Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Walnut Butter

Nuts and seeds are an essential part of a whole foods diet. Rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, protein, vitamins and minerals: walnuts prove to be extra special among nuts as they are one of the few sources of our vitally important Omega-3 fatty acids. These are highly anti-inflammatory fatty acids that promote heart health, immune function, and brain quality. Eating walnuts can decrease your cancer risk, regulate blood sugar levels, and lower total blood cholesterol. They are not only delicious but extremely healthy and should become part of your regular diet. Nut butters are an excellent way to add nuts into your diet. Walnut butter is creamy and rich, slightly sweet and perfectly satisfying. You can buy nut butters at your local health food store. If you have a masticating juicer, like the Champion, nut butters are easy to make and you will save quite a bit of money.

Making walnut butter:
-Start with organic raw walnuts
-Soak them for at least 8 hours for easier digestion
-Drain and push through the juicer with the blank screen in place
-Pack in a jar and keep refrigerated

Fresh walnut butter spread on toast with fresh fruit is a great way to start your day. Make walnut butter and jelly sandwiches instead of the usual peanut butter. Apple and banana slices are delicious with walnut butter for a perfect snack. Even celery and carrots pair great with walnut butter. The possibilities are endless, get creative and try other nut butters like almond or pecan!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Grow Your Own

Tomato Bushes
Yes, garden. With a little encouragement anyone can do it! You can manage some plants with little space or even just pots. Gardens are the best way to bring the freshest, most naturally grown vegetables to your dinner table, not to mention the most local! With a garden you have the freedom to plant whatever it is you love; heirloom lettuces, golden cherry tomatoes, arugula, lacinato kale. The choices are endless and the joy of watching your veggies grow from seed, to sprout, to flowering, to producing fruit is priceless. The best part, eating a meal with your own grown vegetables. There's nothing quite like it.

Now is the time to get your plants in the ground if you haven't already. It's a little late but summer crops will go for months. Some common garden vegetables that grow nice and easy are lettuces, zuchinni, kale, chard, beets, and of course tomatoes. Some plants will produce fruit over and over like kale. You can pick the leaves off whenever they are ready and you'll notice they just keep producing. Some plants like head lettuces and beets after you pull them up will not reproduce, you have to replant them. Herbs are a wonderful addition to any garden or potted in any yard. Basil, cilantro, parsley and thyme are just a few. These will add flavor and health benefits to any meal.

When just starting out it's easiest to buy from seedlings, venture into starting from seed later on. Buy from a locally owned nursery and find organic and heirloom varieties to get the most out of having your own garden. Don't be afraid to try something new and different, like crookneck squashes or persian cucumbers. Be sure to buy organic soil and add in plenty of your own compost. Water gently, lots of love and you'll have some beautiful vegetables in the months to come.

Heirloom Lettuce
Heirloom Red Lettuce

My favorite local nursery is Island Seed and Feed where I purchased all of these plants you see pictured. They supply plenty of seedlings of many different varieties. They have a wonderful selection of seeds, soil, compost, and your other garden needs.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Decoding Women's Health

Understanding the female hormonal cycle can be life changing for the emotional and physical health of some women. In today's world women's body are constantly bombarded with xeno-estrogens, toxins that mimic estrogen in the human body. Pesticides, commercially raised livestock, plastics, tap water, and many other everyday occurrences contain these fake estrogens. They alter our hormone levels and contribute to problems such as PMS, missed periods, endometriosis and even some cancers. As if we didn't have enough to deal with hormonally now we have all that on top it! So how should we women eat to support our hormonal health?

Attend the workshop, Decoding Women's Health to learn about women's cycles, temperature charting, fertility and more! It's vital to your health to at least have some understanding of your cycle and how you can support your hormones through diet and lifestyle.

Licensed acupuncturist Cathryn Davidson will be leading the workshop and discussing many areas of female hormones such as nutrition and fertility, birth control options, and the environments impact on our hormones. The event will be held at Santa Barbara Family Chiropractic at 360 S. Hope Avenue at 4:00pm this Sunday, June 17th. The Weston A. Price Foundation is holding the event at no cost so let all your girlfriends know!

Don't miss out on the great opportunity to get in touch with your femininity! Learn more about the event here.

I have helped numerous woman in restoring their hormonal balance with much success in only a number of weeks. Read more on my testimonials page. If you would like to schedule an appointment with me to begin learning about your body's specific needs for hormonal health contact me at wholesomepractices@gmail.com.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Grass-fed vs. Grain-fed Beef

Certain foods have become stigmatized as 'unhealthy' by the mainstream media, maybe even so much that we can say demonized. One of them is beef. The once healthy slab of juicy, red meat often thrown between two buns has been turned into one of the most heart damaging, cholesterol raising foods. Why has this happened?

Well for starters the cattle raising industry has changed dramatically in the last 50 years and the farm has now become a factory. Cows are no longer grazing on fresh green grasses but are neck in neck lined up in confinements lots, covered in mud and feces being fed genetically modified corn. These cows are very sick from the filthy disease ridden environment they are forced to live in and the unnatural pesticide laden diet they are fed. Anti-biotics are infiltrated in the water and food to rid their bodies of all the harmful bacteria while they are continually given steroids and hormones to increase their growth. These types of operations are called CAFO's, Confined Animal Feeding Operation and are wrecking havoc on the health of our families, our livestock and our environment.

Because the animals are fed corn, possibly soy and even other animal by-products they become very sick. This also increases the amount of Omega 6 fatty acids in the meat which are highly inflammatory. Grass fed beef actually contains plentiful amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids, sometimes up to 4 times as much as commercially raised beef. Omega 3's are the anti-inflammatory counterparts to Omega 6's that are essential to disease prevention and a healthy heart. Grass-fed beef also contains 4 times as much Vitamin E and is an excellent source of the potent antioxidants Zinc and Selenium as well the cancer preventing Conjugated Linoleic Acid, also known as CLA. CLA is limited in the diet but can be found in dairy or beef raised on pasture. Grass-fed beef contains less saturated fat and healthy forms of cholesterol that our bodies need for the formation of steroid hormones and healthy cell membranes.
Don't fret, it's actually quite easy to get back to the farm! Look for 100% grass-fed beef, it will most likely be certified organic and possibly labeled as 'pastured'. This means the beef are raised on a farm, in the sun, roam freely and eat their natural diet of fresh grasses! When it comes to beef don't settle for anything less, it's vital to the health of you and your family, these animals and our planet.

Learn more on the Eat Wild website and you keep an eye out for tours of local ranches in your area. There is actually a tour of one of Santa Barbara's sustainable cattle ranches this Saturday, June 2nd at 12:00. The tour will be led by Elizabeth Poett, owner and rancher of Rancho San Julian which is in Lompoc. More information can be found on Wise Traditions Meetup page.

Local Grass-fed Beef:
-Rancho San Julian
-Dey Dey's Best Beef Ever