In this issue:
- Featured Recipe: Breakfast BurritoFeatured Recipe: Grilled Arctic Char with Lemon Herb Vinaigrette
- Myra's Kitchen Corner: Strawberry Guacamole with Jicama Chips
- Lifestyle Changes to Manage GERD
- New from MyFoodMyHealth: GERD Diet Meal Planning Option
- White Vegetables are Nutrition Gold
- Healthy Summer Grilling Tips
- Recommended Reading: Cooked
Featured Recipe: Grilled Arctic Char with Lemon Herb Vinaigrette
Arctic char is a clean, sustainable cousin to salmon that is similarly rich in Omega-3s. Enjoy its savory flavor for a perfect summer meal straight from the grill.
Myra's Kitchen Corner
Strawberry Guacamole with Jicama Chips
After the heavier foods of winter, spicy and bitter greens are cleansing to the body and taste delicious. Peppery lettuces such as arugula and watercress are typically served raw in salads, but they are very tasty when cooked as well. In this video, I show how to make a quick meal that you can put together in just 10 minutes. It features seared scallops in a lemony tarragon browned-butter sauce as well as garlicky sautÃ©ed arugula.Fruit and avocado (which is technically a fruit itself) go well together, and it is traditional in Mexico to enjoy fruit-studded guacamole. Strawberries and guacamole are an especially refreshing and nutritious combination, containing lots of vitamin C from the strawberries and vitamin E from the avocados, as well as numerous phytochemicals and minerals from both. In the video, I show how to put this dish together in minutes.
To make this attractive, summery version of a classic, start with a couple of ripe avocados. Cut them down the middle, and pop out the flesh into a bowl. Fork- mash them to break them up a bit, and then add a couple of tablespoons fresh limejuice as well as a teaspoon of salt. Mix in some essential guacamole ingredients: a couple of thinly sliced scallions, a quarter cup chopped fresh cilantro, and a couple of minced Serrano chiles. Mix all the green ingredients well before gently folding in a cup of chopped strawberries. Keep a few extra sliced strawberries as a garnish around the side of the bowl.
I like to serve this colorful dip with jicama, the root vegetable that looks like a tuber but has a refreshing taste resembling that of a water chestnut. Make sure to choose a firm one free of too many blemishes. Peel the skin with a Y-shaped peeler, and cut it in half to safely position the vegetable cut-side down on the board. Then you can slice it into "chips." Jicama makes a great alternative to the more typical corn chips. It is low-calorie and contains lots of fiber, as well as Vitamin C, making this a nutritious, light-but-filling snack or appetizer, as well a refreshing way to celebrate late spring and summer.
Lifestyle Changes to Manage GERD
Chances are at one time or another you've experienced the burning sensation and discomfort of heartburn or acid reflux caused by the backup of stomach acids into the esophagus. For roughly 20 percent of the US population, this acid reflux happens frequently and develops into a chronic condition known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Although not life threatening, GERD can damage the esophagus, pharynx, or respiratory tract and lead to severe discomfort. The good news? Lifestyle changes can ease the discomfort and help manage GERD.
Some lifestyle changes that help relieve GERD:
Eat only until you're 80% full. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you're full, so eating more slowly and putting down your fork between bites can be helpful.
Chew your food and eat smaller meals. Don't just shovel your food in your mouth and gorge yourself on big, heavy meals. Slow down, thoroughly chew your food and relish the flavors. Not only does this help with digestion, but it will make mealtime a more enjoyable experience as well.
Avoid certain GERD trigger foods. Caffeine, carbonated drinks, alcohol, chocolate, mints, citrus, onion and tomatoes all are known to trigger GERD symptoms. Spicy and fatty foods also trigger GERD symptoms.
Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight can place excess pressure on the "sphincter" muscles that keep food contents from moving up into the esophagus.
Don't lie down or sleep right after eating. A good rule of thumb is to remain upright while you eat and for at least two hours after meals. In addition, avoid eating three hours before bedtime. Bending over or lying down with a full stomach can trigger reflux.
Drink lots of water between meals and throughout the day. However, drinking too many liquids (more than 4 ounces) with meals can put extra pressure on your stomach's upper sphincter muscles.
What's New with MyFoodMyHealth: GERD Diet
MyFoodMyHealth is pleased to announce the availability of the latest in our family of diet options, the GERD diet for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. According to some research, approximately 20 percent of the population in the United States suffer from GERD. It is a common chronic condition that happens when stomach acids flow back into the esophagus, irritating the lining and causing acid reflux and heartburn. To support people with GERD, we have introduced the MyFoodMyHealth GERD diet. It's a flavorful and healthy diet that eliminates foods such as chocolate, citrus, mint, onions, tomatoes that are known to trigger GERD symptoms.
If you or someone you cook for suffers from GERD, the new MyFoodMyHealth GERD diet can help you enjoy an abundance of delicious dishes and avoid some of the common culprits of GERD to manage discomfort. The diet is packed with easy, healthy and delicious meals GERD sufferers can enjoy with family and friends. To use the new GERD diet, MyFoodMyHealth subscribers will simply check off the "GERD Diet" in their profile set up.
Check out a sample of the MyFoodMyHealth GERD diet with this recipe for Polenta with Grilled Eggplant.
White Vegetables are Nutrition Gold
Most of us have heard we should eat a rainbow of colorful vegetables to get the nutrition needed for overall health and wellness. Next time you are at the grocer or local farmers market don't forget: this includes white vegetables.
Many white foods made with highly processed and refined white flour, sugar and high fructose corn syrup get a bad rap - and rightly so. They are thought to be one of the causes of a variety of health ills including obesity and diabetes.
Often overlooked, unprocessed white vegetables are just as nutritionally important to health and wellness as their more colorful counterparts. In fact, a Purdue University roundtable provides substantial evidence that including white vegetables like potatoes, cauliflower, onions, turnips, white corn and kohlrabi can play a significant role in providing essential nutrients and energy. Not only are they delicious, but many are rich in dietary fiber, magnesium, potassium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B6, resistant starch and more.
The bottom line? When looking at the nutritional content of a vegetable don't judge it by color alone. White vegetables prepared correctly can be just as healthy as their colorful cousins.
Want to add some nutritious and colorful white vegetables to your next outdoor meal this summer? Some of our favorites to try are MyFoodMyHealth recipes like Chicken, Avocado, and Potato Salad; Parsnip Potato Mash with Red Bell Pepper Chutney; Tempeh Curry Burger; or Salmon, Black Bean, and Corn Salad.
Healthy Summer Grilling Tips
Grilling and summer go hand-in-hand for many people. But heed this warning from experts: blackened, smoky meats and high-heat grilling can expose you and your guests to the chemicals heterocyclic (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which have been linked to breast, stomach, prostrate and colon cancers.
Why? When meat is cooked at high temperatures and exposed to the smoke from grilling, its protein structure can become carcinogenic.
To reduce exposure to cancer-causing agents follow some of these tips:
Go lean. When selecting meat to grill choose lean meats, poultry or fish. Avoid high fat meats like ribs and sausages. Fat from the meat can drip on the grill causing harmful smoke. Always trim fat and remove skin to reduce potential carcinogens form smoke.
Flavor meat with light marinades and rubs. Heavy marinades can char and increase cancer-causing agents. Lighter marinades with vinegar, lemon, wine or beer are a better alternative. Rubs with rosemary, basil, mint, sage and oregano all may reduce potential cancer-causing agents.
Reduce grilling time. Shorter grilling times can lower the levels of HCAs and PAHs. Before grilling meat at high temperatures, you can also reduce cooking time by using a microwave to cook it partially.
Continuously flip meat while grilling. This can substantially reduce HCA formation compared with just leaving meat on the grill without turning it.
Don't allow juices to spill and produce smoke. This smoke can be harmful. Line the grill with aluminum foil or cook on cedar planks to avoid this.
Grill more vegetables. Vegetables are delicious grilled. They do not contain the same protein that forms harmful HCAs, so they are a safer alternative.
Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation
By Michael Pollan
Michael Pollan, the bestselling author of The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food, has a new book out. In his latest work, Cooked, he explores the changing ways Americans eat by recounting his own personal journey. In Cooked he discovers and shares with readers the power of the four classical elements-fire, water, air, and earth- to create delicious things to eat and drink that can improve your overall health and well-being. He not only contends that cooking at home can help make the American food system healthier and a more sustainable, but that it can lead to a more enjoyable and nourishing life.
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