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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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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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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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Flu Prevention & Healing Remedies

I just spent two weeks straight seeing sick people at the Urgent Care and I have to say that it is officially cold and flu season here in Minnesota. There are so many good ways to boost your immune system; get your daily dose of vitamin d, get good restful sleep, eat a lot of nutrient dense green leafies and plenty of citrus fruit to get your vitamin C levels up. Also, during this flu season I like to add fresh garlic to things. Garlic is a wonderful anti-bacterial and antiseptic plus it tastes fabulous.

For a sore throat and overall immune boosting activity try the following brew…it works!

Cut up 2 organic lemons, drop them in a small mason jar. Finely grind 1/2 – 1 fresh ginger root. Add 1 tsp. cinnamon or pumpkin spice. Add 1/8 tsp cayenne or if this is too much heat for you can do 1/4 tsp black pepper

Pour in some of your favorite raw local honey or organic manuka healing honey and sweeten to your likeness.

Stir well. Store in the fridge.

Take 1 teaspoon 3-4 times a day (or more if desired). Can be added to a cup of cold or warm water or tea.

If you want to be even more aggressive one or even two fresh cloves of Garlic can be your best friend. You can eat raw if you dare, chop up and place in a tsp of honey or add extra to your humus or guac, and I mean extra. Garlic is a natural anti-bacterial agent and works great to keep you cold and flu free.

I also make sure that I keep elderberry syrup in my house at all times. I usually take the above with one tsp of Sambucol. It is a fabulous anti-viral aid and it tastes wonderful too.

To your health and to a flu free 2013!

 

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Beet greens – delicious recipe

I bought some beets at the framer’s market yesterday and they were tiny, but still little gems of red goodness. There was definitely more leafy stuff then beets and so I thought hmm… green and dark red leafy, has to be good for you, now how to make it taste good?

So I washed them well, dried them and chopped them up, stems and leaves. In a pan I added sesame oil, sesame seeds, (black because they have more calcium), garlic, a dab of seas salt and stir fried them up. They were super rich tasting and really delicious! I had some plain and then ate a few over savory flax crackers…amazing!

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Raw or cooked, that is the question?

Garlic: raw for the antimicrobial properties and the cardio-protective nutrient allicin. If you chose to cook your garlic, cook it on low temp. The wonderful aroma of garlic cooking is actually the allicin blowing in the wind.

Tomatoes: cooked. They have more of the anti-cancer phytonutrient lycopene when cooked, especially potent when cooked with a little olive oil.

Zucchini: cooked. Squash delivers more beta carotene, a building block for vitamin A when cooked.

Bell peppers: Raw. Cooking will damage the b vitamins, so enjoy your peppers raw.

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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An Aspirin a day keeps the doctor away?

The old adage used to be ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’, today it has changed to ‘an aspirin a day,,,” But with these new findings, I think it is time once again to go back to the apple!

Daily aspirin use was associated with a higher-than-expected increase in the risk for major bleeding in an Italian study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.Millions of people take aspirin every day! Daily aspirin therapy has been proven to lower the risk for a second heart attack or stroke in people who have already suffered one. The treatment’s usefulness for preventing a first heart attack or stroke is apparently not so clear anymore.

As the doctor in the kitchen I am thinking why take that unnecessary risk. ” Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food!” If you want to protect your heart try a daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts, flax seeds and oily cold water fish. Add a little garlic to the mx and voila, you have the perfect blend of heart healthy natural blood thinning, no side effects medicine that tastes good too!

 

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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