Monday, April 29, 2013

Sunshine on My Shoulders Makes Me Happy (for a reason!)

This past weekend I was routed through the Denver, Colorado airport on the way to Vegas for an amazing and transforming weekend with the health and wellness company I consult for, through which I am building my dream life. While in the Deniver airport...John Denver could be heard in just about every store - "Rocky Mountain High", "Sunshine on My Shoulders"...and I got to thinking...
There is a biological reason that sunshine on one's shoulders "makes me happy" - sunshine provides the very necessary Vitamin D3 - which scientists are not recognizing as an actual hormone versus a "vitamin". Which in of itself is interesting...  
Dr. Russell Blaylock has written extensively, in  recent issues of his wellness newsletter, on the topic of anxiety and depression. A commonality, per Blaylock, is a deficiency in Vitamin D.  Therefore, if one has enough Vitamin D3 - the opposite of depression would be "happy". The sunshine vitamin = a dose of happy vitamin.
Here in Wisconsin, winter is cold, lacks sunshine, and the gray skies take a toll on people - S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder) becomes more common. This past winter I heard stories from at least 6 people I know whom developed this. I knew my company was likely formulating a Vitamin D spray - I only wished I had it in my hands for those dear to me who were affected - and we had such a LONG winter, too. You can learn more about S.A.D. here.
Dr. Joe Mercola wrote an article, "Vitamin D is VITAL for You - and Your Family", in which he goes into great detail on the benefits of Vitamin D. I will sum it up with his key bullet pointed benefits:
- Heart Health
- Cell formation and longevity
- Skin health
- Pancreatic health
- Aging process
- Sleep patterns
- hearing
- Reproductive Health
- Eye health
- Athletic heatlh
- Vascular System health
- Respiratory Health
- Immune health
- healthy mood and feeling of well being
- Weight management, including carb and fat metabolism
- hair and hair follicles
- Strong healthy bones, as D encourages cacium uptake

Are you surprised to see muscles on the list? I admit I did not realize Vit. D3 was so important for so many biological functions.
Vitamin B12 should go hand in hand with D for maximum benefits. B12 is necessary for red blood cell formation, and helps alleviate chronic fatigue.
I hope this sheds some LIGHT on the topic of the necesisty for Vitamin D., and B12, too!  If you can't get a little sunshine on your shoulders for 15-20 min. per day (no sunscreen, no clothing to cover), you may want to have your levels checked and determine if supplementation may be to your benefit. According to Dr. Gominak, and his report found here, we would need to drink 100 cups of milk per day to get the Vitamin D we need. In fact, after reading that article, I do believe I need to go spray a bit of Essnetial Vitamin D/B12 into my mouth. It will be absorbed quickly, and I just may have the best night's sleep ever!

To your health!
Rita S. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Cabbage Soup - Health Benefits for Pancreatic Disease

While sitting around the hospital recently, I was reading several nutrition/health books researching the best foods to help fight pancreaitis and sepesis infection. Cruciferous vegetables are heralded once again, as I am seeing a pattern, it seems, no matter what ailment one may have.

The cabbage, carrot and cauliflower are particularly good for helping a pancreas to heal and detoxify.  For detoxification purposes, choosing organic is important. reports on cabbage:
Glucosinolates are anti-carcinogenic compounds that have been shown to limit the amount of DNA damage and cell mutation as well as to inhibit the processes that prevent programmed cell death and promote uncontrolled cell growth. In order to get the most benefit from cabbage, eat it raw or short-cooked; cooking destroys vitamin C and denatures the enzyme that is responsible for the production of glucosinolates. It is also advisable to buy organically grown cabbage as organically grown produce has been shown to contain significantly higher amounts of glucosinolates than its conventionally grown counterpart.

Carrots are a great source of beta-carotene and vitamin C. In addition, they contain falcarinol, a natural compound that has been shown to be able to inhibit the development of cancer. Researchers found that rats that had pre-cancerous tumors and that were fed carrots were one third less likely to develop full-scale tumors than the animals in the control group. To get the most falcarinol, eat your carrots raw or steamed. 

The original recipe called for canned stewed tomatoes and paste, but we prefer acidic tomato products from a glass jar vs. an aluminum can to avoid aluminum leaching into the food product.  This is up to you - however, we substituted with marinera sauce and salsa already in our frig and and it turned out to be an awesome soup. 
For vegetarians, simply do not add turkey.
Our kids gave this soup two thumbs up. Our 15 yr. old had seconds...and he doesn't like tomatoes!

Russian Cabbage Soup  

Ground Turkey, 1 1/2 lbs.
1 onion (saute with turmeric spice for flavor and health benefits)
3-5 garlic cloves, minced

Simmer above on stove top until meat is browned. Place into large soup kettle with next four ingredients.

2 carton's (32 oz) each organic vegetable broth
8 oz. salsa* (we used mild)
16 oz. marinera sauce*  
2 T. vinegar 
2 T. raw agave nectar (you could cut back on this, or omit)
32 oz. water
****(when buying foods in jars watch for high fructose corn syrup, MSG)

Spices/Herbs - add to above ingredients in a large kettle.
1 T. Herbamare spice
1/2 tsp. Celtic Sea Salt (iodized salt,ground fine)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp black ground pepper

Organic produce:
1 head of cabbage (purple  has more mild flavor than green)
1 head of cauliflower
4 large carrots 

Core and quarter the cabbage and cauliflower heads and soak in water with freshly squeezed lemon juice and white vinegar to clean. Rinse. Let air dry for a bit on toweling or put chunks in a salad spinner to spin dry.
Coarsley chop cabbage  into bite sized pieces. If cabbage head is large use only half.
Use 1/2 head cauliflower. Break cauliflower into chunks and pulse in food processor until small, resembling crumbled ground turkey. Process carrots as well, until small pieces. Or if you prefer, grate carrots.

Add cauliflower and carrot to kettle, allow to simmer 30 minutes. Add cabbage about 30 minutes before serving, although you can add it earlier if you do not wish to maintain a slightly crunchy texture.

Remaining cauliflower and cabbage can be used to make a healthy cole slaw. Or use remaining cauliflower as a rice replacement in a favorite rice based recipe.

The soup abvoe has many healing properties because of its nutritional benefits. For those with cancer, agave nectar should be avoided as sugar fuels cancer cells.

ENJOY this soup and enjoy your health!!

Rita S.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Cauliflower Rice - Yes, You Can Get Your Kids to Eat This Vegetable

Tonight I made cauliflower rice!  The kids did not know it wasn't rice - it was different, they had commented, but thought it was the spice I used. Our daughter said her dad's fried rice, with bacon pieces, was better; however, my rice was okay. I replied that my rice had more health benefits.  Our kids are used to that, coming from me. 

The dish came together quickly.  I sauteed a half chopped onion (garlic optional - I was in a hurry and did not grab the garlic) in a skillet with extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkled turmeric spice (just a bit) on top. Cook the onions until translucent, about 10 minutes. I sprinkled some celery seed in as well (as the recipe called for celery and I didnt have any). 

I used the food processor to pulse my fresh cauliflower florets fine - like little bits of rice.  I had washed the cauliflower two days earlier and it was remaining from another recipe. I added  the cauliflower to the skillet, and put in a couple tablespoons of water, put the lid on to allow the cauliflower to steam, for about 10 min. total.

On a whim I threw in two handfuls of spinach to wilt about 5 min. before serving. That was it! A great "elimination diet" friendly dish!

If I had had tomatoes on hand I would have added chopped tomatoes. I can see adding cooked ground turkey and making a version of Spanish Un-rice using cauliflower.  Maybe it was the turmeric I used, but the kids never caught on that the "rice" really was not. It did not taste like cauliflower. We served the dish with chicken.

I was hoping to have leftovers for lunch, however, our teenage son decided to get seconds and emptied the skiller of what remained. I guess we need to make more next time!

If you are struggling to get  your kids to eat the very healthy cruciferous vegetables - try making a cauliflower rice dish. Another thought, if you are not eating dairy free, is that freshly grated parmesan might have been pretty tasty on top of this dish as well. 

I will say I took a picture with my phone before we consumed all of it, however, I seem to have some trouble uploading to blogger this evening.

Eat your veggies and LIVE with vitality!

To your health,
Rita S.