Eat Apples… For your Health

Apples help boost Brain Power!

It’s no secret that people who are the healthiest among us enjoy a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Health experts everywhere agree that we should be eating more for our better health. Over the years research has shown us that some foods can help prevent heart disease, cancers, high blood pressure, and a wide variety of other more minor ailments. Now, health experts are finding that some of these “Superfoods” can even increase brainpower. There is a whole category of “Brain Food”. Pretty cool right! Continue reading “Eat Apples… For your Health”

Getting enough Calcium

Foods Containing Calcium - Getting enough Calcium - www.cobornsblog.com

Eat Healthy, Shop Smart with Ashley. www.cobornsblog.com
Ashley

From a nutrition standpoint, many people think of dairy products being rich in calcium and vitamin D.  Yes, that is true, but you still always want to check the label of percentage daily values of these nutrients to make sure in fact your dairy selection is high in those nutrients. Wait, let’s back up, why do we care about calcium? Calcium is needed for our heart, muscles, and nerves to function properly and for blood to clot. Inadequate calcium significantly contributes to the development of osteoporosis. Many published studies show that low calcium intake throughout life is associated with low bone mass and high fracture rates. National nutrition surveys have shown that most people are not getting the calcium they need to grow and maintain healthy bones.

When looking at daily value (DV), 5% of a nutrient is considered low in that particular nutrient and 20% or higher is considered high in that particular nutrient.  I always remind people to check their yogurts, especially for vitamin D.  Many have vitamin D, but most of them only have a little bit.  Be sure to read those labels and check out the percentage daily value section of the nutrition facts panel.  Also, be sure to choose low fat options as dairy products can be very high in saturated fat, the not so good fat, the fat we want to limit each day.  It is recommended to consume no more than 20 grams per day according to the FDA, however if you have heart disease or another condition it is most likely lower.

Dairy products are a great way to get calcium, but what if someone is lactose intolerant, on a special diet, or just doesn’t care for dairy products, what are some other food choices rich in calcium, you ask? Well here is a list of different food items and their amounts of calcium.  I have also included a chart below that shows how much calcium you should be taking in each day!

Keep in mind, if you don’t have lactose intolerance, dairy is a great food group to include each day. And did you know that all of those alternative milks like almond milk and coconut milk are not necessarily better for us.  Check out last month’s blog to learn more!

Calcium Contents - Getting Enough Calcium - www.cobornsblog.com

Recommened Calcium Intakes - Getting Enough Calcium - www.cobornsblog.com

Peach and Wellness,
Ashley

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Valentine Sundaes

DIY Valentine Sundes - www.cobornsblog.com

www.cobornsblog.com - Crafty Creations with Lynell
Lynell

DIY How to make a Valentine Sundae - www.cobornsblog.comValentine’s Day is always a special time to celebrate with loved ones. This cold day in February has an extra special meaning for me; it was the day my second son, Mathew, was born. I remember it like it was yesterday, a big Minnesota snow storm outside and a sweet baby boy in. Year after year, it was heart-shaped cake after heart-shaped cake. Mathew begged me to make something else. So this year, I will be making my son a fun little gift in a glass. Today I am going to share this idea with you and you can make this festive gift for your friends and family. I call it the Valentine Sundae.

DIY Valentine Sundaes - www.cobornsblog.comDIY Valentine Sundaes - www.cobornsblog.com

DIY Valentine Sundaes
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • Glasses: Think how many Valentine Sundaes you want to make. Consider the size and shape you want based on the candy you choose.
  • Candy or Nuts: Consider colorful items to go into the glass.
  • Something White: Taffy, Marshmallows, Curling Ribbon, Bow, White Carnations, and Cotton Balls could all work.
  • Flexible Straws
  • Toothpicks
  • Something to resemble a Cherry on Top: A Red Sucker or Red Heart Candy would be perfect.
Instructions
  1. Put 1 straw in the center of the sundae glass.
  2. Keeping it straight, add a little bit of candy around the straw so that the straw stays in place.
  3. Add one or two more straws and bend those two straws.
  4. Add more candy, filling the glass.
  5. Put curled ribbon (or whatever your white items are) on top of the candy.
  6. Put a toothpick in 1 candy heart set in the middle straw; if the straw is too tall, cut off part of the straw.

If you need a few ideas, remember that most kids love Skittles, men often love peanuts and pistachios, and most all women love chocolate.

Giving a Valentine Sundae is a fun and easy way to brighten the day of your teachers, friends, co-workers, moms, dads, significant other, grandparents, day-care-providers, coaches etc.

Happy Crafting,
Lynell

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A Journey to Better Health

Eat Healthy, Shop Smart with Ashley. www.cobornsblog.com
Ashley

Well, it has officially been two years since I joined Coborn’s as their supermarket registered dietitian!  I can honestly tell you this has been such an amazing position to have; my favorite part; I am able to work with a variety of people in the community, like YOU.  So, instead of me writing another one of my blogs, I thought it would be a nice change to allow someone like YOU to write a guest blog for me on the ups/downs, challenges and ultimate successes with eating right and dieting.  I was so inspired by the story below and I know you will be as well!

I met Leni as he was cruising thru the aisles of his local Coborn’s scanning food items using the “lose it” app.  I introduced myself as the supermarket dietitian and asked him if he needed any help.  He was very excited to hear that I was a registered dietitian and began telling me about his current health situation and how he wanted to lose weight. After discussing his current eating habit, we set some obtainable goals.  I took Leni on a shopping tour pointing out the most nutritious foods and explained how we all should be eating at every meal.  Leni kept track of his daily intake with his app and would check in on a very regular basis, updating me on his progress throughout his weight loss journey. It was very motivating to see Leni not only reach his goals, but to see a more cheerful and happy person breaking through the wall of being overweight.  Now, that was incredible!  Leni wasn’t just focused on eating healthy, but living a healthy lifestyle that included regular exercise and being surrounded by positive people encouraging him along the way!  Now, that whole package was nothing but a recipe for success!!

Let’s give it up for Leni, here is his story…

A Journey to Better Health – by Leni DiMancari

A Journey to Better Health by Leni DiMancari - www.cobornsblog.com

I never in my wildest dreams thought that I could influence so many people to take better care of themselves and become healthy. I thought the only thing I could do to influence people was to be a better guitar player and manager. I didn’t realize that I was on the road to a shorter life because of the foods I was eating, the life I was living and not caring about what I put in my system. Here is my story that led up to my decision to live.

The choice to get healthy or die. www.cobornsblog.comIn the beginning

My journey to better health began in October of 2013 after finding out that I was on the road to heart issues and diabetes. There is a history of heart ailments in my family; my father and two sisters were both diabetic. I had consulted a physician about a lack of sleep and series of health issues that were starting to plague me. I was experiencing twitching, body aches, numbness in my fingers and shoulder, snoring, waking up every two hours, and not being able to focus at work. I was lethargic, unmotivated, and eating without thinking. At one point, I was drinking eight cans of Mountain Dew a day and eating fast food eight times a week with salt on everything. The doctor and I dug deep to find the root of my problems.

I didn’t realize what I was doing to myself physically until I found out that I was battling a lot of demons back then; I was swallowing a lot of depression. I began hating life and not caring if I lived or died, slowly poisoning myself with unhealthy foods, seasonings, soups and sugary treats. I didn’t realize that my eating was the problem until I went from a size 32 waist to a size 36 in just seven years.             

Over the course of 10 years since a divorce and quitting smoking, I had put on 60 lbs. I would un-tag myself in photos on Facebook, I would hide pictures of me on my timeline, and I would constantly graze. I would hide in my apartment with a case of Mountain Dew, a bag of chips, the TV, my PC and too much time on my hands. I would rarely go out in public.

 A turning point

It wasn’t until August of 2013 that I had a long talk with my sister about the negative effects of certain chemicals in food that could be a cause of the health problems I was starting to develop. She reminded me of her, my sister and Dad battling diabetes and heart issues, and after a long talk about the things I was eating and drinking, she thought I should talk to the doctor about how I was becoming. The doctor basically told me to “fix it or die.” I was depressed, lonely, and fat.  

I was overweight and on the road to the end. I had no idea of the amount of garbage I was putting in my system because you don’t think about the foods you eat sometimes; in turn, you just eat. I was physically inactive. My clothes were all oversized to hide my gut. My socks would tear, my pants didn’t fit, and my face was round. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with my food choices at the time, but I was wrong.

Quit Soda. Quit Liquor. Quit Smoking - www.cobornsblog.comI decided to make the changes. The doctor and I had a long discussion that really helped. He reminded me that I had already proven I was a strong-willed person when I had given up alcohol and cigarettes. If I could make those changes, I could certainly take on this challenge and win. Without health insurance, I was basically on my own and had to figure it out.

Meeting Ashley and beginning my journey

I then discovered that we had a registered dietician for free available through our grocery store. I went out to the store and met with her, and in two hours, I learned more about the negative influences of our food. I decided then that it was time to take the challenge head on and I did. I had a long talk with one of my close friends about smart phone apps, and then I downloaded the LoseIt.com program. 

I registered with the service, I picked up a mixed martial arts DVD, and I set out on a ten-month journey to a better life. The app keeps you in check, plus gives you a plan to work and goals to reach. It also sends you email stickers and awards for you when you reach peaks.

Ashley (the supermarket dietician) and I would look at the foods that had the worst issues on my list, and soda was the first to go. I tapered it down to zero soda by October 1st. I had no idea that the chemicals in soda were having such a negative effect on my health, until I had my first eight hours of uninterrupted sleep in years. I had no idea that my hypertension was caused by the amount of sodium I was ingesting daily. OMG, I was digesting over 4000 Mg a day; no wonder I was such a wreck. I cut my sodium levels down to under 2200 a day (less than the RDA). I was wide awake in the morning and I liked it a lot.

I eliminated the trans-fats and fried foods, too. I was starting to see changes, little by little. I also realized that I wasn’t getting enough fruits and vegetables. V8 doesn’t count; it’s too high in sodium. With the help of our dietician, the Lose It program, and a newfound confidence, I was ready to try and reach my target weight of 170 lbs. I was at 230 lbs. 

My goal

I wanted to be at that weight where I felt most confident (I wanted it to be the 1980s all over again). It was a huge goal, but I knew if I stuck with the program, dieted, exercised, made healthy food decisions, and eliminated the garbage foods, I could reach it within 8 to 10 months. Here’s what I did: I listened to our dietician. I took all of the high-sodium foods out of my diet and dumped the soda.

Coborn's Customer, Leni, shares his Journey to Better Health. - www.cobornsblog.com

The changes I made

Here’s what I changed from my diet:

I started my body furnace moving with breakfast: eggs, toast, turkey sausage, low-sodium cheeses, spinach, low-sodium tomatoes, flax seed, onions, and jalapenos. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

In the graphic below is the short list of foods that will never be in my house again.

13 Junk Food Alternatives - www.cobornsblog.com

You have to be willing to end your relationship with bad food, in order to appreciate all of the good food. I kept five foods that I still love in the mix, knowing now that my metabolism furnace can handle it now: Five Guys little burger, Culvers mushroom and Swiss, Ciatti’s (Because I’m Italian and it doesn’t taste corporate), La Casita (Mazatlan burrito with pulled chicken, artichoke and spinach), and my treat is the Dairy Queen small chocolate malt (high calories, but still high in protein). 

I calculate every meal based on calories and intake, along with a solid exercise program. I started slow to get into the groove so it became a routine daily, beginning with 15 minutes of cardio, and 30-second body planks to tighten my core. Since then, back aches are non-existent. I now do a routine of 30-45 minutes a day of cardio and kick boxing/MMA training, and I can plank for up to 25 total minutes, combining the first 15 minutes starting at a 5-minute hold, and going downward at 5-4-3-2-1. Then 5 minutes cool down planking (2 @ 2minutes, 1 at 1 minute.) The final 5 minutes is a combination of a circular plank that uses forearms, sides, back, alphabet abs and a mountain climber.  

In ten months, I’ve now lost 61 lbs. and have a new confidence, a girlfriend who works out with me, an entire new wardrobe (I was happy to donate all of the oversized clothes to charity) and a better attitude. To think back to where I was and to see where I am today, I will never relapse into food problems again. My biggest advice is to not be afraid to fix it and ask someone for help. READ THE LABELS on everything. If you slip, its ok, just get back on task, and always believe in yourself that you can do this, and you will feel great about yourself. There is nothing better than to have people you haven’t seen in a year tell you that you look great.

Here is the workout routine I use six days a week, with a light workout on the off day. I walk everywhere and I usually park far away from the door when shopping, rain or shine.

Mixed Martial Arts 30-40 Minute Workout Routine - www.cobornsblog.com

Leni DiMancari
Coborn’s Customer

I hope that Leni’s story was able to inspire you to make some positive changes in your diet and workout routine. Remember, if you ever need anything from me, I’m just an email away. Click Here and click on the “Ask Our Dietitian” button to connect with me today!

Peace and Wellness, Ashley
Coborn’s RD Supermarket Dietitian

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How to use the round icing tip

How to use the round icing tip. This blog has great ideas and examples! www.cobornsblog.com

www.cobornsblog.com The art of Cakes with Amanda
Amanda
Coborn’s Cake Decorator

I would like to share a secret with you. I don’t like specialty tips. I can’t make those push flower tips work right. There’s an endless list of fancy tips with strange shaped ends that I throw in a little tiny junk drawer in my tip tool box. Sure, once in awhile when I’m feeling a little crazy I might test one out, but in the end I always go back to my favorites; Rounds, stars, basket weave, and a leaf.

For this little talk I’d like to tell you all about my most trusted tips. The round tips! So many sizes, but in the end, let’s face it – it’s just a tube with a round hole in the end. I’d like to show you some of the most basic and classic things you can pipe with these guys. And I know right now some people are saying, “But I can’t draw!” We’ll get to that and you’ll see it’s actually pretty simple once you break it down.

So, without further ado let’s begin our little lesson featuring the humble workhorse of the tip drawer, the round tip!

Go-to Round Tip Sizes

The top 4 go-to round tip sizes and how to use them in many different ways. www.cobornsblog.comToday I’m going to be using 4 sizes of tips, sizes 1, 3, 7, and 10.  The larger the number, the larger the hole in the end of the tip. There are, of course, sizes in between but the difference between a 6 and 7 or a 3 or a 4 isn’t really much when you are starting out.  A size 1 is good for tiny details like dots and strings. The 3 is the one I use to write with the most, along with drawing lines, vines, small flowers. A 7 is good for piping medium sized figures and shapes and if I’m writing on a large cake I could use this one. The 10 is great for balloons, polk-a-dots, and piping large figures. You can see from the picture the nice range of size you can get with these four sizes.

Three Basic Shapes

You can make three basic shapes with the round tip that will help you create almost anything. www.cobornsblog.comWhen piping borders or shapes or even complex drawings you use 3 basic shapes. A line, a dot, and a teardrop shape. All of these shapes can be combined to create endless designs. Here you can see those along with the bubble border. On the surface it seems simple enough, but the trick to piping is to avoid those little tails sticking up in the air. Take a look at the next image to see the right way and wrong way to make a dot.

How to make a Dot

The right way and the wrong way to make a dot with the round tip. www.cobornsblog.comLet’s start with making a dot. First you just aim and squeeze. Keep the tip close to the surface of your cake, holding the tip at a 90 degree angle.  You want to put the frosting in the precise spot, not let it fall where it wants. Remember, you are the boss here. Apply pressure until your dot is the desired size, hold the tip steady; as your dot grows you may need to lift the tip up, but just slightly since you don’t want to make a cone.  When it’s the size you want stop squeezing, after the flow has stopped give a very small circular flick of the tip. This will take care of that little peak that gets left behind otherwise. If you still have a point on top, let the frosting sit for a bit, and when it firms you can tap it down. However, if you are covering a cake in dots it can be a time saver to not have to go back and fix each one.

How to make a Teardrop

How to make a teardrop shape with a round tip. www.cobornsblog.comFor the teardrop shape it ‘s a similar motion. This time, however, you want to hold your tip at a 45 degree angle. Make your little frosting dot the desired size, then as you let off the pressure you are applying, pull a little tail out across your surface. Depending on how much pressure you are still applying you can make as short or long a tail as you want.  The important part is the initial frosting blob you make, otherwise you are just drawing a line. You will use this teardrop technique a lot when icing your cakes.

How to draw a Balloon

How to draw a balloon with a round tip. www.cobornsblog.comI think we are ready to start drawing the basics. Let’s start with balloons. Balloons are 3 simple shapes. The round dot, a long line for string, and the little teardrop shape for the reflection. (That little white dot does wonders in making your balloon look extra awesome.)  Simply pipe a dot, I prefer the size 10 round, then using a size 1 make you string. Finally, use the same size 1 to make the little teardrop white reflection on the balloon. That wasn’t too hard! Note: if you are having trouble with the size 1 for the string a 3 works, too, I just really like skinny strings. If the line is breaking while drawing you may be trying to draw your line too fast. If it’s getting too squiggled then you may need to squeeze a bit more gently or move your drawing hand faster.

How to draw a Heart

How to make a heart with the round icing tip. www.cobornsblog.comA heart! For anytime you need to tell someone you love them. It’s much easier, and faster, just to pipe one than trying to draw it out. It’s 2 teardrop shapes. Just have an imaginary line on the cake where you are going to put it. Then have the tails of the drops angle towards each other, meeting on the way down. That’s about all there is to it!

How to draw a Daisy

How to draw a Daisy with a round icing tip. www.cobornsblog.comNow, let’s get a little more fancy – daises. Start with a circle. If you need to, you can use a little cookie cutter, a small cup, a film canister (ok, the chances of you having one of those may be slim) and mark a little circle as a guide. Then start making your teardrop shapes with the big end starting on the line of the circle, pulling in the middle. It’s okay if the center where they meet is a little ugly, we’ll cover it up. Once you have all your petals you put a dot in the middle. You can use a size 3 round and make itty bitty flowers or a size 10 for giant ones. I usually use a 7 for these. For simple leaves you can use, once again, your round tip! Make more teardrop shapes, but this time have the big end start near the flower and pull outward. Instant cute little leaves! Extra bonus: Make your flowers with just a few big petals in bright colors for a groovy look. For a more natural look use a smaller size tip with 8 or so petals in a color you find in nature. Play with the length of the petals too; have some fun!

How to draw a Butterfly

How to draw a butterfly with a round icing tip. www.cobornsblog.comAfter this you can let your imagination go. Take, for example, this butterfly. I broke it down into the basic shapes. The wings are teardrop shapes, made like you would make a heart. Then pipe skinny lines for antennae and a thicker line for the body. With this method you can draw so much more than you think.

The Sky is the Limit

Try making these great shapes with your round icing tip. www.cobornsblog.comYou can create all of these characters with the round icing tip. www.cobornsblog.comOnce you practice a bit you can use different sized tips. Mix big butterflies with little butterflies for variety.  Draw a big ladybug with a trail of baby ladybugs. Drawing with a 3 or 1 round is a little different, so make sure you do a test on a surface that isn’t your cake.
Think about what you want to draw and then look at the shapes involved. In their most basic forms everything can be broken down to lines, circles, and drops. You can stack shapes and give your piping extra depth. By changing the pressure you apply you can affect the sizes without even having to change tips. When someone comes in with a request for, let’s say.. a guy floating in an inner tube surrounded by alligators, I don’t panic. I just see a bunch of circles and lines.

Practice up, folks. Next time we meet we’ll do a little creative writing lesson. Stop plopping boring writing on your beautiful cakes. Make it part of the design! I’ll share some of my favorite “fonts” to write with.

 

– Amanda
Coborn’s Cake Decorator, Sauk Rapids, MN

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www.cobornsblog.com - The Art of Cakes with Amanda