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Quinoa is a Powerful Vegetable Seed!

Although referred to as a grain, it is actually a seed from a vegetable related to Swiss chard, spinach and beets. Quinoa is pronounced keen-wa not kwin-o-a.

Quinoa was considered sacred by the Incas; they called it the “mother seed.” The Inca civilization in South America grew it in the high altitude of the Andes.  It was their staple food for 5,000 years. The Spanish conquistadors almost wiped quinoa out by making it illegal for the Indians to grow.  They did not see how useful it is. Finally in the 1980s two Americans discovered this nutrient-rich food and began growing quinoa in Colorado.

8 Health Benefits of Quinoa:

1. High quality protein with the nine essential amino acids, the protein balance is similar to milk. At 16.2 to 20 percent protein, it has is more protein than rice (7.5 percent), millet (9.9 percent) or wheat (14 percent).

2. Great source of riboflavin. Riboflavin has been shown to help reduce the frequency of attacks in migraine sufferers by improving the energy metabolism within the brain and muscle cells.

3. Inca warriors had more stamina and quicker recovery time by eating these quinoa seeds, making it a truly ancient powerfood.

4. Antiseptic. The saponins from quinoa are used to promote healing of skin injuries in South America.

5. Not fattening! Only 172 calories per 1/4 cup dry (24 of the calories from protein and only 12 from sugars, the rest are complex carbohydrates, fiber and healthy fats).

6. Gluten-free. Since it is not related to wheat, or even a grain, it is gluten-free.

7. Alkaline-forming. Although it is not strongly alkaline-forming, it is comparable to wild rice, amaranth, and sprouted grains.

8. Smart Carb: It is a complex carbohydrate with a low glycemic index, so it won’t spike your blood sugar.

7 Tips for Eating or Cooking:

Always rinse quinoa. Place quinoa in a strainer, then run cold water over it until the entire soapy residue has been washed away. You can taste test a few seeds; if they still have a bitter taste, run more cold water over them. Extra removal can be made by rubbing the seeds while rinsing with water. There are three main varieties: light yellow, red, and black. Make quinoa porridge for breakfast, add it to your salad at lunch, substitute if for brown rice with your vegetables and make a yummy quinoa pudding. Use quinoa flour in your gluten-free baking. Even the leaves of the quinoa plant are edible; they taste similar to spinach, chard and beets. Sprout quinoa; simply soak the quinoa in water for 12 hours, then keep it moist in a jar. Quinoa can even be popped like popcorn and is very popular with Peruvian children.

Quinoa Nutrition: Nutritional Value of Quinoa (100 grams)

372 calories Proteins 11.49 grams Fat  4.86 grams Carbohydrates  71.2 grams Calcium  66 milligrams Iron   8.5 milligrams Vitamin  1 gram Vitamin C  1 gram Thiamin  0.24 grams Riboflavin 0.23 grams Niacin 1.40 grams

Source: Bethzabe Iiguez de Barrios. Mil Delicias de la Quinua. Oruro, Bolivia: (Editora Quelco, 1977), p. 29.

Interesting facts:

More than 200,000 pounds are gown each year in the US Rocky Mountains. Quinoa is the whitest and the sweetest tasting when grown above 12,500 feet. When it is grown at lower elevations, it is more bittersweet in taste. Quinoa thrives at altitudes of 9,000 to 13,000 feet above sea level and survives on as little as two inches of rainfall.

Use and Safety:

Quinoa, though highly nutritious, is actually coated with the toxic chemical saponin; you must rinse the quinoa thoroughly. Saponins can be challenging to the immune system and stomach. Commercial processing methods remove much of the bitter soapy saponins coating quinoa seeds, but it is best to rinse again to remove any of the powdery saponins that may remain on the seeds. Like any good foods, we need variety so do not eat it every day. A few times a week is good enough.

Although quinoa is not a commonly allergenic food and does not contain lots of purines, it does contain oxalates. This puts quinoa on the caution list for an oxalate-restricted diet.

How to Store: It is best to store quinoa in an airtight container. If stored in the refrigerator, it will keep for three to six months.

Source:

http://realfoodforlife.com

Vegans and those with lactose intolerance need to work a bit harder to ensure they get calcium. Here are some non-dairy calcium sources to help prevent osteoporosis.

May is National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month, making it an important time to think about getting enough calcium. For dairy fans, it can be easy, but what about people who avoid dairy?

Vegans and those with lactose intolerance need to work a bit harder to ensure they get the calcium they need to prevent the loss of bone density that comes with osteoporosis.

Many people pop a calcium pill rather than investigating non-dairy food sources of calcium, according to dietitian Gloria Tsang, founder of nutrition network HealthCastle.com and author of Go UnDiet: 50 Small Actions for Lasting Weight Loss.

“Calcium supplements can help meet the calcium needs of people who don’t get their calcium through dairy,” Tsang said in a release. “But incorporating calcium-rich foods into your regular diet can ensure at least some of your calcium comes through whole, healthy foods.”

Men and women aged 19 to 50 should get 1,000 mg of calcium per day, and after age 50 we all need 1,200 mg per day, according to Tsang.

Here are HealthCastle’s picks for non-dairy calcium sources:

Dark green vegetables: At about 180 to 240 mg calcium per cup, vegetables like broccoli, arugula and spinach are great in a stir-fry or salad. Tofu/Soy milk: Look for soy milk fortified with calcium (approximately 300 mg calcium per cup) or tofu processed with calcium sulfate (250 mg per half-cup). Nuts and seeds/Almond milk: Almonds offer 75 mg calcium per ounce, while sesame seeds offer a whopping 280. Add some to a dark, leafy salad for a combo calcium kick. Lentils and beans: Offering from 35 mg calcium per cup up to well over 100, lentils and beans add calcium to chilies, stews and Indian dishes like curries and dahl. Canned fish with bones: If you’re looking for non-dairy calcium options but you’re not vegan, you can also get a healthy dose of calcium from canned fish with the bones in.

Getting enough calcium is key to preventing osteoporosis. Adding these calcium-rich non-dairy foods can help even those who don’t do dairy meet their calcium needs through food.

 

By Ian Lee, HealthCastle.com

OK.  I admit it.  I’m a little intense about the subject of sugar.

As a child I was practically raised on white sugar and feel that it had a part in my many health problems which took me decades to overcome.  You can read some of my story here: Diana’s Story. It was a different time back then. There was not the awareness about nutrition that there is now.

I’m going to give you strategies to avoid sugar and the cravings, but first I must make a few points about why you would want to do such a thing.  This was already dealt with briefly in my previous article on artificial sweeteners.

7 Reasons to Give Up Sugar:

1. Sugar is Not Food – It is empty calories with little nutritional value and actually causes your body to steal vitamins from other vital organs in attempt to process the sugar, leaving you undernourished. 2. Sugar Makes You Fat – It is filled with calories that are stored in your fat tissues. 3. Sugar Makes You Nervous – There is a clear link between excess sugar and disorders like anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia, because of extreme levels of insulin and adrenalin. 4. Sugar Causes Diabetes, Kidney and Heart Problems – Excess sugar can damage the pancreas’s ability to function properly. 5. Sugar Kills Your Teeth – Sugar increases the bacteria in your mouth that erodes enamel. The biggest crime is that many popular toothpastes contain sugar which is not required to be put the on the label. 6. Sugar Suppresses the Immune System – Sugar interferes with the body by overtaxing its defenses. 7. Sugar Causes Wrinkles – A high-sugar diet damages collagen.

The average American consumes 20 teaspoons of added sugar each day; that is 2-3 pounds of sugar per week!  This is added sugar; not sugar naturally found in fruit, vegetables, grains and milk. The World Health Organization says no more than 10 percent of calories should come from added sweeteners; that is a maximum of 12 teaspoons of sugar for a 2,200-calorie diet.  Twenty teaspoons may sound like a lot of sugar to get through in one day, but…

Consider the following:

Low-fat fruit yogurt (125ml) contains 4 1/2 tsp of sugar. 2 slices white bread contains 6 tsp of sugar. Wheaties (1 bowl & 1/2 tsp sugar) contains 3-4 tsp sugar. 1 glazed donut contains 6 tsp of sugar. A 12 ounce Pepsi contains 10 tsp of sugar.

That is a total of 29.5 teaspoons of sugar!  It is easy to see why sugar consumption is on the rise when we look at how many foods have added sugar in them.

How to Get Off Sugar

It takes about 7 days to get the addiction out of your system. This does not mean the cravings will disappear but the intense addiction needs that amount of time.  Wean yourself off sugar or go cold-turkey.  The choice is yours — you pick the way that works for you as we are all different.

Tips on How Wean Yourself Slowly:

1. Eat fresh and dried fruit instead of sugary sweets – Although they are filled with natural sugar, they are a healthier choice as fruit is filled with vitamins, minerals and fiber.  It is okay at first to eat a bigger quantity of them while weaning. 2. Dessert Rules – Week 1: Maximum once a day. Week 2: twice a week. Week 3: once a week.  Make it your rule to have raw fruit at least half the time. 3. Try Stevia – A natural sugar alternative that actually nourishes the pancreas and has no calories. Stevia is an herbal extract from the Stevia Rebaudiana leaf that has been shown to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure. 4. Don’t skip meals – When you miss regular meals; you create a starving situation in your body and you will eat anything to bring your blood sugar level back to normal and you know what that means. 5. Instead of soda pop, lemonade & iced tea – Make lemonade with stevia and herb tea with stevia.  If you need that carbonated zing, add sparkling mineral water. When at a party or at the bar, drink soda water with lime or lemon. 6. No sweets in your cupboards or fridge – It is too tempting to have them available. 7. When craving strikes, go for a walk – Athletes’ cravings for sweet foods declines after exercise; they prefer salty foods.

Tip: Read labels for hidden sugars & sugar aliases Hidden sugars: tomato sauce, baked beans, packaged foods, chewing gum, mints, and lunch meats. Sugar aliases: corn syrup, dextrin, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrate, high-fructose corn syrup, galactose, glucose, honey, hydrogenated starch, invert sugar maltose, lactose, mannitol, maple syrup, molasses, polyols, sorghum, sucrose, sorbitol, and xylitol.

Natural Alternatives to Sugar:

This article is a second in a three-part series about sugar. The third will deal with all the wonderful natural sweeteners, their different qualities, benefits, and when to use them.

Sugar-Free Recipes

To also assist you in this area, I offer recipes that I have worked with, sometimes for years. Most of them are 100 percent sugar-free, gluten-free and vegan.

Gingerbread Cake :  This is to DIE FOR and unlike many deserts is very balancing to your health. Brown Rice Pudding:  A tasty familiar treat. Apple Cake:  I tried FIVE TIMES to get this just right.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/7-tips-to-avoid-sugar-cravings.html#ixzz1rpuEgGji Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/7-tips-to-avoid-sugar-cravings.html#ixzz1rpte0eMn

Quinoa is a Powerfood Vegetable Seed!

By Diana Herrington

Although referred to as a grain, it is actually a seed from a vegetable related to Swiss chard, spinach and beets. Quinoa is pronounced keen-wa not kwin-o-a.

Learn its benefits, its ancient history, and preparing tips and cautions.

8 Health Benefits of Quinoa:

1. High quality protein with the nine essential amino acids, the protein balance is similar to milk. At 16.2 to 20 percent protein, it has is more protein than rice (7.5 percent), millet (9.9 percent) or wheat (14 percent).

2. Great source of riboflavin. Riboflavin has been shown to help reduce the frequency of attacks in migraine sufferers by improving the energy metabolism within the brain and muscle cells.

3. Inca warriors had more stamina and quicker recovery time by eating these quinoa seeds, making it a truly ancient powerfood.

4. Antiseptic. The saponins from quinoa are used to promote healing of skin injuries in South America.

5. Not fattening! Only 172 calories per 1/4 cup dry (24 of the calories from protein and only 12 from sugars, the rest are complex carbohydrates, fiber and healthy fats).

6. Gluten-free. Since it is not not related to wheat, or even a grain, it is gluten-free.

7. Alkaline-forming. Although it is not strongly alkaline-forming, it is comparable to wild rice, amaranth, and sprouted grains.

8. Smart Carb: It is a complex carbohydrate with a low glycemic index, so it won’t spike your blood sugar.

History:

Quinoa was considered sacred by the Incas; they called it the “mother seed.” The Inca civilization in South America grew it in the high altitude of the Andes.  It was their staple food for 5,000 years. The Spanish conquistadors almost wiped quinoa out by making it illegal for the Indians to grow.  They did not see how useful it is. Finally in the 1980s two Americans discovered this nutrient-rich food and began growing quinoa in Colorado.

Quinoa Nutrition: Nutritional Value of Quinoa (100 grams)

372 calories Proteins 11.49 grams Fat  4.86 grams Carbohydrates  71.2 grams Calcium  66 milligrams Iron   8.5 milligrams Vitamin  1 gram Vitamin C  1 gram Thiamin  0.24 grams Riboflavin 0.23 grams Niacin 1.40 grams

Source: Bethzabe Iiguez de Barrios. Mil Delicias de la Quinua. Oruro, Bolivia: (Editora Quelco, 1977), p. 29

How to Store: It is best to store quinoa in an airtight container. If stored in the refrigerator, it will keep for three to six months.Recipes: Cooking Quinoa: How to cook quinoa the fast and easy way. Deluxe Quinoa Puddingis easy to make and delicious.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/8-health-benefits-of-quinoa.html#ixzz1rpsyou9O

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/8-health-benefits-of-quinoa.html#ixzz1rpshzIZg

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/8-health-benefits-of-quinoa.html#ixzz1rps7qGNR

By Katherine E. Solem                          Published 10/10/2009

Let’s be honest: If losing weight was easy, you wouldn’t be reading this article — and we wouldn’t be writing it. Emotional issues can fuel obesity-promoting habits such as overeating, and they can get in the way of making change. It’s important to recognize your personal roadblocks and design quick detours around them. See how many of these sound familiar to you:

Stress. Stress provokes lots of unhealthy responses: piling on the portions, eating junk food, watching TV and not getting enough sleep. Try: Deep breathing. When you feel stressed, close your eyes and take five deep breaths, suggests Elizabeth Ricanati, MD, medical director for the Cleveland Clinic’s Lifestyle 180 program. Deep breathing helps promote a state of calm and mental focus, so you are better able to make healthier decisions. Low self-esteem and poor body image. We live in a fat-phobic society where women in particular feel pressured to look a certain way in order to be accepted. People with obesity may internalize these negative judgments, and the self-loathing often leads to further eating and other unhealthy behaviors, says Michael McKee, PhD, a psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic who works with obese patients. Try: Positive self-talk. Remind yourself that you deserve to be healthy and take care of your body. Compliment yourself for achieving small goals, and encourage yourself to do more. You may also benefit from joining a weight-loss support group. Depression. “As BMI increases, so does the risk for depression,” says Leslie Heinberg, PhD, the director of behavioral services for the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute at the Cleveland Clinic and an associate professor at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. Try: Professional help. While exercise and losing weight can help you better manage the symptoms of depression, you may need professional treatment. Tell your doctor immediately how you’re feeling — don’t wait for the feelings to go away.

Overcoming obesity can seem like a long, hard slog. You need to unlearn habits built up over years. While some people can change in a singular breakthrough moment, like the smoker who quits cold turkey, most of us make change by increments — and small increments are usually easiest to handle. The right mind-set, too, can pull you through.

ID your motivation. Are you trying to lose weight because you want to feel healthier or better about yourself? Or because someone else put pressure on you? “Your motivation should be for a selfish reason,” Dr. McKee says. If you’re doing it because your doctor told you to, you’re less likely to stick with it. Assess your readiness to change. To make lasting lifestyle changes, you have to be willing to commit to the process. If you aren’t quite ready to take action, it may help you to think of the benefits of being healthier, such as having more energy to play with your kids or grandkids (not to mention being around to see them grow up). Create a plan. Make a small, specific and action-oriented goal, like no eating in front of the television, or walking for 10 minutes before lunch. Your plan may require you to adjust your environment, for example by moving the TV out of the kitchen. Review and re-evaluate. After a few weeks, assess the results. Did you stick with it? If not, what got in the way? What modifications do you need to make for your plan to work? Remember, successful plans are often revisions of unsuccessful ones. Manage setbacks. Expect and accept that you will occasionally relapse into your old patterns. Don’t beat up yourself: Remind yourself of your motivation for losing weight and start afresh with doable goals. Time is on your side. New habits generally become easier to maintain over time. The same goes for keeping weight off. Long-term success greatly increases once people have kept their weight down for two to five years, according to research.
By Cleveland Clinic Wellness Editors           Published 9/8/2011

The real question is, can you afford not to eat healthy? We understand your concerns about shopping economically. Yet we also realize the true value of a healthy diet. Fortunately, you can eat healthy on a budget! To demonstrate, we’ve asked Cleveland Clinic registered dietitians to “bust” some common myths about the costs of eating well to be well:

MYTH: Fruits and vegetables are expensive.

FACT: You can find reasonably priced fruits and vegetables when they are in season. When produce is out-of-season, save money by buying frozen fruits and veggies – the nutrients are all there!

MYTH: It takes too much time to eat healthy.

FACT: With a little planning, eating healthy doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Create a meal plan for the week; make a large batch of a healthy meal; freeze the divided portions, and reheat for busy weeknights.

MYTH: Meat and chicken are the only real sources of protein.

FACT: You don’t have to buy red meat and poultry to find good sources of protein. Eggs, beans and canned tuna are also good protein sources – and more reasonably priced.

MYTH: Fat-free, single-serving, pre-packaged foods are healthier.

FACT: Portion-controlled, 100-calorie snack packs are not necessarily healthy for you, and neither are foods labeled “fat-free.” Fresh fruits and vegetables can be more nutritious and economical – they’re naturally portion-controlled and come perfectly packaged!

MYTH: Fast-food value menu items are a bargain.

FACT: That $1 menu item might seem like a good buy, but do the math and you’ll find that costs will quickly multiply for a family of four or more.

Once you separate myth from fact, it’s easy to see that stocking the cupboard and fridge with nutritious foods doesn’t have to set you back.

Okra can be seen everywhere. Both in the US and in Deeper Asia, it is called Okra. Some call it Ladies’ Finger or Gumbo. It is said to have originated from Southeast Asia. Some say from Ethiopia or West Africa. Here in Deeper Asia, it is commonly seen in wet markets and some grocery stores. We love it grilled or mixed with other veggies in meat or fish soups. It’s been traditionally seen as a good source of fibers, but that was before my friend discovered its medicinal use.

Okra Nutrition

The okra treatment my friend discovered uses raw okra. Well, when cooked, okra can give us the following nutrition benefits: Protein, niacin, riboflavin, phosphorus,  zinc, copper,potassium, Vitamins A, B6, C, and K, thiamine, magnesium, folate, calcium, and manganese.

In addition, some studies say it is proven to be helpful in normalizing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, healing asthma due to the special Vitamin C in it (which is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory), removing atherosclerosis, and healing some cancers. If you’re worried about eye cataracts or acne and pimples, try okra–eat lots of it.

Raw okra is more powerful than boiled or steamed okra. The secret was to get two fresh and nice looking okra pieces, wash thoroughly, nip both ends, pierce with a fork on two sides, and soak in clean water in a glass overnight.

That’s it? That’s it.

Well, of course, you drink the water with the okra sap in the morning, and you do that religiously everyday. And that’s what Toots did after a month or so. Then he checked his blood sugar and it dramatically stayed on normal levels. Amazing. He’s been sharing the good news to friends since.

Read the entire article here.

If you are looking to obtain the ultimate you then it’s time to start considering a few essential items that you will need in the kitchen to get you going. I have compiled a list of items that were (and still are) beneficial for me and my health. You can purchase these items one at a time or knock yourself out and put them all on one ticket. Keep in mind that as your knowledge regarding food and health grow and change, so might your need for additional kitchen essentials.

Juicer/Juice Extractor ($25 – $400) – You’ll need a juicer/extractor to make those fresh and delicious fruit and veggie juices without paying those smoothie cafe prices. You can purchase an ok juicer for around $50 depending on how often you plan on using it. Be sure to look for a juicer with a wide mouth (preferably 3 inches) especially if you’re going to be juicing apples. It becomes a pain when you have to slice your fruits and veggies into small strips just to get it in the juicer.

Click on Images below to view products and pricing.

                       

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Pros: Clean, pulp-free juices which are healthy and delicious when you make them fresh, especially carrot juice (yum).

Cons: Cleaning up is a pain. There are about 4-6 components that need to be cleaned thoroughly after use which takes about 5-10 minutes to clean.

**TIP: Not ready to buy one yet? Borrow a friend’s juicer so you can test it out for yourself. Once you test it out, you’ll have a better idea of what kind of blender is right for you.

Blender ($15 – $500) – Blenders are great for making quick shakes and smoothies, ice creams, nut milks (such as almond milk), fresh mayo, dressings, soups, you name it! For some it may be tempting to start out with the most inexpensive blender around, which usually has a plastic container. DO NOT purchase one those; you will regret it down the line. If a blender with a bigger price tag is not in your budget right now, purchase a blender with a glass container or a BPA-free container. You may find yourself using your blender more than your juicer so invest wisely.

Click on Images below to view products and pricing.

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Pros: Your fiber intake is much higher which is great for digestion. Clean up is a breeze.

Cons: Drinks have a thicker consistency that with using a juicer.

If you are looking to invest in your health, I highly recommend you getting a Vitamix. The most inexpensive way it can be purchased is through the company directly. Check out Why I Love My Vitamix or go to http://www.vitamix.com to order or call 1-800-848-2649 and mention the code: 06-006718 for FREE shipping.

Citrus Press/Juicer ($19-$190) If you like fresh squeezed juice in the morning or you made tons of fresh lemonade then a citrus press/juicer is what you need. Electric citrus juicers gives you as much or as little pulp as you want. Although machine is designed for citrus, you can juice pomegranates as well.

Click on Images below to view products and pricing.

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Pros: Delivers fresh juice in no time. Very few parts make it easy to clean.

Cons: Inexpensive citrus juicers can be a little noisy.

Despite its considerable medicinal uses, however, apple cider vinegar — which is made by fermenting the sugars from apples — has more uses than most people realize. Its cosmetic benefits are especially impressive and give us even more reasons to stock our shelves with this gold-colored tonic. → Read more

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