White Bean & Kale Soup

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Vegan White Bean & Kale Soup – easy to prepare and delicious.

This is a perfect weeknight meal!

 

Ingredients:

1/2 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 c diced carrots (2-3 carrots)
1/2lb (4 cups) kale, removed stems, chop
1 14oz can diced Italian tomatoes
1 14oz can white beans, drained & rinsed
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
salt & pepper to taste
6 cups vegetable broth
*optional – red pepper flakes or cayenne

Directions:
Saute onion, celery, carrots and garlic in 2-3 TBSP of vegetable broth for about 5 minutes. Add seasonings and kale and saute for anoth 3-4 minutes. Add tomatoes, beans and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer on low until vegetables are tender. Enjoy!

Eat Healthy & Thrive!

www.eathealthyandthrive.com

 

 

New Vegan Restaurant in Santa Monica

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As an advocate of a plant based diet (and a follower myself), I’m excited to see new offerings around town. How wonderful to be able to peruse an entire menu…so many choices. I’m especially excited about Santa Monica’s newest vegan kid on the block. eLOVate Kitchen, located just a block south of the Santa Monica pier.

If you haven’t been there yet, you’ve got to put it on your list. The menu is fantastic – I’d expect nothing less from famed Chef, Roberto Martin. Here are just a few of their menu items that will definitely delight your tastebuds – Hearts of Palm & Artichoke Ceviche, Guajillo Jackfruit Tacos, Sake Braised Daikon Scallops – sounds great, right? They also have plenty of kid friendly choices and delicious desserts…namely, hancrafted vegan ice cream.

eLOVate will appeal to vegan and non-vegans alike. I’m putting on top of my list for recommendations.

Follow the link below to read more about eLOVate and view their full menu.

Let me know what you think!

www.elovatekitchen.com

Eat Healthy & Thrive

www.eathealthyandthrive.com

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.

Eat Healthy & Thrive

www.eathealthyandthrive.com

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

www.eathealthyandthrive.com

Questions About Probiotics?

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Research has shown that probiotics are beneficial in maintaining intestinal health, boosting your immune system and even aid mental health.

This is what Dr. Michael Klaper has to say about probiotics: “Keeping the resident population of bacteria in the intestinal tract healthy is essential, especially after taking a course of antibiotics. A population of “friendly” bacteria is required not only for the health of the intestines, but also to inhibit overgrowth with yeast and “unfriendly,” pathogenic bacteria. Normal bacterial flora also help to prevent increased intestinal permeability (“leaky-gut syndrome”), which can lead to joint inflammation and autoimmune diseases. Consequently, ingesting a preparation containing health-enhancing bacteria is often a very good idea.”

The most health-promoting organisms in our intestines are the family of Lactobacillus bacteria, especially Lactobacillus acidophilus, along with its friendly cousins, L. plantarum, L. salivarius, L. bulgaricus, L. casei, L. bifidus, and others.

The beneficial organisms must be put into the gut in substantial numbers. A good probiotic product has between 3 and 15 BILLION organisms per dose. (This is often expressed as colony forming units or cfu’s.) For severe derangements of the intestinal flora, this dose may need to be doubled. This is why I think eating yogurt as a probiotic is pointless. Standard, commercial yogurt is pasteurized to kill bacteria before it is sold, so it is useless as a probiotic source. The “cultured” or “bacteria-fortified” yogurt products have a few million organisms, at best. Thus, you would need to consume dozens of tubs of yogurt to produce any beneficial effect. Why consume all the dairy protein and sugar inherent in these products when all you really want is the beneficial organisms you can purchase purely in a good probiotic product?

To choose the perfect Probiotic Supplement the following will help you choose wisely:

Key Features To Look For:

7 to 12 strains of beneficial probiotic bacteria. Diversity is Key!
Should always include a Prebiotic such as Inulin
Should contain at least 100mg or more per serving
Should have at least an “Acid Protection System” built in
Preferably not a synthetic enteric coating system laiden with pthallates

What is a Prebiotic?

It is food for the probiotics. These prebiotics actually help the probiotics grow and flourish. They are extremely important in supporting the survival of probiotics.

Prebiotics important properties include:

Healthy bacteria- building potential
They are actually fiber
They are indigestible by bad bacteria
They are food for the probiotics

The Probiotic that I recommend to my my clients is

Probulin Daily Care – Probiotics.
It is outstanding!
Probulin Daily Care is a once daily Probiotic + Prebiotic with the following features and benefits:
  • 10 Billion cfu† per capsule
  • 12 probiotic strains
  • Prebiotic Inulin – food for the probiotic’s survival
  • Shelf stable
  • Supports digestive health
  • Supports digestive balance
  • Supports the immune system

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For more information, please visit my website: www.eathealthyandthrive.com/Supplements

Eat Healthy & Thrive

www.eathealthyandthrive.com

Tips for Eating Out on a Plant Based Diet

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Restaurants can prove to be a challenge when it comes to sticking to a plant-based diet. Take a look at any menu, and I’m sure you’ll find cheese in just about everything.

Don’t worry – you won’t be stuck eating at home alone with your cat while your friends are dining out. There is something on the menu for you to eat. Sometimes, it will take a little creativity.

Read more here….
Eat Healthy & Thrive
www.eathealthyandthrive.com

Why Should You Choose a Plant Based Diet?

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Regardless of what dietary path you follow, we can all agree that consuming more whole, plant-based foods means you are getting more nutrients, antioxidants and fiber – and that, of course, has benefits for your health. A plant-based diet emphasizes the quality of the food you eat rather than just the omission of animal products.

Let’s look a little deeper though, as to why a plant-based diet is a good choice.

Read more here…

Eat Healthy & Thrive

www.eathealthyandthrive.com