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

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

So I got a little wicked crazy this weekend and decided to splurge on some pizza.  We do gluten-free carry out around here sometimes, but my future son-in-law inspired me to make my own cauliflower pizza crust. He made Read more

Pumpkin Chai Smoothie

Here's a throwback post that is certainly appropriate for this October weekend.  This smoothie matches the season and will be a great way to start the lovely fall day. Thanks to Smoothie Queen Amy for this great recipe I can't wait Read more

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

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

Diet

Fall Exercising

A big thanks to Kevin Deeth for another great exercise post!

Transitioning Your Workout Routine From Summer To Fall

This week’s post was written by guest blogger Jim Rollince who’s fitness and nutritional goals parallel my own. He is the head of the creative writing department at gymsource.com and I want to thank him for his time.

Now that the warmer weather is coming to an end, many people are confused about their workout routines.  You might have spent your entire summer swimming laps in the pool or using treadmills in an air conditioned gym just to stay cool.  With the weather changing to a cooler temperature, many exercise fanatics are finding it difficult to transition.  Believe it or not, autumn is one of the best seasons to workout.  There are quite a few benefits to exercising in this season and there are also a lot of different workouts that you can do to take advantage of the changing temps.

One of the major benefits about working out in the fall is that the temperatures outside are a lot more tolerable.  If you enjoy running or walking but have been forced to use home gym equipment because of hot temperatures, now is your time to get out into the fresh air and enjoy your exercise in a new environment.  Switching your environment when working out is essential for staying on track.  People, in general, tend to get very bored rather quickly.  This can be a recipe for disaster if you are trying to establish a steady and solid workout routine.

Another benefit for working out in the fall is that you will find it easier and more enjoyable to workout.  Just imagine yourself taking your daily hour walk, but this time you are walking in a beautiful park that is laden with autumn leaves.  The weather is cool, but you have your warm sweater on to keep you cozy.  This whole scenario will make you hungry to exercise and it will make your at-home treadmill seem boring and useless.  One way to really enjoy the fresh, crisp new weather is to take a gorgeous nature hike.  Find a hiking trail near your home and dedicate a full day to enjoying its beauty.  You will really be able to see the changes of the season when taking a hike.

Autumn really allows you to enjoy your exercise regimen more so than any other season.  If the weather outside is getting a little too chilly for your liking, do not hesitate to use treadmills, ellipticals or other equipment at home.  Instead of using an air conditioner, conserve energy by opening up some windows and smelling that delicious autumn air.  Fall is a great time to also explore your town or city.  The temperatures are just right for walking or jogging a local park or simply taking a walk down your road.  Looking at all of the fall decorations and holiday decor will also help to make your workout a little more interesting.

In general, you should take advantage of the changing season and make sure to change your workout routine with it.  Get some comfy and heavy workout clothes and do your exercises outside as opposed to staying cooped-up in the house.  You will find that you are actually looking forward to the fall weather and not missing summer all that much.

My Take

I think Jim makes a compelling argument for training in the fall. My experience in the fitness industry has shown that people tend to work out the hardest and most dilegentely from January to April due to New Years resolutions and preparing for beach season. My thoughts are with new seasons should come new challenges and goals. Personally, I intend to use the fall to try to put on a few pounds of healthy muscle. Setting fitness goals and tracking progress will help you to stick with a routine and ensure you don’t ruin everything you worked for in the spring and summer.

The main section of this article that resonated with me was the exercise outside portion. I have made it a weekend staple to wake up early on Saturday mornings and go for a run with a few friends on our football Saturdays. Running around campus and dodging the early tailgaters makes for great scenery and can turn a 30 minute grind into a 15 minute leisurely jog. So, my challenge to readers is find your own “Saturday morning run” that you actually enjoy and make it a routine.

 

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions.

From South Bend,
Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Exercise, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Pride and Success

I’m so proud today!  I’ve been having a rough week having to doll out some difficult diagnoses to patients.  That is ultimately the worst part of my job!  I hate telling someone they have cancer or disease even if it is something we can treat and cure.  I feel like it rips a piece of my soul out every time–not to mention that I look like HE double hockey sticks the rest of my day because I cannot let someone cry alone.  So with swollen eyes and mascara stained cheeks, I forged ahead to see Miss Susie, one of my dear patients with diabetes.  She started my wellness program reluctantly back in December and has vowed to stick with it.  Upon starting, her blood sugars were out of control and her Hgb A1C was 10! (this is the average blood sugar over 3 months in a diabetic and should be 6).  Today, she clocked in 18 lbs lighter with an A1C of 7 and I am starting to take her off of medication.  I have to mention that during the last 9 months –her husband was diagnosed with cancer and underwent surgery as well!  So despite her emotional hurdles–she was able to overcome her disease by taking charge of her diet and what she actually put in her mouth and it has made ALL the difference.  My day is a little brighter now thanks to Susie who took a leap of faith with me and vowed that she would do what we told her.  She is my strong wellness warrior with the strength it took to get rid of diabetes!@!   Eat your veggies people!  This whole food business really does work!  You can get better if you really want to!

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Intimidated by an Eggplant

So I received an eggplant in my Green Bean Delivery organic veggie bin and I had no idea what to do with it.  I have ordered eggplant parmesan out at a restaurant before and liked it.  However, my novice cooking skills have made me quite intimidated to buy one and actually cook it myself.  Not to mention my girls have automatic scowl mode ingrained when they see a plate that isn’t filled with mac-n-cheese or pizza.  Here is a great recipe by Irene Young passed down by her mother Linda from the village of Mesta, Xios, Greece.

 

 

 

Linda’s Summer Vegetables

1 lb eggplant cut into chunks

1 zucchini, cut into chunks

       sea salt

olive oil- 1/2 cup

1/2 lb trimmed, fresh green beans

2 large potatoes diced

2 large bell peppers diced

2 large carrots sliced

2-3 cloves of garlic

2 medium onions

6-8 mushrooms

2 lbs ripe tomatoes quartered

1/2 cup parsley chopped

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Clean eggplant and zucchini and cut into chunks and salt—then let sit for 1-2 hours–this is called bleeding the eggplant which helps take the bitterness out of the meat and draws the moisture out so that the eggplant doesn’t absorb too much liquid when cooking.

2.  Pat the eggplant dry and saute in olive oil.  Then add a dash more oil and add the green beans, potatoes, peppers, carrots and mushrooms;  cook for 15 minutes and then add onions and garlic; cook 5 minutes and add tomatoes and parsley; cook for 10 more minutes.

3.  Place the vegetable mixture in an oven-safe dish.  Cover and bake for 45 min at 350 degrees.  Add cheese and bake uncovered for another 15 minutes.

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

Hipocracy- You Betcha!

What was my last meal?

Grass fed beef and veggies–yeah!

What is my next meal?

A big ‘ole chicken quesedilla from my favorite mexican restaurant La Hacienda!

Hipocracy you may say.  But , I have an unhealthy relationship with mexican food.  I can tell you exactly when it dates back to .  In medical school, my roommate and I were chronically stressed and frankly probably clinically depressed because we literally lived and breathed medicine.  We had no time for socializing were buried in books almost every waking hour we weren’t  in class.  Grabbing takeout mexican food and watching  Jerry Springer episodes(yes we felt validated and normal seeing their dysfunction lives) on the weekend was a special treat to anticipate.  So I have formed a comforting connection with eating mexican to make me feel good.  It’s unhealthy but not necessarily a toxic coping mechanism.  So I choose never to break that strategy for fear that the deprivation of my lifelong habit would allow me to pick up an even more toxic habit (ie doing drugs or something).  Like relationships between people, the relationships we have with food can be healthy, unhealthy, or downright destructive.  Many of my patients often exhibit signs of the latter, as many relate to food as medication, a best friend, or an escape from reality. Without understanding these relationships, making long-term dietary changes can be impossible.  I choose the lesser of the evils and try to maintain insight into why I am making that choice.  I am choosing to eat poorly tonight but I’m not going to make that choice again for a while.  This is my one wild night then back to the books and the goal at hand!  No different then medical school–you gotta stay on course for the goal at the end.  Unfortunately, the health goal doesn’t end with a diploma or a degree–it’s a lifelong  journey in vitality.

Here is a nice interview excerpt by Christa Orecchio, a clinical nutritionist that works on breaking programming lying at the root of unhealthy eating habits.

You can find more Real Food information on Sean Croxton’s site http://www.undergroundwellness.com

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, disease, Exercise, Humor, Nutrition, vegan, Whole Food Leave a comment

Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Manifesto

I absolutely love this gal!  She is an inspiration and I believe everyone is affected by cancer in their lives at one point or another.  It may be a friend, loved one or themselves and it is always game changer.  Kris stands for empowering yourself against disease and facing it with positivity.  Her movie, books, newsletters, and blog are a daily inspiration for me and my patients. Take some time to watch this superhero gal in action in the trailer from her movie “Crazy Sexy Cancer”.

 

 

I’m Kris Carr, author of the New York Times Best Seller, “Crazy Sexy Diet,” and founder of Crazysexylife.com, an award-winning and fantabulous wellness site with daily articles from leading experts and cutting-edge resources for building vibrant health and happiness. My wake up call – a stage 4 cancer diagnosis, with no cure and no treatment (Zoinks!) – ignited a personal revolution and taught me how to take responsibility for my well-being at the deepest level imaginable. Now I want to show you how to step into your destiny and become the CEO of your own health. Radiance is your natural state. You can banish the blocks that hold you back with a plant-powered diet and Crazy Sexy lifestyle!

Each and every one of us has the power to ignite a wellness revolution in our kitchens. Change now. Get juiced now. Learn to live like you really mean it and teach others to do the same. By joining the revolution, you vow to wake up and take a stand for your well-being. No one can take better care of you than wise, brilliant, capable, and STRONG you.

This self-care thing is bigger than many of us imagine. The pursuit of personal health, spiritual wealth and happiness is actually a political statement, a peaceful protest and a powerful act of love. Why? Because in order to care for ourselves in a full-tilt-boogie-I’m gonna-walk-the- talk sorta way, we must rebel against the broken systems that support dis-ease and dismantle the status quo. We can’t wait for special interests, government policies, subsidies, agribusiness, factory farming, pharmaceutical industries and advertisers to change. But we can get off our sofas, vote with our forks and knives and heal the way we eat, drink and think.

Read the guiding principles of the Crazy Sexy diet and lifestyle I’ve outlined below and make these simple health habits stick. Get inspired – print it out, hang it on your fridge and read it daily! This step alone will have a huge impact on your life.

Keep in mind, this is just an overview of the guiding principles. To dig deep and make lasting changes, grab your copy of “Crazy Sexy Diet” here.

Make juice not war and remember, you are the change you’ve been waiting for… Peace & Revolution,

Kris Carr

Posted on by Angela in Body, cancer, Diet, Exercise, Guest Blog, Nutrition, Uncategorized, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

BPA—Read the Label

Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical that acts like the hormone estrogen in your body, is used to create the epoxy linings of canned food.  BPA is a chemical created over 70 years ago as a drug that was intended to promote healthy pregnancies.  It was never used as a drug so the food industry saw no problem adding it to a wide range of products, including canned food linings and plastic food containers. Low levels of BPA exposure have been linked to abnormal development of reproductive organs, behavior problems in children, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic changes resulting in diabetes.

BPA is generally used to keep fats from becoming rancid.  It is most commonly found in butter, meats, snack foods, cereals, dehydrated potatoes and beer.  It is also used to preserve food color and flavor so it’s added directly to many packaging materials.

Eat Your Veggies!  Eat Your Veggies!

Just another reason to avoid it if it’s in a box, package, or can!  Shop the perimeter of the grocery!  It goes a lot faster and you don’t have to curse under your breath at the lame geeky people who spend 10 minutes reading the label of a product and then putting it back.  You know they didn’t take the time to read the Oreo label, but when it comes to buying their pasta–they only want whole grain!  Check out this excerpt from Mayo Clinic regarding how to avoid BPA products.

 

  • Seeking out BPA-free products. This may not always be easy to do, of course. Some manufacturers label their products as BPA-free. If a product isn’t labeled, keep in mind that most aluminum cans or bottles have linings that contain BPA, while steel bottles or cans don’t. Polycarbonate plastic is generally hard, clear, lightweight plastic. It often has the No. 7 recycling symbol on the bottom.
  • Microwave cautiously. The National Toxicology Program advises against microwaving polycarbonate plastics, although the American Chemistry Council says this is safe. The plastics can break down over time, possibly causing BPA to leach into food.
  • Wash safely. The National Toxicology Program advises against washing polycarbonate plastics in the dishwasher using harsh detergents, although the American Chemistry Council says this is safe.
  • Use alternatives. Use glass, porcelain or stainless steel containers for hot foods and liquids instead of plastic containers.
  • Cut back on cans. Reduce your use of canned foods since many cans are lined with BPA-containing resin.
Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Nutrition, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

“When I let go of who I am, I become who I will be”—Day #1

“I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed.” -Lloyd Dobler (Say Anything)

When I was a little girl–the words “become a professional and don’t expect someone else to take care of you” were gently and repetitively etched into my head.  I think that is why I aspired to become a doctor.  I didn’t want to do law, I have no passion for rules.  A business owner seemed too processed for me.  I wanted to help people.

When I was in college after already committing my life to become a doctor, I became terribly ill and landed a spot in the hospital.  My doctor at the time told me “You are not going to die”  That phrase I will never forget because at that moment–I felt like I might.  I was then forever indebted to becoming that person who would reassure a patient that their darkest hours were not at hand.   I studied hard and abstained from activities my peers were engaged in only to persue my dream.  Eleven years ago my dream came true and I was finally the doctor starting practice and ready to change the lives of many.  I was trained to treat every disease with the best of medicines and could conquer any patient’s complaint.  Unfortunately, those concepts drastically changed as I continued to evolve as a person and was touched by each patient that I met.  After ten years of medicine I could feel myself beginning to change but I wasn’t quite sure just what the change was.  Then the day Susan came in I began to have a greater focus.

A few years ago, Susan, a popular vet in the local community with 4 boys, came to me tearstricken and upset.  She had developed an autoimmune disease seven years before that had debilitated her to the point that she was unable to function as the woman, mother, and wife that she had once been.  Tears welled in my eyes during that annual visit as I noted her spirit and life’s luster being eroded by the burden of her disease.  I told her … “I am no superwoman, I have no answers for you.”  We could only pray together that things would change.

The following monday morning she called and said  “My pastor pulled me aside after church on Sunday and told me he had dreamt I got a second opinion and was healed.”  I immediately called a physician who I had not seen since residency.  He was leaving for a mission trip to Haiti the next day and the only way he could see her was if she could be there in thirty minutes.  Ironically, she had no patients scheduled that day, had a babysitter for her kids, and was already having lunch in the area.  He told her that it wasn’t a disease, it was an allergy.  He hadn’t a clue as to what she might be ingesting that would cause this severe reaction. Eventually, she discovered that she had to eliminate red dye # 40 from her diet and she is 100% healthy now.

I have spent countless hours walking in the woods and enjoying my own family.   Yet, I continue to watch many other patients struggle with their inability to share the same pleasures in life.  I have now realized that I have been on the wrong track.  We dont need to cure and treat disease–we need to prevent it!
All the years of training to to heal people have proven that I have been coexisting with them.  I must shift my role to help them before the diseases takes hold.  I must help my patients change themselves.  I realize that the best way to change the world is to change yourself.

Thus—I will simply become who I am by letting go of what I thought I was and hope to do the same for those who come to me for help.

Posted on by Angela in Diet, Family, Humor, Mind, Nutrition, Spirit, Whole Food Leave a comment

Labor Day Recipes

Happy Labor Day weekend!  The long weekend brings lots of get togethers with food as the main agenda!  Don’t waste your weekend slaving behind the stove—
Instead, load up your slow cooker with one of the following crowd-pleasing dishes. I’ve listed the  recipes in countdown order— if you have a favorite, please chime in below. Happy Labor Day!
10) Salsa Chicken and Black Bean Soup. This is filling, delicious, and is different enough to gain lots of attention on the buffet table. Easy to stretch by serving rice, and fixen’s like sliced avocado and tortilla chips.
9) Lima Bean Casserole Cassoulet. I love serving this to guests and listening to the conversation. “what type of beans are these?” “I’m not sure. some sort of large pinto beans or something?” I usually wait until the pot is practically empty before coming clean that they were lima beans.
8) Honey Lentils. Delicious, nutritious, vegan vegetarian, and such a fun offering to bring to a picnic. I get the nicest emails about these lentils!
7) Pesto Spinach Lasagna. I need to run to the store to pick up the ingredients for this! You have never had a better vegetarian lasagna. So so good.
6) Hirino Psito. This is a wonderful main dish to serve to guests. Worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard, and beer mix together to create a savory sauce that perfectly compliments the sweet contrast of brown sugar and cranberries. Win!
5) Brie with Apricot Topping. To make this more user-friendly for guests, insert an oven-safe dish into your large slow cooker and load the ingredients into the dish. Then remove the dish (use mitts!) and serve with your favorite crackers (we like Glutino a lot). Do not add water in the crockpot around the dish.
4) Pomegranate Beef. When we host a dinner for new friends, I usually make this. This keeps picky older relatives happy, along with the kids (note to self: I need to update some of these photos!). I’ve made this for television audiences, and served it at the Disneyland Food & Wine Festival, where the kitchen chefs gave rave reviews, which made me cry. This recipe was also featured on Oprah.com!
3) Cream Cheese, Sausage,  and Rotel Dip (mommy crack). The ingredients are odd, the taste is not. Make this and you’ll be happy.
2) Potluck Beans. We can’t have a potluck countdown without potluck beans, now can we? These beans have bacon. Nuff’ said.
1) Original Taco Soup. Feeds a bunch, easy to throw together, and everyone LOVES it. This has been our number one potluck bring along for the past 12 years.
 
Honorable mention: Black Beans with Cilantro. I ran out of numbers— this is a great bean recipe.
Enjoy your long weekend!
Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, disease, Nutrition, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food 2 Comments

Essential Oils

 

Ever wonder why you immediately feel calm and relaxed when you walk into a spa for that much-anticipated massage after a long week?  The aroma of the spa is invigorating and uplifting.  Spas often use essential oils that have positive effects on the hypothalamus and limbic system in our brains.  Thus, they immediately relax us and detoxify our thoughts.  Our noses know exactly how to harness the healing power of plants which is why oils can be so effective in the healing process.  Essential oils have been used for centuries in traditional cultures for purification and medicinal purposes.  Essential oils can be inhaled as well as applied topically to penetrate cell membranes thus enhancing cellular function.

Beware–when buying essential oils, quality is key.  Synthetic oils found in most health food stores can be toxic.  They are created with solvents and high heat that damages the plants.  The companies that make them also often use chemicals to extend their shelf life.  You must get therapeutic grade oils that use steam distillation as a water extraction process and not chemicals

For more info on essential oils visit:

http://www.essentialthree.com

 http://www.youngliving.com

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Conventional Diet Wisdom

 

Conventional diet wisdom is wrong!  Changes in our diets have occurred as a result of the agricultural revolution 7,000 years ago.  Unfortunately, the more recent industrial revolution has happened  so quickly that our genes haven’t had time to adapt.  Heart disease, cancer, and diabetes were virtually nonexistent before we rapidly changed our diets.  Our ancestors for more than 2 million years ate meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, and nuts.  Grains like wheat and corn, soybeans, and sugar were not part of their diet.  The processed foods that we are consuming now only contain food like substances and not nutrients.  If you don’t believe me–go into Walmart and count how many healthy looking people over the age of 30 you see.  More food for thought—Watch this tidbit about the Paleo Diet.

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