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Best Food To Eat In Winter

Food For Winter

Winter food.  Winter is a time to refit.  To assess the foundation and structure of our body and make adjustments if necessary.  The first and most important thing to look at is our diet.  If you are the type of person that eats the same things year in and year out or even worse, Monday is salad night, and Tuesday is pizza night, etc.  You are causing a number of problems with your health.  Like any organism the body adjusts to the stimuli that confront it.  Food is a very powerful stimulus to the body.  Did you know that you can lose or gain weight eating exactly the same food, but eating it in different combinations or at different times of the day?

Surprise

Surprise your body.  Make it adjust to different foods and different schedules.  It is good for you.  God forbid that you might have to actually think about it!

winter landscape

Winter

Back to winter.  Everything slows down in the winter.  Your body’s metabolism slows to maintain the fat you have stored in case food becomes scarce.  Your immune system is compromised by the lack of water soluble and sunlight provided vitamins, such as B-complex and C which are not stored by the body and must be replaced every day and while Vitamin D, is stored by the body, it is also harder to come by in the winter because our main source is sunlight.  That is why you are more likely to get a cold or the flu during the winter.

Serotonin, a powerful neurotransmitter in the brain, is lost during the winter causing a winter depression.  All of these negative factors are all increased when you stay on your warm weather diet.

limes

Pile_of_Oranges

Winter Foods

If you can’t find sunshine to get your Vitamin D, you can get it in abundance from fresh fish not to mention omega 3 fatty acids:  The following is from Ask DrSears ranking seafood by nutrition:

  • Best sources of omega 3 fatty acids: salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, lake trout, Alaskan halibut, sardines, herring.
  • Highest in protein per serving: tuna, salmon, snapper, swordfish. Most fish are similar in protein content. Best source of protein in grams per calorie of fish are: lobster, shrimp, tuna, cod.
  • Highest vitamin B-12 content: clams, mackerel, herring, blue fin tuna, rainbow trout, and salmon.
  • Highest in iron: clams, shrimp, mackerel, swordfish.
  • Lowest in iron: orange roughy, snapper, sea bass.
  • Highest in zinc: crab, lobster, swordfish, and clams.
  • Highest in calcium: canned salmon with bones.
  • Highest in total fat, saturated fats, and calories: mackerel.
  • Lowest in total fat and saturated fat: lobster, orange roughy.
  • Highest in cholesterol: shrimp, mackerel, lobster.
  • Lowest in cholesterol: yellowfin tuna, albacore, tuna, snapper, halibut, grouper.
  • Most risky fish for pollutants: wild catfish, shrimp, lake trout (warm-water fish and those in lakes from agrochemical run-off).
  • Least risky fish for pollutants: deep-water ocean fish, salmon and tuna.

Water Soluble Vitamins

Most important to eat daily are the foods containing your water soluble vitamins, B-complex and C.  Not only are they important to maintain your energy levels, they contribute to your appetite, vision, blood and nervous system.  The following is a table from the Colorado State University extension site about Water soluble vitamins.

Considerable losses during cooking.Uncommon due to availability in most foods; fatigue; nausea, abdominal cramps; difficulty sleeping.

Table 1: Water-soluble vitamins and their characteristics.
Common food sources Major functions Deficiency symptoms Overconsumption symptoms Stability in foods
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
Citrus fruits, broccoli, strawberries, melon, green pepper, tomatoes, dark green vegetables, potatoes. Formation of collagen (a component of tissues), helps hold them together; wound healing; maintaining blood vessels, bones, teeth; absorption of iron, calcium, folacin; production of brain hormones, immune factors; antioxidant. Bleeding gums; wounds don’t heal; bruise easily; dry, rough skin; scurvy; sore joints and bones; increased infections. Nontoxic under normal conditions; rebound scurvy when high doses discontinued; diarrhea, bloating, cramps; increased incidence of kidney stones. Most unstable under heat, drying, storage; very soluble in water, leaches out of some vegetables during cooking; alkalinity (baking soda) destroys vitamin C.
Thiamin (vitamin B1 )
Pork, liver, whole grains, enriched grain products, peas, meat, legumes. Helps release energy from foods; promotes normal appetite; important in function of nervous system. Mental confusion; muscle weakness, wasting; edema; impaired growth; beriberi. None known. Losses depend on cooking method, length, alkalinity of cooking medium; destroyed by sulfite used to treat dried fruits such as apricots; dissolves in cooking water.
Riboflavin (vitamin B2)
Liver, milk, dark green vegetables, whole and enriched grain products, eggs. Helps release energy from foods; promotes good vision, healthy skin. Cracks at corners of mouth; dermatitis around nose and lips; eyes sensitive to light. None known. Sensitive to light; unstable in alkaline solutions.
Niacin (nicotinamide, nicotinic acid)
Liver, fish, poultry, meat, peanuts, whole and enriched grain products. Energy production from foods; aids digestion, promotes normal appetite; promotes healthy skin, nerves. Skin disorders; diarrhea; weakness; mental confusion; irritability. Abnormal liver function; cramps; nausea; irritability.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine, pyridoxal, pyridoxamine)
Pork, meats, whole grains and cereals, legumes, green, leafy vegetables. Aids in protein metabolism, absorption; aids in red blood cell formation; helps body use fats. Skin disorders, dermatitis, cracks at corners of mouth; irritability; anemia; kidney stones; nausea; smooth tongue. None known.
Folacin (folic acid)
Liver, kidney, dark green leafy vegetables, meats, fish, whole grains, fortified grains and cereals, legumes, citrus fruits. Aids in protein metabolism; promotes red blood cell formation; prevents birth defects of spine, brain; lowers homocystein levels and thus coronary heart disease risk. Anemia; smooth tongue; diarrhea. May mask vitamin B12deficiency (pernicious anemia). Easily destroyed by storing, cooking and other processing.
Vitamin B12
Found only in animal foods: meats, liver, kidney, fish, eggs, milk and milk products, oysters, shellfish. Aids in building of genetic material; aids in development of normal red blood cells; maintenance of nervous system. Pernicious anemia, anemia; neurological disorders; degeneration of peripheral nerves that may cause numbness, tingling in fingers and toes. None known.
Pantothenic acid
Liver, kidney, meats, egg yolk, whole grains, legumes; also made by intestinal bacteria. Involved in energy production; aids in formation of hormones. None known. About half of pantothenic acid is lost in the milling of grains and heavily refined foods.
Biotin
Liver, kidney, egg yolk, milk, most fresh vegetables, also made by intestinal bacteria. Helps release energy from carbohydrates; aids in fat synthesis. Uncommon under normal circumstances; fatigue; loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting; depression; muscle pains; anemia. None known.

 

 Bottom Line

If you want to get the message without doing the reading, eat the following in larger quantities during the winter months:

  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Water – stay hydrated year round
  • Chocolate – has many mood elevators
  • Citrus – especially oranges, limes and lemons
  • Nuts and Seeds – they contain selenium which will help you avoid the winter blues
  • Whole gains – remember whole grains
  • Cultured Yogurt – will help maintain your digestive system
  • Dark Green Vegetables – spinach, peas, kale all have iron which will help your blood
  • Legumes
  • Turkey
  • Cranberries
  • Winter Squash

 

Eat healthy and feel better.  Click on the highlighted links above for much more information on each subject and as always please ask me anything you’d like – jughandle

 

 

Cheese

I’ve been putting off writing about cheese because I’ve been afraid of what I might find.  Its been 65 days since I started on my Plant-based diet and I’ve found that I’m not so much missing eating meat but I am eating more cheese.  I know that eventually I’ll need to remove dairy from my diet to accomplish my goal of cleaning my arteries but cheese provides so much to a dish that you can’t get any other way, that I’m afraid the cravings might start.

For those who just have to know about the most expensive stuff in the world. I must admit it is interesting to see what people will pay the big bucks for.  The featured picture is a picture of deer milk cheese.  It is only $500/lb, but the most expensive cheese in the world is Pule cheese, made from donkey milk.  It sells for $616/lb. -pictured below.

 

History

Cheese is around 4000 years old on this planet.  It is made from the milk of all animals but you’ll find it mostly made from cow milk.  There are easily over 700 different popular cheeses in the world.  Cheese can be found hard, semi-hard, semi-soft and soft.  Most cheese is classified as vegetarian, but not vegan.

Serving and Storage Tips 

from Cheese.com

  • Unpasteurized cheese with a range of flavours should not be sliced until purchase otherwise it will start to lose its subtlety and aroma.
  • Keep the cheese in conditions in which it matures. Hard, semi-hard and semi-soft cheeses are stored in the temperatures from around 8 – 13 C.
  • Keep the cheese wrapped in the waxed paper and place it in a loose-fitting food-bag not to lose humidity and maintain the circulation of air.
  • Wrap blue cheeses all over as mould spores spread readily not only to other cheeses but also to everything near.
  • Chilled cheeses should be taken out of the refrigerator one and a half or two hours before serving.
  • Cheeses contain living organisms that must not be cut off from air, yet it is important not to let a cheese dry out.
  • Do not store cheese with other strong-smelling foods. As a cheese breathes it will absorb other aromas and may spoil.
  • Wrap soft cheeses loosely. Use waxed or greaseproof paper rather than cling film.
  • Let cold cheese warm up for about half an hour before eating to allow the flavour and aroma to develop.

Nutritional Facts

This is the part I’ve been afraid of.  Lets take cheddar cheese as an example.

Cheddar cheese is very low on the Glycemic index.  It has a load factor of 1 on a scale of 0 to 250, which means that it releases its energy into the blood stream on a slow, long term basis.  Cheddar is also very low on the inflammation scale with a -120.

That was the good.  The bad is that one ounce of cheddar cheese provides 113 calories, 92 of which are from fat and of the 9 grams of total fat, 6 grams are saturated fat.  Worse than that is 10% of your daily intake of cholesterol will be in that one once of cheese (29 mg).

Cheddar does have 7 grams of protein per ounce and 20% of your daily calcium needs for a 2000 calorie diet.

Parmesan cheese – To show you the difference between hard cheese and even a semi-hard cheese like cheddar, lets look at parmesan which is one of the hardest cheeses.

The good is that Parmesan rates a “0” on the Glycemic load chart and a -7 on the Inflammation chart.  It also contains a lot of phosphorus and calcium, as well as 10 grams of protein.  But…

The bad isn’t quite as bad as with cheddar.  Only 110 calories per ounce of which 64 are fat.  It contains 7 grams of fat of which 5 grams are saturated.  It only has 19 mg of cholesterol but a whopping 449 mg of sodium.

Lets look at one more standard cheese.  Cottage cheese, which is considered a soft cheese.  Cottage cheese ranks a 1 on the Glycemic load chart and a -6 on the Inflammation chart.
Cottage cheese only has 27 calories per ounce, 11 of which are from fat.  The good news is that less than 2% is saturated fat and only 1 gram of total fat.  It does have 5 mg of cholesterol and 102 mg of sodium.

Conclusions

Be your own judge, but by what I’ve found here, it looks like cheese will not be in my future.  If I find a miraculous cheese that you just can’t live with out, I’ll let you know.  Until then, I’m a little depressed, – jughandle

Milk – Are you Lactose Intolerant? Want to know why?

This is rather simple to answer actually.  Most people have no problem drinking and digesting milk and dairy products when they are young, usually until they are late teenagers.  Then for no explicable reason, a glass of milk or two or a bowl of rich ice cream will cause digestive problems and an upset stomach, maybe even worse.

What Gives?

What gives is that most of us humans and animals for that matter are born with a digestive enzime called  lactase-phlorizin hydrolase or just LPH or lactase.  LPH is the enzyme that digests the lactose sugar in milk.  Animals are much smarter than humans.  When nature takes its course and makes milk unpalatable for a growing animal it moves on from its mothers milk to other nutrition more suitable for their age.  Humans, not so much.  Humans think, “wow, it isn’t cool to suckle my mothers breast any more, but boy I like milk, so I’ll just drink milk from animals to be more PC.”

What Happens?

What happens is that as we grow our bodies don’t need the nutrition that our mother’s milk or animal’s milk might provide in that form, so nature in it’s infinite wisdom reduces the body’s output of lactase.  Some people’s output remains higher than others just like some people are bald and some aren’t.  It’s kind of like developing “shame” when we leave our 20’s so we don’t hurt ourselves doing stupid things any more.

Bottom Line

Bottom line is that once you reach the age of around 20 you don’t need to drink milk any more, so stop.  Easy Pezzy, no more Lactose intolerance.

 

Questions? – jug

How to Cook an Egg

The concept of Jughandle’s Fat Farm is to lead our followers to a healthier existence by teaching and examining the simple acts of gathering food (shopping, growing, etc) and preparing a meal.  Once everyone understands why we eat and what the food does to our bodies we can then choose the path we would like to follow instead of being pulled by the pallet down the road of fast food and pre-prepared meals.  Every one from Man to child should know how to cook (not just forage in the refrigerator) when they are hungry.

I’ve been told that Cooking an Egg is one of the most basic and important skills a cook can master.  I would like to know that when I say to separate 7 eggs into two bowls, you aren’t going to just put 3 eggs in one bowl and 4 in the other.

Egg Chemistry

Eggs are the most complex and important ingredient we will cook with.  Because they are high in protein which is constructed of coiled molecules, they react to different methods of preparation.  Heating or the friction or whipping (also heating) causes those coils to unwind.  They attach to each other when they unwind creating a mesh that traps air or liquid that becomes permanently set when the mixture is heated to the setting point.  You can observe the trapped air reaction in whipped egg whites and the liquid in a custard.  The difference between a thick egg mixture and scrambled eggs is just 10 degrees.  So most egg dishes should be cooked slow and low to better control the results.

Trick: to make a speedy custard, add cornstarch or flour to your mixture to speed the formation of the protein mesh, thus stretching the window between success and a curdled mess.

Eggs also provide moisture to a dish, which when heated creates steam and aids in the rising of cakes and pastries.  They are also emulsifiers, one end of the molecule attracts water and the other attracts oil.  That is why you need an egg in a salad dressing such as Caesar’s or in a thicken dressing such as mayonnaise.

 

Lesson 1: How to Boil and Egg

There are many way to boil and egg, but remembering the slow and low method (think gentle) we will do the following:

place 4 to 6 three day old eggs in a sauce pan. 

Cover the eggs barely with cold water

place pan on high heat uncovered

when water comes to a rolling boil turn off the heat and cover pan

start timer for 10 mins 

when timer is finished uncover pan and run cold water over the eggs until cool

Eat or refrigerate

Tip: 3 day to week old eggs make the best hard-boiled eggs because they peal more easily.  Fresh eggs stick to the shell and waste the egg when pealed.  Cook’s Bible says that ” if the pH of the egg white is below 8.9 it is likely to adhere to the inner membrane of the shell.  Fresh eggs have a pH of 8 and a 3 day old egg is a little over 9.0.”

Lesson 2: How to Poach an Egg

In a pan of rolling boiling water put 1 tablespoon of white vinegar for every 6 cups of boiling water.  Swirl the water by stirring and gently crack the egg into the center of the whirlpool.  Cook 2 mins for a running center, 3 mins for a thick center and 4 to five minutes for a hard cooked center.

 

Lesson 3: How to Fry and Egg

Remembering the slow and low method, most fried egg problems such as, over cooking, crispy edges or dried out whites, are caused from cooking too hot.  Start your frying pan on med high then once the pan is hot turn it down to med-low.  Put in 1 tablespoon of butter and crack the egg into to butter.

For “over easy” eggs, wait until the white has set and gently flip or turn the egg with a spatula.  Continue to cook until the yellow is done to your likeness.

For “sunny side up” or “partial eclipse” eggs, cook until the white is almost set the add a tablespoon of water to the pan and cover with a lid.  Steam the egg until the yolk is to your likeness.

 

Lesson 4: How to Scramble and Egg

Crack two eggs into a small bowl.  Add 3 tablespoon of cream, salt and pepper to taste.

Cook in a non-stick skillet on med-low until done, stirring with a wood spoon as needed.

You can also use a double boiler over simmering water to cook these eggs.

 

Lesson 5: How to Make and Omelet

Start with 2 eggs.  Whisk in salt (a pinch) pepper (to taste), fresh herbs (tarragon is nice) and 1 teaspoon of water per egg.

Melt a tablespoon of butter in a non-stick or well seasoned omelet pan over medium-high heat.

add the beaten egg mixture and reduce the heat to medium-low

after 10 seconds pull the edges of the omelet to the center with a spatula or turner

tilt the pan to allow the uncooked eggs to run off the cooked ones and onto the pan

do this until most of the uncooked egg is cooked

Fill the omelet now with cheese, ham, etc. if you want and

slide the omelet to one side of the pan by tilting the pan.

Using the spatula flip half of the omelet over  the filling

Turn the omelet over to finish cooking for about 30 sec.

Slide on to plate.

 

You are now an expert egg cook.  Practice, practice, practice – jughandle

Eggs – Everything you need to know

Aren’t these eggs beautiful?

This would be a typical mix of colors from my wife’s sister Beverly and her husband Brent’s hen house.  I’ve never had a better egg than one fresh from the tap.

Ameraucana breed of chicken lays various shades of blue and green eggs, while around 90% of all white eggs we get in the store are laid by a strain of the Leghorn chicken.  Australorp and Rhode Island Red chickens lay brown eggs and Barnevelders lay very dark reddish brown eggs with a matte finish.  There are hundreds of chicken breeds, laying different sizes and colors of eggs.  Some chickens are layers, some are bred for cooking.  Some are quiet, some are loud, some lay a lot of eggs, some a few.

Did you know that a chicken is born with all the eggs she could ever lay already in her?  That is about 4000, even though most chickens rarely lay over 1500 eggs in their life and the average layer lays between 250 and 270 eggs per year.

More importantly eggs are almost a perfect food.  Read this from the Incredible egg site:

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New USDA study shows eggs have 14% less cholesterol and more vitamin D.

The amount of cholesterol in a single large egg has decreased by 14 percent according to the new United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrition data*. Consuming an egg a day fits easily within dietary guidance, which recommends limiting cholesterol consumption to 300 mg per day.

 

Eggs now contain 41 IU of vitamin D, which is an increase of 64 percent from 2002. Eggs are one of the few foods that are a naturally good source of vitamin D, meaning that one egg provides at least 10 percent of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). Vitamin D plays an important role in calcium absorption, helping to form and maintain strong bones.

The amount of protein in one large egg – 6 grams of protein or 12 percent of the Recommended Daily Value – remains the same, and the protein in eggs is one of the highest quality proteins found in any food. Eggs are all?natural, and one egg has lots of vitamins and minerals all for 70 calories. The nutrients in eggs can play a role in weight management, muscle strength, healthy pregnancy, brain function, eye health and more. At less than 15 cents apiece, eggs are an affordable and delicious breakfast option.

*In 2010, a random sample of regular shell eggs was collected from locations across the country to analyze the nutrient content of eggs. The testing procedure was last completed with eggs in 2002, and while most nutrients remained similar to those values, cholesterol decreased by 14% and vitamin D increased by 64% from 2002 values.

 

Jughandle is in the process of starting a back yard chicken coop with a starting flock of 6 chickens.  That should get me between 1 1/2 to 2 dozen eggs per week.  By the way, if you don’t like to hear that constant crow of the rooster, don’t get one.  You don’t need a rooster to have chickens lay eggs.

More to come-

Jughandle