Yes Peter, sorry Doctor!

My specialist at the hospital is also called Peter, and last Monday I had my 3 month visit. A lot was well but some points, like my bloodsugar levels were up (again). I admitted I was drinking alcohol again, just a few glasses of beer in the weekend. But we also talked about nutricients and he suggested to look for healtier foods. I Googled some and was surprised by the results, especially number 1. I haven’t eaten spinach in a long time, ever since I had my gall bladder removed, I just couldn’t keep it down. The same thing that’s still happening with whole eggs. (Never wondered why there are almost no eggs used in the Thursday Recipes?!).

Here are 20 foods that offer the most benefits pound for pound than any other foods on the planet. They not only show up on our massive list of Superfoods they also make it onto plenty of top tens across the Internet, and several have long been known to provide plenty of nutrients and good things for the body. There are a few that you might not be familiar with, so consider this your introduction, and now you can get to know them better in the near future. Number 6 to 20 you’ll find on the PDF, just as the first five.

01-spinach1. Spinach
Much has been written about the virtues of spinach, and rightly so. It’s one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. It’s also readily available at most local supermarkets, and reasonably priced. You can get it fresh in the produce section, or you can buy it frozen in leaf form, and also canned in the canned veggies aisle. The main concern is getting more of it into your system so you can reap all of the positive benefits.

Benefits
Right away spinach is going to go to work for you, providing you with energy, and helping you to fill your stomach without adding a lot of calories to your daily intake. When you factor in the phytonutrients working as antioxidants you’re doing yourself a huge favor with the battle against free radical damage. Not to mention you’re helping to nourish your body on a cellular level, providing increased energy, and it aids any weight loss efforts.

Vitamin Breakdown per Cup – Raw, think fresh leafy greens
Vitamin A – 2813 IU – over half of what you need daily.
Vitamin K – 145mcg – almost twice as much as needed daily.
Folate – 58.2mcg – a good chunk of your daily requirement.

02-gojiberries2. Goji Berries
Many people are just finding out how good goji berries are for your overall feeling of well-being. You’ll want to find dried goji berries, and not simply rely on a juice or other product claiming to contain goji berries in it. They make a great snack to hold you over between meals, and when compared to drinking phony energy drinks, you can get actual energy from these, and also be introducing plenty of antioxidants into your system.

Benefits
Your immune system gets a dose of support when you eat a serving of goji berries, and you’ll also be helping yourself beat the onslaught of free radicals that occur as a result of a stressful environment and processed foods that don’t offer nutritional support to the body. The benefit that most of us would be interested in is the ability of goji berries to help us fight fatigue. It’s no wonder that our modern lifestyles have us burning the candle at both ends, and by eating food like these berries you’ll be increasing the amount of time it takes you to wear out.

Vitamin Breakdown per Ounce – Dried, the most commonly found version.
Vitamin A – 170% of your daily value.
Vitamin C – 20% not quite as good as an orange, but still good.
Protein – 4g – a surprising amount of protein for a fruit.

03-salmon3. Salmon
What makes this fish so special that it stands apart from all the others? It’s the omega-3 content that does it, and of course it has the benefit that most fish has of being high in protein. Many also prefer the delicate, not-so-fishy flavor of salmon to other fish. You’ll want to stick to Alaskan wild salmon to get the full amount of benefits, and make sure that you’re not eating smoked salmon as it does not have the same nutritional benefits as freshly caught and cooked.

Benefits
For those of you that are strength training, salmon will provide support to your muscle tissue with the protein it contains. The reason the omega-3’s are so important is that they provide vital support to your heart and circulatory system. You’ll also receive tertiary benefits in the form of increased memory function and a decrease in the likelihood of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. It also helps to make your skin and hair look their best.

Vitamin Breakdown per 100g – wild Alaskan, seek this out specifically.
Vitamin A – 9% of your daily needs.
Vitamin B1 – 13% of what you need each day, helps with heart health.
Protein – 20g – making this a fantastic protein source for those lifting weights.
Niacin – 42% of your daily needs, helps to keep your skin and hair tip-top.

04-avocado4. Avocado
If you’re not already a fan of avocado, you should try adding more of it into your life. It tends to be one of the more expensive items in the produce section, especially if you go the organic route. It can also be a little tricky to pick the right ones and then consume them before they go bad. But you don’t have to eat them everyday in order to benefit from them. Adding one or two a week to your diet would be a great start, and would keep costs down.

Benefits
One of the most referenced benefits of avocado is their amounts of healthy monounsaturated fat. It’s interesting that this is a high-fat fruit, as most of them are very low-fat or fat-free. These fats actually help you to lose fat, if that’s what you’re trying to do. They also help you to feel fuller longer, and are not the same sort of fats found in a cheeseburger. The carotenoid levels help with eye health, and avocados in general will help stabilize your blood glucose levels so you don’t hit dangerous peaks and valleys.

Vitamin Breakdown per 100g – Raw
Monounsaturated fat – 10g – This means roughly 10% of the avocado is healthy fat!
Vitamin B6 – 16% of what you need daily for proper metabolism.
Folate – 22% of your daily requirement, for heart disease prevention.

05-quinoa5. Quinoa
Known by vegetarians for several years now, quinoa has been catching on more in the mainstream as a tasty and filling way to complement a meal, or be the foundation of a meal. Even those that follow a no wheat diet can turn to quinoa, although it doesn’t quite appeal to those that have written off grains altogether. If you’re not familiar with how to cook it you can get up to speed quickly, and it’s now readily available at most supermarkets, where once it was a bit rare.

Benefits
You’re getting a quality protein without the cholesterol and fat that can come with animal sources. You’re also getting smart carbs that don’t register very highly on the Glycemic Index, so your body can process them without converting them to fat later. On top of that it doesn’t contain much fat, so you can eat this when following a weight loss plan, and it also keeps you under the limit for calories if you’re watching those.

Vitamin Breakdown per Cup
Fat – 1.9g – A low-fat count and low-calorie count make this a winner for dieters.
Folate – !0% of your daily requirement, good for maintaining a healthy heart.
Protein 4.4g – A relatively high protein level for a grain.

PDF of these 20-Healthiest-Foods-on-Earth

Remember, these are just the big dogs when it comes to the healthiest foods out there. You can make an effort to include them in your daily diet, but don’t think that these are all you can have. The best way to eat is by giving your body what it needs from several different sources, while still hitting all of the most important vitamins and minerals. Keeping it balanced is also important, and there’s no need to “overdose” on certain foods just because they’re good for you.

Largest HIV / AIDS Program Worldwide Launched

The Netherlands have launched the largest HIV / AIDS program worldwide aimed at gay men, drug users and sex workers and their partners. The program is run by seven organizations led by the Dutch AIDS Fund and will start in September. Besides the contribution of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, other sources contributed 11.7 million euros. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has released 35 million euros, which will give in 16 countries gay men, drug users and sex workers easier access to information, condoms, treatment with HIV drugs and care. It could mean a dramatic shift in reducing the number of HIV infections in these 16 countries.

The decision by the Dutch government to release money for the project is very important. It means a continuation of the ‘Dutch approach’ in the international fight against AIDS, with access to prevention and care, and central view on decriminalization of drug use, homosexuality and sex work. The only way to gay men, drug users and prostitutes to receive the care that is really needed. A good example of this care are integral needle exchange programs for injecting drug users. Many HIV infections are prevented this way. The Dutch approach is internationally recognized as very successful.

Vulnerable groups are 10 to 20 times more often infected with HIV than the general population. Only 8 percent have access to prevention, care, HIV treatment and support. In many countries there is legislation that access to care is difficult or [almost] impossible, such as laws that criminalize homosexuality or enabling sex workers who get severely persecuted. Provision of care for these vulnerable groups must go hand in hand with political pressure to change laws. The program will run in 16 countries: Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Botswana, Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Nepal, Pakistan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Brazil, Costa Rica and Ecuador.

There will be extra focus on gaps in existing projects. Thus, prevention programs on the “truck routes” in Africa often focus only on drivers. Sex workers are so far not reached by them. This means that there are still many infections taken place on these routes. The Dutch program is implemented by seven organizations: AIDS Fund / STI AIDS Netherlands, AIDS Foundation East-West, COC, Global Network of People living with HIV, Health Connections International, Mainline and the Schorer Institute. Along with 102 partner organizations in said 16 countries they will make the coming year 400,000 gay and bisexual men, transsexuals, sex workers and injecting drug users can be reached by teaching them about HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.

Open here the PDF: AidsFund_summary_keypopulations

Eat The Season – Watercress

Watercress Soup

Makes 6 servings

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes

Shopping List:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 potato – peeled and cubed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 pounds watercress, large stems removed
  • 1/4 cup whipped heavy cream (optional)
  • 1/2 cup watercress leaves for garnish

TO MAKE:

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat.
  2. Add the potato and onion, stirring to coat with the oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Reduce heat to medium, cover and heat for 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in the chicken stock and the milk, bring just to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
  5. Stir in the watercress and simmer, uncovered, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until watercress is just cooked.
  6. In small batches, transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
  7. Return the soup to the pot, season to taste, and ladle into individual bowls.
  8. Top each serving with a dollop of crème fraiche, if desired and garnish with watercress leaves.

ENJOY !

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 161
Total Fat: 8.9g
Cholesterol: 15mg
Sodium: 477mg
Total Carbs: 14.8g
Dietary Fiber: 1.7g
Protein: 7.3g

PDF of this recipe: 04-4_Eat_The_Season_Watercress

Eat The Season – Lamb

Grilled Spicy Lamb Burgers

Makes 4 servings

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes

Shopping List:

  • 450 gr or 1 pound ground lamb
  • 10 gr or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 6 gr or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 10 gr or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 8 gr or 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 5 ml or 1 teaspoon sherry
  • 5 ml or 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 5 ml or 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 2 gr or 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ gr or 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 gr or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 gr or 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 gr or 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 pita bread rounds
  • 115 gr or 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

TO MAKE:

  1. Preheat grill for medium heat.
  2. Place the lamb in a large bowl, and mix with the mint, cilantro, oregano, garlic, sherry, vinegar, and molasses.
  3. Season with cumin, allspice, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper, and mix well.
  4. Shape into 4 patties.
  5. Brush grill grate with oil.
  6. Grill burgers 5 minutes on each side, or until well done. Heat the pita pocket briefly on the grill.
  7. Serve burgers wrapped in pitas with feta cheese.

Note: You can also make them as small meatballs and baked in the oven… then served them with toothpicks and tzatziki as an appetizer.

ENJOY !

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 479
Total Fat: 22.4g
Cholesterol: 101mg
Sodium: 1004mg
Total Carbs: 38g
Dietary Fiber: 1.9g
Protein: 29.4g

PDF of this recipe: 04-3_Eat_The_Season_Lamb

Eat The Season – Spring Onion

Mongolian Beef and Spring Onions

Makes 4 servings

Prep: 12 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes
Ready: 30 minutes

Shopping List:

  • 10 ml or 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 8 gr or 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 gr or 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
  • 120 ml or 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 120 ml or 1/2 cup water
  • 145 gr or 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 455 gr or 1 pound beef flank steak, sliced ½ cm or ¼ inch thick on the diagonal
  • 30 gr or 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 235 ml or 1 cup vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 bunches green onions, cut in 5 cm or 2-inch lengths

TO MAKE:

  1. Heat 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat, and cook and stir the garlic and ginger until they release their fragrance, about 30 seconds.
  2. Pour in the soy sauce, water, and brown sugar. Raise the heat to medium-high, and stir 4 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce boils and slightly thickens.
  3. Remove sauce from the heat, and set aside.
  4. Place the sliced beef into a bowl, and stir the cornstarch into the beef, coating it thoroughly.
  5. Allow the beef and cornstarch to sit until most of the juices from the meat have been absorbed by the cornstarch, about 10 minutes.
  6. Heat the vegetable oil in a deep-sided skillet or wok to190° C or 375° F.
  7. Shake excess cornstarch from the beef slices, and drop them into the hot oil, a few at a time.
  8. Stir briefly, and fry until the edges become crisp and start to brown, about 2 minutes.
  9. Remove the beef from the oil with a large slotted spoon, and allow to drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.
  10. Pour the oil out of the skillet or wok, and return the pan to medium heat. Return the beef slices to the pan, stir briefly, and pour in the reserved sauce.
  11. Stir once or twice to combine, and add the green onions. Bring the mixture to a boil, and cook until the onions have softened and turned bright green, about 2 minutes.

Note: Add a tablespoon of Hoisin sauce to the reserved sauce.

ENJOY !

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 391
Total Fat: 12.1g
Cholesterol: 27mg
Sodium: 1862mg
Total Carbs: 54.7g
Dietary Fiber: 3.3g
Protein: 18g

PDF of this recipe: 04-2_Eat_The_Season_Spring Onions

Eat The Season – Crab

Crab Croissants

Makes 6 servings

Prep: 30 minutes

Shopping List:

  • 350 gr or 12 ounces cooked and flaked blue crabmeat
  • 160 ml or 2/3 cup blue cheese salad dressing
  • 80 ml or 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
  • 110 gr or 1 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 165 gr or 1 cup minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 55 gr or 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese
  • 6 plain croissants, split in half

TO MAKE:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the crabmeat, blue cheese dressing, mayonnaise, bread crumbs, onion, and garlic.
  2. Gently fold in tomato, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Asiago cheese can be folded into the mixture, or sprinkled over the top when serving.
  4. Spread about 1/2 cup of the mixture on half of each croissant, and top with the other halves.

Note 1: For those who don’t want to spend the money on fresh crab, you can use canned crabmeat, drain and flake it really well.
Note 2: You can substitute the Asiago with Swiss cheese.

ENJOY !

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 667
Total Fat: 42g
Cholesterol: 124mg
Sodium: 1221mg
Total Carbs: 45.5g
Dietary Fiber: 3.2g
Protein: 23.9g

PDF of this recipe: 04-1_Eat_The_Season_Crab

Eat The Season – Venison

Venison Wraps

Makes 4 servings

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Ready: 1 hour 35 minutes

Shopping List:

  • 225 gr or 1/2 pound venison tenderloin
  • 45 ml or 3 tablespoons zesty Italian dressing
  • 12 slices bacon
  • 60 gr or 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 12 slices pickled jalapeno peppers
  • 2 gr or 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt to taste

TO MAKE:

  1. Cut the venison tenderloin into 12 strips lengthwise.
  2. Toss with Italian dressing, and allow to marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
  3. Preheat a grill for medium heat.
  4. To assemble the venison wraps, lay a strip of venison on top of a strip of bacon.
  5. Place a teaspoon of cream cheese at one end, and top with a slice of jalapeno.
  6. Roll up and secure with a skewer. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
  7. Season the wraps with desired amount of seasoning salt.
  8. Grill for 10 minutes, then turn over, and continue cooking until the bacon is crisp.

ENJOY !

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 306
Total Fat: 22.3g
Cholesterol: 89mg
Sodium: 1210mg
Total Carbs: 2.1g
Dietary Fiber: 0.4g
Protein: 23.1g

PDF of this recipe: 03-5_Eat_The_Season_Venison