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Microbiome importance

Dr. Radio
Ok, so I LOVE listening to the dr. radio show on Sirius XM (channel 110).  They always have some of the nation’s top doctors on discussing all sorts of things, but especially coronavirus. 
One of the interesting things a top dr./microbiologist was talking about last night was the gut’s microbiome and how that might affect being prone to getting the covid virus.  (This is currently being studied, among a number of other things).
What is the gut’s microbiome you say?  It’s all that bacteria that you need in there to fight off viruses and infections, cancers, etc. 
I am in no way saying this is a cure, just want to make that clear.  But why not improve our gut function and microbiome now since it is beneficial anyway.
How to do this?  Pre- and probiotics can certainly help.  How?
·      Eating yogurt daily,
·      getting your whole grains in:
·      whole wheat
·      brown rice
·      barley,
·      oatmeal
·      quinoa
·      legumes (black beans, chick peas, lentils, garbanzos, pinto beans, etc)
Fermented food (prebiotics):
·      kimchi
·      sauerkraut
·      miso,
·      kefir
·      tempeh
·      asparagus
·      garlic
·      chicory
·      onion
·      bananas
So there you have it!  Start incorporating more of these foods into your diet, and be sure to eat a varied diet to get a bit of all nutrients and you will be off to a good start!

Vegetarian or Vegan Enchiladas- 5 minute

Super Easy Vegan or Vegetarian Enchiladas
Serves 4
Prep: 5 mins.
Cook time: 20 minutes
1 15 oz. can enchilada sauce, divided
1 15 oz. can vegetarian refried bean with green chilies(if can’t find with the chilies it’s ok)
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup frozen fire roasted corn kernels (I have found great ones at Trader Joe’s fyi)
shredded sharp cheddar or Mexican cheese mix of your choice, if using (can use vegan or no cheese if vegan recipe)
8 flour tortillas
1.     Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2.     Spread ½ cup of enchilada sauce in a baking dish
3.     In a mixing bowl, combine the refried beans, brown rice and corn
4.     Scoop a generous dollop of the mixture into 1 tortilla, add cheese if using,  and roll into a cylinder, folding the ends in as you go.  Place the tortilla into the baking dish, seam-side down.  Repeat with the remaining tortillas
5.     Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the tortillas, and bake uncovered for 20 minutes.
Adapted from “The 5-Ingredient College Cookbook” which I highly recommend!

Fun and healthy grilling ideas for July 4!

Healthy grilling ideas for July 4:
With July 4 upon us, here are some ideas for foods you can grill that taste great while keeping it healthy! 
  • Burgers: choose burgers that are grass fed and are at least 90% lean,
  • Alternative Burgers:   turkey burgers, salmon patties, and in addition there are a whole realm of veggie burgers now- Impossible brand, Beyond Meat, Morningstar farms, Boca, etc.
  • Chicken: You can marinate chicken breasts for at least one hour before grilling in olive oil, vinegar, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. 
  • Seafood:  You can also grill up most types of seafood- shrimp, salmon, tuna steak, etc.  Just spray with cooking spray and add a little Old Bay or Cajun seasoning for some flavoring.  (Shrimp would need to be in foil or a grill basket). 
  • Grains:  For grains, first of all, don’t forget the bun!!!!  You could also serve up some vinegar based potato salad (German potato salad)  and/or fresh corn, boiled. More options are quinoa, couscous or brown rice. 
  • Vegetables:  A grill tool that might be useful is a vegetable grill basket- you can throw a bunch of vegetables in there and throw on the grill with no worries about anything falling into the grill.  Or, you could just pick up or make a vinegar based coleslaw. 
  • Veggie kabobs are another fun way to grill vegetables- you can put cherry tomatoes, squash and any color pepper chunks on a kebab stick- spray with some cooking spray ahead of time and cook until slightly blackened.  (kids could even help put them on a kabob stick).  Another option is to wrap vegetables in heavy duty foil (after using cooking spray) and place on grill.In addition, serve with some fresh salad greens – and you have yourself a meal    Enjoy!!!!

Grilled Chicken Rosemary Lime recipe

Blueberry Muffins

Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins
Adapted From Scholastic Parent and Child Magazine
Makes 12 muffins
2 very ripe large bananas
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 pinch fine sea salt
½ cup brown sugar
1 ¼ cups buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil or melted butter
7 oz. blueberries, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp. raw brown sugar
1.   Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with muffin cases.  Peel the bananas and mash it in a bowl, using a fork
2.   Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and brown sugar together in a large mixing bowl.  Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk, egg, olive oil and bananas.  Quickly fold the ingredients together until just incorporated, taking care not to over mix. Tip in the blueberries and give the batter one or two stirs.
3.   Spoon the batter into the muffin pan and sprinkle with the raw brown sugar.  Each cup will be quite full.  Bake in the over for about 20-25 mins. until muffins are well risen and golden brown on top; a skewer inserted into the center of a muffin should come out clean.
4.   Let cool in the pan for a couple of minutes, then transfer it to a rack to cool completely.

Foods to Help Your Immune System

Here are some foods that might help power up your immune system

Disclaimer:  this post in no way is stating that someone will not get a virus, these are tips on things you can eat that can help you to be your healthiest:

To start, try having some of these foods more often:  garlic, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spinach.  These foods contain many vitamins and antioxidants to help you body to perform its best. Some even have possible anti cancer properties.   Also, foods rich in vitamin C such as oranges, clementines, strawberries, raspberries, bell peppers may help ward off sickness.  

In addition, adding Greek or regular yogurt to your food repertoire gives you probiotics- the yogurt helps to add good bacteria to your gut to help get rid of the bad bacteria.  

If you are vegetarian/vegan make sure to take vitamin B12 and a multivitamin

Make  sure to engage in some joyful movement- rather than calling it exercise, find something that allows you to move, and is something you like, as long as you are medically approved to exercise. 

These are just a few things you can start to do for your health!!!

Have a cold? Here are some ideas that can help

What to eat when you have a cold for vegetarian/non vegetarians:

As I am fighting a cold myself and I am sure many of you are since stuff is going around, I figured I’d offer some ideas:
·      Hot lemon tea with honey- honey is shown to have some antibacterial properties and can help with your cough, the warmth can hydrate you and soothe your throat
·      Chicken soup- can get sinuses flowing- If vegetarian any vegetable broth based soup can work as well
·      Spicy foods- cayenne pepper and the like can get your sinuses moving as well, therefore helping the duration of the cold (also may help dulled taste buds due to illness)
·      Oatmeal or hot cereal- can also be very soothing, get your sinuses going
·      Water, and more water!  Seltzer is fine also.  The important point here is to hydrate
·      Vitamin C- oranges, clementines, orange juice, strawberries- these all have it! -Helps with healing/shortening cold duration
·      Zinc- you can add zinc supplements as symptoms start for about 5 days.  Any longer and you run the risk of breaking down your immune system
·      Salads if you can tolerate- all the extra vitamins can help you!
·      Fruit- for same reason as salads.
·      Try the Outshine frozen fruit bars for some extra fruit/hydration to help soothe your throat. 
Hope some of these tactics work and that you feel better soon!


Holiday Help for Eating Disorders

Help!  The holidays are coming!!
Here are some quick tips to deal with the holidays if you have an eating disorder.
Are you concerned that you might receive food/body comments from others?   It’s unavoidable sometimes.  Practice role playing what you might say back to someone.  Also try and understand where people are coming from, for instance“you look healthy” might be translated to someone with an eating disorder as “you look fat”.  Please keep in mind that the eating disorder is known to distort this comment.  The person many times is saying it  because they do care about your health.
For many-time offenders (i.e., the relative who keeps telling you to eat more or eat less) see if you can speak to them before the event.  Many times people don’t even realize their comments are triggering.  They are helping out the only way they know how.  How about teaching them about how that comment makes you feel?  Many times the individual does not even realize that their comments are so upsetting.  You may want to try to  to talk to people before the event, in a calm fashion rather than at a holiday which might be quite stressful. 
“Aren’t you going to take any more food- you know you need to eat?” can be followed by an” I’m fine thank you”. “ I am following my meal plan, or I know when I have had enough to eat, thank you”.   The more you can put yourself in control of the situation , the better. 
Make sure you have lots of support- if there is someone you can call before or after the holidays and is a great support system for you- definitely reach out to them.  Also attend all support groups an/or therapy /nutrition that you usually would attend.  Even though you might be busier during the holidays your support group  or program can help you with some of the stressors that can occur. 
Try and focus on the company and the conversation, not just the food.  That is what the holidays are  supposed to be about right?  Being thankful for family and friends, and of course for ourselves. 


Probiotic guide

Hi everyone!  A colleague of mine sent me this great guide to probiotics.  


What to pack on a long car trip?

Going on a long car trip?  Not sure how/what foods to pack?

First of all, have a cooler large enough to fit one meal and snacks for your family.  Most importantly make sure to have a cooler ice pack as well.  

For lunches:  pack sandwiches to go- pb and j, deli sandwiches (turkey, cheese, lettuce, tomato); all on whole wheat bread.  Pack some fruit such as washed grapes and clementines (just have a trash bag ready also!).  

Other items I recommend packing so you don't fall prey to the convenience store items which are: a)pricey b) not always the healthiest are: 

Granola bars,  such as kind bars, Larabars, Cliff bars, Nature Valley protein bars, and trail mix.  Also, air popped popcorn is a good idea (Skinny 
Pop tastes great and is easy to pack), and pretzels.    Why not get some go-gurts for the car (no spoon required), or small drinkable yogurts.  Part skim mozzarella and cheddar cheese sticks are easy to throw in the cooler as well.  

Of course, everyone should have a non-disposable water bottle with fresh water.  

These snacks will keep you satisfied and well nourished for your trip!


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