Madrona Nutrition and Fitness: Recipe and Nutrition Guide

Madrona Nutrition and Fitness:
Guide to Wellness through Holistic Diet
and Lifestyle

Rachel Fiske
Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant,
Certified Personal Trainer

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ground Lamb and Basil Burgers! Yum!!

While another fascinating nutrition post is soon on the way (I know I know, you're all holding your breath and haven't slept in days), I wanted to share this delicious recipe I just made! Lamb is a great source of protein, as well as the mineral Zinc. Zinc is vital for our immune systems, wound healing, bone density, and prostate health (as well as many other benefits!). Lamb is also high in vitamin B12, which is crucial for proper brain and nervous system function. I wrapped mine in kale leaves and topped with some spicy mustard and raw sauerkraut. Enjoy!!!

Basil Lamb Burgers

1 lb Ground Lamb
3 Cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ Cup scallions, chopped
¼ Cup fresh basil, chopped
1Tbs ground flax seeds
1 Tabs sea salt
Pepper to taste

1. In a large bowl, mix the turkey, garlic, cayenne pepper, scallions, basil, salt and pepper.
2. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
3. Take the mixture and make them into patties of desired size.
4. Grill on medium heat for about 5-6 minutes each side or until done.
5. Serve with rosemary potatoes from previous recipe.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Article from my Professor in regards to GM Foods....a quote of mine at the end...

Last year, an article was written in the New York Times letting us all know that (whew!) GM Foods actually aren't so bad for us! Um...FALSE. I wrote a letter to the editor that did not get published (your loss, NY Times), but a professor of mine (Helayne Waldman) who writes a monthly blog in the SF Examiner did respond to the article and quoted my letter at the end. At least it was (partially) published somewhere! Check out the original article, then our responses. GMO...scary stuff, people!!

On Frankenfoods and Sick Cows

  • April 23rd, 2010 6:16 pm PT

Two identical rats, 20 days old. Guess which one ate GE food?
Yesterday (4/22), I reviewed a piece in the New York Times entitled “For Earth Day, 7 New Rules to Live by.” At first I thought the column was a tongue-in-cheek look at what Earth Day should really be about-- restoring Mother Earth to the strong, proud Mama she once was. NOT!
Here’s what I did see. “Frankenfood, the article states, like Frankenstein, is fiction. The imagined horrors of “frankenfoods” have kept genetically engineered foods out of Europe and poor countries whose farmers want to export food to Europe. Americans, meanwhile, have been fearlessly growing and eating them for more than a decade — and the scare stories seem more unreal than ever."
Really? Check out the work of Arpand Pusztai and Stanley Ewen who found that rats fed a GE diet developed impaired organ function, a slower metabolism and a less efficient immune system. Read Jeffrey Smith’s description (Seeds of Deception) of cows that broke through a fence and crossed a field to b pass GE corn so that they could eat the real thing from the neighboring farm. Be aware as well, that GE soy, ubiquitous in the American food supply, was developed in part to be able to withstand massive doses of Monsanto’s broad spectrum herbicide “Roundup Ready,” hence the quixotic name “Roundup Ready Soy,. ” This, despite the Times’ claim that GE crops “reduce the use of pesticides and herbicides”
Got rgBH?
It’s in dairy products that many of us may get our biggest dose of genetically engineered food. I was first introduced to the concept of genetic engineering in 1994’s, when the FDA approved rgBH, a genetically engineered growth hormone designed to force cows to produce more milk. From the Center for Food Safety and other researchers we know that cows that were fed this hormone also produced high levels of another hormone called insulin-like growth factor. By 1995 the National Institutes of Health had already identified several problems with these new, elevated levels of IGF-1 in the food supply, including an elevated risk of breast, lung and colon cancers, as well as a possible role in osteosarcoma, a relatively uncommon childhood cancer.
As for the cows, the hormone seemed to make cows much sicker, caused reproductive problems, mastitis, other infections and an alarming rise in birth defects. This forced farmers to use larger doses of antibiotics in their herds, which, of course, found and continue to find their way into our meat, milk, cheese, yogurt and even baby formula. Were these diseases and abnormalities looked into? Hardly. In fact, as author Barry Commoner informed us in his 2002 analysis of the “spurious foundation of genetic engineering,” (Harpers Magazine): “the biotechnology industry is not required to provide even the most basic information about the actual composition of the transgenic plants to the regulatory agencies.”

As you can see, it looks more like wisdom than squeamishness behind the rejection of GE foods by much of the civilized world. Is is just possible the animals, the Europeans, the New Zealanders, the Zambians and millions of others are on to something that we Americans are too blind, too brainwashed, or too distracted to notice?
While the research is not all said and done on GE foods, we might well learn from those who advocate a more cautious approach. As one of my Berkeley nutrition students Rachel Fiske observed:

“It is critical to realize that many studies against the organic movement are funded by the very individuals who stand to profit from the use of GMO. Have we as a nation learned nothing in recent years from the disturbing rates of growing degenerative disease and childhood obesity? The ‘imagined horrors of frankenfoods’ are far from imagined.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Did you all get the memo?? Fats are GOOD! But which ones??

Hopefully by now most (or at least some) of us have abandoned the obsessive fear of fat our society has so fixated on since the low-fat craze starting in the 50's, and embraced healthy fats as a part of our daily lives. However, I think that many people are now left confused! Fat is a good thing….yay! Bring it on! But what kind of fats? And how much? And which do I use for cooking/heating? And what if I’m trying to lose weight, do I still eat fat? Let me attempt to answer some of these important questions…

Why are good fats good for me?

Fats are not only good, but necessary, for so many reasons! Our brains are 60% fat, and cannot function without consuming healthy fats. Fats also protect our organs and cells, they regulate our body temperature, provide satiety, carry fat soluble vitamins and nutrients, not to mention are great, concentrated sources of energy, among other things. Simply put, we need fats to survive and thrive, and if we are not getting enough healthy fat in our diets, we are missing vital nutrients, not to mention we are probably hungry and therefore over-eating other foods.

What’s the difference between “good” and “bad” fats?

Glad you asked. When I say “bad” fats, what I mean by this is hydrogenated, or more commonly known as “trans fats”.  Yuck.  Hydrogenated fats/oils are unsaturated fatty acids that have been chemically hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated (the adding of a hydrogen molecule to form a double bond), in order for the final product to have a longer shelf life. This is a serious problem, because our bodies do not recognize this newly formed configuration, and cannot digest/use it. Margarine, for example, does not melt in our bodies when consumed. Eating these types of chemically altered trans-fats permeate our cell walls causing malfunction, and have been linked to causing many diseases rampant in Western societies, and growing rapidly in other societies that have moved/are moving from a traditional to a more western/processed diet.

Fats to Avoid: Margarine, partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated fats/oils, trans-fats, canola, corn, grapeseed, and soy oil. These have all undergone extreme chemical processes at high heats and are almost always oxidized (rancid) before even leaving the store.  Rancid oils cause free radicals, which damage our cells and DNA. Also, trans-fats raise triglyceride levels, which in turn raise our total cholesterol (there are good and bad types of cholesterol, too…but that will be for another blog).

Which fats are good for me?

The best part is that there are so many better options! Here is a list of fats to choose from, and buying both organic and from pasture-raised/grass-fed animals whenever possible is ideal:

Saturated (which, in moderation and from organic, natural sources, are great! These fats are also best to cook with as they can withstand high temperatures without becoming rancid)
Coconut Oil
            Palm Oil
            Butter (full fat)
Meat and Fish with fat (if they are not from grass-fed animals, get more lean cuts, as all animals…ourselves includes…store toxins in their fat)

Unsaturated (these oils are not as stable/prone to oxidation and should not be heated beyond very low temperatures)
Olive Oil
            Sesame and nut oils
            Nuts, seeds
            Flax Oil

What if I’m trying to lose weight?

According to Dr. Mary Enig and Sally Fallon, authors of Eat Fat Lose Fat, “using coconut oil in concert with other healthy fats can spark weight loss and heal serious illnesses, including anxiety, hypothyroidism, and chronic fatigue syndrome.”  The explanation and science behind why fat is crucial to not only healthy cell functioning and a million other crucial bodily functions, but effective weight management, could be (and is) an entire book. But to put it simply, our bodies use good fat to regulate weight loss. Our liver needs new fat to process in order to signal the body to burn fat. Furthermore, fat makes us feel full, and omega 3 fatty acids help regulate metabolism (a great source of omega 3’s are cold-water fish, or a good quality fish oil supplement). Good fats will raise your HDL (good) cholesterol, while lowering your LDL (bad) cholesterol, therefore decreasing your risk for cardiovascular disease.  Healthy Fats should comprise approximately 20-30% of our daily calories!

So, after this good fats 101, I sincerely hope you are convinced! Here are some further RESOURCES to look into:

Eat Fat Lose Fat, Sally Fallon and Dr. Mary Enig
Know Your Fats, Dr. Mary Enig

References: Dr. Mary Enig, Sally Fallon, Bauman College 2009

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Welcome to my blog...AND...delicious Raw Mexican Dark Chocolate Blueberry Fudge!

Hey guys! Welcome to my first blog post. I'm creating this blog to share recipes, nutrition tidbits, and general thoughts! Many of you may know, after several years of growing interest and personal study of natural health and medicine, I began studying last year at Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition in Berkeley, CA. Last year, I was certified as a Holistic Nutrition Educator, and am currently working towards a second certification as Nutrition Consultant, which will be more focused on clinical/therapeutic nutrition.

I am also moving towards seeing clients one on one, as well as find opportunities to teach within the community.  While I am currently working full time at an environmental nonprofit here in San Francisco, it is hard to make as much time for this as I'd a nutrition blog will be a good start. :)

So to start things is a yummy recipe I just made: Mexican Dark Chocolate Blueberry Fudge. And its RAW! I don't eat exclusively raw by any means, but love the vast array of healthy, live "desserts" you can make as an alternative to sugary, refined sweets. Here is just one of many ideas (recipe adapted from Stephanie Tourles, Raw Energy)

1/2 C raw, unrefined coconut oil
1 C dried blueberries
1 C raw cacao powder
1/2 C almond butter
2 tbsp. raw honey (or maple syrup or agave)
1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp ceyenne, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp sea salt

Mix all together in a large bowl, coat the bottom of an 8 in. square pan, and freeze for 1 hour! Allow to soften for 20 min and cut into squares. Store in the fridge for 2 months or freezer for 6 months....YUM!!