Recipe: Rosemary Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Onion

Final product without Parmesan sprinkles. That's sous vide chicken in the foreground.

Final product without Parmesan sprinkles. That’s sous vide chicken in the foreground.

At my request, my wife bought me a mess o’ Brussels sprouts, and I’ve been experimenting with recipes.

Sprouts sliced in half

Sprouts sliced in half

Ingredients this time are the sprouts, dried rosemary (i.e., not fresh although it’s a landscaping plant where I live), salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic, and diced onion.

FYI, rosemary is used as an ornamental landscaping plant in southern Arizona.

To promote release of flavor, I sautéed three garlic cloves and the rosemary in EVOO.

Releasing the flavors of garlic and rosemary over medium heat for perhaps 3 minutes

Releasing the flavors of garlic and rosemary over medium heat for perhaps 3 minutes

Then I sliced the sprouts in half along their long axis, to reduce cooking time. (Cut them so the leaves stay attached to the internal stalk.) You’d have to cut them in half before you eat ’em anyway.

I dumped all ingredients into a bowel and mixed thoroughly to ensure the sprouts were coated with oil.

Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven. I used about 3/4 cup of diced onion.

Everything except the bowl was transferred to a cooking sheet covered with aluminum foil (easy clean-up!), which I then popped into an oven pre-heated to 425°F. I cooked for 25 minutes. At around the 10 and 17-minute marks, I pulled the concoction out of the oven and stirred/flipped the ingredients to promote even cooking and browning. Your cooking time will vary from 17 to 25 minutes depending on your preferences. If you want some browning of the sprouts, you likely need to cook longer than 17 minutes. Unless your oven runs hotter than mine.

This is my favorite roasted Brussels sprouts recipe thus far. For an extra flavor zing, sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese just before eating. In the future, I may  top the ingredients with some other type of cheese a minute before the cooking is completed. Of course, if you eat pure paleo, you don’t eat cheese. Bacon bits are another tasty option.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Not "real" Parmesan from Italy. For example, this one contains cellulose "to prevent caking."

Not “real” Parmesan from the Parma region of Italy. For example, this one contains cellulose “to prevent caking.”

 

Recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Radishes

Roasted Radishes and Brussels Sprouts. Copyright Steve Parker MD

Roasted Radishes and Brussels Sprouts.
Photo Copyright Steve Parker MD

A year ago I ran across online praise for roasted radishes. I’m not a big fan of radishes, perhaps because they weren’t part of Parker family cuisine when I was growing up, but I finally gave them a try.

Beautiful, huh?

Beautiful, huh?

This won’t be as detailed as most of my recipes because I need to get into the hospital soon.

Raw Brussels Sprouts

Raw Brussels Sprouts

My basic ingredients were raw radishes and Brussels sprouts, diced onions, a bit of parsley (probably not needed), extra virgin olive oil, dried rosemary (i.e., not fresh), coarse salt, and pepper.

With the radishes, I cut off the little rootlet and green top, then cut them in half unless they were tiny radishes. Brussel sprouts take longer to cook, so I cut them in half, too. I put all the veggies  into a bowl, added just enough olive oil to coat them, sprinkled in some salt and pepper, then mixed with a spoon. Then I spread all that on a cooking sheet and popped it into an oven pre-heated to 425°F. (I covered my cooking sheet with aluminum foil to ease cleanup.)

All ingredients mixed in a bowl

All ingredients mixed in a bowl

I cooked in the oven for 17 minutes (15-20), using a turner to flip the veggies once or twice while cooking.

Ready for roasting

Ready for roasting

They were a little bland, so I topped off with Weber Roasted Garlic and Herb Seasoning. I enjoyed them and will do it again. Next time I may try coating with melted butter rather than olive oil. I felt very virtuous for eating my vegetables.

Steve Parker, M.D. 

PS: I ate half of this in one sitting. I refrigerated the rest and ate it about six hours later, after warming in the microwave. It was much more flavorful. If you’re one of those people who never eats leftovers…

…reconsider.

New Blood Glucose Monitors Should Be More Accurate in Near Future

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued new guidelines for manufacturers of home glucose monitoring devices. The old standard was that the glucose reading of the device had to be within 20% of the actual or true value compared to a medical lab-grade machine.

For example, if the device read 165 mg/dl, the true value could be anywhere from 132 to 198 mg/dl. Or if you think in mmol/l terms, a reading of 9.2 could be anywhere from 7.3 to 11.

Under the new +/- 15% rule, the true number should be between 140 and 190  mg/dl.

I bet you thought your device was more accurate than that.

From the FDA:

“Blood glucose test results are used by people with diabetes to make critical decisionsabout their treatment; therefore, it is important that the results are accurate so that nutritional and drug dosing errors are better avoided. Your studies should demonstrate that your SMBG is sufficient for this purpose by showing that 95% of all SMBG results in this study are within +/- 15% of the comparator results across the entire claimed measuring range of the device and that 99% of all SMBG results are within +/- 20% of the comparator results across the entire claimed measuring range of the device.”

Steve Parker, M.D.

My Video Experiment…

I need to reach more people. Last fall I tripled my blogging frequency and it did nothing to increase viewership. I plan to cut back on written blogging and Tweeting, but will be doing more videos. It’s an experiment.

I’ll try to keep all videos under six minutes out of respect for your time.

This video mentions the topics I’ll be covering. If they sound interesting, please subscribe to the pxHealth YouTube Channel.

QOTD: 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

—U.S. Constitution

PS: Please share with your contacts at the NSA, CIA, and FBI

Can You Activate Your Brown Fat, and What If You Did?

The Joslin diabetes blog has an interesting article on brown fat and its effect on metabolic rate and insulin sensitivity. Brown fat is just a type of body type different from the more plentiful white fat (which is actually more pale yellow). If there are other colors of body fat, I don’t know.

If you can “activate” your brown fat, it helps you burn more calories, which could be helpful if you’re trying to lose weight. It also improves insulin sensitivity: beneficial if you have type 2 diabetes or are prone to it.

From Joslin:

“When brown fat is fully activated, it can burn between 200 and 300 extra calories per day. It is most successfully activated through cold exposure. A recent study of people with type 2 diabetes had volunteers sit in a 50 degree room for a couple of hours a day for 10 days in shorts and short-sleeved shirts.

“When I say cold, it’s not icy cold, it’s not like the winter in Boston,” she says. “It’s more or less like the temperature we have here in autumn. After this mild cold exposure, all ten volunteers with type 2 diabetes, as shown in that study, displayed increased brown fat activity and improved insulin sensitivity. This is very exciting.”

Dr. Tseng is working on understanding exactly what is happening on a cellular level to activate brown fat in the cold to see if she can create a drug that will mimic the effects. “Although cold works, it’s just not pleasant,” she says. “If you had to sit in a cold room for a few hours every day, perhaps not everybody could accept that.”

Source: How Your Body Temperature Can Affect Your Metabolism | Speaking of Diabetes | The Joslin Blog

Another way to activate brown fat is exercise (at least if you’re a man or a mouse).

Steve Parker, M.D.

We Unboxed an Anova Precision Cooker

My wife got interested in the sous vide cooking method eight months ago. She gave her original Anova cooker away to someone and replaced it with another brand that broke and shocked her, literally. We just got our new Anova and did this unboxing video. I’m told that unboxing videos are “a thing.”

We’ve noticed in our corner of the universe that steaks are getting more expensive. Sous vide cooking allows us to use a cheaper and tougher cut of meat and it comes out very tender. The method often yields foods that are also more flavorful and juicier compared to other cooking styles.

Are Calcium Supplements Safe?

 

Death in a bottle?

Death in a bottle?

Monica is a smart and media-savvy nutritionist who brought me on board as a blogger at NutritionData many years ago. Click the link below for her surprising conclusion on calcium supplementation.

Monica writes:

“The National Osteoporosis Foundation published a new report this week, insisting that calcium supplements are safe for your heart. Two weeks ago, Johns Hopkins cardiologist Erin Michos published a paper saying the opposite.

She claims that the NOF review (which was funded by a pharmaceutical company that makes calcium supplements) omitted certain studies (such as the ones she included in her own review) that might have changed the conclusion.

These are just the latest two volleys in a five-year-long tennis match between experts on whether you should or shouldn’t take calcium supplements.  And you thought politics was divisive.”

Source: Calcium Supplements: Safe or Not?

Guess What? I Was Right After All

Reviewers at London Metropolitan University wondered if carbohydrate restriction was a legitimate approach to controlling diabetes. No surprise to me, they conclude that it is:

“A carbohydrate restricted diet can provide a safe and effective solution for improving diabetes management and should have a place within the diabetic guidelines. The diet was effective in reducing postprandial hyperglycemia and glycaemic variability resulting in low levels of glycaemia without the risk of hypoglycaemia. The ability of the diet to reduce the symptoms of dyslipidemia is of particular importance and when compared to the traditional low fat diet for weight loss, the low carbohydrate diet was comparable and in some instances better. There were significant reductions or cessation of diabetic medication reported throughout the literature alongside a reduction in the psychological aspects of living with a long-term disease. It is possible that the current dietary advice may actually accelerate beta cell exhaustion with elevated blood glucose diminishing the islet cells ability to produce insulin.”

Action Plan. But it’s expensive: around $17.

No degludec up in here!

Front cover

What’s More Important For Longevity: Level of Fitness Or Minutes of Exercise Per Week?

She can increase intensity by increasing the weight of those dumbbells

She can increase intensity by increasing the weight of those dumbbells

You’ve heard that “sitting is the new smoking,” right?

Regular physical activity prevents disease and prolongs life. But if you nevertheless still spend to much time sitting around either at work or home, the sitting tends to counteract the benefits of your exercise.

A new study says that your fitness level is more important for long-term health than the number of hours you exercise. Fitness level in this context was cardiorespiratory fitness, probably measured by a maximal-effort treadmill or bicycle test.

Some of your fitness level is inherited, but you can also improve your fitness with the proper intensity or duration of exercise. Rather than exercise longer, I prefer more intensity. Just strolling around the mall at 2 mph for two hours isn’t going to improve fitness in most folks.

From MNT:

“The team conducted a cross-sectional study of 495 women and 379 men from Norway aged between 70-77 years. Sedentary time and physical activity were assessed by accelerometers, while cardiorespiratory fitness was determined by peak oxygen uptake (VO2 peak) – the measurement of the volume of oxygen that the body can utilize during physical exertion.

Researchers compared different levels of activity with fitness levels and cardiovascular risk factor clusters. A cardiovascular risk factor cluster was defined as the presence of three to five risk factors for heart disease.

These risk factors included: elevated waist circumference, elevated blood triglycerides or reduced “good” cholesterol levels, high blood pressure or treatment for hypertension, and elevated fasting blood sugar levels – combined symptoms commonly referred to as metabolic syndrome.

High cardiorespiratory fitness reduced risk of heart diseaseFindings – published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings – showed that when compared with women and men who were the least sedentary, women and men from the most sedentary group were 83 percent and 63 percent more likely to have cardiovascular risk factors from extended time sitting, respectively.

However, when the team took participants’ level of fitness into consideration – measured by having high age-specific cardiorespiratory fitness – they found that the fittest 40 percent had a decreased likelihood of cardiovascular risk factors from prolonged sitting.This finding held true even though the fittest participants spent between 12-13 hours per day sedentary and did not meet current moderate to vigorous physical activity guidelines.”

Source: Fitness, not physical activity, mitigates negative effects of prolonged sitting – Medical News Today

PS: If you’re new to exercise, I teach you how to get started in my books.