The Village Way™: Increase Longevity and Vitality Through Food http://stellametsovas.com Stella Metsovas shares her diet for a lifetime Thu, 16 Apr 2015 16:15:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Social Media: A Foodie’s Free-For-Allhttp://stellametsovas.com/social-media-a-foodies-free-for-all/ http://stellametsovas.com/social-media-a-foodies-free-for-all/#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 15:04:42 +0000 http://stellametsovas.com/?p=5459 I was recently on contract with a large beverage corporation that has global distribution. They hired me on as a nutrition expert, naturally, but that wasn’t the only expertise they required. They enlisted the aid of MD’s, computer coders to decode algorithms, athletes and models to answer one simple question: What is America’s fascination with […]

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I was recently on contract with a large beverage corporation that has global distribution. They hired me on as a nutrition expert, naturally, but that wasn’t the only expertise they required. They enlisted the aid of MD’s, computer coders to decode algorithms, athletes and models to answer one simple question:

What is America’s fascination with green veggie juice?

My answer: social media drives the desire for veggie juice, it photographs well, easy to make, and get’s all the “likes”–it’s as simple as that.

Like Mania: A Positive Influence, or Pied Piper?

Social Media and Diet

I’m not just guessing here; a full ⅓ of American adults obtain health information through social media. They not only access information but disseminate it as well. Chick-fil-A invited Vani Hari, a food blogger, to their Atlanta headquarters in 2012 to address her concerns regarding the nearly 100 ingredients found in their classic chicken sandwich on her blog.  I assume the reason Chick-fil-A had a greater interest in a well-known blogger (like Ms. Hari)–instead of hiring a food scientist to voice their concerns–is because of  “indirect” consumer marketing.  One of the primary drivers of social media is the indirect way of selling a consumer products.  This all makes sense, as humans have treated eating as a social event throughout our history.

Now that socialization has become technological in nature, our eating habits (or how we determine them) have followed suit, and so have the way companies sell you things.

So what’s the predominant food craze you can find throughout the internet these days? In my opinion there are currently two major “social” conversations happening in the diet world; I’ll delve into them below.

Juicing: A Social Media Juggernaut

Juicing doesn’t just have a pretty end product, it’s also seen as an easy path to “clean eating”. Many purveyors of this fad will sell it by stating ‘who needs to cook when you can imbibe all your daily required nutrients in a glass?’

It’s true there are benefits to drinking green. They’re low in the ingredients most of us want to avoid (like those found in processed foods) and are a concentrated punch of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

All that nutrient rich goodness doesn’t mean there are no downsides, however. Strict juicing diets that forego the solid foods I often advise might cause a steep decline in your weight, but at a high cost–they generally don’t provide all the nutrients you need to function at your best.

Furthermore, the majority of calories they provide are sugar and carb based and devoid of protein and healthy fats. When you cut calories and protein at the same time you end up losing muscle, not fat!  This harmful cycle could also cause destruction to your precious thyroid and adrenal glands.  Juicing does not come with the benefits of  intermittent fasting (IF)!  And I also firmly believe that IF isn’t meant for all–especially those who might have thyroid conditions or stressed the adrenal glands from lifestyle factors.

Add in the lack of fiber in most commercially available juices and you’ll not only be losing muscle but the injustice to your blood sugar as well. In my clinical practice, I’ve noticed people have a tendency to “detox” for a few days and then spend the following days “binging” (even on healthy items like nuts) to return right back to their original caloric set-point.

Skipping whole foods in favor or liquid options may be trending, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best option.

Paleo: More Popular than those Caveman Commercials

Not only is ⅓ of the population seeking health advice through social media, but there’s also a third of the population that’s obese; that’s more than 3M people diagnosed with obesity each year. If trends continue to incline, by 2030 44% of American adults will be diagnosed with obesity.

Many of those people seek to lose the weight through eating “paleo” (short for paleolithic, the correct term for the “stone age” and the era when ‘cavemen’ walked the earth); eschewing dairy, grains, and other products of the agricultural era that began around 10,000 years ago.

Like with juicing there are pros and cons to “going paleo.” It does have the ability to promote weight loss and reduce the risk of certain metabolic syndromes like Type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The Nutrition Journal published a study in 2013 that concluded “the Paleolithic diet was seen as instrumental in weight loss.” These are all admirable benefits that are derived from the “1-ingredient” whole, unprocessed, foods paleo dieters are limited to eating.

On the other hand, it has its problems. According to Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University and author of “What to Eat,” the premise “paleo” is based on is flawed; mainly because we cannot be certain about what our paleolithic ancestors actually ate (bugs are a major component that modern Paleolites have forgotten).

The reality is, scientists have yet to be able to match up genes with specific diets. According to Nestle “the reason cavemen didn’t have chronic diseases like diabetes is more likely because they didn’t live long enough and lacked antibiotics, rather than because they didn’t eat carbohydrates.”.

The Middle of the Road: Where People Get it Right

At the end of the day, it’s a good idea to look at the success stories, and seek actual results. That is why I tout the Paleo-Mediterranean Plus diet or, as I like to call it, the “diet of a lifetime.” I’m not just basing my methods on a homo sapien that lived and died 10,000 years ago, but rather on the villagers I have studied and come in contact with. Of course, many of those villagers are eating as their ancestors have done for hundreds of years, but they’re doing so with currently proven results as well, and an eye toward moderation, balance, and variety.

The Bottom Line:

Social media can be a great resource, as long as you take its contents with a grain of salt (no pun intended!). What may seem pretty on Instagram or Pinterest could end up being the next fat-free craze of the 90’s; which has since been discredited and fallen to the wayside.

If nothing else, remember that a moderate, balanced, or the “middle of the road” option is often the best one. Taking the “best of both [or multiple!] worlds” tends to be a sound path to health and wellness. That is why I’ve melded time tested and research-backed methods to create a way of eating that I can proudly prescribe to my clients and even follow myself.

If we are what we eat, why shouldn’t we aim to be healthful, whole and well rounded? A blended, balanced, diet like mine can provide just that; may you find your best path.

In good health,

Stella Metsovas

 

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The Ultimate Four: Feed your Thin Bugs, Starve the Fat Producershttp://stellametsovas.com/ultimate-four-feed-thin-bugs-starve-fat-producers/ http://stellametsovas.com/ultimate-four-feed-thin-bugs-starve-fat-producers/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 16:51:17 +0000 http://stellametsovas.com/?p=5221   Within each of us are trillions of microorganisms (bacteria), and they have our back (or rather our GI tracts!). However, the “thin bugs” that aid us in maintaining our waistlines can’t do it alone–they need our help. How can you support your microbial friends? By adding the ultimate four foods to your shopping list—they’re […]

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Fat vs. Thin Gut Microbiome

 

Within each of us are trillions of microorganisms (bacteria), and they have our back (or rather our GI tracts!). However, the “thin bugs” that aid us in maintaining our waistlines can’t do it alone–they need our help. How can you support your microbial friends? By adding the ultimate four foods to your shopping list—they’re my top picks that nourish the growth of “thin” bugs in your GI tract.

I’ve dedicated my career to exploring the relationship between a healthy gut and a healthy body. Nourishing the right kinds of microbes is one of the best keys to good health I’ve found.  Specifically, you’re aiming to boost the strains that suppress appetite and spike metabolism. I have tested this myself and used the method of “feeding” thin bugs with my private practice clients.  The results were so good the news spread—Kayleen Schaefer mentioned my results in her article for “Details Magazine” (check it out: The Best Way to Lose Weight is Already in Your Kitchen).

So what did I manage that was so noteworthy?  My clients lost an average of 21 pounds over six months without cutting back on their calories when they added half a cup of probiotic-rich foods to their Paleo-Mediterranean-Plus program.

Quick Fact: Probiotics are important, but they’re at their best when you ingest prebiotic fibers as well.  Without one, packing your diet with the other isn’t as primed—the key is having a balance. If you have plenty of probiotics but no prebiotic fiber to feed them, they won’t “feed” off each other—that’s why it’s important to have plenty of both in your food.

You’re probably asking: What are prebiotics?

Prebiotics aren’t exactly “all the rage” yet; right now they’re akin to nutrition’s best kept secret–and I’m about to let you in on them. The first thing you should know is that a prebiotic fiber is actually “non-digestible”; it’s their hidden power. Our inability to digest these fibers allows them to pass unharmed through our GI tract and act as fuel for the healthy bacteria. Prebiotic fibers aren’t to be confused with the probiotics that we’re trying to cultivate. Think of the probiotic as the bacteria we’re hoping will stick around, and the prebiotic as the incentive for those strains to stick around–even bugs have to eat.

 Even better: they’re not just bacterial fuel, but aid in our resistance to invading pathogens and stimulate metabolic activity. The most common source of prebiotic goodness is the inulin fiber; though oligosaccharides are the best known variety.

The Ultimate Four Best Sources of Prebiotics

Now that you know how wonderful and important prebiotic fiber is, I’m here to help you by recommending the following four foods as my top picks:

Onions and Garlic:

While you may not want to ingest either of these during a romantic date, adding them into your diet (especially raw)  is well worth the halitosis. It turns out that onions and garlic are chalk full of inulin (the most common form of prebiotic).  I rate onions and garlic as my top prebiotic pick!

Oats:

The fiber in oats ferment into short-chain fatty acids in the digestive tract and feed the “thin” microbes in your intestines.   Soak 1-cup of oats overnight in coconut milk, and you’ll have a super healthy breakfast waiting for you in the morning–add fresh berries and raw nuts to top!

Artichokes:

There are 2 “types” of artichoke you can go for here, the Jerusalem and the traditional. The Jerusalem artichoke is recognized as a great source of inulin, and is known for it’s ability to relieve constipation and increase your absorption rates for a variety of vitamins and minerals (calcium especially, your bones will thank you later).

Dandelion Greens:

One of the major health benefits found in the Greek diet is the consumption of  wild greens, often referred to as dandelion greens.  It’s almost impossible for some to consume this bitter leaf “raw,” but if you’re feeling super adventurous and want to spruce up those “thin” microbes, aim for the stars and consume this bitter green!

Prebiotic and Probiotic: Working Hand in Hand

It’s important to remember that both probiotics and prebiotics work together synergistically and finding that balance between the two is ideal. The easiest way to strike that balance is to eat the ancestral Mediterranean way, or what I refer to as Paleo-Mediterranean-Plus!

Read All About It: Prebiotic Studies From 2015 

Nutr Res. 2015 Mar 14 [Targeting gut microbiota as a possible therapy for diabetes].

  • Studies will highlight the dynamic role of gut bacteria and diabetes.
  • Treatments will include prebiotics as a means to gaining more gut diversity–or favorable strains.

Gastroenterol Hepatol.. 2015 Mar 10 [Characterization, influence and manipulation of the gastrointestinal microbiota in health and disease].

  • Look for a similar outcome like the mapping of our DNA.  The gut micrbiome will be “mapped” and used for many different studies–especially in immunology/inflammation.

J Physiol Biochem. 2015 Mar 8 [Gut microbiota: a key player in health and disease. A review focused on obesity].

  • One of the hottest topics in obesity research to date: How does gut bacteria affect obesity?
  • Targeting obesity through the use of prebiotic foods seems like a reasonable dietary intervention.

ASN Neuro. 2015 Feb [Nutrition facts in multiple sclerosis.].

  • Based on studies like this, look for dietary interventions with inflammatory diseases like Multiple Sclerosis.  Those diets will aim to restore healthy populations of gut bacteria–they may even identify more pathogenic strains known to cause harm in the immune system of MS patients.

Nutrients. 2015 Feb [Novel approaches to improve the intrinsic microbiological safety of powdered infant milk formula].

  • Baby formula gets a long awaited makeover because of studies on infant digestive health and their fragile immune systems.

 

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Oxygenation: What does Food Have to Do with It?http://stellametsovas.com/oxygenation-food/ http://stellametsovas.com/oxygenation-food/#comments Wed, 11 Mar 2015 19:02:29 +0000 http://stellametsovas.com/?p=5447 I wasn’t always planning to be a nutritionist. In my youth I was a swimmer; in fact, I was a National USA swimmer by 13–training under the top Olympic coaches and competing at the Junior Olympics and Nationals. < Here’s a video clip of me swimming this past year!  > I was well on my […]

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I wasn’t always planning to be a nutritionist. In my youth I was a swimmer; in fact, I was a National USA swimmer by 13–training under the top Olympic coaches and competing at the Junior Olympics and Nationals.

< Here’s a video clip of me swimming this past year!  >

I was well on my way to becoming a professional swimmer when disaster struck. Surviving on a processed, high-carb, Westernized diet has led me to become  iron deficient at hazardously low levels.  After suffering through a slew of tests and prescription drugs that didn’t seem to help, a change in diet saved me–and my path towards helping others get the most out of their food was set.

 

Oxygen Water Nutrients

Iron, An Athlete’s Best Friend:

 

Anemia is no joke, it has both psychological and physiological impacts. This makes sense when you understand iron’s role in the body. It’s an important trace element; responsible for aiding in oxygen transport, energy metabolism (fueling your body) and neurotransmitter synthesis (these are the chemicals that transmit signals along your nerves). 

For athletes especially, increased oxygen transport is important during training. Without oxygen, cells are unable to produce their “fuel” (known as “ATP”) and instead produce a dreaded byproduct–lactic acid. The accumulation of lactic acid is a major contributor to muscle fatigue and thus should be avoided if you want to enhance your performance.

Your gut is a key player in maintaining your iron levels; absorption occurs in the small bowel (otherwise known as your small intestine) after all. Introducing iron-rich foods into your gut is critical if you want to avoid the damaging effects of anemia.

The Iron Allies: Chlorophyll, Sulforaphane, and Oxidative Damage

Iron aids in the transportation of oxygen to your tissue; this is an essential process that allows your cells to function and survive. However, many natural biological processes involving oxygen can create “free radicals”–a special type of oxygen molecule that is highly reactive and can cause you harm.

To counteract this, I suggest making sure you have enough chlorophyll in your diet (this is the chemical in plants that allows them to be green!). Eating your leafy vegetables really is good for you!

Video on Foods That Help the Red Blood Cells Carry Oxygen

 

A 2012 study conducted in Chinese Journal of Internal Medicine found that chlorophyll “shows cellular protection against oxidative damage by counteracting the excessive free radicals”. Chlorophyll also behaves similarly to our blood, aiding in the transport of oxygen to our muscle and other bodily tissues.

 

Along with chlorophyll, dark green veggies also can contain a compound known as sulforaphane; another free radical fighter. In 2012 Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology published research that concluded: “sulforaphane is a promising antioxidant agent that is effective to attenuate oxidative stress and tissue/cell damage”.

 

Food Warriors: Some of Your Best Options

 

So what do you need to eat to imbibe all 3 of the aforementioned allies and boost your oxygen transport? After all, oxygen deprived cells are prone to cancer and disease; 2 things we all wish to avoid. Well, green, water dense foods are a good bet, and I have a few suggestions for you.

 

The 1st: Broccoli. It’s rich in sulforaphane and chlorophyll (think of that beautiful green color). Kale, romaine lettuce, spirulina, chlorella, mustard greens, and blue-green algae are also great options.

 

For my meat eaters, you’ll want to indulge in wild game or fish (keeping it paleo here, as always) for an iron-rich boost.

 

For my vegetarians: beans, legumes, artichokes, cheese, eggs, chocolate, water heavy fruits (oranges for example), nuts and sunflower seeds are your best bet for delivering oxygen to your muscles outside of the leafy greens above.

 

If you don’t want to deplete the oxygen you’ve been working so hard at gaining, avoid sugars, processed meats, fats,white breads, carbonated drinks, frozen foods, and fast food. These foods tend to provide very little water (remember it’s partially made up of oxygen!) and are neither rich in chlorophyll (no green here) or sulforaphane. Your cells will actually expend oxygen when processing these foods and gain almost none of it back!

 

The Bottom Line:

 

We can’t live without oxygen, and these days it’s not enough to just breathe it in–our bodies and our muscles demand more. Increasing your intake of iron and water-rich foods can only boost your overall well being–and this goes for athletes and the average joe alike.

 

So start munching on those leafy greens, eat fruits for dessert, and snack on seeds–I promise you’ll start to feel the difference.

 

In good health,

Stella Metsovas

 

 

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Some of the Refrigerator Items I Live By!http://stellametsovas.com/refrigerator-items-live/ http://stellametsovas.com/refrigerator-items-live/#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2015 16:50:38 +0000 http://stellametsovas.com/?p=5432 Whether it’s the refrigerator or freezer, keeping a few core items on hand is a necessity to my wellbeing.  One of the secrets in reaching your best is a well-stocked fridge! I’ve seen all different types of lifestyles in my private practice–from the man who’d travel back and forth from California to Germany every ten days, […]

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Whether it’s the refrigerator or freezer, keeping a few core items on hand is a necessity to my wellbeing.  One of the secrets in reaching your best is a well-stocked fridge!

I’ve seen all different types of lifestyles in my private practice–from the man who’d travel back and forth from California to Germany every ten days, to the homemaker who’s caring for three children–both ways of life are limited on time, and yours is probably no exception.

Set aside 90-minutes max per week (and that includes driving time) for a foolproof way of becoming the healthiest you can be.

My 6 Personal Favorite Ingredients

  1. I always have some sort of liquid elixir ready to grab like a large carafe of ginseng tea mixed with fresh lemon, or a green juice with no fruit added (I advise on eating the fruit instead of juicing it).  Photographed here, I have a juice made with celery, lemon (even the skin), ginger, and cucumber.
  2. If I were to pick the one food related “thing” that brings me true comfort, it’s a nice glass of untainted wine a couple times a week (although I do go a month here and there without any).   One of my favorite’s is a Pouilly-Fumé (a good one will cost you approx. $18.00 a bottle).  I also have a reason for drinking that glass–or two–of wine: it’s always a social thing for me.  Want to know why?  Read this. 
  3. Adaptogens--where would I be without you?!   Ginseng and Ashwagandha are my two favorites.
  4. Bean sprouts for that extra edge of nutrient’s I’m always looking for.  *Make sure to always purchase from a reputable company who uses organic methods.
  5. Fish–the smaller the better from tested waters.  We have stringent rules here in the USA, so when you can, buy locally.  My catch of the week here is black seabass.  I’ll probably make a butternut squash puree, topped with the seabass, and a side of steamed greens, olive oil, and a pinch of Celtic sea salt.  Or maybe I’ll bake in parchment…check this recipe out.
  6. Pre-chopped vegetables from the market.  Now I really have no excuse to make that beautiful and digestively-pleasing salad.
  7. Chopped garlic for all my cooking needs.  My grandmother lived until she was 96 and consumed garlic, daily.

 

 

Stella Metsovas Refrigerator

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New Year, New You; Same Old Microbiomehttp://stellametsovas.com/new-year-new-old-microbiome/ http://stellametsovas.com/new-year-new-old-microbiome/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 16:42:05 +0000 http://stellametsovas.com/?p=5415 It is the dawn of the era of the microbial ally, an age I’ve been trying to usher to the forefront since 2006. No longer are people reacting to the thought of their own personal bacteria with aversion, rather, researchers and laymen alike are realizing those critters can be our friends—and the key to good […]

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It is the dawn of the era of the microbial ally, an age I’ve been trying to usher to the forefront since 2006.

No longer are people reacting to the thought of their own personal bacteria with aversion, rather, researchers and laymen alike are realizing those critters can be our friends—and the key to good health.

In the nearly ten years that I’ve been researching and relating the power of our internal bacteria, other researchers have worked together to build a formidable body of literature on the subject. The results are in (and keep coming): our intestinal microbes have been linked to our physical health, mental health, mood, and human development. They’re a force to be reckoned with—and a formidable ally in the battle against disease.

Imagine ahead: the year is 2030 and your routine health screening includes a stool specimen alongside the standard blood chemistry.  The RN calls with the results and all your dietary modifications for preventative health are based on the predominant strains in your gut.

Microbiome Digestive Health

The Latest and Greatest:

Of course, there are many factors that work together to determine our health and wellbeing, but it isn’t a stretch to say our intestinal bacteria do play a part. New knowledge regarding our intestinal flora is published every day; highlights include:

Genes: A different kind of inheritance—scientists examining the fecal samples of 416 pairs of twins found that the strains that you host can be partially determined by your genes. Identical twins had microbiomes that were more similar than those of fraternal sets. The “most inheritable” strain: Christensenellaceae—a strain that can be found in the guts of lean individuals. This suggests that influencing your microbiome is just one way genes can play a hand in obesity.

Diversity: Cheese rinds are a picture of diversity—just a crumb contains 10 billion microbial cells (a mixture of bacteria and fungi that makes cheese, well, deliciously cheesy). It turns out these microbial communities vary based on cheese type rather than by region. Where you’re made is less of a factor than how; at least if you’re a good brie.

Personalization: Microbiomes don’t just create cheese; they’re a potential source for medication as well. Scientists used a computer program to sort out potentially useful strains on the human body, and found thousands of candidate compounds. Your next antibiotic prescription could be provided by strains found in your gut!

Armageddon: If you want to get philosophical, you can wonder what the world would be like without our personal “flora”. While human digestion would be impaired, it could still function. The same couldn’t be said for cows, or crops in need of nitrogen-rich soil and waste would abound as nothing would decompose. Researchers concluded: “we predict complete societal collapse only within a year or so, linked to catastrophic failure of the food supply chain”. Microbes may be small, but they are fierce—and important.

Then and Now: Knowledge is Power

Long ago, Hippocrates noted that “all disease begins in the gut”; it’s a tenant my research and nutritional advice has agreed with and supported. How did a philosopher that lived so long ago know what he was talking about? Perhaps it was a “gut feeling”.

Regardless, modern research has not only vindicated his position, but taken it a step further. It’s not just drugs that can be created with the aid of microbial strains, but cures for diseases like arthritis and diabetes (for more on your GI tract’s link to DM2 check this out). The ecosystem that lives in our gut is “pervasive and profound in its connection to human health”, states Peter DiLaura the CEO for a company called Second Genome that seeks sequence gut genes and determine their potential applications.

Rather than peddling the strains themselves (something the FDA tends to frown upon) they’d isolate the bug’s “bioactives”—the bacteria’s secreted proteins and metabolites that hold sway over us. Bioactives could be replicated with precision and consistency like any other pharmaceutical, and could be held in the gut rather than transported into the bloodstream.

Dreamers like DiLaura hope to prove that the gut isn’t just a source of disease, but of tangible, fact-based, medically derived solutions to some of the world’s biggest killers.

Looking Ahead:

Our microbiomes hold a great deal of potential power over our health and the world at large. A casual search of a medical search engine and you’ll find thousands of articles; close to a hundred have been published within Pubmed’s database in the last two weeks of the new year!

Many of them focus on our gut’s link to immunity and infections.

In light of the new year, you may want to get healthier—the best way to do this is by making your digestive health as your top priority.

This is where I can help: the easiest way to foster the bacteria you want is by fueling them (via fueling yourself!). I highlight the most egregious foods (that can wreak havoc on your gut) in my articles regarding the “foul four” foods that are best avoided, and in my well researched treatise against artificial sugar.

Digestive Detox

For a good way to detox and fuel “good bugs” I suggest you incorporate a digestive detox to begin feeding your microbiome with top foods for gut health, combined with herbal compounds known to suppress unfavorable bacteria.

I’ve spent a good chunk of my career helping people optimize their gut health, and thus their overall wellbeing. When looking ahead to the new year, just remember: you are what you eat! And who doesn’t want to become a “new” version of themselves through food? That’s one resolution that will be delicious to keep.

 

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Savory Belgian Waffles with Gluten-less Flourhttp://stellametsovas.com/savory-belgian-waffles-gluten-less-flour/ http://stellametsovas.com/savory-belgian-waffles-gluten-less-flour/#comments Sun, 11 Jan 2015 17:15:37 +0000 http://stellametsovas.com/?p=5407 Back during my swimming years, I recall being able to eat about 5 waffles in one sitting–especially after Saturday’s 3 1/2 hour morning practice. I thought of making the typical waffle with syrup more interesting and healthier by using gluten-less (< I’ll begin using that name from now on…I’m sick of gluten free!) flour, with […]

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Back during my swimming years, I recall being able to eat about 5 waffles in one sitting–especially after Saturday’s 3 1/2 hour morning practice.

I thought of making the typical waffle with syrup more interesting and healthier by using gluten-less (< I’ll begin using that name from now on…I’m sick of gluten free!) flour, with almond meal.  Having a beautifully cooked, pasture-raised egg on top was like the perfect shoe for the dress.  Enjoy!

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Healthy Greek Potato Almond Dip (VIDEO)http://stellametsovas.com/greek-potato-almond-dip-video/ http://stellametsovas.com/greek-potato-almond-dip-video/#comments Tue, 06 Jan 2015 08:40:58 +0000 http://stellametsovas.com/?p=3270 Hi, my name is Stella Metsovas, I make a living out of studying, cooking and eating food. Today, I’m going to show you how to make a true, authentic Mediterranean diet recipe called Skordalia in Greek. It’s actually an almond and garlic paste that’s often served with vegetables, paired with fish. It’s super yummy, rich […]

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Hi, my name is Stella Metsovas, I make a living out of studying, cooking and eating food. Today, I’m going to show you how to make a true, authentic Mediterranean diet recipe called Skordalia in Greek. It’s actually an almond and garlic paste that’s often served with vegetables, paired with fish. It’s super yummy, rich in garlic, so be careful when you have the garlic. Because you’re definitely, you’re going smell like garlic when you have this dish. I began by boiling two Russet potatoes, so these already cooked, they’ll be tender to the touch once they’re completed cooking. You’re going to want to peel the skin off, so these are a little warm. Grab a mash potato press, or you can just use a strainer, kind of put your hand and strain it manually. Put it into a food processor. O.k., so now that we have put the potato in the food processor, we’re going to take some sea salt and place it on top of about eight garlic cloves. Now, here is where you can kind of, change the recipe a little bit, if you’d like. You can add more garlic or less, you might want to start with less. So, eight or less, you probably don’t want to go above that. And you’re going to take a knife and just push down and crush the garlic. You’re going to do this and you can use your manual garlic crusher. But we prefer to add the salt in the garlic because the taste is just so much better that way. Go ahead and add it to the food processor. We’re going to add three-quarters of a cup of blanched almonds, we’re going to add a half a cup of water. Actually add a little tiny bit to begin, don’t add it all at once. We’re going to add three tablespoons of white wine vinegar. Then, we’re going to add a couple tablespoons of olive oil. O.k., so after you put the potato and the garlic into the food processor. You’re going to want to juice about two lemons. The lemons are really going to help bring out the garlic and the potato, the flavors. Super good to pair with fish, one of my favorite ways to have fish, Greek style is with Skordalia. O.k., so now we’re going to pour the lemon juice into the food processor and blend. Now that all the flavors have blended together, it’s ready to be served, it’s a nice, white creamy consistency. Can you imagine, we haven’t really added any oil in here, about three tablespoons tops. Now, in Greece, what they do is, they add a little bit of oregano on top. I’m going to keep it nice and plain, that’s how I prefer mine. My name is Stella Metsovas, enjoy.

Read more: http://www.ehow.com/video_12299836_greek-potato-almond-dip.html#ixzz2l7ASrwNv

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Forecasting Nutrition Trends in 2020http://stellametsovas.com/forecasting-nutrition-trends-2020/ http://stellametsovas.com/forecasting-nutrition-trends-2020/#comments Mon, 05 Jan 2015 17:57:18 +0000 http://stellametsovas.com/?p=5327 My field has become overly saturated with really bad advice.   The side business of becoming the next health guru is quickly becoming the next ‘it’ thing to do, with social media serving as the perfect backdrop.   Being passionate about something is really exciting; I get it.   I’m totally passionate about horseback riding—especially dressage. […]

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My field has become overly saturated with really bad advice.

 

The side business of becoming the next health guru is quickly becoming the next ‘it’ thing to do, with social media serving as the perfect backdrop.

 

Being passionate about something is really exciting; I get it.

 

I’m totally passionate about horseback riding—especially dressage. If I had the time or enthusiasm, would I go and start a blog called Stella’s Dressage? Heck no.   You see, without ranting, I simply don’t know enough to consider myself an expert or give advice on dressage. I do have field experience, combined with marginal book reading, and bi-monthly lessons with a bona fide expert, yes; by no means do I consider myself an expert though—nor will I be for quite some time.

 

Stella Metsovas Horse
Here I am riding dressage!

How does my proposed dressage blog differ from anyone posting that Instagram photo with their nutrition recommendations as a  ‘because I said so’? Or how about the interpretation of a study from biased opinions by getting a Facebook tribe to bash each other (or anyone else who rebuts) in the comments section?  Both blogs are harmful in many ways, and, it’s like high school all over again, but now, we’re playing roulette with our health.

 

Good News Ahead

There will be a weeding out of inaccurate health information (probably not soon enough), and one thing I can assure of (thankfully!), you’ll grow more perceptive according to the recent report entitled Forecasting Nutrition Research by the Journal of American College of Nutrition.  It is you who will help the real experts clear the debris caused by all the rubbish out there and question everything like the great Greek philosophers of our past!

 

This is good news folks.

 

According to the forecast, you’ll begin to question why that $80.00 juice detox is good for you rather than just simply doing it.  You’re going to crave real foods—like those one ingredient foods found in Longevity Villages worldwide.  Our foods system will include ingredients found in our ancestral past (have you seen the new Cheerios + Ancient Grains ad?).

 

Why do you ask? Because you want real information that is time-tested, not some crazy concoction crafted in a lab, or a fad diet.  You are learning from the past, trying to undo all the harm caused by these  crazy trends (remember the fat-free years?).

 

Here is the breakdown of what to expect by 2020 according to real data—not the hearsay mumbo jumbo found around the World Wide Web.

 

  1. You are concerned about genetically modified (GMO’s) food crops and will continue to crave information about the good and bad that comes with them well into 2020.
  2. Ah, my favorite subject matter: the Microbiome and Microflora. You are very interested about our second brain—the gut—far more than your morning Greek yogurt or the probiotic supplement. Over 100 trillion microorganisms live within us and we will want to get to the root cause of dysbiosis (a microbial imbalance) in the gut. The forecast found that, “By 2020, a better understanding should exist about how changes in the gut microbiome may affect microbial populations in other parts of the body [4].” Also noteworthy (I could seriously go on and on….), “It is a reasonable prediction that by 2020 the role of the gut microbiota will be appreciated for its influence in obesity [6], immune regulation, and the risk of several diseases, including cancer, gastrointestinal disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, and, possibly, the aging process.” A-m-a-z-i-n-g!
  3. Nutrigenomics/Metabolomics/Epigenetics will come into full effect by studying particular phytochemicals and how they influence gene expression. Can you say Got Olive Oil?
  4. Energy Metabolism—It was like stepping into a warm bath after a long swim in the pool when I read this in the report: “Energy balance is more than just ‘calories in and calories out’ because factors such as energy utilization and energy storage must also be considered.” Yes, we are truly headed in the right direction with statements like this. Now, if we can wipe out all the hideously deceptive information endorsed by people who a) don’t know what the heck they’re saying or b) endorsed for marketing reasons; we’re on our way to victory.
  5. Inflammation will always be big news because it governs the way our bodies work systematically. To live harmoniously, the body will encounter specific antigens that contribute to inflammation as the actual reaction to the antigen, but what happens when the inflammation is ongoing? Or how about connecting the dots back to the digestive tract? This is good—really good.

The future is so bright when reading this type of data. It’s almost limitless what can be achieved in the quest for lifelong, optimal health—even with all the delusional misinformation out there.

 

We are getting back to our roots–back to nature, simplicity, and real food!

 

Bring it on!

 

Yours in Health,

Stella

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MEDITERRANEAN ROASTED CHICKENhttp://stellametsovas.com/mediterranean-roasted-chicken-with-root-vegetables/ http://stellametsovas.com/mediterranean-roasted-chicken-with-root-vegetables/#comments Sat, 03 Jan 2015 01:56:10 +0000 http://stellametsovas.com/?p=2561 Start to finish: 75 minutes Skill-Moderate Things You’ll Need 1 whole chicken 1 cup dry white wine 2 whole lemons 1  tablespoon butter 3 tablespoons Herbes de Provence 5 beets 5 purple, white and red potatoes Butcher’s twine Step 1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse the chicken and remove any giblets or other parts […]

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Roasted Chicken Herbs de Provence

Start to finish: 75 minutes

Skill-Moderate

Things You’ll Need

1 whole chicken

1 cup dry white wine

2 whole lemons 1

 tablespoon butter

3 tablespoons Herbes de Provence

5 beets

5 purple, white and red potatoes

Butcher’s twine

Paleo Roasted Chicken

Step 1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse the chicken and remove any giblets or other parts stored within the cavity (butchers or grocers often place these in a plastic bag inside the chicken). Pat dry and season with sea salt and pepper; set aside on a dish. Stuff the cavity with two whole lemons and twine the legs together to close.

Step 2 Lightly coat a medium stockpot with butter over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken on all sides, paying careful attention not to burn. Remove the chicken and place on dish.

Step 3 Place the beets and potatoes in the stockpot, paying careful attention not to stack. Fill the stockpot with white wine and 1 cup of water. Place the chicken on top of the root vegetables and season with Herbes de Provence.

Step 4 Cover and cook in the oven at same temperature for approximately 35 minutes. If the liquid dissipates during cooking, add 1/2 cup water and re-cover. Remove the top and cook for additional five to 10 minutes to brown the chicken lightly. Use a poultry thermometer; when the chicken is done cooking, the internal temperature should read a minimum of 165 degrees.

Nutritional Data (1 Serving) Calories 392 Total Fat 20.0g Saturated Fat 1.8g Cholesterol 7.5mg Sodium 484mg Total Carbohydrate 26.2g Dietary Fiber 3.8g Sugars 8.2g Protein 23.4g

Posted By Complete Nutrition and Stella Metsovas on May 14, 2013 RECIPE BY STELLA METSOVAS FOR COMPLETE NUTRITON  See more at: http://www.completenutrition.com/foodie-fix

 

 

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Low Carbohydrate Greek Lamb Burgers Recipehttp://stellametsovas.com/paleo-mediterranean-lamb-burgers/ http://stellametsovas.com/paleo-mediterranean-lamb-burgers/#comments Thu, 01 Jan 2015 10:45:10 +0000 http://stellametsovas.com/blog/?p=1456 Low Carbohydrate, Healthy Mediterranean Diet Serve this at your next barbecue and wow your guests (you’ll also be sending them home healthier!).  Although I generally make my own ground lamb patties, this time I used Atkins Ranch California Style Lamb Patties.  The sweet potatoes, goat cheese and chives give the dish a crossover between Greek & […]

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Paleo Lamb Burgers

Low Carbohydrate, Healthy Mediterranean Diet

Serve this at your next barbecue and wow your guests (you’ll also be sending them home healthier!).  Although I generally make my own ground lamb patties, this time I used Atkins Ranch California Style Lamb Patties.  The sweet potatoes, goat cheese and chives give the dish a crossover between Greek & French cuisines.  Enjoy!

FYI: Lamb is considered a “game” meat and what that means is you’re probably safer consuming an animal that grazes in the open rather than factory farmed animals confined to a pin.

>> Here’s more on the health benefits of lamb and if you want to learn more about what it means if you crave protein  (and my take on Factory Farming)

 

 Ingredients

  1. Atkins Ranch Lamb Patties (2 in package)
  2. 1 Medium Sweet Potato
  3. Romaine Lettuce
  4. Chevre (Goat Cheese)
  5. Chives
  6. 2 Portobello Mushrooms

 Directions

  1. Boil sweet potato until cooked-approximately 25 minutes
  2. Cook the lamb patties over medium heat until cooked through.
  3. Saute portobello mushrooms whole, until soft seasoning with sea salt & pepper.
  4. Chop romaine lettuce for base salad.
  5. Assemble the dish by stacking the mushroom, sweet potato, lamb patty and top with goat cheese and chives.

Preparation time: 35 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Diet tags: Reduced carbohydrate, High protein, Gluten free

Number of servings (yield): 2

Culinary tradition: French

5 :  ★★★★★

 

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