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.