Page 1

GOING CRACKERS: HEALTHY CHOICES FOR SNACKING. page 8

eat | think | thrive

Pow(d)erful Cocoa This superstar superfood can be eaten in breakfasts, desserts and every way in between.

TERRIFIC TATERS A humble veggie and a nutritional powerhouse

PLUS: Knife skills to get you slicing like a chef

SEASONAL SALADS Winter-friendly recipes to get your green on

SOUPER BOWLS Compliments of

WIINTER 2016

Cure the winter chill with a warm pot of goodness


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KETTLE BRAND® POTATO CHIPS ARE REAL CHIPS MADE WITH REAL INGREDIENTS BY REAL PEOPLE. Our handcrafted cooking methods ensure that every bag of Kettle chips has the healthy Kettle “crunch” chip lovers crave, plus the big, bold flavors they love, without any preservatives. Bring some Kettle brand potato chips home for the holidays and have a happy, healthy, non-GMO New Year! www.kettlebrand.com


from the editor

Give It a Try WHEN I WAS ABOUT 6 YEARS OLD, my family and I visited close friends who own a farm in upstate New York. They had a beautiful vegetable garden and also were raising a variety of animals, from cows and pigs for meat, to chickens for eggs and goats for milk. One morning I sat down for breakfast to a bowl of cornflakes. My “Aunt” Susan poured the milk, and I dug in with my spoon for a bite. I was in for a surprise. Instead of the cow’s milk that I was used to on my cereal at home, Susan had poured on fresh goat’s milk. My taste buds weren’t happy, and I opted for toast instead. I have used this story for years to politely decline appetizers or dishes with goat cheese. It’s a flavor that I just can’t seem to enjoy. That said, I have successfully overcome a number of other food dislikes over the years. How? Simply by giving them a try every now and again. The world is full of foods and flavors that are beloved by some, and not so loved by others. According to the Monell Center in Philadelphia, a nonprofit science institute that researches the senses of taste and smell, our individual genetics cause us to react differently to various flavors. We are also predisposed to like foods that our mothers ate while pregnant. I’m pretty sure my mom didn’t drink goat’s milk. In this new year, I encourage you to give another shot

Colorado’s #1 Natural Moisturizer to something that you’ve scrunched your nose at in the past. To get you started, visit our new column, aptly named “TRY,” on page 60, where we’ll introduce food combinations that may seem not so tasty at first, but once you give them a chance, your taste buds may change your mind. Also read this month’s feature, “For the Love of Cocoa” (page 40), which might inspire you to experiment with this flavorful superfood in more savory versus sweet recipes. Variety is, as they say, the spice of life—and it’s healthy for you, too. By trying different foods with different flavors and from different food groups, you can create a more balanced and nutritious diet. As you embark on a quest toward a healthier you in 2016, make trying (and re-trying) new foods part of the great adventure.

Rebecca Heaton, Editor

Formulated for special effectiveness in our high-dry Rocky Mountain climate. optimumwellnessmagazine.com

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volume 04, issue 01: winter 2016

contents

40

departments

47

begin 07 How recycling food and packaging can make landfills a thing of the past. PLUS: crunchy crackers, the latest food trends, cooking with cast iron and getting your grit on in the new year.

eat 25 HOT POTATO This versatile vegetable is full of good nutrition and flavor. Try innovative recipes (including doughnuts!) courtesy of the budding chefs at Johnson & Wales University.

31

31 MAKE IT, BUY IT Got a winter chill? We’ve come up with super soups to simmer on the stovetop and warm your belly.

38 SALAD IN WINTER

think 47 THE TRUTH ABOUT PROTEIN

25

18

How much protein should you eat, and what are the best sources? Everyone seems to have an opinion—weigh yours against the facts. BY GINA DEMILLO WAGNER

12

body care 50 WINTER SKIN PRIMER Natural ways to give your coldweather skin-care regimen a boost. BY RHEA MAZE

boost 53 CHAMOMILE It can fight what’s ailing you. BY KELLEE KATAGI

54 DO YOUR HEART GOOD Six supplements to support heart health. BY RADHA MARCUM

feature 40

F  OR THE LOVE OF COCOA

try

Much more than a candy-bar ingredient, this heart-healthy superfood can be eaten in breakfasts, desserts and every way in between. BY LISA MARSHALL

2 Winter 2016 / Optimum Wellness

60 BLACK BEAN BROWNIES You’d never guess these rich, velvety, chocolate treats contain a can of black beans.

COVER PHOTOGRAPHY BY AARON COLUSSI, STYLE BY ERIC LESKOVAR

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: SHUTTERSTOCK (2), AARON COLUSSI, SHUTTERSTOCK (2), AARON COLUSSI

Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you can’t eat lettuce. Add a little color to the season with one of our seasonal salads.


NOT ALL COCOA IS CREATED EQUAL . ™

How to get your heart’s daily 375mg of cocoa flavanols.

1

CocoaVia® Dark Chocolate Unsweetened Sachet

25 CALORIES 0.5g FAT

3 10 0g

CocoaVia® Vegetarian Capsules CALORIES FAT

4 720 47g

Bars of a Leading Dark Chocolate

9

1,810 CALORIES 111g FAT

CALORIES FAT

CocoaVia® daily cocoa supplement delivers the highest concentration of cocoa flavanols, which are scientifically proven to promote a healthy heart by supporting healthy blood flow†.

† This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

SAVE 5

$ 00 .

on CocoaVia® 10-count Unsweetened Dark Chocolate stick packs & 60-count capsules.

*Product selection varies by store

Bars of a Leading Milk Chocolate

STAY YOU.™

Flavanol content determined by

®/™ Trademarks © Mars, Incorporated. 2016.

AOAC Official Method SM 2012.24

MANUFACTURER’S COUPON

EXPIRATION 4/30/16 CONSUMER: Limit one coupon per purchase on product(s) indicated. You pay sales tax, if any. Not to be combined with other offers or discounts unless authorized by Mars Symbioscience. MAXIMUM VALUE: $5.00. Void if altered, transferred, sold, reproduced or exchanged. RETAILER: Mars Symbioscience will reimburse you for the face value of the coupon plus $.14 handling if submitted in compliance with Mars Symbioscience Coupon Redemption Policy - #M1, available upon request, incorporated herein by reference. Valid only in USA. Void where prohibited, taxed or restricted by law. Cash value 1/100 of one cent. Send coupon to: Mars Chocolate North America, PO Box: 880499, El Paso, TX 88588-0499. ®/TM Trademarks © Mars, Incorporated 2016.


Part of the Live Naturally family of Kroger magazines

Winter 2016 | volume 04 issue 01 optimumwellness.com

NEW!

ORDER NATURAL PRODUCTS ONLINE AT KING SOOPERS.

PUBLISHER Deborah Juris EDITOR Rebecca Heaton

Looking for a convenient way to shop all-natural, healthy products for your home and kitchen? We’ve got you covered.

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Mark Lesh

Introducing the new ship-to-home online shopping service from King Soopers.

ASSISTANT EDITOR Kellee Katagi

Shop an expanded selection of nonperishable food, vitamins, supplements, body care and home product essentials on the King Soopers website — thousands more than you’ll find in stores — and have them delivered directly to your door.

COPY EDITOR Julie Van Keuren

Living natural and healthy has never been easier. Visit kingsoopers.com/livenaturally to see what it’s all about.

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kellee Katagi, Radha Marcum, Lisa Marshall, Rhea Maze, Kimberly Lord Stewart, Gina DeMillo Wagner, Blair Young CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS AND STYLIST Aaron Colussi, Eric Leskovar, Sean Parsons, George Retseck ADVERTISING SALES Deborah Juris, Sue Sheerin PUBLISHED BY

PROJECT MANAGER Susan Humphrey DESIGNER Sean Parsons

www.hungryeyemedia.com 800.852.0857


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Candida can affect your intestinal balance. Aquaflora High Potency 9 offers a safe, natural, homeopathic approach to restoration. ®

Learn about gut health: Take the Candida test at kingbio.com.


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on any ONE (1) SCOTT NATURALS® Tube-Free Bath Tissue, 9 Mega Rolls

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Reproduction, alteration, proliferation, or sale of this coupon or its contents is strictly prohibited. Civil and criminal penalties up to $2,000,000 and/or imprisonment may apply. CONSUMER: LIMIT ONE (1) COUPON PER PURCHASE on product/ quantity specified. CANNOT BE COMBINED with any other coupon. Any other use constitutes fraud. VOID IF COPIED, SCANNED, TRANSFERRED, AUCTIONED, PURCHASED OR SOLD. RETAILER: K-C will reimburse you the face value of this coupon plus $.08 handling if submitted in compliance with our Coupon Redemption Policy. Mail coupons or requests for Policy to: Kimberly-Clark, P.O. Box 880148, El Paso, TX 88588-0148. Void where prohibited or restricted. Cash value 1/100 cent. Valid only in the USA, its Territories and Possessions. ® Registered Trademark and * Trademark of Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. © KCWW.

Now available at


begin

Growth Without Waste

GreenBlue’s Nina Goodrich would like to see the How2Recycle label on all packaging.

HOW RECYCLING CAN HELP MAKE LANDFILLS A THING OF THE PAST BY REBECCA HEATON WHAT IF WE COULD LIVE IN A WORLD where all or almost all of our trash could be reused? That is a goal of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC). A project of GreenBlue, a nonprofit that helps businesses employ more sustainable practices, the SPC strives to help its members create packaging systems that encourage economic prosperity and are “made to be made again” as part of a circular economy. GreenBlue executive director and SPC director Nina Goodrich explains. What is a circular economy?

It’s about keeping items in motion instead of dumping them in a landfill. For example, food waste can be composted and put back into the soil to grow more food. Plastics can be reused in other plastic products, construction materials, even clothing. A circular economy is restorative and regenerative by design. I believe in the power of the circular economy to provide economic growth without waste. Recycling is a piece of this because your waste can be someone else’s starting material.

SEAN PARSONS

One of SPC’s flagship programs is called How2Recycle. Tell us more about it.

How2Recycle is an iconic label that clearly communicates recycling instructions to consumers. Knowing how to recycle a package or knowing if it’s even recyclable can be confusing to consumers, so this labeling system makes it easy to understand. We are excited to see that a growing number of big-name brands like Kellogg’s, General

Mills and Pepsi are starting to use the How2Recycle label on their packaging. Companies like UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service are also using it; they deliver a lot of packaging! What can consumers do to get more companies to use sustainable packaging?

Contact and encourage your favorite brands to use sustainable, recyclable packaging and to include the How2Recycle label. There is nothing better than a consumer saying, “I like this; this label makes it easy for me to understand how to recycle.” We want to see the How2Recycle label on all packaging; that’s our push over the next year. Here in the U.S., we have low overall recycling rates, about 34 percent. But things like corrugate, paperboard, PET bottles, aluminum cans, washing-liquid jugs—these are super-easy to recycle. For more on the SPC and its How2Recycle program, visit sustainablepackaging.org. optimumwellnessmagazine.com

7


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COMPARE

Crackers au Naturel WHEN YOU CRAVE A CRUNCH, THESE HEALTHIER CRACKERS WILL SATISFY. BY KELLEE KATAGI WHETHER PAIRED WITH CHEESE on a party tray or as a standalone munchie, crackers are a snacking staple. Too often, though, they deliver empty calories, devoid of

Our pick: Why we like it:

Our testers say: Bonus points for:

Also try:

V

VEGAN

any healthy ingredients. With these selections, you can upgrade your cracker stash to make it not just good for your palate, but better for the rest of your body, too.

Nut- or Seed-based

Gluten-free

Organic

Cheese

Multigrain

Back to Nature Organic Stoneground Wheat Crackers

Horizon Cheddar Snack Crackers

Kashi Original 7 Grain Snack Crackers

Blue Diamond Almond Nut Thins

R.W. Garcia 3 Seed Sweet Potato Crackers

These crackers earn a thumbs-up both for what’s in them— wholesome, organic ingredients, including flaxseed and wholewheat flakes—and for what’s not: hydrogenated oils and artificial preservatives, flavors or colors.

Kids (and kids at heart) will go crazy for these mini cowshaped crackers made mostly with organic ingredients, including wheat and (real) cheese. What you won’t find: highfructose corn syrup, or artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

The seven whole grains in these hearty crackers provide 3 grams of fiber per serving, which is 11 percent of your daily needs and way more than most crackers provide. Plus, they just taste great.

Real almonds (one of just six ingredients) give these crackers both a delicious flavor and a nutritional boost, including 3 grams of protein per serving. And knowing there aren’t any added sugars or artificial flavors will make them taste that much better.

The ingredients list is short and easy to read, with a mere eight whole-food ingredients—including nutritional power-hitters flaxseed, sesame and chia. They’re also lower in sodium than most crackers; one 16-cracker serving takes up just 2 percent of your sodium RDA.

“Love the rich, buttery taste.”

“Watch out—these could be addicting!”

“Hints of both salty and sweet.”

“Just the right amount of salty.”

“The sweet-potato flavor is subtle but tasty.”

Simple Truth Simple Truth Rosemary & Olive Multigrain Crackers

Harvest Stone Roasted Sesame Crackers

Simple Truth Multigrain Rice Crackers with Sea Salt

OG

V

Simple Truth Organic Cheese Squares

SOY-FREE

8 Winter 2016 / Optimum Wellness

OG

Annie’s Homegrown White Cheddar Bunnies

GLUTEN-FREE

DAIRY-FREE

OG ORGANIC


Life’s Better with Balance. 40%

Natural Ability

30%

Flexibility

30%

Possibility

You look good, you feel good, and with a Balance Bar®, you’re ready for anything. Balance Bar® comes in a variety of delicious flavors with the perfect 40-30-30 nutritional balance to give you lasting energy for all your daily adventures. So live life to the fullest today, and get ready to love tomorrow.

www.Balance.com

©2015 Balance Bar Company

798415BB-GG


SIMPLE TRUTHS

Trend Watch

FREE FROM 101

FOOD NEWS THAT’S GOOD TO KNOW

FOUND EXCLUSIVELY at King Soopers and City Market stores, all Simple Truth products come with a guarantee called “Free From 101,” ensuring that they don’t contain any of 101 artificial ingredients such as aspartame, calcium bromate or azodicarbonamide (see #9 below). View the full list at simpletruth.com.

A SEA OF SEAWEED

PALEO + VEGAN = PEGAN

It has grown well beyond sushi. Seaweed is going mainstream in many more forms: seaweed snacks, seaweed chips, seaweed crackers. What’s the buzz? This dark-green superfood is a low-calorie source of protein and fiber; is richer in trace minerals and vitamins than kale; and contains all kinds of goodness, including vitamin C, iodine and antiviral, antibacterial and antiinflammatory properties.

A compromise between two popular diets—paleo (meats, nuts, fish, vegetables) and vegan (fruits, vegetables, grains)—the “pegan” diet allows for 75 percent fruits and vegetables, with the other 25 percent filled with organic animal protein, healthy whole grains, lentils and high-quality fats such as nuts, coconut and avocados. So what’s the benefit? Peganism has the potential to lower cholesterol and decrease diabetes risk, plants

$250–$500 million in sales

2014, newhope360.com

75%

according to experts like Mark Hyman, M.D., author of 10-Day Detox Diet Cookbook.

25%

animal protein, whole grains & healthy fats

1

2

10 Winter 2016 / Optimum Wellness

SIMPLE TRUTH ORGANIC CINNAMON & CRANBERRY INSTANT CHIA OATMEAL

Don’t have time to cook up a pot of oatmeal? No problem. This 100 percent whole-grain cereal cooks up in minutes: Just add hot water. With 16 percent of daily fiber needs in each serving, plus cranberries, chia seeds and a touch of cinnamon, it’s a tasty, healthy and filling way to start the day.

101 INGREDIENTS YOU WON’T FIND IN SIMPLE TRUTH

TWO REASONS TO EAT FERMENTED FOOD Foods with live cultures—aka fermented foods—encourage good bacteria in your tummy. Foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, tempeh, miso and kimchi, and drinks like kombucha contain naturally occurring probiotics, which encourage growth of good bacteria to keep your gut happy. A recent psychological study suggests that probiotics in fermented foods can ease social anxiety. How? More good bacteria in your belly mean less irritation and inflammation, so your tummy feels better, your mood is better, and you experience less anxiety, stress and depression.

TRY THIS:

Kimchi is a fermented Korean dish made with vegetables and spices.

#9 AZODICARBONAMIDE Say this chemical’s name 10 times fast! Most often found in commercially baked bread to whiten flour and maintain bread texture, azodicarbonamide is also a common “ingredient” in yoga mats and shoe rubber. Although the FDA considers small amounts safe—the allowable level is 45 parts per million in dough—azodicarbonamide has been linked to respiratory issues, allergies and asthma.

SHUTTERSTOCK (LEFT 2)

begin


International Year of Pulses PLEDGE YOUR ALLEGIANCE TO THESE VERSATILE SUPERFOODS. THE UNITED NATIONS has declared 2016 to be the International Year of Pulses. The moniker “pulses” refers to the edible dried seeds of legumes—dry peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas. Pulses are good sources of protein, fiber, minerals and antioxidants, and they play an important role in health, sustainability and food security around the world. Beginning this month, consider taking the “Pulse Pledge” and commit to eating pulses in any form at least once a week throughout 2016. By taking the pledge at pulsepledge.com, you will gain access to tasty recipes, meal plans and more. Here’s an easy way to start.

Roasted Cauliflower and Seasoned Lentil Tacos Makes 8 tacos 1 large head of cauliflower, sliced into bite-sized florets 3–4 tablespoons olive oil, divided Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1 cup chopped yellow or white onion 2 large garlic cloves, pressed or minced 2 tablespoons tomato paste ½ teaspoon ground cumin ½ teaspoon chili powder ¾ cup brown lentils, picked over for debris and rinsed 2 cups vegetable broth or water 8 corn tortillas ½ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves

SHUTTERSTOCK (TOP), COOKIEANDKATE.COM

CHIPOTLE SAUCE ¹ ⁄ ₃ cup mayonnaise 2 tablespoons lime juice 2–3 tablespoons adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle peppers) or chipotle hot sauce, to taste Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1. Preheat oven to 425°. Toss cauliflower with 2–3 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Roast 30–35 minutes, tossing halfway, until florets are deeply golden on the edges. 2. Warm 1 tablespoon olive oil in a mediumsized pot over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic with a dash of salt for 5 minutes until onions are softened and translucent. Add tomato paste, cumin and chili powder and sauté for another minute, stirring constantly. Add lentils and vegetable broth or water. Raise heat and bring mixture to a gentle simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 20–35 minutes,

until the lentils are tender. Reduce heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer. When ready to assemble tacos, drain off any excess liquid; then cover and set aside. 3. To prepare chipotle sauce, whisk together all ingredients and set aside. 4. To assemble tacos, warm tortillas individually in a pan over medium heat. Top each tortilla with lentils, cauliflower, a drizzle of chipotle sauce and a generous sprinkle of chopped cilantro. Recipe by Cookie and Kate blog, courtesy of USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council.

optimumwellnessmagazine.com

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SIMPLE TRUTHS

Make It Personal HIRING A PERSONAL TRAINER MAY BE THE BEST INVESTMENT YOU MAKE ALL YEAR, BUT CHOOSE WISELY. BY KELLEE KATAGI

Plan for an interview. Always interview a trainer before committing—that’s your chance to ask about his or her education, experience and training philosophies, and to see if your personalities click. A good trainer will ask you about your goals and preferences, so think through what you’re looking for beforehand. “If the trainer talks about ‘I, I, I’ instead of about you, that’s a huge red flag,” Clayton says. “It shouldn’t be about their fitness accomplishments, but

12 Winter 2016 / Optimum Wellness

about what they can do for you.” Another tip from Clayton: After the interview, work out at the gym and watch the trainer in action with another client to see how attentive he or she is to a client’s needs. Go certified. Roughly 11 accredited organizations certify personal trainers; the NSCA and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) have the most stringent requirements, says Clayton. Certification ensures that trainers have adequate training themselves and requires ongoing education to keep certifications current. Trainers can also get specialized certificates for marathon or other sportspecific training, so ask about those if you’re interested. Consider what might derail you. Is diet a weakness in meeting your goals? Find a trainer who is also certified in nutrition. Is time or convenience an issue? Hire an online trainer so you can work out at home or a trainer who is also a life coach. Short on cash? Consider semi-private (two or three participants) or group (four to 10 participants) sessions.

SHUTTERSTOCK (LEFT)

IF THIS IS THE YEAR you’re finally serious about getting in shape, show your body you mean business by hiring a personal trainer. Studies show that the likelihood of meeting any goal—and fitness goals in particular—skyrockets when you map out specific strategies and find someone to keep you accountable. “So many times people have tried working out on their own and they’re not getting results,” says Nick Clayton, personal training program manager for the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). “A personal trainer can really turn that around.” Here’s how to find the right one for you.


DR. J’S POWER OF THREE

Get Gritty in the New Year THREE WAYS TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS WITH GRIT BY DR. JAMES ROUSE A BEAUTIFUL NEW YEAR IS UPON US. It’s a time to celebrate and set goals for the year to come. Whatever you’re working on, come to your goals from a place of grit. Grit is defined as “firmness of character; indomitable spirit; pluck.” Research from respected institutions, including West Point and the University of Pennsylvania, shows that grit is the most powerful vehicle to dictate whether you achieve success in your overall life, from business to relationships to self care. So how can you cultivate and expand your grit, and crush your goals for the new year? Follow the power of three.

FROM TOP: SEAN PARSONS, JULIA VANDENOEVER

1

EAT

Science tells us the greatest way to improve your will and grit is to keep your blood sugar balanced. Simply put, make sure you eat. Instead of limiting yourself to a diet or detox for a certain number of days that you can’t wait to get through, set a goal to nourish your body every day. Choose whole, nutrient-dense foods over more refined foods to enable your body and mind to keep a steady flow of glucose, your brain’s preferred food source.

2

THINK

3

Getting gritty with goal setting comes down to one simple discipline: Write down your goals and read them every day. Studies show that only roughly 20 percent of people in the United States set goals, and of those 20 percent, 10 percent write them down. Research on goal setting from Virginia Tech shows that the 10 percent who write down goals actually see an eightfold increase in the likelihood of their success.

MOVE

When it comes to grit, leverage the power of exercise and movement. Why? All motion creates positive emotion in the form of powerful brain chemicals like dopamine that inspire motivation, focus and courageous conviction. So when you move, you boost your motivation, focus and grit.

Dr. James Rouse has a doctorate in naturopathic medicine. He is an inspirational speaker, personal coach, author and the cofounder of Skoop, a line of powdered superfoods. optimumwellnessmagazine.com

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SIMPLE TRUTHS

Cut Above the Rest

Keep the blade tip in constant contact with the cutting board while slicing

A SIMPLE KNIFE TECHNIQUE FOR SAFE SLICING

MAKE EVERY BITE COUNT!

FLIP ON A COOKING SHOW and you’ll see TV chefs wielding sharp, shiny knives, chopping foods at lightning speed. Knowing good knife skills makes meal prep faster, more enjoyable—and safer. “There’s a good reason why the very first class any culinary student takes is knife work,” says J. Kenji López-Alt, managing culinary director of Serious Eats and author of The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science (W.W. Norton, 2015). “Cooking without mastering the basic strokes is like trying to run without knowing how to tie your shoes.”

Hold food steady, curling your fingers into a claw

THE SLICE HOLD THE TIP of the blade against the cutting board with the knife angled upward, the flat side resting against your knuckles. With the blade tip in constant contact with the cutting board, pull the knife backward slightly until the blade slices into the food.

HOW TO HOLD A KNIFE

happyfamilybrands.com

The first step to good knife skills is properly gripping your knife. You can hold a knife in a Handle Grip, with all your fingers behind the bolster (the junction between the knife blade and handle). Or try the Blade Grip: Rest your thumb and forefinger in front of the bolster, directly on the blade. This grip might take practice, but it can offer better control and balance when slicing and chopping.

14 Winter 2016 / Optimum Wellness

CONTINUE by pressing downward and forward, using the full length of the blade to slice through your food. Repeat, using a circular motion and keeping the blade tip against the board at all times. Use your “clawed” fingers to slowly push the food for each slice.

HANDLE GRIP

BLADE GRIP

Bolster

ILLUSTRATIONS BY GEORGE RETSECK

CREATE a flat, stable surface for your food to rest on by slicing it in half or slicing off a thin section of its face. Hold the food steady with your non-knife hand, curling your fingers into a claw.


4

Cooking in Cast Iron 4 REASONS TO USE THIS STURDY COOKWARE

1

2 HAS HEALTH BENEFITS

IS VERSATILE 3 HOLDS HEAT Made of dense metal, cast iron heats slowly and then holds its heat, so food cooks quickly and evenly.

Cast iron is oven-safe, so cook in it on your stovetop or use for baking things such as cornbread.

If your cast-iron pan is well seasoned, you can cook with less oil because the pan is already coated. You also get a bit of iron in your food from the pan.

LASTS FOR DECADES

SHUTTERSTOCK

GOT RUST? Remove it with a potato. Cut a potato in half, dip cut end in mild dish soap or baking soda, and rub firmly over rusted area. Repeat until removed; then rinse and dry thoroughly.

TO SEASON CAST IRON: Heat oven to 350°. After washing and drying the pan, use a cloth or paper towel to apply a thin coat of cooking oil (vegetable, olive, coconut or flaxseed work well) to the inside and outside of the pan. Place pan upside down on oven’s center rack with aluminum foil underneath to catch any drips. Bake for an hour.

Cast-iron pans are durable if well cared for. It’s best to clean your pan right after use. Wash by hand with a bit of soap and sponge or stiff brush. Rinse and dry the pan over low heat on the stovetop.

INT_129754_75265_Vans_Wellness_RESIZE_B_M_OL.pdf

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SIMPLE TRUTHS

Food Combos for Healthier Skin THREE FOOD PAIRINGS TO HELP KEEP YOUR SKIN BEAUTIFUL.

+

when combined or balanced with other key nutrients. We’ve used insight from Oregon State University’s Linus Pauling Institute, a nutrition-research heavyweight, to develop three synergistic food pairings that deliver powerful benefits for robust, beautiful skin.

+

+

KALE SALAD TOPPED WITH SUNFLOWER SEEDS

STRAWBERRY-ALMOND MILK SMOOTHIE

WALNUT-ENCRUSTED SALMON

NUTRIENT PAIRING: Vitamins C and E

NUTRIENT PAIRING: Vitamins C and E

WHAT YOU GET: 1 cup of chopped kale contains 107 percent of a woman’s daily vitamin C requirements (89 percent of a man’s); 1 ounce of sunflower seeds (a little more than a ¼ cup) provides nearly half the daily requirement of vitamin E.

WHAT YOU GET: 1 cup of pureed strawberries delivers about 180 percent of a woman’s daily requirement of vitamin C (150 percent for a man); 1 cup of almond milk contains nearly half your vitamin E requirements.

NUTRIENT PAIRING: Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, plus vitamin D

WHY IT MATTERS: Vitamins C and E are both antioxidants that protect skin against the damaging effects of oxygen and light, and help prevent dry skin. C also helps synthesize collagen, which sustains skin structure and helps replace dead skin cells. Often, E gets oxidized and needs help to restore itself, says Linus Pauling research associate Alexander Michels. He contends that C is perfectly suited for the job, which makes the nutrients more effective when eaten together. PREP TIP: Sprinkle the seeds liberally on your salad for maximum effect.

16 Winter 2016 / Optimum Wellness

WHY IT MATTERS: Studies reveal that 40 percent of U.S. adults don’t meet daily vitamin C needs, and a whopping 90-plus percent don’t get enough E. That’s partly because the synthesized form of E found in many supplements doesn’t contribute to vitamin E levels in the body (the same doesn’t hold true for other vitamins). PREP TIP: Blend 2 cups of almond milk, 1 cup of frozen strawberries, a frozen banana and a few drops of vanilla extract; add sweetener to taste.

WHAT YOU GET: A 3-ounce salmon fillet offers roughly 200 percent of your daily D, along with 2,000–3,000 milligrams of essential fatty acids; walnuts contain high levels of both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. WHY IT MATTERS: A good balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids can keep skin moist and supple, as well as aid skin’s immune and inflammatory responses. Vitamin D may help skin develop and mature, Michels says, and eating D along with fat ramps up your body’s ability to absorb it. PREP TIP: Preheat oven to 375°. Mix 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Brush mixture over four 6-ounce salmon fillets. Then press top of fillets into a plate covered with 1/2 cup of finely chopped raw walnuts, coating evenly. Bake for 10–12 minutes in a greased baking dish.

SHUTTERSTOCK (6)

EXPERTS—ALONG WITH MANY AN ACNE-RIDDEN teenager—have long known that the health of your skin has a lot to do with what you eat (or don’t eat). What hasn’t always been clear is that many nutrients are more potent for skin quality

BY KELLEE KATAGI


The Sunshine Vitamin HOW TO GET ENOUGH VITAMIN D—SUN OR NO SUN THE FACTS ARE SIMPLE: We need vitamin D. This health hero wards off both minor and major diseases like cancer and diabetes by strengthening your immune system. It also keeps bones and teeth strong by enabling calcium absorption, and regulates blood pressure. The sun is our primary source of D, but studies show that even in sunny months a majority of Americans likely aren’t Fish. Fatty fish, especially swordfish and salmon, is by far the best food source for vitamin D: 3 ounces of swordfish delivers about 560 IU, nearly your full daily D quota. The same portion of sockeye salmon contains about 450 IU, with canned tuna coming in at 150 IU. Vitamin D gets stored in your body’s fat, so you don’t have to eat fish daily; aim for about 6 ounces two or three times per week.

getting recommended levels (a minimum of 600 IU daily for most people). Food sources are scarce, so you have to be strategic to get enough. Here are your best bets from three different foods. If you have an aversion to these, consider taking a D3 or cod liver oil supplement. Check with the nutrition expert in your local store for suggestions.

Fortified dairy. In the 1930s, U.S. milk manufacturers began adding vitamin D to milk to reduce the occurrence of rickets, a bone disease. It worked, and fortification is common to this day, with 1 cup of fortified milk providing about one-fifth of your daily needs. Opt for full-fat dairy; D is fat soluble, so the fat greatly improves vitamin absorption.

NEW

Mushrooms. Who knew that mushrooms and humans had something in common? We both manufacture vitamin D when we’re in the sun. If you can find a way to expose mushrooms to midday sunlight—even winter sun is adequate, studies show—for one to six hours, their vitamin D levels can shoot up to 25–100 percent of your daily needs per cup (depending on mushroom species and length of time in the sun). —K.K.

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begin

SIMPLE TRUTHS

Meet the Beet YOU’LL BE GLAD YOU MADE THE ACQUAINTANCE OF THIS NUTRIENT-RICH TREASURE. BY BLAIR YOUNG Don’t discard the greens. Beet greens are full of iron, which helps your body produce oxygencarrying red blood cells. Rinse and chop the greens, and then flash-sauté them in coconut oil with minced garlic.

Easy BeetCoconut Soup Serves 6 ¼ yellow onion, diced 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 tablespoons coconut oil 4 large beets, diced 3–4 cups vegetable stock 1–2 (15-ounce) cans coconut milk Fresh herbs, like dill, basil or parsley, for garnish

Planning a cleanse? Put beets on the menu. These root vegetables help purify your blood, while acting as a tonic for your liver.

Beets can lower your blood pressure, thanks to naturally occurring nitrates that your body converts into the nitric oxide needed to enhance blood flow.

Get the most nutritional value out of beets by leaving the skins on. Just be sure to scrub them well.

18 Winter 2016 / Optimum Wellness

In a saucepan, sauté garlic and onion until translucent. Add beets, and sauté for about 7 minutes; then add enough vegetable stock to cover beets. Simmer covered until beets are soft. Cool the mixture slightly; then puree in a blender or food processor. Return puree to low heat, add coconut milk, and stir until blended and warmed. Garnish with herbs. Recipe and some nutritional facts provided by Sue Van Raes, a licensed holistic nutritionist.

SHUTTERSTOCK

Beets can be eaten raw. Brighten up a salad by shredding beets and tossing them with sunflower seeds, avocado and greens. A simple balsamic vinaigrette is this dish’s best complement.


NEW ON SHELVES

Skoop It Up AN EASIER WAY TO EAT MORE SUPERFOODS What if you could fit a bunch of essential nutrients in just one scoop? That’s the idea behind Skoop, a plant-based, gluten-free, powdered mix of nutrients and superfoods that you simply scoop, shake and drink. Available in four different blends for different nutrition needs—from a healthy kick start to the day or a midday snack to athletic endurance, post workout fuel or healthy skin—Skoop is made with 100-percent organic fruits, veggies, greens, fibers, herbs and flavors, plus even more vitamins and minerals. Add a scoop or two to your favorite dairy or nondairy milk, juice, or smoothie. Along with being good for you, Skoop is doing good for school kids across the country. The company donates 3 percent of every purchase to the Chef Ann Foundation to fund Project Produce grants, which help schools launch fun educational activities like samplings of fresh fruits and veggies to connect kids with healthy eating. Based in Colorado, Skoop is on a mission to make super nutrition convenient to everyone. Learn more at healthyskoop.com.

NUTS FOR NUTCHELLO

WHY WE LIKE THIS NEW MILK FROM SILK. OVER THE PAST DECADE OR SO, nuts have become a nutritionists’ darling. And for good reason: According to the Mayo Clinic, nuts are linked with improved heart health and are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and protein. That’s why many health fanatics now incorporate nut-based beverages into their daily diets. That’s also why we’re loving Nutchello, Silk’s new line of dairy-free drinks. Available in three flavors— Caramel Almond Cashew, Dark Chocolate Walnut and Toasted Coconut Cashew—Nutchello is a nut-based “milk” with no artificial flavors, colors or added caffeine. A nice afternoon pick-me-up, each 48-ounce bottle is a mere 90 calories with 14 grams of sugar (compared to an 8-ounce container of

whole milk chocolate milk, which has more than 200 calories and about 24 grams of sugar). Find Nutchello with other refrigerated natural drinks at your local King Soopers or City Market. Read more about these and other dairy-free drinks at whitewave.com.

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begin

SIMPLE TRUTHS

Salts of the Earth PUZZLED BY THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF SALT? WE BREAK DOWN SOME OF THE COMMON TYPES AND HOW BEST TO USE THEM. BY REBECCA HEATON KOSHER SALT This salt got its name because its craggy crystals assist in curing meat, a step in the koshering process in which the salt draws blood out of meat so it can be wiped off. Kosher salt is free of iodine, but a few brands contain an anticaking additive. Its coarse texture also makes it easier for pinching and estimating seasoning more accurately. USE IT FOR: general cooking; sprinkling on salads, meats and fish; coating rim of a margarita glass

TIP: In recipes, salt

measurements are typically for fine table salt. So if you’re using salt with larger crystals, like kosher salt, adjust as needed. A rule of thumb: 1 teaspoon fine salt = 1½ teaspoons kosher salt.

HAWAIIAN SEA SALT This coarse salt comes in red or black. The red color derives from a natural mineral called alaea, a volcanic clay added during the harvesting process. Black sea salt gets its color from the addition of charcoal. Both salts can have an earthier flavor than regular sea salt. USE IT FOR: seasoning cooked red meats and fish, sprinkling on salads, adding a fun pop of color

SMOKED SEA SALT You can find sea salt in a number of infused flavors; choose smoked sea salt to add a smoky flavor to dishes such as meats and veggies. When buying a smoked sea salt, check that it’s been naturally smoked versus containing a liquid smoke flavoring, which can taste bitter. USE IT FOR: seasoning grilled meats and fish; in creamy soups; on pasta, potatoes and salads

SEA SALT

TABLE SALT The best-known kind of salt, fine table salt is available in plain or iodized forms, and contains additives to slow clumping so that it’s easier to use in a saltshaker. During the Great Depression, salt manufacturers in the United States added iodine to prevent illnesses such as goiter. Today, people can get iodine from other food sources, too, such as seafood, seaweed, yogurt and eggs. USE IT FOR: general cooking, baking, in a saltshaker on the table

20 Winter 2016 / Optimum Wellness

AARON COLUSSI, STYLE ERIC LESKOVAR

Evaporated from a living sea or ocean, sea salt is typically less refined than table salt, so it can contain traces of other minerals, including iron, magnesium and iodine. It is also available in different grain and flake sizes. There are a variety of types; for example, fleur de sel (“flower of salt”) is an expensive, gourmet sea salt hand-harvested from coastal salt ponds in France. USE IT FOR: sprinkling on top of just-cooked foods, from meats to veggies


Quick Chocolate Avocado Cookies

SUGAR SWAPS

TRY THESE NATURAL SUGAR SUBSTITUTES BY KELLEE KATAGI

Makes 10 cookies POST-HOLIDAYS, we often swear off desserts, figuring we ate enough to last a lifetime. But before long, our sweet tooth sneaks up and we struggle to resist. When you start hankering for sweets again, consider replacing refined, nutrition-less white sugar with these alternatives. They contain more nutrients and are slower to spike blood-sugar levels.

SHUTTERSTOCK

COCONUT PALM SUGAR. Made by evaporating the sap of a coconut palm, this sweetener provides nutrients such as potassium, amino acids and some B vitamins. It also contains a fiber called inulin, which supports growth of good bacteria in your gut for healthy digestion. You can substitute it 1 to 1 for white sugar in recipes, making it good for baking. Tip: Check labels before you buy; some manufacturers mix in cane sugar and other sweeteners. UNSULFURED MOLASSES. Molasses, a byproduct of tablesugar production, is essentially where all the nutrients of sugar cane end up—nutrients such as iron (more than 20 percent of the RDA per serving) and potassium (as much as half a large banana per serving). In general, the darker the color, the more intense both the

flavor and nutrient density; blackstrap molasses is the most nutritious. Use molasses to add a rich taste to yams, baked beans and smoothies, or as a brown-sugar substitute in some baked goods. Tip: Avoid sulfured molasses, which has been treated with sulfur dioxide as a preservative. RAW HONEY. Honey is considered raw when it has not been heated enough to be pasteurized (beyond 95 degrees). Processing may strip some nutritional value, but raw honey retains its natural nutrients, including B vitamins, amino acids and antioxidants. If you use it for baking, you can get away with using less honey than you would sugar; you may have to play with recipes to determine the ideal amount. Tip: Raw honey crystallizes sooner than processed honey, so it may be solid versus liquid.

¾ cup avocado flesh, very ripe, but not brown ½ cup coconut sugar or ½ cup honey 1 egg ½ cup dark cocoa powder ½ teaspoon baking soda 50 grams semisweet or dark chocolate chunks 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Using a hand mixer or food processor, mix together avocado and coconut sugar until smooth. Then mix in the egg. 2. Mix in cocoa powder and baking soda. Stir in chocolate chunks. 3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use two spoons to place dollops of cookie dough on top of the paper. Flatten cookies out a bit with the back of a spoon. 4. Bake for 8–10 minutes, until the cookies don’t stick as much to the paper as they did before baking. 5. Cool before serving, and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Recipe adapted from Healthy Chocolate Avocado Cookies at sproutedfig.com.

optimumwellnessmagazine.com

21

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genesistoday.com/weightmanagement *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


begin

SNACK SMART

Raise the Breakfast Bar DON’T HAVE TIME TO SIT DOWN FOR BREAKFAST? GRAB A BAR AND GO. BY REBECCA HEATON

GETTING READY IN THE MORNING isn’t always easy, particularly if you’re also trying to get family members out the door to work or school. If you have to eat on the go, put a fast and healthy spin on breakfast with these tasty, portable bar options.

KIND HEALTHY GRAINS VANILLA BLUEBERRY BAR The name says blueberry, but this bar contains a yummy blend of several fruits: blueberry, apple and plum purees, plus a touch of vanilla. It’s also gluten-free and chock-full of 20 grams of healthy whole grains, including oats, millet, quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat. The texture? Mostly chewy with a bit of crunch. NUTRITION DEETS Calories: 140 Fiber: 2.5 grams Protein: 2 grams Sugars: 7 grams

LARABAR BANANA BREAD BAR With three ingredients— bananas, dates and almonds—it doesn’t get more simple and pure than this. Along with being gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, kosher and vegan, this bar delivers 20 percent of your daily fiber and 12 percent of your daily potassium needs. A nutritious take on morning banana “bread,” for sure. NUTRITION DEETS Calories: 230 Fiber: 5 grams Protein: 6 grams Sugars: 20 grams

BALANCE BAR YOGURT HONEY PEANUT

VAN’S CHOCOLATE CHIP SNACK BAR

When you need protein, reach for this honey and peanut bar dressed in creamy yogurt. It provides 30 percent of your daily protein needs to keep you fueled and energized throughout the morning. It’s also an excellent source of healthy antioxidants, including vitamins A, C and E. Best of all: It tastes like peanut butter fudge.

Moist and chewy with a smattering of chocolate chips, Van’s gluten-free bar has 10 grams of healthy whole grains and 16 percent of your daily fiber requirements. Bite in and you’ll experience even more flavors, from almond butter and a hint of vanilla to fig paste, which adds a bit of nutty sweetness.

NUTRITION DEETS Calories: 200 Fiber: 1 gram Protein: 15 grams Sugars: 18 grams

NUTRITION DEETS Calories: 150 Fiber: 4 grams Protein: 3 grams Sugars: 11 grams

GOODNESSKNOWS CRANBERRY ALMOND DARK CHOCOLATE SNACK SQUARES Go ahead, indulge in some chocolate. These snack squares have a light layer of dark chocolate— with 120 mg of cocoa flavanols, which support healthy circulation— combined with tangy cranberries, roasted almonds, crisp rice and oats. Each pack contains four bite-sized squares, so you can share...or nibble all of them yourself. NUTRITION DEETS Calories: 150 Fiber: 2 grams Protein: 3 grams Sugars: 12 grams

As the first meal of the day, breakfast provides you with nutrients that lead to better concentration and more energy so you can perform your best. It’s a must for kids, too: A research review in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience found strong evidence that regular breakfasts improved both behavior and academic performance in schoolchildren.

22 Winter 2016 / Optimum Wellness


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The French

Š 2015 United States Potato Board. All rights reserved.

fried th em . The Irish boiled them.

BE

HOLD

9

The th of the world

Get potatoes in the produce department to make Rainbow Potato Pancakes and thousands of other incredible dishes.


eat Hot Potato

AARON COLUSSI, STYLE ERIC LESKOVAR

WHETHER YOU LIKE ’EM MASHED, BAKED, BOILED, ROASTED OR GRILLED, THESE POPULAR, VERSATILE VEGETABLES ARE SURPRISINGLY PACKED WITH POWER AND NUTRITION.

RUSSETS

WHITES

PURPLES/BLUES

REDS

YELLOWS

Most widely used in the United States, brownskinned russets have a mild, earthy flavor with a bit of sweetness. A favorite use is baking, resulting in a light, fluffy center surrounded by a crispy, roasted skin. Russets are also good for mashed potatoes and pan-fried potatoes.

Mashing is a common use for these subtly sweet, creamy, all-purpose potatoes. Their skin is so delicate, you don’t even need to peel them, even when mashing. Also try grilling whites (whole or thickly sliced) to bring out a more full-bodied flavor, or use them in soups or stews, as they hold their shape well when tender.

With a rich, vibrant color and distinctively nutty taste, cooked purples and blues are a great fit for potato salads, as well as green salads. Their moist, firm flesh retains its shape and ranges from purple to lavender to almost white. They’re delicious roasted, but microwaving best preserves their color.

Because their texture stays firm throughout the cooking process, reds do well in soups and stews. Keep the skin on—no need to peel them—to add color to any dish. Slightly sweet, with a smooth, creamy, alwaystender texture, reds are ideal for potato salads or creamy mashed potatoes.

Grilling is a favorite use for yellows, because it brings out their sweet, caramelized flavor. Plus, the crispy, golden skin enhances the dense, buttery texture of the flesh. This smooth texture also lends itself well to lighter versions of baked or roasted potatoes.

optimumwellnessmagazine.com

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eat

DISH IT UP

SHOPPING FOR TATERS

Potato Power

When buying potatoes, look for clean, smooth and firm-textured spuds with no cuts, bruises or discoloration. See green on the skin? This is buildup of a chemical called solanine, a natural reaction to the potato being exposed to too much light. Solanine produces a bitter taste and, if eaten in large quantity, can cause illness. So cut away any green portions before cooking and eating.

THIS SEEMINGLY HUMBLE, SOMETIMES MALIGNED VEGETABLE IS REALLY A SUPERFOOD IN DISGUISE.

The Good Stuff in Spuds

One medium-sized potato (5.3 ounces with skin) contains: Vitamin C. A whopping 45 percent of your daily value; helps prevent cellular damage, aids iron absorption, and may help support the body’s immune system. Potassium. More than any vegetable or fruit (10 percent of your daily needs), including bananas, sweet potatoes and broccoli; encourages normal heart rhythm, fluid balance, and muscle and nerve function.

Heirloom Potato Salad with Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette

Fiber. 8 percent of your daily requirements (with the potato skin); improves digestion, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Vitamin B6. 10 percent of your daily value; necessary for carbohydrate and protein metabolism. + Just 110 calories and no fat!

Baked Potato Doughnuts & Apple Compote

26 Winter 2016 / Optimum Wellness

AARON COLUSSI, STYLE ERIC LESKOVAR

Causa Morada


HOW TO FORM A PERFECT GNOCCHI

Gnocchi & Spicy Marinara Sauce

STEP 1: After kneading PETITES AND FINGERLINGS

These bite-sized spuds are smaller versions of their fullsized cousins and come in a wide range of skin and flesh colors. The difference? Because of their smaller size, their flavors are more concentrated and they cook more quickly. Both petites and fingerlings are excellent when roasted or in potato salads.

gnocchi dough and cutting into smaller pieces, flour a fork and place a piece of dough on fork.

STEP 2: Press gnocchi

dough down on fork tines with your thumb.

STEP 3: Roll piece of TO PEEL OR NOT TO PEEL?

While the skin contains about half of the potato’s dietary fiber, the majority of nutrients are found within the potato itself. If peeling, use a vegetable peeler or sharp paring knife and keep the peeling very thin to preserve nutrients that are found close to the skin. You’ll get the most nutrients, however, when potatoes are cooked and eaten with the skin on.

dough down the fork to make ridges. Voilà, you’ve created a perfect gnocchi! Repeat with all pieces.

TURN THE PAGE FOR THE FULL RECIPE.

Potato facts and tips courtesy of the United States Potato Board. Learn more about these super tubers at potatogoodness.com. optimumwellnessmagazine.com

27


eat

DISH IT UP

Heirloom Potato Salad with Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette By Jasmine Smith With a rainbow of potato types, this is a colorful side dish. Serves 4 1½ pounds petite red, white and purple potatoes, washed, unpeeled and quartered 3 garlic cloves, minced ¾ cup canola oil, plus 2 tablespoons; divided 2 shallots, unpeeled ¼ cup red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons honey 2 tablespoons chives, minced Salt and pepper, to taste 1. Preheat oven to 400°. Mix potatoes, garlic and ¼ cup of canola oil. Spread on a baking sheet. Bake until potatoes are tender enough to pierce with a fork, about 30 minutes. 2. Meanwhile, drizzle 2 tablespoons canola oil on shallots and wrap in aluminum foil. Bake 15 minutes, until tender. Once cooked, peel shallots, combine with vinegar and honey in a blender; blend to a liquid consistency. Slowly pour remaining ½ cup oil into blender on low speed, until completely emulsified. 3. Toss potatoes in the shallot vinaigrette, with chives, salt and pepper.

Causa Morada By Jorge de la Torre This Peruvian, layered potato and chicken dish adds sky-blue creativity to your menu. Serves 6 2 pounds purple potatoes Fine sea salt ½ cup olive oil ¼ cup lime juice, freshly squeezed 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1 yellow onion, whole 1 carrot, whole 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves ¾ cup Greek yogurt ¼ cup jalapenos, finely chopped ½ cup celery, minced ½ cup red onion, minced Black pepper, to taste 1½ cups semi-ripe avocados, thinly sliced 6 kalamata olives, pitted 1. Place potatoes in a large saucepan. Cover with cold, salted water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Let cool. 2. Peel potatoes and mash very finely in a large bowl. Knead lightly with gloved hands (to avoid getting blue color on skin), slowly drizzling in olive oil until potatoes reach a doughlike consistency. Add lime juice, and season with salt. Refrigerate about 2 hours. 3. Put chicken, onion, carrot and mint into a large saucepan, add just enough water to cover; bring to a slow boil. Cook until chicken is fork-tender, about 20 minutes. 4. Toss or compost whole onion, carrot and mint. Transfer chicken to a medium bowl. Once cool, shred chicken with fingers or a fork. Mix in yogurt, jalapenos, celery and red onion. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour. 5. Oil a 2-quart casserole. Spoon half of the potato mixture into the casserole, followed by chicken mixture, and then remaining potato mixture. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

28 Winter 2016 / Optimum Wellness

6. Put a dollop of avocado dressing (recipe below) on each plate. Slice and serve on dressing; garnish with avocados and olives. CREAMY AVOCADO DRESSING 1 ripe avocado 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt Salt and pepper, to taste

*To roast jalapenos: Hold jalapeno with tongs over a gas burner flame until skin is blackened. Or roast for 45 minutes at 350°. Let peppers sit 15 minutes; then peel skin, de-seed and mince.

Baked Potato Doughnuts & Apple Compote By Nicole Sandor

Mash all ingredients until smooth.

Potatoes are the stealth ingredient in this moist, delicious doughnut. Yields 12 doughnuts

Gnocchi & Spicy Marinara Sauce By Michael Brooks

DOUGHNUTS 2 russet potatoes ½ teaspoon kosher salt 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting 1 cup whole-wheat flour 1 teaspoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon nutmeg 1 teaspoon cinnamon ½ cup brown sugar 3 tablespoons sugar ½ cup sour cream 1 egg

Who knew it was this easy—and fun—to make your own gnocchi? Serves 4 GNOCCHI 3 large russet potatoes 1 tablespoon kosher salt Ground black pepper, to taste 1 egg yolk, beaten 1 cup unbleached flour 1. Bake potatoes at 350° for 45 minutes, or until fork-tender. Let potatoes cool, peel them, and then mash them in a medium-sized bowl. 2. Gather 2 cups of mashed potatoes, and form a well in the center. Stir salt and black pepper into beaten yolk, and pour into well. 3. With both hands, work mashed potato and egg together; then gradually add flour until it turns into a dough. Do not overknead. 4. Dust a large cutting board or clean counter with flour. Cut dough into six equal parts, and roll into ½- to ¾-inch thick ropes. Slice ropes at ½- to ¾-inch intervals. 5. Flour a fork and press gnocchi along tines with thumb; roll down to make ridges. 6. Add gnocchi to boiling, salted water; cook until they float to the top, 1–3 minutes. SAUCE 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 medium shallots, minced 4 garlic cloves, minced 2 roasted jalapeno peppers, minced* 1 (28-ounce) can whole, peeled tomatoes 6 basil leaves, thinly sliced 1 teaspoon kosher salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper Parmesan cheese, grated, for garnish 1. Heat oil over medium-high heat in medium saucepan. Add shallots, and sauté until translucent; add garlic, and sauté 2 minutes. 2. Add minced jalapeno and tomatoes, and crush with a masher while in pan. 3. Bring to a boil; then lower to simmer for 15–20 minutes, stirring every few minutes. 4. Remove from heat. Stir in basil and gnocchi. Season with salt and pepper. Top with parmesan if desired.

Optimum Wellness is excited to partner with Johnson & Wales University. Jorge de la Torre, dean of culinary education at the Denver campus, and a few of his star students developed these recipes. Known as a recognized leader in culinary education, JWU is changing the way the world eats. For more information, visit jwu.edu/denver.

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 2. In a medium pot, boil potatoes with skins until fork-tender. Drain excess water; peel skins. Mash the potatoes and let cool. 3. In a medium bowl, whisk together salt, flours, baking powder, baking soda and spices. 4. In a large bowl, combine mashed potato, sugars, sour cream and egg. 5. Add dry ingredients to potato mixture, and beat until just incorporated. Dough will be sticky. Let dough rest for 10 minutes. 6. Dust counter with all-purpose flour; roll out dough to ½-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch circular cookie cutter, punch holes from dough and line them up on parchment-lined baking sheet. Take a 1-inch circular cookie cutter and punch holes in the dough center. 7. Bake 12–13 minutes, until donuts start to turn golden brown. Remove from pan, and cool on a rack. Prepare topping. APPLE COMPOTE 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 tablespoon brown sugar 2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey 2 cups apple juice 1 apple, diced in ¼-inch pieces 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour Water, as needed 1. In a small sauté pan, melt butter and then add sugar, creating a paste. Add agave, stir; then add juice and apple. Simmer 5 minutes. 2. In a small bowl, add water to flour a little at a time, creating a slurry to prevent clumping. 3. Slowly stir slurry into hot liquid, cook until thickened. Top doughnuts with compote.


LIVE KIND

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MAKE IT, BUY IT

eat

Souped Up WHEN THE TEMPERATURES DIP, THERE IS NOTHING MORE COMFORTING THAN A WARM BOWL OF SOUP. WHETHER FROM YOUR OWN KITCHEN OR PREMADE, SPOONFUL BY SPOONFUL THESE HEARTY, HEALTHY OPTIONS WILL TAKE THE CHILL OFF AND FILL YOUR BELLY, TOO. BY KIMBERLY LORD STEWART

Chicken Tikka Masala Soup MAKE IT: We dare you not to say “Mmmmm” after your first bite of this take on an Indian favorite. Serve with whole-grain naan or flatbread. Serves 6–8

AARON COLUSSI, STYLE ERIC LESKOVAR

INGREDIENTS 2 tablespoons canola oil 1 onion, diced 1 red pepper, cored and cubed 2 teaspoons garam masala spice blend 2 cloves garlic, minced 1-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and minced 1 garnet sweet potato, peeled and cubed 1 yellow sweet potato, peeled and cubed 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes 32 ounces chicken stock, divided 1 (16-ounce) jar tikka masala sauce (try Kroger Private Selection) 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained ½ small cauliflower, stems removed, cut into small florets ½ roasted chicken, meat pulled off the bone Salt and pepper, as desired Greek yogurt for garnish

DIRECTIONS 1. Heat oil over low heat in a large soup pot. Add onions and peppers; sauté 15–20 minutes, until soft. 2. Turn up heat to medium, add garam masala, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger. Stir, and sauté for 1 minute. Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes and half of the chicken stock. Fill tomato can halfway with water, swish to remove tomato clinging to the can, and add to the pot. 3. Bring to a simmer, and cook on low for 30 minutes, until sweet potatoes are soft. 4. Add tikka masala sauce, garbanzos, remaining chicken stock, cauliflower and roasted chicken. Bring back to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes, until cauliflower is cooked. Season with salt and pepper; serve with a dollop of yogurt for each bowl.

BUY IT: AMY’S INDIAN DAL CURRIED LENTIL In Indian cuisine, dal means lentils, peas or beans. In Amy’s dal, you’ll find all three: mung dal beans, organic black mung lentils, green lentils and split yellow peas, all in a mild curry base. optimumwellnessmagazine.com

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MAKE IT, BUY IT

Cashew Butternut Squash Soup with Spiced Marshmallows MAKE IT: Warm baking spices give this otherwise traditional winter soup an added blanket of warmth. The marshmallow garnish is optional, but it’s a fun way to get your kids to eat their vegetables. Serves 4–6 INGREDIENTS 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 onion chopped 1 carrot, chopped 1 celery stalk, diced 1 large shallot, diced 1 Honeycrisp apple, peeled, cored and chopped ¼ teaspoon ground cumin ¼ teaspoon ground ginger 1⁄8 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed

½ cup raw cashews 32 ounces vegetable stock ¾ cup light, canned coconut milk 6 large marshmallows, one per person, cut in half to make two flat disks; sprinkle each cut side with a light dusting of cayenne or cinnamon (optional)

BUY IT: PACIFIC ORGANIC CREAMY BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP Butternut squash sweetness meets nice and spicy in this creamy soup. Ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg round out the sweet squash flavors. Dairy- and glutenfree food lovers will flock to this delicious vegan soup. 32 Winter 2016 / Optimum Wellness

AARON COLUSSI, STYLE ERIC LESKOVAR

DIRECTIONS 1. Add olive oil to large soup pot on medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, shallot and apple. Sauté until golden brown, about 10 minutes. 2. Add cumin, ginger and nutmeg. Sauté for 3 minutes. 3. Add squash, cashews and stock. Bring to a low boil and simmer until squash is soft. 4. Let soup cool for about 30 minutes (or refrigerate). 5. Transfer soup in batches to a blender. Puree each batch until smooth, and return to pot. Add coconut milk to thin out soup. Reheat. 6. Place spiced marshmallows in the bottom of each bowl, and pour in the soup. The heat will melt the marshmallows as they float to the top.


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MAKE IT, BUY IT

Artichoke, Leek and Potato Soup with Crispy Prosciutto MAKE IT: This no-cream leek and potato soup will please all palates. Serve with a crusty whole-grain baguette and a salad to complete the meal. Serves 6

INGREDIENTS 3 large leeks 2 tablespoons canola oil 2 celery stalks 1 (14-ounce) water-packed, canned artichoke hearts, drained and chopped 2 cloves garlic, peeled 1 teaspoon dried thyme 6 large red potatoes, washed and cut into quarters 8 cups vegetable broth Salt and pepper, to taste 3 ounces prosciutto (optional)

DIRECTIONS 1. Fill a large bowl with warm water. Slice hairy ends off the leeks, and thinly slice the root, stopping at the darkgreen tops. Place leeks in the warm water; let sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to loosen any dirt. Drain and rinse twice. 2. Heat oil over low heat in a large soup pot. Add drained leeks and celery; sauté for 20 minutes until soft. Add drained artichokes, garlic and thyme. Raise heat to medium, and sauté for 2–3 minutes. Add potatoes and broth; bring to a soft boil, and cook until potatoes are soft. 3. Remove soup from heat and let sit for 15 minutes to cool. Puree soup in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return pureed vegetables to the pot; season with salt and pepper. 4. For optional garnish, place prosciutto on a parchmentlined baking sheet. Place in a 375° oven for about 5 minutes until crisp. Serve on top of each bowl of soup.

BUY IT: IMAGINE ORGANIC CREAMY POTATO LEEK SOUP This potato and leek soup is light and creamy, with leeks, onions, potatoes and roasted garlic. A blend of organic spices add an extra touch of flavor. 34 Winter 2016 / Optimum Wellness

AARON COLUSSI, STYLE ERIC LESKOVAR

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Uncommon goodness. Uncommonly good. We make every chip flavor with a unique blend of delicious ingredients like sprouted flax seed, sprouted chia seed and sprouted quinoa, which means they taste better.

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MAKE IT, BUY IT

20-Minute Italian Meatball Wedding Soup MAKE IT: Culinary lore says the name of this soup came from the marriage of three ingredients: meat, greens and broth. In 15 minutes, this hearty soup is ready, and the flavors are well married to please a hungry crowd. Serves 6

DIRECTIONS 1. Place frozen vegetables, seasoning, tomatoes, broth and chopped spinach in a pot. Bring to a boil, and stir often to break up the frozen vegetables and blend flavors, about 12 minutes. 2. Add meatballs and pasta. Cook for 6 minutes or until pasta is cooked and meatballs are heated through. Add cheese, stir, and adjust seasoning.

AARON COLUSSI, STYLE ERIC LESKOVAR

INGREDIENTS 1 (12-ounce) bag frozen vegetables (try Kroger precut 3 Pepper and Onion Blend) 1½ teaspoons dried Italian seasoning 28 ounces canned, diced tomatoes 32 ounces beef broth 10 ounces frozen, chopped spinach 1 tablespoon tomato paste 18 prepared frozen meatballs (or try Gardein frozen meatless meatballs) ½ cup dried acini di pepe pasta (or orzo) ¼ cup grated Romano cheese

BUY IT: IMAGINE ITALIAN STYLE WEDDING SOUP Mamma Mia! This boxed Italian soup is a wedded bliss of flavors, including beans, pasta, spinach and all-natural mini-meatballs. It’s a family favorite that will please everyone at the table.

36 Winter 2016 / Optimum Wellness


Strawberry Lemon Smoothie Bowl Eat—don’t drink—your morning smoothie. 1 scoop Vega Protein & Greens Vanilla

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1 cup frozen strawberries ½ frozen banana 2 Tbsp lemon juice Blend an extra thick smoothie, pour into bowl, top with granola and fruit. Enjoy with a spoon!

and size(s) indicated. not be reproduced. NOTICE: This May DigiCode™ fileVoid is considered ori transferred to any person, firm, or group prior to byif the purchaser. Use of this file confirms acce store redemption. Coupon valid in-store only. Only or distortion is prohibited. See back of the Sym one coupon may be used on one tub per purchase. One time use only. Redeemable at Fred Meyers, King Encode: 8110308387660009555435001100003160430 SYMBOL HEIGHT 0.0104 BWA -0.0020 Soopers and0.8576 RalphsNBAR stores where Vega is sold. 95554 $5 off 1 any Vega Protein & Greens, tu Offer valid until 03/14/16. Contact/Inquire within. 083876600-095554

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Ingredients

1 large homegrown tomato 1 large avocado 3-4 green onions chopped 4 crispy bacon slices, crumbled 1/4 cup of sliced black olives 1/4 cup of feta cheese (or cheese of your choice) BRIANNAS Italian Vinaigrette Dressing

Consumer: Coupon void if transferred to any group, firm or person prior to store redemption. Coupon valid for items indicated; any other use constitutes fraud, may not be combined with any other offer. One coupon per purchase of product(s) indicated. Retailer: This coupon will be redeemed for the face value plus 8¢ handling provided terms of this offer have been complied with by the retailer and the consumer. Any sales tax must be paid by the consumer. Send to: Del Sol Food Company, Inmar dept. #27271, 1 Fawcett Dr., Del Rio, TX 78840. Cash Value .001¢. Offer limited to one coupon per purchase of product(s) indicated. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. Good only in the U.S.A. © 2016 Del Sol Food Company, Inc.

Directions

1. Slice tomato and arrange on a plate in the shape of a star. 2. Slice avocado and place on top of tomato slices. 3. Sprinkle onions, olives and bacon on top along with the cheese. 4. Drizzle desired amount of BRIANNAS Italian Vinaigrette dressing on salad. 5. Chill for 15 minutes - ENJOY! Serves 2

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HEALTHY KITCHEN

Salad in Winter

JUST BECAUSE THE WEATHER IS COLD IS NO REASON TO LET YOUR SALAD RECIPES HIBERNATE. BY KIMBERLY LORD STEWART

Thai Glass Noodle and Edamame Salad

These noodles go by different names—glass, vermicelli rice, cellophane or rice stick noodles. No matter the name, rice noodles are a fun way to get kids to eat their vegetables. Serves 4 2 cups frozen, shelled edamame 1 (8-ounce) package glass rice noodles 2 cups finely shredded purple cabbage 1 tablespoon sesame oil 1 cup sugar peas or snow peas, sliced 1 cup shredded carrots 1 red pepper, thinly sliced 1/3 cucumber, cut in half down the middle, sliced into moons 2 green onions, thinly sliced ½ bunch cilantro, chopped 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped 2 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded DRESSING 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce 2 tablespoons rice vinegar 1 lime, juiced 2 tablespoons soy sauce ½ teaspoon ground ginger 4 tablespoons peanut butter Water Sriracha sauce, to taste

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the edamame, and stir. When the water returns to a boil, add the noodles. Remove from the heat, and let sit for 6 minutes. Add cabbage to noodles and hot water to soften. Stir, and let sit for 2 minutes. Immediately drain in a colander, and pat dry with a towel. 2. Place in a serving bowl, and add sesame oil. Toss lightly to coat the noodles and vegetables. 3. Add remaining vegetables, cilantro, peanuts and chicken. 4. Whisk dressing ingredients. If too thick, add a little water to thin it out. Season with Sriracha sauce as desired. 5. Dress salad, and stir gently to coat well.

Greens are good, but think about adding more color to your plate with red leaf lettuce, red radicchio and shredded purple cabbage.

Grilled Mediterranean Caesar with Capers and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

2 organic whole romaine hearts, cut lengthwise 2 pounds salmon or flank steak 4 tablespoons capers 16 sun-dried tomatoes (oilpacked), drained and thinly sliced ¹⁄₈ red onion, thinly sliced 1 lemon, cut into quarters DRESSING 1 garlic clove, crushed 1 tablespoon lemon juice ¹⁄₃ cup plain 2% Greek yogurt 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided ¼–½ cup extra-virgin olive oil Salt and pepper, to taste

38 Winter 2016 / Optimum Wellness

1. Prepare dressing: Place garlic, lemon juice, yogurt, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and white wine vinegar in a blender or small food processor. Process until smooth. Add half the cheese, and pulse until mixed in. Start with ¼ cup olive oil, and puree until smooth. Add more if necessary to thin out dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 2. Brush cut lettuce halves and fish or steak on both sides with dressing. 3. Grill salmon or steak on an outside grill or in a hot skillet on your stovetop to desired internal temperature. During the last 2 minutes of grilling, place the lettuce cut side down on the grill or in another skillet; grill until lightly browned. 4. Place lettuce on a plate, grilled side up. Garnish with capers, sun-dried tomatoes and red onion. Serve with the meat or fish. Drizzle both with the remaining dressing. Serve with extra lemon.

AARON COLUSSI (5), STYLE ERIC LESKOVAR

Pair this eggless Caesar salad with grilled salmon or steak, and you’ll have an elegant meal in less than 30 minutes. No yolk! Serves 4


Roasted Root Vegetables with Arugula

Oven-roasting brings out the sweetness in winter vegetables. Any winter vegetables will do, so experiment with your favorites. Try to cut all of the vegetables the same size so they cook evenly. Serves 4 1 parsnip, peeled, cut lengthwise into quarters, and again in 2-inch bars 2 carrots, peeled, cut like the parsnip 1 sweet potato, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces 1 onion, peeled, cut into eighths 1 bunch small beets (any color), peeled, cut into eighths 2 apples, peeled, cut into eighths ¹⁄₃ cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 teaspoons dried thyme Kosher salt and pepper, to taste 4–5 cups arugula 3 ounces strong blue cheese DRESSING ¼ cup apple cider vinegar ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons maple syrup ¹⁄₈ teaspoon dried mustard (or ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard) Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 425°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place vegetables and apples in a single layer on baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, and season with thyme. Stir to coat well. Season with salt and pepper. 2. Bake for 30–40 minutes, until vegetables are tender. 3. Remove from oven and transfer to a cool baking sheet. Refrigerate to bring to room temperature (about 15 minutes). 4. Whisk dressing ingredients together. 5. Divide arugula on salad plates. Top with roasted vegetables and blue cheese. Spoon dressing over salad, and serve.

Pink Shrimp and Citrus Medallion Salad

After one bite of this seaside, main-dish salad, you’ll forget it’s winter. Serves 4 1 large head butter lettuce, washed, dried, torn into bite-size pieces 2 bunches baby bok choy, washed, torn into bite-size pieces 4 fresh mint sprigs, divided 5 fresh dill stems, divided 2 naval or blood oranges 2 pink grapefruits ¹⁄₃ English cucumber, thinly sliced 1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, cut into 8 segments 1½ pounds cooked, peeled shrimp DRESSING ½ cup avocado oil 1 lemon, juiced 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 2 teaspoons agave Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Gently toss lettuce and bok choy in a bowl. Set aside. 2. Remove mint leaves from the stems. Sprinkle half on the salad. Chop the rest, and set aside. Chop the dill leaves; put half on the salad. Set the rest aside. 3. Cut away the peel and white pith from the oranges and grapefruits. Cut out the segments; set aside. Reserve the orange and grapefruit membrane insides. 4. Squeeze the juice from what is left of the orange and grapefruit insides into a small bowl. Add avocado oil, lemon juice, vinegar, agave and reserved mint and dill. Whisk, and season with salt and pepper. 5. Retoss the salad, and place greens on dinner plates. Top each with cucumbers, avocado, citrus segments and shrimp. Dress and serve.

Remember, oil and water don’t mix. Lettuce greens need to be dried well so the dressing won’t slide off. optimumwellnessmagazine.com

39


FOR THE LOVE OF

COCOA

HOW TO GET MORE OF THIS HEART-HEALTHY SUPERFOOD WITHOUT OVERDOSING ON SWEETS BY LISA MARSHALL

B

y now, you’ve seen the headlines: Cocoa is good for you. Deep within that scrumptious chocolate bar or frothing cup of hot cocoa rest powerful bioactive compounds called flavanols (also present in berries, tea and wine), linked to everything from preventing heart attacks and dementia to stabilizing blood sugar and boosting sports performance. But before you sink your teeth into another candy bar, consider this: To get enough cocoa flavanols (600 to 750 mg daily) to prompt such probable health benefits, you’d have to eat as much as 1,000 calories of dark chocolate, or many thousands of calories of sugarand-fat-loaded milk chocolate each day. “The evidence is very promising that cocoa flavanols could reduce risk of heart disease and other disorders,” notes cocoa researcher JoAnn Manson, M.D., chief of the

40 Winter 2016 / Optimum Wellness

Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “But we wouldn’t recommend trying to obtain large quantities by simply eating more chocolate. The added calorie intake would be too high.” Instead, she and other nutrition experts suggest this: Try to consume cocoa in as pure a state as possible—as unsweetened cocoa powder, cacao nibs or sparing amounts of high-quality dark chocolate—and incorporate its earthy, savory taste into a variety of meals. “We are talking about a nutrient-dense, phytochemicalrich food that can be eaten in breakfasts, desserts and every way in between,” says registered dietitian Matt Ruscigno, coauthor of Superfoods for Life: Cacao (Fair Winds, 2014), a cookbook that features everything from smoothies to sandwiches, quinoa and lasagna. “Today in the Western world it has unfortunately become mostly just a candy bar. But it has so much more to offer,” Ruscigno says.


SHUTTERSTOCK

optimumwellnessmagazine.com

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FOR THE LOVE OF COCOA GLOSSARY: COCOA VS. CACAO CACAO BEANS: The dried, fatty seed of the fruit of the Theobroma cacao tree. Some vegans and raw foodists eat them raw for snacks, but they are very bitter. If you are expecting a “chocolate” taste, you’re in for a surprise. CACAO NIBS: Cracked, shelled cacao beans, usually roasted, but sometimes available raw. Have a bitter taste, like cacao beans. None of the inherent cocoa butter has been removed, so they are high in good fat. CACAO POWDER: Not to be confused with cocoa powder, cacao powder is made from grinding down the shelled cacao bean. Sometimes raw, sometimes roasted. Unlike cocoa powder, in which the cocoa butter has been removed, it is high in fat and has a fullbodied texture. COCOA LIQUOR: The paste made from ground, roasted, shelled and fermented cacao beans. This is what is referred to as “percent cacao” on food packaging.

As far back as 3000 B.C., chefs in Ecuador were likely brewing pulp from the fruit of the Theobroma cacao, aka cocoa tree, to make a fermented alcoholic drink, says Santa Fe–based chocolate historian Mark Sciscenti. By around 2000 B.C., residents of southern Mexico and Central America were trading cacao beans (the base ingredient for cocoa powder and chocolate) as a valuable currency. Mayans and Aztecs dried and roasted the beans, mixed them into a paste with cornmeal and spices, and crumbled them into water for an ancient, often cold, chocolate beverage reserved for religious ceremonies, medicinal treatments and elite treats. “Its consumption was pretty much the exclusive right of the rulers, the priests and the warriors,” Sciscenti says. Notably absent was sugar, leaving those early cocoa drinks with a bitter taste. Only in the late 1500s, when cacao beans made their way to Spain, did people start adding mild sweeteners. By the 1700s—after the French and Italians piled on a little more sugar—hot chocolate had become a European luxury item, lauded for its energy42 Winter 2016 / Optimum Wellness

boosting and aphrodisiac properties. It would take another century until, in the mid-1800s, inventor Joseph Fry developed the first chocolate bar. Today, according to market research firm Mintel, the average American eats about 9.5 pounds of chocolate each year—the vast majority of it milk chocolate. That’s too bad, says Sciscenti, because all of that added milk and sugar negates many of the health benefits that come from cocoa. The good news: Traditional uses of cocoa have been enjoying a renaissance, with vegan and vegetarian athletes like Ruscigno stirring raw cacao powder or cocoa powder (see the Glossary for the difference between cocoa and cacao) into their breakfast smoothies, artisanal beverage makers like Sciscenti crafting old-school hot chocolates again and high-end chefs mixing it with herbs to create spice rubs for meats. “I love the earthiness that unsweetened cocoa brings to dishes and the hint of bitterness it has,” says registered dietitian and chef Sara Haas. “It makes a great platform for savory recipes and adds interest to dishes (like beef, chicken or duck) that are otherwise a little one-note.”

COCOA BUTTER: When cocoa liquor is pressed and the cocoa solids are removed, slightly more than half of the remaining product is the cacao fat, or cocoa butter. It is 100 percent fat and is used in foods and cosmetics. COCOA POWDER: What is left after the cocoa butter has been removed from the liquor. Cocoa powder is one of the most recognized and used forms of cacao. CHOCOLATE: Cocoa liquor plus cocoa butter plus sugar. The percentage of cocoa liquor in chocolate determines how “dark” it is. (Milk chocolate, which also includes milk products, typically contains around 10–12 percent cocoa liquor. White chocolate contains about 20 cocoa butter, plus sugar and dairy ingredients. Baking chocolate is no less than 35 percent cocoa liquor and contains little to no sugar or other added ingredients.)

SHUTTERSTOCK

FROM BITTER BEAN TO SINFUL BAR


AZTEC-STYLE CHOCOLATE DRINK This drink is based on the original Aztec cacao beverage, for which they ground the beans into a mealy powder and cooked it with water and spices. 4 servings ½ cup raw cacao powder or nibs 3 cups water 1 teaspoon fresh or dried minced chili pepper, or to taste 1 cinnamon stick, crushed Pinch of salt 1 vanilla bean 1. Take a mortar and pestle, and grind the nibs into a powder; or if your powder has pieces in it, grind that into a finer texture. You can also use a food processor. 2. Add the water, chili and cinnamon stick to a medium-size pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain, saving the chili water. Mix the chili water with the cacao and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring. Lower to simmer, and cook for 15–20 minutes. Scrape the vanilla bean, and add both the scrapings and the bean to the concoction for the last few minutes of simmering. Serve hot or warm. CREDIT: SUPERFOODS FOR LIFE: CACAO, BY MATT RUSCIGNO, RECIPE

GLENN SCOTT PHOTOGRAPHY

BY JOSHUA PLOEG

HOW TO CHOOSE A HEALTHY CHOCOLATE BAR The first ingredient should be “cocoa (cacao) beans,” “cocoa mass” or “chocolate liquor.” If sugar is first, it’s candy, not chocolate. If it contains milk, it’s milk chocolate and likely far lower in cocoa flavanols. Look for the percentage of cocoa on the label: 75 percent and up is best.

200 milligrams of cocoa flavanols is equivalent to 2.5 grams cocoa powder (about a half teaspoon) or 10 grams of dark chocolate (about one-fifth of a regular-size chocolate bar).

optimumwellnessmagazine.com

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FOR THE LOVE OF COCOA

RICH CHOCOLATY VEGETABLE TARTS Each vegetable works well with chocolate by itself, but when used all together, this recipe is to die for. Makes 12 servings

DO-IT-YOURSELF COCOA PIECRUST Yield: 2 crusts 2 tablespoons sugar ¼ cup sweetened or unsweetened cocoa powder 1¼ cups sifted unbleached white flour ¼ teaspoon salt ½ cup cold vegan margarine (or oil: coconut oil works well; use slightly less than ½ cup) 3–4 tablespoons cold water

44 Winter 2016 / Optimum Wellness

Preheat oven to 425°. Mix the sugar, cocoa powder, flour and salt in a bowl. Cut in margarine until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix water in by the tablespoon until you can form a malleable ball. Roll out the dough to fit lightly greased pie pans, and press in gently. Prick here and there with a fork; then add filling. CREDIT: SUPERFOODS FOR LIFE: CACAO, BY MATT RUSCIGNO, RECIPE BY JOSHUA PLOEG

1. Preheat oven to 425°. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin. 2. Mix mushrooms, onion, garlic, tamari and chives together in a bowl. Set aside. 3. Divide the dough into 12 little balls, roll out into thin crusts (¼-inch thick) on a floured board, and press into the muffin tin. In each crust, place an equal portion of artichoke, followed by an equal portion of mushroom mixture on top. Sprinkle with a little lemon juice if you wish, and salt. Next add a basil leaf, then a tomato slice, and finish with chocolate pieces and a sprinkle of olive oil. 4. Bake for 12 minutes, reduce temperature to 375°, and cook for 15 minutes more, or until the crust is done to your liking.

GLENN SCOTT PHOTOGRAPHY

1 cup sliced mushrooms ½ cup thinly sliced onion 2 minced garlic cloves, or to taste 1 teaspoon tamari, or to taste ¼ cup minced, fresh chives 1 batch Do-It-Yourself Cocoa Piecrust, using half the sugar and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 2 cups sliced artichoke hearts Juice of 1 lemon (optional) ½ teaspoon salt 12 basil leaves (more if they are small) 1 cup sliced tomatoes, or 12 thin slices, drained to remove excess water 3–4 ounces chopped bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate 1 tablespoon olive oil


5 WAYS TO COCOA UP YOUR DAY A NEW WEAPON AGAINST HEART DISEASE?

flow to a region of the brain associated with age-related memory loss and performed better on memory tests. Small amounts of stimulants like caffeine and theobromine may also contribute to cocoa’s “feel-good” effect, says Ruscigno. Because it is nutrientdense, boosts blood flow to muscles and may have antioxidant properties that protect muscle cells from damage, cocoa is also becoming increasingly popular among athletes as either a pick-me-up before or during a workout, or a recovery drink afterward. Manson stresses that, thus far, human studies around cocoa have been believed to trigger natural production 2. Add some powder to your milk before small and preliminary so it’s too early of nitric oxide (the active ingredient in adding it to your to say for sure just how much cocoa many cardiovascular drugs) triggering coffee. flavanol people should be getting every artery walls to relax, letting blood, 3. Mix cocoa powder day. “Large-scale trials are needed,” oxygen and nutrients flow more freely in with a little almond she says. To meet that need, Brigham to the heart, brain and muscles. Cocoa or peanut butter to and Women’s Hospital and Harvard may also diminish inflammation and use as a spread for Medical School just launched the help stabilize blood sugar, which could toast or fruit. COSMOS (Cocoa Supplement and support brain health, too, Manson says. 4. Toss crushed cacao Multivitamin Outcomes Study), the One recent study, published in the nibs in with rice pilaf British Journal of Nutrition, found that for a nutrient-dense largest study yet of cocoa’s health benefits. The four-year study will look healthy men and women ages 35–60 vegetarian dish. at 18,000 men and women, some of who consumed a drink containing cocoa 5. Use cocoa powder whom will take 600 mg daily of cocoa flavanols twice a day for four weeks had as one of the spices flavanols in the form of supplements lower blood pressure, better blood flow in your chili. Or mix to see what impact—if any—cocoa has and improved cholesterol. In all, their risk it with chili powder, paprika, cumin and on heart attack, stroke and other health of being diagnosed with cardiovascular brown sugar, and measures. disease within the next 10 years fell 22 incorporate it into an Until then, aim for 400 to 700 mg per percent. Another study, by Columbia earthy rub for beef, day, mostly via unsweetened cocoa, and University researchers, found that chicken or pork. go easy on the candy bars. “Chocolate in volunteers who drank a cocoa beverage SOURCES: REGISTERED moderation is perfectly fine,” Manson containing 900 mg of flavanols per day DIETITIANS SARA HAAS AND says. “But it is not a health food.” for three months had increased blood MATT RUSCIGNO

SHUTTERSTOCK (LEFT), GLENN SCOTT PHOTOGRAPHY

1. Add unsweetened cocoa powder to One of the first hints of cocoa’s powerful your fruit smoothie or yogurt in the health properties came from a tribe morning, or cacao of Kuna Indians living off the coast of nibs to your oatmeal Panama. They drink huge quantities of or granola. Start minimally processed cocoa (as much as sparingly, so you five cups per day) and deaths from cancer, don’t make your dish too bitter. For a richer hypertension and cardiovascular disease are extremely rare among them, according taste and consistency, use raw or roasted to research conducted at Harvard. When cacao powder, they move away and stop drinking cocoa, which—unlike cocoa their incidence of disease spikes. powder—still contains the fatty components More recent research has offered of the cocoa bean. hints as to why. Cocoa flavanols are

BABY CARROTS WITH LEMON AND CHOCOLATE This is an easy way to spruce up boring, old baby carrots. 4 servings 2 cups baby carrots 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed ¼ cup diced white onion 1 tablespoon olive oil ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste ¼ teaspoon black pepper 6 lemon slices, about ¼-inch thick 2 teaspoons minced, fresh oregano ¼ cup vegetable broth 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped 1 tablespoon tomato paste Sauté the carrots, garlic and onion in the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat with some of the salt and pepper for 3 minutes. Add the lemon, oregano and broth; cook for 5 minutes more. Stir in the chocolate and tomato paste, and cook for 2–3 minutes. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm. CREDIT: SUPERFOODS FOR LIFE: CACAO, BY MATT RUSCIGNO, RECIPE BY JOSHUA PLOEG

Summer optimumwellnessmagazine.com 2014 / Optimum Wellness

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The Truth About Protein PROTEIN IS THE MVP ON YOUR DINNER PLATE, BUT IT’S ALSO A SOURCE OF DEBATE. HERE WE DELIVER FACTS ABOUT PROTEIN TO HELP YOU PLAN YOUR NEXT MEAL. BY GINA DEMILLO WAGNER

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YEARS AGO, most of us gave little thought to protein. But thanks to the advent of high-protein/low-carbohydrate diets like Atkins and, more recently, the paleo movement (which advocates a diet high in unprocessed protein like wild-caught fish and grass-fed meat), this macronutrient has become a source of debate. How much protein should you eat? What are the best sources? Should you load up on protein after exercise? Can vegetarians and vegans get enough protein from plants alone? To answer these questions, we scoured dozens of research papers, spoke with nutrition experts and consulted the latest U.S. dietary recommendations. Here’s what we found. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT One thing experts agree on: Protein is essential to the human diet. The old adage “you are what you eat” holds especially true, because our muscles, skin, hair, bones and organs are made primarily of protein. In fact, protein is the second-most abundant molecule in the body (after water). It’s one of the three

macronutrients essential to providing your body with energy; fat and carbohydrates are the other two. And it plays an essential role in healing, muscle building and growth. HOW MUCH PROTEIN SHOULD YOU EAT? The USDA recommends a daily allowance (RDA) of 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight—that’s roughly 54 grams per day for a 150-pound person (to put that in real-life terms, check out “What Does 20 Grams of Protein Look Like?” on page 49). But many experts believe that’s not enough. Recently, the International Society of Sports Nutrition looked at available research and released a position statement on protein. They say that if you’re an active adult, your body needs more than the RDA of protein to build lean tissue and repair exercise-induced muscle damage. Other research out of Harvard Medical School suggests that replacing some starch, sugars and processed fats in your diet with protein is good for your heart and your waistline. But the question remains: How much more protein do we need? optimumwellnessmagazine.com

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think There’s no simple answer to that question, says Jonathan Bailor, New York Times best-selling author of The Calorie Myth (Harper Wave, 2013) and founder of sanesolution.com, a diet and weight loss program. Your dietary protein needs vary with your body size and activity level, he says. A good rule of thumb, based on recommendations from several recent studies, is this: If you’re sedentary, then the RDA of 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight should suffice. But if you’re active—say you exercise a few times per week—bump that up to 0.5 grams per pound of body weight, about 75 grams per day for a 150-pound person. And if you’re highly active—looking to build muscle, endurance and strength—you can consume even more: 0.6 to 0.9 grams per pound of body weight per day, or 90 to 135 grams for a 150-pound person. WHEN IS THE BEST TIME OF DAY TO EAT PROTEIN? For years we’ve been told that the best time to consume protein is at dinnertime, and/or within an hour of exercising to promote muscle recovery. As a result, protein shakes are very popular, especially among fitness and weight-loss enthusiasts. But new research says that it’s better to consume protein throughout the day, at every meal. Researchers at Lehman College in New York City and California State University, Northridge, found that total protein intake throughout the day (plus regular exercise) is more crucial to muscle gains than protein loading at certain times of day.

PROTEIN STAVES OFF BINGES AND CRAVINGS One benefit of eating protein throughout the day is that it diminishes junk food cravings. Protein takes longer to digest, Bailor says, and leaves you feeling fuller much longer than other foods, like carbs and processed grains. For that reason, it’s not a bad idea to drink a protein shake after you exercise. For one, the protein restores your energy and helps you feel full, so you’ll be less likely to “reward” yourself with unhealthy food postworkout. A dose of protein will kick-start recovery and muscle building, too. HOW CAN VEGETARIANS AND VEGANS GET ENOUGH PROTEIN? The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says well-planned vegetarian diets deliver all the vitamins and nutrients the human body needs, including protein, and that vegetarian diets are associated with several health benefits, including lower blood cholesterol levels, lower risk of heart disease, lower body mass and decreased risk of diabetes. “Plant protein can meet protein requirements when a variety of plant foods is consumed,” the academy writes. Variety is key. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you will have to be more vigilant, making sure you’re getting enough protein from numerous sources. Combining legumes, whole grains and greens, for instance, will ensure that you get not just protein, but the full range of amino acids your body needs.


NOT ALL PROTEIN SOURCES ARE CREATED EQUAL Some protein sources are more concentrated than others. For example, eggs are about 34 percent protein. Beans are about 20 percent protein, and nuts are less than 20 percent protein. “Compare that to wild-caught seafood and humanely raised animals, which can be upward of 90 percent protein, and you’ll see why animal sources are most efficient,” says Bailor. “Animal sources of protein also provide dramatically better amino acid profiles (they are ‘complete’ proteins).”

What Does 20 Grams of Protein Look Like? To meet your daily protein target, plan to eat 20 grams of protein at each meal, plus a couple of proteinpacked snacks in between. Here are a few examples of what approximately 20 grams of protein looks like.

1¼ CUP COOKED LENTILS

A complete protein is one that contains all nine essential amino acids, which are ones that our bodies can’t create on their own and must be consumed. And while all animal proteins are complete, a few plant proteins, including those in quinoa, soy, buckwheat and hemp, are complete as well. Whatever diet you follow, be it omnivore, vegetarian, vegan, paleo or something else, make a conscious effort to work protein in throughout the day, every day. Your body will thank you.

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Winter Skin Primer 4 NATURAL WAYS TO HELP YOUR SKIN SURVIVE AND THRIVE THIS SEASON BY RHEA MAZE

YEAR AFTER YEAR WHEN TEMPERATURES DROP, the combination of cold wind blowing outside and dry air emanating from heaters inside saps our skin’s health and vitality. “Winter conditions dehydrate the skin, making it more susceptible to premature aging, hyperpigmentation and the development of fine lines,” says aesthetician Susan Ardabili, owner of Susie Organic Skin Care in Denver with more than 20 years of skin-care experience, including working with a number of A-list celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Nicole Kidman. Help your skin survive the season by getting back to the basics. 50 Winter 2016 / Optimum Wellness Wellness

Even when going more basic and natural with your skincare routine, you can still have allergic reactions. Be sure to always do a patch test when trying something new on your skin: Apply a small amount to the inside of your wrist, and monitor your skin’s reaction. Try natural products from brands like Azure, Derma E, Kiss My Face and Mountain Ocean.

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HYDRATE “Hydration is the first crucial step,” Ardabili says. And that doesn’t mean simply stocking up on face creams and moisturizers when cold weather arrives—you have to hydrate from the inside out. Drink plenty of water in addition to using a hydrating moisturizer daily. If you consistently suffer from dry skin, add a bit of honey to your regular toner or moisturizer. Honey is an ultramoisturizing, natural humectant that draws moisture to the skin. And if you want to keep crow’s feet at bay, place cucumber slices over your eyes when relaxing to rehydrate the eye area’s delicate and vulnerable skin tissue. For extra-rough skin on the hands, feet and elbows, try rubbing on olive, coconut or avocado oil, which provide a natural protective barrier that locks in moisture. Because these oils are rich and can clog pores, though, Ardabili doesn’t recommend using them on your face. REJUVENATE Uncover your skin’s natural radiance with a cleanser that gently sloughs away dry, dead skin. “Exfoliation is necessary for combating dull, dry skin,” Ardabili says. “Your skin cannot absorb beneficial vitamins and nutrients you apply to it if your pores are clogged with dead skin, dirt and oil.” With everything we put onto our skin and come into contact with in the environment each day, it’s crucial to let your skin breathe and recover at night. Don’t go to sleep without first washing your face with a natural soap or gentle cleanser free of detergent chemicals and artificial fragrances and removing all makeup. For a natural makeup remover, mash a cucumber into a paste and add a bit of lemon juice and a drop of rosemary essential oil. “Lemon is cleansing, purifying and rejuvenating, and rosemary oil has powerful antioxidant properties and can help clear up blemished skin,” Ardabili says. NOURISH Foods that are good for overall health are also good for your skin. A diet rich in antioxidants and healthy fats will help keep your skin clear and radiant. “Applying antioxidants directly to the skin is very important as well,” Ardabili says. In general and especially in winter, Ardabili recommends using skin-care products that contain vitamins A and C, hyaluronic acid and alpha-hydroxy acids. “Antioxidants such as vitamins A and C are great for boosting collagen production, softening fine lines and reducing hyperpigmentation,” Ardabili says. “Hyaluronic acid, which holds 1,000 times its weight in water, and alpha-hydroxy acids also help keep skin soft and smooth.” PROTECT It’s also important to use sun protection daily—even on the coldest, cloudiest winter days, when doing so seems unnecessary. Ultraviolet exposure is one of the leading causes of premature skin aging. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 every day. And because dry winter conditions are already aggravating your skin, don’t exacerbate the irritation by subjecting your skin to extra-long, hot showers or harsh, drying soaps. The hot water actually robs your skin of its natural oils, resulting in more dryness.

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boost Chamomile WHETHER YOU DRINK IT AS A TEA, SWALLOW IT AS A PILL, OR RUB IT ON AS A CREAM, CHAMOMILE CAN FIGHT WHAT’S AILING YOU. BY KELLEE KATAGI WHAT IS IT? Chamomile is an herb—a member of the daisy family—with a well-documented history of medicinal use. The two most common forms used today are German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) and Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile), with the former being the better researched and possibly more potent variety. USE IT FOR: Easing digestive stress, diarrhea and infant colic; relaxing your body to promote sleep; supporting your immune system; discouraging cancer growth. Chamomile can also help heal wounds and reduce inflammation of hemorrhoids when applied topically.

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THE SCIENCE: Evidence of chamomile’s therapeutic benefits stretches back to the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, who used it to treat fevers and ulcers. Today, studies suggest that the ancients were on to something. For example, research shows that chamomile squelches a bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers, and a study published in Phytomedicine found that it battles stomach acid in rats as well as (or even better than) commercial antacids. Research published in 2015 in The Gerentologist reported that, after controlling for other factors, chamomile tea consumption was associated with a longer life in women of Mexican origin, although not in men. HOW TO TAKE IT: Drink 1−3 cups of chamomile tea daily for general health and immune support, or have a cup before bed to encourage sleep. For higher doses (up to 1,600 mg daily), look for capsule form. Apply chamomile topical creams to wounds and other skin irregularities. As with all supplements, follow label directions, but reported side effects are minimal: potential drowsiness and possible allergic reactions for people sensitive to plants such as daisies and ragweed. optimumwellnessmagazine.com

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boost

SUPPLEMENTAL HEALTH CARE

OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS Regular consumption of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, seeds and nuts has long been linked to lower risk of death from heart disease, with benefits such as improved triglyceride levels, blood pressure and blood clotting. Omega-3 fatty acids generally help the body repair tissues and break the cycle of inflammation, a suspected factor in heart disease. Most omega-3 supplements are fish oil–based, but vegans and vegetarians can take ones derived from algae or flaxseed. Caution: Talk to your health care provider about interactions and side effects, particularly if you are taking blood thinners or have a blood-clotting disorder. Omega-3 supplements can react with other medications and also reduce the blood’s ability to clot. Dose: 1,000 mg daily, or as directed by your physician. ASPIRIN

6 SUPPLEMENTS TO SUPPORT CARDIOVASCULAR WELLNESS BY RADHA MARCUM

ARE YOU MOTIVATED TO KEEP YOUR HEART, your arteries and your entire cardiovascular system in tip-top shape for many years to come? If you have a genetic predisposition for heart disease, your risk may be increased; however, your habits may speak louder than your genes, experts say. Cardiovascular disease is currently the leading cause of death among Americans, but it doesn’t have to be. Research shows that smart diet and lifestyle choices— including staying active, not smoking and reducing dietary intake of sugars and refined carbohydrates, whole-fat animal products, fried foods, and trans fats (hydrogenated oils)—can do a lot to prevent heart disease. Plant foods such as whole soy, nuts, beans, legumes, and antioxidant-rich fresh fruits and vegetables also keep cholesterol levels in check and heart and arteries healthy. The following supplements can support your heart, too.

54 Winter 2016 / Optimum Wellness

PSYLLIUM FIBER Generally, the fiber you obtain from fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, oats and whole grains lowers “bad” LDL cholesterol, which can increase your risk of heart disease. Blond psyllium, a type of fiber derived from the outer covering of the psyllium plant’s seed, has cholesterol-lowering effects for those with mild to moderately high cholesterol. Often used as a laxative or for other digestive issues, such as diarrhea, psyllium has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol by 5 to 10 percent after seven or more weeks. When monitored by a physician, blond psyllium can sometimes be used to reduce the amount of prescription drugs needed to treat high cholesterol. Caution, though: Psyllium may cause constipation for some. Dose: 10–12 grams daily, with meals, for best results.

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Do Your Heart Good

If you have known cardiovascular disease, such as a prior heart attack, your doctor may prescribe a daily regimen of this classic pain reliever. The active ingredient of aspirin, salicylate, was originally found in white willow bark and was used by healers as far back as 3000 B.C. Aspirin has been widely proven in studies to lower risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular disease in high-risk individuals. Aspirin thins the blood and reduces the clumping action of platelets, making it less likely that dangerous clots will develop in congested arteries. Do not start taking aspirin without first consulting your doctor. Dose: Generally 75 mg to 325 mg daily.


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SUPPLEMENTAL HEALTH CARE

Sunlight is the strongest natural source for vitamin D. About 10 minutes of moderate summer sun exposure can supply you with 3,000 to 5,000 IU of vitamin D. You would have to drink approximately 30 glasses of milk to match that amount.

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Recent research links vitamin D deficiency to elevated risk of heart disease. These findings are relatively new, so research is under way to observe whether taking vitamin D supplements can, in fact, help prevent heart disease. However, because vitamin D is associated with so many proven benefits—stronger bones, reduction in cancer risk—doctors generally recommend it as part of an overall health strategy. Your doctor can order a simple blood test to tell you whether your vitamin D levels are optimum (between 30 and 60 ng/ ml). Fortified foods, such as milk, yogurt and orange juice, can provide some vitamin D, but supplementation is usually necessary to improve levels. Dose: Most adults need about 1,000 to 2,000 IU daily. Depending on your blood levels, you may be advised to take between 3,000 and 5,000 IU daily.

In studies, flaxseed has been shown to suppress and slow the progression of atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque in your arteries that can cause heart attack or stroke. High in inflammationtaming omega-3s and cholesterol-lowering fiber, flaxseed lowers overall cholesterol and reduces LDL cholesterol. For best results, refrigerate whole flaxseed and grind in a coffee grinder. Flaxseed’s oils can degrade quickly when the seeds are ground and left at room temperature. Flaxseed has a strong nutty flavor and is versatile. Sprinkle on cold or hot cereal, add to smoothies, or mix into muffins, cookies, quick breads or other baked goods. Like other types of fiber, flaxseed should be taken with plenty of water. Dose: 1–2 tablespoons ground flaxseed daily, with meals.

Coenzyme Q10 (or CoQ10) is a fat-soluble antioxidant that occurs naturally in organ meats and some fish. CoQ10 boosts metabolism, helping cells convert food to energy throughout the body. It also inhibits LDL cholesterol and may minimize atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the arteries). Early studies suggest that increasing CoQ10 levels by taking supplements may lower blood pressure and decrease symptoms and future risk of heart attack in patients with heart failure. Although CoQ10 deficiency is rare, your CoQ10 levels naturally decrease as you age. As with other supplements, CoQ10 can significantly alter the uptake and effectiveness of other drugs or treatments, so consult a physician before adding it to your daily regimen. Dose: Standard guidelines have not been set; consult your physician.

Because supplements, including these, can counteract the effectiveness of or interact negatively with prescription medications—or are inadvisable with certain health conditions—always consult your doctor before adding any to your daily routine.

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try Black Bean Brownies AN UNLIKELY COMBINATION WITH AN UNCOMMONLY GOOD TASTE Sound a bit dubious to you? Trust us, take one bite and you’ll never guess that these moist and yummy chocolate treats are full of protein- and fiber-filled black beans.

Fudgy Black Bean Brownies Makes 16 brownies 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed 3 large eggs 3 tablespoons applesauce (or canola oil) ¾ cup sugar (try natural or nonrefined cane sugar) ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ½ teaspoon peppermint extract, optional ½ teaspoon baking powder Pinch of salt ½ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips, divided 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat an 8x8-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. 2. Place black beans in a food processor, and process until smooth and creamy. Add eggs, applesauce, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, peppermint (if using), baking powder and salt; process until smooth. Add ¼ cup of chips, and pulse a few times until chips are incorporated. 3. Pour batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top with a rubber spatula, and sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup chocolate chips. 4. Bake 30–35 minutes, or until edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan before slicing into 2-inch squares.

60 Winter 2016 / Optimum Wellness

Recipe by Liz Weiss, M.S., R.D., and Janice Newell Bissex, M.S., R.D.; courtesy of The Bean Institute

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Add Beans to a Mix When you don’t have time to bake from scratch, add black beans to an all-natural brownie mix as a replacement for eggs and oil. Open a 15-ounce can of black beans, drain and rinse. Put beans back in the can and fill with water. Pour beans and water into a blender; blend until smooth. Stir in brownie mix (no need to add eggs or oil), pour into a greased pan and bake according to package directions.

NUTRIENT INFO PER SERVING: ONE 2X2-INCH BROWNIE 120 calories, 5 g fat (1.5 g saturated, 0.3 g omega-3), 95 mg sodium, 18 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein


Copyright © Lifeway Foods, Inc., 2015.

Pure. Simple. Delicious. Committed to quality, Lifeway Organic Lowfat Kefir is made with ingredients that have not been genetically modified. • USDA Certified Organic • Oregon Tilth Certified Organic • 99% Lactose-Free • Gluten-Free Created on 4-6-15 at 13:07:38 DigiCode™ Data File • by ACCOUNT : 87272 MANDLIK RHODES INFORMATION SYSTEMS, INC. SYMBOLOGY, INC. ORDERED BY : LIZZIE LABUDA • Maple Grove, Minnesota, 55369 P.O. NUMBER : LWF 90445 763-315-8080 INVOICE NO. : 1485965 ( EPS via EMAIL ) MANUFACTURER’S COUPON.

12 Probiotic Cultures High in Protein and Calcium

EXPIRATION DATE 4/30/16.

NOTICE: This DigiCode™ file is considered original artwork. It must be inspected and approved by the purchaser. Use of this file confirms acceptance. Any modification of this file through scaling or distortion is prohibited. See back of the Symbology invoice for Limitation of Warranty. Encode: 8110100170770904453100120000 SYMBOL HEIGHT 0.8576 NBAR 0.0104 BWA -0.0020 $1 off 2 any lifeway kefir product

0017077-090445

5

17077 00033

3

1.00 off

$

ANY TWO (2) 32OZ BOTTLES OF LIFEWAY ORGANIC LOWFAT KEFIR

CONSUMER: LIMIT ONE COUPON PER PURCHASE. Redeem only by purchasing the brand and size(s) indicated. May not be reproduced. Void if transferred to any person, firm, or group prior to store redemption. Any other use constitutes fraud. Consumer pays sales tax. Discount may not be combined with any other offer. No cashback. RETAILER: Lifeway Foods will reimburse you the face value of this coupon plus 8 cents handling in accordance with our redemption policy (copy available upon request). Consumer must pay any sales tax. Send all redeemed coupons to Lifeway Foods, Mandlik & Rhodes, PO Box 490, Dept # 1381, Tecate, CA 91980. Failure to produce invoices on request providing purchase of stock covering coupons may void all coupons submitted. Void if copied, reproduced, altered, transferred, sold or exchanged. Cash value: 1/100¢. © 2015 Lifeway Foods, All Rights Reserved.

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