Uncategorized, Lifestyle

Poor Diet = Poor Mental Health

Poor Diet = Poor Mental Health

In this groundbreaking talk, Dr. Weil illuminates the worst trends in American nutrition, and the toll they are taking on our health.

Researchers at Loma Linda University in California have found that adults in the state whose diets are poor are more likely to have poor mental health regardless of their gender, age, education, marital status or income level than those with healthy diets. The team reported that increased consumption of sugar was associated with bipolar disorder and that fried foods, or those that contain a lot of sugar and processed grains, were linked with depression.

To reach these conclusions the researchers reviewed data from more than 240,000 telephone surveys conducted with California residents over a 10-year period. The team found that nearly 17 percent of adults were likely to suffer from mental illness – 13.2 percent with “moderate psychological distress and 3.7 percent with severe psychological distress. Those whose diets were poor (they ate more French fries, fast food, soda and sugar) were more likely to be among those with mental illness than people whose diets were deemed healthy Study leader Jim E. Banta, Ph.D., M.P.H., said the results are similar to those from earlier studies conducted in other countries that found links between mental illness and unhealthy diets. While the new findings don’t prove that unhealthy diets contribute to mental illness, Dr. Banta said evidence seems to be pointing in that direction.

May take? These findings are disheartening but not surprising. The evidence from previous investigations conducted in Europe that Dr. Banta referred to suggests that the trans-fats and saturated fats in some junk foods increase the risk of depression. In 2010 researchers from Spain who followed the diet and lifestyle of more than 12,000 men and women for 6 years reported that at the outset, none of the participants had been diagnosed with depression, but at the study’s end, 657 were found to be depressed. They noted that the risk of depression increased among participants who consumed junk foods. In 2009, British researchers reported that among nearly 3,500 midlife men and women participating in a 5-year study those whose diets were high in processed meat, chocolates, sweet desserts, fried foods, refined cereals and high-fat dairy products were 58 percent more likely to be depressed that those whose diets were composed mainly of fruit, vegetables and fish.Contact us and we can get you started on the right track.

 

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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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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Avoid Sun to Prevent Cancer? Wrong

 

Avoid Sun to Prevent Cancer? Wrong

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We have been told, again and again, to avoid the sun because ultraviolet radiation causes cancer. But is that really the best strategy?

One survey, called the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study, looked at 450,934 white subjects 50-71 years old. They estimated skin ultraviolet radiation exposure (UVR) from satellite Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer data from NASA.

Estimated sun exposure was linked to a 2000 U.S. Census Bureau tract.

In the International Journal of Cancer, the authors compared the highest exposure UVR quartile to the lowest quartile. After nine years of follow-up, UVR was inversely associated with total cancer risk (3 percent decline).

Looking at specific cancers, the scientists found a decreased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (18 percent), as well as a decreased risk of cancer of the colon (12 percent), lung (14 percent), prostate (9 percent), kidney (17 percent), and bladder (12 percent).

Conventional medicine would have you believe that the sun is a cancer-causing ball of fire. We are told to never to let the sun hit our skin, unless we wear sunscreen.

But what, exactly, is the consequence of avoiding the sun? It will guarantee low vitamin D levels, which have been associated with a host of illnesses from rickets to cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, and cancer.

Only melanoma was shown to increase with more UVR. However, the incidence of melanoma is far less than lung, prostate, and colon cancers, which all declined with more UVR.

Exposure to moderate amounts of UVR should not be feared. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should allow yourself to get burned. But moderate exposure is not only safe, but healthy.           Russell Blaylock

 

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

 

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Weighted Blankets for Mental Health

Weighted Blanks for Mental Health

 

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A weighted blanket is a blanket filled with hypoallergenic, non-toxic polypropylene pellets. The pellets are sewn into self-contained small pockets that are evenly distributed throughout the blanket. These pellets give the blanket its weight, which should generally be around 10 percent of the user’s body weight, give or take a few pounds depending on the individual’s needs and preferences.

Created to mimic the benefits of deep touch pressure therapy, weighted blankets have been shown to help ease anxiety, increase oxytocin in the brain and help individuals with sensory processing disorders feel more relaxed. DTP, as shown in the Journal of Medical and Biological Engineering, is about gently applying pressure to the body, which releases a calming chemical in the brain called serotonin to relax the nervous system.

Weighted blankets are perhaps most closely associated with sensory processing disorder and related conditions like autism, anxiety and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, weighted blankets may help with a wide variety of other health issues.

One study found that 63% of patients reported lower anxiety after use and 78% preferred the weighted blanket as a calming modality. A study from the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders found it easier to settle with increased sleep duration, decreased movements and more “refreshed” feeling afterwards.

Researchers at Temple University found that 95 percent of participants with ADHD in a study improved when they received sensory intervention. The interventions offered included deep pressure touch therapy and a variety of strenuous exercise. As one researcher stated, “We found significant improvement in sensory avoiding behaviours, tactile sensitivity, and visual auditory sensitivity in the group that received treatment.”

Myofascial release, which involves the application of firm but gentle pressure over the fibromyalgia pain points can help sufferers find some relief from their pain. Weighted blankets can mimic this pressure, which may help fibromyalgia sufferers experience a reduction in symptoms.

 

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Canadas’ Senate Studies their Forced Sterilization Program

Senate committee to study extent of forced sterilization across Canada

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The Senate’s human rights committee is launching a study about the coerced sterilization of Indigenous women.

Senators on the committee say they want to hold meetings and hear from victims to ensure their experiences are shared “so that nobody else is forced into abandoning all hope of having a child.”

The study is intended to determine the scope of the problem and identify people who may have been affected.

The Senate’s time for a study is short with only a few months before Parliament’s work comes to a halt for the federal election.

Still senators expect to be able to deliver a short report before the summer and make recommendations for further areas to investigate.

It is at least the third federal probe of the problem, with a House of Commons committee also studying it, and the federal government working with the provinces and territories to discuss how women, particularly Indigenous women, are being pressured or forced into the surgery.

The Saskatoon Health Authority publicly apologized in 2017 after Indigenous women came forward to say they were coerced into tubal ligations. A proposed class-action lawsuit was subsequently filed against the province of Saskatchewan, the federal government, regional health authorities, and individual doctors.

Last fall, the firm leading the case said 100 women have come forward to report they have been forcibly sterilized, including about 40 after The Canadian Press published a story in November detailing a push from Ontario Sen. Yvonne Boyer to study the issue nationally.

 

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Toronto Doctors Ignore Veterans Desire to Stay Alive

Toronto doctors sued for allegedly ignoring veteran’s wishes to stay alive

A civil trial is set to begin this week for two doctors accused of ignoring an elderly man’s wishes to stay alive and allegedly imposing a “do not resuscitate” order without consulting him or his substitute decision-maker.

The $2.2-million suit against Dr. Donald Livingston and Dr. Martin Chapman accuses the physicians of negligence or malpractice in the death of Second World War veteran Douglas DeGuerre.

The suit, filed by DeGuerre’s daughter Joy Wawrzyniak, alleges the doctors overruled the family’s decision to keep seeking treatment for DeGuerre’s many serious illnesses.

It alleges the doctors changed DeGuerre’s status from “full code” — meaning make all reasonable efforts to keep the patient alive — to “do not resuscitate,” without asking DeGuerre or consulting Wawrzyniak, who was tasked with making decisions on his behalf.

Lawyers representing Livingston and Chapman did not comment on the upcoming civil trial, which is set to start Monday.

Wawrzyniak’s attorneys said the case is significant as it can warn physicians they have no right to “play God.”

“We are taking this case to trial to make it clear to physicians that they are required to obtain express consent before writing a DNR order,” lawyer Barry Swadron said in a statement.

The unproven statements of claim and defence largely agree on DeGuerre’s medical history in the months before his death.

Both parties said the 88-year-old had several serious conditions in 2008, including diabetes, kidney failure and gangrene.

He signed a document in November 2007 appointing his daughter as the person to make medical decisions on his behalf should he be unable to do so.

At the same time, both parties agree DeGuerre signed a document saying he did not wish to be resuscitated if death seemed imminent.

Wawrzyniak’s statement of claim asserts, however, that DeGuerre changed his mind in the following months and repeatedly declared his desire to have a full code status.

Some of those declarations took place once DeGuerre was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital in a wing designated for veterans, the statement said.

Livingston, DeGuerre’s primary physician on the veteran’s wing, said DeGuerre would need to have both his legs amputated above the knee. The statement of claim said he had a discussion with Wawrzyniak, who said doctors were to attempt to resuscitate her father if he had a heart attack during surgery.

DeGuerre’s full code status was reaffirmed after he successfully pulled through the procedure, the claim said, adding notations on his chart accurately reflected his wishes.

Days later on Sept. 22, however, the suit alleged Livingston and Chapman took matters into their own hands.

“Unbeknownst to DeGuerre or the plaintiff, Livingstone and Chapman altered DeGuerre’s plan of treatment … by changing his status from full code to do not resuscitate,” the claim alleged. “The change in DeGuerre’s code status to DNR was made … without the consent of DeGuerre or the plaintiff.”

The suit alleged Chapman left a message with Wawrzyniak indicating he wanted to discuss DeGuerre’s condition, but made no mention of the DNR status and advised her that “nothing has particularly changed.”

Wawrzyniak went to the hospital later that day and found her father having difficulty breathing, with his condition deteriorating quickly while in the presence of medical staff, the claim said.

The statement alleged she repeatedly asked staff to intervene, only to be told by Chapman that not doing so was “for his own good.”

The statement said Wawrzyniak, a registered nurse, tried administering help herself, but was unsuccessful and DeGuerre died a short time later.

Wawrzyniak’s suit alleged the doctors’ actions constitute “abuse of power, intentional infliction of mental anguish and negligent infliction of mental anguish” — assertions the two deny in their statement of defence.

The statement of defence said the physicians opted to change DeGuerre’s status after reviewing his poor medical prognosis and noting that he appeared to be in “severe pain.”

“Drs. Chapman and Livingstone agreed that in their medical opinion, there was no reversible component to Mr. DeGuerre’s condition,” the defence statement reads.

“In accordance with applicable policies, Dr. Chapman appropriately entered a ‘do not resuscitate’ order in Mr. DeGuerre’s chart.”

The doctors said the care DeGuerre received was “careful” and “competent,” and denied that they owed any duty of care to Wawrzyniak since she wasn’t their patient.

Wawrzyniak had twice filed complaints to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, neither of which resulted in any action being taken.

In 2014, however, the province’s Health Professions Appeal and Review Board ruled that the college failed to consider the key question in the case.

“The question before the committee was whether it was within the standard of practice of the profession for such order to be made without consent from (Wawrzyniak),” the board wrote. “In other words, who makes decisions relating to the patient’s plan of treatment?”

According to board documents, the college changed its position in 2015, finding that while the doctors had exercised sound clinical judgment, they failed in their duty to tell Wawrzyniak about her father’s change in code status. The college opted not to take disciplinary measures, but updated its own end-of-life policy.

 

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Cutting Down On Drinking Can Help You Quit Smoking

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Cutting Down On Drinking Can Help You Quit Smoking

 

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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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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.

 

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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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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!

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