Be Well Kitchen:
Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad Recipe

Quinoa Salad

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 large Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 large yellow summer squash, thinly sliced
  • 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped, plus more for garnish

Directions

1.    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2.    Spread pine nuts on a baking sheet; toast in oven until lightly toasted and fragrant, approximately 6 minutes. Set aside to cool.

3.    Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Rinse quinoa and add quinoa to the pot; return to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook until quinoa is tender approximately 15 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Set aside to cool.

4.    Meanwhile, heat a grill to medium heat. Toss Vidalia onions, zucchini and squash with olive oil, sea salt and pepper in a large bowl. Transfer zucchini mixture onto the hot grill in a single layer. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until tender. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl with the cooked quinoa and remaining honey, chili powder, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, and cilantro. Gently toss to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

5.    Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Posted by on Oct 15, 2014| 0 Comments

5 Tips for a Healthier Gut

Artichoke and Leek
By Be Well Health Coach Laura Kraber

Over 2000 years ago, Hippocrates declared that “all disease begins in the gut.” Yet it is only recently that modern medicine has begun to document the crucial role of the microbiome – the billions of microbes that live within us. Comprising over 70% of the immune system, recent research reveals the myriad ways in which intestinal health is aligned with overall health.

The gut is important for a multitude of reasons – nutrient absorption, symptom-free digestion, immune system support, skin conditions and even obesity and diabetes. Furthermore, preventing “leaky gut” guards against food sensitivities and allergies and potentially protects against autoimmune diseases.

As one of the prime innovators of gut health, probiotics help to re-balance gut flora and are an obvious supplement to add to your daily regimen. Here are five more steps you can take to support your gut health.

1.    Avoid Gut Irritants

Antibiotics top the list for impairing gut health, but other offenders include NSAIDs, birth control pills, alcohol, coffee, gluten, processed foods and stress. All of these can wreak havoc on our gut, undoing all the good work that a healthy diet and probiotic supplementation provide.

2.    Eat Prebiotic Foods

Plant fibers and the fructooligosaccharides found in onions, leeks, celery, artichokes, beans and asparagus, feed the friendly bacteria in the gut and nourish the gut.

3.    Drink Bone Broth

Full of gut-healing nutrients collagen and gelatin, bone broth has justifiably been a staple of the human diet for thousands of years. Learn how to make your own bone broth and incorporate it into your diet.

4.    Consume Fermented Foods and Beverages

Fermented drinks such as beet kvass and kombucha or foods including unpasteurized sauerkraut or kimchee contain billions of bacteria that nourish the gut and diversify your bacterial flora.

5.    Do a Cleanse

A cleanse is a great way to support the gut. A good cleanse should contain plenty of fiber to help “scrub” the colon as well as herbs to help kill off the bad bacteria and support healthy liver function. The Be Well Cleanse contains an antimicrobial herbal blend targeting gut health, which, in conjunction with the dietary program is a great starting place for gut-healing.

Posted by on Oct 14, 2014| 0 Comments

Banish the Blues: 5 Ways to Combat Computer and Tablet Blue-Light Sleep Disruption

Blue Light

Over the years, I’ve written frequently about how to sleep better, but for many people their ability to turn in earlier and totally tune out – as in lights out, blinds drawn and electronics off – seems to be declining. Blame demanding jobs where constant connection is virtually required, going to bed with an Ipad, or parents who need to hit the computer after the kids are tucked in. Whatever the reason, turning off the screens few hours before bed is becoming the impossible dream.

Problem is, all this exposure to light long after darkness falls messes with our circadian rhythms and interferes with the production and secretion of melatonin, the hormone that helps you sleep, supports immune function and lots more to keep you healthy. And while it may not seem like a big deal, over time all that sleep disruption and missed melatonin can put you at a much higher risk for metabolic syndrome, skin cancer, breast cancer, depression and a host of other health issues, so this is a lot bigger than just being a little tired.

Tablets and smart phones glow bright with blue light which fools our brains into thinking it’s still daytime and interferes with the release of sleep-inducing melatonin. So, when you’re parked in front of a screen at 10 pm, you’re probably going to have a tough time falling asleep an hour later when it’s time to turn in. If you’re not able to create a regular, electronic sundown, which I strongly advise you do, then at least change the way, you deal with blue light. Here are a few ways you can start taming the blue light beast:

1. Know the Enemy

Blue light during the day is quite useful, signaling to your body that it’s time to be awake, alert and go about your business. By night however, those alertness-triggering effects are considerably less welcome. How to gain the upper hand? Cut your exposure at night. Big sources of blue light? Computer screens, tablet screens, smartphone screens, TV screens and unfortunately, most energy-efficient lighting.

2. Level the Playing Field

At night the bright blue light of an Iphone or tablet will jack you up, wake your sleepy brain and get those neurons firing at a time when your body needs to be doing exactly the opposite. So the first step is to turn the brightness down as low as possible on all electronic devices after dark. With the brightness turned down, at the very least, you’ll be beaming less blue light directly into your eyes, particularly during the dark winter months when we’re more likely to spend hours indoors entertaining ourselves with screen-centric activities. Also consider adding blue light blocking screens to your desktop computer and tablet as well. Another way to cut the blue light? Consider switching some of the light bulbs in the house, particularly those in the bedroom, to sleep-supportive, amber or yellow bulbs, which transmit virtually no blue light and simulate a more restful candlelight glow. If you must use a night-light, switch that bulb as well to an amber one. If you’re looking for blue-light products you can start by taking a look at, Lowbluelights.com  which offers hundreds of items that can help.

Read the Whole Article

Posted by on Oct 13, 2014| 0 Comments

5 Tips To Successfully Navigate Your Grocery Store

Supermarket

By Be Well Health Coach Amanda Carney

Chances are, the foods you are choosing at the grocery store are making up a good portion of your diet, which means you should be doing your best to make your shopping experience a successful and healthy one!  Use these 5 tips to get the most out of your shopping experience and successfully navigate your grocery store with ease.

1. Plan Ahead

Grocery stores are filled with items packaged and advertised to make you want them, and if you show up without a plan, there is a good chance you will leave with some of these products.  To avoid overstocking your cart and choosing unhealthy food options, plan ahead by creating a detailed shopping list based on what you want to eat throughout the week (making a weekly menu can be really helpful).  Check out some of our favorite recipes for menu ideas.

2. Choose Real Foods

Leafy greens.  Raw nuts and seeds.  Organic meats.  These are real foods that come directly from nature. There is little to no processing involved, which allows you to reap all the benefits mother nature intended you to receive.  When choosing foods to put in your cart, consider how far they have come from nature; could you find them growing in a garden?  Or did they likely come from a processing plant?

3. Avoid Processed Foods

Processed foods often come with packaging and are not found growing in nature.  These foods usually contain harmful oils, nasty preservatives and hidden sugars (among other things) that do NOT do your body good.  Looking to the ingredient list is a great way to identify – and avoid – processed foods.

4. Read Ingredient Lists

Forget the white box of “nutrition facts” on the back of packaged products and look straight to the ingredient list!  This is where you can learn if a food product is wholesome or harmful, helping you to decide if you should include it in your cart or put it back on the shelf. Notice a long list of ingredients with words that are unrecognizable?  Put it back!  If your grandma wouldn’t recognize the ingredients then you shouldn’t be eating it!  Instead, choose products with short ingredient lists that contain all recognizable ingredients.

5. Stay on the Perimeter

The freshest foods (like produce and meats) are kept on the perimeter of the store, leaving all the processed junk in the middle aisles.  Avoid temptation all together and stick to the perimeter, only traveling to the inner aisles for specific items.

Posted by on Oct 10, 2014| 0 Comments

Anna Lappe on Marketing Food to Children

Author and activist Anna Lappe takes on the billion-dollar business of marketing junk food, soda, and fast food to children and teens. With diet-related related illnesses alarmingly on the rise, pervasive marketing of junk food to kids is downright dangerous. The food industry says its up to parents to raise healthy kids. Lappe agrees, that’s why she says leave parenting to her–and the millions of moms and dads trying to raise healthy kids. Learn about the dubious marketing tactics of the junk food giants and the ways you can fight back to promote kids’ health.

Posted by on Oct 09, 2014| 0 Comments

Be Well Kitchen: Harvest Vegetable Soup

Harvest Soup

By Be Well Health Coach Laura Kraber

As we settle into the cooler months of fall, a nourishing pot of soup simmering on the stove is a perfect way to welcome the season.  Soups and stews are ideal for evenings when busy fall schedules preclude sit-down family dinners: keep the soup warm, and its ready to eat when you are. Paired with a salad or side dish, a hearty soup makes a great dinner or is easily transported to work in a thermos for lunch.

Take advantage of what’s available at your farmer’s market and feel free to substitute ingredients according to what you have on hand or what looks good at the market. For deep nourishment, keep your homemade bone broth in the freezer to use as a base for your soups. If you don’t have bone broth on hand, an organic chicken or vegetable stock adds flavor and serves as broth.

Harvest Vegetable Soup (4 Servings)

  • 2 tablespoons grass-fed butter or coconut oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium or zucchini or yellow squash, diced
  • 3 tomatoes, 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, chopped, or 1 container of Pomi chopped or crushed tomatoes (750 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves (or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary (or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme)
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat the butter or oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until fragrant and translucent. Add the garlic, sweet potatoes, zucchini and herbs, and saute until golden brown. Once vegetables have softened and brown, after about 10 minutes, add the canned tomatoes and broth and simmer for about 20 – 30 minutes.

Season the soup with salt, and black pepper, to taste.

Posted by on Oct 08, 2014| 0 Comments

5 Simple Things Healthy People Do Every Day

Couple Exercising
By Be Well Health Coach Courtney Blatt

1. Include Greens at Every Meal

You will reap tons of health benefits from eating a variety of green foods. They happen to be the most nutrient-rich form of carbohydrate available to us in a natural form. They’re anti-inflammatory, cancer fighting and bone boosting, to name a few benefits. While incorporating greens at every meal might sound difficult, it’s quite easy with a little direction. Try adding leafy greens (such as spinach) to a breakfast smoothie, have a green juice at lunch and saute your favorite leafy green for dinner.

2. Get Exercise

We all know physical activity is great for our health, but also helps you feel better. It will clear your mind, take care of stress and give you energy. Doesn’t matter what you do, just keep trying different activities until you find things you like and it will quickly become part of your daily routine.

3. Plan Ahead

We live complicated and busy lives. As a health coach and mother of two little ones, people ask me how I find time to support healthy habits. Planning ahead is the key. It’s the the most effective discipline to leading a more vibrant and productive life. Plus, planning ahead significantly lowers your stress levels, which increases your happiness. Map out your weekly schedule on Sunday nights and include time for things like grocery shopping, cooking and classes you want to take at the gym.

4. Keep a Consistent Sleep Schedule

One common complaint we hear in the Wellness Center is fatigue. Most people are busier than ever, have erratic schedules and are starved for sleep. This causes a disruption to our internal body clocks which can lead to a number of health issues. Try creating a routine by getting to bed the same time each night. Start to wind down by shutting off your electronic devices 30 minutes prior to sleeping. You’ll be surprised how much this helps your overall wellness!

5. Make Time for Yourself

Give yourself time each day to do something you love, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Start by creating a list of 10-15 activities that make you happy. Make a pledge to do at least one thing from the list each day and it will change your life for the better.

Posted by on Oct 07, 2014| 3 Comments

Interview With Holli Thompson About Her New Book “Discover Your Nutritional Style”

Discover Your Nutritional Style

Dr. L: Its clear that you not only feel passionate about the process of one’s unique discovery, but that your understanding comes from a deep expertise. Can you say more about this?

Holli: One of the core beliefs and guiding principles in my practice is that food has a profound effect on how we feel long after we are done eating. Not only this, but every person is different and thrives on a unique diet.

Like you (and with you for that matter), I have worked with clients of varying degrees of health and circumstances from all around the world. This provided me the tangible proof of the profound ways each person’s diet impacts their life. I wanted to provide people with a beautiful, easy to “digest” and light-hearted guide for trying to live a healthier life without unnecessary restrictions and the overwhelm that can come along with a new dietary regime. 

Dr. L: And so “Discover Your Nutritional Style” was born! You bring up some hard to swallow truths in a gentle and fun way. Want to speak to that?

Holli: I am a big believer that people need to go through the journey of discovery of their personal “Nutritional Style” and then use it to design a diet and life they love. But yes, there are certain facts we need to hear (but often prefer to ignore), such as the fact that there are some foods everyone needs and others everyone would do better to avoid. I call them Bad Boys and Serial Killers. I don’t hold back when discussing this topic in my book.

Dr. L: How do you keep food and nutrition fun and fluid while raising children and also running a business?

Holli: Well, I am a big fan of optimizing each season of the year in order to make the most out of every day. This allows you to magically and deliciously add flavor and pizzazz to everything you eat, even making a pitcher of water feel like an indulgence. When you make healthy-living essentials a priority, not a requirement, living a healthier, cleaner lifestyle becomes instantly more approachable and accessible, to everyone.

Read the Whole Article

Posted by on Oct 06, 2014| 0 Comments

4 Foods That May Be Messing With Your Digestion

Alcohol
By Be Well Health Coach Jenny Sansouci

When it comes to digestive issues, it may seem like you’ve tried everything and you’re still experiencing discomfort. If that’s the case, one or more of these very common foods may be affecting your digestion. If you consume these things frequently, it could be helpful to remove them for a period of time and see if your symptoms clear up!

Nuts

We all love the convenience of snacking on nuts, the miracle of being able to bake grain-free treats with almond flour, and the decadence of nut butters. But nuts are hard for your body to break down, so if you overdo it, it can really take a toll on your digestion. Nuts are notoriously difficult to digest and can leave you feeling constipated, gassy and bloated if you have too many. If you’re a constant nut-eater and your digestion feels off, try a nut-free stint and see if things start to run more smoothly.

Eggs

Eggs are another one of those foods I’d never want to say is unhealthy – I think eggs can be the perfect food for people with a healthy digestive tract. They are packed with protein and are super convenient to eat.  For some people, though, they can be a great source of digestive distress. The problem arises if you have leaky gut – which means foods you eat can permeate your gut lining and enter your bloodstream. In this case, eggs can be a problem, as the protein in egg whites can sneak through your intestinal wall and cause stomach issues. If you have any type of digestive distress (bloating, gas, stomach aches etc) after eating eggs, try taking them out for a week or two and see if you feel better. To heal your gut lining, try GI Support.

Alcohol

Alcohol is one of those things that can cause digestive issues, but it’s often overlooked because it’s become such a daily habit for so many people. Alcohol can wreak havoc on your gut flora, killing off important bacteria that are necessary for healthy digestive function. This can cause stomach cramps, bloating, loose bowel movements and general digestive distress (not to mention it often goes hand-in-hand with poor decision-making around food). To rebalance your gut, try cutting out alcohol and adding in a good probiotic.

Coffee

Ah, everyone’s beloved coffee. Coffee is one of those things that nobody ever wants to take a break from because it’s so addictive. For many people, coffee isn’t a problem, but for people with chronic digestive issues it’s definitely something worth looking at. Drinking coffee can disrupt the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which is needed to digest food. Undigested food is associated with all kinds of digestive issues, including gas, IBS and bloating. Coffee can also irritate the stomach lining and lead to digestive discomfort like cramps, constipation, acid reflux and heartburn. If you’re a constant coffee drinker and you experience any of these digestive symptoms, try switching to yerba mate or green tea for your caffeine buzz.

Posted by on Oct 03, 2014| 2 Comments

USDA Busts the Myth That GMOs are “Needed” to Feed the World

Food Supply and Food Wasted

This article was orginally published on blogs.prevention.com.

A new report out of the USDA says that Americans throw away 133 billion pounds of food every year, or 31 percent of the total amount of available food. That’s over 4,200 pounds of food a second.

At the same time, the biotech industry says that we need genetically engineered crops to feed the world.

Need?

They must have not seen the most recent report out of the USDA that says that in the United States, 31 percent—or 133 billion pounds—of the 430 billion pounds of the available food supply at the retail and consumer levels went uneaten.

That is enough to almost feed the population of Texas.

The estimated value of this food loss was $161.6 billion using retail prices. For the first time, the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) estimated the calories associated with food loss: 141 trillion in 2010, or 1,249 calories per capita per day.

Do we need food, patented by chemical companies to withstand their chemicals, to feed the world?  Or do we need to figure out a smarter distribution model so that less real food goes to waste?

The USDA report can’t come as good news to the chemical companies peddling the PR story that we need GMOs to feed the world. It has been part of their positioning not only to farmers, but also to their shareholders.

Their position to shareholders and the public has been a posturing that without their products, we risk a global food shortage. It’s a smart marketing strategy as it creates demand for the chemical industry’s genetically engineered products, not only the genetically engineered seeds, but also the portfolio of weed killers, insecticides, fertilizers and other chemicals required to grow them.

But with the report out of the USDA, it appears that this PR spin is more likely to be more fear mongering by the chemical industry in an attempt to drive product adoption and increase revenue opportunities in the face of growing consumer rejection of these products.

Read the Whole Article

Posted by on Oct 02, 2014| 98 Comments