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Your Guide to Nutrition-Packed Foods

By: Angela Ciroalo

If you were to eat only six foods for the rest of your life what would they be? I know what my answer would be: GBOMBS.

Greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries and seeds, or more commonly referred to as “GBOMBS.”

GBOMBS

When seeking a nutrition-packed type of food, look no farther than these six. GBOMBS (greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries and seeds) are nutritionally-packed foods rich in vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, disease-preventing properties, and an array of benefits.

Family physician, author and well-known nutritional expert, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, recognized the healing powers of these six types of food.

As a result, he now suggests that those seeking to improve their health, prevent disease and prolong their life, eat these foods daily.

He even went on to say that these six foods are “the most nutrient-dense, health promoting foods on the plant.”

If that doesn’t give you a good enough reason to start eating these foods today, we will take a closer look at exactly what is so darn good about greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries and seeds.

GBOMBSd

GBOMBSSS

Greens
The greens category represents raw green leafy vegetables. There is no mistake why they are listed first.

Greens are low in calories, high in nutrients and offer miraculously beneficial properties.

Green leafy vegetables, such as – kale, spinach, and Swiss Chard – are filled with antioxidants, folate, calcium, vitamins A, B, C, E and K, fiber, and so much more.

Some of the health benefits that green leafy vegetables are known for include a reduced risk of diabetes and arthritis, weight loss, improved vision and skin, and strong bones.

In an effort to improve health Dr. Fuhrman suggests to follow the example of the chimpanzees and gorillas, and consume as many green leafy vegetables as possible.

GREeENs

Beans
Beans are second to the green leafy vegetables, but not by much.

Beans are known as the “powerhouse of superior nutrition.” They have been touted to be the most nutrient-dense carbohydrate.

Some of their benefits include a high dose of fiber, protein, and vitamins and minerals, such as thiamin, folic acid, vitamin B6, iron, copper, magnesium.

When comparing beans to meat, a meal compromised of bean offers very little fat, no cholesterol, and is much more easily digested.

Beans have been found to aid in preventing diabetes, to decrease the risk of several cancers, to improve weight management, stabilize blood sugar, prevent food cravings, and leave you feeling full and satiated.

In an effort to improve health, try substituting a meat dish with beans. Or, try implementing beans into your next dish.

Beans

Onions
Onions which are in the Allium vegetable family, have been found to offer tremendous benefits to the body.

Onions – including leeks, garlic, chives, shallots and scallions – improve the cardiovascular and immune systems. They have also been known to prevent diabetes and cancer.

Furthermore, onion consumption has been associated with a lower risk of gastric and prostate cancers.

Onions are a low calorie food that are high in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory. They contain nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin B-6, manganese, calcium, iron, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, sulfur, and potassium. (medical news today)

In an effort to increase the amount of onions consumed in your life, include onions into your stir fry, salads, pasta dishes, as a topping on a sandwich, or as a side dish with fresh peppers.

Onions

Mushrooms
Your either love them or hate them, but they definitely do not hate you.

Studies have shown that mushrooms not only offer an array of health benefits, they are also incredibly beneficial in preventing and decreasing the risk of several diseases.

Mushrooms offer anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties, they inhibit angiogenesis, are rich in B vitamins, vitamin D, selenium, potassium, copper, iron and phosphorus. (MNT)

Consuming mushrooms has been found to improve insulin and blood cholesterol levels, lower risk of obesity and diabetes, improve immunity, support proper fat absorption and improve muscle movement, learning and memory. (MNT)

Mushrooms can be enjoyed within a pasta dish, salad, as a topping or as a main course. Get creative and begin kick-starting your health with fresh mushrooms.

Mushrooms

Berries
The berry family including blueberries, strawberries, blackberries as well as many other forms of berries, has been found to be one of the best foods you can consume!

Berries are low in sugar, plentiful in taste, high in nutrients and packed with antioxidants.

Berries contain the highest amount of antioxidants among all other foods. They aid in preventing cancer, reducing blood pressure, reducing inflammation, preventing and reducing arthritis, preventing DNA damage, reducing risk of diabetes, improving brain and memory function, along with so much more.

Berries are high in vitamin C, fiber, and folate. They have been found to improve mood, joint flexibility, eye function, and aid in preventing cardiovascular disease.

Berries can be eaten as a sweet treat, for a refreshing snack, within a smoothie, in a salad, or baked with a dessert.

Include berries into your diet and reap the beautiful benefits on improved health.

Berries

Berrries

Seeds
Seeds, and nuts, offer the highest and most beneficial amounts of healthy, unsaturated fats.

They are also rich in micronutrients, minerals, antioxidants and much more.

Nuuts Nutss seeds

Nuts and seeds have been found to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, stabilize blood-sugar levels, improve cholesterol and triglycerides, and reduce type two diabetes and heart disease.

Seeds and nuts are high in fiber, magnesium, potassium, and zinc, vitamin E and B6.

Those who are trying to lose weight may want to monitor the amount of nuts and seeds that they consume due to the fat content. Those who live a balanced healthy life should consume an amount that is satiating and enjoyable.

Seeds and nuts are great additions to any salad, they taste great as a snack, and pack a powerful healthy punch in every bite!

G JUST DO IT

Some additional tips from the wonderful and incredibly knowledgeable Dr. Fuhrman include:

G BEST FUHRMAN

This article was previously published on http://www.OneGreenPlant.org 

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“Health Food” Companies Owned By Large Companies

Did you know that when you purchase a Larabar you actually supporting General Mills, or when you purchase Naked Juice you are supporting Pepsico, or that when you purchase Green Mountain Coffee you are supporting Coca Cola?

Big Name Food Companies Own Organic

Photo taken from takepart.com

Small, organic companies are being bought up by large, big name companies, left and right.

When we go to the grocery store, we envision purchasing a product and ultimately supporting that organization and brand that created it. However, with the introduction of these fantastic graphic charts we are now able to see that small, organic, “healthy” companies are actually tied to big, name companies that we are seeking to avoid.

Large Companies Own Organic

Graphic by Philip H. Howard, Michigan State University — Photo taken from Forbes.com

These two graphics demonstrate where certain healthy, organic companies actually derive from. This should not put you off from purchasing healthy, organic food.

This information should empower you to educate yourself on who you are supporting in each purchase that you make.

Conglomerates

Photo taken from Huffingtonpost.com

Now you know that the next time you choose to purchase Naked Juice you will be supporting the same company, Pepsico, that owns Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).

Or, that when you buy Kashi, Special K or a Nutrigrain bar, you are supporting the same company, Kellogg’s, who also owns Hamburger Helper, Pringles, Betty Crocker, Froot Loops and much more.

Or, that when you buy Gerber baby food, Powerbars, Friskies cat food, Purina dog food or Poland Springs Water you are supporting, Nestle, the same companies that owns Hot Pockets, Kit Kat, Crunch bars, Sweet Tarts, Laffy Taffy and Nerds.

Does that concern you at all that the same company that you are believing to be healthy is the same company that is supplying you with fast food or junk food? Or, that the same company you purchase your animal food from is also selling you candy? 

We are the consumers. We vote with our dollars. What will you vote for today? 

Were you as shocked to see this as I was? Share your thoughts with me! I would love to hear them.

Wishing you love, joy and blessings,

Angela Joy

Nutty “Cheese” Sauce Recipe — Delicious & Nutritious

By: Angela Joy

One of my favorite things to make in the kitchen is my special dairy-free cheese sauce.

Cashew Ricotta Cheese (1)

Photo taken from thesimpleveganist.blogspot.com

Over a year ago I decided to eliminate dairy products from my diet in an effort to promote a healthier digestion system and reduce internal mucus build up (see link to detailed articles on dairy: http://bit.ly/1n4x3eV or http://bit.ly/1OiHD1z or http://bit.ly/18BUf3B)

Baked ziti and lasagna had been fairly common meals in my home; therefore I wondered if there was a way to create a similar dish with healthier ingredients.

I, thankfully, stumbled upon a recipe to make a nut-based “cheese” sauce.

The sauce is made from nuts and adds a unique and delicious flavor to any meal!

Cashew

Photo taken from originaleating.com 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of raw nuts (soaked) – you can choose one specific nut such as cashews, almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts; or you can mix an assortment of nuts. I have had my best results with cashews – yum!
  • 1 teaspoon of oil – olive oil works best in my experience
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • ¼ cup of hot water
  • A touch of salt and pepper
  • Spices such as rosemary, basil and oregano can also be added too for extra flavor.

Making the sauce is quite simple.

Cahsews mixed

Photo taken from insonnetskitchen.com 

  1. You must first soak the nuts 1-12 hours (depending on how much time you have).
  2. Place the nuts in your blender, Ninja, or Vitmaix (whatever is available).
  3. Add 1/4 cup of hot water
  4. Add the oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt + pepper and spices.
  5. Blend the ingredients on high until the mixture appears smooth – like a sauce.
  6. And, voila!  You have a dairy-free nut “cheese” sauce

Cashew dip

Photo taken from thekitchn.com 

What can you do with your delicious nutty “cheese” sauce?

  1. Baked ziti
  2. Lasagna
  3. Pasta sauce
  4. Vegetable dip – great appetizer
  5. Cracker dip – great appetizer
  6. Sandwich spread – much healthier than mayonnaise
  7. Potato topping
  8. Salad topping
  9. Toast spread

I recently created a Grilled Vegetable Panini with my nutty “cheese” spread:

Grilled Veg Sandwiches

I grilled the vegetables with a touch of coconut oil, garlic and lemon. Then I toasted quinoa bread.

Nut Cheese Spread Sandwiches

I wiped the bread with a thick layer of the nutty “cheese” sauce, filled it with vegetables and popped it in the oven for five minutes.

As a result, I created a delectable sandwich that — everyone enjoyed! Most could not believe that they were eating nuts, because it was SO good 🙂

March Meal

*Note: In this sandwich I used almonds 

The possibilities are truly endless …. And so much fun! 

There is so much that you can do with the sauce. Therefore, when I make my sauce I double the recipe and store the remaining half of the batch in my fridge to use throughout the week.

What I also love about this recipe is how creative it is. Who would have thought that you could create a “cheese” sauce out of nuts?!

If you asked me if I wanted some nutty “cheese” sauce on my salad two years ago I would have looked at you like you were crazy. Today, however, my response would be “yes, I would like seconds!”

Nuts for runners:

All nuts are great for runners to eat as a snack post-run.

The nut family is huge! Each nut is from a different location, offers a different taste and carries a variety of incredible benefits.

My favorite nut is the cashew because of its sweet taste and awesome benefits. 

Cashhew

Photo taken from hungryforchange.tv

The cashew nut derives from Brazil. The nut is known for the many minerals that is offers. According to Mercola.com, the cashew contains 31 percent of our recommended daily copper intake, along with 23 percent of daily manganese intake, 20 percent of daily magnesium intake, 17 percent of our daily phosphorus intake, and 12 percent of the daily recommended vitamin K intake.

Cashews can play a role in providing bone strength, joint flexibility, eliminating migraines, improving memory, lowering blood pressure, protecting against UV damage, heart disease and cancer.

My second favorite is the almond because of the powerhouse of nutrients that it offers. 

almonds

Photo taken from healingisessential.com

Almonds offer a powerhouse of nutrients. They derive from locations such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Israel. Some of the nutritional benefits of the nut include vitamin E, calcium, phosphorus, iron, niacin and magnesium. They also offer minerals such as zinc, selenium and copper.

Therefore, almonds help develop and maintain brain function, maintain healthy cholesterol, reduce risk of Alzheimer’s, regulate blood pressure, prevent diabetes and so much more!

The healthy way to fuel for long distance running

By: Angela Joy

As a runner, or exercise enthusiast, the foods that you eat should be taken just as seriously as the shoes you wear and the time you finish in.

Unfortunately, proper diet is not always top priority.

According to Erin Strout of Running Times Magazine, runners continue to follow the age-old beliefs that eating large amounts of pasta the night before, chugging bottles of sports drinks or following fad diets, will improve performance.

However, what runners are beginning to recognize more commonly is that high quality protein, fats, carbohydrates, electrolytes and superfoods, each play an intrical role in fueling a succesful athlete.

Healthy Foods

Photo taken from wicklowpartnership.ie

Ms. Stout writes in the Running Times magazine, proper nutrition and hydration are critical components for improved running capabilities.

Upon first beginning my running career I was not aware of the importance of a healthy diet.

I maintained a seemingly healthy diet, although had not true idea of what health really was.

I followed the all of the age-old runner beliefs, leading me to suffer during my first half marathon race.

It wasn’t long after when I recognized the importance of nutrition and consuming healthy organic whole foods as a runner.

During my second half marathon I cut my time by 15 minutes, finished strong, and recovered almost immediately after.

A year or so later, I took on the next challenge – running a full marathon.

I began my training unaware of how often or what types of foods I would need while running a distance longer than 90 minutes.

I can still remember coming home from my first 15 mile run. I was ecstatic, but once I met my living room I was done for the day.

I went to bed that night with an incredible headache and woke up the next day feeling worse than ever.

It was at this point that I looked to ultramarathon champion, and author of the book, “Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness,” Scott Jurek.

SCott Jurek

Photo taken from Twitter.com

Jurek is known for his victories in nearly every elite ultra trail and road event. He is most commonly recognized for his seven straight victories at the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, his record-breaking Badwater 135-mile Ultramarathon win, and his historic 153-mile Spartathalon win.

Jurek explains the importance of eating carbohydrates prior to a run, eating carbohydrates during a run that is longer than 90 minutes, and eating protein 30 minutes after a run to restore your energy levels and avoid fatigue.

Jurek follows a whole foods plant-based diet, and suggests that runners eat a variety of organic whole foods such as grains, legumes, green vegetables and fruits.

Running

In reaction to reading Mr. Jurek’s book, and seeking guidance from other professional runners, I created this training guide to prepare for long runs:

Day before:
Avoid carbo-loading the night before.
Instead, focus on fueling your body on quality protein, unsaturated fats and carbohydrates throughout the day.
Your body will store the protein, fats and carbohyrates and utilize them the following day.
Also make sure to allow the body proper time to digest all of the food you eat, prior to race morning. In other words, try not to eat too late at night.

A sample pre-race day, or pre-long run, meal for me would include:
Organic brown rice
Black beans
Avocado
Tomato
The day before I also snack on different fruits and nuts between meals.

Morning before: Before embarking on a long run it is best to wake up at least 30 minutes to one hour before running to allow yourself to eat and digest the food.

Each runner’s stomach will handle foods and digestion differently, therefore trial and error is key – the same goes with foods eaten during the run.

Carbohydrates are key the day of a run.

istock_000017061174small

My pre-run meal often consists of a piece of cinnamon raisin Ezekiel toast with peanut butter and a banana or orange. If I wake up early, I will eat a small bowl of oatmeal with organic blueberries.

During the run: A runner only needs to consume food if they are partaking in exercise longer than 90 minutes.

If running for longer than 90 minutes it is best to eat every 30 minutes, or so, to fully restore the body’s glycogen levels.

Most professional athletes suggest eating at least 30 grams of carbohydrates every 30 minutes.

Jurek created a conversion that meets each runner’s specific needs through relying on the runner’s weight.

The runner’s body weight, divided by 2.2, multiplied by .7, equates to the amount of carbohydrates consumed while running.

Jurek’s conversion: (Body weight/2.2) x .7 = grams of carbohydrates

I weigh 130 pounds, therefore my conversion would appear as; (130/2.2) x .7 = 41.4.

What to eat on the run:

Many runners reach for sports gels to meet their carbohydrate needs while exercising.

I opted for the natural whole foods remedies.

A few examples of foods I consume while running include;
Bananas
Figs
Organic fruit baby foods
Dates

While running I eat one item every 30 to 40 minutes and drink water after every mile.

sproutbabyfood

Photo take from: livingrichwithcoupons.com

Angela’s Tip:
Bananas are a common go-to food for me while running. I often peel the banana right before the run and place it in a plastic bag untouched. I will mush it up right before I eat it to allow easier digestion and carbohydrate absorption.

Post-Run: After completing a run it is time for the body to refuel, recover and prepare for the next run.

Physiologist Deborah Shulman concluded in an article on Active.com titled, “Get enough protein post-workout,” that it is important to consume carbohydrates and protein within 30 minutes of completing endurance exercise.

She explained that the nutrients consumed after exercise will fend off fatigue and promote recovery.

Ms. Schulman suggests that 20 grams of protein is optimal after completing an endurance exercise activity.

She said 20 grams can often be found in one scoop of protein powder.

What to eat after a run: Eating can be difficult after undergoing a sustained, difficult workout. My solution is to reach for a protein-packed smoothie.

I often consume one full cup of a protein smoothie after each run.

Angela 3

Photo courtesy of Angela Joy

My favorite post-run smoothie; Blueberry, banana and flax seed smoothie

  • Banana
  • Rice milk – you can use any kind of milk
  • Frozen blueberries
  • Hemp protein
  • One tablespoon of crushed flax seeds
  • One teaspoon of cinnamon

If you prefer a sweet smoothie, include one teaspoon of honey or maple syrup to the mix.

Finding Inspiration

A quote that gets me through long, strenuous runs is one of Jurek’s common phrases, “Sometimes, you just do things.”

The quote resonates with me to the fact that I don’t have a specific explanation of why I run other than the fact that I simply enjoy it.

Truly, we don’t need an explanation for why we do things that make us happy – it is just important that we go out there and do them.

Don’t worry about what people think or say – just do it.

I challenge you to go out and do something that you love for the simple reason that, “Sometimes we just do things.”

Blog Post Takeaway:

Healthy Food

Photo taken from:socialdashboard.com

Have you ever heard of the expression, “You are what you eat,” well, my motto is, “Your performance is only as good as the food that you eat.”

Therefore, make sure that you are eating well!

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope it was helpful! Please share your feedback, comments, questions.

❤ Wishing you lots of love, joy and blessings

-Angela Joy

Information obtained from:

  1. http://running.competitor.com/2014/04/inside-the-magazine/the-long-run/the-long-run-eating-on-the-run_28754
  2. http://www.runnersworld.com/nutrition-for-runners/fueling-facts
  3. http://www.active.com/nutrition/articles/get-enough-protein-post-workout
  4. Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek with Steve Friedman
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