Herbs and Spices That Help Your Genes Dance To The Body’s Music

Herbs and Spices That Help Your Genes Dance To The Body’s Music

Most of us do not have unlimited amounts of money to spend on food. We like to stretch our food dollar, spotting good deals when we can and saving money at the checkout. Another way to look at food budgeting is to ask yourself this question:  how can I get the best return on my food dollar investment? In other words, rather than looking at total food dollars spent, change the value question. Ask yourself, which ingredients can I buy that deliver the most amount of nourishment and value to my body per penny spent? This indeed may reshape your food purchasing ideas and make your genes dance at the same time.

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The best cooking methods to power a food-gene connection

The best cooking methods to power a food-gene connection

I’ve been asked many times if it better to eat vegetables raw or cooked? The answer to that question is a combination of both. Although some raw advocates may swear to eat only raw food to retain the most nutrient value, certain food’s bioactive availability is enhanced when cooked.

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Food that turns the cycles of your body

Food that turns the cycles of your body

In my last blog, I talked about the human body as a system of pathways that link together like gears. As one gear connects with the teeth of another gear, information is passed between them and is shuttled around the body. The equivalent of gears in our body is biochemical pathways. These pathways process nutrient information from food into molecules that get the work of the body done. To visualize how these biochemical pathways work, just open the hood of your car while the engine is running and watch those belts spin. Yes, biochemical pathways work that fast, shuttling information every second of every day.

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Does the food you eat create a traffic jam in your body?

Does the food you eat create a traffic jam in your body?

About ten years ago, one of my colleagues made a joke about the left-hand index finger being the most frequently used implement for eating food. He was referring to pulling up to a drive through, lowering the car window, placing an order and then consuming that food while driving. Mindless eating. Then there’s the competitive eating “industry.” Indeed, there is Major League Eating organization that promotes competitive eating.

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Fermented Foods: yes they talk to your genes!

Fermented Foods: yes they talk to your genes!

Nothing makes me happier than to see a resurgence of fermented foods take their rightful place on our plates. Fermented foods have been part of the human plate around the world for centuries. Not only are fermented foods a traditional and sustainable way of preserving food and extending the harvest, it turns out they are some of the best foods for our health. More importantly, they are a source of nutritional compounds that also communicate with our genes. Let’s find out how. 

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FOOD-GENE CHATTY FOOD: THE ESSENCE OF MAKING A BIOACTIVE RICH SALAD

FOOD-GENE CHATTY FOOD: THE ESSENCE OF MAKING A BIOACTIVE RICH SALAD

If you have been reading The Genomic Kitchen Notebook,  you know I have been talking a lot about the power of bioactives and their ability to influence how your genes behave. Bioactives can initiate the process by which we turn genes on and off. But perhaps what you really want to know is: how can I get started right now? What can I do today to start a food-gene conversation on my own plate?  

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STRIKE UP A CONVO WITH YOUR GENES, THE MEDITERRANEAN WAY

STRIKE UP A CONVO WITH YOUR GENES,  THE MEDITERRANEAN WAY

In my last blog post, I talked about the significance of the wild herbs and plants that frequently adorn the plates of people across the Mediterranean Region. Growing food in the backyard and scouring the mountainsides and fields for fauna and flora has always been part of the Mediterranean plate, regardless of the country or region. Added raw to salads,  simply sautéed with a finishing sprinkle of fresh herbs or steeped in teas, often referred to as “mountain teas,” these freebies of nature are a staple to daily plates

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THE MEDITERRANEAN. OLD DIET. NEW THOUGHTS

THE MEDITERRANEAN. OLD DIET. NEW THOUGHTS

The Mediterranean Diet is often referred to as the “gold standard” of diets, touted by experts around the world as “the diet” to follow. Rich in vegetables and fruit, legumes and sometimes seafood, this eating style appears to hit all the nutrition targets anyone could need. Interestingly, the Mediterranean region spans three continents and 23 countries, where each country has its unique culture and culinary style. The foods of Southern Italy are not the same as Tunisia or Turkey, but the people are still eating the “Mediterranean Diet.” So how can the diet of a  region with such food diversity be labeled the “healthiest?” 

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SAY HELLO TO BIOACTIVES

SAY HELLO TO BIOACTIVES

As a health enthusiast, selecting and preparing foods that nourish you is part of your daily routine. No doubt those foods include a bountiful collection of fruit and vegetables claiming their rightful space in your kitchen. Plentiful research shows that produce is both healthy and “good for you,” but now we know even more about how they shape our health

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BRAISED FENNEL AND TOMATOES WITH OLIVES

BRAISED FENNEL AND TOMATOES WITH OLIVES

This is a recipe I adapted from an original recipe developed by Chef Deborah Madison. The fennel and tomato meld beautifully to create a luxurious taste in your mouth. The addition of olives adds a nice salty contrast to the unique combination of flavor offered by the fennel and tomato. An unforgettable dish you will make often, I promise. 

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GENETICS AND GENOMICS: WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?

Hardly a day seems to go by without some kind of mention of DNA testing, along with the words genetics and genomics. The question then becomes. Is there a difference between them, and more importantly from where I sit, what is their relevance to you and your health?

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