Posts Tagged ‘gut’

Akkermansia Muciniphila

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

A-muciniphila

 

Apparently, it has been recently discovered that an intestinal bacteria called Akkermansia Muciniphila is significantly lower in people with obesity and type 2 Diabetes.  The studies have only been done on mice at this time but the results are promising.  It seems that when obese mice and mice with type 2 diabetes are given this bacterium they drop pounds without changing their diet.  Even mice that were given high fat diets digested their food better and lost weight.  In these test mice, higher levels of A. muciniphila reversed fat mass gain, insulin resistance, adipose tissue inflammation and metabolic endotoxemia.  It also seemed to help with inflammatory bowel disease.  

Here’s the article published in “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA”

This is a welcome bit of knowledge for me, not because I will finally be able to lose the extra fat (a treatment for people will not be available for some time), but because it helps explain why I’ve been fat pretty much my whole life.  I mean seriously, I eat way better than a lot of my skinny friends.  I even exercise more than some of them yet I consistently carry around more pounds.  It always seemed really unfair to me.  And is a lot of the reason I gave up caring about my health a few years ago.  Giving up hope that I could ever be thin made me just give up all together because as any one who has weight issues knows being treated like a loser by most of society sucks.  Being told you aren’t good enough if you are overweight gets to you after a while.  Surely I’m not the only person who has felt the leering eye of a skinny person looking down on you because they assume you don’t do anything or care enough about your health.  (A big fat raspberry to all of those people) I would try and try with little to no results and simply be told I hadn’t tried hard enough.  The only time I was even close to an ideal weight (and I would still have been considered overweight) I was on a strict vegan diet, I did hard labour work for anywhere from 4-8 hours 7 days a week, and I walked about 15 miles a week.  That is not an easily sustainable lifestyle.  I mean seriously, I would like to enjoy my life a little as well.

Here’s hoping that Akkermansia Muciniphila is a positive answer for a lot of people in the same boat as me.  All the people who work hard at staying healthy but still want to enjoy their lives.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Honey and Cinnamon

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

cin-honey

 

Honey and cinnamon seems to be the latest health craze floating around.  This is one of those possible fads that I’m totally willing to give a try.   As I am not allergic to honey or cinnamon, it really can’t hurt to give it a go and quite simply I don’t care if it works or not.   I love this combination of flavours so why not incorporate a glass of cinnamon honey water as my first thing in the morning drink.

Unpasteurized honey has been known for centuries to work as an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and regenerative agent.  It is full of phytonutrients including B vitamins (no pun intended), iron and manganese.  Pure unadulterated honey has been known to have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory affects.  I really could go on and on about why you should always have honey in the house.  Another interesting fact is that honey is the only food that never goes bad.

True cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum aka Ceylon Cinnamon) as opposed to Cassia which is sometimes sold as cinnamon is apparently what really works.  As  an anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory and is said to help lower blood sugars and cholesterol.

The combination of honey and cinnamon is claimed to help a host of ailments including heart disease, arthritis, infertility, pimples,  fatigue, bad breath…you get the idea I’m sure.

So why is it supposed to help in weight loss?  Not entirely sure.  I guess it’s because honey is a said to speed up your metabolism, curb your appetite (certainly for sugary things), and boost your energy. Cinnamon lowers cholesterol and aids in digestion (therefore helping your body process foods more efficiently).  The combination sounds useful.

In a jar, combine:

  • 1 part natural unpasteurized honey
  • 1 part ground Ceylon cinnamon

Dilute a tablespoon in a cup of room temperature water and drink first thing in the morning.

Note: some people recommend boiling water but the kills the effectiveness of the honey.

Vegetarian Enchiladas

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

veggie enchilada

 

This dish is not only FULL of flavour, it is very healthy and of course contains my favourite…beans.  An easy meal that you can load up with veggies that can be made ahead and heated when you need it? Yes please.  Aaand…Yay Fiber, these enchiladas are full of that good stuff.

You’ll note that one of the vegetables I put in here is Swiss Chard.  As with most leafy greens it’s full of Thiamin, Folate, Phosphorus and Zinc, and is a very good source of Dietary Fiber.  This is why every nutritionist will heavily encourage the consumption of any and all green leaf veggies.  A little tip; the darker green the leaf the more packed with nutrients.  I also like chard because it’s less bitter than kale.

Remember that any of the vegetables you see in this recipe can be substituted for something you prefer.  You could substitute the chard for broccoli, red pepper for green or yellow, skip the mushrooms.  Basically, use your imagination.

Enchilada sauce

  • 398ml (14 oz) can of  crushed tomato
  • .5 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 finely diced small onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • .25 ground celery seed
  • 30ml (1 oz) lime juice

Start by sauteing the onion in a sauce pan on medium heat with the cumin and chili powder until you can really smell the spices.  Then just dump the remaining ingredients in and let it simmer on low heat while you prepare the rest of the dish.  If it tastes a bit bitter I will add a tiny amount of honey until it tastes smoother.

Enchilada Filling

  • 2 med. diced onion
  • 2 diced red pepper
  • 1 med. diced zucchini
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 150g (5 oz) crimini or button mushrooms (really you can use any kind you want)
  • 454 g (1 lb) diced swiss chard
  • 1 pkg. yves veggie ground round (optional)
  • 454 g (1 lb) cooked or canned black beans
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • .5 tsp celery seed
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1tsp thyme

In a large skillet, saute the vegetables on medium high heat in the order they are presented above.  Leave each enough time to soften a little before you add the next.  The herbs can go in at anytime after the onions have been done.   Lastly add the veggie ground and the beans,mixing it all together until warmed through. Set this aside off the heat and check on your sauce to make sure it tastes right.

Other Ingredients

  • 225 g (.5 lb) grated old cheddar (or the melty cheese of your choice)
  • 6 tortilla  (I like Ezekiel 4:9 sprouted grain, but you can use plain old flour or rice flour ones)

You are also going to want a medium large Pyrex casserole dish and the oven heated to 350°.  A tip,  the enchiladas should be able to fit closely in the pan.

To assemble, start with a tortilla sprinkle a bit of cheese on (~2 tbsp), then scoop on 1/6th of the veggie mix.  Roll up the bundle and put it in the Pyrex dish so that all the bundles will fit in the dish.  Repeat for all the tortillas.  Cover in the enchilada sauce and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.  Spread the remaining cheese on top and carefully brown it under the broiler. Enjoy.