In this issue:
- Featured Recipe: Beet Relish with Garden Greens, Feta Cheese and Spiced Walnuts
- Myra's Kitchen Corner: Turkey Hash
- Nutritionist's Notes: Highlights from The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Food & Nutrition Conference
- Water: The Best Beverage for Your Health
- Buyer Beware: The Organic Ingredient Carrageenan May Irritate Your Gut or Cause Cancer
- Recommended Reading: Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health
- Downloadable Diet Plans from MyFoodMyHealth & Kathie Swift
Beet Relish with Garden Greens, Feta Cheese and Spiced Walnuts
Beets are rich in folate, manganese, fiber, potassium, vitamin C and other important nutrients. Try this colorful beet relish and garden greens as a welcome addition to your traditional Thanksgiving side dishes or a nice accompaniment to leftovers. It's sure to become a favorite around your table.
Myra's Kitchen Corner
I've already cooked a couple of turkeys this season while testing recipes, so I've had a good deal of practice using up the inevitable leftovers. While I enjoy consuming my fill of turkey sandwiches and turkey soup, this year one of my favorite ways to make a new dish out of the cooked turkey has been to make it into a hash-a quick delicious one-skillet meal that is equally tasty for breakfast, lunch, or supper. I incorporate wild rice into my version-a departure from the more usual turkey-potato variety-so I make sure to have a little extra on hand as a "deliberate" leftover. Wild rice has an impressive nutrient profile and adds a nutty earthy quality to the other ingredients. Preparing hash is also a good way to use up other odds and ends of vegetables and herbs.
To make the mÃ©lange, I start with a half cup of diced onions. I sweat these in clarified butter or ghee, butter, or olive oil for about 10 minutes in a large skillet until quite soft. In the video I use ghee, one of my favorite cooking fats. While the onions are slowly cooking, I prep the rest of the ingredients: I dice my turkey and vegetables so that I'm ready to add these as soon as the onions are tender. I then add 2 cups finely chopped turkey, 1 cup of cooked wild rice, Â½ cup diced green bell pepper, and another cup of vegetables as well, which varies depending on what I have on hand. In the video, I add Â½ cup each of chopped celery and carrots, but shaved Brussels sprouts, broccoli, or cauliflower-all chopped small- are delicious too. If I have Â½ cup of chestnuts, I add those as well. To moisten the ingredients, I stir in Â½ cup of chicken or turkey broth, about Â½ teaspoon dried thyme (or 2 teaspoons fresh), Â¼ teaspoon dried sage (or 1 teaspoon fresh), and Â½ to Â¾ teaspoon salt, depending on how salty my broth is. I cook the mix uncovered over medium heat, stirring from time to time, until the broth is absorbed and the flavors have married. I sprinkle a generous grind of fresh pepper and a tablespoon of fresh-chopped parsley over the dish. This is truly a versatile one-pot meal.
Nutritionist's Notes: Highlights from The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Food & Nutrition Conference
By Kathie Madonna Swift MS RDN
Here are a few highlights from The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics annual Food & Nutrition Conference, the largest national gathering of nutrition professionals, held in Houston, Texas last month:
Prime Time for the Gut: Digestive health continues to take center stage in the world of food, nutrition and health. Dr. John Milner and Elaine Holmes shared fascinating facts and opinions on the microbiota, the community of bacteria that resides within us and is multi-tasking to help keep us healthy. An emerging diet therapy for treating digestive disorders, the FODMAP diet, was reviewed by Laura Mataresse and Carol Ireton-Jones. And of course, the gluten-free diet and trends in the gluten free marketplace was discussed including the demand for healthy gluten-free. Finally, there is the recognition of "non-celiac gluten sensitivity" and its connection to a host of health problems.
Detox, Why Not?: The art and science of detoxification was a hot topic at the conference including my presentation with Dr. Gerard Mullin on Nutritional Detoxification: Facts and Fictions. Dr. Mullin reviewed the many sources of toxicity and connected toxic burden to chronic disease epidemics. I provided a practical formula to help reduce toxic load and reestablish resiliency and dubbed this REBOOTSM:
- R= Reduce toxic burden - there are a number of factors within our control to reduce toxic load including the metabolic toxicity caused by excess sugar(s), toxic fats, factory-farmed animal foods and unsafe food additives. Check out ewg.org for a number of excellent resources to guide you on your way.
- E= Eliminate adverse food reactions (food allergies and food intolerances such as gluten, dairy and food chemicals that may be disrupting the system).
- B= Boost fiber and fluids to support the elimination of toxins.
- O= Optimize energy from carbohydrates, protein and fats since detoxification is energy dependent and needs nutrients to drive the process.
- O= Optimize micronutrient (vitamins and minerals) and antioxidant defense by enjoying a variety of nutrient-rich foods.
- T= Tailor therapies to support detoxification by integrating other healing modalities. Consider therapies such as exercise and sauna that can facilitate transdermal excretion of toxins and energy-based therapies such as yoga, qigong, reiki and others.
Phytochemicals - Rx for Health: Many consumers report being confused about nutrition advice, but make no mistake...plants rule! A team of presenters including Dr. Lenore Arab, Britt Burton-Freeman and Kimberly Kirchherr discussed moving beyond antioxidants and making phytochemicals a prescription for health. A plant-centric plate delivers a host of compounds that exert biological effects at the cellular level positively impacting diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and neurological disorders. Consuming a diet rich in colorful vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices is essential to health - this is food as medicine at peak flavor!
Buyer Beware: The Organic Ingredient Carrageenan May Irritate Your Gut or Cause Cancer
Some people assume that just because something is organic that it is good for you. This is false. Take for example the controversial ingredient carrageenan.
Carrageenan is a common food additive used in the organic food industry. It is extracted from red seaweed and is often used as a thickening agent in products like chocolate milk, soymilk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream. It is also used as a fat substitute and a beverage stabilizer to keep beverages from separating. It also can be found in deli meats and prepared poultry items.
The problem? Carrageenan adds no nutritional value or flavor to foods or beverages. However, animal studies show that it may carry serious health risks such as inflammation, gut irritation and even cancer. For example, animal studies have shown that food-grade carrageenan causes gastrointestinal inflammation and higher rates of intestinal lesions, ulcerations, and even malignant tumors. Concern over carrageenan goes clear back to the 1960s when researchers began linking it to gastrointestinal diseases like ulcerative colitis, intestinal lesions, and colon cancer in lab animals. However, the FDA continues to allow carrageenan in the food supply.
How can you avoid this potential troublemaker in your diet?
Read the label. By law if a product contains carrageenan it must appear on the label. If you see it on the label, try another brand without carrageenan.
Check the Shopping Guide for Organic Foods with Carrageenan: the Cornucopia Institute, a non-profit organization engaged in educational activities supporting the ecological principles and economic wisdom underlying sustainable and organic agriculture, puts out this guide. http://www.cornucopia.org/shopping-guide-to-avoiding-organic-foods-with-carrageenan/
Get Involved. Sign the Carrageenan Petition to the FDA to inform the FDA that you do not want carrageen in our food. http://www.cornucopia.org/carrageenanfda/
Water: The Best Beverage for Your Health
Although green tea, coffee, almond and soymilk, even wine are the natural beverages that get the most attention, water is still the healthiest choice for quenching your thirst and keeping you hydrated. It can help you maintain mental clarity and promotes energy and stamina. It flushes toxins out of your body, carries nutrients to your cells and supports a host of other bodily functions. Drinking enough water and keeping properly hydrated can even make your skin look better and help you lose weight.
How much water you need to drink depends on your health conditions, physical activities, what the weather and climate is like, and how much you eat. There are a host of telltale signs when you don't get enough water and become dehydrated. Some of these signs include dry or sticky mouth, sleepiness or tiredness, thirst, decreased urine output, dry skin, headache, dizziness or lightheadedness.
For most people staying hydrated can be pretty easy. Some of the simple ways to remember to get enough water:
- Keep a bottle with you on the go whether at your desk, in your bag or in your car
- Drink a glass of water before every meal or snack
- Drink water before, during and after exercise
- Flavor your water with cucumber, lemon, lime or orange slices
- Remember herbal teas count - just avoid sweeteners
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
Don't think your only source of water is in a glass. Foods also contain overlooked sources of water. Fruits and vegetables all contain water, as do other foods like yogurt, oatmeal, beans, soups and smoothies.
What about energy drinks and vitamin water? While some people like energy drinks and vitamin water, we maintain that pure H2O is best. It does not have the added calories, caffeine, sweeteners, or artificial additives that many energy drinks contain. Plus, your best source of nutrients is always eating a balanced diet of whole, natural foods.
Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health
by Jo Robinson
Beginning with the wild plants that were central to our original diet, investigative journalist Jo Robinson uncovers the nutritional history of our fruits and vegetables and describes how generations of farmers have unknowingly diminished the essential fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants found in produce. New research shows that these losses have made people more susceptible to obesity, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic inflammation and dementia.
In Eating on the Wild Side, Robinson describes how and when food in the produce aisles changed. Wild apples, for example, have from three to 100 times more antioxidants than Galas and Honeycrisps, and are five times more effective in killing cancer cells.
Robinson maintains that by "eating on the wild side" and choosing present-day fruits and vegetables that come closest to the nutritional bounty of their wild ancestors we can get more of the essential nutrients we need. Eating on the Wild Side draws on a five-year review of recently published studies and introduces simple, scientifically proven methods of storage and preparation to help preserve and even enhance the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. The book is an important resource for anyone who wants to understand how to get the most from the produce they eat.
Downloadable Diet Plans from MyFoodMyHealth & Kathie Swift
The MyFoodMyHealth FODMAPs Diet Third Edition
The third edition of our popular MyFoodMyHealth FODMAPs Diet includes updated information on the latest scientific research related to FODMAPs, the therapeutic eating plan that is gaining ground as an effective protocol to help individuals with irritable bowel syndrome.
Created by MyFoodMyHealth and our Chief Nutritionist Kathie Madonna Swift, the MyFoodMyHealth FODMAPs Diet provides easy and helpful guidelines for following a FODMAPs eating plan, plus delicious recipes from MyFoodMyHealth chefs. If you suffer from IBS or other digestive disorders, it may be just what you need to help alleviate your IBS symptoms.
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