healthy recipe Archives

I'll bet you guessed wrong. So many people are passing around info on Facebook, and other social media, advising us to eat more turmeric; sprinkle it on salads, add to soups, even put it in your oatmeal to reduce inflammation, etc. Not exactly…

Here's the real truth. No one really knows how much of the spice you’d have to add to your food to reap those benefits, except that it’s a LOT! However, that doesn't mean that you can't use turmeric to help reduce inflammation. Most docs recommend 1000-3000 mg a day for inflammatory diseases like arthritis. They also recommend taking the supplement with some black pepper added as the pepper makes the turmeric more bio available. That means you’re your body can absorb it better. The good news is that a reputable company (Schwartz) offers a 1500 mg tab that you can try. It’s on Amazon a bit cheaper than the company itself sells it for. I have ordered some and will try it for my psoriasis. It takes 3-4 weeks to feel results, so I’ll keep you posted.

There are some cautions for taking turmeric supplements so make sure you speak to your doctor before trying any supplements. I talked with mine about this particular supplement the other day and she agreed I’d be a good candidate for it, as I am not on any medications.

Turmeric should not be taken with medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant/ Antiplatelet drugs) because turmeric can also slow blood clotting. Taking turmeric along with these medications increases your chances of bruising and bleeding.

Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), fish oil supplements and others. Better be safe than sorry, so check with your doc.

Most of you know that I have attempted any and all natural remedies that I could find for my psoriasis for a couple of years now, with no results. Recently, I‘ve been using a vitamin D cream that my doctor prescribed and it has helped all but one stubborn area on my body, so I am still looking for relief. Fingers crossed for the turmeric.

One of the things I tried for my psoriasis was going gluten free; it made no difference in my skin condition. However, I must say that I have just passed my one year anniversary of being (mostly) gluten free and I have noticed a bonus side effect that I did not expect. I have steadily lost weight over the last year. Not a lot, however, as I was not overweight, but I’ve lost 5-6 lbs. I do eat a bit of food with gluten here and there. If I am out I will eat what’s on the menu or my friends table. I don’t have celiac disease. I went gluten free by choice.

This weight loss is something that many of my students and clients report as well. Some of the people I know who’ve gone gluten free have lost as much as 30 lbs. It’s a gradual loss which is always a good thing as that makes it easier to maintain.

Let me know if you’ve tried turmeric supplements, or gone gluten free, and what results you saw, and I will share them with my readers!

Best of Health,

Kathi

To Gluten or Not To Gluten…

Have you thought about going gluten free? Have you wondered what all the buzz is about?

Well, I have just reached my one year anniversary of being gluten free. I originally went gluten free to see if it would help my psoriasis. Sadly, it has not. There have been other benefits that I hadn't counted on, though.

First of all, if you are wondering what the heck gluten is, I’ll tell you. Gluten is a protein found in wheat. It’s the “glue” that makes bread and pasta stick together and hold their shape. If you’ve tried making a sandwich with many of the gluten free breads, you can see exactly what I mean, as your bread crumbles apart instead of surrounding your filling. Pretty messy.

In some people, gluten triggers an autoimmune response that attacks the lining of the small intestine. This means that the body is unable to effectively absorb nutrients into the bloodstream, which can lead to anemia, delayed growth, and weight loss. This is celiac disease and it’s very serious.

Other people can be gluten intolerant, which is less serious, but not much fun either. Gluten sensitivity can cause symptoms such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, "brain fog," and itchy skin rash. The skin rash part was why I originally stopped eating gluten, hoping that mine would get better.

Going gluten free is not as difficult as you might think. There are lots of foods that are naturally gluten-free, for example, fruits and vegetables, eggs, meat, fish and poultry, unprocessed beans, seeds and nuts, and the majority of dairy products. Many grains: buckwheat, corn, flax, quinoa, rice, soy, arrowroot, and millet are gluten free. There are bread and pasta choices that are made with these naturally gluten free grains.

A Mediterranean diet, which many docs believe is the best thing for us includes tons of veggies and fruit, a little bit of meat, poultry or fish (protein), and a bit of grains as well. I love veggies and fruits, as well as quinoa and rice. Ronzoni also makes a gluten free pasta that’s quite good, so I have no trouble staying on this type of diet.

A 2011 study, conducted by Peter Gibson and colleagues from Monash University in Australia, concluded that Gluten Intolerance might be a legitimate disorder, after finding participants that consumed gluten experienced increased bloating and fatigue. But then a small study done in 2013 found just the opposite, so the reality is that more, larger studies need to be done in order for us to know if gluten is a problem for many or not.

What I can tell you is that I have more energy without the gluten. I have two students who went gluten free to rid themselves of skin rashes. Both rashes went away, PLUS, they both feel less fatigued as well.

I will also say that I am not totally without. If I am out somewhere and I want to order a lovely Italian dish with pasta, I order it and enjoy it. I no longer consume gluten on a regular basis, but I don’t deprive myself of something I enjoy, occasionally.

If you want to try it, just to see what you may experience, go ahead. It’s pretty easy and you don’t have to buy special food, unless you want the gluten free bread or pasta. Try it for at least 30 days and see if you feel any different.

So the jury is still out on gluten. Right now, in spite of all the advertising urging you to buy high priced gluten free products, unless you have celiac disease, there is not a lot of evidence that gluten is bad for you. Have you gone gluten free? Are you going to try gluten free? If you did or are, drop me a line and let me know about your experience and I’ll share it with the group.

Best of Health,

Kathi

Enjoy Festive Food And Drink Without The Guilt!

The holidays are here! Are you ready for Italian cookies, fruit cake, egg nog, latkes, candied yams, or one of my favorite holiday traditions, my sister's, pecan tassies? Wow, that's a whole lot of extra calories!

I don't deny myself, and it's not necessary for you to, either; just use a bit of restraint. Instead of a piece of pumpkin pie AND a couple of cookies, try one or the other. Or maybe a smaller portion of each... But you already knew that, didn't you! If I am travelling from house to house on a holiday walk about, I'll have a small meal portion at each stop, but eat dessert only once. Truly this is the best way to enjoy the holidays without feeling as though you overindulged, or deprived yourself.

A popular item on most holiday menus that adds on the calories, without nutritional value, is alcohol. Holiday egg nog with rum is a big time weight gainer! I drink my "soynog" with a bit of coffee or chaga tea (no booze) and limit myself to one a week between Thanksgiving and New Years. There are many other non-alcoholic options as well. Try a pink grapefruit "margarita" made with pink lemonade, grapefruit juice, and a twist of lime. Add a bit of sugar to the rim of the glass instead of the salt and voila, festive without side effects, and far less calories! How about a cranberry, pomegranite "Bellini"? Mix both juices, add seltzer water, a twist of lime, and enjoy! In fact, many festive drinks can be made with a bit of your favorite fruit juice, seltzer and a twist of lime. Try to reduce your consumption of high sugar alcohols this year and see for yourself how much fun it can be!

If you make a few small adjustments here and there throughout the season, you'll still enjoy this time of year, yet have less to lose in January. When you pay attention to what you eat and drink, you won't worry as much about a few extra pounds. I usually add about three pounds during the season, and I have no problem taking them back off after the first of the year. Yes, Virginia, you CAN enjoy fun and festive food and drinks without guilt.

Gifting can also be a hassel for some, and let's face it, we have enough stress in our lives without the pressure of finding the right gift for Aunt Sally. I enjoy shopping for the perfect gift, but I know not everyone does.

If you are looking for that hard to figure out gift for a friend or family member who doesn't seem to need anything, then try donating to a charity in their name! It's a wonderful idea and most definitely a gift that they won't have to worry about exchanging for a different size! I have started doing this in recent years and hope it catches on as a new family tradition. There are so many people in need right now. The water protectors at Standing Rock, refugees fleeing their war torn homelands, wildlife that is endangered, veterans in need of meals and clothing. Pick your favorite and both you and your gift recipient will feel good about the gift.

Best of Health,

Kathi

Try Peaches For Healthy Summer Grilling!

Nothing beats a 4th of July grill fest! 

Someone always brings a pie or cake decorated as a flag...

BUT, my favorite is grilled peaches. So sweet, juicy and delicious!

Try them and you'll be hooked too!

Grilled Peaches - Yummmmmmm!

Ingredients:

4 ripe peaches, cut in half with the pit removed

2 TBSP Butter

2 tsp cinnamon

2 TBSP coconut sugar

Preparation:

In a small saucepan, heat the butter, sugar and cinnamon until it boils. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes.

Make sure you grill is very hot and oiled, then brush the peach halves with the butter and sugar mixture

And gill for about three minutes on each side. Yummmmmm!

Each serving has approx : 160 calories (70 from fat), 8g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 1g protein, 19g total carbohydrate (2g dietary fiber, 17g sugar), 20mg cholesterol, 0mg sodium

If you want to be really decadent at 4th of July or a birthday party - serve the peaches over coconut ice cream  Wow!

Best of Health,

Kathi

Healthy Recipe For Rosemary Chicken

 

Here's a delicious recipe that includes Rosemary from Dr. Mark Hyman's book, "The Blood Sugar Solution."

Lemon Rosemary Chicken with Swiss Chard and Baked Delicata Squash

 

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Delicata squash halved and seeded (I used Acorn squash)

1 Lg head of Swiss Chard roughly chopped

2 (6 oz) Boneless chicken breasts (I used boneless skinless thighs)

1/4 Cup Almond Meal

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 Cup low sodium chicken broth

Juice of 1/2 lemon

2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Brush the cut sides of the squash with 1 tsp of the olive oil. Place squash, cut sides down on a baking sheet and roast for 20-30 min. It's cooked when a knife slides easily into the flesh when pierced.
  3. Heat 1 tsp oil in saucepan and saute the Swiss Chard 5-6 min until it wilts. Put aside
  4. Lay out a piece of plastic wrap on the counter, place the chicken on top with another piece of plastic wrap over it and pound with a kitchen mallet until they are about 1/4 inch thick.
  5. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with the almond meal and salt and pepper to taste
  6. Heat remaining oil in your saute pan over medium high heat, add the chicken and cook 5 min per side.
  7. While the chicken is cooking, combine broth, lemon juice and rosemary in a bowl until well mixed.
  8. When the chicken is golden brown on both sides and cooked well through, add the liquid mixture to the pan and reduce for 3-4 minutes.

Serve chicken on top of the cooked greens with the squash on the side. Yummmmmm!

Wishing you a delicious and healthy week!
Best of Health,

Kathi

Healthy Irish Fare

Irish Hat 1This week is St. Patrick's Day, and being the good Irish girl that I am, I will be joining my son for his favorite Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner. It's the one time all year that I eat corned beef, and only a mouthful at that. This is a cured meat, so very high in sodium. A 3 ounce serving of corned beef contains 827 milligrams of sodium, 36 percent of the Institute of Medicine's daily recommendation! YUK!

The cabbage, on the other hand is a healthy choice. One cup of cabbage provides 3 grams of fiber, high levels of vitamin C, which promotes a healthy immune system, and nearly double the daily recommendation of vitamin K, an essential nutrient for blood clotting! My plate at dinner will have mostly carrots (a fav of mine), cabbage, potatoes and a tiny bite of corned beef.

Another Irish favorite that works better for me than corned beef is Irish stew! Mostly veggies with a bit of any type of meat or poultry that you like, and if you make the broth yourself you can put only a bit of salt in and it tastes much better than those you see on the supermarket shelves. Here is my bone broth recipe:

Hint - Save all your bones in a container in the freezer as you eat the meat or chicken and then when you have enough, make your own broth. You can freeze some if you want to use at a later date, or make a big pot of stew or soup and share!

Ingredients:

2 large onions, cut up

3 – 6 large garlic cloves-

7 celery stalks, cut up

4-6 large carrots, cut up

1 large or 2 small potatoes, cut up

Kale or any other veggie you like

1 tsp olive oil

3-4 bay leaves

Preparation:

Sauté the onion in 1 tsp of olive oil in a big stew pot

Add the carrots and celery and lastly the onions and cook until onions are soft

Fill the pot with your bag of bones and then add enough water to cover the bones

Add the bay leaves, a pinch of salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil over medium heat.

Add the Kale and any other greens lower to a simmer, cover and let it cook for at least 1 hr. Stir occasionally.

Let the broth cool for several hours (you can put the whole pot as is in the fridge overnight if you want.

Then remove all the bones and any grease that may have formed on top, and you’ve got your stock/broth for any time you want some!

Best of Health,

Kathi

Eat Fat To Get Thin!

AvocadoI am happy to announce my friend and colleague Dr. Mark Hyman's new book, Eat Fat to Get Thin. Yes, you heard that right. Mark is talking about the "good fat," however, not twinkies and triple layer chocolate cake!

In addition to rising rates of obesity, cancer, and diabetes, millions of Americans are suffering from what Mark refers to as "FLC Syndrome" - that's when you feel like crap! What most of us don't know is that this is directly related to the food we eat. Food can harm us or it can heal us.

In his latest book, Dr. Hyman reveals a shocking new medical discovery that turns our understanding of why we get fat and sick completely upside down.

So what is this shocking discovery?

Turns out, if you eat more FAT, you get thin (and reverse heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and more). In other words, just about everything we've been told about fat is wrong. Which is why Dr. Hyman has created a powerful Q&A video to celebrate the launch of his new book, Eat Fat, Get Thin. Watch the FREE Q&A Video here.

In this video, Mark answers questions like:

If it's not fat, what is the true cause of heart disease, diabetes, and disease?

How can we easily differentiate between good and bad fats?

Is butter really good for you?

And how did we get into this big, fat mess?

Over 1,000 people participated in his testing of the Eat Fat, Get Thin 21-Day Plan outlined in this book. The results were powerful. Participants shed weight (as much as 46 pounds!), reduced blood sugar (an average of 23 points), and reported a 69% decrease in ALL symptoms from chronic diseases. Isn't it your turn?

If you're ready to lose those stubborn extra pounds, have more energy immediately, and learn how to prevent or even reverse chronic disease naturally, you won't want to miss this book.

Watch the video (PLUS discover how you can get your copy of Dr. Hyman's new book and receive up to 9 not-to-be-missed bonus gifts!)  
Best of Health,

Kathi

Heart Healthy Recipe For Your Valentine!

IMG_0547[1]

 

Wild Salmon with Rosemary, Sweet Potatoes & Lemon Asparagus (from Dr. Mark Hyman's Blood Sugar Solution)

 

 

 

Ingredients:

1 sweet potato, peeled and sliced

1 yellow onion, sliced

2 Tblsp extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt

1 garlic clove (I love garlic and use 3!)

2 tsp dry mustard

Juice and zest of 1 small lemon (I also sometimes use lime)

1 Tblsp chopped fresh rosemary

1 bunch asparagus

8 oz. skin on, wild caught salmon

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425o
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the sweet potato and onion slices on the paper in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, mix the garlic, mustard, lemon juice, and rosemary to make a paste and set aside.
  • Remove baking sheet from oven, place the asparagus on the parchment next to the onions and sweet potatoes. Sprinkle the lemon zest on the asparagus. Lay the salmon on top of the asparagus and onions. Spread the mustard paste on top of the salmon.
  • Return the sheet to the oven and bake for 12 minutes. Salmon is done when the flesh flakes with gentle pressure. Serve the salmon on top of the veggies as is.

Now feel your mouth and heart smile... 

Arsenic and Old… Rice?!

Man planting seeds in a spring garden

During one of my presentations on nutrition, recently, I was asked about the concern of high levels of arsenic in rice. Since this was not a topic I was familiar with, I promised to do some research and write about this topic in a future post. The results are included here for your information. Please share.

Arsenic is a natural mineral in the earth's crust. Arsenic has also been released into the environment through the use of pesticides and poultry fertilizer, therefore, it's in our soil and water. I was quite surprised when I looked into this. I used to live on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, in a county with high levels of arsenic in the water, so I was very cautious about filtering. Unfortunately, rice tends to absorb arsenic more readily than many other plants. I had no idea at that time about the levels of arsenic in rice.

So the rice, especially the brown rice which Ned and I were consuming 5 out of 7 days a week, is high in arsenic. Organically-grown and conventional rice both contain arsenic and regular exposure to small amounts of arsenic can increase the risk of bladder, lung, and skin cancer, as well as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Perhaps if they'd known this when they made the movie "Arsenic and Old Lace" the old ladies could have served rice wine! But arsenic levels in rice appear to vary based on the variety and the region where it is grown. White rice -- particularly basmati, jasmine and pre-cooked "instant" rice -- tends to have lower concentrations of arsenic than brown rice because arsenic accumulates in rice bran. Rice varieties grown in California or imported from Southeast Asia are often lower in arsenic than rice grown in other parts of the U.S.

In the FDA's recent analysis of approximately 1,300 samples, they found average levels of inorganic arsenic for the various rice and rice products of 0.1 to 7.2 micrograms of arsenic per serving. Serving sizes varied depending on the rice product they tested. For example, one serving of non-Basmati rice equals one cup cooked, whereas one serving of a rice-based snack bar contains only ¼ cup of rice.

I checked the brand that we use, (Lundberg) since it is from California and was pleased that the company CEO addressed this concern on their website. They test each year and have kept their arsenic levels lower than the international (CODEX) standards. CODEX, a joint commission of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization, has adopted a standard for acceptable arsenic levels in rice:  it recommends that governments allow no more than 200 parts of arsenic per billion in white or "polished" rice and no more than 400 parts per billion in brown rice. The European Food Safety Authority has discussed a more restrictive limit of 100 parts per billion of arsenic in foods marketed for infants and children, because children have shown to be more sensitive to arsenic than adults, but it has not come to a final determination. The CODEX recommendations are not meant to imply that 200 or 400 parts per billion of arsenic in rice is safe. Rather, the international body aimed to encourage regulators of individual governments to ban rice with higher concentrations of arsenic from the market.

My plan is to eat less rice. This is what both the EWG and Consumer Reports recommend. I'm now using quinoa several times a week in place of rice. I like the taste, it's a safer grain, and it's also higher in protein.

Links to several reports mentioned here are included so you can do further research yourself if you wish. I did not have enough room here to discuss the many rice products, sugars, etc., in our grocery baskets, but most processed foods contain rice, so your total intake may be higher than you think. Be on the lookout for alternatives to rice-based processed foods like breakfast cereals, rice flour, rice pasta, cakes and crackers. Consumer demand for gluten-free alternatives to wheat-based processed foods has spurred a proliferation of rice-based products, but they're not our only option. Low-arsenic grains include barley, faro, couscous, and bulgur wheat. If you are avoiding gluten, consider amaranth, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, oats, cornmeal, grits, and polenta. Read labels carefully and investigate products with these alternative grains.

And thank you to the ladies of Cancer House of Hope for asking this question! An informed public is a healthier public!

Best of Health

Kathi

How To Make Chaga Tea

Chaga Tea tastes a bit like coffee. In fact, when I add a little almond milk, it tastes just like the hazelnut coffee that I used to drink years ago.

If you want to read about the benefits of Chaga, check this recent post.  This post also has a short video of our gathering expedition so you can see what it looks like on the trees and a bit about harvesting it. Much more info is available through that know-it-all Google...

chaga big platter full with Ned and Kathi2

So many of my readers asked for more information, so here you go!

To Make Chaga Tea:

Take a piece about the size of a softball and smash it up into very small chunks. We used an old piece of jean material to place the conks in, covered them within the cloth and then pounded them with a hammer. The jean fabric doesn't tear as easily as others so this method worked for us.

This amount will make 2 cups a day - enough for one cup each for 2 people for about a month.

Place those chunks in a glass or stainless pot filled with water and bring to almost boiling. Simmer for about ten mintues, then remove from heat and strain some into a cup. Enjoy!

You can either leave that pot on the stove and continue to add water each day, or you can strain the whole pot into a jar that you use for your daily cup until it's gone, letting the Chaga chunks dry in between cooking. Then when your jar is empty, put the chunks back into the pot fill with water again and heat.

Each time, you'll need to cook the chunks for a little longer - maybe fifteen or twenty minutes more until you get the same dark color and the flavor you like.

Best of Health,

Kathi

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