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Eggplant Walnut Pâté

Anyone enjoy the recipe for Eggplant Dip I posted two weeks ago? Here's another, slightly fancier way to enjoy this beloved bulbous vegetable. Traditional pâtés are often made from high-fat meats and liver. They can be delicious and quite elegant, but less than nutritious. This vegetarian version is sophisticated, filled with flavor, and healthful. Enjoy it on a special occasion or as an everyday spread with whole-grain crackers.

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6 Ways to Treat Sun Poisoning

It's August, and temperatures are still sky-high. Watch out for sun poisoning.

Sun poisoning is a layman's term for the symptoms that can accompany severe sunburn, such as nausea, vomiting, fever, chills and headache. It should not be confused with sunstroke (also referred to as heatstroke), a medical emergency that occurs when the body overheats to the point that it can no longer regulate its internal temperature.

You can help prevent sun poisoning by remaining indoors during peak daylight hours (10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the summer months), wearing protective clothing and using sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15. If you do get sun poisoning, stay out of the sun and try the following to help alleviate the symptoms:

  1. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water
  2. Take a cool bath and pat dry - don’t rub your skin, which can cause further irritation
  3. Apply a cold washcloth or ice to areas that are swollen or itching
  4. Take an aspirin or other NSAID to help reduce swelling and inflammation
  5. Apply aloe to any affected areas, but avoid oils or anything that contains potential irritants such as fragrances and exfoliants
  6. Be aware that you should seek immediate medical attention if your temperature exceeds 104 degrees Fahrenheit, or if you experience vomiting or extreme pain

More about the difference between sun poisoning and sun stroke.


True Food Kitchen Philosophy

Perhaps you've heard of - or even been to - my True Food Kitchen restaurant in Phoenix. In this video, executive chef Michael Stebner shares the philosophy and ideals behind our food.

I'm also proud to announce that today marks the opening of our second True Food Kitchen location - this one at Fashion Island in Newport Beach, California!

If you don't live in Phoenix or Southern California, here's the recipe for True Food's famous Chocolate Flourless Cake.


Triglycerides High? Try These 6 Suggestions

Triglycerides are the form in which fat moves through the bloodstream to your body's tissues. Whenever your LDL ("bad") cholesterol is measured, triglycerides are checked, too. At present, triglyceride levels lower than 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) are considered normal and levels above 200 mg/dL are considered too high.

High triglyceride levels can be genetic, but dietary influences are strong, and refined carbohydrates in the diet are the main factor boosting triglyceride levels in the blood. This is especially true for quick-digesting (high glycemic load) carbs. In many people, these foods elevate insulin levels, and insulin affects both triglyceride synthesis and the storage of fat.

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5 Reasons to Eat Garlic

Garlic is more than a culinary mainstay that can add flavor to meals; it is a natural, traditional medicine that has antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Regular consumption of garlic has been linked with:

  1. Improving overall cholesterol levels
  2. Lowering blood pressure and decreasing clot formation, thus reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack
  3. Combating respiratory infections
  4. Minimizing symptoms of common colds, including sore throats
  5. Reducing fungal or yeast infections

Eating raw garlic (chopped or mashed) releases the herb's full potential as the active component, allicin, forms only on contact with air. Garlic loses its antibiotic properties when you cook or dry it, and commercial garlic capsules do not preserve the full activity of the fresh bulb.

You can make raw garlic more palatable by chopping it fine, mixing it with food, and eating it with a meal, or cut a clove into chunks and swallow them whole like pills.

Enjoy garlic's medicinal benefits in this dish that incorporates another one of my favorite foods: broccoli. Spicy Garlic Broccoli with Pine Nuts.


Natural Energy Booster

If you are looking for a quick pick-me-up, skip the afternoon coffee or sugary snack and instead try this quick and effective yoga pose: the Downward-Facing Dog, a revitalizing pose that is used traditionally to:

  • Calm the brain and relieve stress and mild depression
  • Energize the body
  • Stretch the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands
  • Strengthen the arms and legs
  • Prevent osteoporosis

It is also said to help improve digestion and to relieve headaches, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue. Learn how to do the Downward-Facing Dog.


4 Reasons to Eat Real Corn

Corn on the cob is a traditional summertime treat that can add some positive nutritional value to typically less-than-healthful BBQ fare. Corn has been cultivated for hundreds of years and was (and still is) a staple in many parts of the world. A good source of vitamins B1, B5 and C, whole corn also provides many other valuable nutrients, including:

  1. Fiber for gastrointestinal function and weight control.
  2. Folate, which can help reduce the risk of birth defects and promote heart health.
  3. Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vital to healthy adrenal function.
  4. Lutein for healthy vision.

Try corn on the cob grilled, boiled or steamed, on its own or brushed with a little olive oil for a healthy summertime side.

Alternatively, combine corn with other summer produce and make this delicious Tomato, Corn, and Basil Soup.


3 Ways to Avoid Added Hormones in Meat

In my last post, I discussed the protective nature of peaches and plums in preventing breast cancer. Another preventative measure is to avoid hormone-laden meat.

An estimated two-thirds of the cattle raised in the U.S. are given hormones, including testosterone and estrogen, to help boost growth and production. Make minimizing your consumption of meats that have added growth hormones a priority: hormone residues in food may increase the risk of breast cancer and other reproductive system cancers among women, and may promote development of prostate cancer in men.

Considering the following when shopping:

  1. Know which animals are likely to contain these unwanted hormones. Currently cattle and sheep are the only animals allowed to have growth hormones added.  The USDA does not permit the use of hormones in hogs, chickens, turkeys and other fowl, or venison.

  2. Read labels carefully. Look for the words "no hormones administered" on packaging, which indicates these chemicals were not used in raising the animals.

  3. Use meat alternatives if hormone free animal products are cost-prohibitive. You can substitute vegetable protein for meats (beans, legumes and mushrooms are hearty vegetarian options that work well as meat substitutes); or use faux meat, such as products made from whole soy that duplicate the texture and appearance of meats.

More on this topic.