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I have a slight obsession with apples.. :)
Every morning I have an apple for breakfast. It has been a long time this habit planted to my habit.

Fuji Apples via Flickr Creative Commons

There are various kinds of apples at the grocery stores but for me Fuji is surely one of the more attractive modern apple varieties. I usually buy organic fuji apples at my local Costco store and you might pay about $8 per a pack. (12 apples in one pack) It is pretty good price compared to Central Market or Whole Foods Market if you care about ‘organic.’

Fuji’s main characteristic is the lovely pink speckled flush over a yellow-green background. It is also crisp and juicy, with dull white flesh which snaps cleanly. The flavour is predominantly sweet, very refreshing, but not particularly outstanding.

Fuji is originally from Japan and is named after the famous Mt. Fuji. It was developed in Japan in the late 1930’s and brought to market in 1962 . It is a cross between the two American apple varieties, the Red Delicious and old Virginia Ralls Genet apples.

Fuji apples also have a very long shelf life compared to other apples, even without refrigeration . With refrigeration, Fuji apples can last up to 5-6 months.

apple-crisps

Fresh fruit is not always available to eat. Whether you are at work, in the car, or traveling, you need to find a new alternative to get their daily fruits. In that situation I usually get Brothers-All-Natural Fruit Crisps are the 100% freeze-dried fruit snack. You might realize that it is made of fuji apple!

You can get it at Austin Whole Foods Market or online (Amazon, Vitacost, and Linda’s Diet Delites) but I usually grab it at my local Costco store.

This snack is easy to handle and pack, and it’s non-perishable and portable, dried fruit is not a substitute for the one to three cups of fresh fruit recommended every day. Fresh fruits are naturally rich in fiber, potassium, folate and vitamins C and A.

* Here is the video clip that I interviewed a dietitian, Ms. Shih who talks about an apple.

Wheatsville Food Coop reminds me small Whole Foods Market. It is small but they have what I want.  They’ve expanded and got a much bigger better offering of everything.

They display food in a space-efficient way. Everything is clearly and lovingly labeled with state/country of origin, and organic or conventional farming methods.  There’s wide selection and it’s so fresh.

They carry locally grown organic produce. You can get local eggs, local produce, local herbs, local meats, and so on. I think their prices on organic produce and free-range, grass-fed meats are much better than what I’ve seen at Whole Foods Market or Central Market.

John Perkins, finance manager of the Wheatsville, said,

“Buying local is a great way to support our community and it reduces the pollution and other negative ecological effects of transporting the produce long distances.”

Popcorn Tofu via Wheatsville Popcorn Tofu fan page

Also, check out their deli section. They always have plenty of locally made wraps, pitas and sandwiches. I really like the food in the deli and recommend their popcorn tofu.

When you check out your products cashier ask if you are an owner. That’s because they’re a co-op. If you are a owner, present your card to the cashier. You can shop even if you are not a member but can’t use someone else’s owner number at Wheatsville.

Wheatsville is owned and operated by people. The motivating purpose of co-ops is to serve the needs of the members, not to generate a profit. When the co-op makes a profit, it is cycled back into Wheatsville to increase services for the owner, or if sufficient profit is made, it given back to the owners in the form of a patronage refund.

John said,

“One of the greatest advantages to Wheatsville compared with the larger businesses is that our ‘human-scale’ store is simply more convenient, and we maintain personal relationships with our customers.”

* Tips for shopping!

  • Be their facebook or twitter friend and find out about new products!
  • Check out the coupons when you enter the store! They have plenty of coupons at the front for various things being promoted.

Wheatsville Food Coop via google map

Sushi Nichi has become my favorite place near campus to get sushi. It’s walking distance from pretty much anywhere on campus, and most of west campus. When I lived in the university towers which is private dorm next to this sushi place I often went there to get sushi or Japanese dishes. Even though I moved out and no longer live there I go to there whenever I want to have sushi. It was little bit drizzling during the afternoon so I and my friend who wanted some hot Japanese dishes stopped there.

I usually grab a couple of rolls (I recommend: dragon, blue moonlight, and spider) or get lunch special bento box (bento is really good and popular and it is more than enough food for lunch: served with miso soup, salad, rice, 4 pcs of california roll, and veggie tempura). However, at this time I tried different one.

We had two pieces of sushi for appetizer.

Then I ordered chicken curry don – chicken, carrot, potato in house curry sauce on rice.

And my friend had tempura udon – noodle soup with crab, shrimp, and veggie tempura.

The sushi was good and tasted fresh. Also my curry dish was pretty good, but not that spetacular…

The prices are reasonable and they now have a happy hour menu from 4-6. It’s nice. As I mentioned earlier part of this post, the blue moonlight is a really popular roll and I definately recommend. Also, if you go during happy hour, try the unfiltered sake. My friend says it’s really milky and sweet and the most perfect compliment to the sushi.

Go and check more information: sushi Nichi.

The only drawback is parking space.. It is limited.. It would be good to walk or bike.

photo by thegreendebateteam.wordpress.com

Honestly, I’m not a vegetarian but I like vegetarian eating. There is a controversial issue whether vegetarian diets are always healthful. However, many studies found that vegetarians have much lower cholesterol levels than meat eaters, and heart disease is less commnon in vegetarians.

Vegetarian meals are typically low in saturated fat and usually contain little or no cholesterol. Since cholesterol is found only in animal products such as meat, dairy, and eggs, vegans consume a cholesterol-free diet.

Also, vegetarians have lower blood pressure than nonvegetarians and vegetarian diet helps prevent cancer.

People might think being a vegetarian is hard because of diet limitations. However, it is easier than you might think. Vegetarian Times and the physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine suggest the 3-step way to be a vegetarian.

  1. First, think of three vegetarian meals that you already enjoy. Common ones are tofu and vegetable stir-fries, vegetable stew, or pasta primavera.
  2. Second, think of three recipes you prepare regularly that can easily be adapted to a vegetarian menu.
  3. Third, check out some vegetarian cookbooks from the library and experiment with the recipes for a week or so until you find three new recipes that are delicious and easy to make.

One of the big issue regarding vegetarianism is protein. People are concerned that vegetarian diet never get too much protein. However, many nutrition authorities, including American Dietetic Association, believe protein needs can easily be met by consuming a variety of plant protein sources over an entire day. Orr, a professor of nutritional science in University of Texas at Austin, said,

“Most vegetarians have to use complimentary meal plans, mixing different types of plant-based protein together to make centric amino-acid. For example, corn and beans. Those have differnet amino-acid but you put them together and then make centric amino-acid.”

If you make your own dishes at home, it would be fine. But if you plan to eat out, you definitely want to find a restaurant serving vegetarian dishes. Vegetarian eating is on the rise nationwide, so it should come as no surprise that many Austin restaurants are catering to this increasing demand. I know Veggie Heaven and Kerbey Lane cafe offer vegetarian menus. But there are many vegetarian-friendly restaurants in Austin. Check the list :)

But keep in mind that anything done in extreme is things to avoid. Professor Orr said,

“Meat, eggs, and milk have lots of good nutrition. So avoid any extremes, and middle of the road.”

All of Whole Foods Markets are filled with a wide variety of fresh and prepared foods and all provide a place in which to dine, but I especially recommend the salad bar because you would be able to better control the vegetable intake than when you order a take-out salad from a restaurant.

Salad Bar at Whole Foods Market

Fresh fruit, vegetables, mixed salads, green salad fixings, vegetarian and vegan dishes, they have it all.

variety at the salad bar

Their salad bar is also extensive, featuring everything from American staples to Middle Eastern and Indian foods. It also has a huge olive bar, a soup bar, and a dessert bar. (However, salad bar offers different kinds of foods depending on size and location of markets.)

You could choose from and plate  or box yourself and then were charged by the pound for. For between $10.00-$15.00 dollars you are guaranteed a delicious, filling and totally good-for-you meal!

Whole Foods does not sell any products that contain unnatural ingredients like dyes or preservatives and most of their food is organic. Mary Olivar, Healthy Eating Specialist of Austin Whole Foods Market, says,

“Some studies found that organic food maybe higher in vitamins. One major benefit of organic food is reducing your exposure to pesticides and other potentionly harmful chemicals. That’s primary reason poeple choose organic foods, especially when they have a family or children for better care of bodies.”

Also, here is the video clip to check out a variety of  prepared food options.

University students are always looking for cheap, convenient, and delicious foods whenever they have a lunch. I think sandwich is one of the quick, inexpensive (of course, depends on what kind of sandwich), and tasteful food for students. There are many sandwich restaurants on the drag and on campus. I willI intended to do a series of reviews of the sandwich restaurants and compare them. The first sandwich shop is WHICH WICH on the drag.

Which Wich logo (via whichwich.com)

You can easily find big yellow logo near on the Guadalupe and 24th street. WHICH WICH is a fast casual sandwich chain with its headquarters in Downtown Dallas, Texas. You can dine in or get it to go – either way you are in and out fast.

When you walk in WHICH WICH you can realize that the process is simple: Each bag is pre-labeled, such as “Turkey,” “Italian,” “Vegetarian,” etc. Take a paper bag, then mark the desired sandwich and condiments and hand it to the cashier, who then slides the bag to food prep on a wire.

I usually get a turkey sandwich with lots of veggies, and I ordered same one for today’s lunch. One sandwich is about $5.xx without drinks.

It comes with prepackaged-standard lettuce and tomatoes, and there is also mustard and mayo on the side. Everything inside the sandwich was fresh so it tasted great!

If you like to customize your sandwich because you care about nutrition and calories then Which Wich is worth a try. You can make a light meal whatever you want. Here is the nutritional information. Plus, because you mark on the bag it is less chance of getting the order wrong.

Here is the map of Which Wich on the drag.

If you want to grab it more than on the drag, you can find a location near you!

After I visited some Vietnamese restaurants I am tempted to try to make spring rolls by myself. Spring rolls are a quick, no cook meal and are surprisingly easy to make. I made spring rolls not as same as other restaurants have but followed my own recipe. Its ingredients are most of what I and my guest like, and people who try to make it can also change my recipe in a way that they want. Before I greeted the guest I prepared and set a table.

Ingredients (recipe for two people)

  • Spring roll wrappers
  • 1/2 yellow onions, chopped and grilled
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms
  • 1/2 packed tofu
  • 1 regular size chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn
  • 5 crab sticks, chopped

– For dipping sauce

* Sweet chili sauce

* Peanut butter sauce: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir well.

  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry

Directions

1. Fry the onions and mushrooms until they soften. Also, cook on the prepared grill until no longer pink.

2. Bring a large bowl with warm water.

3. Dip one wrapper into the hot water for 1 second to soften. Do not over soak your rice paper wrapper! Then, lay wrapper flat.

4. You will be placing your ingredients in the bottom half of the wrapper.

5. Fold up the bottom, then the two sides.

6. Repeat with all the other remaining ingredients.

7. Serve with dipping sauce and enjoy!

* Here is one more tip for someone who brings spring roll  to a party.

Since I have many classes in the CMA building at UT I could have many chances to eat at Madam Mam’s. Conveniently located, this is the best Thai restaurant near the UT campus.

I visited all three locations of Madam Mam’s; at the Guadalupe locationWestgate location, and The Village location. The Village location is the third opening place, and the decor is fantastic.

It is pretty exhausted to find a parking spot near the campus. So, if you have a plan to visit Madam Mam’s with your car, it might be a good option to consider Westgate and The Village location. These locations have pretty large parking spaces.

I started out eating a couple of different menu items and dishes that I’ve tried since the first visit have been wonderful. People give Madam Mam’s pretty good reviews for the most part.

I usually get noodles and ordered GUAY TEAW KUA GUA (F11) with chicken: Flat rice noodles stir-tried with meat, eggs, bean sprouts, pickled radish and soy mixed sauce served with green leaf lettuce. You might feel greasy if you only eat noodles. However, the green leaf lettuce made this dish clean taste.

My friend ordered Pad Sea-Ew (F3) with chicken : Vermicelli noodles stir-fried with chinese broccoli and egg in special mixed soy sauce.

The only drawback of this place is that they do not split checks, which may be a concern for large groups.  Also, they only have 4 tables designated for groups greater than 4.  So, if your group which is larger than 4 people visit Madam Mam’s on the drag at peak lunch/dinner hours, you might be wait for a while until you get a table.

But the food is wonderful and reasonably priced. It will be on my list of places to eat at in Austin for Thai cuisine.

Yogurt is one of the delicious foods you could spoon-feed yourself. And Siggi’s, an icelandic style non-fat yogurt, is one of the best yogurt that I have ever had.

Siggi’s Non-fat Yogurt – Plain

I always have this yogurt for my breakfast with blueberries. Actually breads and yogurt are perfect menu for breakfast. Siggi’s is really thick and creamy, no fake sugar, gelatin, high fructose corn syrup, dyes, preservatives and it comes from grass fed cows that are recombinant bovine growth hormone-free. Even though it is only 100 calories per container, it contains 2-3 times the protein of most yogurt plus more calicum than average!

In fact, yogurt has great health benefits. When yogurt is compared to milk, yogurt contains more calcium and protein because of the added cultures in the yogurt. It improves natural defense, it contains a good amount of phosphorus and 88% water. People with a risk of osteoporosis should eat at least one serving of yogurt per day.

According to Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, people’s “body needs to have a healthy amount of ‘good’ bacteria in the digestive tract, and many yogurts are made using active, good bacteria.”

If you want to enjoy sweeter yogurt than plain one you might have a chance to grab various kinds of other flavors of Siggi’s.

various kinds of Siggi’s (via skyr.com)

You pay $2.99 for a 6-ounce cup and it feels expensive than other yogurts. However, you might think it is deserved that price because it is yummy.

I usually get it at Whole Foods Market or Central Market, but you can find it at a store near you here.

Also, here the video clip about review of Siggi’s yogurt by hotandhealthyliving.com.

Today, I will introduce about Jester second floor dining, one of UT’s traditional dining centers, offers “all-you-care-to-eat” or buffet-style dining.

Usually, university students have fast food for their lunch, and it might be unhealthy. Of course, it depends on your choices, however, hamburger from Wendy’s or McDonald’s is cheap and even convenient to grab, but you can get too much calories. For instance, if you get a Jr. Cheeseburger, a medium french fries, and a coke for your lunch from Wendy’s, then you will have 890 calories at once. It is almost half calories based on total recommended calories per day.

So, we need to find another option for healthy eating. But, it should have great tasting, be cheap (we are student!), and be readily available. And here is the option that I will recommend; Jester second floor dining and I guess almost every UT student already know this place :)

I often go to this place and I and my friends enjoy having a lunch. Jester second floor dining features a daily menu including several entrees, starches, vegetables and fruits. Diners can also choose from hamburgers, salads, soups, pasta, baked potatoes and desserts.

Jester second dining via UT webpage

Ms. Brandy Shih, dietitian at UT, said “We have a variety of choices out there available.” She said burger in grill line has turkey patty, wholewheat buns,grilled chicken breast that are available as an option. “So, there is availability to have healthy option.”

I think Jester second floor dining might be absolutely work for UT students because it is readily available, convenient, cheap and even it has a various yummy and healthy dishes! And lastly here is an interesting grade about campus dining, and UT got a B+ as well as Texas A&M. If you are interested, follow the link and look at!

*Basic info:

Hours:

Monday – Friday Lunch 11:30 am – 2 pm
Dinner 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Price:

Today I am writing about Kim’s magic pop which is healthy and light snack. You can grab this snack at Central Market in Austin. Magic Pop, which is a popular seller item at Central Market, is the crunchy, delicious, and multigrain snack. It is popped right in Central Market and packed in the plastic bag right out of the machine. It can be topped with nutellawhich is hazelnut spread, or various kinds of jams.

Kim's Magic Pop section at Central Market

Kim’s Magic Pop’s name is from Mr. and Mrs. Kim who are owners of Magic pop snack. After years of working together in the food business in South Korea, married couple and business partners Mr. and Mrs. Kim decided it was high time for everyone to enjoy the crisp and tasty goodness of fresh-popped Korean snack cakes.

When I came to the United States there are few options for not so much fat contained snacks. However, it is great for anyone looking for an alternative to high fat snacks and chips. It is made of unbleached wheat flour, rice flour, tapioca starch, white corn flour, water, sugar, soy lecithin, long grain parboiled brown rice, rice powder, salt, soybean oil, natural flavor, and stevia which is a natural sweetener. It is only 15 calories each and is very low in fat, in sodium and sugar free! It is no doubt to say that Magic Pop is a healthy snack.

According to Kim’s Magic Pop homepage, Magic pop will stay fresh in the bag for about a month. But throughout my experience I could not keep this magic snack over a month!

Watching the process of popped snack is fun and grab a bag of Kim’s Magic Pop for your healthy snack time.

I am Katie Myung and I am interested in the way of healthy eating. From now on I will post some healthy and easy recipes, local restaurants, and food in Austin. Enjoy your appetite and get tips from our blog!

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