Posts Tagged ‘hemoglobin A1c’

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.

Autumn Vegetable Soup

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

 

Well the rains have come and the leaves are changing. We’re bringing in the last of the harvest and staving off the cold with good hot food. Here is a delicious way of getting a belly full of cozy with my nutritionally balanced, hearty soup.

All the veggies in this soup are high in alpha-carotene and beta-carotene which is good for the eyes, cognitive function and cellular regeneration.  You will get a lot of vitamin A and C in this soup, as well as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.  Being chock full of Veggies rich in fibre can’t be bad either.

We all know that Garbanzo Beans (Chick Peas) are high in fibre but recent studies indicate that they are better at blood fat regulation, including lowering levels of LDL-cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides. Awesome!  Also noted is garbanzo bean consumption will improve control of blood sugar and insulin secretion. Equally important, only one-third cup of the beans per day was needed to provide these blood-sugar related health benefits.

 

  • 3 medium Sweet Potatoes
  • 2 medium Onions
  • 1 small Winter Squash (acorn or butternut work best)
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 4 large Kale Leaves chopped into 1” strips with the stem removed
  • 1.5L of Vegetable Stock
  • 540ml can of Chick Peas
  • 1 clove minced Garlic
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 0.5 tsp ground celery seed
  • 0.5 tsp ground Cumin
  • 0.5 tsp ground ground mustard seed
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • Salt and Pepper to taste. (Chef Tip: don’t try to salt all at once; the flavour is different when you add some at the beginning and then adjust for more at the end of cooking. So don’t over salt to start.)
  • You can also add Turnips, Celery, Parsnips, Golden Beets, Celeriac, and any other hardy root vegetables that you like.

 

Peel and cut the raw squash, carrots and sweet potato into 1” cubes. Cut the Onion into large chunks. This is an easy throw everything into a pot recipe. So do just that. Bring it to a boil then turn the heat down to medium low and cook until the vegetables are soft. Add more water or stock if it starts to get too dry. Serve with a fresh Rye bread to compliment if you like.garbanzo bean consumption to improve participants’ control of blood sugar and insulin secretion. Equally important, only one-third cup of the beans per day was needed to provide these blood-sugar related health benefits.

Thanks Dr. Barnard

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Neal BarnardWhen I first found out that I was having some pretty serious health problems I wasn’t quite sure what to do.  It made sense that being told you’re a diabetic means you have to change the way you eat, but how was a big question.  Thankfully a family friend who happens to be a physician recommended Dr. Barnard’s book “Program for Reversing Diabetes”.  I will admit that it’s a pretty radical diet.  I will also admit that I don’t actually follow it that stridently any more even though I should probably get a little closer to it than I a now.

Dr Barnard advocates a strict Vegan diet no matter what ailments you are suffering from.  He has a number of books out that more or less advocate the same style of eating .  It comes down to eliminating all meat and animal products from your eating habits and severely limiting the amount of fat you consume.

For three months I stuck to it and I must say I felt a lot better for it.  However, being a chef and general lover of food I found it really difficult to sustain.  I like meat, I love cheese and although I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth I had been consuming WAY to much sugar.  Physically and mentally I felt amazing when I imposed his limitations, except for the intense craving for my savoury favorites.   Allowing myself a meat dinner once a week took the edge off and it didn’t seem to screw up things too badly.

A dietician cautioned me about not getting enough fat in my diet and I understood her reasoning.  Commonly held belief says we need approximately 24 grams of fat a day to maintain a healthy balance in our bodies and trust me when you honestly break it down, that’s not very much.  Well Neal Barnard’s plan calls for quite a bit less than that.  Remember it is extremely important with a vegan diet to make sure you are getting enough protein as well.

So although I do recommend having a look at his logic and success rate it is also important to me to have a lifelong sustainable food plan that isn’t going to drive me away too easily.  My tastes have certainly changed from taking Dr. Barnard’s recommendations.  Sweets are really unpleasantly too sweet for me and I really don’t miss the cheese too much.  My feeling is that it’s more important to not go crazy obsessing about any eating format but to also not use that for an excuse to just let healthy eating fall by the wayside. His books contain excellent resources and tips for improving your diet at the very least.  The recipes (sorry Bryanna Clark Grogan) are not really all that enticing and contain far  too many artificially low-fat, fake meat sort of components.  I prefer more naturally occurring and self made alternatives whenever possible.

I’m still looking for the right balance.  Right now a little closer to a vegan diet would help me out and as I write this I feel I can get back there again.

Wish me luck and good health and I wish the same for you.

Click on the picture above to get to some of Dr. Neal Barnard’s videos on youtube.