Sunday, February 27, 2011

Saturday, Pasta and What is Good about Grapefruit

True to form we slept in Saturday morning to start our weekend off on the proper relaxing note. We started our weekend with a slow and relaxing mug of tea. Dan needed to watch a little “Top Gear” and then we had breakfast. Dan had a big bowl of fruit and nut oatmeal that included: oatmeal, water, cinnamon, powdered ginger, stevia, wheat germ, freshly ground flaxseeds, frozen wild blueberries and walnuts. I wasn’t in the mood for oatmeal so I made myself something else.

This morning I decided to have a bowl of fruit for breakfast. My fruit bowl contained: a grapefruit, blackberries and apple topped with a little reduced-fat coconut and a few white chia seeds. You will notice that I didn’t supreme the grapefruit and that was done for nutritional reasons. I will discuss the benefits of grapefruit later in the post.

Like always not long after breakfast we started thinking about what to make for the mid-day meal with my parents. This is always much more difficult than just cooking for Dan and myself. Since we hadn’t had pasta in over 6 months I thought that might be nice to have, I am part Italian after all. I made whole wheat pasta (cooked al dente to reduce the GI), topped with spaghetti squash, red sauce (that I made on Friday), mushrooms and finished parsley. It was a huge plate of food and very filling. Good thing I decided not to make salad with this meal.

For dinner Dan and I had split pea soup with a little  homemade seitan sausage (from the freezer) topped with fresh parsley. I served this over a little quinoa.

This was followed by a salad of mesclun, pinto beans (from Friday), salsa, cucumber, mushrooms and peppers. I added quinoa to Dan’s salad for extra protein.

We ended our evening with Dan and Binky watching “Fringe” and me on the computer. I don’t understand his love of sci-fi but if it makes him happy than I like it too. ;-)


Since quite a few of you said you are interested in the pros and cons of different foods I decided to start today with grapefruit. I wanted to explain what I like about grapefruit, its health benefits and potential problems.

I particularly enjoy the flavor of grapefruit. However if you are on any prescription medications you should double check that it doesn’t magnify the effects of the drug you are taking. I have read the naringin in grapefruit turns off an enzyme in the small intestine that helps to metabolize many drugs. By turning off the enzyme the metabolism of the drug is slowed down increasing the amount of the drug in your body. However naringin also has its upside as it has been shown to stop the growth of some types of breast cancer cells.

When I buy grapefruit I opt for one of the red varieties for the lycopene they contain. I added some type of nut or seed to the meal since lycopene is fat soluble. If you don’t want to remember what nutrients are in which food just do what I do and have a few nuts or seeds with each meal. Lycopene is an antioxidant which means it is good at reducing free radical damage which is something we all need.

Grapefruit also contains limonoids which have anti-cancer properties. Additionally is a decent source of vitamin C. We all need vitamin C to build collagen, for wound healing, to reduce histamine. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant which I can’t get enough of. ;-) However vitamin C is damaged by heat so it is best to consume most of your citrus raw.

Grapefruit is also a decent source of pectin, a type of soluble fiber that helps to lower cholesterol. The sticker here is that the pectin is found in higher levels in the thin white layer beneath the peel. By supreming your grapefruit you are leaving more than 50% of the pectin behind. The pectin itself appears to suppress the growth of some types of cancer. Now you know why I no longer supreme my citrus fruit.

Happy Thoughts:

I am sorry to see the weekend coming to an end. But I can’t complain since Dan and I had a good weekend together. Here are my happy thoughts:

• As silly as this sounds I am thankful for pasta. I know that seems odd but when you haven’t had it in as long as I have you really appreciate it when you get it.

• This trip to Whole Foods not only did we buy 4 bunches of organic kale but it was on sale. You know who will be having a green smoothie tomorrow for breakfast. I am thankful that Dan loves kale and banana smoothies since raw kale is so good for him. *happy dance*

• I got very lucky at the trip to the library on Sunday and found “The Shadow Effect” on CD. I have wanted to read something by Debbie Ford and this was also written by Deepak Chopra and Marianne Williamson. I can’t wait to get into this. ;-)

• We had lovely weather today with temps in the upper 50s. I was able to walk to the grocery store this evening in a T-shirt and wasn’t cold. I can almost feel spring now. Since spring is my favorite season I am looking forward to its arrival.

• I made a very interesting salad on Sunday with potatoes, puy lentils, green beans and walnuts that was a big hit. Don’t you just love when an idea works out? I know I do.

• My father has a few errands to run this week that will have him out of the house. I am thankful that I have time to look in on my mom while he is out.

• I am also looking forward to getting back to the gym Monday morning. Now if I could just learn to like going to bed early we would be all set. LOL

Signing out:

Since I need to get up at 5am it is time for me to start winding down. I hope you had a great weekend. Spring is almost here. Soon we will all be out cleaning up the garden and getting ready for the return of blossoms. ;-) Talk to you again tomorrow. Good Night!


  1. Ali, once again you are displaying psychic powers! I was just thinking this morning how I need to start enjoying grapefruit. Since nothing tastes anything like it I assume it has something special and unique about it, so thanks for letting us know what those special pwoers are! Common theme among fruits and veggies: anti-cancer components! Go grapefruit!

  2. Thanks for the grapefruit info., Ali. I eat it frequently. xo

  3. That pasta dish looks great. We don't eat much pasta either anymore. At first I missed it terribly, now it's a treat - but it always makes me remember why I don't eat it often. Makes me feel sooooo heavy. And I totally agree that sleeping in is the best way to start the weekend ;-)

  4. Yay for pasta! We're due to have some soon (about once a month). Never thought of topping it with spaghetti squash!

    I've been adding grapefruit and oranges to our morning smoothies so that we get the citrus and fiber together. They're great with bananas and kale.

  5. Are you a Top Gear fan too? I can't quite get into it, but I appreciate that it's good for what it is.

    That thick split pea soup looks great - I bet it was good over quinoa.

    Also, thanks for the info on water. It's so important and I'm surprised to hear people say they don't like water. I drank soda until a few years ago (I still do, but very infrequently) and even then I enjoyed water when I was truly thirsty. These days, my work (talking all the time) makes me thirsty and it's easy to get in my daily fill.


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