Permanent Weight Control: The Healthy Alternative

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For many people “dieting” is a constant battle. Most believe that in order to lose weight they must reduce calories dramatically. That often means starving until the diet is no longer tolerable. Undoubtedly, the weight comes right back and then some. Very low calorie diets are doomed because they lower the body’s metabolic rate, which makes losing weight even more difficult and often leads to bingeing.

Today, many popular diet plans are based on a high protein, low carbohydrate regimen. This type of fad diet has been around in one incarnation or another for decades. The focus here is to consume flesh foods and other products, which contain high levels of animal protein such as beef, poultry, fish and dairy, while avoiding carbohydrates.

In contrast, the plant-based regimen recommended by cutting edge medical and nutrition professionals is rich in complex carbohydrates and far lower in protein than the typical western diet. The hallmark of healthful plant based cooking is that it is very low in fat, high in fiber, rich in valuable phytonutrients and entirely dairy and cholesterol free.

Obesity is a health problem of epidemic proportions and the high fat cholesterol loaded Western diet is suspect. Continue reading “Permanent Weight Control: The Healthy Alternative”

Easy Fruit Butters: Fat-free, Sugar-free and Delectable!

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Fruit butter is a delightful treat that is wonderful on toast, muffins, waffles or pancakes and once took hours of slow cooking to produce the rich, velvety texture from fresh fruit. There is a better way to make these luscious spreads, which do a great job of replacing fatty butter or margarine.

High fat dairy products have more than artery clogging saturated fat and cholesterol on board. A number of environmental pollutants bioaccumulate, therefore the higher up you are eating on the food chain, the more concentrated the environmental toxins.1

There is not a drop of butter in fruit butter.  The name comes from the smooth, easy-spread consistency, much like room temperature butter. Traditional fruit butter recipes call for a full cup of sugar to two cups of fruit and were actually cooked twice. Not so with these terrific spreads! Continue reading “Easy Fruit Butters: Fat-free, Sugar-free and Delectable!”

New Study Suggests Vegan Diet Protects Against Pollution

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Dioxins are a class of industrial pollutants that accumulate in the fatty tissues of humans and food animals consumed by humans.  It is generally believed that the most significant exposure to DLCs [dioxin-like compounds such as PCBs] is from the dietary intake of animal and fish products.”1 But which animal products pose the greatest risk?

Every five years, the U.S. government measures the amount of toxic waste in our food supply and according to recent data from the Environmental Protection Agency, the consumption of eggs are second only to fish in levels of PCBs.2 This may explain the findings of a recent study, which found egg consumption to be associated with increased risk of numerous cancers, including of cancer of the upper digestive tract, colon, lung, breast, prostate, and bladder, among others. 3

Of all forms of cancer, egg consumption was most closely correlated with an increased risk of breast cancer. Those eating more than one-half egg a day were found to have nearly 3 times the risk of breast cancer as compared to those who avoid eggs entirely. Continue reading “New Study Suggests Vegan Diet Protects Against Pollution”

Increase Breast Cancer Survival Rate with Soy

Soyfoods Increase Breast Cancer Survival Rates

Eating Soy Boosts Breast Cancer Survival

Soy consumption for cancer patients has been the subject of some controversy. A new study has shown that breast cancer survivors who consume soyfoods reap important health benefits and found that eating soy can increase the rate of survival for breast cancer patients.

According to a recent report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), women diagnosed with breast cancer and who consume soyfoods, such as tofu, soymilk or edamame reduce their risk of recurrence by 32 percent. 1

Previous Research Refuted

Previous research had produced contradictory results with some studies suggesting that soyfoods reduce the risk of breast cancer and others that compounds unique to soy may help breast cancer cells to grow. Continue reading “Increase Breast Cancer Survival Rate with Soy”

Picnic Wraps

Photo: Joseph A. Garcia

Mention picnic and visions of blankets set out with colorful baskets filled with sandwiches, salads and lemonade comes to mind.

The picnic can be traced back to medieval times, when the ‘moveable feast’ was an elaborate outdoor banquet enjoyed by wealthy lords and nobleman.  These country banquets remained popular through the Renaissance era and continued on as the Victorian garden party, a popular social event that has turned into today’s informal al fresco dining.

A basket can make the perfect carrier and you can purchase baskets and backpacks fitted with everything from napkins, plates and flatware to wine glasses. However, a strong basket, tote or cooler will do and choosing something with a rectangular shape makes for a better fit. Continue reading “Picnic Wraps”

Creamy Curry Low-fat and Luscious

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Turmeric has a warm, peppery flavor and mild aroma reminiscent of orange and ginger. Active ingredients in turmeric are credited with numerous health benefits and studies suggest that this ancient spice has a great deal to contribute to western medicine.

Curries can have an intensity ranging from mild to spicy and are common fare in Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Persian and Malay dishes. Curried Brussels Sprouts and Baby Carrots is a luscious dish that features chunks of baby carrots, tart currants and quartered Brussels sprouts bathed in a silky curry sauce made without fatty ingredients like cream, butter or coconut milk. Continue reading “Creamy Curry Low-fat and Luscious”

Crock Pot Cookery: Enlightened Basque Stew

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Coming home to a fully cooked one-dish supper was once only possible if someone else cooked the meal for you. Crock Pots are especially popular with busy homemakers juggling family and career.

Anyone with a demanding lifestyle can appreciate the convenience of setting up the crock-pot in the morning when you leave for work and coming home to find dinner ready and waiting.

Meals made in a crock-pot are easy to assemble and dishes that improve from long simmering are the kind of meals that crock-pots were designed to do.  Stews are an obvious choice, as flavors deepen and sauces thicken during slow cooking.  You need only to adjust the seasonings before serving. Continue reading “Crock Pot Cookery: Enlightened Basque Stew”

Cut Your Risk of Cancer 50 percent!

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Photo Credit: Juan Carlo

Cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and kale are rich in unique compounds shown to increase the body’s resistance to many forms of cancer.

Like most vegetables, crucifers are a great source of fiber, nutrients and antioxidants, but what sets them apart from other vegetables is their exceptionally high level of a distinctive phytonutrient.

This class of vegetables contains the antioxident sulforaphane, which activates natural detoxifying enzymes in the liver that help neutralize potentially carcinogenic (cancer-causing) agents.1 It is the slicing, chopping or chewing of these crucifers, which activates the bioactive sulfur-containing compounds that impart a pungent aroma and distinctive taste.  Continue reading “Cut Your Risk of Cancer 50 percent!”

Green up your BBQ this 4th of July!

Backyard chefs believe that food cooked over an open fire is especially tasty because the juices stay concentrated in the middle and the surface becomes seared with smoky flavor. Cookouts may well be the quintessential summer pastime but they can also be surprisingly unhealthy, so consider your options before you fire up the grill this weekend.

Types of Grills

Charcoal: Burning charcoal briquettes pollutes the air around you. The smoky flavor in charcoal comes from charred wood and contributes to deforestation. Charcoal briquettes are made from sawdust bound with a type of glue and may also contain limestone, sodium nitrate and coal dust. Continue reading “Green up your BBQ this 4th of July!”

Organic Agave Nectar – Sweet!

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Agave (ah-GAH-vay) was cultivated for centuries by Native Americans for food, fiber and beverages. In Mexico’s arid central highlands agave nectar has been harvested from the blue agave plant, a succulent cactus best known as the plant used to make tequila.

The blue agave’s pineapple-shaped heart is covered with fleshy leaves that contain the sticky sweet syrup known as aguamiel or honey water south of the border.

Agave nectar has a low glycemic index (GI), the scale that ranks foods according to how they are metabolized in the body. Agave nectar is about 25 percent sweeter than table sugar, so a little goes a long way. Continue reading “Organic Agave Nectar – Sweet!”