Wednesday, September 9, 2009

12 Ways Anger Can Harm You

When most people think of wellness they tend to focus on physical health alone. However it is known in the medical community that emotional well being can have a positive or devastating affect on the body as well. Anger is an emotion that is often overlooked and ignored. The list bellow was taken from the book Overcoming Passive-Aggression: How to Stop Hidden Anger from Spoiling Your Relationships, Career and Happiness. I share it to encourage everybody to value their emotional health and deal with any reoccurring issues that may become detrimental to you and your body.

12 Ways Anger Can Harm You
  1. Increased risk of high blood pressure
  2. Higher levels of homeocysteine (amino acid), leading to arterial
  3. Higher levels of C-reactive protien associated with heart disease and stroke risk
  4. Increased levels of cortisol and adrenaline ( the body's fight-or-flight hormones)
  5. Weakened Immune fuction (resulting from overactive hormones that stress immune system)
  6. Increased body weight (from higher cortisol levels)
  7. Enhanced vulnerability to pathogens, everyday germs, viruses, or familial predisposition to cancer or heart disease
  8. Increased risk of periodontists (gum diseases)
  9. Increased vulnerabilty to eating disorders
  10. Higher rates of anxiety, depression, somatic complaints (aches and pains)
  11. Cellular deterioration, premature aging, and shortened life span
  12. Greater likelihood that angry patients will not comply with medical or psychological treatment, thereby putting their health at risk 

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Chickpea or Chicken Pilaf

I am a lover of rice so the healthy pilaf recipe bellow is right up my alley. As a meat lover becoming a full blown vegetarian health nut is too extreme. Instead I'm exchanging take out for tofu to will help me cut calories without losing taste. Now I still eat meat when I want, but I make most of my homemade meals heavy on the vegetables.

I bought The Anti-Aging Plan: The Nutrient-Rich, Low-Calorie Way of Eating for a Longer Life--The Only Diet Scientifically Proven to Extend Your Healthy Years after hearing about the health benefits from Dr Oz on the Oprah. After trying so many methods of weight lose I'm grateful to have found something that works for me. This plan is not for everyone, namely my family, but the book has two different plans and lots of yummy recipes that make nutritious meal planing simple.

I consider myself a decent cook but I like to start off with simple and work up to the more challenging recipes. If you like pilaf give this recipe a try.

Chickpea or Chicken Pilaf
Serve 8

This Dish can be adapted for a vegetarian diet by simply substituting firm tofu or garbanzo beans (chickpeas) for the chicken.

Pilaf Ingredients
Olive oil cooking spray
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno chilies, seeded and minced
1 3/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
or 1 3/4 pounds firm tofu
or 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
1/2 pounds fresh shiitake mushrooms, chopped
3 1/2 cups broth or water, plus additional as needed
2 cups millet
1/4 cup wheat germ
2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
2 pounds mung bean sprouts
2 medium-sized sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4" slices
3 sheets (each 4" x 2") nori, torn into pieces
Soy sauce or Tabasco sauce, to taste
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
10 scallions, whites only, chopped

Spray a large non skillet with olive and place over medium heat. Add garlic and jalapeno peppers. Stir for 2 minutes. Add the chicken and quickly sear to seal in the flavor. Remove the chicken and set aside. Add shiitake mushrooms. Add a little water or broth as needed to lightly stirfy the mushrooms.

In a 3 quart saucepan, bring 3 1/2 cups of broth or water to a boil. Add the millet, wheat germ, red peppers, and chicken-shiitake-jalapeno-garlic mixture. Return to a gentle boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

During the last 5 minutes of cooking, return the skillet to the stove. Add the bean sprouts, sweet potatoes, and nori. A touch of water will prevent the skillet from drying out; the moisture from the bean sprouts will cook the vegetables. Stir-fry for 6 to 7 minutes. Drizzle in a little soy sauce or Tabasco to taste.

Add the bean sprout mixture to the millet mixture, along with the parsley and scallions.

Heat the cream sauce (below) in a saucepan until warm, then pour equally over each serving and offer extra hot sauce and additional chopped scallions if desired at the table.

Cream Sauce Ingredients
3 cups packed fresh spinach with stems, washed
1 1/2 cups nonfat yogurt
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoon dried thyme or tarragon
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
Buttermilk or nonfat (skim) milk

Steam the spinach for 4 minutes. Place the spinach in a food processor or blender with all of the remaining ingredients and pures until very creamy. For a thinner sauce, add buttermilk or nonfat milk. Set aside, covered.

For Vegetarians: Marinate 1 3/4 pounds cubed tofu in the marinade for Vegetable Paella. Stir the marinade tofu in with the bean sprouts. Or add 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans along with the bean sprouts instaed of the chicken.

To freeze: Simply portion out your servings into freezer ware or freezer baggies. Place into freezer as soon after cooking as possible. to thaw, place in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in the microwave or in a double boiler.

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