Why is Candy Crush Addicting?

I had to do this post because I was determined to find out why I was wasting time playing a stupid game on my phone and burning precious time!  Apparently I am suffering from an addiction no different from Read more

Spice It Up!

If the only spices you have in your cupboard are salt and pepper, it is time for you to “Kick it up a notch!”  Cooking with fresh herbs not only makes adds fragrance, color, and curb appeal to your dish;  but, it Read more

Natural Easter Egg Coloring

This weekend--many families will be dying eggs to celebrate Easter or Springtime!  Thank Goodness the weather is perking up here in Indiana after a dreadful winter.  Here are some natural ways to color those eggs this year!!! The egg is Read more

The Hormone Reset Diet

Endocrine disruptors are found in so many products--not only in the actual products but in the packaging as well. They have a huge range of negative effects on hormones.  They can increase or decrease hormone production, imitate hormones, and actually Read more

Bone Broth Recipes

Bone Broth Recipe So this is excerpted from the book Nourishing Broth by Sally Fallon Morell and Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN--experts who have been researching bone broth or stock for over 20 years. Apparently there are several typical types of bones Read more

Blue Apron

One of my dear friends and patients sent me an email with a suggestion.  She has been ordering meals from BlueApron.com to accommodate a busy lifestyle without compromising a fresh homemade dinner for her family.  I decided to give Read more

Healing the Gut with Bone Broth

What is bone broth? What the @&*$ is bone broth and why is everyone talking about it and its medicinal benefits.  First, bone broth is simply stock!  Chicken or beef bones are usually used although you can use venison/lamb/pig etc.  Read more

Diets Don't Work

First, I don’t ever advocate dieting . Diets don’t work and the only way to “lose weight” is to get healthy and make a lifestyle change. I agree that our society is ridiculous with such social emphasis on thin, Read more

Why is Candy Crush Addicting?

I had to do this post because I was determined to find out why I was wasting time playing a stupid game on my phone and burning precious time!  Apparently I am suffering from an addiction no different from sugar, drugs, porn etc.  See there is a biochemical reason that we get hooked on these ridiculous games–they are engineered to suck us in and aren’t really any different from the WHEAT and SUGAR that activates our opioid receptors in our brain.  Let’s just pray that Candy Crush isn’t my gateway drug to something more!!!!

Here is why we get so hooked!ff7ea7b56924b1dd389dd4ccbc6fc0cb

 

1.  The colors and graphics activate our brain’s reward system.  Creating patterns of three and being rewarded with zings and popping sounds encourages us to keep playing

2.  They create the opening rounds really easy and this triggers your brain to release mini-shots of dopamine (the feel good hormone).

3.  Once we get sucked into craving dopamine –we start the anticipation of wondering if we can get to the next level. This stimulates our problem solving, memory and spatial recognition.

4.  Here is where they get us—-we are desperate to get to the next level and actually consider paying 99 cents for extra lives.  They also encourage us to continue on by allowing us to share lives with friends on social media.

 

The real point is that we all have addictions that aren’t really our fault.  These games, foods, drinks, and practices are all based on activating our “feel good” hormones in our brains.  That being said, I am working on focusing on finding ways to calm my mind with a more productive passion.  Exercise, Diet, Meditation, Love, Compassion—all can produce the same effects—Baby Steps!

Posted on by Angela in Diet, Exercise, Nutrition 5 Comments

Spice It Up!

If the only spices you have in your cupboard are salt and pepper, it is time for you to “Kick it up a notch!”  Cooking with fresh herbs not only makes adds fragrance, color, and curb appeal to your dish;  but, it enhances the flavor.
I never used fresh herbs because the dried herbs seemed simpler and less expensive, but it’s cheap if you plant your own herb garden.  Spring is the perfect time to do just that!  This year, I decided to start my garden from seeds indoors and it has been much cheaper.  I only have my spinach in the ground as of now.  Here are all my early vegetable starts–radish, pepper, tomato, zucchini, cucumber, onion, beets, squash—
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and here are my herb starts—
basil, dill, cilantro, rosemary, chives, oregano, thyme, mint
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Here is how easy it is to start your own herb garden…..AND FUN!  Here are just a few of the most commonly used herbs:
Rosemary:   My personal favorite.  It is an annual (have to replant it each year), but can grow from late May thru August.  It can flourish with little watering and even though it prefers full sun it can tolerate slightly shady areas.
Basil:  It is also an annual, but once it “takes off” there is no stopping it.  Plant it in various stages.  In other words, plant one or two in May and then another in June and maybe even July.  You can never have too much basil.  At the end of the season, you can take what is left before the first freeze and make pesto sauce.  (I will tell you how to do that later, when we get to that point.)  Basil needs lots of sun and normal watering.  The most important thing to remember is to always take from the top.  You never want it to flower, so keep pinching the tops off.
Chives:  Yea!  Chives are a perennial (comes back without replanting) so if you get a good base and established roots, they will come back time and time again.  Chives are a gimme.  It likes sun, but can tolerate it at dusk or dawn.  For best results you should divide your root “clumps” every 2-3 years.
Cilantro:  Not so easy and personally I think the hardest herb to grow.  It too, is an annual.  Plant it in early spring.  It does great until the end of May and then dies off.  At that point I go to market and buy it at a dollar a bunch.  Not worth the headache at that price.
Dill:  It is technically an annual. However, I have seen dill “pop-up” throughout my yard via the seed that float through air after the season is over.  It is pretty easy to grow.  Like Rosemary, it prefers sun, but can grow in the shade.
Mint:  It is a perennial and will take over your entire yard.  Therefore, I would recommend growing it in a pot or other controlled environment.  Especially, since I don’t know very many uses for it other than it is fabulous in juicing and beverages/desserts.  It likes sun, shade, rain, no rain….beware.
Oregano:  Is also a perennial that needs to be controlled or it will turn into fragrant ground cover.  Now while there are several more uses for oregano, you need to be sure to keep it contained year after year.  Like mint, it requires no TLC and is happy to get what it gets in hopes of being “picked” for that next marinade.
Parsley.  It is a perennial.  It is one of the most commonly used herbs.  In fact, it is probably the only one that most people use fresh or regularly with salt and pepper.  I always keep it in my garden mainly for color.  It honestly costs about $ .75 a bunch at the store.
Sage.  It is a perennial that demands little care.  Most importantly, at the end of the season, cut the stems and split the roots periodically through the years. It likes sun or shade.  Are you beginning to sense a trend….perennials are a piece of cake!
Thyme.  Last but not least.  It can come back, but it does demand care.  It is a slow-growing herb so it’s only request is to keep weeds and all other herbs AWAY!  It needs its space.
Posted on by Angela in Diet, Green Living, Guest Blog, Nutrition, Organic, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Natural Easter Egg Coloring

This weekend–many families will be dying eggs to celebrate Easter or Springtime!  Thank Goodness the weather is perking up here in Indiana after a dreadful winter.  Here are some natural ways to color those eggs this year!!! The egg is widely used as a symbol of the start of new life, just as new life begins when the chick hatches out of the egg.  One of the oldest traditions is to color eggs to celebrate Easter or springtime.
If your family wants a new and natural way to color eggs, here is how you can do it! First, boil eggs in a small sauce pan of water, add a couple of tablespoons of vinegar and then add some of the natural dying material listed below until you get the desired color:
  • Yellow onion skin = yellow
  • Red onion skin = yellowish brown
  • Birch leaves = light green
  • Beetroot peel = brownish-red
  • Blueberries = purple
  • Whole red cabbage leaves = purple
  • Chopped red cabbage leaves = blue
  • Beetroot juice = pinkish-red
You can even use some material that you were going to compost…..HAVE FUN!
Tip: after cooling, rub the eggs with oil and it will make them shiny. Feeling extra creative? Before dying, press little flowers, leaves or any other piece of nature onto the eggs. Put them in a nylon stocking, stretch so it fits tightly around the egg and then tie with a string.  Then, remove the stocking after dying and find a beautiful pattern on the egg.
Posted on by Angela in Family, Guest Blog, Nutrition, Uncategorized, Whole Food 1 Comment

The Hormone Reset Diet

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Endocrine disruptors are found in so many products–not only in the actual products but in the packaging as well.

They have a huge range of negative effects on hormones.  They can increase or decrease hormone production, imitate hormones, and actually turn one hormone into another.  Exposures can lead to serious health benefits ranging from thyroid dysfunction all the way to autism or ADHD.

Here is a quick cheat sheet on what to avoid when looking for safe products:

Soap–triclosan and triclocarban

Sunscreen–SPF>50, retinyl palmitate, oxybenzone and added insect repellant

Toothpaste- triclosan

Nail Polish-formaldehyde,tolulene and dibutyl phthalate

The Environmental Working Group has a great website where you can check the safety of your own products and cosmetics called SKIN DEEP.

Balancing hormones is one of the most essential things for achieving good health and weight loss.  I loved Dr. Sara Gottfried’s first book The Hormone Cure because of all the questionnaires  to help each individual reader determine what their actual issue was and then provided some specific holistic options in effort to correct the imbalances.

She now has a new book out called The Hormone Reset Diet that I have just ordered.  So stay tuned and I’ll let you know what I think of it.

 

Check out Dr. Sara’s new book-

You can get free recipes HERE

Posted on by Angela in Diet, Nutrition, Weight Loss Leave a comment

Bone Broth Recipes

Bone Broth Recipe

bowl-of-broth

So this is excerpted from the book Nourishing Broth by Sally Fallon Morell and Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN–experts who have been researching bone broth or stock for over 20 years.

Apparently there are several typical types of bones used:

Knuckle and feet bones –yield large quantities of gelatin

Marrow bones –impart flavor and the nutrients from the marrow to the broth

Meaty ribs and shanks add color and flavor

You can use beef, chicken, lamb, pig, venison etc.

Remember that you should use organic, pastured chicken from a reputable farm (preferably local) or grass-fed beef bones.

Ingredients:

4 lbs of marrow and knuckle bones

3 lbs of meaty bones like short ribs or beef shanks

1 foot (calf/pig/beef/chicken)

optional tomato paste -1 jar

4 quarts filtered water

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (preferably Braggs w/MOM)

3 onions

3 carrots

3 celery sticks

parsley/thyme sprigs and a bay leaf

1 tbs crushed peppercorns

Directions:

1.  Place the knuckle and foot bones in a large stock pot and cover with the apple cider vinegar and cold water —let stand for 1 hour.

2.  Place the meat bones in a roasting pan and brush with tomato paste.  Brown at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour.

 3.  When browned-add the meat bones to the broth.  Then add cold water to the remaining fat in the pan and bring to a boil and add this liquid to the broth.

4.   Bring all the broth to a simmer and add veggies, herbs and peppercorns

5.  Simmer the stock for 12-24 hours.  Then remove the bones, strain the broth and cool in the refrigerator

6.  Once the stock is cooled, skim the fat off the top and the broth can be frozen.

Leave me a message in the comments below if you come up with any variations or have recommendations!!!

OR  Remember that you can always order some pre-made bone broth from THE BROTHERY

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Nutrition Leave a comment

Blue Apron

One of my dear friends and patients sent me an email with a suggestion.  She has been ordering meals from BlueApron.com to accommodate a busy lifestyle without compromising a fresh homemade dinner for her family.  I decided to give it at try!  I looked over the menus and decided that they were very diverse and probably recipes that I would never try on my own.  Therefore – it presented a challenge which immediately sparked my interest.  So I forked out the money and was in for the first week!!

Here is how all of the ingredients arrived—all packed on ice in a tidy Earth friendly box delivered directly to my doorstep.  I was able to select the day that I wanted my first two meals to be delivered.

IMG_2233 IMG_2234 IMG_2311KINDA EXCITING –HUH!!

All those little containers with the labels printed were kinda cool! Each recipe had the exact number of ingredients and portions all the way down to little tiny bags of the right amount of fresh herbs!!  I felt like it was Christmas Morning!   Each meal comes with a large laminated card outlining all the ingredients with pictures of the complete plated meal and then step by step instructions on how to prepare it (with pictures of each stage).  It was virtually impossible to screw it up.  The first meal looked intimidating but I forged ahead.

Coconut Chicken and Kale Stew with Ginger Rice

It actually turned out GREAT!

Watch out Giada–here I come!

 

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Here was the second meal!

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Roast Pork and Smashed Potatoes with Apple, Walnut and Goat Cheese SaladIMG_2322

 

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Not too shabby if I do say so myself!

Check it out at Blueapron.com  and see what you think —you can do two or four portioned meals.

@blueapron

Posted on by Angela in Diet, Nutrition, Organic, Whole Food Leave a comment
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