Gourmet Vegetarian Diet: Liver Cleanse with Class

Gourmet Vegetarian Diet

Courgette and carrot terrine is a recipe I worked up when I wanted a low fat vegetarian style meal. It can either be eaten alone as a meal in itself, or eaten as a side vegetable dish to accompany fish, chicken or any meat.

An artichoke, spinach and roasted garlic sauce recipe is also provided to accompany the terrine or any grilled fish or meat. This recipe is great for using up leftover egg whites, or a meal suggestion that meets the diet restrictions for completing the liver cleansing diet.

It is suitable for people with wheat and dairy intolerances and vegetarians. If the egg whites are substituted with another setting agent then the terrine could also be suitable for strict vegans. People who follow the diet for blood group A types will also find this recipe useful as it does not contain tomatoes.

Low Fat Vegetable Lasagne Style Recipe: Courgette and Carrot Terrine

Ingredients:

2 medium courgettes

4 carrots

1 onion

Rice paper or lasagne sheets (or slices of aubergine if avoiding carbs)

Vegetable stock

4 egg whites

Olive oil

Fresh chives and parsley

Carrot Terrine

Procedure:

Cook chopped courgette and carrot in stock until tender.

Finely chop onion and sauté in a little olive oil until soft. Add to cooked courgette.

Process courgette and carrot separately to a smooth thick paste with a little olive oil.

Beat egg whites until stiff; fold an equal quantity into each vegetable paste.

Cook instant lasagne sheets until tender. If using rice paper moisten one sheet at a time by dragging across a dish of warm water.

Add chopped fresh chives to carrot mix and chopped fresh parsley to courgette.

Assemble pasta or aubergine with alternating layers of courgette and carrot paste.

Top with Artichoke, Spinach and Garlic Sauce and bake gently in 150oC oven 30 min before serving. See recipe below:

Artichoke, Spinach and Roasted Garlic Sauce

Ingredients:

3 garlic cloves unpeeled

1 can of non-marinated baby artichokes

Large bunch of fresh spinach leaves or equivalent thawed, frozen spinach

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup lemon juice

Sea salt

Pepper or chilli optional

Spinach

Procedure:

Roast garlic cloves in dry oven until tender. Cool and remove peel.

Process drained, canned baby artichokes and spinach leaves to form a paste, adding the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt until a thick but pourable consistency is reached.

Pour over terrine prior to baking.

Nb. This sauce is also great over fish, especially oily fish like salmon, tuna or swordfish. Serve with Courgette and Carrot Terrine on the side.

The Hazards of Careless Grocery Shopping

Grocery shopping at your local supermarket can be potentially hazardous to your health. Just take a look at most of the shopping carts the next time you go food shopping. People stock up on foods that have multiple ingredients, most of which they can’t pronounce.

If you can’t pronounce it, how do you really know what you’re eating? Serious planning and thoughtful choices must be made to ensure the dietary needs of you and you’re family are being met.

Following the new food pyramid doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be getting the nutrition your body truly needs. A lot also depends on your cultural background.

What’s considered a vegetable in your house might be a starch to the neighbors down the street. The best method is to eat a variety of minimally processed foods. Here’s a good rule of thumb. When looking at a list of ingredients, if you can’t pronounce it, don’t buy it.

fruit or vegetable

Add one new fruit or vegetable to your diet every week or two. For instance if you’ve never tried lychees, bok choy or a papaya. Try it introducing it to your family as a surprise. Try eating by color. Make it a challenge to see if you can eat five different colored fruits or vegetables at least once a day.

If buying organic is too, try this little technique. Fill your sink half way with water and a bit of dish liquid. Wash and rinse all fruits and vegetables thoroughly. This takes care of almost 90% of pesticides found on fresh produce.

As much as possible eat only what’s in season. You’ll save money, get better tasting produce and won’t overload on any one thing. Eating seasonally also gets you more in tune with natures rhythms.

Now, if you live in Iowa how do you know if papayas or mangoes are in season? Just look around. At certain times of year you’ll notice an many more suppliers are carrying the same thing at a reduced price.

diet

Cut out or cut down on sodas, even the diet ones. The FDA allows food manufactures to say a product has zero calories if it has 5 calories or less. Everything we eat has calories. Don’t fall for clever marketing practices. Switch to fruit juices.

Finally, here are few tips to make your trip to the grocery store smoother. Use a shopping list whenever you go to the supermarket. Avoid the middle isles. Most of the good stuff is along the sides. Just think of where the produce is and work you way around the store.

Following this advice should help you significantly improve you diet, nutritional intake and overall well being.

Christian SAHM’s Whole Foods Grocery Guide

Foods With No Labels

Label-free, whole foods are complete with natural, biodegradable, and sometimes even edible packaging. It works out that they’re the best ones for your health, too! Good for your body, your wallet, and the environment. Isn’t God an amazing designer and problem solver?

Buy at least two whole foods of each color and at least one leafy green vegetable for each day. Foods of the same color have similar nutritional compositions. You should buy at least two red, orange, yellow, white, green, purple, and blue foods.

Chop and cook them all at once. Next, freeze the cooked foods to eat later. This will help prevent waste from spoilage. Chop some of the veggies and fruits up every few days and separate them into baggies for snacking. Stay-at-home moms are more prone to eating due to habit or just because food is there.

Chop and cook

It’s okay to do this provided that it’s a healthy item. As a matter of fact, snacking is great for weight loss. It keeps your blood sugar regulated and keeps you from overeating at meal time. You’ll be more likely to grab your fruits and veggies and munch on them in the middle of the day if they’re already chopped.

Complex carbohydrates

Look for products with whole wheat as first ingredient (pasta, bread, English muffins). Buy whole grains such as brown rice and whole grain cereals. Your stop-word for carbohydrates is “enriched”.

This simply means the food started as a whole grain, had all the good stuff stripped from it, and was then “enriched” with a small amount of some good ingredients. Don’t buy many enriched foods. Make half the grains you eat every day whole grains.

brown rice

Fiber-Rich Foods

Fiber that is important for managing your weight. In order to make sure we get enough fiber each day, buy a fiber-dense cereal like the ones made by Fiber One. Some of them have more than half of the fiber we need each day in just one cup! Measure a cup of cereal and separate them into snack baggies for each day of the week.

Then add your favorite goodies to enhance the taste such as Craisins, raisins, nuts, Honey Nut Cheerios or whatever you feel like having. Then all you have to do is finish one little baggie by the end of the day. It’s a lot harder to get too hungry and overeat when you’re munching on fiber-rich snacks between meals.

Say Hello to My Little Friend – Probiotics and Gut Health

Probiotics. A popular word for sure right now. Looking around in the grocery store it seems like the healthy bacteria are being added to everything from yogurt to cottage cheese to coffee. (Kidding about that last one. Although given how much I love coffee, I’m not opposed to the idea.)

Probiotics by definition

Probiotic: A microbe that protects its host and prevents disease. (Per Medterms.com)

Probiotics are found naturally in the gut (stomach/intestines.) With antibiotic use, and sometimes with dysfunction of the gut (such as celiac disease) the balance of this “good bacteria” can be disrupted, and cause intestinal distress such as diarrhea. These little suckers can be a bit fragile, and not all of them can be ingested orally (eaten/swallowed) and survive into the digestive tract.

There are many different strains of probiotics. If you think about antibiotics-there are lots of different prescriptions that we have seen or heard of over the years, right? Similarly, there are a number of different probiotics. Thousands, in fact.

However-there are only a handful of these thousand that have been researched upon and shown to be effective. Within the handful of effective ones, they may only be effective for certain conditions. So just ingesting a product with “probiotics” doesn’t necessarily give you any benefit. It depends on why you are taking them, and the strain of bacteria that is in the product. Unfortunately, the labeling for these products is often unclear.

Lactobacillus acidophilus is a common probiotic. According to MayoClinic.com:

Lactobacillus acidophilus is generally considered to be beneficial because it produces vitamin K, lactase, and anti-microbial substances such as acidolin, acidolphilin, lactocidin, and bacteriocin. Multiple human trials report benefits of L. acidophilus for bacterial vaginosis. Other medicinal uses of L. acidophilus are not sufficiently studied to form clear conclusions. .”

It’s normally found in yogurt, and the lactose reduced milk. (Lactaid brand ’round these parts.) A strain of Lactobacillus is also found in the supplement Cuturelle.

Another probiotic group known as Bifidobacteria (one of these strains is the one in the Activia yogurt-long live Jamie Curtis and her healthy bowels.) One of the methods of action is to slow the transit time of material through the intestines-again, reducing diarrhea.

The strain in Activia was produced specifically by Dannon and is known as Bifidus Regularis. As an aside, Dannon settled a class action lawsuit late in 2009 and has since altered the label claims.

Another strain of Bifidobacterium is bifidus infantis. This is the probiotic found in the product Align. Align is gluten free.

The Bifidobacterium probiotic strain appears to have real promise for those with intestinal disorders, including celiac disease and IBS.

  • Bifidobacterium appears to reduce the permeability of the intestinal walls in response to gliadin. This is especially of interest to those of us with celiac disease as the probiotic can help reduce gliadin’s (protein in gluten) damage to the intestines.
  • Recommendations were made at the Yale University Workshop in 2008 by a panel of 12 regarding the use of probiotics. Unfortunately, this paper is not available for free access (like so many I want to see,) but a summary from the NY Times stated “a panel of 12 experts concluded that there was strong evidence that several probiotic strains could reduce diarrhea, including that associated with antibiotic use. Several studies have also suggested that certain probiotics may be useful for irritable bowel syndrome, with the strongest recommendation for Bifidobacterium infantis 35624, the probiotic in the Procter & Gamble supplement Align. (Two members of the panel had ties to Procter & Gamble; three others had ties to other companies that sell probiotics.)” Important to note that there is financial benefit there. That doesn’t mean their opinion should be discounted, it’s just something to be aware of.

Of course, if you have any questions, please contact your physician before starting probiotic use. They are GRAS (generally recognized as safe) by the FDA, but individuals with immunodeficiency or active bowel infection are not recommended to use probiotics.

Align was kind enough to send me samples to try, and a month’s supply for one lucky reader! I used Align for a month, and can say I did not notice a difference. However, I am not a fair subject as I was already taking another brand of probiotic. Align also offers a money back guarantee if you are dissatisfied after trying it. That’s pretty impressive.

Align can be found pretty much anywhere-I saw it at Target and Publix.

If you’d like to win a free month supply of Align, leave a comment below and tell me what your biggest obstacle is to eating healthfully (if you have one), and/or your experience with probiotics. Winner will be randomly selected.

You can get another chance in the virtual hat if you re-tweet this post for my Twitter buddies.

For my free nutrition guideline, click here, or if you missed Gluten Free and Fit 101 check it out here.

Good luck!