MyFoodMyHealth Newsletter Volume 2, Issue 5

In this issue:

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Thom's Asian Slaw

This quick and easy slaw is naturally delicious. Add it as a side for a colorful and crispy addition to lunch or dinner.


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Healthy, Fabulous Flavors: Miso

Miso is fermented soy bean paste, made by mixing cooked soybeans with koji (a fermentation spore), salt, and water; and fermenting the mixture from two months for the light, sweet, and mellow types, to three years for the full-bodied and dark. Most commonly used for soup (and delicious as an addition to dishes), the many varieties available are high in protein and loaded with enzymes that help digestion.



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A Note from Our Chief Nutrition Advisor: Breathe Easy – Asthma and Allergies


by Kathie Madonna Swift MS RD LDN

If you or someone you love is troubled with asthma and allergies, you may be aware that environmental triggers such as dust mites, pollen, mold, temperature changes, pollution and other irritants spell distress. But you may not realize that the food you eat can serve to either calm or stoke up your allergy symptoms.

Here’s a few tips to help you B-R-E-A-T-H-E easy:

1. Power up your plate with plenty of plant foods. Vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and seeds contain a host of breathe easy compounds. Dark greens and beans rich in magnesium help relax your airways and reduce bronchospasms. Citrus fruits and berries contain immune friendly vitamin C, while apples and onions are full of allergy-taming flavonoids. Pumpkin seeds pack in some zinc while flax and hemp add some inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids.
2. Doctor yourself with soothing spices and healing herbs. Whether you favor them fresh or dried, adding herbs and spices not only enhances the flavor of your culinary creations, it is “food as medicine” at its tastiest best. Many herbs and spices such as rosemary, ginger, turmeric, oregano, etc. are recognized for their anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant goodness so keep them within reach and enjoy!
3. Be aware that your body parts and systems are connected. Yes, that popular kids song we used to chant, “the hip bone connected to the back bone…”, holds true with respect to our bodies today. What this means is that the digestive tract is your “grand central of healing” and problems with “leaky gut” or gut permeability contribute to asthma and allergies. A healing foods diet that lessens the load of common allergens such as dairy and wheat can be a vitally delicious ingredient for you, so we hope you enjoy a few of our Breathe Easy recipes designed with you in mind.


Genetically Modified Food: What It Is and How to Avoid It

You may have heard of GMO and GM foods, but are unsure what they are. GMO stands for "genetically modified organisms." Foods that contain ingredients with GMOs are considered GM foods. These foods are genetically engineered or genetically modified by a laboratory process involving artificially inserting genes from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals, or even humans into the DNA of food crops or animals. The intent of GMOs is to improve drought or cold tolerance, improve disease resistance and nutrition in foods, among other things. However, many doctors, scientists, environmental activists, public interest groups, and government officials have raised concerns about GM foods, because of potential environmental, health and economic hazards and the lack of adequate regulatory oversight. Despite concerns about GM foods, your grocery store carries thousands of products made with GMOs. You might not know it because in the US these foods are not required to be labeled. To help avoid these foods follow these tips:

Go organic. Certified organic products are not allowed to contain any GMOs.
Look for “Non-GMO” labels. Some companies will label their products as “non-GMO” or “Made Without Genetically Modified Ingredients”. When it comes to dairy look for products labeled “No rBGH or rBST’ or “artificial hormone-free”.
Avoid potentially risky ingredients. Avoid products with ingredients made from GM crops. These include: corn, soybeans, canola and cottonseed used in many processed foods. GM sugar beets also have been developed. Look for non-GMO sweeteners.
Get more informed. Visit the Center for Food Safety for more information and a Non-GMO shopping guide.


Don’t Pass the Salt: Tips to Reduce Your Salt Intake

More and more evidence shows that Americans should reduce their salt consumption. In fact some studies show Americans eat twice as much salt as they should, which results in a higher risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and other health problems. Many healthcare experts believe the food industry has not done enough voluntarily to reduce sodium levels. The Institute of Medicine, for examples, is urging the FDA to set maximum sodium levels for different foods in a gradual rollback to help Americans drop their salt consumption over time by about half a teaspoon. Even without stricter guidelines for how much sodium can be in food, you don't have to wait to reduce your salt intake. There are many things you can do to cut down the amount of salt in your diet without sacrificing flavor.

Enjoy Herbs and Spices – Ditch the Salt Shaker. Instead of adding more salt when cooking, add more herbs and spices. They add so much wonderful flavor, you can dramatically reduce salt in your diet and not even miss it. Many people prefer fresh herbs, but if you can’t get those, try dried herbs on for size. Some of our favorites include: basil, tarragon, dill, curry, cumin, and cinnamon. They're both flavor and nutrient rich.  Learn more about our favorite healthy and delicious herbs and spices. 
Cut down on processed food. The salt shaker isn’t the biggest culprit when it comes to overdoing the salt. It’s processed foods. Many packaged and canned foods are loaded with salt and you don’t even realize it.
Take the salt shaker off the table. Salt is an acquired taste. If you gradually remove it from your diet, overtime you won’t miss it.
Eat less fast food. Fast food restaurants and many chain restaurants contain lots of high-fat, high-salt foods on their menus.
Read the food label. The label tells how much sodium is in the food. With this information you can easily figure out how much salt the food has by multiplying the amount of sodium by 2.5. Check with your doctor to determine what the right salt intake is for you, and then follow their guidance.

Recommended Reading: The Healthy Hedonist Holidays


By Myra Kornfeld

Holidays are a time to gather for mouthwatering meals, but catering to every guest's dietary requirements can be a challenge. The menus in The Healthy Hedonist Holidays will entice every guest — vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, carnivores, omnivores who can't eat dairy, and people who just love good food — with delicious, satisfying "flexitarian" meals. Featuring fresh seasonal ingredients, whole grains, natural sugars, and creative seasonings, these flavorful feasts will leave guests feeling satisfied and guilt-free. Each menu offers both a vegetarian and fish or poultry main course, and a range of side dishes, appetizers, and desserts that can be used in any combination to accommodate individual tastes.

About Myra Kornfeld

Myra is a veteran chef and accomplished author and educator. Her books include: The Healthy Hedonist Holidays: A Year of Multi-CulturalVegetarian-Friendly Holiday Feasts; The Voluptuous Vegan: More than 200 Sinfully Delicious Recipes for Eggless, Meatless, and Dairy Free Meals; and The Healthy Hedonist; More than 200 Delectable Flexitarian Recipes for Relaxed Daily Feast. She contributes magazine articles to Natural Health,Organic Style, and Vegetarian Times. She also is a sought after educator who teaches classes in ethnic, classic, and vegetarian cooking at The Natural Gourmet Institute for Food and Health and the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City.


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