May is the time when the seeds we planted in back in March are starting to sprout. But did you know that seeds in general, when sprouted, are far more nutritious than eating the seeds without sprouting? Almost all kinds of seeds can be sprouted: mung beans, lentils, garbanzo, sunflower, sesame, pumpkin to name just a few. I love the website: www.sproutpeople.org. It’s a great site to help you get started on sprouting your seeds which in turn gives you a great bang-for-the-buck when it comes to nutrition. So….happy sprouting!
For the first time since I can remember, I’ve joined the ranks of allergy sufferers! But before I reached for my Claritin, I remembered that allergies are a sign of a congested liver and an over-reactive immune system. So I needed to work on both of these but, of course, needed symptom relief as well. Here are some homeopathic and herbs that have been used with great success to help alleviate symptoms associated with allergies.
Homeopathically: Sabadil by Boiron, Euphrasia, Allium Cepa, Histaminium and Galphimia.
Herbally: Goldenrod, Albezia, Euphrasia, Echinacea
And there is some “good” news as well. Several studies have shown that allergy sufferers have a lower incidence of cancer because their immune systems are so active (as reported in the most recent issue of Psychology Today.
I’ve just been out hiking at Ridley Creek State Park which is practically in my backyard. Spring beauties, skunk cabbage, and the pink flox are all in bloom! And so are ramps! Yum! Ramps, also known as wild leeks, are part of the onion family and are native to North America. Fields are literally covered with ramps in March—-talk about March madness!
Ramps grow from the Carolinas to Canada and in fact, West Virginia is well-known for their many ramp festivals. The flavor and odor of ramps is a cross between an onion and garlic (which are in the same family) so if you eat them, make sure the people around you are eating them, too!
I thought I would “ramp” things up with a couple of recipes:
Potato and Ramp soup:
- 4 to 6 slices bacon
- 4 cups chopped ramps (including green)
- 4 to 5 cups diced red potatoes
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 4 cups organic chicken broth
- 1 cup organic heavy cream
- salt and pepper, to taste
In a large skillet, fry bacon until crispy; set bacon aside. Add ramps and potatoes to the skillet; saute on medium-low heat until ramps are tender. Sprinkle with flour; stir until flour is absorbed. Stir in chicken broth; simmer until potatoes are tender. Stir in the cream and heat thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serves 4 to 6
Ramp and Eggs
- 1 to 2 pounds ramps. cleaned and diced
- 6 large eggs
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 to 4 tablespoons bacon drippings
Parboil ramps for about 10 minutes; drain well. Over medium heat, heat bacon drippings in a large heavy skillet; add drained ramps. Add beaten eggs; stirring constantly until eggs are cooked. Garnish with cooked, diced bacon, if desired. Serve immediately. Delicious with cornbread, potatoes, and meat or fish.
Serves 6 to 8
Okay, we’ve gotten through the holidays relatively in tact. Maybe we’ve gained a couple of pounds, but we know we can take it off AND we’ve followed the rhythm of nature by NOT dieting in January.
But now, it’s time to think about March and April and of doing a 21 day purification. This is a great jump start for not only a diet to shed those winter pounds, but also (and more importantly) a way of incorporating life-long healthy eating changes.
Basically, purification (also known as detoxification) can help remove toxins (both endogenous and exogenous) from our body. This is important as toxins are responsible for most diseases as well as the following:
- GI problems
- weight gain
- lack of mental acuity
Also, it is important to make sure your body is “in shape” before even considering losing weight. If the body isn’t functioning correctly, loosing weight can be a real challenge often leading to an attitude of “this is just who I am”.
So don’t give up–get it out–the toxins that is! Ask me about the best detox program for you….
January. When we think of January, we often think of the New Year with the ball dropping in Times Square and of New Year’s resolutions. For many, those resolutions often include losing weight. But is this really a good idea? Here is something to think about. Following the cycle of the seasons, winter is NOT a time of dieting but a time where the body stores its fat for scarcity of food in the winter. Thus our bodies naturally slow down. The lack of day light also helps us to “hibernate” more. So, given this natural evolution (done for survival), our attempts at trying to shed unwanted pounds is going to be met with a lot of resistance, thus often causing us give up in a couple of months out of frustration. So instead of fighting the natural rhythms of our bodies by trying attempting a diet now, try this instead. Give up the junk—alcohol, sweets, fried foods and instead replace them with earthy, rooty foods like turnips, burdock root, beets, carrots and parsnips. Below is a basic recipe to play with which gives you the benefits of the earth. Also, drink plenty of water. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the corresponding sign for winter is water and the corresponding element of the body are the kidneys (where our internal water flows). If you are looking for a great winter exercise, try yoga and above all eat whole and natural foods. When springtime comes, your body will already have had a great head start and then it will be time to think about purifying and detoxifying your body and losing those extra pounds (which will come off MUCH easier).
Happy New Year. Jayne
Asian Root Vegetables
(make any substitutions where you like and always try to use organic ingredients when possible)
- 1 burdock root (peel this like you would a carrot)
- 1 Jerusalem artichoke (thinly sliced)
- 1 carrot peeled
- 1 tablespoon brown or turbinado sugar
- 2 tablespoons of olive or peanut oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- handful of peanuts
- dash of hot pepper flakes
In a cast iron or non-aluminum pan, heat the pan then add the oil. Saute the burdock root in the oil for 2 minutes and then add the sugar, water, soy sauce and hot pepper flakes. Cover and cook for another two minutes and then add the carrot. Saute for another 2-3 minutes and then add the Jerusalem artichoke and the peanuts. Saute for another minute or so and serve warm.