Sunday, May 29, 2016

Five Foods To Eat Every Day

Five Foods to Eat Every Day

I read a great article recently on five types of certain foods that should be consumed on a daily basis.  In their own right these five can be considered "Superfoods".  

* Legumes- Beans are the staple of diets consumed by the "longest living" populations on the earth today.  Legume intake has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.  Beans contain a number of important macro and micro nutrients like protein, iron, zinc, folate, potassium and a lot of fiber.  In 2007, nine independent research teams from around the world conducted tests for the American Institute for Cancer Research.  They concluded we should be eating some type of beans with every meal(add black beans to a salad, spread hummus on a slice whole  wheat toast or use refried beans in a plant-based quesadilla or burrito).

*Fruit- Americans fall way short of the recommended daily intake of  fruits.  The 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study was conducted by nearly 500 researchers from 300 different institutions in 50 countries and took years to finish.  That study concluded that in the United States, the leading cause of death and disability was the Standard American Diet(SAD)and the worst part was not eating enough fruit.  Not vegetables or whole grains, but fruit!  Berries seem to be the most beneficial of the fruit world, offering serious protection against cancer, boosting immune cell activity and protecting the liver and brain.  A study of nearly 100,000 men and women, conducted by the American Cancer Society, found that those who ate the most berries were significantly less likely to die of cardiovascular disease.  To get more fruit into your daily routine- make a frozen mixed berry sorbet using a high speed blender, no need for sugar. Eat an entire meal of just fruit including mangoes, bananas, berries, watermelon etc. Preferably in the morning for that extra boost of energy and kick starting your metabolism.  Or just throw some into a green smoothie.

*Greens- Eating greens, especially of the cruciferous variety(broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale etc.) is one of the most powerful steps you can take to prolong your life.  Dark green leafy vegetables may be the healthiest foods on the planet.  They offer the most nutrition per calorie then any other food.  Only 1 in 25 Americans have a dozen servings per month, when we should be eating at least a dozen servings a week! To get more greens into your diet- add kale or spinach to a smoothie, make a large dark green salad , use Romaine lettuce to make a wrap or sandwich instead of bread.

*Whole Grains-  The same study that concluded eating legumes at every meal determined that whole grains were just as effective as beans and should be eaten at every meal.  A 2015 analysis of the Harvard's famous Nurses Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study( more than 3 million person-years of data) found that people who eat the most whole grains often live longer.  Many types of whole grains include barley, brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, whole wheat pastas and even wild rice.  Try using rice noodles for spaghetti, or quinoa as a base for veggie stir fry or make a sandwich using "sprouted" whole grain bread.

*Nuts-  In the Global Burden of Disease Study, they determined the third-leading dietary risk factor for death and disability  in the world every year was from lack of nut and seed consumption.
Just one handful(1/4 cup) of nuts, five times a week is sufficient. Walnuts, almonds and pistachios lead the way in nutritional value.  Check out this video about Brazil Nuts.

For a easy, delicious meal try eating  a large spinach, kale and mixed green salad topped with black beans, blueberries, walnuts or almonds, throw in some fresh broccoli and other veggies. serve it on a bed of quinoa or brown rice.  Top it off with a Cashew based dressing.

If you are just starting on your health journey, try incorporating these principles 2-3 times per week, change up the ingredients, just keep the basic five foods and you'll be on your way to living a long healthy productive life.  Soon it will be a daily practice.

Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Food Pairing for Optimal Nutrition

Food Pairing
Optimal Nutrition

 Have ever you felt bloated, gassy or even tired after a meal?  We've all been there.  It's probably because we aren't pairing the right foods together or we are  eating them in the wrong order.  Proper food pairing can result in more energy, better skin, better sleep and natural weight loss.  Different foods digest at different rates.  By combining the correct foods together more nutrients are more easily absorbed and used by the body.  Nutrient absorption is crucial for cellular activities for providing the proper vitamins and minerals we need to be healthy.  It's called "food synergies".

By eating food that digests at different rates your digestion gets out of whack and things begin to rot and ferment in out intestines.  It forms a "sludge" that turns into a muck of toxins that our bodies need to work overtime to digest.  Then your feeling bloated, gassy, tired etc..  

Fruit digests the quickest, then greens, then non-starchy veggies( broccoli, mushrooms, onions and peppers etc.) next comes starchy(root) veggies(potatoes, corn, yams etc.).  The slowest to digest is proteins.  Tofu, tempeh and edamame are the easiest plant-based proteins to digest.  Beef, chicken and pork(which are very acidic) take a lot of time and work for the body to digest. By consuming large amounts of those with other foods at the same time can be very taxing on our digestive systems.

By combining the right foods your body gets to use the all the nutrients available.  Giving us more energy to be the healthiest we can be.

For example, did you know that iron deficiency is the most common and widespread nutritional disorder in the world?  One of the best food pairing for absorbing iron is to combine it with a food high in vitamin C.  
 Organic Oatmeal topped with strawberries, raspberries or blueberries.
Topped with a spoonful of ground flaxseed.
High in fiber,iron, vitamin C  and omega 3 fatty acids.
It will fill you up and give you energy that lasts all morning.

For great bone health, cut out the dairy and combine foods high in  calcium, magnesium and plant proteins, for example:White Bean and Swiss Chard Pasta

Here's a few food combinations examples and which order to consume:
Fruit/Raw greens-OK
Fruits should eaten by themselves for optimal absorption, but can be eaten to enhance Iron absorption.  


Studies suggest that many phytochemicals(antioxidants) combined with black pepper are more readily absorbed by the body.  Turmeric and Black pepper

By planning your daily meals out by using this method of food pairing you will feel and see the benefits in just a short time.

Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Frozen or Fresh?

Frozen or Fresh?

Its always better to eat fresh food to stay fit and healthy.   It is always better to buy fresh veggies and fruit from your local farmers.  Not only is the nutritional value at its highest but also its best for our  
smallest carbon footprint possible due to less transportation factors.  Within hours of picking, all the protective nutrients begin to break down.  The light energy the plant has absorbed from the sun begins to dim.  By the time it has been picked, packaged, shipped, offered at a store, brought home by you and then consumed it has lost more then half of its' nutritional value!  Those red tomatoes were picked before they were ripe so that they would not be mush when we bought them weeks later.  That's why getting them from your local farmer or farmers market is the best solution for the freshest fruits and veggies.

We need to get our food as quickly as possible from farm to table.

Frozen fruits and veggies are picked at there peak so they retain much of their nutritional value.  They are also mostly more affordable then buying fresh or canned( don't do it!).  You can also prepare large amounts of soups, stews and casseroles and freeze them for later meals.  The amount of antioxidants and other nutrients in fresh produce decreases over a matter of days in a refrigerator but not so when frozen stored in the freezer.

It is the utmost importance to consume nutrient rich foods to maintain our health and prevent disease.

Stock up your freezer with organic fruits and veggies!
Head to the local farmers market!

Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

From Our Bookshelf

You can find an endless amount of recipes on the internet.  Pinterest and blogs are my favorite places to browse for new ideas. There are so many healthy and tasty dishes to choose from!  

Here are several cookbooks that we use on a weekly basis.  You can always tell which ones get used the most by the amount of ingredients splashed on the pages!

Chloe's cookbooks are the ones mostly used from our library.  Every recipe is delicious and
easy to make.  You can serve any of these dishes to a non-vegan and they will be sure to love them!

Gwyneth Paltrow has been taking a lot of heat from the media lately, specifically because of the cost of the high quality ingredients she uses.  But you can't beat the ease, flavor and nutritional values of her recipes.  They are not all plant-based, but all are very healthy. 

"The PlantPower Way" is much more than a cookbook, it is a lifestyle information manual created as a coffee-table conversation piece.  It's full of great photos and nutritional information. 

From the infamous NYC plant-based restaurant, the recipes in this cookbook are incredible.
Candle 79 sets the bar for vegan fine dining.  The next time you're in NYC,
 you must experience this for yourself.  

The Tropical Vegan Kitchen reminds me of my surfing days in the islands.  I didn't realize at the time
that all the good food I enjoyed was actually plant-based.  Now I can find recipes that give me the taste of the Caribbean, like pigeon peas and rice with pineapple!

Thug Kitchen speaks for itself!  Please be advised if you are offended by so called "foul" language, this book isn't for you.  If not, it's an entertaining read, the recipes are easy, and they contain a lot nutritional information.

Skinny Bitch was one of the first books that Kris read that changed her look on a healthy lifestyle.
It has so much information, and is a great book to read if you're wanting to make a change in your life.  It's full of "tough-love" language and is obviously geared towards women, but hey, I've read it!  With any luck, I'll get Skinny Bastard for Father's Day! 

For all those who are fans of  "Whale Wars", Cookin Up A Storm is book filled with recipes that are prepared on board their vessels while at sea for months at a time.  Plus it has an inside look at life on the sea protecting our oceans and its inhabitants.

For some of the best treats you've ever tasted, Isa Chandra Moskowitz from NYC's Post Punk Kitchen cooking show comes up with some delicious treats in her books, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World and Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.

So there you have it, a short list of where we get some of our most loved recipes.
Now get in the kitchen and make something healthy to eat!

Have great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, May 1, 2016



Garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas are one of the oldest consumed crops in the world and is still one of the most popular beans today.  Chickpeas have been a part of traditional diets for over 7500 years!  Included in the diets of some of the healthiest populations living around the world, second only soybeans, are the most widely grown and eaten bean in the world.  Highly used in the Middle East, Mediterranean and African cuisines, chickpeas are a potent package of protein,vitamins and minerals.  Just a one cup serving shows how an amazing superfood they really are.

268 calories
12.5 grams of fiber (40%RDA)
14.5 grams of protein
4.2 grams of fat
84% manganese
71% folate (Vitamin B)
29% copper
28% phosphorus
26% iron
14% potassium

Chickpeas after being cooked, can be eaten cold or warmed on salads, rice bowls, roasted and commonly used in making hummus and falafels.  I've even used them in peanut butter fudge!

Here are few nutritional benefits:
*Helps to control blood sugar levels
A form of complex carb that is slowly digested and used as sustained fuel.
*Helps in weight loss
Being high in fiber and protein, they make you feel full and curb food cravings
*Improves digestion
The #1 factor for losing weight and maintaining health is high amount of fiber!
*Helps to protect from Heart Disease and Cancer
Helps to balance cholesterol and reduce hypertension
*Provides a clean source of plant protein
hummus eaten with pita bread work together to form a "complete protein"
*Provides essential vitamins and minerals
chickpeas combined with a healthy fat like olive oil, nutrient absorption is increased, also having an alkalizing effect on pH levels.

Chickpeas can be purchased dry or canned. Dry can be soaked overnight then prepared. this makes them more digestible and aids in absorbing nutrients.  Canned should drained and rinsed a few times to remove the sodium content used in packaging and freshen the taste. Look for BPA free cans in all your canned purchases

Here's a video on Hummus for a Healthy Heart
An easy recipe for Hummus

Also a great recipe for a:
 Chickpea "Chicken Salad" Sandwich":
1-15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained.
1/4 cup roasted  sunflower seeds
1/4 cup diced red onion
3 tbs. vegan mayo( Just Mayo or Vegenaise)
1 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
pinch of sea salt and pepper
Mix all together in a small bowl.
Serve on whole grain bread topped with sliced avocado, onion, tomato and lettuce.

You can also check out more recipes on my Pinterest.

Have a great week.
Be kind.