Enjoy These Ginger Carrot Protein Bites Anywhere

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Without a doubt, vegetables boost the nutrient density of any meal or snack they are invited to.

They are perfect in salads and mandatory as side-dishes and are the perfect finger food snack item adding texture, taste, color and flavor wherever or however they appear.

They can be sweet or tangy, soft or crunchy, dressed up or plain, mixed with sauces or shining on their own and nature seems to have provided us with an endless variety to choose from.

But their beauty and benefits don’t stop in the savory department. These colorful, sometimes exotic foods are broad in spectrum and serve us equally well when included in desserts and treats. [Read more…]

Symptoms and Signs of Gluten Intolerance

gluten2There’s one food that is at the heart of many different problems today when it comes to health as well as body weight, that food is gluten.

Gluten is coming into greater awareness and getting a lot of attention as more and more people are getting educated about what gluten can do for you and to you.

Gluten is a type of protein found in foods that contain wheat, barley and rye. Many people lack the specific digestive enzymes and capability to break down and digest gluten. When they do ingest gluten, it causes a variety of symptoms to occur.

Those with Celiac disease have a condition where if gluten is consumed it causes damage to the villi that line their intestinal tract. This causes serious malabsorption of nutrients to occur.

Previously only those with full-blown Celiac disease restricted gluten from their diets. However, with all the attention that gluten is getting these days, many individuals recognize the symptoms and realize that they be may suffering from gluten insensitivity and taking proactive steps to eliminate it from their diets.

Truth is, gluten can really be detrimental to your overall health; far more so than some people realize so it’s really important to learn all there is to know about why gluten has surfaced as a health issue.

Over-consumption of gluten containing foods on a regular basis still has very negative consequences. It can actually increase the risk for a number of other additional diseases as well.

The symptoms of gluten intolerance range quite heavily from one person to another. Some people experience a range of symptoms while others experience a few.

 

Typical gluten intolerance symptoms include:

Digestive issues: Gas stomach pain, bloating, and constipation can come on very quickly after consuming gluten containing foods. If consumed on a day to day basis these symptoms will take a while to subside.

High Levels of body fatigue: when consuming gluten containing foods some people will note that they experience a high level of fatigue. They may feel lethargic and some even experience a sharp decline in physical performance related activities as well.

Hormonal imbalances: Hormonal imbalances can also take place after consuming gluten containing foods. It can lead to issues such as PMS, libido problems, PCOS or even infertility in some cases.

Brain Fog and Neurological symptoms: A very common symptom in those who are sensitive to gluten. Becoming mentally tied, having a hard time concentrating and not being able to think straight are all symptoms of gluten insensitivity. Feeling dizzy or even slightly off balance after eating foods containing this protein will often accompany brain fog.

Headaches: Those very sensitive to gluten often experience headaches on a regular basis. Sometimes it’s just a normal headache that is experienced but in some cases they cause migraines when these foods are consumed.

Inflammation and inflammatory conditions: One of the biggest issues concerning gluten containing foods is that they increase the level of inflammation present in the body. When inflammation becomes very chronic and wide spread in the body you put yourself at risk for a wide number of different diseases such as arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease. Chronic inflammation is nothing to fool around with. It is a serious problem that must be addressed if you are going to sustain proper health.

Mood imbalances: Many people are not aware that the foods they eat can and do impact their moods but the connection is very strong. Feelings of anxiety, depression, mood swings, bipolar disorder and attention deficit disorder can all be experienced when consuming gluten containing foods.

If you resonate with many of these symptoms, you are likely suffering from gluten intolerance and you need to be eliminating as many of these gluten containing foods from your diet as possible.

If you are going to go gluten free it’s important that you make an effort to go completely gluten free. Eliminating gluten from your diet isn’t something that can be done successfully 80% of the time. The minute you eat anything that contains gluten, the negative side effects begin coming back so it’s really an all or nothing at all kind of thing.

Be aware that gluten is found in many foods that you least expect so it’s imperative to pay attention to your diet and identify potential problem foods. You must take time to read any food label that you are going to be consuming to make sure it does not contain gluten.

Cut gluten partially out and you’ll still be struggling and putting yourself at risk for all the negative health issues mentioned previously. As long as any gluten is in your diet, the effects will manifest in your body.

Going gluten free doesn’t mean that the “fun foods” are gone for good. For some incredibly delicious sugar and gluten free veggie based dessert and treat recipes visit: “Blended Bites” a compilation of 50 desserts and sweet treats that use veggies as either the main/star ingredient or playing a supportive role. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at what the possibilities are once you open yourself to them!

Fabulous Fiber for Health and Weight-loss…

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A recent study published in the “Annals of Internal Medicine” suggest that eating 30 grams of fiber daily can actually help you lose weight, lower blood pressure and improve the body’s response to insulin with the same effectiveness that a complicated diet can.

Those that participated lost a significant amount of weight even though no other dietary changes were implemented. [Read more…]

Chocolate Zucchini Bars

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Zucchini, a summer squash (also goes by the name courgette), has its origins in America although countries like Japan, China, Romania, Turkey, Italy, Egypt and Argentina are the largest producers of Zucchini today.

Although there are a few varieties from yellow (golden) to light green and dark green, the dark green is the one most often found and that most people are familiar with. [Read more…]

Health Enhancing “Veggie” Desserts…

veggies2Do you view dessert as your enemy? Have you assigned a “damaging” title to it subconsciously?

If so, it’s time to change your perception of dessert to something that contributes to your health rather than subtracting from it and the only way to do that is by shifting the ingredients that make up your desserts from unhealthy ones to healthy ones. [Read more…]

Versatile Health Providing Pine Nuts…

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The crunchy but buttery textured, sweet pine nut is often overlooked in many people’s diets.

Pine nuts are actually seeds that are collected from pine trees cultivated mainly in Europe and the US. Eaten for centuries, they were enjoyed by Roman soldiers and Spanish explorers alike who enjoyed snacking on them and they were ground into flour by American Indians.

 

USES

For the most part, pine nuts can be used wherever traditional tree nuts or peanuts are used. Often found in stir fry’s, they make the cross-over easily between savory and sweet dishes and are an excellent change from the “everyday nut.” Perfect sprinkled over both fruit and vegetable salads.

They are popular in different sauces, especially pesto sauce and you’ll find them in granolas, cookies, chocolates and crunchy health bar creations as well as breads, cakes, biscuits, cookies, confectionery and ice cream items. You can purchase them at any local supermarket or health food store.

This little nut is not in the same botanical category as tree nuts so many people that have nut allergies can tolerate pine nuts. However, there are people that react to both, so always be cautious and sensible.

Most popular in countries where they are harvested, they are widely used in the US, Spain, Morocco and Italy and are called by a variety of names including pinon, pine kernel, pignoli, pignolia and Indian nut.

Enjoyed raw or roasted, pine nuts feature a tough dark-brown outer coat or shell and have a sweet nutty flavor and crunchy texture. However, flavor isn’t the only reason people enjoy pine nuts. They offer amazing health benefits too.

 

AMAZING HEALTH BENEFITS

Offering similar healthy nutrients as other nuts including monounsaturated fats they provide a wealth of anti-aging antioxidants that combat free radicals (and help to control how fast you age) including vitamins A, B, C, and D. You’ll also get a nice boost of energy from the protein, magnesium and iron they offer. Offering similar healthy nutrients as other nuts including monounsaturated fats.

They are a great source of healthy fats that help keep cholesterol and blood sugar levels down, protein (the building block of nearly every part of the body) and like almonds, pine nuts are an excellent source of vitamin E. They are healthy source of B-complex vitamins as well as minerals such as manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium and zinc.

An added bonus is the fiber they provide. Just one serving of nuts provides around 20% of the recommended daily amount of fiber and they are great at suppressing feelings of hunger thanks to the hormone cholecystokinin.

Because pine nuts are also gluten-free, they are a popular ingredient in gluten-free recipes that are gaining popularity.

 

PROPER STORAGE

Pine nuts must be shelled first and eaten shortly after due to their high oil content (prone to rancidity). Unshelled nuts have a longer shelf life and can be stored safely for many months while shelled kernels deteriorate quickly once exposed to warm, humid air. Be sure to store them in airtight jars inside the refrigerator.

You can find delicious raw dessert and treat recipes that feature healthy pine nuts in  “Blended Bites” as well as a great variety of desserts and treat recipes that are not only gluten and sugar free but incorporate veggies into them as well. 

Terrible Toxins and Excess Body Fat…

chfitness toxins

New evidence is emerging regarding the role of the level of toxins in the body as a contributing factor in excess weight. As these toxins are stored in our body in fat cells, those with a higher body fat percentage generally store a greater amount of toxins.

Today more than 80,000 chemicals are in active production and our exposure to these toxins is greater than at any other time in history. More than 3,000 chemicals are added to our food supply and more than 10,000 chemicals in the form of solvents, emulsifiers and preservatives are use in food processing and storage. [Read more…]

Dates are the Perfect Sweet Binder and Base…

icecream2As consciousness shifts towards healthier living and eating, sugar-free foods continue to be a hot topic and new and healthier recipes are surfacing to meet the demands of these health conscious cooks.

Making the switch to sugar free desserts and treats is easy when you discover the natural sweetness and texture that dried fruits provide and dates take a starring role.
[Read more…]

The Incredible Edible Nut…

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What’s packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids and provides a rich source of protein, and energy? Nuts and seeds of course.

Mother Nature certainly did it right when she created this little crunchy yet buttery edible that comes packed with fiber. [Read more…]

Herbs that Play Well with Desserts…

chfitness herbsHerbs that Play well with Dessert

When using herbs, don’t limit yourself to savory dishes. Their delicate aromas and distinctive flavors add other dimensions to many dessert and baked dishes as well. Additionally, since herbs are nutrient dense plants, they offer a boost to the immune system. A literal “sweet bonus” when used in desserts and sweet treats.

Herbs are perfect for balancing dessert ingredients in any dish. With an endless variety of flowery to spicy notes, they add brightness and earthy flavors to any season and elevate all desserts to a more sophisticated level. [Read more…]