Shari Duncan

Tag: Omega 3

Eat Well, Live Well… Natural Beef
Shari

by on Feb.02, 2011, under Egg and Main Course Ideas, General HEALTH, General Nutrition, High Protein dishes, Recipes

Real Cows eat Grass, Not Grain.

There was a time when all beef was grass fed and “natural”.  Natural for fresh meat products, as defined by the USDA, refers to “minimally processed and containing no artificial ingredients.”   Today, most all commercially available beef are fed enormous quantities of corn, protein supplements, antibiotics and other drugs, including growth hormones so that they can be  made as fat as possible and brought to slaughter (and market) as fast as possible.  All this to make up for what they are missing from the diet that was intended for them.

Why grass fed beef is healthier for you.

Grassfed meat, is lower both in overall fat and in artery-clogging saturated fat. Because grass is cattle’s natural, preferred food source, they are able to process their food better.  And because their bodies aren’t pumped full of hormones to make them grow faster, they have more time to mature.  All those nutrients end up in the meat and result in a healthier and more delicious product.

The fat content of beef is the primary reason it has lost ground as a respectable entrée on America’s dinner table. Not only do most beef cuts have a high fat content, ranging from 35-75%, but the majority of it is saturated. The overall total fat content of a pasture raised cattle is about 25% lower than that of your typical corn fed cattle… Look at packaging and you will notice it is labeled lean by the USDA.

Grass-fed beef is naturally lower in calories too. A 6-ounce steak from a grass-fed steer can have 100 fewer calories than the same steak from a grain-fed steer.  Pasture raised beef also has the added advantage of providing more omega-3 fats. These crucial healthy fats are most plentiful in flaxseeds and fish, and are also found in walnuts, soybeans and in meat from animals that have grazed on omega-3 rich grass. When cattle are taken off grass and shipped to a feedlot to be fattened on grain, they immediately begin losing the omega-3s they have stored in their tissues.

In addition to being higher in healthy omega-3s, meat from pastured cattle is also up to four times higher in vitamin E than meat from feedlot cattle and much higher in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a nutrient associated with lower cancer risk. Grass-fed beef is also higher in the minerals calcium, magnesium and potassium as well as the B-vitamins, thiamine and riboflavin.

Pasture raised beef tastes different from grain fed beef.

This is the way beef is supposed to taste! The difference is that you taste “clean” meat, free from antibiotics and hormones.  Additionally, grass fed beef is safer for the environment, more humane to the cattle and overall a safer meat. And the reason is simple.  They are eating a diet appropriate for their bodies.

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20 Minute Meal:  Natural Beef Fajitas

  • 1 lb Natural Beef steak (Boneless Chuck or Round)-  cut across grain in 1 inch (finger length) strips
  • 1 small onion, sliced

    "stir fry" with fresh Veggies and spices for a quick, healthy meal.

  • ½ red, ½ green bell pepper, sliced
  • Minced garlic (to taste)
  • Fajita seasonings
  • Fresh lime juice
  • 1 TBSP Olive oil
  • Whole wheat, High Fiber or low carbTortilla Wraps
  • Salsa or Pico de gallo

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS:  Fresh Tomato, Avocado Slices, Black Beans, Low Fat Shredded cheese.

  • Coat bottom of large skillet with olive oil.  When pan is hot, quickly stir fry seasoned vegetables (garlic, onion and peppers) until lightly browned – just limp.  Do not overcook. (2-3 minutes).  Remove from Pan.
  • If needed add more olive oil to pan.  Add beef strips, fajita seasonings to taste, and lime juice and stir fry quickly  (1-2 minutes) over medium-high heat until beef is slightly pink in center.
  • Return vegetables to pan. Mix well and continue to cook meat until desired wellness.  Remove from heat promptly.
  • Fill warm tortillas with beef and vegetable mixture.  Top with ~2 tablespoons salsa (per wrap) and desired toppings.
  • Roll tortilla… and Enjoy!

Serve with side of black beans and/or whole grain rice.

  • Substitute, fish, shrimp or chicken for beef.
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Ultra Moist Vi-Shape Banana Muffins
Shari

by on Sep.03, 2010, under Healthy Snacks, Recipes, Weight Loss

Any recipe can be made healthier with just a few modifications… and there is no need to sacrifice flavor.

Your ViSalus Shape-mix is not just for smoothies!  Add a couple of scoops to your favorite baked recipes, and you are not only adding that amazing sweet cream flavor but  will also be getting extra protein and nutrients from the mix.  And by using wholesome oats and flax seed in place of refined flour; and applesauce and yogurt in place of butter or oil, you are

A couple scoops to baked recipes adds protein, fiber, vitamins & minerals

A couple scoops to baked recipes adds protein, fiber, vitamins & minerals

adding wholesome ingredients without the additional calories, sugar or saturated fats.

Flax seeds and flax seed oils are rich in heart healthy Omega 3 fatty acids, proven to help lower (bad) cholesterol as well as provide a myriad of other documented health benefits. So do not overlook using these ingredients when baking.  Using extra ripe bananas will add natural sweetness to the muffins.

Dry ingredients:  Mix together in large bowl.

  • 1c Low carb baking flour
  • 1c oats
  • 2 rounded scoops of Vi-Shape mix (or other protein powder)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp milled flax seed
  • ~2 Tbsp Splenda brown sugar
  • Baking powder/ Baking Soda
  • 1 Tbsp (or more to taste) ground Cinnamon

In separate bowl or large measuring cup, mix moist ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed.
  • 1 whole egg + 1 egg white
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2container low fat banana (or vanilla) yogurt

    ... Wholesome ingredients. Great Nutrition and Flavor

    ... Wholesome ingredients. Great Nutrition and Flavor

  • 1 Tbsp Flax seed oil.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray muffin tins with no stick butter flavored spray.  Add the wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Be sure to mix well to blend all flavors.

Spoon into muffin tins and bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly browned and toothpick comes out clean.

Recipe makes 1 dozen muffins.

Change it up by using blueberries, raspberries, peaches, strawberries, etc. for bananas.  Swap out yogurt flavors to compliment fruit.

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Promote Good Health; Prevent Disease with Multivitamins
Shari

by on Jul.10, 2010, under General HEALTH, General Nutrition, Supplementation

Whether you’re healthy or sick, chances are you can benefit from a daily multivitamin.

Do you want to feel better, have more energy while at the same time taking measures to prevent or delay future health problems?

A good daily multivitamin/mineral supplement improves your overall bodily functioning and boosts both your physical and mental health and well-being. Surprising to me how few people I’ve asked take vitamins daily.

Consider these nutritional questions.

  1. Are you a teenager, pregnant, breastfeeding or elderly?
  2. Are you a picky eater that avoids certain foods or food groups on a regular basis?
  3. Do you skip one meal or more on a daily basis (coffee for breakfast doesn’t equal a meal!)?
  4. Do you generally eat the same foods most days?
  5. Do you have food allergies or intolerances that prevent you from eating certain foods (e.g.  lactose intolerance)?
  6. Do you eat fish, including oily fish less than twice a week?
  7. Do you get less than15 minutes of sun exposure daily?
  8. Are you a vegetarian or vegan?
  9. Are you dieting or following a low calorie/low carbohydrate diet?
  10. Are you inconsistent with your exercise program or don’t exercise at all?
  11. Are you under a lot of stress at home or at work on a regular basis?

If you answered yes to more than 2 of the above questions; you need to take vitamins, EVERYDAY.

The United States Department of Agriculture recommends that most adults aim to consume 6-11 servings of grains (mostly  whole grain), 2 or more servings of fruits, 3 or more servings or vegetables, 2 or more servings of low fat dairy, and 2-3 servings of protein (meats, poultry, fish, legumes, nuts):    THIS IS DAILY.!!

No matter how health conscious we strive to be; it is quite difficult, even for the most disciplined dieter to consistently get all nutrients from all sources.  There are 24 essential vitamins and minerals we should be getting every day. When we don’t get these key nutrients on a daily basis, we will not feel or perform as well as we would if these nutrients were consumed daily. This is where a good multi-vitamin/mineral fills the dietary void. Those who take daily multivitamins report a feeling of general well being. The individual vitamins and nutrients in a quality daily multivitamin dose delivers not just the specific benefits of each individual vitamin, but also the combined (synergistic) benefits of all of the ingredients working together.

So investing in proactive wellness by supplementing with a multivitamin (preferably with minerals) makes good sense. It is a sound investment in your health and wellbeing.  A GOOD multivitamin is at the foundation of overall balanced nutrition. But with so many out there; be careful when selecting your supplement as quality is essential. Dissolvability has been a problem for some multivitamins.  If a vitamin doesn’t dissolve properly, its nutrients won’t be absorbed by the body.

Shop around and read labels.  Store brands are often cheapest but frequently in this case you get what you pay for.  Many of the cheap forms of minerals in generic brands (zinc oxideand magnesium oxide) are often not absorbed by the body.   Remember, if your body can’t absorb the nutrient, it is useless.

Look for vitamins that are free of yeast, sugars, preservatives, wheat products, artificial coloring and flavors.

ARE YOU READY TO FEEL THE WAY YOUR BODY WAS MEANT TO FEEL? …….   Please follow the link to discover what I have discovered

http://www.sharipronatural.myvi.net/

Again, a quality vitamin does not replace a healthy and balanced diet; it merely supplements it.

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The SKINNY on F A T S
Shari

by on Mar.30, 2010, under General HEALTH, General Nutrition, Supplementation, Weight Loss

You got to EAT FAT to LOSE FAT!

Dietary fats supply the body with the most stable sources of energy fuel and since they contain more calories per gram than protein & carbs they burn more slowly making you feel fuller longer.  When you cut out fat, you replace the calories with faster burning carbohydrates which not only make you feel hungrier sooner, the “wrong” carbs  will play havoc with your glucose (blood sugar) levels.

Fat cells are necessary for hormone regulation, storing energy, and providing cushioning for our internal organs. The problem is not in the presence of fat but the amount. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Dietary Guidelines recommend that adults get 20%-35% of their calories from fats. At a minimum, we need at least 10% of our calories to come from fat. The key is to understand which fats are healthy and which are not so you can begin losing weight safely and successfully.

Healthy Fats in Foods:

The healthy fats are the mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated. The fats to avoid are trans fats and saturated fats as they put your body at risk for many diseases. To help you distinguish the “good” from the “bad, remember that saturated fats are solid at room temperature.

Fats to eat each and everyday...

Fats to eat each and everyday...

  • Monounsaturated fats are found in avocados, peanuts, natural peanut butter, olives and olive oil (extra virgin).

  • Polyunsaturated fats are found in fish, walnuts, pecans, almonds, soybean oil, sunflower oil etc

Omega-3 Fats:  the body does not manufacture Omega 3 fats, which means we must consume them either in the foods we eat or with supplementation.  Omega 3’s burn fat by helping the body respond to a hormone called Leptin which tells the brain to suppress the appetite, increases thyroid output – which in turn increases metabolism   Food sources for Omega-3 are: Salmon, tuna, herring, sardines, flaxseed, pecans, walnuts and hazelnuts.

Omega 3’s are also known to boost brainpower, ward off depression and decrease inflammation.

Other Good Omega-3 sources

  • ground flaxseed
  • oils (like flaxseed oil, linseed oil, canola oil, walnut oil, wheat germ oil and soybean oil)
  • green leafy vegetables (like lettuce, broccoli, kale, spinach and purslane)
  • legumes (like mungo, kidney, navy, pinto, lima beans, peas and split peas)
  • citrus fruits, melons, cherries

Omega 6 oils are common in the diet and are not usually necessary to supplement. Raw almonds or sunflower seeds are a good source and a few can be eaten daily to ensure their supply.

CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) – Helps to burn fat and gain lean muscle at the same time. It is also found to boost

CLA - Supplement with this fat to help burn fat

CLA - Supplement with this fat to help burn fat

immunity and halt cancer growth. CLA also promotes cardiovascular health by preventing the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries and around the heart.

CLA is found only in various meats & milk products – But remember CLA is a fat  & will not be found in skim milk or non-fat yogurts (where fat has been removed).  Consider also that the fat burning benefits of CLA  may be offset by the higher amounts of bad fats in many cuts of meat. So if you are staying away from full-fat dairy products and fatty cuts of beef, you might consider taking a CLA supplement.

Studies have shown that CLA helps people to lose weight because it’s a good fat. Consuming it accelerates the body’s metabolic rate while slowing the body’s conversion of dietary fats into body fat.   .

The recommended daily dose of CLA is 3-7 grams. If you supplement with CLA, be sure it contains 80% CLA to receive the optimum fat burning results.

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The American Heart Association’s Nutrition Committee strongly advises that healthy Americans limit their intake of trans fat to less than 1 percent of total calories.

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Based on current data, the American Heart Association recommends that consumers follow these tips:

  • Choose a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole-grain, high-fiber foods, and fat-free and low-fat dairy most often.
  • Keep total fat intake between 25 and 35 percent of calories, with most fats coming from sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as fish, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils most often.
  • Use naturally occurring, unhydrogenated vegetable oils such as canola, safflower, sunflower or olive oil most often.
  • Look for processed foods made with unhydrogenated oil rather than partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated vegetable oils or saturated fat.
  • Use soft margarine as a substitute for butter, and choose soft margarines (liquid or tub varieties) over harder stick forms. Look for ”0 g trans fat” on the Nutrition Facts label.
  • French fries, doughnuts, cookies, crackers, muffins, pies and cakes are examples of foods that are high in trans fat. AVOID THEM!!
  • Limit the saturated fat in your diet. If you don’t eat a lot of saturated fat, you won’t be consuming a lot of trans fat.
  • Limit commercially fried foods and baked goods made with shortening or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. Not only are these foods very high in fat, but also that fat is likely to be very hydrogenated, meaning a lot of trans fat.
  • Limited fried fast food. Commercial shortening and deep-frying fats will continue to be made by hydrogenation and will contain saturated fat and trans fat.

Something to take away from this blog:

When the body gets enough  –  (and healthy sources) of fat through diet, it will not feel the need to hoard fats by enlarging adipose tissue….hmm.   Food for thought.

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How Healthy is Shrimp, Really?
Shari

by on Dec.13, 2009, under Fish and Seafood, General Nutrition

They may be small in size but shrimp is one of the most nutrient dense foods.

Shrimp is rich in several vitamins, especially B3, B12, and vitamin D, as well as having significant levels of omega 3 fatty acids. The proteins in shrimp are incredibly high-quality and low in fats, and a serving of shrimp contains significant levels of copper, zinc, magnesium, iron and phosphorus.

Very low in calories, high proteien, no carbs and virtually no fat. What’s not to love?

Nutritional Highlights

    small in size...but packed with nutrients

small in size...but packed with nutrients

Shrimp, 3 oz. (cooked, moist heat)

Calories: 84
Protein: 17.7g
Carbohydrate: 0.0g
Total Fat: 0.92g
Fiber: 0.0g
Excellent source of: Selenium and Vitamin B-12

Health Benefits

  • Shrimp is an excellent source of selenium, this neutralizes the injurious effects of free radicals which is the main cause of cancer and other degenerative diseases.
  • Shrimp is a very good source of vitamin D. This vitamin regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, which is essential for strong teeth and bones.
  • Shrimp is a good source of vitamin B12. This vitamin is important for the proper brain function and essential for the formation and maturation of blood cells.
  • Shrimp is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems because it reduces cholesterol in the blood.

Studies have shown that the high percentage of good fats in shrimp reduce the impact of cholesterol.

Although shrimp is a bit high in cholesterol, it is important to note that shrimp is especially low in saturated fat. It is now known that the amount of cholesterol in shrimp is about 130 mg per 3 oz of raw shrimp (about 12 large shrimp), there is minimal fat in the shrimp. The amount of cholesterol in an equivalent portion of regular ground beef is about 110 mg, and has about 20 grams of fat. Shrimp have high levels of valuable unsaturated fatty acids, which increase HDL cholesterol levels, which are the good cholesterol, so easting shrimp as a part of your diet can decrease your overall cholesterol.

So… get cooking with Shrimp … Recipes to follow!

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