Sauvignon Blanc grapes being grown in a vineyard.

Resveralife Eat Well: Sauvignon Blanc Food Pairings

Sauvignon Blanc translates to “wild white,” and the grape is one of the most widely planted because of the variety and wide range of tastes and styles. The popularity of Sauvignon Blanc is largely due to the master winemakers in the Bordeaux and the Loire Valley, both in France. The grape has origins that trace back to the South of France. Sauvignon Blanc is mainly a dry wine, though there are some regions, such as California, that produce Sauvignon Blanc that leave just a gram or two of residual sugar for a texture that is richer. The most commonly associated fruit notes in Sauvignon Blanc are peach, passion fruit, lime and green apple but what really distinguishes this wine from other whites, such as Chardonnay, is the presence of greener flavors. Some Sauvignon Blancs feature notes of jalapeno, bell pepper and grass. It is these notes that put Sauvignon Blanc in a category of it’s own.

Sauvignon Blanc 
Because Sauvignon Blanc has interesting herbaceous tastes, this wine is excellent to pair with “green” food items as well.

Artichokes.

Citrus Sauvignon Blanc
For a citrusy Sauvignon Blanc, asparagus and artichokes are an excellent choice. These vegetables can be hard to pair with other wines as they can leave a metallic finish, but they pair beautifully with Sauvignon Blanc featuring notes of citrus. Grill or roast with herbs like rosemary for a perfect, light accompaniment to your Sauvignon Blanc. Vegetables are certainly not your only option for a Sauvignon Blanc with citrus notes. Prepare some authentic fish and chips or grill some chicken with rosemary, thyme, basil and white pepper. If you prefer something with a bit more heat, consider pairing citrus Sauvignon Blancs with Mexican food. Avocados and tomatoes work perfectly with Sauvignon Blanc. Alternatively, you can go Greek and pair your Sauvignon Blanc with olives and feta cheese.

Fresh salad with green vegetables.

Herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc
One of the greatest features that Sauvignong Blanc has is it’s unique, earthy tones like grass or bell pepper. Enhance this taste by serving your Sauvignon Blanc with green foods. Salads are an excellent choice and provide virtually limitless combinations to pair with Sauvignon Blanc. Meats that pair well with Sauvignon Blanc include chicken, lobster and crab among many others. A simple grilled chicken with spinach salad and an herb vinaigrette makes for a wonderful meal. Another way to pair Sauvignon Blancs with green notes is to prepare a light meal of fish such as Halibut or Tilapia. If you don’t feel like cooking, call your favorite Japanese restaurant and order an assortment of sushi. For those who are a bit more adventurous, make your own sushi at home.

Sauvignon Blanc is a unique, complex white wine that features notes perfect for preparing summer foods. Prepare a great spinach salad for a daytime affair or have an ethnic feast with foods from Japanese, Greek and Mexican cultures. If you simply want to serve your Sauvignon Blanc with a bit of cheese, look for softer cheeses like goat’s milk cheese or creme fraiche.

Woman trying to decide what to make for dinner.

Quick Anti-Aging Recipes for Weeknights

Your life is a non-stop rush where you go from task to task hoping to complete everything you need to get done in a day. Most times the last thing you want to do when you get in your door is spend hours hovered in front of your stove preparing a healthy and great tasting meal. We’ve got you covered. Not only are the following recipes quick to prepare, but they also go far beyond healthy. These recipes from Resveralife also provide anti-aging benefits to your skin by using superfoods that possess anti-aging properties.

Pasta Salad with Peppers

Vitamin C
Vitamin C really is a powerhouse when it comes to your health. Not only does this ingredient help repair and regenerate tissue and fight against damaging free radicals. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, also helps protect you from heart disease, supports healthy immune function, decreases your LDL (or bad cholesterol) levels and may also aid in the prevention of a variety of cancers.

Boost your vitamin C levels by preparing this quick (under 30 minutes from prep to eating) pasta salad. Though there are a decent amount of ingredients, it’s a super simple dish that you can throw together. Here’s the recipe and directions:

Pasta Salad with Peppers

  • 3 red peppers (or throw in an orange pepper for color variety)
  • 1 can of black olives
  • 1 medium tomato (optional)
  • 1 16 oz package of your favorite pasta (we love whole grain rotini)
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2/3 cup of olive oil
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • cracked black pepper to taste

Begin by either dicing your peppers or cutting them julienne style. Dice your tomato and drain your black olives. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add pasta and cook according to directions. In a food processor or blender, combine white wine vinegar, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, basil and salt and pepper. Blend until until smooth. Drain pasta and transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle dressing and add vegetables to the bowl. Toss together and top with cubed or grated mozzarella cheese. Serve warm or allow to cool to room temperature.

Avocado and Strawberry Salad.

Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that improves your body as well as your skin. This antioxidant is required for proper structural and functional maintenance of your skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscles. When it comes to your skin, vitamin E is excellent for dehydrated skin. It also provides UV protection and reduces damage done by free radicals. Add some vitamin E to your diet with this easy weeknight recipe.

Avocado and Strawberry Salad

  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 avocado (pitted, peeled and sliced)
  • 10 strawberries washed and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar (or sugar substitute)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (fresh is best if you have a lemon on hand)

Grab a small bowl and whisk together the sugar, olive oil, honey, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. Add cracked black pepper for an added kick. Set that bowl aside and place spinach in a larger bowl. Top with sliced avocado and strawberries then drizzle the dressing on top. If you want you can also add sliced pecans, walnuts or almonds for added flavor.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Vitamin A
Vitamin A comes from both plant and animal sources. When an animal source is used, vitamin A is referred to as a retinoid, when a plant is used it’s beta-carotene. Either way, this is an anti-aging superstar. Vitamin A increases cell turnover encouraging new, healthy skin cells to grow and aids the skin in it’s barrier function. Vitamin A is also good for your vision and immune health. Add a little sweetness to a weeknight meal with this quick and easy recipe for mashed sweet potatoes.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

  • 6 sweet potatoes washed, peeled and cubed
  • 3/4 milk or milk substitute (such as soy or almond milk)
  • 1/2 butter
  • 3/4 organic maple syrup

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add sweet potatoes. Cook sweet potatoes until tender, or 20-30 minutes. Drain potatoes and add to a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, blend potatoes and gradually add your milk. If you find your sweet potatoes are too thick, add a bit more milk until you achieve the desired consistency. Finally add butter and maple syrup then blend until smooth.

You don’t need extra hours in the day to eat for your health and for anti-aging skin benefits, you just need a little bit of creativity in the kitchen.

Woman eating a snack at night.

The Science Behind Midnight Snacking

You, and probably everyone you know, have enjoyed a treat at night. It’s a totally normal, though not super healthy, habit among many. However, midnight snacking can become a big problem and lead to excessive weight gain. The tendency to graze is a contributing factor to evening snacks, and often the amount of food you consume at night is far greater than the snacks you chow down on during the day. Why do you eat more at night?  Resveralife came across a recent study offers scientific research that help explain why you seem to inhale your nighttime snack.

The Study
A study conducted by researchers at Brigham Young University delves into why you are more prone to consuming more food at night than when you snack during the day. Researchers at BYU monitored participants’ brain activity in the morning and again at night. Each participant was shown the same 360 images of food and they used MRI scans to visualize the results. The pictures of food were split into two categories:  healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains and junk foods like ice cream, potato chips and brownies. During the course of the day researchers noted that the brain activity of participants did spike when pictures of food were shown. It isn’t surprising that seeing food stimulates a response in your brain, but what is interesting is that when viewed at night, the brain was less stimulated. At both times of day, there was a higher neural response when participants viewed pictures of foods with a higher  calorie count.

When you eat a great meal or one of your favorite foods you get a high from that food. At night, the drop in brain activity can leave you scarfing down way more chocolate or potato chips than you meant to. During the evening, our brain does not get the level of reward or “high” that it does when snacking during the day. Because you don’t get the high, you continue to eat well past what you intended to. According to Travis Masteson, the researcher and lead study author, people may over-consume food at night because it is not as rewarding, at least visually, at that time of day. As a result, one needs to eat more to try to get satisfied.”

Girl sneaking into the kitchen to eat a midnight snack.

How to Control Midnight Snacking
The researchers at Brigham Young University are not sure why food is less rewarding at night but believe that the body’s circadian rhythyms may be involved. Your circadian rhythyms dictate your natural patterns during rest and activity.

Even if the reason is not completely known at this point, you can rest assured that you are not the only having difficulty curbing your snacks at night. What do the experts suggest? Masterson says that “[b]eing aware that you are being more influenced visually in the morning and perhaps are being less satisfied by food at night may help you make small but meaningful changes in your eating habits.”

When snacking at night, take a moment to truly taste the food that you’re eating. Ask yourself if you are actually receiving satisfaction or pleasure from the snack you are consuming. If not, put the food down and drink a tall glass of water instead.

Family having a meal outdoors.

Resveralife Eat Well: Dishes to Make for Mom

Nothing shows love and appreciation more that a home-made dish or goody. This Mother’s Day, express your deep admiration by taking time to prepare a dish you know she loves, or that you think she will love. You don’t have to be a master chef to whip up a tasty Mother’s Day treat, you just need a bit of planning and your time to create something your mother will love as much as you love her. This Resveralife Eat Well Guide from Resveralife highlights some of the best dishes to make for your mom on Mother’s Day.

Vanilla crepes with caramel sauce.

For Breakfast or Brunch
Let mom relax as she wakes up and take over preparing breakfast or brunch for her.

Vanilla Crepes
Crepes sound elegant and luxurious and this recipe ensures they taste that way as well. The bonus to this recipe is that you already have everything you will need in your kitchen, so no visiting the grocery store scouring the shelves for some specialized ingredient. For these crepes you will need:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of milk
  • 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of flour
  • 5 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • pinch of salt
  • Crepe fillings – anything you choose such as fruit or fresh whipped cream

Begin by mixing wet ingredients together, including the vanilla extract. Next, add the rest of the ingredients and blend thoroughly. Heat a pan to medium heat and pour roughly 1/4 of batter into the greased pan. Crepes are notoriously thin and delicate so tip the pan on all sides to spread the batter to the sides of the pan. Cook your crepe just as you would a pancake; when the edges of the crepe are dry and bubbles form on top, you are done with that side. Flip and cook other side. Repeat for the rest of the batter. Finish by filling with Mom’s favorite fruit and whipped cream or an indulgent chocolate filling. The filling is the perfect opportunity for kids to help prepare the breakfast.

Strawberry salad on a plate.

For Lunch
A tasty salad is always a great lunch and we’ve loaded this salad with ingredients that are not only healthy for you but also delicious.

Strawberry Salad
For a family of four you will need:

  • 1 large chicken breast either diced or cut into thin strips
  • 2 ounces of Gorgonzola cheese
  • 1/2 pint of fresh strawberries, sliced or diced
  • 2.5 ounces of your favorite nut, pecans are our pick but walnuts taste great too
  • 2 tablespoons of any vinaigrette dressing you choose (balsamic is always a great idea)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 a bunch of fresh spinach washed and dried

Begin by heating a pan to medium heat and adding one tablespoon of olive oil to the warm pan. Add the chicken and one tablespoon of vinaigrette to the pan and cook until chicken is not longer pink and is slightly browned. You can also add spices to taste while cooking your chicken, such as cracked black pepper, garlic or sweet basil. Set aside and let the chicken cool. Place spinach in a large serving bowl and add the toppings: Gorgonzola, strawberries and nuts. Again, if you have little ones sprinkling the salad is a great way to have them help make Mom’s lunch. Next, drizzle remaining olive oil and vinaigrette over the salad. Lastly, add the chicken on top. You can serve this right away with the chicken slightly warm, or you can let it cool for a bit in the fridge for a refreshing cold and crisp salad.

Pulled pork sandwiches with fries on a plate.

For Dinner
You want to make an incredible, tasty dinner for mom that reflects the amount of comfort and care she gives you. But, you also want to spend time with her on Mother’s Day instead of spending all afternoon in the kitchen. Use a crock pot to make this ridiculously easy, but delicious comfort food.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches
For this recipe all you need is:

  • 2.5 pound boneless pork loin roast
  • 18 oz bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
  • Potato (or your Mom’s favorite) rolls
  • Water, as needed

Start by putting your pork into the slow cooker and add enough water to completely cover the pork. Set on low and allow to cook for seven hours. After seven hours, remove the pork, shred it and place it back into the slow cooker. Add the BBQ sauce when you add the shredded pork and continue to cook on low for one hour. Serve with a classic coleslaw for a creamy and crunchy contrast to the richness of the pork loin.

Making a Mother’s Day meal shows your appreciation in a way that even the most beautiful card cannot. Have your kids help wherever possible and remember to serve any dish with plenty of love.

Various spices in bowls and spoons

Eat Well: Foods for a Peaceful Life

Most of our lives are lived at a breakneck speed rushing from one commitment to another. Sometimes, it seems that the last thing we have time for is to eat mindfully and for our physical health. However, eating not only helps improve our physical health, it truly does affect your mood. A diet high in sugar, fat and junk tend to leave you susceptible to mood swings as your body goes from sugar to sugar crash throughout the day. Not only does your mood fluctuate, but poor diet has been linked to anxiety disorders, depression and lack of energy. Check out the following tips on choosing foods for a more peaceful life.

Large cup of coffee with coffee beansDrink Your Coffee
Sure, energy drinks and soda are quick, convenient and available everywhere. And in the short term, they seem to be awesome because caffeine triggers the release of dopamine in the brain which increase clarity and focus. However, with the caffeine boost from sugar laden drinks also comes with a mood busting sugar crash. However, you don’t have to go without caffeine, simply switch to coffee. A 2011 Harvard School of Public Health survey found that women who drank at least two cups of coffee daily were at a 15% lower chance of suffering from depression. Additionally, coffee contains plant-based nutrients that work in the body in a manner similar to how anti-depressants work. Like anything, coffee should be enjoyed in moderation as too much stimulation can lead to anxiety and trouble sleeping.

Salmon dish with side salad Scarf Some Salmon
Today, people are pretty programmed to avoid fatty foods, but a little bit of fat can go a long way in improving your mood. However, your diet is probably significantly lacking omega-3 fatty acids. Oily fish, such as salmon, is high in omega-3 fatty acids. Your brain contains more omega-3 fatty acids than anywhere else in your body. Research supports the use of omega-3 fatty acids as a part of psychiatric treatment. These may help even out moods and decrease depression. Experts suggest that you aim for two to three servings of salmon (or other oily fish such as sardines or mackerel) per week.

Carved turkeyGobble up Some Turkey
You know that you tend to feel drowsy after a big Thanksgiving meal and you most likely know that the turkey is the cause. Turkey contains tryptophan which is an amino acid that the body does not produce on its own. Tryptophan is important because the body requires tryptophan in order to make the feel-good chemical, serotonin. Experts recommend ingesting about 320 milligrams of trytophan each day. A four ounce serving of turkey or chicken is plenty to receive your daily amount. If you aren’t a big fan of turkey, or you’re vegetarian/vegan, you can find the same amount (320mg) of tryptophan in one cup of soybeans.

Bowl of spanish Eat Your Spinach
Eating spinach may not result in the immediate muscle-boosting strength that Popeye got, but it does significantly impact your mood. Spinach is high in the B vitamin, folate. Research shows that when you have a high concentration of folate in your blood, you are less prone to bad moods, clinical depression and you think more clearly. In just 1/2 cup of cooked spinach (or 2 cups raw) women receive 33% of the recommended daily allowance of folate. An important thing to note is that folate is water-soluble, which means that you do not store it in your body. Because it isn’t stored, you need to consume it continuously to reap the zen benefits.

Various spices in bowls and spoons Spice up Your Life
Besides not being good for you, lots of salt on food as the sole flavoring can get boring. Instead, experiment with different spices to create dishes that will blow your mind. One of the most highly touted spices is tumeric. The reason experts advise tumeric is that it contains curcumin, which gives tumeric it’s signature yellow color and acts as a natural anti-depressant. Some preliminary research suggests that curcumin also lowers levels of chronic stress and that it also stimulates the release of both serotonine and dopamine.

Foods are not only meant to nourish your body, but to nourish your mind. Improve your mood while keeping stress levels at bay by chowing down on some of these super good mood foods.

Beautiful dessert served on a plate in a restaurant.

Resveralife Eat Well: Desserts for Easy Entertaining

Throwing a dinner party, or any party really, can be totally overwhelming. Between cleaning, decorating and cooking you spend days in preparing for your party. And in the end it’s all worth it when you see the happy and satisfied looks on the faces of your guests. But wouldn’t it be nice to actually attend your own soiree? You can take some of the stress out of entertaining when you use these quick and easy dessert recipes that taste as if you slaved away all day making them. This Resveralife Eat Well Guide highlights the best desserts for easy entertaining.

Srawberries stuffed with cream.

Strawberries with Cream Cheese Stuffing
Not only does this dessert taste amazing, it’s the perfect party food. Guests can easily munch on these without requiring any utensils, or a plate. The very best part about these delectable treats is how simple they are to make. Added bonus? There are only four ingredients needed for this recipe.

Recipe:

  • Two dozen strawberries hulled
  • 12 ounces of softened cream cheese
  • Three tablespoons of powdered sugar
  • One teaspoon of vanilla extract or paste

Even though your cream cheese is softened, you need to heat it a bit more to make it more malleable. Place the cream cheese in a microwave safe bowl and pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Whip the heated cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract together. Spoon, or pipe, the cream cheese mixture into the strawberries. That’s it. For an added bit of festivity you could dip the top of the strawberry in toppings such as flaked coconut, slivered almonds, miniature chocolate chips or sprinkles. If not serving immediately, chill until it is time for dessert.

Simplified Italian Sponge Cake

Simplified Italian Sponge Cake
Seriously, this recipe only calls for three ingredients and is a breeze to prep. This easy dessert is as easy to make, though it looks like it is far more difficult that it is. The greatest part about this dessert is that you most likely have all the ingredients you need in your kitchen right now.

Recipe:

  • Six eggs, separated
  • One cup sugar
  • One cup cake flour (if you don’t have this, sift white flour multiple times until it is very fine)

To begin, grab two 9-inch pans and line with wax paper and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Next, separate your eggs and place the whites in a large mixing bowl. The yolks can go into a smaller mixing bowl. Pour 1/2 cup of sugar into the egg whites and beat until they form stiff peaks. Add 1/2 cup of sugar to the yolks and beat until you see a very light yellow color. Gently fold the egg yolk mixture into the egg white mixture. Using 1/3 cup at a time, fold the flour into the egg mixture. Be sure that you don’t over-mix the ingredients and use a light hand when folding ingredients in. Pour the batter into the pans and place into preheated oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the cake dry. Allow the cakes to cool for a few minutes before removing from the pans. Allow to cool completely before topping it, if you want to top it. You can certainly add frosting, a raspberry drizzle or powdered sugar to the top for a bit more flair.

Red velvet ice cream sandwich cake made using Oreos

Ice Cream Sandwich Cake
You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream! Seriously, who doesn’t love a good dessert with ice cream? This ice cream sandwich cake is guaranteed to delight your guests and is super easy to make.

Recipe:

  • 12 unwrapped ice cream sandwiches
  • 1 can chocolate whipped cream (6.5 ounce can)
  • 1 cup of chopped Oreos

Pick your favorite serving plate and place four ice cream sandwiches with their long sides touching on the plate. Squirt a layer of chocolate whipped cream on the top of the ice cream sandwiches. Use 1/3 cup of chopped Oreos and scatter on top of the whipped cream. Repeat the entire process two more times. Top with larger chunks of Oreos or a chocolate drizzle. Place in the freezer and freeze for six hours. You can experiment with all kinds of flavors for this dessert by using different types of ice cream sandwiches, different whipped creams or your favorite cookie (or candy!).

Entertaining should be enjoyable, and you should be able to mingle with your guests. Don’t get stuck in the kitchen all evening, these desserts can all be prepared ahead of time. Whip up these easy desserts at your next party and people will be begging you for the recipes.

Resveralife Eat Well: Pinot Noir Pairings

Pinot noir is produced from a red wine grape from the species Vitis vinifera or Pinot noir may be made from predominantly Pinot noir grapes. Pinot noir grapes are grown worldwide, mostly in climates that are cool. The most frequently associated region with Pinot noir grapes is the Burgundy region of France though other regions of note include the Willamette region of Oregon, the Russian River American Viticultural Areas of California and Tasmani and Yarra Valley in Australia. Pinot noir consumption continues to rise in popularity as it is a lighter wine with a lower alcohol content that many wines.

Another reason for the popularity of Pinot noir is the versatility of the wine. Pinot noir is one of the most versatile wines when it comes to food pairings. There are foods that combine with any Pinot noir, while other foods depend upon the particular type of Pinot noir and the preparation of the food. The world of food and wine pairings is no longer limited to red wine with meats and white wine with fish. Modern food and wine pairings are far more creative and a bit more complex. The Resveralife Eat Well Guide features some of the absolute best food pairings for the Pinot noir wine.

Mushrooms and baked potatoes.

Mushrooms
Mushrooms invariably pair well with Pinot noir because they have an earthy, meaty taste. Mushrooms, like the portobello mushroom, often have a meaty taste and texture, which works perfectly with a robust and meaty wine. If you feel ambitious, you can pair your Pinot noir with portobello topped steak, bringing out the richness of both. If you are looking for fare that is a bit lighter, consider a twist on an Italian classic:  mushroom bruschetta. All that is required to make this classic food is a crusty, Italian bread, mushrooms, olive oil, garlic and herbs to suit your taste, such as thyme. For an even more low-key evening, pair your Pinot noir with a hearty mushroom pizza.

Freshly cooked peking duck dish with chopsticks.

Duck
Duck pairs perfectly with Pinot noir for two main reasons. The first reason is that duck has a strong flavor on its own and the second is that duck has a higher fat content than chicken. Even though Pinot noir has light tannins, compliment the fattiness of duck. One pairing that wine enthusiasts rave about is Pinot nNoir with Peking duck. A simpler to prepare pairing is roast duck with Pinot noir.

Salmon with a garnish of wild rice and basmati braised in celery, carrots and onions.

Fish
One of the most popular fish pairings with Pinot Noir is salmon. Though duck pairs well with Pinot noir for the fat content, Pinot is versatile and it also pairs equally well lighter choices such as salmon. Salmon pairs well with Pinot noir because it is a fish with a high oil content and a strong flavor. Salmon would overwhelm a white wine, but it pairs perfectly with the more rich Pinot noir. Preparing an oven roasted salmon with a butter sauce is an easy way to impress your taste buds. Other fishes can be paired with Pinot noir, providing they are a strong flavored fish. Some other fishes that can be paired with Pinot noir include anchovies, herring and mackerel.

Yellow curry with pumpkin and pork.

Pork
Pork, particularly roasted or grilled, pair well with Pinot noir. Pork and Pinot noir both share a sweet type of succulence and smoky undertones. Additionally, the fruitier notes of the Pinot noir bring out the sweet, the tangy and the savory flavors of pork. Pork and Pinot noir is such a popular pairing that there is an annual festival in Sonoma County, Pigs & Pinot, devoted entirely to the pairing of this food and drink.

Pinot noir is one of the best food wines because it pairs well with such a diverse array of foods. Resveralife recommends you to have fun trying different recipes and experimenting with food pairings for your Pinot noir.

Woman with an apple in hand lying on hay.

Resveralife Eat Well: The Hay Diet (Your Guide to Food Combination)

Sometimes necessity really is the mother of invention. William Howard Hay, a New York physician, began developing what later became known as the Hay Diet in 1904. Hay was suffering from numerous medical issues including a dilated heart. Determined to improve his health and extend his life, Hay began researching the impact of diet on overall health. Through his research he created a diet plan meant to remedy his health conditions. In a period of about three months, Hay dropped 50 pounds and was free from his medical problems. Sound intriguing?

Potatoes with a meat dish on a serving plate.

What is the Hay Diet?
To combat his medical issues, a kidney disease, dilated heart and high blood pressure. Hay’s diet consisted largely of meat and potatoes, a staple at dinnertime for many families not only in the past. Many of us still prepare dinner with meat as the protein and some form of carbohydrate as a side dish. Hay decided to go vegetarian as his first plan of attack. He eliminated two meals from his day and only ate vegetables for the third. When Hay reached a weight he considered appropriate, he did not stop the diet. Rather, he continued working on it and researching the link between diet and health.

All of his research and personal experience lead to the conclusion that health is impacted based on the body’s natural chemical process, digestion. The Hay diet claims to work by separating food into three categories:  acid, alkaline and neutral. The body uses an alkaline digestive process for carbohydrates, The digestion of protein is an acidic digestive process. Hay suggested that if alkaline food and acidic food was consumed at the same time, the acid process interrupted the alkaline process. Hay presumed that the combination of incorrect foods caused people to retain excess fluids, gain weight and “drain vitality.” Thus, the Hay diet relies largely on eating according to what type of food you are ingesting.

Fresh vegetables overflowing from a basket.

Following the Hay Diet
This Resveralife Eat Well Guide shows you how to follow the Hay diet. To follow the Hay diet, you must learn which foods are acidic, alkaline or neutral. Hay classified starchy foods and sweets as carbohydrates while fruits were classified as acidic. Vegetables were classified as neutral foods which meant that they could be eaten at the same time as both alkaline and acidic foods. When following the Hay diet, it is no longer advised that you skip two meals per day. We know that food fuels our bodies and as such, we need to feed it. You can still use the Hay diet to your advantage by following the basic tenants of the diet.

  • No meat. The Hay diet as it originally existed when introduced in 1911 forbade meat. You can find protein from other sources such as tempeh, quinoa or in a smoothie by using pea protein powder. Alternatively, if you aren’t willing to forgo meats,  modern applications of the diet allow for lean meats consumed sparingly.
  • Know your food types. Acidic foods (fruits) are divided up into acidic fruits, sub-acid fruit and sweet fruits. Further, melons such as honeydew and cantaloupe are in their own category.
  • As with the acidic foods, alkaline foods are split into separate categories. There are low and non-starchy vegetables and carbohydrates/starches.
  • Identify fats and use sparingly within your diet.
  • Never mix alkaline foods with acidic foods. Ever.
  • Vegetables are neutral and you are free to, and encouraged, to eat them with all meals.

The Hay diet, like any eating plan, has it’s critics. Still, there are numerous advocates for learning what foods alkalize your body and what foods produce an acidic response. Is it really possible to eat yourself thin? Give it a try and find out.

The Shiraz sign on a post in a vineyard.

The Resveralife Eat Well Guide: Shiraz Food Pairings

Shiraz wine is a popular and very versatile wine. There are many different styles of Shiraz wine from intense smoky flavors to lush fruity flavors. The styles of Shiraz vary based on price, age and the region of origin. The Shiraz wine is more or less the same as the Syrah wine. It’s just that the most popular styles of Australia are known as Shiraz. The Australian Shiraz is a distinctive full-bodied red wine.  Australian Shiraz typically features fruity flavors, such as blackberry, and is a less tannic wine than other Shiraz styles. France’s Rhone Valley also produces a signature Syrah. The Rhone Valley Syrah is marked by it’s powerful smokey flavors with hints of black pepper. California Syrah is most closely associated with Australian Shiraz, as the American Syrah is a fruitier wine as opposed to the savory European Shiraz.

When selecting food to pair with a strong, savory Shiraz, such as the French version that elicits hints of bold spices such as black pepper, it is important that the food be equally bold in flavor. Shiraz does not pair well with highly acidic food or meats that are particularly fatty. Devise a main course with the idea of lean meats with strong flavors.

One of the best pairings for a Shiraz, fruity or savory, is brisket. Brisket is a Texas classic made from lean cuts of meat. There is, traditionally, a fat cap near the top of the brisket to add a bit of flavor and richness. The lean meat in brisket becomes a tough meat when grilled quickly. What makes this lean protein source perfect to pair with Shiraz is the rub used for the brisket. Think spices such as paprika, chili powder and black pepper. These spices help highlight the intensity of Shiraz wine.

Glasses of wine by the fireplace.

Another meat that pairs brilliantly with Shiraz is lamb. For an easy, but masterfully paired meal, season lamb with black pepper and salt. Add more complexity to the dish by using spices such as rosemary, garlic and a hearty olive oil. Alternatively, make a hearty lamb stew and pair it with Shiraz. Carrots, potatoes and onions pair nicely with the lamb and add substance to the dish. For the more adventurous, try a mildly spicy venison chili. Venison is a great lean meat to pair with Shiraz and works perfectly in place of beef in chili. As with the brisket, paprika and chili powder are excellent spices to use in a venison chili.

Shiraz, because it is so richly flavored, is not the best wine to select for a night of cheese and wine pairings. Shiraz can be paired with a strong or smoked Cheddar. For a Shiraz that leans to the softer, more fruity side, consider a mild blue cheese. Skip sweeter cheeses and focus on those with distinctive flavor to enhance the boldness of the Shiraz.

Grilled beef fillet served on black plate with chili and pepper.

Most typically, Shiraz is paired with lean proteins such as lamb, lean beef, venison or other game. Do not be afraid to add spice to the dishes chosen for Shiraz wine pairing. Shiraz wine is perfect for pairing with rich, complex spice combinations. Vine Vera recommends you to be creative and experiment with exciting flavors when pairing Shiraz wine with food.

Thinking about which foods are healthier

Eat Well: Foods to Avoid for Beautiful Skin

Taking good care of our skin goes beyond the products we choose to apply and how frequently we wash or exfoliate our skin. We have all heard the old maxim, “you are what you eat,” and in some ways this really is true. There are foods that doctors and dermatologists recommend for a more youthful, glowing complexion and there are foods that these experts advise us to stay away from if our goal is clear, glowing skin. We know that a healthy, well-rounded diet and exercise help to keep us in good shape, but this nutritious eating may also help improve the texture, tone and appearance of our skin.

Regulate Blood Sugar

Dr. Valori Treloar, co-author of the book titled The Clear Skin Diet, suggests that one key factor that links diet and skin condition are foods that cause our blood sugar to spike. When our blood sugar levels rise, our bodies respond by increasing the insulin produced. Insulin in turn signals the body to release hormonal effects that include the release of androgen (an acne causing hormone), high levels of oil and increased production of skin cells, which all leads to clogged skin and subsequently, breakouts. Instead, we are advised to choose foods that have a low glycemic index. Glycemic index refers to a number that provides an estimate for how quickly our bodies convert carbohydrates in food into glucose. To make the use of the glycemic index even more effective, eat small meals throughout the day to help keep blood sugar levels steady.

Dairy Dairy

A hot topic when it comes to diet and skin is the subject of dairy. There are no definitive studies or tests that prove without a doubt that dairy is linked to causing acne or breakouts. However, there are some well-researched theories that involve dairy consumption and the condition of our skin. Milk contains substances that are closely related to the male hormone, testosterone. This is important because testosterone increases oil production, which can lead to acne. Dairy seems to target specific areas on the face, so if breakouts are present on the chin, neck and jawline, limiting dairy may help remedy this.

Cheeseburger and friesFats

While eating a cheeseburger and fries once in a while is not going to cause our skin to react badly constantly, it is important for us to monitor the amount of fatty acids we are consuming. Fatty acids are good, as they can help to alleviate inflammation in the body and skin. However, too much of a good thing in this case is decidedly bad. If not balanced, fatty acids can increase the amount of inflammation which may lead to pimples on the skin.

Alcohol bottles Alcohol

We don’t have to eliminate happy hour from our lives, but it is important to be intentional about what alcoholic beverages we are consuming. Alcohol dries out the skin which inhibits the healing process for present breakouts and exaggerates the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Experts also mention that alcohol affects vitamins A, B3 and C negatively. These antioxidants  are important in the regeneration of skin cells. A good guideline to follow, for reasons beyond just clearer skin, is to consume one glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you drink. The good news here is that our favorite red wines are not terrible for our skin. In fact, a single glass of red wine can be beneficial to our skin due to the antioxidant resveratrol.

The links between diet and skin continue to be studied, but there are promising results that indicate what we put into our bodies reflects what our bodies look like on the outside. Exercise moderation in all things, particularly fat. Dairy substitutions such as soy or almond milk are a great idea to help eliminate chin, neck and jawline breakouts. Drink plenty of water and maintain a good skincare regimen to get the best skin possible.