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!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Best Vitamin D Lecture and Lecturer EVER! He's a ROCKSTAR!

I had the great good fortune of being in the audience when Dr Michael Holick ( PhD MD Vitamin D rockstar) give this lecture at the FNCE ( Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo) annual meeting last year. It was the best lecture on any nutrition topic I have ever seen..and that is saying a lot! You can see it too. It is on YouTube.
Follow the link here.

Endocrine Society Announces New Clinical Practice Guidelines for Vitamin D

The Endocrine Society released new clinical practice guidelines calling for vitamin D concentrations of 30-60 ng/ml (75-150 nmol/L), closely approaching the recommendation of 40-60 ng/ml of the GrassrootsHealth' consortium of vitamin D experts.

"Our objective is to provide guidelines to clinicians for the evaluation, treatment, and prevention of vitamin D deficiency with an emphasis on the care of patients who are at risk for deficiency. The recent Institute of Medicine's recommendation was not a medical model and was not intended to direct physicians on care of patients. It is up to professional associations to establish guidelines for care," according to Michael Holick, Ph.D., MD from Boston University Medical Center. Dr. Holick presented the Endocrine Society's new Clinical Practice Guidelines for Vitamin D at the 93rd annual meeting of the association in Boston, MA, June 4-7, 2011.
***Personal note: Dr Holick is an incredible presenter on vitamin D. Please take the time to watch the You-Tube version of his excellent lecture here.
40-75% of the world's population is vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D deficiency puts one at risk for osteomalacia, rickets, falls, tuberculosis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, type-1 diabetes, high blood pressure, increased heart failure, myopathy, breast and other cancers. It is projected that the incidence of many of these diseases could be reduced by 20% to 50% or more, if the occurrence of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency were eradicated by increasing vitamin D intakes through increased UVB exposure, fortified foods or supplements.
It will take from 1000 to 2000 IU/day of vitamin D (cholecalciferol) to achieve the serum target of 30 ng/ml. *** Jolie says..I've seen many individuals who needed 4000-6000 ius daily to maintain the suggested levels of 40-60 ng/ml.

A more detailed summary of the Endocrine Practice Guidelines for Intake for Patients at Risk for Vitamin D Deficiency: 
for 0-1 years, 400-1000 IU/day, Upper Limit of 2000 IU/day; 
for 1-18 years, 600-1000 IU/day, Upper Limit of 4000 IU/day; 
for 19-70 years, 1500-2000 IU/day, Upper Limit of 10,000 IU/day; 
for 70+ years, 1500-2000 IU/day, Upper Limit of 10,000 IU/day.

The Society recommends that everyone at risk be screened for vitamin D deficiency. Those especially at risk are infants and children (all ages), pregnant women, those who are over 65 and in community dwellings (without enough sunlight), darker skinned individuals and obese individuals.
At the same time as the Endocrine Society, two additional medical associations, the Ontario Society of Physicians for Complementary Medicine and the Section of Complementary and Integrative Medicine of the Ontario Medical Association in Canada joined the GrassrootsHealth Scientists' Call to D*action, calling for serum levels in the range of 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L). According to Dr. Robert Banner, Chair of the Section, "We have to pay attention to the health of our patients. Our group will actively help patients get the testing and education they need for their health with vitamin D. It is vital to be proactive with people's health to prevent diseases that my happen 10 or more years down the road."
"Clinicians and their medical associations are creating clinical practice guidelines based on the documented science as well as their clinical experience and establishing recommended serum levels at least at 30-60 ng/ml (75-150 nmol/L) with recommended intakes from 1000-2000 IU/day based on age. It is recommended that everyone test their vitamin D serum level for a baseline measurement and adjust their intake to reach the desired serum level," said Carole Baggerly, director of GrassrootsHealth.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Disturbing News for Diabetic Teens

Click on Image to Enlarge

Heart function and circulation apparently changes for the worse in people with Type 2 diabetes as early as adolescence. This bad news for diabetic teens was reported in a new study presented Sunday at The Endocrine Society’s 93rd Annual Meeting in Boston. Earlier studies in adults with Type 2 diabetes show that their heart and blood vessels’ ability to handle exercise may be impaired. The new research finds that these changes in heart function may begin to happen almost as soon as Type 2 diabetes occurs.

At the University of Auckland in New Zealand, researchers studied how the heart and blood vessels of 13 teenagers with Type 2 diabetes adapted to exercise. The scans compared the diabetic teens with 27 overweight or obese teens who did not have diabetes and 19 nondiabetic and nonobese healthy teens.

Images of the heart showed that the hearts of subjects with Type 2 diabetes did not expand and fill up with blood between heartbeats as well as the hearts of subjects in the other two groups. The teen’s heart’s pumping function was strong, but their hearts were not filling as well as normal between beats. We refer to this as diastolic dysfunction. It is not a good sign. With diabetes, the heart can become stiffer, limiting its ability to stretch and expand. Heart disease is the most common cause of death in people with diabetes.

Images also showed that in the femoral artery the flow of blood through the artery was significantly less in the diabetic group during exercise compared with the other two groups.

More Helpful Information:

Monday, June 6, 2011

What's Cooking? Broccoli Rabe, sauteed with garlic and red pepper flakes.

I always order it when I’m out eating Italian and I see it on the menu. But it is super easy to make at home…finding it in your local market is the only tough thing…

To trim the broccoli rabe, cut off the tough ends of the stems. You might want to peel the stems a little if they are really large. 

Remove the largest of the outer leaves too.  Wash the trimmed broccoli rabe in a sinkful of cold water, swishing the stems gently to remove all dirt from between the leaves. Let the leaves sit a minute or two undisturbed to allow the dirt to settle to the bottom of the sink, then lift the broccoli rabe from the water. Drain in a colander.

To cook it you simply drop it in simmering water until the thick parts of the stalks are tender and then shock it in an ice water bath. This will do two things.  The ice water stops the cooking process to keep the broccoli rabe crisp-tender and it preserves the plants’ bright green color.

Next you saute some garlic and red pepper flakes in oil so that the oil takes on the garlicky flavor and the peppers heat and then you toss the braised broccoli rabe in the garlic and red pepper flake oil to coat, powering up the flavor.

1 big bunch ( 1lb)  broccoli rabe or rapini, washed and trimmed
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, sliced
a pinch of red pepper flakes
sea salt to taste

1.    Bring a large sauce pan of water to boil, add the washed and trimmed broccoli rabe and cook until the stalks are tender, about 2-4 minutes.
     Drain, chill in ice water, pat dry and set aside. 
     Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.

     Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute until fragrant, about one minute.
     Add the broccoli rabe and toss to coat in the oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Saute for about two minutes total, just enough to get the garlic flavor to permeate the vegetable.
     Serve as is…or over penne pasta with a sprinkle of fresh grated parmesan…or over white beans and penne pasta for a delicious vegetarian one dish meal.