Egg And Ham Cups

February 12th, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta

Ingredients
1 slice low-fat, nitrate free, deli ham
1 whole, farm fresh egg
2 tbsp organic, reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
1 slice, thin/small tomatoes, sliced

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F
2. Spray the cups of a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
3. Press the sliced ham into the muffin tin cup, forming a ham cup.
4. Place the tomato slice in the cup.
5. Crack the egg and drop it in on top of the tomato. Repeat this process for as many cups as desired.
6. Place the muffin tin in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the egg is almost cooked.
7. Top with cheese and bake for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Let cool for a few minutes. Once the cup has cooled, use a spatula to carefully transfer it to a plate.
Eat with your choice of carbs, such as a piece of fruit or low carb oats.

Courtesy of Jim Stoppani, Ph.D.

 


Protein Cracked: Making A Case For The Egg

February 12th, 2019 by Debbie Martilotta

Egg whites are a high-quality protein source, but whole eggs often get a bad rap. It’s time to crack a few myths and showcase the power of the yolk.

Egg whites are often referred to as the perfect protein, due to their amino-acid makeup and the body’s ability to utilize them properly.

The average large, whole egg contains about 72 calories, 6 g of protein, 5 g of fat, about 200 mg of cholesterol, and nearly no carbs. The average large egg white contains only 17 calories, 4 g of protein, and no carbs, fat, or cholesterol.

Egg whites contain as many as 40 different proteins. Of these, ovalbumin constitutes the majority, making up about 55 percent of the protein in egg white. Ovotransferrin is an iron-binding protein in egg whites that provides antimicrobial properties and makes up over 10 percent of the protein content. Ovomucin is another type of protein that makes up less than 5 percent of egg-white protein and provides the jellying property of egg white, as well as antimicrobial properties.

Egg-white protein is rich in BCAAs and arginine, as well as the sulfur-containing amino acids cysteine and methionine. These amino acids are critical for maintaining the structure of many proteins such as collagen, which is critical for maintaining joint health and levels of certain hormones.

GET YOLKED
Although bodybuilders used to focus on just the egg white for protein and avoided the yolk because of the fat and cholesterol—it’s now known that it’s more beneficial to consume both the egg white and the yolk together. That’s because that golden center contains the majority of the micronutrients in eggs, including vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin K, B vitamins, selenium, iron, zinc, and phosphorus.

The yolk also contains all of the egg’s fat and cholesterol, but don’t let that scare you off. Blood cholesterol levels don’t seem to be negatively affected by whole eggs. In fact, one study from the University of Connecticut tested the cholesterol response of 25 males and 27 females to an egg diet (640 mg per day of additional cholesterol) and a non-egg diet (no additional cholesterol). They found the cholesterol in egg yolks does not raise the LDL cholesterol particles that are particularly associated with the development of cardiovascular disease.

We now know that fat is important in a diet. The saturated fat in egg yolks is less than half of the total fat. But saturated and monounsaturated fat, also in egg yolks, are important for maintaining higher testosterone levels. The fat and cholesterol from yolks, which was once thought of as harmful, appears to provide benefits for those who do strength training.

In fact, in a head-to-head egg comparison, consuming more whole eggs was shown to help with muscle gain and strength. The magic number? Three. One study from Texas A&M found that subjects consuming three whole eggs a day while following a weight-lifting program for 12 weeks gained twice as much muscle mass and twice as much strength as subjects eating either just one egg per day or no eggs. Those kinds of benefits may be due to the cholesterol content. After all, cholesterol is converted to testosterone in the body.

Cholesterol also helps maintain the integrity of muscle cell membranes, which helps them function properly and avoid breakdown. Scientists from Kent State University put 47 older adults (ages 60-69) on a 12-week weight-lifting program and tested them before and after for changes in muscle mass and strength. They placed all subjects on a moderate protein diet and divided them into two groups. One group followed a lower-cholesterol diet (1.6 mg per pound of body weight or approximately 150-250 mg per day), while the other half consumed a higher cholesterol diet (2.6 mg per pound of body weight or about 250-450 mg per day). After 12 weeks the group that consumed the lower-cholesterol diet did not increase muscle mass and only increased their strength by about 35 percent. The higher-cholesterol group, on the other hand, had an increase in muscle mass of about 5 pounds and upped their strength by about 90 percent.

DROP THE FAT
Eggs can also help you get leaner. Research from Saint Louis University found that people who ate eggs for breakfast consumed fewer calories throughout the day than those who had breakfast with the same amount of calories from a carb-heavy bagel. A follow-up study by the same team found that when women consumed two eggs for breakfast at least five times per week over a 12-week period, they lost 65 percent more weight and had a 34-percent larger reduction in waist size compared to those who skipped the eggs. The study also found that adding two whole eggs to breakfast resulted in no changes in cholesterol levels.

Consider eating two or three whole eggs each day to take advantage of all the benefits eggs have to offer in regard to performance and body composition. You can bump up the protein intake by adding an extra white or two for each yolk.

While eggs are typically thought of as a breakfast food, you can enjoy them anytime throughout the day. Hardboiled eggs work great in salads or as a stand-alone snack. If you really want to kick your eggs up a notch, try my Egg and Ham Cups; they’re delicious and easy to make.

by Jim Stoppani, Ph.D.


Vietnamese “Noodle” Salad with Grilled Steak, Peaches, & Herbs

August 22nd, 2018 by Debbie Martilotta

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs flank steak
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 3 peaches or nectarines, sliced into wedges

Dressing

  • Juice of 2 limes
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • ⅓ cup apple juice
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced ½ cup minced fresh cilantro leaves

Salad

  • 6 cups crunchy lettuce (like romaine), chopped
  • 3 cucumbers, spun into noodles
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • ⅔ cup chopped cashews

Directions:
1: Bring your steak to room temperature, season both sides with salt and pepper.
2: Heat your grill to medium-high heat.
3: Grill steak to medium-rare, about 10 min on one side then 2 min on the other.
4: Transfer steak to a cutting board and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
5: Grill peaches for about 2 minutes each side, watching carefully so they don’t burn. Transfer peaches to a plate.
6: While the steak is cooking, make your dressing by combining the lime juice, fish sauce, apple juice, jalapeño pepper, ginger, garlic, and cilantro in a bowl.
7: Slice the cooked steak thinly against the grain and place it in the dressing. Allow to sit in dressing for at least 20 minutes.
8: On a platter, place the chopped lettuce down as your first layer, then top with the cucumbers, steak, peaches, the fresh mint and basil, scallions, and finally with the chopped cashews.
9: Right before serving, top the salad with remaining dressing.

Diana Rodgers at Sustainable Dish, Licensed Registered Dietitian Nutritionist,
organic farmer, and blogger on all
things sustainable.


Why Protein is so Important to Your Strength Training Regime

April 3rd, 2018 by Debbie Martilotta

Did you know that your organs, tissues, muscles, and hormones are all made from proteins? The protein found in foods is used by every part of the body to develop, grow and function properly. It can be argued that nothing is more important than consuming protein foods, and because proteins are involved in just about everybody function, it’s important that you consume foods high in protein every day, during every meal to prevent protein deficiency, which can wreak havoc on the body.

Eating enough protein is necessary to build and maintain healthy muscle mass, while also supporting tendon, ligaments, and other body tissue. So, protein is important for bodybuilding, but it’s also necessary for developing leaner muscles as well. When your diet is lacking in amino acids, “muscle wasting” (or muscle atrophy) can take place when your muscle fibers are broken down to support your body’s energy needs.

Protein is especially important after exercise since physical activity like strength training purposefully damages muscle tissues so they can repair and grow back stronger. For the process to happen effectively, you need some extra protein to help repair the damage. While protein alone won’t enhance athletic performance, research shows that eating protein before and after exercise helps increase muscle recovery, promotes muscle synthesis and serves as effective muscle ache treatment.

We need to eat plenty of protein foods every day to keep our metabolisms running, our energy up and our blood sugar levels stable. You might eat enough protein overall, but do you eat the right kinds?

Here are some of the best protein foods for your health.

1. Grass-Fed Beef: 3 ounces: 22 grams

2. Organic Chicken: 3 ounces: 21 grams

3. Bone Broth: 1 serving (¼ cup): 20 grams

4. Lentils: 1 cup: 18 grams

5. Wild-Caught Salmon (and other wild fish): 3 ounces: 17 grams

6. Eggs: 1 large free-range egg: 7 grams

7. Almonds (and other nuts): ¼ cup/23 almonds: 5 grams

Studies show that eating a high-protein diet has a number of health benefits. Not only does it help you maintain and lose weight, but it also works to stabilize your blood sugar levels, improve your ability to learn and concentrate, reduce brain fog, boost your energy levels, support your muscles and bones and support the absorption of important nutrients.

Many people make the mistake of trying diets that involve calorie counting and deprivation. On a high-protein diet, you will feel completely satiated after eating, and you won’t have to deal with the blood sugar highs and lows that lead to cravings and moodiness. You’ll be surprised to see how many foods you can eat on a high-protein diet. Even people on a vegetarian or vegan diet, who sometimes turn to processed foods for energy, have enough high-protein foods to choose from.

My Final Thoughts on High-Protein Foods

  • The protein found in foods is used by every part of the body to develop, grow and function properly.
  • Proteins are long chains of amino acids, which are essential molecules for all metabolic processes.
  • When you don’t eat a range of foods high in protein, you become at risk of deficiencies in certain amino acids, which can result in many health issues, including low energy, mood swings, difficulty losing weight, poor sleep, low immunity and unstable blood sugar levels.
  • Some of the top foods high in protein include grass-fed beef, organic chicken, lentils, wild-caught salmon, black beans, natto, eggs, yogurt, goat cheese, almonds and protein powder made from bone broth.
  • For people who don’t eat animal products, there are plenty of plant-based protein options, including nuts, seeds, beans, leafy greens and grains like quinoa.

partly sourced from draxe.com