Going on Vacation? Food for Healthy Travel

When winter starts feeling long in the Northeast, those who have the privilege might choose to travel south and warm their bones, joints, and connective tissue.

If you cannot travel this winter, here are some tips to improve flexibility and circulation from the inside out.

Soak your feet.

Just take a storage container or tub, fill it with hot water, table salt, and 2 or 3 peppermint tea bags. Let your feet and ankles soak in the hot water until it cools down - about 10 minutes.

Breathe deeply. Try this mindful peace breath if you like

.Then, pat feet dry and rub them with coconut oil or sunflower oil.

Drink ginger tea.

Ginger tea improves circulation and uplifts mood by supporting healthy digestion. When digestion is not healthy, mood suffers.

Make a smoothie.

Fruit can bring joy to the moment and give our cells a burst of the plant nutrients that are under blankets of snow right now.

Here is a simple recipe:

  • 1 cup organic plain yogurt (cow, almond, or coconut)

  • 1 cup water

  • 2 cups frozen blueberries

  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds

  • 1 teaspoon raw honey

  • 1 teaspoon each: cinnamon and cardamom

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Click this link for more smoothie recipes.

If you are lucky enough to travel, here are some ways to stay healthy!

When we go to a new place, our guts have to adjust to the foods and the environment of this place. Sometimes, the bacteria that are naturally present in one location are very different from the ones to which we are accustomed.

Eat Pre-Biotic Foods.

Especially when traveling from a cold weather climate to a warm weather one, please choose pre-biotic foods, which stimulate the growth of healthy pro-biotic bacteria in your gut. These include apples, almonds, onions, pears, and potatoes.

Choose cooked fruits and vegetables.

When eating out, choose cooked fruits and vegetables to minimize the risk of exposing yourself to water-borne parasites. If you choose to eat raw fruits and veggies at restaurants, ask staff to wash and handle them with bottled or treated water to reduce risk of exposure.

If you shop and cook at a home kitchen during your travels, wash fruits and vegetables in a colloidal solution that suspends bacteria.

Skip the ice.

Ice can often be prepared with water that's untreated. For local folks, that's no problem. Their guts are accustomed to the local bacteria. For travelers, this might cause digestive upset such as diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. Ask for drinks prepared with treated / bottled water and no ice.

Pack an herbal toolkit.

Stock up on tinctures - medicinal herbal extracts. Find them at your local health food store or online. Choose goldenseal, sweet annie (artemisia annua), and echinacea. Take a dropper of each one of these every two hours at the onset of symptoms of infection, such as: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, or extreme migraine.

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Strawberry Season

Yes!

It is here.

These delightful ruby fruits are sure to bring the feeling of summer to any moment.

Try these recipes to savor strawberry season.

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE

For the strawberries, mix together and set aside:

  • 1 1/2 pounds strawberries, stemmed and quartered

  • 2 tablespoons raw honey

  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

For the shortcake, preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix together:

  • 1 cup cornmeal

  • 1 cup oat flour

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour

  • 1 teaspoon each: baking soda and baking powder

  • pinch salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon each: cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon

Cut in 1/4 cup coconut oil in small pieces and toss well, so that little pea-sized pearls of coconut oil are coated in the flour mixture.

Add and mix to incorporate:

  • juice of 1/2 lemon

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

If dough is too try, add a few spoonfuls of cold water.

Oil a cookie sheet, shape dough into balls, and flatten slightly into hockey puck shapes on the cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 for 15 minutes, or until a knife tests clean.

Top with strawberries and whipped coconut cream if you like.

WHIPPED COCONUT CREAM

You will need:

  • 1 cup coconut milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • zest of 1 lemon

  • 2 tablespoons raw honey

  • 2 tablespoons coconut butter

Whip together with immersion blender or in a food processor.

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Medicinal Culinary Spices

Health is a changing state of balance. Illness, pain and food cravings are signals of the body’s disharmony. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a centuries-old healing modality that persists today with doctors, naturopaths, and acupuncturists, explains that food is medicine. To satisfy the whole being, TCM encourages including five flavors in each meal: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, and bitter.


The five flavors correspond to five elements: Earth is sweet, Metal is pungent, Water is salty, Wood is sour, and Fire is bitter. Each element maintains balance with a moderate amount of its corresponding flavor, but illness occurs when a flavor is used in excess.

Each flavor also corresponds with a time of year. See how you can incorporate foods to match the season. Spring is sour. Summer is bitter. Late summer is sweet. . Fall is pungent. Winter is salty. The sour flavor and the wood element influence the liver and gall bladder.


Try cooking with these herbs and spices to support the transition into fall:

Garlic: high in Vitamin C and pungent sulfurous compounds, which reduce inflammation in the body; nature’s strongest anti-biotic; contains polysulfides, which trigger blood vessel dilation to reduce blood pressure; anti-microbial and anti-bacterial, controls overgrowth of Helicobacter pylori bacteria in the small intestine thus helping to reduce heartburn and eventual ulcers.
 
Ginger -  warming, anti-inflammatory, soothes stomach cramps, reduces flatulence, alleviates common cold and flu symptoms.



Parsley – Rich in Vitamin C to decrease inflammation, beta carotene to help prevent infection and strengthen immunity, and folic acid (B vitamin) to support cardiovascular health. Contains volatile oils that can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens as well as ease the burn of insect bites and stings.


Rosemary – antiseptic herb that contains rosmarinic acid, which stimulates the immune system, increases circulation, and improves digestion and concentration. Anti-inflammatory, digestive, and aromatic, the potent herb both aids in digesting fats and decreases the risk of infection from contaminated foods.

Sage –Improves memory by decreasing the growth of neurovascular plaque in the brain. Soothes the digestive tract, dries excess mucus from all membranes, and provides crucial phytonutrients which counteract the effects of oxidation, not only in human blood but also in cooking oils and nuts.
 
Thyme –Contains thymol and other volatile oils, which have antimicrobial activity against bacteria. Helps preserve foods and protect them from microbial contamination. Thymol helps increase the percentage of healthy fats, such as DHA (docosahexaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid) in brain, kidney, and heart cell membranes.

 

Summer Healing Spices


Tap into how you are feeling and cook with these when you can!

Basil  - anti-bacterial, anti-spasmodic, digestive, galactagogue, tonic and aromatic. Contains orientin and vicenin, two water-soluble flavonoids, which both stimulate growth of white blood cells and protect cell structures as well as chromosomes from radiation and oxygen-based damage. Basil’s volatile oils, which contain estragole, linalool, cineole, eugenol, sabinene, myrcene, and limonene, protect against unwanted bacterial growth of pathogens such as: Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Yersinia enterocolitica, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Essential oil of basil, obtained from its leaves, has demonstrated the ability to inhibit several species of pathogenic bacteria that have become resistant to commonly used antibiotic drugs.

Peppermint – stomachic, and cooling, it relieves indigestion, dyspepsia, and colonic muscle spasms by relaxing the smooth muscle tissue of the intenstines. Essential oil of peppermint also stops the growth of many different bacteria, including: Helicobacter pylori, Salmonella enteritidis, Escherichia coli, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Peppermint contains rosmarinic acid, which helps open bronchial passageways and reduce the effects of allergy-induced cold symptoms.
 
Parsley – depurative, anti-dandruff, digestive, emmenagogue, expectorant, odontalgic, stomachic, and tonic. rich in Vitamin C to decrease inflammation, beta carotene to help prevent infection and strengthen immunity, and folic acid (B vitamin) to support cardiovascular health. The activity of pasley's volatile oils qualifies it as a "chemoprotective" food that can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens as well as ease the burn of insect bites and stings.

Rosemary – antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, cardiac, carminative, diaphoretic, nervine, and ophthalmic. Contains rosmarinic acid, which stimulates the immune system, increases circulation, and improves digestion. Anti-inflammatory, digestive, and aromatic, the potent herb both aids in digesting fats and decreases the risk of infection from contaminated foods. It increases circulation, specifically to the head and brain, thus improving concentration.

Sage – antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, galactofuge, vasodilator, tonic, cholagogue, and astringent. Improves memory by decreasing the growth of neurovascular plaque in the brain. Soothes the digestive tract, dries excess mucus from all membranes, and provides crucial phytonutrients which counteract the effects of oxidation, not only in human blood but also in cooking oils and nuts.
 
Thyme – anthelmintic, antiseptic, deodorant, diaphoretic, disinfectant, expectorant, sedative, tonic, repellent, and fungicidal. Contains thymol and other volatile oils, which have antimicrobial activity against bacteria and fungi such as: Staphalococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli and Shigella sonnei. Helps preserve foods and protect them from microbial contamination. Thymol helps increase the percentage of healthy fats, such as DHA (docosahexaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid) in brain, kidney, and heart cell membranes.