Macronutrients and Mustard Vinaigrette

For this class you can begin by teaching about protein. You could dry toast some nuts to put in the salad for a protein source or grill some chicken or salmon or other fish. Carbohydrates and fats/lipids can be taught while they’re eating their salad.

Macronutrients:

Macro means large and nutrients are needed for your body’s survival. There are three macronutrients: proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

Protein

Protein is from the Greek word, ‘proto’ meaning first or of first quality. Protein is an umbrella word for the twenty-two organic amino acids, of which thirteen are non essential to our diet, meaning our body can synthesize them. The other nine are essential amino acids meaning it is essential that we obtain them from our diet.

Proteins build and maintain our body tissues, help produce antibodies, enzymes and hormones such as insulin. Protein is the primary component of muscles, skin, nails, hair and internal organs, especially the heart. Each gram of protein releases four calories or units of heat or energy for the body. Your intake of protein should be approximately 25% of your daily caloric intake.

The average woman needs fifty to sixty grams of protein a day and the average man needs sixty to seventy grams of protein a day. These are very general, as lactating women need additional protein, as just one example. For children the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for protein is based on body weight and included age-related adjustments. Multiply your child’s weight in pounds by the number of grams of protein needed per pound of body weight to calculate their daily protein requirements.

Ages 1 to 3 – 0.81 grams (child’s weight in pounds x 0.81 = daily grams of protein)

Ages 4 to 6 – 0.68 grams

Ages 7 to 10 – 0.55 grams

 

Sources of protein are fish, meat, poultry, tofu and eggs, which are complete proteins, meaning they have all the essential amino acids. You can combine various ingredients so as to have a complete protein: rice and beans, grains and legumes, and nuts or seeds with dairy.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are easily converted to glucose, the body’s main fuel source. Carbohydrates are needed for fat metabolism and to regulate protein. There are simple carbohydrates that have one or two connected sugar molecules and are found in candy, refined foods such as white bread, and many processed foods. Complex carbohydrates have three or more sugar molecules and can be found in whole grains and vegetables.

Dietary fiber passes through the digestive tract almost completely unchanged, helping it to run smoothly and encouraging proper elimination of waste products. There is soluble

and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves easily in water and takes on a soft, gel-like texture in the intestines. Insoluble fiber, found in seeds and the cell walls in fruits, vegetables and cereal grains, passes essentially unchanged through the intestines. Dietary fiber is an important determinant of health.

Each gram of carbohydrates releases four grams calories or units of heat for the body. Approximately fifty percent of one’s daily caloric intake should be from complex carbohydrates. Foods rich in carbohydrates include, dried peas and beans, rice, fruits, and vegetables. Many of these foods contain both starch and fiber.

Fats or Lipids

Fat molecules are a rich source of energy for the body. Fats are necessary for the smooth running of our gastrointestinal system, for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, and to provide energy reserves and regulation of body temperature. Fats are necessary for growth, healing, healthy skin, reproduction and nervous system functioning.

Essential fatty acids (EFA) are fats that our bodies cannot synthesize and therefore it is essential we consume them in our food. It is important to maintain an appropriate balance between the essential fatty acids: Omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid) and Omega-6’s (alpha-linoleic acid.) Ideally the ratio would be 1:1, but no more than 4 times as many Omega 6’s to Omega 3’s.

Each gram of fats releases nine calories or units of heat or energy for the body. Your intake of healthy fats should be twenty five percent of your daily calories.

Sources of healthy fats are cold-water fish, walnuts, flax oil and seeds, eggs, pumpkin seeds, purslane, olive oil and macadamia nut oil.

Fats to Avoid:

These are unnatural fats or damaged fats; “trans-fats” is another name, and your body can not process them. Watch for the term hydrogenated-fats found in processed foods, margarine and most shortening. Also avoid non-dairy creamers, imitation mayonnaise or sour cream, deep fat-fried foods, pressurized whipped cream, many sandwich spreads, and rancid fats.

Cooking Tips:

Never heat flax oil.

Never smoke fat or use a very high heat on fats; you will create a damaged fat.

Mustard Vinaigrette

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons shallots, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lemon, juiced

3/4 cup olive oil, can also use flax oil

In a jar, place mustard, chopped shallots, chopped garlic, and lemon juice. Mix with a spoon, then slowly pour in olive oil and shake.

If you are a purest, then place the mustard, shallots, garlic and lemon in a bowl and slowly whisk in the olive or flax oil. If not, throw it in a jar and shake.

Variation: Add 1 tablespoon of honey for a Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette

Seasonal Eating and Asparagus Quiche

Local Foods:

When you choose local and organic food, the food hasn’t traveled across the country, or world for that matter, and again is more nutritious and certainly tastes better. You are also supporting your local farmers and local economy. Many farmers offer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs. This is a system whereby you receive food directly from the farmers that produce it. If you are a member of CSA you will either pick up or have delivered a weekly box of produce that was picked fresh that day for you right off the farm. You receive what is seasonal, taking the guesswork of what is available in your area.

Spring: focus on tender, leafy vegetables that represent the fresh new growth of this season. Foods such as the tender greens Swiss chard, arugula (makes great pesto,) Romaine lettuce, spinach, fresh parsley, nettles, and the bastion of springtime, asparagus, just to name a few.

Summer: enjoy light, cooling foods, higher in water content for the warmest season. These foods include zucchini and other summer squash, corn, peppers, broccoli, eggplant and so many more.

Autumn: more warming foods are appropriate such as carrots and other root vegetables, yams, onions, and garlic. The harvest season in your area may still be in full-force, so you may still have many summer vegetables.

Winter: foods that take longer to grow are generally more warming than foods that grow quickly. Root vegetables, including carrots, potatoes, yams, onions and garlic as well as the winter squashes are good choices.

Asparagus Quiche

Serves 12

1 cup Swiss cheese, shredded

1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded

1 1/2 cups asparagus, chopped

1/3 cup green onions, white parts, chopped, or shallots

1 cup mushrooms, sliced

12 whole eggs

2 cups milk, dairy or non-dairy

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, to taste

1/2 teaspoon pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375º degrees. Grease a 9 X 13″ pan. Spread cheese on bottom of pan and top with vegetables.

Whisk together eggs, milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Pour over cheese and vegetables. Bake about 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if desired

A Basic Sauce and Biochemical Individuals

Béchamel Sauce with Variations
The sauce everyone should know how to make

Serves 4
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup warmed milk
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 pinch nutmeg, freshly ground, optional

Heat the butter or oil in small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour, mixing thoroughly as you go. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes.
Slowly whisk in a small amount of milk to form a smooth paste. Continue until all the milk has been whisked in and the sauce is thick. Add sea salt & nutmeg to taste.

Variations:
Mornay Sauce
Add 1/2 cup grated cheese to 1 cup of hot sauce; stir over low heat until cheese is melted. Season with a little mustard or Worcestershire sauce to taste.

Velouté Sauce
Substitute chicken, beef, fish, or vegetable broth for the milk.

Herb Sauce
Add 1 teaspoon of freshly chopped herbs or 1/2 teaspoon dried herbs to 1 cup of hot sauce. Cook for a minute or two longer to get more flavor from the herbs.

Cream Sauce
Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of heavy cream to the finished sauce. For an onion flavor, add an onion slice to the milk when heating; remove onion slice before adding milk to flour and butter mixture.

Mustard Sauce
Combine 1 teaspoon dry mustard to flour used in sauce. This sauce is especially good with fish and chicken.

Biochemical Individuals:

We are all biochemical individuals and therefore nutrition information as well as exercise programs and health advice should be altered to suit your particular needs. The intake percentage for fats, carbohydrates and proteins are estimates based on the “average” person of good health. Some people need slightly more protein to feel their best, some need less. An individual with, for instance, diabetes, might consume fewer carbohydrates.

Growing children might require increased protein and good fats, etc. Most food guides use a base of a 2,000-calorie a day diet though an individual’s calorie requirements depends on their stature, level of physical excursion and any health anomalies. Recommended portions are based on this caloric number. Portion sizes have increased dramatically over the past 20 years and a portion of brown rice might now be 1-2 cups, when, for most, it should be 1⁄2 cup. Do be cognizant of your portion sizes.

There are certain constants for all
; antioxidants, natural body chemicals that reduce the oxidative damage caused by free-radicals, are necessary for everyone’s health. A free radical is an unstable molecule with an unpaired electron, which can cause oxidative damage to cells or tissues. Antioxidants scavenge and destroy free-radicals and are found in leafy green vegetables such as kale and chard, as well as the carotenes such as carrots, yellow squash and sweet potatoes, etc. Free-radicals are created by such health-diminishing activities as smoking, alcohol consumption and exposure to toxins, to name a few. Vitamin and mineral supplements can be a useful tool to help maintain health and a good-quality multivitamin is recommended to boost anti-oxidant levels and other important nutrients.

A whole food is a foodstuff that is in its natural, unaltered state, unrefined state, i.e., brown rice, not white rice. Whole foods offer the health-supporting nutrients required for optimum health and should be a part of everyone’s diet. Avoid processed foods and consume nutrient-dense whole foods.

The glycemic index is a system, which measures the extent of which various foods raise blood sugar levels. The benchmark is white bread, which has a GI (Glycemic Index) of 100: the higher the score, the greater the extent of the rise in blood sugar. A starchy vegetable such as a potato or yam has a higher GI score than that of a non-starchy vegetable such as kale or spinach. Diets full of high-glycemic foods can lead to insulin resistance, obesity, unhealthy levels of blood fats and possibly adult-on-set diabetes.

Whole-grains, as an example, have a lower GI than their refined counterparts (again, the example of brown rice to white rice) as the fiber in the whole grain slows the absorption of sugar into the system.

creamy mushroom stroganoff

Safety and Sanitation. Oat Bran Muffins

Safety and Sanitation:

Before you enter the kitchen, tie your hair back if you have long hair, and if you’re sick, stay out of the kitchen altogether. Next wash your hands in warm, soapy water. If you have any cuts or sores, be sure to cover with a bandage. While you’re in the kitchen, if you sneeze, cough, touch your hair, nose or any other body part, or eat, please wash your hands again. You obviously wash your hands well after you use the restroom. If you handle raw meat or fish, please wash your hands before touching any other food. Ideally your clothes and aprons should be clean.

Here are some very important tips to always keep in mind when you’re in the kitchen:

• When you work with food, keep raw foods away from cooked foods.
• Keep food away from cleaning products.
• Wash all raw fruits and vegetables before preparation.
• Rinse off your meats and fish as well, pat dry and leave in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them. Raw and thawing meats and fish should always be kept on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator to avoid dripping and contamination.
• Do not thaw foods at room temperature; thaw in a proper container in the refrigerator. Do not refreeze food after it’s been thawed.
• Food needs to be held at proper temperatures to avoid the growth of bacteria that can make you sick. Cold foods should be kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Stuffed meat and reheated leftovers should be kept at 165 degrees, beef and other hot food, 140 degrees, fish and poultry, 145 degrees and cooked pork, hamburgers and eggs, 155 degrees.
Kitchens can be dangerous places, with sharp equipment and hot stoves! It was my experience when I had my cooking school that, in order of accidents, potato peelers, graters, knives, and hot stoves and ovens, were the major culprits. With some very basic and very important rules, well learned, accidents rarely happen.

A tip for adults working with kids in the kitchen is to try not to hover. I understand the nervousness about watching an eight-year hold with a knife, but hovering only makes them nervous and makes the kitchen a stressful place, when it should be a warm, nurturing place. When they understand basic kitchen safety and the proper use of equipment such as knives, they’ll be fine.
There is one basic rule when working in the kitchen-stay focused on the job at hand! If you are grating or chopping, your eyes are on that knife and cutting board and nowhere else. When this is learned, accidents rarely happen.

A Tip for ‘quick breads’:
Carbon dioxide is necessary for leavening, or causing tiny air pockets in, the pancakes or muffins. Excessive blending of the batter causes early formation and escape of carbon dioxide gas. Over-mixing can overdevelop the gluten (a protein) in the flour. While some of this protein is necessary for the normal texture of pancakes, too much gluten can produce tough, chewy pancakes and muffins. For best results, stop mixing the batter before all the tiny clumps of flour are gone.

Oat Bran Muffins
Serves 12

2 cups oat bran
1/2 cup sugar*
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup milk or other liquid. We used Chai once.
3/4 cup applesauce or pumpkin puree or prune puree
2 eggs
1 cup apple, grated
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, chopped
1/3 cup almonds, chopped
1/4 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and lightly oil the muffin pan or use paper muffin cups.

Mix together first 5 ingredients. In a small bowl mix together the milk, applesauce and egg; stir well and add the grated apple. Stir briefly into the dry ingredients with the pumpkin seeds, almonds and raisins.
Spoon into prepared muffin pan and bake for 15-17 minutes.

Notes:
* Use non-refined sugar such as Sucanat or Rapadura
You may use walnuts instead of almonds and dried apricots, cranberries or cherries instead of raisins. I have also added 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds and 1 tablespoon of chopped sunflower seeds.

IMG_7515

Cells: The Basis of Life

searchCells:

Read this aloud to your kids, or if they are of reading age, have them read it to you.

Cells are the basic and smallest unit of life. The word cell comes from the Latin cellula, meaning a small room. There are cells that are organisms onto themselves, such as bacteria cells. Some organisms are made up of many cells that only function when they are part of a larger organism, such as the cells that make up your body. In the body, there are brain cells, kidney cells, skin cells, liver cells, stomach cells; several hundred distinct human cell types, each with its own function. Each type of cell has recognizable differences and similarities. Each body system is dependent upon the harmonious interaction of organs and tissues, and it is at the cellular level where we learn the basis of normal functioning as well as disease states, so it’s important to begin with the cell.

All cells are surrounded by plasma membrane, which is a thin layer of protein and fat that protects the cell from the outside environment. The cell membrane is semi-permeable, allowing some substances to pass into the cell while blocking others. The cell membrane regulates the movement of water, nutrients and wastes into and out of the cell.

Inside of the cell membrane are the working parts of the cell. At the center of the cell is the cell nucleus. You can think of the nucleus as the cell’s brain. The cell nucleus contains the cell’s DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid, the hereditary material or genetic code that determines if you are born a human or an elephant with brown or blue eyes. The combinations are endless! DNA contains the instructions needed for an organism to develop, survive and reproduce. DNA produces RNA or ribonucleic acid, which is a very long complicated molecule made up of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Just remember that DNA strands store information, while RNA takes the information from the DNA and transfers it to different places in the cell, to decode and read the information.

http://www.xvivo.net/the-inner-life-of-the-cell/

There are many organelles inside of the cell – small structures that help carry out the cell’s day-to-day operations. Organelles are located in the cytoplasm, a jellylike material outside the cell nucleus. One important cellular organelle is the ribosome. Ribosomes are protein builders or protein synthesizers and all cells require proteins. They can float in the cytoplasm or attach to endoplasmic reticulum (ER). There are two types of ER, rough and smooth. Rough ER creates and packages proteins. Smooth ER is important in the creation of steroids and ions and acts as a storage center both. ER also works with RNA and the Golgi Complex.

The Golgi complex (also called the Golgi apparatus) is located near the nucleus and is a sac-like organelle that looks like a stack of pancakes. The Golgi complex gathers simple molecules and combines them to make more complex molecules. After gathering the molecules, the Golgi complex packages them in vesicles and stores them for later use or sends them out of the cell.

Another cellular organelle is the mitochondrion. Mitochondria (in the plural mitochondrion) are often referred to as the power plants of the cell. They take in nutrients, break them down and create energy for the cell. Also important in the life of a cell are the lysosomes. Lysosomes, built in the Golgi Complex, are organelles that contain enzymes that aid in the digestion of nutrient molecules and other materials.

The cell waste is stored in what is called a vacuole. The vacuole fills with food being digested and waste material that is on its way out of the cell.

Types of Cells
• The egg is the largest human cell. Once it is fertilized, all other cells begin forming.
• Bone cells help build your skeleton by secreting the fibers and minerals from which bone is made.
• Fat cells store fat. They can shrink or grow. Once you have them you can’t get rid of them.
• Muscle cells are organized into muscles, which move body parts.
• Nerve cells pass nerve messages around your body.
• Red blood cells carry oxygen around your body.
• White blood cells fight disease.

Good health and poor health begins at the fundamental level; cell health.
To maintain cell health:

• Consume whole, natural, fresh foods while avoiding refined foods
• Exercise to improve circulation as circulation helps to remove toxins and bathes cells in nutrients
• Drink adequate pure water and ideally breathe fresh air outside and inside. The water we drink and use to bathe and the air we breathe affect each cell in our bodies.
• Get enough rest, learn how to manage stress and have a positive attitude. It has been scientifically proven that a positive attitude makes you feel better and helps you fight disease.
• Avoid exposure to toxins, including pesticides, radiation, and other contaminates, including alcohol and drugs.

Eat Local and Seasonal for Optimal Health

Did you know that there are a wide array of health benefits to eating vegetables that are in season and locally grown? With modern agricultural technology, it is very easy to disregard the importance of seasonality. Today, we can consume any type of vegetable at any time of the year. Despite this technological advancement, there are many research studies that show seasonal vegetables (and other foods) are far more beneficial for our health.
To begin, eating seasonal vegetables is what human beings have done since the beginning of time. Our hunter gatherer ancestors did not possess the technology to grow summer vegetables in the winter and vice versa. If the Earth cannot produce a vegetable during a certain season, we venture to say that there is probably a reason! This brings us to our next point.

Seasonal vegetables have been shown to contain higher levels of nutrients compared to vegetables that are grown out of season. This is a very obvious benefit- the more nutrients, the better!

Buying vegetables from local farmers can help lead us to eating more in season. Local farmers in your are are also much more likely to be using sustainable farming practices and also likely use fewer amounts of chemicals and pesticides.
In conclusion, eating locally grown vegetables that are in season will lead to a healthier body, mind, and Earth. Check out the awesome info-graphic below for more information regarding seasonal vegetables and all their benefits. For simple and delicious seasonal recipes to get you started, contact us!