Healthy Sauces from Around the World

Sauces used for dipping, spreading, and marinating can sometimes be full of ingredients that aren’t the healthiest. Here are some recipes from around the globe that are sure to satisfy your family’s palate and nutritional needs.

CHIMICHURRI is a sauce that can be found in many dishes from Argentina. It’s a great dipping sauce for bread, as well as a traditional marinade for “Gaucho-style” steak and potatoes. It’s rich in herbs, garlic, and olive oil making it a heart-healthy topping or marinade to all veggies and proteins.

1 cup chopped parsley

4 minced cloves of garlic

1 tsp. sea salt

½ tsp. fresh ground pepper

½ tsp. chili pepper flakes

1 tbsp. fresh oregano leaves

2 tbsp. minced shallot

¾ cup olive oil

3 tbsp. red wine vinegar

3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Place all ingredients in a food processor, so it chops up nicely—but don’t puree! Muy bien!

 

CUCUMBER RAITA is a flavorful sauce from India that’s often used with grilled proteins, rice, couscous, and potatoes. But also feel free to dip some naan (yummy Indian bread) into the raita as a healthy snack.

1 cup grated cucumber (you will have to squeeze the water out of the cucumber while grating to get the pulp into your measuring cup)

2 cups plain low-fat yogurt

1 minced garlic clove

1 tsp. chopped cilantro

½ tsp. salt

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl (by hand) and your raita is ready to be dipped into or to be spread on top of your main meal foods.

 

GREMOLATA is a sauce from Italy. Instead of buttering your bread, you can use gremolata as a dip. Mostly, however, this sauce is sprinkled on your grilled proteins directly after they’ve been cooked.

1 small bunch of chopped parsley leaves

1 lemon- just the grated rind

1 clove garlic finely chopped

Mix the three ingredients and you’ve got your gremolata. Buon apetito!

 

TZATZIKI is a super heart-healthy sauce that comes from Greece. Mediterranean culture seems to understand which foods keep us healthiest. It’s delicious for pita dipping or spread on proteins/meats and potatoes.

2 cucumbers peeled, seeded, and finely chopped

½ diced white onion

1 seeded and diced tomato

2 cups plain Greek yogurt

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp. olive oil

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. dill

1 tsp. chopped oregano

1 clove minced garlic

Mix all ingredients. Sauce is ready. Opa!

The above recipes are sure to delight your taste buds and keep your waistline in line. Just make sure that what you’re using to dip is also a healthy option. A Paleo or gluten-free bread is a decent choice. Even better: raw veggies like carrots, celery, broccoli, and jicama will all work well with the above sauces.

The bottom line is that you can eat well nutrition- and health-wise without sacrificing deliciousness. Most fun is that you can experience different flavors from around the world. Eat well and enjoy!

CanaGel Melts

Who’s Got Head Head Lice Now?

Every school year, without fail, someone’s kid comes home with head lice. What will you do when it’s your child who gets the creepy crawlies in her head? Watch out, because they’re coming after you, too.

No Fly Guy

There are several misnomers about lice. Yes, they are lousy, not because they’re dangerous, but because they’re obnoxious. They make your head itch, and it’s a pain to get rid of them. They will not, however, make you sick. They don’t bite, sting, or carry any diseases.

People can get different types of lice. There are the ones that stick to the hair on your head, the ones that travel in pubic hair, and another kind found on the body. Only body lice spread disease. But don’t worry too much about your child bringing home pubic or body lice.

No type of lice flies. They also don’t hop or jump. All they do is crawl. That’s why your scalp itches. Humans are the only host to head lice. Your dog can’t get them or transfer them, and if they’re off a human head, they die in about seven days.

Super Lice

Super lice aren’t any bigger than their lice ancestors. They’ve been given this name recently because they are becoming resistant to over-the-counter poison treatment. Generally, a shampoo that contains permethrin and pyrethrin will kill the buggers.

Lately, however, families are having difficulty ridding their household heads of lice using traditional formulas. Implementing non-chemicals remedies are being used, and many of them are working.

Mayonnaise may do the job. It’s safe, and you probably don’t have to go out and buy any. Experienced users suggest you massage it into your hair and cover with a shower cap. Leave it in overnight. Shower in the morning and comb out the dead eggs.

-LiceDoctors.com recommends using olive oil. They explain that the louse suffocates from the thickness of the oil. They also claim that the oil helps loosen the nits (eggs) from the hair shaft.

Petroleum jelly is another suggestion. It works the same as mayonnaise, but it’s tough to wash out of your hair the next day.

Watch out!

Being the helpful parent may get you more than you bargained for. While shaving your kids’ head or shampooing, you can get lice, too. In fact, 65% of moms get head lice from their innocent child. Siblings have it worse—they have an 85% chance of catching them!

This is the one occasion where nit-picking matters and is a good thing. You want to make sure to use a fine comb and get those buggers and eggs off the hair shaft and scalp. After the first treatment with an OTC potion or your homemade one, continue to comb daily. After a week, treat your scalp one more time. And make sure you’ve cleaned all bedding and towels thoroughly.

Teach your kids not to share hats, brushes, big headphones, or stick heads together with other children. Some recommend using tea tree or peppermint oil as a preventative way to repel lice. For more healthy tips for your family, check out www.GetThrive.com

What Foods Do Nutritionists Think are Healthy?

Ask the Nutritionists

Hundreds of nutritionists as well as 2,000 other Americans were polled about which foods they think are healthy. The results showed some shared beliefs but also some huge differences in perception of healthy foods.

Who Knows What?

The New York Times recently conducted its own study on the perception of healthy foods. The purpose was to get a consensus of which foods nutritionists and “regular folk” regard as healthy. For the study, the NY Times enlisted a consult group, who in turn polled 2,000 Americans. The participants were asked to rate 52 common foods in order from unhealthy to healthy. Additionally, over 600 nutritionists from the American Society for Nutrition were asked to do the same.

The results showed how nutritionists’ belief in the healthiness of certain foods varied from what the average American believes. Even some of the nutritionists, however, were split on particular foods. The consensus on butter, for example, was varied for everyone polled. The same mixed feelings occurred on the topic of whole milk and red meat.

The mixed reviews on these three specific foods point out that their nutritional value must be inconclusive. A prominent nutritionist Dariush Mozaffarian explains, “…we only know about 40 or 50 percent of what we need to know about nutrition.”

What Everyone Thinks is Good

The Americans surveyed agreed with the nutritionists on the healthfulness of several common foods. Oranges, apples, and avocados ranked among the highest in goodness. Spinach, kale, olive oil, and almonds were top choices too. Turkey and chicken made the highs ranks as well.

What Everyone Thinks is Bad

Regular soda, chocolate chip cookies, and ice cream were deemed the unhealthiest by everyone polled. Bacon, white bread, diet soda, and beer were just a couple of percentage points higher on the list, but still extremely low in good nutrition. On a scale from zero to 100 percent, hamburgers ranked at only 30% healthy for all those surveyed.

Here’s Where We Can Learn

Assuming these 600-plus nutritionists understand good food value, here’s information from which we can learn. The study points out that granola bars are deemed healthy by fewer than 30% of the experts. About 70% of the public, however, believed the bars to be healthy. Here’s the difference. The nutritionists know how much added sugars are in the popular food. We may not know because labels can misrepresent.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently agreed to review its labeling standards. Some foods we think are healthy simply are not. And, unfortunately, we have been misguided for years.

The nutritionists expressed that sushi, wine, shrimp, hummus, tofu, and quinoa are all excellent. The public didn’t seem aware of the high levels of nutritional value in these foods. Perhaps it’s because they are not “common”—yet. The other take away from this study is that most everyone agreed that “no special rules or restrictions” comprised the best diet. Balance and moderation are key.

For other articles on diet and nutrition, check out www.GetThrive.com

 

5 Natural Recipes for Home Facials

Even if you apply sunscreen, avoid alcohol and smoke, and get plenty of rest and hydrate, your skin—with age—loses elasticity.

Unfortunately, skin loses some of its ability to self-moisturize, creating fine wrinkles. Here are some ideas for improving skin quality using natural ingredients at home.

1. Dilute fresh lemon juice in a half-cup of cold water. Apply the astringent gently with a washcloth. Rinse with clear, cool water.

2. Whisk two egg whites into foam. Apply the hydro lipids to your face and neck, leaving it for 15 minutes, and rinse with cool water.

3. Mix three teaspoons of honey with a couple drops of fresh lemon juice and olive oil. Rub gently onto your face and let it sit and hydrate for 10 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.

4. Mix a teaspoon of cinnamon with powdered turmeric, a couple drops of olive oil, and a dash of salt. This paste makes a great exfoliant.

5. Apply aloe vera gel and leave on overnight. Rinse with cool water.

Any natural ingredient that helps boost collagen and elastin with give your skin a younger, richer glow.lf (or your kids) into liking veggies.

 

3 Recipes for the Perfect, Vegan, No-Sugar Snack

So, you’ve made the choice to be kind to your body and eat healthy foods. That doesn’t have to be synonymous with undesirable or unpalatable meals or snacks. There are thousands of delicious recipes (many found here on GetThrive.) Alas, here are three no-sugar, vegan recipes that compliment each other perfectly for an incredibly satisfying and nutrition-dense snack.

HERB-IVORE  FLAT BREAD

Ingredients

1½ cups of Almond flour

¾ cup Tapioca flour

1/3 cup ground Flax or Chia seeds

7 drops of liquid Stevia

½ teaspoon Baking Soda

½ teaspoon Sea Salt

3 Organic Eggs

¼ cup unsweetened Almond Milk

 

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, combine the two flours, ground seeds, baking soda, and ½ the salt.

In a small bowl, blend the eggs and milk with an electric mixer for about 30 seconds.

Add the egg mixture into the dry ingredients, and mix or stir to combine until it forms a sticky wet dough.

Pour batter onto a 12 x 16 cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Smooth batter out with spatula over the entire surface area, so it is thin and even. Sprinkle herbs of choice and the other ½ of the sea salt evenly over dough. On the center rack of oven, bake at 350 for 8 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Don’t over bake or it will be too dry.

Serve warm or cool and cut into desired size. Store in parchment and then seal in an airtight bag in the fridge for best freshness.

 

STATE OF THE ART-ICHOKE DIP

Ingredients

1 garlic bulb

1 small white onion

1 ½ cups of artichoke hearts

5 cups of Tuscan kale

¼ cup of sun-dried tomatoes

1 cup of raw cashews (that have been soaked in hot water for ½ hour)

1 lemon

1 cup water

organic olive oil

sea salt

black pepper

 

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the top off of a bulb of garlic, drizzle olive oil over top, wrap in foil and roast for 40 minutes.

Thinly slice the onion. Remove stems and chop the kale. Roughly chop the artichoke hearts. Mince the sundried tomatoes. Halve the lemon.

Caramelize onions. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onions and a pinch of salt. Sauté, stirring regularly, until golden brown and caramelized (8-10 minutes). Remove from pan and set aside.

To make cashew cream, drain and rinse cashews. Put cashews in a blender with 1 cup filtered water, the juice from half of the lemon, and 2-4 cloves from your roasted garlic bulb. Blend on low, slowly moving to high, until it forms a creamy texture, free of grains. Set cashew cream aside.

In the same pan used to cook the onions, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add kale and season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened (about 5 minutes.) Add artichokes, sundried tomatoes, and caramelized onions.

Stir in cashew cream and transfer your creation into a bowl—now ready for dipping!

 

CASHEW-AND-ME MILK

Ingredients

1 cup of raw cashews

3 ½ cups of filtered water

3 Medjool pitted dates

1 pinch of sea salt

 

Place cashews and dates in a bowl and cover with one inch of water. Let them soak for at least 2 hours or, preferably, overnight.

Drain and rinse cashews. Place cashews, water, dates, vanilla, and the pinch of salt in a blender. Blend for 60 seconds or until completely smooth. Test thickness of cashew milk. If you prefer thinner consistency, add up to one cup of additional water and continue to blend until smooth. In an airtight container in refrigeration, the milk can last up to a week.

Yes, there is preparation necessary to create the three above gastronomic treats. However, an hour or less of actual “cooking time” can provide you with a week’s worth of delectable, healthy, nutrition-rich snacks. All three in one sitting may be too rich for some, but feel free to mix-and-match as your pallet and belly feel fit and satisfied.

For other healthy and nutritious recipes and tips, peruse the health and food sections on www.GetThrive.com

Sources:

http://www.pinchofkate.com

 

Omega-3s May Prevent High Blood Pressure Later in Life

Most Omega-3 fatty acid studies have been focused on those who already have high blood pressure. A new study out of Switzerland, however, reveals some interesting findings from healthy participants aged 25 to 41.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Don’t be frightened by the term fatty acid. It’s a necessary element in our diet, and our body doesn’t naturally produce it. Omega-3s, in particular, have shown to improve the functioning of our blood vessels, decrease inflammation, and strengthen heart health. It can be found in foods such as: fish (salmon, tuna, halibut), walnuts, flaxseeds, olive oil, beans, winter squash, tofu, and others.

Very high doses of omega-3s can lower blood pressure momentarily. But what about long-term, moderate use? Will that prevent high blood pressure in the future? That’s what the scientists were wondering…

The Study

Lead researcher, Dr. Mark Filipovic, studied results from 2,000 participants in the program. Men and women, aged 25 to 41, were divided into four groups. All of the people were considered healthy, did not have diabetes and were not obese. (Those conditions tend to impact blood pressure levels.)

Those with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood had the lowest systolic and lowest diastolic of all the groups. Systolic pressure is the top number of the blood pressure reading; it measures the pressure exerted against artery walls when the heart beats. Diastolic pressure, the bottom number, measures the pressure exerted when the heart rests between beats.

How an Omega-3-rich Diet Can Benefit You

The assumption, after that particular study, is that encouraging diets rich in omega-3s could be a tool in preventing high blood pressure. Filipovic expressed that, overall, if blood pressure levels were lowered—even a small amount—it would make a big difference. Fewer people might suffer strokes and heart attacks.

An alternate study, which focused on those who already have high blood pressure, noted that adding omega-3 fatty acids into their diet reduced their levels. Even less than a gram made a difference. (That’s a handful of walnuts and a half of an avocado, or a 4-ounce piece of Alaskan salmon.)

Instead of taking more supplements, it’s best to incorporate fresh foods that promote optimum health. And when it comes to your heart, you don’t want to mess around. Click here for other helpful information on good-for-your-body foods.