Dr Akilah – Celestial Healing Wellness Center

The Natural Health and Holistic World According to Dr Akilah

Tag Archives: recipes

Too busy to cook?

By Simone Austin

Do you typically arrive home from work feeling too tired to cook? Haven’t shopped, fridge nearly empty? The takeaway shop is looking tempting. Well think again.

Let’s plan ahead a little so there is always a healthy option in the fridge or pantry at home. Write a list before going to the shops so you buy only those foods on the list. Think about some quick meals and which ingredients you will need for them.

To have a well balanced meal, even one that is quick to prepare, you should include:

  • a carbohydrate source for energy, such as pasta, rice, couscous, noodles, potatoes, sweet potato, kumara or bread
  • a protein source, such as lean meat, eggs, legumes or fish
  • vegetables or salad

These should generally be in equal proportions on your plate.

Here are some quick, healthy meals that are easy to prepare from everyday ingredients kept in the fridge and pantry:

  • poached eggs with wholegrain bread, corn on the cob and some canned tomatoes and mushrooms cooked up together
  • baked beans on toast with a side salad
  • homemade pizza using pita bread, with tuna, low-fat cheese, mushrooms and capsicum topping
  • chicken, tomato, olives (jar) and vegetables (frozen or fresh peas and beans) with pasta
  • salmon patties (or tempeh) with a garden salad or vegetables

Try and keep some staples in the pantry, including fruit that you can eat with yoghurt for dessert. Frozen berries blended with almond milk and yoghurt makes a great smoothie snack at any time of day.

Akilah M. El, N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor and certified Master Herbalist with a private practice in Atlanta Georgia and Berlin Germany. Join Dr Akilah El on Facebook and Twitter

For More Health Tips Like This Check Out Our Health Tips Page

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6 Appetizers with more calories than an entree

When you sit down in a restaurant and order an app, you don’t expect it to equal or exceed the calories in a main meal. Unfortunately, many popular appetizers contain astronomically more calories, fat, and sodium than you should consume or the day, let alone in your pre-entrée nosh. What’s worse is that apps tend to be a shared experience, with three-or-more split between everyone at the table, so it’s easy to lose track of how much you actually eat. Our advice? When you’re dining out, skip the apps in favor of a small green salad and recreate these perennial favorites at home for a fraction of the calories and fat.


1. Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers These spicy stuffed poppers not only come at a high heat, they also come at a steep caloric cost. One plateful of these peppers tallies over 1,900 calories, 135 g of fat, and over 6,000 mg of sodium! (Yes, that’s right 6,000 mg of sodium.) You could have ordered 9 chicken enchiladas and still saved 36 g of fat and 2,000 mg of sodium.

Make it Yourself: Spicy Jalapeno Salsa We love spicy food: Not only does it pack a whole lot of flavor, the capsaicin found in chiles are known to kick your metabolism into high gear. Opt for this fiery jalapeno salsa instead of the fattening poppers: This version uses chili powder as well as jalapeno peppers to give this sauce a zesty punch. Plus, it amounts to under 10 calories per serving.


2. Boneless Buffalo Wings With Blue Cheese Stop trying to kid yourself that the celery stalk that comes with the basket of wings makes this starter a healthy choice: One order of these saucy snackers amounts to almost 1,500 calories and 4,590 mg of sodium. That’s the salt equivalent of gorging on over 2 large bags of potato chips before your main entrée.

Make it Yourself: Waistline-Friendly Buffalo Wings These wings have all the qualities you love—smoky and fiery chicken coated with a finger-licking-good sauce—but they come with a fraction of the calories, fat, and sodium. One serving of these has less than 220 calories and nearly a 10th of the sodium.

3. Stuffed Potato Skins While potato skins are not regarded as a typical healthy choice, these “loaded” appetizers may be far worse than you anticipated. The boat-like munchies are usually brimming with high-calorie and high-fat ingredients like sour cream, bacon, and a medley of melty cheeses, but all that indulgence comes at a price: One plate of these is 2,070 calories. It’s also got 135 g of fat, the equivalent of over a dozen chocolate donuts.

Make it Yourself: Spicy Potato Skins Baked potato? Check. Sour cream? Check. Cheddar? Check. Bacon? Yup, we’ve got that too. These creamy and delicious potato skins have every element of classic stuffed potato skins, plus a few added extras (like some chile peppers), but they have less than a fifth of the caloric cost.


4. Guacamole And Chips We absolutely love avocado: It’s got a rich, buttery taste, and it’s packed with belly-flattening MUFAs. Unfortunately, not all guacs are created equal. Some restaurant versions really pack on the calories and salt—one platter of chips and dip could amount to close to 1,400 calories and 84 g of fat, not to mention over 2,000 mg of sodium.

Make It Yourself: Guiltless Guacamole This unique recipe for guacamole cuts calories, fat, and sodium with one simple (and yummy) swap. This version is not only packed with MUFAs, but it’s brimming with vitamin A as well as folate.


5. Beef Nachos  It’s hard to resist the tempting call of layers of tortilla chips, melted nacho cheese, onions, peppers, and juicy beef. But you would be all the wiser to stray from this fattening app tower: One plate has 1,700 calories and over 3,500 mg of sodium.

Make it Yourself: Cheesy Nachos Hold the beef with your nachos: That simple skip will cut a ton of calories, and you won’t be left wondering, “Where’s the beef?” This recipe, complete with blue corn chips and a layer of cheese, comes in under 250 calories per serving.


6. Chicken Strips Ordering an individually sized chicken appetizer may make you believe that you are playing it safe when it comes to keeping your eye on your waistline. Think again. A single serving of sesame chicken strips amounts to more than half of your day’s calories and over 2,600 mg of salt.

Make it Yourself: Parmesan Chicken Strips Try these breaded Parmesan chicken strips instead: They’ve got that scrumptious crunch and a rich, cheesy coating with one plateful tallying up to a mere 167 calories.

Akilah M. El, N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor and certified Master Herbalist with a private practice in Atlanta Georgia and Berlin Germany. Join Dr Akilah El on Facebook and Twitter

For More Health Tips Like This Check Out Our Health Tips Page

The Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

The Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato or Yam is a tuberous crop with scientific name Ipomoea Batatas. Its plant is a creeper with heart shaped or lobed leaves. The tubers color vary from purple or red to pale yellow or white, depending upon the variety, soil type, climate and minerals.

 

The red variety has drier and harder flesh while the white or the yellow type has more juicy flesh. The red variety has a characteristic aroma which becomes more prominent on boiling. The more reddish or orange the color of the flesh of the sweet potatoes, the stronger is this aroma. Perhaps this is due presence of beta carotene whose concentration also increases with the color.

Let us study the benefits of sweet potatoes.

 
  • Immunity: Being very rich in beta carotene, which is a major anti oxidant, apart from vitamin-C and B-complex, iron and phosphorus present in them, sweet potatoes are excellent immunity boosters.
  • Inflammation: Like the common potato, sweet potato also has anti inflammatory properties, although it does not belong to the family of common potato. This is primarily due to presence of beta-carotene, vitamin-C and magnesium. It is equally effective in curing internal and external inflammations.
  • Asthma: The sweet potato is effective in curing congestion of nose, bronchi and lungs, thereby giving relief in asthma. Its typical aroma helps in this.
  • Bronchitis: The concentration of vitamin-C, iron and other nutrients help curing bronchitis. The sweet potatoes are believed to be capable of warming up the body (may be due to the sweetness and other nutrients). This property also is beneficial in bronchitis, apart from its property to ease congestion.
  • Arthritis: Beta-carotene, magnesium, zinc and vitamin-B complex, among others, make sweet potato a helping hand to cure arthritis. The water in which the sweet potatoes are boiled can be applied externally on joints too to ease pain in arthritis.
  • Digestion: The fiber content of sweet potatoes is higher than that of common potatoes and it tastes good too. When these two factors are combined with other minerals like magnesium present in sweet potatoes, it makes an excellent facilitator for digestion. Sweet potatoes are easy to digest too, since they mainly contain starch. They are soothing for the stomach and intestines too.
  • Cancer: Beta-carotene, the champion anti oxidant and anti carcinogen, the pigments responsible for the color of the peel of the sweet potatoes and vitamin-C, are very beneficial for curing many types of cancer, mainly those of colon, intestines, prostrate, kidneys and other internal organs.
  • Water Balance: The fiber or roughage present in sweet potatoes helps retain water. This maintains water balance in the body.
  • Stomach Ulcers: Sweet potato has a soothing effect on the stomach and intestines. The vitamins (B-complex and C), beta carotene, potassium and calcium are very effective in curing stomach ulcers. Moreover, the roughage in sweet potatoes prevents constipation and resultant acid formation, thereby reducing the chance of ulcers. The anti inflammatory and soothing properties of sweet potatoes also reduce the pain and inflammation of the ulcers.
  • Diabetes: Contrary to the popular belief, the sweet potatoes are beneficial for diabetics. Amazingly, they are very effective in regulating blood sugar lever by helping proper secretion and function of insulin. Of course, that does not mean that diabetics should eat them indiscriminately. The idea is that they can replace their rice or carbohydrate intake with sweet potatoes.
  • Weight Gain: This is easily understood. The sweet potatoes are sweet as well as contain very good amount of complex starch, apart from healthy vitamins, minerals and some proteins too. Moreover, they are very easy to digest. Thus they provide a lot of energy and are excellent bulk builders. Those suffering from inferiority complex due to their bones visibly sticking out of their skin, will welcome this news, without having any risk any side effect, which most of the synthetic bulk building dietary supplements run.
  • Other Benefits: They are effective in quitting addictions like smoking, drinking and taking certain narcotics. They are good for the health of arteries and veins, as they protect their walls against hardening. The high concentration of beta carotene (an alternative of vitamin-A) and phosphorus are excellent for ocular and cardiac health.

This starchy vegetable has bulk to keep your tummy full for hours. Yet its nutritional profile makes the calories worth it, especially since they are fat-free. Its fiber alone is enough to make a sweet potato worth eating.

If a beta-carotene contest were held, sweet potatoes would tie carrots for first place. That may make them top-notch for fighting chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease, as well as disease related to inflammation, such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Sweet potatoes are also rich in potassium and vitamin C; a small potato provides almost half the daily allowance.

Nutritive Values : Per 100 gm. 

  • Vitamin A : 7,700 I.U.
  • Vitamin B : Thiamine .09 mg.;
  • Riboflavin : .05 mg.
  • Niacin : .6 mg.
  • Vitamin C : 22 mg.
  • Calcium : 30 mg.
  • Iron : .7 mg.
  • Phosphorus : 49 mg.
  • Potassium : 300 mg.
  • Fat : .7 gm.
  • Carbohydrates : 27.9 gm.
  • Protein : 1.8 gm.
  • Calories : 123

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Akilah M. El, N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor and certified Master Herbalist with a private practice in Atlanta Georgia and Berlin Germany. Join Dr Akilah El on Facebook and Twitter

For More Health Tips Like This Check Out Our Health Tips Page

The Bold and the Beautiful Blue Potato

Forget the greens, Irish parents are urging their offspring to eat their blues.

Blue Potatoes

The blue potato is proving a hit across Ireland since it was recently introduced to the market by a Dublin family which has been growing vegetables for 200 years.

The Keogh family, which trades as Cream of the Crop, grew the lesser known variety to mark the international year of the potato.

Little did they guess what an impact blue mash would have on the Irish imagination.

“We were overwhelmed by the response,” said Tom Keogh, general manager of Peter Keogh &Sons.

“It is a very, very old variety of potato. We got some of the seed last year and grew it as part of our heritage range.”

The potato is a deep indigo blue and makes colourful mash and chips. The firm aimed to appeal to children – by selling them something with a little novelty interest.

Healthy

The blue colour comes from the presence of anthocyanin, which is an antioxidant. Mr Keogh pointed out that the potatoes had health benefits too.

“They have a deep flavour,” he said, “but I’m surprised too at the backlash against the idea of eating blue food.”

Despite Ireland’s long association with the potato, Mr Keogh said that its popularity is waning and overall sales fell by 14% last year.

By introducing new, lesser known varieties, potato growers hope to rekindle interest in the humble spud.

Mashed Blue Potatoes

From Greg Atkinson

Purple or “blue” potatoes are smooth textured and excellent for mashing. Peel the potatoes and cut them into uniform small dice, so that they cook rapidly and evenly. Use just enough water to barely cover the potatoes, and when you drain them, just before mashing, save the cooking liquid and pour some back into the mash to make a smoother purée. The outrageous color is especially effective with dark or red meats and brilliant green vegetables. It’s nice to know that anthocyanins, the pigments that make some vegetables purple, are healthy antioxidants. Use this same technique to make mashed parsnips.

Makes about 6 cups, serving 6

3 pounds organic purple potatoes
1 tablespoon kosher salt
About 6 cups water
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch bits

1. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch cubes. Put the cubed potatoes and salt in a heavy, 1-gallon stockpot and cover them with the water. Cook the potatoes until they are fork-tender and just beginning to fall apart, about 15 minutes.

2. Drain the potatoes through a colander over a bowl or another pot to save the cooking liquid. Force the cooked potatoes through a ricer, or, if no ricer available, put the drained potatoes back in the pot in which they were cooked and mash them with a potato masher or a whisk. Whisk in the butter and just enough of the reserved cooking liquid to render the mashed potatoes smooth and creamy.

3. Covered and placed over the lowest possible heat, the potatoes can be held for up to 20 minutes before serving. If they are going to be held for more than a few minutes, make a ring of aluminum foil and put it between the burner and the pot of potatoes to keep them from burning on the bottom. Serve the mashed potatoes hot.

For more healthy food ideas, recipes and information please visit our Health Tips Pagehttp://www.celestialhealing.net/healthintro..htm

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