Meal Prep for the Week of April 16, 2018

We’ve had such success with recipes over the weeks and patients have really taken a liking to certain recipes.  This week we decided to create some new ones and dial-in our recipes and repeat a few favorites!

All the recipes below are gluten-free. Options to make them vegetarian, vegan, and dairy-free are also included.  

 

Sweet Potato + Kale + Breakfast Sausage Hash

Ingredients

  • 2 bags Trader Joe’s organic kale
  • 1 package Trader Joe’s organic sweet potatoes, diced
  • 2 packages organic sweet breakfast sausage, sliced
  • 4 organic shallots, minced  
  • Organic avocado oil
  • Salt + pepper

 

Instructions

In a large frying pan, heat 1-2 tbsp avocado oil. Sauté shallots until translucent. Add sweet potatoes, salt, and pepper.  Cook until lightly brown on all sides and heated through. Remove the sweet potatoes from the pan and place in a large bowl.  If the frying pan seems dry, add 1 tbsp of avocado oil. Sauté the kale until stems are tender and leaves are wilted. Transfer the kale to the bowl with the sweet potatoes. Finally, sauté the sweet italian sausage and add it to the sweet potato and kale mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Portion and store in glass containers in the refrigerator.  To serve, add a fried egg and/or diced avocado on top!

*For vegetarians, remove sausage and serve with a fried an egg

*For vegans, remove sausage and consider adding seeds, or nuts to the hash mixture.


 

Dairy-Free Rice Pudding

Ingredients

  • 2 cups organic white basmati rice
  • 8 cups Trader Joe’s unsweetened coconut milk
  • 3  tablespoona of cinnamon, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup maple syrup  
  • 2 organic eggs, whisked
  • Raisin or currants, to serve

Instructions

In a medium-large saucepan, cook 2 cups of white basmati rice with 4 cups of unsweetened coconut milk until the mixture boils. Lower the rice to simmer for 20 minutes. After twenty minutes check that the rice is fully cooked to a soft texture. Add the remaining coconut milk, maple syrup, and cinnamon, cook until the mixture starts to thicken, reduce the heat. While mixing with a wooden spoon, stir in the whisked eggs, be careful to not curdle the eggs.  Mix until well combined. Enjoy warm or chilled, to serve, garnish with cinnamon and raisins or currants.


 

#Paleo Chicken Tenders

Ingredients

  • 3 lb organic boneless skinless chicken breast tenders
  • 3 organic eggs
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400°.

Line a baking sheet with “If You Care” unbleached parchment paper,

Mix ground almond meal, paprika, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, sea salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Stir to combine.  Whisk three eggs in a bowl. Dredge each chicken tender in the egg bowl, then dip each into the almond meal mixture.Place the chicken tender on the on the parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through, flip once at 10 minutes to evenly brown.

*Serve with paleo BBQ sauce, or as with did with “Hak’s Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce.”


 

#Glutenfree Soba Noodles

Ingredients

Noodles  

  • 1 package Eden 100% buckwheat soba noodles
  • 2 cups Trader Joe’s organic bell pepper,sliced
  • 2 cups Trader Joe’s organic carrots, sliced
  • 4 bok choy
  • 2 cups  Trader Joe’s organic snap peas
  • 2 sliced limes
  • ½ cup fresh herbs (cilantro + basil)

Miso Coconut Aminos Sauce

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened organic miso paste
  • 1/4  tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 1/4 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Water, to thin sauce

Instructions

In a medium saucepan, boil water.  Follow instructions on package for cooking noodles.  Once cooked, rinse thoroughly with cold water to prevent over-cooking.   

Make the sauce: Whisk unsweetened organic miso paste, coconut aminos, rice vinegar, maple syrup, red pepper flakes, and lime together until combined. Add water until you get desired consistency.

 

Double Order No-Bake Chewy #GlutenFree Bars  


Ingredients

  • 1 cup Nutiva’s coconut oil
  • 1 cup Trader Joe’s organic raw honey (vegan alternative: coconut nectar)
  • 1 cup of Trader Joe’s almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon pink himalayan salt
  • 4 cups Trader Joe’s gluten-free oats
  • 2 cups organic fruit + nut blend from Clever at Costco, finely chopped
  • 2 cups Trader Joe’s Cashews, Almonds and Chocolate chunks +½ cup cocoa nibs,  finely chopped
  • 1 cup Nutiva’s organic hemp seeds  
  • 1 cup of Nutiva’s organic chia seeds
  • If You Care Bleach-free parchment paper

Instructions  

Line a baking dish with “If You Care” unbleached parchment paper, leaving the sides of the paper to protrude over the edge of the baking dish.
Melt the coconut oil, honey, almond butter, and salt in a medium saucepan.
In a medium bowl, add the oatmeal, fruits, nuts, and seeds, mix thoroughly.

Next add the liquid mixture to the oat mixture, and stir to coat.
Add the mixture to the parchment lined baking dish; press with the back of your hands so it is evenly spread out.
Fold the parchment paper over the granola so the top is covered. Flatten the granola forcefully, so it is as packed down. I place a book or bag of rice on top to help flatten the bars.

Place in refrigerator and allow to cool completely for two hours - or overnight.
Remove granola bars from parchment paper.  Cut into rectangles or squares, and wrap individually with the parchment paper. Store in glass jars in the refrigerator.


 

Stores:

  • Trader Joe’s
  • Lazy Acres Market
  • Sur La Table
  • Costco

 

Special Equipment:

  • Bleach-free parchment paper

 

Time: 4.50 hours including shopping time

 

Cost: $138  total in groceries and made 36 portions of food, or $3.83  per meal.

 

Check out our Instagram @naturesciencemedicine for more meal prep ideas.

 

Make an appointment with us at Nature and Science Medicine to find ways to improve your health through diet, lifestyle, and mindfulness interventions alongside laboratory testing, supplementation, intramuscular therapy, and/or intravenous therapy.  

 

Meal prep by Dr. Nikodemas McNulty and Dr. Erin Rhae Biller every Monday.

 

Recipes by Erin Rhae Biller, ND, a licensed naturopathic doctor and gluten-free/allergy-friendly author at Nature & Science Medicine.


 

Meal Prep for the Week of April 2, 2018

Meal Prep for the Week of April 2, 2018

Setting yourself up for healthy eating success all week is as easy as Monday Meal Prep. We make healthy meals with common ingredients you can buy at one or two stores.

All the recipes below are gluten-free. Options to make them vegetarian, vegan, and dairy-free are also available.  

 

Sweet Potato + Kale + Sausage Hash

Ingredients

  • 2 bags Trader Joe’s organic kale
  • 1 package Trader Joe’s organic sweet potatoes, diced
  • 1 package Trader Joe’s organic sweet italian chicken sausage, sliced
  • 4 shallots, minced  
  • Organic avocado oil
  • Salt + pepper

Instructions

In a large frying pan, heat 1-2 tbsp avocado oil, sauté shallots until translucent. Add sweet potatoes, salt, and pepper.  Cook until lightly brown on all sides and heated through. Remove the sweet potatoes from the pan and place in a large bowl.  If the frying pan seems dry, add 1 tbsp of avocado oil, and sauté the kale until heated through. Transfer the kale to the bowl with the sweet potatoes. Finally, sauté the sweet italian sausage and add it to the sweet potato and kale mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Portion and store in glass containers in the refrigerator.  To serve, add a fried egg and/or diced avocado on top!

*For vegetarians, remove sausage and serve with a fried an egg

*For vegans, remove sausage and consider adding seeds, or nuts to the hash mixture.


 

Peanut- Free, Tree Nut-Free Oatmeal Morning Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs, or 2 flax eggs
  • ½  cup organic Sunbutter sunflower spread
  • ½  cup organic grade A maple syrup
  • 6  ripe medium bananas, mashed
  • 2  organic zucchinis, grated
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1  tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups Trader Joe’s gluten-free oat
  • ½ cup nuts, dried fruit, or seeds, optional
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • “If You Care” brand unbleached parchment muffin liners
  • Muffin tin

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 ° F. Line a muffin tin with unbleached parchment paper liner like the ones we use from the brand, If You Care.

In a medium bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together. In a small bowl, thoroughly mix all the wet ingredients together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together until well combined. Using a 4 tablespoon ice cream disher, dish out muffin portions into the unbleached parchment paper liners. Bake at 350 ° F for 17-25 minutes. Cool and serve.

 

Vegan Matcha Chia Pudding

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces of chia seeds  
  • 1 can of full-fat coconut milk
  • 48 ounces Trader Joe’s unsweetened coconut milk
  • 3 ½ tablespoon matcha powder
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup of maple syrup  
  • 4 bananas
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 package Trader Joe’s organic coconut flakes

Instructions

In a large bowl, mix the chia seeds with the canned full-fat coconut milk, unsweetened coconut milk, cinnamon, maple syrup, and matcha powder together.  Whisk until ingredients are evenly mixed. Allow the mixture to sit for 15-20 minutes so that the chia seeds can absorb the coconut milk and the chia is a chewy texture reminiscent of tapioca pudding.

Chop banana and squeeze lemon juice on top to reduce browning.

Serve the chia pudding in mason jars by layering coconut flakes, chia pudding, banana, chia pudding, and coconut flakes. Cover and refrigerate for up to five days.

 

Spring Rolls Fit for Spring

Ingredients

Fresh Spring Rolls:

  • 24 brown rice spring roll papers
  • 2 cups organic millet
  • 2 pounds of organic chicken thighs
  • 2 cups Trader Joe’s organic bell pepper, julienned*
  • 2 cups Trader Joe’s organic carrots, julienned*
  • 2 cups fresh herbs (cilantro + basil)

*sliced lengthwise into thin strips

Peanut Sauce:  

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened organic peanut butter
  • 4 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 4 tablespoons Trader Joe’s sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Water, to thin sauce

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 ° F.

Make the sauce: Whisk unsweetened organic peanut butter, coconut aminos, sweet chili sauce, red pepper flakes and lime together until combined. Add water until you get desired consistency.

Bake chicken thighs with salt and pepper and/or sweet red chili sauce, for about 30 minutes - until the  chicken is cooked to a center temperature of 165° Fahrenheit.

In a medium saucepan combine 2 cups of millet, 2 cups of water, or broth, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a rolling boil. Once boiling, lower heat to a gentle simmer and cover for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. After five minutes fluff the millet with a fork and let it cool.

Prepare fresh spring rolls: Add cool water to a large plate. Place 1 brown rice paper sheet in the water on the plate, covering both sides of the paper with water; let stand for about 20-30 seconds, or just until soft. Place rice paper sheet on a flat cutting board. Arrange 1 lettuce piece in center of sheet, top with 3 carrot strips, 3 bell pepper strips, a few basil leaves, a few sprigs of cilantro, few pieces of chicken, and a couple of tablespoons of millet. Fold sides of sheet over filling, then roll contents to close the wrap (like you would with a burrito). Gently press seam to seal. Place spring roll, seam side down on plates, or wrap in bleach-free parchment paper to preserve freshness.

*For vegan variation, remove chicken, add extra millet.

 

No-Bake Energy Snack Balls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup nut or seed butter
  • 1 cup medjool dates, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of organic maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons organic cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 2 cups gluten free oats
  • 1 cup Barbara’s organic brown rice crisps
  • ½ cup Mountain Rose bulk lemon balm
  • 2 tablespoons Om Mushroom Restore powder

Instructions

Line a baking sheet with “If You Care” unbleached parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the unsweetened coconut flakes, chia seeds, gluten free oats, and Barbara’s organic brown rice crisps.  In a food processor, pulse the lemon balm and OmRestore mushroom powder until they are finely ground. Add the lemon balm and mushroom mixture to the ingredients in the bowl mixture.

In a food processor, pulse the medjool dates, maple syrup, vanilla extract, until well combined. Add the date mix puree the ingredients in the bowl and mix until texture is mealy yet sticky.

Using a four tablespoon disher or ½ cup measure mixture, using your hands press and roll the mixture into circular balls. Store in mason jars in the refrigerator.


 

Stores

  • Trader Joe’s
  • Lazy Acres Market
  • Sur La Table
  • Mountain Rose Herbals

 

Special Equipment

  • Bleach-free parchment paper
  • Bleach-free parchment muffin liners
  • Ice-cream scoop/disher

 

Time: 3.75 hours including shopping time

Cost: $128  total in groceries and made 36 portions of food, or $3.55  per meal.

In total we made: 8 large matcha chia seeds, 24 no-bake energy balls (8 portions), and 24 fresh spring rolls (8 portions), 6 portions of hash, and 24 muffins (12 portions).  

 

Check out our Instagram @naturesciencemedicine for more meal prep ideas.

Make an appointment with us at Nature and Science Medicine to find ways to improve your health through diet, lifestyle, and mindfulness interventions alongside laboratory testing, supplementation, intramuscular therapy, and/or intravenous therapy.  

Meal prep by Dr. Nikodemas McNulty and Dr. Erin Rhae Biller every Monday.

Recipes by Erin Rhae Biller, ND, a licensed naturopathic doctor and gluten-free/allergy-friendly author at Nature & Science Medicine.

 

Meal Prep for Week of March 26, 2018

Our goal with blogging our meal prep experience is two fold: to prepare healthy meals to nourish and optimize our own health, and to encourage healthy eating for our patients.  We strive to keep the costs of the meals low, while making them as healthy and tasty as possible!

All the recipes below are gluten-free. Options for vegan and dairy-free are also available.  


Baked Eggs

Ingredients

  • 1 package Trader Joe’s organic asparagus, diced

  • 1 package Trader Joe’s organic mushrooms, thinly sliced

  • 1 package Trader Joe’s organic kale, chopped into 1/2 inch lengths

  • 1 ½  dozen Trader Joe’s organic eggs

  • 3 tablespoons of Trader Joe’s vegan pesto

  • A few teaspoons of coconut oil, or butter

  • (optional) 1 cup rBST-free parmesan cheese

  • Salt + pepper

Instructions

Heat oven to 350°F. Whisk 18 eggs together. In a large pan, sauté mushrooms, then asparagus, then the kale together in coconut oil until slightly tender. Let the vegetable mixture cool for five minutes then add the vegetables to the beaten eggs, salt and pepper, and add the parmesan cheese, if desired. Salt and pepper to taste. Ladle equal portions of eggs into oven safe dishes (preferably ceramic ramekins). Bake for 15- 20 minutes at 350°F. Remove from the oven and serve.

 

Turkey Quinoa Meatballs  

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa

  • 2 pounds of Trader Joe’s organic ground turkey

  • 2 dozen Trader Joe’s organic eggs

  • 1 package Trader Joe’s organic mushrooms, finely diced

  • Trader Joe’s vegan pesto

  • Trader Joe’s Green Goddess sauce

  • One bunch of organic kale, chopped

  • Trader Joe’s organic rainbow carrots

  • Trader Joe’s organic Persian cucumbers

  • Organic avocado oil  

  • 1- 2 tablespoon of red pepper flakes

  • 1 tablespoon of cumin

  • Salt + pepper

  • Bleach-free parchment paper

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Measure 1 cup of quinoa and place in a fine-mesh strainer. Rinse thoroughly with cool water for about 2 minutes. If desired, toast the quinoa in a little coconut oil then stir in 2 cups of water, or broth, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a rolling boil. Once boiling, lower heat and cover for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. After five minutes you can fluff the quinoa and let it cool.

While the quinoa is being prepared, sauté the mushrooms and kale until tender, remove from the stove and let cool. Scramble two eggs, add red pepper, cumin, salt and pepper, and pour this onto the cooled quinoa. Add the cooked vegetables to the quinoa and egg mixture, then add in the turkey. Mix until well combined. Use an ice cream scoop/disher to scoop out out 4 tablespoon portions, then roll the mixture into meatballs. Place in rows on the baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes. Serve with pesto or green goddess sauce, and chopped organic carrots and organic cucumbers for some added crunch.

Vegan Mexican Mocha Chia Pudding with Banana

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces of chia seeds  

  • 1 can of full-fat coconut milk

  • 48 ounces Trader Joe’s unsweetened coconut milk

  • 1/2 cup of organic cocoa powder

  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon

  • 8 dashes of cayenne pepper

  • 3/4 cup of maple syrup  

  • 4 bananas

  • 1 lemon

  • Organic coconut flakes

  • (optional) Cocoa nibs

Instructions

In a large bowl, mix the chia seeds with the canned full-fat coconut milk, unsweetened coconut milk, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, maple syrup, and cocoa powder together. Allow the mixture to sit for 15-20 minutes so that the chia seeds can absorb the coconut milk and the chia is a chewy texture reminiscent of tapioca pudding.

Chop banana and squeeze lemon juice on top to reduce browning.

Serve the chia pudding in mason jars by layering coconut flakes, chia pudding, banana, chia pudding, coconut flakes and cocoa nibs. Cover and refrigerate for up to five days.

No-Bake Chewy #GlutenFree Bars  
Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Nutiva’s coconut oil

  • 1/2 cup Trader Joe’s organic raw honey (vegan alternative: coconut nectar)

  • 1/2 cup of Trader Joe’s almond butter

  • 1/2 teaspoon pink himalayan salt

  • 2 cups Trader Joe’s gluten-free oats

  • 2 cups organic fruit + nut blend from Clever at Costco, finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup Nutiva’s organic hemp seeds  

  • 1/2 cup of Nutiva’s organic chia seeds

  • Bleach-free parchment paper

Instructions  

Line a small baking dish with bleach-free parchment paper, leaving the sides of the paper to protrude over the edge of the baking dish.
Melt the coconut oil, honey, almond butter, and salt in a medium saucepan.
In a medium bowl, add the oatmeal, fruits, nuts, and seeds, mix thoroughly.

Next add the liquid mixture to the oat mixture, and stir to coat.
Add the mixture to the parchment lined baking dish; press with the back of your hands so it is evenly spread out.
Fold the parchment paper over the granola so the top is covered. Flatten the granola forcefully, so it is as packed down. I place a book or bag of rice on top to help flatten the bars.

Place in refrigerator and allow to cool completely for two hours - or overnight.
Remove granola bars from parchment paper.  Cut into rectangles or squares, and wrap individually with the parchment paper. Store in glass jars in the refrigerator.

🌺 Heart Nurturing Hibiscus Gummies with Rose Hips and Schisandra 🌺

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups Heart Nurturing Hibiscus Syrup (see recipe below)

2/3 cups of Vital Proteins Grass-fed Beef Gelatin

Method

In a medium bowl while the liquid is cold, combine the beef gelatin and hibiscus syrup with a mixer. Once the hibiscus and the beef gelatin are evenly combined transfer to a medium pot. Heat on low-medium on the stove until the mixture is hot, but NOT boiling. Take the pan off of the heat, then pour the mixture into a silicone mold of your choosing.  Let rest on the counter then transfer to the refrigerator to cool. After an hour, remove the gummies from the mold, and place in mason jars. Store in the refrigerator.

Dr. Biller’s Heart Nurturing Hibiscus Gummies with Rose Hips and Schisandra  

Syrup Ingredients:

2 cups water

1 cup dried Mountain Rose Herbs hibiscus flowers  

1 cup raw honey or coconut nectar

3 dropperfulls of Wise Women Herbals crataegus (hawthorn berry) tincture

1 tablespoon of Frontier Co-op rose hips

1 tablespoon of Mountain Rose Herbs schisandra chinensis berries

Instructions

In a small pot, bring the water to a boil. When it is boiling, add the schisandra  berries and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the dried hibiscus and rose hips and steep for 15-20 minutes. Then stir in the honey and allow the syrup to cool completely.  Pour the syrup through a mesh strainer and add the 3 dropperfulls of crategus to the mixture, pour into glass bottles and store in the fridge. Can be used in soda water, on hotcakes or anyway you would use syrup.

Stores:

  • Trader Joe’s
  • Sur La Table
  • Emerson Ecologics

Special Equipment:

  • Bleach-free parchment paper
  • Silicone mold
  • Mesh strainer
  • Ice-cream scoop/disher
  • Glassware for storage

Time: 3.5 hours including shopping time

Cost: $107 total in groceries made around 36 portions of food, or $2.97 per meal.

In total we made: 9 baked eggs, 12 no bake granola bars, 30 meatballs at 5 meatballs per meal for 6 meals, 5 mixed veggies servings, 9 chia puddings, and 30+ gummies.

Check out our Instagram @naturesciencemedicine for meal prep ideas.

Make an appointment with us at Nature and Science Medicine to find ways to improve your health through diet, lifestyle, and mindfulness interventions alongside laboratory testing, supplementation, intramuscular therapy, and/or intravenous therapy.  

Meal prep by Dr. Nikodemas McNulty, Dr. Verena Eckstein, and Dr. Erin Rhae Biller.

Recipes by Erin Rhae Biller, ND, a licensed naturopathic doctor and gluten-free author at Nature & Science Medicine.

 

 

Meal Prep Recipes for the Week of March 19, 2018

Meal Prep for Week of March 19, 2018

Dr. McNulty and I wanted to meal prep to show that naturopathic medicine is a lifestyle - it’s more than just blood tests, physical exams, supplements, IM injections, or IV therapy.  Every patient benefits from diet, lifestyle, and mindfulness interventions. All the recipes below are gluten-free and grain-free, options for dairy-free are also available. 

 

Paleo Protein Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Birch Benders Paleo Pancake Mix
  • 2 ⅔ cups of water 
  • 2 chopped Trader Joe’s raspberry chocolate batons 
  • 1 pint container organic blueberries

Instructions

Heat a griddle or skillet to medium-high heat. Lightly grease pan with coconut oil. 

Combine Birch Benders, water, chocolate and organic blueberries. Let the mixture rest for a couple of minutes, to let the batter can thicken. 

Using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop batter into pan, one to three pancakes at a time, depending on the size of your pan. 

Cook until bubbles have formed and popped and sides are mostly dry. 

Turn once. Remove from heat. 

If making a larger batch, pancakes can be stored in a 200° oven.

Garnish with whisky whipped cream or maple syrup. 

 

Baked Eggs

Ingredients

  • 1 package Trader Joe’s organic asparagus, diced 
  • 1 package Trader Joe’s organic mushrooms, thinly sliced 
  • 1 package Trader Joe’s organic spinach, chopped into 1/2 inch lengths
  • 1 container of Trader Joe’s marinated artichokes, diced 
  • 1 dozen Trader Joe’s organic eggs 
  • A few teaspoons of coconut oil, or butter 
  • (optional) 1 cup rBST-free parmesan cheese 
  • 1 bunch of parsley, roughly chopped 
  • Salt + pepper

Instructions

Heat oven to 350°F. Whisk one dozen egg together. In a large pan, sauté mushrooms, then asparagus, then the spinach together in coconut oil until slightly tender. Let the vegetable mixture cool for five minutes then add the vegetables to the beaten eggs, add parmesan cheese if desired. Salt and pepper to taste. Ladle equal portions of eggs into oven safe dishes (preferably ramekins). Bake for 10- 20 minutes at 350°F. Remove from the oven and serve. 

 

Wild Alaskan Cod en Papillote with Quinoa

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa 
  • 2 tablespoons tamari 
  • 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated on smallest side of a box grater
  • 2 tablespoons  honey
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 4 tablespoon of white miso 
  • 1 ½ packages of Trader Joe’s organic asparagus 
  • 2 Portabella mushrooms, sliced 
  • 1/2 bunch of parsley 
  • 6 pieces (4 ounces each) wild Alaskan cod fillets, skin removed
  • Salt + pepper 
  • Bleach-free parchment paper

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

To make the marinade, mix the tamari sauce, ginger, honey and sesame oil together in a small bowl. Separate 3/4 of the marinade in a glass container and marinate the fish for 20-30 minutes. 

While the fish is marinating make the quinoa. Measure 1 cup of quinoa and place in a fine-mesh strainer. Rinse thoroughly with cool water for about 2 minutes. If desired, toast the quinoa in a little coconut oil then stir in 2 cups of water, or broth, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a rolling boil. Once boiling, lower heat and cover for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. After five minutes you can fluff the quinoa and it is ready to serve. 

Cut 6 rectangular pieces of parchment paper large enough to hold the pieces of fish. 

Fold each piece of parchment in half and cut the parchment into a heart shape. Open the parchment up and place 5 pieces of asparagus on the bottom of the parchment paper, then place a piece of the wild caught alaskan cod on top of the asparagus. 

With the remaining 1/4 of the prepared marinade, place 1 teaspoon of marinade on top of the cod with a spoon, or a brush. Then place three slices of Portabella mushroom and some parsley on top of the fish.

Fold the top half of the parchment over the fish. Starting at one end, fold the edges of the parchment, overlapping the folds to seal the open edge completely. Place the packages on one or two baking sheets.

Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until the parchment paper puffs up and the fish is just cooked through. Transfer the parchment packages to plates. Carefully cut the packages open, being careful of the steam. Serve with quinoa as is or pan fry for a few seconds in coconut oil to brown the fish. 

 

Vegan Chocolate Chia Pudding with Banana

Ingredients

  • 1 package Trader Joe’s organic chia seeds 
  • 1 can of full-fat coconut milk 
  • 48 ounces Trader Joe’s unsweetened coconut milk 
  • 1/2 cup of organic cocoa powder 
  • 4 bananas
  • 1 lemon
  • Organic coconut flakes 
  • (optional) Cocoa nibs 

Instructions

In a large bowl, mix the chia seeds with the canned full-fat coconut milk, unsweetened coconut milk, and cocoa powder together. Allow the mixture to sit for 15-20 minutes so that the chia seeds can absorb the coconut milk and the chia is a chewy texture reminiscent of tapioca pudding. 

Chop banana and squeeze lemon juice on top to reduce browning. 

Serve the chia pudding in mason jars by layering coconut flakes, chia pudding, banana, chia pudding, coconut flakes and cocoa nibs. Cover and refrigerate for up to five days. 

 

Elderberry Gummies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Elevated Elderberry Syrup (see recipe below) 
  • 2/3 cups of Vital Proteins Grass-fed Beef Gelatin

Method

In a medium bowl while the liquid is cold, combine the beef gelatin and elderberry syrup with a mixer. Once the elderberry and the beef gelatin are evenly combined transfer to a medium pot. On the stove heat through on low-medium but DO NOT boil. Take the pan off of the heat, then pour the mixture into a silicone mold of your choosing.  Transfer to the refrigerator to cool. After an hour, remove the gummies from the mold, and place in mason jars. Store in the refrigerator. 

Dr. Biller's Elevated Elderberry Syrup is a simple elderberry syrup recipe made with dried elderberries, hibiscus, astragalus bark, honey, and herbs for an immune boosting yummy syrup.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried black elderberry
  • ¼ cup dried hibiscus flower 
  • 1 ounce astragalus bark 
  • 4  cups of water
  • (optional) 2 teaspoons organic mulling cider spice 
  • 1 cup raw local honey or 100% Organic Raw Neem Honey

Instructions

Pour water into medium saucepan, and add elderberries, astragalus and mulling cider spice. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes, after 30 minutes add the hibiscus, cook for another 15 minutes until the liquid has reduced by almost half.  Macerate the berries and water mixture, then strain with a mesh strainer into a glass jar, or bowl. Discard the elderberries, hibiscus and astragalus, and let the liquid cool to room temperature.  When the mixture has cooled, add about 1 cup of honey, and stir well. Pour the syrup into a mason jar, or old maple syrup bottles, and place in the refrigerator.

 

Stores: 

  1. Trader Joe’s 
  2. Lazy Acres 
  3. Sur La Table 

Special Equipment: 

  1. Bleach-free parchment paper 
  2. Silicone mold 
  3. Mesh strainer 
  4. Glassware for storage 

Time: 4.5 hours including shopping time

Cost: $120 total for 23 meals, $5.22 per meal, plus whipped cream and elderberry gummies for an additional $27. 

Check out our Instagram @naturesciencemedicine for meal prep ideas

Make an appointment with us at Nature and Science Medicine to find ways to improve your health through diet, lifestyle, and mindfulness interventions alongside laboratory testing, supplementation, intramuscular therapy, and/or intravenous therapy.  

 

Recipes by Erin Rhae Biller, ND, a licensed naturopathic doctor, at Nature & Science Medicine.

Join Dr. Biller at the Gluten Free/Allergy Friendly Expo in Del Mar

Exciting News!!! Dr. Erin Rhae Biller, ND from Nature and Science Medicine will be presenting on allergies, food sensitivities/intolerances and inflammation at the Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo (GF/AF Expo) in Del Mar on Sunday, February, 11th from 1:30 - 2:30PM. Get all the details on the event in the link below!

If you can’t make the February class in Del Mar, no worries, she'll also be presenting in Arizona at the Southwest Expo from June 23-24, 2018, and the Northern California Expo from November 17-18, 2018.

Seed Cycling: A Wise Practice for Happy Hormones

What is seed cycling?

It’s the health practice of adding certain seeds and essential fatty acids to your diet with the aim to help your endocrine (hormone) system to find more balance.

Lignans in seeds have gentle phytohormone activity, which can help to mediate proper estrogen production and detoxification.  Seeds are also an excellent source of essential fats, vitamins and minerals--like zinc and selenium, which your body utilizes to produce healthy hormones.

During the first half of your menstrual cycle (days 1-14 or until ovulation), flax seeds and pumpkin seeds are used daily to help support healthy estrogen synthesis. The essential fatty acid during the first part of the menstrual cycle known as the follicular phase is fish oil with EPA and DHA.

During the second half of your cycle (days 15-28), sunflower and sesame seeds are used daily alongside fish oil and evening primrose oil/GLA to support progesterone and estrogen balance during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.

In general, most people start to notice positive changes after 3-4 cycles of seed cycling. 

To discuss seed cycling, dosing, specific how-to and why we recommend organic seeds, be sure to book an appointment with Dr. Erin Rhae Biller, ND, by visiting www.nsmedicine.com, or emailing us at info@nsmedicine.com.

Repost by Erin Rhae Biller, ND, a licensed naturopathic doctor, at Nature & Science Medicine.

Naturopathic Medicine for Warming Up to Winter

As the leaves dry, crackle, and fall to the ground, our bodies in turn react to the change in environment.  According to Ayurveda, an ancient form of medicine approximated to be 2000 to 5000 years old, when our bodies move into colder, milder weather this correlates to the 'Vata' dosha. 

 

What is a 'dosha' you ask?

A dosha is one of three energies derived from the five elements that are accepted by Ayurvedic practitioners and doctors to circulate and govern the physiological activity of the body. The three doshas are Vata, Pitta or Kapha. While each person can have a predominant dosha to be in healthy alignment, a person will be at equilibrium where the three doshas are synergistic. 

 

'Vata' is described as the dosha derived from space and air, 'Vata' controls movement specifically blood flow, waste elimination, respiration and the movement of thoughts, when 'Vata' gets out of balance dryness, flighty thoughts, constipation and miscommunciation occurs. Banyan Botanicals an Ayurveda products company notes that in 'Vata' works best with routine, warmth, serenity and nourishment.

 

To further support the body being balanced during this 'Vata' time of year. Here are some tried and true tips for using Naturopathic medicine to ease your way through winter:

 

Winter Solstice

The shortest day of the year in Earth's Northern hemisphere is the Winter Solstice or December 21st, this means we have less time with visible daylight.  While less daylight might be intriguing to you and working late hours might seem like a great way to combat the early sunset it is important this time of year of year to have an early bedtime as staying up too late can aggravate 'Vata'. 

 

As the weather cools  and continues to get colder it is important to increase the amount of warm foods in your diets by increasing the number of cooked foods you eat and add spices like cardamon, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, mustard seed, basal, bay, cloves and turmeric. It is even more necessary to keep the head and soles of your feet covered so as to not let cold into the body. 'Vata' needs warmth to remain stable and keep the body systems moving. 

 

Speaking of movement, let's talk exercise, even as the weather cools its equally important keep the body moving through physical exercise, be cautious not let the body get too cold during exercise. During this season its great to try gentle physical exercise like tai chi, qi gong, walking, yoga and mat pilates, or keep lymph moving by dry brushing daily. 

 

Support creativity and the harvest, keep your ideas flowing, talk to your friends on a long, gentle walk in nature,  orfind a creative outlet/hobby- whether that's beading, painting, baking or knitting-do an activity for you by you! 

 

#pumpkinspice

While it seems like there is pumpkin spice everything these days, from coffee to desserts, try avoiding the sugary version that can suppress the immune system, instead opt for whole pumpkin rich in provitamin A beta-carotene, vitamin A and vitamin C, even better try the following soup created by Nature & Science Nutritionist Kristy Malone, MA, NTP. 

 

Paleo Pumpkin Spice Soup

 

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients
1 medium whole butternut squash (or use 1½ lbs prepackaged cubed squash)
1 Granny Smith apple
1 medium yellow onion
5 garlic cloves
1 tsp. honey
1 lb. bacon
1 Tbsp. ghee (may sub coconut or avocado oil)
32 oz. chicken broth
1 c. pumpkin purée
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. sea salt and black pepper to taste
Optional: 2 scoops Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides (for added protein and to thicken)

 

Directions
1. Set your oven to 350 degrees. If using a whole squash, halve it lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out and discard seeds. Remove the skin with a vegetable peeler and cut into 1-inch cubes.

2. Cut the apple into wedges and coat the apples wedges and cubed squash in about 1 tsp olive oil, and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle honey over the apple slices.

3. On another baking sheet, lay out the bacon strips. Bake all for 20-25 min at 350 degrees (for crispier bacon, leave in the oven for an additional 5-10 min).

4. While the apple, squash, and bacon are cooking, chop the onion and garlic. In a large pot, heat the ghee over medium heat until hot but not smoking and sauté the onion and garlic until soft and slightly browned.

5. Add the chicken broth, pureéd pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, salt, pepper, baked apples and squash, and one strip of bacon. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 3-5 minutes.

6. Remove from heat, add collagen if using, and then use an immersion blender or transfer mixture to a blender (multiple batches may be needed) to blend all ingredients thoroughly until texture is smooth and consistent. Serve hot and top with crumbled bacon and a dash of pumpkin pie spice. 

Modifications

Vegan: Sub maple syrup for honey, omit bacon and add additional 1/4 tsp salt, sub coconut oil for ghee, sub vegetable broth for chicken broth, and omit collagen.

Vegetarian: Omit bacon and add additional ¼ tsp salt.

Dairy-free: Sub coconut oil for ghee.

 

To talk more in-depth about Ayurveda, doshas, balancing your dosha, or how to live more in alignment with Naturopathic Medicine for optimal health with the changing season, book an appointment with Erin Rhae Biller at Nature &Science Medicine.

 

For more information, visit www.naturesciencemedicine.com or email us at info@naturesciencemedicine.com 

By Erin Rhae Biller, NMD, BA, a naturopathic medical assistant, at Nature & Science Medicine. 

 

Sources: 

Ayurveda 101 from Eat Taste Heal: http://www.eattasteheal.com/ayurveda101/ETH_ayurveda101.htm

Understanding Vata,  www.mapi.com/ayurvedic-knowledge/doshas/vata.html

Balancing Vata, https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/ayurvedic-living/learning.../balancing-vata/

BodhiMed, Ancient Medicine for Modern Health, http://www.bodhimed.com/bodhimed-health/177-magical-vata-digestive-spice-mix

4 ways to look and feel relaxed for the Holidays

Re-Blog by Verena Eckstein

 

It’s November already and we’re all back to school, to work, and to our hectic daily schedules. The pace has picked up and our faces start to show it. Recently, while practicing yoga, I looked up at the mirror and saw a total stranger staring back at me! Who was this woman with a scowl on her face, a deep wrinkle in her forehead? I was shocked to see what I looked like when I was focused and concentrated. This was yoga after all!

 

Class ended with one of my favorites—a complete body scan. It goes like this: lying on our yoga mats, the instructor slowly brings attention to each muscle starting with the toes and ending with the head. He/she asks us to release all tension. As I did, I realized I was holding my breath, clenching my jaw. Around the room I could feel the wave of relaxation as we all shifted into Savasana, the resting pose of yoga practice.

There is an incredible power in being mindful, of completely being in the moment and aware of body and mind. It helps make us conscious of the tightness with which we carry ourselves - in our muscles, jaw, neck, forehead – and allows us to prevent repetitive expressions from becoming etched in our skin.

 

PREVENTION IS THE BEST MEDICINE

The best cream can only help the appearance of our skin so much; how we live and care for ourselves on a day-to-day basis has a huge effect on our skin and mimic. So here are 4 steps to help prevent those squint and frown lines:

 

1. Mindfulness- release that tension: Take a few minutes every day to do a complete scan of your body. Feel every muscle from head to toe. Where am I holding tension? Am I taking deep breaths? Are my eyes relaxed? My jaw? Is my tongue tensely pressed against the roof of my mouth?

Tip: Now that fall is here, I love taking evening baths while practicing my mindfulness breathing and tension release. I add in about one pound of Epsom salts, and the magnesium from the salts helps my muscles relax even more.

 

2. Living in sunny San Diego, sunglasses are a must to prevent squinting and unnecessary facial tension. If you notice you squint and wrinkle your forehead while reading or out in the sun, wearing reading glasses and/or sunglasses can really help relax those straining muscles.

 

3. Massage your face. In the evening, loosen those tight muscles with a gentle facial massage while washing your face. I often start with the pressure point between my eyes, and then stroke in an upward fashion toward my forehead, then moving in circular motions along my cheeks and chin.

Tip: A major plus of getting a professional facial is the massage.

 

4. Keep your skin hydrated: A good eye cream is a must. I use Doctor Eckstein Eye Balm Supreme. For something lighter in consistency, try Eye Gel Supreme, and if you want the richest most potent eye product, I recommend Eye Cream Supreme

 

For timeless beauty, 

Verena Eckstein 


Read more about wellness and skincare,  and view original post at: www.thebiokosmetikblog.com

To help you look and feel your best for the holidays contact Nature & Science Medicine. Customized treatments can include professional facials, nutritional IV therapy, massage, acupuncture, and naturopathic medicine. 

Why Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of the Day

     It is often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and couldn't agree more.  I remember when I used to experience the mid-afternoon crash a few hours after lunch, with my brain so foggy that all I wanted to do was take a nap. I would have a chocolate stash in my desk just so I could keep myself going. I thought this was normal, or at least it seemed pretty common. 

     Breakfast is particularly important in terms of blood sugar regulation and stimulating metabolism. High carbohydrate breakfast foods like waffles, pancakes, french toast, pastries, breakfast cereal, and bagels might be delicious, but they are better viewed as desserts than as breakfast food, and are not an ideal way to start the day. When we eat foods that are high in refined sugar and carbohydrates, they are broken down and absorbed as glucose, which sends our blood sugar soaring. This then triggers the release of insulin, a hormone that moves glucose into storage as fat or into muscle tissue for later use. Because our blood sugar was abnormally high, it will now dip much lower once the insulin has completed its job. This is why we feel hungry, maybe even "hangry" or shaky within two hours of eating breakfast, and we crave what.... more carbs! So we reach for a mid-morning bagel, a granola bar, or some other high carbohydrate snack, and thus the cycle of dysregulated blood sugar continues. The other consequence of this unhealthy cycle is excess weight as our bodies becomes dependent on glucose for fuel rather than burning fat.

     A question I frequently get from my clients when discussing this topic is "So, what do you eat for breakfast?" It varies, but I might make pasture raised organic eggs with avocado and salsa or basil pesto; an egg scramble with sweet potato, spinach, and preservative-free chicken sausage; or a protein smoothie. Like I tell my clients, it's great if you can get leafy greens into every meal, including breakfast. I vary my meals based on the seasons and what I feel my body needs, but I always make sure to start the day with healthy fats and protein. I do this to boost my fat metabolism, versus eating something that's going to spike my blood sugar and increase fat storage. I tailor dietary recommendations to each individual client based on their lifestyle and their body's unique needs, which means the foods that's best for you might be different than what's best for me.

     Check out my Pumpkin Spice Protein Smoothie recipe below-- it's low in sugar and high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats. It's also DE-licious (no, you can't taste the spinach) and keeps me full for hours. Definitely a fall favorite!

 

Pumpkin Spice Protein Smoothie

(Makes 1 serving)

·      ½ cup Organic pureed pumpkin

·      1 Scoop chocolate protein powder (I use Garden of Life brand Organic Plant Protein)

·      1 Tbsp. Almond butter

·      3 Walnuts

·      Handful of fresh spinach

·      Pumpkin pie spice to taste

·      2 Ice cubes

·      Optional: 1 Scoop Collagen Peptides (by Vital Proteins). Collagen promotes good digestive health, joint health, and strengthens hair and nails. 

Blend all well and serve immediately.

 

*Nutritionist Tip: For a smoothie or other liquid food like soup, be sure to "chew" your liquids well and allow your food to spend some time in your mouth where  digestive enzymes in your saliva can begin the breakdown process for better nutrient absorption and digestion.

 

By Kristy Malone, MS, NTP

Editors: Dr. Nikodemas McNulty, ND and Verena Eckstein

Trick or Treat with the Nutritionist

     When it comes to nutrition there is a LOT of information out there, and not all of it is accurate or health promoting. In the spirit (pun intended) of Halloween, we're going to debunk some common nutrition myths that "trick" people, and I'll share one of my favorite treat recipes. 

Trick: Weight management is simply a matter of calories in and calories out.

     It's a common misconception that the key to a healthy weight is ensuring that the amount of calories consumed are equivalent or less than the amount of calories burned. Just ask anyone who has ever tried and failed to lose weight through a calorie-restricted diet. In reality it's not the amount of calories that matter as much as the quality and the nutrient content.

     The standard American diet (or "SAD"— and indeed it is!) is deficient in nutritious whole foods, and instead is heavy in processed foods containing preservatives, artificial food dyes, artificial sweeteners, highly refined vegetable oils and genetically modified ingredients. These ingredients are not suitable fuel for our bodies and are associated with weight gain and a host of chronic health issues. For example, half of an avocado is roughly 160 calories and is loaded with nutrients; while a package of Hostess Twinkie Bites is only 100 calories, contains little nutritious value, and has over 40 highly processed ingredients.

     Instead of restricting calories, start avoiding heavily processed foods, and try increasing the colors you eat. I encourage my clients to "eat the rainbow" by getting as many vibrant colors on a plate as they can. For example, picture a delicious grilled wild-caught salmon fillet over greens with cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots, sliced avocado, and a baked sweet potato with grass-fed butter. Now picture your standard pre-packaged frozen meal that's labeled as "low-calorie" and "low-fat".  There aren't many colors, and these meals are loaded with preservatives and artificial flavors designed to imitate the taste of real food. While this meal might be significantly lower in calories than the salmon meal, it is far less nutrient dense, not likely to keep you full for long, and is not conducive to a sustainable healthy weight. Don't be tricked into counting calories—treat your body to real food!

 

Trick: Low-fat diets will help you lose weight.

     Now this is a scary one! While the low-fat fad that gained popularity in the 90's has largely been rejected by the scientific community, many people still have difficulty letting go of the idea that eating fat is going to make them fat. The data shows that rates of obesity and diabetes among Americans only increased during the low-fat craze, so clearly it didn't work for us.

     The truth is that dietary fat is crucial for overall health as well as for weight management. Fat makes us feel satiated because it makes food taste good, takes longer to digest, and serves as slow-burning fuel for sustained energy. If you've ever tried a low-fat diet you probably remember feeling frequently hungry and unsatisfied. The other problem is that when fat is lacking in the diet, we tend to run more on sugar and refined carbohydrates, which only causes the body to hold onto fat while leading to blood sugar dysregulation, energy crashes, and cravings. Fat is also crucial for a healthy gallbladder, hormone balance, and detoxification. Some good sources of quality fat to treat yourself to are coconut oil, olive oil, pastured eggs (always eat the yolks!), nuts and seeds, avocados, grass-fed butter, full-fat organic dairy, pastured meats and wild-caught fish.

 

Treat: My Grain-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies!

     I truly believe that food is meant to be enjoyed, and treats are an important part of a healthy lifestyle. However, in order to "treat" your body rather than "trick" it with highly processed foods that will only leave you feeling sick I recommend being selective about what you indulge in, and making treats yourself is the best way to do that. These cookies are gluten-free, grain-free, and can be modified to be dairy-free. But do they taste good? All I can say is that I've never had trouble getting rid of a batch, or seen anyone stop at just one cookie! While not sugar free, this recipe uses minimally-processed whole food ingredients that include healthy fats and fiber.

 

Grain-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes approximately one dozen 

Ingredients:

2 medium sized bananas

1/2 cup cashew butter

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup coconut flour

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/3 cup chocolate chips

 

Directions

Mash the bananas until liquified with a fork or food processor, then add the rest of the ingredients and stir well until combined. Roll into balls and place onto a greased cookie sheet, then use a spatula to push them flat, as they will not expand at all—they will come out exactly the same size and shape as they go in. Sprinkle additional sea salt on top of the cookies, then cook 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees. Be sure not to overcook! They will still seem doughy when the timer goes off, but you don’t want to cook them beyond the slightest hint of browning around the edges.

These cookies will remain soft and store very well for days. This recipe can easily be modified to be dairy-free by omitting the butter and adding an additional 1/4 cup of cashew butter, and by using dairy free chocolate chips.

 

By Kristy M. Malone, MS, NTP  

Editors: Dr. Nikodemas McNulty, ND and Verena Eckstein

 

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Meta-analysis+of+prospective+cohort+studies+evaluating+the+association+of+saturated+fat+with+cardiovascular+disease

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24723079http://www.foodandnutritionresearch.net/index.php/fnr/article/view/5144

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/magazine/the-extraordinary-science-of-junk-food.html?pagewanted=all&_r=4&

http://www.uncommon-wellness.com/grain-free-chocolate-chip-cookies.html

 

Powerful Plants: Bitters for Your Bowels

Absinthe has gained a reputation as a dangerous, hallucinatory substance, but that is far from its original use as a bitter. Made with wormwood, green anise and fennel, absinthe was originally intended for use in small quantities as an aperitif, a liqueur consumed before meals to help stimulate digestion. While the absinthe available today may or may not contain the same ingredients, these botanical herbs are still used to aid digestive issues.

Aperitifs and digestifs have been consumed for centuries in Europe. In Germany they are known as Kräuterlikör or “herb liqueur” and in Italy as Amaro, which literally means “bitter.” In Italy, the popular liquor Aperol is an aperitif that contains bitter orange, cinchona and gentian, one of the strongest botanical bitters. 

These liqueurs are called bitters because the herbs have a bitter taste that stimulate your gallbladder to release bile, triggering the digestive process. The reason for this mechanism is that if someone ingests a bitter plant there is a high likelihood that it is poisonous, so the body responds by speeding up the digestive process to ensure the potentially toxic plant moves through the system as quickly as possible.

Today, bitter herbs are still used medicinally for digestive complaints, such as gas, bloating, constipation and indigestion. By increasing the activity of your bowels, bitters can be an effective way to combat constipation, low appetite, nausea, gas and bloating.

Do you sometimes experience gastric irritation? Here are three herbs commonly recommended:

  1. Anise (Artemisia absinthium) — A carminative, which decreases abdominal cramping, gas and bloating.  It has a sweet, aromatic taste that resembles black licorice. It is available in herbal form as a tea or in a tincture to be taken orally.
  2. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) — A bitter to stimulate digestion and decrease constipation. This flowering herb has a pungent smell and grows wild in fields almost anywhere in the world. Its leaves and flowers can be dried and used as a tea or made into a tincture.
  3. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) — A carminative, which decreases abdominal cramping, gas and bloating. It is a pleasant-smelling, flowering plant originally from the Mediterranean. Its seeds can be made into a tea or a tincture.

 

To receive a custom herbal formulation for your digestive symptoms contact Dr. McNulty

 

By Nikodemas McNulty, ND and Verena Eckstein

Powerful Plants: 8 Herbs to Beat the Blues and Boost Your Mood

Ancient Chinese and Egyptian written recordings describe medicinal uses for plants as early as 3,000 B.C.E. Today more and more people are looking to herbs to reach an optimal state of health and wellness. 

According to Nikodemas McNulty, ND, a first-year resident at Bastyr University Clinic, it is possible to boost your mood and beat the blues using herbs. In his practice, he often prescribes the following herbal remedies for patients with minor depression, nervousness and stress:

  • St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum), is one of the most extensively studied herbs for mental health. It is thought to be the most effective for mild to moderate depression, anxiety and seasonal affective disorder. Hypericum may take upward of four weeks for you to feel its effects.
  • Milky Oat (Avena sativa), is thought to feed and strengthen the nervous system. It is especially good for people who are emotionally and physically rundown due to fatigue, anxiety and depression.
  • Lavender (Lavendula officinalis), has been used throughout the ages to calm and soothe the nervous system. Its essential oils are believed to reduce stress headaches when inhaled and it is often used to relax the nervous system and reduce insomnia.
  • Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis), is thought to lift the spirits and work as a mild anti-depressant by reducing restlessness, palpitations, anxiety and headaches. It is often used to treat these condition in hyperthyroidism patients but should be used with caution in individuals living with hypothryoidism.
  • Chamomile (Matricaria recutita), often enjoyed as a nighttime tea has been used throughout time as a mild nervous system sedative.
  • Wu Wei Zi (Schisandra chinensis), also known as the Chinese five flavors herb, works as an adaptogen to allow the nervous system and the adrenal glands to adapt and deal with physiologic stress in the body.
  • Passionflower (Passiflora incarnate), is very soothing and has a sedative effect. This herb is good for anxious people and those living with insomnia as it has a depressant effect on central nervous system activity.
  • Kava Kava (Piper methyisticum), works as a sedative to calm the nervous system and reduce nervousness and stress. This herb should be used with caution in high doses if you have liver issues.

To receive a custom herbal formulation to boost your mood contact Dr. McNulty.

By Dr. Nikodemas McNulty, ND and Erin Rhae Biller

Powerful Plants to Beat the Flu

Are your co-workers and friends getting sick? Worried you’ll be next? Luckily, there are ways to boost your immune system and reduce the chances of getting sick – herbs. 

For thousands of years, herbs have been used to treat illness as well as prevent it. A crucial factor to avoid getting sick this winter is prevention: supporting your body’s natural immune function so that it can keep you healthy. Echinacea and elder are two herbs that can help strengthen immune function and help prevent you from coming down with the flu. 

Why Echinacea and Elder work

Echinacea stimulates the immune system. It is antimicrobial and regulates inflammation. It is best when used daily during cold and flu season for prevention of illness. 

Elder comes from elderberries and contains proanthocyanadins, which are anti-microbial and also boost the function of the immune system. It also contains antioxidant flavonoids that protect cells and fight off invaders. Elder has been used for hundreds of years as a flu treatment.  Research has shown improvement of flu symptoms with elder due to its anti-viral effects. Elder works best when taken within 24 hours of symptom onset.

Why not antibiotics?

The flu, as well as the common cold, is caused by viruses. Antibiotics are able to kill bacteria, but not viruses. Antibiotics would only be necessary if your flu progressed to a bacterial infection.

How to use them

Elderberry or Echinacea Tea: perfect for those crisp winter nights.

  • Available prepackaged at your local health food store.
  • Make your own tea by steeping 1 tablespoon of dried herb in 1 cup of water. Try mixing in ginger, cinnamon, clove or other herbs for added flavor.

Elderberry Syrup: so delicious you’ll want to take it year-round! This syrup can be refrigerated in a sealed jar for up to three months.

  • Add 1 cup elderberries to 2 cups of boiling water. Simmer for 30 minutes.  Consider adding cinnamon, clove, or minced fresh ginger for added health benefit and taste.
  • Strain out berries and return liquid to pan.
  • Mix in ½ cup honey.
  • Enjoy 1 tablespoon daily for immune support. 

Echinacea and elder are also available as supplements and tinctures online and at health food stores.

To help beat the flu this winter season contact Dr. McNulty. 

By Dr. Nikodemas McNulty, ND and Verena Eckstein