Monday, April 30, 2012

Asparagus Pee

Asparagus Pee

It is asparagus season. This is one vegetable which confirms my belief that you can learn to like new foods if you try them. I am a dietitian who grew up with a bad attitude about this vegetable. I believed it was some weed my parents were picking in the ditches of our Wisconsin farm and trying to feed me. Later in life, I adjusted my attitude, tried it and learned I love it. I have started foraging ditches, stores, farmers markets and now my own garden to raise this plant. Fresh asparagus season is now here! This week’s blog will be filled with many pleasant ideas for asparagus but I am going to start with the unpleasant topic of asparagus pee.
Everyone has a stinky odor in their urine about 20 minutes after consuming asparagus but not everyone has the gene to smell it. The odor is normal, safe and the result of sulfur combing with amino acids contained in asparagus.
If you are a reader who has no idea what I am referring to you either lack the gene to interpret this smell produced during the breakdown of asparagus or you are not eating asparagus. If you think your pee does not stink after consuming asparagus maybe you should get a second opinion from a close friend or family member.
If you want to read more about this research I have added several links.

I am curious if my blog readers feel they have the gene to smell asparagus urine. I know I do. Try it and post if you are have the gene!

Mary S.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Grilling spices

If seasoned salts are your favorite grilling spice consider a make your own no salt alternative. During nutrition education sessions, I still meet people who rely on salt, pepper and maybe a little Lawry’s seasoning salt to flavor just about everything. If you are trying to cut down sodium check labels on your seasoning blends to see if they still contain sodium. Lawry’s has significant amounts of sodium. This traditional favorite supplies 380 mg per ¼ tsp.
The latest Dietary Recommendations for Americans recommends:

Reduce daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) and further reduce intake to 1,500 mg among persons who are 51 and older and those of any age who are African American or have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease. The 1,500 mg recommendation applies to about half of the U.S. population, including children, and the majority of adults

You could get the 25% less sodium version of popular seasonings like Lawrys but this would still be much higher than a make your version that would contain 0 mg.
No sodium seasoning blend recipe:

Mix together equal parts of garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and ground black pepper
These are all common spices you can find in any grocery store. I would recommend buying the smallest version of spices to use them up while they are still the freshest. Save larger spice bottles to refill and start your own labels for your own blends. This may be how Mrs. Dash got her start!- Mary S. Registered Dietitian

Monday, April 9, 2012

White Cheese

This is Mary S, the dietitian, who is back from visiting the Wisconsin dairy farm I spent the first 18 years of my life living and eating cheese. I have had many patients tell me they only eat white cheese. If you have been only eating white cheese for heart health you may want to keep reading. White cheese can have just as much of the unhealthy saturated fats and sodium as yellow cheese. Cheese is a good source of many important nutrients and FLAVOR! If you love your cheese and are trying to eat heart healthier buy the sharpest flavors so a small portion will give big flavor.

Compare this data for one ounce of cheese:

Cheddar 110 calories, 9 g. total fat,6 grams saturated fat,170 mg sodium
Monterey Jack 110 calories, 9 g total fat, 6 g. saturated fat, 190 mg sodium
Swiss 110 calories,9 g total fat, 5 g. saturated fat, 50 mg sodium
Provolone 100 calories, 8 g. total fat, 5 g. saturated fat, 248 sodium
Mozzarella 80 calories, 5 g. total fat, 3 g. saturated fat, 180mg saturated fat

Mozzarella is a white cheese that has less saturated fat but it will still not take long to hit the range of 10 to 17 grams of saturated fat usually recommended to treat elevated cholesterol.

Click on the link to read more about cheese: see

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter Eggs

What about eggs? This is a frequent question dietitians are asked. A traditional boiled egg will provide 70 calories, 6 grams of protein, 0 sugar grams, 1.5 grams of saturated fat and 211 mg. of cholesterol. One Cadbury cream egg contains 170 calories, 4 grams of saturated fat and 25 grams of sugar. Overall the boiled egg is a better choice for nutrients our body can use. I have met people who are not sure how to boil eggs . If you need help, check out the link below for Mr. Food's easy tips. Pick up the pace of your egg hunt to make sure boiled eggs don’t stay out in room temperature more than 2 hours. They can stay in the refrigerator in their shells for a week.

Leftover boiled eggs can provide a handy source of protein or be added to salads for bonus nutrients. As for the cholesterol issue, if you are making too much of your own cholesterol it is wise to limit cholesterol from food sources. The recommendation for high cholesterol treatment is 2 egg yolks per week. If your body is doing a good job of keeping your cholesterol low then eggs do not need to be restricted.
by Mary S.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dumbbells in the Bluebells

This is Mary S, the dietitian, enjoying a workout in the bluebells with my friend Lynor who usually is found lifting dumbbells with our trainer Colby. She showed me how to adapt her indoor workout in nature.

Take your workout outside sometime in the next few weeks to experience the beauty of a wildflower called bluebells blooming as far as the eye can see. My favorite spot to experience these is the Greenbelt Recreation Area just off Ridgeway Ave, which is located between Highway 63 and Deere road. Most senses can be stimulated with a walk , run or slow Mt. Bike ride through these areas when all these fabulous flowers are blooming. These blooms don’t last more than several weeks so put this on your must see destination list. The blue beauties were spotted while biking in George Wyth Park, Riverside Trail, Black Hawk Park and around East Lake.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Good Monday morning! I am so tired today and I don't know why! Maybe it's because I thought that we were going to win the Mega Millions on Friday and I wasn't planning on having to come into work today. Just kidding......actually I think its because of that bootcamp class I taught at 5:30 a.m. this morning.

I am not an early riser but I get up and get that class going every Monday morning and I'm starting to like the early exercise gig. It just gets the workout out of the way for the day and you wouldn't believe how many people come at that time! The class today had 35 regulars that piled into the room with bedhead and sleep lines all over their faces but by the time we were finished they had turned into red faced sweatheads and everyone was be done with class. We all leave though feeling that we got something important accomplished today and that is a step to better health.

So I leave you today with a challenge, and that is to get up a little earlier than usual and try to get some sort of exercise in for the day, and who knows, you might even like it.

Have a great day, Merriam.