Saturday, May 25, 2019

How Food Affects Your Sleep





 Author Samantha Kent

Food fuels, comforts, and entertains. It fills a need, but its effects reach beyond just nourishment. The kind of food you eat and when you eat it can either help or halt your sleep. A diet rich in sleep supportive foods helps regulate and stabilize your sleep cycle. However, you’ll need to be aware of those that help, those that don’t, and ways to enhance your sleep experience.

What You Eat

Foods that Support Healthy Sleep
Our bodies can only be as strong as the food we put in them. Luckily, there’s a long list of foods that contain sleep-enhancing nutrients. Many of them contribute to the production of melatonin, a key sleep hormone.

  • Tryptophan: You’ve probably heard of this famous amino acid because of the traditional turkey at Thanksgiving dinner. While turkey is a good source of tryptophan, it has no more tryptophan, and less in some cases, than other sources such as oats, fish, nuts, eggs, and seeds. The tryptophan in these foods is used to make serotonin, which helps your body feel calm and relaxed in preparation for sleep.
  • Magnesium: Low magnesium levels are often associated with insomnia and other sleep disorders. To stabilize your levels add almonds, spinach, tuna, and avocados to your diet.
  • Potassium: Lack of potassium can cause muscle spasms and issues with the heart that disrupt sleep. Potassium-rich foods like spinach, lentils, and bananas can give you a potassium boost before bed.
  • Calcium: Calcium deficiency can cut into your sleep time as well. Make sure you’re eating plenty of dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese to stay balanced.

Foods to Avoid at Bedtime
There are also a few foods to avoid before bedtime. These foods alter the sleep cycle by blocking or interfering with the proteins, amino acids, and hormones needed to regulate your sleep.

  • Alcohol: Alcohol can be deceptive because it does make you feel sleepy at first. However, it changes the natural course of the sleep cycle by preventing the body from spending enough time in the deep sleep stages. In the light sleep stages, the body wakens more often, reducing the overall sleep time.
  • Caffeine: This one is no secret. Caffeine blocks sleep hormones and can continue to do so for four to six hours after it’s been consumed.
  • High fat and acidic foods: Foods high in fat and those that are acidic can contribute to heartburn and indigestion. The consequent discomfort can keep you awake for hours.

When You Eat It

Your body relies on consistent patterns to correctly time repeating behaviors like sleep. Eating regular meals that are evenly spaced helps your body recognize when it’s time to start the sleep cycle. Additionally, most people sleep better when their last meal of the day is light and eaten early. But make sure it has some healthy carbs. Studies have shown that a dinner rich in carbs can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Conclusion: Sleep Support Beyond the Kitchen

You can further enhance your sleep by making the bedroom a sanctuary. A cool, dark, quiet bedroom with a supportive mattress is perfect. If street light is a problem, try blackout curtains; noisy neighbors, invest in a white noise machine; overheating, turn on your ceiling fan or try a table fan on your nightstand.

It’s worth taking the time and investing a little money to give your body a chance to be at it’s best. With a healthy diet and supportive bedroom, you’re on your way to better, more restful slumber.
  The author's bio:
Samantha Kent is a researcher for SleepHelp.org. Her favorite writing topic is how getting enough sleep can improve your life. Currently residing in Boise, Idaho, she sleeps in a California King bed, often with a cat on her face. 



Friday, April 5, 2019

Does fat really make you fat?






 Does Fat Really Make You Fat?
There is an age-old saying that the fat you eat is the fat you wear. With the rise of
new ketogenic diets where fat is the main nutrient, many people are starting to
question if fat really is the answer.
When it comes to weight loss or fat loss, the most simple and effective way to ensure
success is to moderate your caloric spread and maintain a consistent deficit. With
that said, that answer is not really why we're here - we want to know if consuming
more fat will make you fat.
Let's break this down and look at the details.
Fat Has More Calories Than Any Other Nutrient
This is one of the main concerns that may keep you away from eating fat. When we
look at the actual caloric energy received from carbs and protein (both 4 kcal per
gram) we see that fat has more than double the calories (9 kcal per gram) per serving.
With this in mind, it can be very easy to overeat on a diet that contains a lot of fat.
On the other hand, calories are not necessarily a clear indicator of weight gain - it's
just more complex than that. Just because fat has more calories does not mean that
by eating it you will put on weight.
Fat Is Very Nutritious
Fat is also very healthy for you - when you consume the right type.
Polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats, omega fatty acids, unsaturated fats -


these are all really good sources of fat that you can find in many fat-rich foods like
nuts, fish, seeds and beans.
Consuming this type of food should not cause excessive weight gain.
So, Where's The Downside?
Yes, a diet that is high in fat can work, but it is really dependent on the actual person.
There’s a rule called the “equator rule” which roughly states that the closer your
blood relatives, historically, were to the equator the higher your nutrient demand for
carbohydrates would be.
Those from Caribbean countries, Mediterranean backgrounds, and anything close to
the equator will have a very good ability to metabolize (in general) carbohydrates. If
this population of people were to go on a high-fat diet, they may not experience the
same benefits that other blood relatives, like those of Scandinavian heritage, would.
Whenever you look at what food you should be eating, it’s always good to make an
objective assessment of where you came from.
Good food is good food, and this won't really change, but eating a diet that is as close
as possible to what your blood relatives would have eaten is going to allow your body
to function at the most effective rate possible.
Does Fat Really Make You Fat?
The consensus, then, is yes and no. The research will show that pretty much any
nutrient consumed in excess can lead to weight gain. The reality is we just don't have
enough human trials to definitively say that it will.
Your best bet is to always strive for moderation.
In most cases, the most effective macronutrient split is 50% carbs, 30% protein, and
20% fat.
Try sticking to those ratios for a while and then adjust as needed for your own body.
You’ll be able to tell if eating a higher percentage of fat works for you or if it makes
you gain unwanted pounds

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Pork Rigatoni Recipe





Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dried whole grain rigatoni use gluten-free
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • chopped parsley
  • shredded parmesan cheese
Instructions 
 
1
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.
2
While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic, mushrooms and onions just until onions and mushrooms have softened and started to brown, about 5 minutes. Pour red wine over the top to deglaze the pan. Be sure to scrape up any of the brown bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan.
3
Pour in crushed tomatoes. Mix in cumin, salt and pepper. Add in pulled pork. Mix well. Continue cooking for 5 - 10 more minutes or until sauce is warmed through. Stir in cooked rigatoni. Mix well. Transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and parmesan cheese. Serve.
 

The Complete Mediterranean Diet Food List




Is there a diet that’s both health-promoting and absolutely delicious? Yes, and its name is the Mediterranean diet. This way of eating is loaded with major health benefits and a Mediterranean diet food list that will leave your mouth watering. It’s a diet that can appeal to people of all different ages and backgrounds, it’s not too expensive to follow and calorie quality is way more important than calorie quantity.
What’s a typical Mediterranean diet breakfast look like? It varies by region, but in Lebanon, for an example, a classic breakfast may include leftover grains such as barley or bulgur wheat combined with a touch of honey, fruit, cinnamon and a splash of high-quality milk. Sounds pretty tasty, right?
There are so many healthy foods incorporated into the Mediterranean diet pyramid, including lots of fresh produce along with healthy fats like olive oil and high-quality protein like wild-caught fish. Resveratrol-rich red wine even commonly makes an appearance. What foods are not allowed on the Mediterranean diet? We’ll discuss that too, and the list probably won’t surprise you at all.

 

Mediterranean Diet Pyramid

As with any food pyramid, the Mediterranean version starts with the foods you’ll consume in the smallest quantity at the top and works its way down to the items you’ll be eating most often.
So, what’s at the top? Lean, high-quality red meats and sweets (think desserts made with whole yet sweet ingredients like raw honey) are in the highest yet smallest bracket of the pyramid. Next up is poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt. You could also include kefir in this section.
The second to largest category in the pyramid houses seafood. While it’s a good idea to avoid shellfish, you can load up (at least two times per week) on healthy wild-caught fish rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon and sardines.
The base of the pyramid, which will be the main focus of your Mediterranean diet food list, includes fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, olive oil, beans, nuts, legumes, seeds, herbs and spices. In various combinations, you will be seeing these items at each of your meals.
In general, wine (specifically red) is drank in moderation, and drinking plenty of water is a must. This diet plan also encourages enjoying healthy meals in good company and staying physically active on a regular basis.

 

Mediterranean Diet Food List

What is the Mediterranean diet food list? Here is a rundown of what’s typically allowed versus not allowed while following this diet plan:

Allowed:

  • Fresh vegetables and fruits: No fruits or vegetables are off limits on the Mediterranean diet menu. Some popular options commonly consumed in the Mediterranean region include tomatoes, eggplant, leafy greens, artichokes, broccoli, etc.
  • Healthy fats, especially olive oil: Healthy fats top the Mediterranean diet food list. The most popular one by far on this diet is extra virgin olive oil. Healthy fats like olive oil are an excellent energy source and also help to keep you feeling fuller longer. Another healthy fat option popular with the Mediterranean diet is olives.
  • Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds are another great source of healthy fats as well as protein. Almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc. are all healthy options. Look for ones that don’t have added salt or sugar. Can you eat peanut butter on the Mediterranean diet? You can in moderation, but you may want to check out these peanut butter nutrition facts first and only consume organic peanut butter. Tahini (made from sesame seeds) has a similar consistency and is a more popular item on the Mediterranean diet food list.
  • Herbs and spices: Antioxidant-rich herbs and spices like oregano, rosemary, mint and cinnamon are common inclusions that make meals a lot of more flavorful, and healthy too.
  • Seafood: Wild-caught fish like salmon are a primary protein source on this diet to consume at least a couple of times per week.
  • Legumes: Beans, peas and lentils are a healthy source of protein as well as fiber on the Mediterranean diet.
  • Whole grains: Grains are not off limits on this diet, but they should be of highest quality and definitely whole grain. If you’re looking to stick with a low-carb mediterranean diet food list, then whole grains will be a very small part of your diet. If you follow a gluten-free diet, you can incorporate gluten-free grains.
  • Plenty of fresh water and limited amounts of caffeine sources like tea and organic coffee.

Allowed in Moderation:

  • High-quality dairy: Is milk allowed on the Mediterranean diet? In moderation, high-quality dairy like goat milk, healthy cheese and probiotic-rich kefir or yogurt are included.
  • Poultry and eggs: Opt for organic and pasture-raised poultry and eggs as healthy protein sources.
  • Red meat: Red meat is consumed on special occasions in small amounts. Options include grass-fed lean cuts of red meat like lamb, which is a popular Mediterranean food, and beef, but high-fat meats like bacon and sausage should be avoided.
  • Alcohol: One type of alcohol commonly consumed in moderation on this diet is red wine. This is an alcohol source with well-known red wine health benefits, but it’s certainly not a must or a reason to start drinking if you currently refrain from alcohol. One glass of red wine with dinner is common if approved by your doctor. Drinking purple grape juice in small amounts is sometimes consumed as an alternative to wine.

Not Allowed:

  • High fat and/or processed meats (like pork sausage and bacon)
  • Refined sugar
  • Refined grains
  • Refined oils
  • Trans fatty acids
  • Highly processed foods (including fast foods)
If you’re ready to start food shopping using your Mediterranean diet food list, check out this incredible list of 24 Mediterranean diet recipes. which includes Mediterranean diet snacks and meal ideas. Some people are also taking this diet plan for a test drive by following the Mediterranean diet 30 day meal plan.

Mediterranean Diet Food List Conclusion

  • Before making a Mediterranean diet shopping list, don’t forget to familiarize yourself with what’s an approved or healthy choice on this diet as well as what should be avoided.
  • Popular healthy options you’ll see on a Mediterranean diet food pyramid include fresh fruits and veggies, healthy fats like olive oil, wild-caught fish, legumes, nuts, seeds, grass-fed meats and high-quality dairy like goats milk and yogurt.
  • The acceptable food options can easily fit your personal needs (gluten-free, for example) with some tweaking.
  • Mediterranean diet foods to avoid include high fat/processed meats, refined sugars, refined grains, refined oils, processed/fast foods and trans fats.
  • Following a Mediterranean way of eating is truly an enjoyable experience that encourages whole, fresh, healthy foods that are delicious and satisfying, making it a diet that is easy to stick with and has been scientifically shown to have incredible health benefits when done right.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Detox Strawberry Chicken Salad







Detox Strawberry Chicken Salad with juicy strawberries, mandarin oranges, blueberries and grilled chicken then drizzled with a Honey Mustard Dressing. 

Ingredients

  • 8 oz boneless skinless chicken breast
  • salt & pepper to season
  • 6 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/3 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup mandarin oranges
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
Honey Dijon Dressing:
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry basil
  • salt & pepper to taste
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Instructions

  1. Heat a grill to medium high heat, about 350-375 degrees F.
  2. Season both sides of chicken with salt & pepper.
  3. Spray grill grates with cooking spray or rub down with olive oil soaked cloth.
  4. Place chicken on the grill. Grill chicken for 5-7 minutes per side, or until there is no longer any pink. (this will depend on the thickness of your chicken)
  5. Remove from grill and let rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes to let the juices redistribute.
  6. In the meantime, to a small bowl add: whole grain mustard, dijon mustard, honey, lemon juice, garlic clove, dry basil, salt and pepper. Whisk until smooth and looks like a dressing. Set aside.
  7. Assemble the salad: to a large bowl add baby spinach, strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, mandarin oranges, pecans and green onions. Top with sliced grilled chicken and drizzle with honey mustard dressing to serve.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Belly Fat & Death


 From the WebMD Archives
Surprise: Everyone has some belly fat, even people who have flat abs.
That's normal. But too much belly fat can affect your health in a way that other fat doesn't.
Some of your fat is right under your skin. Other fat is deeper inside, around your heart, lungs, liver, and other organs.
It's that deeper fat -- called "visceral" fat -- that may be the bigger problem, even for thin people.


Deep Belly Fat

You need some visceral fat. It provides cushioning around your organs.
But if you have too much of it, you may be more likely to get high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and certain cancers, including breast cancer and colon cancer.
Detox your body and organs. Studies show that a body that's been purged of impurities functions better than one loaded down with toxins. Cleaning your intestinal track is the first step to good health.



Thin People Have It, Too

Even if you're thin, you can still have too much visceral fat.
How much you have is partly about your genes, and partly about your lifestyle, especially how active you are.
Visceral fat likes inactivity. In one study, thin people who watched their diets but didn't exercise were more likely to have too much visceral fat.
The key is to be active, no matter what size you are.
Lose Belly Fat Rule  

Diet: There is no magic diet for belly fat. But when you lose weight on any diet, belly fat usually goes first.
Getting enough fiber can help. Hairston’s research shows that people who eat 10 grams of soluble fiber per day -- without any other diet changes -- build up less visceral fat over time than others. That’s as simple as eating two small apples, a cup of green peas, or a half-cup of pinto beans

Clean up your eating habits. The eating rules are to eat natural food derived from the earth. Eat a small balanced meal every 3 hours. Taper off complex carbs toward the end of the day. Doing these small, yet effective dietary changes will purge your body of toxins to allow the nutrients to be utilized and it will also boost your metabolic rate so you can burn more calories a day. 




Sleep: Getting the right amount of shut-eye helps. In one study, people who got 6 to 7 hours of sleep per night gained less visceral fat over 5 years compared to those who slept 5 or fewer hours per night or 8 or more hours per night. Sleep may not have been the only thing that mattered -- but it was part of the picture 
 . Stress: Everyone has stress. How you handle it matters. The best things you can do include relaxing with friends and family, meditating, exercising to blow off steam, and getting counseling. That leaves you healthier and better prepared to make good choices for yourself


Detox your body and organs. Studies show that a body that's been purged of impurities functions better than one loaded down with toxins. Cleaning your intestinal track is the first step to good health.

Lose Belly Fat Rule #2

Clean up your eating habits. The eating rules are to eat natural food derived from the earth. Eat a small balanced meal every 3 hours. Taper off complex carbs toward the end of the day. Doing these small, yet effective dietary changes will purge your body of toxins to allow the nutrients to be utilized and it will also boost your metabolic rate so you can burn more calories a day.
Lose Belly Fat Rule #3

Drink water. If you already drinking water, drink more. Water is vitally necessary in toxin removal as well as getting fat moving and flushing it out of the body.

Lose Belly Fat Rule #4

Cardio constitutes as an effective means of reducing belly fat, provided you keep it within reason. Losing belly fat with cardio is a tool, not the sole answer as many people may think. Doing 20-30 minutes of high intensity interval training three to five times a week is sufficient to boosting your metabolic rate and burning fat.

Lose Belly Fat Rule #5

Abdominal exercises are wonderful in building a strong midsection. When you build stronger abdominal muscles you will look and feel better, improve posture, and alleviate lower back pain. You can do a wide array of various forms of crunches up to 4 times a week.

Lose Belly Fat Conclusion

The bottom line about how to get rid of belly fat is not by investing tons of money into fancy gadgets, expensive pills, and starving oneself, but it's in nourishing the body, purging the impurities and exercising to some degree. You won't have a model-ready body by tomorrow, but in time you will lose the belly fat and keep it off.

Now that you have the TRUTH about how to banish unsightly belly fat, use this information to your advantage and you will be unstoppable.

Leftovers 15-Minute Green Goddess Salad




Do you ever stare at the leftover food in your fridge and feel overwhelmed, wondering what to do next? Not only is throwing out food hard on our wallets, it's also contributing to the estimated (alarming) one pound of food wasted per person per day.
Sara Dickerman, the author of the new cookbook Secrets of Great Second Meals, has set out to make leftovers something to get excited about. How? By developing recipes that use your existing ingredients in a new way that actually tastes good. We're not talking throwing together your leftovers and hoping the dish tastes OK—these sophisticated recipes take your second meals seriously.
The inspiration for her green goddess salad came from two common leftover culprits: cooked chicken and chickpeas. Instead of giving them the boot, she uses them as the staples for the protein-packed green goddess salad. Besides adding texture and flavor research suggests that chickpeas support heart health, improve digestion, and aid in weight loss. This anytime-of-day salad can be made over and over again differently depending on your leftovers. Stuck with extra roasted veggies, potatoes, fish? Swap out the chicken and chickpeas for what's in your fridge, and you've got yourself an ideal second meal.

The Green Goddess Salad

Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 cup Italian parsley leaves
  • ¼ cup tarragon leaves
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped chives
  • 2 anchovies, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise (preferably homemade)
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 8 ounces shredded cooked chicken (roughly the meat from 1 breast and 1 thigh)
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
  • 2 large carrots, unpeeled if they aren't too bitter, coarsely shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 6 cups lettuce or other tender greens, such as baby spinach, baby kale, sorrel, or tatsoi
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste
  • Aleppo pepper and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Method
  1. To make the dressing, bring a small pot of salted boiling water to a boil. Have ready a medium bowl full of ice water and a slotted spoon or a spider. Drop the garlic clove into the boiling water and cook for 30 seconds. Place the parsley, tarragon, and chives in the water and stir until they wilt, about 20 seconds. Quickly use the slotted spoon to remove the garlic and herbs to the ice water. When they are cold, pull the garlic and herbs out of the ice water and squeeze them firmly to remove excess water. Chop roughly.
  2. In a blender or a food processor, combine the garlic, herbs, anchovies, vinegar, mayonnaise, and sea salt. Pulse a few times, then keep the motor running to blend the ingredients into a smooth green puree.
  3. To make the salad, in a large bowl, toss the chicken with ¼ cup of the dressing. Toss in the chickpeas and carrots with a bit more dressing to lightly coat. Finally, gently toss in the lettuce or other greens, adding a bit more dressing if desired. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt or lemon juice to taste. Finish with a sprinkling of Aleppo pepper and black pepper.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Mermaid Smoothie Bowl




Channel your inner mythical creature with a colorful smoothie bowl that's fun to make and eat. Look for blue spirulina powder, a protein-rich supplement made from blue-green algae, at natural-foods stores or order it online.


  • 2 frozen bananas, peeled
  • 2 kiwis, peeled
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  •  
  • 2 teaspoons blue spirulina powder
  • ½ cup fresh blueberries
  • ½ small Fuji apple, thinly sliced and cut into 1-inch flower shapes
  •  
    1. Combine bananas, kiwis, pineapple, almond milk and spirulina in a blender. Blend on high until smooth, about 2 minutes.
    2. Divide the smoothie between 2 bowls. Top with blueberries and apples.
     

Friday, March 8, 2019

How to Make Cauliflower Soup in 20 Minutes

 

 

There's nothing quite like a steaming bowl of soup to set your mood right. The ultimate comfort food, soup can be made a billion and one different ways. We LOVE soup here at EatingWell (so much so that we dedicated an entire cookbook to all things soup). One of our all-time favorites is this easy Cauliflower Soup. A healthy take on a loaded baked potato, this creamy cauliflower soup has all the fixings of a loaded potato (bacon included) but with fewer calories and carbs. Ready in a quick 20 minutes, this easy soup is great for busy weeknights or can be meal-prepped ahead of time to take for lunch or frozen for a ready-made meal down the road. This recipe was originally made for one serving, but can be easily adapted to serve more.
Don't Miss: Healthy Cauliflower Recipes sign up for my weely newsletter HERE
People just can't seem to get enough cauliflower, whether it's a traditional side dish or a recipe where cauliflower takes the place of a carb-heavy ingredient (like in these Cauliflower Everything Bagels). Cauliflower is still having its moment in the spotlight, and we don't see that changing anytime soon, especially since low-carb diets like keto, paleo and Whole30 (which use cauliflower as a low-carb replacement for everything from rice to pizza crust) show no signs of slowing down. Whether you're looking to eat low-carb, or just want a delicious vegetable soup recipe to make for lunch or dinner, this 20-minute cauliflower soup is a healthy, easy option.

3 Ways This Cauliflower Soup Is Healthier Than a Loaded Potato

Now, don't get us wrong—you can totally make a healthier version of a loaded potato (browse our healthy baked potato recipes here). And potatoes themselves are a healthy food and just tend to get a bad rap. But we're talking a loaded baked potato that you'd find in a chain restaurant that can be upwards of 450 calories with 65 grams of carbs and 550 mg of sodium. The benefits of cauliflower over potatoes in this recipe is that it helps to keep the carbs in check, provides nutrients like vitamin C and fiber and, being part of the cruciferous vegetable family, is known to have anti-cancer properties. A delicious alternative, this Cauliflower Soup is healthier than a traditional loaded potato in three major ways.

1. It swaps in low-carb cauliflower for potatoes.

Cauliflower acts as an ultimate carb replacer, taking the place of potatoes and cutting the carbs down to just 15 grams per serving. And while the carbs that come from potatoes aren't bad, if you're looking to eat fewer carbs, substituting cauliflower is an easy way to do that. And with two full cups of cauliflower per serving, you're getting a healthy serving of vegetables in each bowl. Additionally, Greek yogurt, cream cheese and bacon combine to provide 21 grams of satisfying protein, helping to give this meal more staying power.

2. It has all the toppings of a loaded potato without going overboard.

What would a loaded potato be without all the toppings? While add-ons like cheese, bacon and sour cream make the dish what it is, it doesn't take long until you're over the edge on calories and sodium. We doctored this recipe to still include those delicious flavors but in healthier amounts, and we opt for low-calorie or low-sodium versions of some foods like bacon and cream cheese. Plus, we added in an extra kick of flavor from fresh parsley and lemon zest.

3. It's super-creamy without the need for tons of cream.

Using cream cheese in place of heavy cream, and blending the cauliflower to a smooth consistency, gives this soup the same rich flavor and creamy texture you'd find in a cream-based soup. Love this hack? Don't miss our Creamy White Chili with Cream Cheese recipe.

 

Ingredients

For 1 serving
2 cups cooked cauliflower florets
2/3 to 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth, divided
Dash of garlic powder
Dash of black pepper
1 ounce reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufch√Ętel)
1/3 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
2 slices lower-sodium, less-fat bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled
1 teaspoon snipped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

1. Get Blending

Make the base of the soup by combining cooked cauliflower with broth, garlic powder and pepper in a blender or food processor. Keep blending until you get that smooth consistency we're looking for. Add more broth if you find the soup is too thick to blend smoothly.

2. Heat It Up

Transfer the blended cauliflower to a saucepan and heat until just boiling. Mix in cream cheese until it's fully incorporated, plus more broth as need to reach desired consistency.

3. Add the Toppings

The last step is to add all the tasty toppings that make this a "loaded" cauliflower soup. A dollop of Greek yogurt (or if you want to pipe on a design like we did, here's a hack for doing so), crumbled bacon, fresh parsley and a little lemon zest go a long way in bumping up the flavor. Want to keep this recipe vegetarian? Use "no-chicken" broth and try topping the soup with a different salty, crunchy topping instead of bacon, like french-fried onions.

4. Enjoy!


Meal-Prep a Big Batch and Freeze for Later

This Cauliflower Soup can easily be made ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen for a quick ready-made dinner on a busy weeknight or a packable work lunch.

Bump Up the Servings

This recipe was originally made for one serving and is easily adaptable to serve more. Here are the ingredient amounts if you're looking to increase the servings.
For 2 servings: 4 cups cauliflower + 1 1/3 to 1 1/2 cups broth + garlic powder and black pepper to taste + 2 oz. cream cheese + 2/3 cup Greek yogurt + 4 slices bacon + 2 tsp. parsley + 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
For 4 servings: 8 cups cauliflower + 2 2/3 to 3 cups broth + garlic powder and black pepper to taste + 4 oz. cream cheese + 1 1/3 cups Greek yogurt + 8 slices bacon + 4 tsp. parsley + 1 tsp. lemon zest
For 8 servings: 16 cups cauliflower + 5 to 6 cups broth + garlic powder and black pepper to taste + 8 oz. cream cheese + 2 2/3 cups Greek yogurt + 16 slices bacon + 8 tsp. parsley + 2 tsp. lemon zest

Meal-Prep Steps

1. Prepare through Step 2 and allow the soup to cool.
2. Transfer to a container with a lid and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
3. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop and add toppings just before serving.

 

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Couscous Salad

  •  

    Ingredients

  • from: Diabetic Living Magazine
    Mango, bell peppers, and black beans combine with whole-wheat couscous in this Caribbean-inspired grain salad. The ginger-lime dressing has a touch of cayenne pepper and provides just the right amount of zing!
     
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1½ teaspoons grated fresh ginger or ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1¼ cups water
  • 1 cup whole-wheat couscous
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups coarsely shredded fresh spinach
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium mango, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced scallions
  •  

    Preparation

  • For dressing, whisk together cilantro, lime juice, oil, ginger, salt, and cayenne pepper. Set aside.
  • Bring the 1¼ cups water to boiling in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Stir in couscous; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Let stand at room temperature about 10 minutes or until cool.
  • Stir together beans, spinach, bell pepper, mango, and scallions in a large bowl. Add couscous and reserved dressing. Toss to coat. Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap or foil and chill in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Friday, March 1, 2019

What is diffrence between Collagen and Bone broth







have been hearing so much about the benefits of Collagen and bone broth lately.  What is the difference between them?  Which would give me better nutritional value?  Thanks! –K. S. 
This is a question that I have been thinking about a lot lately, and I am happy to have a chance to address it.  Some use the terms collagen, collagen peptides, gelatin, and bone broth interchangeably because they are all comprised of the same 18 types of amino acids, but there are unique traits that each possess.

Let’s begin with collagen.  What is collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It is the substance that holds all living tissues together. Collagen is the long-chain of amino acids that is found in bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints, blood vessels, organs and skin.  In its original form, collagen cannot be absorbed through our diet because it is formed from three very long chains of over 1,000 amino acids twisting into a helix.  The natural strength of collagen in its full length form is what makes it difficult to break down in digestion, and it remains too large to cross the intestinal wall.

What is the difference between collagen and collagen peptides?

Collagen peptides are made by breaking down full-length collagen molecules so that they are smaller and more easily absorbed.  They are made from the same amino acids, but because they are smaller, collage
collagen powder in a scoopn peptides can be digested and enter the blood stream.  Once in the bloodstream the collagen peptides travel to the targeted tissues

in the body, bone, cartilage, skin, etc, where the body’s cells will use these smaller peptide building blocks to construct the full-length collagen strands to repair and sustain the body.

What is the difference between hydrolyzed collagen and collagen peptides?

Some people are confused when these two terms are used, however they are referring to the same thing.  Collagen peptides are what occur when you break down full length collagen through hydrolysis.

What is gelatin?  Is it different from collagen/ collagen peptides?

Gelatin is collagen that has been partially broken down, but is not as small or easily absorbed as collagen peptides.  Gelatin will only dissolve in hot liquid, while collagen peptides will dissolve in liquids of any temperature.

What is unique about bone broth?

Bone broth is a time honored process of slowly cooking bones in water to form gelatin that dissolves in the broth.  The health benefits from broth are found in the dissolved gelatin.  However, while bone broth is an excellent ingredient to cook with, it is less effective than supplementing with collagen peptides.  Why is this?  Because collagen peptides are smaller and more easily absorbed into the bloodstream than gelatin.  In addition collagen peptides cause fewer digestive symptoms than the gelatin found in bone broth and it is possible to notice an improvement in health sooner with the more easily absorbed collagen peptide supplements.

Bone broth is often not cooked in a way to maximize nutritional efficacy.

Most people only simmer their broth for a few hours, but for maximal nutrient release it is necessary to simmer the broth for much longer periods of time, ideally 20+ hours.  Even after this more prolonged simmering, the amount of collagen released into a serving of chicken bone broth is 6 grams.  It is also important to consider the quality of the animal bones that are used to make the broth.  A nutritionally superior bone broth should be made using the bones from grass fed cattle, pastured poultry or wild caught fish.  Since you will be extracting the nutrients and ingesting them in a more highly concentrated form, it is important that the animal was healthy.  While it is possible, to find these high quality bones to make broth, it may be difficult to acquire enough to make sufficient quantities of broth to ingest to get your recommended 5-8 grams of collagen a day, especially as some recipes call for five to six pounds of bones for every gallon of stock.  In addition, bone broth doesn’t have the other added nutrients that are necessary for optimal collagen absorption.

Gelatin and collagen are two proteins that are commonly associated with health benefits such as healing leaky gut, promoting skin health, improving digestion, and reducing joint pain.
Oftentimes, you may see gelatin and collagen used interchangeably. But while they come from the same sources — bones, skin, and tissue — they’re not the same thing.

Gelatin vs Collagen: Similar, But Different

As mentioned, collagen is found in bones and connective tissue. Since it’s too tough to eat tendons or ligaments, these parts must be cooked down using a process called partial hydrolysis to make the collagen digestible. The hydrolyzing and drying of the bones and tissue is what forms gelatin powder. In other words, gelatin is the cooked form of collagen.
Making bone broth is one of the most delicious ways to get more collagen and gelatin into your diet. By simmering animal bones and animal tissue in water with other aromatics for 20 to 24 hours, the collagen and gelatin get released from the bones and make their way into your tasty soup.
When it comes to collagen supplements, you may have heard of hydrolyzed collagen or collagen peptides. This form of collagen is simply hydrolyzed gelatin that has been more aggressively processed to form smaller proteins, which can be easily absorbed in the digestive tract.
Simply put, the differences between collagen and gelatin come down to how they’re processed. The processing method is what gives collagen and gelatin different textures, unique health benefits, and allows them to be therapeutic in different ways.
So, should you use collagen peptides or gelatin? Let’s take a quick look at the similar health benefits of collagen and gelatin, followed by their differences, so you can decide which one is best for you.

What Collagen and Gelatin Have in Common

First, let’s break down the makeup of each. Since collagen and gelatin are derived from the same sources, the have identical amino acid profiles. Most of the essential amino acids found in gelatin and collagen are highly anti-inflammatory (unlike some other animal proteins), which makes them beneficial for supporting overall health and well-being.
Gelatin and collagen contain the amino acids proline and glucosamine, as well as proteins called glycosaminoglycans. All of these nutrients support joint health by promoting the growth of new cartilage and cushioning the joints (1, 2). Having more of these nutrients has been found to help reduce the pain associated with arthritis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
The amino acid glycine is also found in gelatin and collagen. As a powerful natural anti-inflammatory, glycine also helps to improve joint function, but has the added benefit of supporting healthy nervous system function, improving sleep quality, building collagen, and strengthening the intestinal lining (3, 4). As you can see, glycine is one of the reasons why collagen and gelatin provide health benefits to the entire human body.
Lastly, one of the most important nutrients for healthy, younger-looking skin is collagen.
As the most abundant protein found in your skin, collagen helps preserve skin elasticity to keep it smooth, supple, and youthful. Since our bodies begin to produce less collagen once we hit age 25, consuming gelatin and collagen through your diet is especially helpful to improve your skin health from the inside out (5). Collagen has taken the skincare industry by storm thanks to these potential benefits, however the jury is still out on whether or not supplemental collagen is as effective as consuming it in whole foods since your skin doesn’t absorb collagen topically. As a protein, collagen is also a primary building block for healthy teeth, bones, hair, and nails (6).
 hen collagen is boiled, partially hydrolyzed, and dried to form gelatin, it turns into a brittle, dry powder. But when mixed with hot liquids, it dissolves into a gel-like substance (hence the name gelatin). If you’ve eaten Jell-O before, you’ve had gelatin.
The gelatinous texture of gelatin is why it’s useful to add gelatin to your recipes as a thickening agent (such as homemade gravy, vitamin gummy candies, and soup). The gel-like texture also determines how it’s digested and absorbed by your body, which can influence certain aspects of your health — from balancing blood sugar levels to intestinal repair.

Gut Repair

Picture gelatin as a thick, goopy gel when it’s being digested and absorbed in your intestinal tract. It moves sluggishly and is slower to digest, which is why it’s said to help soothe and coat the gut lining.
Since gelatin is 30 percent glycine, it’s one of the richest sources of glycine on the planet. Glycine has been shown to improve gut health by repairing the intestinal wall, and sealing the gut lining — which is essential for healing leaky gut syndrome and the autoimmune conditions that stem from leaky gut, such as rheumatoid arthritis and allergies (7, 8).
The benefits of gelatin for healing the GI tract also make it one of the top foods to eat on the GAPS diet, which is a gut health protocol designed to help repair the gut lining and heal digestive symptoms, leaky gut syndrome, and autoimmune diseases.

Blood Sugar Balance

One study showed that when gelatin was consumed with sugar, it reduced the glucose response by nearly 50 percent (9). This suggests that gelatin is an effective protein for reducing blood sugar spikes and crashes when consumed with high carb meals. Therefore, gelatin may also be helpful for managing and improving Type 2 diabetes and other blood sugar imbalances (10).
It’s possible that the slow digestion and absorption rate of gelatin is one factor that allows it to reduce insulin spikes, but the study specifically mentions the high glycine content in gelatin for reducing the glucose response. Since collagen peptides also contain glycine, it’s possible they may have a similar effect.

Digestive Health

Gelatin may improve bowel regularity, and relieve bloating and constipation. Its gel-like texture absorbs water and helps keep fluid in the intestinal tract, which is needed to promote healthy and regular bowel movements.
Gelatin has also been shown to increase gastric acid (stomach acid) production, which improves digestion and nutrient absorption.

Side Effects of Gelatin

Some may experience digestive symptoms such as gas, bloating, and heartburn when first adding gelatin to their diets, or from eating too much. This is because the larger molecules of gelatin are “heavier” and can be harder to digest.
To avoid these symptoms, it’s best to start with a small serving size of gelatin (such as 1 teaspoon) and gradually increase to 1 or 1 1/2 tablespoons.

Key Health Benefit of Collagen Peptides (Hydrolyzed Collagen)

 

Easy to Absorb

As we covered, powdered collagen supplements are gelatin that’s been processed more aggressively using hydrolysis, which forms smaller molecules called short chain peptides.
These short chain peptides are easier for your body to digest and absorb, which means the amino acids in hydrolyzed collagen may be more bioavailable and cause fewer digestive symptoms. Not only that, it’s possible that because collagen peptides are easier to absorb, you may notice the health benefits of collagen sooner when taking peptides, compared to gelatin powder.

Summary of Gelatin vs. Collagen Health Benefits

 

As you can see, gelatin and collagen both provide many of the same incredible health benefits, so there really is no wrong choice. Whether you choose gelatin or collagen comes down to how you want to use it (i.e., do you want to mix collagen in your smoothies, or add texture to your recipes?), and which form of collagen your body responds best to.
Because collagen products are made from animal products, which can sometimes be contaminated by improper farming and ranching practices, it’s important to select a high-quality product. Supplements are not evaluated by the FDA, so search for collagen powders made from organic and pasture-raised animals that have been vetted for safety and quality by a neutral third party like the National Sanitation Foundation.
Our favorite way to make sure we get enough of both? Delicious bone broth of course! Try making your own slow cooker beef bone broth, or purchase your favorite kind to drink straight from a mug or use in your recipes.
However you choose to consume collagen and gelatin, you now have a better understanding of what each one is, how they’re processed, and the benefits they provide.

EGGS BENEDICT WITH SMOKED SALMON AND SPINACH

 

 

EGGS BENEDICT WITH SMOKED SALMON AND SPINACH

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups frozen or fresh chopped spinach, thawed
  • 4 ounces smoked salmon, thinly sliced
  • 4 large organic free-range eggs
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1/2 cup Hollandaise sauce  or (recipe follows)

DIRECTIONS
  1. In a saucepan, cook the spinach, drain well, and return it to the pan. Place the salmon in the pan next to the spinach.
  2. Use an egg poacher to poach the eggs according to the manufacturer’s directions. (If you don’t have an egg poacher, add enough water to two medium saucepans to fill them about 2 inches deep.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons vinegar to each pan and bring to a gentle simmer.
  4. Crack 2 eggs into two separate small bowls, keeping the yolks intact. When the water is simmering, use the handle of a spatula or spoon to quickly stir the water (one pan at a time) in one direction until the water is swirling in the pan.
  5. Gently drop 1 egg at a time into the center of the whirlpool in each pan. The swirling water will help prevent the white from feathering or spreading out in the pan.
  6. Cover and let the eggs poach, setting your timer for 5 minutes; leave the eggs untouched while poaching.
  7. Repeat for the second serving of eggs.
  8. While the eggs are poaching, gently warm the spinach, smoked salmon, and Hollandaise sauce. Put one thick tomato slice on each of two plates. Divide the warm spinach between the two plates. Top each with half the salmon.
  9. When the eggs are ready, remove them from the water with a slotted spoon, place each poached egg on top of the spinach and salmon, and drizzle with Hollandaise.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Pesto & Shrimp




Cut some carbs and use spiralized zucchini in place of noodles in this zesty pesto pasta dish recipe. Top with Cajun-seasoned shrimp to complete this quick and easy dinner.
  • 5-6 medium zucchini (2¼-2½ pounds total), trimmed
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup unsalted shelled pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  •  
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound raw shrimp (21-25 count), peeled and deveined, tails left on if desired
  • 1-2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  •  

    Preparation


  • Prep
  • Ready In
  •  
  • Using a spiral vegetable slicer or a vegetable peeler, cut zucchini lengthwise into long, thin strands or strips. Stop when you reach the seeds in the middle (seeds make the noodles fall apart). Place the zucchini "noodles" in a colander and toss with ½ teaspoon salt. Let drain for 15 to 30 minutes, then gently squeeze to remove any excess water.
  • Meanwhile, combine avocado, basil, pistachios, lemon juice, pepper and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add ¼ cup oil and process until smooth.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add shrimp and sprinkle with Old Bay; cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp is almost cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Add the drained zucchini noodles and gently toss until hot, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the bowl, add the pesto and gently toss to combine.
  •  
    • serving size: 1¾ cups each
    • Per serving: 446 calories; 33 g fat(5 g sat); 7 g fiber; 16 g carbohydrates; 26 g protein; 112 mcg folate; 159 mg cholesterol; 7 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 1,144 IU vitamin A; 55 mg vitamin C; 141 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 713 mg sodium; 1,271 mg potassium
    • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (92% daily value), Folate (28% dv), Vitamin A (23% dv)
    • Carbohydrate Servings: 1
    • Exchanges: 6 fat, 3 lean protein, 1½ vegetable
     

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Honeydew, Cucumber Salad with Feta

 

Sweet tender honeydew, with tart red onion, crunchy cucumber and salty feta cheese create this beautiful summer salad that is topped with a light lemon or lime dressing.

 

SERVING SIZE:

8-10

INGREDIENTS:

3 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 Honeydew melon, seeded and cut in bite-size cubes
1 cucumber, cut into bite sized cubes
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill weed, minced
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

INSTRUCTIONS:

In a small bowl whisk together the lemon or lime juice, olive oil, honey, salt, and pepper until well combined.
In a large bowl, add cubed honeydew melon, cucumber, red onion and dill weed. Toss to combine. Drizzle dressing over the salad and toss again.
Place on serving dish or dishes, top with feta and serve.