Alkaline-Acid pH Balance 101 in 9 minutes

acidic-alkaline-phchart

Have you heard about acidity and alkalinity as it relates to diet and been a little confused about how it all works? The benefits of moving towards a more alkaline diet are convincing and the impact of an overly acidic diet can be seen is so many of our common and chronic health conditions. Check out this video…the following 9 minutes may finally convince you that leafy greens are fabulous and explains why even though lemon tastes acidic, it’s an alkaline wonder.

Alkaline-Acid pH Balance Explained

Enjoy!

THE DAILY DL (Dalai Lama)

“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” 

– Ann Wigmore

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Got the Flu? Feeling Sick? Think twice before you reach for Orange Juice.

It’s pretty common practice to drink Orange Juice when feeling a little under the weather, right?

OJ

Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant, increases iron absorption, and is well-regarded for its role in supporting and protecting the immune system.  There are countless foods that are chalked full of Vitamin C (check here for a comprehensive list) and it’s true that Orange Juice is high up on the chart – so why should OJ actually be avoided when sick?

Sick Young Woman Lying in Bed

Vitamin C is absorbed into the blood stream via a receptor called GLUT-1 which is also a major receptor for glucose (sugar).  Since Orange Juice is quite high in sugar when you drink a glass of OJ, both the sugar and Vitamin C end up competing to be taken into the blood stream via the GLUT-1 receptor and therefore less will be received.  By removing the fiber from fruit, the sugar is quickly absorbed and causes the absorption of Vitamin C to be compromised.

Vitamin C Fruits

With the fiber in tact, the sugar absorption will be slow and steady making room for more Vitamin C to find its way into your blood stream through the GLUT-1 receptor.  If you’re looking to increase your intake of Vitamin C, try going for whole food based choices like bell peppers, kiwis, broccoli, strawberries, papaya, kale, cantaloupe, pineapple, and of course…oranges!

THE DAILY DL (Dalai Lama)

“A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools.” 

– Spanish Proverb

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Maca Powder 101 In 100 Words

What’s the dealio with Maca Powder?  The powder actually comes from the root of the Lepidium Meyenii plant (aka Maca Root) which is grown in the high altitude areas of the Peruvian and Bolivian Andes.

Maca Root

Maca Root

Interestingly, Maca is sometimes called Peruvian Ginseng and the form you’ll most often see marketed is as a powder – which is why it’s often added to smoothies and shakes.  It’s helpful at increasing energy without giving you the jitters that often accompany the consumption of caffeine.

While Maca is known for improving the quality and quality of sperm, it was hard for me to find conclusive evidence that pointed to an absolute and positive connection between the use of Maca powder and improved fertility.  Some studies said yes while others said not so much but that being said, it’s a very popular herbal supplement for those looking to boost their chances of conceiving.  It seems that Maca powder is a hormone stabilizer and endocrine system toner that may decrease symptoms of PMS and menstrual cramps as well as reduce hot flashes in menopausal women.

Navitas Maca Powder

So, while there hasn’t been a lot of research done to positively confirm the proposed health benefits of Maca I would say it can’t hurt!  Try adding a couple of tablespoons to your smoothie – my favourite product is Raw Maca Powder by Navitas Naturals or you can actually get powder from Bulk Barn if you’re shopping on the cheap.

THE DAILY DL (Dalai Lama)

“Water is the most neglected nutrient in your diet, but one of the most vital”

– Julia Child

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Weekly Recipe Roundup: Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf, Chickpea Burgers, and Blueberry Banana Pancakes

It’s been a busy past few weeks and over here at The Health Junction, the kitchen has been in full swing making and testing new recipes.  Here are a few healthy takes on traditional recipes to kick off 2013!

PoppySeed Loaf

Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf

A while back, my friend Melissa made a delightful dinner and praised “The Looneyspoons Collection” by Janet and Greta Podleski for the array of delicious recipes she had created.  Luckily, Santa brought me this book for Christmas and I’m glad he did – it is a staple for any kitchen.  Here is my take on Poppy Love (page 305):

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oat bran
  • 1/4 cup milled flax seeds
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup almond, soy, or rice milk (you could use regular milk too)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut butter or regular butter.
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest

Directions:  Mix flours, oat bran, milled flax seeds, poppy seeds, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.  Combine the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and pour into a loaf pan.  Cook at 350 for 45 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes, remove from pan and let cool completely.

Chickpea-Burgers

Chickpea Burgers

I like this recipe so much because it’s a vegetarian recipe that is actually filling and satisfying….and it was approved by a picky non-vegetarian.  Chickpeas are an excellent source of insoluble fiber and for that reason is a great food for intestinal health.  They are also a good source of anti-oxidants, phytonutrients, and offer one of the best food combinations available – protein and fiber which means chickpeas are idea for blood sugar regulation…horray!

  • 1 x 19 oz can chickepeas
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/3 cup grated onion
  • 1/3 cup grated carrot
  • 3 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs

Directions:  drain chickpeas and put in a medium-sized bowl along with tahini and eggs.  Process it with a food processor or hand immersion blender.  Pulse till smooth but still a little bit coarse.  Add onions, carrots, cilantro, curry, salt and mix well.  Make 4 patties and coat with bread crumbs.  Place on parchment paper and put in fridge for 20 minutes.  Heat a non stick pan and bake 3-4 minutes per side.  Serve with a bun and side salad.  Serves 4.

blueberry-banana-pancakes

Blueberry-Banana Pancakes

Adapted from “The Looneyspoons Collection”, these are REALLY FILLING (and healthy)!

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup flax seeds
  • 2/3 cup oat bran
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk (or Almond, Rice, or Soy  Milk)*
  • 1/2 cup banana, mashed
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil melted (or butter)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp pure  maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup fresh berries (I used a mix of cherries, blueberries and blackberries)
  • 1 cup of vanilla yogurt or yogurt substitute (like So Delicious Coconut “Yogurt”)

*if using something other than buttermilk, you may need to put in a little less to get a thicker consistency.

Directions:  In a large bowl, combine flours, flax seeds, oat bran, baking powder, and baking soda.  In a medium-sized bowl, whisk buttermilk, banana, coconut oil/butter, egg, maple syrup, and vanilla.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well.  Add berries.  Heat a skillet over medium heat and scoop about 1/2 cup per pancake.  When you see bubbles start to appear in the middle of the pancake, flip and cook another 2-3 minutes.  Top pancakes with yogurt and a bit of syrup.  Makes 10 very filling pancakes.

THE DAILY DL (Dalai Lama)

““Your body is a temple, but only if you treat it as one.”

– Astrid Alauda

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Keeping Kids Fit (and yourself sane) Over The Holidays

When I was a kid, I remember my mum being quite excited for the end Christmas vacation.  On that first “back to school” Monday, I’m pretty sure she booted us out with a smile on her face…no doubt, we probably drove her a little nuts.  Kids can get bored and become annoying when they’re home stagnating without any outlet for all that pent-up energy.

Happy Mom

Well,  moms (and dads), look no further because Fitness Expert Libby Norris has provided an excellent article along with a clip from Canada AM on how to keep your kids active during the holidays.

kids_playing_in_snow

Click on this link for the on-air segment and accompanying article by Libby.  How cool are the Fit Deck cards!?  They are some free downloadable cards here if you’re as enthusiastic about them as I am!

THE DAILY DL (Dalai Lama)

“It’s bizarre that the produce manager is more important to my children’s health than the pediatrician.”

– Meryl Streep

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