Tag Archives: whole food nutrition

Top 5 Spices in my Kitchen (Medicine) Cabinet

9 Mar

Spices have amazing properties. There are entire websites and books dedicated to their healing attributes. Today, I’d like to cover a few basic staples. As with all supplements, they should be taken with caution. If you take any medication check with your pharmacist about possible interactions before adding spices to your supplement regimen.

Cinnamon has been getting praise as of late, in regards to its ability to assist in blood sugar management. Even the Mayo Clinic says that patients with type II diabetes can benefit from taking a cinnamon supplement. It’s said to lessen the impact of sugar on the blood.

According to German research it can also “supress completely” the bacteria that causes urinary tract infections, as well as assist in controlling the fungus candida albicans.

Cinnamon can eliminate many of the types of bacteria that cause food poisoning, and when mixed with ginger you can easily avoid stomach upset and reduce the symptoms of food poisoning.

Keep in mind that using cinnamon is not like taking a typical OTC medication. It contains compounds that thin the blood. Cinnamon also assists in metabolic function and according to Thyroid-Info.com can reduce cholesterol, as well. One great way to monitor your intake is to take it in supplement form – or if you like the controlled portion but love the flavor, pull the capsule apart and sprinkle it on food, or in a beverage. I use it on many different things – next summer try it on some watermelon! Cinnamon will also assist in cleansing the liver and detoxifying the blood.

Turmeric is a beautiful yellow spice that will stain just about anything you get it on! Traditionally used in Indian curry dishes turmeric is now known as one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory spices in the natural supplement kingdom. In many countries it is used as a treatment for cancer, namely prostate. Some studies suggest that it may remove plaque buildup from the arteries, and the brain. It was shown to prevent the spread of breast cancer in mice, and of course more research on humans is needed.

Of all spice supplements, in my humble opinion, turmeric is king. It has also shown positive effects for arthritis sufferers. Check out this great list 20 Health Benefits of Turmeric.

A word to the wise (and not-so-wise): after dealing with a shoulder pain for several weeks, I decided to try using turmeric topically as my late-night googling suggested. I made a nice paste with some aloe vera gel, put it on, and covered it with a large gauze. The next day, it wouldn’t wash off. My skin was stained for nearly a week, and afterwards peeled like a sunburn. I do not recommend this!

Fresh Ginger Root
 If you like spices with a bite, its likely you may have forgotten about ginger. While the dry ginger in the spice aisle certainly has its place, there’s nothing like the bite of freshly grated or juiced ginger root. If you do a lot of juicing with apples, try adding an inch of ginger root. It will keep your apple juice white! (The brown color comes from oxidation.) Much like cinnamon, ginger is known in traditional medicine to help with symptoms of arthritis, thin the blood and reduce cholesterol.

Ginger is great for upset stomach, and is known to calm down stomach upsets due to some strains of food poisoning. In China ginger is used to calm a cough. There are many uses for ginger (not to mention, it’s really yummy!).

Cayenne Pepper
Of my list of staple spices to keep in the cupboard/medicine cabinet cayenne pepper is often forgotten. It’s bite is certainly as loud as its bite. One year someone brought an awful virus to the office. You know the drill, one day Mark can’t swallow and he thinks he has strep, and two days later Phil calls out. A few more days and your throat is on fire. Mark is the first to visit the doctor. He’s told he has a virus, and he should be nearly through it. The Dr. basically says “wait it out.”

Mark gets that call from a crazy relative about cayenne pepper. We’re all miserable enough to try it. Behold.. it works. Here are the most pleasant ways to take it: 1. Mix it in some tomato soup. or 2. Mix it in hot chocolate (dark is best!). You need enough to bite the pain in your throat, literally. It should sting. Sip slowly to ensure the longest amount of time spent in this “stinging” phase. Repeat 2-3 times a day, it shouldn’t take more than 1-2 days to work. While I don’t know the mechanism of this, I will say: I have not had a cold in 5 years, since I learned this trick, the moment I feel a tingle I have cayenne pepper.

While it is more pleasant in a good dark hot chocolate, monitor your sugar intake anytime you’re fighting a cold – and if you still drink that nasty sugar water that I so dearly love (my personal weakness, Dr. Pepper) remember that 1 can of soda can take your immune system down for 24 hours.

Like the other top-5, garlic is a potent medicine. It is known to have antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Said to lower blood pressure and cholesterol garlic is another spice that has a list of health benefits. Much like ginger, while it’s dried variety is fine for cooking, its health properties are best found from the raw form. Because of its strong flavor, many people opt to take a it in supplement form.

Here’s a great list from my-home-remedies.com of the healing properties of garlic. As always, do some of your own research and ask a medical care professional or pharmacist before adding spices to your daily regimen. They can be quite powerful – they can also be quite wonderful!

On that note, stay warm, stay healthy – and for a delicious way to combine all 5 of my favorites, see my last post with my Butternut Squash Soup recipe. Please let me hear if you try any of my suggestions. I’d love to hear about your experience.


Why the anti-chemical obsession?

27 Jul

The other day, a close friend of mine told me that she’d watched one of my favorite documentaries, “DMT – The Spirit Molecule” (you can watch it free by clicking the link). The film is about DMT, Dimethyltryptamine, a naturally occurring psychedelic produced by the human brain. DMT is released naturally from the pineal gland, a pine cone shaped gland that is located behind the eyes. As you can see, nearly any topic of conversation that comes up with me, I almost immediately go into “encyclopedia” mode, spouting facts. The next question from my mouth was, “Did you know that fluoride has been known to calcify the pineal gland, thus making it less efficient at releasing DMT?” As the answer left my mouth, I remembered why I REALLY do this, why I love rants about organics, avoiding chemicals from food and skin sources, why I love clean water, my water filters, my chlorine-free shower, and my non-fluoridated drinking water. The real reason is this: Because when the human brain and body run at full capacity we all benefit. We are meant to be thinkers, to come up with new ideas, to share our gifts with the world. Whether gifts of thought, creation, ideas, we are here to improve the place! It’s just like when you’re a guest in someone’s home – leave the place better than how you found it. It’s not that I have a superiority complex about my discoveries – everything I have learned has been a journey, an unfolding. One day I felt the light bulb come on, and since that time an entire landscape has emerged. Seeing the truth of our world can be disturbing. It can make one feel out of control, overwhelmed, and somewhat helpless. There’s simply no way to avoid every bit of chemical exposure from every source. The one thing I do know is that since stepping onto this path I feel better, my mind is more clear, my energy is more clear. I promise you all that I step off the path occasionally. Sometimes… I just want ice cream. Sometimes I go back to my old ways for one meal or one day or whatever it may be. I find that flexibility is the only way I can navigate this challenge. I don’t always have the budget to eat 100% organic 100% of the time. I do what I can, and I share what I’m learning while trying not to sound too preachy or judgmental. This is important to me – not to be perfect but to share what I’ve discovered. I keep a running list of topics for blogs and articles to come. If you have something you’d like to ask, or a topic you’ve always wondered about that you need me to dig into, please – say the word! I write this blog for two reasons, for me, and for you.

GMO Foods and what they REALLY do inside your body.

4 Jul

GMO foods are evil. I’ve written a hub about them on HubPages. I hope you’ll hop over to read it… this is very important. Please share!

Here’s an excerpt:

“GMO Corn, one of the top five US GMO crops is genetically modified to be “RoundUp Ready”. What does that mean? It means that there are chemicals grown in the plant that will allow it to live when drenched in Round Up, Monsanto’s signature toxic soup. This hideous chemical leeches into the ground contaminating soil. And many Monsanto seeds are bred to have what is commonly known as the “suicide gene” meaning that the plants borne from GMO seeds are infertile. The seeds can not be used to create a new crop, thus forcing the farmer to purchase more GMO seeds for next year’s crop.

So what’s the problem with eating GMO foods? The short answer: Obesogens. That sounds ugly, right? It is. Our bodies are magnificent, protective machines. They self-regulate and protect us in ways that many do not understand. One of the ways our bodies react to pesticides and toxic chemicals is to store them in fat cells, then release them slowly into the body so they can be eliminated safely. When we overdose on nasty chemicals our bodies respond in a protective manner, holding these chemicals for us, until they can safely be released in a slow manner, so as not to kill us.”

Read more here: “GMO: Monsanto’s dirty little secret.”

The basics of the article include:

  • How GMO and BT products are stored in the body
  • How BT Corn can create a literal chemical factory INSIDE your body
  • How GMO corn gets into the body (other than eating corn).
  • Hidden sources of GMO foods, and more.



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