Food for Thought

Obesity and Malnutrition, the Hunger Paradox

Why are so many in our country obese, while thousands of children around the world go to bed hungry each night?  Ellen Gustafson addresses this question and has launched multiple projects to help our world have easier access to healthy food.  Click here and here to read more the organizations she is a part of.  Why not get involved in a new Fall project?  You can help yourself, your community, and the world.

Nutrition Tips

I don’t know very much about this fitness program, but I found their list of nutrition tips and thought it was a nice way to start of the new school year!  I don’t know about you guys, but I definitely need to focus more on healthy eating as the summer winds down and real life starts again.  Hope these help you off to a good start!

The Lomax Way: NutrITION TIPS

1. Good, old fashioned H₂O….

Make sure you drink water (preferably bottled, distilled or filtered) and plenty of it! It helps to plump up your skin and rid your body of toxins, including fat!

2. Don’t eat or drink anything that your great grandmother wouldn’t recognise…

Our diets have evolved over the years to include foods and products which, if our great grandmothers were to come across, wouldn’t have a clue what it was – take Cheese Strings or a Skinny Mochachino for example! Generally, these are the things which are bad for us anyway.

3. Switch bad fats for good ones….

Out with the saturated fats and in with the omegas! Not only does it help your skin to glow, it also helps to maintain your hormone balance and support brain function. So to ensure you’re a happy wife with the wit and intelligence to impress even Einstein, make sure you get rid of those fatty foes!

4. Eat the Rainbow…..

Make sure each meal is packed with colour. In a day you should be ‘eating the rainbow’ (food items in colourful packaging do not count!) to ensure you’re getting a whole variety of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients to protect your body.

5. Take a good multi-vitamin….

Although your diet will be balanced and you will get good levels of vitamins and minerals due to eating nutritionally dense foods, intensive farming has led to a decline in the quality of foods thus very often most people are not reaching optimum levels of micronutrients. A multi-vitamin will help to bridge the gap.

6. Chew your food properly….

If you inhale your food then you tend to eat double what you should be eating. Make sure you chew your food properly, not only does it ensure you don’t eat as much, it also helps with digestion.

7. Stop thinking about calories and start thinking about how food benefits you….

Some people will have a doughnut rather than eating lunch since in terms of calories, it equates to nearly the same. However, a doughnut will in no way give you the same nutritional benefit as a balanced meal, so, start to think about food as something that keeps you well, not just as a source of energy.

8. The first bite is always the best…..

With so many delicious gastronomic delights out there these days it’s not always easy to say no to yourself. Try just having a couple of teaspoons of a dessert to satisfy your craving, this will also prevent you from piling on the pounds!

9. Have the right kinds of snacks….

We’ve all suffered from that mid-afternoon slump and opt for the sugary pick me-up, but this will make you crave more sugar by unbalancing your blood sugar levels. Make sure you’re having a snack that is not refined/sugary to keep those hunger levels at bay. Try opting for a piece of fruit, a small pot of plain, natural yoghurt or a couple of oat cakes with cottage cheese instead.

If you’re going to remember anything, remember this….. ‘If you put rubbish in, you get rubbish out….’  The science is simple!    By Zoë Copsey, Lomax Bespoke Health – London.

Mediterranean Diet

It’s been so long since I’ve written on here…I’ve missed it!  In the past few months, I had the opportunity to go to Israel and Jordan.  I saw a lot of interesting things, but being a foodie at heart and always looking for ways to improve my diet, I was especially mindful of what I was eating.  The hotels that I stayed at all offered buffet breakfasts and wow was it different from the danishes and coffee the Holiday Inn offers! haha every breakfast included a huge salad bar and olive oil and spices, hummus, and spiced yogurts instead of typical, American dressings.  Eggs were prepared scrambled, as an omelette, boiled, poached in tomato sauce…they were so delicious!  Every buffet also included fresh fruit, yogurt and honey, bran cereals, and juice.  Needless to say, it was a power-punch kind of way to start the day!

At first, I didn’t want to start my day with vegetables (I’m a Captain Crunch kind of girl), but after eating salad and boiled eggs for a few days, I couldn’t believe how much more energy I had than grabbing something sweet and processed like I do at home…and with just one small plate of salad, I stayed full for hours!  If you want to try it, give yourself a few days to get used to this new way of eating…I think you’ll learn to love it too!!

The Mediterranean Diet is similar to the American Heart Association diet suggestions.  It basically consists of the following:

  • high consumption of fruits, vegetables, bread and other cereals, potatoes, beans, nuts and seeds
  • olive oil is an important monounsaturated fat source
  • dairy products, fish and poultry are consumed in low to moderate amounts, and little red meat is eaten
  • eggs are consumed zero to four times a week
  • wine is consumed in low to moderate amounts

Do you want to help your heart?  Instead of filling your body with empty calories (which will spike your blood pressure), or high levels of cholesterol from saturated fats (which could put your cardiovascular health at risk), the Mediterranean Diet avoids most carbs and substitutes bad fat with monounsaturated fats.

Be aware, though, that this diet is high in salt (most of the salads had capers, olives, salt-cured cheeses, or salted fish), so if you have high blood pressure, make sure your salads fit your dietary needs.

I know you all know how to make a salad, so here are some ideas to give your salad some pizazz!

Roasted Red Peppers

Ingredients:
4 medium-sized or 3 big fresh, red bell peppers

Extra virgin olive oil

Directions:
1. Clean the peppers thoroughly with a clean towel.
2.
Arrange the whole bell peppers on a baking sheet or shallow flat baking pan. Leave two inches between bell peppers.
3.
Broil the bell peppers in the oven until they are tender. (Turn them over every ten minutes.) The baking time is about 45 minutes for very big peppers. When done the skins of the bell peppers are black, blistered and charred.
4.
Remove the bell peppers from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes. To make peeling easier some people wrap the bell peppers in a plastic bag after you remove them from the oven. The retained steam makes easier to lift the skin of the bell peppers. Let them cool and peel.
5.
Cut the stem, and cut them in half from stem to base. Remove the seeds and peel them with your fingers.
6.
Cut the bell peppers in strips of about one inch width and arrange them nicely on a dish. Drizzle some olive oil over the strips.  Eat alone or on salad.

Of COURSE I had to include a hummus recipe!  We went to a restaurant that had a salad plate to start and around the salad came all these little dishes of different types of hummus.  The garlic and eggplant hummus was my favorite, but there are so many to choose from, go here and try out some different recipes yourself!

Garlic Hummus

Ingredients:
2 cups of cooked or canned chickpeas
1-3 cloves of garlic, depending on how garlicky you like it
3 Tbsp tahini
4 Tbsp lemon juice
salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:
Put all ingredients into a food processor and puree. Or, put all ingredients into a tall container and use your stick blender to puree them.
If you find the hummus is too thick, add some water, stirring in a tablespoon at a time until you are happy with the consistency.

Pretty simple, right?  Don’t think that just because this post includes the 4-letter D-word, the recipes will be boring and flavorless.  It’s just a different way of cooking and eating.  Enjoy it!  I promise, this diet is delicious and healthy.  Give it a try.

Breast Cancer Swimsuits

Today I found the website for an AMAZING online store called Belafigura.  They make beautiful, stylish swimsuits designed especially for women that have undergone chemotherapy or have gotten a mastectomy and want to hide their scars or put in prosthetic implants.  I thought it was a wonderful idea – and the swimsuits are the cutest I’ve seen in a long time.

Aren’t they cute?

Family Health History

One of the main risk factors for chronic disease is genetics.  If someone in your family has a chronic disease, you may also have that gene that pre-disposes you to be at risk for a certain disease.  It’s important to track your family’s health history before you start experience symptoms of the disease, especially if you want to know what specific steps you can take to prevent a disease that runs in the family.  This Family Health Portrait, made available by the Surgeon General, is one of many different health history tools found on the internet.  It only takes a few minutes to fill out, but can analyze what diseases you may be at risk for.   This is what your health history chart will look like:

https://i2.wp.com/www.genomics.health.wa.gov.au/images/diagram-fhh_pedigree.gif

It’s not too complicated or time-consuming to fill out, and once you know what diseases you may be at risk for, you can talk to your doctor about lifestyle changes that may allow you to completely avoid getting a chronic disease.  This article, from the Canadian Medical Association Journal, tells how to use your Health History sheet to improve your ability to fight chronic disease before it starts damaging your body.  Once you complete a Family Health History chart, it’s important to share what you’ve found with your other family members so that they are also aware of healths problems they could face in the future if they don’t take steps to prevent them now.

https://i0.wp.com/www.elcivics.com/lifeskills/images/healthy-family-meals.jpg

Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic disease which affects an estimated 220 million people around the world.  It results from the body’s inability to use or produce insulin, the hormone necessary for sugar to transfer from the blood into the cells.  It provides the cells with energy that allows them to function.  People that have Type I diabetes test their blood on a regular basis, and take insulin shots when their blood sugar is too high because their pancreas can’t produce insulin.  People with Type II diabetes usually control their diabetes through pills and diet, since their body makes insulin, but the cells just don’t respond to it as well as they need to.  They try to keep their blood sugar at a steady, normal rate (between 80-120 mg/100 mL) because spikes and drops in blood sugar can be damaging and even fatal.

http://candidchatter.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/diabetes-finger-prick.jpg

To help diabetics plan their diets, scientists and dieticians came up with the Glycemic Index (or GI).  Foods that have low rankings generally cause little change in blood sugar levels.  Eating a low GI diet helps the body become more sensitive to insulin.  It also reduces cholesterol levels and risk of heart and brain problems, and allows the body to be able to endure more exercise.  So what’s the best way to incorporate a low GI diet into your busy schedule?  The Glycemic Index website suggests swapping out high GI foods with low GI foods.  It suggests eating less carbs.  You can do that by eating wholegrain breads, Basmati rice, pasta, quinoa, and more fruits and vegetables.


The holidays are here and everyone likes to share their favorite foods and treats, but what can you make that your guests will love, and that also ranks low in the Glycemic Index?  These recipes, from “The GI Diet Guru” website let you enjoy your dessert without counting carbs.

NO BAKE PINEAPPLE AND BERRY CHEESECAKE

(makes 10 servings)

No Bake Pineapple & Berry Cheese Cake

This healthy no bake cheese cake provides Glycemic Index watchers with a way to enjoy a dessert treat. Pineapple juice is used as a sweetener so there is no added sugar and there is a generous amount of protein too, keeping the GI very low.

INGREDIENTS:
3 cups light cream cheese
2 cups fat-free cream cheese
4 cups roughly crushed vanilla ice cream cones or wafers
5 sheets of leaf gelatin or enough powdered gelatin to set 2/3 pint liquid (check packet instructions)
2 tablespoons powdered milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 8-oz cans of pineapple in natural juices
1½ cups fresh strawberries, halved
½ cup fresh blueberries

Put the gelatin to soak in a little water. Add ½ cup non fat cream cheese to the crushed vanilla cones/wafers and mix together with the tips of your fingers. Pack the mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan and put in the refrigerator.

Put the remaining cream cheese and vanilla extract in to a bowl, sprinkle in the powdered milk and stir together. Remove the pineapple from the cans, saving the juice, and chop it into fine chunks.

Draining away the water first, put the gelatin in a pan on a low heat, slowly mix in the juice from the canned pineapples. Little by little add the pineapple juice and gelatin to the cream cheese, stirring as you go.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per slice):
Calories: 217, Protein: 14g, Fat: 10g, Saturated: 6g, Cholesterol: 42mg, Carbohydrate: 22g, Sugars: 15g, Fiber: 2g, Sodium: 496mg

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE WITH RASPBERRIES
(makes 4 servings)

Chocolate mousse

Chocolate is usually not considered a diet food but cocoa itself has beneficial anti-inflammatory properties. It is usually the other ingredients added to chocolate that make it a dieter’s foe. This chocolate mousse uses 70% cocoa chocolate this contains much less fat and sugar then a conventional chocolate bar.

INGREDIENTS:
80g 70%-cocoa chocolate
2 egg whites
2 teaspoons sugar
4 tablespoons plain yogurt
30 raspberries

Break chocolate into a glass bowl and gently heat the jug in saucepan of water. When the chocolate is fully melted take the jug out of the saucepan and allow it to cool for a few minutes.

Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Add the sugar to the whites and whisk them until they become firm and form soft peaks as the whisk is removed.

Add the chocolate to the yogurt and mix them together well.

Fold the egg white into the chocolate yogurt and then spoon the mixture into ramekins or whatever bowls or glasses you have to hand. Refrigerate the mixture for 2 hours to allow it to set.

Just before serving arrange the raspberries on top and use a potato peeler to create chocolate shavings for decoration.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per serving):
Calories: 145, Protein: 5g, Fat: 9g, Saturated: 5g, Cholesterol: 3mg, Carbohydrate: 13g, Sugars: 10g, Fiber: 2g, Sodium: 52mg

Tomato Soup Recipe

In an article published this last September by the National Health Service (NHS) of England, doctors, scientists, and chefs introduced a very complete, “anti-prostate cancer” recipe book.  The main point of these recipes is to decrease saturated fats, especially in the form of red meat and dairy, and increase vitamins D and E as well as lycopene (an anti-oxidant found in  products) in the diet.

Since lycopene helps fight the development of cancer, I found this wonderful tomato soup recipe to share with you all.  It’s great for the cold weather, and only has 1 gram (or about 8% of the daily value) of saturated fat per serving.  There’s no meat or dairy in the recipe, and olive oil is used instead of vegetable oil.  It can be accompanied with a large salad and toast with a little bit of cheese melted on top for a balanced meal.

TOMATO SOUP

Jeni Wright – BBC’s Good Food Section (UK)

Tomato soup

INGREDIENTS:
2.75 lbs. tomatoes
1 med. onion
1 small carrot
1 celery stick
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. tomato puree
a pinch of sugar
2 bay leaves
5 cups hot vegetable stock (or boiling water, with 4 rounded tsp. of vegetable bouillon powder)
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. First, prepare your vegetables. If the tomatoes are on their vines, pull them off. The green stalky bits should come off at the same time, but if they don’t, just pull or twist them off afterwards. Throw the vines and green bits away and wash the tomatoes. Now cut each tomato into quarters and slice off any hard cores (they don’t soften during cooking and you’d get hard bits in the soup at the end). Peel the onion and carrot and chop them into small pieces. Chop the celery roughly the same size.
  2. Spoon the oil into a large heavy-based pan and heat it over a low heat. Hold your hand over the pan until you can feel the heat rising from the oil, then tip in the onion, carrot and celery and mix them together with a wooden spoon. Still with the heat low, cook the vegetables until they’re soft and faintly coloured. This should take about 10 minutes and you should stir them two or three times so they cook evenly and don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Holding the tube over the pan, squirt in about 2 tsp of tomato purée, then stir it around so it turns the vegetables red. Shoot the tomatoes in off the chopping board, sprinkle in a good pinch of sugar and grind in a little black pepper, then tear each bay leaf into a few pieces and throw them into the pan. Stir to mix everything together, put the lid on the pan and let the tomatoes stew over a low heat for 10 minutes until they shrink down in the pan and their juices flow nicely. From time to time, give the pan a good shake – this will keep everything well mixed.
  4. Slowly pour in the stock, stirring at the same time to mix it with the vegetables. Turn up the heat as high as it will go and wait until everything is bubbling, then turn the heat down to low again and put the lid back on the pan. Cook gently for 25 minutes, stirring a couple of times. At the end of cooking the tomatoes will have broken down and be very slushy looking.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat, take the lid off and stand back for a few seconds or so while the steam escapes, then fish out the pieces of bay leaf and throw them away. Ladle the soup into your blender until it’s about three-quarters full, fit the lid on tightly and turn the machine on full. Blitz until the soup’s smooth (stop the machine and lift the lid to check after about 30 seconds), then pour the puréed soup into a large bowl. Repeat with the soup that’s left in the pan. (The soup may now be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost before reheating.)
  6. Pour the puréed soup back into the pan and reheat it over a medium heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until you can see bubbles breaking gently on the surface. Taste a spoonful and add a pinch or two of salt if you think the soup needs it, plus more pepper and sugar if you like. If the colour’s not a deep enough red for you, plop in another teaspoon of tomato purée and stir until it dissolves. Ladle into bowls and serve.
Nutritional Values:
4 servings
123 calories, 4 g. protein, 13 g. carbohydrates, 7 g. fat, 1 g. saturated fat, 4 g. fiber