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

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

Natural Tips for Avoiding Colds

This cold and flu season is still upon us and unfortunately, many patients are still being plagued by these nasty viral symptoms.  Here are a few tips to try if you feel like you are coming down with something. Of 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

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

nutrition

Monsanto Evils

This post is for Cindy–a dear patient and friend who has been suffering from a debilitating illness since 2001.  She has been to Cleveland Clinic, Mayo, and to all of the top specialists in the fields of neurology, rheumatology, infectious disease, dermatology, oncology, cardiology, and pulmonology.  Geez–I think we hit every field of medicine.  However, I promised Cindy that I would never stop looking for what may actually be making her sick!  I recently did an ALCAT test on her to find that she has a severe intolerance to GLYPHOSATE.  Ba Bam!!!  Ironically, if you have been following the news lately, you are aware of  The Monsanto Company who exclusively produces Roundup Ready soybean seed for the commercial market.  Allegedly,  many of monsanto’s seed products are genetically modified to make them resistant to the Monsanto produced agricultural chemicals such as Round Up herbicide.  They also allegedly produce recombinant Bovine somatotropin.  Yes, I know  What???  It is a synthetic growth factor injected into cows to increase their milk production.  Watch this trailer for more information.  And watch out Erin Brockovich because if I cure Cindy by getting her off of Monsanto products—I’m casting Channing Tatum in the movie!

Posted on by Angela in Body, Call to action, Diet, disease, Exercise, Humor, Nutrition, vegan, Weight Loss, 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

Emotional Eating

This topic is near to my heart right now.  As many of you know, our family of 6 at home drastically dropped in the last two weeks.  Alex moved out into a house with her highschool best friend and we toted Ciara off to IU to start her freshman year.  I didn’t think I would take the change so hard.  I completely melted down –crying, emotional outbursts, and binge eating!  In that one weekend, I consumed enough pizza, chicken fingers, nachos, ice cream and potato chips to sink the Bismark!  Unfortunately, the binge triggered all the old cravings for those nasty players again.  I have found myself no longer practicing what I preach!  This video from one of my favorite bloggers gives a nice plan and explanation for change.  It’s a little lengthy but, realistic.

Visit her site  http://www.lindawagner.net for more informational posts—you can also click the healthy eating link on the right to go directly to her great blog!

First day of kindergarten to first day of college

Posted on by Angela in Diet, disease, Guest Blog, Mind, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Another Great Post from Kevin Deeth!

There are a few important things to consider in the pre-workout meal discussion. Timing, size, and content are the three key factors in choosing a great meal that will give you optimal performance levels.
Timing– Ideally, a meal should be eaten between 2 and 3 hours before a workout in order to give your body time to fully digest the protein, carbohydrates, and sugar that will be converted to fuel to power you through those grueling last few reps. For all you earlier birds, I don’t expect you to wake up at 3 Am to make an omelette. So your meal and portion size will be much different.
Size– Portion size is extremely important because you don’t want to feel bogged down or bloated during a workout. On that same token ensuring your muscles are properly fueled is vital to prevent muscle degredation. The preworkout meal and time before workout are directley correlated. The farther away you are from a workout (say 3 hours) the bigger your meal (probably full size). If you are grabbing something 15-20 minutes before it should be much smaller and generally in liquid form so it is easily digestable.
Content-An ideal pre-workout meal should consist of 20-30 grams of protein to keep your body in an anabolic state to prevent muscle breakdown during your workout. Along with the protein, 20-30 grams of low glycemic carbohydrates is also advisable.

A 2-3 hour prior example 

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A turkey/chicken breast, spinach & tomato omelette with a small serving of steel cut oats. Low glycemic carbohydrates such as spinach and steel cut oats will be converted to energy and used as fuel during your workout. Low glycemic carbohydrates will keep your insulin from spiking which can lead an energy crash mid-workout. This meal is also low in fat and fiber which will make it easy to digest.

Ingredients

  • 2 whole cage free eggs
  • ½ cup spinach
  • ½ turkey/chicken breast
  •  ¼ cup dice tomatoes
  •  ½ cup cooked steel cut oats with cinnamon and blueberries

Nutritional Facts

  • Calories-400
  • Protein-30 grams
  • Carbohydrates-30 grams
  • Fat-6 grams
  • Fiber-8 grams

I like to workout in the late mornings so the first thing I do when I wake up is start off with a great breakfast that has an adequate source of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and fat. The protein will ensure there is no muscle breakdown and give your body a steady stream of fuel and amino acids through your workout. The carbs will be converted to energy while the fiber and fat will keep you feeling full throughout the pre-workout/workout period. Adequate hydration is also vital to prepare you body for a successful workout. Ensuring your muscles are hydrated will prevent cramping and optimize performance.

Now, for the early birds. (15-45 minutes before workout)

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Home made protein shake

My protein shake is very generic but an effective, homemade recipe. I shoot for a 1:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio made with the following ingredients.

  • 1 cup unsweetened Almond Milk
  •  1/2 serving plain unflavored greek yogurt
  •  1 tbsp chia seeds
  •  ¼ cup of blueberries
  •  ½ banana
  •   1 scoop of unflavored 100% whey isolate protein powder (20-30 grams)
  •  3 grams of glutamine
  •   Ice cubes

Nutritional facts

  • Calories-300
  • Protein-25 grams
  • Carbohydrates- 30 grams
  • Fiber- 12 grams

A 2:1 or 1:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio is ideal for refueling your muscles and replacing glycogen levels. Drink this shake within 30 minutes of your workout, or 30 minutes prior, to ensure your muscles receive healthy carbohydrates and protein from natural sources to rebuild muscle tissue that has been broken down during a workout. A liquid meal, such as a protein shake, is absorbed more quickly than solid food. The addition of fruit will help you restore your glycogen levels and transport protein to your muscles. Using natural foods such as fruit and unflavored yogurt will stabilize blood sugar levels and not cause a severe insulin spike that you get with most “store-bought” shakes due to the large amount of processed sugars and additives that are present.  The combination of chia seeds, fruit, yogurt, and almond milk provides an excellent source of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. With such a wide array of products and additives that are present in many supplements and shakes, I always recommend people make their own, using unprocessed ingredients, to ensure your muscles receive the most bang for your buck. Here is a tip: Make your shake the night before and store it in the fridge to save yourself the hassle and cleanup in the morning.

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Generally a medium-sized meal is recommended 2 hours before your workout to give your body a chance to digest and convert the food before you lift. With that being said, every person is different. Finding out what works best for you in terms of energy levels, muscle growth, and recovery is the most important thing. Whatever you do make sure you have a steady stream of energy to you can power through a tough workout.

Sorry about the recent hiatus and thanks for reading. Let me know if you have any comments or questions.

From South Bend,

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

Ranch Dressing

Nothing goes better with those raw veggies than ranch dressing!  I am personally addicted to ranch and would eat it with almost anything.  However, with my recent nutritional education journey-I have decided that it’s time to substitute my processed version of this sugar loaded dressing with something a little healthier–Here is what I tried–

Paleo Ranch Dressing

1 cup olive oil

1 cup coconut milk (use canned for thick texture)

1 Tbs dijon mustard

1 tbs onion powder

1 tbs garlic powder

2 tsp Dill

1 Tbs apple cider vinegar

1 tsp chives

4 Tbs lemon juice

1/2 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp parsley

Combine all the ingredients in the blender or the Ninja and Voila!  A healthy version of Ranch!

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

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

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

Tea–by Kevin Deeth

Thanks Kevin for keeping us updated!

Based on last week’s blog on coffee I decided to discuss another great beverage. I get a lot of questions about what people should drink and the only options I ever recommend are the choices I adhere to myself in coffee, tea, water, unsweetened almond milk, and yes occasionally alcohol.  So lets talk about tea and all the great benefits that come along with it’s consumption.

Tea Statistics
Pounds of tea imported to the U.S. each year 519 million pounds
Total amount of tea consumed in the U.S. every day 1.42 million pounds
Number of men and women who drink tea every morning 2 billion
Total projected sales of tea for U.S. in 2012 $15 billion

Although not as popular as coffee in the US, tea is still widely consumed and is a staple for many americans. Lets look at some of the benefits.

1. Tea Is Loaded With Antioxidants

  • Tea is loaded with phytonutrients such as antioxidants.  Antioxidants in black and green tea, called flavonoids, may help to maintain healthy cells and tissues as well as contribute to healthy cardiovascular function. Antioxidants are natural plant based biochemicals that prevent oxidation or “rusting” of living tissues.
  • Tea can also help strengthen your immune system because its attack on bacteria, free radicals, viruses, and fungi.
  • A study by Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and Harvard Medical School found that people who drank five cups of a tea were able to beat a cold five times faster than coffee drinkers were.

2. Tea Is Calorie-free And Helps Promote Fat Loss

  • So many people “watch what they eat” but ruin there otherwise healthy diets with sodas, loaded coffees, juices, shakes, smoothies, and energy drinks.
  • Tea is naturally calorie free and gives you your flavor fix while not costing empty calories found in most other beverages
  • Research indicates that substances found in green tea known as catechins and EGCG may trigger weight loss by stimulating the body to burn calories and decreasing body fat.
  • Recent research in animals show that catechins and EGCG found in green tea may also affect body fat accumulation and cholesterol levels.

3. Tea Increases Your Metabolism.

  • Drinking green tea or oolong tea offers the combined benefits of caffeine and catechins, substances shown to rev up the metabolism for a couple hours.
  • Research suggests that drinking two to four cups of either tea may push the body to burn 17% more calories than normal during moderately intense exercise for a short period of time.

4. Tea Reduces Risk of Stroke, Cancer, and Heart Disease

  • One study shows that Eight hundred elderly Dutch men consuming 3.4 cups of tea per day decreased their risk of death from coronary heart disease by 58 percent compared to those who consumed lesser amounts of flavonoid rich foods.
  • Flavonoids in tea may also decrease the tendency of platelets to stick together that cause heart disease and stroke.
  • Studies suggest that both black and green tea may help prevent or delay the formation of tumors-specifically in the skin, lung, esophagus, stomach, and colon.
  • Green tea, according to Harvard Health Publications, has cancer inhibiting components called catechins. Specifically, studies have shown it to reduce the risk of skin, breast, lung, colon, esophageal and bladder cancer.

5. Each Variety Contains a Unique Blend Of Health/Nutritional Benefits.

  • Green tea’s role in lowering cholesterol, burning fat, preventing diabetes and stroke, and staving off dementia.
  • Black tea a potential heart tonic,cancer blocker, fat buster, immune stimulant, arthritis soother, virus fighterand cholesterol detoxifier.
  • White tea is the least processed tea and has the highest antioxidant levels, protects against cancer, heart disease, and stroke, strengthens the circulatory and immune systems as well as bones and teeth, and builds healthy skin.
  • Red tea contains magnesium, which is necessary for a healthy nervous system,  increases the absorption of iron in the body, contains potassium and copper minerals that are necessary for several metabolic functions, helps nervous tension and mild depression as it makes a relaxing sedative.

Conclusion

While I am a big proponent of caffeiene and specifically its impact on health and performance, tea offers a lower caffienated alternative to coffee with the typical cup containing about 10-60 mg of caffiene. Besides the obvious health benefits tea is versatile in that you can drink it both hot (winter) and cold (summer) and reap all its benefits. Like I stated earlier, anytime you can substitute a beverage that contains numerous health benefits for a sugar loaded juice, pop, or sports drink, is a no-brainer.

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

From South Bend,

Kevin
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Nut Butters- Get a little nutty!

Remember the MUFA’s?  These are the infamous plant-based oils that are packed with nutrients to keep your skin looking beautiful and youthful.  Remember that including them at every meal will help you lose that belly fat.  A wonderful way to help incorporate them is to make nut butters.  Buy unshelled nuts because they are fresher.  If you buy shelled for convenience, choose the natural, salt-free type.  Store them in an airtight container and keep them in a cool, dark place.

Nut butters are easy to make and they are better than store-bought types and are totally free of preservatives, salt, and sugar.  Place shelled, roasted nuts in a food processor with a spoonful of olive oil.  It’s that simple!  Voila–you have a great spread–use them on gluten-free breads, in dessert making, to sauté veggies or anywhere you would use regular butter.  Store these in the refrigerator and they will last for about a month!  Don’t forget, you can always add a little flax-seed or vanilla for flavoring!

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

Forty is the New Thirty

So I hit the big 40 yesterday!  I thought I would be depressed and sad.  Instead, I was thrilled!  With age comes experience, with experience comes wisdom, and with wisdom –confidence.  My crazy office family welcomed me with quite a production!  Then, I spent the evening with my beautiful family!  I have to laugh at their choice of posters to harass me with!  My poor friends and family are so sick of hearing me rant about eating healthy that they chose to really get me back!  They even made me eat fried chicken and brownies!  And yes, I felt kinda sick after.  When you walk the health food path for a while–you don’t miss the bad stuff.  Thanks to Kevin Deeth for the concept of the Cheat day because I can completely appreciate it now!  And thank you to all my friends and family for continuing to support my dream!  If you believe it–you can do it.  No matter how crazy anyone thinks you are!

 

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Exercise, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Whole Food 2 Comments

Obesity–by Kevin Deeth

Obesity, diabities, and other weight related issues have become an epidemic in today’s society. Trans fats, artificial sweeteners,  and sugar loaded foods are partly to blame. Laziness, time restraints, and abundant resources are also major contributors. But how about our ancestors and genetics? What if some of our genes and bodily make up were predisposed towards storing fat? One theory suggests this could be a contibuting factor to the obesity epidemic that has taken over the US.

Thrifty Gene Hypothesis

Background

In 1962 geneticist James Neel proposed the thrifty gene hypothesis to partially explain the rise in diabetes in the world. The central premise of this theory is that through natural selection we evolved to be efficient at food storage and utilization. In Neel’s original hypothesis, he stated that ancient humans went through a cycle of feast and famine. The people who had bodies that were better at fuel storage or utilization were more likely to survive during the famine portion of the cycle. Thus over many generations, we developed genetically to be exceptionally efficient at the intake and utilization of fuel as these were beneficial adaptations throughout the majority of human life.

Relating To Obesity

This theory suggests that humans have genes which predispose them to obesity and fat storage.  Essentially, our bodies have evolved as a product of our ancestors whose primary goal when they ate was to store food as fat. This ‘thrifty’ genotype would have been advantageous for hunter-gatherer populations, especially child-bearing women, because it would allow them to fatten more quickly during times of abundance. Fatter individuals carrying the thrifty genes would thus better survive times of food scarcity. However, in modern societies with a constant abundance of food, this genotype efficiently prepares individuals for a famine that never comes. The result is widespread chronic obesity and related health problems like diabetes.

Why Weren’t Our Ancestors Fat?

In the hunter-gatherer society, food was gotten largely through physical activity. Our ancient ancestors have been estimated to have hunt for food for 1-4 nonconsecutive days per week, while women gathered food 2-3 days per week. Needless to say, they were a little more active than the average American who spends anywhere from 10-12 hours a day seated.

 ‘Stone Age’ genes and ‘Space Age’ circumstances

A 2 minute drive in a car with leather/reclined/heated seats to the grocery store is not the same as several miles of hiking and scavenging to find food and resources. We have theses genes which have been inherited from our “stone age” ancestors in these “space age” circumstances where resources are over-abundant almost to fault, and everything is convenient and easy.

Opposition And Problems

  • What about other sociities such as asian cultures where obesity rates are not even close to what they are in America?
  •  The field of epigenetics has shown that the body can manipulate the degree of transcription, or activation, a particularly gene has. Even more astounding is that environmental factors can impact the epigenome within a lifetime, thus altering how a gene functions. This suggests that our genes could recognize certain environmental factors available and adapt as a result which would poke holes in the thrifty gene hypothesis.

Conclusion

As can be seen, the genetics of obesity and the thrifty gene hypothesis are a complicated subject. It is easy to accept or dismiss portions of the hypothesis based on select data, but when taken in full it is clear that we simply do not understand everything that goes into the relationship between genetics and obesity.

Regardless, the important thing to remember is that environment and activity levels play a very large role in obesity problems in America.  Sure we all have different body types and some of us are more likely to put on weight, but the good news is that with proper dietary and exercise practices, you pretty much control your destiny.

Thanks for reading and I will be interested to here comments about this theory and post.

From South Bend,

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