SLIMMING MEALS THAT HEAL
Lose Weight Without Dieting, Using Anti-Inflammatory Superfoods
Have you heard the news? It has now been confirmed that dieting doesn’t work and is best avoided. Professor of Psychology, Traci Mann, and her research team at UCLA recently did an exhaustive review of dietary interventions and concluded that calorie restriction only garnered short-term weight loss, with up to 66% of dieters gaining back more weight than when they started the diet. Although going on a diet may sound like a good idea at first, the trouble is that it ends. That is, there is a fixed moment when the “healthy” eating stops and the “regular” or old eating pattern resumes.
Ultimate freedom lies in letting go of the need to be a particular weight in the first place. Long-term weight balance is achieved by eating anti-inflammatory foods that influence your genes to reach your true “vitality weight.” Your “vitality weight” is not a number on a scale that fits nicely on a graph. It is the natural set point that your body is happiest and healthiest at, where hormonal balance and mental clarity is effortless. Chasing after the “Hollywood” look can actually foster an imbalance on many levels, stressing you out and creating havoc with your mood, sex hormones, and mental well-being.
The American Medical Association recently classified obesity as a disease, and 25% of Canadians are now considered obese. This alone will cost taxpayers $4.3 billion a year in health care. Instead of assuming that obesity is an issue of will power, scientists are now realizing that obesity is a symptom of inflammation. Similar to arthritis, bursitis and colitis, obesity has a root cause that must be addressed before healing can occur.
Inflammation is the body’s response to injury, infection, irritation or imbalance, causing symptoms of redness, soreness, heat, swelling or loss of function. When any four of these factors persist, the affected tissues cannot be properly healed and regenerated. We must resolve the infection, remove the irritation, and correct the hormonal imbalance in order to reduce the destruction of cells. That is where the anti-inflammatory foods can shine!
In the following pages we will focus on a rainbow of fruit and vegetables that provide phytonutrients as well as essential fatty acids and amino acids that are plentiful in seeds and seafood. These foods allow us to quench the flames of inflammation and turn on cell repair.
Tools for Turning Off Inflammation
The great news is that you never have to diet again to get the results you want. There are 4 major tools for turning off the fires of inflammation and switching on your fat burning engine. By focusing on foods that detoxify, balance blood sugar, and regenerate organ function you can revel in the freedom that comes from eating authentic food. Instead of restricting carbs or fats, you simply choose the healthiest versions of these important macronutrients.
Tool #1: Naturally detoxify excess estrogen by increasing your intake of cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.), along with fibre, hemp hearts, and B-vitamins (found in green vegetables and avocados). Eat bitter-tasting foods like dandelion and arugula to support the flow of bile and cleanse your liver. Eat fermented vegetables (sauerkraut) along with other fermented foods and drink to support healthy gut bacteria.
Tool #2: Decrease insulin and cortisol effects through re-balancing your blood sugar. By eliminating your personal food allergies and intolerances (e.g. gluten, grains and dairy), you can reduce the stress response that causes excessive weight gain. Replenish your nutrients with two low-sugar fruits and 10 vegetables a day. If you suffer from inflammatory bowel issues then purée vegetables to help the digestive system better handle the fibre.
Tool #3: Eat enough quality protein with sufficient amino acids to provide all the building blocks your liver needs to complete detoxification. Focus on proteins that have low allergy potential (ie. hemp hearts, chia, and pumpkin seeds) to avoid allergic reactions.
Tool #4: Supplements will speed up your healing journey. Include Vitamin D (2000-6000 IU daily), Probiotics (20-50 billion bacteria daily), and sustainable types of fish oil to decrease inflammation, protect against heart disease and cancer, and balance sex hormones.
Try these tasty recipes that are centred around anti-inflammatory eating principles and you’ll be surprised how great you feel!
Catch Julie Daniluk at her upcoming public lecture: Saturday, April 26 at the GREEN LIVING SHOW: “Recharge with Slimming Meals That Heal; Create Vitality Using Anti-Inflammatory Superfoods”; 3 – 4 pm. Available afterward at Ascenta booth 817 for questions and book signings. See page 67 in Vitality magazine’s April 2014 issue for more information, or visit: www.greenlivingonline.com/torontoshow
Healing Salad in a Jar
If you like to take a salad for lunch but don’t have time to prepare it in the morning, I have the solution for you. By using a mason jar and putting the dressing in first, you can make salads the day before. When you are ready to eat, just give the salad a shake and enjoy. Feel free to change up the ingredients of the salad. Just remember to always place the greens at the top of the jar to keep them from coming into contact with the dressing. (Makes 2 servings)
Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1 tsp basil, dried
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1/4 tsp pink rock salt or gray sea salt
- 2 cloves garlic, roasted or 1 clove raw garlic, crushed
1) Place all ingredients into the blender and blend for about 30 seconds.
2) Use immediately or store in a jar for 1 – 2 weeks.
These extraordinary wraps are perfect fast food when on the run. A great new product to hit the market recently is a wrap made from coconut meat. With each wrap containing just 70 calories, this gluten-free substitute is a great alternative to wheat- or corn-based tortillas. And the best part is that coconut contains medium-chain triglycerides, a type of fat that likes to be burned as energy! If you can’t find coconut wraps, then nori sheets or other gluten-free wraps make a lovely substitute. (Makes 4 wraps)
Monster Superfood Breakfast
While I like to encourage people to start their day with alkalizing vegetables and healthy sources of protein, occasionally we wake up in the mood for something sweet – it happens! It is important to listen to what your body wants so I just make sure that when it happens, I pair it with healthy lean protein and good fat. This slows down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and helps to prevent the highs and lows of the blood sugar rollercoaster! (Makes 1 serving.)
- 1 cup apple sauce
- 1 tsp spirulina or chlorella powder
- 2 Tbsp hemp seeds
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp powdered ginger root
- 1 Tbsp vegan protein powder (hemp, pea, flax or pumpkin)
- 1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
- Optional ultimate health boosters:
- 1/2 tsp Maca powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp lemon flavoured fish oil
- 1 Tbsp lecithin granules (make sure they are GMO-free)
1) Combine all ingredients and desired boosters in a bowl and mix well.
Skinny Onion Rings
Onions are anti-inflammatory powerhouses, but not when they have been dipped in batter and deep-fried in toxic oil! I have come up with a light and crispy onion ring recipe that preserves all of the goodness of onions. Try using purple onions – they contain resveratrol, a phytonutrient that works on a cellular level affecting macrophages, lymphocytes and dendritic cells (your soldiers of immunity) to lower inflammation and boost your immune system. Amaranth is a tiny yellow grain that is rich in magnesium and reduces painful muscle cramps. Apple cider vinegar slows the release of sugar (from foods) into the bloodstream. When your blood sugar is balanced, inflammation is reduced.
Lemon Vegan Gell-O
(Makes 10 servings)
- 4 cups organic apple juice
- 1/3 cup agar flakes (vegetarian gelatin made from seaweed)
- 2 tsp. kudzu* dissolved in ¼ cup of cold juice
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ½ pint container of blueberries or strawberries cut up
1) Simmer apple juice and agar together on low heat for 15 minutes.
2) Add kudzu and stir until clear.
3) Combine lemon juice and maple syrup with apple juice and agar/kudzu mixture.
4) Line the bottom of 10 ramekins (small ceramic serving bowls) with berries, and pour the mixture over the berries.
5) Top with slivered almonds or pumpkin seeds.
6) Place in fridge for 1 hour to set.
7) (*Note: kudzu root is a macrobiotic remedy found in health food stores. It is traditionally used to reduce symptoms of alcohol hangover, including headache, upset stomach, dizziness, and vomiting. Substitute with arrowroot powder if unavailable.)