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, April 22, 2011

Love....and the lesson He taught

First Corinthians 13: 

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres" (NIV)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Never fear shadows..they simply mean there is a light shining brightly nearby

A salad that can help stabilize your blood sugar.

Grapefruit and Cranberry Salad

Grapefruits are loaded with vitamin C but they also have an antioxidant, naringenin that appears to cut the risk of developing insulin resistance.
Spinach is a great source of magnesium which helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and relaxes your muscles.

  • 2 red grapefruit
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced scallions
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 8 cups torn butter lettuce
  • 6 cups baby spinach
  • 1 14 oz can hearts of palm drained and chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts*

12 servings

Remove the skin and the pith from the grapefruit with a sharp knife. Cut the segments from their surrounding membranes. Cut the grapefruit segments in half and place them in a large salad bowl.

Squeeze the membranes and the peel over a small glass bowl to collect at least 2 oz grapefruit juice.  Add to that juice the oil, scallions, vinegar and salt and pepper. Whisk them together to form a grapefruit vinaigrette.

Add the lettuce, spinach and hearts of palm to the salad bowl with the grapefuit segments. Just before serving toss the greens with the vinaigrette until evenly coated and garnish with the cranberries and pine nuts.
*toast the pine nuts in a small skillet over low to medium heat until light golden brown...watch them closely they burn rather easily.

** Caution Grapefruit and grapefruit juice can cause elevated levels of certain medications. If you take prescription medications check to see if you can safely have grapefruit. Cholesterol medications and blood pressure medication cannot be taken with grapefruits or grapefruit juice. Also you must be careful mixing grapefruit with some psychiatric drugs.

Think organic isn't important? Think again!

Prenatal Exposure to Organophosphate Pesticides Associated with IQ Deficits in School-Age Children

Three independent investigations published online April 21 ahead of print in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) have reached similar conclusions, associating prenatal exposure to organophosphate (OP) pesticides with IQ deficits in school-age children. The fact that three research groups reached such similar conclusions independently adds considerable support to the validity of the findings.
The three studies were conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health; the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University; and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. All three involved cohorts of women enrolled during pregnancy. The Berkeley and Mount Sinai investigators measured OP pesticide metabolites in the pregnant women’s urine, while the Columbia investigators measured the OP pesticide chlorpyrifos in umbilical cord blood. Intelligence tests were administered to children of these mothers between ages 6 and 9 years at Mount Sinai and at age 7 years at Berkeley and Columbia.
Although the study findings are not directly comparable, all three investigations found evidence linking prenatal OP pesticide exposures with adverse effects on cognitive function that continued into early childhood.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Upset tummy? Try Peppermint!

University of Adelaide researchers have shown for the first time how peppermint helps to relieve Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which affects up to 20% of the population. The peppermint acts through a specific anti-pain channel called TRPM8 to reduce pain sensing fibres, particularly those activated by mustard and chili. This is potentially the first step in determining a new type of mainstream clinical treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. (IBS)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Feeling Frazzled? Sip some green tea...

This comforting drink naturally revs up the brain’s production of gamma-aminobutyric acid, a neurotransmitter that ushers in a feeling of calm, even when chaos is the order of the day. L-theanine, an amino acid compound found in green tea, has been studied for its calming effects on the nervous system.

Indeed, research suggests that sipping just three 10-ounce mugs daily can help frazzled people feel more collected in as little as 48 hours.


Kimura K, Ozeki M, Juneja LR, Ohira H. L-Theanine reduces psychological and physiological stress responses. Biol Psychol. 2007;74(1):39-45.

Fatty Liver Disease Can Lead to Heart Attack

The liver is connected to the heart? Yes. Because so many Americans are overweight, we expect to see an increase in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. It is a threat to the liver, of course, increasing risk of cirrhosis and in some cases liver failure. 

Surprisingly the more serious risk is that non-alcoholic fatty liver will lead to coronary artery disease and a heart attack. Most people who have this disorder are more likely to die of a heart attack, than liver failure.
30 million Americans have  Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, but many are not diagnosed until liver enzymes are elevated. Yet there are warning signs much earlier. 
Many with this condition suffer from Metabolic Syndrome, a constellation of factors which include a large waist circumference (men greater than 40 inches, women greater than 35 inches), high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels and insulin resistance that heighten the risk of heart attack, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

Best news is... the condition is reversible. Just as with type 2 diabetes, Fatty liver disease can be cured with diet and exercise.” Vigorous exercise, such as weight lifting, swimming, running or aerobics, between 75 and 150 minutes a week with a heart rate of 120 or above will help you reverse this problem. Lose 12 percent of your current weight, no matter how much you weigh, and you will eliminate fat from your liver.

See the news release here: http://www.methodisthealth.com/body.cfm?id=495&action=detail&ref=773

And...Cut the sugars and starches...curbing carbohydrates is more effective than cutting calories for individuals who want to quickly reduce the amount of fat in their liver, report UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers.

Denver Wines...

You might not think of Denver or Colorado as wine country...but it is! My favorite? Balistreri Vineyards right here in Denver.

Visit their website hereThe 2008 Little Feet Merlot is big and bold, maybe my favorite merlot ever... and the 2008 Petite Sirah is another personal favorite.