Healthy Grilling for the 4th of July

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It’s a holiday weekend and many folks will be firing up the grill. Before you do, read this article from Dr. Joel Fuhrman and your backyard BBQ a healthy (and delicious) one.

Warmer weather and outdoor grilling often go hand-in-hand. Yet, research has shown that turning up the heat can cause potentially cancer-causing substances to form. Here are some ways to grill in the great outdoors while reducing your exposure to harmful substances.

  • Make vegetables your main attraction! If you have a grilling basket, fill it with your favorite sliced vegetables, or make vegetable skewers. Mushrooms, onions, garlic, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and summer squash all combine well, but get creative with your top picks or seasonal harvests. Toss with a little water, balsamic vinegar, and some MatoZest or fresh or dried herbs such as basil, oregano or rosemary for a robust and nutritious dish. Try blending spices with walnuts and a bit of your favorite vinegar and brush it on the veggies frequently while grilling. If you are grilling any starchy vegetables you can soak or marinate them first in a water-vinegar mix to add to their water content to minimize the production of acrylamide, which is a cooking-related carcinogen formed when starches are cooked at high temperatures.1,2 Avoid eating the blackened portions of grilled vegetables, starchy or non-starchy.
  • Keep in mind that meats contain several harmful elements including animal protein, arachidonic acid and heme iron.4-7 When grilled or even cooked at high temperatures, carcinogenic compounds are also formed (see box).  Redefine the burger with bean or veggie burgers! Store-bought burgers often have added salt and concentrated soy protein, but you can make your own nutritious burgers. Try this recipe for Sunny Bean Burgers and toss them on the grill.
  •   As an alternative to burgers, serve up grilled portabella mushrooms (marinated in your favorite vinegar) and serve on a toasted whole grain pita with sliced tomato, raw onion and a pesto dressing made from basil, avocado and pine nuts.
  •   Grill corn on the cob in the husk or make party corn cobs by husking, spraying lightly with a mix of extra-virgin olive oil and water, and sprinkling with your favorite herbs. Place on the grill for 6-10 minutes, rotating frequently to minimize browning.
  •   When it comes to grilling, vegetables, mushroom and bean burgers are the safest choices. But for those who choose to grill and eat meat occasionally:
  • To minimize these harms, limit your portions consistent with a Nutritarian diet: Use only small amounts of meat mixed in with a bean burger and some mushrooms and onion. The phytates in the beans sop up the hydroxyl radicals and excess iron from the meat, reducing its toxicity. Also, anti-cancer foods like onions, garlic and cruciferous vegetables may help the body detoxify some of the HCAs.8-11
  • Completely avoid processed meats, such as hot dogs and sausages. NOCs are potent carcinogens; there is convincing evidence that processed meats (and red meats) are a cause of colorectal cancers, and high intake of processed meat is also associated with heart disease, stroke and diabetes.12-15
Meat-related Carcinogens3
Formed in meats cooked at high temperatures

  • Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) – formed in hamburger, steak, chicken, and fish as a reaction between creatinine amino acids and glucose. Higher temperatures and longer cooking times increases HCA production
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) – formed from flames and smoke; when meat juices drip and flame hits meat
  • N-nitroso compounds (NOCs) – formed in the stomach from nitrate/nitrite preservatives, found in processed meats

References:

  1. Parzefall W: Minireview on the toxicity of dietary acrylamide. Food Chem Toxicol 2008;46:1360-1364.
    2. Hogervorst JG, Baars BJ, Schouten LJ, et al: The carcinogenicity of dietary acrylamide intake: a comparative discussion of epidemiological and experimental animal research. Crit Rev Toxicol 2010;40:485-512.
    3. National Cancer Institute. Chemicals in Meat Cooked at High Temperatures and Cancer Risk. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/cooked-meats. Accessed July 1, 2014.
    4. National Cancer Institute: Food Sources of Arachidonic Acid [http://appliedresearch.cancer.gov/diet/foodsources/fatty_acids/table4.html]
    5. de Lorgeril M, Salen P: New insights into the health effects of dietary saturated and omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. BMC Med 2012;10:50.
    6. Kaaks R: Nutrition, insulin, IGF-1 metabolism and cancer risk: a summary of epidemiological evidence. Novartis Found Symp 2004;262:247-260; discussion 260-268.
    7. Brewer GJ: Iron and copper toxicity in diseases of aging, particularly atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. Exp Biol Med 2007;232:323-335.
    8. Murray S, Lake BG, Gray S, et al: Effect of cruciferous vegetable consumption on heterocyclic aromatic amine metabolism in man. Carcinogenesis 2001;22:1413-1420.
    9. Walters DG, Young PJ, Agus C, et al: Cruciferous vegetable consumption alters the metabolism of the dietary carcinogen 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP) in humans. Carcinogenesis 2004;25:1659-1669.
    10. Kurzawa-Zegota M, Najafzadeh M, Baumgartner A, et al: The protective effect of the flavonoids on food-mutagen-induced DNA damage in peripheral blood lymphocytes from colon cancer patients. Food Chem Toxicol 2012;50:124-129.
    11. Wilson C, Aboyade-Cole A, Newell O, et al: Diallyl sulfide inhibits PhIP-induced DNA strand breaks in normal human breast epithelial cells. Oncol Rep 2007;17:807-811.
    12. Continuous Update Project. Colorectal Cancer Report 2010 Summary: Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Colorectal Cancer.: World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research; 2011.
    13. Chen GC, Lv DB, Pang Z, et al: Red and processed meat consumption and risk of stroke: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Eur J Clin Nutr 2013;67:91-95.
    14. Micha R, Wallace SK, Mozaffarian D: Red and processed meat consumption and risk of incident coronary heart disease, stroke, and diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Circulation 2010;121:2271-2283.
    15. John EM, Stern MC, Sinha R, et al: Meat Consumption, Cooking Practices, Meat Mutagens, and Risk of Prostate Cancer. Nutr Cancer 2011:1.

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Superfood Spotlight: Flax Seeds

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Flax seeds have been cultivated for consumption for close to 6000 years. There are so many health benefits of these tiny seeds – they should be a pantry staple. The good news, they’re not expensive, and they are readily available in most grocery stores.

Here are my top 3 reasons that I recommend all of my clients consume 1 TBSP of ground flax seed every day:

  1. Flax seeds are high in Omega 3’s, specifically ALA, which is essential for health maintenance and disease prevention The ALA in flaxseed has found to be stable for at least 3 hours of cooking at oven temperatures (approximately 300F), which makes it available after ground flaxseeds have been added to baked goods.
  1. Flax seeds are high in soluble fiber. The soluble fiber traps fat and cholesterol in the digestive system so that it unable to be absorbed. Also, flax is extremely high in both insoluble fiber which can support colon detoxification, fat loss and reduce sugar cravings.
  2. Flax seeds are high in lingans. Flaxseeds are the richest source of plant lignans, having about 8 times the lignan content of sesame seeds [note that flaxseed oil does not contain lignans – they bind to the fiber]. The other plant foods on the list have about one-tenth or less the amount of lignans as sesame seeds per serving.

The three lignans found in flaxseeds can be converted by intestinal bacteria into enterolactone  and enterodiol which            naturally balance hormones which may be the reason flax seeds reduce the risk of breast cancer.

A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that the lignans in flaxseeds may also reduce the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer.

**In addition, flaxseed is a good source of iron, zinc, calcium, protein, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, and folate.

Ground flaxseed provides more nutritional benefits than does whole flaxseed. That’s because the seeds are very hard, making them difficult to crack, even with careful chewing. Grinding breaks the seeds up, making them easier to digest when eaten. If whole flax seeds remain unbroken, they may pass undigested through the body.

You can add the ground flaxseed to your morning oatmeal or other cereal. I blend 1 TBSP of ground flaxseed into a green smoothie each morning. You can also add them to muffins, bread and cookie recipes

Eat Healthy & Thrive

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Improve your Nutrition, Improve your Health

BLOG lifestyle transformation

Improve your nutrition, improve your health.

Sounds simple enough, right?
Unfortunately that’s not always the case. With the loads of mis-information floating around the internet combined with the outright lies the food industry has been feeding us for decades, navigating the waters of healthy eating can be rough to say the least. One of the biggest problems that I see are the millions of fad diets…low fat, low carb, high protein, high fat, calories counting, point counting, etc. Everyone looking for not only a quick fix, but a way to justify their bad eating habits.

You’ve heard it before – “diets don’t work.” But when you’re faced with contradictory information online and physicians that have little to no training in nutrition, you may be left feeling lost and confused about how exactly to take charge of your health and make the lifestyle changes that are necessary for optimal weight and good health.

The good news is, there’s no reason to go it alone. I have developed several programs to help you set your course. Everything from a basic introduction to more personalized long term programs that guide you every step of the way. My aim for you is not a short term quick fix. Instead,  I will teach you in a relatively short period of time, how to make changes that will last a lifetime.

Figuring out healthy eating and living often takes a bit more than simply counting calories and exercising a few times a week. A healthy lifestyle is something that is a part of who you are – not just something you do once in awhile.

The food you eat can make you energized and healthy or it can make you fatigued, unhealthy and overweight. By learning good nutrition and cooking techniques, you will have the tools to create the lasting change you want.

You will learn what true healthy eating really is. You will never need to count calories or points, weigh your food, or track and log every bite.

Put your health as you number one priority. When you are committed to that, everything falls into place.

For more information, visit my website or connect with me on Facebook.

Eat Healthy & Thrive

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Homemade Chocolate Almond Milk

almond-milk

 

I received a sample of Freedom Super Foods Raw Cacao Powder…so of course, my first thought was – time to make chocolate almond milk!

The product was rich, chocolate-y and delicious! I give it a thumbs up.

If you’ve never made your own almond milk – you absolutely must give it a try. It really is quite easy and sooooo delicious. Once you’ve tasted homemade, you’ll never buy store-bought almond milk again!

Ingredients:
•1c raw almonds
•4c filtered water
•1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract
•4 pitted Medjool dates
•2 TBSP Cocoa/Cacao Powder (to taste)

Directions:

Soak almonds in water over night. (8-12 hrs) Drain the water from the almonds.

In a *Vitamix, blend almonds and dates in 4c of filtered water.

Pour mixture through a cheesecloth or *nut milk bag into a large pitcher or bowl. Return milk to vitamix and add vanilla and cacao powder and blend until combined. Store refrigerated, in an airtight container. Can be stored for 4-7 days. Shake before serving.

*A nut milk bag works much better than cheesecloth.

Enjoy!

 

 

Benefits of Almond Milk:

•Almond milk is a good source of the antioxidant vitamin E, so it can help prevent cancer and slow the signs of aging. The flavonoids in almond milk also help to reduce the number of free radicals in the body, protecting you from a number of degenerative diseases that occur with again, such as osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes.
•Unlike cow’s milk, almond milk contains no cholesterol and no saturated fats, so it won’t damage your cardiovascular system. Almond milk is also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which off many benefits including lowering your levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol.
•Compared to soy and rice milk, almond milk has the highest concentrations of vitamins and minerals.
•Almond milk is a great milk substitute choice for those who are trying to lower their fat and calorie intake.

*Almond Milk is Not Safe for Those with Tree Nut Allergies

 

*Vitamix is one the BEST investments in your health that you can make!
*Enter code 06-008081 and get FREE shipping!

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I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Looking for Healthy Cookware?

View More: http://kateandco.pass.us/360_quarter3

I am often asked about my recommendations for cookware. The way you prepare your food is just  as important as the food you are preparing. You want to retain as many nutrients as possible. It is a well known fact that non-stick cookware is an unhealthy choice. The chemicals leech into your food and are known endocrine disruptors. Yes, those teflon pans may be inexpensive and convenient, but the cost to your health is way too high.

Ceramic coated cookware really isn’t a better choice either due to chemicals in the ceramic and the possibily of lead.

Aluminum? Definitely stay away from it.

Enameld cast iron is a great choice (as is regular cast iron, depending on what you’re cooking) – everyone should have at least an enameled cast iron dutch oven in their cupboard. The only downside is price….these babies are tough on the budget.

For my day to day use, I am a fan of high quality stainless steel cookware. Some brands are better than others. My top preference is stainless steel waterless cookware. A brand that I recently became aware of is 360 Cookware. Manufacted right here in the great old US of A.

Not only is this brand made from high quality stainless steel, they use vapor technology. Which means, that you can cook at lower temps and without the need for oils or water. And to top it all off, it comes with a lifetime warranty.

Featured Benefits

360 Cookware products are all made with the following features and benefits:
• Multiple layers T-304 stainless steel (highest quality) and alloy construction
• Ergonomic, stay-cool handles
• US owned and made by 1 of America’s greenest companies
• Lifetime warranty
• Vapor technology cooks food faster & more evenly with less energy
• No need to add grease or water
• Oven-safe to 400º
• Bakes on stovetop

I have used other high end waterless cookware brands before and I think the 360 brand is on par with those. Cooking with them takes a little getting used to, but once you’ve mastered it, you’ll never turn back. Read more here

Eat Healthy & Thrive

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Benefits of Green Smoothies

green

 

 

Eat your vegetables! Our mom’s have been telling us that for years, right? But lets face it, most Americans are not eating near the amount of veggies that they should be. Blending up a healthy, delicious smoothie is a great way to pack greens and other nutritious vegetables and fruits into your diet (especially those that you may not enjoy eating on a regular basis). Smoothies also a great way to sneak veggies into your kids’ diet – we all know how picky kids can be when it comes to veggies!

Eating a well balanced, plant based diet is definitely one the most powerful things you can do for your health. Research has shown that people who eat plant-based diets have lower weight, reduced risk of chronic diseases, better nutrient intake, and better management of chronic health conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.

By taking simple steps, like consuming more fresh vegetables you can start to experience those benefits.

Blending up a green smoothie for your breakfast every morning is a great way to start you day. Think about it – you’re giving your body a blast of phytonutrients, antioxidants and fiber. I promise, that green smoothie is going to keep you energized and full til lunchtime. It’s the perfect “grab & go” breakfast.

Without a doubt the healthiest smoothies are the ones that contain greens. 

I recommend making smoothies that are loaded with leafy greens and only a small amount of fruit. The biggest mistake that people make when making smoothies, is using too much fruit. Too much fruit can cause spikes in your blood sugar. A good rule of thumb is no more than one serving of fruit in your smoothie. For example, 1 serving of berries is 1 cup. A serving a pineapple is 1/2 cup, due to it’s higher sugar content.

 

This recipe is one of my favorites – even my kids love it!

 

Blueberry Almond Spinach

2 tablespoons almond butter

1/2 banana (preferably frozen)

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

3 cups spinach

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

 

Add all ingredients to your Vitamix and blend til smooth. Enjoy!

Vitamix is one the BEST investments in your health that you can make!
*Enter code 06-008081 and get FREE shipping!

Eat Healthy & Thrive

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Mango Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing

mangosalad

This delicious summer-y salad is packed with nutrients.  Just look at those colors!

And what’s not to love about peanut sauce? Seriously…

Salad Ingredients

1 mango, diced
1 head butter lettuce, coarsely chopped (or your choice of salad greens)
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 cup red cabbage, shredded
1 small cucumber, diced
2 carrots, shredded
1/2 c edamame (shelled)
1 avocado, diced
2 scallions, chopped
1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
1 tsp black sesame seeds, for garnish

 
Dressing Ingredients

1/2 cup creamy all natural peanut butter
3/4 cup coconut milk
1-2 TBSP Sambal, to taste (red chili paste)
2 TBSP lime juice
1 TBSP brown sugar or to taste
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBSP minced fresh ginger
2 TBSP soy sauce

Instructions

Combine the dressing ingredients in a saucepan and whisk over low heat combined. If necessary, add water or vegetable broth to thin to desired consistency. Tranfers to a covered bowl/container and refrigerate.

Combine salad ingredients except for sesame seeds in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and garnish with sesame seeds.

 

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