Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Battle Arthritis With The Foods You Eat

Top 10 Foods to Battle Arthritis

 

More than 54 million American adults suffer from some form of arthritis according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Furthermore, the CDC predicts that by the year 2040, an estimated 78 million adults are projected to have doctor-diagnosed arthritis.

But experts say that eating the right, anti-inflammatory diet can help protect your joints and alleviate some of the symptoms of this potentially painful disease. These same anti-inflammatory foods can also stave off other dreaded diseases as well, because we know that inflammation plays a major role in almost every major disease. According to the Cleveland Clinic, it’s the culprit in many forms of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and even depression.

woman's arthritic hands

According to Health Fitness Revolution, here are the top 10 foods and nutrients to eat to treat your arthritis — and improve your health:

  1. Foods rich in calcium. Dairy products that are low in fat like milk and yogurt are rich in calcium and vitamin D, which can help increase the strength in your bones and joints. If you are lactose intolerant take a supplement or eat leafy, green veggies.
  2. Vitamin C. This water-soluble vitamin is essential to slow down the progression of osteoarthritis. Consume more fruits like strawberries, pineapples and kiwis.
  3. Broccoli. Aside from being rich in vitamin C, broccoli contains sulforaphane, a compound that can help prevent and slow down the progression of osteoarthritis.
  4. Garlic. Garlic contains diallyl disulfide, a compound that can help alleviate arthritis. Chop garlic into your pasta, soups and stews or take supplements such as Kyolic Aged Garlic extract. Adding garlic to your diet could benefit not only arthritis symptoms but also your overall health since it has also been associated with reduced risk of certain cancers and heart disease.
  5. Fish. Fatty fish contains inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce the inflammation in your joints and relieve pain. Aim for at least 4 ounces of fish, like salmon, herring, sardines or cod, twice weekly to reap the benefits.
  6. Soy. Like fish, soy also contains omega-3 fatty acids. If you’re aren’t a fan of fish, try eating soybeans with your meals. Soybeans are low in fat, with lots of protein and fiber.
  7. Tart cherries. You may find relief from these cherries that are chock full of powerful anthocyanins, antioxidants that give the cherries their red color. You can find tart cherry supplements at your health food store or eat the actual cherries themselves. Tart cherry juice is a great tasting option but look for the unsweetened variety.
  8. Green tea. Studies have shown that an antioxidant in green tea called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) actually cancels the molecules that come together to cause joint damage. Green tea is also full of polyphenols that are great for healthy joints.
  9. Whole grains. Whole grains should be your new best friend. They contain a compound called CRP which can help reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Eating breakfast of whole grain cereal or oatmeal is a great way to introduce whole grains into your diet.
  10. Ginger. A recent study assessed the effects of ginger extract on patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. A whopping 63% experienced improvements in knee pain after only six weeks. You can consume ginger in fresh, powdered or dried form or use the extract itself.

You Are What You Eat, So Dont Be Cheap, Easy, or Fake

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Lower Your Cholesterol with Foods

Foods That Lower Your Cholesterol

 

Foods That Lower Your Cholesterol

 

Certain foods can be part of the plan to improve your numbers, to both lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the bad one, and raise your high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the good one.

First, choose foods with soluble fiber. Think of this type of fiber as a magnet, drawing cholesterol out of your body. Good sources are oats, oat bran and barley, along with beans, eggplant and okra. When used in recipes, these foods tend to take on the flavors of other ingredients, so be adventurous with recipe planning — and generous with herbs and spices.

Apples, grapes, strawberries and citrus fruits are good choices because of their pectin, a type of soluble fiber.

Next, go for foods with polyunsaturated fats. These include vegetable oils like canola, sunflower and safflower, as well as fatty fish like salmon, rich with omega-3 fatty acids, and most types of seeds and nuts.

Plant-based foods also contain substances called plant sterols and stanols, which help keep the body from absorbing cholesterol. Particularly good sources are Brussel sprouts, wheat germ and wheat bran, peanuts and almonds, and olive, sesame and canola oils.
In terms of foods to limit, talk to your doctor about your unique needs. High-cholesterol foods like shellfish and eggs aren’t as dangerous as once thought. The verdict is still out on the saturated fat found in meat, but some research has found that full-fat yogurt, milk and even cheese may be good for you.

The one type of fat to completely avoid is trans fat. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned its addition to foods in 2018, but because of extensions granted to some manufacturers, certain items could be on store shelves until January 2021. So keep checking the ingredients on any packaged foods you’re considering.

You are What you Eat, So Dont Be Fast, Cheap, Easy or Fake!

 

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

4 Types of Diabetic Neuropathy

What Are the Symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy?

neuropathy tip of an iceberg

As soon as I posted on Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy, the question was asked about the other types of Diabetic Neuropathy.

 

The symptoms of diabetic neuropathy depend on the type of neuropathy that affects a person and the nerves being targeted. Common symptoms are known to involve the sensory, motor and autonomic (or involuntary) nervous systems.

However, some people with nerve damage may not manifest symptoms at all, while others may only experience mild symptoms such as numbness, tingling or pain in the feet.

Mild cases may also remain unnoticed for a long period of time because most damage occurs over several years. Other people, typically those with focal neuropathy, can also experience sudden, severe and painful symptoms.

Diabetic Neuropathy Symptoms Vary According to the Type of Condition
There are four types of diabetic neuropathy that can affect people, and symptoms are usually specific to the type.2

1.Peripheral neuropathy — Feet and legs are often affected first, followed by hands and arms. Patients with peripheral neuropathy may experience:

◦ Numbness or reduced ability to feel pain or temperature changes

◦ A tingling or burning sensation

◦ Sharp pains or cramps

◦ Increased sensitivity to touch

◦ Muscle weakness

◦ Loss of reflexes, especially in the ankle

◦ Loss of balance and coordination

◦ Serious foot problems such as ulcers, infections, deformities and bone and joint pain

2. Autonomic neuropathy — This form of neuropathy targets the autonomic nervous system responsible for controlling the heart, bladder, lung, stomach, intestines, sex organs and eyes. Symptoms include:

◦ Hypoglycemia unawareness (a lack of awareness that blood sugar levels are low)

◦ Bladder problems including urinary tract infections or urinary retention or incontinence

◦ Constipation, uncontrolled diarrhea or a combination of the two

◦ Gastroparesis (slow stomach emptying), which can cause nausea, vomiting, bloating and appetite loss

◦ Vaginal dryness and other sexual difficulties (women)

◦ Erectile dysfunction (men)

◦ Difficulty swallowing

◦ Increased or decreased sweating

◦ Changes in the way your eyes adjust from light to dark

◦ Problems with body temperature regulation

◦ Increased heart rate during rest

◦ Inability of the body to adjust blood pressure and heart rate, causing sharp drops in blood after sitting or standing and leading to fainting or lightheadedness

3. Radiculoplexus neuropathy — Radiculoplexus neuropathy affects nerves in the thighs, hips, buttocks or legs. This condition is also called diabetic amyotrophy, femoral neuropathy or proximal neuropathy.

Typically, symptoms of radiculoplexus neuropathy are found on one side of the body, but in some cases these can spread to the other side:

◦ Sudden and severe pain in your hip and thigh or buttock

◦ Eventual weak and atrophied thigh muscles

◦ Difficulty rising from a sitting position

◦ Abdominal swelling if the abdomen is affected

◦ Weight loss

Take note that most radiculoplexus neuropathy patients improve at least partially over time, but there are instances when symptoms can worsen before they get better.

4. Mononeuropathy — In this form, there is damage to a specific nerve in the face, torso or leg. Mononeuropathy, also called focal neuropathy, often comes on suddenly. The symptoms of this type of diabetic neuropathy depend on the nerve involved, and can include:

◦ Difficulty focusing your eyes, double vision or aching behind one eye

◦ Paralysis on one side of the face (Bell’s palsy)

◦ Pain in the shin or foot

◦ Pain in the lower back or pelvis

◦ Pain at the front of the thigh

◦ Pain in the chest or abdomen

Mononeuropathy may also occur when a nerve is compressed. Among diabetics, carpal tunnel syndrome is a common type of compression neuropathy.

Patients can experience a numbness or tingling in the fingers or hand (especially in the thumb and/or index, middle and ring fingers), a sense of weakness in the hand and a tendency to drop things.

While mononeuropathy is known to trigger severe pain, this disease doesn’t necessarily  cause long-term problems, unless untreated. Symptoms may disappear on their own within a few weeks or months, with proper treatment.

If you notice these symptoms, talk to your doctor immediately to determine the type of diabetic neuropathy that may be affecting you so you can receive proper treatment.

 

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

What Is Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy?

WebMD shows you how to improve your balance and ideas for exercises to help you prevent or lessen the numbness and pain of diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

Diabetic neuropathies are a family of nerve disorders triggered by diabetes. There are four forms of this disease, with diabetic peripheral neuropathy being the most common. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy occurs when a patient’s feet and legs are affected by nerve damage, followed by the hands and arms.

Diabetic peripheral neurophathy will first show signs in the feet, then cramps in ones legs, and unlike other neuropathies, the pain in the leg will be on both outsides of the leg, and along the shinbone.

The Mayo Clinic points out that while the cause of the disease is unclear, a combination of factors likely play a role in the development of diabetic neuropathy, such as the complex interaction between nerves and blood vessels.

High blood sugar levels are known to interfere with the nerves’ ability to transmit signals and weaken the capillaries or walls of the small blood vessels that provide oxygen and nutrients to the nerves.

As long as 20 years in the making, this type of neuropathy started, and some may have drank too much in their 20’s or 30’s, been around heavy metals, or had a sweet tooth all of which might have been accompanied by too much stress in ones life, and is now stressing your body.

 

Symptoms and Complications of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

Some of the initial symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy include:

  • Numbness or insensitivity to pain or temperature

At a point in your life you may have been able to handle cold or hot temperatures better than your peers, and now mainly the cold is very hard on your body.

PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY: What you need to know about this disorder that results from damage to your peripheral nerves and often causes unusual sensations such as vibrations, tingling, burning, numbness, weakness, loss of balance, and even pain. Symptoms are usually in the hands, feet but can occur in other areas of the body. Do you have this? Share your story with us. www.mollysfund.org

  • A tingling, burning or prickling sensation

One of the earliest symptoms is to have a burning or hot sensation in the bottom of ones feet, and mostly ignored.  Then a prickly, or even itchy type of sensation would have followed.

 

Diabetes leg pain and cramps often occur as a result of damaged nerves (diabetic peripheral neuropathy). Neuropathy can also cause tingling and numbness.

  • Sharp pains or cramps

People get cramps, especially in their legs and brush it off.  They may even go to the doctor and get something for them, and that is it.

  • Extreme sensitivity to touch, even light touch

Sometimes a soft touch is nice, but when one gets that “creepy” feeling along with it, that is sensitivity.

 

Fibromyalgia vs. peripheral neuropathy: Causes, symptoms, risk factors, and complications

  • Muscle weakness

When you say to yourself ” I use to do this,  and I remember I use to be able to do that”    Those are , and should be a large red flag to  your healthcare provider.  Muscle weakness is a powerful warning sign.

 

Nerve Regeneration Sound Therapy | Peripheral Neuropathy Treatment Binaural Beats Meditation Music - YouTube

  • Loss of reflexes, especially in the ankle

Did you ever wake up and feel like you twisted your ankle, but you dont remember anything?    When you walk, does it feel like you are flat footed, but it probably is your ankle reflexes gone.    Orthopedic shoes are usually recommended, but in fact will make this problem worse.

 

  • Loss of balance and coordination

Dizziness, tripping, occasionally feeling like you are leaning to one side or the other.   Not able to try out for a tightrope walker?   When you tell this to your healthcare provider, they want to check your ears right away.  They may even send you to see someone else, and some precautionary measures may be taken, but they dont have an answer.

  • Serious foot problems such as ulcers, infections, deformities and bone and joint pain

Notice if any of the bones in  your feet and/or toes have changed shape.

Diabetes can damage the nerves that help you feel pain, heat, and cold, especially in your feet. Learn about the symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy and the problems it can cause, what you can do about it, and how to prevent it.

 

These are some of the main symptoms at the first level, with each level there are more symptoms.  If you have been diagnosed with neuropathy and also diabetes it is good to know these symptoms, and what might happen if you ignore them.

These symptoms are known to worsen at night. Many diabetics already show signs of neuropathy that a doctor can take note of, but patients themselves don’t feel them.

If left untreated, diabetic peripheral neuropathy can lead to muscle weakness and loss of reflexes, especially at the ankle, eventually causing changes in the way a person walks. Foot deformities, such as hammertoes (a deformity that causes the toe to bend or curl downward instead of pointing forward) and the collapse of the midfoot, may occur too.

Should pressure or an injury remain unnoticed, this can prompt blisters and sores to appear on numb areas of the foot. If there is an infection that’s not treated immediately, it can spread to the bone and may require the foot to be amputated. Fortunately, many amputations are preventable if minor problems are examined and treated immediately.

This is not necessarily something one has to live with.  There are many methods people have used to send this disease into remission, sometimes permanently, or at least try to decrease the symptoms, and not move on to a worse state.

This is a progressive disease, and you want to STOP it!, NOT, put up with it!

Other Risk Factors of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy can also be triggered by factors apart from diabetes, namely:

  • Shingles (post herpetic neuralgia)

Never get the shingles shot, if you think you have this condition

  • Vitamin deficiency, particularly of vitamin B9 (folate) and B12

Do  not start taking either of these supplements without a good provider telling  you the other supplements that MUST be taken with them, so as to cause no more harm.

  • Alcohol intake
  • Autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or Guillain-Barre syndrome

If this disease is not handled correctly you will develop one of these conditions also.

  • AIDS, whether from the disease or its treatment, or from syphilis or kidney failure

 

  • Inherited diseases such as amyloid polyneuropathy or Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease

 

  • Exposure to toxins, such as heavy metals, gold compounds, lead, arsenic, mercury and organophosphate pesticides

If you work with metals, you have a greater chance to develop this condition.   Stay away from heavy metal work, if you are already a diabetic, and also fertilizer.

  • Cancer therapy drugs like vincristine (Oncovin and Vincasar) and antibiotics including metronidazole (Flagyl) and isoniazid

Remember these medicatios, and have your healthcare provider order something else.

  • Diseases such as neurofibromatosis, Fabry disease, Tangier diseases, hereditary sensory autonomic neuropathy and hereditary amyloidosis (albeit rare)

 

  • Statins —    neuropathy caused by this group of  medications is rising at an alarming rate.  Yet, sometimes some of the symptoms are masked.  

Do everything you can to get off of a statin drug, especially if you are already a diabetic.

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is a major health concern. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned here, consult a good healthcare provider immediately. If someone you know exhibits these signs, but is unaware that they are symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy, talk to them about having their condition checked.

Always contact us here at :  healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

You can make a big impact in improving their health and may even help save their lives by being aware of this disorder.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Cutting Down On Drinking Can Help You Quit Smoking

Health and Wellness Associates

 

Cutting Down On Drinking Can Help You Quit Smoking

 

stopsmoking.jpg

 

Research has revealed that heavy drinkers who’re attempting to quit smoking could find that limiting their alcohol consumption could also help them to quit smoking.  The nicotine metabolite ratio of study participants who consumed alcohol heavily reduced as their alcohol consumption was limited. Nicotine metabolite ratio is a biomarker which indicates how fast an individual’s body metabolizes nicotine, and is an index of nicotine metabolism.

Using alcohol together with cigarettes is common, with almost 1 in 5 individuals making use of both. Cigarette smoking is particularly common in heavy drinkers. Alcohol consumption is a proven risk factor for smoking, and smoking is proven risk factor for consuming alcohol. It requires a great deal of determination to quit smoking, usually taking quite a few attempts.

Previous studies have indicated that individuals having higher nicotine metabolism ratios will probably smoke a lot more and that individuals with higher rates have a more difficult time quitting. Slowing an individual’s nicotine metabolism rate by means of reduced alcohol consumption could provide an edge when attempting to quit smoking, which is proven to be a challenging undertaking.

The nicotine metabolite ratio was examined over a few weeks in a group of 22 individuals who smoked daily and had been looking for alcohol use disorder treatment, the medical term used for severe alcohol consumption.

This study indicates that the nicotine metabolism is changed by alcohol consumption as indexed by the nicotine metabolite ratio. The study also suggests that smoking and consuming alcohol on a daily basis should best be treated at the same time.

The nicotine metabolite ratio proved to be clinically useful. Individuals having a higher ratio have a more difficult time giving up smoking cold turkey. They’re also not as likely to successfully stop smoking by making use of nicotine replacement therapy products.

It was discovered that the nicotine metabolite rate of the male study participants decreased as they cut down on their alcohol consumption from an average of 29 drinks per week to 7 drinks per week.

The researchers’ results for men replicated those of previous research which discovered similar effects and provide more proof of the significance of the nicotine metabolite ratio biomarker for advising treatment for smokers attempting to quit.

Although the nicotine metabolite ratio is considered to be an index that is stable, it might not be as stable as previously thought. This is positive from a clinical point of view, because if an individual wants to quit smoking, they should be encouraged to cut down on alcohol consumption to assist with a smoking cessation plan.

The female study participants didn’t see reductions in the nicotine metabolite ratio, but it was found that they didn’t reduce their alcohol consumption very much for the duration of the study period. Their rate of alcohol consumption started low and remained low.

 

Nothing Will Work Unless You Do It!

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

The Exercise Hormone Irisin May Help Protect Against Alzheimer’s

Health and Wellness Associates

 

The Exercise Hormone Irisin May Help Protect Against Alzheimer’s

 

According to a study, exercise produces the irisin hormone that could help in improving memory and protecting against Alzheimer’s. It’s known that physical activity improves memory, and research has suggested that it could also help to reduce Alzheimer’s risk.

The irisin hormone that’s released into circulation when performing physical activity was discovered by scientists several years ago. It was initially suggested that irisin primarily played a part in the metabolism of energy. Subsequent research discovered that the irisin hormone could also play a role in promoting neuronal growth in the hippocampus of the brain, a region important for memory and learning.

For the current study, researchers first looked for an irisin and Alzheimer’s association. Making use of brain bank tissue samples, the irisin hormone was found to be present in the hippocampus and that levels of irisin in the hippocampus are reduced in people with Alzheimer’s.

The researchers used mice for investigating the effect of irisin in the brain. They discovered that irisin protects the synapses of the mice’s brains as well as their memory. Synapses and memory were weakened in healthy mice when irisin was immobilized in the hippocampus. Both measures of brain health improved when levels of irisin were boosted in the brain.

The impact that exercise has on irisin and the brain was then examined. It was discovered that mice that swam almost every day for 5 weeks didn’t develop memory impairment even though they got beta amyloid infusions, which is the protein implicated in Alzheimer’s that clogs neurons and destroys memory.

The benefits of swimming were completely eliminated when irisin was blocked with a drug. Mice that were given irisin-blocking drugs and swam did not perform better on memory tests compared to sedentary mice after beta amyloid infusions.

anageoldstory

 

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Flaxseed and Breast Cancer

Health and Wellness Associates

 

Flaxseed and Breast Cancer

 

Flaxseeds as well as flaxseed oil are rich sources of plant lignans. Research has shown that flaxseed lignans have considerable anticancer properties. Lignans are fiber compounds that are able to bind to estrogen receptors and restrict the cancer promoting effects of estrogen on breast tissue. Fish and flaxseed, and that includes flaxseed oil, also increase the production of a compound called SHBG (sex hormone-binding globulin). This protein regulates levels of estrogen levels by eliminating excess estrogen out of the body.fishandflaxsee

 

Women with high levels of the phytoestrogen enterolactone, which is linked to high lignan intake from foods such as flax, flaxseed oils and fish, have been found to have a 58% reduction of breast cancer risk.

A study has shown that daily supplementation of ground flaxseed can reduce estrogen levels. Reducing estrogen reduces risk of breast cancer.

grindinggrains

The director of the breast cancer prevention program at the Toronto Hospital has reported that flaxseed in the diet may shrink breast cancer tumors. His research involved 50 women who had been recently diagnosed with breast cancer and were waiting for surgery. They were divided into 2 groups, one group was given a daily muffin containing 25 grams of ground flaxseed, and the other group had plain muffins. After surgery, it was found that those who had been given the flaxseed muffins had slower-growing breast cancer tumors than the others.

 

Nothing will work unless You do it!

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Foods, Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Tomato and Broccoli Broiled Top Breakfast Frittata

Tomato and Broccoli Broiled Top Breakfast Frittata

 

If you’re like me and a big fan of hitting the snooze button, then you know that making a nutritious and filling breakfast can be a challenge. Prepare this veggie packed frittata on the weekend and enjoy a slice for a grab-and-go breakfast. Your stomach will thank you!

broccoli and goat cheese frittata

Ingredients

  • 8 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 2 cups frozen broccoli florets, defrosted
  • 1 ounce goat cheese

Preparation

  1. Beat eggs together with salt and pepper in a large bowl until well combined. Place rack in the middle of the oven and preheat broiler.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large, ovenproof skillet on medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomato and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in broccoli.
  3. Pour in beaten egg and move around until it covers the pan completely. Cook the frittata until it’s starting to set around the edges, then sprinkle the top with goat cheese. Place the frittata under the broiler to cook through. It should only take a minute and keep a close eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn.

With an oven-mitted hand, remove from oven, let cool slightly, then invert onto a serving plate, Cut into four slices and serve or refrigerate until ready to eat.

 

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

I love to make frittatas as an easy and satisfying breakfast throughout the year and switch things up based on what vegetables are in season. Try heirloom tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella in the summer, kale and cheddar in the fall, cauliflower and feta in the winter, and asparagus and goat cheese in the spring.

If you’d like to reduce the amount of cholesterol in this recipe, replace some of the whole eggs with egg whites. You’ll need whites for every egg. You could also replace 2 eggs with ½ cup milk or unsweetened, unflavored plant milk.

To make this dairy free, simply leave out the goat cheese.

If you like your eggs with hot sauce, stir a teaspoon into the beaten egg or douse generously with your favorite hot sauce to serve.

I also like it topped with fresh herbs, like chives, green onions, or parsley.

Cooking and Serving Tips

Another fun option is to turn this recipe into mini-frittatas baked in a muffin tin. They’re perfect for snacks or sandwiched between a whole grain English muffin or mini-bagel to make a breakfast sandwich.

To make, crack an egg into 8 wells sprayed with oil, season with a bit of salt and pepper, then whisk together with a fork. Divide the sauteed onions, tomatoes, and defrosted broccoli between the wells then bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

To include a serving of healthy carbs with this meal, serve this with a slice or two of whole grain toast or English muffin, a side of fresh fruit, or add cubes or slices of steamed sweet or white potatoes to the frittata.

This frittata also makes a delicious dinner. Serve with whole grain bread or roasted potatoes and a side salad dressed with a quick dressing of equal parts lemon juice, olive oil, and a teaspoon of mustard to emulsify.

This frittata will last 5 days covered in the refrigerator. Serve warm, reheated in the microwave for 30 seconds, or at room temperature.

 

“We” can turn illness into “We”llness

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Foods, Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Crock pot Low-Carb and Gluten-Free Coq au Vin

Crock pot Low-Carb and Gluten-Free Coq au Vin

 

This tasty crock-pot or stove top coq au vin (chicken in red wine) recipe is low in carbohydrates and high in protein. It is a gluten-free and dairy-free dish that can be a one-pot meal, served with a green salad or steamed or roasted vegetables.

This is an excellent recipe through the winter months, starting it in the slow cooker in the morning so it is ready when you return home for dinner. It pairs well with sides of winter vegetables such as Brussels sprouts and broccoli. But if you are eating very low-carb, be sure to select the vegetables that are lower in carbohydrates. Carrot is often included in classic coq au vin, but is eliminated here because it is a root vegetable that is higher in carbohydrates.

If you are eliminating gluten, be sure to check that the chicken broth you use is gluten-free. Some brands may add gluten-containing ingredients such as wheat, but many are labeled as gluten-free for your convenience. Use real bacon bits or make your own crumbled bacon. If you use imitation bacon bits made from soy protein, ensure that they are labeled as gluten-free.

Cornstarch contributes most of the carbohydrate grams in this recipes. Most brands of cornstarch, including Argo and Clabber Girl, are gluten-free. Cornstarch is a common thickening agent used in gluten-free and dairy-free cooking.

Nutrition: Approximately 200 calories per serving, 34 grams protein, 2 grams fat, 3 grams carbohydrate.

Makes 6 servings

Chicken in Wine and Mushroom Sauce

 

Ingredients

  • 6 (5-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts (or equivalent amount of boneless skinless chicken tenders)
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken broth (fat-free and gluten free)
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 4 ounces mushrooms (sliced)
  • 8 pearl onions (or 1 cup of chopped green onions)
  • 1/2 teaspoon bacon bits (or artificial bacon bits)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

  • Crock-pot method: Place the chicken, chicken broth, wine, mushrooms, bacon bits, and thyme in a crock-pot on low for 4 to 8 hours.
  • Stove top method: In a large, deep saucepan, pot, or dutch oven, place the chicken, chicken broth, wine, mushrooms, bacon bits, and thyme and bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through but still tender.
  • Remove the chicken, potatoes, and most of the mushrooms, keeping the liquid in the pan or crock-pot. If using a crock-pot, turn the crock-pot up to high.
  • In a cup, mix the cornstarch and cold water, then add it to the reserved liquid and stir.
  • Bring to a boil with stirring and cook the sauce until thickened. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
  • Serve each breast with one-sixth of the sauce.

Serving Suggestions and Notes

Serve with sides of steamed or roasted vegetables. Green vegetables such as broccoli, roasted Brussels sprouts, or snow peas make a colorful and appealing plate. If you prefer to serve it with a fresh salad, that makes a nice change of textures through the meal.

What you serve with this dish is very accommodating of different dietary needs. If you are eating gluten-free and are less concerned about carbs, you can enjoy this dish with rice or a potato to sop up the tasty sauce. Guests who are not concerned with gluten or carbs may enjoy this dish with a dinner roll as well.

Refrigerate any leftovers. You can enjoy leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day. Reheat them in the microwave for one minute or more per serving, until hot. The sauce may remain gel-shaped and less appealing in appearance, so it’s best for personal enjoyment rather than serving to guests or picky eaters.

You can freeze leftovers for later use, with the same caveat that the sauce may not be visually appealing once reheated.

 

Variations

If you are not aiming to reduce carbs, you can add 1 pound baby potatoes or potatoes cut into 1-inch cubes. Cook these with the chicken and other ingredients. This adds carbohydrates and calories but makes it into more of a traditional complete meal.

If you or your family or guests have an onion food allergy, you can leave them out. Fennel is a good substitute.

If you are using frozen chicken breasts or tenders, allow them to thaw in the refrigerator before adding them, especially if using the crock pot method. The frozen chicken might keep the temperature lower in the crock-pot for long enough for bacteria to grow.

 

 

“We” can turn illness into “We”llness

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Foods, Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Three-Cheese Spinach Casserole With a Twist

Three-Cheese Spinach Casserole With a Twist

 

This spinach casserole is easy to make and cheesy, yet light. This recipe can replace your traditional spinach dip appetizer. Using cottage cheese and feta instead of cream cheese and cheddar cheese in this recipe saves fat and calories, but gives a similar taste and texture. Bake this in the oven, or use a slow cooker to make ahead. Enjoy as an entree, appetizer or snack.

 

Spinach Casserole with Cheese

 

Ingredients

  • 2 10-ounce boxes frozen chopped spinach
  • ¼ chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 8-ounce package cottage cheese, low-fat 2%
  • ½ cup feta cheese
  • ½ cup Monterrey jack cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt or other spice mixture to taste
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, hard (not the dried kind in a can)

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Defrost spinach in the boxes or in a 2-quart casserole dish.

3. Fry chopped onions in oil until they are translucent and begin to soften.

4. Mix all ingredients except for the Parmesan cheese in the casserole dish. Sprinkle Parmesan on top.

5. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean and cheese on top begins to brown. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Serve warm with crudites or chips of your choice.

Ingredient Substitutions and Cooking Tips

This recipe is easy to adapt, so if you have certain spice mixtures or salad dressing seasonings that you like, feel free to add them. For example, you can add ½ teaspoon of Chinese Five Spice Powder or another spice mix to give the spinach casserole some depth. It’s not unusual to add dried ranch dressing mix or dried vegetable soup mix to the recipe to give your spinach casserole a distinct flavor.

Speaking of spice, you can make this spinach dip spicy too. Add some kick to this spinach dish by adding jalapeno peppers, red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper. Simply add these when preparing the onion.

Spinach is full of iron, folate, and fiber, but who says you can’t add more. Add shredded artichoke hearts, broccoli, carrots or zucchini to boost the nutritional value of the dish. Instead of crackers, corn chips, or bread, serve with cucumbers, jicama, cauliflower florets or bell pepper strips.

Kale can be substituted for spinach if you want to try different greens with this recipe. Another excellent addition is fresh garlic for extra flavor. A cup of cooked quinoa or chopped chicken breast can also be added to this recipe to boost protein, although the Greek yogurt addition in this recipe provides plenty of it.

 

 

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