Rice cookers are a great way to easily incorporate whole grains into your diet. Many grains including ancient grains such as quinoa, amaranth, millet, farro, and kaniwa need to be monitored during their lengthy cooking process. Unfortunately many of us don’t have the time to give these nutrient-dense grains the love and care they need. Rice cookers make this process so much easier! You can cook any whole grain with the proper water ratio. Just add your choice of whole grain with the required ratio of water, and set and forget! You can then eat it hot or let it cool for a salad!
Flaxseed is a great nutrient-dense food to incorporate into your diet today! It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. One tablespoon is only 37 calories and has two grams of fiber! Be sure to grind as needed in your coffee grinder or purchase ground meal to maximize this superfood. In addition, freeze flaxseed to prolong it’s shelf life and prevent the healthy fats in this seed from going rancid. Ground flaxseed can be a great addition to any smoothie, baked good, or salad!
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Your body protects you from foreign invaders through a process called inflammation, but if inflammation persists after the threat is gone, it can become your body’s enemy. Many major diseases—including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, obesity and Alzheimer’s—have been linked to chronic inflammation.
Simple things like eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, consistent exercise, adequate sleep and stress management can have a big impact on lowering chronic inflammation. In turn your risk of developing inflammation-linked conditions decreases or the ability to manage existing conditions can improve.
One of the most powerful weapons to combat chronic inflammation comes not in the form of medicine, but food. Foods have been identified and categorized by their ability to increase or decrease chronic inflammation. Some food strategies that you may want to consider are included below—keep in mind that some of these recommendations are more weighted in scientific evidence than others:
Increase intake of vegetables, especially tomatoes and dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale and collard greens).
Limit high-fat dairy products (some advocate elimination of all dairy products, especially if lactose intolerant).
Increase intake of fresh fruits, especially berries, cherries and oranges.
Minimize saturated fats and trans fats (butter, margarines, shortening, and peanut oil).
Include small portions of almonds, walnuts, pistachios, flaxseed, and other nuts and seeds in your diet.
Minimize refined carbohydrate intake; sweets, pasta, white rice.
Choose whole grain products, brown rice, and bulgur wheat.
Cut back on high-fat meats (beef, veal, pork, lamb, duck, goose, sausages, hamburger, and hot dogs).
Eat fatty fish 2-3 times a week (salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, anchovies, rainbow trout, and Pacific oysters). If you don’t like fish, consider an omega-3 supplement.
Avoid fried foods and foods cooked at high temperatures (charbroiled, grilled, pan fried).
Drink more green tea, coffee and water.
Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages and soft drinks.
Choose healthy oils (extra virgin olive oil and flaxseed oil).
Limit processed foods—you know, the ones that don’t resemble anything found in nature.
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 pound 95 percent lean ground beef (or turkey)
1 package taco seasoning
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
2 heads romaine lettuce hearts, chopped
1 cup reduced-fat Mexican blend shredded cheese
1 – 15oz can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
1 red pepper, diced 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup fresh or bottled salsa 4 green onions, minced
1 cup crumbled baked corn tortilla chips (about 12 chips)
2 limes cut into 8 wedges
Heat 1 teaspoon oil and cook ground beef (or turkey) in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned, stirring to crumble.
Add taco seasoning and water following instructions on package. Remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine corn and red peppers and coat with 1 teaspoon oil and season with salt and pepper.
Assemble salad by dividing lettuce onto plates and topping with ground beef, salsa, cilantro, black beans, corn and red pepper mixture, cheese, and tortilla chips. Garnish with lime wedge. Makes 8 servings.
Nutrition Information (per Serving): 255 calories, 10g fat, 20g carbohydrates, 25 g protein, 557 mg sodium