10 Superfoods For Everything From Allergies To Muscle Pain

4 Oct

Curb Heartburn: Whole Grains And Fiber
‘Tis the season for overindulging — and heartburn. But, adding in more veggies and replacing refined grains like white rice and pasta with their whole-wheat counterparts might help you survive the holidays reflux-free. The secret? The high insoluble-fiber content gets things moving, explains Ronald Primas, MD, clinical instructor of medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, in New York City: “The more fiber you eat, the less time food spends in the stomach, which helps keep food and acid from coming back up.”

Clear Allergy Fog: Berries, Apples, Onions
Consider these foods a garden-variety allergy pill. It’s thanks to a compound called quercetin, which has shown promise in test-tube studies done at Tufts University for preventing immune cells from releasing the histamines that cause those familiar symptoms.

Survive Cold Season: Tuna, Halibut, Turkey
Don’t subsist only on salads during the winter months. Getting an insufficient amount of selenium can mean that you’re missing out on a key player in immune function. Selenium helps build up white blood cells — particularly those responsible for killing bacteria and viruses, even the flu. Animal studies have shown that selenium deficiency not only leads to more severe flu symptoms but also enables mild flu viruses to mutate into more virulent strains. Just one serving of halibut or sardines gives you more than 60 percent of your RDA and provides you with mood-boosting omega-3 fatty acids.

Survive Cold Season: Fermented Foods
What do yogurt, kimchi (Korean cabbage), kefir (a fermented milk drink), miso, and tempeh (made from fermented soybeans) have in common? They all contain beneficial bacteria, aka probiotics, which can help keep your immune system strong, explains Siona Sammartino, a nutritionist and natural foods chef in Seattle, WA. A Swedish study found that having a daily probiotic drink cut workplace sick days by 55 percent. And, a Cochrane meta-analysis of 10 studies found that probiotics worked better than placebos for reducing upper respiratory infections. Not into yogurt? Say cheese: Many aged raw-milk cheeses (such as Edam, Gouda or feta) are good sources of probiotics, notes Sammartino.

Survive Cold Season: Kale, Spinach, Yams, Pumpkin, Carrots
Vitamin A is the VIP here, keeping mucous membranes moist and healthy so germs can’t get past them, says David Katz, MD, founder of the Yale University Prevention Research Center and author of Disease-Proof: The Remarkable Truth About What Makes Us Well.

Soothe Joint And Muscle Pain: Fatty Fish
It’s like oil in the Tin Man’s joints: The omega-3 fatty acids in fish such as salmon and sardines can help get stiff knees working again. A recent meta-analysis of research found that taking omega-3s daily reduced joint pain and a.m. stiffness enough to allow patients with rheumatoid arthritis to reduce NSAID use.

Soothe Joint And Muscle Pain: Tart Cherries
Athletes swear by the anti-inflammatory powers of tangy “sour-pie” cherry juice to reduce after-workout soreness. In a study from Oregon Health & Science University, runners who drank 12 ounces of the tart stuff twice daily for a week before a race (plus on the day of the event) reported less post-run pain than those who had a cherry-flavored placebo drink.

Clear Allergy Fog: Nuts And Seeds
Got itchy eyes and sneezing fits? Make like a squirrel and stock up on nuts and seeds. Almonds, peanuts and sunflower seeds (and even some vegetables) are chock-full of vitamin E, which studies suggest may help reduce the allergic response, explains Today show nutrition expert Joy Bauer, RD. A German study found that people with diets high in vitamin E had a lower risk of hay fever than those who weren’t getting as much of it. The RDA for adults is 15mg, the amount in about 2 ounces of sunflower seeds — perfect for powering up a salad.

Fight A UTI: Parsley Tea
Lab research suggests why you should eat the parsley-sprig garnish on your plate (and then some): It’s been shown to be an antibacterial force against the germs that cause urinary tract infections — even some of those that have demonstrated resistance to antibiotics. Next time you feel the dreaded twinge of a UTI, try this: Boil some water, steep a bunch of parsley in it for 10 minutes and then drink up, recommends Param Dedhia, MD, internal-medicine physician at Canyon Ranch Resort and Spa, in Tucson, Ariz. Repeat throughout the day.

Fight A UTI: Cranberry Juice
It’s not merely a sweet mixer for boozy beverages. Studies show that the go-to preventive remedy for UTIs isn’t just the stuff of folklore. Past research has focused on compounds in cranberries (and blueberries) called proanthocyanidins, which were found to keep bacteria from attaching to bladder cells and causing infection. Now, new research from McGill University demonstrates yet another way that the humble cranberry may be a woman’s best friend: “In lab studies, cranberry prevented the bacteria from producing a specific protein called flagellin, which is necessary for growing the tails that enable them to swim up the urinary tract and attach to cells,” explains lead study author Nathalie Tufenkji, PhD. Look for products with cranberry juice listed in the first three ingredients.

Thanks health.com

Avocado Caesar Salad

4 Oct

Avocado Caesar Salad

Ingredients
1 ripe Hass avocado
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste
1 to 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
3/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 hearts of romaine, torn into bite-sized pieces
8 thin slices of baguette, brushed with olive oil and toasted until golden
Shaved Parmesan cheese (or grated)
Flaky sea salt

Instructions
1. Cut the avocado in half lengthwise, and carefully remove the pit. Scoop flesh into a blender, then add extra-virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, sliced garlic, Worcestershire sauce, kosher salt, and black pepper. Pulse for 1 to 2 minutes until the dressing is smooth. You will still see some small flecks of avocado in the dressing.

2. Season to taste with additional lemon juice, kosher salt, and black pepper. Store dressing in the refrigerator for up to three days.

3. To make the salad, spoon some of the dressing in a big bowl, and add torn romaine. Gently toss until the lettuce is lightly coated. You don’t want the leaves drowning in dressing. Divide the dressed greens and golden crostini among four plates.

4. Finish with shaved Parmesan, more black pepper, and a sprinkling of flaky sea salt. Serve extra dressing on the side.

POMEGRANATE AND CUCUMBER SALAD

27 Aug

Cucumber Pomegranate Salad

What you will need:

1 1/2 to 2 cups pomegranate seeds
2 1/2 cups chopped cucumber (English or Persian)
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1-2 cloves garlic chopped or pressed
red onion thinly sliced
1 T chopped fresh or dried dill
lemon
salt & pepper

 

1. Cut up cucumber and chop dill. Thinly slice red onion. Place in a mixing bowl with the pomegranate seeds and add the pressed garlic.

2. Add the yogurt, a few squeezes of lemon and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Eat as a side dish or pairs well with fish.

 

Thank you peaceloveshea.com

 

 

Japanese Marinated Soft Boiled Egg for Ramen (Ajitsuke Tamago)

13 Jan

JAPANESE MARINATED SOFT BOILED EGG FOR RAMEN (AJITSUKE TAMAGO)

Japanese Marinated Soft Boiled Egg for Ramen (Ajitsuke Tamago)

About This Recipe

YIELD: makes 6 eggs
ACTIVE TIME: 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME: At least 4 hours to marinate

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sake
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 eggs

Procedures

  1. Combine water, sake, soy, mirin, and sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Set aside
  2. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Pierce fat end of each egg with a thumbtack to make a tiny hole (this prevents them from cracking and eliminates the air bubble at the end). Carefully lower eggs into water with a wire mesh spider or slotted spoon. Reduce heat to maintain a bare simmer. Cook for exactly 6 minutes. Drain hot water and carefully peel eggs under cold running water (the whites will be quite delicate)
  3. Transfer eggs to a bowl that just barely fits them all. Pour marinade on top until eggs are covered or just floating. Place a double-layer of paper towels on top and press down until completely saturated in liquid to help keep eggs submerged and marinating evenly. Refrigerate and marinate at least four hours and up to 12. Discard marinade after 12 hours. Store eggs in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in ramen soup to serve.

Thanks to Serious Eats

I like: White Balsamic

26 Jul

Creamy White Balsamic Dressing

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 T. white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 t. honey
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ½ t. white pepper
Combine all ingredients in a jar. Shake vigorously. Chill several hours before serving.

White Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice (about one generous squeeze from a fresh lemon)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine the vinegar and lemon juice in a glass bowl.Slowly whisk in the oil until fully combined.Whisk in the honey. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to let the flavors meld. Give the dressing a good whisk immediately before serving. Makes 1 cup of white balsamic vinaigrette.

Avocado Toast

18 Apr

avocado toastWhat you will  need:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • REALLY good bread – dense, seedy – I like Cob’s Cape Seed Loaf. Believe me, the bread makes the difference.
  • extra virgin olive oil that’s just for eating – I like Bom Dia
  • truffle oil (optional)
  • fresh lemon juice (for sprinkling)
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  1. Toast bread till crispy
  2. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil and truffle oil (optional, to taste) – can go on bread or on avocado. Personal preference.
  3. Put as much avocado on your toast as you want – some recipes call to mash like guacamole but I prefer mash some, leave some chunks. It’s a personal preference.
  4. Sprinkle lemon juice on avocado.
  5. Season with sea salt (crunchy), freshly ground pepper and a healthy sprinkle of cayenne pepper.

Green Smoothies

3 Apr

green-smoothie1

Green Smoothies are a simple way to incorporate large amounts of greens into your diet. Did you know that leafy greens have more valuable nutrients than any other food group? They contain high-quality amino acids, important minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and beneficial phytochemicals (plant-based chemicals also known as phytonutrients). Phytochemicals keep your body’s immune system and body functioning properly, improve health and longevity, and may reduce life- threatening diseases.

I’ve made green smoothies and juices a daily part of my diet – it’s taken coffee, tea, coke, iced tea and other sugary drinks from 100% of the liquid part of my diet down to 30% and it feels sooooooo good! Discovering and trying new smoothies is always fun and keeps it less boring (and painful sometimes!).

5 REASONS WE LOVE GREEN SMOOTHIES

1. Natural energy booster
2. Natural weight loss drink
3. Simple way to boost your immune system
4. Full of disease-fighting antioxidants
5. Hands down— The best fast food

Here are a couple of my favourite recipes – the best site out there is http://simplegreensmoothies.com/recipes - offering categories such as banana free, 5 ingredients or less, immune booster, kid friendly recipes.

The “Salad” Smoothie

  • 1.5 cups coconut water
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 4 kale leaves (cut into pieces)
  • 1 celery stalk (cut)
  • 1 cup frozen mango cubes
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or agave)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
  • Optional: whey protein

Blend coconut water, kale and celery stalk. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend. Enjoy!

Continue reading

Addicted to Juice

23 Jan

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I admit, I’m addicted to juice. Not orange juice, not grapefruit juice, not any that comes out of a carton (Happy Planet Extreme Green is the exception) but fresh healthy juice that’s more veggie than fruit (3:1). I had my first taste, loved it, but refuse to pay $5-7 for a 8-10oz serving so I decided to make my own. It’s so cheap when you buy fresh produce and it comes out to $2 a serving. I invested in the “Rolls Royce” of juicers, the Breville Juice Fountain Elite which produces 30% more juice – truth, as the pulp comes out almost dry, can juice whole fruits and veggies with it’s 1000watt motor so you don’t have to cut them up, and clean up is 3 minutes.

Typically the guidelines for making green juice is 60% dark green leafy vegetables and 40% other vegetables/fruits.  You can try variations of any of the green recipes until you find one that suits your needs and tastes.  For a juice cleanse you’ll drink approximately 4 x 16-20 ounce drinks per day.  If  you are making a whole day’s worth of juice at one time, keep the extra juice in a tightly sealed container in the fridge.

Juice is the first thing that goes into my tummy in the morning (no more coffee!) and the last thing I crave before going to bed. Trust me, you’ll feel a lot better, healthier and get addicted too!

Red Juice (makes 16-18oz or 2 glasses)

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  • 1 beet
  • 1 med carrot
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 stalks kale (more or less)
  • 2-3 small gala apples
  • 1/4 to 1/2 lime
  • 1″ ginger (optional – I’ll put it in if I need a spicy immune booster)

Juice the beets and carrots first, then the rest of the fruits and veggies. If you save the beets for last and if you get it on your countertop, cutting board, or anything it will stain!!! So juice the beets, carrots and kale first, then the celery and apples so it will rinse the beet juice out of the juicer.

Optional to mix some cayenne (if you didn’t add the ginger and substitute lime for lemon) to kickstart your metabolism.

Green Juice

  • 1 cup tightly packed kale
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 1 1/2 pears, cut into large pieces
  • 1″ piece of fresh ginger
  • 1/2 lemon, zest and pith removed

Juice everything into a glass, being sure to alternate the kale with the other ingredients to help it get through the juicer easily (I follow each small bit of kale with a celery stalk).

Mean Green Juice (Original)

This is the official recipe used by Joe Cross and Phil Staples according to the Reboot Program as featured in the movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.

  • 6 Kale Leaves
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 4 Celery Stalks
  • 2 Green Apples
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • 1 piece of ginger

Mean Green Juice #2

  • handful spinach
  • 3 stalks of kale
  • 2 golden delicious apples
  • small handful parsley
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cucumber

Mean Green Juice #3

  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/2 apple
  • 1/2 lemon
  • small piece ginger
  • 1/2 green chard leaf
  • bunch cilantro
  • 5 kale leaves
  • handful spinach

Mean Green Juice #4

  • 1/2 pear
  • 1/2 green apple
  • handful spinach
  • handful parsley
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • small piece ginger
  • slice of papaya

NOTES FOR MAKING JUICE

  • peel or slice off lemon rind leaving some of the white pith *** I like to use Meyer Lemons for it’s thin rind so I don’t have to do this step***
  • to juice small leaves such as parsley and cilantro, roll them up into a ball to compact the leaves
  • wash all vegetables and fruits before making juice
  • buy organic if possible

 

Homestyle Craving: 小米粥 Millet Congee

20 Dec

20121021_172600When I went back to Taiwan, out of the very many dishes I craved, I really wanted something that I dreaded to eat as a child. It was tasteless but nutty and had a weird texture – that’s probably because my mom wouldn’t let me put brown sugar in it. The secret to 小米粥 is to toast the millet before you make it into congee. Simple, but I couldn’t figure it out till I asked my grandma. If you have a chance to go to Taipei, hit up the restaurant on the corner across from the parking lot at the Shida Night Market (vague, I know) – really good stuff.

Note that if you apply heat to the millet beforehand, it will be more separate in the porridge as the starch will have hardened. Thus it’s recommended to toast QUICKLY 1/3 to 1/2 for flavour, then rinse with the rest and then cooked.

UPDATE: Mine wasn’t turning out in the same consistency as what I ate in Taiwan. Mom said to add half a cup (rice cup) or less of uncooked rice. Wash and cook with the millet.

UPDATE 2: For creaminess – boil water w/bit of salt then add millet. Cook like you would with oatmeal. Add almond milk for creaminess & boil down. Add raw sugar to taste. 

NOTE: if you need to add more water if the consistency is too thick, ADD BOILING WATER, not cold water!!!

小米粥 Millet Porridge (Xiao Mi Zhou)

Ingredients:

Serves: 3-4
Yield: 3 cups
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 2 cups boiling water as reserve
  • 1/2 cup dry millet
  • 1/2 chinese cup of uncooked rice (more like 2-3 tablespoons)

Directions:

  1. Toast 1/3 or 1/2 of the millet in bottom of pan or in skillet over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes, until some aroma begins to waft.
  2. In the meantime, bring water to a boil. How much you use depends on how thick you want your porridge.
  3. Add the rest of the millet.
  4. Add millet to boiling water and boil over medium-high to low heat for 25 – 30 minutes, until done. It will not absorb all the water, but some color and starch will be released to let you know as cooking finishes.
  5. If desired, add a few tablespoons of milk for creaminess.
  6. Eat warm, adding  demerara sugar or honey to taste.

If you like chinese soups, check out The Chinese Soup Lady – for all the pregnancy soups, confinement soups etc.

Glowbal’s Famous Brussel Sprouts

29 Sep

What You Will Need:

  • 1 lbs Brussels Sprouts
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Capers, drained
  • 1 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli Flakes
  • Salt to Taste

Method: Bring up the temperature on your deep fryer to 375 degrees. Wash sprouts and remove any dead or browning leaves. Quarter large sprouts and halve smaller sprouts. Ensure the Brussels Sprouts are completely dry before putting them into the deep fryer. Place Brussels Sprouts into deep fryer and cook for 1 minute or until golden brown. Remove the sprouts from the deep fryer and shake to remove all excess oil. Place into a small bowl, adding capers, lemon juice, grated Parmesan, chilli flakes and salt. Toss together, plate and serve immediately. (Serves 4)

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