Posts Categorized: Foods and Recipes for Health

Tips for Insomnia

SquirellGetting a great night’s sleep is important for so many reasons- immunity, metabolism, energy, the list goes on and on.  Most people don’t realize that getting a great night’s sleep is affected by how you woke up that morning, what you did during the day, and how you spent the hour before bed. Read on for the details…

When You Wake Up:

  • Immediately decrease stress by using a regular alarm clock instead of your cell phone.  Waking up to your cell phone triggers you to immediately check emails, news, weather and before you know it- you’re stressed and rushing out the door without breakfast, again. Give yourself time to peacefully and gradually wake up, and save the mobile device madness for later.

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How To Use A Slow-Cooker: And Why I’m Obsessed!

Slow-cooker imageI’ve been using a simple slow cooker for several years now. It’s become hands-down my favorite way to cook- filling my home with incredible smells and leaving me with leftovers to freeze for a few weeks later. Slow cooker meals are the epitome of fall and winter eating: warm, comforting meals that help you to eat seasonally (and locally), since meat and root vegetables are perfectly suited to this method. In looking over a few online forums, I realized that there are a lot of people who aren’t sure how to use one. Read below for FAQ’s and links to a few of my favorite recipes. Read more

Gut Bacteria and Your Health

Fermented food

Photo Credit:knitting Iris/ Foter.com/CC BY-NC-NB

There’s been a lot of news lately on the connection between gut (stomach and intestinal) health and inflammation in the body- you may have read that fascinating article in the Times last week, The Boy With A Thorn in His Joints (and if not, please do!). In the article, a mother tells the story of her son’s diagnosis of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) and the struggle to get him into remission. The boy’s JIA ends up going into remission using a combination of conventional and alternative treatments, including probiotics, Chinese Herbs and avoiding possible trigger foods. Although there is no way to know whether his medication or the supplements and diet changes were primarily responsible for the improvement, the story raises some important issues. Scientists now believe that the health of the bacteria in your digestive tract is responsible for much more than good digestion- immunity, arthritis and several autoimmune diseases are being investigated for a possible connection. A condition scientists call “Increased Intestinal Permeability” (or Leaky Gut Syndrome), in which the intestines are so damaged they leak bacteria and other proteins out into the rest of the body, is theorized to be responsible for inflammation and many autoimmune conditions. In many ways, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is right in sync with this line of thinking- read on to learn how, as well as tips on the best ways to benefit your gut health. Read more

Introduction to Chinese Dietary Therapy

Healthy mealIn summary, Chinese Dietary Therapy is guided by nature, instead of analysis of micro-nutrients as in western nutrition. Each food is assigned characteristics of taste, temperature, energetics, and which organs it most affects. Each food also has special medicinal properties. For example, walnuts are sweet, warm, and moistening to the lungs and intestines. Therefore walnuts can help with such issues as a dry cough or constipation. Another example which I personally find fascinating is that in one ancient Chinese text from 652 A.D., seaweed is prescribed for a patient with a goiter (a very large lump on the neck due to enlargement of the thyroid). Salty flavors are said to dissolve lumps and hardness in the body. We now know that iodine (naturally present in seaweed) deficiency is a cause of goiters. Amazing! This treatment pre-dates any western use of iodine therapy for goiters. Read more

Healthy and Easy- Miso

If you’ve ever been to a sushi restaurant, chances are you have tried Miso soup. Have you ever wondered what exactly Miso is made of? And why has it remained a daily staple of the Japanese and Chinese diet for centuries?

What is Miso? What are the health benefits of Miso?

Miso, before it’s added to broth, begins as a paste made of soybeans, cultured grain, and sea salt (although beans other than soy can be used.. keep reading). It is a naturally fermented food which contains health-giving probiotics. Probiotics are excellent for improving digestion, energy, immunity, and decreasing symptoms like bloating, flatulence, and constipation. Miso has also been shown to substantially reduce cancer risk. It is one of the few soy-containing items that I recommend consuming because it is minimally processed, retaining all those wonderful substances such as K2, all the amino acids, and antioxidants. Read more