Foods

No Bake Protein Bars

protienbars

No-Bake Protein Bars

The combination of crunchy toasted seeds, creamy nut butter, and chewy millet and dates makes this protein bar both energizing and satisfying. Packed with superfoods like chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds and cacao, it’s the perfect afternoon snack to get you and your family through until dinner. I also added some maca root powder (a South American superfood), but you could add any other superfood or protein powders you like, or simply leave it out.

There’s no need to turn on the oven, and this bar sets up in the freezer and can be stored there for up to 3 months, meaning you’ll always have a healthy snack on hand.

Superfood Protein Bars

Makes 24 bars (1 inch by 2 inches each)

2 cups puffed millet

1/2 cup quick oats

1/2 cup ground flax seeds

1 cup mixed toasted seeds (sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds)

1/4 cup hemp seeds

1/4 unsweetened shredded coconut

2 tablespoons chia seeds

2 teaspoons maca powder, optional

10 pitted Medjool dates (about 1 cup)

3/4 cup almond or sunflower seed butter

1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil

1/4 cup raw cacao or cocoa powder

1/4 cup brown rice syrup

4 teaspoons water

1 tablespoons vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoons sea salt

Line a 13-by-9-inch pan with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl combine millet, oats, flax seeds, toasted seeds, hemp seeds, coconut, chia seeds and maca root, if using; set aside.

Roughly chop dates and add to a food processor along with remaining ingredients, and blend until combined. Add to dry mix and mix until completely combined. Press evenly into prepared tray and freeze for 2 hours until completely cold and firm. Remove and slice into 24 bars. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Per serving: Calories 165; Fat 12 g; Saturated Fat 3 g; Protein 5 g; Carbohydrates 12 g; Sugar 5 g; Fiber 3 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 67 mg

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Foods

Five Layer Mexican Dip

mexican dip

Five Layer Mexican Dip

Ingredients

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, preferably low-sodium, drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon minced chipotle pepper in adobo

4 tablespoons lime juice

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves

2 ripe avocados

4 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced (about 2 cups)

1/4 cup thinly sliced scallion

1 tablespoon finely diced jalapeno pepper, optional

3/4 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar

Directions

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until they soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more.

Put half of the onion mixture into a food processor with the black beans, chipotle pepper, 2 tablespoons of the lime juice, cumin, water and salt. Puree until smooth. Set aside.

Add to the skillet with the remaining onion mixture and cook for about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro leaves.

In a small bowl mash the avocado with the remaining lime juice. In a medium bowl toss together the tomatoes, scallion and jalapeno, if using. Season tomato mixture with salt and pepper, to taste.

Spread the black bean dip into the bottom of an 8 by 8 glass baking or serving dish. Top with the corn mixture, spreading it out to form a single layer over the beans, repeat with the avocado, then the tomatoes. Top with cheese. Serve with baked chips.

Per Serving:

Calories 140; Total Fat 8 g; (Sat Fat 2 g, Mono Fat 3 g, Poly Fat 0.7 g) ; Protein 5g; Carb 16 g; Fiber 5g; Cholesterol 6mg; Sodium 245 mg

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The picture shows corn, please do not eat corn

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Matcha Latte and Tea

matchalattematchatea

Matcha Tea and Latte

I’ve come to appreciate (and totally adore) matcha. When made properly with ceremonial grade tea it not only tastes deliciously rich and grassy with a nice caffeine boost, but it’s also a mood enhancer. Matcha promotes clear, focused thinking, which is why Japanese Zen Buddhist monks traditionally drank it before meditation. It helps you stay alert yet calm due to L-theanine an amino acid that promotes alpha waves in the brain. Another thing I love about matcha is that you are drinking the whole leaf, which also means you are getting all the nutrition green tea has to offer. One serving of matcha contains over ten times the antioxidants of brewed green tea.

The rich, bright green color of good quality matcha tea is produced by covering the tea plants before harvesting. This process blocks out about 80% of the light and increases the chlorophyll content. The leaves are hand harvested then de-stemmed and de-veined before being stone ground into a fine powder.

Since matcha tea is gaining in popularity here in New York, you can now find specialty teashops making all sorts of matcha-style drinks. At fist I was excited because as a tea drinker, I’ve found that it’s very rare to get a decent cup of tea outside of your own kitchen. But even with the matcha latte craze it turns out that it is still difficult to find a good one unless you don’t mind drinking cups of warm store bought almond milk flavored with matcha. After sampling matcha latte’s in a few places I realized that mine are closer to an Australian style latte—small, strong and foamy. Below you’ll also find directions for making matcha tea to drink straight. I cannot stress enough how important it is to invest in a high quality matcha tea. Other grades are fine for baking, but for drinking I haven’t found a better matcha than this.

Matcha tea

The only special equipment you need for making matcha is a bamboo whisk.

If you don’t have a thermometer you can boil water then remove from heat and take the lid off the kettle and let it sit for a few minutes. Boiling water will damage the delicate flavor of matcha.

Serves 1

1 teaspoon matcha tea

¼ -1/3 cup (2.5oz) 165 degree water

Sift matcha powder into a wide cup or small bowl. Slowly add water and whisk vigorously until foamy. Sip immediately.

Matcha latte

Serves 2

The best way to get a rich foam is to use a blender but you can make the matcha as above, add warm milk and whisk again.

1 ½ to 2 cups homemade cashew milk or nut milk, see recipe below

½ cup 165 degree water

3 teaspoons matcha tea

Warm nut milk in a small pan over medium heat until almost simmering. Remove and pour into a blender. Add water and matcha and blend until foaming. Pour into two cups and serve.

Cashew milk

I make this cashew milk because its quick (doesn’t need to be strained), easy (cashews don’t need soaking) and it’s also nice and creamy. The sunflower lecithin gives the milk a nice body and is great for adding to hot drinks.

2 cups filtered water

½ cup raw cashews

scant ½ teaspoon sunflower lecithin, optional

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch sea salt

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

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Foods

Vegan Dutch Apple Pie

Dutch-apple-pie-18-660x495

Vegan Dutch Apple pie

One of my favorite things about this style of pie is the way the crust rises into the bottom layer of apples, which not only tastes delicious but also makes it easily sliceable. In the café’s all over Amsterdam you can buy appeltaart met slagroom (Apple Pie with whipped cream).

For this recipe you want to choose an apple that cooks reasonably fast but doesn’t turn to applesauce—for this pie I used ginger gold. The cooking time will vary depending on how long your apples take to cook; this can be anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 ½ hours. Be sure to allow it cool completely before slicing as the juices need to thicken. Even though this is a vegan version, feel free to top it with whipped cream!

Makes one 9-inch pie

Crust:

1 ¼ white spelt flour

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons whole spelt flour

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons brown rice flour

¾ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon sea salt

6 ½ tablespoons melted extra virgin coconut oil

6 ½ tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon water, plus more as needed

Filling:

8 medium (3 ¾ lb) apples, peeled, cored and diced in ¾ inch dice)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground allspice

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Pinch sea salt

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 tablespoon maple sugar

2 tablespoons arrowroot powder

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan with parchment paper—do this by flipping the base over and placing a larger square piece of parchment on top of it. Attach the sides, keeping the paper flush against the base. Turn it upside down and fold paper into the center, oil all the way up the sides of the pan and set aside.

Make the crust:

Add flours, baking powder and salt to a medium bowl and stir to combine. In another bowl whisk together the coconut oil, maple syrup and water. Add to flour mixture and stir to combine. Mixture should form a firm, soft dough; add more water a teaspoon at a time if mixture is slightly dry. Evenly press into pan, pressing all the way up the sides and set aside.

Make the filling:

Add apples to a large bowl along with remaining ingredients and toss until evenly combined. Pour apple mixture into the crust and lightly press down to fit all the apples in. Cover with parchment paper and then foil. Seal it well, place on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes. Press the foil down with a towel to force juices up over the surface of the apples. Test a few apples with a small, sharp knife, if they are still firm recover pie and continue baking for another 15 to 30 minutes until apples are tender but not mushy. Once apples are cooked through remove cover and bake another 45 minutes. Pie is ready when the juices have thickened and edge of crust is a deep golden. Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely before running a pallet knife around the edges of the pan and carefully removing sides. Slice and serve.

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Lifestyle

Foods for a Better Sex LIfe

sexlife

10 Best Foods for Your Sex Life

Eating nutritious foods with lots of nutrients and antioxidants can help you feel (and look) more vibrant by keeping your skin and hair healthy. And eating a healthy diet -helps keep your body strong and fit.

Start with the basics — eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein sources, low-fat dairy, whole grains and a few beneficial fats. And it doesn’t hurt to know how many calories you need every day.

Then nibble on these ten sexy superfoods, which are extra high in nutrients needed for sexual health.

Dairy Foods

Dairy products are rich in vitamin A that’s essential for beautiful skin, and calcium for strong bones and healthy hair. Plus people who consume dairy products every day seem to have less difficulty maintaining a healthy weight. Non-fat yogurt has all the benefits of milk, plus the friendly bacteria found in yogurt are probiotics that help keep your digestive system working normally.

Tip: Enjoy some plain non-fat Greek yogurt mixed with fresh blueberries, chopped nuts, and a little honey for additional protein and vitamins.

Citrus

Citrus fruits contain lots of vitamin C. Eating an orange gives you all the vitamin C your body needs for a day, plus it helps to increase absorption of iron from vegetables and legumes that your body needs for energy. Vitamin C also helps keep your skin beautiful by keeping the connective tissue under the skin strong, slowing down the formation of wrinkles.

Tip: Eat an orange every day as a healthy snack or drink orange juice with meals.

And perhaps hand-feed a few slices to your significant other?

Berries

The beautiful pigments that give berries their colors also contain phytochemicals that work as antioxidants to protect your skin, which may help you age more gracefully. Blueberries and cranberry juice may also help prevent bladder infections. Berries are also low in calories and rich in vitamin C and potassium.

Tip: Make a fruit smoothie with a banana, plain yogurt, frozen blueberries, sliced strawberries and a splash of cranberry juice.

Or dip a few fresh strawberries in dark chocolate for a romantic treat.

Salmon

Salmon contains essential fats and protein that are essential for healthy skin and hair. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc protect your skin from getting dry by keeping moisture in the skin cells. The beneficial fats in salmon may also be good for muscle and nerve function.

Tip: Go out for salmon sashimi at a romantic sushi restaurant or grill a salmon steak at home. Not into salmon? Tuna is a good choice as well.

Black Beans

Legumes contain protein, iron and zinc. Black beans are also a good source of biotin, a B vitamin that’s important for healthy skin and hair. They’re also rich in fiber, which can help you stay slim and keep your digestive system functioning properly.

Tip: Serve black beans as a side dish with dinner.

Walnuts

Walnuts contain polyunsaturated fats, and they’re also rich in alpha linolenic acid, the plant version of omega-3 fatty acids. They’re also a good source of protein and eating just a few walnuts helps to keep you feeling satisfied between meals. Some research studies have suggested that the phytochemicals in walnuts help keep the prostate healthy in older men.

Tip: Eat a handful of walnuts with a fresh piece of fruit for an afternoon snack.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and a phytochemical called lycopene, a relative of vitamin A that helps keep a man’s prostate healthy. Lycopene is thought to protect skin from sun damage and getting adequate amounts of lycopene may keep your skin smooth and supple.

Tip: Eat fresh raw tomatoes or make tomato bisque and serve it with a fresh salad and crusty whole grain bread.

Dark Chocolate

You may believe that eating chocolate improves your mood. Research isn’t clear on that, but dark chocolate may have a little super power. The phytochemicals in dark chocolate could possibly improve blood flow to all the parts of your body, including the brain and the sex organs, which is an important component of arousal.

Tip: Enjoy one ounce of dark chocolate (not Dutch-processed) every night.

Water

Although water isn’t really a nutrient, it’s necessary for your health — your body contains a lot of water. Not only is water good for your insides, it’s also essential for smooth healthy skin. Plus water has no calories, so it’s perfect for watching your weight.

Tip: Drink water with a slice of lemon or lime instead of sugary soft drinks.

Oysters

Legendary as aphrodisiacs, oysters may live up to their sexy reputation. They’re rich in zinc, a mineral that’s important for male sexual health, testosterone levels and sperm production. Zinc is also important for healthy hair and for your senses of taste and smell.

Tip: Enjoy raw or cooked oysters as an appetizer. If you don’t like oysters, you can get your zinc from beef, pork or lamb.

Always contact your healthcare advisor to know what foods are appropriate for you to eat.  If you do not know, please contact us for help.

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle

Sauna Sessions Decrease Heart Disease

sauna

Regular sauna sessions decrease risk of deadly heart disease by over half

Regular visits to the sauna may cut a person’s risk of death dramatically, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Eastern Finland at Kuopio and published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

Middle-aged men who visited the sauna most frequently were 40 percent less likely to die from all causes during a 10-year period than men who went least often. Spending longer in the sauna on each visit also decreased the risk of death, with the greatest benefit coming from visits of 20 minutes or more.

Hot, dry saunas

The study was conducted in eastern Finland, which has a longstanding tradition of sauna use. The traditional Finish sauna is hot – 80 to 100 degrees Celsius – but dry, with only 10 to 20 percent humidity.

The research was conducted on 2,315 men between the ages of 42 and 60. The mean age was 53 and the average BMI was 26.9. At the start of the study, participants filled out questionnaires to help researchers assess cardiovascular risk factors such as activity level, alcohol consumption, blood pressure, smoking and socioeconomic status. Participants also reported on medication use and on any chronic diseases, which were confirmed by a doctor. The researchers directly measured participants’ blood pressure, body mass index, and cholesterol, and also took measures of their heart and lung fitness.

The researchers then looked at how many men died, in 10 years of follow-up, from cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, sudden cardiac arrest, and all causes. Deaths were confirmed with medical records.

Deaths from other causes were not analyzed separately, including some causes with a cardiovascular component such as cancer, burst aortic aneurysm, cardiac tamponade or pulmonary embolism. Men who died within five years of the study’s start were also excluded.

Reason for benefit still unknown

The researchers found that compared with those who went to the sauna only once a week or less, those who went two to three times per week were 24 percent less likely to die from all causes, 22 percent less likely from sudden cardiac death, 23 percent less likely from coronary heart disease and 27 percent less likely from cardiovascular disease.

The risk reductions among those who made four to seven visits per week were dramatically higher: 40 percent (all causes), 66 percent (sudden cardiac death), 48 percent (coronary heart disease) and 50 percent (cardiovascular disease).

Length of sauna visit also had a striking impact. Compared with those with an average visit shorter than 11 minutes, those whose visits were 11 to 19 minutes long were 7 percent less likely to die from sudden cardiac death. Spending more than 19 minutes per visit reduced sudden cardiac death risk by a whopping 52 percent. Similar benefits were seen for death from cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease.

Length of sauna visit had no impact on all cause mortality.

All effects remained after controlling for other risk factors. The effect seemed strongest, however, among nonsmokers, people with type 2 diabetes and those with poor cardiorespiratory fitness.

“Although we do not know why the men who took saunas more frequently had greater longevity (whether it is the time spent in the hot room, the relaxation time, the leisure of a life that allows for more relaxation time, or the camaraderie of the sauna), clearly time spent in the sauna is time well spent,” said journal editor in chief Rita Redberg, of the University of California-San Francisco, in an accompanying editorial.

“Often I have advised a patient who was considering an unnecessary test, such as a coronary artery calcium test or carotid ultrasonography from a mobile van, to forgo that test and instead spend the money on something that he or she would actually enjoy, such as a massage or spa treatment.”

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Sources:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk

http://www.medpagetoday.com/PrimaryCare/PreventiveCare/50145

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle

Nail Polish Linked to Paralysis

Nail-Polish-Brands-TPHP

Nail polish users exposed to chemical linked to paralysis, reproductive disorders, study finds

) Most women like to indulge in a nice, relaxing manicure every once in awhile, which doesn’t come as a surprised because, well, let’s face it, who doesn’t enjoy a good neck massage coupled with freshly painted nails?

The nail trend is growing trendier, as American women spent a whopping $768 million on nail polish in 2012, according to WWD.com, a number 32 percent higher than the year prior.

Unfortunately, we’re beginning to learn that what may seem like an innocent pastime poses more risks than we beauty lovers may have bargained for.

A brand new study conducted jointly by Duke University and the Environmental Working Group (EWG) discovered traces of a rather toxic chemical in the bodies of women who had recently painted their nails.

25 percent of polishes containing TPHP didn’t have it listed on their label


Triphenyl phosphate (TPHP), a plasticizer dually used in nail polish and as a flame retardant for furniture, was detected in the urine of every woman who volunteered to participate in the study.

“The study found that when women applied nail polish with TPHP directly to their nails, the levels of a biomarker of that chemical in their urine increased sharply. Technically, the researchers tested the women’s urine for a chemical called diphenyl phosphate or DPHP, which is created when the body metabolizes TPHP.”

Published October 19 in Environment International, the study involved the testing of ten nail polishes, with scientists finding traces of TPHP in eight of them; two of the eight polishes containing TPHP did not have the ingredient listed on their label.

“The results represent compelling evidence that TPHP, a suspected endocrine-disrupting chemical also used in plastics manufacturing and as a fire retardant in foam furniture, enters the human body via nail polish,” says EWG.

TPHP caused paralysis in cats

“These results are troubling because a growing body of scientific data from other studies indicates that TPHP causes endocrine disruption, meaning that it interferes with normal hormone functioning. In animal studies, it has caused reproductive and developmental irregularities. (Some studies use the acronym TPP for this chemical.)”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,  “Repeated exposure [to TPHP] may cause minor changes in the blood enzymes.” Animal studies found that overexposure to TPHP causes muscle weakness and paralysis.

For example, when TPHP (also a neurotoxin) was injected into cats, it caused delayed paralysis, with two of six cats becoming paralyzed after 16–18 days upon receiving one “intraperitoneal injection” of the chemical at 0.1 to 0.4 g/kg.

Since researchers tested such a small sample size, and not the manufacturers’ entire nail polish product line, they decided not to disclose which brands contained TPHP; however, the Duke team hopes some or all of the manufacturers will update their product labels to disclose the presence of TPHP pending the results of their recent findings.

While researchers didn’t name the culprits by brand, EWG has built an extensive list of cosmetics and the potentially harmful ingredients that they contain, including nail polishes that have TPHP. Some of the top-selling brands containing the endocrine mimicker are featured below.

**On October 20th 2015, Butter London informed EWG that it had removed triphenyl phosphate (TPHP) from its products last year. However, EWG was still able to find nail polish products containing triphenyl phosphate on store shelves in September 2015. If you would like to avoid triphenyl phosphate, please check the label on Butter London products and purchase ones with the newer formulation that do not contain this ingredient.
According to EWG, TPHP is likely added to nail polish to give it more flexibility and durability.

“The concentrations in the eight nail polishes with TPHP ranged from 0.49 percent to 1.68 percent by weight. Clear polishes generally contained more TPHP than colored polishes.”

Attempting to understand how the body absorbs TPHP, researchers asked participants to collect urine samples before and after they applied “a polish that was about 1 percent TPHP by weight.

“When the participants wore gloves and applied polish to synthetic nails, their urinary levels of the metabolite DPHP did not change appreciably. However, when they applied the polish directly to their own nails, the levels of DPHP in their urine increased sharply.”

While nails typically aren’t that permeable, scientists speculate that solvents such as nail polish remover allow toxic ingredients to be absorbed into the body more readily. The network of capillaries surrounding the nail bed may also play a role in chemical intake, reports EWG.

“Two to six hours after they painted their nails, 24 of the 26 volunteers in the study had slightly elevated levels of DPHP in their urine. Ten to 14 hours after polishing their nails, the DPHP levels in all 26 participants had risen by an average of nearly sevenfold, suggesting that more of the TPHP had entered their bodies and been metabolized into DPHP.

“Four volunteers collected urine over 48 hours. For three of the four, their concentrations of DPHP peaked between 10 and 20 hours after painting their nails,” reports EWG.

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Additional sources:

EWG.org

EWG.org

CDC.gov

EWG.org

EcoWatch.com

NaturalNews.com