Monthly Archives: December 2014
- 3/4 pound uncooked rice spaghetti
- 1 (7-ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups shredded zucchini (about 1 1/4 pounds)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, shaved
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Remove 1 chile (smaller for less spice, larger for more) and 1 tablespoon sauce from can (reserve remaining sauce for another use). Remove seeds from chile (for extra heat, leave seeds in); mince chile. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chile, sauce, and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add zucchini; cook, stirring constantly, 4 minutes. Toss pasta with zucchini mixture. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cheese.
Lemon Sage Roast Chicken
- 2 lemons, thinly sliced
- 6 fresh sage leaves
- 1 (6-pound) chicken
- 3 teaspoons coconut oil, divided
- 3/4 pound parsnips, peeled and trimmed
- 3/4 pound carrots, peeled and trimmed
- 1/2 pound turnips, peeled and trimmed
- 1 pound unpeeled red potatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- Preheat oven to 425°. Place 6 lemon slices and sage leaves under skin of chicken. Put remaining lemon into cavity. Tie legs together with twine, and tuck wings under. Brush 1 teaspoon oil over chicken. Place chicken in roasting pan; roast in lower third of oven for 1 hour 15 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 165°. Transfer chicken to a cutting board; let rest for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut root vegetables into matchsticks. Toss with unpeeled red potatoes in a baking pan with remaining oil and thyme. Roast, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes or until tender.
- Remove skin from chicken. Discard lemons from cavity. Slice enough chicken to serve 4 (such as breasts), and serve with half of vegetables.
Updated Waldorf Salad
- 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise (Hellmans Mayo is best)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 small (Gala or Fuji) apples, cubed
- 1 cup seedless red grapes, halved
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced celery (about 1 stalk)
- 8 Boston or Bibb lettuce leaves
- Combine mayonnaise and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Add apples, grapes, and cranberries; mix well.
- Add the walnuts and celery, and mix well. Serve it on a bed of 2 lettuce leaves. The salad can be refrigerated up to 2 hours before serving.
Do you feel that there are times when sex just does not interest you? If you are suffering from lowered libido, or your sex drive just does not seem to be as strong as it used to be, the foods you eat could help you increase your sex drive.
It is important to understand that a decreased libido could be due to medications or an illness, so if the following foods do not help improve your drive, you should consult your doctor to address the problem.
Best Libido-Increasing Foods
If you want to use a natural approach to increasing your sex drive, these foods are some of the best options to try.
Even though most people avoid onions due to the smell, sautéed onions are great for increasing libido. Simply peel and dice an onion, and sauté in clarified butter until translucent. Eat the onions with a teaspoon of honey daily.
Dates are high in iron, and help with sex drive and ovulation. Simply soak a serving of dates in one cup of honey, and eat one teaspoon of the date-infused honey each day.
Tuna, anchovies, salmon, sardines, mackerel, and herring are high in omega-3’s, which are important for overall health. Eating these types of fish also naturally increase sex drive and stamina.
Watermelons provide amino acids that are important for sexual health, and they increase nitric oxide in the body. These two substances greatly increase sex drive and blood flow to improve sexual performance.
Nuts are high in fiber, antioxidants, and L-Arginine. L-Arginine is a natural libido enhancer, and the additional amino acids improve blood flow for more sexual stamina.
Blueberries contain antioxidants that are proven to help men with increased pleasure and sex drive. Eating blueberries daily will increase blood flow, pleasure, and erection strength.
Raw garlic provides a drastic increase in libido due to allicin, which is proven to enhance blood flow. Eat one clove each day for great results.
Pumpkin seeds are high in vitamins and zinc, which helps with testosterone issues, and sperm production.
Oysters not only increase dopamine production, they also contain zinc. These substances increase testosterone and healthy sperm when you eat them two times per week or more.
Dark chocolate contains high amounts of antioxidants and phenylethylamine, both of which work to enhance your sex drive when eaten daily.
6 Worst Foods for Diabetes
Over 25 million people in the United States have diabetes and diabetes takes an enormous toll on the health of our population.1 Diabetes accelerates aging; damages the kidneys, cardiovascular system, eyes and nerve tissue; and increases cancer risk.2-4
The devastating complications and premature deaths associated with diabetes can be prevented. The primary cause of the parallel increases in obesity and diabetes is the nutrient-depleted American diet. The worst foods for diabetes—the foods that elevate blood sugar, reduce insulin sensitivity and increase type 2 diabetes risk—are the foods that are most common in the standard American diet.
- Added sugars
Since diabetes is characterized by abnormally elevated blood glucose levels, of course it is wise to avoid the foods that cause dangerously high spikes in blood glucose—primarily refined foods such as sugar-sweetened beverages, devoid of fiber to slow the absorption of glucose into the blood. Fruit juices and sugary processed foods and desserts have similar effects. These foods promote hyperglycemia and insulin resistance, and promote the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in the body: AGEs alter the normal, healthy function of cellular proteins, stiffen the blood vessels, accelerate aging, and promote diabetes complications.5,6
- Refined grains (white rice and white flour products)
Refined carbohydrates like white rice, white pasta, and white bread are missing the fiber from the original grain, so they raise blood glucose higher and faster than their intact, unprocessed counterparts. In a 6-year study of 65,000 women, those with diets high in refined carbohydrates from white bread, white rice, and pasta were 2.5 times as likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes compared to those who ate lower-GL foods such as intact whole grains and whole wheat bread.7 An analysis of four prospective studies on white rice consumption and diabetes found that each daily serving of white rice increased the risk of diabetes by 11%.8 In addition to the glucose-raising effects, cooked starchy foods also contain AGEs, which promote aging and diabetes complications.9,10
- Fried foods
Potato chips, French fries, doughnuts and other fried starches start with a high-glycemic food, and then pile on a huge number of low-nutrient calories in the form of oil. The combination of glycemic carbs and oil is particularly potent at stimulating fat storage hormones. Plus, like other cooked starches, fried foods contain AGEs.9,10
- Trans fats (margarine, shortening, fast food, processed baked goods)
Diabetes accelerates cardiovascular disease; because the vast majority of diabetics (more than 80 percent1) die from cardiovascular disease, any food that increases cardiovascular risk will be especially problematic for those with diabetes. Trans fat intake is a strong dietary risk factor for heart disease; even a small amount of trans fat intake increases risk.11,12
In addition to their cardiovascular effects, saturated and trans fats reduce insulin sensitivity, leading to elevated glucose and insulin levels, and greater risk of diabetes.13
- Red and processed meats
Many diabetics have come to believe that if sugar and refined grains and other high-glycemic foods raise blood sugar and triglycerides, they should avoid them and eat more animal protein to keep their blood glucose levels in check. However, several studies have now confirmed that high intake of meat increases the risk of diabetes. A meta-analysis of 12 studies concluded that high total meat intake increased type 2 diabetes risk 17% above low intake, high red meat intake increased risk 21%, and high processed meat intake increased risk 41%.14
- Whole eggs
Eating 5 eggs/week or more has been associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.15 When it comes to heart disease, eggs have been a controversial topic. However, for those with diabetes, the research is not controversial; there are clear links in many observational studies to large increases in risk. Large prospective studies such as The Nurses’ Health Study, Health Professionals Follow-up Study, and Physicians’ Health Study reported that diabetics who ate more than one egg/day doubled their cardiovascular disease or death risk compared to diabetics who ate less than one egg per week.16,17 Another study of diabetics reported that those who ate one egg/day or more had a 5-fold increase in risk of death from cardiovascular disease.18,19
If you want to avoid diabetes and enhance your life expectancy, steer clear of these five foods and adopt a high-nutrient diet, which has been shown to reduce HbA1c into the non-diabetic range, reduce or eliminate the need for medications and dramatically improve blood pressure and triglycerides in diabetic patients.20
References: 1. American Diabetes Association: Diabetes statistics [http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diabetes-statistics/] 2. Campbell PT, Deka A, Jacobs EJ, et al: Prospective study reveals associations between colorectal cancer and type 2 diabetes mellitus or insulin use in men. Gastroenterology 2010, 139:1138-1146. 3. Flood A, Strayer L, Schairer C, et al: Diabetes and risk of incident colorectal cancer in a prospective cohort of women. Cancer Causes Control 2010, 21:1277-1284. 4. He J, Stram DO, Kolonel LN, et al: The association of diabetes with colorectal cancer risk: the Multiethnic Cohort. Br J Cancer 2010, 103:120-126. 5. Yamagishi S: Role of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and receptor for AGEs (RAGE) in vascular damage in diabetes. Exp Gerontol 2011, 46:217-224. 6. Barlovic DP, Thomas MC, Jandeleit-Dahm K: Cardiovascular disease: what’s all the AGE/RAGE about? Cardiovasc Hematol Disord Drug Targets 2010, 10:7-15. 7. Salmeron J, Manson JE, Stampfer MJ, et al: Dietary fiber, glycemic load, and risk of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in women. JAMA 1997, 277:472-477. 8. Hu EA, Pan A, Malik V, et al: White rice consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: meta-analysis and systematic review. BMJ 2012, 344:e1454. 9. Goldberg T, Cai W, Peppa M, et al: Advanced glycoxidation end products in commonly consumed foods. J Am Diet Assoc 2004, 104:1287-1291. 10. Pruser KN, Flynn NE: Acrylamide in health and disease. Front Biosci (Schol Ed) 2011, 3:41-51. 11. Teegala SM, Willett WC, Mozaffarian D: Consumption and health effects of trans fatty acids: a review. J AOAC Int 2009, 92:1250-1257. 12. Micha R, Mozaffarian D: Trans fatty acids: effects on metabolic syndrome, heart disease and diabetes. Nat Rev Endocrinol 2009, 5:335-344. 13. Riserus U, Willett WC, Hu FB: Dietary fats and prevention of type 2 diabetes. Prog Lipid Res 2009, 48:44-51. 14. Aune D, Ursin G, Veierod MB: Meat consumption and the risk of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies. Diabetologia 2009, 52:2277-2287. 15. Djousse L, Gaziano JM, Buring JE, et al: Egg consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes in men and women. Diabetes Care 2009, 32:295-300. 16. Qureshi AI, Suri FK, Ahmed S, et al: Regular egg consumption does not increase the risk of stroke and cardiovascular diseases. Med Sci Monit 2007, 13:CR1-8. 17. Hu FB, Stampfer MJ, Rimm EB, et al: A prospective study of egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease in men and women. JAMA 1999, 281:1387-1394. 18. Trichopoulou A, Psaltopoulou T, Orfanos P, et al: Diet and physical activity in relation to overall mortality amongst adult diabetics in a general population cohort. J Intern Med 2006, 259:583-591. 19. Djousse L, Gaziano JM: Egg consumption in relation to cardiovascular disease and mortality: the Physicians’ Health Study. Am J Clin Nutr 2008, 87:964-969. 20. Dunaief DM, Fuhrman J, Dunaief JL, Ying G. Glycemic and cardiovascular parameters improved in type 2 diabetes with the high nutrient density (HND) diet. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine 2012, 2.
Health and Wellness Associates
Probiotics could be used for people with High Blood Pressure
Probiotics are products containing the “friendly” bacteria that normally inhabit the human intestinal tract, where these beneficial microbes help complete the digestive process. Some of these microbes actually produce vitamins, and evidence suggests that without them, the immune system doesn’t function optimally, compromising resistance to infection. The latest word on probiotics is that they may also help lower blood pressure. A new analysis of nine earlier randomized controlled trials found that regularly taking probiotics led to reductions in systolic blood pressure (the top number) by an average of 3.56 millimeters of mercury and diastolic pressure by 2.38. While these changes aren’t dramatic, the Australian research team that conducted the review concluded that bigger reductions may occur in people who already have high blood pressure (some of the study participants had normal blood pressure to begin with) Greater benefits might also be possible using probiotics that provide larger quantities of helpful bacteria or multiple species, or when people take probiotics for more than two months, as was the case in the studies reviewed. Positive effects from probiotics on diastolic blood pressure were greatest in people whose blood pressure was equal to or greater than 130/85, which is considered elevated. The probiotics used in the studies were primarily strains of Lactobacillus in dairy products. The study authors concluded that more research is needed before doctors can confidently recommend probiotics for control and prevention of high blood pressure.
Sources: Jing Sun et al, “Effect of Probiotics on Blood Pressure – A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized, Controlled Trials,” Hypertension, doi: 10.1161/ HYPERTENSIONAHA.114.03469
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Top Five Warning Signs that Your Child is in Trouble
What causes teenagers to make choices that could destroy their future, and why do they give in to peer pressure? Could your child be headed down a dangerous path? Heed the following warning signs:
#1 Teen warning sign: Isolates from the family. If your once social child starts spending an inordinate amount of time away from home or locked in his or her room, Dr. Phil says this is a red flag. If your teen starts withdrawing from you or your spouse, there’s a reason. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to identify what’s behind the change.
#2 Teen warning sign: An extreme shift in mood. Is your child garrulous and friendly one moment, then taciturn and angry the next? Don’t just chalk it up to growing pains. Dr. Phil says he or she may be hanging out with the wrong crowd, or experiencing changes — hormonally, neurologically or socially.
“One thing to do is not to let it just go,” Dr. Phil warns, “because they get bigger, they get stronger, they get more rebellious. It’s never too late.”
#3 Teen warning sign: He or she starts abusing drugs or alcohol.
Teens often start experimenting with drugs and/or alcohol unbeknownst to their folks. If you suspect your child is using drugs, know the signs to look for.
#4 Teen warning sign: Family history of alcoholism and drug abuse.
“There clearly is a higher incidence with teens if they’ve had this history in their family,” Dr. Phil says. “Maybe it’s genetic; maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s just that the modeling is there.”
#5 Teen warning sign: Taking risks.
Don’t chalk your child’s truancy, vandalism or petty theft up to “teens being teens.”
“When your teen just seems to throw caution to the wind, not care about consequences — all around bad sign,” Dr. Phil warns. “It indicates a number of things, one of which is that they don’t have the ability to connect their choices with their consequences.”
Other warning signs to look out for:
Declining grades, using street or drug language, a diminished interest in hobbies and a lack of appreciation for family values.
“You can’t be in denial about what’s going on. Don’t kid yourself that these bad things just happen to other people’s kids. Know what’s going on with your child. Make sure they understand the consequences of their actions,” Dr. Phil says. “Make sure they’re living consistent with the values you hold so important.”
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We used to think that people who walked around talking to themselves were a bit unbalanced. Now we notice the Bluetooth and shrug. But talking to yourself appears to have its uses, at least when you’ve misplaced something. A team of psychologists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Pennsylvania has reported on a study showing that talking to yourself when you’re looking for something actually helps you find it. First, they asked study participants to look through 20 images and asked them to find a specific one. Sometimes, there was a label telling them what to look for; a teapot, for example. Later, the participants were asked to search again while saying the word of the object they had to find. In another experiment the participants were asked to find photos of common supermarket items like apples or peanut butter or a product name, such as Diet Coke. In both experiments, the participants who repeated the names of the objects they were searching for found them faster – and shortening the name to, say “Coke” rather than Diet Coke additionally speeded the searches. Try that the next time you can’t find your keys or your glasses.
Gary Lupyan, Daniel Swingley. “Self-directed speech affects visual search performance.” The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 2011; : 1 DOI: 10.1080/17470218.2011.647039
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In this study, published in BMJ Online First, researchers looked at more than 46,000 men, aged 40 and older, with no history of gout. Information on the men’s food and beverage intake was collected at the start of the study, and details about their weight, medication use and medical conditions were recorded every two years during the 12-year study.
During that time, 755 of the men were diagnosed with gout. The risk was much higher in men who drank five to six servings of sugar-sweetened soft drinks per week and was 85 percent higher in those who drank two or more of the beverages a day, compared to those who had less than one serving per month.
The increased risk was independent of other gout risk factors such as body-mass index, age, diuretic use, high blood pressure, alcohol intake and dietary habits. Diet soft drinks did not increase gout risk.
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