kris ulland

Your Nutrition Partner

There isn’t a one-siz-fit-all diet that works for everyone but understanding why some foods make you feel bloated and others keep you peppy all day, is valuable for everyone. Most people want to live longer and feel better. This blog will be your partner in improving your nutrition and achieving your health goals. Learning about macronutrients – protein, carbohydrates and fat – and micronutrients – vitamins, minerals, and enzymes – will make trips to the market more interesting. 

The weekly blog will include a Food of the Week with directions on where to shop for it and how to cook it. The Weekly Recipe will introduce The Food of the Week into your regular meal plans and explain what benefits the food provides.  

We all are unique with individual needs, tastes and ethnicities. There are a number dietary trends that play a role in promoting health. This blog will take into consideration diets like the Mediterranean, vegetarian, vegan, Paleo, Keto, etc. that people decide on for various reasons. This blog will help you choose the healthiest foods to make these choices work for you. 

Sadly, most Americans today did not grow up eating “real food”. By that I mean that the animals today are not fed species-appropriate diets and plants are not grown with natural nutrients without toxins. Breakfast cereal is laden with sugar. People guzzle energy drinks. Fast food is on the dinner table. “The bliss point” is the combination of salt, sugar, and fat that titillate our taste buds and make us want to eat more. Food chemists and the marketing departments of food processing companies constantly deliver new samples of these addictive foods to our markets. 

People eat for pleasure, for energy, to diet, and for health. 

Eating for pleasure is often impulsive and a way to minimize emotional pain. Eating “because it tastes good” or “was there” provides immediate gratification. We go to sugary and carb-heavy foods to reward ourselves. Excessive caffeine, alcohol, sweets are hallmarks of this kind of eating. 

Blood sugar regulation drives us to make bad food choices when we are eating to get a boost of energy. These “pit-stops” relieve us from having to fuel-up again for three to four hours. When we eat fast foods and energy drinks, we are not concerned with the quality of the food. These foods are readily available when we are hungry and low on energy. When you are eating in a hurry, you are not thinking about pesticide residues, environmental toxins, added hormones and antibiotics, coloring in the food or artificial flavors. This, like eating for pleasure, is an unsustainable way to feed your body. Eventually, serious, chronic conditions will emerge. 

Eating for pleasure and eating for quick energy usually result in poor body types, diminished vitality, and increased mood swings.  

People often resort to diets formulated by someone else with hopes that by having someone else organize food choices, it will be easier to follow. Sometimes there is an initial positive effect from eating fewer refined and processed foods, but usually, these diets are boring and judgmental, or tiresome and supplement driven. There are lots of good intentions at the beginning of a diet but diets are often too hard to maintain.

Eating for health is a lifelong goal. You will learn about optimum nutrition, the healing effects of food, and mindful food choices. There is no diet to follow when eating for health. Choose from a wide variety of healthy, organic foods. Exercise moderation in the amount you eat. Take more time and care preparing your food. When eating for health, you can take the time to know what is in season and end up selecting organic and fresh foods. Learning what foods are grown locally and how the food you buy arrives at the store is important. Not surprisingly, our bodies recognize the difference between a synthetic nutrient and a biologically natural nutrient.

Over the past twenty years, research demonstrates that food is the primary promoter of health and protector from disease.

Feed your body what it needs! 

 

Green Tea

There are well-researched health benefits for drinking green tea. It is a chemopreventative, meaning that it lowers the risk or prevents cancer in healthy people. Green tea is protective of the heart and the vascular system. It lowers cholesterol, blood pressure, and the risk of stroke. Green tea is thermogenic. It increases fat burning and promotes weight loss.

Green tea’s health benefits come from its high catechin content. Catechins are antioxidants that fight and possibly prevent cell damage. The antioxidant in green tea, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), helps to speed up the recovery of heart cells and minimizes cell death after a heart attack. Green tea is known to aid healthy cells in all stages of growth. There is, also, a natural chemical called theanine in green tea that has a calming effect.

How to Buy

Green tea gets its name from the natural green color of the leaves that the plant grows and green tint of the brew. The main defining differences between types of green tea stem from the where it is grown, the harvesting method, and the processing method.

Green tea is different from black and oolong tea because green tea leaves are picked and steamed raw, avoiding the oxidation process that leads to oolong and black teas.

The most common green tea in Japan is Sencha. Sencha has only about 30 mg of caffeine per cup, compared to 50 mg in black tea, and 110 mg-175 mg in coffee. With any tea, you can reduce the caffeine up to 80 percent by pouring out the first infusion of water. The flavor profile is light and refreshing with a mild sweetness and the aroma is fresh and green.

Gyokuro and tencha are similar and a bit pricier due to the more complicated harvesting and cultivation – in the shade rather than full sun.The tea bushes are sheltered to avoid the exposure of direct sunlight which reduces the pace of photosynthesis and slows down the growth of plants. This provides the leaves with a darker shade of green and stimulates the production of chlorophyll and amino acids. Gyokuro is a Japanese green tea that has leaves that look like pine needles, with a sweet and smooth taste. Caffeine is the source of bitterness in tea, and tannin is the source of its astringency. Compared with  sencha, the shade-cultivated  gyokuro tends to be smoother, more full-bodied, and less astringent.

Macha is ground up tencha. This is based off of the Song Dynasty custom, which would grind and brew the powder in hopes of acquiring the medicinal attributes. Because matcha is made from crushed whole tea leaves, the caffeine content is somewhat higher than that of bagged tea. In fact, the matcha caffeine levels can actually equal half the level of a black cup of coffee.
The rich antioxidants present in matcha tea help in cancer prevention, improved mental alertness and clarity, detoxification, free radical scavenging activity, and stronger immune defense. Match has 137 times more antioxidants than regular green tea.

Gunpowder – the Chinese also call this “Pearl Tea”. The tea resembles tiny gunpowder pellets. When water is added, the little pellets or pearls unfurl. This tea stays freshest longest.

Dragonwell ia variety that is very popular in China. It tastes mellow and has a light green flavor. The leaves open to reveal a bud when water is added.

Buy green tea loose from a coop or online provider.

Rishi Tea

Full Leaf Tea Company

The Tea Spot

How to Store

Green tea is un-oxidized. It interacts easily with air and moisture, leading to rapid quality loss.

Once you open your sealed pouch, store in a cool, dark cupboard, in a part of the house where temperature is fairly even. Temperature change can induce water inside the tea container. A stainless steel container with a tight seal is good. As your container is not likely to be truly airtight, try to consume it as soon as possible, preferably within 2 months.

How to Cook

Brewing green tea is simple and you don’t need to worry about milk, lemon, or a sweetener, as green tea is meant to be enjoyed in its original, unadulterated state.

After boiling, the water should be allowed to sit for a moment as the ideal temperature for water for green tea is 180 °F (82 °C), 80C.

Add the loose green tea to a tea ball (a spoonful is adequate). A tea ball can also be dropped into a teapot for one or two if easier.

Loose tea can be added to hot water directly and strained when poured. Leave the tea to steep for a few minutes. 3 to 5 minutes is usually enough, unless the tea instructions advise otherwise.

Matcha Green Tea Shots

The Skinny Taste

2-4 Servings

Ingredients

1 cup almond milk
2 teaspoons Matcha powder

Instructions

Combine the almond milk with the Matcha powder.
Stir vigorously to dissolve.

Green Tea Shortbread Cookies

Allrecipes

2-3 dozen cookies

Ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter or vegan butter like Earth Balance
3/4 cup coconut sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour or substitute with Bob’s gluten free baking flour or oat flour
2 tablespoon green tea powder (matcha) or more to taste

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Place a sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap on a work surface and dust with flour. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Beat butter in a bowl using an electric mixer until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add 3/4 cup sugar and continue beating until mixture is lighter in color, about 2 minutes more.
3. Mix flour, green tea powder, and salt together in a separate bowl; gradually add to creamed butter mixture, beating on low speed until dough sticks together. Roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness on the floured parchment paper. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Cut into 1/2” cookies until all the dough is used.
4. Carefully transfer cookies to the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle sugar over each cookie.
5. Bake in the preheated oven until firm and barely starting to turn golden, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.

Resources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10702779; Puig, T., Relat, J., Marrero, P.F.,Harro, D., Brunet, J., & Colomer, R. (2008 Nov-Dec). Green tea catechin inhibits fatty acid synthase without stimulating carnation palmitoytransferase-1 or inducing weight loss in experimental animals.
Abboud P.A., et al (2008, Jan 28) Therapeutic effect of epigallocatechin-3-gallate in a mouse model [Abstract] Eur J Pharmacol, 579(1-30:411-7. PMID:18022615
Auvichayapat, P., et al. (2008, Feb 27) Effectiveness of green tea on weight reduction in obese Thais: A randomized, controlled trial [Abstract] Physiol Behav, 93(3): 486-91. PMID:18006026
https://bigflagtea.com/blogs/news/everything-you-could-possibly-want-to-know-about-green-tea-and-we-mean-everything
https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/beverage/matcha-tea.html
https://www.wikihow.com/Store-Green-Tea-to-Keep-Fresh
Lester A Mitscher, PhD and Victoria Dolby, The Green Tea Book, p.148, (1998), ISBN 0-89529-807-4
https://www.skinnytaste.com/matcha-green-tea-shots/
https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/242335/green-tea-shortbread-cookies/

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