RSS

Tag Archives: fiber

Swiss chard, moms, and home cooked meals

There is nothing like having your mom come to visit! All week I have had an abundance of delicious healthy home cooked meals and a meticulously clean house.

Yesterday while I was working I asked her to get me a few things at the health food store. She stumbled on a food demo where the woman was preparing swiss chard to promote a new sauce. My mom had never seen swiss chard before and being the foodie that she is, was intrigued and bought a few bunches.

She did not know this, but the earthy-tasting Swiss chard is a powerhouse of nutrition, and with its rainbow assortment of stem colors, it’s as pleasing to look at on your plate as it is to your palate. This leafy green has many health benefits. Swiss chard is an excellent source of vitamins K, A, and C, as well as a good source of magnesium, potassium, iron, and dietary fiber.

Still more health benefits of Swiss chard:

One cup of chopped Swiss chard has just 35 calories and provides more than 300% of the daily value for vitamin K.

Needless to say I came home to an incredible meal that was mouth- watering and super healthy and so I wanted to share her creation with you.

What you will need

3 bunches of scallions

2 cans of drained organic lentils (adds protein+fiber)

One organic lemon (limonene-zest in my favorite potent cancer prevention)

Garlic 4 cloves

2 bunches of collards

1 jalapeno or more to taste

Coat pan with extra virgin organic olive oil. Chop the scallions, garlic add to pan and lightly cook. Take your organic lemon and then add its zest and juice. Once the garlic and scallions are almost browned add the finely chopped chard, sauté for maybe 1-2 minutes then add your cans (BPA free of course) of drained and washed organic lentils.  Then add salt, pepper and jalapeno to taste, and voila! An Amazing meal.

Have a fabulous delicious day!

*One caveat for those who have a history of kidney stones is that this veggie contains oxalates, which decrease the body’s absorption of calcium and may increase your risk for producing calcium rich kidney stones

 

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Yogurt; the good, the bad, what you need to know

A few of my friends are truly obsessed with Greek Yogurt and I do get this obsession. Yogurt can be a good food. Most contain good bacteria to promote optimal GI health. Most, especially Greek Yogurt, contain high amounts of protein- so great filling snack or meal replacement on the go. Yogurt can also be quite diverse in that you can buy so many flavors or you can be creative with your own and add super healthy ingredients to it like; chia or flax seeds or even flacker bits or a handful of seedsters for that matter (to add fiber and more nutrient to this already dense nutritious food). And all that is really good….

Having said that I have a few beefs about yogurt that I need to share and I hope that you digest this information well. First of all the most popular brands on the market today are not organic, nor are they necessarily GMO-free. So buyer beware! You may be eating antibiotics, pesticides, hormones and other evil things unless you choose to buy organic, non-gmo yogurt. In addition, I also consider the health of the cows. If the milk is not organic then these cows are likely filled with antibiotics and other chemicals because their living conditions are so bad that they need them to remain free of disease.

The other issue is that a lot of products on the market today have probiotics in them. There is no way to know if these probiotics are alive and active and also if they actually survive the acidity of the stomach and get to the large intestine, where they are needed. Most of us, with good reason, just assume that this must happen but it is not always the case. So if you truly need probiotics for health purposes then you may want to consider a supplement with a known dose of bacteria and one that ensures optimal activity.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on September 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Stay Svelte and healthy with more red wine and greens

There are many pill and over the counter options available today for weight loss and appetite suppression but most are not healthy, some are  downright dangerous, and the available pharmaceutical choices have the potential to be quite harmful if not taken properly. My goal with all of my clients who are interested in keeping themselves svelte is to also consider their health. So how do you stay svelte and healthy and do so in a natural, non pharmaceutical, safe effective way? Chose your food wisely and then it will also be your medicine; here are some tips;

Everyone knows that spinach, kale and other leafy greens are packed with important antioxidants and nutrients. What’s less known is that these veggies come with built-in appetite regulators. I recently posted s blog on Thylakoids so forgive me for repeating myself but it is pertinent here. Thylakoids are a compound found in the green leaves of vegetables that triggers the sensation of fullness. In essence, thylakoids are considered a naturally occurring appetite suppressant that can help people regulate food intake, prevent weight gain, and promote weight loss. In addition we know that most leafy greens are also packed with fiber, this will also create a sensation of fullness.

Thylakoids in the plant will delay digestion by binding to fats and they also trigger the release of cholecystokinin, another natural chemical in our bodies that is a key signal of fullness or satiety. If that is not enough, the discovery also shows that increased consumption of thylakoids can also raise leptin levels. Leptin plays a key role in regulating hunger, and cravings, especially after meals.

And for those of us who enjoy a glass of vino, here is more good news….(As if you needed another reason to enjoy a good glass of red wine.) Researchers from Purdue University have found that a compound called piceatannol found in red wine prevents or delays immature fat cells from developing into mature fat cells. Not a drinker? The same compound exists in the seeds and skin of red grapes and blueberries. As I mentioned, I am a fan of eating my nutrition and using my food as my medicine. Blueberries and the skins of red grapes are also packed with fiber and tons of anti-oxidants so many really good reasons to indulge! Note that I usually opt for organic when I can with grapes and blueberries to minimize my pesticide exposure.

So tonight after your glass of wine when you are relaxed and enjoying your evening, maybe have some extra greens for dinner and then berries for dessert. Red wine and greens for the new healthy svelte you!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

What’s not to Love about Kale…

In the mornings I love to take my cup of tea or coffee kale cabbage saladkaleand me out to the garden and peruse. What’s amazing is that despite the super cold winter, there a few kale plants that have popped up from hardy seeds that I threw in last year. And if you know me you also know that I love my kale, so I am extremely delighted.

What’s not to love about kale?

1. kale is a superfood, need I say more? Yes I will- It’s a member of the Brassica family of vegetables, which include cabbage and brussels sprouts which have gained quite the reputation as potential cancer-fighting foods. Kale is packed with the organosulfur compounds that may lessen the occurrence of some cancers. Studies also suggest that the phytonutrients in kale and other Brassicas may actually help the liver neutralize potentially cancerous substances.

2. Kale is full of beta-carotene, an important nutrient for good vision also the prevention of cataracts.

3. Kale is also an excellent source of vitamin C, just one cup will give you 88% of your RDA od vitamin C which is great fro your immune system and helpful for protection against viruses like the common cold as well as the flu.

4.,Kale is rich in minerals, such as iron, manganese, calcium and potassium. Potassium is excellent to help reduce blood pressure. Calcium is needed for optimal bone integrity.

5. A cup of kale provides 10.4% of the daily value for fiber, which has been shown to reduce high cholesterol levels. Fiber can also help out by keeping blood sugar levels under control, so kale is an excellent vegetable for people with diabetes.

 
I may have shared this salad with you last year but that was oh so long ago and this is tradition so here is one of my favorite raw super healthy recipes….
 
Raw Kale Avocado Salad
 
1 bunch kale, take leaves off the stem and place in bowl and chop (about 8 to 10 cups)
1 avocado, diced
1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked for 6 to 8 hours
Dressing:
3 to 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 to 2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt and/or kelp
freshly ground black pepper
 
optional: mushrooms, red onion, shallots, grated carrots, beets, tomatoes, chopped parsley, dill, arugula would all be delicious. …you get the message, add what you love. Sometimes I even add my broken up flackers (http://www.drinthekitchen.com/) for more flavor, crunch and extra good omega-3 oils.
 
Chop the kale into small pieces and add it to a large bowl. In a smaller, separate bowl whisk together the dressing. Add the dressing to the salad and gently massage it into the kale with your hands. This will soften it almost immediately. Then add the diced avocado and whatever other vegetables you like. Drain and rinse the sunflower seeds and add them to the salad as well. Gently toss together and yum!
 
KALE CHIPS

1 clove garlic

  • 1 C Cashews, soaked at least 8 hours, rinsed and drained or you can use cahew butter as well
  • 1/4 C Nutritional Yeast*
  • 1/3 C water
  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp Chipotle (spice)
  • Pinch Sea Salt

With processor running, drop in garlic and mince. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth. Pour over kale chips in a bowl and massage until kale is coated. Bake on high in oven until crisp or dehydrate on screens at 115 for 4-6 hours or until crisp. *Nutritional yeast is not raw but used frequently in raw food recipes.

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Decadent, delicious, divine, to die for, super healthy dessert

chocolate puddingIf you have been reading my blog you know that I have a strong relationship with chocolate. Actually, I just read that over 5,900,000,000 people also share in my decadent habit (according to yahoo.com). Thankfully I can happily satisfy my craving, with no guilt, thanks to the medical research because dark chocolate has numerous health benefits being so rich in antioxidants;phytosterols and polyphenols. Avocados the next main ingredient in this recipe is also a ‘super food’, rich in monounsaturated fats, it is filled with anti-inflammatory beneficial fats and anti-oxidants as well. So this delicious dessert is a no brainer and easy to make and as the title says purely decadent! 

Anyway, so armed with this little bit of knowledge about the health benefits of chocolate and avocados, I was ready to start experimenting in the kitchen, determined to turn this into the best raw chocolate pudding anyone has ever tried.

Here are a few variations that really work and taste divine. Just remember for optimal palate pleasure serve this chilled, it tastes much better …

with dates and honey….

1 medium avocado (ripe)

1/2 cup dates

2 1/2 tablespoons raw cocoa powder

1/4 cup water + 1/8 cup water

1 1/2 tablespoons organic local honey

1/8 teaspoon celtic sea salt (or less)

1. Throw these raw chocolate avocado pudding ingredients into a high-speed blender. Start blending on slow and then up the blending speed to high.

2. Blend until looks consistent with pudding. If you have a good blender (AKA Vitamix or Blendtec) then you should be able to get this super smooth.You may need to add a tiny bit of extra water to facilitate blending

chill, enjoy!

Best for kids; with banana, almond milk, cinnamon…..

  • 2 avocados – peeled, pitted, and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 to 1 ripe banana, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup raw cocoa powder (or more to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup or agave nectar (more to taste if needed.
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp almond or cashew butter (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • pinch of salt

The Directions: Put everything in a blender and blend until smooth! Serve chilled.

My favorite way because it has no sugar…stevia:

  • 1 ripe organic avocado
  • 1/2 cup homemade or store bought almond milk
  • 1-1/2 TBSP raw cacao powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 15 drops liquid stevia
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of chipotle chile powder or cayenne. I like it hot!
  • Optional toppings: raw cacao nibs, raw almonds, raspberries, chia seeds, cinnamon currant flackers

Instructions

  1. Halve and scoop flesh from avocado.
  2. Add almond milk, to Blendtec (or food processor), followed by avocado, raw cacao powder, vanilla, stevia, cinnamon, salt, chipotle powder.
  3. Blend or process until smooth and creamy.
  4. Taste to adjust sweetness. Raw cacao seems to require plenty of sweetness to round it out. If using stevia, add two or three drops at a time until you’ve achieved your ideal balance.
  5. Spoon into serving dishes and top with raw almonds and cacao nibs. Don’t skip adding something crunchy! The contrast of smooth and velvety with crispy is fabulous.
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Spring Forward; Cleanse & Energize

Sprouts  happySpring is my favorite time of year. The grey and white world of winter blossoms into vibrant colors and greens. It is the perfect time to be thinking about a cleanse; to lessen our bodies’ burden of harmful chemicals and to refresh; restore balance and revitalize. By following these simple effective internal spring cleaning tips you can help your body detoxify and restore your systems’ balance, optimal health and abundant energy.

  1. Increase healthy liquids: Simply increasing healthy liquids, will shift your bodies’ balance strongly toward improved elimination and less toxin buildup. Healthy fluids help dilute and eliminate toxin accumulations, pure water being the most important detoxifier. It helps clean us through our skin and kidneys, and it improves our sweating with exercise. Try and eliminate all stimulants like coffee and chemical drinks, like sodas, alcohol and enjoy the purifying effects of healthier liquids such as water (1/2 your weight in ounces per day) along with herb teas, and teas high in anti-oxidants such as green tea or red tea (rooibios).You can also enhance the detoxifying benefits of water by adding a tsp of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and consume ten minutes prior to eating every meal.

 

  1. Fiber is a wonderful detoxification supporter, helping to cleanse and pull toxins from the intestines. I recommend adding chia seeds, fresh ground flax seeds or flackers to your daily menu. This will provide your body with excellent fiber, plant lignans and healthy fats known as omega-3 fatty acids. Other good sources of fiber are fresh vegetables and fruit, especially berries.

 

  1. To help maximize your spring cleaning program, increase your intake of organic fresh fruits, herbs and vegetables. Have at least three colors of vegetables with every meal, add medicinal cleansing potent anti-oxidants filled herbs to your food; cilantro, onions, parsley, dandelion, and garlic. To help promote optimal liver function, the main detoxification center in our bodies, I suggest 1-2 servings of artichokes and 2-3 servings of brassica family (broccoli sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, kholrabi) per day. These foods will promote healthy digestion, increase flow of bile and help with the elimination of harmful environmental chemicals and heavy metals.

And finally, get outside and play, enjoy and move your body. Your body will love you and you will feel fabulous!

To your optimal health,

Alison Levitt, MD

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Love, Health and Chocolate

darkchocolateNothing says I love you better than sweet, velvety, creamy chocolate melting you into the world of cocoa and its heart loving antioxidants and healing polyphenols. In fact, raw cocoa powder and dark chocolate (greater than 60%) have the same polyphenol content and greater antioxidant and flavanol content of many popular super fruits. 

Aside from its physical health benefits, dark chocolate is also known as a mind altering ‘feel-good food’. Studies have shown that eating a few ounces of dark chocolate per day improved people’s moods. Add to that the combination of the emotional response when eating chocolate -the smooth creamy texture, sweet aroma, and good memories it produces, along with its dash of caffeine and wow, chocolate becomes the most fabulous happy food.

So this Valentine’s day, indulge and enjoy.

And for your optimal health, pair your gift with a box of flackers; crunchy, savory, high in protein, fiber and  omega-3 -these snacks are the perfect balance to chocolate. And we all know that love and health are all about balance!

So this Valentine’s Day declare your love to yourself or to that special person with two of my favorite healthy things flackers and chocolate!

Much love, much health!

Dr in The Kitchen…Alison Levitt, MD

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: