These colder winter months when storms and temperatures surround us is a really good time to quiet
ourselves and reflect. One of my favorite things to do is curl up with a good book, about a
subject I really enjoy or get lost in a great novel. What good would curling up by the woodstove
be without something warming to drink while we pass the time. How many of you would love to find a
warm drink that isn't caffeinated or full of sugar? Here is my all time favorite drink - warm
non-caffeinated, no sugar and full of immune boosting power to get you through cold and flu season:
Creamy Coconut Tumeric & Ginger
1 inch fresh turmeric root
1.5 inches fresh ginger root
2 tsp of coconut oil
1 cup full-fat coconut cream (fat doesn't make you fat)
1 cup coconut water (or filtered water)
1 tsp cloves
1 vanilla pod (optional) or 1/2 tsp vanilla
Peel the ginger and turmeric and grate in mortar or bowl.
Add coconut oil and using a pestle press into paste
Pour coconut cream and water into a pan and spoon in paste
Bring to simmer for 4-5 minutes
Serve warm, straining if you wish
Enjoy and happy reading!!
Enzymes are present in all or foods in their raw state. Our body also makes enzymes that work in all areas of our body as catalysts for the breakdown, activation and assimilation of very specific processes. These enzymes can work at the digestive level, in all our organ systems and at the cellular level. Take the heart for example, when someone has a heart attack, the care provider can tell if you have had one by a test that shows what enzymes are present or not present. Catalysts (enzymes) are substances that need to be present for these processes to take place because they contribute an "unlocking" mechanism to the other elements of food; but are never changed themselves and are eventually eliminated from the body.
It is the enzymes in our food that contribute to the breakdown of fats, carbs, and proteins in our digestive tract. They are resident in fresh "live" food as part of it's general makeup. It is the enzymes in food that start the process of digestion by helping to break through the naturally occurring outer coverings of skins, nuts and seeds, so that their nutrients can be accessed by our body fluids. It is the enzymes in the skin of an apple that cause the brown "bruising" when it falls from the tree and begins to break up and rot so that the seeds in the center can be released into the ground. Every food substance is uniquely made so that it's own enzymes know how to protect the source, growth and reproduction of those substances. Without them, we would not be able to gain any nourishment from the food we eat. Without them, our bodies would need to make all the enzymes required to break down all the food substances of the earth. Because our foods contain them, the body is created to use these substances and make use of their natural makeup in our own digestion.
Our bodies do make some of these enzymes. For example, when we eat a meal and chew our food well, we have glands in our mouth and back of our throat that add some enzymes and begin to breakdown fats, carbs, and proteins as they are chewed well and transported to the stomach. They mix with the existing enzymes within the food itself and within 15 minutes of entering the stomach begin to break the food into smaller particles. Our stomach secrets hydrochloric acid (HCL) which is the substance that breaks down protein. In the first 15 minutes of arrival in the stomach, it is not yet contributing HCL to the mix so the pre-existing enzymes are continuing to do their work. Once HCL begins to work, when the stretching of our stomach releases it as it makes room for the content of food, the other enzymes stop working as protein is broken down. When the contents of the stomach are ready to transition to the small intestine, the particalized food and liquids are worked on again by the food enzymes and also the pancreatic enzymes released there.
So you see, the enzymes from our food are important to begin the breakdown process so that there are not too many large chunks of food going from the stomach into the small intestine. When would that happen? It would happen when there are not enough enzymes to begin the pre-digestive process of breaking down our food. And when would that be an issue? It would be an issue if your body didn't have enough OR when we cook our food. Heat destroys the enzymes in food. These circumstances would cause a delay of food moving from the stomach into the small intestine and extend the time and work it would take for the digestive track to break up the food particles. In some cases, your body will have to rob enzymes from other organ systems and processes in order for that to happen. In those cases, those other systems are not able to function at efficient capacity.
For some of us with existing digestive issues, whether irritable bowel symptoms, nausea, bloating, GERD and other cases of indigestion, adding a supplement of digestive enzymes with our meals will make all the difference in aiding the digestive process and helping to overcome some of our most common digestive issues. Taken just prior to beginning to eat, they will be ready to receive the first 15 minutes of food and begin the pre-digestive process. You can find digestive enzymes in your local healthfood store or online. The label should read that these enzymes are made from food products and the most important ones that should be there are lipase, cellulase, amylase, protease _____________. What makes these enzymes different from over the counter antacids is that they don't neutralize the normal HCL which is necessary to breakdown the proteins and is regulated by how much food ends up in the stomach; but they contribute to the workers available
do all the work and also unlock the vitamins, minerals and amino acids to do their part in the digestive process also.
I strongly suggest having at least one meal containing raw food each day like a salad, slaw, crudite fruit...... to continue to replenish the reserves of your digestive enzymes and make the work in the stomach for that meal much easier. You will find a tangible sense of relief in digestion as you add these to your daily meals and the resulting sense of enjoyment in eating a meal. There are many good brands and we will be glad to suggest some for your location if you want to give our office a call.
So I have had so many inquiries about detoxing in the last few weeks that I thought I would discuss my thoughts on jump starting your system for 2018. Seems everyone is thinking they need to recover from too much rich or sugary foods over the holidays and with New Year's resolutions the thing to do, it's on everyone's mind.
My views on establishing a nutritional diet that's right for everyone is more lengthy than I can cover here, but I can give you a few pointers and invite you to consider joining a zoom conference that I will be giving in the next few months for those committed to changing their health for the better. Though each one of you is unique and thus, your road to recovery will be, I can establish the principles of alkaline or anti-inflammatory foods, herbs and supplements and help you determine what options are best for you. Detoxification is an ongoing process of intentionally ridding your body of toxins we accumulate from food and environment that are out of our control. The options for detoxification are also individual and part of an overall personal health plan. Stay tuned for more information on our conference call.
The best way to jump start your body after the holiday sugar binges is to fall back to "clean eating" and re-establish the major building blocks of your health – good carbs, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals (see food pyramid above). You will first have to deal with the over indulgence of sugar which along with being a toxic substance that will literally poison your body, it will suck the vitamin B from any good foods that you may have eaten and has created a craving cycle for you. Just going to eating 'clean food' (anti-inflammatory foods) is a start and you may have to do a 3-day fast to get past the sugar cravings that you undoubtedly have. Once you have eliminated sugar and you go back to even 1 taste of it, you will have your cravings back and need to start the battle all over again. The other thing you need to remember is that heavy processed carbohydrates like pasta, bread, pizza dough, chips, crackers and high glycemic white potatoes will break down to multiple sugars and help contribute to those cravings. Good anti-inflammatory carbs are veggies, fruits and the ancient grains that have not been adulterated. (see food pyramid above). When it comes to digestion and jump starting your system, your first course of action is to "eat clean". First this means to take all the sugars, food additives, processed foods out of your diet and replace them with excellent non-inflammatory foods that are easy to digest. Sugar, food additives and processed foods are inflammatory to the lining of your digestive tract and inflammation is the prime source of disease. If you want to get well and stay well, you will have to deal with these addictive substances and stay away from them. If you replace them with excellent foods that give you energy and don't give you cravings, you will be able to begin to get healthy and STAY healthy.
It is common after the holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter for people to exhibit sickness and come down with whatever viruses are circulating locally at that time. The ability to avoid them or bounce back from them becomes more difficult if your body is loaded up with sugar toxicity and a weakened immune system that results. Just as a side note, those of you who indulge in large quantities of alcohol are taking in large quantities of sugar also, as sugar is the major ingredient in alcohol production. Some would argue that if it’s made from a fermented fruit substance like grapes, etc, it is a natural sugar but I’m talking about the overindulgence of food; not the occasional treat of a glass of wine, beer or tasty pastry. We as humans become obsessive about things and do not balance that with a general healthy diet so we are tempted and drawn off by the massive amounts we see at these times of year.
If you chose to do a 3-day fast I suggest using excellent water. To start your day, drink 1 juice glass with 1 Tbsp of olive oil and 1/2 squeezed lemon. A pinch of cayenne pepper is optional. This will prime your liver to release toxins that it has removed from your blood and digestive tract and begin a process of detoxing anything that is "clogging" up the bowels. The next thing is to drink a liver cleanse tea (this would contain bitter herbs like dandelion, burdock and yellow dock that also help clean and support the liver. There are a couple of good brands locally have some other herbs and spices to help give a less bitter affect. For the rest of your day drink good water and herbal teas. You can add to your water slices of lemon, lime, cucumber, celery, watermelon, tumeric, ginger, peppermint, etc for flavor and their support as your body rids itself of your over indulgences. If you find olive oil and lemon juice absolutely horrible, you can use apple cider vinegar. On day 4 begin as above and then an hour after your oil and lemon drink begin to eat a very clean anti-inflammatory meal. As you do this fast, you may notice feelings or lethargy, brain fog, perhaps a temporary rash or body ache as your body rids itself of toxins. This is nothing to be alarmed about and this would be a good time to rest, get good sleep and get moderate exercise like stretching or walking.
Eat totally anti-inflammatory foods either after you begin back from your 3-day fast or just start. You may have to clean out your cupboards for this one as the temptation to just clean up the left overs might be too much. Whatever works for you, take the 'bull by the horns'. Some of you may get overwhelmed, but start with one of two things that you can change and incorporate them into your lifestyle. When they become a habit, add a couple more things. We are here to encourage and coach you through the hard places. I actually encourage you to learn to develop this as an eating lifestyle but it will be too much to learn in this venue. Do consider joining us for our zoom conference.
Hydration – water, water, water is another consideration in your desire to get back your energy for the new year. If you add things like slices of lemon, lime, cucumber, ginger, celery, cilantro, turmeric, peppermint – whatever you like you add their immune boosting power to your hydration. Good water at 3 to 5 8 oz glasses a day, which can also include good herbal teas will increase the power of your body to circulate the good stuff and wash out the toxins faster. Herbal teas include non-caffeinated herbals like the bitters of dandelion, burdock and yellow dock found in liver cleanse tea formulas (Yogi makes a good one) that will boost immune. Fresh herb combinations of lemon balm, motherwort, astragalus, holy basil, sage, spices like cinnamon, ginger, turmeric will also add to your immune system boosting power to overcome virus and cold activity while making you stronger to maintain health no matter what time of year it is.
While we’re on the subject of toxins. Be mindful of glyphosate. This is an herbicide made by a number of the large herbicide manufacturers. You may be familiar with some of the common ones found in lawn fertilizers as well as agricultural pesticides and seeds. It is extremely toxic and has found its way into wheat and soy products for example. It has made any GMO’d commercial products made with soy, corn or wheat literally dangerous to eat. Look for the non-GMO labeling on everything you purchase at the grocery and health food stores to avoid contaminating your families. When the substance breaks down in your digestive track it literally causes an irritation and tearing of the lining which causes lack of digestion and other degenerative affects through your stomach lining. Be aware this will pertain to restaurants you may like to eat at and other premade foods. Don’t be afraid to ask and spend your money on the best food you can at whatever financial level you are at. And wash everything!!
Other herbals to add to your repertoire this time of year are echincea tincture or tea, elderberry syrup that is full of vitamin C and some companies add other things like echinacea to get all the bang for your buck in one supplement. Mullein is a good herb for lung congestion and clogged ears or infections. Zinc losenges help with sore throats and give your body more ammunition against colds and flu. Cook with garlic during this season because it's an anti-viral as well as an anit-bacterial and oregano oil is also good for both.
Join the blog next week as we talk about enzymes, what they are and why they are important in our 20th century environment.
If you are interested in joining our alkaline/anti-inflammatory zoom conference, let us know by calling the office at 802-683-1785.
Patty Meyers will be leading a trip to Healthy Living in Burlington on Friday, January 12th, at 6:00 pm to look at healthy sugar substitutes and how to use them. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or just arrive at Healthy Living at 6:00.
I will also be presenting more on this subject at the Waterbury Public Library on January 16th at 6:30 pm. If you are interested in joining us, register with Judi Byron at 802-244-7036. A $5 cost will be collected for materials fee.