Steven Masley MD, LLC https://drmasley.com Tune up your brain, heart, energy, waistline, and sex life! Fri, 19 Jul 2019 00:30:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.10 https://drmasley.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/cropped-PAN1360re-32x32.jpg Steven Masley MD, LLC https://drmasley.com 32 32 Classic Gazpacho https://drmasley.com/classic-gazpacho/ https://drmasley.com/classic-gazpacho/#respond Fri, 19 Jul 2019 00:07:35 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=6915 The post Classic Gazpacho appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

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This dish from southern Spain is fantastic when tomatoes are in season, lush and flavorful, and on a hot day this chilled soup is so refreshing. If regular tomatoes aren’t bursting with flavor, then skip the medium tomatoes and use 8 cups of cherry tomatoes, as out of peak season, they have more flavor.

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Serves: Four

Ingredients:

4 medium tomatoes (divided)

4 cups cherry tomatoes

2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves

2 tablespoons fresh parsley

2 medium garlic cloves

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

½ teaspoon dried oregano

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons Jerez (sherry) vinegar

1 small English cucumber, peeled, diced into ¼-inch pieces

1 red bell pepper, seeds removed, diced into ¼-inch pieces

2 green onions, roots removed, finely chopped

Directions:

In a blender, combine 2 medium tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, basil, parsley, garlic, salt, black pepper, oregano, olive oil, and vinegar. Blend until smooth.

In a separate bowl, combine cucumber, red bell pepper, and green onions. Dice the remaining two tomatoes and add to the bowl. Stir to combine. Pour ¼ of the diced vegetable mixture into the blender. Blend until smooth.

Combine pureed and diced ingredients in a serving bowl or pitcher.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and up to 10 hours, then serve. Garnish each bowl with basil leaves or a sprig of parsley.

Enjoy!

Steven Masley, MD

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Stuffed Eggplant a la Bonifacio https://drmasley.com/stuffed-eggplant-a-la-bonifacio/ https://drmasley.com/stuffed-eggplant-a-la-bonifacio/#respond Fri, 05 Jul 2019 22:48:44 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=6901 The post Stuffed Eggplant a la Bonifacio appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

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It is eggplant season, July 1 through the end of September, and you should see shiny, plump and heavy eggplants in the market. This is the time to make dishes with eggplant!

Over the last two weeks, Nicole and I have been sailing around the amazing island of Corsica in the Mediterranean Sea. The western coastline is rugged with mountain peaks rising out of the sea, jagged granite cliffs, and crystal clear water. The land appears mostly uninhabited, with occasional ancient villages appearing from time to time, especially near good ports.

It has been hot all week, day and night, so we’ve started swimming more often. This is also likely perfect weather for eggplant producers.

At the southern tip of the island is the town of Bonifacio, a fairy tale like town centuries old with a citadel situated on cliffs overlooking the sea. The setting is nothing short of stunning.

The most common dish we’ve tried in restaurants, one that is served nearly everywhere is Stuffed Eggplant a la Bonifacio, roasted eggplant with bread crumbs, topped with tomato sauce and melted cheese. I’ve tried several versions of this dish on the boat, aiming to drop the bread crumbs, and my latest version of this recipe really hits the spot. If you like eggplant, I think you’ll love this dish.

Properly roasted eggplant is super flavorful and melts in your mouth, especially with a bit of crunch from walnuts. Add a layer of tomato sauce, herbs, and melted goat’s cheese and this makes a fantastic side dish. Look for firm, heavy eggplants with shiny skin.

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Baking Time: 60 Minutes

Serves: Four

Ingredients:

2 medium eggplants, sliced in half lengthwise, then scored in a 1-inch diamond pattern sliced into the eggplant flesh

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ medium white onion, chopped finely

½ cup walnuts, chopped finely

½ cup tomato sauce

2 medium garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence (or Italian Herb Seasoning)

3 inches roll goat cheese, sliced into ¼ inch slices

4 basil leaves, sliced into thin strips

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 375° (F).

Brush 4 teaspoons of olive oil over cut face of eggplant. Sprinkle on ¼ teaspoon of salt. Place in an ovenproof pan, cut surface facing up, and bake for 45-50 minutes until eggplant softens, and flesh can be scooped from the skin—keeping skin intact for stuffing.

Meanwhile, heat a medium sauté pan to medium, add 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of olive oil, then the onion, 1 teaspoon of Herbes de Provence, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir occasionally for 2 minutes until onion softens, then add chopped walnuts, heat another 1 minute, and remove from heat, and once eggplant has been removed from skin, combine onion and herbs in a bowl with eggplant scooped from skins.

Heat the same pan to medium, add 1 teaspoon olive oil, then garlic plus 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence. Sauté for 1 minute, then add tomato sauce, simmer for 2 minutes, and remove from heat.

Stuff onion-eggplant-walnut mixture back into eggplant skin in the ovenproof pan.

Spoon tomato sauce with garlic and herbs over the stuffed eggplants. Add slices of goat cheese.

Return to the oven and bake at 375° for 15 minutes. Garnish with basil leaf strips and serve.

Enjoy,

Steven Masley, MD

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Oven Baked Fish à la Provençale https://drmasley.com/oven-baked-fish-a-la-provencale/ https://drmasley.com/oven-baked-fish-a-la-provencale/#respond Mon, 17 Jun 2019 16:35:08 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=6889 The post Oven Baked Fish à la Provençale appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

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This is a regional dish from Provence, southeastern France. This dish is typically made with a fish called Dorade (sea bream). Many other white fish options will work nicely, including snapper, sea bass, hogfish, and tilapia. The key with any fish meal is fresh fish—the eyes should be plump, the skin shiny, and the fish should smell like the sea; it should not smell fishy.

I ordered this meal in Antibes, France one of the oldest cities in Provence on the Côte d’Azur. 40 years ago I 

spent a summer living and working in nearby Cannes as a sailboat captain and cook, and came to Antibes to meet friends. It feels wonderful to be back enjoying this region.Oven Baked Fish à la Provençale

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Baking Time: 20 Minutes

Serves: Two

Ingredients:

2 one-pound whole fish, gutted, scaled, fins trimmed away (or if fresh whole fish isn’t available 14 ounces fish fillets)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (divided)

¾ teaspoon sea salt (divided)

½ teaspoon dried thyme

½ medium sweet onion, chopped

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence (or Italian herb seasoning)

3 medium tomatoes, chopped

2 medium garlic cloves, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped

6 black olives with pits, sliced in half lengthwise and with pits removed 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375° (F). 

Place fish in an ovenproof casserole dish. Rub with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and ¼ teaspoon of salt, and thyme over fish, inside and out. bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until fish meat flakes and temperature is 150-160° (F) with a meat thermometer.

While fish is baking, heat a sauté pan to medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, then onion, ½ teaspoon of sea salt, black pepper, and Herbs de Provence and heat for 3 minutes with an occasional stir until onion softens. Add tomatoes and with an occasional stir, heat another 3 minutes. Add garlic and basil, reduce to simmer, stir occasionally and heat for 3 minutes, then remove from heat.

Pour sauce into a food processor or blender, and puree until smooth.

Transfer puree to a saucepan, add black olives and continue to simmer at low heat.

When fish is baked, transfer to a serving plate and spoon sauce over fish and serve.

Enjoy,

Steven Masley, MD

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What is the #1 source of household toxins (hint: it enters your skin) https://drmasley.com/what-is-the-1-source-of-household-toxins-hint-it-enters-your-skin/ https://drmasley.com/what-is-the-1-source-of-household-toxins-hint-it-enters-your-skin/#respond Mon, 03 Jun 2019 17:13:03 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=6878 The post What is the #1 source of household toxins (hint: it enters your skin) appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

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As you might guess, mainstream or “big brand” laundry products are LOADED with toxins.

In fact, there are OVER 16,000 research studies on sodium lauryl sulfate (just ONE of many toxic ingredients common in laundry detergent)…

… showing it can cause irritation of the skin and eyes, organ toxicity, reproductive issues, neurotoxicity, hormone disruption, cellular damage, and even cancer.

Here’s why this is so important for you and your family:

  • Every minute of your life, (outside of showering) your skin is in contact with your clothing, bedding, towels and beyond… 
  • +90% of store-bought laundry products are loaded with not one, but DOZENS of toxic chemicals
  • These chemicals are now in full contact with your skin (the largest organ of your body) all the time.

So given all this, why isn’t everyone ditching the chemicals and using non-toxic products?

Simple: most “natural” or eco-friendly products simply DON’T WORK — certainly not as well as the big brands.

Luckily, a company called MyGreenFills is changing that story — making the first non-toxic line of laundry products that clean better than the major retail brands. I met the company president Stephen, through my mastermind group, and was very happy to get to know such a committed and nice person with a mission to help us avoid one of the most common toxins in our homes.

You can learn more about their revolutionary mission and get your 1st 50 LOADS FREE 

So, my wife Nicole and I had a deep discussion about avoiding toxins in our home (and on our sailboat) and we have been using their products for nearly one year.

To be completely honest, in the past I have not been very picky about laundry detergent and truthfully, Nicole does 90% of the laundry in our household. She is super selective about laundry products so I was pretty amazed that she really liked the “quality” of MyGreenFills products and immediately started using them.

MyGreenFills uses natural detergent that is easy to use, the clothes come out clean, and they feel nice on our skin. They are shipped in concentrated form which saves in shipping costs. By using these products, we are exposed to far fewer toxins (especially by not using commercial dryer sheets), and it is environmentally friendly, which is even more important when you are living on a boat.

The products are so good that Nicole brought them on our trip to Europe; and considering that our baggage allowance flying here was limited, bringing them says a great deal.

And here is the other great thing about MyGreenFills:

Their products aren’t just non-toxic AND effective… the company is also committed to protecting the environment and planet on a deeper level.

This is why they offer REFILLABLE laundry jugs — which you use over and over again, along with their refillable plant-based, non-toxic packets of rinse, wash, dry and more — all of which work better than the chemical stuff.

WHAT YOU’LL GET:

  • Free “last jug you’ll ever own” – guaranteed for life
  • Free lifetime shipping* (International rates apply)
  • Choose your next refill shipment in 30 or 60 days
  • Easily modify anything, anytime – in under a minute

50 Loads of Non-Toxic Laundry Detergent, including No Shipping Costs for $0.00!

It’s literally $0.00 when you purchase any laundry product. (No minimum $ amount either).

BONUS BUY MORE, SAVE MORE!

1 product for $14 each

3 products for $12 each

5 products for $9 each

Just CLICK HERE to get your toxic-free products today!

There are also some amazing deals + bonus goodies once you start shopping.  

Bottom line: this is by far the BEST non-toxic laundry solution I’ve ever come across.

It truly takes all the hassle (and chemicals!) out of doing laundry, forever.

I wish you the best of health!

Steven Masley, MD, FAHA, FACN, FAAFP, CNS

 

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Salmorejo with Pineapple and Shrimp https://drmasley.com/salmorejo-with-pineapple-and-shrimp/ https://drmasley.com/salmorejo-with-pineapple-and-shrimp/#respond Fri, 31 May 2019 17:36:23 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=6869 The post Salmorejo with Pineapple and Shrimp appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

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Traditionally Salmorejo is made by blending tomatoes, garlic, bread, and olive oil, plus adding egg and ham. I’m substituting pineapple for the bread and shrimp and avocado for the egg and ham, adding a bit of sweet and tartness from the pineapple, which goes nicely with the shrimp, and with a far less glycemic load than you’d get from bread. This dish is best if you can find flavorful, fully ripened tomatoes.

Serves: Four

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Chilling Time: 30 Minutes

INGREDIENTS:

2  pounds ripe tomatoes (4 or 5 large)

½  small onion, peeled

½ cup cubed pineapple

2  cloves garlic, peeled

1/4  cup olive oil

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

16  large shrimp, cooked, cooled, and cut into bite-sized pieces

1 medium Haas avocado, diced

PREPARATION:

Quarter the tomatoes and onion; combine with the pineapple, garlic, olive oil, salt and black pepper in a blender.

Put the mixture in a blender or food processor. Blend or process until smooth, (work in batches if necessary).

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve in bowls topped cooked shrimp and cubed avocado.

Enjoy!    

Steven Masley, MD

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What Are 12 Steps to Raise Testosterone Activity Naturally? https://drmasley.com/what-are-12-steps-to-raise-testosterone-activity-naturally/ https://drmasley.com/what-are-12-steps-to-raise-testosterone-activity-naturally/#respond Tue, 21 May 2019 02:11:12 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=6861 The post What Are 12 Steps to Raise Testosterone Activity Naturally? appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

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Testosterone improves not only your sex drive, but your exercise drive, energy for work, mental sharpness, muscle repair, and revs your metabolism to help with weight control. Although improving testosterone levels has not yet been shown to increase lifespan, having a healthy testosterone level improves quality of life for both men and women.

In men, the first sign of low testosterone levels is fatigue and decreased drive, feeling tired and spent at the end of the day. This impacts a man’s drive to work, exercise, and libido as well. As testosterone levels drop over time, men can also develop depression, anxiety, and insomnia, and eventually, sexual dysfunction. The majority of men with low-level symptoms and confirmed low levels are reluctant to start testosterone therapy, yet 90 percent of those who try therapy and achieve normal levels for their age, describe the difference like the change from night to day, with a dramatic improvement in quality of life.

Men typically have testosterone levels that are ten times higher than women, yet when women have low levels, they can also experience low energy, low drive, and low libido. Often times it is the change in level that has the biggest impact.

A normal testosterone level for a middle-aged man is considered to range from 300 to 850 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL), yet anything less than 400-450 can result in low testosterone symptoms. 18 to 22-year-old males may have healthy levels as high as 1,000 to 1,200 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL), but that doesn’t mean that a 50+ guy should aim for that level with therapy.

For women, normal levels range from 20-60, although some laboratories list a level over 10 as normal, yet most women with a level of 10-20 typically show some symptoms of low testosterone.

There are three ways to increase testosterone activity naturally with simple lifestyle choices. The first is to increase total testosterone production. Second is to increase the amount of free and active testosterone that can stimulate testosterone receptors. The third is to unblock testosterone receptors, opening them up for testosterone stimulation.

Keep in mind, lifestyle choices can increase testosterone levels by 50-150 points. So for a man with a level of 350-450 with moderate symptoms, lifestyle changes might push his levels to 450-550 and eliminate his symptoms. They won’t transform levels from 250 to 700—that level of change would require testosterone pharmaceutical therapy, in the form of a weekly injection or daily topical therapy.

To Raise Testosterone Levels Naturally:

  1. Get enough sleep. Most testosterone is made during the sleep cycle. If you are sleep deprived, you won’t produce enough testosterone.
  2. Lose body fat. Fat cells convert testosterone to estrogen. Lose 10-20 pounds and you will see a significant increase in testosterone levels. In men, this conversion of testosterone to estrogen commonly can cause breast tissue formation (man boobs), something most guys want to avoid.
  3. Eat more healthy fat. (Enjoy fat from avocados, nuts, olive oil, seafood). Testosterone is made from fat and people on low-fat diets have a drop in testosterone levels.
  4. Get enough zinc. Men who are zinc deficient have a drop in testosterone production. Good sources of zinc are oysters, dark chocolate, legumes, grass-fed meat, shellfish, and a good quality multivitamin. However, men with normal zinc levels will not make more testosterone by taking extra zinc.

Increase free testosterone. Your body makes testosterone, but most of it is bound to protein and is not free and available to stimulate testosterone receptors at the cellular level. If testosterone is bound (stuck) to protein, it isn’t free to stimulate testosterone receptors and activate testosterone activity.

  1. Get enough vitamin D. 1500 to 2000 IU daily are recommended. Adequate vitamin D lowers sex hormone binding globulin, which binds to testosterone.
  2. Avoid eating sugar and refined carbs. (any source of flour or sugar). A jump in blood sugar levels increases blood stickiness, binding testosterone to protein.
  3. Do interval or burst exercise training. Intense exercise increases free testosterone levels by releasing testosterone that is stuck to proteins. Intense exercise improves insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels too.
  4. Do strength training to build muscle mass. Building mass increases free testosterone levels, which also improves blood sugar control.

Unblock testosterone receptors

  1. Either eat hormone-free dairy, poultry, and meats or go vegan. Many animals are fed estrogen-like compounds to promote weight gain and milk production. Those estrogen-like compounds block testosterone receptors, decreasing testosterone activity. Avoid consuming dietary hormones by choosing organic, free-range or grass-fed animal protein, or stop eating them altogether.
  2. Avoid cooking food with plastic. Plastics contain estrogen-like compounds that block testosterone receptors. When you heat food in a plastic container, your food absorbs plastic compounds. Avoid heating food with plastic wrap—that can melt like cheese into your food.
  3. Minimize drinking out of plastic bottles. Soft plastic bottles release plastic compounds (estrogen-like molecules) into the liquid.
  4. Avoid cans and containers lined with BPA. Most cans in the USA are lined with a cancer-causing and hormone-disrupting plastic lining, such as a compound called BPA. Avoid canned products that contain BPA; I always look for the wording BPA-free when buying canned foods, or I buy food that comes in glass jars.

Bonus Tip:

If you take a statin drug (cholesterol-lowering medication), it will lower your testosterone level by as much as 75 to 150 points (nanograms per deciliter, ng/dL). If you start with a level of 700 and it drops to 600, you likely won’t notice. If your level is 400 and it drops to 275, you will clearly notice a big drop in energy and drive. As I noted above, you need cholesterol to make testosterone.

With the proper diet, you can markedly improve your cholesterol level, shrink your arterial plaque load, and do this without causing a decrease in testosterone levels. I’ve helped hundreds of men and women improve their hormone profile and their cholesterol profile by following my eating plan.

If you are taking a statin medication and have symptoms of low testosterone levels, talk to your doctor about therapy options—either testosterone therapy or perhaps stopping your statin therapy.

Summary

The bottom line is that men and women can improve their drive, energy, mental energy, and libido by making the proper lifestyle changes, and these same changes will also help you control your weight, prevent heart disease and memory loss, and extend your lifespan.

I wish you the best of health!

Steven Masley, MD, FAHA, FACN, FAAFP, CNS

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Linguine with Frutti di Mare https://drmasley.com/linguine-with-frutti-di-mare/ https://drmasley.com/linguine-with-frutti-di-mare/#comments Fri, 17 May 2019 14:09:21 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=6796 The post Linguine with Frutti di Mare appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

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Classic Italian seafood pasta dish with tasty fresh shellfish and olive oil, garlic, and parsley. This is a fun meal to prepare with an assistant, especially as you’ll be doing more than one step at a time. You’ll notice that this dish has triple the vegetables and half the pasta than the traditional restaurant-cookbook portion, increasing the flavor and lowering the sugar load of this wonderful dish. When available, select fiber- and protein-rich pasta; it has double the protein, double the fiber, and far less refined carbs. Choose the freshest shellfish available, or use frozen options— if frozen thaw, drain, and pat dry—selecting the best mussels, shrimp, sea scallops, clams, squid, or bay scallops available.

Preparation Time: 30-35 minutes       

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (divided)

1 medium onion, diced

2 tsp Italian herb seasoning

¼ tsp sea salt

¼ tsp ground black pepper

¼ to ½ tsp chili flakes (to taste)

3 cups button mushrooms, sliced

1 medium sweet bell pepper, sliced

4 medium tomatoes, chopped

8 medium cloves garlic, diced (divided)

1 ¼ cup Italian parsley, chopped (divided)

Pot of water with salt

4 ounces linguine fiber- and protein-enriched pasta (Barilla is a popular brand or gluten-free linguine pasta)

2 Tbsp avocado oil

¾ pound large shrimp (26-30/lb), peeled and deveined, shells removed

8 large sea scallops (about 8 ounces)

¼ cup dry white wine

¾ pound mussels (in the shell), rinsed and beards removed (or clams)

Directions:

Bring a pot of water with salt to a boil.

Meanwhile, heat a large sauté pan to medium heat, add 3 tablespoons extra olive oil, then onions, Italian herbs, salt, black pepper, and mushrooms and heat, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Add bell pepper and tomatoes and heat another 2-3 minutes with a sporadic stir, then add 4 diced garlic cloves and ¾ cup diced parsley, heat 2 minutes until garlic is cooked but not browned. Transfer olive oil and cooked vegetables to a large holding bowl.

When water is boiling briskly, and after vegetables have been transferred to a holding bowl, add pasta, stir occasionally, cook about 8 minutes, until pasta is al dente, ideally slightly undercooked. Don’t overcook the pasta. When pasta is cooked, drain well, and combine in the bowl with olive oil and vegetables.

As the pasta begins to cook, pat dry the shrimp and scallops with paper towels. As you start to cook the pasta in a separate pot with boiling water, heat the same sauté pan that held the olive oil and vegetables to medium-high heat, there should be small bits of onion, herbs, and parsley in the pan. Add 2 tablespoons avocado oil, then add shrimp and scallops, and sear for 30 seconds on each side.  Add white wine, then mussels, cover, and steam for about 3-4 minutes until mussels open; discard any mussels that refuse to open in this time. Pour the vegetable mixture with pasta into the seafood sauté pan, mix, cover, and heat for 1-2 minutes until warm.

As the seafood, vegetable, and pasta mixture is warming together, bring a separate pan to medium heat, add remaining 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, remaining ½ cup chopped parsley, and remaining 4 diced garlic cloves. Simmer for 2 minutes until cooked, but don’t let the garlic brown.

With tongs, transfer pasta from the pan on to a serving platter, then with a slotted spoon serve shellfish and vegetables over the pasta. Mix together. Lastly, pour the olive oil, garlic, and parsley sauce as a garnish over the dish and serve.

Enjoy!    

Steven Masley, MD

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How to Decrease the Sugar and Chemicals in Wine https://drmasley.com/how-to-decrease-the-sugar-and-chemicals-in-wine/ https://drmasley.com/how-to-decrease-the-sugar-and-chemicals-in-wine/#respond Mon, 06 May 2019 22:30:04 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=6805 The post How to Decrease the Sugar and Chemicals in Wine appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

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Multiple global studies have shown that moderate wine intake, in particular, red wine, decreases your risk for heart disease, dementia, and diabetes, plus it is associated with a longer lifespan. Moderate intake is defined as 1-2 servings per day for women, and 2-3 servings per day for men.

Men get a bit more wine allowance, not because they are usually bigger in size (which also helps), but because estrogen and progesterone decrease the metabolism of alcohol, meaning women (even after menopause) get a higher blood level of alcohol if they drink the same amount as men.

However, the health benefits are different when you look at total alcohol intake, as beer and hard liquor do not have all the same benefits, and even in small dosages, consuming beer and hard liquor increase your risk for cancer. Drinking more than 3 servings of red wine a day will also increase cancer risk, so nobody should be exceeding moderate intake, which is overdoing a good thing.

I am not going to say that people who avoid all alcohol need to start drinking wine. Many people cannot drink in moderation, and once they start, they overdo it. Excess alcohol intake is clearly harmful to your health and your social connections as well. Some people just don’t feel right even if they drink alcohol in moderation, so if you don’t drink, you might have good reason to avoid alcohol, and I recommend you do what is best for you.

If you do drink alcohol, then clearly red wine has more health benefit than other forms of alcohol, although white wine appears to have some but not all the benefits of red wine.

Beer also has a much higher sugar content (glycemic load) than wine, over 500% more sugar load. That is one reason that the term beer belly comes to mind when you think of beer drinkers.

Can you lower the sugar content in wine even further? Could you also drop the chemical usage in wine? Of course, you can, it is what European, small-scale vintners have been doing for centuries.

Over the last fifty years, large scale wine producers have lowered the quality of wine by choosing cheap, fast methods of production.

The U.S. leads the world in the irrigation of grapevines with almost 100% of all vineyards in the U.S. being drip irrigated. This might seem like a harmless enough practice, but much of Europe has outlawed irrigation of wine vineyards, and for good reason.

When grapes ripen on a grapevine, the physiology of that ripening process is deeply impacted by irrigation…. This is the reason that many Europeans vintners don’t allow artificial irrigation and depend solely on natural rainfall. It’s because the character of the taste of the fruit fundamentally changes.

And it’s not just the taste that’s impacted. Higher water content means the grape will need to have a higher sugar content to make good tasting wine. The higher the sugar content at the time of picking, the higher the level of alcohol (and sugar byproducts like glycol) in the final product, which can lead to hangovers the next day.

Dry farming practices (avoiding irrigation), make the grapevine grow deeper roots, produce more complex tasting fruit, and lower the water, sugar, and final alcohol content.

Not only do US vintners use irrigation, but to make wine production easier, they also use more chemicals in wine production than they do in Europe. Many regions of Europe have banned the use of chemical additives during the fermentation process, insisting on natural processes.

A few years ago, I met Todd White, President of Dry Farm Wines, at one of my mastermind group meetings. Nicole and I joined his wine club and have been members for the last several years.

Todd has been committed to finding wine with less sugar and less chemicals. And for this reason, he recommends wine not from the U.S. or the Napa Valley, as you might think, but wine that comes mostly from small vineyards in Europe. Over time, Todd has created the United States’ Premier Natural, Organic, Health-Oriented Wine Club.

Dry Farm wines are: 

  • Produced by small organic vintners who use dry farming (no irrigation)
  • Have low sulfite levels (less than 75 ppm)
  • Mold free, without additives
  • Sugar-free (less than 1 gram/liter)
  • Low alcohol content (less than 12.5%)

If you’d like to try some of their wine, Click here to learn more about Dry Farm Wines.  You can claim a bottle of wine for just a penny ($29 value) and receive their Natural Wine ebook Free!!

Now that Nicole and I are living in Europe and shopping in local markets several days per week, it has been easy to meet local vintners and wine sellers who offer organic wine using dry farming techniques.

It isn’t nearly that easy back home in the United States when we are shopping in our local grocery store, which is why we joined Dry Farm Wines.

Cheers!

I wish you the best of health,

Steven Masley, MD, FAHA, FACN, FAAFP, CNS

 

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Spanish Tortilla (Omelet) https://drmasley.com/spanish-tortilla-omelet/ https://drmasley.com/spanish-tortilla-omelet/#comments Sat, 04 May 2019 00:10:45 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=6824 The post Spanish Tortilla (Omelet) appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

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The Spanish Tortilla (we call it an omelet) is traditionally made with only a few ingredients: eggs, potatoes, onions, olive oil, and parsley. It is not only served for breakfast but also for lunch, dinner, and it is also served as part of a Tapas spread.

If you’ve read my blog over time, you will have noticed that I generally avoid potatoes, as they have a high glycemic (sugar) load. Yet potatoes are the traditional ingredient in this Spanish dish, and they do provide a good source of fiber and nutrients.

A way to lower the glycemic load is to select small, fingerling 1- to 2-inch potatoes, use a smaller portion of potatoes, and boil and refrigerate the cooked potatoes in advance. It takes a bit of planning, and a couple extra steps, but if you have the patience, it’s worth it. Baby potatoes with the skin that are boiled and chilled have a much lower glycemic load than regular peeled potatoes that are baked or sautéed, and they still taste great. Simply boil the sliced potatoes in advance until al dente (about 7-9 minutes), drain, refrigerate for 4-24 hours until chilled, and then heat with the oil and onions as noted below, but you’ll only need to sauté them for 5 minutes as they are already pre-cooked.

Serves: Two

Prep and Cooking Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (divided)

1 ¼ cups (1/3 pound) baby potatoes (1x2 inches in size), sliced with the skin into 1/4-inch thick slices

1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced

½ medium red bell pepper, diced

5 large organic, cage-free eggs

¼ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Directions:

For the quick traditional method, heat a medium sauté pan or skillet to medium-low heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, then sliced potatoes, onion, bell pepper, and simmer covered, turning potatoes and onions every 5 minutes or so until potatoes are soft and tender, about 15 minutes. (Or see my instructions noted in the intro above.)

Meanwhile in a large bowl, whisk eggs with salt, pepper, and parsley.

When potatoes are ready, remove pan from heat, and spoon potatoes, onions, and bell pepper into the bowl with eggs and mix. With a paper towel, wipe the bottom of the sauté pan to remove any sticky material.

Heat the same medium sauté pan to medium heat, add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, then pour egg and potato mixture into the pan. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 4-5 minutes.  When nearly set and the underside is lightly golden, invert the omelet on a plate, and slide it back into the sauté pan and cook a few more minutes. When the underside is golden, slide back onto a plate and serve.

Enjoy,

Steven Masley, MD 

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Nicole and I are back in Spain researching the Mediterranean Diet https://drmasley.com/nicole-and-i-are-back-in-spain-researching-the-mediterranean-diet/ https://drmasley.com/nicole-and-i-are-back-in-spain-researching-the-mediterranean-diet/#comments Tue, 23 Apr 2019 01:42:33 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=6747 The post Nicole and I are back in Spain researching the Mediterranean Diet appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

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Nicole and I have started the first leg on our six-month journey, sailing from Spain to Turkey this spring and summer.

Supporting this trip, I received a contract from Harmony Books (Penguin/RandomHouse) to write another book, The Mediterranean Method, a Plan to Help You Lose Weight, Prevent Heart Disease and Memory Loss, and Support Your Gut.  My goal during this trip is to search for local, delicious, and easy-to-prepare recipes and health tips.

Raising the Sails

Our plan has been to sail north along the Mediterranean coast of Spain, east along the southern coast of France, sail around Corsica, and then down the western coast of Italy. Next, sail across to Greece and on to Turkey. This is truly an amazing trip, something that has been on my bucket list for decades, and I have to pinch myself from time to time to confirm that it is really happening. Next summer we hope to sail the boat from Turkey back to Spain via a different route, and then next winter from Spain to The Caribbean Sea.

Nicole and I spent the first week on the boat cleaning and organizing. We had to re-raise the sails, treat and polish the chrome, wash down the dusty decks, set up all the safety equipment, have the engine overhauled after the winter, swap the filters on the water maker, restock supplies, and make the boat ship shape. We had very busy 10-12 hour days.

A local fish market

We should be used to it by now, but we are still amazed by the quality of the food (and it costs one third to half the price that we pay at home). The seafood is amazingly fresh, the produce is fantastic, the wine is far less expensive, and most of the dairy products are organic. Our boat mechanic arranged for us to tour a greenhouse in the region (this part of Spain produces much of the vegetables and fruits during the winter for all of Europe). During that trip, we received a whole box of the best tomatoes that we have ever tasted, with flavors that literally explode in your mouth. We have been finding new ways to eat tomatoes over the last 10 days.

 

Nicole with our boat mechanic

They have a fantastic offer at local restaurants in this region of Spain (Almeria). Order a glass of wine or a beer and you get a tapa dish for free; tapas, like the rest of Spain, are typically a small plate appetizer. And a good glass of wine here doesn’t cost $6-10 US either—typically it will be about two Euros, which is $2.30 US. Along with all the boat preparation, we went out to eat tapas at least once per day to explore new recipes.

Last week was our planned departure from Almerimar, Spain. There was a front coming in with 30-35 knot winds, so we were trying to get out of Almerimar and get up the coast out of the way of the high winds that can last a week or more, essentially trapping us in port.

We took off early from Almerimar as planned. The forecast was for 15-20 knot wind on our nose, but instead we ended up with 25-30 knot winds start the day and it was a bit pounding, with 1-2 meter seas, not quite what we were hoping for our first day back after six months on land. The boat performed very nicely. We sailed for 11 hours to get far ahead of the coming high winds in the straight, and the next morning we had sunny skies, a trace of breeze, and were moored in a pretty fishing port with fantastic food, called Garrucha.

We spent a couple days in Garrucha riding our bicycles, shopping, and getting some rest. Many restaurants in the town were having a special competition (Who has the best tapa?). Order a glass of wine or a beer, and get a tapa to go with the beverage for 3 Euros, about $3.40 US. I love these wonderful food and drink deals. We floated from restaurant to restaurant, trying various specials.

Then we sailed on to Cartagena. Again, we were expecting 15-20 knots, and we ended up with 25-30+ knot winds with 2-meter seas, this time, fortunately the wind was behind us. The boat performed beautifully, and because we were sailing downwind (actually surfing hitting 9-10 knots), it wasn’t pounding. We were very happy to sail into the harbor and tie up to the dock for the evening.

Nicole at the ancient Roman Theatre in Cartagena

Cartagena is a beautiful city with inspiring architecture, although it has also been the most touristy city we have visited by boat in Spain, as cruise ships also stop here. We really enjoyed seeing the ancient Roman theatre in the city center, and shopping at the city market here in Cartagena—it is loaded with amazing food options.

We will be spending 3-4 days enjoying the city before we continue north. We’ve picked a couple of days when the wind should be calmer (we are hoping for 8-15 knots this time), so we’ll see.

I feel blessed to be on this adventure and look forward to sharing health tips and recipes with you along the way. I hope that you have a dream trip planned sometime in your future and that someday you’ll make sure it happens.

I wish you the best of health!

Steven Masley, MD, FAHA, FACN, FAAFP, CNS

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Greek Salad with Garbanzo Beans and Lemon Vinaigrette https://drmasley.com/greek-salad-with-garbanzo-beans-and-lemon-vinaigrette/ https://drmasley.com/greek-salad-with-garbanzo-beans-and-lemon-vinaigrette/#respond Fri, 19 Apr 2019 22:45:11 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=6767 The post Greek Salad with Garbanzo Beans and Lemon Vinaigrette appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

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In Greece, a classic Greek Salad rarely will come with lettuce, but with all the wonderful produce included, you won’t miss it. The Garbanzo beans are optional, by adding them this turns your salad into a full meal. Regarding olives, pitted olives that come in a jar or can tend to be mushy and lose flavor; far better is to buy un-pitted olives in a jar, and if you want to remove the pits before serving for your guests, then do that manually.

Prep Time: 20-25 Minutes

Serves: Four

Ingredients:

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

4 medium tomatoes, sliced into bite-sized wedges

1 large cucumber, sliced lengthwise, then slice again into half rounds

1 red bell pepper, sliced into 2-3-inch strips

1 green bell pepper, sliced into 2-3-inch strips

8 ounces kalamata olives (unpitted), drained

4 tablespoons capers

8-12 Peperoncini (small spicy peppers)

15 ounces garbanzo beans, cooked, rinsed, and drained

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Dressing:

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons lemon juice

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Garnish:

6 ounces (about 1 cup) feta cheese crumbled in large chunks

Directions:

In a large salad bowl, combine onion, tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, olives, capers, Peperoncini peppers, garbanzo beans, and oregano.

Whisk dressing ingredients together: olive oil, lemon juice, and black pepper. Pour dressing over salad, toss, then garnish with crumbled feta cheese, and serve.

Enjoy!

Steven Masley, MD

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Experiment causes accidental fat loss https://drmasley.com/experiment-causes-accidental-fat-loss/ https://drmasley.com/experiment-causes-accidental-fat-loss/#respond Tue, 09 Apr 2019 20:11:59 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=6735 The post Experiment causes accidental fat loss appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

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One study done nearly ten years ago accidentally lead to significant fat loss in certain men and women. The study was designed to treat symptoms that were being caused by irritable bowel disease. The subjects in the treatment group showed less gastrointestinal symptoms with therapy, but they also showed a result nobody initially anticipated, weight loss.

Researchers were surprised at the sudden fat loss.

They eventually found the source.

There are specific “living nutrients” that led to the fat loss…bacteria that could populate the gut microbiome. Over time, there are now five specific strains of probiotic bacteria that have been studied in randomized weight loss studies. Five strains have been shown to promote fat loss.

How do the right gut bacteria promote weight loss?

1. Some bacteria are better at converting food into energy and storing away that energy as fat than others. The right bacteria don’t promote excessive calorie absorption and weight gain.

2. Some bacteria produce a compound called proprionic acid, which travels from the gut to the brain and promotes cravings for sugar and refined carbs. When you eat more sugar and refined carbs, you grow more of these bacteria that produce proprionic acid and it becomes a vicious cycle. When you eat more fiber from vegetables, fruits, beans, and nuts, you produce bacteria that inhibit the growth of proprionic producing bacteria. You can also take a supplement with the right bacteria that help prevent cravings.

3. Bad bacteria increase gut inflammation, leading to a variety of health problems. Systemic inflammation is one of the leading causes of accelerated aging, but inflammation also slows down your basal metabolism, making you more likely to gain weight. Adding the proper gut bacteria will help to lower gut inflammation, and restore normal calorie burning.

Yet, supporting your gut will do more than help you lose weight. The gut microbiome helps to support many aspects of your health, reduce inflammation, and even support your heart and brain.

Recently, I was consulted by a company that wanted to combine these five bacteria strains into a single capsule that could be taken daily.

If you’d like more information on the five bacteria species that have been studied and shown to support weight loss, then please, Click Here.

In addition to repopulating your gut with healthy bacterial species, please note that you also need to eat ample fiber from vegetables, fruits, beans, and nuts to nourish and support these bacteria. A healthy diet, with the right nutrient support, should include probiotic bacteria to support your gut.

You should also support your gut microbiome by consuming probiotic microbes.

Excellent sources of live probiotics include:

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Natto, tempeh, miso, kombucha
  • Olives, Pickled vegetables, Sauerkraut

You can get 2 to 5 billion microbes per serving of these pro-biotic rich foods every day. Many supplements, however, provide 25 billion microbes per capsule and are a much faster way to repopulate your gut microbiome. Taking a gut probiotic will help shift your gut microbiome within a 2-3 month window of time.

The best way to support your gut is with the combination of eating lots of fiber from vegetables, fruits, beans, and nuts, consuming probiotic-rich foods regularly, and boosting your gut microbiome with the right bacteria. Click here to learn more about FloraSpring’s five probiotic strains.

I wish you the best of health!

Steven Masley, MD, FAHA, FACN, FAAFP, CNS

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Roasted Chicken Marinated with Lemon, Mint, and Parsley https://drmasley.com/roasted-chicken-marinated-with-lemon-mint-and-parsley/ https://drmasley.com/roasted-chicken-marinated-with-lemon-mint-and-parsley/#respond Fri, 05 Apr 2019 22:00:25 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=6713 The post Roasted Chicken Marinated with Lemon, Mint, and Parsley appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

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Flavorful, super easy meal to prepare.

Serves: Four

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Marinating Time: 1-2 hours

Baking time: 1 hour 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS

Small hen, whole chicken, about 3.5 pounds (organic-fed, cage-free)

2 medium lemons, chopped (rind and juice, seeds discarded)

¼ cup fresh mint, chopped

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon Italian herb seasoning

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

Marinate chicken with chopped lemon, mint and parsley for 1-2 hours, occasionally turning the chicken and spooning liquid and herbs over the bird and into the cavity.

Preheat oven to 395° (F). Transfer chicken to a roasting pan. Massage olive oil, Italian herbs, salt, and black pepper over the chicken. Bake for about 70-75 minutes, until deep thigh temperature reaches at least 165° F with a meat thermometer. Transfer whole chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Enjoy!

Steven Masley, MD, FAHA, FACN, FAAFP, CNS

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How to Heal Leaky Gut (It Could Be Caused by Antibiotic Use) https://drmasley.com/how-to-heal-leaky-gut-it-could-be-caused-by-antibiotic-use/ https://drmasley.com/how-to-heal-leaky-gut-it-could-be-caused-by-antibiotic-use/#respond Mon, 25 Mar 2019 22:00:26 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=6704 The post How to Heal Leaky Gut (It Could Be Caused by Antibiotic Use) appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

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Leaky gut has become an epidemic that affects millions of people around the world—even though many of them aren’t aware of the underlying condition that causes their symptoms ranging from digestive problems and mood imbalances to autoimmunity, and other chronic illnesses.

Some of the common triggers that can initiate leaky gut syndrome is antibiotic use, which can kill billions of gut microbes and leave you prone to this condition, and from following the SAD Standard American Diet, which is fiber deficient and loaded with sugar.

Traditionally-trained physicians often fail to recognize the critical importance of gut health, or how a leaky gut can affect your whole body and mind. Yet, many traditionally trained doctors will start you on a course of antibiotics for an infection, and ignore the importance of restoring and repopulating your gut microbiome. Your intestinal tract is the foundation of your body’s immune system and a key gatekeeper that lets in nutrients while preventing pathogens and toxins from entering your bloodstream.

When the lining of the intestinal tract is injured, such as when bad microbes overwhelm our gut (in medical circles we call this dysbiosis) the gut lining becomes inflamed and starts to leak food and microbes from the gut lumen into the blood stream. Our gut is designed to allow nutrients to pass from the gut lumen to our blood stream, but food and stool are not supposed to leak across this lining into the blood stream.

A leaky gut causes a cascade of problems, as foreign particles leak into the blood stream. The body responds with inflammatory compounds and body wide inflammation increases dramatically. The inflamed gut with microbes and foreign particles passing across the gut lining alerts the immune system to attack, causing additional damage, and as the system inflammation increases, this creates a vicious circle that is hard to stop.

In the short term a leaky gut makes you achier, you might notice brain fog and decreased concentration, your energy drops, and you have increased bloating and other GI symptoms. If this is allowed to continue long term, it can trigger an auto-immune attack with your immune system attacking your own tissues (such as inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, thyroid disease, and psoriasis). Over time, the dysbiosis will lead to substantial weight gain, and the prolonged rise in inflammation increases your risk for heart disease and memory loss.

People who consume probiotic food sources generally have a healthy gut microbiome and are less likely to develop gut inflammation and gut leaking. Great sources of probiotic foods include sources with and without dairy and/or soy:

  • Plain, organic yogurt, plain, organic kefir, Cottage cheese
  • Miso, tempeh, kombucha, natto
  • Sauerkraut, pickles, olives in brine, pickled vegetables

The leaky gut syndrome is common in people who follow the SAD Standard American Diet, which lacks adequate fiber and includes an overload of sugar and refined carbs that cause inflammation and overgrowth of bad bacteria.

Some medications can also cause a leaky gut, in particular antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs.

Anti-inflammatory drugs (such as Ibuprofen, Naprosyn, Aleve, Advil, Celebrex) are used to treat joint, tendon, and muscle aches. They do temporarily decrease joint pain and inflammation, but they can also cause major gastro-intestinal injury, bleeding, and initiate leaky gut syndrome. My general rule with my patients is to avoid the use of anti-inflammatory drugs and if you use them, make it rare use, and not more than 5-10 days per year.

Microbiome Killers

There are a variety of compounds that if consumed, can kill billions of healthy gut microbes. Some of the most common are antibiotics, artificial sweeteners, and other chemicals we are exposed to, such as weed killers.

Antibiotics

Just one short 5-7-10 day course of antibiotics can kill billions of gut microbes and disrupt the normal balance in your intestinal tract for months or even years. This is why I’ve been adamant with my clinic patients that they avoid taking antibiotics for cold, bronchitis, or intestinal symptoms that will likely resolve on their own. Antibiotics play a vital role when treating serious infections, such as pneumonia, cellulitis, or a kidney infection, but according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) well over one third of antibiotics prescribed in the United States are used inappropriately. Always ask your physician if you can safely give an infection time to recover on its own before starting a course of antibiotics.

If you do need to start a course of antibiotic therapy, you should also start a probiotic course that contains at least 25-50 billion bacteria per dose per day for several months to help restore normal gut microbes. If this seems like a big dose, consider that you have trillions of microbes in your intestinal tract and most of them will die with they pass through stomach acid, this is the minimal dosage that will likely make a difference.  It is also important to follow a high fiber diet that is loaded with vegetables, fruits, beans, and nuts as this is a great way to provide prebiotic fiber for your gut bacteria to multiply and repopulate your intestinal tract; without fiber, your gut microbes will starve and die. One of my favorite probiotic supplements is called ProMed50—I’ll share more on this probiotic shortly.

Weed Killers

One of the most commonly used weed killers in the United States today, and globally, is Roundup, a glyphosate compound. Not only does it turn out that it kills weeds, but if consumed it also kills healthy gut bacteria. Multiple studies show that trace quantities of a glyphosate will kill healthy gut microbes. There is also plenty of concern that consuming Roundup might increase cancer risk. Roundup use is extremely common, and many agricultural products are tainted with this product. The only way to effectively avoid it is to buy organically grown foods that ban the use of Roundup.

Artificial Sweeteners

Whoever initially created the artificial sweetener Splenda (sucralose) must have thought that they found a gold mine. By attaching chloride to a sugar molecule, you block the absorption of sugar across the intestinal tract. When you consume chlorinated sugar, you taste sweetness, but don’t absorb any calories. Initially, this seems like a great way to allow people to consume sweet tasting food products without the calories and impact on blood sugar levels.

But the same way chlorinated water kills bacteria in water, chlorinated sugar kills some of the healthy bacteria in your gut. So, this turned out not to be such a great idea after all.

Many scientists have reported that a variety of artificial chemical sweeteners (Splenda®, Saccarhin® and Nutrasweet®) impact healthy gut bacteria, and promote populations of gut bacteria that are more efficient at absorbing calories. And the impact of artificial sweeteners on the gut microbiome appears to apply to other compounds as well, not just those related to chlorinated sugar. One group of Israeli researchers have reported that artificial sweeteners enhance the populations of gut bacteria that are more efficient at pulling energy from our food and turning that energy into fat.

My best advice is to avoid all sweeteners, but if you must use one, then choose a natural option, such as stevia or xylitol (or erythritol).

Of interest, many Europeans have called for artificial sweeteners to be banned, and their use has never reached the same levels noticed in the United States. The European appeal for natural food sources, and an abhorrence to the idea of artificial flavors may have saved many people in European countries from being harmed by excessive use of artificial sweeteners.

Functional Medicine Steps to Heal Leaky Gut Syndrome:

  • Remove or reduce negative factors such as inflammatory foods (sugar, gluten), infections, use of antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs (Ibuprofen, Aleve, Advil), and artificial sweeteners (Splenda, Nutrasweet, and Saccarhin).
  • Replace depleted ingredients that promote gut health, such as digestive enzymes and 10 servings of fiber per day.
  • Re-inoculate beneficial bacteria to restore a healthy balance in your gut.
  • Repair your gut by providing essential ingredients (L-Glutamine is essential).

If you are going to add a probiotic supplement, ideally you need multiple strains (at least types of bacteria), preferably with strains that will survive passage through the stomach, and at ann adequate dosage. After a non-avoidable course of antibiotics, aim for a dosage of at least 50 billion microbes daily for at least two months.

My favorite probiotic supplement to repopulate your gut is: ProbioMed 50, which has the following features:

  • HIGH POTENCY 50 BILLION CFU – Featuring ten of the most highly-researched probiotic strains, with each strain and specific CFU count being fully disclosed. These strains are capable of surviving the harsh journey to the intestines, where they can support GI health & immune health.
  • DELAYED-RELEASE TECHNOLOGY – These capsules use delayed release technology as well as unique moisture-resistant, desiccant-lined packaging to further enhance survivability.
  • SHELF STABLE & DAIRY FREE – This novel packaging removes the need for refrigeration, making this dairy-free probiotic convenient for travelers and anyone on the go.
  • HIGHER STANDARDS. BETTER RESULTS – Designs for Health maintains a strict, no-compromises approach to quality raw material selection. We never cut corners with substandard ingredients. This product is Non-GMO.

How does L-Glutamine Repair Leaky Gut?

L-Glutamine is the most common amino acid in your body and a critical building block that your body uses to produce proteins. The cells along the lining of your intestine are higher dependent upon L-Glutamine to repair themselves; this is the primary amino acid that they use.

Regenerate Cells Faster to Restore Your Gut Lining. The great news is that your gut cells naturally turn over every few days, which is why my patients often fully repair their intestinal lining in only 3-4 weeks. L-Glutamine also helps to seal the leaks in your gut (tight junctions that exist between intestinal cells) in your gut and restores your gut lining to a healthy state even faster.

L-glutamine has also been shown to help help to heal stomach ulcers. It also helps support normal gut healing for anyone struggling with irritable bowel syndrome.

To provide your gut with the nutrients it needs, plan to take at 3,000 mg of L-glutamine daily for at least 4 weeks. If you avoid microbiome toxins, and you support your gut properly, the good news is that it only takes about one month to heal your gut. Options are a L-glutamine powder  (or use two capsules of 850 mg of L-Glutamine twice per day.

Another product that I have used to heal heartburn, is also useful to heal a leaky gut. It is called GI Revive. It contains a mixture of compounds that help to heal a leaky gut. Notice that if you are also using GI Revive, you’ll only need half the original L-glutamine dosage as this product also provides L-glutamine:

  • Glutamine 1,500 mg daily
  • Aloe Vera, which supports the intestinal mucosal lining
  • Slippery elm and marshmallow root support mucous membrane health
  • Licorice extract to soothe the stomach and intestinal lining

The key to preventing leaky gut syndrome is to eat ample fiber from vegetables, fruits, beans, and nuts daily, to consume at least 1-2 servings of a probiotic food source daily, and to avoid microbiome toxins, such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and artificial chemical sweeteners.

To heal your leaky gut, focus on taking all the same preventative steps, plus supporting your gut with supplements such as probiotics, L-glutamine , and an additional supplement, such as GI Revive.

 

I wish you the best of health!

Steven Masley, MD, FAHA, FACN, FAAFP, CNS

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Blueberry Ricotta Cheesecake https://drmasley.com/blueberry-ricotta-cheesecake/ https://drmasley.com/blueberry-ricotta-cheesecake/#respond Fri, 22 Mar 2019 16:11:43 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=6639 The post Blueberry Ricotta Cheesecake appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

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Italian version of a lovely dessert, great when you have company celebrating a special occasion. You can use any berry for the topping. The blueberries and orange rind provide valuable nutrients and an awesome flavor, the almonds add healthy fats, and the sour cream gives a probiotic boost.

Prep Time: 20 minutes;

Baking Time: 60 minutes;

Serves: 12

Crust

2/3 cup almond flour

1 cup finely chopped almonds

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon honey

½ cup ghee (clarified butter), softened

Filling

16 ounces part skim ricotta cheese

1 cup honey (or xylitol)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons almond flour

2 teaspoons, organic orange zest (divided, save 1 teaspoon for a garnish)

¼ teaspoon sea salt

6 large, organic-raised, cage-free eggs, beaten

Garnish

½ cup, low-fat, organic sour cream

1 cup organic blueberries

Directions

Preheat oven to 350° (F).

In a bowl, combine almond flour, chopped almonds, and cinnamon. Mix in honey and ghee. Grease a 9-inch pie plate (or an 8- to 9-inch spring-form pan); press and spread crust into and up the sides.

Beat all filling ingredients except eggs until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low until combined. Pour into crust. Place plate on a baking sheet.

Bake until center is set, about 60 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Spoon sour cream over the top of the filling. Sprinkle on blueberries over sour cream layer. Garnish with remaining 1 teaspoon of orange rind.

Refrigerate at least 2 hours, or overnight.

 

Enjoy!

Steven Masley, MD

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Roasted Beet and Kale with Greek Lemon Vinaigrette https://drmasley.com/roasted-beet-and-kale-with-greek-lemon-vinaigrette/ https://drmasley.com/roasted-beet-and-kale-with-greek-lemon-vinaigrette/#respond Fri, 08 Mar 2019 22:03:16 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=6615 The post Roasted Beet and Kale with Greek Lemon Vinaigrette appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

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This is a Greek-style roasted beet and kale salad that is colorful and flavorful. Beets and kale can easily be roasted and dressing prepared a day in advance.

Serves: Four

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Oven Roasting Time: 35-45 Minutes

Ingredients: 

4 medium beets, peeled and sliced

1 medium sweet onion, quartered and sliced

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (divided)

½ teaspoon sea salt (divided)

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning

12 medium kale leaves, ribs trimmed away, sliced into large bite-sized pieces

¼ cup pistachios, chopped

2 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled (optional)

Dressing:

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon honey

1 medium garlic clove, diced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 395˚ (F).

Cut peeled beets into bite-sized slices, toss in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, black pepper, Italian seasoning, and onions. Place beets and onions on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for about 35-45 minutes, until al dente.

Meanwhile, toss kale with remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Spread on a baking sheet. Roast in heated oven for 10-15 minutes, until crisp. Remove from oven and set aside.

Heat a small sauté pan to medium heat, add pistachios, stir frequently until warm, but don’t overheat until they are browned.

While beets are roasting, whisk vinaigrette ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

When beets are ready, spoon with kale on a serving platter, drizzle dressing over them, toss gently, and garnish with nuts and cheese.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Enjoy,

Steven Masley, MD

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Is the Protein You Eat Clean or Toxic? https://drmasley.com/is-the-protein-you-eat-clean-or-toxic/ https://drmasley.com/is-the-protein-you-eat-clean-or-toxic/#respond Thu, 07 Mar 2019 15:51:35 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=6606 The post Is the Protein You Eat Clean or Toxic? appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

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We all need some source of dietary protein. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, or you eat poultry and/or red meat. Every day we use amino acids, the building blocks for protein, to repair and restore tissue, and they need to be replaced.

The challenge is that unless we are careful, the protein we eat is often the most toxic food we consume.

The easiest way to avoid toxic protein is to be vegan (you eat no animal products), or vegetarian (you don’t eat fish, poultry or red meat, but do eat dairy and eggs. However, you don’t have to give up eating animal protein to avoid toxins. And the lower you eat on the food chain, the less toxic your food will usually be.

Vegans get most of their protein from beans, vegetables, and whole grains. They still need to ensure that they choose organic products when eating from the dirty dozen list (e.g., spinach, apples, blueberries, bell pepper). The biggest risk comes from eating out of cans that are lined with BPA (Bisphenol A), as this chemical compound is a hormone disruptor, and increases your risk for diabetes and cancer. When eating canned foods, such as beans and tomato sauces, always ensure that you buy BPA-free cans.

Vegetarians typically consume eggs and dairy products. In the US, egg-laying chickens are commonly fed pesticide-loaded grains and sprayed regularly with chemicals and antibiotics in their cages. All these toxins get transferred to the eggs that are sold for human consumption.

Commercial dairy is often given a hormone, recombinant bovine growth hormone, (rBGH) to increase milk production. Although in the United States the FDA has approved rBGH to be used in the dairy industry, it has been banned in Canada, Europe, and many other countries, as it has been linked to prostate, breast, colorectal, and other cancers. (The FDA says these studies have not been conclusive at this time. Yet, I am clearly going to err on the safe side and encourage you to use organic, free range egg and dairy products.

For pescatarians, make sure that your fish is either wild caught, or you need to know what the fish were fed while raised in pens. Too often, farm-raised fish are fed pesticide coated grains and soy products, and ground up fish meal that contains PCBs. Best is to buy wild caught fish. You also consume far fewer chemicals even with wild-caught seafood if you buy fish that are lower on the food chain, such as herring, sardines, sole, flounder, and shellfish. Even though wild caught salmon can be fairly large, they have a small mouth and eat low on the food chain so they are a good choice as well.

Large-mouth fish have the highest concentration of chemicals and mercury, so avoid swordfish, shark, tuna, grouper, and bass; eat it not more than 1-3 times per month or not at all.

More than 40% of pesticides in the American diet are thought to come from eating poultry and meat that have been fed pesticide coated grains, injected with hormones, and fed antibiotics. Not only do pesticides increase our risk for cancer, they also make it more likely to get Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes.

The most toxic of all the animal protein sources are hot dogs, bologna, bacon and deli meats. Not only do these sources of protein typically come from a feedlot, and often they use parts of the carcass instead of a real cut of meat, but they also have extra chemicals added to them to extend their shelf life. All processed meats and bacon that you consider should have been organically raised, but you also need to ensure that they do not have toxic nitrosamines, which are commonly placed on these foods. We have known for years that nitrosamines increase our risk for cancer substantially. But recently we have shown that they also increase our risk for diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.

Sometimes it is tempting to think about going vegan, buying mostly organic produce, and avoiding canned food products to ensure we avoid toxins from commercial food producers. Yet, if we follow these simple precautions, we can eat clean protein from a variety of sources.

Some foods help us excrete toxins via liver detoxification from our bodies. Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, bok choy, cauliflower), onions, scallions, garlic, and curry spices enhance liver detoxification. Another very good reason to eat at least a serving of cruciferous vegetables and foods from the onion family daily, and enjoy curry dishes (or a curcumin supplement) often to help push out chemicals from your body.

Sweating also helps remove toxins. Whether it is sweat from a workout or sweat from a sauna.  Regular sweat production is another way to help remove chemicals that have the potential to cause harm. Just remember to replenish your body with clean, filtered fluids.

  • Here is a link that makes it easy for you to find high quality, clean poultry, beef, and/or bacon products, visit butcherbox.com.

My goal is to help you eat non-toxic food you enjoy, and that you stay vibrant and healthy for years to come.

I wish you the best of health!

Steven Masley, MD, FAHA, FACN, FAAFP, CNS

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Vietnamese Salad with Chicken https://drmasley.com/vietnamese-salad-with-chicken/ https://drmasley.com/vietnamese-salad-with-chicken/#respond Fri, 01 Mar 2019 23:57:29 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=6559 The post Vietnamese Salad with Chicken appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

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You can easily substitute shrimp or tofu for the chicken. As there are multiple ingredients, if your market doesn’t carry a few items, such as lemongrass or tamarind paste, it’s fine to skip them; this salad will be loaded with flavor.

Serves: Two

Prep Time: 25-30 Minutes

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp avocado oil 

¾ pound chicken breast, very thinly sliced 

¼ tsp sea salt 

1 stalk lemongrass, trim the top and base of the stalk—use only the bottom 3 inches; peel off any dry or tough outer layers, then mince 

1 tsp ginger root, peeled and diced 

Salad: 

2 cups cabbage, thinly sliced 

2 medium carrots, grated 

1 cup daikon radish (1 small daikon radish), grated 

¼ cup fresh basil, chopped 

¼ cup mint, chopped 

¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped 

Dressing: 

2 Tbsp macadamia nut oil 

Juice of 1 lime (~ 3 Tbsp) 

1 tsp Tamarind paste 

2 tsp sesame oil 

½ tsp Tamari sauce 

1 tsp honey 

Garnish: 

2 tsp sesame seeds 

Directions: 

Heat a sauté pan to medium-high heat, add oil, then chicken (or other protein), salt, lemongrass, and ginger root. Stir occasionally until lightly browned, about 6-7 minutes, then set aside. 

Combine salad ingredients in a serving bowl. 

Whisk dressing ingredients until mixed. Toss with the salad and chicken.  

Garnish with sesame seeds and serve. 

Enjoy, 

Steven Masley, MD

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You Don’t Have to Surrender to Hot Flashes (Ways to Fix them NOW)! https://drmasley.com/you-dont-have-to-surrender-to-hot-flashes-ways-to-fix-them-now/ https://drmasley.com/you-dont-have-to-surrender-to-hot-flashes-ways-to-fix-them-now/#respond Sat, 23 Feb 2019 04:13:06 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=6573 The post You Don’t Have to Surrender to Hot Flashes (Ways to Fix them NOW)! appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

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If you’ve suffered from hot flashes, you understand how badly you can feel. Your face flushes. Your heart rate accelerates. Your body feels you’re stranded in triple-digit heat and you start perspiring intensely.

Perhaps the worst of it is, you can’t control when they occur. Hot flashes, like other menopausal symptoms, come whenever they please.

If you suffer from hot flashes, you’re not alone. About 70 percent of women have them during menopause, and about a third of those women say those hot flashes are frequent and/or severe.

After 30 years of clinical experience working with thousands of women has taught me what causes hot flashes, and I know how to help them.

A big part of the solution comes down to two words: Insulin resistance.

If you have been reading my blogs, this term should sound familiar, as it is the #1 cause for heart disease and memory loss.

You see, under normal circumstances, insulin controls blood sugar levels. Insulin is a very powerful hormone that moves glucose out of your bloodstream and into your cells, where it is used as energy and is stored away.

At least that’s what’s supposed to happen.

With insulin resistance, your cells tune out (or resist) insulin’s call, leaving your pancreas to crank out more insulin to do its job. Ultimately though, that just spells disaster for your weight, energy level, brain function, overall health, and those awful symptoms like hot flashes.

Data presented at the North American Menopause Society 23rd Annual Meeting has recently linked insulin resistance with hot flashes and night sweats.

I’ve been working to help prevent and reverse insulin resistance for all my patients. I have learned that insulin resistance can also make women struggle with hot flashes as well.

Many of my women patients have noted that when they have followed my program over time, their hot flash and menopause symptoms have improved significantly.

Over the years, you’ve also heard me talk about a close friend and colleague, Dr. Anna Cabeca. She is a triple board-certified physician and OBGYN, and she has written a new book, The Hormone Fix, (publication date is February 26, 2019) a book designed to help women with hot flashes, menopause issues, and help reverse insulin resistance.

For a link to buy her book, CLICK HERE.

Her emphasis is to “Go Keto-Green™”, shifting your body into ketosis to make you more insulin sensitive, which is the opposite of insulin resistance.

With her program, many women have been able to say bye-bye to hot flashes!

Combining a traditional keto diet with plenty of alkalinizing low glycemic load foods provides a one-two punch to zap menopausal symptoms and lose weight. (In fact, staying alkaline is the needle mover traditional keto diets miss, and why they often fail.) Anyone trying a keto diet should ensure they are also following an alkalinizing food plan—to me that is absolutely essential.

In The Hormone Fix, Dr. Cabeca provides food lists, daily menu plans, recipes, and more to help you get into and stay in keto effectively.

If you suffer from menopause and hot flash symptoms, please stop settling for less than your very best.

Although hormones can be helpful, they have limits, and lifestyle changes can be as much or more powerful than hormonal pills, patches, and creams.

Order this new book, and you will also receive 10 great bonuses (valued at $274), including:

· Staying Keto-Green on the Go – tools, and tricks to stay Keto-Green while you’re on the go – be it across town or across the country.

· Keto-Green Recipe Cards – there’s no such thing as too many recipes…

· It’s Not Your Husband… It’s Your Hormones! – Watch this video to learn about how your monthly cycle affects your mood and libido

· Keto-Green Community Membership – get helpful tips, recipes, and answers to any questions in regards to the Keto-Green Way

PLUS 6 more bonuses include free lab panel, fantastic olive oil and more…

For a link to buy her book, CLICK HERE.

I wish you the very best of health and control over hormone-related symptoms!

Steven Masley, MD, FAHA, FACN, FAAFP, CNS

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Are Your Children Growing Plaque in Their Arteries? https://drmasley.com/are-your-children-growing-plaque-in-their-arteries/ https://drmasley.com/are-your-children-growing-plaque-in-their-arteries/#comments Mon, 18 Feb 2019 17:00:42 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=6532 The post Are Your Children Growing Plaque in Their Arteries? appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

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Yes, we worry about our children’s safety while they play outside. Did they do all their homework? Did they finish dinner? The bottom line is that being a parent is tough work. I know because, over the years, my wife and I have fretted plenty over our two sons. And now that we have a grandson, we’ll start watching out for him, too.

Now, I want you to ask yourself something more serious. Do you ever think of how they are aging on the inside? Are our children growing plaque in their arteries?

Several scientific articles have startled me in recent years. The first was a study published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine showing that today’s children are projected to have a shorter lifespan than my own generation and even my parents’ generation. The second article from a research group in Los Angeles showed that when arterial plaque was measured in obese adolescents, the average child had an arterial plaque score of someone in their mid-40s and several other studies have shown similar findings. This means that overweight children had mostly doubled their arterial plaque age and some, long before they were old enough to vote.

As a concerned parent, physician, and nutritionist, I conducted my own study to see if I got similar results. I used an ultrasound device (carotid IMT testing as I do on most adults in my clinic) to measure the arterial plaque score of adolescents (ages 15-21) I have seen over time as patients. Of these children who were obese by height and weight criteria, the average child had the arterial plaque of a 42-year-old adult. This means these children have aged their arteries at more than twice the normal rate. To me, this shows that unhealthy aspects of our culture are potentially killing our children.

Because it’s unrealistic for all parents to have this type of artery ultrasound testing, in our clinic, we have identified lifestyle factors that predict arterial plaque age and arterial plaque growth. So, how can you predict if your children are plaque free, or plaque producing?

Your answers to the following four questions will give you a good idea of how they’re faring:

  • Is your child active? To be active, children need at least one hour of moderate to intense activity daily, the equivalent of walking fast for at least 3-5 miles. The bottom line for them is, “Do you huff, puff, and sweat for an hour every day?” Well, they should!
  • Does your child get enough fiber? Use the fiber table tools online, http://pediatrics.about.com/od/nutrition/a/0806_high_fiber.htm or with the table in The 30-Day Heart Tune-Up, to calculate fiber content in the food they eat every day. The usual recommendation from the Academy of Pediatrics is that kids should eat about 14 grams (g) of fiber for every 1,000 calories they consume. So older kids who need more calories should also get more fiber in their diets.

Some general guidelines for fiber recommendations for kids include:

  • 1 to 3-year-olds should get about 19 g of fiber each day
  • 4 to 8-year-olds should get about 25 g of fiber each day
  • 9- to 13-year-olds should get about 25-30 g of fiber each day
  • Over 13, 30+ g of fiber each day (just like adults)
  1. Does your child eat enough vegetables and fruits? Of the fiber eaten, at least half should come from fruits and vegetables (but potatoes don’t count).
  2. Is your child at an appropriate weight? Typically, when your child gets a check-up, the doctor measures height and weight and calculates a body-mass index (BMI) score. Anything above the 75th percentile for BMI is likely overweight. Many medical groups allow up to the 85th percentile, which is generous in today’s world. For a tool to calculate your child’s BMI percentile, please visit: http://pediatrics.about.com/cs/usefultools/l/bl_bmi_calc.htm

Our clinical experience shows that if your children are active, get enough fiber (including their quota of vegetables and fruits), and are at an appropriate weight, their arterial plaque score should be totally normal. If not, ensure they receive the activity, fiber (especially from eating vegetables, fruits, beans, and nuts), and nutrients they need. If they are overweight, be sure to cut out all the sugar in their diet (sugar, not fat, is the number one cause for heart disease). Not only will making these changes help to ensure a healthy heart for you and your children, but they will likely help to correct any weight issues as well.

Lastly, during the month of February, Heart Month, please check out the recipes in The 30-Day Heart Tune-Up. The recipes are created for families—they are delicious, easy-to-prepare with ingredients you can find in your local grocery store and are designed with nutrients that will nourish your heart and soul.

I wish you and your family the very best of health!

Steven Masley, MD, FAHA, FACN, FAAFP

References:

  1. Davis PH, Dawson JD, Mahoney Lt, Lauer Rm. Increased Carotid Intimal-Medial Thickness And Coronary Calcification Are Related In Young And Middle-Aged Adults. The Muscatine Study. Circulation 1999; 100: 838–842.
  2. Tuzcu EM, Kapadia SR, Tutar E, Ziada KM, Hobbs RE, McCarthy Pm, Young JB, Nissen SE. High Prevalence Of Coronary Atherosclerosis In Asymptomatic Teenagers And Young Adults: Evidence From Intravascular Ultrasound. Circulation 2001; 103: 2705–2710.
  3. Homma S, Hirose N, Ishida H, Ishii T, Araki G. Carotid Plaque And Intima-Media Thickness Assessed By B-Mode Ultrasonography In Subjects Ranging From Young Adults To Centenarians. Stroke 2001; 32: 830–835.
  4. Oren A, Vos LE, Uiterwaal CSPM, Gorissen WHM, Grobbee DE, and BotsML. Change in body mass index from adolescence to young adulthood and increased carotid intima-media thickness at 28 years of age: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Young Adults study. International Journal of Obesity (2003) 27, 1383–1390.
  5. Iannuzzi A, Licenziati MR, Acampora C, Salvatore V, Auriemma L, Romano ML, Panico S, Rubba P, Trevisan M. Increased Carotid Intima-Media Thickness and Stiffness in Obese Children. Diabetes Care 2004: 27: 2504-06.

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Split Pea and Barley Soup https://drmasley.com/split-pea-and-barley-soup/ https://drmasley.com/split-pea-and-barley-soup/#respond Sat, 16 Feb 2019 04:07:26 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=6525 The post Split Pea and Barley Soup appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

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This is a great dish to make for lunch or dinner. Save a couple servings for leftovers— it’s even better the next day, though you may have to thin it with water. If you’d like to prepare this soup gluten-free, omit the barley and use 2 cups of split peas. (Recipe from The 30 Day Heart Tune-Up book)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Simmering Time: 60 minutes   

Serves: 4 (makes 10 cups)

Ingredients:

3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

4 cups water, plus additional water while cooking as needed

¾ pound (1½ cups) green split peas

½ cup barley, rinsed and drained

1 2⁄3 Tbsp virgin olive oil, divided

1 bay leaf

1 medium onion, diced

¼ tsp sea salt or to taste

4 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped

2 large or 4 small carrots, diced

2 celery ribs, diced

½ tsp fresh thyme sprigs or ¼ tsp dried thyme

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/8 –¼ tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)

Directions:

Combine the broth, water, split peas, barley, 2 tsp olive oil, and the bay leaf in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Lower to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Heat remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium. Add the onions with salt and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic, carrots, celery, thyme, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to the onions. Heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir the vegetable mixture into the soup. Continue to cook the soup for at least 30 minutes over low heat. The split peas should soften and thicken the soup.

Add water as needed and stir often to prevent the soup from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

The soup is ready when the split peas are soft and the vegetables are tender. Discard the bay leaf before serving.

Enjoy!

Steven Masley, MD

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HOT TIPS and RECIPES FOR VALENTINE’S DAY https://drmasley.com/valentines-day/ https://drmasley.com/valentines-day/#respond Mon, 11 Feb 2019 21:21:36 +0000 http://masley.bspclients.com/?p=987 The post HOT TIPS and RECIPES FOR VALENTINE’S DAY appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

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Would you like to discover foods that will improve your romantic life? Then keep reading!

We’ve all heard of the aphrodisiac powers of oysters and chocolate. Old wives’ tales? Well not really.  The keys to enhancing romantic and sexual performance in men and women include improving your blood circulation, your ability to experience pleasure, and your drive. You may be surprised to learn that five nutrients found in a variety of foods have been scientifically proven to give you a better sex life. And, just so you know, these include the nutrients found in oysters and dark chocolate.

What are these elixirs of passion? Let’s start with those that improve your circulation:  nitrates and arginine

#1: Nitrates: Sounds like a bad chemical that might be put in processed foods, but nitrates in natural foods are incredible for your health. Your body uses them to make nitric oxide, the master compound that regulates the function of your arteries. If you increase nitric oxide levels, your arteries will dilate, your blood vessel function will improve, and along with it, you will enhance your athletic, sexual, and blood vessel performance. When men consume foods with “good nitrates” they have better romantic performance. When women eat these foods, they feel more aroused and receptive.

Foods that are rich in nitrates include:beets

  • Cooked spinach (You need at least one cup of cooked spinach to make a difference. Raw Spinach4spinach is mostly water. It takes 7.5 cups of raw spinach to equal 1 cup of cooked spinach). Not surprising then that Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and rapture, recommended beets as an aphrodisiac.
  •  

#2: Arginine: Arginine is another compound the body uses to make nitric oxide. Clinical studies have shown that arginine improves romantic and sexual function. Increase arginine, and you will increase blood flow for men and women. Arginine is a simple amino acid (protein building block), so I don’t see any safety issues or side effects with the moderate dosages I am suggesting.

Foods that are rich in arginine and contain about 3,000 mg per 5 ounce serving include:

  • Oysters
  • All shellfish (shrimp, lobster, crab)
  • Turkey

Studies show that when men take 1000 mg of an arginine supplement 1-2 capsules twice daily, they report improved sexual performance. A very good quality form of arginine can be found here.

Next, foods that increase your ability to feel physical pleasure.

The brain requires a chemical compound called dopamine for romantic desire and fulfillment. Endorphins are other compounds that increase relaxation and the sense of fulfillment. Endorphins allow us to feel relaxed, calm, and satisfied.

#3: Tyrosine: To make dopamine, you require a couple nutrients. The most important is an amino acid called tyrosine.

Foods that are rich in tyrosine include:

  • Shrimp
  • Lobster
  • Caviar
  • Turkey
  • Soy protein

#4: Endorphin precursors:  A variety of foods including salmon, vanilla, and bananas have been reported to increase endorphin production, but by far the top rated is:

  • Dark chocolate. We are not talking milk chocolate; the chocolate has to have at least 74% cocoa mass to qualify.

Finally, foods that improve your libido.

#5: Zinc: Foods that enhance adrenal function stimulate sex drive and libido. To have drive, you need good adrenal function, and in particular, you need zinc.

Food rich in zinc include:Food_Dark_Chocolate

  • Oysters
  • Dark chocolate

What undermines romantic performance? Well that would be too much alcohol. You need hydration, so enjoy sparkling water and iced green tea, but keep your alcohol intake moderate. Since you won’t be over-indulging, you might as well splurge and buy a special bottle of red wine or champagne. Just stick to one to two servings per person.

Now that you know the top foods for romantic function and pleasure, you should be able to guess my recommended menu for Valentine’s Day.


Recipes for a Romantic Valentine’s Day

Don’t forget to set the décor with candles and flowers.

Appetizers: (good choices include)

  • Smoked oysters with a dab of guacamole on sliced cucumber (yes, some of you may think raw oysters, but as a physician, I’d have to say be cautious with raw seafood, so I’m recommending smoked oysters). See recipe, Smart Fat, page 236.
  • Smoked salmon with a dab of guacamole on sliced cucumber
  • Crab See recipes, Smart Fat, pages 237-238, and 265.
  • Caviar

Main Course:

  • Shrimp or Lobster Kebobs (You could use turkey breast and/or thighs cut into cubes if you don’t like shellfish) See recipes, Smart Fat 250-252, and 266; The 30-Day Heart Tune-Up, page 319-320.
  • Roasted beets See recipe, The 30-Day Heart Tune-Up, page 333.
  • Spinach, sautéed in virgin olive oil, with Italian herbs and fresh garlic

Desserts:

  • Chocolate. Try 1-2 ounce of dark chocolate per person, drizzled over fresh strawberries or cherries. See recipe, Smart Fat, pages 282-283.
  • Or for a special treat, try my Chocolate-Raspberry-Orange Soufflé, The 30-Day Heart Tune-Up, page 338-339.

SELECTED RECIPES ADAPTED FROM MY BOOK: SMART FAT—Eat More Fat. Lose More Weight. Get Healthy Now.

Coconut Milk Curry with Shrimp and Spinach

The curry flavors are terrific, plus you can use any protein (shrimp, lobster, or turkey) and match with your favorite veggie combinations, such as cauliflower or broccoli.

Serve with a side dish of roasted beets.

Prep and Cooking Time: 25–30 minutes    Serves: Two

 Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups hot water

3/4 cup brown rice

1 tablespoon avocado oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon peeled and grated ginger-root

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 teaspoon ground paprika

1/8 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (to taste, from mild to hot)

7.5 cups fresh spinach (or 1 cup of frozen whole spinach, thawed and drained)

3/4 pound large or jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 medium garlic cloves, diced

12 ounces canned coconut milk (full fat)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or Italian parsley

Directions:

Combine water and rice in pot, bring to a boil, then simmer 25–35 minutes until rice is cooked. (Rice brands vary, so follow package directions.)

Heat a large sauté pan to medium-high heat, add oil, then onion, salt, and black pepper, and cook 3–4 minutes until onions are translucent. Add ginger, curry, paprika, and ground cayenne, stir, and heat another 2–3 minutes. Add spinach, shrimp, and garlic, stirring occasionally until shrimp turn pink, 3–5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, stir in coconut milk, cover and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in fresh cilantro and serve over rice.

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Roasted Beets

Beets become sweeter when roasted.

Prep Time: 5 minutes     Baking Time: 40-45 minutes     Serves: 2

Ingredients:

3 medium beets, peeled, cut into ½-inch pieces

2 Tbsp Virgin olive oil

¼ tsp sea salt

¼ tsp ground black pepper

½ tsp Italian herb seasoning

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 400° (F). Combine beets with oil, salt, pepper, and Italian herbs in an oven-proof dish. Bake until beets are tender, about 40-45 minutes.

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Strawberries and Dark Chocolate Drizzle

A terrific dessert for Valentine’s Day.

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

2 ounces dark chocolate

1 tablespoon organic butter

2 cups fruit (strawberries are perfect, but you can also try orange, or pitted cherries), cut in bite-size pieces

2 tablespoons chopped nuts of your choice

Directions:

In a double boiler, melt chocolate, then add butter and stir together; alternatively, melt slowly together in a glass bowl in the microwave. Spread fruit pieces over a plate and drizzle with chocolate; sprinkle with chopped nuts. Serve immediately or chill and save for later.

 Enjoy,

Steven Masley, MD 

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Cod with Hazelnut Crust https://drmasley.com/cod-with-hazelnut-crust/ https://drmasley.com/cod-with-hazelnut-crust/#respond Fri, 08 Feb 2019 20:03:20 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=6500 The post Cod with Hazelnut Crust appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

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Fish with a nut crust is very tasty. Below, I chose cod and hazelnuts, but also try pecans, pistachios, or almonds. Choose the freshest white fish you can find; flounder, snapper, or sole also work well here. (This recipe is adapted from The 30 Day Heart Tune-Up)

Prep Time: 20–25 minutes

Baking Time: 20–25 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients: 

1½ pounds cod or other white fish (in 4 fillets)

1 cup orange juice

1 large egg (omega-3, free-range, organic)

1 cup coarsely ground hazelnuts

½ tsp sea salt

1 tsp thyme, dried (or a mixture of Italian or fines herbs)

1⁄8  tsp ground black pepper

Oil (avocado, almond, walnut)

4 medium garlic cloves, minced

4 lemon wedges

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Rinse fish fillets, soak in orange juice for 10 minutes, then pat dry.

Meanwhile, beat the egg in a bowl.

Heat a sauté pan to medium, sauté the ground hazelnuts with salt, thyme, pepper, and garlic for 2 minutes, enough to toast the hazelnuts slightly, but not brown them.

Transfer ¼ of nut mixture to a plate at a time. Dip the fish first in the egg, then in the hazelnut mixture. When dipping fish coated with egg in the nut flour, some of the flour will become wet and will clump.

When finished coating fish, discard all the excess nut mixture that came in contact with raw fish.

Coat a baking dish with oil and place fish on it.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until tender and flaky. Garnish with a wedge of lemon.

Enjoy,

Steven Masley, MD

Please share these recipes with your friends and family!

Send them this link: www.drmasley.com/recipes 

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Four Steps to Stop Heart Disease https://drmasley.com/four-steps-to-stop-heart-disease/ https://drmasley.com/four-steps-to-stop-heart-disease/#comments Tue, 05 Feb 2019 02:18:58 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=6475 February is Heart Month! Let’s review four steps that will help you prevent and even reverse heart disease. FIRST, INCORPORATE FIVE HEART HEALING FOODS INTO YOUR DIET: Fabulous Fiber. If you added only one nutrient, pick FIBER. It’s the roughage in vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, and whole grains. Fiber suppresses appetite–reducing weight, improves your blood […]

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February is Heart Month! Let’s review four steps that will help you prevent and even reverse heart disease.

FIRST, INCORPORATE FIVE HEART HEALING FOODS INTO YOUR DIET:

  1. Fabulous Fiber.

If you added only one nutrient, pick FIBER. It’s the roughage in vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, and whole grains. Fiber suppresses appetite–reducing weight, improves your blood sugar and cholesterol profile, decreases inflammation, and slows aging. Get 30 grams daily—meaning you need to eat at least five cups of fruit and veggies, 2 handfuls of nuts, ½ cup of beans, and one ounce of dark chocolate.

  1. Healthy Fats

No need to follow a low-fat diet, but do eat healthy fats. Research shows that fats from cold water seafood, virgin olive oil, and nuts decrease your risk for a heart attack and stroke, without adding weight. Enjoy avocado, seeds, and dark chocolate, too.

  1. Clean Protein

Avoid commercial meats and dairy loaded with saturated fat, hormones, and pesticides. Instead, eat free-range, organic animal protein like chicken fajitas and roasted Cornish game hens with herbs for flavor and health. Also, enjoy more vegetarian sources of protein.

Beans improve blood sugar and cholesterol and are the most powerful anti-aging food ever tested. Following my program, you’ll enjoy bean dips, turkey chili, and a lovely hummus.

  1. Beneficial Beverages

Start with 4 cups of pure water daily. Need caffeine? Green tea is best, though all unsweetened teas including mint are great. You can still enjoy 1-3 cups of coffee daily. In moderation, the pigments in those beverages are healthful.

My favorite breakfast: A fiber and protein-rich smoothie. It only takes only 2 minutes to make and includes protein powder, frozen organic cherries or blueberries, almond milk, and chia seeds. It’s delicious, and you’ll be satisfied and energized all morning!

  1. Fantastic Flavors

Nobody will eat healthy meals that taste like cardboard! Spices and herbs enhance flavor. Plus, Italian herbs, curry, garlic, and chili all block arterial plaque growth, slow aging, rev your metabolism, and lower inflammation.

Who would argue against chocolate? The fats in dark (at least 74% cocoa) chocolate act like olive oil—they’re awesome for your heart.  But avoid milk chocolate. It’s just candy.

SECOND, OPTIMIZE YOUR FITNESS LEVEL:

It doesn’t matter how many minutes you spend per week exercising. What matters is how fit you are. In my book, The 30-Day Heart Tune-Up, I show you how to get fit, trim, and sexy in less time. The theme is combining aerobic and strength-training exercises that will strengthen your heart and arteries.

Exercise:

  1. burns fat
  2. improves blood sugar control
  3. lowers inflammation
  4. improves your cholesterol profile
  5. reduces stress
  6. builds stamina

THIRD, MANAGE YOUR STRESS:

Stress-induced spasms in coronary arteries can lead to a heart attack, stroke, or sudden death, especially in women. Reduce stress by:

  1. Good Quality Sleep

Sleep deprivation results in poor brain performance, increased appetite, low metabolism, and weight gain. Sleep increases growth hormone production, helping the body to repair itself. With inadequate sleep, your brain will be sluggish.

  1. Moments of Peace and Meditation

The grind of continuous stress will hurt your heart. So schedule 5-10 minutes of soul-calming activity daily. Gentle sounds, soft lighting, sweet fragrances, and massage bring sensory relief to different parts of the brain. Do yoga, have a massage, use your vacation days.  Meditation lowers blood pressure, decreases heart rate, relaxes muscles, lowers stress hormone levels, and enhances sleep.

Unless you are a meditation expert, one way to make meditation easy and highly effective is to use an app that you can download to your phone, called HeartMath. It only takes 5-10 minutes daily to reduce your stress levels. HeartMath gives you bio-feedback on your attempts to relax and teaches you how to get calm.

  1. Loving Relationships Including Sex

Sex is good for your heart! Research has demonstrated that people who define their relationships as “loving” are much more likely to live into their nineties than those who do not. Couples who enjoy a loving bond and increased sexual frequency have greater longevity than those who are sexually inactive. Human touch, intimacy, love, and bonding reduce stress.

  1. Exercise

Daily exercise is the most powerful therapy for burning away stress. No drug is as effective!

FOURTH, FOLLOW A CUSTOMIZED SUPPLEMENT PLAN THAT SUPPORTS YOUR HEART:

Make sure at a minimum that you get the following nutrients from food or a supplement daily:

  1. Magnesium, 400 mg per day
  2. Zinc, 12-15 mg daily
  3. Fiber 30 grams per day
  4. Fish or fish oil (2-3 servings of cold water, small-mouth fish, or 1000 mg of good quality EPA and DHA) daily (for vegetarians, ensure that you get at least 400-500 mg of DHA daily).
  5. Vitamin K, 250-1000 mcg daily
  6. Vitamin D, at least 2000 IU daily

If you find it difficult to get the daily nutrient minimums above from food, you can find the supplements that I recommend here.

In The 30-Day Heart Tune-Up, I teach you how to meet your needs from each of these nutrients daily.

Following these four steps will help you to prevent heart disease, and if you or a loved one already have heart disease, these steps can help you shrink your arterial plaque load as well.  At the Masley Optimal Health Center, we have hundreds of patients that have shrunk their artery plaque by at least 10% by following these guidelines, so I know for sure that this program works.

The good news is that when you follow a program that is good for your heart and circulation, you’ll find out that it will also tune up your energy, waistline, brain performance, and your romantic life, too.

I wish you the best of health!

Steven Masley, MD, FAHA, FACN, FAAFP, CNS

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Turkey Tenders with Middle Eastern Spices https://drmasley.com/turkey-tenders-with-middle-eastern-spices/ https://drmasley.com/turkey-tenders-with-middle-eastern-spices/#respond Fri, 01 Feb 2019 18:00:33 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=6468 The post Turkey Tenders with Middle Eastern Spices appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

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Turkey is a flavorful alternative to chicken and is quite affordable, but we tend to pass it by and reach for chicken, out of habit. This combination of spices lowers brain inflammation and improves blood sugar control. (This recipe is from The Better Brain Solution book)

Marinating Time: 20-60 minutes

Preparation & Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Serves:  2

Ingredients:

1 pound organic, cage-free turkey tenders, sliced into 1- inch-thick strip

2 tablespoons avocado oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

2 medium garlic cloves, crushed and diced

¼ cup fresh mint, chopped

Directions:

Marinate the turkey strips with 1 tablespoon of the oil, lemon juice, spices, salt, pepper, garlic, and all but 1 tablespoon of the mint for 20 to 60 minutes.

Heat a sauté pan to medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, then the turkey, and sauté until lightly browned on each side, turning every few minutes until fully cooked.

Remove from the pan, garnish with the remaining tablespoon of mint, and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Steven Masley, MD

Please share these recipes with your friends and family!

Send them this link: www.drmasley.com/recipes 

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