Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Eat Your Lentils

Blog post by Tina Winterlik © 2011
March 8/2011


It's funny because I just got home from the grocery store and I bought lentils, the first time in a long time, and here's this article on yahoo. I love lentil soup, but my little girl well, ever since I had her, our diet changed completely.

Here's Five Great Reasons to Eat Lentils -taken from the article By Julie Daniluk, R.H.N. on Chatelaine that was posted on Shine and then on Yahoo.

Five reasons why lentils are a superfood

1. High source of vegetarian protein

2. Great source of fibre

3. Get rid of that spare tire

4. Maintain normal blood pressure

5. Improve liver function

Read here for the indept descriptions of all the benefits.


Recently my daughter and I had a bad flu. We walk so much, to her activities, for groceries, banking, errands, and all this walking means you need to replace the energy. The flu was really weird with like total loss of appetite and both of us lost weight. Trying to regain and maintain is a struggle.

So that's why I was thinking today that maybe lentil soup would help. The Grocery Bill is really staggering lately and it's tough to keep balance.

It's great to come home and read this article and go "Ah ha!!" Yes! I always knew if we just ate more beans and rice we'd probably be better off and this article confirms it.

We are almost vegetarians, not really buy choice, just that meat is so out of our budget at the moment. I tried being a vegetarian 2x way back when, but got sick or it was too expensive and couldn't do it.

Of course it's much easier to be a vegetarian now, but because my daughter is little and I think it's healthier to feed her meat (and she loves meat) I haven't tried to be a vegetarian, it just is accidently happening.

The part that really makes me happy is the potassium. Lately I've been having leg cramps and I've heard that this really helps. Also both my daughter and I suffer from Hypoglycemia and so we need to maintain our sugar levels and legumes help with that also.

So now I just hope I can figure out how to get her to like them. I have a great lentil soup recipe I'll try and will have a look for other recipes. I remember this place called Deserts, it used to make the "best lentil stew" ever.


Nocturnal leg cramps


Nocturnal leg cramps are involuntary muscle contractions that occur in the calves, soles of the feet, or other muscles in the body during the night or (less commonly) while resting. Only a few fibers of a muscle may be activated.[5]

The duration of nocturnal leg cramps is variable with cramps lasting anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. Muscle soreness may remain after the cramp itself ends. These cramps are erroneously believed to be more common in older people. 

They happen quite frequently in teenagers and in some people while exercising at night. Usually, putting some pressure on the affected leg by walking some distance will end the cramp.[6] Typically, nocturnal leg cramps will place the sufferer in a panic.

The precise cause of these cramps is unclear. Potential contributing factors include dehydration, low levels of certain minerals (magnesium, potassium, calcium, and sodium), and reduced blood flow through muscles attendant in prolonged sitting or lying down. Less common causes include more serious conditions or drug use.[citation needed]

Nocturnal leg cramps may sometimes be relieved by stretching the affected leg and pointing the toes upward. Quickly standing up and walking a few steps may also shorten the duration of a cramp.[6]

Nocturnal leg cramps (almost exclusively calf cramps) are considered to be 'normal' during the late stages of pregnancy. They can, however, vary in intensity from mild to incredibly painful.

3 kinds of Lentils
The lentil (Lens culinaris) is a type of pulse. It is a bushy annual plant of the legume family, grown for its lens-shaped seeds. It is about 15 inches (38 cm) tall and the seeds grow in pods, usually with two seeds in each.

The plant likely originated in the Near East,[1] and has been part of the human diet since the aceramic (non-pottery producing) Neolithic times, being one of the first crops domesticated in the Near East.

With approximately 26% of their calories from protein, lentils and generally any pulses or legumes have the third-highest level of protein, by weight, of any plant-based food after soybeans and hemp[2] and is an important part of the diet in many parts of the world, especially in the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent which has large vegetarian populations.

Lentil is also commonly used in Ethiopia as a stew like dish called Kik, or Kik Wot, which is one of the dishes people eat with Ethiopia's national food, the Injera flat bread.

The yellow lentils are used to make a non spicy stew like dish, which is one of the first solid foods Ethiopian women feed to their babies.

A variety of pulses or lentils exists with colors that range from yellow to red-orange to green, brown and black. Red, white and yellow lentils in some cases are peeled, i.e., are those that have their skins removed before being sold.

There are large and small varieties of many lentils (e.g., Masoor Lentils, shown in photos here). Lentils are sold in many forms, with or without the skins, whole or split.

Culturally, other pulses are sometimes called lentils but are actually beans or peas, e.g. "black lentils" (urad beans) Read more here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lentil

Here's a great Lentil Stew Recipe from The Frugal Chef

 Make these delicious, nutritious, vegetarian lentils for the whole family.
An easy, quick, frugal meal! http://www.TheFrugalChef.com

The Frugal Chef

If your struggling with gaining weight/losing weight, the grocery bill and potassium issues, I highly suggest you run out and buy some lentils!! :)

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