The Plantbased & Un-cooked Experience


The tale of the best ever vegetable

Broccoli is such a unique vegetable, and it should be among the most popular on your plate. It’s good for the bones, heart, brain and it’s said to prevent cancer.

During the Summer, I reflect on the food my kids have been eating in the past year, and it gives me a chance to upgrade or change things that will benefit their growth and age group. I currently have the pleasure of dealing with a pre-teen, who is rebelling against vegetables. Really? It is kindda funny when you are vegan, but I have to deal with this on a daily basis now (and this kid has always asked for his broccoli and good old veggies since he was able to talk). Negotiation is on-going every single day now, and the battle is tough, when the hormones are raging, but I am the type of mom who don’t give up that easily, I just have to use different sales and production strategies. 🙂

I know my kids have been eating a lot of stuff most kids and adults are never exposed to, but one item is definitely on the top of the list, when it comes to vegetables in most homes, and it’s the incredible broccoli.

Broccoli is one of those vegetables that really doesn’t have a lot of flavor to it, but in terms of nutrition, it ranks among the kings and queens of vegetables, and it has very few calories if that’s your focus.

Nutrient dense food can strengthen our immune system and help us fight disease, and there is nothing new about that. Hippocrates said this more than 2000 years ago with the statement: “Let thy food be thy medicine”. But something happened in our society. Fast food and vegetables became less important, and grains and soy foods became the new way of feeding the ever growing world population. The good news – In the last 20 years or so, we have seen a shift from looking at food as a source of energy, to a source of staying healthy and living longer and feeling and looking more youthful, as we age.

It’s so easy to only focus the talk on super foods these days, but its really more important to focus on real food, that grows in our own regions, food that is sustainable, organic and available (Broccoli is best from October – May), packed with nutrients, easy to grow, fills up the belly and is easy to make in so many different ways. Regular food, that most people can relate to and afford. On top of the list is definitely broccoli.

The power of broccoli

Broccoli originates in Italy, and is known as Brassica oleracea. It’s from a powerful group of vegetables, we know as cruciferous vegetables: cabbage, cauliflower, kale, brussels sprouts, collard greens, savoy, cress, boo choy, kohlrabi and chinese kale. In it’s wild form, broccoli is known as wild mustard.

Brocollini is a mix between broccoli and kale and broccoloflower is a mix between broccoli and cauliflower. Broccoli sprouts are very popular and known for their high content of the cancer phytochemical sulforaphane.

Looking at a broccoli, we see it has similarities with the human brain, so one might think this is natures sign of showing us, which area of the body that benefits the most. (brain, ganglion, nervous system that modulate immune response).

Broccoli is stuffed with vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A, B, C, E, K, folic acid, iron, calcium, phosphor, and magnesium. It’s also rich in various bioactive plant substances called glucosinolates, which helps cabbage to defend itself against unwelcome insects and substances that can attack with disease. Studies shows that the substances that protects the plants, also help protect us humans against disease, incl. certain types of cancer. Broccoli stand out from other vegetables, as it contains the substances called sulforaphane.

Sulforaphane activates genes that take care of the production of detoxifying enzymes. They can collect the insoluble carcinogenic substances in the cells and link them together with soluble substances and transport the substances out of the body, through the blood stream. There has been many trial tests on broccoli, broccoli sprouts, and it all shows that when people eat a diet high in broccoli, it impacts the health in a positive way.

Good for the heart and bones

Broccoli contain flavonoids and carotenoid substances, that are said to protect against cardiovascular disease. Calcium is a very important mineral for the body, as it supports healthy bones and teeth. The best way to get calcium is through natural food sources and NOT calcium supplements (pills) or dairy, as the dairy industry have had people believe for a long time now (read my article/blog post on calcium).

Calcium from vegetables is very easy for the body to absorb, because it does not contain oxalic acid. Oxalic acid is found in high amounts in vegetables like spinach, rhubarb leaves, and also in beet greens and chard (this is why these have such a sharp taste to them). Even though the concentration is pretty low in these vegetables, the above mentioned have so much, that it can interfere with the absorption of calcium. The extra benefit from broccoli and other greens are, that they contain a lot of vitamin C, which help with the absorption of calcium.

Bacteria

Broccoli is a great bacteria killer. It can help getting rid of heliobacter pylori, which has been found present in people with chronic gastritis and gastric ulcers. Studies in Japan, has shown that a daily portion of broccoli can reduce the bacteria and heal the gut.

How to make broccoli

In order to activate the health benefits of broccoli, there are three healthy ways to prepare them:

a) Raw, b) Just kissed, c) Steamed d) Quick stir-fry

Raw: You can add broccoli to salads, soups, smoothies and raw dishes. When The trick is always in the chopping and marinating. A dehydrator can be used to prepare “warm” un-cooked broccoli dishes. You can get the insides to this in my classes.

Just kissed: Boil the water, add the broccoli and take it out immediately. The trick is not to over-cook, so just kissed is perfect.

Steam: The alternative is to steam broccoli in a steamer. Don’t forget that the juices from the broccoli is packed with nutrients, and can be used for other dishes.

Quick stir-fry: Add broccoli to quickly stir-fry in coconut oil with other vegetables

How to NEVER prepare broccoli

Microwave, bake in oven, fry, battered, over-cook and everything else, that cook and destroy the nutrients, texture and beauty of this vegetable.

So get inspired to add broccoli to your healthy lifestyle as often as possible. Be prepared to try new ways to make it – broccoli is one of those amazing vegetables, you can enjoy most of the year and it’s easy to sneak into any kids food.

Celebrate another green day with vegetables!


Don’t bite somebody just because you have a bad day!

 

Stress – the killer in our lives!

Are you a type A person? Driven by ambition? How is your rank at work and in society?

Prolonged, sustained, excessive stress and your response to it, not only causes deterioration of your brain , but it also compromises your immune system and your ability to fight off diseases. When you are stressed, the body shuts down your immune system and disease starts to develop.

This could mean you are prone to cardiovascular disease, stomach ulcers, clogged arteries, weight gain and much more….. chronic stress can kill the brain cells, change the brain circuits and impact your memory. Severe acute stress can make it impossible to remember things you usually remember well. Stress impacts your sleep and it can make you feel miserable. But does it have to be this way?

Thousands of years ago, we mostly lived until we either starved, were accidentally poisoned or we were eaten by another animal. Now, we have the distinct ability to slowly kill ourselves over a period of about 80 years with chemical laced foods, too much alcohol and prolonged reaction to stressful events. Find out why the length of your telomeres and therefore your lifespan is shortened. All are avoidable, if we make the choice to do so.

Increase your odds of suffering from stress related diseases and get a good picture of how you might be or have been exposed to stress in your life – stress is a dangerous killer. You want to deal with it, before it’s too late.

Watch the documentary below – it’s a great 56 min. and they go fast. Everyone should watch it, so please do share…..

 

 


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Transition to the Fall Season

Hello Friday and Welcome to Fall season!

It seems like we had a gradual and smooth transition from Summer to Fall this week…. I don’t know about you, but I certainly feel the need for warmer clothes in the morning, although the weather here in North California is pretty warm during the day.

On the food side, I also feel a change and a need for different foods than during the Summer months. It’s time to indulge in warm drinks and warming foods. It’s quite normal and part of the seasonal change. Fall season is not just about a change in the calendar, the weather or the foods, but it’s also an energetic change.

In Ayurveda, the Fall season is more connected with the energies of Vata, meaning that the weather becomes cool and dry and the elements of air and space (ether) are more present in our lives. This is always exciting times, because Vata brings us mental alertness and creativity – when Vata is out of balance we might discover we have a restless mind, anxiety or worry.

So how can we balance the change of season? The answer is quite clear: through diet and lifestyle! I am starting to change my own foods and lifestyle routines and really making an effort to get in sync with the changes of nature. I love inspiring others to do the same, so they can maintain high energy levels, avoid common colds and even the flu, feel inspired, nourished and happy 🙂

Fall is a great season to start an intensive and deep detox. YES! This is the best time of the year to clean the colon and start nurturing yourself at a deeper level. You want to detox your body, mind and spirit and get rid of the build-up toxins, stress, travel stress, bad lifestyle choices and even weight gain.

Fall is the perfect time to get back into more hard core exercise and focus on your life goals. It’s also the time, where you need to add in special medicinal herbs and supplements, that helps stimulate your immune system, and make it as efficient as possible in destroying harmful fungi, bacteria and viruses.

A slow detox is a great way for many people, as it won’t send your body into a healing crisis (shock cleansing) due to toxic substances that are expelled faster than your organs can remove them. This can actually lead to toxicity in the blood and lymph. You want to nourish and support the body while doing the detox and strengthen your digestion. Fall detox is different than a Summer detox.

For the body, Fall is associated with the large intestine, lungs and the skin. From a mind perspective, it’s a time to reflect on the past year and “let go” on all levels in preparation for the Winter season – this should be your time to retreat and consolidate. Eating seasonal foods before the Winter is key!

So what can you can do to get started?

Here are some recommendations:

Food
In general it’s good with grounding and warmer foods (it doesn’t always mean cooked, it could be warming herbs and spices added to your un-cooked foods) or it could be slightly heated or steamed foods and elixir drinks.

Fruits: avocado, coconuts, figs, grapes, mango, melon, olives, papaya, , olives
Vegetables:  sweet potatoes, peas, beets, carrots, eggplant, zucchini, pumpkin, squash, peppers, artichokes, green beans, yams.
All nuts and seeds are good.
Warming spices such as ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, horseradish, cloves and garlic. Celtic sea salt is also good.
Drink warm liquids like warm coconut or almond mylk (or milk alternatives) with raw cacao, maca and medicinal herbs, herbal teas, spice teas, warm water with lemon
Protein sources such as leafy green vegetables, chick peas, lentils, quinoa

 

Activities

Fall is a great time to get back to daily self-massage with a warm oil, especially around your joints is beneficial. Dry brushing (at least twice a week) is the best things to do in the morning before a shower. Use nourishing oils such as sesame, coconut, olive, almond, and Castor oil.

Yoga, stretching, breathing exercises and meditation are the perfect physical activities for this time of the year. It keeps you balanced and mentally focused.

Hiking, walking, cycling, are all great ways to move. I personally like to get in better shape with my running, rowing and weight training during this time of the year, but I guess we all have our own things we are passionate about! 🙂

 

Dry brushing method

  1. Start with your feet, moving in soft circular movements (always move toward the heart).
  2. Work up each leg (one at a time) and start at the back and go up thorugh the buttock and the front of the legs.
  3. Then you move on to the fingertips of one arm, move up the arm and towards the heart. Repeat on other arm.
  4. Move to the back (you can use a brush if you can’t reach or have a morning buddy :)).
  5. Move toward the stomach, starting and finishing with one side of the back and then the other.
  6. In the stomach area start at the lower abdomen and work your way up (stay clear of the more delicate areas) and end at your chest in an upward stroke.
  7. Rinse off, shower and put oil on your skin

 

Be well and enjoy Fall and the weekend! 🙂

 

 

“Life is entertaining when we do not take it too seriously.                                               A good laugh is an excellent remedy for human ills.”

Paramahansa Yogananda

 


What does hair loss, iodine deficiency and heavy metals have in common?

It’s normal to shed hair every day, and the truth is, we loose between 100-125 hairs on a given day. Hair that is shed falls out at the end of the growth cycle. 10% of your hair will always be in a resting phase, and after 2-3 months resting, it falls out and new hair grows in its place. As we get older, both men and women experience some hair loss. It’s a normal part of the aging process, called Androgenetic Alopecia, it accounts for 95% of all hair loss (this often runs in families).

Then there are some other types of hair loss, that can be sudden or abnormal. It’s caused by medications such as blood thinners, gout medication, birth control pills and too much vitamin A. It can be the effect of a crash diet, sudden hormonal changes, menopause, chemotherapy and radiation. Medical conditions such as hypothyroidism and fungal infections along with emotional stress, pregnancy, or surgery can also cause our hair to fall out.

Stress can cause a slowing of new hair growth because a larger number of hair follicles enter into the resting phase and no new hair growth is experienced. Wearing pigtails or tight rollers that end up pulling on the hair can scar the scalp and cause permanent hair loss. Hair products such as hot oil treatments and chemicals used for permanents can cause inflammation to the hair follicles, which can also result in scarring and hair loss.

Fungus like organisms, also causes arthritis, in particularly the ligament, joints, and hard collagens, which joins the bones in knees and spinal columns, but fungus and mycoplasma is found to cause hair loss by attacking the hair follies. When the body is high in HEAVY METALS, it becomes a paradise for fungus, mycoplasma and bacteria with fungus abilities. The fungus need food near the heavy metals and the heavy metals protect themselves from hostile antibiotics, so basically antibiotics get destroyed or oxidized in presence of heavy metals. Hmmm, maybe this is the reason why antibiotics doesn’t work!

Then we have a deficiency, that most people don’t take seriously enough, and it’s a worldwide and widespread problem right now. IODINE DEFICIENCY. Iodine is really important in today’s polluted environment, which incl. the constant high levels of radiation in our food sources and environment (Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster).

Iodine deficiency is a serious problem which started about 40 years ago when the food industry switched over the use of iodine to bromine. Bromine is a processed food enhancer widely used today in breads, pasta and most bakery items. The problem is that bromine is a toxic halide-additive that blocks your body from absorbing and replenishing its iodine reserves.

Youthful aging requires more iodine supplementation for several reasons. For instance, your cells will mobilize iodine reserves to heal the body and boost immunity, battle inflammatory conditions, and maintain good hormone balance. Iodine contains potent antibacterial, anti-parasitic, antiviral and anticancer properties as it treats numerous conditions. Science does not fully understand iodine’s entire function to human health, such as its dominant role in preventing skin and fungal infections. Signs of insufficient iodine levels in the body manifest as fatigue, depression, sluggish thinking, lowered libido and unwanted weight challenges (loss or gain).

Why does iodine have the ability to restore hair? Iodine kills the fungus that helps the fungus from eating up the ends of the hair follicle. But it doesn’t stop here… fungus exists because your body is already high in heavy metals. Without heavy metals they die. So the message is clear, get rid of the heavy metals and then make sure to protect your health, by taking iodine and natural herbs. Iodine deficiency reduces your body’s ability to get rid of heavy toxic metals, such as cadmium, mercury, lead etc. When heavy metals are high in the body, they seem to make themselves at home by colonizing in your various glands, such as the thyroid gland, which may bring about hypothyroidism, and in the adrenals, it may create adrenal exhaustion and so it goes on. Iodine deficiency is easy to see: auto immunity, low stomach acid, lack of energy, adrenal exhaustion, fungus problems, arthritis (fungus caused, rheumatoid), high cadmium, high mercury are all part of the picture.

There are many supplements, that are great for hair loss, incl. zinc and manganese, and I always say get off the GLUTEN (which is good to do for so many other things). The number one thing is to spread the love of iodine and avoid bromine. There are some Chinese herbs, that are great for hair restoration and they are:

  • He Shou Wu (Fo-Ti/Polygonum Multiflorum), can also restore grey to its original color
  • Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum), known as the mushroom of immortality – support kidney energy and blood flow
  • Nu Shen Zi (Ligustrum lucidum) improves circulation of the scalp
  • Stinging Nettle (prevents hair loss and stimulate hair loss)
  • The bark from a real cacao tree (not a bush) (special way to make it), is also said to be able to cure male baldness

 

My number one favorite is Iodine, which is required for vibrant health and longevity. It’s part of my family’s basic health regime, and I can’t say enough good things about iodine.

TIP

The trick is not take iodine every day for hair loss, as the iodine detox and protects the body… take iodine for 3-4 days and then stop for 4 days and start again…. the reason for this is to follow the body’s natural cycle. The body needs to repair and it needs to rest in order to heal.

Sources:

University of Maryland Medical Center: Hair Disorders

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/hair-disorders-000071.htm

Ageless Herbs

http://www.agelessherbs.com/hairlossremedy.html

The information, therapies or technologies listed on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat or prescribe. It is never intended to replace the care or advise of a trained medical physician. You are solely responsible for how you use it. The blog content is for educational purposes and is based on my personal research and opinions.