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Sunday, June 29, 2014

5 Big Benefits of Sauna Therapy

For thousands of years humans have been using heated air for ceremony, relaxation, and healing. This practice is still in widespread use today in the form of saunas.
Studies show that sauna therapy has real health benefits and I recommend it regularly to my patients, sometimes for specific health conditions and other times as part of a comprehensive detox program.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Healthy Grilling Tips and Charcoal Choices


When it comes to grilling, charcoal briquettes have some advantages. They burn longer and maintain a consistent temperature. But they also take longer to light and may require the addition of lighter fluid. Because they're made with binding agents like sodium nitrate, they release chemicals into the air that permeates your food. And they produce a lot of ash.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Five Foods I Always Buy

I love shopping for food. Whether I'm at the farmer's market or the grocery store, I thoroughly enjoy perusing what's on offer and picking out what looks best to me at that moment. The items I bring home can vary with the season, my social calendar, and even my mood, but there are some staples I can't live without. Here are five foods that I always buy because they are healthy, versatile, and delicious.

#1  Leafy Green Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are good sources of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. I usually eat salad greens in the spring and summer and I tend to eat tougher greens like kale, chard, and broccoli rabe in the fall and winter months. Winter greens can be rolled up and thinly cut into ribbons for salads or used like any other vegetable in stir-fries, curries, and soups. I always have frozen spinach in my freezer for days when I'm short on fresh leafy greens. For a simple side dish, I thaw it, warm it up with a splash of heavy cream, and season it with salt and pepper.

#2  Organic or Pasture-Raised Eggs
Eggs can always make a meal, and they're full of good quality protein and healthy fat. I eat them scrambled with spinach for breakfast, poached atop a salad for lunch, hard-boiled for a snack, and cooked into an omelet or frittata with whatever other veggies I have on hand for dinner. I also use them to make desserts like my Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake and Pots de Crème. My favorite eggs are pasture-raised from the farmer's market but in a pinch I'll buy organic ones rich in omega-3s at the grocery store.

#3 Organic Berries
Berries are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powerhouses. They're also a good source of nutrients and fiber and they help our bodies detox. Because berries are on the Dirty Dozen list, I always buy them organic, fresh when they're in season and frozen when they're not. I eat them for dessert and snacks. I add them to salads, mix them into yogurt, or blend them into smoothies. They also make simple and delicious sweet or savory sauces. Their tart fruit flavor pairs especially well with fattier meats like duck and meats with stronger flavors like salmon, pheasant, lamb, and venison. Berry-based savory sauces can rescue lean meats that turn out dry, like turkey and pork, and they can dress up mild-tasting meats that could use more flavor, like chicken. 

#4  Organic Whole Milk Yogurt 
Fermented foods like yogurt support a healthy balance of the intestinal bacteria that aid digestion, reduce inflammation, regulate the immune system, and prevent invasion by disease-causing microorganisms. Because popular yogurt brands can contain more sugar than a Twinkie, I always buy plain whole milk yogurt and add my own fresh or frozen fruit when I want it sweeter. I also add yogurt to smoothies and use it to garnish spicy dishes like Red Bean Chili with Dark Chocolate and Blackened Wild Salmon. I use it to make desserts like clafoutis and creamsicles,  savory dishes like Chicken Tikka Malsala and Fish Cakes with Lemon Yogurt Sauce, and dressings like Marinated Cucumber Salad with Yogurt and Mint.

#5  Raw Nuts
All nuts are full of protein and the raw ones are also full of healthy fat. I add them to salads, stir fry them with leafy greens, and eat them for snacks. I use them to make veggie burgers, home-made granola bars, pesto, Eggplant Walnut Paté, lettuce wraps, and all kinds of healthy treats like Raw Chocoate Truffles. Because the anti-inflammatory fatty acids in nuts are fragile and easily oxidized when exposed to high temperatures (which turns them into harmful pro-inflammatory fats) I never buy them already roasted. When I prefer a toasted flavor, I warm raw nuts over low heat in a dry skillet until they become lightly browned and fragrant.