My Wellness Guide For 2018!
Here are my top 8 for 2018.. Green is Good!!
The first two, are my favorite additions to my multi vitamin, fish oil, and vitamin D regime:
1. Spirulina... packed with calcium, niacin, potassium, magnesium, B vitamins, beta-carotene, vitamin E, manganese, zinc, copper, and selenium. This is the holy grail of superfoods and bonus it contains protein!!
2. Echinacea Premium by Standard Process...not all echinacea supplements are created equal. To get a little science-y on you, this product contains a total of 4.1 mg of alkylamides per tablet. This is the active component that provides the immune stimulating benefit. This product is also beneficial for upper respiratory and throat health.
3. Aesop hand soap and lotion …nothing beats a good ‘ol hand washing to wash away the germs. If you wash your hands as much as I do, you need a gentle and beautifully smelling scent. This product doesn’t disappoint- Luxurious and wonderfully crafted... A treat for your skin and senses!
4. Uriah Urban Farm lettuce... I am a foodie- a healthy one, that is, and I shout from the rafters that “green is good!”
This weekly service of fresh hydroponically grown, vitamin packed lettuces and herbs is truly genius if you either
A) don’t have a green thumb or
B) don’t have the space or time to have a garden.
My favorites are Arugula, Bibb, Red Gem, Basil, and Mint.
5. A great cook book: Eat smart, what to eat in a day-every day
I have cooked my way through a good portion of this book and love it!!
6. Matcha green powder... Contains L-theanine the amino acid which provides mental clarity and increased focus without feeling jittery, and is full of the antioxidant EGCG. This daily ritual of mine brings out my inner samurai warrior.
7. 5 Minute Journal- I started this habit a few years back and honestly am so thankful I did.
8. A question a day for children This is a daily, after dinner ritual in my household. The boys really look forward to it, and remind me everyday... It’s like a little archive of all the precious things that they say.
Husbands and Fat
Hands down my husband is a gem. Anyone that has had any interaction with him would agree. He's intelligent, humorous, Captain Safety, looks great in a pair of glasses and knows a lot about food! He is truly the Yang to my Yin when it comes to cooking... the marriage (literally) of healthful (me) and flavorful (him). And now, true to the symbol, my cooking has evolved to be a tad tastier and a little more "fancy" and he is a whole lot healthier. Ok on to the fat part, specifically Duck fat! A little in moderation can change up the flavor profile! Its tasty, makes roasted potatoes sing, and did a little something wonderful for these petite Brussels sprouts pictured below. What’s more, it has less saturated fat and more unsaturated fat (the good fat) than butter. Duck fat is minimally processed, really just melted off the duck skin. It is not refined, deodorized, or bleached like some other oils. Its’ smoke point is 375 degrees F and the big bonus for me; it brings a big smile to my French husband and his beloved French family heritage.
Now in the hierarchy of oils, here’s the scoop… Olive oil is still your best bet in terms of health. It has lower saturated fat, higher unsaturated fat, and no cholesterol. When roasting, use Virgin Olive oil because it has a higher smoke point. The smoke point is pretty important, if you exceed that point when cooking with oil, it denatures and releases free radicals, which is no Bueno for your body. Finish with Extra Virgin Olive oil and use in salads. I am also a fan of the health benefits of Coconut oil and use this in baking quite often. Finally… I beg you, do not under any circumstances eat Canola oil! It is dangerous to your health. Do the research and you will be astonished and horrified. Read your labels. It can even exist in "healthy" bread. More on this nasty oil in another blog post!
So without further adieu, on to the recipe:
2 bags of small sized Brussels Sprouts
Himalayan Sea Salt
1 Tbsp Duck fat.. of course I use Rougie Duck fat
Wash and Cut Brussels Sprouts into half or quarters depending on size, peel away outer skins if they are brown
Toss with a tsp (or less) of salt and a Tbsp (or less) of the Duck fat
Place on parchment paper
Roast in oven at 375 degree F for 25 ish minutes or until soft and slightly browned.
You may need to toss mid cooking so as to cook evenly.
I gotta say its been a minute since our last blog post and boy am I sorry. The past holiday season was lovely, and then our healthy little home bubble bursted, compliments of our sweet preschooler.
This nasty guest made its first appearance in December and pretty much stayed with our family as a resident until a week ago.
Chinese herbs, homeopathy, probiotics and acupuncture has helped us manage the strength of the cold virus stopping it at just upper respiratory symptoms. Thank goodness!
Always boosting our immune system is my primary goal, and doing so in the form of food therapy is my primary method. The classical way to take Chinese herbs is boiling raw herbs in water and drinking the tea. At times with life's fast past speed this preparation method is not very feasible, so when I can find a product that eases this burden, and tastes good, I'm all for it!
Enter Pukka teas- organic, herbal, healing, and the big plus- tastes great!
My current daily obsession is the Cleanse variation. It has organic nettle which is super useful for clearing and protecting the upper respiratory system of bacteria and viruses. Dandelion root assists the liver in filtering toxins while Fennel aids the stomach in digestion. Peppermint lends itself to a nice taste and also helps clear excess heat. Also a great flavor enhancer is Licorice Root, but please note that it is not indicated for individuals with high blood pressure.
Cheers to afternoon tea!
When your Child Asks for Chocolate!
Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcake
3 cups gluten free baking flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 cups coconut milk
6 tsp coconut oil
1 1/2 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Always in the Kitchen
Here are some of my favorite cookbooks that I’m currently cooking through- whole foods and easy for a home cook! Some recipes I make as is but some I use for inspiration. I’m the queen of substitution! Not as bad as Sally from ‘When Harry met Sally’… but close!
Raw Food Real World
Crazy Sexy Kitchen
The Vibrant Table
Against the Grain
Salmon Salad with Roasted Veg
For the Vinaigrette:
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Splash of apple cider Vinegar
¾ tsp Himalayan pink salad
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp maple syrup (optional)
For the Salad:
Roasted wild salmon cut into 6 oz pieces
2 big bunches of lettuce of your choice, washed and spun dry
-I use two heads of lettuce from my Uriah urban farms delivery
Bunch of fresh cut parsley or basil
1 ripe Hass Avocado
For the Roasted Veg: cut into 1-2 inch cubes
1 butternut squash
3 golden or red beets medium size
5 large carrots
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
Let’s be honest, we all want to look and feel more beautiful. But before purchasing the next-best eye cream (to add to the plethora of beauty products I’m sure you have), I urge you to look at how adjusting your diet and lifestyle can be the best and most useful tool of all!
Internal Inflammation is the culprit of many aesthetic woes, not to mention that it is also linked to most of today’s illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Without getting too technical, it is important that you understand the science: Inflammation is your immune system’s reaction against a foreign particle or poison introduced into your body. As your immune system attacks these poisons, they create free radicals/oxidants that destroy good, healthy cells and tissues and cause them to age (wrinkle), form scar tissue and die.
OK, so what are these foreign particles/poisons?
The fruits and vegetables that have the highest amount of antioxidants (which neutralize those free radicals circulating throughout your blood stream) are:
Chinese herbs offer a natural way to help different conditions of the face and body. Herbs can be taken alone or combined with others into a formula. Here are a list of a few common herbs for the skin and their uses:
In addition to lifestyle and dietary changes, acupuncture, as well as acupressure facial massage, is useful to address the energy flow through the meridians that traverse the face. Including one or two acupuncture treatments a month, balancing these specific meridians, also lends itself to a more youthful and beautiful self.
Please take a moment and reflect on your diet and lifestyle. I’m sure that there was some advice mentioned that you could take to heart and implement in your life. Keep your eyes peeled during your next trip to the grocery store – I know that you can include several foods listed above. Embrace your beautiful self. Nurture it. Protect it.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/calliope/ / CC BY 2.0
The Serotonin – Food Connection
When watching one of my guilty pleasures – the food network, a commercial break mentioned eating carbohydrates as a snack to help boost mind-calming/mood-altering chemicals in the body, essentially to feel calm and happy. If you know anything about me, I am revered by some as the “food police.” In my defense, I believe that food therapy is one of easiest ways that we can take control of our own health. I discuss diet with every patient and usually send them home with homework – doing a food journal. In the future, I could see myself visiting my patients’ homes and cleaning out their refrigerators…that would be a good time for me! Okay…another guilty pleasure – fridge cleaning!
Back to the point…during the commercial, the suggestions were to snack on popcorn and other carbohydrates for that calming effect. Now, unless you don’t care about your waist or hip circumference…then, by all means, indulge in what is considered as those “comfort foods.” But if you are figure-conscious and want to look stellar in your 7 For All Mankind Jeans, then let me give you the skinny on the subject…
The neurotransmitter Serotonin is the chemical that, when released from the brain into the bloodstream, produces a calm and happy, almost sedative effect – hence the term “comfort food.” The food sources for serotonin to be produced are those that contain tryptophan and those that contain B vitamins. Tryptofan is an essential amino acid that can only be derived from food, the body does not produce it. In the brain, B vitamins convert the tryptofan to serotonin. Yes, some of these foods are carbohydrates such as brown rice. However, the others are kale, spinach, collard greens, broccoli, peas, sunflower seeds, almonds, salmon, blue green algae, brewer’s yeast, eggs, meats, and tofu. There are plenty of better foods to choose from when desiring a calming effect. The trouble when relying on the carbohydrates, specifically, the refined ones like cookies, cakes, white breads, is the blood sugar (insulin) crashing effect that occurs. And don’t forget that excess sugar not burned gets stored as fat…or in laymans terms – saddlebags, bat wings, muffin tops, belly pooch, etc.
In conclusion, if you’re feeling a little nervous or anxious and desire a little calmness, skip the bread and popcorn, bring on the kale salad or power green smoothie!
Here are a couple of my go-to recipes:
Add to the mixture some chopped veggies:
Power Green Smoothie
Blog postings by Natalie Maddox Rougie, AP, DACM owner of Palm Wellness in Tampa, FL.