The best part of waking up is oatmeal in my daughter’s bowl. The morning is the most routine part of her day and she sticks by it with military precision. This is her own doing. She rises at 8, requests a bowl of oatmeal, and then gets dressed. Every single day. Her penchant for oatmeal used to be a sticking point for us; I had to boil the water and prep the oatmeal from scratch. This wasn’t feasible every morning.
Have you looked at microwave oatmeals? Honestly, they’re gross — at least to me! For something so pure and natural, most of those boxes read like a chemistry experiment. So we reserved oatmeal for the mornings I had time to make the real thing. Until I discovered Better Oats Raw Pure & Simple Oatmeal. I swear this isn’t sponsored; my endorsement is as organic as the oats themselves! I found it on the shelf at my Kroger one day, and at $1.99 per eight-count box, I couldn’t afford not to stock up. Now it’s a staple on the grocery list and for six months my daughter has had a bowl of this oatmeal every single morning.
Each pouch is filled with raw, pure oats and a blend of quinoa, flax, and barley. We buy the “Bare” — just plain Jane oatmeal. It takes two minutes to prepare: Oats in the bowl, water, microwave for 1:45, and serve. We’ve found that using a little less water than recommended and cooking for less time gives a thicker oatmeal, which my kiddo prefers.
What she actually ends up eating is anything but plain Jane. She has a standard recipe that we abide by: butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, dried fruit, fresh fruit. (more…)
February is National Heart Health Month, making it the perfect time to highlight some foods that promote heart health, as well as list those that do more harm than good.
While heart disease can be hereditary, its prevention begins with a healthy lifestyle. For starters, this means no smoking, monitoring your blood sugar and blood pressure levels, and incorporating exercise and a healthy, well-balanced diet into your everyday routine.
Diet alone can play a huge role in heart disease prevention. In general, heart healthy foods are ones that are natural, whole foods that don’t come in a box and instead come straight from nature. Fresh fruits and vegetables are certainly a cornerstone of heart-healthy foods for their high nutrient and vitamin content and their amazing ability to cleanse free radicals from the blood stream. (more…)
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States. While it’s often very treatable when caught early enough, the best thing is to find ways to avoid it altogether. One way is to consider what you eat. Recent research has found that consuming walnuts may be a way of preventing breast cancer.
Researchers examines the effects of a diet containing a small amount of walnuts over the lifespan of mice. It was the equivalent of two ounces daily for humans. What they observed was the walnuts slowed the development and growth of breast cancer tumors in the mice.
“We think now that diet can prevent 30 to 60 percent of all cancers,” said lead researcher Elaine Hardman, Ph.D., professor at Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. “The healthy diet that we should be eating is what we know is healthy – a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and nuts. Walnuts can be an important component of that diet.” (more…)
Michael Gonzalez-Wallace is the author of Super Body, Super Brain. You can read more from him at www.superbodysuperbrain.com or pick up his book Super Body, Super Brain.
Who doesn’t want to get smarter? Who wants to look better or be healthier? Many recent studies have shown how specific nutrients have positive effects on the brain especially in those areas of the brain related to cognitive processing or feelings and emotions. Generally speaking, you want to follow a healthy diet for your brain that will lead to good blood flow, help maintain mental sharpness and reduce the risk of heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
We know how foods play a great role in our brain. This is the conclusion of several studies led by a phenomenal neuroscientist at UCLA, Gomez Pinilla.
According to one study, the super fats your brain needs most are Omega 3 fatty acids. Your brain converts them into DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which enhances neuronal communication and promotes neuronal growth.
A new scientific study presented at the American Chemical Society meeting in Anaheim found that walnuts outrank other tree and ground nuts in nutritional value. The analysis showed that walnuts have more antioxidants of a higher quality than any other nut.
“Walnuts rank above peanuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios and other nuts,” said Joe Vinson, Ph.D., who did the analysis. “A handful of walnuts contains almost twice as much antioxidants as an equivalent amount of any other commonly consumed nut. But unfortunately, people don’t eat a lot of them. This study suggests that consumers should eat more walnuts as part of a healthy diet.”
The American vocabulary uses “fat” as a negative adjective when actually, some fat is beneficial to your health. When it comes to diet, certain types of dietary fat an aid weight loss and help improve bodily functions.
The Harvard School of Public Health says to avoid trans-fats, limit saturated fats and choose healthy fats. What are healthy fats, you may ask? The “good fats” include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which have been said to help lower disease risk.
September is National Cholesterol Awareness Month. And while you should be aware of your cholesterol levels and what affects them every month, it doesn’t hurt to give it a little extra attention now and again.
First, it’s a good idea to know what constitutes healthy and unhealthy cholesterol levels. The American Heart Association has an established range for your daily cholesterol intake:
– Less than 200 mg/dL is considered healthy.
– 200 to 239 mg/dL is borderline high cholesterol.
– 240 mg/dL and above is an unhealthy cholesterol level.
Many foods can contribute to an increase in your unhealthy cholesterol levels, but what you may not know is that some foods actually have the opposite effect. Yes, instead of medications and supplements, sometimes actual natural nourishment is the solution. (more…)
All this week, I’m covering walnuts. From nutrition to culinary uses, I’m exploring what top fitness, nutrition, and culinary experts have to say about this “bumpy” nut. Up next is my interview with Chef Greg Higgins. If you’re into “green eating,” this is your guy. Find out what he has to say about how you can eat healthy and green:
1. As a restaurant chef, what is essential for creating healthier menu options? Whether it is swapping out butter for a healthier oil, or lower-fat dairy, etc., how do you keep high-taste intact while still offering healthful options?
We use olive oil as our primary cooking and flavoring oil. That in conjunction with a steady supply of local, seasonal and sustainable fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
It’s walnut week here at Diets In Review. I’ve been blogging some great interviews with top fitness, culinary, and health experts on all things walnuts, and of course, healthy eating. If you’ve missed my posts, you can always catch up at our walnut week roundup page! Next up, an amazing interview with cookbook author Mollie Katzen. Read what she thinks you should eat to get healthy:
All this week, I’m dedicating my blogs to walnuts. If you’ve missed the content so far, be sure to catch up. You can find out what fitness guru Petra Kolber thinks you should do to stay energized this summer, and read about the latest research on the health benefits of walnuts.
This interview is with chef Charlie Ayers, former chef at Google, author of the book “Food 2.0” and member of the California Walnuts Chefs Council, a group working to make restaurant meals healthy and delicious at the same time. Read what he has to say about healthy cooking and check out his healthy recipe using walnuts: Walnutty Egg and Bell Pepper Gratin.
1. As a restaurant chef, what is essential for creating healthier menu options? Whether it is swapping out butter for a healthier oil, or lower fat dairy, etc., how do you keep high-taste intact while still offering healthful options?
It is important to give your guests compelling flavor profiles, so that they are satisfied and not missing the added fats that are normally associated with restaurant foods. We tend to use a lot of ingredients that are versatile and can be either applied to Latin American or Asian cuisines. We make all of our own dressings; our ketchup is made in-house with no high fructose corn syrup, and instead use an organic brown sugar in small amounts as a sweetener. I try not to use added fats when working with product that already has a naturally high fat content, and I try and bring out the flavors of the foods with the combination of using fruit and vegetable juices instead of adding additional fats. (more…)