Ever wonder if your mother’s old saying that garlic was good for your heart was just an old wives tale or if it actually had some basis? Well, during my dietetic internship, my partner and I were determined to find out if it was true.
Garlic is claimed to have cardiovascular protective properties, particularly to lower cholesterol. Cholesterol is basically a fat molecule that is found in animal products such as meat. It is essential for life because it is one of the major components that make up a cell membrane (of which our body has billions) and it can be turned into important hormones (chemical messengers in our body), and even Vitamin. Too much cholesterol, however, can be bad news. It can build up in your blood vessels and cause atherosclerosis, which is fatty plaque buildup that can eventually clog your arteries and cause a heart attack or stroke.
Does Garlic help lower cholesterol? Meta-analysis of 10 studies that were conducted on the cardiovascular protective properties of garlic shows that it lowers total cholesterol when consumed as part of a healthy diet.
BOTTOM LINE: Person with extremely high cholesterol, LDL, and TG, cannot depend on raw garlic or garlic supplements to help in lowering the serum lipid levels. There is no harm in taking garlic to help reduce these numbers when they are part of a healthy diet. Not everyone will see a drastic reduction, and patients who are interested in taking garlic supplements should be advised that the therapeutic effect may not be clinically substantial.
I had been craving stuffed bell peppers for a while so I finally decided to try making them at home. My husband is not a big fan of stuffed bell peppers, so I wanted to make sure he would enjoy it as well. Turns out, they are super easy to make and my husband loved it because I added a secret ingredient!
Whats the secret ingredient?
Garam Masala is a very common Pakistani/Indian ingredient that you find in a number of South Asian recipes! Garam Masala is a combination of 8 ground spices that has a unique flavor & a distinctive aroma. Read my post to learn how to make it at home!
Serving Size: 1 Bell Pepper; Calories: 400 – 425 kcals (depending on the size of the bell pepper)
First cook the beef. For that you will need:
1 lb lean beef
1 cup chopped onions
1 Tbsp ginger and garlic paste
1 tsp salt
1 tsp red pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala
4 Bell Peppers
1 cup cooked brown rice
0.75 cup marinara sauce
1/8 cup Mexican blend cheese
Preparing the meat:
Place the beef in a non-stick pan on medium heat and put ginger & garlic paste, salt, red-pepper and turmeric powder.
Let it cook for 15 minutes until the meat has turned brown and some of the water from the meat has dried
Add chopped onions and cook until all the water has dried
Add garam masala and stir well. Remove from the heat.
Remove the top of the bell pepper and hollow out the bell peppers
Put the bell peppers in boiling water for 5- 7 mins
Mix beef, rice, and sauce in a bowl
Stuff the bell peppers with the beef, rice & sauce mix
Garam Masala is a very common Pakistani/Indian ingredient that you find in a number of South Asian recipes! Garam Masala is a combination of 8 ground spices that has a unique flavor & a distinctive aroma. Having a home made fresh batch at hand makes it all the more better!
White Cumin Seeds- 1 cup
Whole Black Pepper – 1/2 cup
Cloves – 1/4 cup
Big Cardamom – 12 whole
Small Cardamom – 25 whole
Nutmeg (remove the shell) – 1 whole
Mace – 1 Tbsp
Cinnamon – 12 sticks (1 inch each)
Place all ingredients in a bowl
Heat the ingredients in the microwave for 1 minute
Let the mix cool down
Blend the ingredients
Use a sieve to sift the ingredients
Your Garam Masala is ready for use to make delicious recipes! It can be stored dry at room temperature.
This Quinoa recipe is super easy to make and very delicious in addition to being a good source of protein an fiber — my husband absolutely loves it (well…he has no choice)! It goes well as a side with grilled chicken or even as a meatless entree served with avocado!
Here is the skinny on Quinoa
A source of fiber and protein
A source of potassium and iron
Serving Size: 1 Cup; Calories per serving: 240 Kcals
Quinoa, 1 cup
Water, 2 cups
Tomatoes, 1 cup chopped
Jalapenos, ½ cup chopped
Corn, canned, no-sodium (drained), 1 can (approx 15 oz)
Black Beans, canned, low-sodium (drained), 1 can (approx 15 oz) – I prefer to use dry black beans instead of using canned.
Cumin powder, 1 tsp
Red chili powder, 1 tsp
** once i even added taco seasoning to spice it up 🙂
Place all ingredients in a large pot.
Cover and simmer (medium low heat) for approximately 20 minutes or until no water is left.
Top with cilantro and squeeze some fresh lime juice.
P.S. Canned diced tomatoes and jalapenos can be used as well.
Serving size is very important when it comes to eating healthy! Do not eat directly out of a box because you won’t know how much you ate. Serve yourself a measurable amount and enjoy the treat! #BeMindful
I have been thinking about what was holding me back? Then I realized it was ME. Did I really want it bad enough? If yes, then why am I not trying hard enough? I was holding myself back because I was afraid to FAIL.
I only fail when I don’t try.
I will never know the results unless I do the action. If I succeed then I reached my goal! But if I don’t reach my goals, at least I know I am not a quitter. Either way I can do my happy dance!
I SAID YES TO:
Proving myself wrong and going above and beyond
Running my first 10K in 2016
Expressing my raw thoughts on this blog (I am not a writer and it doesn’t have to be perfect)
Experimenting without always seeking perfection
What will you say YES to?
This post is first a reminder to myself and then to my readers. So if you know me then please feel free to hold me accountable to my own words. That will be very much appreciated! 🙂
It is very important to include every food group (meats, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and grains) in our diet. Each food group provides essential nutrients that our body needs for growth and maintenance. Eliminating any specific food group, that many popular diets ask for, may lead to quick weight loss but does not lead to a positive lifestyle change for long term results in weight loss, lower cholesterol, normal blood pressure, etc.
Eggs are the best source of protein food at breakfast! As I have mentioned in one of my previous posts, it is important to have a combination of protein and carbohydrates at every meal. Click here to read the post on a balanced breakfast.
For those picky eaters, like my cousin, I put together a list of breakfast foods (other than the typical cereal) that do not contain egg.
Calories ranging from 250-330 kcals
Breakfast wrap: 1 Whole grain tortilla with ½ cup black beans, 2 Tbsp Ragu Sauce/Salsa, and 1 Tb fat-free shredded cheese
Grilled cheese sandwich: 2 slices of whole grain bread and 2 slices of your favorite fat-free cheese with a cup of skim milk
Cereal in yogurt: 1 cup of cheerios with 1 fat-free Greek Yogurt (approx 5.3 oz)
Waffle sandwich: 2 whole wheat waffles with 1 Tbsp of peanut butter and 1 tbsp of jelly. (Bonus tip: Try a chocolate chip waffle sandwich with ricotta)
English Muffin with Ricotta Cheese: 1 Whole grain muffin with 2 Tbsp of Ricotta Cheese, 1 Tbsp of Jelly with a cup of skim milk
Quick on the Go Options:
Breakfast bars: Nature Valley protein bars (10 g Protein) with 1 cup of skim milk