Ginger is a KEY ingredient in Your Health

Tummy troubles? Give ginger a try!

Tummy troubles? Give ginger a try!

Ginger has been revered for over two millennia for its unique combination of culinary and therapeutic properties.

My cabinet always has to have ginger in it because it works miracles on my menstrual pain – without ginger in my diet, I’m just counting down the days until my body puts me on involuntary bed rest.

Ginger works wonders on several ailments, ranging from hypertension to migraines. Here are the benefits that shocked me the most:

  1. A study from the University of Michigan Medical School found that a daily ginger root supplement helped reduce the level of inflammation in participants’ colons in less than one month. This is crucial because inflammation in the colon is an indication of colon cancer.
  2. Ginger has an uncanny ability to combat nausea in patients undergoing chemotherapy. Using ginger to alleviate the insanely damaging effects of chemotherapy is a great first step to making the transition into making homeopathic remedies the initial recourse for preventing and treating many major illnesses (I know I’m hoping for a little too much considering how much of a strangle-hold Big Pharma has on healthcare, but the growing interest in organic foods gives me hope 🙂 ).
  3. Last, but definitely not least, a study, done between 2005 and 2006, from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center revealed that ginger can reverse ovarian cancer! To test their hypothesis, the researchers exposed ovarian cancer cells to a ginger powder solution and and the cancer cells started COMMITTING SUICIDE!!!

You’d think with astounding results like these, the medical community would be doing everything possible to ensure the world has this knowledge, but I guess it’s up to us to show the world why simple, natural foods like ginger are invaluable in reversing this insane trend of malnourishment, illness and obesity in the United States and around the world.

I would be remiss if I didn’t remind everyone that although ginger is a naturally wholesome spice, it can cause some side effects like diarrhea, upset stomach and heartburn. These side effects are rare occurrences and are frequently the result of using too much ginger at once. Another precaution relates to those who take blood thinners like Warfarin: because of its anticoagulant properties, ginger should be used under the guidance of your doctor.

In closing I want to make a recommendation for people who are on prescription blood thinners. Most doctors are over-burdened with the number of patients they have to see because of Big Pharma, so if they try to convince you that trying ginger instead of the pharmaceuticals isn’t worth the effort, GET A SECOND OPINION! Yes, doctors have advanced training in medicine, but YOU are the final authority as concerns what you put into your body. There are physicians who focus the core of their practice on fulfilling Hippocrates’ best quote: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food.” Dr. Joel Fuhrman is the perfect example; he does an excellent job of explaining why we need to incorporate as many colors of foods (and as simply prepared as possible) into our culinary repertoires.

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My New Hamburger is a Salmon Burger

I loved hamburgers when I was a kid and I’ve been craving to have a burger for a couple weeks now. Knowing how bad red meat is for me, I saw something called salmon burgers in the grocery store and decided to give them a try. It’s a great way for  me to get my protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

I wasn’t sure what spices and/or herbs I should use, so I looked in my cabinet and found some garlic powder, ginger, black pepper and rosemary. After I mixed my herbs and spices together, I sprinkled it all over the salmon burger and put in a frying pan on medium heat for 4 minutes each side and this is what I had made:

My first salmon burgerAs I was cooking the salmon burger, I remembered that I’d also bought some feta cheese, so I crumbled a few piece and made a nice little protein-packed salad. This was DELICIOUS!

A salmon burger flaked apart with some crumbled feta cheese.

A salmon burger flaked apart with some crumbled feta cheese.

I can’t wait to see how it’ll taste when I can get back to the grocery store and pick up some spinach, berries and quinoa.

The Natural Cure for Diabetes

Reversing Diabetes Naturally

Y’all know I love to give you the scoop on the incredible foods nature has to offer us, and I’ll continue to do so, but I think I’ll start finding other sources of evidence besides articles on the web.

Over the weekend, I went to a screening of a documentary called “Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days,” and to say was good is the understatement of the millennium! For the film, they found 5 subjects with Type 2 diabetes and 1 subject with Type 1.

All of the subjects met with a Dr. Cousens who introduced them to the raw food lifestyle and had them eat only raw for 30 days. As I’m sure you know, it wasn’t an easy thing to do because of all the sugar we Americans have in our diets: the average American consumes approximately 150 pounds of sugar per year!

One man’s story really made me want to break down in tears. Kirt was a 26-year-old African American man from Baltimore, Maryland. He shared a story about how one time he went to the emergency room and the doctors told him his blood sugar level was at 1200; the normal range for blood sugar is between 80-100!!

Kirt impressed me further when he adhered the most to the diet – he gave those 30 days 110% because he knew that that was what was required if he truly wanted to cure his diabetes.

On day one of the program, his blood sugar was about 346 and he was taking 4 to 6 insulin shots a day. By day 30, not only was he able to STOP his insulin, his blood sugar was down to 73! At the end of the movie, Kirt went to his doctor to get the results of some blood work and he was surprised to find that his doctor had reread his file and was going to rediagnose him as a type 1 diabetic and had plans to give him an insulin pump! I’m sure you all know that people with type 1 diabetes produce very little or no insulin – but after a strict 30-day diet of raw foods, his body was totally healed and started making its own insulin!

My moral of the story is, although many doctors mean well, they are definitely undereducated about the power of the food we have available to us. Granted, they take the Hippocratic Oath upon graduating from medical school, but the better musing from Hippocrates is “Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food.”

GMOs and Our Health

GMOs

If you’ve read any of my posts, you know that I’m a huge advocate of the natural and organic meal choices, not because it’s the current fad, but because I’ve experienced first-hand how these processed, pre-packaged foods are deleterious to our health.

I’m not going to force anyone to accept the message I am trying to get out there – I know that forcing yourself into something you don’t wholeheartedly believe will only lead to a more complicated life, and that’s not what I want for you guys. However, if you are truly open to the information and advice I plan to give you then please read this article carefully because it will impact your life.

A vast majority of Americans – about 93% – want food to be clearly labeled as concerns GMOs.

And ever since I changed my eating habits, I’ve become extremely skeptical of any product a big corporation tries to force down our throats because history has shown that their only motivation is the all mighty dollar. Monsanto perfectly epitomizes of this disgusting cycle. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are a crucial part of Monsanto’s business model; they claim that GMOs offer health benefits, but reports from the Food and Drug Administration, the Institute of Responsible Technology and the American Academy of Environmental Medicine demonstrate the opposite.

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine has studied the effects of GMOs on several animals and these are the results:

  1. Mice had fewer and smaller babies when they ate modified corn,
  2. Rodents developed toxicity in their immune systems after a consistent diet of modified corn and soy
  3. Rats experienced excessive cell growth in their stomach linings, which is preliminary indication of caner, after being fed modified potatoes.

Even more shocking is that there are reports of animal deaths from modified foods. In India, thousands of buffalo, sheep and goats have died after grazing on modified cotton plants. Likewise, 12 cows in Germany died suddenly after eating modified corn.

Awesome Oatmeal

OatmealFrom time to time I get into a food rut. Basically, this is when I’ve found healthy food options that I enjoy (and I’m pretty picky because I have a little bit of a sweet tooth) and I buy them on autopilot, I guess.

Lately, I’ve been having just French toast, pancakes and egg whites for breakfast. Then one day I remembered how my mom would make old-fashioned oatmeal (I thought instant oatmeal was all that and a bag of chips!). So I went to the grocery store and bought a big container of store-brand whole oats.

It could be the middle of the summer and my mom would still make oatmeal for breakfast. After doing a little research I completely understand why. According to Mother Earth Living, oatmeal can do incredible things such as lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar and lower the risk of you developing diabetes. These three attributes alone are worth all the diamonds in the world to me because both heart disease and diabetes run in my family.

It’s surprisingly easy to make, but what astonishes me even more is how I can add the most seemingly random ingredients and it always tastes incredible. At first, I only added spices like ginger and cinnamon; then I’d add honey. I can’t wait to go to the grocery store and get a bunch of raspberries, blueberries, cashews, pecan and almonds and see how they can make the oatmeal even better than it always is!

Good thing I listened to my gut and gave the old-fashioned oats a try 🙂

Cinnamon

cinnamon

Cinnamon is an incredible spice that not only brings zesty flavor to your favorite foods, it’s also believed to be a powerful antidote against multiple ailments, including arthritis, diabetes, headaches/migraines, and LDL (bad cholesterol).

Western medicine has yet to commission detailed studies on how this ancient Chinese herb can improve your health, but there are fabulous resources, such as GreenMedInfo, that focus on alternative medicinal therapies like spices and herbs. GreenMedInfo does a fantastic job of differentiating between the two main variants of cinnamon, Cassia and Ceylon.

Most cinnamon available in the United States is Cassia (milled mainly in China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea and Vietnam); this is the weaker of the two but is still an awesome source of manganese. Manganese helps to build healthy bones and increase your carbohydrate and fat metabolisms. Cassia cinnamon should be avoided if you are taking blood thinners like Coumadin because it contains higher traces of coumarin, a natural blood thinner.

Ceylon comes from India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Brazil and the Caribbean. This variant is considered the “true cinnamon” because it is sweeter, lighter and more refined than cassia.

Long story short, both kinds of cinnamon will adequately flavor the dishes you use it on, but it’s important to heed the warning about cassia consumption.

Scintillating Scallops

seared scallops

When I was a kid, my mother would make flounder and white rice for me. Unfortunately, I was an extremely picky eater back then and I’d refuse to try other kinds of seafood.

Now that I’m older, my desire to experiment has grown exponentially and I want to share with you one of my favorite recipes: Seared Scallops with Herb-Butter Sauce. I’ve tweaked the recipe slightly; you can find the original recipe here.

 For the scallops, you’ll need:

  • 1 lb of dry, large sea scallops

  • 1 Tbsp Smart Balance with Omega-3

  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or flaxseed oil

  • Fresh ground black pepper

For the sauce, you’ll need:

  • 3 Tbsps Smart Balance with Omega-3

  • 1 medium shallot, diced

  • ¼ cup of herbs (I like chives, rosemary and parsley)

  • ¼ cup of your favorite liqueur (I like Kahlúa)

  • ¼ cup lime zest

  • Fresh ground black pepper

Quick tip: Chop your herbs and the shallot for the sauce before you start cooking the scallops.

Cooking directions (scallops):

  1. Rinse scallops in cold water then pat dry with paper towels

  2. Warm a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes

  3. Add oil and Smart Balance to the pan → to test if the mixture is hot enough, run your fingers under some cold water then splash it into the oil and Smart Balance. When it’s hot enough, the cold water will instantly boil off

  4. Pat scallops dry once more before placing them in the pan (spread them around the pan for best cooking results)

  5. Season each scallop with your choice of spices and place in the pan to sear

  6. Let each scallop cook for 2 to 4 minutes until nicely browned (you’ll know it’s ready when it’s mostly firm to the touch)

  7. Flip with tongs and repeat searing on the other side

  8. Transfer the scallops to a warm plate (turn the burner down to medium and let the pan cool for about 45 seconds before starting the sauce

Cooking directions (herb-butter sauce):

  1. Melt 1 Tbsp of Smart Balance in the pan

  2. Add shallots to the pan and sautee for 1-2 minutes

  3. Pour Kahlúa and let it simmer for 1-2 minutes or until it reduces by ½

  4. Mix in herbs and lime zest and reduce heat to low

  5. Add the other 2 Tbsps of Smart Balance to mixture and whisk briskly until it melts completely

  6. Return scallops to the pan and roll them in sauce until warmed through

  7. Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!