Thoughts on trends impacting our ability to thrive!
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Much of the northern hemisphere is smack in the middle of one of the most challenging times of year for maintaining good health. The winter season of colds, flu, infections and the spread of illness compels us retreat to the indoors. Dry heat, lack of fresh air, and the inevitable proximity to infected people can put us at a disadvantage. Fear not, as there are ample steps you can take to fend off these external threats and strengthen your immune system naturally. And (this should be of no surprise coming from me) the source is your kitchen pantry.

Despite the huge diversity of antimicrobial drugs, bacterial resistance to the antibiotic arsenal is increasing to the extent that the word “superbugs” is a household term. Consequently, research continues to explore the antimicrobial potential of many natural agents common to our diets. Incorporating these palate delights can not only raise our immune system potential but also assist it in its battle to fight infection.

So rather than wait to be sick, let’s head to the kitchen and start eating our way to healing, health and vitality.


For centuries, garlic has been used to treat a number of ailments. As one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world, garlic has been grown for over 5000 years. Although garlic offers many health benefits, its antibacterial and antiviral aspects are perhaps its most legendary. In addition, garlic exhibits potent anti-inflammatory activity as well as having good antioxidant potential. Garlic can be used to enhance the flavor of any dish. Chopping or crushing the garlic clove stimulates the enzymatic process that converts the phytonutrient alliin to allicin, the compound to which garlic’s health benefits are attributed. Leaving the crushed or chopped garlic for 5 minutes also allows the greatest opportunity for the allicin to develop.

To reduce the effect of “garlic breath,” chew on fresh, organic parsley after the meal. Garlic can also be consumed in capsule form, making it easy to consume on a regular basis.


Historically, the use of ginger has been associated with relieving gastrointestinal distress from nausea to intestinal spasms. However, gingerol, a phytonutrient present in ginger, is also a potent anti-inflammatory. Adding fresh ginger to a menu is simple and easy. Peel and slice fresh ginger root and add it to hot water. Sip it hot or cold all day long. Drinking ginger tea can help relieve the nausea and pain associated with the flu.

Manukah Honey

The use of honey to treat infection dates back to the Sumerians in 2000 B.C. Research on this common pantry item has demonstrated that the high sugar content of honey is capable of dehydrating bacterial cells. In addition, honey’s acidity can inhibit the growth and proliferation of many bacteria, while an enzyme (glucose oxidase) present in this sweetener reduces oxygen to hydrogen peroxide, a known antibacterial.

Manukah honey in particular is derived from the flower of the tea tree bush and is thought to be the most potent naturally occurring honey. It also seems to exhibit more antibacterial properties than standard honey.

Shiitake Mushrooms

Much interest has focused on the immune potential and antibacterial properties of mushrooms and their extracts. Among those studied is the shiitake species. Shiitake mushrooms have a long history of being appreciated as a pantry delicacy. They are frequently used to enhance the flavor and aroma of other foods. The interest in shiitake mushrooms has increased recently because of their high nutritional value and medicinal properties. Shiitake mushrooms have shown the potential to fight both Bacillus bacteria and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. So the next time you head to the kitchen to make an omelet, soup, stew or stir fry, don’t forget to add the aroma- and flavor-enhancing antibacterial superfood, the shiitake mushroom.


Originally referred to as “Indian saffron,” turmeric has a long history in the kitchen as a condiment, in the medicine cabinet as a healing remedy and in the clothing industry as a textile dye. Curcumin, the yellowy-orange pigment of turmeric, has been used as a potent anti-inflammatory in both the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine. So potent are its anti-inflammatory properties that it has actually been shown in research to be as effective as hydrocortisone and ibuprofen. Unlike these drugs, which are associated with a significant, long-term side effect of toxicity, curcumin produces no toxicity. Inflammation is a typical symptom of infection, and turmeric offers a safe and effective alternative to both prescription and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications.

In addition to these foods, healthy lifestyle habits that boost your immunity include:

  • Daily exercise
  • Adequate hydration
  • Enduring and productive sleep
  • Daily relaxation and meditation
  • Deep breathing and sufficient oxygen
  • Nurturing relationships
  • Stress reduction

These all have a remarkable impact on your immune system and your ability to prevent and fight infection.

Here’s a quick application of some of the elements I’ve touched upon in this blog. It’s a quick, yummy and potent concoction to nurture your day.

Lemon Manukah Honey and Ginger Hot Toddy


Juice of 1 whole lemon, regular or Meyer

1 tablespoon Manukah honey

Peeled, sliced fresh ginger root

½ teaspoon turmeric


Mix all of the ingredients together.

Divide into three doses.

Combine each dose with 1-2 tablespoons of warm alkaline water.

Wishing you cheers and good health!

Be well now!


(Original post on boomspot)












Hippocrates, the father of medicine, stated, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates had a clear understanding of the power of food to preserve health and prevent illness. There is no nutritional supplementation that can fully equal the wellness powers of a healthy diet.

Here’s a new statement to chew on: “Health begins in the mouth while illness and demise begin in the bowel.” What a bold statement! We have untapped power to positively affect our health outcome. The small intestine hosts 70-80 % of the body’s entire immune system. Consuming healthy food will tap this treasure trove of “medicine” and encourage the immune system to flex its muscles.

Pantry Logic

Fill your pantry with medicine! I’m not talking about the stuff with pharmacy stickers on it. On your next visit to the supermarket, take a new approach. Let’s not just think recipe, appetite, family or spousal requests; let’s set on a path to arm our pantries with weapons for wellness! That may be an unfortunate metaphor for such a positive topic, but we are at war out there, being assaulted full time by attacks against our health and immune systems!

Coconut Oil 

Coconuts are highly nutritious and rich in fiber; vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6; and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. Unlike cow’s milk, coconut milk is lactose free so it can be used as a milk substitute by those with lactose intolerance.

The coconut is an incredibly diverse fruit that can be incorporated into a menu daily and in many different ways. Lauric acid, one of the two primary fatty acids that make up the fat content of coconut, exhibits strong anti-viral potential. Use the butter to gently pan fry or bake. Substitute a portion of any nut flour with coconut flour or simply use coconut flour as a base for baking. Add desiccated unsweetened coconut to your favorite recipe or breakfast cereal or snack on unsweetened roasted coconut chips.

Chicken Soup

Many of us were told by our grandparents to have a bowl of chicken broth or chicken soup to strengthen our immune systems and fight the flu. So is there any evidence to back up this old wives’ tale? The answer is yes. Chicken soup is rich in carnosine, which can strengthen the immune system to fight the flu in its early stages. In addition, chicken soup exhibits mild anti-inflammatory benefits that reduce symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections.

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut and the Korean vegetable kimchi have gained popularity of the last few years. Through the process of fermentation, these foods contain naturally occurring probiotics (healthy bacteria), which support our immune systems and help to fight infection. Although fermented foods may take a while to incorporate into a diet, they need only be consumed in small amounts. One of the easiest ways to do this is to ferment coconut water. The result is commonly referred to as young coconut kefir.


Not only is lemon a great source of vitamin C, but it is also alkalinizing, which helps it support the optimal function of the immune system and act as an antiviral. In this role, lemon also allows all the metabolic processes of the cell to function more efficiently. For those who tend to shy away from lemon because of the tart taste, try a Meyer lemon. In addition, you can find pure, organic lemon juice (not from concentrate) that can be used for the convenience factor.

In addition to these foods, healthy lifestyle habits that boost your immunity include:

  • Daily exercise
  • Adequate hydration
  • Enduring and productive sleep
  • Daily relaxation and meditation
  • Deep breathing and sufficient oxygen
  • Nurturing relationships
  • Stress reduction

So head to kitchen and eat your way to healing, health and vitality this winter, and don’t let infection get the better of you.

Chicken Soup (Not Just for the Soul)

Bone Broth

Homemade bone broth is rich in gelatin and minerals, 2 essential components of a healthy immune system. And it isn’t as intimidating to make as it seems—this recipe requires only 5 minutes of prep time. Drink it on its own or use it as a base for soups and stews.


2 lbs. chicken bones

1 onion, peeled (rich in sulfur)

8-10 cloves of garlic, peeled (exhibits antiviral potential)

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (alkalinizes the body)

1 teaspoon Celtic salt


Place all ingredients in a slow cooker on high and cook for 1 hour.

Reduce heat to low and cook for an additional 8–10 hours.

Strain, cool, and store in glass jars.


Chicken Soup


1 whole organic chicken

2 organic leeks

4 stalks of organic celery

4 large organic carrots

4 large organic parsnips

Sprigs of organic parsley

2 teaspoons organic Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base (more or less to taste)


Remove the giblets from the chicken.

Clean the chicken thoroughly and pat dry.

Add the cleaned chicken to the bone broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.

Clean and peel the vegetables as needed.

Slice into bite-size chunks per your preference.

Add the vegetables to the chicken soup and return to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the soup. Pull into bite-size pieces and put enough back in the soup to satisfy your preference.


You can add additional vegetables to the cooking or serving process including escarole, zucchini, summer squash and green beans to increase the density and nutrition content.

Be well now!


(original post on boomspot)
















This year on Valentine’s day, we got creative, skipped the token gifts, and created some heat in the kitchen with some delicious bite size indulgences. These recipes are not only sinful and delicious, but are appropriately “heart healthy” as we celebrate National Heart Month.


Cupid eat your heart out….


Ti Amo Truffles



2 cups Organic Desiccated Unsweetened Coconut

¼ cup Organic Maple Syrup or Honey

1/3 cup Organic Coconut Oil

1 tsp Organic Vanilla

4 oz Organic Fair Trade 70 or 85% Dark Chocolate*

*The darker the more bitter the less sugar



Place the coconut into the bowl of a food processor and pulse till a course flour texture.

Place the oil and sweetener in a small pot and melt gently over warm heat.

And the melted mixture and the vanilla essence to the processed coconut and stir till well combined.

Using your hands to roll the coconut mixture into about 18 small balls and store in the refrigerator for 30 – 60 minutes.

While the coconut balls are chilling. Melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler.

Remove the coconut balls from the fridge.

Dip each ball into the melted chocolate, with a fork.

Place the chocolate covered coconut balls on a sheet of wax paper and chill till the chocolate forms a hard coating.

Store in the refrigerator.


Nuts Over You



Safflower oil, to grease pan

¾ cup organic Almonds, coarsely chopped

¾ cup organic Brazil nuts, coarsely chopped

¾ cup organic Macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

1 ½ cups organic Cane Sugar

50 grams Kerrigold butter



Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Lightly grease a pan with the safflower oil.

Spread the nuts separately on the pan and bake in the oven for about 5 minutes or until toasted.

Remove from oven, set aside and cool.

Heat the sugar in a non-stick ceramic pan over medium heat until it all turns to a caramel color. Stir continuously.

Remove the pan from the stove and stir in the toasted nuts and butter to coat.

Pour the nut mixture into the greased pan, and allow to set for 20 minutes.

Break into pieces.



For a flavor variation, you can grind in a little Himalayan salt to create a salted caramel flavor.


You Spice Up My Life



2 tablespoons organic Olive oil

1 (15 oz) can organic chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted dry

1 tsp organic Cumin

1 tsp organic Garlic powder

½ tsp organic Chili powder

Himalayan salt to taste

Ground pepper to taste



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine all ingredients, except chickpeas in a bowl.

Add chickpeas and toss to coat.

Spread the chickpeas on a baking sheet.

Bake in the oven, stirring occasionally until chickpeas have browned and are crisp. About 45 – 60 minutes.


With a little heat and spice in the kitchen, you can make any day an experience that engages all the senses!


Enjoy and Be Well!  xo














As our journey into the new year begins full steam, amid resolutions, renewed energy, and determination, we are reminded that January is Cervical Health Month. We are bombarded with information about cervical cancer, screenings, tests, vaccines, and statistics—all important information. Yet, despite what we have learned from the media, the risk of cervical cancer goes beyond the human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. In fact, epidemiological (population observation) studies have revealed that nutrition is important, not only for maintaining the health of the cervix but also for having a suppressive effect on HPV infection.

How can we be proactive about this revelation? We can make health and immunity a central part of our journey to successful aging.

Don your lab coat for a moment and stay with me—I promise to bring it back to earth with a recipe.

The Importance of Plant-Based Antioxidants

The benefits of eating an abundance of organic vegetables as well as a modest amount of organic low-glycemic fruits cannot be overstated. No genetically modified organisms (GMOs) here!

The antioxidant potential of certain phytonutrients, such as alpha and beta carotene (found in carrots), lycopene (found in tomatoes), lutein (found in leafy green vegetables), ellagic acid (found in raspberries), zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin (found in papayas), astaxanthin (found in wild salmon), sulforaphane glucosinolate and indole-3-carbinol (found in the cruciferous vegetables), and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) (found in green tea), helps kill free radicals, supports detoxification, dampens the proliferative effect of estrogen, reduces the virulence of HPV, reduces the risk of cervical cancer, inhibits cancer cell proliferation, and induces apoptosis (programmed cell death) of cervical cancer cells.

Methylation and its role in suppressing cancer

The metabolic process known as methylation plays an important role in the suppression of tumor growth. The bioactive forms of folic acid and vitamin B12, 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5MTHF) and methylcobalamin, participate in methylation, a very important epigenetic cellular metabolic event that silences or turns off gene expression to estrogen metabolism. It also affects our moods/emotions and bone and cardiovascular health. The accumulation of homocysteine, an intermediate molecule present in the metabolic pathway resulting in methylation, implies a lack of efficiency in the pathway. Methylation feeds into a related metabolic pathway resulting in the production of the body’s most important antioxidant/detoxification molecule, glutathione. In addition, glutathione suppresses viral DNA replication, regulates apoptosis, and activates the P53 tumor-suppressor gene, all of which impact the risk and progression of cervical cancer.

Impaired methylation, resulting in high serum homocysteine levels and low glutathione levels, is associated with a greater risk of cervical cancer and a more persistent presence of HPV.

Refined Carbohydrates and Sugars

The consumption of refined carbohydrates and sugars results in an increase in blood glucose and insulin levels—which feeds cancer cells.

Cancer cells are obligate sugar feeders, thriving on blood glucose and modifying their energy metabolism to minimize the production of free radicals, one of the by-products of energy metabolism. Elevated blood glucose results in an increased production of insulin and insulin-like growth factors, which promote inflammation and contribute to cancer cell division and tumor growth. Substituting organic, non-GMO whole grains, such as wild rice, quinoa, and teff, rich in nutrients, fiber and protein, with a good amount of healthy fats minimizes the blood sugar-insulin effect and protects against the formation of cancer cells.

Choose organic non-GMO, free-range, grass-fed, hormone- and antibiotic-free foods to promote healthy bodies. While more expensive, they are also more nutritious and free of toxins that can trigger and contribute to cancer.

Organic fruits and vegetables contain more anti-cancer phytonutrients, while grass-fed, hormone- and antibiotic-free animals have a higher profile of omega-3 fatty acids, less saturated fat, and are less toxic/sick themselves.

As promised, let’s now bring it back to earth, or rather, your kitchen table. These two scrumptious dishes not only represent much-needed comfort food during this cold season but also are medicine for the body and soul, helping to strengthen and support the lessons learned this month.

Be well!

Broccoli Zucchini Soup

  • ½ organic white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 3-4 stalks organic celery, chopped
  • 1 bag shredded organic broccoli stalks
  • 2 organic vegetable bouillon cubes
  • 2-3 bags of organic broccoli florets or 2 bunches organic broccoli, cut up
  • 6 medium organic zucchinis, sliced thick
  • 2 organic low-sodium vegetable bouillon cubes
  • 8-12 cups of boiled water

Rinse and prepare all vegetables.

Place chopped onion, celery, broccoli stalks, and bouillon cubes in a soup pot.

Add just enough water to cover vegetables.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook until onions are glassy, adding water as needed.

Add all remaining ingredients.

Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat.

Cook until vegetables are soft, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Remove from heat, allow to cool, and puree.


If you prefer more salt, use 3 organic vegetable bouillon cubes and 1 low-sodium cube.


Add 1 packet frozen artichoke hearts when you add the broccoli and zucchini.

Turkey Meatloaf

  • Organic olive oil
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 packets Plainville or other hormone/antibiotic-free ground turkey
  • 1/2 medium purple onion, chopped
  • 2 organic eggs, beaten
  • 1 14-ounce can of organic diced tomatoes with Italian herbs
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
  • Garlic and onion powder to taste
  • Himalayan salt to taste

Preheat an oven to 350ºF.

Coat the bottom of a meatloaf baking dish with olive oil and add the bay leaves.

Place all remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix, using a spatula, till well combined.

Place ingredients in the baking dish and brush with oil.

Bake in the preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes.

Serving Ideas

Serve with cauliflower mash, steamed green beans, and mixed-leaf salad (baby romaine, arugula, endive, and radicchio).

Bon Appetite!


(originally posted January 14th, 2016 on boomspot)