Foods, Uncategorized

Coconut Milk Rice Pudding

coconut-rice-pudding

 

Coconut Rice Pudding

 

Cook time: 3 hours 35 minutes (slow cooker)

 

Ingredients

 

1 cup rice ( remember that white rice is now better for you than brown, since they are allowing arsenic to be used in the processing of brown rice, and not white)

1 can light coconut milk

2 cups water

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 cup raisins

Instructions

 

Put the coconut milk, rice, syrup, vanilla and water into the slow cooker and cook for three and a half hours on low heat.

Stir in the cinnamon and raisins.

I add shredded coconut and possibly pineapple or mangos on top

Enjoy!

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

312-972-WELL

 

Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

The Longer You Are Overweight, the Greatest Your Risk of Cancer

overweight

 

The Longer You’re Overweight, the Greater Your Risk of Cancer

 

New Cancer Study Shows the Condition Two-Thirds of Us Have That Is Far Riskier Than Previously Thought

According to recent research, the longer a woman is overweight, the more likely she is to develop breast, endometrial, colon or kidney cancer.1 Obesity is indeed a known risk factor for cancer, so this finding in and of itself is not surprising.

 

Worldwide, obesity is responsible for an estimated 500,000 cancer cases each year,2 and according to the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), excess body weight is responsible for about 25 percent of the relative contribution to cancer incidence, ranking second only to smoking.3

 

When obesity is combined with other high-risk behaviors, such as a poor diet and lack of exercise, the relative contribution rises to 33 percent of all cancer cases in the U.S. What’s new here is that the length of time spent being overweight also contributes to your overall risk. As reported by CBS News:4

 

“On average, the study found, the odds rose by 10 percent for every 10 years a woman had been obese. Similarly, they climbed by 7 percent for every decade she’d been overweight.”

 

How Excess Weight Contributes to Cancer

 

Obesity can raise your risk of cancer in several ways. Some cancers, especially breast and endometrial cancer, are sensitive to the female sex hormone estrogen, and fat cells produce an excess of this hormone.

 

This is also why obesity in young children is such a grave concern. By carrying excess weight (and excess estrogen) for many years, if not decades, they’re at a significantly heightened risk of cancer as adults.

 

Obesity is also associated with elevated inflammation levels in your body, which can contribute to cancer growth. One of the basic reasons why nutritional ketosis works so well against cancer is because it drives your inflammation down to almost nothing.

 

A high-sugar diet, which tends to pack on the pounds, also feeds cancer by providing cancer cells with their preferred fuel. A healthy high-fat diet, on the other hand, tends to discourage cancer growth, as cancer cells lack the metabolic flexibility to use ketones derived from fat as fuel.

 

It is likely that the obesity represents an indirect marker for the true cause of the problem that contributes to both obesity and cancer, namely insulin resistance, which is also associated with leptin resistance and activation of the mTOR pathway.

 

By lowering your blood sugar levels and normalizing your insulin receptor sensitivity, exercise has a similar effect, as this too creates an environment less conducive to cancer growth.

 

Rising Obesity Rates Are Related to Misleading Health Advice

 

Obesity is the result of inappropriate lifestyle choices and, unfortunately, the U.S. government has done a terrible job at disseminating accurate information about diet and health.

 

It’s one thing for corporations to put out misleading ads. After all, honesty is not in the self-interest of the processed food and beverage industry. It’s another when the government falls in line with for-profit deception and becomes a propagator of corporate propaganda, yet this is exactly what has happened.

 

For example, conventional recommendations that drive public health in the wrong direction include the advice to:

 

  • Cut calories: Not all calories are created equal, and counting calories will not help you lose weight if you’re consuming calories from unhealthy sources.

 

  • Choose no- or low-calorie foods: Substances like Splenda (sucralose) and Equal or Nutrasweet (aspartame) may have zero calories, but your body isn’t fooled.

 

When it gets a “sweet” taste, it expects calories to follow, and when this doesn’t occur, it leads to distortions in your biochemistry that promote weight gain instead.

 

  • Snack throughout the day to keep your blood sugar even: Mounting research suggests this constant grazing adapts your body to burn sugar as its primary fuel, which down-regulates enzymes that utilize and burn stored fat.

 

Biologically, your body simply isn’t designed to run optimally when continuously fed, and studies show peak fasting (intermittent fasting) yields significant health benefits that go beyond mere weight loss. So you can snack regularly, but only within the restricted eating window of six to eight hours.

 

When you do peak fasting, the resulting metabolic changes stimulate a natural cleansing process known as autophagy (or mitophagy in the case of mitochondrial autophagy), in which your body detoxifies and rids itself of damaged cells that may contribute to disease, including cancer.

 

Another mechanism by which peak fasting benefits your health is by stimulating your mitochondria to work more efficiently.

 

Peak fasting helps activate your mitochondria and promote their healthy function, and you simply cannot be healthy unless your mitochondria are functioning well.

 

  • Avoid saturated fat: The myth that saturated fat causes heart disease began as little more than a scientifically unsupported marketing strategy for Crisco cooking oil.

 

For optimal health, most people actually need anywhere from 50 to 80 percent of their diet as healthy fats, examples of which include organic, pastured egg yolks, raw nuts, avocados, coconut oil, MCT oil and real butter.

 

Healthy Lifestyle Strategies Promote Mitochondrial Health

 

Have you noticed that things that are inherently healthy for you do not simply address just one issue — they have multiple beneficial influences. This is in stark contrast to drugs, where a synthetic chemical forces your body to respond in a particular way, which can have significant adverse effects.

 

When it comes to healthy diet and lifestyle strategies such as exercise, one benefit feeds right into another, which feeds into a third, and so on down the line.

 

For example, swapping processed foods for real, minimally processed foods will not only aid weight loss efforts, it will also supply your body with nutrients it needs to optimize immune function and ward off disease.

 

The same can be said for intermittent fasting. By paying careful attention to the TIMING of your meals, you can improve your weight and cut your risk of serious diseases like cancer.

 

When you look at strategies that help keep you healthy, one of the common denominators running through all of them is that they promote mitochondrial function. Mitochondria are tiny organelles, originally thought to be derived from bacteria.

 

Red blood cells and skin cells have very little to none, while germ cells have 100,000, but most cells have one to 2,000 of them. They’re the primary source of energy production in the form of ATP for your body.

 

Since mitochondrial function is core to optimizing your health, optimizing mitochondrial function — and preventing mitochondrial dysfunction by making sure you get all the right nutrients and precursors your mitochondria need — is extremely important for disease prevention, including cancer.

 

In fact, one of the universal characteristics of cancer cells is they have serious mitochondrial dysfunction with radically decreased numbers of functional mitochondria. This is in part why your lifestyle can have such a significant impact on your cancer risk.

 

The Metabolic Theory of Cancer

 

Travis Christofferson is the author of “Tripping Over the Truth: The Return of the Metabolic Theory of Cancer Illuminates a New and Hopeful Path to a Cure.” In this interview, Christofferson — who has a Pre-Medical undergraduate degree and a Master’s degree in Materials Engineering and Science — reviews some of the details covered in his phenomenal book.

 

“When you look at cancer metabolically, the whole paradigm of therapy [changes]. You go from this targeted paradigm to all of a sudden targeting the metabolism,” he says. “You’re trying to restore mitochondria function. You’re trying to increase mitochondrial numbers.

 

You can probably rescue some cells within a tumor and divert them back into living within the collective of the multicellular organism. They will revert to being normal. Some you can send over this tipping point. You can kill them through these various therapies metabolically. It’s an interesting time. The paradigm of cancer is being turned therapeutically and our understanding of it.”

 

At the heart of the metabolic theory of cancer, you find two simple tenets that explain why nutritional ketosis — achieved through a diet high in healthy fats, moderate in protein and low in net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) — is so effective for driving down your cancer risk:

 

  • Cancer cells primarily burn glucose, which promotes inflammation and damage by generating high amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS) — far more so than fat and ketones do when burned. Glucose by itself can also shift cells toward cancer by upregulating the expression of an enzyme called hexokinase II. Christofferson discusses this research in the interview.

 

  • Cancer cells cannot utilize fat for fuel whereas all healthy cells can, so by eliminating cancer cells’ preferred fuel — glucose — and shifting your body toward burning fat as its primary fuel, cancer cells are starved while healthy cells are nourished. Since fats and ketones generate far fewer ROS when burned for energy, you also naturally suppress inflammation.

 

The Importance of Exercise

 

Exercise also boosts mitochondrial health by increasing the AMPK pathway. This in turn increases a low level of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which serve as important signaling molecules. In this case, they signal your body to make more mitochondria (mitochondrial biogenesis). Christofferson’s book goes into this in great detail as well.

 

So, when you exercise, your body responds by creating more mitochondria through mitochondrial biogenesis to keep up with the heightened energy requirement. This is a very good thing; remember, cancer is characterized by a decrease in functional mitochondria, and increasing the numbers is part of effective cancer prevention. Aside from its effect on your mitochondria, exercise also decreases your cancer risk by:

 

  • Affecting other biological functions that have a direct influence on cancer, such as energy balance, immune function, antioxidant defense, DNA repair and hormone levels5

 

  • Decreasing your insulin resistance, which is a profoundly effective strategy to reduce your cancer risk, since a low sugar environment discourages the growth and spread of cancer cells

 

  • Improving blood circulation, driving more oxygen into your tissues and circulating immune cells in your blood. By improving blood flow to your liver, it also helps your body detoxify potentially harmful substances, including excess estrogen that may spur estrogen-sensitive cancers

 

  • Stimulating AMPK and SIRT1, which secondarily inhibits the mTOR pathway that is involved in aging and cancer. This in turn stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis and mitophagy, both of which are deadly to cancer

 

Exercise Is Potent Cancer Prevention

 

More than 100 epidemiologic studies investigating the role of exercise for cancer prevention have been published,6 and while the exact risk reduction varies from study to study, the literature consistently show that exercise helps reduce your risk of a variety of different cancers, and often to a significant degree.

 

For example, the bulk of the data shows that physically active people reduce their risk of colon cancer and breast cancer by 30 to 40 percent and 20 to 30 percent respectively.  Here’s a sampling of studies showing how, and to what degree, exercise may reduce your risk of cancer:

 

Cell Metabolism 20167 — Active mice experienced a 50 percent reduction in tumor growth compared to inactive mice, and the mechanism is thought to be related to the rush of adrenaline that occurs during high-intensity exercise.

 

Adrenaline helps circulate natural killer (NK) immune cells into tumors in the lung, liver and skin, where they go to work to kill off and eliminate cancerous cells. Importantly, an immune signaling molecule called interleukin-6 (IL-6), which is released by muscles during exercise, is what actually guides the NK cells into the tumors.

JAMA Oncology 20158,9 — Men who stayed fit in middle age had a 55 percent lower risk of lung cancer and a 44 percent lower risk of bowel cancer after the age of 65. High levels of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) in middle age also helped the men survive cancer, reducing their risk of dying from lung, bowel and prostate cancer by nearly one-third (32 percent).

Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention 201510,11,12 — Women with a history of exercising for an average of 1.33 hours per week during their teen years had a 16 percent lower risk of dying from cancer, and a 15 percent lower all-cause mortality risk.

 

Those who were active as teens and kept up their exercise habit as adults had a 20 percent lower risk of death from all causes.

Journal of the National Cancer Institute 201513,14 — Aerobic exercise slowed the growth of breast cancer tumors in mice. By increasing tissue oxygenation, it also improved the effectiveness of chemotherapy.

Journal of Physical Activity and Health 201415 — A systematic review of seven cohort studies and 14 case-control studies found that physical activity reduces the risk of breast cancer, particularly in post-menopausal women.

International Liver Congress 201316 — Mice who exercised on a motorized treadmill for an hour each day, five days a week for 32 weeks, experienced fewer incidents of liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma) than sedentary mice.

Integrative Biology of Exercise meeting in 201217 — Exercise was shown to alter T cells to a more effective disease-fighting form, called “naïve” T cells, which boosts the ability of your immune system to fight emerging and existing cancer cells. This helps explain why exercise is beneficial both for cancer prevention and treatment.

Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention 200918 — Weight training cut men’s risk of dying from cancer by 40 percent.

Cancer Causes Control 201019 — In women, strenuous activity at age 12 was associated with a reduced risk for breast cancer during pre- and post-menopause. Women who had engaged in moderate exercise during adulthood also had a significantly reduced risk of post-menopausal tumors.

American Journal of Public Health 201020 — Women who were active at home during the day, engaging in heavy lifting or carrying rather than mostly sitting, had a 38 percent reduced risk of invasive breast cancers.

JAMA 200521 — Breast cancer patients who exercised moderately for three to five hours a week lowered their odds of dying from cancer by about half, compared to sedentary patients.

Develop an Anti-Cancer Lifestyle

 

Obesity or insulin resistance is not the only risk factor for cancer, but it’s a significant one. According to a position statement by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), published in November, 2014, obesity is “quickly overtaking tobacco as the leading preventable cause of cancer.”22 The Cancer Society also warns that obesity is a contributing factor in about 20 percent of all cancer deaths in the U.S.23

 

Fortunately, by addressing your diet and exercise, you can effectively lose weight and significantly reduce your risk of cancer — again, not just because you’ve lost weight, but because these strategies produce such a wide array of health-promoting effects. High on this list of beneficial effects is improved mitochondrial function and increased mitochondrial numbers.

 

To summarize the points discussed above, strategies that will help you lose weight and slash your cancer risk include:

 

  • Switching to a ketogenic diet consisting of real, whole foods, high in healthy fats, moderate in high-quality protein and low in net carbohydrates (total carbs minus fiber). My updated Nutrition Plan can help you implement this type of diet in a controlled step-by-step fashion

 

  • Peak fasting

 

  • Regular exercise. Ideally you’ll want to establish a comprehensive exercise program that includes high-intensity exercises and strength training, both of which have been shown to be of particular benefit for cancer prevention. If you need help to get started, check out my Fitness Plan

 

  • Regular and consistent non-exercise activity. While not discussed above, also consider sitting less and walking more. Aim for about 7,000 to 10,000 steps (or about an hour-long walk) per day and, if you can, limit your sitting to three hours a day or less, as the mere act of standing triggers beneficial changes in your biology

 

Please share with family and loved ones, and call us to help you with your healthcare needs and concerns.  No two people are the same and we all need our own healthcare plan.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived JM

312-972-WELL

 

 

 

Diets and Weight Loss, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Weight Loss and Health Benefits of Soup

soup

 

Weight Loss and Health Benefits of Soup

 

Our lives are complex; your meals don’t have to be. A simple way to eat a nourishing, nutritious meal is by making a vegetable bean soup. Soups are healthy, filling and very simple to make at home. There is no need to purchase a processed soup when a homemade soup is so easy to prepare and delicious to eat. And best of all, soups can be made in a large batch ahead of time and eaten over the course of a few days.

 

 

A vegetable soup can keep up to five days in the refrigerator. The flavors blend together and deepen over time.

 

In my own home, I tend to make a huge pot of vegetable bean soup every Sunday. That way I have something quick and reliable to eat for the rest of the week. And if I don’t want to eat the same soup several nights in a row, soup freezes well, so by making my soup on Sunday I can have a hearty lunch or dinner for a couple of days as well as stock my freezer with a few extra servings, too.

 

Soups are great because they can be a main meal or a side dish. Soups, along with salads, are an easy way to eat healthfully – and they add extra vegetables and beans to your daily diet.

 

Soup Made Simple

To begin making soups, consider soaking beans the night before and then rinse and add them to your soup pot with enough water to generously cover, on a low flame as your first step.  After the beans have started to cook, I make the rest of the base which usually contains carrot juice.

 

I juice 5 pounds of organic carrots which yields about a quart and a half of delicious carrot juice. I use that as the chief base ingredient in soups and stews since it amps up the nutrient value and adds a great flavor. I also use or add celery or tomato juice or no-salt added vegetable broth.

 

Carrots are rich in carotenoids, such as alpha- and beta-carotene, and tomatoes are rich in the carotenoid, lycopene.

 

 

Higher levels of these health-promoting nutrients in the body are linked to longer life.. Then take your onions, scallions and leeks as well as your leafy cruciferous greens and blend them until smooth using a a high powered blender. Blending onions and cruciferous vegetables before they are cooked releases disease-fighting phytochemicals, making the soup even more nutritious.  Then add the other vegetables you decide to chop in, such as parsnips.  I also like to use a variety of chopped mushrooms. Then, instead of salt, I further season with herbs and spices such as dill, rosemary, parsley, black pepper, vinegar or lemon. For creamier soups, instead of milk or cream, pulverize some nuts in a high-powered blender and add to the broth. It will give the soup a pleasant creaminess.

 

Eat Soup, Lose Weight

Soups are perfect for those who want to escape the daily chore of cooking because they can be cooked in bulk and eaten over a few days. They are an effective weight-loss food because soups help slow your rate of eating and reduce your appetite by filling your stomach – this has been shown in scientific studies.

 

 

Starting your evening meal with a bowl of soup is a tool you can use to maintain a healthy weight;  it’s important because weight is not just a cosmetic concern.  In fact, the BMI (Body Mass Index) cutoffs for normal weight, overweight, and obese were chosen to reflect the health risks associated with excess fat. Waist circumference has also been found to be an indicator of lifespan, and weight gain is associated with shorter telomere length.

 

Soup doesn’t leave you hungry and since soup is gently simmered in a liquid base, the nutrients are retained and some are made more absorbable. Many nutrients, like B vitamins, niacin, folate, and a range of minerals, are water soluble. Normally, with water-based cooking, like boiling, water-soluble nutrients are leached into the cooking water and discarded. However, with soups, the liquid and the water-soluble nutrients are retained and consumed.

 

Soup is Super Healthy

Additionally, soup is easy to digest. Cooking soup heats, moisturizes and softens vegetables and beans, which dramatically increases the potential digestibility and absorption of the certain nutritious compounds contained within them. Recent studies confirm that the body absorbs more of the beneficial anti-cancer compounds, carotenoids in particular, especially lutein and lycopene, from cooked vegetables as compared to raw vegetables. Scientists speculate that the increase in absorption of these antioxidants after cooking may be attributed to the destruction of the extracellular matrix or connective bands to which these compounds are bound.

 

Healthy cooking need not be complicated. Make a pot of soup and you will be hooked on the ease and affordability of the dish and the convenience of having a hot nutritious meal on-hand for the rest of the week.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr Sarah Dillon

Dr Joel Furhman

 

312-972-WELL

Foods, Uncategorized

Should You Be Eating Tomatoes

tomatoe

 

Why Should You Be Eating Tomatoes

 

I live in New Jersey, and one of the seasonal foods I look forward to the most each summer is Jersey tomatoes. Not only are they delicious (my state is known to grow some of the tastiest tomatoes), but tomatoes are one of nature’s most perfect foods.

 

I grow lots of tomatoes each spring and summer, starting the plants indoors in March.  I freeze all the tomatoes we can’t eat each week, and then make lots of homemade tomato sauce with onions, and some garlic and basil in a big pot.

 

 

I do not remove the skins and seeds, but just blend them in, and then leave some of the tomatoes only coarsely chopped so the sauce has an uneven texture.  Letting it cook a long time, like 6 to 8 hours on a very low flame to cook out all the extra water, is what gives it that great taste. It keeps for weeks in the fridge because the acid from the tomato is a natural preservative, but I make so much that we usually use half and freeze half for the winter.

 

If you can’t grow your own, you can also buy big bushels of organic tomatoes cheaply at local farms, when in season, and make great homemade sauce without oil and salt. Then you can make dressings and dips from this sauce by just mixing in a little vinegar and nut butter.

 

Amazing Anti-aging Benefits

Tomatoes are packed with lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid, and carotenoids (a family of more than 600 phytochemicals) help protect against the oxidative damage caused by free radicals which contribute to chronic disease and aging.

The  carotenoid levels in your body can be an important indicator of your overall health because, in general, the levels parallel the levels of plant-derived phytochemicals circulating in your body. Phytochemicals are chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants and these non-caloric nutrients are vitally important to your health.

 

 

In fact, I believe that carotenoid levels are so important that I track my patients’ levels using a non-invasive skin testing method as they adopt a high-nutrient diet. In a study of more than 13,000 American adults, low blood levels of carotenoids were found to be a predictor of earlier death.  Lower total carotenoids, alpha-carotene and lycopene in the blood, were all linked to increased risk of death from all causes. And of all the carotenoids, very low blood lycopene was the strongest predictor of mortality.

 

A Superfood

So, now you see why I think the tomato is a superfood. Overall, those with very low levels of carotenoids are at risk of autoimmune disease, headaches, fatigue, and of course, cancer.   As the signature carotenoid of the tomato, lycopene protects against prostate cancer, (lycopene’s protective effects are found concentrated in the male reproductive system), skin cancer  (in the skin, lycopene helps prevent UV sun damage), and cardiovascular disease.

 

For example, many observational studies have made a connection between higher blood lycopene and lower risk of heart attack.

 

 

A study in men found that low serum lycopene was associated with increased plaque in the carotid artery and triple risk of cardiovascular events compared with higher levels. In a separate study, women were split into four groups according to their blood lycopene levels. Women in the top three quartiles were 50 percent less likely to have cardiovascular disease compared to the lowest quartile.

 

A 2004 analysis from the Physicians Health Study data found a 39 percent decrease in stroke risk in men with the highest blood levels of lycopene. Data from an ongoing study in Finland has strengthened these findings with similar results.

 

Vary Your Diet

About 85 percent of the lycopene in the American diet is derived from tomatoes. Lycopene is also more absorbable when tomatoes are cooked—one cup of tomato sauce contains about ten times the lycopene as a cup of raw, chopped tomatoes—so enjoy a variety of both raw and cooked tomatoes in your daily diet. Of course, lycopene is not the only important nutrient in tomatoes. They are also rich in vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, and flavonol antioxidants, in addition to many others.

 

Antioxidants usually exert their protective effects in concert with each other. It is the interactions between phytochemicals that is responsible for their health effects, something that we cannot replicate in a pill. Out of all the carotenoids, lycopene has the most potent antioxidant power, but combinations of carotenoids are more effective than any single one. They work synergistically. And summer is the perfect time to get many of these vital micronutrients. Carotenoids are abundant in green and yellow-orange vegetables and fruits. So, enjoy those tomatoes as part of a in a varied nutrient-rich, plant-based diet.

 

Call us to help you plan your healthcare plan, or help you reverse a diagnosis or prevent a negative health condition.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr Sarah Dillon

Dr Joel Fuhrman

312-972-WELL

Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Uncategorized

Jalapeno Popper Soup

jalapeno-popper-soup

 

Jalapeno Popper Soup (Low Carb & Gluten Free)

Serves: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

4 slices raw bacon

4 oz cream cheese

½ cup heavy cream

2 cups water or chicken broth

2 Tbl salsa verde

½ tsp garlic powder

¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

¾ cup shredded monterey jack cheese

4 large jalapeno peppers

¼ tsp xanthan gum (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Cook the bacon in a medium saucepan until crisp – remove and chop for garnish and set aside. In the same pan, along with the bacon grease, add the heavy cream, water or broth, and cream cheese. Simmer gently, stirring often, until the cream cheese has melted and the liquid is smooth. Whisk in the garlic powder, salsa verde and shredded cheeses until completely incorporated. Meanwhile, wash the jalapenos and broil or grill them until softened and charred. Remove the skins and seeds and chop finely. Add to the soup and cook for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. To thicken further, add the optional ¼ tsp of xanthan gum stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and serve garnished with chopped bacon.

NOTES

Aprrox. nutrition info per serving: 425 calories, 38g fat, 2.5g net carbs, 17g protein

 

Please share with family and loved ones.  If you have a health condition that you want to reverse and get healthy, call us.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

P Carrothers

312-972-WELL

Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Uncategorized

Low Carb: FIRE POT SOUP

firepotsoup

 

Fire-Pot Soup

Low Carb

 

serves 4

 

Ingredients:

 

3/4 lb raw shrimp, deveined, tails on or off

 

8 oz extra firm tofu, cut into small cubes

 

3 tbsp thai curry paste (available at large supermarkets and Asian markets)

 

1 tbsp canola oil

 

6 thai basil leaves, torn (available at Asian markets)

 

1 tbsp fish sauce

 

2 tsp sugar substitute

 

1/2 tsp salt

 

1 14-oz can coconut milk

 

2 cups chicken broth

 

1 6-inch stalk lemongrass

 

1/2 lime, juiced

 

2 red or green Thai chilies, pierced with a knife

 

 

cilantro for serving

 

Directions:

 

Heat up a teaspoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet on high heat. Add the shrimp and saute about thirty seconds, until pink and curled. Remove shrimp and place on a plate with the cubed tofu. Set aside.

 

Heat the remaining oil in the skillet and bring back to medium high heat. Add the curry paste and “mash” together with the oil until both are combined. Stir while cooking for another two minutes and then slowly whisk in the coconut milk and broth.

 

Add the fish sauce, sugar, salt, torn Thai basil, lime juice, lemongrass stalk and chilies and simmer for ten minutes. Chop the cooked shrimp and add both that and the tofu to the skillet and heat through. Add cooked rice to individual bowls and top with soup and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Don’t forget to discard the lemongrass and chilies—you don’t want to eat those!

 

Time: 1 hour

 

Please share with family and loved ones.  Call us with all your healthcare concerns and individual healthcare plan just for your body.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

P Carrothers

312-972-WELL

Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Uncategorized

Low Carb: Brazilian Shrimp Stew

brazilian-shrimpstew

BRAZILIAN SHRIMP STEW (MOQUECA DE CAMAROES)

 

 

A delicious, easy to make bowl of soup that is Low Carb, Paleo, and Whole 30 compliant!

 

Cuisine: Seafood stew

Serves: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

1½ lbs raw shrimp, peeled & deveined

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ cup roasted red pepper, diced

¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

(1) 14 oz can diced tomatoes w/ chili’s

1 cup coconut milk

2 Tbsp Sriracha hot sauce (sambal oelek if you’re whole 30)

2 Tbsp fresh lime juice

salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan. Saute onions for several minutes until translucent, then add the garlic and peppers and cook for several minutes more. Add the tomatoes, shrimp and cilantro to the pan and simmer gently until the shrimp turns opaque. Pour in the coconut milk and Sriracha sauce (or Sambal Oelek), and cook just until heated through – do not boil. Add lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot, garnished with fresh cilantro. Cold beer optional.

NOTES

If you can’t eat shrimp, you can substitute any mild white fish, or even chicken, for the protein in this recipe and it will taste just as amazing!

NUTRITION INFORMATION

Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 294 Fat: 19g Carbohydrates: 5g net Protein: 24g

 

Please share with family and loved ones.  Call us with your healthcare concerns, especially if you wish to prevent a health condition that may run in your family, or reverse a condition that you already have.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

P Carrothers

312-972-WELL

 

Lifestyle, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Are Pumpkin Seeds for You!

pumpkim-seeds

 

Pumpkin Seeds

 

If you’re in the mood for a chewy snack that doubles as a phenomenal health food, look no further than pumpkin seeds.

 

With a wide variety of nutrients ranging from magnesium and manganese to copper, protein and zinc, pumpkin seeds are nutritional powerhouses wrapped up in a very small package. They also contain plant compounds known as phytosterols and free-radical scavenging antioxidants,1 which can give your health an added boost.

 

Best of all, because pumpkin seeds are highly portable and require no refrigeration, they make an excellent snack to keep with you whenever you’re on the go, or they can be used as a quick anytime snack at home, too.

 

9 Top Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds

 

  1. Heart Healthy Magnesium

 

One-quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains nearly half of the recommended daily amount of magnesium, which participates in a wide range of vitally important physiological functions, including the creation of ATP (adenosine triphosphate, the energy molecules of your body), the synthesis of RNA and DNA, the pumping of your heart, proper bone and tooth formation, relaxation of your blood vessels, and proper bowel function.

 

Magnesium has been shown to benefit your blood pressure and help prevent sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack, and stroke, yet an estimated 80 percent of Americans are deficient in this important mineral.

 

  1. Zinc for Immune Support

 

Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of zinc (one ounce contains more than 2 mg of this beneficial mineral). Zinc is important to your body in many ways, including immunity, cell growth and division, sleep, mood, your senses of taste and smell, eye and skin health, insulin regulation, and male sexual function.

 

Many are deficient in zinc due to mineral-depleted soils, drug effects, plant-based diets, and other diets high in grain. This deficiency is associated with increased colds and flu, chronic fatigue, depression, acne, low birth weight babies, learning problems and poor school performance in children, among others.

 

  1. Plant-Based Omega-3 Fats

 

Raw nuts and seeds, including pumpkin seeds, are one of the best sources of plant-based omega-3s (alpha-linolenic acid or ALA). We all need ALA, however, ALA has to be converted by your body into the far more essential omega-3 fats EPA and DHA — by an enzyme in which the vast majority of us have impaired by high insulin levels. So, while pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of ALA, I believe it is essential to get some of your omega-3 fats from animal sources, such as krill oil, as well.

 

  1. Prostate Health

 

Pumpkin seeds have long been valued as an important natural food for men’s health. This is in part because of their high zinc content, which is important for prostate health (where it is found in the highest concentrations in the body), and also because pumpkin seed extracts and oils may play a role in treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, or enlarged prostate). Research suggests that both pumpkin seed oil and pumpkin seeds2 may be particularly beneficial in supporting prostate health.

 

  1. Anti-Diabetic Effects

 

Animal studies suggest that pumpkin seeds may help improve insulin regulation and help prevent diabetic complications by decreasing oxidative stress.4

 

  1. Benefits for Postmenopausal Women

 

Pumpkin seed oil is rich in natural phytoestrogens and studies suggest it may lead to a significant increase in good “HDL” cholesterol along with decreases in blood pressure, hot flashes, headaches, joint pains and other menopausal symptoms in postmenopausal women.5

 

  1. Heart and Liver Health

 

Pumpkin seeds, rich in healthy fats, antioxidants and fibers, may provide benefits for heart and liver health, particularly when mixed with flax seeds.6

 

  1. Tryptophan for Restful Sleep

 

Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of tryptophan, an amino acid (protein building block) that your body converts into serotonin, which in turn is converted into melatonin, the “sleep hormone.” Eating pumpkin seeds a few hours before bed, along with a carbohydrate like a small piece of fruit, may be especially beneficial for providing your body the tryptophan needed for your melatonin and serotonin production to help promote a restful night’s sleep.7

 

  1. Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

 

Pumpkin seed oil has been found to exhibit anti-inflammatory effects. One animal study even found it worked as well as the anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin in treating arthritis, but without the side effects.8

 

What’s the Best Way to Consume Pumpkin Seeds?

 

In order to preserve the healthy fats present in the seeds, pumpkin seeds should be eaten raw. If you choose to purchase seeds from a bulk bin, make sure they smell fresh – not musty, spoiled or stale, which could indicate rancidity or the presence of fungal mycotoxins. Organic pumpkin seeds are preferred, as they will not be contaminated with pesticides or other harmful chemicals.

 

However, most nuts and seeds have anti-nutrients like phytic acid that can make all the previously discussed important nutrients less bioavailable when you consume them. So if you plan on consuming seeds or nuts on a regular basis, it would be wise to soak or sprout them. To make them more palatable, you can then dehydrate them in your oven, or better yet and more cost effectively in a dehydrator. There are many dehydrators on the market, but Excalibur is generally considered the best. I have used one for over 20 years. They are readily available on Amazon.

 

If you prefer to eat the seeds roasted, do so yourself so you can control the roasting temperature and time. Raw pumpkin seeds can be roasted on a low heat setting in your oven (no more than 170 degrees F or 75 degrees Celsius), sprinkled with Himalayan or other natural salt, for about 15-20 minutes.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

  1. Mercola

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Foods, Uncategorized

Free Range Eggs, Yes or No!

free-range-eggs

Free Range Eggs

 

Organic pasture-raised eggs are a great source of proteins, which are essential to the building, maintenance and repair of your body tissues such as your skin, internal organs and muscles. They are also the major components of your immune system and hormones. Pasture-raised eggs also contain healthful saturated fats and cholesterol—both of which your body actually needs for optimal

 

The definitions of “free-range” are such that the commercial egg industry can run industrial farm egg laying facilities and still call them “free-range” eggs, despite the fact that the birds’ foraging conditions are far from what you’d call natural.

 

True free-range eggs are from hens that roam freely outdoors on a pasture where they can forage for their natural diet, which includes seeds, green plants, insects, and worms.

 

Large commercial egg facilities typically house tens of thousands of hens and can even go up to hundreds of thousands of hens.

 

Obviously they cannot allow all of them to forage freely.

 

These confined animal feeding operations, also known as CAFO’s, are where the vast majority of commercially available eggs come from.

 

But while flimsy definitions of “free range” allow such facilities to sell their products as free range, please beware that a hen that is let outside into a barren lot for mere minutes a day, and is fed a diet of corn, soy, cottonseed meals and synthetic additives is NOT a free-range hen, and simply will not produce the same quality eggs as its foraging counterpart…

 

Free Range Eggs are More Nutritious

 

Mother Earth News’ 2007 egg testing project clearly demonstrated the nutritional differences between eggs from free-range pastured hens and commercially farmed hens. This difference is not an occasional fluke—it’s the natural and inevitable result of the diet of the hen laying the egg.  Compared to official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs, eggs from hens raised on pasture may contain:

 

1/3 less cholesterol     2/3 more vitamin A     3 times more vitamin E

1/4 less saturated fat   2 times more omega-3 fats      7 times more beta carotene

 

 

Where and How to Find High Quality Free Range Eggs

 

Your best source for fresh eggs is a local farmer that allows his hens to forage freely outdoors. If you live in an urban area, visiting a local health food store is typically the quickest route to finding high-quality local egg sources. Your local farmers market is another source for fresh free range eggs, and is a great way to meet the people who produce your food. With face-to-face contact, you can get your questions answered and know exactly what you’re buying. Better yet, visit the farm and ask for a tour. Most will be eager to show off their operation, as long as they’ve got nothing to hide. Your egg farmer should be paying attention to proper nutrition, clean water, adequate housing space, and good ventilation to reduce stress on the hens and support their immunity.

 

Cornucopia.org offers a helpful organic egg scorecard that rates egg manufacturers based on 22 criteria that are important for organic consumers. According to Cornucopia, their report “showcases ethical family farms, and their brands, and exposes factory farm producers and brands in grocery store coolers that threaten to take over organic livestock agriculture.”

 

Besides that, you can tell the eggs are free range by the color of the egg yolk. Foraged hens produce eggs with bright orange yolks. Dull, pale yellow yolks are a sure sign you’re getting eggs form caged hens that are not allowed to forage for their natural diet.

 

How to Eat Your Eggs for Maximum Health Benefits

 

The CDC and other public health organizations will advise you to thoroughly cook your eggs to lower the risk of salmonella, but eating eggs RAW is actually the best in terms of your health. While this may sound like a scary proposition for many, it’s important to realize that salmonella risk comes from chickens raised in unsanitary conditions. These conditions are the norm for CAFO’s, but are extremely rare for small organic farms. In fact, one study by the British government found that 23 percent of farms with caged hens tested positive for salmonella, compared to just over 4 percent in organic flocks and 6.5 percent in free-range flocks.

 

So, as long as you’re getting fresh pastured eggs, your risk of getting ill from a raw egg is quite slim. According to a study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, of the 69 billion eggs produced annually in the United States, some 2.3 million are contaminated with Salmonella—equivalent to just one in every 30,000 eggsi.

 

While eggs are often one of your most allergenic foods, I believe this is because they are typically cooked too much. Heating the egg protein actually changes its chemical shape, and this distortion can easily lead to allergies. If you consume your eggs in their raw state, the incidence of egg allergy virtually disappears. I also believe eating eggs raw helps preserve many of the highly perishable nutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which are powerful prevention elements for age-related macular degeneration, which is the most common cause of blindness.

 

Fresh raw egg yolk actually tastes like vanilla, in my opinion. The egg white is usually what most people object to when they say they don’t like the texture of raw egg.  If this is an issue, consider discarding the egg white, or simply blend the whole raw egg into a shake or smoothie. Personally, I eat just the raw egg yolks—I have four nearly every morning. I remove the whites because it’s just too much protein for my challenged kidneys. Beware of consuming raw egg whites without the yolks as raw egg whites contain avidin, which can bind to biotin. If you cook the egg white the avidin is not an issue. Likewise, if you consume the whole raw egg (both yolk and egg white) there is more than enough biotin in the yolk to compensate for the avidin binding.

 

If you choose not to eat your eggs (or just egg yolk) raw, soft-boiled would be your next best option. Scrambling your eggs is one of the worst ways to eat eggs as it actually oxidizes the cholesterol in the egg yolk. If you have high cholesterol this may actually be a problem for you as the oxidized cholesterol may cause some damage in your body.

 

Cautionary Note for Pregnant Women

 

Please beware there’s a potential problem with consuming the entire raw egg if you are pregnant. Biotin deficiency is a common concern in pregnancy and it is possible that consuming whole raw eggs might make it worse. If you are pregnant you have two options:

 

Measure for biotin deficiency. This is best done through urinary excretion of 3-hydroxyisovaleric acid (3-HIA), which increases as a result of the decreased activity of the biotin-dependent enzyme methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase

Alternatively, take a biotin supplement, or consume only the yolk raw (and cook the whites)

Eggs Won’t Harm Your Heart

 

There is a major misconception that you must avoid foods like eggs and saturated fat to protect your heart. While it’s true that fats from animal sources contain cholesterol, this is not necessarily a health hazard. As I’ve discussed on many occasions, your body actually requires cholesterol, and artificially driving your cholesterol levels down is nearly always doing far more harm than good. Every cell in your body needs cholesterol. It helps to produce cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D and bile acids that help you to digest fat. Cholesterol also helps in the formation of memories and is vital for your neurological function. In other words, dietary cholesterol is your friend, not your enemy.

 

Besides, numerous studies support the conclusion that eggs have virtually nothing to do with raising your cholesterol anyway. For instance, research published in the International Journal of Cardiology showed that, in healthy adults, eating eggs daily did not produce a negative effect on endothelial function, an aggregate measure of cardiac risk, nor an increase in cholesterol levels.

 

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Article

P Carrothers

J Mercola

312-972-9355

 

Foods, Uncategorized

Low Carb Asian Noodle Dish with Pork Recipe

lowcarbchinese

Low-Carb Asian Noodle Dish With Pork Recipe

 

This low-carb noodle dish can be made with shirataki noodles or tofu noodles.  Chicken can be used in place of the pork. This recipe has a passing similarity to Dan Dan Noodles.

 

Ingredients

2 12 oz packages shirataki or tofu noodles

1 lb ground pork

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup dry sherry

1/3 cup peanut butter

1 tablespoon rice vinegar or cider vinegar (rice vinegar can be sugary)

1/2 teaspoon Asian chili sauce or other hot sauce

8 cloves garlic – minced, pressed, or grated

2 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger

2 Tablespoons sesame oil

l lb bean sprouts

6 green onions or scallions, chopped

Pepper

1-2 Tablespoons mild oil, such as peanut or high oleic safflower oil

Preparation

1) Mix ground pork, 2 Tablespoons of the soy sauce, and the sherry together, and set aside.

 

2) Mix the rest of the soy sauce with the peanut butter, vinegar, and hot sauce together, although with 1/4 cup water.

 

3) Heat skillet or wok until hot. Add peanut or other mild oil to the pan and cook pork, breaking it up into small bits as it cooks.

 

4) Meanwhile, rinse noodles in hot water in a colander, and cut them up into shorter pieces with kitchen or regular scissors.

 

(I just stick my scissors in and cut a few times.)

 

5) When meat is brown, add the ginger and garlic, and cook another minute or so, until fragrant.

 

6) Add sauce mixture and the noodles. Toss together and heat through.

 

7) Add bean sprouts and toss again. Sprinkle top with scallions.

 

Please share with family and loved ones.  As always call us with your healthcare concerns and needs.

 

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