I adapted this recipe from one I found on www.happyhealthymama.com, but not much as the original recipe is SO delicious and simple. Rave reviews in the office so far! They're entirely fresh, natural, and fake-free. Whole food chips... yes, please!
Finely chopped rosemary
Slice the potatoes and beet super thin - as thin as you can sanely manage. A freshly sharpened knife or mandoline work well. Toss in a generous dousing of olive oil and lay in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and rosemary on the red potato. Let your culinary creativity (and chip flavour craving) flow and flavour as you like. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes on the first side, then flip, and bake for another 6-10 minutes, watching closely. I had to remove a few early to prevent burning but over the course of 5 minutes, they were all done. Allow to sit out of the oven for a couple of minutes as they will crisp up. If they don't stick them back in for another couple minutes. Enjoy!
One of my all-time favourite recommendations for digestion...and maybe a few other reasons! Let's get to it.
1. Heartburn. Wait, acid for acid? Yep. Sometimes there is too much acid production in the stomach. Sometimes there's not enough. The lower esophageal sphincter, or the top door of the stomach, runs on a negative feedback mechanism. This means when there's enough acid, it shuts, and when there isn't enough, it doesn't get that signal and stays open causing the little acid that's there to splash up. Next time you have heartburn, try a bit of ACV and wait about 5-10 minutes. That's about how long it takes for the signals to get working.
*If this worsens things, an antacid should neutralize everything. Or, try deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) tablets which will coat the esophagus and protect from acid.
2. Gas and bloating. Sometimes we don't digest enough of our food ourselves and smaller particles make it through to the large intestine where bacteria get to feast...and output gas. Making sure your digestive cascade is working starts in the mouth with chewing properly. The next step is the increase in stomach acid in response to food. This signals the release of enzymes from the stomach and pancreas, and triggers bile release from the gallbladder. Ramping up your body's own digestive juices is one key to a healthy belly.
3. Itchy dermatitis. ACV can act as a topical counter-irritant leaving itching to subside. Make sure there's no broken skin first. If it's itchy dandruff, ACV doubles as a wonderful conditioner. And no, you don't smell afterward!
How to take it:
I recommend half a shotglass of ACV and topping up with water. That's your dose. Rinse out your mouth though so that any residual acid doesn't break down enamel, or have straw handy so that the regular dose of vinegar goes straight down the hatch.
[Disclaimer: this is a stock photo. I don't actually know this brand, though I'm sure they're great, but any ACV will do!]
This is an exercise I had one of my intern groups do a while back. Everyone gets a major hormone and gets to figure out it's effect on other hormones. This is the web that results. I know, right! And this is as neat as it usually turns out...
I meet a lot of women with one or more of the following: painful periods, irregular periods, heavy periods, horrible PMS including moods, breast tenderness, and back pain, problematic weight gain, acne, or fatigue. Balancing hormones takes a bit of investigative work to find out what's going on down at the root level. There's always a few common threads: cut out exogenous hormones, effectively clear metabolites, and regulate cortisol. Oh, cortisol.
Exogenous hormones come from non-organic meat and dairy and from endocrine disrupting chemicals from plastics and our personal care products. BPA, phthalates, triclosan, parabens, etc. are all examples of known endocrine disruptors. Check your cabinets and replace with healthier stuff as you go. This is a huge task and takes time, so work over the next year to have a healthier bathroom. Check out www.ewg.org for product comparisons.
Inability to clear metabolites refers to the organs of elimination, specifically the liver and the colon. Sex hormones are fat-soluble which means they are excreted in the bile and hopefully out of the colon, unless constipation is an issue. Getting lots of fibre and moving the bowels will prevent any of the hormone metabolites (specifically estrogen) from being reabsorbed for round 2. And round 2 isn't pretty. Fresh ground flaxseed is a wonderful and safe method for both helping move the bowels and for binding up the estrogen metabolites.
Regulate cortisol. If you look closely at the picture, you'll see a bunch of red (inhibitory) lines that come from one source... that source is cortisol. Stress reduction, exercise, proper sleep, rest, vacations, and mindfulness all keep cortisol in check. If you're doing the best you can but still are trying to cope with the day-to-day stress of the big city, talk to your ND about adrenal support. It can work wonders and can lift that big inhibitory burden off of your endocrine system.
For many, this is a serious concern and if hormones are too crazy, it can be a sign that something else is going on. Always ask your doctor or ND and get some hormone testing and investigatory work done.
It's that wonderful time of the year when I get to figure out what to plant in the garden. I have a fully potted garden but manage to grow just about everything I can think of... or at least try to! Given that many will be out at the nurseries over the next couple of weeks, I thought I'd share some of my favourite medicinal garden plants that make wonderful teas.
1. German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita specifically). Pick off the flowers and use for digestive upset or to relax. It's an antispasmodic and nervine (meaning it works on the nervous system) so it's particularly effective for abdominal cramping such as with IBS. Add a slice of fresh ginger if there's nausea involved.
2. Peppermint. Not just for mojitos! Pick the leaves for a stomach-calming tea. Helps with most aspects of digestion but be careful if you're prone to heartburn as it may worsen it. Wonderful with chamomile after over-doing it at that BBQ!
3. Catnip. You may have to share this one if you have a furry friend. Catnip is a nervine which means it helps to calm down anxiety. This is great to blend with chamomile for your own sleepytime tea.
4. Lemon balm. Another one to add to your nighttime tea as this is also a nervine. If you have thyroid issues, skip this one or consult with your ND before using it.
5. Thyme and oregano. Excellent antimicrobials for if you're fighting a cold or flu. When the season changes and the sniffles start, make a nice tea with some lemon or add into soups.
6. Rosemary. The active constituent here helps to increase blood flow to the brain and can help with memory and cognitive function. These effects are also delivered via olfactory glands, so even smelling the essential oil from the plant can help.