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Monday, December 5, 2011

Watching Dr Oz 12/5/11: Emeril Lagasse Talks Health, Gadgets and Food; Feet Warning Signs, Natural Anti-Depressants, Seasonal Affective Disorder

The Dr. Oz Show
Air date: December 5, 2011
Emeril Lagasse's Must-Have Items to Revolutionize Your Health

- Chef Emeril shares his secrets and his Healthy Shrimp Pasta
- What your feet can tell you about your health
- Can natural anti-depressants work?
- Feeling SAD? Dr. Oz give recommendations to support Seasonal Affective Disorder

Dr. Oz's personal hero, Chef Emeril Lagasse is a guest on The Dr. Oz Show. See another side of Emeril from financial troubles to depression to rock-star chef, BAM! Today, Emeril is revolutionizing his health and sharing his experience.


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Chef Emeril Lagasse began cooking as a teen in a Portuguese bakery. From those early beginnings, Emeril has published 15 cookbooks, opened 12 restaurants and logged 2,000 hours of cooking on television.

[In addition to restaurants, cookbooks and television shows, the Emeril Lagasse Foundation “supports non-profit organizations that provide educational programs, life skills development, culinary training and cultural enrichment, creating opportunities in the communities where Emeril's restaurants operate.”]

Along came hurricane Katrina and turned Emeril's world upside-down. Katrina damaged his New Orleans restaurants, his corporate office and his home in Mississippi. Through these struggles he sold his company to Martha Stewart and started to make changes in this life to better support his health and that of his family.

Around food all the time and eating his favorite Cajun foods that contained a great deal of fat began taking a toll on Emeril's health. Julia Child said to Emerial that everything is good in moderation but he says it is hard to keep it simple when surrounded by pasta tastings, pie tastings, and several cooking shows a day.

Emeril has been in touch with the soil for ages, he knows how to eat organic, eat health but he struggles with actually doing it. He wants to eat healthy with his family, clean up the family diet together and strike a balance between great food and exercise. With four children there are challenges.

His two year old has celiac disease [an auto-immune disease causing a toxic reaction in the body when gluten is consumed. Click here to visit the Celiac Disease Foundation website for more information.]

Trying to increase his exercise, Emeril's doctor gave him a pedometer to track his daily steps with a goal of 10,000 steps per day. Emeril says that if he you don't go and work out you're not going to get to the 10,000 steps in a day. [Work retail, Emeril! I have walked as much over 20,000 steps in a day working in a retail store. It all depends on your job, right!]

Where did Emeril's signature BAM! come from? In his early days of television, Emeril was filming up to eight shows in a day. Toward the end of the day, the camera crew would become a bit distracted and out came BAM to get their attention.

Why is healthy food considered to be lacking in flavor? There is a perception that healthy food is cardboard food. Emeril's new food products do not have a label of healthy, even though they are, instead, the focus is on the flavor.

Emeril's Secret# 1: Cumin
The spice cumin provides a south-western twist to food while it imparts its digestive properties to the system. Emeril suggests to use a little bit of cumin in recipes and experiment. Dr. Oz is continually impressed with spices bringing flavor together with health benefits. He provided cinnamon as another example of a spice with a medicinal value.

Emeril's Secret #2: Gadget
Emeril recommends that all kitchens have an anodized pan, a non-stick pan that can't scratch and therefore prevents the aluminum from contacting. He still loves stainless steel pans but has come to understand that they require the use of more fat and oil to coat the pan and prevent food from sticking. Emeril says a stainless steel pan needs about 3 tablespoons of oil whereas a non-stick pan will need only 1 tablespoon of fat.

Emeril's Secret #3: Gluten-free pasta
There are a lot of different grains and pasta on the market which provide fiber and can help to eliminate some calories. Many think of whole wheat pasta as the only healthy pasta. Now there are gluten-free pastas, rice pasta, Jerusalem artichoke pasta. [that Dr. Oz has discussed several times this year, see here and here for two previous mentions of DeBoles brand Jerusalem artichoke pasta.]

Dr. Oz challenged Emeril to shape up his pasta dish and Emeril made it happen while keeping the spice and keeping the flavor. Originally the dish was Crawfish and Fettuccine Pasta but shrimp and whole wheat pasta has helped cut the calories by more than half and reduce the fat by 50g!

The dish uses shrimp is more readily available than crawfish, red bell pepper which have more Vitamin C than an orange, smoked turkey provides flavor without the fat of bacon or sausage, and lemon juice supports absorption of all the other nutritious ingredients. Instead of heavy cream, Emeril uses evaporated milk.

When using gluten-free or whole wheat pastas, cook them al dente because there is not a lot of stabilizers or structure to the noodles. Dr. Oz says al dente pasta has less sugar and will not so readily spike blood sugar.

Audience member and big Emeril fan, Monica says the healthy version tastes great!

The original dish racked up, per serving, 1,153 calories and 62g of fat. The new version comes in with 542 calories and only 11g of fat. That's a huge reduction in both calories and fat without sacrificing flavor.

Warning Signs From Your Feet

The foot contains ¼ of the bones in the body. With 33 joints, blood vessels and ligaments in the feet, they are a good barometer of overall health.

Veins get smaller toward the feet and problems with the arteries, vessels, circulation and cardiovascular health can be seen on the feet.

Foot Warning Sign #1: Hairless toes and feet area a sign of cardiovascular disease.
Hair on the feet and toes are a good thing. When blockages occur in the body the blood vessels can not send blood to the feet efficiently causing the blood to percolate instead of flow freely. Reduced circulation to the feet and toes means less nutrients reaching the area and no hair will grow. Smokers may notice that they have less hair or no hair on their feet due to plaque formation in the arteries. Dr. Oz says this is reversible and recommends eating ½ a clove of garlic per day with your food to support healthy circulation and healthy cardiovascular levels.

Foot Warning Sign #2: Big, red swollen toes is a sign of gout.
Often showing itself on the big toe, gout can manifest on this toe that receives the greatest amount of pressure. A build up of uric acid crystals in the body is the root cause of gout with a host of reasons for developing: menopause, red wine, red meat.

Food is not the only cause of uric acid build up. Cells in the body die off naturally and release uric acid which is filtered out of the body through the liver. If the liver is not functioning at top level, or if the uric acid is too much for the liver to process, the acid will recirculate in the body and the crystals, which are really little, sharp spears, will cause damage and inflammation to muscles and joints.

If you experience gout, Dr. Oz recommends to reduce red meat intake to one day a week, reduce wine intake and get rid of beer altogether.

To support the reduction of uric acid build-up, Dr. Oz recommends taking on the beneficial Italian habit of drinking four cups of coffee a day to reduce gout by as much as 40%.

Foot Warning Sign #3: Foot cramps are a sign of mineral deficiency
Electrolyte imbalances in the body can lead to muscle cramping. To demonstrate, Dr. Oz showed a tray of red licorice with it's twisted pattern. Muscles, like the licorice, can get tight and twisted without enough magnesium and potassium. Dr. Oz recommends eating a banana for the potassium intake and green leafy lettuce, not iceberg, which contains magnesium. He also recommends taking 400mg of magnesium daily along with 600mg of calcium.

Best Natural Anti-Depressants

Naturopathic physician, Pina LoGuidice shares her recommendations for natural anti-depressants.

Are natural alternatives to depression really effective? Yes they are, Dr. LoGuidice explained there was a research article published last year that found medications don't work any better than placebo when it comes to treating depression. She says that natural options an work just as well is not better than pharmaceuticals.

Dr. LoGuidice says that when she is considering a natural anti-depression treatment she also looks toward improving the patient's level of exercise and going on an anti-inflammatory diet.

Best Herbal Remedy To Boost Your Mood: St. John's Wort
St. John's Wort has been highly researched. It can help support an elevated mood along with strong anti-viral properties and other components to work on the whole body. Dr. LoGuidice explained that it can take 6 weeks for the positive benefits to be seen so it's important to be consistent with use. St. John's Wort has, what Dr. LoGuidice calls, a laundry list of drug interactions. Women should be especially careful with taking St. John's Wort because it could render birth control pills ineffective. She recommends taking 900mg of St. John's Wort daily for at least six weeks. Dr. LoGuidice will often prescribe St. John's Wort to a younger patient with what she considers low-grade depression.

Best Supplement To Boost Your Mood: SAMe
Dr. LoGuidice says that SAMe can work in a matter of days, not weeks, and it does not have the large list of drug interactions. She recommends taking 200mg of SAMEe per day start, then to ramp up over 10 days to 400mg per day. Dr. LoGuidice will recommend SAMe for older patients who also are experiencing osteoarthritis issues.

Best Amino Acid To Boost Your Mood: 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)
Best known for being found in turkey meat, 5-HTP can be utilized in supplement form to support depression. Dr. LoGuidice recommends taking 100 mg of 5-HTP three times a day and working up to 200mg three times a day. She cautions to take 5-HTP with carbohydrates or nausea may be experienced. Dr. LoGuidice will look to 5-HTP for patients who also experience anxiety and insomnia.

Best Spice To Boost Your Mood: Saffron
Saffron comes from Persia, also known as crocus, and can help with digestive inflammation. Gut health is related to healthy moods so it's important to support digestion. Be warned, saffron is expensive. Dr. LoGuidice recommends taking 15mg of saffron twice a day. A bottle of supplemental saffron can run about $50. [A few strands of saffron in a spice jar can easily cost $10.]

Feeling SAD: Seasonal Affective Disorder

Women are four times more likely to be affected by SAD than men. Cathy shares her story with SAD. As soon as the clock is turned back each year she feels her mood going as well. Her husband even describes her as a fun-loving person, most of the time. Come winter, the dark clothes come out the reflect her dark mood.

Irritability, weight gain and depression can all be associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Dr. Oz talks about, what he calls, cutting-edge ways to keep it at bay.

Wear Colored Clothing
Avoid wearing black in the winter as it does not have the ability to reflect colors back. Also avoid wearing red when there is less daylight as you are more likely to feel angry in the color.

Instead go for light colors: white and yellow. Throw out the idea that white clothes should not be worn after labor day. White and yellow both boost serotonin levels. Yellow is a soothing color that evokes healthy feelings.

Light Therapy
Dr. Oz says light therapy is the best way of dealing with with SAD. The light provided is bright from a 10,000 LUX bulb. The specific light emitted from the lamp turns up serotonin levels. Turn on the lamp within an hour or two of waking if you can't get outside in the morning, or it's dark in the morning.

[Many Light Therapy lamps sell in the hundreds of dollars. Here's a lamp on Amazon for only $76.]

Winter Foods
Cathy says that in the winter she feels and eats like a mama bear getting ready for hibernation but she doesn't get to do the big sleep. Dr. Oz recommends using foods as tools and his three suggestions today are both readily available and affordable.

Dried figs – contain Vitamin B6 which stimulates serotonin production in the body. Dr. Oz recommends eating two figs per day. [Figs can be purchased fresh or dried.] Dr. Oz said he was a kid there were figs growing in his backyard.

Swiss Chard – is a source of magnesium. Dr. Oz recommends eating one cup of Swiss chard per day. [Swiss chard can be lightly sauteed, eaten raw on a salad or with soup. Keep cooking time low with greens, a longer cooking time will make for a very bitter green.

Dried Tart Cherries – are more sour then your typical cherry and they contain melatonin. Dr. Oz recommends eating a handful of dried tart cherries as a dessert, a couple of hours before bed to allow the melatonin to get into the brain.

During the winter months, regular sleep is especially important. Dr. Oz recommends taking 1mg of a melatonin supplement 1 to 2 hours before bed.

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