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Food As Medicine

I thought it'd be good to have a place to post about foods, recipes, oils, etc. that have been studied and show to be helpful for different conditions. 

For example, today I read about a study that says how dark chocolate (which I love) is good for Arterial Fibrillation (which I have): 

Of course, when reading these things you have to be aware of quantity (2-6 serving per week which is 6 oz), personal medical history (like do not eat it if you are allergic to it or don't like it), quality (if it is dark chocolate square itd be better than a high fat chocolate donut). I also look to questions like, maybe it isnt just the chocolate but to confounding factors (such as eating chocolate increases the levels of endorphins released into the brain, giving credence to the claim that chocolate is a comfort food. The endorphins work to lessen pain and decrease stress (2). Another common neurotransmitter affected by chocolate is serotoninSerotonin is known as an anti-depressant.) , so other things that produce these chemicals may also be good– like hugs or long walks on the beach.

I like to keep the truth of the study alive, and know how exactly to incorporate it into my life in the correct way– because if I see a headline and take it to excess… I could totally ruin it!

I try to visualize the amount and it is equal to about 3 little doves a day (if that is your only chocolate) or a reasonable substitute.

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  • K8sMom2002

    Shea, you are so wise in your approach to studies! I love your approach, and it's good to think of other ways that you can get those same effects.

    The older I get, the more wisdom I see in my mama's advice to eat "spoon food" and not "fast food." She believed in having leafy greens at every lunch and supper, going light on meat, having real food and not artificial food, staying away from cooking out of "boxes and bags." She also believed in having a little chocolate along and along, and her favorite candy was the little Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate miniatures. 

    A well-balanced diet rich in vegetables, along with exercise that is safe for you and gets you out and about and connecting with others, seems like it has no downsides.

    And I know I feel better when I eat better! 

  • Deborah Bartlett
    Shea posted:

    I thought it'd be good to have a place to post about foods, recipes, oils, etc. that have been studied and show to be helpful for different conditions. 

    For example, today I read about a study that says how dark chocolate (which I love) is good for Arterial Fibrillation (which I have): 

    Of course, when reading these things you have to be aware of quantity (2-6 serving per week which is 6 oz), personal medical history (like do not eat it if you are allergic to it or don't like it), quality (if it is dark chocolate square itd be better than a high fat chocolate donut). I also look to questions like, maybe it isnt just the chocolate but to confounding factors (such as eating chocolate increases the levels of endorphins released into the brain, giving credence to the claim that chocolate is a comfort food. The endorphins work to lessen pain and decrease stress (2). Another common neurotransmitter affected by chocolate is serotoninSerotonin is known as an anti-depressant.) , so other things that produce these chemicals may also be good– like hugs or long walks on the beach.

    I like to keep the truth of the study alive, and know how exactly to incorporate it into my life in the correct way– because if I see a headline and take it to excess… I could totally ruin it!

    I try to visualize the amount and it is equal to about 3 little doves a day (if that is your only chocolate) or a reasonable substitute.

    🎼🎵🎶 On the first day of this diet, my true love gave to me…three little Doves! Ooooo so chocolatey! 🎶🎵🎼

  • K8sMom2002

    Shea and Deborah, what are your favorite foods that are healthy for you? 

    And Deborah, I have to hand it to you — since you taught me how to incorporate greens in other dishes, it's been so much easier to follow Mama's advice. I put frozen spinach in practically everything! 

  • Deborah Bartlett

    Hi Cynthia and Shea! 

    I love broccoli. I can use it in so many ways. Also love broccoli rabe. Avocados are one of my favorite foods. Tomatoes. Love them fresh and canned. Then of course, there is spinach! I love garden salads, pasta salads, and dishes that include beans. 

    I eat a banana each day. I like slicing one and adding into my yogurt. I eat yogurt each day for the acidophilus benefit. It helps to prevent thrush in my mouth. I enjoy berries. They are great in yogurt! I grow blackberries, raspberries and blueberries. 

    Gee, I do enjoy many different foods. I try to incorporate healthy food items into my diet every day! 

    Cynthia….I am happy that you are incorporating spinach into your diet! Yay! 

  • Shea

    Berries. Either by themselves or mixed with a little whipped cream with mandarin oranges and even shaved or chopped dark chocolate. It is a quick and easy dessert/ fruit serving.

    Scrambled eggs with veggies (peppers, onion, spinach, a little cheese) served in a wrap or tortilla. It is quick and easy and gets protein, veggies, fiber in. I use the free range brown eggs.

    Egg salad sandwiches. Many of the same ingredients but put together differently so it is a good inter-changer. Hard boil the eggs, and take out yolks and mix with a little mayonnaise (I use smart balance light mayo since it is soy-free and Tommy has soy allergy). Then add fresh chopped peppers/onions/pickle and chopped egg whites and serve on bread or toast or with pita or crackers. It stays good a couple days. 

    Quinoa/rice burritos with sauteed veggies, cheese (serve with guacamole, mild salsa). 

    Frozen cheese pizza– (newmans own brand) with fresh veggies chopped and put on top. (For my really busy or sick days).  

    I am all about quick and easy, and using repetitive ingredients in different ways…. It makes sense for budgeting time and money and cooking for only 2 (2 picky eaters with food allergies and dietary restrictions).

  • Melissa G

    I am not a big fan of broccoli, but I love broccoli slaw! I use it as a base for salad, and sautée it in a little EVOO with a little garlic powder for spaghetti instead of noodles. 

  • Deborah Bartlett
    Melissa G posted:

    I am not a big fan of broccoli, but I love broccoli slaw! I use it as a base for salad, and sautée it in a little EVOO with a little garlic powder for spaghetti instead of noodles. 

    Now that's different! I'll have to give that a try! Thanks for the idea! 💡

  • Deborah Bartlett

    Shea- I always have hard boiled eggs in the fridge. For egg salad, deviled eggs, or sliced egg on top of garden salad. 

    You have some yummy foods that you like!  😍

  • Shea

    Thanks Debbie! (And yes, hard boiled eggs are great to have there and ready).

    Melissa, I will have to look into broccoli slaw and try making it.

    My hunger has been huge during this recovery! I try to distract myself or go for a walk but I am hungry! (and I know my body has a lot of healing to do and prob needs it)– so Im trying to maximize by getting nutritional foods that also sound appetizing.

    I am thinking of making a healthy pasta salad to keep in the fridge. I like cooking tricolored pasta swirls, adding chopped veggies (bell peppers, onion, cucumbers), a low fat Italian soy-free dressing with  low-sodium spices and mozzorella cheese balls. That'd go well as a side with some leftover pork tenderloin for dinner tonight. 

  • Shea

    I made it! I was almost too tired because I had to make a grocery run today, but I just had to make it after posting about it– and I am glad I did! It went very well with a few leftover slices of pork tenderloin. Tommy doesnt like pasta but I saved some raw peppers, onions, and cucumbers for him and made him a veggie sandwich with some grapes on the side so he was happy.

    Best part is there are plenty of leftovers!

  • Breatheeasy

    I studied nutrition and I was told that incorporating fruit at least three servings of three variety of fruit is super good. They are anti-oxidant rich which is good for bringing inflammation down in the body. 

    And other foods that are anti inflammatory are 

    omega 3 s – fish oils, EVOO, extra virgin coconut pil, chia seeds, flaxseed.

    avoid eating a lot of sugar and refined grains as they are empty calories and exacerbate inflammatory response in the body. 

    Well the key is to balance the fruit and veggie intake with the amt  of empty calories you’re eating in the form of refined grains and sugar.

    I could never eat fruit because of fructose allergy. I am trying to see if I can take fish oil. I hope I’m not allergic to it. 

  • Shea

    Yes, Breatheasy I have heard similar info about trying to eat less processed foods and more raw fruits and veggies but I too struggle to find ones my son and I like and arent allergic to and don't cause OAS (oral allergy syndrome) at that time of year. AND that we dont get sick of. We like fresh blueberries, the packaged mandarin oranges (unsweetened, in its own juices), and fresh grapefruits. I have read those three fruits are lower in fructose which I know some people have a fructose intolerance but can eat very low amounts spaced out during the day but I dont know anything about full-blown allergy to it… That'd be tough to manage! 

    I heard Flax seed oil is a good alternative to fish oil if you dont want to risk it. I have had allergic reactions to shrimp and some fish but I do OK with fish oil– it might have been the sulfites in the shrimp and high mercury in the fish I ate that set me into an asthma attack, but I just dont know and I avoid eating fish and shrimp now. I might get some flax seed oil myself. 

    Tommy loves sunbutter (we both a nut-allergic). We make sunbuttter jelly sandwiches. Or he dips crackers in it.  He dips carrots in it (when he can eat raw carrots– hopefully soon, because summertime he has OAS to them). But he is OK eating cucumbers now so that us good (in fall he has OAS to those due to ragweed cross-reactivity). It is complex.

  • Shea

    Today we had grapefruit for a snack.

    I am making some meatballs with lean grassfed ground beef because I invited my dad and brother over to celebrate Tommy (and I) being done with 1st grade, and because it is Memorial Day weekend. They are in the oven browning and then Im going yo put them in my little crockpot with sone homemade bbq sauce.

    I also made a yellow cake from a box, and I am going to serve it with cool whip and fresh berries. 

    I am going to cut up carrots abd celery and bell peppers. And Tommy wants me to make guacamole with our chips and salsa so I guess Im making that. I hope I have enough energy for the party when it comes. Perhaps coffee is in order too. Yes…. Coffee! And maybe a piece of this  cake And a meatball and some veggies to hold me over too… Im hungry! I wish someone else could finish making this all! Well.. Here it is now, Ill try to post pics of it when its finished.

  • Melissa G

    Shea, are you on a beta blocker? Bekah takes Atenolol and when we started food trial we were told we couldn't trial grapefruit because it can cause some beta blockers not to be absorbed properly. 

    The cake looks delicious. 

  • Deborah Bartlett
    Melissa G posted:

    Shea, are you on a beta blocker? Bekah takes Atenolol and when we started food trial we were told we couldn't trial grapefruit because it can cause some beta blockers not to be absorbed properly. 

    The cake looks delicious. 

    So true. DH uses Atenolol. So do my parents. No grapefruit or grapefruit juice!

  • Deborah Bartlett

    Shea- You are a good cook! You are a hard worker. You are a great Mom! All that put into a package and there you have it—- Shea!!!!!!!! 🎁

  • Shea

    Thanks Debbie! I am on Lisinopril and metoprolol and I just double-checked and they dont say you cant have grapefruit– but thank you for the heads up! Ill make sure to check any heart meds (I love grapefruit). 

    Everything came out well and everyone enjoyed. I didnt even have a chance to catch pictures but most everything got eaten or was sent home with people, and I have a few leftovers for us– so it turned out nice.

    My dad and I played cards– Rummy– I thought I had him but he caught up and beat me! And Tommy played video games with my brother. Then we all went for a walk. It was a nice evening. I was a little tired but my health behaved.

  • Shea

    My brother did get a pic of Tommy and I with out little Graduation props.

  • Shea

    Well… I am Old Mother Hubbard for the next 5 days (I overspent this month). Trying to meal plan. Going to have to be creative. Do you think you can use hot dogs as medicine? Lol. They're all beef! ..I guess as long as I find a vegetable to go with it that will have to do for some lunches. And maybe quinoa- stuffed bell peppers for dinner….

    Anyone eating anything yummy lately?

  • Pljohns

    Shea-I do a lot with pasta and hamburger meat.  MIL said I can make a pound of hamburger meat go farther than anyone she's ever seen and use it more ways!  I run a tight budget and sometimes, there isn't much left over so I have to get creative but I must admit-I doubt I'll ever be as good at it as you are!

  • Deborah Bartlett
    Shea posted:

    Well… I am Old Mother Hubbard for the next 5 days (I overspent this month). Trying to meal plan. Going to have to be creative. Do you think you can use hot dogs as medicine? Lol. They're all beef! ..I guess as long as I find a vegetable to go with it that will have to do for some lunches. And maybe quinoa- stuffed bell peppers for dinner….

    Anyone eating anything yummy lately?

    Making enchiladas tomorrow. Meatless. Beans for protein. 

  • Deborah Bartlett
    Pljohns posted:

    Shea-I do a lot with pasta and hamburger meat.  MIL said I can make a pound of hamburger meat go farther than anyone she's ever seen and use it more ways!  I run a tight budget and sometimes, there isn't much left over so I have to get creative but I must admit-I doubt I'll ever be as good at it as you are!

    <~~~~~~🍔~~~~~~>

  • Deborah Bartlett
    Shea posted:

    Well… I am Old Mother Hubbard for the next 5 days (I overspent this month). Trying to meal plan. Going to have to be creative. Do you think you can use hot dogs as medicine? Lol. They're all beef! ..I guess as long as I find a vegetable to go with it that will have to do for some lunches. And maybe quinoa- stuffed bell peppers for dinner….

    Anyone eating anything yummy lately?

    Do you have any baked beans? You can slice up a hot dog or two and mix it in with the beans. Or, if you have some mac n cheese, slice up a hot dog or two and mix it in. 

  • Shea

    Tommy cant eat legumes (allergic) and hates mac n cheese (and any pasta — which is weird for a kid– but Ive tried all types and all sauces and no luck with that). I just finished off some homemade mac n cheese I had made for myself. I do have eggs. Tommy will eat hard boiled ones, so I am going to do those and fruit for lunch today. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Shea, could you think of hot dogs like sausage? That's what they are, after all, a type of sausage. So you could broil them and incorporate them sliced up in rice dishes. I do a combo of rice, tomato and sausage, for instance … or you could use them sliced up in a soup or a stir fry. I like to slice sausage in a big one-pot meal because they go farther.

    As for eggs … has anyone ever tried a recipe for ? They say it's great for scrambling eggs for large crowds or for brunch. But for the life of me, I can't figure out how or if it would work.

    This week I'm trying to use up the extra veggies DD prepped for a veggie tray for a grad party. Apparently, everyone gravitated toward the sweets, and now we've got quite a lot of left-over prepped veggies that never got put out — cucumbers, match-stick carrots,  and grape tomatoes, as well as celery. There's no problem with the carrots or the tomatoes. However … I can't eat the celery (allergic), and I don't like raw cucumbers. But I've been tossing the sliced cucumbers in braised meat dishes, and they are totally different in taste when cooked!

    Another thing I've been doing in the mornings … instead of jelly, I've been washing a handful of grapes and eating them with my toast. Don't think it cancels out all the butter my DH puts on the toast, but at least there's less sugar than jelly, right?

  • Shea

    Cynthia, I like those hot dog/ sausage ideas! Neither of us were in hot dog mood at lunchtime, but with those ideas I will know what to do tomorrow! I ended up making Tommy a veggie sandwich for lunch and peppers, onion, and scrambled eggs in a wrap for myself at lunch. 

    I dont like cucumbers by themselves but I looove cucumber salad, like this recipe (ive never actually put garlic powder in mine but it might be good):

    HOW DO YOU MAKE CREAMY CUCUMBER SALAD?

    1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine 1/2 c. sour cream, 1 Tbsp. white vinegar, 1 Tbsp. minced fresh dill, 1 tsp. sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. garlic powder. Stir until combined.
    2. Add 3 c. peeled, thinly sliced cucumbers.
    3. Add 1 c. thinly sliced red onion.
    4. Stir to combine; cover and chill at least 2 hours.

     

    I might have to scrounge up some money and pick up hamburger meat and do something to stretch it and make different dishes like Lynn mentioned because I still have 5 days to go. One day Im going go go to my parents for dinner, so just 4 days as old mother hubbard lol.