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The Health Up Newsletter
Created Weekly by Teri Yunus 
Health Up With Teri Health & Wellness Coaching

February 23, 2023 | issue 129

What's Inside This Week:
  1. Sheet Pan Dinners 101
  2. Random Acts of Kindness
  3. Iron Deficiency - Are You At Risk?
  4. Did You Know?
  5. Recipe of the Week
  6. Book of the Week
  7. Resource Tip of the Week
  8. My Favorite Quotes

Sheet Pan Dinners 101
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This template designed by the Forks Over Knives team can be used for quick veggie-centric sheet pan meals. Using these simple ingredients can make easy dinners that are health promoting and delicious. 
  • Whole Grains - 1 ¼ cups quick-cooking whole grains, such as quinoa or instant brown rice. Trader Joe's has a quick-cooking farro that could be used if you have access to the store.
  • Beans or Lentils - One 15-oz can of beans or lentils, rinsed and drained (or 1 ½ cups cooked frozen peas, edamame, or Lima beans).
  • Veggies - 8 cups of fresh vegetables, cut into 1-2 inch pieces. Include some starchy vegetables to fill you up and keep you satisfied.
  • Spices - 1 tablespoon desired ground spices (Or 3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs). This is a great place to experiment with different flavors.
  • Broth - 3 ½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth (or water). Mixing the spices into the broth may help distribute them more evenly.
  • Finishing Touches - Citrus juice (lemon or lime), salad dressing, or preferred sauce; chopped nuts, seeds, nutritional yeast, or preferred garnish.
Instructions - Preheat the oven to 400°F. Sprinkle grains over a large rimmed baking sheet (lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat). Toss together the vegetables, beans, and spices in a large bowl. Spread mixture in a single layer over the grains. Carefully pour broth or water into pan. Cover sheet pan tightly with foil. Bake about 20 minutes. Remove foil; roast uncovered 15 to 20 minutes more, or until the grains are tender and the vegetables are beginning to brown. To serve, drizzle with citrus juice or sauce and sprinkle with preferred garnish. 
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Random Acts of Kindness
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February 17 was Random Acts of Kindness Day. Not a lot of publicity on that one…was there? This is the thing, though, that should be shouted from the rooftops. Random acts of kindness light us all up! Not only does the recipient of a random act of kindness benefit but so does the person doing the thing! When we do kind acts for people, we are the true beneficiary. 
Research backs this! Kindness increases the love hormone, oxytocin, which aids in lowering blood pressure and improving our overall heart health. Oxytocin also increases our self-esteem and optimism, which is extra helpful when we’re anxious or shy in a social situation. Kindness can make us feel stronger and more energetic after helping others; many study participants also reported feeling calmer and less depressed, with increased feelings of self-worth. People who volunteer tend to experience fewer aches and pains. Giving help to others protects overall health twice as much as aspirin protects against heart disease. People 55 and older who volunteer for two or more organizations have an impressive 44% lower likelihood of dying early, and that’s after sifting out every other contributing factor, including physical health, exercise, gender, habits like smoking, marital status and many more. This is a stronger effect than exercising four times a week or going to church. According to research, when you are kind to another person, your brain’s pleasure and reward centers light up, as if you were the recipient of the good deed—not the giver. This phenomenon is called the “helper’s high.”
Like most antidepressant medications, kindness stimulates the production of serotonin. This feel-good chemical heals your wounds, calms you down, and makes you happy!
Food is medicine, that's what I always say. Another perspective is that kindness is medicine! Need an emotional lift? Go out today and do something kind for someone. Here's some ideas:
1.  Leave money in a vending machine for someone
2.  Bake cookies for the elderly (healthy ones, of course)
3.  Serve at a homeless shelter
4.  Do a 5k for a good cause
5.  Help at a veterinarian office
6.  Pick up litter on the beach
7.  Let someone go in front of you in line
8.  Give a stranger a compliment
9.  Make dinner for a family in need
10. Insert coins into someone’s parking meter
11. Buy flowers to hand out on the street
12. Leave letters of encouragement on people’s cars
13. Buy a movie ticket for the person behind you
14. Pay for someone’s meal at a restaurant
15. Write letters to soldiers
16. Donate Christmas gifts to a family in need
17. Participate in a fundraiser
18. Use your allowance to donate to a charity
19. Hold open the doors for people
20. Thank a teacher with a gift
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Iron Deficiency - Are You Are Risk?
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People who are plant curious may be worried about becoming iron deficient. There is a fair amount on confusion about this topic. It is widely believed that plant-based eaters are at risk for anemia. Let's sort it out. 
The confusion may lie in the difference between heme and non-heme iron. These are terms you may have never heard so let me explain. Heme iron comes from meats and fish and is known to be more easily absorbed in our bodies at 10-25%. Plant foods like grains, vegetables and fruits are non-heme sources of iron and are absorbed at about 1-5%. Iron is one of the essential microelements required for the proper functioning of the body; its main role is transporting oxygen from the lungs to tissues. A deficiency causes a decline in the physical condition, dizziness, memory problems, difficulty breathing and heart problems. Getting the right amount of iron in our diet is important to stay well. It is absolutely possible to achieve this on a whole foods plant based diet. Key is to eat a well-balanced plant diet with particular attention to foods higher in iron. 
The daily requirement for women is 18 mg. Pregnancy and breastfeeding moms need more…up to 27 mg every day. Men have lower needs at 8-10 mg. Let's look at some plant-based foods and their iron content. This will give you an idea on what to lean toward to ensure you are getting enough in your daily whole foods plant-based diet. 
Pumpkin seeds (½ cup)                                   20.7mg
Sesame seeds (1 cup)                                       7.4mg
Blackstrap molasses (2 tbsp)                             7.2mg
Sundried tomatoes  (100g)                                 9.1mg
Dried apricots (100g-about 20)                           6.3mg
Lentils (1 cup)                                                     6.6mg
Spinach (1 cup)                                                   6.4mg
Quinoa (1 cup)                                                    6.3mg
Tempeh (1 cup)                                                   4.8mg
Black beans (1 cup)                                            3.6mg
Kidney beans (1 cup)                                          3.0mg
Pinto beans (1 cup)                                             3.5mg
Potato (1)                                                            3.2mg
Prune juice (8 oz)                                                3.0mg
Raisins (½ cup)                                                   1.6mg
This is just a few plant foods that tend to be higher in iron…almost all plant foods have some iron so eating a diverse plant diet with emphasis on beans, seeds, greens and dark chocolate will ensure you are covered. The list above volumes will need to be adjusted to the amount you are eating if you are counting…rarely do we eat a full cup of seeds or even beans so do the math to figure out how much you are actually getting if that's important to you. Absorption of iron can be enhanced by eating iron-rich foods along with vitamin C-rich foods or those higher in calcium (like dark leafies). 
Looking for a meal high in iron that is quick and easy? In a large bowl, combine cooked beans or lentils with diced fresh tomatoes, raw baby spinach or mixed greens (chopped), pumpkin seeds or cashews, and raisins or dried chopped apricots. Drizzle with a simple vinaigrette made from 2 tablespoons lemon juice, ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard, 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and 1 teaspoon of maple syrup (optional). Stir ingredients well and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes to incorporate the flavors.
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Healthy Food Is Actually Cheaper
Poor nutrition from a diet that mostly consists of processed, salty, sugary, and fried unhealthy foods contribute greatly to tooth decay, and diseases such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even cancer!
What seems like a cheap diet, can quickly turn into years of medical bills for various health ailments and their medications. And plant based foods cost less money than animal and highly processed foods. 
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Recipe of the Week
Lentil Bolognese 
with Spaghetti
Lentil Bolognese With Spaghetti
This Lentil Bolognese Sauce is hearty with red lentils and mushrooms, flavors with herbs, sauce and great with spaghetti or other pasta.  
Can be gluten-free with gluten-free pasta. Each serving of this recipe has 5.4mg iron and 22gm of protein (bonus).  
Author: Vegan Richa                                                      Servings: 3
  • 8 to 9 oz spaghetti or other pasta
  • 1/2 cup red lentils (split skinned quick cooking kind (masoor dal))
  • 4 oz mushroom, chopped small
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped small
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 3/4 tsp dried oregano or use 1/2 tbsp fresh
  • 1 tsp dried basil or use 2 tbsp fresh
  • 1/4 tsp thyme or rubbed sage
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast. optional
  • 16 to 18 oz low sodium marinara or pizza sauce or use 28 oz diced tomatoes (Aldi has an inexpensive oil-free brand)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste, optional
  • 1/2 tsp salt depends on the salt content of the sauce. Use less and add more later to taste
  • a good dash of black pepper and red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1/4 cup red wine or use veggie broth
  • fresh basil or thyme for garnish
1. Cook the spaghetti according to instructions on the package or prepare another pasta.
2. Wash the lentils, drain and add to pot with 2 cups of water. Cook over medium heat for 11 to 14 mins or until just about cooked. The water will start boiling half way through. Stir once in between to cook evenly. Drain if there is too much water (a few tbsp is okay) Set aside. Or use 1.5 cups cooked lentils, chickpeas or split peas of choice.
3. Heat a skillet over medium heat, add onion, mushroom, garlic and a good pinch of salt. Cook for 5 minutes or until golden. Stir occasionally.
4. Add the carrots, herbs, spices and mix in. Cook for 2 mins. (Variation: You can also add 1/4 cup or more finely chopped walnuts for additional texture).
5. Add the marinara/pizza sauce, salt, pepper, wine/broth and mix in. Bring to a boil. (If using diced tomatoes, double the herbs, add 1 tbsp tomato paste and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Mash the large pieces of the tomatoes and continue).
6. Fold in the cooked lentils and mix well. (add 1 tbsp tomato paste if the mixture is not tomatoey enough). Cook for 1-2 minutes. Adjust consistency by adding more water if needed. Taste and adjust salt and flavor.  Then cover, take off heat and let sit for another few minutes for the flavors to develop.
7. Garnish with fresh basil and optional vegan parm (go to website for recipe).  Serve over cooked spaghetti, pasta or mashed potato/root veggies or roasted veggies.
Recipe adapted from

Book of the Week
Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself
Author Dr. Joe Dispenza combines the fields of quantum physics, neuroscience, brain chemistry, biology, and genetics to show what is truly possible. Our brains are hardwired and we have the power to alter our minds to create a different way of being. Catchy title, too. 
Catch my Health Tip Tuesday video on Facebook on Tuesdays to hear my book review! 
Eating Our Way to Extinction (free on YouTube)
Eating Our Way to Extinction is a cinematic feature documentary, taking audiences on a journey around the world and addressing the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about. This powerful documentary sends a simple but impactful message by uncovering hard truths and addressing, on the big screen, the most pressing issue of our generation – ecological collapse.

“You have very little morally persuasive power with people that can feel your underlying contempt.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Important Disclaimer
The content in this newsletter is intended for educational/informational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care professional. 
hen Basics tea
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