Living Lite

Experts Read the Tea Leaves: 7 Tips for Tea Drinkers

November 1, 2012

A tea timeout is my favorite way to de-stress a day. It feels so civilized to relax with a warm cup of jasmine-scented green tea or perhaps the traditional English treat, black tea with milk - "white," as they say. No wonder the fathers of our country took up arms for their right to drink it. Still, with all the myths we hear about nutrition, I've always wondered, is tea as healthful as many people believe?

Although tea has been enjoyed around the world for some 5,000 years, it wasn't until relatively recently that scientists started searching for the facts.

From the 1970s to the 1990s, epidemiological studies - the kind following large populations' eating and disease patterns - found tea drinking might be associated with better health. But no clear cause-and-effect relationship between health and tea was established.

Recent studies have been promising. What did they find? Just about every cell in the body could potentially benefit from tea - with virtually no downsides. Read about the health benefits of tea and my "7 Tips for Tea Drinkers" in Thursday's Washington Post.

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Katherine's Market Recipe: Autumn Apple Crisp with Nuts, Dried Fruit & Ginger

October 30, 2012

Georgetown's Rose Park Farmers Market is ending its 2012 season today with a Pumpkin Fest (4:30 pm) and Parades (5 & 6 pm) ... Rain or shine! "There is no better place to meet your neighbors, whether they are dog-walkers, moms, dads, tennis players or foodies," said Leslie Wheelock, Founder and Co-Manager. "We're completely staffed by neighborhood volunteers, who sustain the market every Wednesday."

Today is the 11th "Katherine's Market Recipe," in The Georgetown Dish, all of which are designed to be delicious, easy, quick, family-friendly, nutritious (heart-healthy & diabetes-friendly), and to highlight produce found at our local Farmers Markets this week. At your Farmers Market, you'll find produce picked at peak ripeness, which means maximum flavor, texture and nutrition. You're also helping save the environment when you buy at your Farmers Market. Here's how...

For my "Autumn Apple Crisp with Nuts, Dried Fruits, and Ginger," I recommend you buy the apples or pears at Georgetown's Rose Park Farmers Market (your last chance this year) on Wednesday, the Glover Park - Burleith Farmers Market on Saturday, or Dupont Circle's Fresh Farm Market (open year-round) on Sunday. 

Katherine’s Autumn Apple Crisp with Nuts, Dried Fruit & Ginger
By Katherine Tallmadge, M.A., R.D.
Author, “Diet Simple: 195 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits & Inspirations” (LifeLine Press, 2011)

This will become a favorite holiday dessert – delicious, but quick and simple, too. And, heart healthy – using predominantly whole grains and nut oil instead of butter – and filled with fruit and nuts.* This Apple Crisp is very versatile with its main ingredients. Use a crunchy, tart Fall Apple, an Anjou Pear, or a combination of both. Use any dried fruit, your favorite nut, and a nut oil for maximum flavor.

Serves 12


½ Cup Pure Maple Syrup
½ Cup Raisins, Dried Cranberries, or a mix of both
2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Minced Candied or Crystalized Ginger (or less, depending how strong you like it)
2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
3 pounds crisp, tart Fall Apples, or any apple or pear, peeled and thinly sliced


1-1/2 Cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats*
½ Cup Chopped Walnuts, Pecans, Hazelnuts, any favorite Nut – or a mixture*
½ Cup Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup Whole Wheat Flour*
½ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/3 Cup Walnut Oil, any Nut Oil,* or Canola Oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare filling: In a large bowl, mix the maple syrup, dried fruit, lemon juice, ginger, and flour. Add the apples and mix well. Pour into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

Prepare Topping: Mix the oats, nuts, brown sugar, whole wheat flour, and cinnamon. Add the oil and mix until the topping is moist. Pour over the filling in the baking dish.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the apples are tender and the crumble is golden brown.  Let stand for 10 minutes until serving

300 calories per serving.

“Katherine’s Autumn Apple Crisp with Nuts, Dried Fruit & Ginger” is adapted from a recipe in “Eating Well” Magazine.

*Learn more about the health benefits of whole grains and nuts...

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Coping with Halloween Sweets ... and Beyond

October 28, 2012

The holidays – starting with Halloween - can trip up even the most conscientious dieter. This happened to a client who had lost and kept off 20 pounds successfully. The Halloween trap caught her by surprise. She bought several bags of Snickers, her favorite candy bar, and began a binge that didn’t end until the candy was gone – long before Trick or Treat even began! That brought her up a couple of pounds. The holidays came and before you know it, she had gained almost ten pounds before winter was out.

With Halloween and the holidays looming, it’s important to determine your strategy for dealing with the temptation of sweets: what you eat, what you bring in your home, and what you serve others. My philosophy is that all foods can be enjoyed in moderation. But there are special challenges posed with some foods, particularly sweets, which have been confirmed by solid science – it’s not just in our heads! Understanding the science behind sweet craving and overeating can help us eat in a more moderate and healthy way.

People have an inborn attraction to sweets. If you don’t believe it, simply watch an infant’s response to something sweet versus, say, a vegetable. There’s an automatic acceptance, even joy, after eating something sweet. On the other hand, vegetables are an acquired taste, which may take 10 – 20 tries before acceptance. This is partly explained by evolution. We’ve been eating naturally sweet foods such as breast milk and fruit for millions of years. They contain life-sustaining nutrients, and a love for those foods helped keep us alive. Also, during evolution, an attraction to scarce calorie-dense foods, such as sweets and fats, improved our chances for survival.

But there are other explanations.  The research surrounding our attraction to sweets has stepped up in recent decades. Scientists are grappling with understanding the calorie imbalances causing the obesity epidemic, which is partly fueled by eating too many sweets.

Our brain chemistry holds an important clue. Learn more about mastering your sweet cravings. Have your cake and eat it, too!

Nathaniel Celebrates Halloween (Photo by: Katherine Tallmadge) Nathaniel Celebrates Halloween

Georgetown Neighbors R.I.P. (Photo by: Katherine Tallmadge) Georgetown Neighbors R.I.P.

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