Vitamin E

vitamin e

Vitamin E is a fat soluble cluster of compounds that comes in eight different forms, all of which are essential to the overall health of your body. One of its major functions in the body is as an antioxidant, which helps protect your cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin E is also responsible for immune function, skin health, cell signaling and regulation of gene expression. Research has shown Vitamin E can help improve Diabetes, and protect against bladder cancer.

The best way to increase your levels of Vitamin E is to eat more vitamin rich foods. Oils such as wheat germ, sunflower, and safflower, nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, and peanuts, and vegetables such as tomatoes and spinach all contain high-levels of Vitamin E. This food-based Vitamin E is better for the body than supplementation because it contains all eight forms of the vitamin. If you are going to consume your Vitamin E through food, make sure to eat the nuts and leafy greens raw. Heat can kill up to 2/3 of the available vitamins and nutrients.
Sometimes your Doctor may want you to add additional supplementation to your diet. If this is the case, look for supplements that contain mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols. Some of the best supplements will also have gamma-tocopherol. Because Vitamin E is fat soluble, doses at too high of a level can be toxic. For an average adult, levels should not exceed 1000 mg. Because Vitamin E can effect blood coagulation, it should not be taken before surgery. And, as with any supplementation, it is important to consult with your physician.


Vegetarian Lasagna

vegetarian lasagna

Vegetarian dishes are a great way to reduce your environmental footprint. Meat-less (and cheese-free) meals use fewer natural resources from farm-to-table.


Tomato Sauce

  • 24 oz. tomato sauce (fresh seeded tomatoes food processed; organic, roasted tomatoes, or your choice)
  • Approx 1-2 tsp. each: Fresh (or dry) Basil, Oregano, Parsley (adjust to your taste)
  • Dash of sea salt
  • Dash of fresh ground pepper

Bechamel Sauce

  • 5 T. Earth Balance (soy free) or 5 T. Sunflower Oil
  • 1/4 c. gluten-free flour mix
  • 4 c. coconut milk beverage, unsweetened (So Delicious brand or make your own)
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Noodles: Gluten-Free Lasagna Noodles (Tinkyada noodles are awesome)

Tomato Sauce Preparation
Mix ingredients together and heat up but do not bring to a boil. The longer it sits, the more flavor the herbs release into the sauce.

Bechamel Sauce Preparation

  1. Heat Earth Balance on low heat till melted (If using Sunflower Oil heat on medium for about 5 min).
  • Whisk in 1/4 cup gluten-free flour mix; Immediately add 4 cups coconut milk.
  • Whisk continuously over medium heat for about 20-30 minutes or until thick.
  • Add sea salt, ground nutmeg and garlic.

Noodle Preparation
Preheat Oven to 350°F. Cook noodles as box instructs, rinse and lay out flat on parchment paper right away, but do this right before you put the lasagna together so noodles do not dry out.

Put the Lasagna Together

  1. 9x11 baking dish
  2. Place a layer of tomato sauce in baking dish, layer of noodles, spoon Bechamel sauce over noodles;
  3. Drizzle some tomato sauce, layer of noodles, Bechamel, Drizzle of tomato sauce;
  4. Last layer of noodles, tomato sauce and Bechamel.

Cook at 350°F for 30 minutes, allow to sit for at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Healthy Add-ins:
Quartered or chopped artichoke hearts, zucchini or other squash, diced/shredded onion, spinach or just about anything you like can be added in between the layers. Can also use sheep's milk Manchego cheese if that is a tolerated food. But you don't have to use it as the Bechamel thickens up and acts like cheese.

Image Attribution: Elena Veselova/



Native to the western regions of South America, but first cultivated in Mexico, it wasn't until the 1500's that Spanish explorers introduced tomatoes to European populations, and even then, they were often seen as unfit to eat. Today tomatoes are enjoyed worldwide at roughly 130 million tons per year. Botanically speaking, the tomato is both fruit and berry, but culinarily speaking, tomatoes are vegetables due to their cooking methods. The tomato comes in hundreds of varieties that vary in shape, size and color.

Although nutrient levels will vary among varieties, tomatoes in general are widely known for their antioxidant content, including their rich concentration of lycopene. Tomatoes have been linked to heart health, bone health and even to lessening the risk of some cancers, including prostate cancer and possibly breast cancer. Research also has shown that tomatoes may help to lower cholesterol and possibly reduce the risk of neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, tomatoes are a great sources of vitamin C, beta-carotene, manganese and vitamin E, and they are off the chart in regards to phytonutrient content. Research has shown that lycopene contents are higher when the whole tomato is used, so it makes sense to try to develop recipes that utilize the entire tomato.

Although tomatoes are available year-round across the U.S., some of the most delicious tomato flavors come from fresh tomatoes that have been planted in late spring or early summer and ripen from July through September. Choose tomatoes that have rich colors – from deep reds to vibrant oranges/tangerines, brilliant yellows and rich purples, they all provide outstanding nutrient benefits. Tomatoes should be well shaped and smooth skinned with no wrinkles, cracks, bruises or soft spots. It is also a good idea to avoid using aluminum cookware when cooking tomatoes. The high acid content of the tomatoes could interact with the metal in the cookware and thereby add aluminum to your food, which is not only unpleasant in taste, but could be potentially hazardous to your health.


Photo credit.

Tomatoes. World’s Healthiest Foods.

Marz, Russell B. 1999. Medical nutrition from Marz: (a textbook in clinical nutrition). Portland, Or: Omni-Press.

Gaby, Alan. 2011. Nutritional medicine. Concord, N.H: Fritz Perlberg Publishing.(Phaseolus vulgaris). Natural Standard Professional Monograph. 2013.

Image Attribution: salsachica/