Eat MORE Slaw to Lose MORE Weight!
You think of it simply as summer fare, reserved for picnics, laden with Mayo, and putting you at risk for food borne illnesses, because we hear that Mayo + Heat = proliferation of bacteria.
However, I’d like to change your views on SLAW.
From my standpoint, SLAW is something I make time and again, and in a variety of ways…without FEAR!
Although I don’t frequent many picnics, I DO eat slaw often. “Why is that?” You might ask OR, more aptly, “Who cares!” you might say. What makes “her” the SLAW Queen anyway!? Oh, “Slaw Queen,” I like that!! I could wear my vegetable laden rain boots every day I “reign,” and I could force the people I govern to eat SLAW every day and then everyone would be healthy and the hospitals would turn into perpetual health SPA’s, all because I was named “SLAW QUEEN.” *sigh*
OK, I know I’m not Queen of anything, but I do loves me some SLAW.
Being a Dietitian and a Holistic Chef, I am constantly trying to eat more healthful foods in HEALTHY ways. I’m not a huge broccoli fan, with its strong odor and flavor, and Kale, well, you know, been there, done that to death. But cabbage, cabbage can easily be enjoyed in a variety of ways, while offering many of the same health benefits as the aforementioned, since it’s part of the same BRASSICA family.
Hmm, BRASSICA, that is such a cool name. If I had a daughter I’d name her BRASSICA. It sounds like the name of a SUPER-Hero. Although that might put a lot of pressure on a little girl, to be born a SUPER-Hero, maybe I’ll just call her Kale. OR Kale BRASSICA!!
Speaking of SUPER-Heros, BRASSICA’s are one the THE most SUPER Families of Foods we have on the planet. Their fancy name is actually Brassicaceae or more commonly known as cruciferous vegetables; so named because when they go to seed, they form a four petal flower resembling a cross. Crucifer = “cross-bearer.”
Aside from cabbage, kale and broccoli, other Brassica kin include: cress (garden cress & watercress) mustard greens, collard greens, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli rabe (this stuff I love), Chinese cabbage, bok choy (another FAV), radishes, daikon radish, horseradish, wasabi, mizuna (My running shoes? Oh, no, those are Mizunos) & arugula, plus rutabagas, turnips and kohlrabi (another cool kid’s name). I have got to broaden my interests before naming children, seriously. Actually, as I’m writing this article, even I hadn’t realized that ALL of these vegetables where part of this prolific family. I love them ALL.
I love strong flavors. And they almost all provide fond food memories. My grandfather made “bash-ed neeps” when I was a child; a combination of turnips and regular potatoes, although perhaps not the true traditional recipe of his Scottish ancestors, I ate this concoction because of the name and because I loved my grandfather so very much. And horseradish is part of my all-time favorite appetizer: SHRIMP Cocktail. Ever since I was a kid I have loved Shrimp Cocktail, especially when the cocktail sauce is so powerful that it clears your nostrils with each BITE! YUM!!
If you’ve tried ANY of these vegetables, you’ll notice a similarity in their bitter taste and sometimes off-putting smell once cooked. But don’t run away from that smell, embrace it. For it’s the smell that tells you how powerfully protective these veggies can be.
Although some smells can indicate harmful chemicals entering the body; think of a new car smell, or the fake air fresheners people plug into walls, and those dryer sheets, don’t even get me started. As a child I remember running out of the room every time my mom used carpet fresh. Carpet fresh, they should call it, “pollute-your-lungs.” I’d sneeze and sneeze until I was out of harm’s way. And speaking of sneezing, I’m a TERRIFIC sneezer. I get it from my dad. Whenever ANY potential offender tries to invade MY body, “Achoooo!!” is all I can say. My body says, “Get the F(udge) outta here!”
Sneezes protect your body by clearing your nose of bacteria and potential virus invaders. According to WebMD, the longest sneeze lasted 978 days. OMG! They’d have to put me away if that ever happened to me. Some other interesting sneezing facts: some people are called ‘photics,’ those who sneeze when in bright sunlight. Yep, I’m one of those. Some people also sneeze after sex. No comment.
Despite all of the things that might make us sneeze, the smell of the cruciferous cooking, while being a little pungent, is nothing to sneeze at, or more grammatically correct, “nothing at which to sneeze.” Those strong smells of the BRASSICA truly indicate a “SUPER-Hero of sorts” is at WORK!
It’s those unique sulfur compounds aka “organosulfur” compounds, which confer the most health benefits. To be more specific, and there will be a test at the end of this reading, NOT, but they are: glucosinolates, thiocyanates, thiossulfinates, sulfoxides and apparently any name with a “thiol” in it. THIOL, hmmm…a strong boy’s name.
But speaking of those long named sulfur compounds, it’s thanks to them that by eating just a mere 10g of these foods, that you will significantly DECREASE your risk of cancer. “Well, how much is 10g?” You might ask. It’s barely 2 Tablespoons of cabbage. Heck, anyone can eat THAT much, right?
Many studies have shown that daily doses of cruciferous vegetables may reduce the development of breast tumors, decrease the incidence of bladder cancer, stomach cancer, lung cancer and all cancers for that matter. Cruciferous vegetables are the true “detox” foods of the plant world, as shown in one study where “healthy” college students were fed cooked cabbage and Brussels sprouts for ten days and had a significant increase in the clearance of DRUGS from their systems. Every day for TEN days?! I’m sure there were a lot of noxious gases being let lose in the process. And 500g of broccoli per day, about 3 cups cooked, increased cytochrome P450 dependent caffeine metabolism. Caffeine is considered safe, but it is used in research as a MARKER to show how the cytochrome P450 system is actively DETOXIFYING the body by getting rid of harmful substances. OK, I’m NOT completely clear on that one. But I guess in the scheme of things, caffeine is the SAFEST of the substances which can be regularly consumed AND still follow the cytochrome P450 metabolism. Anyway…
Although this whole SPEIL was presented, partly for your reading enjoyment, and mostly to get you to eat more CRUCIFEROUS/ BRASSICA type vegetables, this does not mean that you should now down copious amounts of kale and cabbage smoothies, although a smoothie a day will likely keep the doctor away…Sooo….
But, keep in mind that too much of a good thing can have the opposite effect. For example, too much kale, or broccoli, or cabbage, or any of these lovely Crucifers of which I just bragged, can affect the job of the thyroid gland, which, by and large, dictates your metabolism. And if we’re eating SLAW to lose weight, well, then eating too much SLAW might have the opposite effect.
As for the thyroid effect, since the thyroid gland needs adequate iodine to work properly, try crunching up a nori sheet onto your slaw, or over your brown rice, or into your miso soup; wherever you find seaweed to be befitting to the flavor of your meal.
A little slaw plus a little seaweed and you’re good to go.
In regards to other nutrients you need for the day, check out the nutrition profile on this one little recipe. Loaded with vitamins A, C & Folate as well as Manganese and Potassium and you’ll see that adding a little slaw to your diet each day will go a long way towards good HEALTH! No drugs, or pills, needed. (This will make way more sense if you watch the video!)
SUuuPER SLAAAWWW!! (and the whole recipe in the video RHYMES!)
- 2 Tbsp mixed nuts, the kind that include Brazil nuts
- 1 Tbsp walnuts
- 1 Tbsp sunflower or pumpkin seeds
- 3 carrots, peeled and grated BY HAND (Always scrub carrots with a vegetable brush. Save the peels to add to smoothies or to make vegetable stock)
- 1 cup parsley, stems removed (basically a nice handful & just cut off the stems as close to the leaves as you can)
- 1 cup cilantro (same deal, a big handful, cut off the stems)
- Set the herb stems aside. Place them in a paper or plastic bag or in a jar with the carrot peels, and use them in your next smoothie or to make soup stock.
- 1/2 head green cabbage (but you can also use a combination of purple & green cabbage or Napa or Savoy cabbage)
(instead of traditional Mayo Laden Slaw dressing, we’re making a nut mayo SLAW dressing. ‘Cause, let’s face it, Mayo tastes yummy but it doesn’t contribute much nutritionally, whereas nuts, on the other hand, are OFF the CHARTS chock full of disease fighting, energizing nutrients!)
- 1/4 cup mixed nuts, the kind that include Brazil nuts
- 2 Tbsp walnuts
- 2 Tbsp sunflower or pumpkin seeds
- Juice of one lemon
- 1/4 cup olive or flax oil
OR 2 Tbsp of each
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon Dijon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Soak the nuts and seeds for 2 hours, or overnight, in the refrigerator.
Drain the nuts and reserve the soaking liquid.
Process the nuts, lemon juice, oils, garlic, Dijon, salt & pepper in your blender. Any blender will do. Add a little of the soaking liquid to help things move, if needed.
This gives you nut mayo, just FYI.
To make the Slaw Dressing:
- Add 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, or any vinegar or the juice of any citrus fruit
- 2 teaspoons of honey or the equivalent amount of sugar & water, just something sweet to balance the acid you just added.
Blend & TASTE. Does it have enough, sweet, salty, sour and savory? Add what it needs to balance that Flavor-y.
Put some slaw on your taco of Fish.
This slaw is so good, it can enhance any DISH!
Eat up, yes, eat up!!
At least a cup.
For 63 cents a serv
You could eat the two cups you deserve.
130 calories for each cup
For that few you could eat it for Breakfast, Lunch and Sup’
Did I mention you also get half of your Vitamin C
And even more of Vitamin A’s Rela-tiv-ity
You get carotenoids that protect your eyes
These are called antioxidants and they’re your biggest allies
Going by the name beta-caro-tene (from carrots & leafy greens)
This one protects your skin deep from withene
But all you really have to worry about is what this slaw is doing for you
Thanks to its filling fiber and healthy fats, it can help you drop a pound or two
And in no time you’ll be singing this tune
(to the music of TIMBER)
My weights going down
It’s getting lower
This slaw’s the one
I’m gonna love
So eat up now
I gotta go to work
I hope you enjoyed
‘Cause I had some fun!
Cost per serving: $0.63
Nutrients per serving (4 oz-wt/ 1 cup / 113g): Calories: 130, Total Fat: 11 g, Carbs 9g, Dietary Fiber: 3 g, Protein: 3 g, Sodium: 156 mg
% Daily Value
47% Vitamin A
49% Vitamin C
0% Vitamin D
11% Vitamin E
1,790mg Omega-3 fats
1.6:1 Ratio of Omega-3’s to Omega-6’s (desirable is < 4:1)