There are a lot of scare tactics out there. It is important to me that I give you factual information that has science behind it. As we discuss long Covid and Covid in general, I will give you links where you can go look at this for yourselves. Do not take anyone's opinion for proof (including mine). Go and look for yourself. This will be important to you and your loved ones in the days to come. Knowledge is power and we now have a lot more knowledge about Covid than even 6 months ago. Science is showing us what we need to do to stay healthy. I also encourage you to watch the documentary series "Brave: Reloaded" (link below – starts today, Nov 29). It is a free nine-part series that interviews researchers, infectious disease doctors, neurosurgeons, cardiologists, legal experts and microbiologists. There is certainly enough scientific data to negate the need for fear or vaccines. If you know where to look, you can find the truth. Don't be amongst those who get sick or lose their lives because of being uninformed.
That said, anyone with a compromised immune system, needs to be mindful to take the necessary precautions during any flu season. Rather than a shot that does not prevent the virus and comes with more deadly side effects than your immune problems cause, be informed. Make public appearances in crowded situations minimal, have respiratory and other flu remedies on hand. Get some Ivermectin, Hydroxychloriquine, or Andrographis herb as a preventative and/or to have on hand if you do get Covid. Details further along in this article address their ability and efficacy to deal with Covid well. Take good supplements and nutritional products to address your own health issues, to replace the deficiencies pharmaceutical medications are causing, and eat well to keep your immune system strong.
Here is a link to a scientific overview of 'Ivermectin - not the 'bad boy' if you are concerned about what you may have read in some of the early media coverage: https://www.theepochtimes.com/health/ivermectin-overview_4854366.html?utm_source=News&src_src=News&utm_campaign=breaking-2022-11-21-1&src_cmp=breaking-2022-11-21-1&utm_medium=email&est=TcAtNJ8e5r9Zjc7y12d7cweWPvokk8JtF2mj4x3qHBmFVD7SFslK0kElt7vPAoXqaPk%3D
For Christmas this year, I would like to give hope to those of you who are experiencing "long covid". This is the name for those who have had Covid and are still dealing with symptoms of fatigue, brain fog and pain (among other things) after the initial onset. Statistics say that 1 in 8 people have developed long term Covid symptoms, some quite debilitating. The Sars CoV2 spike protein has the ability to overtake and change normal body response to disease so the sooner we go after the symptoms the better the chance of taking it out. Those who have had to deal with the body's dysfunction, have a harder road to navigate. Health issues arising from receiving the vax, boosters, and exposure to shedding are similar in scope.
The following is an excerpt from the Epoch Times addressing Long Covid: "However, many are hit with a myriad of mental and physiological conditions, including symptoms common to acute COVID such as cough, fevers, shortness of breath, headaches, fatigue, and muscle aches, as well as less common COVID symptoms, including brain fog, severe fatigue, chest pains, depression and anxiety, pins and needles sensations, heart palpitations, and sleep problems, along with other strange conditions.
Not all long COVID symptoms are debilitating, but for some, suffering from long COVID could mean a complete change to their lifestyle and possibly even a disability. The disabilities apparently caused by long COVID are directly related to critical organs, including the brain, heart, lungs, and muscles.
1. Impaired Brain Function: Long COVID impairs brain function and causes nerve damage. Studies have shown that more than 30 percent of SARS-CoV-2 viruses attack the nerves. Nerves are a reservoir of hidden viruses and are connected to internal organs. Many “long-haulers” experience brain fog, difficulty sleeping, headaches, and dulled thinking and memory.
2. Impaired Heart Function: Fatigue is a primary symptom in long-haulers, as well as muscle aches and increased fatigue after exercise. Many suffer from reduced cardiac output, meaning they have to reduce the intensity of their exercise, and some can’t exercise without putting their health at risk.
3. Impaired Respiratory Function: Studies have found that long COVID patients have decreased lung function, owing to scarring and inflammation. This can lead to decreased oxygen uptake and shortness of breath from lowered blood oxygen levels.
4. Impaired Muscle Function: Persistent immune actions against viruses damage cells, including muscle cells and tissue. Inflammation from the immune responses can trigger inflammation in muscle fibers and induce muscle weakness.
5. Impaired Blood Vessel Function: Inflammation in the body damages the cells that line blood vessels, and can possibly impair oxygen supply to organs and muscles. This can cause fatigue and aches. From <https://www.theepochtimes.com/health/long-covid-contributing-to-disabilities-by-the-millions_4706990.html?utm_source=Health&src_src=Health&utm_campaign=health-2022-11-21&src_cmp=health-2022-11-21&utm_medium=email&est=vDNg%2FmHCaL7x8%2B9GzL0YEQe75E6ipOvtDx10HH8adhIBZvyk%2BN6aWxQtiGPx1sV9Aiw%3D>
"Ivermectin, low-dose naltrexone, and resveratrol are on the top of the list as the go-to treatments (for long haulers). These treatments have been found to be the most accessible, and generally brings out a positive response. They are classified as the first line treatments by Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC). However, a smaller group of people may not respond to the typical first line treatments or may respond with remaining unresolved conditions." according to the Epoch Times interview with Dr. Ysef Saleeby, Integrative Medical Doctor and Director Carolina Holistic Medicine: https://www.theepochtimes.com/health/doctor-shares-alternative-spike-protein-treatments-when-go-to-options-fail_4837027.html?utm_source=Health&src_src=Health&utm_campaign=health-2022-11-05&src_cmp=health-2022-11-05&utm_medium=email&est=f7AVWI0i4IDhRmXzWJ%2BKg8wt0WgPx8oGv9PXDWT9M5kkox2R1MK%2BJPC5dRhClZkcSXI%3D
He further states: "Potential injuries include: Reduced Autophagy, Mitochondrial Dysfunction, Persistent Infections, Mast Cell Response, Blood Clot Formation, Cancer, Autoimmune Disease"
There is now new information just produced from Dr. Bryan Ardis & Jonathan Otto in collaboraton with numerous physicians and medical researchers regarding the use of snake venoms and conotoxins in the virus, jabs, and shedding. Bryan Ardis - countering venomation https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?tab=rm&ogbl#inbox/FMfcgzGrbHsKLvkGZKdvGrtvLgrdSkMM
In light of this information, we are adjusting our protocols to include making use of these new findings. Virus carrying venom - treat for venom
Fact: it is now known that covid virus (which is a venom-based virus as is the vax) binds to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brain. In a French study, it was determined that smokers are the lowest demographic worldwide for non-covid problems. (see the above link for video interview and research) Nicotine, which binds to the nicotinic receptors in the brain. The brain will prioritize nicotine over venom and 'kick' the viral venom off the receptors, neutralizing the effects of Covid spike proteins. As a result, oxygen levels increase almost immediately, thus breathing improves. It is now proven that Ivermectin does the same thing. First line treatment recommended by Dr. Ardis is use of any one of the following: EDTA (inhibits venom), nicotinic acid from chewing nicotine gum or other, Ivermectin (1 ml liquid for every 110 lbs in water) or CDP Choline.
Science also tells us that there are nicotinic receptors on brain, heart, kidneys, intestines, testes and ovaries; which are all the organ systems that are documented in hospital cases as targets from this viral venom. All organ systems respond with the above first line use. Following response it is advisable to add supplementation with N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC), Vit C with bioflavinoids at 2000 mg or more per day, and zinc (viral venom acts on zinc to remove it from our bodies). Note: Hair loss from having had Covid is an indication that zinc has been depleted from the body. Taking zinc up to 50 mg per day can arrest this process. Findings are that hair loss can continue up to 3 months after resolution of the virus so start taking zinc right away.)
Symptoms of venom virus prolonged in our bodies are black toes and fingers (lack of circulation), lymph enlargement, blood clots, inflammation, neuro needle-like sensations throughout the body. All of these are symptoms we see in Covid patients and post vax clients.
It is projected that 100,000 people will get Covid this coming year. Be ready, know what to do!
We have flu protocols and protocols for pneumonia which is one of the most prevalent symptoms resulting from Covid infection in the initial stages. You need to know what to do if you have a pneumonia episode before you go to the hospital and get involved with questionable treatments of Remdesivir and respirators.
Although the Covid flu puts most people to bed for a few days and can be extremely fatiguing; with immediate attention, bedrest and the right things on hand, most people recover in a few days to a week. Beginning to supplement as soon as symptoms appear even without a positive test will put you in a better position to fight off the initial infection immediately. DON'T WAIT. If it turns out not to be Covid, you have done yourself no harm. If continued symptoms as described above are present after a week or more, its time to start treating for long covid.
One of the first line treatment herbs we use for early onset Covid is Andrographis Paniculata with amazing success. "An adaptogen Dr. Saleeby often recommends for COVID-related conditions is Andrographis paniculata; both research and his own clinical observations have found the herb to be effective for preventing COVID-19, treating COVID-19, long Covid, and also for spike injuries. The main bioactive component of A. paniculata is andrographolide, which is known for its broad anti-viral and anti-inflammatory effects. Studies have shown it can work against common cold and fever as well as more threatening viruses including influenza virus, SARS-CoV-2, dengue virus, and HIV. A laboratory study showed that andrographolide can bind to spike protein as well as the other proteins of the COVID virus, to prevent viral entry and spike toxicity. Another laboratory study on human lung cells showed that A. paniculata and andrographolide could prevent and fight off COVID-19 infections."
For long Covid, we also recommend proteolytic enzymes, bromelain serapeptase, & fulvic acid which break up any circulating covid spike proteins. Unlike regular digestive enzymes, these enzymes break up 'alien proteins' that are part of the virus structure, and send them out of the body via the waste stream. Taking Vitamins A, C, D and omega 3s are important to protecting heart and cell function (mentioned above as part of the long haul problem) as well as some other supplement choices to work against blood clots & mast cell activation (inflammatory flares). These need to be evaluated on a client by client basis so that any compromised conditions can be considered in choosing the right additional supplements.
There are other factors like herbal adaptogens that can be used for "comfort measures" in the midst of resolving long haul symptoms. Scutaleria Canadensis, Berberine, Cats Claw, Astragalus and magnesium are some examples of additional supplements that can help the body "cope" with discomfort, fever, and recurrent infections from long Covid. Be sure to chose the right one for you per your personal physician.
**If you need help finding a Functional Medicine Doctor in your area, finding appropriate and reliable products, or advice about next steps; or if you cannot open any of the attached links, please do not hesitate to call or email us at Healing Leaves Center. You may also be interested in reading last month's blog where we talk about flu virus in general and what you can expect in any one year.
We are not here to scare or coerce any of you, nor to belittle those who may have had any vaccines or boosters. But if you had vaccination or are experiencing long-covid symptoms after being vaccinated, you should know what to do for next steps to stay well and build your immune system back. You will basically need to follow the same protocols for long haulers with some caveats for your personal symptoms and compromised health issues. The ‘scary’ part is not knowing what to do should you find yourself in this position.
Bryan Ardis - countering venomation https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?tab=rm&ogbl#inbox/FMfcgzGrbHsKLvkGZKdvGrtvLgrdSkMM
Virus carrying venom - treat for venom
More Data Suggestions to Read
The following are a few sites that you might be interested in that can help clarify where we are with Covid treatment at this point in time. More actual scientific data continues to be made available to the public.
Brave: Reloaded 9 Part Docuseries https://braveseries.com/sneak-peek-2/
Starts TODAY – Nov 29
MASKS????????? Despite the myriad of information that masks do not keep germs from spreading, some businesses and especially the medical community are still requiring them. It's a matter of personal choice whether to push back on this one, especially if you are in need of medical care, but scientifically there is no need to wear them out of fear or concern that it will keep you well. Here is a link to an article by Tom Renz, legal council for physicians attempting to get the truth about this virus to the public. google.com/FMfcgzGqRZjdZmZqxWMmbnlpwSQhNtMV
If you have not seen the hour long documentary "Died Suddenly", here is the link. This is an eye-opening account of what funeral home embalmers are now finding amongst those dying of Covid. Again, you need to understand the truth behind the number of deaths by vaccination. With good treatment and follow up these do not need to be happening. https://rumble.com/v1wac7i-world-premier-died-suddenly.html
Ed Dowd is also head of The Humanity Project found at this link:
over 2,400 Americans are dying each day — almost certainly from vaccines — which comes to about 900,000 Americans killed in a year. Across the population, Ed Dowd explains in the interview, excess mortality is running about 32%. Around 7,700 Americans routinely die each day, and 32% of that comes to 2,400+ deaths per day. That’s only counting America. Global deaths are, of course, far higher. From <https://www.naturalnews.com/2022-11-16-excess-mortality-over-2400-americans-are-dying-each-day-vaccine-mandates.html>
Dr. Peter McCullough is a practicing internist, cardiologist, epidemiologist managing the cardiovascular complications of both the viral infection and the injuries developing after the COVID-19 vaccine in Dallas TX, USA. He has dozens of peer-reviewed publications on the infection, multiple US and State Senate testimonies, and has commented extensively on the medical response to the COVID-19 crisis in The Hill, America Out Loud, NewsMax, and on FOX NEWS Channel. He states, "There are over 1000 peer-reviewed papers in the preprint server system and or in the National Library of Medicine (PUBMED) describing side effects after mRNA or adenoviral DNA COVID-19 vaccination. One of the most dreaded complications is vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT).
Because the Spike protein produced in response to the vaccine genetic code causes hemagglutination and micro blood clotting, there is excessive antigenic presentation of platelets to the spleen and reticuloendothelial system. As a result, the body produces auto-antibodies directed against a platelet receptor (PF4) which has homology with an endothelial protein. This causes autoantibody “pinning” of platelets to the lining of blood vessel cells resulting in consumption of platelets, blood clotting and bleeding at the same time.
Unfortunate victims are fine for a few weeks after vaccination. Then bleeding from the oral and nasal mucosa associated with bruising under the skin occurs commonly with serious blood clotting within the brain and elsewhere in the body. Most patients are hospitalized in critical condition as doctors try a variety of medical and interventional maneuvers to combat simultaneous clotting and bleeding."
Be wise – “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.”
As time has passed and the scientific research has been done on the CoV2 virus, we have a better idea of how to prevent and detox from the hidden or long-term after effects in its aftermath. It no longer needs to be a scary, unknown disease.
As children go back to school and begin to exchange viral germs, we begin to see an increase in colds and flu; as well as other viruses easily transmitted in close contact. Look back over history and you will see that it has always been this way; so this year should not be a surprise.
Companies market their products during this time of year in order to take advantage of the parents who are stocking up watching out for their family's health. It is a good time to stock up, not just for when we get sick, but before we get sick. Prevention is even better.
Then there are the predictions about what kind of flu season this might be ahead of the game. How do they know, and who are 'they'? What factors do they look at to come up with those conclusions? Building immunity so that we don't get sick, or our bodies deal with sickness quickly is a better approach. We have to think ahead. In this article, we will look at items to stock up on and why?
What do I mean by intentional detox? You may or may not realize that we are bombarded by thousands of toxic substances in our air, food, and water every day. We have seen anti-biotics lose their effectiveness over time as the bacteria mutate and become resistant. We now know that 'throwing' anti-biotics at every symptom of infection is not always the best way to take care of the problem. We also know that anti-biotics do not address viruses, which have a different structure & function than bacteria. More recent research by folks like Dr. Stephen Buhner, who wrote the book, Herbal Antibiotics, have provided in depth understanding about how this takes place. Recent research by professionals in their field, especially in Europe where herbals and alternatives are more readily accepted as first line defense against disease; have revealed that there are other proven ways to address these issues with herbs, supplements and nutrition. The general consensus has been that the best defense against sickness and disease is a well maintained immune system. One of the things we need to keep in mind when we talk about intentional detox, is adopting into our lifestyle, habits that continue to strengthen the immune system and eliminate any toxic substances that may also be present. This can be different for each individual based on personal need and compromising factors; but there are still common denominators. It becomes a part of our lifestyle rather than an afterthought when symptoms overwhelm the body. It certainly takes more time than just taking an over the counter product; but the results of good energy and lack of fear when the cold & flu seasons hit is worth the peace of mind it provides.
When it comes to dealing with the flu, each year is a little different. There are many strains of flu and each year CDC and others look at trends, age and changes (mutations) in a variety of flu strains from years past to see what viruses are declining or advancing; and they make a decision as to which one(s) might be more prominent so that a vaccine can be provided for the coming season. Those decisions are worked out in the spring of each year in order to manufacture enough vaccine for the following fall season. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't.
What they don't tell you is that there are minute particles of 'carrier' substances in flu vaccines intended to stimulate your immune system to react quickly to create antibodies (example: Thiomersal (INN), or thimerosal (USAN, JAN), is an organomercury compound. It is a well-established antiseptic and antifungal agent.) But for many people, these substances are too toxic and overstimulate your system which begins to attack itself or inflame areas of the body that are already compromised by poor health or poor lifestyle habits. With a weakened immune system, things get worse.
What DOES work is flexing your immunity muscles with nutrition and supplements ahead of time to maintain your health and take care of personal outlying diagnoses that compromise and weaken your general health. That means developing a lifestyle of eating healthy to give your body systems all the best nutrition available so that they can do what they were created to do. It also means adding supplements to provide vitamins, minerals and amino acids that your body is lacking. Drs. Ardis, Mercola, McCullough, Littell, Kory and others all state that prevention and a healthy immune system is the best defense against sickness and disease.
How do you do this? Learn from a reliable source about an alkaline or anti-inflammatory eating style. We talk about this a lot here at Healing Leaves and have written a number of back articles for review. Another good source is www.liveenergized.com, where you can get free information, recipes and food lists. Inflammation is a major initiator of disease in your organ systems. The more you can eat anti-inflammatory foods, the more you can remove the sources of inflammation in your body. Symptoms of disease begin to give your body signals that something is wrong; pain is your body speaking to you that you should pay attention. A good functional medicine doctor can begin to help you discover where the originating source of the inflammation is so that you can begin to address it. The sooner the better. Proper testing, eating changes, and adding herbs and supplements that 'feed' the organs that are declining so that they begin to function the way they were intended can help bring your body back around. This includes those things that help your body eliminate any accumulated 'residue' in body organs caused by toxic overload from inflammatory substances. That, my friends is intentional detoxing.
Where do toxic substances come from? A few examples are hair dye, nail lacquer fumes, food additives, herbicides in soil, petroleum emissions, nano-plastics in the water. They all circle the globe continually adding layers to the environmental soup that gets deposited along the way. It's time to incorporate into our lifestyles, an intentional daily habit that helps our bodies continue to detox these substances and strengthen our own body's miraculous ability to get
well before they become resident in the tissues of our bodies.
So what are the best supplements to take to keep your body in top shape?
First in importance is to make sure your digestive tract, bowels and elimination are functioning well. This includes good bacteria in the bowel promoted and maintained by a good variety of probiotics, eating alkaline to feed good gut flora and create good breakdown and absorption of nutrients, and a bowel maintenance supplement that cleans debris from the bowel and stimulates one to two elimination movements per day. Once your digestive tract is working well, detoxification can take place. Without a good elimination system to take toxins out of the body, any detox system you use will be a waste of money. I recommend using probiotics and digestive enzymes, especially if you are beginning to build your body back from ill health. The greater the variety of strains the better and I recommend having at least two different probiotic formulas with differing strains in order to get the most variety possible. Digestive Enzymes taken
with your meals will help break down food particles into the smallest possible size for best absorption. Too big food particles that are not broken down well will cause inflammation in the gut and help lead to leaky gut. If you are working your way back from health issues, I recommend taking these 2 things on an ongoing basis.
After that the following supplements are worth consideration to replenish and sustain your body's immune system for nutrients not easily obtained by food or the ones most deficient in the average healthy person:
Vitamins D3 4000 IU
Vitamin C w/ bioflavinoids at 2500 to 3000 mg per day taken in 3 separate doses. Quercetin, which has been
recommended for a preventative for CoV2 is part of the bioflavinoid complex of Vitamin C, or you can purchase
Magnesium citrate or maleate 500 mg per day along with good calcium containing foods and herbs
N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) 600 mg 1x per day to help your liver work efficiently as the elimination organ in your body that
takes the toxins out of your blood and sends them to the large bowel to be removed.
Selenium 200 mcg or a chelated multimineral supplement containing all the major and important minor minerals
Zinc 20-50 mg per day with food
Any medications cause deficiencies specific to the medication (example: high blood pressure medication, anti-hypertensives, may cause depletion of magnesium, sodium, potassium, zinc, pyridoxine, thiamine, and vitamin C). If you are on prescription medications, be sure to find out what nutrients they may deplete and supplement for them.
What's being reported right now is CoV2 virus, the flu, RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus, which is an infant virus), and various colds. All of these have a respiratory component to them so building up and being prepared for respiratory symptoms will be important. For many years I was susceptible to respiratory illness until I began to work on my respiratory immune system. If you have a weak respiratory systen you're going to want to follow the above gut clearing and then add a good Vitamin B100 or B200 complex, higher amounts of vitamin C, continue with probiotics and digestive enzymes & eat alkaline. Herbs like mullein for decongesting sinus & lungs, Eleuthero with Andrographis for colds are good to have on hand. Vitamin C at 3000 mg per day, plus echinacea - 2 half droppers & NAC 4x a day will take care of the average cold and maintain your energy without brain fog and lethargy.
As far as the flu (including CoV2) preventative doses of andrographis and eleuthero, once a day, every 3 or 4 days is good immunity strengthening. You can take these before large gatherings when you know they will take place. The research is now showing that any one of the Ivermectins, Hydroxychloriquines (taken as directed) and the herbs andrographis & eleuthero (taken at 2 half droppers 3x a day for 5 to 10 days) are still the best choices if you come down with Covid. For the general flu Elderberry syrup, bedrest, analgesics or meadowsweet for body ache. Remember if you have a fever, let it do its work unless it gets up over 102 degrees. And warm, not hot, epsom salt baths can help some of the detoxification through your skin, and can be a nice way to relax.
We also have the protocols from Dr. Bryan Ardis and Dr. Mercola for detoxing from CoV2 virus and any side effects of the jab. For example, are you still experiencing lack of taste and smell? Research shows that the substance nicotine, counteracts the effects and chewing nicotine gum, will in most cases, return these senses within a few days. If you would like a copy for yourself, feel free to email us a request. If you need more specific information regarding what to do for your compromised health issues, where to get supplements, good probiotic strains, how to begin your personal
detox, etc.; feel free to email us at Healing Leaves (firstname.lastname@example.org).
There is much more to know. This information will certainly get you started in the right direction. After a break for the holidays, we will begin putting together online zoom Study Groups in 2 hour segments. This would be a good subject to pursue. There will be more information coming out on this as to cost, times and topics. In the meantime, if you would like to study something in particular, send me your requests and we will see if we can incorporate them into the Study Group curriculum list.
Meantime, I give thanks for each one of you as November is here and pray all your gatherings with families and friends will be filled with love, laughter and great health!
Sugar! We have known for years that too much sugar contributes to any number of health problems. Some of us have cravings that we just can't get past and continue to reach for the sweets and treats we love. Some of us find a happy medium where we only indulge in goodies during special occasions. Did you know that one of the worst times of the year for people to get colds and flus is right after the first of the year and the Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year celebrations of eating and drinking good cheer? Science tells us that sugar uses the same pathways in the brain as opioid drugs giving us a sense of comfort, while provoking addictive responses for more. You don't have to be a diabetic in order to be negatively affected by too much sugar. The average American consumes 20 teaspoons of sugar a day. This equates to 142 pounds of sugar a year. Is the solution really that we need to get our lack of willpower under control and give up the fun and camaraderie of sharing delectable morsels together?
Answer is - NO! As we approach harvest time and the season of Thanksgiving and family reunions, we need to use our creative and adventurous spirits in the kitchen; and craft some new methods of food prep, by educating ourselves on the numerous other substitutions for sugar. So instead of using the word 'sugar', for starters, we will now refer to the addition of 'sweeteners' to our culinary repertoires. I find when trying to change a habit, changing the word picture created by many generations of culture can adjust our perspectives. Sugar is only one source of sweeteners available to us today. As we look at the alternatives, please remember that they should still be used in moderation.
Honey - a natural sweetener used for decades, it is sweeter than sugar and so you need less. Raw honey contains enzymes, minerals & vitamins and is one of the best sweeteners for building up immunity to common local allergens. It may not work well in certain baking applications where a granular sweetener is needed.
Maple Syrup - This is syrup and granulars made from boiling the sap of maple trees to eliminate the water content. It has much lower fructose content than agave. It is full of minerals and is sweeter than sugar. The darker the grade the stronger the flavor and more mineral content. Granular maple sweetener is great for baking applications where the consistency of finish is important.
Molasses - is a very nutritious sweetener from sugar cane or beets. Made by clarifying and blending extracted juices, the longer it is boiled, the less sweet
Stevia - A very sweet herb that has become popular grows in South America and has been used by them for centuries. It can be 100 to 300 times sweeter than sugar, can be used in baking, and does not have any significant effect on blood sugar levels. It can be purchased in powder or liquid (the liquid is quite concentrated). Green or brown liquids or powders are best, as the white forms are highly processed. I find a slight after taste with its use, although most people find it unobtrusive.
Coconut Sugar - Made from flower buds of coconut palm. Heated until the water evaporates and caramelized, dried and ground into crystals. Good source of potassium, iron, & vitamins. It has same number of calories & carbs as regular sugar but a lower glycemic index. It is a good baking sugar to maintain good texture results.
Date Sugar - Finely ground dehydrated dates keeps the vitamin, mineral and fiber content. Can be used as a direct replacement for sugar in recipes and comes in granulated form. It can clump and doesn't melt, which will not work in some recipes.
Monk Fruit - The sweetener is created by removing the seeds and skin of the fruit and crushing it to collect the juice, which is then dried into a concentrated powder. Monk fruit contains natural sugars, mainly fructose and glucose; however, unlike in most fruits, the natural sugars in monk fruit aren’t responsible for its sweetness. Instead, it gets its intense sweetness from unique antioxidants called mogrosides. During processing, mogrosides are separated from the fresh-pressed juice. Therefore, monk fruit sweetener does not contain fructose or glucose. Beware, because this extract may be 100–250 times sweeter than table sugar, many manufacturers mix monk fruit sweetener with other natural products, such as inulin or erythritol, to reduce the intensity of the sweetness. It comes in crystalized and liquid forms.
Barley Malt Syrup - Half as sweet as refined sugar, it is made from soaking, sprouting, mashing, cooking and roasting of barley. It moves through the digestive system slower than other refined sugars. Made up of 65% maltose, 30% carbs & 30% protein, it comes in thick brown syrup or powder form.
Brown Rice Syrup - The rice is ground and cooked, converting starches to maltose. Tastes like moderately sweet butterscotch. Replace each cup of refined sugar with 1/4 Cup rice syrup & reduce the amount of liquids. Contains 50% complex carbs, 45% maltose & 3% glucose, of which glucose is immediately absorbed and rest is much slower to be absorbed so that steady energy is a result.
What About Tree Syrups
Agave - made from the agave cactus, it is a liquid and often touted as a good alternative to refined sugar because it has low effect on blood sugar for diabetics. But beware - it is high in fructose and affects the leptin hormones which increases overeating and weight gain. Use conservatively if at all.
Birch Sugar & Syrup - Formally referred to as xylitol, this is a concentrated liquid that is shown as safe for diabetics because it does not convert to fat. It is alcohol derived and as such too much can cause the same bloating, diarrhea and gas and refined table sugar because it causes fermentation in the gut in the combined breakdown with other carbs.
Erythritol - Derived from the fermentation of sugar cane and corn starch and does not affect blood sugar. It does have the same bloating, diarrhea and gas affect that Birth syrups have.
Rapadura - This is a brand of "raw" sugar in that it is from extracting the juice of the sugar cane, evaporating the water and grinding into powder. It is unrefined and organic, but it is still sugar with high glycemic and all the other effects we get if we eat too much.
Sucanat - Another brand of mechanically processed sugar cane juice so that it is unrefined and maintains the vitamins and minerals. It has a grainy texture for baking. Again, it is still sugar with all the affects if overused.
Turbinado - Another brand of unprocessed, crystalized sugar cane, it is similar to brown sugar but with all the other negative health effects of sugar in general.
Equivalents for Cooking
If you are hesitant to tread into new cooking territory, here are a few equivalents for some of the above sweeteners as they compare to 1 cup of white sugar in a recipe:
Agave - 2/3 cup
Barley Malt - 1 to 1 1/4 cups
Birch Sugar/Syrup - 1 cup
Molasses - 1/3 cup
Brown Rice - 1 to 1 1/3 cups
Coconut Sugar - 1 cup
Date Sugar - 2/3 cup
Erythritol - 1 to 1 1/4 cup
Honey - 1/2 to 1/3 cup
Maple Syrup/Sugar - 1/2 to 3/4 cup
Rapadura - 1 cup
Stevia - See manufacturer's label as it varies by concentration
Sucanat - 1 cup
Turbinado - 1 cup
How to Stop Sugar Cravings
Last but not least, here are a few techniques for getting off the sugar addiction roller coaster. For those of us with a sweet tooth, we find the temptation to grab another cookie hard to resist. While it is with intentionality that we empty the house of sweet things and go on a fast for a while to break the attraction, one taste of a sweet can start the whole mess over again. The suggestions below are intended to help us make better substitutes so that we stay away from the 'dangerous' sweeteners; while at the same time learning to cook with less harmful sweeteners. Just knowing that refined table sugar is processed with lime, carbon dioxide, extreme heat, acid calcium phosphate, phosphoric acid, blood albumin from slaughter houses, twice boiled, filtered with boneblack (animal charcoal) and then bleached was enough to make me stop. In light of this information, refined sugar has absolutely NO nutritional value and fits the definition of a toxic substance. Need I say more!
Coconut Oil/ MCT Oil - MCT oil is a smoother form of coconut oil and can come in flavors. A lot of folks will use a teaspoon to a tablespoon in morning smoothies, as flavoring for coffee or just integrating into a recipe that calls for oil. Coconut oil has some unique health advantages in that is healing to the gut lining, is a good fat that used in the morning routine gets your Keto (fat burning for fuel rather than glucose) off to a good start for the day. It is a good immune booster on its own and satiates the desire for sugary snacks. Taking a teaspoonful when you get a craving, can help stop the desire.
Use Good Salts - There are numerous salts that our body can use because of the mineral content that they supply; sodium bicarbonate is an example. Buying organic sea salts or Himalayan pink is a good way to get trace minerals into our diets and keep the blood pressure down (often the case with bleached, processed commercial table salts where all the minerals are gone).
Protein/good fat breakfast - This is part of the Keto eating habit. The first principle is to start the day with protein and fat (see picture) and eliminate the carbs. If you start your day with fat, it is more satiating and you don't get the low sugar dive mid morning. It triggers your body to look for fat as it's fuel source. If you start your day with carbs (toast, juice, cereal, pancakes…..) you trigger your body to use and look for glucose. As glucose is metabolized much faster than fat, your body begins to look for another source of fuel within 2 to 3 hours of your last meal, beginning the process of insulin resistance (diabetes). For more on a Keto Diet, see some of our articles on Keto and the 15 Day Challenge.
Cinnamon for sweetener - there are certain spices that have a sweet taste that can be used to counter that desire for something sweet. Cinnamon is one of them, which also has the advantage of being an insulin balancer. Vanilla is another one.
Have Healthy Snacks Available - If you have these in your refrigerator ready to eat, you can train yourself to reach there instead of the cupboard for chips and cookies. Suggestions; fruit slices, organic peanut or almond butter balls, celery & carrot sticks with hummus dip or other assorted healthy dips….
Get Enough Sleep - Science now proves to us that good sleep is a must! The facts show us that a good majority of people suffer from some form of insomnia. A rested body, is one that detoxes and replenishes energy during those sleeping hours resulting in a body that maintains good energy and does not have as many highs and lows.
Exercise - Good for circulation, detoxing lymph, and stabilizing metabolism; we need to keep moving no matter what age we are. It sets us up for good sleep, burning excess fuel and stabilizing the body's call for more fuel.
Stay Hydrated - Keeping all the good fuels circulating & feeding our organs and eliminating accumulated waste products. Make sure it's good, filtered water and not sugary/salty sports drinks or fad soft drinks loaded with more sugar.
Get Rid liquid sugars.
. Sports Drinks
. Sweet Tea
Don't OD on Fruit - Though fresh, ripe fruit is a good source of natural sugar, too much can be and overdose. If you are drinking commercial fruit juice, there is sugar added to these drinks; and fruit not ripened on the fine is devoid of the good stuff. If you are a smoothie drinker, limit your recipes to 1 fruit and the rest veggies for a much better, less sugary, and energy promoting drink.
We will be sharing more articles in the next couple of months about building your immune system for the coming season. Start with the sugar and get that under your belt and the next article will be something you can add to your lifestyle to keep colds and flu out of your house.
And I don't mean computer chips!
What's in a chip? I did a study while I was in the grocery store recently looking for my favorite brand of tortilla chips. As I turned into the chip aisle, I suddenly became aware of how chips have multiplied. Then I started to read labels and look at choices.
Potato, tortilla, pea, veggie, kale, cheese, BBQ, vinegar, sour cream and onion, corn and on it goes in many combinations. With all these choices, you would think that there are some that are better and best. Whether you use chips as your go to snack, your dinner on the run, as a side for a great sandwich, or to entertain guests, the variety and appeal of crunchy chips & all the creative ways to use them is an interesting culture of its own.
Now I hate to put a wet, soggy blanket on your established menus; BUT, after taking a hard look at ingredients, there are a LOT of hidden downfalls that weigh heavily on our health.
Bad fats!! This is the biggest one. There are many food items that can have a negative effect on our health, and bad fats are some of the worst. Not only do they add to elevated cholesterol numbers, but they add to our middles, and contribute to those waves of fatigue that are making mid-day naps a comeback. Even the bags that promote good health and get you thinking your eating healthy, are not as healthy as you think. Here's a list of the oils I found in the chips I looked at that are NOT healthy oils: canola, rapeseed, palm, sunflower, safflower……. If your eating chips made with anything but avocado or coconut oil, you are doing a slow dance with ever increasing sludge in your system. The bad oils are easily hydrogenated, which means infused with oxygen so they can sit on the shelf longer. Oxygen in this form acts like "rust" on a car in our own systems; increasing free radicals and inflammatory responses in veins and arteries, heart, digestive tract and liver to name the biggies. The more we eat, the more sluggish we become.
Chips are not the only favorite foods that contain these bad oils. Commercial crackers, pastries and other processed snackfoods as well as most of those foods found in your local restaurants and eateries because those bad fats are much cheaper on a large scale.
There is hope. If you go on line and search, you will find a few companies that use only the best ingredients; and the oils they use are grapeseed (not rapeseed), avocado and coconut.
The other bad ingredient in chips is food additives. All those wonderful flavors are mostly made with chemicals and no real food at all. These food additives overstimulate adrenal responses and cause more inflammation. All that adds up to a drag on your energy over time and results in other problems, like high cholesterol and heart issues, that are much harder to "fix". All that said, there are companies that use flavors made from real food, cheese, herbs, etc.
So look carefully, read labels, and do some on line research into which companies use real ingredients. You are not likely to find them in the commercial grocery store but in health food stores; and even then be sure to read labels.
Check out the recipes for making crackers from scratch in last month's blog, as it coincides nicely with this article, in case you missed them. It may be worth trying a couple. Like anything else, once you get used to making them, they're really very easy and really nutritious.
Happy chip hunting!!!
These cracker recipes are gluten free and made with almond flour. As well as being healthy, they are easy to make and quite enjoyable as gifts or to bring to gatherings.
Cheddar Cheese Crackers - taste like Cheez-Its without the indulging calories. Just as good on their own as with dips, they are high in protein. (Makes 60 crackers)
2 1/2 C almond flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 C freshly grated cheddar cheese
3 Tbsp grapeseed oil
2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350. Taking 2 large baking sheets, cut 3 pieces parchment paper into size of pans.
In large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, and cheese. In small bowl, whisk together grapeseed oil and eggs. Stir wet ingredients into flour mixture until thoroughly combined.
Divide dough into 2 pieces. Place one piece between 2 pieces of parchment and role out to 1/16 inch thickness. Remove the top parchment and transfer mix and lower parchment to baking sheet. Repeat for second baking sheet with other piece of dough. Cut dough into 2-inch squares with a knife or pizza cutter.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly golden. Let cool for 30 minutes, then serve or break into squares and put into airtight container in your refrigerator.
These are great dipped in hummus or any of your favorite dips. (Makes 60 crackers)
3 1/2 C almond flour
1 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp each finely chopped rosemary and thyme
2 Tbsp grapeseed oil
2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350. Taking 2 large baking sheets, cut 3 pieces parchment paper into size of pans.
In large bowl combine flour, salt, rosemary and thyme. In small bowl whisk together oil and eggs. Stir wet ingredients into flour mixture until thoroughly combined.
Divide dough into 2 pieces and follow directions for crackers above to roll out and place on parchment onto baking sheets. Cut into 2-inch or whatever size crackers you like.
Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly golden. Let cool for 30 minutes, then serve or break into squares and put into airtight container in refrigerator.
These crackers are full of Omega 3s (makes 60 crackers)
2 C almond Flour
2 tsp sea salt
1 C ground flax meal
1 C sesame seeds
1 C pumpkin seeds
1 Tbsp Herbs de Provence (or other herbal blend you like)
3 Tbsp grapeseed oil
3 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350. Taking 2 large baking sheets, cut 3 pieces parchment paper into size of pans.
In large bowl combine flour, salt, flax meal, seeds, and herbs. In medium bowl whisk together oil and eggs. Stir wet ingredients into flour mixture until thoroughly blended.
Divide dough into 2 pieces and follow directions for crackers above to roll out and place on parchment onto baking sheets. Cut into 2-inch or whatever size crackers you like.
Bake 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden. Let cool for 30 minutes, then serve or break into squares and put into airtight container in refrigerator.
Berry season has begun in Vermont and with the sudden change to hot temperatures, they are ripening as fast as folks can pick 'em. Of all the fruit choices we have, berries have the most antioxidant punch. They are lower on the glycemic index and are great choices for superfood snacks, smoothie and salad additions.
It is very important to purchase berries locally from an organic farm. Strawberries, for instance, are #1 on the World Health Organization's Dirty Dozen list; meaning that if they are not organic, they carry the most toxins of all the fruits and vegetables, absorbing ground toxins as well as fertilizer and insect treatments more than any of the others. Most important to get local berries in season when they are at prime ripeness and thus, prime nutritional value. Purchased in grocery stores, they are picked ahead of ripeness for shipping. The other alternative, especially in colder climates, is to get fresh frozen organic. These are picked at proper ripeness and then frozen to retain all their antioxidant and health impact.
We love having our strawberries ready for the Fourth of July, but once they've come and gone, no need to wait until next year's crop. Freezing our own is a great way to have fresh berries into winter and beyond. They are also available to put into your morning smoothie drinks, continuing to add to the antioxidant content every day. They help keep free radicals, which are unstable, inflammatory molecules that can damage cells. Berries help protect your cells and reduce risk of disease. Berries can improve blood sugar levels or reduce levels in people with insulin resistance. One reason is because they are full of good water soluble fiber which reduces the calorie content, slows food digestion for fuller feeling and better digestion.
Berries contain a number of highly nutritive vitamins and minerals. Not only do they help reduce inflammation but may reduce risk of heart disease as well as other health problems. Berries help to lower cholesterol. According to Pubmed a controlled study of obese people, those eating 50 grams of blueberries for 8 weeks had a 28% reduction in oxidized LDL levels.
Berries help contribute to healthy skin and reduce some forms of cancer as they reduce tumor growth factor. They are able to improve and protect blood vessels from clotting and high blood pressure. They are able to be incorporated into almost all types of specialty diets. Thus berries are a great addition to our food intake for overall improved health with continued use.
Strawberries are high in Vitamin C & folates, minerals manganese, potassium, iodine, magnesium, iron, phosphorous and copper. Also contain polyphenols like flavinoids, lignans and tannins that help prevent DNA damage and lower cholesterol.
Blueberries contain a number of bioactive compounds including polyphenols, phenolic acid and stilbene derivatives. They are a high source of soluble fiber. They reduce risk of coronary, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disease.
Raspberries contain essential minerals, vitamins, dietary fiber, potassium, and fatty acids. Another excellent source of vitamin C they help keep elasticity in our blood vessels and lower cholesterol. Raspberries in any form - fruit or tea leaf also strengthens and supports the uterus and female hormones, especially during pregnancy.
Blackberries are a source of minerals, Vitamin A & B, calcium. Cultivated in Europe for thousands of years, they are known for their medicinal properties. The juice has been used to treat infections of the mouth and eye. They have been known to play a role in reducing cancer, cardiovascular complications and other related disease.
As you can see, not only do berries fit any meal or dessert menu with beautiful color, but they supply hidden health secrets to keep our quality of life strong. Find ways to add these power packed foods into your diets. Fresh, frozen or dried, they should become some of our staples of health.
Some of the information in this article is a synopsis of the chapters on grains and beans in the book,
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
Complementary Proteins - Grains and Beans
The major benefit of combining beans and grains comes from their amino acid contents. Both
beans and grains are examples of incomplete protein -- they contain some, but not all, of the
essential amino acids. They also represent complementary proteins, which means that when
you consume beans and grains together, their complementary amino acid contents provide
your body with all the essential amino acids. For example, many grains are deficient in the
essential amino acid lysine, a nutrient found in beans. Conversely, many beans contain only
small amounts of methionine, an amino acid found in larger supply in grains.
As some of you may know, eating grains, especially for someone with gluten allergies, may not
be such a good choice for food. And eating beans has always come with the picture of
excessive gas emissions at inopportune moments. If we look at the history of ancient
civilizations that use beans and/or grains as staples for survival, you will find that they would
soak them for 24 to 72 hours before cooking them and that the two above problems did not
One of the reasons that grains cause gluten sensitivities, irritated and inflamed bowels is
because they contain phytic acid. Untreated phytic acid combines with calcium, magnesium,
copper, iron and zinc in the intestinal tract and blocks their absorption. A diet high in
unfermented whole grains can cause serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss over time.
Soaking allows enzymes, lactobacilli and other organisms to break down and neutralize phytic
acid. Matter of fact, soaking cracked or rolled cereal grains overnight will improve their
nutritional benefits. Soaking also partially breaks down gluten proteins into simpler, easy to
Glutenous grains are oats, rye, barley, teff, spelt, and wheat and should definitely be soaked.
Rice and millet do not contain gluten and do not necessarily need soaking, but should be
cooked slowly for 2 hours in a highly gelatinous mineral broth to neutralize phytates. Quinoa,
chia and buckwheat are not technically grains, but seeds and are an easy source of non-
glutenous grain substitute without soaking. The nice thing about these as a grain substitute is
that they take very little liquid to prepare and are a great survival food with amazing nutrient
content, and light enough to carry in a backpack.
Now, lets talk about beans. Traditional bean eaters of the world, cook their legumes with
great intent. Different cultures soak in alkaline waters, some in acidic waters. Always soaked
for at least 24 hours, some are rinsed and more water added to soak again. These processes
are done to ensure that the beans will be fully digestible and nutrients can be fully absorbed;
neutralizing phytic acid and breaking down complex sugars. Canned beans, on the other hand,
do not break down the phytate content.
According to your own tastes and needs, add any grain to any bean and you have a complete
meal. It wouldn't hurt to have some dried beans and grains set aside in airtight glass jars for
times of power outages and food survival.
The number of dishes that can be made from these two staples is unending. Google any
ethnic grain or bean recipes and you will find their unique style and variety to fit any
tastebuds. From French bean casserole to spicey Mexican refried beans and taco fixings; to
Mideastern Persian black-eyed beans or Falafels made with Chickpeas; there is a cornucopia
of dishes that can satisfy and provide a variety of healthy non meat based meals.
Run out of power at your house? There is a great bread recipe from the Near East called
Zarathustra Bread. These are examples of the small loaves that were carried in the pockets of
dessert nomads as they traveled great distances in the hot, dry sands. This bread cooks slowly
in an oven, food dryer or the hot sun. See the Recipe below.
Sally's cookbook, mentioned above is full of a numerous variety of ethnic dishes with grains
and beans prepared as mentioned above. Another cookbook that you might find interesting is
The Versatile Grain and the Elegant Bean, by Cheryl & Mel London. There is a chapter on each grain or bean, a history of where it originated, its nutritional values, and a few recipes
containing that particular food.
This bread can be made with little or no heat, it can be cooked in hot sun or
dehydrator, made into small loaves or thinned out for crackers. The perfect survival
food. You can find recipes like this one in Nourishing Traditions.
Makes 10 small loaves
3 C soft wheat berries
1/4 C nonirradiated sesame seeds (optional)
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 C currants or raisins (optional)
Place wheat berries and seeds in a bowl covered with water and leave in a warm, dark
place for 24 hours. Pour out water, replenish and leave another 24 hours. Test
berries to see if they are soft. If they are still hard when pinched, replace water and
leave another 24 hours.
Pour off water, transfer berries with slotted spoon to food processor and process with
salt until smooth. Add optional raisins and pulse a few more times.
Form into balls and flatten slightly. Place on a stainless steel baking sheet brushed
with olive oil or butter and bake about 12 hour in a 150 degree oven, turning after
about 6 hours. If you live in a hot, dry, climate, you can bake these in the sun.
Variation: Essene Bread
Flatten the balls into flat rounds, about 1/4 inch thick. Bake on lowest oven heat, in a
dehydrator or, in hot, dry climates in the sun, turning once.
Variation: Essene Crackers
Brush two stainless steel cookie sheets with olive oil or butter and use a rolling pin to
flatten dough into thin sheets on the pans. Bake in 150 degree oven or in a
dehydrator until crisp. Break up into crackers.
We all know that we should eat healthier and there's always room for improvement; but there are hindrances to not only finding good food sources, but affording the extra time and money to obtain them. Given the current environment of threats of food shortages, transportation, and local climate changes affecting growing; we have a daunting task to get and keep our nutritional goals.
If you have local growers, get to know them, who they are and what their practices are. Locally grown is always best as food is grown in a similar environment to your own and the microbiome affects will be complimentary. Produce is also picked when ripe with the fullness of nutrients available. Produce grown and shipped is picked prior to ripening and ripens on the way to you. Many nutrients are lost this way. If you can't get locally grown, the next best thing is to purchase frozen organic in the grocery as those fruits and vegetables will have been picked when they are ripe and frozen immediately for preservation before shipping. Localharvest.org is a great online resource to find organic and grass fed meats in your local area.
Then there's the "ugly food" movement. It has become a thing of the past that slightly bruised and disfigured food is thrown away as not being presentable to shoppers. As there has been a bigger need to provide wholesome food to food shelves and greater numbers of people, the idea of putting perfectly good food into peoples' hands has opened up the idea of no longer throwing the imperfect produce away. As well as there being local organizations that may do this in your area, there are also online sources like Misfits Market (misfitsmarket.com) or Hungry Harvest (hungryharvest.net) that process and mail to your door your orders at up to 40% less depending on time of year and availability. It might also depend on locations. There are others, so explore the internet to find the ones best suited to your needs.
Next options are Thrive Market that carries guaranteed organic for every product on their shelves. They advertise up to 6,000 products including staples, meats, produce and harder to find needs with an entry level fee. This again, can be shipped right to your door. With the prices on gas climbing and despite mailing costs, these may not be such bad ways to obtain good quality food without fuel costs. Butcher Box (butcherbox.com) and Walden Local Meats (waldenlocalmeat.com) are other great sources for mail order meats.
Another new concept in obtaining fresh produce is the "gleaning" movement or food recovery programs, where people go into the fields that have already been harvested, usually by mechanical means, and pick what has been left behind. It helps the farmers clean up their fields and supplies more viable food for food shelves and those willing to take advantage of the excess for their families. Organic farms that store produce over winter will sometimes open their facilities for gleaning overripe or marginal produce.
If you are growing your own food you have an advantage in being able to grow the things that your family loves. For those of you that are beginning this adventure, plan ahead for growing as much as you can and either freezing and/or canning for winter and food shortages in the grocery store. Much like the Victory Gardens of WWII, we can augment, if not fully stock, our larders with good quality food. Here in Vermont where winters can be long, it is a blessing to be able to go into my freezer and bring out fresh frozen green beans in January; or make a blueberry pie with fresh frozen blueberries picked in August.
The following two resource books can help you with practical ways of getting good healthy nutrition, simply as you learn about the pros and cons of food groups and making your own vs purchasing. There are probably more options out there for you than you think so explore with your laptop, your local areas and the mail order options. There are other places like Trader Joes and other food suppliers that carry some organics so read labels and glean from these sources also. Start now to think about sources and plan ahead. Your quality of life may depend on it.
Resources: Food What the Heck Should I Eat? Mark Hyman, MD This is an excellent and down to earth approach to helping people get started eating for optimal health. Dr. Hyman not only gives good nutritional information, but gives practical guidelines about myths and misunderstandings about some food groups. He gives practical information for what to watch for in labeling and nutritional dos and don't as well as good sources similar to the ones above regarding where to get accurate information. He also includes a chapter of meal plans and recipes using simple and straightforward methods for beginners and intermediates.
Nourishing Traditions, The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats Sally Fallon. This is more than a cookbook. It has chapters categorized by product with introductory notes and annecdotal information on every page about where to find the right sources, how to make from scratch, how to substitute with the best foods and myriads of recipes for every lifestyle. She also includes great information on each food group and what to look for and avoid as well as what gives you the most nutritional bang for your buck. Great for beginners as well as the more advanced who want to make their own breads, yogurts, fermented dishes, sourdough and the list goes on. This book has been revised at least 4 times now, but each edition is chock full of great ways of using what is available to you. Used copies will be just as valuable.
Eatwild (eatwild.com) state by state guide or Eat Well Guide (eatwellguide.org)
It Springtime!!!!! I'm thinking of all the green sprouts raising their heads and the wild things that will be appearing. There's plenty of medicinals that will be ready to do our spring health cleansing with; but there's more!! There are some wonderful plants to look forward to that have culinary charm and great artisan potential. If you don't pour herbicide on your lawn, and you don't begin to mow too early, you are likely to find john-jump-ups and violet leaves showing themselves early. Both the leaves and the flowers can be added to salads. Take a look at The Herbfarm Cookbook, by Jerry Traunfeld if you get a chance. There are other places to find recipes for wildcrafted herbs, but non as fun and served with such flair as these. The following are some interesting anecdotes and a good spring Nettle soup recipe that will please your eyes as well as your palette.
Scented Geranium leaves
Geraniums come in so many diverse scents now, from cinnamon to rose. Choose your favorite and try this recipe with your kids. They love putting the leaves in the pan. Its a very simple way to add flavor to yellow or white cakes or cupcakes.
Take any scented geranium leaves, rinsed and dried. Place in bottom of cake pan that has been oiled for non stick. Gently pour in basic white or yellow cake recipe or boxed mix over the top of the leaves. (Or in the case of cupcakes you can put the cake mix into the cups and set one leaf gently on top so that the imprint comes out and the leaf can be removed after baking. Bake as directed. When removed from oven and cooled, remove from pan and flip right side up, removing the leaves from the top. The flavor will have infused into the cake and there will be leaf patterns imbedded in the top. Frost or glaze as desired, or try some creative touches with the leaf patterns with sprinkles, confectioners sugar, or drizzling different colored glazes.
Flowers in salads
It's always been a favorite thing for chefs to add edible flowers to salads and as garnish. As spring and summer arrive along with the flowers, or as you contemplate what flowers to grow in your garden, consider some of these for color and unique flavors.
Borage - an intensely blue flower has a mild cucumber flavor
Calendula - orange/yellow flowers for accenting salads or soups
Daylilies - single petals sprinkled, or full buds before opening, stir fried with veggies
Monarda or "Bee Balm" - many colors and interesting petal formation tastes like oregano
Nasturtiums - a favorite of restaurants with a mild radish flavor
Pansies/Violas/Johnny Jump-ups - early season favorites in many colors and sweet flavor
Nettles are an early spring favorite. Though they have oxalic acid in their leaves which cause a skin rash, collecting them with gloves and scissors works fine. If you do get 'stung' a little lavender aromatherapy oil does the trick which you can carry in your pocket. Cooking takes all the sting out of them and they are full of great vitamins, taste like spinach, and break down nicely for soup.
Gather 2 quarts of gently packed leaves
Use tongs to drop them into a large pot of boiling, salted water for 2 minutes
Drain and plunge them into cold water (they won't sting at this point)
Gather leaves into a ball and squeeze out as much water as you can.
Now to prepare your soup:
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
4 Cups chicken or vegetable broth
8 oz button mushrooms
2 Tbsp long grain white rice
4 oz nettle leaves
1 cup coarsely snipped chives
Optional Garnish: Creme fraiche or sour cream
. Melt butter in medium skillet, add onion and cook until softened
. Add stock, mushrooms, rice and bring to boil
. Reduce heat, cover, simmer until rice very soft, about 30 minutes
. Put half nettles and half chives in blender or food processor, pour half the soup over greens, put lid on and blend on low speed and slowly turn up speed until blended smooth
. Pour blended soup into 2nd saucepan and blend rest of greens and soup
. Stir pureed soup over medium heat until almost a simmer
. Taste and add pepper and salt to taste
. Garnish: Whip fraiche or cream until smooth and drizzle onto top of soup in circular or zigzag pattern
Children love gardens!! If you've ever been around pre-schoolers or young school-aged children, you recognize that they have an innate curiosity for the natural things around them. Be it bugs, animals, flowers or trees, to name a few, they seem to find great joy in the midst of them. Even with all the technology issues that can keep kids inside, the good majority can be pleasantly distracted in natural surroundings. Don't think you can access nature in your small living surroundings? Consider a garden.
Whether container, raised bed, or full-fledged rows of produce, consider the joy you can cultivate in our potentially restricted lifestyles that can make life lighten a whole lot more by bringing the natural in close.
Here are some thoughts:
. Find a sunny spot
. Get some extra dirt, a pail and a shovel and let them stick their hands in it. Some of the best probiotics come from the soil through the skin.
. Use some big pots, terraced shelves, or window boxes for containers
. Make a path
. Assign one of the plantings to each child as their responsibility, as you teach them how to care for it (for really small ones you may need to add a little assistance when they aren't looking)
. Pick easily grown, short germinating varieties and be sure to include something edible, so that when the picking is ready, they can be washed and tasted
. Try some miniature varieties - peppers, carrots, radishes, microgreens…
. Raised beds, short enough for little legs and narrow enough for short arms to reach to the center
. Don't forget some flowers (maybe some that attract butterflies, frogs, or birds)
There are any number of kids gardening kits and ideas on the internet. The point is that we all need a little stress relief. As a parent you might think that this is just another thing to do to entertain your children, but I guarantee that once you get started, this can be just as much of a stress reliever for you and a distraction from the responsibilities we are all under these days. Remember, the goal is not necessarily to provide a whole lot of food for the neighborhood, but to find fun in the midst of chaos. I find that gardening with children is an exercise in the five senses; not just theirs, but yours. It's amazing how watching our children learn about the things around them, can make us smile. At the same time you are teaching them in so many subtle ways, about responsibility, respect for nature, eating good food, "blooming where we are planted", working together, life lessons and so much more.
It's always fun to then turn that food into something yummy. So you are an adventurous mom and don't mind little hands helping in the kitchen, here's a couple of recipes to start you off.
Cheesy Turkey Meatloaf Bites
Cheesy Turkey Meatloaf Bites are perfect for the whole family, but especially for your little one. The best part is they're cooked in mini muffin pans, so they only take 20 minutes to bake. I pack mine with vegetables, and since there's very little salt and no sugary ketchup, I add some cheese which makes every bite taste heavenly. Depending on the age of the child, they may be able to help chop via the processor or at least (with washed hands) help transfer it. It's good for them to see how food gets from the source to the finished product. These are a great substitute for chicken fingers!!
2. Spray a nonstick mini muffin tin with vegetable oil cooking spray or grease with oil.
3. Place the zucchini, onions, bell peppers, carrots, and garlic clove into the food processor and pulse until everything is in tiny pieces.
4. Add the egg, worchestershire sauce, herbs, bread crumbs, cheese, and turkey. Pulse until everything is combined.
5. Place about a tablespoon of the meatloaf mixture in the muffin pans and pack down with a spoon.
6. Bake until the mini turkey loaves are cooked through or an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165 degrees F, about 20 minutes.
There are any number of smoothie recipes that are fun because they blend so quickly and instantly. At my house it's a great way to get extra nutrition in, make them taste good, and they think they're having a kind of milk shake. The following is a suggestion, but let the internet and your family's personal favorites steer the choices.
Half an apple and a medium carrot make a good base
You can add half a banana or half an avocado to make it thick
Other veggies that taste good that can be added: 1" cucumber peeled, half a celery stalk, a handfull of kale, spinach or arugala
If you don't use a banana, blueberries or raspberries but only 2 fruits at most because of the sugar
A cup of coconut or almond milk
You can even add some pea protein powder if you're going for nutrition.
Blend away!! Bon Apetit!
There's always room for a "garden space". Don't underestimate it's influence to transform.
Over 40 years of Herbal and nutritional experience.