Category Archives: Tips for Healthy Living

Hemp Seed

https://cdn.authoritynutrition.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/hemp-seeds-whole-and-shelled.jpg

I recently joined a group that focuses on blenderized diets. Originally my goal was to share my experience in order to help others with g-tubes live healthier lives.  Little did I know I was going to need their help as well.  Because Matthew is getting older and in need of more calories but not able to handle large volumes, I posed a question to the group regarding “milks” that were high in calorie.  Hemp seed milk (something I hadn’t heard of) was on the list.  Since this was coming from a group of people that had lot’s of experience, I began looking into it.

What I found was, it is yet another super food.  So, as always, I dug deeper.  Here’s what I found:

  • Hemp seeds have 9 grams of protein per serving.  They contain all of the essential amino acids making them a complete protein.
  • They are a good source of iron and Zinc.
  • They are an excellent source of Vitamin E, Magnesium and Phosphorus.
  • There is also 2.8mg of Manganese which is 140% of the DV.

Hemp seeds are also over 30% fat but they are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 which is more than both chia seeds and flax seeds.  These fatty acids, in balanced proportions, have been linked to a host of health benefits“The typical American diet contains 14 to 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids, which many nutritionally-oriented physicians consider to be way too high on the omega-6 side.

The Mediterranean diet, on the other hand, has a healthier balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Many studies have shown that people who follow this diet are less likely to develop heart disease.”

One bit of information I found was very important to know.  Matthew has a condition called Chronic Thrombocytopenia.  Due to a severe infection he had at the age of 4, Matthew has a lower than normal number of platelets in his blood.  Since platelets are the part of the blood that allows clotting to occur, it is important for me to know that the oil in hemp seed may slow blood clotting.  this is why it is so important for anyone being followed by a physician for any medical condition should research any and all super foods that hit the market and, check with and/or inform your doctor if you have or are interested in adding them to your diet.

Sometimes people have g-tubes and don’t have a lot of other medical conditions so just trying out this healthy high calorie food.  Still others, like Matthew, are so complicated medically that research has to be done before even considering it.  Healthy or not, medically complicated or not, my treat all super foods the same.  See what is being said and check it against other websites.  Health food websites tend to only give the health benefits and not the side effects or contraindications.  Medical websites will sometimes do just the opposite.  I choose to look at both sides and decide whether or not it’s something that will benefit Matthew or make conditions worse.  If I am unsure, I check with his doctors.  I especially make sure to alert his GI doctor of any dietary changes I have made.  I also don’t give him anything I haven’t tried myself.

In closing, I follow the “less is more” rule.  In other words, just because a super food has some really enticing health benefits, ingesting lots of it can cause problems.  Look for sites that will give you therapeutic doses and stick to them.  Our goal is to stay out of the doctor’s office, not end up in one.

Papaya

Image result for papaya

Ahh, papaya!  I’ve come across two groups of people when it comes to this amazing fruit.  Those that love it and those that are, well…let’s just say, not so fond of it.  Whether you like it or not, it’s health benefits are impressive, to say the least, so finding a way of incorporating it into your diet is definitely a good idea.  You will often find papaya in tropical frozen fruit blends. Blended in a smoothie is a tricky way of sneaking it in if you ave a struggle with the after taste.  But that’s only 1 way.  There are lot’s of recipes to suit anyone’s tastes.
Aside from being and excellent natural laxative, papaya has some some pretty impressive nutritional facts . One cup of raw papaya contains:

  • 55 calories
  • only 8 grams of sugar
  • 3 grams of dietary fiber
  • 144% RDI of vitamin C
  • 31% RDI of vitamin A
  • 13% RDI of Folate
  • 10% (360mg) RDI of potassium

Papaya can also:  Promote digestive health, work as an anti-inflammatory, boost the immune system and much much more.

Food Tip:  When pureeing papaya, remove the skin.  It adds no nutritional benefit, can be bitter to taste and can contain latex can cause allergic reactions.  Also, for some reason, papaya goes from being a smooth, slippery, and easy to use in a bolus or pump feeding to this:

Pureed papaya with skin
Pureed papaya with skin

Yes I did that.  No, it does not bolus well (threatens to clog) and will not blend into my food-based laxative cocktail.  Chalk one up for experience.  So, in the end, if you have not tried papaya…Go for it!

Vitamix: Engineered to Last

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So why is the Vitamix the only blender I will endorse?  It is the Vitamix engineering.  Vitamix has an extensive history and a warranty that backs their claims.  And why not?  This company has been going strong since 1921!  Mine has been running strong since 2011 and I use it daily.  There isn’t another appliance in my house that I can say that about.  It is an investment into the health of my family.

Coconut Milk/Pros and Cons

As Matthew grows it gets harder and harder to keep up with his calorie need without adding more formula.  To complicate things more, in the last 2 years, his bowel has begun functioning much less efficient.  Because of that I tested him for 4 days with coconut oil to make sure he wasn’t allergic to it.  Once I saw that he was not allergic to it, I began making his oatmeal with fresh coconut milk I blend myself.  Since I had already done research on it, I felt comfortable giving it to him.  I will post that recipe and my recipe for coconut seed pudding soon.

Since there is a lot of confusion about the health benefits of it, I thought it would be good to pass on what I have read.  I feel strongly in educating myself on anything I eat but much more so for Matthew.  So many of us race off after every new “super food” that hits the news without looking into the particulars of it.  I tend to look for articles done with research behind them and, because of my medical background, articles written by MDs.  I know there are many doctors who are anti whole food healing but not all of them are.

I read this article about coconut milk and I felt it gave a good picture of the pros and cons of it.  Take a look and decide for yourself.

 

Watermelon

Despite popular belief that watermelon is made up of only water and sugar, watermelon is actually considered a nutrient dense food, a food that provides a high amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for a low amount of calories.
Watermelons have become synonymous with summer and picnics, and for good reason. Their refreshing quality and sweet taste help to combat the heat and also provide a guilt-free, low maintenance dessert for kids and adults alike to enjoy.
Along with cantaloupe and honeydew, watermelons are a member of the botanical family Cucurbitaceae. There are five common types of watermelon: seeded, seedless, mini (also known as personal), yellow and orange.
This MNT Knowledge Center feature is part of a collection of articles on the health benefits of popular foods. It provides a nutritional breakdown of watermelon and an in-depth look at its possible health benefits, how to incorporate more watermelon into your diet and any potential health risks of consuming watermelon.
Nutritional breakdown of watermelon

1-1244912058986lAlong with cantaloupe and honeydew, watermelons are a member of the botanical family Cucurbitaceae.
One cup of diced watermelon (152 grams) contains 43 calories, 0 grams of fat, 2 grams of sodium, 11 grams of carbohydrate (including 9 grams of sugar and 1 gram of fiber) and 1 gram of fiber. One cup of watermelon will provide 17% of vitamin A, 21% of vitamin C, 2% of iron and 1% of calcium needs for the day.
Watermelon also contains thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, choline, lycopene and betaine. According to the National Watermelon Promotion Board, watermelon contains more lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable.
Despite being a great source of the above nutrients, watermelon is made up of 92% water.
(Excerpt taken from Medical News Today. Originally published: Sunday 10/6/13)

Chia Seeds

Most of us are very motivated to live healthier lifestyles these days and rightfully so.  With problems such as obesity, diabetes, cancer and allergies on the rise, it would be foolish not to.  We are also very quick to jump on the band wagon when some new “super food” comes along.  It’s easy to do when all we hear and read is how our food is poisoning us and making us sick.  That being said we need to “KNOW OUR SUPER FOODS!”

Today’s topic is chia seeds.  When I was growing up, they were only good for growing pets at Christmas time (Come on now, we all remember the commercials).  So when the internet and airways became abuzz with how good these tiny seeds were for you, I got interested.  I read that they were high in protein and fiber and, because I’m always looking  for new sources of plant based protein for Matthew, I was eager to try them.  There were no instructions on the bag so I just tossed some in to a batch of Matthew’s oatmeal.  When his oatmeal became extremely thick, I decided to research them further.  I found out that they absorb about 27 times their weight in water!

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Dry chia seeds
After 5 minutes
After 15 minutes

So what’s the big deal?  If the seeds aren’t soaked first, people like Mathew could end up with a blockage because the chia seeds adsorbed the water out of their digestive tract.  So, before you add any new food to your diet, research, research, research!  If you have health problems, talk with you doctor.

Want to know more about chia seeds?  Check out this link:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/20141021/use-chia-seeds-with-caution-researcher-warns

New Promotion!

There is no doubt that buying a Vitamix can save you lots of money in the long run.  That being said, I understand it can be hard to finance a brand new one.  Don’t give up on your dream of owning one yet.  Vitamix has a new promotion on their certified reconditioned machines.  Vitamix offers a verity of options for financing their blenders.  So now there really isn’t any reason for not owning one.  Order yours today!

 

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The Vitamix Warranty

32oz container
32oz container

Yesterday felt like Christmas here at the Barton home.  My new 32oz Vitamix container was delivered!  The story begins like this:  Last week my daughter was making almond milk in the Vitamix and she heard a high pitched sound we don’t usually here when running the machine.  She let me know and I check it out right away.  I heard what she heard so I switched containers to see if it happened again.  When the sound didn’t return I turn my attention to the blade assembly on the 32oz container.  Sure enough the blade was not turning as freely as it usually does.  So we switched to using the 64oz container and called the company to let them know what was going on.

When we purchased the Deluxe Complete Kitchen it came with a 7 year warranty .  We added an extra year because we have a large family.  That gives us coverage until 2019!  I have never had any company back their product like that!   I ended up speaking to a very nice customer service representative who not only placed the order for my replacement container but also gave me great tips on nut butters easier to blend and remove from the container.  It was like talking to an old friend rather than a rep just trying to get off the phone to get to the next call.  This family owned company really knows how to take care of their customers!

Take a moment and click on the “Vitamix Coupon” in my blog roll and check out all they have to offer.  There is something for everyone.  Remember, if you order through the coupon link in this blog or over the phone with code #06-009912, you get free shipping with machine order.