Sunday, March 30, 2008

Some of my favorite probiotics

So as I recommend green vegetables to my clients and I eat more of them myself on a daily basis - I find that sometimes I don't digest them so well. When I can, I try to have them in smoothies. Not everyone can tolerate a green drink. I'm not asking you to take that plunge if you are not ready - but everyone should be able to find some enjoyment from a greens stir fry with ginger and sesame! See my website for a video on how to make them: or So I've been taking acidopholus pearls for a while now. They seem to help. I've also discovered a probiotic juice: Ad-Vita brand vegetarian papaya Acidophilus. It tastes wonderful and after a course of anti-biotics, its just a great thing! I have also been taking Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Gel in my smoothies to help restore my intestinal flora to balance and things have been working out quite well. I like la yogurt full fat probiotic formula as well when I can't get fresh goat yogurt from the union square farmers market or from Weston A. Price delivery.
Probiotics are also wonderful if anyone suffers from candida overgrowth. Symptoms of candida often appear to be those of ADHD - brain fog, tiredness, itchy skin (eczema) and of course the standard women's issues and jock itch/athlete's foot. I encourage everyone to take a probiotic as part of a healthy diet and to avoid excess sugars to prevent candida overgrowth.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The future of food

I came across this great website:

There is a revolution happening in the farm fields and on the dinner tables of America -- a revolution that is transforming the very nature of the food we eat.

THE FUTURE OF FOOD offers an in-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind the unlabeled, patented, genetically engineered foods that have quietly filled U.S. grocery store shelves for the past decade.

From the prairies of Saskatchewan, Canada to the fields of Oaxaca, Mexico, this film gives a voice to farmers whose lives and livelihoods have been negatively impacted by this new technology. The health implications, government policies and push towards globalization are all part of the reason why many people are alarmed by the introduction of genetically altered crops into our food supply.

Shot on location in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, THE FUTURE OF FOOD examines the complex web of market and political forces that are changing what we eat as huge multinational corporations seek to control the world's food system. The film also explores alternatives to large-scale industrial agriculture, placing organic and sustainable agriculture as real solutions to the farm crisis today.

This film does not even begin to address what the consumption of fruit pebbles does to your kids. Note: fruity pebbles are not food. There is nothing natural about them. There is not enough ritalin in the world that will reverse the effect of fruity pebbles in your child if he or she suffers from ADHD. I highly encourage everyone, especially parents to watch this video to learn more about the effects of genetic engineering and of purchasing food that is not locally grown or processed.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Kale Chips

These are much harder to make than one would think, I tried to speed it up by using convection oven - which failed miserably...but they are delicious...give them a try:

Kale Chips Recipe

Light and crunchy "chips" that are practically guilt free. Found this recipe on
by yogi
45 min | 15 min prep | SERVES 8
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons salt (this makes them pretty salty- you may want to reduce the amount, then sprinkle the chips with salt w)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 bunches kale, rinsed with stems removed
  1. Cut kale into 2 to 3 inch pieces.
  2. Mix vinegar, oil, and salt in a large bowl then add kale and mix by hand.
  3. Try to get all the leaves covered.
  4. Place on baking sheets (I like to use parchment paper for easy clean up) and bake at 350 F until they are crispy.
  5. After about 20 minutes, if it looks like they are not sizzling a bit or getting a little crispy, turn up the heat to 400°F.
  6. Time for baking varies depending on the size of your chips and desired crispness.
  7. The outer edges cook quicker than the pieces from near the stem.

Monday, March 24, 2008

oxalic and phytic acid - natural chemicals that need attention

I can't wait for spring. Oh wait, it is spring. The vernal equinox was this past Friday but somehow even though I have been running for three days in a row - today in booty shorts, I don't quite feel the wrath of winter is over. Also, I have not yet seen my favorite local greens at the farmers market. In my practice, I instruct on the importance of eatings greens: mustard greens, collard greens and kale. These are wonderful, vitamin rich, nutrient dense foods. Great for me as a runner. My favorite greens - and yours probably too: Spinach, swiss chard and the lesser known beet greens however are high in oxalic acid - a chemical that makes the vegetable selfish - inhibiting the absorption of the very calcium it contains. Yet in moderation and with fat and protein such as tofu/tempeh or for those of you not-sensitive to gluten, seitan, those greens can also be delicious and nutritious. It is troubling to me however that nature does not allow us to absorb the very chemicals we want to in food. It is so interesting to learn that the once all powerful spinach, that made popeye strong just isn't that great for us nutritionally despite its lovely green color. The kale and the collards are the good stuff.

Another lovely plant chemical that inhibits us from absorbing many vitamins and minerals from foods is phytic acid. Phytic acid coats many nuts and seeds hence the practice of soaking beans, nuts and grains by many raw foodists. This practice of soaking the beans or grains - even my all time favorite grain of quinoa makes a lot of sense and although requires some extra time will benefit the eater in the long run.

So eat your collard and soak your grains! Popeye should have read his nutrition books ;)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

powerfoods and super foods

We have all heard these terms, but what are these foods. Almonds, salmon, avocados, maca, berries, acai. Ok, so maca and acai - what the hell are these foods? Maca is a root - native to south america. I've heard its on par with the Durian on taste - but they do make it in powder and capsule form which might make it slightly more palatable. It is a potent aphrodisiac and works well for women who need to regulate hormones due to menopause or PCOS. Works very well, I have tried it - femmessence brand. I have acai smoothies daily - buying the fruit pulp in frozen smoothie packets. I eat my share of berries and greens, sometimes even having a green smoothie. Check out this link for more info:,3100,FOOD_27396,00.html

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Help, I'm addicted to sugar - how about some agave nectar to the rescue

For all you sugar addicts out there, there might be some saving grace for your addiction. Try this experiment. Nowadays even starbucks is starting to carry agave nectar, a natural sweetener made from the cactus plant. I am not saying to put the equivalent of 9 splendas in your coffee - but try a little agave the next time you are reaching for sugar and see how it makes you feel. I guarantee you won't be crashing around 10am or 3pm. Give it a try and let's see if you can break your addiction. For a free 20 minute session with me to discuss other long term solutions to sugar addiction or to book me for a talk for your organization, please contact me at

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Durian

I write after suffering what I call wrath of the Durian. Three days of food poisioning like symptoms. The apple martini I had last night probably didn't help things. I don't know what I was thinking. Perhaps I am allergic to this fruit...or perhaps there is a reason it is banned in several countries. Travel and food writer Richard Sterling says:
... its odor is best described as pig-shit, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock. It can be smelled from yards away. Despite its great local popularity, the raw fruit is forbidden from some establishments such as hotels, subways and airports, including public transportation in Southeast Asia.

And its taste...something like hot garbage according to Anthony Bourdain and to me it tasted like rotten eggs. I had the grand pleasure of having it in ice cream at this raw restaruant in New York City called Bonobo on east 23rd street. I have to say that I don't recommend this restaurant. I had some nut pates and salads. The food was bland and uninteresting. It was also extremely expensive for what it was. Maybe the raw food movement is not within my bio-individuality. I did the raw smoothies for a few months and I admire people who can do the raw thing, but it just isn't for me.

Friday, March 14, 2008

non-intuitive energy for runners

Having just registered for the NYC marathon and struggling to get myself past 5 miles at any one training run, I've started to re-examine my own nutrition. As a triathlete I was trained to eat clif bars and suck down gels 1 hour into a race and then every 20 minutes thereafter. This just doesn't seem to make sense that I would be eating synthetic chemicalized excuses for nutrition when there are real superfoods out there that would maximize my running performance. So I have discovered two new sources of runner's joy. Greens and quinoa.

After teaching a cooking class last Monday night where I taught a greens stir fry (swiss chard and collard greens) and an orange walnut quinoa dish and waking up the next morning to eggs and the left over greens, I ran eight miles. I first lapped to lower portion of central park - at which point I'd usually just go home...but then I thought I'd just try to make it up cat hill for a challenge. Passing the Met, I thought I'd just cool down with a lap around the reservoir. One lap became two and I did not cool down. I left the reservoir feeling energized and fabulous. A high nearly unmatched.

So a little bit about this quinoa, which I assume most of you are saying - quin-what? Here is something I read on quinoa, written by a friend of mine at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition: quinoa? ancient Incan superfood, right? The Incan empire that stretched for 2500 or more miles...and didn't the Incan chasquis--the long distance messengers--consume quinoa to improve their agility and endurance? (These are just those little factoids I remember from HS!)

The fact that it grows in the high-altitudes of the Andes kinda makes you think it might be good for improving V02 max.

Quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids necessary for life. It is rich in iron manganese, magnesium, carbohydrates, fats,protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. What more could a runner ask for?!

Pretty cool stuff...and those greens not only contain some of the essential amino acids, they also contain all those lovely essential fatty acids - the omega 3's that are the new super nutrient. So pretty much if you ate nothing but greens and quinoa you would be nourished with everything you needed to survive and you'd be running marathons. Think about that before unwrapping another clif bar!

Importance of Buying Organic

Something to think about next time you spring for $7 on strawberries. It is important!

Just came across list of most contaminated food products.
Meat: beef, poultry, pork have higher residual levels of pesticides than any plant food. Chemicals accumulate in the animal's fatty tissue and go straight to the dinner table.
Milk, butter & cheese: Pesticides are concentrated in milk. In addition, growth hormones and antibiotics are also found in NON-organic milk, butter & cheese.
Strawberries, raspberries, cherries. Strawberries receive the most pesticides of any crop grown in America. 36 pesticides are applied to strawberries and 90% of berries have pesticide contamination above levels considered safe. Raspberries and cherries don't rate much better.
Apples and pears: FDA found 36 chemicals in apples. Half are neurotoxins which cause brain damage.
Tomatoes: tomato's thin skin allows the more than 30 pesticides used on conventionally grown crops to seep through the entire tomato
Coffee. Pesticides that are so dangerous they're not allowed to be used in this country are shipped overseas where they're used on crops and shipped back in our foods. Coffee is one of the worst.
Celery: 94% of celery was found to have dangerous levels of pesticides.
Red/Green bell peppers. Bell peppers, doused with 39 pesticides also have high levels of chemical residues, In addition, peppers are often coated with unhealthy wax.
Grapes: 35 different chemicals sprayed on grapes are shwered on several times during their growth. Found 86% of grapes were contaminated with pesticides. Those from Chile are the worst.
Peaches/Nectarines Pesticides soak deep into the fruit.95% peaches & 97% nectarines tested were contaminated from the 45 pesticides used in conventional orchards.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

videos posted on

my cooking videos are now posted:

holistic cold remedies that WORK!

So I got sick on Wednesday. I have not gotten sick in two years. So this was a first. By Friday evening however I was better! My secret: vitamin C, selenium, acai fruit smoothies with hemp seeds and flax oil and the Neti Pot. What is a neti pot? Its an ancient auyrvedic tradition. The neti pot has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine to alleviate sinus and allergy problems. Its great and I swear it works. It does feel a little weird and you really need to have the right angle -but it is perfect preparation for anyone considering getting certified in scuba diving. The Himalayan Institute introduced the Neti PotTM over 35 years ago. You can buy on online here: and learn how to use them by watching a video on you tube: If you are located in New York City, like I am, there is a live demonstration every day at East West Books at 14th street and 5th avenue right near union square in the cafe. I bought my neti pot there. I got a plastic one to try and save a few bucks and it works great. I also got the zinc liquid to add to the pot. I don't know if it made a difference because I didn't do a clinical trial versus placebo/saline - but I did get better pretty much by the next day after using it - so I highly highly recommend it! I do love the results.

I have also been eating more greens. I cannot tell you the results in my energy level and being able to recover from my cold. I even ran 8 miles yesterday for the first time since mid Jan the last time I ran. I just signed up for the NYC marathon lottery today. Even though I did my nine races with NYC Road Runners apparently I didn't start paying my dues until April instead of in January so I don't get automatic entry, dammit - but let's hope that lottery goes through. I wrote an email pleading to see if I could get in on my nine races - but does not look like it will work. Either way, here is hoping the marathon gods see favor on me and get me in. I'm going to start training anyway and hope for the best now that my cold is over. I cannot tell you how wonderful it feels to be running again and how much I have missed it. I wish all of you more balance in your life and more of the things you love and make you happy. Please visit me online at and contact me at for a consultation.

Until the next post! Stay tuned for some weekday experiences at the Union Square greenmarket, my favorite eggs and my ongoing experience with the Weston A. Price Raw milk club. I just finished my first container of raw milk - which I also drank during my cold and I think had something to do with my recovery. The milk went bad in one week. It was a half gallon and I could realistically only drink a quart in one week - even if I had milk in my tea every day and twice a week drank a cup. The raw yogurt and raw butter I got from them is so wonderful. I am just about done with it. The butter I've heard can freeze and last for months. Going to try and put it in appropriate containers to do this.

Getting another delivery next week of goat milk! Looking forward to their fruits and vegetables starting in June and either the products of the Carroll Gardens CSA or West Side CSA depending on where I am living come April 1.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

homeade cold remedies - a health counselor's personal recommendation

So what is a holistic health counselor to do when she gets sick and her mother and friends pressure her to go to a doctor and take anti-biotics? Does she cave? no. Does she suffer? Maybe a little. Does she take herbs and vitamins? Definitely.

So what does she take:
flax berry smoothie (recipe to follow)
matcha tea with raw honey
chicken soup or vegetable broth
raw milk yogurt (gotten from nyc weston a. price foundation yesterday - its amazing stuff!)
more honey and hot water
water and lots of it

She has no voice and she sounds like hell - but she actually doesn't feel so bad. Its kind of difficult to write proposals in this condition but she's trying.

Also, she's got an audition for grilling with bobby flay tomorrow and she needs to be 100% improved by then.

Note to anyone interested in finding her today...leave a message. She's not answering the phone. She would love to speak to you as soon as her voice recovers. The universe has an excellent way of telling us we are working too hard and need to heal ourselves - and guess what - we can. No matter how much western society pressures us to quick fix it with drugs and pain killers. Try a little rest, relaxation and tea with honey. It works wonders my dear readers.

Adding some greens to that flax berry smoothie couldn't hurt. Going to go buy some now ;).

A bientot.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Smoothies, Jamba Juice and the Truth

So are smoothies the next health craze? Are people really meeting for dates at Jamba Juice or the next new smoothie bar. What's the deal with smoothies anyway? I love them. I have them for breakfast, sometimes daily...but here's the scoop - some smoothies can have up to 400 calories, especially if you go for the 20z or 34oz grande type size. Some of my initially "favorite" smoothies at Jamba Juice actually contain sorbet, a great deal of added sugar or other nasty ingredients that push the health content down in favor of the candylike exterior. Here's a recipe from the food network that is supposed to be a "healthy" breakfast smoothie:
Canned apricot halves blend with yogurt in a tangy and refreshing smoothie.
1 cup canned apricot halves in light syrup
6 ice cubes
1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
3 tablespoons sugar
Blend apricot halves, ice cubes, yogurt and sugar in a blender until frothy.

Ok, let's analyze and deconstruct...light syrup - not especially one of my favorite things - this mostly connotes splenda or some artificial sweetener or just less sugar or high fructose corn syrup than regular "heavy syrup" or worse, the syrup with the same amount of sugar or high fructose corn syrup is just boiled for a shorter period of time making it appear lighter. I would recommend fresh apricots if possible, dried apricots that were soaked in water overnight or frozen apricots or a mixture of frozen apricots and peaches. If none of these were available - whole foods and possibly your local health food store may sell canned peaches or apricots in no syrup or simply a fruit juice syrup - read your labels carefully.

nonfat plain yogurt - yet another non-whole food. If you are going to consume yogurt - go for the full fat variety. Go for a sheeps or goat milk's yogurt with a small amount of naturally occurring sugar. Go for an organic non-homoginized cow milks yogurt if you must have one from a cow or wildwood brand soy milk yogurt that is unsweetened.

I'm completely terrified of this ingredient:
sugarBlend apricot halves. whatever is blended with the sugar - I don't want...and really I don't want sugar in my smoothie.

So, if I were to make an apricot or peach smoothie in the AM - what would I use?
Here's a recipe I can stand by:

Peach/berry smoothie:
1 cup mixed berries (fresh if available - frozen and non-sweetened if not - I like whole foods brand 365 or cascadian farm brand organics) - blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, sliced strawberries

1/2 cup slice apricots or peaches...again i usually use frozen. If in season I might slice up a nectarine, white peach or yellow peach or apricot. I also like dried unsulphured turkish apricots that have been soaked in water overnight or at least two hours.

1 tablespoon agave nectar (I've made many smoothies without this - but if you are just getting off sugar - you might need it)

1/2 cup full fat sheep or goat milk yogurt, fage brand greek yogurt also acceptable

1/4-1/2 cup pomegranate, blueberry, cranberry juice - all unsweetened. or 1/4-1/2 cup goat milk, soy milk (unsweetened), almond or hemp milk work as well.

If i am using frozen fruit - I don't usually add ice cubes - otherwise you could add 3 ice cubes.

blend and enjoy.

I like to add 2-3 tablespoons of hemp seeds for protein and flax seeds for omega 3s and essential fatty acids. I avoid protein powders which are over processed and often not easily absorbable despite their claims of containing 20g of protein per scoop. I am wary of such claims.