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Cholesterol? June 22, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — cultivatinghealth @ 4:40 pm

Cholesterol is a very confusing topic.  One day it’s bad, the next it’s good.  One kind is bad, the other good. . .  Yep we are all over the place when it comes to this topic.

First off, we need to remove the words bad and good from cholesterol.  Like food cholesterol is neither bad nor good.  We need it, yet, we don’t want too much of it.  It’s both good and bad.


Cholesterol is found in animal products.  Eggs, milk, meat, and shrimp.  Cholesterol is not found in plant foods.  Our bodies produce cholesterol in the liver.  We don’t actually need to consume cholesterol but it’s not bad for you (does that make since- it’s hard to explain).  A lot of good stuff comes from foods that contain cholesterol.  Egg yolk is full of vitamin B, milk is full of calcium, and meats provide us with a good source of protein.

Let’s start with the good.  We need cholesterol for membrane fluidity and permeability, manufacturing of bile (which helps us digest fats), to make steroid hormones (estrogen anyone), to produce vitamin D (bones bones bones), and to absorb fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins ADEK).


Cholesterol is bad because high concentrations in the blood are linked to heart disease.


Okay but some sad nutrition news.  Food Cholesterol is not closely related to blood cholesterol.  It’s estimated that about 25% of blood cholesterol comes from food and the other 75% from the liver.  If someone has very high cholesterol, they will most likely be put on mediation to control the enzyme that produces cholesterol in the liver.


This is not to say that individuals with high cholesterol shouldn’t make dietary changes to control their cholesterol.  For starters, a healthy individual should consume around 300 mg of cholesterol a day (an egg has about 186 mg).  If an individual already has high cholesterol they should cut their cholesterol intake to 200mg a day.


We should also limit our saturated fat and trans fat intake.  These types of fat are closely linked to cholesterol.


The next one seems obvious but Obese and Overweight individuals should take steps to loose weight.


AND I know this is news 😉 but exercise helps reduce blood cholesterol.


Also we need to consume more fiber.  We are not able to breakdown fiber so it basically sits in our gut and absorbs cholesterol.  This is just another excuse to consume a huge bowl of oatmeal, eat a salad, and have an apple.

*Note: added fiber- think fiber supplements- may not actually be absorbed in the same way as natural fiber- if possible eat the real thing!


So, cholesterol is a hot and cold subject.  It’s not bad, it’s not good.  We must have it but we can’t have too much.


Welcome to the world of nutrition J


CEO Healthy Happy June 15, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — cultivatinghealth @ 9:24 pm

I was flipping through Maria Menounos’s book “EveryGirl’s Guide to Life” and I came across a cool little tidbit


Maria says

“Run your life like a business. Your life is a corporation and you are the CEO”


So welcome to Cultivating Health, I’m your CEO Ellie.  I’m here to answer questions, share recipes, and be a healthy happy girl.

One step to being healthy and happy I take is organizing my meals.  I have a few tips that I hope can help.


I know you are thinking “she doesn’t have kids. . . she’s not even married.”  This is true but I believe you can organize your meals.  It’s a little thing, but you may find you enjoy it.


My Tips:


First: Figure out what works for YOU.  I personally find that I can really only plan my meals two or three days in advance.  For some people it works better to plan out the entire week and for others it’s best to do it one day at a time.


Try out a few different approaches and see what works for you and your family.


Second: Plan in snacks and dessert.  A lot of people don’t like to plan in snacks because they don’t think they deserve snacks and dessert.  However, being overly strict isn’t realistic.  If you plan in a piece of fruit for a snack you won’t find yourself standing in front of the pantry nibbling everything (aaahhhmmm ME).


If I plan a piece of dark chocolate or a bowl of ice cream you won’t feel guilty and overeat.


Third:  View your meals as an adventure.  When you aren’t afraid to try something new, cooking can be a lot of fun.  Plan a new meal once a week and hit up the grocery store with a list of what you will need.


BUT keep the ingredients for old favorites around the house.  Growing up it was vegetable soup.  My Mom would whip up soup from the frozen vegetables in our freezer, canned tomatoes, and whatever ingredients were in the vegetable drawer.




Please, Please do not get so stuck on your plan that you don’t enjoy the moment.  While food is nourishment for our body it is also joy.  If you best friend calls you to have dinner, scratch the plan.  If you kids win their soccer game, celebrate with ice cream.


Your plan should be more like connect the dots than map quest directions.



Fast Food June 9, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — cultivatinghealth @ 5:02 pm

It’s my first blog post and I have a great food to start!

I do not believe that any food is a bad food.  I do, however, believe that there are sometimes foods.

I’m not giving you license to forget fruit and vegetables in favor of 15 chocolate chip cookies!  If you eat your nutrients, sometimes foods are great to enjoy in a portion controlled way.

SO  the point of my ramble: I’m not anti fast food. 

If fast food is something you enjoy, please keep enjoying it- from time to time.  In my case, I’m more of a sweets girl.  I plan to enjoy a Double Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Bar in my oven at the cookout I’m going to this weekend.

However, when people choose fast food often because it is cheap and fast, I am a little upset.  Healthy food can be made quickly and be budget friendly!

Meet the Frittata

Your new best friend!  There are very few rules a frittata.  It’s the marriage of a quiche and an omelette.  The eggs are first cooked on stove top for 3 to 5 minutes to firm the bottom and then finished in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes minutes to cook the top at 375*.

The first frittata I made was for a budget meal project for class.  I made this recipe.  If you are unsure about a making a new food, I always think it’s best to follow a recipe for the first time.

This Fritatta was made with one whole egg and three egg whites (I could have done two whole eggs and two egg whites- there is room for two whole eggs every day in a healthy diet), light cheese, a half a sweet potato, and spinach.

This Fritatta comes out to be around 350 calories and is worth it’s weight in protein.  I added a slice of Great Harvest bread to up the good carbohydrates and fiber.  Plus, I’m a bread girl.  I love bread!


I hope this meal is something you can turn to when you are in a rush.  It’ll fill you full of nutrients and it tastes amazing.




Hello world! June 8, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — cultivatinghealth @ 2:57 am

Welcome to After you read this, you should delete and write your own post, with a new title above. Or hit Add New on the left (of the admin dashboard) to start a fresh post.

Here are some suggestions for your first post.

  1. You can find new ideas for what to blog about by reading the Daily Post.
  2. Add PressThis to your browser. It creates a new blog post for you about any interesting  page you read on the web.
  3. Make some changes to this page, and then hit preview on the right. You can alway preview any post or edit you before you share it to the world.