What You Eat Affects Your Health – Part 2

Announcement

I have created a free DVD with Tips and The Do’s and Don’ts for People with Fibromyalgia. The idea is to help improve your quality of life. Go to my web page at http://www.drgenemartin.com for details.

Some Recipes from Illa

Banana Popsicles

A delicious low sugar, dairy-free sweet treat, similar to ice cream

Ingredients

Three bananas

1 cup nut or rice milk

2 teaspoons of unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)

 

Directions

Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until liquid.

Pour into a Popsicle mold or an ice cube tray and freeze for two hours, or until solid. If you would like little handles for your popsicles, wrap the tray in saran wrap after pouring, and poke toothpicks into each section.

 

 

Gluten Free Pancakes

(can also be used to make waffles)

 

Make a bunch during the weekend and freeze them for a quick breakfast.

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 cups rice flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

A pinch of salt

1 tablespoon of flax seed

3 eggs

1/4 cup of nut or cow’s milk, or enough to make the batter thick

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

Butter or coconut oil to grease pan and top pancakes

 

Directions

Combine all dry ingredients and mix.

 Combine eggs, oil and water

Mix wet into dry ingredients

Oil cast iron or stainless steel pan put on medium heat.

Ladle about 1/2 cup of better on pan small pancakes onto the pan.  Turn the pancakes when bubbles form on the edges and cook for another minute. Enjoy with berry sauce and butter!

 

Broiled Chicken and root vegetables

 

A quick, satisfying meal

Serves 3

 

Ingredients

One of each of the following: yams, parsnip and cauliflower

Approximately 1 lb of chicken breast, cut into 1 inch strips

2 tablespoons of oil

1 tablespoon of oregano

1/4 teaspoon of salt

 

Directions

Preheat broiler to low

Cut the vegetables into ½ inch thick coins and place in bowl with chicken strips.

Place in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, oregano and salt. Coat your food evenly by mixing it with your hands.  You can add more oil or seasoning as needed.

Arrange vegetables and meat in a single layer on a cookie sheet and broil for 12 minutes, or slightly brown.

 

 

Middle Eastern Bean Soup

 

 

Serves 8

1 cup of brown rice

1 cup dried kidney beans

½ yellow onion, chopped

2 teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of paprika

1 teaspoon of turmeric

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 carrots, chopped

2 sticks of celery, chopped

3 cups of organic chicken or vegetable broth

3 cups of water

2 cups of kale, chopped

Juice of ½ of a lemon

Sea salt to taste

 

Directions:

Soak the beans and rice

Combine beans and rice and soak overnight in 3 cups of water. The beans and rice will expand overnight and absorb much of the water. Discard any remaining soaking water.

Making the soup

Sautee onion and spices in olive oil until onions are translucent. Add beans, rice, water, broth, carrots and celery to the pot and allow to cook for 30 minutes. Add kale, lemon juice a teaspoon of salt and cook for another 15 minutes. Taste and add additional salt as needed. 

 

 

Chinese Coleslaw

 

Serves 3

 

Ingredients

 

1 ½ cups of green cabbage, shredded

2 carrots, grated

1 tablespoon of rice vinegar

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

¼ teaspoon of salt

1 tablespoon of dulse flakes

 

Directions

Place prepared cabbage and carrots in a bowl. Add rice vinegar, sesame oil, dulse flakes, and salt and toss thoroughly.

 

 

 

Winter Squash soup

Serves 8

1 tbs olive oil

½ a yellow onion

1/3 cup of mushrooms, chopped

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend

2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced

Juice of ¼ of a lemon.

4 cloves of garlic

1 large bunch of cilantro, chopped

1 turnip, peeled and chopped (can substitute with parsnips or rutabagas)

3 cups chicken broth

3 cups water

1 large butternut or two acorn squash (other winter squash can be substituted)

Sea salt to taste

 

 

 

Directions:

Cook the squash:

Cut squash in half with a heavy knife and steam in a large lidded pot with a steamer tray and two cups of water. Squash will be cooked after approximately 30 minutes or when it appears slightly soft when poked with a fork. An alternative cooking method is to place the squash on a cookie sheet and baking it at 350 for 45 minutes.  Remove squash from heat and let it cool enough to handle, at least 15 minutes. It’s fine to leave the squash to cool on the stove for several hours before making the soup. You don’t have to cook it in a single stretch of time.

Making the soup:

Sautee onion, mushrooms and Italian seasoning in a large pot until onions are translucent.

Add broth and water. Discard seeds out of the squash cavity with a spoon, and then scoop the flesh of the squash in the pot. It should be fairly soft and you can pull apart the pieces of squash to help it disperse in the liquid. Add all remaining ingredients except the salt and allow to cook for 30 minutes. Add a teaspoon of salt, stir thoroughly, taste and add more as needed.

 Dr. Gene Martin

Fibromyalgia Relief Center of the Bay Area

520 South El Camino Real, Ste 520

San Mateo Ca. 94402

Phone: 650-558-1010

E-mail: fibro@drgenemartin.com

Web: http://www.drgenemartin.com

Skype: dr.gene.martin

What You Eat Affects Your Health –

Announcement

I have created a free DVD with Tips and The Do’s and Don’ts for People with Fibromyalgia. The idea is to help improve your quality of life. Go to my web page at http://www.drgenemartin.com for details.

What You Eat Affects Your Health-  Illa Jarvis, Nutritional Consultant

It’s easy to be tempted by cheap, convenient food. Money is tight, fast food is easy to find, and ready to eat. Unfortunately, this is where the benefits of commercially produced food end. Cheap ingredients do not contain the nutrients our brains and bodies depend upon to function properly. They contain pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals that tax our liver and brain. Ultimately, these foods do considerably more damage than good.

Let’s look at some examples…

What we find in most of our markets and restaurants is meat from animals that live under terrible conditions and are fed the cheapest food possible, namely corn and soy. Corn and soy are crops that are subsidized by the government. This means that the farmers are paid to grow these foods in excess, making these foods extremely cheap.

But growing enormous amounts of food requires a lot of work. The solution? These crops are genetically modified (GMO) so they can withstand the weed killer known as Round-Up, saving farmers time and effort. Unfortunately scientists have found Round-Up to be unsafe for human consumption (1). The large corporations that produce Round Up and GMO seeds have significant political influence so these foods are still produced and appear everywhere, including cow and chicken feed. Unfortunately cows cannot digest corn and soy, causing them to become sick. These animals are treated with antibiotics to keep them alive under unhealthy conditions and fed hormones to make them grow as quickly as possible. As a result, the meat, milk and eggs we find in most markets and restaurants contain antibiotics, hormones, as well as Round-Up, all of which compromise our health.  To top it all off, these foods are low in nutrients, since the animals were never fed a nutritious diet to offer benefits to us in return. You can learn more about the meat industry and GMO foods in the film Food Inc.

Better sources of animal protein are grass fed organic beef, and lamb, free-range organic poultry, and eggs and small species of wild caught fish. Choosing these foods ensures better health for us, promotes the ethical treatment of animals, and benefits the environment as well.

Good plant sources of protein are legumes such as beans, peas and lentils, in combination with grains. (Check out the recipe for bean soup further in this book for preparation tips.) Unfortunately, processed soy is added to hundreds of prepared foods to increase protein content and to make these foods more marketable. These foods include nutrition bars, protein powders, pasta, vegetarian foods, dairy-free foods, and infant formulas. Check ingredient labels for “soy protein isolate.”

While soy makes these foods “healthier” by increasing their protein content, ironically most soy is genetically modified, and contains Round-Up. Processed soy also has been shown to be a common allergen, difficult to digest and increases the body’s demand for vitamins E, K, D, and B12. Health foods that contain soy are often promoted as “Natural,” but this claim is meaningless. There are no qualifications that a food must meet to earn this title. There’s nothing natural about processed soy; only a laboratory can convert it into the variety of flavors and textures we find in boxed foods. (2)

Corn is largely hidden as high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in our foods. HFCS is in everything from soda pop, to canned soup and bread. After years of denial by the corn industry of the ill effects of HFCS, bad press has caused some companies to switch to sugar as a “healthier” alternative. Producers have taken measures to rename HFCS to “corn sugar” on ingredient labels in an effort to disguise its presence in packaged foods. (3) But the truth is, all processed sugar is damaging to our health, regardless of its form and source. Obesity and tooth decay are just the tip of the iceberg. Heart disease, diabetes, mood disorders, frequent illness, and digestive problems are all results of constant sugar and HFCS consumption. (4) The film King Corn beautifully shows how the corn industry works.

So how do you reduce sugar without feeling deprived? Check the sugar content on the labels of all canned and boxed foods. Don’t switch to foods that contain artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, which converts into wood alcohol when heated, or Splenda essentially sugar that is bound to chlorine. These sweeteners are problematic in their own right. Instead, choose simpler, more natural foods like home made tomato sauce instead of canned, homemade soup instead of canned soup, oil and vinegar instead of sweet salad dressing, and plain yogurt with berries instead of the sweetened stuff.  Do your best to choose foods that contain 10 or less grams of sugar per serving, and consider if the listed serving size is realistic. If you crave chocolate, get dark chocolate with high cocoa content instead of milk.

And what about fruit? An orange contains about half as much sugar as a can of soda, 4 grams of fiber (which slows down the impact of sugar on the body), nearly 100 mg of vitamin C, and other nutrients. So eat an organic piece of fruit and skip the soda when you want a treat.

Unsurprisingly, corn and soy are the most common sources of fat found in packaged food as well. Fat has gotten a lot of bad press in recent years, but in truth, we need some good quality fat to function properly! The fat you eat affects your brain and nervous system, controls inflammation, hormones, and your ability to heal, and makes strong bones. Unfortunately, soybean and corn oil are not well cut out for the job. They are often chemically processed to create shortening or margarine. These solidified liquid oils have been restructured or “partially-hydrogenated” and contain trans-fatty acids or “trans-fats.” I tend to think of these as “Franken-fats” since the fats are created in a lab and not found in nature. Our bodies have no clue how to use these fats, and studies have shown that they increase risk of heart disease by lowering HDL or “good cholesterol”, increase LDL or “bad cholesterol”, to lower insulin resistance, thus increasing risk for diabetes and much more. (5) Corn and soy oils are high in a fat known as omega-6, which spoils or goes rancid when it is exposed to oxygen. These oils are bleached, which ensures that they have been allowed to go bad, and deodorized, so you can’t tell by smelling them. Rancid oils contain free radicals, wandering electrons that damage our cells and cause serious inflammation in the body.

It is also critical that omega-6 fats are in balance with another essential fatty acid known as omega-3, which is found in organic free-range eggs, wild cold-water fish and certain seeds. Most people eat far too much processed foods that are high in omega-6, and don’t get enough omega-3, causing such common issues as cardiovascular disease, mood disorders, joint pain and inflammation, dry skin, and brittle nails. (6)

Healthy sources of fat include olive and coconut oil to cook with, raw nuts, seeds, and foods that are high in omega-3 such as sardines, wild salmon, flax, and hemp seeds.

Kudos if you enjoy five servings of fruits and vegetables every day, but please resist drowning an otherwise healthy salad in dressings that contain HFCS, partially-hydrogenated oils, and other unpronounceable chemicals.

How fruits and vegetables are grown matter as well. Have you ever seen an old potato or onion sprout?  This has become a rare occurrence since farmers have started spraying these crops with an anti-sprout chemical, allowing these vegetables to exist in storage longer. Many insecticides are banned due to high toxicity, and yet they still show up on our food because these pesticides are in the soil. Here’s a list of fruits and vegetables that contain the most pesticides, and should be bought organic whenever possible:

Apples

Peaches

Celery

Strawberries

Domestic Blueberries

Nectarines

Bell Peppers

Spinach

Cherries

Potatoes

Imported Grapes

Lettuce

Buy organic fruits and vegetables when they are in season. Not only will you skip the scary chemicals, get the nutrients that are only found in ripe, fresh food, such as vitamin C and E, at a lower cost, but also your food will taste better! A winter tomato that only looks red will never hold a candle to a summer tomato that was allowed to ripen on the vine. It’s best to wash non-organic fruits and vegetables thoroughly with soap and water, and peel whenever possible, since most of the chemicals are on the skin. (7)

Choosing and preparing delicious food is a simple when you have good ingredients. You will feel satisfied with less due to the increased nutrients, and you will feel happier and healthier without the burden of pesticides, herbicides and toxins on your body. For more tips on how to cook and prepare food, check out the recipe section at the end of this book.

(1) http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/24/us-monsanto-roundup-idUSTRE71N4XN20110224

(2) Daniel, Kaayla, The Whole Soy Story, New Trends Publishing, Washington D. C. 2007 p.93

(3) http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/14/a-new-name-for-high-fructose-corn-syrup/

(4) Appleton, Nancy PhD, Lick the Sugar Habit, Avery, Santa Monica, CA, 1985

(5) Enig, Mary G. PhD, Know Your Fats, Bethesda, Silver Spring, MD, 2000 p. 204

(6) http://www.omegaresearch.com

(7) Http://www.consumerhealth.org/articles/display.cfm?ID=19990809222752

Dr. Gene Martin

Fibromyalgia Relief Center of the Bay Area

520 South El Camino Real, Ste 520

San Mateo Ca. 94402

Phone: 650-558-1010

E-mail: fibro@drgenemartin.com

Web: http://www.drgenemartin.com

Skype: dr.gene.martin