RDA for vitamins A and C respectively, so even after preparation, mega-leather should retain its "mega" status for these two nutrients.
* High in antioxidants - Spinach, strawberries, and kale are numbers 1, 2 and 5 on the list of foods with the highest ORAC score per 100kcal. ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity - a measure of free radical quenching ability.
* Enzymes? - I'm pretty skeptical of the enzyme theory of why "living foods" are beneficial. However if you believe in such things, the low temperature preparation of mega-leather will keep the enzymes intact.
* Probiotic - The Kefir (or yogurt), along with the low temperature preparation means mega-leather has active friendly microorganisms. These microorganisms set up shop in your digestive system, and provide many health benefits.
* Contains sweet potatoes - A food favored by Walford and the Biospherians, as well as the long-lived Okanawians. Who knows, maybe this is more than just coincidence.
* Easy to prepare - just puree, pour and dehydrate. With all these advantages, I think an argument could be made that mega-leather is the ideal calorie-restricted snack food. If stranded on a desert island with nothing but water and a case of mega-leather (and no refrigerator), I believe you could live quite healthily for a virtually indefinite period of time. With that long-winded introduction, below is the recipe. I'd be extremely interested in feedback, particularly if someone gives it a try! I've been eating a 250kcal serving of mega-leather snack for about a month now - and I really enjoy it. I hope others will too! --Dean
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 08-22-2002, 01:52 PM
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Mega Leather msg#2

Ok, here are the actual instructions to make this. hope this helps you get in all your fruit/veggies!

--------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------ Mega-Leather Version 1.0 ------------------------ ************************************************** ** General Notes: -------------- * Preparation time: about 1-5 to 2 hours including cleanup (w/o dehydration time - approximately 12 hours). This prep time can be split over two days - see Directions section for how to split up the prep.

* Ingredient amounts: - Flax seed oil: 1 tsp - Sucralose: 1/4 tsp - Spinach: ~3/4 lb before removing stems - Kale: ~1 lb before removing stalks - Mushrooms: 1 8oz package - Strawberries: ~340g before thawing. Can be substituted - Peppermint extract: 1 Tbsp - can be substituted (see below)
* Total weight of mixture before dehydrating: ~2480g (7 * 346g + 58g "loss")
* Approximate weight of leather after dehydrating: 420g
* Makes 7 servings of 250kcal each. On paper, it actually makes slightly over 7 servings, but due to losses from ingredients sticking to the various surfaces involved in preparation, the end result has almost exactly 7 servings of 250kcal each.
* Dehydration should reduce weight by a factor of approximately 6, so each 250kcal serving (one tray) should weight approximately 60g. However the final weight of the leather will vary depending on just how thoroughly it is dehydrated.
* I typically make a double batch (14 trays instead of 7) to achieve economies of scale in preparation, and so I only have to make it every couple weeks.

Equipment: ----------
* Food dehydrator with seven trays and thin film "fruit leather" inserts for each tray. The dehydrator I use is a Nesco/American Harvest Snackmaster Elite model FD-40, available at Wal-mart. You'll need 14 trays + fruit leather inserts for a double batch.
* Food processor - preferably large capacity (e.g. 8 or 9 cups) with an S-shaped blade. A blender can be used instead, but I've found a food processor works MUCH better for pureeing.
* Scale with gram readout - sorry, except for the small ingredients, all the ingredients are measured in grams. There are 28.4g/oz if you want to convert to English units.
* Large mixing bowl * Small mixing bowl * Large wooden spoon * Measuring spoons * Cup (measuring cup or otherwise) * Spatula - angled cake decorating spatula works best * Cutting board and knife

Directions: ----------- * Chop sweet potatoes into 1" chunks, put in covered bowl w/ a little water and microwave for a 2-3 minutes to soften * Thaw strawberries for 2-3 minutes small bowl in microwave to soften * Wash and cut stocks/stems from Spinach and Kale - weigh to make sure you have the right amount after removing the stalks/stems. * Chop nuts in food processor using S-bland until bits are very small - almost a powder. * Add the first 8 ingredients (kefir through sucralose) to food processor and blend until well mixed * Pour liquid into large mixing bowl temporarily * You may need to do the following pureeing in several batches, depending on the capacity of your food processor. * Place spinach and Kale in your food processor with S-blade * Add some liquid from large mixing bowl to food processor * Run food processor until pureed, adding more liquid if necessary * Puree the mushrooms, strawberries and sweet potatoes with some blender liquid in the food processor using the same procedure * Combine all pureed ingredients with any remaining blender liquid in large mixing bowl * Mix with large wooden spoon or spatula to make sure mixture is uniform and all chunks have been broken up. * Optional - refrigerate for up to a day until ready to dehydrate * Add psyllium - don't do this too early, as it will tend to thicken the mixture * Add flavoring - See below for flavoring options * Stir complete mixture until psyllium and flavoring are fully incorporated * Distribute mixture evenly to the thin film inserts of 7 food dehydrator trays. * Each tray should receive about 345g of the wet mixture. Don't worry if some sticks to the inside of the blender/food processor/bowl - the recipe and calorie count take this into account. * Spread the mixture evenly on each the film as thinly as possible without creating holes, in order to speed dehydration and improve uniformity of leather. An angled cake decorating spatula works well for spreading. * Dehydrate for about 6 hours at 115deg F. in food dehydrator. Use less time if using higher heat (not recommended if you can help it). * Slice the leather into approximately 4" square pieces while still on the thin film. My dehydrator actually makes large doughnut-shaped rings of mega-leather, which I cut into 8 pie-slice pieces. * Slide the spatula under the pieces, and peal them off the thin film. Flip them and place them back on the dehydrator tray without the film. This will speed dehydrating, and make the leather more uniform. * Dehydrate for an additional 6 hours at 115deg F, or until leather is still flexible, but no longer feels moist to the touch. It is better to dehydrate too long than too short. I've found the leather gets more pliable once removed from the dehydrator, so don't worry if it feels crispy. * Remove leather from the dehydrator. Cut into bite size chucks and store in Ziploc bags or Tupperware in the refrigerator. Can be stored at room temperature for several weeks, or if necessary, it can be stored in the freezer, although this will likely kill some of the probiotic microorganisms Ingredient Notes: ----------------- * Kefir: Kefir is a fermented milk product created at room temperature. The kefir I make, and the one referred to in this recipe, is created from skim milk, and has virtually the same nutritional profile as skim milk. It is thicker than skim milk, and has several other advantages over milk and yogurt. The lactose in kefir is to a large extent broken down into lactic acid, making it easier to digest than other milk products. It has a much richer set of probiotic microflora than yogurt, which have been shown to have substantial health benefits. I recommend making kefir at home using true kefir "grains" - self-perpetuating symbiotic micro-colonies of healthful bacteria. However you can also buy "pseudo kefir" in the health food section of many supermarkets. Pseudo kefir is not made using kefir "grains" and therefore probably does not contain quite as good a mix of bacteria. Pseudo kefir is probably preferable to store bought yogurt however, which has even fewer varieties of healthful bacteria, and which has been heated for an extended time (resulting in AGE production). So in a pinch, you can substitute pseudo kefir or commercial yogurt for homemade kefir in the recipe. If your pseudo-kefir or yogurt has more cals/gram than the skim milk kefir called for in the recipe, reduce the amount to keep the calories the same, and add additional water to make up for the reduction in liquid. This will be particularly important if using yogurt, which will be much thicker than the other milk products. I DO NOT recommend using regular milk in place of the kefir, as regular milk is not protected from spoiling during the dehydrating process (or storage) by friendly microorganisms like the kefir and (to a lesser extent) yogurt is. * Flavorings: The peppermint extract is just a place holder for various flavorings that can be added in order to add variety to your mega-leather. In fact, the flavor of plain mega-leather, without any added flavoring, is pretty good - the strawberries come through reasonable well. Added flavorings I have used with great success include the following. Note: the quantities refer to amount required to flavor the entire recipe, scale down if making more than one flavor per recipe: Chocolate extract: 1.5 Tbsp Licorice (anise) extract: 1 Tbsp Coffee (instant granules): 3 Tbsp Cherry extract: 1 Tbsp Strawberry extract: 1 Tbsp Coconut extract: 1 Tbsp Jerky (garlic powder, 1 Tsp of each onion powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper) Don't be limited to these. Be creative and experiment with adding different flavors! If making multiple flavors in one batch, scoop the amount of unflavored mixture you want of a single flavor into a separate bowl (343g for 1/7th the entire batch). Add the flavoring (typically 1/2 tsp for 1/7th the entire batch), and spread on the thin film. Then proceed to the next flavor. * Strawberries: Other fruit can be substituted for the strawberries, as long as you keep calories and amount of liquid the same. For example you can substitute 225g of cherries plus 150g water for the 375g of strawberries. This substitution will keep calories and liquid the same. * Oils: The olive and flax oils can be traded off one-for-one to adjust the amount of monounsaturated vs. omega-3 polyunsaturated fat in the recipe. This will not effect the calories or the other nutrients in the recipe. * Nuts: I usually use a combination of half almonds and half hazelnuts. Hazelnuts have more monounsaturated and less polyunsaturated fat than almonds, but are harder to come by than almonds.

Nutrient Levels per 100kcal serving: ------------------------------------ Macronutrient Ratio: 23P:37F:40C Calories 100.03__cal 5% Protein 5.78__gm 11% RDA Total Fat 4.07__gm 6% Sat. Fat 0.55__gm 3% Mono. Fat 2.51__gm 9% Poly. Fat 0.76__gm 11% Carbohydrate 13.26__gm 4% Fiber 4.01__gm 13% Cholesterol 2.48__mg 1% Vit. A 4086.85__IU 82% RDA Vit. B6 0.24__mg 15% RDA Vit. B12 0.44__mcg 22% RDA Vit. C 29.12__mg 49% RDA Vit. E 1.27__mg 16% RDA Thiamine 0.19__mg 17% RDA Folacin 41.81__mcg 23% RDA Riboflavin 0.29__mg 22% RDA Niacin 1.52__mg 10% RDA Panto. Acid 0.92__mg 18% SA Calcium 118.68__mg 10% RDA Copper 0.23__mg 11% SA Iron 1.89__mg 13% RDA Magnesium 42.30__mg 15% RDA Manganese 0.38__mg 13% SA Phosphorus 125.58__mg 10% RDA Potassium 368.39__mg 18% RDA Selenium 6.33__mcg 12% RDA Sodium 53.91__mg 2% SA Zinc 0.73__mg 6% RDA
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Old 08-22-2002, 05:12 PM
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wow-sounds neat-but

hello- that recipe for the mega-leather sounds really interesting-and thank you for posting it-but-do you know if this is something that can be purchased by Dean? i am really interested in trying it-but would take some considerable time rounding up where to buy all those ingredients.
and then making it-wow!
i think my 3 yr old would possibly enjoy something like this and i have a dehydrator- but i definitely would prefer to purchase something this complicated over making a homemade fruit leather with 2-4 ingredients
sincerely-sheila ann anderson
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Old 08-22-2002, 07:23 PM
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A very unique way to get all your fruits and veggies in but too much work to make and finding the ingredients would be a problem too! Are there any products already made that would be good?

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Old 09-02-2002, 01:17 PM
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Fruits and Vegetables

Wow! I admire kefir_mama, but gosh that sounds like a lot of work. Also, I don't know about the rest of you, but I know flax seed or flax oil is good for you, especially for diabetics, but you have to kind of ease into using it. It does a number on your stomach, if you know what I mean. I was grinding my own flax for a while, but it just tore up my stomach and I have stopped until I have another break from work to give it another try. I would recommend caution with it. The psyllium has the same effect.
I admire the dedication to your diet kefir_mama, I am just amazed at your dedication.
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Old 09-02-2002, 05:20 PM
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Lightbulb barley green drink

hello to everyone.
i have been reading alot about the health benefits of barley grass and wheat grass.
we purchased a product called "green barley powder" at vitamin world yesterday. it was about $13 for a can that when mixed with water made 70 - 8 oz. glasses. and surprisingly, it tastes good and has a hay or straw smell to it. it was not bitter like i had read about on some sites. it is also not thick or stringy or gritty-just pleasantly like drinking grassy green water.
i also read you can mix it with juice instead of water.
and you are getting lots of antioxidants. the only warnings i read was to gradually increase your ozs. over a few days time to let your body adjust-since it cleanses and detoxifies your body.
if anyone is curious to learn more, you can do a search on barley grass , or check out or another reputable health site.
sincerely- sheila ann anderson
p.s.we also picked up some "greens" multivitamins at the same store-they contain powdered greens and seem very complete in ingredients compared to many others ive tried before.
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Old 09-09-2002, 06:59 PM
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Re: Fruits and Vegetables

Originally posted by mulberry204
Wow! I admire kefir_mama, but gosh that sounds like a lot of work. Also, I don't know about the rest of you, but I know flax seed or flax oil is good for you, especially for diabetics, but you have to kind of ease into using it. It does a number on your stomach, if you know what I mean. I was grinding my own flax for a while, but it just tore up my stomach and I have stopped until I have another break from work to give it another try. I would recommend caution with it. The psyllium has the same effect.
I admire the dedication to your diet kefir_mama, I am just amazed at your dedication.
Hi Daisy, I have been using flaxseed mixed in with my cereal at night before I go to bed. Use about 2 TBSP. add to the Kasha brand cereal. Love the chewy taste of flaxseed. So far no problem in the morning but does work. Use the Psylium in a drink just 1 TBSP in 12 oz of water. Add a little orange juice for flavor and stir. Like to take it before dinner. Hopefully it will keep us healthy. Suanne
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