PALESTINIAN ZA’ATAR AND IT’S BENEFITS

Didem Miraloglu, MD, MS

Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend that typically includes a mix of dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, sumac, sesame seeds, and salt. It’s a staple in Palestinian cuisine and is used in various dishes, such as meats, salads, bread, and dips. While specific health benefits can vary based on individual ingredients and their proportions in the blend, here are some potential health benefits associated with Palestinian za’atar:

1.   Rich in Antioxidants: Thyme, oregano, and sumac, commonly found in za’atar, are rich in antioxidants that help fight oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

2.   Anti-inflammatory Properties: Many of the herbs in za’atar, like thyme and oregano, contain compounds that possess anti-inflammatory properties, potentially aiding in reducing inflammation in the body.

3.   Digestive Health: Some of the herbs in za’atar, like thyme and oregano, are believed to have digestive benefits, aiding in digestion and potentially soothing digestive issues.

4.   Possible Antibacterial and Antifungal Effects: Some studies suggest that certain compounds in thyme and oregano may have antibacterial and antifungal properties, which could help infighting off infections.

5.   Improved Cognitive Function: Rosemary, sometimes included in za’atar blends, has been linked to improved cognitive function and memory.

6.   Rich in Nutrients: Sesame seeds in za’atar provide healthy fats, protein, and important minerals like calcium, magnesium, and zinc.

                      It’s incredibly versatile and can be used in various recipes.

Here are a few ideas:

1.   Za’atar Hummus:

Blend chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and a generous amount of za’atar until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve with pita bread or vegetable sticks.

2.   Za’atar Roasted Vegetables:

Toss vegetables like cauliflower, carrots, and zucchini in olive oil, sprinkle with za’atar, salt, and pepper. Roast in the oven until golden brown and tender.

3.   Za’atar Grilled Chicken:

Marinate chicken breasts or thighs with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and za’atar. Grill until fully cooked and serve with a side of yogurt sauce mixed with a bit of za’atar.

4.   Za’atar Flatbread:

Mix za’atar with olive oil and spread it over flatbread dough. Bake until golden and crispy. Enjoy it as a side to dips, soups, or salads.

5.   Za’atar Salad Dressing:

Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, a dash of honey, salt, pepper, and za’atar. Drizzle over a mixed green salad or a chickpea salad for added flavor.

6.   Za’atar-Crusted Fish:

Mix za’atar with breadcrumbs or almond meal. Coat fish fillets in the mixture and bake or pan-sear until the crust is crispy and the fish is cooked through.

7.   Za’atar Focaccia Bread:

Add za’atar to the dough when making focaccia bread. Sprinkle extra on top along with olive oil before baking.

8.   Za’atar Popcorn:

Sprinkle popped popcorn with melted butter or olive oil and za’atar for a unique and flavorful snack.

9.   Za’atar Potatoes:

Toss potato wedges with olive oil and za’atar. Roast them until crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

10. Za’atar Yogurt Dip:

Mix za’atar into Greek yogurt along with a little garlic powder, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Serve as a dip for veggies, pita chips, or crackers.

Feel free to adjust the quantities of za’atar based on your taste preferences. It’s a versatile spice blend that can add a unique and delicious flavor to various dishes!

It’s essential to note that while these herbs and spices offer potential health benefits, they are typically consumed in small amounts as part of a larger diet. The overall health effects will also depend on an individual’s diet and lifestyle. Additionally, the specific composition of za’atar can vary, so the health benefits might differ accordingly.

As with any food or spice, moderation is key. Incorporating za’atar into a well-balanced diet can be a flavorful way to potentially enjoy some health benefits, but it should be part of an overall healthy lifestyle. If you have specific health concerns or conditions, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

Your Partner In Health,

Didem Miraloglu, MD, MS

Camu Camu the Superfood

Clarissa A. Kussin, ND, FMCHC, ERYT-500

Lets dive into the powerful benefits of a superfood called Camu Camu. Known for its exceptional nutritional profile, Camu Camu offers a wide range of health benefits. Additionally, we’ve included a delightful smoothie recipe to help you incorporate this fantastic fruit into your daily routine.

Understanding Camu Camu
Camu Camu (Myrciaria dubia) is a small berry native to the Amazon rainforest in Peru and Brazil. It has gained popularity worldwide due to its extraordinarily high vitamin C content, containing up to 60 times more vitamin C per serving than an orange. However, Camu Camu offers more than just vitamin C. It also contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that support overall well-being.

The Health Benefits of Camu Camu

Immune Support: Camu Camu’s exceptional vitamin C content plays a crucial role in supporting a healthy immune system. Vitamin C is known for its antioxidant properties, which help protect the body against oxidative stress and strengthen immune defenses.

Antioxidant Powerhouse: In addition to vitamin C, Camu Camu contains a range of antioxidants, such as flavonoids and ellagic acid. These compounds combat free radicals, reducing the risk of chronic diseases and promoting overall health.

Collagen Formation: Vitamin C is essential for collagen synthesis, which supports healthy skin, joints, and connective tissues. Regular consumption of Camu Camu can contribute to the maintenance of youthful skin and overall joint health.

Mood Enhancement: Some studies suggest that Camu Camu may have mood-enhancing properties due to its high levels of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds. Including Camu Camu in your diet may help support mental well-being.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Camu Camu contains natural anti-inflammatory compounds, including anthocyanins and catechins. These compounds may help reduce inflammation in the body, supporting overall health and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

Here’s a refreshing smoothie recipe that combines the goodness of Camu Camu with other nutritious ingredients:
Camu Berry Blast Smoothie: 2 servingsIngredients:1 cup frozen mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)1 small frozen banana1 /2 teaspoon Camu Camu powder1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of your choice)1 tablespoon chia seeds1 tablespoon honey, date paste or maple syrup (optional, for added sweetness)A few ice cubes IF your berries are not frozen

Instructions: Place all the ingredients in a blender. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust sweetness if desired by adding honey or maple syrup. Pour into a glass and enjoy this antioxidant-rich, vitamin C-packed smoothie.
Note: You can customize the smoothie by adding spinach, kale, or your favorite protein powder for an extra nutritional boost.

Where to Find Camu CamuCamu Camu is available in various forms, including powder, capsules, and freeze-dried berries. Look for organic and sustainably sourced Camu Camu products from reputable health food stores, online retailers, or local farmers’ markets.
Consider adding Camu Camu to your daily wellness routine by incorporating it into smoothies, juices, yogurt bowls, or even homemade energy bars. Experiment with different recipes to explore the unique tangy flavor and reap the numerous health benefits.

Your Partner In Health,
Clarissa A. Kussin, ND, FMCHC, ERYT-500

Homemade Paleo Ice Cream Delights – Strawberry, Peach, And Honey Lavender Flavors

Dear Ice Cream Lovers,

Get ready to indulge in the delightful world of homemade Paleo ice cream! With summer in full swing, what better way to beat the heat than with these three tantalizing flavors: Strawberry, Peach, and Honey Lavender. Whether you follow a Paleo lifestyle or simply enjoy natural, wholesome treats, these recipes are sure to satisfy your sweet cravings. Let’s dive in and discover how to make these delicious frozen delights right in the comfort of your own kitchen!

1. Strawberry Paleo Ice Cream:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups frozen strawberries
  • 1 can (13.5 oz) full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the frozen strawberries, coconut milk, honey or maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy, ensuring all ingredients are well combined.
  3. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Transfer the churned ice cream into an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours or until firm.
  5. Serve the strawberry Paleo ice cream in bowls or cones and enjoy the fruity goodness!

2. Peach Paleo Ice Cream:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups frozen peaches
  • 1 can (13.5 oz) full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the frozen peaches, coconut milk, honey or maple syrup, and fresh lemon juice.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy, ensuring all ingredients are well combined.
  3. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Transfer the churned ice cream into an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours or until firm.
  5. Scoop the peach Paleo ice cream into bowls or cones and savor the natural sweetness of summer’s favorite fruit!

3. Honey Lavender Paleo Ice Cream:

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (13.5 oz) full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon dried lavender buds (culinary grade)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. In a saucepan, combine the coconut milk, honey or maple syrup, and dried lavender buds.
  2. Heat the mixture over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes to infuse the flavors.
  3. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.
  4. Strain the mixture to remove the lavender buds and transfer the infused coconut milk into a bowl.
  5. Stir in the vanilla extract, ensuring it is well incorporated.
  6. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  7. Transfer the churned ice cream into an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours or until firm.
  8. Serve the honey lavender Paleo ice cream in elegant bowls or cones, savoring the delicate floral notes and subtle sweetness.

Enjoy Your Homemade Paleo Ice Cream Creations!

These refreshing and guilt-free ice creams are perfect for hot summer days or any time you crave a chilly treat. Experiment with different toppings or get creative by combining flavors. The possibilities are endless!

Remember to store any leftovers in the freezer, and if the ice cream becomes too firm, let it sit at room temperature for a few moments.

Your Partner In Health,

Clarissa A. Kussin, ND, FMCHC, ERYT-500

Sip On Serenity With Rose-Infused Green Tea!

Are you ready for a delightful and soothing beverage that combines the elegance of roses with the goodness of green tea? Introducing Rose-Infused Green Tea, a recipe that nourishes both your senses and your well-being!

Why Rose-Infused Green Tea?

🍵 Green Tea Goodness: Green tea is packed with antioxidants and boasts numerous health benefits. From boosting metabolism to supporting heart health, green tea is a fantastic addition to your daily routine.

🌹 Rose Essence: Roses not only add a delicate floral aroma but also offer their own set of benefits. Rose petals contain antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that promote skin health, aid digestion, and even have mood-enhancing properties.

Recipe for Rose-Infused Green Tea:

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon organic loose green tea leaves or 1 green tea bag
  • 1 tablespoon dried rose petals (food-grade and organic)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • Optional: Honey or lemon for sweetness and flavor

Instructions:

  1. In a teapot or mug, add the green tea leaves and dried rose petals.
  2. Pour hot water over the tea and petals.
  3. Allow it to steep for 3-5 minutes, depending on your preferred strength.
  4. Strain the tea leaves and petals, or remove the tea bag.
  5. Add honey or lemon to taste, if desired.
  6. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the gentle aroma and soothing flavor of Rose-Infused Green Tea!

Benefits of Rose-Infused Green Tea:

1️⃣ Antioxidant Power: Both green tea and rose petals are rich in antioxidants that help combat free radicals, protect cells from damage, and support overall well-being.

2️⃣ Skin Glow: The combination of green tea and rose can promote healthy skin. Antioxidants in green tea and the anti-inflammatory properties of rose petals contribute to a radiant complexion.

3️⃣ Mood Booster: The aroma of roses has been known to uplift the spirit and reduce stress levels. Sipping on Rose-Infused Green Tea can bring about a sense of tranquility and relaxation.

4️⃣ Digestive Aid: Green tea is gentle on the stomach and can support healthy digestion. Combined with the soothing properties of rose petals, it can help alleviate digestive discomfort.

Treat Yourself to a Cup of Bliss… Indulge in the delicate flavors and therapeutic benefits of Rose-Infused Green Tea. This calming and revitalizing beverage is perfect for moments of self-care, relaxation, or whenever you need a little pick-me-up.

Your Partner In Health,

Clarissa A. Kussin, ND, FMCHC, ERYT-500

Grilling With Care: Preserve Flavor And Health!

As grilling season kicks off, let’s explore how to enjoy deliciously grilled meals while minimizing oxidative damage for the sake of our health. Let’s fire up the grill with care!  

What is Oxidative Damage?
During high-heat cooking methods like grilling, oxidative damage can occur. This happens when certain compounds in food interact with heat and create harmful free radicals, which can potentially damage cells and contribute to various health concerns.  
Grilling Tips for Healthier BBQ:
1️⃣ Marinate to the Rescue: Marinating your meats before grilling can offer a protective shield. The combination of herbs, spices, and acidic ingredients like lemon juice or vinegar can reduce the formation of harmful compounds while adding flavor.
2️⃣ Mindful Meat Prep: Trim excess fat from meats to minimize flare-ups and reduce the risk of charring. Fat dripping onto the flames can generate harmful smoke that may deposit on food.
3️⃣ Precook Partially: To reduce grilling time and limit exposure to high heat, consider partially cooking meats in advance. This can be done through baking, steaming, or parboiling, and it allows for more controlled grilling.
4️⃣ Opt for Lean Cuts: Choose leaner cuts of meat or skinless poultry options. These tend to produce fewer drippings and, thus, fewer harmful compounds.
5️⃣ Embrace Veggies and Fruits: Incorporate an array of colorful vegetables and fruits onto the grill. They are naturally packed with antioxidants, which can help counteract oxidative damage and provide a healthier grilling option.  

The Importance of Healthier Grilling: Reducing oxidative damage while grilling is crucial for the following reasons:  
Cellular Protection: By minimizing exposure to harmful compounds, we support the health and integrity of our cells, reducing the risk of chronic health conditions.
Antioxidant Boost: Enjoying antioxidant-rich foods and reducing oxidative damage contributes to overall well-being and helps maintain a balanced diet.  
Flavorful and Safe: Following these tips not only supports our health but also preserves the flavors of grilled foods, ensuring an enjoyable and satisfying culinary experience.  
Grill with Care, Savor with Joy: As we embark on grilling adventures, let’s keep in mind the impact of high-heat cooking. By adopting mindful techniques and incorporating healthier choices, we can enjoy delicious grilled meals while prioritizing our well-being.  

Enjoy grilling  season and let’s celebrate the summer with flavors, health, and togetherness!    
Your Partner In Health,
Clarissa A. Kussin, ND, FMCHC, ERYT-500

Non-Toxic Cleaning Recipes


Whether you’re a new parent, someone with sensitivities to chemicals, or just looking to create a healthier home environment, the Non-Toxic Home Guide will help you tremendously.

I hope this guide is informative and helpful in your journey toward a healthier home. If you have any questions , please don’t hesitate to contact your functional medicine health coach at CTW.  We are always here to help.

RECIPES:

All-Purpose Cleaner: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for a pleasant scent.

Glass Cleaner: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto your mirrors or windows, and use a microfiber cloth to wipe them clean.

Mirror and Glass Cleaner: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the mirror or glass surface and wipe with a clean cloth or newspaper.

Tile and Grout Cleaner: Mix 1/2 cup of baking soda with1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide and 1 tablespoon of dish soap. Apply the solution to the tile and grout using a spray bottle or a sponge. Let it sit for 5-8 minutes before scrubbing with a soft-bristled brush. Rinse thoroughly with water.

Carpet Stain Remover: Mix 1/4 cup of white vinegar, 1 tsp of dish soap, and 1 cup of warm water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on the stain, let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then blot with a clean cloth.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Pour 2 cups of white vinegar and then 1 cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl. Let it sit for15-20 minutes before scrubbing it with a toilet brush. Flush the toilet to rinse.

Oven Cleaner: Mix 1 cup of baking soda with a small amount of water to form a paste. Apply the paste to the inside of the oven, avoiding heating elements. Let it sit for a few hours or overnight, then wipe it clean with a damp cloth.

Grease Cutter: Mix 1 cup of warm water with 1/3 cup of white vinegar, 1/8 teaspoon of dish soap, and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Apply the solution to greasy surfaces with a sponge or cloth and wipe clean with a damp cloth.

Floor Cleaner: Mix ¼ cup of castile soap with a gallon of warmwater. Use a mop to clean your floors as usual.

Stainless Steel Cleaner: Mix 1/2 cup of olive oil with 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Add 10-20 drops of citrus essential oil. Spray onto stainless steel surfaces and wipe clean with a micro fiber cloth.

Shower and Tub Cleaner: Mix 1/2 cup of white vinegar with 1/2cup of Sal Suds. Apply the solution to the shower or tub using a spray bottle or a sponge. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes before scrubbing with a soft-bristled brush. Rinse thoroughly with water.

Basic Laundry Detergent: Mix 1 cup of washing soda, 1 cup of baking soda, 1/4 cup of Epsom salt, and 25 drops of essential oil in a large bowl. Store in a glass jar and use 1-2 tablespoons per load.

Vinegar Fabric Softener: Mix 1 cup of white vinegar with 20-30drops of essential oil in a spray bottle. Spray onto clothes before putting them in the dryer


Your Partner In Health,
Clarissa A. Kussin, ND, FMCHC, ERYT-1000

Fall Detox

Susan Denny, MD, MPH

Hello Fall! It’s Time to Detox!
 

While consistent Fall weather arrives a little later in our area than the Autumnal Equinox, the lower temperatures and falling humidity have thankfully begun to emerge.  This is one of my favorite times of year and one in which I reflect on the past year and look forward to the year ahead.   In many cultures this changing of seasons is a time for celebration and reflection.  It is also a great time for detoxification to help cleanse our bodies of unwanted toxins and prepare ourselves for the year ahead. 

I have completed many different detoxification regimens over the years but one of the easiest and most effective ones I have tried is the Mung Bean Detox.  This simple detox was shared with me by one of my favorite local chiropractors, Dr. Thomas Mitchell.  Dr. Mitchell practices Ayurvedic medicine as well as chiropractic medicine at Mitchell Chiropractic Healing Center in Raleigh. The following information, instructions and recipes are from Dr. Mitchell and his wife, Lisa.

If you have questions about whether or not this diet or another detoxification program is right for you, please contact us at Carolina Total Wellness.
 
Yours in health,
 
Susan Denny, MD, MPH

The Fall Detox Plan:
By: Tom Mitchell, DC

Detoxification is one of the pillars of Ayurveda, the ancient medical system of India that is more than 5,000 years old.  Whole mung beans are a legume that is common in Asia but is also widely available now in the US. Whole (green) mung beans. Whole mung beans have a scraping action, which supports the detoxification process. More specifically, they cleanse the colon, liver, kidneys, and lymph system. Mung beans are also much easier to digest than other legumes such as lentils and hard beans, which include pintos, black beans, and chickpeas.
 
The Benefits of a Mung Soup Food Plan
 

  • Improved digestion
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Pain reduction
  • Strengthened metabolism and weight loss
  • Improved energy, enthusiasm, and stamina
  • Reduced congestion
  • Greater mental clarity
  • You never go hungry!

 
Many patients lose 6 to 8 pounds in one week. Follow-up labs often show measurable improvement in cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar/insulin resistance. Many patients experience lowered blood pressure as a result of the program.
 
 
The Food Plan
 
The simplest form of the food plan is to make a pot of Mung Soup daily cooked with vegetables right in the same pot. You can make this dish in a standard pot, standard pressure cooker or Instant Pot. Eat this food for five to seven days, at least two times a day (lunch and dinner) but preferably three times. (If you don’t enjoy a savory breakfast, it’s fine to have some organic cooked oatmeal, but not the instant variety.) Focus on easy-to-digest foods such as squashes and greens of all kinds. A little bit of green beans and a little sweet potato is also fine. A small amount of white basmati rice is considered better for a detox than brown rice; just eat enough to complete the protein of the beans and ensure that you feel adequately fed.
 
During the detox it is essential to avoid gluten, dairy, and refined sugar as well as all animal foods. The major emphasis is staying on a plant-based diet (except for the use of ghee, clarified butter). Plant-based meals are easier to digest, which supports the detoxification process. We also recommend that you avoid inflammatory vegetables such as nightshades (tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, chilies, white potatoes) and gassy vegetables such as the cruciferous vegetables and okra.
 
For people who can make a little extra time to cook—and who want a more diversified diet—we offer some delicious vegetable soup and side dish recipes to complement the mung soup. You can make Quick Sauteed Asparagus in about 5 minutes, or a luscious Asparagus Soup with leeks and fresh tarragon. One of our favorites is a Vegan Collards recipe with smoky salt. You will find all these recipes on Lisa’s Sacred & Delicious Blog. You can also buy a copy of her cookbook Sacred & Delicious: A Modern Ayurvedic Cookbook, with 108 gluten-free recipes at Amazon, only available today in Kindle (reprint date TBA). The book won five national book industry awards in 2019. You can sign up for Lisa’s blog to receive new recipes at www.sacredanddelicious.com/blog.
 
 

Welcome to Tick Season

Frances T Meredith, MD

Prevention is the best medicine

We are all familiar with Lyme disease and likely know someone who has had to deal with this incredibly complex, and sometimes debilitating disease. Lyme, caused by multiple species of the Borrelia bacteria,  is not new, the Borrelia bacteria having coexisted with humans for thousands of years. What is new is that our immune systems are increasingly compromised by the stressful and no longer organic world in which we live. In addition, ticks that most often carry Lyme disease are now all over the United States. Lyme is now endemic EVERYWHERE in the US, though the species of the Borrelia bacteria vary in different areas of the county. And thanks to global warming, tick season is now all year round in many areas, though certainly numbers increase as temperatures warm in the spring.

To make things more complicated, Lyme disease, most often spread by hard Ixodes ticks, is also carried by other ticks as well including several soft ticks. Lyme bacteria are also found in mites, fleas, mosquitoes, biting flies and in tick feces (and those little suckers poop continuously while feeding; think bite, itch, scratch, I’m in!). Other infections often travel along with Lyme including Babesia and Bartonella. These little suckers are smart and know how to evade our immune systems to become “baggage for life” and create havoc all over our bodies.

 Prevention is indeed the best medicine with avoidance and early detection of tick bites the goal. According to Stephen Buhner, an internationally renowned expert on Lyme and coinfections, a blend of essential oils is about 99% effective for repelling the major tick species that carry the many Borrelia species that carry Lyme and coinfections (Healing Lyme, 2015)

Here is his recipe: Take ½ teaspoon of each of the below essential oils, add the oils (4 tspn total volume) to 8 oz pure grain alcohol (95%), blending well and storing in a brown glass bottle out of sun. Subdivide this into 1-2 oz brown herb bottles with spritzer/spray attachment, using this to apply liberally and often during tick season when going outdoors.

-Rhododendron tometosum (Labrador tea; NOT Rhododendron anthopogon)
-Tagetes minuta
-Chamaecyparis nootkatensis
-Artemisia absinthium
-Myrica gale (bog myrtle)
-Juniperus Virginia
-Eucalyptus citriodora (lemon eucalyptus)
-Origanum majorana (marjoram)

I have just ordered these myself, most of them very cheap on Amazon, though several more expensive and coming from Canada. The bottles are also available on Amazon. The total price was $152 which should provide a family with several seasons of protection.

In addition Stephen Buhner suggests Andrographis tincture applied to tick bite site, covering with a “moistened glob of bentonite clay, cover with thin cotton, and leave on for 12-24 hours)”. This tincture is also easily available on Amazon.

This will make for a fun and fragrant home chemistry session! Time to get out there and enjoy some gorgeous spring weather, safely.

Your partner in health,
Frances T Meredith, MD

LENTILS “THE POOR MAN’S MEAT”

Didem Miraloglu, MD, MS



 Lentils are known to be one of the most nutritious plant based proteins. Lentils date back to 8000 B.C where it was found on the banks of the Euphrates River, what is now northern Syria. There are many different preparation of lentils throughout the Middle East as well as the rest of the world. Each region adds part of its heritage where the lentil meal becomes richer and more flavorful.  Lentils are part of the legume family. Most of world’s lentil production comes from India and Canada. Lentils can lower cholesterol, and protect against diabetes and colon cancer. They are known as “Poor Man’s Meat”, since they are rich in nutrients and low in price. 1 cup of lentils provides 16 grams of fiber, 18 grams of protein, 38 mg Calcium, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 6.6 grams of iron , 71 mg of Magnesium and 0 gram fat. Since they are high in net carbs, they need to be avoided in a strict keto diet. With their low glycemic index, they are a good nutritional source for diabetics. There are brown,  green and red lentils. There are also those that are in between these colors. Here is one kind of Turkish recipe for red lentil soup. 

TURKISH RED LENTIL SOUP
 
INGREDIENTS:
 
2 cups red lentils
6-7 cups vegetable or meat stock
1 medium onion
1 medium carrot
1 tablespoon pepper/tomato paste
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon pepper flakes
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon dried mint
Salt to taste
Lemon juice
 
Wash the lentils and place in a pot. Slice the onions and carrots into small pieces and place in the pot with lentils.  Add stock and cook on medium heat until it boils. When it starts to boil add the paste and continue to cook for another 30-40minutes on low heat. Once all the ingredients are well cooked, use a hand blender to homogenize the soup.
 
Melt the butter or ghee in a small skillet, then add mint and pepper flakes. Stir for a minute then add to the soup and boil it for another 2 minutes. Add salt to taste. It is now ready to be served with lemon juice. Afiyet olsun!
 

Contact our office to schedule an appointment with one of our Health Coaches to learn more about healing with foods that can help you along in your journey to optimal health. 
 
Your Partner in Health!
Didem Miraloglu, MD, MS

Tips for Healthy Eating for Busy Families

Does the back-to-school season of busy weeknights filled with extracurricular activities have you relying on take out for dinners?  Here are some tips to keep meals at home that are healthy and easy. 

TIP #1
~ Keep freezer stocked with proteins to limit daily trips to the store.  Grass fed beef, organic ground turkey, organic chicken breasts, wild caught salmon, and Aidell’s chicken sausage.  Instacart has been a time saver for my family and Costco will deliver all of these protein options. 

TIP #2
~ Keep the pantry stocked with staples. Beans, GF Pasta (we love Jovial,) Tomato sauce (Rao’s,) Chicken and Bone broth, rice, quinoa, nut butter.

TIP #3
~ Use a crockpot or instant pot to cook meals and/or meat ahead of time.  One great way to cook chicken is to add a few chicken breasts, taco seasoning and a few scoops of your favorite salsa.  Cook for 3 hours in the crockpot.  This chicken can be used for many meals!

BONUS TIP
~ CHANGE YOUR MINDSET TO MAKE SIMPLE, HEALTHY DINNERS
This might be the most powerful secret of all. The best way to make simple, healthy dinners is to change your thinking on what dinner should look like. This means that not everything is gourmet, but the upside is now meals are much simpler while still being healthy.

TWO easy “on the go” meals:

1) Burrito Bowls or Taco salad in a Jar
~ Chopped up greens as the base
~optional rice, black beans, chicken, beef or turkey, guacamole, salsa, sour cream or Tessemae’s Avocado Ranch dressing. 
~ Prepare in a bowl or in jars to take in the car. 

2) Aidells Chicken Sausage & Roasted Vegetables

~ Aidells Chicken sausage – sliced
~ Broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, potatoes or sweet potatoes, or whatever else you have on hand.
~Roast in the oven and enjoy!

For more tips on how to conquer healthy eating during the busy school season, contact our office at 919.999.0831 to schedule an appointment with one of our Health Coaches. 

Your Partner in Health!
Caroline Wilson, M.Ed., FMHC