Each week, a new study shows the health benefits of plant-based eating patterns. People who follow vegetarian and vegan diets have a strong measure of protection against weight problems, heart disease, diabetes, and many other health issues that trouble their meat-eating friends.
In its recent report, the federal Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee listed plant-based diets as one of the three healthful eating patterns for Americans. And the good news is it’s simple: by sticking to a diet that centers around four food groups – whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes – you can easily maintain a healthful weight, lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol, and reduce the risk for chronic disease.
As the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans move from concept to consumer, even more people will begin to put the latest science into everyday practice.
Here’s an inside look at how a plant-based prescription works.
Fill Up with Fiber
Nutrition Rx: Aim for 40 grams of fiber a day. Continue reading “Plant-Based Diet: A Prescription for Health in 2015”
The third item in our series “Scary Foods to Make Yourself Eat” is seaweed. Sometimes referred to as a sea vegetable but technically classified as algae, these green, red and orange plants of the oceans have 10-20 times the mineral content of their land-based cousins. As an excellent source of calcium, iron, iodine, magnesium and vitamin K, adding seaweed to the diet supports vibrant and strong hair, skin and nails. Seaweed is cooling, cleansing and alkalizing, helping to reduce inflammation in the body, eradicate toxins and support bone health. Its high concentration of mucilaginous fiber soothes the digestive tract, promotes balanced gut bacteria and supports weight loss efforts.
All that said, seaweed can be quite a foreign food to most Americans. Traditional in Japanese cuisine, most Americans’ exposure to seaweed involves that dark wrapping around our sushi rolls (nori) that we try our best to ignore, or the clump of nearly black slippery greens (wakame) that get left at the bottom of many bowls of miso soup. Continue reading “Scary Foods to Make Yourself Eat: Seaweed”
If you’re a strict “recipe-follower” in the kitchen, this blog is for you.
Many of us learn to cook by following recipes – maybe alongside a more experienced family member or while watching a celebrity chef on TV. Then when we want to prepare something, we find a recipe for it and make it. But all too often the left-brain task of following the steps in a recipe leaves us completely clueless about how to actually prepare the food. After following a recipe for balsamic vinaigrette dressing, do you know how to make a vinaigrette in general? Or only that specific balsamic vinaigrette?
Most recipes can be boiled down to a framework of cooking techniques and food groups. Understanding this framework for a dish can make it simple to revise and personalize, bringing creativity into the kitchen and rendering cooking more fun and gratifying.
Although spring is near, there’s enough chill left in the air to enjoy at least one more winter stew, which is good because stew is probably one of the best dishes to try your hand at this new concept of intuitive cooking. It may sound intimidating, with so many ingredients and steps, but the long, slow and moist cooking process actually makes it an incredibly forgiving dish on which to cut your culinary teeth. Continue reading “Bring Intuition Into the Kitchen: ‘Create Your Own’ Stew”
Today is Shrove Tuesday, the last day of indulgence before the start of Lent, the 40 days Christians prepare for Easter. People also refer to today as Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, and of course Pancake Tuesday. Back in medieval times, pancakes were eaten on this day because they contain fat, butter and eggs which were forbidden during Lent.
Whether you observe Lent or not, why not join in the fun of Pancake Tuesday? Pancakes are a quick and easy solution to those hectic evenings. And in my house, pancakes are always a hit. I use the recipe below, because it is a good source of fiber and most importantly… delicious! Adding blueberries, gives them extra sweetness (and antioxidants!).
Or try stirring in some zucchini puree and diced green onions for a savoury pancake. Or even purreed beets and ricotta (we call these pink pancakes – great for Valentine’s Day). Continue reading “Dinner Tonight: Blueberry Pancakes”
Yesterday I celebrated Thanksgiving with family in Canada! The weather was warm, the leaves were beautiful and the food was fantastic. Similar to Thanksgiving celebrated in the United States, the table was covered in dishes filled with potatoes, salads, turkey, stuffing, gravy and my favourite, cranberries! I feel that one cannot really enjoy turkey without a side of that tangy fruit.
Packed with antioxidants and nutrients, the cranberry really is a super food. Cranberries contain phenolic antioxidants that keep bacteria from sticking to cells in the urinary tract, helping prevent infections. One study also has shown that these benefits may extend to men’s prostates, as well. They are also rich in fiber and vitamin C.
Instead of the regular run-of-the-mill canned cranberry sauce, I tried a chunkier cranberry chutney and it was deelish! Since Thanksgiving in the U.S. is still ahead, here is the recipe for Cranberry Chutney, thanks to ALIVE magazine! Continue reading “Cranberry: My Thanksgiving Favorite!”