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Read this first before you hit up your next fast food joint. Fast food is super convenient when you've had a long, hard day at work or when your kids have so many activities that a healthy, sit down meal just isn't possible. But do you know what fast food is doing to your kids? Well, according to a recent health study, fast food in-take is linked to asthma in children. So, put down that double cheeseburger and read on to find out why you shouldn't go to that drive thru. 

New research from New Zealand, published in Thorax: An International Journal of Respiratory Medicine, found that there is a link between fast food and asthma in children. They looked at 319,196 teenagers from ages 13 to 14, and 181,631 children from ages 6 to 7, and compared them with diagnoses for asthma, eczema, and nasal allergies.

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They concluded that kids who ate fast food more than three times a week had a higher prevalence of asthma, while those eating fruits and vegetables at least three times a week had lower rates. In teenagers, asthma was also associated with higher intake of butter, margarine, and pasta.

The researchers pointed out that just because your child has fast food once in awhile, doesn't mean he or she will develop asthma. However, obese children are at a much higher risk for asthma. Researchers also note this study is still in the preliminary stages of their findings but the results, aren't really all that shocking. 

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It all goes back to moderation. Johnny can have a cheeseburger once in awhile but it shouldn't be a frequent occurrence. If you know there will be no time in the day to prepare a healthy, home cooked meal, plan it out and make dinner the night before.

When you and the rest of the gang get home from work and school, you can simply pop your dinner into the oven. If you don’t have a slow cooker- you should. These can be a lifesaver. There's a ton of healthy recipes online and in books. Let your dinner cook itself while you do other work. 

almonds-are-the-new-peanutsThese adaptations of almond butter will have you begging for more! Start using almond butter in a variety of recipes and you can reap the benefits of this nutritionally dense superfood. Almonds offer cardiovascular benefits not found in regular butter. They also offer a healthy serving of fiber which allows you to digest food. By using almond butter in recipes like soba noodles and steel-cut oats, you're hopping on the road to healthier eating patterns!

Soba Noodles with Almond Butter Shrimp

Use this recipe to impress friends and family with your healthy choices!
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces buckwheat soba noodles
  • 1/3 cup almond butter
  • 1 cup toasted almonds
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 to 3 Tbsp of lime juice (depending on preference)
  • 4 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp wasabi
  • Medium size chunk of ginger, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound of shredded napa cabbage
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 pepper: red, green, orange or yellow will work
  • ¼ shaved and cubed cucumber
  • Dash of sesame seeds

Directions:

  1. Boil water and cook noodles for about 4 to 5 minutes. Rinse noodles in cold water and drain.
  2. Combine almond butter, soy sauce, coconut oil, lime juice wasabi, ginger and sesame oil in blender and blend until mixture is creamy and smooth.
  3. Place noodles into pain and drain the mixture on top. Add vegetables, almonds and sesame seeds. Combine all ingredients and serve.

Steel Cut Oats with Almond Butter

Make this recipe the night before in a slow cooker and you will be pleasantly surprised!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: Overnight
Yield: 2 to 3 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups almond, coconut or soy milk
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • 3 Tbsp raw honey
  • ½ cup steel-cut oatmeal

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The newest cleanse fad is the ice cream cleanse diet, but is it healthy? According to sources, people are losing weight by eating ice cream and only ice cream for almost a week straight. Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? Experts say as yummy as it sounds, it isn’t that healthy. An ice cream parlor in Venice, California recently offered the four-day ice cream cleanse to those with a sweet tooth and looking to lose weight. But, what are the downfalls? 

Can Ice Cream Help You Lose Weight?

This California-local ice cream shop recently offered a four-day ice cream cleanse and people who did the cleanse said they actually lost weight. Their ice cream is organic, raw, and coconut-based (which means the ice cream is non-dairy), but it does contain honey.

Customers got five servings of ice cream a day in flavors such as Orange Crème and Master Cleanse (which has lemon, cayenne pepper, and honey) for $220. For that price, they also received a daily yoga class at the studio next door to the shop.

But the problem, experts say, is that because you are limiting your diet so much, you are missing out on essential nutrients that the ice cream just cannot provide. Also, anytime you eat less, you are likely to lose weight but many people who did the ice cream cleanse gained the weight they lost back. 

The cleanse consisted of coconut yogurt, orange crème, dark chocolate with Himalayan fire salt, the master cleanse and bee pollen, cinnamon and raw honey flavors. As kids, eating ice cream every day would have been a dream come true! But for now, you may want to just eat ice cream in moderation. 

instagram-eating-disorderA teen finds a unique way to kick her troubles away. Singapore teen, Ga Chin Lin, used the Instagram app to help her recover from an eating disorder. 

The 15-year-old wrote, “I used my love for food to pull me up and spur me on to a full recovery and now it has evolved into a full blown passion.” 

It’s not clear what eating disorder she suffered from, but the self-proclaimed “healthy and nourished lifestyle advocate” now has more than 78,000 followers who have joined the cause. She now provides recipes for amazing dishes like one she describes as “beautiful golden bronzed waffle with crisp burnished pockets.”

She revealed that she started small, but is now continuing to build her own brand.

“I started from researching recipes and basic food concepts and adapting them to make my own recipes. Now I’m beginning to branch out into creating my own.” 

She added that she loves natural foods, especially chocolate!

“I believe in and advocate body positivity, self love, nourishing one’s self and health in both physical and spiritual facets.” She describes her blog as a “humble” way to share what she loves.

What a way to give social media a good purpose behind it!

Photo Credit: Instagram

kohlrabi-recipe-a-dieters-dreamLast year, brussels sprouts were added to many restaurant menus in the U.S. So many menus in fact, that people are now tired of this green. Time for a new vegetable to be the star of the show! Kohlrabi, is it? Kohlrabi (kol-ROB-ee) is a vegetable that is high in fiber, low in carbohydrates and calories and has antioxidants that help fight cancer. In other words, this vegetable is a dieter's dream.

This spring and summer vegetable comes in two varieties, pale green and purple, but the purple kohlrabi has the same pale yellow inside as the green. Related to cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale and collard greens, the kohlrabi bulb and leafy greens can both be eaten. The round base looks like a root but is actually a stem. Aficionados say kohlrabi taste a lot like broccoli stems or radishes and can be substituted for any recipe calling for turnips or rutabagas.

If you cut the bulb into thin strips kohlrabi can be eaten raw in slaws and salads. Or you can cook the kohlrabi in a stir-fry dish, spring rolls or Indian dishes, to name only a few. Kohlrabi can be made into fritters, used in soups, roasted, or steamed. As you can see, kohlrabi is very versatile.

Be sure to peel the outer layer thoroughly with a vegetable peeler, and then peel the second fibrous layer, if there is one. More mature kohlrabi will likely be fibrous.

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I have just started to see kohlrabi on restaurant menus. The Lark Creek Restaurant Group, based in California, is showcasing hand-picked Dungeness Crab

kohlrabi, green apple, and pickled mustard seed.

Kohlrabi Hash Browns

Ingredients

  • 2 heads of kohlrabi, peeled
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Use a food processor to grate the kohlrabi. Place the grated kohlrabi in paper towel to squeeze out any excess liquid.
  2. Heat a skillet and add olive oil, then the kohlrabi. Spread into the skillet just as you would hash brown potatoes.
  3. Cook for 2-3 minutes over medium heat before flipping. Cook on the second side until the kohlrabi is browned on both sides.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve with yogurt and sour cream.


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