April Newsletter 2018

April Newsletter 2018

April 2018 Edition

What’s New

On average, kids spend twice as long playing on screens as they do playing outside.

Your Healthy, Happy Child

There’s a lot you can do to help your child maintain optimal health and prevent the occurrence of common illnesses. For instance: Do you model healthy eating? Are you exercising as a family? Do you make time to play and relax? Teach your children the following self-care tips and you’re helping them establish a lifetime of healthy habits.

Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body. Kids should brush and floss at least twice a day. Good oral hygiene benefits the whole body.

Clean Hands, Healthier Kids. A daily shower or bath is important, but it’s routine hand washing that helps prevent the transfer of bacteria, reducing the chance of diarrhea, respiratory illness, and the common cold.

Guard Against Colds. Teach children to: avoid shaking hands or getting close to folks who are sneezing and coughing; refrain from sharing school supplies and toys with those who are sick; never drink or eat from another child’s containers; always use tissues and cough into the crook of their elbow, not their hands.

Bug Prevention. Lice love warm, cozy places. To prevent the spread of head lice, kids should not wear hats indoors. They should never share brushes, combs, hats, hairbands, or athletic headgear. If lice are present at your child’s school or daycare, consider a short haircut or styling long hair in a ponytail, bun, or braid.

Healthy Hydration. Water is essential to health. It helps flush toxins from the body, maintain healthy circulation, promote strong muscle contractions, facilitate digestion, and prevent dehydration.

Eat a Rainbow. A balanced diet includes a variety of colorful fruits and veggies, whole grains, and high-quality sources of protein. Involving your children in shopping and meal preparation empowers them to make healthy choices and try new foods. Eat at least one meal each day together as a family, without watching TV or having phones and other electronics at the table. This promotes mindful eating and encourages family communication.

A Little Sweetness. If you’re modeling healthy choices around sweets, then it won’t bother your kids (too much) that you’re asking them to do the same. Point out the health problems associated with eating too much sugar (e.g., poor athletic performance, gaining weight, diabetes). However, don’t deprive kids and don’t label foods as good or bad. If they’re making healthy choices 80% of the time, a little sweetness in their diet will be okay-and will be savored.

Strengthen Emotional Muscles. Encourage your child to journal, collage, write poetry or draw comics to express a range of emotions. A ‘what’s up’ notebook between an adult and child encourages kids to open up, tell you about their day, even ask embarrassing questions. Adults who reply honestly and non-judgmentally find this is a great way to start difficult conversations or just get a sense of what’s going on with their child. This works best if you start during the later elementary or early middle school years.

Family Values. Call a family meeting and find out what’s important to each family member and what they think will contribute to a healthy, happy home life. For example, your family might identify respect, responsibility and communication as core values. This exercise sets up expectations for behavior inside and even outside your home. It helps kids feel accountable for their behavior toward themselves and other family members.

References

Food for Thought. . .

“Let us sacrifice our today so that our children can have a better tomorrow.” – Abdul Kalam

The Power of Pecans

Whether you call ’em PEE-can or PEH-kahn, they are one of the most sought after nuts around the globe. A cousin of the walnut, pecans are the only major tree nut native to North America. People love pecans for their versatility: They add a sweet, nutty goodness to breads and cereals, stuffing and spreads, salads and side dishes, entrees and desserts. At the same time, they bring a lot of nutrition to the table.

Pecans contain healthy, monounsaturated fats like oleic acid, as well as antioxidants that support heart health by lowering LDL cholesterol and increasing the good cholesterol, HDL. Packed with fiber, pecans support healthy digestion and colon health. Some research shows that diets consisting of pecans (and other healthy nuts) can support a healthy body weight and even help people lose weight. Pecans are a good source of vitamins and minerals that support overall health, including B-vitamins, magnesium, manganese, vitamins E and A, zinc, iron, and folate.

Your family can enjoy the natural, nutty sweetness of pecans as a snack (plain or roasted), sprinkled over yogurt or oatmeal, or sautéed with savory seasonings such as curry powder, sea salt, or paprika. Consider baking with pecans—from cookies to cheesecake and even homemade ice cream.

When purchasing pecans, fresh is best and organic is even better. Look for pecans in the bulk foods section at a grocer that regularly “turns the stock.” Store pecans, and all nuts, in an airtight package away from heat, preferably in the fridge to retain nutrient content.

References

Pecan Nut Butter

It’s sweet. It’s nutty. And it’s oh so good. If you haven’t yet had pecan nut butter, you have to give it a try. The key to exceptional nut butter is the quality of the nut.

Choose the fresh nuts stored in bulk and rotated frequently. Refrigerated, organic nuts are ideal. Toasted pecans blended with a food processor turn out scrumptiously smooth with maple undertones, without any added oil. A pinch of salt and a dash of cinnamon enrich the flavor. Try it on your favorite breakfast bread or whole grain crackers, or smoothe pecan butter over sliced apple.

Recipe yields 1 cup.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces (about 2 cups) high quality pecans, either whole or in pieces
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Dash of ground cinnamon (optional)

Preparation

  1. Pour the pecans into a large skillet and toast, stirring often, over medium heat until fragrant (don’t let them burn!). This will take about 4 to 8 minutes.
  2. Pour the toasted pecans into a food processor or high-speed blender and let them cool for several minutes. Then blend the pecans, pausing often to scrape down the sides with a spatula. The mixture will be crumbly at first, but will eventually blend into super-creamy goodness. Be careful not to let the mixture get too hot, which seems to cause oil separation. You might have to stop and let the mixture/machine cool down for a bit just to be safe. The amount of blending time required depends on your machine- an older food processor might take ten to fifteen minutes to turn the pecans into pecan butter, while fancy Blendtec or Vitamix blenders can turn it into butter in a minute or two.
  3. Add a pinch of sea salt and a dash of cinnamon (if using). Blend again, taste, and add more salt or cinnamon if needed.
  4. Pour into a small jar, seal it with a lid, and store it in the refrigerator for good measure. This pecan butter will keep well, refrigerated, for up to one month or so – obviously, don’t eat it if you see or smell any signs that it has gone bad.

References

Zinc: Essential for Every Body

Zinc is second to iron as the most common mineral in the human body and it’s found in every cell, making it vital to the health and wellbeing of children and adults. Zinc plays an indispensable role in hundreds of biochemical reactions including those that support the development and the health of the blood, skin, muscles, and hormones. Zinc also supports optimal function of the nervous system, immune system, and endocrine system.

Zinc is present in a great variety of foods, such as eggs, seeds, nuts, dry beans, red meat, miso, dark turkey meat, dark leafy greens, and scallops. However, because there is evidence of mineral depletion in soils around the world, your holistic health practitioner may recommend a trace mineral supplement. A zinc supplement might also be recommended for people with a medical condition that affects absorption. Medical researchers are looking at how the body utilizes zinc and whether or not taking zinc can improve treatment for Celiac Disease, diabetes, thyroid function, heart disease, and other health concerns. In other research, a connection exists between taking certain forms of zinc and a reduction in the number of colds in a year, the number of missed school days, and the amount of antibiotics required in otherwise healthy children.

A person’s need for supplemental zinc varies based on age, gender, and other health factors. There are several forms of zinc, but not all are appropriate for every person. For some people, zinc supplements can cause upset stomach or interfere with the actions of other medications. Also, taking too much zinc can have a toxic effect. Consult with your natural medicine practitioner before starting a zinc supplement.

References

Elderberry: Medicinal Elixir for the Whole Family

For millennia, physicians, and herbalists have found medicinal uses for all parts of the elder tree, including its wood, leaves, flowers and berries. Leaves were used in ointments to heal skin. The flowers and berries were made into infusions as a common treatment for colds and rheumatic conditions. Today, herbalists and holistic physicians commonly recommend elderberry for the wide variety of properties that can support the health of the young and old alike.

European (Black) Elder (Sambucus nigra) is the species safely and most commonly used for botanical medicines. Note that the berries should not be eaten (or used) raw. They must be dried first or properly cooked at the peak of ripeness.

Elderberries are rich in Vitamin C and flavonoids that act as antioxidants that protect cells in the body from damage and can help reduce inflammation. They have been used in preparations to treat colds, flu, and bacterial sinus infection. In studies, syrup prepared from the juice of elderberry has been shown to help decrease the duration of flu symptoms, including swelling in mucous membranes and congestion. Other studies have shown that elderberry extracts have antiviral properties and appear to have a role in inhibiting the replication of viruses.

Elderberry can interact with other medications including those used to treat diabetes, asthma, and drugs that suppress the immune system. Before using an elderberry product for an adult or a child, check with your natural medicine practitioner to verify the integrity of the product and appropriate use.

References

Kids And Yoga: Discover the Many Benefits

Under the guidance of a certified instructor, yoga classes for kids focus on building upon each child’s strengths while helping them ease stress and bolster self-esteem, cooperation, self-trust, and reverence for one’s inner world. These classes are for kids of all ages and typically use music, activities, and props to create a fun, interactive environment.

Children experience many benefits from participation in yoga classes including:

  • Enhanced awareness of, and better control of, their body
  • Greater ease connecting to other people and their surroundings
  • Confidence and improved self-esteem/ self-efficacy
  • Enhanced ability to focus and self-regulate behavior and emotion
  • Improved physical skills such as balance, coordination, agility, sense of direction
  • Ability to experience relaxation and learn how to access this state of being at any time

Children’s Yoga Teacher Qualifications

The standard credentials for a children’s yoga teacher is completion of a 200 hour Yoga Alliance approved teacher training plus educational or practical experience with children. (If your child has special needs, that is additional qualification/experience you’ll need to explore). Ideally, the instructor has obtained CEUs or certification in teaching yoga for children.

Before choosing a class for your child, ask questions about the teacher’s experience and certification. Also, observe a class and see the range of abilities being taught; trust your intuition about whether or not a class or a teacher is a good fit for your child. A children’s yoga teacher must be able to truly be present for a child just as they are, in the moment, and demonstrate acceptance that every child’s body does yoga differently. This empowers even the most ‘yoga clumsy’ child to gradually achieve a sense of fulfillment and self-efficacy that can carry from the yoga mat to other areas of the child’s life.

References

Guiding Principles

The information offered by this newsletter is presented for educational purposes. Nothing contained within should be construed as nor is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. This information should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet or fitness program. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information contained within this newsletter.
New Year New You! January 2018 Newsletter

New Year New You! January 2018 Newsletter

The Secrets to Bouncing Back from Adversity

When tough times bring you down, your ability to cope in a positive way is known as resilience. An essential skill for healthy development in childhood, resilience is critical to wellbeing throughout our lifetime. The overriding question is this: as adults can we increase our capacity for resilience in order to lead more fulfilling lives?

The answer is YES. Resilience is not a super power; it’s an ordinary skill that anyone can develop at any age. Think of it as an emotional muscle that can be strengthened. Research shows that resilience is linked to wellbeing by way of positive emotions and coping strategies (e.g.,optimism, cheerfulness, gratitude, mindfulness). Benefits include:

  • a healthier immune system
  • lower risk of chronic disease
  • faster recovery from illness/ surgery
  • improved stress management
  • less depression & anxiety

Six Secrets to Pumping Up Your Resilience:

Catch It Early. One trait of highly resilient individuals is a keen awareness for when things aren’t going right. We’ve all heard doctors say “good thing we caught it early,” and that applies to stress: Identify stress early in the process and you can be proactive in managing how it (and your emotions) affect you and your health.

Stay in the Light. Optimism is the ability to look at a dire situation and assess its meaning for your life. If a significant relationship has ended, there will be grief, confusion, anger and so on. There’s also an opportunity to re-examine your needs and explore what truly makes you happy. Amid dark times, you can mentally stay in the light by using positive affirmation, hanging-out with supportive people, and monitoring what you watch and read on a regular basis.

Look at What’s Next. We all tend to blame ourselves for setbacks, worrying about what could have been done/not done differently. To bolster resilience, remind yourself that even if you made a mistake, many factors likely contributed to the problem. Focus on next steps and see how the vibe of that situation changes from desperation to opportunity.

Recall Your Victories. We’ve all had shining moments of glory – whether at work, in sports, or potty-training a child. When you remind yourself of the challenges you have overcome, you give yourself a shot of resilience.

Manage Daily Hassles. Whether sitting in traffic or waiting in an unexpected long line when you’re in a hurry, use those moments to practice coping skills (deep breathing, for example). Those mindful-skills will come more naturally to you when a crisis hits and you’ll have made a big deposit in your resilience bank.

Break Routine. Routines feel comfortable and are necessary – to a point – but rigidity breeds stress. A sense of adventure, even a simple but challenging activity, helps build resilience by enhancing skills that prepare you to handle stress. So, instead of the 1-mile fun run, enter the 5k; pass on the beach vacation and plan a guided backpacking trip; ditch date-night at the movies and go to the Escape Room or take a class (e.g. cooking or scuba).

References

Food for Thought. . .

“If a man insisted always on being serious, and never allowed himself a bit of fun and relaxation, he would go mad or become unstable without knowing it.” – Herodotus

Spaghetti Squash: Tasty & Good For You

Spaghetti squash, also known as vegetable spaghetti, is a type of winter squash that, when cooked, separates into long pasta-like strands. All winter squash share a few common characteristics. The outer rinds are hard and difficult to pierce, enabling them to have long storage periods, from one week and six months. The flesh is mildly sweet to nutty in flavor and finely grained in texture.

In general, this squash provides abundant phytonutrients that promote health. It contains beta-carotene, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C, which provide anti-inflammatory benefits and support the immune system. Other key nutrients include vitamin B6, dietary fiber, folate, magnesium, copper, and potassium. The combination of these nutrients make this food an excellent part of a heart-healthy diet. These nutrients are also known for their role in cancer prevention and management of blood sugar levels.

Spaghetti squash is at peak season from October to November. Choose a squash that is firm, heavy for its size and has a dull, not glossy, rind. Soft rinds may indicate that the squash is watery and lacking in flavor. Some tasty yet simple ways to prepare spaghetti squash include:

  • Top with pasta sauce and Mediterranean herbs
  • Prepare with eggs, onions and spinach for a savory breakfast
  • Combine with tomatoes, avocado, cumin and cilantro for a latin flavor
  • Toss with sesame seed oil, water chestnuts, carrots and bok choy for an oriental flavor

Find more delicious ways to prepare spaghetti squash

References

Mediterranean Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is a great choice for incorporating a tasty, meatless meal into your weekly menu. Although it has a mild nutty flavor on its own, when you combine spaghetti squash with sautéed onions, olives, feta, and juicy tomatoes, it absorbs those flavors, resulting in a Mediterranean dish everyone will enjoy. This recipe makes a hearty, lunch or dinner. If going meatless isn’t your preference, pair this dish with fish or chicken.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 3-4 pound spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups halved grape tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup crumbled organic feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup sliced organic black olives
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  2. Place spaghetti squash on the baking sheet, cut sides down. Bake until you can poke a sharp knife into the squash with little resistance, about 35-45 minutes. Remove squash from oven; set aside to cool.
  3. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion in oil until tender. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes and cook briefly, about 1 minute. You only want to warm the tomatoes.
  4. Use a large fork to shred the “spaghetti” from the squash and place the strands in a large bowl. Toss with the sautéed vegetables, feta cheese, olives, and basil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

References

Restoring Rhythm with Panax Ginseng

Ginseng is a herbal medicine used widely throughout the world to moderate the effects of stress and support or enhance circulation, immunity, cognitive performance, and antioxidant activity. In fact, Ginseng is traditionally used in Asian countries to maintain homeostasis of the body and to enhance vital energy, or Chi. The herb has received significant research attention in Europe and the U.S, where the effects of stress play a role in quality of life and in many chronic diseases.

Recent research shows that Ginseng has anti-fatigue properties that support the health of cells by reducing oxidative stress (antioxidant activity) and help strengthen the immune system. Taken together, these properties can explain Ginseng’s use as remedy to help with recovery from fatigue and physical and mental stress.

There are several varieties of Ginseng but it is Panax Ginseng (Asian) and Panax quinquefolius (American variety) that has received the most attention. Panax is a Greek term meaning “all heal.” Another related root is Siberian Ginseng, which has different effects and benefits for the body. It’s always best to obtain a Ginseng supplement from your holistic practitioner. This will ensure that you are using the proper variety and dose for your particular health concerns.

References

Wild Oat to the Rescue!

Wild oat (Avena sativa) is far more than a common breakfast cereal or baking staple. Oats are members of special medicinal herb group called nervines. For more than 150 years, traditional medicine practitioners have used nervines, such as Wild Oat, to quell anxiety, reduce stress, support healthy sleep, enhance cognitive function, and settle digestive stress.

As a tonic, Wild Oat extract is considered trophorestorative, meaning it can help return form and function to a particular organ by helping the body “remember” balance and optimal function (e.g., invigorating function when an organ is sluggish or reducing activity when an organ is overworked). Wild Oat is a slow acting remedy that helps calm the nerves, bring relief to emotional instability, and restore a sense of tranquility. It has been a part of holistic treatment for Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome, PMS, panic and anxiety, hyper-reactivity, and for people who are persistently “on edge.”

Commonly used in tincture form, Wild Oat extract is a safe, gentle way to support nervous system health and restoration without the drowsiness associated with sedatives. It can also be prepared as an herbal infusion for tea. Preparation involves steeping in hot water until beverage has cooled to room temperature before drinking. A holistic practitioner can advise you on the specific amount of tincture or infusion that is ideal for your needs. If someone is gluten sensitive or has celiac disease, Wild Oat must be derived from a gluten-free source.

References

Reduce Stress with Mindfulness

Can mindfulness really enhance your health and wellbeing?

Nearly 4.3 million U.S. adults think so. That’s how many engage in ‘mindful practices.’

Popular media refers to mindfulness as any generic process of paying attention in life (mindfully doing the laundry.) True mindfulness is more precisely defined as “being fully aware of one’s own mind, body, and surroundings by paying attention on purpose, in the present moment nonjudgmentally and without attachment.”

Mindfulness as a practice to improve health originated with research by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn. He demystified the traditional Buddhist form of meditation and founded the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR) at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1979. Today, MBSR is used in hospitals, wellness centers, senior centers, inner city schools, colleges, elite sports programs, and rehabilitation clinics around the world. It’s proven to be beneficial for various health concerns, often as good as, or better than, medication for:

  • lowering blood pressure
  • managing chronic pain and illness
  • enhancing decision-making
  • improving depression and anxiety
  • recovering from surgery, trauma, and injury.

The MBSR Program helps people learn to be non-reactive to stress, pain or other triggers, and to decentralize it from the focus of their lives. This results in a cascade of hormonal effects that take the body out of high-alert mode. When the body and mind are relaxed, immune function is enhanced and healing can take place.

An 8-week MBSR program is led by a certified teacher experienced in related practices, such as mindful eating, breath awareness, gentle movement, and walking. Programs can also be designed for specific concerns such as post-traumatic stress, grief, addiction, cancer or back pain. In addition to a mini-retreat, small, weekly classes meet for 90 minutes. The course is designed to help participants establish an at-home practice that becomes habitual.

While in-person programs are ideal, there also are excellent online programs. Verify that the instructor is certified in MBSR.

References

What’s New In November? Respiratory Health, Acorn Squash Recipe, Gluathione, Eucalyptus Oil, and Mustard Packs…

What’s New In November? Respiratory Health, Acorn Squash Recipe, Gluathione, Eucalyptus Oil, and Mustard Packs…

November 2017 Edition

What’s New

If the lungs were open flat, they would cover an entire tennis court!

Respiratory Health & the Power of the Lungs

Breath in. Breath out. We do it automatically, about 22,000 times per day. Until we can’t. For millions of adults and children, taking a deep breath is a struggle; for those who can breathe easily, the power of the breath is often taken for granted. Yet our lungs have a vulnerability not shared by other organs: Along with oxygen, breathing brings in airborne irritants, organisms, and toxins. As these substances increase in the environment, more people are dealing with poor lung and respiratory health.

An unhealthy respiratory system deprives our entire body of oxygen, a nutrient essential to the functioning of all our organs and tissues. A poorly functioning respiratory system compromises the strength of the immune system and puts us at risk for serious illnesses, such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and coronary obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

A Closer Look at the Lungs

The respiratory system includes airways, the lungs and linked blood vessels, and muscles that enable breathing, such as the diaphragm. The lungs sit inside the rib cage and are the central organ in the respiratory system. They are made of spongy, elastic tissue that stretches and constricts as we breathe. The trachea and bronchi bring air into the lungs; they are made of smooth muscle and cartilage, which allows the airways to constrict and expand. The alveoli, tiny sacs deep within the lungs, facilitate the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide from the blood. If not cared for, our lungs are prone to infection and illness.

Protect Your Lungs

Exercise. The better your cardiorespiratory fitness, the easier it is for your lungs to keep your heart and muscles supplied with oxygen. It doesn’t matter if you dance under the moon, swim at sunrise, or walk through the woods…just get moving to a level that increases your breathing and heart rate.

Puff Off. Smoking is one of the most detrimental things you can do to your lungs. There’s no such thing as moderation. Smoking, second-hand smoke in the air, and smoke absorbed by clothes, furniture and car upholstery can damage lung tissue and increase your risk for lung cancer, emphysema, chronic bronchitis and other respiratory illnesses.

Breathe Clean(er). From second-hand smoke to industrial pollution, the levels of toxins in the air are astonishing. This is especially true if you live in, work, or travel to places without environmental protections for air quality. For information on local air quality and an explanation of the Air Quality Index (AQI), visit AIRNow (http://www.airnow.gov/). Reduce toxins and improve your air quality by: using air purifiers or whole house air filtration systems; following a schedule for replacing air filters in your heating/cooling system; and keeping plenty of plants in your living areas to remove certain chemicals from indoor air.

Breathe Right. Most of us don’t breathe well. Too often, respiration is shallow instead of deep, limiting the amount of oxygen taken into the body. Proper breathing begins with good posture – stand tall through the spine and chest. Additionally, practice abdominal breathing, in which you fill the belly – not just the chest – as you inhale.

References

Food for Thought. . .

“Take care of your body with steadfast fidelity. The soul must see through these eyes alone, and if they are dim, the whole world is clouded.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Experience the Health Benefits of Acorn (Winter) Squash

Known for its iconic autumn shape and vibrant green speckled-with-yellow color, acorn squash provides an array of nutrients that support optimal health. These include calcium, potassium and magnesium, each one vital to many physiological processes including the formation and regeneration of bone matter and prevention of osteoporosis. They also play a role in energy metabolism, water balance in the body, and muscle contraction. Other minerals found in smaller amounts in acorn squash include manganese, copper, iron, and zinc.

It’s easy to include acorn squash in your meal plans. Available in the winter months (hence the name, Winter Squash), it can be baked, sautéed, steamed, stuffed, pureed for soups, or incorporated into a variety of meat and vegetable dishes. Acorn squash is a good source of Vitamin C, which supports immunity and works as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from oxidative stress that can lead to inflammation and health problems such as cancer or heart disease. To maximize the amount of vitamin C you receive from acorn squash, use the vegetable within four days after purchase and cut it right before cooking. Steam or bake the squash instead of boiling it to keep vitamin C from being degraded in hot water.

Acorn squash is also high in both fiber and complex carbohydrates. While there aren’t any simple sugars in acorn squash, if you follow a low-carb diet you’ll want to enjoy smaller portions of this vegetable.

References

Acorn Squash Soup

Savory, creamy winter squash soups are great comfort on cold winter nights. This roasted acorn squash soup is easy to make: a little sautéing, roasting, and blending and you’ll have a hearty soup that is nutritious and filling, as well as low in calories. It’s perfect for a family meal and lunch the next day.

Ingredients

  • 1 large acorn squash
  • 2 T. olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 c. unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 c. vegetable broth
  • Optional: Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt for servin

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
  2. Chop the tip and tail off the acorn squash, then cut it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard them (or you can roast them like pumpkin seeds–they’re delicious!).
  3. Drizzle the squash flesh with 1 T. of olive oil; sprinkle with salt and cinnamon. Place squash halves on a baking sheet, cut-side down. Roast for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the flesh is very soft.
  4. Use a spoon to remove the squash flesh from the skin; discard the skin.
  5. Heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until browned, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  6. Add the squash, sautéed onion and garlic, almond milk, and vegetable broth to a blender and blend until completely smooth.
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, if desired.

Tip:

If you have an immersion blender, you can cook the onion and garlic in a Dutch oven, then add the remaining ingredients and blend directly in the pot.

References

The Master Antioxidant: Glutathione

Produced naturally in the body, glutathione is made of three amino acids − cysteine, glycine, and glutamine. It functions as an antioxidant, helping to rid our bodies of free radicals – molecules that can damage our body and contribute to chronic illness.

In addition to clearing free radicals, it plays important roles in boosting the work of other antioxidants, nutrient metabolism, the immune response, and the detoxification process that neutralizes drugs, chemicals, metabolic wastes, and other toxins and carcinogens. Because it can regenerate itself, and because it is used by every cell and tissue in the body, glutathione is considered “the Master Antioxidant.”

A deficiency of glutathione contributes to oxidative stress which plays a key role in aging and the development of diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory conditions, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease to name just a few. While not considered part of “mainstream” medicine, there are a number of lab tests that can be used to check glutathione levels. These are known as Oxidative Stress Analysis tests. Your best resource for investigating these types of tests is your holistic healthcare practitioner.

For general health, the best approach is to enhance the body’s levels of nutrients needed for boosting glutathione levels through a whole foods diet. This includes broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, garlic, and onions as well as walnuts and avocado. Eating foods rich in B vitamins and selenium also supports the body’s natural glutathione levels. This includes beets, garbanzo beans, spinach, and lentils for the B vitamins; and for selenium include foods such as wild-caught yellow-fin tuna, halibut, grass fed/ organic boneless turkey and beef.

In order to gain the best benefit from an oral glutathione supplement there are two important things to consider: the form and cofactors (helpers). The best forms are L-glutathione, acetyl glutathione or liposomal glutathione. In addition, glutathione works better when it is paired with other substances that help the body absorb and use it, i.e. cofactors. These include N acetyl-L-cysteine, B vitamins, selenium, magnesium, alpha lipoic acid and vitamin C. For serious respiratory illnesses, glutathione might provide its best medicinal effects when it is inhaled. Deciding on the appropriate dose and whether to use oral or inhaled glutathione to gain the most benefit can be challenging so consider working with a healthcare practitioner to determine what is best for you.

References

Ease Respiratory Symptoms with Eucalyptus Oil (Eucalyptus globulus)

Eucalyptus has held a place in herbal medicine for centuries. Native to Australia, there are more than 680 species of eucalyptus, ranging from scrappy shrubs to towering trees. The bark and leaves provide a rich source of the pungent, heady fragrance that has become popular in modern aromatherapy. Specifically, Eucalyptus essential oil (EO) has attracted research attention for easing symptoms of respiratory illness.

The medicinal properties of Eucalyptus EO include anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, antibacterial, antiseptic and expectorant. The primary active component, cineole, loosens phlegm so the body can expel it more easily, easing symptoms such as cough, runny nose, sore throat, and congestion. Eucalyptus EO is found in many over-the-counter remedies including throat lozenges, inhalants, decongestant syrups, and chest rubs. However, it’s unsafe to ingest eucalyptus oil or to apply undiluted oil directly on the skin.

As an aromatherapy remedy for respiratory symptoms, you can buy eucalyptus prepared as a tea, chest rub, or vaporizer. You can also purchase organic Eucalyptus EO for use in bath water, to add to a vaporizer, or a room diffuser. The oil distributes in the steam, which helps open the nasal and respiratory pathways as you inhale. In a bath, add 1 tbsp of milk (almond, cashew or rice) with the oil to enhance dispersal of the oil.

Before preparing a home remedy, consult with a holistic physician about the proper dilution of the oil as it can interact with other medication, create an allergic reaction for some people, and requires different preparation for children than for adults.

References

Ease Chest Congestion With Mustard Pack

When you’re battling a cold or other respiratory condition, your lungs often get congested with mucous that’s difficult to cough up. Forceful coughing can irritate the sensitive lining of your respiratory passages; your chest and stomach hurt with the effort, it’s hard to breathe, impossible to relax, and all at a time when your body is working hard to recover good health. Still, you have to expel that trapped mucous in order to prevent infection from developing in the lungs, causing more serious illness such as bronchitis or bacterial pneumonia. A mustard chest pack may be just the trick. Mustard stimulates blood circulation by dilating the capillaries. Applying a mustard pack over the lungs helps open the airways and makes it easier to cough and release phlegm. Next time you’re down with a cold, give it a try.

How to Prepare a Mustard Pack

Ingredients

  • 1 T. Mustard Seed Powder
  • 4 T. flour
  • A drizzle of Olive or coconut oil
  • Cotton Cloth (muslin cloth)
  • Warm, wet wash cloth

Directions

  1. The mustard seed powder must be finely ground. If yours is lumpy, place in a mortar and pestle and grind until fine.
  2. Add flour to the mustard powder and drizzle in a little water to make a paste. The paste should not be thick or watery.*
  3. Sterilize the cloth by boiling it in water. Squeeze out excess water and place on a clean cutting board.
  4. Spread a thin layer of the mustard paste on the cloth.
  5. Apply a thick coat of the oil and then place the mustard pack on the chest. Cover with a warm wet cloth.
  6. Leave in place for 15 minutes, then remove the pack and wash the area with warm water.

*See images of preparation at: www.wildturmeric.net

References

Guiding Principles

The information offered by this newsletter is presented for educational purposes. Nothing contained within should be construed as nor is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. This information should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet or fitness program. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information contained within this newsletter.