Chia Gel Adds Nutrients

Chia Gel Adds Nutrients in Your Favorite Foods

Chia gel is a quick, easy staple you can whip up at home and store in your fridge. With a supply of chia gel at the ready, it is a cinch to increase nutrients in your favorite foods.

Add chia gel to creamy foods, liquids, condiments, salad dressings, and even peanut butter and jelly. The gel doesn’t affect flavors. What it does is increase a food’s vitamin and mineral levels, and add protein and omega fatty acids. It also promotes weight loss by filling your stomach with fiber. Following is one way to make chia gel.

Chia: A Non GMO Food

If a food is labeled as GMO it means that its genetic material has been altered through genetic engineering. According to the National Agriculture Statistics Board annual report for 2010, 93 percent of the planted area of soybeans, 93 percent of cotton, 86 percent of corn, and 95 percent of sugar  beets in the United States were genetically modified varieties.

Chia gel adds nutrients
Chia gel adds nutrients

First, you will need chia seeds. You can probably find them at health food stores or even some grocery stores. We recommend Digestive Science Organic Chia Seed.

Chia Digestive Science
Let’s look at the numbers. Twenty-seven PLUS nutrients. Six times more calcium than milk. Forty one percent of your daily fiber, and 100 percent more Omega-3 fatty acids than salmon. The cost in calories? Forty one and a quarter, per tablespoon. Can’t be beat.

Chia gel adds nutrients. Chia is low in calories. Win-win.

The health benefits of Digestive Science Organic Chia Seed are numerous and extensive. That’s why we recommend it.

Making Chia Gel

Chia gel: Take 1-cup cool water and 1-1/2 tablespoons chia seeds. Pour the water into a plastic or glass container with a tight seal. Slowly pour chia seeds into water while briskly mixing with wire whisk. Wait 3 or 4 minutes then whisk again. Let the mixture stand about 10 minutes before whisking again. Seal the container and store mixture in the refrigerator for up to two weeks to use as needed. Whisk before using.

Note: Soaking in water will soften chia seeds, but they will still be slightly crunchy. Recipe makes 1-1/4 cup.

Where Chia Gel Adds Nutrients

Chia gel adds nutrients to almost any condiment, dip, or spread. Do experiment! To get started, here are some ideas.

  • Nut butter. Add up to 1 tablespoon chia gel for every tablespoon nut butter.
  • Jam or jelly. Add 1 teaspoon chia gel for every tablespoon jam or jelly.
  • Maple syrup or honey. Add 1 teaspoon chia gel for every tablespoon of syrup.
  • Mayonnaise. Add up to 1 tablespoon chia gel for every tablespoon mayonnaise.
  • Mustard. Add up to 1 tablespoon chia gel for every tablespoon mustard.
  • Ketchup and cocktail sauce. Add 1 teaspoon chia gel for every tablespoon ketchup or cocktail sauce.
  • Barbecue sauce. Add 1 teaspoon chia gel for every tablespoon barbecue sauce.
  • Guacamole. Add1/2½ tablespoon chia gel for every tablespoon of guacamole.
  • Hummus and other bean dips. Add 1 tablespoon chia gel for every tablespoon hummus.
  • Salsa. Add 1 teaspoon chia gel for every tablespoon salsa.
  • Salad dressing. Add 1 tablespoon chia gel for every tablespoon salad dressing.
  • Sour cream. Add 1 tablespoon chia gel for every tablespoon sour cream.

On a Weight Loss Program?

If you are already on any established weight loss program, chia can be just what you need to ensure success. Simply adding chia to what you are already eating can help fill you up. Chia creates a feeling of satiety so you won’t eat more than you need.  It also helps regulate blood sugar levels.

High Protein Bean Cake

High Protein Bean Cake

A delicious high protein cake made with the use of healthful chickpeas! Plenty of delicious flavor comes from pumpkin and maple syrup. No one has to know there are healthful beans hidden in the batter!

You can sprinkle cinnamon on top of the frosting for an extra dash of sweet spice. If you want to get fancy, mandarin oranges and walnut halves make a beautiful garnish.

Chickpeas
Chickpeas

Chickpeas are a good source of folate and protein. Folate is a water soluble B vitamin that occurs naturally in food. Chickpeas are also very high in dietary fiber. They are a source of carbohydrates for people with insulin sensitivity or diabetes. They are low in fat, and most of the fat content is polyunsaturated.

High Protein Bean Cake Recipe

High Protein Bean Cake Ingredients:

Slice of High Protein Bean Cake
Slice of High Protein Bean Cake

1 19-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) rinsed
4 eggs or 1-cup egg substitute
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
1 cup Stevia sugar substitute or 1 cup regular sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 /2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
6 ounces whipped cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
1 11-ounce can mandarin oranges, drained (optional)
1/ 4 cup walnut halves (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a blender or food processor, combine chickpeas and eggs until smooth. Add pumpkin, sugar or sugar substitute, syrup, baking powder and spice; process again until smooth.
  2. Spray a 9-inch round or square cake pan with oil. Fill with batter.
  3. Bake until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 60 minutes. Cool cake on a wire rack.
  4. Be sure the cake is completely cool before removing it from the pan, because it is very soft.
  5. Combine cream cheese and powdered sugar. Spread over top and sides of cake.
  6. Sprinkle frosting with cinnamon, if desired. For a more elegant presentation, garnish with the mandarin oranges and walnut halves just before serving.

This recipe makes eight servings of High Protein Bean Cake.

Note: You can use 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans in place of the canned if you like.

Nutrition information per slice of High Protein Bean Cake:

Calories: 340
Protein: 8g
Fat: 13g (6g saturated)
Carbohydrate: 49g
Cholesterol (with real eggs): 127g
Fiber: 3g
Sodium: 212mg

How About Those Frog Legs?

How About Those Frog Legs?

Raw frog legs are an excellent source of selenium and protein and a good source of riboflavin, phosphorus and copper.

Did You Know…

In addition, frog legs are a great choice for low-carb dieters, and high protein diets used by athletes.

Note: 100g (3.53 oz) grams of raw frog legs contain 0 grams of carbohydrates.

Nutrition facts per 100g, or 3.5 ounces of raw frog legs:

Animated Frog

  • Calories: 73
  • Calories from fat: 3
  • Total fat: 0
  • Cholesterol: 50mg
  • Sodium: 58mg
  • Total carbohydrates: 0g
  • Dietary fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 16g

Confession session: Personally I’ve never been able to bring myself to eat frog legs. 🙁 However, many, MANY people have told me what you’ve most likely heard, too: “They taste like chicken!” Furthermore, most people (once they’ve tried them), seem to REALLY enjoy them!

If you haven’t tried them but would like to, consider trying the following recipe for an introduction to them. This recipe was sent to me by a nutrition specialist who says they are served this way in fine French restaurants.
Healthy Recipe Banner

Frog Legs Saute

If frog legs are tiny, count on eight pairs per person. If they are large, three pairs.
Frog Legs Saute
Ingredients:
3 pounds frog-legs (12 to 18 pair)
Flour (optional)
1/4 cup (1/2-stick) butter or half butter and half extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley for garnish

Directions:

  1. Wash frog legs thoroughly and pat dry.
  2. Dust with flour if desired.
  3. Saute in butter until brown, turn and brown other side.
  4. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
  5. Put on hot platter and sprinkle with parsley.

Recipe makes 4 to 6 servings.

See also: Low Carb Recipes

Credit where it’s due: Frog image courtesy of Retro Gifs Animated Frogs.

Protein: Of First Importance

Protein: Of First Importance

All parts of the body depend in some way on protein for survival. In fact, the word protein was coined by a Dutch chemist in 1839 and means “of first importance“. Here’s an example of its importance in our bodies:

  • It is ninety eight percent of our hair and skin.

    Protein Food Group
    Protein Food Group
  • Heart, kidneys and eyes are composed of protein.
  • Enzymes are made up of protein.
  • Hormones and genes are protein.
  • Antibodies, which are the protection against diseases and infections, are proteins.

Major Functions:

  • Builds muscle tissues.
  • Maintains fluid balance.
  • Functions as an energy nutrient.
  • Provides amino acids needed for body’s growth and maintenance.

Deficiency Can Cause:

  • Kidney disease.
  • Lack of resistance to infection.
  • Irritability.
  • Fatigue.
  • Poor wound healing.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • Nerve instability.
  • Weakness.
  • High cholesterol levels.
  • Poor circulation.
  • Weak vision.

You need a daily supply maintain your level of efficiency. Protein can not be stored in your body for a long time. When the supply is depleted, the body is then forced to feed upon itself, which cause tissue and muscle to breakdown.

You don’t want to go overboard, either. The kidneys are responsible for clearing the body of waste products produced by protein metabolism. Eating large amounts places a strain on the kidneys, which may lead to long-term consequences.

Food Sources

Name Amount Grams
Halibut 3 ounces 22.7
Salmon 3 ounces 21.6
Shrimp 3 ounces 17.3
Cottage Cheese 1/2 cup 20
American or Swiss Cheese 2 slices 10-12
Yogurt, lowfat 1 cup 11.9
Tofu 1/2 cup 11
Milk, any 1 cup 8
Egg 1 medium 6

References:
Clark, Linda A. Know Your Nutrition. Connecticut: Keats Publishing, Inc.
Editors of Prevention Magazine. The Complete Book of Vitamins and Minerals. Pennsylvania: Rodale Press
The Essential Guide to Vitamins and Minerals. New York: HarperPerennial

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With Protein Foods, Variety is the Key!

With Protein Foods, Variety is the Key!

Protein foods include both animal and plant sources. We all need protein but most Americans eat enough. Some eat more than they need. How much is enough? Most people, ages 9 and older, should eat 5 to 7 ounces* of protein foods each day.

10 Tips for Choosing Protein

Protein Foods
Protein Foods

1) Vary your protein food choices.

Eat a variety of foods from the protein foods group each week. Experiment with main dishes made with beans or peas, nuts, soy, and seafood.

2. Choose seafood twice a week.

Eat seafood in place of meat or poultry twice a week. Select a variety of seafood—include some that are higher in oils and low in mercury, such as salmon, trout, and herring.

3. Make meat and poultry lean or low fat.

Choose lean or low-fat cuts of meat like round or sirloin and ground beef that is at least 90 percent lean. Trim or drain fat from meat and remove poultry skin.

4. Have an egg.

One egg a day, on average, doesn’t increase risk for heart disease, so make eggs part of your weekly choices. Only the egg yolk contains cholesterol and saturated fat, so have as many egg whites as you want.

5. Eat plant protein foods more often.

Try beans and peas (kidney, pinto, black, or white beans; split peas; chickpeas; hummus), soy products (tofu, tempeh, veggie burgers), nuts, and seeds. They are naturally low in saturated fat and high in fiber.

6. Nuts and Seeds.

Choose unsalted nuts or seeds as a snack, on salads, or in main dishes to replace meat or poultry. Nuts and seeds are a concentrated source of calories, so eat small portions to keep calories in check.

7. Keep it tasty and healthy.

Try grilling, broiling, roasting, or baking as these cooking methods don’t add extra fat. Some lean meats need slow, moist cooking to be tender. Try a slow cooker for them. Avoid breading meat or poultry, which adds calories.

8. Make a healthy sandwich.

Choose turkey, roast beef, canned tuna or salmon, or peanut butter for sandwiches. Many deli meats, such as regular bologna or salami, are high in fat and sodium – make them occasional treats only.

9. Think small when it comes to meat portions.

Get the flavor you crave but in a smaller portion. Make or order a smaller burger or a “petite” size steak.

10. Check the sodium.

Check the Nutrition Facts label to limit sodium. Salt is added to many canned foods – including beans and meats. Many processed meats such as ham, sausage, and hot dogs are high in sodium. Some fresh chicken, turkey, and pork are brined in a salt solution for flavor and tenderness.

What counts as an ounce of protein foods?

  1. 1 ounce lean meat, poultry, or seafood
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1/4 cup cooked beans or peas
  4. 1/2 ounce nuts or seeds
  5. 1 tablespoon peanut butter

Note of Caution: High Protein Diets and Your Kidneys

As diets go, high-protein plans have staying power — but so do questions about their safety. One concern is for your kidneys, since it is their job to filter out protein by-products. Scientists have discovered that, among a middle-aged group, one in four people had signs of mild kidney decline. Because this compromises their protein-processing ability, high protein intake could damage their kidneys. Therefore, scientists are warning that high-protein diets are a bad choice for many who have unsuspected kidney problems — and you could be one of them.

If you want to try a high-protein diet and have any kidney disease risk factors — middle age, high blood pressure, or diabetes — first get a blood test for creatinine levels, a measure of your kidney function. If you have even mild kidney dysfunction, this study suggests a safe limit of three ounces of animal protein a day, which is the size of a deck of cards. The amount of protein in high-protein diets can go up to eight ounces per day.

Proteins: A Building Block to Weight Loss

Proteins
Proteins

Proteins: A Building Block to Weight Loss

Our bodies don’t store protein, so protein needs are generally higher for individuals attempting to increase muscle mass. Exercise causes substantial changes in protein metabolism. This is why body builders often consume a lot of protein. The proteins in your muscles are continually turned over as muscle is broken down and new tissue is synthesized.

Your body is in a constant state of flux creating new cells. These new cells come from the food you ingest.  Specifically, proteins. Protein is the actual raw construction material for body cells like bricks are for a building. Body structures made from protein include skin, hair, nails, bones, connective tissue and muscle. Next to water, protein is the most abundant substance in your body, making up approximately 15 to 20 percent of your weight. Sixty to 70 percent of all protein in the body is located in skeletal muscles.

Amino acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. There are 20 amino acids that are required for growth by the human body. From these 20 amino acids, there are tens of thousands of different protein molecules that can be formed. Growth hormone, for example, is a protein chain of 156 amino acids.

Out of the twenty amino acids, the human body can make eleven of them. These are called the non-essential amino acids. The other nine amino acids are called essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are those which can’t be manufactured by your body and must be supplied from your food.

Protein isn’t just found in meat, eggs and milk; it is also protein in vegetables, beans, legumes, and grains. But the protein in these foods is not considered “complete” due to a lack of one or more essential amino acids. Generally speaking, proteins from vegetable sources are lower in quality.

Because protein can’t be stored by the body for later use like carbohydrates can, it’s important to your metabolism to consume a complete protein at every meal. Complete proteins are the highest quality proteins that contain all of the essential and non-essential amino acids.

Complete Protein Sources

Protein Foods

  • Chicken breast.
  • Turkey breast.
  • Fish.
  • Shellfish.
  • Eggs (Mostly whites-use limited yolks).
  • Lean red meats (Top round, lean sirloin, flank).
  • Nonfat or low fat dairy products.
  • Milk, egg, or whey-based protein powders.

Note: The body utilizes protein most efficiently when protein is consumed frequently throughout each day.

To trim down and utilize protein for weight loss, you do need to keep animal fats low because they
are highly saturated. Simply use more egg whites than yolks, lean meats such as turkey breast and chicken
breast instead of poultry thighs, pork and fatty cuts of red meat, lean cuts of red meat (top round, lean sirloin and flank) and 1% low fat or non fat dairy products instead of whole milk dairy products.

Word of Caution

If you have a history of kidney problems, you should avoid a lot of proteins.

Bottom Line

Proteins are a great metabolic stimulator. There are no hard and fast rules regarding protein intake, only guidelines. The commonly heard of 1-gram-per-pound of body weight guideline is good as a general guideline for fat loss. The 30 percent of total calories guideline is even better. If you’re carbohydrate sensitive, you might fare better with 35 to 40 percent protein and reduced carbohydrates.