Category Archives: Uncategorized

You Say Tomato, I Say Health!

Image

Tomatoes have so many uses. Made into soups, sandwiches, stews, and sauces, the tomato is more than just a fruit, it can be an essential ingredient to good health. Tomatoes are very rich in antioxidants, beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, flavonoids and carotenoids, especially lycopene. Lycopene is a substance which is naturally found in tomatoes. Not only does it give the tomato its bright red coloring, but it also protects the fruit from the effects of the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Considering how it protects the tomato, scientists conducted research which proved their theory that it can also protect the human body. Lycopene is concentrated in the prostate gland, and is used as a preventative against prostate cancer. It has also been shown to protect the body against mouth, lung, stomach, pancreas, bladder, colon, and rectal cancers.

Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant, in fact is it 100% more effective than the well-known free radical scavenger, Vitamin E. It is also 56% more powerful than beta-carotene, one of the ingredients which make carrots healthy. Antioxidants are known for their power to neutralize oxygen free radical molecules, which are the highly reactive and toxic by-products of biochemical reactions which occur during cell metabolism.

Exposure to smoking, pollutions, and other damaging influences of the environment can further aggravate this condition. We will have to contend with these free radicals for as long as we live. The impact that they have can be greatly reduced by antioxidants, which help minimize the damage that that is done when the number of free radicals in the body overwhelm its capacity to deal with them.

The bio-availability of this beneficial, fat-soluble carotenoid can be greatly improved when the tomato is cooked into a sauce. The levels of lycopene in both the blood cells and immune cells are raised when tomatoes are cooked. With that in mind, it is reasonable to say that even eating small amounts of the cooked tomato can help to protect the immune system. Oriental nutrition suggests that the tomato can do even more. The fruit is said to moisten the body by building the Yin fluids, which will relieve skin dryness and thirst. Tomatoes also strengthen the stomach, cleanse the liver, purify the blood, and remove toxins in the body according to this ancient nutritional knowledge.

 

Be Well,

Kristin

 

Sources:

  1. Page, N.D., L., Healthy Healing – a guide to self healing for everyone. Traditional Wisdom, Inc. 2002.
  2. Porrini, M., Effects of Processing on Bioavailability of the functional components in tomatoes.
  3. Kucuk, O., Evidence for reducing the risk of prostate cancer – a clinical trial. 90th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. 1999.
  4. Pitchford, P., Healing with Whole Foods – Oriental Traditions and Modern Nutrition. North Atlantic Books, 1993.

The Pessimist’s Guide To Gratitude

thank-you-300x202

Your mother was right–say thank you.

Scientists have now proven what your mother always knew–it’s good to be grateful.  Being grateful is more than just politeness; it’s actually good for your health and well-being.

In a study by Robert A. Emmons, of the University of California, and Davis and Michael E. McCullough, of the University of Miami, people who kept gratitude journals showed higher levels of health and well-being than people who journaled neutral events or counted hardships.  After 2 months, the people who journaled their gratitude felt more optimistic and happier than their control counterparts. They reported fewer physical problems and spent more time working out.  People with neuromuscular problems who did the same thing fell asleep more quickly, slept longer and woke up feeling more refreshed.  Even their spouses noticed the difference!

How can you cultivate gratefulness even if you’re a glass-half-empty person?

The first step for pessimists is to fake it.  Write down what you’re grateful for, even if you don’t feel it at the moment.  Eventually the habit of finding life’s gifts will change your outlook.

Keep your gratitude list simple.  Write down 5 things you’re grateful for every day.  Use short, simple sentences, but be specific.  “I’m grateful for my son” is less effective than “I’m grateful my son snuggled next to me before bed.”

Carry a traveling gratitude journal.  Buy a mini-notebook or use a note-taking app on your smart phone.  Count the things you’re grateful for as they happen.

And finally, write a gratitude letter.  Send a letter to someone who influenced your life and tell them how much you appreciated their support.  You’ll feel happy and you’ll make them feel happy.

The trick to building gratefulness is to do it often and regularly.  While the end of the year is a good time to celebrate gratefulness as a holiday, take the habit into your everyday life.  Soon you will notice that you feel lighter and happier.

Be Well,

Kristin

The basics on Gluten

 

ImageGluten Free is the new trendy catch phrase you see everywhere. Unfortunately manufactures are putting “Gluten Free” on everything including a can of tomatoes of all places! With so much misinformation out there, I will attempt to explain the basics of why gluten is harmful.

What is Gluten?

Gluten (from the Latin gluten, “glue”) is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species, including rye, spelt and barley. Gluten gives elasticity to dough, helping it raise and keeps it shape and often gives the final chewy texture

Gluten is often present is beer and soy sauce and can be used as a stabilizing agent is more unexpected food products such as ice cream and ketchup.

Why is it so harmful?

A review paper in the The England Journal of Medicine listed 55 “diseases” that can be caused by eating gluten. These include:

 

Osteoporosis                                       Irritable Bowel disease

Inflammatory Bowel disease                Anemia

Cancer                                                 Fatigue

Canker Sores                                      Rheumatoid Arthritis

Lupus                                                  Multiple Sclerosis

Many other autoimmune disease

 

Gluten can also be linked to many psychiatric and neurological diseases including anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, dementia, migraines, epilepsy and neuropathy (nerve damage).

Gluten sensitivity is actually an autoimmune disease that creates inflammation throughout the body, with wide-ranging effects across all organ systems including your brain, heart, joints, digestive tracts and more.

Of course, that does not mean that ALL cases of depression or autoimmune disease or any of these other chronic issues are caused by gluten in everyone—however it is important to look for it if you have any chronic illness.                  

Gluten sensitivity is actually an autoimmune disease that creates inflammation throughout the body, with wide-ranging effects across all organ systems including your brain, heart, joints, digestive tracts and more.

By failing to identify gluten sensitivity and celiac disease, we create needless suffering for millions of Americans. Health problems caused by gluten sensitivity cannot be treated with medication. They can only be resolved by eliminating 100% of the gluten from your diet.

So now you see, that piece of bread may not be so wholesome after all! Consider giving up gluten to find out if gluten may be the hidden cause of your health problem.

Be well,

Kristin

 

 

What’s for dinner tonight ?!?!?

Image

What’s for dinner tonight? This question makes me cringe.

When things get busy around our house with my husband and I both working later and later, I dread this question more and more. It would be easy to fall back on the old stand-buy of something out of a box or stop and pick up a pizza.

 But not this year! I’m resolved to eating a healthier more Paleo based diet of fruits, vegetables, lean meats and dairy and grain free. 

 So far it really hasn’t been too bad. I truly do enjoy cooking but the thought of thinking of what to make is daunting at times.  Researching recipes, making a shopping list is time consuming and I’m lazy, like many others, when you get right down to it. So with that being said I started researching Paleo or organic meal planning and I stumbled upon some really great site I’d like to share.

If you haven’t tried or don’t know where to start when it comes to meal planning www.deliciouslyorganic.net.  This is such an amazing site with recipes for gluten free, Paleo diet or a classic organic diet.  What I love best about her recipes is that you can eat organic meals on a budget and she proves this with simple meals that look and taste amazing. There is a small monthly fee to have the weekly meal plans with shopping list mailed to you if you don’t do it yourself.

If you are interested in looking into the monthly meal, please visit http://deliciouslyorganic.net/meal-plan-registration

 

Another great site is http://www.mealplanning101.com . This site has some awesome tips on how to get started, basic meal plans and again is organic based. This is a free site and the meal plans are not emailed to you but it does have some really great idea and recipes.

I hope this helps you and your family on a path of saving time and money. And more importantly, I hope this helps you eating a healthier diet and feeling better!

Bon Appetite!

Kristin

5 hour beef stew

beefstew

It’s truly the frozen tundra outside. With weather like this all I want to do is curl under a blanket with a cup of tea and read a good book. But the next best thing in my book is coming home to a comforting bowl of beef stew preferably made by someone that has magically cleaned the house along with cooking dinner, but I digress.

My favorite part about this recipe is that it is a one pot, no fuss dinner that turns out every time. You can play with the spices if you like and add Worcester sauce, add 1 or two Bay leaves or whatever strikes your fancy

5 hour beef stew

 

2 lbs Beef stew meat

 

2 each of celery and carrots- chopped

 

1 medium onion- chopped

 

2-3 medium potatoes- chopped

 

1 cup fresh green beans or 1 can green beans

 

1 15 oz can of tomato sauce

 

1 tsp salt

 

Pepper to taste

 

1 Tablespoon sugar (optional)

 

3 Tablespoons Tapioca

 

Combine all ingredients into a heavy casserole dish or Dutch oven. Cover and cook for 5 hours at 250 degrees. Don’t stir, monkey with or take it out for the entire cooking time, trust me it will be fine!

Enjoy,

Kristin