September 2, 2014

If you're looking for a heart-healthy diet to try, it appears low-carb may be better than low-fat. A new study finds a low-carbohydrate diet is more effective for weight loss and reducing cardiovascular disease risk than a low-fat diet.

Zumpano says researchers at Tulane University  randomly assigned 148 men and women to follow a low-carbohydrate diet or a low-fat diet. None of the participants had heart disease or diabetes when the study began.

After a year, results show people on the low-carbohydrate diet had greater decreases in weight, fat mass, and other cardiovascular disease risk factors than those on the low-fat diet. In fact, those in the low-carbohydrate group lost an average of almost 8 pounds more than those in the low-fat group and blood levels of certain fats, that are predictors of risk for heart disease, also decreased more in the low-carbohydrate group.

Researchers say until now, low-carb diets have been a popular strategy for weight loss, but their cardiovascular effects have been unknown. Zumpano says a low-carb diet may also provide you with the low-fat diet you may be looking for.

"Carbohydrates carry fat such as potato chips, or cake, or cookies, or French fries, or even pasta with Alfredo sauce. So, a lot of times by cutting out carbs or cutting down carbs you're also cutting down a significant amount of fat calories," she explained.

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September 2, 2014

Mango: "King of Fruits"

Botanical name: Mangifera Indica

An ancient fruit and arguably the most popular in many parts of the world, mangos are in the same family of plants as pistachios and cashews, which are also tropical, fruit-bearing trees that can grow up to 100 feet in height. Oval in shape and around five inches long, mangos are heavy because of the single, large seed or stone in the middle, which makes them a drupe.

Mangos have a yellow-golden tone when ripe, sometimes with patches of green. The fruit surrounding the seed is succulently sweet, fresh, and juicy with just the right touch of tartness. Their natural tenderizing properties make mangos a great ingredient for marinades for any type of meat.

Mangos were first cultivated in India several centuries ago. Most mangos consumed in the U.S. are produced in Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Guatemala, and Haiti.

The best way to choose a mango at the store is not as much about the color as it is its firmness. Push gently against the skin with your thumb. If it's "squishy," it's too ripe; too hard and it's not yet done. It's perfect when it gives ever so slightly to gentle pressure, and may also have a fruity aroma on the stem end. If unripe, you'll want to keep it at room temperature - not refrigerated - so it can become not just softer, but also sweeter. To speed up the ripening process, place it in a brown paper bag for a few days, checking at regular intervals.

Refrigerate mangos when they’re at optimum stage of "doneness." Uncut, they can keep for around five days. Peeled and chopped, they’ll be fine in the freezer in an airtight container for six months or so.

Health Benefits of Mangos

One cup of mangos has 100 calories. The same amount provides 100% of your daily vitamin C recommendation for promoting healthy immune function and collagen formation, and 35% of your vitamin A, important for vision, bone growth, and maintaining healthy mucous membranes and skin – plus, it’s shown by clinical studies to help protect your body from lung and mouth cancers.

Besides having more than 20 different vitamins and minerals, mangos contain flavonoids like betacarotene, alphacarotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin, which help vitamin A to impart antioxidant strength and vision-protecting properties, maintaining healthy mucous membranes and skin.

Consumption of natural fruits rich in carotenes, like mangos, is known to help protect the body from lung and oral cavity cancers. The potassium in mangos is an important cell and body fluid component to help control your heart rate and blood pressure. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is required for GABA (an inhibitory neurotransmitter) hormone production within your brain. It also controls homocysteine levels within your  blood, which may be harmful to your blood vessels and may cause stroke. Required for the production of red blood cells, copper is a co-factor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome c oxidase and superoxide dismutase.

One cup of mangos provide 12% of your daily dietary fiber, which not only helps keep your system running smoothly, but also shortens the time waste spends in your colon, reducing the risk of colon cancer. In fact, mangos have been shown in clinical studies to protect against cancer of the colon, breast, and prostate, as well as leukemia. Several trial studies suggest that polyphenolic antioxidant compounds in mangos are known to offer protection against breast and colon cancers.

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September 2, 2014

17 Very Chic Cafe Gitane Avocado Toasts That Are Instagram Famous http://ow.ly/2MKo0e
for more information on fruit trees visit http://ow.ly/AXdRP

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September 2, 2014

It might be a little early for to start planning Halloween, but we couldn't help ourselves!  This idea is easier and a lot cleaner than traditional pumpkin carving.

Think Beyond Orange

Add Dots: Cut a circle from a foam sponge and dab it in a shallow dish of paint. Press the dot directly onto your pumpkin, or onto a white stripe that you previously painted (and let dry).

Make 'Em White: Paint your pumpkins with a couple of coats of white craft paint and let them dry. Use markers and paint pens to add squiggles and squares or even to write a short Halloween story.

Make 'Em Black: Cover pumpkins with a couple of coats of black craft paint. Draw on the dry surface with chalk or a white paint marker.

Idea from: Parents

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September 1, 2014

South American Avocado and Quinoa Salad Recipe http://ow.ly/2MKjcQ
For more information about fruit trees visit us http://ow.ly/AXcFa

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September 1, 2014

Handmade vegan bath and body care gains in popularity http://ow.ly/2MKgUz http://ow.ly/AXc5d

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August 30, 2014

This dish is healthy, delicious, and easy to make!

Pomegranate Pilaf

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

1 cup basmati or jasmine rice

1 1/2 cups homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock

1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

1/2 cup chopped unsalted pistachios or almonds

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (about 1/2 pomegranate)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add rice; cook, stirring 1 minute to coat. Add chicken stock; bring to a boil. Cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until rice has absorbed all liquid, 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove from heat, and fluff with a fork. Stir in apricots, nuts, pomegranate seeds, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

Serves 6

Total time: 30 minutes

Idea from: Martha Stewart

More info about Fruit Trees: http://www.plantogram.com

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August 30, 2014

Since our last vegan cookie recipe was such a hit, we thought we'd post another cookie recipe!  This recipe is a little more complicated than our last recipe and certainly not as healthy, but these cookies are seriously sooo good! 
Ingredients

½ cup coconut oil

1 cup brown sugar

¼ cup almond milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup vegan chocolate chips 

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Cream (aka thoroughly mix) together the coconut oil & brown sugar, then add the almond milk & vanilla. The mixture may be really "liquidy" this is OK.

In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Combine the wet & dry ingredients (it WILL BE crumbly - this is OK), then fold in the chocolate morsels & any other mix-ins of your choosing.

Roll into Tbsp sized balls & place them on an ungreased cookie sheet (or on a sheet of parchment paper on the baking sheet), then flatten them out a bit with your palm. The dough may be a little crumbly, but just smoosh it together and it will work fine!

Bake for 7-10 minutes. (I did 8 which was perfect)

Yields 12-15 cookies

Prep time:10 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Idea from: Daily Rebecca

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August 29, 2014

This 7-Layer Potaco Salad Is The Ultimate Bowl Of Awesome.  This is a receipe for a potato/taco salad! It is super delicious and unique!

 

http://ow.ly/2MkWaR

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August 29, 2014

Here are our favorite small changes you can make in your daily life.  For the next 100 days, live by these and you will be a happier person by the end!

1. Stop complaining for the next 100 days. A couple of years back, Will Bowen gave a purple rubber bracelet to each person in his congregation to remind them to stop complaining. “Negative talk produces negative thoughts; negative thoughts produce negative results”, says Bowen. For the next 100 days, whenever you catch yourself complaining about anything, stop yourself.

2. Don’t buy anything that you don’t absolutely need for 100 days. Use any money you save by doing this to do one of the following:

  • Pay down your debt, if you have any.
  • Put it toward your six month emergency fund.
  • Start setting aside money to invest

3. Identify one low-priority activity which you can stop doing for the next 100 days, and devote that time to a high priority task instead

4. For the next 100 days, plan your day the night before.

5. For the next 100 days, eat five servings of vegetables and three servings of fruit every day.

6. For the next 100 days, instead of carbonated drinks, drink water.

7. For the next 100 days, actively look for something positive in your partner every day, and write it down.

8. Create a scrapbook of all the things you and your partner do together during the next 100 days. At the end of the 100 days, give your partner the list you created of positive things you observed about them each day, as well as the scrapbook you created.

9. For the next 100 days, make it a point to associate with people you admire, respect and want to be like.

10. For the next 100 days do one kind deed for someone every day, however small, even if it’s just sending a silent blessing their way.

Read more: 60 Small Ways to Improve Your Life in the Next 100 Days

Information from Lifehack

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