Who says we have to suffer...to live a healthy happy vibrant life?

Red wine and dark chocolate... might seem decadent...but these guilty pleasures also might help us live longer...and healthier lives. Red wine and dark chocolate definitely improve an evening..but they also contain resveratrol..which lowers blood sugar. Red wine is a great source of catechins..which boost protective HDL cholesterol. Green tea? Protects your brain..helps you live longer..and soothes your spirit.

Food for Thought, the blog, is about living the good life...a life we create with our thoughts and our choices...and having fun the whole while!

I say lets make the thoughts good ones..and let the choices be healthy...exciting...and delicious! Bon Appetit!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Supermoon! Get Ready To Do Some Howling!

'Supermoon' Rises: Biggest Full Moon in 18 Years Occurs Saturday Night

The dazzling full moon sets behind the Very Large Telescope in Chile's Atacama Desert in this photo released June 7, 2010 by the European Southern Observatory. The moon appears larger than normal due to an optical illusion of perspective. Photo CREDIT: Gordon Gillet, ESO. 

Thanks to a fluke of orbital mechanics that brings the moon closer to Earth than that it has been in more than 18 years, the biggest full moon of 2011 will occur on Saturday, leading some observers to dub it a "supermoon."
On Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, the moon will arrive at its closest point to the Earth in 2011:  a distance of 221,565 miles (356,575 kilometers) away. And only 50 minutes earlier, the moon will officially be full.
At its peak, the supermoon of March may appear 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than lesser full moons (when the moon is at its farthest from Earth), weather permitting. Yet to the casual observer, it may be hard to tell the difference.


What's Cooking?

Blackened Salmon 

Yesterday I ran into the market to pick up a few things and spotted a gorgeous filet of salmon...so I thought I'd blacken it for supper...and it was well...delicious!

Here are the seasonings..I keep a little jar of this ready so that when I'm in the mood for a bit of zip..it is ready to go.

1/2 cup paprika
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
3 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried oregano

Here's what you do.
Fire up the grill....

Place a cast iron skillet onto your grill and let it get really hot. Cooking this dish indoors will fill your kitchen with smoke..I speak from experience and do not recommend it. If you don't have a skillet you can use on your grill, just grill the salmon directly on the grill...which is what I did this time.

Mix the seasonings, and pour some in a flat bowl. Brush both sides of your salmon steaks or filets liberally with coconut oil, normally I cook with olive oil but I'm blackening here so I want an oil that can handle a higher heat..coconut oil is great for this. Now press one side of the salmon down onto the spices, and then place the seasoned side down in the skillet or on the grill. Sear/grill until blackened. Flip the salmon over and cook till it is done to your preferred degree of doneness.

A green salad...some sauteed spinach, a loaf of crusty bread..and you're good to go!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What's Cooking?

Roasted Brussels Sprouts...

I know lots of people who hear "Brussels sprouts" and think YUK! Not me! I dearly love the little beauties..just about any way they are made...but this recipe is a favorite...it came from Ina Garten..she made them this week on her show and I had to run right out and make them for myself that afternoon...
So since today is St Patricks Day and I'm thinking about green things...here is something green and delicious for you..and so much healthier than green beer....

Feel free to improvise...like..splash them with Balsamic Vinegar partway through the roasting process...garnish with crispy bacon or Prosciutto..( naughty!) or dried cranberries...

Roasting them makes them sweet and the contrast of the salt on the surface and the sweet interiors just makes me so happy! I wish my daughter would try them...but she just wrinkles her nose. Picky...sheesh....

1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, this will serve about 4 people
3 tablespoons good olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Lots more Kosher salt for seasoning before they are served....

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut off the end of each Brussels sprout. If there are any yellow leaves pull those off.  If you like you can cut them in half...I had large ones so I did this time and they roasted a little faster. Put the sprouts in a mixing bowl and add the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir them well to be sure they are coated. Put the sprouts on a sheet pan and roast them for 35 to 40 minutes, if you cut them in half they light be done sooner so watch them...they are ready when they are brown and crisp outside and tender inside. I open the oven and stir them on the pan a few times during roasting to brown them on all sides. Sprinkle with more kosher salt, you want them salty, but you be the judge of this...and serve hot.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Prepare to be amazed!

What Are We Eating? What the Average American Consumes in a Year
The average American is 36.6 years old and eats 1,996.3 lbs. of food per year. The average man is 5’9” and weighs 190 lbs. The average woman is 5’4” and weighs 164 lbs.

Each year, Americans eat 85.5 lbs. of fats and oils. They eat 110 lbs. of red meat, including 62.4 lbs. of beef and 46.5 lbs. of pork. Americans eat 73.6 lbs. of poultry, including 60.4 lbs. of chicken. They eat 16.1 lbs. of fish and shellfish and 32.7 lbs. of eggs.

Americans eat 31.4 lbs. of cheese each year and 600.5 lbs. of non-cheese dairy products. They drink 181 lbs. of beverage milks. Americans eat 192.3 lbs. of flour and cereal products, including 134.1 lbs. of wheat flour. They eat 141.6 lbs. of caloric sweeteners, including 42 lbs. of corn syrup. Americans consume 56 lbs. of corn each year and eat 415.4 lbs. of vegetables. 

Every year, Americans eat 24 lbs. of coffee, cocoa and nuts. Americans eat 273.2 lbs. of fruit each year.

These foods include 29 lbs. of French fries, 23 lbs. of pizza and 24 lbs. of ice cream. Americans drink 53 gallons of soda each year, averaging about one gallon each week. 

Americans eat 24 lbs. of artificial sweeteners each year. They eat 2.736 lbs. of sodium, which is 47 percent more than recommended. Americans consume 0.2 lbs. of caffeine each year, about 90,700 mg. In total, 

Americans eat an average of 2,700 calories each day. Follow the link below to an excellent chart illustrating all of this...

Visual Economics: Food Consumption in America - http://www.visualeconomics.com/food-consumption-in-america_2010-07-12/#ixzz1GmsGDS1D

Co-Q-10 Effective for Lowering LDL Cholesterol Levels

If you have elevated LDL cholesterol and have trouble tolerating statins I have great news for you!

The journal IUBMB LIfe which reports the work of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology reports that treating healthy people with 150 mg of Ubiquinol (a special form of Co-Q-10) safely and effectively reduced LDL levels by 12.7% after only two weeks!

That's a dramatic reduction for such a short treatment period!

It is important to note that drugs that reduce cholesterol levels can be hard to tolerate, because of the associated muscle pain and weakness and liver toxicity. 

Co-Q-10 is a fat soluble antioxidant that works to protect cells from free radical damage, protects cholesterol from oxidation, reducing risk of blood vessel disease, and supports the production of energy.  You can find Ubiquinol at your favorite natural food store or online. 

Schmelzer C, Niklowitz P, Okun JG, et al. Ubiquinol-induced gene expression signatures are translated into altered parameters of erythropoiesis and reduced low density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in humans. IUBMB Life Jan2011;63(1):42-8.

Low Vitamin D and Risk of Depression

Older men and women whose vitamin D blood levels are below 30ng/ml are more likely to become depressed over time, new research shows.
A flood of studies have shown potential health benefits of vitamin D, and the price we might pay for having a vitamin D deficiency. Low vitamin D levels have been linked to heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and more severe asthma.
In people of all ages, insufficient vitamin D is quite common, and in elders low vitamin D has been linked to fractures, worse physical function, greater frailty, and a wide variety of chronic illness.
Be sure to get your Vitamin D levels tested. Ideally you want to be between 30 and 100ng/ml in US measurement..or above 75nmol/L in Canada, UK or NZ

Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Depressive Symptoms in Older Women and Men
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism Vol. 95, No. 7 3225-3233

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I Want To See You...

“I want to see you.

Know your voice.

Recognize you when you
first come ’round the corner.

Sense your scent when I come
into a room you’ve just left.

Know the lift of your heel,
the glide of your foot.

Become familiar with the way
you purse your lips
then let them part,
just the slightest bit,
when I lean in to your space
and kiss you.

I want to know the joy
of how you whisper

~ Mawlana Jalal-al-Din Rumi

My thanks to Patrick Brinksma for this beautiful poem from Rumi.... his inspirational blog is here...food for your soul...

"If you can imagine it, you can create it. 

If you can dream it, you can become it." 

~ William Arthur Ward

From Mice to Men? Diet Patterns in Pregnancy Have Lasting Impact on Offspring...

An animal study at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia suggests that a high-fat, high-carbohydrate diet ( Think Western Pattern Diet...or Standard American Diet) causes oxidative stress—an excess of deleterious free radicals—during pregnancy, predisposing the offspring to obesity and diabetes. Feeding rats antioxidants before and during pregnancy completely prevented obesity and glucose intolerance in their offspring.
If the results in animals prove to be similar in humans, the research may have implications for reducing obesity rates in children.
Jolie says...Don't wait for a similar human study..we rarely get such good pregnancy research funded in nutrition...Mom's to be...boost your antioxidant intake with nourishing fruits and veggies, think Mediterranean Diet... take Omega 3's and take a high quality prenatal.