Month: November 2020

Weekly Link Love — Edition 108

Research of the Week
“Molecular mimicry” (a la autoimmune disease) may lie at the heart of COVID-related pathology.

Early domesticated cats dined on rodents who followed human agricultural settlements.

“The recommendation to wear surgical masks to supplement other public health measures did not reduce the SARS-CoV-2 infection rate among wearers by more than 50% in a community with modest infection rates, some degree of social distancing, and uncommon general mask use. The data were compatible with lesser degrees of self-protection.”

A megadose of vitamin D3 in severe COVID patients was safe but ineffective.

Gobekli Tepe inhabitants were using huge stone troughs to cook porridge.

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Ask a Health Coach: How to Stop the Cycle of Overdoing It

Hi folks, in this edition of Ask a Health Coach, Erin helps out her fellow over-doers with strategies for managing the hustle mentality, overthinking calories, and enjoying the holidays guilt free. Got questions? Share them in the comments or in our MDA Facebook Group. Cassie asked: “I always burn the candle at both ends making sure everyone is happy this time of year, but I can already tell I’m burning myself out. How do I get through the holidays without needing a vacation afterward? Overdoing it is kind of my specialty. At least it has been in the past, so I totally get where you’re coming from. If you’re like me, you have a long history of being highly productive — and wearing a huge badge of honor about it. The more hustle, the better. The less rest, the better. Even to the point of total burn out. You might also be a bit of a people pleaser, which, by definition, suggests that you’ve got a deep emotional need to please others at the expense of your own needs. For many of my clients, the eagerness to please ties into their self-worth and the need for approval and external validation. And it always gets put to the test around the holidays. By ensuring that everyone’s dietary preferences are met at dinner or getting the decorations “just right,” they feel more worthy, likeable, and accepted. Keep in mind that people pleasing isn’t the same as being a good host. To others, it probably just looks like you’re being really gracious and accommodating — and I have no doubt in my mind that you are. But being helpful at the expense of your own health and happiness isn’t a good trade off if you ask me https://guilfordjournals.com/doi/abs/10.1521/jscp.2012.31.2.169. If you’ve always felt compelled to put everyone else’s needs before your own, it’s hard to imagine it being different, since people-pleasing isn’t just what you do, it’s a big part of who you think you are. Here’s the good news though. The fact that you’re aware you’re doing these things is a sign you’re open to change. So, here are a few strategies you can start putting into practice right away: 1. Understand what you are and aren’t responsible for. If you’re hosting, providing food and conversation is likely in your responsibility wheelhouse; however, taking on the burden of ensuring your guests are happy every second of their visit isn’t. 2. Determine your boundaries and be assertive about them. Are you really okay with making four kinds of potatoes or having people stay later than you wanted? Get clear on your boundaries and practice sticking to them. And remember, asserting yourself can be scary at first, but it’s worth it in the long run. 3. Know that everything will work out fine. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that the world is a crazy, unpredictable place and no amount of planning and people-pleasing can possibly ensure a perfect outcome. I think that you’ll … Continue reading “Ask a Health Coach: How to Stop the Cycle of Overdoing It”

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Guide to Organ Meats

Organ meats are an untapped resource in most healthy eaters’ diets. Although your grandparents and every antecedent generation likely grew up eating liver and onions, kidney pie, and organ meats stuffed into sausages, the people reading this blog largely did not. Now it is your job to rediscover what they were blessed to grow up eating. It may not be easy, it may take some effort, but it is worthwhile. Luckily, the beauty of organ meats lies in their nutrient-density—you don’t need to eat it every day to get the benefits. In fact, you shouldn’t eat most of them everyday.

In general, the same organ from different animals will confer similar health benefits. A liver will be rich in vitamin A and iron whether it comes from cow, pig, lamb, or chicken. But there are some differences between species, and when those differences are significant I will make a note of it in the article.

Without further ado, let’s learn about all the various organ meats.

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Actionable Ways to Avoid Holiday Stress

It’s the most wonderful time of the year again! The time for family gatherings (but not this year), holiday feasts (maybe), and, according to my TV, buying brand new his-and-hers SUVs (not ever).

I’m not being sarcastic, I do enjoy the holiday season, but there’s no question that it’s stressful. The whirlwind of holiday excitement, decorating the homestead, dredging up the same old family fights, last-minute shopping, and love-hating the winter weather can be a lot, even under the best of circumstances. For all the people who relish this time of year, there are others who dread it.

Some stress is unavoidable, especially if the holidays are difficult due to complicated family situations, past losses, or financial hardships. However, a great deal of holiday stress is self-imposed. As much as you might feel like you have to do certain things to make the holidays magical for everyone, very few are truly non-negotiable. Just because you usually put up elaborate decorations, bake 12 types of cookies, and produce homemade gifts doesn’t mean you’re required to this year. It’s possible—though not always easy—to opt out of the things that cause more stress than pleasure.

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How to Choose the Best Olive Oil

When you go to a grocery store, you’ll see a lot of different kinds of olive oil – different colors, from almost clear to yellow to deep green, different descriptors on the label, and vastly different price ranges.

Which one goes with which application? How does the taste compare? Is the expensive stuff worth the money? In this article, we’re going to go through it all.

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Cranberry Sauce Recipe: No Sugar Added

Cranberry sauce adds a pop of color and tangy zing to any Thanksgiving spread. With so many savory and hearty flavors on the table, this old-school side adds balance to your plate. Unfortunately, cranberries are naturally pretty sour on their own, and the familiar sweetness you taste in most recipes usually comes from more sugar than a can of soda. 

If you’re going to indulge in sweets, save it for dessert. This no sugar added cranberry sauce recipe is sweetened with applesauce. You can use maple syrup, honey, or your favorite natural sweetener if you want to tone down the natural tartness. A fresh, homemade no added sugar cranberry sauce is the perfect side dish to your turkey and green bean casserole for the holiday feast.

No sugar-added cranberry sauce is easy to make, and will likely be the quickest recipe you’ll make for your whole Thanksgiving celebration. Here’s how to make a whole berry cranberry sauce from scratch, right at home.
How to Make Cranberry Sauce With No Added Sugar
Time in the kitchen: 15 minutes

Serves: 8-10

Ingredients

18 oz. fresh cranberries (we love Honestly Cranberry)
1 cup water
1/2 cup applesauce
3 Tbsp. fresh squeezed orange juice
2 Tbsp. honey
Zest from ½ orange
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. ground ginger

Directions
Place the cranberries and water in a pot and heat over medium heat.

Mix in the applesauce, orange juice, honey, and orange zest.

When the pot comes to a boil, reduce it to a simmer and stir in the ground cloves and ginger and the cinnamon.

Allow the sauce to simmer for around 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce reaches the consistency of your liking. Taste the sauce occasionally and adjust the sweetener to taste.

Serve this cranberry sauce alongside your favorite meat or holiday meal. It’s also delicious as a lower sugar sweet option when paired with a bit of coconut cream, dark chocolate or fresh whipped cream.

Tips:
– If the cranberry sauce is too tart for you as written, feel free to add additional honey. You could also use maple syrup.
– Depending on the strength of your stove top burner and the size of your cranberries, you may need a little more or less time for the sauce to finish cooking.

Nutrition Facts (1/8 of recipe):

Calories: 60
Fat: 0g
Total Carbs: 13g
Net Carbs: 10g
Protein: 0g

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