Read. Watch. Do something!

I must tell you about two new absolutely FANTASTIC resources — because they can change your health — which can change your life — for the better!

Read these two books

 

The South Asian Health Solution

 

The South Asian Health Solution by Ronesh Sinha, MD. Do not let the title put you off! You do not have to be South Asian to benefit from this book. The main focus of this book is about how to prevent and treat heart disease and diabetes — two conditions that are more common in South Asians than in the rest of the population. A practical and well written 5-star book on Amazon!

Dr. Sinha and many of his patients had metabolic syndrome (cluster of risk factors that greatly increase risk for heart disease and diabetes) and they did not get healthier by following the standard medical advice (statins and a low fat diet). So he started to question what he had learned in medical school and he adopted a higher (healthy) fat / lower carb diet. His personal results were great! Next, he offered this dietary advice to his patients. His patients got healthier!

In this book, the author highlights many useful health and nutrition apps that he personally uses and also recommends to his patients in Silicone Valley where he works.

Dr. Sinha’s wife is a pediatrician. This book includes valuable advice for young people and pregnant moms. It’s a book for all ages!

 

The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz

The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz. As it says in the blurb on Amazon, in this book, “investigative journalist Nina Teicholz reveals the unthinkable: that everything we thought we knew about dietary fat is wrong. She documents how the low-fat nutrition advice of the past sixty years has amounted to a vast uncontrolled experiment on the entire population, with disastrous consequences for our health.” Fascinating and scary too!

Watch the video
One of many great slides from the video, Cholesterol Conundrum
One of many great slides from the video, The Cholesterol Conundrum


The Cholesterol Conundrum – and Root Cause Solution
 by Ivor Cummins
Clear and accurate explanation of cholesterol, triglyceride, and insulin biochemistry. Great information about lab tests for heart disease. (Wish I had known all of this before my last visit to the doctor!) Clear summary of the science and the steps you can take to lower your heart disease risk.

Mr. Cummins (a brilliant engineer and athlete) had heart disease risk factors he could not lower by following standard medical advice (low fat/high carb diet), so he dug into the medical research and came up with his own conclusions. In this video, he summarizes the science and root causes of heart disease and diabetes and shares his personal journey. He may be “just an engineer,” but he knows how to evaluate research and connect the dots — like any good engineer.

And that’s all for today!

Enjoy and be healthy!
Leni

 

My breakfast: Green Smoothie, Scrambled Eggs, Kimchi, Avocado and Green Tea

When people find out that I’m a foodie with a background in nutrition, they often ask: “What do you recommend for breakfast?” So, here’s a post about a breakfast I would recommend — my breakfast this morning.

As shown in the photo, I had a green smoothie (recipe below), scrambled eggs with  green onions, kimchi, avocado slices with balsamic vinegar, and green tea.

Very Slightly Sweet Green Smoothie to Eat with a Spoon

This smoothie is loaded with fresh green veggie goodness and has very little sugar or carbs! Whip up batch and store it in the refrigerator so it’s ready to grab and enjoy anytime! It’s perfect for eating mindfully with a spoon — or maybe not so mindfully while preparing breakfast or packing lunches for the day.

Ingredients

2 small/medium zucchini (about  10 ounces)
1 bunch fresh cilantro, including the stems (3 1/2 to 4 ounces)
1/2 pound fresh asparagus
2 small/medium organic cucumbers with skins on (8 ounces), cut into quarters
1 cup cold filtered water
1 cup coconut water

Steps

To bring out the delicate sweetness of the zucchini, lightly cook the it as shown in this earlier post; set aside. While the zucchini is cooking, put remaining ingredients into a blender and purée. When the zucchini is cooked, cut each one into quarters and  then add to the blender, purée until you have a smooth and thick consistency.

Food and Nutrition Notes 

Cilantro – This amazing herb has been used to bind heavy metals and purify polluted water! Maybe it can do the same in the body? I couldn’t find any hard science on this, but surely some scientists somewhere must be working on this! For a summary of cilantro’s health benefits see Wikipedia.

Coconut water – Coconut water is delicious and also lower in sugar than many fruit juices! And it has other benefits as well, as mentioned by this article at mercola.com. And here’s a great article about how to choose the best tasting and healthiest brand of coconut water. Based on the information I learned from reading this article and price considerations, I chose to order Harvest Bay Coconut Water (from Amazon). It has 10 grams of carbs per 250 ml (~8.3 ounces) — a lower carb count than most of the other brands. (After we try it, I’ll post a comment here to let you know what I thought of it.)

Asparagus – According to a 2013 review article in the journal, Nutrients, asparagus is a good source of prebiotic fiber, which is the kind of fiber that probiotic bacteria (the good bacteria for your gut) need in order to thrive. “Prebiotics occur naturally in foods such as leeks, asparagus, chicory, Jerusalem artichokes, garlic, onions, wheat, oats, and soybeans.”

Eggs from pasture-raised chickens – Eggs from pasture-raised chickens are the healthiest eggs. But these eggs can be pricy. For example, at Whole Foods, one dozen Vital Farms pasture-raised eggs cost about $7.00! Fortunately, at farmer’s markets, you often find pasture-raised eggs for a few dollars less, or about $5.00 a dozen.

Green onions (scallions)Green onions are an unheralded super food, according to Jo Robinson who spent 10 years doing research for her book, Eating on the Wild Side. Here’s what Jo has to say about green onions: “green onions, they have 100 times more phytonutrients than other onions in the store. They’re inexpensive, they’re common and they’re unheralded super foods. It’s the green portions that are the best for you; when you’re chopping them up, make sure you chop up all the green portions too.”

Kimchi – Kimchi’s health promoting properties are amazing! I like the Wildbrine Korean Kimchi available at many health food stores. To learn more about kimchi, see an earlier post on this blog.

Avocado – Very interesting info about the amazing nutritional properties of avocado can be found at  the website, The World’s Healthiest Foods.

Green tea and lemon juiceto boost the absorption of the antioxidants in green tea, add a little lemon juice to your tea. Having this organic lemon juice on hand makes it easy to add lemon just to tea (or whatever) anytime.

Enjoy and be healthy!
Leni

 

 

Delicious Low-Carb Coffee Milk Shake with Protein

Delicious Low-Carb Coffee Milk Shake with Protein
Delicious Low-Carb Coffee Milk Shake with Protein

My mom had a tooth extracted recently. After that ordeal, I wanted  to provide her with something tasty and easy to eat that would give her a fair amount of protein. So I came up with this recipe! Mom liked it — and so did I. In fact, I’ve had this shake for breakfast myself a few times already! It’s delicious!

INGREDIENTS

1 cup vanilla almond milk (at refrigerator temperature) 1/2 cup  half & half from grass-fed milk (at refrigerator temperature) 1 scoop of whey protein powder (see Ingredient  Notes) Instant coffee (regular or decaf), to taste Maple syrup, just a little, if desired

DIRECTIONS

Place all of the ingredients into a quart-size jar, screw on the lid, and shake the jar until it’s well mixed and a bit frothy.  Pour into individual glasses, with our without ice.

You can make double this recipe in a quart-size jar, and what you don’t drink up right away can be kept for another day or two. Just the lid back on the jar and refrigerate.

Ingredient Notes

  • Whey Protein powder – Milk contains 2 proteins: whey and casein. The protein powder I used, Biochem Ultimate 100% Whey Protein (Natural), contains just whey. in the form of whey protein isolate. It also contains natural french vanilla flavor,  sunflower lecithin, and xanthan gum, and has 22 grams of protein per scoop. There are about 30 scoops in a 24-ounce can. I have found this product at Whole Foods and on Amazon. Any fractionated food like this is not something I would depend on a lot in my diet — but for a small amount of your daily protein, if you like it (and don’t find it too expensive), why not use it?
  • Half and half made from grass-fed cows – The first time I made this shake, I used store-bought half and half. The second time, though, I made my own half and half by mixing  some lovely organic grass-fed heavy cream with organic grass-fed milk (1 part cream to 4 parts whole milk or 1 ounce of heavy cream and 3 ounces of whole milk or 2 tablespoons of heavy cream and 6 tablespoons of whole milk), as explained in the About.com post. Note: By comparison, a cup of ice cream has about 1/2 cup heavy cream in it.

Preparation Note

If you use a quart-size canning jar with measurement markings on the side,  you don’t have to even dirty a measuring cup! They sell such jars by the dozen on Amazon. But I see you can find these for a better price elsewhere, so it might pay to shop around. If you decide to buy these jars, be sure you get the “wide mouth” jars. Wide mouth jars can be used to freeze foods, but the “regular mouth”jars are not good for freezing — they tend to break when defrosting!

Nutrition Note

I used to be a dietitian and all my professional life I told people to avoid foods rich in saturated fat, such as cream. Now I’m giving my mom cream! The field of nutrition is going through a major shift — from backing the low-fat diet (which by necessity is high carb) to finally admitting that nutrition science supports a higher fat (and lower carb) diet. If you want to understand this paradigm shift, check out the new New York Times Bestselling book, The Big Fat Surprise – Why Butter, Meat, Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet.

Enjoy and be healthy! ~ Leni