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Masala Chai with Green Tea

Chai tea mix

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 10 mL cardamom pods (24 -26 pods)
  • 3- 3 inch cinnamon sticks
  • 2-3 star anise
  • 2 tsp cloves
  • 1 ½ tsp red peppercorns
  • ¾ cup green tea

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°
2. On a cutting board and using a sharp knife, cut the cardamom pods in half. Place on a baking sheet along with the peppercorns, star anise, cloves and cinnamon. Toast in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until the spices are fragrant. Remove and cool.
3. Crush spices lightly with a rolling pin or in a mortar and pestle. You may have to crumble the cinnamon stick with your hands or chop roughly on a cutting board.
4. In a bowl, toss the spices, and tea together until blended. Spoon into your container of choice such as a mason jar or fill single use tea loose leaf tea bags.
Chai spices

 

 

 

 

Brewing Instructions- To make 1 cup:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of non-dairy milk (I like almond milk)
  • 1 tablespoon of chai Mix placed into a tea bag
  • Sugar or honey to taste (1 tsp-1 tbsp)

Bring the water and milk to a boil over medium heat and add the spices. Reduce temperature to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Mix in the sweetener, and turn off the heat. Strain spices using a fine mesh over your cup.  Enjoy!

Roasted Holiday Nuts

Holiday nut, healthy snack

My family is always looking for something to snack on over the holidays and this snack satisfies those with both salty and sweet cravings. Rosemary is the star of this recipe and it’s a great herb for digestion.  Rosemary has been use for stomach problems such as dyspepsia (indigestion), stomach cramps, bloating, and constipation. It can even help somewhat with memory and concentration. Pregnant and breastfeeding patients should be cautious with rosemary in large quantities, other than what would be considered normal in your diet. If you’re not sure, consult with your healthcare provider.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw unsalted nuts (suggestion: 1 cup walnuts, 1 cup almonds)
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar (substitutions: brown sugar, or maple syrup)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 1/2 tbsp butter (organic is best)

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spread the nuts out evenly on parchment paper and bake for 8-10 minutes.
2. While the nuts are baking prepare the sauce. Melt the butter on low heat. Remove from heat and stir in the salt, sugar, and rosemary.
3. Remove the nuts and allow to cool briefly. Place the nuts in a bowl, pour the sauce on top, and evenly coat.
4. Return nuts to the parchment paper, spreading them out evenly on the baking sheet.
5. Bake the nuts for 10-12 minutes, until the nuts have a nice golden colour. Check after 5 minutes to make sure they aren’t burning as some ovens run hot.
6. Remove from heat and let cool before serving.

Adapted from Oh She Glows

Restore your Digestion, Restore your Health

A functioning digestive system is the foundation for health. When the digestive system isn’t working properly, other systems stop working correctly as well. Abdominal pain, excess gas, constipation, diarrhea, anxiety, brain fog, fatigue, malaise, arthritis, and itchy skin could indicate that your digestive system isn’t working correctly. An impaired digestive system has also been linked to multiple conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and autoimmune conditions. Torestore health to my patients I prioritize supporting intestinal health and restoring the integrity of the intestinal barrier.

Our modern lifestyle damages our digestive system and leads to microbial imbalance, which is often referred to as dysbiosis. Dysbiosis is caused by the use of antibiotics, NSAIDs, stress, infections, food sensitivities, and highly refined diets. The consequences of dysbiosis include the loss of beneficial bacteria, vitamin production, and protection from the outside world.

The average adult have about 10 times more bacterial cells than human cells. These bacteria make up what is called the microbiota. The microbiota serve many important functions that benefit humans. These bacteria are able to break down food that we would not be able to otherwise digest. They serve to help protect us from bacteria that cause disease. Bacteria also produce some vitamins such as biotin and vitamin K.

To restore your digestion first remove the factors that cause dysbiosis such as food sensitivities. Restoring your beneficial bacteria is another important step, and this is done by consuming fermented foods or by taking a high-quality probiotic. Foods that contain probiotics include yogurt, kombucha, miso, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi.

It can be complicated restoring your digestion. Often it’s best to ask for assistance from your local naturopath who can help you develop the best way to address your digestive concerns. Book an appointment or a FREE 15 minute consultation with me to discuss your health goals.

Energy Bites

Date, almond, walnuts ballsThe energy bars that you buy in the stores are often full of unhealthy ingredients and are often loaded with sugar. Even though many energy bars might be found in health food stores, don’t mistake them for being healthy. The following recipe for energy balls make healthy and nutritious snacks and can be made into bars for a healthy energy bar alternative.

Ingredients:
½ cup raw unsalted almonds
½ cup raw unsalted walnuts
1 cup medjool dates, pitted
1 cup shredded organic coconut
2 tbsp cacao powder
Shredded coconut for rolling (optional)

Directions
1) In a food processor add the almonds and walnuts until finely ground. Add the dates, coconut, and cocoa powder. Grind to a fine meal.
2) Form into balls and squeeze to make more compact balls. Roll in shredded coconut. Store in the refrigerate for up to a week.

 

Eczema and your Child

Eczema is a common childhood skin condition that is characterized by being extremely itchy. The skin is typically dry, with redness or loss of colour. In adults eczema affects flexor surfaces such as the elbow and behind the knees. In infants and children the face, scalp, and limbs are affected and the rash can be oozing and crusting in appearance. The most common type of eczema is atopic dermatitis, and these two terms are often used interchangeably.

Eczema is thought to be caused by the immune system overreacting to an irritant. That irritant may be exposure to chemicals such as household cleaners, detergents, or environmental allergens such as animal dander and dust mites. There is frequently a family history of eczema, asthma, and allergies. Stress is another important contributing cause. Stress causes the release of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol increases inflammation in the body, aggravating eczema.

Naturopathic medicine offers many valuable strategies for managing eczema. A naturopathic approach will consider the diet, nutrition, immune system and stress. Avoiding food sensitivities and allergies is important for managing eczema. Your food sensitivities need to be discovered if you are breastfeeding and your infant has eczema. Some common food allergens include gluten, dairy, and soy. Adequate digestion is also important to help reduce reoccurrence, and gut healing needs to be considered in many cases. A strong immune system is also helpful for treating and reducing the reoccurrence of eczema. Brightly coloured vegetables and fruits are rich in bioflavonoids that will help boost the immune system. Avoid giving your child sugar and sugary drinks such as juice because sugar can depress the immune system. Reducing stress by such methods as meditation and yoga can help to reduce the reoccurrence and severity of eczema.

To help decrease the itch and improve dry skin, applying lotions, oils, and creams after a shower is recommended to help lock in the moisture. Natural creams with coconut oil, cocoa butter, and Shea butter can be helpful. Oats can help calm the skin and can reduce the itch, and an oatmeal bath is a treatment your child may enjoy. To make an oatmeal bath, cut off the foot of a panty hose or use cheesecloth, add 2 cups of oats (non-instant), and tie the panty hose together. Steep the oats in boiling water and pour the water and panty hose into the bath.  Ensure you test the bath temperature before placing your child in it.

If you or your child are suffering from eczema, book an appointment in order to properly manage this condition with an individualized treatment plan.

References:

Rakel, David. Integrative Medicine, 3rdedition. Elsevier.

Atopic Dermatitis. Clinical Key. https://ezproxy.ccnm.edu:2402/#!/ContentPlayerCtrl/doPlayContent/21-s2.0-1014853/{“scope”:”all”,”query”:”eczema