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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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Quench your thirst with these hydrating foods

I know it’s really hot out there but I am totally loving this last blast of summer. Having said that, in this weather many of us feel really tired and listless and it is not only because of the heat. One of the first signs of dehydration is fatigue so it’s important to stay mindful about getting enough fluids and electrolytes. Today, quench your thirst with my favorite top 3 hugely hydrating foods, all of which are at least 90% water by weight and the best part, they can all be found growing now in the garden.

Cucumber’s have the highest water content of any solid food and they are growing like mad right now in my garden!  They are great on their own with a dab of sea salt or else chopped up into salads, or sliced up and served with some hummus, guacamole or any of your favorite dips. If you want to pump up cucumber’s hydrating nourishing power even more try blending it with organic greek yogurt, mint (also now abundant in the garden) and ice cubes to make a fabulous soup. Chilled, this cucumber soup is extremely refreshing and so delicious.

My next favorite food quencher are tomatoes. 94% water content and packed with lycopene these homegrown beauties are is season right now and so available in abundance, all varieties are good for you, heirloom are extra special and totally delicious. Slice them up and sprinkle a little sea salt or else toss in your salad, guacamole or make a into fresh salsa with a little basil or cilantro, onions and garlic. You can throw in a few cukes as well for extra quenching affects.

Radishes have a huge water content: 95.3%. These refreshing root vegetables should be a fixture in your end of summer salads. They provide a burst of spicy-sweet flavor and color in a small package, and more importantly they’re filled with antioxidants such as catechin also found in green tea. Their crunchy texture also makes radishes a perfect addition to healthy coleslaw; slice them up with shredded cabbage and carrots, sliced snow peas, and chopped hazelnuts and parsley, and toss with poppy seeds, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

 

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Stay Svelte and healthy with more red wine and greens

There are many pill and over the counter options available today for weight loss and appetite suppression but most are not healthy, some are  downright dangerous, and the available pharmaceutical choices have the potential to be quite harmful if not taken properly. My goal with all of my clients who are interested in keeping themselves svelte is to also consider their health. So how do you stay svelte and healthy and do so in a natural, non pharmaceutical, safe effective way? Chose your food wisely and then it will also be your medicine; here are some tips;

Everyone knows that spinach, kale and other leafy greens are packed with important antioxidants and nutrients. What’s less known is that these veggies come with built-in appetite regulators. I recently posted s blog on Thylakoids so forgive me for repeating myself but it is pertinent here. Thylakoids are a compound found in the green leaves of vegetables that triggers the sensation of fullness. In essence, thylakoids are considered a naturally occurring appetite suppressant that can help people regulate food intake, prevent weight gain, and promote weight loss. In addition we know that most leafy greens are also packed with fiber, this will also create a sensation of fullness.

Thylakoids in the plant will delay digestion by binding to fats and they also trigger the release of cholecystokinin, another natural chemical in our bodies that is a key signal of fullness or satiety. If that is not enough, the discovery also shows that increased consumption of thylakoids can also raise leptin levels. Leptin plays a key role in regulating hunger, and cravings, especially after meals.

And for those of us who enjoy a glass of vino, here is more good news….(As if you needed another reason to enjoy a good glass of red wine.) Researchers from Purdue University have found that a compound called piceatannol found in red wine prevents or delays immature fat cells from developing into mature fat cells. Not a drinker? The same compound exists in the seeds and skin of red grapes and blueberries. As I mentioned, I am a fan of eating my nutrition and using my food as my medicine. Blueberries and the skins of red grapes are also packed with fiber and tons of anti-oxidants so many really good reasons to indulge! Note that I usually opt for organic when I can with grapes and blueberries to minimize my pesticide exposure.

So tonight after your glass of wine when you are relaxed and enjoying your evening, maybe have some extra greens for dinner and then berries for dessert. Red wine and greens for the new healthy svelte you!

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Amazing Watermelon-Lemonade

So glad it is watermelon season…yum!

Water melon is juicy, refreshing, sweet and packed with tons of vitamins and antioxidants; a great source of vitamin C, A and contains the super mix of B vitamins and magnesium which are great for energy, mood and balancing the effects of stress in your body. In addition, water melon is a fabulous source of lycopene, a potent antioxidant. It contains higher amounts of lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable and has almost double the lycopene of tomatoes. I could easily stop here and watermelon would still be a winner but there is more! Watermelon is rich in water, obviously… so very rehydrating, and it has a balance of electrolytes including sodium and potassium; so very replenishing on a warm summer day.

Below is a fabulous Watermelon/Strawberry (optional) Lemonade Recipe:

  • 8 cups watermelon
  • 4 lemons, juice from and a dab of rind if using organic lemons
  • 1 cup strawberries (organic only – think dirty dozen)
  • Maybe a dab of stevia or truvia or agave (to taste, you will probably not need it if your fruit is ripe)

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. You can also freeze this delightful refreshing beverage in ice cube trays and use instead of ice to add flavor and nutrients to your water or just to suck on a hot summer day!

 

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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What’s not to Love about Kale…

In the mornings I love to take my cup of tea or coffee kale cabbage saladkaleand me out to the garden and peruse. What’s amazing is that despite the super cold winter, there a few kale plants that have popped up from hardy seeds that I threw in last year. And if you know me you also know that I love my kale, so I am extremely delighted.

What’s not to love about kale?

1. kale is a superfood, need I say more? Yes I will- It’s a member of the Brassica family of vegetables, which include cabbage and brussels sprouts which have gained quite the reputation as potential cancer-fighting foods. Kale is packed with the organosulfur compounds that may lessen the occurrence of some cancers. Studies also suggest that the phytonutrients in kale and other Brassicas may actually help the liver neutralize potentially cancerous substances.

2. Kale is full of beta-carotene, an important nutrient for good vision also the prevention of cataracts.

3. Kale is also an excellent source of vitamin C, just one cup will give you 88% of your RDA od vitamin C which is great fro your immune system and helpful for protection against viruses like the common cold as well as the flu.

4.,Kale is rich in minerals, such as iron, manganese, calcium and potassium. Potassium is excellent to help reduce blood pressure. Calcium is needed for optimal bone integrity.

5. A cup of kale provides 10.4% of the daily value for fiber, which has been shown to reduce high cholesterol levels. Fiber can also help out by keeping blood sugar levels under control, so kale is an excellent vegetable for people with diabetes.

 
I may have shared this salad with you last year but that was oh so long ago and this is tradition so here is one of my favorite raw super healthy recipes….
 
Raw Kale Avocado Salad
 
1 bunch kale, take leaves off the stem and place in bowl and chop (about 8 to 10 cups)
1 avocado, diced
1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked for 6 to 8 hours
Dressing:
3 to 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 to 2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt and/or kelp
freshly ground black pepper
 
optional: mushrooms, red onion, shallots, grated carrots, beets, tomatoes, chopped parsley, dill, arugula would all be delicious. …you get the message, add what you love. Sometimes I even add my broken up flackers (http://www.drinthekitchen.com/) for more flavor, crunch and extra good omega-3 oils.
 
Chop the kale into small pieces and add it to a large bowl. In a smaller, separate bowl whisk together the dressing. Add the dressing to the salad and gently massage it into the kale with your hands. This will soften it almost immediately. Then add the diced avocado and whatever other vegetables you like. Drain and rinse the sunflower seeds and add them to the salad as well. Gently toss together and yum!
 
KALE CHIPS

1 clove garlic

  • 1 C Cashews, soaked at least 8 hours, rinsed and drained or you can use cahew butter as well
  • 1/4 C Nutritional Yeast*
  • 1/3 C water
  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp Chipotle (spice)
  • Pinch Sea Salt

With processor running, drop in garlic and mince. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth. Pour over kale chips in a bowl and massage until kale is coated. Bake on high in oven until crisp or dehydrate on screens at 115 for 4-6 hours or until crisp. *Nutritional yeast is not raw but used frequently in raw food recipes.

 

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Decadent, delicious, divine, to die for, super healthy dessert

chocolate puddingIf you have been reading my blog you know that I have a strong relationship with chocolate. Actually, I just read that over 5,900,000,000 people also share in my decadent habit (according to yahoo.com). Thankfully I can happily satisfy my craving, with no guilt, thanks to the medical research because dark chocolate has numerous health benefits being so rich in antioxidants;phytosterols and polyphenols. Avocados the next main ingredient in this recipe is also a ‘super food’, rich in monounsaturated fats, it is filled with anti-inflammatory beneficial fats and anti-oxidants as well. So this delicious dessert is a no brainer and easy to make and as the title says purely decadent! 

Anyway, so armed with this little bit of knowledge about the health benefits of chocolate and avocados, I was ready to start experimenting in the kitchen, determined to turn this into the best raw chocolate pudding anyone has ever tried.

Here are a few variations that really work and taste divine. Just remember for optimal palate pleasure serve this chilled, it tastes much better …

with dates and honey….

1 medium avocado (ripe)

1/2 cup dates

2 1/2 tablespoons raw cocoa powder

1/4 cup water + 1/8 cup water

1 1/2 tablespoons organic local honey

1/8 teaspoon celtic sea salt (or less)

1. Throw these raw chocolate avocado pudding ingredients into a high-speed blender. Start blending on slow and then up the blending speed to high.

2. Blend until looks consistent with pudding. If you have a good blender (AKA Vitamix or Blendtec) then you should be able to get this super smooth.You may need to add a tiny bit of extra water to facilitate blending

chill, enjoy!

Best for kids; with banana, almond milk, cinnamon…..

  • 2 avocados – peeled, pitted, and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 to 1 ripe banana, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup raw cocoa powder (or more to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup or agave nectar (more to taste if needed.
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp almond or cashew butter (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • pinch of salt

The Directions: Put everything in a blender and blend until smooth! Serve chilled.

My favorite way because it has no sugar…stevia:

  • 1 ripe organic avocado
  • 1/2 cup homemade or store bought almond milk
  • 1-1/2 TBSP raw cacao powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 15 drops liquid stevia
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of chipotle chile powder or cayenne. I like it hot!
  • Optional toppings: raw cacao nibs, raw almonds, raspberries, chia seeds, cinnamon currant flackers

Instructions

  1. Halve and scoop flesh from avocado.
  2. Add almond milk, to Blendtec (or food processor), followed by avocado, raw cacao powder, vanilla, stevia, cinnamon, salt, chipotle powder.
  3. Blend or process until smooth and creamy.
  4. Taste to adjust sweetness. Raw cacao seems to require plenty of sweetness to round it out. If using stevia, add two or three drops at a time until you’ve achieved your ideal balance.
  5. Spoon into serving dishes and top with raw almonds and cacao nibs. Don’t skip adding something crunchy! The contrast of smooth and velvety with crispy is fabulous.
 
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Posted by on April 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Spring Forward; Cleanse & Energize

Sprouts  happySpring is my favorite time of year. The grey and white world of winter blossoms into vibrant colors and greens. It is the perfect time to be thinking about a cleanse; to lessen our bodies’ burden of harmful chemicals and to refresh; restore balance and revitalize. By following these simple effective internal spring cleaning tips you can help your body detoxify and restore your systems’ balance, optimal health and abundant energy.

  1. Increase healthy liquids: Simply increasing healthy liquids, will shift your bodies’ balance strongly toward improved elimination and less toxin buildup. Healthy fluids help dilute and eliminate toxin accumulations, pure water being the most important detoxifier. It helps clean us through our skin and kidneys, and it improves our sweating with exercise. Try and eliminate all stimulants like coffee and chemical drinks, like sodas, alcohol and enjoy the purifying effects of healthier liquids such as water (1/2 your weight in ounces per day) along with herb teas, and teas high in anti-oxidants such as green tea or red tea (rooibios).You can also enhance the detoxifying benefits of water by adding a tsp of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and consume ten minutes prior to eating every meal.

 

  1. Fiber is a wonderful detoxification supporter, helping to cleanse and pull toxins from the intestines. I recommend adding chia seeds, fresh ground flax seeds or flackers to your daily menu. This will provide your body with excellent fiber, plant lignans and healthy fats known as omega-3 fatty acids. Other good sources of fiber are fresh vegetables and fruit, especially berries.

 

  1. To help maximize your spring cleaning program, increase your intake of organic fresh fruits, herbs and vegetables. Have at least three colors of vegetables with every meal, add medicinal cleansing potent anti-oxidants filled herbs to your food; cilantro, onions, parsley, dandelion, and garlic. To help promote optimal liver function, the main detoxification center in our bodies, I suggest 1-2 servings of artichokes and 2-3 servings of brassica family (broccoli sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, kholrabi) per day. These foods will promote healthy digestion, increase flow of bile and help with the elimination of harmful environmental chemicals and heavy metals.

And finally, get outside and play, enjoy and move your body. Your body will love you and you will feel fabulous!

To your optimal health,

Alison Levitt, MD

 

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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