Tag Archives: migraines

A Little Bit of T.L.C. To Calm The Winter Storm

Have you noticed?

Can you hear that?

People whimpering… Aches, pains, and just feeling bad are all around.

After maintaining stable health and immune systems through the fall and early winter, folks are dropping like flies to bronchitis, strep, sinus infections, colds that travel through the entire family and even to the pets, (a Chihuahua sneezing is a sad state of affairs), flu, and pneumonia. I have friends on Facebook with tender bodies who even complain their hair hurts.

That’s bad.

Forget the New Year’s party hats. Where’s the chicken soup?

If you or your loved one fall into the category of the “whimpering needy,” then some serious TLC is headed your way! With minimal energy, you can fix these soothing, nutrient-enriched recipes in a jiff! With a few basic ingredients, you can go a long way to body-friendly comfort measures.

One is a healing and strengthening tea, and the other is soup. While others are dashing to the store for peanut butter, bread, milk, and eggs in the face of winter storm advisories, make sure you grab: lemons, fresh ginger, fresh garlic, honey, chicken, quality broth, and green tea.

Background information:

Fresh ginger, lemon, and honey tea is a tried-and-true standard for throat therapy and protection.

Ginger is often referred to as a universal medicine and dates back to ancient Chinese and Ayurveda traditions. Ginger tea contains high levels of vitamin C, amino acids, and trace minerals. As an anti-inflammatory, ginger calms down unhappy tummies and helps to open airways.

Lemon is also a good source of vitamin C and has long been touted as a benefit to daily detox, get-your-body-started-for-the-day, and a help for regularity. My spry grandmother was a firm believer in daily lemon water; she lived a healthy 100 years. So, there you go!

Honey is not only a good source of energy, but packs a powerful load of antioxidant, has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, and is a natural cough suppressant.

Hot or cold, ginger-lemon-honey tea can be just what the doctor ordered. Given the current freezing temperatures, hot is preferable.

Here’s what you’ll need to do for a quick healing brew:

GINGER LEMON HONEY TEA

In a saucepan, assemble:

About 1 to 1 1/2 inch of peeled, sliced fresh ginger

Juice of 1 lemon – And a few extra slices of lemon to float around, if desired

Honey to taste

5-6 bags of green tea

6 cups of water

Heat all ingredients on medium heat and let steep awhile.

Strain and serve. Refrigerate leftovers to reheat.

This can be a bit tangy thanks to the ginger and lemon; vary the amount of honey to balance the sweet-to-tangy ratio.
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That wasn’t too hard to do! Now you have something helpful to sip on while you prepare this gentle, healing, and easy-to-prepare meal.

Background information:

Garlic is rich in allicin, which has powerful antioxidant properties and is beneficial to blood pressure and blood sugar regulation (See my book, Toolkit for Wellness for more information about garlic and other allicin-containing foods.)

Chicken soup – aromatic and therapeutic – just ask Grandma. It works!
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GARLIC LEMON HERB CHICKEN

Any cut of chicken will do. Today I used a chicken breast, semi-frozen and chopped into small pieces. Other times, I have used thighs with bones in to stew a long time. Whatever cut of chicken you have around will do.

About 5-6 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped (do this at least 10 minutes prior to cooking to release the good things – allicin – that make garlic good for you)

About 1 inch to 1 1/2 inches of peeled, sliced fresh ginger

One lemon, rind ends removed, sliced and seeded

Some onion, chopped (Do this 10 minutes before cooking, as well)

Salt

Pepper

Dill weed – The dill weed pairs very well with the lemon

Chicken Broth – free range, if possible

Optional, rice-based, gluten-free noodles

Sauté the onions, garlic, ginger, and lemon slices in butter and olive oil until onions are translucent.

Add chicken. If cubed, stir until all sides lose their pinkness. If whole pieces, brown on each side.

Add broth and seasonings to taste. Simmer until meat is done and flavors have incorporated.

Optional: Before serving, add some Thai, thin rice noodles if your tummy will allow. These cook in a couple minutes.
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The good thing about this soup is you can eat it in stages as your constitution allows:

Savory broth first.

Broth and a few noodles next.

There is nothing like Mama’s TLC and chicken soup, to be sure, but this comes in at a close second- especially if you are the source of your own TLC!

Cuddles to my friends in need. Sorry you have whatever version of the “crud” you have. Nurse yourself back to health with this healing tea and soup. Don’t try to get back onto your feet too fast or your body will let you know who is boss for sure. Relapses are usually worse that the first round!

Be safe!

In health-

Deidre …  Healing from a sty that has made me feel like I had a cold.

Now, where’s my tea?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can You Hear Me Now?

Your body knows best.  Are you listening?

Many of us have bodies that are screaming at us; but we aren’t listening. Instead, we grab another Tylenol and hope for different results. Right?

How’s that working for you? Doing the same things and hoping for different result.

Come on, folks!

Case in point is my Great Oatmeal Experiment.

For many years, I have followed the anti-inflammatory style of eating as described in my book, Toolkit for Wellness. The part I was particularly careful about was no gluten-containing grains; no wheat, barley, or rye grains. But other grains such as corn, rice, oats, and others could be problematic because of their lectin and phytate components.

Lectins can mess with the hormone that tells us we are full and satisfied. Phytates can make the minerals we eat bio-unavailable for proper absorption and use by our body.

Each of us has different levels of tolerance.  We won’t know what our tolerance levels are unless we LISTEN.

Listen to what?

Our body talking to us! Do we feel energized? How are those muscles and joints feeling? Headaches again? Unhappy belly? More bloating, gas, constipation, or diarrhea?

Once your body is “cleansed” for a while by removing inflammatory foods, reintroducing potential offenders has to be handled very carefully.

Just like introducing one new food at a time, not unlike that of a baby learning to eat foods, we have to be careful to reintroduce only one new previously eliminated food at a time, to identify something that is going to cause a bad reaction.

I have corn-based food every once in a while. When corn-on-the-cob “comes in” during the summer, I do indulge. Corn tortillas for tacos? Sure.

Still steering away from gluten.

Enter “Gluten Free Oatmeal.”

I needed to shake up my husband’s breakfast menu a bit; provide more fiber – you know – good for you oatmeal?

I even posted on Foodtalk4you’s Facebook feed about how I had ramped up oatmeal’s “goodness” factor by adding chia seeds and coconut oil. I created another oatmeal recipe by adding collagen hydrolysate and coconut oil. Ramped-up protein and brain healthy fat! What could be better?

I was pleased as punch in making double recipe “vats” of this so I could easily nuke a bowl of goodness for EACH of us in the morning.

Or so I thought.

There are so many factors affecting how we feel. Sometimes it’s hard to tease out the one offending element.

I was still sitting way too much at home while I spent time in my husband’s room (he is confined to a hospital bed at home). On top of that, I am currently writing another book, “Caregiver’s Handbook for Caring for the Bedridden,” which requires more sitting at the computer. Efforts to go to the gym once or twice a week are being met, along with home stretches to break up sitting sessions, and almost daily planks.

But something was WRONG.

Everything from my waist down hurt. Heels first. Then hips. Then legs. Is it possible to get that old so fast? Is this my life forever?

Didn’t seem natural. Certainly, I am living under unusual and stressful circumstances – but, I was falling apart. Grabbing two Ibuprofen, for heaven’s sakes.

We are “Designed for Health”. That’s my mantra. Geez! That’s the name of the classes I teach!

“Can you hear me, now?”

Could it be my “super-healthy-ramped-up-gluten-free-oatmeal?

Only one way to find out.

Stop the oatmeal.

Well, I did.

After just seven days with no more oatmeal, I can get up and start walking with feet and hips that are not screaming.

I listened, and I did something about it.

Yes, I miss my hot, steaming bowl of healthy comfort food, but I LOVE not hurting.

Goodbye oatmeal. Hello happy body!

It’s a choice.

Are you listening? Your body will love you for it.

In health-

Deidre

 

 

Watermelon-Mint Summer Salad!

Espousing coping skills, and actually using them, are two different things. As my beloved continues to slumber more than 15 hours a day now, it would be easy for me to just ‘spin in place’ as I watch his winding down. The three rounds of planks that energized me on Tuesday, are just not motivating me today. My yoga mat is not calling to me.

Today’s coping skill is in shifting focus away from me and onto sharing something good with YOU my dear readers!

I have clipped out and saved so many nifty-sounding recipes for salad dressings; and yet have used virtually none of them. If you are like me, then I even hesitate to share a recipe. Rather, I am sharing a concept instead.

Necessity being the mother of invention, an idea came to mind this week that answered several needs:

  • Something to moisturize some dry leftover baked chicken that was destined to be chopped up into a salad.
  • Something that would use at least a part of my over-abundant supply of mint. Note to self: plant less mint and more basil.
  • Something that would ‘smile’ at me from the salad bowl and lift my spirits.
  • Something that would use up this watermelon that I am the only one eating now.

Voila!

Watermelon Mint Salad Dressing

Remember, this is a concept, not a ¼-teaspoon-at-a-time recipe!

The first step is to smash-up some watermelon.

For my solo serving, I used half of an inch-slice of watermelon taken from one of those mini bowling ball-sized melons. An old fashioned potato masher does the job and leaves some small chunks.

Add some chopped up fresh mint leaves. I generally use the leaves from a 12-inch stem.

Salt

Pepper

Splash of EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

Splash of white wine vinegar

That’s it! Stir and pour over your salad!

Having made this three times this week, my salad contents have varied with the addition of leftover sautéed okra, avocado, mango, blueberries, steamed broccoli, and of course that chicken.

Salads are a wonderful way to keep soaking up all of that fresh summertime vegetable goodness. Cooking pretty much for one now, I tend to cook more than I need for one meal.

Just convert most leftovers to salads in the summers!

This Watermelon-Mint Summer Salad Recipe concept has revitalized my flagging spirits and has given me fun nutritional meals.

We’ll be needing this added aspect of cooling, as yet another heat wave is in progress!

Thanks for reading-

Deidre

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Celiac Awareness Month – Let’s Talk About Your Guts

It’s Celiac Awareness Month.

Have you been asking yourself questions like these:

  • Is this gluten stuff all a hoax?
  • Is it just a “trendy diagnosis” – as our daughter’s pediatrician once offered?
  • What’s at stake if we don’t, at least, investigate the possibilities?
  • Is going gluten-free worth the effort?
  • Do you have to get tested?
  • What if your test is negative for Celiac Disease but you are still symptomatic?

I have, once again, dove into some of the latest news on Celiac Disease, (CD), and all things gluten for this post. Let me tell you, it was hard to tear myself away from the research, as one article linked to another and another.

While one person out of a hundred is diagnosed worldwide with CD, that number is expected to double every fifteen years. Why? Many people are currently undiagnosed, and the causative factors of pro-inflammatory diets are spreading.

Starting my fact-finding internet tour at Celiac.org, I found that, in fact, a Colorado study found a 3% incidence rate of Celiac Disease for youngsters by the age of 15! Yikes!

In case you are not up-to-speed with the term Celiac Disease, let me recap. CD is a genetic autoimmune disorder in which consumption of gluten (found in wheat, barley, and rye grains) results in damage to the small intestine, causing a host of symptoms (See lists below).

So, who should be tested for CD?

It was recommended that anyone suffering from an unexplained, stubborn illness for several months should be tested for CD.

HOWEVER – there are also two more categories of sensitivity:

NCGS– Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity- whereby a person is not severely reacting to the gluten found in wheat, barley, and rye grains, but are reacting on some level, which can be problematic.

NCWS- Non-Celiac Wheat Sensitivity- whereby a person is reactive only to wheat.

How do you know if you might be reactive to gluten on any level? Check out this abbreviated list of possible signs and symptoms. I’ve seen lists that link scores and scores of common conditions to some level of gluten sensitivity because the resulting inflammatory response to each person is unique. This could be you:

Signs and Symptoms for Adults:

  • Unexplained iron-deficiency anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Bone and joint pain
  • Arthritic conditions
  • Osteoporosis
  • Liver and biliary tract disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Migraines
  • Foggy brain
  • Dermatitis herpetiforme (itchy skin rash)
  • Infertility
  • Missed periods
  • Canker sores
  • Signs and Symptoms for Children:
  • Abdominal bloating and pain
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Pale, foul smelling fatty stools
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability and behavioral issues
  • Delayed growth
  • Delayed puberty
  • Dental enamel defects
  • Short stature
  • Failure to thrive
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Check? Check? Check?

Let’s talk about infertility, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, (PCOS), and gluten. There’s a lot. Google those three terms together and you’ll be busy reading for a long time.

According to Nutritionist and Health Educator Melissa Diane Smith, “85% of her PCOS clients test positive for sensitivity to gluten. When these women remove gluten from their diets, they often see a marked improvement in their PCOS symptoms.”

The May/June edition of the Journal of Reproductive Health in 2011 reported a prevalence of silent CD (undiagnosed CD) in female infertility in Middle East and European studies.

An American study of 188 infertile women showed a 5.9% increase of silent undiagnosed CD. Many who also suffered from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) were found to have CD.

Dr. David Perlmutter, MD, writes that 5-10% of women 18-44 years of age have PCOS. He tracks links in his patients with PCOS to high blood sugar and diabetes. He cites the role of insulin is intrinsically linked to PCOS.

How do you know if you have PCOS?

Some of the symptoms of PCOS are:

  • Irregular or no periods
  • Heavy periods
  • Acne
  • Increased facial hair
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Metabolic issues related to insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation

Have some ideas popped off the page for you?

Are you seeing yourself or someone you know?

Increasingly, we have to be our own patient advocates. Doctors moan when their “internet-trained” patients slam them with all sorts of “internet-acquired diagnoses,” but you can ask to have certain issues looked at … especially if they have not been able to find any help for you.

You can ask for blood tests associated with Celiac Disease, or any level of gluten or wheat sensitivity. If blood tests for CD are positive, a biopsy of the small intestine may be offered to check for damage. You have to be actively consuming gluten for the blood tests to be valid.

Don’t want blood tests? Simply eliminate all forms of gluten for three months. Celiac.org has sample 7-day gluten free meal plans for adults and for kids on their website that will give you a start. My book, Toolkit for Wellness, will show you ways to not only avoid gluten, but other foods as well that create an inflammatory response within our bodies.

Gluten sensitivities are serious things that contribute to very real illness, disease, and general un-wellness. One doesn’t simply “cut back” on gluten. It’s all or none. A single gluten infraction can sometimes take those who are extremely sensitive as long as three months to get over!

This is serious business.

It’s our choice.

In good health –

Deidre

 

 

 

 

Power Up and Prepare For Liftoff!!

Each day, it seems, we are in the cockpit of life preparing for a takeoff. What switches are we supposed to flip in order to “power up” our engines? There are so many on our dashboard. Can we realistically try to flip them all every day; or are there a critical few that will give us the lift and acceleration we need for a good takeoff and flight?

After spending hours every week researching, reading, and experimenting with activities that will, “do our bodies good,” one meal, one breath, one movement at a time, I’m left thinking “Ack!” How can I share idea after idea with my readers without over-whelming them, too?

There must be 50 “good” things I should be doing all of the time just to start my day off right.

Wait a minute.

The goal is not to feel like a failed, spineless weakling if we are not doing these things. The idea is to lead a natural, comfortable life that uses nature’s laws to optimize health – and – to accept the responsibility of intention.

Do we intend to “do our body good”?

We want – no, demand – that our bodies keep us going every day; but are we helping our bodies to do that?

Are we a friend or a foe to our body?

I sure want my body at its best 100% of the time so I strive to “power up” each day as best I can to give my mind-body-spirit the “food” it needs to do that.

Granted, smooth uninterrupted daily routines probably exist only in fairy tales.

Nearing the 10th month of being a full-time caregiver for my sweet husband who is confined to bed, I know full well how easily “me time” can disappear. Keeping myself on an even keel, though, is vital to being at my best for him – and me. Those who juggle kids, family, and jobs find free morning time at a premium as well. I hear you.

So, what are the essential few things I do to power up? You’ve seen many of these before. I will explain any new ideas in more detail.

POWERING UP

  1. ALWAYS: Super Brain Yoga and Power Poses as explained in the last post HERE. If there is time for only one thing, this is it. In addition to reinforcing inner balance and focus, I am filled with thoughts of gratitude – thanks for being equipped for strength and victory. I am open to receive that strength; and feel confident to move forward, no matter what may come my way.

Gratitude increases levels of that “feel good” hormone serotonin; who couldn’t use more of that each day? Be ‘intentional’  by boosting yours.

  1. ALMOST DAILY: Drinking lemon juice in warm water while coffee is brewing. Did your grandmother do this? Mine did. She swore by it and lived to be over 100. Today, we know that a simple drink of lemon juice in warm water is a marvelous detoxifier, helps regulate bowels, and actually helps de-acidify the digestive system! Start by using the juice of ½ of a lemon in one cup of warm water. Swish your mouth out to eliminate remaining juice from reacting with tooth enamel.

Once lemon juice is inside your stomach, the digestive process will cause an alkaline environment that will improve reflux. I refuse to resort to OTC or prescription meds for reflux. Lemon juice in warm water absolutely nails this problem for me. If I skip a couple of days, the reflux returns.

  1. ALWAYS when I am home: Power Coffee often with 2 Breakfast Cookies- plain coffee just doesn’t do it for me anymore. Learn about this amazing drink HERE and these guiltless cookies HERE. After this dynamic duo, I am good for hours!
  1. ALMOST DAILY: Oil pulling for at least 5 minutes, preferably up to 20. Now, this is a new topic for Foodtalk4you, but oil pulling is thousands of years old and is considered medicinal for the whole body.

One of the best articles I have read about the benefits and history of oil pulling is found HERE.  In case you do not have the time, let me summarize this article and why I do this almost every day.

  1. Oil pulling is simply swishing coconut, olive, or sesame oil in the mouth for the purpose of cleansing the oral cavity, refreshing breath, and removing toxins.
  1. It’s easy to work into my daily schedule. Oil pulling can be done first thing during the morning shower; or I often do it after breakfast (Power Coffee and Breakfast Cookies!) while I tidy up the kitchen. This is habit stacking at its best! No extra time needed!
  1. Oil pulling is a safe and effective way to detoxify not just the mouth but the entire body because toxins are absorbed into the oil which is spit out. Coconut oil is highly absorbent so its benefits of moisturizing skin, raising healthy blood cholesterol, increasing energy, and killing toxins are easily accessed by oil pulling.
  1. I see and feel a difference right away. Imagine: fresh mouth with NO CHEMICALS!

How to do oil pulling:

  1. Use 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Just scoop it up with a spoon and put into your mouth and chew on it until it is a swish-able liquid. Hint: You may want to start with a smaller amount just to help yourself warm up to the experience.
  1. Swish the oil around your mouth, flushing the fluid around and between teeth. Take your time and do not be so vigorous that you tire your muscles!
  1. Swish for 5-20 minutes; the longer, the better. Remember, the oil is picking up toxins and needs adequate time to really ‘clean house.’
  1. Spit out the oil which has become white (full of yuck) into the trash. Do NOT spit the toxin-laden coconut oil down the drain as it will clog plumbing. Coconut oil is solid at cooler temperatures, remember.
  1. That’s it! Enjoy natural cleanness and fresh breath. A gentle tooth brushing, and you’re good to go!
  1. TWICE A WEEK: Weight training exercises. I am still a proponent of home-based exercises, (See the exercise chapter in my book Toolkit for Wellness), but I just was longing for the targeted benefits of weight training machines. Give me a good thirty-minute circuit workout, and my body just smiles a great big, “Thank you!”

Since joining the local $10-a-month Planet Fitness Gym, I have maintained my twice weekly visits (or more) since January 1st! By not doing the sweat-inducing cardio machines, I can easily dip in to the gym between errands, change back into my street clothes and carry on.

Twice recently, I did do some cardio, and may keep that as my last stop, one extra day a week, but my main focus right now is the no-sweat 30 minute weight training circuit. Now you can work up a sweat, but my weights are high enough that 10 reps will do just fine, thank you!

So if you are not getting up an hour early each day for the ‘perfect start,’ then just know there are a few things that you can do in your normal, real-life routine that will definitely perk up your body and your day.

A routine that is not forced.

A natural routine.

Something intentional to “do your mind-spirit-body good!”

In health-

Deidre

 

 

 

 

Three – Two – One …….. Blast Off!!

Happy 2017!

If we’ve learned anything from 2016, it has to be that life can often seem very short. While long-term goals are necessary for keeping your life moving forward and staying on track, remember,  today is a beautiful day to be day one!

So if you are on your 100th consecutive day of doing something good for yourself; or, if it’s day one again – today is all we have anyway. Right?

So let’s blast off each day with a little something that is yummy, delicious, and easy to do. This is also excellent for your energy levels, clarity, and focus – AND – is full of anti-oxidants and anti-inflammation elements which will soothe your insides.

What am I talking about? Power coffee you make yourself with a few basic ingredients!

It even looks like a latte! What could be better?

I tried something similar last year, but stopped because I was using a blender which cooled off my coffee and because…well…I could do without it.

This week, however, I came across a better idea for energizing coffee. Switching out my big blender with my immersion blender has enabled me to keep my coffee hot, blitz any leftovers quite easily, and make clean-up a cinch.

After experimenting the first time with a single cup of this amazing blend, I assembled enough ingredients for a week. The following is the basic recipe for one serving. To make ahead, simply multiply the recipe’s dry ingredients, mix, store in a jar, and add a spoonful to coffee along with the teaspoon of coconut oil for each day.

POWER COFFEE

Into your morning cup of coffee add:

1 tsp coconut oil

¼ tsp. turmeric

Trace amount of cayenne pepper

¼ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp raw cacao

½ tsp collagen

¼ tsp nutmeg

A sprinkle of cardamom

½-1 tsp coconut sugar

Blitz this in a blender or use an immersion blender.

ALERT: Immersion blenders do create a bit of a splash. Do NOT use your coffee cup as a blending bowl. Red face…been there, done that…cleaned it up. What I have discovered is to blend it in the coffee pot IF it is half full. K-cup folks can just use a standard blender; just preheat the blender jar with a bit of hot water first.

What I have discovered about Power Coffee is that I am not ‘charged up’ in a jittery way. I am focused. There is no need to ‘dig deep’ to get out of my chair to start the day’s activities. I am experiencing very stable energy levels and my ‘drive’ lasts and lasts. This is all on coffee that is 50% decaf.

Three days in and I am so pleased! There are calories in this, so I either delay breakfast or decrease the amount I eat. Because I am being well-nourished with this long-lasting drink, my eating has automatically decreased.

Will this do my body good? Yes!

Here is a little information on some of the ingredients:

Coconut oil is special in the category of saturated fats. In addition to being a superb source of energy, coconut oil consists of medium-chain fatty acids which have been shown to be anti-inflammatory and protective to the immune system. Coconut oil is linked to being protective from degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. The bacteria-killing property of coconut is well established. The breakdown of coconut oil in the body also leads to more efficient metabolism.

Turmeric, also known as curcumin, is an ancient healing ingredient with amazing anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show, turmeric is protective against forming the precursors of Alzheimer’s. Its anti-inflammatory properties are shown to relieve symptoms of arthritis, and it is protective against cancer.

Cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar, is loaded with anti-oxidants, calms inflammation, and is linked to brain health.

Raw cacao powder is NOT cocoa powder. Cocoa powder has milk, sugar, and other additives. Raw cacao is simply dried and ground cacao beans.

Cacao beans

Raw cacao beans were called ‘food for the gods’ in ancient cultures due to their great benefits. Cacao beans are a rich source of anti-oxidants, fiber – both soluble and insoluble, carbohydrates, protein, monounsaturated fatty acids that are not harmful to cholesterol levels, some amounts of caffeine and theobromine that are stimulants and anti-depressants, and a host of minerals and vitamins.

Raw cacao powder is made without heating the cacao beans above 116 degrees. Then they are cold pressed to make a paste. The paste is cold ground to yield a raw cacao powder. Thanks to the cold processing, the anti-oxidants and other nutrients are not destroyed.

Collagen is essential for hair, skin, nail, joint, and bone health and is a source of protein. Got creaky joints? Got wrinkles? Get collagen!

I wish you a happy “blast off” as you greet each day with Power Coffee.

“Do your body good” and start the New Year off feeling calm, yet energized, and let me know how your body likes Power Coffee by leaving a comment.

Hello 2017! I’m ready and raring to get started!

Deidre

PS- As a special thank you to my loyal readers,  my Editor, Sheree Alderman, and I have created a PDF of every recipe from last year for your printing pleasure! You can access that collection here: FOODTALK4YOU YEAR END 2016 RECIPES; as well as from the new RECIPE tab on the home page! Click on it to find a drop down menu where you will find a recipe collection, the one from 2016.

You can also access a printer-friendly recipe for this delicious energy-boosting coffee here: POWER COFFEE RECIPE.

Hope this helps! Let us know how you like these improvements!

Til next time-

Deidre

 

 

 

 

 

February Book Fair!

Welcome to the first Foodtalk4you Book Fair!

Since becoming an author, I haveWriter_banner-630x630 been blessed to discover a vast array of new releases that cover a broad range of topics about health, life, self-improvement, and even business. My reading list is growing each week, and contains books that I want to share with my readers.

So, the idea of a monthly Book Fair just came to me. If you like this, plans are set to do a weekly Book Fair during July so you will have extra titles to peruse while on vacation at the beach or in the mountains!
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My Story of Survival, by Mimi Emmanuel, is an inspiring story that takes my message of anti-inflammatory eating another step. Read my review:

5.0 out of 5 starsStory of My Survival

This is a God-send read for those with mysterious food intolerance.

By Deidre J. Edwards on December 6, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

At the end of your digestive rope? Hang on, you are not alone and I have a friend who can help! This is an honest-to-goodness real story of one woman’s grit and self-determination when faced with an overwhelming medical conundrum as to why her body was on revolt.

You can’t be the master of a sinking ship without becoming a master builder – becoming a student on how to patch and rebuild. Mimi Emmanuel learned how to craft her own survival diet out of just a very few ingredients. While she hopes that none of her readers would ever have to follow her diet, she shares this journey to show that there are answers to be found. There are times when the standard elimination diet is far too broad for those suffering from a fried immune and digestive system.

She shares the Spartan but nourishing diet she had to follow for FIVE years as well as how she has tippy-toed into a more varied Phase 2. I especially like her “useful facts” she places throughout the book to not only make her case as to nutritional needs, but also spark a deeper interest for further study and personal application. I will most definitely recommend this book to those I teach about diet and nutrition.

Now let’s hear from Mimi herself:

“Why did I write this book? I wrote this book because I know that many people suffer because of all kinds of health problems and often these problems are diet related. Obviously, not always. But I wrote this book for those people who suffer from health problems due to diet related issues. My diet may be suitable for anyone who suffers from gut problems, food allergies, food intolerance and chemical sensitivities.

In addition, many conditions such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, Lupus, Lyme, diverticulitis, and various other health problems and even menopausal symptoms are relieved when all allergens are taken out of the diet or minimized as much as possible.

I hope that my low reactive diet will give my readers the inspiration, in collaboration with their health professionals, to come up with their own variation suited to their situation.”

Here’s the link to Mimi’s book. CLICK
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5.0 out of 5 stars I’m ready to put my spare room up for rent!

Our daughter has happily used Airbnb accommodations for years, so I was interested in the behind-the-scenes story on how someone becomes an Airbnb host.

AirbnbRead my review here:

I’m ready to put my spare room up for rent!

By Deidre J. Edwards on November 3, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

Sally takes the reader on the journey she and her husband took–all of the thinking, emotions, planning, and how to avoid any pitfalls in this delightful, easy-to-read guide to all things Airbnb!

So many people are downsized out of a job, or long for a form of self-employment that will actually PAY for something. You can succeed with your dream of adding extra income to the family coffers with this guide by your side! She has already done all of the leg work and research for the reader–she has done all of the heavy lifting–all the reader has to do is follow her lead and profit!

From an exploration of different motivators for Airbnb hosts, to an understanding who the ideal client would be for your location, this guide leaves nothing out from the process. There’s how to communicate with clients, how to prepare the home/room, safety tips, legal issues, problem solving tips, and worthy resources for further study. Rest assured, by reading this book, you will be well-prepared on all aspects of launching your own Airbnb career with your eyes wide open!

Here’s what Sally has to say:

After my daughter was born, I left Corporate America to be a stay-at-home mom. We took a drop in family income. We no longer had a cushion to pay for the “luxuries.” Things like a family vacation, a new car, or home improvements. Saving for retirement was completely off our radar. I also missed the freedom and success that came from earning an income of my own. Yet, I knew I wanted to be a full-time mom to my kids. So I made a decision: I’d be a stay-at-home mom and earn a side income.

Since then, I’ve started a local business, built affiliate websites, created an online course, conducted user testing, sold used items, offered freelance services, and more. All in my “spare” time. Some of these things worked out… and some didn’t. In my book, Make Money On Airbnb, I share one of my most successful ventures. I teach you exactly how we earn $2,500 a month renting out our home on Airbnb.

Here is the link to Sally’s book. CLICK

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I am sharing another medically-related book with you because so many are searching for answers outside of a doctor’s office. Irene’s book underscores and amplifies everything I have written.

Read my review:

How to be your own patient advocate!Power of Ed. Pt.

By Deidre J. Edwards on November 12, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

No one should EVER go into a doctor’s office without some kind of education about health; and especially, how different diseases can be treated by alternative methods. If getting educated about self-care is something new for you, Irene’s book is a great start!

From my own experience with a daughter who was an undiagnosed celiac for a decade, I knew immediately from reading about the author’s daughter what the problem was. Anytime you can learn something new about non-celiac gluten sensitivity, it’s a great thing; and I encourage potential readers to learn from this easy-to-read resource!

Irene follows many different patients as they bounce around the medical system looking for answers when the answers were in plain sight. Just look at the table of contents which covers most of today’s prevalent conditions and buy this book immediately! Really, I just kept nodding my head in agreement as I read case-after-case; and how in each one, a treatment was found – often from outside of the mainstream medical community – and patients’ lives were changed for the better.

If you are dealing with any of the diseases mentioned in this book, please read! As a retired RN, I have seen similar things many times. We as patients MUST come to the doctor’s office with a knowledge base, and you can get that here!

Irene shares her thoughts:

This information-packed reference book offers the wisdom, strategies, and stories of over 20 health experts who started their professional paths after overcoming their own health challenges. Unable to find solutions within the conventional medical system, my storytellers embarked on their own health journeys and discovered alternative healing strategies that allowed them to heal. These people share their proven tactics and fundamental principles that guided them to recovery, they empower us by illuminating the path they took, so we can apply what they learned to our own health and well-being.

This book is designed to educate and empower the reader as a patient.

As an empowered patient we become our own best health advocates!

As our own health advocates – we determine and choose what works best for us from both alternative and conventional medicine, and propel our road to recovery, vibrant health and joyful life!

The book has been endorsed by such gurus in the health and wellness world, as Bernie Siegel (a great surgeon, and NY bestselling author recognized as one of the Top 20 Spiritually Influential Living People on the Planet), Jamie Reno (author, award-winning investigative reporter, global patient advocate, and three-time cancer survivor), Burton Goldberg (publisher, producer, and author of 18 books on alternative health), Kenneth R. Blanchard (an exceptional MD and author), and a number of other outstanding authors and health practitioners.

Here’s the link to Irene’s book. CLICK

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I love children’s books that have built in value and life lessons!

Read my review for Sheree Alderman’s book:

GeorgiChristmas Classic in the making that can be read all year long.

By Deidre J. Edwards on February 28, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

Her first book is a new Christmas Classic to be enjoyed all year round! This mindful tale of Georgi, a camel, helps children identify with growing up, lasting friendships, and finding one’s calling. Families should read this aloud every Christmas, right next to, Twas the Night Before Christmas! Discovering one’s destiny, having faith to step forward, and the sweet reward of having done a job well, are but a few of the life lessons Alderman helps children discover. Well written, great story line, and easy to read, with a rich vocabulary to stretch young minds.

Let’s hear from Sheree:

Georgi Who Saw the Angel is not just a holiday story… It is a rainy day… snowy day… grandparent’s day… mom and dad day…stay in bed day…any kind of day… journey where you will meet the most unloved, unwanted, and unimportant little camel named Georgi, and see how he becomes the priceless servant of a very high-ranking king. Georgi is blessed by God to lead the smallest parade of believers to the biggest event in human history.

Here is the link to Sheree’s book. CLICK

Hope you have found our first Foodtalk4you Book Fair to be interesting and that you have found some titles you would like to read or pass along to a friend.

Definitely food for thought and food for action!

-Deidre

 

 

 

 

Classical Gas Blues

Has gastric reflux set up house in you? This goes beyond the 7-Tips-to-Reduce-Belching-or-Burpingoccasional heartburn. This kind of reflux can help you identify the location of your esophagus…when you’d just as soon not know. Then there’s the stealth version, too. No uncomfortable sensations in the gullet, but unexplained hoarseness or inability to sing as smoothly as you usually do.

gastroesophageal_refluxThere are other symptoms as well, including: regurgitation of a bitter tasting and burning fluid into the throat, burping, and recurring hiccups, just to name a few. Reflux or GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease), as it is known, can tear up a perfectly good esophagus and ruin singing careers. There is also increased risk for esophageal cancer if left untreated over time.

While the reflux was just a nuisance thing when I bent over, (which is Learn-to-Sing-Nowa lot as a caregiver), then I started having trouble singing…Well, that was too much!

There is definitely a stress factor, as well. Truly, I can have just one negative thought and bring on the reflux. Who says the mind isn’t powerful?

So, one prong of my anti-reflux campaign is stress management. Affirmations. Check. Coloring. Check. More sunshine. Check – when the sun shines. More walking. Check. Talking with friends. Check. But, I was still clinging to what also needed to be addressed.

There, again, our health is our choice.

The turning point forhow-proton-pump-inhibitors-work me came with viewing NBC Nightly News the other night, as they featured a story about the bad side effects of many common drugs given to combat reflux. In addition to the already known side effects of proton pump inhibitors being increased risk of fractures and infection (due to the drug blocking mineral absorption), the folks at Johns Hopkins discovered there is also an increased risk for kidney disease.

A 20-50% increase risk for kidney disease, in fact!

One female patient was profiled having normal kidney function in March but only 30% function by August, while taking a proton pump inhibitor. She was instructed to stop taking the over the counter medication and her kidney function increased.

Yet, drug manufacturers claim that following the recommended dosage on the label is safe. Today we’re hearing that the top medications for treating heartburn/reflux also cdoctor-bannerauses dementia!

The story concluded with a doctor from Johns Hopkins saying reflux can totally be addressed by food. He said eliminating berries, chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol for 28 days will help heal the body. That was it. He was speaking to me. There was my choice for the second prong of my defense attack.

Was I going to choose health? Health without drugs?

Yes.

Caffeine consumption is going down – gradually – a cold turkey approach is not kind to the head. No more chocolate…Hey, Valentine’s Day is over! A choice is a choice. So long berries…See the recipe that follows using baked apples. No more alcohol…well, that SP_WINEisn’t hard, but my half glass of wine will just have to wait another day.

It’s day five as I write this and guess what? No reflux. Even with just half-caffeine coffee! Twenty-eight days total for healing.

Twenty-three more to go! When I get there, moderation will be my middle name.

So, with no more chocolate, what kind of treat can I devise? I return to an updated version of my Baked Fruit with Benefits. This may be the best baked apples I have ever created, and they are chock full of extra goodness (that’s the benefits part).

As a lead-up to the recipe, however, let me summarize a recent post on MarksDailyApple.com that reminded me of somcollagenething I needed to be doing: adding collagen to my diet where ever possible.

Here’s why. The amino acid glycine is the main amino acid in collagen. We make about 3 grams of this a day ourselves (so it’s considered non-essential) BUT we need a minimum of 10 grams a day – more if we are healing from injury or recovering from intense exercise. Thus, it could be categorized as a conditionally essential amino acid– meaning we need to supplement it in our diets.

pastured-cowThe big flap about not eating so much meat, apparently, can be erased by ramping up our intake of collagen – if the animal studies translate to human results. Meat-eating animals’ longevity was increased with the addition of glycine/collagen to their diets. He cited another study in which low levels of glycine predicted diabetes risk.

Glycine/collagen will also: improve quality of sleep, reduce the amount of muscle meat needed to be eaten to maintaisleepn muscle mass, is great for healthy joints, improve appearance and elasticity of skin , assist in healing of wounds, and is a key ingredient in cooking rich sauces.

Aside from eating bony cuts of meat: ribs, oxtails, necks, and the like, which all take extra time to slow cook, and from drinking collagen-rich bone broth, I add bone and body building collagen with the products pictured here.

IMG_1871The collagen hydrolysate on the left is not a thickener, and it can be stirred into liquids of any temperature. That’s the kind I used in the recipe below by mixing this collagen powder into the arrowroot/brown sugar mixture used to dust the apple bits before baking.

The powered gelatin on the right can be added to any hot liquid as a thickener. My no-bake Fruit with Benefits recipe in Toolkit for Wellness uses this to thicken the fruit juices as they cook in the pan. I add this to my home-cooked bone broths, as well. With this, you could make your own jello or fruit rolls ups!

Now to the recipe. You will notice that I crammed in every good thing I could find for this baked apple dish. Fresh fruit, gelatin, minimal sugar, and cinnamon topped with activated nuts, hemp, ground flax seed, minimal sugar, cinnamon, and coconut oil.

Baked Apples/Pears with Benefits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease 8 x 8 inch glass dish with coconut oil

Prepare mixture used to “dust” the cut fruit. Any extra may be stored in air-tight container for next time. Quantities may vary as you may even need to mix up just a bit more if you run out.

Stir together:

¼ cup brown sugar

½ cup arrowroot

¼ cup collagen hydrolysateFullSizeRender(1)

1 tsp. cinnamon/apple pie spice, or to taste

Prepare fruit by peeling, coring, slicing apples and possibly pears.

Today I used:

3 Golden Delicious apples and
1 Anjou pear

Gradually add sliced fruit to bowl and sprinkle with dusting mixture, stirring to coat after each addition.

When all fruit is prepared, transfer into prepared glass dish.apples-in-dish

Topping:
Into large fry pan on medium heat put:

2 Tbs. coconut oil

1 cup chopped activated nuts (I used the last of my walnuts, some pecans, and almonds)

¼ cup brown sugar

1/3 cup ground flax seedsFullSizeRender(2)

1/3 cup hemp seeds

2-3 tsp. cinnamon/apple pie spice

Pinch of salt, if desired

Stir to combine, and continue to stir occasionally as the topping heats and browns – about five minutes. Do not let this burn. When browned and warm, spread on top of apple mixture.

Cover dish with foil and bake foFullSizeRender(4)r 40-45 minutes until bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

This is delish! You can easily change-up the fruits; a handful of blueberries is awesome. A scoop of this is a great way to flavor my nightly chia seeds stirred into hot water, too! Keeps the insides humming!

Here’s to no more reflux and happy faces enjoying a healthy dessert!

Deidre

Ginger Tea – Oh So Goodness!

I used to call it the “creeping crud.” You know, the variants as sinusitis, person-with-coldbronchitis, laryngitis, coughing, sore throat and the like? Those of us who sing, teach, coach, or otherwise strain our vocal cords on a regular basis, need some relief and prevention.

Enter – Ginger tea!

A fellow singer keyed me into this years ago as a preventative, as well as a therapy. I’d see her going from one rehearsal to another, always clutching her ginger tea. After picking up her habit, I can vouch for the effectiveness of ginger tea; both, as a preventer of illness, and as an aide to healing when the “creeping crud” arrives despite every effort.

FullSizeRender(1)The recipe is simple enough:

Green tea

Fresh ginger

Fresh lemon juice

Honey

For two cups of tea, I boiled water, added about an inch of fresh ginger peeled and sliced, juice from ½ lemon, a teaspoon of local honey, and three green tea bags.

Let’s take a look at the healing and health-promoting properties of each ingredient:

Green tea: loaded with antioxidants with many medicinal properties, benefits-of-ginger-tea-for-good-healthhas properties that improve brain function, increases metabolism and increases fat burning, properties in tea called catechins, can positively impact oral hygiene and reduce infection risks, may help the body process blood sugar, has been shown to be heart healthy, and can decrease the risk of cancer.

Ginger: ancient Chinese source for digestive issues such as nausea, loss of appetite, motion sickness, morning sickness, and cold-bugchemotherapy-induced nausea. Its pain-reducing capabilities can help with pain and inflammation seen with arthritis, headaches, and menstrual cramps. It has been shown to inhibit the virus that causes colds.

Lemon: antiseptic properties, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, and pectin fiber. Functions as an anti-inflammatory. The list goes on.
Honey: anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties among others.

Now you can see why drinking this is like putting the power of Superman into a cup. Antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, and antiseptic properties in every sip!

Wow!

Daily green teas:

Some people brew a super-strong cup of tea using 8 bags of Bigelow Green Tea. It’s their morning “shot” of goodness. I have found Bigelow brand to be the most authentic tasting tea in tea bags.

IMG_1849I have also discovered the joys of loose leaf green tea available on-line from Ten Ren Tea. The Oolong variety has a wonderful aroma and taste. A bag of loose leaf Oolong is expensive, but it lasts a long time. A little bit less than 1 tablespoon of tea leaves yields two of these small pots full of fragrant green tea which will fill my mug twice. Just enough to start the day off right, and my beverage of choice on Sunday morning before singing in choir or before going to special morning choir practices.

A couple cups of Ginger TeFullSizeRender(2)a or regular green tea will soothe the mind, tummy, and go a long way to boosting our wellness!

Enjoy a cup while you go through your Affirmations!

In health-

Deidre

 

 

Free Affirmations Flash Cards!

As a National Board Certified Teacher, I was well acquainted with affirmationsflash cards. The students loved them. A flash card is the only way to learn facts, in my opinion. I have also used them to benefit my meditative time. Positive messages, or affirmations, are also a hot topic for: stress reduction, calming down before bed to get better sleep, mindfully starting the day, and putting your consciousness and faith in the right place.

These flash cards are near and dear to my heart. They came about as a result of reading Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s book, The Power of Positive Thinking. His up-lifting Bible quotes and affirmations that he penned or quoted from others so moved me that I wrote them down on pretty square sheets of paper.

A medical team performing an operation
A medical team performing an operation

Around the time of my retirement in 2012, I felt a need to shore my spirit up with affirmations that would sustain me through a waiting period before some much needed major surgery. Contrary to what I thought, I was not going to just ‘have my usual care-free summer’ then have my surgery in late August. No. My physical activity ground to a near halt. My spirit wanted me to hustle around walking along the beach, straightening up the house in anticipation of a post-surgical healing period, and tucking away teaching mementos.

Nope.

It seems that patience is a life lesson that I keep having to work on. It’s a recurring personal theme. Anyway, to get myself in the right frame of mind, going through these affirmations waaffirmation2s pure gold. After using these precious squares of wisdom and calm on a daily basis, somehow they got shuffled off into a drawer.

Recently, a friend of mine was facing some major surgery herself, and was a bit tearful about the whole thing. This had been something she had vowed she did not want to do, but do she must. When trying to console her and give her my prayers for peace and a successful outcome, I remembered these gems. How I wished I could have handed them to her!

I had needed my surgery badly, too, and was happily anticipating the day of its arrival. After a recovery period of several months, I was going to be and feel so much better. When waking up from the anesthetic, the first thing I said was, “I’m so happy!” I was so happy for the waiting to be over and so happy to start my recovery, but still in need of my affirmations! Recovery can be maddeningly slow.

There is that lesson in patience, again. Without these little gems, I would have gone out of my mind before and/or after my surgery.
We do not need to be getting ready for surgery, though, to benefit from daily affirmations. They are a great way to start, finish, or revive during the day.

These affirmatioCosmetic-Surgery-recoveryns would be best printed by you on some pretty paper. Choose your favorite color or find a great floral print or gentle pattern that would not take away from the message on them. So, print your set; there are 8 pages. Each page has lines for you to cut them out. I do keep mine in a certain order because the flow of thought works well for me. You’ll notice there are some blanks on page 8 and a full blank page for 9 so you can add your own.

How to use your affirmations:

The whole idea behind putting these on ‘cards’ and not just printing them out as a list is to give us an opportunity to mindfully read and reflect on each one; taking time to consider, ponder, and apply its truth.I-believe

Many of these are Bible quotes that may appear to repeat, but the message is from a different source. Sometime we need repetition. The one about the ‘rough being a state of mind’ is in reference to golfing. When the ball lands in the rough, it is our mindset that controls how “doomed” we feel. It’s not being Pollyanna, it’s being optimistic and embracing a can-do spirit. Mindset is everything.

CLICK BELOW FOR FREE AFFIRMATION FLASH CARDS!!  (.pdf format). You can download and print them off!

Affirmation Flash Cards   

So, let’s continue with the positive flow of the New Year.

Gosh, we have tackled: 1) Stress, 2) Kale, and 3) Water intake already! Now we can continue with positive thoughts each day.

It has been a personal pleasure to share these Affirmation Flash Cards  with you! Please share with me any of your own that I could pass on to others!

In health-

Deidre