VeganMoFo: Weigh In Wednesday, and Berries

5 Oct

I weighed in this morning at 165.7 pounds.  That’s up .9 from last week, and up 2.1 from two weeks ago.  I expected to gain this week considering I was in Vegas for three days, so I’m okay with where I’m at and ready to buckle down for a few weeks…until we go to Reno!  Following the plan on vacation is definitely something I’m going to try to improve on each time.

My featured food for VeganMoFo today is berries!  I don’t know if I’ve ever met anyone who didn’t like at least one type of berry.  Strawberries are my definite favorite, with blackberries, blueberries and raspberries close behind.  During the season, you’d be hard pressed to look in my fridge without finding a basket of strawberries.  Besides the delicious taste, the good news for folks on Weight Watchers is that berries are all zero Point Plus.

Berries are an excellent source of fiber, vitamin C and flavanoids.  Flavanoids, which are powerful antioxidants, are responsible for the red, blue and purple colors of berries, as well as most of their health benefits.  Strawberries’ unique flavanoid content makes them a valuable protector against inflammation, cancer and heart disease.  Blueberries also have a powerful antioxidant effect: in a sstudy at Tufts University, they were rated the highest out of sixty fruits and vegetables for their antioxidant capability.  Berries are low in calories, and nutrient dense to boot.

Strawberries and blueberries are on the dirty dozen list, and in general I would suggest buying all organic berries.  Local and in season are best too, if possible.  If you absolutely need berries out of season, frozen is a good alternative.

Fresh berries are fairly perishable, and should be eaten within a few days of purchase.  If you have a bumper crop or come across a great deal at the farmers market, you can freeze berries.  Just spread them out on a baking sheet in one layer to freeze, then transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container.

Personally, I think the best ways to eat berries are the easiest – plain as a snack, sliced on top of cereal, blended into a smoothie or layered into a coconut yogurt parfait.  They’re great in a fruit salad, or on top of a green salad with nuts and maybe some vegan feta or bleu cheese.

One breakfast trick I like to use sometimes is to make a syrup or jam out of berries.  You can use fresh fruit, or frozen.  Just put the fruit in a pot over medium-low heat and let it cook down slowly until it reaches the desired consistency.  You can add a pinch of salt to draw out the moisture, or add some water if it gets too dry.  If the sauce is too liquid, add some arrowroot mixed with room temperature water.  It’s really versatile and easy, and will turn out well almost no matter what you do.  The berries become so concentrated that the mixture is naturally very sweet, no additional sweetener needed!  You can also add fun flavors like cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom of lemon, or freshly ground black pepper if you’re feeling adventurous.

Source:  The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

Wednesday, 10/5/11

breakfast – grits with nutritional yeast
AM snack – applesauce, coffee with soy creamer
lunch – salad (lettuce, cucumber, bell pepper, carrot, bacon flavored chips, fat-free balsamic vinaigrette), 1 1/2 servings multi-grain pretzel nuggets
PM snack – Odwalla Chocolate Chip Chewy Nut Bar
PM snack 2 – 1 piece sprouted whole wheat bread
dinner – Summer Sucotash Quesadilla with Nacho Mmmm Sauce, sugar snap peas
dessert – 1 cup coconut drink with Amazing Grass Kidz Chocolate Superfood

daily points used:  26

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One Response to “VeganMoFo: Weigh In Wednesday, and Berries”

  1. Carrie October 5, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

    Yum! I love berries! My favourite berry would either be blueberries or strawberries, but they are all delicious.

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