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.

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