Posts

almond bread

Remarkably simple to make – and quick – this microwave mini almond bread recipe is an alternative to store bought bread, high in fiber, rich in protein, and has far less sugar than most of the things you find on the shelf.

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photo courtesy of Bon Appetit

Welcome back from Spring break! Are you feeling uninspired about what to pack your kids for lunch? The routine of packing school lunches can get monotonous and sometimes I wonder if anything I pack will even get eaten. To give you some inspiration I thought I would share my top super healthy and easy school lunch ideas. Meal prepping is key to packing a kid-finicky free lunch. Ideally your school lunch should incorporate:

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Lemons are great for healthy skin and healthy digestion

We do our best to eat healthy and exercise regularly, but have you thought about the beauty care products you use every day – or what might be in them? Would you be surprised to learn that there is an utter lack of policy in this country about what chemicals can be put in our personal care products?

 

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Almond Butter Energy Balls

recipe courtesy of spinach for breakfast

Follow link for recipe:

cardiovascular disease

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death for women and men in the United States. In fact, with responsibility for a staggering 30% of all deaths globally, CVD is the leading cause of death on the planet.

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cholesterol

I discovered a recent article in the Deccan Chronicle illuminating the U.S governments official green light for a u-turn on cholesterol. Cholesterol has been on the naughty list for over 40 years now because of the concerns that it contributes to heart disease and high cholesterol.

Here is a copy of the article:

After a study, eggs, butter, full-fat dairy products, nuts, coconut oil and meat have now been classified as “safe” and have been officially removed from the “nutrients of concern” list, reported the International Business Times.

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Homemade Nutella

Nutella has advertised for many years that their gooey, chocolatey, sugar loaded spread is healthy. The makers of Nutella, Ferrero, Inc. has sold their spread as a nourishing breakfast option but neglected to mention that in a teaspoon there can be up to 21 grams of sugar. This is far beyond the recommended daily intake for sugar, according to the World Health Organization. The WHO recommends, Americans should limit their sugar intake to 25 grams per day.

Well, since we all cannot just have one teaspoon on our morning toast, we will have exceeded our sugar intake at breakfast! Read more

Good Fats vs. Bad Fats

UGH! Who wants to talk about fat?

Well, fatty acids and triglycerides are important components for all of our body’s cells. Fats contain more energy per gram than proteins and carbohydrates. FATS ARE FUEL.

BASIC STRUCTURE

All fats are composed of fatty acids, which are a long chains of carbon atoms with hydrogen attached to them. There are varying lengths to the chains, and those chains can be saturated or unsaturated.

Long Chain Saturated Fats:

Long chain saturated fats are solid at room temperature because all of the carbon atoms have a hydrogen atom attached to them. There is no “bend” in the structure of the molecule. They have beneficial effects on your heart, they support immune function, and deliver fat-soluble vitamins A,D, K and E to all the cells and tissues.

milk and meat

Medium Chain Saturated Fats:

Medium chain saturated fats are metabolized differently than the long chain fats. They don’t require bile for digestion, and they head right to the liver – so it’s easily digestible energy!

  • These fats are rich in lauric acid, found in mother’s milk, and is antiviral, antibacterial, and contains antioxidant properties.
  • These fats promote weight loss because they enhance fat burning.

coconut milk, coconut oil, coconut butter, and breast milk

Unsaturated Fats:

  • Monounsaturated fats: These have been shown to reduce LDL (the bad cholesterol) and triglyceride levels, and increase HDL levels (the good cholesterol), as well as reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure.

olive oil, canola oil, macadamia nuts, avocado, almonds, and egg yolks

  • Polyunsaturated fats: There are two categories:
    • Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids: The most important ones are EPA and DHA, found in seafood, which help reduce inflammation throughout the body and brain.
    • Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids: The most important ones are linoleic acid found in nuts, seeds, poultry, and avocados, and arachidonic acid found in meat, poultry and eggs. Arachidonic acid is the most abundant fatty acid in the brain!

Omega-3 vs. Omega-6 in Our Diets

The average consumption of Omega-6 to Omega-3 (in the standard American diet) is 20:1. We want to strive toward a 1:1 ratio by greatly reducing the consumption of Omega-6 fatty acids.

The reason for the large discrepancy is:

Omega-6 is found in nuts, seeds, and avocados, but they are also found in abundance in processed and refined oils such as soybean, corn, and safflower oils. These oils can be found in our favorite foods: chips, crackers, salad dressings, and power bars.

So, our diets are heavy in Omega-6 and we don’t realize we are over-consuming them. It is necessary to consume them, but in the form of whole foods – as opposed to processed foods.

Increasing your Omega-3 intake while decreasing your Omega-6 intake will level off this large discrepancy. The Institute of Medicine recommends an intake of 1.1 mg/day for both Omega-6 and Omega-3.

Omega-3 fatty acids food sources include, but are not limited to: fish, grass-fed beef, flaxseed oil, eggs, edamame, and walnuts.

healthy fat

Coconut Oil:

This is an incredible source of medium chain fatty acids (MCFA’s). Most of the fats we consume are long chain fatty acids that need to be broken down first before they are absorbed. MCFA’s are easily digested because we do not need to break them down. Instead they are sent directly to the liver for energy production. As a result, your body does not need to produce bile or pancreatic enzymes to digest the fat. This makes it perfect for diabetics and people suffering from gall bladder issues.

It also contains lauric acid. This is converted to monolaurin in the body and is useful in fighting viruses and diseases.

Our bodies need saturated fat for cell function and growth. Studies are not conclusive that saturated fat causes heart disease. This is truly a go to fat in your diet as the anti-microbial, anti bacterial and antifungal properties in addition to the nutrient content are so nourishing!

This is my go to cooking oil but I also use it in smoothies for a little extra flavor.

This can be found in any health food store.

Serving Size: 1 tablespoon

Fat: 14g
Carbs: 0g
Protein: 0g

100% fat, 0% carbs, 0% protein

Red Palm Oil:

This is very different than palm kernel oil and should not be confused. Red palm oil if rich in Vitamin A and E. The health benefits are achieved due to the red color of the palm fruit that contains carotenes, including beta-carotene and lycopene. It is also loaded with antioxidants, tocopherols and tocotrienols (Vitamin E). There is scientific evidence indicating it plays a beneficial role in fighting heart disease and high cholesterol. Similar to coconut oil it is a MCFA but it is the high antioxidant levels that make this another go to fat for your diet.

This can be found in any health food store.

Serving Size: 1 tablespoon

Calories: 130
Carbs: 14g
Carbs: 0g
Protein: 0g

100% fat

Sierra_150410-5241

Olive Oil:

This is rich in monounsaturated fat. Studies indicate that consuming monounsaturated fats is attributed to a decrease in cardiovascular disease, including hypertension, stroke and hyperlipidemia (high blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels). It is helpful in reducing inflammation and facilitates carbohydrate metabolism.

I do not cook with olive oil as it has a low boiling point but instead use it on salads, in smoothies and for dipping. Coconut oil and red palm oil have higher boiling points than olive oil.

Serving Size: 1 tablespoon

Calories: 119
Fat: 13.5g
Carbs: 0g
Protein: 0g

100% fat