Burnout and Stress, food, Food Medicine, Recipes

In the Raw – Spiralized Zucchini 

In the Raw – Spiralized Zucchini

 

My daughter got on an airplane today, kissing me good bye, and leaving me with a gigantic yellow bell pepper of which she’d eaten the end off.  That’s what moms get, I guess, good-byes and half eaten vegetables.

My fiancé (now turned husband) is gone for the next three days working night shift. He left me with two pork chops, an avocado, a wheelbarrow full of zucchini and yellow squash’s, a bag of spiraled zucchini, and a bunch of limes. I’m starving! I don’t want to cook! What am I going to do?!

I did a Google search for spiralized zucchini limes and avocados. Not being one to actually read recipes, I just look at the list of ingredients and decide to make something up.  It’s got to be fast. It’s got to be tasty, and it’s got to not heat up the kitchen!

This is what I came up with. It’s tasty. Fast… That would depend on your internal clock and your belly hunger.

 

RECIPE: Spiralized Zucchini, with Fresh Corn and Pork

Ingredients

4 cups of raw spiralized Zucchini squash (fortunately premade)

One ear of corn fresh or cooked kernels removed from the cob

1/2 avocado cut in quarters, 1/4 for the sauce and 1/4 for the finished meal

Protein of Choice: One Pork chop deboned, ½ cup chicken, shrimp, egg, tofu, seitan…    Cut pork into small bite size pieces.

One very small onion or equivalent, diced

1 to 2 cloves of garlic

Juice of one lime

One bell pepper – slightly nibbled, cut the nibbled bit in away

2 Tablespoons yogurt drained or Greek yogurt

3 basil leaves

1 nice sprig of parsley

5 to 8 Grinds of cracked pepper

1/2 teaspoon of salt

And amount of Sirachia appropriate for your pallet

 

Directions

Place Basil leaves and parsley and a small blender and blend. Add yogurt and half the avocado, lime juice, Salt and pepper. Add an appropriately sized squirt of Sirachia. Blenderize all into a dressing. Season to taste. Add the dressing judiciously to the spiralized zucchini (it may make more than you need!)  Add corn. Mix well.

Eat the bell pepper, while cooking. You are starving and can’t wait; eat up.

Add onion and garlic to a hot pan cook until slightly caramelized. Add pork. Heat briefly until warm.

Place the zucchini with dressing and corn on plate, top with pork chop and onions, add remaining half avocado as garnish, add a sprig of parsley, for presentation. Eat up!

*************************************************************************

The idea of raw zucchini was not appealing to me when I first read about it.  Due to this, the first time around, I cook the zucchini. Don’t do this. It heats up the kitchen and it’s a waste of time, and leaves you with limp “noodles,” that really don’t justify the noodle title.  I tried it again with raw zucchini.  That mistake slowed the speed with which I got it to my belly, but was well worth it. The spiralized raw zucchini is not disgusting, to my surprise. It’s really nice, actually.

It’s took me 30 minutes to make, because I was busy making mistakes. With spiralized zucchini on hand and cooked pork chops, it goes very quickly, if you have an idea of what you’re going to actually do, (which I did not.) The recipe also uses very little heat and keeps your kitchen more cool in the summer.

I think it might taste really good with some apple!

Now please take about 17 squash home with you!

 

by Tama Cathers

 

 

 

 

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Food Medicine

Carrot Apple Salad – Happiness in a Bite

Carrot Apple Salad

 

3 cups grated raw carrots

2 medium apples grated or diced

¼ cups currents

¼ cup coarsely chopped walnuts

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

1 Orange:       1 tablespoon Grated peel

Juice from whole orange

2 Tablespoons Maple syrup

½+ teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 pinch of sea salt

 

Combine the carrots, apples currents and walnuts

Mix together the fresh orange juice, lemon juice, orange peel, syrup, cinnamon and sea salt. Pour over the carrot apple combination. Season to taste. 4-6 servings.

 

This is one of my favorite raw food salads. It is sweet and rich. child stamp of 4 plus approval – It was always a favorite! She likes it so much that she is always willing to do the tedious honor of grating the carrots. Great for summer.

If you don’t like walnuts, try adding pecans, sunflower seeds, or pepitas – or skip the nuts altogether.  I like adding Gogi berries. To be honest, they aren’t that great alone. While I know they are good for me, I like to hide them, and this is a great place for that.

Remember, the apples will oxidize and turn brown, so eat this up swiftly. Even though we’ve added lemon juice to slow the oxidation, and even thought it taste good the second day – it is not as lovely with grey apple bits.

Don’t think for a minute that this isn’t herbal medicine.  Raw fruits and vegetables are profoundly important for your health.  You can live without them – but not well.  Carrots are full of our carotenoid friends, soluble fiber, and vitamins. Lemons help stimulate peristalsis, and are good for your liver (in herbal traditions).  Carrots are high in calcium, and pectin, and their sweetness helps balance the lemon’s zing.

Cinnamon is an herb that deserves its own post, so just know that it is good for you.   Medical news today says: “U.S. National Library of Medicine, Cinnamon can be used to help treat muscle spasms, vomiting, diarrhea, infections, the common cold, loss of appetite, and erectile dysfunction (ED). Cinnamon may lower blood sugar in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, according to Diabetes UK.”

I am going easy on the cinnamon, (regardless of the statement by my physicianthat Adrenal Fatigue is an internet disease,”) – as a stimulating herb it can be fatiguing if your adrenal gland is taxed.

Try this salad out – I think you will like it.

by Tama Cathers

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Disclaimer: I am not a physician. No information here is intended to diagnose, treat or otherwise address human or animal health issues.  In addition, each species is different, so what may be healthful in one species is not necessarily non-toxic in another species.  This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about herbs, diet, exercise, stress,  health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.

Burnout and Stress, food, Food Medicine, herbal medicine

Braised Cabbage, Apple, Carrot, and Sausage with Kumquats and Mustard Seed Rice

Braised Cabbage, Apple, Carrot, and Sausage with Kumquats and  Mustard Seed Rice

 

I came home tired from work. Yes – the one I vehemently quit a minute ago…

I do have to eat, after all.  Different place same profession. It’s temporary. That made it was better, but I felt pretty down at the end of the day.  Okay, pretty, really depressed, grey, down, stormy, etc.  The last thing I wanted to do was cook! But I also knew I would come home feeling the same way after work each day this week. Plus I rely on left-over’s for my lunches. Pickings were slim – I was going to have to bite the bullet and cook.

I looked in my fridge. It was an odd list: some Apple Sausage, Cabbage, Carrots, Apples, and some left-over kumquats. My daughter loves them – for about 3/4ths of a pack, then these exotic little citrus fruits languish in the fridge. I like them when I eat them, but I always think I don’t. So they languish.

My fiancé would have added some bacon or at least ham, crème of something soup, and cheese. But he is off on vacation. Leaving me left-over-less. So sad!

I came up with this recipe and was delighted by the results! It’s savory, light, a little spicy, a little sweet, with little surprises of tang with the kumquats.

We’re going to talk about cruciferous vegetables, myrosinase, sulforaphane, mustard seeds and all sorts of fun things here in the next few blogs. But for now- some recipes!

 

Braised Cabbage, Apple, Carrot, and Sausage with Kumquats and  Mustard Seed Rice

 

Ingredients (4 to 6 servings)

  • 1 Tablespoon butter, ghee or Extra-virgin olive oil.
  • 1 pound of Apple Sausage or Sweet Italian Sausage chopped
  • ¼ cup sliced Kumquats.
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • ½- 1 Teaspoon whole mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of Extra-virgin olive oil divided into 2 portions
  • 1 cups carrots sliced
  • 5 – 2 cups mixed cabbage, chopped (red and Napa shown)
  • 1 large apple chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Umami
  • (savory flavoring, make something up if you don’t have this)
  • 1 Dash Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • salt, pepper and honey/sugar to taste

 

1) Put 1 tablespoon of Butter/Ghee/Olive Oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Sauté sausage until brown. Add the Kumquats, cracked pepper and whole mustard seed. Cook 1-3 minutes; the less you cook the mustard seed, the spicier the dish will be. Remove from skillet and set aside in a bowl.

2) Add 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil and sauté the carrots for 3-5 minutes until colorful.

3) Add the cabbage, carrots, and apples. Sauté stirring well, until cabbage wilts, about 3 minutes.

4) Return the sausage/kumquat mixture to the pan, mix well.

5) Add a Dash of Worcestershire Sauce, then the other spices, mixing well. Lastly, add the balsamic vinegar. Cover 1 minute.

Serve hot with Mustard Seed Rice generously flavored with sushi rice seasoning.

Mustard Seed Rice #1

1 cup rice of your choice

1 teaspoon to 1 Tablespoons Whole Mustard Seed

½-1 teaspoon salt

Cook as directed.

Serve hot.

Once cooked, mustard seeds are not terribly spicy. They do add interest visually, and a nice crunch to the rice. I prefer this to plain rice. But I am just like that, you know!

 

Mustard seed rice #2

1 teaspoon ghee

½ – 1 tablespoon mustard seed

Rice, cooked as directed

Before serving rice, add ghee in a pan, add yellow, white or brown mustard seeds, or a mixture. Remove from heat when the sputter and start to pop. Add these to the rice and serve immediately.

 

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Food Medicine

Asian Beef Broth Soup

Asian Beef Broth Soup

It was rainy and cold and I was out of ideas for dinner one day. Craving this type of soup, I found a several recipes, made changes, and ended up with this soup. I like stir frying the veggies separately, as it keeps them from becoming over cooked. This requires a little more effort, and there is the standard recipe at the bottom.

I think this soup could be made in to a cool summer time alternative, if I were organized enough to not be starving when I made it. Still, it’s savory in the winter and not too hot in the summer. It passes the taste test for my kid, and when the veggies were kept separated, added just before eating, it traveled well, unlike second day Pho!

Lots of Veggies. Warm & Soothing. Quick to make. I like this soup very much!

 

Asian Beef Broth Soup

Ingredients:

1 ½ cup rice – Bonton (semi-sticky white) or Jasmine work well

1lb ground turkey or ground beef, cooked into large chunks over medium heat or 1 lb stew meat in 1 inch cubes

½ Tablespoon Olive Oil

1/2 teaspoon Sesame Seed Oil

*

4 Cups Beef Broth, or Beef Bone Broth

¼ Cup Soy Sauce

¼ cup Sake or Cooking Sherry

2 Teaspoons Sesame Seed Oil

4-6 green onions chopped

3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

1-2 cloves minced garlic or 1 scant teaspoon prepared garlic

1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger, or 1 ½ teaspoon minced ginger

*

1 ½ cup sliced carrots

1 ½ cup sliced bokchoy    (I love this stuff)

1 cup Chinese pea pods (flat) or green pea pods (puffy)

1 ½ cup sliced mushrooms

(I like portabella’s, shitake is nice too, but doesn’t pass the daughter-taste test)

Hot sauce: Sriracha or Ground Chili Garlic Oil

 

Instructions:

Start rice.

In a cooking pot, brown the meat on all sides. Drain meat if necessary (beef). Add beef broth, soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, sesame seed oil, garlic and ginger. Have a sip of sherry. See – it’s only worth cooking with! Good thing your not drinking!  Cover bring to a boil and simmer for 10 – 20 minutes.

Stir fry the vegetables and add separately to soup. Cook carrots on high for 3-5 minutes, add bokchoy stem pieces for 2 minutes, then add onions, leafy bokchoy and mushrooms, stir intermittently, until tender, then add the pea pods last, so everything is still fresh and brightly colored.

Add hot sauce to flavor.

Serve jasmine rice, or optionally: finish rice by adding sushi seasoning to bonton rice and stir well while hot.

Serve soup, add vegetables, and finish with a scoop of rice in the bowl. Serve hot, or in summer, slightly cooled.

Notes:

Alternatively you can add the vegetables to the broth. Add carrots first, cook until starting to become slightly tender, but still bright – 5 to 10 minutes. Add the rest of the vegetables and cook 3 to 5 minutes so color is bright and tenders or vegetables are just slightly tender. It is harder to maintain freshness in the vegetables if you cook the soup this way, and left-over’s are not as nice, but it is easier, so warrants mention!

Herbal:

To add some herbal medicine, other than the fresh veggies, consider using some shitake mushrooms, and definitely throw in a slice of Astragalus root (often found at Asian Markets or health food stores, some Gobo root (Burdock – found at Asian Markets).

Burdock Information:

My daughter loves it, I think it’s fine, we think it tastes like celery. My fiancé dislikes it. He says it tastes like flowers, and is not something he wants in his soup.

Burdock root, with the Japanese name ‘Gobo’, and the scientific name Arctium lappa, is the tap root of a burdock, grown as a vegetable and flavoring agent in Asian cooking.

It is considered a winter tonic in Western herbal medicine, thus, it goes in most of my soups in the winter. It’s herbal actions also include use of the roots, seeds and leaves.

It is a perennial in the Asteraceae Family. There are no know side effects from Burdock or drug interactions, however , it is reported that you can get contact dermatitis from handling the plant. I suspect this means the whole plant and not the nice little roots you can by at Asian markets.

It is a great source of manganese and magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, or copper.  It also has good amounts of folate, vitamin C, and pantothenic acid. Burdock has a high inulin, a prebiotic, it supports the growth of healthy bacteria. However, it is important to cook it well, or it can give you gas.

“The Difference between a Weed and a Flower is a Judgment” –  Unknown

 

by Tama Cathers

Burdock
Burdock in the ‘wild’
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Soup broth

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Spicy options
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Second Day Soup
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Spicy options

 

Food Medicine, herbal medicine, Uncategorized

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

My daughter has just turned into a teen, a cycling teen-aged female, but still has the palate of a child (rather like me!). Those facts are important. We have to be able to make our herbal consumption part of regular life!

There are so many lessons to be learned as we grow, and our body has much to teach us. The transitions between childhood and adult, between listening and hearing, are hard, but vital. Listening to ourselves is a skill that takes decades to develop, and longer to hone. Listening to our bodies, listening to the little voice inside our minds. These are all really important tasks to maintain balance.

*   *   *

Tea Recipes:

Basic Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

1 tsp to 1 Tbs of loose leaf red raspberry leaf

1 cup of boiling water.

Pour boiling water over leaves and steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain the tea and drink.

 

To make a gallon, just 3/4 to 1 cup of Raspberry Leaf per gallon of boiling water. Leave overnight before straining for a strong tea. Refrigerates well.

 

For Adrenal Fatigue

4 parts Raspberry Leaf

1 parts Nettle Leaf

 

For Morning Sickness

Add 1 part Peppermint Leaf for help with nausea during early pregnancy.

 

Disclaimer: Ask your doctor before consuming any herbal supplement during pregnancy. If you experience cramping, either discontinue use or reduce your intake.

 

The tea does NOT taste like raspberries, but my daughter is willing to drink this. The taste is pleasant, a little like black tea, but without the caffeine. I can often convince myself for weeks to months at a time, that it is ‘tea.’ When I get bored, I mix it with green tea or toasted rices green tea, or better yet, toasted rice green tea and nettles.

By drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea 3 times a week I was, previously, able to totally stop all menstrual pain. It was quite amazing.

Did I do it regularly – No – But I should have! At the time it felt easier to suffer and then swallow a pill, than to make a cup of tea a couple times a week. I am hoping to teach my daughter a different way.

*   *   *

Red Raspberry Leaf is wonderful in many ways. First, it is so common and easily identifiable. In North America, most wild raspberries are red raspberries. They spring up in almost any sunny disturbed area. They grow around the edges of the soft ball fields, the parks, the cow pastures, the forest edges, etc. They are easy to identify, even without the berries. My favorite identification is eating the Red Raspberries! My second favorite way is the back of the leaf. The underside of the leaf is whitish. Blackberry bushes look similar, but the underside of the leaves are green. Umm – and they have blackberries! (Yum, yum, yum…In my mind, I am stuffing my face with little berries borne of sunshine! Black, red – who cares! Well, I do if I am making tea, but not if I am eating berries!)

In the fall the leaves blush red, instead of black, like a blackberry. There are many good websites for further identification, but I suggest you have a person who knows Red Raspberry introduce you to the plant. I think we learn best from the plants and people, and books are a far second contender, especially for identification.

For those science geeks like me: red raspberry, is Rubus idaeus – the Eurasian red raspberry.   The eastern North American black raspberry is Rubus occidentalis. Most propagated berries are combinations of the two. Common Names include Red Raspberry, Dewberry, Bramble Fruit, Thimble Berry. Like an old time thimble, these berries do not have a core in the center, that is a differentiating trait between raspberries and black berries.

Harvest:

Red Raspberry leaf is easy to harvest, but gloves or scissors help you avoid the small thorns. I rarely have such devices handy when I come to a rich stand of summer happy Red Raspberry, and I just make do. I usually snap the compound leaves of at the cane, as the junction is easy to snap. Dry the leaves, generally this is accomplished by hanging bundles upside down in a dry non-sunny area. I spread them to dry, in a well ventilated area. They can mold easily, so be sure to take care of them, so they do not stay moist. The oven often seems too harsh, but a few hours in a dehydrator should work well too. Next, shred them/ crumple them in a sac. Pick out the stems. Now you have Red Raspberry Leaf tea. If you decide to purchase it as a packaged tea, use 100% red raspberry leaf. Other teas may be labeled “raspberry,” but often are blends of rosehips, hibiscus, raspberry leaves, and…raspberry flavor (Gasps of Horror!) That is not what we want!

Uses:

Red Raspberry leaf is loaded with vitamins: Vitamins C, E, A, B including niacin. It is also a good source of macro-minerals: magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium, as well as essential trace minerals such as zinc, iron, chromium and manganese.

Plant constituents include: polyphenols; like tannins and flavonoids, like quercetin and kaempferol. Polyphenols act like antioxidants, and may help slow aging and diseases such as cancer. In addition, raspberry leaves contain phenolic acids and plant alcohols. All of these likely contribute to the effects the plant has on humans.

Information:

Red Raspberry Leaf has so many wonderful traits:

As an herb it is astringent, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, Antioxidant, Anti-Cancer, Anti-inflammatory, Emmenagogue (helps your period start). It has been historically used for antiseptic and anti-microbial properties. It has been used in Chinese herbal medicine for thousands of years (Fu-p’en-tzu = Rubus strigosus) Red Raspberry Leaf was also extensively used by Greeks, Romans, Chinese and Ayurvedic physicians.

For Reproductive health, it is good for managing menstruation, for heavy periods, for lack of periods, and for menstrual pain. I can attest to that! It increased fertility in men and women, During pregnancy, it is used to prevent or decrease morning sickness, to reduce miscarriages and to ease labor and delivery. Postpartum, raspberry’s astringency is used to help with bleeding and swelling as well as to restore tone to the uterus.

While considered a women’s herb, it is good for the whole family. Red raspberry leaf tea helps support the prostrate health, may lower unhealthy blood pressure and support control of blood sugar levels. Due to its high mineral content, it also may help reduce leg cramps, and improve sleep, for women, men, and children. For teens consider that is used to treat acne, canker sores. In children it is used to treat diarrhea, vomiting or the flu. As a whole family herb it is used for cold and fevers, sore throat, gingivitis, anemia, and adrenal fatigue. (Hence we circle around to hwy it is on my blog today!)

The tannins in raspberry leaf give it astringent properties which make it soothing both internally and externally. Made into a strong solution, raspberry leaf tea or tincture can sooth sunburn, eczema, and rashes.  Other external uses include: poultice, irrigation for sores, minor wounds, burns, and ulcers and varicose veins.

*   *   *

Controversy = Safety in Early Pregnancy

According to research there is some controversies about the safety of this herb in early pregnancy. One source says

 “Some medical and popular media make reference to raspberry leaf tea as something to avoid during pregnancy for risk of miscarriage. This notion stems from a study conducted in 1954 where fractions were isolated from Rubus sp. and applied in vitro to the uterine tissues of guinea pigs and frogs. The scientists discovered such things as one fraction acted as a spasmolytic whereas another caused uterine contractions. Herein lies the risk of isolating the parts of a whole. When used as a whole plant, neither action is exacerbated and the herb is deemed safe. If a mother is prone to miscarriages she may feel safer avoiding raspberry until the third trimester. This is an herb with centuries of safe use behind it, there is usually little cause for concern.” – Mother and Child Health, Dec 7, 2016

As always, it is important for you to do your own research. Most sites I visited discussed the theoretical safety issues, some of the women even gave it up during their first pregnancy, only to use it and become believers later. You have to use your judgment, listen to your body, and ideally, have some relationship with the herb to use it well. In everything, moderation. I want to encourage you, however, to investigate this friendly, helpful, common herb.

by Tama Cathers

 

Identification:

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/identify-red-raspberry-bushes-leaves-56436.html

and

http://www.gardenguides.com/127831-raspberry-leaf-identification.html and

https://www.hunker.com/12345803/how-to-identify-raspberry-plants

and

http://identifythatplant.com/blackberry-or-black-raspberry/

= good identification sites

Recipes:

https://www.mamanatural.com/red-raspberry-leaf-tea/ – a blog like mine, with really good recipes for teas!!!

Safety:

http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-raspberry-leaf.html -Good references of studies on red raspberry leaf.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10754818 – excerpt of study on effects of RRL

https://wellnessmama.com/5107/raspberry-leaf-herb-profile/

1 – quote on safety

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10754818 – excerpt of study on effects of Red Raspberry Leaf tea

http://avivaromm.com/herbal-medicines-in-pregnancy-safety

– Romm, Aviva. (2015).

 

General Info:

https://www.eastwesthealingacademy.com/herbs/raspberry/ Chinese herbal medicine properties.

http://www.susunweed.com/Article_Pregnancy_Problems.htm

 

Books:

Weed, Susun. (1986). Wise woman herbal for the childbearing year. Woodstock, NY: Ash Tree Publishing.

Gladstar, Rosemary. (2001).

Rosemary Gladstar’s family herbal. North Adams, MA: Storey Books.

 

 

Disclaimer:

Ask your doctor before consuming any herbal supplement during pregnancy. If you experience cramping, either discontinue use or reduce your intake.

More disclaimer:

Information offered on my websites is for educational purposes only. I make neither medical claim, nor intend to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Links to external sites are for informational purposes only. I do not necessarily endorses them nor am in any way responsible for their content. Readers must do their own research concerning the safety and usage of any herbs or supplements.

 

 

Food Medicine, herbal medicine, Uncategorized

Walking Oatmeal

Walking Oatmeal

These nice little handfuls of yumminess are my daily breakfast now, and a good way to secretly add supportive herbs to my diet. These started with learning that people who eat oatmeal on a regular basis can lower their cholesterol. As an herb, oats are soothing and kind. I needed a breakfast I can grab and walk out the door with, set aside, and nibble on until gone. However, cold oatmeal is not so attractive. I found the basic recipe for these, then continued to develop them. They can be made vegan, vegetarian, or you can add the eggs as I do.   30 seconds of warming will make these delicious and warm.

This nice plain recipe is made to be adulterated to your needs and desires. Just start here and add things as you feel comfortable. Your Walking Oatmeal will evolve and change with supplies, season and familiarity. Below the plain recipe, I will give you my current herbal recipe.

PLAIN RECIPE:

Wet Ingredients:

4-5 mashed bananas (old ones work best)

4 eggs (optional)

½ cup apple sauce (optional; you may need this or 1 more banana if you skip the eggs)

¼ cup coconut oil – vegetable oil of your choice

¼ cup sweetener – maple syrup, honey, agave, etc

2-3 teaspoons vanilla

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Some berries, nuts or chocolate chips if you desire.

Mix well.

Dry ingredients:

5-6 cups old-fashioned rolled oatmeal

Mix into wet ingredients until a thick shapeable consistency, but not crumbly.

Optional: ¼ cup mini chocolate chips

(Makes eating with hands a little more messy, but adds yumminess and kid-friendliness.)

Using ½ to 2/3 cup, shape into large biscuit type formation. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes. Cool. Store. Good for 7-10 days. Can be frozen and thawed.

***

As I am trying to eat my medicine, but still like my herbs and food to taste good (to me), I have evolved this recipe. I can still get my daughter to eat them, so I think I am doing pretty well. She likes them with chocolate chips, of course!

HERBAL RECIPE FOR WALKING OATMEAL:

Wet Ingredients:

4-5 mashed bananas

½ cup apple sauce (optional; you may need this or 1 more banana if you skip the eggs)

4 eggs (optional)

¼ cup coconut oil – vegetable oil of your choice

¼ cup sweetener – maple syrup, honey, agave, etc

2-3 teaspoons vanilla

Mix well.

Middle ingredients:

Herbs:

2-3 Tablespoons of cinnamon,

2-3 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper (optional)

½ cup or more of finely shredded nettle leaf

Optional:

¼ cup of powdered herbs of your choice: ashwaganda, astragalus, hawthorn berry  powder, rhodiola… I usually choose 2-3 of these.

1-2 tablespoons ground olive leaf (olive leaf is rather bitter)

Other optional spices: ginger, cardamom, garam marsala…

Dried Berries/Etc:

½ cup cranberries and

¼ to 1/3rd cup of currants and

¼ to 1/3rd cup of raisins

Add other berries as desired: blueberries, elderberries, gogi, Candied dried ginger is nice in the winter.

Optional: ¼ cup mini chocolate chips

(Makes eating with hands a little more messy, but adds yumminess and kid-friendliness.)

Nuts/Seeds

1/4 to ½ cup of the following nuts of your choice:

Pecans, Walnuts, Almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pistachio.

(For low lectin diet do not use cashews or peanuts)

Dry ingredients:

5-6 cups old-fashioned rolled oatmeal

1/3 cup ground flax seed (because it’s good for you = optional)

Mix into wet ingredients until a thick shapeable consistency, but not crumbly.

Using ½ to 2/3 cup, shape into large biscuit type formation. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes. Cool. Store. Good for 7-10 days. Can be frozen and thawed.

by Tama Cathers

Food Medicine, Uncategorized

Cut the Crap

Cut the Crap

I was going to title this “A Lectin Free Diet.”

The problem is – I don’t really believe in a lectin free diet.

I believe in a “Eat Your Vegetables Diet”, and “A Cut Out the Crap Diet.”

I believe in a “Don’t Eat Out, Stupid!” Diet, and a “Willpower is not THE Answer Diet.” So I could not title this blog  “A Lectin free diet.”

That being said we are following a modified Lectin free diet. We’ll call it the Low Lectin Diet. I will explain what, why, and how I am fortunate.

Lectins are plant products that are hard for humans to digest, even after being cooked. High lectin containing foods are Nightshade Vegetables – tomatoes (seeds and skins mostly), Peppers, and Potatoes, as well as Grains, Legumes, Cashews, Peanuts. They are meant, by the plants, to be hard to digest – so we won’t eat them! They are meant to protect these foods so they pass through digestive tracts unharmed. They are part of the immune system of plants and they bind carbohydrates into sticky glumps (yes, that is a term -I just used it here, so it’s a term) that are difficult for our bodies to manage. That is a simplification of the theory behind avoiding them. I watched a long video touting an expensive probiotic and pre-biotic, complete for only $75.99 per month….. I did not get the …biotic, but the diet stuck.  Again – not because I believed in it specifically. I mean its all the same Good Diet Advice. It made sense in the same way Eat More Vegetables make sense.  Let’s be honest, we all pretty much know what we should do – it is just the doing of it that is hard!

I liked this diet, because it was conceptually simple, and a Lectin-free diet removes most all of the grains in the diet.  As you can see, this is going to remove substantial amounts of carbohydrates. That is a major factor in why I like it. I have been trying to get rid of carbs for years. There are so many issues with corn and soy and glyphosate (Round-Up). As a biologist, gardener and butterflybeelovingfuckingtreehugger, there are a whole host of other factors that make me against the company of Round–Up, Monsanto.

I also liked the diet because it still allows for seeds. It still allows for coffee and chocolate. He likes coffee. I like chocolate.

People often have problems tolerating nightshade vegetables, our most common veggies of the north Americans: tomatoes, peppers and potatoes. Honestly, I don’t have anything against potatoes, except they are another carb, and they are rather addictive.  Long ago I found I actually “Can’t eat just one Lay’s” potatoe chip. Fortunately, I can generally find the will power to avoid eating potatoe chips, even when dangerously displayed at parties, and coquettishly eyeing me at picnics. So – I am okay losing the potatoe. I am not so good with cookies. They seduce me as soon as I walk in the room. I am helpless to their innocent looks and ways. Damn the cookie!

What I really like about this diet, and the reason we changed, is that it gives my partner a framework in which to formulate his shopping and cooking efforts. You see, I am so very fortunate that he is the primary cook and shopper. Being that, he has a lot of influence in our dietary life.

My handsome fabulous man is lean, a Jack Sprat, and while I am not a Jack Sprat wife, I tend towards curvaceousness more than he. He needs the calories of carbs, though e does not care for them. I need to stay away from them, though I love them so. Let’s not talk about my cookie addiction again!

So – Diet change to Lectin free because it was the first time I could give the shopper cook a framework in which we could seriously reduce our carbs. The response is…increasing our vegetables. Bingo! I win one for Veggies! We modified the premise to include rice. I was all for wild rice, but one member won’t eat that weird healthy stuff. And it was rice or potatoes. Rice won.

I am also not saying that a lectin-free diet may not do all, or some, of the things it is purported in doing.  Maybe it is the key.  After decade of society having an ever rotating ‘the thing,’ I think by now we should all recognize that there likely isn’t one ‘the thing.”

 

Making this change is a slow process. We have backlogs of typical high carb foods; corn ships, pita chips, cracker…(cookies!!!!). however, as we eat them up, we are not replacing them. It’s a step in the right direction.

Secondly, we find we are a lot hungrier sooner after dinner. You just have to eat more veggies, and more often. You do know what happens when you eat more veggies. Yep – more poop, let’s be honest. I don’t mind the hunger, sometimes I can even ignore it.

The other thing that we already had in place, due to Mr. Handsome Cook, is that we don’t eat out much. He cooks. He cooks so that we have leftovers. For everyone. For every lunch. This is amazing! Honestly.

This means I no longer eat a warmed up possibly healthy frozen lunch, wrapped and lined in plastic, heated in a microwave, and full of …crap. Salt – it makes food taste better. Sugar – every tongue loves. Fat – yum yum. Plastic infused ‘goodness’ has been replaced with leftover dinners in glass or metal. So I am lucky. This whole diet thing would have been much harder if not for Mr. Handsome Sprat, Chief Cook of the Home.

So we are eating our veggies and lowering our carbs. Reducing our round-up intake, and our plastic use and …consumption.

That all sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it.  I was tired of eating plastic anyway!

by Tama Cathers

Here are a few links on lectins, just in case you want to know more.  Okay 2 links.  It’s bedtime.  More to come.

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-lectinshttp://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-lectins

Seems informative, have not read the whole page.

 

https://selfhacked.com/2015/12/11/dr-gundry-turning-off-autoimmunity-with-a-lectin-avoidance-diet/

Sells that pre-biotic.