What's the Dill-io on Pickles?

- INGREDIENTS -
1 1/2 pounds Kirby or Persian cucumbers
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 teaspoons dill seed
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons pickling salt or kosher salt

  1. Prepare the jars: 
    If you are planning to jar your pickles for long-term storage, boil and sterilize the jars and their lids in a large pot of water. 
  2. Prepare the cucumbers: 
    Wash and dry the cucumbers. Make sure to trim away the blossom end of the cucumber! This will keep your cucumbers crisp and prevent them from wilting. You can leave the pickles whole, cut them into spears, or slice them into coins. The sky is the limit!
  3. Put it all in the jar!
     Divide the garlic, dill seed, and red pepper flakes (if you want a little kick!) between the pint jars: 2 smashed cloves, 1 teaspoon dill seed, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes per jar. Then go ahead and pack the cucumbers into the jars But make sure they are more than 1/2 inch below the top of the jar. 
  4. The pickling brine:
     Combine the vinegar, water, and salt in a small sauce pan over high heat. Bring to a rolling boil. Pour the brine over the pickles, filling each jar to within 1/2-inch of the top. You might not use all the brine :)
  5. Remove air bubbles: 
    Gently tap the jars against the counter a few times to remove all the air bubbles. Top off with more pickling brine if necessary.
  6. Tighten the lids
    Place the lids over the jars and screw on the rings until tight.
  7. Want Longer Storage?
     For longer storage, place the jars in a boiling pot of water. When the water comes back to a boil, set the timer for 5 minutes, then remove the jars immediately. Make sure the lids pop down; if they do not, refrigerate those pickles and eat them first.
  8. Cool and refrigerate
    Let the jars cool to room temperature. If you processed the jars, they can be stored on the shelf. If unprocessed, store the pickles in the fridge. The pickles will improve with flavor as they age — try to wait at least 48 hours before cracking them open.

    HERE'S A TIP:
     Canned pickles will keep for at least a year on the shelf and for several weeks in the refrigerator once opened; refrigerator pickles will keep for several weeks.

"Easy like Sunday Morning" Healthy pancakes

Looking for an easy, healthy pancake recipe?
Try this one out! During the process, feel free to over-caffeinate with espresso and be accompanied by appropriate theme song
"easy like sunday morning"

Mix: 
2 bananas
2 eggs
3/4 cup of steel cut oats
1/2 tsp baking soda

Melt 1 tsp of organic coconut oil in pan, and add your
concoction. Cook until golden brown on each side! 

For an added boost, top with your favorite fruit medley. Even try it with some almond butter! 

Happy Sunday, 
Dr. Vincent


 

 

5 Nutrition Rules To Live By:

HAVE PROTEIN WITH EVERY MEAL: 
Protein is extremely important in our daily nutrition. It is largely responsible for satiety after meals. Eating meals higher in protein can help curb hunger for longer, helping to limit uncontrollable grazing throughout the day. Although every body is different, and depending on an individual's exercise and daily requirements, each person should consume approximately 1 gram of protein for every kilogram of body weight. So if you weigh 135 pounds, you will need a little more than 60 grams of protein per day. Thats approximately 2 eggs, one 4 ounce chicken breast, 2 tablespoons of almond butter, and a 3 oz piece of salmon. By eating protein with every meal, you can guarantee that you are eating plenty of protein, and helping to keep yourself satisfied for longer.   

SOME FAT IS GOOD FOR YOU:
By now, most everyone has heard the expression "good fats" or "healthy fats". There's a reason that expression exists. On average, fat should make up approximately 20% of our daily caloric intake. However, i think that diets higher in fat, up to 35-40%, can actually be healthier for many people, if the right type of fats are consumed. Healthy fats are made up of fatty acids called as Monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fatty acids, and have been shown to have many health benefits, including lowering "bad" LDL cholesterol and Triglycerides, and raising "Good" HDL cholesterol, and even better insulin control. Now, it's important to remember that fat is also the most calorically dense of the macronutrients, in that each gram of fat has 9 calories. So portion size is crucial! For example a medium size avocado has 5 servings, and approximately 50 calories per serving. It is true that some fat is good for you, but always remember that too much of a good thing can also be bad. 

Here are my favorite "Healthy Fats":
- Avocado
- Coconut/Coconut Oil
- Chia Seeds
- Almonds / Almond Butter
- "Fatty Fish" such as salmon, cod, or mackerel
- Flaxseed

DON't SKIP MEALS:
Trust me. I get it. You're running out the door, you grab a coffee (because that's priority number one), then you get to work and are immediately slammed with chaos. Then it's lunch, and you're ravenous. You have a HUGE lunch, then don't eat again til late night, and the cycle repeats. Maybe this sounds similar, maybe your story is a different variation. But the idea of eating fewer larger meals in a day is not the healthiest of strategies for maintaining or losing weight. Studies have shown that skipping meals actually promotes increased abdominal fat storage and decreases insulin sensitivity . See, what happens is, you eat a HUGE meal and your pancreas releases a ton of insulin into your blood stream to combat the huge amount of glucose you just ingested. Insulin promotes uptake of glucose by fat cells, and larger insulin release can lead to larger fat cell growth, even if your total overall calories are not beyond your daily needs.  In simple terms, by eating more often and smaller meals (5-6 times per day), your insulin release is more stable and fat cells are less likely to store glucose and grow. 

donut .jpg

AVOID "EMPTY" CALORIES:
Following this rule can be a little tricky at times, but is a great way to keep your calories down. "Empty" calories are essentially calories that have little or no nutritional value, and are predominantly high in sugar or solid fat. We tend to sprinkle these types of calories throughout our day, and not pay much attention, but they can definitely add up! Or we binge eat them at a party or for a "special occasion". And listen, I get it. When you gotta have it! You gotta have it! It's fine to indulge the sweet tooth, but let's try to keep the train from coming off the track all the time!

Here are some common "empty" calories and healthy alternatives: 
- Soda - Try sparkling water flavored with Mint and lemon / lime juice
     - Salad dressing - Ask for the dressing on the side, and you can dip your
fork in the dressing before each bite. 
    - Ice cream - Try frozen yogurt instead, or give Halo Top ice cream a try.
- Sports Drinks - Although they serve an important purpose at times,
use sparingly or dilute with extra water
- Energy Drinks - Switch to coffee or espresso!
- Pizza - Order with thin crust instead

STAY AWAY FROM REFINED SUGARS
This rule is tied in closely with the "empty calories" rule. Often times foods consisting of "empty calories" are high in refined sugars, such as candies, donuts, white bread, etc. I guess you can kill two birds with one stone in a sense, if you follow one of them, you're kind of following the other. Essentially, refined sugar is a processed version of naturally occurring sugar, and comes in a couple different forms: standard granulated sugar, powdered sugar, and sanding sugar. To keep things simple, it is always best to limit the amount of refined sugar, because it causes an excessively large insulin spike, and replace refined sugars with carbohydrates from whole grains. Such as life, refined sugars should be enjoyed in moderation. But when you do indulge, make sure to ENJOY! 

Mediterranean Inspired Sweet Potatoes

INGREDIENTS:
4 medium sweet potatoes
1 x 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
Cumin, coriander, cinnamon, paprika, sea salt as needed

GARLIC HERB SAUCE:
1/4 cup hummus
juice of 1/2 lemon (~1 Tbsp)
1 tsp dried dill (or sub 2-3 tsp fresh)
3 cloves garlic, minced
unsweetened almond milk to thin
Sea salt as needed

GARNISH: (as much as you want)
Cherry tomatoes, diced
Chopped parsley
Lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS:
 - Cut sweet potatoes in half length wise, lightly coat with olive oil, and bake at 400 degrees for 25-30min
- Also bake chickpeas lightly coated with olive oil and spices at the same time. 
- While the sweet potatoes and chickpeas are roasting, prepare your sauce by adding all ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisking to combine, only adding almond milk to thin so it’s pourable. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Also prepare the parsley-tomato topping by marinating tomato and parsley with lemon juice and setting aside. 
- Once sweet potatoes are fork tender and the chickpeas are golden brown ( approx 25 minutes) remove from oven. 
- Top sweet potatoes with chickpeas, garlic herb sauce and parsley-tomato garnish. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!
Dr. Vincent

Pumpkin Caipirinha Cocktail

1/2 lime, cut into 4 pieces
1/2 ounce agave nectar
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger or 1/2 ounce ginger syrup
1 1/2 ounces cachaca (Brazilian liquor) or white rum
1 1/2 ounces pumpkin puree
Ice
Garnish: Nutmeg and a Lime wheel
  1. Muddle the 4 pieces of lime, agave nectar, and fresh ginger in the bottom of a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add cachaca or white rum, pumpkin puree, and ice. Shake until thoroughly mixed and chilled. Strain into a glass filled with ice, and garnish with grated nutmeg and a lime wheel.

October is here, and it's time to start using pumpkins for more than just pie and pumpkin spiced lattes. The Pumpkin Capirinha Cocktail is a great way to add some festive Fall flavor to your dinner party libations, without adding lots of refined sugars. Sweetened with natural agave nectar, this pumpkin elixir is sweet, delicious, and refreshing. And don't forget! Pumpkin is a great source of Beta-Carotene, Vitamin C, Fiber, and Potassium, providing a slightly healthier edge to your average cocktail. Beware! The ginger will add some spice, so grate as needed. Welcome to Fall, Enjoy! 

Cheers, 
Dr. Vincent

Spin. Beet. Eat.

ORGANIC BABY SPINACH
 SHREDDED KALE
 SPICY QUINOA

 SPICY BROCCOLI
RAW BEETS
CARROTS
SPROUTS
 BASIL
ROASTED ORGANIC TOFU
 SRIRACHA +CARROT CHILI VINAIGRETTE

Give this recipe a try if you are looking to put a little spice in your life! The Sriracha + carrot chili vinaigrette is an amazing addition, that will add a little kick to your day. The beets and quinoa will not only provide a great combination of antioxidants and healthy fats, but add the perfect blend of flavor and texture.  Give this recipe a try, or come up with a variation of your own.  

Eat up!
Dr. Vincent

Whoa-MEGA Salad

WHOA-MEGA SALAD: 

Organic arugula
Baby spinach
Cucumber
Cherry Tomatoes
Organic Basil
Avocado
Roasted Wild Salmon
Nori Furikake
Miso Sesame Ginger Dressing

Here's a great new salad recipe that is simple to make and tastes amazing! The avocado and roasted wild salmon are also great healthy sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to decrease Triglyceride levels in the blood, which can help maintain a healthy heart. They also act as an anti-inflammatory agent in the body, shown to help with conditions such as joint pain, depression, and even dementia. Putting the right ingredients in your salad may be the first step towards a long and healthy life. 

Enjoy, 
Dr. Vincent