I have created a new blog. Look me up under http://drpadmagarvey.com
I have created a new blog. Look me up under http://drpadmagarvey.com
The website was down for quite a while there. I am looking to move my blog to another website. I will take a break for one week while I am on vacation. Log back again in one week for more health-related information from me.
I always recommend eating brown rice over white rice. For those lifelong ‘rice eaters’ out there, this is not always an easy transition. It is worth it, however. Making the switch to a whole grain, increases your protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber, and helps tremendously with weight loss. Brown rice may initially seem too hard or dry for people who have grown up on a rice-based diet. One of the biggest arguments my husband and I have had was over brown rice. I have learned a few tricks over the years on how to get brown rice to taste really good. Lets just say that my husband now eats brown rice and actually enjoys it…..or at least that’s what he tells me.
1) I have found that the short grain brown rice is the softest of all the brown rice varieties.
2) soaking the brown rice for an hour prior to cooking helps
3) Cook one cup of brown rice with two cups of water
4) cooking in a pressure cooker produces soft rice
Having a mother who had all her babies in another country gave me a unique perspective when I had my children. I remember when I was about 6 months pregnant with my first one, I went window shopping for baby stuff with my mother.
“What’s a receiving blanket?” my mother asked, holding a package in her hand.
“I have no idea, but apparently I need one according to the book.” I replied.
“I don’t know….I never had any of this stuff when I had you.”
It did make me wonder about how much of any of the stuff I saw in the store I really needed. Of course, I got the receiving blanket and much more because…..the book told me to…
When my son started eating solid food, the whole issue of baby food came up. Again my mother asked “What’s in this?’ as she held a bottle of baby food in her hand. The label said peas. I wondered why I needed to buy this bottle of baby food when I make peas at home all the time.
“What did you feed me Mom?” I asked.
“I just gave you what we ate. Of course it was much blander.” By that she meant my food only had four chili peppers in it rather than eight.
Of course that’s what she did. That’s what people have been doing until a few decades ago when we were some how convinced that a company could do it better. Needless to say I probably bought under 10 jars of baby food for both my kids combined. I purchased a high quality blender and started mashing up their food. It was slightly more time consuming but not by much. I knew exactly what was going into their food which made me feel better.
There is prepackaged food being marketed for toddlers and young children now. Be careful of falling into the trap of thinking that a company will make food for your baby with as much care and love as you would.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!
In 2010, we went to Ireland. We spent all of our time touring the West coast and spent several days in a grand, secluded country inn called The Renvyle House. The scenery was simple magnificent and was exactly like that in Waking Ned Devine (highly recommend the movie if you have not seen it). We walked along rolling green hills, past quaint little houses that rested at the foot of the mountains. The Renvyle House had all the amenities, including a world class chef who has a Michelin Star. What made it even better for me was that he was also given an award for his vegetarian cooking.
Colcannon was a common item at the dinner meals there.
Take one head of green cabbage and remove the hard core. Cut the cabbage into one eight pieces and place in a shallow pan with about three inches of vegetable broth. Let the cabbage cook until extremely tender. You may need to add more broth.
Fill a separate large pot with cold water. Wash four red potatoes and drop into the pot, skin and all. Boil the potatoes until fork tender.
In a medium skillet, add one tablespoon of olive oil and heat to medium. Thoroughly rinsed two heads of leeks and cut into fine slices. Use the white part of the leek and only the very beginning of the green part. Saute in the oil with several pinches of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg. Let the leeks cook down very well.
Drain the potato water and use the liquid from the cabbage to begin mashing the potatoes. Add one packet of silken tofu, salt and pepper to taste and continue to cook under low heat until the tofu has combined. Once the potatoes are well mashed, add the cabbage and combine well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Heavy periods are a common problem for women. Many women are unaware that their periods may be too heavy. If you have been told you are anemic, if you pass clots of blood the size of grapes or larger when you have your period, or if you have difficulty leaving the house or preforming your job while having your period, then you may be suffering from heavy periods.
Some common reasons for heavy periods include getting older, thyroid problems, obesity, ovarian hormone imbalances, perimenopausal hormone changes, and fibroids.
There are many things you can do to help the situation. First, eat an unprocessed diet. Iron is depleted in processed foods. Heartburn is often the result of eating fatty foods and the use of antiacids actually decreases our ability to absorb the iron in our foods. Try to eat an abundance of green, leafy vegetables which are rich in iron. Make sure your weight is at a healthy range, as this will also decrease your risk for uterine cancer.
The treatment options include hormones like birth control pills, depoprovera injections, high dose progestin pill called norethindrone, and the Mirena IUD. You can refer to my post on contraceptive options to get more information about these options. While much depends on the individual’s medical history, in general, I recommend that young women try birth control pills or depoprovera to help with heavy periods. For women over the age of 30, I often suggest the Mirena IUD which has helped reduce the hysterectomy rate in the United States. For women over 45, who are not interested in the Mirena IUD, I recommend the progestin pill, norethindrone.
You may also have heard of endometrial ablation as an option to treat heavy periods. This is a simple, minor surgical procedure where the lining of the uterus is burned. It became very popular about 10 years ago. I do not like this procedure for one important reason which I think is often overlooked by patients and physicians. Uterine cancer is the most common gynecologic cancer. It is easy to detect early with a simple office procedure called endometrial biopsy. Detecting uterine cancer early is key because the outcome is extremely good. If a woman has had an endometrial ablation, it can become more difficult if not imposstible to perform an endometrial biopsy in the future.
I recently received an email from an individual who had transitioned to a plant-based diet a year ago and wanted some advice on how she could make sure she was getting adequate nutrition. I decided to post a blog on the topic hoping it would help others as well.
My health journey started about two years ago. As my family and I were performing my father’s funeral, I remembered how hard and painful the previous 6 years had been for my father and my mother. After having worked for 35 years as a biochemist, doing some excellent research, and saving up a nice nest egg, my father was unable to enjoy the nine years of retirement he had. His golden years were plagued by diabetes, heart disease, peripheral neuropathy, and multiple hospitalizations. After I got home from the services, I glanced up at a photo of myself on my wedding day. I was now twenty years older and 40 pounds heavier!! How had I managed to put on an average of 2 pounds a year? I had always been a strict vegetarian my whole life. I had exercised about 4 times a week during most of the past ten years. How was it possible that I was headed for the same outcome as my father? With my little sister’s encourgement I began to make very specific changes in my life that greatly improved my health.
As I have said before, you can stick a straw in a bottle of olive oil and be a vegan. You can press the buttons on your WI fitness but if you are not huffing and puffing then it is not exercise. The key to eating right are following some simple rules. If you do so then you don’t have to worry about whether or not you are getting enough nourishment. It is an automatic outcome.
1) Do not eat any processed food!!!!
2) Do not eat any processed food!!!
3) Do not eat any processed food!!
(I hope this makes it clear that you need to make your food from scratch).
4) Do not worry about the carbs so long as they are whole grains only and that you eat a variety of them. So oats for breakfast, whole wheat pasta for lunch and quinoa for dinner, etc. Your pantry should be well stocked with a wide assortment of whole grains. And remember potatoes with the skin are a whole grain as is corn on the cob.
5)Limit oil consumption. Your best friend in the kitchen should be a tablespoon measuring spoon that you use to measure out the oil you use when you cook. No dish that you are making for your whole family can get more than a tablespoon of oil. No oil in your salad dressings, nothing fried.
6) Every meal should have a green, leafy vegetable component and something raw like a salad or fresh fruit.
7) plan you meals for the week in advance so that you can make sure you get a variety of lentils, beans, vegetables, etc. Variety is the key. My menus for the week sound like the roll call at the United Nations. I like to make dishes from all over the world. You will notice that most cuisines tend to have their classic combinations with every meal like hummus and pita, rice and beans, dal (lentils) and rice, soups with beans (minestrone), succotash, etc.
learn how to work with tofu. See my blog regarding this.
9) try new recipes from various regions. Variety is the key here. People who eat the same things everyday are more likely to develop a deficiency.
10) make use of nuts, especially walnuts in your cooking
11) take a standard adult multivitamin like a One A Day or a Centrum everyday. DO NOT SPEND A LOT OF MONEY ON YOUR VITAMIN SUPPLEMENT. YOU WILL BE FLUSHING MOST OF IT DOWN THE TOILET THE NEXT DAY (LITERALLY).
We go to Pawleys Island, South Carolina every summer for a week. It is our quiet, ‘do nothing’ vacation. I look forward to being able to read a lot while I am down there. One summer, the book I was reading was the focus of our group’s attention. I was reading…Salt. Actually it was an excellent book on the history of salt. Of course I had to listen to a lot of jokes about what was the sequel called….Pepper?
Humans need salt. All animals, for that matter, need salt. In fact, animals that are herbivores (eat plants) spend a great deal of time searching for salt. Many of the major roads that we drive on today actually came from the paths laid down by herds of wild animals trekking through the wilderness to their favorite salt deposits. Carnivorous animals do not search for salt. They obtain all the salt they need through the animal meat they consume. That’s where the problem arises for humans who are mostly omnivores nowadays. If you eat meat then you do not need to add any salt to your diet. This may be one of the main reasons why high blood pressure is a problem today.
We take salt for granted but for thousands of years humans struggled to obtain salt. The Romans’ main reason for going to Palestine was to control the Dead Sea salt. So in some ways, the search for salt played a major role in the formation of Christianity. Salt was a scarce, precious commodity.
The Inuits who live in Alaska and Northern Canada are a group of people who have adapted to the area by living on a diet of sea lion. Of course this adaptation occurred over the span of thousands of years and if it had not been for their extraordinary ability to survive in one of the harshest areas of the world, the New World might not have been populated by their ancestors. However, because the Inuits are adapted to a diet of animal meat, any food they consume that has salt added to it is extremely harmful to them. As Western food became a greater staple of the Inuit diet, so too did their incidence of high blood pressure rise.
We can learn from history and realize that our modern day problems with high blood pressure and too much salt in our diet has a biological basis. Meat consumption AND salt intake do not go together. The only way to control your salt intake is to not eat any processed food. If you want to go one step further, eat a plant-based diet.
Risotto is traditionally made with a short grain white rice called arborio rice. I make a mushroom risotto with barley instead. It has a more interesting texture and is a whole grain.
Purchase some dried mushrooms at the store. Pick several different kinds. Soak the dried mushrooms in one quart of water for several hours. Then bring the mixture to a boil then reduce to simmer when you are ready to make the risotto.
In a large,flat skillet add one tablespoon of olive oil and heat to medium. Add two large white onions, finely diced and one and 1/2 cups of barley. Stir the onions and barley until the barley starts to roast. Add two cups of finely chopped white button mushrooms and portbella mushrooms. Add one cup of your simmering mushroom broth. Stir constantly. When the barley has soaked most of the broth, add 1/2 cup of white wine. Continue to stir constantly. Alternate between mushroom broth and white wine like this until you have added two cups of white wine. After that continue to add only mushroom broth, one cup at a time, stirring constantly. The barley should be cooked until very soft. If you run out of mushroom broth, simply add more water to your dried mushrooms and heat again. Add salt and pepper to taste. Finish with chopped, fresh Italian parsley.
My best friend’s husband, Bob, says that this dish is one of his top ten favorite dishes of all time. Since he is a chef, I take this as a real compliment. It is one of my favorites as well. It has all the tastes, sweet, salty, smokey, sour, and just a tad bitter. The combination is awesome especially when you contrast the cold eggplant with warm rice, then you even get temperature variation with each bite.
Take a large purple eggplant and wrap completely in several layers of aluminum foil. Roast the eggplant over an open flame on your stove burner for several minutes on all four sides. You need to turn the flame off and using a pair of sturdy tongs, turn to the next side and then turn the flame on again. Roast the eggplant until it is very soft (it should take about 20 minutes). Remove the eggplant and set on a plate. Let it cool before you remove the aluminum foil. You may notice some juice leaking out of the foil. Make sure you catch it on the plate. Do not throw the juice away. Once the eggplant has thoroughly cooled, remove the aluminum foil. Peel and discard the skin of the eggplant. Mash the eggplant with its juice in a bowl. Use your hands for this.
In a seperate medium skillet, add one tablespoon of oil and heat to medium. Add the following ingredients in order of appearance: One teaspoon black mustard seeds, ten menthi seeds (fenugreek seeds), two crushed dried red chilis, two dashes of hingh powder. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add one large onion, diced and two chopped jalapenos. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt, stir and let cook until the onions are nicely browned. Remove from heat and let cool. Combine the onion mixture with the eggplant, add one tablespoon of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of tamarind paste and mix thoroughly. This item should be eaten cold over a bed of warm brown rice.