Seared Beef with Pomegranate and Balsamic Dressing
- 1 ½ lb. (450 g) flank steak
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp. Dijon-style mustard
- ½ cup arugula
- 1/2 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Take a big skillet to prepare the dish on a high heat.
- Cut off extra amount of fat from meat. Rub in oil and seasoning.
- Place the meat on hot pan and cook it for 4 minutes on each side (if you like medium rare) for medium cook steak at least 6 minutes on each side.
- Prepare balsamic dressing by combining vinegar, pomegranate molasses, Dijon mustard and the remaining olive oil.
- Slice the steak against the grain, place on the plate and add arugula, pomegranate seeds and dressing.
Top 5 Most Elegant Ladies of all times
Some inspiration for this Monday. Let the pictures speak for themselves.
Avocado is the king of Superfoods
Here is some very good news for guacamole lovers everywhere: A new review of scientific literature suggests that eating avocado may help prevent metabolic syndrome. Dubbed “the new silent killer,” metabolic syndrome is the term used to describe a combination of three or more risk factors for heart disease and diabetes (like high blood pressure, high triglycerides and large waist circumference).
The review, conducted by Iranian researchers and published in the journal Phytotherapy Research, looked at 129 previously published studies examining the effects of avocado consumption on different components of metabolic syndrome. Most of the studies involved the fleshy part you’re used to eating, but some also included avocado leaves, peels, oil, and pits.
The researchers concluded that avocados have the most beneficial effects on cholesterol levels and that consumption of the creamy fruit can influence several different measurements: LDL (bad) cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, triglycerides, total cholesterol and phospholipids.
That’s not all, though. “The lipid-lowering, antihypertensive, antidiabetic, anti-obesity, antithrombotic, antiatherosclerotic, and cardioprotective effects of avocado have been demonstrated in several studies,” wrote the authors, and most of those studies recommend eating the fruit on a daily basis. In other words, avocados can help fight pretty much every aspect of metabolic syndrome.
“This is just yet another study to show that avocados truly deserve superfood status,” says Health’s contributing nutrition editor, Cynthia Sass, RD, MPH. Sass was not involved in the review, but says it includes an “impressive range of studies.”
Sass points out that avocados can help stave off belly fat, the most dangerous type of fat to carry. And even though they’re high in healthy fat compared to other fruits, it’s hard to go overboard and eat too much. “Fortunately avocado is very satiating,” she says. “It’s almost like they have a built-in stop-gap.”
Research also shows that people who eat more avocados weigh less and have smaller waists than those who don’t, even when they don’t consume fewer calories overall. “This is yet another example of how not all calories are created equal,” Sass says.
Health.com: 18 Superfoods for Your Heart
Avocados are also good sources of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, in addition to their heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. And, as the review notes, they’re generally safe and better tolerated than synthetic medications.
Want to add more avocado to your regular diet? Besides using the fruit to make guacamole and trendy avocado toast, you can also whip it into smoothies, add it to omelets and salads, and—with a little seasoning—use it as a topping for sandwiches, soups, fish, chicken or pizza. Avocado can even be used as a replacement for butter in baking recipes, and its creaminess makes it a good base for desserts like ice cream and pudding.
“Avocado blends well with both sweet and savory ingredients, and provides the satisfaction factor that makes dishes decadent,” Sass says.
While the study looked at several parts of the plant, Sass recommends sticking with the flesh for now. “We don’t yet know enough about the safety of eating pits and peels,” she says.
Kiwi and Spinach Smoothie
The slightly sweet and tangy flavor of kiwi is the most prominent taste in this delicious creamy smoothie. The nutrient-dense drink layers greens on greens, and your body will greatly benefit from it!
- 2 peeled kiwis
- 1/2 peeled banana
- 1/2 melon, cut in cubes
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 1/3 cup fresh mint
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp. granola
- 1/2 multifruit juice
- 10 ice cubes
- 1 handful of walnuts
- Combine all ingredients in a blender.
- Pulse until smoothie becomes smooth and homogeneous in texture.
Meatballs in Sauerkraut “Crazy in Love”
- Vegetable oil
- ½ cup of dry white wine
- 1 chopped onion
- 1 lb (450 g) of ground beef
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup of cooked rice
- 2 cups of sauerkraut
- 1 ts of paprika
- 1 ts of cumin
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Use the pot with a tight-fitting lid. Sauté chopped onion on vegetable oil for 5 minutes until onion becomes soft and transparent. Add sauerkraut, wine, paprika and cumin. Cook on low heat for 15 min.
- In a bowl, mix together ground beef, rice, garlic, breadcrumbs, pepper and salt. Make medium size
- In a separate skillet, cook meatballs for 20 min. Once they are almost ready, place them into sauerkraut pot and cook for another 5 minutes.
Fight anxiety with breathing
This Is the Fastest Way to Calm Down
When people are anxious before getting surgery, doctors and nurses often tell them to take slow, deep breaths with long exhalations. It may seem like an inadequate way to quell anxiety, but in many cases, it actually works.
Now scientists describe why deep breathing, including the breath-focus of meditation, can induce such calm and tranquility. In a paper published in Science, researchers led by Mark Krasnow, a professor of biochemistry at Stanford University, found that in mice, a group of nerves in the brain that regulates breathing has a direct connection to the arousal center of the brain. In other words, breathing can have a direct effect on the overall activity level of the brain.
Krasnow’s team has been studying a group of 3,000 neurons in the brain stems of rodents that control all of a mouse’s different breathing patterns, from the quick, rapid breathing associated with exertion and excitement, to the slower breathing typical of rest, to sighing and crying. Krasnow found that about 60 types of nerve cells make up this so-called “breathing pacemaker”, and each of these nerve cell groups are responsible for different breathing patterns.
In the study, the group was trying to isolate the different types of neurons and their various effects on breathing. Using a genetic technique, they silenced specific neurons to see what breathing function was disturbed. Their first experiment seemed like a failure when the researchers manipulated one set of neurons, yet the mice didn’t show any changes in their breathing. “We were very disappointed initially,” says Krasnow.
They put aside that experiment and moved the manipulated animals to a new cage environment. But that’s when they noticed something novel. Normally, moving mice makes them nervous and obsessive about exploring their new surroundings. But instead of sniffing and running around, the mice with the changes in their breathing center seemed to “chill,” says Krasnow. They continued their at-rest behavior: grooming themselves and hanging out without a need to urgently investigate their new surroundings.
It turns out that Krasnow had disrupted a set of nerves with a direct line to the brain’s arousal center; these nerves can either tell the brain there’s an emergency and set off the body’s alarms, or keep the brain on an even keel, maintaining a sense of calm. This is the change that happens when breathing slows down, says Krasnow. “This liaison to the rest of the brain means that if we can slow breathing down, as we can do by deep breathing or slow controlled breaths, the idea would be that these neurons then don’t signal the arousal center, and don’t hyperactivate the brain. So you can calm your breathing and also calm your mind,” says Krasnow.
Breathing, in other words, can change the mind, or the state of the mind.
So why do some people still feel anxious after a few deep inhales and exhales? It’s possible that their genetic variations mean they have a dulled response to this cluster of nerves responsible for regulating breathing, so that it takes more than conscious deep breaths to switch the brain from an aroused to a calm state. In those cases, having something like a drug or other intervention to specifically target the right group of breathing nerve cells and control its activity might be needed. That’s where Krasnow hopes the work will lead: to a way to better control the calming effect that deep breathing can have on the brain. In the meantime, he says, don’t dismiss deep breathing as a way to combat stress and anxiety. There’s now a scientific explanation for why it works.
Don’t underestimate the flu
I came across this article on CNN and it made me cry… This brave mum shares her story, how she lost her daughter to flu. She is raising awareness of the flu and how dangerous and deadly it could be.