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Blue Matcha: More Than a Foodie Trend?

Blue Matcha: More Than a Foodie Trend?

Blue Matcha: More Than a Foodie Trend?

Have you seen photos of mermaid smoothie bowls or electric blue cupcakes on Instagram and wondered, where does that vibrant color come from? It must be food coloring, right? Actually, the latest food trend is using natural ingredients to showcase bright and bold colors in food. 

Laura recently ordered a bright blue drink called “Blue Magic”. Blue matcha, made from the Butterfly Pea Flower, provides beverages and baked goods with a show-stopping range of colors from lavender to deep azure. Butterfly Pea Flower or Clitoria ternatea, is part of the Fabaceae Family. It is also known as Asian pigeonwings and bluebellvine. This flower thrives in Southeast Asia and has been incorporated in many traditional Thai dishes that range from sweet teas to dumplings. 

You might be thinking that blue matcha must have some similarities to the ever-so-popular green matcha which has become standard in drinks and desserts in many cafes and restaurants these days. I’ve enjoyed green matcha at Cha Cha Matcha in NYC and Stonemill Matcha in San Francisco. But surprisingly, blue matcha and green matcha don’t share many qualities.Green matcha powder is made from tea leaves, while blue matcha powder is made from a flower. Unlike green matcha powder, Butterfly Pea Flower powder does not contain any caffeine. Green tea powder offers an earthy taste, while Butterfly Pea Flower powder doesn’t have much of a taste at all.

 

Blue Magic smoothie from Juice Press.

Is it safe to eat? Butterfly Pea Flower’s health claims are not regulated by the FDA, but there is no evidence stating it is unsafe for consumption. Not all of blue matcha’s health claims are supported by evidence-based research, and only a handful of studies are conducted with human subjects.  Butterfly Pea Flower powder has been used in Ayurvedic medicine to help with many issues including pain relief, stress, inflammation, asthma, depression, seizures, cancer, blood flow issues. Below are researched-based discoveries regarding the encouraging potential of Butterfly Pea Powder in relation to many health issues.

Antioxidants & Cancer-Fighting
Properties

Butterfly Pea Flower contains antioxidants including anthocyaninidins, which are classified as a subgroup of the flavonoid family, a type of phytonutrient. Anthocyanidins are found in many fruits such as plums, grapes, and blueberries. Flavonoids have been studied for their cancer-fighting potential for many years. In 2013, an article was published citing the anti-tumor activity of dietary flavonoids. In an article published in 2016, Butterfly Pea seed and petal extract were shown to decrease the viability in human carcinoma cells.

Central Nervous System: Depression, Stress,
Memory

Butterfly Pea Powder may have implications in managing depression, anxiety, and stress. In a 2003 study, Butterfly Pea Flower extract showed potential in mice relating to antistress and antidepressant activity. In another study published in 2002, Clitoria ternatea root extract administered to rats increased the amount of acetylcholine in their brains. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter, which has been associated with memory and learning.

Asthma

Ethanol extract of Clitoria ternatea root (ECTR) and its relationship to asthma and bronchitis in mice and rats. A study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology discovered that the antiasthmatic activity of ECTR may be related to the presence of flavonoids in Clitoria ternatea.

Blood Sugar Regulation

In a study published in 2018, Clitoria ternatea extract and glycemic response in 15 men was studied. The results suggested that consumption of CTE improves postprandial glucose and insulin levels when consumed with a source of sucrose versus alone. A studying involving rats with diabetes, published in 2015 in the Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science, showed the flower extracts from Clitoria ternatea lowered serum glucose levels, yet increased the body weight of rats, which suggests a similar effect of Glyburide, a drug that treats type 2 diabetes.

To blue matcha or not to blue matcha? The research is certainly looking promising in terms of its health claims. As registered dietitians, we promote eating a variety of foods so, if you are in the mood for an instaworthy vibrant blue smoothie, go for it! Remember that all foods fit and not one in particular is a “miracle food”.

 

References:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0367326X02002496?via%3Dihub

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2659740/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12895670

http://www.japsonline.com/admin/php/uploads/1589_pdf.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5759795/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3824783/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/ijfs.13158

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1082894/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10924197

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874111003163

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/what-is-blue-matcha

Meditate with Sofia Adler

Meditate with Sofia Adler

Meditate with Sofia Adler

Sofia Adler is a Teachers College, Columbia University trained Mindset and Mindfulness coach who empowers you to honor your truth and navigate change with clarity, confidence and ease. She helps her clients tap into who they really are using mindfulness and mindset work so they can avoid the myriad of “shoulds” or advice out there in the world and intentionally create the life they’ve always wanted. She also teaches mindfulness meditation for individuals and companies, including SoulCycle, WeWork, Glossier, Atlantic Records and Bombas.

Visit her website at www.SofiaAdler.com

  • Mindfulness Meditation Group Coaching Program: Create space for yourself with the support of likeminded individuals in this weekly Mindfulness Meditation Group Coaching Program. Learn about mindfulness, how to meditate and how to apply these practices to your daily life. Each session is 60 minutes long with space for comments, observations, questions and a guided meditation. Sessions are held via video call (zoom).
  • Mindfulness + Meditation Workshop: This is an introductory, 2-hour workshop on the benefits of mindfulness, mindfulness meditation and how to apply these practices to your daily life. The workshop will include a mix of reflective and interpersonal exercises to help participants not only understand the benefits of mindfulness from a cognitive level but also allow them to experience the benefits of mindfulness and meditation firsthand.
  • Private Meditation Instruction: Learn how to meditate, develop a consistent practice, inquire about your own meditation experiences and receive private, guided instruction in a safe, intimate and personalized setting. This is a great option for those curious about how to apply meditation principles and practices to your daily life, feeling isolated or confused in your practice, or looking for accountability.
Who, What, How and Why on LCWNS

Who, What, How and Why on LCWNS

Who, What, How and Why on LCWNS

Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services (LCWNS) is a practice founded on a philosophy of positive nutrition, and blends evidence-based research with a warm approach to treating clients. The Registered Dietitians (RDs) at our office in the Flatiron district of New York, including Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD, RYT, Lisa Mikus, RD, CNSC, CDN and Elizabeth Adler, MS, RD, CDN, have made it their passion to guide clients towards eating all foods without judgment.

An individual, families, couples, and parents will come to LCWNS seeking nutrition guidance and education for a variety of reasons. Often, individuals are struggling with eating disorders, disordered eating, or body image issues. Our dietitians will also work with families, teens, and children for nutrition counseling in the prevention of eating disorders, as well as provide nutrition counseling for family nutrition, women’s health, metabolic management, gastrointestinal issues or concerns, and diabetes.

We also offer a variety of specialty services to support nutrition counseling. Our RDs provide private cooking lessons, grocery shopping, individual and group meal support therapy, private yoga sessions, and L’ifestyle consulting founded on Laura Cipullo’s philosophy of Health & Happiness. With these services, we can guide clients through real-time experiences around food and the body, and support a meaningful journey towards wellness.

What may happen in a session?

The initial session is typically focused on understanding the client’s wants and needs, identifying initial objectives, and creating a plan for future sessions. We work with each client to validate past and recent experiences with food and the body, honor level of readiness for change, and empower the individual at that level. Whether you are contemplating or ready to make a change, our training in motivational interviewing and behavior modification allow us to create small, sustainable changes towards a L’ifestyle of positive nutrition.  

Grocery Shopping:

The process of grocery shopping for meals and snacks can feel incredibly overwhelming and time-consuming. Someone with an eating disorder, disordered eating, or a judgmental relationship with food may avoid certain aisles in the grocery store, only shop the perimeter, feel limited to certain brands or foods, and/or avoid the grocery store entirely. During a private grocery shopping session with one of our RDs, the client will feel supported while walking through the aisles of the grocery store. The RD can answer questions, provide education on foods and brands that are nourishing, and may encourage purchasing foods that are more challenging to eat to support a healthy and non-judgmental relationship with food.

Cooking Lessons:

Our private cooking lessons are designed to help a client feel confident and capable when preparing balanced and enjoyable meals and snacks at home. This fun and rewarding hands-on experience is an opportunity for the client to feel empowered in the kitchen and ‘in the drivers seat’ for the process of recovery. Prior to a private cooking lesson, the RD and client will decide on a meal, dessert, or snack to prepare at home. Cooking lessons could include:

  • Meals that may be intimidating to prepare or challenging to eat
  • Meals that are avoided at home
  • Meals that fit into a specific budget or demanding schedule
  • Developing food preparation skills like cutting and roasting vegetables, making smoothies, creating portable snacks, or preparing sauces or dressings
  • Planned exposures to address food aversions for picky eaters or individuals with Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)

Together the client and RD will discuss how to cook a meal with proper cooking techniques, review food safety skills, and answer questions on food and nutrition. The RD will help portion the meal and discuss food storage.

Our RDs are also available to teach parents how to cook energy-dense meals and snacks to support weight restoration and/or proper feeding for their child during Family-Based Treatment (FBT) for eating disorders and Maudsley Family Therapy.

Meal Support Therapy:

A client at LCWNS may find dining out at restaurants to be extremely anxiety-provoking experiences in stressful environments. Our meal support therapy sessions are created to provide a client with the knowledge and skills to support future experiences dining out with family, friends, and co-workers. During meal support, a restaurant or café is selected depending on the needs of the client. The RD can help the client review the menu and choose a meal that will meet the client’s nutritional needs while also challenging against eating disorder food rules. The RD will guide the client through breathing skills, before, during and, after the meal, to ease anxiety and help normalize the experience through conversation and modeling.

Yoga, Movement and Mindfulness:

A relationship with exercise can become an unhealthy one when activity becomes a way to compensate for food eaten, improve body image, or determine self-worth. Some may have a compulsive need to move and others may feel a need to avoid exercise entirely. At the right time in treatment, our RDs are available to prepare for and/or participate in movement alongside clients and support the client in a form of movement that aligns with the treatment plan. Regardless of age, gender, or body size, LCWNS encourages yoga and mindfulness as a helpful practice in strengthening a relationship with the whole self. Laura Cipullo offers private, individual yoga sessions in our New York office.

Mindfulness is the practice of being aware and non-judgmental of what may come up moment-to-moment. Mindfulness can be helpful during experiences with food, the body, and other distressing experiences. Mindfulness helps to decrease cortisol and epinephrine, counter regulatory hormones associated with stress, neutralize judgment around foods and identify types of hunger and levels of fullness. Integrating mindfulness in our practice helps clients access their breath and provides them with a skill they can take anywhere. During nutrition sessions, we often incorporate mindfulness skills and encourage practicing mindfulness outside of sessions to achieve a neutral relationship with food and positive eating experiences.

Eat to Love Book Signing with Author and RD, Jenna Hollenstein at the L’ifestyle Lounge on March 27!

Eat to Love Book Signing with Author and RD, Jenna Hollenstein at the L’ifestyle Lounge on March 27!

L’ifestyle Lounge Book Club

Please join us on March 27 at 7:30 PM at the L’ifestyle Lounge for a Book Signing with Jenna Hollenstein, MS, RD

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP

Omega 3 FA’s, Sleep and Mindfulness for the Heart

Omega 3 FA’s, Sleep and Mindfulness for the Heart

Take Care of your Heart this Valentine’s Day

By Lisa Mikus, RD, CNSC, CDN

 

The first two weeks of February are inundated with ads selling diamonds, chocolate, and luxury vacations. Yet, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about the material items.  Instead look to self-care, specifically at your efforts around heart health in honor of Valentines and American Heart Month as determined by the American Heart Association. Heart disease is the number one cause of death worldwide. Taking care of your heart through food, mindfulness and sleep is the best gift to give yourself.

Here are a few ways to practice heart health focused self-care this February.

Assess Your Heart Health

If you haven’t visited your PCP within the last year, consider making an appointment to gain information regarding your cardiovascular wellness. Discuss your family history and lifestyle with your PCP.  Specific lab values to discuss include blood pressure, Total cholesterol to HDL ratio, LDL, and triglycerides.2.

Consult a RD

If you are curious about how to improve your cardiovascular health, consult with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RD/RDN). RDNs use medical nutrition therapy to help improve the health and wellness of their clients. RDs provide education and support implementation of behavior change. A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist will help you make small, realistic lifestyle changes with the goal of sustainable and lasting improvement.

Your dietitian may suggest incorporating “heart healthy” foods into your intake. Keep in mind we like to identify these foods as anti inflammatory which include dark leafy greens (spinach and kale), whole grains (millet, buckwheat, whole wheat pasta), and fats high in omega-3 fatty acids. Our bodies cannot produce these fatty acids so we must obtain them from foods. Two essential fatty acids are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Another omega-3 is called Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which can be converted into DHA and EPA. Eating foods high in omega-3s is an important component of cardiovascular health. If your labs indicate high triglyceride levels, fish oil supplementation has been shown to decrease circulating triglycerides in the blood. Foods high in omega-3s include fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts.

Scroll down for two heart healthy recipes fromEveryday Diabetes Meals – Cooking for One or Two by Laura Cipullo, RD and Lisa Mikus, RD.

Manage Your Stress & Sleep

We know that stress can affect one’s overall health. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) has been studied in association with improved health outcomes, including cardiovascular health. MBSR is a program developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn. MBSR teaches participants to practice mindfulness meditation, described as a non-judgmental awareness that lowers reactivity to stress. Mindfulness has been associated with improved outcomes related to many diseases including diabetes and heart disease. According to a randomized control study published in 2013, an outpatient MBSR program successfully reduced participants’ symptoms including anxiety, depression, blood pressure, and perceived stress in those with Coronary Heart Disease.

Sleep hygiene is an important piece of one’s overall wellness that often gets overlooked. Yet, sleep has been thoroughly researched in association with health outcomes as the amount of sleep you get every night impacts your stress level and hormonal balance. According to the American Heart Association, sleep disorders and short duration of sleep has been associated with a number of cardiovascular related issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Furthermore, insomnia has been associated with increased risk of stroke. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends at least 7 hours of sleep every night.

 

 

Heart-Healthy Recipes from Everyday Diabetes Meals – Cooking for One or Two 

by Laura Cipullo, RD & Lisa Mikus, RD

Herb-Roasted Salmon

Makes 2 Servings

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F

 

Lemon Dill Marinade

3 tbsp chopped fresh dill

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Pinch salt

2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tsp olive oil

2 tsp Dijon mustard

 

1 tsp olive oil

2 pieces (each 4 oz/125 g) skin-on salmon fillet

 

  1. Lemon Dill Marinade: Whisk together dill, pepper, salt, lemon juice, oil and mustard.
  2. Place salmon in a sealable plastic bag and pour marinade over top. Seal bag and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or for up to 12 hours.
  3. In ovenproof skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Increase heat to high and transfer salmon to the skillet flesh-side down (reserving marinade). Sear for 1 minute.
  4. Pour reserved marinade over salmon., flip salmon over and transfer skillet to preheated oven. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until fish is opaque and flakes easily when tested with a fork.

 

Peanut Butter Energy Balls

Makes 8 balls (4 balls per serving)

 

1 tbsp chia seeds

¼ cup creamy natural peanut butter

1 tbsp water

2 pitted dates, diced

¼ cup large-flake (old-fashioned) rolled oats

2 tbsp slivered almonds

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

 

  1. In a medium, microwave-safe bowl, microwave chia seeds, peanut butter, and water on High for about 30 seconds or until melted. Add dates, oats, almonds, and cinnamon. Stir to combine.
  2. Using your hands, shape the mixture into 8 balls and arrange in prepared shallow container. Freeze overnight.

 

 

References:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/fish-oil-friend-or-foe-201307126467

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-HealthProfessional/

https://aasm.org/seven-or-more-hours-of-sleep-per-night-a-health-necessity-for-adults/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30739006

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3734636/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3563284/

https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/strokeaha.113.003675

http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/134/18/e367

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4928628/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3734636/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4928628/

Rosenzweig, S., Reibel, D. K., Greeson, J. M., Edman, J. S., McMearty, K. D., et al. (2007). “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is Associated with Improved Glycemic Control in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Pilot Study.” Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine 13: 36–38.

Klatt, M., Norre, C., Reader, B., Yodice, L., & White, S. (2017). Mindfulness in motion: a mindfulness-based intervention to reduce stress and enhance quality of sleep in Scandinavian employees. Mindfulness, 8(2), pp. 481-488.

 

 

 

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