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Archive for November, 2011

Tips for Safe and Healthy Holiday Meals

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

The holidays are upon us.  Holiday meals should be a joyful gathering of relatives and friends.  To make sure that is the case here are some tips for food served:

Utilize safety first with turkey defrosting and cooking.  Follow the instructions on the packages.  Try to avoid cooking the dressing in the turkey, it can cause problems with bacteria growth.  Understand that relatives may have some health issues.  Some of the most prominent health issues found during the holidays are: Allergies, Diabetes, Heart conditions, and GERD.   People with allergies will not be shy about letting you know.  A peanut allergy is one of the hardest to deal with.  The entire house has to be peanut free otherwise the oil from the peanuts could stay on some one’s hands and cause a reaction.  Individuals with diabetes has to stay away from too much carbohydrates.  Also this individual needs to eat protein whenever he/she are consuming carbohydrates.  They also need to eat foods high in fiber.  Suggestions for foods for these individuals are:  appetizers that have fiber such as a veggie tray, if you have a cheese tray make sure there are sliced apples instead of crackers. For individuals with Heart conditions appropriate foods are the following: green leafy vegetables, other vegetables such as carrots, broccoli and greens, nuts in moderation, fresh fruits such as apples and oranges with skin on, onions and garlic. A good veggie suggestion would be green beans, steamed, then sauted with garlic and almonds.  Another suggestion would be Spinach salad with almonds and fruit such as oranges.   Highly salty foods such as shrimp, processed cheeses and foods with salt like deviled eggs should be avoided.   The individual with GERD or just gastric reflux, they will not let you know about their condition.  Assume that your older relatives that are overweight may have it.  Having a meal that has too much acid will cause a reaction.  Unfortunately, Thanksgiving dinner is the recipe for a Very Acid meal.   The turkey, mash potatoes, rolls, and gravy are all acid. Here is how you can get your Holiday meal back to alkaline.   Some alkaline foods are needed to get the meal balanced.  Try veggie plates with yoyurt dip, cheeses with apples not crackers, grapes and nuts as appetizers.  Maybe start the meal with Squash soup.  Then on a salad plate have a small spinach salad.  String beans are extremely alkaline, but do not add cheeses to make a casserole, instead steam and saute as noted before.  Try and leave out the rolls.  The pumpkin is alkaline but not the pie crust.  Have another side dessert that contains figs or dates (not good for diabetes) such as my dessert “Rue’s fruit bars” in my Back-to-School recipes.  Figs, dates, prunes and raisins are highly alkaline.   About beverages; soda is the worst thing anyone can drink.  It takes 10 glasses of water to neutralize one can of soda (both regular and sugarfree) because of the acid in the drink.  Alcohol is also very acid.  Have water glasses on your table.  Also have fresh apple or apple cider drinks.  Finally, it takes 15 hours for our stomach to digest any meal.  The holiday meals can be extremely heavy.  Do not let you relatives lay down for three hours after the meal.  Plan an activity to keep them vertical for that amount of time.  If they insist, let them lie on a lounge chair that will keep their head above their stomach.  These tips will hopefully keep your holidays healthy and happy.

P.S. Be aware of choking hazards.  Large bites of food accompanied by animated conversation can present a choking hazard, especially with the elderly and children.

Prevent Osteoporosis Part 2: Exercise and Eat an Apple

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Simple routines of eating good fruits, vegetables, and exercising really does keep us healthy. It is true that an apple a day does keep the doctor away.  Consuming a diet high in vegetables and fruits helps maintain slightly alkaline body PH.  Other good alkaline fruits are sweet grapes, raisins, dried fruits, bananas, peaches and the highest alkaline fruit: figs.  Exercise is the other part of preventing Osteoporosis.   Researchers know that Mescenchymal stem cells can turn into one of three types of cells: bone cells (osteoblasts), cartilage cells (chondrocytes), or fat cells (adipocytes).  The most recent research found that exercise has the ability to stimulate the Mescenchymal stem cell toward becoming a bone cell rather than a fat cell.  Exercising three times a day was shown in the research to be the trigger.  Sedentary individuals have a better chance of these Mescenchymal stem cells turning into fat cells.  The magic formula seems to be exercise at least 3 times a week plus eating alkaline fruits and vegetables to keep the body PH alkaline.   This combination will keep bones cells forming rather than being leached out of the bones.