Sandra M. Grant P.Dt. - Registered Clinical Nutritionist
My Blog

January 2014

Wishing you all the best of health in 2014


Every New Year, I make a resolution to try to better myself in some way, and despite the fact that  we are apparently more successful at keeping our resolutions if we share them, I tend to keep mine secret! I just feel better not sharing what I consider to be my weaknesses, and I am usually quite successful at keeping resolutions, not my weaknesses ;o)  Perhaps it's because I keep them simple. 

New years resolutions to get in shape, lose weight, or  eat healthfully are complicated. How are you going to do it? They need to be broken down, and once you start breaking them down, you realize you have actually made 5, 6 or 7 resolutions! Just thinking about them gets overwhelming and before you reach the second week of January, you're exhausted and ready to throw in the towel! So keep it simple! If your goal is to get into better shape, change it to I'm going to walk 30 minutes every morning. If it is to eat healthier, try starting every morning with a healthy breakfast. As you attain these goals, add to them!

Another way to start on the path to better health is to eat more fruit and vegetables. A simple way to do that is with smoothies! NOT juicing! Juicing removes a lot of the beneficial nutrients found in the fruit. 

Since some of you may have a lot of left-over cranberries in your freezer, let's take a look at cranberries. 

Many of us are aware of the benefits of cranberries and UTIs, but there are also several studies suggesting that the phytonutrients in cranberries inhibit the growth of various types of cancer cells. Drug companies and supplement manufacturers try to capitalize on this by isolating what might be the active ingredient and although various phytonutrients have been shown to inhibit cancer cell proliferation they do not compare to the extract of the whole fruit. There appears to be a synergistic effect resulting from the combination of phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and fibre found in the whole fruit compared to individual phytochemicals. So it’s always better to eat the whole fruit.
When it comes to cranberries most of us eat them in the form of a processed or sweetened product, because they're sour!! But to get the same benefit found in a cup of fresh or frozen cranberries, you’d have to drink 16 cups of cranberry cocktail or eat seven cups of dried cranberries!!! 

So I'm giving you a recipe for cranberry cocktail that provides you with the benefits of the whole fruit. 
Whole fruit cranberry cocktail:
A handful of fresh or frozen cranberries, 
1/2 cup frozen blueberries 
4-5 fresh or frozen mint leaves (I freeze it from my garden)
2 cups cold water
2-3 sprigs Stevia (again frozen from the garden) or 1-2 tsp honey (optional)
Blend all ingredients in a blender.

Makes 2 smoothies, 20-30 calories each depending on whether or not you sweeten it with honey. Personally I think it is delicious unsweetened, but most people find it a tad tart, so adjust the sweetness to your taste... Perfect before a work-out, along side warm oatmeal at breakfast or simply as a refresher in the middle of the day! Enjoy and good luck with your resolutions!

Ref:J.Agric.Food Chem 2004, 52,2512-2517 2012

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