Thursday, January 27, 2011

Calling Dr. Broccoli

It's cold season and a time when we should be protecting our bodies as much as possible in order to stay healthy.  While the cold weather itself doesn't cause us to get sick, there are many things about the season that do. 
  • We're spending more time indoors within close proximity to other people who may be infected.
  • There is a lack of humidity in the air which allows germs to stick around longer. 
  • Vitamin D is an immune system regulator and many of us are getting much less sun exposure this time of year.
Besides the age old advice of residual hand washing and keeping your hands away from your eyes, nose and face, food is the worlds first medicine and can help as a defense against colds.  I whipped up the soup recipe below the other day knowing that broccoli is a Vitamin C powerhouse.  1/2 cup of cooked broccoli contains 80% of your recommended daily dose.  As an added bonus, I added in a few cloves of antioxidant rich garlic cloves to further give my immune system a boost.  Another bonus is that the soup was hearty enough to stand alone as a dinner and kept me full for the evening. 

Creamy Broccoli Garlic Soup
  • 1 Tbls olive oil
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 1/8 Tsp of crushed red pepper
  • 2-3 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 2 cups of veggie broth
  • 1 1/2 bunches of broccoli chopped (florets and stems)
  • 1 large russet potato (peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 ounces of cheese of your choice
  1. Heat oil in large saucepan over med heat.  Add onion, red pepper, and garlic and cook until onion is soft.  (about 4 min)
  2. Add veggie broth, broccoli, potato, 2 cups of water, salt and pepper into saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer until veggies are tender (about 20 min)
  3. In a blender or food processor, puree soup until smooth.  Add in water if necessary.  
  4. Top with cheese and serve
This recipe packs about 164mg of calcium. 

What are your go to healing foods during the winter months?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Worth the gag: Apple Cider Vinegar

I've been fighting a sinus infection for a few days and am pretty headstrong when it comes to using natural remedies.  I wanted to share my latest find.  Apple Cider Vinegar.  Hippocrates, the father of medicine, was said to have only used 2 remedies for ailments: apple cider vinegar and honey.  I heard this and thought, it must be good.  The research proved true.  This is what I found:

Apple cider vinegar plays host to a gamut of vitamins, beta-carotene, pectin and vital minerals such as potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, chlorine, sulphur, iron, and fluorine.

In layman's terms, it helps reduce bad choloesterol, regulate blood pressure, extracts calcium from other foods that you consume, helps with ailments such as hair loss, weak fingernails, brittle teeth, sinusits, (gasp for more air) runny noses, joint pain, contstipation, headaches, arthiritis, weak bones, indigestion, diarrhea, exzema, sore eyes, chronic fatigue, mild food poisoning,  It also helps break down fat, helps maintain firmer skin, fights fungal and bacterial infections.

Ummm...can you say Wonder Drug?!!!

So how in the world should one choke this not so pleasant elixir down?  I've been putting 2 tbs into a glass of chilled water, holding my nose and shooting it.  Yes, this does produce a bit of an unattractive gagging effect.  (Do this in private.) An option is to add a little honey to that concoction to sweeten it up a bit, but I prefer to take the hard core attack and just get it over with.

You can also take a more subtle approach but mixing it with a little olive oil, honey and using it as a dressing on your salads. 

Word of caution.  Apple cider vinegar is an acid and if taken on an empty stomach may cause a burning sensation.  (I learned this the hard way).  Be sure there's some food in the belly and follow with lots of H2O.  Also, be careful not to fall for that clear, sparkling, nutrition deprived apple cider vinegar found on most grocery store shelves.  You've got to go with the organic, unfiltered, nutrient rich version as mother nature intended.  Otherwise, your gagging will be done in vain.  

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Emergency Guacamole

I stumbled upon this recipe today that involves putting Emergen-C into guacamole! I usually load up on Emergen-C packs when I'm feeling under the weather. I've never thought to incorporate it into foods. It reminds me of the crushed up vitamins in the applesauce trick that my mom used on us growing up. Brilliant!

Check it out, supposedly it slows down the oxidation process as well and keeps your guac greener longer.

Emergency Guacamole

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Pain in the....?

Vacation is over which means that you are back to work, back to stress, and for many, back to sitting at a desk or standing on their feet for a majority of the day.  Chronic pain, especially back pain, can make these long hours miserable.  As our good friend Hippocrates said, "Let thy food by thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food."

Chronic pain is caused by inflammation in the body.  Your diet can make or break you on this one.  If your are experiencing pain, experiment with the following:

Eliminate or lessen these foods in your diet:
Saturated fats (animal fats)
Processed food
Fast food

Increase these foods:
 Foods high in omega 3 fatty acids (like salmon)
Nuts (Walnuts are great)
Leafy green vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli)
Brightly colored veggies
Olive Oil
Green Tea
Fruits and Berries

What you are putting into your mouth on a daily basis has everything to do with how you feel throughout the day.  Does anyone have a story of how "food has been thy medicine"?  Share!  

In health,


Joanie Johnson, HC


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Diets and Resolutions= FAIL!

Ahh that time of year when everyone gets determined to get healthy, lose weight, spend less money, save more, spend more time with the family...the list goes on.

And if you are like a majority of the population, the list soon disappears and 2011 is just like any other year.

My recommendation?    Don't make resolutions.  Sit down, evaluate what worked and what didn't in the last year, why on both accounts and set a list of top 10 goals.  At the beginning of 2010, I worked through a book called "Your Best Year Yet" by Jinny S. Dizler in conjunction with a goals group that I belong to.  I swear to you that everything that when on that list became magic and yes, it got accomplished.  2010 really was my best year yet and I'm currently drafting 2011.

Resolutions are kind of like diets.  They fail us every time.  Here's a link to the book on Amazon.

If you decide to use it, let me know!  I'm happy to cheer you on! 

In 2011 health,


Joanie Johnson, HC