Greek Yogurt Pops

imageGreek Yogurt Pops
Like your favorite treats at any local summer festival stand, food seems to be more exciting when it’s served on a stick. Think of this whimsical and chilly treat like a smoothie on a stick. If only there was a way to deep fry it…at least this recipe is much healthier than deep-fried ice cream candy bars.

Greek Yogurt Pops

INGREDIENTS:
2 containers (5.3 oz or 150 g each) vanilla Greek yogurt
2 cups (500 mL) frozen berries
1 cup (250 mL) milk
12 3-oz (90 g) paper cups
12 wooden sticks

DIRECTIONS:
Process 2 containers (5.3 oz each) of vanilla Greek yogurt, 2 cups of frozen berries and 1 cup of milk in the Manual Food Processor until coarsely puréed. Pour into 12 (3-oz) paper cups and freeze until slightly set. Insert wooden sticks then freeze until solid.

Yield: 12 servings

Refreshing Drinks

Loving My Shaker in this hot weather. I seldom leave home without it!

Heading out in the car, to the office, to a doctor’s office, out to the pool area (where glass should be prohibited), to ball practice and games, it’s a great tumbler to have along….Double wall construction minimizes condensation and quickly chills beverages without causing the exterior of the Shaker to become cold. The lid has a silicone seal, preventing liquids from leaking or dripping while shaking and pouring. Frosted dots add a unique decorative touch.

So whether it’s to be filled with your water, favorite tea or powered drink, the shaker will keep it cool and refreshing. Martini’s, it’s great for those too! If you would like 1-8, let me know. I can help you have these by the pool this summer or in the office to keep your water or beverages cold & practically spillproof.

 

Strawberry Tea/Drink

Using a mini mix ‘n chop, muddle or mash the strawberries in the bottom of a glass. Fill with lemonade, sparkling water, or iced tea for a refreshing drink.

Kiwi-Mint Julep Recipe

Combine two tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 cup hot water in a 2 -cup prep bowl. Let this mixture cool for a few minutes. In the manual food processor, combine the mixture above, 3 peeled & quartered kiwis, 2 oz bourbon (optional), 3 tablespoons of frozen limeade and 8 fresh mint leaves (2 tablespoons). Blend (pump the manual food processor) until coarsely pureed. Pour over ice and garnish with mint(optional). Makes 2 cocktails.

Raspberry Lemonade

1 (12 oz) can frozen raspberry lemonade concentrate, 3 cups water, 3/4 teaspoon lime juice, 1 (12 oz) can or bottle lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage, 1 cup crushed ice, 1 cup fresh raspberries(garnish), 18 mint leaves as garnish(optional)

In a large punch bowl, combine raspberry lemonade concentrate, water and lime juice. Stir in lemon-lime soda and crushed ice. Garnish each glass with a fresh raspberry and a mint leaf.

Yields: 18 (4 oz) servings

Pink Martinis
Ingredients:
1 cup (250 mL) ice cubes
1/2 oz (15 mL) grenadine
4 oz (120 mL) Southern Comfort® (70 proof)

2 oz (60 mL) light rum
3 oz (90 mL) pineapple juice
2 oz (60 mL) sweet & sour mix

Directions:
Place ice in Shaker. Measure remaining ingredients into Shaker, starting with grenadine.
Secure lid and jigger on Shaker. Shake 10-15 times or until desired drinking temperature is reached. Remove lid from Shaker; pour into glasses.
Yield: 2 servings. Nutrients per serving: (about 3/4 cup): Calories 310

Fresh Mango Margaritas!

2 large mangoes, peeled and cut into wedges
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup mango nectar
4 limes (divided)
1 tbsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups ice cubes divided
2 oz tequila , divided
mango and lime slices

1. For mango puree, finely chop mango wedges using food chopper. Place mangoes, sugar and water into batter bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 2-3 minutes until sugar is dissolved and mixture is hot.
2. Pour mango mixture into strainer over classic batter bowl. Press using classic scraper. Add enough nectar to mango puree to measure 1 1/2 cups. set aside. Juice limes to measure 1/2 cup . (Reserve one for the juiced lime halves).
3. Place salt onto appetizer plate. Rub cut ends of reserved lime half around edges of four dots martini glasses; dip glasses into salt. Fill shaker with half each of the ice, lime juice, puree and tequila. Secure lid on shaker and shake vigorously until chilled. Garnish with mango and lime slices….

Fresh Herbs, Veggies, & Chardonnay

Fresh sliced garlic, fresh tomatoes, fresh basil and Chardonnay combined together with pasta creates an aroma and taste at home, as if you were sitting in an upscale Italian restaurant.  Using the Pampered Chef’s newest cookware, the Rockcrok, you can have a delicious one pot meal in about thirty minutes. The Rockcrok is an awesome addition to your kitchen as it is safe to be used on your stovetop-flat,electric, or gas; oven; broiler; grill-gas or charcoal; refrigerator; microwave;and freezer. Excellent cleanup as it is dishwasher safe!

Grilled Chicken Penne al Fresco

Ingredients: 2 tablespoons olive oil, 4 garlic cloves, peeled, 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, 3 cups uncooked mezze penne pasta, 3 cups chicken broth, 3/4 cup dry white wine such as Chardonnay, 1/2 tsp each salt and coarsely ground black pepper, amd 1 & 1/4 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves, divided. 1 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup packed), 2 cups diced grilled chicken breasts.  Additional grated fresh Parmesan cheese and coarsely ground black pepper (optional)

In the Pampered Chef’s Rockcrok Dutch Oven, pour in your olive oil, slice garlic thinly using garlic slicer, add tomatoes. Cover and microwave on HIGH 4-5 minutes or unti tomatoes begin to burst, stirring after 2 minutes. Cut up tomatoes using the salad choppers. Add the pasta, broth, wine, salt and black pepper. Return the covered rockcrok back to the microwaveon HIGH 16-18 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring after 10 minutes. While that is cooking, coarsely cut fresh basil with a knife and grate your cheese. Carefully remove the Rockcrok from the microwave and remove the lid, liting it away from you. Add the basil, parmesan cheese and grilled chicken cubes to the Rockcrok. Mix thoroughly using a nylon spoon. Add additional Parmesan Cheese and black pepper, if desired to individual bowls. Yields: 8 servings.

Cold Weather, A Snowman, and Hot Chocolate

So many of my friends received some snow in the past couple days, while others just received the freezing rain or colder temperatures than normal. Please be careful as you’re out and about. Bundle up, stay warm and remember whether walking or riding, there could be patches of ice, especially in shaded areas.

For my friends with snow, while helping your children or the children in the neighborhood build a snowman, you might discuss the “meaning of the snowman”~copied (author not known, on a cute snowman given to me), sharing about God in a very fun and natural way.

The Meaning of  the Snowman

The white snow represents God’s forgiveness of our sins.

The  circular snowballs show the everlasting life God promises us.

The carrot nose shows us that God has given us the Earth and all living things.

The black coal mouth reminds us to give God praise.

The scarf keeps us warm, just as God’s love does.

The top hat reminds us to honor God above all things.

The twig arms are open to hold us the way God does when we need Him.

After building the snowman, join together for some hot chocolate that doesn’t take tending to every minute. Put it in before going out for your FUN in the snow and return to a crock pot filled with some delicious chocolate!

 

Snowflake Hot Chocolate
ingredients:
6 cups milk
2 cups heavy/whipping cream
1 bag of white chocolate chips
real whipped cream for topping
Directions:
Cook milk, cream, and chips in crock pot for 2 hours- serve hot with whipped cream on top.
Bon Appetit!

Fat Flush Soup—adding 20 grams of protein to diet per meal

I’ve had so many people to ask me about the great smelling soup I have been taking to school for lunch and/or talked about while out and about. It’s easier to post the article with the recipe than retype the entire recipe—the bolded and parenthesis ingredients are what I used to make my variation of the soup.

This soup if eaten as per instructions is intended to help flush fat from the body. I decided to try it once a friend said she tried it while back and forth at the hospital with her husband in rehab, not eating the soup as instructed but eating it as she could. She did lose some weight but more importantly, her cholesterol was getting high, and with this soup, it came down.

It’s hard to believe a soup high in protein that’s suppose to be good for you, can be delicious. I was even afraid to taste it, but to my surprise, it was delicious. If you’re a vegetarian, no problem. There’s a sentence that tells you what to add or delete, too.

           A personalized plan to target your stubborn fat stores by  Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS                                                   ——copied(modified ingredients in bold & parenthesis)

fat-flush-soup.jpg

Based on my original Fat Flush soup recipe, a “new and improved” Fat Flush Soup Diet is back — right in time for the 2012 (2013) weight loss season! The mouth-watering recipe — with delicious variations — was originally featured as a cover story in a major national women’s magazine and we have been receiving rave reviews from all over the country ever since.

A wonderful meal in a bowl, the basic soup recipe contains hearty and warming veggies, beans, and lean protein with spices like cumin, cayenne, cilantro and fresh garlic to seriously boost flavor appeal and enhance cleansing power. Really perfect for a spring cleaning boost!

All you have to do is savor the soup twice a day—preferably at lunch and dinner — with a small salad or bowl of steamed non-starchy veggies. Throughout the day, sip on herbal teas (dandelion or peppermint tea), lemon and water, plain water or unsweetened cranberry juice with water (1 ounce of juice to 7 ounces water) so that you are consuming at least 64 ounces of liquid daily.

Start the day with a protein rich breakfast in the morning. I would personally suggest a smoothie made with brown rice and pea protein powder (20 grams of proteins per serving) to help kick-start glucagon, the protein-based hormone that mobilizes fat from storage. Or choose any of the easy protein-packed breakfasts, you will find in Phase 1 of my book, The Fat Flush Plan.

(Of course the protein you consume must be healthy — organic if possible — and not pumped up with hormones or antibiotics.) Critical to both phases of liver detox, this star performer is equated with beauty since our skin, hair, and nails are 98 percent protein. Protein helps make the powerhouse antioxidant glutathione; creates vital enzyme to zap toxins, and maintains energy levels. Protein is essential for weight loss because it can produce the pancreatic hormone known as glucagon which accesses stored body fat for energy. And since the body can’t store protein, it is so very essential that we get the right amount daily (at least 20 grams per meal) — which is what the soup provides! Having low protein levels increases our desire for carbs (like sugar) which contribute to a rise in insulin — the fat promoting hormone.

The filling, high fiber beans — either pinto, garbanzo, or black — contain anywhere from about 10 –20 grams of fiber per serving, which will help regulate blood sugar and sweep toxins out of the system by fulfilling the 35 fiber grams per day dietary recommendation.

—-for fat loss, going to eat this once, but then eat another meal with 20-25 grams of protein)

2012 Fat Flush Soup–bold and parenthesis is how I cooked mine.

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds lean ground beef, turkey or chopped chicken*
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large red, orange and/or green pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large zucchini or yellow squash, chopped (3 medium ones in a package)
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped (4 cloves)
  • 1 bottle (46 ounce) reduced-sodium tomato or vegetable cocktail juice
  • 1 can (15 ounce) pinto, garbanzo or black beans, rinsed and drained(i used i can of each-pinto&black beans)
  • 1 can (14 ounce) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice(juiced a lime and saved the rest for another soup-stored in frig)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin 
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 cup each fresh cilantro and parsley leaves, chopped (1/4cup of each chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric
  • I found it helpful to use my Pampered Chef manual food processor to chop the ingredients so they were ready at each phase of cooking. With the manual processor, I processed til chopped, not pureed.
  • when it suggests water, i added only 1/2 cup
  • I also added a medium carrot chopped when it was time to add the veggies.

*For vegetarian option, omit meat and add another can of beans.

  1. In a (used my 12 qt. Pampered Chef stockpot, but you could use one 8 qt) saucepot over medium-high heat, cook oil 30 seconds or until heated. Add beef, turkey or chicken. Cook 5 minutes or until cooked through, stirring occasionally. Remove from skillet; drain, if desired.
  2. In same saucepot, cook onions, peppers, zucchini, mushrooms and garlic 5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in next 6 ingredients and cooked meat. Add up to 1 cup water to thin soup, if desired. Cover; bring soup just to a simmer (do not let boil). Reduce heat to medium-low. Let simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cilantro and parsley. Cover; let simmer 5 minutes more. Garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese, if desired. Soup can be stored up to 5 days in the refrigerator or frozen.

Serving size:
2 to 3 cups (makes 10 to 12 cups) But the basic soup recipe goes on to the next level by individualizing weight loss and recommending very special ingredient “add-ins” that address the top four weight gain triggers most commonly experienced by frustrated dieters: a sluggish thyroid, burned out adrenals, a toxic liver, and yeast overload.

Soup Tweaks—(reasons added or changed/modified original recipe)
What has made this Fat Flushing soup especially popular is that you can tweak the basic recipe to speed weight loss if you are a thyroid type and are tired, constipated, depressed or experience extremely dry skin; an adrenal type and are frequently stressed, crave salt, and lightheaded; a liver type, plagued by headaches and bloat; or are fending off yeast and are constantly craving carbs and have frequent GI distress.

Mix and match the various recipes and eat the soup that is designed to quell any of the symptoms you may be experiencing. All the tweaks blend beautifully together!

 

  • To boost the thyroid, simply add two teaspoons of seaweed gomasio to provide thyroid nourishing iodine. Also add 1 cup of potassium-rich zucchini.
  • For adrenal healing, add 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt for added adrenal-supporting sodium and also add 4 to 5 cups of escarole and spinach for extra rich magnesium content.
  • To help detoxify the liver, add 1 teaspoon of turmeric which is a potent anti-inflammatory that enhances the liver’s ability to filter toxins.
  • And, for those fighting Candida or other types of yeast and fungus, consider substituting 1/2 cup grated daikon (a white radish) for the mushrooms — which can increase yeast in sensitive individuals. Double up on the yeast-fighting garlic (4 cloves) and add a small peeled and chopped eggplant which is rich in antifungal nutrients.

 

If you are ready for a fresh start, but not sure how to begin, then my specialty soups and tailored supplements may be just what you need. It’s so easy because the soup can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days or frozen ahead.

Spice up your life a bit, and enjoy all of those super health benefits!

These 10 powerful spices help to control blood sugar, reduce inflammation, boost your metabolism, aid fat loss, and reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease
Every time you flavor your meals with herbs or spices you are supercharging your food without adding a single calorie. You can transform something ordinary and bland into something truly extraordinary tasting and good for your body, just by generously adding herbs and spices to your meals.Did you know that certain herbs and spices contain a wide variety of some of the most potent antioxidants of any food? In fact, many herbs and spices rank even higher in antioxidant activity than many fruits and vegetables, with some spices such as cloves, turmeric, and cinnamon having as much as 10-50x more antioxidants measured by ORAC value (on a weight to weight comparison) compared to blueberries.

The benefits of the antioxidants in spices include some very powerful protection against many serious diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s, and overall aging.

Herbs and spices add tons of extra flavor, and when combined with the nutrition in other foods, they actually exponentially boost the natural antioxidants, phytonutrients, and anti-inflammatory power of the food.

Besides the super antioxidants, herbs and spices can also:

  • Aid Fat Burning and Boost Metabolism – many herbs and spices are thermogenic, which means they naturally help to increase metabolism, partly because they are so nutrient-dense.
  • Help Stabilize Blood Sugar – Some spices are also good at regulating blood sugar and controlling insulin–even as good as some diabetic drugs! When your blood sugar is well controlled, you are more likely to burn fat and not store calories as excess weight.
  • Powerful Anti-Inflammatory Properties -Scientific studies show that herbs and spices can actually work as well or better than some medications at calming inflammation without the negative side effects of isolated drugs.
  • Anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal – Many herbs and spices contain properties that effectively kill dangerous pathogens like viruses, bacteria and stubborn fungi. The natural properties in these foods work against many microbes that are resistant to conventional medications.

Here are 10 of the most potent superfood herbs and spices you can eat:

1. Basil – Basil is a very effective anti-inflammatory herb with extraordinary healing benefits that work for arthritis, allergies, and inflammatory bowel conditions, to name a just a few. In addition, basil helps kill harmful bacteria that cause food poisoning including: Listeria, Staph, and E. coli O:157:H7.

Basil is also an excellent source of beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant that prevents free radical damage. Free radical damage is the primary cause of heart disease, cancer, and many other serious health conditions, as well as aging. Because of its dark green color, it is an excellent source of vitamin K, calcium and magnesium, which is good for the bones. It is also a great source of iron, manganese, vitamin C and potassium.  Use both fresh basil and dried basil generously in your foods to maximize it’s benefits.

2. Cinnamon – This ancient spice has one of the highest antioxidant levels of any spice.

Cinnamon is highly effective at helping to stabilize blood sugar levels, making it very effective for those with diabetes (type 1 and type 2). In one study of people with type 2 diabetes, just two teaspoons a day reduced blood sugar as much as 20-30%, as well as lowering LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Cinnamon also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and helps relieve pain and stiffness in muscles and joints, including arthritis. Cinnamon has a positive effect on brain function, and smelling cinnamon, or chewing cinnamon flavored gum, can possibly help improve memory and attention. Cinnamon also reduces inflammation in blood vessels that leads to atherosclerosis and heart disease, as well as having antifungal and antibacterial properties.

3. Cayenne – This hot spice not only heats up your dishes, it heats up your body and raises your metabolism, helping you burn fat faster. And an interesting research study showed that when a person consumed an appetizer with red pepper flakes, they ate 15% less food. And for those of you who avoid cayenne because you think it bothers your stomach, cayenne pepper is actually healing to stomach tissues, it stimulates digestive enzymes, and helps prevent stomach ulcers.

Cayenne reduces LDL blood cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and decreases the formation of harmful blood clots, all of which prevent heart attacks and strokes. And, cayenne is a very effective anti-inflammatory and pain remedy for everything from headaches to arthritis and sore muscles, as well as clearing nasal congestion and boosting immunity.

Try cayenne in your morning eggs, in soups, stews, chili, or meatloaf for a little metabolism boosting spice!

4. Cloves – Cloves have a unique sweet and spicy flavor, but also contain powerful natural medicine. Cloves have strong antiseptic and germicidal ingredients that help fight infections, relieve digestive problems, and arthritis pain. One of cloves’ best known uses is its ability to relieve tooth and gum pain.  Cloves have been measured as having THE highest antioxidant level (ORAC value) of all spices and herbs.

The oil in cloves kills bacteria and is very effective when applied to scrapes, cuts, fungal infections, itchy rashes, bites, burns, or bruises. Cloves also help digestive problems like gas, indigestion, nausea and vomiting, and eliminate harmful parasites, bacteria and fungus in the digestive system. And the smell of cloves helps to encourage mental creativity too.

Cloves can be a great healthy addition to hot teas.

5. Cumin – Cumin is another spice that is especially high in antioxidants, but cumin is known for being especially good for digestion. It stimulates the gallbladder and pancreas to secrete enzymes and bile that break down food into usable nutrients your body can use. Cumin also helps detoxify the body, and is highly effective for respiratory disorders like asthma and bronchitis.

Cumin, like cinnamon, helps keep blood sugar levels stable, which means cumin is great for diabetics or pre-diabetics, and it means less chance of weight gain and excess body fat. Cumin has been proven to work as well as some commonly used diabetic drugs at regulating insulin and glycogen. Cumin is also a very good source of iron, vitamin C and vitamin A, which benefit the immune system.

Cumin goes great in chili!

6. Turmeric – Turmeric’s yellow-orange pigment, curcumin, is the main active ingredient in this super spice. Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory benefits are actually comparable to drugs like hydrocortisone and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines like Advil and Motrin. But, unlike the drugs, curcumin is not toxic at all.

Curcumin is more effective slowing down the development of Alzheimer’s disease than many medications, because it decreases inflammation and oxidation in the brain. This spice also speeds up the recovery time from strokes as well. Turmeric and its active ingredient, curcumin, are also highly effective against diseases like irritable bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s, and arthritis. Turmeric also improves liver function, lowers homocysteine and prevents heart disease.

Most importantly, turmeric is one of the most potent anti-cancer spices that helps protect you.  Turmeric and it’s derivatives are currently being studied in alternative cancer treatments.

Try this trick:  Using black pepper along with turmeric (I use this combo in my eggs every morning) helps to increase the absorption of turmeric’s curcumin in the body.

7. Rosemary – Rosemary contains active ingredients that are potent antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory agents. Rosemary has long been known to improve concentration, boost memory, and lift depression. Rosemary also strengthens the immune system, improves circulation, stimulates digestion, and fights cancer, as well.

Rosemary is highly effective for respiratory problems including asthma, chest congestion, and respiratory infections. While rosemary adds a delicious savory flavor to meat dishes, it also helps digestion by stimulating the gallbladder to release bile as well. Rosemary will protect your body against harmful carcinogenic toxins and prevents colon cancer, stomach, breast, and lung cancer.

Fun fact: If you’re going to grill meats, marinating meats for hours beforehand in liquid mixtures that contain rosemary and other herbs/spices can dramatically help to reduce HCA’s (heterocyclic amines), which are carcinogenic compounds that can form when meats are grilled.  So using rosemary, thyme, garlic, oregano and other spices in a meat marinade before grilling meats can drastically reduce any carcinogens that normally would form on grilled meat.

The antioxidants in rosemary and thyme from a marinade were specifically cited in studies at being powerful inhibitors of HCA formation when grilling meats.  But it was also noted that other spices such as garlic, oregano, and others can help to prevent HCA formation as well, so I suggest using a variety, which tastes great anyway!

One more important point about grilling meat: Remember that the more well-done a meat is cooked, the higher concentration of carcinogenic HCA’s can form, so rare, medium-rare, or medium are healthier choices than well-done.  I’ve never understood why anybody would want to ruin a good steak by burning it to oblivion anyway.  But hey, if you’re one of those folks that likes your steaks well-done, just remember that you’re eating a lot more carcinogens than a steak that’s cooked less, so make sure to load up on your antioxidants (spices, teas, berries, etc) to help combat those extra carcinogens.

Washing down your barbequed meal with a glass of unsweetened iced tea (rich in antioxidants) and also a good salad with lots of raw veggies can provide the antioxidants needed to counteract the effect of HCAs in your body from grilled meat.

By the way, even charring vegetables on the grill creates different carcinogens such as acrylamides, so don’t think that the negative effect of charring only applies to meats.

8. Ginger – Ginger is VERY powerful for your health!  Ginger contains over 25 different antioxidants, which makes it extremely effective at fighting free radicals in many different body systems. Ginger is best known for its ability to reduce nausea and vomiting, as well as motion sickness. In fact, ginger may even be more effective than Dramamine, one of the most common drugs used for motion sickness. And because ginger does not have harmful side effects like many drugs, it is very good for nausea from pregnancy. Studies actually show that just 1 gram of ginger before surgery is more effective than the standard anti-nausea medication given for post surgical nausea and vomiting.

Ginger is also a soothing remedy for sore throats from colds and flu because of its antiviral properties. Ginger also helps coughs and is an effective expectorant. Try a tea made with hot water simmered with a few slices of ginger and a small amount of honey and lemon for a soothing tonic when you are sick.

Because ginger is such a strong anti-inflammatory, it helps reduce the pain and swelling of arthritis, and muscle aches. Ginger also fights cancer, reduces cholesterol, and prevents blood clots that lead to strokes or heart disease.  I like to use a slice of ginger root in my hot teas sometimes, in our batches of iced teas, and of course, I love piling ginger on top of sushi!  I take a couple capsules of ginger daily since it’s not as frequently used in dishes as some other spices.

9. Oregano – This herb contains an oil that is a very potent anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral agent, rosmarinic acid (also found in rosemary).   Oregano oil has been used to treat a wide range of conditions from bacterial and viral infections, to parasites and stubborn fungal infections. Although the oil of oregano is most often used for medicinal purposes, the herb itself can provide many of the same benefits when consumed regularly.

Oregano also relieves inflammation, internal or external, and can offer relief from allergies, aches and pain, without side effects.  Oregano is very high on the ORAC scale of measured antioxidant value.

10. Thyme — Thyme’s active ingredient is known for treating bronchitis, sore throats, chest congestion, laryngitis and asthma. Thyme is so effective it is often an ingredient in cough drops and mouthwashes to treat inflammation and infections. Thyme is also effective as a soothing stomach aid to relieve gastritis, indigestion and colic.

Thyme helps prevent cancer, improve memory, treat Alzheimer’s, calm the nerves, and alleviate depression, nightmares, and insomnia. An interesting new discovery about thyme shows that it actually boosts the amount of DHA (an important ingredient in omega 3 fatty acids) in the brain, heart and kidney cells.

Here are some other health benefits of some of the most popular herbs and spices:

  • Rosemary, turmeric, ginger and basil are powerful anti-inflammatories.
  • Cumin, turmeric, and sage help fight dementia.
  • Cayenne, cumin, coriander and cinnamon help to regulate insulin and blood sugar, aiding fat loss.
  • Lemon grass, nutmeg, bay leaves and saffron have a calming effect.
  • Garlic, mustard seed, hawthorne, and chicory are excellent for the heart.
  • Basil and thyme help your skin become softer and smoother.
  • Turmeric, garlic, basil, cinnamon, thyme, saffron, garlic and ginger boost the immune system.
  • Coriander, rosemary, cayenne, allspice and black pepper can help banish depression.

    There are 3 specific spices that I personally believe are so powerful that I try to take them in daily capsule form as well, since they may not always be used in my daily meals… and those are:

    Turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger. They’re very cheap in capsule form too.  I usually take 2 capsules per day of each of these spices unless I use large amounts in certain dishes like a curry dish for example.

    Spice up your life a bit, and enjoy all of those super health benefits!

  • Note: Always check with your physician to be sure certain herbs and spices don’t interfere with medications you may be taking–and check with your doctor before you quit any current medications.
  • ~~~copied from Fat Loss Factor Newsletter
  • Grilling and Carcinogens

    If you love a good barbeque, you must read this article below by my friend and Nutrition Specialist, Mike Geary .  It shows you some really important info about carcinogenic compounds that are found in that grilled meat that we all love.  But don’t worry, Mike also shows you the exact trick you need that eliminates these cancer-causing compounds while still enjoying your barbeque!
    NEVER Grill Meat, Unless You Do This
    by Mike Geary, Certified Nutrition Specialist
    Author of Best Seller:  The Truth About Six Pack Abs

    Most people aren’t aware that when you cook meat (whether it’s grilled, broiled, or seared) there are carcinogenic compounds that can form called HCA’s (heterocyclic amines).  Now don’t panic…you ingest various carcinogens all the time, even with some vegetables. You can always protect yourself with more antioxidants.

    Please Note: When you cook meat in a water base as opposed to grilling, broiling, or searing, you eliminate the harmful HCAs. So for example, meats cooked in a soup, or meats cooked in a crock pot will not have the problem of the carcinogenic HCAs and is a healthier way to cook meat.

    But let’s face it… grilled meat tastes awesome and there’s no way I’m giving up my grass-fed steak from the grill, or my grass-fed burgers!

    That’s why it’s important to know that there’s a way you can use spices to both counteract, and also drastically reduce the carcinogens formed when you grill meat…

    Here’s the trick:

    If you’re going to grill meats, marinating meats for at least several hours beforehand in liquid mixtures that contain rosemary and other herbs/spices can dramatically help to reduce HCA’s (heterocyclic amines), which are those carcinogenic compounds that can form when meats are grilled.  It appears that the highly potent antioxidants in these herbs prevent HCA formation.  So using rosemary, thyme, garlic, oregano and other spices in a meat marinade before grilling meats can drastically reduce any carcinogens that normally would form on grilled meat and give you a healthier meal, that’s also very tasty!

    The antioxidants in rosemary and thyme from a marinade were specifically cited in studies at being powerful inhibitors of HCA formation when grilling meats.  But it was also noted that other spices such as garlic, oregano, and others can help to prevent HCA formation as well, so I suggest using a variety, which tastes great anyway!

    One more important point about grilling meat:

    Remember that the more well-done a meat is cooked, the higher concentration of carcinogenic HCA’s can form, so rare, medium-rare, or medium are healthier choices than well-done.  I’ve never understood why anybody would want to ruin a good steak by burning it to oblivion anyway.  But hey, if you’re one of those folks that likes your steaks well-done, just remember that you’re eating a lot more carcinogens than a steak that’s cooked less, so make sure to load up on your antioxidants (spices, teas, berries, etc) to help combat those extra carcinogens.

    Washing down your barbequed meal with a glass of unsweetened iced tea (rich in antioxidants) and also a good salad with lots of raw veggies can provide the antioxidants needed to counteract the effect of HCAs in your body from grilled meat.

    By the way, even charring vegetables on the grill creates different carcinogens such as acrylamides, so don’t think that the negative effect of charring only applies to meats.

    Hey, we all love a great barbeque, so no need to give that up just because of HCAs or acrylamides, but at least now you know how to counteract the effects of these in your body to protect yourself, and also how to use spices to drastically reduce the formation of HCAs on grilled meat!

    Enjoy that next barbeque in a healthier way!
    ———–
    All the best,


    Dr Charles
    Team Fat Loss Factor



    Cran-Raspberry Fizz

    Cran-Raspberry Fizz

    Cran-Raspberry Fizz
    This simple beverage takes just minutes to make. Let the sorbet stand at room temperature as you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
    Ingredients:
    4 limes, divided
    1 can (12 ounces) frozen cranberry juice concentrate
    3 cups cold water
    1 pint raspberry sorbet, softened
    2 liters (8 cups) chilled ginger ale
    Directions:
    1. Slice two of the limes using Ultimate Mandoline fitted with v-shaped blade; set aside. Pour cranberry juice concentrate and water into Family-Size Quick-Stir® Pitcher.
    2. Juice remaining limes into pitcher using Citrus Press. Scoop sorbet into pitcher using Ice Cream Dipper; plunge to combine. Add ginger ale and lime slices. Plunge gently until well mixed. Serve over ice.

    Yield: 16 servings

    Nutrients per serving: Light: Calories 130, Total Fat 0 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrate 34 g, Protein 0 g, Sodium 15 mg, Fiber 1 g

    Cook’s Tips: If desired, 2 cups flavored vodka such as raspberry, cranberry, currant, citrus or lime can be added to this recipe.

    To garnish rims of glasses, zest one lime using Microplane® Adjustable Grater. Combine lime zest and 1/2 cup sugar in Prep Bowl. Place a small amount of sugar mixture onto Simple Additions® Appetizer Plate. Rub rim of glass with lime wedge to moisten. Dip rim of glass into sugar mixture.

    For a simple garnish, using Zester/Scorer, score a lemon and zest a lime; thinly slice using Ultimate Mandoline. Make a cut to the center of each lemon and lime slice using Petite Paring Knife. Garnish each glass with one lemon slice and one lime slice.

    Shared by a Pampered Chef  Consultant—thank you!

    Bananas

    Bananas…
    As soon as bananas get more ripe than you like, peel them, break them into big chunks, throw them into a
    freezer bag and into the freezer. Then, whenever the urge for a smoothie strikes, you are prepared.

    Fresh Citrus?

    Fresh Citrus?

    The recipe calls for freshly squeezed citrus. How many do you need to purchase at the market?

    The following measurements should come in handy on your next visit.
    An average size lemon and lime have about 1/4 cup of juice and and an average orange has 1/3 cup of juice.

    Don’t forget to zest it first….zest adds “ump” to the recipe.

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