Beans! Beans! Are good for the heart the more you eat the more you ….
I am a bean lover but don’t like the gas effect it has so I wanted to share how they can be a more pleasant protein. There are several ways of making beans more agreeable with your bodily functions. Some things which influence digestibility include proper cooking and combining of ingredients, thorough chewing, proper seasoning, and eating them in a moderate amount and not too late at night.
Combined with whole grains, they provide all the essential amino acids needed by the body. In addition, they are high in soluble fiber, calcium, phosphorus, iron, thiamin, niacin, and vitamin E. Although they contain only modest amounts of vitamin A, beans contain phosphatides that increase the absorption of betacarotene. The fat in beans is unsaturated and cholesterol-free.
1) A small piece of soaked, kombu (3 inches) will soften and make and entire pot of beans more digestible.
2) Soaking beans for several hours or overnight before cooking will also help.
3) Small beans, because they have less fat and protein than large beans, are easier to digest.
4) In addition to cooking beans with kombu, cooking without the lid on for a few minutes and skimming off the foam will also increase digestibility.
Azuki (Adzuki) beans: Small, oblong, and reddish-brown in color, with a white line along the ridge, they contain less fat than other beans and can be served as a side dish, in soup, cooked with grains, and sweetened as a dessert. They have a light, nutty flavor that adapts to both sweet and savory dishes.
Black-eyed peas: Native to Africa, these beans are medium sized, oblong, and have an irregular dark purple circle on their light surface. They have an earthy flavor and a smooth, buttery texture.
Black turtle beans: Small to medium in size, round, and black, with a white line along the ridge, these are a member of the kidney bean family and have an earthy flavor reminiscent of mushrooms.
Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans): This light yellow, nut-like bean is small and compact. They have a full-bodied, rich flavor similar to chestnuts with a bit of a crunch. Chickpeas can be prepared in numerous dishes but are perhaps best known as a paste called “hummus.”
Kidney beans: These come in a multitude of shades, shapes, and sizes but are most commonly medium-sized and red in color. They have a full-bodied taste and rich, creamy texture.
Lima beans: Limas come in two sizes. One type is large, flat, and kidney-shaped and white to light green in color. This bean has a creamy, slightly starchy taste. The other type is known as “baby limas” or “butter beans” and is smaller with a more buttery flavor.
Lentils: There are many varieties of lentils, the two most common being the Middle Eastern and the Indian. The Middle Eastern is green to brown in color, whereas the Indian is orange to red. Both are soft and need no soaking to cook up quickly. Red (decorticated or “skinned”) lentils tends to dissolve into the broth in which they’re cooked, while brown (whole) lentils keep their shape. Both types add an earthy flavor to soups, stews, and salads.
Pinto beans: Medium-sized, oval, and usually pinkish-brown in color with a freckled pattern, these are most often served as refried beans. They have an earthy, full bodied flavor and a mealy texture.
Happy Bean Eating!
There are many differing dietary theories on the market today and so many people are trying on the latest new diet, detox or fast. I myself have tried many these programs but they didn’t really stick. There are many contradictions between these theories and it leads you to wonder…how it could be that the experts in certain fields are not always quite hitting the mark on what works and what’s healthy for everyone?
Since immersing myself in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) I have been putting my own self to the test. I am my own best project. I have recently been implementing new ways of eating a more consistent diet and and eating more intuitively, incorporating loads of plant based foods, supplements and herbs. So far so good. I have been feeling fantastic. I definitely can feel the shift in mood, memory, vitality and energy.
After doing a bit of research of my own, I found out that this notion of “Bio-individuality,” a theory put forth by Roger Williams in 1956 in a book called Biochemical Individuality, says that every person is unique, and the diet that will work best for them is also very unique and individualized. Just as we all have different personalities, finger prints, DNA and other characteristics, we all have different dietary needs. As a result, they change over time as we change and grow, and as we move through the seasons, and through the years. We have different dietary needs at twenty than we do at forty and sixty. And they’re all determined by the make up of our bio-individuality.
I am 32 years old, with no outstanding health issues thus far. I am Asian (Chinese/Korean) and my blood type is O positive. According to my blood type, I have been told I should be on a higher protein diet with a balance of veggies. For years I have maintained a mixture of raw and macrobiotic foods into my diet. I grew up eating mostly a macrobiotic diet as a teenager. For a long time I was a strict vegetarian and vegan and then eased my way back to being an aquatarian. I don’t consume milk, rarely now eat cheese (i’ll have nibble or two if it’s goat), and sometime will do eggs. I am starting to incorporate eating more poultry, organic and free-range chicken, once a week. I do feel like I need the protein. I massively have cut down on eating soy and tofu and brown rice and actually feel much better, lighter and brighter.
In the past I used to eat sugar a lot and most of us are addicted to sugar…ice cream, chocolate, agave and honey in everything you name it. Studies show that the carcinogenic sweetener (high frutctose corn syrup) is 2 times more additive than alcohol and has the equal liver damage to that of alcohol has on the liver!
Currently I use stevia, maple syrup and raw honey in very small amounts. As I have cut down on my use of sugar and salt and my sense of taste has become more acute. I have stopped buying my weekly vice purchase of organic super dark chocolate. I found myself binging on these bars late at nite! Needless to say it was not making me feel good physically; it’s been more of a mental, “i got to buy it because I am out” type of purchase. My metabolism is quite good. I don’t have a weight problem. I have learned to tune into myself and really listen to my body and what my gut is telling me.
If I am not hungry I won’t eat. If I am hungry I will eat just enough to feel content. I have been more mindful of creating space for myself while eating and not eating on the go or rushing and ravenously scarfing down food because I waited to long in-between meals.
There was a time growing up as a teenager in freshmen through senior year in high school that I did not think I could be thin enough. I really wanted to be super thin like all the models in the magazines. I was addicted to taking laxative pills, not eating, eating and binging, eating and forcing it to come up, eating just yogurt and rice crackers, drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes and drinking only fruit juices…You name it. It got to a point where my friends were noticing the weight change and I wasn’t feeling so great. I felt like this was the one thing in my life I could really control. My body not only craved food that was right for me but I was deeply craving a sense of love and compassion that I was starving and unaware of myself about.
I wasn’t listening to my body like I am now. Our bodies knows what it needs to eat and it will tell you if it doesn’t like something. We can begin to identify what makes us feel good (light, happy, satisfied, at ease), and what makes us feel bad (too full, sick, groggy, irritated).
I find real food to eat. Eat a balance of items not too much of one over the other. It’s good to get in as much plant based foods that are rich in mineral and vitamins. Proteins, grains and complex carbs should also be incorporated. Stay away from transfats, triglycerides, too much sugar and salt and of course artificial flavoring, chemicals and dyes.
I drink more water. I drink tons of ionized, alkaline, Kangen water. I have not been sick in over 3 years. I just had a physical and went to the lady doctor. All is in good shape! I used to not drink water, as a matter of fact I really did not like drinking water at all and I suffered from IBS, weak kidneys, fatigue, chronic sciatic pain in my right leg, lower back problems. I did everything I could to find an allopathic solution from going to acupuncture, cupping, body management, active release therapy, chiropractics, getting my c-1 disc in my neck adjusted, yoga, and meditation. So far the only thing that has really made me feel better is being on this water. It’s been three years now I the only thing I have changed in my diet since that has been changing and actually drinking more water. Most illnesses in the body occur because the body is too acidic and is not properly hydrated and 50-70% of Americans are chronically dehydrated and living in pain. If they simple drank more water and the best water they could find. They will feel better and live a lot longer without the medical bills!
I cook at home. In the past 5 years have been making about 75-90% of my meals at home. I add in a ton of fresh herbs and use a lot of lemons and a few spices here and there.
I have reduced my stress. I was finding that I was yo yo-ing from either eating too much or not at all during times of stress. I have been now doing other ways to relax like meditating, taking a hot bath, going for a walk, talking to a good friend, reading great grounding books…they have all helped me to separate the need for nutrition from the need for comfort and relaxation.
I get more sleep. I wasn’t and still sometimes do not get enough sleep because I am up working on projects. As a result I wasn’t feeling great and was waking up with anxiety. It is now key though for me to get the full 7-8 hours of sleep. Our body generates over 5oo million new cells a night, we can thank are hard working liver for that!
I always…well sometimes I do miss but…I like to eat breakfast. I like to eat my breakfast and sometimes will skip this if I am not feeling hungry. Again it’s good to go with what you are feeling. I do however notices that when I skip breakfast I set myself up for uncontrollable hunger later in the day. I know and can feel that my body needs both food and water first thing in the morning, after fasting through the night. A sound breakfast sets my balance for less food cravings and more healthy choices.
I get regular exercise. I like to get in adequate exercise which suppresses appetite, while at the same time improving digestion. Movement are essential to physical and emotional health. Running, walking, yoga, barre, dancing, hiking, biking, swimming. There is a lot to choose from. Just go out there and move and do something. Your body and mind will love it. Exercise is a greatest feeling because it reduce stress levels, and help your body burn fat through using muscles.
It took some time and going through many ups and downs with losing, gaining weight, feeling like I am on a spiritual high from not eating, to feeing low-energy and groggy from binging on food. Taking in as many cigarettes and alcohol from the age of 15 to 30 and finding ways to quit cold turkey and then start back up again. The only thing that help me was stop being so extreme with myself. To ease off on the sugar consumption, the bad food, the cigarettes, the alcohol…even the toxic relationships in my life. I was responsible for all of it. Confucius once said that, “A journey of a thousand leagues begins with one step”. So I have been taking steps in my life to create the type of visionary life with an abundance of freedom, love, health and wealth in my life.