Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Favorite Gifts for Foodies List!!

The giflt of local farm fresh food straight to your door with the gift of a CSA basket( community supported agriculture). Sign up for one today in your community and get CONNECTED! Here is the link:

If you are going to eat meat why don't you make it beautiful, grass-fed, sustainable, yummy ORGANIC meat. U.S. Wellness meats is one of THE BEST companies out there. They ship directly to your house. Here is the link:

The ONE cookbook EVERYONE should own, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. Get it here: Vegetable Mandolin! This is the perfect way to make scalloped potatoes, veggie lasagna, or to thinly and perfectly slice fruits and vegetables in no time. I love my mandolin! Here is the link:

A Dehydrator for making dried fruits, vegetables and KALE CHIPS!!! Here is the link:
Do you love Cappuccino foam but HATE the cofeehouse prices? THIS is the tool for you this hand held frother foams milk to perfection in about 60 seconds. I use this every morning in my coffee. LOVE THIS!! Here is the link:
A Cast iron Grill pan. I use mine ALL the time for vegetables and meats. I love this pan!!! Here is the link:
Need ONE pan that does everything? Buy an enameled cast iron dutch oven. This one is 7.5 Qt. They are amazing! Here is the link :

THE BEST grater ever are MICROPLANES!! I have one and I LOVE IT!!! This is great for greating cheese, zesting citrus, nutmeg, garlic, chocolate...;) You name it. Everyone should own one! These are available at all kitchen stores but here is the link from

The coolest peeler out there. This is called a Kuhn Rikon peeler it makes ' noodles' out of zucchini= "Zoodles"- seriously fun and way cool! It is available at Here is the link:
Never cry while chopping onions again with these ONION GOGGLES!!:) They are available at Sur la Table, Bed Bath and Beyond and Here is the link:

An Herb Grinder! I use this when I cook exotic foods . I toast my spices and then grind them up. YUM-O!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Focused Eating: My Go To Guide For Optimal Digestion.

Where are most of your meals and snacks consumed.....

In front of the television?

In front of the computer?

Go, go go! We are a nation of multi-taskers and efficiency wizards. We are overworked, over scheduled and manically scrambling around to get all the things done we set out to accomplish each day. Having a nice home cooked dinner is the last thing that many of us think of. Dinner has become yet another thing to juggle and many of us do not have the time to plan out a menu, shop for it and cook it. The typical American eats out 4-5 times per week. In a highly concerning new study, reports show that one of the fastest growing diseases in America is Gastreoesophogeal Reflux Disease (GERD) now plaguing over 60 million Americans. Do you think that our food choices and lifestyle could have anything to do with this new rise in GERD in our society?
I do.

The Symptoms of GERD:

- Heartburn

- Acid Reflux

- Laryngitis upon waking.

- Unexplained sore throat.

- Thinning enamel on teeth.

- Irritated gums.

- Bad breath.

- A bitter or sour taste in the mouth.

- Dysphasia- irritation while swallowing or a sensation that food is getting stuck in the esophagus.

- Feeling of a lump in your throat.

- Asthma

- Ear aches.

- Chronic dry cough.

Let's take a moment to give you the EXTREMELY BASIC version of digestion. 

The very FIRST place that digestion starts is in the BRAIN. Your senses register the food that you are going to be eating: your eyes gaze upon the beauty, you smell the aroma and your mouth begins to water in anticipation of the incoming tasty delight. The brain sends a message to the stomach letting it know that something will be making its way to it shortly and to gear up for the job. This triggers a chain reaction that is continued to the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, small intestine and finally the large intestine and beyond.The problem with eating on the go is that when we are not present with your food you are forfeiting yourself of the optimal digestive experience leading to stress to our body. Studies show that it takes nearly 20 MINUTES for the brain to register that the stomach is full. If you were to answer honestly, how long does it typically take you to eat a meal? 10 minutes.... maybe? Many of us take the momentum of life and apply it to our meal times. We are disconnected from the food we eat and aren't even aware of what it was that we just put in our mouths. We do not appreciate the beauty, the aroma, or even the taste when we are eating food carelessly and without mindfulness. We eat too fast and too much.We do not properly chew our food which causes more stress on our stomach and irritates our intestines.We eat in stressful situations and make poor food choices which directly effects our level of stomach acid in our stomach. 

Stomach acid is one of the first lines of defense against bacteria and pathogens, it is imperitive for healthy digestion. Poor digestion leads to a myriad of health complications including mineral and vitamin deficiencies that control basic health and body function. Our food choices and lifestyle has made us sick. We are now a nation that pops Tums and Rolaids like after dinner mints. We drink Pepto-Bismol and take Prilosc and other beta blockers because we didn't slow down and take the time to think about what and how we are eating. The problem with relying on these pills is that it covers up the symptoms and may actually exacerbate the problem.

Here Is My 'Go to Guide' for Proper Eating and Optimal Digestion:

- Slow down. Be present with your food allowing 30 minutes of undistracted time for your meals.
- Practice Gracious Eating- be thankful for your food.
- Chew your food thoroughly and slowly. (Remember, this is NOT NASCAR.)
- Put your fork down between bites.
- Eat until you are 80% full.( It takes 20 MINUTES for your stomach to send a message to your brain to register that you are full.)
- Sip no more the 6 oz of water with your meal. Avoid ice water as it stresses out your digestive system. Also note that too much water can dilute stomach acid which you need to break down your food.
- Make sure you have a variety color and texture on your plate. Food should be fun! Crunch it, slurp it and chew it!
- Practice Conscious Eating: Be AWARE of HOW the food made you feel after you eat it.
Do you feel: energized, tired, bloated,irritable,unable to think, gasy?

My Natural Approach to Living With GERD:

1. Quit taking Rolaids, Tums and Prilosec that bandaid symptoms and screw up your body! Prilosec is a beta blocker which means that it inhibits the stomach acid pumps from firing and producing stomach acid. This is a major problem because YOU NEED STOMACH ACID to help break down your food. As mentioned earlier, stomach acid is also one of the first lines of defense for bacteria, germs and pathogens. If you aren't producing stomach acid you are more susceptible to digestive issues, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, it causes more stress on the other organs of your body and makes you more vulnerable to sickness and disease.

- Incorporate Natural Omega 3 and Omega 6 's into your diet. For example: Avocados, Coconut Oil, Grass fed beef, Wild Caught Salmon, and Cold Pressed Olive Oil. These fight inflammation in your body.

- Cook with anti-inflammatory herbs like: turmeric, fresh ginger and cinnamon.

- Incorporate probiotics into your diet: Saurkraut, Kefir, Kombucha, Kavass, Yogurt, Lassi's, Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Raw Milk and Cheeses.


- Do NOT overeat. Eat until you are 80% full.

- CHEW your food. (The more you break up your food in your mouth the less work your stomach has to do.)

- Eat 5- 6 small meals/snacks throughout the day rather then eating large meals.

- Eat your last meal at least 3 hours before you go to sleep to give your body time to digest your food.

-Drink 2 t.of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar in water before each meal. (This helps naturally lower stomach acid).

**You can also use Apple Cider vinegar on salads, marinades and sauces.
-Pineapple and Papaya Digestive Enzymes help with digestion and Stomach acid.

- Licorice Root Extract taken 20 minutes before meals also helps with digestion and stomach acid.
**NOTE: Taking HCL ( hydrochloric acid+ Pepsin), pancreatic enzymes and gallbladder support can aid in optimal digestion.

Cheers to Epic Health!!