Monday, December 13, 2010

kadios beans

I just love beans, especially in soups. Aside from the common monggo beans, I like kidney, pinto, lima and other beans. One kind that is hardly found in the markets here in Manila, are kadios beans. These are round, brownish-black beans that are slightly bigger than monggo beans, common in the Visayan region. My brother brought me some today, from Iloilo.
Ideally, its cooked like this in the picture, with pork and other vegetables. I only had the lemongrass and talbos ng kamote , so I made do with that. I still think its yummy...wonder if my son would like it too.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Simple salad side dish

Here's a simple side dish you can prepare in a few minutes if you have cucumber, tomato and white onion. Just chop up the ingredients and add your own favorite dressing. Mine is just a little olive oil, lemon, salt and oregano.
This is very economical and nutritious as well. Btw, did you know that cucumber is good for your hair and nails? This is because of its silicon and sulphur content. You can find other ways to use cucumber, but this side dish could be a regular part of your meals ;)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Food Combining Principles

Food combining has to do with eating certain foods together so as to optimize the digestive process. Eating a large variety of foods at one sitting forces the digestive system to try to accommodate for the different types of nutrients. As a result certain foods don't get digested well, experience fermentation and can cause discomfort or even ailments.
For instance, it is unwise to eat heavy proteins (acidic) and heavy carbohydrates (alkaline) together. Beans are an interesting example, since many people experience great discomfort after eating them. Beans are about 25% protein and 50% carbohydrate, providing an awkward combination for the digestive system since the conditions required for digestion of acidic nutrients are quite different from those of alkaline substances. While it is possible to 'help out' with digestive enzymes, it is best to minimize consumption of foods and food combinations that are difficult.

Enumerated below are the foods which should and should not be eaten together.
The topic of Food combining is not that complicated, though sometimes there are differing opinions found in books and articles. The bottom line is, use these principles as a guide, be aware of food characteristics and experiment with your own food choices to see what works for you.

Miscellaneous notes

tomatoes eat with green and non-starchy vegetables and protein
avocadoes best with salad
melons eat alone

Food-combining is a new science; it is the result of modern civilization and of the food-industry that developed concomitantly with the advent of the Industrial Revolution. If we were living off the land -- as the human race has done throughout most of its history -- this science would not exist today.

Food-Combining Principles
The principles of food-combining include the following:

1. Foods are chemicals. Our bodies are similar to test tubes in a chemistry-laboratory. As in other chemical-experiments, so in our bodies, depending upon the combination of elements, reactions ranging from sedative to explosive can be created. And, the more ingredients there are in a man-made supermarket-product, the greater the chance of a digestive explosion.

2. We digest food at various rates in various acid/alkaline environments, like automobiles that have varying levels of acceleration and speed. If you put a slow vehicle in front of a faster one on a one-lane road, the faster one must proceed more slowly in order to prevent an accident. With food in the digestive system, the faster food crashes into the slow food and causes an accident in the forms of indigestion, bloating, and poor assimilation. These accidents happen especially when you eat such foods during any one given meal.

The Basic Food-Combining Groups
The previously mentioned two observations logically-lead to the development of the following basic food- combining groups. Following each group is a list of the best examples of raw foods in each group:

1. Proteins - (average digestion-time: 4 hours):
Seeds: Pumpkin, sesame, sunflower.
Nuts: Almonds, Brazil nuts, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts
(no peanuts or cashews).

2. Starches - (average digestion-time: 3 hours):
Sprouted grains: Amaranth, barley, millet, quinoa, rye, teff.
Sprouted legumes: Chickpeas, lentils, peas.
Winter squashes: Acorn, hubbard, kabocha, spaghetti.
Sweet potatoes & yams

3. Vegetables - (average digestion-time: 2 'A hours):
Sprouted greens: Alfalfa, arugula, buckwhet mustard, radish.
Fruit vegetables: Cucumber, red bell-pepper, summer squash,
Leafy greens: Arugula, asparagus, broccoli, bok choy,
cabbage, cauliflower, celery,chard, collard
greens, fresh corn, kale, lettuce, mizuna,
mustard greens, scallions, spinach, watercress.
Low-starch root vegetables: Beets, burdock, carrots,
parsnips, radishes, turnips.

4. Fruits:average digestion time: 2 hours
for melons 15-30 minutes
Acid: Grapefruits, lemons, oranges, pomegranates,
Sub-acid: Apples, apricots, most berrie, grapes,kiwis, mango,
pears, peaches.
Sweet: Bananas, all dried fruit, persimmons.
Melons: Canary, cantaloupe, crenshaw, honeydew, Persian,
Santa Claus, watermelon.

Two Excellent Mono-Diet Foods
When eaten alone, the following two vine-ripened fruits provide great benefits:

• Vine-ripened tomatoes cleanse the liver of deposited fats.
• Vine-ripened strawberries cleanse muscle and fat cells of waste-

Three Examples of Daily Food-Combining Mismatches

• "Healthy" granola usually contains rolled oats (starch), nuts (protein), and honey and dried fruits (sweet fruit) in a disastrous-albeit-tasty combination. The combination of protein and starch creates various gasses, including sulfur. The combination of starch and sweet fruit creates fermentation and alcohol.
• There are 28 ingredients in the "average" store-bought cake-mix.
• The conventional "holiday-meal" in North America includes more than 100 ingredients in
various combinations!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Healthy Snack of the Day - Cucumber and Cheese Slices

Hi, I'm back posting!

I guess many people love cheese, and I'm one of them. I don't like milk though, and I avoid cream. But I always have butter and cheese in stock, since I consider it healthy foods ;)
Above photo shows a new snack combo that I came up with to eat between meals. My sons liked it too, so its going to be one of my standbys.

Just peel and slice a cucumber (remove the seeds), and accompany with slices of good quality cheddar cheese (mine is a New Zealand product: Mainland Mild Cheddar) and some olives to add color to the dish ;)
I'll try to come up with more healthy snacks of the day. If you have some to share, just post the link in the comments section.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I love pineapples!!!

As a child, I instinctively craved for fruits and veggies more than other kinds of food. I hated milk (as far as I can remember), and I wasn't really happy with the typical Filipino dishes of adobong manok o baboy (chicken or pork), bangus (milkfish) or tilapia, beefsteak and such...Besides, fruits are expensive so we didn't have as much of it as we wanted.
Now my family is more blessed when it comes to fresh fruits, because we are able to harvest our own! But I'm still not so happy because it is only me that really eats enough of the fruits. It is not easy to convince others to eat as much fruit.
For now, we have pineapples! I have waited for several months since I first saw the fruits grow from the plant, to its maturity. These were planted in our small farm in a nearby province. Though I have one pineapple plant here at home, which my brother gave to me upon seeing my delight for this beautiful creation.

Here's my previous post on how to easily make fresh pineapple-orange juice at home.

As an added bonus, when I serve pineapples, I save the cut leaves on top and use it to decorate my home. It lasts for a long time ;)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Three Veggies Stir-fry

This is my favorite way of cooking veggies. I hardly have the patience to cook elaborate dishes, but I also don't want to eat packaged or canned foods. Sometimes I do include a canned vegetable, when I'm in a hurry or when I wasn't able to buy it fresh from the market.
I limit the ingredients when I cook, to make it simpler but not to sacrifice the taste or nutrition. I used to overdo it when I have just stocked on veggies, and then I realize that I have few left to cook another dish or add to my fresh salad. So my rule for myself is to have 3 kinds of vegetables in my stir-fry, no more - no less. This does not include the garlic and onions, which are the basic ingredients and the herbs if I have them.

For today, I have some broccoli, red bell pepper and canned mushrooms. I'm also using leeks instead of white onion.

I saute the garlic first in 4T olive oil and 1T sesame oil.
Then I stir-fry the veggies, adding the broccoli first since it takes longer to cook. I don't really follow an exact procedure or recipe everytime I cook. After the veggies are done, I add the spices (oregano, basil and salt) and some Kikkoman soy sauce.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lemon Grass (tanglad) Tea

I had been using lemon grass before in flavoring soups and other dishes, but only last year did I know that it can be made into an iced tea drink. We were able to try it first at a Thai restaurant, though I think their preparation is quite sweet. Its very simple to make, and I prefer to make it myself since it costs very little, and I can sweeten it as desired. The lemon grass can bought at the local market (known as tanglad) or in the supermarket. Just wash and cut it up about one inch lengths (using scissors is easier than using a knife).

Boil in filtered water, about one cup per stalk of grass, or according to desired flavor. Turn off the heat once the water has boiled, and leave for about 5-10 mins. Pour into glass or cup, drink hot or cold. Add sweetener, as desired. (Tip: raw honey is a delicious and healthy choice).
Lemon grass has many health benefits. It helps to detoxify the liver, pancreas, kidney, bladder and the digestive tract. It cuts down uric acid, cholesterol, excess fats and other toxins in the body while stimulating digestion, blood circulation, and lactation; it also alleviates indigestion and gastroenteritis. It is said that lemongrass also helps improve the skin by reducing acne and pimples and acts as a muscle and tissue toner. Also, it can reduce blood pressure.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Eating more Fruits and Vegetables

We all know fruits and veggies are healthy foods, but how much of it do we really eat? I would guess its just 10-20% of what we should be eating.
As for me, I have made a conscious effort to replace most of the meat dishes, fried foods, canned foods and other non-essential foodstuff with fresh fruits, steamed/sauteed or baked veggies or fresh salad veggies. I have also been eating more beans to replace the protein I used to get from meat. I have been very concerned with food ever since I got gastritis and ulcer in 2005. The only problem is its very hard to give up chocolate and coffee (which aggravates my digestive problems). Also, it gets more complicated having to deal with resistance from other family members (in my case, my two sons) of the changes that I want to make with food served at home.
Its also hard to stay disciplined in buying and preparing fruits and veggies all the time. Its so easy to grab convenience foods in the supermarket, isn't it? But I would say that my goal for a completely healthy diet is now 75% achieved. It is a slow process, but if you have health issues you better start now and every little improvement counts. And of course, it is better to start eating right while you still don't have health issues!

I found some helpful tips online:

The National Cancer Institute and the Food Guide Pyramid recommend five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day to ward off cancer and other diseases. Unfortunately, only about a quarter of adults eat this much, even though it is quite easy:
Here's a helpful plan. Always have: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, oranges, apples, watermelon, cantaloupes, bananas, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, other fruits and vegetables.

1. Include a serving of fruit and/or vegetables at every meal or snack. (Be sure to eat fruits at least 30 mins. before the meal or snack.)
2. Slice bananas or peaches onto your morning cereal. (I don't recommend adding fresh fruit to cereal. I'd rather just add honey to home-cooked cereal)
3. Pack an apple or orange for a mid-morning snack.
4. Ask for extra lettuce and tomato on your sandwich. (No-meat sandwiches are much better, if its fine with you)
5. Snack on crunchy raw vegetables like carrot, celery and jicama sticks, green beans, broccoli and cauliflower florets.
6. Add fruit to your green salad for a delicious twist. Try orange sections, sliced strawberries, pomegranate seeds or sliced apples.
7. Top pizzas with bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, spinach, basil and grated zucchini.

And lastly, here are 30 ways to stretch your fruits and vegetables budget:

Download the pdf here

Monday, March 15, 2010

And the winners are...

Many thanks to all who left comments and became followers of this blog! I hope you'll visit here once in a while, and I will try to interest you with real food, nutrition facts and fallacies,  and other trivia about health.

And now, for the winners...

I would like to congratulate the following:



Again, thanks to all who joined the promo. To all the followers of this blog, another prize will be given away on April 15 :) All followers/subscribers are included in the drawing, except those who already won in this promo.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Blog Promo

I love fruits and vegetables and a lot of times I want to share the not so usual ways that I enjoy these. When I share it with my two sons, they used to roll their eyes before they eat what fruit or vegetable dish I have prepared. Now they seem to like it too ;)
I'm blogging about my quest for better food, that's naturally available, nutritious, and delicious.
Hope you will join me...

And now for my blog promo, I'm giving away this eco-shopping bag plus a few surprise treats to two people. To join, simply be a follower of this blog, or leave a comment, or both. Each follower and each commenter will get one raffle entry, so you can get two entries in all. There will be two winners, one from here in the Philippines and one from abroad. (prices include shipping). Last day to join is March 14. Entries will be raffled on March 15.

Filipinos love to eat...

Here lies the problem - Filipino dishes include meat, fish, and vegetables which are mostly either sweet, salty, sour or spicy, and occasionally bitter - and the average person want to have it all in one meal! Not to mention most people haven't heard of the food combining principle and most of them don't care to know. And if someone gets sick, they rarely blame it on years of eating the wrong foods or food combinations.
Food combining principles are important to understand and apply, and will be the topic of a future post.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bad food

I learned to eat candies and drink colas as I grew up. I didn't know then how bad these were for our bodies (causing ulcers, tooth cavities, migraines, etc...). All I knew was that I needed the sweet taste - I craved it, and candies and colas are the easiest and cheapest solution for that "need". When I was in grade school and even in high school, there were times that I couldn't think or concentrate in class. I didn't know how important food was, and I didn't make the connection. I usually did not care to eat anything for breakfast and by recess time I am starving. All I could think of was to eat some crackers and most of all drink cola! I did not know that several years after, the habit of eating junk foods esp. in the morning, would make life much harder for me. I knew these were not good food, but, I didn't even realize how bad they were, not even after I had I allowed them to consume those products too :( Add to that we all developed a craving for pizzas, cakes, and other baked goodies too, because of the kiddie parties that we had hosted and attended through the years.
However, I observed that my sons were not as addicted to colas and candies like me; rather, they were more addicted to burgers, hotdogs, chips and other salty snacks! Furthermore, when there was some reason to celebrate, or we were just craving for it - we ordered fastfood :p

The good news is, a few years ago I started to really do something about it. Now we rarely order pizza and other fastfood, and hardly ever have cola or any sugared drink in our fridge or table! This happened very slowly - but, in the course of time I can say there's been a big improvement. I can't pinpoint any specific kind of program, but in my next posts I will mention the little changes I made which gave overall positive results.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Everyday Good Food

Good food for good health can be as simple or complex as one would make it. I choose simple, especially when it comes to food choices. Simple doesn't have to be boring too. Just look at all the various shapes, attractive colors, and wonderful smell of fruits and vegetables!...aaahhh.
We don't have to look far, what's readily available to us is most probably the best for us. Picking fruits from our backyard trees and vegetables from our garden is the most practical; or if we don't have our own, we can buy from the nearest farmer or produce store.
I do love to eat chicken and fish once in a while. But here are my usual choices for everyday food that's inexpensive, simple to prepare and nourishing:

Bananas, mangoes (much cheaper during summer) melon or watermelon, plantain banana (for cooking), sweet potatoes;

vegetable salad ingredients like: iceberg lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, jicama; there's a lot more out there, but these are what I usually buy.

Food Blog Intro

I am starting another blog, to write about my little adventures about food and health, and some concerns about our environment affecting our health. I hope you join me, as I share what I learn and discover from time to time. This could be just a new way of preparing the same food, new recipe, useful articles or sites, good buys and whatever tidbit about food and health that I can think of.

For several years now, I have been reading books about what, when and how to eat. All of it put together has overwhelmed me to the point that I sometimes want to give up and just eat what I have been accustomed to. This gets even more complicated because people (starting with family) don't share the same concern regarding what they eat. Most of all, they don't want to be told what to eat - thinking that "I've got no problem with what I'm eating...people eat this stuff everyday". Yeah right, and aren't they wondering why over the years so many people get sick, and so many kinds of diseases strike us and that it gets to people at a younger age than before?
Our overall health is declining. Its not so much in the air we breathe, or in the things we do, though that could add up; but I believe (and I've read) that its mostly because of what we put in our bodies. Food and drink should be nourishing, and nothing else. On the contrary, we are literally poisoning ourselves with what we regularly consume.
How to reverse the ill effects of our bad food habits, is one of the more important subject on my mind these days. How to enjoy good food is another. I hope to improve my health and my family's and share this with others so that they become concerned with what they eat, for their own health and well being.