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Super Charge Your Health With This Amazing Yummy Elixir

My sweet friend, I will call her L, is on prednisone, and she asked me what else she can do or take that would work as an anti-inflammatory. This is the first thing that came to my mind; my anti-inflammatory ginger turmeric honey elixir.This super anti-inflammatory booster is amazing, healthy, yummy and I just love it! It tastes incredible in tea or just on it’s own, dissolved in hot water. It would probably also be yummy nice to use in cooking or on a piece of bread. I have been adding a large spoon of this in a cup of my daily green & peppermint tea and am good to go!

I strongly believe that consuming this elixir daily will keep you feeling fabulous, and help you to stay healthy.It is filled with anti-inflammatory, antibacterial ,digestive supportive and detoxification enhancing properties. All in one tsp of yummy sweet goodness.

And so here is the recipe L, and like I said, everyone, everyone should consume this daily.

GINGER TURMERIC HONEY ELIXIR

Notes: this super booster elixir takes only 5 minutes to whip up and will yield about 1/2 cup. You can store it in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for about about one week.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup local, organic raw honey

1 teaspoon organic lemon zest

1 tablespoon ground organic turmeric

1 tablespoon powdered or raw freshly grated ginger

moderate pinch of black pepper to activate the turmeric

2 tablespoons raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar

Whisk your ground turmeric in a small mixing bowl or with a mortar + pestle to loosen all clumps smooth into a fine powder.

Then add in the honey, GINGER, lemon zest, black pepper and apple cider vinegar and whisk or stir until smooth.

Ginger is a marvelous root that you can purchase raw or dried in almost every supermarket. It has antibiotic effects and can help digestion, detoxification, infections, inflammation, joint pain, circulation, nausea (also pregnancy nausea) and motion sickness.

Turmeric is a known strong antioxidant and has been used as traditional Ayurvedic medicine throughout history for cooking, to cleanse the whole body, especially the liver;  to support digestion, treat fever, wound infections and inflammation. The active ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin and has been proved to have similar effects as anti-inflammatory medicine. Turmeric and black pepper is a great pair to match. The black pepper helps to enhance the bioavailability of curcumin by a thousand times. Turmeric has a slight bitter taste but blends very well with other flavors.

How To consume:

As a warm tonic — mix 1 tablespoon of this elixir with one glass of warm water + ( tea bag of your choice…optional) then sip

On toast or baked goods — a teaspoon or two as a spread on top

In a smoothie — blend in a tablespoon

As is — 1 large spoonful daily

Enjoy!

 

Just Say NO to Toxic Plastic…Is It Possible?

I often wonder what it would be like if I eliminated all plastic in my life; probably very challenging. Think about it, plastic is everywhere; lining our cans, bottles that we drink from, bags and containers where we store our food, most cosmetic containers including shampoos and creams-plastic is everywhere. And yet most plastic is quite toxic.

I try and live a non toxic life and yet when I think about it, when I look around my house, there is plastic everywhere. We/I buy organic foods that is in cans lined with toxic plastic or we store our high quality food in plastic containers. We buy pure, spring water from Fiji or Italy that is stored in a plastic bottle. Really? It does not make any sense.

But this is the world that we live in today and unless you are seriously committed to getting the plastic out of your life the least we can do is consider limiting our toxic exposure. Here are some tips on how I have done this in my life.

As an aside, I was also thinking too that it would be so wonderful if one day a large influential company like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s would step up and really own that they are supporting health and not just consumerism and just said no to plastic. If anyone out there wants to start a movement, I am in! After you read this, let me know…

1. Avoid the worst common plastics

Identify the type of plastic of a product by looking at the recycling symbol molded on the item. This is a number from 1 to 7 surrounded by three chasing arrows forming a triangle. The three following plastics are common and are significantly harmful. I suggest you start by just avoiding these 3 as much as you can.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC #3): A very toxic plastic that often containing multiple unsafe additives, including lead and phthalates. Still used for some toys, clear food and non-food packaging (e.g., cling wrap), some squeeze bottles, cooking oil and peanut butter jars.

Polystyrene (PS #6): Contains styrene, which is toxic to the brain, nervous system, and various organs. Used in Styrofoam containers, egg cartons, disposable cups and bowls, take-out food containers and most plastic cutlery.

Polycarbonate (Other #7):  #7 is actually a catch-all category including any plastic resin that does not come within the first six categories. Typically it contains BPA, which has been linked to numerous health problems. Used in some baby bottles (though increasingly banned in baby bottles by countries around the world), clear plastic “sippy” cups, sports water bottles, juice and ketchup containers, and in three and five gallon large water storage containers, and most metal food can liners.

Would you like to learn more about the different plastic types? Take a look at our sections on Common Plastics #1 to #7 and Other Plastic Types.

2. Refuse plastic bags and bring your own reusable bags wherever you go 

3. Avoid bottled water and bring your own reusable water bottle or mug with you when you go out

4. When buying canned goods make sure that they are labelled BPA free

5. Use non-plastic containers for food 

To your health!

Happy Friday Everyone

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Should You Avoid Broccoli and Kale if you have Thyroid Disease?

Cruciferous vegetables like: broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, collards, arugala, watercress, and cabbage contain a dramatic incredible array of phytonutrients with potent health benefits. There is also information circulating suggesting that if you have thyroid disorders, that you need to avoid eating these powerhouse foods because they are goitrogenic and can aggrevate your thyroid especially if you have Hashimoto’s disease. But is this truth?

After you read all the health benefits of these amazing superfoods, you will certainly not want to eliminate them from your diet, even if you have thyroid disease. In fact, you will likely want to run to the store and make sure that your dinner plate is full of them tonight.

But what if you have thyroid disease? Are these safe to eat? Well, as you read on you will also find out more about the truth regarding whether or not you really have to avoid these foods if you have thyroid disease or not. But first, here are some of the amazing benefits of cruciferous vegetables. They are not only packed with incredible nutrients but also ….

1. May help to lower the risk of developing cancer

2. Lab studies show that one of the phytochemicals found in cruciferous vegetables – sulforaphane – can stimulate enzymes in the body that detoxify carcinogens before they damage cells. Isothiocyanates (ITCs), which are perhaps the best studied, have been shown to provide protection against environmental carcinogen exposure by inducing detoxification pathways, thereby neutralizing potential carcinogens.

3. Another way cruciferous vegetables may help to protect against cancer is by reducing oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is the overload of harmful molecules called oxygen-free radicals, which are generated by the body. Reducing these free radicals may reduce the risk of cancer

4. Diets rich in fish and vegetables (including cruciferous and dark-yellow veggies) may also help to protect against cardiovascular disease

5. In another recent study, diets low in cruciferous and yellow vegetables, wine, and coffee but high in sugar-sweetened soft drinks, refined grains, and processed meat were identified as possibly increasing chronic inflammation and raising the risk of type 2 diabetes

6. Keep in mind too that about half of the fiber in cruciferous vegetables is super-healthy soluble fiber.

7. These vegetables also contain indole-3-carbinol (I3C). Indole-3-carbinol has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer by decreasing estrogen activity.

Need I say more?

Truth: Those poor cruciferous vegetables may have gotten a bad rap for nothing. Goitrogen is a word that was coined in the 1950’s to describe a substance that causes the formation of a goiter, also knows as an enlarged thyroid gland. It can mean a variety of different things ranging from suppressing the release of thyroid hormone to changing the way thyroid hormone gets produced in the body to suppressing the absorption of iodine.

In relation to cruciferous vegetables, they are have been identified as “goitrogenic” because they have the potential to block iodine absorption.

This was a concern in the 1950’s, as then, the primary reason for hypothyroidism was due to iodine deficiency, and any further changes in iodine levels were potentially problematic. However, since public efforts have been made to add iodine to the salt supplies of most industrialized countries, Hashimoto’s has become the primary reason for hypothyroidism, responsible for 90-97% of cases of hypothyroidism in the United States. Iodine deficiency is not wide spread in people with Hashimoto’s, and thus eating cruciferous vegetables (unless a person is otherwise sensitive to them) is perfectly healthy for people with Hashimoto’s and should not impact thyroid function. In the case that a person does have hypothyroidism due to iodine deficiency, he/she can still enjoy crucifers as long as they are cooked or fermented. Cooking/fermenting will break down the iodine blocking content. http://www.thyroidpharmacist.com/blog/top-7-hashimotos-food-myths

So tonight whether you have a thyroid disorder or not, why not relax and enjoy these healthy foods. I included a simple recipe for brussel sprouts that is really yummy.

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons organic cold pressed olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt or seal salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

optional: lemon juice

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut off the ends of your Brussels sprouts and cut each one in half. Mix them in a bowl with the organic olive oil, salt and pepper. Place them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes until they are visibly crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.( Use a fork to poke one and see how tender it feels.) You may have to shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly. Some times I like to add some lemon juice as well but this gives it a more tangy taste and so I say that it is optional. Enjoy!

1. Johnston N. Sulforaphane halts breast cancer cell growth. Drug Discov Today 2004;9(21): 908. Rose P, Huang Q, Ong CN, Whiteman M. Broccoli and watercress suppress matrix metalloproteinase-9 activity and invasiveness of human MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 2005;S0041-008X.
2. Seow A, Yuan JM, Sun CL, et al. Dietary isothiocyanates, glutathione S-transferase polymorphisms and colorectal cancer risk in the Singapore Chinese Health Study. Carcinogenesis 2002;23(12): 2055-261.
3. Wu HT, Lin SH, Chen YH. Inhibition of cell proliferation and in vitro markers of angiogenesis by indole-3-carbinol, a major indole metabolite present in cruciferous vegetables. J Agric Food Chem SK, Choi S, et al. Sulphoraphane-induced cell death in human prostate cancer cells is initiated by reactive oxygen species. J Biol Chem 2005; 280(20):19911-19924. Xiao D, Srivastava SK, Lew KL, et al. Allyl isothiocyanate a constituent of cruciferous vegetables inhibits proliferation of human prostate cancer cells by causing G2/M arrest and inducing apoptosis. Carcinogenesis 2003;24(5):891-897.
4. Conaway CC, Wang CX, Pittman B, et al. Phenethyl isothiocyanate and sulforaphane and their n-acetylcysteine conjugates inhibit malignant progression of lung adenomas induced by tobacco carcinogens in A/J mice. Cancer Res 2005 65(18): 8548-8557.

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Ginger brews; My favorite hot and healthy herb plus an amazing delicious recipe

Ginger is one of my favorite hot herbs. It is fabulously versatile, medicinal and a very popular culinary herb in cuisines across the world. Ginger is hot not only because it is spicy but because in the medicinal world, it is also known to lower inflammation which is a common cause of so many illnesses that we are seeing today.  Ginger is abundant in the phytonutrient gingerol, a natural ingredient that relieves bloating and gas. It also facilitates and promotes healthy digestion while improving bowel function. Ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory by reducing the synthesis of pro-inflammatory (inflammation causing) prostaglandins.

Tip:  ginger can be used on inflamed joints to relieve pain just by placing cold pressed ginger juice in a flannel cloth with some castor oil over the affected joint for 5-10 minutes
It is also rich in essential oils, vitamin B, potassium, manganese, copper and magnesium.
I have used it in my practice with pregnant woman to prevent nausea, in fact for centuries ginger has been used in India, China and other Asian countries as a remedy for nausea.

Ginger can be taken in a capsule, eaten fresh and raw, cooked or brewed as a tea.

TIP: You can cut ginger place two to tsp in boiling water and steep for ten minutes. After cooling, optionally you can add honey, pieces of lemon or orange. When I am sick i will brew with a few cloves of garlic (my other favorite herb)

I also just saw this recipe which I cannot wait to try

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peeled, finely chopped ginger
  • 2 cups purified water
  • raw honey (optional)
  • sparkling water
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Preparation:

Boil 2 cups of water, and add the ginger. Reduce the heat to medium low, and let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes.

Take it off the heat and strain.

When serving, use 1 part of ginger syrup and 3 parts of sparkling water. Serve it on the rocks. Sweeten to taste, using raw honey, or stevia, and add some lemon juice.

from http://www.bestherbalhealth.com

Enjoy !

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Sun Protection Smoothies

Since I now live in the sunshine state I have to say that it is has become a daily battle of ‘Alison versus the sun’. I love being outdoors and I especially love being in the beautiful ocean, but I have to say, skin cancer and photo-aging are a constant threat to my current new outdoor type of lifestyle. There are the obvious remedies which involve long sleeves, big hat and plenty of sunscreen (the truth about sunscreen; the good and the bad will likely be the topic of my next blog) but you know me, I am constantly doing my research on ways to protect my health, this time my skin, from the inside out. I strongly believe that we need to always focus on how we are nourishing ourselves from the inside out, and then simultaneously we need to protect ourselves from the outside in.

Here is what I have come up with so far.

It is hard to directly correlate and test the role of food in preventing various skin cancer but eating certain foods may definitely help.  Several studies have looked at antioxidants including vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, zinc, and vitamin A, as well as folic acid, fats and proteins, and a variety of whole foods and their role in the possible prevention of skin cancer. While results are not absolutely 100% clear, antioxidants may offer some protection from skin cancer.

substances that may help protect your skin from sun-related damage:

  • Apigenin, a flavonoid found in vegetables and fruits, including broccoli, celery, onions, tomatoes, apples, cherries and grapes, and in tea and wine
  • Curcumin, found in the spice turmeric
  • Resveratrol, found in grape skins, red wine, and peanuts
  • Quercetin, a flavonoid found in apples and onions

The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Many herbs and herbal combinations are used to prevent and treat cancer in general.

  • Green tea (Camellia sinensis) contains polyphenols, chemicals that are potent antioxidants. Antioxidants get rid of particles in the body called free radicals, which damage DNA. Researchers think free radicals may play a role in cancer. The main polyphenol in green tea is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Scientific studies suggest that EGCG and other green tea polyphenols may prevent skin tumors from starting or growing. .
  • Other herbs with antioxidant and skin-protecting effects include bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), milk thistle (Silybum marianum), ginger (Zingiber officinale), and hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata). Although there are no scientific studies on using these herbs to treat skin cancer, they have been used traditionally to protect the skin.

So this week and upcoming weekend if you plan on sunbathing or being outdoors, before you head outside and after you slather on your non nano zinc sunscreen, maybe indulge in a cup of green tea or blend it all together in a  smoothie along with apples, ginger, carrots and a few cherries. Cheers to summer and healthy skin!

Carrot apple ginger green tea skin protecting smoothie:

  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium apple, cored
  • 2 large handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger root
  • 4 ounces of filtered water
  • 4 ounces of brewed organic green tea

Start by adding the liquid to your blender, I use my vitamix, followed by the soft fruit. Add the greens to your blender last. Blend on high for 30 seconds or until the smoothie is creamy.

Creamy melon sunscreen smoothie recipe:

3 cups watermelon, 1/2 cup of seeded cherries, chopped
1 cup nonfat organic yoghurt containing probiotic bacteria
1/2 cup green tea brewed from loose leaves, chilled
1 tbsp fresh mint, minced optional
Lemon juice, and a dab of rind, freshly pressed

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until creamy

Enjoy!Mango-Carrot-Smoothie-Culinary-Hill-3

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Estrogen, the good the bad and what you really need to know

Is estrogen good, bad or both? Do I need it? Why is it so confusing???

Let me help…

Estrogen is a very powerful class of hormones produced by the ovaries and the adrenal glands. There are at least two dozen known estrogens, all with various functions; every organ, including the brain, heart, ovaries, and liver, has estrogen-sensitive receptor sites. The most commonly discussed estrogens are estrone, estradiol, and estriol. And we are also exposed to estrogens by supplementation and sadly also in the water we drink and the foods we eat.

The main function of estrogens is to make cells grow and proliferate. They stimulate endometrial cells in preparation for pregnancy, promote breast tissue growth, maintain function of the sexual organs, stimulate the menstrual cycle, and initiate the bodily changes that occur at puberty. If estrogen function and metabolism are out of balance, cells can multiply unnecessarily and this may lead to cancer in some cases amongst other things.

Daily we are ‘over exposed’ to estrogens in our environment. These estrogens are called “xenoestrogens”, foreign substances with estrogen like effects in the body. Xenoestrogens can mimic natural estrogen and block estrogen receptor sites on cells throughout the body. They then activate these receptors to stimulate a hormonal effect or they can also occupy the receptor and block natural hormones from doing what they are supposed to do for health, thus disrupting the normal endocrine activity. As you can imagine, these can have a serious effect on hormone balance, causing health problems including increased cancer rates and infertility

So where do these xenoestrogens come from? Most xenoestrogens are derived from petrochemicals and include pesticides, industrial chemicals, cleaners, plastics including all the water bottles wed rink from and the food containers we eat from. They are also in nail polish, and car exhaust.

Many of these hormone imposters accumulate over time because they are fat soluble; they are easily absorbed through the skin and can be stored in body fat, where they can continue to interfere with the body’s natural hormone balance. These man-made estrogens are everywhere !

So now what? Are we just doomed? No way!! We can make choices in our daily lives that reduce the xenoestrogens in our life.

Here is how. Start with the following and in my next blog I will share with you some fabulous food ideas that can also help to lower the risk of ‘bad estrogens” in your body….

  • Avoid plastics for water and food storage. Use glass or ceramics whenever possible, especially to heat food. When plastic is heated, it rapidly diffuses into food. Use wax paper or a glass plate instead of plastic wrap to cover bowls in the microwave.
  • Use detergents with fewer chemicals. Chemical residue can be absorbed through your skin.
  • Choose shampoos, body soaps, makeup, and lotions that are paraben free.
  • Use natural pest control, not pesticides or herbicides.
  • Buy hormone-free meats; look for organics whenever possible.
  • Buy organic produce to reduce your exposure to herbicides, pesticides, and other chemicals.

To your health!

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Did you know that many common foods cross-react with gluten? Check out this list….

I just saw a client that has migrated by necessity to a gluten free diet and has removed all gluten from her diet for over 3 months. We also did a cleansing of her entire GI tract and healed the damage done by years of exposure to this toxin.

Initially she felt dramatically better but now she says that some of symptoms have come back. Hence this blog. I wanted to share with you that some foods, even though they do not contain gluten, can look like gluten to your immune system and then cause a similar response. I thought that if she needed this info, maybe you do too.

Here is the list:

Coffee, corn, dairy ; including Alpha-Casein, Beta-Casein, Casomorphin, Butyrophilin and Whey Protein. Also; buckwheat, amaranth, chocolate (I know, this is painful one), corn, hemp, millet, eggs, oats, potatoes, rice, sesame, soy, tapioca , yeast and eggs.

Obviously this a long and daunting list and you may not be sensitive to all of these. Yet if you are gluten-intolerant and you are still having issues despite removing gluten from your diet, try eliminating the above foods for at least three weeks to one months and see if your symptoms improve. Then you may reintroduce the above foods one at a time to determine which ones you are having challenges with, if any.

Let me know how it goes.
To your heath!
Dr in The Kitchen

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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