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    • Good Fats for Children

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    •  2/16/2010 8:33:16 AM
    •  

      After I finished writing my last blog about FAT- I realized that I didn't write much about

      feeding GOOD FATS to our children.

      This is a subject that I sometimes stress a little about.

      Are my children eating enough of the GOOD FATS in their diet?

       

      There are a couple of DHA points that I want to address:

       

      • Our brains are mostly made from DHA fat.  For our brain to work at it's best...we need to have the right ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fats.  When our children consume the right mix of these EFA's they maximize their brain development.  (Check out my last blog here for details about omega-6 and omega-3 fats).
      • DHA is an essential nutrient for optimal brain and eye function.
      • DHA is also a normal component of breast milk, and infants fed breast milk (for at least 1 year) have higher IQ's.
      • Low DHA levels are linked to:  Ahlzeimer's, Depression, ADHD, High Blood Pressure & Allergies (to name a few)
      • DHA is typically found to be dangerously low in ADHD sufferers AND DHA has also been found to improve the behavior and symptoms of ADHD.

       

      To repeat some info from my last blog- the following WHOLE foods provide our bodies with the needed FATS to produce DHA:

      FLAXSEEDS,  WALNUTS, SOYBEANS & LEAFY GREENS

       

      TIPS for feeding children:

      • Grind some fresh flaxseed seeds (I use a coffee grinder) and mix a small amount in your child's food (oatmeal, smoothies, even spaghetti)...they won't even notice it! (I try to have each of my children eat 2-3 tsps of ground flaxseed a day).
      • Cut up Dark Leafy Greens as small as you can and mix them in your child's food (spaghetti, bean dishes, burrittos- the possibilites are endless!)  Get your kids used to seeing GREEN on their plate.
      • Chop walnuts into small pieces (I use a Pampered Chef up and down chopper) and mix them into their oatmeal/steel cut oats.  My kids eat a lot of walnuts this way.
      • When my walnuts are fresh my kids love to eat them with raisins.  They see me doing it...and soon they started wanted the same thing.
      • I give my children a VEGAN DHA supplement a couple of times a week.  I feel really good about this supplement.  I makes me feel better when I might have missed a couple days of them not eating these foods.  Check it out at Joel Fuhrman's website: DHA
      • We don't eat a lot of soybeans in our home- Any suggestions for eating this vegetable...please let me know!

       

      Other HEALTHY FATS

      AVOCADOS

      I can't forget to mention the benefits that come from consuming AVOCADOS.  These are also healthy source of fatty acids.  Not quite as good as raw nuts and seeds- but avocados not only provide the healthy fats but they come packed with essential nutrients.

      AVOCADOS ARE A GREAT FOOD FOR GROWING CHILDREN!

       

      NUT BUTTERS

      Raw nut butters are a great way to give your children their needed FAT.  Especially because it is hard sometimes for children to want to eat enough raw nuts and seeds in their whole form.  My children love raw cashew nut butter on their sandwiches (if you can afford it ). I also try to spread a little tahini (raw sesame seed butter) on their peanut butter sandwiches.  Tahini provides an excellent source of calcium!  If using peanut butter, if possible, it is best to purchase a brand without other additives (like HFCS).

       

      Have your kids try this HUMMUS recipe, which includes TAHINI.  My kids LOVE it!  It helps them eat their raw veggies.  The red pepper makes it a fun orange color- it's VERY yummy!

       

      HUMMUS

      In food processor:
      1/4 C. tahini (you can toast 1/3 C. of lightly toasted sesame seeds then grind in food processor to make this tahini)

      ADD:
      1-2 Tb olive oil (optional- definitely makes it more creamy)
      2 T. fresh lemon juice (can use more....I don't like it with too much lemon)
      1-2 garlic cloves minced
      One red pepper- chopped
      One can of garbanzo beans, drained (keep some liquid)
      Real Salt to taste
      ½ -1 tsp cumin
      pinch of cayenne pepper

      Add water or leftover garbanzo liquid until Hummus is a dip-like consistency.  (It will thicken in the fridge).  Eat with fresh veggies and/or whole-grain crackers.
       

      __________________________________________________________

      "We all must accept the fact that health is created and experienced as a result of the healthful behaviors and environment we create for ourselves and our loved ones.  We must take personal responsibility by educating ourselves and teaching our children to care for themselves."  Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

       

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    • Engine 2 Diet- Rip Esselstyn on Dr. Oz

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    •  2/10/2010 7:45:21 PM
    • Rip Esselstyn is going to be on the Dr. Oz show tomorrow (Feb. 11th)

      Make sure to check it out!

       

      Rip Esselstyn is Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr's son.  Caldwell Esselstyn wrote one of my favorite books: Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.  He is a famous heart surgeon who conducted a nutritional study that showed how diet can not only prevent and stop heart disease...but it can reverse it.  His book provides amazing life saving health information as well as provides wonderful vegan recipes.

       

      Ever since I heard about Rip Esselstyn and his book the ENGINE 2 DIET I have wanted to know more about it...and now I can!  He is all about a plant-based diet and his book shows how his fellow fireman have lowered their cholesterol and lost weight eating the same way.

      Check out his website!

      I am so excited to see another big tv show talking about plant based nutritrion!  Dr. Oz had the Vegan Cowboy show...and now the Vegan Firefighters!  I am so excited!

       

       

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    • BAD FAT vs. GOOD FAT

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    •  5/13/2010 8:52:54 AM
    • Is there such thing as GOOD FATS...and what are they?

      Should I have FAT in my diet...and how much?

      What type of FATS should I avoid?

        

      These are just a few of the FAT questions I have wondered about over the years. Recently, I really wanted to know the answers to these questions and know them well.  That is why it is so fun to do this blog- it gives me the opportunity to remind myself of these answers and share them with you!

       

      This subject on FAT can be a little confusing- so I will do my best to make it SIMPLE and easy to understand and remember!

       

      We as a nation eat too much fat- but more important than that...

      we eat too much of the WRONG FATS and not enough of the GOOD FATS.

       

      Quick FAT Dictionary:

       

      SATURATED FAT - Naturally occurring fats found mainly in meat, fowl, eggs and dairy.  Coconut and palm oil are largely saturated fat.  This fat significantly causes heart disease and cancer.

       

      POLYUNSATURATED FAT (corn soybean, safflower oils) MONOUNSATURATED FAT (olive, canola and peanut oils) - Eating unsaturated fats lowers cholesterol when substituted for saturated fats, but excessive amounts may promote cancer.  They are better than saturated fats...but not considered a HEALTH FOOD.

       

      HYDROGENATED FAT - This FAT is processed in such a way that it hardens and it's shelf life is extended so the oil can be used over and over again without going bad.  It is a man-made fat called TRANS FAT.  This FAT acts the same as SATURATED FAT.  It is both cancer and heart disease causing.  AVOID THIS TYPE OF FAT!

       

      CHOLESTEROL - This is a waxy fat produced by our bodies.  We do not need to eat ANY cholesterol...our bodies make our own.  But when we eat animal- we consume excess cholesterol and it raises our own blood cholesterol which we know causes disease.

       

      ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS (EFAs).  Our bodies cannot manufacture these fats, but they are ESSENTIAL for growth and development AND for disease prevention.

       

      There are 2 primary EFA's:  OMEGA-6 and OMEGA-3

      Optimal HEALTH depends on the proper balance of these EFA's in the diet.

       

      Here is the issue:

      The standard American diet gives us TOO MUCH Omega-6...and not enough Omega-3.

       

      Let's talk about Omega-3

      When we eat the right amount of Omega-3...our bodies produces DHA.  Our body manufactures sufficient amounts if adequate omega-3 fats are consumed (flax, walnuts, soybeans, leafy green vegetables).

      We all hear about DHA and how wonderful it is for our bodies.  Without enough DHA- we are at risk for Heart Disease, Stroke, Diabetes, Autoimmune diseases, and CANCER.

      Because DHA is so good for us...we need to make eating OMEGA-3 FATS a priority.  We should all try to eat 1 - 2 grams of omega-3 daily!

      Flaxseed 1 TBS 1.7 grams
      Tofu 1 1/2 cup 2 grams
      Walnuts 4 TBS 2 grams
      Soybeans 1 1/2 cup 2 grams

       

      Most of the time when you hear information about consuming DHA- you also hear FISH OIL.  In short, one problem with fish oil is that much of the fat has already turned rancid.  If you do take a FISH OIL supplement, try cutting open the capsule and try tasting it.  There is a good chance it will taste rancid (I have tried this and it was gross!).  It is very hard to keep FISH oil fresh after it has been processed.  Also- Fish these days are full of toxins like mercury.  I prefer to use a Vegan-DHA supplement a couple times a week for me and my family.  It is made from microalgae and it provides a pure form of DHA without rancidity, mercury or other toxins. It actually tastes pretty good.  I also like that you don't need very much (100 mg a day) when most FISH OIL supplements provide 1000 mg a day.  (Check our www.Dr.Fuhrman.com for his DHA product).

       

      Issues with OMEGA-6

      When your diet is too high in OMEGA-6 fat, your body makes even less DHA fat.

      High amounts of OMEGA-6 FATS and low amounts of OMEGA-3 FATS are found in:

      vegetable oils and animal products.

       

      QUESTION:  IS OLIVE OIL GOOD FOR YOU?

      OLIVE OIL shows signs of being "healthy" when it is used in place of more dangerous fats (saturated and hydrogenated).  BUT- it should not be considered a HEALTH food.  Joel Fuhrman, M.D. states:  "Olive oil is NOT cardiac protective...but it is not as cardiac damaging."

      No matter what oil you look at, it contains approx. 120 calories per TBS...and oil is VERY LOW IN NUTRIENTS. (Most American's consume over 300 calories from oil a day- which equals a pound a week).

       

      Wouldn't it be great to have a WHOLE FOOD that provides the right amount of EFA's AND is HIGH IN NUTRIENTS?

       

      Say hello to raw NUTS & SEEDS!

       

      I cannot say enough about the health benefits of consuming NUTS and SEEDS on a daily basis!!!

      The scientific research on the benefits of these power foods are never-ending!

      NUTS & SEEDS are critical for optimum nutrition!!!

       

      "Study after study shows that raw nuts and seeds not only lower cholesterol, but also extend lifespan and protect against common diseases of aging.  They also provide a good source of protein, which makes up about 15 to 25 percent of calories.  Raw nuts and seeds, not the salted or roasted variety, provide the most health benefits."  Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

       

      • Nuts and seeds had the most dramatic effect on increased lifespan than any other food.
      • Eating nuts and seeds on a daily basis reduce your risk of HEART DISEASE by 45%.
      • Eating nuts and seeds lowers your bad cholesterol and raises your good cholesterol.
      • SEEDS are more nutrient dense than NUTS....seeds should be consumed daily!
      • Did you know that SUNFLOWER seeds- 22% of their calories come from protein? (same as meat)
      • Did you know that SESAME SEEDS have the highest amount of calcium than any other food found in the world?
      • MY FAVORITE FACT:  RAW NUTS AND SEEDS HELP PREVENT OVER EATING!  (This definitely works for me!)  They promote weight loss!

       

       "It's important to note- while nuts and seeds have a great health benefit- they are high in calories and fat compared to vegetables, beans, and fruits so they should be consumed in smaller amounts.  Nuts and seeds contain about 175 calories per ounce- which is about a handful.  Unless you are thin and exercising frequently, do not eat more than 2 ounces a day."  Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

       

      Here are some ways Whole Food Mommies eat their Nuts & Seeds:

      FLAX SEEDS in our green smoothies

      Our homemade GRANOLA BARS

      Our cashew cream based soups

      On top of our oatmeal

      Raw Nuts and Seeds

      (I've noticed that I like the taste of them more

      when I purchase them refrigerated)

       

      I have learned that I cannot THRIVE on a plant-based diet without the GOOD FATS!

      They are essential - and I want to try to eat them daily!

       

       

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    • Michael Pollan- Food Rules

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    •  2/3/2010 3:15:55 PM
    • I first want to express how much

      I LOVED the FOOD 101 episode on OPRAH last week.

       

      I have to admit I was a little disappointed with the prior OPRAH episode that featured the vegan chef- Tal Ronnen.  Probably because his part was only 5 minutes long- and NO nutrition information was provided.  But this FOOD 101 made up for that.  FOOD 101 wanted to make people think about where their food comes from and what they are putting in their mouths.

       

      Will it really make people CHANGE what they are eating?  Will it help people be more open to the idea of eating a more WHOLE FOOD PLANT BASED DIET?

      Or, like Michael Pollan refers to as a "EAT FOOD, NOT TOO MUCH, MOSTLY PLANT...diet"?

      Or, like Alicia Silverstone refers to as a "KIND DIET"?

      I truly HOPE so!

       

      One of my family members that eats a "WESTERN STYLE" diet, was able to watch this FOOD 101 episode.  I found it VERY interesting what ideas she took from the episode compared to the ideas that I took from it.  First of all, she liked that the author MICHAEL POLLAN eats meat.  As long as you know where it comes from, right?  She liked Michael Pollen's rules about COOKING your food and eating junk food as long as you make it yourself.  And of course, she also brought up the part where OPRAH likes CHEESE and that Alicia Silverstone eats CHEESE sometimes (if you watched the episode, Alicia eats it VERY RARELY).

       

      I really think my family member missed the point of the episode...which is disappointing.  I also feel Whole Food Mommies has this same point:

      It's NOT about MEAT, JUNK FOOD, or CHEESE.

      It's about EATING more PRODUCE.  SIMPLE.

       

      But I still have HOPE!

      I hope people who watched the episode will take even SMALL parts of the message to heart.

      I hope that the country in general will be more OPEN to this way of eating.

      I also hope that enough people will want to change their eating habits that we can actually have an effect on our food industry.  Like Michael Pollen said- we have a voice and we can vote for a change 3 times a day...during breakfast, lunch and dinner.

       

      After watching the FOOD 101 episode,

      I found Michael Pollan's latest book: FOOD RULES.

      Maintanence Mommy introduced me to Michael Pollan's book, In Defense of Food.  But that was the only book I read.  This "FOOD RULES" book is so much fun!  I literally read it in less than an hour.  In the book he gives 64 "food rules" for eating healthily and happily.  These rules will help people get off the standard Western Diet- which causes heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes and Cancer.  These logical rules that Michael Pollan provides, teach us and help us so much more than the "rules" that science, industry and government provide.  He states that these rules aren't meant to be memorized.  Just like FOOD, Inc. the film, they are meant to make us think...and hopefully one day they can become second nature to us.

       

      RULE #23  Treat meat as a flavoring or special occasion food.

      I really like this rule.  He states there is evidence that the more meat there is in your diet, the greater your risk of heart disease and cancer.  Thomas Jefferson recommended a mostly plant-based diet that uses meat for flavor.

       

      Rule #22  Eat mostly plants, especially leaves.

      Michael Pollan states that diets rich in vegetables and fruits reduces the risk of dying from all the Western diseases.  Vegetarians are notably healthier than carnivores, and they live longer.

       

      These are just 2 of the rules that I really liked.  Check out this book- it is a lot of fun, and of course, it makes you think!

       

      "We never regret of having eaten too little."

      Thomas Jefferson

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