8 great gluten-free whole grains

amaranth

Even if you aren’t avoiding gluten, these whole grains are a worthy addition to anyone’s pantry.

It’s little wonder that for many people, giving up gluten makes them feel better. Going gluten-free means no wheat flour, which means no basic refined flour, which means a drastic reduction in processed and nutritionally insipid foods – foods that can make people feel sluggish, bloated and crummy. The problem is that giving up gluten also leads to giving up grains in general, and doing so can have a negative impact on health.

“And any time you eliminate whole categories of food you’ve been used to eating, you run the risk of nutritional deficiencies,” Peter H.R. Green, M.D., director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University, tells WebMD. “Unless people are very careful, a gluten-free diet can lack vitamins, minerals, and fiber,” he adds.

The trick is to keep healthy whole grains in your diet, regardless if you are one of the several million Americans with Celiac disease (who have no choice but to stop eating gluten) or if you are one of the zillion others avoiding gluten for whatever reason. And even if you are a gluten-embracer, it’s always great to mix up the nutrients. With that in mind, the following whole grains all offer a nutritional boost, while also happening to be gluten-free.

1. Amaranth

amaranth

This “pseudo-grain” was a major food crop of the Aztecs and has a remarkable nutritional profile, boasting loads of calcium as well as high levels of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. Unique for grains, it contains Vitamin C – and it has a protein content of 13-14 percent, making it higher than most other grains.

Uses: Salads, baking, cereal, soups. And you can pop it like popcorn, too.

2. Buckwheat

Buckwheat granola
Bob’s Red Mill

Buckwheat has higher levels of zinc, copper, and manganese than most grains – it also provides a very high amount of protein. It is rich in lysine, and its amino acid score is 100, which is one of the highest amino…

Why Everything We Know About Salt May NOT Be Wrong

A recent New York Times column offered us this provocative headline: Why Everything We Know About Salt May Be Wrong. Presumably that means- it may be right, too. Hence, my counter-headline.

I think what we know mostly is right. Here’s what I think we know:

Too much salt is bad for us. That one is almost tautological, since if it weren’t bad for us, it wouldn’t be too much.

Most of us consume too much salt. Most of the salt we consume- roughly 80%- is processed into foods we didn’t prepare ourselves. Eat less of those processed foods- especially hyper-processed foods, processed meats, and fast food- and more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils, unsalted nuts and seeds – and you’ll be better off for many reasons both related and unrelated to salt. Prepare meals at home from wholesome ingredients when possible and you’ll be better off. Drink plain water preferentially when thirsty- and you’ll be better off again. That’s what I think we know, and I think it’s all correct. If you like to get your punch lines and move on, our work here is done.

For the rest of you:

What we seem not to know about salt is the ideal intake level, and in particular, variations in that level based on age, health status, and genetics, among other factors. But we have long known that sodium is an essential nutrient, that we all need some, and that it’s possible to consume too much or too little. Debate about where best to draw the dividing line, and in particular whether it should be drawn in different places for different populations, is more a matter of refinement than refutation, evolution rather than revolution. It’s how science is supposed to advance.

The source of the new provocation presented to us in the Times is two research papers recently published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, one involving mice, the other ten male cosmonauts in a simulated space environment. If that sounds like a somewhat dubious start to a dismissal of decades of research involving actual human beings, in much larger numbers, and subject to such pesky nuances as living in earth-like conditions, I’m inclined to agree. Mice and cosmonauts may teach us interesting new things about salt, but they are unlikely to reveal that everything learned to date is wrong.

Looking at the studies, they did no such thing. As acknowledged by the Times reporter, the papers are rather dense, enumerating a great many measures in recondite detail. For our purposes here, the gist will do.

The investigators found that both the ten healthy men in their simulated space station, and C57/BL6 mice are good at conserving levels of body water across a range of sodium intake. Complex hormonal fluctuations, some directly in response to diet and some part of underlying body rhythms, allowed for marked variation in the excretion of sodium (i.e., its removal in urine) without corresponding changes in urine volume. We have long known of the kidneys’ ability to concentrate or dilute urine over a wide but finite range, and these findings fit comfortably within that expanse of understanding.

Translating their own findings into succinct take-away messages, the researchers suggest that, in mice, “the kidneys, liver, and skeletal muscle form a physiological-regulatory network for extracellular volume control…” In plain English, the kidneys and other organs in the body work together, under the influence of various hormones,…

11 Seemingly Good-For-You Foods That Aren’t As Healthy As You Think

The concept of eating healthy is a simple one: eat lots whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and stay clear of sweets. But successfully making that happen these days ― when so much of our food is packaged ― is a lot trickier than you might expect. Many go-to health food options are actually not as good for you as they seem. Are you being fooled by some?

Chances are, there are one or two items in the list below that are derailing your healthy-eating efforts. Check out what they might be and steer clear.

This big bowl of granola is too much to eat in one sitting.

1. Granola: A serving size of granola is a lot smaller than you think. If you’re filling a cereal bowl of the stuff with milk, chances are you’re taking in a lot more sugar than you want. Granola is better eaten sprinkled on top of yogurt than used in place of cereal. If you don’t want to give up your beloved granola entirely, try making your own. Homemade is better than store-bought because you know what ingredients are being put into it. Try a couple of these recipes, and you’ll soon be converted.

2. Agave: Whether or not agave is healthy is up for debate. But at the end of the day, it’s still added sugar to your diet. And too much sugar in any form is not recommended.

3. Bran muffins: We know it sounds healthy. What could be so bad about a food with bran in it? Sadly, the truth is that a muffin is still a muffin no matter what ingredients have been added to it. And that means it’s basically a cupcake with no frosting on it ― in other words, its loaded with added sugar and fat. Plus, most bran muffins contain more wheat flour than actual…

More commissary savings, healthy choices in 2017

FORT LEE, Va. – As the calendar flips to 2017, commissary shoppers can easily resolve to save more and eat healthier by not only taking advantage of special in-store promotions and coupons, but also checking out the Defense Commissary Agency’s new Nutrition Guide Program.

“Your commissary is always here to help you eat healthier and also save even more on all your favorite name-brand products,” said Tracie Russ, DeCA’s director of sales. “Speaking of healthy, football parties can easily take a healthy twist: try tacos with ground turkey or white chicken chili that’s just as hearty and spicy as any recipe your mom passed along,” Russ said.

Shoppers can find these ideas on DeCA’s website, www.commissaries.com, along with the commissary sales flyer, which features discounted items and healthy recipe ideas.

Throughout January, DeCA’s industry partners – vendors, suppliers and brokers – are collaborating with commissaries to offer discounts beyond everyday savings. Overseas stores may have substituted events for certain promotional programs. Customers are asked to check their local commissary for details on dates and times for the following promotions:

  • Nutrition Guide Program. Kicking off DeCA-wide this month, the NGP highlights five key nutritional attributes: low sodium, no-added sugar, whole grain, low fat and great source of fiber, and whether the item is organic. The program’s catch phrase, “Dietitian Approved! We Did the Work for You!” aptly describes it. The color-coded shelf tags – some with “Thumbs Up” designations – make it easier for customers to choose products that are right for them and their families. For more information on the Nutrition Guide Program, visit https://commissaries.com/healthy-living/nutrition-guide.cfm.
  • “Changing the Game Together.” From Jan. 2-29, shoppers worldwide can buy $30 of participating P&G products and get $5 off of P&G products on their next shopping trip, when they use…

All spice Christmas cake with vanilla cashew cream

2016-12-16-1481846817-7548811-christmascake2.jpg

Cosy, colourful decor is just as important as bringing those sweet spices to life in a Christmas cake, and this enticing cake does both! It is soft, made half of almond flour and half of whole wheat or spelt flour, it has lots of sweet juicy cranberries, sultanas and prunes as well as blended satsumas, and it has an abundance of spices, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, clove and pepper. The luxuriously creamy topping is made of soaked and blended cashews, vanilla and coconut oil, garnished abundantly with pomegranates and pistachios. Rich, warm and pleasurably healthy!

Ingredients

For the cake
100g almonds, around ¾ cup
150g spelt or whole wheat flour
120g coconut oil
5 tablespoons honey or coconut sugar
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of clove
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons cranberries
2 tablespoons sultanas
handful 5 prunes, chopped
handful pistachios, roughly

To blend
2 satsumas
4 tablespoons almond milk

For the frosting
100g cashews
60g agave nectar
40g coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Do These 6 Things on Sunday to Lose Weight All Week Long

You know you should be eating right and exercising all week to reach your weight-loss goals, but when you’re so rushed between work and family responsibilities, it’s tough to have time to make it happen. A little planning goes a long way, so here are some things you can do on Sunday to ensure you stay on a healthy path all week long.

Plan Your Workouts

Don’t just think to yourself that you’ll squeeze in a run here and a trip to the gym there — plan it out. Sit down with your weekly calendar and jot down every workout just as you would doctor’s appointments and meetings. Use this time to call your fitness buddy or trainer to make dates, check out studio schedules to find classes you want to take, and check the week’s weather to figure out which days will be best for outdoor workouts.

Hit the Hamper

Nothing puts a damper on a workout more than not being able to find a clean sports bra, so do a couple loads before Monday, making sure you have everything you need, from your running tights to yoga tops to the towel you use to wipe sweat from your brow. Lay out your outfits for each day’s workout so you’re not running around the house Tuesday morning trying to find your missing sock.

Gather Your Gear

Collect whatever you need to work out — a yoga mat, sneakers, or earbuds — and make sure everything is set so you can easily grab the items throughout the week. Pack your gym bag, and put it by the door or in your car so…

These Are the Healthiest Breads You Can Buy

There’s no need to banish bread from your diet, as long as you stick with our dietitian-approved slices and bread-buying guidelines. When buying bread, look well beyond the “7-grain,” “sprouted,” or “multi-grain” claims. Many loaves sound healthy but are not much more than enriched white flour. You need to read the labels!

Look for breads that are made of whole grains and provide:

  • No more than 110 calories per serving
  • At least 2 grams fiber
  • No more than 4 grams (1 tsp.) sugar
  • 3 or more grams of protein
  • Zero grams of saturated fat

Healthiest Breads

Here are five breads that meet this criteria. Look for them on the shelves of your local grocery store.

Dave’s Killer Bread Thin-Sliced 21 Whole Grains and Seeds*#
With lots…

The Diet That Could Make You Smarter

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter MONDAY, May 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Adding more olive oil or nuts to a Mediterranean diet — one rich in fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains and low in red meat — may help keep your mind sharper as you age, a new study suggests. The Spanish researchers found that seniors following such diets had greater improvements in thinking and memory than people who were simply advised to eat a lower-fat diet. “You can delay the onset of age-related mental decline with a healthy diet rich in foods with a high antioxidant power, such as virgin olive oil and nuts,” said lead researcher Dr. Emilio Ros, director of the lipid clinic at the Hospital Clinic in Barcelona. “Because the average age of participants was 67 when the trial began, one can say that it is never too late to change your diet to maintain or even improve brain function,” he said. The report was published online May 11 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. Dr. Sam Gandy, director of the Center for Cognitive Health at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, said, “The general heart-healthy and brain-healthy effects of eating less beef and more chicken, fish, fruits and vegetables has been validated to the point that I now recommend this general Mediterranean diet to all my patients.” Both olive oil and nuts have been associated with mental benefit in other studies, he added. “So, these findings are not so much a surprise as a reminder that there is more to the Mediterranean diet than meat, fruits and vegetables, and that calling out specific recommendations to include olive oil…

LIVE WELL: Helpful holiday tips

It can be challenging to host a festive holiday party without throwing everything you know about health and nutrition out the window. The more decadent the food, the more everyone will enjoy themselves – right? Well, the truth is, that a menu filled with rich, fried and sugary treats can lead to indigestion and other discomforts. Thankfully, it is possible to plan a delicious menu filled with nutrient-rich, locally produced, organic ingredients that will leave you and your guests feeling like a million bucks.

Follow the tips below for a happier and healthier holiday bash!

Tip Number 1: Boost your antioxidants

As much fun as the holiday season can be, the reality is that it leaves most of us feeling stressed out.

Minimize harmful free-radicals caused by stress with antioxidant-rich superfoods like cranberries, pomegranates, oranges, bell peppers, kale, and yes, even organic dark chocolate. Because each color contains different antioxidants, be sure to use a rainbow of colors in your cooking and baking.

Tip Number 2: Stay hydrated with water-inspired beverages

It’s easy to over-indulge on both food and libations this time of year. To help flush out excess sodium, sugar and the toxins, keep pitchers of filtered water available for you and your guests. Try this recipe for Filtered Water Infused with Organic Citrus Fruit Slices:

• Fill a water pitcher with filtered water.

• Add 1 sliced orange, 1 sliced lime, 1 sliced lemon and a handful of fresh mint.

• Refrigerate for 2 hours to allow flavors to infuse before serving.

Tip Number 3: Sub in all-natural sweeteners

Show off your baking skills and impress…

With creativity you can ‘eat clean’ for the holidays

Health officials say people should eat less sugar, but that may be easier said than done. Sugar can be hidden in lots of common packaged foods. Take for example, salad dressing. The amount of sugar in them though, can vary. Wish-Bone’s Deluxe French

Eating clean is all the buzz these days and surprisingly it’s not a diet – it’s a lifestyle, which means there is no deprivation or calorie counting.

Classic holiday foods can be a recipe for disaster when you’re trying to eat clean or have food intolerances and sensitivities. Everywhere you turn, you see pesticide-stuffed turkeys and hams; gluten-filled stuffing; refined sugar-laden cakes, cookies, pies and soy-laced canned gravy.

But with a little creativity, you can tweak your traditional holiday menu into a clean-eating and anti-inflammatory spread. There’s no need to give up eating clean just because it’s the holidays – there are plenty of healthy foods that are perfect for your holiday table.

I’ve compiled a few tips and strategies for you so you can navigate your way through the new year healthy and vibrant instead of stuffed, lethargic and foggy-brained.

What is clean eating?

Hunger and appetite together drive you to eat. When you feel that pang of hunger, you know what you need to do.

But eating is about more than just quieting your appetite. You do not subsist on calories alone – you need a spectrum of nutrients and vitamins to feed your body.

Foods have so much more to them than calories, and yet many people think caloric intake is the bottom line. Au contraire! The number of calories a food has is merely information, and as with any other kind of information, less isn’t necessarily better, just as more isn’t necessarily bad.

A 100-calorie snack pack is in no way equal to 100 calories of walnuts. The calorie pack is highly inflammatory, full of too many ingredients you cannot pronounce, and the walnut is an anti-inflammatory whole food.

Counting calories is the last thing you should worry about when you’re trying to eat clean. A handful of walnuts may be calorically dense, but there’s a lot of nutrients packed in there.

Another clean eating tip is to steer clear of fat-free and low-fat foods, which are highly processed.

What many people don’t realize is that when food manufacturers remove fat, they add other inflammatory ingredients such as refined sugar and salt.

The goal is to choose foods based on how they nourish your body, rather than by how many calories you believe they will glue to your waistline. When you’re eating clean, believe it or not, those calories don’t add up to love handles.

Why choose organic for the holidays?

The point of eating organic is not to reap more nutrients, it’s to avoid toxins like pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics and herbicides found in conventional foods.

Every time we pick up a fork, we choose whether we put chemicals in our bodies or not.

Your food makes the biggest difference: You can live a healthy life, but if you continue to eat conventional foods and expose yourself to hidden chemicals, you’ll probably end up with symptoms from toxicity (like I did) at some point.

When I realized biting into a juicy conventional apple that had been sprayed with toxic pesticides and herbicides was like eating something with one of those warning labels you find on chemicals underneath the sink, I started eating organic.

This holiday season, look for the green and white USDA symbol on products to ensure it’s certified organic.

Here’s a handy clean eating guide you can use to navigate your way through the food store this holiday season.

Start making your menu a few weeks before the holidays, and check off the below ingredients to ensure your recipes are full of clean, whole foods.

Holiday clean list (anti-inflammatory foods)

  • Organic/grass-fed animal products (turkey, chicken, lamb)
  • Gluten-free whole grain bread (preferably made from almond flour or whole grains)
  • Whole grains: brown rice, wild rice, black rice, millet, amaranth, quinoa and sorghum
  • Beans and legumes
  • Whole grain/nut flours: whole grain flours, almond flour, coconut flour, etc.
  • Full-fat coconut milk or almond milk
  • Honey or pure maple syrup
  • Organic leafy greens (kale, Swiss chard, spinach, collard greens, arugula)
  • Detoxifying veggies (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage)
  • Make your own breadcrumbs: place walnuts, almonds and sea salt in your food processor and whirl it around until they form a very fine crumb consistency. Use these in place of starchy breadcrumbs.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Raw walnuts
  • Raw almonds
  • Sea Salt

Holiday not-so clean list (inflammatory foods)

  • Conventional/non-organic animal products (dairy, eggs, turkey, chicken, red meat)
  • White bread
  • Refined grains: white rice
  • All-purpose white flour
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Refined sugar (white sugar, brown sugar)
  • Sugar substitutes (artificial sweeteners)
  • Low-fat/Fat-free dairy and/or butter substitutes
  • Canola oil (and any other refined vegetable oils)
  • Salted peanuts and candied nuts
  • Refined table salt
  • Soy (including soy milk, cheese, etc.)

Whether you’re looking for recipes for your healthy transition into the New Year, a festive holiday party, or as starters for your dinner party, you’ll please your guests with these clean recipes.

Amie Valpone is a celebrity chef, culinary nutritionist and motivational speaker specializing in clean eating recipes free of gluten, dairy, soy and refined sugar. She is the author of the best-selling book “Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body” and the founder of TheHealthyApple.com. Visit her on social media @TheHealthyApple.

These recipes are from my cookbook and are naturally free of gluten, dairy, corn, eggs, refined sugar and other inflammatory foods: Excerpt from “Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body” by Amie Valpone. Copyright © 2016 by Amie Valpone. Photography © 2016 by Lauren Volo. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

MAGNIFICENT MAPLE SQUASH TARTINES WITH CARAMELIZED RED ONIONS

Ever since I was a young girl, I’ve loved caramelized onions. Once I found out restaurants use pro-inflammatory canola oil, refined sugar and other yucky ingredients to make them,…

Nutritionists Reveal Exactly What to Eat For Breakfast to Drop Pounds

Did you know you can use the first meal of the day as a tool to lose weight? Want to know how? We’ve enlisted the expertise of two nutritionists — Stephanie Clarke, RD, and Willow Jarosh, RD, of C&J Nutrition — to share the perfect equation for how to make a scrumptious and satisfying breakfast that will help you lose weight. Follow their advice below to start seeing results.

Calories

Aim for a range between 300 and 400 calories. If you’re trying to lose weight, stick with the 300 to 350 range, and if you’re trying to maintain weight, especially if you’re working out, shoot closer to 350 to 400 calories.

Carbs

About 45 to 55 percent of your breakfast calories should be devoted to carbs, which is about 40 to 55 grams of carbs. Skip sugary and overly processed foods or those made with enriched white flour, and choose whole grains, fruits, and veggies.

Protein

About 15 to 20 percent of your breakfast calorie amount should be protein, which works out to about 13 to 20 grams. Getting enough protein at breakfast is important for keeping you satisfied throughout the morning. And studies have shown that getting at least 20 grams of protein at breakfast may help you lose weight as well. Eggs, dairy products, soy milk, protein powder in smoothies, nuts and seeds, and whole grains are great sources of protein.

Fats

Shoot for about 10 to 15 grams, which is about 30 to 35 percent of your total breakfast calories. Instead of saturated fats like bacon and cheese, go for monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) like olive oil, nuts and seeds and the butters made from them, and avocado.

Fiber

Aim for about 25 percent of your recommended daily total of 25 grams per day. That works out to about six grams, but it’s OK to go above that, as long as it doesn’t bother your digestive system. Berries, pears, apples, greens and other veggies, nuts, seeds, and whole grains can help you reach that goal.

Sugars

If you follow the equation for carbs above, then you won’t have to worry about going overboard on sugars, especially if you’re eating a combination of foods like fruits, whole grains, and dairy products. But for a ballpark number to keep in mind, stick to 36 grams or fewer. And when it comes to added sugar, try not to exceed six grams — that’s about 1.5 teaspoons’ worth of any sweetener (white sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, or agave).

Timing

Ideally you should eat breakfast within 30 to 60 minutes of waking…

8 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Workout and You Don’t Even Know It

Sometimes it can be tempting to reward yourself with a doughnut or another treat after a workout — after all, you deserve it, right? Well, not if you want to keep pushing your progress forward, says Chris Kelly, a CrossFit level-1 trainer and certified personal trainer in New York City. Although it may feel like just making it to the gym is half the battle, the real challenge comes during the time that you’re not sweating it out. So don’t take all of your hard work and pour it down the drain by committing one of these fitness crimes.

1. You Don’t Fuel Properly Before Working Out

Unfortunately, cramming an entire pizza in your mouth isn’t the nutrition your body needs. But don’t even think about working out on an empty stomach! Your muscles can’t perform at optimized levels if you’re not giving them anything to work with. “It’s like going on a cross country road trip on a quarter tank of gas,” Chris said. Since your body uses carbohydrates for energy, it would be smart to choose healthy carbs paired with protein (like oatmeal with Greek yogurt or whole wheat toast with peanut butter) about 90 minutes before throwing on your Nikes.

2. You Don’t Warm Up Your Muscles

The goal of a warmup is to increase blood flow to the muscle groups that you’re going to use during your workout. This will give you have a better range of motion, so if you jump into it cold, you risk pulling a muscle or not getting as many benefits from your workout as you could be. “Think five to 10 minutes of dynamic movements or dynamic stretching,” Chris said, suggesting arm circles and straight leg kicks. Don’t forget to cool down for five minutes as well. Holding a stretch or position for 45 seconds to one minute at a time will decrease lactic acid buildup — which can cause muscle fatigue and failure.

3. You Don’t Map Out a Plan

“In terms of effectiveness, having a plan and finding a reliable source is going to make it easier to know you’re doing the exercises most beneficial to you,” Chris said. Smart gym-goers know what it’s like to get pumped for a workout only to find that someone is…