Foods, Uncategorized

Green Beans with Mixed Mushrooms

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Green Beans with Mixed Mushrooms

 

This simple side borrows the casserole’s basic flavors, but gives them grabbed-from-the-garden goodness with field-picked beans, thin-sliced onions, and earthy creminis and shiitakes.

 

Ingredients

 

2 tbsp. olive oil

4 sprig fresh thyme

2 large onions

1 clove garlic

8 oz. cremini mushrooms

4 oz. shiitake mushrooms

salt

pepper

3 lb. green beans

Directions

 

Heat covered 7- to 8-quart saucepot of water to boiling on high.

Meanwhile, in 12-inch skillet, heat oil on medium-high. Add thyme and onions; cook 10 to 12 minutes or until browned and very tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute. Add mushrooms and cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Remove and discard thyme.

Add green beans and 2 teaspoons salt to boiling water. Cook, uncovered, 8 to 9 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Drain and rinse with cold water. If making ahead, transfer mushroom mixture to medium bowl. Cover; refrigerate up to overnight. Transfer beans to resealable plastic bag; refrigerate up to overnight.

When ready to serve, return green beans to saucepot and add mushroom mixture, stirring to combine. Cook on medium until beans are heated through, stirring occasionally.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

P Carrothers

312-972-WELL

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

Foods, Uncategorized

Bacon Jam

baconjam

Bacon Jam

 

“Bacon Jam will win you legions of fans. Use the power wisely. I know of one marriage proposal after this jam was served with breakfast.” Don’t limit this jam to breakfast, try it as a sandwich spread or mixed with cream cheese as a party dip. Get creative.

 

Ingredients

 

3 lbs. bacon (use a mixture of maple, thick-cut, regular and smoked lean bacon)

4 large yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced

2-4 cloves garlic

1 Cup apple cider vinegar

1 Cup packed light brown sugar

1 1/2 Cups very strong brewed black coffee (try using espresso)

1/2 Cup pure maple syrup

1 tsp. pepper

 

 

 

Directions

 

Cut the bacon slices into 1-inch pieces. Place the bacon in a Dutch oven/heavy large pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the bacon is browned. It is important none of the bacon or bits on the bottom of the pan burn during the entire cooking process, so ease back a bit on the heat and let it cook longer if you are unsure. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Drain all but 2 TB. of the drippings from the pan, (Connie stores them in the fridge for other recipes—we did end up with 1.5 cups extra drippings!). Place the Dutch oven back over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic. Stir well and reduce heat to medium. Continue cooking for about 8 minutes, or until the onions are mostly translucent. Add the remaining ingredients (except for the bacon) and stir well. Reduce the heat to low. Stir well, then raise the heat to high, bring to a boil, stirring frequently, and boil hard for 2 minutes. Add the bacon, reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally to make sure things aren’t sticking. Add 1/4 Cup of water if the mixture seems to be drying out. When the onions are meltingly soft and the liquid is thick and syrupy (our batch took about 1 1/2 hours at low heat and we did not need any extra water) remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and pulse several times or until the jam is almost the consistency of chunky peanut butter. Scrape into a jar or a container with a tight-fitting lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. This can be served cold, room temperature or warmed.

 

Prep. time:15 minutes

Cooking time: 2 hours

Serves: 24

 

 

Nutritional Information

 

Servings 32-34; Serving Size 2 TB. (92g); Calories 240; Calories from fat 170; Total fat 19g; Cholesterol 30mg; Sodium 360mg; Carbohydrate 12g; Dietary Fiber 0g; Sugars 10g; Protein 5g.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

P Carrothers

312-972-WELL

HeathWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized, Vitamins and Supplements

How Can I Be Sure I Have Inflammation?

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“But how can I be sure that I actually have inflammation?”

 

If you suspect you might be dealing with inflammation, there are tests that can help determine the type and level of inflammation you may have. However, I’d ask you a few questions before you spend the money, time and effort getting these specialized tests ordered. Are you struggling with sugar or carb cravings? Are you having a difficult time shedding those last 10, 20 or 100 pounds? Do you ever struggle with digestive issues such as diarrhea, constipation, bloating or gas? What about low energy levels? Have you ever followed a low-fat diet? How often do you eat foods cooked in vegetable oil? Do you sometimes push yourself too hard at the gym hoping to burn some extra calories? Did you find out at some point in your life that you have a food sensitivity or allergy? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you probably have some chronic inflammation going on that needs to heal in order for your health to improve/symptoms to go away. Nearly everyone today is living in a state of chronic inflammation unless you’ve taken the measures to do something about it. Most of us have eaten low-fat, even if we didn’t want to, just based on what was available to us at the time. Intentionally or not, almost all of us have consumed processed foods, vegetables oils and trans fats more than our bodies would like.

There are two tests that can show if you have inflammation:

 

  1. C-Reactive Protein: CRP is a general blood marker of inflammation. It measures a protein that signals a response to inflammation. It doesn’t tell us the specific cause, but it does tell us that an inflammatory response exists. Make sure you don’t have any acute inflammation going on (from a recent injury, sickness or stubbed toe) when you get this test done because CRP will be elevated in response to any inflammation, acute or chronic. You want your CRP level well below 1 and preferably at 0, indicating that no inflammation exists.
  2. Fasting blood insulin: A high insulin level when fasting may indicate chronic inflammation in the body. Remember, insulin will be high as a response to elevated blood glucose because insulin acts as a vehicle for removing glucose from the blood into storage. When insulin is high, cortisol (your stress-hormone) is being released to inhibit insulin production. As mentioned in the previous blog (LINK) elevated stress is one of the many causes of inflammation. This test would be a second option, as the CRP test is our go-to for testing inflammation.

Lastly, kneel down.  How hard is it to get up.  That can tell us more than either test result.  And it saves you a lot of money.

These two markers can be helpful, but we certainly don’t consider them to be the be-all end-all. Other clues that you may have chronic inflammation are chronic fatigue, being overweight and difficulty losing weight, chronic aches and pains, indigestion, dry skin, acne, psoriasis, and allergies. We recommend following our anti-inflammatory PFC approach to nutrition and embracing a supplement regimen to take care of any chronic inflammation that may exist.

How to HEAL Inflammation

 

Now that we understand what can be contributing to inflammation, let’s talk about the healing process. Healing chronic inflammation doesn’t look the same for everyone, but if you follow the steps listed below you can be sure you are heading in the right direction. You need to REMOVE what is causing inflammation in the first place and then HEAL the damage. Yes, this will take time, so be patient as you won’t regret the improved life you can live!

Our approach to healing inflammation is a three-pronged approach:

Remove inflammation triggers by reducing your intake of inflammatory foods and participating in lifestyle habits that are causing the inflammation (i.e. avoid the bullets listed in the previous blog.

Heal existing inflammation with anti-inflammatory foods and supplements.

Be patient. Just like the chronic inflammation didn’t happen overnight, it doesn’t heal overnight. Give your body time to do its job and support it along the way.

Fight Inflammation with Healthy Fat

 

Healthy fats (yes these include saturated fats!) help heal inflammation. Translation: eat more butter, coconut oil, olives and avocado (unless you have sensitivities to any of those) which are nourishing, healing, healthy fats. Fat, including saturated fat, supports many of the body’s critical functions, including protecting against toxic overload, strengthening cell membranes (which make the skin more resilient against inflammation), stabilizing blood sugars, and providing a vehicle for your body to absorb fat soluble vitamins (leading to improved immune function). It’s important to be picky about the fats you’re using. The good ones will promote healing and the bad ones will promote more inflammation! It is also beneficial to make the switch to pastured, grass fed meats, as antibiotics in conventional meat can cause inflammation.

Inflammation Fighting Supplements

 

Along with avoiding bad habits and potentially damaging foods listed in the previous blog, many of our clients who have been dealing with chronic inflammation for years find that a healing supplement regimen is necessary. Three key supplements that combat chronic inflammation are: probiotics, L-glutamine, and fish oil. A probiotic supplement helps repopulate the healthy bacteria in the gut, which are essential for the healing process and get depleted over time from eating processed foods, sugars and trans fats (the foods that cause inflammation). You must work with someone who can determine for you which probiotic works for you.  They are all different and there are different enzymes in each bottle. L-Glutamine works on the integrity of the thin lining of the digestive tract, which can become inflamed over time. Fish oil specifically targets that inflammation and reduces it. This is why many of our clients find relief in back pain and joint pain when they start using our fish oil.

The amount of each supplement is individualized and depends on your lifestyle, your history, your goals and how much healing needs to happen. In general, we recommend starting with an intense regimen, taking all three of these, three times each day (ideally 15-20 minutes before each meal.). Our recommendations may increase or decrease based on your specific circumstances, but this is a good starting point for most people.

Be Patient

 

Changing habits, eating nourishing, real foods in balance, listening to your body, and giving it time to heal is imperative. Because chronic inflammation is the root cause of SO MANY health issues, it’s worth it to make the effort to calm and eliminate the damage that is taking place in your body that you can’t see. Once your body begins to heal, you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel. The damage didn’t occur over night, so to expect your body to be able to heal overnight can just cause frustration. You must be patient, and allow your body to do what it was meant to do, which is to use the healthy nutrients you consume to help it function at its greatest potential.

Never eliminate everything from your diet at once.  If you are working with someone and they recommend this, they are so very wrong.  Many people can develop seizures from eliminating everything at once.

As always, we suggest working with one of our health team for individualized recommendations if you feel you aren’t sure where to start, or how to go about cutting out certain foods or changing some unhealthy habits. We are here for you!

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

312-972-WELL

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Grass Fed Beef vs. Poultry

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Grass-Fed Beef is Superior to Poultry

 

For over 50 years red meat has been vilified for its heart clogging saturated fat & cholesterol content.  In Poultry products, have been marketed as the healthiest animal protein due to their low-fat content.  New understandings of health and inflammation now reveal that grass-fed beef is significantly more nutrient dense than poultry.

Saturated fat and cholesterol have been blamed for heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases.  Research indicates that saturated fats and cholesterol are necessary for overall cellular health.  They play an extremely important role in regulating neurological, cognitive and hormone function.  A diet low in these important fats causes lowered immunity, sex hormone function and accelerated aging and brain degeneration.

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Red Meat can be a SuperFood:

 

Red meat could be one of the best foods in an individual’s diet or one of the worst.  The key factor is what the animal is eating.  Naturally, cows eat a near 100% green diet of grass, flowers, shrubs and other wild vegetation.  Grain feeding is genetically incongruent for these animals and leads to excessive weight gain and fat accumulation.

The typical grain-feed is made up of corn and soy due to the low cost associated with government subsidies.  Grain-fed cows are extremely high in omega 6 fatty acids. The average ratio for a cow on a grain-fed diet is roughly 25:1 (omega 6:3). This is genetically incongruent for all mammal species that should naturally be around 4:1

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The Importance of Omega 6:3 Ratios:

 

Humans should naturally have an omega 6:3 ratio around 4:1 or 2:1. When these ratios become skewed, they trigger cellular inflammation and accelerated cellular degeneration. This environment causes an individual to become highly inflamed and to build degenerative disease.

The more grass an animal eats the greater their omega 3 content and the lower their omega 6 levels.  A 100% green-fed diet, which is genetically congruent for a cow would provide an omega 6:3 ratio of 2:1.  This is ideal for the cows long-term health and is highly anti-inflammatory for human consumption.  The omega 3 fatty acids present in this meat are primarily the all-important long-chain variety EPA and DHA.

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The Poultry Based Diet:

 

Chicken and turkeys cannot live on grass alone.  They lack the highly-specialized digestive tract that allows them to convert grass and roughage into a quality meal.  This is too low in calories and too high in fiber for them.  They need some addition to grass and the vast majority of farmers choose to feed them a mixture of soy and grain.  Chickens can get about 25% of their calories from grass while ducks can go up to about 50%.  The higher the level of grass, the higher the anti-oxidant and omega 3 content of the meat and eggs.

Grass-fed mammals contain high levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).  CLA is considered to be one of the most potent anti-carcinogenic nutrients.   In a study published in Cancer Research, animals given a mere 1.5% of their total calories in the form of CLA had a 60% reduction in tumor growth.   Finnish researchers have found that the greater the amount of CLA in a woman’s diet, the lower her risk of breast cancer.  Women who consumed the largest amount of CLA had a 60% lower risk for breast cancer.

 grassfedbeed

Grass-fed Beef Has Much More Anti-Oxidants than Poultry:

 

Grass-fed mammals are also extremely rich in carnitine and carnosine.  Carnitine helps cellular mitochondria drive energy efficiently from fat metabolism.  Carnitine is the critical gate-keeper that allows fatty acids to pass into the mitochondrial furnace effectively.  Carnosine is a powerful antioxidant that improves muscle, brain & cardiovascular function.  It functions to reduce the effects of stress and aging by protecting the proteins of the body which aids in tissue healing and repair.

Poultry has significantly less CLA, carnitine and carnosine than grass-fed beef.  Beef also contains a lot more branched chain amino acids.  This includes the crucial muscle building amino acid leucine.  Grass-fed beef has an enormous edge over free-range poultry when one compares the fatty acids, proteins, fat-soluble anti-oxidants and minerals such as zinc.

 

Call us and set up an appointment for you Personalized Health Care Plan.  No two bodies are the same!

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

312-972-WELL

HealthWEllnessAssociates@gmail.com