Miracle Foods

I realize that a lot of you who read this blog also look at my twitter, which tracks my daily food intake.  I’ve gotten a lot of questions about some of the more unusual foods I eat.  Here is a run down of a few foods you SHOULD know, and should most defiantly run out and buy if you haven’t already.

Quinoa: Quinoa dominates just about all the whole grains because it has lysine, one of the nine essential amino acids that you must get from your diet because your body can’t synthesize it. Other grains have some lysine content, but not enough to count; quinoa’s lysine content is sufficient for it to be considered a complete protein.If that were all quinoa had going for it, it would still beat brown rice hands down. But there’s more. In a study conducted in 2002, researchers found that eating quinoa was associated with an increase in insulin-like growth factor-1 levels. Quinoa was once called “the gold of the Incas,” who recognized its value in increasing the stamina of their warriors. Not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. Not only is quinoa’s amino acid profile well balanced, making it a good choice for vegans concerned about adequate protein intake, but quinoa is especially well-endowed with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. In addition to protein, quinoa features a host of other health-building nutrients. Because quinoa is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, this “grain” may be especially valuable for persons with migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis.

Find the rest of that article here.  Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) is delicious and not as filling as brown rice.  What I love so much about Quinoa is how versatile it is.  I mix it with tuna, green onions, and water-crests…then form them into patties which I fry in olive oil on the stove.  Sometimes, I mix it with my scrambled eggs and add salsa.  Other times it tastes so good served cold with blueberries and maple-syrup.  You just cannot go wrong with this stuff. It has 12 grams of protein for 1/2 a cup!  That really boosts your intake for the day.

Mochi:  There is no other “healthy food” that tastes as darn good as mochi.  Made from spun brown rice, mochi bakes up in the over into a crispy outside and doughy inside.  It comes in a variety of organic, gluten-free flavors.  I use mochi to make crusts for quiches and pies, or to fuel myself after a cardio session by adding some jelly to the top.  Some folks use mochi to wrap around ice cream (have you had a mochi ice-cream from Trader Joes yet?).  Be careful on this one, because it counts as your carbs (obviously) and it is so easy to overdo the amount you eat!  Follow the portion size on the back of the package, and whatever you do, don’t douse it in butter!  This is my favorite brand of mochi.  If you check out that site, you can also look at how they make it, and the exact calorie break down.

Muesli:

Quoting Wikipedia:  Muesli is a very healthy breakfast cereal due to its raw whole grains and variety of other natural ingredients. Some health benefits include:

  • Muesli is packed with nutrients from fresh fruits and vegetables that can reduce the risk of cancer.
  • The oat content of Muesli helps lower cholesterol concentration and the risk of atherosclerosis.
  • Some of its nuts content like walnuts is rich in omega 3 fatty acids which is also good for the heart and development of the nervous system.
  • The presence of manganese in Muesli along with low saturated fats keeps your heart safe.
  • It reduces the risk of cancer and other age-related diseases.
  • It lowers glycemic index which controls diabetes.
  • Fulfills the daily fiber requirement: In this age of processed food, very few people are able to achieve their daily fiber requirement through regular meals. Muesli being a very rich source of dietary fiber – both soluble and insoluble – helps in lowering the blood cholesterol level. The soluble fiber (beta-glucans) in muesli helps in avoiding dramatic changes in blood sugar level. It also relieves constipation by improving the bowel movement in the intestinal tract.
  • The oats and nuts present in muesli constitute of a phytochemical known as lignans. This phytochemical agent helps in reducing the chances of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer.

I eat my muesli raw, with 4oz milk and with fresh fruit, usually strawberries or blueberries.  I do not add any sugar, as the dried dates are already enough sweetness.  High fiber diets will help you burn fat very quickly, not to mention all the other wonderful properties they share!  This is the Muesli that I buy for me and my family…yes my kids LOVE it, too.

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