Thursday, June 20, 2013

Why I Switched to Almond Milk

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Back in October, I switched from whole milk to almond milk. I use almond milk in my protein shakes as well as drink it alone. I am also starting to cook with it more over whole milk.

First, compared to whole milk I felt it was a better nutritional fit for me.

Whole Milk (8 oz)

Calories: 146
Fat: 8 g
Saturated Fat: 5 g
Protein: 8 g
Cholesterol: 24 mg
Carbs: 12 g

Almond Milk (Unsweetend; 8 oz)

Calories: 40
Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Protein: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbs: 1 g

The only downfall of Almond Milk is that it has considerable less grams of protein than whole milk. However, I make this up with other sources of protein. 

Almond milk is proven to have high nutritional value. In fact, the only nutrient that is higher in whole milk than almond milk is protein. Almond milk also contains high levels of antioxidants. And almond milk is good for gluten - free diets. I am on a mission to reduce gluten as much as possible in my diet. 

One thing to avoid in almond milk is CARRAGEENAN. I researched this and this is what I found:
  • Carrageenan can cause inflammation. Chronic inflammation can lead to conditions such as heart disease, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and cancer. 
  • Carrageenan is used to cause inflammation in order to test anti-inflammatory properties in medications. 
  • Lab mice exposed to carrageenan for 18 days developed a glucose intolerance and impaired insulin action. This can lead to diabetes. 
  • Carrageenan is an irritant to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). 
  • Carrageenan can cause stomach problems. 
All of these are conditions I wish to avoid. I have found 3 brands of almond milk that do not contain carrageenan. They are:
  • Silk
  • Friendly Farms (Aldi's store brand)
  • 365 (Whole Foods store brand)
Why did I choose Almond Milk over Soy Milk?

Some people choose soy milk when cutting whole milk out of their diet. I, however, did not like the soy option. The cons of soy milk:
  • Soy compromises the body's ability to absorb protein and minerals. Soy contains protease inhibitors. These inhibitors block the enzymes that digest certain proteins. 
  • Soy contains high levels of goitrogens. Goitrogens prohibits the thyroid's ability to utilize iodine. 
  • Soy contains plant estrogens. These raise estrogen and lower testosterone. This can cause problems for those in the reproductive years. 
  • While most nutritional information is the same as almond milk (or close to it), soy milk does have twice as many calories as almond milk. 
  • Research is still being conducted on the relationship between soy and breast cancer. 

I made my decision based on the information I learned through research. You do not have to make the same decision as me. I feel that the pros of almond milk outweigh the "pros" of whole milk and soy milk. 


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sunday Social: Pet Peeves, Fears, and Dream Dinners

1. What is your biggest driving pet peeve?
People who pull out in front of me and don't even attempt to get up to the speed limit. People who don't use blinkers. 

2. What is your biggest blogging pet peeve?
Word verifications on comments. Even though I have them enabled on my own. I understand and respect the reason for them but they are annoying. 

3. What is your biggest general pet peeve?
People who disrespect others because they do not get their way. 

4. What is your most irrational fear?
Spiders, Snakes and Bridges. I have panic attacks over all three. 

5. Name 3 celebrities you'd want to have dinner with.
The New Orleans Saints (Yes, the whole team counts as 1 in my book), The Rock, and Tony Stewart. 

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Sunday Social

Sunday, June 9, 2013

FYI: The Low Down on my Blogging

1. How did you come up with your blog name? 
Italian Bella was a nickname I had as a child. This blog was supposed to be a diary of sorts. So, The Italian Bella Diaries was born.

2. What is your favorite thing about blogging? 
Meeting new people. 

3. What is one thing you have discovered because of blogging and now can't live without? 
Blogging itself. Sharing stories, information, experiences with others. 

4. Facebook or Twitter? and why? 
Hard choice. I use both. Twitter is good for short things here and there. Facebook is good for posting longer posts. As far as which reaches more, it's a toss up. Some people have a facebook page and not a Twitter account. 

5. If one celeb read your blog who would you want it to be? 
I really don't know. If this was my sports blog (that's a different one) I would say the New Orleans Saints football team. For this one, I don't really know. 

6. What is something you want people to know about your blog?
It's real. I don't sugar coat. I say what is on my mind. 

Sunday Social

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Grilled Brown Sugar Pork Chops

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This is one of the easiest things to make. And the flavor is so so good.  

Grilled Brown Sugar Pork Chops 


• 3/4 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
• 3/4 c. apple juice
• 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
• 4 Tbsp. soy sauce
• 1 tsp. ground ginger
• pepper, to taste
• 11 boneless pork chops


1. Combine first 6 ingredients in saucepan over medium heat.

2. Place chops in large bowl or dish. Pour sauce over chops and cover. Marinate for 30 minutes.

3. Grill chops evenly on both sides until done.