Almond Butter Bombs – Sarah’s Favorite Snack

IMG_1541These healthy treats are Sarah’s favorite snack. After you eat one, you will say “these are so good” about 4 times, just like Sarah did the first time she bit into one. They are healthy and so simple! No cooking…There is 1-2 minutes of mixing ingredients, 2 hours in the freezer and bam you are popping one into your mouth!

    Highlights:

They contain no sugar and promote stable blood sugar via healthy fats with a touch of carbohydrates. This recipe came from the book Keto Clarity by Jimmy Moore and Eric C. Westman.

    Ingredients:

1 cup almond butter
3/4 cup unrefined coconut oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 – 3 teaspoons stevia powder extract

    Directions:

1) Place everything in a microwave safe bowl
2) Microwave for 45 seconds
3) Mix everything together
4) Pour mixture into ice cube trays
5) Freeze for 2 hours
6) Enjoy!

Food As Medicine

photoPatients are always asking how to eat for their health, whether it be to prevent illness, or deal with a current ailment. For many reasons we may find ourselves unable or unwilling to take a prescription medication or herbal formula in order to assist our body in overcoming an illness or condition.  It is important to remember that we can strongly influence our health based on what foods we put in our body.

We have all heard the phrase “you are what you eat”.  As nutrition research continues, science is further corroborating what we have known intuitively for years…that the foods we eat have a distinct impact on our health.  As unique individuals, no one food is best, but there are some general guidelines that will benefit everyone:

Stick to whole foods. Eating processed or refined foods not only reduces the nutritional value of a food, but can change the way our body metabolizes the food, creating more stress on the body.

Eat organic whenever possible. Choosing organic fruits, vegetables and meats will help reduce the amount of chemical exposure, as well as hormones in your foods.

Eat seasonally. Choosing foods that are in season help ensure you have variety in your diet and get the essential nutrients your body needs. From a Chinese medical perspective, it is also beneficial to eat certain foods during their seasons based on temperature variations. For example, during the summer, we crave lighter, cool meals, as opposed to the winter, when we want hearty, warm meals.

Use food as medicine. Here are a few great ways to use food as medicine in your day to day life:

    • Ginger and oranges are used to balance digestive issues
    • Green onions, garlic, and mint assist in the treatment of the common cold
    • Cucumber and dried fruits treat constipation
    • Olives are effective at treating cough with blood in the phlegm
    • Guava and leek stop bleeding
    • Cayenne pepper is great as a first aid for treating internal and external bleeding
    • Peaches treat dry cough and slow digestion
    • Beets strengthen the heart, calm the overactive mind, and improve circulation
    • Broccoli is great for eyesight, red eyes, dry eyes and inflammation of the eye
    • Cabbage is used to treat digestion and skin issues
    • Celery improves digestion, and benefits urinary tract imbalances

These are just a few of the many ways you can treat your body with foods you eat everyday.  When using foods as medicine, just increase the amount and frequency so it can have a therapeutic effect.  Pay close attention to the changes you see so you do not overeat any one food.  For more information about food as medicine, read Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford.  It is a great book to use as a guide for healthy eating and a wonderful resource for those times when your body needs extra care.

A Space for Stillness

AcNW_Buddha_TsWThe majority of patients who walk through our door will list stress as one of their main health complaints. Stress is a part of everyday life, but how do we handle it?  It is unavoidable, and our perception and management of stress is essential to our health. It is becoming more understood that one of the best ways to manage stress and promote well-being is to devote time every day to some form of meditation or quiet time. The benefits of this stillness include:

    • Reduced cortisol and blood pressure
    • Improved immune function
    • Reduced muscle tension
    • Slower heart rate
    • More regulated breathing
    • Reduced anxiety and depression

Above and beyond the physical benefits of having this quiet time for yourself, there are mental and emotional benefits as well. It allows for management of emotions, and an opportunity to access the creative areas in the brain, as well as our subconscious mind. Studies have shown that meditation reduces activity in the amygdala of our brain, which controls the way we react to stress.

Patients are often intimidated by the idea of meditation, but even without a formal meditation practice, a small amount of personal quiet time, in a peaceful space, can provide you with health benefits that you will feel throughout your day.

To make it simple, try sitting on the floor with your legs crossed, or in a chair. Have your arms in a relaxed position, hands on your knees. Sit tall with shoulders relaxed, and focus on your breath in and breath out. The mind will inevitably wander, but rather than beat yourself up for having a busy mind, just observe the thought and release it, bringing your attention back to your breath. Continue to observe and release the thoughts that rise up, and refocus on the breath. Practice this daily, even if you can only fit in 5-10 minutes a day. You will feel calmer, more peaceful, and more grounded throughout your day.

Drink Up for Health!

Water is our ultimate life force. Staying hydrated has unlimited benefits for your health including weight management, supple skin and improved kidney function and digestion. As crucial as it may be, it is easy to forget to drink water throughout the day. As the weather heats up, it is time to make drinking water a priority. Your life depends on it!

Picture your house plant that you’ve forgotten about. It has dry soil and the plant may be starting to wilt. The first time you water it, the water runs right through and out of the pot. As you continue to water it, it is hydrated and able to HOLD ONTO the water you pour while the plant begins to stand upright and come back to life.

Now picture the inside of your body- is it hydrated and able to absorb water in order to nurture your mental and physical daily tasks? When you first start to drink the necessary water your body needs, it may go right through you. Frequent bathroom trips will likely lessen as your body becomes more hydrated and is able hold onto the water you drink.

Here are some tips to increase water intake:

-Find a BPA free water bottle you LOVE
-Take that water bottle with you everywhere you go
-Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning and before every meal
-Use an app that keeps track of intake, and sets reminders on your phone to drink
-Start a “Water Challenge” at work or home. Set a goal that everyone must meet, such as 3 water bottles a day. Discuss  the changes you all notice, tuning in to things like increased energy, decreased appetite and improvements in digestion
-Jazz up your water! Adding cucumber, mint, orange slices or lemon can make drinking water more enjoyable and had added nutritional benefits.

Remember, we live in Oregon, home to some of the best water in the country! Take advantage of that and drink up!