RAW FOOD BALLS RECIPE

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Raw food balls recipe
Remember, I don’t really measure when cooking or baking so I suggest you use your own judgement and taste buds to get these the way you like them. Use a food processor and add:
Almond flour (optional)
Coconut oil
Raisins, sultanas, figs and/or dadles
Nuts (whichever you prefer)
Seeds (sesame, pumpkin)
Spirulina and/or wheatgrass powder
Water or any other liquid you prefer
Mix all the ingredients well and taste the batch. Make them into little balls and roll them in coconut flakes or cocoa powder mixed with stevia. Store in the fridge. Yummm! Enjoy!

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RAW FOOD SEED CRISPBREAD

Crispbread or crackers, whatever you want to call them. Whatever the name, it is the best recipe you’ll ever try. You won’t know how the heck you’ve lived without it until now!!!

Here’s my recipe (all ingredients are organic and GMO-free):

  • 1 dl flaxseeds
  • 1½ dl sesame seeds
  • ½ dl pumpkin seeds
  • ½ dl sunflower seeds
  • 1-2 tsp vegetable broth (I use Renée Voltaire)
  • ca 2½ dl water

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and let it sit for an hour or three, depending on your time. Put the oven on 50¤ Celsius and put the rack at the lowest level. Put a baking sheet into a semi-deep pan, just to stop the mixture dripping outside the pan. Pour the wet mixture onto the baking sheet and spread it/flatten it evenly with a spoon, all over the baking sheet. Put the pan into the oven on the lowest rack and let it cook for 3-4 hours on the same low heat. Perfect time to clean the house, do laundry or other “fun” things around the hous. Once done (when it’s no longer wet underneath) let it cool for a bit before you try it. It’s soooo yummy!

I like to eat my crispbread, or crackers, with almond butter. Or with a slice of cheese when it’s straight from the oven. Or why not with some cottage cheese and avokado. There are no limits! Bon apetit.

The wet mixture before the flaxseeds develop the gel around them.

The mixture spread out evely on the baking sheet before going into the oven.

Freshly out of the oven. Mmmm!

BREAKFAST GLORY

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Breakfast – the most important meal of the day they say. And I say HECK YEAH! I love my breakfast. It really does set you up for the day. Not only physically but psychologically as well. If you have a healthy brekkie your mind will want to keep on the same healthy track you started the day off on.
Make sure to include all the macronutrients in your first meal of the day. Carbs from veg, protein from lean sources, and fats from healthy oils. Take a look at my brekkie (pic above) this morning. This plate of egg/eggwhite omelet pan fried in rapeseed oil, cottage cheese, mixed leave sallad and tomatoes, it will set me up for hours by firing up my metabolism with a steady blood sugar level, vitamins, minerals and is low in calorie. (Pref. organice produce.)
It doesn’t have to be boring or bland. Find what tingles your taste buds and fits your morning schedule, but remember to always eat breakfast. Try my smoothie recipe if you’re tight for time.
Now have a fantastic day and live life to its fullest! :))

BELIEF IN MY OWN 12-WEEK PROGRAM

It’s Sunday and I am mentally and physically back from a wonderful 2-week holiday. I’ve been traveling around Ireland with Mr J. where we saw the sights, ate the food and drank the drinks. Enjoying every minute of it! And unfortunately I have some extra pounds to prove it…

Being back is a mixture of feelings but it’s mostly great. I’m so eager to get back to a normal training and eating schedule – although doing my morning workout by the gorgeous mountains in Co. Kerry, Ireland won’t beat it! Have been looking into which 12-week training program I am going to embark on next and it hit me – why don’t I do my own. I don’t think by any means I am better or have more capacity than some of the fantastic trainers out there, but none of the programs out there fit my life schedule seamlessly or the goals I have, so I thought I might as well pick the stuff from the different trainers I like and make my own. My own way. Just the way I like it. 🙂

I’ll try to post my program here on the blog as I go along and share it on my Facebook page Jumping Jax Fitness so head over there too and like my page so you can get the updates in your FB timeline.

Off to the drawing board I go to work on my own 12-week program. Big task I’m setting myself but hopefully I can do it. Self-belief to be tested!!!

WHEATGRASS: SUPER FOOD BENEFITS

Wheatgrass benefits: As its name suggests, Wheatgrass is a grass of little wheat plants. This is one of the most recommended health food supplements around, and is filled with enzymes, chlorophyll, minerals, and highly concentrated vitamins. Nutritionally, wheatgrass is a complete-package food. Wheatgrass juice and wheatgrass consuming in general, is a superb way to obtain dark green while eating. Wheatgrass is over twenty times thicker in nutrients than other vegetables choice. Since wheatgrass belongs to the grass stage, it’s still safer than white wheat consuming for people with wheat allergy. The juicing process allows to unlock extra nutrients from the wheatgrass, makes them much usable to the body cells and much more concentrated. One of the main wheatgrass benefits is chlorophyll, that has a chance to draw toxins in you body just like a magnet. Considered as the “blood of plants”, chlorophyll can heal and soothe inner tissues. The chlorophyll in wheatgrass has elevated levels of light energy and oxygen, which could supply the body tissues and the brain by having an optimal environment to function. The chlorophyll in wheatgrass also offers antibacterial property, which could stop the growth of parasites in your body.

Wheatgrass Builds Blood: Countless health experts have highlighted the chlorophyll molecule in wheatgrass as similare to  the hemoglobin molecule in the blood of humans. The single dissimilarity would be that the central aspect in hemoglobin is iron and in chlorophyll it is magnesium. For this inherent similarity, the body can certainly transform chlorophyll into hemoglobin enhancing the red blood cells count along with the blood’s ability to deliver oxygen along with other nutrients towards the body’s cells. Chlorophyll can stimulate the enzyme systems, promote higher metabolic process and release free oxygen, obliterate toxic carbon dioxide, normalize blood pressure level through dilating the blood pathways,and build red blood cells rapidly.

Wheatgrass Cleanses the Body: Wheatgrass juice and powder are very useful foods in terms of their cleansing capabilities. The powder and wheatgrass juice content are known to have around 100 separate elements, which for scientists name it a “complete food”. It is a good resource of carotene and vitamins B, C, E, that highly efficient in cleansing the body, eliminating free radicals and destroying it. It also has a high ability to cleanse the gastrointestinal tract, organs and the blood.

Wheatgrass Has High Amino Acid Content: Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, as you probably already know.  They are necessary to our cell regeneration and growth. The Amino acid that’s in the wheatgrass juice, is in a perfect form to be consumed by gym-goers, and some bodybuilders are integrating powdered or fresh wheatgrass juice into their diet as well. Wheatgrass juice contains a complete list of protein benefits such as valine, phenylalanine, tyrptophane, leucine, methionin, alanine, glycine, aspartic acid, lysine, absenisic, serine, and arginine.

Wheatgrass Fights and Protects against Illness: Consuming organic wheatgrass juices and powders is a very efficient way for boosting the immune system of the body, and recover from ailments and illnesses. Wheatgrass is also a good resource of 19 different amino acids and over 90 different minerals, contains vitamins C, E, H, and K and a large amount of vitamins B and beta carotene. It also contains many vigorous enzymes that play a main task in assisting hugely in weight loss, undertaking biological functions and breaking down fats.

 

Taken from MuscleSport Mag on Facebook.

JUMPING JAX SMOOTHIE RECIPE

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I’m finally going to write down what my smoothie in the morning consists of. Don’t be fooled by some of the ingredients, the smoothie tastes delish. You might have to experiment with how much of everything you want, but that’s up to you. This is for your inspiration only. Use it as you please.

Water
Wheat bran
Pure lemon juice
Frozen berries
Whey protein powder
Raw cacao powder
Coconut oil or flakes
Ginger powder or raw root
Cinnamon
Turmeric
Spirulina
Wheatgrass
Mint

Mix it all in a blender and enjoy!

It’s a lot of stuff, but my smoothie goes on autopilot now and I make sure I prep some of the dry ingredients all scooped into a cup the night before, that way I just dump it all into the blender in the morning. For the properties and benefits of these ingredients… well, let me just say it’s all good for you! Unless you’re wheat intolerant, but then u can add something else to substitute the fiber. And need I say most of it is organic. 😉

Let me know what you think.

MIRACLE NOODLES

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For all you who want to cut back on the starchy carbs yet still enjoy your pasta or noodles, here’s the perfect food solution.
Shirataki are very low carbohydrate, low calorie, gluten free, translucent Japanese noodles made from the konjac root. Largely composed of water and glucomannan, a water-soluble dietary fiber, they have little flavor of their own.
I recommend rinsing and draining them before preparation. Then I cook them in a bowl in the microwave for 1-2 minutes to extract more water from them as well as heat them up. Then eat them with whatever. I had these Fettuccine Shirataki with salmon and spinach in a bit of cream sauce. Yum! And yesterday I made a chicken thai soup with the skinny Shirataki noodles. Delish!
Yup, I would say they are Miracle Noodles for sure!

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GINGER ME UP

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I’ve been saying this for years and that’s why I use it in most of my cooking.

Of all the functional foods out there, ginger arguably has the most functions. It’s used to settle the stomach and reduce pain, and it has anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and antioxidant properties. But more important, studies show that ginger can boost metabolism. It appears to do that by two methods: (1) by causing muscle tissue to use more oxygen, which means you’re increasing the number of calories you’re burning; and (2) by increasing lactic acid production, which, in turn, increases fat-burning. Makes that sashimi dinner look even more appealing, doesn’t it?

Taken from Muscle&Fitness Hers.

TOP 10 ANTI-INFLAMMATORY FOODS

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Your body is under attack—only you probably don’t realize it. So what’s the problem? Inflammation. It’s a normal process that is designed to help your body recover, which causes the occasional ache or pain. In small doses, this is fine. But if you’re constantly putting your body under stress—whether from work, illness, or even exercise—your body flips into protection mode. The inflammation that’s meant to protect you instead causes your body to fight against itself. The system breaks down, and you become more vulnerable to injury or even disease.

But all hope is not lost. The process of healing your body can be improved with several small, simple changes. For example, many foods contain anti-inflammatory compounds that can alleviate pain and swelling, and help protect your body. Amanda Carlson-Phillips, the vice president of Nutrition and Research at Athletes’ Performance, lists which foods provides the most powerful boost to your body’s ability to regulate and reduce inflammation. Here are her top 10:

Cinnamon
Once considered more precious than gold, cinnamon is one of the world’s oldest and most coveted spices. Research has shown that cinnamon not only reduces inflammation but also fights bacteria, assists with blood sugar control, and enhances brain function. Sprinkle cinnamon over yogurt, cereal, or oatmeal, or add it to a smoothie or a glass of low-fat milk.

Ginger
This flavorful root is available all year and used in everything from soda to stir-fries. Ginger contains several anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols, which may relieve joint pain, prevent free radical damage, protect against colorectal cancer, and increase immunity. Ginger is also a natural anti-emetic, often used to alleviate motion sickness and morning sickness. Steep a couple of slices of ginger in hot water for ginger tea or blend it with soy sauce to top a stir-fried dish.

Onions
Onions are packed with sulfur-containing containing compounds, which are responsible for their pungent odor and associated with improved health. These widely-used and versatile vegetables are believed to inhibit inflammation and linked to everything from cholesterol reduction to cancer prevention. Try using onions as a base for soups, sauces, and stir-fries. Other foods with the same benefits include garlic, leeks, and chives.

Tart Cherries
One of the richest known sources of antioxidants, tart cherries are an anti-inflammatory powerhouse. New research suggests that tart cherries offer pain relief from gout and arthritis, reduce exercise-induced joint and muscle pain, lower cholesterol, and improve inflammatory markers. Drink a glass of tart cherry juice in the morning with breakfast or combine dried tart cherries with nuts for a snack.

Walnuts
Walnuts are one of the healthiest nuts you can eat. They’re loaded with anti-inflammatory, heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids and provide more antioxidants than Brazil nuts, pistachios, pecans, peanuts, almonds, macadamias, cashews, and hazelnuts. Walnuts are also a great source of protein and fiber. Top yogurt or salad with a handful of walnuts or eat raw walnuts as a snack.

Turmeric
A mustard-yellow spice from Asia, turmeric is a spice often used in yellow curry. It gets its coloring from a compound called curcumin. The University of Maryland Medical Center found that curcumin can help to improve chronic pain by suppressing inflammatory chemicals in the body. Make a homemade curry with turmeric or mix it into other recipes once or twice a week.

Pineapple
This tropical yellow fruit contains the enzyme bromelain, which is helpful in treating muscle injuries like sprains and strains. According to a study in the journal Inflammatory Bowel Disease, this enzyme may also help to improve digestion along with aches and pains associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Add pineapple to a smoothie or salad to help improve your body’s tweaks and twinges.

Flaxseed
Flaxseed is packed with omega-3 fatty acids which can help to reduce inflammation in the body. The Harvard School of Public Health reports that omega-3 found in flaxseed may help in blocking pro-inflammatory agents. Grind flaxseed to release the oils, and then add a spoonful of it to your salad, oatmeal, or yogurt. For more omega-3-rich foods with anti-inflammatory benefits, eat soybeans, extra-virgin olive oil, and fatty fish like salmon and tuna.

Carrots
Colorful orange carrots are rich in carotenoids, a group of phytochemicals known to help protect cells from free radicals and boost immunity. They also help regulate inflammation, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center. Add carrots to your salad or cook them as a side dish for any meal. Other carotenoid-rich foods include apricots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, and pumpkin.

Dark, leafy greens
Dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale are packed with flavonoids, a phytonutrient that boost heart health and may help ward off cancer. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, flavonoid-rich foods may also reduce inflammation in the brain, possibly slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Eat a spinach salad a few days a week for a powerful punch of flavonoids. Other good sources are kale, soybeans, berries, tea, or even a glass of wine.

Taken from Livestrong.com.

WHY YOU SHOULD EAT OR DRINK DARK CHOCOLATE CACAO

Yes, I know, I know. That title isn’t exactly comforting. I hate giving you guys bad news, seeing as how you make this website possible, and I hate making unpopular recommendations like “eat more butter” or “get some sun” or “drink a glass of red wine,” but I have to stick to the truth here, even if it hurts. And the truth is that you should probably be eating dark chocolate on a semi-regular basis because the stuff is pretty dang good for you. Before you log out, never to return again, give me a minute to explain myself:

You were kids once. Your parents probably forced you to finish your overcooked, mushy, bland veggies or wash your hands and finish your homework – or some other routine unpleasantry – “for your own good,” and that’s what I’m doing here. Dark chocolate is healthy. It may be awful, terrible, and disgusting, but it contains some really good things that have some remarkable effects on various markers of health. So, yeah, eat your chocolate. Finish your raw cacao powder. Choke down that homemade hot chocolate. Hold your noses if you have to, but get it down and done.

I’m kidding, of course. There’s no arm twisting required when it comes to chocolate. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that the Primal community can suck down some high quality dark chocolate. Don’t think I didn’t see how quickly that chocolate disappeared at last year’s PrimalCon. And why wouldn’t it? Dark chocolate’s great, the perfect storm of flavor, flavonoids, and fat. It tastes really good, comes loaded with polyphenols, and cocoa butter is a great source of saturated and monounsaturated fat. High-cacao dark chocolate, then, is quite literally a healthy candy bar. What’s not to love?

I’ve discussed my favorite dark chocolate in the past. I’ve even provided chocolate-choosing tips. But until today, I’ve never really explained why we should be including high-cacao dark chocolate in our diets. I’ve never explicitly outlined the myriad health benefits that cacao offers. Well, let’s get to it, shall we?

Dark chocolate contains healthy fats.

Cocoa butter, which is extracted from the cacao bean and incorporated into most reputable dark chocolate bars, is mostly monounsaturated and saturated fat, with very little polyunsaturated fat. And because most of that saturated fat is stearic acid, widely known for having neutral effects on LDL, even avowed lipophobes can happily and heartily gobble up cacao fat.

Dark chocolate contains lots of polyphenols, particularly flavanols.

When it comes to polyphenol content and antioxidant capacity, cacao trounces the “superfruits” acai, pomegranate, cranberry, blueberry and whatever else your annoying friend who always falls for multilevel marketing schemes is hawking this week. The most studied polyphenol in cacao is epicatechin, a flavanol. Although last week’s post on the benefits of polyphenol consumption centered on pigment-derived antioxidants, cacao’s polyphenols are also quite potent and potentially healthful.

What happens when the rubber hits the road, though? Or, somewhat more literally, what happens when the square of polyphenol-rich dark chocolate melts on the tongue, is swallowed, digested, and incorporated into the body? What are the actual health benefits of consuming high-cacao content dark chocolate?

Dark chocolate and blood pressure.

Epidemiological studies pretty consistently show that dark chocolate consumption is related to lower blood pressure readings. In Jordan, among Kuna Indians living in Panama, among pregnant women, and among elderly Dutch, this holds true. That’s all well and good, but it’s just an association. We need controlled studies:

One found that fifteen days of eating dark chocolate, but not white chocolate, lowered blood pressure (and improved insulin sensitivity) in healthy subjects. The main difference between white and dark chocolate is the polyphenol content; both types contain cocoa fat. Cocoa consumption also improved arterial flow in smokers.

Some studies suggest that the flavonoids are key. In one, flavanol-rich dark chocolate consumption improved endothelial function while increasing plasma levels of flavanols (which indicates the flavanols had something to do with it). Another study used flavanol-rich cocoa to increase nitric oxide production in healthy humans, thus inducing vasodilation and improving endothelial function. In another, the highest dose of cacao flavanoids caused the biggest drop in blood pressure. Still another found that while dark chocolate did not reduce blood pressure, improve lipids, nor reduce oxidative stress, it did improve coronary circulation.

Or maybe it’s the soluble fiber. In “spontaneously hypertensive” rats, cacao-derived soluble fiber lowered blood pressure, perhaps by reducing weight gain.

It’s probably both, in my opinion, although the polyphenols undoubtedly contribute more to the cause than the five grams or so of soluble fiber you’ll get in the average serving of dark chocolate.

Dark chocolate and cardiovascular disease.

You’ve heard of the cholesterol-fed rabbit; how about the cocoa-fed rabbit? If the former is an effective vehicle to study the negative effects of poor lipid clearance, the latter is a testament to the inhibitory effects of cocoa polyphenols on lipid peroxidation. We also have similar findings in rodents. Feeding hypercholesterolemic and normocholesterolemic rats polyphenol-rich “cocoa fiber” (defatted, sugar-free chocolate, basically) reduced markers of lipid peroxidation in both groups (PDF). It also seems to work quite well in test tubes.

In humans, both with normal and elevated cholesterol levels, eating cocoa powder mixed with hot water lowered oxidized LDL and ApoB (LDL particle number, which, if you remember my post on lipid panels, you want to lower) counts while increasing HDL. All three doses of high-flavanol cocoa powder – 13, 19.5, and 26 g/day – proved beneficial. If you’re wondering, 26 grams of powder is about a quarter cup. It also works if you drink it with milk (and no, Hershey’s syrup doesn’t work the same).

Given the effects of chocolate on lipid peroxidation, we can probably surmise that it will also lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. And indeed, epidemiological studies suggest that this is the case. In a sample of over 2200 patients (PDF), chocolate consumption was inversely associated with progression of atherosclerotic plaque (determined by calcium scoring). What’s incredible is that the association held for chocolate in general, and I don’t think it’s likely that everyone was consuming 100% raw cacao powder brimming with polyphenols. A study from this year from the same group got similar results: chocolate consumption was inversely associated with prevalent cardiovascular disease.

While most cacao research focuses on vascular function and heart disease risk, there are other, less intensively-studied benefits. Here are a few of them:

Dark chocolate and insulin resistance.

For fifteen days, hypertensive, glucose-intolerant patients received either 100 daily grams of high-polyphenol dark chocolate or 100 daily grams of zero-polyphenol white chocolate. Diets were isocaloric, and nothing differed between the groups besides the type of chocolate. Dark chocolate improved beta cell function, lowered blood pressure, increased insulin sensitivity, and improved endothelial function, while white chocolate did none of those things.

Dark chocolate and fatty liver.

Rats with fatty liver evince higher levels of oxidative stress and inflammation, but cocoa supplementation partially attenuated these pathological changes – even in choline-deficient rats. While cocoa wasn’t enough to fully resolve fatty liver, the researchers concluded that cocoa may be of therapeutic benefit in “less severe” forms of fatty liver.

Dark chocolate and UV damage.

Resistance to UV damage is commonly measured by MED – minimal erythema dose. A higher MED means greater resistance to UV rays, while a lower MED indicates lower resistance. High MED, good. Low MED, bad. One study found that feeding high levels of dark chocolate to healthy people over twelve weeks doubled their MED; feeding low levels of dark chocolate had no effect on the MED.

Similarly, another study found that a high-flavanol-from-cacao group had greater resistance to a given UV dosage than a low-flavanol-from-cacao group (who actually saw no benefit at all) over a six and twelve-week period.

Those interested in a fairly comprehensive compendium of chocolate research can check it out here. I tried to stick to in vivo research, but there’s more theoretical stuff out there too.

Seeing as how most of chocolate’s benefits stem from the polyphenol content, and most of the studies that saw large effects used “high-flavanol” dark chocolate, you should be gunning for chocolate with high polyphenol counts. Dutch processed, or alkalized, chocolate lightens the color, removes some of the bitter compounds, and gives it a milder taste. Awesome for Hershey’s Kisses, but awful for the flavanol content. Those “bitter compounds,” you see, are the flavanols. Without the bitterness (which I think of as complexity), you’re missing most of the beneficial polyphenols. It might taste good, but it won’t perform all of the aforementioned physiological tasks. To quantify the extent of the degradation, check out the results of this study on the flavanol contents of cacao powders subjected to various degrees of alkalization:

Natural – 34.6 mg/g
Lightly processed – 13.8 mg/g
Medium processed – 7.8 mg/g
Heavily processed – 3.9 mg/g
Once you’ve got a lead on some good chocolate with high cacao and lower sugar levels, eat a few squares a sitting. Exercise restraint, however, as it is still candy and it shouldn’t make up a large block of calories. Treat it like a condiment, or even a medicinal adjunct to an otherwise solid diet. If you’re sensitive to stimulants, avoid chocolate too close to bedtime.

If you get your hands on some high quality cacao powder (raw – which is actually fermented – or roasted, but never Dutch processed), try making coconut cacao milk. Mix half a (BPA-free) can or carton of coconut milk with a couple tablespoons of cacao powder. Heat on the stove until almost simmering. Add sweetener to taste and, if you’re adventurous, a bit of cayenne, cinnamon, and turmeric. Enjoy!

Anyway, that’s it for today. I think I’ve presented the case for high-cacao dark chocolate – not that you were exactly a tough crowd or anything! Thanks for reading and be sure to give your thoughts – including quality sources and recommended methods of ingestion – in the comment section!

Text taken from the app Mark’s Daily Apple.

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