Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Eat Healthier and Save Money with Beans and Legumes

Great report from Johns Hopkins about Beans and Legumes!

I've developed a no-brainer 3-bean chili with special guest of an extra vegetable serving of hidden and nutritious cauliflower.
Yup, that's right a chili with cauliflower--don't tell your dinner guests (or teenager) and they'll never know!
Yes, I did try this on my friend's anti-veggie teen. No questions were asked, no cauliflower was revealed!
3-bean chili and pumpkin lentil soup recipes coming soon!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

MamaStrength Workshop: Art + Mind-Body Movement

Check out our new MamaStrength workshop! For pregnant moms and new moms!
Creating the Life You Want as New Mom
Sat March 27 1pm-3pm in West LA.
I'm combining my mind-body movement expertise with art therapist Naomi Tucker.
Can't wait to see all the smiles and moments of "aha!" from the students.
RSVP today for your raffle to the door prize. Awesome door prize has goodies with a combined value of over $100!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Happy Women's Herstory Month

Stay tuned for tributes to women's health info, and tributes to historic women health pioneers.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

How to get your calcium!

As a foodie, I've got more ideas about food to get my calcium than your average eater might! My commentary to a list of suggestions below is highlight with ***

Leading wellness doctor suggests the following:
1) Calcium-fortified beverages like soymilk and orange juice (20-25%)
***I don't suggest orange juice on its own--please drink in combination with a low-glycemic meal. It's high in sugar and sometimes an irritant for various conditions.
2) Cooked greens like kale, spinach, turnip greens (9-12% of DV)
***Yes! Eat your greens!
3) Canned wild salmon with bones (15% of DV)
***In old Chinese home-cooking, there is bone soup, slow boiled so we get the calcium and nutrients out of the bones. Think about it, cheese and other dairy products didn't exist in Chinese food thousands of years ago.
4) Broccoli eaten raw (2% of DV)
***OK, 2% is really not going to make a dent in your nutrition goals...but a great way to promote broccoli.
5) Tofu (15-20% of DV)
***Now we're getting can make a miso soup and add tofu and lots of veggies, and sesame seeds and seaweed, and suddenly, you've got a nutrient-rich snack or appetizer!

***My foodie suggestions:
ALMONDS: A handful (1/4 c) of raw almonds has Calcium (8% DV) and Iron (6% DV). Also a great I can easily eat 2 handfuls a day, as I leave my bag of almonds next to my computer.
SOY YOGURT with granola--great way to get a creamy filling snack with the good nuts and oats of granola.
I'll come back with more as a do some research on legumes...

Ultimately, you can have the right calcium intake, but you need the co-factors of magnesium and vitamin D to help you absorb the calcium. So please, don't be taking those calcium chocolate chews or anti-acid tablets that don't have the supportive co-factors. Almond milk has vitamin D and riboflavin added...could be a yummy addition to your cereal or "(almond) milk + cookies"!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Antioxidants and injuries

When I hurt my ankle (really badly--the swelling was unbelievable), I had excellent attention from the physical therapists I work with. Beyond their treatments and icing, I knew I needed a strong anti-inflammatory program to calm down the inflammation surrounding the injury and my body's higher level of stress. My body needed more fuel and ingredients for the healing process. I didn't want to take any drugs that may have side effects, so I went the natural route of antioxidants and diligently took a therapeutic program of: OPC, Vitamin C, CoQ10, Omega-3, and Quercetin.

As you might know, the vitamin levels recommended as the RDA are not necessarily sufficient for optimal health. Rather, those levels are to set at rates to keep you from getting diseases like scurvy. Different wellness doctors recommend levels of vitamin C that would be tough to include in your food diet. Optimal health levels can be found in nutrition books like The Real Vitamin & Mineral Book (a lit review by well-respected nutrition and health writers Shari Lieberman, PhD & Nancy Bruning, MPH). I really like this book because it does a thorough literature review, so you're not getting one isolated study that happened to hit the news. I could eat a lot of my favorite fruits high in vitamin C, like kiwis and strawberries, but when dealing with an injury, I wouldn't be able to eat enough fruit to get the therapeutic dosages I was looking for.

For your body to use vitamins well there are 3 factors:
1) Input -- Does the food or supplement have the vitamins and levels you want?
2) Digestion/Absorption -- Does your stomach/gut break down the pills, vitamins or food well?
3) Usability -- Is the vitamin in a form that your body can use it well? Do you have a genetic pre-disposition that doesn't use the vitamin well? If so, do you need more or a different form of that vitamin or mineral?

I personally don't like taking pills (nor does my stomach because there are some fillers and binders in pills that need breaking down), so whenever I can get a more absorbable liquid formulation, it means my body is absorbing and using more (factors 2 and 3). And when it is isotonic-capable, I'm absorbing up to 94% of what the label says, instead of the up to 40% in pill form. A leading wellness doctor used to give her patients IV vitamin therapy, and now she rarely uses the IV when there is the less expensive and very powerful option of a patient taking her vitamins daily--vitamins that are absorbed at the highest capacity.

* OPC=oligomeric proanthocyanidins which is the family of antioxidants including resveratrol (red wine extract), bilberry extract (cousin of blueberry), pine bark extract, and grapeseed extract