Posts Tagged ‘kale’

Ch Ch Ch Chia

 

Chia-pet

Remember those chia pets that were all the rage in the 70s? How did that happen? I guess that’s what makes things a fad. Pet rocks, Mexican jumping beans, and the best- streaking. FADS from the 70s/early 80s were pretty weird. Well at least chia seeds actually serve a nutritional purpose.

 

Most people don’t realize how amazing these little seeds are.

 

Nutritional Content of Chia Seeds

 

*Iron.  3 times than spinach for strong healthy blood for improved energy

 

*Calcium. 5 times calcium of milk for strong bones and teeth.

 

*Potassium. 2 times potassium of bananas for building muscle.

 

*Protein. 2 times protein of any other seed or grain for muscle strength and energy.

 

*Antioxdants. 3 times antioxidant levels of blueberries for cancer prevention.

 

*Fiber. Twice as much as broccoli for lowering cholesterol, cardiovascular health, stabilizing blood sugar, and constipation.

 

*Omega 3s. Nearly 5 times the omega 3s found in salmon for brain health and balancing hormones.

 

*As an added bonus, chia seeds are considered in Chinese medicine to reduce anxiety, fear, and even panic attacks.

 

 

You can add chia seeds to your morning smoothie. But one of my favorite ways to eat them is my recipe recently featured on The Better Show.

 

Chia Seed Pudding

 

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk (or rice or almond)
  • 1/2 cup coconut water or apple juice
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extra
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries, blueberries, and/or strawberries
  • ¼ cup of thinly sliced almonds

 

Mix coconut, chia seeds, coconut milk, coconut water, vanilla in a bowl.

Place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours.

Top with fresh raspberries and almonds.

 

Dig in and enjoy!

 

Live natural. Live well.

 

Heather

Always Coca Cola

coke-logo-10

Coca Cola, Pepsi , Mountain Dew, Sprite. You name it. I’m not a fan. Patients and loved ones often wonder why I’m so against drinking soda. One can of Coke has the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar. 10. Almost 13 billion gallons of cola were consumed in the U.S. last year. That’s 130 billion teaspoons of sugar just from drinking colas. High sugar content is just one of the reasons I recommend avoiding soft drinks.

Toxic Ingredients

* Phosphorus- weakens bones and decays teeth. A major contributor to osteoporosis.

* Formaldehyde. Yes. An ingredient in plywood and fungicides. A known carcinogen.

* High fructose corn syrup- Increases body fat, cholesterol, diabetes risk,and triglycerides. Also stimulates appetite.

* Fake sugars. Known to be neurotoxic, carcinogenic, and damage optic nerve. More info.

* Food dyes and coloring- linked to hyperactivity, impairment of brain function, lack of impulse control, cancer.

* A diuretic. Makes you pee and dehydrates you. Leading to fatigue, headaches, constipation, irritability, rapid heart rate, and more.

I hope now you’re looking for healthier options. But still feel you need the sugar and caffeine boost?

For bubbles- kombucha or sparkling water with lemon or lime

Energy- chlorophyll rich foods- sea vegetables, spinach, kale,
parsley, cilantro, blue-green algae, sprouts, wheatgrass.

Sugar buzz- the best source. Nature’s finest. Fruit.

Another consequence of soda consumption is plastic consumption. It hurts your health and the environment. Listen to my interview with Beth Terry on how you can use less plastic.

Next time your thirsty or looking for more energy, have a water and a smile.

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

Something Fishy With Your Fish

 

 

Unknown

 

 

 

Fish. Most people think it’s the perfect food for getting your protein and essential fats. A majority of doctors recommend at least 2 servings a week. Eating seafood regularly healthy or completely safe is a myth. That you need to eat fish for optimal health is another myth. So what exactly am I talking about? Seafood is less than perfect because of toxic levels of mercury and radiation it can contain, along with high levels of cholesterol.

 

Mercury

 

Almost all fish are contaminated with mercury as the result of our oceans and streams being polluted by industrial waste. Fish with the highest levels of contamination include: tuna (all types)*, swordfish *, sea bass *, oysters, marlin *, halibut, salmon *, pike, walleye, white croaker, largemouth bass, sea bass *, mackerel *, and shark *. Pregnant women have been advised for years to avoid canned tuna due to the mercury content and the potential effects on the fetus. Keep in mind that mercury exposure is considered toxic at any level, but children are most vulnerable due to their fast growth rates and low body mass.

 

(The above fish, which are asterisked, are not only dangerous to consume, but also endangered due to over fishing. Due to increased demand, the number of sea animals consumed per year is now 90 billion. Blue fin tuna population has dropped 96%. No wonder they’re on the verge of extinction.)

 

High concentrations of mercury can result in:

 

*Depression, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, irritability, lack of concentration, memory lapses, and nervousness

 

*Mental retardation, Cerebral palsy, autism, deafness, & blindness

 

*Trembling hands, numbness in the hands and feet, & loss of muscle coordination

 

Radiation

 

Fukushima was such a horrific tragedy in 2011 for the people of Japan and felt all over the world. Unfortunately, the after effects of this disaster will be with us for decades to come. Before unseen radiation amounts has leaked into the Pacific and is contaminating all creatures and plant life living in it. Obviously, the closer to the spill, the higher the levels of exposure and risk are. Fish living near Fukushima have been declared completely unsafe.

 

I’ve seen some blogs comparing the radiation levels in fish from the Pacific to natural occurring radiation found in a banana. It’s like comparing natural sugar found in fruit to artificial sweeteners. There are different types of radiation, some more dangerous and longer lasting than others. Also, it is well known that radiation exposure is cumulative. The University of South Carolina and University of Paris-Sud finished a study in 2012, which concluded that even low levels of exposure to radioactivity are hazardous to animals and humans. One of the reasons is it that our bodies are unable to flush out radiation, so there is a cumulative effect.

 

Cholesterol

What about all the healthy fat found in fish? Yes, depending on the fish, it may contain high levels of omega 3s needed for healthy brain function and hormone levels. But many of them also contain high cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends eating no more than 300mg of cholesterol per day. If you are high risk for heart disease, you should keep that number under 200mg daily. Just to give you an idea, a dinner containing shrimp will easily exceed 200 mg just from the shrimp alone.

 

Examples of cholesterol in fish

 

100 gram serving                                                 cholesterol amounts

Shrimp                                                                               195mg

Oil-packed Sardines                                                     142mg

Oysters                                                                               105mg

Striped Bass                                                                     103mg

Crab                                                                                    147 mg

Squid (in calamari)                                                         233mg

 

Fish are high in omega-3s because of the seaweed they eat. So why not get your healthy fats right from the source? Other great options for healthy fats include flax, chia, sesame, and hemp seeds, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, spirulina, kale, acai berries, and walnuts. All of these foods are nutrient dense and some a packed with protein.

 

Hopefully, this has you thinking about changing some of your eating habits. If you’re nervous about all the fish you’ve eaten over the years, take a blood test for heavy metals. But you can change what you eat today. Have a kale salad topped with roasted cauliflower, and walnuts for a delicious, truly healthy promoting meal.

 

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

Are YOU Addicted?

 

 

Got you, didn’t I? Addiction is such a buzzword. Most people associate addiction with skid row types or the weak willed. The very opposite is true. All of my patients are addicted to something, but usually it’s to socially acceptable things. Coffee, soda, love, alcohol, shopping, approval, and dairy are at the top of the list. The hardest to give up? And the most prevalent? Sugar. Yep. Sugar. This epidemic of abuse of sugar in this country has gotten so bad that a 12 year old needed a liver transplant due to his intake of soda.

 

It is now a common occurrence to see children taking blood pressure medication and having what used to be called adult onset diabetes- type 2 diabetes. 5-year-olds weighing more than 100 pounds is normal. 100 pounds. Almost 13 percent of children ages 6 to 17 are obese. Something is very wrong. Teenage boys consume an average of 34 teaspoons of sugar a day. It’s recommended that adult males should eat no more than 9 teaspoons of added sugar per day.

 

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study conducted at Harvard proving that sugar consumption and foods that drastically raise blood levels triggers activity in the brain associated with addiction. Sugar and other stimulating addictions increase dopamine in the short term, leading to wanting more. Dopamine is released when you experience pleasure. Since 1970, American sugar consumption has gone up 17 percent. See the connection?

 

Unless you make all your own food from home, sugar is hidden in everything including tomato sauce/ketchup, salad dressing, soup, flavored chips, yoghurt, cereal, canned vegetables, breakfast bars, bread, fast food and chain restaurants, Do you think you’re choosing the healthier option at fast food places by ordering a salad? Think again. A McDonald’s Big Mac has 9 grams of sugar and the chicken salad raspberry vinaigrette has 13 grams. Jarred pasta sauce isn’t any better. A serving of Prego tomato sauce has more sugar than one serving of Oreos.

 

Tips for getting off the junk.

 

* Daily acupuncture is an effective way to ease the suffering of withdrawal.  It helps with cravings.  It also safely and effectively aids a patient in dealing with whatever emotions might come up.

 

* Avoid having sweet breakfasts, such as sweetened yoghurt and fruit, sugared cereal, and sugar-laden oatmeal.  Starting your day off with sugar sets up your entire day to wanting more.

 

* Eat healthy snacks to give you energy instead of reaching for an energy bar, coffee with sugar, or donuts.  Try hummus, veggie sticks, and nuts.

 

* Stop eating and drinking all sugars, sweeteners, and fruit juice. The slightest amount can retrigger your cravings.

 

* Enjoy plenty of omega 3 rich foods- walnuts, kale, hemp seeds, and seaweed snacks. They help with insulin control and healthy brain function.

 

* If you are having something sweet, add a little cinnamon to help regulate blood sugar levels.

 

Addiction. It can be an action or substance that is in any way negatively affecting your daily life, and you find it virtually impossible to stop.  How many times have you said to yourself, “No more,” only to reach for another piece of cake?  It’s time to take charge of your health and give up sugar.

 

Live natural.  Live well.

 

Heather

 

Radiation- What to Do?!?!?

I’ve had so many patients ask about the potential side effects of radiation hitting the West Coast. This gives me a chance to talk about my favorite subject- FOOD.

Whole Grains & Legumes

Brown rice should be lightly roasted to increase your protection against radiation.

Adzuki beans- little red beans used in soups and stews- are great for improving kidney function, which is necessary for removing toxins.

Other delicious grains to help protect you include: buckwheat, millet, and quinoa.

Sea Vegetables

Most sea vegetables contain a polysaccharide that binds to radioactive strontium and other pollutants. This helps to eliminate them from the body.

Kombu, a common kelp, can be used when cooking beans or vegetables. Add to your soup or salad a few tablespoons of sea vegetables, such as nori (used in sushi rolls), hiziki, alaria, arame, or wakame.

Miso Soup

1 or 2 bowls of unpasteurized miso soup every day, preferably prepared with kombu seaweed and root vegetables.

Miso broth with root vegetables (like carrots, beets, yams, onions, turnips and radishes) stimulates digestive enzymes and supports the elimination of pollutants and toxins from the blood.

Eat Your Veggies

Any dark, leafy greens will promote detoxification, including: dandelion, kale, cilantro, and chard. Other veggies to alkaline the body and reduce inflammation are: pumpkin, squash, garlic, avocado, and broccoli.

Root vegetables are a great source of antioxidants and support your kidneys.

Add tumeric- the spice that makes curry yellow- to your veggies to reduce inflammation and support your immune system.

Adding lemon to your filtered water supports the liver’s function to eliminate toxins. It also stimulates your metabolism. Who wouldn’t want that? I recommend drinking lemon water all the time, but especially first thing in the morning to jumpstart your day. No matter what the circumstances.

Supplements

The Iodide Question

There are many conflicting studies about the benefits and efficacy of taking iodine to protect your thyroid from radiation. So I’m hesitant to say anything about it. I personally think taking a low dose potassium iodide pill is usually safe as long as you don’t have a thyroid condition already. Short-term use should be fine, but please consult your physician first. According to the CDC, a single dose is all you need. Should radioactive iodine remain in the environment for more than 24 hours, another dose might be required. You shouldn’t take any at all unless you know that there is an immediate radiation hazard.

Other Steps to Take

Reishi and Cordyceps mushrooms protects your bone marrow from radiation and other toxins.

Spirulina and chlorella help the liver to flush on toxins, including radiation.

If you don’t like to or don’t know how to cook with tumeric, as suggested above, you can take it as supplement. 2-4 grams per day is should be enough.

Some homeopathic remedies to treat radiation: radium bromatum, uranium nitricum, plutonium nitricum, x-ray and plumbum. Please consult a qualified physician or homeopath before taking.

Taking a bath in Epsom salts, sea salt, bentonite clay, and/or baking soda to support your body’s ability to release toxins.

Acupuncture has long been established as great for detoxification and supporting the thyroid & immune system.

Foods To Avoid

You want to make sure your body can easily eliminate toxins, especially radiation. The healthier you are, the better your organs can do their job. So you want to avoid acidic foods and foods that slow down your body’s ability to detoxify. It is important to avoid coffee, sodas, refined sugars, dairy, and ‘white’ (bread, rice, etc…) and processed foods

All of these tips should be incorporated in to your daily lives, whether or not you’re directly affected by nuclear fall out in Japan. Eating a plant based, alkalizing diet will help protect you from almost any disease or pollution.

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

Popeye was almost right

But he should have eaten fresh spinach instead of canned. It’s a great source of iron, which increases the health of your blood, especially red blood cells. Red blood cells in turn feed your muscles, among many other things, and in turn, gives you energy and strength.

The absorbed iron is transported as plasma ferritin and stored in liver, spleen, bone marrow and kidney. When red cells are broken down, the liberated iron is reutilized in the formation of new red cells. Iron is necessary for oxygen transport and cell growth by helping the blood transport oxygen from the lungs to the tissue cells where it is needed.

Are you getting enough iron?

Iron deficiency symptoms include: Pale skin & nail beds, fatigue, irritability, dizziness, weakness, shortness of breath, sore tongue and mouth, light headed, brittle nails, decreased appetite (especially in children), headache, weakness. Other symptoms include heartburn, gas, vague abdominal pains, numbness and tingling in the extremities, heart palpitation, and sores at the corners of the mouth.

What causes the malabsorption of iron?

Deficiency Vitamin C, because Vitamin C aides in iron absorption. In men and postmenopausal women, anemia is usually due to blood loss associated with ulcers, the use of aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS), or colon cancer.

Iron is mostly absorbed from duodenum (part of the intestines) and upper small intestine. So if you have any digestive issues or food sensitivities, you could be at risk for anemia.

Phytate, which is found in some whole grains and legumes, can limit iron absorption. Soy, which is a good vegetarian source of iron, contains phytate and certain proteins that interfere with iron absorption. Other foods that obstruct iron absorption include coffee, tea (including some herbal), cocoa, calcium, fiber and some spices.

Some iron loss occurs naturally. The total daily iron loss of an adult is about 1 mg and about 2 mg in menstruating women.

 

Daily Requirements of Iron

Children, men and women according to age have different nutritional needs. Please see chart below for guidelines.

Children
7 mos – 1 yr 11 mg         1 yr – 4 yrs 7 mg

4 yrs – 8 yrs 10 mg          9 yrs – 13 yrs 8 mg

Men
14 yrs – 18 yrs 11 mg        19 yrs + 8 mg

Women

14 yrs – 18 yrs 15 mg

19 yrs – 50 yrs 18 mg
51 + yrs 8 mg

Pregnant 27 mg

Lactating 14 yrs – 18 yrs 10 mg
19 + yrs     9 mg

 

Sources of Iron

Food                         Iron in mg             Food                       Iron in mg

Black beans              7.9                               Tofu                         4.6
Garbanzos                6.9                               Lima beans             4.5
Pintos                       6.1                              Lentils                     6.6
Navy                         5.1                                Split peas               3.4
Soybeans                 8.8                           Kidney Beans         5.2

Fresh Peas              2.9                            Tempeh                    2.2

 

Vegetables (1 cup cooked)

Spinach                   6.4                             Kale                       1.8
Beet greens            2.8                             Acorn squash         1.7
Swiss chard            4.0                             Brussels sprouts   1.7
Tomato juice           2.2                             Potato w/skin         1.4
Butternut squash    2.1                              Beets                      1.0

Fruit

Prune juice (1 cup)  10.5                            Dates (10)              2.4
Dried peach             5 3.9                            Prunes                   1.8
Raisins, ½ cup        2.6                          Strawberries, 1 cup   1.5

Grains (¼ cup dry)
Rice bran                     10.8                    Wheat bran/germ      1.9
Quinoa                         4.6                     Cream of wheat           8.1
Millet                            3.9                      Oat or cornmeal         0.7

Seeds (approximately ¼ cup)

Pumpkin seeds           4.0                    Sunflower seeds          2.4

Hemp Seeds              13.6

Miscellaneous

Blackstrap molasses  3.2                  Brewer’s yeast, 1 tbs        1.4
Tahini 2 tbsp               2.7                   Cashews ¼ cup               2.0

 

So next time your at the farmers market, pick up some some kale and spinach and add them to your black bean chili or next soup. Or top your green salad with pumpkin seeds.  Not only will it taste great, but you’ll feel more energized.

Live natural. Live well.

Heather

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