My goal has always been to eat foods that are lower in calories and higher in nutritional value- low calorie, nutrient dense foods.
If you are my patient, then you may have enjoyed having lunch with me at my favorite sushi restaurant in Atlanta, Sushi Nami.
High quality, fresh salmon, sushi rice, greens, ginger and green tea are a big part of what I eat and drink.
Today I would like to show you what I eat for dinner on a regular basis when I am not preparing my own sushi hand rolls (mostly salmon, avocado and sushi rice) at home or eating at a sushi restaurant.
One of the easiest ways to improve your health one meal at a time is by steaming your food.
This can be easily accomplished by using a stove top stainless steel steamer or by using an electric steamer.
In the photo, you see my dinner consists of :
-some form of high quality seafood -my preferred source is either Whole Foods Market seafood or Vital Choice (www.vitalchoice.com) that sources wild seafood from Alaska where the fishing laws are the strictest.
I do not buy farmed raised seafood.
I like to be as sure as possible that what I eat is free of antibiotics, pesticides, synthetic coloring agents, growth hormones and GMOs.
-steamed organic leafy greens-usually a blend
-a high quality organic grain like quinoa
This meal consists of Wild Alaskan Scallops, Organic Steamed Power Greens- consisting of Spinach, Arugula and Swiss Chard, and Organic Quinoa- an ancient grain that is very high in protein and nutrients.
Scallops are an excellent source of lean protein.
They have a unique appealing texture and succulent flavor even for those who don't like fish.
Scallops are a nutrient powerhouse as they are high in Omega 3s, Vitamin B12, selenium, iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc, phosphorus and choline.
Scallops are on the list of seafood that is low in contamination with mercury.
I drizzle the meal with a high quality organic balsamic glaze- which is one of my greatest culinary discoveries.
It can be found at any grocery store next to the balsamic vinegar.
This is what the great chefs use- that takes them hours to prepare to make the reduction- that makes some of their dishes taste so good.
Eating more steamed organic leafy green vegetables - such as spinach, baby kale, watercress, Swiss chard, collard greens, arugula and bok choy- with every meal and as snacks is the single best way to increase natural nitrates in your diet, which get converted by the body into nitric oxide.
As you age, you produce less nitric oxide and levels can dip by half after age 40 - which means you need to eat even more nitrates to keep everything- and I mean everything- working properly.
Nitric oxide is a signaling molecule and a gas that lowers blood pressure and most importantly promotes blood flow- essential for heart health and romantic health.
A low nitric oxide level is the single most important reason that men turn to prescription medications- such as the little blue pill- to increase levels temporarily.
What I drink:
Every morning I drink a matcha green tea latte or a Sunwarrior Classic Rice Protein shake made with organic rice milk.
Throughout the day, I drink only water- natural spring water from a high quality source and preferably from a glass bottle.
I also drink coconut water- the best electrolyte replacement available.
Fun Fact: During World War II, when blood transfusions were not readily available, coconut water (which is sterile) was given by IV to the soldiers to keep them alive.
This use is documented in the medical literature and has been used in emergency situations.
American Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2000 Jan;18(1):108-11.The intravenous use of coconut water.
My favorite coconut water is Taste Nirvana coconut water in glass bottles available at Whole Foods, Amazon.com and Krogers.
The trick is to buy pure coconut water and not any that has sugar added.
Limit yourself to 8 ounces of pure coconut water daily.
I don't drink alcohol in any form because I don't make enough of the alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) enzyme necessary to break down alcohol.
This enzyme metabolizes alcohol to acetaldehyde, a highly toxic substance and known carcinogen.
This means that alcohol is very toxic to my body and so I have always avoided it.
Studies are finding that most women don't make enough of this enzyme so it is believed that alcohol is even more toxic to women than to men.
Steamed Organic Leafy Greens with Every Meal
Calorie for calorie, the organic green leafy vegetables- spinach, Swiss chard, collards, kale, watercress,arugula and other leafy greens may just be the most nutritious food you can eat.
Arugula has one of the highest nitrate levels of any leafy green, helping to increase blood flow and therefore enhance performance.
Swiss Chard is a top source of two important, lesser-known antioxidants: syringic acid and kaempferol.
The former can help stabilize blood sugar by inhibiting enzymes that turn carbs into simple sugars, while the latter protects cells against cancer-causing toxins, lowers inflammation, and may also reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases.
Of all leafy greens, collards are best at binding your stomach's bile acids, which can help lower your cholesterol levels and even protect you from some cancers.
Collards also contain a special class of phytochemicals that nourish the body's natural detoxifying system.
Bok choy is one of the best sources of potassium, which helps build muscle and keep blood pressure low.
Bok choy is also packed with vitamin A, which strengthens the immune system by increasing white-blood-cell activity and the body's response to toxins.
Kale is a prime source of cancer-thwarting compounds called glucosinolates, as well as kaempferol, which researchers believe combats cancer.
Kale also protects the heart, lowers blood sugar, strengthens bones, and reduces inflammation in the body.
Kale is rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that help prevent eye disease and vision loss as you age.
If you eat watercress daily for two months, you will cut DNA damage to your white blood cells, reducing your risk of cancer and lowering your triglycerides (unhealthy blood fats) by 10 percent, according to studies.
These green life giving foods are packed with vitamins - A, B, K, and others - but also rich in essential minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium, as well as antioxidants, which protect cells against damage.
Leafy greens contain phytochemicals, natural compounds that can help prevent hardening of the arteries and lower inflammation linked to heart disease.
They have a synergistic combination of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that help detoxify cells and expunge free radicals that damage DNA, both of which may inhibit cancer cells from forming and multiplying.
For my patients that have heart disease or a strong family history of heart disease- I highly recommend that they eat organic steamed leafy greens with every meal and that they avoid eating anything with a face or a mother or that contains any oils.
This vegan approach has been shown to stop and begin to reverse heart disease- within as little as a week- by forming a protective cap over plaque- as demonstrated by 20 years of study by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn at the Cleveland Clinic.
Recommended Reading: Skinny Steamer Recipe Book
I highly recommend the book: The Skinny Steamer Recipe Book with Delicious, Healthy, Low Calorie, Low Fat Steam Cooking Recipes under 300, 400 and 500 calories.
You can buy a used or new copy on Amazon.com for only a few dollars.
It is also available in the Kindle version.
Publisher: Bell & Mackenzie Publishing Limited
October 8, 2014
Every recipe serves two people and can be prepared in minutes with a steamer.
Versatile, simple & healthy meals is what this cookbook offers.
Tips: Buy some very high quality, aged balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze- I use Blaze Balsamic Glaze- and add a few drops or a drizzle to the leafy steamed greens after cooking.
Use a high quality Himalayan Pink Salt and lightly season the leafy greens to taste.
You can also use Organic Herbs of Provence- such as Rosemary, Oregano,Thyme, Summer Savory, Sage, Marjoram, Tarragon and Basil.
These herbs have been shown to block ENOX 3 protein (discovered at Purdue by Drs. Morre) and improve heart health and skin health significantly.
I don't use any oil when I cook using the steaming method.
This just adds calories and is not necessary.
Use an all stainless steel steamer instead of one that contains plastic or bamboo to be sure you are not adding any toxins to your food.
You can buy a high quality electric stainless steel two tier steamer on Amazon.com for under $150 - I use the Euro Cuisine FS2500 Electric Food Steamer- and it prepares my meals easily in 15 minutes and keeps it warm- or an over the stove stainless steel steamer for around $30.
Be sure to buy ORGANIC leafy greens to decrease risk of contaminants.
You can buy ready to eat, triple washed, organic leafy greens- and combinations of greens- at almost any grocery store these days.
The trick is to steam the fresh greens as soon as you bring them home so that they don't spoil.
The organic greens are also available in frozen form and can be steamed straight from the frozen package instead.
I use frozen Earthbound Farm Organic Power Blend- Organic Spinach, Kale and Chard.
This assures me that I always have greens available - as the frozen form is just as nutritious as the fresh form.
Prepare a batch of steamed organic greens from fresh or frozen and eat a serving throughout the day with meals for best results to optimize nitric oxide levels.
Organic Quinoa is an ancient grain that is very high in protein that can easily be prepared by buying it frozen or pre-cooked (Minsley Cooked Organic Quinoa- available on Amazon.com) .
It can be heated on the stove top quickly.
With a steamer, you can prepare several meals in advance and freeze in individual glass containers for use during the week.
The steaming process accentuates the taste of the food and preserves nutrients.
Although there is not one nutritional approach that is right for every person, this one is the one that I have found to be best for me to keep me in good health and feeling and looking great.
In just a few minutes, by simply adding steamed organic leafy greens, you can transform any meal into one that is full of all of the life giving nutrients your body needs.
Ana Casas M.D.,
Board Certified, Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine