5 Ways To Lower Cholesterol

Click here to watch my new video: 5 Ways to Lower Cholesterol 

Click here to watch!

Click here to watch!

What’s the number one cause of death in America? According to the CDC, it’s heart disease. The preventable, unnecessary, easily avoidable, heart disease.  Half of men >65 years old are prescribed expensive statin medications that cause obnoxious side effects like muscle pain. Here’s 5 tips to decrease cholesterol naturally.

1. Minimize Dietary Cholesterol and Saturated Fat

Cholesterol and saturated fat stick to our blood vessels and cause them to narrow, leading to erectile dysfunction and heart disease

Cholesterol and saturated fat stick to our blood vessels and cause them to narrow, leading to erectile dysfunction and heart disease

Cholesterol is only found in animal foods like meat, dairy, eggs, butter, and mayonnaise, and products containing animal foods like pastries, ice cream, cakes, and cookies.  Our livers make cholesterol to help fat travel in the blood.  Cholesterol is not a nutrient and it is not necessary to eat it.

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Meat consumption is associated with a 25% greater risk of coronary heart disease

Saturated fat is fat that is solid at room temperature.  Most animal fats are saturated (fish being the exception).  Be sure to avoid processed  and red meats and high fat animal products like cheeses and creams.

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A few years after experiencing erectile dysfunction, one is likely to have a heart attack.

2. Portion Control Healthy Fats

There are lots of benefits to a little bit of healthy fat but be sure to remember the two key words here, LITTLE BIT! Healthy fats would be the fats from plant sources or ones that are liquid at room temperature, like avocado, olives, almonds, sunflower seeds, and olive oil.  The general rule is 1-2 tablespoons of healthy fat is enough per meal.  Think of it as a garnish, not a main event.  Try these 10 tips to help decrease fat intake:

  1. Steam, boil, or bake food instead of frying it.  Be sure to use parchment paper instead of spraying pans with oil. It is super quick clean up and very effective non-stick.
  2. Sautee in water, it tastes the same!
  3. Buy a nonstick pan, I have made perfect pancakes without any oil
  4. Replace some of the oil in recipes with apple sauce
  5. Instead of eggs try making a “flax/chia egg”: 1 to 3 ratio- 1 tablespoon of ground flax or chia to 3 tablespoons of water, combine and let sit for about 10 minutes to let it form a gel.  Or, a mashed banana also works as a great egg alternative.
  6. Choose low fat plant based alternatives when it comes to meat, cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, milk
  7. Incorporate more products that are already naturally fat free like salsa, fat free marinara, jelly and jam
  8. Instead of snacking on fatty snack foods like chips, try pretzels, fat free organic popcorn, fat free granola, or rice cakes
  9. Be sure to read ingredients labels and look out for any added fats and oils, especially “hydrogenated oils” because those are trans fats!
  10. When you go out to eat, ask for dressing on the side so you can control how much fat you are eating and let them know you are sensitive to oil so they won’t sprinkle any extra on top of your food.

3. Eat Plenty of Plant Foods

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The American Heart Association did not hold back when recommending plant foods like grains, vegetables, and fruits. 4-5 servings of fruit a day! That could be 5 bananas!

Plant foods like grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds are all sources of fiber.  Soluble fiber has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels.

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4. Exercise!

The American Council of Exercise says most adults could gain substantial health benefits from 2 1/2 hours of weekly moderate intensity exercise, such as brisk walking or gardening.  That’s only 30 minutes a day 5 days a week! Our hearts are muscles too- gotta work those out!

5. Make Stress Your Friend

Health psychologist Kelly McGonigal has a great talk about recent research showing if we believe that the stress response is a good thing, the negative effects decrease.  Definitely watch her talk and remember: our stress is good! It makes us perform better, and there is nothing that we can’t handle.

Click here to watch my new video: 5 Ways to Lower Cholesterol 

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Posted in advice, cholesterol, college, dietetic internship, dietetics, exercise, health, heart disease, inspiration, MOTIVATION, research, Tips :) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Texas A&M University in Kingsville- My New Home

From Purdue to green Vermont:

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to working at the Organic Garden Cafe in Massachusetts:

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to yoga on the edge of the North Shore:

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To Paoli to Pcutie and Kyle gettin’ hitched!

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Congrats P Cutie and Kyle <3 !!!

Congrats Pcutie and Kyle!!!

to the Red River Gorge in Kentucky:

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to Chi City climbin’ and eatin pizza and burgerz:

Whole Foods multigrain crust with Vegan Cheese, loaded her up with our fixin's from the salad bar

Whole Foods multigrain crust with Vegan Cheese, loaded her up with our fixin’s from the salad bar

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100% Vegan Native Food’s Chicken Bacon Avocado Club and Chili Cheese Fries

to lots of hope in Hope, Arkansas

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Finally to my new home:

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Doesn’t it look like paradise? Texas is another country!  Palm trees and massive flat nothingness, random watermelon stands and banana trees.

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Class began on Monday, July 6th.  There was lots of review, but what I got out of it most was the negative vibe of what working in the hospital as a dietitian is like.  The professor made it clear that a hospital is not where you can take the time to cure a person completely, it is where you get them well enough quick enough to leave as soon as possible.  It was made clear that the hospital food is awful, and that no matter what condition a person has, whether cancer or colitis, they all have to get the same hospital food, just modified in different ways.  He also made it clear that it is all corruption because the longer kidney patients need to go to a dialysis center like Devita, the more money Devita will make.

Bottom line: Hospitals are a business, and sick people make that business happen.

I could feel the frustration spewing from my grad professor with every detail he said about his experiences.  You just don’t have enough time to talk to all of the patients.  So sad.

I was personally most frustrated to hear that a lot of patients think the food sucks so they won’t eat.  Not only do they think the food sucks, but the food isn’t being prepared by dietitians, it is being prepared by average Joe’s who don’t really know what the different patients need.

Maybe in the future, they will have Raw Vegan Chef, RD’s working in the hospital kitchens :)

For now, I am so excited to make a difference in the Kingsville/ Corpus Christi area, and it is fun making new friends and adventuring to new places.

tx4Click here to see my 4th of July experience!

Cheers to adventuring! xx

Posted in adventure, dietetic internship, friends, student, texas, travel, vegan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weekly Vegan Meal Prep: Chia Pudding and Overnight Oats Recipes

Here’s two easy recipes to help save time during the busy workweek.  weeklypreponthegothumb

Click Here to watch

Chia Pudding

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  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup plant milk

Overnight Oats

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  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup plant milk

Optional Fixin’s

  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp dried or frozen fruit
  • 1 chopped fruit, like banana or apple
  • 1 Tbsp seeds or chopped nuts
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • dash of cinnamon

Steps

  1. On a Sunday night, combine each recipe’s ingredients in 5 separate to-go containers like jars or tupperware and mix well
  2. Keep in the refrigerator and take one per day for a great breakfast, craving curbing snack, or nutritious dessert
  3. Enjoy often in good health! <3
Posted in breakfast, college, easy, Gluten Free, plant based, quick, Recipes, vegan, video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fat Free Vegan Blueberry Kale Bliss-Cream

Here, healthy + ice cream + so good goes in the same sentence.

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You will need: high speed blender or food processor

Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 leaves of kale, stemmed and rinsed
  • 2 ripe bananas, peeled and frozen for at least 6 hours
  • 1 fresh ripe banana
  • 1 soft medjool date, pitted
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla
  • 2 dashes of cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup of frozen blueberries

Steps:

  1. Put the kale in first so it is closest to the blade
  2. Add in frozen bananas, date, banana, vanilla, and cinnamon
  3. Blend until creamy
  4. serve with blueberries and a dash of cinnamon
  5. Run around like you were just blessed with those beautiful legs. xo

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Posted in breakfast, cheap, dessert, easy, Eats, fat free, health, plant based, quick, recipe, vegan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Memorial Day Watermelon Salad and Video

In honor of Memorial Day, I decided to make my favorite watermelon salad with mint and lime.IMG_20150525_094125The mint reminds me of my Grampa, who served in the army in World War II.  This is a great side dish or breakfast that is perfect for hot weather.  I uploaded a short video that shows how easy it is to make.  To watch the video, click here.

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Watermelon

The search for refreshing stops here.  Watermelon is of course hydrating, but is also high in vitamins and minerals.  The red color of watermelon provides the incredible antioxidant lycopene, which was shown to be effective in preventing skin damage from the sun in tomatoes according to a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology.  Watermelon also provides vitamins like vitamins A, B6, and C and minerals like potassium, copper, and magnesium. According to USDA’s supertracker, 1/4 watermelon provides 7g of protein.

Mint

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It is incredible how mint grows everywhere like crazy, but it costs $4.00 to buy a tiny organic package of it wrapped in plastic at the grocery store.  I highly recommend growing it yourself and throwing it into everything.  It is delicious in salads, wraps, smoothies, and the flavor is not overpowering.  I love it blended with frozen bananas for a refreshing mint ice cream.  This mint can also be used as a great herbal tea.

Lime

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I recommend a squeeze of lemon or lime on everything.  It adds vitamin C which is necessary for absorption of iron.  Many female vegans ask me how I get enough iron and eating nutrient dense foods is my first answer, but I am also intentional about my squeeze of lemon or lime juice.  Plants are abundant in minerals like iron, but the delicious vitamin C from lemons and limes adds great flavor to any bland meal and provides the antioxidants and vitamins necessary to help absorb all of my nutrients.

Posted in 2 ingredients, easy, Eats, Nutrients!?, Raw Vegan, recipe | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

So This Is Growing Up

Responsibility: Response. Ability.

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Mary, Me, Gracie, Mama, and Dad in front of the Beering fountain after graduation

Congratulations Graduate!?

I was never fond of sitting down and homeworking.. graduating has been the most epic milestone of my life for sure. What started as the craziest crowd surfing, football cheering, themed party-going all year slumber party ended as a isolated, library loving, caffeine craving, exam odyssey.  To all the nights I felt alive and to all the nights I wanted to die.. Looking back, I am glad I took on the adventure, I learned more than I ever thought I would.

You’re Ready.

Hyundai Elantra <3

Hyundai Elantra <3

Two words, lingering. They should make me ecstatic, but instead leave me feeling overwhelmed and wary.  My dad hands me the keys to my new mode of transportation: a gorgeous, sleek, smooth Hyundai elantra.  I know I should be jumping for joy, but all of a sudden, the responsibility of life is real, and my father thinks I am ready for it.

How Does It Feel?

Excited AND scared. People keep asking me “so, how does it feel?!” And, I don’t really know. I feel strange. Excited for new beginnings, yet sad about the closure with the wonderful life and friends I had at Purdue. I already had a nightmare that I forgot to study for an exam… glad THAT’S over!! If you ask me how I feel, don’t expect a straight answer, I could start crying (happens every time when I listen to Tay Swift’s “Never Grow Up”) or I could smile with excitement. I feel both.

Now What?

Y’all, I am headin’ to Texas! I am going to the combined Masters and Dietetic Internship program at Texas A&M University.  It will be another rigorous adventure!  I hope to pass the RD exam, go to Dr. T Colin Campbell’s Plant Based Nutrition Course, maybe even get to see California and go to Living Light Culinary School, who knows! I hope to get a camera and get more recipes up with videos too! Let me know what you think you see me doing in the future- I have no idea really, as long as I don’t have to take life TOO seriously ;-).  Teaching yoga and food-demoing? Of course! I’d love to be able to help as many people as I can.  <3

Thank you all for the support. Do keep in touch!

xoxo Reines

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Introducing: How To Prepare Kale Video

Want to learn how to prepare kale? Let me and Anna Lawler show you how fun and easy it is with this new video! 

Click here to watch the video!

Click here to watch the video!

Get the Kale Caesar Salad recipe from McKel Hill, RD of Nutrition Stripped. And thank you Larry Mashall of Marshall Camera Wedding Films for making this! If you’re getting hitched – he is the best videographer out there!!

Anna (left) and me (right) de-stemming the beautiful kale

Anna (left) and me (right) de-stemming the beautiful kale

My Favorite Kale Salad?

  • 1-2 bunches of kale
  • 2 pomegranates
  • 1 bunch green onion (half chopped half blended)
  • 1 large bunch dill (half chopped half blended)
  • 1 bunch mint (half chopped half blended)
  • 2 Tbs tahini (I used 2 Tbs hemp seeds)
  • 2 cups currents or raisins (I didn’t use raisins at the demo)
  • ½ cup pure lime juice
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 4 dates
  • 2 cups walnuts
  1. Wash, de-stem, and schiffinade kale
  2. Chop using either a food processor S blade, or a knife and cutting board, half of the bunches of scallion, dill, and mint
  3. Deseed pomegranates (with a large spoon, banging on the outside of 1/2 of the fruit so the seeds just fall into your palm)
  4. chop walnuts
  5. Blend juice, dates, and the other half of the bunches of green onion, dill, and mint
  6. Massage dressing into kale thoroughly with gloved or very very clean hands
  7. Using tongs, mix in nuts and pomegranate seeds
  8. Serve chilled <3

Check it out! Only 2 cups of kale has plenty of:

  • calcium for strong bones
  • vitamin K for heathy blood
  • vitamin A makes for night vision like a superhero and also is able to defend your cell integrity, like
  • vitamin C in acting like an antioxidant to not only keep you from getting sick! But antioxidants may also prevent cell damage that could result in pre-mature aging (wrinkles), cancer, heart disease, muscle soreness from exercise, and a slew of other health issues!
  • folate which is essential for proper DNA production and healthy cell formation
  • potassium to keep your muscles and nerves communicating properly (yes this includes your heart muscle!)
  • fiber to keep your gut happy as well as stabilize blood sugar and help with weight maintenance by helping you to feel satisfied. Oh KALE YES

According to the USDA’s Supertracker , only 2 cups of chopped kale provides:

Nutrients Amount Per Portion
Protein 6 g
Carbohydrate 12 g
Dietary Fiber 3 g
Total Sugars 0 g
Added Sugars 0 g
Total Fat 1 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Linoleic Acid 0 g
α-Linolenic Acid 0.2 g
Omega 3 – EPA 0 mg
Omega 3 – DHA 0 mg
Cholesterol 0 mg
Minerals Amount Per Portion
Calcium 201 mg
Potassium 658 mg
Sodium 51 mg
Copper 2009 µg
Iron 2 mg
Magnesium 63 mg
Phosphorus 123 mg
Selenium 1 µg
Zinc 1 mg
Vitamins Amount Per Portion
Vitamin A 670 µg RAE
Vitamin B6 0.4 mg
Vitamin B12 0.0 µg
Vitamin C 161 mg
Vitamin D 0 µg
Vitamin E 1 mg AT
Vitamin K 944 µg
Folate 42 µg DFE
Thiamin 0.1 mg
Riboflavin 0.2 mg
Niacin 1 mg
Choline 0 mg
Posted in Demos, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments