Healthy Bedtime Snacks

Do you sometimes get some hunger pangs close to bedtime? Wondering what would be good to eat and not sabotage your weight loss goals or healthy eating plan? Here is a video segment explaining a few snack options for just before bed:

http://www.fox4beaumont.com/news/features/setx-live/stories/doneane-talks-nighttime-snacks-1945.shtml

The rule to follow about eating during evening hours is to eat your last meal MORE than 2 hours before going to bed. Digestion slows to a crawl as you sleep, and anything eaten soon before laying down does not effectively get digested. So your last meal of the day should be backed up to occur well before that 2 hour window.

But, if you should feel hungry just before bed, try drinking a glass of room temperature water to see if it quenches your hunger. If not, some healthy bed time snack options are:

2 cups of air popped pop corn (no butter!)

2 slices of natural cheese

a small apple and 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter

a few carrot sticks or celery stalks, dipped in hummus

4 ounces of cottage cheese

4 ounces of Greek yogurt (option: add a few blueberries or a bit of granola)

Each of these snacks should calm down the feelings of hunger, and should not impede your ability to fall asleep.

If you are eating six small meals a day as most nutritionists suggest (myself included!) then you should not feel hungry at bedtime, unless you had a hard workout or some other activity that revved up your system just before time to call it a night. If so, try one of the above options!

~ Doneane

Bone Broth: The Naked Truth

Bone broth is one of those old family recipes or home remedies that some of us may have been force fed as kids. But recent nutritional research shows that this concoction is really good for you! And it is very simple to make. If you watched the video on my Facebook page, you saw my recipe which makes a great beef stew along with the bone broth. The link to the video is here:

http://www.fox4beaumont.com/news/features/setx-live/stories/bone-broth-health-1929.shtml

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Yum! The above images are of my batch in progress over Valentine weekend!

The basic recipe is below:

Ingredients

  • 3-4 pounds beef marrow and knuckle bones
  • 2 pounds meaty bones such as short ribs
  • ½ cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • 4 quarts filtered water
  • 3 celery stalks, halved
  • 3 carrots, halved
  • 3 onions, quartered
  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • Sea salt

Method

  1. Place bones in a pot or a crockpot, add apple cider vinegar and water, and let the mixture sit for 1 hour so the vinegar can leach the mineral out of the bones.
  2. Add more water if needed to cover the bones.
  3. Add the vegetables bring to a boil and skim the scum from the top and discard.
  4. Reduce to a low simmer, cover, and cook for 24-72 hours (if you’re not comfortable leaving the pot to simmer overnight, turn off the heat and let it sit overnight, then turn it back on and let simmer all day the next day)
  5. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, throw in a handful of fresh parsley for added flavor and minerals.
  6. Let the broth cool and strain it, making sure all marrow is knocked out of the marrow bones and into the broth.
  7. Add sea salt to taste and drink the broth as is or store in fridge up to 5 to 7 days or freezer up to 6 months for use in soups or stews.

Bone broth can be made from any type of bone: beef, poultry or fish. Just be sure that whatever type of bone you choose to use, that is comes from cows/chickens/turkeys that have been raised free-range, grass fed, and antibiotic/hormone free, and fish that are wild caught.

The benefits of bone broth are not only increased immunity, but ease in joint pain, strength for your bones, and benefits to your hair, skin, and nails, as follows:

Helps heal and promote healthy digestion: The gelatin found in bone broth is a hydrophilic colloid. It attracts and holds digestive juices,  which supports proper digestion Wards off infection: if your gut is healthy, so is your immune system,  which can keep cold and flu viruses at bay
Reduces joint pain and inflammation: from chondroitin sulphate, glucosamine, and other compounds extracted from the cartilage Fights inflammation: Amino acids such as glycine, proline, and arginine all have anti-inflammatory effects. Glycine may help you sleep better
Promotes strong, healthy bones: the high amounts of calcium, magnesium, and other nutrients that play an important role in healthy bone formation are in plenty of supply in a helping of bone broth Promotes healthy hair and nail growth: from the gelatin in the broth

Eating for Brain Health

In case you missed my TV segment last week, here is the information about the MIND diet which has been named one of the top diets for 2016, according to U.S. News and World Report, which analyzed 35 different eating plans.

Out of all the diseases out there that we are at risk for, either genetically or environmentally, the one that frightens me the most is Alzheimer’s (and other forms of dementia or cognitive decline). I have personally seen members of my own family suffer, and have numerous friends who have also experienced this devastating condition in their families. If there is anything we can do to prevent this, I am all for it!

This eating plan is a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH diets, both of which are heart healthy and good for lowering blood pressure. This plan focuses on foods that have been scientifically proven to protect the brain, lowering the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by 53%. The great thing about it is that it is very easy to follow. And even if you are not concerned about Alzheimer’s and other forms of cognitive decline, this is a really healthy way to eat.

The following brain healthy food groups are included on this eating plan:

  • Leafy greens (at least 6 servings per week)
  • Vegetables (at least 1 per day)
  • Whole grains (at least 3 per day)
  • Nuts (5 servings per week)
  • Beans (at least 3 servings per week)
  • Berries (at least 2 servings per week)
  • Fish (once per week)
  • Poultry (twice per week)
  • Olive oil (use as your mail oil)
  • Red wine (1 glass per day)

The following foods are to be AVOIDED:

  • Red meat
  • Butter/margarine
  • Cheese
  • Pastries and sweets
  • Fried or fast foods

While researchers admit that there is still a great deal of study to be done in this area, this eating plan has already been proven through scientific research to benefit brain health. And be choosy in what you purchase — try to find produce which is organically produced and without pesticides (which harm your brain and other organs), purchase wild caught fish (NEVER farm raised as this produces unhealthy fat in the fish), and poultry that is “free range” (beware of “cage free” which does not always mean free range!).

I don’t know about you, but I want my Golden Years to be enjoyed with a healthy body AND brain!

~ Doneane