Posts Tagged ‘Natural’
Its not always easy to find natural organic products for the person who has already gone organic, so you can imagine what type of hurdle that might be for those who are still only looking to go organic. Many people, despite their good intentions, will balk at having to buy their weekly grocery supplies from a health food or specialty store.
Over and above the prohibitive cost you would more than likely incur, is the ingrained dislike of anything that is even remotely thought of as good for you. This naturally enough stems for our childhoods when good was almost literally shoved down our throats with the expectation that we would grow to like everything green and nasty tasting.
The funny thing is, that we do (to a very great extent there are a few exceptions!), but we would still readily enough cut off our noses to spite our faces and stay from our good resolutions to buy natural organic products if we had to find our way through a health food store.
Buying our natural organic products from our normal grocery store or supermarket almost makes it seem like a natural (if you will excuse the pun) exercise in grocery shopping. Sure our monthly grocery bill would go up, but we would still have the satisfaction of knowing that we purchased our natural organic products not from a health food store!
However, all of that notwithstanding, when you go to buy your natural organic products be it at the health food store, or the grocers around the corner, there are a few things that you will want to look out for, and these involve the small matter of seals. Not the marine or the army variety, but the variety which involves a stamp or a certification of some sort.
The most commonly recognized of these seals is the USDA seal of organic certification. There are many such different seals for the numerous natural organic products, but it is best if you first learn about them. For instance even though an organic product might be USDA certified, it doesnt necessarily have to have 100% of organic products contained within its packaging.
In fact, unless it specifically states on the packaging that you are buying a 100% Organic product, you will most likely be getting natural organic products which have only 95% of organic produce or even only a minimum of natural organic products contained within it.
As mentioned earlier, the easiest way to tell the difference is by carefully looking at the packaging of the natural organic products that you are buying. 100% Organic will give you (not unnaturally enough) a hundred percent of organic produce in your products.
A simple Organic, will yield over 95% of organic products in your foods, and the very misleading Made with Organic Products will be the one to give you a minimum of only 70% of organic products found within the bounds of the packaging.
Its not everyday that a person has the chance to change the way that they eat. You might try to do so, become healthier and eat healthier but in a great many ways you will be thwarted in this desire. This is why the benefits of organic food can have a far reaching effect on you, more so than you might have thought.
Why do I say this? Because even though you might try to become healthy and change your way of living, it is extremely difficult to do so in many circumstances. With the advent of more and more organic foods onto the scene however, it becomes easier to hold to your desire to live a healthier lifestyle. Why? For the simple reason that your healthy eating habits become even healthier when they come in the guise of organic foods.
As you can see, the benefits of organic foods are many and you need only to scratch the surface to start finding them. As you dig deeper you will find there are more and more benefits of organic foods, some of which you might not even have thought about.
So what are the benefits of organic foods? Well, to begin with, organic foods are produced in such a way that there are no chemicals in the growing process or in the case of animals, the rearing process.
No chemicals are introduced into the mix and only natural fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides are used. In the case of farm animals, only organic feed is given to them, so you can be assured that when you get organic meats or milks and things that the animals too are reared according to organic standards.
There are also other benefits to organic food which includes the exclusion of genetically modified organisms (GMO). GMOs to put it succinctly are foods which have had their genetic structure modified in some way or other.
While this might seem to yield many benefits in the field of agriculture by providing farmers with larger amounts of useable crops, no one still fully knows what the disadvantages are of modifying the genetic structure of living organisms. You need to look no further to find further such glaring deficits that science only found out about years after their regular and widespread usage, than to look at Lead and how bad we consider that to be.
To that extent, the benefits of organic food far outweigh the dubious goodness of non-organic foods, at least until the jury comes back in on that question. The only problem is the high cost of organic foods the medical costs that you might incur upon seeing your monthly food bill after going organic might put you off the many benefits of organic food until such time as they become less expensive!
Natural organic food is not for everyone. There are many circumstances where even the person who might like to go organic and consume only natural organic food and food products will be at a loss as to how to go about this in an economically viable manner.
The reason for this might seem self evident to some people, but the truth of the matter is that no matter how far organic food and food products have come down in cost, it is still bordering on the expensive, and most middle to low income families find it almost impossible to buy natural organic food on any kind of regular basis.
Therefore there has to be some impetus, a driving force if you will, behind their desire to buy natural organic food and the stumbling block of increased monthly outgoings. These factors vary from person to person and according to each personal situation.
For instance a middle income family with two teenaged kids and a toddler or baby might find that they have to make certain sacrifices to go organic. This can involve anything from cutting down on restaurant outings to cutting back on certain unwanted luxuries such as gourmet roasted coffee to redistributing the natural organic food chain within the family itself.
This can lead to mom and dad getting only a small percentage of organic foods, or none at all in their diets, with the bulk of the natural organic food and organic food products being purchased for their children.
This is of course in the cases where the benefits of organic foods have tipped the scales for parents, and where they want their children to consume less of pesticide and chemical fertilizer enriched food, and more of natural organic food.
It is also true that families without very young children, or one-person families, will also go to the extent of consuming natural organic food if the need is great enough or if they feel that it wont significantly change their easy lifestyle.
The one thing that remains steady throughout is the desire of more and more people to add natural organic food and food products to their weekly grocery bill, despite the considerable dent it would put in their pockets. People are looking more and more at what they are consuming, and are taking more of an active interest in finding natural outlets for this.
It was into this niche that natural organic food and food products crept into and took hold. These days, the mantra on the lips of many people is, eat healthy and live healthy. The diet and fitness revolution is truly upon the world now, but it is being crowded to a corner by the natural organic food revolution which takes things that one step further.
If you have not tried the simple pine nut, you will be amazed at the healthy punch this tiny nut packs. Its key benefit is that it suppresses hunger and tells your brain Thanks, but I am already full. Additionally, it slows the emptying of your stomach, again helping you feel full. These benefits are due to a powerful hormone called cholecystokinin (or CCK.)
Siberians used a handful of nuts to sustain them on long hunting trips and as a way to maintain their energy. Portable, tasty and offering a long-lasting fill, they were the perfect trail mix. Still today, in Siberia, a handful of pine nuts precede a meal, setting the stage for a moderate meal.
Pine nuts are delicious with a mild, nutty flavor and contain certain fatty acids that can help suppress hunger. One ounce of pine nuts (approximately ¼ cup) has 190 calories, 19 g of fat and only 4 g of carbohydrates. They contain more protein that any other nut or seed as well as a variety of vitamins and nutrients such as: vitamins E, B1, B2, and B3, beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A) as well as essential amino acids, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium and zinc.
Pinolenic acid is a polyunsaturated fat that encourages two hormones (including CCK) that suppress hunger. It has been studied extensively and is included in many appetite suppressing diet formulas. It signals to your brain that you arent hungry any more. These same hormones are included in both pine nuts and pine nut oil.
The secret of CCK
The secret to pine nuts effectiveness is cholecystokinin (or CCK) which is a peptide hormone gene expressed through the digestive tract, set off by food intake and released into the blood stream. The hormone sends a signal to the brain which indicates satiation. It is also believed that partial digested protein aids in the release of CCK. Pine nuts are exceptionally high in protein at 31%.
CCK has been studied at length since its discovery almost 30 years ago. Researchers have discovered that CCK is produced in the duodenum (the beginning part of your small intestine) after eating and sends the full feeling to the brain. It releases digestive enzymes from the pancreas, contracts the gall bladder and slows the rate of stomach emptying, helping you feel full. In fact, cholecystokinin means to move the gall bladder.
Other health benefits
Additional health benefits of pine nuts include:
Treats gastrointestinal problems
Promotes cardiovascular health
Addresses inflammatory and autoimmune disorders
Incorporating Pine Nuts into your diet
It is easy to add these versatile nuts to your diet in a variety of ways.
They can be tossed into a salad as a nutty addition. Or add them in your next pasta dish or soup for a mild crunch. Pine nuts are an essential ingredient to pesto or can be made into a simple, delicious dip perfect for pita chips or vegetable sticks. Or try them, raw by the handfuls, just like the Siberians.
The holidays bring with them thoughts of carving and serving delicious turkey dinners to your family and friends. Tradition has its fans, but perhaps this year you’d like to try a twist to your turkey recipe. If you have a gas grill and enjoy the smoky flavor of grilled meats, why not try grilling your turkey this year? It’s not only possible, it is rather simple. And it delivers a delicious flavored bird to your table. Plus, having the turkey on the grill instead of the oven leaves you with all the room you need to prepare the rest of your dinner in less time.
When you are ready to buy your turkey, the first thing to consider is the size of your grill. You don’t want a bird that is so enormous that it can’t fit on the grill rack. Ideally, the turkey you select should sit on the grill and the lid should close without touching the bird. If this isn’t possible, don’t worry, you can still grill your turkey. You’ll need some heavy duty aluminum foil and either a V shaped grill stand or another metal cooking instrument that you can safely use to prop open the lid of the grill.
Prepare and stuff the turkey as you normally would. Place it on the grill so that it is positioned over one burner that you can turn off. Turn that burner off and the other burner or burners on. Since you can’t really “flip” a turkey, you want the turkey to cook by indirect heat, not by a direct flame underneath it.
You get the smoky flavor by using wood chips. If you haven’t used wood chips before, they’re easy to use. You soak them in water so that as they dry out from the heat of the grill, they’ll release a flavored smoke that infuses the turkey. You can purchase a tray that is designed for putting wood chips on the grill or you can make one yourself from heavy duty aluminum foil. Take the wood chips out of the water and put them into your tray. Place the tray on the grill over the lit burner.
Next, close the lid fully if possible. If not possible, prop the lid up just enough to keep it from touching the turkey. Then cover the remainder of the opening with aluminum foil. If heat gets out you will probably have to cook the turkey longer. However, the foil creates enough of a barrier so the smoke is kept circulating inside the grill and flavoring the turkey.
The time required to cook the turkey will vary depending on whether or not you were able to close your grill completely. If you can, it will take less time. If you can’t, you might want to increase the heat on the other burner or burners to try to make up for the lost heat by having to prop open the grill. After a couple of hours, rotate the turkey 180 degrees to help ensure even cooking.
As with any method of cooking poultry, it’s important to make sure that the internal temperature of the meat reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Ideally you should use a meat thermometer to monitor the temperature as you cook. If you don’t have one, then you’ll have to check the readiness by poking the thigh with a fork or skewer. If the juices that run out are clear and the turkey has turned a nice golden-brown color, then you are ready to remove it from the grill. Consider glazing the turkey with a sauce you use on other meats, or possibly adding barbecue sauce to the traditional cranberry sauce as a condiment. Don’t be afraid to experiment – enjoy the new twist you’re putting on an old family tradition.
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