From the Be Well Kitchen: Kale Avocado Salad

If I ever get stuck on a deserted island, let’s hope it’s overgrown with kale and avocados. I’m borderline obsessed with kale avocado salads. They are the easiest thing to throw together, and if you do it right it’s incredibly delicious. Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods available, and pairing it with creamy avocado makes the perfect healthy salad. I make kale avocado salads in lots of different ways – so experiment with what works for you – but here are the basics on how to make it taste great.

Should You Be Drinking Soy Milk?

I remember when I first got interested in nutrition – it was right after I read a book on veganism. Immediately, I ditched my skim milk for soy. Soy milk in my cereal, soy milk in my coffee, even drinking soy milk straight from the glass! I thought it was the healthiest choice in milks because it was dairy free.

Paleo Diet 101

Lately, you’ve probably heard a lot of people talking about eating “Paleo.” People are really into it. Here at the Wellness Center, we are big fans of Paleo and we recommend it to a lot of patients. We’ve witnessed people having great success with a number of conditions — weight loss, clearing up digestive/gastrointestinal discomfort, skin issues, hormonal imbalances, joint pain and even autoimmune issues. What’s all the hype about?

Why Cut Out Nightshade Vegetables?

We all know that vegetables are the best foods you can eat for optimal health — but what about the nightshade vegetables? The first time I heard the word “nightshades” mentioned in a nutrition class, I had no idea what they were — I pictured someone wearing sunglasses in the dark! Turns out, nightshades are a classification of vegetables that includes potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants and peppers of all kinds (except black pepper).

Is Gluten Free Always the Healthiest Option?

Going gluten free is all the rage these days — and with good reason! Here at the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center, we’re constantly recommending that our patients go gluten free. Why? For an increasing number of people, gluten causes an immune reaction, as though it is a foreign substance in the body rather than a nourishing food. Consuming gluten can be a huge energy drain and a trigger for inflammation. Eliminating gluten, even just for a couple of weeks, can strengthen the immune system, support healthy digestion, and eliminate a number of health problems.

From the Be Well Kitchen: Kabocha Squash Soup

Kabocha squash soup is my favorite winter meal. When the cold weather starts rolling in, there’s nothing better than this creamy, nourishing, comforting soup. Kabocha squash is packed with vitamins and fiber, which makes this dish not only delicious but full of nutrition. You really can’t go wrong. You can use any winter squash you want, kabocha just happens to be my favorite.

Why Cut Out Peanuts?

I saw an advertisement on the NYC subway the other day that said “peanuts are a superfood!” and I had to smile. Peanuts have, for a long time, been such a staple of the American diet, especially during childhood – who doesn’t love a good PB and J sandwich? But on the Be Well Cleanse and many other elimination diets, peanuts are removed from the diet. Why?

Well, first and foremost, peanuts are one of the most common food allergens, and there’s evidence showing that the rate of peanut allergies in the US is rising.

A Week of Gluten-Free Meal Ideas

Curious about cutting out gluten but have no idea what you’d eat? I’ve got you covered. When people first consider going gluten free, or even trying to reduce the amount of gluten in their diet, they’re often left wondering “but what’s left to eat?”

Especially in America, with a seemingly endless supply of gluten-filled muffins, pastries, pasta, processed snack foods and overflowing bread baskets, it may seem like a daunting task to find foods without gluten. The truth is, getting rid of gluten doesn’t have to be a painful, restrictive process. By eating in line with the meal choices I’ve laid out below, you’ll realize how abundant and delicious your gluten free choices are. Your tastebuds will be so satisfied, you won’t remember the word gluten existed!

Afraid of “Giving Up” Your Crutches on the Cleanse? We All Are!

Here at Be Well, we coach people through dietary changes every day. One of the things we frequently recommend, depending on the person’s symptoms, is the Be Well Cleanse. The Cleanse is an elimination diet – we remove any foods that are inflammatory to the body or that commonly cause allergies or sensitivities. Everyone has a different diet and is dealing with different symptoms to clear up when they embark on a cleanse, so when they take their first look at the list of foods to remove, we get a lot of different reactions. Surprisingly though, many times people don’t even flinch at the thought of cutting out gluten, cheese or sugar. Often, the things people have the strongest reaction to and can’t imagine quitting, even for 2 weeks, are in the beverage section.

Intermittent Fasting – Is It For You?

Here at Be Well, we’ve been hearing a lot about intermittent fasting lately, and a few of us in the office have been trying it out as an experiment. As I always do with any new health-related endeavor, I’ve been feverishly researching everything about it. I’ve spent hours learning about the benefits, best practices and widely varied opinions that come along with intermittent fasting, and I’m here to share some of my findings with you. Personally, I find it fascinating.