10 healthy habits that could save your life

It is not often that I read a book that radically reshapes the way I see my health and inspires me to make lifestyle changes, but “The End of Illness” by Dr. David B. Agnus did just that. A respected researcher and also famous for having treated Steve Jobs during his battle with cancer, the book shares some of his key insights for preventing chronic disease, just in time for 2013 New Years Resolutions!

End of Illness

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Pomegranate Magic

If I had to choose one food to represent the meaning of delayed gratification, it would be the pomegranate. A disproportionate amount of time is spent opening and prying the fruit from the sticky, bitter white interior for the enjoyment of eating just one tart seed at a time. No longer! Just in time for pomegranate season, introducing the procedure that shall hitherto be referred to as “the magic pomegranate paddle method.” Thanks to Justin for sharing the idea with me. The inspiration came from this youtube video, but for those who can’t access, a recap below.

Step 1: Cut the pomegranate in half along the “equator”, so that flowering end is left intact. Don’t cut the flowering part in half! It sometimes contains bugs and pollen that will fall into your bowl if you do. You can put some tape over it to make sure nothing unpleasant gets shaken out. Note, in the video he just scores the outer edge and then twists to open so he doesn’t cut through any of the seeds, but if you feeling lazy you can just cut directly in half.

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Gluten-free treats in Beijing

As a relatively gluten-sensitive person (a.k.a no bueno for my digestive track) I’m constantly on the look out for non-glutenous treats in Beijing.  Below are some of my favs. Not all necessarily “healthy”, but good for a bit of indulgence :)

Traditional Treat (Tsinghua University)

I can’t remember this restaurant name, but it’s right inside the Tsinghua campus near 双清路. I marked it here on Baidu. This dessert is basically roasted steaming hot sweet potato topped with coconut milk and crushed peanuts. So simple, yet so delicious, also extremely healthy as as far as desserts go. They might sneak some croutons on the plate for garnish so just remember to ask to leave it off.


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Ali’s Gluten-Free Date Pie

This pie was inspired by local ingredients (think steamed corn buns with red bean filling in 7/11) and created for the 4th of July.  It’s not completely vegan (some eggs are featured) but it is milk and butter free. More importantly, it was so good I ate half the pie.  The pairing of a crispy cornmeal crust and hot gooey sweet date filling will make even the most die-hard apple pie fan reconsider their loyalties.

Credit for this amazing recipe goes to my friend Ali Retson, who I hope will soon also have a food blog to showcase her amazing culinary creations! For now, another cooking show must suffice:

Video Instructions:

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