Tag Archives: holistic

Top 10 Healing Herbs and Spices

15 Dec

“Let food be thy medicine and thy medicine be food.” ~Hippocrates

Roasted Curried Cauliflower courtesy of NomNom Paleo. Find the recipe here.

Roasted Curried Cauliflower courtesy of NomNom Paleo. Find the recipe here.

As I watched “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” I remembered how many healing herbs and spices are present in Indian cuisine. Herbs and spices not only add flavor and pizzazz to vegetables and meats, but they serve as a halo for your health too. There is a reason why some of the oldest cultures in the world use these spices and herbs in their daily cooking. I listed them below in no particular order, but for the benefit of eating to your good health. Cheers!

1. Cayenne: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, cancer-fighting properties, increases metabolism and stabilizes blood sugar levels.

2. Garlic: antioxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, increases heart health and wards off vampires

3. Tumeric: aids digestion, anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting properties

4. Ginger: aids digestion, anti-inflammatory and soothes upset stomach

5. Oregano: anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and antioxidant

6. Cinnamon: increases heart health, stabilizes blood sugar levels, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and high in fiber

7. Cloves: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-bacterial

8. Coriander Seeds: aids digestion, antioxidant, anti-bacterial and calms mood

9. Sage: increases brain power and mood, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, stabilizes blood sugar levels and cancer-fighting properties

10. Rosemary: decreases fatigue and increases brain power

 

Word of Caution: as awesome as these herbs and spices are, it is always critical to consult your doctor or health care practitioner to ensure they don’t interfere with your medication or health issues. For example, some of their healing properties do include thinning the blood and dilating blood vessels.

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Slow Down… and Push Up

27 Oct

Oh, the push up. Love it or hate it, this exercise is pure gold. It strengthens many muscles at once, is extremely efficient when time is limited, can be easily modified for various injuries or strength levels and requires no equipment. Hooray!

In order to create the magical win-win for your body, it is muy importante to slow down, engage the abdominals and focus on bending the elbows to lower the body as opposed to collapsing into the shoulder blades. Shall we have a run at it?

1. Place your hands on the floor underneath your shoulders (or place hands on the wall or railing for a modified version). Shift weight back into your heels, draw your belly button towards your spine, tuck your tailbone and keep your shoulder blades wide and head in neutral (see Figure 1). This is your starting position.

Figure 4

Figure 1: Start position

2. Inhale and slowly lower (2 counts) your entire body towards the ground as one unit by bending the elbows (the elbows will point back at a 45 degree angle away from your torso). Keep the shoulders wide and head neutral. Stop once your chest is about a fist distance away from the ground (see Figure 2).

Figure 5

Figure 2: Lowering position

3. Exhale and slowly push your body up as one unit to the start position.

4. Perform 10 reps or as many as you can do with proper form.

Using a secure wall, railing or table works well to modify the exercise (see Figure 3). If you would like to increase difficulty, you may slow the tempo down even more, increase reps to 20 or place your feet on an elevated surface.

Figure 2: Modified Push Up

Figure 3: Modified push up on secure desk

Regardless of what you do, be certain you have proper form and stop the exercise if you feel any pain. It is always ideal to have the expertise of a certified personal trainer to ensure proper form and programming are achieved for your unique needs and goals. And remember, before you start any exercise program, please get the A-OK from your physician.

 

For your customized exercise and nutrition program, please contact me at 402-819-8970 or stephsbell@yahoo.com.

Hearty Chicken Soup with Basil Oil

15 Sep

IMG_1956Soup is the ultimate comfy cozy food. This healthy take on an old-fashioned favorite, Chicken Noodle Soup, is Danielle Walker’s recipe (her recipes and her story are amazing, so please check her out). I added more vegetables and topped it with basil oil for dimension. When I’m in a time crunch, it helps to buy a rotisserie chicken and let it cool before shredding it (which is a perfect time to chop the carrots, celery and onion).

Chicken Soup Ingredients:

1 roasted free range chicken or 3 chicken breasts, hormone and antibiotic free, cooked and shredded

8-10 celery stalks, chopped

8 carrots, chopped

1 small white or yellow onion, diced

6 cups low sodium chicken broth (I like Pacific Foods brand)

1 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp dried thyme

2 tsp dried oregano

1 bay leaf

2 lbs zucchini

 

Basil Oil Ingredients:

2 cups basil, tightly packed

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp garlic powder

 

Directions:

1. Shred cooked chicken into bite size pieces or cubes and place in large stock pot. Then, add cleaned and chopped celery and carrots, diced onion, chicken broth, sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, thyme, oregano and bay leaf. Cover, bring to a boil and simmer for 25 minutes.

2. While pot is simmering, use a mandoline slicer to julienne cut cleaned zucchini (you can peel the zucchini prior to cutting if you want it to look more like noodles). Set zucchini “noodles” aside.

3. Now make the basil oil, adding basil, olive oil, salt and garlic to a food processor. Blend, place in an air-tight container and set aside.

4. Once the 25 minutes is finished, add the zucchini and continue simmering for another 8 minutes.

5. When soup is finished (total of 33 minutes on the stove), remove the bay leaf, spoon soup into the bowls, drizzle with basil oil and feel all warm and cozy!

Serves 6-8