Archive for December, 2011

Christmas Cookies

December 26, 2011

This could also be titled Hanukkah, Solstice, Kwanzaa, or holiday cookies…Whatever you grew up with. Mine arrived in a recycled chocolate box from my 83-year-old mother. She still makes green shortbread trees with sprinkles and a hint of almond, gingerbread camels, deadly brownies, and a family heirloom: liebkuchen. Every year I swear I will give them away, and every year I eat them in record time. This year I hosted a holiday dance party, and what do you think most folks brought? Yep, Christmas (or whatever you celebrate) cookies!  I was invited to a Solstice party,  Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners, and what do you think was dessert? Yes, more delicious home-made cookies. By this time I have a sinus infection and am going through ridiculous amounts of tissue a day…because I don’t eat much sugar and cookies are my weakness, and I always overdo…sigh.

My point being that as a culture, we show love and holiday joy through food, and a major part of that is the traditional (fill in your family’s) homemade cookies. To say no is to refuse love! A New Year’s party is coming up and I feel guilty because I’m taking all the uneaten cookies to inflict them upon others with less will power or more iron constitutions….

Hope your Holy Day / holiday celebrations were sweet (couldn’t resist!) and healthy. May you take good care of yourself as we witness the light returning and the new year approaching.

The Politics of Educating About Flu Prevention

December 19, 2011

Just when we think Big Pharma/Big Medicine has played all the dirty tricks we can possibly imagine them doing, they surprise us with yet another spin…I don’t believe that particular group of corporate folks will be satisfied until their message is the only one the public can hear….

From the Mercola site:

Story at-a-glance

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) receives millions of dollars from big pharmaceutical corporations selling vaccine to pediatricians, money that has even been used to help build the AAP headquarters
  • The AAP recently attempted to intimidate and persuade Delta airlines to remove an influenza prevention video that was created and sponsored by the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) for Delta’s inflight programming, which offers sensible health options for staying well during the flu season
  • NVIC’s educational video highlighted proven ways to avoid getting sick, such as washing your hands, covering your mouth when coughing, getting enough sleep, exercising and eating right and mentioned flu shots but the AAP protested that the video was “putting children’s lives at risk” because it did not primarily focus on telling people to get vaccinated
  • The AAP’s outrageous attempt to censor good disease prevention information, which simply seeks to educate Americans about the many options for staying well and encourages everyone to speak with trusted health care professionals about vaccine risks versus benefits, should not be tolerated in a free society.

To read the entire article and see the video in question, please go HERE.

And whatever Holy Day / holiday you celebrate, may you and your loved ones enjoy with health and happiness.

The Ayurvedic Herb Ashwagandha: a Boon for Boomers Seeking Increased Immunity

December 15, 2011

Last night I listened to a webinar on an intro to Ayurvedic (Indian) herbology, and several of their most important herbs for general tonification and building strong immunity. The take home message is this: Ayurveda is an ancient system based upon energetics. Those include the taste (sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, astringent) of a herb, its “element (combinations of water, fire earth, air and ether),” the heating or cooling aspect of a herb both as it enters the body and post-digestion, and an herb’s “psychology,” what it helps contribute to our healing.

Ashwagandha is one of the few “tri-doshic” herbs, meaning it is good for any constitution. No worries about trying to figure out what we are in a system that is complex. It is useful both day and evening. It is a tonic herb that is easy to digest, and is good for all ages, but especially for those of us realizing we are aging! An adaptogenic  nervine tonic, ashwagandha assists us in handling stress, building immunity and strengthening our respiratory system. For general debility, aging issues, arthritis, and trouble sleeping, we can take this herb as a tea, tincture, in hot milk, or as a powder/capsule. A delicious sounding suggestion was to drink it in warm milk with cinnamon or nutmeg an hour before bed, or first thing in the morning before breakfast.

Winter Immunity Starts With Breakfast

December 8, 2011

Yes, you read that correctly. Unfortunately, most people’s breakfast choices are inappropriate for both winter and immune health. The standard American breakfast of cold cereal, cold pasteurized milk, cold fruit, cold fruit juice, and coffee is a recipe for problems: too little protein, too much sugar, too cold, often too much caffeine; i.e. not enough nutrition to carry us into lunch, let alone develop good immunity. Yes, you can tweak that combo by eating cooked oatmeal that was soaked overnight in whey and water (this makes it more digestible). We can add home-made yogurt made from raw milk (again, much more digestible). By adding soaked nuts the protein content rises and again, more digestible.

However, according to a lot of research I’ve been doing about nutrition for healthy blood sugar response, strong immunity, stable energy, healing our adrenal glands and increasing our ability to handle stress, we need to consider a whole new approach: hot protein at breakfast. If you are an omnivore, this can mean lean organic/free range meat, and /or eggs, vegetables, and an appropriate amount of complex carb (whole grain bread, yams, winter squash, etc.). Lacto-ovo vegetarians can go for eggs, cheese, veggies, and a healthy starchy carb. If you are vegan, time to go for the nuts, grains like quinoa, and cultured soy (tempeh, miso), as well as veggies. What is important is warm food (if you are living in a cold climate), a good amount of protein, colorful vegetables, and not too much starchy carbs (unless you’re setting out to shovel snow! Then have another piece of toast).

This combo gives us good energy without the blood sugar spikes, provides us with both calories and nutrients (vitamins, minerals, and micro-nutrients), and a healthy balance of macro-nutrients (including fat, which we need for adequate hormone production). So try to limit yourself to one cup of java (preferably organic), or substitute green tea, and fire up the stove. I bet you’ll feel better.

More On the Flu Shot & Some Natural Ways to Fight Colds and Flu

December 2, 2011

In a just-published shocking study virology researchers at the Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands have demonstrated that a regular flu vaccine in children actually worsens a key aspect of their flu-fighting immune system. This research was not conducted by vaccine-disliking scientists. Rather, it was conducted by pro-vaccine researchers who have spent their careers trying to develop better vaccines. Lead author Rogier Bodewes delivered the sobering message as he explained that flu vaccines “have potential drawbacks that have previously been under appreciated and that are also a matter of debate.”

Please send this info to anyone you know who has children and is contemplating a flu shot. Please go  HERE for the whole story.

Here is a question for you. What do grapevine leaves do when they come under attack from a viral infection? Answer: make more quercetin for their natural defense. There is no question that quercetin is active against many viral infections including the flu. If this sparks your interest,  HERE is the whole article.

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is an important nutrient for respiratory health and immunity, including defense against  the flu. The nutrient has been used longer than four decades to help break up and clear mucous from the airways. The latest research continues to show that it is a potent anti-viral compound warranting widespread use in the winter months to help ward off the common cold as well as the flu. I’ve been recommending NAC for all my clients with any kind of breathing issues. You can go  HERE to read more about this inexpensive and wonderful supplement.

And then there’s the simple, elegant, and tasty habit you might cultivate this winter of drinking warm lemon or lime water every morning when you first wake up. Delicious, nutritious, alkalizing, and a bit of Vitamin C…