Clearing Up The Metabolic Syndrome

This kind of full-blown metabolic disorder cannot be considered rare either. About 35% of adults in the United States have metabolic syndrome and 1 in every 4 people are at risk of developing it.

Our lifestyle is largely to blame for this kind of dysfunctional metabolism that can turn life-threatening. Indeed, it is the combination of unhealthy food habits, a sedentary lifestyle, excessive stress and dependence on comfort foods that play havoc with the system and drive it out of gear.

Now there are metabolic syndrome diet options and people are largely aware of what they need to do to get their body back on track. Losing weight is definitely critical. Eating the right foods, being more active and managing the stress levels is equally essential for managing the metabolic syndrome and also keeping such conditions at bay.

However, how many people actually make the required changes in their lifestyle and stick to healthier options is another question altogether. For instance, the intake of processed foods, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, sugar, refined carbohydrates and trans-fatty acids needs to be strictly moderated. Along with shifting to a plant-based diet, regular exercise and fitness is also important.

Knowing what to do and actually doing it are not synonymous. This is where a certified health coach can help you reverse the symptoms of metabolic syndrome.

Health coaches do not tell you to just follow a metabolic syndrome diet, lose weight or exercise regularly. They concentrate on building a deep awareness of the healthier habits and how they can help you. You will be advised on the specific types of exercises that improve blood glucose sensitivity and reduce elevated insulin levels. You become conscious of the types of food items that improve your cholesterol function and how to incorporate them in your daily life. Apart from the special meal plans, you also learn how to shop right and keep the temptations under control.

Instead of dramatic changes, health coaches set small goals that are more realistic and achievable. Even the small steps help boost the metabolism and minor changes in weight, sugar levels and triglyceride start showing up. The coach keeps you motivated and buoyant throughout with pep talks and constructive encouragements. You become aware of the undue stress levels and how to make the triggers more manageable. The lifestyle changes slowly and it is sustainable as well.

Warming Oxtail Soup

You can use tinned beef consommé for the stock or simply use water and a teaspoon or two of marmite or other yeast extract to give it a beefy flavour. You can also add Worcestershire sauce as long as you are not allergic to fish, as it contains anchovies.

At the end of the coking time you can strain the soup and pour it through a fine sieve, pressing down on the vegetables to extract the water, or of course, just leave them. You can also shred the meat from the bones and return this to the soup and serve. It’s entirely up to you. You can also add a dash of brandy if it it really cold, when you add the wine.

Ingredients

  • 1¼ kg oxtail cut into manageable chunks, trimmed of fat
  • plain flour
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsps olive oil
  • 4 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stalk left whole
  • 1 turnip roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion thickly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf slightly torn but intact
  • 1 or 2 sprigs thyme
  • ½ kg tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tsps tomato puree
  • 1.2 liters beef stock
  • 300 ml full-bodied red wine
  • handful of flat leaves parsley leaves

Method

  • Coat the oxtail pieces in seasoned flour and shake off the excess, then fry in the olive oil so that all sides are browned.
  • Remove the oxtail from the pan and set aside.
  • Fry the vegetables (but not the celery stalk) over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring.
  • Put the oxtail and vegetables into a large pan with the tomatoes and celery stalk, thyme and bay leaf.
  • Put a little stock into the frying pan and scrape off the residue and mix in a little flour and the tomato puree then add a little more stock. Stir well to mix and thicken then add this to the pan containing the oxtail and vegetables.
  • Pour the wine over the mixture and bring the liquid to the boil.
  • Turn the heat down to low and partially cover the pan.
  • Cook for three hours, removing any scum that comes to the top occasionally.
  • Remove the celery stalk and discard.
  • Remove from the heat and garnish with parsley leaves to serve with crusty bread for a heart-warming winter soup.

Ways to Heat Raw Vegan Food

Use a Food Dehydrator

A food dehydrator is one of the most common methods to achieve a warm cooked taste in raw food. It works by using low heat to extract water out of food. To ensure that enzymes are not destroyed, be sure to keep the temperature setting on your dehydrator to under 115F. There are many great raw dehydrator recipes out there.

Use Hot Water

Cooking with heated water is another method to make warm raw dishes. Just make sure that the water is under 115F. This method is used to make a variety of fantastic warm soups, which are great pick-me-ups during the winter time.

Use your finger

The lowest heat setting on your stove is another method that can be used to make a raw meal. If you can stick a finger in the food while cooking it is not too hot to disqualify it from being raw. Some people also use thermometers. This method is an excellent way to prepare chili.

Here are several great ways to expand you raw preparation repertoire. Enjoy.

Liver Detoxification

Drinking Raw Juice

Fruits and vegetables are nature’s gift to mankind. Not only are they delicious but are also packed with essential vitamins and nutrients required for the healthy growth of our bodies. Drinking raw juice is one of the easiest ways to detoxify your liver. Cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cucumber, beets and leafy green vegetables are all good juicing options. I personally recommend juicing raw beets and carrots. This blend is rich in beta-carotene. You can even add lemon or any other citrus fruit for an added dose of vitamin C.

Eat Potassium rich foods

Potassium is essential as it helps in maintaining blood pressure, regulating fluid balance, reducing fatigue, weakness, constipation, and supporting bone and muscle strength. Beet greens, white beans, soybeans, and lima beans are the foods highest in potassium. Other foods high in potassium include sweet potatoes and bananas. Make sure your daily requirement of potassium is met by incorporating these foods into your diet.

Avoid processed and sugary foods

Processed foods contain trans fats, preservatives, synthetic ingredients and chemicals that can overwhelm your system, making it progressively harder to function properly. It is best to limit your intake of sugary and processed food so less stress is put on your liver.

Consume Iron-rich foods

Iron is essential for the development of red blood cells. Excessive Iron is stored in the liver and liver regulates how much Iron is released into the body. Low levels of Iron can lead to anemia and liver dysfunction. Consuming foods that are rich in Iron can help keep your liver healthy. Foods rich in Iron include nuts, grains, meat, fish, tofu, eggs, pulses, beans, Cow or goat liver, and seeds.

Drink detox water

The easiest and my personal favorite way to detoxify the liver is to drink detox water. To make detox water you only need to add the juice of a fresh lemon in a glass full of water and your detox water is done. Studies have shown that detox water helps to reduce inflammation, DNA fragmentation, brain lipid peroxidation, and liver damage.

Vegetarian Diet – The Promise to Good Health

Vegetarianism changes the way you look at and think about food. It is a natural and holistic journey that must be undertaken for the good health of your body. A well balanced vegetarian diet i.e. one low in fat and high in fiber is enough to keep most complicated medical problems at bay like coronary heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and even certain forms of cancer.

Vegetarians tend to consume more quantities of polyunsaturated fats which are healthy when compared to saturated fats present in all meat products. A typical vegetarian meal is one which includes a balanced proportion of grains, cereals, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, dairy and soy products. Since there is so much variety, you get all the nutrients that your body requires from this type of meal.

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and having a vegetarian breakfast means double the health benefits. So replace the scrambled eggs, fried bacon, and sausages with fruits, cereals, and soya. It is always best to take a combination breakfast i.e. one which includes a portion of fruit, cereal and dairy products instead of just one item.

Fruits are rich in fiber, low in fat and also rich in most nutrients like minerals and vitamins. You can either take a portion or two of one or two different kinds of fruit; if you do not like to eat fruit as such, then make a smoothie with single or different kinds of fruits which is equally healthy. Try and include the skin of the fruit as much as possible especially for apples, grapes, pears, guava etc.

Include a portion of cereals in your daily breakfast and the best example is oatmeal which is an abundant source of dietary fiber. Oatmeal contains soluble fiber which delays the digestion and absorption of food thereby having a slow impact on blood sugar metabolism. Hence this cereal is highly recommended for diabetics. It has also been proven that soluble fiber can lower cholesterol levels in the body. For those who miss the taste of bacon and eggs, try the vegetarian equivalents like scrambled tofu and soy bacon.

You can prepare scrambled tofu in the same manner as scrambled eggs by adding other fresh ingredients of your choice like onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, and spinach. Soya is an excellent source of calcium and is also beneficial in reducing cholesterol and triglycerides. A vegetarian meal is also the best way to lose weight as recipes and diets prepared from fruits and vegetables are naturally lower in calories and fat.

It is also easy to digest, making it an excellent option for children and old people alike. Vegetarian food does not have to be boring at all; in fact, there are thousands of delicious recipes that can be prepared from vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts and cereals that you will soon forget that meat products ever existed. And above all, you can be the proud owner of a clean conscience while advocating cruelty against animals.

Phytochemicals Found in Food

  1. BETA CAROTENE is found in orange-colored and dark green leafy vegetables. Beta-carotene is critical for eye health and also plays a key role in maintaining a healthy and strong immune system.
  2. LYCOPENE is the red pigment found in tomatoes, pink grapefruit, watermelon, raspberries, and strawberries. It’s a powerful antioxidant and is linked to reduced prostate cancer risk. Lycopene is better absorbed after it’s been cooked, such as in tomato sauce.
  3. LUTEIN is found in green leafy vegetables, such as kale and spinach, as well as in cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussel sprouts and broccoli. Like beta-carotene, lutein is critical for eye health and may help prevent macular degeneration.
  4. RESVERATROL has been making the news with its antioxidant properties for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and decreasing overall systemic inflammation. Have you heard how dark chocolate and red wine are healthy? That’s because they’re good sources of resveratrol.
  5. ISOFLAVONES block estrogen from entering cells, possibly lowering the risk of ovarian and breast cancer, as well as protecting against heart disease by reducing blood clotting and cholesterol levels. Soy foods are high in isoflavones, but they’re also found in other legumes.
  6. ANTHOCYANIDINS are the deep red and blue-purple pigments in blueberries, blackberries, red onions, and radishes, to name just a few. Anthocyanidins help maintain a healthy circulatory system.

Layer Salad

The wonderful thing about this salad is it makes a great side dish for fried chicken. The salad I’m referring to is a 7 layer salad. My mother taught me how to make it. I want to share it with you and you can pass it along to somebody. Here is my recipe for 7 layer salad.

Ingredients

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 1 can peas
  • 1 onion
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 package bacon
  • 1 to 2 cups miracle whip
  • 1 package sharp shredded cheddar cheese

I listed the ingredients in the order they should go in the salad starting with lettuce first then peas etc. The secret to this salad is the bacon. With that being said you can make this recipe using that imitation store-bought bacon in a jar but it’s not the same. You must use real bacon and lots of it. Get a pot to boil 6 eggs. Salt the water for the eggs because this helps peel the eggs easily. First get a glass casserole dish. I like using a square dish so all the ingredients are laying flat. Cut up a small head of lettuce or enough to cover the bottom of the casserole dish. A half a head of lettuce will do if you are making a small version. Next drain the canned peas and layer on top of the lettuce covering the lettuce all over. Slice up a large onion and layer on top of the peas. Cool the hard-boiled eggs with cold water and remove the shells. Slice the eggs and layer on top of the onion. Cook up a whole pack of bacon until crispy. Crumble the crispy bacon on top of the eggs. Spoon out 1 to 2 cups miracle whip on the bacon and spread it across the bacon with a spreading knife like icing. All the ingredients should completely cover the last ingredient underneath it. The last step is to sprinkle the cheese on top of the salad dressing covering it completely. Press the cheese down into the dressing so it doesn’t fall off. You will thank me later for this recipe.

Benefits of Peanuts

When it comes to health benefits of peanuts or other leguminous nuts, the list is long and may not be discussed in just one article for a better understanding of their numerous benefits. Peanuts are an essential nutritional source in some underdeveloped and developing countries due to their numerous nutrients. Below are the key health benefits of peanuts:

  • Prevents diabetes: A recent study has shown that peanut is equipped with an essential nutrient such as manganese to help minimize the risk of diabetes disease by 21%. Manganese plays a vital role in blood sugar regulation, calcium absorption, and fat and carbs metabolism.
  • Prevent gallstones: Regular consumption of peanuts helps in putting gallstones at bay. Studies have shown that weekly consumption of 2 tablespoons of peanut butter or 1 oz of peanut is capable of reducing the chances of gallstones or gallbladder by 25%.
  • For heart health: Peanuts contain high levels of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats which are helpful for a healthy heart. They are also equipped with oleic acid and ploy-phenolic antioxidant to help lower bad cholesterol or LDL, enhance good cholesterol level, and prevent any forms of heart diseases such as corollary artery disease as well as stroke by improving the profile of healthy blood lipid.
  • Prevents cancer: The high concentration of beta-sitosterol (SIT), a phytosterol form, helps prevent cancer by hindering tumor growth in the body. This has been discovered to be more helpful in women than men. Research has shown that a consumption of peanuts two times in a week is capable of reducing the risk of getting cancer by 27% and 58% in men and women respectively.
  • Helps in pregnancy: Due to its high concentration of folate, peanut is studied to help women in pregnancy. The studies showed that pregnant women who eat 400 g of folic acid either before or during their early stage tend to reduce the development of having a baby with neural tube defect with a reduction rate of 70%. Apart from this, consumption of peanuts during pregnancy reduces the chances of allergic diseases such as asthma in children.
  • Helps brain health: These nuts are referred to as “brain food” due to their concentration of vitamin B3 or niacin which has been found helpful in boosting memory and help the brain function optimally. Peanuts are equipped with flavonoid which aids and boosts the flow of blood to the brain.
  • Helps in weight management: Protein, fat, and fibre contained in peanuts have been found helpful in minimizing the risk of weight gain. These essential nutrients make peanuts a high satiety food, keeping you full and satisfied for longer period; hence, lowering your appetite to prevent overeating. They also give energy and increase your metabolic rate. Peanuts combine all these attributes together to help in weight management.
  • Promotes hair loss: Peanuts are an excellent source of vitamin C, a nutrient that enhances collagen production for keeping hair tissues together. They also have L-arginine which is used as a remedy for male pattern baldness and omega-3 fatty acids which help strengthen hair follicles for healthy hair growth.
  • Flushes out excess toxins for healthy skin: Peanuts are equipped with healthy monounsaturated fats resveratrol which is essential for a clear, flawless, and glowing skin by flushing out toxins that result in excess oil and breakouts on the skin. Another skin benefit of peanuts is their composition of anti-aging and antioxidant properties. Nutrients such as vitamin E and vitamin C help in preventing aging symptoms such as fine lines, spots, and wrinkles, and keeping the skin healthy and younger.
  • Promotes healthy growth: The amino acids found in proteins contained in peanuts promote healthy growth and development. This benefit has been found useful mostly in children growth according to some studies.

Healthy Game Day Guacamole

You really don’t need much to make a good guacamole. If you usually buy pre-made packaged guacamole from the grocery store, I promise the first time you try this you’ll never buy it again. Fresh, wholesome ingredients are the key and it only takes about 10 minutes to throw together this one-step recipe.

Healthy Game Day Guacamole

  • 2 avocados
  • 1 small roma tomato, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon jalepeno
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 heaping teaspoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon red onion, diced
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Cut avocados in half. Remove flesh from skin, place in a medium bowl and discard the seeds. Smash with a fork or potato masher (I like to leave mine a little chunky). Add tomato, jalepeno and spices to bowl and stir. Done!

You can pair this dip with whole grain tortilla chips, whole grain pita chips, unsalted pretzels or carrot and celery sticks. When searching for tortilla chips, first look at the ingredient list. Are there words you can’t pronounce or does it take you more than 10 seconds to read through the entire list? If so, you may want to pick a different chip. Don’t be fooled by products that read “mult-grain” as this term does not necessarily mean whole grain.

Also keep in mind that you don’t have to just use this guacamole as a dip. It also tastes great as a spread on toast for breakfast and as a topper for mexican-style soups, casseroles, salads, quesadillas and tacos.

Do you have any favorite game day healthy dips or snacks that everyone loves? Other healthy snacking options include black bean dips (avoid refried beans and tons of cheese or sour cream), and fresh fruit and vegetable plates.

Black Bean Soup

The black turtle bean has a meaty, dense texture and a flavor very similar to that of mushrooms making it a very popular dish among vegetarians. It is used in most Latin American dishes such as Feijoada of Brazil, Moros con Cristianos of Cuba, Gallo Pinto of Costa Rica and Pabellon Criollo of Venezuela.

Black bean soup is a very healthy dish also as it is low on calories yet high on fiber; it contains low cholesterol and saturated fat plus, diabetic people will find comfort knowing that this dish is tagged as diabetic appropriate. So, if you want to eat healthy and would really like to try out this dish, here is the recipe.

Ingredients;

  • 1 tablespoon of canola oil
  • 1 onion, small, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 cans of 15-ounces black bean, rinsed
  • 3 cups of water
  • ½ cup of prepared salsa, can be store bought or homemade
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream, preferably reduced fat (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)

What you need to do;

  • Heat the canola oil in a medium sauce pan on a medium-high heat until the sauce pan is hot, but not smoking. Then, add chopped onions and cook them until translucent for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add chili powder and cumin and keep on cooking for about 1 more minute.
  • Add the beans, salsa, water and salt. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and then simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Next, remove from heat and add lime juice then stir.
  • Pour half of the mixture into a blender and begin to puree. After attaining a soft creamy texture, pour back to the remaining grainy mixture and serve with sour cream and/or cilantro if desired.