Made with organic soybeans, fresh and local Ingredients

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Are You Lactose Intolerant?

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Well, if your body doesn't make enough lactase, then you probably are. Lactase is made by the small intestine. When lactose passes through your digestive system, lactase (an enzyme) is necessary for breaking down (digesting) the lactose. So if the lactase isn't there, or if there isn't enough of it--you get problems.

What kind of problems? Well, first of all--symptoms of lactose intolerance usually begin 30 minutes to 2 hours after you eat or drink milk products. Symptoms may include:
  • Bloating
  • Pain or cramps
  • Gurgling or rumbling sounds in your belly
  • Gas
  • Loose stools or diarrhea 
  • Throwing up
The best and easiest way to determine if you really are lactose-intolerant is simply to stop eating all dairy for a few days and see if these symptoms disappear. Then you can try adding small quantities of dairy back into your diet to see what your threshold is. 

If you determine that you are lactose-intolerant (and remember your physician is a good resource and should be consulted before making any major diet changes), then you need to find other sources of calcium. This is very easy. Calcium is found in numerous places. Here are just a few (and tofu is definitely one of them!):
  • Broccoli, okra, kale, collards, and turnip greens
  • Canned sardines, tuna, and salmon
  • Calcium-fortified juices and cereals
  • Calcium-fortified soy products such as soy milk, tofu, and soybeans
  • Almonds
More information can be found here: WebMd, Mayo Clinic and PubMed Health.

Here's to your good health!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Going Ginger. . .

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Ginger in slices, powdered, or however else you like it (I've taken the root and bitten off bites to prevent motion sickness on a trip to and from France and it works!)--is not only tasty, but extremely beneficial healthwise.

Take a look:

It helps eliminate congestion. So go right ahead and add a slice or two to your lemon toddy (half to a whole lemon squeezed and added to a cup of hot water and honey). Not only does it add yet another element of cold-fighting benefits, it also tastes great. The zing in ginger brings out the flavors of the lemon and honey.

According to this article in, this amazing root is anti-bacterial (even killing salmonella), contains anti-inflammatory agents, combats chills and fevers, has been shown to fight some cancers (breast, ovarian, colorectal carcinoma) and a host of other disorders.

It lowers blood cholesterol levels, stimulates circulation, has natural blood-thinning properties, and is therapeutic in the treatment of high blood pressure. So do you think that this tasty food may just be a blessing as it pertains to heart disease and stroke?

It also helps relieve headaches, reduces severity of post chemotherapy nausea, supports good kidney health, helps with morning sickness, and even promotes menstrual regularity.

The above is just a sample of all the purported health benefits. You can read more about it on the website cited above as well as many other resources, including: and

So what does ginger contain to be able to support so many aspects of our health? Well, it's high in potassium (which supports healthy blood pressure), it contains manganese (protects lining of heart, blood vessels), it helps assimilate calcium, and it contains iron, zinc, beta-carotene as well as vitamins A, C, E, and B-complex.

So next time you make a stir-fry, or broil salmon or chicken, or make a pot of tea, mash up some sweet potatoes, make a tasty and beneficial soup. . . add a bit of ginger (fresh is always best, but powdered is just fine) and know you're doing your body (and taste buds) good.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Jam-packed in macronutrients

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Soybeans are rich in nutrients. But have you ever heard of macronutrients? Since those in soybeans differ in some important ways from most other legumes, it's important to know what macronutrients are nutrients that provide calories or energy. Nutrients are substances needed for growth, metabolism, and for other body functions. Since “macro” means large, then by now you've probably figured out that macronutrients are nutrients needed in large amounts. The three macronutrients are: Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. As it turns out, soybeans are higher in both protein and fat than other beans and are relatively low in carbohydrate.

According to, soybeans get about 35 to 38 % of their calories from protein compared to approximately 20 to 30 % in other legumes. That's pretty significant when you consider that legumes are known as a high source of protein anyway.  The aforementioned article also states that under guidelines adopted by the FDA and the World Health Organization for evaluating protein quality for children and adults, soy protein isolate receives a rating of 1, which is the highest possible score. To put it in perspective, the quality of soy protein is equal to that of meat and milk proteins, which everyone recognizes as top sources of protein. But many people don't want or can't from a health standpoint get their protein that way.

Approximately 40 % of the calories in soy come from fat; most legumes (with the exception of peanuts) contain between two and 14 % fat.  Now keep in mind that the fat in soybeans is primarily unsaturated. The polyunsaturated fat content of soybeans contains linolenic acid (7% of the total fat content), an omega-3 fatty acid. This is important, because omega-3 fatty acids may be essential nutrients for infants and they may also help to reduce risk of both heart disease and cancer.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The wonders of lemon

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One friend of mine puts it on everything from broccoli to eggs. My daughter and I have been squeezing it on fish, salads, veggies and dips as long as I can remember. My yoga teacher told me that she’s been having it with warm water and honey as a beginning to her day and that she hasn’t had a cold in years.

A wonderful doctor told me many years ago--when I had a severe case of the flu for which I was nearly hospitalized--that one of the best things to decongest and clear the system is a lemon toddy--the juice of a whole lemon in hot water and honey. A folk remedy, she said, that along with many, many cloves of garlic in clear chicken broth, does wonders to combat colds, bronchial congestion, coughs, etc. So it looks like all of us are onto something. Intuitively, taste-wise, and good medicine-wise.

Most of us know lemons are full of vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant in our bodies, but that’s not all. Lemons contain a host of beneficial properties, including one that actually increases peristalsis (the bowel pumping action that helps us eliminate waste). As a detoxifier, it’s powerful medicine--particularly for the liver. And for those of us who take statins (that includes red yeast rice, btw), this is of particular interest. The liver’s job in our bodies is to filter out toxins. Think of how important this is! But once this has taken place, where do those toxins go? They turn into free radicals, which are harmful to the liver. So there needs to be a counter-balance. That’s one of the reasons vitamin C is so important. One of its functions is to counter this free-radical activity.  Further, when food is not entirely digested, some of it makes it way to the bloodstream and subsequently the liver, which puts a strain on this important organ. Vitamin C helps prevent food from entering the bloodstream and it helps clean the liver from toxin build-up.

In researching this post, I discovered some fascinating things about lemons that perhaps you didn’t know either. Did you know, for instance, that in addition to vitamin C, lemons contain healthy doses of flavonoids, B-complex vitamins, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and fiber? Not to mention 22 anti-cancer compounds (according to an article on Care2) that includes limonene—“a naturally-occurring oil that slows or halts the growth of cancer tumors in animals.  Lemons also contain a substance called flavonol glycosides which stop cell division in cancer cells.”

These are only some of the health wonders of lemons. (Here's one of particular interest to diabetics: lemon lower blood sugar levels when they are high.) So start your day off with a lemon toddy and get inventive with all the ways you can add this wondrous food to your daily life. Here’s a start:

Next time you make a stir-fry (with tofu, of course), add a bit of lemon juice just before serving. In fact, throw in some thinly sliced slivers of lemon rind as well. Or, of you prefer, slice a whole lemon in several very thin slices and either add that to the stir-fry just before serving, or top your dish that way. The thing is, you can hardly go wrong with adding lemon. Bake, sautee, etc. Bon appetit!