In my work as a functional medicine doctor, I often have patients ask me how they will achieve their health goals with cravings for the foods they have always loved.
They say, "Doc, I trust your advice would help me if I could only live on food that tastes like cardboard, but I just don't think I can do it. I don't have that kind of willpower." But what they don't yet know is that eating well is actually more pleasurable than most of the junk food filling the shelves of our current grocery stores.
I love when I see patients return after a few weeks of implementing my suggestion to trade in their SAD diet (standard American diet) for an anti-inflammatory meal plan. Undoubtedly the response is always the same: I didn't know eating healthy food could not only taste good but feel so good. The taste of good health lingers long in the body and looks good on all of us!
The next comment is usually about how excited they are to experiment with new foods but need to get out of a rut. They need new recipes and diversity too. I have provided several delicious recipes for you in previous blogs and I even have recipes on The Blood Sugar Solution website.
Of course, there are great recipes in my books as well. If you have been following my work you know that I enjoy meals that are simple to prepare yet flavorful. And apparently you do too!
I want each of you to achieve your goals and then sustain them for the rest of your life. The best way to keep reaping success after you complete one of my programs is to maintain this whole foods lifestyle and stick with the principles of anti-inflammatory eating day in and day out.
I have wanted to make more of these recipes available to you so you have no difficulty doing this, but I have been so busy and needed some help.
Then I thought, who has the best experience cooking tasty, fresh, real whole foods that are gluten- and dairy-free?
So I asked you to participate in our recipe contest to help me provide more of these recipes and this is what happened.
The recipes came pouring in. Being that this was the first time we held a contest like this we didn't know what to expect. You exceeded our wildest expectations and sent in more than 240 recipes illustrating the vast amount of sheer culinary genius among you.
These recipes are incredible! I found myself consumed with anticipation to get in the kitchen and start cooking up some of these meals.
What I enjoyed the most was your creativity, enthusiasm and understanding of how to prepare appetizing dishes within the scope of anti-inflammatory guidelines.
For example, are you curious to learn about a breakfast sausage that helped one of you shed over 90 pounds? Or how to make a muffin without using an ounce of flour?
With the warmer weather approaching I was happy to learn about how to make strawberry ice cream without the cream! I had so much fun reading each and every single recipe that I often found myself with a big grin on my face. I even laughed out loud and starting singing to myself when I read about your Simon and Garfunkel Chicken!
Who doesn't love a good Pad Thai dish but wonders how the glycemic load of all those noodles and sweet sauce won't affect insulin levels? You surely showed us how.
Each recipe was as interesting and creative as the next, and I am so excited to share your creations with you in an upcoming e-cookbook we are working on. Stay tuned for details about that.
But back to our contest. I'm sure you're eager to learn about which recipe was the winner and I am about to share that news with you. But first I want to tell you a little bit about the criteria I used to select the winners.
Yes, I said winners! You all were so incredible that I had no choice but to choose two of your recipes. I decided it would be helpful if there was a winning recipe for the Basic track participants and one for the Advanced track participants.
Spoiler alert! Next week I will share the winner for the Basic plan and I will provide the full recipe with nutrition facts for you. But now, let's discuss how I chose these winners.
When I think about what makes a recipe unique the seven keys of UltraWellness come to mind. I want a recipe to include ingredients and cooking methods that help your body improve your digestion, cool inflammation, optimize your nutrition, balance your hormones (especially insulin), boost your detoxification pathways, energize you and empower your metabolism, and of course boost brain function.
Now I know this seems like a hard bill to fit but it is actually easier than it sounds. This is what I look for:
Choosing just one recipe was really difficult because many of you accomplished the aforementioned in your submissions. But this recipe took the prize. Drum roll please...
Spiced Ground Turkey Wrap With Watercress and Avocado
By Mona Solar
Serves: 1 (could serve two if used as a smaller meal or part of a meal that includes a small salad or soup)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
A luscious, spicy ground turkey wrap makes a quick, savory lunch or dinner.
* The broth is optional. I use homemade broth in many of my dishes to aid digestion and to add another layer of incredible flavor.
Serving Size (2 wraps): Calories 566, Fat 36 g, Sat 5 g., Cholesterol 70 mg, Fiber 9 g, Protein 40 g, Carbohydrates, 27 g, Sodium 314 mg
Serving Size (1 wrap): Calories 283, Fat 18 g, Sat 2.5 g., Cholesterol 35 mg, Fiber 4.5 g, Protein 20 g, Carbohydrates, 13.5 g, Sodium 157 mg
Why I Chose Spiced Ground Turkey Wraps
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Congratulations to Mona and truly to all of you who participated! I hope this inspires you to enjoy some time in your kitchen this weekend. I know I will. I'm heading out to my local farmers market today to gather some fresh ingredients to prepare this recipe for you!
Now I'd like to hear from you...
Will you try this recipe with me?
What would you do differently to personalize it for you or your family?
What other ideas for anti-inflammatory meals come to mind -- share?
Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below.
To your good health,
Mark Hyman, M.D.
Mark Hyman, M.D. is a practicing physician, founder of The UltraWellness Center, a four-time New York Times bestselling author, and an international leader in the field of Functional Medicine. You can follow him on Twitter, connect with him on LinkedIn, watch his videos on YouTube, become a fan on Facebook, and subscribe to his newsletter.
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