Tag Archives: Healthy Living

Health Benefits of Zinc and Recipes to Include it in Your Diet

Health Benefits of Zinc and Recipes to Include it in your Diet

Zinc is a trace mineral and is needed for many important functions in the body. Zinc is not stored in the cells of the body, so it is needed in small amounts consistently. Benefits of zinc are: shorter duration of the common cold, good hair, skin and nails, prevention of age related macular degeneration, help in regulating blood glucose, keeps your immune system strong, and may stabilize cognition according to a six month study in Florida on Alzheimer’s patients.

I reversed a zinc deficiency by adding whole foods containing zinc daily into my diet using food as medicine. When I retested three months later, my zinc levels were normal, and my hair was growing thicker again. Once I started eating the zinc containing foods, I found I craved them and couldn’t get enough for a while. This was most likely my body’s way of saying “Yes! Thank you for listening!”

Those at a greater risk of zinc deficiency are those with gastrointestinal disorders (my case), a vegetarian diet, large iron supplementation, diabetes, chronic diarrhea, and liver or kidney disorders. However it is becoming more common to have mild zinc deficiency world wide due to soil depletion.

According to studies, low level zinc deficiencies are on the rise in the world. Signs you may be deficient in zinc are:

Poor Memory

Brain Fog

Hair Loss

Vision Degeneration

Slow Wound Healing

Weakened Immune System (frequent colds for example)

White Spots on Fingernails

I don’t recommend supplementing with zinc unless you get tested for deficiency and work with a practitioner. However, eating a diet including foods containing great levels of zinc in a whole food form can be very beneficial to preventing or correcting a mild zinc deficiency. Whole foods that are a zinc rich are:

Oysters

Pumpkin Seeds (I use these) (One of the Best Plant Sources of Zinc)

Lamb

Tahini (Sesame Seed Butter also a good source of calcium)

Dark Chocolate (Ya!) Keep it at least 70% Dark or else you are getting too much sugar! I eat Alter Eco Dark Blackout Organic Chocolate that is 85% Cacao and it is melty on the tongue and yummy!

Almonds

Cashews

Chickpeas

Lobster

Beef

Pork

Chicken (Dark Meat)

Yogurt

Cheese (such as cheddar and Swiss)

Here are some delicious recipes you can make at home that are good sources of zinc!

  1. Almond Tahini Grain Free Cookies
  2. Chesapeake Crab Cakes
  3. Chocolate Mocha No Moo Smoothie
  4. Chinese 5 Spice Chicken Bites
  5. Lamb and Pine Nut Meatballs with Swiss Chard
  6. Mango Cashew Chicken Salad
  7. Oven Chuck Roast with Vegetables
  8. Oven Roasted Carrots with Cumin, Lime and Pumpkin Seeds
  9. Pizza Kale Chips
  10. Pumpkin Seed Pesto
  11. Sunflower Pumpkin Seed Crackers

References:

Discovery of Human Zinc Deficiency: It’s Impact on Human Health and Disease

The Emerging Role for Zinc in Depression and Psychosis

Zinc Deficiency Associated with Hypothyroidism: An Overlooked Cause of Severe Alopecia

A 3-Month Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study Evaluating the Ability of an Extra-Strength Marine Protein Supplement to Promote Hair Growth and Decrease Shedding in Women with Self-Perceived Thinning Hair

Zinc Fact Sheet for Health Professionals NIH

Disclaimer: This medical information is not advice and should not be treated as such. Consult your doctor before taking any supplements or vitamins.   The medical information on this website is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied. You must not rely on the information on my website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

Grain Free Peach Cobbler

Grain Free Peach Cobbler on a Spoon

The peaches are fresh, juicy, ripe, and begging to be baked into something with cinnamon and nutmeg. There is nothing like peach season for eating peaches! They are at their most excellent and not to be missed! Peaches are sweet juicy pleasures, but they also are packed with health benefits and a broad range of nutrients!

The fiber in peaches helps keep you regular, they are rich in ascorbic acid and zinc (which also has anti-aging properties) to aid your immune system, rich in vitamin C and flavonoids for healthy skin, and contain the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin for eye health.

The batter for the cobbler features coconut flour, pastured eggs and natural maple syrup as the sweetener.

Grain Free Peach Cobbler

Grain Free Peach Cobbler

Preheat your oven to 350° degrees. Grease a 8″ x 8″ square pan with coconut oil.

Ingredients for Filling:

4 cups of peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced (about 4 peaches)

1/4 Cup of Maple Syrup (I used local)

2 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice (fresh squeezed)

1/2 Teaspoon of Cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon of Nutmeg

1/8 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

Toss the peaches and filling ingredients together in a bowl, and set aside to let them start releasing some of their juices.

Ingredients for Cobbler Topping:

1/3 Cup of Coconut Flour (I use this brand) scooped and leveled, it makes a big difference with coconut flour how it is measured!

1/3 Cup of Coconut Milk

2 Tablespoons of Melted Coconut Oil

3 Pastured Eggs

1/4 Cup of Applesauce (no sugar added)

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract (gluten free here)

1/2 Teaspoon of Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

1/4 Teaspoon of Cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling the top before baking

Directions:

In a medium mixing bowl, add the eggs and beat with an electric hand mixer until frothy. Add your coconut milk and beat. Slowly pour in the melted coconut oil while beating. Add the applesauce, vanilla extract and lemon juice and blend. Sift together the coconut flour, cinnamon and baking soda. Add it to the egg mixture, and mix with the electric mixer for one minute. It will thicken.

After mixing up the cobbler topping, pour your peach filling into the prepared 8″ x 8″ square pan. Dollop the cobbler batter on top as desired and sprinkle with some additional cinnamon, about 1/4 teaspoon, no need to be perfect with this, just a pinch or so though.

Bake in your preheated oven for 30 minutes. The peaches should be bubbling and the cobbler topping golden brown. Remove from the oven, and cool slightly before serving warm. You can also reheat any leftover cobbler quickly in the microwave if you want to eat it warm.

Sliced Peaches in Pan for Grain Free Cobbler

Peach Cobbler Filling

Batter on Peaches for Baking a Grain Free Cobbler

Ready to Bake above.

Serves Six

Enjoy!

Sandra

*Affiliate Link – I receive a very small commission (cents) when you purchase products I recommend through my Amazon links. I use these products myself and never recommend anything I haven’t tried and use regularly. The small commission helps me keep my blog up, so if you have enjoyed my posts and recipes, I appreciate your support. You don’t pay any extra for your products. Thank you.🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Eat Seven Servings Plus of Vegetables a Day and Notice the Difference!

Benefits of Eating Broccoli

Good Morning Everyone!
Are you getting your veggies in every day? I challenge you to eat at least seven servings of vegetables daily! Yes, at least seven, and I prefer eleven. It isn’t as hard as you think! A serving is roughly 1 cup of raw vegetables, 1/2 cup of cooked, or 2 cups of raw, leafy greens. If the leafy greens are cooked, such as spinach, chard and kale, it shrinks considerably! The average person eats less than three servings daily of vegetables. That’s not enough nutrients for your body, and vitamin pills have their place, but they are never the same as real food working synergistically with your miraculous machine (your body). Look at all the benefits of broccoli alone! Here’s an example of getting those vegetables into your day in a variety of colors.
Breakfast – Throw some leafy greens into a fruit smoothie or the eggs you are scrambling. Be generous, and that’s two servings to jump start your day! Make a vegetable omelet. Add some vegetables from last night’s dinner to your breakfast on the side.
Lunch – Include a salad with your meal. It is filling, and you can get in at least three servings of vegetables. Think Tomatoes, Romaine, Shredded Carrot, Cucumbers, Onions, Peppers, Scallions, and how about some Basil?
Dinner – Make a deliberate decision to always serve three vegetables at dinner. This is easy in a stir fry, or a vegetable medley. Last night I made a quinoa shrimp bowl for the whole family. It had carrots, scallions, basil, broccoli, and zucchini in it. We also had a salad.

Here are a few recipes from my blog that are vegetable forward main dishes, and there are many more in the recipe index.

Bacon, Tomato and Basil Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Butternut Squash Lasagna

English Cottage Pie

Grilled Vegetables and Shrimp Toss

Below, I have a handy free Seasonal Produce Guide to help you out!

Seasonal Produce Guide


Find ways you like to cook and eat vegetables, and just do it! Over time, you will notice a huge difference in how you look and feel! Summer is one of the best times to meet this challenge. There is an abundance of fresh, local vegetables available. I want you to feel your best! So, I’m curious, how many servings are you guys getting on average a day? How do you eat them?
Enjoy your Wednesday!
Sandra Shields, Certified Health Coach

A Calorie Is Not Just a Calorie to Your Cells

what-you-fuel-your-body-with-matters

Wishing you all a very healthy New Year! Make a commitment this year to eat more food that will increase your health, and kick the processed foods and food that your body doesn’t thrive on to the curb! Resolve to listen to your body, and if it is achy, lethargic, anxious, tired, sleep deprived, overweight, has brain fog, poor digestion, muscle loss, or skin issues,  make a decision to change that this year. Food feeds your cells which turn over at an incredible rate. What you eat becomes your blood and cells. Once you begin a really good and healthful eating program for the purpose of lifestyle change (not a diet!), poor quality and processed food will no longer taste good to you. It takes times for your taste buds to change, so stick with it longer than a few weeks. I promise you will begin to crave delicious, real food all the time, love it and never look back!

You are so worth it! 🙂

Sandra Shields, Health Coach (Sam)

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

Make Your Own Grape Electrolyte Beverage

It is easy to make your own electrolyte beverage when you have a need for some extra hydration and don’t like the less than stellar ingredients in some of the brands available out there, like artificial dyes and refined sugars that you normally wouldn’t put in your system.  An electrolyte drink can be helpful to prevent dehydration and soothe the tummy with cold and flu season coming up, after an intense sweat session, or during, ahem, a colonoscopy prep where you can only consume clear liquids and jello in certain colors!

Make Your Own Electrolyte Beverage

I recently had a colonoscopy to prep for, and the handout they give you for what you can consume for a whole day without being dehydrated, really hungry or drinking a lot of processed beverages that aren’t  good for you seemed daunting.

After a little research, I put together an electrolyte drink using organic white grape juice to help me stay hydrated, so I didn’t feel weak after the procedure. The white grape juice met the criteria for clear with no red or purple colors and helped balance electrolytes with the sea salt and baking soda.  I also made my own jello using Vital Proteins gelatin, ice pops, and sipped on herbal teas and clear broth.

Grape Electrolyte Beverage

Ingredients:

2 Cups of Good Water

1/4 Cup of White Grape Juice

1 Tablespoon of Clear Honey

1/4 Teaspoon of Sea Salt or Pink Himalayan Salt

1/4 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon of Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

Whisk all the liquids together, and refrigerate.

This is a very easy and inexpensive way to make an electrolyte beverage with good ingredients that are handy right in your pantry. You can change out the juices as desired and come up with flavors of your own!

  • If you are on a sodium restricted diet, talk with your doctor before consuming an electrolyte beverage.

Have a great day!

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

 

 

 

 

There is No Such Thing as Failure

No Such Thing as Failure

As long as you are living and breathing, there is no such thing as failure. There is always room for change, improvement, success, reached goals, healthier lifestyle, that new thing you always wanted to happen but it just didn’t for whatever reason.

To stay on track with changes you want to make in your life it can be helpful to find an accountability partner, keep your eye on the goal, surround yourself with people and things that inspire you, make a Vision Board and put it where you can see it every day, make a list of steps you can take to implement your success. Keep adding and changing things on your vision board as you grow, change and get closer to your dream (great article on how to make one and why they work!) , have a calendar dedicated to steps you are taking daily and give yourself a sticker on the days you do well. Don’t quit. Keep going. Believe that you can!

Everyone has as least one thing at any given point in their lives that they would like to change or do. Things like stronger relationships, being a better …………., making a move, overcoming fear of ………………….., more energy, improved health, eating healthier, health challenges, career and many more.

I have completely changed many areas in my life. Many times when I was stuck, it was because I needed to move forward even though I was afraid of making a mistake or failure of what the future would hold. The alternative to moving forward is staying where we are in our lives and never fully realizing our potential.

On another note, you know I am a huge fan of getting in those vegetables! Here I am holding a beautiful bouquet of Kale! I made this into delicious Pizza Kale Chips or you could make Cheesy Kale Chips! Click on them to get the recipe from my recipe index. A delicious way to get in your greens! If you don’t have a food dehydrator (kale chips are just not the same when made in the oven), consider making the purchase, or swap out your junk food craving for purchased kale chips.

Kale Bouquet soon to be Kale Chips!

Kale Bouquet soon to be Kale Chips!

 

Have a wonderful, adventurous, courageous day!

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

 

 

 

 

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