Archive of ‘food’ category

Diet advice you won’t hear from your mother

A few years ago I spent 7 weeks living and studying Ayurveda and Yoga in the jungles of Bali. Our meals consisted of kitchari and greens.  Occasionally we also ate fruit.  You would think this kind of diet would get tiring and that I would have been plagued by cravings. But the opposite is true.  Not only was I supremely satisfied after eating, but I looked forward to and thoroughly enjoyed each meal.

Deb with kitchari

 

Recently I decided to cook kitchari and greens and create a mini-Bali experience for a week.  But after one day of eating this way I was bored.  Upon finishing a bowl of kitchari, I found myself craving something sweet.  The recipes were the same.  So why was my experience different?

 

 

today's special

That evening I watched “Today’s Special” – a feel-good foodie comedy about a young chef who reconnects with his heritage and passion for life.

At one point in the movie, the young chef is being reintroduced to a real Indian meal in which everyone is eating with fingers instead of forks and knives.  He is visibly bothered by what he considers uncouth manners – at which point his wise teacher says:  Eating with utensils is like making love through an interpreter.


BOOM!  That’s it!!  That’s the missing piece to my kitchari-eating experience.

Suddenly I flashed back to the dinner table in Bali.  We always ate with our fingers! In fact, our teacher told us that the fingers communicate what kind of food is getting ready to enter the mouth – which is a preparatory step in healthy digestion.  I used to experiment by closing my eyes and watching my body’s reaction to the food I would touch.  When I touched the ginger turmeric condiment that was in my kitchari, for example, my mouth would instantly begin to water!

If you’ve read any of the research on mindfulness or pleasure this all makes sense. So there you have it.   The missing link that improves digestion and decreases cravings: ignore what your mother told you and play with your food. (TWEET IT) 

I’d love to hear from you.  Do you ever eat with your fingers?  What sensations does it bring up for you?  Let’s chat about it in the comments below!

PS:  My schedule is now open for 2016 Private Guidance Sessions.  Click here to book yours.

Healing Flowers You Can Drink

Hibiscus

I spent Thanksgiving week at the most amazing functional medicine hospital/spa in the world called Sanoviv.  Every time I go there I learn something new.   Today I wanted to share how I learned to make hibiscus tea.

Sanoviv is located in Baja California and the property is full of hibiscus bushes.  Who knew these beautiful flowers could be boiled to make a delicious and nutritious tea?

The health benefits of hibiscus tea include relief from high blood pressure and high cholesterol, as well as digestive, immune system, and inflammatory problems. It helps to heal the liver and reduces the risk of cancer.   It has also been used in the treatment of hypertension and anxiety.  Hibiscus tea is rich in vitamin C, minerals and various antioxidants.  

With all those healing benefits packed into one exotic flower it proves once again that Mother Nature doesn’t sacrifice beauty for utility. (Tweet It!)

Hibiscus tea is ruby red in color and has a sour taste similar to cranberry – so I like to add a tiny bit of stevia for sweetness.

Here’s how I make it:

1 – 2 flowers per cup of water (if the flowers are small, use 2)

Boil flowers in water for 30 minutes

Strain and cool

Add stevia to taste

Serve in a glass befitting the beauty of the flower it came from

 

After you’ve had a sip, please leave me a comment below about your experience!

Cheers,
Deb

An easy way to start your day with veggies.

My 17 year-old son’s training schedule is intense! He swims 6 hours on Monday and Wednesday, swims 3 hours and does 2 hours of dryland training on Tuesday and Thursday, and swims 3 hours on Friday and Saturday. With all that exercise you’d think he would eat large quantities of food. But he is so fatigued that he often says he’s too tired to eat.

So I’m always looking for ways to pack nutrition into each meal and snack. I thought I’d share one of the ways I get healthy fat, protein and lots of veggies into his breakfast and mine. Usually my son eats about 2/3 and I eat 1/3 of this recipe.

 

Veggies_Deb

 

  1. Sauté ½ cup diced onions in a tbsp. of ghee.
  2. Add ¾ cup zucchini and ¾ cup squash diced and continue to sauté.
  3. Add ½ cup chopped tomatoes (if I don’t have large tomatoes, I slice cherry tomatoes) and continue sautéing until the tomatoes cook down a little.
  4. Beat 4 eggs and add a pinch of salt.
  5. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and finish cooking.
  6. * Sometimes I add goat cheese at the very end. Mmm….mmm..mmm.

 

If you’ve read my newsletter before, you know I’m not a chef….so while this dish could become a beautiful omelet, it’s usually a cross between scrambled eggs and an omelet.

The great news is that no matter what it looks like, it tastes awesome and is a great way to start your day with veggies!

Bon appetit,
Deb

 

Simple, Delicious Summertime Yumminess

One hundred degrees
Makes me want to slow way down
Enjoy simple things

Here are two of my favorite summertime treats.  Super delicious and super simple to make.  Oh…and bonus: super nutritious.

July21pudding

Chia Puddingtwitter-icon
8 ounces unsweetened Hemp (or almond, coconut or cashew milk)
¼ cup chia seeds
A squirt (or 2) of liquid stevia (or agave, honey, xylitol to taste)
Mix with whisk.
Let sit at least an hour in the fridge. (I let mine sit overnight)
Top with your choice of fresh, summertime fruit.

July21limeaid

Sparking Limeadetwitter-icon
Sparking water (I use Topo Chico or LaCroix)
Squeeze ½ lime
Sweeten with Lemon Flavored Stevia to taste

Here’s to simple, summertime pleasures,

Deb

Some of My Favorite Things

I enjoy sharing
Things that support my body
To be radiant.

Deb_Blog_foodismedicine

You may wonder why I write so much about food, digestion, detoxification and supplementation.  Well, it’s not something I dwell on, but in 2000 I was diagnosed with a severe case of Epstein Barr Virus. (EBV)  Many people carry EBV without any symptoms, but when the immune system is under duress, that nasty virus takes over and makes you feel awful.  In my case, I was so fatigued that my bones ached.  So fatigued that I would literally fall asleep at the dinner table.

Luckily, I met Dr. Christiane Northrup who introduced me to Sanoviv – the only functional medicine hospital in the world – and the wonderful practitioners at Sanoviv put me on a food and supplement protocol that helped me knock that EBV down. As long as I keep my immune system strong I don’t have any symptoms.

So…I pay a lot of attention to what I eat and drink and am always on the lookout for new foods and recipes to keep things interesting. This summer I met chef Gail Blair who, after decades of preparing healthy cuisine, has developed a gift she calls “food intuition.”  She is very accurate at helping people discover which foods are most compatible to their bodies.

Gail introduced me to several new foods that I’ve now incorporated into my daily plan.  I thought you might like to see some of the new and some of the tried-and-true items in my collection of foods and supplements that support my digestion and immune system:

Some of My Favorite Things

Some of My Favorite Things

From left to right:

USANA MyHealthPak – these are customized AM and PM packs of pharmaceutical grade vitamins and minerals that keep my immune system strong.

Xyla – birch xylitol.  Most xylitol is derived from corn – and almost all corn is genetically modified.  But xylitol can also be made from birch.  And since there are no genetically modified birch trees (yet!),  it is a healthier source for a low carb, low calorie sweetener.

USANA digestive enzymes – has all the enzymes needed to help digest proteins, fats and carbs plus artichoke extract which helps prevent bloating.

USANA Fibergy – pulls toxins and binds them for elimination, removes excess estrogen (so important in perimenopause) and has prebiotics which feed the probiotics and help them flourish

USANA Probiotics – verified 12 billion colony forming bacteria (it doesn’t matter how many a label says are in the product – what matters is how many survive the transit through your digestive system and actually colonize.)

Garden of Life Organic Plant Protein – I’m always looking for tasty protein powders to keep variety in my diet.  I LOVE this one!  15 grams of protein per serving.

Hemp Hearts – awesome to sprinkle on soup (as in my photo above) and salads.  Great source of protein and healthy fats

USANA Hepasil DX – Promotes the liver’s natural detoxification process and helps the liver metabolize fats and cholesterol and move them out.  It also helps the liver produce glutathione – a powerful detoxifying agent.

Dr. McDougall’s Organic Lentil Vegetable soup – there’s nothing but wholesome ingredients in this little box of soup.  I love how convenient it is when I’m in a hurry.  (it’s the base of the soup in the photo above.  I simply added kale as I heated it and then topped it with cilantro and hemp hearts.  YUM!)

Hemp Milk – what I learned from the food intuitive, Gail, is that it’s important to vary your diet – including the type of milk you drink.  I had been drinking almond milk exclusively and had created a slight intolerance to it.  So she has me switching from almond to coconut to hemp milk each week.  I’d never tried hemp milk before and was hesitant – but this milk is super creamy and super delicious!

Chia Seeds – easiest dessert ever:  1 cup coconut/almond/or hemp milk + 4 TBSP chia sees + stevia and almond extract to taste.  Let it sit in your fridge for a couple of hours and voila!   Healthy tapioca pudding.

I hope this encourages you to try something new this summer!

To your vibrant health,

Deb

P.S.  Since my health was so improved with USANA supplements, I became an affiliate for their products 10 years ago.  You can order through my website, but I prefer to customize people’s supplements for them.  So if you’d like my support, please simply reply to this email.

P.P.S.  I am not an affiliate for any of the other products or for Gail’s services, but you can find the other products at Whole Foods or Thrive Market – and you can find Gail’s services here.

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