Tag Archives: Healthy Holiday Eating

Dr. Dazey’s Immune-Boosting Stew

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Food is powerful. It not only gives us sustenance and energy to go about our days, but it also has healing powers that can help strengthen organs, fortify Qi energy, and even boost our immune system. When we enjoy foods that grow with the season, and eat the foods our bodies need (like warm foods such as stews in winter), we can make strides towards living a healthier life.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 1/4 lb (1 larg clump) maitake mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/4 lb shiitake mushrooms, de-stemmed and chopped
  • 1/4 lb oyster mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 whole butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 large turnip, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups cabbage, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 quarts vegetable stock or chicken bone broth
  • 14.5-ounce can of diced tomatoes, juice included
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 6 pieces astragalus root, sliced lengthwise for easy retrieval, or 1/2 cup in a simmering bag
  • 2 cups of kale, chopped

Instructions

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, heat the oil and then add in the onion, mushrooms, and carrot. Saute, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the veggies begin to soften.
  2. Add in the garlic and saute for another minute or two.
  3. Add in the butternut squash, turnip and cabbage, as well as the salt and spices. Stir to mix it all up.
  4. Pour in the broth, tomatoes (juices and all), astragalus root and the thyme. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10-20 minutes.
  5. Add in the kale, stir and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. once the kale is fully wilted, the soup is ready.
  6. Discord the thyme sprigs and astragalus root before serving and add in a bit more salt and pepper if needed.
  7. Let cool slightly and then ENJOY!!

 

This recipe was found in Bastyr University’s Health Feature, Fall 2016. And at the following url: https://bastyr.edu/sites/default/files/images/insidebastyr_fall16.pdf

How Sweet it is…

how sweet it is

Sucrose, or sugar as it is commonly known, is currently the most popular sweetener used in the food market today. On a daily basis, the average person obtains almost 20% of their calories from sugar alone. On average, that’s 150 pounds of sugar every year.

When ingested, sugar is broken down into compounds that provide quick energy for the body, affecting metabolism and appetite.

Sugar may seem like a “sweetie,” but it may be doing more harm than good. Sugar can be addictive, and too much can cause unhealthy weight gain and hasten tooth decay. It also affects the brain by offering a false rush of energy, and then lets you down, lower than where your energy levels were. Sugar can affect the spleen’s ability to release blood cells and platelets which can raise insulin levels resulting in diabetes, hypoglycemia, and even high blood pressure.

Sugar disrupts the delicate balance of minerals in the body, such as magnesium and zinc, and can block the absorption of calcium, leading to stiff, “arthritic” joints. Also, a high sugar diet can cause the body to become a breeding ground for bacteria that thrive on sugary foods.

A sugar-free diet doesn’t mean that you will never be able to eat sweets again.
There are alternatives to sugar. Here is a list to start with:

Molasses – Has more calcium ounce for ounce than milk, more iron than eggs, and more potassium than any other food. It’s also rich in other vitamins and minerals.

Honey – All natural, made with the goodness of bees. Honey has antiseptic and antibiotic properties.

Sucanat – Made from dried and granulated cane juice.

Date Sugar – Made from dried, ground dates.

Stevia – A natural sweetener made from the stevia rebaudiana leaf. Tests have shown that stevia regulates blood sugar and lowers high blood pressure. In South America, people who suffer from hypoglycemia and diabetes have used it with great success. It’s also said that stevia can aid in mental alertness, improve digestion and even inhibit tooth decay.

Barley Malt or Brown Rice Syrup – Made from cultured rice and water and barley sprouts.

The world is still a sweet place. Now you have healthier choices.

Copyright ©2012 Acupuncture Media Works. All Rights Reserved.

The Best and Worst – Thanksgiving Foods

Thanksgiving is a great meal. Friends and family come together to give thanks and celebrate the harvest season– and to overeat.

All of us know the feeling of eating too much, too heavy, too rich. When we should be enjoying our time with loved ones, we are uncomfortable. We exasperate our health conditions and catch a cold. We put on weight and feel lethargic.

I’m not going to tell you to make dramatic changes to your Thanksgiving meal. Usually that doesn’t work—and besides, it’s no fun.
Instead I suggest you just make small choices. Pick one food instead of the other. Make little positive choices and they’ll add up to a healthier, more enjoyable meal.

The Best and Worst Thanksgiving Foods
Before we begin, let’s set some ground rules. Obviously, everyone uses different recipes and buys different products. Nutritional value of Thanksgiving foods can vary widely. And everyone has different health concerns—from watching calories, to cutting cholesterol to boosting their immune system.

The “Best and Worst Thanksgiving Foods” list is intended as a general guideline. Consider the overall nutritional value of each food—calories, fats, nutrients and additives. Which food moves you closest to your health goals?

Dark Meat vs. White Meat
This is the classic Thanksgiving debate. But for health, white meat has the advantage. For each 3oz serving, white meat has 50 fewer calories and 4g less fat than dark. And at Thanksgiving, you’re bound to eat more than 3oz.

Sweet Potatoes vs. Mashed Potatoes
Generally potatoes are a healthy food. I especially recommend sweet potatoes for fall and winter diets. But when you add Thanksgiving condiments to potatoes, they lose their nutritional standing. Gravy or butter makes mashed potatoes full of fat. And adding sugar or marshmallows to sweet potatoes makes them closer to dessert than a vegetable.

The best: Savory sweet potatoes. Bake diced sweet potatoes with a tiny bit of olive oil, garlic and rosemary for a delicious and nutritious side dish.

Clearly the worst: Mashed potatoes swimming in butter or gravy.

Homemade Gravy vs. Canned Gravy
Gravy is delicious—but bad for your health. Basically, gravy is fat.
One quarter cup of homemade gravy has 18g fat, most of which is saturated, and contains virtually no nutrients. On the other hand, canned gravy has less fat but it’s high in salts, sugar and preservatives.

The best: Both are equally bad.The best choice is to eat very small amounts (or none).

Brussel Sprouts vs. Collard Greens
This one is a trick question—they are both good. Skip the recipes with bacon fat; steam these up and fill your plate. They are good for you and they fill you up so you don’t overeat other foods.

The best: Tie for first place.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce vs. Canned Cranberry Sauce
Cranberries are healthy and full of phytochemicals, which help protect against urinary tract infections, inflammation and cancer. Unfortunately, cranberry sauce is a different matter. Canned cranberry sauce can have high fructose corn syrup. You can leave the corn syrup out of homemade sauce, but many recipes call for lots of sugar.

The best: Homemade cranberry sauce.
Bonus choices: Reduce the sugar in the recipe or skip the cranberry sauce altogether and save your sugar for dessert.

Beer vs. Wine
The beer vs. wine debate is hotly contested, with each side claiming victory. Generally a serving of wine has fewer calories than beer and in some studies it is linked to cardiovascular health and lower cholesterol. On the other hand, a serving of beer generally has more nutrients and less alcohol than wine.

The best: You pick based on your health concerns. Are you watching calories or alcohol intake? In both cases, moderation is best.

Apple Pie vs. Pumpkin Pie
Both apples and pumpkins are a healthy start, but they take a turn when they become pie. Pies have a lot of fat in the crust and sugar in the filling.

Which is healthier? Pumpkin pie weighs in with 95 fewer calories and 5g less fat than apple pie, mainly because it has only one crust and is topped with a small dollop of whipped cream instead of a large scoop of ice cream.

The best: Pumpkin pie. Bonus if you pass on the whipped cream.

Whipped Cream vs. Ice Cream
This is a tough comparison because there is a wide range of products in each category. From Cool Whip to homemade whipped cream, from “frozen dairy dessert” (read the label of cheap ice creams and you’ll see this description) to real ice cream—there is a wide range of ingredients.

Obviously, both have fats and sugars. But one big difference between the two is how they are served. Generally a scoop of ice cream on a piece of pie can be at least half a cup, while a dollop of whipped cream is closer to two tablespoons. A serving of whipped cream is simply smaller than a serving of ice cream.

In both cases, check the ingredient labels for pure natural ingredients. Homemade gives you more control of the ingredients but choose your recipes wisely. Whipping cream has less fat than heavy cream, but it’s the high fat content in the recipes that make it “good.”

The best: Whipping cream. Bonus if you stick to two tablespoons.

Happy Thanksgiving

Best wishes for a fun Thanksgiving feast. May you and your loved ones have safe travels and good times.

9 Healthy Holiday Eating Strategies

Holiday Family Meal
Pie. Cookies. Chocolate. Eggnog. Champagne. The holiday season is filled with good foods. You eat and drink with your friends and loved ones to celebrate how much you care about them. But we all know that too much of a good thing is no longer good. Too many rich foods can lead to extra pounds, digestion upsets, mood swings and a generally “yucky” feeling. It’s all about balance. Good, healthy holiday eating can make the difference between an enjoyable holiday season and a miserable one. The trick is to enjoy treats without overdoing them. Make a healthy holiday eating strategy and plan to enjoy the holiday celebrations without feeling bad the next day.

Healthy Holiday Eating Strategies

Strategy #1 Moderate
Decide on a moderate way to approach treats that are most tempting to you. Avoid brash decisions like “I won’t have any holiday cookies this year.” It’s easy to break unreasonable rules. Instead, make a moderate healthy holiday eating plan. For example, if cookies are your nemesis, allow yourself to eat 1 cookie at the holiday cookie exchange. If you can’t decide between your 2 favorite cookies, have a half of each. Either way you won’t feel deprived but you won’t overdo. Pick your battles to get maximum enjoyment with minimal deprivation.
Strategy #2 Substitute
Find healthy alternatives for rich, high calorie food. Substitute nuts and fruits (both fresh and dried) for cookies or candy. Drink juice instead of soda, and herbal tea instead of juice. Make eggnog with skim milk instead of cream. During a meal, eat mostly vegetables instead of potatoes and stuffing. And remember, sweet potatoes with brown sugar or marshmallows are closer to a dessert than a vegetable.
Strategy #3 Avoid Hunger
The hungrier you are, the more likely you will binge on bad foods. Remember to eat breakfast. Eat a healthy meal before you go to a party. Start every big meal with hot soup. Fill up with healthy food so you don’t race to the bad stuff.
Strategy #4 Maintain Healthy Routines
Don’t stop your healthy habits just because it’s a holiday. Continue to drink lots of water and get enough sleep. Make time to exercise. Spend meaningful time with your loved ones. Take time to meditate or pray. Get outside. Maintain the healthy habits that you already have. When you feel good, you’ll be less inclined to eat foods that make you feel bad.
Strategy #5 Journal
Keep track of what you eat and how you’re feeling. Write about your stresses and emotional upsets. Compose poems and short stories. Keeping a journal will give you a non-eating outlet for stress, and remind yourself how good it feels to be healthy, happy and creative.
Strategy #6 Trick Yourself
Trick yourself into thinking you’re eating a lot.Use small plates to make modest pie portions seem larger. Pour drinks into tall, skinny glasses to drink less. Fill your dinner plate with salad before adding the entrees. Full plates make small portions seem big.
Strategy #7 Partner Up
Get a healthy holiday eating buddy. Partners make it easier to keep your healthy commitments in the face of indulgences. They provide accountability and support.
Strategy #8 Commit
Look through this list of strategies and pick the ones that are the most helpful and the least difficult. Write down your list of healthy holiday eating guidelines and post them where you see them several times a day. Commit to following them. Don’t allow yourself excuses to break your rules.
Strategy #9 Tune Up
Now is a great time for an acupuncture tune-up. Acupuncture helps balance your body so it’s easier to make healthy choices.