Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Beef and Broccoli Barley Bowl


Serves 2


Beef and Broccoli Barley Bowl

2 cups cooked barley           
1 tbsp canola oil
200 grams beef striploin or beef tenderloin, sliced
¼ cup red wine, sake or water
4 cups broccoli florets and stems (if using stems, peel away outer layer)
1 orange pepper, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 tbsp fresh or frozen ginger, grated
1 tbsp fresh or frozen cilantro, chopped

¼ cup  low sodium soy sauce
¼ cup low sodium beef stock
½ tsp wasabi
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp cornstarch

1. Cook barley according to package directions.
2. Prepare sauce by mixing soy sauce, beef stock, wasabi, lime juice, honey and pepper
in a medium bowl.  Stir in 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, stirring well until cornstarch dissolves. Set aside.
   3. Add canola oil to a hot sauté pan.  Add beef and sear on high heat for 1-2 minutes or until the outside is browned and the inside is still pink, turn and sear the second side
the same way.  Add red wine, sake or water, stirring well. 
4. Add broccoli, orange pepper, carrots, ginger, cilantro and sauce.  Reduce heat to
med-high and stir-fry until broccoli is tender but still vibrant in colour, approximately
3-5 minutes.
5. Add cooked barley.  Cook for another minute, stirring well.
6. Remove from heat and enjoy.

Makes 2 meal-sized servings.

Note:  Adjust the level of spiciness by altering the amount of wasabi in the sauce.  I often mix soy sauce and wasabi in a separate bowl so everyone can add it to there own plate according to their palate.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Beta-Carotene was included in the original Age-Related Eye Disease Study formulation. 

Since AREDS 1, scientific studies have shown that supplementation with beta-carotene can increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers. High levels of beta-carotene in the body can compete with lutein for transport to the tissues. As a result of these findings, AREDS 2 is investigating the effects of a supplement without beta-carotene.

Beta-carotene from food is safe and is important to maintain eye health. Sweet potatoes and carrots have an important place in an eye-friendly diet.

Palozza P, Serini S, Di Nicuolo F. Beta-carotene exacerbates DNA oxidative damage and modifies p53-related pathways of cell proliferation and apop- tosis in cultured cells exposed to tobacco smoke condensate. Carcinogenesis. 2004;25:1315-25.
Mannisto S, Smith-Warner SA, Spiegelman D. Dietary carotenoids and risk of lung cancer in a pooled analysis of seven cohort studies. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2004;13:40–48. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-038-3.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Zinc is an essential mineral that has antioxidant properties. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) showed that supplementation with zinc decreased the risk of progression of AMD.

The recommended dietary allowance for zinc is 8 mg per day for women and 11 mg per day
for men.

High levels of zinc (80mg) in original AREDS formula has been showed to cause GI distress and urinary tract infections. AREDS 2 is studying the effects of decreasing the dose (25mg).

Include foods high in zinc in your diet to decrease your risk for AMD.  Foods high in zinc are oysters, lean beef, turkey breast, and nuts and seeds.

 Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group (AREDS). 2001. A randomized, placebo- controlled, clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc for age-related macular degeneration and vision loss. Arch ophthalmol 119: 1417-36.

Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2. The lutein/zeaxanthin and omega-3 supplementation trial.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Omega-3 Fatty Acids - Part 2

Omega-6 to Omega-3 Balance

Eating cold-water fish on a regular basis (3-4 serving per week) increases the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.  However, you must watch the amount of omega-6 fatty acids (pro-inflammatory) you consume to reap the benefits of your fish intake.

The ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 intake is 4:1 or less.  Yet, the typical omega- 6 to omega-3 ratio is 15:1 because omega-6 fatty acids are over- abundant in the standard North American diet.

Follow a diet that focuses on healthy fats (especially cold water fish) and avoids processed foods to help to improve their omega-6 to omega-3 ratio.

To learn more about Eyefoods or to purchase a copy of the Eyefoods book visit

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Omega 3 Fatty Acids - Part 1

Important Facts about Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are unsaturated fatty acids that have anti-inflammatory properties and are part of the vision pathway to the brain.

ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) is an essential fatty acid that cannot be synthesized by the body and is found in flax, walnuts and chia seeds. The body converts ALA to the longer chain fatty acids, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA(docosahexaenoic acid).  The real benefits from omega 3s come from EPA and DHA. The conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA is not an efficient process in the body. 

Foods that contain EPA and DHA, especially cold-water fish, are the best food sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Today is World Sight Day

The World Health Organization, Vision 20/20 and the International Agency for the prevention of Blindness recognize the  2nd Thursday of October as World Sight Day.  The purpose of this day is to increase the global awareness of blindness and sight threatening eye disease as major international health issues.

Vision 2020 is an initiative that works with government agencies, civil groups and professional organizations to eliminate avoidable blindness worldwide by 2020.  

285 million people are blind or visually impaired worldwide.

Have you had your eyes checked this year?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Eyefoods Nut Mix

The eyefoods nut mix contains the ideal balance of important eye nutrients found in nuts.
Make a large jar of this nut mix and enjoy one handful per day. 

To download a printable copy of this recipe click here.

1 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped cashews
1 cup pumpkin seeds


1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Transfer to a glass jar or storage container.

Tip: Store in the refrigerator for 2-4 weeks. Makes 3 ½ cups or a party sized bowl

Thursday, October 4, 2012


AREDS 2 (Age-related Eye Disease Study )commenced in 2006 and we expect the results in 2013. Numerous other studies on nutrition and age-related macular degeneration have shown the benefit of lutein, zeaxanthin and omega-3s, and raised questions about beta-carotene and high zinc levels.  As a result, many optometrists and ophthalmologists are recommending eye supplements similar to that used for AREDS 2 even now.

If you have AMD and are taking an eye vitamin ask your optometrist or ophthalmologist which supplement is best for you.

These are the main differences from AREDS 1:
  The addition of 10mg lutein and 2mg zeaxanthin
   The addition of omega-3 fatty acids:  (650mg EPA, 350mg DHA)
   The elimination of beta-carotene
   The reduction of zinc from 80mg to 25mg

For more information visit 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Chicken and Almond Lettuce Wraps

Eyefoods can be fun and tasty! This appetizer can be served at a dinner party or to your family as lunch. Have each person assemble his or her own wrap for extra fun. This recipe is loaded with both lutein and zeaxanthin.  Click here to download a printable copy of this recipe.

­            Ingredients
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts,
   cooked and pulled into bite sized pieces
1 tbsp canola or olive oil
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
1 orange pepper, chopped
2 green onion, chopped
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 large orange, peeled with a knife, quartered and sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Chopped Leaf lettuce leaves, Romaine lettuce leaves or
   kale leaves, washed and dried completely
1.             Mix poultry, peas, pepper, green onion, orange, almonds and cilantro in a bowl.
2.             In a separate bowl, combine almond butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey and hot sauce.
3.             Add 2 tablespoons hot water and stir well. If sauce is too thick, add another tablespoon hot
            water. Continue until the sauce has the consistency of a thick salad dressing.
4.             Use 2 tablespoons of the sauce as dressing for the poultry mix. Toss gently to combine.
5.             Separate remaining dipping sauce into an individual bowl or ramekin for each person.
6.             Spoon chicken mixture into a lettuce or kale leaf and fold. Enjoy with the dipping sauce.

Tips: The chicken mixture can be refrigerated for up to two days. Serve cold or warm.
Optional zeaxanthin boost: garnish with goji berries.