From the Desk of The Nutty Nutritionist

Roasted Vegetable Bean Salad

In Autoimmune disease, Fighting Cancer, Gluten-Free diet, Meal Ideas, Recipes, Vegetarian on October 4, 2013 at 9:44 AM

roast veg bean salad 1 cropJust because fresh, summer vegetable season is drawing to a close does not mean you have to stop eating them!  Vegetables of all shapes, sizes and colors provide an abundance of nutrition, are naturally low-calorie, loaded with antioxidants for fighting disease and inflammation, and fill a hungry tummy for an extended period of time (thank you, fiber!).  Whether you are watching your waistline, trying to prevent cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes, or managing inflammatory autoimmune conditions, such as scleroderma, lupus and multiple sclerosis, this salad is a healthy addition to your eating plan.  It is compatible with vegan and gluten-free lifestyles as well.  Some of the ingredients are available fresh all year round whereas others will be found in your grocer’s freezer during the off season (which are equally nutritious and healthful).  This tasty and refreshing salad makes an excellent pack-n-go lunch choice or a light meal to share among friends.  The recipe as outlined below makes three generous servings containing 260 calories, 20 grams of carb, 16 grams fat (only 2 grams saturated…nice!), 8 grams fiber and 8 grams of protein.   Enjoy!

Salad Ingredients:

1 cup of peeled fresh or frozen edamame (green soybeans); steam frozen in microwave 4-5 minutes

1 cup fresh or frozen corn, steamed in microwave 3-5 minutes (cut fresh off cob)

2 cups fresh or frozen thin green beans, washed and cut into pieces (blanch fresh beans in boiling water for 90 seconds; steam frozen beans in microwave 3-4 minutes)

1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced lengthwise

1 orange and 1 yellow bell pepper sliced into 1-inch pieces  (organic is best)

10-15 large fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons (this will serve as primary leafy green)

Dressing Ingredients:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/8 cup red wine vinegar

1 tsp. honey

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper

Preparation Instructions:

1.  Prep edamame, corn and green beans as described above.

2.  Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Combine sliced peppers and tomatoes in small amount of olive oil and spread in single layer on baking sheet lined with parchment or foil coated with cooking spray.  Roast for 15 minutes (until blistered), remove vegetables from oven and roasting pan, and place on new foil for 10 minutes to cool.

3.  Combine all cooled vegetables into large mixing bowl:  corn, edamame, green beans, roasted peppers, tomatoes and basil ribbons.

4.  Whisk together dressing ingredients in a smaller bowl and toss with vegetables.

5.  Chill at least 2 hours before serving to allow for flavor enhancement.

6.  Serve with warm bread, as desired.

Would you like more healthy recipe suggestions?  Interested in learning realistic strategies for creating a balanced lifestyle to meet your individual health needs?  Consider ordering the second edition of my book,  “You Gotta Eat!” at  Eat well!  Feel well!


“Eating Well with Scleroderma” Video

In Autoimmune disease, Scleroderma, Wellness on September 6, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Living with an autoimmune chronic disease, such as systemic scleroderma, fibromyalgia, lupus or Crohn’s, undoubtedly tests one’s ability to maintain a happy and productive life. In my opinion, there is no worse feeling than losing control over your own body. The unpredictable nature of autoimmune illness renders you helpless in the face of physical pain, debilitating fatigue, and unceasing emotional turmoil, and has the capacity to steal your quality of life. Systemic scleroderma invaded my body over 11 years ago, and I have struggled to meet every physical and emotional challenge this savage beast has thrown my way. As a practicing dietitian, I have the advantage of knowing how to modify my eating and lifestyle habits to manage the symptoms and resulting stress. I would like to share the filmed presentation I offered at the national Scleroderma Foundation’s annual Patient Education Conference in Atlanta this past summer. Even though the presentation is tailored to the specific needs of patients with scleroderma, the information and suggestions apply to everyone living with autoimmune illness.

The direct link to the presentation will not paste on this page, so I suggest connecting here to and then typing “Linda Kaminski Eating Well with Scleroderma” in the search box at the top on the YouTube home page. It will be the first title listed. Enjoy and I hope my suggestions help you live a longer, healthier life DESPITE scleroderma or any other autoimmune condition. Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns:

Live well! Feel well!

The Acne-Diet Connection

In Wellness on April 30, 2013 at 10:05 AM

Got zits?  Whether you had major acne or just an occasional pimple as a teenager, up to 50% of adults have recurring flare-ups.  Ugh!  How does this happen?   Genetic, hormonal and lifestyle factors can make adult skin susceptible to acne breakouts on the face, chest, and/or back.  Of course we could talk about the value of a good cleansing and exfoliation routine, but that is not why you are reading a nutrition blog, is it?   There has been a long-standing debate over whether one’s diet influences the frequency and severity of acne.  Historically, chocolate and dairy products have been blamed most often for causing pimples.  (The “Got Milk?” campaign should have been called “Got Zits?” then, eh??)   But simply avoiding chocolate and/or milk does not seem to be the answer.  In recent years, a growing body of evidence suggests that certain physiologic responses to the food we eat can aggravate skin’s natural oil (sebum) production, leading to clogged pores. I will share the latest dietary wisdom with you here, trying my best not to get too technical.

The latest scientific research suggests that a high level of circulating insulin is a culprit in acne flare-ups.  Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels.  Foods with a high glycemic index, such as sugars and refined flours, rapidly raise blood sugar, which in turn, trigger the body to release a higher volume of insulin into the bloodstream.  Excess insulin has been found to prompt the release of a variety of growth factors and other hormones, such as androgens, known to initiate inflammation and oil production in the skin.  (Androgens are male sex hormones that run especially rampant in teenage boys.)

Therefore, the dietary recommendations for controlling acne are based on reducing circulating insulin levels as well as curbing inflammation.  Keep in mind that there is no one dietary “super food” or “cure all” when it comes to completely stopping acne in its tracks.  (If it could only be that easy??)  The goal is to cut down on foods that aggravate and add more of the foods that are helpful to the situation:

1.  Cut down on sugar, period.  This applies to added sugars, like desserts, sweets, soda, and chocolate, as well as beverages containing natural sugar, like fruit juices and milk.  Yes, this is probably one of the main reasons why chocolate and milk have both been accused of causing acne over the years.  However, it is also speculated that the hormones given to cows to increase milk production may also be to blame, so look for milk from cows not treated with hormones.  Along this same vein, it is probably wise to eat meat from animals raised without hormones as well, even if meat does not raise insulin levels as much as sugars do.

2.  Cut down on refined carbs.  White flours and other processed grains, such as white rice and white pasta, are guilty of raising insulin levels too.  When selecting carbohydrate-containing foods, choose 100% whole grains and limit portion size to 1 cup in order to control the body’s insulin response.

3.  Eat more low-carbohydrate foods such as hormone-free lean protein (such as chicken and fish), non-starchy vegetables, and healthy oils, like olive oil and avocado.

4. Eat more anti-inflammatory foods such as fatty fish (Alaskan salmon and sardines) and nuts/seeds (walnuts, almonds and flaxseeds especially) and deeply-colored fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, kale, and broccoli.   The vitamin A in orange and green vegetables are wonderful for skin too.

5.  Drink more water, as it is essential for skin metabolism and regeneration.  You don’t have to overdo it, but aim for the “gold standard” of eight, 8 oz. glasses a day– more if you live in a dry climate (hello Arizona and Nevada friends!), during hot weather or if you exercise regularly.

Making the above-mentioned dietary changes will get you well on your way to improving your complexion.  Plus, not only are these diet habits good for your skin, but for your overall health as well.  Of course, cutting down on stress, getting enough sleep, keeping your hands away from your face, and taking a shower after exercise are also helpful behaviors towards keeping unsightly breakouts at bay.

Pimples be gone!   Enjoy your day 😉

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