Healthy Never Tasted So Good Chew on This… Cuz That Ain't Right

May 3, 2013

Cilantro Pesto Recipe… Detox

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Cilantro Pesto Detox

Cilantro

Cilanto

This Cilantro Pesto is an excellent detox for pulling out the excess toxic minerals out of the body’s cells and eliminating them from the body all together.

Healthylicious!

It is easy to make and tastes great. 

Try it on sourdough toast, pasta, rice or a baked potato for just a few ideas.

Two teaspoons of this  pesto daily for three weeks is purportedly enough to increase the urinary excretion of mercury, lead, iron, copper and aluminum, thus effectively removing these toxic metals from your body.

Learn more about the importance of detoxing the hidden minerals that cause an excess of unwanted minerals leading to a decline in mental ability by reading, “How Petroleum Products Degenerate the Brain and Promote Cancer”.

I recommend using this recipe for detox  for three weeks at least once a year. the optimum time based on the peak season for cilantro is during the cool early spring or fall.

sourdough_with_cilantro_pesto

Sourdough with Cilantro Pesto

CILANTRO PESTO RECIPE

  • 4 cloves garlic (viral and bacterial)
  • 1/3 cup Brazil nuts (selenium)
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds (cysteine)
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds (zinc, magnsium)
  • 2 cups packed fresh cilantro (detox)
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsley (detox)
  • 1/3 cup flaxseed oil (omega-3)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (omega-3)
  • 1/8 t turmeric (cancer prevention and brain enhancer)
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice (vitamin-C )
  • Bragg’s Liquid Aminos™

Process the cilantro, parsley, flax seed oil and coconut oil in a blender until finely chopped.

Add the garlic, nuts, and seeds, turmeric and lemon juice and mix until the mixture is finely blended into a puree paste.

Add a dash of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos to taste and blend again.

Store in dark glass jars.

This pesto freezes well, so purchase cilantro in season and fill enough jars to last through the year. You can also freeze in ice trays, pop out like ice cubes and store in freezer bags.

Health Disclaimer

All information in this post is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals and conduct their own independent research on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgment and research available to the authors at this time, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

June 14, 2012

How Can Sourdough Bread Be Healthier than Wheat?

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August 1st is Lamas Day

Aug. 1 is Lamas Day

Like everything else in the commercial world of making money, the push for some time now has been to eat more wheat bread because it is healthier for you. Well, just like the rest of the sheep out there, I was following the Pied Piper right over the proverbial cliff. However, just before getting to the edge and falling into the whole wheat abyss, I stumbled, hit my head and woke up with amnesia. Wondering where I was and how I got there, I began my quest to discover why I was listening to the tune “whole wheat.”

Every where I looked, the information pointed to whole wheat; flakes, cracked, bread, pasta and anything else that the industry thought the consumers would buy. One day I decided to deconstruct the process of making bread which lead me to how to make bread the way it used to be made. Kinda like going back to organic, homestead style.

pumpernickel bread

Pumpernickel Bread

To my surprise, I discovered; “SOURDOUGH AND PUMPERNICKEL IS HEALTHIER THAN WHEAT BREADS.” Would you like to know HOW sourdough bread is healthier than wheat bread?

It comes down to the very beginning process of how it is made and then how it is digested in your body.

First, How it’s made:

Sourdough bread making is centuries old. The process was created for preserving ans storing yeast for long periods. this sourdough starter was kept “alive” as the basis for making loaves of bread for travel or just at home. Believe it or not, some of today’s starters are centuries old  and have been handed down from generation to generation and friend to friend.  Hence, the word used to describe this bread at times as “friendship bread”.  Back to the bread.

You need flour and water  to create an environment for yeast to grow.  yeast is floating in the air all around us and just needs the proper environment to land and grow. Yeast is leavening agent, a single-cell fungus that breaks down the starches in the flour, forming sugar. This is fermentation. When the yeast works on the starch and sugar molecules, it gives off carbon dioxide gas and alcohol that makes the bread rise.

Difference between fresh sourdough bread and average store bought bread:

The big difference between sourdough bread and store bought is the source of the yeast. Most bakers today use pre-packaged yeast.  The yeast has been dried, preserved and formed into a powder. You add flour, water, sugar and salt to the yeast to make a loaf of bread. The water re-activates the yeast fungi, which feeds on the sugar and starch to make the bread rise.

Old fashioned sourdough bread works with yeast in a completely different way. Fresh sourdough yeast fungi are  kept alive continuously a starter medium. You can either capture wild yeast that floats in the air as described above to create starter from scratch or get a cup of active starter from a friend.

It is this  starter that gives sourdough bread its distinctive taste…

Sourdough Starter with Cheese Cloth

Sourdough Starter with Cheese Cloth

The yeast causes a lactic acid fermentation process that not only helps to preserve the sourdough bread, but increases its nutritional value by:

  • pre-digesting starches, making the bread more easily digestible
  • lowering insulin response/improving glucose tolerance
  • protecting Vitamin B1 from the damage of the heat of baking
  • breaking down gluten, which may result in a bread that gluten-sensitive people can eat
  • activating phytase to hydrolyze (dissolve) the phytates, thus freeing up minerals such as:
    • zinc
    • iron
    • magnesium
    • copper
    • phosphorus

Sourdough rye is the most nutritious of them all, because it has more phytase activity and thus even fewer phytates in the finished product to bind to your minerals. I just love that the traditional phrase “sourdough rye” turns out to be scientifically proven as the healthiest bread. Somehow our ancestors figured out all the good stuff without the benefit of labs!

Prof. Terry Graham and his team of researchers at the Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences found that eating sourdough bread for breakfast had a profound positive effect on digesting your breakfast as well as on digesting your lunch even though the bread was consumed hours prior.  The enzymes in the bread created during fermentation changes the nature of the starches in the bread, creating a more beneficial bread.  This is is also promising to assist overweight people in losing weight.

According to and article in Keeper of the Home, sourdough bread is rated 68 on the Glycemic Index (GI) whereas other breads are rated 100.

According to Mark Sircus Ac., OMD, International Medical Veritas Association, sourdough bread as “the staff of life,” for it enhances the entire immune system. He further suggests that sourdough bread can stop the growth of cancer without killing it.

REFERENCES:

Health Benefits of  Sourdough Bread

Sourdough Bread Has Most health Benefits

Sourdough Bread and Health

Honest Pumpernickel Bread

 

Health Disclaimer http://www.mamavega.com and http://www.mamavega.com/blog

All information in this article is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals and conduct their own independent research on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgment and research available to the authors at this time, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

 

How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

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Count Every Penny… They Add Up

To Eat healthy is a life-style, not a choice. Eating healthy is a conscious decision made with every meal prepared and everything we consume. Education is the key; knowledge is power. It is more important to learn how to fish than it is for someone to give you a fish. Once you learn how to fish, you can get as many fish as you can catch. Learn how to grow your own food, shop for best quality and prices and cook nutritious meals.

To eat healthy foods, especially without preservatives and additives tastes better, provides you with more nutrition and promotes better brain functioning and overall health. Better brain functioning allows you to think more clearly and better health gives you more stamina and energy. Maintaining a healthier life-style can reduce your overall medical bills saving you additional money as well. Money saved is money earned that can be used to eat healthy foods.

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Suggestions for parents to eat healthy:

  1. put pre-cut fruits and vegetables in containers with cold water in the refrigerator so kids have easy access for snacks,
  2. have children use child safety scissors to cut coupons for fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, whole-grain cereal (both you and the child benefit; save money and better health),
  3. for younger children, you pre-cut the coupons and the child has to match the picture with the product in the store,
  4. shop Wednesday and Thursday when most stores run additional specials,
  5. buy what is in season, Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables, Seasonal Fish
  6. buy frozen if not fresh not canned it has preservatives and water which you are also paying for unnecessarily,
  7. shop at ethnic stores (Asian, Indian, Hispanic, etc) prices are generally cheaper and fresher for items used in their daily cooking, also often sold in bulk so you can decide how much to buy rather than buyer prepackaged,
  8. shop Farmer’s Markets
  9. prepare and cook using the stove not the microwave, nutrition is retained and overall texture and flavor is better,
  10. take a cooking class that also teaches nutrition, food combining and budgeting
  11. search YouTube for visual answers, we learn better wen we see it but even better when we do it ourselves,
  12. Mindful Eats has additional suggestions,
  13. Repurpose  and Upcycle leftovers (food recipes),
  14. check out Eating Healthy Because of Food Stamps,
  15. check out How to Eat When You’re Really Broke ,
  16. If you need more assistance contact Food Assistance, USA Family.

Health Disclaimer http://www.mamavega.com

All information in this article is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals and conduct their own independent research on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgment and research available to the authors at this time, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

June 12, 2012

Diet Soda… Drink Liquid Poison

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Aspartame_Kid

Aspartame Kid

Recently, one of the students from CSUB asked to shadow me as part of her university course requirements for nutrition. I agreed. Last week, the student shared with me her personal experiences after drinking a diet soda. I asked her to provide me with a writeup as part of her work. She shared with me the article written below and I am submitting the article under guest writer.

Guest Writer: Amanda Anderson, CSUB

Diet soda sounds like heaven on Earth for those who are trying to cut calories. What price would you be willing to pay though to cut a few calories out of your daily caloric intake, especially if you have been told that would help you lose weight when you are overweight?

 A few years ago, I was an avid diet soda drinker thinking that I was making a healthier intelligent choice.  However, when my doctor said that I was dehydrated, I started to drink water and cranberry juice on occasion. For a few years, I mostly drank water and cranberry juice.  I was very surprised to get a better feeling. I felt like I had more energy than I did when I drank all of the caffeine I had consumed with the diet soda.  I continued to drink more water with the occasional cranberry juice because I knew I had to stay hydrated and the water was doing just that. 

Recently, while I was at a friend’s house, this past weekend, she had offered me a diet soda.  Not giving much thought to it at the time,  I figured that one diet soda (12 ounce can) wouldn’t hurt and so I drank it.  As I already said, I had been drinking just water and cranberry juice so a soda might be a welcome change just to have something different.  Within a couple hours I had the worst headache imaginable and for the entire weekend I was nauseous and hungry to the point I could not get satisfied.  For some reason, despite my upset stomach, I felt like I needed to eat and I craved fatty foods.  I would imagine to a lesser degree, this is probably what an addict must go through. It seems as though in that short period of time with just one 12 ounce can, I was addicted. During the weekend, I didn’t think that it was the diet soda, but then after I analyzed what I ate, how I felt and the cravings I had never had before in addition to  all of the food and drinks I had consumed, the soda  was the only variable that had changed from my normal typical diet.  

What are millions of people putting into their bodies? If you have a diet coke bottle around you, read the ingredients. Other than carbonated water, do any of the ingredients sound natural or safe?  Do you know what the ingredients/chemicals are doing to your body? I didn’t think so.  The primary culprit for these reactions in the ingredient list is aspartame, which is linked to many detrimental health effects on the human body especially the brain.  According to certified nutritionist Dr. Janet Hull, aspartame is correlated with 100 side effects, including: confusion, slurring of speech, headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, depression, aggression, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, irritability, nausea, abdominal pain, and peptic ulcers (Livestrong). Hopefully you have lost your craving for diet soda by now. Diet soda is not safe for your body and the only fluid, in my opinion, one should be drinking is water. Water is completely natural and with a splash of lemon juice can also be quite delicious. Enjoy your summer with some ice water and leave the coca cola at the store!

REFERENCES:

Aspartame and Neurological Side Efffects

The Effects of Aspartame on Health

Aspartame – Anxiety, Depression and Suicide Among Children

Aspartame consumption Is Never Safe

Aspartame Causes Birth Defects and Mental Retardation

 

Health Disclaimer http://www.mamavega.com and http://www.mamavega.com/blog

All information in this article is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals and conduct their own independent research on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgment and research available to the authors at this time, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

 

June 5, 2012

How Healthy is the Egg; Free Range ?

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Real Free Range Chickens:

 There has been and will undoubtedly continue to be much discussion about the egg.  No, I do not mean “which came first, the chicken or the egg!” I just want to talk about the egg not the chicken.

You ask, “how healthy is a free range, cage free egg? First, you must understand what the terms mean and how you can be hoodwinked by the grocery stores and end up paying more for what you thought you understood free range and cage free to mean.

The Egg cartons in the grocery stores that have the word “cagefree or cage free” means the chickens were not in a cage. However, they ARE in a building shielded from the sun and obtaining necessary vitamin-D for health. When you have a lot of chickens in a confined space, a lot of dropping become accumulated and the chickens are not human, so they walk, run, fall and even lay their eggs wherever.

Cagefree, You decide!

 

Free range chickens are free to roam the fields and live in a more natural state. Generally, the accumulation of droppings is more spread out therefore, the potential to lay the egg in the droppings is greatly reduced. That is not to say it may not happen, but it is less likely.

When chickens are either in cages or in restricted buildings, the potential for disease transmission is also increased because of the close quarters and increased concentration of droppings (litter treatment options are available).  Also, remember the egg shells are porous and will absorb liquids and lots of other things making them unhealthy.

Chickens that are free range and cage free are in the sun and just like humans, they adsorb vitamin-D. The overall health benefit of vitamin-D is another blog (see short video below), but I am sure you have some idea of the benefits; bones, immune system, mood, weight etc.  Well, if the chicken is in better health, the egg produced by the chicken is a healthier egg.

Compare a store bought, 30+ days old egg before it gets to the store to a free range egg.

I am fortunate enough to be able to get my free range eggs from a friend who breeds all kinds of fowl and treats them like her children.  She has even named them all and can tell you their personalities.  Currently, she has over twenty-five (25) different types of eggs I can get; chicken, quail, duck, geese, turkey and pheasant is what I can remember right now. They come is all shapes, colors, sizes and textures.

If you want to breed your own free range chickens, here are some tips she told me about to get your fowl to produce the healthiest eggs:

  1. keep them happy,
  2. do not debeak them,
  3. let them be free range in a natural field,
  4. make them nesting boxes,
  5. feed them scrap + oyster shell + the egg laying pellets and no growth hormones,
  6. give them minerals and vitamins to replace minerals and vitamins lost during the laying season, yes, when they are left to nature taking its course, they have a season and it is not always year round although some may choose to do so,
  7. feed them rice sauteed with grape seed oil + fresh vegetables,
  8. in the winter – add cayenne to their feed to keep them warm and bug free,
  9. in the summer – add garlic powder to their feed to keep them bug free,
  10. talk to them,
  11. thank them for the egg they let you take.

In the end,  the egg you get will the following nutritional values and health benefits:

  1. a deep vibrant yellow-orange firmer creamier yolk that looks like the sun and is high in beta carotene (vitamin-A),
  2. 6 times the vitamin-D as factory store bought eggs,
  3. 4 times the vitamin-E as factory store bought eggs,
  4. 33% less cholesterol as factory store bought eggs,
  5. 25% less saturated fat as factory store bought eggs,
  6. 2 times the omega-3 as factory store bought eggs,
  7. 2 eggs virtually satisfy the RDV of vitamin-D,
  8. does not have any more calories, but 3 times the nutritional value as factory store bought eggs,

Just like humans, fowls “are what they eat”. Food, sun (vitamin-D) and exercise plays a major  role here also. The varied diet  and open air and sun promotes better nutrition for the chicken as well as the egg produced.  As explained in the video above vitamin-D is critical to being healthy.  Apply what is said in the video to fowl.

Additional health promoting benefits of eating free range and cage free eggs are:

  1. better hair,
  2. better nails,
  3. better brain function – omega-3,
  4. better for your heart – omega-3,
  5. better immune system because you are getting local, within your environment,
  6. reduces inflammation,
  7. promotes weight loss,
  8. prevents blood clots,
  9. protects eyes from degeneration,
  10. may prevent breast cancer,
  11. less chances of salmonella.

Open Range Eggs:

 

There is probably more that could be added, but this is all I know. That being said, may I suggest you seek to find a local hatchery that is free range and start getting your eggs. Yes, they are more expensive than the store bought eggs to purchase, but it’s like using “food as preventative medicine”.  Take into consideration what went into taking care of the particular fowl to make sure you are getting a quality product. Therefore, in the long run, it’s cheaper, you are healthier and you will be supporting a local sustainable farmer and his/her family.

Nutrition Consultations Available: Choices N* Nutrition

RECIPES:

Healthy Egg Recipes

101 Cookbooks

Preserving Eggs for the Long Term

REFERENCES:

Nutrition In Eggs WHFoods.com

Nutritional Foods for the Body Mind and Soul

Egg Handling 101

Organic Eggs vs Free Range or Cage Free and Alternatives

WebMD Are Some Eggs Safer Than Others?

Medicine.net: Nutritionists Take a Look at Eggs

Eat Wild.com: Health Benefits of Grass-Fed Products

LiveStrong.com: Health Benefits of Eggs

Shape.com: Ask the Diet Doctor

 

Health Disclaimer http://www.MamaVega.com and http://www.HealthyNeverTastedSoGood.com

All information in this article is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals and conduct their own independent research on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgment and research available to the authors at this time, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

June 3, 2012

How to Reduce HBP with Fresh Fish

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http://www.fatsoflife.com/images/Omega3_in_fish.gif

Earlier today I received a text from a friend wanting to know if I knew where she could get bonito fish because she was told it would help her with her high blood pressure (HBP). I told her I was not sure, perhaps in one of the Asian Markets because I understood it to be a fish used a lot in Japan.  However, I cautioned her that if this fish was from the waters in Japan and she should be cautious. Apparently, there have been blue fin tuna fish migrating to the shores of California from the waters off Japan with ten (10) times the normal radioactivity level as a result of the Fukushima Diaichii Nuclear Reactor Incident last year.  The reason the bonito fish is used for HBP is because of its DHA Omega-3 (310 mg).  However, there are other fish with higher levels of DHA Omega-3.   Just like we have seasonal produce, fish are seasonal as well and the nutritional value is better at different times of the year.  Additionally, there are some fish within the same species that would have more of a given nutrient than others. Usually the price in the store is an indicator of a higher nutritional value concentration. After a bit of research, I was able to gather the information that follows: The American Heart Association recommends eating fish (particularly fatty fish such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and salmon) at least 2 times a week.

Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.  Several clinical studies suggest that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids lower blood pressure in people with hypertension.

Fish oilhas been shown to lower levels of triglycerides (fats in the blood), and to lower the risk of death, heart attack (and HBP), stroke, and abnormal heart rhythms in people who have already had a heart attack. Fish oil also appears to help prevent and treat atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) by slowing the development of plaque and blood clots, which can clog arteries.

Deep frying fatty fish is the way to protect  DHA Omega-3 oils  from leaking out because the protein of egg and flour can become barriers to prevent outflow of these oils.. Instead of deep frying, try baking with some form of a coating to seal in the Omega-3.

Tuna Fish at Monterey Bay Aquarium

Tuna Fish – Click for Nutritional

Although the blue fin tuna off the coast of California has been determined to be radioactive (supposedly this 10 times the norm is no problem), fishermen in Gloucester, MA catch them off the Atlantic Ocean. Tuna season is approximately from April through November. However in Louisiana off the Gulf Coast, tuna is fished year round. Fresh tuna fish has the highest DHA Omega-3 of fish (2880 mg/serving).   http://www.tunahunter.com/

Salmon Fish © B. Guild Gillespie/www.chartingnature.com Salmon – Click the fish for nutritional information.

Salmon season is from May – Sept, Oct, or Nov depending on the boundaries (Oregon/CA, US/Mexico-Monterey, San Francisco). It has the third highest DHA Omega-3 (820 mg /serving).

Wild Alaska salmon is a high-quality source of protein and vitamins – including D, B6, B12 and selenium –as well as an excellent source for the omega-3 fatty acids that support brain and heart health.

“The abundance forecast of Sacramento River fall Chinook in 2012 is 819,400, far above the number needed for optimum spawning this fall (122,000-180,000 fish),” according to the PFMC. “The Klamath River fall Chinook forecast for 2012 is about four times greater than average and the highest forecast on record since 1985.”

Read more: http://www.appeal-democrat.com/articles/fishing-115216-coast-county.html#ixzz1wIo1XaUb

  •  King (Chinook) – Alaska’s largest salmon fish species, king salmon are prized for the high oil content that make this firm fish exceptionally flavorful

  •     Sockeye (Red) – Alaska’s second-most abundant fish species is known for its distinctive red meat color and full flavor
  •     Coho (Silver) – Alaska’s second-largest salmon species is low in saturated fat and mild in flavor
  •     Keta (Chum) – The firmest of Alaska’s salmon species, keta salmon have a lower oil content and mild flavor, perfect for cooking at gentler temperatures.
  •     Pink – The most abundant and affordable of Alaska’s salmon species is commonly seen in cans and pouches, but is also increasingly available in fish fillets

Visit Wild Alaska Flavor for dozens of healthy, delicious recipes as well as ideas for easy and affordable ways to enjoy wild Alaska salmon at home.

Recipe: Panko Crusted Salmon Croquettes

 

Mackerel Fish

Mackerel – Click for Nutritional

After having a difficult time finding mackerel here in central California, I finally discovered its season is December through February and is abundant on the east coast. However, I was able to find it in the can. Mackerel has the second highest DHA Omega-3 (1780 mg/serving).

 

Bonito

According to Wikipedia, Bonito is a name given to various species of medium-sized, predatory fish in the Scombridae family. Bonito can be found in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In Japanese cuisine, bonito refers to the skipjack tuna (a species of mackerel) . The bonito has a moderate fat content whereas the previously mentioned fish have a much higher fat content resulting in a higher DHA Omega 3 (319 mg/serving.

I should mention sardines have 1140 mg/serving of DHA Omega-3.  These little tikes pack a powerful punch so do not overlook them in your diet.

Links to federal salt water fish regulation on fish http://www.scottsbt.com/fishids/regsrecs/regsFED.htm

Food Recipes (Fish):

Fresh Tuna Recipes                                                                   Fresh Mackerel Recipes

Fresh Salmon Recipes                                                              Fresh Bonito Recipes

Omega-3 DHA and Omega-3 EPA are largely derived from fish oils, with ...

 

Fats account for over 50% of the brain and Omega-3 DHA represents 30% of brain matter.  The highest concentration of Omega-3 DHA in the human body is in the retina. Therefore, fish is definitely a food everyone should have in their diet to maintain brain power and eye sight.

Omega-3 DHA is an essential component of breast milk, and newborn babies utilise Omega-3 DHA for brain, nerve and eye tissue development.

Monterey Bay Seafood Watch Pocket Guide

Finally, in my quest to garner this information, I discovered that although the Mackerel fish is seasonal, it can be ordered in some meat/fish departments here in California because it is considered a throw away fish and used for bait. The general cost is on $1.99 per pound fresh.  After checking the isles where tuna is kept, I found 15 oz cans of mackerel for $1.89 in water and salt. In this economy, this is definitely better pricing than salmon or tuna to get the same Omega-3 benefits.

It may take a bit of looking, but you can eat healthy and economically. Healthy Never Tasted So Good!

Health Disclaimer http://www.mamavega.com and http://www.mamavega.com/blog

All information in this article is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals and conduct their own independent research on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgment and research available to the authors at this time, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

May 26, 2012

Recipes: Ingredients for Healthy Grillin

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It’s “Grillin Time!”  You ask: What about the carcinogens? How can I tenderize the meats? What will help my system digest the meats and proteins? Are there any good marinade suggestions or recipes?

Carcinogens

When meats are grilled, carcinogens are created. Unlike meat, vegetables don’t create carcinogens when they char.  Scientists have come up with ways you can dramatically reduce the hazard of carcinogens in grilled meat.  according to Fitness and Freebies, scientists have come up with ways to reduce carcinogens in grilled foods. the following are a few of those suggestions:

  • Flip your burgers often. By turning burgers once a minute and cooking them over a low heat you reduce HCAs and kill potentially deadly E. Coli bacteria. In addition, use a meat thermometer to make sure the meat reaches 160 degrees. This is the temperature needed to deactivate E. coli. The appearance of the meat being brown does not mean it is thoroughly cooked.
  • Use the right marinade. Marinate raw meat in a thin, liquid sauce for at least ten minutes. When thick commercial sauces are used, the HCAs triple. Dilute thick sauces.
  • Microwave first. Partially cook burgers, poultry, ribs and fish in a microwave oven for at least ten minutes before grilling. Be sure you discard juices when done. By practicing this procedure, you eliminate 90-percent of HCAs.
  • Add anti-cancer soy. Mix 1/2-cup of textured soy protein into a pound of ground meat before grilling. This cuts 95-percent of the expected HCAs in burgers without affecting taste.
  • Enhance with vitamin E . Add vitamin E to raw meat grinders. 120 milligrams of vitamin E powder mixed into or sprinkled on 3.5-ounce patties can reduce HCA formation as much as 72-percent. You can use a capsule of vitamin and crack it open for contents.
  • Try a fruit burger. This will not be for everyone but the fact is if you mix a pound of ground meat with a cup of tart, ground cherries before grilling, you suppress 90-percent of HCA formation. Other deep -colored fruits rich in antioxidants work as well. These include grapes, blueberries, and plums.
  • Add garlic and herbs. Garlic, rosemary and sage reduce HCAs when mixed into burgers. In addition, use them in marinades or just eat them in a meal with grilled meat. Antioxidants in citrus fruits also block HCAs.
  • Do not order meat very well-done. The longer you cook meat at high temperatures the more HCAs you produce. This applies in grilling, broiling and frying. If you cook a steak well done as opposed to medium-well, you double HCAs.
  • Drink tea with your barbecue. Chemicals in black and green tea help detoxify HCAs. Hot or iced tea from bags or loose tea is what you want to drink. Bottled teas or powdered, instant teas are not beneficial. If you wish, you can also marinate meat, poultry and fish in concentrated tea. Let the tea bag steep in 1/4-cup of hot water for five minutes.
  • Skip meat entirely and grill greens. Fruits and vegetables do not contain creatine, the animal protein needed to make HCAs. Pineapple and peppers are very good when grilled. In addition, eating fruits, vegetables and green salads along with barbecued meat lessens the cancer hazard.

 

Tenderize:

Below are a few natural ingredients to tenderize meats:

  1. fresh raw unripened papaya contains an enzyme, papain, which breaks down the meat’s connective tissue when it comes in contact with the meat; red meat is the preferred meat to tenderize this way
  2. fresh pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that is  anti-inflammatory and aids digestion
  3. Asian pears – when cooked used to tenderize meats
  4. fig – has the enzyme called ficin which breaks down both muscle fiber protein and both types of connective tissue fibers.
  5. kiwi – contains a sulfhydryl protease enzyme,  acitinidin which mildly tenderizes when over ripe kiwi is used
  6. kachri melon – contains the enzyme called  cucumin, tenderize spent hen meat, tough sheep and buffalo meat successfully,
  7. ginger – contains a protease enzyme, zingibain, acts on the collagen and actomyosin of meat which contributes to the tenderness of meat.

    Papain Characteristics

    If you score the skin of a raw Papaya with knife, the fruit will exude a milky white substance known as the latex that contains Papain.  The Papain enzyme activity depends on two factors: pH factor, and the temperature.

    Effect of the pH factor

    pH for optimal Papain activity: 6.0-7.0

    The enzyme is active when the pH factor is neutral (pH = 7) to slightly acid (pH = 6). The pH of most of the meats is neutral to slightly acid.

    Effect of temperature

    Temperature for optimal Papain activity: 149 °F
    Inactive Papain: 170°F to 185 °F
    Active Papain Range: 140 °F to 160 °F

    If you just store the meat with the papaya paste in the refrigerator, it will do nothing to tenderize meat. It starts to become active at 140 °F, slows down at 170 °F, and dies at 185 °F.

  8. yogurt –  this is the preferred ingredient to tenderize chicken,

Preparing Yogurt Marinate

The live culture, fat, and lactic acid are the key components of yogurt that help with tenderizing.

In Punjab, Tandoori spices are added to yogurt to enhance flavor.

Tandoori Marinate Chicken / Seafood

– As a minimum, the marinate should include salt

– Add tomatoes to increase the acid

– Add Ginger for enzymes

– Add oil to increase the fat

How long to marinate meat?

It depends on pH factor, temperature, fats, type of meat. Marinating also infuses the flavors in the meat. I use the following table.

Seafood: 30 minutes at room temperature

Chicken/ lamb :  8 to 12 hours in the refrigerator

Chicken/ lamb :  4 to six hours at room temperature

Digestion of meats:

Ingredients that assist with the digestion of meats as well as they have other health benefits:

  1. garlic – antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic,
  2. pineapple – contains bromelain, an enzyme that is  anti-inflammatory and aids digestion
  3. ginger – ease digestive complaints and nausea
  4. turmeric – combined with parsley aids digestion, cancer preventative, stimulates the gall bladder to release bile, a substance that helps fat digestion
  5. peppermint – causes the muscles of the stomach to relax, allowing food to move into the intestines faster and digestive gases to be passed,
  6. anise – member of the parsley family, aids digestion, reduces gas, naturally promote breast milk,
  7. basil – has flavonoids (which provide protection at the cellular level), anti-bacterial properties that inhibit several species of pathogenic bacteria – which have been shown to be resistant to commonly used antibiotics.
  8. black pepper – increase circulation, regulate blood pressure, reduces pain during joint movement, during digestion,  helps reduce free radicals and prevents the useless breakdown of vitamin A,
  9. cinnamon – mild energy boost, relieves abdominal spasms and gas,
  10. fennel – works well with cinnamon. Fennel is a also a good source of niacin, calcium. vitamin C, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and copper.
  11. lemon peel
  12. parsley –  combined with turmeric aids digestion, three times as much vitamin-C as oranges, double the calcium as broccoli,
  13. cardamom – aid to digestion, stimulates metabolism and  has aphrodisiac properties.
  14. coriander – vitamin C, coriander is also believed to help reduce swelling and cholesterol levels, and eliminate mouth ulcers, anemia and menstrual disorders.
  15. dill – rich in minerals, vitamin C and flavonoids; one tablespoon has more calcium than 1/3 cup of milk.
  16. bay (laurel) leaf –  also beneficial in treating migraines and diabetes,
  17. oregano – antibacterial  inhibit the growth of many kinds of bacteria, including those that can cause food borne illnesses.
  18. rosemary – improve memory, treat colds, headaches, nervous tension and as an antispasmodic

Marinades and Recipes:

Teriyaki Sauce

One garlic of clove
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
Mix all. Pour over meat, fish or poultry. Marinate at least ten minutes. 1-cup


Turmeric Garlic Marinade

2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 cup orange juice
Mix all. Pour over meat, fish or poultry and marinate at least ten minutes. 1/2 cup.


Rosemary Tea Marinade

1/2 cup concentrated tea (two bags brewed in 1/2 cup hot water for five minutes)
1 teaspoon crushed rosemary
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons soy sauce
Add rosemary, garlic, honey and soy sauce to hot tea. Cool slightly. Pour over steaks, ribs, burgers, chicken or fish. Marinate at least ten minutes. 1/2 cup.

Preparing Papaya or Pineapple Tenderizer Paste

Raw Papaya

1. Peel green skin up about 1/8th to ¼” deep off the raw papaya or pineapple or combination of both.

2. Add ¼ teaspoon of salt per two Tablespoons of Papaya.

3. Grind to a paste. You need 2 Tablespoon of Papaya paste for one pound of meat.

Preparing Yogurt Marinate

The live culture, fat, and lactic acid are the key components of yogurt that help with tenderizing.

In Punjab, Tandoori spices are added to yogurt to enhance flavor.

Tandoori Marinate Chicken / Seafood

– As a minimum, the marinate should include salt

– Add tomatoes to increase the acid

– Add Ginger for enzymes

– Add oil to increase the fat

 

How long to marinate meat?

It depends on pH factor, temperature, fats, type of meat. Marinating also infuses the flavors in the meat. I use the following table.

Seafood: 30 minutes at room temperature

Chicken/ lamb :  8 to 12 hours in the refrigerator

Chicken/ lamb :  4 to six hours at room temperature

Health Disclaimer http://www.mamavega.com and http://www.mamavega.com/blog

All information in this article is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals and conduct their own independent research on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgment and research available to the authors at this time, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

May 24, 2012

Why Eat Coconut Butter not Cow Butter?

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Chinese Proverb: When someone shares something of value with you and you benefit from it, you have a  moral obligation to share it with  others..

I am passing on to you what has been shared with me!

 

According to Bruce Fife, ND, author of The Healing Miracles of Coconut Oil: “Coconut oil is in essence, a natural antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antiprotozoal food.”
Coconut oil becomes a solid below 78 degrees Fahrenheit. In the solid state, coconut oil is called coconut butter. Coconut oil and coconut butter is actually the same thing.

Coconut butter is a raw saturated fat that contains no cholesterol and does not elevate bad (LDL) cholesterol levels.  Unlike other oil/butters, coconut butter is stable up to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.  Dr. Peat recommends increasing one’s coconut butter intake for women with hormone imbalances.

Recommended daily intake: 1 to 4 tablespoons.

  • Improves digestion.
  • Provides quick energy.
  • Improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose.
  • Relieves stress on the pancreas and enzyme systems of the body.
  • Can be easily absorbed and utilized by those who have trouble digesting fats or who have gallbladder disease.
  • Improves calcium and magnesium absorption for the development of strong bones and teeth.
  • Aids in the absorption of minerals and fat-soluble vitamins.
  • Is lower in calories than any other fat.
  • Supports thyroid function.
  • Supports and aids the immune system.
  • Helps protect against disease-causing bacteria, viruses, yeast, fungi, and parasites.
  • Is heart healthy; does not increase blood cholesterol or platelet stickiness.
  • Does not create free radicals like other vegetable oils and is stable under cooking temperatures.
  • Helps protect the body from free-radical damage.
  • Helps you to look and feel younger.
  • Makes skin smooth and soft.
  • Reduces the need for essential fatty acids.
  • Does not deteriorate like polyunsaturated oils so has a long shelf life.

STORAGE:

Coconut butter should be stored in a cool, dark area. It can be refrigerated after opening, but this is not required to insure freshness and the label usually suggests not to refrigerate. All butters and oils are light-sensitive, they should be sealed in black containers to insure no light penetrates the container and damages the oil.

In a nut shell, no pun intended. These are just a few reasons why you should switch to eating coconut butter and not dairy butter or margarine. Most coconut butters are organic and do not contain remnants of vaccines like those found in milk taken from cows that had been injected with bacteria killing vaccines. The dairy industry at the penning of this blog has no intention to stop these injections or the Bovine Growth Hormone, rBGH.

Source:  Fats and Oils: Formulating and Processing for Applications, Richard D. O’Brien 1998

NOTE: Some margarines are no longer processed with hydrogenation.

Finally, regarding margarine, it was originally manufactured to fatten turkeys.  When it killed the turkeys, the people who had put all the money into the research wanted a payback so they put their heads together to figure out what to do with this product to get their money back.

It was a white substance with no food appeal so they added the yellow coloring and sold it to people to use in place of butter.  How do you like it?  They have come out with some clever new flavorings.

DO YOU KNOW: The difference between margarine and butter?

  1. Both have approximately the same amount of calories.
  2. Butter is slightly higher in saturated fats at 8 grams; compared to 5 grams for margarine.
  3. Eating margarine can in crease heart disease in women by 53% over eating the same amount of butter, according to a recent  Harvard  Medical Study.
  4. Eating butter increases the absorption of many other nutrients in other foods.
  5. Butter has many nutritional benefits where margarine has a few and
    only  because  they are added!
  6. Butter tastes much better than margarine and it can enhance the flavors of other foods.
  7. Butter has been around for centuries where margarine has been around for less than 100 years.

And now, back to margarine.

  1. Very High in Trans fatty acids. 
  2. Triples risk of coronary heart disease.
  3. Increases total cholesteroland LDL(this is the bad cholesterol) and lowers HDL cholesterol, (the good cholesterol)
  4. Increases  the risk of cancers up to five times..
  5. Lowers quality of breast milk.
  6. Decreases the immune response.
  7. Decreases the insulin response...  And, Margarine is merely ONE  MOLECULE away  from being PLASTIC… and shares 27 ingredients with PAINT

These facts alone should be enough to have you avoid margarine for life  and anything else that is hydrogenated (this means hydrogen is  added,  changing the molecular structure of the  substance).

Do your own Experiment, Here you go!

Purchase  a tub of margarine and leave it open in your garage or shaded  area.  Within a couple of days you will notice a couple of things:

*  no flies, not even those pesky fruit flies will go near it  (that should tell you something)

*  it does not rot or smell differently because it has no nutritional value; nothing will grow on it.  Even those teeny-weeny microorganisms will not a find a home to grow.  Why?   Because it is nearly plastic.

  Would you melt your Tupperware and spread that on your toast?

Give the multi-purpose coconut butter a try~! …

Healthy Never Tasted So Good

Health Disclaimer http://www.mamavega.com

All information in this article is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals and conduct their own independent research on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgment and research available to the authors at this time, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

 

May 22, 2012

Fries… How to Cook Homemade

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There are several foods that autistic individuals are drawn to and even crave with French fries at the top of the list. However, this “can’t live without” vegetable when fried, roasted, grilled or fried at high temperatures creates acrylamides a toxic human carcinogen that is detrimental to the brain. Given autism is a neurological disorder, these fried vegetables inhibit normal brain function resulting in adversely impacting the forward growth and development of the autistic individual.

Here is what you can do to minimize the toxic affects and hopefully transition the individual to more healthy food choices. Try substituting foods that will have similar tastes and textures. In the meantime, follow the destarching and baking instructions below. This is not a quick process, but isn’t the health of you and your loved one worth the time?

This method should be used with high starch vegetables (beans, peas, corn etc) which are usually root vegetables (yams, potatoes, beets, jicama, etc )

Destarching reduces the toxic human carcinogen acrylamides    by 23% by washing, 35% by soaking 30 minutes and 48% by soaking 2 hours.

Below is how to destarch before beginning the cooking process:

  1. Using a vegetable brush and clean water with a few drops of Clorox or vegetable cleaner, scrub the outside of the vegetables,
  2. cut in strips so they resemble French fries,
  3. as you are cutting the strips, place them in a bowl of ice water,
  4. soak in the ice water for twenty (30) minutes,
  5. scoop the vegetables out of this water making sure to leave all this water behind,
  6. put the vegetables in another bowl of clean ice water,
  7. refrigerate for 2 hours making sure the vegetables are covered with cold water,
  8. remove from refrigerator and pat dry,
  9. vegetables are now ready to bake or fry; baking is my recommendation as it is healthier and any acrylamides produced will be half those created by frying provided the baking temperature is less than what you would use in frying.

Cooking:

  1. Put cut vegetables in boiling water (approximately 170 degrees),
  2. blanch for 3-4 minutes,
  3. remove from water, towel dry and cool for 30 minutes,
  4. spray a baking sheet with a nonstick spray,
  5. at this point some people will put in a bag with corn starch and coat to get extra crispy, but this coating will add to the level of acrylamides which has been  reduced in the destarching process,
  6. place cut vegetables on the sheet in a single layer,
  7. drizzle lightly with olive oil, grape seed oil or coconut oil,
  8. toss with your hands to make sure well coated,
  9. bake at 300 degrees for approximately 2 minutes (very lightly brown, pale),
  10. remove from oven, cool 30 minutes,
  11. put in the freezer for one (1) hour
  12. if you are not going to finish cooking at this point, put in freezer bags to finish cooking later,
  13. if you are going to finish cooking, bake at 375 degrees until the desired browning is attained, approximately 4-5 minutes,
  14. to assist your body with breaking down the remaining carbs, starches and sugars, toss with pureed garlic and onion, fresh ground rosemary and finely chopped Italian parsley
  15. Enjoy without ketchup as it has added sugar and would undermine all your efforts to produce this healthy snack.

For more details on why it is important to destarch, read our post: “How to Destarch High Carb Vegetables”

Health Disclaimer http://www.mamavega.com

All information in this article is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals and conduct their own independent research on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgment and research available to the authors at this time, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

May 20, 2012

How to Destarch High Carb Vegetables

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What are high carb (carbohydrate) starchy vegetables and why do we want to destarch them?

High starch vegetables are vegetables that are high in carb (carbohydrates) and sugars and low in protein.  Some high starch vegetables are: corn, potatoes, beans, peas, yams, and many other root vegetables (vegetables that grow under the ground). High starch vegetables generally contain 80% – 90% carbohydrates  of their nutritional value with 20% indigestible starch.

There are several health and nutritional reasons we should destarch these vegetables before consuming. First, reducing the starch content reduces sugars that lead to increased potential for diabetes, obesity, and other diseases.  the body uses carbohydrates and sugars for energy, but the unused carbohydrates that have been consumed  gets stored and converts to fat.  Reduction in carbohydrate (sugar) intake can prevent rapid rises and falls in blood sugar, which can cause irritability and difficulty concentrating.

“These high carb (carbohydrate) vegetable  cells are held together by pectin, a form of sugar that acts as a type of glue. These cells also contain starch granules—tiny sacs that resemble water balloons, as well as simple sugars. When these starch granules are exposed to water and heat, they begin to swell, eventually bursting, and releasing a shower of swollen starch molecules. ” (www.seriouseats.com)

Why do we want to destarch high carbohydrate vegetables before consuming? Vegetables rich in starch and sugar and low in protein that are cooked at high temperatures crate a toxic substance, acrylamide, that inhibits brain functioning.

Soaking these high carbohydrate vegetables  has benefits beyond removing approximately half the starch. Soaking also  reduces the levels of acrylamide, the chemical formed when foods high in starch are fried or cooked at high heat, such as baking, toasted or roasting. Acrylamides may contribute to cancers and reduction in brain function . Soaking these vegetables for two hours before cooking reduced the level of acrylamide by 48 percent, researchers from Leatherhead Food International reported in the March 2008 issue of the “Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.”

The soaking process may also remove some pesticides that were used in the growing of these vegetables. The soil in which they were grown often contain toxic metals, and are suspected as a possible cause of some cases of autism. The vegetables will feel noticeably smoother as the rough starch granules have been pulled out of the vegetables and are now in the water. The water will appear cloudy.

If possible, eat organic foods as they do not contain pesticides, and have more nutrients (vitamins and minerals). If eating non-organic food, wash fruit and vegetables well if eating the outside.

Below is a healthier way to prepare  root vegetables for coking as you would French fries:

  1. Using a vegetable brush and clean water with a few drops of Clorox or vegetable cleaner, wash and scrub the outside of the vegetables (reduces acrylamides 23%),
  2. cut in strips so they resemble French fries,
  3. as you are cutting the strips, place them in a bowl of ice water,
  4. soak in the ice water for twenty (30) minutes (reduces acrylamides 35%) ,
  5. scoop the vegetables out of this water making sure to leave all this water behind,
  6. put the vegetables in another bowl of clean ice water,
  7. refrigerate for 2 hours making sure the vegetables are covered with cold water (reduces acrylamides 48%),
  8. remove from refrigerator and pat dry,
  9. vegetables are now ready to bake or fry; baking is my recommendation as it is healthier and any acrylamides produced will be half those created by frying provided the baking temperature is less than what you would use in frying.

There are a few more steps to getting that perfect baked vegetable French fry; crispy out side and soft inside.  Check out our blog post: How to Cook Homemade Fries

Health Disclaimer http://www.mamavega.com

All information in this article is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals and conduct their own independent research on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgment and research available to the authors at this time, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

 

 

 

 

 

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