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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

4 Beverages To Add To Your Healthy Drink List

4 Beverages To Add To Your Healthy Drink List

 

Today we cover four healthy beverages – experiment to find the best ways to incorporate them into your daily routine:

  1. 65432d60943de24ecb6b18739c550a23Green tea. Dr. Weil’s beverage of choice, green tea is a potent source of catechins – healthy antioxidants that can inhibit cancer cell activity and help boost immunity. Look for an organic and fair trade version. Replace your morning coffee with a cup of tea for a healthier wake-up, and drink unsweetened iced green tea throughout the day.

***  If you have are taking any medications for cardiac problems, high or low blood pressure, migraines, bladder control problems, thyroid or kidney problems, do not take green tea.

 

***  Never drink more than one cup of green tea per day, and preferably in the morning.

 

  1. f04874c897e0304ef26b676dcfa947b0.jpgCranberry juice. Cranberries are a rich source of vitamin C and contain a substance that hinders the attachment of bacteria to bladder walls, which can help prevent urinary tract infections. Instead of cranberry juice cocktail, opt for unsweetened cranberry juice concentrate and dilute with water or sparkling water. Diluted 100 percent blueberry juice is a healthy choice as well as long as you keep your total juice intake low.
  2. Red wine. The antioxidant activity of red wine has been linked to heart health benefits, reduced stress, and even preserving memory. If you enjoy an occasional drink, limit your intake to one to two glasses a day. If you don’t drink, don’t start – there are other

 

 

 

  1. 5026e06335766db4865064e4e3379cb5Red wine. The antioxidant activity of red wine has been linked to heart health
  2. benefits, reduced stress, and even preserving memory. If you enjoy an occasional drink, limit your intake to one to two glasses a day. If you don’t drink, don’t start – there are other ways to get antioxidants in your diet, including fresh whole fruits and vegetables.

 

 

 

 

  1. 0e71da83e429020698203f8bf7c250ecPure, filtered water. Staying well hydrated is essential to optimal health and overall functioning. Sip water throughout the day, and in the warmer months, be sure to drink water before and after exercising to avoid dehydration. If trying to kick a soda habit, try sparkling mineral water with a squeeze of citrus.

 

 

 

 

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Caramel Apple Rings: Liver Cleansing

Caramel Apple Rings

Coming up with fun, easy ideas for families can feel hard sometimes, and that’s when you can turn to these caramel apple rings. They’re a perfect breakfast idea for kids and adults alike. Try setting out all the different toppings “build your own” style and let everyone decorate the caramel apple rings with their own favorite choices!

 

Apples: Provide living water to support the liver’s hydration capabilities, so it can store the water and then release it back into the bloodstream when dehydration or dirty blood syndrome occurs. The fruit acids in apples help cleanse the liver by dispersing toxic films that build up inside its storage banks. Apples starve out bacteria, yeast, mold, other funguses, and viruses from the intestinal tract and liver. Great for dissolving gallstones.

Dates: The intestinal tract builds up mucus due to low hydrochloric acid and bile production, and that can slow down absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream. Dates expel and eliminate mucus, especially that produced by pathogens such as bacteria and fungus, from the colon. The sugars in dates feed the liver; they’re a great source of glucose for recovery and restoration that allows the liver to maximize its over 2,000 chemical functions.

applecaramelringsdThese are the ones we made and we used coconut in them.  Putting them on a stick is the best!

 

This recipe is a lot of fun with a lot of variations.

 

 

Caramel Apple Rings

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:
1 lemon, juiced, divided
3 red apples
1 cup Medjool dates, pitted
1 inch vanilla bean (optional)
½ cup water

Optional Toppings:
1 cup raspberries
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup dried mulberries
¼ cup shredded coconut
2 tablespoons raw honey

Directions:
Fill a large bowl with cold water and pour half of the lemon juice into it. Turn each apple sideways and carefully cut it into slices about ¼ inch thick. Use a small cookie cutter or bottle cap to punch the core out of the center of each apple slice. Place the finished rings immediately into the bowl of lemon water to prevent browning.

Blend the dates, vanilla bean, ½ cup water, and remaining lemon juice together until a thick, smooth “caramel” forms.

Remove the apple rings from the water. Spread caramel along the top of each ring and add any desired toppings!

Tip:
If the dates you’re using are dry, try soaking them in warm water for a few minutes prior to blending.

Health and Wellness Associates

Dr Gail Bohannan Gray

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Peanut Butter Oat Bites : Flourless and No Bake

Peanut Butter Oat Bites

Flourless and No Bake

 

oatbites.jpg

 

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

Ingredients

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

Preparation

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

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

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

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

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

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

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

Cooking and Serving Tips

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

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

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

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

Health and Wellness Associates

Preventative and Restorative Medicine

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

Pumpkin and a Pumpkin Smoothie!

It’s PUMPKIN time again!!

 

shutterstock_pumpkin-smoothie.jpg

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Try this amazing pumpkin smoothie!

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

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

 

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