A couple of days ago, I posted on my Facebook account a picture of a lot of egg yolks for breakfast. A lot of people were curious on how I prepared them. Since I am not a cook by training and couldn't technically describe how I do it, I decided to create a video to show how I boil my egg yolks. It was an impromptu approach, using my iPhone set up on a Tupperware device - yes I can jury rig a high-tech set-up (hopefully, you hear my deadpan humor). I hope my video helps you figure out how you can also make delicious egg yolks too.Read More
1 tbsp sliced green onions
2 tbsp of wakame
1.5 tbsp of duck fat, tallow, or whatever one you prefer.
1/2 lb of sliced beef heart
Dash of sea salt
Allow fat to melt evenly over medium sized saucepan
Place the slices on saucepan for 1-2 minutes on each side. Beef heart steak is pretty lean, so full attention while cooking them is need, since this type of meat cooks fast.
Remove the steaks from the pan.
Add the green onions to the leftover fat juice; sautéing them for less than 10 seconds. Turn the heat off and pour the green onions over the steak.
Add the wakame to the dish, which will slowly absorb the juices and expand. If you would like them less crunchy, add them to the green onions when you add them to the pan.
I became curious about chlorophyll since I noticed a lot of supplements and health food products listed it as an ingredient. I knew about the association between chlorophyll and plants, but what else could be important about this molecule that is abundant in plants?
After learning how each chlorophyll molecule contains magnesium, an important mineral for more than 400 hundred enzymes systems and relaxation, I thought I would share this information and more on my blog. Enjoy!
I am in awe of how complex and beautiful nature looks under a microscope. What makes the picture green is the chlorophyll found in plants!
Wow! This picture includes two matrixes; one pertaining to hemoglobin and the other to chlorophyll. Both hemoglobin and chlorophyll are similar in atomic shape, but extremely different in their functions. While the iron-containing molecule, called hemoglobin, allows oxygen from the lungs to be carried to the rest of the body in red blood carrying animals, the magnesium containing molecule, called chlorophyll, allows light to be absorbed into energy for plant use.
What is Chlorophyll good for?
- The fat soluble version found in plants can stimulate hemoglobin and red blood cell production - meaning it blood building andhelps with anemia symptoms.
- The water soluble version soothes the gastrointestinal tract and reduces fecal order
- Cancer and heart protective
- Calm the nervous system
- Neutralize free radicals
- Decrease acidity in stomach due its alkaline properties
- May help regenerate damaged liver cells
- Immune enhancer
- Great source of magnesium
No RDA or ODA. Please talk to your nutritionist or doctor about it.
- For the fat soluble version: Green leafy vegetables, broccoli, wheat grass juice, sea vegetables, including seaweed and algae (spirulina and chlorella), and green tea
- For water soluble version: most over the counter supplements.
Murray, M. Pizzorno, J. Pizzorno, L. (2005). The Encyclopedia Of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Books.
Murray, M. Pizzorno, J. (2012). The Encyclopedia Of Natural Medicine. New York, NY: Atria Books.
Bauman College (2014) NC106.1 Lecture - Micronutrients - Calcium & Magnesium. Retrieved from http://dashboard.baumancollege.org/pluginfile.php/ 10237/mod_resource/content/5/FON_Materials/106/ Lecture/pdf/
Chlorophyll. Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved on 9/7/16 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorophyll
Metalloprotein. Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved on 9/7/16 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metalloprotein
5 cups of Water
4 tbsp Grated Ginger
1 tbsp Turmeric
1 cup of Coconut Cream
1 tsp Cinnamon or as much as you want
Optional: Honey is optional. I am use to not adding extra sugar to my drinks. You can add a tsp of honey for each cup of serving.
- Boil the water, ginger, and turmeric for 1/2 hour in a medium size pot for thirty minutes.
- Turn off the heat and allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Add the coconut cream to a high powered blender with the boiled ingredients, cinnamon, and honey if desired. Blend all of the ingredients until they are completely combined.
Being stiff sucks, but not as much as it did a couple of days ago — when I could barely walk.
Seating on my couch, I tried to retrace my steps to figure out why I was in so much pain and could barely see out of my left eye about two weeks ago. For those of you who haven’t figured out, I was experiencing a flare (when someone with an autoimmune conditions feels more of their symptoms).
“Why is this happening?” were questions asked by my friends, colleagues, doctors and even myself. This question was typically followed with another one, such as ‘“What did I do?” or “Was I stressed out about something?”’ For the latter, I would respond with a solid, ”Nope.” If anything, I was only feeling more stressed because of this damn flare! So what could have started it? What did I do that was different the past few weeks or days?
Okay, well there was something I did do differently. A couple of weeks ago, I ate a chocolate cake from a BBQ that I assumed was flourless. Apparently, it was not. The day I ate it, I started to notice something different about me, but I ignored it; thinking I was going to be just fine.
After several days, my body started showing signs of fierce retaliation with this ‘flourless’ cake. One of the first signs I knew something was up was when I started to experience a scratchy sensation in my left eye. This mild irritation slowly transformed into a bout of photophobia (when the eye becomes sensitive to light) — something was going terribly wrong.
This was definitely a case of uveitis (when part of the iris becomes inflamed). I haven’t had uveitis for at least 2.5 years— when I started the autoimmunepaleo protocol (a paleo based elimination diet and lifestyle). Before starting the diet elimination part of the autoimmunepaleo (AIP) , I took biologics (powerful anti-inflammatory drugs) to reduce my symptoms of uveitis and spondylitis.
Being drug-free and uveitis-free, since going AIP, I was in heaven for 2.5 years! I forgot that I could get flares like this serious one again. I also didn’t think by eating a piece of chocolate cake that I could go back to my same old self.
Now, I was back to filling my free time with doctor appointments, going to the pharmacy for steroids, and sitting indoors with a baseball cap and shades because natural light irritated my eye. All for eating a stupid yet delicious large piece of chocolate cake. Worth it? Kind of… but I don’t think to this negative degree on my health.
I just wanted to make it go away without the use of drugs. At the same time, I was also working with my feelings of shame. Leading a San Francisco autoimmunepaleo (AIP) support group, studying the impact of gluten on autoimmune conditions, and blogging about gluten-free recipes and wellness, how could I have made this type of mistake? I wanted to be a leader who knew better. But I guess I am not that perfect person. I am still learning to take care of myself and learning through my mistakes.
Fortunately, I have learned a lot since my last flare. Being a nutrition nerd and student at Bauman College for Holistic Nutrition, I figured out what I could do to calm my flare.
Once I targeted what initiated my current flare, I started an appropriate healing protocol for me. I started drinking bone broths, chewing more, drinking bitters and sour concoctions, meditating more, doing less, taking more naps, and taking both supplements and herbal antibiotics. After a week’s worth of appropriate self-care, I was back to walking and seeing normal again. During this time, I still took a steriod for my eye; respecting both western and eastern practices when used appropriately.
With flares like this one, I don’t take for granted my movement capability or get down on myself for not working harder to be part of some fitspo community on social media. As a movement instructor and healer, I simply want to walk and see. And to teach my clients and community how to move smarter, get stronger, and feel better. I lost my ego to looking like a super fit model for inspiration a long time ago. Plus, I have been there, done that. And learned that you can look fit, but not feel well too. Another topic, I can discuss in another article.
In addition, I am grateful for knowing what to do when I get my flares. I may not be perfect with every decision I make — especially if the decision has to do with ‘chocolate’ & ‘cake,’ but I can continue to work on putting myself together whenever I do fall apart.
I have shared this part of my life with you in hopes that you may find some self-compassion and light humor when you find yourself straying from your wellness rituals. Lastly, I wrote this piece to help you understand a small part of what some people with autoimmune conditions may experience.
After writing an article about how to support your liver function, I wanted to include some recipes related to liver support. One of my favorite recipes for liver support is a shot that includes ginger, turmeric, lemon juice, licorice, and lemon peels.
For folks who have an autoimmune condition and are TH2 dominant, you may want to remove turmeric from the ingredients. For more information about why, please click here.
Personally, I like to have at least 2 shots of this drink before meals. Now give it a try! And remember to let me know what you think!
2.5 cups filtered water for the fresh ginger version; 2 cups for the ginger tea bag version
2 tbsp peeled (optional) and cubed ginger or 4 ginger tea bags
1 tablespoon turmeric powder or fresh turmeric
4 lemon peels from a full lemon
1 freshly squeezed lemon (optional)
2 licorice tea bags (optional)
Boil or pressure cook the freshly sliced ginger for a full 30 minutes. Turn off the heat.
If you are using ginger tea bags, add the ginger tea bags after the water has come to a boil. Allow the ginger tea bags to sit for 8-10 minutes with the rest of the ingredients (turmeric and licorice)}.
If you are using a pressure cooker, use fresh ginger or dried loosed ginger. Add the turmeric at this time too.
Add the licorice tea bags when it is near the time (around 5 minutes) to serve.
Pour the mixture into 4 shot glasses. Add the lemon peels. Wait for the liquid to cool to your drinking preference.
Avoiding sugar is not the only way to modify your nutrition to protect your teeth. You can develop stronger teeth, in addition to preventing dental caries and decay, by making sure you include vitamins K1, K2, A, & D in your diet.
Since I like to nerd out on nutrition, I have read a bunch of research articles and books, so you don’t have to do the work on finding out why and where to get these important nutrients. As a heads up, my list is by no means a comprehensive one.
K2 helps convert bone protein osteocalcin to its active form; allowing calcium to stay in bones.
Current research is exploring the relationship between K2 and the hypothalamus. K2 works as an antioxidant in the brain; most likely protecting the hypothalamus from stress. The hypothalamus is part of the limbic and endocrine system. When under stress, the hypothalamus decreases salivary production. Decreased salivation is not good for your teeth, since it works to protect them from dental caries and decay. In case you wanted to know more interesting information about saliva, it contains water, mucus, enzymes (ex. amylase & lipase), electrolytes (ex. Na, CI, & K), & immune chemicals (ex. IgA).
You can find K2 in nattō, cod liver oil, hard cheese, egg yolk, grass-fed butter, liver (more so from poultry sources), salami, chicken breast, ground beef. There is no known toxicity level for K2.
K1, like K2, helps calcium stay in bones. Low levels of K1 in blood has been associated with osteoporosis.
You can find K1 in dark green leafy vegetables, green tea, spinach, broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, asparagus, oats, whole wheat, & fresh green peas.
Deficiency in vitamin A can negatively impact the formation of developing teeth. The intake of vitamin A is associated with decreased dental caries in children, particularly when mothers ate vegetables during the prenatal period and when children consumed vegetables at a young age.
For preformed vitamin A, sources include liver, whole milk, cod liver oil, & fortified skim milk. Toxicity levels have been reported in people who supplement over 10,000 RE for many months or eat 6 to 24 lb. of liver per a week.
For vitamin A, formed by carotenes, sources include dark green leafy vegetables and yellow-orange vegetables. There is no known toxicity level for beta-carotenes.
Regulates calcium and phosphate absorption and reabsorption. In a review of of 24 controlled clinical trials, the intake of vitamin D demonstrated to be a possible factor for preventing dental cavities. As research is always refining its conclusion, further investigations need to be done to understand the relationship between the specific relationship between vitamin D and dental caries.
The best source is natural light on the skin.
In animal products, sources include cod-liver oil, cold water fish (ex. mackerel, salmon, & herring), butter, & egg yolks.
In plants, sources include dark green leafy vegetables.
Boerum, A.V. (December 2012) Supplement Usage and Its Effect on Oral Health Retrieved from http:// pubs.royle.com/display_article.php?id=1247271
Sheiham, A. James, W. P. (2014, October) A new understanding of the relationship between sugars, dental caries and fluoride use: implications for limits on sugars consumption. Public Health Nutr. 7(10): 2176-84. doi: 10.1017/S136898001400113X.
Southward, K. (2015, March) A hypothetical role for vitamin K2 in the endocrine and exocrine aspects of dental caries. Med Hypotheses. 84(3):276-80. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2015.01.011.
Yen, C.E. Huang, Y.C. Hu, S.W. (2010, June). Relationship between dietary intake and dental caries in preschool children. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 80(3):205-15. doi: 10.1024/0300-9831/a000022.
Dudding, T. Thomas, S.J. Duncan, K. Lawlor, D.A. Timpson, N.J. (2015, December 21). Re-Examining the Association between Vitamin D and Childhood Caries. PLoS One. 10(12):e0143769. doi: 10.1371/ journal.pone.0143769. eCollection 2015.
Wang, L. Tran, A.B. Nociti, F.H. Thumbigere-Math, V. Foster, B.L. Krieger, C.C. Kantovitz, K.R. Novince, C.M. Koh, A.J. McCauley, L.K. Somerman, M.J. (2015, October). PTH and Vitamin D Repress DMP1 in Cementoblasts. J Dent Res.
94(10):1408-16. doi: 10.1177/0022034515599726.
Murray, M. Pizzorno, J. Pizzorno, Lara. (2005). The Encyclopedia Of Healing Foods. New York, New York: Atria Books. Murray, M. Pizzorno, J. Pizzorno, Lara. The Encyclopedia Of Healing Foods.
Kresser, C. (May 2008). Vitamin K2: The Missing Nutrient. Retrieved from http://chriskresser.com/vitamin-k2-the-missing-nutrient/
Barker, J. The Health Perils of Gum Disease. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/ health-perils-of-gum-disease
PP Hujoel. (2013) Vitamin D and dental caries in controlled clinical trials: systematic review and meta- analysis. Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet].
Bauman College (April, 2016) NC 102.1 Lecture -Introduction & Upper GI Tract Retrieved from http://dashboard.baumancollege.org/pluginfile.php/10040/mod_resource/content/8/FON_Materials/102/Lecture/pdf/102_1_Handout_IntroUprGI_093013_040114_LS.pdf
My Favorite Liver Pate Recipe
2 tbsp of lard or duck fat
2 large yellow onion minced (if you have SIBO, feel free to eliminate or reduce this amount)
1 lb of liver cut into 1 inch pieces
4 tbsp of duck fat
2 tbsp of freshly cut rosemary leaves
1 tbsp of freshly cut thyme leaves
½ tsp of sea salt
Add lard or duck fat to the same skillet. I prefer using duck fat or rendered fat from pork belly for a richer flavor. Melt the fat in a skillet at low to medium. Add the onions and saute them until they become super soft; may take 8 - 12 minutes. Remove onions and place into another dish to cool down.
Melt 1 tbsp of duck fat on the same skillet you cooked the onions. Add the liver to the heated skillet. Cook the liver until no inner pink color is visible. The liver may take about 5 - 8 minutes to be fully cooked. Turn off the heat and allow the liver to cool down.
Place the onions and liver into a food processor or high powered blender (a normal blender could work but it may not come out as creamy) with duck fat (rendered pork fat is fine here too), herbs, and sea salt; blend until the mixture turns creamy.
Liver pâté dish was pivotable in helping me to start eating offal and to up my blood iron levels through nutrition. My first introduction to making liver pâté was through following the recipe from Mickey Trescott. Since then, I have played around with particular ingredients, techniques, and ratios. My favorite fat to use in this recipe is duck fat and the fat from pork belly dishes.
I decided to write my version of this delicious recipe because people kept asking me how I make my liver pâté. I normally create dishes by depending upon my eye sight, taste, and science background. I realized after measuring what I was doing, I was using different ratios than Mickey's recipe. After talking with folks who have used her recipe, I also realized that I was slow cooking the onions for a longer period. Furthermore, I didn’t add the herbs until the ingredients were all cooled down, which may allow for a stronger herb flavor. In addition, I used a 32 oz container on my Vitamix blender to get the creamiest texture possible (the normal container is a 64 oz container). I am guessing that the types of fats I used made a huge difference in taste and texture too. I typically buy grass-fed or pasture raised products. Lastly, I do spend a lot of attention on how I cook each ingredient; making sure I don’t burn or undercook for nutrition, texture, and taste.
Lard: Monosaturated fats, saturated fats, & polyunsaturated fats.
Duck fat: Monosaturated fats, long chain saturated fats, & polyunsaturated fats,
Onions: Biotin, chromium, manganese, copper, vitamin B6, B1, K, & C, dietary fiber, phosphorus, potassium, thiamin, folate; sulfur compounds (ex. allinase released when it is cut or crushed); flavonoids like quercetin; phenolic acids (ellagic, caffeic, sinapic, & p-coumaric); sterols; saponins; pectin; & volatile oils.
Thyme: Vitamin C, iron, manganese, fiber, copper; volatile oils, such as carvacol, borneol, geraniol, thymol, flavonoids (ex. apigenin, naringenin, luteolin, & thymonin).
Rosemary: Vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, iron, fiber, copper, calcium, mangnesium, & B vitamins; contain powerful rosmarinic acid, flavonoids & volatile oil.
Liver: Phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, copper, Retinol (preformed vitamin A - an easier digestible version of vitamin A), vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin C, & B vitamins [thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, B9 (folate), biotin, & vitamin B12].
Murray, M. Pizzorno, J. Pizzorno, L. (2005). The Encyclopedia Of Healing Foods New York, New York: Atria Books.
Kresser, C. (2011, February). 9 Steps to Perfect Health - #2: Nourish Your Body. Retrieved from http://chriskresser.com/9-steps-to-perfect-health-2-nourish-your-body/
Kresser, C. (2011, February). 5 Fats You Should Be Cooking With But Not Be. Retrieved from https://chriskresser.com/5-fats-you-should-be-cooking-with-but-may-not-be/
Lack of restorative sleep time can have a huge impact on your wellbeing. During this time of year - with travels and holiday festivities - your normal sleeping pattern may have been thrown off. Because getting restorative sleep can be hard during this period, I thought I would do some research on what science has to say about the impact of jet lag on circadian rhythms and more. I collected a lot of great information, but wanted to keep the list short for this post. With the intention of being succinct, I am sharing with you 5 evidence-based approaches to help you recover and minimize the effects of feeling jet lag and changes in your circadian rhythm. May you rest better after reading these tips!
1. Expose yourself to natural light during the morning
Natural light can help you rebalance your circadian rhythms by exposing yourself to blue light. Additionally, being exposed to ultraviolet light can help your skin produce vitamin D - a natural anti-inflammatory chemical. Two great reasons to go for a walk or to work outdoors in the morning!
2. Take a warm shower or bath in the evening
Research has shown that lower environmental temperatures at night may help prepare the body for sleep. The drop in your body temperature after taking a warm shower or bath may help induce sleep.
3. Minimize your exposure to blue light for at least 2 hours before sleep
Commit to not using any electronic devices that emit blue light close to bedtime. Blue light can stimulate your nervous system, so that it is harder to go asleep. You can use a free program called f.lux on your computer, if you cannot help but use your electronic devices. You can also buy amber glasses, like Gunnars, to do the same trick.
4. Practice meditation and yoga
Research has shown certain forms of meditations and yoga may help with sleep by increasing melotonin levels. Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant and seems to help trigger restorative sleep. If you want a guided meditation practice, you can check out one of my youtube meditation sessions or practice the below meditation practice. Otherwise, practice something you already know. Note: keep it simple and practical since you are already jet lagged, in other words feeling stressed out.
Breath and Attention Meditation Exercise
Feel free to sit or be in any position that feels comfortable to you. You are welcome to have your eyes closed or opened (with opened eyes make sure you are facing something like a plain wall to minimize your distractions).
1. Inhale 1, exhale 1
2. Inhale 2, exhale 2
3. Inhale 3, exhale 3
Repeat up to 21 times. If you lose count, start over again. You can use a timer and set it for seven minutes. In general, 15-20 minutes of meditation a day is supported by research to reduce stress. I recommend starting with what you already practice. If you have never meditated before, start with maybe 5 breaths or 1 minute of meditation. Over time, you will develop your meditation muscles and be able to practice longer and reap more benefits from your practice.
5. Improve your digestion
With changes in circadian rhythms, metabolism can be disrupted (ex. liver metabolism, bile function, and fat digestion). Make sure you chew your food thoroughly to promote better digestion and to balance the lag in your digestive organs. Avoid or reduce your alcohol intake as well.
Yetish, G., Kaplan H., Gurven M., Wood B., Pontzer, H., Manger P.R., Wilson C., McGregor R., Siegel J.M. Natural Sleep and Its Seasonal Variations in Three Pre-Industrial Societies. Current Biology, November 2015, 25(21): 2862-8.
Smolensky, M.H., Sackett-Lundeen L.L., Portaluppi F. Noctunal Light Pollution and Underexposure to Daytime Sunlight: Complementary Mechanishms of Circadian Disruption and Related Diseases. Chronobiology International, October 2015 32(8): 1029-48
Tooley, G. A., S. M. Armstrong, T. R. Norman, and A. Sali. Acute increases in night- time plasma melatonin levels following a period of meditation. Biological Psychology, May 2000, 53(1):69-78.
Ge W, Chen G, Ding Y-T. Effect of chewing gum on the postoperative recovery of gastrointestinal function. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine. 2015;8(8):11936-11942.
Have you ever noticed your hands and feet being cold, your heart racing, or that your inner critic is taking too much space? I have. Sometimes it could be a reaction to something I ate (ex. sugar or a food intolerance) or a message from my subconscious that something wants more processing (ex. Is SF or Portland a better city?). Typically, practicing some type of mindfulness practice or breath work helps calm my nervous system so that I can feel more grounded and connected to the present moment. With this type of centering, I can get back to whatever I was doing with more ease. Sometimes this type of mindful breathing practice is not enough. If that is the case, please read my next blog post. Next time, I will talk about other grounding practices that I do when mindful breath work is not enough for me. In the meantime, please check out my video on alternate nostril breathing!