Category Archives: Eats, Drinks, Diets, and Recipes

To Eat Soy Or Not


Turn over many a nutrition bar or box of veggie burgers, and you’ll often find soy protein isolate (SPI) featured prominently on the ingredient list.

While there’s disagreement among nutritionists over whether soy is part of a healthy diet (some are concerned about its estrogenic properties but others like it as a protein source for those who don’t eat meat), most agree that SPI, its super-processed offspring, should be avoided.

“A big issue with soy is that we’re eating more of it than ever before and in very processed forms like SPI,” says Middleberg Nutrition founder Stephanie Middleberg, MS, RD. So SPI may have started out as a plant, but once it gets to you, it’s far from it.

Here are four reasons nutritionists say you should probably ditch soy protein from your diet:

1. A lot of its nutrients have left the building. “Soybeans are a great quality protein because their amino acid content is similar to that in meat, and they’re a good source of fiber, minerals, and complex carbs,” says Middleberg. But to create SPI, soybeans are chemically engineered to “isolate” their protein, and this process strips out all of the other nutrients the original bean contained.

2. It contains unhealthy additives. Foodtrainers founder Lauren Slatyon, MS, RD, says that the chemical process used to isolate soy protein often leaves behind substances you don’t necessarily want to be eating, like aluminum and hexane. “Think of bathing in toxic bath oil,” Slayton says. “Even once you dry yourself off, some residue remains. Want to eat that residue?” The spray drying method used for soy can also form nitrites, compounds that can form carcinogens in the body, she explains.

3. It’s probably genetically modified. According to the USDA, over 90 percent of the soybeans grown in the U.S. are genetically modified, so most SPI comes from altered beans. “This means soy protein isolate is chemically modified, processed, and filled with pesticides,” says Middleberg.

4. It may upset your stomach. Many people have allergies or intolerances that make it hard to digest soy. But even if you’re not one of them, soy protein isolate may make your stomach rumble, says Slayton. This is because SPI has a higher concentration of trypsin inhibitors, chemicals that reduce available trypsin—an enzyme that helps digest protein—in the body.

So what to do if you’re a soy-loving vegetarian? Skip products with SPI and opt for “natural, whole protein sources like beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds, and organic, non-GMO natural sources of soy like edamame, tofu, and tempeh,” Middleberg suggests.

Slayton also suggests sticking to fermented soy sources, like miso, tempeh, and natto. “Fermentation increases the digestibility of soy, adds good bacteria, and reduces the plant estrogen content in soy foods,” she explains.

And in the end, both nutritionists agree: Like most things, soy is best enjoyed in moderation—and sticking to whole (rather than processed) foods is always a good plan.




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Top Foods To Cure What Ails You

What to Eat to Fend Off a Cold

White Button Mushrooms – Foodies rave about exotic mushroom types, but the common white button variety could be your key to a cold-free winter, suggests research from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston. They contain polysaccharides, which activate natural killer cells that destroy cold- and flu-causing viruses, says Dayong Wu, PhD, a scientist at the center.

Salmon – Three ounces of salmon can supply nearly 800 IUs of vitamin D, close to the amount that some experts recommend you get each day. That’s a good defense against sniffles: Researchers at the University of Colorado Denver found that people with low levels of D had significantly more colds. Without enough of this crucial nutrient, your body can’t produce antimicrobial proteins called cathelicidins, which destroy bacteria and viruses, according to lead study author Adit Ginde, MD.

Sunflower Seeds – This healthy snack is packed with vitamin E, which has been shown to boost the activity level of the body’s infection-fighting T cells. That may be why scientists at the Center on Aging found that this nutrient lowers the risk of getting a cold by 20 percent.

Yogurt – People who ate two cups of yogurt a day for four months had four times the gamma interferon, a natural substance that fights viral and bacterial infections, than those who skipped the calcium-rich food, a University of California Davis School of Medicine study reveals. The key: Choosing yogurt with live active cultures.

What to Eat to Beat Stress

Shrimp – Omega-3 fatty acids in shellfish may boost your mood by reducing stress hormones, like cortisol. People who ate three to four ounces a day lowered their risk of anxiety, depression, and stress by 30 percent, according to a study from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in Spain.

Curry – The curcumin in turmeric — a spice in curry — lowers stress levels by inhibiting cortisol secretion, says a study conducted in China.

Milk – In a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, women who ate four or more servings of calcium a day had a 30 percent lower risk of PMS symptoms like anxiety and irritability.

Pistachios – Eating one and a half to three ounces of pistachios daily can lower blood pressure when you’re faced with a mental challenge by relaxing blood vessels, say researchers at Pennsylvania State University in University Park.

Red Bell Pepper – Vitamin C, which is abundant in these peppers, lowers stress by limiting cortisol production and stimulates the release of oxytocin, a feel-good chemical. When researchers at the University of Trier in Germany subjected people to the anxiety of public speaking, those who took 3,000 milligrams of C felt calmer and their blood pressure returned to normal faster than those who skipped C.

What to Eat to Soothe Stomach Pain

Yogurt –In a study at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, women with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) who ate two 4.4-ounce servings of Activia yogurt daily for a month saw up to a 78 percent decrease in bloating. The yogurt contains probiotics — good bacteria that help restore normal stomach and intestinal functioning.

Fennel – Anethole, a substance in fennel leaves, seeds, and oil, is known to alleviate stomach cramping. It even helps colicky babies, says research from St. Petersburg Medical Academy of Postdoctoral Education in Russia.

Ginger – Studies show that this root quashes nausea from motion sickness, morning sickness, and even chemotherapy by 30 percent. This may be because ginger reduces inflammation in the stomach, according to study author Julie Ryan, PhD.

Peppermint Oil – Seventy-five percent of IBS patients had 50 percent fewer symptoms after taking two capsules containing 225 milligrams of peppermint oil twice a day for four weeks, say researchers at G. d’Annunzio University in Italy. The menthol in peppermint appears to soothe irritated intestinal muscles.

Raspberries – Fiber, which is found in oats, vegetables, and fruits like raspberries, was more effective than a placebo in taming symptoms of IBS, according to a review of studies at McMaster University in Canada.

Head Off Headaches

Snapper – The omega-3s in fish are great for your head. Almost 90 percent of people who got migraines reported fewer of the headaches after taking two grams of omega-3 concentrate daily, according to a Brown University School of Medicine study. “Fish and fish oil lower the production of a prostaglandin, a chemical that causes inflammation and pain,” says researcher Zeev Harel, MD.

Black Beans – Beans contain riboflavin, a nutrient that has been found to reduce the number of headache days by at least 50 percent in more than half of sufferers, say researchers at the University of Liege in Belgium.

Cayenne Pepper – The compound that gives cayenne its heat, capsaicin, can ease cluster headaches (which typically affect one side of the head and occur several days in a row), probably by destroying a chemical that carries pain messages to the brain. Although people who get cluster headaches often inhale capsaicin through a nasal spray, try adding cayenne to your cooking.

Quinoa – Magnesium, often deficient in migraine sufferers, is plentiful in this grain. “The mineral relaxes blood vessels and normalizes serotonin receptors,” explains Alexander Mauskop, MD, director of the New York Headache Center in New York City. In one German study, patients taking 600 milligrams of magnesium daily saw their headache frequency plummet by more than 40 percent.



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Restaurant Entrees Exceed USDA Limits

More than 96% of restaurant entrees exceed USDA limits for calories, sodium, fat and saturated fat in a single meal, according to a study of the nutritional contact of more than 30,000 menu items from 245 restaurant brands by Rand Corp.  Appetizers, which often shared, average more calories than entrees (813 versus 674).  Entrees at family-style restaurants have more calories, fat and sodium than those at fast-food restaurants.

Source:  Bottom Line Personal, August, 15, 2012 Issue


26 Not-So-Healthy Habits


From magazine headlines to wise words from our mother, we’re constantly bombarded with “tips” to keep our health in check. But before drowning in diet soda and daily showers, reassess some of these behaviors that may be doing more harm than help.


Foods and Eating Habits:

1. Enhanced water. A little faux fruity flavor might seem like a great way to up H2O intake, but flavored water, like Vitamin Water or even Smart Water, can be filled with sugar. Skip the artificially sweetened water and infuse water with actual fruit.


2. Granola and granola bars. Granola is made from whole grains, so it can’t be bad, right? Not so fast. Granola and granola bars are both calorically dense and often contain a ton of sugar. You may as well eat a candy bar…


3. Protein bars. Protein bars don’t fall far from the granola-bar-tree. They are often ultra-high in calories and sugar — not exactly what the body needs after a hard workout. Choose a healthier high-protein snack instead.


4. Vitamins and supplements. Multiple studies have shown that taking vitamins (in pill form) may not have any positive effect on long-term health. Researchers have surveyed the nonexistent (or even potentially harmful) ties of vitamin E and C supplements with heart disease, cancer, and cancer treatment[1][2][3]. Plus, most people get all the vitamins they need from their food, and substituting pills for whole foods may mean missing out on the benefits from other compounds found in the natural sources.


5. Light beer. News flash: Light-beer doesn’t necessarily mean less calories. Instead, many simply have a lower alcohol content. And for those interested in getting a buzz on, the calorie difference may be negated by the need to drink more. Sip a healthier beer instead, and split up the six-pack between friends.


6. “Low-fat” foods. Think twice before skipping the fat-filled salmon. While cutting some fat could help weight loss, we may miss out on some big benefits from healthy omega-3 fats, such as boosting brainpower and lowering the risk of heart disease[4][5][6].


7. Skipping meals. Skipping meals probably won’t save us any calories in the long haul. Forgoing a meal may result in overeating later on, so choose a healthier lunchtime treat instead[7][8][9].


8. Bottled water. Some bottled water may be filled with bacteria or chemicals when bottled in plastic containers[10][11] So grab a water filter and purify tap water instead.


9. Passing on dessert. Don’t deny your favorite dessert. If really craving that double chocolate brownie, enjoy a few generous bites instead of going for seconds at the dinner buffet line — which could rack up even more calories.


10. Diet soda. Diet Dr. Pepper may not be our friend. Scientists suggest too much of these zero-cal beverages could do as much damage as the sugary stuff, potentially leading to weight gain and an uncontrollable sweet tooth[12][13] The solution? Skip the soda completely and opt for a healthier choice.


11. Juice diets. Many of us could use a few more fruits and veggies, but we don’t need to have spinach-apple juice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Juice diets may leave out important nutrients and enough calories to stay strong throughout the day.


12. Microwave diet meals. Try making your own meals, without the box and frozen plastic tray. Many frozen meals are packed with sodium, while lacking veggies and enough calories. Short on time? Make a large batch of your favorite meal over the weekend and freeze individual portions to eat throughout the week.


Hygiene and Health

13. Hot tubs. They may be super relaxing, but hot tubs are a one-stop shop for bacteria and germs, and may even cause a rash. Gross.


14. Antibacterial soap. It may not be worth scrubbing down with the fancy stuff: Regular soap and water is just as beneficial when it comes to staying squeaky clean[14].


15. Brushing right after every meal. Just ‘cause dessert was devoured doesn’t mean we should grab the toothbrush and paste. Wait at least 30 minutes after a meal so saliva can neutralize the acid in the mouth and strengthen the enamel on those chompers.


16. Avoiding the sun. While too much sun could cause a nasty burn (or worse!) sidestepping the sun at all costs may lead to a lack of Vitamin D which is essential for proper muscle and bone development[15].


17. Daily showers. Stop the scrubbing! Hopping in the shower too often may irritate and dry out skin. If you really need to freshen up, spray on some perfume or cologne and save the shower ‘till tomorrow.


18. Catching up on sleep. We’re sorry to break it to you, but it’s pretty tricky to catch up on sleep. So rather than skimping on sleep in order to cash them in later, aim for a solid seven to nine hours a night.


19. Sitting up straight. Yeah, we’re surprised too. Sitting up straight may be bad for the back, so skip the seat and try a standing desk at the office[16][17].


20. Cleaning with disinfecting products. There’s some evidence that certain chemicals in disinfecting products could lead to asthma[18][19]. Simply use a regular cleaning product  or detergent without the chemicals instead.


Working Out

21. Only doing cardio. Hitting the roads is great and all, but don’t retire the weights for the running shoes. Make sure to strength train to burn fat, lean out, and look badass in the process.


22. Doing a million crunches. The secret to six-pack abs probably isn’t crunch after crunch. To flatten out and tone up the core, try running some intervals, lifting a few weights, and cleaning up that diet instead.


23. Breathing deeply through the chest. Whether running the final lap or heading down the basketball court, avoid deep breathing with the chest. For a most effective breath to help any athlete’s performance, remember to use the diaphragm!


24. Static stretching pre workout. When warming up, static stretching (aka holding positions for a certain length of time) won’t do much in way of preventing soreness[20]. Skip the still motions and do dynamic stretches, like lunges and high knees, instead[21].


25. Lifting machines. Most lifting machines focus on single joint exercises, which fail to improve muscle imbalance and does not burn as many calories as hitting the squat rack or swinging a kettlebell.


26. Hitting the gym daily. Don’t get us wrong, exercise is important! But spending too much time at the gym leaves little time for muscles — and the mind — to recover. Make sure to get at least one or two days of rest, and dominate those dumbbells the rest of the week.






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Wow! Who Knew All The Things You Could Do With Coffee

To many, that morning cup of coffee is a ritual — an obsession, even. A solid 80 to 185 mg of caffeine per cup can kick start a morning, and it’s got even more benefits beyond the jolt. Each day 100 million American adults drink the elixir that’s been linked to improved mood, a lowered risk of some cancers, and increased calorie burn. Think coffee has no place past the mug? Here are some sneaky ways to get it into any diet.

1. Energy Smoothie

When iced coffee doesn’t do the trick, blend some Joe in a smoothie. Try a “ban-offee” version by blending ¾ cup of cooled coffee, a frozen banana, ¼ cup milk (of your choice), and a touch of maple syrup for a jolt with banana’s superfood powers. Extra perk: The potassium in bananas helps to replenish electrolytes lost from a night of boozing.

2. Coffee Muffins

Get ready for coffee cake’s younger and cuter (pre-portioned) cousin. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees, and spray a muffin pan with cooking spray. Mix 1 cup of strong, cold coffee, ½ cup sugar (or another sweetener), 2 eggs, and a cup of plain yogurt. Add 2 ½ cups of whole-wheat flour (or instant oats!), and two teaspoons of baking powder until just combined. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Mocha “Puddin’’

Mix up a cup of plain yogurt with 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder, and a tablespoon of instant coffee, and whip it up ‘til the coffee dissolves. Sweeten it to taste, and add some vanilla extract for an extra zing. Top the mock pudding with some nuts or berries!

4. Coffee Rub

The dark acidic tones of coffee pair well with dark meats like duck, beef, and lamb. Rub freshly ground coffee beans (the darker the roast, the more potent the coffee flavor), with a touch of coarse pepper on to a meat of choice. Pro Tip: Throw it all in a plastic bag and shake it around for a mess-free even coating.

5. Perky Marinade

Coffee’s not just for sweet stuff. Soak some steak in coffee for an hour or more before it hits the grill for tender, smoky meat without the not-so-glamorous nutrition stats other marinades have.

6. Balsamic Coffee Reduction

This tasty glaze is an easy and delicious addition to any salad (and especially tomato and mozzarella based ones). Combine 1 cup of coffee, 1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar, a pinch of salt, and the zest of a lemon to a small saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens to coat the back of a spoon. Drizzle away!

7. Frappe-Pops

Mix up a milk of choice, a teaspoon of instant coffee, and a touch of agave nectar (or preferred sweetener) in w bowl. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds (empty cups will do, too) and freeze. After freezing for an hour, insert popsicle sticks, and continue to freeze until solid (about another hour or two).

8. Pick-me-up Oats

Prepare one serving of plain ol’ oatmeal (or a whole pot if you’re cooking for the week). Mash up half a banana with 1 teaspoon of instant coffee, a splash of vanilla extract, and ¼ cup milk. Add the oats (or a hefty scoop from your big pot) and stir to combine. Heat for 1-2 minutes, or eat it chilled when the weather’s hot for a high fiber breakfast that’s been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels, aid in digestion, and improve metabolism.

9. Raw Energy Bars

Toss a handful of favorite nuts in a food processor and pulse until it reaches a fine sand-like texture. Add a few chopped dates, 2-3 tablespoons ground coffee beans or instant coffee, and a pinch of sea salt and pulse until the mixture begins to come together. Slowly add a few drops of water until the mixtures becomes a little doughy. Spice it up with some mix-ins: shredded coconut, cocoa powder (packed with antioxidants), or cacao nibs are great options. Scrape the mixture onto a pan lined with parchment paper and press it flat. Chill for 1-2 hours before serving.

10. Chocolate Covered Beans

We mean the espresso kind, not lima. Grab a good dark-roast bean, and a good quality chocolate (milk, dark, or a mixture). Chop up the chocolate, and microwave on low, stirring every 10 seconds until completely melted. (Tedious, but worth it!) Pour the beans into the chocolate and remove one-by-one with a fork, drop the dipped beans onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet. Keep ‘em separated; otherwise you’ll have coffee bean clusters!

11. Coffee Cubes

Keep that iced coffee strong as steel by using coffee ice cubes to keep it cool. Simply fill an ice cube tray with cooled coffee, and freeze. Pop out the frozen cubes and let them melt into your coffee, and say goodbye to watered down coffee.

12. Coffee Granita

Granita, Granada. We know you might not believe us, but this one only has two ingredients. Brew up some coffee and add agave nectar to taste. Taste it before freezing (you’ll want it a little sweeter and stronger than normal drinking coffee). Pour the coffee into a shallow baking pan, and pop it in the freezer. Pro tip: It’s easier when the liquid is only about an inch deep. Every 30 minutes, use a fork to scrape the icy coffee into crystals, until all of the coffee is crystallized.

13.Banana Coffee Ice Cream

Ice cream in 4 ingredients. ‘Nuff said. But just in case, here are the instructions: In a blender or food processor, combine 2-4 ripe frozen bananas, 2-4 teaspoons instant coffee (depending on how strong you like it), ½ cup chopped dark chocolate (optional), and 1/8 cup almond milk. Pulse until the mixture gets going, and then blend until smooth. (Note: You may need closer to ¼ cup milk if the blender is having a hard time pulsing up the ingredients.) Pour into a Tupperware container (about 1 quart in size) and freeze to harden up the ice cream before scooping!

14. BBQ Sauce with a Buzz

Combine ½ cup ketchup (we recommend choosing a low-sugar, low-sodium brand), ½ cup brewed coffee, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, and ½ a teaspoon each of onion powder, garlic powder, and chili powder in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes until it thickens up. Stir in ½ teaspoon each of black pepper, balsamic vinegar, and low sodium soy sauce.

15. Coffee Cocktail

This list simply would not be complete without a cocktail. For a late night pick me up, combine ¼ cup chilled espresso, 2 tablespoons of rum (white or spiced), and 1 tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk (it’s just a little). Shake well and strain into an ice-filled glass.






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Wheat/Corn/Gluen-Free Tortilla Recipe

3 Tbsp ground flaxseeds

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp paprika

pinch salt

1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted, plus more for greasing

1 Tbsp water

1 large egg


Mix together flaxseeds, baking powder, onion powder, paprika, and salt in a small bowl.  Stir in 1 tbsp of coconut oil (melted).  Beat in egg and water until blended.

Grease microwave-safe glass or plastic pie pan with coconut oil.

Pour in batter and spread evenly over the bottom.

Microwave on high for 2-5 minutes until cooked.  Let cool 5 minutes.


Source:  Wheat Belly, by Willaim Davis, MD




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O mission

By Evan S. Benn St. Louis Post-Dispatch

I don’t suffer from celiac disease or gluten intolerance, but the first thing I did when I got the major players behind Widmer Bros. Brewing Co.’s Omission gluten-free beers on the phone was thank them.

At least once a week, someone asks me to recommend a gluten-free beer, and I had nothing worth suggesting. Until now.

Omission is the first gluten-free beer I’ve sampled that tastes like real beer. That’s because it is beer, brewed with malted barley, yeast, hops and water.

Gluten is a protein found in many grains. Omission uses a proprietary process that begins with low-protein barley and employs a brewing enzyme that further breaks down the protein, reducing it to a point where the beer is considered gluten-free.

Most gluten-free beers use sorghum, rice, fruit, honey or tapioca in place of barley. Malted barley is the backbone of beer’s color and flavor, and its absence is noticeable.

Few people know more about gluten-free beer than Terry Michaelson and Joe Casey. Michaelson, the chief executive of Oregon’s Craft Brew Alliance, was diagnosed with celiac disease 12 years ago. Casey, brewmaster at Widmer Bros., began formulating gluten-free beer recipes after his wife was diagnosed with the disease in 2006.

“I wanted to make sure if we did something, we delivered on the flavor that other beer consumers were experiencing and enjoying,” Michaelson says.

Omission, which sells for about $10 a six-pack and is available at Total Wine & More, will stick with pale ale and lager for now, but Michaelson says the line could expand.

“We want to continue to give people with gluten sensitivity the option to try different craft styles, which hasn’t really been an option for them. The great thing about Omission is, you don’t have to be a celiac to enjoy it.”

Read more here:


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