Eggs are a pretty controversial topic. Should we eat them? Should we not eat them? How many a day are healthy? Are there alternatives? Lots of questions arise.
In baking you will find many uses for eggs, the most common being the bind that holds the ingredients together. It is also used to provide body, (it "fluffs" your mixtures up) and adds flavour.
In baking it is essential to create balance between your eggs and flour, which will provide structure and strength for what you are creating. This happens partly because eggs stiffen up when heated due to its protein coagulating.
There are many different grades of eggs and options to choose from.
"Omega-3" eggs are created by feeding chickens a diet of flax seeds which comes in the form of ALAs alpha-linolenic acid plant-based type of omega-3s.
Surprise Fact: White and Brown eggs have the exact same nutritional value!
Eggs are graded by shining a light onto the eggs that allows the inspector to view inside the egg to see if the yolk is well centered, as well as the condition of the shell. Grade A eggs have a clean, uncracked shell, a firm yellow yoke, and less air cells. Grade B have an uncracked shell that might have be rough, the yolk is more watery and less uniform.
Current research shows that Eggs are an all around complete food. Meaning their high in protein, and have important vitamins (A, D, B12 - half of your daily requirement & E) and minerals which help to maintain bones, teeth, eyes and skin. About half of an egg’s protein is in the yolk, with a whole egg yielding 5 grams of fat and 6 grams of protein.
Whether you are vegan, allergic or just don’t like eggs, there are alternatives:
Breakfast: Tofu scrambled. Keep in mind tofu can be as delicious as you want to make it. Tofu absorbs the flavours you cook with so be mindful when adding spices.
Baking: Applesauce or bananas
*if a recipe calls for three or more eggs it is important to choose a replacer that will perform the same function (binding or leavening).
No egg variety, organic or otherwise is free from the threat of salmonella. This bacteria is passed down from hen to egg. Washing your eggs will not leave you free and clear as the bacteria is generally within the egg itself. *It is important to cook your eggs thoroughly*
One study according to The Globe and Mail found participants who ate at least an egg a day were 42% more likely to develop type-2 diabetes versus those that did not eat eggs or ate less than one egg a week.
A Harvard study that followed thousands of doctors oven 20 years, even found that eating an egg a day can significantly shorten your lifespan. Which might make you rethink your scrambled eggs in the morning.
You are definitely given a choice these days. Eggs aren't our only breakfast option, however they do remain a traditional morning comfort food. There is an abundant amount of research proving and disproving theories about eggs. Factually they are a good source of protein, but as we already know, moderation is key.
Written by Nicole Whitely and Amy Trachter
Your tongue can distinguish five basic tastes: salty, sweet, savoury, bitter and sour. And less understood is the ability to taste fat. The ability to taste sweetness, savoury and fat permits detection of nutrients. The ability to taste sourness and bitterness permits avoidance of toxins in food. There is no requirement for fat in the diet, but fats are nutritionally important in other ways.
Large amounts of sodium trigger the same “DO NOT EAT” response in the brain as foods that are bitter and sour, which helps prevent you from eating a dangerous amount of sodium. We are born predisposed to like sweet tastes and not drawn to the bitter. Acting as a mechanism against ingesting toxins and other harmful substances. From an evolutionary viewpoint we are prone to like sweetness because the brain prioritizes high calorie food as a survival mechanism. Sodium is an essential mineral to all animals, but it is recommended to not go beyond 2-3 teaspoons of salt per day.
It has been discovered that humans are more than likely to crave and enjoy the same kinds of flavours their mothers ate whilst they were pregnant with them. It is thought that this signals to the baby that if mom can eat it, it's good, safe nourishment.
Combining sour and sweet flavours on the tongue can be a bit confusing in the mouth, making it hard for us to distinguish the difference.
The brain is more or less reliant on a source of glucose and red bloods cells are completely reliant on glucose. This is a great excuse to eat the good sugars if you ask me. But careful not to over do it!
Fruit juices provide undesirable high level of sugars. The best source of sweet energy is from the whole fruit including fiber, helping your body absorb and use that sugar effectively.
It makes sense that we use sweet treats as a reward simply because the brain values these highly caloric foods. Artificial sweeteners do not enact the same reward response because our brain can tell it's not the real deal! Artificial sweeteners may be able to fool your taste buds but not your brain. And with sweeteners like raw sugar, agave and maple syrup showing up on restaurant tables there's no need to reach for the aspartame alternative!
Like all things we eat, moderation is key. Each of our mouths experience different tastes, likes and dislikes. Be creative with your flavors and explore something new! You may be surprised by what your taste buds tell you.
Written by Nicole Whitely and Amy Trachter
Starting with Smoothies can be an intimidating process. Here are some tips to make your transition to wellness, a smooth one.
1. The amount of liquid you use strongly impacts the texture and your opinion of the smoothie. Don't be thrown off if it's not right the first time. If it's too pulpy add 1/4 cup of liquid (I just use a drinking glass) - your liquid could be fresh juice from the grocery store, water or coconut water.
2. The temperature is important. The colder the smoothie - the fresher the feel/taste. Use either frozen fruit or about 6 ice cubes when blending or add a handful of ice to your glass once blended.
The General Smoothie Combo:
Something Green (spinach, kale, swiss chard etc.) +
1-2 Vegetables (one carrot, one beet or both etc.) +
2 Fruits (banana & strawberries, orange & banana, mango & strawberries etc.) +
1 liquid (peach, orange or cranberry juice, coconut water, water)
Those are the basics! Feel free to add anything to switch it up. Honey makes a great sweetener, and parsley can add a zesty flair. Some fruits are better use in juice form rather than whole. I recommend using pear and apple juice, but trial and error will show what you like in your smoothie.
To eat mindfully simply means to be aware.
Being aware of your intention to care for yourself and your attention to the relationship between the food you eat and the effect it has on your body.
This means paying attention to cues - that you might be full, that you may be eating emotionally, that you are eating for optimal energy and satiety.
David A. Bender explains in his book, Nutrition: A Very Short Introduction, human beings have a need to meet their body's nutritional standards. The brain system that controls the appetite are effected by physiological, social, environmental, and genetic factors. He states that there are hunger centres in the brain that stimulate us to begin eating, and other centres in the brain to signal to us to stop eating when the hunger has been satisfied.
Damage to these centres cause, over-eating or loss of appetite.
Your appetite is strongly effected by your taste buds as well. Your appetite refers to your need to eat and the pleasures of eating and tasting salty, bitter, sour, sweet and spicy.
A simple and effective step towards Mindful Eating is to ask yourself "Am I Hungry?" before eating. Tuning into this awareness will eventually help bridge the gap between any food triggers you may have (emotional, or otherwise) and your response to them.
Take your awareness to the next level. Ask, HOW do I eat? HOW MUCH do I eat? WHERE do I invest my energy? WHY do I eat? WHEN do I want to eat? WHAT do I eat?
Have more questions and looking for support?
The Center for Mindful Eating and join the community. http://www.thecenterformindfuleating.org/
Written by Nicole Whitely and Amy Trachter
Dietitians tell us that whole grains are essential to a balanced diet, and in one form or another we have been consuming wheat for thousands of years.
What most people don't know is that wheat that is grown now IS NOT the same product as it was when your parents were your age.
Wheat has been monitored since 1843 and until 1960 it did not change much.
As published in PubMed, the US National Institute of Health, Zinc, Copper, Iron, and Magnesium were 19-28% lower in the years 1968-2005 than before 1968.
In a report by CBS News, Dr. William Davis calls wheat "the perfect chronic poison" and blames agribusiness and economical benefits for the genetically engineering yields. He says that dietitians are telling people to cut out this type of wheat but to replace it with something "less bad". He gave the example of replacing unfiltered cigarettes with filtered ones and how this is a modern mentality.
Dr. Davis explains that the "poisons" in wheat essentially trick your brain to stimulate your appetite causing an increase of food intake for the average human who consumes wheat regularly.
He goes on to say that he is not talking about gluten, "or addressing people with gluten sensitivities and celiac disease. I am talking about everybody else".
Most people eat it at least once a day but today's processing techniques separate the nutritious bran and germ away from another component of the grain (the starchy part). This allows the wheat industry to lower cost but yielded a non-nutritious bread. Sprouting or fermenting wheat has nutrients very beneficial to the body but also can be consumed other ways.
Authority Nutrition's, Kris Gunnars, Bachelor of Medicine, suggests to cut wheat out all together! This is the easiest way to avoid the negatives of wheat, and consume the nutrients in other forms.
My suggestion is to make your own bread! If you are a lover of sandwiches, morning toast or all things bread, get a bread maker! You wont regret it! Make it before you go to bed and have it ready for the morning. It fills your house with a delicious smell, and nothing can replace the taste of a fresh loaf.
or, sprouting grains increases many of the grains' key nutrients, including B vitamins, vitamin C, folate, fiber, and essential amino acids often lacking in grains. i.e sprouted brown rice, spouted buckwheat.
Written by Nicole Whitely and Amy Trachter
It seems as if the harder the word is to pronounce, the higher the benefits to your health is has.
For example: BIOFLAVONOID, NICOTINAMIDE and RIBOFLAVIN. COMMON!! What happened to words like, orange and pig.
At least we can say that these geeky sounding words mean something important. Creating Organic is your break down into nutrition and wellness, because living a healthy lifestyle does not have to be intimidating or BORING.
Out of natural instinct, we as humans like to learn more about things we enjoy and understand. Once you know, you know. Showing interest is the first step. Learning something new is the second and living it is the goal.
Today's Nutritional Knowledge:
BIOFLAVONOIDS impact the change of a colour of fruit or flowers and have the ability to improve human health. There benefits include: anti-aging, powerful antioxidant, helps with swelling and allergy control, increases blood flow.
Foods that are high in Bioflavonoids:
Brussel sprouts, Tea, Garlic, Spinach, Tropical Fruits, Citrus Fruit, Strawberry, Broccoli, Bell Peppers.
You may not need a hard hat and steel toe boots at work, but there are hazards of having a desk job. At the risk of sounding extreme, sitting all day can lead to fatal and serious health risks.
You may not even realize how much sitting you are doing,
1) At work 2) In the Car, or Commuting 3) Watching TV, iPad, Video Games, Computer, or Reading
Some health problems that can be caused by sitting for hours every day are: heart disease and organ damage, muscle degeneration and blood clots, disc damage, soft bones, over productive pancreas and diabetes. Further symptoms caused by sitting are high blood pressure, insulin resistance and extra fat around the abdomen.
You may think, “Yes I sit all day at work, but I hit the gym at least 5 times a week”.
FYI: you are still at risk if you do not move the rest of the day.
It is recommended that you have 30 minutes of physical activity every day. “Thirty minutes is two percent of your day, what about the other 98 percent?”, asks Mark Tremblay, Director of the Health and Active Living and Obesity Research Group at CHEO Research Institute in Ottawa.
An article in Maclean’s magazine, by Kate Lanau, reports that a team at the University of Leicester and Loughborough University in England conducted 18 studies including 80,000 participants. The results showed that sitting for long periods increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease, including individuals that work out once a day but still spend most of their hours static.
“After an hour your metabolism starts to sleep. The body becomes less adept at vacuuming sugar and fat from the blood stream, causing them to build up and insulin level to spike.” Peter Katzmaryk, Professor, Pennington Biochemical Research Center
We are in charge of our health, be aware and use simple solutions:
1) Walking/standing meetings 2) Standing desks 3) Walking breaks4) Desk stretches
Written by: Amy Trachter and Nicole Whitely
Links to Washington Post and Maclean's Magazine
Your gigantic non-organic produce tastes bland, doesn't it? It's about to make a lot of sense...
Organic Produce: plants grown without the use of (synthetic) fertilizers, fungicides or inorganic fertilizers and prepared without the use of preservatives. - David A. Bender, Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry
The truth about the opponents, organic produce and "conventional produce" is that the larger the fruit or vegetable, the more ground the nutrients have to cover. The same goes for flavour.
In an NBC news article written by Sarah Burns, it is explained that the farming industry's desire for bigger and faster growing crops is what has led to large yield, huge sizes and uniform shapes. But the very things that increase speed, decreases produce's ability to absorb nutrients from the soil, sun and water.
"By avoiding synthetic fertilizers, organic farmers put more stress on plants, and when plants stress, they protect themselves by producing photochemicals". - Alyson Mitchell PhD.
Organic produce are slower growing compared to their opponent and have a lower yield, leading to a high nutrient content. "Plants have a finite amount of nutrients they can pass on to their fruit and vegetables, so if the produce is smaller, then its level of nutrients will be more concentrated". - Donald Davis, PhD.
An organic apple orchard contains a specific amount of apple trees. Each side of the tree is exposed to a different amount of sunlight, each patch of soil holds a variety of nutrients, and each tree absorbs the water it is fed differently. These components all effect EACH apple's flavour and nutritional content.
Non-organic apple orchard: each tree is synthetically fertilized, leading to a larger yield and size, less flavor and nutritional content per apple.
So next time you think, "WOW Cauliflower, you HUGE", know that bigger does not mean better.