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Archive for the ‘Inside the Body’ Category

It’s become a bit of an invasive term these days: GMO. It seems to appear everywhere and it places it wasn’t found before: cooking shows, mainstream magazines, daily news broadcasts. What is a GMO as it pertains to food? Should it concern you? How can it influence a healthy diet? I just had to know…so I researched until my curiosity was satisfied and now I will share what I’ve discovered with you!

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To the Aztec and Mayan peoples, the word ‘Chia’ meant strength—not surprisingly, this crop helped these civilizations survive. It is a sustainable crop with a high germination rate, which means its relatively easy to grow. These fortunate cultures figured this out and chia became an everyday kind of item.

What I adore about Chia seeds is that they are high in oil—35% of each seed is oil. Of this oil, a full 20% of it is of the  omega-3 variety. Which, as you may well be aware, is an essential fatty acid )(meaning the body can’t produce it on its own). Although omega-6 is also an essential fatty acid, it is not quite as special—this essential fatty acid is readily available in Western diets (in corn and soybean oil, for example) while omega-3 is not. As well, many of us have far too much omega-6 in our diets and unfortunately, omega-6 can contribute to inflammation throughout the body. Omega-3, however, actually  helps reduce inflammation. (more…)

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The safflower is a member of the sunflower family and lives up to its name, having yellow, ray-like petals that explode forth in a bright sunburst of a flower. Safflower oil is expressed from the seeds of this plant. There are two types of safflower oil: monounsaturated safflower oil and polyunsaturated safflower oil. Each variety has unique properties that make it suitable for various uses of uses, ranging from use as a cold oil in dressings, to the healthiest oil for frying, to cosmetic and skincare applications, to a mixing medium for oil paints.

But what are the differences between the two varieties of safflower oil? And how to consume each? (more…)

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Nothing like flowers to quiet the mind and a walk to pique the appetite. That’s how I find myself here—I have plans to make sautéed kale, mushrooms, and rice for lunch and have been hunting online for the best way to cook kale. As I learned today, kale is on the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) list of fruits and vegetables with the highest levels of pesticides and should always be bought from an organic farm or distributer (Click here to view the EWG’s list—in printable, wallet-sized format).

Kale is an Extremely Important Vegetable (one of the best, in fact). It is very high in cancer-preventing antioxidants, helps the body eliminate toxic chemicals, lowers cholesterol levels, and helps to reduces inflammation throughout the body. A super-vegetable! You can find out more about kale here, at the very comprehensive WH Foods website.

In Canada you can almost always find organic kale at Loblaws and most certainly at the St. Lawrence Market farmer’s market or the market at the Evergreen Brickworks.

So, the best way to cook kale? Steam it for 5 minutes. Or, as I will, steam for 5 minutes, sauté with mushrooms for a minute or so, toss with rice bran oil, and enjoy with a side of brown rice. And a glass of chardonnay!

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