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

July 1, 2013

Eggplant, Turnip Root and Watermelon Radish in Coconut Milk

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photo_Eggplant_Turnip_Root_and_Watermelon_Radish_in_Coconut_Milk

Eggplant, Turnip Root and Watermelon Radish in Coconut Milk

Produce was provided by Matson Family Farm https://www.facebook.com/matson.farm.9

Eggplant, Turnip Root and Watermelon Radish in Coconut Milk

INGREDIENTS:

1 turnip root sliced in crescent moon shape

1 watermelon radish sliced in crescent moon shape

1 small eggplant diced

1 large onion sliced in crescent moon shape

2 T real butter (Irish grass fed)

16 oz Mama Vega Salsa

6-8 cloves fresh garlic

1 can coconut milk

PROCEDURE:

1.  put butter, garlic sliced thinly and radish in frying pan and saute for a few minutes on low heat

2.  cover and cook for 5 minutes

3. stir in onion, saute for a few minutes

4.  add turnip root and egg plant and saute

5.  add Mama Vega*s Salsa

6.  pour in coconut milk and let simmer covered for about 10 minutes on low heat

6.  serve in bowls

June 22, 2012

Fire Up the Grill for Heart Health

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Fire Up the Grill for Heart Health

Spicy Grilled Watermelon

(Family Features) Summer grilling season is here. Nearly half of all homeowners grill one to two times per week in the summer months, according to the Hearth, Patio and Barbeque Association. While it is tempting to cook hot dogs, burgers and steaks, it is possible to enjoy flavorful dishes that offer healthful benefits.

To ensure grilling season is as easy as it is healthy and delicious, Registered Dietitian David Grotto provides a few insights to keep in mind this summer:

Pre-season this season. Pre-season your grill with corn oil. By pre-seasoning the grill before its first use, cooking will be easier, clean-up will be a breeze and rusting can be avoided.

Be kind to your heart. Corn oil is a great source of heart-healthy plant sterols, which may help block cholesterol absorption in the body. In fact, corn oil has four times as many cholesterol-blocking sterols as olive oil and 40 percent more than canola oil. Use Mazola Corn Oil to coat foods, like veggies and lean meats for grilling. Added bonus: Corn oil stands up against high-temperature cooking better than olive oil.

For a fun, delicious and uniquely healthy take on fish or lean meats, crush a combination of peanuts and pistachios into fine pieces in a food processor. Stir in just enough corn oil into the nut mixture to coat the pieces, and spread the mixture over a lean protein of your choice. Then, grill away. The pistachios also offer plant sterols, so you get a twofer.

Spice up something sweet. Give sweet foods, like fruit, a kick by pairing them with a marinade or seasoning. Lycopene, an antioxidant found in watermelon, better absorbs in the body with the assistance of an oil-based marinade.

To amp up your grilling recipes, try this mouth-watering Spicy Grilled Watermelon recipe. Find even more recipes at www.mazola.com.

Spicy Grilled Watermelon

Ingredients

  • 1 packet Weber Chipotle Marinade
  • 1/4 cup Mazola Corn Oil
  • 1 2-inch wide slice of watermelon

Preparation

  1. Mix a packet of Weber Chipotle Marinade with Mazola Corn Oil (according to directions on packet).
  2. Slice a 2-inch wide piece of watermelon into 4 triangle pieces. Coat each side with the marinade.
  3. Preheat and coat grill surface with Mazola Corn Oil.
  4. Grill watermelon to its highest setting (or to 500°F). Grill each side for about 5 minutes or until there is a nice slightly brown color with noticeable grill marks.

Serves
2

Preparation Time:
10 minutes

Cook Time:
10 minutes

SOURCE:
Mazola Corn Oil

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 1, 2012

What’s Causing Our Overweight Nation?

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What is really causing our nation to be overweight? We are the root cause of the problem in our nation. We need to take responsibility and stop pointing a finger at someone else, genes, depression, and the host of other reason we can give whether they are legitimate or not; accept responsibility. It does not matter if it is the government allowing preservatives or chemicals to be added to our food and water supply, we can take action individually. Look at what an individual ant can move and how much more powerful we are in comparison. The ant has the will-power to get the job done and so should we. Focus on making the change for the better.

http://www.nih.gov/health/NIHandweightofthenation/images/screencap.jpg
The Weight of the Nation (short clips)

In general:

  1. we over indulge (in most cases a serving of any given food item is 4 ounces ie meat, fruit, vegetable,
  2. we eat too fast a minimum of 20 minutes,
  3. we do not chew our food long enough,
  4. we lack exercise a mere 20 minutes minimum daily,
  5. we eat too many chemicals in our food
  6. we do not drink enough water (1/2 our weight in ounces)
  7. we do not have enough knowledge in food combining for optimal health

This we can change, we have to get in the right frame of mind to accomplish what we say we want. Talk is cheap, action is needed.  What we should do is:

  1. focus on ourselves first,
  2. focus on getting our job done,
  3. focus on doing the absolute best we can,
  4. set goals like millionaires: 5 yrs from now, 3 yrs from now, 12 months from now, and go backwards in 3 month intervals until we get to one month, 3 weeks and backwards to 1 week then today and every day we should be doing something that pertains to attaining the 5 year goal, every goal of every day, week, month and year is linked to the overall goal
  5. get knowledgeable about food: what is does for the body and in your particular body, pay attention to how your body reacts when you eat certain foods, understand food combinations
  6. eat healthy:
  • 9-12 servings of fruits and vegetables (yes 9-12 and it can be done)
  • in moderation eat: figs and dates unsulphured
  • eliminate processed meats (hot dogs, cold cuts, bacon, etc)
  • eliminate refined sugars
  • reduce carbohydrates from processed white flour and white rice
  • increase whole-grains – brown rice, wild rice, red rice, quinoa,
  • increase consumption of nuts – walnuts, almonds, pistachios, pecans,
  • increase consumption of seeds – sunflower seeds (unsalted), pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds,
  • use coconut oil and coconut butter, olive oil and grape seed oils
  • stick to a water and fiber chart Weight Loss Schedule

We watch the experts like Dr. Oz, Dr. Kline, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and Deborah Clegg to name a few, but we are still having trouble. A right mind set is necessary. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) 2/3 of our nation is obese. This generation’s life expectancy is shorter than their parents. the top 5 out of the top 10 causes of death is related to being overweight with diabetes, cancer and stroke among them.

According to the experts, as little as 5% weight loss reduces your chances of diabetes. For every 1 pound you are overweight, you have 4 lbs per square inch of pressure on your knees. This joint pressure causes tremendous pain and can be drastically reduced.

Research has shown that having a buddy to exercise and eat with or talk to helps keep you on track. Knowledge is power so keep a log of EVERYTHING you eat and the quantity. Snacking contributes a great deal to the overall problem because we generally do this without thinking. Make conscious decisions about what you are eating. Plan out your meals and snacks.

Exercise is crucial.  No time for the gym!  No problem. Here are some suggestions on getting it done throughout the day:

  1. jumping jacks or jogging in place while waiting for the popcorn to pop (3min),
  2. exercise on commercial breaks (3 min, there are approximately 6 within an hour so you can get an easy 20 here),
  3. side bends while sitting at your desk (1-2 min),
  4. leg lifts while sitting at your desk (3 min) this also helps circulation and reduces swelling of the ankles,
  5. using a resistance band under your chair do arm raises, no bands, keep a 24 ounce can of something in your desk
  6. check out exercises for individuals in wheel chairs and follow them while at your desk.

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 30, 2012

School Lunch Food New Guidelines

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2 gluten free school lunch ideas

Found on this Lunchbox.com

New guidelines for school lunches have been created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act .  Now, both fruits and vegetables must be served every day of the week with specific weekly colors of vegetables.  In the past, schools had the option to offer food that was either fruits or vegetables.

Also, in the past, schools were encouraged to offer food with whole-grains, that is no longer the case. Schools are now required to serve whole-grain rich foods. In other words, children will now be served REAL food with less processed foods with chemicals; back to basic food the body is able to process and absorb.

School lunches will no longer have french fries. This is definitely a boost to their brain power.  For more information on the importance of reducing starchy vegetables and the adverse effect on the brain, read “How to Destarch High Carb Vegetables” on the Live Strong Web site.

The new menu will have reduced saturated fat, trans fat and sodium.  The portions will be more age appropriate as well.  Keeping in line with the reduction of fat is milk. White milk served will be nutrition-rich, low-fat and fat-free.  All chocolate milk will be fat-free.

According to Dr. Keith-Thomas  Ayoob, RD, child nutrition expert who has written books and appears regularly on Good Morning America, many kids are over fed and under nourished. This is very evident, just look around you on a daily basis. Yes, they are being over fed, the wrong high carb foods and not enough vegetables and fruits. Also, parents themselves are indulging in the same bad food habits.

Something I found while shopping at several stores to determine food comparisons was:

  1. the cereals were predominately those with high sugar(s) content,
  2. whole grain cereal were minimal and at a few stores, non were on the shelf as an option,
  3. breads were loaded with preservatives and not whole-grain,
  4. brown rice was hard to locate, not prominently displayed with the white rice.

Suggestion to the food stores:

  1. put the whole-grain cereal boxes at kids eye level,
  2. sample the whole-grain cereals,
  3. encourage vendors to sample the whole-grain cereals,
  4. sample seasonal fruits and vegetables

Suggestion to the food manufacturers:

  1. make the whole-grain cereal boxes kid appealing,
  2. make the high sugar cereal boxes dull and drab,
  3. eliminate the sugar cereal commercials,
  4. create fun kid commercials for the whole-grain cereals,

Visual for parents:

An Excellent Food Plate image from Santa Clarita, CA

School Lunches: All Wrapped Up _ SignalsSVC.com

 

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 28, 2012

How to Reduce Produce Food Prices

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First thing to note is the farmers are NOT the ones making all the money. The stores selling the produce are the ones actually reaping most of the profit. Why are the stores selling the produce making so much more? You the consumer have created this produce price monster! How, you ask? Let me explain the process of how the produce or any product gets to market then, it will be evident how you created this “produce price monster” as well as you have the ability to destroy the “produce price monster” as well.

Recipe for Reducing Produce Food Prices

Step one: the farmer prepares the soil, plants the seeds, tends the crop, protects it from the havoc of Mother Nature and finally takes it to a distributor. Now, the farmer knows he must put it at a price the distributor will buy it from him/her. Depending on the weather’s effect on the crop that year, the farmer may only break even. He has to get something for all his work so often he/she has to settle for less than what he/she would like.

Step two: the distributor marks the product up to sell it to the stores. The distributors usually have multiple relationships to move the produce quicker than the farmer could so alone. This is why the farmer went to the distributor in the first place.

Step three: the store buys the produce and marks it up before you purchase it from them. The store’s markup on produce is generally the highest in the store. In many instances this could be 60% above the already marked up distributor price. Why is the markup so high? Spoilage! When YOU, the consumer, do not buy the produce and it spoils, it is thrown away or given to shelters and food banks just before it goes bad.

How can you the consumer have an impact on reducing the price of produce?

  1. buy seasonal (highest nutritional value and boosts immune system),
  2. buy more fresh seasonal produce so the stores have less waste,
  3. shop the reduced for quick sale produce section,
  4. freeze seasonal produce (retains nutrients for later consumption),
  5. can seasonal produce,
  6. eat more seasonal produce (helps immune system and weight maintenance or loss),
  7. buy in a group with others and share for variety
  8. keep pre-cut fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator available for kids to snack on as they want
  9. know what is in season, Peak-Season Interactive Map by State at Epicurious
  10. Agritourism, California Wine Coast Farm and Wine Tours
  11. Farmers’ Market Listing Across the United States, Interactive Map

The average age of California farmers is 58 with 20% age 70.  This mean California needs to grow a new crop of farmers to produce enough food for future generations.

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 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.

 

 

 

 

 

May 1, 2012

Mediterranean Okra and Asparagus Salad

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May is National Mediterranean Diet and National Salad Month

Mediterranean Salad

 Mediterranean Okra & Asparagus Salad

This recipe combines two of the celebrated food concepts for the month of May. By synergistically marrying these two health concepts, the nutritional and known medicinal benefits are propelled to the levels of Superfood status!

Ingredients

  • 1¾ cup(s) nuts, almonds, slivers
  • 6 ounce(s) artichoke hearts marinated in olive oil
  • 32 ounces okra
  • ½ c lime juice
  • 1/4 cup(s) almond oil
  • 2 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 clove(s) garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning, dried
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper, black
  • 1 package(s) cheese, goat cheese, crumbled, 5.5 oz
  • 1 pound asparagus, fresh
  • 1/2 cup(s) onion(s), red sliced like crescent moons
  • 1/2 cup(s) pepper(s), red, orange and yellow bell, strips
  • 1 quart(s) butter lettuce torn (cut with plastic knife only to prevent oxidation; turning brown)
  • 2 cup(s) watercress
  • 1/4 cup(s) vinegar, Modena balsamic

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Spread almonds in shallow pan.
  3. Roast at 350°F for 6-7 minutes or until lightly browned; stir at least twice; cool.
  4. Set 1/2 cup almonds aside; grind the remaining1/4 cup almonds finely.
  5. Combine ground almonds in a small bowl with marinade from artichokes, almond oil, parsley, garlic, Italian herb seasoning and pepper; whisk to blend.
  6. Pour over crumbled goat cheese.
  7. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour for flavors to thoroughly marriage.
  8. Cut woody part off okra and throw away.
  9. Cut okra in about 1 inch circle pieces.
  10. In a frying pan, put lime juice and bring to a bubble.
  11. Add okra and cook on medium heat stirring constantly until lime juice cooked off.
  12. This will prevent the okra from being slimy.
  13. Set okra aside to cool.
  14. Remove woody stems from asparagus; cut into diagonal, bite-size pieces.
  15. Blanch in boiling water 1 minute, drain and cool.
  16. Toss asparagus, okra, red crescent pieces, red, yellow and orange bell pepper strips, artichoke hearts and remaining 1/2 cup almonds with butter lettuce and watercress.
  17. Scoop out crumbled marinated goat cheese.
  18. Top salad with crumbled marinated goat cheese.
  19. Blend balsamic vinegar into marinade that was used to marinate goat cheese and drizzle over salad.

 

Options:

  • Leave okra whole
  • Add black or Greek olives
  • Add sun dried tomatoes

Health Benefits:

  1. Almond – onega-3, brain, constipation, diabetes, anemia, complexion,
  2. Artichoke – liver, gallbladder, cleaning blood, fiber, potassium, calcium, iron, detoxifies
  3. Okra – facillates  probiotics, fiber, regulates blood sugar (diabetes), laxative, seeds (protein)
  4. Lime – alkalizing, vitamin C,
  5. Parsley – vitamin C, tonic for blood vessels, expels watery poisons, kidney, bladder, diuretic,
  6. Garlic – antiviral, antibacterial, digestion, colds, yeast infection, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, toothache,
  7. Black pepper – manganese, vitamin K, stimulates stomach to secrete for digestion, helps prevent the formation of intestinal gas, diuretic, promotes sweating
  8. Goat cheese – easier on digestion system, ok for lactose intolerance, low calories, low cholesterol, low fat,
  9. Asparagus – Detox, anti-aging, cancer prevention, reduces pain and inflammation, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, heart disease, prevent birth defects
  10. Onion – cold, asthma, bacterial infection, respiratory infection, angina, cough, inhibit tumor growth, air purifier, general body healing,
  11. Bell peppers (yellow, orange, red) – vitamins A & C, neutralizes free radicals, reduce risk of heart disease, cataracts, arthritis, asthma,
  12. Butter lettuce – phyto-nutrients to prevent diseases, beta-carotene, vitamin A, protection against age related eye diseases, vitamin K, vitamin C, iron, calcoim, magnesium, potassium, B-complex
  13. Watercress – anti cancer, glaucoma, vitamin B-6 & C & B-1 & B-2, fiber, iron, copper, calcium, phosphorous,
  14. Balsamic vinegar – antioxidant, cancer fighting, reduces risk of heart disease, natural pain reliever, assists in digestion, weight control, control diabetes

Approximate Times

Prep Time: 20 mins

Cook Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 30 mins

Servings: 8

Nutritional Info (Per serving):

Calories: 228, Saturated Fat: 5.2g, Sodium: 172mg, Dietary Fiber: 3g, Total Fat: 20g, Carbs: 8g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Protein: 8g, Calcium: 121mg, Vitamin E: 6.4IU

Carb Choices: 0.5

Source
Author: Mama Vega www.mamavega.com
Source: Mama Vega*s, “The good stuff… A Taste of Home”

Healthy Never Tasted So Good
Copyright © May 2012 Mama Vega Corporation

Health Disclaimer

All information in this recipe 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.

April 4, 2012

Paula Dean… Fires Back in Food Fight

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TV Chef, Anthony Bourdain of No Reservations blasted Food Network star Paula Dean for her continued presentation of unhealthy, obesity and diabetic causing cuisines after she herself was diagnosed with diabetes. Supposedly, it was not so much the continued cooking or presentation of her cooking to the public, but her withholding the fact that she was diagnosed three years prior to her announcement AND she solidified her drug endorsement deal with the company that manufacturer Victoza, a drug for help control type 2 diabetes.

Paula Dean fires back in food fight with critics. The upcoming May issue of Prevention magazine will have an extensive interview they had with Paula Dean and her reactions to the claims lauded at her. Apparently, this past January on ABC’s  The Chew, Paula Dean said she symbolizes hope for diabetics.It has been reported that Paula Dean  has changed her diet, she has said, diabetes is “not a death sentence” she is further quoted as saying Chef Bourdain’s comments were “awful, because people out there with diabetes haven’t chosen this.”

There are those who would say she did not make anyone “stuff” themselves with her food or watch her program therefore, she is not responsible for them getting diabetes. Does she not have a “MORAL” responsibility after learning she had diabetes and her eating and cooking style was a major contributor?

For those who say no. Then, why have movie makers been held responsible for children and/or adults mimicking what they saw on television or at the movies that caused harm to someone who watched? Does eating the foods, especially the butter she so enjoyed to push cause harm?

Now, she wants to be viewed as hope. Was she not viewed as comfort and over indulgence previously? As HOPE there is a moral responsibility just like COMFORT and OVER INDULGENCE carries a moral responsibility. When you put yourself in the position to be a symbol for something, along with that comes the moral responsibility. Take a look at athletes, teachers, politicians and not to mention our parents and family. We all have some level of moral responsibility.

There are ways to control diabetes through the foods, herbs and spices you eat and drugs may not be necessary.

Bitter Melon

Fresh Fennel

 

Healthy Never Tasted So Good, Try some of these to regulate blood sugar levels:

  1. cinnamon: there is some evidence to support the use of adding cinnamon to foods for those with type 2 diabetes,
  2. fennel: are rich in vitamin C, folate, potassium, manganese and fiber – the nutrients that do best in regulating blood glucose levels.
  3. eggplant: a good source of fiber to assist with lowering blood sugar,
  4. okra: lots of fiber and minerals as well as assisting with lowering blood sugar,
  5. cactus leaves/prickly pear (nopal): lowers blood sugar naturally
  6. bitter melon: four compounds in bitter melon  activate an enzyme that is responsible for regulating metabolism and transporting glucose from the blood into the cells,
  7. water: pH above 7 is alkaline, drink half your weight in ounces every day, the body is 60% water so this helps to flush out toxins and excessive sugars as well as assist in weight loss

There a lots of other natural foods to assist with lowering blood sugar. The ones posted here are those seldom used, but pack lots of benefits including cancer prevention and inflammation. Eat organic as much as possible. Food is the most important thing you can do to regulate blood sugar especially eat foods in season to get the best nutrients. And do not forget to drink alkaline water that is half your weight in ounces.

Use deductive reasoning, research, common sense and process all information for yourself.

Health Disclaimer

All information in this recipe 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.

Copyright © March 2012 Mama Vega Corporation

The materials on this Website are protected by United States copyright law. Users may download material from this site (one machine-readable copy and one print copy per page) for personal, noncommercial use only. Any further reproduction, distribution, transmission, display, publication, or broadcast requires the prior written permission of The Mama Vega Corporation.

You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright, or other notice from copies of the content.

April 1, 2012

Healthy Never Tasted So Good… Weight Loss Schedule!

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Lemons and Limes Sliced

With the ever increasing diabetes and obesity epidemic, busy schedules and lack of expendable income to join paid membership fitness programs, I, Charmene “Mama” Vega, created Mama Vega*s Weight Loss Schedule using foods and how the body responds to them. Part of my schedule incorporates the eating traditional schedule of Norway. Years ago when I lived in Norway, I experienced eating the biggest and heaviest meal of the day at mid day, between 11 am and 2 pm. Dinner is a light meal and snacks are throughout the day. However, just like all countries in the word, diabetes and obesity/overweight has also hit Norway and other Scandinavian countries. However, there is a significant difference; it is maybe ten percent (10%) as compared to an excess of sixty percent (60%) in the United States according to recent reports.

Creating Mama Vega*s Weight Loss Schedule not only incorporated the Norwegian consumption amounts, but cold water and natural fibers to enhance weight loss. Merely drinking eight (8) glasses of COLD water can assist you with losing 66.6 kilo calories per day. This may not sound like much, but over the course of one year, this would be approximately 7.3 pounds for just drinking COLD water. Obviously, drinking more COLD water will increase weight loss. Adding exercise, sleep and diet (fiber, low sodium, reduced calories) to the mix and you have a perfect recipe for a Healthy Never Tasted So Good… Weight Loss Schedule.

Below is a convenient simplified chart I have created:

TIME

WHAT TO EAT

WHEN YOU SHOULD EAT

WHY YOU SHOULD EAT

6:00 am Void (bathroom)
6:05 Weigh yourself
6:10 am – 6:20 am 1-2 c COLD alkaline water with fresh lemon and lime added COLD water before exercising – generally promotes exercising 25% longer in addition to revving up the metabolism The bitter taste of the lemon and lime stimulates the release of digestive enzymes in the stomach in preparation for food consumed later
6:30 am – 7:30 am ½ c – 1 c COLD water 39 ̊F during exercise (above) every 30 minutes Stay hydrated – assists with blood circulation Get your heart rate up to 50% – 75% its normal rate for a sustained 20 minutes
7:30 2 c COLD water 39 ̊F after exercising (above) per 1 lb weight lost during exercise, gives you a feeling of fullness so you eat less, plumps cells reducing wrinkles, lubricate joints, Replenish water loss during exercise – rehydrate, removes toxins (ie lactic acid ), reduces water retention by flushing out excess sodium, promotes alkalinity which balances the pH in your body and reduces illness 60 % of your body weight is water therefore, the amount of water consumed per day must be at least 50% of your weight in ounces in order to stay hydrated

Average:

Man 191 lbs = 13 cups

Woman 164 lbs = 10 cups

Although the man consumption by calculation would be 12 cups, the Mayo Clinic recommends 13 cups

7:45 Fiber – eat 15 minutes before every meal for a sense of fullness and ease of elimination Chia or Konjac root (Asia & India) absorbs 50 times their weight in water making you feel full *Natural sources: raspberries, pear with skin, apple with skin, strawberries, banana, dried fig, raisin, barley, bran, Man 30g – 38 g per day Woman 25g – 28g per day
8:00 am -8:30 am Eat Take at least 25 minutes to consume the meal, chew slowly, if a smoothie, drink slowly Do not consume water with your meal – this dilutes the digestive enzymes in the stomach slowing down the digestive process Wait about 20 minutes after the meal before drinking more COLD water- remember you must consume 50% of your weight in ounces
10:00 am Snack *Fiber (see chart below)
10:30 am COLD water39 ̊F Use a straw when drinking water – ironically you will drink more and faster
11:45 am Snack *Fiber
12:00 DINNER This will be the largest meal and heaviest meal of the day Eating at this time allows your body to burn off the calories more efficiently Bring food from home so you have the full lunch time (average 30 minutes) to eat your food slowly allowing for digestion to take place – digestion begins in the mouth with chewing so chew well
1:00 pm COLD water 39 ̊F
2:00 pm Snack *Fiber
3:00 pm COLD water 39 ̊F
4:00 pm Snack *Fiber
5:00 pm COLD water 39 ̊F
6:00 pm Light meal Eat some fiber 15 minutes before the meal The meal should be eaten at least 3 hours before you go to bed **NOTE: every pound of carb stores holds 3 – 5 lbs of water
Afternoon times SNACK = even hours WATER = odd hours

Berries High In Fiber

Fiber chart:

SOLUBLE FIBER

INSOLUBLE FIBER

Raspberry 1 c = 8 g Flax seeds 1T = 3g
Pear with skin medium = 5.5 g 1 c carrots sliced and steamed lightly 5g 1 c barley 6g
Apple with skin medium = 4.4 g 1 c broccoli steamed lightly 4.5g ¾ c bran 5.3g
Strawberries cut in half 1 ¼ c = 3.8 g 1 medium sweet potato 4g oatmeal
Banana medium = 3.1g 1 c cauliflower steamed lightly 3g 3 c popcorn (air popped) 3.5g
Orange medium = 3.1g 2 c raw chopped spinach 3g 1 c brown rice 3.5g
Fig dried (2) = 1.0g Other fresh fruits and vegetables Whole grains
Raisin 2T = 1.0g

 

Health Disclaimer

All information in this recipe 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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