Posts Tagged ‘Cocoa’

Healthy Cognitive Cocktail Recipe

January 9, 2013 Written by JP

There are countless supplements that claim to enhance cognitive performance. Some even hint at providing protection against age-related cognitive decline. But, what if you’re just looking for a little extra “brain nutrition”? Perhaps you simply want to improve your attention, reaction speed or short-term memory. Or maybe you’re thinking down the line about natural ways to optimally nourish your brain before any signs of decline appear. The following recipe is valuable for virtually all brain stages. I suggest this very formula to many of my clients who are looking for everything from greater mental sharpness to strides in academic performance.

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Posted in Food and Drink, Memory, Recipes | 8 Comments & Updates

Healthier Overweight

July 9, 2012 Written by JP

Some time ago, I was approached by an overweight gentleman who was familiar with my line of work. He explained that he planned to lose weight eventually, but wasn’t quite ready to adopt many of the principles espoused on my site and elsewhere. He went on to ask a rather provocative question: Apart from making major changes to my diet and exercising, are there any small steps I can take to protect myself? At first, my thought was: What’s the point? You can’t put out a fire with a squirt gun! If you want to get healthy, a commitment needs to made! However, as I listened further to his circumstances and history, I relented and decided to offer what I hoped would be the first steps in his path to a genuine lifestyle change.

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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 3 Comments & Updates

Chocolate Talk with Dr. Eric Ding

March 14, 2012 Written by JP

The integration of natural medicine and rigorous science is becoming increasingly evident in the current medical landscape. Dr. Eric Ding exemplifies the philosophical shift that is presently underway. For starters, he has allopathic credentials that are beyond reproach: graduating Johns Hopkins University with Honors in Public Health and Phi Beta Kappa, then going on to become the youngest student at Harvard to complete a dual doctoral program in epidemiology and nutrition. Dr. Ding is now a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and Women’s Hospital, and is also the director and founder of the non-profit Campaign for Cancer Prevention.

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Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health, Interviews | 10 Comments & Updates

Peanut Butter Brownie Recipe

December 23, 2011 Written by JP

Chocolate and peanut butter is a classic pairing of savory and sweet. The trouble is that most incarnations of this delectable combination aren’t very good for you. And, while an occasional treat is fine for most, eating such desserts regularly is clearly ill advised. That’s why I made it my mission to create a recipe that will please both your body and palate. Your taste buds will suspect they’re being treated to something naughty, but the rest of you will know you’re having something nice.

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Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health, Recipes | 7 Comments & Updates

Healthy Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

October 17, 2011 Written by JP

A cup of ice cold milk and freshly baked chocolate chip cookies is rarely, if ever, considered a healthy dessert or snack. According to most nutritional authorities, it’s a guilty pleasure at best. The recipe I’ll share with you today defies the conventional view of cookies and milk. If eaten in moderation, it can actually support healthier blood sugar and lipid levels and possibly even discourage obesity – when used in the context of a low carbohydrate diet. Did I mention that it’s also all natural and gluten free?

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Posted in Diabetes, Heart Health, Recipes | 10 Comments & Updates

Double Chocolate Brownies

July 1, 2011 Written by JP

If you’re a chocolate lover, you’ll almost certainly relate to this scenario. Diet or no diet, there comes a time in every chocoholic’s life when they throw caution to the wind and succumb to the powerful temptation of a rich, decadent brownie or two. In the eyes of cocoa devotees, brownies are everywhere. You’ll see them in bakeries, mail order catalogs and even health food stores. And sadly, denial and willpower only take you so far. In those instances where a brownie simply cannot be denied, consider making this healthy reinvention that you can truly feel good about enjoying. Read more »


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Posted in Food and Drink, Nutrition, Recipes | 12 Comments & Updates

Natural Sunscreen Options

June 24, 2011 Written by JP

This past Tuesday marked the official start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, otherwise known as the summer solstice. Among other things, this means that you’ll likely encounter seemingly endless ads for sunblocks and sunscreens on billboards, magazines and television. The advisability of using sunscreen is a topic of debate due to questionable efficacy and ingredients and sunblock’s ability to reduce natural Vitamin D synthesis. This lack of consensus confuses many. But there’s also good that can come of it. Cosmetic companies are continually trying to find safer agents that genuinely protect against the photo-aging effects of UV radiation. In some instances, this journey leads them down a natural path. Herb and legume extracts ranging from Ginkgo biloba to soy isoflavones now commonly appear on the labels of topical formulas with additional sun protecting components. In fact, some of these “holistic” ingredients are often used as selling points in the aforementioned advertisements. But something you’re unlikely to find in most ads is any mention of the role that nutrition can play in keeping your skin safe from the sun. (1,2,3,4,5)
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 15 Comments & Updates

Chocolate News You Can Use

May 6, 2011 Written by JP

At this years Natural Products Expo West, a new line of cocoa-based supplements received a great deal of attention. This is the latest example of a renewed sense of excitement surrounding the health potential of Theobroma cacao extracts and foods. However, not everyone is ready to embrace chocolate as a health food. Some health authorities are hesitant about giving their seal of approval, citing concerns ranging from increased cardiovascular risk to obesity. Who are we to believe? Should we place our faith in supplement manufacturers who suggest a broad array of health benefits or the skeptics that still consider chocolate merely candy? Read more »


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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Heart Health | 10 Comments & Updates

Hot Chocolate 2010

November 30, 2010 Written by JP

The Healthy Fellow test kitchen really lives up to its name. I’m constantly experimenting with different recipes and ways of preparing healthy food. Some of the creations I come up with appear on this site. Others are simply used as part of my personal wellness routine until it occurs to me to post them. Of late, the medical literature has yielded a few tantalizing new studies pertaining to the health attributes of dark chocolate. As it happens, I’m currently in the midst of a hot cocoa revival at home. On more days than not, there’s been a wintry chill in the air and a steaming mug of hot chocolate right by my side.
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Posted in Nutrition, Recipes | 9 Comments & Updates

Almond Cocoa Butter Recipe

October 26, 2010 Written by JP

As you may know by now, I rely on events in my life to help inspire the columns that I write on this site. I was recently asked about an apparent paradox relating to dark chocolate. A client asked me how cocoa could possibly be heart healthy when it contains natural stimulants such as theobromine. “Won’t that cause my blood pressure to rise?”. Today I’ll address that question and the larger issue of cardiovascular health and cocoa. I’ll also include a supremely simple recipe that I sometimes use to satisfy my dark chocolate fix.
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Posted in Food and Drink, Nutrition, Recipes | 6 Comments & Updates

Food Economics

August 19, 2010 Written by JP

There are certain trends that are very difficult to predict. Long term economic forecasts, technological prognostication and weather outlooks are notorious for making many analysts look the fool. However, select aspects of health care are considerably easier to estimate. An example is preventable disease. Far too many people are literally speeding up their own demise by the way they live their lives. Some of the hardest hit segments of this population are children and adults experiencing financial hardship. What is desperately needed is some meaningful form of intervention. Several recent messages on Twitter offer practical suggestions about how to reduce the economic burden and widespread damage associated with preventable health conditions.
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Posted in Children's Health, Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink | 4 Comments & Updates

Coconut Dessert Recipes

June 22, 2010 Written by JP

My wife and I had the pleasure of celebrating Father’s Day with my parents and sister this past weekend. It may come as no surprise, but the topic of health almost always pops up whenever we get together. The unfortunate reality is that some of the stories we discuss are rather sobering. For instance, my mother mentioned an old friend of the family who is now in her late 90′s. Apparently she’s lost much of her appetite so that her nutritional outlook isn’t very promising. This is particularly troubling because getting adequate nutrition is all the more important for seniors. This exchange with my mom inspired the following two recipes. Read more »


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Posted in Food and Drink, Memory, Recipes | 8 Comments & Updates

Attune Chocolate Bars Review

June 9, 2010 Written by JP

One of my least favorite sayings is, “Everything in moderation”. I think it’s a problematic piece of advice for many people who think they need such guidance in the first place. You wouldn’t tell a mother to let her child eat lead-based paint in moderation. It would be foolhardy to suggest to an alcoholic or drug addict to indulge every once in awhile, provided that it’s done moderately. So why then do family, friends, nutritionists and physicians insist on passing along this ubiquitous adage when it comes to eating unhealthy food? In my opinion, it’s largely rooted in a belief that most people just aren’t capable of doing what’s right for themselves on a long term basis. But I think there’s a better solution. Read more »


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Posted in Food and Drink, Nutritional Supplements, Product Reviews | 19 Comments & Updates

Chocolate Hazelnut Porridge

March 23, 2010 Written by JP

Patterns are vital pieces of information in the field of preventive health care. Researchers are constantly on the look-out for trends that can be applied in the prevention of just about every medical condition known to man. Even maladies that have a strong genetic component are of interest because certain lifestyle choices can activate or de-activate genes that are associated with such illnesses. When it comes to lifestyle factors, dietary influences have received the lion’s share of scientific interest. The interplay between diet and gene expression has even been given a name: nutrigenomics. Read more »


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Posted in Heart Health, Nutrition, Recipes | 9 Comments & Updates

Chocolate, Hot Tea, Lutein and Soy Updates

September 17, 2009 Written by JP

How you prepare food and the manner in which you consume it can make all difference. A healthy vegetable can easily be rendered into a health hazard by dipping it in batter and deep frying it in hydrogenated oils. On the other hand, marinating meat with aromatic herbs and spices and cooking it at the right temperature can prevent certain food-borne illnesses. These are a few of the more obvious examples. But looking a little deeper into the scientific literature reveals lesser known tips about how to get the most out of your dietary choices. Read more »


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Posted in Nutrition | 4 Comments & Updates

Dark Chocolate Controversy

July 22, 2009 Written by JP

While conducting some research this morning, I made an unexpected connection between meditation and politics. When meditating we are often instructed to gently observe our thoughts, no matter where they lead. They’re simply benign messengers of the subconscious mind. In politics, ideally we strive to observe current events, then dispassionately incorporate that information into our political views. I think the application of scientific research should be approached in a similar manner. In a nutshell, I believe we need to be aware and open to new research that both supports and, occasionally, contradicts our points of view. I discovered an example of this while reviewing the most recent data on the effects of dark chocolate on hypertension. Read more »


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Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health, Nutrition | 14 Comments & Updates