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This week’s choline diet highlights 05/20/2012

Posted by thetickthatbitme in Uncategorized.
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I tried to be good and cook simple, choline-rich meals at home this week. Here are some highlights:

McBreakfast Sandwich

I love making my own version of a fast food breakfast sandwich for several reasons. One, it’s healthier because I can use better ingredients. Two, it’s relatively inexpensive. Three, I don’t have to drive anywhere to get it.

eggs and canadian bacon

Start with an egg and a slice of Canadian bacon.

Sometimes I use an English muffin or a bagel, but this week I didn’t have those, so I used sourdough, which I actually like better. I also subbed out boring old American cheese for some spicy pepperjack.

sourdough pepperjack

Pepperjack on toasted sourdough. They’re big slices, so I just used one and folded it in half.

To drink, I had Treetop orange-pinapple juice, which I water down.

orange pineapple juice

Choline count: fried egg (125 mg) + Canadian bacon (19 mg) + sourdough bread (15 mg) = 159 mg

breakfast sandwich juice

Rainbow Coleslaw

I grew up on traditional southern-style coleslaw, and when the weather gets hot, I start craving it. I love putting it on pulled-pork BBQ sandwiches. Being that eating cabbage covered in mayonaise (or in my case, Miracle Whip) is not the healthiest way to get one’s veggies, when I make coleslaw at home, I try to make it a little healthier (and more rich in choline). One of the ways to do this is to use broccoli slaw. You can make it yourself in a food processor, or if you’re lazy like me, you can buy it already shredded up in a bag.

rainbow slaw

In a small bowl, I mix the dressing, which consists of Miracle Whip, sweet pickle juice (I didn’t have any, so I skimmed some out of the pickle relish jar), and horseradish sauce (for a kick). Some people also like to add vinegar (in place of pickle juice) and dijon mustard.

condiments

The condiment lineup.

Then I dump the shredded veggies into a big bowl, add a diced tomato, and mix in the dressing. It’s best to refrigerate slaw for a few hours before eating, but I always sneak a few spoonfulls to make sure it tastes right.

Choline count: broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, cabbage, tomato

coleslaw

Ready to refrigerate.

California Sandwich

I’ve been eating a lot of sandwiches lately. Boyfriend brought back several loaves of bread from Eric Schat’s Bakery, including some delicious rye bread, so I used some of it to make this sandwich.

tomato avocado egg sandwich

I topped that slice of delicious rye bread with Miracle Whip, horseradish sauce, tomato slices, a fried egg, and half an avocado.

milk and sandwich

Choline count:  fried egg (125 mg) + tomato (12 mg) + 1/2 avocado (9 mg) + rye bread (5 mg) + milk (39 mg) = 190 mg

Chorizo Scramble

Toward the end of the week, I started feeling guilty about eating so much bread, so I cooked up some Mexican chorizo with eggs and topped it with diced avocado and tomato. Cooking for two, I use five eggs and one package (a long link) of chorizo.

chorizo eggs avocado tomato

Choline count: 2 eggs (250 mg) + chorizo (58 mg) + tomato (12 mg) + 1/2 avocado (9 mg) = 329 mg

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Snacking in the name of choline 05/06/2012

Posted by thetickthatbitme in Choline Diet, Humor.
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Since I spend a lot of time working from home, it’s difficult to resist a lot of snacking. Now I believe that eating small meals throughout the day is healthy; however, when you factor in my mighty sweet tooth and the fact that my better half keeps visiting the Entemann’s bakery outlet on his way home from work (he can’t resist the deals), well…you see the predicament. So I decided this week that if I’m going to be ‘bad’ and indulge in a few fattening or sugary or salty snacks, I had better make sure I was getting my choline. Here are some of the choline-rich snacks that my research turned up.

Savory Choline Snacks

Peanut Butter (21 mg in 2 tbsp) and Carrots (6 mg in 1 large carrot)

This is an established favorite for both me and my dad. I used to feel guilty about putting peanut butter on something that is otherwise pretty healthy, but with about 10 mg of choline per tablespoon, I don’t feel that bad. I do, by the way, buy the reduced fat peanut butter. If you prefer almond butter, it has about 8 mg of choline per tablespoon.

carrot peanut butter

Carrot ♥ Jif in my kitchen.

Pistachios (20 mg in 1 oz)

I’m a girl who likes to play with her food, so these are one of my favorite snacks. Sometimes I like to eat them with a few chocolate chips and some dried cranberries. If you’re wondering how many dry roasted pistachios are in an ounce, it’s about 49.

pistachios

(Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Edamame (56 mg in 100 g—about 2/3 cup)

I usually order edamame (boiled soybean pods) as an appetizer when I go out for sushi with friends. Some grocery stores also have it in the freezer section.

(Image via Wikimedia Commons. Credit: habitatgirl)

Sweet Choline Snacks

Peanut Butter (21 mg in 2 tbsp) and Banana (11 mg)

Yes, you can see I have a propensity to put peanut butter on a lot of things. This is a third-generation snack in my family that originated with my grandma. I find a glass of chocolate milk goes well with it. (One cup of chocolate milk also adds 42 mg of choline!)

banana peanut butter

Banana and Jif hanging out on my counter. If Carrot finds out, you are sooo busted, Jif!

Baked Sweet Potato (23 mg for a large one)

Sweet potatoes are so underrated. I try to substitute them for boring old russet potatoes whenever I can, including when I make home-made french fries. The easiest (and laziest) way to prepare a sweet potato, though, it to stab it with a fork a few times and then pop it in the microwave. I like mine with a little butter and brown sugar, but season salt or garlic powder is also good.

sweet potato

(Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Ready for the finale? My most exciting discovery in my choline research is that chocolate is a great source of choline. (Which means, all those times when I was craving chocolate, it wasn’t just me, it was also my neurotransmitters.) I could list about 100 chocolatey snacks here, but I’m going to have some self-restraint and just do one.

Chocolate éclair (79 mg)

This one takes me way back to when I was too short to even see over a bakery counter. (Thanks, Mom, for getting me addicted to these at such a young age.) When I discovered this dessert, I considered changing my name to Claire, just so I could be “Chocolatey Claire.” Is an éclair the same as a doughnut? Of course not, silly! It’s far, far better. I recommend a tall glass of milk with this one.

chocolate eclairs

(Image via Wikimedia Commons. Credit: georgie_grd)

If you want to try making some éclairs from scratch, here’s a yummy recipe over at Moo’s Pantry.

That’s all I’ve got for today. What high-choline treats would you add to this list?

Omelet you in on these yummy high-choline recipes 04/29/2012

Posted by thetickthatbitme in Choline Diet, Whole Person.
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2 comments

In my family, omelets are somewhat of a sacred tradition. My dad was the omelet-master when I was growing up, and whenever we had weekend company, he’d make each guest and family member his or her own made-to-order omelet. By the time I was in high school, I’d picked up his technique and was making omelets for all my friends after school. Little did I know back then what a great source of the B vitamin choline omelets can be! (For more on choline, see the Choline Diet page.)The best thing about omelets besides the choline factor is the infinite possibilities–there are no rules about what cannot go in an omelet. Here are some of my favorites.

Smoked Salmon, Spinach, and Avocado Omelet

salmon omelet avocado

Image via cuisineaustralia.com.

I love smoked salmon, and I’m always looking for new ways to cook with it (aside from just eating it on a bagel with cream cheese–yum). Check out this salmon omelet recipe from cuisineaustralia.com.

Choline Count: eggs (2) 200 mg + salmon (3 oz) 80 mg + spinach (2 oz) 11 mg + avocado (1) 19 mg = 300 mg of choline!

Mushroom, Spinach, and Feta Omelet

mushroom spinach feta omelet

Image via closetcooking.com

What do I like almost as much as smoked salmon? Crumbly cheeses! Feta and spinach are always delicious together, why not put them in an omelet? Add shiitake mushrooms for a bonus 66 mg of choline! Check out this recipe on closetcooking.com.

http://www.closetcooking.com/2008/03/mushroom-spinach-and-feta-omelet.html

Choline count: eggs (3) 300 mg + shiitake mushrooms (4 oz) 66 mg + spinach (2 oz) 11 mg + feta cheese (1 oz) 4 mg = 381 mg choline!

Leftover Stir-fry Omelet

This was my go-to omelet when I was a college student and rarely went grocery shopping or planned meals. I always seemed to have leftover Chinese food in my fridge, so I devised this omelet to make leftovers into breakfast. I usually use two eggs per person with a little milk. If you’ve got the jumbo eggs, you can get away with using one and use a little more milk (1 oz of skim milk has 5 mg of choline!). I whisk up the eggs and the milk in a bowl, then pour them into my omelet pan (yes, they make a size of frying pan that’s just for omelets). Meanwhile, I heat up the leftover stir-fry in a separate pan. Once that’s heated through and the egg mixture has set in the pan, I spoon some stir-fry onto one side. After a few minutes, the other side will be ready to fold over.

orang ginger beef stir fry

Image via mccormick.com

If you want to make a healthy stir-fry at home to use for your leftovers, you can try this recipe for Orange Ginger Beef Stir-fry from mccormick.com.

Choline count: eggs (2) 200 mg + beef sirloin (1/4 lb) 96 mg + broccoli (1/2 cup) 31 mg = 327 mg choline!

Hope you enjoyed this week’s high-choline recipes. Eggspect (sorry, I promise I’ll try to stop) to see more next Sunday!

Have a high-choline recipe (and mouth-watering photos) you’d like to showcase on this blog? E-mail thetickthatbitme AT gmail DOT com.

Eat Your Eggs, Benedict! 04/22/2012

Posted by thetickthatbitme in Choline Diet, Whole Person.
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5 comments

If you know my story, you know that when I was diagnosed with B. hermsii and Anaplasmosis, my doctor put me on a high-choline diet. Why choline, you ask? Choline is a B vitamin that aids in the transmission of nerve impulses from the brain through the central nervous system–this process is essential to functions like memory and muscle control. Since Borrelia like to attack the central nervous system, choline is especially important for people with (past and present) B. hermsii and B. burgdorferi infections. People who eat diets high in choline have also been shown to have lower levels of inflammation (like inflammation of the joints in Arthritis) than people who don’t. You can read more about choline here.

Enter the Benedict. It is by far my favorite egg-based dish, and I enjoy making it at home just as much as I do eating it for brunch in a fancy restaurant.

"Eggs" Benedict Talley (Mehcad Brooks) from HBO's True Blood. Photo via hbo.com.

One large poached egg has 100 mg of choline, so if you eat two, you get about half of your recommended daily amount (425 mg for women, 550 mg for men). Add to that other high-choline foods like smoked salmon (129 mg), Canadian bacon (39 mg), portabella mushrooms (39 mg), spinach (35 mg), asparagus (23 mg), avocado (21 mg), and tomato (6 mg) to get your choline fix!

Here are my top five Benedicts:

1. Old Fashioned but Fried

for those mornings (or afternoons, or evenings!) when I’m feeling traditional, yet lazy

I learned this simple recipe from my mother, and it

Benedict Asparagus

Image via firsttimerscookbook.com

brings back all kinds of fond childhood memories. A toasted whole-wheat English muffin, topped with pan-fried Canadian bacon and over-easy eggs (make sure they’re still a little runny, because that’s the best part). The hollandaise sauce I usually make with one of those sauce packets you can find in the grocery store (next to the gravy packets). It’s easy–you only need to add milk and butter–and, in my opinion, it tastes better than the from-scratch hollandaise recipes I’ve tried. Because of the butter and bacon, this is a slightly fattening meal, so I balance it with a side of boiled asparagus, which tastes delicious with the hollandaise sauce and adds 23 mg of choline to this meal!

Choline count: eggs 200 mg + Canadian bacon 39 mg + asparagus 23 mg = 262 mg of choline

2. Crab Benedict

for when I’m feeling crabby or rooting for the Terps

I’ve never made this one at home, but I’ve had it at Toasties Cafe, and it is delicious!

Toasties Crab Benedict

Image via Yelp.com.

Choline count: eggs 200 mg

3. Portabello Mushroom Benedict

for the fungus-lovers amongus

If you’re looking for a meatless meal or just craving these yummy mushrooms, this is the Benedict for you. Check out Jackie Dodd’s recipe at TastyKitchen.com, which also includes spinach, tomatoes, and Sriracha for a kick!

Portobello Mushroom Benedict

Image via TastyKitchen.com

Choline count: eggs 200 mg + portabello mushrooms 39 mg + spinach 35 mg = 274 mg of choline

4. Tomato Avocado Benedict

because I’m a California girl

My mouth was watering as I scrolled through SoupBelly.com’s deliciously illustrated recipe for this west-coast Benedict. If you want to make it even more California, use sourdough English muffins.

Avocado Tomato Benedict

Image via soupbelly.com.

Choline count: eggs 200 mg + avocado 21 mg + tomato 6 mg = 227 mg of choline

5. Eggs Hemingway

for when I’m feeling literary

This one may seem a bit fishy, but I assure you it’s delicious and packed with choline. It’s also called Norwegian Benedict. Here’s a recipe at food.com that includes not only salmon but spinach, too!

Salmon Benedict

Image via Wikipedia.

Choline count: eggs 200 mg + smoked salmon 129 mg + spinach 35 mg = 364 mg of choline

Now that I’ve made myself really hungry, I’m going to go make my own Benedict. Hope you enjoy these eggcellent (sorry, I couldn’t resist) high-choline meals!

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