Sunday, August 28, 2016

Be Smart, Eat the Right Foods, Part Two

Be Smart, Eat the Right Foods, 
Part Two

In this second part on "brain foods", we will look at Avocados.   Avocados have been dubbed "the world's most perfect food".  Also known as the "alligator pear", it provides nearly 20 essential nutrients that support heart health, inflammation, improves blood sugar levels and is high in heart-protective HDL cholesterol  and low in LDL cholesterol.   The monounsaturated fats support the production of acetylcholine, which helps in memory and learning.   Avocados are high in vitamins C, E, K, and the B complex.  They also act as a "nutrient  booster to help in absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, and are very high in tyrosine which helps keep you motivated and focused.  Our brains are around 60% fat and every cell in our bodies need "good fat" to perform at its best.  Avocados do just that, by providing more calories per gram than any other food.  Far from being empty calories, they are a functional food that provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition.  Here's a great article on their benefits: Avocados: Nutritional Benefits.

I usually eat 5 avocados per week.  On sandwiches, salads, toast, and in buddha-bowls, they are incredible gifts from nature.  You can also use avocados as a dairy replacement  in many ways. 

Kris makes an awesome "Green Goddess" salad dressing with avocados, here's the recipe:
In a blender or food processor mix;
10 fresh basil leaves.
a couple of chopped green onions.
2 tbs of Italian seasoning.
1/2 -1 ripe avocado(peeled!).
1/4 cup non-dairy "Vegenaise or "Just Mayo".
2 tbs honey.
2 tbs white wine vinegar.
Juice of 1 lemon.
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil.
1/4 cup filtered water.
1/2 tsp sea salt.
1/4 tsp black pepper.
Store in a Mason jar for up to a week.
You'll have used it before then!

Go get smart!
Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Be Smart, Eat the Right Foods

Be Smart, Eat the Right Foods
Part One

Did you know that with every bite of food, we choose to either deplete or nourish our brains.   The right food choices can help us to be mentally sharp, positive and productive.  While the wrong choices can leave us feeling foggy, groggy, anxious and depressed(like sugars and chips, etc.)   There are certain foods which are high in nutrients that are needed to create, protect and repair our brain cells.   These are called "brain foods".  They supply the building blocks of neurotransmitters that control how we learn and remember, how happy and motivated we are and how we can relax and enjoy life. Give me a second helping please!  These foods will protect us against mental disorders now and degenerative diseases in years to come.  

Over the next few blog posts, I'm going to cover several different plant-based "brain foods" that will keep us protected and healthy in our wellness journey.

#1 Walnuts

Walnuts are the #1 nut for brain health, they even look like a brain!   They are the best plant source of  ALA Omega -3   They are one of the best foods that contain mood-elevating serotonin and help in reducing brain inflammation.  One study on adults of all ages found that eating walnuts  improved reaction time, learning and memory recall.  That will help us to remember to store walnuts in the refrigerator!
Just a few walnuts a day is all we need for better brain function.

Here's a good article on walnuts and almonds from One Green Planet.
Here's a short video from Dr. Micheal Greger; Which Nuts Fight Cancer Better?

Next week brain foods is Avocados!
Have a great week.
Be kind.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Eating Weeds

Eating Weeds  

Backyard weeds are a big nuisance for most homeowners.  Dandelion greens are probably the most notable, especially when its bright yellow flower turns to seed.  Dating back to the 10th century it has been used for medicinal treatments because of its highly nutritional value.  High in Vitamins K,A,C,B6, iron, calcium and many other nutrients.  They might be bitter when eaten raw but are very tasty when cooked and seasoned.  I remember picking them with my grandmother in her backyard along with rhubarb.

Another weed you might not know is edible but I'm sure you have seen is Purslane.   Purslane(also known as "portulaca") sprouts from sidewalk cracks, invades gardens and grows just about everywhere.   But it also happens to be a "superfood" high in heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids and beta carotene.  The leaves and stems are both edible.  It has about half the amount of Omega-3 as salmon but no worries on mercury levels.  The moisture-rich leaves have a tart cucumber-crisp lemony tang with slight taste of pepper.

Next time you weed your garden or on a walk keep an eye out for it.  It even grows in cracks on city sidewalks.  Just remember to wash it thoroughly before eating, you don"t know what dog might have strolled by.  

I just got a bunch from my local farmer "Tomazin Farms" and am making a easy salad recipe today.

Purslane, Cherry Tomato and Cucumber Salad
1 bunch purslane.
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes cut in half.
1/2 medium cucumber cut into thin slices 
1/4 cup olive oil.
4 teaspoons red wine vinegar.
1/2 teaspoon sea salt.
1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

Here's a quick video on other edible "weeds" from Wildman Steve Brill

Have a great week.
Be kind. 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Amazing Apple Cider Vinegar

The Amazing Apple Cider Vinegar

It is said that vinegar was discovered around 5000 BC!   Some unattended grape juice turned into wine and then vinegar.   It was originally used as a food preservative then for medicinal purposes.  Hippocrates first used it for wound care and then more practitioners begin to use it for everything from treating poison ivy to stomach ailments, even diabetes.   It has been credited for curing hiccups to aiding in weight loss and preventing acid reflux (drink one tablespoon of unfiltered organic ACV in a glass of water).  

Vinegar in french means "sour wine".  Traditionally made through a long slow fermentation process.   This process leaves it rich in bio-active acids giving it potent antioxidant, antimicrobial properties.  The longer fermentation period allows the accumulation of a non-toxic "slime" made up of  yeast and acetic acid bacteria known as the "mother"   The "mother" is a cobweb like amino acid-based substance found in unprocessed, unfiltered raw vinegar.  You should always purchase raw organic vinegar that has the "murky" look, this indicates the best quality and is the best to type to consume.  If using for cleaning purposes, the clear white vinegar is all you need.

Just a few wellness benefits of ACV:
*Helps control blood sugar levels.
*Lowers cholesterol.
*Aids in weight loss.
*Relieves sinus congestion.
*Relieves sore throats.
*Freshens bad breath.
Helps digestion issues.
*Skin irritations, including removal of warts.
*Energy boost. (Switchel)

Here's a recipe from "It's All Good" Gwyneth Paltrow:
Apple Cider Vinaigrette
1 tbs. Dijon mustard
3 tbs. ACV
2 tbs. maple syrup.
1/2 cup olive oil.
Course sea salt.
Ground black pepper.
While whisking together, slowly drizzle in olive oil.
Makes about 3/4 cup of awesome dressing!

Here's two great articles on the benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Thrive Market: 13 Uses for ACV
Raw Foodist David Wolfe on ACV: "1 tbs of ACV for 60 days"

Here's a link to Dr. Michael Greger's latest video. 
"How Not To Die" 82 minute version
"How Not To Die" 17 minute version.
Don"t hack, watch the long version if you can!

Great article in the Huffington Post from Dr. Joel Kahn:

Have a great week.
Be kind.