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    • Dr. Fuhrman will appear on Dr. Oz!

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    •  4/29/2011 4:53:38 PM
    • Dr. Fuhrman will be appearing on a segment of the Dr. Oz show which will air Monday, May 2, 2011, at 3:00pm EST. The topic will be a small panel of nutritionist discussing the Dunkan Diet. Dr. Fuhrman will be commenting about the dangers of this diet. Tune In!

       

      I am so excited to have one of my favorite doctors appear on National Television.

      Dr Fuhrman is one of my heroes and the man who taught me how to eat!

       

      After the birth of my third child I was determined to get myself back into shape.  I discovered the book "Body for Life" and took the 12 week challenge.  I lost the weight that I was hoping to and continued on the plan for another 12 weeks.  That turned into a year, which turned into 5 years!  For 5 years I ate the way that Body For Life suggested.  Egg whites and oatmeal for breakfast, cottage cheese, grilled chicken salads etc.  Five to six small meals a day ALL of which included some sort of animal protein.

       

      When I decided to evaluate my eating habits I came across "The China Study" and was convinced that I needed to change my eating.  The only problem was that I didn't know what to eat.  I knew that I wanted to eat a lot less animal products but I just didn't know how.  Enter Dr. Fuhrman riding on a white horse to save the day!  His book "Eat to Live" saved my health and is one of my most recommended books.  It not only teaches why it is important to eat properly, but gives direct guidelines into how to eat.  He basically recommends 3 fruits, 1 cup of beans, 1 cup of whole grains, and TONS of veggies every day.

       

      Whenever I find myself in an eating 'funk' I simply listen to one of his many teleconferences available to members of his website www.drfuhrman.com.  I have them all loaded onto my iPod geared up and ready to go for whenever I need them.  This man is a genius and I have learned SO much about true nutrition.  There are so many conflicting views on health and nutrition these days.  This is doctor that I consider an expert and I put a lot of weight in what he has to say.

       

      I also happen to love Dr. Oz and I believe he is a good connection between Eastern and Western medicine and philosophies. I will definitely be tuning in!



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    • Rescued from my funk...finally!

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    •  4/20/2011 10:24:33 AM
    •  

      WARNING:  THIS POST HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH FOOD!!!

       

       

      I am a total foodie (yes it is actually a term on Wikipedia), but I've got to admit that I've been in a little bit of a funk lately.  Nothing serious, but just not feeling quite myself. (I'm sure the long 6 months of winter has something to do with it!)  My normal passion for food and cooking has been on the back burner as have a few other of my passions.

       

      So I wanted to take a minute to write about the power of words and the incredible power of books.  "Aspire" is a book that was given to me by a dear friend (Veteran Mommy) and I have read it more than once.  Each time I do I learn a little bit more about myself.  I recently started listening to some conference calls that theauthor offers (free of charge) each Wednesday night.  It is pure inspiration.  The idea of the book and also the coaching calls is that we each have unique gifts and talents that can lead us to our own path.

       

      Too often too many of us go through life without tapping into our true passions and talents.  We may never reach our true potential.  And even when we are headed on the right path, sometimes we find ourselves a little of course.  Well in my own particular life, these are the times when I am also totally "off" with my eating.  Which brings me to the question, "what came first, the chicken or the egg?"  Did I start eating poorly, and then as a result of crappy food and poor nutrition start to veer of course?  Or did some decisions in my life put me in a tailspin where I simply didn't care what was going into my body? I personally can say that I have experienced both.

       

      When we live our life with purpose and direction, it tends to trickle over every aspect of our lives.  From our work, to our relationships and even to how we nourish ourselves.  This fantatstic book, time and again, and helped me to redirect myself to stay on the course that I have chosen.  It is wonderfully written, and positively uplifting.  I am truly amazed at the power of words.  Thanks Kevin.

       

      On a similar note, I read a book last week that I will NEVER forget.  It is a hidden gem that is worth searching our.  It is called "Hidden Messages in Water" by Masaru Emoto.  It is astounding scientific proof of the incredible power of words.  If you don't want to take the time to read it (which I highly recommend you do), you can google it and seem some of the photo of water crystals and they were affected by words, pictures and music.  Just remarkable.

       

      My words and thoughts have a much bigger impact on my life that I before realized.  We are a product of our thoughts, and so often those thoughts are powered by words.  So for today I am sending you all a shout out of 2 very powerful words: LOVE & GRATITUDE!

      Namaste!

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    • Garlicky noodles with Broccoli

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    •  4/13/2011 9:14:56 AM
    •  

      This is a quick and easy (not to mention delicious) dinner when you are in a time crunch and need something FAST.

      1 8oz box Udon Noodles  (a thick wheat pasta)

      1 head of broccoli, cut into florets

       

      Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the noodles.  Set a timer and when there is only 3 minutes left of cooking, add the broccoli right to the pot of boiling water.  This is a quick and efficient way to cook the broccoli (without having to use a separate pot).  Drain the noodles and the broccoli and add to the sauce below.

      While the pasta is boiling, make the garlic sauce:

      4 teaspoons minced garlic
      1 TBS sugar
      2 teaspoons white vinegar
      1 tsp chili garlic paste
      2 teaspoons canola oil
      3/4 cup cold water
      2 teaspoons sherry
      1 teaspoon fish sauce
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      1 TBS cornstarch

      Combine all the ingredients into a saucepan.  Make sure the cornstarch is dissolved well and then put over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Once it is boiling, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 5 minutes.  When the pasta and broccoli is cooked and drained, pour over the sauce and serve immediately.  Optional toppings of cilantro and green onions.

       

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    • Some good advice!

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    •  4/7/2011 7:55:15 AM
    • I received a monthly email from my gym (Lifetime Fitness) with a link that said:

      3 Simple Shifts
      Looking for low-effort ways to eat healthier? These three small adjustments can make a surprisingly big difference in how you look and feel!

       

      I rolled my eyes and thought to myself, "Oh this ought to be good...they're probably going to tell everyone that they need to eat more protein (and probably not plant protein either).  Bet yet, they are probably selling protein powder, shakes, bars or some other processed junk."

       

      Well I was pleasantly surprised (and humbly mistaken).  Here is what they sent out in their National newsletter:

       

       

      Nutrients Department,

      Good food, like timeless fashion, needn’t be complicated. The secret to eating well with minimal effort is to base your diet on simple, whole foods that contain a wide variety of nutrients — and a satisfying range of flavors and textures.

      The synergy of nutrients packaged in a single whole food far surpasses anything a single nutrient can offer, says Hana Abdulaziz Feeney, MS, RD, a nutrition counselor at the University of Arizona in Tucson. “If you think one antioxidant is important, think of the hundreds of antioxidants in something as simple as beans. Add in the fiber, and you’ve far exceeded anything you can expect from almost any other food.”

      And so it is that by making just three simple food shifts — eating beans more often, emphasizing more healthy fats, and limiting your intake of refined grains in favor of other healthy, complex carbs — you can enjoy an astonishingly wide and powerful range of health benefits. And they can help you drop excess weight, too.

      Shift 1: The Benefits of Beans

      Beans may come in modest packaging, but they are “humble nutritional gems,” says Kathie Swift, MS, RD, the nutrition director for Food As Medicine at the Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Washington, D.C., and creator of MyFoundationDiet.com, a seasonal eating plan based on whole foods. A single serving of beans (½ cup) rivals the amount of protein in 2 ounces of lean meat. Most beans are also rich in fiber,B vitamins, antioxidants, and a host of minerals, including calcium and magnesium.

      That said, no two bean types are identical. “Each bean has unique nutritional attributes,” says Swift. “Black beans are high in antioxidants, soybeans host the phytochemical family of isoflavones, white beans are potassium-laden, and adzuki beans pack in some carotenoids.”

      Best of all, beans’ goodness comes cheap: Ounce for ounce, they are one of the least expensive sources of protein. And for just pennies a serving, they can help you achieve some very important health goals:

      Dodge diabetes. Beans help control blood sugar. In 2009, Canadian researchers analyzed the results of 41 randomized, controlled clinical trials, involving 1,674 people, that measured the health benefits of eating beans, lentils and peas. Their findings, published in the journal Diabetologia, concluded that people who regularly ate legumes had steadier blood-sugar levels than people who didn’t.

      The reason? The high fiber content in beans slows digestion, which slows the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream. As a result, the bean-eaters’ bodies were better at moderating sugar levels in the blood, an important factor in helping to prevent type 2 diabetes.

      Resist weight gain. Results published in 2008 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that bean-eaters had a 22 percent reduced risk of becoming obese compared with people who hadn’t regularly eaten beans. The authors speculated that fiber was behind the health benefit, noting that it wards off weight gain by filling you up on fewer calories and keeping blood-sugar levels steady, which staves off food cravings.

      Promote proper digestion
      . Beans are a powerful supporter of good elimination, which in turn helps keep toxicity and inflammation at bay. “Our ancestors ate up to 100 grams of fiber a day, but most of us today get only 15,” says Beth Reardon, MS, RD, LDN, director of Integrative Nutrition at Duke Integrative Medicine in Durham, N.C.

      Beans deliver both insoluble and soluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, creating a gel-like substance that helps lower cholesterol and glucose levels. Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water, so it passes through your digestive system relatively intact, which adds bulk to the stool and keeps traffic moving so toxins don’t have a chance to build up in your system.

      Regulate cholesterol. As noted, soluble fiber absorbs water as well as other things, such as cholesterol and excess sugars, which makes it a boon to heart health. Housed inside a plant’s cellular membranes (rather than in the outer shell), soluble fiber forms a gooey, slow-moving gel as it travels through the gut. It gloms onto bile acids inside the intestines and ushers them out of the body, which prompts the liver to pull cholesterol out of the blood to make more bile. As a bonus, says Abdulaziz Feeney, soluble fiber sends feedback to the liver to slow down cholesterol production.

      So if beans are so great, why aren’t more of us eating them more often? The two main reasons that people avoid beans are texture and digestive distress, says Swift. If beans’ texture bothers you, Swift recommends hummus or other creamy bean dips as a great entrypoint. If digestive distress is a deterrent, try adding a 4- to 6-inch strip of kombu (seaweed) to the beans as they cook to make them more digestible, or take an enzyme supplement to assist with digestion. Also keep in mind that as your body becomes accustomed to more fiber, and as your intestinal system gets cleaner, gas-related problems will likely diminish.

      Shift 2: Enjoy Healthy Fats

      While some fats (namely trans fats) are bad news, virtually all the naturally occurring fats in whole foods are good for you. A lot of folks don’t realize that, though, so they’ve cut most fats out of their diets. They’ve used refined carbohydrates to fill the void and have experienced cravings, mood swings, chronic disease and weight gain as a result.

      It’s now widely understood that quick-digesting carbohydrates (like those found in sugar, white bread, white rice and white pasta), not fats, are primarily to blame for obesity, heart-disease, type 2 diabetes and many of the other major health woes we face as a nation.

      “I think that because there is such a fat phobia in America, many people are actually deficient in healthy fats,” says Maggie Ward, MS, RD, LDN, nutrition director at the UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Mass.

      The solution, says Ward, is to get the majority of your fats from whole foods. Snack on fat-rich nuts and seeds; slice avocado onto salads and sandwiches; enjoy clean, safe fish.

      Whole-food sources of fats not only fill you up, so you’re less likely to crave that morning bagel or afternoon cookie, but they also help your body get the essential fatty acids it can’t make on its own.

      Saturated fats from whole-food sources, like grass-fed meats, eggs, poultry and  coconut, when enjoyed as part of a nutritious, high-fiber, plant-rich diet, are also good for you. “Saturated fat makes up part of our cell membranes, is needed for hormone synthesis and serves as a great fuel source,” says Ward. “And like all fats, saturated fat really adds satiety to the diet and balances blood sugars.” A 2010 meta-analysis of 21 studies involving nearly 350,000 people found no significant link between saturated fat in the diet and increased risk of heart disease. Those results, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, represent a total turnaround from advice given just a few short years ago. (Learn more at "
      Heart News.")

      Here’s what good fats can do for you:

      Control cravings. Adding a little fat to each meal or snack can help you stay full longer, and minimize the carb cravings often caused by spikes and dives in blood sugar. “Fat is what adds satiety to a meal,” says Ward. “If you have a little avocado, butter or coconut, that meal is going to stick with you a lot longer.”

      Maintaining a good balance of dietary fats in the body also supports healthy metabolism, which is essential to weight loss. Try a handful of nuts in your smoothie, a dollop of full-fat yogurt on berries, or a slice of cheese with an apple.

      Douse inflammation. Inflammation is at the root of a host of chronic ills, from heart disease to diabetes to certain cancers. Ironically, fat — long blamed as a contributing factor in such maladies — may actually turn out to be a significant factor in resolving them. Many experts agree that an imbalance in our fat intake (too many omega-6s from meats and vegetable oils like soybean, corn and safflower oils, and too few omega-3s) are fueling an epidemic of inflammatory diseases. “We evolved on a diet that was close to 1 to 1 (omega-6 to omega-3), and the majority of Americans are now eating closer to 20 to 1 or even 30 to 1,” says Reardon.

      Regain balance by cutting the amount of vegetable oils in your diet and upping your intake of omega-3-rich fish, such as salmon, anchovies and sardines, plus fish oils and plant sources such as walnuts and flaxseeds. If you eat meat, give preference to grass-fed and organic options, which are much higher in omega-3 fatty acids.

      Build your brain. Omega-3 fatty acids — DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid), in particular — make up 20 percent of the brain’s gray matter, says Reardon. Inside the brain, our cell membranes are composed of fats that facilitate snappy cellular communication — which is why fatty-acid deficiencies are a common factor in depression, mood swings and compromised brain function.

      Shift 3: Go Easy on Grains

      Grains are a dilemma. On one hand, unadulterated whole grains, like quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth and millet, are packed full of fiber, macronutrients, micronutrients and phytochemicals. Many studies connect the dots between a diet rich in whole grains and lower rates of obesity, diabetes and even some cancers. But conversely, an honest look at the average American’s grain consumption points to some troubling trends. Most of us eat grains — primarily wheat products — with every meal. And of the more than half-pound of grains we eat every day, less than 1 ounce comes from whole grains.

      What Swift calls “nutritionally naked” grains — everything from bagels and cereals to pasta — dominate the American diet. Many experts acknowledge the need for a food shift around grains, especially the disproportionate role of wheat in our diet.

      “As a country we are ‘over-wheated,’” says Reardon, who calls it the “crowding out theory.” “Every time you eat another wheat-flour product, it’s a missed opportunity to get a nonwheat grain, like quinoa or buckwheat or, better yet, vegetables, like kale and squash, into your diet,” she says. “It’s time to start thinking more about those near misses.”

      The first step is to rightsize the role of grains in your diet, says Swift. “Legumes, vegetables, fruits, and nuts and seeds need to be the foundational elements in building a healthy diet, with whole grains taking a less prominent place at the table.”

      The second step is to make the vast majority of grains you do eat whole grains — not just whole-grain flours. Abdulaziz Feeney notes that flour-based foods are more likely than intact grains to create many of the same health problems in the body as sugars do, including unwanted weight gain.

      “People need to understand the difference between a whole grain and whole-grain flour,” she says. “If all you’re doing is switching from white-flour products to whole-grain breads, spelt pretzels and rice pasta, you’re missing the goodness that more-intact grains have to offer.”

      So, should you avoid grains altogether?  That’s a matter of a passionate debate.

      Since grains are a relative newcomer to the human diet (arriving a mere 15,000 years ago after 2 million grain-free years), some experts argue that the body isn’t well designed to process them. As noted, eating large quantities of grain is widely considered a recipe for weight gain and inflammation. And with an estimated 30 to 40 percent of the U.S. population at least somewhat intolerant to the gluten present in many popular grains, there may be additional reason to avoid them.

      That said, for those who tolerate them well, whole grains can be a good source of healthy carbs, antioxidants and fiber — especially for active people in need of a reliable energy supply.

      Whether or not you decide to significantly scale back your grain intake, being selective about the grains you eat can help you accomplish a number of healthy goals:

      Stabilize blood sugar
      . Remember that most flour-based products quickly turn to sugars in your body. On the other hand, most intact whole grains (grains that haven’t been turned into flour) are much slower to digest, and less likely to cause blood-sugar spikes and dips.

      Look for whole-kernel grains like quinoa, amaranth, millet and brown rice. And keep in mind that most whole-grain flour has the same glycemic index as refined flour. The glycemic index (GI for short) of a food is based on how much the food raises blood-sugar levels compared with a standard carbohydrate (usually a marker based on white bread). You can reduce the glycemic impact of the grains you eat by mixing them with fats, proteins or high-fiber vegetables. For instance, a cup of white rice by itself is high on the glycemic index, but top it off with 1½ cups of stir-fried vegetables, some protein and fat, and the overall glycemic load of the meal drops dramatically.

      Up your nutrient intake. Eating a variety of grains, rather than eating mostly wheat, gives you a much better range of nutrients. Barley, oats, buckwheat and quinoa are rich sources of both macro- and micronutrients. Most contain vitamin E, several B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and trace minerals such as copper, zinc, iron and manganese. In addition, the soluble and insoluble fiber found in most whole grains, including oats and barley, can lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation and enhance digestion.

      Balance your diet. Grains dominate so many foods (pastas, crackers, cereals and so on), they are easy to overeat. By downsizing your grain intake, you free up plate and stomach space for more variety. A daily serving or two of whole grains isn’t a bad thing, but don’t let them dominate your meals. “We are eating grains to the exclusion of plants,” says Reardon, who recommends nine to 13 servings of vegetables and fruits a day — almost impossible to pull off when grains are hogging all the room on your plate, and in your stomach.
       

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    • The Cancer Project

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    •  4/1/2011 12:22:00 PM
    •  

      I had the honor of flying to Washington DC for training as a Food for Life Instructor.  If you are not yet familiar with the Cancer Project or PCRM and the work they do, please check out their links.  The Cancer Project is a department of PCRM, both of which are non-profit organizations started by Dr. Neal Barnard (pronounced BAR-nard not Bar-NARD).  It was an incredible experience for me and I am thrilled to be a part of their team in spreading the message of cancer prevention and survival through nutrition.

       

      One of the definite highlights was a chance to meet Dr. Barnard in person (I suddenly became a giddy school girl)!

       

       

      The work that they do at the Cancer Project is phenomenal!  They are completely dedicated to taking decades of research and trying to get it into the public eye.  On average it takes about 25 years for concrete evidence based on scientific proof to filter down the channels and into the public mind.  They promote a vegetarian diet, not because they want to sell you more broccoli but because research shows it can help prevent disease.

       

      They offer cooking classes throughout the country that inform people about the dietary changes they can make that will have the most impact on their health.  Click here to see if there is one in your area. I am thrilled to be able to offer them in Utah in the near future.  Feel free to email me at charitylighten@gmail.com for more information.

       

      PCRM is also beginning a 21-Day Vegan challenge that begins on Monday.  It is a fantastic program where they will email you recipes, meal plans and grocery list. Find a friend that will commit with you and check out the information here.

       

       

       

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