Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Fiber

I have fiber on my mind this morning. It's been late in life, after my colon cancer, that I have found out how important fiber is to our well-being.

I'm getting graphic here... sorry but necessary. I have struggled with constipation all my life and noone ever told me what to do about it. I strongly believe that my cancer came about because of things not passing through my body in a normal fashion. Just my take on it.

I had the whole nine-yards... the endoscopy, the colonoscopy, x-rays, ct scans, the works and they found that I had a small hiatal hernia and diverticulosis. I also have been taking medicine for acid reflux for years!! And, boy, I suffer if I miss a dosage.


Now, I am learning how important fiber is and I am doing something about it. Did you know that only 3 % of Americans get a minimum intake of fiber per day? And, did you know that people who eat a plant-based diet seldom have the problems that arise from lack of fiber (constipation, hiatal hernia, acid reflux, cancer and hemorrhoids, varicose veins etc).

                       There are two kinds of fiber - 
Soluble, which helps lower cholesterol and blood glucose.
Insoluble which helps with the bathroom issue!! 
Plus, fiber regulates and slows digestion so it makes you feel full. Hence, you eat less (hopefully)



Women need 25 grams of fiber per day (21 grams if you are over 50 years of age, of which I am)

Where do we find fiber? In beans, fruits, grains, leafy veggies and you can also take fiber in over the counter medication. I tend to love the fiber gummies!




                                                     Here are some amounts per cup.

                                                           1. Split Peas.............16.3
                                                           2. Black Beans.........15
                                                           3. Lentils..................15.6
                                                           4. Lima Beans..........13.2
                                                           5. Broccoli...............5.1
                                                           6. Raspberries..........8
                                                           7. Blackberries.........7.6
                                                           8. Avocados.............6.7
                                                           9. Bran Flakes..........7
                                                          10. Oatmeal.............4

Geez, I wonder how we can incorporate those into our diets to come up with 21 grams? Should be pretty easy if you eat a lot of beans!! There I go on again about eating beans. Trust me, they are good for you.

Disclaimer: I am no expert, just simply a woman who is interested in living a more healthy life. I find my material from reliable sources on the internet and from "How Not To Die" by Dr. M. Greger. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Quinoa Fried Rice

About four years ago I had lunch at a friends house and she served something I had never heard of....

Quinoa. Yes, I have led a sheltered life. hehe

I kept thinking that I would get some and try it myself and here I am, years later, sharing a new dish I fixed for the first time tonight, Quinoa Fried Rice. 



I really enjoyed it. I did not have frozen peas on hand, nor a zucchini so I just chopped up red sweet pepper to replace those with. I think I like that better but you could add a bunch of different veggies in there. You could also add shrimp or chunks of chicken. I ate mine with 3 chicken nuggets on the side. 

I was so happy to discover that quinoa is a complete protein with all eight amino acids that are so essential to our well-being. It was first grown in South America over 5,000 years ago (and it sure took a long time to work it's way north!) 

My organic quinoa just has 156 calories per serving. 
Total Fat 2.5 grams with no saturated fat and no trans fat! 
There also is no Cholesterol, sodium or sugar. I loved the fact that it does have 3 grams of fiber per serving. I am always looking for ways to get more fiber. 

I just have that one recipe for quinoa. Do you have any that you would like to share with us? I'd much appreciate it.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Daily Dietary Chart

I am so totally committed to eating healthier and my guide (along with some suggestions elsewhere) has been Dr. Michael Greger's book 'How Not To Die'. I sent the book to two of my daughters - Susan (who has received hers already and loves it) and Marie (from A Colorful World, who has not gotten hers in the mail yet). She'll love it, too, trust me... A Mom knows best, hehe. 

Dr. Greger believes that to live long, healthy lives we should eat plant-based foods. I'm not going to go vegan. I do like my chicken and other less fattening meats so I'll say that you base how you use these suggestions with your own conscience. 

In the book, I ran across a chart Dr. G. had made and stuck up in his kitchen that are his projected requirements and he checks off each one as he consumes them every day. 

Now, I'm telling you - there's no way I can eat all of that.... I don't think it -- I know it!!

                                                       SERVINGS PER DAY

                                                             3     beans               1/2 cup
                                                             1     berries             1/2 cup
                                                             3     other fruit        1 med. or 1 cup
                                                             4     green leafy vegetables  1/2 cup
                                                             5     other greens
                                                             2     other vegetables
                                                             1     flaxseed           1 Tablespoon
                                                             1     nuts                   1/4 cup
                                                             

I have briefly covered "beans" in a previous post (you can find it by going to the labels at the bottom of the page).  We'll discuss the other servings later on.

Right now let's just think about what he suggests we eat. Personally I can't consume all of that. And, yes, I do need a chart so that I can check off what I do eat. 

                                                        I've made some changes already. 

                            I am eating a lot more beans (but not every day). 
                                       
                        I am a cereal for breakfast kind of gal so I eat whole grain and add both a handful of walnuts and a few berries or chopped cherries on top
                  
            I haven't tried flaxseed yet. Dr. G. suggests ground flaxseed and I didn't find that in my grocer.

                         I am eating more salads with raw vegetables

I see there is room for improvement. It's a work in progress, evidently. How are you all doing? Let me know. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Do You Want Lemon in Your Water?

I've had a toothache! It started a few days ago and since it wasn't very painful I decided to wait until I had a tooth cleaning session to have it looked at.  Can you imagine spending Valentine's Day at the dentist!! 

Are you one of those millions who ask for lemon with water? Oh, yes, I've done it a zillion times and thought I was being 'cool', and it tasted so good. It's true that lemon is good for you but there are some things I found out at the dentist office that gave me pause. So, I looked up some reliable sites on the web to further investigate.


Lemons aid in digestion. That was one of the reason I take it once a day.. a little lemon juice mixed with soda to help with that. Lemon also provides nutrients, boost the immune system, reduces mucus, freshens breath and much more. 

I am very guilty of pouring a small amount of lemon juice into my bottled water and I carry it around all afternoon sipping away. Bad idea, they tell me. Anything with lemon needs to be drunk quickly and then the acid taken care of by rinsing your mouth with water. 

Lemon juice (as well as all citrus fruits) has acid. That acid irritates your gums and softens the teeth enamel... and you will probably end up with cavities. 



Time to re-think this 'lemon in your water' thing. Here are the things I found out.

1. If you have lemon in a drink, rinse your mouth out with water as soon as you are finished. 

2. Don't brush your teeth after your lemony drink. The brushing will further enhance the erosion of your teeth while the acid is still very fresh in your mouth.

3. Read labels on drinks you buy to see if they contain any lemon juice.

4. If you must have lemon with your drink in a restaurant, ask for a glass of water as well and end with that.

5. Plain water is much better for you. 

Have a wonderfully joyous week and stay healthy.


Friday, February 10, 2017

TURMERIC

Everywhere you look these days somebody is touting the amazing properties of turmeric. You'd think that it would cure everything and anything with the way they are going on and on about it. I really perked up when I read that it is especially good for digestive problems, especially cancer.

Back in 2002 I had colon cancer. That was a scary time in my life but thank the good Lord, I am a survivor. Wish I'd known about turmeric before then. Would it have made a difference? I don't know but it would have been worth a try.




Curcumin is that yellow color in turmeric and has been found to be effective against cancer cells. 

Colon cancer in it's early stages is just clusters of cells that grab onto the lining of your colon. Smokers tend to have a lot of this problem (another reason to quit smoking) so researchers tested heavy smokers and found that curcumin could reduce those clusters up to nearly 40% in just a month.

If polyps have already formed... 6 months of curcumin used with another natural ingredient from grapes and onions reduced the polyps to half the amount and size.

Turmeric has positive results in tests with many ailments that we humans have: arthritis, Alzheimers, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and many, many others. It is anti-inflammatory. It can help regulate mild depression and mood swings because it releases the dopomine and serotonin in your brain that makes us feel good. I sure could use a mood-adjuster ever now and then.

Since it is such a powerful spice, usage of turmeric should not be more than 1/4 teaspoon per day.

                                                                      ########

So, how do we incorporate TURMERIC into our diet? I know that the spice is used in Indian and Asian dishes. You can add it to many dishes that you prepare and even add it to a smoothie that you drink. It goes well with rice, in lentil soups or on roasted veggies.

And, did you know that the reason prepared mustard is yellow is because it has turmeric in it? Do you have turmeric in your pantry? On the spice rack? Think about adding it.

                                                          BUT A WORD OF CAUTION:

People who have gallstones may experience pain when ingesting turmeric. Wouldn't you know it!! The doc recently found stones in my gall bladder. But, I may try a small amount just to see if there is an adverse reaction. Worth a try.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Beans Today

WOW. There's just so much to share and I don't know where to start or what I should focus on.                              
                                 But, today I think the post is gonna be about BEANS.




Since I started using Dr. Greger's 'How Not To Die' book about how much healthier we can be with a plant-based diet, well, I have just been 'over the moon' about each new discovery. 

And, gals, I tell you no lie... I have eaten more beans in the last 4 months than I think I did in all my 83 years put together.

                                                THEY ARE GOOD FOR YOU!!

Now, I always used to fix the standard green beans and some black-eyed peas with my meals but I didn't branch out much. Now, there's nothing off limits. 

Dr. G says you should get 3 servings of beans a day. Oh lordy. Okay, let's see how we can fit all those things into the menu planning.

                                           ************

It's Breakfast time. Beans for breakfast!! I don't think so.... but hey I will try anything... once!. So how about some left-over cooked green beans stirred into scrambled eggs  or perhaps a hummus/ breakfast burrito? One down, two to go.

I could do a serving of some type of bean soup for lunch. Any kind of soup is more healthy if they contain beans. Or try baked beans with a lettuce wrapped burger. Okay, two down, one to go.

My afternoon snack could be edamame beans by the handful or hummus stuffed celery. I could make veggies strips and dip them into bean dip. 

I would have never thought to add hummus or dip to my BEAN needs. Probably all of you knew this already... (I am a slow learner!) So, that's my third serving. Hey, I am finished for today.

Did you know that beans are loaded with protein, iron and zinc and also include fiber, folate and potassium? They are considered both a protein in our diet as well as a vegetable. They do double duty. They are great for lowering cholesterol, regulating our bodily functions and giving us nutrients that we need.


How is your favorite way to incorporate beans into your meals? Or had you ever thought about it?

And, did you know that you can make black bean brownies? We can add beans to our desserts, too. Wow.

So, let's get those pantry shelves and freezers stocked with BEANS, BEANS, BEANS!!

                             

                                                       BEAN SERVING SIZES:

                                                 1/4 cup of hummus or bean dip
                                                 1/2 cup cooked, beans, split peas, lentils, tofu or tempeh
                                                 1 cup of fresh (raw) peas


Friday, February 3, 2017

Fast Food and your Blood Flow

I'm on a roll here, folks. Still talking about arteries!! They are important and should be treated with the highest respect. If they aren't open so that the blood can flow, then guess what!! No blood flow, we die!

Stop to think of this....

A single fast-food meal can stiffen your arteries within hours, cutting in half their ability to relax normally.... so they can pump your blood easily. By the time your fast food breakfast has digested, it's time for lunch.... back to the fast food place. Poor arteries!!

Animal fat used to get all the blame but there's a new culprit out there called 'endotoxins'. Meat harbors bacteria that can trigger inflammation. ( I sure want to dive into this 'inflammation' problem before too long but it will wait). Cooking does not get rid of them.These endotoxins may end up in your intestines and they are then carried with saturated fat into your bloodstream where they cause an inflammatory reaction in your arteries. In order for our blood to flow to essential organs, carrying nutrients and oxygen we need to keep these arteries clean of obstruction. We need for them to be healthy.

                                                  A Heart Healthy Recipe

I have made this recipe numerous times. I love it and it is so healthy. 



(Ideas and information taken from "How Not To Die" by Michael Greger.)