Veggie Rutabaga Fritters

While shopping at New Seasons Marketplace, I often find delicious food samples. Here is one I really enjoyed, so I bought the ingredients I never thought I liked, came home and made them. You can vary the ingredients to your liking. Rutabaga are surprisingly mild and a cross between cabbage and turnips. Here is my version of their recipe:

Smoky Rutabaga, Sweet  Potato, & Green Garlic Fritters

1 rutabaga

1 sweet potato (orange ones sold as “yams”)

3 green garlic – bulb and stems chopped

2-3 Tablespoons almond flour (they used rice flour)

1 tsp. smoked paprika

1-2 eggs

1 tsp. salt

extra virgin olive oil for frying or try grape seed oil.

Grate the rutabagas and sweet potato using the large holes on a grater. Combine all the rest of ingredients except oil.

Mix well adding more flour or egg if needed to hold the fritters together.

Put enough oil in heavy skillet to cover the bottom. Use 2 soups spoons to form egg sized fritters. Cook until browned and drain on paper towel. Makes about 12 fritters.

These simple fritters travel well; great for snacks too.

REMEMBER WHO WE ARE

IN HONOR OF THE SPRING EQUINOX!

As the earth moves beneath our feet

and  new mountains emerge from the depths of the sea,

All that was hidden must now be revealed.

With nothing left to cling to

and no one to blame,

 

 

 

We are at last alone with ourselves,

immersed in the ocean within,

diving below the surface

again and again

while it all rises up to meet us.

And so we learn to breathe

into the turbulent waters of our emotions

To find the inner anchor that holds still

as the winds of change and uncertainty

blow through our minds, our homes, our World.

Nowhere left to run

Right here, Right now, Open, Ready

It is time to return to Wholeness,

To Remember Who We Are.

by Melissa Myers 2012

This lovely writing comes from We’Moon 2104 – Radical Balance

Purple flower

 

America’s Secret Addiction – SUGAR!

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Sugar is America’s Number One Addiction

I confess my fondness for sweetness in my food has existed for a long time. Even being natural medicine doctor for many years, it has been a challenge to not have sugar of some form in my daily diet.  Back in the 1970’s my interest in eating better began while raising my two sons. I carefully read all label ingredients and refused to buy any package foods containing chemicals, other unrecognizable words and more than 2 sugars (i.e. breakfast cereals). It was my great start to understanding good nutrition.

Currently, the more research I read about the dangers of food loaded with sugar, the easier it is to remove sugar laced foods.  I’d like to reveal to you how these “sugars” have crept into our everyday food intake.  First one has to recognize what actually is a sugar: AKA simple carbohydrate.

Sugars In Disguise:

  • Words ending in ‘ose’ are sugars. Sucrose, fructose, maltose, dextrose & monosaccharaides are more popular types found in almost all packaged food.
  • Common sugars includes: raw sugar, brown sugar, beet sugar, cane sugar, confectioner’s (powdered) sugar, molasses, turbinado, maple syrup, sugar cane syrup, cane juice, invert sugar, malt syrup, and high fructose corn syrup.
  • Flour: the most common one used is white bleached wheat flour, which is a simple starch found in the American diet. This simple carbohydrate readily converts to sugar.
  • Gluten free foods for example contain rice, corn and potato flours which also readily become simple sugars.
  • Fruit juices and lactose in milk contain sugar.
  • HFC = high fructose corn syrup is a cheap sugar manufactured and found in most soft drinks.

Food manufacturers have been very creative in luring people like yourself into buying packaged foods. Prepared foods often taste so good because of the many different starch/sugars. You eat them and  inevitably want more – creating a sugar craving and addiction cycle. Plus the evidence is now clear: high sugar/carbohydrate intake leads to increase fat storage in the body.

So what can I eat?

There are  many foods without high amounts of sugar, and it’s imperative to know what is in food you are eating. Best policy: avoid all package foods! If you have to travel plan your food ahead – seriously.

Read more:  “Sugars Maybe Killing You”  

What you CAN do:

cashewsI carry nuts and seeds with me. Nut butters (excluding Nutella) are wonderful snacks. Buy your organic veggies, wash and carry cut up carrots, celery, radishes, zucchini and/or some roasted vegetables. All these foods travel well without refrigeration.

Drink water and stop all canned drinks. They all contain some type of sugar or artificial sweetener.

See my recipe blog for more health ideas.

Reducing sugar will improve health and wellness. Sugar, as it is now better understood, is a key player in causing inflammation in the body which is the crux of many chronic diseases today.

Next blog, I will discuss sugar and its association with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Here’s to YOUR health….

cleans

 

Winter Foods for Health

During the cold months we tend to eat less green salads and melons and crave more warming foods. This is a natural progression and eating according to the season makes perfect sense. In Asian cultures this has been in practice for thousands of years. In the early 1980’s I studied with macrobiotic teachers learning about seasonal eating. This education preceded my naturopathic degree, but it still influences how I make nutritional recommendations today. A basic tenet  still heard today is to eat locally grown food. For good environmental reasons and planetary health it’s best to not eat foods shipped 100’s or 1,000’s of miles from  where it’s grown. So mid-winter pineapple and banana are fruits best not consumed. They are cooling foods which deplete our inner heat.

Green vegetables and whole grains are well suited for the colder months in northern climates. If you are living in a warmer climate this is less of an issue, but eating foods grown locally still applies. Warming foods consist of foods grown in the ground like root vegetables like carrot, parsnip, potato, but also cabbage along with squash like butternut and acorn. These plants take longer to grow compared to lettuce and yellow and green summer squashes. Raw foods are more cooling than cooked foods.  In his book Healing with Whole Foods, Paul Pitchford (Third edition 2002) writes how Asian medicine offers another dimension to foods for healing. He states how Traditional Chinese Medicine classifies foods and the treatment of disease according to cooling and warming properties of foods which are prescribed according to the state of the person and whether they are overheated (yang) or deficient (yin).

kale

Green foods for winter include Swiss chard, broccoli, collard greens and brussels sprouts. These slow growing green foods are substantial and support liver function and natural detoxification.

Whole grains are very warming foods by their nature and should be consumed in moderation; vegetables should be the major food substance on your plate. The best warming grains according to Pitchford are: rice, wheat, whole barley, spelt, well-cooked oatmeal, and quinoa.

Oatmeal

 Think of a bowl of steaming hot oatmeal on a cold winter morning.

Another important aspect of good nutrition in winter is taking time to slow down while eating!

  • Chew foods thoroughly 30-40 times per mouthful; liquified food digests the best.
  • Create a positive atmosphere while eating; no multi-tasking! You will digest everything better!
  • Allow 20–30 minutes per meal; take time to enjoy nourishing your body. No rushing!

As a naturopathic physician, I know the mind needs to be calm and positive to receive the  nutrients offered by the food. Bless your food and give thanks for the abundance all around.  Remind yourself when eating you are nourishing a temple:  your body, your mind and your soul. Specific foods are necessary for certain conditions for healing. Contact me at: HealYourLife13@gmail.com for personalized consult.

 

Peaches All Year Long

Would you like to enjoy peaches all year long? Peaches are ripe and ready for harvest in late August into September. But what to do with all this fruit? Here is a simple way to preserve and store this luscious fruit!

First of all, I choose to buy organic peaches. Chemical sprays used on fruit cannot be easily washed off, so it’s best to avoid all non-organic food.

Here are some simple steps to prepare and store peaches for later use.  Leave on the skins, and wash thoroughly.

Then slice each ripe fruit into thin pieces and place on a cookie/baking sheet in one single layer. You can place them right next to each other to get as many as possible on one sheet. Then lay the baking sheet on you freezer shelf for about 1 hour. This will freeze the fruit just enough to be able to remove fruit from the pan into a freezer container; use either freezer bags or containers to store your peaches.

Place containers with fruit in freezer and store for later use during the fall/winter months and all year long.  I freeze fruits every year which I use for desserts like peach/blueberry cobbler or peach pie. Delicious!

 

Water as Medicine: How Does Water Heal?

How does water heal?  First let’s look at the word ‘heal’. It is derived from the ancient word ‘hal’ which means to make whole or restore.

Often taken for granted in modern society, we don’t place much value on water particularly as a healing agent much less water as medicine.  Conventional medicine lost its wisdom by completely moving away from water as a healer and focusing on pharmaceuticals as the mainstay for treatments.  But water truly is an essence that helps the body with its own natural healing ability.  In this writing I will explain the basic qualities in water that make this so.

Qualities of Water

Here is a little review: water has the ability at different temperatures to be in three states: ice, liquid and steam (or vapor).  In each of these states, water can release or absorb heat into or away from the body.  This transfer of energy is where healing can occur making water a powerful medical tool. As the body temperature is changed, so is metabolism, circulation and cells of the immune system.

The body is also a heat organism always working to maintain a certain temperature for all its cell operations (a good thing).  Each individual cell becomes a part of heat production and collection, which maintains our core temperature somewhere between 98 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit.  Heat regulation, a very important part of health and wellness, enhances enzymes and bio-chemical reactions that have their peak performance at the proper internal temperature.  Keep in mind that our body’s water content is about 60% depending on a person’s age.

With high percent water content,  the body has to do three basic things with fluids: heat it up, cool it down or keep it neutral.  In some situations warming the body can enhance a healing process, by calling forth certain cells to do healing work (white blood cells for example).  There may be a need to bring heat to a specific area, like a hand, arm or foot to heal a wound or infection.  A warm heating compress can be the treatment of choice for issues from sore throats to general detoxification.

Cold therapy

In Naturopathic medicine, cold water therapy can be useful in a number of ways.  For instance, as in the case of injury and fluid collection, cold applications improve circulation, reduce a very high fever and stimulate the body to warm itself.  This useful and wise application of water has been and still is practiced by knowledgeable healers.

Neutral therapy

water therapyNeutral water therapies have been well known to calm the nervous system. Newborn babies bathed in tepid (neutral temperature of 98 degrees) are soothed as they were in the womb. We have excitable nervous systems that can be restored to balance with a neutral bath. Before pharmaceuticals were available, neutral baths were recognized therapy AKA hydrotherapy.

 

How Does Water Heal?

Water is an agent for healing when we know how to use it.  There is something magical about being in water. One of the most healing experiences I gave to myself during a particularly difficult time in my life, was to go to the ocean.  While living on the coast in Florida, I would ride my bicycle to the beach in the very early morning, go into the calm water and just allow the seawater to float me.  I’d float and float and feel the support of the earth mother’s liquid, which was neutral and comforting. It is a memory of water healing that still comforts me today.

Take time out and be in the water; it is really good medicine. As a naturopathic physician, I use water as a natural treatment of choice.  Water therapy can help when there is a lack of sleep, hormonal imbalance and during menopause. In the next writing I will explain the types of water therapies that can be used.

 

 

Water as Medicine – Part 1

Water is a natural resource and it’s easily accessible and practical for self-care and comfort or for medical therapy, however it is often overlooked for its valuable aspects in wellness care or as a healing therapy. Since water is plentiful in most parts of the U.S. we take its availability for granted. In current medicine the first line of therapy could easily consist of a simple treatment instead drugs, which are used for a quicker fix. Our culture is less healthy today in part, due to the heavy use of drugs both over-the-counter and prescription; we should avail ourselves to the simpler remedies first and use drugs as a last resort.

Earth’s water sources are healing, whether it is soaking in hot mineral springs, swimming in river water or seawater or drinking from natural spring waters. Water is the source for supporting life in so many ways. In our modern culture, water is often taken for granted because we can access it so easily from the faucets in our homes.  In subsequent articles I will expand  specifically on water’s many uses for healing.

But first, here is a little history. As an example, 100-150 years ago many people commonly practiced using water as a healing agent and recognized it as medicine. Its regular use was appreciated by applying to the body a variety of baths, douches (a spray of water designated to a body part), water sheet wraps, poultices (wraps with herbs or earth clay), steams, etc.  People took time to soak, shower and then rest after therapies.

Practitioners of that era were varied and plentiful. The “regular” doctors scoffed at “hydropaths”  the water healers, who did get great health results. The water therapists, or hygienists and naturopaths of that era cured serious cases of infections such as pneumonia.   Recorded cases in the 1930’s and 1940’s document successful treatment in cases of pneumonia as an example. Patients with pneumonia and associated high fevers completely recovered using wet sheet wraps, colon clearing and fasting.  In this time period before antibiotics, the death rate for pneumonia was 25% when treated by the allopathic doctors.  Many alternative hydro-therapists claimed a 100% success rate. [1]

The point here is that water therapies can work very well in simple and also in complex illnesses. As the failure of drug therapies and antibiotic resistant bacteria grow stronger, we may need to rely on the “old ways” once again.  A well-trained naturopathic doctor can hold the key to your recovery when conventional drugs are failing.

In my practice as a naturopathic physician, I have recommended these simple therapies many times.  Bathing can be the perfect medicine for anxiety, painful muscles, menstrual disorders or joint pain. Spending time by or in the river or ocean can allow stress reduction and rejuvenate the spirit.  Water as medicine is simple and effective.

bagby hot springs

 Water is a natural healer; use it frequently.

In the next writing of this series I will reveal how the water affects the body helping it heal.

 


[1] Water Cure Journal, Pneumonia, John Wilson, MD, ND, Birmingham, England, May 1944.

Estriol – Natural Hormone Balance in Aging Skin for Women

Dry Aging Skin

 For women, aging is a complex issue. There are numerous physical changes that will be faced as the decades move on.  Many women want to retain some youthful essence and feel concerned as the aging process brings on skin changes. Skin ages differently for each woman during and after menopause, and it is related to several factors, including natural hormone balance.

The biggest factors that influences aging skin is a type of tissue under the skin called collagen along with the amount of circulating hormones.

Importantly, collagen supports the structure of the skin, is high in youthful skin and declines with aging. As collagen is lost along with estrogen hormones,  wrinkles appear and skin feels and looks dried out.

There is Help!

 Several nutrients along with hormones directly influence collagen. Vitamin C is quite important because it helps to synthesize collagen. Vitamin C also is important for immune health and cardio-vascular health. learn more about Vitamin C. Omega 3 fatty acids (DHA & EPA in particular) are very helpful in keeping skin moist and collagen healthy.

Several hormones are also important contributors for healthy collagen. Growth hormone, which is very high in youth, holds an important place for healthy collagen.

For women estrogens are key in the aging skin process. With the onset of menopause, skin changes are quite apparent. Estrogens drop rapidly, and while a woman maybe concerned about hot flashes and sleeplessness, her skin is also being affected by this estrogen loss.

As a naturopathic physician and care provider for women I believe a woman can maintain healthy looking skin by using a safer form of estrogen called estriol.

Estriol is a natural hormone that has been well-studied especially in Europe. European women have been using estriol for decades. When prescribed for women, it has very few side effects. Estriol is a sister to estradiol, the stronger female hormone, but without the unwanted side effects. Estriol is produced in high levels during pregnancy so we know its safety.

For my clients who want to maintain healthy skin collagen, and to look younger and relieve dryness associated with aging, estriol can be used topically on the face and neck, and be simply wonderful for restoring some skin fullness and youthfulness. I have been prescribing this hormone for many years and have found it to be a welcome relief for natural support to skin.

aging photo

 Celebrate Healthy Aging!

Insulin – the Dark Side: The Importance of Hormone Balance

Hormones are messengers that dart about the body delivering important signals.  From the day we are born, hormones are active; without the 30 plus hormones we would not grow and thrive.  The problem is they are complex signalers with interactions with each other and many different cells through out the body. Thank goodness they are working! This is key in hormone balance.

One such complex hormone is insulin. Insulin is created in the pancreas, which sits right below the stomach and manages sugar going into each cell. Cells need sugar as its fuel, but when we take in too much sugar via the American diet, the behavior of insulin changes.

THE DARK SIDE

Here is how the problem starts.

Too much insulin being produced causes insulin to become “insensitive” BUT then the pancreas keeps making more! A vicious cycle ensues, with more and more insulin in the blood causing:

  • Chronic hunger leading to
  • Unwanted weight gain leading to
  • High blood pressure leading to
  • Obesity leading to
  • Diabetes leading to
  • Heart disease or
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Cancer or
  • Chronic degenerative diseases and fatigue.

Functional medicine doctors (aka Naturopathic doctors) use the term hyperinsulinemia that means too much insulin.  Hyperinsulinemia is a detriment to good health. This is easily identified by simple fasting blood test not usually tested by conventional MD’s.

THE SOLUTION

Easy.  No pills, no surgery. Simply cut back on all simple sugars! That’s all you have to do. Insulin levels will return to normal, weight will drop and energy will rise again.

Restore your hormone balance and optimize your health!

Dr. Jeanne – the Hormone Goddess.

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