Tag Archives: chia seeds

The Best Foods For A Long Life

Some very good examples here. We need to eat right as well as exercise often to keep the reaper at bay.


I have also posted on:

Green tea for St. Patrick’s Day – and every day

Dark chocolate’s beneficial deeds

Chia seeds vs. flax seeds – Which is better?

Besides the extra-virgin olive oil, I recommend:

Why you should include coconut oil in our diet


Our Better Health

What you eat can affect your health and your longevity.
Here, the best foods for a long life — and which ones to avoid.

Longevity isn’t just about delaying death — it’s about enjoying more years of health and vitality. In her book, The Longevity Diet, dietician Leslie Beck outlines the ways food choices affect the aging process and help to delay the onset of age-related chronic illnesses.

First, certain foods can cause or prevent inflammation in the body. We’re not just talking arthritis; chronic inflammation also contributes to illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease, heart attack and type 2 diabetes. Foods that are high in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, monounsaturated fat and phytochemicals promote the production of anti-inflammatory compounds. In contrast, foods which are high in fat, refined sugars and refined starches can promote inflammation. (See Can food fight inflammation? for more details.)

Second, foods containing high levels of antioxidants combat…

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What are the Health Benefits of Edible Seeds? – Infographic

I think one of the main reasons folks have a problem with their weight is the American Diet that includes a lot of meat and potatoes, not to mention junky fast foods. So, this Guide to edible seeds may be very handy. Seeds provide a lot of nutritional value in the form of useful fiber, fats  and protein. Some people object to the calorie count, but that seems a small price to pay for good nutrition. Remember, good health requires intelligent eating and regular exercise. You can burn off extra calories.

I eat regularly and have posted on chia seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and flax seeds.


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Algae, Quinoa, Legumes Top List of Alternative Protein Choices

Algae, quinoa and pulses are considered by some food technologists to be the best protein sources and strong alternatives to slow meat consumption, reduce food waste and help feed the world’s growing population.

I like to see alternative protein sources being recognized. You can read more here:
Why You Should Add Quinoa to Your Diet – Infographic
Keen on Quinoa
Nuts Offer Great Nutritional Benefits
Are Chia Seeds Good for You?
The Super Seeds – Which is Healthier?
What Are the Top Health Benefits of Chia Seeds?

Cooking with Kathy Man

Algae is evolving as the next new alternative protein source consumers are anxious to bite into as an ingredient in crackers, snack bars, cereals and breads, according to a July 12th presentation at IFT15: Where Science Feeds Innovation hosted by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) in Chicago.

Algae, quinoa and pulses are considered by some food technologists to be the best protein sources and strong alternatives to slow meat consumption, reduce food waste and help feed the world’s growing population.

Algae is a new vegan source of protein with a comparable carbon footprint to existing vegan proteins, such as rice and soy, according to Beata Klamczynska who leads food application development at Solazyme. It contains 63 percent protein, 15 percent fiber, 11 percent lipids, 4 percent carbohydrates, 4 percent micronutrients and 3 percent moisture, she said, and is easily digested and considered heart healthy. It’s found in the ingredient…

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Chia Seeds Vs. Flax Seeds – Infographic

I feel strongly that we can benefit greatly from adding nuts and seeds to our daily diet. Here is an interesting face off between two great seeds from Prevention Magazine.

To read further, check out: Are Chia Seeds Good for You?
What are the Top Health Benefits of Chia Seeds?
The Super Seeds: Which is Healthier
Chia Seed Super Breakfast – With Oat Flakes



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8 Best Superfoods To Boost Your Mood and Energy Levels

Our Better Health


Discovering superfoods has changed my life and was one of my first steps towards my recovery from eating disorders, and becoming healthier and happier. Now, I have them every day and that’s helping me to stay healthy and have great energy.

But what are superfoods, exactly?

Superfoods are basically foods that are much richer in vitamins, minerals, nutrients, electrolytes and phytonutrients, but also much poorer in calories than any other usual foods. They nourish your body on a very deep level.

Here are my 8 favorite superfoods to boost you mood and energy levels:

1. Maca powder

Maca is a root that comes from Peru. You will mainly find it as powder because it doesn’t grow in all climates So, it is dried and powdered to be exported in the rest of the world.

Maca is amazing for balancing hormones and is beneficial…

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7 Superfoods to Help you Live Longer – Infographic

Following is another infographic with a list of superfoods that can help you live longer. The data for each is on the brief side. Here are some links for further details, What is a Healthy Way to Handle Food Cravings?

Are Chia Seeds Good for You?

Coconut Oil – Why You Should Include it in Your Diet.


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Fast-food Consumption in Children Linked to Poorer Academic Outcomes

Many studies have suggested that consumption of unhealthy foods is a major contributor to childhood obesity, and there has been much debate over the marketing of junk food to children, with many experts claiming it encourages unhealthy eating.

According to the Prevention Institute, almost 40% of children’s diets come from unhealthy fats and added sugars, and only 21% of youths aged 6-19 years eat the recommended five portions of fruits and vegetables a day.

Cooking with Kathy Man

Past research has linked fast-food consumption to childhood obesity and numerous health problems later in life. But eating such foods may not only affect physical health; a new study finds that the amount of fast food children eat may also influence their academic growth.

The research team – led by Katy Purtell, assistant professor of human sciences at Ohio State University – found that the higher the frequency of fast-food consumption in fifth grade, the worse children performed on math, reading and science tests in eighth grade.

They publish their findings in the journal Clinical Pediatrics.

Many studies have suggested that consumption of unhealthy foods is a major contributor to childhood obesity, and there has been much debate over the marketing of junk food to children, with many experts claiming it encourages unhealthy eating.

According to the Prevention Institute, almost 40% of children’s diets come from unhealthy fats and…

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14 Ways to Add Protein to Every Meal – Infographic

Are you getting enough protein? Is it high quality protein? Many people struggle with these questions. WebMD says, “You need protein for your muscles, bones, and the rest of your body. Exactly how much you need changes with age:

Babies need about 10 grams a day.
School-age kids need 19-34 grams a day.
Teenage boys need up to 52 grams a day.
Teenage girls need 46 grams a day.
Adult men need about 56 grams a day.
Adult women need about 46 grams a day (71 grams, if pregnant or breastfeeding)

“You should get at least 10% of your daily calories, but not more than 35%, from protein, according to the Institute of Medicine.”

No matter how you answered the first two questions, here are some super ways to improve your protein intake.


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14 Foods That Fuel Your Brain – Infographic

Because I have both Alzheimer’s and dementia in my family, I am very sensitive to all things relating to the brain. Please check out my Page – Important Facts About Your Brain to learn more.


I have posted separately on Avocado, Blueberries, Chia Seeds Quinoa and Nuts. Click the links from more information.


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Five Real Foods for Every Cyclist’s Pantry – Guest Post – Kelli Jennings

Regular readers know that I am a nearly daily bike rider here in Chicago. As such I read some cycling blogs, too. One of my faves is Loving the Bike.

And, one of that blog’s regular contributors is Kelli Jennings, an Expert Sports Nutritionist who writes Ask the Sports Nutritionist.

Kelli is not only a world class athlete, but also a first rate nutritionist who writes clearly and accurately about her healthy and intelligent eating.

She recently wrote an item 5 Real Foods for Every Cyclist’s Pantry that I thought would interest you. Most importantly, you do not have to be a cyclist to benefit from Kelli’s information. I have written about a number of these foods as beneficial to every person. These foods should be in your pantry, too, whether you ride a bike or not.


The world is full of great foods for cyclists.  Foods that energize, foods that heal, and foods that reduce risk of illness.  As a bonus, many of these same foods taste great.  There’s no shortage of great foods from which to choose for everyday eating, and for training fuel.  And yet, there are some foods that stand out above the rest.
Here is simple list of five real-food, whole-food options that have specific benefits to athletes.  Some help with joint pain, others with energy, and one with oxygen delivery.  If you haven’t tried them, this season may be a great time to add them to your diet.

 Here are 5 Foods that should be in every cyclist’s pantry:

1) Organic Coconut oil: A saturated fat known for its light coconut taste and high-smoke point, organic coconut oil can serve an athlete by being a great energy source in both everyday nutrition and training nutrition.  It is largely made up of Lauric Acid, a fatty acid that hasanti-microbial properties, promotes insulin sensitivity in cells (which discourages diabetes and fat storage), and potentially improves heart health markers.832505-coconut-oil

Before you read further, you may be under the impression that coconut oil is off-limits because it’s a saturated fat.  First, take note that not all saturated fats are the same.  Just like some unsaturated fats are better for you than others (fish oil vs. corn oil for example), some saturated fats are better for you than others.  Organic, extra virgin coconut oil contains a very high percentage of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs).  In chemistry terms, this means that the carbon chain has a medium length.  The length of carbons chains, where any double-bonds are located, and the amount of hydrogens attached to the carbons drives how nutrients are used in our bodies.  MCTs have the advantage of begin very easily digested, without need of extra lipid enzymes and bile salts.  They are used directly by the mitochondria (energy producers) of the cells, and seldom stored as fat. Furthermore, they do not negatively affect cholesterol levels or overall health.

How to add organic coconut oil: First, incorporate organic extra-virgin coconut oil into your everyday nutrition choices by using it in stir-fries, baked goods or as a replacement for butter.  Second, use it for Training Nutrition as a great energy source before and during training, or as a great replenishment in recovery. You can add it to a pre-training smoothie, mashed sweet potatoes, or mix it with chia seeds, honey and peanut butter.  After a hard training, it can reduce muscle wasting by giving your body an alternative fuel source.  Take it straight off the spoon, add it to a recovery smoothie or melt it and spread into a peanut butter and honey sandwich.

2) Ginger: Ginger has long been, and is now re-emerging as a go-to supplement and food for health promotion and reduction in joint pain.  First, ginger is loaded with anti-inflammatory nutrients, antioxidants, and phytochemicals, which work to reduce risk of disease, reduce chronic inflammation, and neutralize free radicals that can damage cells.  Ginger also promotes gut health, may be anti-cancerous, and boosts immune function.

Next, recent studies show that it’s effective in reducing muscle soreness and joint pain in athletes.  In fact, in one study, participants took either 2 grams ginger or placebo each day for several days before strenuous exercise, and the ginger participants had a 25% reduction in soreness indicators vs. those on placebo.

How to add ginger:
Use it daily in smoothies, stir-fries, salads, and grated into sandwiches. Make your life easier by simply scraping away the skin with the side of a spoon rather than cutting it off.  Then, use ginger to reduce soreness (along with rest days and other recovery tactics) by consuming 2 grams per day.  You can choose 4 ginger pill supplements per day (check out the label, most are 500-550 mg each), 2 teaspoons of fresh ginger each day, or 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger.

3) Beets: By now you’ve likely heard about beetroot juice and its effects on time trial times.  Research on beetroot juice and performance began after it was shown that nitrates could increase nitric oxide in the body, which in turn dilates vessels to improve the delivery of oxygen and uptake of oxygen by the muscles.  Preliminary studies showed a reduction in oxygen cost during moderate and intense training, increased time to exhaustion, and improved performance with beetroot juice.  More recent studies have shown benefits of beetroot juice when taken in both a 6-day (16 ounces per day) regimen and a one-time pre-training dose 2-3 hours before training.

Beets are very rich in nitrates, and beetroot juice, beetroot freeze-dried powder, and new beet performance gels and supplements are a concentrated form.  They are truly a natural food that has direct and specific benefits on performance!

How to use beets: For everyday nutrition, add beets to salads, roast ‘em, or slice them onto sandwiches.  They are full of antioxidants, phytochemicals and all-around good-for-you nutrients.  For training, take 16 ounces beetroot juice, 6 teaspoons freeze-dried powder or a beet training shot, gel, or supplement with at least 300 mg nitrates.  If using the juice or powder in a smoothie or pre-training snack, consume it about 2-3 hours before training.  If using a commercial beetroot training gel, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

4) Yogurt and probiotics: Plain yogurt is a nutritious ancient food that naturally contains healthy bacteria called probiotics.  Probiotics can also be found in other fermented foods and probiotic supplements.  In either form, probiotics can aide an athlete in three ways.

First, they improve nutrient absorption, which can specifically help in recovery nutrition by increasing the delivery of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and proteins to the cells.  Next, they boost immune function and can decrease the incidence of mononucleosis in athletes in particular.  Third, they can significantly reduce digestion issues both acutely and chronically.  This can mean less nausea during and after training in athletes who experience it.

How to add yogurt: For everyday nutrition, plain yogurt topped with berries, nuts and honey makes a great breakfast or lunch.  You can also add it to smoothies, use it as sour cream, or eat it with fruit for a snack.  For training nutrition, I recommend a pre-training or recovery smoothie or parfait with honey and fruit for carbohydrates, the yogurt for protein and probiotics, and nuts or chia for healthy energy-supplying fats.
5) Chia seeds: Anyone who’s read “Born to Run” is likely already on the chia-seed-bandwagon.  And if you haven’t and are not on it yet, consider adding these healthy-fat, protein, and nutrient packed seeds to your diet.  In addition to providing long-lasting, slow-and-steady-digesting carbs and soluble fiber, Chia seeds are wonderfully versatile and have a lot to offer nutritionally.  They are absolutely a great choice for everyday nutrition and training nutrition.

First, chia seeds provide minerals like phosphorous, manganese and calcium.  Next, you’ll find a large amount of plant based omega-3 fats.  And, while these cannot replace the omega-3s from fish and seafood, they still promote reduced inflammation and overall health.  Then, chia seeds are a great source of fiber at six grams per one tablespoon!  Soluble fiber promotes digestive health, steady energy and blood sugars, reduced cholesterol, improved immunity, and overall wellness. Fourth, chia seeds are loaded healthful antioxidants that combat oxidative stress.  And fifth, chia seeds, like quinoa seeds, contain complete proteins with all essential amino acids.  Every tablespoon of chia provides 2-4 grams of protein.

What’s remarkable about chia seeds in training nutrition, though, is that high fiber foods don’t usually work well immediately before or during training.  However, these seeds are special, and their soluble fiber seems to settle just fine for most cyclists while providing long-lasting, low-glycemic carbohydrates for energy.  If you’ve never used them, you may want to practice some caution by adding only one tablespoon at a time; but, you’ll likely find that they work great in both everyday and training nutrition for you.

How to add chia seeds: In everyday nutrition, add chia seeds to yogurt, smoothies, cereal, oats, salads, sauces, puddings, and more.  For training, try mixing honey, peanut butter, organic coconut oil and chia, adding to pre-training and recovery smoothies, or adding chia to honey and sea salt for an on-the-go natural gel.
This list is not exclusive.  There are many, many great foods out there for cyclists.  Keep trying new whole foods, in both daily nutrition and training nutrition to find what you like best and what works best for you.   There’s an abundance of opportunity to eat well, feel great, and fuel right with real, whole foods.


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What About the New Costco Trek Mix?

I know this comes as no surprise to regular readers, but I have stumbled upon yet another tasty and healthy treat at Costco. This time it is the “Trek Mix.” Like the Clif Mojo Bars I wrote up not long ago, these also boast a sweet and salty taste. I guess that is the new trend – both sweet and salty.

I was impressed at the quality of the ingredients. This is directly from the package- “Kirkland Signature Trek Mix contains the following quality ingredients: Chocolate Chips that are made from 51 percent cacao, real vanilla, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and a delicious chia cinnamon granola cluster.”

trek mix

I don’t know if that sounds good to you, but my girlfriend and I opened the package and started eating them on the drive home from Costco. They were that good.

Here is the nutritional breakdown:
One 30 gram, 1/4 cup, one ounce serving provides
Calories 150
Total Fat 9 grams
Saturated Fat 2 grams
No trans fat or cholesterol
Sodium 20 mg
Total carbohydrate 15 grams
Dietary fiber 2 grams
Protein 4 grams

I can attest to the taste. These are delicious. We had to finally close up the bag for fear of wrecking our appetities before dinner. I was particularly impressed with the meager amount of sodium – only 20 mgs. It seems to me that everything I eat these days has at least 1000 mg of sodium. High salt/sodium intake is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association recommends that adults stay under 1500 mg of sodium per day, and never take in more than 2,300 mg a day.

As always you are invited to share your experience with these snacks.

To read further on the subject of snacks, I invite you to check out my Page – Snacking – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.


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Seven Super Foods to Help You Live Longer – Infographic


Type chia seeds, blueberries and coconut oil into the SEARCH box to read further posts on them.


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The Super Seeds: Which is Healthier

What’s the difference between them? Hemp seeds outshine chia and flax when it comes to protein: Two tablespoons serve up almost 7 grams, the amount found in two egg whites. Plus, the protein in hemp seeds contains all essential amino acids, something that’s unusual for plant foods. (Amino acids are the building blocks of protein; essential amino acids must come from your diet because your body can’t make them on its own.)


Regular readers know that I am a big fan of Super Seeds. Check out What are the top health benefits of Chia Seeds? and also How good is hemp seed for you?


Cooking with Kathy Man

Leslie Beck wrote in The Globe and Mail …..

What’s the difference between them? Hemp seeds outshine chia and flax when it comes to protein: Two tablespoons serve up almost 7 grams, the amount found in two egg whites. Plus, the protein in hemp seeds contains all essential amino acids, something that’s unusual for plant foods. (Amino acids are the building blocks of protein; essential amino acids must come from your diet because your body can’t make them on its own.)

Hemp seeds are also an outstanding source of magnesium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure and blood sugar. Blend two tablespoons into your smoothie and you’ll get one-quarter of a day’s worth of magnesium (116 mg).

Chia seeds are high in magnesium too and, unlike hemp seeds and flaxseeds, they’re also a good source of calcium. When it comes to fibre, chia seeds have the edge, providing 5…

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A St. Patrick’s Day Green Smoothie – Vita-Mix

I have recently decided to up my consumption of leafy green veggies. My diet falls short in that department. I don’t make many salads, so it isn’t the easiest thing to add. I decided to go the smoothie route.

Herewith my first attempt to consume more green leafy veggies:

One cup of apple cider, 1/4 avocado, one slice pineapple, several strawberries, one cup kale, one cup arugala, one tablespoon of chia seeds, one tablespoon of hemp seeds.

Toss it all in the Vita-mix machine, add a half cup of ice cubes and let ‘er rip.

I got lucky and it tasted lovely. I think the avocado and strawberries smoothed out and sweetened up the taste with the pineapple.

Here is the nutritional breakdown:
Calories 265
Total Fat     13.6 grams
Saturated Fat 1.7 grams
No cholesterol
Sodium   84.3 mg
Carbohydrates 47 grams
Sugar 20 grams
Fiber 12 grams
Protein 11 grams

All in all a very successful first attempt.


Other Vita Mix recipe posts include:
How to Vita Mix a Low Cal Copy of the Jamba Juice Orange Dream Machine,
Vita Mix – Drinking a Watermelon
Vita Mix – Hot Chicken Soup
Vita Mix – Another Green Smoothie
Vita-Mix – Cold Peach Summer Smoothie
Vita-Mix – Cold Green Soup
Vita-Mix – Green Smoothies
Vita-Mix – Watermelon Sorbet Recipe
Vita-Mix – Garden Fresh Cocktail

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What are Some Good Reasons for Eating Nuts?

In my own search for alternative sources of quality protein to take the place of the artery-clogging red meat I have added chia seeds and hemp seeds for starters.

Dr. Oz has some further suggestions in his blog post Three Health Benefits of Nuts.

Some of the benefits he enumerates include:
“• The omega-3 fats in nuts, especially walnuts — which have six times as much as the next nearest nut — protect against heart disease.
• The fiber richness of nuts helps you lose weight. A small handful about 30 minutes before a mealtime fills you up enough to keep you from overeating.
• And (news flash) it turns out that these crunchy treats help tame type 2 diabetes.”

For some folks, the only downside of nuts is that their fats make them high in calories. A couple of good ways to include some nuts in your diet without knocking your calorie consumption out of the park is to find ways to add small quantities of them to your regular meals.

You can use them as a garnish on salads, adding protein and healthy fats without too many calories. Ditto your morning breakfast, I love walnuts on top of my oatmeal. Use your imagination and you can make some heart-healthy changes in your daily diet and boost your protein consumption, too.


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Filed under arterial plaque, arteries, chia seeds, Dr. Oz, fat, snack foods, Snacking, Weight

Is There a Good Chocolate Granola? Yes, Love Crunch

I have recently been in the market for a new granola. For years I used the Kashi GoLean Crunch, but when I learned that Kashi used GMO ingredients, I stopped using Kashi products. I make a parfait every day with a granola product and strawberries yogurt, soy milk , etc. You can read about my High Fiber Parfait.

Dark chocolate 0066
My search included Costco, of course, as I have had such success there on the entire spectrum of foods. Sure enough I found “Love Crunch” – Premium Organic Granola. An interesting aspect is that it is “Made with Organic Cocoa, Flax and Coconut.” The package also says, “Dark Chocolate & Red Berries.” It also states on the package back “Non-GMO Verified,” obviously a big selling point for me.

I have eaten granola on and off over the years since the 1960s, but this was the first time I had encountered chocolate. While I love chocolate per se, I don’t often like chocolate-flavored things, like ice cream. They just taste like watered down chocolate to me. Totally not satisfying. So, I had some misgivings about trying this.

I made up a batch with soy milk and strawberries and was amazed at how good the chocolate taste came out. I actually felt like I was eating real chocolate, not something with chocolate flavoring. Very impressive.

Later that evening I was drawn back to the package and weighed out another serving and simply snacked on it while reading. Excellent! A wonderful snack discovery! I could snack on this very healthy CHOCOLATE FLAVORED whole grain food. All good. Talk about win-win!

Here is the nutritional breakdown for a single 30 gram serving which comes to about 1/4 of a cup.

Calories 140
Total Fat 6 grams
Saturated Fat 1 gram
No Cholesterol
Sodium 55 mg
Carbohydrates 20 grams
Fiber 2 grams
Sugar 6 grams
Protein 2 grams

I recommend this for a lovely parfait dessert, plain for breakfast or as a healthy snack finger food.

For a health boost, I include a tablespoon of chia seeds and a tablespoon of hemp seeds. I just like to push the nutritive value up.

You can read about Are Chia Seeds Good For You? or How Good is Hemp Seed?

March 2, 2013 update. I have eliminated my nightly Hershey’s with almonds snack and substituted a bowl of Love Crunch. I get the same chocolate taste with none of the saturated fats and less calories. Keep in mind this kind of substitution can break some unhealthy eating habits.

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