Friday, August 11, 2017

Nutrient Dense Foods Are The Key That Unlock Health

     The blessing in the food, given by God, is what holds the key to unlocking true health (freedom from illness or injury).  One of the major barriers and misconceptions standing in the way of health for all people is not "free healthcare" (which is anything but healthcare) but it is education. Education is power.  Education is freedom. Education is what will unlock the door and lead to a life of health.
     Our school system, in our early years fails to truly educate us therefore failing to empower us to think freely and honestly about nutrition and health. Instead, what the system does do is to prepare students for collegiate education and beyond to think and understand the way the corporations who donate large sums of money to these colleges want the students to think and understand. In turn, the students graduate into society and goes to work for these corporations contributing not to the betterment of people's health but to the betterment of the bottom line for these corporations. The educational system is built on obvious bias.
    I talk to people daily who are literally dying to achieve health in their lives but they just don't know how to get there. They seek counsel from western trained and socially engineered nutritionists and doctors. More times than not, these well meaning nutritionists and doctors fail them. What I have witnessed time and time again is that the nutritionists push the USDA dietary guidelines while never taking into account that the person coming to them for help is an individual person with their own DNA, their own ancestral heritage and their own life story. These providers of disease management do not and are not trained to think that what may be a perfect diet for one person may be totally different from what is nutritionally beneficial to the next person. When patients go to see their doctor, their doctor has a set amount of time for which they can see their patients due to having profit margins that must be met.  The doctors listen astutely for symptoms and match up drugs to those symptoms for which they then prescribe. The patients are then told to take them and return at a designated time in the future to determine how the prescribed drugs are working.  Often times, what I witness is that not surprisingly the patients will have side effects for which another drug will be prescribed. This is not healthcare. This is suppressing the body's ability to repair and heal itself by quieting or shutting off the body's built in alarm system. When our body's functioning is off it is designed in such a way as to send out alarms signaling, "Hey, human, something is amiss, help me by correcting it."   By not identifying the underlying causes of the alarms and then addressing those causes by making the necessary changes through diet and lifestyle we suppress health, not promote it. As doctors and nurses and anyone else who works in this healthcare also known as the disease management industry we have become suppressors of health not promoters who bring healing.
      Unfortunately, our doctors and healthcare system have become mere lapdogs to big pharma, private equity firms and are restricted by insurance companies with their time. As if this is not bad enough then they have the FDA which is supposedly a government watchdog to protect the people yet it has merely evolved into nothing more than a subsidiary of biotech firms who dictate to them which drugs ultimately come to market.  The FDA and the biotechs have a revolving door policy from which key players move back and forth between the two organizations and dictate to doctors the guidelines of what is "medically appropriate" in the treatment of their patients.
     After many years of working in the disease management (healthcare) industry and witnessing these issues, I have come to realize that the lack of honest education is purposeful in order to promote American  business. It is in the interest of  the grocery store lobbyists, pharmaceutical lobbyists, chemical company lobbyists, physician lobbyists (AMA), industrial agricultural farming lobbyists, food manufacturers and their lobbyists like General Mills, Kellogg's, etc. and even yes, the government to hide the truth from the American public about the curative and preventive power in macro and micro nutrients. 
     We have gotten so far away from ancient wisdom in our own greed and narcissism and  been engineered in a systematic approach by big business ownership and regulatory captive to have us believe in a false narrative consisting of several main points which benefits the interests of these groups but unfortunately does not benefit people's health.  The first falsehood is that we need to consume a lot of food in order to sustain health. Obviously, one can see how this is good for business because if people are buying more food these groups make more money.  The truth is that it is the quality of the food and not the quantity which builds immunity, thwarts diseases and that creates perfect homeostasis in the body that in turn promotes health. The second falsehood is that the foods that are produced by the food manufacturers are healthy for us. Nothing could be farther from the truth. All a person with any interest in this has to do is pick up a box of crackers, candies, breads, cereals, breakfast bars and read the ingredient list and begin to look up each ingredient and understand what wording like "enriched" wheat flour means. Lastly, is the false mantra that it cost a lot to eat healthy. After doing the math myself and comparing my pantry and refrigerator when my family is eating real food compared to when we are eating boxed, bagged and processed foods, I can honestly say that my grocery bill has been cut in half.
     After years of working with sick people from pediatrics to geriatrics and being on both the provider side, and the insurance side, what I have seen is a lot of very sick people who are taking a lot of very expensive drugs yet have no better health to show for it.  Not only have I witnessed this in my career with watching patients but also in my personal life in which my loved ones who  have suffered medical conditions to which no doctors have actually ever "cured" but instead merely prescribed drugs of big pharma to then only prescribe more drugs to treat the side effects and complications caused by the initially prescribed drugs.
     At some point, if one has any conscious, curiosity, and love for the wellbeing of people then he or she has to begin to ask a pivotal question, "What am I missing here?"  It was my observations that led me to this question and  that started me on a journey to find answers and to create health and wellness in the lives of my family, friends and anyone else that I encountered and who was willing to listen. What I have discovered is startling and too much information to cover in this post but just know that it is a fact that what we eat and drink holds the answer to the question, "How do we achieve health and wellness?"
     After looking at patient charts for years, one can't help but to start to see trends and what I began to realize is that almost every patient was taking on average at any given time between 3 and 6 big pharma pills a day. Drug lists almost always included drugs to treat what I began to call the standard American diseases which are a direct result of the standard American diet and those diseases always included: 1.) High blood pressure (hypertension), 2.) Diabetes type 2, 3.) High cholesterol (hyperlipidemia), 4.) Anxiety & depression (mood affect disorder), 5.) Some type of autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, irritable bowel, etc., and 6.) Insomnia. There were a host of other common diseases as well such as asthma, allergies, erectile dysfunction (caused by the blood pressure pills) and dementia/alzheimers but the 6 listed are the standard, if you will. What was and is truly sad to me is that many times patients would be on two or three different drugs to treat the same condition.                                                                                                                            For a while in my career, my role was to coach patients toward wellness which meant I spent a lot of time encouraging them to be compliant with taking their big pharma pills. What I discovered was that out of all of the patients that I worked with only a handful of them, if that, actually overcame their disease processes. The ones who did so were the patients who transformed their diet and lifestyle. Not only did their numbers normalize but they lost on average about 20 pounds and they told me they felt better than they had ever felt and were able to come off all of their medications. That is health!
This intrigued me and so I began to do a  great deal of research and what I discovered was that there is curative power in real food and lifestyle modification. I began to change the way I looked at and thought about food. I began to see food as medicinal. Hippocrates said it best, "Let thy food be thy medicine." It amazes me yet solidifies what I know to be true about God. When someone like Hippocrates, the father of medicine, and the name from which the Hippocratic Oath is derived and who was born, by best historians accounts, in 460 BC makes this profound statement it calls for great reflection. It reminds me of a truth from which we as a people have travelled so far from it reminds me that like God who is the same yesterday, today and forever so are His evident truths even as it pertains to the gift of food (James 1:17, Revelation 22:2 and Ezekiel 47:12).
    This led my research into looking at foods dating back to Biblical times and tracing it to present day which led to my following its evolution through industrialization.  What the industrial agriculture industry has done and continues to do to our food directly impacts our lack of health that we now experience.  Over the last 100 years 85% of the nutrients in our soil in America has been destroyed due to industrial agriculture. There is a definite difference in living longer and living healthy.  Most all disease as we know it today and  based on other's research confirms that approximately 86% to 90% of our diseases could be cured or eradicated through proper nutrition. Learning these startling numbers but understanding the pathophysiology of the human body it was made clear to me that there is something so monumental happening around us that we need not miss it. I looked at what health issues I was witnessing in patients and in the members of my own family. I then compared those issues to their diets and I was shocked at how quickly I was able to identify what key nutrients they were lacking which was resulting in the illnesses. Armed with this knowledge, the  refrigerator, pantry and food mindset makeover began.
     God never intended for us to eat so much processed man made synthetic food as we do today which is causing our obesity epidemic and disease crisis from malnutrition. Nor did He mean for us to feel like we have to calorie restrict and starve ourselves to attain a worldly view of beauty because with either of these ways of eating we suffer huge nutritional deficits that make us sick and depressed.  I believe that He intended for our food to be just what Hippocrates said, medicine that provides nourishment to our souls, bodies and spirits and provides health. He loves us and therefore it only makes complete sense that he would want health for us. The food we eat should assist us in building immunity from the inside out, and promote a state of health.
My family has begun to practice much better habits as they pertain to food and one of the best things that I believe we have done is to buy a Vitamix and we started juicing and making smoothies. It is not only one of the best ways to consume multiple vegetables and fruits simultaneously but also is helpful when time is an issue. If people's budgets don't allow for a Vitamix then I tell them to just get started that a Nutrabullet will do the trick. We have many recipes but several "go to" favorites.  The one we like to prepare several times a week has so much nutrient rich foods that it is hard to beat.




                                                               KALE SMOOTHIE
  • 2 cups of fresh organic kale, rinsed and dried
  • 3/4 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 frozen organic banana
  • 1/4 cup of organic pineapple pieces (we use the BJs brand, found in the freezer section and it is organic)
  • 2 Tbsp. of almond butter or sunflower butter (we steer clear of peanut butter in our home because of the high acid content and the allergy)
  • 1 to 3 tsp of raw and local honey
  • 1 Tbsp. flax seed
  • 1 Tbsp. hemp seed
  • Ice
Sometimes I throw in probiotics, or papaya, apple or watermelon seeds. I also love to throw in some fresh wheatgrass whenever I have it on hand.  
   
                                                             HEALTH BENEFITS
  • KALE  - It has been on dinner plates since Roman times and boast of nutrients of vitamins and minerals. It offers protein, fiber (aid to weight loss and blood sugar control as well as prevention of conditions like IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), colon cancer, constipation, and diverticulosis. It has vitamins A, C & K. Vitamin A is fat soluble and is a powerful antioxidant that plays a role in maintaining healthy vision, neurological function, healthy skin and reduces inflammation through fighting radical damage. Vitamin C is needed for the growth and repair of tissues in our bodies and it doesn't get stored in the body so we need to consume it on a regular basis. Our body needs Vitamin C to make collagen which is a protein that supports tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. Vitamin C plays a crucial role in strengthening our immune system. It has been shown that low levels of Vitamin C causes scurvy, and can lead to high blood pressure, gallbladder disease, cancer, stroke, and plaque build up that leads to heart attacks. It also helps the body deal with stress by reducing the elevated levels of stress, hormones and cortisol. A deficiency in this vitamin can lead to cataracts. Vitamin C has also been shown to be effective at helping to aid weight loss. It also gives more energy by balancing internal body systems and aids in the production of dopamine in the nervous system and supports the adrenal function for increased metabolic energy. It prevents heart disease by preventing free radicals from damaging the artery walls which could lead to plaque formation. It also helps to prevent asthma and lessens the body's production of histamine which contributes to inflammation. The body uses Vitamin C to help heal wounds at a faster pace and wounds that heal slowly indicate a low level of Vitamin C. It also aids in sun protection and reduces sunburns. It protects our skin from free radicals that develop due to excess exposure to the sun and helps with hair growth. Vitamin K is an umbrella term which encompasses a group of chemically fat-soluble compounds known as K, K1, K2, and K3. Vitamin K1 is the natural source of Vitamin K and is the primary source of Vitamin K that humans obtain through food. It is necessary for responding to injuries and regulates normal blood clotting. It also assists with transporting calcium (calcitriol) throughout the body. Due to it's role of transporting Vitamin D into cellular tissue of bone it plays a role in helping to prevent bone loss and decreases the risk of bone fractures and prevents calcification of arteries and other soft tissue (Dr Weil) which is a problem we are seeing today that has led to the cardiology and internal medicine doctors running calcium testing. I believe when the USDA guidelines changed in the early 1990s to promote more dairy consumption and the add, "Got Milk?" first aired in 1993 it was all  due to the introduction of rBGH through Monsanto's patent and this was the beginning of more osteoporosis and calcification in the vessels which is wreaking having with people's health. Had they explained to people that they needed to have Vitamin K2 to transport the Vitamin D3 we would not be seeing these large numbers of problems in people's lack of health today.  The need for calcium tests and bone scans would be obsolete as well as many other medical conditions that were warned about and that we are now seeing. For people interested in more about this topic, I recommend the book, What's in Your Milk
  • COCONUT MILK - Coconut milk is a naturally found liquid inside of mature coconuts that is stored in the coconut meat. The milky white substance you see when you crack open a coconut is natural coconut water but when you blend the coconut meat and then strain this you get coconut "milk". It is a good source of healthy saturated fatty acids. It has been shown that coconut milk can lower cholesterol levels, improve blood pressure, and prevent heart attacks and stroke. It is free of dairy, lactose, soy, nuts or grains and is a good option for anyone with allergens to those food sources. It contains manganesecopper, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and potassium
  • BANANA - This readily available fruit combo herb is rich in potassium but also contains other key nutrients such as all of the nutrients already mentioned above.  The recommended daily intake of potassium for adults is 4,700 mg a day and other foods rich in potassium are avocados, acorn squash, spinach, sweet potatoes, wild caught salmon, white beans, dried apricots, pomegranates and coconut water and milk.  Potassium is one of the most important electrolytes in the body. It is vital to healthy functioning of all the body's cells, tissues, and organs. It is responsible, along with sodium for regulating the water balance and the acid base balance in blood and tissue. It is also vastly important for normal growth and for building muscle.
  • PINEAPPLE - One of the many nutritional benefits that I love most about pineapple is that it contains a proteolytic enzyme known as bromelain and it aids in the digestion of proteins. It is often used to treat muscle injuries. It is a natural anticoagulant which means it acts to break down the blood clotting protein fibrin and thereby improving circulation. This fruit also helps improve respiratory health, cures coughs and colds, strengthens bones, reduces inflammation and thereby helps to prevent many disease processes including cancer. It too is a storehouse for many of the vitamins and minerals already mentioned in the above foods. It contains potassium, copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, Vitamin C  and fiber.
  • ALMOND BUTTER or SUNFLOWER BUTTER - The health benefits found in almond butter are all the same benefit derived from almonds. Almonds are loaded with key nutrients that help sustain energy throughout the day. The health benefits of sunflower butter are equally if not more impressive. Sunflower seed butter is a staple in our house and is loaded with protein, Vitamin E which is another fat soluble antioxidant and protects against air pollution even the kind from the "chemtrails" of geoengineering which we commonly see daily now, as well as the following conditions: PMS, eye disorders such as cataracts, and neurological disease such as Alzheimer's and also diabetes. Both options are more unprocessed foods and are full of healthy fats which can aid in weight loss when eaten in moderation.
  • RAW HONEY and LOCAL HONEY - This provides a great source of antioxidants and raw honey in particular contains antioxidants called phenolic compounds which helps to protect the body from cellular damage due to free radical damage. Raw honey can kill unwanted bacteria and fungus. It naturally contains H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide) which is an antiseptic. There are several hospitals in Europe that have used Manuka honey to fight MRSA which is methicillin staphylococcus aureus  a type of staph infection which is now prevalent today and resistant to antibiotics due to the over use of antibiotics and destruction or our intestinal tracts. It is a staple in our house.
  • FLAXSEED - This is a small yet powerful seed and can boast of being a super food. It contains Omega 3 essential fatty acids which have heart healthy effects. Each Tbsp of ground flax contains 1.8 grams of plant Omega 3s. They have both plant estrogens and antioxidant qualities and not too mention the fiber content. It was first cultivated in 3,000 BC in the 8th century. It is said to protect against breast cancer, prostate cancer and colorectal cancer due to the phytoestrogen role. The role it plays in digestive health in it's prevention of colorectal cancer is also noted as well as its preventive role in heart disease. All of these organ's processes are collaborative and work together in prevention of disease as the body even though not recognized to be so by modern western medicine is contiguous and what affects one organ affects another. Flaxseed is a power house at helping these organs be able to perform in harmony.
  • HEMP SEED - Hemp seed is also a tiny package which boast mega nutritional benefits that are evidenced based. They are rich in 2 essential fatty acids: omega 6 and omega 3. They also contain gamma linolenic acid. They also are a great protein source and contain Vitamin E and key minerals already listed above including also zinc which has been written about extensively in journals like Pub Med which are peer reviewed medical journals which I am starting to believe few providers read. 


                                                                 KEEP IT SIMPLE



Remember that you are smarter than you think when it comes to your health and you possess more power than you know. For more recipes and education on health and wellness watch for more upcoming blog posts and don't forget to always buy organic whenever possible.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

31 Ways to Snack into Wellness

                             Snack into Wellness

31 Great Snack Ideas for Each Day of The Month

     As a busy mom who has raised two girls by herself, I get what busy looks and feels like. We went from my not working outside the home, to working part-time to my working full-time while also juggling, my girl's homework, travel swim and travel soccer schedules, church commitments that included my teaching adult Sunday school and being on different church committees. I was also maintaining a home with yardwork, a constant flow of laundry to do, dirty dishes, meal preps, and training for 1/2 marathons, etc. Unfortunately, with all of that my dedication to my family's wellness did not always take a first place. I knew enough to apply some of what I knew was just common sense but I did not fully grasp the importance of it until I left bedside nursing and got into the business side of our "disease management" system cleverly coined "healthcare" and began to follow the money. It was only then that I  began to understand that our government and its good buddies, the multinational corporations, who it is in bed with, are all in the business of using people for profit which is why we continue to get sicker with more chronic diseases that they are merely treating to make more money. Since the early 1990s Americans have been increasingly acquiring more chronic illnesses to the point where on average Americans now have at least 3 chronic diseases at any given time that they are taking prescription drugs to treat (not cure).
     I finally came to realize the good news is that we don't have to play their game and that the secret to each of us attaining true wellness exist within each one of us and not a doctor who has been trained in a medical school to work for a system that uses its citizens for profit. We have a lot more power within ourselves than we give ourselves credit. Due to our busy lifestyles we have turned our health issues over to white coats, biotech firms and a government that is not for us.  
     When we choose to eat sugar laden, processed, refined, enriched, unhealthy fatty foods that are all chemical laden we are making the decision to be sick. Once we make ourselves sick we then run to doctors who are all obedient workers for the system they work for and they diagnose and prescribe and so the cycle goes. In order to break the cycle we have to choose foods that are nutrient dense and provide a basic purpose for our bodily functions which is to sustain us and promote a state of wellness. We have become so mindlessly socially engineered and through our subconscious minds we don't even realize what is happening when we enter into a grocery store. Through clever marketing and branding we are purposefully, as consumers, driven to all the foods that are bad for our bodies but good for big agriculture, big pharma, and the government's pockets.
FAT
     Did you know that our weight, second only to tobacco use, is the single most powerful predictor of our health? So if you are a non smoker, that amount of excess fat you carry is the closest thing to a  crystal ball in determining your health.  So how to get the fat off and prevent the fat from packing on is the million dollar question. It all starts with what you put into your mouth. What you eat can either aid you in creating a well life or cause you harm. Being over a BMI > 25 INCREASES your risk of premature death and premature disease. The evidence is CONVINCING.

There are 3 fundamental principles that must be followed to begin getting off and or preventing fat accumulation.  I am a visual person and so it helps to see what we are talking about and in all my nursing geekiness to show what us nurses and doctors are seeing when we cut into a body with excess fat and it is this yellow gelatinous like substance.  I will always remember the first overweight  patient that I ever saw cut open down the middle and how I felt when I realized the picture shown is what fat looks like. You can imagine why this excess fat can start to cause harm to the body and its ability to function the way God created it to function. It decreases blood flow and therefore makes wound healing harder, lowers our immunity thereby decreasing our ability to fight off infections, it is detrimental to cardiac and other organ health, etc.

The 3 Fundamental Principles to Help You Eat Less & Prevent Weight Gain:
1.) Eat foods that increase appetite control and decrease hunger (satiety).

2.) Re-think and change your food environment (plan for success).

3.) Adhere to common sense eating through what should be common sense behavior.

So breaking this down to nuts and bolts
 means: 1.) Eat foods that are harder for the gut to break down and to send food components into blood stream for energy (unless you are running a marathon). This promotes a nice steady stream of energy throughout the day and helps in avoiding the sugar high, sugar low roller coasters known as the glycemic index spikes and declines. Oh how happy we are when we get up in the morning and are scarfing down our Kispy Kreme Doughnuts, or Bojangles biscuits, or bagels with cream cheese but when that wears off by 10 am and we are left jittery, irritable, tired feeling and wondering why, no one questions what they have eaten but instead runs to the coke machine which is cleverly placed next to the coke snack machine. Why? Diet sodas are satiety increasing agents and the CEO of coke knows this hence the snack machines placed next to the coke machines. This makes  a lot of money for this multinational company while destroying your health because these foods promote weight gain which leads to diseases like hypertension, obesity, diabetes, cardiac disease, hyperlipidemia, and inflammation in the body which in turn drives all diseases. So what are we to do?  2.) Re-think and change your food environment (plan for success). How? By eating foods listed below as a good first step and incorporating them into your daily routine so that these foods are foods that are conditioned into your subconscious.
3.) Adhere to the behavior changes. Why? To tell yourself, " I love you self" by promoting a state of wellness.

                                               31 WELLNESS SNACKS:

Keep them on hand in your car, in your purse, in your desk drawer, etc. Have them ready to grab at a moment's notice.

1.) Always Nuts! You should consume at least 1 ounce per day. The health benefits of nuts are endless and help with everything from decreasing inflammation, decreasing satiety, helping fight cancer to combatting heart disease as they are loaded with minerals and vitamins.
2.) Dark Chocolate - Must be at least 60% are cocoa. It enhances blood flow, decreases satiety, lowers blood pressure, enhances cognitive function and a host of other healthy benefits. Note: 2 squares of dark chocolate barely makes a dent in your daily sugar quota. Even diabetics can safely consume this portion of dark chocolate.
3.) Apples - If you are worried about them browning then add a little fresh lemon juice to your bag and shake.
4.) Homemade Trail Mix - Nuts, dark chocolate chips, unsweetened coconut flakes, multigrain cereal (with limited sugar and ingredients - Kashi is a good brand) try to avoid dried fruits as all the nutrients has been processed out and you are left with just a lot of sugar.
5.) Whole Grain Crackers - Takes longer to break down in the gut adding a nice steady stream of energy which thwarts off hunger. Remember quality over quantity. When you are eating quality foods, you don't need a lot to get rid of hunger and get nutrients for the body.
6.) Almond butter, & Sunflower butter - Can add to the crackers and I like these choices better because they are less acidic than peanut butter.
7.) Chickpeas - Put in baggies and sprinkle with cayenne pepper (boast of its own nutrition facts). Loaded with protein, fiber and nutrients like manganese, selenium, and folate. Helps with hunger control and promotes strong bones due to the manganese.  Chickpeas are often eaten as a substitute for meat, which can be great for those hoping to watch their dietary fat or cholesterol. Even apart from chickpeas’ ability to be a substitute, they may help boost heart health and reduce cholesterol. The selenium works as an antioxidant, which means that it may help neutralize free radicals in the body, helping to prevent cancer and plays a role in liver enzyme function.
8.) Cucumbers - One of my favorites. I carry a skin peeler with me and peel them Sometimes if I don't have a peeler I just eat them skin and all. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper (helps aid digestion). They are low in calories, helps with hydration, aids in weight loss, flushes out toxins, etc. They sell the bags of mini organic ones at Aldi and I love these.
9.) Pumpkin Seeds - Nutrient dense with  a great and bountiful source of manganese, copper, zinc, and loaded with protein. These beauties come in a small package but are wellness promoting powerhouses. It is like the saying goes, the best gifts are found in small packages.
10.) Sunflower Seeds - Promotes cardiovascular health, a potent source of magnesium, selenium, a powerful antioxidant and great for Thyroid health.
11.) Bananas - In moderation as they do have more sugar but contain several essential nutrients and have benefits to aid in digestion, heart health, contain a fair amount of fiber. (Sugars found in natural fruits are always a better choice than processed sugars but you still have to watch consumption of this.)
12.) Oranges - Apart from its delightful taste, oranges are also contain many essential nutrients like Vitamin A, B1, and C. One orange supplies nearly 100% of the recommended daily dietary intake of vitamin C.
13.) Cherries -The health benefits of cherries include heart disease and cancer prevention and prevention of gout attacks. Cherry Nutrition. Cherries are a good source of vitamin C and fiber. The bright red colour of cherries is due to their high concentration of anthocyanins. Cherries also have a very low Glycemic Index 
14.) Mini Bell Peppers - Both hot and sweet peppers may enhance weight-loss efforts. Research has shown that capsaicin-the substance that gives hot red peppers (or chilies) their kick, and boosts our metabolism-keeps immature fat cells from developing into full-fledged ones. And a study presented in April found that a compound in some sweet peppers (called CH-19 Sweet), which resembles capsaicin, provides similar positive metabolic effects-minus the burning mouth and lips
15. ) Chick Pea Hummus - Chickpeas are a natural food from pre-biblical times and is not a hybrid food. They boast of awesome health benefits such as promoting bone health, DM (Diabetes Mellitus) control and DM 2 prevention, cardiac health, aids in fighting cancer, decreases inflammation, aids in digestion, etc.
16.) Homemade Granola Bars - See previous blog post for recipe.
17.) Mixed Berries - Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, rasberries, etc. I love to pre-prepare these in small baggies for grab and go.
18.) PeachesYou can eat them whole, skin and all and the skin is the most nutritious part.  Wonderfully delicious peaches are low in calories (100 g just provide 39 calories) and contain no saturated fats. Nonetheless, they are packed with numerous health promoting compounds, minerals, and vitamins. Fresh peaches are a moderate source of antioxidant, vitamin-C. Vitamin-C has antioxidant effects and is required for connective tissue synthesis inside the human body. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps develop resistance against infectious agents, and help scavenges harmful free radicals.
19.) Cherry Tomatoes and Roma Tomatoes - These varieties are not as acidic.  
20.) Hard Boiled Eggs - Great to take with you on the go and especially in the shell. They boast benefits of folate, vitamins: A,B5, B12, D, E, K, and B6. They also offer minerals such as selenium, phosphorus and are only 77 calories with 6 grams of protein, and 5 grams of healthy fats. They are definitely a nutrient dense snack.
21.) Fresh Salsa - Homemade is always a better choice when time allows. I make mine on the weekends and keep in fridge in airtight container.
22.) Fresh Vegies - I like to cut mine ahead of time and put in baggies for on the go and to keep in fridge at work.
23.)  Artichokes - They have more antioxidants than any other vegetable and they ranked seventh in a study of the antioxidant levels of 1,000 different foods. Some of the powerful antioxidants in artichokes are quercertin, rutin, anthocyanins, cynarin, luteolin, and silymarin.  They may even regenerate liver tissue. Artichokes have long been used in folk and alternative medicine as a treatment for liver ailments and the scientific studies are now proving them to be correct. They aid in digestion, decrease cholesterol, are high in fiber, increase bile flow, prevent cancer and are high in antioxidants.
24.) Guacamole - I prefer homemade when time allows and even a whole avocado with seed scooped out and salsa poured in center in place of the seed makes a great and nutritious snake with multigrain all natural chips with few ingredients or multigrain crackers.
25.) Snyder's Oat Bran or Honey Oat Sticks -  Multigrain is always a better choice as it promotes decreased satiety and better blood sugar control again because it takes the gut longer to break it down and send it into the blood stream for energy.
26.) Multigrain Pita Chips - Dipped in an almond butter or sunflower butter is even better or a chickpea hummus. I always try to avoid soy whenever possible as it is being produced for massive sales for the biotech's and is all genetically modified along with our corn and wheat.
27.) Cheeses - Make sure that you are buying from  a known Rbgh free manufacturer and buy part skim mozzarella or other reduced fat 2%. Always moderation with cheese.
28.) Kashi Granola Bars
29.) Celery with some kind of Butter i.e. Almond butter or Sunflower butter - Celery contains coumarins which have been shown to be effective in the prevention of cancer. Celery contains pthalides, which have been shown to lower blood pressure by relaxing the muscles around the arteries and allowing vessels to dilate. The calcium, magnesium, and potassium in celery also helps regulate blood pressure. The pthalides in celery may also lower cholesterol by increasing bile acid secretion and it is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties as well as the fact that it is low in calories and is high in fiber.
30.) Kalamata Olives - Olives are very rich in monounsaturated fats which are exceptionally healthy for the heart. The only other fruit that is rich in monounsaturated fats in its raw form is avocado. These fats, especially oleic acid are very beneficial in lowering the levels of bad cholesterol and raising the levels of good cholesterol in the blood. Olives also contain alpha-linolenic acid which is very important in promoting a healthy heart, reducing the risk of cancers, reducing hypertension, reducing the risk of auto immune diseases, improving depression and preventing the formation of clots in the circulatory system. This substance can also act as a blood thinner and can be of great help in preventing gallstones. They are also a great source of Vit E  and vitamin A which gives them very potent antioxidant properties which fight the free radicals and reduce the damage they cause. Olives are very efficient in reducing the risk of heart diseases and numerous inflammatory conditions and relieving asthma and arthritis
31.) Fermented Vegies - I love the Okra but you can buy cucumbers, etc. When we ate more fermented foods, took less antibiotics and ate less fast foods we were much healthier. Fermented foods are great for the gut. It is why God gave us seasons and in the winter we relied on eating fermented foods. Fermented foods are foods that have been through a process of lactofermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food creating lactic acid. This process preserves the food, and creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics.

Remember - Always buy foods in season and buy organic as much as humanly possible. If the store doesn't have organic buy what they do have as organic because generally that means it is in season and has not been shipped from as far away which means more in tact nutrients. As an example I would not buy grapes right now as they are out of season until August and therefore all of them are currently imported from Chile which is the second largest exporter of GMO foods only second to the USA.

Click the link to see what foods are in season in your area. http://www.sustainabletable.org/seasonalfoodguide/


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

ONE MEAL THAT SAYS "I LOVE YOU"

ONE MEAL THAT SAYS "I LOVE YOU
AND CARE ABOUT YOUR WELLNESS"

EZEKIEL 47:12




After many years of listening to, observing and questioning the way people eat in conjunction with disease processes and contrasting that to the way God intended for people to eat I have realized a crucially undervalued and underappreciated fact. The food God supplied the earth with is both curative and preventive of disease.  For me, there are several ways that I can show love for my family, friends and all those that I come in contact with and they are as follows: Spend time with them, listen to them intently with a heart that cares and pour into them both spiritually and physically both in being present and through the foods that I feed them. The latter to me is just as important as anything that I do in any given day as it sets my girls up for a long, healthy and strong lives of confidence and wellness of mind, body and spirit.

This dinner is so packed with minerals and nutrients that aid our bodies in so many processes and sets us up for physical wellbeing. Cooking should be fun, messy, joyful and result in food that brings about wellness and not disease thereby saying, "I love you and am giving you the gift of good health and wellbeing". It should not be stressful, nutritionally deficient or promote a state of illness. Knowing this, the following recipe has become one of our household favorites. You should feel free to play around with measurements and apply according to your likes and dislikes. I never follow a recipe but allow the creative juices to flow.

INGREDIENTS:
  • several stalks of broccoli (organic)
  • 1 head of cauliflower (organic)
  • 1 large red onion (organic)
  • 3 yellow squash (organic)
  • 1 red pepper (organic)
  • mushrooms (organic)
  • Tbsp or 2 of sesame seeds according to personal preference
  • hemp oil (drizzled on finished product)
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp of sesame seed oil (according to personal preference)
  • 1 - 2 minced fresh garlic cloves and can improvise with bottled  (according to personal preference)
  • EVOO (I usually buy organic at Aldi)
  • Himalayan salt (organic)
  • coarse cracked pepper
  • oregano (organic)
  • organic durum pasta from Aldi (I prefer Quinoa when have on hand)
  • low sodium soy sauce (organic)
  • lemon juice from a freshly squeezed lemon (organic from Food Lion)
  • few slices of butter (organic, no rbgh)
  • packet of chicken breasts (can substitute with other options like shrimp, scallops, etc)
RECIPE:
First prepare chicken by soaking in salt water and then drain and rinse. Mix a 1-2 tbsp. of EVOO, oregano (to taste), juice from lemon, salt and pepper. In a large glass baking dish add water to cover bottom and few dabs of butter. Place chicken in dish and with left over lemon rind rub on chicken while squeezing out any left over juice and then pour EVOO mixture over chicken. Place in oven and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes (until done but not tough).  Rinse and drain all vegetables. I always buy organic but just to be sure I soak my vegies in sea salt, drain and rinse. Chop all vegies. In a large skillet put 1 - 2 Tbsp of sesame seed oil, add garlic and oregano. Next, add vegies, stir, pour soy sauce over vegies and cover. Simmer on low to medium heat stirring occasionally.  While chicken and vegies are cooking boil the water for the pasta and cook according to package instructions. During the last 5 minutes place sesame seeds in oven with chicken and toast. Once pasta is done then drain, rinse and put back in pot and toss in EVOO, with oregano and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Once all the food is ready place pasta on plate and top with vegies and chicken.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF THE FOODS:
  • Broccoli - Broccoli is one of the very low-calorie vegetables; provides just 34 calories per 100 g. Nonetheless, it is rich in dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, and anti-oxidants that have proven health benefits.  It is a storehouse of many phytonutrients such as thiocyanates, indoles, sulforaphane, isothiocyanates, and flavonoids like beta-carotene cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Studies have shown that these compounds by modifying positive signaling at molecular receptor levels help protect against prostate, colon, urinary bladder, pancreatic, and breast cancers.  Fresh broccoli is an exceptionally rich source of vitamin-C; providing 89.2 mg or about 150% of RDA per 100 g. Vitamin-C is a powerful natural antioxidant, and immune modulator helps fight against flu-causing viruses.   It contains good amounts of another anti-oxidant vitamin, vitamin-A.  Vitamin-A is essential for healthy eyesight and helps prevent macular degeneration of the retina in the older adults. Fresh heads are an excellent source of folates. Studies have shown that consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits rich in folates during pre-conception, and pregnancy helps prevent neural tube defects in the newborns. This floret-vegetable is a rich source of vitamin-K and the B-complex group of vitamins like Niacin (vitamin B-3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), and riboflavin. Further, its florets also hold some amount of omega-3 fatty acids (Alpha linolenic acid-ALA).  It is also a good source of minerals like calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, selenium, zinc, and phosphorus.
  • Cauliflower - Several recent studies have shown the cooking of raw cauliflower to significantly improve its ability to bind together with bile acids. Since bile acid binding is a well-documented method for helping regulate blood cholesterol levels, these studies point to potential cardiovascular benefits from consumption of cooked cauliflower. It is a powerful phytonurient.  Cauliflower is our 10th best source of vitamin C among all 100 whole foods. Like most of its fellow cruciferous vegetables, cauliflower is also a very good source of manganese—a mineral antioxidant that is especially important in oxygen-related metabolism. This means it is a great food source for immunity boosting.  Impressive by study results not only in areas involving conventional nutrients like vitamin C but also in areas involving phytonutrients like sulfur-containing compounds and flavonoids. Although there can be loss of water-soluble nutrients during cooking with water or other liquids, there can also be increased bioavailability from the freeing up of nutrients that remained inside the cells in raw cauliflower but got released from those cells during cooking due to the breakdown of cell walls. For example, we've seen studies showing increased bioavailability of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin following the cooking of cauliflower. Of course, since the chewing of raw cauliflower could also serve to break down cell walls and make carotenoids more bioavailable, what we end up with here is a "win-win" situation in which both raw and cooked cauliflower can make great nutrient contributions to our health. Intake of cauliflower has been analyzed in relationship to a variety of different disease risks. When consumed at least once per week, cauliflower has been associated with decreased risk of colorectal cancer and has been shown to be associated with a greater decrease of risk than broccoli (when consumed in a comparable amount). In terms of prostate cancer risk, cauliflower and broccoli have shown a similar ability to decrease risk.
  • Red Onion - Red onions, also known as Spanish onions, contain plenty of healthy essential nutrients as well as phytochemicals that provide long-term health benefits. Including red onions in your daily diet may help reduce your risk of chronic disease.  A 1/2-cup serving of chopped onion contains only 32 calories and no fat or cholesterol, making it a healthy choice for those watching their fat or calorie intake. A serving also contains 1.5 grams of fiber. Fiber helps improve the functioning of the digestive tract, and it helps prevent constipation. Red onions also contain plenty of vitamins and minerals, including folate, thiamine, calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese and vitamins C, K and B-6. Consuming foods with a variety of nutrients helps keep the body healthy on a day-to-day basis and may help prevent chronic disease. Red onions contain high levels of organosulphur compounds, which may offer a protective effect against prostate, colorectal and stomach cancers. Another compound found in red onions, onionin A, may reduce inflammation by suppressing the activity of the immune cells that trigger it. The anti-inflammatory effects of red onion may be beneficial for people with allergies, asthma and arthritis.
  • Yellow Squash - Yellow squash is a type of summer squash that grows all over the United States and is easily found at local farmers markets, roadside vegetable stands and grocery stores. Yellow squash is rich in nutritional benefits. A cup of yellow squash contains only about 36 calories, 7 grams of carbohydrates, less than one gram of fat, and a gram of protein.  Yellow squash is a brilliant source of vitamin C and a very good source of magnesium, vitamin A (particularly in its concentration of carotenoids, including beta-carotene), fiber, folate, copper, riboflavin and phosphorus.  It is also abundant in potassium, providing 345.60 milligrams per serving. Potassium is a key electrolyte in the balance of fluids and also provides muscle energy. In addition, it is high in manganese, a mineral which helps the body process fats, carbohydrates, and glucose. The magnesium found in yellow squash has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Along with its potassium content, magnesium is good for reducing high blood pressure. The vitamin C and beta-carotene levels in yellow squash may also aid in preventing the oxidation of cholesterol.  At 2.52 grams per serving, the abundant fiber content of yellow squash is indispensable for the excretion of toxins from the body and is an extremely important nutrient for the colon’s health since it promotes regularity and adds bulk to the stool. Yellow squash has been shown to alleviate the symptoms of a condition named benign prostatic hypertrophy, or BPH. A man with BPH suffers from a problematically enlarged prostate gland, leading to difficulties with both urinary and sexual function. Yellow squash is particularly high in concentrations of beta carotene and lutein. Dietary lutein helps to prevent the onset of cataracts and macular degeneration, which often leads to blindness. A cup of yellow squash provides about 135 micrograms of beta carotene and 2,400 micrograms of lutein.  Yellow Squash contains high levels of manganese and vitamin C. Manganese aids in maintaining healthy bone structure, calcium absorption, enzyme creation, and bone building. It also contributes to the mineral density of the spinal column.Vitamin C aids in the production of collagen, which is essential for the building of bone mass, and magnesium is indispensible to the health of joints and bones. Iron, folate, zinc and phosphorous found in yellow squash all contribute to the mineral health of bones, and help fortify against osteoporosis.
  • Red Pepper - Bell peppers are low in calories! So, even if you eat one full cup of them, you get just about 45 calories. Bonus: that one cup will give you more than your daily quota of Vitamin A and C! They contain plenty of vitamin C, which powers up your immune system and keeps skin youthful.  The highest amount of Vitamin C in a bell pepper is concentrated in the red variety.  Red bell peppers contain several phytochemicals and carotenoids,  particularly beta-carotene, which lavish you with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.  The capsaicin in bell peppers has multiple health benefits. Studies show that it reduces ‘bad’ cholesterol, controls diabetes, brings relief from pain and eases inflammation.  The sulfur content in bell peppers makes them play a protective role in certain types of cancers.  The bell pepper is a good source of Vitamin E, which is known to play a key role in keeping skin and hair looking youthful.  Bell peppers also contain vitamin B6, which is essential for the health of the nervous system and helps renew cells. Certain enzymes in bell peppers, such as lutein, protect the eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration later in life.

  • Mushrooms - Benefits of mushrooms include relief from high cholesterol levels, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and diabetes. It also helps in weight loss, and increases the strength of your immune system.  There are approximately 140,000 species of mushroom-forming fungi in the world, but science is only familiar with about 10%, while only 100 species or so are being studied for their potential health benefits and medicinal applications. Mushrooms themselves provide you with lean proteins since they have no cholesterol or fat and are very low carbohydrates. The fiber and certain enzymes in mushrooms also help lower cholesterol levels. Moreover, the high lean protein content found in them helps burn cholesterol when they are digested. Balancing levels of cholesterol between LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) and HDL (“good” cholesterol) is essential in the prevention of various cardiovascular diseases like artherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke.  Anemic patients are characterized by having low levels of iron in their blood, resulting in fatigue, headaches, reduced neural function, and digestive issues. Mushrooms are a good source of iron, and over 90% of the nutritive iron value can be absorbed by the body, which promotes the formation of red blood cells and keeps people healthy and functioning at their full potential. Mushrooms are very effective in preventing breast and prostate cancer due to the significant presence of Beta-Glucans and conjugated Linoleic Acid, which both have anti-carcinogenic effects.
  • Sesame Seeds and Sesame Seed Oil - Sesame seeds are extremely beneficial for health, but are often overlooked, and they include the ability to prevent diabetes, lower blood pressure, prevent a wide variety of cancers, build strong bones, protect against radiation, increase heart health, help cure sleep disorders, improve digestion, reduce inflammation, boost respiratory health, strengthen your oral health, aid in healthy growth, improve circulation, detoxify the body, and eliminate depression and chronic stress.
  • Hemp Oil - Hempseed oil provides people with many possible benefits because it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, sterols, phytols, tocopherols, minerals and vitamins, as explained by Medical News Today. The omega-3 fatty acids help reduce the risk of heart disease, and sterols are steroid alcohols that also help the heart by reducing cholesterol. Phytols are aliphatic alcohols that not only help to lower cholesterol, but are also antioxidanta that reduce the risk of cancer. Many healthy vegetables also contain these phytols. Tocopherol is yet another beneficial alcohol packed with antioxidants, and experts believe that this particular compound helps to fight against degenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's.
    Hempseed oil is rich in vitamin A, C and E, according to Medical News Today. It contains magnesium, calcium, sulfur, phosphorus and potassium, which are all elements that are necessary in a healthy body. Studies show that hemp oil improves metabolism. Although hempseed has a high THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, content, which is the reason it is banned in the United States, studies suggest that this compound can help those with autoimmune diseases.
  • Garlic - Garlic supplementation is known to boost the function of the immune system.
    One large 12-week study found that a daily garlic supplement reduced the number of colds by 63% compared with placebo.The average length of cold symptoms was also reduced by 70%, from 5 days in placebo to just 1.5 days in the garlic group. Another study found that a high dose of garlic extract (2.56 grams per day) can reduce the number of days sick with cold or flu by 61% . Human studies have found garlic supplementation to have a significant impact on reducing blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.  Supplement doses must be fairly high to have these desired effects. The amount of allicin needed is equivalent to about four cloves of garlic per day ( I add garlic to everything). Garlic can lower Total and LDL cholesterol. It offers a protection from oxidative damage from free radicals contributes to the aging process. Garlic was one of the earliest “performance enhancing” substances.
    It was traditionally used in ancient cultures to reduce fatigue and enhance the work capacity of laborers. Most notably, it was administered to Olympic athletes in ancient Greece. A four week study in employees of a car battery plant (excessive exposure to lead) found that garlic reduced lead levels in the blood by 19%. It also reduced many clinical signs of toxicity, including headaches and blood pressure.
  • EVOO - The health benefits of olive oil include treatment for colon, breast cancer, diabetes, heart problems, arthritis, high cholesterol, weight loss, metabolism, digestion, aging and cancer. It has been used by mankind for many centuries. It is a staple ingredient for many culinary preparations and also serves a variety of medicinal purposes. Medical studies suggest that it is loaded with health benefits. It helps in lowering of the bad cholesterol level in our blood, as it is rich in monounsaturated fats. The extra virgin olive oil variety contains the highest level of antioxidant polyphenols and oleic acid. It is thus a healthy option compared to other vegetable oils.
  • Himalyan Salt - Himalayan salt is widely touted for its mineral content, containing 84 minerals in total. In addition to sodium, Himalayan salt is relatively high in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, potassium and chloride. It also contains traces of boron, fluoride, iodine, zinc, selenium and copper, all of which are necessary for bodily health. As a naturally occurring salt, Himalayan salt contains all these minerals without chemical processing or refinement. Because it is harvested naturally, Himalayan salt’s mineral benefits are available regardless of what form the salt is consumed as. Despite its high mineral content, Himalayan salt is primarily a source of sodium, and excess sodium consumption can lead to a host of health problems and it should be eaten within the recommended daily dose of  between 1500 mg and 2300 mg, for men and women between the ages of 9 and 50.
  • Coarse Cracked Pepper - The health benefits of black pepper include relief from respiratory disorders, coughs, the common cold, constipation, indigestion, anemia, impotency, muscular strains, dental disease, pyorrhea, diarrhea, and heart disease. Black pepper is the fruit of the black pepper plant from the Piperaceae family and is used as both a spice and a medicine. The chemical piperine, which is present in black pepper, causes the spiciness. It is native to Kerala, the southern state of India. Since ancient times, black pepper is one of the most widely traded spices in the world. It is not considered a seasonal plant and is therefore available throughout the year. When dried, this plant-derived spice is referred to as a peppercorn, and is then ground into a powder to be put on food to add flavor and spice. Because of its antibacterial properties, pepper is also used to preserve food. It is a rich source of manganese, iron, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin k, and dietary fiber. Black pepper is also a very good anti-inflammatory agent.
  • Oregano - You wouldn’t know it by smell alone, but oregano (or Origanum vulgare) is a genus to the mint family. This herb is native to temperate, rocky landscapes like the Turkey, Pakistan, Iran, India, Afghanistan, Italy, Morocco, Greece, Portugal, and Central Asia.Oregano thrives in hot, dry climates with full sun exposure. This might explain the origin of the name, oregano, which comes from the Greek words “oros” (or mountain) and “ganos” (which means joy). oregano has long been used as an ailment to treat various respiratory disorders such as cough, bronchitis, croup, and asthma) and gastrointestinal ailments (from indigestion and heartburn to menstrual pain and bloating). Oregano is usually thought of as a culinary herb used in Italian, Greek and Mediterranean cooking, but it has also been used for many centuries as a medicinal plant. Traditionally, the health benefits of oregano oil have been used to treat a wide range of conditions from bacterial and viral infections to parasites and asthma. Although oregano oil is the most-often form used for medicinal purposes, the spice oregano could be presumed to provide many of the same benefits when consumed regularly.  It's a little-known fact that herbs (and spices) such as oregano have far greater concentrations of antioxidants than any common fruit or vegetable source. Herbs also contain a particularly wide variety of antioxidants as well, making them one of the top antioxidant foods around.
  • Durum Wheat - Durum was discovered in Central Europe around 7,000 BC.  It has a high gluten content making it a good flour to use in making pasta and heavy breads. Durum is a low fat, high carbohydrate grain that can help increase energy levels.  Durum also has a very high content of Vitamin E and Vitamin B.  According to the Dasman Diabetes Institute (2010) it is believed that durum wheat can contribute to both diabetes and weight management as it has a low glycemic index.
  • Soy Sauce - A 1-teaspoon serving of soy sauce, also known as tamari, has 335 milligrams of sodium, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. While sodium is an essential mineral, required for basic bodily functions, including nerve transmission and regulating your blood pressure, the recommended upper limit of sodium for adults is 2,300 milligrams per day. It drops to 1,500 milligrams per day for those who have a history of cardiovascular disease, are African American or who are 51 or older.
  • Lemon Juice - The health benefits of lemon include treatment of throat infections, indigestion, constipation, dental problems, and fever, internal bleeding, rheumatism, burns, obesity, respiratory disorders, cholera and high blood pressure, while it also benefits hair and skin care. Known for its therapeutic property since generations, lemons help to strengthen your immune system, cleanse your stomach, and it is considered a blood purifier. Lemon juice, especially, has several health benefits associated with it. It is well known as a useful treatment for kidney stones, reducing strokes and lowering body temperature. As a refreshing drink, lemonade helps you to stay calm and cool.
    The health benefits of lemons are due to its many nourishing elements like vitamin C, vitamin B 6, vitamin A, vitamin E, folate, niacin  thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, copper,  calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and phosphorous, and protein. Lemon is a fruit that contains flavonoids, which are composites that contain antioxidant and cancer fighting properties. It helps to prevent diabetes, constipation, high blood pressure, fever, indigestion and many other problems, as well as improving the skin, hair, and teeth. Studies conducted at the American Urological Association highlight the fact that lemonade or lemon juice can eliminate the occurrence of kidney stones by forming urinary citrate, which prevents the formation of crystals.
  • Chicken - If you’re looking for a great source of lean, low fat protein, this bird is the word. The protein in chicken lends itself to muscle growth and development, and help support a healthy body weight and aid weight loss. Chicken, like its brother fowl the turkey, is high in an amino acid called tryptophan, which gives you that comforting feeling after consuming a big bowl of mom’s chicken soup. In fact, if you’re feeling depressed, eating some poultry will increase the serotonin levels in your brain, enhance your mood, blasting stress, and lulling you to sleep.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

GRANOLA BARS DONE SMART HEALTHY

                                                            

Homemade Granola Bars

I am always looking for nutrient dense foods to put in my girl's lunch boxes that will give them a steady release of energy throughout the day with lots of good minerals and vitamins instead of empty calories and foods that leave them hungry within an hour and craving processed and industrialized sugars which add very little to no nutritional value. These bars are not only loaded with nutrition and sugar God's way but are quick and easy to prepare ahead of time and keep all week. Not only is it a healthier option than the store bought chemical laden bars but much more cost effective.  I love experimenting on the weekends with foods that will provide essential nutrition and these got the accolades and requests for more.

INGREDIENTS:
1 heaping cup of dates
1 1/2 cup of rolled organic oats  
1/4 cup of honey (local and raw is best)
1/4 cup sunflower butter (organic)
1 cup of cinnamon pumpkin seeds (Super Seedz)
1 Tbsp of flaxseed
1 Tbsp of hemp seeds (organic)

DIRECTIONS:
Process dates in the food processor until small bits remain. It should be like a dough consistency. Toast oats and pumpkin seeds on 350 degrees for approximately 10 - 15 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Place seeds and oats in a large mixing bowl with the dates.  Warm honey and sunflower butter and stir and then pour over oat mixture and stir well. Transfer mixture to an 8 x 8 inch baking dish or small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper so that they lift easy. Press firmly until flattened. The bottom of a glass works well to press. Cover with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Place in the refrigerator or freezer for 10-15 minutes. Cut and place in airtight container.

The great thing about this recipe is that you can mix it up just about anyway you like. You can add things like chia seeds, unsweetened coconut flakes, or use almond butter instead of sunflower butter. If you like you can even add dark chocolate chips or one of my favorites, cacao nibs.

Health benefits of the ingredients are as follows:

DATES - Weight loss, relieves constipation by promoting digestive health with their soluble and insoluble fiber and this helps to decrease the risk of colitis, colon cancer and hemorrhoids. They support regular bowel movements, promote heart health and reduce risk of heart disease, help with boosting heart health, are rich in magnesium which is a mineral known as an anti-inflammatory and helps to reduce blood pressure. They also have potassium which also assists in the proper functioning of the heart. They have been shown to reduce the risk of stroke and boost brain health.

ROLLED OATS -  Reduces risk of diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer, high in fiber which helps control appetite which aides in weight loss, associated with a 5 percent reduction in total cholesterol and a 7 percent reduction in LDL cholesterol, the type associated with heart disease.


HONEY - Helps prevent cancer and heart disease, acts as an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, increases athletic performance, reduces coughs and throat irritation, helps regulate blood glucose, and heals wounds and burns. It has been used in Ayurveda medicine for at least 4,000 years and is considered to affect all three of the body's primitive material imbalances positively. It has been linked to improved eyesight, weight loss, curing impotence, urinary tract disorders, bronchial asthma, diarrhea and nausea.

SUNFLOWER BUTTER - Sunflower seeds are a unique food, rich in many types of essential and sometimes hard to get nutrients. They are rich in Vitamin E, copper, B vitamins like thiamine, phosphorus, selenium and more. Basically they are power packed and a much better option than the acidic peanuts. They provide essential fatty acids in the form of linoleic acid. Additionally they are a great source of fiber which aids digestive health thereby reducing risk for colitis, colon cancer, and other gastrointestinal diseases and assist in curbing the appetite.

PUMPKIN SEEDS - These amazing seeds are power packed and great for getting minerals like manganese to magnesium to copper, protein and zinc. They are power houses and like sunflower seeds they contain phytosterols and free-radical scavenging anti-oxidants that can boost your health. They are great for heart health, immunity, cell growth and division, sleep, mood, eye and skin health, glucose regulation and male sexual function. They help to combat prostate cancer, diabetes, and due to their being a natural rich phytoestrogens they are great in menopausal women combating hot flashes, mood swings,  joint pains and other menopausal symptoms. When mixed with flax seeds they are particularly helpful with promoting liver health. Also, they are known as an anti-inflammatory which means that are helpful in combating just about every illness in the body.

FLAX SEED - It has been said to potentially help fight heart disease, diabetes and breast cancer. Cultivated in Babylon as early as 3,000 BC it is a power packed plant choice. Due to its being high in fiber it too is great at helping to promote weight loss through appetite control, and assist with gastrointestinal health. High in Omega 3s it has been shown to be beneficial in heart health and fighting diabetes and inflammation and can also help with decreasing the effects of menopause.

HEMP SEED - Great source of Omega 3s and Omega 6s and is another power packed nutritious food source in a small package. It is a perfect protein that not only contains all 20 amino acids but also each of the 9 essential amino acids that our bodies can not produce. This little seed is also rich in soluble and insoluble fiber which naturally cleanses the colon and reduces cravings. It is loaded with phytonutrients including minerals like magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, Zinc, vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B6, D and E. It will aid in boosting the body's immunity as well as help to thwart off diseases of the heart as well as cancers to things like adhd.

These granola bars make me ask, why in the world would anyone choose store bought highly processed granola bars with high prices and ingredients like organic cane syrup, soy, high fructose corn syrup, etc when they can make homemade and get all God's good and perfect nutrition the way He intended us to have it?  Happy and healthy snacking to each of you until my next post.