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Whole Grain Benefits

Broadway Star Aaron Tveit’s Grub Street Diet



Aaron Tveit’s memories of chicken perfumes of the past.
Image: Ryan Inzana

Aaron Tveit has been starring as Christian in the Broadway version of Moulin Rouge since 2018! The Musical, a role for which he won a Tony last year. During the closure of Broadway, Tveit (who starred in the original Gossip Girl) took on roles in American Horror Story and Schmigadoon! In the latter, Tveit plays Danny Bailey, who once offered Cecily Strong’s Melissa Gimble a very large breakfast after they spent a night together. Since Schmigadoon! Tveit, which aired over the summer, has returned to Broadway with Moulin Rouge, and while his breakfast spreads come in more normal sizes than they do on Schmigadoon!, he’s still packing in as many calories as he can.

Tuesday 18 January
I start most of my mornings with lemon water and then pull out the juicer and try 16 to 20 ounces of celery juice. Many benefits on an empty stomach. It’s very rich in mineral salts, so for me it’s the hydrating effects that I’m really aiming for in this intense singing routine.

I wait 20 to 30 minutes before drinking anything else. Then it’s coffee time. I use Irving Farm whole beans and brew in a French Press. With a dash of Planet Oat vanilla oat milk.

I don’t know exactly what I’m doing, but I always find that I like whatever the Colombian bean is. It’s usually darker, less fruity, and more chocolaty – which is what I’m looking for.

Then it’s time to walk my dog. I have a Labradoodle; he just turned 6. He’s the best man. He is super chilled in the house, but then likes to play outside. He really can do anything. He makes a wonderful apartment dog, which at over 60 pounds you wouldn’t believe, but he makes a great lap dog.

Breakfast consists of a cup of Bob’s Red Mill oatmeal almost every day. I always got Bob’s. I like it, and I think I have brand loyalty in the sense that I’m definitely a creature of habit. Especially with my food. I have no problem eating the same thing every day and then throwing in something different for special occasions.

I cook my oatmeal with almond milk. Then I add cinnamon, hemp seeds, raspberries and/or blueberries, banana and half a scoop of vegan protein powder.

Some days I also eat avocado toast for breakfast. Two slices of farmer’s bread or sprouted whole wheat from Alvarado Street Bakery with half an avocado, Himalayan sea salt, and red pepper flakes.

I had a little more time due to our Monday being a day off. For dinner before the show, I made a Greek seitan gyros out of purple carrot, that plant-based meal delivery service. I order them sometimes. It’s great service. This one is really tasty and filling, and it tastes just like a gyro with meat.

i like greek food I mean, I lived in Astoria for 12 years. There is great food of all cuisines out there, but most notably there are some Greek restaurants that are just something different. Obviously there is Taverna Kyclades. There was also one just around the corner from my old house, Zenon Taverna. The family ran it for 35 or 40 years. They had dinner specials that changed daily, as well as their usual menu and that all-to-order thing; Whenever the daily specials are over, it’s over. And there’s nothing left for this night You would feel like you were eating at someone’s home. This was maybe my favorite Greek restaurant in town.

Wednesday January 19th
Being on a Broadway show is a great way to work. I’ve always been so grateful to be able to do something I love as a job. But given what we’ve all been through, and especially what the Broadway community has been through over the past 20+ months, our happiness has never been clearer.

Our show, Moulin Rouge, I guess you could say we’re super happy. We had to cancel some performances over the Christmas and New Year holidays that everyone was going through. You couldn’t pick a worse time of year for that. Usually all tourists are here, and then many shows do most of their business. It’s really, really hard. But you know, we got through it. Some shows stayed open; They never had to close. However they did it, I don’t know.

I’m very optimistic that we’re over the worst of it. The lack of tourism hurts business, but I feel like the crowd is much more local. It’s such a part of New York. Instead of people traveling, they are now doing things close to home. Maybe we’ll get a boost from people in this tri-state northeast corridor. That being said, it’s quite a unique experience from a health and energetic perspective. Every night, and sometimes twice a day, we all basically run our own little three-hour “fill in the gap with your favorite hard workout”: marathon, WOD, HIIT, Barry’s class, cycling session…

My diet has changed a lot over the past few years. For a long time I’ve followed what I’ve read in health and fitness magazines about what a superactive person should eat. Super high in protein, super high in fat, lots of vegetables and low in carbohydrates. While this worked for a few years and (I thought) I felt fine, I started to see some really negative effects. My yearly blood work started coming back with some surprising things, namely super high cholesterol which was so contrary to what I thought was going on in my body. Going 97 percent vegan has been a slow road for the past three years.

I had a late interview for the show so I ordered delivery to the theater. A wonderful place that I order a lot from is NuLeaf. I ordered their mixing bowl. It’s a tofu scrambled egg, brown rice, yams, kale, corn salsa, and avocado. I always add another side of Farro. Lots of calories, lots of protein, and good carbs and healthy fats before the show. It’s just a really quick, easy, plant-based meal. Then it doesn’t have much extra – excuse my French – crap. And I can eat it, feel good and do the show.

Thursday January 20th
For lunch, I usually eat a large smoothie or a salad bowl from Sweetgreen. I opted for a smoothie. I usually make it with some frozen bananas, two dates, chia seeds or flaxseeds, some vegan protein powder, spirulina, barley grass, a big handful of spinach, and sometimes raw broccoli or kale (it goes together and you’d never know it’s in it).

Sometimes I need a burrito from Chipotle, and this was one of those times. I get mine with white rice, pinto beans, sofritas (tofu), and tomatillo salsa. Again, it’s all about maximum calories.

Most nights I might have a Dave’s Killer Bread’s Everything bagel with Almond-based Kite Hill chive cream cheese.

Dave’s is one that I found out about – the guy who started it did a long time in prison and got out and only hires people in the same situation. It just so happens that they make great bread and great bagels. In the last few years it’s everywhere now. I found out about this while watching Top Chef because they were in Portland and they all used Dave’s products.

Friday January 21st
We had a nice big pasta. Rigatoni, Beyond Italian sausage, peppers, onion and garlic. Really hearty and tastes like any “normal” sausage pasta. Even better bang for my buck as it’s not that heavy.

One of my best friends was born in Italy and I was very exposed to his mother’s cooking skills. They made very authentic Italian dishes. His father owned a pizzeria, so of course I ate at the pizzeria, which is where I discovered my love for chicken parm sandwiches. This was my favorite sandwich before I went vegan and I always liked them a bit burnt. The meal my friend’s mom would prepare was much simpler Italian. Not American Italian – we’re talking pasta with just sauce here, you know what I mean? No added cheese or meat.

Before the show, I eat a dish of fresh watermelon, which is wonderful for instant hydration. Because it was so cold and so dry, it’s impossible to sing. As delicious as watermelon and pineapple are, they provide a wonderful functionality for my everyday life because I have to sing and we have a thermometer and approximate humidity device backstage. And in the last few weeks there have been days where there’s been 10 percent relative humidity on stage, which is essentially like singing in a desert. If I had my way, it would be like when we played Miami and it was 85 percent humidity. You’re like, oh my god. i feel like a god I’ve never been able to sing like that. The preferred situation would be singing in a jungle.

I also usually have a coffee from Bird & Branch – they keep our theater very caffeinated. And between breaks, I always have a rice cake or two with some hummus, a small glass of Wyman’s wild blueberry juice (super high in antioxidants), and some fresh pineapple (another instant hydrator)

I always have cereal before bed. A version of mainly Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes or Flax Plus with a tiny amount of a treat on top. The good thing about eating a ton of carbs is that it helps you sleep — sending me to dreamland with a stomach full of carbs.

Saturday January 22nd
Before our matinee, I ordered a vegan egg sandwich from Om Juice. It’s Just Egg Patty, tempeh bacon, avocado and tater tots in a spinach wrap with a side of their hot sauce.

i love potatoes I do. Sometimes I want to go to a Greek restaurant and just order two sides of lemon potatoes. That’s all I want But the Tater Tots are also very nostalgic, and the breakfast sandwich is a treat for me, because I have to say, since I’ve stopped eating meat, eggs are the only thing I crave from time to time. Or I’ll walk past someone cooking a steak, or some really good food trucks in New York. These are the three things that upset me and make me crave things I no longer eat.

This vegan egg patty makes you feel like you’re eating a breakfast sandwich without eating an actual breakfast sandwich. That hits the spot, and the tater tots really overdid it. Above all, they are delicious. And second, we all ate tater tots during lunch at school, right?


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Whole Grain Benefits

For the 55-and-over crowd, March 27-April 3, 2022 | Local News



For information about services available to older adults, contact Pam Jacobsen, director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program and Helen Mary Stevick Senior Citizens Center, 2102 Windsor Place, C, at 217-359-6500.

RSVP and the Stevick Center are administered by Family Service of Champaign County.


  • Active Senior Republicans in Champaign County’s monthly meeting will be held at 9:30 am on April 4 in the Robeson Pavilion Room A & B at the Champaign Public Library. This month’s speakers will be Jesse Reising, Regan Deering and Matt Hausman, Republican primary candidates for the newly redrawn 13th Congressional District.
  • Parkland Theater House needs four ushers each night for “The SpongeBob Musical,” opening April 14. There will be nine shows in total — April 14-16, April 22-24 and April 29-May 1. For details, call or email Michael Atherton, Parkland Theater House Manager, or 217-373-3874.
  • Parkland College also needs four volunteers for commencement. The commencement ceremony will be in person at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at 8 pm May 12. Volunteers needed from 6:30 to 8 pm For details, contact Tracy Kleparski, Director of Student Life, at or 217- 351-2206.
  • The Milford High School National Honor Society and Student Council is hosting a Senior Citizens Banquet at 6 pm April 22. The event will be held in the MAPS #124 Gymnasium (park at south doors at Milford High School. To RSVP, call Sandy Potter at 815-471-4213.


Knit or crochet for those in need:

Meditative Movement with Yoga:

  • 9 to 10:15 am Tuesdays and Thursdays.


  • 11 am to noon, second and fourth Tuesdays. Call 217-359-6500.


  • Noon to 3 pm Thursdays.


Card game 13:

  • To sign up to play, call 217-359-6500 and ask for Debbie.

Men’s group:

  • 9 am Monday-Friday. Join us for a cup of coffee and great conversation.


The Peace Meal Nutrition Program provides daily hot lunches at 11:30 am for a small donation and a one-day advance reservation at sites in Champaign, Urbana, Rantoul, Sidney (home delivery only), Mahomet (home delivery only) and Homer.

For reservations, call 800-543-1770. Reservations for Monday need to be made by noon Friday.

NOTE: There is no change for home deliveries, but at congregate sites, you can get a carry-out meal.


  • BBQ pork sandwich, mini potato bakers, corn, creamy cole slaw, bun.


  • Turkey pot roast with carrots and celery, Italian green beans, pineapple, whole grain roll.


  • Savory sausage stew, broccoli, chunky apple sauce, biscuit, surprise dessert.


  • Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and brown gravy, tomatoes and zucchini, apricots, whole-grain roll.


  • Chef’s choice — regional favorites will be served.


If you are 55 and older and want to volunteer in your community, RSVP (funded by AmeriCorps Seniors and the Illinois Department on Aging) provides a unique link to local nonprofits needing help. We offer support, benefits and a safe connection to partner sites.

Contact Pam Jacobsen at or 217-359-6500.


Senior Volunteers.

  • RSVP of Champaign, Douglas and Piatt counties/AmeriCorps Senior Volunteers is your link to over 100 nonprofit organizations. Please contact Pam Jacobsen at or call 217-359-6500 for volunteer information.

Food for seniors. Handlers needed to unload boxes of food for repackaging at 7 am on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. We are looking for backup delivery drivers to deliver food to seniors. Contact Robbie Edwards at 217-359-6500 for info.

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Whole Grain Benefits

The future of nutrition advice



By Lisa Drayer, CNN

(CNN) — Most of us know we should eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

So why would the National Institutes of Health spend $150 million to answer questions such as “What and when should we eat?” and “How can we improve the use of food as medicine?”

The answer may be precision nutrition, which aims to understand the health effects of the complex interplay among genetics, our microbiome (the bacteria living in our gut), our diet and level of physical activity, and other social and behavioral characteristics.

That means that everyone could have their own unique set of nutritional requirements.

How is that possible? I asked three experts who conduct precision nutrition research: Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology and chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, and Martha Field and Angela Poole, both assistant professors in the division of nutritional sciences at Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology.

Below is an edited version of our conversation.

CNN: How is precision nutrition different from current nutrition advice?

dr Frank Hu: The idea of ​​precision nutrition is to have the right food, at the right amount, for the right person. Instead of providing general dietary recommendations for everyone, this precision approach tailors nutrition recommendations to individual characteristics, including one’s genetic background, microbiome, social and environmental factors, and more. This can help achieve better health outcomes.

CNN: Why is there no one-size-fits-all prescription when it comes to what we should be eating?

Huh: Not everyone responds to the same diet in the same way. For example, given the same weight-loss diet, some people can lose a lot of weight; other people may gain weight. A recent study in JAMA randomized a few hundred overweight individuals to a healthy low-carb or low-fat diet. After a year, there was almost an identical amount of weight loss for the two groups, but there was a huge variation between individuals within each group — some lost 20 pounds. Others gained 10 pounds.

Martha Field: Individuals have unique responses to diet, and the “fine adjust” of precision nutrition is understanding those responses. This means understanding interactions among genetics, individual differences in metabolism, and responses to exercise.

CNN: How do we eat based on precision nutrition principles now?

Huh: There are some examples of personalized diets for disease management, like a gluten-free diet for the management of celiac disease, or a lactose-free diet if you are lactose intolerant. For individuals with a condition known as PKU (phenylketonuria), they should consume (a) phenylalanine-free diet. It’s a rare condition but a classic example of how your genes can influence what type of diets you should consume.

Angela Poole: If I had a family history of high cholesterol, diabetes or colon cancer, I would increase my dietary fiber intake, eating a lot of different sources, including a variety of vegetables.

fields: If you have high blood pressure, you should be more conscious of sodium intake. Anyone with a malabsorption issue might have a need for higher levels of micronutrients such as B vitamins and some minerals.

CNN: There is research showing that people metabolize coffee differently. What are the implications here?

Huh: Some people carry fast caffeine-metabolizing genes; others carry slow genes. If you carry fast (metabolizing) genotypes, you can drink a lot of caffeinated coffee because caffeine is broken down quickly. If you are a slow metabolizer, you get jittery and may not be able to sleep if you drink coffee in the afternoon. If that’s the case, you can drink decaf coffee and still get the benefits of coffee’s polyphenols, which are associated with decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes without the effects of caffeine.

CNN: How much of a role do our individual genes play in our risk of disease? And can our behavior mitigate our disease risk?

Huh: Our health is affected by both genes and diets, which constantly interact with each other because certain dietary factors can turn on or off some disease-related genes. We published research showing that reducing consumption of sugary beverages can offset the negative effects of obesity genes. That’s really good news. Our genes are not our destiny.

Another area of ​​precision nutrition is to measure blood or urine metabolites, small molecules produced during the breakdown and ingestion of food. For example, having a higher concentration of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) strongly predicts one’s future risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The blood levels of BCAAs depend on individuals’ diet, genes and gut microbiome. We found that eating a healthy (Mediterranean-style) diet can mitigate harmful effects of BCAAs on cardiovascular disease. So measuring BCAAs in your blood may help to evaluate your risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease and encourage dietary changes that can lower the risk of chronic diseases down the road.

fields: The environmental effects can sometimes be on the same magnitude as the genetic effects with respect to risk for disease.

CNN: Our individual microbiomes may be able to dictate what type of diet we should be consuming. Can you tell us about this emerging research? And what do you think of microbiome tests?

Poole: Research has shown that in some people, their blood sugar will spike higher from eating bananas than from eating cookies, and this has been associated with microbiome composition. Scientists have used microbiome data to build algorithms that can predict an individual’s glucose response, and this is a major advance. But that’s not an excuse for me to shovel down cookies instead of bananas. Likewise, if the algorithm suggests eating white bread instead of whole-wheat bread due to blood glucose responses, I wouldn’t just eat white bread all the time.

At the moment, I’m not ready to spend a lot of money to see what’s in my gut microbiome… and the microbiome changes over time.

Huh: Microbiome tests are not cheap, and the promise that this test can help develop a personalized meal plan that can improve blood sugar and blood cholesterol … at this point, the data are not conclusive.

CNN: How will nutrition advice be different 10 years from now?

Poole: I think you will receive a custom-tailored grocery list on an app — foods that you want to buy and foods that you want to avoid, based on your blood sugar responses to foods, your level of physical activity and more.

Huh: We will have more and better biomarkers and more affordable and accurate nutrigenomics and microbiome tests as well as better computer algorithms that predict your response to food intakes.

But these technologies cannot substitute general nutrition principles such as limiting sodium and added sugar and eating more healthy plant foods. In a few years, you may be able to get a more useful response from Alexa if you ask her what you should eat — but like other answers from Alexa, you’ll have to take it with a grain of salt.

The CNN Wire
™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

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Whole Grain Benefits

Are Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches Healthy?



In order to assess its nutritional value, first we must discuss the breakdown of this sandwich.

Typically, there are three main ingredients — bread, peanut butter, and jelly — each with different nutritional values.

Nutritional value of bread

Bread can be a part of a balanced diet. The nutritional value of bread depends on the type chosen.

For starters, whole-grain bread is the best option because it provides a higher amount of nutrients. Whole grain kernels have three parts: the bran, endosperm, and germ (1).

Because whole grain bread retains all three parts, it’s higher in protein and fiber compared with other breads. These nutrients slow the absorption of sugar into your blood stream and keep you full longer (2, 3).

Whole grain bread is also richer in key nutrients, like B vitamins, iron, folate, and magnesium. Look for the word “whole” as part of the first ingredient in bread’s nutritional label (2).

Choosing sprouted grain bread, like Ezekiel bread, is also an excellent choice. The sprouting process increases digestibility and bioavailability of nutrients. Studies show sprouted bread has more fiber, vitamin E, and vitamin C, and beta-glucan (4).

Sourdough bread is fine, too. Although it’s not as high in fiber and protein, it has a lower glycemic index than white bread.

Glycemic index measures how quickly food increases blood sugars. In general, foods with a lower glycemic index better support your overall health.

But keep in mind that glycemic index doesn’t tell the whole story. We must look at the meal as a whole — for example, what we add to the bread. Nutrients, like protein and fats, can help lower the overall glycemic load of a meal, and serving sizes also play a role (5).

As a guideline, look for whole grain breads that offer at least 2 grams of fiber per slice. We also suggest using bread that contains 3 grams of protein or more per slice.

If that’s not available, sourdough bread may be your next best option.


Choose breads that are higher in fiber and protein, like whole grain bread or sprouted grain bread. These varieties help slow absorption of sugars and keep you full longer.

Nutritional value of peanut butter

Many people find peanut butter delicious.

Nutritionally, it also delivers. Peanut butter is a good source of protein and healthy fats, important for all stages of life, especially growing children. Plus, it’s a good source of fiber.

Two tablespoons (32 grams) of smooth peanut butter contain 7 grams of protein, 16 grams of fats, and 2 grams of fiber (6).

Importantly, the majority of fats in peanut butter are unsaturated fats. Research consistently indicates that replacing saturated fats found in animal products with more unsaturated fats (like those in peanut butter) may lower cholesterol and improve heart health (7, 8).

For growing kids, healthy fats are vital for healthy development. Plus, fats help absorb the vitamins A, D, E, and K, all of which play a synergistic role in supporting immune and brain health (9, 10).

Contrary to popular belief, conventional peanut butter doesn’t usually have more sugar than 100% natural peanut butter. However, it may have more salt (6).

When shopping, check the nutrition labels to ensure it doesn’t contain additional ingredients other than peanuts.

When enjoying natural peanut butter, the oil will separate from the peanut butter. Not to fret — just give it a good stir! This helps mix the oils with the solids.

Pro tip: You can store peanut butter upside down in the fridge to keep it from separating again!


When available, choose 100% natural peanut butter, as it’s lower in salt. Remember to stir the peanut butter before eating to mix the oils with the solids.

Nutritional value of jelly

The PB&J sandwich isn’t complete without jelly or jam. What’s the difference, anyway?

Well, while jellies and jams have similar nutritional value and taste, there’s a slight difference: Jellies are made with fruit juice, while jam is made with the fruit juice and pulp (7).

Both jellies and jams contain pectin (artificially added to jelly), which has prebiotic effects that may improve gut health (8).

However, both are naturally high in sugar, so enjoy them in moderation. To have more say in the ingredients used, you can try making your jelly at home.

If you’re buying from a store, look for jellies with no added sugar in the ingredients list. Alternative names for added sugars include glucose, sucrose, dextrose, and fructose.


Jellies are high in natural sugars and contain pectins that may have a beneficial effect in promoting good health. Try to choose jellies with no added sugars.

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