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I Love MACA

 

Why do I love Maca? Maca root is a highly nutritious root vegetable, but also a wonderful medicinal adaptogen, also known as “Peruvian ginseng”. In today’s day and age, with all of the stressers in our daily lives, adaptogenic herbs and foods are our friends, the more we eat the better we shall feel and thrive. I believe that Maca and other adaptogens should be part of our daily diet.

Maca grows in the high mountainous areas of South America, and has been cultivated as a vegetable crop for thousands of years.

Maca’s has some wonderful positive effects of the body and the mind; especially the endocrine and reproductive system. It is known for its hormone balancing and regulating effects and seems very good for the reproductive health of both men and women. Maca root is said to increase fertility, improve sexual function, improve hormone balance, and help increase energy and stamina. It may also help improve mental health, especially mood, focus and learning. WOW!

In Peru, maca is cooked and eaten like a vegetable. Here, it is more available as a dried powdered root and is considered quite the superfood.

Raw maca powder does not mix well with liquids so I like to use it in baking, as a replacemnt for ordinary flour. You can still mix the raw powder into a smoothie or a no-baked recipe, but it needs to be blended quite well. I recommend about 1 tablespoon once or twice a day, and because it might help boost your energy, I usually take it in the morning or early afternoon.

Maca has a pleasant flavor, and I think it tastes creamy and delicious. Some describe it as similar to butterscotch, and it comes in a variety of colors, most commonly yellow, black, and red. All colors of maca have similar benefits, although specific maca types/colors are thought to be more beneficial for certain medical conditions.

Rich and yummy Maca Blueberry Cocoa Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup frozen blueberries

1-2 Tsp Maca

2 Tbsp Raw Cacao Powder

2 cups coconut milk, full fat in a can

1 Tbsp raw organic honey

OR 1/4 tsp stevia powder extract

bluebery smoothis

Directions:

Put everything in a blender until well combined.

Drink it all yourself or share it with a lucky friend!

Another awesome Maca recipe is Maca Cocoa Coconut Bliss Balls

bliss balls

Ingredients

10 Medjool Dates (about 10-12)
1/3 cup finely chopped Macadamia Nuts
1/3 cup Goji Berries
2 tablespoons Chia Seeds
2 tablesspoons Cacao Nibs
1 tablespoon Maca Powder
1 Teaspoon Raw Honey (VEGAN VERSION – 3-4 drops stevia)
1 Teaspoon Cacao Powder
Dash of Vanilla Extract
Finely shredded Coconut (for rolling them in)

Instructions

Combine dates, chia seeds, cocao powder, vanilla extract and honey in a food processor and whiz up until you get a fairly smooth consistency.

Stir in the goji berries, macadamia nuts and cacao nibs. Feel free to add or take out any of the nuts and seeds, play with the ingredients anf find a blend that you love.

With clean washed hands, start forming into little balls or fun shapes and then roll them  in the shredded coconut.

Then simply enjoy !

 

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Recipe for a Happy Life

I know that I typically use this blog to share food ideas and recipes so that you may be healthier  and feel good in your life. But I have learned that optimal health is not just dependent on what you put in your body, the key to a truly healthy body goes deeper than just what you eat.

As Thanksgiving gets nearer I am always reminded that this is a wonderful time to express appreciation and gratitude. But why limit it to just one day. The key to a happy life, to feeling good, to being truly healthy in mind body and spirit is enhanced by the daily practice of appreciation. And it feels great!
The physical benefits are multiple and include; strengthening the immune system, less aches and pains, lower BP, lowering stress and stress hormones and better sleep, just to name a few. If you practice gratitude you will feel more alive, alert, more joy, optimism and pleasure. Need I say more?
So how can you make appreciation a habit? For some of us, it actually takes a lot of practice so I suggest a few simple techniques. Firstly, when you wake up in the morning, before you get out of bed, think of three things that you are grateful for. You can do this at night before you go to sleep as well. It can be as simple as the feeling you have in your toes, or the sensation of the sheets on your body. Next, as you take your first bite of food or drink, take a moment to appreciate the source of your food, did it come from the earth, who took care of it before it reached your table, imagine the energy it took to grow. When you bite into your food, be grateful for the way the flavor bursts in your mouth and enjoy every bite. Think of all the nutrients that your body is receiving with every morsel and be thankful that you have such rich, nutritious food at your finger tips.
You can actually practice gratitude and appreciation all throughout the day. There is always something to be thankful for in every moment. I tell all of my patients that maybe every time they look at their phone, to use this as a reminder thoughout the day to express your gratitude. You can just think about it, you can journal it, even keep a gratitude jar in your home so that you can visualize all that you are grateful for as the jar continues to fill up. Notice how your heart expands and your life begins to improve and feel better the more that you engage in this magical practice.
Appreciation is a wonderful gift that you can give to yourself before thanksgiving and all year round. When it becomes the way of living, when we practice noticing the little joys in life, everything in our lives appreciates!
In Gratitude…
Alison
 
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Posted by on November 10, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Want to Maximize your Daily Health, Happiness and Pleasure? Try these 10 Healthy Habits

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Your daily checklist to maximize life

Start & End Day w/2 min deep breathing. Set attitude and release stress.

Get up and drink one glass of warm water

Eat 3-5 small meals a day

Balance each meal/snack with Protein, Carbohydrate, Fiber & Good Fats

 Move for ½ hour daily and then at least for 1 min every hour

Drink 1/2 your weight in ounces of water, not bottled water; add lemon or a tsp of apple cider vinegar for bonus health benefits

Say NO to 1 unhealthy lifestyle choice per day 

Say something positive and encouraging to yourself and some-one else today

Minimize the chemical impact on your body: ex-no BPA, Stay away from the dirty dozen (www.EWG.org)

Sleep for 7-8 hours

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Choosing Healthy with Every BIte

There are few things that we truly have control with when it comes to our health. We breathe the air in the city that we live in, we are exposed to radiation and toxins in our environment and of course our genetics, albeit modifyable to a certain degree, can predispose us ot certain ailments regardless. There is however one thing that we have total control of and we do it many times a day, every day for our entire lives. We in fact have total control over what we choose to put in our bodies. So as I have always said, please choose your foods very wisely, your health and that of your family very much depend on it!

Food nourishes us, gives us energy. It is meant to be eaten not only for enjoyment but for nutrition, to feed our cells with all of the nutrients required to live a healthy vitalized balanced life.

If we chose our foods correctly it can become a form of medicine, giving our bodies the nutrients that it needs to stay healthy, enabling every cell to optimize its function, regenerate and rejuvinate. Every time we eat we have this opportunity. Every time we eat we actually have the opportunity to either enhance our health or sabotage it. We can either chose foods that are nourishing healthy and vitalizing or we can choose foods that we know are energy zappers, foods that promote illness, weight gain, fatigue and general malaise. This may in fact be a new way for you to look at eating but I can guarantee that if you do this, if you look at food as your source of healing, a source of healing that you actually fully have control over then it will not only improve the choices in foods that you make but every time you eat you will actively be sending positive healing messages to every cell of your body, consciously and subconsciously.

For example, if you are eating fried foods, processed foods laden in sugar and drinking sodas or to many sugary beverages the message you are sending clearly says, I do not care about my health and what will follow is possible malaise, fatigue, bloating, weight gain or depression.

On the other hand, if we feed ourselves with healing food every bite can be a reminder that we are actively choosing health. When we select foods that are not healthy we sabotage this healing potential. We send the message to all of our cells that we do not care and that we are not wanting health. Every bite should be filled with the intention that ‘this bite is healing, helping my body stay balanced, helping my cells function optimally, making me feel amazing’. The body and mind receive this information, registering it and processing it along with the food to enhance your health. You will then feel good mentally and physically.

This week make the decision to choose healthy with every bite. If you feel that an entire week is too much, then start with Monday, just Monday and let me know how it goes!

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2014 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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Scrumptious Pie Crust; healthy, raw & gluten free

With berry and cherry season well on its way I know some of you out there must be making lip-smacking, scrumptious pies. I had a client ask me how to make a crust that is gluten-free and still tasty. I upped the ante: here is one that is gluten-free, raw, incredibly healthy and super delicious!

INGREDIENTS

1.5 cups Almonds Soaked  overnight

1 cup Walnuts Soaked  overnight

Rinse, pat the nuts dry

1 cup Dates, pitted, soaked in water

Dash of Sea Salt

Vanilla extract (optional)

In a food processor or high-speed blender, process all ingredients. You can even toss in a few cinnamon currant flackers for more omega 3’s and extra fiber. Use a tsp or a tbsp of water, if necessary to form dough texture.

 Press into a pie pan or plate and voila! Enjoy….

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Feeling sluggish? Fresh ideas to energize…

When most people feel fatigued, sugar or coffee is usually the go to stimulant. Since it is summer and I will hopefully soon to be in bathing suit swimming by the lake, I am doing everything I can right now to avoid the Michelin belly tire effect.That means less sugar, less processed empty carbohydrate caloric foods. So, when I want more energy, I now turn to protein!

Research published in the journal Neuronin November 2011 suggests that it is protein, not sugar or a caloric infusion, that stimulates the cells we rely on to help us fend off fatigue.The study looked at the effect of a variety of nutrients on orexin cells, which secrete stimulants in the brain that cause us to expend energy and stay awake. Scientists found that the number of nerve impulses generated by orexin cells were increased by the intake of amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Glucose, a simple sugar found in the usual go to pick me up snacks that we choose when we are tired actually blocked these impulses.

The research clearly suggests that the type of nutrients we ingest can have a big impact not just on our health and weight, but also on our day-to-day energy levels, alertness and ability to focus and concentrate.

So where do I get this fabulous protein filled pick me up? Lately I have been experimenting with bean muffins that I also make with flax seeds or psyllium to give me that extra fiber bonus of satiety, feeling fuller for longer. Yesterday at work I had one of those, a big glass of H2O and then a few almonds and I felt regenerated within 20 minutes-  and no coffee was involved!

Protein can be found in all meats of course, but I prefer vegetarian choices like, seeds, nuts, flackers with humus, yogurt and of course you can make a protein shake with whey, hemp, greens and even berries.

So the next time you need a boost, move away from the candy jar and try this alternative, a protein-rich nutritious energizing food instead. let me know what happens to your energy and your waistline!

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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