Tag Archives: glycemic index

Cabbage and Beef Bake

I like casseroles. I’ll admit it. They are easy to make, usually have all our protein and veggies in one dish and we usually have leftovers. You can’t beat it!

About 2 years ago my friend, Stacy sent me this recipe which was one that her grandmother used to make. As she said, “it’s an oldie but a goodie!” I made it the original* way several times until we realized that Dr. Court’s digestive system can’t handle spicy food. At first, I was really disappointed because this is one of my favorites but then I started playing around with it. I have made it so many ways based on what we had in the freezer and pantry. I’ve made it with turkey burger, added shallots, used tomato sauce instead of tomato paste but the following version is what we have decided we like best. You’ll notice that this recipe contains rice. While we don’t normally eat much rice or grain we do have some once in a while.

Cabbage and Beef Bake

1 lb of ground beef (organic, grass-fed if possible**)

1 medium onion, diced

4 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced

4-5 cups of shredded cabbage

1 can tomato paste

1 can of diced tomatoes

1/2 – 1 can water

3 Tbsp of wild rice

1 pkg of frozen spinach or fresh spinach chopped

1 tsp of garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large skillet brown the burger with onions and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

While the meat is browning use a food processor or a knife to chop up 4-5 cups of cabbage (about 1/2 of a large head of cabbage). Place the cabbage in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish and lightly salt and pepper the cabbage.

Once the burger is done add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water, garlic powder, rice and spinach and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes.

Spoon the beef mixture over the cabbage. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour. Enjoy!

*Original Recipe:
Preheat oven to 325.  Brown 1 lb ground chuck, 1 chopped onion in 1 Tbsp. oil.  When browned, add in 1 can tomato soup, 1 soup can of water, 1 can drained rotel tomatoes, 4 Tbsp uncooked long grain rice, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a lightly greased casserole dish, place 4-5 cups of shredded cabbage and then spoon beef mixture over cabbage. Cover tightly with foil and bake x 1 hour.

** There are a number of CSA’s available locally which allow you to buy beef in bulk making it more affordable. For more information please contact the office. To find a farm near you check out: westonaprice.org.

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Fresh Veggie and Herb Scramble

Fresh Veggie and Herb ScrambleOne of the things we hear most often in the office is,”What can I eat for breakfast?” To which we usually reply, “Why eggs, of course.” For more information eggs check out this post: The Myth of Eggs and Cholesterol.

Once a patient starts eating eggs the next question asked is, “How can you eat eggs EVERY day?” They say they get so sick of them. And I agree when I eat a couple of plain scrambled eggs or fried eggs. But since I started making these eggs I actually wake up excited to eat breakfast. I’d eat them for every meal if I could. I LOVE them! They have so much flavor and so much variety that I’m never tired of them.

We also often hear that people don’t have time to make a good breakfast in the morning. If that applies to you, I urge you to make a large egg casserole using the same ingredients found in the Veggie and Herb Scramble. We do this as well and it makes getting a nutritious and satisfying breakfast very easy.

 

Fresh Veggie and Herb Scramble

Chopped VeggiesOnions (red, white, green)

Mushrooms (any variety)

Cherry Tomatoes (or any variety)

Sun-dried Tomatoes

Spinach (or Kale, Broccoli, Asparagus etc.)

Fresh BasilFresh Basil (or Rosemary, Thyme, Parsley, Cilantro, whatever I have on hand)

Feta Cheese (or Parmesan, Cheddar, Swiss, Goat,  Mozzarella, Gouda…you get the idea)

Eggs

SpicesButter

Salt and Pepper

Garlic Powder

Red Pepper Flakes (optional)

 

Heat up a little butter in a small saute pan.

Veggies in PanAdd the veggies and fresh herbs to the pan….I know it looks like a lot of veggies but it will cook down! (It’s approximately 2 cups of chopped veggies.)

Add salt and pepper to taste along with some red pepper flakes and a dusting of garlic powder.

Saute until veggies have softened.

Crack eggs into the pan and mix with veggies. (Generally, Dr. Court has 3 eggs and I use 2 but it depends on your nutritional needs.)

Cook eggs through then add approximately a 1/4 c. of cheese.

Once the cheese is melted, transfer to a plate and ENJOY!

Serves 1. You can make a larger batch for your whole family.

 

I have given you the  Go-To list of veggies I use almost every day, however I try to switch it up through out the week. The thing that makes these so good is that you can use whatever you have available. We have used leftover roasted veggies (even roasted root veggies like sweet potato, turnip and beets), sauteed veggies with chicken or beef, leftover Sun-dried Tomato, Olive and Artichoke topping (one of my personal favorites, however link doesn’t tell you to add 1 can drained artichoke hearts but the recipe in her book does), leftover black beans from a Mexican restaurant…you name it.

Give it a try and let me know your favorite combination!

 

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High Fructose Corn Syrup – The Facts

High fructose corn syrup has virtually replaced table sugar as a sweetener in the food industry.  It’s cheaper, sweeter and more readily available than table sugar but is it worse for our health? Find out in our latest video blog!

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Safe and Natural ways to Prevent Heart Disease

Yesterday we brought you a blog on which cholesterol tests you should add to the standard lipid panel.  Today we tell you what to do about them.  The best part?  The solutions are natural, safe and effective.  Enjoy!

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3 Steps to Avoid The Weight Loss Plateau

We’ve all heard about it, right?  Many people have experienced it and the frustrations that go with it.  When you’re trying to lose weight there’s nothing more aggravating than not actually losing weight.  The scenario can go one of two ways:

  1. The first is probably the most common scenario that most of you are thinking about.  A person begins a diet and exercise program and begins to lose weight.  As they progress the weight loss slows and eventually stops even though they aren’t at their goal weight.  I see it routinely in my practice.
  2. The second scenario is still common but people often do not think of it as a weight loss plateau.  In this situation a person begins a diet and exercise program but does not lose any weight at all.  While this may not be your traditional plateau of weight loss, it is still a plateau of sorts.

There are many reasons a person my actually stop losing weight, but if you follow the steps below it will help you avoid this pesky problem and keep you on your path to a leaner, healthier body.

Eat More!

Yes, eat more.  Many times people begin to experience a plateau because they’ve gone months without actually eating enough.  At first, this caloric deficit causes the body to burn extra energy (fat) resulting in weight loss.  Over time, however, the body’s metabolism slows down to meet the amount of energy one is consuming.  We must remember that the human body is designed as a survival machine.  If it believes it is not getting enough food, it will slow down the metabolism to meet the energy supply coming in.  When this happens, weight loss stops.

For the person that begins a diet program but simply cannot lose a single pound, eating more might be essential.  If someone is having trouble losing any weight, it may be because they have been under eating for many years and their metabolism has slowed to a crawl. Trying to lose weight by cutting calories will only compound the problem.  Focus on eating healthy proteins, fruits and vegetables and DO NOT SKIP MEALS.  Eat every three hours and your calories will go up and weight loss will resume/begin.

Change Up Your Exercise

Our bodies get used to things.  Thank goodness they do or even simple tasks like walking might prove very difficult!  But this also means that our bodies get used to our exercise routines and become very efficient at them.  The benefit you received initially from your workout program is no longer as high.  It’s the classic story of diminishing returns.  As you continue to do the same exercise routine, your body finds a way to use less and less energy to do it. This means you get less and less benefit.

An ideal exercise program includes resistance training (i.e. weights) and cardiovascular work.  There are ways to incorporate both very easily, but it must be changed on a monthly basis.  The change is essential for continuing to make progress.

Be Consistent

Didn’t I just tell you to change? Yes, I did.  But you must also be consistent with several things.  Your diet must be consistent.  You must consistently change your workout program and you must remember that weight loss is most permanent when it is done over a long period of time.  If you’re overweight, you did not get there in 6 weeks.  Similarly, you’re likely not going to reach your goals in 6 weeks.

Consistency in the early stages of a diet are perhaps even more vital.  There is little room for error early in a diet plan.  This does not mean you have to be perfect. No one is perfect.  You should try and be as consistent as possible, however.  In the first phase of a new lifestyle your metabolism is resistant to change.  It likes the old way of doing things.  It may take weeks (or months!) for it to adapt to the new demands you are placing on it.  Frequent indiscretions in diet or lack of exercise will prolong the process of shifting your metabolism.  And guess what you’re going to do as soon as your metabolism adapts?  Change your exercise program!!

The process is actually very simple, but because there’s a lot of misinformation out there regarding diet and exercise many people tend to get confused, frustrated and eventually give up. If you can remember the above steps and keep them in your head at all times, weight loss should be a relatively easy process.

 

 

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The Choice is Your’s

Finally, we’re back with another blog! After a busy July and almost a month without a computer with some major hard drive issues, I am happy to be back writing about health and happiness!

I recently read an article written by Dr. Dean Ornish.  He is an integrative medical doctor that preaches lifestyle changes to solve some of health care’s biggest issues.  Although he and I disagree on the correct diet, we whole-heartedly agree that our medical system can be fixed with a new approach to how we live our lives.

I’d like to highlight one thing that he mentioned regarding heart disease and coronary angioplasty and coronary bypass procedures.  The procedures are performed when patients have blockages in the coronary artery system. This system is what provides blood and oxygen to the heart muscle itself.  Obviously, this is an important job!

In his article Dr. Ornish states that “In 2006, according to the American Heart Association, 1.3 million coronary angioplasty procedures were performed at an average cost of $48,399 each, or more than $60 billion; and 448,000 coronary bypass operations were performed at a cost of $99,743 each, or more than $44 billion.”

He goes on to say that in the vast majority of cases the above listed procedures do not prolong life. Yes, that’s right.  You read that correctly.  These procedures cost Americans over $100 billion per year and are very risky to say the least yet their benefit is suspect.  That doesn’t make sense does it?

Most of these procedures could be avoided if people would change their lifestyle and adopt one that incorporated a healthy diet and exercise.

Make no mistake about it – in the vast majority of cases angioplasty and bypass surgery are choices.  You may choose to experience the joy of these surgeries by eating a poor diet, not exercising and smoking.  Should you make that choice just know that the likelihood that you may need one of these two surgeries one day is high.

Or you may make the choice to live a healthy lifestyle by eating a low glycemic diet, exercising and staying away from cigarettes.  This lifestyle has side effects so beware! Side effects include abundant energy, lower rates of depression, lower rates of cancer and an overall vitality not achieved by most!

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‘What’ you eat is more important than ‘How Much.’

The Hat in Rancho Cucamonga California

Image via Wikipedia

Finally a large-scale study has concluded what I have been telling patients for years! What you eat is more important than how much of it you eat.  A calorie is not a calorie!

If you ask many classically trained dietitians about maintaining a healthy weight they will regurgitate the same old rhetoric they always have – “as long as you don’t eat more calories than you expend you won’t gain weight,” and “there are no bad foods, just bad amounts of food.”

The above statements have never made sense to me.  I remember taking ‘advanced biology’ in high school.  (There was nothing really ‘advanced’ about it. It was just the second of two courses, the first being ‘basic’ biology.)  In this class I remember learning about physiology and how the body responded differently to different types of food.  Some foods caused the release of insulin while others caused little or no release of this hormone.  The job of this hormone? It basically tells the body to store fat.  From that information I concluded that what you ate had to make a difference in your weight.

As I progressed through my eduction in college (as a biology major) and then on to chiropractic school where I truly received advanced training, my view did not change – the quality of food that I ate had to make a difference on maintaining my weight.  It could not possibly be as simple as calorie-in/calorie-out.

Yet when you read information online or from other mainstream media outlets you will hear just the opposite. “Eat whatever you want, just be sure it’s in moderation.” Or “It doesn’t matter what kind of food you eat as long as it’s low calorie.”

A new study of just over 120,000 people finally has come up with a conclusion that makes more sense.  Hopefully the American Dietetic Association will take notice.  Individually there are some very good dietitians out there, but the American Dietetic Association is making people sicker and sicker with their stance on many aspects of health in my opinion.

The researchers analyzed data on three separate studies over a 20-year period, tracking the long-term effects of different foods and lifestyle changes on more than 120,000 men and women. Adults in the study gained an average of 3.35 pounds every four years, for a total average weight gain of almost 17 pounds.

Regular consumption of potato chips, French fries and sugared beverages were most to blame for slow and steady weight gain. However, people who ate yogurt, fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains either lost weight or gained the least.

Now, I will be the first person to tell you that weight is not the be-all, end-all of health markers.  It’s a good one, but there are plenty of thin people in this world who are very unhealthy.  Also, I generally do not recommend grains be a big part of anyone’s diet.  In small amounts they are ok, but they contribute to inflammation which can be problematic for many reasons.

The other foods in this study – yogurt, fruits, vegetables and nuts – are free foods! Eat them as much as you want.  I routinely encourage people to eat these foods as much as possible.

Interestingly, nuts are a high calorie food yet they performed very well in helping people lose or maintain their weight.  If it truly was about calorie-in/calorie-out then nuts should have performed poorly.  It just goes to show you it isn’t about the calories that we’re putting in, it’s about the quality of those calories.

As much as I’d like to say it’s only about the quality of our food that matters, I cannot.  The amount matters to a certain extent.  If you are regularly consuming 7,000 calories per day you will gain weight.  That type of excess cannot be combated with ‘good’ foods.  However, to get that kind of extra calorie one would have to consume huge amounts of the ‘bad’ foods like fast food, doughnuts, etc.  Those clearly are not quality foods in the first place.

Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian of the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital is the author of the study that appears in the New England Journal of Medicine.  He says the calorie-in/calorie-out theory is incorrect “because different foods have a different effect on the body. ‘You can’t just say a calorie is a calorie. It doesn’t address your feelings of fullness, your blood glucose levels, your blood insulin levels and the other biological responses in your body.”

I could not agree more and this has been my point to other ‘experts’ on nutrition when we debate the calorie-in/calorie-out theory.

Let me pose this scenario to you –

Two people are going to embark on an experiment.  They are going to eat identical calorie diets for the next year.  One person is going to eat 2,000 calories per day in potato chips and the other is going to eat 2,000 calories per day in chicken and vegetables.  Who will be healthier and have the most optimal weight at the end of our experiment?  Intuitively we would say the person eating the chicken and vegetables would be and I believe this is correct.

There have been many short-term studies that have concluded healthy diets only need to focus on calorie content.  The quality of the food was not important for maintaining weight.  Finally a study has looked long-term and concluded that the quality of your food is important. Make sure your choices are good choices.  If you focus on the quality of your food you will maintain your weight more effectively than counting those calories.

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