On August 16th, local Hartsdale professional Leslie Anders talked to Engage participants, at the JCC of Mid-Westchester, about bacteria in the gut–the good and the bad. Anders brought several samples of healthy drinks and food which assists digestion. She also answered questions about diet and healthy eating. Many Engage participants tasted the shots of green juice and also some spices which enhance digestion such as Tumeric. Several new Engage members met other volunteers and learned more about the various volunteer opportunities through Engage. Thank you Leslie for a lively and very informative discussion.
I am starting a new segment on my Facebook page and blog where I will describe one of my favorite meals or snack ideas – often it may be a simple creative twist that will change-up the usual option. Recipes will be kept simple so that you can recreate these food ideas for yourself and even add your own innovative variations .
To start off the segment, I wanted to talk about the most important meal of the day, breakfast.
Create a new breakfast option – using less cereal and more nuts and seeds. After cooking oatmeal, portion out ½ of what you would usually eat.
Top with handful of two or more types seeds and nuts (raw preferably): Pumpkin, chia, hemp, and flax seeds were in my refrigerator (this is where they stay fresher). I add chopped pecans and sprinkle with cinnamon and add a touch of sweetener (maple syrup) . I love the different textures – creamy and crunch.
What’s the benefits of seeds and nuts ? They contain a treasure trove of minerals and vitamins. Plus, their oils, proteins and fiber helps to keep hunger away and makes oatmeal a different experience .
Oatmeal – organic steal cut (my preference)*
Seeds: chia, flax, pumpkin, hemp, sunflower
Nuts: chopped pecans or other chopped raw nuts
Flavor with cinnamon and maple syrup
* You can substitute oatmeal with plain organic yogurt or quinoa
I hope you try out and enjoy this delicious and gorgeous meal for your next breakfast.
I am happy to announce the release of an informative and uplifting documentary, THE KIDS MENU, in which I have participated as an expert nutrition consultant. The producers of this movie filmed a successful client of mine on his journey to a healthier life; and I appear in a segment discussing my views on providing the right food and nutrition message for children. I hope you get a chance to see this enlightening film – it will be available on iTunes for rental or purchase on April 1st.
Here is the trailer:
Dried red chili peppers Fresh chamomile
A variety of kidney and navy beans Mushrooms, carrots, and string beans
Rosemary and stuffed corn husks Vegetable storage and display
The Central Market (Mercado Central) in Anitgua City, Guatemala is a festival of beautiful fresh foods. When you hear the term whole foods , most of us think of the upscale food market chain. However, this is the bona fide whole food market – the real deal. There is very little packaged or processed foods because Guatemalans like to cook their meals using fresh produce and herbs. They purchase their spices in bulk and create many homemade seasonings used in cooking such as marinades, flavored oils, and blended spices. The Central Market is the source for all ingredients used by everyone and anyone for recipes that have been passed along generations from mothers, grandmothers and ancestors from long ago.
Leslie discusses the role of tryptophan from poultry and the popular idea of its affect after eating a large meal. This is an edited portion from a Westchester News 12 segment.
They say that good things come in small packages. Seeds have been a part of the human diet since the dawn of our ancestors. Today, seeds are gaining recognition for their many health benefits because they are packed with a wide variety of nutrients.
What is a seed? How are they different from nuts?
Seeds are the unit of reproduction in flowering plants and are used for sowing. Nuts and seeds are often grouped together because of their many similarities. However, nuts differ from seeds in that they have a tough shell surrounding an edible kernel.
Why should I add seeds to my diet?
Seeds have a variety of properties that are beneficial to health. To start, seeds are packed with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, AKA the “healthy fats”. Research shows that polyunsaturated fats can be cardio-protective and reduce inflammation in the body.
In addition, seeds can be a great source of protein. One quarter cup of sunflower seeds contains five grams of protein. Healthcare professionals have been encouraging the incorporation of plant based protein into the diet. Dietitians and environmentalists are eager to reduce the amount of animal based products we consume to promote a more plant based diet and to reduce our carbon footprint.
The seed coat of seeds are a fantastic source of insoluble fiber, the “roughage” in the diet. The body is unable to digest insoluble fiber because it does not dissolve in water. The undigested fiber passes through the gastrointestinal tract and speeds up the movement of food and waste through the gut. Fiber increases the feeling of fullness and can alleviate constipation. Fiber, in combination with fat and protein makes seeds a satisfying and filling snack.
Seeds are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants such as vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc. These micronutrients are nature’s medicine. Consumption of these micronutrients are associated with reduced oxidative stress in the body– a natural chemical process that contributes to the development of chronic disease and aging.
How can I incorporate more seeds into my diet?
Seeds can easily be added to salads, smoothies, and side dishes. Here are a few websites with some great recipes:
What is CSA?
Community supported agriculture (CSA) allows residents in urban and suburban areas to have access to high quality produce from local farms. This is done by purchasing a “share” of produce from a local farmer. For the summer and early fall months, the farmer delivers your share of produce to various convenient drop off/pick up locations.
How much does a CSA membership cost?
A CSA membership costs about $450-$650 for an entire season. A membership to CSA provides an average of 7 to 10 different types of vegetables and herbs (and some provide fruit) per week. Some CSAs shares offer half-share memberships.
Farmer’s markets provide city and suburban dwellers access to fresh (and organic) produce and other products.
What does it mean to be local?
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, local is defined as being within 250 miles from the city/suburban area—a reasonable day’s drive for farmers and other vendors.
What are the benefits of purchasing from local vendors?
There are many benefits to purchasing from local farms. When your food only has a short distance to travel, the carbon footprint is significantly smaller than purchasing produce from large vendors that obtain their products from all over the world and continent such as Chile, Mexico, Peru, and California. Local is good for the environment.
Another benefit of purchasing from CSAs and farmer’s markets is that it allows you to develop an appreciation for, and connection to, how your food is grown.
More and more people these days want to know where their food is coming from and who handles their food. Many say that food sold in large supermarkets is incomparable to the quality, flavor, and freshness of local products.
Interested in finding CSA or farmer’s market near you?
Take a moment to browse these websites and mobile apps to find CSA pick up locations and farmer’s markets near you.
U.S. Farmers Market Finder