Fennel and Orange Salad

Fresh and crunchy salad
Simple salad high in vitamin C.

Ingredients

5 clementine oranges
½ cup sliced fennel bulb
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup aged balsamic vinegar

Directions

Gently peel the oranges carefully removing the pith. Separate the slices and place in a shallow bowl. Cut the fennel bulb in half and slice in whatever form you desire and add to the orange slices. Whisk together the olive oil and vinegar and drizzle over salad. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
This lovely salad is delicious as is or served atop a bed of arugula or mixed greens.

Fiber, fiber, more fiber

These are some great sources of fiber.
These are just some of the great sources of fiber that are available

Fiber is found in all plant-based foods and plays an essential role in human health. A diet rich in high fiber foods can reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, lower the risk of several forms of cancer, improve cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as regulate digestion. There are 2 types of fiber, soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber pulls in water to form a gel in the digestive tract. This slows digestion, so that our stomachs and intestine don’t absorb as much of some nutrients, like starch and sugar. Consuming soluble fiber can also improve glucose tolerance in people with diabetes. Oatmeal, barley, mushrooms, and quinoa are examples of soluble fiber.

In general, if a plant food is rough with a tough skin, has a peel, pod or seeds, it is a type of insoluble fiber. Some examples of insoluble fibers are beans, grapes, green leafy vegetables, pineapple, and apples. It acts as a natural laxative that speeds the passage of foods through the stomach. It also gives bulk to stool and helps it to move quickly through the gastrointestinal tract.

High fiber diets may be useful for people who want to lose weight: it contains no calories and it slows down our rate of digestion. Fiber also makes us feel satiated sooner and for longer periods of time. We can utilize these characteristics of fiber to assist us in meeting our weight loss goals.

Getting more fiber in our diets can improve our health and quality of life. Most Americans don’t get anywhere near the amount of fiber, 25 – 38 grams per day recommended in their daily diet. This explains the increasing numbers of gastrointestinal diseases, diverticulitis, constipation, hemorrhoids, high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes.

Look for the “dietary fiber” content on food labels. Good sources of fiber have at least 10% of the “percent daily value” of fiber.

    TIPS TO ADDING MORE FIBER TO YOUR DIET

    1. Try to eat at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables per day.

    2. Eat oatmeal, bran, or another whole grain cereal for breakfast.

    3. Look for breads, cereals, and crackers that list a whole grain first on the label.

    4. Add fiber to your diet slowly, otherwise you may feel bloated or have gas pains.

    5. Drink 8 cups of water and other fluids a day to keep things moving smoothly through your intestines.

Quinoa and Chickpea Salad

Ingredients

This salad is very high in fiber.
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 garlic clove (more if you really like garlic)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 package spinach or arugula leaves

Directions

  • Rinse the quinoa under cold water for 1-2 minutes. Bring 2 cups of broth or water to boil. Add quinoa, stir, cover and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Check the quinoa after 10 minutes, you may need to add a little more liquid. Cook until it is tender.
  • In the meantime mince, mash or crush the garlic. Place in a bowl and stir in the lemon juice, black pepper and salt; whisk in the oil.
  • Add the cooked quinoa and the chickpeas, almonds, and bell pepper to the bowl and mix. Serve over the spinach or arugula leaves and drizzle with the dressing. Salad can be served warm or cold.

Roasted Radish with Spinach and Radish Greens

This dish is low in calories and very nutrient dense.

Ingredients

  • 3 bunches small radishes with greens
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 500°. Trim the radishes and wash the greens; pat dry.
  • In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the radishes, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the radishes for 15 minutes, until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Return the skillet to the burner and stir in the butter to coat the radishes. Add the radish greens and spinach leaves and cook over moderate heat until they are wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and season with salt. Serve the radishes right away.

Soy, Rice, and Almond Milk

Whether you are trying to lose weight, are lactose intolerant, or allergic to dairy, you may want to consider an alternative to milk. Below you will find information on some of my favorite milk substitutes.

Soy milk

Soy milk contains powerful antioxidants that help fight disease and aging. They have been found to increase bone density and strengthen the immune system. Adequate soy protein has been proven to improve your total cholesterol numbers and can be effective in preventing heart disease. Natural soy isoflavones help menopausal symptoms for women, and soy promotes good prostate health for men. Soy milk is rich in protein, and contains soluble fiber. In addition to being cholesterol-free, studies have shown that a diet including soymilk actually helps lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, while leaving HDL (good) cholesterol unaffected! Soy milk contains a host of helpful isoflavones, one of which is called genistein. Studies show that this valuable phytoestrogen actually suppresses the growth of cancer cells. Soy is the only commonly consumed ingredient that contains genistein.

Rice milk

Rice milk is low in cholesterol, which makes it a wise alternative food choice to other products with high amount of cholesterol. It is also an acceptable diet by vegetarians and people trying to lose weight, as it is free from “bad” fats responsible for weight gain. Since rice milk is free from lactose, it is suitable for people with lactose intolerance. It contains trace amounts of protein, but has a significant amount of essential vitamins and carbohydrates. Additionally, it is lower in cholesterol therefore is beneficial to patients suffering from heart disease, including heart attack and stroke. Rice milk is low in calories and can form a great nutritional plan for those trying to lose weight. If you are seeking effective ways to shed few pounds fast, add rice milk into your diet and reap its benefits. It is one of the healthiest food choices as it is a great source of vitamin E and magnesium, as well as manganese, and selenium. Rice milk is also rich in flavonoids which help improve cardiovascular health, providing protection from heart disease and stroke. Moreover, studies have shown that it is free from growth hormones and antibiotics. Rice milk is high in essential minerals, including magnesium and selenium, which are proven to enhance function of the immune system, providing protection from diseases and viral infections. Excessive consumption of rice milk is not safe for diabetics, and may also cause allergies. Therefore, you need to moderate your intake.

Almond milk

Almond milk is composed of more nutrients in comparison with other dairy milk substitutes such as rice milk or soy milk. Almond milk is a good substitute for people lactose and soy allergies. It is filled with minerals, antioxidants and vitamins. This particular milk does not have any cholesterol and it contains sodium in low amounts. Almond milk lowers the likelihood of increasing bad levels of cholesterol while increasing HDL cholesterol. The potassium content, which is about 150 grams per serving, helps to encourage normal levels of blood pressure as well.

Almond milk is basically a kind of plant-based milk, which makes it lactose free. This allows those people who have lactose allergies to receive calcium and other minerals and vitamins without unpleasant side effects such as stomach cramps, diarrhea and bloating that are linked to consuming cow’s milk. In addition, most manufacturers of almond milk usually enhance their produces with extra calcium. This milk is free of the growth hormones present in whole milk, making it useful in baking rather than regular milk. Individuals suffering from diabetes can benefit considerably from consuming almond milk, as it contains only seven grams of carbs in each serving. This low carbohydrate content has a limited effect on the levels of blood sugar. When you eat simple sugars, the metabolic functions usually miss the essential nutrients, storing both fat and carbs. Sugars found in almond milk are low glycemic in nature, meaning that they are fully digested and used as energy and thus benefits diabetics.

The disadvantages of soy, rice, and almond milk are that they cannot be utilized as a replacement for breast milk since they do not provide the adequate nutrition required by a baby.