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TouchStone Health Photo
TouchStone Health Photo

Archive for the ‘healthy foods’ Category

A Delicious Green Smoothie

Posted on: April 29th, 2016 by TouchStone Health

I have been on the hunt for a delicious green smoothie.  And, they are actually a bit hard to find.  I have made some weird concoctions with all types of vegetables (cabbage included) that have promised to be delicious but weren’t.  But I finally found one.

A patient introduced me to The Minimalist Baker.   She has delicious recipes with 10 or less ingredients and this Creamy Pineapple Cucumber Smoothie was a great find.

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So, why are green smoothies great?

  • They are nutritious with offering vegetables alongside their fruit counterparts.  Most green smoothies have about a 60/40 ratio of fruit/vegetables but if you’re comfortable you can aim for 50/50.  Some smoothies can rack up calories and sugar with only having fruit in them.
  • You have a more nutritionally dense smoothie that offers more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
  • The alkalinizing benefit of the greens.  The body is always striving for balance, including its pH.  The Standard American/Canadian Diet is very acidic in nature (meat, animal products, processed foods, sugar).  A green smoothie is very alkaline, offering a better balance to your pH.
  • They are easier to digest due to being pulverized and blended.  Some people can’t digest raw greens well but in a smoothie, you can consume your raw greens, enjoying the benefit of their nutrition without compromising a bloated tummy with gas.
  • Great for your bowels.  Liquid food is notorious for helping with constipation and adding greens accentuates this.  The added fiber and water content of the greens helps keep you hydrated and ensures your bowel movements are easier to pass.
  • Who should avoid green smoothies?  If you have a history of kidney stones, particularly oxalate stones, talk to your healthcare provider before consuming too many of these.

It’s not too difficult to add spinach or kale to a smoothie without altering the flavour.  Try this recipe and see if green smoothies are something you’d want to incorporate into your diet.  This one is so delicious, you’ll forget how healthy it is.

*This website is for information purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Recipe for Spring

Posted on: March 21st, 2016 by TouchStone Health

Although it doesn’t feel like spring today, I thought I’d post a wonderful spring salad recipe that has gotten me excited for warmer weather.

This recipe is from one of my favourite cooks, Danielle Walker.  Her website, Against All Grain has grain free recipes that are as delicious as the photos suggest.  She is featured on our Resource Page as a go to website for detoxing and eating grain free.

Here is her recipe for Tangled Thai Salad.  It’s a wonderful way to recreate how we think about using vegetables.  This recipe needs a spiralizer to create long, lovely noodles from cucumbers, carrots, beets and whatever other vegetables you would want.  Hope you enjoy and that spring comes soon enough to help us enjoy more delicious salads like this one.

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Roasted Veggies

Posted on: October 10th, 2015 by TouchStone Health

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Roasted Veggies are easy, delicious and a convenient way of getting more vegetables into your diet.  These are great on their own cold or hot or could be blended with water/milk for soup.  If you’re needing a change in your menu, consider this to help with healthy eating this fall.

These took less than 10 minutes of prep time, 40 minutes of baking and were a hit.

Ingredients:

2 lbs of organic carrots from the market or grocery store

3-4 huge cloves of garlic, minced

2 inches of ginger root, grated

a few tablespoons of avocado oil

Assemble on a tray and roast for 40+ minutes at 375F.

 

JUICING vs. BLENDING: The Juicy Facts on Which is Better for your Health

Posted on: March 20th, 2014 by TouchStone Health

Written by: Dr. Melanie Reidl, ND

You’ve probably heard about the ongoing dual between the benefits of juicing versus blending your drinks.Both of these stellar kitchen habits have their benefits, but is one really better than the other? Will you feel better drinking a smoothie over a juice, or the other way around? It’s a confusing topic, so today I’d like to provide you with the facts so that you make the best choice for your health!

Blending is the act of pureeing whole foods (ex. bananas and hemp seeds) with liquids (ie. almond milk and water), thereby retaining all portions of the initial ingredients. Nothing is discarded, the fiber is left in the drink, and your finished product can be a thick or thin consistency.

Juicing, on the other hand, separates the fiber from the liquid in fruits and vegetables by processing them through a juicing machine. What’s left over (and usually discarded) is the pulp of your produce, and you’re left with a nutrient-rich, concentrated vegetable/fruit drink. So as you can see, both blending and juicing are delicious forms of liquid nutrition.

In order to create these nutrition powerhouse beverages, you’ll need to invest in a good blender or juicer. I’ve done some research on the pros and cons of each option to make your purchasing decision a bit easier.

Blenders come in all shapes, sizes, powers and prices. I can speak from experience that investing in a good blender that does the job right the first time is a GREAT decision. Blenders range from $99 basic Magic Bullets, to $500 Vitamix high powered blenders. Basically, the more you spend, the greater capabilities and power your blender will have. I HIGHLY recommend the top of the line Vitamix if you’re looking for a kitchen appliance upgrade. This highly powered machine can blend hard produce like apples and beets into a liquid juice, almonds into almond flour or almond butter, or act like a food processor for bean dips and homemade salad dressings. I promise you won’t regret buying a Vitamix!

Smoothies are the most common use for blenders, since they are a quick, nutrient-rich, and refreshing meal or snack at any time of the day. Your options for smoothie ingredients are virtually endless, and you can create a fully balanced meal in one drink. A smoothie is also easily digested in the body since it has already been broken down into smaller parts, and the nutrients are also readily absorbed. I recommend keeping your smoothies on the ‘green side’ by loading them up with veggies first, and then adding in some fruit for sweetness. This is a wonderfully simple way to ensure that you’re getting enough greens into your diet each day.

Juicing machines can run you anywhere from $50 to $500 dollars. A cheaper juicer will likely operate with centrifugal force and the teeth will shred the ingredients through a fine mesh filter. These juicers do not work well for leafy greens, and are best suited for hard or juicy produce such as cucumbers and apples. A centrifugal juicer operates with more power and tends to heat things up as they pass through, causing some destruction of natural enzymes in your foods. The alternative is a masticating juicer, which slowly crushes and squeezes more liquid out of your ingredients. This type of juicer is generally a bit more expensive, but it is capable of juicing your greens such as kale and wheatgrass. Because this type of juicer works at a slower speed and does not heat the produce, the enzymes stay intact and the juice will stay fresh for longer.

There’s no doubt that juicing is a wonderful means to consuming more fruits and vegetables in a day, especially if you can afford it. I generally recommend that you keep your juices at 70% vegetables and 30% fruits so as not to spike your blood sugar from all of the natural sugars. Pure fruit juices should be avoided as they can pack in enough carbs and sugars for an entire day. It is also important to choose organic produce if finances permit, otherwise you are drinking up a whole lot of conventional pesticide-laden food.

So now for the verdict; is juicing or blending a better choice as part of a healthy lifestyle?

The answer is both. Different habits seem to work better for different people, and a machine that collects dust is no good in any diet. The optimal choice comes down to which method you will be able to incorporate into your lifestyle, and which one you’ll enjoy drinking on a day to day basis. If your blender makes a mean kale, banana and avocado protein smoothie – get blending!  And if your juicer makes a potent immune elixir of ginger, pear and lemon – keep on pressing!

Beet Salad

Posted on: October 22nd, 2012 by TouchStone Health

Beets are in season and offer an abundance of healthy nutrients.  They contain magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus and folic acid.  What makes them most exciting is the detoxification support that comes from the phytonutrients, betalains.  This is the pigment that gives beets, swiss chard and rhubarb its colour but also gives your body antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory support as well.

One way I like to prep this food is cooking the full beets (peel and all) with a bit of Sea Salt and water to cover completely, until soft, generally about 60 minutes.

Once cooked, I drain the water (nice to keep to drink) and rinse in cold water.  I then use my hands to peel the skins.

Add balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil, salt and cloves of garlic to your taste.  It’s important to add the dressing when the beets are hot so the flavour seeps in completely.  Add parsley/basil, walnuts and if you love blue cheese that’s a fun addition too.

Eat warm or cool, but enjoy this wonderful vegetable this fall season.

We are Literally What we Eat

Posted on: May 14th, 2012 by TouchStone Health

This is another wonderful quote by Joshua Rosenthal, founder of Institute for Integrative Nutrition and author of Integrative Nutrition.  In this quote, Joshua reminds us that our most basic level, we are what we eat.  A wise reminder as we make food choices to eat foods that support and build up our bodies.

“The food we take into our mouth goes into our stomach, where it gets digested and eventually assimilates into the bloodstream. Our blood is what creates our cells, our tissues, our organs, our skin, our hair, our brains and even our thoughts and feelings. We are, at our most basic level, walking food.” ~ Joshua Rosenthal

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