Archive for the 'Healthy Eating' Category

Jumpin’ Jack Flax - it’s a gas, gas, gas

As I sit over my yummy bowl of flax & pumpkin seed granola, I thought I would take this opportunity to tell you about the wonders of flax seed. It is one of our greatest allies against heart disease and, for women, against breast cancer. And it makes a killer addition to granola.

One of the most important fats, as most of you know, is the omega3 fatty acids that we find in seafood like salmon. Well, for those of us who don’t eat fish regularly or at all — flax seed is essential. Along with the two preventions listed above, it also provides fiber (good for that colon - take that you mean, dirty colon cancer!), it lowers LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and it helps lower blood pressure. How many reasons does a girl need?? Any one of them would have been reason enough, no?

5 Tips to include flax seed in home cooking:

  1. Sprinkle whole or ground flax seed on your cereal and salads
  2. Substitute flax seed mixture for eggs in home baking such as muffin and pancake (1 tbsp milled flax seed, plus 3 tbsp water = 1 egg). Final products will have less volume and taste grumpier
  3. Include in other recipe when nutty flavor is preferred
  4. Substitute flax seed oil for other oils
  5. Try this Flax seed cracker recipe provided by the Flax Council of Canada

Happy eating!

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Mama’s Kitchen

I heard a wonderful piece on NPR today - it was called Hidden Kitchens.  Apparently it comes on every Friday (this was the first time I have caught it) and today it was featuring mothers and their kitchens.

I think that most of us grew up watching our mothers nurture us, heal us and teach us through food and the kitchen.  I did anyway.  The kitchen has always been my favorite room to be with others in.  It is the room that we are allowed to eat and laugh simulteaneously.  We can lean back in our chair and talk about our day over wine or coffee or hot tea.  We can feed our children - teach them about the flavors of the world and teach them about human interaction.  It has been a place, in my life, where I have always felt most at ease.  A kitchen is the soul of a home - which is why I think that mothers are so imbedded in the identity of them.

My mom, a lover of all things chocolate and sweet, prided herself on a cabinet full of decadent treats and a wooden pastry box full of home baked cakes and pastries.  We were the house that all the kids wanted to visit - because of the sweet kitchen my mom made.  I know a lot of houses were built on good, sturdy, traditional dishes from generations ago.  We have that too - several wonderful mexican dishes that I still cook for my kids and some (like home made corn tortillas) that  I have yet to brave.  But, in my mind, when I think about my mom’s kitchen, I think about sitting over a lovely piece of Monkey Bread (a truly 20th century southern delight that consists of biscuit dough, copius amounts of butter, pecans and cinnamon and sugar in the form of a bundt cake) talking with my mom about our day, the neighbors, our dreams and our disappointments.  It all revolved around the love of food and the love of cooking - and it all happened in the coziness of our kitchen. And, yes, it was the kitchen and the food, but mostly it was just mom and the fact that I knew I could always find her there, in that aromatic and warm den, waiting for me.

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Why I Drink Organic Milk

Organic MilkI’m someone who loves milk, but I don’t like the way modern farmers raise and milk their cows. Most of the milk that’s sold at the grocery store comes from cows that are injected with hormones to get greater milk production, and their environment and food are often sub-standard. That’s why my wife and I go out of our way to buy organic milk. Not only does it taste better, it’s better for our bodies — and the cows.

I recently spotted this information on the side of a Horizon Organic milk cartoon. It came with a blurb about their growing family farms that adhere to their strict organic milking process. I was surprised to find out the strict criteria family farms have to meet in order to be a part of their network of organic dairy providers.

How Do You Raise an Organic Cow?

Learn more about Horizon Organic and organic milk.

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Can Eating Less Make You Live Longer?

Ever since scientists began to understand the relationships between metabolism and caloric intake, many people have theorized that eating less can help you live longer. The idea is that slowing down the rate that one burns calories, will slow down one’s metabolism, and will subsequently slow down aging.

Recent research from UCLA has found that there’s some truth to this, but not as much as many might think.

Severely restricting calories over decades may add a few years to a human life span, but will not enable humans to live to 125 and beyond, as many have speculated, evolutionary biologists report.

“Our message is that suffering years of misery to remain super-skinny is not going to have a big payoff in terms of a longer life,” said UCLA evolutionary biologist John Phelan. “I once heard someone say caloric restriction may not make you live forever, but it sure would seem like it. Try to maintain a healthy body weight, but don’t deprive yourself of all pleasure. Moderation appears to be a more sensible solution.

So, as usual, moderation wins out over extremity. As a rule of thumb, when it comes to your health, it’s often best to steer near the middle of the road. Otherwise, if you go to far to the right or left, you may find yourself stranded on the side of the road.

Full Story

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Is Soy Good For Your Diet? Yes…Sort Of…Well We’re Just Not Sure

An evidence review, conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), found surprising results in their study on the daily consumption of soy. Although they found that soy contributed to a small reduction in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and tryglyceride levels, they couldn’t find evidence of any other benefits.

The study found that much of the research conducted on the benefits of soy consumption were limited in number, of poor quality, or their duration was too short to lead to definite conclusions. This means that even though many nutritionist and scientist believe that soy is good for you, they still can’t prove it.

The purpose of releasing the report was to encourage researchers who are studying soy to better address the complex relationship between health and food components, including how variations in the diets, lifestyles, and health of participants might affect the results. Such studies should also be of better quality, include larger numbers of participants, and be of longer duration, the researchers said. In particular, studies that substitute practical amounts of soy products into people’s diets would better address the question of whether people should make the effort to include more soy in their diet.

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Low-Fat Vs. Low-Carb

CNN reports:

Regardless of how they shed pounds in the first place, big losers stayed that way by limiting fat rather than carbohydrates, according to new research that could add fuel to the backlash against low-carb diets.

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Nutrition Facts Online

Have you ever wanted to quickly know the Nutrition Facts for different foods? Well, now you can, thanks to a website called Weight Loss Help. The website has a simple to use search engine that allows you to find just about any kind of food.

Check it out at

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High-protein diets linked to infertility

The Washington Times is reporting that:

Popular high-protein diets, such as Atkins, can hinder a woman’s ability to conceive, according to a study released Monday.

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