Gluten Free Zucchini Bread

Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread So I have been struggling with gluten-free baking because honestly -- I've never been good at baking!!  Then when I try to modify recipes using flours I'm not familiar with, it just makes  a perfect storm of Read more

When Should I Take My Supplements?

If you are like me -- you are just starting to realize why it is important to add supplements to your diet.  Even if we are eating a clean, healthy and unprocessed diet;  the mineral content of the soil Read more

Magnesium-the unloved mineral

Do you remember watching Wild Kingdom as a kid?  Did you happen to notice that the animals attacking their prey would immediately eat the organ meats.  I never really thought about why until I listened to Morley Robbins explain the Read more

More Homemade Salad Dressings

Blackberry Balsamic Vinaigrette 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp local honey 1/3 cup blackberries   Process all the ingredients together in a blender and then season with ground pepper and sea salt The beauty of this recipe Read more

Healthy Mayo and Ranch Dressing

This stuff is a must -- If you read labels these days you will be hard pressed to find a mayonnaise or salad dressing that doesn't contain some type of vegetable oil.  Even the commercial mayos that advertise to Read more

Sherry's Story

Sherry has a great story.  She has been diabetic for years and she has made some massive changes!   "I have been on a lifestyle change. It has been a year following a ketogenic food plan.  When I started this journey Read more

Tara's Story

Tara's Story When I turned 30 years old I weighed in at 348lbs; clothes were getting harder to find and more expensive, and my life was getting difficult to manage. When going out to eat we had to have a Read more

Pharmacy to Farmacy

Many of you may know Erin-- the fabulous Pharm D that worked in our office a few years back.  Erin is a phenomenal gal and we embarked on the journey  into natural medicine around the same time.  As we both Read more

Diet

More Homemade Salad Dressings

Blackberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp local honey

1/3 cup blackberries

 

Process all the ingredients together in a blender and then season with ground pepper and sea salt

The beauty of this recipe is that you can substitute just about any berry as well to mix up the taste

Basil Vinaigrette

2 Tbsp. of White wine vinegar

1/4 cup of avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. of Dijon mustard

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

 

Process all together in a blender and season with fresh ground pepper and sea salt — This recipe is also great because you can substitute any fresh herb of choice — parsley/ rosemary / thyme etc

 

 

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

Pharmacy to Farmacy

Many of you may know Erin– the fabulous Pharm D that worked in our office a few years back.  Erin is a phenomenal gal and we embarked on the journey  into natural medicine around the same time.  As we both share a real passion for nutrition and natural remedies, I wanted to introduce you to her wealth of knowledge about essential oils.  I am using them and really loving all the benefits — so here is a little about ERIN!

How a Pharmacist Got Started With Essential Oils

Well, hello!  Allow me to introduce myself.  I am a classically trained, Western medicine pharmacist AND a natural wellness enthusiast.  “How can this be?” you may ask.  Aren’t Western medicine practitioners and natural wellness practitioners supposed to be diametrically opposed to each other?  I used to think that too.  I admit, I am a “natural” skeptic {pun intended}.  My training has taught me that if there is not a double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial to back up a claim, it is merely unsubstantiated mumbo-jumbo.  So what changed my mind?  Perhaps it was the subtle (and not so subtle) ways my body started telling me I’m not as young as I used to be.  Or, perhaps, it was the desire to keep my family healthy without the use of synthetic chemicals.  Becoming a parent certainly increased my desire to find the best and most natural ways to do things.  Whatever the reason, I developed a desire to find a better way to achieve and maintain health and wellness.  So, I went back to my old standbys: research and experience.

 

Western vs. Natural Medicine Approaches

Over the years, what I have learned, both through research and personal experience, is that while Western medicine is great at using a variety of medical and surgical interventions to keep you alive, it is not so great at keeping you from needing those interventions in the first place.  Western medicine shines in treatment more so than in prevention.  If you think of your wellness like a horizontal line, with health and vitality above the line and sickness and disease below the line, in Western medicine we wait until you have fallen way below the wellness line before we do anything.  By that point you are in trouble.  You have a disease, so we prescribe a medication or surgical intervention that helps to manage that disease.  The problem is most medications that are prescribed for chronic conditions do not provide a cure, but are used to mitigating the symptoms.  They do not get to the underlying cause, and they do not bring you back above the wellness line.  Not to mention, most medications come with a variety of toxic and adverse effects that then also have to be managed.  Does that mean that I think we should never use Western medicine approaches?  Absolutely not!  Western medicine has its place, and offers us many tools in our wellness tool belt to utilize.  However, I think we can all agree, it would be ideal if we could utilize these tools less.

 

What if there were tools to help us stay above the wellness line?  This is where natural medicine shines.  By supporting your body to do what it was made to do in the first place, natural medicine approaches prevent much of the need for Western interventions.  Our bodies are amazing creations that were made to be healthy.  Given the right environment and the right building blocks, most of the time our bodies will be healthy.  The problem is that in today’s world we are surrounded by things that tear down our bodies instead of support them.  We eat junk, we breathe in junk, we apply junk to our skin, we don’t get enough sleep or exercise, and we are constantly STRESSED OUT!  It’s no wonder all sorts of disease rates are climbing.

 

A Better Way

What if there was a better way?  What if we gave our bodies an environment in which they could thrive and the building blocks with which to heal?  What would that look like?

  • We would put nourishing foods into our body. Not overly processed, chemical laden junk, but REAL food.  Hippocrates knew what he was talking about when he said “let thy food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food”.
  • We would stop breathing in toxins. True, you cannot always help the air quality where you live, but you can stop making it worse.  Quit smoking and get rid of the toxins in your air.  Did you know formaldehyde is just one of a number of chemicals commonly used in scented candles and air fresheners?!?  So stop “freshening” your air with toxins.
  • We would clean up our skin care products. Check out your product labels.  Do some research into the dangers of ingredients like parabens, phthalates, triclosan, artificial dyes, and many others.  Don’t be fooled, anything you put on your skin is absorbed into your body!
  • We would start moving more, resting well, and stressing less!

 

I know that seems like a pretty tall order, and no one is going to be perfect 100% of the time, but every step you take in the right direction is a step toward wellness, and that is a worthy goal!

 

Essential Oils as a Tool for Wellness

So where do essential oils come in?  For me, adding in essential oils was another step in my path toward natural wellness.  When I was first presented with the idea of using essential oils for wellness, guess what, I was skeptical of that too.  My pharmacist brain kicked into gear and wanted to dismiss the idea.  After months of pondering, I finally gave in and got my Young Living Premium Starter Kit.  And then it sat on my counter…for weeks.  Finally, my old friends, research and experience won.  I opened up those little bottles and started using them.  The more I used them, the better I felt, so I would research more, and then use them more, and then feel better, and then research, and then use them, and then…well, you get the idea.  My biggest “Ah Ha!” moment in using essential oils was when I finally realized essential oils are NOT like medicine, they are like FOOD!  The properties and constituents in essential oils that make them so amazing do their job by supporting your body to do what it was intended to do.  Just like food, they give your body the building blocks to heal and stay above the wellness line.  Just like I would not go a day without eating or drinking, there is now not a single day that goes by when I am not using my essential oils.  Yes, there are specific oils that work better for specific purposes, but so long as you have high quality, therapeutic grade essential oils, such as those provided by Young Living, just use them!  Once you understand a few common sense safety issues (like don’t put them in your eyes or ears- duh!), unlike medications that can cause serious problems if used at the wrong time in the wrong way, using Young Living Essential oils is always going to support your body in a positive way.

 

How do I Use My Young Living Essential Oils

We have been using our Young Living Essential Oils EVERY DAY for well over 2 years now!  They can be inhaled, applied topically, and most can even be ingested.  Here are just a few examples…

  • Peace and Calming, Lavender, or Cedarwood for a restful night’s sleep
  • DiGize or peppermint for digestion
  • Thieves to support our immune systems
  • Peppermint, Copaiba, or PanAway for muscles, joints, and ligaments
  • Stress Away when life gets too crazy (or just because it smells AMAZING!)
  • Lavender and Frankincense in our skin care
  • Progessence Plus, Clary Sage, or Idaho Blue Spruce for hormone balance
  • Grapefruit to support metabolism
  • Purification and Lemon in our household cleaning

If you go down our previous list about what a “better way” would look like for improving your health, literally every item on that list has been touched by Young Living Essential Oils in our home.

 

Why I Love Young Living Essential Oils

I could write another post about why, after much research, I chose Young Living for my family and why it is the only brand I recommend if you are looking for actual wellness benefits and not just pretty smells from essential oils.  I will save those many details for another post.  For now, please believe me when I say there is a HUGE difference between Young Living’s therapeutic grade essential oils and almost any other oil on the market, so, Buyer Beware!  If you would like to do a little of your own research, you can start by learning more about Young Living’s commitment to purity and quality through their unique Seed to Seal® process.  For more information and videos describing this process check it out at www.seedtoseal.com.

 

Ready to Stay Above the Wellness Line?

If any of this peaks your interest, I would love to tell you more.  Come check out more information or message me through www.facebook.com/EssentiallyErin or email me directly at erinruth@sbcglobal.net.  I’ll be waiting for you!

To get your own Premium Starter Kit, go to http://tinyurl.com/ErinArkins1.  The Premium Start Kit is by far the best deal to get you started on your oily journey, and by signing up through my link you will have access to member only essential oil education and FREE reference material as a gift from me.  Getting my kit was the best decision I made for my family’s health and wellness!  I am excited to help you on your journey as well!

 

Blessings and wellness to you and yours,

Erin

Posted on by Angela in Body, Green Living, Guest Blog, Nutrition, Supplements 3 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—
11035580_877224205709314_8642763481896836104_n
and here are my herb starts—
basil, dill, cilantro, rosemary, chives, oregano, thyme, mint
11094683_877224222375979_8767434964496545751_n
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

Got Juice? My First Experience with a Juice Cleanse

I’ve been wanting to try some sort of detox since the beginning of the year but have struggled deciding what exactly to do. I was definitely scared to do a detox and was afraid that I would be running to the bathroom between patients.  But, I decided that I would take the chance because I felt like I needed to replenish my body with nutrients and get a fresh start to the year.  After trying to find time on the weekend to make enough juices to last me for 3 days, I realized that just wasn’t an option at this time with my busy schedule.  I decide to go with the 3 day beginner’s cleanse from Natural Born Juicers right down on Mass. Ave.  I was able to order the cleanse online and then drove down to the store to pick them up.  It was a little pricey but how do you really put a price on good health?  Cancer can get pretty expensive too!

IMG_4799

Day 1
1. Light Greens
2. Grapefruit, Apple, Lemon
3. Ultimate Greens
4. Alkalized Spicy Lemonade
5. Sweet Beet
6. Live Sprouted Almond Milk

Day 2
1. Light Greens
2. Grapefruit Mint
3. Ultimate Greens
4. Alkalized Spicy Lemonade
5. Happy Heart
6. Almond Milk

Day 3
1. Light Greens
2. Spring Cleaner
3. Ultimate Greens
4. Spicy Lemonade
5. Fomo
6. Almond Milk

 

I started it last Sunday.  Sidney, Emma, and I trucked down to Mass Ave to fuel up before shopping at Target for some curtains for Emma’s newly painted room.  I dragged them alone to make sure I didn’t chicken out.

First of all, all of the juices were uber tasty!  I’m not a fan of beets and that ended up being my favorite juice.  Day One went fine, I was a little hungry around dinner time but was able to stay distracted and the “almond” juice felt like a nice little dessert before bed and filled me up.  Day Two, wasn’t quite so easy.  I went to work feeling a little weak and drained.  I felt as though I was recovering from the flu and actually had to break down and eat some raw veggies (cucumber, carrots, broccoli, and beets) for lunch–(Shout out to the garden cafe at IU West).  In retrospect, I don’t think I had been drinking enough water.  By Day Three, I was feeling great and wasn’t hungry at all.  I actually felt like going another 2-3 days but didn’t want to push it.  I was a little gassy but was not in the bathroom all day.  My bowels seemed pretty regular and there was no abdominal discomfort.  Overall it wasn’t the worst experience I’ve had in my life.  I would say waking up in college at IU after a night at Kilroy’s outranked this by far.

I’ll try it again and will maybe go for a more advanced or even longer cleanse.  My skin seemed clearer and what was really funny is that the whites of my eyes seemed really bright by Day Three.  They seemed normal before but by Day 3, they were glowing!!  Not to mention, there was a sense of accomplishment from challenging myself and stepping a little out of my comfort zone.  I hear that place where all growth happens.  We will soon see!

Eat those VEGGIES!  or in this case–Drink them!

Check out their website by clicking HERE

and for more information on the benefits of juicing —check this LINK

 

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Green Living, Nutrition, Organic, Weight Loss, Whole Food 1 Comment

Chicken/Kale Pasta

A big shout out and thanks for this recipe share from Kim:

d3f65093bf2a6867217f70e140b08625

Chicken/Kale Pasta

1 (16) oz. Gluten free pasta (you could also substitute spaghetti squash or zucchini ribbons)

4 (6oz) skinless and boneless chicken Breast cut into 1 inch pieces (organic/local)

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper (I like Pink Himalayan)

Extra virgin olive oil

Kerry gold butter

4 garlic cloves minced

1 cup (homemade) chicken broth

3/4 cup dry white wine

5 oz kale stemmed and coarsely chopped

2 cups grape tomatoes(halved)

1 cup shaved parmesan cheese

1)Prepare pasta as directed.

2) Season chicken with sea salt and pepper, cook in a single layer of hot oil and melted kerry gold butter in a large skillet over high heat without stirring for 1-2 minutes. Turn chicken: cook 2 more minutes or until done. Transfer chicken to plate.

3) Add garlic to skillet and reduce to medium heat. Cook constantly,for 30 seconds then add homemade chicken broth and wine, stirring to loosen browned bits from bottom of skillet, simmer 6-8 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Add kale, stirring until kale wilts.

4) Add kale mixture to reserved pasta. Stir in tomatoes and 1 cup shaved parmesan if desired.

Prep time 25 minutes Cook time 30 minutes

Posted on by Angela in Green Living, Nutrition, Organic, Uncategorized, Whole Food Leave a comment

Do I have to buy organic? The Dirty Dozen

Sure, we would all love to buy everything we eat organic and process free, but who can afford that in today’s economic times.  I struggle with the issue of spending so much on food especially if it isn’t all eaten before it goes bad.   If you are buying veggies on a budget, try to go organic for the Dirty Dozen foods.  These top 12 are known to be grown with the most pesticides.  The rest you can probably get by not buying organic.  Regardless, any fruit or vegetable (organic or not) is still better than that McDonald’s cheeseburger so don’t spend too much time worrying!

Peach

Apple

Bell Pepper

Celery

Nectarine

Strawberries

Cherries

Kale

Lettuce

Grapes

Carrot

Pear

Posted on by Angela in Diet, disease, Green Living, Nutrition, Organic, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Free Macbook—Whaaaaaaat?

So you all know about my man crush, Sean Croxton, from http://www.undergroundwellness.com.  This guy is the nutrition guru!  He interviews top experts in the field of wellness and then podcasts his interviews for free.  He is genuine and has massive integrity!  He introduced a free Macbook giveaway over the last few weeks to the person with the best photo of #JERFING-(AKA – Just Eat Real Food) .  Well, the  AngelaMD wellness warriors are all about eating real food so we decided to enter the contest.    We were under the gun last night to submit a photo after finding out that my oldest daughter’s computer died.  She is in desperate need of a new one for this semester’s classes at a local college (she is studying to be a social worker).  The Henriksen family rallied and produced these hilarious and somewhat ridiculous photos.

Sidney’s idea of JERF

IMG_7651

 

 

Emma’s idea of JERF

photo

 

 

 

The actual photo we submitted —

IMG_4564

 

 

 

 

 

Just Eat Real Food!!!!

Posted on by Angela in Diet, Green Living, Humor, Nutrition, Organic Leave a comment

Pit Paste and Coconut Butt Oil??? Really???

This is a great clip on the dangers of the top 4 personal care product ingredients that we really should avoid.  I had no idea that the average woman puts up to 300 chemicals on her body before she leaves the house in the morning.  Failing to remember that the skin is the body’s largest organ, we forget that we absorb what our skin contacts.  I think Christa states that it enters our bloodstream in like 24 seconds—now that’s scary.  I am still primarily focused on what I am eating and putting into my body on my own personal health journey.  This clip kicks it up a notch to a whole new level.  And YES–I do use coconut oil as a moisturizer but haven’t tried it on the booty yet!  Talk about a whole new level——-EEK!

Be sure to visit Sean Croxton’s site http://www.undergroundwellness.com

and Christa Orecchio’s site http://www.thewholejourney.com

Remember—visit the skindeep site to rank your favorite products and substitute some cleaner ones.

Posted on by Angela in Body, Green Living, Organic, Whole Food Leave a comment

Why am I always hungry?

Here is a great new post from our dear friend Dee–please check out her site http://www.gettingthebestoffood.com   She shares her journey and includes a realistic attitude that accounts for all the daily struggles, stress, and obstacles that sabotage us relententlessly.  You go Dee!!!
The first time I saw this diagram was nearly a year ago and it has never left my memory. Over the past few months I have noticed how refined foods such as white bread and sugar have effected hunger throughout the day. This simple illustration shows how all highly processed foods, fats and oils look in the stomach. I’ll be right back, gotta grab an apple.OK, I’m back, less starving than I was a minute ago. If you look at all of the diets that have been successful and popular, most of them have fruits and veggies in common. Atkins, not so much because it’s an all-protein diet. The challenge that I’ve found is getting veggies to taste good. Fruits are naturally delicious without anything added, but veggies are usually better when you make them bad…like broccoli with cheese sauce, fried green beans with butter, creamed peas, spinach au gratin. At this point, I’m finding it more challenging to make veggies fun. Well, fun is a strong word. I don’t know if they’ve ever been fun. Here are some tricks I’ve learned:

  1. Bake kale with a spritz of olive oil for crispy chips with a touch of sea salt
  2. Hide spinach in smoothies, soups, baked eggs
  3. Mash sweet potatoes with a touch of cinnamon, almond milk and agave nectar and bake for fake pumpkin pie
  4. Use romaine or Boston lettuce leaves to wrap the healthy ingredients you would normally put on bread, like tuna salad, grilled chicken, lean steak
  5. Soak dates — use the water as a healthy natural sweetening liquid and puree the soaked dates with water to make a paste as a solid sweeter for recipes (paste with spaghetti squash and cinnamon is great.
Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, disease, Green Living, Guest Blog, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Cage-free versus Free-range

Thanks Marti for suggesting an explanation on this topic.

Cage-Free

Chickens laying eggs that are labeled “cage-free” are un-caged and generally have a little more space than chickens inside barns and they usually have some access to the outdoors.  This term does not tell us anything about the diet and whether they have been fed grains or given steroids or antibiotics.

Free-Range

Free-range hens aer un-caged inside barns and have outdoor access.  Once again, this label does not tell us what the birds are fed (ie/ grains, hormones, antibiotics etc)

 

So what the heck do I buy???

Look for  PASTURED EGGS—or better yet —buy from a local farmer that will share the exact diet and housing specifications of the chicken.  Remember–if the animal you eat is healthy–you will be too.

Please visit our link on the side to Simpson Family Farms that now offers delivery of their grass-fed meats and chickens!  They have great prices and I personally know and respect the owners!  They are a real class act and are wholeheartedly aimed at providing the best nutrition to people in the community!

http://www.simpsonfamilyfarms.com

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