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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.

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Ming’s Cafe (located on Guadalupe St., near Kerbey Lane) is one of the many places in the university area that accepts the Go Local Card, so when 2 o’clock rolled around today (like it normally does) and I felt the pangs of hunger (like a person should) I decided to pay Ming’s a visit.

One thing I enjoy about Ming’s in particular are the rock bottom prices for their fried rice entrees. I am a big fan of sauteed (or, I guess in this case, “fried”) vegetables, so although the chicken and shrimp based meals are tasty, my go to is the vegetable fried rice.

The fried rice comes with broccoli, snow peas, onions, carrots, bean sprouts and pieces of scrambled egg. And as you can tell by the photo, they don’t skimp when it comes to providing an ample serving. (I ordered the small!)

But perhaps the most satisfying aspect is the price. With the Go Local Card, the plate costs only $3.89, which easily rivals the dime-a-dozen Americanized Chinese fast food restaurants we have all had the displeasure of regretting later.

So I say do the Austin thing; support your Austin businesses and keep Ming’s Cafe in mind the next time you are in the area.

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

The vegan lemon-blueberry cupcake recipe started off as a very basic vegan vanilla cupcake recipe from a friend. While the basic vanilla version is delicious in its own right, I wanted to change it up to make it even better. One of my favorite flavors in baked goods is lemon and when added to tart blueberries, they make a scrumptious paring. With a few changes, this is what I came up with.

Vegan Lemon-Blueberry Cupcakes

Before you get started, here are a couple recommendations. Use apple sauce in place of the oil to make the cake lighter, and a tiny bit healthier. When making the icing, use a beater to make it extra fluffy. The apple cider vinegar may seem like an odd ingredient but it “curdles” the soy milk to make a kind of vegan buttermilk to act as a thickening agent in place of eggs. This recipe makes 18 cupcakes, so keep that in mind when buying cupcake tins.

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:
• 2 cup soy milk
• 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
• 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 4 tbsp. cornstarch
• 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
• 1 tsp. baking soda
• 1 tsp. salt
• 2/3 cup apple sauce
• 1 1/2 cup sugar
• 4 1/2 tsp. lemon extract
• 1 package of blueberries

Frosting:
• 3 tbsp. Earth Balance vegan butter
• 5 oz. Tofutti Vegan cream cheese
• 2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar
• 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
• 2 tsp. lemon extract as seen fit

Directions:

Cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin pan with cupcake liners
2. Whisk the soy milk and vinegar and set aside to curdle
3. In a large bowl combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt
4. In separate bowl, beat together soy milk/vinegar mixture, oil/apple sauce, sugar, and lemon extract. Stir the dry ingredients and mix until no large lumps remain.
5. Fill cupcake liners 1/4 full of batter, add a few blueberries then add more batter until about 3/4 full
6. Bake for 20 minutes or until done
7. Transfer to cooling rack and let cool completely before frosting

Frosting:
1. Mix butter and cream cheese until smooth, mix in lemon zest and extract
2. Slowly add sugar until thick enough to spread.
3. Frost and enjoy!

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.

Fries in a basket with ketchup

Fries with that? by klynslis via Creative Commons

One of my proudest health related moments came during my second year of college.

When I first moved into Jester my freshman year, I, like many others, went through that culture shock of immediate freedom.  I could order pizza whenever I wanted!  Sleeping in was no longer considered a bad thing (everyone was doing it)!  And thanks to my dining plan in the dorm, food was constantly available as long as I could find a merchant that would accept the card.

But I was already in bad shape. When I walked across the stage at my school graduation, I weighed 210 pounds, and not much of that was what I would call “muscle.”  Diabetes runs in the family on my dad’s side, and high blood pressure on my mom’s.  I came to the realization that something needed to change, and quick.  So I started being more structured with my meals. I hired one of the personal trainers in training at the Gregory Gym (conveniently located across the street) to get me started, and once that ended I kept going.  To make a long story short, I ended up getting down to 150 lbs by the beginning of my second UT fall, became a lot happier with myself, and felt a lot more secure about my future.

It is safe to say that almost all of us could do for a little more respect for our bodies, but when you are taking that leap of faith into the “real” world of a college student, sometimes that is one of the last things on your mind.  And even if you do decide to take control, where do you even begin?  Who can you talk to?

Brandy Shih’s job, as Dietitian for the University of Texas’ Department of Housing & Food Service, is to do just that.  I spoke with her to ask about common concerns and sources of confusion for beginners, and to find out just what it is that pushes so many students to succumb to the “Freshman 15.”

Austin Appetite: Many people have heard the advice that you are supposed to get 2000 calories in a day, but is that true, and where does it come from?

Brandy Shih: Basically, the nutrition fact label says that the daily intake is roughly 2000 calories, but that is really not the best. Everybody is different. When I do calculations for figuring out how many calories you need, I need to take in account your age, your weight, your height, your activity and everything, so that is a little bit better of a ballpark number. Just saying 2000 calories, that’s just really general. Looking at my consulations I do with the students here, it basically ranges from 1500 calories up to maybe even 2800 calories, depending on how active the person is.

If someone recognizes they are having issues with being over or under nourished, what are some of the things that you would recommend for them to rectify that?

[With students I advise] I always go through the different food groups and what recommendations of how many servings they need of each one. So, how many servings of the green group, how many servings of fruits and vegetables, and the dairy, and the proteins. I just kind of go from there, and having those amount of servings generally add up to the amount of calories they should have.

If there were three things you wish everyone was more aware of (in particular, the student population), what would they be?

1. Portion control. I always tell people about portion control. People go way overboard all the time. They don’t realize what an actual “portion” is. If you go Romano’s Macaroni Grill you are going to get a plate of pasta that is probably like 4-5 servings. There is no reason why we need to be eating all of that in one sitting.

2. Having a variety. Variety is such a huge and broad term, but it really is [important]. I mean, one of my good friends, he just eats fast food every single day, and basically it is a burger, fries and a drink. And it is like, there is a lot more foods out there that can meet your needs that are tasty. So having a variety of food is always good and something I suggest to students. Maybe at home they only had a set amount of things they were exposed to, but there are so many types of foods out there you may like. You should always try new things.

3. Physical activity. I get a lot of people in here that want to lose weight, but they kind of don’t want to go move. It is a pretty big part. You know, studies have shown you can diet [and get results], but it is not going to do as much good as doing diet and exercise, changing your lifestyle. So that’s what I tell students, it is not a diet, it is basically a behavior change, that you are going to eat these foods, and then incorporate the healthier physical activity by getting out there and moving. We lead such sedentary lives, and you have to get out and move at some point! People kind of forget that they need to do that.

In your opinion, what is the biggest problem you see students having?

When I go upstairs to eat during my lunch time, I see a lot of food, piles on people’s plate, and I’m just impressed with how much they are eating. I know that they are moving around a lot, they are active and things like that, but sometimes it is such a huge amount I can’t help thinking if they keep that habit up, and never slow down, it’s just going to get bad. I think part of the issue is a lot of people don’t know how to eat healthy now, and you are setting in your habits now, so once you get out into the “real world” with office work and doing things on your own and are not having mom and dad to help you cook foods, you are not going to incorporate those physical activities in order to have a healthy life. Keeping up the healthier behaviors throughout the college years and into the 20s, it makes it a lot easier later.

Do you have any resources you would recommend to anyone who wants to get serious about monitoring their own nutrition?

Lance Armstrong has a website called The Daily Plate, and you can put in what you eat during the day, what you exercise during the day, and you can enter your height, your weight, and if you want to lose weight or maintain or gain muscle, those kinds of things, and it will help you see what you need to do. For example, you have your breakfast, you had this many calories, and then maybe during the day, you went to run for 30 minutes, so it will now say you have a negative amount of this because you only had this much to eat. So it kind of helps the person track down what exactly they are doing. That’s what I tell people; if you keep a food journal, it helps you keep track of things, because you have to write down everything. You can’t just skip the part where you ate a piece of candy or [drank the] soda, you have to write everything down. It is just keeping log and seeing the calories in verus the calories out, and seeing where exercise comes into play.

There is even MyPyramid.gov, that’s where the food guide pyramid is, and they also have their own program where you can track different foods. It shows you what servings you should have, so that is also a great resource to have.

Brandy Shih is available to talk by appointment to all students living in on-campus through the Division of Housing & Food Services. Her contact information (along with more helpful advice from Nutrition Services) can be found here.

Photo by Omar Omar via Flickr Creative Commons.

College students are always looking for cheap, good-tasting food. To those who think it’s impossible to combine the two, I suggest you check out a couple of the numerous taco stands around Austin.

To provide some advice on the best taco stands in town, I sat down with my friend Andrew Kreighbaum, who writes about taco stands for The Daily Texan.

Austin Appetite: So how do you pick the taco stands that you write about?

Andrew Kreighbaum: I usually spin a wheel like in The Price is Right. Actually I do most of my research online or just talk to people. When people found out I was writing about tacos, a lot of people got really excited. They all have their personal favorites or have heard of places they suggest I check out.

AA: What do you look for in a good taco stand?

AK: There are several criteria. Any taco stands that I’m going to suggest to my friends have got to be cheap, No. 1. If they’re not cheap, then I’m not going to waste my time; I could just go to a brick-and-mortar establishment. There also has to be something unique about it. They have to have character in some way. That could be because of the location or a theme on the menu or a particular item they’re well-known for.

AA: So what is your favorite taco stand and why is it your favorite?

AK: It’s tough to choose just one. It’s like choosing a favorite child, really. I feel like each taco stand says something about the particular region of Austin it’s in, whether it’s the East side or Riverside Drive or South First or North Lamar. It’s tough to decide, but if someone put a gun to my head, I’d say take me to Piedras Negras. There’s a lot of emotional attachment there and that can be more powerful than an original menu item that someone had wracked their brain over. Those traditional flavors and recipes that you can come back to, it’s not that it’s something that goes out of season, it’s something that will always be there and people appreciate that.

AA: OK, you mentioned youre emotional attachment to Piedras, other than that, where can I get a great, cheap taco?

AK: You could just drive for 10 minutes on Riverside.

AA: So you’re saying you’re a fan of all of those places?

AK: Not of all those places, but if you want to get a taco for cheap. I write about tacos but I’m not going to tell people what’s right for them all the time. Some people love a good breakfast taco. That’s not my thing. I prefer a good carne guisada or maybe a crispy torta if I don’t feel like a taco. Everyone just has to find their thing, you know, that one thing they can go back to and rely on in their lives. I don’t want to be the person to tell them what that one thing is, I want to help them find it. I’m like, you know, I want to be the Virgil to their Dante.

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.

In the hunt for a healthier breakfast, oatmeal almost always gets suggested as an alternative to the sugary bowls of cereal and artificially sweetened pastries.  However, our culture of instant food preparation has made it a lot easier to assume that a packet of “just add water” instant oatmeal is the right way to go.

Packages of Instant Oatmeal

Three sugary servings of instant oatmeal

There is a trade off for that instant gratification, and the sacrifice involves a lot of sugar and sodium.  Although these packages like to tout flavors such as banana nut bread and apple cinnamon, the truth is that you rarely get something that actually contains real representations of those flavors, or, in other words, you end up with apple flavored “chips.”

But I have a confession to make.  I am notoriously bad at making oatmeal that is actually enjoyable to eat.  Typically it ends up too watery and too bland, and that is never a good start to anyone’s day.

So in the interest of finding some alternatives for breakfast (and to find a use for that massive canister of steal-cut oatmeal I bought a long time ago), I decided to take another shot; but this time, I brought backup.  Instead of resorting to just adding in my own cinnamon and artificial sweeteners, I wanted to have a complete overhaul of my standard oatmeal preparation.

Read the rest of this entry »

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!

*Quinoa is actually a psuedocereal; I explain below!

For many Americans, our go to filler grain tends to be rice.  If we are feeling particularly adventurous, we might even turn to brown rice for the “extra” fiber. (The industry likes us to believe that brown = wheat = healthy, but brown rice actually is not much different from white, but it still has its benefits.)

A pan of toasting quinoa

Toasting Quinoa by tombothetominator via Creative Commons

But what most people do not know is that there is an entire world of grain-like products out there that in many ways outdo rice in the health department.  Today, I am going to highlight quinoa.

As you might have noticed, I have been stopping just short of calling quinoa a grain.  That is because it actually has more in common with chenopods such as spinach and beets.  But for our purposes (and yours), quinoa is an excellent alternative for situations where a good, hearty grain-like base is needed in a dish, and it blows rice away in terms of health benefits.

Quinoa’s high protein profile makes it a great choice for vegetarians and vegans, and quinoa comes with one of the most balanced servings of amino acids you can find.  Another benefit?  Quinoa is gluten-free.

So where can you find it?  I suggest you skip the “grain” aisle at the grocery store and visit the one of the bag-your-own stations found in many supermarkets.  Not only is it cheaper when purchased in bulk (my last batch I got for less than a dollar a pound), you typically find a much more varied selection than what you can get of the bagged varieties.  Here in Austin, I suggest you try either Whole Foods Market, Central Market, and some HEB stores also carry it.

Bowl of Cooked Quinoa

Bowl of Prepared Quinoa by sweetonveg via Creative Commons

To prepare Quinoa, you take most of the same steps as rice, although when you buy it in bulk you want to make sure you take the time to soak it in water for a few hours to remove the bitterness (if you buy it prepackaged, this has likely been taken care of for you).  Bring two cups of water to boil, throw in some salt and butter/oil to mature the flavor a bit, and then add one cup quinoa and cover.  Once the germ begins to separate from the seed (you will see a little curl coming off), it is done!  As I said before, treat it like rice; serve it under chili or toss it in a soup!

Including quinoa in your diet every once in a while is a great way to sneak in more nutrients with very little effort!

A bowl of Fruit Loops

Image Credit terren in Virginia via Creative Commons

Like many of my fellow college age students, I grew up in a fast paced family that rarely made time for a well thought out breakfast.  Although this was probably dreadful for my health, at the very least my young self got to participate in the biweekly ritual of cereal choosing.  And, like most children do when given free reign over the cereal aisle, I based all my decisions on which sugar based goodness appealed to me the most.

But as I became more informed about making healthy choices, I realized that there is probably something to that sugary gloss found on Fruit Loops that I should not be happy about. (Fruit Loops first ingredient? Sugar.)

Making the switch to a healthier lifestyle does not mean a person has to make drastic changes to their eating routine to get results.  Success comes from making those little changes here and there that eventually add up to a decent decrease in calorie intake.  Although in a perfect world we would all have time to cook ourselves a nice breakfast every morning, it simply is not the case.

Image of Fruit Loops Nutritional Label.

Fruit Loops Nutritional Label

When choosing a cereal, you want to be on the lookout for three key things.  You want a high amount of fiber, to ensure that hunger does not debilitate you before lunchtime, a moderate amount of calories, to provide some energy to get through the day, and as little sugar as possible.

But when you visit the cereal aisle, things are not always so clear cut.  Just about every box out there has latched on to the buzz words of “More Fiber!”, but it is important to understand that there are no standards that regulate when a cereal can claim to be a good source of it.  Also, just because a cereal has moderate levels of fiber does not mean that the producers of said cereal also did you a favor in lowering both the amount of calories and sugar.  Take a look at Fruit Loops again.  The 3g of fiber per serving is completely overshadowed by the 12g sugar that tags along.

So, what do you do?  The king of fiber cereals has the word right in the title: Fiber One Original.  Fiber One comes with a whopping 14g of fiber per serving, with absolutely no sugar (0g) to worry about, and it has only 60 calories per portion.  Although no sugar at all sounds a little “bland,” it is nothing that cannot be solved with some sliced strawberries or bananas.  (I am a fan of almond milk, which adds its own sort of sweetness to the mix.)

Box of Kix Cereal

Image Credit gentlepurespace via Creative Commons

A little too drastic on the scale?  Still feeling the tug of childhood?  There is always Kix.  Yes, the classic kid’s cereal actually does a decent job of providing a balanced offering of fiber (3g per serving) and sugar (3g per serving) with an okay amount of calories (110).  Just make sure to keep the portions under control!

If neither of these appeal to you, that is fine, but I encourage you to spend a little more time on your next grocery trip while picking a cereal, and take a glance at the nutritional facts.  What you thought was good for your body might have a sugary secret.

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 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.

Photo by oskay via Flickr Creative Commons.

For carnivorous – or even omnivorous – Catholics during Lent, one of the hardest observances is abstaining from meat every Friday. This can be a rough time for college students who rely on burgers from Wendy’s after they get out of class. However, it is customary for some parishes to host non-meat meals during the season as a way of bringing Catholics together.

For most of my college life, during Lent I would stock up on gross, pre-packaged microwavable fish that either smelled horrible once cooked, or had a tendency to have a consistency like rubber. Some would suggest frying your own fish, but that can be time-consuming for the unseasoned pro, and more expensive than some of the meals offered around the diocese. One way of diversifying your eating is to put down that microwavable Gorton’s salmon, and head to one of these parishes.

This week I put together a list of parishes that are hosting meals. Most of the information was available through the Diocese of Austin Web site, but I also added the meals hosted by St. Austin’s (the one on the Drag), which were not included on the list. Most of these parishes will continue to host meals every Friday, but call in advance in case there’s a change in plans. Also, St. Austin’s will be hosting their meal at the University Catholic Center this week, but the location will vary throughout the season. Check their Web site for the full schedule.

Click here for a map of the locations.

Austin Appetite’s Tweets

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