Posts Tagged ‘nutrition’

The Magic Of Tulsi

by Shelli Thompson
March 20th, 2014

title % title

 The Magic of Holy Basil or Tulsi
(Ocimum Tenuifloum)

Ayurveda considers that all disease is derived from stress whether environmental, nutritional, job related or mental. Because we all suffer from stress in some form it is wise to have tools to counteract the stress that seems to creep into our daily lives.

What are the tools that help control stress we already know about? There are many things that we can control, like our diet. Organic, local, fresh produce is always best. It is important to remember that our body deals with toxins that are not within our control every day. We don’t want to add to toxins by eating foods containing anti-biotics, pesticides and other harmful chemicals.

How stressful are your thoughts? Do you find yourself worrying about things that may possibly never happen? There’s a difference between being prepared and worrying about a catastrophic event. We make ourselves sick with worry and that leads to other health related concerns. This is another area that we have control over, it may not seem like it at times because our mind can be pretty powerful. With training in meditation and some activity along with proper diet and herbs, you can get your “run away” mind under control.

How can the magic of Tulsi support our bodies?

We can turn our focus to herbs with properties that assist the areas we need help with. When it comes to stress it is important to support the systems of the body what are some of the things that we look for?

  • Adaptogens are great to include along with antioxidants to help rid the body of free radicals.
  • Anti-inflammitory because many stress related diseases will present at first with inflammation and then progress to a higher disease state.
  • Germicide, fungicide and natural anti-biotic to help the body fight off infections thus alleviating stress from illness.
  • Diuretic and detoxifier to cleanse the kidney and reduce uric acid in the blood.
  • Acetic acid to break down kidney stones
  • Analgesic property to help with pain.
  • Anti-carcinogenic to stop the progression of breast and oral cancers.
  • Decongestant to assist with allergies.

It may sound like we would give you an entire handful of herbs to address all of these areas. There is one herb that checks off all the boxes.

Tulsi or Holy Basil is like Magic

  1. Headaches: Helps with all sorts of headaches from sinusitis to migraine due to its decongestive and analgesic properties.
  2. Stress: Normalizes Cortizon in the body is an adaptogen (anti-stress), soothes nerves, regulates blood circulation, fights stress produced free radicals.
  3. Kidney Stones: Dissolves stones due to acetic acid, diuretic, detoxifier, reduces Uric acid in blood good for Gout, analgesic.
  4. Quit Smoking: Reduces urge to smoke due to stress. Chewing the leaves when urge arises reduces stress.
  5. Diabetes: Antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, helps beta cells in pancreas to regulate release of insulin, increases the sensitivity to insulin lowering the blood sugar levels, helps cells overcome oxidative stress.
  6. Protects Heart: Tulsi is shown to lower cholesterol, especially LD types, keeps blood pressure lower, Eugenol (anti-oxidant) helps keep free radicals from damaging heart tissue.
  7. Fever: Germicide and a fungicide as well as an anti-biotic so it helps relieve fevers from the common infection to more serious diseases.
  8. Respiratory: Anti-bacterial, Anti-fungal, anti-allergetic, fights infections, relieves congestion and cough it a good expectorant and is immunomodulatory (good for the immune system)
  9. Hair and skin: Last but not least because of it’s purifying properties it is good for reducing acne and pimples. The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties assist in preventing break outs. It purifies the blood when the leaves are chewed raw and it reduces excess hair fall and itchy scalp.

Enjoy the magic of Tulsi in your diet

title % title

Seasonal Cleansing, Get The Spring Back into your step.

by Shelli Thompson
March 17th, 2014

title % titleKapha season is late winter and early spring, time for seasonal cleansing.

At that time of year our Kapha energy is more likely to go out of balance. Kapha is immobile and stable and strong. During the late winter Kapha tends to accumulate, we become less active and many times we crave comfort foods which tend to be Kapha-genic. This is usually a time that suggests it’s time for seasonal cleansing.

With spring comes a shift in the weather and it becomes time to rid our bodies of excess Kapha. In order to do that we plan some seasonal cleansing (ridding ourself of excess Earth and water elements in order to avoid imbalance).

Ayurveda provides a nourishing and effective approach to seasonal cleansing of the body that seeks to balance and restore harmony to the system.

Ayurvedic Suggestions for Seasonal Cleansing:

Drink lots of water and shift your diet to lighter fare. What we eat has the greatest overall impact on our health and Most Americans get less than half the required amount of fiber-needed daily.

Ayurveda suggests a diet that support the bodies natural purification systems. Including complete servings of fiber and protein in order to stave off hunger between meals. Herbs and spices are used to help detoxify and cleanse the body as well as make the foods tastier.

What are some signs that you need Seasonal Cleansing?

  •  Crave Junk food and sugar but have a poor appetite
  • You notice it takes longer to feel hungry after a meal
  • You find yourself eating  large portions
  • Feeling heavy, congested or constipated
  • Bloating and gas cause discomfort
  • Feeling tired with little energy
  • Mind feels a little foggy and “spaced out”
  • Lack of motivation.

What is the first thing you need to do when preparing for a seasonal cleanse?

The first thing is to remove the foods that create sludge or Ama in the system such as foods with preservatives and additives, junk food, sugar, cheese, deep fried foods, carbonated drinks and left overs. These may be things that you normally do not consume but you may have found that some of them have snuck into your diet.

Do not eat raw foods, they are harder to digest and we are trying to cleanse the system. Foods that are cooked are partially digested since digestion is our systems way of cooking. Eat plenty of cooked vegetables and eat fresh fruits (ripened fruit is not considered raw as the ripening process is the plants way of “cooking” the fruit until it is done).

Eat foods that are whole, fresh and organic as much as possible and make sure you are eating according to your dosha. When we eat according to our dosha it makes the food easier to digest for each of us individually.  Make sure and eat your cooked food warm and drink only warm or hot water.

Tea is a great way to help detoxify your body. Boil equal parts of coriander, cumin, fennel and ajwain, take it from the heat and let it set for about 20 minutes to seep. Drink the tea throughout the day, make fresh tea every day.

For seasonal cleansing the best vegetables are cabbage, celery and cilantro, and fresh ginger, and lemon are excellent herbs to assist the system your detox.

Get plenty of rest because a rested body will digest and assimilate the foods more effectively. Exercise is very important as it will increase your metabolic levels, help sweat out toxins and increase energy levels.

Using healthy oils on your skin and in your diet will help to loosen toxins embedded deep in the layers of the bodily tissues. Generally coconut oil for Pitta and Sesame oil for Kapha and Pitta.

Regular elimination is also important when seasonal cleansing, including lots of vegetables and fresh fruits in your diet will help such as cooked apples and pears, prunes, pomegranates and pineapple.

Within a week you will feel the fog lift and you will feel more energetic, as you continue you will feel lighter and release weight. When you began you may have been craving your old lifestyle, after a while you will wonder why you would ever want to go back to unhealthy eating again.

 

title % title

What’s For Dinner?

by Shelli Thompson
February 13th, 2014

title % titleIn our fast paced world with all of the conveniences at our fingertips it’s hard to imagine having enough time to actually cook a nutritious meal that doesn’t have some ingredient that is processed. Many recipe’s today include opening a can of this or a box of that. I may be a cooking snob but when I see these things I usually discard the recipe unless I can make the ingredient fresh.

The media helps us in this thinking that we need nothing but convenience when it comes to our meals. I love the Olympics so I dusted off the TV and turned it on and really enjoyed the stories of the athletes and their competitions. What I didn’t enjoy is the bombardment of the media and their convenience foods. The Mom talking about how “toasted” she is at the end of the day so she stops by KFC and gets her family a meal.

I was thinking now she isn’t only toasted she’s fried too!!

With a little bit of planning it is not difficult to cook healthy meals with nutritious single ingredient simple foods. The best place to start is on the weekend, this is a great time to plan the weeks meals and strategize about how to make it more simple and convenient. Planning ahead will guarantee you will have all ingredients at hand and any prepping can be done ahead of time.

Todays meal is Cajun Chicken Gumbo so I planned ahead.
This take about 7 hours to cook in a slow cooker so the best part about it is that you put everything together and leave it. When you get home, dinner is cooked.

Last night because we had a planned out meal it was simple to chop up the onions, peppers, celery and garlic and seal it up in the fridge. Then this morning I took 15 minutes to make my roux and cook my sausage at the same time and drain. A small amount of Italian sausage is the only processed item in this recipe, Gumbo just isn’t the same without it. When it is pre-cooked and drained it is much healthier than cooking it in the gumbo like most recipe’s call for.

Another thing that I do for convenience is that I can organic chicken breast meat in jars. It is amazing for quick meals where chicken is called for. I only use it if time is an issue or there is no chicken on hand, it is an amazing time saver. I will go through the steps for you so you can learn how to can your own chicken in an upcoming blog but for now lets stick to the gumbo.

Shelli’s Cajun Chicken Sausage Gumbo:

1/3 cup Flour
1/3 cup Canola oil/ cooking oil
3 cup Water
12 OZ Cooked Italian Sausage
1 1/2 cup Cooked Shredded Chicken
1 cup Onion chopped
3/4 cup Sweet Green Pepper chopped
1/2 cup Celery chopped
6 cloves Garlic minced
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red peppers
3 cups cooked rice

Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 7 hours

title % title

 

To make roux: combine oil and flour in pan, cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes stirring constantly until it is a rich dark reddish brown color like the photo, set aside and let it cool (hint: take if off the heat before it is to the finish point and it will finish as the pan cools, make sure and stir it occasionally)
Cook and drain the sausage and cook and shred the chicken (or open a jar of home canned chicken)
Chop all vegetables.title % title
Add 3 cups of water to a pan, add the roux, it will look like the photo

 

Add the sausage, chicken and vegetables and let it simmer all day.
When you get home it will be done. Serve over rice. it’s delicious!

 

Because dinner was so easy tonight, you can plan for tomorrows meal and prepare anything that needs to be chopped ahead of time.

A great hint if you don’t have a timer on your crock pot is to buy one for the wall and plug the crock pot into that, set the time for 7 hours and head off to work.

There is no substitute for fresh locally grown food that is cooked freshly delicious.

Bon Appetite!

title % title

A Day You Eat, Is an Exercise Day

by Shelli Thompson
July 15th, 2011

title % titleOn any day that you Actually eat, that my friend is an exercise day.

Got it?  Eat, exercise.  now, I don’t mean that you eat and exercise.  You have to plan out your day properly.  If you even just PLAN on eating you get your exercise done EARLY as possible.  Any one Planning on eating today?

I get this all the time……”I just can’t seem to get it done after work”…..I say get up early and get ‘er done!  Before your brain starts to reason with you why you absolutely can’t get it done.  You ever heard that voice before?  Yea, I know you have!

GET UP EARLIER for crying out loud.  If you are lucky you will will be 1/2 way to 3/4 through the work out before your brain wakes up and starts to give you all the reasons you CAN’T work out.

By that time you can slam the door on the negative thoughts and finish up in style!

You know what I found out?  It took me years of teaching, being at a gym, talking to the clients.  I found out…….

That voice with the reasons why not, get stronger throughout the day.  ya ever notice that one?

It takes the will of a super hero to get to the gym on some nights after work.  The car wants to head for the barn so you have to fight that AND the voice of reasons why you shouldn’t take time on your self. You get to the gym and you burn say 300 to 500 calories?

Okay, So…..Does anyone have any idea of how many calories equals a pound?

 3,500 calories. 

That sounds like a lot of calories.  I think it is, I consume maybe half of that.  Are you aware of what you consume?

We have this little burger joint in Portland.  The receipt has calorie information and I was very surprised  to see that a meal with 2 burgers, small fries and medium soft drink equaled 75% of a 2,000 calorie diet. What if you did something similar to this 3 times a day?  and then you snacked, had an extra pop, had desert after eating….get my drift?  Do you think you would exceed the 3,500 calories???

By the way…I have a rule, NEVER eat food that is delivered or can be delivered through a window.……there are exceptions but very few……

So now we talked about calorie input.  Understand although I am into fitness and I believe it is very important, 80% of everyone’s health is nutrition.

So we go to the gym, we are literally trying to work our ass off!  We tell our self we will do what ever it takes no matter what, even if we don’t like it……

That’s a story for another Blog!

Stay well my friends and stay tuned.  Another blog is on it’s way!

Find out where those Extra pounds come from

title % title
Site Design by Platinum7, Inc.
Copy Protected by Tech Tips's CopyProtect Wordpress Blogs.