Confess it, don’t you love getting free samples? Well, I most certainly do, especially when they are the latest and greatest in the health food industry. Last weekend, the Canadian Health Food Association Trade Show took place in Vancouver. I sampled all sorts of delights from chaga mushroom tea, brown rice kale chips to a salted caramel, cashew milk frozen dessert. Besides trying great food, there were talks given by doctors and health experts.
One of the speakers was Kathy Smart who is a registered nutritionist, holistic chef, named Canada’s health activist, and she was even a guest on Dr. Oz. Kathy had clients who wanted to slim down, so she tested a theory on them which she claims worked time and time again. Her theory is that a plant-based protein works better for apple-shaped women and meat based protein is best for pear-shaped women. Whether you’re wanting to trim down or not, here is a tip about how much protein to eat. Take your weight in pounds and divide it in half, then this is the number in grams that you should be eating a day. So let’s say you weigh 140 lbs., then you should be eating 70 grams of protein per day.
Kathy Smart also talked about her list of top healthy foods. Can you guess which vegetable she thinks should be crowned vegetable of 2015? BEETS! This superfood is a powerhouse of nutrients with some not readily found in other vegetables/fruits. As an example, beets have a high concentration of betalains (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifying). They also contain vitamin C, magnesium, iron, folate, manganese, nitrate and potassium. This purple vegetable offers a huge range health benefits including: warding off cancer, supporting the digestive tract, boosting the immune system and energy, lowering blood pressure, helping arthritic pain, preventing cardiovascular disease, stroke and dementia. In China when women are menstruating they eat a lot of beets to replenish their iron levels. Don’t throw out the beet greens (tops of the beets), as they have a good dose of lutein, an antioxidant that supports eye health. I cook them like I would spinach or swiss chard. So, if you didn’t believe in the benefits of beets before, then it’s time to embrace and feel the beet!
I once knew a couple who were very much in love. They dated for 5 years and didn’t have much money, so he proposed to her with a 1-carrot diamond ring! No, that is not a typo, he found the biggest carrot and carved it into a ring. To her, that ring was more meaningful than a real diamond ring and she proudly wore it until it wasn’t fresh anymore. As demonstrated, you can do more with carrots than just eat them.
I was a thief. The first time was remarkably easy, then came a second, third time, and then it became a pattern. The object of my desire was always the same, the coveted “Coffee Crisp” candy bar.
People love eating me all around the world. I am like a warm, cozy blanket for your taste buds and tummy. You can fill me with all sorts of goodies, meat, and veggies. What am I? No, I am not a calzone. Go smaller and Asian….you got it – Dumplings! Kale and I can eat them every day if we could. We aren’t sure if it’s in our blood, but there is just something in those small puffy pillows of savoury meat and veggies that calls to us. A few years ago, Kale and I took a dumpling making class and loved it. Ironically, it was taught by a very knowledgeable non-Asian guy. Making dumplings at home is ideally a social activity; therefore, Kale and I took off to the Granville Island Public Market to shop for the ingredients, then headed back to her place to make them.
But before we dove into making the dumplings, we fortified ourselves with a late breakfast of tea and scones. It felt like we had stepped back in time to when we were kids playing with our tea sets. Although now, we drank fragrant lavender rooibos tea and nibbled on blueberry-lemon-oat scones using Kale’s sophisticated fine china.
Superfoods in our dumplings:
Turkey – This meat is lean, high in protein and has a good amount of iron, phosphorous, zinc , potassium and vitamin B’s. We selected the free-run and non-medicated turkey.
Prawns – Good protein with Omega-3’s, B vitamins, and is also high in iron, as well as zinc, selenium, copper, magnesium and phosphorous.
Shitake mushrooms – Has a particularly high amount of copper, which may be beneficial to heart health. These mushrooms are also high in B vitamins and selenium. It contains lentinan which has anti-fungal properties and can also protect against cancer.
Chives – A good source of vitamin K which is important for the production of osteocalcin, a bone protein.
Ginger – An anti-inflammatory and is full of antioxidants to support its antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-parasitic properties.