All posts by Susan


Whole-Food Thanksgiving Recipes – Whole Wheat Cornbread Muffins

Bread is an important part of any meal. Whole foods recipe for “Whole Wheat Cornbread Muffins” makes a splendid treat for any dinner table. It is quite delicious with an array of vegetables and can be used as turkey stuffing. The beginning of a healthy meal starts with nutrition and wheat muffins are rich in vitamins.

Wheat is filled with fiber and a good source of carbohydrates. Preparing this bread allows the cook to know exactly what is going into the bread. Filled with B vitamins, iron, zinc, magnesium, vitamin E and Phosphorus, these are good for the nervous system. It also reduces risk of constipation, heart problems and aids the colon system. People eating wheat grains have fewer heart problems. This is great news when eating a delicious dish.

When buying products the certainty of healthy ingredients, are questionable. However, when your hands prepare food, you know exactly what you are putting into your family’s stomachs.

1/2 cup of pastry flour (whole wheat)
1 ½ cup cornmeal
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground flaxseed
1-cup almond milk (unsweetened)
¼-cup honey
½-cup applesauce (unsweetened)
½ tsp. fine sea salt
1 cup of preferred nuts (pecans, walnuts, etc.)
1-cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

The oven is heated to 350⁰ for best cooking. Oil a muffin pan with healthy oil. Canola is preferred or spread baking sheets inside the pan and compartmentalize the paper. Note, coconut or rice milk can be used as a substitution for almond. This is just as good and allows a bit more variety in taste. Muffin pans have a variety of shapes. So, choose a pan that fits your cooking style.

First, whisk the dry ingredients together. Then mix almond milk, applesauce and honey together. Combine the wet ingredient into the dry corn bread mix. Blend thoroughly until fully mixed then place ¾ cup of ingredient into muffin cups or pour ingredient into a pan.

Cook muffins about 25 minutes or until done, this is easily checked with a tooth pick or cooking fork., Once muffins are done, the tooth pick or fork will have no batter showing. This bread is only 180 calories, working easily into any diet. Cooking at home saves money and these muffins are easy to put together. Cook them for yourself or for friends. One way to stay healthy, cooking “Whole Wheat Cornbread muffins” is a start on a delicious health giving meal.


Drinks That Can Ruin Your Diet

When you’re on a diet, it’s necessary to make sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids. However, you many not think that the Diet Soda you’re drinking or even the high sugar drinks that “look healthy” may be affecting how you lose weight and how much weight you lose. The vitamin waters that boast all of the healthy benefits but are loaded with sugars or the “skinny” latte coffee drinks that you think may not be so bad, really are bad.

Drinking any kind of soda is probably the absolute worst kind of drink you can drink when you’re trying to lose weight. There are absolutely no health benefits to drinking a soda and it does not hydrate your body by any means. In fact, it can dehydrate your body which will send your body’s response to retain water, which in return will add pounds to the scale and your clothes will not fit like they normally do.

If you’re trying to lose weight and want to be pro-active, the best kind of drink you can drink is water. Water hydrates the systems and allows the blood flow to every extremity in your body which is flooded with oxygen and begins to flush the toxins from your body. The general rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water. This will ensure that you are actively becoming hydrated and increasing your metabolism which will result in weight loss. If you want to drink more than half of your body weight, go for it! It will benefit you even more!

You will want to make sure you’re drinking a glass of milk also. The benefits of milk offer vitamin D and can also help make you feel fuller after a meal which can help you lost weight too. Milk will help you keep your strong bones and keep you healthy.

If you choose to work out, you will want to make sure you are drinking plenty of water and watch your sugar intake. Drinks like Gatorade have sodium in them, and drinks like Crystal Light may be calorie free, but contain aspartame, which has been proven to offer absolutely no health benefits.

So, if you don’t want to ruin your diet and you’re doing all of the right things by getting in plenty of exercise and eating right, you want to make sure you’re drinking plenty of water to fuel your metabolism and lose that weight!


Vegetarian Blogs You Need To Follow

Whether they are green, orange, purple or some other color, fruits and vegetables are healthy, whole foods commonly found in a vegetarian diet. Vegetarians eat an abundance of delicious foods but the defining aspect is that they do not eat meat. While there are a range of vegetarian diets, one can find many blogs to help with recipes to suit an assortment of tastes.

One exciting vegetarian blog is Cookie and Kate. Kate treats readers to tidbits of her life, mostly pertaining to food, while showing readers how to make delicious vegetarian recipes. Her narrative is interesting to read and her photographs of food are top-notch. In addition, she posts the ingredients and step-by-step instructions for each recipe so that the reader can print them out easily. She features recipes for every meal of the day. Additionally, she teaches how to make foods from a variety of cultures such as a Thai Red Curry and Greek Farro Salad. If you are looking for recipes with a specific item, she has many recipes grouped by ingredient such as “12 pasta dishes,” “12 pumpkin recipes,” or “20 Game Day Favorites.” This site was started in 2010 and is added to frequently therefore, many delicious options can be found.

Naturally Ella is another vegetarian blog site. This site has an abundance of food photos and limited narrative. Still, it shows the foods being prepared and the author does tell the reader about possible variations that can be made. She focuses on healthy, seasonal foods. For example a recent fall recipe was Pumpkin Pancakes. She also focuses on recipes that use mostly pantry items. Both of these aspects make the recipes economical and thus accessible to more people. Her blog does have printable text for each recipe, assisting readers with their preparation.

Post Punk Kitchen is the blog to follow for vegans who like something a little bit different. The recipes on this blog are fun and tasty but not your everyday fare. For example, Isa, the author, recently featured Breakfast Nachos, full of tortillas, potatoes, tofu, avocado and other vegan choices. Her Green Lasagna Roll-ups are another vegan twist on a popular favorite. Like the others, this blog showcases beautiful photos and printable recipes along with a good amount of narrative to help you become super excited about the recipes.

Vegetarians, like everyone, have different food tastes and needs. While you may find other vegetarian food blogs on the internet, these three sites are a spectacular sample that will provide a huge variety of choice for every palette. Cookie and Kate, Naturally Ella, and Post Punk Kitchen teach readers a wide variety of recipes while appealing to their aesthetics with the beautiful food photography.


So What Is Whole Food Anyway?

Who isn’t into health these days? If it is information that you are seeking then check out these whole food blogs for up to the minute health food advice.

The Healthy Home Economist is a must read blog that keeps the health conscience consumer aware about trendy new health drinks and much more. Just put your request into the search box and you will be rewarded with a plethora of articles on that particular subject. Punch in raw milk and you can learn from any of the 5 articles that come up. The Healthy Home Economist is featured in several well-known venues from Dr. Mercola’s Take Control of Your Health site to the New York Times.

The Healthy Green Kitchen is another blog not to be missed. Winnie Abramson is the developer and she talks about everything from recipes to e-books Abramson has it all.

The Whole New Mom’s Healthy Living is another great blog by a mother named Adrienne. All of her recipes are sugar free and mostly grain free. She also talks about personal care items which is more in demand these days. Adrienne even goes so far as to have a special tab for health concerns such as adrenal and thyroid. This is a very comprehensive blog which has something for every health conscious person’s needs.

Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free is another blog that health enthusiasts cannot miss. It is written by Amy Green. She shares her journey from being a fat child to becoming a healthy adult. Obviously she condemns sugar and gluten for her weight issues in her younger years. Amy offers decadent desserts that are sugar and gluten free, but taste amazingly delicious. She also talks about essential oils which have become the rage as of late.

The Food Renegade has a unique feature for a whole food blog. It lists a fairly comprehensive shopping guide that allows the consumer to locate quality vendors that offer whole foods and supplements.

101 cookbooks is another interesting whole food blog. This blog features a shop where you can purchase cooking ingredients and paraphernalia that might be needed to cook with. From pans to brushes to knives this site can save you time by offering everything anyone might need for their gourmet cooking needs. Another feature of this blog are the many genres of cookbooks offered. No matter if you’re looking for a certain ethnic cuisine or a healthy way to bake this blog offers it.


FAQs About Gluten-Free Foods

There is a lot of buzz now about gluten-free foods. Many people are confused about what gluten is and why they should avoid it. Here are some frequently asked questions about gluten-free foods.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a name for proteins that are found in cereal grains. This would include barley, rye, triticale and wheat. Gluten acts like glue in foods, helping to bind them together.

• Barley is found in beer, food coloring, malt, malt vinegar and soups
• Rye is found in cereals, rye beer and rye bread like pumpernickel
• Triticale is a cross between wheat and rye and is found in bread, cereals and pasta
• Wheat is found in baked goods, breads, cereals, pasta, roux, salad dressings, sauces and soups

What is a Gluten-free Diet?

A gluten-free diet consists of avoiding any food that contains gluten. This diet is difficult to follow and constitutes a big change. Fortunately, with the interest in gluten-free diets, many stores offer an array of gluten-free products. Foods allowed on the diet include fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, and many dairy products.

Some grains and starchy foods that contain no gluten are: amaranth, arrowroot, beans, buckwheat groats (kasha),cassava, chia, corn, corn meal, flax, gluten-free oats, millet, potato, quinoa, rice, sorghum, soy, tapioca, teff and yucca. You can find various flours that are gluten-free such as bean, corn, nut, potato and rice flour.

What is the Rationale Behind Adoption of the Diet?

A gluten-free diet is prescribed for people who suffer from Celiac Disease. It is an autoimmune disorder where gluten causes inflammation in the small intestines. When gluten is eaten, the body overreacts and attacks the small intestine. This can damage the villi which absorb nutrients. This means the body cannot receive the nutrients well.

One percent of the general population has Celiac Disease. Some people are sensitive to gluten but do not have Celiac Disease. They have a non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Many of them will go gluten-free or at least lower the amount of gluten in their diet.

What are the Health Benefits of Gluten-free Eating for the General Population?

Going gluten-free may reduce the chance of inflammation in other parts of the body, so if someone has issues with their joints, not eating gluten may ease their symptoms. Some people say avoiding gluten can give you more energy. There has also been reported a change in autistic children when placed on a gluten free diet.


Acai Berry: The Benefits of this Super Food


The Acai Berry is packed with fiber that helps us promote a healthy digestive system within our body. Fiber has been linked to benefits such as lowering the risk of colon cancer, eliminating harmful toxins from the body, and ultimately improving overall health. According to the American Cancer Society, over 49,000 colon cancer deaths have occurred in the year 2015 alone. Although these patients suffer from a multitude of problems, this number is indicative of the lack of fiber in our diet today.

In unison with lowering cancer risk, the increased fiber intake can help us lose weight with consistent consumption. Much of the excess weight we carry is accumulated through improper digestion of foods from our dietary choices. When we introduce the fiber into our system, our digestive system operates more efficiently and thus promotes weight loss. If you’ve tried to lose weight but can’t seem to get results, try using a fiber-rich diet program.

Heart Health

The Acai berry is rich with anthocyanins which help create a healthy heart within the individual who consumes this fruit. The anthocyanins act by lowering the bad cholesterol contained within the blood of the individual. By lower this unwanted cholesterol, we can help fight back against harmful problems that may arise in the heart.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease reigns as the leading cause for death in the United States alone. The impact of heart disease is a global issue that does not discriminate against age, gender, or location. By using the Acai berry in our diet, we can lower the chance that we will experience heart disease related issues as we grow older. Furthermore, the Acai berry can help improve our overall circulation by creating a powerful heart in which to pump blood. The increased blood flow will aide other organs to operate at an efficient level.


Last but not least we benefit from inflammation reduction. When we use Acai berry, we lower the amount of inflammation and irritation contained within our body. By doing this we can expect benefits such as lowering of pain, reduced aching within our joints and ligaments, and an overall boost to well-being.

If you or a loved one are suffering from chronic pain within your body, introduce Acai berry. This super food will promote a healthy and pain free lifestyle.


Pros and Cons of Vegetarianism

There are pros to being a vegetarian. Being a vegetarian has the advantage of improved health, protection of the environment and animal rights. A vegetarian is someone who eats a plant based diet. Vegetarian diets work because the diet contains two essential classes of nutrients, which are minerals and organic nutrients. Minerals are elements in the periodic table, and organic nutrients are made by plants. Essential for human health, organic nutrients are synthesized by plants and micro-organisms. Human health is based on consuming photosynthesized glucose, which is a plant leaf that takes inorganic matter and transforms it into glucose first. From the glucose, essential nutrients are developed such as amino and fatty acids and vitamins such as ascorbic acids, biotin, beta-carotene and folic acid to mention a few.

Practically speaking, there are a few things that you should not eat as a vegetarian. It is important to be careful not to eat too many dairy products. It is common to substitute cheese for meat. You should try not to eat too much cheese, because too much cheese is not healthy. Excessive use of processed fake meats is problematic. While the processed fake meat is delicious, the food is processed, and processed food is not healthy.

There are cons associated with vegetarianism. A significant problem is not eating enough essential food nutrients. It is necessary to monitor what you eat to assure that you are getting enough nutrients. Vegetarians must study food nutrients and associated vitamins that are necessary for good health. Not getting enough nutrients can negatively affect your health.

Recent research has demonstrated an increase of approximately 39 percent incidents of colorectal cancer. This research conflicts with other research, and it is necessary to do more research. A possible reason for the increase in colorectal cancer is that vegetarians are not eating sufficient fruits and vegetables. They may have replace carbohydrates for meat, and carbohydrates do not supply the necessary vitamins and nutrients. Other research has demonstrated lower bone-mineral density (BMD) in vegetarians. It is suggested that vegetarians may not consume enough quantities of protein, calcium, iron and vitamin D. Another risk associated with vegetarianism is that blood tests find lower B12 in vegetarian’s blood. B12 is essential to convert food into energy, utilize iron in the blood and produce red blood cells to name problems. Blood tests also find lower lever of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for cardiovascular health.


Eating Right and A Healthy Lifestyle

Genetic factors are out of your control and can contribute to your health, but creating a healthy lifestyle can help postpone or even eliminate predisposed risk factors such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, joint disease, heart problems and mental and emotional disorders. So what exactly does it mean to live a healthy lifestyle?

Eat Right

Diets rich in fiber nutrient whole grains, such as whole grain pasta, brown rice and oatmeal and lean proteins like lean red meat, skinless chicken and fish helps control your weight and reduces many health risks such as cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. Compliment your healthy diet with fresh vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy products and good, unsaturated fats such as nuts and olive oil.

Engage in Physical Activity

Individuals who live an inactive lifestyle are at a greater risk of developing health problems such as increased weight, blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol. Participating in moderate physical activity at least 25 hours a week can improve the value of your life and extend your lifespan. Aim for activities you enjoy.

Make Peace with Yourself

Accepting yourself is important to a happy, healthy lifestyle. Self acceptance/self esteem is the pride people feel in themselves, the value they place on themselves and how worthwhile they feel. Self acceptance is important, because it controls how you act.

Do Not Smoke

Smoking damages many organs in the body and increases the risk of stroke, diabetes and heart attack. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking is the #1 cause of preventable death in the US, resulting in over 480,000 deaths every year. Kicking your smoking habit can improve your health.

Drink in Moderation

Keeping your alcohol consumption within moderation can also improve your health. Some long term effects of excessive drinking includes depression, cancer, cardiovascular problems, gastritis and anxiety. Women should enjoy no more than one drink a day, and men should enjoy no more than two drinks a day.

Control Stress Levels

Stress can not be completely avoided, however, learning how to deal with it properly can hinder it from having a negative effect on your life. Stress can have a number of negative effects on your health including erratic sleep habits and physical pains. To combat stress, take steps to limit unnecessary stress, practice encouraging self talk and take time to indulge in activities you enjoy. Devote a portion of each day to meditation and relaxation to help manage the stress of the day.

Whatever your fitness level, age or size, it’s never too late to start living a healthy lifestyle. Slowly improve your health in small steps each day. As you conquer one goal, add another and another and so on. You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish in one year.


Eating To Heal Your Body

For all illnesses it is important to stay hydrated. Water is the best for that. Some foods help as well. Consider some common illnesses like stomach upset, cold viruses, influenza, and migraine headaches.

An upset stomach, with diarrhea and/or vomiting may cause a sense of hunger, but eating right away will worsen symptoms. When symptoms have finally stopped, then begin replenishing your body.

Besides small sips of water, drink weak tea. Add lemon and honey to help your body recover some electrolytes. The “BRATT” diet is recommended for intestinal disorders. That is Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Tea, and Toast (without butter or jam). Clear soups help, but not cream soups. Choose chicken soup or beef broth. Ginger ale helps settle the stomach. When symptoms remain gone, go back to a regular diet.

Colds and other viruses are very common. Symptoms may be coughing and congestion. Fresh fruits, especially kiwi and pineapple help alleviate a sore throat caused by sinus drainage. Herbal teas such as those with slippery elm help the throat as well by coating it. Hot spicy foods such as salsa or horseradish reduce congestion. Milk products increase mucus production for some people. Build your immune system with fruits, vegetables and lean meats especially. Chicken soup with vegetables and garlic helps as well. Broccoli and cauliflower as well as other cabbage family are high in nutrition.

Influenza causes a high temperature and lots of perspiration. Drink cool drinks, such as watered down fruit juices to replenish the minerals you lose when sweating and to cool your body. Iced drinks may bring on the chills so avoid those. To recover eat plenty of protein foods. Lean meats and chicken, and the proteins found in beans, nuts and low fat dairy help to recover strength.

The frequency and duration of migraines seems to improve with anti-inflammatory foods. Foods rich in calcium and magnesium are also beneficial. Fruits and vegetables help fight dehydration which is a migraine trigger for some migraine headaches. If you suffer from migraines be sure to eat cherries and beets for anti-inflammatory properties, and all types of melons as well as other fruits increase hydration as well as restoring electrolytes. These foods increase hydration and provide magnesium, calcium and potassium to help your muscles in your scalp and neck relax.

Eat healthy foods to improve health when you are sick and help prevent illness when you are well.


Two Sides Of Raw Food Diet: The Good And Bad

Shifting into raw food diet can have both good and bad effects to your health. Food is an essential part of everyday life, and it’s important for anyone to read more about this before making this major move. Below is a summary of both the pros and cons of raw food diet.

1. Raw food eliminates that risk of harmful radicals released on cooked food. For example, oil heated beyond smoke points can release toxic chemicals, and charring meat can produce carcinogens.

2. Removes processed or refined ingredients in your diet. You don’t have to worry about checking labels for how much trans-fat and sodium content each food has. This is why most people who have diabetes and heart problems can benefit greatly in eating raw food.

3. Promotes healthy digestive system. Raw food diet is mainly composed of fruits and vegetables which are rich in digestive fiber. This natural digestive sweeper can cleanse your digestive tract for better absorption of nutrients.

4. One of the most common feedback messages received is that people notice they have more energy and feel lighter when they shifted to raw food. This is mainly because of high fiber intake, which cleanses the gut. As a result, even with small servings of food, your stomach and intestines can absorb more nutrients into your bloodstream. Your internal organs and skin then receive more macronutrients, vitamins and minerals to function better than before.

5. In terms of economics, buying raw food from local markets promotes sustainable living and development. There will be less dependence on imported food products and fast food chains that serve unhealthy food.
Risks on Raw Food Diet
Not all greens are healthy for everyone. This is why you should consult your doctor first before your start a raw food diet. If you have weak thyroid health, eating superfoods like kale, broccoli, cabbage and brussel sprouts can cause more harm than good. These vegetables are rich in goitrogens which can cause thyroid disorders.

One of the many problems in raw food diet is contamination and harmful toxins. One should read more about preparation methods of raw food. Depending on the source and how your food is handled, salmonella, E. coli and other harmful bacteria can cling easily on raw food.

Raw potato skin is very toxic especially when it turns green. It has a chemical defense system that protects itself from predators, when handled it releases solanine toxin which can hallucinations, fever, paralysis, coma and death. Spinach, chives and parsley also contain oxalic acid, that when eaten raw, can cause irritations on your skin and digestive tract. Although we can defend that spinach is rich in iron, cook it first to reduce the effects of oxalic acid.

Nutrient deficiency is also common on raw food diet. Contrary to the notion that eating fruits and vegetables and raw food will give you ample supply of nutrients, many people often find out that they have symptoms of vitamin D, iron and calcium deficiencies. Many find it hard to increase muscle mass and cope with high intensity activities due to lack of protein and essential fatty acids, which is mostly present on meat.