Category : Health Tips

Pure Jillian’s Super Easy Spaghetti Squash

Did you know that eating gluten is associated with fatigue, gas, bloating, vomiting, headaches, inability to concentrate, weight loss/gain, infertility, joint and muscle pain, depression and respiratory problems?

I cut gluten out of my diet over three years ago and I never looked back. I grew up with stomach issues, allergies and asthma, all which ceased once I took gluten and dairy out of my diet. I still ate gluten-free breads and pastas, but once I found out that these foods were no better for my health, I looked for alternatives. Enter spaghetti squash. This is my savior. I love pasta and this is a great alternative, plus it’s extremely easy to cook! It still contains sugars and carbohydrates; however, it has nutrients and won’t spike your blood sugar like regular pasta and bread do. It satisfies carb cravings and aids weight loss if chosen over regular pasta.

If you’ve been thinking about cutting out gluten, I highly recommend watching my video: #1 thing you need to know before going gluten-free. Also, get my free gluten-free guide by signing up for my newsletter (upper right hand corner)!

Recipe:

1 medium spaghetti squash

Avocado oil or coconut oil*

Sliced almonds

Tomatoes

Any spices and herbs you would like (I use garlic powder, onion powder, dried basil, dried oregano and red pepper flakes)

Sea salt and pepper

*these oils can withstand high heat. Other oils, such as olive oil, break down at high temperatures and actually produce carcinogenic compounds in the form of free radicals.

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 F

Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise (this can be difficult, so choose a good knife)

Scoop out seeds and pulp

Lay the squash with the exposed insides, face up in a pan

Drizzle oil on top, brush oil on all inside parts of the squash (may have to heat the coconut oil slightly if hardened)

Add desired spices and herbs

Cook for 30-40 minutes, check every 15 minutes and reapply oil if drying out

Squash is done when you can easily puncture a fork into inside part

Let cool for a 5-10 minutes

Run a fork from one side to the other, lengthwise, to separate the spaghetti strands

Transfer to plate and with almond slices and tomatoes

Add more sea salt and pepper to taste

spaghettisquash1

Is salt really all that bad for your health?

“Many studies have examined whether sodium restriction has any effect on cardiovascular disease or the risk of death. These studies consistently found no effect… even in individuals with high blood pressure,” (1). If someone has elevated blood pressure, then yes, reducing sodium intake can help lower it. On the other hand, if someone healthy has more than the daily recommended amount of salt, they are not particularly harming their health. This is not true for all types of salt.

Table salt verses sea salt… Is there a difference?

Table salt is refined and stripped of all the essential minerals we need; some types have added iodine (a mineral many Americans are deficient in). Anti-clumping agents are added to table salt. These are aluminum based and studies have shown that the use of deodorants, beauty products and food that contain aluminum compounds are linked to Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. Also, sugar is added to some types of table salt due to the bitter taste of the aluminum compounds. Furthermore, 75% of sodium intake in the average American diet comes from processed foods or restaurant foods (2). This kind of sodium does not have health benefits; hence why it is recommended that Americans reduce sodium intake.

On the other hand, sea salt can have up to 92 essential minerals, including iodine. Sandy Fallon, author of “Nourishing Traditions” and president of the Weston A. Price Foundation, explains that salt is an enzyme activator (enzymes help break down food and help your cells carry out reactions needed to survive); it forms hydrochloric acid, which digests proteins; it activates enzymes needed for carbohydrate digestion; helps brain function by activating the creation of glial cells in the brain; and is the basis of cellular metabolism. We need salt for basic body functions.

I buy my sea salt from my local health food store. It should be pinkish, greyish or a sandy color!

pink-sea-salt

1. http://authoritynutrition.com/top-13-nutrition-lies-that-made-the-world-sick-and-fat/

2. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyDietGoals/Processed-Foods-Where-is-all-that-salt-coming-from_UCM_426950_Article.jsp

xo,

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Are Microwaves Bad for Your Health?

microwave

Dr. Sanjay Gupta states that microwaves kill fewer nutrients compared to baking or boiling. “Microwave cooking exposes most foods to less heat, water, and for shorter cooking periods, so that means that fewer vitamins will be destroyed during cooking.” (1)

You can literally sterilize a wash cloth or a tooth brush in a microwave. In a study done by Latimer and Matsen (2), they found that various pathogens were killed within seconds in a microwave. If a microwave kills the bad stuff, do you think it safely avoids harming the good nutrients and molecules in our food?

What Dr. Gupta did not assess was how a microwave “cooks” food. Bear with me on the explanation of how microwaves work: Microwaves emit electromagnetic waves that are able to rotate water molecules quickly because water molecules are “polar.” Polar means that one side of the molecule is positively charged and one side is negatively charged. When the water molecule rotates quickly, it produces heat by rubbing against the other molecules in the food. Seems harmless, right? The polar molecules that are rotating are not only heating up your food, but they are forcefully slamming against other molecules in the food, which causes damage to those molecules and can break them apart. Moreover, water is not the only polar molecule in food. Protein molecules have varying polar parts, and are much larger than water molecules. I would assume that the polar parts of proteins want to rotate like the water molecules, potentially destroying the protein. Through this process, food molecules and nutrients are destroyed. One study found that microwaved broccoli lost up to 97% of its antioxidants (3). Some scientists claim that these broken down and altered molecules are carcinogenic. Furthermore, we want to get as many nutrients as possible from our food. When we don’t, we get chronic fatigue and become vulnerable to illness and disease.

Another reason I stay away from microwaves is that toxic chemicals are leached from plastic containers when heated in a microwave. Where do those chemicals go? You guessed it, in your food. The worst container to heat your food in is the container in which a frozen premade meal comes in.

Try this: Use a toaster oven or a conventional oven to heat your food. Yes, it takes longer, but it’s worth it. If you’re going to use a microwave, do not use the plastic containers frozen meals come in. Open up the packaging and use a glass or ceramic dish to microwave your food in. You can also cover the top with a paper napkin so food doesn’t splatter.

And above all else, cooking in any form destroys nutrients. Make sure to get raw, whole foods into your diet every day.

 

  1. http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2010/07/01/does-microwave-cooking-rob-food-of-nutrients/
  2. http://jcm.asm.org/content/6/4/340.full.pdf
  3. http://foodbabe.com/2012/07/30/why-its-time-to-throw-out-your-microwave/
  4. http://www.universetoday.com/45527/how-do-microwaves-work/

xo,

signature - nov 4th blog post

My #1 Health Tip

Start juicing.

This is not about the processed juice one can buy at the store (ahem, orange juice), but the fresh green juice that is made right in front of you. Juicing extracts the juice from fruits and veggies, along with the vitamins and minerals. By drinking one of these bad boys, your body gets the nutrients from pounds of produce without actually eating all of it. Juicing cleanses your body; prevents cardiovascular disease, inflammatory diseases and cancer; promotes weight loss; strengthens the immune system; and literally makes you sexier.

The best way to consume your juice is on an empty stomach. Do not eat two hours prior to drinking your juice; I drink one right after a workout or first thing in the morning. Furthermore, do not eat anything until 15 minutes after drinking juice. This allows for maximum absorption. If you eat right before or after drinking a juice, it doesn’t easily absorb into the body and could sit there while your body digests the food. On another note, the nutrient quality is best right after the juice is made. Once juice meets oxygen, it oxidizes, which kills the nutrients. Drink your juice right after it’s made or at least the same day it is made. Choose a juice that has more greens and veggies, rather than fruit. If fruit is the main component of a juice, it may have a ton of sugar, which does not promote health. Lastly, take fish oil or a shot of olive oil right before your juice. A lot of vitamins are fat soluble. Taking a fish oil supplement will help these vitamins absorb into your system.

What is cold pressed and is it better for you? Masticating juicers (cold pressed juicers) don’t produce as much heat as typical centrifugal juicers. Heat kills nutrients, so a cold pressed juice contains more nutrients.

What about the premade healthy juices at the store? Remember, the nutrient quality of juice diminishes once it hits the air, so the nutrient quality of those juices is largely reduced. This also goes for premade smoothie drinks.

Do you need to buy a $300 juicer? No. Juicers are expensive and it takes 25-40 minutes for prep, juicing and clean up. Depending on where you live, there may be plenty of juice bars in your neighborhood. Check it out on yelp and look for “fresh pressed.” Jamba juice does not count!!

Is juice a meal replacement? Unless you are on a juice cleanse, no a juice is not a meal replacement.

Start drinking fresh pressed juice!! Trust me, your body with thank you.

 

Pure Jillian’s Luminous Green Juice

Serves 2

1 handful spinach

1 head of romaine lettuce

5 stalks of celery

1 cucumber

1 apple

1 lemon

 

juice 1 nov 2 juice 2 nov 2