Fiber

A few years age I went to the doctor and after the exam he recommended that I get more fiber into my diet, and he suggested the stuff you find in the drug store, flavored and sweetened psyllium, yuk. I did try it, putting it in a glass of water and drinking it, no I don’t want to go there. I then made a concoction of phyllium powder, ground flax seed and oat bran to which I added a fruit juice. Shortly after it is mixed up it forms a gel and can be eaten like gelatin. I mixed up several containers of this and kept it in the frig. My intent was to eat 1/2 in the morning and 1/2 at night; didn’t work out, I kept forgetting it at night. It did do the job and was not that bad to eat but after about three years or so got tired of it.

After some trial and error I have developed a fiber muffin that not only gives you the fiber we need but tastes okay and is not full of fat or sugar. Here is how I make it.

  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2  cup flax seed (adds fiber plus omega 3 )
  • 1 cup oat bran
  • 3 large bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup or 2 single serving size containers of applesauce
  • 1 cup of dried cranberries, raisins or other dried fruit
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or your favorite nuts
  • 3/4 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • The last time I made these I added 1/2 teaspoon of ginger, goes good with the cinnamon and nutmeg
  • Preheat oven to 350 Degrees
  • Mix all ingredients by hand in a large bowl. The bananas and applesauce are your wet ingredients.
  • Put paper liners in a regular size muffin pan
  • Spoon into muffin pan and press down. I usually get 12 muffins. You can fill all the way to the top, they do not rise. I originally added some flour and baking powder hoping it would rise but it didn’t so I eliminated them from the recipe.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes
  • Cool completely in pan
  • I keep mine in a plastic container in the frig. They keep until I eat them. I eat a half muffin every morning after I get up. You could eat a whole one or one half in the morning and one half in the evening as needed.

I have added a lot of fiber to my diet in the form of whole grains, salads and vegetables and do not have the need for just fiber as I once did. I like the benefits that fiber provides and tomorrow I will tell you what they are.

 

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David


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It’s That Time of the Year Again

It’s that time of the year for some of us to feel sad again. By this I mean SAD as in Seasonal Affective Disorder. This occurs in some of us in the winter when we have day after day of reduced sunlight or no sunlight at all. This can lead to feelings of depression, just not felling well, low energy, not feeling like doing anything or not wanting to be around other people. We may also over sleep, overeat, especially carbs which can lead to weight gain.

The lower amount of sun we get in the fall and winter can disrupt our biological clock which affect our sleep cycle, our serotonin and melatonin levels. Almost 10% of the population in the northern areas of the country may be affected to some degree. My late wife Rebecca suffered from depression for most of her life and it was usually worse in the winter. I built her a full spectrum light box to give her the equivalent to sunlight. She would sit in this light for as long as she felt the need to. Even to me it felt good to sit in the light, it gave me a pleasant feeling.

You can buy these SAD therapy lights online or just add some full spectrum bulbs to any fluorescent fixture as I did. If you think you might have this problem there is a lot of good information online. The best prices I have seen for these lights are on Amazon. They even have a  Seasonal Affective Disorder for Dummies book.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David

 

 

Is Your Job Killing You?

I know that most of us need jobs but is our job good for us? We all should be grateful that we do have a way to pay the bills but does it come at a too high cost to our health?

I can remember about thirty years ago I had a good government job that paid better than most and was not really that hard to do most of the time. There was a problem though; when I was off it was hard to enjoy that time because I had come to dread going to that job. The last day before I was to go back I spent the day thinking about that I had to go back to work tomorrow. The job was not that stressful; I didn’t think so anyway. I finially realized I was just bored stiff. Looking back I can see how I could have handled things differently but at the time I could only see that I had eigtheen years before I could retire from that job. I couldn’t see how I could possibly do that for eighteen more years so I quit and started a business. I don’t regret what I did but if I could have stuck it out for eighteen more years and it had not ruined my health, I would have been better off financially. I know I enjoyed those eighteen years more by not being there.

If we are in a job that we do not enjoy, where we don’t feel that we have any control, where we do not like or get along with our boss or coworkers and feel overworked or always under pressure, it can adversely affect our health. It can raise out risk for stroke, high blood pressure, stomach or intestinal problems or even sudden cardiac death. So how do you feel when you think about your job, a good feeling, pride, satisfaction or dread and anxiety. If you listen to your own body and your own feelings they will tell you if your job is good for you or not.

In today’s job market I know most of us can not just quit our jobs and go looking for another one but we can make the decision to leave and start working toward finding something more suitable. It may take some time for you to actually get there but once you have made that positive decision to leave you are already part way there.. If you are in a bad situation, do have the courage to start looking for a solution before you have that health crisis. Life is to short to live in a situation like that. Good luck.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David

Can We Go back?

We are old or not, unhealthy, miserable, depressed, and feel like it is hopeless to even try anymore; what do I do now? There are many of us who have gone through life in such a state of disregard for our own health and well being, doing everything we can to kill ourselves, and it is working. It could be we are drug addicts, alcoholics, engage in unsafe sex, drive too fast or under the influence or we may just eat to much of the wrong foods and sit on our butts all the time. It doesn’t matter how you got there but what you do now. So what do we do? We start doing what we should have been doing all along. If we know what that is, then do it; if not, start reading until you do  know, but don’t wait until you think you know it all or you will never start. Even small steps at first leads to big gains later. The longest journey begins with the first step. Good luck on your journey.

Here is something you ladies might want to check out, especially if you or a family member may be at risk for diabetes. I just read an article on AOL which was from Everyday Health  about the dangers of chemicals in beauty care products that may increase you chances of developing diabetes. You could also Google it, lots of information there.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a happy and healthy day.       David

Is Your Cooking Method Healthy?

It is not only what we eat that is important but also how it is cooked. By choosing a healthier way to cook our food we can not only be healthier but also live longer.

For years I have read about the dangers of charing foods which we sometimes do when grilling or broiling and even when we burn our toast. This can create carcinogens in the food and could with repeated exposure over time lead to the formation of abnormal cells which can lead to cancer.

Dr. Helen Viassara, the Director of the Diabetes and Aging Division of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City has written a book called The Age-Less Way. In her book she talks about AGE’s which are chemicals called advanced glycation end-products. While AGE’s are already present in small quantities in our bodies and our foods, the way we cook our food can greatly increase them. Dr Viassara’s choice of cooking methods are boiling, poaching and stewing. She recommends we limit the use of high, dry heat as well as frying. Grilling, baking and frying release more AGE’s which make us age faster, cause inflammation  and worsen diabetes. Even the way we toast our bread can exponentially increase our exposure to AGE’s. The correct way to toast is to limit any real browning of the bread only adding a little crunch, use a very low setting and longer toast time. This book is available on Amazon, go look inside to learn more

Maybe this is one small step we can all use to be just a little bit  healthier. I had never really heard anything about AGE’s myself. I think it is good to know.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a healthy and happy day.       David

Could the Secret of Weight Gain be Just One Word?

I have been reading from a book called Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis. He says the culprit is wheat. He says the wheat we eat now is not the same as wheat that people ate as little as one hundred years ago. In fact the shift accelerated around 1950 and since through hybridization and gene manipulation it has been changed in many ways to make it resistant to weeds, insects, fungus, herbicides and  have shortened it to make it easier to harvest. It has also been changed internally to make it more palatable to us and make it easier for the food industry to work with it. Who knows what unforeseen other changes were inadvertently made and what their consequences will be. He does believe that to at least some of us it can be addictive and there will be withdrawal symptoms if we quit eating it.

The fattening of America started in 1985 when the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute through it’s National Cholesterol Education Program gave it’s advice to cut fats and cholesterol from our diet and to replace the calories with whole grains. The expansion of our midsections parallels perfectly the proliferation of wheat products in our diets. The same year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) started tracking body weight statistics documenting the increase in obesity and diabetes that started that year.

Something to think about. The book is available on Amazon along with reviews and a book excerpt you can read. Please let me know what you think.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a happy and healthy day.       David

Will We Be Happy Today?

Will I be happy today? Will You be happy today? Happiness is individual so we each determine our own state of happiness. I remember the winter a couple of years ago when there was a period of ten days to two weeks where the weather was so bad I just didn’t want to get out. After a few days of this it began to affect my mood and how I felt physically      and I wanted it to end. I made the conscious decision that I had to get out of the house, get some exercise and fresh air. Once I did get out; I experienced relief like you wouldn’t believe. Last winter I carried the dread of this happening again with me all winter. Fortunately the winter was mild and that never happened.

Thursday last; Thanksgiving Day, was beautiful here but a dramatic change in the weather was forecast for the next day. I was thinking that this would probably be the last really nice day we would have before spring. Although yesterday morning was cloudy, threatening  to rain and was rather cool, the sun came out and it became a beautiful day. Today is as well.

Focusing on the cold, dark and wet days can change our mood, our happiness even if the weather turns out to be beautiful. When we focus on the things we don’t want or focus on  what might happen we never give happiness a chance. This winter may have a long period of where the weather may be cold, dark, wet and depressing but why worry about it, we can always choose to get out anyway and get some exercise and fresh air. Our happiness is what we make of it.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a happy and healthy day.       David

Why Are We Always Hungry?

Why are we always hungry? It could be two reasons. First; The food we eat may not be giving our bodies the nutrients they need. The minerals in the soil may be depleted and modern farming methods only supplement the basic needs of the plant. A vegetable plant may look healthy but otherwise not have the trace minerals and other nutrients it would normally have were it grown in healthy non-depleted soil. The same can be said for our meats. Meats grown in a feedlot and feed a high grain diet, especially corn, will not be as healthy for us as would wild venison , elk or buffalo grown on their natural diet.

Second; Most of the food that most of us eat is highly processed before we get it. The more we process a food the less nutrients remain to nourish our bodies. The grains we eat are processed to the point that when we eat them the starches and sugars in them are broken down in our bodies so fast that they enter our blood stream almost as fast as does simple sugar. When this happens our bodies dump insulin into our blood stream to process it. Due to the large amount of sugar that is quickly dumped into the blood stream, we then get a large amount of insulin which quickly lowers our blood sugar level which makes us feel hungry again. Were we to eat a diet of mostly unprocessed foods such as whole grains and vegetables with high water content and lots of fiber we would not get that quick spike in our blood sugar. Not only would we not get that large amount of insulin being dumped into our system; we would feel fuller, more satisfied and it will take much longer for our food to be digested. It will also be much longer before we felt hungry again.

With today’s diet of processed foods; especially white flour and products made with it and the fact that almost all of these products have added sugar, we basically have sugar on sugar. A doughnut for example; white flour with added sugar with a sugar glaze on the outside, same thing for a cake. I challenge you to find a product that is made from white flour or just about any other highly processed food for that matter, that does not contain some form of sugar.

So now you know why you are always hungry.

Thanks for visiting, you are always welcome here. May you and yours have a happy and healthy day.       David

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all. The day for gratitude, the day we are supposed to be grateful for all our many blessing. Are we really grateful? If so what are we grateful for? When the pilgrims started this they were just grateful for having just survived, for not starving or being killed by the locals. If you look back at it; they really did have something to be grateful for. Well so do we. Even the poorest of us are more blessed than the majority of people in other parts of the world. Whatever our social status or the state of our health we are all blessed to be in the greatest country that ever existed, even with it’s problems. If by chance you are reading this somewhere other than the USA, I am sure that you to have something to be grateful for as well.. If you are reading this you are alive, if you have family or friends, if you have food to eat, a roof over your head, clothes to wear or a job, you have one or more things to be grateful for. How about making a list to remind us how blessed we are and make an effort to be grateful, not only today but every day, we will be happier for it. Enjoy the food and the day off but let’s not forget the purpose for the day. Be grateful for the friends and family that are with you today, enjoy.

The average person consumes about 4000 calories on Thanksgiving, over twice the amount most of us need, so eat wisely. It doesn’t take 4000 calories for us to be able to enjoy it.

I do hope that you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving in every way possible.  David

Fritata Recipe

A couple of days ago I made this simple fritata. If you are having overnight guests for Thanksgiving or for the Christmas – New Year’s holiday period this or a variation of it would be good to feed them. I will tell you what I put in it but feel free to add whatever you want and to use the seasonings that you like. As you may have already guessed I am into what tastes good but also what is good for me. You can make this healthy or unhealthy by what you put into it.

I started with a 10 inch cast iron skillet, I brushed about a teaspoon of olive oil on the inside and placed over medium heat. I broke 6 eggs into a bowl, added 1/2 cup of milk, a heaping serving spoon of both ground flax seed and wheat germ, a generous amount of no salt seasoning, about 1/2 teaspoon of both black pepper and ground turmeric and then about 2 good squirts of sriracha sauce. Some of these were for the health benefits but also for the taste. I took a fork and beat until nicely mixed and frothy, the more air you incorporate the lighter it will be. I  poured mixture into the hot skillet, I thinly sliced a medium sized tomato and put it on top of the eggs. I lightly salted the tomatoes. I turned on my broiler. I cooked it until the bottom third or half was solid  then put it under the broiler to finish cooking. It is done when it is sold all the way through and browned on top.

I usually add more healthy ingredients such as sauteed spinach or kale, onions, mushrooms or peppers. You could also use hash browns to line the bottom of the skillet before you put in the eggs, I would partially cook them before adding the eggs. The other ingredients can be laid on top of the egg mixture and pushed down into the eggs. You could also add cooked ham, sausage, or bacon. I sometimes put chedder-jack or colby-jack cheese over the top after it is done and let it just melt. This could be either 4,6 or 8 servings depending on what you are serving with it. If you need more just add more eggs. If you add more use a larger skillet or cook it totally in the oven at 350 degrees until fully set.

As you can see, there are endless possibilities here. Enjoy.  David