August 2012 | Dr. Stephen Gullo

Monthly Archives: August 2012

Uses of Lemongrass

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Fresh Chopped Lemongrass Stalks

Image source: Thefoodaddicts.com

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon) is a tall, spiky, perennial grass plant. Native to India, it flourishes in pretty much any warm, tropical climate. You might think that eating grass is the sole purview of large, domesticated ungulates, but check out this post on how lemongrass can brighten up any dish, even frozen meals. It is used for both medicinal and culinary purposes. When crushed, it emits a lemony odor, but the taste is sweeter and mild. This herb contains a plethora of nutrients, including vitamins A and C. It also has calcium, potassium, zinc, iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium.

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Benefits of Goat’s Milk

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Baby Goat Prancing

Image source: Flickriver.com

As you might imagine, goat’s milk comes from a goat. If you’ve traveled to other parts of the world, such as Asia and Africa, you might have noticed that goat’s milk is much more popular in those places than in the U.S. In the U.S., you might have to search a specialty health food shop for it. Goat’s milk tastes slightly sweet, with an occasional hint of saltiness. It is not homogenized, because the globules in goat’s milk are much smaller than those in cow’s milk, and so they do not separate. If you have sensitivity to cow’s milk, you may be able to consume goat’s milk safely. Consult your doctor.

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Healthy “French Fries”

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Plate of French Fries

Image source: Recipes.howstuffworks.com

One large order of McDonald’s fries will set you back by 500 calories and 25 g of fat, along with 63 g of carbohydrates. And that’s before you add in the rest of your meal. French fries are just as much an American food as apple pie. We scarf them down at every opportunity, and quite often, they’re among the hardest things to give up on a diet. But by using food substitutions, you can still satisfy your French fry craving without sacrificing your waistline. Try some of these healthier faux French fries, from the obvious sweet potato wedges to the not-so-obvious shishito pepper fries. You’ll cut calories from your meal plan, while adding important nutrients like fiber and vitamins. Baking them instead of frying them will reduce the fat content.

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Get an “Expendables” Body

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"The Expendables" Cast

Image source: Usmagazine.com

Hollywood is always trying to one-up itself and find the next bigger and better thing. The latest trend is trying to stuff as many A-listers into the same action flick as possible. And they certainly succeeded with “The Expendables” and its obligatory follow-up, “The Expendables 2.” With an all-star cast featuring fighting experts Jet Li, Steve Austin, and Randy Couture, along with muscle-bound action stars Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, these films pack enough testosterone to please the wildest frat house. If you’re a bit jealous of all those pecs and bulging biceps, start hitting the gym. And don’t neglect your nutrition plan, which is essential for losing that beer belly and promoting healthy muscle growth. Check out some of the “Expendables” stars’ favorite foods to help you get started.

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Healthy Tacos: Better Ingredients

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Pair of Tacos with Veggies

Image source: Supertacosdc.com

Tacos have a reputation for being high in calories and saturated fat. And when you buy them from a greasy drive-thru, that’s usually the case. But if you try to ban them from your weight loss diet altogether, you’ll probably just end up craving them more. Mexican food can be quite healthy, as long as it isn’t smothered in cheese and sour cream, or stuffed with deep-fried fish or chicken. Using some simple food substitutions can cut the calories and fat from your favorite meal without sacrificing taste. These strategies might not get you the body of an Olympic track star, but they can help you meet your weight loss goals. As a general rule of thumb, increase the spices you use (chili powder, garlic powder, cumin) to boost flavor without having to add a ton of cheese. And if you prefer crispy tortillas, bake them in the oven – don’t fry them in oil.

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Lunch Workers Prefer Healthy Kids

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School Lunch Line

Image source: Markbittman.com

Just in time for the back-to-school season, some lunch workers have been hitting the books to figure out how to convince kids to eat healthy foods during lunch time. A school nutrition worker, Kern Halls, notes, “We don’t want healthy trash cans. We want kids who are eating this stuff.” To that end, schools are starting to add whole grains and more veggies to the menu options. But as every frustrated parent knows, putting a carrot on a kid’s plate and seeing him actually eat it are two very different things. One technique that Halls demonstrated was using a little ninja food swapping. For example, using a whole wheat tortilla wrap instead of a white flour wrap. Stuffing the wrap full of tasty veggies instead of eggs and bacon is another idea.

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Chocoholic Myth Unfounded, Study Says

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Hello I'm a Chocoholic

Image source: Luv4chocolate.com

Chocolate is the world’s greatest love. Women have long turned to chocolate for comfort when PMS symptoms strike. Chocolate cravings seem to magically increase around that time, but a new study says that the two are not related. Sorry, girls. Past studies that explored the issue asked women to recall past cravings. This study was different in that it questioned women about current cravings. The researchers analyzed responses from 35 women. They asked the women to return to the laboratory seven days prior to menstruation, as well as about midway through the cycle (the late follicular phase, before the egg is released). Needless to say, all the women who participated in the research had clockwork-like cycles.

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Xylitol: Natural Sugar Substitute

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Xylitol Products

Image source: Fitgirldaily.com

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol, similar to mannitol and sorbitol. It is a sweetener that occurs naturally, and it can be found in fruit, veggies, and mushrooms. Humans also naturally manufacture xylitol. Pure xylitol looks and tastes like sugar, and it is often marketed as a sugar-free sweetener. Xylitol also contains about 40% fewer calories than sugar, making it a viable alternative to sugar for those watching their waistlines. Xylitol is often added as a sweetener to sugar-free gum. Remarkably, dentists also approve of it. In fact, xylitol can help prevent cavities. It does this by inhibiting the growth of bacteria (Streptococcus mutans). Regular use of xylitol products can help change the quality of the bacteria in the mouth, resulting in reduced plaque formation.

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Horseradish for Your Immune System

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Horseradish Root

Image source: Familyherbalremedies.com

Horseradish is a member of the Brassicaceae family. It is related to cabbage, broccoli, and wasabi. Horseradish has been popular since ancient times. According to Greek mythology, the Delphic Oracle proclaimed horseradish to be worth its weight in gold. She must have been prophesying the perennial plant’s benefits for the immune system. Horseradish root has antibiotic properties that can be useful in treating pesky urinary tract infections. It is thought to also have diuretic properties. If you’re plagued by sinusitis and allergies, horseradish may also keep the doctor away by alleviating symptoms related to those conditions.

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Elisabetta Canalis Is Definitely Not Dieting

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Elisabetta Canalis in Black Dress

Image source: Stylebistro.com

Italian actress Elisabetta Canalis began her career as a showgirl on an Italian TV series. In addition to a few other TV and movie appearances, Canalis has also enjoyed a highly successful modeling career. Unfortunately, she’s still best known in the U.S. for being the former girlfriend of salt-and-pepper-haired heartthrob George Clooney. Elisabetta underwent some pretty severe media scrutiny after the pair broke up, and critics were crying foul for her supposed “revenge diet.” Elisabetta insists that she wasn’t on a revenge diet, and that she was in fact eating even more than usual just to try to keep the weight on. Since she was dancing for hours on end for “Dancing with the Stars” at the time, we tend to believe her.

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