• Sous-vide For Health

    Sous-vide (Soo Veed all one word, French for “under vacuum”) is a method of cooking healthy without “AGEING”. That is without ALE, APE or AGE! AGE stands for Advanced Glycosylated End products. APE is Advance Protein End products that are…

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Sous-vide For Health


January 18, 2015


Sous-vide (Soo Veed all one word, French for “under vacuum”) is a method of cooking healthy without “AGEING”. That is without ALE, APE or AGE! AGE stands for Advanced Glycosylated End products. APE is Advance Protein End products that are in grilled or roasted foods. ALE is the acronym for Advance Lipid End products. These are from overcooked fats (lipids) such as eggs and in meats. Advanced Glycosylated End products are in overheated carbohydrates, which caramelize. Over cooked food can wreak havoc on our metabolism, ignite inflammation, swelling, and contribute to problems in digestion and absorption, slow down fat burning and disrupt hormones. AGE, APE, and ALE are pro-oxidants that literally “rust” our tissue by oxidation of our vital body structure. Although, for some, these taste better than the non-oxidized food, those so called delicious crunchy morsels are dangerous to our health in causing not only cardiovascular disease, but also cancer! In cooking any food, the hotter it is, the more dangerous it becomes. The worst method is grilled, followed by roasted then baked all of which the food is heated up in excess of 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Somewhat better but not perfect is poached, braised, boiled, and crock pot methods (sometimes called slow cooking). In the preparations these items because the water never exceeds 212 degrees, there is less AGE, ALE, and APE and little oxidized cholesterol. Oxidized cholesterol is extremely bad for our arteries, since it is directly absorbed from our blood stream and pulled directly into the wall of arteries. The cooking method is Sous-vide.

Sous- vide is a natural method of food preparation without denaturing, oxidizing, or draining the natural micronutrients of the food into to the cooking water. The food is sealed in air/watertight bags placed in a controlled temperature water environment with variable cooking times that give perfection for heated food. The food is cooked accurately at regulated temperatures much lower than normally used for cooking. The food is heated evenly, ensuring that the inside is properly done without overcooking the outside, with natural moisture retention.

The method was first described by Sir Benjamin Thompson (Count Rumford) in 1799 (although he used air as the heat transfer medium) and re-discovered by American and French engineers in the mid-1960s. It was originally developed into an industrial food preservation method. A pioneer in sous-vide was Bruno Goussault, who further researched the effects of temperature on various foods and became well known for training top chefs in the method. As chief scientist of Alexandria, Virginia-based food manufacturerCuisine Solutions, Goussault developed parameters for cooking times and temperatures for various foods. These were soon adopted into first class restaurants that needed food routinely cooked to perfection. Later their methods were introduced for use on cruise ships, first class cabins in aircraft and lately trains. Since 2009, this cooking technique has crept into residential kitchens and is now considered by serious nutritionists as healthy as eating food raw!

As may also be done in traditionalpoaching, sealing the food in sturdy safe plastic bags keeps in juices and aroma that would otherwise be lost in the process. The meal is placed in a water bath, with the temperature being set for the desired final cooking hotness of the food. The heated water bath, could be a rice cooker, crockpot or combi oven. Any cooker that can set and hold a target temperature can be used. Bed Bath and beyond has several models or go on line at www.anovaculinary.com/sous-vide

Overcooking will always be avoided, because the food cannot get hotter than the bath it is in. In conventional high-heat cooking, such as ovenroasting, grilling or even boiling, the food is exposed to heat levels that are much higher than the desired internal cooking temperature. If the food is not removed from the high heat prior to it reaching the desired cooking temperature, which when too late and overshoot occurs. If it is removed too early, under-cooking results. As a result of precise temperature control of the bath and the fact that the bath temperature is the same as the target cooking temperature, very precise control of cooking is achieved. The temperature, and thus cooking, is even throughout the food in sous-vide cooking, even with irregularly shaped or very thick items, given enough time. Raw food is vacuum- sealed in heat-stable, special food-grade non leaching plastic pouches. These safe products are made from polyurethane and should not contain any endocrine disrupting plasticizers. #2HDPE, #4LDPE and #5PP are the good numbers in the triangle printed on some of the labels. The very best is Food-Grade Silicone Bags such as Lékué. They are thicker than typical vacuum-seal food pouches. Manually squeezing/displacing all the air out of the silicone bags is a bit tricky, but easily learned. The bags are dishwasher-safe, re-usable, and relatively inexpensive.

The vacuum packaging prevents evaporative losses of flavor volatiles and moistness during cooking and inhibits off-flavors from oxidation. This results in especially flavorful and nutritious food. Vacuum sealing also reduces aerobic bacterial growth and allows for the efficient transfer of thermal energy from the water to the food without destroying the molecular structure of the nutrient such as with high heat or micro-wave cooking.

Precise temperature control is important when one cooks fish, meat, or poultry. Suppose we want to cook a thick-cut steak medium rare. You could cook it on a grill at 800°F until the center hits 120°F and hope the center will come up to 130°F. Alternatively, a person might sear one side of the steak in a pan, flip the steak over, put it in a 275°F oven, and pull it out just before the center comes up to 130°F.

With Sous-vide a cook could vacuum seal the steak, drop it in a 130°F water bath for a few hours, pull it out of the water bath just before you want to serve it, and sear the outside in either a smoking hot pan or with a blowtorch. Then a medium-rare steak with a great crust that is the same doneness at the edge as it is at the center is produced. Moreover, you can cook the flavorful flat iron steak (very safely) in a 130°F water bath for 12 hours and it’ll be both medium-rare and as tender as filet mignon.

The use of temperatures much lower than for conventional cooking is an equally essential feature of sous-vide, resulting in much higher succulence. At these lower temperatures, cell walls in the food do not burst. In the case of meat cooking, tough collagen in connective tissue is hydrolyzed into gelatinous tender tidbit. Heating the meat’s proteins high enough that they denature and the texture changes. With the moisture squeezed out of the meat it is dry and tough. In contrast, with the cooking of vegetables, where extreme tenderness or softness is seen as undesirably overcooked, the ability of the sous-vide technique to cook vegetables at a temperature below the boiling point of water allows vegetables to be thoroughly cooked while maintaining a firm or somewhat crisp texture. If the cell walls do not burst, the de-polymerization or polysaccharidish connection (gelatinous-like starch) that is generated and connecting the vegetable cells together in the vegetable can be now be achieved without overcooking.

Additionally, enclosed spices or ingredients added to the food item transmit their flavor more intensely than during normal cooking. From a culinary viewpoint the exclusion of air is secondary, but this has practical importance: it allows cooked food to be stored, still sealed and refrigerated, for considerable times, which limits frost burn and excludes oxygen from food that requires long cooking and is susceptible to oxidation, e.g., fat on meat, which may become rancid with prolonged exposure to even “frozen air”.


The Gifts of Christmas


December 22, 2014

Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh

Personally, and if the story is true, I think the wise man who brought the gold to the babe Jesus should have received most of the props, but if this is true, as stated in Matthew 2:11 (I’m an Old Testament guy personally), “Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh,” we have to treat them all equally. They all have spiritual meanings: gold as a symbol of kingship on earth (value), frankincense (an incense) as a mark of deity, and myrrh (anointing, and embalming oil) as a representation of deaths triumph.

Specifically …

gfmGold is a precious metal which belongs to the transition group I in the periodic table and exists in nature in two basic forms: metallic gold and gold salts. (And then there’s the most important forms: the kind found at Tiffany’s). Interestingly, metallic gold is non-toxic, used extensively in dentistry, has been extensively studied in medicine, especially when it comes to the study of Alzheimer’s Disease, Anosmia (lack of smell) Anxiety, Arthritis, Attention Deficit, Autism, Cancer, Concentration, Creativity, Depression, Erectile Dysfunction, Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Flexibility, Memory, , Menopause, Mobility Disorders, Muscle Strength, Pain, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Restless Leg Syndrome, Rheumatoid Arthritis (even FDA approved), Smoking, Visual Problems, Weight Gain and Well Being. Additionally, gold has been used for more than 75 years to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and is still used today. (I prescribed it last month as a matter of fact.) Before its use in RA, gold was used to treat infections, including tuberculosis, although not FDA approved it is still used to treat difficult other rheumatic diseases such as Lupus. While it can be very effective at suppressing the signs and symptoms of RA for some patients, it is used less frequently as new, more lucrative for the pharmaceutical companies and perhaps better tolerated medications have come around, but several forms of gold are available. The injectable forms of gold salts: gold sodium thiomalate (Myochrysine) and aurothioglucose (Solganal). Also an oral tablet that contains gold, auranofin (Ridaura); however, this is much less effective.

Frankincense (Boswellia carteri, or serrata) has a sweet, warm, balsamic aroma that is stimulating and elevating to the mind. Useful for visualizing, improving one’s spiritual connection, and centering, it has comforting properties that help focus the mind and overcome stress and despair. Frankincense is ingredient in skin care products for aging and dry skin. It is an antioxidant, as well. It also has been known to strengthen the female hormone system and purifying the air, but, to be fair, a gift of gold, especially on a birthday can do that, as well.

Frankincense used as an Essential Oil has other healthful properties, including as an antiseptic, disinfectant, relieves flatulence, scar shrinking, stimulates cellular regeneration , digestive, diuretic, helps female organs, expectorant, sedative, and wound healing.

As an astringent it strengthens gums, hair roots, tones and lifts skin, contracts muscles, intestines and blood vessels, and protects from premature losses of teeth and hair. This quality also reduces wrinkles. Topically, it acts as a coagulant, helping to stop bleeding from wounds and cuts. The astringent property relieves diarrhea.

Today this herb is found in over a hundred proprietary medicines to treat arthritis. As an Essential Oil, Frankincense releases powerful vibrations both homeopathic spiritual for protection, and purification. It is said to expand consciousness and–you ready?– predisposes ones body and mind to sexual ecstasy (not to repeat myself, but enough gold rings, bracelets and assorted baubles will have the same effect).

Myrrh is a resin that comes from trees belonging to the genus Commiphora, which grow in Northern Africa and the Middle East. The word myrrh comes from the Arabic word “murr” which translates into “bitter”. The sap like substance, which has a unique sweet and smoky aroma, has a wide range of uses to include fragrance, embalming, flavoring food and therapeutic. The essential oil has been part of medical practice in traditional therapies and Myrrh gum was used for indigestion, ulcers, colds, cough, asthma, lung congestion, and arthritis for millennia. In Ancient Egypt it was used to treat hay fever and herpes. The Greeks used it as an antiseptic for soldiers to clean battle wounds.

Food and Chemical Toxicology found that myrrh (Commiphora molmol) emulsion was able to protect against lead induced hepatotoxicity. It also has anticancer properties. Chinese researchers published in the Journal of Medicinal Plants Research revealed that extracts and compounds from Commiphora myrrha resin is effective against human gynecologic cancer cells. Researchers are currently examining the ingredients of a Myrrh herbal formula used traditionally by Kuwaiti diabetics to lower blood glucose. (Kuwaitis have a blood glucose problem? Who knew?) Mirazid, an Egyptian drug made from myrrh, has been investigated as an oral treatment of parasitic ailments such as schistosomiasis. Also Myrrh was shown to produce analgesic effects. Researchers at the University of Florence showed that a compound in myrrh enhances the opioid receptors in the brain which influence pain perception. Studies are now under way in human subjects.

On a more practical level, myrrh is used as an antiseptic in mouthwashes, gargles, and toothpastes and for prevention and treatment of gum disease. It is also is currently used in some liniments and healing salves that may be applied to abrasions and other minor skin ailments.

And if that doesn’t work, you can always rub some gold over it.


Be Grateful Live Healthier

December 2, 2014

One of the sweet moments of our current holiday season is the sense of gratitude. We should have more of such holidays. People who are thankful for what they have are better able to cope with stress, have more positive…

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Warrior or Worrier?

November 24, 2014

There are the have and the have-nots. Amongst our many genes is the one that will determine our determination. It is called COMT (Catechol-Oxygen-Methyl-Transferase). With todays medical technology we and many other physicians routinely preform this insurance paid for test…

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November 23, 2014

Starting with Thanksgiving, we enter the holiday season with hope in our hearts and finish on New Year’s Day with fat on our butts. During this time, Americans amass five extra pounds. Subsequent hard-working exercise may help to diminish this,…

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Your Unwritten Story

November 9, 2014

An abundant life is vitality and verve to the very end. However this is a pretense and not true in todays modern world. Ninety percent of us won’t die with peace and dignity. Therefore, our story needs not only a…

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October 20, 2014

Ebola is a disease of humans, monkeys and fruit eating bats. These three species cannot make their own Vitamin C, a phenomenon of more than interest of which we will discuss later. Initially discovered in 1976 on the banks of…

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Too Much Exercise Is Bad

October 5, 2014

Cardiac overuse injury can occur with too much or over aggressive aerobic/cardio exercise. Typically there is a rising straight line if more is better, but if a J shape curve is emblazoned then this is unhealthy. J is not for…

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Garbage Men For Your Brain

September 21, 2014

New research shows a good night’s rest is not just a luxury. It is critical for our brain’s health. Revitalizing,by recouping, repairing, and regrouping is a must for a happy healthy brain. When we sleep our focus on sensory cues,…

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September 14, 2014

Dulces Sueños! It is about time the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new non-benzo sleeping pill. But, Belsomra is a controlled substance (Schedule-IV) because it can be abused or lead to dependence. The drug, Belsomra (suvorexant) will be…

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