Why did I start this blog? I have been having episodes of inflammation in my hands and fingers, feet and toes, and joints for some time now. I’ve consulted the doctor and have had tests done. It’s not rheumatoid arthritis and my uric acid is normal (tho at times borderline normal). In an effort to determine which food triggers the inflammation, I have been systematically eliminating certain foods from my diet and then bringing them back. After several years, I have now come to the conclusion that I seem to be reacting to animal protein in general (like some sort of allergic reaction). Different animal proteins affect me to different degrees; some cause inflammation faster than others. So I have decided to reduce my intake of meat. No, I am not going vegetarian; maybe semi-vegetarian if there is such a thing. I will be adding interesting and not too difficult recipes here as I find them. I will also include arthritis management tips that have worked for me.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Soybeans are considered to be a source of complete protein; it contains significant amounts of all the essential amino acids needed by the human body. Soy beans are a good source of protein for people who want to reduce their consumption of meat. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that foods containing soy protein may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. This is based on their determination that 25 grams of soy protein per day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing blood cholesterol levels. Foods made with whole soybean may also qualify for the health claim if they contain no fat in addition to that present in the whole soybean. These would include soyfoods such as tofu, soymilk, soy-based burgers, tempeh, and soynuts. There are some recipes in this blog using tofu.
Source: Grilled Tofu with Chimichurri Sauce
Sunday, July 25, 2010
I read an article from Reader’s Digest (July 2010 issue) and I thought I’d share with you these four things that you should monitor daily to make sure that you are living healthy.
Produce (fresh) – the amount of fruits and vegetables you ate that day
Exercise – whether you walked and were active
Relaxation – whether you got at least 15 minutes of laughter and fun time for yourself
Fiber – whether you got enough beans, grains, and other high-fiber foods
If you can say you did well on all four, your day has been extremely healthy.
(Needless to say, this doesn’t apply if you spent the rest of the day, say, drinking, smoking and eating chocolate).
Source: Reader's Digest July 2010 "10 Easy Ways to Be Your Own Doctor"
Thursday, July 15, 2010
They say that eating fish is good for you. To find out more about the health benefits of eating fish I decided to google it. Here are some of the things I found.
Fish is low in fat, high in protein and an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids. Researchers worldwide have discovered that eating fish regularly – one or two serves weekly – may reduce the risk of diseases ranging from childhood asthma to prostate cancer. Healthy ways to enjoy fish include baked, poached, grilled and steamed.
Health benefits of eating fish
Regular consumption of fish can reduce the risk of various diseases and disorders. Selected research findings include:
• Asthma – children who eat fish may be less likely to develop asthma.
• Brain and eyes – fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids can contribute to the health of brain tissue and the retina (the back of the eye).
• Cardiovascular disease – eating fish every week reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke by reducing blood clots and inflammation, improving blood vessel elasticity, lowering blood pressure, lowering blood fats and boosting ‘good’ cholesterol.
• Dementia – elderly people who eat fish or seafood at least once a week may have a lower risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.
• Depression – people who regularly eat fish have a lower incidence of depression (depression is linked to low levels of omega 3 fatty acids in the brain).
• Diabetes – fish may help people with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels.
• Eyesight – breastfed babies of mothers who eat fish have better eyesight, perhaps due to the omega 3 fatty acids transmitted in breast milk.
• Inflammatory conditions – regular fish consumption may relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and autoimmune disease.
• Prematurity – eating fish during pregnancy may help reduce the risk of delivering a premature baby.
Fish oil reduces risk of heart disease
Hundreds of studies have been done on fish or fish oils and their role in the prevention or treatment of heart disease. A review in the British Medical Journal recommends fish or fish oil supplements to prevent heart attacks, particularly in people with vascular disease. How omega-3 fats reduce heart disease is not known, but they are known to lower blood triglycerides and blood pressure, prevent clotting, are anti-inflammatory and reduce abnormal heart rhythms.
So here are some fish recipes that seem easy enough to prepare. Remember, the healthy ways of preparing fish are baking, poaching, grilling and steaming.
- 6 ounces cooked fish, such as baked cod
- 4 flour tortillas
- 1/2 cup pico de gallo
- 1 can black beans , drained
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Mixed stir fried vegetables, recipe below
- Lime wedges
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Heat fish and all 4 tortillas in a stack and wrapped in foil on a baking sheet for 8 to 10 minutes.
In a bowl, combine pico de gallo, beans, sour cream and cumin.
Arrange fish on tortillas and top with pico de gallo-black bean sauce and mixed stir fried vegetables. Serve with a lime wedge on the side.
Mixed Stir-Fried Vegetables
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 cup sliced red onion
- 1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and spears cut into 2-inch pieces
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, bell peppers, and asparagus and saute 3 to 5 minutes, until soft.
Heat oven to 400°F.
Blend mustard, butter and honey in a small bowl set aside.
Mix bread crumbs, pecans and parsley in another small bowl set aside.
Season salmon to taste with salt and pepper. Place on a nonstick or vegetable spray-coated baking dish. Brush salmon with mustard-honey mixture. Pat bread crumbs onto top surface of salmon.
Bake for 10 minutes per inch of thickness or until salmon flakes easily with a fork.
- 4 (6-ounce) skinless fish fillets, such as snapper, black bass, or bronzino
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Emeril's Italian Essence, or other dried Italian seasoning
- 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 medium vine-ripened tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Halved and pitted kalamata olives, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Season the fish fillets on both sides lightly with salt and pepper.
On a work surface, lay out 6 (15-inch) square pieces of aluminum foil. Divide the onion and tomato slices evenly among the centers of the foil squares and season lightly with salt, pepper, and Italian Essence. Place 1 fish fillet over the top of each mound of vegetables and sprinkle the tops of the fillets with the Italian Essence. Divide the lemon slices among the fillets. Drizzle each fillet with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and sprinkle with kalamata olives, if desired. Fold foil pouches up carefully, sealing tightly on all edges, and place pouches on a large baking sheet. Bake the pouches until fillets are just cooked through and the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately. Be careful to avoid the hot steam when opening the pouches.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 4 (8-ounce) fish fillets such as red snapper
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces creme fraiche
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 2 teaspoons drained capers
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. (You can also use an ovenproof baking dish.) Place the fish fillets skin side down on the sheet pan. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
Combine the creme fraiche, 2 mustards, shallots, capers, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Spoon the sauce evenly over the fish fillets, making sure the fish is completely covered. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until it's barely done. (The fish will flake easily at the thickest part when it's done.) Be sure not to overcook it! Serve hot or at room temperature with the sauce from the pan spooned over the top.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Tanglad (Andropogon citratus DC.), also known as lemon grass or citronella, is a popular ingredient in herbal teas and herbal soaps. It is highly regarded as a flavoring to enhance the taste of food. It is traditionally used to help reduce blood pressure and improve circulation, in reducing fevers, to help in flatulence, for the relief of arthritic pain and rheumatism and as a sedative and anti-emetic. Studies have shown that lemon grass possesses antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-carcinogenic properties.
Chemical constituents and characteristics
Parts utilized: Leaves
For Diarrhea: Boil 10 leaves in 2 glasses of water for 10 minutes; add a tablespoon of sugar and one small piece of crushed ginger.
For adults: 1 cup, 3 times daily and after each loose bowel movement.
Children: (Babies) 1 tablespoon 3 times daily and after each loose bowel movement; 2-6 years, 1/4 cup 3 times daily and after each loose bowel movement; 7-12 years, 1/2 cup three times daily and after each loose bowel movement.
Suob: One of the 10 herbal ingredients in the decoction/bath in the post-partum ritual of suob.
· Commonly used as a stuffing ingredient in pig spit-roasting to improve the flavor and decrease the grease-taste.
· Also used to flavor wines, sauces and spices.
· The roots have a ginger-like flavor and used as a condiment and adding fragrance to gogo hair-washes.
· Volatile oil, called Lemon grass oil, consists mainly of citral and used in perfume and toilet soap manufacture.
· Scavon Vet Spray: Andropogon citratus is one of the ingredients in a spray used for parasitic mite, Demodex bovis, that causes demodectic mange in cattle.
· Recent uses and preparations: Stomach discomfort, toothache, sprain, vomiting and ringworm
· To keep away mosquitos, plant it around your house or place crushed leaves on your window sills.
· Antibacterial / Antifungal: Studies have shown antibacterial activity, comparable to penicillin.