Saturday, March 27, 2010

Healthcare Reform 101...

Ahhh...finally a topic that has not been beaten like a red-headed stepchild. That was for dramatic effect, by the way...I like red-heads. I could possibly have stepchildren of my own someday...& I have no plans to beat them...unless of course they complain about my cooking ;)

Which brings me back to my original point. Healthcare. Reform.

Health. It is so subjective...not the mere absence of disease, but the optimal functioning of an individual regardless of their actual health status.

Reform. It is an individual taking personal responsibility for changing old & adopting new lifestyles...nutritionally, physically, mentally, choice at a time.

Combined, it is ATTITUDE & bite-sized (pun intended) chunks...that over time will transform you from the inside out...allowing you to be the BEST VERSION of the person you were created to be.

Of course, this is my two cents in a nutshell. Speaking of nuts...I want to show you through one small example how powerful, transforming, & exciting the little individual elements of nutrition can be!

WALNUTS: Health benefits
Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids - a special type of protective fat utilized by every cell of the body that cannot be manufactured by the body; 1/4 cup = 90.8% of daily recommended; heart health; brain functioning; anti-inflammatory properties which help with asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, eczema & psoriasis; flexibility & permeability of cell walls allowing nutrients to pass through & toxins to be eliminated

Ellagic Acid - antioxidant beneficial to the immune system; anti-cancer properties

Melatonin - hormone that aids in sleep; antioxidant

ALA (alpha linolenic acid) - essential for bone health; converts to EPA which is utilized for cellular energy

Manganese & Copper - minerals which are important cofactors for enzymes that are critical for antioxidant defense

Decreased Risk of Weight Gain - a source of healthy fat which is essential for moving unhealthy fats through & out of the body

Ways to Enjoy Them in the Diet:
Toasted & added to oatmeal, veggies, salads
Add to plain yogurt with honey or pure maple syrup
1/4 cup as a snack (about 4 walnuts/8 walnut halves)

Prepare them for Eating:
Place about 2 cups of walnuts on a baking sheet. Toast in a 170 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. The low heat protects the natural oils from being damaged. Store in an airtight container. Keep in the fridge for up to 6 months/freezer for up to 1 year to avoid rancidity of the oils.

"Armed & Dangerous" Oatmeal
1 Serving

1 cup water
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 tsp agave syrup
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
1 tsp toasted pepitas
1 tsp golden raisins
1 tsp dried cherries

Place all ingredients in a saucepan & bring to a boil while stirring. Remove from heat, cover, & let sit for 7 minutes. Will still have a bit of chew to the oats but be creamy. Enjoy your energetic start to the day!

Note: Quick-cook oats are acceptable. They have, however, been processed & have lost some nutritional value including fiber. They will not leave you filling full for as long. They are a much better option than microwave oatmeal which I never recommend, partly because they are highly processed, have too much added sugar, & recommend radiating your meal which will deplete any nutrional value (also giving you a gummy instead of creamy end product). The optimal version of oats are steel cut which do require longing cooking time but give you a thicker chewier bowl of goodness.
I encourage you to establish & adopt your own definition of Healthcare Reform for your life. And don't forget...never...underestimate the power of a nut!
To Health,


  1. What is the difference between old fashioned rolled oats and steel cut?

  2. Old-fashioned rolled oats & steel cut oats are the same whole grain oat. The rolled oat has been steamed & then rolled flat to cut down on cooking time. The steel cut is the whole oat that has simple been cut, has a nuttier taste, & is thicker & chewier when cooked. Some people prefer this flavor & texture for their oatmeal but it does require a longer cooking time. The steel cut, in my opinion, reheat better if you make a larger batch at one time to last a few days so they become a good option for those of you who like to make several portions for the week. Nutritionally speaking, some people believe that the rolled oats are not compromised by the steaming & rolling. I tend to believe that they do lose some nutrient value in the processing, however, they are still a very good product.

  3. Thank you for your lovely comments on my blog, just looked through your last few posts, there are some fab recipes. Thanks for sharing, Deb xxx