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!

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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

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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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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
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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

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What is a plant based diet?

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The New Year is upon us, and that inevitably means resolutions. Folks are looking for ways to improve their overall health and fitness, and dietary changes are usually top amongst the list.

There’s been a lot of buzz lately about whole food, plant-based diets, especially as more and more top athletes have adopted a plant-based lifestyle.

So what exactly is a plant-based diet?

Read More Here….

Eat Healthy & Thrive

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Vitamix Personal Blender – Discount

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Looking for a high speed blender designed for tight spaces and people on the go – that is built to last?

Look no further than the Vitamix S3o.

Vitamix® Introduces the S30, a Versatile, Portable Machine Offering High-Performance Blending

Vitamix, a world leader in professional-grade blending equipment for home and commercial use, presents the S30—the first high-performance, personal blender from the brand trusted by consumers and professional chefs alike.

Featuring the versatility and durability that are synonymous with the Vitamix name, the S30 offers a sleek, compact design that allows users to easily create smaller batches and individual servings and streamlines everyday kitchen tasks. Equipped with two perfectly sized containers for individuals and small families plus a lightweight base, the S30 makes it simple to quickly blend and take recipes to go.

The small but mighty S30 boasts a powerful 790-watt motor, metal drive system and the signature laser-cut, stainless-steel blades—a staple of Vitamix machines. The result is a smoother blend, even with tough ingredients. The machine also gives users control over blending, with a Variable Speed Control and a Pulse feature to effortlessly create a variety of textures.

Designed to perform like no other, the efficient S30 comes with two unique, shatter-resistant, BPA-free containers. Users can choose the right one for the task at hand, making it simple to prepare individual servings of smoothies and juices, quickly chop vegetables, grind grains and produce smaller batches of soups, sauces, vinaigrettes, frozen desserts and more. An interlock ensures the container is securely in place before starting the machine. The 20-ounce double insulated beverage cup quickly blends single-serving recipes and becomes an instant travel cup—perfect for most cup holders—with a flip-top lid.  Its double-insulated material maintains temperatures while on the go. The 40-ounce container offers fast processing, a mess-free pour and the versatility to create single and double servings of favorite Vitamix recipes.

The removable blade base on the S30 makes it safe and easy to extract thicker creations, like peanut butter and dips. For added convenience, both containers, as well as the tamper and blade base, are top rack dishwasher-safe.

“We have created the ideal machine for the on-the-go fitness enthusiast, the home chef who wants to produce small batches of sauces or dips, and the family who wants to make their own personal blends with minimal clean-up,” said Karen Haefling, vice president of marketing, Vitamix. “With the introduction of the S30, we’re redefining the personal blender by combining convenience and portability with the power and versatility Vitamix machines are known for. The S30 is adaptable enough to help create every meal of the day, yet small enough to accompany you anywhere.”

Because of its smaller stature, the S30 can conveniently be stored in or under kitchen cabinets and the containers fit easily on refrigerator shelves. This machine is also perfect for the gym, office, vacation home, business trip… or anywhere there is a need for personal blending.

Use coupon coupon code 06-008081 to save $25 at check out.

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