Sunday, October 22, 2017

Banana ice cream without the cream?

Yeah, it's possible - especially if you like bananas!

Once in a while, I like to share alternative recipes, so that you can lose weight, feel great and indulge in great tasting food.  Why?  Because I'm on a mission help people (myself included) take the best possible care of themselves.

This delicious healthy banana ice cream recipe is:
  • Paleo friendly
  • Gluten-free
  • No sugar
  • No dairy
  • Fat free
  • High in fiber
  • Low glycemic index
  • Absolutely fat-burning
  • Takes 10 minutes to make
  • Doesn’t require an ice cream maker
  • Delicious
In fact, it contains only 1 ingredient: bananas - and nobody will ever know it helps you lose weight.



UN-BE-LIE-VABLE! How does it work?

You see, bananas naturally contain a lot of pectin.  Pectin is the kind of fiber that helps jams and marmalade 'set'.  Because of that, when you blend bananas, it makes an amazing texture that feels even better than artisan-made ice creams.

Here is the trick...

Make sure your bananas are ripe and sweet.  Slice them and freeze the slices solid.  Then process them in a blender or food processor.  That’s where the magic happens.  The texture gets soft, smooth, and delicious.

If you don’t own an ice cream maker, all you have to do is to freeze the ice cream again until serving time.  If you do own an ice cream maker, then go ahead and give it a 5-10 minute churn to further increase the beautiful texture and make this recipe over the top.


HEALTHY BANANA ICE CREAM

[No dairy, no sugar, gluten-free, paleo]

Active time: 10 minutes  | Yield: About 1 quart

Ingredients:
  • 3 large ripe bananas
Preparation:
  1. Make sure you choose sweet and soft bananas; they work much better.
  2. Peel the bananas and quickly slice them.  Put the bananas on a sheet pan, and freeze for about 2 hours.
  3. Blend the frozen banana slices in a food processor.  Pulse a few times to it’s well blended.
  4. Keep on blending until you get a very smooth consistency.
  5. At this point, the bananas look blended, creamy, and have the consistency of a soft-serve ice cream.  You can enjoy it as is, or freeze overnight for a real ice cream.
  6. If you’re interested in an even better texture, use an ice-cream maker to achieve a real, perfect ice cream.
  7. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze overnight.
  8. To serve, simply take out of the freezer, and scoop in a bowl.  You can add nuts like toasted walnuts, macadamia, or almonds.  You can even add some chopped up dark chocolate pieces, as long as the chocolate contains over 72% of cocoa.

That’s it.  This is a 10-minute deal.

Make sure you watch the video above.  You won’t believe how simple, easy, and healthy this recipe is.

It's sure to please everybody in your family and impress your friends. Don’t miss this!

Monday, October 16, 2017

The healthy carb: Fiber!

If you're reading this, it means that you have a pulse.  The word 'pulse' has other meanings, though.  For example (if you're trying to lose weight) the United Nations recently declared the International Year of Pulses.

The UN has developed and goal of everyone eating for good health - which means maximum nutrition and healthy weight.  OK, that's good.  When you're talking about the entire human race, there’s no simpler, more affordable way to do that than to eat sufficient amounts of beans and legumes, which the rest of the world calls pulses.

So why did they deserve their own special year in 2016?

It’s all about the fiber


In December 2015, a study of 427,000 people trying to lose weight shined a bright light on fiber’s super-slimming powers.  When all the data were in, it focused on those who were most successful - that is, who came within five percent of their target weight.

And it simply asked, why?  Did they consume fewer carbs?  Less sugar?  Less fat?

No.

Compared to the less successful folks, the five-percenters were pretty much the same when it came to amounts of calories, protein, fat and carbs.  There was only one significant difference.

They ate 29 percent more fiber.

Think about it. Famous brand-name diets micromanage your every bite, every day - and often with limited success.  Meanwhile, you can just eat more beans and other fiber-rich foods and get a lot better results.

Fiber: the ins and outs

Fiber is a carbohydrate, like the starch and sugar that come from plants.  However, we can’t digest it or break it down into nutrients (like other foods) because we lack the specialized enzymes to do the job.  If that sounds like a deficiency, it isn’t at all. It’s the key to fiber’s weight management and other important powers.

Fiber comes in two forms, and each with its own special benefits.

Soluble fiber mixes with water and the digestive enzymes made by your liver to create a gel.  That gooey, gluey stuff in your bowl of oatmeal?  That’s soluble fiber - which very selectively soaks up bad cholesterol as it travels through your digestive tract and escorts it out of our bodies, along with various toxins, excess hormones and other waste matter.

It also slows the absorption of sugar, making it a critical ally in preventing the blood sugar spikes that are linked to type 2 diabetes.  These are excellent reasons to accept the UN’s recommendation to make beans, brown rice, barley, peas, lentils, oats, bran, pears, citrus fruits and apples an important part of your diet.

Insoluble fiber is what folks used to call “roughage.”  Its specialty?  Soaking up water and gently swelling up inside your intestines, speeding your digestive processes through your entire gastrointestinal tract by making digestion byproducts larger and less firm.

And while it’s busy doing its cleansing work, to help keep you regular and prevent constipation, it’s also creating a feeling of satisfied fullness, which curbs your appetite for more food and more calories.  Think of it as eating a scrubbing sponge, only tastier.

OK, maybe not my best analogy, but let’s give a round of applause for bran cereal, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables - all great sources of insoluble fiber.  Another superb source of insoluble fiber is the super-food drink, Shakeology.  It does everything I just described, all by itself!

It’s not just about losing weight

All types of fiber have earned star ratings by helping manage, reverse or prevent the usual list of terrible health outcomes - i.e. cardiovascular and gastrointestinal disease, poor sleep, cancer, chronic inflammation, etc.  Fiber is also strongly linked to a reduced risk of gall stones, kidney stones, diseases of the colon and more.

It’s also a favorite nutrient for the trillions of good bacteria (probiotics) in our gut.  Keeping them well fed and fully functional is an absolutely essential - if not the essential - pillar of good health.  But don’t just rush out and eat a basket full of fiber-rich foods.

Climb the fiber ladder slowly


A nutritionist I respect recommends creating a fiber consumption baseline (an estimate of your grams of fiber consumed per day) then adding an additional 3–5 grams of fiber per day.  That’s just one extra serving of veggies or one extra piece of fruit.  Several online sources give you grams of fiber per ounce of food.

When you’re averaging 25–35 grams of fiber per day, stay at that level.

The average America consumes only 10.5 grams of fiber daily, so be sure to get there slowly.  A significant, sudden change in any behavior can have unwanted results.  In this case, overloading fiber can cause bloating, constipation, gas, cramping and all of the above.

And let your doctor know your intention.  He or she can help you navigate the dietary changes and it might be an opportunity to also adjust some other dietary behaviors as well.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Breaking the code of home business

For a long time, I really struggled with the whole idea of a home business.  For one thing, I already work very hard in the medical field - and I earn a good living.  I've got a nice home (in a nice neighborhood), a wife, good health and good friends.  In short, I'm living the American dream... (mostly)

There's still a problem: retirement

I don't care who you are - young, old or whatever.  It's a rarity that a job is going to provide you with a comfortable retirement or real financial freedom.  You might look 'rich' to others... but you're not.  I know lots of people who earn big bucks in their careers.  But you know what?  They're still going to a job every day.  What's going to happen if they can't work anymore (for any reason)?

Beyond that, I've always wanted to retire before I turned 65.  Some dream of retiring much younger.

So what I'd been doing (for decades) is trying to develop a side-business - i.e. a Home Business.  As a matter of fact, I have had some success with various projects of this kind.  I've learned a whole lot, I've earned some money (and spent a lot) but I still wasn't where I wanted to be.  So, my life had involved tons of hard work - in fact, too much hard work for too little return (and for far too long).

Then one day, I basically had a life-changing event.  Going through my Hotmail inbox, I noticed an interesting message.  It was from a lady named Leslie (who's since become a good friend) and she told me about a marketing system she'd discovered, along with a remarkable product that I'd never heard of before.  All I needed to do to learn more is call a 24/7 recorded message and listen to the whole thing (about 14 minutes).

Because of the way she told her story in the email, I called the number and listened to the entire message.  At first, it sounded like a standard, recorded sales pitch.  I didn't really want to listen to the whole thing.  But, in my mind, I'd committed to doing it.  I kept listening until finally it 'clicked'.  I suddenly got it.  I understood the concept.  In fact, that was the turning point in my life when I decided to start down a new path.

There's more to the story, but that's basically it.

So now, I just use the system (the one described in the recorded message).  This system has given me success where I didn't have it before.  It's given me a great team to lean on and new friends to both encourage me and hold me accountable.  It's turned me on to a wonderful product that I intend to use for the rest of my life.  Most important of all, it's put me on a direct and well-defined path to early retirement.

If my story interests you, then I invite you to call this number:  


832-253-1162


 
When you do, you will hear the same 14 minute recorded message that I heard.  I urge you to listen to the whole thing - the entire thing.

At the end, you'll be prompted to press '1' to connect to a live representative.  That would be me - and that's where you learn the rest of the story.

Please understand that I still work nights in the ER and so I sleep odd hours.  I also talk to lots of people.   If I don't answer, it simply means that I'm working, sleeping, driving or talking to someone else.  In that case, please leave a nice message with your name and a good time to call back.  You'll hear from me, I promise.

All the best,

~Rusty

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Bean dip with lima beans?

Don't knock it 'till you try it... 

Lima Bean Dip

Serves 8

Total Time:


A lot of people will express horror if you suggest lima beans as a great source of several important B vitamins, folate, and (especially) a filling combination of fiber and protein. 

This is because they had to suffer through bland, overcooked, canned beans in childhood.  Using frozen beans and blending them in this well-seasoned vegetable dip is a revelation of healthy flavor.

You'll surprise people with this.  Even kids.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lima beans, frozen
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (since this oil is going to contribute flavor and remain uncooked, I would not substitute grapeseed oil or coconut oil. You might want to experiment with a nut oil, if you have one on hand)
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot to a boil, add beans, and boil for 10 minutes. Reserve ½ cup cooking liquid and then drain.
  2. Grind toasted sesame seeds in a blender until powdered. Add juice, olive oil, salt, and garlic; blend until smooth. Add beans and cooking liquid, blending until you get your preferred consistency.
  3. Serve with raw vegetables for dipping.

Frying shrimp without actually frying them

Fried food tastes great.  We all know that, but it's not the lifestyle-diet you want.  Believe me.

I've always loved fried shrimp, too.  I like coconut shrimp a lot!  If you haven’t had coconut shrimp before, it’s basically shrimp rolled in coconut and “fried” to a delicious crisp.  I say, “fried” but we're trying to avoid frying here.

Why?

Frying usually involves canola, other scentless oils - and even variations of lard (not what we want).  In fact, anytime that something's fried, about 10% of the frying oil stays with the breading and ends up in your body.  That's not so good and we want to get away from that.

If that wasn’t enough, deep-frying usually involves white flour and breadcrumbs - and that too is something you don’t want (unless you love gaining a ton of weight).  Instead, you’re going to use my deep-frying hackIt’s very easy to do and so delicious that nobody will find out it’s fat burning.  For you though, we’re talking the best of both worlds: The flavor and texture of deep-frying, minus the associated guilt.


So, how do we hack fried coconut shrimp?


First, replace the white flour with a high-fiber, fat-burning flour: coconut flour.  Then, instead of breadcrumbs, use unsweetened shredded coconut, which is available in health food stores.  It’s important that you not use the sweetened coconut that is usually reserved for baking cakes.

Sweetened coconut has way too much sugar for this.  I know that this sounds like a lot of work, but believe me - you will impress your friends.  For what it's worth, this recipe is also gluten-free.

Next, just dip jumbo shrimp into the healthy batter, then in the shredded coconut and then lay them out on a sheet pan in preparation for baking.  Shrimp tell you when they’re done: they change color.  So it’s only a matter of a few minutes in the oven before they become golden-brown and tasty.

Maybe this calls for a honey-dijon dip, or a Greek yogurt with cayenne pepper and lime juice.  Whatever, right?  It also goes very well with tropical fruits. That’s another opportunity for you to stock up on healthy fruits like kiwi, pineapple, mango, or papaya.

Oh, btw, it's football season.  Stuff like this will go down great during the games and it's sooooooo much better than fatty chicken wings.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Which lettuces are best for your health?

What do you think about when choosing lettuce?  Most people don't think about much.  They just go for the iceberg (which isn't a bad idea), because it's the cheapest and everyone's used to eating it.  I was that way for decades.

But you know what?  You should give it some more thought.  By the way, some people seem to that there's a 'salad season'.  I think it's salad season all the time!

A good salad - one full of veggies, a healthy protein source (and even fruit) - can be one of the best meals in the world.  But are all salads created equal?  Of course not.  Today, we’re going to take a closer look at the different types of leafy greens that make up the bed of most salads.  And we’re going to discuss how you can quickly tell which greens are the best for you... and which ones you should limit.

The darker the lettuce, the better it is.


The easiest, quickest way to identify nutrition in your leafy vegetables is color.  Specifically, the darker the color, the more nutrients are packed in there.  So a dark green leaf lettuce has many more nutrients packed in than, say, iceberg. You can easily see that at a glance.  In fact, you can even tell which strain of romaine is best, by judging which has the darker green color.  That makes shopping at the grocery store a snap.

And this rule of thumb doesn’t just apply to leafy greens either.  The same can be said of red lettuce.  If you only remember one thing from today’s article, let that be it.  The darker your leafy veggie, the more nutrients are stuffed in there.

However, there are plenty of other facts to know which go beyond leaf color.

For instance, of the four most common salad greens, romaine has 2 grams of fiber, while iceberg, green leaf, and butterhead all have about 1 gram in a serving.  You’ll also get about a gram of iron from green leaf, butterhead, or romaine, while iceberg delivers around half that.  You get around 3-5% of your recommended daily allowance of calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium from the first three, while iceberg gives you 1-2% of each.

Each lettuce type has about the same amount of calories -13 to 17 calories per 100 grams, a very low total.  Butterhead has about 110% of your recommended daily amount of Vitamin A, while green leaf has 247% and romaine has nearly 300%.  Butterhead and romaine have about 85% of your Vitamin K, while green leaf has about 105%.  And those are just the most popular leaf veggies. 

Kale, for instance, has many of the same vitamins and minerals as the above, but also has over 100% of the recommended amount of Vitamin C.  Spinach leaf is a little lower in most of the vitamins and minerals found in other leafy veggies, but adds a solid amount of niacin and zinc.

The truth is, each leafy veggie brings something different to the table.  You won’t go wrong eating any of them - but a mix of all of them will bring you the maximum balance of scores of nutrients and minerals (and do it with a bare minimum of calories).  It’s hard to beat leafy veggies when it comes to bang for your buck.

However, there is one more reason to eat these healthy foods up.

Did you know that you can eat your water?


Everyone knows (or should know) that you need a lot of water for your body to function efficiently.  In fact, dehydration is a huge factor in aging.  In other words, for health and longevity, you need a water-rich diet.  If you remember and do nothing else, remember and do that.

But you know what?  Not all water is created equally.

Municipal water is clean, but the chlorine used in the cleaning could have worrying long-term effects.  Filtered water gets rid of impurities and chemicals, but you lose minerals as well.  Reverse osmosis water also loses minerals - plus it comes out acidic.  And ionized water leaves minerals in place - but also leaves bacteria and viruses in place as well.

The truth is (unless you have a healthy source of well water) the water you’re drinking is most likely missing a number of minerals that your body craves.  That’s why getting much of your hydration from food is actually one of the best moves you can make.

Each of these green leafy veggies is over 90% water. But iceberg - long poo-pooed as an empty food - really shines here.  Iceberg is over 95% water.  In fact, if you measure by calories, iceberg is nutritionally very similar to romaine.  It comes in much lower by weight, because so much of iceberg’s mass is water.  So don’t assume iceberg is useless. Clearly, when it comes to hydration - one of the most important benefits of leafy veggies - iceberg comes out on top.

Each of these leafy greens is among the most nutritious foods available.  Mix them all into your salads, and you’ll have a head start on your vitamins, your minerals and your hydration (while barely moving the calorie needle).

Warning:  Avoid high-calorie dressings - which are the downfall of most salads.  A ranch dressing can potentially transform a salad from a healthy choice into a fat delivery system like a cheeseburger.  Don't use much of it.  Instead, add great choices like avocado for taste and healthy fat - or a few fresh fruits like strawberries.

Even without those flourishes, there’s a reason why salads are so good for you. The base leafy veggies are the start of it all.  By the way, people like to run down McDonalds a lot (for various reasons), but their newest salads are right in line with everything I just said.  Try one.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

How to deal with heart burn

To deal with indigestion, increase stomach acid!


That doesn't sound right, does it?  Acid's the problem, isn't it?

I can speak from experience on this subject, because I've suffered with acid reflux and heartburn my whole life.  In the process, I've learned a lot about it.

For one thing, over-the-counter antacids stopped working for me.  I wanted my M.D. to prescribe more powerful versions to stop the stomach acid from giving me such a bad time.  She basically explained that I was asking for the wrong solution to the wrong problem.

You see, the pharmaceutical industry has repeated the “indigestion is caused by too much acid” myth so many times that it’s difficult for people to grasp that (many times) the problem is actually the opposite.  People feel as if their stomach is burning, so the cure is obviously to have less acid.  But, in fact, your needs stomach acid for a variety of reasons.

Stomach Acid Facts


Digestion requires stomach acid.  Without it, you can’t extract amino acids, vitamins or minerals from food.  You need stomach acid to get proper nutrition.

Stomach acid fights off bad bacteria which would otherwise infect your whole body.  A recent study looked at records from more than 800 hospitalized, critically ill patients on breathing machines. (These patients are sometimes given acid-reducing drugs to prevent stress ulcers from developing.) 300 percent more of patients on the drugs got pneumonia!  Why?  Because there wasn’t enough stomach acid to kill dangerous bacteria.

Further, chronically low levels of stomach acid have been linked to serious ailments, including heart disease, osteoporosis, asthma, allergies, infections, skin problems, depression, parasites, and immune disorders, such as type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.

My doc didn't prescribe a bunch of pills which, in addition to wrecking my natural digestion process, would have also killed off the good bacteria needed to be healthy (and given side effects like diarrhea, skin reactions, and headaches). Instead, we talked about five simple lifestyle changes that could bring my stomach back under control.

Here they are:

1)  Hold the Beverages

Drinking while eating dilutes digestive acids.  A sip or two of room-temperature water is fine, but guzzling ice cold drinks with your meal leads to pain. Make a habit of eating first and drinking later.  I think you’ll find that your digestion is much improved from this simple change.

2)  Eat Less More Often

Big meals overwhelm your digestive systems.  It also spikes your blood sugar out of control.  You’ll feel better if you divide your daily food intake into four or five smaller meals throughout the day.  You won’t get hungry and overeat, and your digestive system will work better.  Also, try eating more slowly by taking smaller bites and chewing them more slowly.  This lets the saliva in your mouth begin the process of breaking down your food.

3)  Don’t Sleep On It

This is a big one.  Lying down lets stomach secretions travel up into the esophagus, where they can damage tissue. Eating makes your stomach acid increase as you work to digest, so give yourself enough time for digestion and finish your last meal of the day three hours before bed time.  Consider propping your head and chest up with a wedge pillow while you sleep, so gravity keeps your stomach acid in your stomach where it belongs.

4)  Avoid Food Triggers

If you already know that eating a platter of rich, fatty beef stroganoff or a slice of devil’s food cake means a painful stomach later, don’t eat it.  Think about the foods that don’t bother you, especially the fruits and vegetables that make you feel better after you eat them.  Plan meals around those instead.  If you don’t know what triggers you, keep a food diary for a month to find out what sets you off.  Besides fatty food and chocolate, common food triggers are spicy dishes, citrus fruits, juices and caffeine.

Take Supportive Supplements

* Probiotics:  Good bacteria helps digest food for you.  Personally, I go for a probiotic supplement containing at least 10 billion live organisms (and follow the dosage instructions on the product that you choose).

* Melatonin:  Normally, I like melatonin when I need more and better sleep, but studies show that melatonin also helps beat stomach problems.  Melatonin protects against indigestion, gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD), ulcers, lesions in the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth and stomach), and helps treat irritable bowel syndrome.  A good idea is a daily dose of 1 mg for women and 3 mg for men.  Take it just before bed and sleep like a baby.

* Digestive enzymes:  Lipases help fat digestion, amylases help with carbohydrates, and proteolytics work on protein.  These enzymes can be helpful for treating conditions ranging from lactose intolerance to pancreatic insufficiency.  You can find these enzymes sold individually, as well as in combination or with betaine hydrochloride (a diluted form of hydrochloric acid).  Choose one that targets your specific digestive issue and be sure to follow the dosage instructions.


After one month on this program, my stomach problems were a thing of the past.  If your stomach feels out of sorts, these solutions will get you all straightened out... and I speak from experience.