Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Uncategorized

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Lemon Coconut Bliss Balls Recipe

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Lemon Coconut Bliss Balls Recipe

gluten free balls

Word of warning: these cinnamon lemon coconut bliss balls are ever so slightly addictive. But that’s alright because each one has just under 100 calories and only 3 grams of sugar, so you can use your own best judgment on when to indulge.

Want to know the key to keeping the sugar so low? The unusual but delicious pairing of cinnamon and lemon zest. If you love lemon and cinnamon and you’ve never tried this combo before, you’ll be hooked!

In addition to being low in sugar, they’re also a good source of heart-healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats. Plus, they’re super easy to make? The hardest part is zesting the lemon, but you can still be noshing in under 10 minutes flat—perfect when you’re craving a little something sweet!​

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fine almond flour
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons almond oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt or table salt
  • ¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut ​

Preparation

  1. Combine almond flour, maple syrup, almond oil, lemon zest, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor bowl. Process until mixture is well combined and slightly sticky.
  2. Line a large plate or small baking sheet with plastic wrap and divide dough into 20 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.
  3. Place shredded coconut on a small plate and roll each ball in the coconut, then return to plate or baking sheet. May serve immediately or store covered in refrigerator until ready to eat

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

You may substitute the almond oil for any neutral tasting vegetable oil or liquid coconut oil. Feel free to add additional lemon zest and coconut if desired. Start with recommended amounts, then add more as needed.

Cooking and Serving Tips

You can make a big batch of these and store them in a well-sealed container in the freezer. Enjoy them frozen, or thaw them out a little in the refrigerator before serving. These bliss balls are perfect for dessert or an afternoon treat with a cup of tea.

 

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

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Diets and Weight Loss, Uncategorized

Frozen Strawberry Yogurt Drops

Frozen Strawberry Yogurt Drops

yougurtstrawberries

 

Frozen Strawberry Yogurt Drops
Don’t these look so good ? You can make them by dipping strawberries (halved or whole) in vanilla yogurt (Greek might be best, because it’s thicker), then putting on a sheet pan lined with parchment or wax paper and freezing. Voila: Yogurt-covered strawberries!
You can also put strawberries in an ice cube tray and add yogurt.

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

Diets and Weight Loss, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Weight Loss Surgery? Really?

Woman Loses Legs After Weight-Loss Surgery

 

Weight Loss Surgery Meme | TELL ME AGAIN THAT WEIGHT-LOSS SURGERY IS THE EASY WAY OUT... | image ... #weightlosssurgerybeforeandafter #fatloss #weightlosssurgeryrecipes #weightloss #weightlosssurgery #weightlosssurgerysleeve

 

If you’re significantly overweight, you may feel you’d be willing to do anything to get the weight off, even resorting to surgery. And with rates of obesity skyrocketing — two-thirds of all U.S. states already have obesity rates exceeding 25 percent — the use of bariatric (weight loss) surgery has increased 10-fold since 2000 in some areas.

But before you decide to go under the knife, you must understand the risks involved — and know that they can be severe and even deadly. Due to complications from weight loss surgery, the woman in the video above lost both of her legs, while others, like 55-year-old Paula Rojeski, have made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives!

These are not rare events.

Since 2009, five people have died after Lap-Band surgery from one group of weight loss clinics in California alone. Please understand that you, too, could be forced to make a similar sacrifice if you opt for weight loss surgery, which is especially tragic because there are safe ways to lose weight that can help virtually everyone. You don’t need to risk your life, or your limbs, to achieve your weight loss goals!

 

The Truth About Bariatric Surgery!

Nearly Half of Weight Loss Surgeries Result in Major Complications

All surgeries have inherent risks, but bariatric surgeries seem to have a much higher ratio of complications. In fact, nearly 40 percent of patients who undergo weight loss surgery experience major complications, including:

Band erosion Malnutrition Infection
Kidney stones Bowel and gallbladder problems Liver failure
Black-outs Increased risk of death Abnormal band expansion

Complications occur for both types of surgery, gastric banding and the more invasive gastric bypass. Gastric banding consists of surgically inserting a band around the top section of your stomach, and cinching it into a small pouch. This is often touted as a simpler, less invasive procedure to gastric bypass, and whereas gastric banding is at least reversible, while gastric bypass is not, the complications are often so debilitating that patients opt to have the bands removed completely.

A study published earlier this year found that:

  • Nearly 50% of patients required removal of their bands
  • Nearly 1 out of 3 patients experienced band erosion
  • 60 percent needed to undergo additional surgery

As such, the researchers had no choice but to conclude:

LAGB [laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding] appears to result in relatively poor long-term outcomes.”

Even according to LapBand.com, one American clinical study that included a 3-year follow-up reported a staggering 88 percent of gastric banding patients experienced one or more adverse events, ranging from mild to severe. Common complications, from gastric banding included the following — and keep in mind that excess weight increases your risks even further, which means everyone who undergoes weight loss surgery is at even greater risk:

Gastroesophageal reflux Band slippage and/or pouch dilation Stomach obstruction
Esophageal dilation Reduced esophageal function Difficulty swallowing
Leaking or twisted access port into the stomach Band eroding into the stomach

One in 50 Die after Gastric Bypass

Would you risk an elective surgery if you knew you had a one in 50 chance of dying within 30 days? This is the actual risk reported for gastric bypass surgery by a study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. You had also better hope that your surgeon knows what he or she is doing, as risk of death was associated with surgical inexperience. Within the surgeon’s first 19 procedures, the odds of death within 30 days were 4.7 times higher!

In this procedure, a section of your small intestine is typically removed entirely, and your stomach is reconnected further down your intestine, bypassing the duodenum, hence the name “gastric bypass.” Your duodenum — that first section of your small intestine — is responsible for the majority of nutrient absorption. Hence, if you make it through the surgery, malnutrition is a common concern after this type of surgery.

You should also know that once you receive this surgery, you will not be able to eat normally for the rest of your life. According to the Barrington Bariatric Center, not only will you need to exist on a diet of solely pureed food for at least two weeks, but even in “Stage 2” of your transitional post-surgery diet you may only be able to eat 2 ounces of ground chicken breast before feeling full.

Gastric Bypass Will Wreak Havoc on Your Digestive Processes and Ability to Absorb Nutrients

Gastric bypass involves stapling your stomach into a pouch that’s only a half-ounce in size, so it literally cannot hold much. The idea is that you’ll feel full faster, since your stomach will be unnaturally tiny, but it also means you’ll often be eating meals that are sorely lacking in nutritional requirements.

A small opening is also created to allow food to empty slowly from the pouch. Because the opening is so small (made this way deliberately to keep the small amount of food you’ve eaten in your stomach longer, making you feel “full”), food must be chewed very thoroughly or it won’t be able to fit through the opening, leading to vomiting.

You’ll also be instructed to eat the protein portion of your meal first, because you very well may get too full to fit in a vegetable or anything else. Even liquids must be restricted for up to 45 minutes before and after a meal, lest they take up what little space you have to consume actual food. As you might suspect, because bariatric surgery patients can consume very little roughage, constipation is often a problem. It is even described as “normal” to have a bowel movement only once every two or three days!

Hair loss and muscle loss are also common after the surgery — both signs that your body is not receiving proper nutrition.

If this, plus constipation and vomiting are not enough to make you think twice, you should also know that certain foods, including tomato sauces, mayonnaise, fruit juice, dressings and others, will lead to “dumping syndrome,” aka cramps, nausea and diarrhea. Snacking is also expressly forbidden after gastric bypass, as you’re only allowed three small meals a day, and you may have to write off certain foods entirely because your body just can’t digest them anymore.

This includes:

  • Red meats
  • Membranes of oranges or grapefruit
  • Skins of fruits and vegetables (this is where the bulk of the antioxidants are!)
  • Fibrous vegetables such as celery and sweet potatoes
  • Chili and other spicy foods

This is simply NOT a healthy way of eating, and the long-term implications are just as severe as the short-term risks. Likely because of the related malnutrition, a possible link between gastric bypass surgery in adolescent girls and an increased risk for neural tube defects, which can lead to varying degrees of disability such as paralysis and mental retardation due to damage to the nervous system, in their future children has been revealed.  People who receive bariatric surgery also more than double their risk of fractures, and are about three times more likely to break a hand or foot than normal.

A FAR Better Alternative — Lose Weight in Three Steps

Overall, 75 percent of American adults and nearly one-third of children and teens are currently obese or overweight … and weight-loss surgery centers are seeing dollar signs as their customer base keeps rising. But you can count yourself out of these statistics, and spare yourself from the potentially serious and even deadly consequences of weight loss surgery, by losing weight naturally. I believe there are three primary recommendations that could make all the difference in the world for most people.

They are:

  1. Severely restricting carbohydrates (sugars, fructose, and grains) in your diet
  2. Increasing healthy fat consumption
  3. Engaging in Peak Fitness exercises

In terms of your weight, calories from fructose are just about as bad as they come, as they will turn off your body’s appetite-control system. Fructose does not appropriately stimulate insulin, which in turn does not suppress ghrelin (the “hunger hormone”) nor stimulate leptin (the “satiety hormone”), which together results in your eating more and developing insulin resistance.

My recommendation is to keep your total fructose intake below 25 grams of fructose per day if you’re in good health, and below 15 grams a day if you need to lose weight.

Fructose is also “isocaloric but not isometabolic,” according to Dr. Robert Lustig. This means you can have the same amount of calories from fructose or glucose, fructose and protein, or fructose and fat, but the metabolic effect will be entirely different despite the identical calorie count. This is largely because different nutrients provoke different hormonal responses, and those hormonal responses determine, among other things, how much fat you accumulate.

This is why counting calories alone is often not enough to lose weight successfully!

When you eat according to my nutrition plan, most people will lose weight without counting calories at all because it’s all about eating the proper ratios of the right types of food. This includes eating healthy sources of fat, because eating healthy fats is conducive to weight loss.

When you eat fats as part of your meal, they actually slow down your food absorption so that you can go longer without feeling hungry.

Case in point is the fat conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), found in grass-fed beef and full-fat raw dairy products from grass-fed cows (raw butter, raw milk, raw-milk cheese, etc.), which is associated with reduced body fat and weight. Again, you can get all the details of a healthy diet that will naturally propel you toward your ideal body weight by reading through my comprehensive nutrition plan.

The foods you choose to eat will be the driving force behind successfully achieving your weight loss goals, but exercise is still important, especially the right type of exercise.  It’s important that you are engaging in high-intensity activities like Peak Fitness exercises, which engage a certain group of muscle fibers that you cannot engage through aerobic cardio. Engaging these muscle fibers causes a cascade of positive health benefits, including improved fat burning, and you only need to do them for 20 minutes, three times a week.

There is simply no need to resort to surgery for weight loss — virtually everyone who restricts their carbohydrate consumption (including fructose, sugar and grains), increases their intake of healthy fats, and engages in proper Peak Fitness type of exercises will slim down safely and naturally, and enjoy better health and increased longevity because of it.

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Uncategorized

3 Foods to Avoid to Lose Weight

Get Rid of the Calorie Culprits That Ruin Your Diet

 

salad dressing

 

Diet experts often say that you should clean out your pantry, your cupboards, and your refrigerator when you start a new weight loss plan. Why? Because there are foods to avoid to lose weight and it’s important to set up your kitchen for success if you’re really serious about slimming down. But often, dieters don’t have the time for a complete kitchen overhaul

If you are short on time but committed to getting lean and fit, here’s the quick-start plan for kitchen clean-up. Grab your trash can, open the refrigerator door and dump these three items to decrease your calorie intake and lose weight faster.

Foods to Avoid to Lose Weight

Of course, you should evaluate your entire eating plan when you start weight loss program. If you overeat any food, you may want to get rid of it in order to achieve nutritional balance.

But there are certain foods that most people think of as healthy, that can put a substantial dent in your energy balance. Sadly, these are foods that don’t contribute essential micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) or important macronutrients (healthy fats, heart-friendly carbohydrates, lean protein). So which foods are they? Open your refrigerator and check for these products.

Salad Dressing

Salad sounds like the perfect diet food. Fill your lunch plate full of healthy veggies and you’ll lose weight, right? Wrong! In many cases, your salad is a diet disaster. And many times, the salad dressing is what adds the most fat and calories.

In small amounts, salad dressing isn’t too bad. But when is the last time you measured the amount that you poured on your salad? The calories in salad dressing can ruin your energy balance for the day.

Even fat-free dressings have a downside. Often, these products are full of sugar and still very high in calories. A better option is to add spicy, flavorful ingredients like peppers or radishes to your greens and go dressing-free. Or dress your salad with lemon.

Another smart option is olive oil. While olive oil is a fat, it is a source of monounsaturated fat—which is better for your heart than saturated fat. You can also use an olive oil alternative such as avocado oil or flax seed oil. Just remember to measure your dressing before adding it to your salad. A reasonable serving size is one to two tablespoons for a meal-sized salad.

Flavored Coffee Creamer

If you read the nutrition facts label, the calorie and fat content of flavored creamer doesn’t look too bad. But when you read between the lines, the story isn’t so pretty.

Flavored creamers are one of the most common foods we overeat. Do you know what a single serving of creamer is? A single serving of liquid coffee creamer is just one tablespoon. Most of us pour much more than that into each coffee cup. And many of us drink several cups of coffee, So, if you multiply your actual portion size times the calorie count and fat per serving, you might be surprised…or horrified.

Another problem with coffee creamer is the ingredients. You’ll see that many popular brands list hydrogenated oil as the primary ingredient. Hydrogenated oils are trans fats—a type of fat that health experts recommend we avoid.

Sadly, if you think the fat-free creamers are better? Nope. Non-dairy fat free creamers are one of the most common sources of hidden fat and many of them provide substantial grams of added sugar to our daily intake.

You can use products made from real full-fat dairy (rather than oil) to get the creamy consistency that you desire. But you won’t get a break on the calorie and fat grams if you use products that are more “natural.” A better option is to learn to make healthier flavored coffee drinks at home. Use low fat dairy, or indulge in the full fat variety and be mindful of your portion size.

Juice 

Again, juice sounds like it should be part of a healthy diet-friendly breakfast. In fact, some dieters make juice the entire meal. But the bottom line is that when you drink fruit juice you are drinking a glass full of sugar.

Fresh juice does contain vitamins that are good for you, but why not just eat a whole piece of fruit? You might be surprised to find that when you compare the calories in an orange to the calories in a glass of orange juice the fruit fares better. And whole food is more satisfying than sipping your calories through a straw.

The one thing that these foods have in common is that many dieters believe they are healthy because they contain a healthy ingredient or because they have a healthy looking label. We often overeat foods that carry that “health halo” and we end up consuming excess fat, calories and ingredients that aren’t good for us.

Of course, if you avoid these foods to lose weight, weight loss isn’t a slam dunk. Dumping these items is just the beginning of a full kitchen clean-up. But if you can trash these three things, you’ll be on your way to a healthier diet and a slimmer physique.  Malia Frey

 

 

 

You are What You Eat, So Dont be Fast, Cheap, Easy or Fake

 

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Healthier Green Bean Casserole With Onion Topping

Healthier Green Bean Casserole With Onion Topping

 

Green bean casserole is a holiday meal favorite and a tradition in many American homes. The classic green bean casserole includes canned cream of mushroom soup. If you make your own sauce, however, you have much more control over the ingredients—choosing your preference of butter or oil, the type of liquid to add, and the thickener to use.

In addition, the green bean casserole we’re all familiar with features a topping of crispy, deep-fried onions, usually from a can. Both of these pre-made ingredients add fat, calories, and preservatives to the dish. This recipe uses all fresh ingredients, and replaces the fried onions with sauteed, making this green bean casserole a much healthier version while remaining familiar and delicious. One thing to note, however, is that this casserole is not very saucy and may not satisfy all diners.

 

Green bean casserole with onion and mushroom

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly slice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup ​​almond meal
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 14-ounce bag frozen green beans, thawed

Preparation

  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Put half of oil in a skillet and add about 3/4 of the onion slices. Let them slowly cook. When they start to get soft, add salt and pepper. You want the onions to get soft and sweet, but if you let them cook down for a very long time they will start to lose too much volume.
  3. When they are soft, remove from heat and toss with almond meal. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  4. Chop up the rest of the onion slices and saute the mushrooms in the rest of the oil. Add thyme, stir, and add the thickener. Stir for another two minutes.
  1. In a measuring cup or small bowl, combine the milk with the cream; add to the sauteed onions and bring to a simmer for 1 minute. Mix in the beans and put in a casserole dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Spread the onions on top and cook for 5 more minutes or until topping begins to brown.

Ingredient Substitutions and Cooking Tips

Any type of “dairy” product works in this recipe. If you are watching your carbohydrate intake, the lowest carb count is in unsweetened soy milk. This recipe combines unsweetened soy milk and cream for richness, but you can use any fat level of milk you want to use, and any combination. Since cream adds some body and thickness, you may need to adjust the amount of thickener if you change the amount of cream.

The type of thickener you use in this recipe is up to you as well. You can use any type of flour or other lower-carb thickeners such as guar gum and proprietary thickeners.

“We” can turn illness into “We”llness!

Health and Wellness Associates

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

Diets and Weight Loss, Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

The One Grocery Store Item To Avoid In 2019

The One Grocery Store Item To Avoid In 2019

When You Drink Soda For The First Time

The food product we suggests you avoid entirely this year (and every year) is soda. Whether regular or diet, it is essentially liquid candy, and studies indicate that drinking it can lead to:

 

  1. Obesity. Drinking a single sugar-containing soda per day is linked to weight gain. Drinking diet soda doesn’t seem to do your weight much good either – over the course of nine years, one study found a 70 percent greater increase in waist circumference among participants in a study who drank diet soda compared to those who didn’t.
  2. Diabetes. A daily sugar-containing soda habit increases a woman’s risk of developing diabetes by 83 percent compared to women who have less than one sweetened drink per month. And another study showed that artificial sweeteners altered the collection of bacteria (known as the microbiome) in the digestive tract in a way that caused blood glucose levels to rise higher than expected and to fall more slowly than they otherwise would. This suggests that the use of artificial sweeteners contributes directly to rising rates of type 2 diabetes.

****** Sometimes Diabetics have no choice.  But when you do, dont!   Shasta has a diet pop in good flavors that is alright to drink.  It has no aspartame in it at all.

3. Heart disease. One study found a 43 percent increase in the risk of heart attack and stroke among individuals who habitually consumed a daily diet soda compared to those who do not.

4. Kidney issues. Drinking two or more diet sodas daily is associated with a decline in a measure of kidney function in women.

5. Premature birth. One study found that the risk of giving birth prematurely increased by 38 percent among women who drank diet soda daily and by 78 percent among those who drank four or more diet sodas per day.

Bottom line: Forget cutting back on soda (diet or regular) – this is one to eliminate altogether. Opt instead for filtered water, unsweetened tea (the sweetened version would be no better) or sparkling water mixed with a splash of natural fruit juice. After a week or two you will feel better and may be less likely to go back.

 

Contact us at healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

 

Dr Gail Bohannon

Health and Wellness Associates

Diets and Weight Loss, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Diet Soda Linked to Risk for Diabetic Blindness

Health and Wellness Associates

Diet Soda Linked to Risk for Diabetic Blindness

Here's why you should be drinking less, plus tips on how to make the transition easier. | Health.com

Drinking diet soda may raise the risk for a severe type of diabetic eye disease that can lead to blindness, a new study says.

The study, published in Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology, is the first to evaluate the link between soft drinks and what’s called proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

“In our clinical sample of people with diabetes, consuming more than four cans, or 1.5 liters, of diet soft drinks per week was associated with a twofold increased risk of having proliferative diabetic retinopathy,” first author Eva Fenwick, PhD, told Medscape Medical News. Fenwick is a clinical research fellow at the Singapore Eye Research Institute and an assistant professor at the Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore.

The study did not find the same results among those who drank regular, sugar-sweetened soft drinks.

More studies are needed to tell whether soft drinks are unhealthy alternatives to sugar-sweetened beverages, Fenwick says.

Diet soft drinks have been marketed as healthier than regular soft drinks, yet a growing body of evidence has suggested that artificial sweeteners may also harm your health. Past research has linked diet soda to a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Some researchers believe that diet beverages may “fake out” the body to assume that it has taken in more energy than it really has. That may lead to more hunger and higher calorie intake in the long run.

The study included 609 adults — 73 with type 1 diabetes , 510 with type 2 diabetes, and 26 with an unknown type of diabetes — at an eye hospital between 2009 and 2010. The average age of the participants was 64.6 years. They came from the Diabetes Management Project, a study of English-speaking adults with diabetes in Melbourne, Australia.

Participants reported how many soft drinks they drank as part of a 145-question food questionnaire. Of the total sample, 46.8% drank regular soft drinks, and 31.2% drank diet soft drinks.

Almost a quarter had proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

Those who drank more than four 12-ounce servings of diet soda a week were 2.5 times more likely to have the disease, researchers found. The researchers adjusted results for things that usually make diabetic retinopathy more likely, such as diabetes duration, smoking, and body mass index.

Those who regularly drank sugar-sweetened soft drinks were not as likely to have the disorder.

“Our finding that regular soft drink was not associated with increased risk of proliferative diabetic retinopathy could be due to the small numbers of high consumers. We had to merge the high-consumer category with the moderate-consumer category, and this may have masked the true relationship,” Fenwick told Medscape Medical News.

“Although the results of our study must be interpreted within the context of several limitations, they add to the growing body of literature on the harmful effects of diet drinks on a range of health outcomes, including CVD [cardiovascular disease], diabetes, and metabolic syndrome,” Fenwick said.

“Given that diet soft drinks are perceived as a healthy alternative to regular soft drinks, clinicians and patients should be aware that diet soft drinks may not be without risks of their own,” she concluded.

The main component is aspartame that is causing the problem.  I know of only one company at this time , Shasta, that is a diet soft drink without aspartame.  With that one needs to drink one glass of water for one glass of soft drink.

Health and Wellness Associates

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Want To Eat For Your Heart? Avoid These 4 Foods

Want To Eat For Your Heart? Avoid These 4 Foods

 

If your dentist, your diet coach, and your personal trainer haven't already told you to stop drinking soda, then your financial advisor might be next on the list. Your soda habit is not only adding inches to your waistline, but it's expensive as well. For the sake of your health and for the sake of your wallet, now might be a good time to stop drinking soda.

Past tips have discussed the best foods for your heart. Today, we cover some foods and ingredients that are not so heart-healthy. Minimize these inflammatory aggravators in your diet to help promote optimal cardiovascular functioning.

  1. Trans-fats. Found in most margarines, snack foods, processed foods and some cooking oils, these fats (often listed on food labels as “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oil) can reduce HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels and raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels. Also, avoid heated polyunsaturated fats, such as vegetable or soybean oil used for deep-frying. These fats are oxidized or damaged, therefore regular consumption is likely to have a variety of negative health effects.
  2. Animal protein. Excessive animal protein has been shown to raise levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that in high concentrations may contribute to heart disease. Instead of animal protein, try whole soy protein – aim for two servings of whole organic soy, such as tofu or edamame, per day. You should track your homocysteine levels and if elevated, consider B-vitamin supplementation.
  3. Refined carbohydrates. Cookies, cakes, crackers, soft breads, chips and sodas can increase triglyceride levels and lower HDL.
  4. Sodium. Excessive sodium has been linked to high blood pressure and heart disease. The main sources of sodium intake are breads, processed and canned foods, along with restaurant fare. Adding a dash of salt to your homemade meals is negligible in comparison and may help provide enhanced flavor to keep you eating more at home.

 

Contact us with help determining the right path for you to take.

Health Wellness Associates

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Peanut Butter Oat Bites : Flourless and No Bake

Peanut Butter Oat Bites

Flourless and No Bake

 

oatbites.jpg

 

Want a nutritious snack that can also pass as dessert? These gluten-free peanut butter oat bites contain the delicious combination of dark chocolate and peanut butter, making for a satisfying snack, and the rolled oats add a bit of soluble fiber. What I love most about these bites is the secret ingredient of matcha green tea powder, which packs in more antioxidants.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon matcha powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup natural, creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons coconut creamer (or coconut milk)

Preparation

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients: rolled oats, chia seeds, matcha powder, and cinnamon. Stir the mixture to combine well.
  2. Add in the peanut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir again until mixture is thoroughly combined. Place oat mixture into the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  3. Take the oat mixture out of the refrigerator and roll them into balls, using a heaping tablespoon. This will make about 12 balls. Place back in the refrigerator for another 10 minutes to harden before dipping into chocolate.
  1. In a small sauce pot, add the chocolate chips, vanilla, and coconut creamer or milk. Turn heat to low and slowly melt the chocolate, stirring often. Cook on low until mixture is completely smooth. Be careful not to burn the mixture—keep an eye on it and don’t walk away!
  2. Take the oat bites out of the refrigerator and carefully dip each one into the melted chocolate on one side. Lie them flat on a baking sheet lined with foil after they have been dipped in chocolate. Place in the freezer to harden.
  3. Keep them in the refrigerator and enjoy when wanted. You can also keep them stored in the freezer if you want to enjoy them at a later time.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

These balls are scrumptious with peanut butter, but any nut butter would be equally as delicious. If you have a nut allergy, consider using sunflower seed butter instead. You can also feel free to use chunky instead of creamy peanut butter for an additional crunch.

Although dark chocolate slightly increases the nutritional value of these bites, you can melt your personal favorite chocolate. Bittersweet chocolate is a good choice since it is not too sweet, given you already have ample sweetness from the maple syrup in the mixture.

To make these naturally sweetened, swap out the maple syrup and use mashed up dates.

To sweeten with dates, pour hot water over the dates in a small bowl and let sit for at least 15 minutes so they can soften. Drain excess water and mash up the dates with a fork until a smooth paste is formed. Add this paste into the oat mixture. You can also try using mashed ripe banana as an alternative natural sweetener. Alternatively, to cut down on sugar, use half the amount of maple syrup and add in unsweetened applesauce.

The matcha powder flavor is almost undetectable but if you would like a stronger presence, simply add in another half teaspoon or so. If you have trouble finding matcha powder, omit altogether.

Cooking and Serving Tips

This recipe is very simple and requires no baking. It is especially great in the summer time.

To minimize the number of dishes used, mix all the ingredients for the oat mixture in one bowl. You can also save time by using chocolate chips—they are convenient to melt instead of having to chop up chocolate.

The oat bites do not need to be refrigerated for any food safety reasons, but the chocolate will melt otherwise.

Plus, it keeps the balls intact. Store them in the freezer, as you may not always finish the whole batch within a few days. This way, you can take one or two out as needed and they are as delicious frozen as they are thawed out. Enjoy these as a snack mid-day or for a light dessert in the evening.

Health and Wellness Associates

Preventative and Restorative Medicine

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Pumpkin and a Pumpkin Smoothie!

It’s PUMPKIN time again!!

 

shutterstock_pumpkin-smoothie.jpg

 

Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin pie, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin beer, pumpkin potato chips and more!

While pumpkins are chock full of beta-carotene (the pre-cursor to vitamin A), and fiber, they are also low glycemic, meaning that pumpkin does not cause blood sugar levels to rise, helping you lose weight. Pumpkin is also great for your eyesight, beautiful smooth skin and has powerful disease-fighting capabilities.

However, keep in mind we are talking about pure pumpkin, not that pumpkin spice muffin you’re eating or your pumpkin spice mocha latte frappe! The sugar and refined flours cancel out the benefits of the pumpkin.

That beautiful bright orange color of pumpkins comes from the antioxidant, beta carotene, which not only turns to vitamin A in the body, but is a powerful antioxidant that protects against heart disease, cancer and diabetes. In fact, a recent study from Brazil showed that diabetic rats fed beta carotene reduced oxidation stress that helped prevent heart disease and disease processes caused by diabetes.

Beta-carotene is not the only diabetes-fighting nutrient in pumpkins. Two other compounds found in both pumpkins and fenugreek, trigonelline and nicotine acid, have been shown in studies to be effective in lowering blood sugar levels by improving insulin resistance, according to researchers in Japan.

Pumpkin’s high fiber helps you feel full longer, which is a great aid in weight loss. And it’s low glycemic properties also help to keep your body in fat-burning mode—not fat-storing mode. Pumpkin’s powerful antioxidants also help fight off cancer and boost the immune system. A pumpkin-protein smoothie can be the perfect post-workout recovery food—since pumpkin is also full of potassium, along with its vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.

Pumpkin can be eaten roasted, baked or steamed, similar to sweet potatoes or squash. It is a delicious addition to curries and soups as well. Don’t  forget to eat the pumpkin seeds, too, which are best lightly roasted. Pumpkin seeds are known to boost levels of serotonin, the ‘feel-good’ brain chemical.

Try this amazing pumpkin smoothie!

Ingredients

1/2 cup (approximate) organic pumpkin, canned or fresh baked
1 small or 1/2 regular/large tart apple
Protein powder of choice (vanilla works best with this recipe)
1-2 teaspoons pure vanilla
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
Handful of greens if you wish—baby kale, spinach, chard, etc.
Your milk of choice: real raw milk, coconut milk, almond milk, etc.
1 Tbsp of coconut oil

Directions

Mix in blender until smooth, add milk until desired consistency. Add a few ice cubes if you like it cold.

You should also know that this recipe is an almost perfect low-glycemic snack for Diabetics, due to it’s blend of fiber, healthy fats, antioxidants, and a reasonably low amount of sugars and carbs that impact blood sugar.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Preventative and Restorative Medicine

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com