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Cinnamon Spice Chia Pudding
- 3 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3/4 cup hot water, nut or seed milk (Omega-3 rich Hemp Milk is my favorite!)
- 2 teaspoons honey (I use immune boosting Manuka Honey during flu season.)
- pinch of sea salt
- Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl.
- Heat liquid in a small sauce pan until warm. Stir in honey.
- Add liquid to dry ingredients and stir well.
- Stir every few minutes until fully gelled 20-30 min. Enjoy!
Chia seeds are literally one of the healthiest tiny foods on the planet. These small, nutrient dense seeds contain one of the largest amounts of plant-based protein PLUS Omega-3s so they make a great addition to a plant-based diet. When exposed to liquid, these seeds gel, so they make a great pudding (think tapioca pudding) or jam.
In fact, one ounce of chia seeds (about 2 tablespoons) contains 139 calories, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrates and 11 grams of fiber, plus vitamins and minerals like antioxidants and calcium. They are also a great source of Omega-3s which fight inflammation and keep your cell membranes supple.
Did you know these superfoods can help you lose weight?
The fiber in chia seeds is one of its big strengths when it comes to weight loss. One of the characteristics that make chia seeds so unique is that they can absorb up to 10 times their own weight in water. Because if this, they help you feel fuller longer, slow cravings, and can help prolong hydration.
As another bonus for your gut-health, the insoluble fiber acts as a prebiotic that feeds friendly gut bacteria and ferments into short-chain fatty acids to support gut health. You need PREbiotics to help your PRObiotics work.
Do you have a favorite way to use chia seeds?
Spring Clean with a FOOD BASED DETOX
Is it time for a reset? You could use a trendy supplement or pricy raw juice program, or you could keep things simple (realatively) and detox with specific foods. Following a detoxifying diet helps your body get rid of accumulated toxins, rebalance itself and run more efficiently. Your Liver, Colon, and Skin with thank you.
Spring is the ideal time to detox according to Chinese Medicine. Spring correlates with the Liver in Chinese Meidicine, and from the standpoint of western medicine your Liver is a major organ of detoxification. Your Liver is in charge of filtering chemicals out of your blood, and since your Liver also clears histamine, doing a liver detox can even help with seasonal allergies.
This food-based program can be seven to ten days long. For the first 2 days, eat only the foods on the “Liberally” list. These foods are good for the liver and aid detoxification. The foods on the “Moderately” list should be eaten in moderation and not at all for the first 2 days. Eat three meals per day, snack if you would like, and drink a lot of water. The Pre-Cleanse period can be helpful to ease your body into the Detox.
IMPORTANT THINGS TO NOTE
Talk to your Doctor before doing a Detox of any kind - especially if you’re on medication or have a health condition.
* Stop the program if you feel pain or discomfort. Always see your doctor if you have unexplained symptoms that do not go away. *
Pre-Cleanse (7 days)
If you've ever done a detox, you know you can feel miserable for the first few days. Make it easier by doing a Pre-cleanse. Start cutting back on the foods to to avoid. Gradually cut down on coffee to avoid withdrawal headaches and make the switch to Green Tea.
Foods to Eat Liberally
- garlic and onions
- green leafy vegetables, kale, mustard greens, beet greens, etc.
- sweet potatoes
- fresh herbs such as parsley and cilantro
- kiwi fruits
- lemons- add slices to water, use in salad dressing
- peas, beans, and lentils
- whole grains and cereals- brown rice, millet, quinoa
- olive oil- high quality extra virgin for salad dressing and low temperature cooking
- tea: herbal or green tea if you need a little caffeine
- juice of 1/2 lemon and warm water- drink first thing in the morning
- filtered water- at last 10 cups per day
Foods to Eat Moderately (Days 3-7 only)
- white meat- chicken, pork, turkey
- white fish- sole, cod, haddock, skate, herring, sardines, tilapia
- eggs- free range
- nuts- almonds, brazil nuts, walnut
- seeds- sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, flaxseeds
- dried fruit- dates, figs, apricots, raisins
- grains- barley, rye, oats
- milk substitutes- oats, almond, or rice milk
- organic greek yogurt
Foods to Avoid (avoid these during the entire detox)
- nonorganic foods
- coffee, black tea
- orange juice
- sugar and foods containing lots of sugar
- refined carbs- white versions of foods like bread, pasta, rice, cake and crackers
- red meats
- dairy products
- wheat- bread, pasta, etc
- foods containing additives and preservatives
- packaged and processed food including processed meat
Modified lifestyle habits can enhance your detox. Taking Epsom Salt Baths, using a Sauna or Steam, and getting extra rest will help your body clear out accumulated toxins to feel better faster.
Once you've finished this detoxifying "reset," consider keeping some of these healthy habits going. With less sugar and dairy products, you will have less inflammation and potentially have fewer health problems down the road!
ps. Remember- all of these healthy tips are not a substitute for medical advice. Ask your doctor about any health questions or concerns you may have. Your doctor is your partner in your wellness plan!
For those that suffer from allergies, there is mixed emotion seeing the trees bloom. While it’s so exciting after a long winter to see the buds on the trees, there is also dread for the myriad of symptoms and suffering to come.
An allergic response is an exaggerated response of the body’s immune system to a substance that is normally harmless to the body such as pollen, weeds, animals and foods. When your body encounters an “allergy pathogen” mast cells release histamine which is involved in an inflammatory response. This sets in motion any number of responses in our body- making us feel miserable. There are many ways we can improve allergy symptoms by thinking about all of the components to a reaction. These six ideas can help!
Nasal Cleansing (with a Neti pot). Don't worry, you won't feel like you're drowning! The Neti pot is the best way to flush out allergens, decrease swelling in the nasal passages, and rid your sinuses of phlegm and bacteria. This Ancient technique involves using a small pot of warm water and salt, tilting your head to the side and pouring the solution into one side of your nose. The solution will pass through your sinus and come out the other side. If you’ve never done it, take a look at youtube for a visual!
Supplements. Quercetin, Vitamin C, Nettles, Bromelain, Boswellia, Astragalus: These are just a few ideas for what can help decrease inflammation and improve and regulate the immune response. In Chinese Herbalism, we use more specific Chinese Herbs for a customized approach based on your symptoms and diagnosis. Herbs are also beneficial to strengthen your resistance to allergens.
Acupuncture. In Chinese Medicine, specific points are used to help symptoms such as stuffy nose, foggy head, low energy and itchy eyes as well as treat the underlying cause by regulating the liver and immune system. Your acupuncturist will do a full assessment to determine your diagnosis and then use Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine suited for you specifically.
Detox liver. The liver removes toxins from our blood. Having a overloaded toxic liver can affect how quickly your body clears histamine. Eating a consistently healthy, chemical free diet will do more for the health of your liver than a fad-based, quick-fix, weekend type liver detox. Antioxidants and vitamins found in fresh fruits and vegetables will reduce liver inflammation and boost immune function, while Brussels sprouts will increase the activity of important liver enzymes. To gently detoxify the liver every day, a glass of water containing freshly squeezed lemon each morning will help.
Stress reduction. Adrenalin affects mast cells and causes allergy symptoms to be worse. Allergies alone can be anxiety provoking, so working on a comprehensive plan to reduce stress is highly beneficial. Think 8 hrs sleep, mindfulness meditation, and gentle exercise.
Balance the Gut. Start by reducing sugar and other inflammatory foods such as dairy and processed foods. Adding raw, fermented foods is one of the best ways you can naturally balance your gut flora. Most Whole Foods markets carry them in jars in the refrigerated section. I’m personally loving the Real Pickles brand beets! In addition, a good probiotic with proven technology to deliver what the label says is great as well. Look for the following strains: l. casei, l. rhamnosus, b. longum.
Allergies make many people miserable this time of year, but they don’t have to! By regulating your bodies response, you can better adapt to the changing seasons.
After summer has reached its height, we shift into the season of late summer. Abundant harvests surround and nourish us. This is a time for slowing down, reflecting, and gathering in. This is the earth element.
The earth element correlates with the organs of Spleen and Stomach which are the major organs of food digestion. Digestive problems are often caused by disruptions in these organs. In fact, Spleen Qi deficiency is one of the main diagnoses we see in the clinic. The Spleen is responsible for digesting food and thoughts. You can think of it as an organ that sorts through information- be it nutrients from food or mental ideas. Worrying, overthinking, and eating too much cold food (like raw vegetables) can weaken the Spleen. When this happens, our food isn’t processed well. We might have bloating after meals or undigested food in loose stool. To strengthen the Spleen, eat warm foods (not raw), calm your mind with mindfulness exercises, meditation, or prayer, and get good rest. Now is the time to start cooking more of your vegetables so your energy and immunity can stay strong for the fall and winter!
We can live in harmony with the late summer season by enjoying the abundance of locally grown fruits and vegetables. Take a trip to the farmers market and reflect on the harvest. Enjoy the bounty of our beautiful work and take a moment to express gratitude to the farmers! Buy what catches your eye. Learn to cook something new!
Its also a good time to take stock in the harvest of your life. Look at the parts of yourself and be conscious of any pieces that are weighing on you. Consider what you no longer need and what no longer works for you- either physically or emotionally. I’m currently reading The Live Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, and I highly recommend her theory of decided what works in your life. The basic process is to hold each item you own and ask “Does this spark joy?” If so, keep it, and if not, give it away. This process is perfect for the Late Summer and Autumn seasons, since Autumn is all about letting go. I can only imagine how freeing it will be to lessen the clutter in our lives and to be only be surrounded by that which sparks joy! For now, take inventory in what you have and how you nourish yourself.
Nourishment can come in the form of food, TV, books, people, social media and more. How do we nurture ourselves? Do we make choices that make us feel calm and energized? Spend some time in this late summer season reflecting on this. Its extremely important to living a well and balanced life. Enjoy the remaining warm summer days!
Yes, that's right. If you're dieting this winter, don't eat salad!
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), food is medicine. In TCM theory, all foods have a distinctive energetic nature. Five flavors and five temperatures are taken into consideration when determining the energetic profile of a food. Food can be used to treat a disease and can be the cause of a disease. Generally speaking, you keep your digestion strong by eating cooked foods. The Chinese have been giving this advice for centuries.
The digestive system is sometimes compared to a pot of boiling soup. You have the fire below providing the energy of transformation to the substance inside. When the soup is at the right temperature, you will see steam rising above the pot. This represents the energy we get from our food. If you put in a bag of frozen vegetables in the pot, the temperature will fall very quickly and the steam will not form. It will take more energy to bring the soup up to the right temperature to make steam. Over time, the fire could burn out before the soup has made steam.
It takes energy to transform the food we eat. Eating warm foods saves our energy for the demanding process of digestion. It lightens the load, so to speak, so that we can build a surplus of energy. By preserving the digestive fire, you will keep your metabolism strong. You will transform your food into energy more completely, and you won't have as much bloating and fullness-- this is the biproduct of weak digestion.
Warm foods include not only cooked vegetables, but also specific foods such as the following: Coriander, chives, onion, leek, green onion, asparagus, sweet peppers, pomegranate, apricot, peach, cherry, raspberry, chestnut, pumpkin, rice, dates, walnut, pine nuts, mussels, eel, lobster, shrimp, chicken, mutton, venison, ham, brown sugar, cumin, clove, fennel, garlic, fresh ginger, dill seed, nutmeg, rosemary, sweet basil, coffee, vinegar, and wine. In addition, fermented foods are a great way to strengthen your digestion.
The best diet food is a hearty stew with lots of vegetables. It will warm you up and keep you full. Try to eat soup every day.
If you simply must have your green juices or smoothies this winter, be sure to add spices from the above list in generous amounts to "warm"up the juice, and drink it at room temperature!