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Food as my medicine cabinet? You Betcha!

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
This is naturally fermented apple cider that has not been pasteurized and still contains probiotics, enzymes and minerals. I am not quoting from the medical literature here but experience which to me is valid. This can help to restore proper ph levels in your body, it’s an immune booster, will help cut a cough and runny nose, as well as flu symptoms, it’s anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal and can be taken daily during the winter months to help fight infections!  It’s also great for yeast infections, skin/intestinal detox, and digestive disorders. Simply mix with raw honey with apple cider vinegar and make apple tea. We use tons of it in flackers as well so enjoy and eat up guilt free.
Ginger:
Yes, good ol fashion just plain ginger root that you can find in the produce department is quite the magical healer! Clinical studies have shown that ginger is helpful for reducing nausea, especially for long car rides, and pregnant ladies.. Simply peel off the tough outer layer and slice off a few inches.  I typically use about an inch of the root and slice it into thin discs and then add then to a hot cup of water.  Allow it to seep for 10-15 minutes and enjoy with some raw honey for a wonderful, soothing and warming tea.

Raw Honey

This is unadulterated honey that has not been heated, changed altered or pasteurized, so it retains all of the natural enzymes and healing properties present from nature. Because of raw honey’s enzymes and minerals and trace amounts of pollen, it makes a fabulous cough suppressant and healing agent.  It is also naturally antimicrobial, which again helps with sore and irritated throats and can also be used on cuts, shallow topical abrasions and boo boos to ward off infection.
1 tsp raw honey
1/4 tsp of cinnamon mixed and yum! great for colds and coughs
Garlic

Garlic contains allicin which has strong antimicrobial effects. I have read can be equivalent to anywhere from 1% to 20% of a standard penicillin dose. It also contains sulphur compounds, this is where much of it’s healing power is, as well as vitamins C and B, flavanoids (antioxidants), and the trace minerals selenium and germanium (excellent for cancer prevention among other things).

The active components in garlic are heat sensitive and fairly volatile, and therefore most of it’s benefit will be lost if the garlic is cooked. Please, by all means, continue to cook with lots of garlic just because it tastes amazing  but for optimal medicinal use, it must be eaten and crushed raw to truly be effective.

Chamomile Tea:

Chamomile is a small, daisy-looking flower that has been used since ancient times to calm the nervous system, relive anxiety and aid in digestion. It is easiest taken as a tea. I like to mix it with peppermint or ginger as a remedy tea wonderful for aiding in digestion. It’s great for calming down little ones too, especially before bed; I know…and your welcome moms (: It can also sometimes work for relieving stress headaches although I also use a dab of lavender oil for these as well.
 
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Posted by on September 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Yogurt; the good, the bad, what you need to know

A few of my friends are truly obsessed with Greek Yogurt and I do get this obsession. Yogurt can be a good food. Most contain good bacteria to promote optimal GI health. Most, especially Greek Yogurt, contain high amounts of protein- so great filling snack or meal replacement on the go. Yogurt can also be quite diverse in that you can buy so many flavors or you can be creative with your own and add super healthy ingredients to it like; chia or flax seeds or even flacker bits or a handful of seedsters for that matter (to add fiber and more nutrient to this already dense nutritious food). And all that is really good….

Having said that I have a few beefs about yogurt that I need to share and I hope that you digest this information well. First of all the most popular brands on the market today are not organic, nor are they necessarily GMO-free. So buyer beware! You may be eating antibiotics, pesticides, hormones and other evil things unless you choose to buy organic, non-gmo yogurt. In addition, I also consider the health of the cows. If the milk is not organic then these cows are likely filled with antibiotics and other chemicals because their living conditions are so bad that they need them to remain free of disease.

The other issue is that a lot of products on the market today have probiotics in them. There is no way to know if these probiotics are alive and active and also if they actually survive the acidity of the stomach and get to the large intestine, where they are needed. Most of us, with good reason, just assume that this must happen but it is not always the case. So if you truly need probiotics for health purposes then you may want to consider a supplement with a known dose of bacteria and one that ensures optimal activity.

 
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Posted by on September 12, 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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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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Breaking Edible News! Cruciferous leafy greens have serious beneficial GI and immune effects

kale cabbage saladOver the weekend my neighbors invited me for dinner and made this fabulous kale and brussel sprouts salad. ( my version of the recipe below) Apparently I was seriously craving fresh greens because I am pretty sure I ate about 3/4 of the salad myself (sorry Ed and Mary- but I cannot resist delicious and healthy).  

Last night when I was thinking about the salad and my mouth began to water I looked in the fridge found a fresh batch of dinosaur Kale, parsley, lemons, garlic and was immediately excited for another batch of super green salad (minus brussel sprouts) but I was ok with that. This morning I woke up and saw this article and I just had to share….

A new study shows that consuming green cruciferous vegetables may control the activity of vital immune cells by activating a gene in the GI system called t-bet. These immune cells help the body prevent infection caused by abnormal bacteria in the GI system. They are possibly also implicated in playing a role in food allerigies, inflammation, obesity even cancer. Apparently when we eat cruciferous vegetables, they can interact with the cell surface in the GI system to activate these genes that turn on these immune cells.

So lap up those cruciferous greens. Here is one super salad recipe….

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot or red onion
  • 1-2 small garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large bunches of Tuscan kale (about 1 1/2 pounds total), center stem discarded, leaves thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces brussels sprouts, trimmed, finely grated or shredded with a knife
  • 1/4-1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • optional; 1 cup/batch of fresh parsley ( I love a lot of parsley). Clean and de-stem and chop finely. also can shred carrots or cabbage or beets as well

Combine lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, parsley and a pinch of pepper in a small bowl. Stir to blend; set aside to let flavors meld. Mix thinly sliced kale and shredded brussels sprouts in a large bowl.

Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.  Garnish with flackers, almonds or dried fruit or fresh fruit or cheese of your choice or fake cheese of your choice…enjoy!

http://www.nutraingredients.com/Research/Leafy-greens-may-boost-gut-immunity-Study?nocount

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Love, Health and Chocolate

darkchocolateNothing says I love you better than sweet, velvety, creamy chocolate melting you into the world of cocoa and its heart loving antioxidants and healing polyphenols. In fact, raw cocoa powder and dark chocolate (greater than 60%) have the same polyphenol content and greater antioxidant and flavanol content of many popular super fruits. 

Aside from its physical health benefits, dark chocolate is also known as a mind altering ‘feel-good food’. Studies have shown that eating a few ounces of dark chocolate per day improved people’s moods. Add to that the combination of the emotional response when eating chocolate -the smooth creamy texture, sweet aroma, and good memories it produces, along with its dash of caffeine and wow, chocolate becomes the most fabulous happy food.

So this Valentine’s day, indulge and enjoy.

And for your optimal health, pair your gift with a box of flackers; crunchy, savory, high in protein, fiber and  omega-3 -these snacks are the perfect balance to chocolate. And we all know that love and health are all about balance!

So this Valentine’s Day declare your love to yourself or to that special person with two of my favorite healthy things flackers and chocolate!

Much love, much health!

Dr in The Kitchen…Alison Levitt, MD

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Super Bowl Amazing Guacamole

flackers guac tomatoesApparently when the Superbowl frenzy hits America, the sales of guacamole and chips escalate. Since I am not the biggest fan of football (did I really admit to that today?) but I adore guacamole I thought this is a win win situation for everyone. I will share my easiest recipe with you and you can eat this healthy dip guilt free even while being a potential couch potato for a few hours this evening. Having said that before I give you that famous guacamole recipe of mine, do not forget that yo can have a guilt free night bu eating these with flackers www.flackers.com instead of, or at least with chips. Also, you perhaps I can encourage everyone to move their stairmaster into their living room tonight and then you can actually feel even more a part of the evening event with your own heart racing and your own adrenaline rushing naturally…just a thought (:

OK, my guacamole recipe…

Ingredients:

4 avocados, mashed
Juice of two limes
3 garlic cloves, freshly pressed
4 green onions, thinly sliced

1/2 red onion
1 teaspoon cumin, ground

1 jalapeños, diced

salt and pepper to taste

Method

Mix avocado with lime juice and then stir in garlic, onions, cumin, and jalapeños, easy si?

Enjoy!!!!

Nutrition

Per serving (about 4oz/109g-wt.): 150 calories (120 from fat), 13g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 10mg sodium, 9g total carbohydrate (6g dietary fiber, 1g sugar), 2g protein

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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