Posts Tagged ‘Nutrition’

Eating Fish Is More Complicated Than You Think!

 

Fish is not a health food, according to Dr. Furhman, a board-certified family physician, NY Times best-selling author, nutritional researcher, and an internationally recognized expert on nutrition and natural healing.  He maintains, “If you eat fish regularly, your body is undoubtedly high in mercury, which can damage the heart and brain. Pregnant women may compromise their babies’ brain development by mercury exposure associated with eating fish, and eating more fish is also associated with increased breast cancer risk.”  He recommends to either avoid fish or eat it no more than once a week and choose those lowest in mercury such as flounder, scallops, trout, sole, squid, wild salmon or sardines.

Fish is a healthy and delicious alternative to meat and obviously some choices are safer than others.  Still, reading Dr. Furhman’s report is jarring.  I went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch website, which helps consumers and businesses make choices for healthy oceans and for consuming safe fish, to read their recommendations.

The Seafood Watch program categorizes fish into “Best Choices”, “Good Alternatives”, and which ones to “Avoid”.

Their Super Green or “Best Choices” lists seafood that meets the following three criteria:

  • Has low levels of mercury
  • Provides at least 250 milligrams per day (mg/d) of omega-3s
  • Is classified as a Seafood Watch “Best Choice” (green)

Best Choice List includes:

  • Atlantic Mackerel (purse seine from Canada and the U.S.)
  • Freshwater Coho Salmon (farmed in tank systems, from the U.S.)
  • Pacific Sardines (wild-caught)
  • Salmon (wild-caught, from Alaska)
  • Salmon, Canned (wild-caught, from Alaska)

Next Best choices:

  • Albacore Tuna (troll- or pole-caught, from the U.S. or British Columbia)
  • Sablefish/Black Cod (from Alaska and Canadian Pacific)

Click here for the “Good Alternatives” and “Avoid” list, as well as a seafood search for detailed information regarding specific fish.  You can actually download seafood watch lists for your  region of the country.  

The “Best Choices” list isn’t very long.  Sadly, eating safe, nutritious food is getting harder.  Staying informed by reading information from trusted sources is one solution, eating local, organically grown whole food is another.

 

For more green living tips, visit greenwithbetsy.com.

Information compiled from:  peacefuldaily.com and

http://www.seafoodwatch.org/cr/cr_seafoodwatch/sfw_recommendations.aspx

 

Vitamix Bliss!

My nephew and his adorable new bride inspired me to write a blog post with some simple recipes for the new Vitamix they received as a wedding gift.

If you don’t have a Vitamix, I highly recommend getting one.  Though similar to a blender, it’s far more powerful with endless possibilities towards delicious healthy eating! You can make beverages, soups, dips and spreads, sauces, breads, desserts, baby food, dressings and marinades.  The Vitamix is built to stand up to demanding commercial use and decades of use at home. With its ability to chop, blend, cream, purée and more, it’s the only appliance you need!  Another advantage? It’s self-cleaning.

I use my Vitamix at least once a day for my morning smoothie and usually more.  Click on the link for my smoothie recipe or search online.  There are several.  I will say however, I find that smoothie supplements like chia seeds are easily ground up with a Vitamix.

Almond Milk

I love using fresh, homemade, completely additive-free almond milk as the liquid base for my smoothie, and with the Vitamix, it’s a breeze to make.  Nut and seed milks are high in protein, contain the “right” fats and provide calcium.

I cup almonds, soaked 12 hours or overnight

4 cups purified or filtered water

Rinse and drain soaked almonds.  Place almonds and water in Vitamix and process on high until completely broken down.  Place nut milk bag (or cheese cloth) into large pitcher or bowl, positioning so that the bag stays open.  Pour nut milk mixture into bag, allowing liquid to drain through to container.  Gently squeeze with hand to press all liquid through the mesh bag.

Compost the pulp or freeze for later use in inventive recipes.  Have fun trying milk made from other nuts and seeds, or try blending different kinds.  Each has its own unique flavor. 

Homemade Peanut Butter

My husband spreads peanut butter on everything – toast, crackers, apple slices, and celery. Freshly made, and without additives, it’s not only nutritious, but has a special taste.

Ingredients:

3 cups unsalted roasted peanuts

  1. Place ingredients into the Vitamix container and secure lid.
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High, using the tamper to press the ingredients into the blades.
  4. In 1 minute you will hear a high-pitched chugging sound.  Once the butter begins to flow freely through the blades, the motor sound will change and become low and laboring.  Stop the machine.
  5. Store in an airtight container.

Attention: Over processing will cause serious overheating to your machine.  Try making other nut butters too!

Avocado Tortilla Soup

This soup can be made from start to finish in your Vitamix  – you can’t get any easier or quicker than that!

Ingredients:

2 cups chicken broth

5 Roma tomatoes, quartered

1/3 bunch cilantro

1 garlic clove

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ avocado, peeled and pitted

½ lime, peeled

½ cup canned black beans, drained

½ cup canned corn, drained (You can use frozen too but thaw first.)

2 ounces tortilla chips, crushed

  1. Place all ingredients except corn, beans, and tortilla chips into Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  4. Blend for 6 – 7 minutes or until heavy steam escapes from vented lid.
  5. Reduce speed to Variable 2 and remove the lid plug.
  6. Drop in corn, beans, and tortilla chips through the lid plug opening.  Blend for additional 10 seconds.
  7. Garnish with a tortilla chips, sour cream, and a sprig of cilantro.

Vitamix’s powerful motor actually cooks the soup!

Strawberry Yogurt Freeze

Ingredients:

1-cup non-fat, plain, vanilla or strawberry yogurt

1 pound frozen organic, unsweetened strawberries

1/3-cup sugar (Coconut or pure cane sugar) (Omit sugar if using flavored yogurt.)

  1. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  4. Use tamper to press ingredients into the blades.
  5. In about 30 – 60 seconds, the sound of the motor will change and four mounds should form in the mixture.
  6. Stop machine.  Do not over mix or melting will occur.  Serve immediately.

Try experimenting with other frozen fruits and yogurt flavors!

The Vitamix is amazing and will change your eating habits.  Attending a Vitamix demonstration is extremely helpful in understanding exactly how it works and its possibilities.  Most retail outlets that sell them offer demos.  Visit Vitamix.com for more wonderful recipes.

For more green living tips, visit greenwithbetsy.com.

 

BE HEALTHY!

Fresh vegetables are important components of a...

Image via Wikipedia

I’m a firm believer in learning from other people’s expertise, experiences, wisdom and even well founded opinions.  This weekend I attended Be Healthy Boston, a 2-day urban wellness retreat with keynote sessions and workshops.   It was fabulous! Renowned doctors, naturopaths, nutritionists, physical therapists, psychologists, architects, designers, chefs, musicians, yoga instructors and green living experts, shared their knowledge with eager people who wanted a healthier lifestyle. I’d like to share some of this knowledge with you.

One main message was empowerment.  The resources to manage your own health and well-being are plentiful – we are lucky in the Boston area to have access to so many health care professionals of all levels – and there is no lack of information on the Internet.

One session that I especially enjoyed was “Food as Medicine” given by Dr. Mark Mincolla, a nutritional and natural health therapist who has transformed the lives of thousands of patients over the past 30 years.  He spoke extensively about inflammation, the root of many diseases including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, allergies, autoimmune diseases, arthritis, and others, and how we can control chronic inflammation through diet, exercise and stress reduction.   Dr. Mincolla suggests trying an anti-inflammatory diet for three weeks (give yourself a break on the weekends if it seems impossible) just to see if you feel any difference, which consists of:  fatty fish like salmon, vegetables, fruits, legumes, brown rice (whole grains), olive oil, soy, tofu, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and yeast-free bread.  Eliminate inflammatory foods such as dairy, wheat, egg yolks, fatty red meats, sugar and alcohol. The anti-inflammatory foods, high in Omega-3 essential fatty acids, are an extremely important part of disease prevention and overall health. I urge you to read more about inflammation or visit his website maxhealing.com to better understand the inflammation/disease connection.  Check out his NECN program called “You Are What You Eat”.

I have long been an advocate of prevention and maintaining a healthy immune system through diet, especially in this time of virulent and unusual germs and viruses.  It’s exciting the medical community, the media and programs such as Be Healthy Boston focus on taking charge of your own life and embracing wellness.  As Dr. Mincolla says, “the best medicine is the medicine you will never need to take.”

An irony of all ironies – I picked up a flu bug from the Be Healthy Boston retreat!  Life is funny….

Some information compile from “Food is Medicine” by Dr. Mark Mincolla.

 

 

HEALTHY EATING QUOTE

Kale

Image via Wikipedia

 

Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon. 

~Doug Larson

There has been much talk lately about the health benefits of greens, especially kale, which according to Kathleen M. Zelman, expert columnist for Web MD, is the “queen of greens” with its nutrient richness, health benefits and delicious flavor.  Kale is loaded with Vitamins A, C and K, contains antioxidants with anti-cancer benefits and is rich in lutein, which promotes eye health.

There are lots of ways to cook kale (even with bacon), but one easy way to increase your “life expectancy” is to add kale to your morning smoothie. Kale does contain substances that interfere with calcium absorption, so make your smoothie without dairy the days you add kale.   Also, due to the high levels of Vitamin K in kale, it may interfere with certain drugs.  Consult your doctor first.

Make eating more greens your new healthy habit for 2012!

 

Information compiled from webmd.com.