Strawberry Season

From a botanical point of view, this is not actually a berry, because it has its seeds on the outside of the fruit rather than the inside. Strawberries are full of vitamins: They contain many B vitamins, folic acid, zinc, copper and even more vitamin C than oranges or lemons.

To mark the beginning of the strawberry season we put together a few tips!

◎ Strawberries should not be rinsed with a strong water jet, but rather be soaked in cold water for a few minutes.

◎ Drain the washed strawberries well or pat dry carefully.

◎ Always remove stems and leaves after washing, otherwise the aroma will be watered down.

◎ Strawberries taste best at room temperature, so make sure to take them out of the fridge 30 minutes before eating.

◎ Freeze some strawberries and then puree them with a mixer to make a fruity ice cream, the best refreshment in summer! Those who like to experiment can also add a few leaves of basil, which gives a very special, fresh kick.

Let’s Talk Legumes

Here are few tips for when you are buying dried legumes or beans.

When buying dried legumes, choose a transparent packaging with a printed expiration date. This allows you to check the quality of what you are buying. Getting your legumes from a bulk store is also a great idea because the turnover rate in these stores is usually high, meaning that you get fresh product. When inspecting the legumes, look for uniform size as well as clean, smooth, shiny surfaces. If they smell fresh and spicy when you unpack them, they are most likely fine. However, circular holes, dark spots, or even a “floury” powder at the bottom of the packaging, may indicate insect or worm infestation.

For more tips about legumes/beans check out the websites below:
https://mamabake.com/2014/06/13/dry-pulses-beans-guide-buy-store-soak-cook/

https://www.seriouseats.com/2016/10/beans-legumes-pulses-varieties-recipes-cooking-tips.html

https://www.bonappetit.com/story/dried-beans-worth-effort

Mission Delicious!

With Metabolic Balance, you enjoy only one type of protein and one type of fruit per meal. Neither proteins nor fruit can be mixed within a meal. It’s a different case with vegetables and lettuce. The types of vegetables listed in your program can be mixed in a balanced, varied and colorful way. Each kind of vegetable and lettuce contains a variety of nutrients to uniquely support your metabolism.

Of course, as with protein and fruit, eating other types of food at lunchtime than in the evening and other types of food on Mondays than on Tuesdays. Variety is the key – make each day unique. This ensures that the organism receives all the nutrients it needs to balance the metabolism!

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How about Lemon?

Here’s another very common question we are asked – can I use a lemon to season my meals? 

The answer is yes and no. If lemon is on your list then you can definitely use the whole lemon. Lemon will be listed as one of your fruits, thus, if it is listed, then yes it can be used with your meal. You can use it in both, water or tea and as an ingredient in your food.  

The lemon peel, on the other hand, can be used as a seasoning by everyone. This is regardless of the phase they are in.

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What about Frozen Food?

One of the more common questions we get is about frozen foods. Can I use frozen meat, fish, vegetable or fruit? And how much should I have when it’s frozen? 

First, yes you can use frozen foods, as long as they contain no additives, fats or sauces – simply the pure food. We’ve seen, for example, commercial frozen fruit with added sugar. This would definitely not be allowed. So if you’re buying frozen foods, always check the label. If it’s a whole food that has been frozen soon after harvesting or preparing or one you have frozen it yourself, then it’s fine. With regards to quantities this is very simple. The amount of frozen fruit and frozen vegetables is exactly the same as allotted on your plan. When weighing frozen proteins such as fish, meat or seafood, you should always have an extra 25g more than listed in your plan, as there is a loss of water during thawing. For example: if you have 125g fish listed on your plan then you will need to have 150g of frozen fish.

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Chai Tea – Spices from India 

Chai has been gaining in popularity for several years now. The classic Indian spiced chai tea, sometimes also called yogi tea, does not actually contain any tea at all. Instead, it’s a spice mix of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves and black pepper. These spices are said to have a warming effect in Ayurveda, the classical Indian art of healing. Originally, the spices were briefly crushed in a mortar and pestle before adding to a pot of water and being brought to the boil. Milk and sugar were added, it was heated again and allowed to steep for a few minutes. Then the brewed “tea” was poured through a sieve and served. 

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Today Chai Tea is offered loose, in tea bags and even as powder. From it, the famous Indian Chai can easily be prepared with milk and little fuss. Here’s an easy way: simply froth hot milk and mix with the chai spice blend. You’re allowed to drink milky chai tea from phase 2 if  you have milk on your food list – but please, enjoy it only with your meal and do not use any other protein source for that meal.

What’s to Know About Pepper

Do you love pepper? We definitely do!

The peppercorns that we use as spice in our meals are from the Piperaceae family which has at least 700 different species! The pepper plant originally comes from the forests of southern India but is now cultivated in the tropics throughout the world. Black peppercorns with their thin, wrinkly skin are harvested and dried before they fully ripen. Nutritionally, black pepper is rich in piperine, which gives pepper its intense sharp taste. White pepper is made from fully ripe red pepper fruits, which are allowed to ferment. If the pulp is rubbed off after three days, the greyish-white, milder tasting round seeds appear. Green pepper is the unripe fruit that is placed in brine. No matter which one you use – (fresh) ground pepper is an excellent healthy addition in many aspects. Hot spices in general can support digestion and even kill pathogens. Of course those with a sensitive stomach or gastritis, should use peppery spices sparingly.

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Strategies “Around the Rules”

The Holiday Season is a wonderful time but with all the temptations everywhere we go, it can be hard to stick to healthy choices. So how do you stay on track with Metabolic Balance and not put on those extra pounds? Here’s how! 

  • Always aim to stick 100% to the three meal a day rule and take a 5 hour break between meals to avoid eating more than your stomach can handle. This will ensure your blood sugar levels don’t go too far out of sync and lead to unwanted cravings and blood sugar highs which make staying on track even harder.
  • Take your time to eat. Relax and enjoy the occasion and know there’s no rush to indulge in everything offered. By taking your time you’re less likely to overeat. Plus it’s the holiday season, a meal can and should last a little longer than normal!
  • Enjoy the goodies that are only prepared in this festive season – but always start with your protein appetizer, e. g., a bite of the Holiday turkey, ham, fish or goose.
  • Every feast needs to have a delicious dessert. How about making yours a baked apple with cinnamon this year? 
  • If you’re finding it hard to say no to sweet treats, try having some naturally bitter foods. A handful of cranberries, a cup of green tea or black coffee with your meal or tart lemon in your water can be helpful. 
  • Eggnog, punch, mulled wine or a glass of wine are a wonderful part of the Holiday Season and you shouldn’t miss out if you enjoy these treats. The best way to indulge is to ensure you drink alcohol with the meal. Remember, for each glass of alcohol drink a glass of water. 
  • Last but not least, drink your water between meals – this is the most important Strategy of the 8 Rules!

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What’s your favorite Okra Recipe?

Do you have okra on your food list? Have you tried it yet? Or are you a bit unsure what to do with it!? Let us help! 

Okra is a plant from the mallow family (so it’s related to hibiscus!) and originally comes from Ethiopia. Okra is actually the edible green seed pods of the plant so technically it could be called a fruit! 100g okra contain only 0.2g of fat and only 20 calories. It’s rich in beta-carotene, vitamin B1, B2 & B3 (niacin), vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and phosphorus. One of Okra’s nutritional highlights is the high-quality gut-friendly mucilages, which are particularly valuable for healing our digestive tracts and supporting a healthy bacterial balance in the small intestine. They taste great in a ratatouille or a stir-fry where okra mixed with tomatoes, zucchini, parsley root, eggplants and carrots. 

Back to you – what do you think about Okra? What’s your favorite Okra recipe?

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Savoy Cabbage – what a magnificent vegetable!

We love savoy cabbage – how about you? We just think it has such magnificent green, wavy leaves! Until recently, when haute cuisine started to champion it and it’s popularity increased, it was very much overlooked. One of the wonderful things about savoy cabbage, is that it has an excellent long season. The early season savoy cabbage comes on the produce shelves around Easter Time and has rather tender, loose leaves. The autumn variety though, has thicker and firmer leaves and also has a slightly spicier flavor. 

Savoy cabbage tastes greats as a vegetable side dish. It’s great to be used for savoy cabbage rolls and in lasagne. In terms of its nutritional strengths, it really does enrich our health during the winter season. It is high in vitamin C, contains vitamin B6, vitamin E, folic acid, potassium, calcium and iron. With only 31 kilo-calories per 100g, savoy cabbage could be called a “slim” vegetable, that contains plenty of beneficial sulfur oils and chlorophyll. In southern Germany, its leaves are traditionally used as a “green hot-water bottle”. The ribs of dark green savoy cabbage leaves are cut flat and briefly placed in boiling water. They are then rolled flat and laid as compresses on the body to relieve pain such as abdominal pain, chest pain or leg cramps.

MB 11-30 - savoy cabbage