SPREAD THE NEWS: HEALTHY NUT AND SEED BUTTERS ABOUND COMPLIMENTS OF
eat | think | thrive
HEALTHY LUNCHBOX IDEAS FOR KIDS
Olive Oil Ice Cream? REALLY? GIV E IT A TRY! pg 64
A FEW INGREDIENTS GO A LONG WAY
FROM SWEET TO SPICY TO SCORCHING, PEPPERS PEP UP MOST MEALS
GRATE EXPECTATIONS TASTY RECIPES FOR THE GRILL
GO WITH YOUR GUT
NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS FOR A HEALTHY TUMMY
Shockingly CREAMY. s Rich, creamy, totally indulgentâ€Ś and always dairy-free Itâ€™s healthy to be surprised once in a while.
Learn more about Salted Caramel Cluster Cashewmilk Frozen Dessert and our other varieties at SoDeliciousDairyFree.com
from the editor
Living Longer...and Better HARA HACHI BU. It’s a Confucian saying that residents of Okinawa, Japan, murmur before a meal to remind them to stop eating when they’re 80 percent full. It’s also one of the nine lessons of the Blue Zones, five places around the world where people live the longest. Okinawa, Japan; the Italian island of Sardinia; Loma Linda, California; Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula; and the Greek island of Ikaria: All are host to people who reach age 100 at rates 10 times greater the U.S. average. These areas were discovered by a group of researchers, along with best-selling author and National Geographic fellow Dan Buettner, who has written several books, including The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People (National Geographic, 2015). Buettner and the researchers found nine common lifestyle denominators among all of the places, where residents:
1. Move naturally, walking and working in gardens versus pumping iron or training for marathons; 2. Wake up each morning with a sense of purpose; 3. Have routines to shed stress, such as praying, napping or enjoying happy hour; 4. Avoid overeating. Okinawans use the hara hachi bu mantra daily; 5. Incorporate beans in most of their meals; 6. Enjoy moderate wine drinking; 7. Attend faith-based services; 8. Put family first; and 9. Spend time with healthy, like-minded people. We had the pleasure of speaking with Buettner about whether there are any more Blue Zones and what he and his team are doing to teach people how to
live longer, better lives. SEE OUR Q&A WITH HIM ON PAGE 7. The beauty of the Blue Zones message is that there isn’t one exact formula for how to live longer; it’s a combination of factors. But food is definitely the start of adopting healthier habits. That’s why we work hard each month to share DELICIOUS, NUTRITIOUS, EASYTO-PREPARE RECIPES. Check out pages 30–32, where we incorporate a variety of vitamin C–packed peppers into a gamut of meals, and even dessert—the Yellow Bell Pepper, Lemongrass and Ginger Sorbet is delightful! WHAT WOULD SUMMER BE WITHOUT GRILLING? We’ve got a selection of recipes
for your next outdoor cookout, with flavorful herbs and spices, including grilled pizza (pages 40–42). AND WHO DOESN’T LIKE SMOOTHIES? There are fun, fruity options, plus a creamy chocolate version, on pages 33–36. Mmmmm. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but there are doable steps that over time will help you to live longer. So consider incorporating some of the Blue Zones practices—who knows, maybe you’ll turn your kitchen and home into its own special Blue Zone.
Rebecca Heaton, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
VISIT US ONLINE optimumwellnessmagazine.com CONTACT US email@example.com FOLLOW US optimumwellnessmagazine.com
contents volume 04, issue 03: summer 2016
departments begin 07 HOW THE BLUE ZONES PROJECT IS HELPING PEOPLE LIVE LONGER PLUS: Daily detox tips, probiotics in drinks, non-gym workouts, and moving from a human being to a human doing.
kitchen 17 THE BEST IN NUT BUTTERS AND FROZEN SNACKS
eat 29 PEPPY PEPPERS Try them in our medley of delicious recipes, from jam to lasagna, and even dessert, courtesy of the budding chefs at Johnson & Wales University.
33 MAKE IT, BUY IT Smoothies are fun and flavorful. Blend up some fast and easy recipes.
40 GET GRILLING Move the kitchen outside and grill up our array of tasty recipes.
think 51 EATING TO PERFORM How top-level athletes focus on nutrition for performance. BY NANCY COULTER-PARKER
body 55 HEALTHY TEETH AND GUMS Good dental health gives your whole body a boost. BY CHRISTINE LOOMIS
boost 59 PREBIOTICS Nourish the good bacteria in your belly. BY KELLEE KATAGI
61 GOOD FOR THE GUT 4 natural supplements that keep your tummy healthy and happy. BY KAREN MORSE
feature>> THE WORLD ON A PLATE
Travel the globe without leaving your kitchen. In addition to fresh, vibrant flavors, ethnic cuisines connect you to the very heart of international cultures. BY GIGI RAGLAND
64 OLIVE OIL ICE CREAM Used for dressing, dips and drizzling, olive oil adds a floral flavor to ice creamâ€¦ plus health benefits, too. COVER PHOTOGRAPHY: MARIA SAVENKO/SHUTTERSTOCK AVAILABILITY OF PRODUCTS FEATURED IN THIS ISSUE MAY VARY BY STORE LOCATION.
2 Summer 2016 / Optimum Wellness
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: AARON COLUSSI, STYLE ERIC LESKOVAR, TRAVNIKOVSTUDIO/SHUTTERSTOCK, ELLEN SILVERMAN
PLUS: Cooking eggplant, preserving herbs, protein in plants, healthy lunchbox menus and lovely lemonade.
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Summer 2016 | volume 04 issue 03 optimumwellnessmagazine.com CO-FOUNDERS Drs. James and Debra Rouse GROUP PUBLISHER Deborah Juris EDITOR Rebecca Heaton
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begin Want to Live Longer? The Blue Zones Project is helping cities across the country create healthier environments for residents to live longer, better lives. BY REBECCA HEATON
The Blue Zones
here are just five of them around the world: They’re called Blue Zones, and they are where people live the longest. What is unique about these locations? According to Dan Buettner, head of the Blue Zones Project and author of The Blue Zones Solution (National Geographic, 2015), people enjoy healthy eating, natural physical activity, strong family and community connections, and a slower pace of life. We caught up with Buettner to learn how he is helping to spread this lifestyle around the nation. You’ve identified five Blue Zones around the world. Are there more?
My team is working with demographers and believes there may be one more Blue Zone (but we’re not prepared to share that yet). After that, we don’t believe there are any more because globalization and shifting food cultures have wiped them out. To be a Blue Zone, you must have a culture with healthy traditions that is cut off from modern influences.
You are working with U.S. cities on your Blue Zones Project. Tell us about that.
We are working with 26 cities to help them make their environments healthier. We have to shift the focus from making sick people less sick to keeping them healthy in the first place by optimizing their environment. We help cities design streets for humans instead of cars. We work with restaurants, stores
1. Loma Linda, California* 2. Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica 3. Sardinia, an Italian island 4. Ikaria, a Greek island 5. Okinawa, Japan * The only Blue Zone in the U.S., Loma Linda is home to a large population of Seventh-Day Adventists, whose church has built a culture focused on health.
and businesses and offer Blue Zone credentials when they make healthy changes. We organize community walking groups called “Moais” (mo-eyes) to help people meet others who are interested in being healthy. Across our focus cities, we have raised activity by 30 percent.
three years. And drink six glasses of water each day.
What are some of the most common foods and drink that people consume in the Blue Zones?
As a rule, you never want to be eating a meal with one hand on the wheel. In the Blue Zones, people eat with family, and they tend to eat more nutritious food more slowly. I am a big fan of expressing gratitude before a meal, too, because it forces you to look at food as something more than something you just stuff in your mouth. You are putting “punctuation” between the business of life and your meal.
The cornerstone of longevity is one cup of beans a day: lentils, garbanzos, black-eyed peas, fava beans. This can add four years to your life expectancy. There is a recipe for minestrone soup on our website (bluezones.com) that the longest-living family in Sardinia eats every day for lunch. Want another four years? Add a quarter-cup of cooked greens each day. Nuts are the go-to snack in Blue Zones. They’ll add two to
In an article by food critic Jeff Gordinier, you say that for longevity it’s not just about what you eat, but how you eat, and how much you and your friends enjoy a meal together.
For more on the Blue Zones Project, visit bluezones.com. optimumwellnessmagazine.com
5 Ways to Detox Daily Easy-to-follow habits to keep you healthy and happy. BY REBECCA HEATON Cleansing (aka detoxing) gets a bad rap sometimes. Many equate it to a restricted diet of water and lemon over a period of time. But it doesn’t have to be that way. “Cleansing is really about eating good, healthy foods and eliminating big allergens from your diet,” says Jo Schaalman, cofounder of the Conscious
Cleanse, a 14-day cleanse based on eating real, whole foods. “Our program teaches sensible eating habits that you can take with you and incorporate every day.” So what are those daily-detox habits? Schaalman and Conscious Cleanse’s other cofounder, Jules Peláez, share their top five.
Start your morning with warm lemon water. 24–32 ounces, in fact. “It’s a great way to hydrate and alkalize your body,” says Peláez. “Your body is bombarded with toxins—food toxins, water pollutants, sugar, alcohol, caffeine—that put it in a more acidic state, so the lemon water helps flush them out.” Jo Schaalman (left) and Jules Peláez, cofounders of the Conscious Cleanse.
Pineapple Mint Green Smoothie Yield: 1 quart / 2 servings 2 cups water ½ avocado, pitted 1 lemon, peeled 1 cup fresh mint leaves 2 cups frozen pineapple 1 cup fresh spinach In a high-speed blender, combine all ingredients; blend until smooth and creamy. PER SERVING: 158 cal; 3g prot; 5g fat; 30g carb (17g sugars); 30mg sodium; 7g fiber
Sweat. This releases toxins from your body. “Exercise is a great way to sweat, or try a detox bath three to five times a week,” Peláez recommends. Fill your tub with hot water, and add 3 cups of Epsom salt, ½ cup of baking soda and a few drops of lavender oil. “Get in there and sweat; it’s a nice way to wind down each evening.”
8 Summer 2016 / Optimum Wellness
Take a high-quality probiotic. The standard American diet, with sugar, caffeine and alcohol, can put your tummy out of whack. “About 80 percent of our immune system lies in our gut, so it’s important to keep the healthy bacteria in balance by taking a high-quality probiotic daily,” Schaalman says. Eat lots of vegetables. “Make veggies the center of your universe,” Peláez advises. “When you have a meal, instead of meat being the focus, make veggies the main event by filling two-thirds to three-quarters of your plate with them.”
The next 14-day cleanses start on Sept. 7 and Nov. 2. Learn more at consciouscleanse.com.
LEFT: LUNA VANDOORNE/SHUTTERSTOCK
Drink a green smoothie. Make one with dark, leafy greens and nutrient-dense food. “They are really remarkable,” Schaalman says. “I got my dad drinking them, and in two months his cholesterol dropped by 60 points.”
Probiotics… in Drinks A quick and tasty way to get healthy bacteria to your tummy. It’s hard to ignore the call to consume probiotics: They maintain our bellies’ natural balance of good and bad bacteria, which strengthens immunity and prevents digestive tract issues. But if you’re not keen on popping probiotics in pill form (you can also get probiotics in some foods, like sauerkraut and tempeh), why not go the drink route? Here are a few options, all USDA-certified organic.
Read more about probiotics and other natural supplements for gut health on page 61.
KEVITA LEMON CAYENNE SPARKLING PROBIOTIC DRINK Light and refreshing, KeVita drinks contain four probiotics strains, with 4 billion CFUs in each bottle. They come in a range of flavors; one of our favorites is Lemon Cayenne. Sweetened with stevia, one 16-ounce bottle has only 10 calories.
GT’S SYNERGY ORGANIC & RAW TRILOGY KOMBUCHA TEA Brewed in Asia for centuries, kombucha is a sour-tasting tea fermented by probiotics: bacteria and yeast. Each 16-ounce bottle of Trilogy Tea contains 4 billion CFUs of probiotics. The trilogy: raspberries, lemon and ginger for flavor; 60 calories per bottle.
SIMPLE TRUTH PLAIN KEFIR Kefir is a tart, tangy, fermented milk drink that contains more probiotics than yogurt. Each 16-ounce bottle of Simple Truth’s organic kefir hosts 12 probiotic strains and 15-20 billion CFUs per 8 ounces. Bonus: This drink is 99 percent lactose-free, has 11 grams of protein, 30 percent of your RDA for calcium and 110 calories per bottle.
begin King Soopers Highlights
TENDER AND TASTY MEAT BARS
BELLA GLUTENFREE MAKES YUMMY BAKING MIXES, INCLUDING BLUEBERRY SCONES.
oulder-based Wilde Boldr creates healthy, protein-packed, low-calorie meat bars using an innovative baking process. “Unlike more traditional ways of smoking or dehydrating to preserve meat, our slow-baking process allows us to use premium, lean cuts of grass-fed, free-range meat, combined with superfruits, veggies, ancient grains and spices,” says founder Jason Wright. An endurance athlete and food industry veteran who was bored with jerky and granola for energy foods, Wright wanted a portable meat bar. With the help of food scientist Derek Spors, and a team at Colorado State University to fine-tune the now USDA-approved baking process, Wilde Boldr launched its first bars in 2015. With flavors like Turkey Cranberry and Peach BBQ, each bar is gluten-, nut-, dairy- and soy-free, with 10–11 grams of protein and a mere 100 calories. Keep your eyes peeled for new flavors at wildesnacks.com.
A passion for brewing beer and a love of kombucha brought the three cofounders of Upstart Kombucha—Josh Garner, Brian McKinney and Caleb Hanson—together in 2011. “We saw a lot of companies making kombucha with a focus on brewing the healthiest drink possible at the expense of taste,” says Hanson, “so we committed to creating a healthy drink out of premium ingredients that also tasted great.” Compared with the more common process of brewing a base of the fermented tea and then blending in flavors, Upstart brews each of its flavors separately at its Boulder facility. “It’s like brewing craft beer—you create one flavor at a time,” explains Hanson. Upstart also “arrests” the fermentation process at a certain point to avoid the excess acidity that produces the stronger vinegar flavor common to kombucha. Upstart offers four refreshing flavors—Mint Green, Rose Bud, Lemon Ginger and Berry Black. They’re also working on seasonal flavors, such as using summer peaches from the Western Slope. Learn more at drinkupstart.com.
10 Summer 2016 / Optimum Wellness
When pastry chef Mary Capone discovered she had celiac disease, she was inspired to start Bella Gluten-Free, a line of healthy baking mixes for gluten- and allergen-free diets. “I wanted to bring joy back to people on restricted diets,” she says. Capone started her Longmont-based company in 2011 with an all-purpose baking mix. “I was excited to help people prepare all of their old ‘flour’ favorites, from Grandma’s cake recipe to sophisticated sauces and gravies,” she says. In 2015, the company came out with a line called Cup-to-Table in Minutes. “We created six easy-to-prepare, all-occasion selections— scones, pizza crust, rolls, brownies, biscuits and cookies—in beautiful little baking cups that you simply pour in a bowl, add a few more ingredients and bake,” says Capone. Visit bellaglutenfree.com for more info and a plethora of gluten-free recipes.
TOP RIGHT: AMALLIA EKA/ SHUTTERSTOCK
Bringing Joy to Gluten-Free
POWER OF 3
Time Off Taking a vacation can help you evolve from a human doing to a human being. BY DR. JAMES ROUSE
Over the past decade of seeing patients, I’ve discovered that the people who are the happiest and most energized are those who skillfully balance time on and time off. But here in the U.S., even though many of us covet the idea of a relaxing vacation, we don’t tend to take time off from work. Will the boss say something? What will coworkers think? Does taking time off imply I’m a slacker? The answer is no. A vacation will actually make you a better worker and a happier, healthier person—physically, mentally and spiritually. Here’s how:
Give yourself permission to take a break. Research shows that after a vacation, we are metabolically “awake” and everything seems to work better. Time off lowers stress, improves selfconfidence and rejuvenates creativity, and it has been shown to improve our sex life, too! But you don’t have to travel to an exotic place; the same benefits can be achieved on a “staycation” at home. According to studies, unplugging from your normal work routine offers the same benefits as traveling farther away.
One of the most expensive liabilities in our workforce is the phenomenon called “presenteeism”: feeling obligated to work even if you’re completely burned out. Recent studies show that this phenomenon is costing U.S. companies $65 billion a year because workers are unfocused, uncreative and showing up merely to go through the motions. Taking time off to reignite your mindset is not only good for you, but it’s also a tremendous plus for the U.S. workforce and for productivity.
The more we find ourselves trying to keep up with the pace of life as a human doing versus a human being, we see our happiness and peace of mind erode. By taking time off, we demonstrate humility and self-acceptance and communicate to coworkers that it’s OK to step away from work for a while. You might even set a tone of “permission marketing,” showing the people around you that it’s OK for them to enjoy a vacation sometimes, too.
The cofounder of Optimum Wellness, 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
FOOD NEWS THAT’S GOOD TO KNOW. BY KELLEE KATAGI
Do We Need More D?
W according to some Canadian and U.S. e might need a lot more vitamin D,
12 Summer 2016 / Optimum Wellness
Omega-3s for Muscles The stats are clear: The older you get, the more your muscle mass deteriorates. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that a daily dose of fish oil may help you fight back. In the study, adults ages 60 to 85 who took fish oil every day for six months maintained or increased muscle size and function, compared with those who didn’t. Other proven muscle boosters: resistance exercise and adequate protein intake.
researchers. They reran the numbers the powersthat-be—the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS)—used to establish the current RDA for vitamin D and found that it’s at least 10 times lower than what we really need. And with vitamin D levels being linked to immune system health, cancer and diabetes risk, bone health, and more, the debate may be much more than academic. The new calculation, published in the journal Nutrients, would place our daily requirement from nearly 4,000 IU (from supplements only; assumes a base amount of more than 3,000 IU from sun and food) to nearly 9,000 IU from all sources (sunshine, food and supplements)—contrasted with the 400 IU presently recommended. Are these higher levels safe? Absolutely, researchers say. They’re way below what our bodies produce from sun exposure (roughly 10,000 IU after 10 minutes sans sunscreen on a sunny summer day), and within the tolerable intake amounts set by the IOM and the Endocrine Society.
Trying to kick the junk-food habit? Sleep could be the answer.
he secret to curtailing afternoon munchies may be as simple as getting more sleep. Recent research published in the journal SLEEP found that restricted sleep (4.5 hours/night) altered participants’ brain chemistry that made them crave high-fat, high-sugar snacks, especially in the afternoon and evening. When the same participants slept eight hours, their junkfood intake decreased and their brain chemistry shifted to a normal pattern. Although the study’s sample size was small (14 men and women), the results were fairly consistent: Sleep-deprived subjects ate roughly 300 extra calories from sugary and salty snacks even when they had eaten 90 percent of their daily calories just two hours prior. In addition, they had elevated levels of a chemical that enhances enjoyment of foods, especially fatty, sugary and salty ones. When you do snack, another recent study in The Journal of Nutrition suggests avoiding salty foods may help you keep portions under control. Researchers measured caloric intake of 48 males and females during identical meals, except for sauces containing varying levels of salt and fat. They found that subjects ate 11 percent more when the salt content was high, regardless of fat content.
Chocoholics: They Really Are Smarter A study published in the journal Appetite asked nearly 1,000 adults how often they ate chocolate, as well as other common foods, and then assessed their performance in tests related to memory, verbal skills, spatial relations, organization and other brainrelated tasks. The verdict: Those who ate chocolate at least once or twice per week performed better than those who didn’t, even after controlling for factors such as sex, age and health conditions. Other studies have found similar benefits correlated with chocolate, but this research stands out: It suggests advantages to habitual chocolate intake versus just the immediate effects of one-time consumption, and it includes all kinds of chocolate (milk, dark and white); most studies have examined only dark chocolate intake. Given that nearly 60 percent of chocolate sold in the U.S. is milk chocolate (compared with 35 percent dark), the study indicates that both milk and dark chocolates may deliver a brain boost. That doesn’t negate any healthdamaging effects of the added sugar in milk chocolate, of course, but it could reduce any guilt you might feel from indulging yourself every now and then.
A BUTTER KNIFE
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Summertime Skin Care How to have a healthy relationship with the sun. BY DR. DEBRA ROUSE
he heat is on, and summer has arrived. If you’re like me, you want to stay on top of your game when it comes to skin care and self care. I’m still paying the price of countless days of my youth spent baking in the Southern California sunshine. Being outdoors, though, is essential for my health and well-being, as well as getting my daily hit of vitamin D, but there is a fine line between a healthy glow and sunburn. Here are five strategies I follow to create a healthy relationship with the sun.
Treat your skin as if it’s the largest, mo st important organ in your body — because it is!
Hydrate. Be proactive. Avoid dehydration by consuming water throughout the day rather than waiting until you’re suddenly parched. << Avoid midday direct sun. All of my outdoor exercise and gardening endeavors take place either before 10 a.m. or after 5 p.m., when the sun is less intense. I wear a hat and long sleeves if I will be exposed for more than 30 minutes. Learn to love the shade.
Protect your lips. Sunburned lips are no fun, and they are a potential site for skin cancer. There are some great natural lip protectors with SPF, so I always make sure to include my lips (and ears) in my sunscreen routine. Wear no less than 20 SPF sunscreen, all the time. Reapply often, especially when you’re in the water or sweating a lot. For your face, notch up to 30 SPF moisturizer. Use mineral-based makeup for even more protection.
Choose Sunscreen Wisely When buying sunscreen, watch out for harmful ingredients such as oxybenzone, a hormone disruptor and common allergen, and retinyl palmitate (a form of vitamin A), which can harm skin and increase skin cancer risk.
14 Summer 2016 / Optimum Wellness
FROM LEFT: PINDYURIN VASILY/ SHUTTERSTOCK, ICONS: SHUTTERTOCK (4)
Drink green tea, and feast on fresh fruits and vegetables all summer long. Both of these habits have been shown to decrease the risk of certain cancers, including skin cancer. Phytonutrients and anti– oxidants in green tea, fruits and veggies protect skin. Bonus: Fruits and vegetables are generally high in vitamin C and antioxidants, too, which help prevent wrinkles.
Uncommon Cardio 5 ways to get your heart pumping—no gym required. BY KELLEE KATAGI Perhaps this describes, ahem, a friend of yours: 1. Can’t stand the gym. 2. Hates running. 3. Knows that for optimal health, he or she needs cardiovascular exercise. If so, you’ll want to pass along these alternative ideas for getting your heart revving. You might even want to test them yourself first—just because.
is a fancy name for intervals of nearly any exercise that challenges you, including brisk walking, calisthenics, biking, jump roping and strengthtraining moves. In Tabata, you work as hard as you can for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and then repeat for a total of six to eight intervals. Stop there, or continue with different exercises if you’d like. The best part of Tabata (besides the name, which makes you sound like a martial arts master): Science proves that it builds endurance.
The only requirement for this workout is the ability to walk. Simply alternate walking faster and slower for a set amount of time. Warm up with a fiveminute walk at a slow to moderate pace. Walk briskly for one minute, and then reduce your pace for two minutes. Continue alternating for a total of 15 minutes. Cool down with a fiveminute leisurely walk. As you improve, you can increase interval length and speed.
C U P -T O -TA B L E I N M I N U T E S
Kettlebell swings. Just a few repetitions will elevate your heart rate. Not only that, but swings build strength and power in your legs, core and upper body, too. This exercise requires just one piece of equipment, either a kettlebell or dumbbell that you can buy at your local sports store. Check out livenaturallymagazine.com for directions on how to perform the swings.
Burpees. Full disclosure: This exercise can be as unpleasant as its name, but it’s one of the most efficient ways to get your cardio in. It works most of your body in a very short amount of time, and you’ll likely be out of breath after just three or four reps. For details on how to do it, visit livenaturallymagazine.com.
Soccer is always a gr eat game to pl ay with the kids!
Pour, mix, bake and eat homemade gluten-free goodies in minutes. Yum!
TRY ALL SIX!
Tag. Or duck, duck, goose. Or balloon volleyball. Or any
other kids’ game that requires you to move around. This one may have a little running involved, but you’ll be having so much fun, you might start playing without the kids. Don’t worry—we won’t tell.
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10 Summer 2016 / Live Naturally
ÂŠ2016, SunButter LLC is a registered trademark of Red River Commodities, Inc. and used under license.
kitchen Peanut Butter and Beyond
Spike panc smoothies akes, an with PB2 P d more ow Peanut Bu dered contains 85 tter. It fat and 50 percent less perc calories th ent fewer an peanut butt regular er all of the fl —but avor.
Go nuts with these healthy nut and seed spreads. BY KELLEE KATAGI America is in love with nut butter: More than 90 percent of U.S. households consume peanut butter, and over half go through one or two jars of it a month—not to mention the rising popularity of alternative nut and seed butters. If you’re among the 90-plus percent, make sure your nut or seed spread is on the healthy side by trying these tasty options.
PHOTO IN DROPBOX
(no salt or sugar) Our pick
Justin’s Maple Almond Butter
Earth Balance Creamy Natural Peanut Butter and Flaxseed
Krema Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
SunButter Natural Sunflower Butter
MaraNatha All Natural Coconut Butter
Why we like it
This is founder Justin Gold’s favorite of the brand’s nut butters— and ours, too. It’s nutty, earthy and slightly sweet, and it uses sustainably sourced palm oil. Plus, 2 tablespoons provides good doses of calcium, fiber and iron.
Flaxseeds add bonus omega-3s without sacrificing the peanutbuttery goodness, while agave syrup provides just the right amount of sweet. Health highlight: 20 percent of the daily value of niacin—for healthy cholesterol levels—in one serving.
Here’s proof you don’t need all those other ingredients. This spread achieves deliciousness with a mere one ingredient: peanuts. You’ll also get 8 grams of protein per serving, plus high doses of niacin and magnesium.
It looks just like peanut butter but has a yummy, salty flavor all its own. Each serving contains 27 percent of your daily vitamin E needs, 25 percent of your copper and magnesium, and 17 percent of your fiber.
Made of nothing but coconut pulp, this jar of coconutty goodness is superhealthy and superversatile: Spread it on pancakes or toast, melt it on veggies, or add it to smoothies, baked goods, salad dressings, soups or stir-fries.
Our testers say:
“It’s amazing on pancakes!”
“I love its subtle sweetness.”
“I don’t usually like having to stir, but this was easy—and worth it.”
“It’s different—but pleasantly so.”
“A slice of coconut heaven.”
Blend a frozen banana with ½ teaspoon vanilla and/or ½ teaspoon almond extract until creamy. Add 1 tablespoon almond butter and blend. Serve immediately or freeze.
World’s easiest cookies: 1 cup peanut butter, 2/3 cup sugar, 1 egg. Combine and roll into balls on a cookie sheet; flatten with a fork. Bake at 350° for 9 minutes.
Next time you make hummus, substitute peanut butter for the tahini. It’s surprisingly good!
Spread two tablespoons of SunButter, 1 medium, sliced banana, and 1 tablespoon of chocolate chips between two wholewheat tortillas. Heat over medium heat in a greased sauté pan.
Spread a little on dark chocolate for an afternoon treat.
Bonus points for
Esteemed Eggplant BY KELLEE KATAGI
As a member of the nightshade family, eggplant is a cousin to tomatoes, potatoes and bell peppers. But with its unusual shape and color and a less common presence at American tables, it can easily get passed over for more familiar produce. Plus, many a first-time eggplant cook has found the results to be bitter. Avoid this unpleasant fate with these selection and prep tips.
Cook It Up
Go small: Larger, older eggplants tend to be more bitter. Look for firm, glossy skin with minimal blemishes. The eggplant should be heavy for its size. Prime eggplant season is late summer through early fall.
Roast it, fry it, mix it into stews or stir-fries, blend it into burgers or meatballs, or try our favorite cooking method: grilling. Preheat grill to medium. Cut eggplant into ½-inch slices; brush with olive oil; and sprinkle with salt, pepper and your favorite herbs. Place eggplant in a grill basket or on a piece of aluminum foil directly on the grill. Cook about 8 minutes (covered for gas grill, uncovered for charcoal), turning occasionally. The trick is actually to avoid undercooking it, unlike most produce.
Prep Like a Pro Eggplant contains antioxidant compounds that make it extremely healthy but somewhat bitter at the same time; the bitterness increases the longer you wait to cook it. A trick to zap the bitter taste: Before cooking, wash the eggplant and trim off its top and bottom. For the best health benefits, leave the skin on. Slice or cube the eggplant, and generously salt the pieces. Let sit for 30–60 minutes. Then gently press pieces between paper towels to remove excess salt and juices.
For a Mini Eggplant Pizzas recipe, visit livenaturallymagazine.com.
Summer 2016 2016 // Optimum Optimum Wellness Wellness 18 18 Summer
DID YOU KNOW? The eggplant— called aubergine in many parts of the world— is not a vegetable. It’s actually a fruit, or even, according to some classifications, a berry.
Learn the tricks to preparing this potentially intimidating produce item, and you’ll forever hold it in high regard.
Fresh-Herb How-To... They add beauty, fragrance, nutrition and flavor to foods. But fresh herbs are also delicate and perishable, and can be a bit daunting to use. Here are tips to get you started. BY BEVIN WALLACE
...Use Fresh Herbs When buying herbs, look for bright-green leaves with no brown or black spots. To store, trim stems, wrap herbs in a damp paper towel, and keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Clean herbs just before using by rinsing in a bowl of cool water and gently shaking or patting dry. When chopping herbs, make sure to use a sharp knife to avoid bruising them. Here are some easy and delicious ways to use fresh herbs.
With kitchen shears, cut leaves into fresh tomato sauce just before serving. Sprinkle leaves on pizza or fresh berries.
Strip leaves from stalks, and sprinkle over vegetables or chicken when roasting.
Tarragon Add to homemade chicken salad or toss with sautéed mushrooms.
Parsley Make a persillade by combining finely chopped flat-leaf parsley and minced garlic; toss with roasted potatoes, or sprinkle over chicken soup.
Rosemary Cilantro Sprinkle leaves on fish tacos or tortilla soup. Add to Asian stir-fries.
Skewer sea scallops with whole rosemary branches; then grill.
AARON COLUSSI, STYLE ERIC LESKOVAR
...Preserve Leftover Herbs>> Don’t let herbs go to waste: Freeze them in ice-cube trays with olive oil. Simply chop up your herbs (pull leaves off any stems first)—try chives, thyme, oregano or rosemary, or make mixtures. Fill each tray cubby about half full with herbs; then pour olive oil over the herbs. Stick tray in freezer. The olive oil will thicken and turn a creamy, waxy white. That’s OK. When cubes are solid, pop them out and store in a freezer-safe container or ziptop freezer bag. When you’re ready to use them, they can go from the freezer to the frying pan. Or thaw a few out for a salad dressing or dip. Source: thehungrymouse.com
Visit livenaturallymagazine. com for a delicious Fresh Herb Vinaigrette recipe to toss with roasted vegetables or drizzle over grilled meats.
When you freeze herb s in olive oil, the cubes will lo ok white and w axy. That’s OK!
ÂŠ 2015 United States Potato Board. All rights reserved.
fried th em . The Irish boiled them.
The th of the world
Get potatoes in the produce department to make Rainbow Potato Pancakes and thousands of other incredible dishes.
20 Summer 2016 / Optimum Wellness
Protein-Packed Plants Common plant foods with more protein than you might expect. BY KELLEE KATAGI
eat and dairy have long held the top spot as the nation’s go-to protein “How much protein do I need?” sources. But roughly half of Americans now Aim to get 10–35 percent of believe plants are the best way to get proyour daily calories from protein—about 56 grams per day tein, according to a report by consumer refor adult males and 46 grams per search firm Packaged Facts. day for adult females. Why the shift? Common reasons include Source: Institute of Medicine environmental benefits and lower costs of plant proteins, as well as the desire to avoid ✹ Cocoa Unsweetened the antibiotics, fat and calories associated with animal prococoa powder delivers 17 tein sources. One downside of getting your protein from grams of protein per cup plants, however, is that they contain far less protein per serv- (that’s a little over 1 gram ing than do animal sources. That’s why we’re excited about per tablespoon), while one square of baking chocolate these protein-heavy plant-based options.
✹ Quinoa There are 8 grams of protein in every cup of cooked quinoa, but what makes this source extra attractive is that it’s one of the rare plants that provides complete proteins, meaning that all nine of the essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein) are represented. Other benefits: One cup provides about 20 percent of your daily fiber and folate requirements, plus nearly 60 percent of your manganese.
COMBINE QUINOA AND PEAS FOR A TASTY, PROTEINPACKED DISH.
provides 4 grams. It’s also high in fiber and minerals such as magnesium, copper and manganese.
✹ Peas Peas are legumes, all of which are relatively high in protein. One cup of green peas offers 8 grams of protein— about the same as a cup of milk, along with nearly a third of your daily fiber needs and 97 percent of your vitamin C.
✹ Pumpkin Seeds All nuts and seeds are protein-rich, including pumpkin seeds, with up to 35 grams of protein per cup (8.5 grams per ounce). For the highest protein ratio, choose pumpkin seed kernels, also known as pepitas. Pumpkin seeds also serve up hefty helpings of vitamin K and key minerals like iron.
Oatmeal One cup of cooked oatmeal yields 6 grams of protein, about the same as in one egg, making it an excellent breakfast choice. In addition, you’ll get a high dose of soluble fiber, as well as manganese, magnesium, phosphorous and some B vitamins. optimumwellnessmagazine.com
Liven Up Your life hands you lemons— Lemonade When or other summery fruits and herbs—why not make some lemonade? Here are three of our favorite concoctions.
<< Watermelon Raspberry Lemonade Makes 4 servings 6 cups watermelon chunks, seeds removed ¼ cup fresh or frozen raspberries 1 cup water or unsweetened coconut water 1⁄₃ cup natural cane sugar or raw agave ½ cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (from 2 large lemons)
1. Place watermelon, raspberries and water in a blender; cover and blend until smooth. Strain through a finemesh strainer into a pitcher; compost leftover solids. 2. Stir in sugar and lemon juice, until sugar dissolves. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour, or serve immediately over ice. Garnish with fresh raspberries or watermelon slices, if desired. PER SERVING: 144 cal; 2g prot; 0g fat; 37g carb (32g sugars); 5mg sodium; 2g fiber
Peach Mint Lemonade Makes 6 servings 1 cup natural cane sugar 5 cups water, divided 1½ cups packed mint leaves, chopped 2 cups peeled, sliced peaches (about 3 medium) ½–1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (from 2–4 large lemons)
1. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and
Like bubbles? Substitute regular water with 4 cups sparkling water.
22 Summer 2016 / Optimum Wellness
Use any leftover lemon ade to make a fro zen treat by pour ing into ice-pop molds and freezing until solid.
simmer about 5 minutes, until sugar is dissolved. Add mint leaves and boil for 2 minutes. Cool about an hour; then strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a blender. Puree peaches with syrup. 2. Pour syrup blend into a pitcher, add lemon juice (start with ½ cup and increase to taste) and remaining water, stir until combined. 3. Serve in ice-filled glasses; garnish with additional peach slices and a sprig of mint, if desired. PER SERVING: 160 cal; 1g prot; 0g fat; 41g carb (32g sugars); 10mg sodium; 1g fiber
Rosemary Honey Lemonade Makes 6 servings 4½ cups water, divided ¼ cup honey ¼ cup fresh rosemary, peeled off stems and lightly crushed 1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (from 4 large lemons) Rosemary sprigs and lemon wedges for garnish, optional
1. Heat ¼ cup water and honey in a small pot over medium heat; bring to a boil, then turn off heat. Add rosemary. Set aside to steep for 20 minutes. 2. Pour liquid through a mesh strainer; discard rosemary. 3. Combine liquid with lemon juice and remaining water; stir well. 4. Refrigerate until ready to use. Serve over ice; garnish with lemon wedge and a rosemary sprig in each glass. PER SERVING: 56 cal; 0g prot; 0g fat; 15g carb (13g sugars); 9mg sodium; 1g fiber
MANUFACTURERâ€™S COUPON EXPIRES 10/31/16 NO DOUBLING
HE LES LP BR SA I
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What’s the Skoop? INTRODUCING HEALTHY SKOOP FROM DR. JAMES ROUSE
DR. JAMES ROUSE Founder of Optimum Wellness and Co-Founder of Healthy Skoop
DR. JAMES ROUSE IS BIG ON POSITIVE NUTRITION,
and Boulder’s own Healthy Skoop is keen on making it easy and accessible to everyone. After all, every day is a race—one that your body needs the best fuel to win—so we pack our products with convenient PLANT-BASED NUTRITION that’s good for you and for the kids (3% of sales support Project Produce).
MADE WITHOUT: GLUTEN, SOY, WHEY, DAIRY, GMOS AND FUNKY STUFF
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GET YOUR SKOOP ON at healthyskoop.com
Lunch Boxes Made Easy Use this simple formula for planning and packing a week’s worth of healthy lunches for your kids. BY BEVIN WALLACE
o you toil over making reasonably healthy, varied lunches that won’t make your kids die of embarrassment (yes, that’s a thing) and that won’t come home in a squished, uneaten wad? Here’s how to make it easier. Just select four items.
Leftover Picnic Lunch • Grilled chicken leg, made the night before • Cut corn, either from the cob or frozen • Watermelon slices • Bag of Kettle Brand Sea Salt Potato Chips • Horizon Organic Lowfat Milk box
1 MAIN COURSE
A box of milk is a healthy calcium addition to a lunchbox.
2 FRESH FRUIT OR VEGETABLE 3 SNACK OR DESSERT
Need a dairy-free option? Silk offers soy and almond milk in single boxes, each loaded with plenty of calcium.
4 BONUS SNACK OR PRODUCE ITEM
When you work within this framework—keeping in mind your kids’ tastes and substitutions for any food allergies—it’s fairly easy to pull together a tasty lunch five days a week. To keep it healthy and filling, I follow two rules: 1 AT LEAST ONE ITEM SHOULD CONTAIN PROTEIN. 2 ONLY ONE CAN CONTAIN ADDED SUGAR.
AARON COLUSSI, STYLE ERIC LESKOVAR
Here are a week’s worth of sample menus to get you started.
See ou r review of natu ral nut bu tters o n page 1 7.
Breakfast for Lunch
Cold Noodle Lunch
Better PB&J Lunch
• Tortilla pizza: Whole-wheat flour (or corn) tortilla with tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese and pepperoni • Mini carrots with Newman’s Own Ranch dressing • Fruit skewers: kiwi, strawberry and banana pieces on toothpicks • Clif Kid Chocolate Chip Organic ZBar
• Van’s Gluten Free Totally Original Waffle, with rolled, sliced ham (try Applegate Natural & Organic Meats) • A hard-boiled egg • Mixed berries: strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries • Kind Healthy Grains Peanut Butter Whole Grain Clusters granola
• Cooked pasta (fusilli or shells are fun) with small slices of nitrate-free salami (try Tyson Gallo Salame), cut green beans, sliced cherry tomatoes and pesto • Horizon Organic Mozzarella String Cheese Sticks • Red grapes • Annie’s Friends Bunny Grahams crackers
• PB&J: Organic wholewheat bread (try Dave’s Killer Bread or Udi’s gluten-free) with a natural nut butter * and Cascadian Farm Organic fruit spread • Bag of Popchips Sea Salt potato chips • Edamame • Fresh pineapple chunks
Cool Delights What is summer without frozen treats? Here are some of our favorite healthy options from the freezer section, for kids and grown-ups. BY REBECCA HEATON
ALDEN’S ORGANIC ICE CREAM COOKIES ‘N CREAM
NESTLÉ OUTSHINE FRUIT BARS STRAWBERRY
Started in 1938, Alden’s works with more than 30 farms to source ingredients for its USDA-certified organic ice creams. Free of antibiotics and artificial anything, Cookies ‘n Cream is a deliciously simple combination of creamy vanilla ice cream and just the right number of cookie chunks.
Chock-full of real strawberries—the first item on the ingredients list—Outshine’s Fruit Bar is an excellent source of vitamin C, offering up 20 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA). Plus, each low-calorie bar is free of fat and artificial anything.
OUR REVIEWERS SAY “It’s not super sweet or sugary, even with the cookie bits. I like the light, whipped texture—makes it taste more like homemade ice cream.”
OUR REVIEWERS SAY I like the chunks of strawberry. This is a fruity, refreshing treat; it tastes like a summer day.”
SERVING: ½ cup | Calories: 180 Sugar: 15g | Fat: 10g | Protein: 2g
SERVING: 1 bar | Calories: 60 | Sugar: 14g Fat: 0g | Protein: 0g
SO DELICIOUS DAIRY FREE CASHEW MILK FROZEN DESSERT DARK CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE Made with creamy cashew milk—a good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats—this certified vegan, dairy-free dessert of decadence is laden with organic fudge and shaved chocolate, fair-trade cocoa, and a touch of coconut oil. OUR REVIEWERS SAY It is so rich and creamy, I can’t believe this isn’t made with regular milk. It left me in a wonderful chocolate coma.” SERVING: ½ cup | Calories: 180 | Sugar: 18g Fat: 9g | Protein: 3g
BEN & JERRY’S NON-DAIRY FROZEN DESSERT CHUNKY MONKEY
LUNA & LARRY’S ORGANIC COCONUT BLISS SALTED CARAMEL & CHOCOLATE
Never a company to stop coming up with fun, new flavors, Ben & Jerry’s has created a new line of dairy-free options made with almond milk. A fresh take on a classic, NonDairy Chunky Monkey is full-on banana ice cream loaded with chunks of chocolate fudge and walnuts, but with a twist: It’s certified vegan.
If you like coconut, you will really like Coconut Bliss. USDA-certified organic, soyfree, dairy-free and vegan, this creamy concoction’s main ingredients are coconut milk and agave syrup (in that order), mixed with luscious caramel and chocolate bits, plus just the right touch of sea salt.
OUR REVIEWERS SAY Very milky and creamy, with a slightly different flavor than the original. Love the chunks of chocolate and nuts.”
OUR REVIEWERS SAY Very coconutty. I like the sweet and salty combination of flavors.”
SERVING: ½ cup | Calories: 260 | Sugar: 26g Fat: 14g | Protein: 2g
SERVING: ½ cup | Calories: 230 | Sugar: 18g Fat: 16g | Protein: 1g
26 Summer 2016 / Optimum Wellness
BOULDER ORGANIC ICE CREAM SALTED CARAMEL CRUNCH All of Boulder Ice Cream’s flavors are made in 10-gallon batches in a small factory in Boulder, Colorado. Non-GMO and USDA-certified organic, the popular Salted Caramel Crunch is just the right blend and balance of caramel, sweet toffee and sea salt. OUR REVIEWERS SAY Creamy and delicious. I really like that it’s made right here in Colorado.”
SERVING: ½ cup | Calories: 235 | Sugar: 23g Fat: 14g | Protein: 4g
Vega recipe of the month!
Eat—don’t drink— your morning smoothie.
½ frozen banana 2 Tbsp lemon juice 1 cup frozen strawberries 1 scoop Vega Protein & Greens Vanilla ¼ – ½ cup unsweetened almond milk Blend an extra thick smoothie, pour into bowl, top with granola and fruit. Enjoy with a spoon!
For more blendspiration visit our recipe center at myvega.com/recipes
eat Peppers, Please An integral part of cuisines worldwide, peppers come in thousands of varieties in a range of colors, shapes and heat levels, from sweet bells to spicy jalapenos to fiery habaneros. Available year-round, they are most abundant and tasty during the summer and early fall months. Pep up any meal with these piquant plants.
HISTORY Peppers belong to the nightshade (Solanaceae) family of plants, along with eggplant, tomatoes and potatoes. Their scientific name is Capsicum annuum, which includes hot varieties, also known as chili peppers, and sweet varieties, such as the bell pepper. Chili seeds first evolved in South America. Christopher Columbus brought seeds from the Caribbean islands to Western Europe, and soon Capsicum captivated people around the world, who adopted peppers to enhance, and even transform, local cuisines.
Always protect yo ur skin by wearing rub ber gloves when hand ling hot peppers: They can burn your ski n and eyes.
HEALTH Along with adding spice to any dish, all pepper varieties are great sources of vitamins A and C (which help with vision, immune system health and cell growth). Peppers also provide potassium (heart and organ health), folic acid (cell growth and metabolism), and fiber (healthy bowel movements). Peppers are the only plant known to contain capsaicin—aka, the heat—which can reduce pain and potentially ward off cancer.
AARON COLUSSI, STYLE ERIC LESKOVAR
HEAT The spiciness in peppers comes from a compound called capsaicin. Surprisingly, it is tasteless and odorless and is produced by glands in the pepper’s placenta at the pepper stem. Scoville heat units (SHUs) measure spicy heat based on the amount of capsaicin. The relatively mild poblano comes in at about 1,500 SHUs, while the superhot habanero can pack a whopping 100,000 SHUs or more. Heat varies from pepper to pepper, so the scale is just a guide. PEPPER
Anaheim 500–2,500 Poblano 1,000–2,000 Jalapeno 2,500–5,000
DID YOU KNOW? The flesh at the stem is much hotter than the rest of the pepper. If you want flavor without mouthscorching fire, remove the stem, along with the seeds and interior ribs. Want some kick in your dish? Use the whole pepper!
Serrano 6,000–23,000 Cayenne 30,000–50,000 Habanero 100,000–350,000 *Scoville heat units
DISH IT UP
Some Like It Hot From mild to spicy, peppers add color and zip to many a meal, even desserts! TURN TO PAGE 26 FOR RECIPES
Red Pepper Chia Seed Jam
• Try this jam on some Ba nana Oat Muffin s—visit livenaturally magazine.co m for the reci pe!
DID YOU KNOW?
Red pepper flakes are generally a blend of three to four peppers (such as bell, jalapeno, ancho and cayenne) in the range of 30,000–50,000 Scoville heat units. Some of the pepper seeds are included to increase the spice level.
Optimum Naturally Wellness 24 Summer 2016 / Live
AARON COLUSSI, STYLE ERIC LESKOVAR
Yellow Bell Pepper, Lemongrass and Ginger Sorbet
Cremini, Anaheim Pepper and Polenta Lasagna
Bell Pepper Pico de Gallo Yield: 1 cup
Roasted Poblano and Black Bean Frittata
TASTY FRITTATA TOPPINGS
3–4 bell peppers of various colors 1 large tomato, diced 2 small jalapenos, deseeded and diced 2–3 cloves of garlic, diced ½ onion, diced ¼ cup chopped cilantro 1 teaspoon paprika 1 teaspoon cumin 2 teaspoons chili/cayenne/chipotle powder (depending on your taste preference) Juice of half a lime Salt, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Adjust seasonings to taste. PER 2 TABLESPOONS: 32 CAL; 1G PROT; 0G FAT; 7G CARB (0G SUGARS); 28MG SODIUM; 2G FIBER
Guacamole Yield: ½ cup 1 medium avocado, halved Juice of half a lime 3 tablespoons red onion, minced 1 small clove garlic, mashed ½ tablespoon chopped cilantro ½ jalapeno, seeded and minced, optional Kosher salt and fresh pepper, to taste
Place the pulp from the avocado in a bowl and slightly mash with a fork or a potato masher, leaving some large chunks. Add lime juice, red onion, garlic, cilantro and jalapeno; mix thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste. PER ¼ CUP: 80 CAL; 1G PROT; 10G FAT; 1G CARB (0G SUGARS); 15MG SODIUM; 2G FIBER
Jalapeno Cream Yield: ¾ cup ½ cup plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream) ¼ cup chopped cilantro 1 medium-sized jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Combine all ingredients, and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes for best flavor. PER 2 TABLESPOONS: 53 CAL; 1G PROT; 5G FAT; 2G CARBm (0G SUGARS); 39MG SODIUM; 1G FIBER
DISH IT UP
Recipes by Chef Adam Sacks, Chelsea Ring and Sara Walker
Red Pepper Chia Seed Jam This sweet and savory jam enlivens breads and breakfast muffins. Yield: 2 cups 2 cups chopped red bell peppers 1 cup apple juice 1–2 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste 1–2 tablespoons honey, agave or maple syrup, to taste 2 tablespoons chia seeds, plus more if needed
1. Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until peppers break down and are syrupy, 5–10 minutes. 2. Mash peppers with the back of a spatula or a potato masher, leaving them as smooth or as lumpy as you like. Simmer until the mixture reaches a jam-like consistency; adjust seasoning as needed. 3. Remove saucepan from heat; let stand 5 minutes, until mixture thickens. This won’t quite reach the firm consistency of regular jam, but it will noticeably thicken. If you like a thicker consistency, stir in more chia seeds, 1 teaspoon at a time. 4. Once jam has cooled to room temperature, transfer to a jar; refrigerate 15–20 minutes. Store in fridge for about 2 weeks. Jam will thicken and set once completely chilled. PER 2 TABLESPOONS: 50 CAL; 1G PROT; 0G FAT; 15G CARB (11 G SUGARS); 59MG SODIUM; 2G FIBER
Roasted Poblano and Black Bean Frittata This flavorful frittata, with its colorful accompaniments, will be a hit at your next breakfast or brunch. Serves 4 1 poblano pepper 1 tablespoon canola oil 1 shallot, minced ¼ teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, or more to taste ½ cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed if using canned ¼ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese 4 eggs, lightly beaten ¼ cup minced cilantro or parsley Blue corn tortillas, 6-inch size
1. Preheat broiler. Roast the poblano pepper, using tongs to turn carefully until all sides are blackened. Set pepper in a paper bag to steam for 5 minutes. Remove the skin, stem and seeds. Mince, and set aside. 2. Preheat oven to 400°. Heat oil in a small ovenproof 8-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot; cook until soft. Add poblano pepper, sea salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and cayenne; stir to combine. 3. Add black beans, and turn heat to low. Sprinkle on cheese; then quickly pour beaten eggs into the skillet. Sprinkle with cilantro, plus salt to taste. Slide frittata into oven. Bake 7–10 minutes, until eggs have set
32 Summer 2016 / Optimum Wellness
and frittata has puffed up a bit. 4. While frittata is baking, heat corn tortillas; set aside. Prepare bell pepper pico de gallo, guacamole and jalapeno cream. (See previous page for recipes.) 5. Slice frittata into 3-inch rectangles and set onto corn tortillas; top with toppings. PER SERVING: 208 CAL; 12 G PROT; 12G FAT; 20G CARB (0G SUGARS); 525MG SODIUM; 4G FIBER
Cremini, Anaheim Pepper and Polenta Lasagna A delicious spin on traditional lasagna, with a robust red pepper sauce. Serves 6
Yellow Bell Pepper, Lemongrass and Ginger Sorbet This sorbet delivers a mouthwatering combination of flavors. Serves 6 2 lemongrass stalks 2½ cups water 6 medium yellow bell peppers 2 cups cane sugar 1 tablespoon lemon juice ½ cup fresh ginger juice (or blend 2 tablespoons fresh ginger with ½ cup water and strain) Fresh mint, for garnish
POLENTA 1. In a food processor or blender, puree 4 cups water lemongrass with water until mostly 1 cup dried polenta smooth. Pour mixture into a saucepan 2 Anaheim peppers, seeded and finely diced and bring to a simmer over medium heat, Olive oil for sautéing and oiling casserole dish until lemongrass becomes more fragrant. 2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms Remove from heat, cover pan, ½ bunch spinach and let lemongrass steep for 1 tablespoon chopped basil 20 minutes. leaves Want a snack that is 2. Cut bell peppers in half; 6 ounces ricotta cheese SAUCE ½ yellow onion, chopped 1 teaspoon olive oil 4 cloves of garlic, minced 1 cup chopped red bell peppers ½ cup Roma tomatoes 2 tablespoons red wine 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar Salt and pepper, to taste
sweet, salty and savory—and made with peppers? Visit livenaturallymagazine. com for a Jalapeno Caramel Corn recipe.
1. Preheat oven to 375°. To make sauce, cook onions in a saucepan with olive oil on low heat until translucent; add garlic, stir for 1–2 minutes. Add bell peppers. 2. Puree half of the tomatoes in a blender, and put aside. Cut other half of the tomatoes in half (without removing the seeds), and place them face down on a baking pan; cook in oven until they begin to soften. 3. Add red wine, and let it reduce slightly. Pour in tomato puree and balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil; then simmer covered for about 15 minutes. Roughly puree the sauce so that it remains slightly chunky. 4. Bring water to boil, and slowly add polenta while whisking. Bring to a boil; then reduce to a slight simmer. Continue to whisk every few minutes. Cook until polenta is thick but still spreadable. 5. Sauté Anaheim peppers in 1 teaspoon olive oil; set aside. When polenta is done, whisk in peppers. Sauté mushrooms with 1 teaspoon olive oil. On low heat, add spinach until wilted; set aside. Spread half of polenta over an oiled medium casserole dish. Pour half of sauce over polenta. Add spinach and mushrooms. Pour remaining polenta over the top, spread evenly. Add basil and remaining sauce. Evenly spread ricotta as the last layer. Bake 30–40 minutes. PER SERVING: 182 CAL; 14G PROT; 6G FAT; 22G CARB (0G SUGARS); 379MG SODIUM; 4G FIBER
remove seeds, and place peppers on a sheet pan with the skin up. Broil peppers until the skin has blistered, cover in foil, and set aside to cool. Once cool, gently remove skin. Place peppers in a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. 3. Strain lemongrass from water, and pour into a saucepan. Over medium heat, stir in sugar until dissolved and mixture begins to simmer. Remove from heat, and cool. 4. Pour this simple syrup into the bell pepper puree. Mix in lemon and ginger juice. 5. If you have an ice cream machine, put mixture into machine and follow the instructions. Otherwise, put parchment paper over a cookie sheet, and pour mixture over it. Put tray in freezer. Once completely frozen, break puree into pieces and blend immediately in a food processor when ready to serve. Garnish with mint. PER SERVING: 280 CAL; 1G PROT; 0G FAT; 70G CARB (6G SUGARS); 15MG SODIUM; 2G FIBER
Optimum Wellness is excited to partner with Johnson & Wales University. Chef Adam Sacks, an instructor 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 info, visit jwu.edu/denver.
MAKE IT, BUY IT
Nice and Smoothies Pop a few essential ingredients in a blender and, voilà, you’ve got a healthy drink that will get you on your way. BY KIMBERLY LORD STEWART
Cucumber Melon Thirst Quencher Try this on a steamy summer day to satisfy your thirst and cool you down. Any melon will do—honeydew, cantaloupe or seedless watermelon. 1 serving ½ cup diced English cucumber 1 cup cubed, ripe watermelon, cantaloupe or honeydew melon 1 cup coconut water (try ZICO) Juice of half a fresh lime 2–3 fresh mint leaves Ice cubes
1. Place all ingredients in a blender. Puree until completely pulverized into a thick juice. 2. Pour over ice.
AARON COLUSSI, STYLE ERIC LESKOVAR
PER SERVING: 155 cal; 3g prot; 1g fat; 37g carb (29g sugars); 241mg sodium; 4g fiber
BUY IT ZICO coconut water is pure coconut water. That’s it. An 8-ounce serving contains 490 mg of potassium; most sports drinks contain only 45 mg of potassium per 12-ounce serving.
Potassium is vital for proper heart function and aids in sore muscles.
MAKE IT, BUY IT
Monday Morning Mousse Smoothie The dark chocolate and thick texture will tease your taste buds into thinking this is a decadent chocolate mousse shake. It’s actually rich in cardio-healthy cocoa and avocado, and it’s dairy free. 1 serving 1 tablespoon powdered cocoa ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt (try Fage’s Greek yogurt) ¾ cup cashew milk (try So Delicious Cashew Milk Unsweetened Vanilla) ¼ ripe avocado, peeled ½ ripe banana 1 teaspoon agave nectar 4–6 ice cubes 4 drops vanilla stevia elixir (optional)
BUY IT So Delicious Cashew Milk Unsweetened Vanilla has only 35 calories per cup. The vanilla adds smoothness to the sugar-free, dairy-alternative beverage.
1. Place cocoa, yogurt and cashew milk in a blender, and puree for 1 minute, until the cocoa powder is well mixed. Scrape down with a spatula to break up powdery clumps that stick to the sides. 2. Add avocado, banana, agave, ice and optional stevia to the blender, and blend until smooth. Add extra cashew milk if too thick.
BUY IT Fage yogurt’s rich, creamy goodness is simply milk and a handful of live active cultures for a daily dose of gut-healthy probiotics. Each 200-gram serving has 18 grams of protein, which is the same as three eggs.
What about walnut milk? This dairy-free alternative adds a rich, creamy flavor—plus vitamins E, D and B12—to your smoothie. Try Elmhurst Harvest’s Original Walnut Milk, with 60 calories per cup.
34 Summer 2016 / Optimum Wellness
AARON COLUSSI, STYLE ERIC LESKOVAR
PER SERVING: 263 cal; 14g prot; 9g fat; 37g carb (22g sugars); 120mg sodium; 6g fiber
MAKE IT, BUY IT
Beta Carotene Gets Tropical Getting enough vegetables into your daily diet can be a struggle. You’ll get an A-plus with this vitamin A-rich smoothie recipe. 1 serving ¾ cup cooked and pureed butternut squash ½ cup orange juice 1 cup mango chunks, fresh or frozen ½ cup plain kefir (try Simple Truth Organic Plain Kefir, or plain yogurt) 1 ounce macadamia nuts; 12 nuts
1. Place all ingredients in a blender, and puree until fruit and nuts are smooth. 2. Add a little water to thin out if desired. PER SERVING: 462 cal; 9g prot; 23g fat; 62g carb (44g sugars); 212mg sodium; 8g fiber
BUY IT Simple Truth’s Organic Plain Kefir is loaded with millions of probiotics, 11 grams of protein and 25 percent of your RDA of vitamin D.
AARON COLUSSI, STYLE ERIC LESKOVAR
1 ounce of macadamia nuts provides 17 grams of healthy monounsaturated fats.
36 Summer 2016 / Optimum Wellness
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MANUFACTURER’S COUPON EXPIRES 10/31/16 Consumer and Retailer: LIMIT ONE (1) COUPON PER PURCHASE OF SPECIFIED PRODUCT AND QUANTITY STATED. NOT TO BE COMBINED WITH ANY OTHER COUPON(S). LIMIT OF TWO (2) IDENTICAL COUPONS IN SAME SHOPPING TRIP. Void if expired, reproduced, altered, copied, sold, purchased, transferred, or exchanged to any person, firm, or group prior to store redemption, or where prohibited or restricted by law. Any other use constitutes fraud. Consumer: You pay any sales tax. Retailer: Suja Life, LLC will reimburse you for the face value of this coupon plus 8¢ handling if submitted in accordance with Suja Life, LLC Coupon Redemption Policy (available upon request). Mail coupons to: Inmar Dept #54208, Suja Life, LLC, 1 Fawcett Drive, Del Rio, TX 78840. Cash value 1/100¢. No cash back if coupon value exceeds selling price. Valid only in the USA.
100% coconut water no sugar added
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MANUFACTURER'S COUPON OFFER VALID 6/20/2016-10/31/2016 Consumer: Only one coupon per purchase. Limit of 4 like coupons in the same shopping trip, per day. You pay sales tax and/or deposit charge. Coupon may not be assigned, transferred, purchased, sold or reproduced. Any other use constitutes fraud. Cash Value 1/100 of 1¢. Retailer: We will reimburse you for the face value of this coupon, plus 8¢ handling allowance, if you and the consumer have complied with our Coupon Redemption Policy available at the redemption address. Mail coupons to: CMS Dept. 49000, One Fawcett Drive, Del Rio, TX. 78840. Not redeemable in liquor or tobacco retail outlets.
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MAKE IT, BUY IT
BUY IT Don’t have the ingredients or time to blend up a smoothie? No problem. There are plenty of healthy premade options at the store. Here are a few of our favorites.
JAMBA FRUIT & VEGGIE SMOOTHIES: Green Fusion
SUJA: Sweet Beets Beets have come a long way. This tasty fruit and veggie smoothie contains beets, apples, carrots, oranges, bananas, pineapple and turmeric, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
USDA-certified organic; no added sweeteners; 90 percent RDA of vitamin A, and 60 percent of vitamin C
Equal to one full serving of fruit per U.S. Dietary Guidelines; contains 100 percent RDA of vitamin C
ODWALLA: Chocolate Protein
NAKED JUICE: Kale Blazer
Need energy? Craving chocolate? This soy and dairy protein shake might just do the trick. It’s chock-full of vitamins and minerals, and serves up a healthy 32 grams of protein per bottle.
Need to get more dark, leafy greens in your diet? This flavorful juice is loaded with greens galore, including kale, cucumber, spinach and celery, plus orange and apple juices and a pinch of ginger.
DOLE SMOOTHIE SHAKERS: Mixed Berry No time to make a morning smoothie? No problem. Just add your favorite juice and shake, no blender needed. Made with strawberries, blueberries and yogurt, this flavor tastes great with orange, pineapple or apple juice. Look for Smoothie Shakers in the frozen aisle.
Contains 90 percent RDA of calcium; 180 percent of vitamins B6 and B12
If you’re a Jamba Juice lover, no need to drive to a store. You can mix one right at home with a “smoothie kit” like Green Fusion, a combo of bananas, pineapple, mangos, green apple, kiwi, broccoli and spinach. Simply blend with juice; we suggest apple.
No added sugar or preservatives; contains 2 grams of protein and 35 percent RDA of vitamin C
Each 4-ounce serving contains 5 grams of protein and 50 percent RDA of vitamin C
The “New” Smoothie: Cold-Pressed Juice
moothies have been around since the invention of the electric blender in the 1930s, when they became popular in health food stores on the West Coast. Fast-forward to today when consumers can buy a rainbow of factoryproduced smoothies in bottles at the supermarket. But there’s a relatively new alternative to getting
your fruits and veggies in liquid form: cold-pressed juice. Made fresh at juice bars, which are sprouting up across the country, cold-pressed juice is becoming more readily available in bottled form in grocery stores. Compared to smoothies, which are made in machines with whirling blades and often have ingredients
beyond fruits and veggies— crushed ice, dairy, nuts, seeds, chocolate, protein powder—cold-pressed juice is made with a hydraulic press that uses thousands of pounds of pressure to extract the maximum amount of liquid from just fresh fruits and veggies. Fresh cold-pressed juice has a shelf life of three to
four days before microbes begin to spoil it, so bottled versions go through a special pasteurization process that submerges sealed bottles in cold water under high pressure; this kills pathogens and extends shelf life to a whopping 30 to 45 days. While there is no published research available, some folks claim that since
cold-pressed juices are exposed to minimal heat and air during processing, they’re able to hold onto more vitamins, minerals and enzymes present in the whole fruit. So jump on the juice train and give it a try. Brands to look out for: Suja and soon-to-be-launched flavors from Naked Juice.
Summertime and the Grillin’ Is Easy
BY KIMBERLY LORD STEWART
Chicken Drumsticks with Fresh Herb Jalapeno Olive Marinade This marinade takes its cue from a famous Argentinian chimichurri sauce that mingles fresh herbs with garlic and crushed red pepper. In this recipe, stuffed jalapeno olives replace the traditional crushed red pepper flakes for a tart and spicy changeup. Serves 4 6–8 antibiotic-free chicken drumsticks (try Simple Truth brand) 1 bunch parsley, stems removed 4 tablespoons fresh basil leaves 3 sprigs fresh mint, leaves pulled from stems 3 cloves garlic, peeled Hefty pinch kosher salt 16 Spanish olives, stuffed with jalapenos 1¼ cups extra-virgin olive oil, divided Salt and pepper, to taste
Chicken Drumsticks with Fresh Herb Jalapeno Olive Marinade
1. Place chicken in a large bowl. 2. Place parsley, basil, mint, garlic and salt in a food processor (the salt will provide friction to chop the herbs evenly). Pulse until herbs are chopped and garlic is minced. 3. Add olives, and pulse again until they are coarsely chopped. Scoop out half of the mixture. Place in a bowl with ½ cup olive oil. Stir, and set aside to use as a sauce. 4. Pour remaining olive oil over chicken to coat well. Add herb-olive mixture, and coat well. Let sit for 20 minutes. 5. Turn on all the outside grill sections, leaving a cool middle for indirect heat (see “Direct or Indirect Heat?”). 6. Place chicken on center grate, cover, and cook for 30–35 minutes until brown. Turn every 5–7 minutes to brown. 7. Serve with reserved sauce. PER SERVING: 515 cal; 29g prot; 43g fat; 2g carb (0g sugars); 554mg sodium; 1g fiber
Mushroom-Blended Burger with Roasted Peppers Vegetables on the inside and out give these burgers a healthy twist. Meaty mushrooms add moisture to lean ground beef. A vegetable grill pan is the ideal tool to caramelize sweet peppers and onions over the fire for a tasty topping. Serves 4 ½ pound cremini or white button mushrooms 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided 1 pound lean ground beef ½ teaspoon salt 1 onion, peeled, cut into eighths 8 sweet mini peppers; tops cut off, seeded
and cut in half lengthwise Salt and pepper to taste 4 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled 4 whole-grain buns Vegetable grill pan
1. Heat grill to 500°. Finely dice half the mushrooms or gently pulse in food processor. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet, and add mushrooms. Sauté 5–7 minutes, until golden brown and the liquid has cooked down. Remove mushrooms from pan, and place in a medium-sized bowl. Cool 5 minutes. 2. Add ground beef and salt, and mix until combined. Form four patties. 3. Place onions and peppers in the vegetable grill pan, plus remaining half of mushrooms, sliced thick. Set over a large plate to prevent olive oil from dribbling out. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. 4. Place vegetable grill pan and burgers on grill. Frequently turn the vegetables, and cook until well-roasted and slightly charred. 5. Cook burgers 3–4 minutes on each side for medium well, 5–6 minutes for well done. Top with feta cheese, peppers, onions and sliced mushrooms during the last few minutes. 6. Serve with peppers and onions on wholegrain buns. PER SERVING: 411 cal; 29g prot; 20g fat; 28g carb (5g sugars); 608mg sodium; 4g fiber
Za’atar Grilled Flank Steak In Middle Eastern countries, the spice blend of oregano, sumac and sesame, called za’atar, is as common as the ubiquitous American concoction called seasoned salt. In this country, it’s a bold new flavor that is exotic enough to stir tired palates, but it’s not so showy that it scares off timid eaters. Serves 4–6 ZA’ATAR RUB 2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 teaspoon ground sumac (or grated lemon zest) ½ teaspoon oregano ½ teaspoon ground pepper 2-pound flank steak Extra-virgin olive oil 1 lemon, halved 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, for garnish
1. Blend za’atar rub spices in a bowl. 2. Brush steak generously with olive oil. Coat each side of the steak with za’atar rub. RECIPES CONTINUE >>
Optimum Naturally Wellness 34 Summer 2016 / Live
Nutritional values calculated via supertracker.usda.gov.
AARON COLUSSI, STYLE ERIC LESKOVAR
Escaping the kitchen to cook outdoors is one of the joys of warmer weather. Invite the neighbors over to celebrate the flavors of summer with bright spices, fresh herbs and smoky goodness.
Za’atar Grilled Flank Steak
Mole Grilled Pork Chops
DIRECT OR INDIRECT HEAT? Whether you are fond of gas grills or charcoal, there are two types of fires to master—direct and indirect heat. Direct heat is evenly spaced across the entire grill for both gas and coals. A hot fire means you can hold your hand over the fire 3 inches above the grate for 3 seconds before you have to pull your hand away. Indirect heat is divided into two temperatures, hot and cool. A middle cool section is sandwiched by live gas grill flames or hot coals on each side. A charcoal grill rack holds the coals in place, or you can simply push the coals aside. This method is preferred for recipes that need slower cooking times, like chicken and vegetables.
MushroomBlended Burger with Roasted Peppers
This recipe is inspired by the Mushroom Council’s Classic Blended Burger recipe. You’ll find it at livenaturallymagazine.com.
3. Heat gas grill to 500°; if using charcoal, prepare a hot direct-heat charcoal fire (see “Direct or Indirect Heat?”). 4. Place steak on hot grill grate. Sear each side for 4 minutes. 5. Lower heat to 350°, and cook for another 4 minutes on one side. Place lemon halves on grill, cut side down. 6. Turn steak, and cook another 4 minutes for the center to be on the rare side of medium rare; the thinner sides will be medium. Cooking times may vary by the steak’s thickness and how well done you prefer your meat. 7. Cut steak on the diagonal, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve with charred lemon. PER SERVING (5): 112 cal; 13g prot; 6g fat; 1g carb (0g sugars); 1,089mg sodium; 0g fiber
Mole Grilled Pork Chops The ingredients of chocolate and coffee may surprise you in a grilling recipe. The flavor combo dates back to the Aztecs and works amazingly well as a quick topping for a grilled pork chop. Serves 4 4 antibiotic-free ½- to 1-inch-thick pork chops (try Simple Truth brand) Salt and pepper to taste 4 ounces dark chocolate–chili bar (if not available, a bar of dark chocolate will work) ¼ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground coffee 2 teaspoons chili powder
1. Heat grill to 400° using the indirect cooking method (see “Direct or Indirect Heat?”). 2. Season pork with salt and pepper. Set aside. 3. Place chocolate, salt, coffee and chili powder in a food processor. Pulse until it’s a dense, coarse blend that resembles cookie crumbs. 4. Set pork on the live-flame section of grill, and grill for 3 minutes on each side. 5. Transfer pork to cool section of the grill. Top each chop with chocolate-chili mixture. Cover and let cook 8–10 minutes, until pork is cooked through (thin chops will take less time) and the topping is melted. Internal temperature should reach 145°. PER SERVING: 333 cal; 25g prot; 18g fat; 19g carb (15g sugars); 350mg sodium; 2g fiber
42 Summer 2016 / Optimum Wellness
Grilled Pizza, Pronto! In Italy, pizza is often cooked in a wood-fired oven. When that’s not available, the next best thing is a grill (gas or charcoal). Have all the ingredients ready, because it won’t take long. Serves 2 Refrigerated pizza dough (or any prepared pizza dough ball) Vegetable oil (for grill grates) 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil ½ teaspoon dried oregano Salt, to taste 1 cup crushed tomatoes (canned is fine) 6–8 fresh basil leaves 6 slices prosciutto 4 tablespoons shaved Parmesan 1 cup grated part-skim mozzarella
1. Preheat grill to high heat (475° on a gas grill). 2. Roll out dough into a circle. Oil grill grates with vegetable oil. Immediately place dough directly on the grill. Working quickly, brush with olive oil and sprinkle oregano and salt over the top. Spread tomatoes evenly over dough. 3. Add prosciutto, basil, Parmesan and mozzarella. Place lid on grill for about 2–3 minutes. Once the bottom is crusty, use tongs to rotate pizza a quarter-turn at a time, every couple of minutes. Close lid each time. Cook about 7–9 minutes, until dough is crisp and toppings are melted. Watch carefully; cooking times will vary by dough thickness. PER SERVING: 528 cal; 33g prot; 34g fat; 46g carb (3g sugars); 1,838mg sodium; 4g fiber
5 ESSENTIAL GRILLING TOOLS Sturdy grill brush to remove charred debris from the grill grate.
Sauce mop and silicone brush for basting and sauces.
Meat thermometer to check the internal temperature.
Long-handled spatula and tongs to flip food without singeing eyebrows.
Vegetable grill pan for cooking tender vegetables that might otherwise fall through the grate.
AARON COLUSSI, STYLE ERIC LESKOVAR
Trade out firm tofu for the steak. All other ingredients are the same. Cut into half-inch slabs, dry well with paper towel—this is an important step, or the tofu will crumble on the grill. Place tofu in a shallow dish and coat with extra-virgin olive oil; season with za’atar on both sides. Turn up heat on the grill; clean well with a grill brush and oil grates with vegetable oil or place tofu on a piece of aluminum foil with a few holes poked through. Place tofu on the grill, turn off heat directly under the slabs and cook with indirect heat. Turn 90 degrees to create hatch marks; cook about 20 minutes. Serve with sesame seeds and grilled lemons.
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Consumer: Redeemable at retail locations only. Not valid for online or mail-order purchases. Retailer: Irwin Naturals will reimburse you for the face value plus 8 (cents) handling provided it is redeemed by a consumer at the time of purchase on the brand specified. Coupons not properly redeemed will be void and held. Reproduction by any party by any means is expressly prohibited. Any other use constitutes fraud. Irwin Naturals reserves the right to deny reimbursement (due to misredemption activity) and/ or request proof of purchase for coupon(s) submitted. Mail to: CMS Dept. 10363, Irwin Naturals, 1 Fawcett Drive, Del Rio, TX 78840. Cash value: .001 (cents). Void where taxed or restricted. ONE COUPON PER PURCHASE. Not valid for mail order/websites. Retail only.
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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
44 Summer 2016 / Optimum Wellness
Broaden your appreciation of food—and of the rich diversity of international cultures—by indulging in ethnic cuisines. by Gigi Ragland
he next time you sit down to a meal, take a good look at the foods on your plate. Is the chicken rubbed with Caribbean spices, or maybe rolled in Japanese panko crumbs? Perhaps you are about to tuck into a spicy Tex-Mex burrito or a bowl of Italian spaghetti? American meals have become a delicious compilation of unique dishes from around the world—so much so that some of these dishes have become as commonplace as, well, apple pie. Over the centuries, waves of immigrants from Europe, Asia and the Americas have profoundly influenced what we eat, introducing dishes of their ancestors in their new country. Not only do we enjoy the benefit of new tastes and flavors, but the exposure to different cuisines offers the chance to learn new food combinations and preparation techniques, as well as an opportunity to connect with our ethnic roots. “Food is often deeply ingrained in culture,” says
Annika Stensson, director of research communications for the National Restaurant Association (NRA). “You may not be able to visit all the places around the globe from where your family originated, but sharing a meal of those cuisines right here at home is an accessible way to connect with your ancestry.”
Enjoy the familiar The NRA’s 2015 “Global Palates: Ethnic Cuisines and Flavors in America” study found that Italian, Mexican and Chinese are the bestknown ethnic cuisines in the United States. Italian, in particular, is the most familiar and popular. The vibrant flavors of Italy—tomatoes, fresh herbs, garden greens and vegetables—can be easily grown in gardens, and there is good accessibility in grocery stores to cheeses, meats, poultry and fish, other popular Italian ingredients. The fact that the American palate has easily adapted to Italian cuisine comes as no surprise to Elise Wiggins, executive chef of the acclaimed Panzano restaurant in Denver. Wiggins embraces the Slow Food Movement started in Italy to preserve traditional and regional optimumwellnessmagazine.com
cuisine. Her backyard garden even includes a row of heirloom Italian broccoli that she is cultivating for the restaurant. But as often happens, she acknowledges, as Americans embrace an ethnic cuisine, they tend to put their own spin on it. “Spaghettini (pasta) is one of the things that is authentically classic Italian—it’s just that they don’t eat it with meatballs.” Wiggins inspires her customers to learn more about genuine Italian cuisine by offering classes on different techniques and dishes at the restaurant. “I can offer classes on how to make tiramisu, breads, seafood, etc., but the best-selling class is always pasta-making,” she says. Taking a cooking class is a great way to learn about a culture and prepare a favorite dish to share the cuisine you enjoy so much with others.
Exploring the exotic
Gochujang Beef Tacos with Kimchi Salsa By Cathlyn Choi This dish adds Korean flair to an all-time favorite Mexican dish. Yield: 2 servings (2 tacos per serving) ½ pound ground beef, 90% lean 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon cumin ½ tablespoon sea salt ½ tablespoon chili paste* 1 teaspoon sesame oil 4 taco shells ¼ head iceberg lettuce, shredded 4 tablespoons light sour cream 1 avocado, diced 2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese KIMCHI SALSA 1 large tomato, diced 2 cups chopped napa cabbage ½ cup finely chopped cilantro 1 teaspoon sesame oil 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1. In a medium skillet over mediumhigh heat, cook ground beef with olive oil, 3–5 minutes. Add cumin, salt, chili paste and sesame oil; stir-fry 5 minutes. 2. Combine all kimchi salsa ingredients in a bowl; mix well. 3. Warm the taco shells in oven for a few minutes. Fill shells with cooked beef, lettuce, sour cream, avocado, kimchi salsa and cheese. PER SERVING: 658 cal; 33g prot; 44g fat; 37g carb (8g sugars); 2098mg sodium; 10g fiber
*Make a traditional Korean gochujang chili paste by mixing 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce with ½ tablespoon miso paste and 1 tablespoon ketchup.
More than ever, Americans are willing to venture beyond the more familiar ethnic cuisines. Research from the “Global Palates” study shows that two-thirds of Americans eat a wider variety of ethnic cuisines than they did just five years ago. But there are still many types of cuisines in the study that are not so well-known, including Ethiopian, Brazilian/Argentinian and Korean. Cathlyn Choi, also known as the “Korean Food Ambassador,” is working to shake that up. When she first moved to the United States in 2000, she was surprised to learn that “most people didn’t have a clue as to what Korean food was,” she says. With the help of her husband, she started an educational Korean cooking show that is now on PBS. “Cathlyn’s Korean Kitchen” became an instant hit. “There were a lot of talented Korean chefs, but none of
of harvest, vegetables—mostly cabbage—were set aside to ferment in a special “pickling” process. This preparation offered a food source for people during the long, cold winters. Kimchi is now served as a core food found on just about every Korean family’s table, as well as in Korean restaurants. Today, there are more than 200 variations made with different seasonings and vegetable additions.
46 Summer 2016 / Optimum Wellness
Kimchi has been part of the Korean diet since the seventh century. During months
Tomato and Watermelon Bruschetta
FROM LEFT: SHUTTERSTOCK, RIGHT: AARON COLUSSI, STYLE ERIC LESKOVAR
By Elise Wiggins
them could cook, speak English and be comfortable in front of the camera,” Choi says. “‘Cathlyn’s Korean Kitchen’ was the first Korean cooking show on TV in English in the United States, so it got popular very fast.” Choi also performs cooking demonstrations at various cultural and food festivals throughout the year, including Let’s Move, a campaign first lady Michelle Obama initiated to prevent diabetes and obesity in children. Because most Americans aren’t familiar with Korean food, Choi suggests dining at a Korean bar– becue restaurant. All entrees are served with various side dishes— mainly lightly sautéed, seasoned or pickled vegetables; beans; some type of soup; leafy greens; and dipping sauces—which provide a broad exposure to Korean cuisine. (Bonus: Refills are free, Choi says.) Choi likes to introduce Korean food by combining certain ingredients into meals that people are already familiar with—for example, tacos, hamburgers or spaghetti. One of her favorites is kimchi, a fermented cabbage dish that is the staple food of Koreans. “It’s considered one of the healthiest foods in the world, with all-natural probiotics, vitamins and minerals,” she says. As a nation nicknamed “the melting pot,” America provides a fascinating illustration of how infusing foods from other cultures into our culinary experiences radically influences our own culture. A fusion of flavors can be happily discovered throughout the country, taking root in our communities and kitchens in a variety of delectable dishes—and making us richer for it.
A topping of sweet watermelon and heirloom tomatoes enhances the traditional, savory taste of bruschetta. Serves 8 4 cloves garlic, minced 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling 1 baguette; sliced into ½-inch slices, about 24 pieces Sea salt and pepper, to taste 2 pounds heirloom tomatoes; seeds removed, diced 1 baby seedless watermelon, diced into ¼-inch pieces ¼ cup kalamata olives, sliced into slivers 1 cup mascarpone cheese Zest of 1 orange 4 tablespoons sliced fresh basil leaves
1. Heat a grill to high heat. You can also use a skillet over high heat on your stovetop. 2. Combine olive oil and garlic in a small bowl. Brush mixture on bread slices (called “crostini” in Italian); season with salt and pepper. Place bread oil-side down on grill for 30–60 seconds to make char marks. Remove and set on a wire rack to cool. 3. Gently combine tomatoes, watermelon and olives. Spread mascarpone cheese on each crostini. Top with tomato mixture. Garnish each crostini with pinch of orange zest and a few slices of basil; drizzle with olive oil. PER SERVING: 317 cal; 7g prot; 14g fat; 42g carb (12g sugars); 402mg sodium; 3g fiber
This favorite (appetizer), found on almost every Italian restaurant menu, has ancient roots. Thousands of years ago, the Romans tested the quality of freshly pressed olive oil by swiping it with “fire-toasted bread.” The term in Italian for the method was bruscare, “to roast over coals.” Over time bruscare evolved into a poor man’s snack and eventually into what we now enjoy as “bruschetta,” a slice of Italian grilled bread slathered with olive oil and topped with tomatoes, herbs and garlic.
Gigi Ragland specializes in travel, sustainable topics, adventure and food writing. optimumwellnessmagazine.com
Makes 6 rolls
Shrimp, Mango and Avocado Salsa Rolls Pati Jinich is host of “Pati’s Mexican Table,” a national TV series on PBS that makes traditional Mexican cooking accessible to everyone. According to Jinich, real Mexican cuisine isn’t what people tend to think (i.e., Tex-Mex). “What Mexicans eat in their homes are very easy, freshly made-from-scratch meals with a lot of grains, beans, vegetables and fruits,” she says, adding that tortas—sandwiches—are
48 Summer 2016 / Optimum Wellness
By Pati Jinich
extremely popular in Mexico, right up there with tacos and enchiladas. “We serve them for lunch or dinner, or for snacks,” she adds. Following is a favorite torta recipe by Pati, featured in her new cookbook Mexican Today: New and Rediscovered Recipes for Contemporary Kitchens (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016).
1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook 3–4 minutes per side, until browned and crisp. Transfer bacon to a papertowel-lined plate, leaving fat in the skillet; set aside. 2. Return pan with fat to medium heat. Add shallots and garlic; cook about 2 minutes, until fragrant, tender and just beginning to brown. Scrape garlic and shallots into a medium heatproof bowl, along with the fat. Don’t wash the pan; just set aside. 3. Vinaigrette: Add vinegar, honey, mustard, and ½ teaspoon salt and pepper to taste to bowl with garlic and shallots. Whisk or mix with a fork until well emulsified. Add avocados and mangoes; toss together, and set aside. 4. Heat oil and butter over high heat in skillet you used for the bacon until oil is hot but not smoking and butter has begun to foam. Add shrimp, without crowding the pan (cook in two batches if necessary). Season with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper to taste, and cook, flipping shrimp over once, until seared and browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. 5. On each bun or roll, arrange a layer of cooked shrimp. Top with avocado and mango mix, and crown each with a few bacon slices.
12 bacon slices ¼ cup finely chopped shallots 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar ½ teaspoon honey ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, divided Freshly ground black pepper, to taste 2 large ripe avocados, halved, pitted, flesh scooped out, diced 2 large ripe mangoes, peeled, sliced off the pits, diced 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon unsalted buttera 1½ pounds fresh or thawed frozen medium shrimp, shells and tails removed 6 hot dog buns or soft rolls
How I came to know–and love– ethnic food
o you recall the first time you tried a new food or dish? Remember that hesitation or surprise you sensed when tasting an unknown flavor or texture? My land-locked, Midwestern upbringing included some form of meat and potatoes at every meal. Salt and pepper were our “spices.” The word “herb” was somebody’s name, not something you added to flavor a dish. We were raised in cattle and wheat country, where proximity to your food source and environment determined your daily diet. Dining out at an Italian restaurant to eat spaghetti and meatballs or lasagna was a special event. But the most exotic dining experience of all was eating at a Chinese restaurant, where each dish came with a bowl of white rice. As children, we would ask, “Where are the potatoes?” “And what are we supposed to do with the two skinny sticks?” It became an eating adventure. There were so many sauces to try, and we were expected to share each dish family-style. Chinese food was an educational and entertaining introduction to new flavors that opened our eyes to a bigger world beyond the Midwest. After the Vietnam War, hundreds of refugees were welcomed into our state, sponsored by parishioners of many churches. Gradually, Vietnamese restaurants popped up. We couldn’t pronounce the names of dishes on the menus, and we had never tried ingredient combinations with lemongrass, ginger, limes, Thai basil, mint or cilantro. But the food was exotic and incredibly fresh. Best of all, it was our chance to visit a foreign country in the middle of cow country U.S.A. These experiences opened me up to a world of new flavors and delicious foods from around the world. And that continues to inspire me to seek a global palate of new tastes in whatever city, town or country I travel to. —Gigi Ragland
Around the World With the Tomato One ingredient—many taste adventures. DISH
Middle East: Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine
A vegetarian side dish with chopped tomatoes, minced herbs (such as parsley and mint), red onions, couscous, lemon and olive oil.
Spain: Andalucía region
A cold soup made from chopped, pureed raw tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and onions, plus garlic, olive oil, wine vinegar, water and salt.
CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA
India/Pakistan/ Bangladesh infusion, with British additions
A main dish of roasted chicken chunks, served with a spicy tomato cream sauce. The tomato “gravy” is the British enhancement to this traditional chicken dish.
A dip made from fresh tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, garlic, cilantro and lime juice.
A salad of chopped or sliced tomatoes, green bell peppers, cucumbers, red onion, kalamata olives and crumbled feta cheese, then drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil.
A traditional sauce used over pasta. An all-day cooking process that begins with crushed tomatoes and tomato paste, with additions of spices, herbs, vegetables and possibly meat.
Caribbean: Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic
A sauce used to flavor rice, meat and bean dishes. Made with red tomatoes and tomatillos, with a variety of red, green, yellow and orange bell peppers, then blended with onions, garlic and cilantro.
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Available in stores with Optimum Wellness Centers. 50 Summer 2016 / Optimum Wellness
think Eat to Perform You are what you eat when it comes to athletic performance…but that doesn’t mean ice cream is out of the question. BY NANCY COULTER-PARKER
e’ve all known that kid, the über-athlete who pulled off that track record in high school or a college swim record, all the while being a junk-food junkie. But don’t be fooled—they’re the exception rather than the rule. Although working out often affords us the luxury to be more lenient with our calorie intake, not paying attention to proper nutrition in the higher ranks of athleticism can be the difference in, well, making it to the Olympics or not. Whether you’re an aspiring Olympian or everyday athlete, you should focus on nutrition for overall health rather than for performance, says Bob Seebohar, a sports dietitian and exercise physiologist who has worked with more than a dozen Olympic athletes and teams. “If you’re not healthy, you can’t perform,” he explains. And although training is a big player in determining who will qualify for an event, such as the Olympics, it’s all for naught if nutrition isn’t part of the package. “If they’re not eating well for health, then getting to that line to even try out is only a dream, not a dream come true,” he says.
Jackie Briggs, a goalie for the U.S. National Field Hockey Team, knows this firsthand. For the 28-year-old, playing field hockey is a full-time job, and she has had to evolve her nutrition over the years to meet the demands of the game. She works out with her team yearround, with a schedule of three weeks of intensive weight lifting, running and playing, and one week of less intensive activity. Tracking her nutrition, she says, has become a 24/7 job. “What you put in your body really does affect how you perform,” she says. “You can exercise all you want, but if you’re not eating the right things, you’ll never be the best you can be. It’s like putting gasoline in a car; you need to have the best
From Olympians to aspiring athletes, the key to performing your best is to focus on nutrition for overall health.
NUTRITION FOR PERFORMANCE
type of oil in your tank to run the most efficiently.” A key challenge is eating to stave off hunger, while not eating so much before a training session that you can’t move. Briggs created a breakfast—a mix of oatmeal, eggs, seeds and fruit (see “Jackie Briggs’s Breakfast”)—that has enough calories and protein to keep her fueled throughout her morning workout but is also easy to digest.
Nutrition Your Way There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to sports nutrition: Seebohar says the trick is matching your nutrition to your workout. Athletes have workout cycles, so you first have to determine where you are in your training cycle. Are you building a base? In race season? Or are you maintaining your fitness level in the off-season? Ultimately, no matter where you are in your seasonal training cycle, he says it’s about controlling your blood sugar through the entire day and your workout. “You’re controlling the optimization of blood sugar through food,” he explains. “You use carbohydrates,
Our Athletes What do they all have in common? They match their nutrition to their workouts for best performance. Clockwise from top left: Jackie Briggs, Timmy Duggan, Ben Kanute
protein and fat in appropriate amounts throughout the day to support your workout, recovery and sleep.” For instance, he says if you’re thinking of running 60 minutes in the afternoon, you might eat a banana before that run. You might feel good for 20 minutes, but then your blood sugar will crash. Solution: Eat protein, such as nut butter, with the banana. Doing so will spike your blood sugar in a way that increases insulin and boosts your body’s ability to burn fat, Seebohar explains. This strategy is particularly important for endurance athletes, he says. “We only have about two hours worth of carbohydrate stores in our body, but we have hours and days of fat stores. If we’re burning carbohydrates at too high a rate, we will bonk. You can prevent this by teaching your body to burn more fat—a banana with peanut butter creates a metabolic environment to use fats and preserve carbohydrates.” Olympic triathlon hopeful Ben Kanute says on an easier day he will aim to eat roughly 40 percent carbohydrates and balance out the rest between fat and pro-
Experience Your Future Now 52 Summer 2016 / Optimum Wellness
COURTESY TIMMY DUGGAN, USA FIELD HOCKEY, USA TRIATHLON
tein. On harder days, the 23-year-old will aim for 60 percent carbohydrates.
Find Your Balance Although Kanute’s workouts are demanding, he’s not overly strict about what he eats. “For the most part, I try to have a diet that I don’t hate, so that I can continue it year-round,” he says. That means foods like good proteins, fruits and veggies, whole-grain and seeded breads, quinoa, and lentils. But he adds, “I like baked goods every so often. I love ice cream, too. If you have a little bit, it’s not going to hurt you—if you’re working out.” Briggs, too, follows a 90-10 diet: 90 percent of the time she follows a strict diet, centered around organic, whole and fresh foods, and 10 percent of the time she makes room for indulgences. If you don’t, she says, you’re miserable. “I like to have just a cookie or a little bit of ice cream after dinner. That’s my time of day I crave something sweet.” Former ski racer turned Olympic cyclist Timmy Duggan agrees. “You’re more likely to get sick if you’re too strict,” he says.
Duggan was a member of the U.S. Olympic road cycling team that raced in London in 2012. Noting that cycling is a sport where nutrition is front and center, he says what helped him most was his love of cooking. “I wanted to make food that tasted good,” he explains. “The biggest thing you can do for your nutritional health is learn basic cooking techniques. Then you can spend $9 on great ingredients and make great meals.” Finding the right nutrition balance is a combination of reality and mentality. “If you’re so stressed out about every little thing, you will have an affected performance, and as an athlete traveling around you can’t have total control,” says Duggan. “You can train your body to make fuel out of a lot of different things, not just one or two things that work for you.” That’s where ice cream comes in. “Ice cream is my favorite thing in the world,” Duggan says. “I thought it was a really good recovery food, actually—all that sugar and fat and protein.” So even Olympians can have their ice cream and eat it, too.
Jackie Briggs’s Breakfast Bowl 1 cup sprouted grain oatmeal 1 cup 1% milk, more if needed 2 eggs Spoonful of chia seeds Spoonful of bee pollen ½ banana, sliced Handful of blueberries
1. Prepare oatmeal with milk (amount of milk depends on what consistency you prefer). 2. Cook two egg whites. (On more demanding days, Briggs cooks the egg yolks, too; they have more protein than egg whites.) 3. Mix egg whites into oatmeal. 4. Add chia seeds, bee pollen, banana and blueberries.
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body Why Healthy Teeth and Gums Matter Spoiler alert: It’s not just about your smile. BY CHRISTINE LOOMIS
ert Kachko, N.D., L.Ac., at New York– based Inner Source Health and a board member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. “The health of our teeth is also an excellent early indicator of other issues, for example the likelihood of having strong bones and preventing osteoporosis,” he adds.
The Inflammation Connection What connects gum disease to these other medical issues? One likely culprit is inflammation. It’s at the core of gingivitis and periodontitis (gum disease), and is a noted element in many chronic illnesses. “If we have a chronic state of inflammation in the mouth...this leads to chronic inflammation throughout the body, including the heart and blood vessels, digestive tract, and brain,” Kachko says. “Inflamed gums and overgrowth of improper oral flora can lead to damage and inflammation in the blood vessels. This causes an activation of the immune system, which in doing its part to
f one thing has become clear over centuries of humans practicing medicine and researching health, it’s this: Our body systems and parts are all connected. It makes sense, then, that numerous studies suggest a correlation between healthy teeth and gums and overall health, and likewise between gum disease and such disparate medical issues as heart disease, diabetes and stroke. While no study has proved that periodontal disease causes any of these conditions, the connection appears irrefutable. “Oral health is intimately related with overall systemic health, says Roger Forman, D.D.S., clinical associate professor at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine. “Chronic periodontal disease has been definitively linked to heart disease, chronic sinus infections, preterm birth, lung abscesses, exacerbation of diabetes, gastrointestinal dysfunction and other maladies.” Cognitive dysfunction and Alzheimer’s can be added to that list, says Rob-
clear these ‘foreign invaders’ can cause damage to healthy tissues.”
Best Care Practices We already know what to do. Brushing and flossing are critical to maintaining healthy teeth and gums, as are regular dental checkups and cleanings. Some experts also suggest oncedaily water irrigation of teeth and gums. “Daily removal of dental plaque, the sticky bacterial scum that grows on teeth, is mandatory,” Forman says. “A toothbrush will remove plaque on the lip and tongue sides of teeth. Daily use of floss or toothpicks designed for use between teeth is also necessary; a toothbrush will not reach plaque between teeth.” Toothpaste is optional, which may come as a surprise. It’s the brush that does the work. One alternative is using baking soda, which Forman says kills germs on contact and is not very abrasive. “One can brush with plain baking soda and do a superb job of safe and effective plaque removal.” Brush and floss. Sounds easy enough. But you can damage teeth and gums by brushing too often. Brushing once in the morning and once at night before bed to reduce normal plaque growth during sleep should be sufficient. However, Forman notes, if your meal includes lots of nuts or seeds and you have food trapped in your teeth, it’s best to get those out.
What’s in Your Toothpaste? That’s not easy to answer. Most toothpastes and mouthwashes are considered “cosmetic.” They don’t undergo FDA evaluation, and formulas are often proprietary. Approval by the American Dental Association is no guarantee that ingredients are safe, either. The University of Colorado’s 56 Summer 2016 / Optimum Wellness
It’s important to note that hygiene practices should not create discomfort. “There should be absolutely no burning of soft tissue or tooth sensitivity after repeated use,” Forman says. If burning and/or sensitivity develop, change products. Also consider having a dentist critique your brushing and flossing technique to make sure you’re doing it correctly. One group of products sometimes associated with discomfort is whiteners, which can burn gum tissue and cause tooth sensitivity in some users. Although the gleaming, perfect smile has become the ideal, Forman notes that a more natural look is just fine. “The ‘Hollywood Smile’ is often a very high-maintenance smile,” he says.
Nutrition What we eat—good and bad—does matter. One thing all experts agree on is that sugar is problematic. “For susceptible people,” Forman says, “frequent exposure to sucrose will result in dental decay.” In addition to sugar, Kachko recommends minimizing acidifying foods, including heavy animal proteins. He contends that the typical American diet is overly acidic, which puts the body out of balance and can lead to increased bone loss—not a plus for healthy teeth. To counter this, Kachko recommends adding foods that are alkalizing, such as dark leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, bone broths and lean animal proteins. He also suggests vitamins, with doses recommended by someone trained in the field. Vitamins A, C and E, plus D and K together, may benefit mouth health, along with zinc and CoQ10. In other words, the foods and vitamins that keep you healthy in every way can also keep your teeth and gums healthy, and that’s good for your overall wellness.
Roger Forman points to a long list of onceapproved ingredients in toothpastes ultimately found to be unsafe, including silicon dioxide and trace chloroform, not to mention tubes containing lead. Naturopathic physician Robert Kachko says it’s important to look for
what you don’t want in your toothpaste. He recommends avoiding products containing triclosan, diethanolamine (DEA or DEOA) or propylene glycol. Also on the list: sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (also called sodium lauryl ether sulfate [SLES]), all known skin
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irritants and long associated with mouth sores, among other things. Among the beneficial ingredients to look for are baking soda, which neutralizes acids in the mouth, and xylitol, which adds sweetness without the damage of sugar and may reduce cavitycausing bacteria.
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58 Summer 2016 / Optimum Wellness
boost Prebiotics Nourish your good gut bacteria with this unique type of fiber. BY KELLEE KATAGI What are they? Not to be confused with probiotics—bacteria strains that benefit your digestive system and overall health—prebiotics are certain indigestible, plant-based fibers that appear to serve as food for the probiotics that already live in your gut. Because your body cannot digest these fibers, they aren’t destroyed as they pass through the stomach, as many probiotics are.
Use them for Relieving symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other digestive ailments, increasing absorption of calcium and other minerals, boosting regularity, encouraging good gut bacteria, controlling appetite, protecting against colon cancer, lowering heart disease risk factors.
The science Prebiotics were first identified in 1995, so scientists still have a lot to learn about how they work. Study results have been mixed, but promising findings include research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showing increased calcium absorption and bone density in teen girls after a year of prebiotic supplementation, as well as a 2011 study that reported weight loss and lower caloric intake in Chinese men who consumed daily prebiotics for 12 weeks.
How to take them Prebiotics are found in a number of fruits and vegetables, but generally in low amounts. The most potent food sources include chicory root, Jerusalem artichokes, dandelion greens, garlic, onions, leeks, wheat bran and bananas. But consuming the recommended prebiotic dose of 5–8 grams per day is nearly impossible from food sources alone. If you use a supplement, look for a “full-spectrum” product, which means it targets and strengthens more of the bowel wall to prevent dangerous toxins Garlic and from invading the bloodstream. onions are two food sources for prebiotics.
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SUPPLEMENTAL HEALTH CARE
store for recommendations to address your specific concerns. DOSE: Different brands of probiotics can contain anywhere from 1 billion to 10 billion colony-forming units (CFUs). Depending on your needs, to maintain a healthy digestive tract, 1 to 2 million CFUs daily is recommended. However, if you are taking antibiotics or have bacterial-imbalance symptoms such as diarrhea, you can take up to 10 billion CFUs to clear the problem up.
Peppermint Oil EASES IBS SYMPTOMS: Peppermint
oil has been used in both Eastern and Western medicine to combat digestive distress for years. Research has shown this powerful herbal oil to relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a disease that affects between 10 and 15 percent of Americans, according to the American College of Gastroenterology. In a 2006 Taiwanese study, IBS patients who were given a coated peppermint oil–based capsule experienced decreased stool frequency, as well as less abdominal distension and gas than patients who did not take the supplement. What’s more, a whopping 79 percent of patients given peppermint oil reported having less abdominal pain than before they began taking the supplement. DOSE: Take 0.2–0.4 ml in capsule form on an empty stomach up to three times daily, or as directed by your physician.
Go with Your Gut Keep your tummy— and your whole body— happy and healthy with these four natural supplements.
BY KAREN MORSE, MPH
The numbers are staggering: There are more than a trillion bacterial cells living in your gut that determine all sorts of things about your health. These microflora (or bacteria) living in your intestinal tract are critical to the process of digesting foods so you can absorb their nutrients, fight off viruses and toxins, and regulate your metabolism. To keep your body at its healthiest, it’s important to make sure that the good bugs in your gut outweigh the bad. Read on for four natural supplements to help your gut microflora flourish.
Probiotics REPLENISH GOOD BUGS: The friendly bacteria in our guts known as probiotics help with digestion, but they can be
depleted by taking medications such as antibiotics, consuming a poor diet, falling ill, experiencing stress or even over-exercising. To replenish good bacteria and maintain intestinal health, experts suggest a probiotic supplement. While there are many species and strains of probiotics out there, the three species you’ll see most often (and those backed by the most research) are lactobacillus, bifidobacterium and streptococcus. When it comes to identifying these on the product’s label, the species will most often be abbreviated: L, B, and S. For example, L. acidophilus is Lactobacillus acidophilus, a well-known probiotic for small intestine health. Different probiotics have different effects, though, so talk to your doctor or a supplements expert at your
Psyllium Husk RELIEVES CONSTIPATION: In most cases, consuming a broad range of foods containing soluble and insoluble fiber, in addition to staying hydrated, will keep you regular. However, issues with chronic constipation are on the rise, with constipation-related emergency department visits reported to have increased by almost 42 percent between 2006 and 2011. Psyllium husk can provide a gentle, nonstimulant remedy. When it comes in contact with water in the intestinal tract, the husk absorbs water and swells, making it easier to move waste through the intestines. Studies have shown psyllium to improve other digestive disorders, including diarrhea, and ease symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, optimumwellnessmagazine.com
SUPPLEMENTAL HEALTH CARE
such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. DOSE: As with other supplements, psyllium husk is best taken with direction from a physician. It is best to start with a low dose, such as half a teaspoon in an eight-ounce glass of water, and then increase the dose if needed.
The New Wellness Superstars Thanks to a multitude of recent studies linking probiotics to brain chemistry, weight management and improved overall health, probiotic foods are popping up everywhere. Check out some of these good-for-your-gut foods.
ALLEVIATES INDIGESTION: For centu-
ries, chamomile (namely German chamomile) has been used in herbal preparations to ease upset stomachs and nausea as well as to promote relaxation. In recent studies, supplements containing chamomile have relieved symptoms of indigestion, too. Scientists are not exactly clear on how it does so, but chamomile reduces spasms in the gut that lead to stomach upset and related illnesses. DOSE: Chamomile is available as a supplement in both capsule and tea form. Look for caffeine-free chamomile teas and prepare as directed. Enjoy up to 3–4 cups of tea per day to ease nausea or digestive upset, but consult your doctor first if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Whether you prefer regular or Greek, plain or fruit-flavored, the pros of yogurt are numerous. To make sure you are choosing the most nutritious option, the National Yogurt Association advises looking for the Live & Active Cultures seal on the label, which ensures that you are getting significant amounts of beneficial bacteria in each bite.
TEMPEH This savory meat substitute is derived from fermented soybeans and is a good source of both protein and fiber. Like tofu, tempeh can be marinated and added to soups and stir-fries. The microflora that live in fermented foods such as tempeh fight off harmful bacteria, such as salmonella. Research shows that adding tempeh to your diet may help boost heart health and aid in the prevention of type II diabetes.
SAUERKRAUT You may have enjoyed it on a hot dog from time to time, but did you know that sauerkraut has probiotic prowess? This simple blend of shredded cabbage and salt is a good source of lactic acid bacteria such as lactobacillus, as well as vitamin C and important digestive enzymes. Sauerkraut in cans or jars is easy to find in almost any supermarket, but don’t forget to check the cold food case for a tasty local homemade variety.
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Going Gluten Free Living with allergies and food limitations just keeps getting easier.
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try Olive Oil Ice Cream This fruitful, healthful oil adds a unique flavor to frozen treats. Common in Italy, olive oil ice cream might seem an odd concoction to stateside tastes. Isn’t olive oil used for dressing, dipping, drizzling and sautéing? Yes, of course! But when mixed in to a cold, creamy blend of ice cream, olive oil adds a wonderful subtle floral flavor. Plus, you get the oil’s health benefits, such as antioxidants and healthy fats.
The Recipe Yield: 4 servings ⁄₃ cup sugar ⁄₃ cup heavy cream 1 cup half-and-half 4 egg yolks, beaten 1⁄₃ cup extra-virgin olive oil* Sea salt, optional garnish 1 1
Ice cream maker
1. Dissolve sugar, heavy cream and half-and-half in a pot over medium heat; stir until sugar has melted. Add egg yolks in a slow but steady stream, stirring with a whisk until yolks are incorporated. 2. Continue heating and stirring over medium heat until mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a wooden spoon, 8–10 minutes. Optionally filter mixture through a sieve to remove any small egg yolk solids. 3. Add olive oil; stir to combine. Cool mixture overnight. 4. Before putting into ice cream maker, if mixture has separated from oil, stir to remix. Pour mixture into ice cream maker, and follow manufacturer’s instructions. Serve scoops with a dash of sea salt. Recipe courtesy of Jennifer Che, tinyurbankitchen.com. PER SERVING: 422 cal; 5g prot; 36g fat; 21g carb (20g sugars); 41mg sodium; 0g fiber
• ational July is N Month. m a Ice Cre ing up y te b mix Celebra oil ice of olive a batch family r u o y r cream fo T ds. hey and frien as st love it might ju . o d e w much as •
Don’t skimp on the quality of olive oil. Use a light-bodied, fruity, floral variety for best results. Ask an expert at your local store for suggestions.
Nutritional value calculated on supertracker.usda.gov.
64 Summer 2016 / Optimum Wellness
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Consumer: Only valid at participating retailers. Coupon good only on purchases of PlantFusion® Complete Plant Protein Bottles. Void if altered, reproduced, transferred, sold or auctioned. Retailer: Limit one per purchase. Consumer responsible for all taxes. Value: 1/1000 cent. Reimbursement: Face vaule of this coupon plus 8c which signifies your compliance with PlantFusion®. Send properly redeemed coupons to: PlantFusion, P.O. Box 407, MPS Dept No 815, Cinnaminson, NJ 08077
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Published on Jun 29, 2016