Deanna

Tuesday, 06 February 2018 16:19

Mental health, inflammation, and mood foods

Mental health issues have a huge impact on society. Some suggest that their impact is larger than any other chronic disease, including heart disease or diabetes.
There are so many factors involved in complex conditions like mental health issues. Science is just starting to unravel one of these factors - inflammation. 
Friday, 05 January 2018 22:36

Healthy Tuna Salad

This can be served with a salad for a gluten free, dairy free lunch. 
Makes 2 Servings
 
Ingredients:
1 can (5 oz) water packed tuna, drained (if you're not worried about the healthy fat content, get the Italian olive oil packed tuna in jars-- the flavour is terrific).
 
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
 
1/2 stalk celery, minced
 
1 finely chopped scallion
 
2 tablespoons lemon juice, or more to taste
 
Extra virgin olive oil to taste

 
Salt and pepper to taste 
 
Directions:
Pour the tuna in a small mixing bowl. Use a fork to break the tuna chunks into very small pieces.
 
Add the basil, celery and lemon juice to the bowl. Use the fork to stir all the ingredients together till well mixed.
 
Add extra virgin olive oil to moisten the tuna to your liking. I usually use between 1 and 2 tablespoons. Season with salt and pepper to taste; sea salt and freshly ground pepper is best. 

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a type of abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia).   Your heart has four chambers that beat in a rhythm; two atria and two ventricles. The atria are the upper chambers. AF happens when the atria beat too fast and irregularly. They “quiver” instead of pumping properly.   AF is the most common arrhythmia worldwide. In fact, in the US, you have a 25% risk of getting it in your lifetime. The number of people with AF is increasing and is expected to increase further as the population ages.

Friday, 05 January 2018 18:43

Curried Carrot Cauliflower Soup

Curried Carrot Cauliflower Soup  
Makes 6 - 8 Servings
Ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
5 cups vegetable broth
1 head cauliflower, chopped (about 4 cups)
3 cups peeled and chopped carrots (about 8 medium carrots)
1 1/2 tsp curry
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt
 
Directions:
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook the onions for 3 minutes, or until soft.
Dissolve the vegetable bouillon in the water and add to the pot.
Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and stir to combine.
Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the vegetables are fork tender.
Using an immersion blender or standing blender, puree all of the ingredients until smooth.
Top with:  Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt (optional)
Friday, 05 January 2018 18:30

Eggplant Ratatouille

If you are looking for an easy to make gluten-free, dairy free dinner, this is sure to please the whole family.
 
Makes 8 - 10 Servings
 
Ingredients:
2 large eggplants
2 yellow onions

3 bell peppers

6-8 medium zucchini 

4 large tomatoes

1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons olive oil

3-4 cloves garlic

1 bay leaf

3-4 sprigs thyme

1/4 cup loosely packed basil, sliced into ribbons

Extra basil for garnishing

Salt and pepper
 
Directions:
Peel the eggplants, if desired, and chop them into bite-sized cubes. Transfer them to a strainer set over a bowl and toss with a tablespoon of salt. Let the eggplant sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
 
Dice the onions and roughly chop the peppers, zucchinis, and tomatoes into bite-sized pieces. Mince the garlic. The vegetables will be cooked in batches, so keep each one in a separate bowl.
 
Warm a teaspoon of olive oil in a large (at least 5 1/2 quart) Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and a generous pinch of salt. Sauté until the onions have softened and are just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the peppers and continue cooking until the peppers have also softened, about another 5 minutes. Transfer the onions and peppers to a clean bowl.
 
Add another teaspoon of oil to the pot and sauté the zucchini with a generous pinch of salt until the zucchini has softened and is beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the zucchini to the bowl with the onions and peppers.
 
Rinse the eggplant under running water and squeeze the cubes gently with your hands to remove as much moisture as possible. Warm two teaspoons of oil in the pan and sauté the eggplant until it has softened and has begun to turn translucent, about 10 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to the bowl with the other vegetables.
 
During cooking, a brown glaze will gradually build on the bottom of the pan. If it looks like this glaze is beginning to turn black and burn, turn down the heat to medium. You can also dissolve the glaze between batches by pouring 1/4 cup of water or wine into the pan and scraping up the glaze. Pour the deglazing liquid into the bowl with the vegetables.
 
Warm another teaspoon of olive oil in the pan and sauté the garlic until it is fragrant and just starting to turn golden, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, whole sprigs of thyme. As the tomato juices begin to bubble, scrape up the brown glaze on the bottom of the pan.
 
Add all of the vegetables back into the pan and stir until everything is evenly mixed. Bring the stew to a simmer, then turn down the heat to low. Stirring occasionally, simmer for at least 20 minutes or up to 1 1/2 hours. Shorter cooking time will leave the vegetables in larger, more distinct pieces; longer cooking times will break the vegetables down into a silky stew.
 
Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Just before taking the ratatouille off the heat, stir in the basil. Sprinkle the extra basil and a glug of good olive oil over each bowl as you serve.
 
Leftovers can be refrigerated for a week or frozen for up to three months. Ratatouille is often better the second day, and it can be eaten cold, room temperature, or warmed.
Notes:
• Making a Smaller Batch: This recipe can be cut in half and adapted to use whatever vegetables you have.
• Flavour Extras: For something different try adding a tablespoon of smoked paprika, a pinch of red pepper flakes, a quarter cup of red wine, or a splash of vinegar to the ratatouille.
Tuesday, 21 November 2017 14:22

Beautiful skin with hyaluronic acid

 
Did you know that back in medieval France, King Henry II’s wife, Princess Catherine, believed that if she ate chicken combs she would become beautiful? Even before that (in the 700s) Yang Guifei, one of the four beauties of ancient China, also ate chicken combs.
 
Chicken combs, as it turns out, contain a lot of a substance known as hyaluronic acid. Recent clinical studies show that ingesting hyaluronic acid actually can increase the moisture content of the skin. This shows up as more hydrated, and “beautiful” younger-looking skin.
Friday, 17 November 2017 15:24

Gluten Sensitivity

Gluten is a hot topic and one of the harder foods to eliminate for many people. It does, however, have a big impact on the health and life of those who are sensitive because it can be lurking in so many places. 
Many health coaches first become aware of the food they eat because of the symptoms of food allergy or intolerance that they or their loved ones suffer from. 
Gluten intolerance is a big topic and this article does not intend to cover the topic in depth. The intention is to cultivate awareness so that readers who suspect they have such sensitivity can seek additional help.
 
Gluten is a protein composite found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye. This protein can causes reactions in people who have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. 
 
Gluten intolerance can manifest itself as a wide range of symptoms. Here are some most common ones, although by no means exhaustive: abdominal pain and cramping, arthritis, attention deficit disorder (ADD), bloating, constipation, irritability, stunted growth (due to poor absorption of nutrients), fatigue, headaches, nausea, osteoporosis, teeth and gum problems, unexplained weight gain or weight loss.
 
Celiac disease – a digestive condition triggered by the consumption of gluten – can cause damage of the villi in the intestinal lining, resulting in a gradual decrease in the ability to absorb any nutrients from ingested food, leading to stunted growth and malnutrition. The damage that are done to the intestinal lining also leads to a higher likelihood of leaky gut syndrome, which can create other types of food sensitivities and systemic health issues.
 
Friday, 17 November 2017 15:15

Lactose Intolerance and Dairy Alternatives

Dairy is one of the most common substances that people develop allergy or intolerance toward. If you are suffer from lactose intolerance, which means your body is unable to produce the enzyme lactase to digest the lactose, you can supplement with lactase enzyme whenever you eat dairy products.
 
There are also many ways we can avoid dairy and substitute dairy products in meal preparation without having to lead a completely “miserable” life in the culinary department.
 
Friday, 17 November 2017 14:53

Leaky Gut and Food Allergies

 
 
I knew from a young age that milk just didn't do my body good.  I would get stomach aches and then have to run to the bathroom.  Over time left untreated, I developed other food sensitivities and leaky gut.
 
Thursday, 19 October 2017 21:19

Warm Quinoa, Sweet Potato and Kale Salad

 
 1/2 cup quinoa cooked in one cup of broth or water
 
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and roasted in oven till soft at 350C for about 50 minutes.
(I sprinkled cardamom on mine)
 
1 red onion
4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp grated ginger root
1 tbsp coconut oil
Saute above ingredients till soft
 
Wash and chop into large pieces 6-8 large leaves of Kale.
 
Assemble the cooked quinoa, cooked sweet potatoes and sauted onion, garlic and ginger root into a roasting pan, I used a square stone.  Mix in the raw kale and add about 4- 8 tbsp of apple cider vinegar, 4-8 tbsp of olive oil or melted coconut oil, 1/4 cup of maple syrup.  You can add more spice if you like such as cinnamon, cardamom and cloves and/or nutmeg.  I added some epicure Thai seasoning this time.
 
Throw in the oven at 350C till the kale is softened through. 
I actually turned it down to about 200 and let it sit for about an hour till dinner was ready.
 
Top with greens and add a chicken breast for a complete meal.