This week I have been exploring the key reasons you want to ensure you are getting good levels of potassium in your diet (https://www.facebook.com/warmlynourished/). Its wonderful to know that this vital mineral is naturally contained in most of the foods we eat. The trick is eating whole foods and not packaged foods which also contain a great deal of sodium.
To end this weeks discussion, I am leaving you with one of my favorite recipes, a dip. The classic Mexican guacamole – which is made with avocado, a rich source of potassium and to it I add tomato also a good source. The combination is perfect for parties and of course Mexican food night at your place with other homemade Mexican food goodies. I hope you enjoy it!
Salsa and Guacamole recipe - Potassium
- Salsa Fresca
- 2 medium tomatoes, finely diced (you can remove the seeds)
- ½ white onion, finely diced
- 1 – 2 Jalapeño peppers (small green chilies with medium heat) seeded
- ½ cup chopped fresh coriander
- 1 lime juiced
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- pinch ground cumin
- pinch of salt ( or to taste)
- 1 med avocado – flesh and seed removed from skin (reserve the seed)
- Juice from ½ of a lime cheek – you might need more
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- ½ to 1 quantity Salsa Fresca (tomato salsa)
Make it like so....
- To Make the Salsa Fresca:
- Combine all the ingredients. Can be made a up to 2 days ahead of when needed. Note, you can increase the heat by using hotter chilies like habanero.
- To Make the Guacamole
- Combine the avocado flesh, lime juice, and salsa. You can do this with a potato masher, mortar and pestle or use your HANDS (best tool). Adjust seasoning according to your taste.
- Add more salt, lime juice or chilies.
- Transfer to your serving bowl and add the seed to the centre before covering. The seed helps the avocado from discoloring. Allow to set for 30 minutes or longer to develop flavour.
Iron to the Core – Dragging your self out of bed….heavy monthly periods…..cold hands and hands and feet…..desire to eat ice, dirt or clay….. Well if you are anything like me, you might be suffering from Anemia.
About 15 years ago I started to notice a few changes that had major impacts on daily life, the first was excessive bleeding during my monthly period. My periods got heavier each year and the length of my cycle was out of wack. I was struggling to get out of bed every morning and generally felt flat. Each year my blood test indicated I was boarder line anemic and asked to take supplements. Then one year I tipped the balance and was sent to a specialist who determined I had and uterine fibroids. I had the fibroids treated and my iron levels went back up to a normal level. What I do now is each a balanced diet with a wider range of Iron rich foods to ensure I keep my iron level up. Foods I include are: dark green leafy vegetables, fish, shell fish, lean meat, eggs, seeds – pumpkin seeds, nuts, and some dried fruits, beans and legumes. Additionally I include sources of Vitamin C which helps us absorb our iron.
What Causes Iron-Deficiency Anemia?
The medical cause is not having enough iron in your body, which causes iron-deficiency termed anemia. The common reasons for lack of iron usually is due to blood loss, poor diet, or an inability to absorb enough iron from food.
Inadequate iron intake – poor diet – Eating too little iron rich foods over an extended period can cause a shortage in your body. There is a wide range of foods that are good sources of iron, and include meat, fish, shell fish, eggs, beans, nuts and seeds, and dark green leafy vegetables are high in iron. Because iron is essential during times of rapid growth and development, pregnant women and young children may need even more iron-rich foods in their diet.
Blood loss due to menstruation – In women of childbearing age, the most common causes of iron deficiency anemia are heavy menstrual bleeding and blood loss during childbirth.
Internal bleeding – Certain medical conditions can cause internal bleeding, which can lead to iron deficiency anemia. Examples include an ulcer in your stomach, polyps in the colon or intestines, or colon cancer. Regular use of pain relievers, such as aspirin, can also cause bleeding in the stomach.
Inability to absorb iron – Certain disorders or surgeries that affect the intestines can also interfere with how your body absorbs iron. Even if you have enough iron in your diet, your body may not be able to absorb it. This can happen if you have intestinal surgery (such as gastric bypass) or a disease of the intestine (such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease). Also some prescription medicines that reduce acid in the stomach also can interfere with iron absorption.
Who is at risk for iron deficiency anemia? Anemia is a common condition and can occur in both men and women of any age and from any ethnic group. Some people may be at greater risk for iron deficiency anemia than others. These include:
- women of childbearing age
- pregnant women
- people with poor diets/ or vegetarians who don’t replace meat with another iron-rich food such as:
Key Dietary Sources of Iron
Legumes: lentils, soybeans, tofu, tempeh, Lima beans
Grains: quinoa, fortified cereals, brown rice, oatmeal.
Nuts and seeds: pumpkin, squash, pine, pistachio, sunflower, cashews, unhulled sesame.
Vegetables: tomato sauce, swiss chard, collard greens, spinach, kale
- infants and children, especially those born prematurely or experiencing a growth spurt
- people who donate blood frequently
If you’re at risk for iron deficiency anemia, start talking with your your doctor and monitor by having a blood test. Additionally, review your diet and look for ways to add iron rich foods in.
What are the symptoms of iron deficiency anemia? The symptoms of iron deficiency anemia can be very mild at first, and you may not even notice them. Most people don’t realize they have mild anemia until they have a routine blood test. The symptoms of moderate to severe iron deficiency anemia include:
Affects of Anemia on the human body
- general fatigue
- pale skin
- shortness of breath
- strange cravings to eat items that aren’t food, such as dirt, ice, or clay
- a tingling or crawling feeling in the legs
- tongue swelling or soreness
- cold hands and feet
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- brittle nails
How is iron deficiency anemia diagnosed? A doctor can diagnose anemia with blood tests. The most common one is Complete Blood Cell test (CBC).
A CBC test is usually the first test a doctor will use. A CBC test is often performed as part of a routine physical examination. It’s a good indicator of a person’s overall health. It may also be performed routinely before a surgery. This test is useful to diagnose this type of anemia since most people who have an iron deficiency don’t realize it.A CBC test measures the amount of all components in the blood, including:
- red blood cells (RBCs)
- white blood cells (WBCs)
The CBC test provides information about your blood that is helpful in diagnosing iron deficiency anemia. This information includes:
- the hematocrit level, which is the percent of blood volume that is made up of RBCs
- the hemoglobin level
- the size of your RBCs
A normal hematocrit range is 34.9 to 44.5 percent for adult women and 38.8 to 50 percent for adult men. The normal range for hemoglobin is 12.0 to 15.5 grams per deciliter for an adult woman and 13.5 to 17.5 grams per deciliter for an adult man. In iron deficiency anemia, the hematocrit and hemoglobin levels are low. Also, RBCs are usually smaller in size than normal.
Other tests – Your doctor might order additional blood tests to determine how severe your anemia is and help determine treatments. These blood tests will provide additional information such as:
- iron level in your blood
- RBC size and color – RBCs are pale in color if they’re deficient in iron.
- ferritin levels – Ferritin is a protein that helps with iron storage in your body. Low levels of ferritin indicate low iron storage.
- total iron-binding capacity (TIBC) -Transferrin is a protein that transports iron. A TIBC test is used to determine the amount transferrin that’s carrying iron.
Tests for internal bleeding – If your doctor is concerned that internal bleeding is causing your anemia, additional tests may be needed. One test you may have is fecal occult test to look for blood in your feces. Blood in your feces may indicate bleeding in your intestine.
If you think you are iron deficient, please speak with your doctor and determine if you are Anemic. A simple blood test will tell help you on your path to feeling better.
Oh and include iron rich foods to your diet daily! Need some recipe ideas… Here is one of mine
nut and dairy free pesto
I hope this finds you well and enjoying what 2017 has to offer so far. This year I am focusing my energy on simple and meaningful activities which will have very positive outcomes – for me and I hope you. I am calling this #simplysimple2017. In my life this will focus on de-clutering my kitchen, removal of harmful cleaning agents, using glass and glass jars for food storage, limiting my social media viewing, turning off technology by 8pm, and getting back to reading for pleasure. For you – Welcome to 2017, the year to start working toward creating a simply simple well nourished life.This year Warmly Nourished is expanding our offering alongside what we offered last year. So what will Warmly Nourished be up to? Glad you asked and here is a sample of what is on offer for you during 2017:
Community Dinners and Events
(1) Our seasonal dinners @ Asquith Family Chiropractors are back with the Autumn Dinner kicking things off on 10th of March. We have been running these dinners since Nov 2015 and they just keep getting better. Here’s the link to Eventbrite to book in: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/autumn-2017-dinner-tickets-31700275377?aff=efbevent
(2) New concepts for community meal sharing are under review so stay tuned!
(3) Health talks and workshops, these will cover a whole range of health topics so look out for them and I always post them on social media.
The first work shop is scheduled for Saturday 8th of April in Mosman.
Warmly Nourished Cooking Class
Getting ready for my cooking class students
Ole Mexican Cooking Class shared meal
Late last year I had the opportunity to offer cooking classes in a great location in West Pymble. Sadly I have to find a new location for this year’s classes. So stay tuned to WHEN and WHERE.
Ah and now for the WHAT. I have received some great feedback and requests from you and have now included these ideas into this year’s selection, plus one I am very passionate about:
(a) More knife skills and basic prep and cooking for one OR two people
(b) Healthy fun treats for lunch box and after school
( c) Healthy theme meals to create a full dinner party
(d) Small dishes…healthy finger food ideas
(e ) soup and salad meals
(f) Creating your own fermented foods at home (passionate about this one)
When I have the new venue sorted out I’ll share the calendar with you. Question, are Sunday’s still good for you or would you like me to mix it up a bit? Please let me know.
Working with Patricia 1:1
I really want to help others explore their own kitchens so I am promoting my introduction package cooking with me in your own home. If are interested OR want to share this with someone else please let me know. The package could include more than one person, so you could create a mini fun lunch with some friends.
In addition to this, I am also offering (1) fun tour of your favourite grocery store and show how you can eat healthy without changing you shopping patterns (2) pantry make over ( 3) and of course my signature 1:1 health coaching program – Unleash Your New Life Today and 1:1 Healthy Food and Kitchen Tune-up
I am looking forward to working with you this year and I am sure you will find the right program offering for you! To see more of what I do, please visit my web site: https:www.warmlynourished.com and stay in touch. I also have a daily blog on my FB page https://www.facebook.com/warmlynourished/ .
Have a wonderful 2017!! And if you want to use this hash tag #simplysimple2017
Is 8 your magic number? What do I mean by that? I am not sure when the advise for how much water you need to drink each day come into being. What I can tell you is the AVERAGE rule of thumb for adults has been to promote 8 ounces (250 ml) X 8 glasses = 64 ounces OR 2 Liters. How come? During the course of an average day, adult humans lose 2 to 2.5 liters of water. For maintaining health, its been recommended we replace what’s been lost. But is that number right for all? Hard to say as it depends on your age, your diet – its been show that if you are on a high protein diet you need more water, activity level, or if you are ill . The best way to know is to check in with yourself. Here is what I mean:
Signs you might not be getting enough water:
Suggest you consume at least 8 X 8 glasses = 64 ounces OR 2 Liters
- mood changes and slow responses
- dry nasal passages
- dry or cracked lips
- dark-colored urine
- confusion and hallucinations.
So is 8 your magic number or is it 6 or 10?
Eating fruits and vegetable with high water content can help your daily water intake by 20%. So eat up to Drink up.
What on earth do I mean by Eating Up to Drink Up? Our bodies are made up of 60-70% water and this water is used for ALL major bodily functions. Without sufficient water to hydrate us, we start to age more rapidly and lose our ability to flush out toxins for our bodies as it was designed to. Here are some rather compelling reasons to increase your daily water from The Heart MD Institute, Dr. Stephen Sinatra:
- The elderly have low water reserves compared to younger people. Because of this, it is prudent for seniors to learn to get into the water drinking habit more.
- Body water loss through sweat is an inherent cooling mechanism in hot weather and during physical activity. Sweat loss needs to be compensated for with fluid intake.
- Dehydration can influence cognition and even a mild level can disrupt mood, concentration, alertness, and short-term memory in children, young adults, and the elderly.
- Constipation has a number of causes, including medications, inadequate fiber, poor diet, and illness. In the elderly, however, those who consume the least amount of fluid have over twice the frequency of constipation compared to those consuming the most.
- Your kidneys have a primary role in regulating water balance and blood pressure as well as removing waste from the blood stream and excreting it through the urine. Water is necessary for the filtration of waste.
- Dehydration can lead to headaches, including migraine, and in the case of water-induced headache, drinking water often provides relief within 30 minutes to 3 hours.
- Good water intake reduces the risk of developing stones in the urinary tract (kidneys, bladder, and urethra).
In addition to drinking water, you can help by adding in fruits and vegetables with high water content; which can add about 20% to your daily intact. YES, I can eat and drink at the same time that works for me! Ah but which fruit and vegetables (F&V) do I need to eat more of, and by more how much more. Its a safe bet you can increase your water consumption by either ensuring you get 7 servers (7 cups) of veggies and 2 serves (2 cups) of fruit per day. Here are MY top choices, they are F&V with 90-96% water content to help you #eattodrink:
celery, cucumbers, radishes, zucchini, cherry and grape tomatoes, capsicum (bell pepper), leafy greens like spinach/cabbage/and lettuces,
cauliflower, broccoli, strawberries and watermelon
So go on eat your fruit and vegetables add even more water to your daily routine! Eat up to Drink up water, so simple. #simplysimple2017 #eattodrink