Arginine Containing Foods

Are you training for an endurance event? 

If so try increasing your intake of Arginine to boost your exercise capacity, improve your endurance performance, and improve your body composition by increasing muscle mass.

How can it do such wonderful things you might ask?

Arginine increases Human Growth Hormone, which in turn increases blood flood and mitochondria biogenesis (creation). Mitochondria are involved in the creation of ATP, which is your muscles’ energy source. Since the body is using more energy to create more mitochondria to produce more energy… it burns more glucose (without effecting insulin) and fat, improving body composition by increasing lean muscle.

Arginine is also a precursor for Nitric Oxide (NO), which has been studied to help increase the endurance threshold by vasodilating blood vessels and allowing nutrients to flow throughout the body more freely, increasing oxygen delivery to the tissues.

But I am not saying go pick up a supplement today! No way… you can increase your intake of Arginine by the food you consume.

Top 4 Arginine Containing Animal Sources:

  1. Turkey – has the highest amount
  2. Pork Loin
  3. Chicken
  4. Dairy

642x180-turkey

Top 6 Arginine Containing Non-Animal Sources:

  1. Pumpkin Seeds – 4th highest source
  2. Soybeans
  3. Peanuts
  4. Spirulina – blue/green algae if you didn’t know, add it to a smoothie
  5. Chickpeas
  6. Lentils

642x180-Lentils.jpg

If you can eat at least 1-2 servings per day of Arginine containing foods you will be well on your way to maximize your workout goals!

My name is Emma Petshow and I am a 4th year naturopathic medical student at the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. For more about myself, check out my bio or my LinkedIn. This blog is intended for information about preventive health and lifestyle improvement. The information contained on this blog is not to be used as medical advice. For specific medical advice you should consult your physician.

Mindful Eating

Eat your meals mindfully today. Mindful eating has been associated with an improved relationship with food, increased weight loss in obese individuals, improvement in Diabetes, and more! Follow this brief outline to eat a meal mindfully today.

  1. Sit down at a table
  2. Take a bite and put down your fork
  3. Place your hands on the table and chew
  4. Experience all the flavor, tastes, and texture that your food provides you
  5. Then pick the fork back up and repeat
  6. Think about any emotions, memories, or feelings that come up while you eat the food

 

If you find this hard to do, try to incorporate just 1-2 bites of mindful eating per day to start and ease your way into this way of eating. Eventually mindful eating will become second nature to you. You might even find that meals provide a moment of relaxation in your day instead of something to rush through on your break from work or in between classes.

Love this and want to learn more? Check out the Center for Mindful Eating website for more resources and activities.

My name is Emma Petshow and I am a 4th year naturopathic medical student at the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. For more about myself, check out my bio or my LinkedIn. This blog is intended for information about preventive health and lifestyle improvement. The information contained on this blog is not to be used as medical advice. For specific medical advice you should consult your physician.

 

What’s Fresh – November

“Buy and cook what is in season”, that’s what we are always told right? Besides just being trendy, the mantra is actually true! If you purchase and consume in season produce you will not only get the most fresh and tasty food and help the environment, but you will also save some serious $$$. Here is a guide to what is fresh in the fruit and vegetable world this month for local NW produce!

Be mindful that this list pertains mainly to NW residents. If you are from or living in a different location, click on the links below to create a list that pertains more to you!

Fresh fruits for November!

Fresh fruits for November!

Fresh veggies for November!

Fresh veggies for November!

Later on this month, stay tuned for a recipe that uses What’s Fresh produce for its ingredients. If you want ideas for how to incorporate certain foods here into your diet let me know by leaving a comment!

Poll Winner from October!

You voted and APPLES was the most popular fruit from October! One of my favorite ways to use apples as a “sugar free” treat is to make cinnamon apples. There are many ways to make these, but you do not have to bake or be a fancy chef to make this quick sweet treat!

  • Cut up a green granny smith apple (or your favorite type if you want something sweeter) into slices or cubes
  • Place the apples into a microwavable safe bowl add cinnamon to your liking and microwave away x 30 seconds – 1 minute; Stir at least 1 time

OR

  • Place the apples into a sauce pan/frying pan with a SMALL amount of olive oil and turn on low heat, after apples have heated up for a bit, add the amount of cinnamon to your liking and stir. Leave on the stove top until apples are cooked all the way through and the cinnamon has coated them all
  • Eat and enjoy! You could also use this as a base for apple pie filling and it contains no added sugar! If you use a granny smith apple, this dessert is sugar cleanse approved.

Cinnamon-Apple-Snack

My name is Emma Petshow and I am a 3rd year naturopathic medical student at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. For more about myself, check out my bio. This blog is intended for information about preventive health and lifestyle improvement. The information contained on this blog is not to be used as medical advice. Please consult with your primary health provider before starting a new exercise regimen. For specific medical advice you should consult your physician.

Herb of the Month – Rosemary

Rosmarinus officinalis

a.k.a Rosemary

Rosemary_bush

Rosemary, sometimes referred to as the “dew of the sea”, is a highly fragrant and useful herb. It has been used over time to flavor food, help with memory, as a cleaning product, and to improve mood. It has a balancing effect on both the mind and the body. See below some common uses of Rosemary and how to cultivate it yourself!

Uses

Medicinal:

  • Aids in fat digestion when consumed in food by acting on the gall bladder (leaf)
  • Antiseptic gargle/mouthwash that is useful for getting rid of pesky canker sores and soothing sore throats
  • Calming effect on the nervous system
  • Decreases cellulite by encouraging blood circulation to the surface (essential oil)
  • Decreases tension headaches by rubbing oil on temples
  • Improves mood, perception, and encourages creativity while keeping dark thoughts away
  • Improves sleep by decreasing nightmares
  • Increases energy and affects the adrenal glands
  • Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Memory booster!
  • Prevents dizziness
  • Relieves lung congestion
  • Stimulates circulation & eases pain by increasing blood supply where applied (essential oil), especially good at relieving sore muscles after a workout

Cosmetic:

  • Flower: use the essential oil in a bath, foot scrub, etc.
  • Leaf: stimulates blood circulation when placed in a bath
  • Leaf or essential oil: use some for a facial steam treatment
  • Essential oil: take a few drops and brush through wet DARK hair to keep it dark, shiny, and healthy

Culinary:

  • Flower: use in salads (fresh)
  • Flower: crystallize for garnish
  • Flower: pound with sugar & cream & add to fruit puree
  • Leaf: add to a wide range of meat dishes (especially lamb/pork)
  • Leaf: add to baked potatoes or other baked veggie dishes
  • Leaf: make into herb butter for veggies
  • Stem: shape into barbecue skewer
unnamed-1

Add rosemary to baked/roasted veggie dishes for extra flavor! This is preventive health!

Household/Decorative:

  • Fragrant “skeleton” when woven into wreaths
  • Place fresh boughs into room to cool the air or make the leaves into potpourri & place around linens
  • Boil a handful of leaves in 2 cups water x 10 minutes for antiseptic solution for washing counters, bathroom fixtures, etc.
  • Use the stems on a BBQ to discourage insects

How to grow it yourself!

Rosemary Flowering

Site:

Sunny, protect from cold winds! Also, can grow indoors in large pot.

Soil:

Needs excellent drainage

Growing:

Transplant when large enough to handle and plant 2-3 feet spaces between plants. Can also be grown in a container indoors, as long as there is sunlight.

Harvesting:

Small amounts year round!

Storing:

Dry sprigs/branches, strip off leaves before storing, and crush leaves just before use.

My name is Emma Petshow and I am a 3rd year naturopathic medical student at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. For more about myself, check out my bio. This blog is intended for information about preventive health and lifestyle improvement. The information contained on this blog is not to be used as medical advice. For specific medical advice you should consult your physician.

Menu Decoder – Starbucks

Most of us strive to eat healthy, cook fresh foods, and eat out as little as possible! That being said, we all have those days where there is no time and grabbing something quick from a restaurant is the only option or maybe you want to go out to eat with friends and they pick a restaurant that does not have healthy food options! What do you do? What can you eat? This month I am decoding the popular coffee stop Starbucks! I am not going to focus on their drink menu, but I am going to stick to their foods!

url

Below you will find food guides to eating Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Low Glycemic Index, Low Sodium & Caloric based! I did the work and math so you don’t have to!

Disclaimer, most food at coffee shops like Starbucks are not really healthy or ideal, but this is a guide to purchase the best options if you are going to eat there and be smart with what you put into your body.

Gluten Free Options:

They are somewhat limited, but here is what you can eat if you are gluten free. Please note that there may be cross contamination, so if you have a severe gluten allergy, eat here with caution or do not eat here at all.

Breakfast:

  • Classic Whole-Grain Oatmeal
  • Oatmeal with Fresh Blueberries
    • You can add the brown sugar, dried fruit, or mixed nut topping if you are GF to either of those oatmeal options!
  • Evolution Fresh Greek Yogurt: cherry, fresh fruit & honey, & strawberry compote flavors
    • You can add the nut/oat mix if you are GF to any of the yogurt flavors!
  • Seasonal Harvest Fruit Blend

Meals:

  • Omega-3 Bistro Box
  • Hearty Veggie & Brown Rice Salad Bowl
  • Cheese & Fruit Bistro Box (GF if you DO NOT eat the crackers)
  • Protein Bistro Box (GF if you DO NOT eat the pita bread)

Dessert Options:

Flourless cookie at Starbucks! Who knew!

Flourless cookie at Starbucks! Who knew!

  • Flourless Chewy Chocolate Cookie
  • GF Marshmellow Dream Bar

Dairy Free Options:

There are a few dairy free options here. Again, eat here dairy free with a grain of salt as there may be and probably is cross contamination!

Breakfast:

  • Plain Bagel
  • Classic Whole-Grain Oatmeal
  • Oatmeal with Fresh Blueberries
    • You can add the brown sugar, dried fruit, or mixed nut topping if you are GF to either of those oatmeal options!

Meals:

  • Chicken BLT Salad Sandwich
  • Egg Salad Sandwich
  • Hearty Veggie & Brown Rice Salad Bowl
Hearty Veggie Salad Bowl. I have had this and it is really good and very filling!

Hearty Veggie Salad Bowl. I have had this and it is really good and very filling!

Dessert Options:

  • Flourless Chewy Chocolate Cookie

Low Glycemic Food Options:

Let’s say you are trying to eat only foods that are low on the glycemic food index scale. There are two easy ways of calculating a food’s glycemic index.

  • Sugar to fiber ratio… ideally 1:1
  • Carbohydrate to fiber ratio… ideally less than 10:1

Breakfast:

  • Bacon & Gouda Breakfast Sandwich
  • Classic Whole-Grain Oatmeal (can include mixed nut topping)
  • Egg & Cheddar Breakfast Sandwich
  • Oatmeal with Fresh Blueberries
  • Seasonal Harvest Fruit Blend
  • Spinach & Feta Breakfast Wrap
Starbuck's oatmeal is gluten free, pretty tasty, and a healthy breakfast option!

Starbuck’s oatmeal is gluten free, pretty tasty, and a healthy breakfast option!

Meals:

  • 8-Grain Roll
  • Cheese & Fruit Box
  • Chicken Artichoke on Ancient Grain Flatbread
  • Chicken BLT Salad Sandwich
  • Chicken Santa Fe on Ancient Grain Flatbread
  • Edamame Hummus Wrap
  • Egg Salad Sandwich
  • Ham & Swiss Panini
  • Hearty Veggie & Brown Rice Salad Bowl
  • Omega-3 Bistro Box
  • Protein Bistro Box
  • Roasted Tomato & Mozzarella Panini
  • Turkey & Havarti Sandwich
  • Turkey Pesto Panini
  • Wheat Spinach Savory Foldover
  • Zesty Chicken & Black Bean Salad Bowl

Need to keep down Sodium & Calories… This section is for you!

I am not a big fan of counting calories! I think there are more important nutrition factors to consider. Also, if you learn mindful eating and how to enjoy your food, calorie counting is almost not important. That being said, if you are trying to keep track below are meal options that are less than 500 calories (the most you should eat for one meal, when you are on a 2000 calorie diet).

Americans on average consume over 3300 mg of sodium per day. Ideally, you should consume less than 2300 mg of sodium per day! If you are 51+ y/o or have high blood pressure, diabetes, or kidney disease, you should strive to consume less than 1500 mg of sodium per day.

This can be hard to do if you don’t know how much sodium certain foods contain. Unlike calories this information is not listed anywhere easily accessible. I have created put together a list of Starbuck’s food options below that contain less than 500 mg of sodium, which is the MOST you should consume per meal.

 

**These meals also have less than 500 mg of sodium & are on the low glycemic index scale!

Breakfast:

  • Seasonal Harvest Fruit Blend (90 cals)
  • Oatmeal with Fresh Blueberries (220 cals)
  • Classic Whole-Grain Oatmeal with mixed nut topping (260 cals)
  • Egg & Cheddar Breakfast Sandwich (280 cals)
  • Spinach & Feta Breakfast Wrap (290 cals)
Spinach feta breakfast wrap is a pretty good option for a meal!

Spinach feta breakfast wrap is a pretty good option for a meal!

Meals:

  • Wheat Spinach Savory Foldover (250 cals)
  • 8-Grain Roll (380 cals)
  • Roasted Tomato & Mozzarella Panini (390 cals)
    • Has 630 mg of sodium
  • Omega-3 Bistro Box (420 cals)
  • Hearty Veggies & Rice Salad Bowl (430 cals)
    • Has 640 mg of sodium
  • Cheese & Fruit Bistro Box (470 cals)

Dessert Options:

**These desserts have less than 250 mg of sodium & less than 250 calories. They are not low on the glycemic index scale, but we are all allowed some sweets in moderation!
  • Birthday Cake Pop (170 cals)
  • Chocolate Cake Pop (140 cals)
  • Flourless Chewy Chocolate Cookie (170 cals)
  • Michigan Cherry Oat Bar (240 cals)
  • Petite Vanilla Bean Scone (120 cals)
  • Salted Caramel Cake Pop (180 cals)

Summary:

If you are going to grab something to eat at Starbucks with your coffee, use the above information as a guide. For a list of all the dietary info, Starbucks has a nutrition guide, which is somewhat user friendly, but you have to look at each item individually to find out what allergens and ingredients it contains! Here is my 5 step guide to eating “healthy” here!

  1. For breakfast, stick to oatmeal with or without the toppings. Starbucks oatmeal is gluten free and fairly health and fresh. Get the blueberry kind or add your own fresh fruit for a great serving of fresh fruit!
  2. Not an oatmeal fan, stick to their greek yogurt! All three are fairly healthy, actually tasty, and contain a serving of fruit!
  3. For lunch, pick between one of their salads or a low glycemic index meal!
  4. Stay away from most of their pastries! They almost all have gluten, dairy, a ton of sugar & sodium, and are high on the glycemic index!
  5. If you need something sweet! Stick to the dessert options listed above that are under 250 calories and 250 mg of sodium!
My name is Emma Petshow and I am a 3rd year naturopathic medical student at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. For more about myself, check out my bio. This blog is intended for information about preventive health and lifestyle improvement. The information contained on this blog is not to be used as medical advice. For specific medical advice you should consult your physician.
unnamed-1

My lunch today! Carrots, butternut squash, and sweet potato with olive oil, rosemary, and salt/pepper! Put in oven or crockpot with a little bit of water. Enjoy!

unnamed

A coffee lover discussing a place that sells coffee.. how ironic 🙂

What’s Fresh – October

“Buy and cook what is in season”, that’s what we are always told right? Besides just being trendy, the mantra is actually true! If you purchase and consume in season produce you will not only get the most fresh and tasty food and help the environment, but you will also save some serious $$$. Here is a guide to what is fresh in the fruit and vegetable world this month for local NW produce!

Be mindful that this list pertains mainly to NW residents. If you are from or living in a different location, click on the links below to create a list that pertains more to you!

October Food Challenge!

Make a Fall or Halloween themed meal, dessert, dish, or snack featuring some October What’s Fresh produce! Comment or message me your idea and I will feature them during the last week of October! You can also Tweet, Instagram, or Facebook me your meal idea using the #thisispreventivehealth

Fruits that are fresh in October!

Fruits that are fresh in October!

Veggies that are fresh in October!

Veggies that are fresh in October!

This varies and many herbs are fresh year round. You can also have an indoor herbal garden. These are some herbs that are fresh in October!

This varies and many herbs are fresh year round. You can also have an indoor herbal garden. These are some herbs that are fresh in October!

Later on this month, stay tuned for a recipe that uses What’s Fresh produce for its ingredients. If you want ideas for how to incorporate certain foods here into your diet let me know by leaving a comment!

Poll Winner from September!

You voted and peaches was the most popular fruit from September! Vote below for you favorite October fruit!

My name is Emma Petshow and I am a 3rd year naturopathic medical student at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. For more about myself, check out my bio. This blog is intended for information about preventive health and lifestyle improvement. The information contained on this blog is not to be used as medical advice. Please consult with your primary health provider before starting a new exercise regimen. For specific medical advice you should consult your physician.
Happy birthday to me! Off to have a weekend full of adventures and fun :-)

Happy birthday to me! Off to have a weekend full of adventures and fun 🙂

Tea Time – Calendula Tea

Try adding tea to your daily routine. Below is the tea of the month to try. Insert the tea in place of your morning cup of coffee or have it instead of a snack between lunch and dinner.

“Better to be deprived of food for three days than of tea for one.” – Ancient Chinese Proverb

A Pot of Gold Tea

(Calendula, Marigold)

marigold-tea-health-benefits-1024x568

How to?

FRESH

Take 1 teaspoon of Marigold flower petals and add to boiling water for 7-10 minutes (shorter for light tea, longer for strong tea). Strain out petals and enjoy.

DRIED

Take 1 teaspoon of dried Marigold flower petals and add to your cup of boiling hot water for 3-5 minutes. Strain out petals and enjoy OR use an infuser and drink away.

Benefits?

  • Heart health (prevention)
  • Reduces digestive distress & improves inflammatory bowel conditions
  • Decreases swollen lymph glands and encourages lymphatic circulation
  • General detoxification – great before flu season
  • Decreases menopause and menstruation symptoms, can help to regulate menstruation
  • Antibacterial and fungal properties to help fight of pelvic and bowel infections

WORD MASH

All of these are qualities of A Pot of Gold tea…

Antiseptic, Astringent, Antiviral, Antispasmodic, Estrogenic, Anti-Inflammatory, Bitter Tonic, Diaphoretic, Detoxifier, Diuretic

Sugar Cleanse - Day #17 By now I have adjusted to life with no sugar and the weird arm rash went away! I am excited to continue my sugarless journey! But I will probably have some on my birthday in a week. :-) Everything in moderation...

Sugar Cleanse – Day #17
By now I have adjusted to life with no sugar and the weird arm rash went away! I am excited to continue my sugarless journey! But I will probably have some on my birthday in a week. 🙂 Everything in moderation…

My name is Emma Petshow and I am a 3rd year naturopathic medical student at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. For more about myself, check out my bio. This blog is intended for information about preventive health and lifestyle improvement. The information contained on this blog is not to be used as medical advice. For specific medical advice you should consult your physician.