a is for arugula

For the next 6 days I am going to be sharing, breaking down, and commenting on Joy Bauer’s “Should I Be Eating” alphabet catalog of goods foods/ingredients and why! I think misinformation is often a factor for people when it comes to food. I also think that continuing to be open-minded, and learning about different foods is SUPER important no matter your age or experience level.

She is one of my favs to keep up with on social media!

joy bauer
Joy Bauer M.S., R.D.N., C.D.N : New York Times best-selling author

I am in no way, shape or form an expert, these are just my opinions and what has worked for me. Along with some facts that Joy has provided. This is meant to inspire you! (and myself to be honest) I will go through four letters per day, 6 days, not including “U” & “X”. Most of the content coming from Joy. Will start with a quote of info from her page, followed by my thoughts. I will also be adding A LOT of new recipes to the recipes section on my site, all with ingredients below! (back to my homepage for those) I will also post the link to Joy’s site at the end of each of these 6 posts, she has SO much more information on each of the below I’ll touch on, AND links from each to more detailed articles.


okay…here we go with A, B, C & D !

A is for…

Acorn Squash“Acorn squash is a type of starchy, winter squash with a dark-green skin and sweet, yellow-orange flesh. It provides beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin, antioxidants that help maintain skin, hair, and eye health and may help prevent and manage arthritis. Acorn squash is also a good source of potassium, which helps maintain healthy hair and may help reduce PMS symptoms.” Acorn squash is a new found favorite for me. I am not a huge squash fan but LOVE this one. The taste isn’t too strong and it goes so well with ground turkey. This is a staple in our house in the fall/winter months especially. On its own, chopped, seasoned & baked, or stuffed, so good!

Allspice – “Despite its name, allspice is not a mixture of different spices. Rather, it is its own spice and has the flavor of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. It is commonly used in Caribbean and Latin American cooking and is one of the key ingredients in jerk seasoning and mole sauces.” Allspice isn’t one I have had much experience with. I did oddly enough recently buy some to work into a recipe or two prior to writing this, so for sure bumped up on the to-do list now! I love the spice tones it resembles, excited to try and update you all.

Almonds “Almonds are an excellent source of healthy monounsaturated fats, a crucial nutrient for improving cardiovascular health. They contain fiber, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E, and protein, almonds help you feel full longer.” I LOVE almonds! I do like to add them to something however, or coat them in something. haha I know that defeats the purpose a tad, but still counts! Around the holidays I make homemade candied walnuts, pecans and almonds and they are a huge hit. There are so many salads, and recipes I love that have almonds as a main ingredient as well.

Apples – “They’re delicious and good for you! They have a high water content and more soluble fiber than most fruits, which make them a terrific choice if you’re trying to lose weight or have high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, or IBS. Apples with red skin are especially high in antioxidants that can help manage arthritis pain and slow memory loss. If you get migraine headaches, be aware that red-skinned apples are a possible trigger, but yellow- and green-skinned varieties are a safe bet” WOW so…I love apples. I love apple-picking, I love eating them as is, baking, added to a salad, etc. etc, all kinds too. However, I am prone to migraines and had no idea red skinned apples could trigger them! Noted. Have y’all ever tried to make homemade apple chips? Put it on your to-do list!

Apricots – “Fresh apricots have a high water content and are a good source of soluble fiber. They are also a very good source of antioxidants that help reduce the risk of arthritis and macular degeneration, in addition to helping maintain healthy skin and hair. Dried apricots often contain added sulfites, a potential migraine trigger, so read labels carefully” I have to be honest…I am rather sure I have never tried an apricot. I feel like the texture is in the category of “mushy” which is not my thing. Maybe I’ll give it a try?

Artichoke – “Artichokes are actually the flower of a plant in the same family as marigolds, daisies, and sunflowers. Artichokes are low in calories and have a high water and fiber content. They are also a good source of potassium and folate, nutrients that may reduce the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis and help lower blood pressure, improve mood, and slow memory decline.” Alright well…this is another I have yet to try or master in the kitchen. Going to be sure to research some recipes that peek my interest and add them to the recipes section on the website!

Arugula – ” Arugula is a cruciferous and leafy green vegetable with a peppery taste and is often used in salads. It is a good source of potassium, a mineral involved in managing blood pressure and preventing osteoporosis. Arugula may help boost memory due to phytochemicals — antioxidants found in all cruciferous vegetables.” Arugula is one of my fav leaf bases in any salad I make. (like the harvest bowl at sweetgreen with arugula instead of kale…SO GOOD) Even in my own kitchen, its simple and yummy tossed in the most basic of ways, but also spruces up a large heavier meal or pasta as well. Staple!

Asparagus – ” Asparagus are spring vegetables that come from a flowering plant.Asparagus also contains vitamin E and beta-carotene, antioxidants that may help prevent arthritis, cataracts, macular degeneration, and skin damage. Asparagus is also rich in vitamin K, which may help preserve bone health.” Yet another staple in our house, it goes well with so many things. There are also so many ways to season it! There is a pistachio and asparagus pizza recipe in my forest feast cookbook that is on my must try list! In the air-fryer or baked are some of my favorite ways. Chili powder, minced garlic, Mmm…may need to add it to the menu tonight.

B is for…

Bananas – ” Bananas are an easy grab-and-go fruit with a good amount of fiber, potassium, and vitamin B6, which can help reduce PMS symptoms and contribute to healthy hair. Bananas also make a great bedtime snack for people who have insomnia, since they are a low-protein/high-carb food that helps produce serotonin, a sleep-promoting chemical.” So as I mentioned before, the “mushy” texture of foods I can not do. I HATE bananas haha BUT I don’t hate the flavor. I tend to add them to smoothies to consume rather than just eating on the go like most people. and of course…love to bake with them! Banana pancakes, banana bread, banana muffins etc.,

Basil – “Basil, a fragrant green herb commonly used in Italian cooking, comes in many varieties, including sweet basil, Thai basil, and lemon basil. Fresh basil is available during the summer, but you can get dried basil all year round. When cooking with fresh basil, it’s best to add it at the end of cooking so it doesn’t lose its vibrant green color and delicious flavor. Like other herbs, basil adds flavor to food without adding sodium, calories, and fat.” Basil is often a go-to in my herb collection. I do tend to use it more with staple italian dishes, and lean towards the thyme, and oregano to mix with a variety. Thai basil is super yummy to spice a soup with! Goes well with minced garlic as well…I mean what doesn’t go well with minced garlic though?

Beans – ” Beans contain many heart-healthy nutrients that help lower your cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure; reduce your risk of coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes; and help you lose weight. Packed with lean protein, soluble fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, and potassium, beans are also great for preventing and treating osteoporosis and migraines. IBS sufferers take note: Some people with IBS are sensitive to beans and experience discomfort after eating them.” Joy lists about 7 different kinds of beans and goes into detail on her page. I do not like beans…AT all. Texture…lol BUT they are important to learn about and experiment with. Both for yourself and for others.

Beets – “Beets are a good source of folate, a B vitamin. Like other non-starchy vegetables, beets are low in calories and have a high water content and a good amount of fiber. Many diabetics avoid beets because they think they’re high in sugar, and while they do contain more sugar than most other vegetables, they’re still low in calories and perfectly healthy.” Going to be honest…beets just make me think of Dwight Schrute from “The Office”, anyone else? I don’t mind a few beets, chopped real small, in a salad but am not a huge fan. But yet another way to get some sugar and fiber if you enjoy them!

Black Cod – “Black cod, also known as sablefish, is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to reduce inflammation, decrease triglycerides, and may help to lower high blood pressure and raise good cholesterol. Omega-3’s may even reduce the frequency and severity of migraines, help maintain healthy skin, and slow memory decline.” Growing up in Rhode Island, Cod was a staple especially during lent. It has been high on my list of things to tackle in the kitchen. For sure another I will be adding some recipes for!

Blackberries -“Blackberries are composed of more than 85 percent water along with a hefty dose of fiber. Additionally, blackberries are full of potent antioxidants that can help with arthritis, age-related memory loss, cataracts, and other eyesight problems.” Blackberries are another I don’t love to eat as is, but I do love to add them into a smoothie. Recently, I have experimented with adding them to a baked meal along with lemon and the flavor was delicious!

Broccoli -“Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that is beneficial for almost all conditions! It contains many nutrients (including soluble fiber, folate, and vitamin B6) that help enhance overall heart health. It’s also a good source of antioxidants, including vitamins C and E, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which help maintain healthy eyes, hair, and skin.” Broccoli is a staple here as well. One of our favorites to have in the air-fryer, baked, chopped up in pasta, as a side, any which way really! But always seasoned (;

Brussels Sprouts -“Brussels sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable that is beneficial for almost all conditions! Brussels sprouts contain many nutrients (including soluble fiber, folate, and vitamin B6) that help enhance overall heart health.” Brussels are my absolute favorite right now. They MUST be crispy and seasoned well but these bad boys accompany many a meal in this household. They last a good amount of time in the fridge, and aren’t bad when purchased from a frozen form either. At LEAST two nights a week over here for sure. And in the air-fryer is BY-FAR the best way to cook them.

C is for…

Cabbage -“It is a very good source of vitamin C and beta-carotene (especially Chinese and red cabbage), antioxidants that help prevent and manage arthritis and macular degeneration, and maintain healthy skin and hair. Red cabbage is rich in quercetin, an anti-inflammatory antioxidant that may help prevent arthritis and age-related memory loss.” Cabbage is another one of my fav leafy-ish veggies. Mixing cabbage with nuts and some light lemon dressing is so yummy. Or experimented with ramen & cabbage and had great success! Will add some cabbage recipes as well.

Cantaloupe -” Cantaloupe, like other melons, has a high water content, making it a great choice for people who are trying to lose weight. t is also a very good source of beta-carotene and vitamin C, antioxidants found in many fruits that help prevent arthritis, cataracts, and macular degeneration.” Cantaloupe was always one of my favorites growing up and still is. Mixed in a good fruit salad, or paired with some mozzarella cheese and prosciutto, a fruit I usually add to my cart!

Cashews -” Cashews are a good source of monounsaturated fat (healthy fat) and magnesium. Because cashews contain the mineral zinc, they can also help maintain healthy eyes, hair, and skin. Like other nuts, cashews should be eaten in moderation since they’re calorie-dense (stick with just one handful of nuts per day)” Cashews are one of my fav nuts. My dad always gets a large container for Christmas each year and we all would always try to eat as many as we could before he noticed haha ; always good in moderation though! Have a certain sweetness to them, so I don’t normally use them in my mix of candied nuts around the holidays. Would do more a savory tone if I did!

Cherries -“Cherries are members of the stone-fruit family and are in season in the summer. They are a good source of beta-carotene and anthocyanins, antioxidants found in many fruits that help prevent and manage arthritis, cataracts, macular degeneration, and memory loss, as well as maintain healthy hair and skin.” Not a huge fan of cherries, the whole pit thing, idk…never really enjoyed how sweet they were either. But maybe should be on the list to give another try?

Cocoa Powder -“Cocoa powder is the antioxidant-rich component of chocolate. Antioxidants called flavanols may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and arthritis and slow age-related memory loss.” An ingredient I always try to have in my pantry. Goes well with a lot of baking recipes. What do you use it for?

Coffee -“Coffee has an undeserved bad reputation when it comes to its impact on health. In fact, caffeinated coffee has been shown to help prevent memory loss and decrease the risk of certain cancers. However, caffeine can exacerbate IBS and interfere with sleep, so it is best to stick to decaffeinated coffee if you’re stomach-sensitive or you suffer from insomnia. If you have high blood pressure, speak with your physician about your coffee habits.” I LOVE me some black coffee. Too much has been added to coffee along the way. The best way take it with the most benefits is black, or with very little added it. I also prefer a darker roast. The richer the better.

Crabmeat -“Crabmeat is low in calories and packed with quality protein, making it a good food to enjoy for weight loss or if you are at risk of cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes. Crabmeat also contains selenium, a mineral with antioxidant properties that can help manage arthritis and preserve healthy skin, and zinc, a mineral that may prevent macular degeneration and maintain healthy hair.” This one was interesting to me. Never knew how much crabmeat had to offer. Have never tried it, however I hear Baltimore is where I need to try. Shall be on my list!

I didn’t love the selection of “D”‘s on the website so we are going to skip it! (Dates, Decaf Tea and Dill were the three she listed just in case you were curious) Of course feel free to go to her site and check them out yourself! Here is the link… Joy Bauer Food Information

Tomorrow will be E, F, G & H!

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