Monthly Archives: March 2012

Vitamin D – From Young to Old

More research on vitamin D comes out each week.  Below Dr. Court discusses some of the most recent and amazing research behind this wonderful vitamin.

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Burgers and Grilled Portabella Mushrooms

Every Sunday we try to prepare a bunch of food to ensure that we always have good, healthy options available during the week. We have found that this is a great way to stay on track. It keeps us from eating something that’s not very good for us or skipping meals. One of our favorite things to eat when the weather is nice is burgers. We tend to make a whole bunch of them on the grill because they make great lunches, dinners, snacks…you name it. But, we don’t make plain burgers. I try to load them up with as much stuff as possible and I’ve found that loading them up makes them really good! Now, you might be thinking, “Burgers? But I thought you didn’t eat bread?” We don’t eat bread. We don’t use a bun. Oh, we have all the toppings like pickles, tomato, onion, avocado, ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise but, no bun. I do it so much I forget that most burgers come with buns and usually have to ask the waitress for no bun when I order them in restaurants. Yup, I’m that girl! I love burgers but don’t love the way buns make me feel.

Here’s the thing with my burgers, they are never the same but I think that’s why we love them so much. Let me know what you think. There are tons of varieties to make. Sometimes we add chopped portabella mushrooms, shredded zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes, feta or blue cheese to name a few.

 

Spinach, Red Onion, Garlic Burgers

2 lbs ground beef (preferably grass-fed, organic)

¼ of a large red onion, finely chopped

1 package of chopped frozen spinach, defrosted (I usually recommend only fresh veggies but this works great for the burgers)

4 cloves garlic, finely minced (or as much as you like)

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

Mix with your hands.

Make patties. (2 lbs will make ~8 hearty burgers)

Once the patties are made and lying on a platter, sprinkle them with a bit more salt and pepper.

Grill to your preferred level of doneness. (We like ours medium.)

Enjoy!!

Serve with grilled portabella mushroom caps and a green veggie.

 

Grilled Portabella Mushroom Caps

4 large Portabella Mushroom caps

2-4 Garlic cloves, finely diced

Butter

Salt and Pepper

 

Place the mushroom caps on a platter.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Add equal servings of garlic to each cap.

Place ~2 tsps of butter divided 3 ways in each cap.

Place on the grill until the mushroom caps are tender.

If you place your burger on top of the mushroom and load it up with toppings you’ll also forget that you used to eat buns with your burgers!

 

For more information on why we don’t eat buns check out these posts:

The New Food Guide Pyramid

Why Eat a Paleolithic Diet?

What’s all the hype over wheat and milk allergies anyway?

For more information about salt check out this post:

Big Bad Salt- take that with a grain of salt…

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Food Affects Your Mood!

The quality of the food you consume has a significant impact on how you think and feel.  Remember to eat as healthy as possible to feel wonderfully happy and energetic!

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Smoked Cauliflower and Beef Casserole

cauliflower-

Cauliflower (Photo credit: Island Vittles)

Hi All,

I have some making up to do. Due to a super busy week last week, I wasn’t able to post a recipe so this week I’ll do two.

My sister-in-law sent me this recipe which she copied from one of my mom’s low-carb cookbooks. My bacon-obsessed brother was quoted as saying, “I’m in love with this,” and “it makes me think I’m eating bacon”. That’s not a bad place to start. I made it as the recipe directed the first time. We really liked it but then I thought I could make it even better. Here’s the recipe…I suggest you double it because you’re going to wish you had more if you don’t.

Smoky Cauliflower & Beef Casserole

1 medium head cauliflower

½ large white onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, diced

1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese, softened

1lb ground beef (preferably grass-fed, organic)

4 oz smoked Gruyère, Swiss or any other smoked cheese, shredded

1 tsp garlic powder

Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 350.

Cut up cauliflower & steam until tender. Coarsely mash the cauliflower.

Brown the ground beef with the onion and garlic.

Add the cream cheese and cauliflower to the beef mixture and stir until creamy. Add garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste.

Spread half the cauliflower mixture in a 2 qt casserole dish.  Top with half of the shredded cheese.  Add remaining cauliflower & top with remaining cheese.

Bake until bubbly (about 30 min).

I usually serve another vegetable as a side preferably a green veggie like asparagus or broccoli.

Let me know what you think. Give it a try and leave a review. If you have a variation, share it with all of us. I know I’m always looking for a new recipe.

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One Soda Per Day Causes Heart Disease

In a recent study, it was shown that just one soda per day significantly increases to risk of heart disease!

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Thai Inspired Tuna Salad

Hello from Dr. Carrie!

We are introducing a new category on the Vreeland Clinic’s Blog….Recipes. I love food and as the person in our household who does the grocery shopping and cooking I want to make meals that both taste good and are healthy. Now, if you are a regular reader you know that for us “healthy” means eating protein, lots of vegetables and low glycemic fruit, good fats, and keeping the processed food and grain based carbohydrates to a minimum. Often, I find a recipe that calls for a grain or sugar which I omit or substitute something else. You’ll find those recipes with my edits in this section.

Additionally, one of the biggest obstacles for someone who is starting a program with us and changing their diet is figuring out what to cook. For those accustomed to a Standard American Diet it can be a little overwhelming and my hope is that this section of the blog will be a great resource for them. I also hope that it is a resource for those who’ve been on the program for years. I know I always love trying new things!

Here’s our first recipe:

I had a brainstorm the other day standing in line at the deli counter of one of our local grocery stores. The store had prepared Thai Tuna Burgers. They looked delicious and most of the ingredients were in line with our eating plan but they of course contained bread crumbs or something to bind them together. I realized I could use those flavors in our tuna salad. We eat a lot of tuna salad as it’s a great protein source and has anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Here is my creation. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. I know we’ll be adding it to the tuna salad rotation.

 

Thai Tuna Salad

3 cans of tuna, drained

¼ of a red onion, diced

¼ c. cashews, chopped (I used roasted because it’s what I had on hand)

½ c. fresh cilantro, finely chopped

2 hard-boiled eggs, diced

½ of a lime

~1 c. of mayo (use less if you like your tuna salad drier and more if you don’t)

Combine tuna, onion, cashews, cilantro and hard-boiled eggs in a bowel. Squeeze the lime over the mixture. Add mayo and mix. Enjoy with some raw veggies or over a bed of mixed greens!

Feel free to add some red pepper flakes to spice it up a little.

Do you have a favorite tuna salad recipe? If so, feel free to share it with us!

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New Warning on Statins and Safe Alternatives

The FDA has come out with new warnings on statin medications.  The more we learn about these drugs, the clearer it becomes they are far over prescribed as the risk outweighs the benefit in many people who are taking them.

Read the transcript:

Hi everybody, this is Dr. Court bringing you another 90 Seconds of Knowledge. Today we’re going to talk about statin medications. This is the most popular class of drugs in the US and people use it to lower their cholesterol levels. And, potentially, although the evidence is not very good, reduce the evidence or the occurrence of heart disease.

Yesterday the FDA’s come out without new warnings. Number one, statins can potentially cause memory loss, confusion and other cognitive deficits. This may take a few weeks or a few years to manifest, and I’ve actually seen this in my patients. We get them off the statins and they do very well. Their cognitive abilities come right back so, it is apparently reversible.

The other warning is it does increase the risk of diabetes. It increases the risk of diabetes pretty significantly. It actually increases it by 27%. That’s a problem because diabetes significantly increases the risk of heart disease, the very thing that statins are supposed to protect us against.

It also increases HA1C or hemoglobin A1C. So, what that means is it prevents you from controlling your blood sugar very well, which is a big problem.

So, if we can’t use statins, what do we do?  Well, first diet and exercise. Those are the biggies. That’s really where we should focus. But if we do need some additional assistance there are some natural substances that work very well. Red yeast rice is one that is a natural statin. It is not without side effect. It is very much lower in side effect anyway, but you should always take CoQ10 when you’re taking any kind of statin whether synthetic or natural like red yeast rice.

There is niacin. Niacin works very, very well. Good old B3. It works exceptionally well. It lowers LDL’s. It lowers total cholesterol. What we want to focus on is the LDL.  And it also lowers lipoprotein A, a very dangerous, particular kind of cholesterol.

There are plant sterols. Plant sterols act by binding up the cholesterol that we eat and preventing us from absorbing it. There are medications that do that but the plant sterols are something that you can buy over the counter.

And then, of course, good old fish oil. We can’t talk about it enough. Fish oil has so much benefit. It reduces cardiovascular disease mortality better than anything. And, it reduces sudden cardiac death by 90%. It’s very, very effective. So, if you do one thing, take some fish oil.  Those are your options. The statins are still out there and they do have side effects but some of the natural options tend to have a lower side effect profile.

If you have any questions, let us know. We’ll be happy to answer them.

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