How to use watercress and other greens-and why you should

Greens are a superfood because they are so nutritious, are inexpensive to grow, and come in many varieties with a broad diversity of flavors and textures.

Despite the name, this blog isn’t about watercress, but is like watercress-unique, peppery, bright and nutritious. And as a physician blogger, I want to know more about the health benefits (and possible dangers) from watercress.

So while searching for information about watercress, I found an intriguing book,

the book of greens-a cook’s compendium

More specifically, it is

“A cook’s compendium of 40 varieties, from Arugula to Watercress, with more than 175 recipes” from the title page

The authors

Jenn Louis has competed on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters,” was named one of Food & Wine’s “Best New Chefs,” and has earned two nominations for the James Beard Foundation Award of Best Chef: Northwest. Her debut cookbook, Pasta By Hand published in 2015, was nominated for an IACP from the International Association of Culinary Professionals and this, her second book, debuted in April 2017 and won an IACP award. The book was also nominated for a James Beard Award.

She has owned and operated three restaurants and a catering business in Portland, Oregon. Jenn is actively involved with nonprofits including World Central Kitchen, Alex’s Lemonade and Share Our Strength.

Kathleen Squires is a food and travel writer from New York City. She has coauthored The Coolhaus Ice Cream Book, The Quick Six Fix, and The Journey, which won an IACP award.

Why write about greens?

The Book of Greens is about 40 different varieties of greens; some you probably already know and use-

  • arugula
  • bok choy
  • Brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • kale
  • lettuces
  • spinach

Others are less known and used, at least to me-

  • agretti
  • chickweed
  • mache
  • mizuna
  • seaweed
  • succulents
  • wild and foraged greens
Greens are a superfood because they are so nutritious, are inexpensive to grow, and come in many varieties with a broad diversity of flavors and textures. Jenn Louis

green leafy vegetables
image from LIGHTSTOCK.COM, stock photo site, an affiliate link

What’s in The Book of Greens?

This book is a cookbook, not a textbook on greens, so it features recipes, some simple, some complicated, but all incorporating some variety of greens. She starts by covering some cooking basics as it applies to greens-

  • How to buy greens-fresh, in small quantities
  • How to prepare-clean and handle them gently
  • How to cook-which methods work best for each variety
  • Storage of greens
  • Tools to use in prep and cooking
  • Notes on common ingredients used in cooking greens-oils, spices, salts, stocks, vinegars
  • Seasons-when to buy

Watercress basics –Nasturtium officinale

an ultrapeppery, strong-stemmed green, one of the oldest documented greens, dating back to ancient Greece, Rome, and Persia page 271
  • most often used in salads and sandwiches, and pureed as a soup
  • used in sandwiches for British afternoon tea
  • prescribed by Hippocrates (an ancient Greece physician, considered the father of medicine)
  • used by Captain Cook’s crew to prevent scurvy

This last point was likely due to its Vitamin C content; a deficiency causes the disease scurvy. It also is rich in other vitamins- A, B, E, K, and the minerals calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and manganese. Some experts call it the most nutrient-rich vegetable.

How to use watercress

Watercress grows in the spring and fall in North America. She calls it a tender green which can be eaten raw or cooked. Best cooking methods are

  • lightly sauteed
  • wilted in soups
  • quickly steamed
  • quickly stir-fried over very high heat

Watercress recipes in this book

  • Chicken and pork belly paella with watercress
  • Slow-roasted pork tonnato with watercress and tomatoes
  • Watercress soup with creme fraiche and za’atar

Wild watercress-Nasturtium microphyllium

This watercress relative grows wild, rather than cultivated. It has a “more intense peppery and piquant flavor.” It grows in any watery terraine-streams, lakes, ponds. (Edible wild greens must be chosen carefully, so as not to confuse them with poisonous plants.)

In addition to the authors, the photographer, Ed Anderson, deserves special recognition. His photos of the greens and the finished recipes make this a “coffee table book”, even if you never try a single recipe.

Also by Jenn louis, pasta by hand

Other posts on this blog about watercress

powerhouse vegetables

“A 2014 research study tried to determine exactly which fruits and vegetables were most likely to keep us healthy.

They defined  “powerhouse fruits and vegetables” as those  highest in nutrients, specifically the minerals potassium, calcium, iron and zinc and vitamins A,B,C, D, E and K. ” continue reading at the link above

exploring the HEART of healthy cooking

I would love for you to start following Watercress Words : use this form to get an email notification of new posts . Please find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Thanks so much.

                              Dr. Aletha 

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Kids learn more when they read

One of the most important ways we can help children learn is by reading to them.It helps children develop the mental processes of motivation, curiosity, and memory.

One of the most important ways we can help children learn is by reading to them.

  • It helps children develop the mental processes of motivation, curiosity, and memory.
  • It helps children develop early language skills.
  • It provides a time for one-to-one attention and affection, which encourages children to have positive feelings about reading.
  • It can help children cope during times of stress or tragedy.

Learn more at this link from the American Medical Association-

Reading to children-Advice for parents

 (This post contains affiliate links; if you purchase something at the link, this blog may earn a commission; thanks. )

statue of boy reading a book
a statue in Oklahoma dedicated to the children who died in the Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building bombing 1995
Fun for Kids of All Ages - Zookbooks STEM Books for Children Free baby board Books! World Vision – Sponsor A Child Today. Help give children a better future. Sponsor a child through World Vision and change a child's life and community for good.

exploring the HEART of health through reading

Find out how reading changed my life from my guest post at Let’s Create.

Reading-The fastest way to everywhere

I appreciate all of you who follow this blog; there are numerous other blogs to choose from so I am honored you chose to spend some time here. A special welcome to all my new followers from this past month.

I would love for you to start following Watercress Words : use this form to get an email notification of new posts . Please find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Thanks so much.

                              Dr. Aletha 

an open book with pages folded to make a heart
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Surprising health benefits of plant based eating

Like you, I want to know more about healthy eating, but find published nutrition information conflicting, confusing, and complicated. But almost all of it seems to agree on one thing-eating more whole plant based unprocessed foods is the best choice, with proven health benefits and little if any harm.

Like you, I want to know more about healthy eating, but find published nutrition information conflicting, confusing, and complicated. But almost all of it seems to agree on one thing-eating more whole plant based unprocessed foods is the best choice, with proven health benefits and little if any harm.

In this post I’m introducing you to two books and associated websites that present the evidence for the benefit of plant based eating and explain in easy to understand terms how to do it.

SURPRISING BENEFITS OF PLANT BASED EATING

Over 30 years ago, a father-son team showed the world the results of “the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted” , so I wonder why it seems we’re just now believing that what we eat influences our health and lifespan for better or worse.

(several affiliate links are in this post. )

The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted

by  T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D and Thomas M. Campbell, M.D.

They looked at more than 350 variables of health and nutrition with surveys from 6,500 adults in more than 2,500 counties across China and Taiwan, and conclusively demonstrated the link between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

“What they found when combined with findings in Colin’s laboratory, opened their eyes to the dangers of a diet high in animal protein and the unparalleled health benefits of a whole foods, plant-based diet. “

Amazon

T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies

At the Center for Nutrition Studies website, you can meet Dr. Campbell , learn the history of the China study and explore

“Eat whole plant based foods”

It’s a lifestyle, not a diet

Dr. T. Colin campbell

How Not to Die- Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease 

by Michael Greger, M.D. with Gene Stone

Like the Campbells, Dr Greger has reviewed thousands of studies of nutrition and concluded that major chronic diseases-heart disease, diabetes, cancer-are caused by the foods we eat, and can be prevented, even reversed by changes in our diet. He too advocates whole food, plant based diet. He recommends

  • Avoid refined processed carbs-chips, pastries, jams, condiments
  • Avoid wheat and gluten
  • Avoid grain fed meat and feedlot chicken
  • Avoid concentrated and synthetic sweeteners, and sweet drinks
  • Avoid commercial oils

Instead, we should be eating

  • Olive oil
  • Grass fed, free range meat
  • Vegetables, legumes, nuts
  • Low sugar fruits
  • Tea, coffee
  • Dark chocolate, herbs, seasonings

NutritionFacts.org

At this website, founded by Dr. Greger, you can

In this video about causes of cancer, Dr. Greger refers to one of Dr. Campbell’s nutrition articles.
Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen – NutritionFacts.org

I have found his Daily Dozen App useful for tracking my intake of whole plant based foods. This free app is available from the App Store.

Both of these websites are 501(c)3 non-profit entities supported by donors.

a basket filled with fruits and vegetables
Will you commit to buying, preparing, and eating more fruits and vegetable?
photo from the collection at LIGHTSTOCK.COM, an affiliate link

Thanks for joining me to explore the HEART of nutrition and health.     

I hope you will bookmark both of these sites so you can go back often and explore the information they have to offer. You may not choose to incorporate all the changes they propose, but even a few changes may improve your health, decrease your risk of chronic disease, and help you live longer.

I appreciate all of you who follow this blog; there are numerous other blogs to choose from so I am honored you chose to spend some time here. A special welcome to all my new followers from this past month.

Consider this affiliate if you’re looking for an easy way to eat better and lose excess weight. (and help me fund this blog with the commission it generates)

468x60 Healthy Weight Loss Delivery Plan

I would love for you to start following Watercress Words : use this form to get an email notification of new posts . Please find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Thanks so much.

                              Dr. Aletha 

A 5 year love affair-with healthy eating

I still enjoy food.  Very much.  Maybe even more than before because now I appreciate my food as fuel to live a healthy and active and even beautiful (in the eyes of the beholder) life!  I still enjoy the tastes, even more so because I choose only the best.  My plate is colorful with roasted veggies and fresh fruits and salad greens.  I enjoy grilled lean chicken, steak and seafood.  My carbs are high fiber, full of flavor and texture.  I no longer long for the processed foods full of white flour, sugar and fat.

 

One of my all time most viewed posts is a story about my friend Pam and her weight loss journey using the Weight Watchers program.  After successfully reaching and maintaining her weight goal, she started coaching others who have been equally successful. Recently, she was honored for 5 years as a coach.

a smiling woman holding flowers
Pam’s clients showed appreciation for  her for 5 years of service.

 

 

Many of us would like to weight less than we do, but some people struggle with severe excess weight that threatens their health and keeps them from enjoying life as they would like. These are usually people whose BMI, body mass index, is 30 or more. For people with diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, and osteoarthritis, even lower BMI can put them at excess disease risk.

Body mass index chart
A BMI of 30 or more represents obesity. BMI Chart created by Vertex42.com. Used with permission.

 

 

The United States Preventive Services Task Force, USPSTF,  recently reviewed weight loss methods and made a recommendation to physicians about how to help patients with weight.

The Task force encourages  doctors to refer patients for  “intensive, multicomponent behavioral interventions” to successfully lose weight. 

What exactly does “intensive, multicomponent” mean? 

 

 

A Patient Page in JAMA explains it this way- Interventions that are

  • done in a group or individual setting, provided in person or virtually, and use print or online materials
  • occurs over 1 to 2 years and with 1 to 4 sessions per month
  • includes counseling about nutrition and exercise as well as education about how to self-monitor both of these components.
  • includes help to identify barriers to weight loss, and  help with problem solving related to challenges
  • support from other people who are also working on weight loss
  • education  focused not only on weight loss but also on weight maintenance after interventions are completed.

 

 

Here is a link to the page-

Behavioral Interventions for Weight Loss

 

 

a lady in bare feet standing on a scalefeet in sports shoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I haven’t used Weight Watchers but from what I understand about it, this is the type of program they offer. I’m not necessarily promoting WW, as they are called now, but if you want to lose weight I suggest looking for a program that includes these features. It certainly has worked for Pam and those she coaches.

“If we want to be people’s partners in what healthy means to the, it has to be about more than just weight. It has to be a total approach to how they can live their healthiest, best lives.”

Mindy Grossman, CEO of WW, quote taken from TIME magazine, October 15, 2018

 

 

And here is my story about Pam and her break-up with junk food.

How I “broke up” with junk food

and fell in love with healthy eating.

Meet my friend Pam. My husband and I met Pam and her husband in a ballroom dance class. I was immediately captivated by her radiant smile and Southern charm. Since then I have learned more about her and watched an amazing transformation in her life.

Pam and I attending a wedding at the dance studio
Pam and I  at the dance studio

 

 

Pam graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from Mississippi State University in 1980. With a major in Communications, she started her career as a writer and Account Executive for advertising and public relations agencies in Mississippi and in Oklahoma where she moved after marrying.  She was the Marketing Director for a large medical clinic for several years. Since 1995, she has enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom with involvement in PTA, church and community. In 2012, she was named Volunteer of the Year by her community public school system.

But despite such a charmed life, there was a struggle, one that Pam shares with many people. In this blog I have discussed the physical and emotional consequences of excess weightyou will be encouraged by Pam’s success story which she so generously shares with me and you.

“Breaking up is hard to do. ” By Pam Whitson

“I was happily married to the love of my life and should have been having the time of my life.   Sadly, my self-confidence and my happiness had been stolen, and I was the thief.

For over two decades, I robbed myself of peak energy, vitality, health and beauty by totally disregarding my intake of food.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, I thought about what I should do.  I spent money on self-help tapes, gym memberships and weight loss programs from the practical to the extreme.  I whined and wished about it constantly.  And it didn’t help knowing that I was not alone; almost half of adults are overweight or obese.

And I had occasional moments of success.  Like the time I was within four pounds of leaving the “obese” category. (Obese is a BMI, body mass index, of 30 or higher)  After months of hard work, I ran to Glamour Shots for the mid-1990s version of a sequin and big hair make-over.  On the way home from my triumphant photo session, I stopped by my favorite barbecue place and started eating my way right back to where I was before.  I gained all the weight I had lost back and more.

I joked my way through feelings of depression, because  I had an unhealthy relationship with food.    I thought about it way too much.  I ran to it for instant gratification.  I was too in love with the tastes, the textures, the sheer delight of food.  Even now, I love to grocery shop.  One of my favorite places on the planet is the cereal aisle of the grocery store.

cereal boxes in a store
“One of my favorite places on the planet is the cereal aisle of the grocery store.”

 

 

Finally, at age 53, after twenty years of carrying way too much weight for my 5’7 ½” (1.7 meters) (yes, the half inch counts!) frame, I was ready for a change.  Really ready.  Change isn’t easy.  Change hurts.  I walked into Weight Watchers and pretended it was my first time ever.  I read everything.  I listened and participated.  I went to every meeting.  I hung around afterwards and pestered my leader for every little nugget of information I could cling to.

Pam before weight loss
Pam and her daughter

 

 

I rejoined Weight Watchers in July, 2012, with 20 pounds (9 kg) still off from a previous Weight Watcher effort. I lost 40 pounds (18 kg) in 4 1/2 months to be at goal before Thanksgiving! I learned to maintain this loss during the required six week maintenance period with Weight Watchers and became an official Lifetime Member before the year’s end of 2012. This meant a lot to me because my birthday is New Year’s Day. How wonderful to start the year at a healthy weight!

At Weight Watchers I learned I could change.  I could change what I put in my grocery basket.  I could change what I ordered in restaurants.  I could change how much I moved.

I could change my relationship with food for good.

I still enjoy food.  Very much.  Maybe even more than before because now I appreciate my food as fuel to live a healthy and active and even beautiful (in the eyes of the beholder) life!  I still enjoy the tastes, even more so because I choose only the best.  My plate is colorful with roasted veggies and fresh fruits and salad greens.  I enjoy grilled lean chicken, steak and seafood.  My carbs are high fiber, full of flavor and texture.  I no longer long for the processed foods full of white flour, sugar and fat.

By pairing healthy eating with increased physical activity, I changed my weight dropped from 226 lbs (102 kg) to 150 lbs (68 kg).  Now 70 pounds (31 kg) lighter and at a healthy BMI of 23, I feel so much happier and healthier.

But once I started eating better, even before I was near my goal weight, my self-esteem and confidence were instantly restored.  Just knowing that I had a plan gave me optimism and excitement.  I’ve been at goal for almost three years and I wouldn’t trade it for the world (or even a crisp cookie). And I now stay about 10 pounds (4.5 kg) below goal as a safety net.

Pam on a well deserved vacation
Pam on a well deserved vacation

 

 

In addition to my daily walks, I enjoy ballroom dancing, Jazzercise, swimming and an occasional bike ride.  I wear a Fitbit and accomplish 15,000 steps a day.

I’ve been a Weight Watcher leader for two and a half years and just LOVE it! I never imagined I would do this; you might as well as told me I would become an astronaut. While helping me stay at a healthy weight, I enjoy the privilege of making new friends and helping other people be their most confident and healthy selves.

Just for fun, I’ve started a Park Walking group that explores different parks in our city every two weeks. We took a summer break (Oklahoma gets real hot in the summer) but will be back on the trails in September. Along with my awesome Weight Watcher members, I’m enjoying a new healthy relationship with food for good. ”

Pam leading a Weight Watchers meeting
Pam is now a WW coach

 

 

Weight Watchers may not be the answer for everyone, but Pam’s idea of changing our relationship with food should be a part of any weight management plan.  Our eating habits affect our health in other ways, so even if you are not overweight, using food appropriately is important.

Physical activity  has health benefits beyond weight loss. I joined Pam’s walking group and find it a fun way to exercise and make new friends. (My favorite walking shoe is Go Walk by Skechers.)  In addition to social dancing with our husbands, Pam and I were in a ladies dance team. We performed a Western theme dance routine to the song “These Boots are Made for Walking” . That’s so appropriate for someone who walked her way from a BMI of 35 down to 25. If she can do it, so can you.

( This post contains affiliate product links; purchase through these links pays a commission to this blog; thank you)

 

Our son introduced my husband and I to Hello Fresh delivery meal kits and we’ve enjoyed the convenience, taste, variety, and quality. The meals feature lots of fresh vegetables with vegan  and “fit” choices. We think we are eating healthier and ever with less work. Here is a link through which you can get $40 off your first order.

HELLO FRESH OFFER 

 

Thanks for letting me introduce you to my friend Pam. We would love to hear your weight management stories. Please share in the comments or send me a message if you want it kept anonymous. Remember, support from others is an important step toward success.

Dr. Aletha 

 

Effective options to control IBS, irritable bowel syndrome

Basic steps to controlling IBS, irritable bowel syndrome
#IBS#lowFODMAPdiet

I enjoy meeting other bloggers on blog link-ups and on one of them recently another blogger asked me about IBS. I had not read much about it recently so decided to research and write a post about it . So whether you already know something about IBS, or if it’s new to you,  here is that post. Thanks Kat, from KusKat Studio.

IBS, irritable bowel syndrome, is a common gastrointestinal disorder, of unknown cause.

It is distinct from conditions referred to as inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, which I won’t discuss here.

Currently there is no one generally recognized blood test, scan, image, or other diagnostic test that confirms IBS. Your doctor may order testing to exclude other conditions such as celiac sensitivity,  lactose intolerance, or colon cancer.

diagram of the human digestive organs
the human digestive system -irritable bowel syndrome mainly involves the colon and rectum, and probably also the small intestine.

 

The symptoms of IBS are not unique , making diagnosis difficult since it can be confused with other conditions.

IBS is defined by

Recurrent abdominal pain averaging 1 day per week for 3 months associated with

  • Bowel movements
  • Change in frequency of stool
  • Change in form or appearance of stool.

The change in bowel habits can be diarrhea, constipation, or a combination of both.

There may be other symptoms-bloating, abdominal distention, flatulence, tiredness, headaches, painful urination, but these are not required for diagnosis.

The Mayo Clinic explains what symptoms may suggest you need tests for other conditions.by your doctor.

The cause of IBS is still uncertain.

At one time doctors believed it was due to overactive muscles in the bowel wall, leading to the once used name “spastic colon.” Current thinking is  the nerves to the bowel are hypersensitive and send signals to the brain which then over interprets them as pain. This hypersensitivity may be triggered by food, bacteria, or toxins in the bowel.

An altered immune response to infections may also precipitate the condition. Changes in the number and type of bacteria that live in the bowel has been identified as a possible cause.

The symptoms of IBS may fluctuate and even go into remission spontaneously, so it can be difficult to definitely know what works and what doesn’t. Management can be divided into two categories.

Effective options to control IBS, Irritable Bowel Syndrome
photo from the collection at LIghtstock.com, stock photo site (an affiliate link, a commission may be paid to this blog)

 

 

Non-drug treatment options

Regular exercise, such as a daily walk, jogging trail signencourages the bowel to move more efficiently.

 

 

Experts recommend changes of food choices as a first step to symptom control.

 

 

 

The Cleveland Clinic offers these general guidelines on eating with IBS.

  • Limiting alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods, fat, and gas-producing foods may benefit many with IBS.
  • Avoiding or eliminating milk products, fiber, and/or gluten may be considered next if symptoms persist.

cup of milk, plate of bread

 

 

Some studies show a low FODMAP diet is especially helpful for bloating whether diarrhea or constipation is the major problem. FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols short-chain carbohydrates (sugars) that aren’t absorbed properly in the gut.

Stanford University Medical Center provides this  Low FODMAP Diet
(FODMAP=Fermentable Oligo-Di-Monosaccharides and Polyols) 

FODMAPs are found in various  fruits, vegetables, cereals, breads, dairy, and sweeteners so it can be challenging to know what’s acceptable and what’s not. Using a list such as this one or working with a knowledgeable dietician can make it easier to find what works for you.

 

Mind based therapies

With IBS, hypersensitive nerves from the gut send pain signals to the brain. Because of this nervous system involvement,  one’s thoughts and emotions can both improve and exacerbate symptoms of IBS.   Psychological therapies are often recommended- CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), hypnotherapy, and psychotherapy.

Drug therapy for IBS

Non -prescription drugs used for IBS include

Both groups may also get help from probiotics.

(These are affiliate links used to support this blog at no additional cost to you.)

Prescription meds available in the United States specifically for IBS include linaclotide, lubiprostone, eluxadoline , and rifaximin. Drugs originally developed for depression, the TCAs and the SSRIs , also are effective.

What to do if you think you may have IBS

Monitor your symptoms carefully, keeping a written record, for 1-2 months. Take this to your doctor for an evaluation. However if you have these symptoms, see your doctor immediately.

  • bleeding in bowel movements
  • unexpected weight loss
  • fever
  • profuse diarrhea
  • persistent failure to pass stool
  • severe, disabling pain

 

A primary care doctor-a family medicine or internal medicine doctor- can evaluate these symptoms initially, and decide if referral to a GI specialist, a gastroenterologist , is needed for more specialized testing.

The American College of Gastroenterology offers these resources for patients with irritable bowel syndrome. 

If you have been diagnosed with IBS

Your doctor likely has already recommended some of the measure I have listed above. If not, and your symptoms are not controlled, then you might want to discuss to see if they are appropriate for you.

 

Remember, this information and links are provided for your information and are not endorsement,  advice ,or treatment. I  encourage you to seek care from your personal physician. 

 

I appreciate your sharing  this post on your social media pages.

And please follow Watercress Words for more information and inspiration to help you explore the HEART of HEALTH.

Thank you for  viewing  the advertisements and using the affiliate links  that fund this blog; with your  help, we can grow, reach more people, and support worthy causes that bring health and wholeness to people around the world.

26952564_10213093560871954_4239554644472378905_oSincerely, Dr. Aletha 

 

 

Healthy holiday eating made easy

We all enjoy our holiday traditions of eating and drinking special foods and beverages. But these can cause problems for people who need to manage what they eat and drink for medical reasons.

We all enjoy our holiday traditions of eating and drinking special foods and beverages.  But these  can cause problems for people who need to manage what they eat and drink for medical reasons.

sliced Stollen

Nutritional management is a major part of living with these conditions-

  • diabetes and high cholesterol
  • celiac disease/gluten sensitivity
  • nut and other food allergies
  • lactose intolerance
  • overweight/obesity
  • alcohol dependence
  • heart, kidney, and liver dysfunction
  • pregnancy
  • migraine

PRACTICAL TIPS ON PARTY FOOD AND MEAL PLANNING

Planning ahead to manage holiday stress also applies to cooking, entertaining and eating during the holiday season.

a dining table decorated for Christmas

If you  plan and prepare holiday meals and parties, remember  some attendees need to avoid or restrict certain types of foods.  

Offer an ample variety of types of food and drinks so  your guests will find something that works for them.

If you have house guests, they will appreciate your asking them about dietary needs or restrictions so you can  have food available to meet their needs.

If you have special needs in regards to food, it may be wise to offer to bring a dish to an event , or take food to eat if you will be someone’s house guest.

from The American Diabetes Association

“Holidays can be a time of great anxiety for people with diabetes because it is so focused on food.

Don’t let questions about what to eat, how much to eat, and meal timing dampen your holiday. Plan in advance, so you can fend off stress and fully enjoy the day and keep your diabetes management on track.”

Here are the ADA suggestions for Holiday Meal Planning.

Are you worried about gaining weight from holiday meals, or trying to maintain a weight you have worked to achieve? Then try these

Top Holiday Healthy Eating Hacks

from Charmaine Gregory, M.D. at Fervently Fit 

“There is a huge amount of power in being mindful with your eating during this holiday season. “

HEALTHY HOLIDAY EATING MADE EASY

Try these Edible Christmas Gifts from Dr. Diana, an allergy doctor who blogs about cooking.

decorated Christmas cookies

 Delicious gluten free recipes from PositiveHealthWellness

apples, oranges, and walnuts

Addiction Hope 

offers advice for those with eating disorders – anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder )

” Eating disorders are not about food, it is about the underlying issues which can be triggered by anxiety and stress. Holidays can bring on both increased stress and anxiety and can be difficult for individuals to manage. When a person is in an active eating disorder, there are various ways to cope with the holidays.”

Read more at

Navigating the Holidays with a Food Addiction: 

These affiliate links are provided for your convenience and to help fund this blog. Thank you for considering.


Adagio Teas.

Gifts for lovers of tea with free wrapping of all items.

Christmas jazz piano album cover

Christmas music-Get in on iTunes Store and Listen on Apple Music

sharing the HEART of holiday eating

I appreciate all of you who follow this blog; there are numerous other blogs to choose from so I am honored you chose to spend some time here. A special welcome to all my new followers from this past month.

I would love for you to start following Watercress Words : use this form to get an email notification of new posts . Please find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Thanks so much.

                              Dr. Aletha 

Doctor bloggers you need to know

Doctor bloggers-from food to freud to finances- they write about it; meet them here #WhiteCostPinkApron#FreudandFashion#DrLinda#2pedsinapod#alertandoriented

This post has several affiliate links, for your convenience and to support this blog. thank you!

In a previous series I recommended several physician written health blogs. In this post, I revisit some of those sites, and introduce you to a few more I have discovered.

These blogs are all written exclusively or mostly by physicians, or other healthcare professionals. While personal health blogs can be interesting and helpful, blogs that offer information from people who study and practice health and health care professionally offer extra benefits.

White Coat Pink Apron– good food for busy people

White Coat, Pink Apron web site

Dr. Diana, a Boston allergy specialist, blogs about food and shares recipes that are

“quick, easy, generally toddler-friendly, and sometimes Armenian, that anyone can make.”

In this post she shares two recipes for fish, salmon and cod, that adhere to the Paleo concept- no grains ,no beans, no dairy, and no sugar.

LEMON ROASTED SALMON AND KALE

dinner plate with fish, green beans and rice
illustration only, not actual recipe

Alert and Oriented.com

Dr. Michel Accad continues to blog about health care policies and economics, the doctor-patient relationship, and medical history, philosophy, and ethics.

 

According to Dr. Accad, human health is uninsurable; our bodies are not machines so cannot be evaluated objectively. He argues that health insurance is an income subsidy that helps sick people pay for medical care. In this thought provoking post, he explains why

Health insurance is not insurance

He has also published a book,

Moving Mountains: A Socratic Challenge to the Theory and Practice of Population Medicine

“This book will be of great interest to any reader concerned about healthcare. It will be of particular appeal to medical and public health students, as well as to healthcare professionals, including academics open to a challenging perspective.” Amazon

 

 

2 peds in a pod– (peds meaning pediatricians)

Practical pediatrics for parents on the go

Dr. Julie Kardos and Dr. Naline Lai practice pediatrics together and co-author this blog about infant, child, and adolescent  health issues. Including  “Essentials of Life- eat, sleep, drink, pee, poop, love”

Here they explain how to read food packaging labels accurately.

Deception in Packaging: Navigating the Nutrition Information Highway

Family of 4 sitting at a dining table.
Read food packing labels carefully to create nutritious meals.

Freud and Fashion

by psychiatrist Vania Manipod, DO

…BECAUSE IT’S STYLISH TO TALK ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH, ESPECIALLY HOW WE MAINTAIN OUR OWN.

sketch of clothes, shoes, pants
because it’s fashionable to talk about mental health

Dr. Manipod is active on several social media sites as well as her blog. As a psychiatrist, she focuses on mental health, for both patients and other physicians.

She offers Advice on How To Cope With Burnout,  advice she tries to take herself.

And in an interview post she discusses

how a New York woman fights the stigma of mental illness

Dr.Linda-

Just a family doctor speaking up from the frontlines of medicine

Dr. Linda Girgis, M.D. has published a  fiction book, Pandemic Rising

Pandemic RISING- a book

“The year is 2025 and there is a war of worlds in full swing: pathogens versus humanity. In the antibiotic-resistance era, people are living in a petri dish of toxic microbes. Unfortunately, humanity lost its most powerful weapons, antibiotics, when previous generations of doctors prescribed them indiscriminately. Additionally, the efficacy of vaccines waned when people refused these fortresses based on mythological beliefs. Across the globe, tens of thousands are dying while scientists and doctors race to find a cure and vaccine for these super-bugs. Will the medical community of scientists and doctors succeed in developing new ammunition? Or will humanity die off in the battle against the new world order of infectious diseases and pandemics?” Amazon

 

 

On her blog, she shares a poignant story about a terminally ill patient with an unshakable will to live in this post-

A Lesson a Patient Taught Me about Defying Death 

angel statue in a cemetery
photo source- Lightstock.com

Please visit at least one of these doctor bloggers, and leave them a comment. They will appreciate  the support and you may learn something new.

Previous posts about  doctor bloggers

10 health blogs you should read- a pair of docs and more

10 health blogs you should read- a family (doc) reunion

10 health blogs you should read- blogs by docs

10 health blogs you should read- 3 blogs by 3 docs

 

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