Pumpkin Chai Smoothie

Here's a throwback post that is certainly appropriate for this October weekend.  This smoothie matches the season and will be a great way to start the lovely fall day. Thanks to Smoothie Queen Amy for this great recipe I can't wait Read more

Gluten Free Zucchini Bread

Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread So I have been struggling with gluten-free baking because honestly -- I've never been good at baking!!  Then when I try to modify recipes using flours I'm not familiar with, it just makes  a perfect storm of Read more

When Should I Take My Supplements?

If you are like me -- you are just starting to realize why it is important to add supplements to your diet.  Even if we are eating a clean, healthy and unprocessed diet;  the mineral content of the soil Read more

Magnesium-the unloved mineral

Do you remember watching Wild Kingdom as a kid?  Did you happen to notice that the animals attacking their prey would immediately eat the organ meats.  I never really thought about why until I listened to Morley Robbins explain the Read more

More Homemade Salad Dressings

Blackberry Balsamic Vinaigrette 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp local honey 1/3 cup blackberries   Process all the ingredients together in a blender and then season with ground pepper and sea salt The beauty of this recipe Read more

Healthy Mayo and Ranch Dressing

This stuff is a must -- If you read labels these days you will be hard pressed to find a mayonnaise or salad dressing that doesn't contain some type of vegetable oil.  Even the commercial mayos that advertise to Read more

Sherry's Story

Sherry has a great story.  She has been diabetic for years and she has made some massive changes!   "I have been on a lifestyle change. It has been a year following a ketogenic food plan.  When I started this journey Read more

Tara's Story

Tara's Story When I turned 30 years old I weighed in at 348lbs; clothes were getting harder to find and more expensive, and my life was getting difficult to manage. When going out to eat we had to have a Read more

healthy eating

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

So I got a little wicked crazy this weekend and decided to splurge on some pizza.  We do gluten-free carry out around here sometimes, but my future son-in-law inspired me to make my own cauliflower pizza crust. He made it for his family a few weeks ago and it looked amazing.   I have done cauliflower fried rice and mashed potatoes before but I’ve never been much of a baker. This seemed a little intimidating!  But, I’m always up for an adventure and challenge.

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So here are the ingredients that I used:

1 medium-sized head of cauliflower

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 small shake of crushed red pepper

1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1/4 cup mozzarella cheese

1 egg

1 tablespoon coconut flour (optional but I used)

So you start by placing your pizza stone in the oven (I used a baking sheet) and pre heated it to 450 degrees

Then place a piece of parchment paper on a cutting board and spray with nonstick cooking spray (I used coconut oil spray)

Wash and dry the cauliflower/ cut off the florets and then pulse in the food processor ( my NINJA worked great)

Place it in a microwave safe bowl and cook for 4 minutes

When cooled — dump the cooked cauliflower into a towel and wring all the water out of it.  HINT — don’t use paper towels like I did — (A big shout out to my fab patients Gene and Cheryl that suggested using the towel)  I didn’t get my cauliflower dried out enough which made my dough a little too wet –I was able to add coconut flour to dry it out some.

NEXT –make the dough

Dump the cauliflower in a bowl with the 1/4 cup parmesan, 1/4 cup mozzarella, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp basil, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp garlic powder (not salt) and a dash of red pepper

Then add the egg and mix away.   I ended up adding 1 Tbsp of coconut flour (you could also use almond) to thicken the dough up since I hadn’t dried the cauliflower well enough.

Then form the dough into a crust and pat it down on the parchment paper (not too thick or too thin)

Slide the parchment paper onto your stone or baking sheet and cook 8-11 min until golden brown

Then remove from the oven and add your toppings and cook for another 5-7 minutes until cheese is bubbly

Then let it cool for a minute or two before cutting (this is crucial)

I added some homemade sauce (see instructions below), some shaved parmesan, fresh-cut mozzarella, tomato, and fresh-cut basil from my garden.

For the Sauce–

I took about 10 Roma tomatoes and cut an X on the skin with a knife.

Then drop them in boiling water for about 45 sec and pull them out.  You can easily remove the skin from the cut areas.

Add those back in the pot with whatever other ingredients you prefer.  I added a red onion, 3 cloves garlic, fresh oregano, basil, and chives from the garden and some roasted red pepper with a dash of sea salt and pepper.

I let this simmer for about 3 hours on low heat.

 

So here are my takeaways:

It’s ok to splurge every now and again and try a new adventure in cooking!

The pizza was definitely palatable and I will try it again.  I didn’t get the texture just right and had to eat it with a fork (it was less chewy/more crumbly).  I think it would work better with a pizza stone rather than a baking sheet.  But that’s just my opinion.

Leave me some comments below on new healthy cooking adventures or mistakes you have made!  We are all in this together!

Posted on by Angela in Diet, Nutrition, Whole Food 2 Comments

Healthy Nuts!

Thanks to Wellness Warrior Annie for sharing this with us!

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A great source of nutrition, a cashew is no less a superfood than other nuts. It is extremely rich in copper,manganese, magnesium, and tryptophan, and is a good source of many other essential nutrients like protein, iron, selenium, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. One serving of organic cashews is equivalent to ¼ cup or 34.26 grams and provides:

  • 37.5% of your daily copper requirement
  • 28.4% of your daily manganese requirement
  • 28.1% of your daily tryptophan requirement
  • 25% of your daily magnesium requirement

Everyone should add cashews to their diet, as they are extremely beneficial for health. Let us look at the some of the most important health benefits of these kidney-shaped nuts:

1. Cashews help you lower your risk of heart disease

Cashews, like other nuts, are a good source of antioxidants, which various studies have shown are capable of reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease. Given below is a brief description of two scientific studies that confirm their ability to improve cardiovascular health:

– Study 1

Researchers combined the evidence from four epidemiological studies – the Iowa Women’s study, Physician’s HealthStudy, Adventist Health Study, and Nurses’ Health Study – and found that:

  • Participants who ate at least four servings of nuts per week had a 37% lower chance of suffering from heart disease than subjects who did not eat nuts
  • Every additional serving of nuts over four servings per week further reduces the risk of heart disease by approximately 8%

– Study 2

Researchers who conducted the Iowa Women’s Health Study reveal that:

  • Subjects who ate one serving of nuts, such as cashews, recorded 11% fewer incidences of death from coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease
  • Subjects who ate 1-4 servings of nuts recorded 19% fewer incidences of death from coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease

2. Cashews promote good cardiovascular health

Cashews are rich in oleic acid, a monosaturated omega-9 fatty acid which constitutes 75% of the  total monounsaturated fats present in cashews. Monosaturated fats, in turn, accounts for 75% of the total fat content in cashews.

Studies show that monosaturated fats, such as oleic acid, promote good heart health by reducing the levels of triglycerides in the blood. High triglyceride levels are known to considerably increase the risk of heart disease.

In addition to oleic acid, cashews are extremely rich in magnesium, an essential nutrient that helps  hypertensive patients manage blood pressure. Hypertensive patients are at an increased risk of heart disease than people with normal blood pressure, and it is absolutely vital that they keep their blood pressure in check.

We provide the results of a recent study to help you better understand the anti-hypertensive capability of cashews.

– A new study shows magnesium lowers blood pressure in hypertensive patients

In a study conducted for 12 weeks, researchers gave magnesium supplements daily to the participants in one group and a placebo to other participants. At the end of the 12 weeks, researchers found that hypertensives who had received a supplement of magnesium oxide daily recorded a significant decrease in their blood pressure.

3. Cashews reduces the risk of colon cancer and health conditions caused by copper deficiency

Scientists believe that copper deficiency may be associated with increased fecal water alkaline phosphatase activity and fecal free radical production, both of which are listed as risk factors for colorectal cancer (colon cancer). Cashews have a high copper content one serving provides 37.5% of your daily copper requirement – andcan help you prevent colon cancer.

As a matter of fact, cashews are useful in the prevention of all health conditions associated with copper deficiency,such as ruptured blood vessels, osteoporosis, elevated LDL cholesterol, joint problems, anemia, and irregular heartbeat.

4. Cashews promotes healthy bones

Calcium is important for healthy bones, most of us know this. However, what many of us don’t know is that magnesium is as necessary as calcium for strong bones. Organic cashews are rich in both these minerals and are extremely beneficial for your bones.

5. Cashews prevents nerve cells from becoming over activated

Magnesium and calcium are two minerals which complement each other. Magnesium, in effect, works as a calcium channel blocker (CCB), regulating calcium’s entry into the bloodstream. In other words, a magnesium deficiency can lead to high blood calcium levels, which in turn can lead to serious health conditions such as overactive nerve cells.

Ample intake of magnesium keeps the nerve cells relaxed and obviates the risk of overactive nerve cells. Magnesium also prevents other health conditions associated with too much calcium in the bloodstream, such as heart attack and high blood pressure. In addition, regular intake of magnesium is known to reduce the frequency of migraine headaches, reduce the severity of an asthma attack, and relieve muscle tension, soreness, and fatigue.Cashews are a great source of magnesium, allowing you to easily meet your daily requirement for magnesium and enjoy the health benefits that ample intake of magnesium yields.

6. Cashews help in weight management

Contrary to popular belief, nuts lower your risk of weight gain. Although cashews, like other nuts, have high fat content, they help you in weight management, primarily because most of the fat is a good fat. They are also a good source of fiber, which, when consumed in abundance, minimizes the risk of weight gain.

A study published in the esteemed journal Obesity shows that nuts can be good for people who don’t want to gain weight. Take a look:

An independent study confirms that nuts aid weight management:

Spanish researchers conducted a study involving 8,865 participants and recorded the following observations:

  • Participants who ate two or more servings of nuts per week had a 31% less chance of putting on weight than individuals who never or seldom ate nuts
  • Among those who put on weight, participants who ate nuts at least two times a week put on less weight than participants who never or seldom ate nuts

7. Cashews prevent gallstones

According to the data collected on more than 80,000 women from the Nurses’ Health Study, women who eat one ounce of nuts like cashews are 25% less likely to develop gallstones.

How many servings of cashew you must eat in a week to enjoy the health benefits it provides?

It is recommended that you consume at least 4 servings of raw organic cashews per week to enjoy the numerous health benefits that it provides.

Safety Concerns

Cashews are safe for everyone, except for those who are allergic to them or who have a certain specific conditions.Here are a few safety concerns associated with cashews:

  • Cashews interfere with other minerals such as calcium. If you are taking cashews to help you with a particular condition, speak to your doctor before eating them. This is because the intake of cashews may need to be closely monitored in such cases. Healthy people, on the other hand, do not have to worry about such things and can safely eat as many servings of cashews as they want in a week.
  • You should not have cashews if you are allergic to them. Consult your doctor immediately if you develop a food allergy after eating cashews. Common symptoms associated with food allergy include, but are not limited to, the following: skin rash, swelling of the throat, lips, or tongue, eczema, nasal congestion, wheezing, difficulty breathing, light-headedness, dizziness, diarrhea, constipation, insomnia, and fatigue.
Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, disease, Nutrition, Whole Food Leave a comment

Labor Day Recipes

Happy Labor Day weekend!  The long weekend brings lots of get togethers with food as the main agenda!  Don’t waste your weekend slaving behind the stove—
Instead, load up your slow cooker with one of the following crowd-pleasing dishes. I’ve listed the  recipes in countdown order— if you have a favorite, please chime in below. Happy Labor Day!
10) Salsa Chicken and Black Bean Soup. This is filling, delicious, and is different enough to gain lots of attention on the buffet table. Easy to stretch by serving rice, and fixen’s like sliced avocado and tortilla chips.
9) Lima Bean Casserole Cassoulet. I love serving this to guests and listening to the conversation. “what type of beans are these?” “I’m not sure. some sort of large pinto beans or something?” I usually wait until the pot is practically empty before coming clean that they were lima beans.
8) Honey Lentils. Delicious, nutritious, vegan vegetarian, and such a fun offering to bring to a picnic. I get the nicest emails about these lentils!
7) Pesto Spinach Lasagna. I need to run to the store to pick up the ingredients for this! You have never had a better vegetarian lasagna. So so good.
6) Hirino Psito. This is a wonderful main dish to serve to guests. Worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard, and beer mix together to create a savory sauce that perfectly compliments the sweet contrast of brown sugar and cranberries. Win!
5) Brie with Apricot Topping. To make this more user-friendly for guests, insert an oven-safe dish into your large slow cooker and load the ingredients into the dish. Then remove the dish (use mitts!) and serve with your favorite crackers (we like Glutino a lot). Do not add water in the crockpot around the dish.
4) Pomegranate Beef. When we host a dinner for new friends, I usually make this. This keeps picky older relatives happy, along with the kids (note to self: I need to update some of these photos!). I’ve made this for television audiences, and served it at the Disneyland Food & Wine Festival, where the kitchen chefs gave rave reviews, which made me cry. This recipe was also featured on Oprah.com!
3) Cream Cheese, Sausage,  and Rotel Dip (mommy crack). The ingredients are odd, the taste is not. Make this and you’ll be happy.
2) Potluck Beans. We can’t have a potluck countdown without potluck beans, now can we? These beans have bacon. Nuff’ said.
1) Original Taco Soup. Feeds a bunch, easy to throw together, and everyone LOVES it. This has been our number one potluck bring along for the past 12 years.
 
Honorable mention: Black Beans with Cilantro. I ran out of numbers— this is a great bean recipe.
Enjoy your long weekend!
Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, disease, Nutrition, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food 2 Comments

Eat Alkaline Foods

Thanks to Tatiana for allowing AngelaMD to share this great article and site!

Learn What Fruit Stickers Mean

When buying food, we look at the label to make smarter choices. But when it comes to fruits and vegetables, and since they don’t have a label, the choosing becomes a little harder. Well, that little sticker on fruits or vegetables that don’t come in a package has a lot of useful information. It tells you whether they have been conventionally grown, or are organic, or if they have been genetically modified. This is important information if we keep in mind that 7 out of every 10 items in grocery store shelves contain genetically modified ingredients.

The little sticker is called PLU code which stands for Price Look Up Code. These codes have been in use since 1990, and there are over 1300 universal PLU codes assigned. But they all follow some general guidelines, here they are:

  • 4 digits and begin with a 3 or a 4:produce is conventionally grown. This means that this produce was been sprayed with weed killers and chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
  • 5-digits and start with an 8: produce was genetically engineered or genetically modified. This means the produce’s genes were genetically altered to produce bigger, or faster growing, or better looking produces. Needless to say, this process is detrimental to the produce, and very dangerous to your health. Read the 4 tips to avoid GMOto learn more.
  • 5-digits and start with a 9: produce was raised organically. These are produces that have not been treated with chemicals and that haven’t been genetically manipulated. These are the safest produces out there.

To me learning the meaning of those codes on the sticker was a great discovery, and I wanted to share this because I would dare to say that most people are not aware of this information.

The PLU system is administered by the International Federation for Produce Standards, an affiliate of the Produce Marketing Association.

To illustrate the code use, here is an example:

  • 3440: Conventionally grown Pomegranate
  • 83440: Genetically Modified (GMO) Pomegranate
  • 93440: Organically grown Pomegranate

As you can see, the last four number are the same in all three codes. The last four numbers refer to what kind of fruit or vegetable it is.

Fruit sticker Learn What Fruit Stickers MeanNow to review and keep in mind, if it starts with an 8, stay away from it, it is man made, or man messed around with to be more precise. These produces benefit only the pocket of the company producing them. Their nutritional value has been altered and very much diminished, and they pose serious health treats to you.

If possible, one should try to eat everything organic. But since this is not always possible for different reasons, it is good to keep in mind which produces are more prone to absorb chemicals and pesticides, and so are recommended to be eaten organic. These produces are called the “dirty dozen”, and are:

  1. Celery
  2. Peaches
  3. Strawberries
  4. Apples
  5. Blueberries
  6. Nectarines
  7. Sweet bell peppers
  8. Spinach, kale and collard greens
  9. Cherries
  10. Potatoes
  11. Grapes
  12. Lettuce

When buying those produces, try as possible to get them organic.

On the other hand, the 15 produces that are considered the “cleanest” and that could be bought conventional are:

  1. Onions
  2. Avocados
  3. Sweet corn
  4. Pineapples
  5. Mangoes
  6. Sweet peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Kiwi fruit
  9. Cabbage
  10. Eggplant
  11. Cantaloupe
  12. Watermelon
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Sweet potatoes
  15. Sweet onions

The reason why some products are safer than others to eat when grown conventionally is because these products do not absorb as much chemicals and pesticides, and so are not passing as many toxics to us as the “dirty” ones do.

I hope you liked the information presented, and I hope it will be of help the next time you go grocery shopping.

For more alkaline related articles visit  http://www.eatalkalinefoods.com

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Guest Blog, Nutrition, Organic, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

You are what you eat

This cartoon is so hilarious, I shouldn’t even write anything to go with it. But I will. What prompted me to look for a graphic for this post is a memory I have of eating a hot dog and chips for lunch before I started the new eating plan. I drive and walk past this food cart every day and one day, I walked down with my $2 and got a hot dog, chips and a Diet Coke. I went back to my desk to eat and afterward I remember thinking “I feel like a hot dog.” The rest of the day I felt sluggish and gross. Since starting this blog, I’ve been paying close attention to the signals my body gives me when I eat well and when I don’t. Healthy food is starting to be my new normal, so when I eat some of my old comfort foods they are a bit of a shock to my system. Many times, if the food is greasy, it actually makes me sick.

Here’s something fun I’ve just started doing, I can now visualize myself as a skinny person. Actually the visualization I have is that I’m athletic, great biceps and quads. I can’t wait!

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Exercise, Guest Blog, Humor, Nutrition, Uncategorized, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment