I absolutely love my nutribullet. For those living in isolation who have never heard of it, you can learn about it here . Nutribullet is the best way to eat superfoods. Sometimes I’ll throw my vitamin capsules in there. Pure vitamin C is a good one for this.
It’s basically a blender running at 600 Watts. A new version just came out at 900 Watts which I will get when my current one needs replacing. I use it everyday to make smoothies. I’m not really sure why it’s better than a basic $20 blender, maybe it’s the shape of the container. The marketing hype says it’s “cyclonic action” that blends the contents better than a blender, but I’m not entirely sure about that claim. Nevertheless, it works great, easy to clean and a super way to drink your vegetables with skin, seeds and fiber (unlike traditional juicers). I finder juicers ridiculously hard to clean and feel you lose all the beneficial fiber.
The nutribullet is the best way to add superfoods like cacao beans, gelatinized maca, goji berry and others to your diet. You can’t do this with a juicer. Load up the plastic container with some vegetables and your choice of superfood with some water, almond or coconut milk and you’re good to go.
I love to add fresh ginger and turmeric. You can get these at your local asian supermarket. I am thankful everyday that I live near several Patel Brothers Supermarkets where you can get many hard to find items like fresh turmeric root and other herbs. You can learn more about Patel Brothers here .
Let’s talk about cacao (chocolate beans). It’s an awesome superfood that you can add to your nutribullet for an extra anti-oxidant and nutritional punch. A great place to get a pound of the stuff is here:
These little crunchy nibs disappear in your smoothie. You can also snack on them (two travel bags are included in the purchase) or add them to salads, nut mixes and yogurt. Cacao increases nitric oxide levels in your body for blood flow and immune system benefits. The good things cacao does to your body are too numerous to mention here, but I bet if you are reading this blog you already know how good for you it is. All i’m saying is put it in your smoothie as a really easy way to add it to your daily regimen.
Sometimes I’ll make a basic smoothie with frozen strawberry, whey protein powder and the cacao nibs. It’s amazingly good!
Bone Broth for superb health. What is bone broth? It’s what many cultures call “soup stock”. It’s not the broth you buy in a can or carton at the supermarket. Real bone broth is made from….bones and other gelatinous parts of beef, pig, goat, chicken, fish etc. I’ve been reading about bone broth being great for bringing your gut back to health. The gelatin and other amino acids reportedly heal the lining of your intestines. It’s great for people who suffer from IBS, Crohns, SIBO, colitis, gastritis and other gastro-intestinal complaints.
The gelatinous liquid is not only soothing to the internal lining of the digestive system, research is indicating that perhaps the gelatin is feeding the good bacteria in your gut.
It’s naturally salty and can be drunk alone as a tea or tonic several times a day. When you drink it, your body knows it needs it.
I bought several soup bones from a local butcher. I put a few in a slow cooker with a piece of cow foot.
Add a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and cut up a leek. You can add crushed garlic, ginger or other herbs. However, I feel it’s best to keep it simple. Add water to cover and let the slow cooker do its magic for 24-48 hours.
Some recipes say to skim the junk that floats to the top in the first couple of hours, however, I haven’t seen it yet in two batches.
When it’s done, you can strain into glass jars and refrigerate. I use mine pretty quickly, so I don’t need to freeze it but you can freeze it for longer storage.
Here’s the cool part: When it cools in the fridge, the fat will solidify on top of the gelatinous broth. You can separate it easily if you’re not interested in drinking fat. The jury is still out on that. Some people swear by it, some people swear equally that you should discard it or cook with it.
If your broth is not turning into gelatin in the fridge, it’s because you haven’t added any bones that contain cartilage or other connective tissue like tendon or cartilage. Use beef tendon, cow foot or knees, oxtail etc. to get the healthy gelatin.
And remember the vinegar! It is said to be required to help get the calcium, magnesium and other minerals out of the bones.
Add this healing elixir to your daily routine. Your skin, hair and gut will appreciate it!
Seems like this isn’t exactly new news, however, researchers have announced that they have discovered one of the reasons why red meat consumption could cause heart disease. It seems like it doesn’t have much to do with fat and cholesterol, as we’ve been led to believe over the years. Believe it or not, it could be caused by our gut bacteria! Researchers have found that our gut bacteria consume the carnitine in red meat and convert it a substance called TMAO. The TMAO encourages plaque build up in our arteries!
You can read about it here.
Some sites are claiming probiotic supplements can help protect us against this conversion. I’m not so sure about that until scientists can identify exactly which bacteria is doing it. They did say if you take an antibiotic, you will not make this substance.
In either case, I think it’s cool that we are figuring out how important our digestive systems are to our overall health and in particular, how important our individual gut bacteria is. Everyone is different and their gut bacteria is different. Think of the times you had to take an antibiotic and wiped out your gut bacteria! What replaced it?
Now we may know why red meat and eggs could accelerate heart disease.
I was really enjoying making my milk based kefir. I got the ratios correct to make creamy, sour milk kefir that was not only delicious, but good for you. Then I saw the video, Forks Over Knives. Suddenly, my delicious and healthy probiotic dairy drink didn’t seem so healthy. For those of you who are not aware of this video, it’s a must see. It’s available on Netflix.
The video is all about how we should be eating a plant based diet and eschew any animal based products from our diets. Doing so can virtually start to eliminate risks for so many diseases that affect us. It’s never too late to start!
But this isn’t about a vegetarian diet and it’s health benefits. It’s about Coconut Milk Kefir and how darn good it tastes!
So, take those milk kefir grains and instead of adding fresh milk, add a can of coconut milk. It will be ready in 24-36 hours depending on how much kefir grain and coconut milke you use. I used to think there were alot of calories in coconut milk until a checked yesterday. A can of coconut milk only has about 200 calories. There’s a good video at this site that shows you how easy it is to make.
I think Coconut Milk Kefir is a great compromise. You get the super benefits of probiotics and the great health benefits of coconut fat..and you don’t consume dairy products.
I’m still working out how to make kefir. I put too much milk one time and the kefir was a little watery. One night this week I made it perfectly. The next day it was creamy and fizzy..something like a light beer mixed with creamy milk. Sounds weird, but it was delicious. However, one thing I noticed was extremely vivid dreams..I mean full length feature films all night.
I’m curious about the gut/dreaming connection. I noticed a lot of people on the net are reporting vivid dreams and probiotics. Home-made kefir is a super probiotic. Kefir Vivid Dreams Try it!
Most people know yogurt, but not many people know Kefir. Kefir has almost 10x as much probiotic power than yogurt, and it’s really easy to make.
First, get some Kefir cultures. They look like this:
And you can get them here from Fusion Teas on Amazon
Then get some whole milk and add these to them. Let it sit overnight in a glass jar and you’ll have some awesome, tangy life giving liquid. Like it stronger? Let it stand 24-48 hours.
Strain out the grains (they would have grown a little) and add them to a new batch of milk.
I like the idea of trillions of beneficial bacteria vs billions in yogurt. These bacteria make vitamins in your gut and can cure lactose intolerance!
My first batch tasted pretty good but will need to keep working at it. The Kefir grains reportedly will last forever!
I found out there are many forms of turmeric. Some sources indicate there are over 70 different types of this wonderful herb used in cooking and medicine. Many people are familiar with the popular type used in most curries and other recipes. It is sometimes called “Madras.” It contains the main chemical curcumin, which is the star of this herb due to it’s anti-inflammtory, anti-bacterial and overall healing properties. There are thousands of studies of this chemical and herb that you can read about on the net.
However, I recently learned there’s another main form of this herb called “Allepey”. It’s a darker orange color and has about 6.5% curcumin vs 3.5% for Madras turmeric.
The lesson here is find out what kind of turmeric your application or recipe calls for. Allepey turmeric has a different taste and aroma since it’s much stronger than Madras turmeric.
You can buy both versions of the spice at my favorite shop in NYC, Kalustyans. This site has a good overview of the different types of turmeric.
Turmeric is a “must have” addition to your health regimen. The research abounds with reports of reduced inflammation and many other benefits for the immune system.
Turmeric is a main ingredient in curry, however, you don’t need to make or buy curry to enjoy it’s health benefits.
Here’s a great way to take a teaspoon or two of turmeric:
Scramble two or three raw eggs with a couple teaspoons of turmeric powder and cook your eggs as usual.
Turmeric is often used as a dye, so your eggs will have a beautiful orange color.
It’s a tasty way to take turmeric!
Gastritis is inflammation of the stomach lining. It can be extremely uncomfortable. Symptoms can include abdominal/stomach pain, indigestion, a feeling of “fullness”, cramping or flutter sensations near the top of the stomach or just simply a feeling that something is just wrong.
The first step is to stop self-medicating and seek the advice of a gastroenterologist. Depending on the doc and their approach to handling this frustrating problem, you may have an upper endoscopy to confirm the diagnosis. When you have an endoscopy, they will put you to sleep and slide a tube down your throat equipped with a camera to view your stomach lining. Compared to other procedures, this one is quite simple and relatively risk free. The great thing about this procedure is the doctor can rule out any serious problems that could be causing the same symptoms. Untreated gastritis could lead to ulcers and worse things, so it’s something you want to address urgently and completely. The doc may take some tissue samples to find out if you are infected with a bacteria called h. pylori. Anyway, don’t mess around with your health and get this checked out.
After you received your diagnosis, you have to stop doing the things that have irritated your stomach. If your doc said you have a bacterial infection, then you’ll have to take some antibiotics. If you don’t have an infection, it may take some sleuthing to find out what is causing your problem. The most common things are excessive alcohol consumption (which tends to dissolve your stomach mucosa and expose the tissue to stomach acid). The next most common irritant is smoking. Stress can also hurt you as well as too much coffee, flours, certain medications like nsaids or irritants, chemicals and believe it or not, certain vitamins like Vitamin C in high doses.
Because your stomach is now irritated, your doc will most likely prescribe an acid blocker like aciphex. Although, I personally dislike the idea of taking an acid blocker, it’s a quick way to stop irritating your stomach. If you stop irritating your stomach by quitting coffee and stopping the other things, you’ll be off the acid blockers in no time at all.
I have discovered some simple natural remedies that can heal your stomach quickly. I’ll write about these in future posts.
It can take several months to heal gastritis. With patience, following a simple diet and the remedies I outline,you’ll be off the medication quickly and you’ll have a brand new stomach. You’ll feel like a million bucks!
I call this “poor man’s paella” because it makes a super easy Spanish style paella in about an hour. Paella is tricky to make because you have to get the right amount of water to cook the rice so it’s not too mushy and not too dry or undercooked. Here’s what you need for this super tonic and delicious meal:
1 or 2 cans of diced tomatoes with optional onion and garlic
Saffron (don’t get cheap paprika and sazon)
lime juice (fresh)
Salt and pepper to taste (adobo is cool)
Rice (Jasmine rice works just fine)
Sausage (chorizo is traditional but chicken/turkey sausage works)
Garbanzo beans and/or black beans
Use as needed:
from the sea:Mussels, Clams, Shrimp, Lobster Tail, Sea Scallop, Octopus, Salmon, etc.
from the land:Chicken Thigh Meat
up to you: anything you think works…
The idea is that you can put anything in a paella..think of it as the Spanish version of Chinese Fried Rice. As long as you have good quality saffron, rice, some kind of meat and seafood you’re all set. It’s hard to mess it up.
The secret to easy paella is to cook the rice in a rice cooker with the soup stock, saffron and diced tomatoes. Measure the right amount of soup stock you need instead of plain water. Most rice cookers are a 1:1 ratio of rice to water. In my rice cooker, I have to add extra water to make the rice come out just right.
Get a deep pan and spread some good quality olive oil. When the rice is done (smells yummy and aromatic) spread it out in the pan. Add all the other ingredients and bake it in the oven for about 45-minutes to an hour. Cook it just enough to cook your meat and sausage. You can pre-cook some of the meat with garlic and spices while the rice is cooking to speed up the bake time.
What makes this approach good is the rice is cooked perfectly because it’s done in the rice cooker.
Paella made old school in a deep pan with the water the rice is great because all the flavors cook together, but honestly, the method above is fool proof and just as good.
Try it..and feel the effects of a traditional Spanish tonic recipe.