Monthly Archives: April 2015
Vegie and Cheese Lasagna
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup sliced button or cremini mushrooms
3/4 cup chopped zucchini
1/2 cup peeled and chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 (26-oz.) jar prepared tomato basil pasta sauce
3 Tbs. prepared pesto
1 (15-oz.) carton part-skim ricotta cheese
6 hot cooked lasagna noodles, cut in half
3/4 cup (3 oz.) shredded part-skim or whole milk mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese or Grana Padano cheese
( If you read the post on Progresso Lentil Soup, this is a good recipe to add it to)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 70 minutes
Yield: Serves 6
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, zucchini, carrot, bell pepper, and onion, and cook, stirring often, for about 7 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the pasta sauce, stir well, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Combine the pesto and ricotta in a small bowl and mix well.
Spread about 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce mixture in the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish or pan coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 noodles over the tomato mixture. Top the noodles with half of the ricotta mixture and 1 cup of the tomato mixture. Repeat the layers, ending with the noodles. Spread the remaining tomato mixture over the noodles, and sprinkle with the mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
4. Cover the dish with a sheet of aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover the dish and bake for 20 minutes more, or until the top is golden brown. Remove the lasagna from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
In Italy, its home of origin, lasagna is a very different animal than what we’ve come to know in America. While it certainly rates as on the richest dishes in the Italian repertoire, it’s almost austere compared to its American catch-all counterpart. In Italy, lasagna reflects the seasons: A springtime lasagna is delicate with young artichokes, while in autumn, you’ll find layers of pasta mingling with woodsy fresh porcini and winter squash.
But perhaps the true beauty of the Italian approach to lasagna is that by relying more on vegetables and lighter sauces—and less on cheese.
Flourless Peanut Butter Cookie
1 cup natural peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place the racks in the upper and lower third of the oven.
In a medium bowl, mix the peanut butter, sugar, vanilla and egg until well combined. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the mixture about 1 inch apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Flatten the mounds with the tines of a fork, making a crosshatch pattern on the cookies. Sprinkle coarse salt on top of the cookies.
Bake until golden around the edges, about 10 minutes, switching the position of the sheets halfway through baking. Transfer to racks to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Have Lentils to Recharge the Adrenal Glands.
Lentils are packed with copper and manganese – two minerals that you might not find an adequate amount in your daily vitamins.
These minerals help the adrenal glands produce energy hormones for one, but also help you with thinning hair, and fat and cholesterol
absorption. Yale researchers say that 1/2 cup daily is the amount you need, for a 30% increase in energy, thinning hair, and fat absorption
in the intestines, helping you loose up to three pounds a month.
You do not need a special recipe, or preparation for this either. Buy Progresso lentil soup. Add it to another soup you are making,
spaghetti sauce, chili, stews, even casserole dishes. There is not a heavy flavor, and most people will not know you added it.
Getting enough vitamin C has surprising effect
on mood, reveal investigators in The American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition. When C-deficient hospital
patients were given 500 mg of the vitamin daily for 8 days,
they experience a 71 percent reduction in symptoms
such as irritabillity, fatique and sadness and a 51 percent
decrease in anxiety. The study authors explain that
vitamin C is critical for maintaining balance in the
brain chemicals that govern our emotional response
Health and Wellness Associates
Plant compounds and fruit acids in cran-water detoxify
and heal the liver to rev fat burn and flush water weight.
Combine 8 oz of unsweetened cranberry juice with
56oz of water in a pitcher each morning and sip
8 glasses per day.
This is a great drink if you enjoy those daily cocktails,
eat out, and/or fatty or fried foods. If you ever had
an addiction problem with either drugs or alcohol, this
will help cleanse your liver no matter how long ago you
stopped drinking, since the carcinogens always stay in
Health and Wellness Associates
Just eating two cups of celery weekly can help block the growth and spread of cancerous
cells in your pancreas, a University of Illinois study has shown. Celery contains apigenin, a
compound that tinkers with the DNA of abnormal cells, forcing them to self-destruct.
Apigenin is also abundant in parsley, spinach and red wine.
We know that people who have diabetes, gout, BPH, ED, rheumatoid arthristic and several
other diseases are prone to pancreatic cancer.
Do not eat fresh spinach if you have any kidney or urological problems.
Health and Wellness Associates
A daily cup of coffee has been linked to a
healthier heart, a reduced risk of diabetes,
and now new Yale University research reveals
it may ward off skin cancer too. In the study
middle aged and older adults who sipped
caffeinated java most days had a 20% reduced risk
This is good news, except if you have already had
cancer, chemo and/or radiation. If you are on blood
pressure medications, or a history of cardiac problems
or medication. If you are on blood thinners like
coumadin or warfarin, which there are many others,
then you should not be drinking coffee.
You body has gone through a severe and stressful
change, and you should not be drining coffee then.
As always give us a call with your concerns and needs
to prevent and reverse your medical problems.
Health and Wellness Associates
Mushrooms prevent breast cancer!
I have talked about mushrooms before, but did you know
that mushrooms prevent breast cancer. Mushrooms contain
specialized lectins (ABL) that recognize cancer cells,
and prevent the cells from growing and dividing.
Frequent consumption of mushrooms
(approximately 1 button mushroom per day)
has been shown to decrease the risk of breast cancer by 64%.
For mushrooms to be absorbed into your body correctly,
they must be cooked or sauteed. Do not eat raw mushrooms.
One of the pitfalls of
pursuing a healthy diet is that we are sometimes blind to nutrients we may be
missing. And in the world of healthy eating, one of the most common nutrient
deficiencies involves vitamin B-12, a crucial nutrient for nerve health
and the construction of red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body.
Vitamin B-12 deficiency is especially common among vegetarians and vegans,
but it’s also surprisingly common in meat eaters, too. Why? Because vitamin
B-12 can only be absorbed in the small intestine, and due to common intestinal
ailments, even many meat eaters who consume high levels of B-12 are
to absorb it in their gut.
This leads to a series of seemingly “mystery” health symptoms that
actually have a simple common cause: Vitamin B-12 deficiency!
of B-12 deficiency
B-12 deficiency is
shockingly widespread. Studies now show that up to 40% of the population
may be deficient in vitamin B-12
Here are some of the most common symptoms of deficiency (do you experience any
* Chest pain or shortness of breath
* Fatigue or unexplained weakness
* Dizziness, trouble with balance, and fainting
* Confusion, memory loss or dementia
* Coldness, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
* Slow reflexes or diminished nervous system function
* Pale skin or yellowing of the skin
* Sore mouth and tongue
… in addition,
B-12 deficiency can actually cause brain shrinkage, according to a
University of Oxford study (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7595423.st…).
Although more work needs to be done, research is already suggesting a link
between vitamin B-12 deficiency and Alzheimer’s.
If you (or someone you know) shows any of the symptoms listed above, I urge you
to immediately investigate vitamin B-12 and determine if a deficiency in
this nutrient may be causing your symptoms!
Again, vitamin B-12 deficiency is especially common in vegans and vegetarians
because typical vitamin B-12 sources (meats, yogurt, etc.) are simply not
present in their diets. But even meat eaters can be deficient in B-12 due to
poor digestion. This is especially true for older people who suffer a
diminished ability to absorb nutrients in their small intestine.
In addition, diabetes medications and even pain pills can interfere with B-12
absorption, and intestinal parasites can also strongly block its absorption in
for vitamin B-12
Traditionally, people who
are deficient in vitamin B-12 have received injections of B-12. This is
extremely effective because it bypasses the digestive tract and goes right into
the bloodstream. But it has one obvious downside: It requires being injected!
So most people aren’t interested in this method.
Instead, most people supplement their vitamin B-12 using nutritional supplements.
But here’s where this can go wrong: The most commonly available form of vitamin
B-12 on the market is the cheap synthetic form that’s actually bound to a
cyanide molecule (yes, cyanide, the poison). It’s called cyanocobalamin,
and you’ll find it in all the cheap vitamins made by pharmaceutical companies
and sold at grocery stores and big box stores.
Action item: If you have any vitamin B-12 supplements, check the
ingredients label right now to see what form of vitamin B-12 they
contain. If they contain cyanocobalamin, throw them out!
Cyanocobalamin is a cheap, synthetic chemical made in a laboratory. It’s
virtually impossible for you to find this form in nature. Low-end vitamin
manufacturers use it because it can be bought in bulk and added to products
with claims that they “contain vitamin B-12!” What they don’t tell
you is that the vitamin is bound to a toxic, poisonous cyanide molecule that
must then be removed from your body by your liver. Cyanocobalamin is also up to
100 times cheaper than the higher quality methylcobalamin
which we’ll talk about below.
As Wikipedia explains:
“A common synthetic form of the vitamin,
cyanocobalamin, does not occur in nature, but is used in many pharmaceuticals
and supplements, and as a food additive, because of its lower cost. In the body
it is converted to the physiological forms, methylcobalamin and
adenosylcobalamin, leaving behind the cyanide…” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_B12)
Removing the cyanide molecule from the vitamin and then flushing it out of your
body requires using up so-called “methyl groups” of molecules in your
body that are needed to fight things like homocysteine (high levels cause heart
disease). By taking low-quality cyanobalamin, you’re actually
methyl groups from your body and making it do more work at the biochemical
level. This uses up substances such as glutathione that are often in short
supply anyway, potentially worsening your overall health situation rather than
helping it. This is one of the reasons why low-grade vitamins may actually be
worse for your body than taking nothing at all!
Cyanocobalamin, in summary, is a low-grade, low-quality and
(cyanide) form of vitamin B-12 that’s used by all the cheap vitamin
manufacturers. I recommend avoiding it completely. It won’t kill you to take
it, of course, but there’s a better solution for B-12.
better choice: Methylcobalamin
The proper form of
vitamin B-12 to supplement is called methylcobalamin. This is the form
that exists in nature, and it is pre-methylated, meaning it’s ready for your
biochemistry to put to immediate use. Methylcobalamin has several key
advantages over cyanocobalamin:
* Increased absorption
* Better retention in tissues
* Contains no toxic cyanide
* Supports production of SAMe
As explained by Ed Sharpe:
“The coenzyme form of vitamin B12 is known as methylcobalamin or methyl
B12. It’s the only form of vitamin B12 which can directly participate in
homocysteine metabolism. In addition, converting homocysteine to methionine via
methyl B12 generates an increased supply of SAMe (S-adenosyl methionine), the
body’s most important methyl donor.” (http://www.health101.org/art_methylcobalamin…)
Every informed nutritionist knows that methylcobalamin is far superior to
cyanocobalamin. That’s why companies like Ola Loa (www.DrinkYourVitamins.com)
use only the high-end “methyl” form of B-12.
99% of vitamin B-12 supplements are wasted
Taking vitamin B-12 as an oral dose is largely a waste of money. As much
as 99% of what you swallow is not even absorbed… it’s just passed through
your body. (http://www.health101.org/art_methylcobalamin…)
There are really only three methods for absorbing vitamin B-12 that reliably
#1) B-12 injections, with no presevatives or cyanocobalamin, which is hard but
not impossible to find.
#2) Sublingual absorption.
#3) Skin absorption.
B-12 injections obviously require injections from a trained medical
professional, so few people pursue this route. Sublingual absorption is a
viable route, but nearly all the sublingual B-12 products use the cyanocobalamin
form of the vitamin (with the cyanide molecule).
A vitamin B-12 skin patch is now available that delivers methylcobalamin
through the skin, using a small medical-grade patch placed behind the ear. Each
patch delivers 1000 mcg of methylcobalamin (1,666% DV) in a steady
release over a 1-2 day period, after which the patch may be removed and discarded.
If you need help with a possible B12 deficiency please give us a call
Health and Wellness Associates
Crave piña colada goodness without the alcohol or the crazy-high calorie count? Good news, Thirsty! This cocktail-inspired smoothie swap is pure joy in a glass… Ingredients: 2 tsp. fat-free non-dairy powdered creamer 1 no-calorie sweetener packet (like Splenda or Truvia) 1/2 cup plain light soymilk 1/3 cup fat-free vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt 1/3 cup canned crushed pineapple (not drained) 1/8 tsp. coconut extract 1 1/2 cups crushed ice or 8 – 12 ice cubes Directions: In a tall glass, combine creamer with sweetener. Add 2 tbsp. hot water, and stir to dissolve. Transfer mixture to a blender. Add all remaining ingredients, and blend at high speed until smooth. Pour and enjoy! MAKES 1 SERVING
Serving Size: 1 smoothie (entire recipe) Calories: 161 Fat: 1g Sodium: 101mg Carbs: 32g Fiber: 1g Sugars: 21.5g Protein: 5g
A Lotta Colada…
Smoothies can be so deceptive. They seem all virtuous, with their fruit-boasting ways. “Look at me! I’m made with real pineapple!” You might even think this piña colada pick is a great alternative to the actual cocktail, given that there are no calories coming from alcohol. But check out the stats below. Even an ENTIRE pineapple doesn’t have that many calories or grams of sugar! Still, we crave a blendy coconut-pineapple sipper as much as the next person, so we whipped up a recipe for a freezy-licious creamy swap. The tropical flavor is absolutely incredible, and the stats REALLY cannot be beat. What’s that? The Burger King peeps are no longer offering their Piña Colada Smoothie? They must’ve heard what we were up to… Happy sipping, humans!!!
Serving Size: 1 medium smoothie Calories: 500 Fat: 7g Sodium: 240mg Carbs: 101g Fiber: n.a. Sugars: 93g Protein: 4g