Healthy Eating

Enhance your summer with Essential Oil Recipes

Summer has its share of wonderful tastes and smells, and these solutions crafted with high quality essential oils can make nice things smell and taste even nicer. We stock many of these in our office, so be sure to ask about them at the front desk.

Pillow or linen Spray

One 2 or 4 oz glass spray bottle

A pinch of Epsom salt

10-15 drops of lavender essential oil

Distilled or filtered water

First add the pinch of salt and essential oil to your glass spray bottle
Top off with water
Give it a shake to mix it up
Spritz on your pillow each night to promote relaxation and better sleep, or use as a linen spray to refresh tired linens.

Refreshing lemon water–One of Dr. Huycke’s favorite summer drinks!

Mix together:

Sparkling water
Stevia to taste (about 4-5 drops per 8 oz.)
Essential oil “lemon drops” (can also add a couple drops of lavender or peppermint)
Slices of real lemon

Upset Stomach Helper

Summer is upon us! Time for family vacations, road trips, camping, and lots of barbecues. Which could also mean… upset stomachs, bloating, indigestion and heartburn.

Friends, meet “Tummy Tamer” or DigestZen®.

DigestZen® is great to have on hand for when any type of upset stomach occurs. DigestZen® is a healthy, natural, and gentle way to soothe an upset stomach or maintain a healthy digestive system.

Add a few drops to your water to take internally or rub on your stomach before flying or taking a road trip for a calming aroma.

Have DigestZen® on hand when enjoying holiday meals, eating out and barbecues to promote digestion. You can also add to water or tea to maintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract.

Directions for Use:

Diffusion: Use three to four drops in a diffuser
Internal use: Dilute one drop in 4 fl. oz. […]

By |June 18th, 2017|Healthy Eating|

How organic are your organic strawberries? The answer might surprise you…

By now we’ve all heard of the “dirty dozen” fruits and vegetables that are best consumed without pesticides. Strawberries figure prominently on that list, and many stores provide organic strawberries with a hefty price tag. But how organic are these organic strawberries? Are they truly as pesticide free as they claim to be?

According to natural health education website realfarmacy.com, certified organic strawberries aren’t so organic after all. Although organic strawberries sell for 50% to 100% more than conventional berries, organic strawberries are fumigated with toxic chemicals, including methyl bromide, at the beginning stages of their life-cycle, and sometimes again after harvest.

Methyl bromide, a soil fumigant, isn’t sprayed directly on the fruit–it’s used to sterilize the soil before strawberries are planted. As many modern seeds can only grow in sterile soil, this fumigant prepares the soil by killing all the organisms natural soil contains.

According to realfarmacy.com, here’s another grey area– both Federal and state organic regulations allow organic farmers to purchase non-organic starter material when they have no other options, and still call their strawberries organic.

According to the NY Times, California, our country’s largest berry producer, doesn’t have a single organic berry nursery—hence the practice of relying on plants that grew on fumigant treated soil.

Want to make sure your organic strawberries aren’t tainted with harmful pesticides at any stage of their growing cycle? Grow your own (from organic heirloom seeds), or next time you’re at your local farmer’s market when organic strawberries are in season, ask the vendor if he grew his strawberries from organic heirloom seeds, or if he purchased the initial plant material from a conventional nursery.

For more information:

A Dirty Little Secret: Your “Organic” Strawberries Aren’t Really Organic

http://scienceblogs.com/tomorrowstable/2011/09/25/organic-strawberries-are-not-g/

 

By |June 18th, 2017|Healthy Eating|

What’s Really Flavoring your Food?

Cinnamon

Most of the cinnamon sold in the U.S. is cassia, not cinnamon.  Cassia, grown mainly in Vietnam or China, is related to Ceylon, which is considered the “real” cinnamon.  The cassia bark is hotter and more abrasive than the lighter, more aromatic Ceylon.  The sticks are fairly easy to tell apart – Ceylon quills are composed of many paper-thin layers rolled up, while Cassia is a single sheet of bark – but once the “cinnamon” is ground, the anonymous brown dust might be neither Ceylon nor Cassia but something else entirely.  The most common offender in this cinnamon fraud is coffee husks – nice in a coffee cherry tea, if that’s what you’re going for, not so great in your scones.

How to make sure you’re getting the real thing: Look for real Ceylon cinnamon on the label.

 

Black Pepper

Like ground cinnamon,  ground black pepper is another item that is practically inscrutable in powder form.  Researchers have found starch, flour, buckwheat, millet, papaya seeds, juniper berries, pepper stems and chaff all lurking in what claims to be black pepper.

How to make sure you’re getting the real thing: As with coffee, it’s always better to go whole, both taste-wise and to avoid spicing your dinner with colored starch.

 

Vanilla

The second most expensive spice is also ripe for the faking.  Vanilla extract is an aged solution of vanilla beans macerated in alcohol and water and is the most common form of vanilla and less costly than the whole beans.   Much imitation vanilla is made from vanillin, an organic compound that is typically synthesized in a lab, and makes no bones about being a cheaper, if inauthentic, alternative.  But synthetic vanillin often sneaks into extracts claiming to be pure.

How to […]

By |May 5th, 2017|Healthy Eating|

What substance in your diet could be causing excessive nightly bathroom trips?

Less Salt Equals Fewer Nighttime Bathroom Trips–

Reducing your salt intake may reduce your trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night. In a new study that involved 300 Japanese adults with high salt intake and sleeping problems, researchers found that participants who reduced their salt intake for twelve weeks experienced a reduction in the average number of nighttime trips to the bathroom from 2.3 to 1.4 times per night. Furthermore, the number of times the participants needed to urinate during the day also decreased. Study leader Dr. Tomohiro Matsuo writes, “Nighttime urination is a real problem for many people, especially as they get older. This work holds out the possibility that a simply dietary modification might significantly improve the quality of life for many people.”   European Society of Urology, March 2017

The quality of salt you ingest also affects your health. Himalayan salt, available in our office and at at warehouse stores, is probably the purest form of salt you can buy at this time.

By |May 4th, 2017|Healthy Eating|

Olive Oil

As much as 75 percent of the olive oil in the U.S. is counterfeit and may contain chemical and artificial colors that mask the color and smell of the cheaper oils it contains. Why is this? How can you purchase real fresh olive oil?

According to a recent Sixty Minutes report, the Mafia has corrupted Italy’s olive oil business. Several sources say the most common type of fraud is mixing Italian extra-virgin with lower quality olive oils from North Africa and around the Mediterranean. In other cases, a bottle labeled “extra-virgin olive oil” may not be olive oil at all, just a seed oil like sunflower made to look and smell like olive oil with a few drops of chlorophyll and beta-carotene. Other imposter ingredients include hazelnut oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil, soybean oil, palm oil and walnut oil.Much olive oil that claims to be “from Italy” is actually brought into Italy and re-exported from there. If you are paying seven or eight dollars for a bottle of Italian extra virgin olive oil, it’s probably not Italian extra-virgin.

In two studies, UC Davis researchers analyzed a total of 186 extra virgin olive oil samples against standards established by the International Olive council, as well as methods used in Germany and Australia. They found that an estimated 69% of store-bought extra virgin olive oils in the US are probably fake. These brands failed their testing: Bertolli, Carapelli, Colavita, Star, Pompeian, Filippo Berio, Mazzola, Mezzetta, Newman’s Own, Safeway and Whole Foods. The real deals are: California Olive Ranch, Cobram Estate, Lucini, Kirkland Organic, Lucero (Ascolano), McEvoy Ranch Organic. (Note: This research is considered controversial by some since UC Davis is in the forefront of […]

By |March 16th, 2017|Healthy Eating|

Sweet Potato Bars

Ingredients

Crust

¼ cup rolled oats

¼ cup teff or brown rice flour

¼ cup shelled unsalted pistachios

¼ cup pecans

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp grated orange zest

¼ tsp sea salt

2 tbsp Grade B maple syrup

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Filling

1 pound orange-fleshed sweet potatoes such as garnet yams, baked until tender

2 organic eggs, beaten

1/3 cup organic plain yogurt

3 tbsp Grade B maple syrup

½ tsp grated orange zest

½ tsp ground cardamon

½ tsp ground ginger

Freshly grated nutmeg, for dusting

 

Cook’s Notes:  You can bake the sweet potatoes in advance and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

If you are gluten free, you may want to get gluten-free oats since sometimes there is cross contamination in the fields which might not keep the oats entirely gluten-free (an example is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free Rolled Oats).

 

To make the crust, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Lightly oil an 8 inch square baking pan.

Put the oats, teff flour, pistachios, pecans, cinnamon, orange zest and salt in a food processor and pulse until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal.

Add the maple syrup and olive oil and pulse until the ingredients are evenly combined but the mixture is still crumbly looking.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and press it evenly and firmly into the bottom of the pan.  No need to clean out he food processor.

Bake for about 15 minutes until set.  Keep the oven on.

 

Meanwhile, make the filling.  Scoop the sweet potato flesh into the bowl and mash it.

Put 1 ½ cups of the mashed sweet potatoes in the food processor (reserve any leftovers for another use).

Add the eggs, yogurt, maple syrup, orange zest, cardamom, and ginger and process until smooth.

To assemble and bake the bars, pour the filling over the crust […]

By |January 4th, 2017|Healthy Eating|

To Microwave or Not to Microwave, that is the Question.

The Nazis were the first to use microwave-cooking devices to provide mobile food support to their soldiers during their invasion attempt of the Soviet Union in World War II. Although the US was given the task of researching the safety of the microwave oven, Russia was the leading investigator. The Russians banned the microwave oven in 1976 and international safety warnings were issued.  The ban was later lifted in 1987 by Perestroika. (“History of microwave ovens” Green Health Watch)

 

Microwaves vibrate water molecules at very high frequencies which create steam, and consequently heat food.  The water content of the food determines how evenly the food is heated.  Some mothers found that heating their infants’ bottles resulted in uneven heating of the milk resulting in mouth burns.  This is one of many reasons mothers are warned not to use the microwave oven to heat baby bottles.

 

 

Russian investigators found:

Microwaving food caused carcinogens in almost all foods tested.
The microwaving of milk and grains converted some of the amino acids into carcinogenic substances.
Microwaving prepared meats resulted in cancer-causing d-Nitrosodienthanolamines.
Microwave thawing of frozen fruits converted glucoside and galactoside fractions into carcinogenic substances.
Even short exposure of raw, cooked or frozen vegetables converted plant alkaloids into carcinogens.
Carcinogenic free radicals occurred in microwaved plants – especially root vegetables.
Decreased food value was found in 60 to 90 percent of all foods tested, with degradation of  B, C and E vitamins, and minerals. (Powerwatch, Home/Microwave)

 

 

More research:

The November 2003 issue of The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found that microwaved broccoli lost up to 97 percent of its beneficial antioxidants. By comparison, steamed broccoli lost 11 percent or fewer of its antioxidants. There were also […]

By |January 4th, 2017|Healthy Eating|

Kobe Beef and WAGYU

Popping up all over America are signs for Kobe beef. Where does the beef come from? What makes it so special? What is Wagyu? How has production met demand?

Kobe beef is the world’s most famous red meat, but it is misunderstood, extremely rare, and cloaked in mystery. According to bonappetit.com’s July 12, 2016 article “Kobe Beef in the U.S. Is Basically a Huge Sham”.

Many restaurants and meat stores outside of Japan, including the United States, market steak that is incorrectly labeled as Kobe Beef (justonecookbook.com). Legal recognition of the Kobe Beef trademark is lacking. For clarification, Wagyu simply means Japanese cow. True Kobe Beef or Wagyu Beef is 100% full blooded Wagyu.

The bonappetit.com article explains that Kobe is an actual place, and its beef is one regional style of Japanese Wagyu. Stories of cattle reared on classical music, beer and massages are largely myths.

Genetics set pure Wagyu apart from all other beef with vastly superior marbling and fat quality. The fat is evenly dispersed and does not appear in bands or clumps, but as either tiny pinhead dots or a spider web of ultra-thin veins throughout the entire muscle. While most raw steaks are red and white, Wagyu is uniformly pink, a highly integrated blend of meat and fat. It’s also unusually high in healthier unsaturated fatty acids—especially oleic acid, which is responsible for flavor. These monounsaturated fats have a lower melting point, below human body temperature, so they literally melt in your mouth. Instantly recognizable, Japanese Wagyu looks and tastes markedly different from almost all other beef.

Today, enough Kobe beef reaches the U.S. To satisfy the average beef consumption of just 77 Americans. It’s so scarce that Kobe’s marketing board licenses individual

restaurants, and […]

By |November 28th, 2016|Healthy Eating|

Options for Purchase for Safe Almonds for all you Almond Lovers

Sources for Unpasteurized and Unprocessed Almonds

Rawnutsandseeds.com tells us that “At the present time almonds and hazelnuts are the only nuts required to be pasteurized. Cashews, macadamias, pecan, pistachios and walnuts at present are not required to be pasteurized. Be Warned: Some organic nut processors are pasteurizing organic nuts and labeling them as raw even without the law requiring it.

According to worldwellnesseducation.org – It is extremely important to purchase organic nuts and seeds. And I will add that you need to know the source of the almonds. This country does import almonds from China but would you eat them?

The processing of cashews includes the use of heat to remove the meat from the shell. According to wildernessfamilynaturals.com, their cashews are processed using hot air to gently loosen the shells of cashews so the meat comes out whole rather than in pieces. They say little to no heat actually reaches the meat.

There is a solution to being able to purchase raw almonds. Buy imported nuts. Imported almonds are not required to be pasteurized. Imported organic nuts might be more expensive but that is the best way to be assured of quality – and that you are getting what you want. According to terrasoul.com, their unpasteurized almonds are truly raw and alive and are never treated by radiation, ultra high heat, steam or chemically sterilized as required for all domestically grown almonds, even those labelled as “raw.” Terrasoul’s almonds are from Spain. They also use a low-heat harvesting process to remove cashews from the shells. Their cashews are imported from Vietnam.

I spoke with Davy C. Pruzansky, owner of Living Nutz. He assured me that there is not any law requiring pasteurization of imported almonds, and that his […]

By |October 9th, 2016|Healthy Eating|

A Peppy Drink

Charles Leiper Grigg in 1929 developed a drink with the slogan “It takes the ouch out of the grouch”. His drink improved mood and cured hangovers and it’s name eventually become “7 Up”. The “7” represented the periodic number of the predominant element in the drink (which was actually 6.9 rounded up for you chemistry nerds). Can you name that element?

The element is lithium.

Incidentally, in many studies, lithium levels in the water correlates inversely with aggressive crime and suicide (the higher the lithium in the drinking water, the lower the crime and suicide rate). Lithium can also help Alzheimer’s disease.

Low level lithium supplementation is available in the health food store. Doses can vary from 300 mcg to 10 mg.

By the way, lithium was removed from 7-Up in the 50’s. Over the years, high fructose corn syrup or aspartame or splenda have been added. And that is no mood enhancer.

Greenblatt, J and Grossman, K, Townsend Letter 387: page 63-7.

 

By |September 14th, 2016|Healthy Eating|
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