Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Baked Bananas Foster Recipe: Your Liver Loves it!

Baked Bananas Foster Recipe

Your Liver Loves it!

 

It may feel hard to find fat-free, healthy dessert recipes that are absolutely indulgent and rich. Well, look no further. This Baked Bananas Foster recipe is just as decadent as the original yet full of only the best ingredients for your whole body and soul. Enjoy them plain or serve them with the included Banana Nice Cream. Either way, you will find yourself swept off your feet.

Bananas: The fructose in banana is liver’s favorite source of food. It provides quick fuel to the liver and wakes up sleepy cells, increasing their ingenuity and work output. Soothes the linings of the intestinal tract and also soothes the nerves attached to the intestinal tract. Contrary to popular belief, bananas are one of the most antibacterial, anti-yeast, antifungal foods. A great food to combine with other nutrient-rich foods or to take with supplements, because they improve the liver’s ability to absorb nutrients.

Maple syrup: The combination of sugars and high mineral content quickly travels to the liver and becomes instant fuel of phytonutrient composition. It’s like an IV for the liver containing the best of both worlds: a vast array of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients (many of them still undiscovered) coupled with high-quality sugar on which the liver thrives.

Baked Bananas Foster

Makes 3 servings

Ingredients:
3 bananas
2 ½ tablespoons maple syrup, divided
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons maple sugar
¹⁄8 teaspoon sea salt (optional)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Slice the bananas in half lengthwise and arrange them in a baking dish lined with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, stir together ½ tablespoon of the maple syrup with the cinnamon, maple sugar, and sea salt until well combined.

Brush the banana slices with the remaining 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, making sure to coat both sides. Spread the cinnamon mixture evenly along the top of the banana slices and bake them in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until the bananas are soft and golden brown.

Remove the baked bananas from the oven and serve alongside Banana Nice Cream if desired.

Banana Ice Cream Recipe

Ingredients:
3 frozen bananas
2 tablespoons warm water

Directions:
Roughly chop the frozen bananas and place them into the food processor. Process the bananas, adding warm water by the tablespoon as needed to prevent sticking. Stop processing once the bananas have reached a smooth, soft-serve consistency. Enjoy immediately or place in the freezer to set for 2 to 4 hours.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

The Liver is the Genius!

 

If you’re thinking you probably don’t have a fatty liver, you might be surprised. The majority of people in this country have at least some degree of pre-fatty liver, if not a fatty liver. The liver may be in a condition that’s too early to diagnose, but it’s not too early for it to start having a negative effect on your health. When the liver starts getting fatty, it allows pathogens to prosper and prevents toxins from successfully leaving the body; fatty liver is a big problem that plays a role in a lot of health issues. The health of your liver is that central to your quality of life and health now and in the future.

Over the years, once your liver starts becoming fatty, everything else starts going slowly down the drain. Your liver has a critical function in keeping you well. This incredible organ grabs toxins and then works to neutralize them and send them out of the body, completing it’s detoxification role. Or, the liver snags the toxins and buries them deep within itself to keep them from floating around in the bloodstream where they can damage other parts of the body—in particular your heart and brain. 

However, when the liver starts to become fatty and can’t function as well against the barrage of toxins and pathogens we’re exposed to in modern life, your liver can’t properly protect you anymore. And that’s the beginning of all kinds of health problems. People start to have skin issues later in life, or they’re told something’s out of balance with their hormones, or they begin to have neurological disorders, or they’re diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. People find themselves going from doctor to doctor with all kinds of symptoms and diagnoses—or not—but without any real answers.

I want to help you heal and get out of this misinformation merry-go-round. You don’t have to wait decades for the answers—you can work on healing now.

Working to reverse fatty liver is a fundamental place to start so you can learn how to free yourself and your loved ones from chronic illness and symptoms or help prevent them in the future.

It’s all about knowing how the body works, how your blood works and how your liver works (and what’s really inside all three of them).

“Liver Troublemakers,” which are the hundreds of toxins, pathogens and pollutants we are up against. Science and research are decades away from discovering all of this, but my information is the same as it was decades ago—because my source is the same and the way the body truly works remains the same.

Creating Thicker, Fattier Blood

Part of the reason so many of us have at least a pre-fatty liver is because as we go through life, we eat to survive. We’re under stress. We run into challenging circumstances. Pressure mounts up around us, and all of it keeps us from eating healthier foods. When we have a chronic illness on top of all that, sometimes the best we can do is just get through the day. So people end up eating a doughnut or grabbing a slice of pizza or buying a hot dog from the food truck or eating half a jar of peanut butter. We eat to survive. 

We eat to comfort ourselves. We eat to satisfy cravings. And over time, it all adds up. Your blood gets full of more and more fat.

What you need to know is that the more fat you have in your blood on a daily basis, whether it comes from animal foods or plant foods, the more likely you are to develop a fatty liver. When the blood has more fat in it, the blood becomes thicker. The thicker the blood, the less oxygen there is for the liver. And when the liver doesn’t have enough oxygen, it suffers and can’t do its job well.  

Blood thickness is the liver’s deal breaker. It would be a miracle if you could get a blood fat test at the doctor, just like people can do a quick blood sugar test. It could take medicine forward in leaps and bounds. Because that information about the ratio of fat in the blood has everything to do with the health of the liver, and the health of the liver sets the stage for just about every chronic illness and disease, including cancer. 

Not only are high blood fat levels bad for your liver, but they are also bad for the rest of your body too. When blood fat is high, anything can prosper, including pathogens like bacteria and viruses. These pathogens are the true cause of most chronic illness, including so-called autoimmune disease.

The short story is your body does not attack itself and you can heal these illnesses by clearing out what’s really behind these conditions: pathogens, toxins heavy metals, radiation, and all kinds of chemicals and toxins. The real causes of chronic illnesses and symptoms are a mystery to medical communities, so it has never been more important to empower yourself with the truth and take healing into your own hands with this information.

Lately sugar has been under heat as the cause of so much illness. But what people don’t think about when they point the finger at sugar for everything, is that fat and sugar are almost always eaten together. There’s the coffee with milk and sugar. There’s the BBQ sauce with sugar that goes on the fatty pulled pork. There’s the cheese sandwich with the high fat content of the cheese and butter. And there are the cookies and pastries and cakes, all of which have fat and sugar. Or there’s the straight sugar, like a candy cane, that you eat at the end of a festive meal that had a lot of fat.

Certainly people who cut down on added and refined sugars (I’m not talking about the natural sugars in fruit—which are incredible for you) will find their health improves. However, if they don’t also start to lower the fats, they’re unfortunately still going to have health issues down the road. 

The Problem with Fat

Right now a lot of people are promoting a high-fat, high-protein diet, but this is a harmful trend. Whether the fat is plant-based and comes from foods like nuts, soy and oils or whether it’s animal-based and comes from eggs, milk, cheese, or chicken—too much fat thickens the blood, ages the body, and is hard on the body and liver.

What’s happening when people are doing these diets that are high-fat, high-protein, no carbohydrate and no fruit is they’re losing a lot of water. If they’re losing weight, that’s what it is—largely water. So people think they’re losing weight effectively, but they’re really just dehydrating themselves, thickening the fat in their blood and starving the brain of the glucose it needs from fruit and carbohydrate-rich vegetables to function well. 

As I mentioned earlier, the liver needs oxygen to do its job well (and the thicker the blood, the less oxygen is present). The liver also needs water. So when people do these high-fat, high-protein diets and lose water, it’s another strike against the liver. Your liver needs water to cleanse it and perform the detoxification process. It needs oxygen and water to sort out and deal with the harmful elements: viruses, bacteria, toxic heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, and other toxins and chemicals. 

The liver also needs oxygen and water to sort through the blood, especially thick blood, and take in the beneficial nutrients: vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants (if you eat lots of fruit, you’ll have lots of healthy antioxidants). Your liver helps direct the beneficial nutrients and send the glucose and glycogen to your heart and your brain. You see, your brain and central nervous system run on glucose and glycogen, not fat. These natural sugars keep the brain cool and keep it running well for the long haul. On the other hand, chronic high fat diets atrophy and shrink the brain with time. 

Even someone who exercises all the time and doesn’t have a scrap of fat on their body can have thick, fatty blood and can be on their way to a fatty liver. This seemingly healthy person can have a different story going on internally, and with time it can catch up with them. That’s what’s happening with some of these athletes we hear about who are having strokes and heart attacks in their 40s and 50s. Their blood fat levels are so high that the heart has to strain far more than it should to try to pump blood and this thick blood constricts their blood vessels.

Since a majority of the country has fatty liver to some degree, we need to dive into the solutions. When the liver is cared for and treated right you can heal just about any kind of illness.

Stomach = Not So Smart, Liver = Genius 

Your stomach is actually the least intelligent organ in the body. But that’s part of how our bodies are brilliantly designed. You see, if the stomach wasn’t stupid, we’d be in trouble. That’s because throughout human history we’ve needed to be able to eat what we need to eat to survive. We don’t always have a lot of resources, but we need to be able to eat to stay alive. Our stomach is essentially just a pouch that gets marching orders from the brain. If it were an intricate tool that provided guidance or forewarning about what to eat, people might not get the calories they needed to stay alive. The stomach’s dull role gives us a better chance at surviving life on this planet. Don’t mistake this for meaning that the functions the stomach performs are stupid. That couldn’t be further from the truth. The stomach and everything that happens inside it is miraculous and still mostly unknown to science and research.

The liver, on the other hand, is truly genius. It is so smart, it knows if you eat a cheeseburger followed by chocolate cake every year on your birthday. It will document and record that so it can be ready every 365 days to process that meal. Your liver knows if you do Friday night pizza every week, and it tries to get ready and produce the bile needed to digest that cheese and fat and oil. 

This is actually one reason people get confused and sometimes think that vegetables bother them. If your liver is preparing bile to process the Friday night pizza and then you switch one week to a big salad with lots of fresh vegetables, it’s a surprise to your liver so the digestion can be a little off. Over time, of course, as you switch to a healthier diet, your liver adjusts accordingly and becomes even healthier and more effective in all its jobs.

Time for Healing

The bottom line is we’ve got to take care of our liver. When we treat our livers right, they can protect us from pretty much every health issue out there. So dig into Liver Rescue, and follow these tips to get started right away:

  • Lower your fat intake. Whether it’s paleo, vegan or anything in between, it’s important to lower the fats. You may even want to try eating fat-free for a while if you want to turn your health around quickly. I’ve seen people with Lyme disease and multiple sclerosis (MS) get out of bed by cutting fat and eatings lots of leafy greens and fruits.
  • If you’re eating animal products, reduce your intake to once every other day at most. If you’re eating lots of nuts, oils, seeds, or avocados, try reducing them by at least 50% and omitting oil altogether.
  • Eat more fruit. Fruit is bursting with antioxidants, which prevent damage from oxidation and harmful elements we take in. The antioxidants in fruit will help clean out the toxins from your blood and increase the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream and in your liver. The natural sugars in fruit will also help your brain and central nervous system run well. But fruit does a lot more than just provide antioxidants. In truth, it is the number one most essential food for health and healing. 
  • Stay hydrated. Eating fruit and drinking herbal tea, water with lemon or lime and coconut water will give your liver the water it needs to do its job.
  • Drink celery juice. Every morning on an empty stomach, drink 16 ounces of straight celery juice. Then wait 15 minutes before eating breakfast. Celery juice is an incredible medicinal tonic that will do wonders for your liver and your health.

I know there’s a lot of misinformation out there, and it’s confusing and difficult to know what’s right. But please know that you don’t have to suffer anymore. I’m sharing this information with you to help you and your loved ones turn your health around and finally heal from the symptoms and conditions that you may be experiencing. It’s your birthright to feel well and live the life you deserve.

If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment to talk about this please write to us at healthwellnessassociates.

Health and Wellness Associates

Dr. Patricia Carruthers

Preventative and Restorative Healthcare

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

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

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Brain Fog!

Health and Wellness Associates

 

Brain Fog!

Brain fog is currently a mystery to medical science and research. Its true cause is not known and in many cases it is often misdiagnosed, leaving patients without the information they need to heal.

Even alternative health communities tend to blame brain fog on the wrong cause. They often believe it’s caused by yeast or fungus in the gut, but this isn’t true. A friend of mine told me about the electrician at his office who is suffering from terrible intestinal issues, but has no brain fog. On the other hand, there are people who eat incredibly clean diets and don’t have noticeable digestive issues, and yet they do suffer from terrible brain fog. I’ve known countless people and heard many stories of people who have experienced the very same thing over the years. The gut is not what causes brain fog. It’s also not caused by the thyroid, which is another common belief in medical communities. Nor is it a condition to be taken lightly.

Sadly, this condition can be so extreme that it causes people to lose their jobs, drop out of school, or spend days in bed when they need to be looking after their family or other responsibilities. Brain fog is not just the result of anxiety or a late night out. Fatigue, anxiety, and depression can accompany brain fog, but they are not the cause. It is so much more than that and it is time to uncover what is really going on.

Dirty Neurotransmitters

The root causes of brain fog can be traced to both the liver and the brain. There are many different “Liver Troublemakers” that sit in our livers. This is the name I have given to hundreds of toxins, chemicals, pollutants, pathogens, foods and more.  Some of these troublemakers include viruses like Epstein-Barr, excess adrenaline from being in the almost constant fight or flight mode most of us experience every day with our busy lifestyles, and toxic heavy metals such as copper, mercury, aluminum, and more.

When viruses like Epstein-Barr are present in the liver they need to sustain themselves to survive. They do this by eating substances that they like. Medical science and research have yet to discover this truth that all viruses feed. They cannot exist on their own, and what they enjoy most are certain foods we eat and toxins we often have inside us, such as toxic heavy metals, pesticides, petrochemicals, and fungicides, to name just a few. And, just like us, when a virus feeds, it also has to eliminate. When viruses eat toxins and problematic foods, they will then excrete even more toxins into your body. I call these toxins excreted by viruses dermatoxins and neurotoxins.Again, medical science and research also aren’t aware of either of these yet. If you’ve heard of the word dermatoxin before, the world understand it as an external chemical or irritant to the skin. But these dermatoxins that com from viruses are internal dermatoxins. The neurotoxins leave the liver after viruses excrete them and travel the hepatic portal vein to the heart and up to the brain. Their next stop is neurons in the brain, where they can cloud up, interfere with, and short-circuit neurotransmitters.

In order for our brain to function properly, and for thinking to happen naturally, we need clean neurotransmitter chemicals that can pick up neuroelectrical impulses sent out through the brain. But when the neurotoxins that came from viruses in the liver reach the brain, they can sit on neurons and burn out neurotransmitter chemicals, making the neurotransmitters dirty. And when an electrical impulse travels to a dirty neurotransmitter, it dampens it and shorts it out. Neurotransmitter chemicals dirtied by neurotoxins are a recipe for brain fog. This will take at least 50 years to uncover by medical science and research. These shorted-out neurotransmitter chemicals can also trigger anxiety, depression, and other symptoms and conditions. 

Additionally, there’s another cause of brain fog. When toxic heavy metals like mercury and aluminum are already present in the brain, which is the case for almost everyone to some degree, they can oxidize and create a metallic run-off that saturates your brain tissue. Again, your electrical impulses are short circuited by dirty neurotransmitters. The important thing, though, is not to worry about which type of brain fog you might be suffering from, because the truth is, most people are suffering from both types. The best thing you can do is focus on the healing foods and supplements for brain fog .

Detoxing Your Liver

Now that you have some of the answers for what’s really behind brain fog, you can move forward with healing. By eating a diet that consists of a abundance of fresh fruits, leafy greens and vegetables, along with eliminating the correct foods for you, as a good healthcare provider should be able to do.   Healthwellnessassociares@gmail.com

There are problematic foods—like eggs and dairy products—that feed viruses and other pathogens in the liver. That includes even grass-fed milk, cheese, and butter. Gluten is another offender. Gluten is a favored food of the Epstein-Barr virus and other viruses and bacteria. And remember that the more a virus eats, the more toxins it will eliminate, which will only worsen brain fog and other symptoms.

Leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables, on the other hand, will support the liver in ridding viruses and toxic heavy metals from the body.

It is incredibly effective at cleaning out heavy metals from the liver and brain and other toxins and chemicals too. Kale, red lettuce, butter lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, apples, peaches, plums, melons, papaya, berries, mango, and a little avocado—these are some of the foods to incorporate into your diet if you suffer with brain fog or wish to help avoid it in the future. These food helps to kill off viruses like Epstein-Barr, remove toxins from the body, detoxify and support and liver and brain, and so much more.

Straight celery juice on an empty stomach every day not only repairs neurotransmitter chemicals with its mineral salts, but also helps build new neurotransmitters in the brain.

Next Steps

If you are one of the millions of people experiencing brain fog, you now have the answers you need in your hands so you can finally move forward with understanding and heal. People with brain fog often get called lazy or stupid or dispassionate—you are none of these things. Brain fog is a very real physical symptom that can be debilitating. 

Write to us for help putting together a plan for your healthcare.

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

Health Wellness Associates

 

 

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

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Foods, Uncategorized

Two Quick Tips For Weight Loss : Roasted Vegetable Soup Recipe

 

Two Quick Tips For Weight Loss

 

Overweight? Eat More Of These

 

Losing weight can be difficult, especially if you always feel hungry due to limited calories. But consuming more calories than you burn leads to being overweight and, eventually, obesity. To help get to a healthy weight, make daily exercise a priority and try these two steps that will cut calories:

Betty's really going for it

  1. Avoid foods that are high in sugar and flour, and that carry a high glycemic load. This means most crackers, breads, and snack foods. Don’t forget to eliminate sweetened beverages, an easy source of empty calories. Opt instead for unsweetened tea or sparkling water and snack on lightly toasted nuts in moderate amounts.
  2. Eat more vegetables! Most vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and high in fiber – a great way to fill your belly up on vitamins and nutrients without taking in too many calories. The dense nature of vegetables will also satisfy your hunger and naturally cut calorie intake. Try a variety of veggies prepared in different ways and use as substitutes for less healthy foods. Think raw cucumber slices instead of chips in guacamole, or roasted Brussels sprouts with olive oil and sea salt instead of a casserole laden with unhealthy fats.

 

Roasted Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

3 large carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups water
1/4 cup dried mushroom pieces (Italian porcini, if possible)
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt, and black or red pepper to taste

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Place the carrots, celery and onion in a small (8×8-inch) nonstick pan or dish with the olive oil. Toss to coat the vegetables. Bake for 10 minutes.

2. Remove pan from oven, add the garlic, and toss again. Bake for another 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are browned.

3. Remove pan from oven, add 1 cup of water and stir to loosen any vegetables that may be stuck. Pour this into a pot with the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.

4. Season to taste with salt, and black or red pepper, and serve or use as the base for other soups, stews or pasta dishes.

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

Coq au Vin

Coq au Vin

Crockpot Low-Carb and Gluten-Free

Chicken in Wine and Mushroom Sauce

This tasty crockpot or stovetop 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

 

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

  • Crockpot method: Place the chicken, chicken broth, wine, mushrooms, bacon bits, and thyme in a crockpot on low for 4 to 8 hours.
  • Stovetop 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 crockpot. If using a crockpot, turn the crockpot 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 crockpot method. The frozen chicken might keep the temperature lower in the crockpot for long enough for bacteria to grow.

 

Put Well in Your New Years

Health and Wellness Associates

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Uncategorized

Cheesy Cauliflower Cakes

Cheesy Cauliflower Cakes

 

Want to eat more cauliflower but just not sure what to do with it? These tasty cakes are a must-try recipe even if you’re thinking cauliflower isn’t for you.

Boil, steam, saute or roast the cauliflower ahead of time for extra fast meal prep and serve the cakes with salad or a piece of fish for a light and satisfying meal. Cauliflower and lower-fat Parmesan cheese are usually well tolerated by those who experience heartburn since they are baked instead of fried. There’s no extra grease, either.

 

Cauliflower Cakes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cauliflower (cooked)
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl combine cauliflower, egg, cheese, and breadcrumbs.
  4. Mash ingredients with a fork until well mixed.
  5. Using clean hands form into 8 cakes.
  6. Place cakes on prepared baking sheet and spray the tops with cooking spray cooking.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes until golden.
  8. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

If you can’t find fresh cauliflower at your local market, use frozen as it is just as nutritious as fresh.

If you do use frozen, simply thaw in the microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain well to remove any excess liquid and then allow to cool slightly before mixing with other ingredients.

These cakes are tremendously flavorful as they are but you can add an extra dimension of flavor by mixing in a handful fresh herbs like parsley, basil, or chives.

Cooking and Serving Tips

To make the tops of these cakes extra crispy, broil for 2 to 3 minutes before removing from the oven. If you do choose to broil, keep a close eye on them to be sure they don’t burn. Serve over a bed of fresh greens for a vegetarian lunch or as a side dish with a piece of lean meat or fish.

Health and Wellness Associates

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Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Metallic Taste in Your Mouth?

Metallic Taste in Your Mouth?

 

I’ve heard that a metal taste in the mouth means something about health, but I can’t remember what it was. Can you help?

Metallic Taste in Your Mouth? | Metal Taste | Andrew Weil, M.D.

A metallic taste in the mouth is a common complaint and can be due to a variety of causes – from medication you may be taking to dental problems. In the absence of other symptoms, it is unlikely that a metallic taste in your mouth indicates serious disease. But if you haven’t had a thorough general checkup recently, I would suggest seeing your doctor to rule out any health problems such as issues with your liver and kidneys, hyperparathyroidism, or undiagnosed diabetes.

 

You also might consider visiting your dentist, because the funny metallic taste in your mouth could be a symptom of gum disease. Even if you don’t have gum problems, poor oral hygiene can affect taste. Be sure to brush your teeth carefully at least twice a day and use a tongue scraper to remove the bacteria and debris that can collect on your tongue. Dental work done in the past can break down and alter taste, so your dentist will probably look at that as well.

Not drinking enough water can also contribute to problems with this strange taste in your mouth. Increase your intake and see if it helps. While you don’t necessarily have to drink the standard recommendation of eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, my rule of thumb is to drink as much of that amount as you can comfortably consume and more than you think you need.

Among the drugs that can cause a metallic or coppery taste in your mouth are antibiotics like Biaxin (clarithromycin); Flagyl (metronidazole) , used to treat a wide variety of infections; drugs used to treat an overactive thyroid; captopril, used to treat high blood pressure ; griseofulvin, used to treat skin infections; lithium, used in bipolar disorder; penicillamine, used for rheumatoid arthritis or to prevent kidney stones; and some drugs used in cancer treatment.

Ayurvedic supplements from India have been found to exceed acceptable amounts of metal such as mercury, lead, or arsenic and I would be cautious about purchasing them online. Multivitamins containing copper, zinc, or chromium, as well as iron or calcium supplements might cause a temporary taste of metal, but typically subside as it’s being processed by your digestive system. This taste can be symptomatic of a vitamin D overdose , but with most of the population being vitamin D deficient and extremely high dosages (over 10,000 IUs) required, I doubt this is of any great concern. A metal taste is actually more commonly associated with a deficiency of vitamin B12, D, or zinc.

While a metallic taste can be a symptom of acute metal poisoning, it’s rare since our bodies are quite efficient at sequestering and neutralizing the contaminants that it’s not able to expel through the skin, liver, and kidneys. Heavy metal poisoning such as having too much lead or copper in the body due to conditions such as Wilson’s Disease, being around fungicides containing copper sulfate, or contaminated drinking water require intervention such as chelation therapy, so consider possible exposures when speaking with your physician.

Metal on metal (MoM) hip replacements have been known to cause metal poisoning. If you have had a MoM hip replacement and you develop symptoms of metallic taste in your mouth I recommend you see your primary or orthopedic physician.

A taste disorder called dysgeusia could potentially be at the root of phantom flavors as well. When taste cells are stimulated, messages are sent through three specialized nerves to the brain to identify.

Sometimes these wires get crossed in cases of dementia, head injury, or as the result of radiation therapy. Pregnancy hormones can also cause temporary bouts of dysgeusia, especially in the first trimester. Eating citrus fruits or vinegar-marinated foods will help counteract the taste and activate salivation to dilute the unsavory taste of metal. With such a strong tie between the sense of smell and taste, respiratory infections such as sinusitis can also throw your taste buds for a loop and give you the false perception of a metallic taste.

If you rule out all of these possible causes, have been medically evaluated, and still have the metallic taste in your mouth, it might be worthwhile to consult with a practitioner of Chinese medicine. That system might have an answer for you.

Health and Wellness Associates

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

New Male Contraceptive?

New Male Contraceptive?

 

The Myths (And Truths) About What Two People In Love Looks Like | Mercury #romanticdatingtipsforguys

I’ve heard there’s a new male contraceptive in the works. Can you tell me when it is likely to become available?
A number of male contraceptive methods are under development, but the one that has gotten the most attention lately is a birth control pill that appears to be safe when taken daily. Called DMAU (short for dimethandrolone undecanoate), it is being developed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health at the University of Washington in Seattle and the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, CA.

The pill already has been tested in 83 men ages 18 to 50 in three doses: 100, 200 and 400 milligrams in two different formulations. The men who participated received either DMAU or a placebo, which they took once a day with food. The researchers reported that the 400 mg dose led to “marked suppression” of testosterone and reduced levels of two other hormones required for sperm production. Study leader Stephanie Page, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of medicine at the University of Washington, reported that very few of the men participating described symptoms consistent with testosterone deficiency or excess, and none of them developed serious side effects. Dr. Page noted that the men taking DMAU gained some weight and that their HDL (“good”) cholesterol declined, although she described both these changes as “mild.”

Dr. Page wrote that many men say they would prefer a daily pill as a reversible contraceptive, instead of long-acting injections or topical gels, which are also in development. She added that longer-term studies of DMAU are underway to confirm that taken daily, the drug blocks sperm production.

Development of a reliable birth control pill for men hasn’t been easy. Earlier studies found that some forms of oral testosterone delivered in a single pill can damage the liver or that the pills clear the body too quickly to be useful. DMAU contains a long-chain fatty acid that helps keep the contraceptive in the body longer.

In the works elsewhere is a gel called Nestorone-Testosterone that must be applied to the arms and shoulders daily. The hormone progestin in the gel shuts down hormones that stimulate testosterone production. An international study with 420 couples reportedly is testing whether the gel is safe and effective at preventing conception.

Another approach being investigated in India is temporary, nonsurgical vasectomy. It involves injecting a gel into sperm-carrying tubes in the scrotum. The gel damages sperm, leading to infertility. This treatment, called RISUG for “reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance,” can be undone with a second shot that breaks down the gel. I’ve read that some 540 men in India have received the treatment and that it has continued to prevent pregnancy in their partners for more than 13 years.

Despite these developments, it’s unlikely that a male contraceptive in pill or gel form will become available any time soon. For now, men should continue to use condoms, undergo vasectomy, or rely on women’s contraceptive use to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Health and Wellness Associates

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com