The Truth About Eggs!

Close-up Of Brown Eggs

The Truth About Eggs!

I love, love, love eggs. I am currently not eating eggs now as I am cleansing and out of all the things I have removed from my diet including wheat and dairy, eggs is the one thing I miss the most, even more than cheese!  They are simple and easy to make for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a healthy snack.

In my opinion, eggs have gotten a bad rap over the last few decades, we were even told once that eggs were as bad for us as smoking!!!

The reason eggs have such a bad reputation is because the yolks are high in cholesterol and people believed that if you ate cholesterol that it would raise the cholesterol in the blood and contribute to heart disease. But it`s not that simple…..

Cholesterol is a really important part of the body, without cholesterol we wouldn`t exist. It is produced primarily in the liver but when we start to eat foods that are rich in cholesterol the liver will produce less instead of more. Studies show that in most cases the HDL `healthy` cholesterol levels actually increase and that the  LDL `unhealthy` levels are raised more by excess saturated fats than it is by eating eggs.

Eggs are a really great source of high quality protein (found in the egg white) and are one of the few food sources of vitamin D. Here are some other awesome health benefits that come from eating eggcelent eggs:

  1. Eggs are high in antioxidants so can protect against cancer and heart disease
  2. In addition to vitamin D, they also contain phosphorous which helps provide the building blocks for healthy bones and teeth
  3. They are a great source of choline which helps improve memory and mental performance
  4. Evidence suggests that during digestion, egg proteins are converted into peptides that help lower blood pressure in the same way as conventional drugs.
  5. Most of the fat in eggs is monounsaturated and polyunsaturated and these help reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the blood.

When buying eggs, try to get them from a local farm where you know the chickens (ducks or quail) have been raised humanely and that they have been able to go outside. Free-range eggs will contain more vitamin A, omega-3 fats and vitamin E than conventional eggs and less saturated fat. If you have never bought free-range eggs, please try it, you will be amazed at how yellow or golden the yolk is compared to conventional chickens that haven`t seen the light of day! I get mine from Landman Garden & Bakery, they are located in Grand Valley but you can find them at the Orangeville Farmers Market.

When cooking eggs, they will lose some of their nutritional benefit when cooked so try them poached or soft boiled to prevent that. Here is another recipe I like to make, I will cook them on a Sunday then reheat for a snack of breakfast throughout the week.

Vegetable Frittata Cups

Makes 4 servings

 

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 red onion, halved, thinly sliced

½ cup pepper, cut into short thin strips

1 clove garlic, crushed

½ cup frozen baby peas

10 pieces semi-dried tomatoes, finely chopped

7 eggs

½ cup unsweetened almond milk

salt and black pepper to taste

 

  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • Heat oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion, pepper, baby peas, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.
  • Add the peas and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and set aside to cool a little.
  • Stir in the semi-dried tomatoes.
  • Using an oil mister, spray a large 6 cup muffin pan with oil.
  • Whisk together the eggs and milk, and season.
  • Divide the vegetables among the 4 muffin pan cups. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the vegetables.
  • Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until frittatas are set and lightly golden.
  • Set aside in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out.

 

 

 

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5 Ways To Spring Clean Your Diet

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Many of us will consider spring cleaning our houses and even our cars, but we can sometimes forget about giving our bodies that extra TLC it needs. Here are 5 ways you can spring clean your diet:

  1. Clean out your pantry, fridge and freezer

Yes, I know this can be scary, what really is lurking at the back? But don’t be scared, it’s time to take a deep breath, be brave, get that garbage bag ready and dive in and throw out all those expired foods. You may also find some really cool things you had forgotten about about like that bag of dried lentils or those 10 cans of diced tomatoes.

2. Eat a rainbow

All fruits and vegetables are made up of different phytochemicals and it’s these that determine what colour they are. The best health is going to come from eating a combination of all the colours. Rotate the foods in each colour group so you’re not always eating the same red food or the same yellow food. I always try to combine different colours on my plate so I have some in every meal.

Here are some examples:

  • Red (lycopene) – tomatoes, red peppers, strawberries, cherries
  • Yellow & orange (carotenoids) – carrots, squash, oranges, peppers, lemons, corn
  • Green (chlorophyll) – kale, spinach, romaine, Brussel sprouts, broccoli
  • Purple, blue & black (anthocyanin) – blueberries, eggplant, black beans

3. Portion control

Part of the health issues and obesity epidemic these days is linked to an increase in portion sizes. With a gradual increase in the amount of food being bought and served, people have lost touch with what a healthy amount to eat actually is. Over the past 50 years, North American portion sizes have increased dramatically without consumers even being aware.

Unfortunately, when most of us are served more, we tend to eat more –hungry or not. Research by the American Institute for Cancer Research has revealed that 69% of people will finish their meals, even when the portions are huge.

If you don’t have a measuring cup, here are some other tips to help you properly estimate your portions:

  • Tennis ball = 1 fruit or vegetable serving
  • Deck of cards = 1 meat, poultry or fish serving
  • 9 volt battery = 1 hard cheese serving
  • Palm of your hand = 1 grain serving
  • The tip of your thumb = 1 fat serving
  1. Eat more home cooking

Not only does home cooking taste better and cost less but many companies load their products with preservatives to make them shelf stable and colouring to make them look more appealing. Thanks, but I don’t need yellow #5 in my salad dressing.

When making food at home, you control the ingredients. Instead of putting canola or soybean oil into a dressing, dip or sauce, you can put olive, flaxseed or hemp oil. That simple switch will do wonders for your health and it’s a great way to get your kids and family involved. Maybe you’ll even take on a recipe that’s been in the family for generations but you’ve shied away from because it seems too complicated.

5. Exercise

Years ago, doctors rarely told people with chronic ailments to exercise because they were unsure of how much physical activity these people could handle. In the last decade, exercise has proved to be effective in helping people manage – and prevent – everything from heart disease to osteoporosis, diabetes and even cancer.

Being physical active is a wonderful lifestyle choice, but it is not the same as being an exerciser. Physical activity is any body movement that leads to increased energy expenditure, while exercise is planned, structured and repetitive body movement.

For instance, activities of daily living – stuff you have to do, like carrying the groceries – count as physical activity. To say you exercise means you might go for a brisk walk every day during lunch, attend a weekly yoga class or enjoy a competitive game of ball every Friday.

How much exercise do you do each week? You should be aiming for at least 30 minutes three times a week.

For this weeks recipe i wanted to include my new favourite soup. I took some into the clinic last week and all my colleagues were trying to steal it as it smelt so great and so i have promised to make extra for them next time i make a batch. I hope you enjoy it too.

Curried Vegetable Lentil Soup

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 ½ cups chopped onions

1 cup chopped celery

2 tsp minced garlic

2 cups small cauliflower florets

1 cup diced carrots

1 Tbsp grated gingerroot

2 tsp curry powder

1 tsp each ground cumin, ground coriander and chili powder

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

3 cups reduced sodium vegetable broth

1 can (19oz) no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained

1 Tbsp brown sugar

¼ tsp salt

1 can (19oz) no-salt-added lentils, drained and rinsed

½ cup light coconut milk

2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro

 

  • Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, celery and garlic. Cook and stir until vegetables begin to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add cauliflower, carrots, ginger, curry powder, cumin, coriander, chili powder and cinnamon. Stir until vegetables are coated with spices and cook 1 more minute.
  • Add broth, tomatoes with liquid, sugar and salt. Bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 15 minutes. Add lentils and simmer for 5 more minutes.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Carefully transfer half the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Return pureed soup to pot with remaining soup. Add coconut milk and cilantro and mix well. Taste soup and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve hot.

 

Melanie Grime is a holistic nutritionist serving the Orangeville, Dufferin, Wellington and Caledon areas. Melanie Grime RHN treats everyone as an individual with their own specific needs and helps clients suffering from health issues by looking for the root cause of symptoms and working with them to reach their health and nutrition goals. She specializes in family nutrition, weight loss and detox.

Love Your Liver!

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Our liver is a powerhouse, it has some 500 known physical functions in our bodies, isn’t that crazy?!!

When I was growing up I had no clue what the liver was or did, I just remember my Mum serving it to me with some bacon for dinner. Now I get a little freaked out at the thought of eating liver, especially as it is the main detox organ in the body so if you’re not getting it from a good clean source of meat who knows what toxins could be stored in there – yuk!

Not only does the liver have about 500 different functions but it also has approximately three pints of blood passing through it every minute – yes, I did say every minute!

Today, I want to touch on just some of those important functions of the liver and some signs and symptoms that may be showing up for you as an indicator that maybe your liver needs some extra TLC.

#1. The liver is a blood filter and screens everything in the blood and it will take the nutrients, oxygen, toxins and waste products out. If it detects anything toxic the liver cells starts their work to de-activate them.

Toxins enter your body through your lungs, skin and your gut (small intestine) and they are sent to your liver. The liver deals with a wide range of toxins such as:

  • Heavy metals (aluminum, copper, lead, mercury)
  • Alcohol
  • Nicotine
  • Drugs (recreational & pharmaceutical)
  • Pesticides
  • Additives

Your liver function becomes sluggish when it is overloaded and this can lead to symptoms such as:

  • Serious fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Water retention
  • Varicose veins
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Dark bags under the eyes and a host of other health problems

#2. It regulates blood sugar along with the pancreas and adrenals. If the sugar level in the blood gets too low, the adrenals secrete hormones, which stimulate the liver to release glycogen (stored glucose) and if blood sugar levels get too high, the pancreas secretes insulin which tells the liver to remove excess glucose from the blood and store it as glycogen.

#3. Regulate fats in the blood along with the gallbladder. When these organs aren’t working properly due to an overload of toxins they can’t regulate the fat level and this is the single most important cause of high blood fat levels

#4. Regulation of blood protein levels, if protein levels are too low, the liver will put protein back into the blood stream to be taken throughout the body. If the liver doesn’t make protein properly, wasting of muscle if the most obvious sign

#4. The liver regulates hormones by breaking them down regularly otherwise they will continue to circulate through the body giving out of date signals. Signs of a hormonal imbalance can include things like PMS symptoms – bloating, breast tenderness and mood changes.

If you have thyroid issues, you also want to be looking after your liver as this can also have an impact on your metabolic rate, which is already affected.

#5. In Traditional Chinese Medicine the liver is related to anger, depression, negativity, irritability and mood fluctuations so loving your liver may also help you to love yourself and become a happier, calm person once again.

Your liver is dependent on a steady and big supply of nutrients in order for it to detox and carry out all of its other 499 functions efficiently. That’s why it’s important to eat a variety of whole live foods in your daily diet, such as fresh fruits and vegetables.

If you know that your diet is not optimal, your stress levels are pretty high and you use a lot of products on your skin or hair it is very likely that you have an overburdened liver. A gentle cleanse can help with many of the symptoms we have talked about and the development of other issues related to an unhealthy liver. Contact me at melanieg@wowweightloss.ca to find out how I can help you with this.

To give your liver some loving right away, try eating beets as they help detoxify the liver as used in the salad below.

Carrot & Beet Salad

Serves 4

2 1/2 cups grated carrots
1 1/2 cups grated beets
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp dried dill
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (purchase Omega Nutrition brand at the health food store)
1 Tbsp flax oil
1 Tbsp olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a bowl up to one hour before serving.

Frozen Vegetables : Natures Fast Food

Fresh Green Broccoli

Frozen vegetables are a quick and easy alternative to fresh veggies. If you’ve been down the frozen food aisle lately, you’ll notice that frozen vegetables now come in single-serve boxes, re-sealable bags or microwaveable bags that don’t even need to be opened before you steam your veggies in them.

These products are a great way to add fibre, vitamin C, vitamin A and valuable phytochemicals to your diet – particularly if you’re like the 41 percent of Canadians who find it hard to eat enough vegetables.

Despite their claims, frozen vegetables are not necessarily as nutritious as fresh. In terms of calories and fibre content, they are virtually equal, however, in vitamins C and A they do differ.

Frozen vegetables picked at the height of their flavour and nutritional value, blanched in hot water or steam to kill harmful bacteria, and then flash frozen at -40˚C in an effort to preserve their nutritional value. Some nutrient loss occurs in this process. Water-soluble vitamins, like vitamin C, are particularly vulnerable during blanching and freezing.

In my research, I found that the degree of nutrient loss varies greatly from brand to brand.

For example, one-half cup (125 ml) of Green Giant Valley Selections Cut Broccoli provides only 17.5 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C while the same sized serving Green Organic Broccoli Florets provides 50 percent. (One-half cup of fresh broccoli that’s been boiled and drained provides over 70 percent of your daily vitamin C requirement.)

On the plus side, beta-carotene (converted to vitamin A in the body) fares better in frozen vegetables than in fresh because this carotenoid is sensitive to light. As they’re always packaged, frozen vegetables have less exposure to light resulting in less destruction of beta-carotene.

For instance, one-half cup (125 ml) of Europe’s Best Chef’s Spinach provides 66 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin A – roughly the amount of vitamin A in one and a half cups (375 ml) of fresh spinach.

While frozen vegetables are low in sodium, some seasoned vegetable blends, like Green Giants Essentials or Artic Garden’s Grill Mix, are loaded with up to 204 milligrams of sodium per one-half cup serving – something you definitely won’t find in fresh vegetables.

Also avoid frozen vegetables in a butter or cheese sauce as they can add calories and up to 380 milligrams of sodium to your plate. One-half cup (125 ml) of Green Giant’s Simply Steam Brussel sprouts with Butter Sauce contains more than four times the calories in frozen broccoli without the sauce!

A great way to use some of your frozen vegetables is in this tasty recipe.

Vegetable Biryani

  • ¼ cup dried green lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tbsp curry paste
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • ¼ cup raisins or dried currants
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • ¼ cup toasted sliced almonds
  1. In a saucepan of boiling water, cook lentils for 10 minutes, drain
  2. In saucepan, heat oil over medium heat, sauté onion until deep golden, about 6 minutes
  3. Add carrots, garlic, curry paste, salt and pepper, sauté until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  4. Stir in cauliflower, rice, raisins and lentils to coat
  5. Add broth, bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until rice, lentils and vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes
  6. Stir in peas, cook until heated through, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with almonds.