MyFoodMyHealth Newsletter Volume 2, Issue 10

In this issue:

  • Featured Recipe: Delicata Squash Boats with Quinoa
  • Healthy, Fabulous Flavors: Quinoa
  • What's New With MyFoodMyHealth: Kid-friendly Recipe Designations
  • A Note from Our Chief Nutrition Advisor: Thriving with Diabetes - The Whole Foods Path
  • The Link Between Oral Health and Heart Health
  • Recommended Reading: Clean Start

Featured Recipe: Delicata Squash Boats with Quinoa


Delicata squash is a tender and sweet winter squash with a vibrant color. Combined with the nutty, earthy tastes of quinoa and pistachios, it delivers a bounty of fall flavors everyone at your table will enjoy.  

Download recipe


Healthy, Fabulous Flavors: Quinoa

Called the "mother of all grains" by the Incas, quinoa, pronounced keen-wah, is a tiny powerhouse of nutrients. It is a native of northern South America and was a staple food of the Incas and other Indians in Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia for over 6,000 years. Only in the last few decade has this remarkable food caught on in the United States.

Although it looks and cooks like a grain, quinoa is the fruit of the chenopodium family (and is closely related to beets and spinach) but only the edible seeds of the quinoa plant are generally eaten. It has the highest protein content of any grain and unlike others, is a complete protein. Besides being high in lysine, an amino acid that is scarce in other grains, quinoa is one of the few vegetarian foods with all eight of the essential amino acids. It has substantial amounts of iron, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, vitamin E, and B-vitamins, including folate.

The bitter saponin coating makes it a natural repellent to birds. Most quinoa sold commercially in North America has had the saponin removed, but it is still a good idea to wash it before cooking. Since the seeds are tiny, you need to use a strainer. Place the quinoa in a bowl of water and cover by two inches. Rub it between your submerged hands, then place it in a strainer and rinse for a few seconds until the water runs clear. To make it the most digestible and bioavailable, soak it overnight with enough water to cover.

Quinoa has a light pleasing texture, comes in gold, red, and black, and can be used in place of or along with other grains. Cook it as a pilaf, in casseroles, and as a breakfast porridge. Quinoa mixed with herbs and vegetables makes a satisfying lunch. To cook quinoa, the basic ratio to use is two cups liquid per cup of grain. For a breakfast porridge, cook in three-to-four parts liquid to one cup quinoa.

To make the fluffiest version, after you rinse quinoa, add it to a pot and dry toast the grains. Move them around with a spoon in the pot that you are going to use–just until all of the grains have dried and begun to smell fragrant, about 5 minutes. Then add your liquid, bring to a boil and add a pinch of salt, cover, then lower the heat and simmer the quinoa without mixing for 10 to 15 minutes, until all of the liquid is absorbed. Little steam tunnels form while it cooks, and it is important to suppress the urge to disturb them. Tilt the pot gently instead to see if the liquid has been absorbed. Each tiny yellow grain has a barely noticeable external germ that, when cooked, circles the grain like a translucent Saturn ring. The ring gives a subtly soft crunch that contrasts pleasingly with the softer part of the rest of the grain.

kid-friendly-125What's New with MyFoodMyHealth: Kid-friendly Recipe Designations

MyFoodMyHealth is designed to make it easy for families to share delicious and nutritious meals that are pleasing for both kids and adults alike. To make it easier for MyFoodMyHealth subscribers to find all the kid-friendly recipes available in our meal planner, we’ve added a new kid friendly designation. Simply look for the new kid-friendly icon in the recipe list. Recipes with this icon are fun, family-friendly and sure to meet your kids' seal of approval.


A Note from Our Chief Nutrition Advisor: Thriving with Diabetes - The Whole Foods PathkathySwift

by Kathie Madonna Swift MS RD LDN

You can thrive with diabetes if you embrace these health promoting guidelines of blood sugar management:

1. Develop a regular rhythm of eating. When you eat is very important in the complex dance of glucose metabolism, thus, regularly scheduled meals and snacks help regulate your blood sugar levels.

2. Favor "glycemic-friendly" meals. A meal or snack that includes slow-release carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats provides the glucose soothing balance your body needs. Slow release carbohydrates contain the quintessential substance, fiber, that provides the much needed brake for the ultimate glycemic tempo. Fiber is found in vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, and seeds and in addition to its glycemic benefits, soluble fiber nourishes the good bacteria in the gut to enhance immunity and prevent infections.

3. Veg out. There is emerging evidence on the benefits of plant-based diets in blood sugar management. Plant protein found in beans, lentils, organic whole soy foods (tofu, tempeh, edamame) is not as burdensome on the kidney. Individuals with diabetes can maintain good renal function and better acid base balance by incorporating more vegetarian meals into their daily diet.

4. Shake, dance, move. Turn on some lively music and start moving. There are some energetic enzymes involved in blood sugar regulation that get into gear when you move into motion. Step up your “LPA” or lifestyle physical activity daily by moving more. This along with a whole foods foundation is the most powerful prescription for blood sugar bliss.

Remember, the path to optimizing your health and preventing complications of diabetes begins in your personal healing center, your kitchen! We hope you are heading there right now with this delicious MyFoodMyHealth recipe for Fresh Herb Broiled Scallops.

Fresh Herb Broiled Scallops

Download sample recipe

My Foundation Diet Expanded Second Edition

Now with flexitarian and vegetarian recipes & meal plans
The My Foundation Diet created by Kathie in conjunction with MyFoodMyHealth is a seasonal, delicious, whole foods approach to optimizing your health and genetic potential.

Learn more about the My Foundation Diet

Learn more about Kathie

The Link Between Oral Health and Heart Health

Many people know that proper oral hygiene helps prevent cavities and gum disease. But it’s also good for your cardiovascular health. Increasing evidence shows that maintaining good oral hygiene is good for the heart. In fact, researchers have found that people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease as those without periodontal disease. In addition, studies have pointed to a link between periodontal disease and stroke. 

What do researchers believe is behind this? People with gum disease are known to have elevated levels of C-reactive protein and lipoprotein associated phospholipase A2. These are both makers for inflammation that are associated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease.*

The good news is with proper oral hygiene including flossing and professional teeth cleaning, you can help prevent periodontal disease which is caused by a chronic bacterial infection of the gums. There also is evidence that when people who have active periodontal disease receive good dental care and improve their own oral hygiene, their vascular function improves.

What and how you eat can also have an impact on your oral health—and ultimately your cardiovascular health. According to the American Dental Association some of the healthy eating habits you can form to maintain good oral health include:

  • Get a balanced diet and eat a variety of foods. Choose foods from each of the five major food groups: breads, cereals and other grain products; fruits; vegetables; meat, poultry and fish; and milk, cheese and yogurt (if dairy tolerant.)
  • Limit the number of snacks that you eat. Each time you eat food that contains sugars, the teeth are attacked by acids for 20 minutes or more.
  • If you do snack, choose nutritious foods, such as cheese, raw vegetables, plain yogurt, or a piece of fruit.
  • Foods that are eaten as part of a meal cause less harm. More saliva is released during a meal, which helps wash foods from the mouth and helps lessen the effects of acids.
  • Visit your dentist regularly. Your dentist can help prevent problems from occurring and catch those that do occur while they are easy to treat.

* As with all research, more studies are needed before the link can be confirmed with certainty. 

Article created with contributions from Dr. Clifford Williams.  Learn about Dr. Williams


Recommended Reading: Clean Start

Clean Start, the latest book by MyFoodMyHealth's contributing chef Terry Walters, is an inspiring read for people who want to lead a healthier, more vibrant life. It's filled with mouth-watering, seasonal recipes along with tips, tools and resources to help you change not just your eating habits, but how you think about food, how you buy it, and how you cook it.

Learn about Terry Waters

Purchase Clean Start


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