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The Naturopathic Chef: Cowboy Cavier

This recipe adds an amazing fresh note to grilled meats and is an easy snack on the go. Pack a ziploc with a small container of “caviar.” Put the chips and napkin in, too. You’ve got yourself a little cowboy survival kit. I wipe the crumbs out of the bag and reuse. Clean eating and a clean planet! 

apples

The Naturopathic Chef: Apple Pie Monkey Bread

I receive many requests for Monkey Bread by my breakfast lovers but it never had that “wow factor” I look for in a dish. The recipe originated in Hungary and serves as their traditional coffee cake. Dried fruit and nuts are added to the original recipes with the Americanized version tasting more like a Cinnamon roll.

Here, we capture the first signs of Fall with beautiful Gala and Granny Smith apples. No time to peel and chop apples? My time-saving tip: chunky applesauce!

Ingredients

  • 1 tube Flaky Biscuits, I use Immaculate Baking Company
  • 1 each Gala Apple, peeled, cored, and diced into small cubes
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple, peeled, cored, and diced into small cubes (place apples in Lemon water; White Vinegar works, too)
  • ½ stick Butter, unsalted (or Vegan Butter)
  • ½ tsp Vanilla
  • pinch Salt
  • ¼ cup Monk Fruit Sugar
  • ¼ cup Organic Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon

Glaze

  • ½ cup Organic Powdered Sugar
  • 2 tsps Milk of your choice
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp Lemon juice
  • Whisk until smooth, set aside

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

*Butter an 8×8 glass baking dish.

*Do not use a dark baking pan as the sugar will burn.

Make your assembly line

Cut each biscuit into 4 pieces; pile on a plate. Melt butter in a small bowl and stir in vanilla and salt. Stir sugars and cinnamon together in a separate bowl. Drain apples.

Ready to assemble

Spread half of prepared apples on the bottom of baking dish. Dip a few pieces into the butter and then into the sugar/cinnamon. Place in baking dish at different angles and gently press together and down. Continue layering process until your biscuit puzzle is complete. Top with remaining apples, and a light dusting of the sugar/cinnamon mix.

Bake 22 minutes or until peaks start to get dark. Allow to cool 10 minutes and invert on serving plate. Cool another 5 minutes and pour glaze over top. Garnish with toasted or candied nuts.

Handy Hints – Need this now?

  1. Butter a loaf pan. Leave biscuits whole, dip in butter mixture then sugar/cinnamon and stand biscuit on its side alternating with unpeeled apple slices. This makes a pull-apart loaf.
  2. Instead of prepping apples; stir chunky applesauce into butter. Coat biscuit pieces as usual. Pumpkin puree is also a great choice, here. Use Pumpkin Pie Spice instead of Cinnamon. Voila! A Pumpkin Pie Monkey Bread, perfect for your holidays.

Phyto Facts

Conventional refrigerator biscuit dough contains hydrogenated oils that confuse hormone receptors, clog the vascular system and have been shown to cause Gallbladder and Liver challenges. Some commercial dough softeners have been shown to cause both Kidney and Liver cancers.

Immaculate Baking Company doesn’t use these chemicals in any of their products.


Get more great recipes from Tina Martini — her book, Delicious Medicine: The Healing Power of Food is available to purchase on Amazon. More than a cookbook, combining 20+ years of experience, along with her love of coaching, cooking and teaching, Tina offers unexpected insights into the history and healing power of clean eating, along with recipes to help reduce your risk of disease and improve overall wellness so you can enjoy life!

Affectionately referred to as The Walking Encyclopedia of Human Wellness, Fitness Coach, Strength Competitor and Powerlifting pioneer, Tina “The Medicine Chef” Martini is an internationally recognized Naturopathic Chef and star of the cooking show, Tina’s Ageless Kitchen. Tina’s cooking and lifestyle show has reached millions of food and fitness lovers all over the globe. Over the last 30 years, Tina has assisted celebrities, gold-medal athletes and over-scheduled executives naturally achieve radiant health using The Pyramid of Power: balancing Healthy Nutrition and the healing power of food, with Active Fitness and Body Alignment techniques. Working with those who have late-stage cancer, advanced diabetes, cardiovascular and other illnesses, Tina’s clients are astounded at the ease and speed with which they are able to restore their radiant health. Tina believes that maintaining balance in our diet, physical activity, and in our work and spiritual life is the key to our good health, happiness and overall well being. Visit her website, themedicinechef.com

heart-stethoscope

Body Fat Promotes Heart Disease

Risk factors for heart disease – elevated LDL cholesterol, hypertension, elevated triglycerides, inflammation, and blood glucose – are all exacerbated by excess body fat, and overweight/obesity itself is considered a risk factor.1-3

Is it beneficial to be a little overweight?

However, there has been controversy about a potential “obesity paradox” in heart disease: the idea that some amount of excess weight either does not pose any risk or is even protective. Unfortunately, the studies that suggest there may be a protective effect of body fat are often the ones that get more news coverage; but this does a disservice to an already overweight and nutritionally misguided public, allowing them to believe that excess body fat won’t harm their health.

Is there really an obesity paradox? Or is it just that BMI is not a good measure of body fat?

Many of these studies have used body mass index (BMI), however BMI, which only takes into account height and weight, is not an accurate indicator of body fatness. BMI does not distinguish between fat mass and lean mass, nor does it take into account fat distribution (visceral fat vs. subcutaneous fat). Many people whose weights are within the “normal” BMI range are still carrying excess fat.

There has been no evidence providing a convincing explanation of how excess fat could possibly provide a cardiovascular advantage.  Plus, there are numerous medical conditions may cause unintentional weight loss, including depression, anxiety, autoimmune diseases, cancers, and digestive disorders. In the elderly especially, a low BMI may be an indicator of muscle loss and frailty rather than an indicator of a healthy low level of body fat. In short, people who are thinner are not necessarily healthier.

Relationship between body fat and heart disease: using better measures than BMI

A new study  is helping to clear this issue up,4 in a cohort of almost 300,000 people in the UK (age 40-69) who were followed for an average of 5 years. Their first analysis puts the optimal range of BMI for heart disease prevention at 22-23 kg/m2. It was a “J-shaped” association, meaning risk rose both above and below the 22-23 range. But the researchers went further. They used multiple measures of body fatness to get a more accurate picture: waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, waist-to-height ratio, and percent body fat.

Ultimately, what the researchers found was that using BMI produces different results than the other indicators. BMI was the only one that showed an increase in risk at the low end (<18.5 kg/m2). When they excluded smokers and participants with pre-existing diseases, the increase in risk associated with low BMI almost disappeared.  The more accurate measures of body fatness – body fat percentage, waist circumference, waist-to-hip-ratio, and waist-to-height ratio – showed a clear trend: more body fat, greater risk.4

More body fat, greater cardiovascular risk

The researchers concluded that the obesity paradox observation mainly occurs due to confounding effects of disease and other factors on BMI, and that the “public misconception of a potential ‘protective’ effect of fat on CVD risk should be challenged.”4

As discussed above, a low BMI is often an indicator of disease, rather than an indicator of a healthy weight resulting from healthful eating. The standard American diet (SAD) is fattening. If someone is eating the SAD and is not overweight, there is likely something wrong.

Lose weight permanently on a Nutritarian diet

The dramatic weight loss-promoting effect of the Nutritarian diet contributes to cardiovascular protection. A 2015 study published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine analyzed and reported weight loss results provided by 75 obese patients who had switched to a Nutritiarian diet. The average weight loss was 55 pounds, and very importantly, they kept the weight off. None of these respondents had gained back the lost weight after three years.5

Reprinted with permission from Dr. Fuhrman.


Dr. Fuhrman is a board-certified family physician specializing in nutritional medicine. He is President of the Nutritional Research Foundation and the author of 6 NY Times bestselling books, including The End of Heart Disease.  Visit him at DrFuhrman.com

References

  1. Coelho M, Oliveira T, Fernandes R. Biochemistry of adipose tissue: an endocrine organ. Arch Med Sci 2013, 9:191-200.
  2. Tchernof A, Despres JP. Pathophysiology of human visceral obesity: an update. Physiol Rev 2013, 93:359-404.
  3. Benjamin EJ, Blaha MJ, Chiuve SE, et al. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics-2017 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association. Circulation 2017, 135:e146-e603.
  4. Iliodromiti S, Celis-Morales CA, Lyall DM, et al. The impact of confounding on the associations of different adiposity measures with the incidence of cardiovascular disease: a cohort study of 296 535 adults of white European descent. Eur Heart J 2018:ehy057-ehy057.
  5. Fuhrman J, Singer M. Improved Cardiovascular Parameter With a Nutrient-Dense, Plant-Rich Diet-Style: A Patient Survey With Illustrative Cases. Am J Lifestyle Med 2015.
brain-food

4 Tips to Eat Better To Protect Your Memory

When it comes to aging better, better nutrition is your better weapon because it gives the body the resources it needs while reducing intake of items that irritates and overwhelms. Better nutrition comes from making better not perfect choices more often. So what are those and how can you enjoy them – after all, with age we’ve earned enjoyment, right?!

Did you know that adults (~60-85) with dementia who had more frequent intake of persistent pesticides had worsening cognitive function?[1] It makes sense – both for those with dementia and those seeking to avoid it – as these pesticides irritate, overwhelm and disrupt the body from efficient and effective work, daily. Overtime, eating foods or applying products that contain these pesticides or pesticide residues impact the body’s ability to function better. Thus, there is real value in assessing your diet, supplements, and skincare to see how you do on one of the core 4 principles of better nutrition: quality.

Years ago, I became a Qualitarian and according to research, aging adults should too! Being a Qualitarian means that you focus as much on the quality of what goes in and on your body most often as you do on the other nutrient factors as well as on the source. Here are a few key tips to help you improve the quality of your intake more often.

1. There’s No Perfect Nutrition

But there is better nutrition and it comes from making better not perfect choices more often. That means that you do not need every choice to be organic, but your top foods, supplements, and skincare should ideally be organic more often.

2. Whole Is Better Than Pieces & Parts

Today there are a lot of ways to get in nutrients but not all of them deliver better nutrition. For example:

  • Packaged foods that are made of refined ingredients – pieces and parts like “flour” “protein isolate” “Nonfat” or “syrup” – that then have fortifications like minerals, vitamins, and probiotics present nutrients but not in the form or balance of nutrient found in whole, minimally processed foods.
  • Packaged foods that have whole foods but also have added nutrients – those added nutrients are less likely to be in a form found in food, or presented in balance with other nutrients the way they would be in food.

3. Some Assembly Required

Let’s be real, we often need nutrition fast, but this doesn’t mean compromising on the nutrition quality. By assembling ingredients – like spreading almond butter on a pear, or popped corn onto which you add olive oil, a pinch of sea salt and toss in a serving of hemp seeds – rather than purchasing a ready to eat item like a fruit and nut bar or flavored pre-popped or microwave popcorn – you get better nutrient balance, can monitor quantity better, and can make your choices full of better quality nutrients from whole foods.

4. Get Enough Coq10

Read about this nutrient that is critical to healthy aging, including brain health and memory.

Want help making better not perfect choices more often to support healthy aging? Join The Better Nutrition Membership and get real support (from me) and unlimited access to exclusive members only content including tools to help you assess your current nutrition, keep what’s already working, and better tools to help you act better not perfect more often.

Originally printed on ashleykoffapproved.com. Reprinted with permission.


Ashley Koff RD is your better health enabler. For decades, Koff has helped thousands get and keep better health by learning to make their better not perfect nutrition choices more often. A go-to nutrition expert for the country’s leading doctors, media, companies and non-profit organizations, Koff regularly shares her Better Nutrition message with millions on national and local television, magazines and newspapers. Visit her website at ashleykoffapproved.com.

 

[1] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412014003250

woman-walking-dirt-road

Restoring Health: A Lifestyle Rx

America is in bad shape. According to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), 60% of adults are living with one chronic disease and 40% have two or more.(1)  Astoundingly, 12% of adults are living with 5 or more chronic conditions(2) including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, coronary obstructive pulmonary disease and hypertension. A concept people need to understand is that these diseases can be prevented, managed and even reversed with lifestyle choices.

Today, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown a bright light on how our level of health can literally be a matter of life or death. A study of thousands of patients hospitalized with the novel coronavirus in the New York City area found that 94% had one chronic disease and 88% had two or more. The most common conditions included hypertension, obesity and diabetes.(3) In May of this year, the CDC reported that people with an underlying chronic illness had six times the risk of being hospitalized and twelve times the risk for dying.(4)

Boost Health & Immunity

Now is the right time to take small steps to improve health and build immune resilience with daily lifestyle choices. While there isn’t one diet, exercise regimen, or stress-relieving technique that is good for everyone, there are principles to follow that can boost health and vitality at any age.

There is a huge misconception that our genes determine our health destiny. This simply isn’t true. The study of epigenetics shows that we have the ability to change the expression of our genes by the way we think, feel, move and eat.(5) Each of our daily decisions and choices can increase or decrease inflammation in the body, moving us towards disease or back to health.

Acute & Chronic Inflammation

Our immune system uses the ancient, biological pathway of inflammation to protect us against injury and infections.(6) When you cut your finger, immune cells are sent to kill invading bacteria and begin the process of wound healing. This is acute inflammation that goes away in days or weeks when the body is healed.

One the other hand, chronic inflammation lasts a long time, from months to years.(2) It’s basically an abnormal immune response that causes damage to cells, tissues and organs. Oxidative stress plays a big role; it occurs when more free radicals are produced within cells than the body can neutralize.(2)  As you can imagine, when more damage occurs than can be repaired, health problems crop up.

It is now widely accepted that chronic inflammation is at the root of most, if not all, chronic conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, cancer, arthritis and joint disease.(2)

Lifestyle Matters

The good news is that deliberate and healthier lifestyle choices can prevent, manage and even reverse chronic inflammatory disease, the most important cause of morbidity and mortality facing people today.(7) It’s empowering to know that if you have, or want to prevent a chronic disease, you can regain your health and vitality by choosing real whole foods, optimizing sleep, reducing stress, being social, and moving more.

You may be thinking, “How the heck can simple lifestyle decisions address the complexities of chronic conditions?”  The body has an innate ability and intelligence to heal itself. You experience it each time you cut your hand; you wash the wound, put a bandage on and don’t have to think about it.

The research also supports it and I have lived it; by utilizing the power of lifestyle medicine I was able to restore my health from the ravages of chronic Lyme disease. You just need to provide the right environment for healing. This is not an easy task, but it can be done with time, effort and a plan.

Taking Action

Changing your lifestyle habits can feel overwhelming. To help you embrace this challenge, think about this analogy, “How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time!”   Any healing journey begins with awareness, learning and exploration; then gradually taking action, one small step at a time.

Start today by exploring lifestyle behaviors that decrease inflammation and can put your health back on track so you can live with less pain, more energy, and greater vitality. A lifestyle prescription to restore health includes:

  • Reducing stress with deep breathing.
  • Getting good quality sleep by going to bed and rising at the same time.
  • Eating a plant-based diet rich in a rainbow of vegetables.
  • Hydrating with filtered water in the morning and during the day.
  • Nurturing relationships and engaging with positive people.
  • Moving well with good posture when performing daily activities and exercise.

Be proactive, make one hour a week to learn more by reading books, researching on PubMed.gov, listening to podcasts, attending lectures and webinars so you can find the strategies and practices that work best for you. As you begin to feel better, you will naturally be motivated to continue learning and making better lifestyle choices because healthy feels so good!

Learn more about restoring health with lifestyle practices!

Register now for Cate Reade’s webinar on this topic. This webinar will give a basic overview of the principles and practices of why and how lifestyle choices can help prevent, manage and reverse chronic conditions.


Cate Reade, MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian, Exercise Physiologist and Functional Medicine Practitioner candidate on a mission to improve functional mobility and health span utilizing the power of lifestyle medicine. She has been teaching, writing and prescribing healthy eating and exercise programs for over 25 years. Today, as CEO of Resistance Dynamics and inventor of the MoveMor™ Mobility Trainer, she develops exercise products and programs that target joint flexibility, strength and balance deficits to help older adults fall less and live more.

 

References

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/index.htm
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493173/
  3. https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/nearly-all-nyc-area-covid-19-hospitalizations-had-comorbidities-67476
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/Novel_Coronavirus_Reports.html June 19, 2020
  5. https://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/epigenetic-influences-and-disease-895/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6345337/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23974765/
Infection of alimentary canal

The Cops & Robbers of Cancer

One of our favourite games as kids is now one of the most powerful determinants of sickness or health – the cops and robbers in our intestinal tract – better known as “good bacteria” or “bad bacteria”. Over the last ten years, the function of our “gut microbiome”, is finally gaining the research and respect that it so deserves.

Green-Goddess-dressing

The Naturopathic Chef: Southwest Green Goddess Dressing

The fresh, herbacious flavor of the original Green Goddess dressing inspired a Southwest version I used for my cafe menu. Today, it remains a client favorite. Perfect for a veggie platter and grilled seafood. The dressing is pictured here on a Southwest Caesar with grilled Mahi.

Summertime is the season for fresh herbs. If you don’t like cilantro, flat-leaf parsley works well.

Dressing

  • ¾ c Grapeseed Oil Mayo
  • ¼ c Grapeseed Oil
  • 1 clove Garlic, peeled, trimmed, and smashed
  • 2 Tbls Pumpkin Seeds
  • 2 Tbls Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbls Cotija Cheese
  • 1 freshly roasted Anaheim Chili, peeled and seeded, or two tablespoons of canned mild chilies
  • 1 bunch Cilantro, cleaned and stemmed
  • ½ tsp each Salt and Pepper (Cotija Cheese is salty, be sure to taste along the way)

Place all ingredients up to cilantro into a blender. Process until smooth. Add cilantro in thirds to keep the bright color. Over-processing heats the dressing and can cause the herbs to lose their vibrancy.

Phyte Facts

You may read negative commentary about Grapeseed oil. It is high in polyunsaturated fats making it susceptible to over oxidization. In other words: don’t deep fry with Grapeseed oil. However, cold-pressed GSO is beneficial due to a very little known polyunsaturated fact. When the PUFAs are ingested, our immune function goes to sleep for a short period (I know this sounds bad but…) this allows a very special heart mending action to take place. Once the “work” is done, our immune function wakes up and everything resumes. GSO also assists in the removal of plaque built up in the arteries. It’s higher in vitamin E, than Olive Oil, and binds the water we drink to our tissue keeping us thoroughly hydrated.

All veggie oils are processed and should be kept to a minimum. A little goes a long way!

The remainder of the ingredients are definitely Delicious Medicine, with Cilantro heading up the foods with phyte. Apigenin will someday be the cure for Ovarian Cancer, says Harvard School of Medicine. This phytonutrient is also a major player in the reduction of inflammation and anti-aging science.

 


Get more great recipes from Tina Martini — her book, Delicious Medicine: The Healing Power of Food is available to purchase on Amazon. More than a cookbook, combining 20+ years of experience, along with her love of coaching, cooking and teaching, Tina offers unexpected insights into the history and healing power of clean eating, along with recipes to help reduce your risk of disease and improve overall wellness so you can enjoy life!

Affectionately referred to as The Walking Encyclopedia of Human Wellness, Fitness Coach, Strength Competitor and Powerlifting pioneer, Tina “The Medicine Chef” Martini is an internationally recognized Naturopathic Chef and star of the cooking show, Tina’s Ageless Kitchen. Tina’s cooking and lifestyle show has reached millions of food and fitness lovers all over the globe. Over the last 30 years, Tina has assisted celebrities, gold-medal athletes and over-scheduled executives naturally achieve radiant health using The Pyramid of Power: balancing Healthy Nutrition and the healing power of food, with Active Fitness and Body Alignment techniques. Working with those who have late-stage cancer, advanced diabetes, cardiovascular and other illnesses, Tina’s clients are astounded at the ease and speed with which they are able to restore their radiant health. Tina believes that maintaining balance in our diet, physical activity, and in our work and spiritual life is the key to our good health, happiness and overall well being. Visit her website, themedicinechef.com