5 Reasons You SHOULD eat SARDINES…and why a sardine isn’t a sardine….

Image Source: LocalLemons.com

There is a funny little quote I came across from an 1984 issue of the U.S Town & Country magazine called “The Unsung Sardine”. The author, James Villas, harped on about the wonders of the tiny fish, stating that “ounce for ounce, sardines provide more calcium and phosphorus than milk, more protein than steak, more potassium than bananas, and more iron than cooked spinach.”

So let’s set the record straight.

The sardines you see being sold for 0.95c a can at your supermarket aren’t sardines!

In fact. A sardine isn’t really a species of fish!

WHAT!?

It is merely a term to describe a small version of the herring family.

So those oil slicked, overly fishy ‘sardines’ you are thinking of are more than likely a small oily fish.

But not a sardine.

A TRUE sardine will come from the pure Mediterranean waters (hence the name sardine after the island Sardinia).

And a GOOD sardine will be processed not long after being caught and won’t have that ‘odor’ so prevalent in most canned sardines that have been frozen before the tinning process has begun.

So as you can see, being relegated to the office storeroom to eat my sardine lunch is a sign of ignorance. Clearly these folks haven’t ever supped on the wonder that is a sardine. And boy, are they missing out!

WHY?

  1. They are a phenomenal source of omega 3’s. With the nutrient content of sardines including additional vitamin D, selenium and protein than your average fish oil tablet- I would say your money is far better spent investing in a tin of sardines over a pill, whose precious oils are probably rancid by the time it hits the shelf.  With oxidised fats being pro rather than anti- inflammatory, you are shooting yourself in the foot if you are taking an inferior fish supplement.
  2. They are sustainable. If you are worried about which fish to choose, check out this place. If you have a look at which canned seafood is the best choice, there are only two! Sardines and Salmon.
  3. They have little bones in them FILLED WITH CALCIUM, which you smash up and disintegrate and EAT. I once had a friend try to ‘debone’ a tinned sardine fillet only to cry out in frustration that they kept disappearing! Yep. They are fragile; you won’t taste them and are a true Superfood. (None of this dehydrated berry stuff
  4. FAST FOOD! They are ridiculously transportable and the best ‘on the go’ food I can think of. Particularly if you buy a good quality BPA FREE tinned variety in a yummy sauce or E.V.O.O. All you need is a lunchbox of salad/veggie assortments and ‘e presto’ whack open a tin, pour out the contents and you have your protein and dressing in one. Delish
  5. Consider them a ‘multivitamin’ containing, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese as well as the full gamut of B vitamins.

And finally…they are delicious.

SO. Before you turn your nose up at the humble ‘herring’, why not track down a true sardine and taste the difference for yourself.

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Is Red Meat Bad for YOU?

Image via themainmeal.com.au

Let me prelude this by saying that I have no interest in slaying vegetarians; particularly if you choose to abstain from meat for compassionate reasons.

This article is geared more towards the ‘health conscious’ seeker who feels compelled to remove red meat from their diet in an attempt to ‘be healthy’. Moreover, if you fear that red meat is bad for your health, read on, most of the research regarding red meat consumption highlights nothing.

Ok ok, so this study published by the Harvard School of Public Health that associated red meat to higher rates of mortality did come out earlier this year BUT I still get girls, guiltily telling me how they ate a steak/lamb chop as if it were a whole bar of chocolate.

If you take a superficial glance at the research, then the evidence does really suggest that eating a lot of red meat isn’t exactly going to help with longevity. The study that examined 37,000 men and 83,000 women demonstrated that those with higher red meat consumption had a higher rate of heart disease, certain cancers and type 2 diabetes.

BUT before you opt to boycott your local butcher HOLD UP!

If you take a closer look at what WASN’T published in the mainstream media you are in for a reality check.

Let’s see how the researchers tested for the ‘dangers’ of meat.

Through complex lab work?

I think not.

Rather it was

.. a survey.

While I love a good survey I also know that they can not possibly come to a decisive conclusion in regards to red meat and bad health.

Guilt by association maybe.

Now if we take a look at another fair observation from one of the researchers in which;

 “….a higher red meat intake was associated with a higher intake of total energy but lower intakes of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.”

Perhaps we can see another major flaw in the ‘red meat is bad’ theory. For me, this doesn’t highlight the dangers of meat, rather the potential that the lack of other vital nutrients in their diet were at play in their negative health.

Further to the point. Was all the red meat clumped together in one category?

Pasture raised, organic meat or a fast food hamburger patty?

The quality of each product and its nutritional makeup renders the two food items completely incomparable.

As one of my FAVOURITE nutrition researchers, Alan Aragon, stated

“This whole idea of pointing the finger at a single dietary culprit in the development of a multifactorial outcome is hilariously preposterous. People who eat a lot of red meat regularly, he explains, tend to have unhealthy habits—smoking, drinking, less exercise—have higher BMIs, and eat fewer disease-protective fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.”

What to take from the study:

You can choose whether or not to eat red meat.

Personally, if it makes you feel nourished, then eat it.

But don’t let this study make you think that red meat is dangerous.

Variety is key. Too much of anything is bad.

Move around, eat the veggies and fruit you digest with ease and get a good night sleep!

(Oh and be happy…)

What’s the ‘healthiest’ way to eat MEAT? + a recipe!

I am all for cooking up an ample carcass of protein and gelatinous bone goodness, (cue the smell of lamb shanks, osso buco and roast chicken to name but a few) but in this contemporary state I am in at the moment (you too? Get out!) Sometimes slow cooking meat on the bone isn’t feasible

especially when you get home and you want dinner stat.

This is where my creativity with chicken breasts is put to work – like most Australians (I recall Masterchef stated we ate 45kg per person per YR!) I find chicken massively convenient and easy to impart well-known flavors upon. My main priority when cooking meat in a hurry, is to ensure I cook it without charring it to within an inch of its life.

Barbequing on the whole isn’t the best method of meat consumption every day– as the very nature of ‘charring’ your meat produces cancerous Hydrocarbons and Amines that cause massive oxidative stress on your body. That being said- I will NEVER say no to a good barbecue. How UN- Australian 😉

In order to combat any worries of potential ‘cancer causing’ agents- I get my hands dirty.

Really dirty.

And massage my meat with an awesome marinade.

…marinating not only boosts flavor but also reduces the formation of these Amines and Hydrocarbons – quite significantly.

Interestingly some scientists at the Food Safety Consortium project at Kansas State University have discovered that herbs of the Lamiaceae family (Basil, Mint, Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, and Sage) used in marinades reduced the formation of free radicals rather well.

So when it comes to quick meat dishes in a flash here are

3 RULES

1.  Marinade– Delicious and easiest way to avoid cancer-causing compounds. Some research even shows that marinating for 30 minutes can reduce the formation of these compounds by 90%!

2. Lean Protein Cuts – Cuts of meat with less fat are less likely to drip fat and flare the BBQ flames all over your juicy steak.

3. Don’t burn the S*&t out of your meat – tone it down please.

And with that said – here is my chicken marinade, using turmeric, the humble spice with amazing anti-inflammatory properties and even shown by the Cancer Research Centre in Hawaii to reduce cancer causing Amines by a half!

… for an extra side of delicious, my peanut free satay sauce. One word. YUM.

Chicken Marinade INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 tablespoons tamari

1 1/2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon fresh grated turmeric

2 garlic cloves, crushed

500gm Chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces

METHOD

Mix your marinade ingredients together and rub into your chicken breast

Let stand for 30 minutes or overnight

Heat up your pan with some coconut oil and over low heat, cook your chicken until done!

Satay Sauce INGREDIENTS

2 cm piece fresh ginger, chopped

1 brown onion, chopped

1 clove garlic

1 tablespoon macadamia or coconut oil

1 teaspoon good quality curry powder

1 tablespoon tamari sauce

¼ cup almond butter or tahini

1 teaspoon chilli flakes

1 teaspoon stevia (or 2 teaspoons of honey)

1 cup coconut milk

METHOD

Process together the ginger, onion and garlic in a mini food processor.

In a pan on low heat, fry the above mixture in coconut oil for a few minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add curry powder and tamari and stir well before adding almond butter, stevia and chilli flakes.

Add coconut milk to almond sauce and stir thoroughly until the sauce is smooth. Cook on low heat for 2 minutes – remove from heat and serve with your chicken!

Don’t forget some veggies. 😉

 

Beauty Food for Cellulite

'German Split Pea Soup (Erbsensuppe)' photo (c) 2009, thebittenword.com - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

 

Everyone wants to rid their cellulite – it is without a doubt the most common query that arises in my inbox.

Without wanting to sound like a television commercial-

‘cellulite happens’

and while there is no pinpoint solution, there are so many mechanics within your body that you can support in order to even out your skin tone down there.  Seriously.

Firstly, cellulite does not occur simply from excess fat – I know of many a skinny girl who is covered in the stuff.

Celullite is

– Hormonal (too much estrogen)

– Genetic (dam)

– Lack of connective tissue (food to the rescue)

And with many people taught to choose skinless and boneless meat cuts for fear of animal fat there is little wonder that they will ever develop the connective tissue they desire.

Collagen-rich bone broth will give your skin the equipment that it needs to help itself. This is why I love a good osso buco, lamb shank stew or bowl of authentic chicken soup. Anything where you add animal joints to a meal will increase the collagen content – and boy does it taste nice too!

Gelatin rich bones are fantastic for boosting your ow collagen. Gelatin, essentially the cooked form of collagen, is also a much cheaper form of botox if you were thinking of going down that route…

Traditionally diets were filled with gelatin, as most people knew the importance of stewing a whole joint of meat in order to extract the full array of minerals and amino acids from the meal (and also to prevent wastage!). Today, we remove all the ‘offending’ bones, meaning we miss out on integral nutrients, nutrients that help to pacify inflammation – it is little wonder why we always get sick!

Now while it is all very well to make your own bone broth and wack it into your diet- why not incorporate the bone into a recipe?

Below is my recipe for sexy skin:

a gelatinous, creamy soup that melts in your mouth..perfect for these colder winter nights.

Cauliflower & Ham Hock Soup

Serves:

4-6

Ingredients:

1 onion, sliced

1 Head of Cauliflower roughly chopped

1 Litre (4 cups) water (can add more if you want a thinner soup)

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 sprig of fresh thyme

1 ham hock

2 carrots, diced

1 cup sliced celery

Celtic sea salt to taste

cracked black pepper to serve

Method:

  1. Put the onions, water, pepper and thyme into a large saucepan.
  2. Add the ham bone, bring slowly to the boil, reduce heat and simmer half-covered for an hour.
  3. Add the carrots celery, cauliflower and cook for another hour.
  4. Remove thyme and discard.
  5. Take out the ham bone, cut all meat from the bone removing any skin, shred the meat up.
  6. Allow the soup to cool and with a barmix, blend the soup until creamy.
  7.  Return all the meat back to the soup. Prior to serving add a dash of salt and cracked black pepper.

If you let this cool and let it sit in the fridge- the next day you may notice that your soup has turned to jelly.

That’s gelatin.

That’s what you want.

Rest assured once you heat it up- the soup will melt back into a creamy consistency.

And on a plus side- this soup is excellent to transport to work because you are guaranteed it won’t leak into your handbag. 😉