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recipes

  • Those that follow my teaching know about my passion for educating my patients and readers why they must avoid all foods in the Nightshade genre because of their known contribution to inflammation. Keep in mind that inflammation is inflammation; in your mouth, joints, ligaments, soft tissue and elsewhere.

    Scientists estimate that by 2025, the number of Americans with an inflammatory disorder/disease will reach 50 million. Arthritis, fibromyalgia and joint disease affect 43 million people in the United States, almost 20 percent of the population. This number is expected to surpass 60 million by 2020. Most of these inflammatory disorders can be either eradicated or significantly reduced simply by proper nutrition—understanding that we are what we eat!

    Mechanisms Of Inflammation
    Inflammation is the body's protective response to injury and/or infection; it is a complex process involving many cell types, as well as different components of blood. The inflammatory process works quickly to destroy and eliminate foreign and damaged cells, and to isolate the infected or injured tissues from the rest of the body. Inflammatory disorders arise when inflammation becomes uncontrolled—causing destruction of healthy tissue. There are dozens of inflammatory disorders. Many occur when the immune system mistakenly triggers inflammation in the absence of infection, such as inflammation of the joints in Rheumatoid Arthritis or inflammation of soft tissues and tendons as in Fibromyalgia. Others result from a response to tissue injury or trauma but affect the entire body.

    Inflammation Induced From Nightshades
    There are many ways by which normal cells and tissues can be damaged, leading to inflammation. One important way is consuming Nightshade foods because they contain a substance known to accelerate inflammation—Solanaceae or Solanine—alkaloid chemicals that can be highly toxic.

    Cholinesterase, an enzyme, originates in the brain and is responsible for flexibility of muscle movement. Solanine/Solanaceae, alkaloid chemicals in nightshades, is a powerful inhibitor of cholinesterase and therefore interferes with muscle movement—leading to stiffness, inflammation, pain and lack of tendon mobility, and pain that can last for weeks after consuming nightshade foods.

    Inflammatory Disorders
    One important mechanism of inflammation is by assembly of a complex of proteins that forms holes on the surface of a cell, where it causes damage and can potentially kill the cell. This complex is called a Membrane Attack Complex or MAC. The Institute for Wholistic Rejuvenation and its research team is working to understand how MAC contributes to a number of inflammation-associated disorders, including the complications of diabetes, fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. Understanding how MAC assembles will provide insights into the design of natural substances to prevent inflammatory damage to cells.

    Inflammation is also an important secondary component of many diseases. An example of this is atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, where inflammation can cause more damage to arteries in a failed attempt to heal the artery wall. There is also an important link between obesity and inflammation, because substances that promote inflammation are released from fat cells, as well as from other cells embedded in fat tissue. The Institute's scientists are leading the way in understanding these new and exciting areas of inflammation research.

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    In this new year I'll provide you with more of my tasty healthy nightshade substitutes, as in this recipe. You don't have to give up taste to eat healthy. Weekly my team and I test recipes to present to you so that you can all achieve, "Health thru Education™".

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed (white sweet potato, parsnip, or orange/purple sweet variety)—none of these contain inflammation-inducing chemicals.
    • 2 apples, sliced—my team preferred granny smith
    • 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided—I prefer softened coconut oil
    • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
    • Pink Himalayan Salt to taste
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, OR chicken breast with skin-on
    • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 3–4 Tbsp. honey
    • 2 Tbsp. natural brown sugar, known in South America as Panela
    • 1 Tbsp. grainy mustard
    • 1 Tbsp. butter
    • 3 rosemary sprigs, for skillet
    DIRECTIONS
    • Preheat oven to 425°
    • In a medium bowl, add sweet potatoes, apples, chopped rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive or softened coconut oil and toss until combined—set aside.
    • In a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, heat remaining olive/coconut oil. Add chicken and sear, skin side down, until a rich deep golden color, about 3–4 minutes. Remove chicken from heat while you make the glaze—set aside.
    • To the same skillet, add apple cider vinegar, honey/panela and grainy mustard. Bring mixture to a rapid simmer and cook until mixture has reduced slightly then whisk in the butter. Taste to reach your desired intensity of sweet/sour and adjust accordingly.
    • Return the chicken to the skillet, skin side up, and scatter the sweet potato mixture and rosemary sprigs around the chicken. Turn off the heat and transfer the entire skillet to the oven.
    • Bake until sweet potatoes are tender, and the chicken is cooked through, about 20–30 minutes. (If potatoes need longer to cook, transfer chicken to a cutting board to rest and continue cooking until tender). At high altitudes, as in the Andes where our research and test kitchen is located, we need to cook it for about 45–50 minutes—adjust as needed.
    • Serve chicken and sweet potatoes with pan drippings—that's the tastiest part.
  • Why are we making a salad to create, store in a jar, and then serve in a bowl?

    First of all, layering in a jar is not only beautiful to look at but it’s also convenient for a Grab-n-Go on your way out the door. For functionality, you can prep assemble several jars on a weekend, for instance, then have a healthy meal for 3-4 days without any more prep or cooking.

    In layering our jar, its best to keep the sturdier ingredients, like chickpeas, beet, and quinoa, at the bottom of the jar in the dressing—this protects the more delicate ingredients like zucchini noodles, which wouldn’t last nearly as long if they were soaking in the dressing at the bottom.

    When I’m going to be away from home or office for the entire day and don’t know what kind of food I can find that’s healthy, or if I can find any at all, I like to take a Buddha bowl. Having a healthy salad with me is freedom from either having blood sugar drop or from not eating because there’s nothing healthy that won’t induce inflammation. Instead, I opt for preparing a Buddha bowl ahead of time.

    I’ve traveled for years with a mini salt and pepper shaker set (made for camping) and one three-piece place setting of stainless flatware, you may want to as well, it’s not only good for the environment but also provides that at-home convenience and doesn’t feel like you’re camping – even if you’re on the side of the road, out shopping, in a commercial transport, or in an airport. I don’t believe in saving the “good” dishes and flatware for company and special occasions (like my grandmother's generation did), not even fancy paper/ biodegradable products, after all, we each deserve to make our environment pleasing and we are all “special”.

    Below are my layering rules:

    layering vegetables in buddha bowls

    • Dressing – ALWAYS goes on the bottom
    • Sturdy ingredients—like chickpeas, pre-cooked chicken, tuna, thinly sliced onion, cabbage, carrots, and quinoa go on top of the dressing. I found that spiralizing your veggies is beautiful and appetizing, they taste better because their thinness helps absorb all the other flavors more intensely. Any food that can sit in the dressing for several days without getting mushy is going to be great in this layering position
    • Delicate ingredients—leafy greens, cucumbers, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, etc. go higher up.

    Choose ingredients you want to keep out of the dressing to go higher up.

    For this Thai chickpea Buddha bowl salad recipe, I put the roasted walnuts at the top; they’ll lose their crunch a bit, but they at least won’t be completely soggy like they would if they sat in the dressing for several days.

    What size jar/container do you use for this Buddha bowl salad? I often use 1-pint mason jars or glass container with BPA-safe plastic lid, and really pack ingredients tight.

    To serve, I empty layered ingredients out into a large paper plate, large enough so you can easily toss to evenly coat all ingredients with the dressing. If you want to eat out of the jar, I suggest a 1-quart mason jar or container, and you can give it a good shake up before serving.

    The dressing pours from the bottom of the jar over all the ingredients and dresses the salad for you...it’s like having an invisible butler! As mentioned above, you can also eat right out of the jar but will need a larger 1-quart mason jar or container to do so. How long do these Buddha bowl ingredients for salads last? These are good for up to 4 days in the fridge!

    Can you swap the dressing? Absolutely! Aim for about 2–4 tablespoons per jar (I’ve actually been accused of liking a little salad with my dressing, guilty as charged!). I like my recipe for a deep-flavored Thai dressing with my Buddha bowls, but any dressing is great; chef’s choice.

    Dr. Gloria’s Thai Salad Dressing

    Sauce Ingredients:
    • 1/2 cup Braggs Aminos
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 2 TB sweet rice wine/sake
    • 3 TB. roasted sesame seeds
    • 2 tsp. sesame oil
    • 1 tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons brown sugar or
    • Lakanto™ natural sweetener
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
    • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
    • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch or tapioca flour (for thickening)
    • 1–2 TB water
    Instructions for the Dressing/Sauce:
    • Roast sesame seeds in a dry heavy bottom skillet until light brown and fragrant; set aside to cool.
    • Combine ingredients (except cornstarch or tapioca flour) in a saucepan on medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.
    • Dissolve 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch or tapioca flour with 1-2 tablespoons water.
    • Heat sauce on medium high heat and slowly add cornstarch/tapioca water mixture and keep stirring to avoid lumps.
    • Simmer until thickened, remove from stove and cool.
    • Once cooled, place in glass jar and refrigerate until ready to use or to assemble your Buddha bowl.
    Dr. Gloria’s Kitchen Notes:
    • Adjust garlic and ginger to your taste; I like more of both than in this recipe.
    • The Braggs Aminos is salty so don’t add any salt. This sauce is salty by nature but that’s what makes it marinade so well if you make it a day or more in advance of using. The sauce is good for up to 2 weeks if kept refrigerated.
  • You're going to fall in love with this soup and all it's healthy variations. I love its vibrant orange color and the mild sweet aroma of the anise-flavored liquor. I am not a fan of licorice flavor, but this recipe gained the respect of my taste buds. It's an amazing addition that transforms what can be a bland soup into a gourmet mouth-watering one.

    Again, our recipes are created and tested in our health sciences kitchen in Cotacachi, Ecuador. As more people, here and the U.S., learn how to substitute and create tasty gourmet recipes that DO NOT induce inflammation, they're e-mailing asking for more. Don't let the small amount of alcohol deter you; it's cooked out, leaving a gentle and palate-pleasing aroma and taste that you'll want to experiment using in other recipes—we are.

    I'm sharing options for this same recipe for those of you with special dietary needs other than avoiding nightshades. It's winter, what can be more of a comfort than a nice bowl of soup? Enjoy.

    Ingredients:
    • 2 tsp. anise seeds—finely ground—we use a coffee grinder
    • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter or ghee
    • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
    • 2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into pieces
    • 6 cups vegetable stock, chicken stock, or water
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 6 Tbsp. anise-flavored liqueur, such as sambuca, ouzo, or Pernod, reserve 2 Tbsp.
    • 1/4 cup crème fraiche
    • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
    Directions:
    • Toast anise seeds in a small frying pan over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a spice or coffee grinder and finely grind.
    • In a soup pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and anise seeds and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, 7 to 10 minutes.
    • Add carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Pour in stock, bring to a simmer, and cook until carrots are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
    • In batches, purée soup in the pan with a hand-held blender or transfer to a freestanding blender until very smooth.
    • Check for salt and pepper and adjust to your taste.
    • Place over medium heat, stir in cream, and heat until hot.
    • Stir in 6 Tbsp. liqueur.
    • In a bowl, stir together crème fraiche and remaining 2 Tbsp. liqueur.
    • Ladle soup into warmed bowls. Drizzle with crème fraiche and sprinkle with chives.
    Dr. G's Notes
    Gluten-Free option is to use gluten-free stock.

    Substitute coconut cream and coconut milk for dairy.

    Butter can be replaced with coconut oil.

    Sprinkle before serving with grated cheese of your choice; we liked Parmesan.

    Top with croutons if not avoiding gluten.

    For a white soup, substitute parsnips or combine with carrots.

    Health Benefits

    Health Benefits of Anise
    • Anise, an exotic spice, holds some of the important plant-derived chemical compounds known to have antioxidant, disease preventing, and health promoting properties.
    • The primary essential volatile oil that gives the characteristic sweet, aromatic flavor to anise seed is anethole. Other important compounds found in these grains include estragol, p-anisaldehyde, anise alcohol, acetophenone, pinene, and limonene.
    • Anise seed oil obtained from extraction of the seeds has found application in many traditional medicines as a general digestive aid, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, carminative, expectorant, stimulant and tonic agent.
    • The seeds are an excellent source of many essential B-complex vitamins such as pyridoxine, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin. Pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) helps increase GABA neurochemical levels in the brain.
    • The spicy seeds are one of the important source of minerals like calcium, iron, copper, potassium, manganese, zinc and magnesium. 100 g dry seeds contain 36.96 mg or 462 percent daily required levels of iron. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure.
    • Copper is a cofactor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome C-oxidase and superoxide dismutase (other minerals that function as cofactors for this enzyme are manganese and zinc). Copper is also required for the production of red blood cells.
    • The spice also contains good amounts of antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin-C and vitamin-A.

    Medicinal Uses
    Anise seed, as well as its oil, found application in many traditional medicines for their unique health-promoting and disease-preventing roles, examples follow:

    • Anise preparations are an excellent remedy for asthma, cough associated with bronchitis, as well as digestive disorders such as flatulence, bloating, colicky stomach pain, nausea, and indigestion.
    • The essential oil "anethole" (anise seeds comprise 75.90 percent) has been found to have an estrogenic effect. The decoction obtained from the seeds is often prescribed to nursing mothers to help promote breast-milk production.
    • Anise seed water is very helpful in relieving running nose condition in infants.
    • Its seeds are traditionally chewed after the meal in India and Pakistan to refresh post-meal mouth breath and assist digestion.

    Disclaimer:The information references in this article are intended solely for general information for the reader. The contents of this article, or its author, are not intended to offer personal medical advice, diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on medications.

  • Recipes from Dr. Gloria’s Ecuadorian Kitchen

    December 24th: All Ecuador celebrates Christmas. The streets and churches have special decorations with Nativity scenes, lighting, ornaments, etc. It is characteristic in Ecuador to celebrate the 24th with midnight mass or " Misa de Gallo," shortly after Christmas dinner. This is their ceremony commemorating the birth of Christ in this deeply religious Christian culture.

    Carols, and the "Pase del niño" (religious procession parade) stroll through representative streets and neighborhoods— which each neighborhood trying to out-due the others. Pase del niño is a religious procession representing the characters of Christmas with bright colors and all that encompasses pageantry. Joseph and Mary with the child in arms on a donkey pass through the streets while the community with prayers and songs, accompanies them.

    In addition, the nativity scene, called "nacimientos," is assembled in most Ecuadorian homes, rather than the traditional Christmas trees as in many other parts of the world. That's not to say Christmas trees are not used, just that they're not as common as nativity scenes.

    December 31st: This day is celebrated as the end of the year or the burning of the past—what a great idea! Typical activities are making life-sized stick figures or dolls that represent the year that is ending and then the rag dolls are burned at midnight.

    At the end of the year the wills of the old year are also read with humorous phrases and jokes. "Widows" of the old year (Año Viejo), are men dressed as women. They dance and act out to the delight and laughter of the passers-by as they're on most corners on main highways and entrances to various neighborhoods (barrios). They are masked, clowns, and various characters. Celebrations abound and they end with the burning of the rag dog, fireworks and midnight dinners—happy to leave the past year behind and make commitments to a better new year.

    Historical Perspective
    Most holidays in Ecuador are the result of Christian colonization that modified the rituals and celebrations of the indigenous community. Andean and ancestral religion moved to the Catholic religion, which, until today, is a blend of the indigenous ancestral world and nature.

    Sweets and varieties of biscuits are abundant this time of year. Although Christmas presents are exchanged, the usual are token gifts of sweets, fruit, drinks and a small toy for children. Ecuadorians, especially outside the large urban cities, are not yet spoiled by the commercialism in other countries; it's the thought behind the token gift, not the dollar value—how refreshing!

    Holiday Meals in Ecuador

    For a country that celebrates great food throughout the year and serves-up the most amazing healthy cuisine, the Christmas table mostly consists of variations of rice: rice with cheese, rice with corn, rice with stew, spicy rice, sweet rice, and even sweet and spicy rice (Arroz Navideño, or Christmas rice). There is, of course, some chicken, turkey, and salad, but rice is still the biggest part of Christmas dinner in Ecuador. For reasons, I haven't yet figured out, turkey is a delicacy here and VERY expensive. Therefore, most people serve chicken as their main course (plato fuerte).

    The abundance of sweets, however, is impressive! There's a mouth-watering spread of candies, cakes, biscuits, fruits in sauces, and cupcakes in a variety of shapes, and forms. Empanadas de viento, or fried cheese empanadas, are the most delectable traditional Ecuadorian empanadas—filled with cheese, diced onions and herbs—fried until crispy, and served sprinkled with sugar. These are truly my favorite empanadas; the combination of the gooey cheese and onions inside a crispy fried empanada and topped with sugar is delicious. They're the perfect breakfast or afternoon snack with a hot cup of exquisite Ecuadorian coffee or tea.

    The most important part is making sure the empanadas are sealed well, I seal them four times: first with my fingers, next with a fork, then with my fingers twisting and folding the edges, and finally with the fork again. It also helps if the empanadas rest for about an hour in the fridge before frying them, this might seem over the top just to seal an empanada, but I have experienced them leaking while they are being fried and it is very messy and maddening after spending so much time "pinching" them.

    Fried Cheese Empanadas

    Fried Cheese Empanadas / Empanadas de Viento

    Ingredients
    15 medium size or 25 small empanada discs (use this recipe for homemade* empanada dough for frying or store bought empanada discs—the store-bought dough is easily found in Latin markets).

    • 2 1/2 cups grated cheese (you can use quesillo, mozzarella, Monterey jack, Oaxaca or any other cheese that melts well or a combination of your favorites, my favorite is to top them with goat cheese chevre)
    • 1 cup finely chopped white onion
    • 1/4 tsp. each: rosemary, thyme, marjoram (VERY finely ground)
    • 1/2 cup sugar for sprinkling
    • Coconut oil for frying

    Instructions

    1. Mix the grated cheese, very finely chopped onions and herbs together.
    2. Spoon the cheese filling on the center of each empanada disc.
    3. Fold the empanada discs and seal the edges, first pressing gently with your fingers, next use a fork to press down and seal, finally twist and fold the edges of the empanadas and then use the fork again for the final sealing.
    4. Chill the empanadas at least an hour—helps them seal better and prevent leaks.
    5. Fry the empanadas either in a deep fryer or a frying pan, if using a frying pan add enough oil to cover at least half of the empanada, let the oil get very hot and fry each empanada until they are golden on each side or about a minute per side.
    6. Place the empanadas on paper towels to drain any excess oil, sprinkle generously with sugar and serve warm. These fried empanadas also make a great appetizer, although some may consider them a dessert as well, which they surely can be.

    Homemade Empanada Dough

    Homemade Empanada Dough

    Prep Time: 15 minutes, Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
    Yield: 12–15 medium size or 20–25 appetizer size discs

    Ingredients

    • 3 cups all-purpose flour (you can use a full-bodied gluten-free variety)
    • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 6 oz. unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
    • 1 egg plus 1–2 egg whites
    • 1/4 to 1/2 cup water or milk, adjust as needed to obtain a soft and smooth dough

    Instructions
    Making homemade empanada dough:

    1. Mix flour and salt in a food processor.
    2. Add butter and pulse.
    3. Add the egg and water or milk (in small increments) and continue pulsing until a clumpy dough forms.
    4. To make the empanada dough by hand, follow the same instruction but use your hands to mix the ingredients together.
    5. Split the dough into 2 large balls, flatten slightly into the shape of disks. The dough can be used immediately or refrigerated until ready to use (1–2 days max.).
    6. Roll-out dough into a thin sheet and cut out round disc shapes for empanadas (use round molds, a small plate, or the lid of a jar). You can also make small individual balls with the dough and roll out each individual ball to a round shape (doesn't need to be perfectly round)—if you have a tortilla press you can use it to flatten the dough balls.
    7. Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator/freezer for later.
    8. Instead of frying, you can bake the empanadas in a pre-heated oven. I usually bake them at 375 to 400 F, the temperature will vary based on the oven, the altitude, and the size of the empanadas. I bake the smaller sized empanadas at 375 F. The baking time also varies (again based on the oven and size), but it's in the range of 18–25 minutes—the empanadas will be ready once they are golden.
    9. For baked empanadas be sure to baste the tops with egg white or you won't get that nice golden brown.

    Kitchen Notes: It's easy to find ready-made frozen empanada discs in Latin grocery stores, and even though I was skeptical at first, they are quite good. However, homemade always taste better and fresher. Another benefit of making homemade empanada dough for baking is that you can customize the dough by adding spices, herbs or a bit of sweetener that will add flavor and complement or contrast with the fillings. You can also make a large batch of homemade empanada dough, roll it out and cut it into discs, then freeze the discs (separate with wax paper) for later use.

    Dulce de Higos (Fig Preserves in Syrup)

    Dulce de Higos Fig Preserves in Syrup

    Dulce de higos, also known as higos pasados, are fig preserves cooked in spiced syrup of panela/piloncillo (unprocessed brown cane sugar and spices). They are a very typical dessert in Ecuadorian households, and are one of those desserts that you might be served both in the home of a humble farmer who lives in a house with no electricity, at a gourmet dinner of a wealthy businessperson in one of the main cities, or in a typical restaurant. These caramelized figs are usually served with a slice of fresh cheese, queso fresco or quesillo, to help balance the sweetness.

    Ingredients

    • 20 fresh ripe but firm figs, washed
    • Pinch of baking soda
    • 1 3/4 lb. panela (hard brown cane sugar)
    • Cinnamon sticks, cloves and other spices – optional Water
    Instructions
    1. Make a crosswise cut on the thin side of each fig.
    2. Place the figs in a bowl, cover them with water and let them soak for 24 hours.
    3. Rinse the figs, place them in a saucepan, cover with water, about 8 cups.
    4. Add the baking soda and bring the water to a boil over medium heat, cook for about 15–20 minutes or until soft.
    5. Remove from heat and let the figs soak in the water they cooked in for another 24 hours.
    6. Drain all the water from figs and gently squeeze each fig to remove as much water as possible.
    7. Place the panela and the spices in a large saucepan, cover with about 6 cups of water and cook on low heat until the panela is completely dissolved.
    8. Add the figs and simmer until the panela syrup begins to thicken, at least a couple of hours, stir occasionally—what you're basically doing is making a reduction sauce.
    9. Serve warm or cold with a slice of quesillo, fresh mozzarella, queso fresco, farmer's cheese, a soft cheese like chevre or cream cheese.

    To Serve:
    Slices of quesillo cheese or queso fresco on the side OR topped with a soft cheese like chevre or cream cheese.

    VARIATION:
    Place shredded or crumbled cheese on top and broil just until the cheese begins to melt.

    Ecuadorians prefer simple desserts because their main course (plato fuerte) is very filling.

    A typical dessert in Ecuador usually consists of a perfectly ripe fruit, such as a slice of papaya with a drizzle of lime juice or a piece of babaco with a little bit of honey, a refreshing helado de paila (hand-churned sherbet), a fluffy bizcochuelo, or a sweet fig preserve as in this recipe presented. Right along with Colonial customs, it is also common to eat sweets in larger quantity with afternoon coffee or tea rather than for dessert after a large filling meal.

    Happy Holidays, I hope you're enjoying my recipes and tidbits on life in Ecuador...Dr. Gloria

  • There’s not much as satisfying as the aroma and bite of a warm slice of fresh homemade bread AND it doesn’t have to be full of gluten, sugar and carbs.

    I love this kind of recipe because your blender does all the work, you just assemble! Yes, coconut flour was challenging to work with at first, it has a texture all its own, but now its second nature and it will be for you too—don’t let it intimidate you.

    If you expect it to respond and taste exactly like wheat flour, it won’t. But the taste is nutty, savory, healthy, doesn’t induce inflammation nor does it feed candida or elevate blood sugar, that’s enough for me. This recipe can be made slightly sweet as you would use a pound cake recipe or salty for that traditional bread taste.

    Ingredients
    • 1/2 cup coconut flour
    • 1/3 cup ground flax meal
    • 1/4 cup almond flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder**
    • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
    • 4 eggs
    • 1/2 cup flavorless oil, I use avocado oil
    • 1/3 cup dairy free milk unsweetened almond milk, coconut, etc., I use almond milk
    • 1/2 cup golden Lakanto natural sweetener** or to taste (taste batter for desired sweetness) NOTE: Omit the sweetener if you’re making this bread as a traditional bread.
    • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract (if making this as a slightly sweet bread like a pound cake—great for French toast)

    *Optional Add-ins: to sweeten the bread for use as a breakfast toast, pound cake or French toast.

    • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
    • ** 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar alternative, I use pure Monk Fruit when available, but powdered stevia works just as well
    • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. powdered cinnamon

    Instructions

    • Preheat your oven to 375° F. Line a 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with parchment paper or grease well.
    • The easiest way to whip the batter is by simply combining all ingredients in a blender. Pulse or blend on low speed until everything is fully combined. Add wet ingredients first then the dry.
    • Alternatively, whisk together dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls. Then add the dry to the wet mixture and stir together with a wooden spoon or hand mixer.
    • Fill batter into the prepared loaf pan.
    • Bake for about 25–30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean; don’t allow it to get too dry.
    • Allow bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool fully.
    • Store refrigerated up to 1 week; I store mine refrigerated in a paper bag.
    • Lightly toasting the bread slices is delicious.

    Dr. Gloria’s Kitchen Notes

    * If you prefer, you can omit or replace coconut flour with almond flour

    ** Alternative baking powder = 2:1 ratio cream of tartar and baking soda

    *** For extra-large sandwich slices, cut the loaf into thirds. Then slice each piece into 4 slices horizontally (instead of vertically). You’ll end up with 12 slices and more surface area for all your toppings or as sandwich bread.

    French Toast Recipe Gloria Gilbere

    When my two sons were young, French toast was one of their favorites; any time of day. I regret not knowing at that time (over 40 years ago) the health-depleting effects of gluten or I would have made it different as both of them had allergies and now I believe wheat and sugar had the most to do with it...live and learn, we do the best we can at the time.

    French toast is so satisfying with the wonderful blend of flavors...bread, egg, butter, and homemade no-sugar maple syrup and colorfully topped with your favorite fruit. This recipe has a “surprise” twist that makes it fluffier and oh so tasty!

    Ingredients:
    (based on 6–8 slices)

    • 4 large eggs
    • 2/3 cup milk or cream (I use pure organic cream, or you can use a milk alternative)
    • 1/4 cup almond flour
    • 1/4 cup natural sweetener like Lakanto™
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 2 tsps. ground cinnamon
    • 2 tsps. vanilla extract
    • 6–8 thick slices of bread cut horizontally, not vertically

    Instructions

    • Preheat griddle to 350° F or heat a skillet over medium heat until a sprinkle of water bubbles; grease well with butter.
    • Add all ingredients, except the bread, to a blender (for fluffier results) or to a shallow dish and whisk well to combine. If whisking by hand, it’s okay if the flour doesn’t mix in completely smooth but get it as smooth as possible so you get nice fluffy toast.
    • Dip bread slices into the egg mixture, dredging them well on both sides; best if you allow soaking in egg mixture at least 4–5 minutes.
    • Cook on hot, greased griddle or skillet.
    • Cook until the bottom of the bread starts to get golden brown. Flip and cook on the other side the same.
    • Remove to plate; serve warm, with syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon powder and garnish with your favorite fruit slices.

    NO-SUGAR Maple Syrup:
    I haven’t had store-bought maple syrup in about 40 years; it’s loaded with coloring, sugar and who knows what else? My grandmother always made her maple syrup and we teased her that she did it the hard way when store-bought was readily available—now I’m doing the same, thank you, grandma, I think of you each time I make it and it still warms my heart and taste buds! This recipe is SO simple and fast that any other kind is pointless and unhealthy.

    Ingredients:
    1–2 cups natural sugar alternative (to your desired sweetness), I use powdered stevia or a mix of granulated panela and stevia that we can get in Ecuador; it only has 2 calories and 2 carbs per tablespoon but not always readily available elsewhere as granulated stevia.

    1 cup boiling water
    3/4 tsp. organic maple syrup extract
    1 tsp. butter (optional)

    Directions

    • In a saucepan, combine water, sugar alternative, butter, cinnamon and maple extract.
    • Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved.
    • Remove from heat; serve warm.

    THAT’S IT, EASY, TASTY AND OH SO HEALTHY!

    Dr. Gloria’s Kitchen Notes:

    1. I make a triple recipe of the maple syrup and refrigerate; it will last up to a month IF you use filtered or distilled water; there is more opportunity for mold to form with tap water.
    2. Keep in a glass jar with well fitting lid like a canning jar or recycled glass bottle.

  • Warming Spiced Fruit Drink with Special Ecuadorian Bread

    Recipes from Dr. Gloria's Ecuadorian Kitchen

    The "Colada Morada" is an indigenous tradition in Ecuador, specifically the Northern Andean Region where my Health Sciences/Research center is based. This holiday, on November 2nd, (Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead) is a day that honors deceased saints in this deeply religious culture. It is celebrated in families and social gathering as a tradition handed down from generation to generation and has become an Ecuadorian gastronomical delicacy, especially for us expats who now make Ecuador home.

    If you walk through an Ecuadorian neighborhood from October (especially) thru the New Year holiday you'd get whiffs of spices like cinnamon, allspice, and fruit. Having been raised by a South American paternal grandmother, I equate this Ecuadorian drink to Mexican Atolé, Champurrado. Although these spiced drinks have similar spices, they are each vastly unique.

    One of the many rewarding aspects about living and traveling abroad is that we get to add and enrich our own holiday festivities as we discover new traditions from our host country, as I've experienced here in Cotacachi, Ecuador, S.A.

    An interesting holiday that people celebrate here in Ecuador (like Halloween in the U.S.) is Dia de los Difuntos or Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)—which is November 2nd. This celebration takes on a very reverent and spiritual focus versus our fun pumpkins, trick-or-treating and dressup kind of festivities in America. From what I'm told, the Day of the Dead here has origins from the indigenous Indians mixed with Catholic beliefs. It's their time to commemorate deceased loved ones and saints—some reflect on those they've lost, others set up altars or clean the gravesites, and others just enjoy the food traditions as there is always a food aspect to any special day, especially in Latin cultures: the Colada Morada and Guaguas de pan are special to this day.

    As we explore, learn and join-in holidays or traditions from different cultures, it becomes a unique learning experience and one in which I feel blessed that I'm here to partake. Ecuadorians are deeply spiritual and traditional people who have embraced me like family, of course it helps that I speak fluent Spanish and I'm a doctor of natural health. I have lived and traveled to many areas and countries and often, local interests, and beliefs just don't interest us or align with our consciousness, so, we just move on…not so for me in Ecuador…my small city, this vast diverse country and its people have stolen my heart and soul!

    Halloween, for example, for many involves witchery and other things that don't align with our family values, so we enjoy the lighter hearted festivities of Halloween like dressing up and trick-or-treating. Day of the Dead is not a custom I ever participated in until invited to a large gathering at the home of friends who are three brothers that own a transportation and tourism business (Patricio, Jorge & Milton). Besides a delicious feast that included a roasted pig in the ground, indigenous dances, traditional flute music, and a world-renown Shaman, they served the traditional and delightful Guaguas de Pan (baked in an outdoor wood oven) and Colada Morada. It was a fun time getting to know my Ecuadorian neighbors and expats (which number about 800 in a city of about 10,000 in the town proper) in our little community of Cotacachi—it also gave us all an opportunity to learn more about their traditions in our new chosen home.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup purple or black corn flour**
    • 14 oz. orange juice
    • 2 cups blackberries (frozen or fresh)
    • 2 cups cranberries (frozen or fresh)
    • 2 cups strawberries, sliced
    • 1 pineapple, peels and core + 2 cups very finely diced pineapple
    • 5–6 cinnamon sticks
    • 4–5 whole cloves
    • 4–5 all-spice berries
    • 12–14 oz panela (brown sugar)
    • A few lemon verbena leaves, fresh or dry
    • A few lemon grass leaves, fresh or dry
    • 2–4 pieces orange peel
    • 8 + 4 cups water

    * In the original Ecuadorian recipe, they use a fruit known as Naranjilla. It's very tasty but ignites inflammation because it IS a member of the nightshade genre. Therefore, I've had to adapt the recipe because we know nightshades, with their inherent chemical Solanaceae, induce inflammation.

    Naranjilla simply refers to "little orange" because it is round and bright-orange when fully ripe but it is NOT part of the citrus orange family.

    **NOTE: If in the U.S. you can find the purple corn flour in Hispanic grocery stores, and you can also find it online at Amazon.com, Amigofoods.com, or Latinmerchant.com.

    Also, I always found lemon verbena leaves at natural food markets and many ethnic markets.

    If you're in Ecuador you just need to go to the mercado (indigenous farmers'market) and ask them to give you the atado de hierbas para colada morada y las especias—they should hand you a bushel of herbs and a small bag of spices for just pennies.

    Alcoholic Option: Some people add rum or red wine to the mix and heat along with the finished product, just make sure it gets hot but doesn't boil once you add the alcohol.

    Instructions:

    1. Place the pineapple skins and core, cinnamon, spices and panela or brown sugar in a large pot with 8 cups of water. Boil for about 20–25 minutes.
    2. Add the lemon verbena, lemon grass, and orange peel.
    3. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes—remove and strain.
    4. In a separate pot, add 4 cups of water with the cranberries and blackberries, boil for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool down until safe to handle, blend and strain.
    5. Mix the cup of purple corn flour with 1 cup of the spice pineapple liquid until well diluted.
    6. Add the strained berry mix, the spiced pineapple liquid and the diluted purple flour mix to a large pot.
    7. Cook over medium heat, stir constantly to keep it from sticking, bring to a boil.
    8. Add the pineapple chunks and reduce to simmer for about 10 minutes.
    9. Remove from heat, add the strawberry slices and serve warm or cold.

    Day Of The Dead Bread Dolls Guaguas de Pan Recipe

    Day of the Dead Bread Dolls

    Ingredients:

    • 1/2 cup sugar or Lakanto natural sweetener
    • 1/2 cup butter (I prefer the salted one for this recipe)
    • 1/2 tsp. fine natural sea salt
    • 1 cup sour cream (you can use regular plain yogurt, NOT the low fat or no fat version)
    • 4 tsp. dry yeast
    • 1/2 cup warm water
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 tsp. cinnamon powder
    • 1 tsp. vanilla
    • 4–4 1/2 c. all-purpose flour (you can use full-bodied gluten-free flour)
    • Egg yolk for brushing top of pastry to encourage browning

    Instructions:

    1. In a small sauce pan over low medium heat place sour cream (or yogurt), sugar, butter and salt until butter dissolves. In a large bowl dissolve yeast and warm water. Let it stand for 5 minutes. If it doesn't bubble you most likely need some new yeast that is active.
    2. Pour warm sour cream mixture (make sure it's not hot), eggs, vanilla, cinnamon in with the yeast mixture and stir. Slowly add in the flour. Cover dough tightly for at least 5 hours. NOTE: I've done this for as short as 30 minutes and it was still delicious but the longer it rises the more it expands in the baking process.
    3. Flour your surface where you will be rolling the dough. Divide dough into 4 equally sized balls. Work with each ball and knead one at a time. For the Guaguas de pan you need to make the head and the body separate and then join them. First make small balls for the head and then double the size of that for the body. Flatten the balls and fill them with chocolate morsels, caramel or jelly. The caramel can get messy so if you put too much filling it will ooze out and you won't be able to close them quite right.
    4. Once they are closed-up and rolled you can start shaping the balls. To attach the head to the body you will need to lay the head over the part of the upper body and work it in. You can wet the tip of your fingers to work it back in.
    5. Brush them with egg yolk. Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 15–20 minutes. Once they've cool down you can decorate them—if you decorate them while warm the icing will not stay on. Here is my favorite, love that mustac...

    NOTE: This is such a healthy fun option for children instead of all the sugary candy at Halloween. Yes, this is still a bread and contains sugar (unless you use Lakanto natural sweetener) but it's a healthier option and a great idea for an interactive party.

    Health Benefits of Main Ingredients

    Since many of the listed ingredients are common and I've written extensively about their health benefits, I'm only listing those that are most unique to this recipe.

    Purple Corn: Not many super foods are found in lower altitudes and purple corn is no exception. Purple corn contains a variety of phytonutrients (plant nutrients) including massive amounts of phenolics and anthocyanins, which contain the highest antioxidant activity according to recent research.

    Anthocyanins are a type of complex flavonoid that produces blue, purple or red colors. They are anti-inflammatory and encourage connective tissue regeneration. In addition, antioxidants keep us looking young, protect us from disease, promote healthy blood flow, and reduce cholesterol.

    In research studies, it appears anthocyanins may stabilize and protect capillaries and blood vessels from free-radical damage, and they have shown to promote collagen formation (which is great for skin) and improve circulation.

    Purple Corn has a higher antioxidant capacity than blueberries, making it one of the most exciting new super foods of our time. And speaking of exciting, there is an ancient Hopi prophecy that says when purple corn comes to the West, that is a sign that great changes are happening on the planet.

    Purple Corn Studies and Benefits
    Studies show that a diet rich in polyphenolic compounds is associated with reduced risk of developing cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. Recent research in both animals and humans have shown that increasing polyphenol intake can:

    • Protect against atherosclerosis
    • Lowers blood pressure,
    • Reduces blood clots
    • Elevates antioxidant capacity of the blood

    A study by Tsuda et al in 2003 revealed the effects of purple corn on obesity and diabetes. Two groups consumed a diet rich in fats for 12 weeks, but one of the groups also received purple corn pigments. The group consuming the purple corn DID Not:

    • gain weight;
    • suffer hypertrophy in the adiposities of the fat tissues;
    • show hyperglycemia (low blood sugar), hyperinsulinemia (too much insulin in the blood, which is the beginning of diabetes), or hyperleptinemia (increased serum leptin levels, which is another marker for diabetes).

    In comparison, the group that didn't receive the extract and ate only a fat rich diet, showed an increase in all areas, thus showing the incredible benefits for fighting obesity and diabetes.

    A Japanese study at Nagoya University showed that the pigment in purple corn impedes the development of cancer in the colon. Since colon cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer, adding some purple corn to the diet seems to me to be a great insurance from nature.

    Buen Provecho, Enjoy, and don't be confined to the traditional "box" for celebrating holidays—venture out and take a visionary trip to Ecuador with me as your guide.

  • My recipes are created and tested in my institute kitchens both in the U.S. and our new teaching facility in Ecuador. Our commitment to you continues to bring you the best natural health recipes while insuring they are packed with nutrition AND the ability to assist overall detoxification—the essence of Wholistic Rejuvenation.

    This series provides not only healthy recipes but also the health benefits of each ingredient.

    Ingredients

    For the cranberry puree:
    1–12-ounce bag of cranberries (about 3 cups)
    1 cup Ruby Port or Cranberry Spritzer/Unsweetened Cranberry
    juice or Cranberry Sparkling Cider 1/2 cup sugar OR 1/2 cup Lakanto Natural Sweetener with no sugar

    For the soup:
    1 large onion, finely chopped
    2 carrots, sliced thin
    1/2 stick (1/4 cup) organic unsalted butter OR coconut oil
    3/4 teaspoon ground mace
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/2 teaspoon white pepper plus additional to taste
    3 pounds' butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
    1 granny smith apple, finely chopped
    2 sweet potatoes (about 1¼ pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (I like whitish/yellow variety but you can use orange yam variety)
    6 cups chicken broth

    DIRECTIONS

    The cranberry puree: In a heavy saucepan combine the cranberries, the Port, and the sugar and simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, 7 to 10 minutes, or until the cranberries burst and the mixture starts to thicken. In a food processor puree the mixture and force the puree through a fine sieve into a bowl, discarding the solids. The puree keeps, covered and chilled, for three days.

    The bisque: In a large heavy saucepan cook the onion and the carrots in the butter over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, add mace, ginger, 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper, squash, sweet potatoes, apple and 4 cups of the broth, and simmer the mixture, covered, for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are very soft. In a blender or food processor puree the soup in batches, transferring it as it is pureed to a saucepan, and stir in the remaining 2 cups broth, the additional white pepper, and salt to taste. The soup keeps, covered and chilled, for one day.

    To serve: Reheat the cranberry puree and spoon it into a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip. (Alternatively, spoon the puree into a small re-sealable plastic bag and cut off the tip of one corner or use a pastry bag with tip.) Reheat the soup, divide it among soup bowls, and pipe about 1 tablespoon of the cranberry puree decoratively onto each serving…a first course that's as beautiful as it is tasty for your holiday meals.

    Health Benefits of Ingredients

    Cranberries:Many of these phytonutrients offer antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer health benefits. Cranberries are a very good source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, and manganese, as well as a good source of vitamin E, vitamin K, copper, and pantothenic acid. Supports urinary tract health, immune function, blood pressure, and heart health.

    Port Wine (Ruby): Like other red wines, Port contains beneficial vitamins, minerals, nutrients and antioxidants (like flavonoids and a substance called resveratrol). Recent research has shown that drinking red wine can protect against prostate cancer, Alzheimer's disease (staving off mental decline) and heart disease. The most current research has been focused on the polyphenol, resveratrol, which is present in the skin of the red grapes used in the making of red wine. Resveratrol seems to be a key contributor to promoting hearth health, by reducing bad cholesterol, preventing clots and protecting against artery damage.

    Cranberry sparkling cider: Combines best of benefits from apples and cranberries.

    Lakanto (Monk fruit)—a natural sweetener that tastes, feels and measures just like sugar, especially good for baking.
    • Zero calories
    • Zero glycemic index
    • Zero additives
    • No influence on your blood sugar and insulin release
    • A one-to-one ratio with sugar—so it's easy to measure and use
    • Anti-carcinogenic
    • Regulate blood sugar
    • Able to prevent and decrease oxidative stress related to diabetes
    • Prevent tooth decay
    • Anti-inflammatory
    • Inhibit tumor growth
    • Antioxidant
    • Antihistaminic

    Onions (Organic): Contain antibiotic, antiseptic, antimicrobial and carminative properties. They're rich in sulfur, fiber, potassium, vitamins B, C and low in fat, cholesterol and sodium.

    Carrots (Organic): Antioxidant rich, cholesterol reduction, blood pressure assist, immune booster, digestive aid, eye health assist, blood sugar regulator.

    Butter (Organic): High in vitamins A, D, E, and K2, mineral rich, fatty acids, CLA, immune booster, bone health assist, iodine for thyroid support.

    Coconut oil: Healthy fat, antimicrobial, lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels, improves coagulation and antioxidant blood levels, boosts ketone bodies in blood supplying energy to the brain and even relieving Alzheimer's symptoms, reduces BMI (body mass index).

    HERBS

    • Mace: Supports digestive health, anti-cancer, anxiety reducer and sleep aid
    • Ginger (fresh): Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant rich, anti-nausea, aids digestion, lowers blood sugar, cholesterol reducer, immune booster
    • Pepper (white): digestive aid, detoxifying, antioxidant, mineral rich aiding in bone health

    Butternut squash: Low in fat, butternut squash delivers an ample dose of dietary fiber, making it an exceptionally heart-friendly choice. It provides significant amounts of potassium, important for bone health, and vitamin B6, essential for the proper functioning of both the nervous and immune systems.

    Apples: Extremely rich in important antioxidants, flavonoids, and dietary fiber. The phytonutrients and antioxidants in apples may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.

    Sweet potatoes (white/yellowish variety): An excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene). They are also a very good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6. Additionally, they are a good source of potassium, dietary fiber, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and phosphorus. Also a valuable nightshade-free alternative to standard potatoes. Immune booster.

    Chicken broth (organic): Low cal., easily digestible, high in minerals for heart, connective tissue, bones and teeth.

    Enjoy...not only the taste but in reaping the health benefits to help you age without looking or feeling old.

    I wish you all Healthy and Memorable Holidays.

    A 6-week guided Rejuvenation DETOX TeleClass is taught several times per year, it includes PowerPoints and Screen-sharing for better Health thru Education., register now at www.gloriagilbere.com (look in the SLIDER for specifics and to register)...you don't have to download software— once you register online your acknowledgement provides a phone number to call to join the class AND a link to see my presentation live. All you do is click the link, provide your first name and email so the system verifies you're registered. Get in shape and begin your rejuvenation program with individualized support via our TeleClass.

    BONUS: Once you participate in a Rejuvenation DETOX TeleClass, taught 3-4 times per year, you can repeat it three more times at NO CHARGE by registering with the Institute office at: (888) 352-8175, space is limited so first-come, first-served.

  • My recipes are created and tested in my institute kitchens both in the U.S. and our new Health Sciences & Teaching Facility in Ecuador. Our commitment to you continues to bring you the best natural health recipes while insuring they are packed with nutrition AND the ability to assist overall detoxification—the essence of Wholistic Rejuvenation.

    This series provides not only healthy recipes but also the health benefits of each ingredient.

    INGREDIENTS
    Choose SEVERAL items to include in your green drink daily…
    • Celery (including leaves)
    • Cucumber (un-peeled)
    • Swiss chard (including stalks)
    • Dandelion
    • Basil
    • Romaine/Bibb/Mixed /Red leaf lettuce
    • Arugula
    • Cilantro or parsley
    • Kale/Spinach/Mustard greens, etc.*
    • Beet greens
    • Mint
    • Fresh herbs
    • Fennel

    * For those who have thyroid disorders, use these raw vegetables sparingly or avoid—Kale, Spinach, Broccoli, Watercress, Cabbage, Bok Choy, Mustard Greens and Collards—unless very lightly steamed, because they contain substances known as goitrogens that actually interfere with thyroid function. Lightly steaming neutralizes the goitrogens.

    ** Milk Alternatives—All Unsweetened

    • Coconut
    • Hemp
    • Almond
    • Cashew
    • Flax
    ADDITIONS FOR FLAVOR AND NUTRIENT BENEFIT
    • Fresh ginger (peeled)
    • Daikon radish (peeled)
    • Cinnamon powder
    • Turmeric powder
    • Vanilla extract
    • Apple (no more than 1/3 – 1/2 small)
    • Fresh lemon or lime*** (1/3 – 1/2)
    • Stevia powder **** (natural sweetener)
    • Coconut oil (1–2 TB.)
    • Coconut water
    • Avocado (1/4 –1/2)
    • Berries (1/4 cup strawberry, raspberry, cranberry, blackberry)

    *** When juicing lemon/lime use the pulp too as it enhances liver cleansing and alkalizing. Keeping alkaline is important because it not only helps to detoxify but also because viruses, bacteria and fungus cannot thrive and multiply in an alkaline environment.

    **** Stevia is a natural zero calorie sweetener. You may have to try several brands to find one suited to your taste. Coconut water is a great source of natural electrolytes and potassium; however, if you are diabetic, watching your blood sugar, or avoiding sugar, use caution as it is high in sugar.

    NOTE: Be sure to add your medical food protein powder for your specific condition as recommended by your natural health professional.

    DIRECTIONS
    Toss a couple cups worth of greens into your NutriBullet or VitaMix type blender/juicer. Add water and a milk alternative to taste for thickness desired. Make sure to really emulsify and turn it to liquid or you will be chewing your drink. NOTE: Older model juicers are not recommended as they extract the pulp and you want the pulp included—well-blended in order to benefit both from the fiber and the nutrients.

    HEALTH BENEFITS OF INGREDIENTS

    • Celery—provides an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber. It is a very good source of folic acid, potassium, and vitamins B1 and B6. Celery also offers a good source of vitamin B2 and calcium. Even though celery contains more sodium than most other vegetables, the sodium is offset by its high levels of potassium. Celery contains phytochemical compounds known as coumarins—studies show they are effective in cancer prevention and capable of enhancing the activity of certain white blood cells. Coumarin compounds also lower blood pressure, tone the vascular system, and are credited as effective when used in cases of migraines. Due to the high levels of potassium and sodium, when celery-based juices are consumed after a workout they serve as great electrolyte replacement drinks. Studies show celery may help to lower cholesterol and prevent cancer by improving detoxification.
    • Cucumber—Here is a list of the impressive health benefits:
    1. Keeps you hydrated. If you are too busy to drink enough water, munch on the cool cucumber, which is 96 percent water.
    2. Fights heat, both inside and out. Eat cucumber, and your body gets relief from heartburn. Apply cucumber on your skin, and you get relief from sunburn.
    3. Flushes out toxins. All that water in cucumber acts as a virtual broom, sweeping waste products out of your system. With regular use, cucumber is known to dissolve kidney stones.
    4. Lavishes you with vitamins. A B and C, which boost immunity, give you energy, and keep you radiant.
    5. Supplies skin-friendly minerals: magnesium, potassium, silicon. That’s why cucumber-based treatments abound in spas.
    6. Aids in weight loss.
    7. Cuts cancer. Several studies show its cancer-fighting potential.
    8. Stabilizes blood pressure. Patients of blood pressure, both high and low, often find that eating cucumber brings relief.
    9. Helps digestion and is high in fiber.
    10. Smooths hair and nails. Silica, the wonder mineral in cucumber makes your hair and nails stronger and shinier.
    11. Keeps kidneys in shape. Cucumber lowers uric acid levels in your body.
    12. Good for diabetics. Contains a hormone needed by the pancreatic cells for producing insulin.
    13. Reduces cholesterol via a compound called sterols that helps reduce bad cholesterol.
    • Swiss chard—a nutritional powerhouse and an excellent source of vitamins K, A, and C, as well as a good source of magnesium, potassium, iron, and dietary fiber, can regulate blood sugar levels, prevent various types of cancer, improve digestion, boost the immune system, reduce fever and combat inflammation, lower blood pressure, prevent heart disease, increase bone strength and development, detoxify the body, and strengthen the functioning of the brain. Swiss chard rainbow: The thick stalks are red, white, yellow, or green.
    • Dandelion—a very rich source of beta-carotene, which we convert into vitamin A. This flowering plant is also rich in vitamin C, fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus. Can include relief from liver disorders, diabetes, urinary disorders, acne, jaundice, cancer and anemia. It also helps in maintaining bone health, skin care and is a benefit to weight loss programs.
    • Basil leaves—composed of several health benefiting essential oils such as eugenol, citronellol, linalool, citral, limonene and terpineol. These compounds are known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. The herb is very low in calories and contains no cholesterol.
    • Lettuce—health benefits include lowering cholesterol levels, cancer control, protection of neurons, sleep induction, anxiety control, lowering inflammation, and providing a supply of antioxidants.
    • Arugul—contains one gram of protein, 0.3 grams of fat, and 1.5 grams of carbohydrate (including 0.6 grams of fiber and 0.8 grams of sugar). Consuming two cups of arugula will provide 20 percent of vitamin A, over 50 percent of vitamin K and eight percent of your vitamin C, folate and calcium needs for the day. Assists with healthy cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, increases blood flow, lowers inflammation, and improve blood vessel function.
    • Cilantro (or parsley)—most often cited in healthcare as effective for detoxifying heavy metals because it binds to toxic metals and loosens them from the tissues. This is especially important for those with mercury exposure. The following are additional documented health benefits:
    1. May be able to help prevent cardiovascular damage.
    2. The School of Life Science in Tamil Nadu, India noted, after researching the activity of cilantro leaves and stem, "if used in cuisine, would be a remedy for diabetes," because of its blood-sugar lowering effect.
    3. Strong antioxidant activity.
    4. Has been shown to have anti-anxiety effects.
    5. May help improve sleep quality.
    6. Cilantro seed oil possess antioxidative properties, consumption may decrease oxidative stress.
    7. Research conducted by The Dental School of Piracicaba in Brazil found cilantro oil to be a new natural fungal cleansing formulation.
    8. Demonstrated activity against several types of harmful organisms.
    • Kale—nutrient-rich, low calorie, antioxidant, lowers cholesterol, assists blood clotting, mineral rich, and promotes eye health.
    • Spinach—an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, protein, and choline. May assist with diabetes management, cancer prevention, asthma, blood pressure, bone health, digestive regularity, healthy skin and hair. Precautions: If you are taking blood-thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin) it is important that you do not suddenly begin to eat more or less foods containing vitamin K, which plays a large role in blood clotting. Consuming too much potassium can be harmful for those whose kidneys are not fully functional. If your kidneys are unable to remove excess potassium from the blood, it could be fatal.
    • Beet greens—an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), vitamin C, copper, potassium, manganese, vitamin B2, magnesium, vitamin E, fiber, and calcium. They are a very good source of iron, vitamins B1, B6, and pantothenic acid, as well as phosphorus and protein. High quality nutrition ingredients in the beet greens offer protection from vitamin A deficiency, osteoporosis, iron-deficiency anemia, and believed to protect from cardiovascular diseases and possibly colon and leukemia cancers.
    • Mint—the most known health benefits include its effect on digestion. It’s a great appetizer or palate cleanser, and promotes digestion. It soothes the stomach in cases of indigestion or inflammation. Contains known benefits as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antibacterial.
    • Fennel—rich in potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and strong phytonutrient content, which when coupled with its lack of cholesterol, all support heart health. Fennel contains significant amounts of fiber, which helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood, thereby decreasing the risk of heart disease.

    MILK ALTERNATIVES:

    Coconut Milk—is the liquid that comes from the grated meat of a brown coconut. The color and rich taste of the milk can be attributed to the high oil content. Coconut milk contains fiber and iron, but is higher in saturated fat and calories than cow’s milk. Unlike cow’s milk, coconut milk is lactose free, so perfect for those with lactose intolerance.

    Almond Milk—has proven very popular over the past few years, and it has been touted as a healthier alternative to cow and soy milk. It contains fewer calories than soy, no saturated fat or cholesterol, about 25 percent of the daily recommendation for vitamin D, and almost 50 percent of that for vitamin E. The main drawback is that it has very little protein, so almond milk lovers need to supplement their diet with other sources of protein.

    Cashew Milk—the nutrients in cashew milk reflect the vitamins and minerals of cashews. One cup of cashew milk contains 15 percent of the daily value, or DV, for vitamin K, based on consuming 2,000 calories daily. Vitamin K is an essential part of several different proteins that are responsible for making blood clot and building strong bones. You’ll also get 13 percent of the DV for iron and 25 percent for magnesium from one cup of cashew milk. Magnesium works with hundreds of enzymes that produce energy and synthesize proteins, while you need iron to carry oxygen in red blood cells and to support your immune system.

    Hemp Milk—is a vegan product made of a blend of hemp seeds and water. The mixture provides a creamy texture with a nutty taste. One benefit of hemp milk is that it is easy for the body to digest. In addition, this non-dairy alternative is rich in protein and contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins A, E, B-12 and folic acid, and is packed with minerals. You just need to find another source of calcium.

    Flax Milk—The benefits are extensive, here are a few:

    1. Unlike cow’s milk, flax milk contains no cholesterol or lactose, making it healthier for your heart.
    2. Flax milk also contains omega-3 fatty acids from the coldpressed flax oil, that has been shown to help prevent cancer, diabetes, heart disease and strokes.
    3. It is naturally lactose free, as well as being completely void of cholesterol.
    4. Flax milks are fortified with minerals and vitamins, including vitamins A, B12 and D, as well as calcium, which equals the nutritional value of other milk alternatives.
    5. All varieties are low in calories, while the original and vanilla varieties contain some sugars (from evaporated cane juice) but considerably less than other non-dairy milk alternatives.
    6. Flax milk contains no saturated or trans fat.
    7. Although it doesn’t offer the same health benefits, flax milk is another excellent alternative for those who are allergic to, or should avoid, soy.
    8. In addition to being soy-free, flax milk is free from the top eight allergens (from ingredients) including gluten.
    9. It is creamier than a lot of other milk alternatives.

    NOTE: The only downside to flax milk is that it contains no protein. However, there are numerous excellent plant-based sources of protein such as beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, tofu, and whole grains, which can be consumed as part of a balanced diet.

    I have intentionally excluded rice and soy milks as I don’t advocate their use for several reasons. RICE is too high in carbohydrates, which convert to sugar. SOY is not advised for those who are not from Asian decent because North American’s and other ethnicity who do not have the protein needed to break it down and, therefore, can be toxic to the body and a hormone disrupter.

    Ginger (fresh)—anti-inflammatory, antioxidant rich, anti-nausea, aids digestion, lowers blood sugar, cholesterol reducer, immune booster.

    Daikon radish—is considered a superfood because it contains large amounts of enzymes that aid in fat and starch digestion as well as high levels of vitamin C, phosphorus and potassium. It also contains other phyto-nutrients that fight cancer.

    Cinnamon (ground)—assists with insulin response, improved glucose and cholesterol levels, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, assist with symptoms in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, anti-inflammatory (Note: These apply specifically to Cinnamonium verum not Cinnamonium cassia.)

    Turmeric(Curcuma longa)— this is the bright yellow of the spice rainbow. A powerful medicine that has long been used in the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine as an anti-inflammatory agent to treat a wide variety of conditions, including flatulence, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, bloody urine, hemorrhage, toothache, and more. Antioxidant properties, cellular support, anticancer properties, and improved liver function are additional benefits.

    Vanilla—Vanilla extract is chiefly composed of simple and complex sugars, essential oils, vitamins, and minerals.

    1. The chief chemical component in the beans is vanillin. The pods also compose of numerous traces of other constituents such as eugenol, caproic acid, phenoles, phenol ether, alcohols, carbonyl compounds, acids, ester, lactones, aliphatic and aromatic carbohydrates and vitispiranes.
    2. Its extract contains small amounts of B-complex groups of vitamins such as niacin, pantothenic acid, thiamin, riboflavin and vitamin B6. These vitamins help in enzyme synthesis, nervous system function and regulating body metabolism.
    3. This condiment spice also contains small traces of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, iron and zinc. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure.

    Apple—extremely rich in important antioxidants, flavonoids, and dietary fiber. The phytonutrients and antioxidants in apples may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.

    Lemon—known for its therapeutic properties for generations, lemon helps strengthen immune functions, cleanse the stomach and is considered a blood purifier. In addition, it is credited as a remedy for kidney stones, reducing strokes and lowering body temperature. It contains vitamins C, B6, A, E, folate, niacin thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus and protein. Lemon has an alkalizing effect and, therefore, helps ward off abnormal cell growth because viruses, fungus, and bacteria they can't survive/thrive in an alkaline environment.

    Lime—prevents scurvy, promotes skin health, digestive aid, reduce blood sugar spikes, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, urinary tract health. Stevia—this alternative sweetener is reported to lower blood pressure, blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and can be anti-inflammatory, anticancer, diuretic, and assist immune function.

    Coconut oil—a healthy fat, antimicrobial, lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels, improves coagulation and antioxidant blood levels, boosts ketone bodies in blood supplying energy to the brain and even relieving Alzheimer's symptoms, reduces BMI (body mass index).

    Coconut water—a very refreshing drink to beat tropical summer thirst. Its liquid is packed with simple sugars, electrolytes, and minerals to replenish dehydration.

    Avocado—nutrient rich, healthy fats, high in potassium, supports healthy blood pressure, high in fiber, assists in healthy cholesterol levels, promotes eye health, may assist with arthritis symptoms.

    Berries—strawberries, blackberries, tart cherries, cranberries and raspberries are powerful superfoods. They're rich in nutrients, antioxidants and phytochemicals, which may help prevent (and, in some cases, reverse) the effects of aging, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure and certain types of cancer.

    Enjoy—not only the taste but in reaping the health benefits to help you age without looking or feeling old. A 6-week guided Rejuvenation DETOX TeleClass is taught several times per year, it includes PowerPoints and Screen-sharing for better Health thru Education., register now at www.gloriagilbere.com (look in the SLIDER for specifics and to register)—you don't have to download software—once you register online your acknowledgement provides a phone number to call to join the class AND a link to see my presentation live. All you do is click the link, provide your first name and email so the system verifies you're registered. Get in shape and begin your rejuvenation program with individualized support via our TeleClass.

    BONUS: Once you participate in a Rejuvenation DETOX TeleClass, taught 3-4 times per year, you can repeat it 3 more times at NO CHARGE by registering with the Institute office at: (888) 352-8175, space is limited so first-come, first-serve.

  • Historical Reference

    Enchiladas originated in Mexico, where the practice of rolling tortillas around other food dates back at least to Mayan times. The people living in the lake region of the Valley of Mexico traditionally ate corn tortillas folded or rolled around small fish. Don't be limited by these recipes, enchiladas can be filled with whatever you choose and they're healthy, filling and only limited by your imagination. Many of my readers and patients asked for a version without the tortilla because for health reasons they cannot tolerate most grains used in tortillas...you asked, here you go.

    In South America, I have discovered the varieties are expansive but the ones I seek out, if dining out, are what they call "Enchiladas Suizas," which indicates it's made with a white sauce rather than the nightshade-based tomato-based version.

    Enchiladas—Zucchini Version

    Ingredients
    • 1 TB extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • Kosher salt to taste
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 tsp. ground cumin
    • 3 cups shredded chicken/turkey/beef/bison
    • 1 1/3 cups white enchilada sauce, divided (see white sauce recipe below)
    • 4 large zucchinis, halved lengthwise
    • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack
    • 1 cup shredded Cheddar
    • Sour cream or full-fat plain yogurt, for drizzling
    • Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

    sliced zucchini

    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350°.
    2. In large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and season with salt. Cook until soft, 5 minutes, then add garlic, cumin, stir until combined.
    3. Add shredded meat of your choice and 1 cup white enchilada sauce (Note 1) and stir until saucy or well-blended.
    4. On a cutting board, use a Y-shaped vegetable peeler to make thin slices of zucchini. Lay out three, slightly overlapping, and place a spoonful of chicken mixture on top. Roll up and transfer to a baking dish. Repeat with remaining zucchini and chicken mixture.
    5. Spoon remaining . cup enchilada sauce over zucchini enchiladas and sprinkle with cheeses.
    6. Bake at 180C/350F until ingredients are melted, will it be slightly browned, approx. 20 minutes; Serve hot!
    Options: Garnish with sour cream, chopped black olives and cilantro; serve. *** White Sauce

    White Sauce

    Ingredients

    • 2 1/2 tbsp butter
    • 3-5 tbsp white rice flour, tapioca flour, or corn starch to desired thickness
    • 1 cup milk (or alternative)
    • 1/2 cup sour cream (or plain full-fat yogurt)
    • 1 cup chicken broth
    • 1 tbsp Braggs Aminos
    • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
    • Salt to taste
    • White pepper to taste and desired “heat”—this adds that spicy flavor without adding nightshades
    • like cayenne or other peppers.

    Instructions for White Sauce
    Dissolve flour in milk with a whisk and set aside.

    Melt butter; add milk/flour mixture to butter and cook for approx. 1 minute or until very light brown, this is the roux.

    Add sour cream and chicken broth. Whisk constantly and cook for approximately 2 minutes–it should thicken slightly or to your desired consistency. Simmer another 10 minutes or so on low and stir.

    Stir in the cumin, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to layer and/or garnish the enchiladas with sauce.

    Enchiladas—Tortilla Version
    • 2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken (I used marinated and poached chicken breast)
    • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
    • 1/2 - 3/4 cup finely sliced scallions
    • Salt and pepper (to taste)—use white pepper if you want “heat” without nightshades
    • 2 cups grated cheese
    • 8 to 10 tortillas (flour, corn, quinoa or amaranth)
    • White Sauce, see instructions.

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
    2. For filling, mix together ¼ cup White Sauce, chicken, corn, scallions, 1 cup grated cheese, salt and pepper.
    3. Place tortillas in a steamer (in parchment paper) or gently warm on stovetop in griddle or tortilla warmer plate so they donft crack when being rolled.
    4. Divide filling between tortillas and roll them.
    5. Grease baking dish with butter or coconut oil. Spread 2 TB of White Sauce in baking dish. Place enchiladas in the dish, seam side down. Pour over remaining White Sauce, scatter with remaining cheese.
    6. Bake for approx. 25 minutes, until bubbly and golden. Serve hot!

    Optional: Serve with Guacamole on top or on the side.see recipe following.

    Dr. Gloria's Recipe Notes

    I use all-natural Monterey Jack, Cheddar and other easily melted cheeses. For those that must avoid dairy, use milk and cheese alternatives.

    MAKE AHEAD:

    • Refrigerate the rolled-up Enchiladas (using the white sauce in the filling per recipe) and place them in the baking dish. Keep the White Sauce for the topping separate. Place in the refrigerator for up to two days. On the day of baking, add a small splash of milk to the White Sauce and mix to loosen it to a pourable consistency, then pour it over the Enchiladas. Scatter over cheese and bake, as per the recipe.
    • Freezer Make the Enchiladas and top with cooled White Sauce then cheese. Cover well, freeze. Defrost in the fridge then bake as per recipe.

    For the Guacamole without nightshades, my quick version is:

    • 3-4 Blended/mashed ripe Avocados
    • Sour Cream or Mayonnaise (or combination) to desired consistency
    • Salt to taste
    • White pepper to taste for that "heat"
    • Approximately 1/8 t0 1/4 cup finely chopped Cilantro
    • 1 Red onion, finely chopped
    • 2 TB Lime juice, or to taste—can use lemon juice but the authentic flavor is with lime
    • 2 TB finely chopped garlic
    • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. ground cumin, to taste

    NOTE:The BEST Guacamole is made in advance the night before, covered and refrigerated—allowing all ingredients to blend.

  • These deviled eggs are naturally colored and a healthy, sweet n' spicy twist on traditional deviled eggs. With a super-smooth, creamy filling of chopped bread-n-butter pickles and Greek yogurt, these deviled eggs are perfect for your next party, potluck or Easter celebration!

    Dr. G's Perspective
    It's interesting, and also perplexing to me, that many recipes include paprika in a very small amount simply for color and/ or garnish. Just that little sprinkle can leave those of us with underlying dormant inflammation in pain for days. I recently asked a local chef (an expat) I greatly admire why she adds a pinch of paprika or cayenne to my favorite dishes like her amazing quiche and eggs Benedict. Her reply didn't surprise me. She said simply because it was in her recipe she's used for years. She admitted it didn't add flavor in those small quantities but did add color.

    For those, like me, a recovered Fibromyalgia victim with underlying inflammation factors, it will spiral us into pain when it can be completely eliminated from recipes without compromising taste or appearance. Once you're free of nightshades and realize how reactive you are, just a pinch sets off the fire of inflammation again, even though you're pain free otherwise. Just a sprinkle is enough to induce inflammation, if you don't believe me, try it once you've been completely off nightshades for at least 90 days.

    When I'm craving one of my chef friend's special dishes, I email ahead and tell her what I want and she makes it without inflammation-causing ingredients. I mention this because often we're sabotaged without knowing it when a chef or cook believes that in small amounts it shouldn't bother those sensitive to nightshades.

    When I relocated, one of the first things on my "to do" list was to partake of several local eateries to introduce myself and gently educate them about why I, and my patients, must avoid nightshades. Every one of them was polite, interested and asked if I'd leave my nightshade card so they could post in their kitchen. This small gesture of educating them briefly has served us all well. I can eat in at least eight local restaurants with no risk of inducing inflammation. My local patients are thrilled to learn that I've already laid the groundwork for them to be able to enjoy a meal while supporting the efforts of our local chefs—a little polite health education goes along way.

    Ingredients

    • 12 large eggs hard boiled and peeled*
    • 2 Tbsp. plain Greek yogurt *
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped bread and butter pickles
    • 1 small shallot peeled and roughly chopped
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill weed
    • 1/4 tsp. apple cider vinegar
    • 1/4 tsp. lemon juice
    • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
    • 4 Tbsp. Dijon mustard (more or less to taste)
    • 1 tsp. Braggs Aminos
    • 2 tsp. Achiote Powder* (reserve some for topping)
    • Optional toppings: micro greens or edible flowers
    Instructions
    • For "Standing Up" Deviled Eggs: Use a sharp paring knife to slice a small sliver off the bottom of the large end of egg, so it will stand upright, and then slice off the top one third.
    • For Filling: Remove the yolks from all the hard-boiled eggs and place in the bowl of a food processor. Add shallot and pickles. Process until finely chopped. Add-in the fresh dill weed and achiote powder and process again until everything is minced. Add in the yogurt, vinegar, mustard and lemon juice. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
    • Transfer the deviled egg mixture to a piping bag fitted with the star attachment (or a Ziploc with the corner snipped off for a make-shift piping bag). Pipe the mixture into the egg whites, filling each cavity generously.
    • To Serve: Garnish with greens/flowers and sprinkle with a bit of annato/achiote* for the natural red color. Serve and enjoy!
    Dr. G's Notes
    • Eggs that are older, at least seven days, are MUCH easier to peel.
    • If your filling looks thin and slightly watery, simply add a hard-boiled egg (white, yolk, or both) to the processor with the filling, and process until smooth. Keep adding egg until the filling is thickened. If you made standing deviled eggs, use the egg white scraps to thicken the filling.
    • Make sure you season the filling GENEROUSLY. Eggs like salt. I used a 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and some Pink Himalayan Salt and 4 grinds of fresh pepper (black, white, pink and red).

    You Might Also Like:
    Crab Cake Stuffed Deviled Eggs
    Bacon, Chive & Cheese Deviled Eggs
    Do Ahead: Eggs can be made one day ahead. Cover and chill.

    *What is Achiote (or Annatto)?
    Achiote is a reddish orange spice used in many genres of food throughout the world. While it's often employed to give a dish a red or deep mustard color, it also has a mild peppery flavor. Whether it is as whole seeds or a ground spice, achiote paste or achiote oil, you'll come across this ingredient quite often when exploring Mexican, South American or Caribbean cuisine.

    Achiote and annatto are used interchangeably. They are the most common names for a product extracted from the seeds of the evergreen Bixa orellana shrub—NOT a nightshade and can be used to replace paprika or cayenne as a condiment. After macerating in water, the pulp surrounding the seeds is made into cakes for further processing into dyes. The seeds are dried and used whole or ground as a culinary spice.

    This spice goes by many names in different parts of the world:

    • Achiote is used in Mexico and in the Aztec language of Nahuatl, as well as Spanish-speaking countries of the Caribbean.
    • Annato is common on some Caribbean islands and in areas of South America.
    • Roucou is used frequently in Trinidad and Tobago, Martinique, and Guadalupe.
    • Achuete is primarily used in the Philippines.
    • Urucul is the name of the spice among the Tupi-Gurani Indians of the Amazon.

    Achiote is native to the tropical areas of the Americas, including the Caribbean and Mexico. The Spanish brought the small tree from the Americas to Southeast Asia in the 1600s, where it is now a common food ingredient. It's also produced in India and West Africa.

    Traditional Uses for Achiote
    Annatto was and still is, used as a culinary spice, food colorant, and commercial dye.

    It does have medicinal properties as well. Caribbean natives were adding achiote to their dishes for flavor and color long before Europeans arrived. They also used it in cosmetics, as a fabric dye, body paint, sunscreen, insect repellent, and medicine.

    Some historians theorize that the term ¡§red-skins¡¨ comes from the use of achiote as body paint because it is a natural dye that turns the skin a reddish color.

    It is also believed that the Aztecs added the seeds to a chocolate drink to enhance its color.

    Culinary Uses
    Commercially, achiote is used to add yellow color to chorizo, butter and margarine, cheese, and smoked fish. On the Spanish-speaking Caribbean islands, it's used to make yellow rice and sometimes added to sofrito. In the French Caribbean, it's used to make a fish or pork stew with berries and lime known as blaff.

    Achiote powder mixed with other spices and herbs can be turned into an achiote paste to marinate and give a smoky flavor to meats, fish, and poultry.

    Achiote seeds are steeped in cooking oil to make achiote oil for achiotina, infusing them with color and flavor. Sauteing in or cooking with the oil adds color to rice, paella, meat, soup, stew, fish, and some yuca dishes. In some cultures, the red color in their traditional dishes comes from saffron. Achiote is used much the same and a lot more cost-effective than saffron.

    Taste and Aroma
    When used in small amounts, primarily as a food colorant, annatto has no discernable flavor. However, when used in larger amounts to add flavor, it imparts an earthy, peppery flavor with a hint of bitterness. Achiote seeds give off a slightly floral or peppermint scent.

  • Dear Readers,

    Welcome to the January 2018 issue of TotalHealth Magazine Online.

    Dallas Clouatre's, PhD, article, "Probiotics For Digestive Health," answers many questions on probiotics, what they are, why we need them and how to select them. Best described by the following quote: {For instance, according to Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at Kings College London and director of the British Gut Microbiome project, a "healthy gut is like a perfect English garden. You've got a diversity of microbes of all types, all living together and feeding off each other's byproducts—nothing is wasted."}

    This is part two of a two-part series on Coenzyme Q10 (See part one TotalHealth December 2017 page 10) titled "Coenzyme Q10: The New Era," by Ross Pelton, RPh, CCN and William V. Judy, PhD. "Coenzyme Q10's dual functions (antioxidant & energy production) make it essential for the health of virtually all human tissues and organs. As a fat-soluble antioxidant, it protects proteins (like LDL-cholesterol), enzymes, fats (all cell walls/membranes) and especially DNA from free radical damage. In terms of energy production, areas of the body with high rates of metabolic activity (high energy demands) such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain and immune system are especially sensitive to low levels of CoQ10." Read on for the full update.

    Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, in "Bile: Your New BFF," brings an important and not often discussed system of the workings of the human body. Bile is produced by the liver to the tune of about one quart per day, bile is made from lecithin, cholesterol and bilirubin. The body stores it in the gallbladder, and moves it to the intestines during digestion. After reading about the process you'll understand why Gittleman refers to it as your new best friend forever.

    "Optimizing Cognitive Function—Foods And Supplements," Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, describes our brain as our body's motor. Our brain consumes 10 times as much energy for its size as the rest of our body. "So what we feed it determines whether it purrs like a Ferrari, or runs in fits and starts." Teitelbaum includes the top four foods and supplements to feed your brain.

    Elson Haas, MD, in this month's article, "A Smart Start To Your New Year The Health Benefits Of Seasonal Detox," emphasizes detox approach to improving your health. Haas has been leading and participating in detox programs during his thirty-one years in medical practice. This Detox program begins in January 2018.

    Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, RH(AHG), "Complementary And Alternative Treatments for Seasonal Allergies," describes what many of us experience as a congested, runny, itchy nose together with frequent sneezing and watery eyes that makes you feel miserable. If you are looking for a complementary and alternative treatment approach to allergies look no further. Bruno describes a full menu of supplements available to you.

    Gloria Gilbère's, CDP, DAHom, PhD, presents "Apple Cider Glazed Chicken with Sweet Potatoes." Inflammation-free, nightshade free recipes, there are many ways by which normal cells and tissues can be damaged, leading to inflammation. One important way is consuming nightshade foods because they contain a substance known to accelerate inflammation—Solanaceae or Solanine—alkaloid chemicals that can be highly toxic.

    Shawn Messonnier, DVM, consults this month on, "Hyperthyroidism in Pets." Reminding us to always consult with our veterinarian before supplementing our pets' diet.

    Best in health,

    TWIP The Wellness Imperative People

    Click here to read the full January issue.

    Click here to read the full January issue.

  • This new series provides not only healthy recipes but also the health benefits of each ingredient.

    Expanding on my love of healthy cooking and ethnic diversity, my recipes are created and tested in my institute kitchen to insure they are packed with nutrition AND the ability to assist overall detoxification, which is the basics for wholistic rejuvenation. This recipe is not a main course but a great side-dish and/or appetizer.

    INGREDIENTS
    • 3 tablespoons organic virgin coconut oil
    • 2 pounds organic carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
    • 2 medium sized organic garlic cloves, finely minced
    • 3/4 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • Himalayan Sea Salt
    • Pepper (can use white or black – white pepper has more of a “bite”)
    • 1/3 cup filtered water
    • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
    • 1/2 cup minced fresh organic parsley or cilantro
    DIRECTIONS
    1. Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium-high and add the carrots and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until they begin to soften (about 6 minutes).
    2. Stir in the garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, and cinnamon and cook about 30 seconds.
    3. Add the water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook, until the carrots are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
    4. Turn off the heat and using a food processor blend the carrots. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and vinegar. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until the dip is chilled, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle with the cilantro before serving with healthy veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, jicama slices, etc. Note: Best when refrigerated overnight to allow flavor of spices to intensify.

    HEALTH BENEFITS OF INGREDIENTS
    Enjoy the taste and reap the health benefits.

    Coconut oil: healthy fat, antimicrobial, lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels, improves coagulation and antioxidant blood levels, boosts ketone bodies in blood supplying energy to the brain and even relieving Alzheimer’s symptoms, reduces BMI (body mass index).

    Carrots— actually considered a vessel for vitamin A – containing a large amount of vitamin A. Additionally, they’re rich with vitamin C, E, B6, K and many more.

    Garlic—fresh: immune booster, blood pressure aid, cholesterol lowering, high in antioxidants, reduces heavy metal toxicity.

    Ginger—fresh: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant rich, anti-nausea, aids digestion, lowers blood sugar, cholesterol reducer, immune booster.

    Coriander—ground: anti-inflammatory, reduces edema, diuretic, helps multiple skin conditions, lowers cholesterol, digestive aid, bone health assist, antimicrobial, blood sugar regulator.

    Cumin—ground: anti-stress, helps insulin sensitivity, high in antioxidants, digestive aid, antiviral, iron-rich, detoxifying.

    Cinnamon—ground: assists with insulin response, improved glucose and cholesterol levels, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, assist with symptoms in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, antiinflammatory (Note: These apply specifically to Cinnamomum verum not Cinnamomum cassia. Himalayan sea salt—purity, pH balance, high mineral content, blood pressure regulator, assists digestion, blood sugar modulator, improves bone, vascular and respiratory health, prevents muscle cramps.

    Black pepper—digestive aid, detoxifying, antibacterial, antioxidant, brain health, anti-inflammatory. (Note: after a abdominal surgery, sneezing and intestinal irritation may be of concern.)

    Filtered water—purity of source.

    Apple Cider vinegar—antibacterial, lowers blood sugar after meals, may help cholesterol, triglyceride levels and blood pressure.

    Parsley or cilantro—fresh: rich in vitamins A, B9, C, iron, K, immune booster.

    A 6-week guided Rejuvenation DETOX TeleClass is taught several times per year, it includes PowerPoints and Screen-sharing for better Health thru EducationTM, register now at www.gloriagilbere.com (look in the SLIDER for specifics and to register) …you don’t have to download software—once you register online your acknowledgement provides a phone number to call to join the class AND a link to see my presentation live. All you do is click the link, provide your first name and email so the system verifies you’re registered. Get in shape and begin your rejuvenation program with individualized support via our TeleClass.

    BONUS: Once you participate in a Rejuvenation DETOX TeleClass, taught 3–4 times per year, you can repeat it three more times at NO CHARGE by registering with the Institute office at: (888) 352-8175, space is limited so first-come, first-serve.

  • This new series provides not only healthy recipes but also the health benefits of each ingredient.

    This is the perfect side dish or snack when what is typically the hottest month. Recipes do not have to be difficult or with dozens of ingredients. My recipes are created and tested in my institute kitchen to insure they are packed with nutrition AND the ability to assist overall detoxification while being packed with other energy-producing ingredients, which is what's important for wholistic rejuvenation.

    Ingredients

    4 large, well-ripened avocados, smashed until creamy smooth with no lumps
    The juice of 2-3 limes (to taste, I like it tangy so I use 3)
    ½ of a VERY finely chopped red onion
    ½ package of Simply Organic Ranch Dressing Powder Mix or other organic ranch dressing (careful to read label for alias for MSG and other health-depleting ingredients)
    ⅓ cup plain non-fat yogurt, organic sour cream, or natural creme fraiche
    1 bunch of finely chopped cilantro White pepper (makes it spicy without using nightshades that "ignite" inflammation)
    Salt to taste
    1 tsp. olive or grape seed oil
    1 tsp. finely chopped garlic

    NOTE from Dr. G's Pantry

    The avocado is considered the perfect super food by many nutritional experts...AND for good reason.

    According to Daniel Amen, MD, avocados are one of the top brain-healthy foods that assist in preventing cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Its benefit is believed to come from the folate in avocado that contributes to preventing formation of brain tangles—considered a major factor in Alzheimer's.

    In addition, avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats that boost heart health and help lower blood pressure. The monounsaturated fats in avocado beta-sitosterol. the phytonutrient clinically proven to lower LDL and triglyceride blood levels while raising HDL. Additionally, the vitamin B6 combined with the natural folic acid in avocado help regulate homocysteine—which when high, is a forerunner of heart disease.

    Health Benefits of Ingredients

    Avocado: nutrient rich, healthy fats, high in potassium, supports healthy blood pressure, high in fiber, assists in healthy cholesterol levels, promotes eye health, may assist with arthritis symptoms.

    Lime: prevents scurvy, promotes skin health, digestive aid, reduce blood sugar spikes, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, urinary tract health.

    Onions: contain antibiotic, antiseptic, antimicrobial and carminative properties. They're rich in sulphur, fiber, potassium, vitamins B, C and low in fat, cholesterol and sodium.

    Simply Organic Ranch Dressing Powder: provides flavor without toxic additives

    Yogurt, sour cream or creme fraiche (organic):

    Yogurt: powerhouse of various vitamins and minerals, maintains cholesterol levels in the body and prevents ailments like hypertension, while also boosting immunity. It is good for improving the strength of bones and teeth, aids in digestion, and is valuable in skin care. Lactobacillus promotes gut health.

    Sour cream/Cream fraiche (organic): nutrient rich containing calcium, riboflavin, phosphorus, vitamin B-12, protein.

    Cilantro: In healthcare, most often cited as effective for detoxifying heavy metals because it binds to toxic metals and loosen them from the tissues. This is especially important for those with mercury exposure. The following are additional documented health benefits:

    • May be able to help prevent cardiovascular damage;
    • The School of Life Science in Tamil Nadu, India, noted, after researching the activity of cilantro leaves and stem, "if used in cuisine, would be a remedy for diabetes" because of its blood-sugar lowering effect;
    • Strong antioxidant activity;
    • Has been shown to have anti-anxiety effects;
    • May help improve sleep quality;
    • Cilantro seed oil possess antioxidative properties, consumption may decrease oxidative stress;
    • Research conducted by The Dental School of Piracicaba in Brazil found cilantro oil to be a newly discovered natural fungal cleansing formulation;
    • Demonstrated activity against several types of harmful organisms.

    White pepper: digestive aid, detoxifying, antioxidant, mineral rich aiding in bone health.

    (Natural Sea) Salt: Salt is essential for life and an important component in the human diet. Sodium is a nutrient that the body cannot manufacture but which is required for life itself. Sodium is easily absorbed and is active in the absorption of other nutrients in the small intestine. It helps regulate water balance, pH, and is important in nerve conduction.

    Olive or Grape seed oil:

    Olive oil: widespread cardiovascular support, anti-inflammatory, possibly anti-cancer, brain health support, liver and digestive stress reducer.

    Grape Seed Oil: a great source of polyphenols—flavonoids, essential fatty acid—linoleic acid, vitamin E, and oligomeric proanthocyanidin. Cholesterol lowering, anti-inflammatory.

    Garlic—fresh: immune booster, blood pressure aid, cholesterol lowering, high in antioxidants, reduces heavy metal toxicity.

    Enjoy...not only the taste but in reaping the health benefits...

    A 6-week guided Rejuvenation DETOX TeleClass is taught several times per year, it includes PowerPoints and Screen-sharing for better Health thru EducationTM, register now at www.gloriagilbere.com (look in the SLIDER for specifics and to register)—you don't have to download software—once you register online your acknowledgement provides a phone number to call to join the class AND a link to see my presentation live. All you do is click the link, provide your first name and email so the system verifies you're registered. Get in shape and begin your rejuvenation program with individualized support via our TeleClass.

    BONUS:Once you participate in a Rejuvenation DETOX TeleClass, taught 3–4 times per year, you can repeat it three more times at NO CHARGE by registering with the Institute office at: (888) 352-8175, space is limited so first-come, firstserve.

  • Dear Readers,

    Welcome to the November 2018 issue of TotalHealth Magazine.

    Charles K. Bens, PhD, "How Do Genes Influence Our Health?" Bens shares with us information on how we don't inheirt diseases like cancer and others—we inheirt a genetic predisposition. Many environmental factors are controllable, such as what we eat and drink, and other lifestyle factors, such as alcohol or tobacco consumption. Bens includes a list that illustrates most of the factors that can influence genetic expression.

    "The 5 Radical Rules For Healthy Weight Loss," by Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS. Long-time weight loss, detox, and anti-aging expert continues to write on the nutritional landscape. If you have an over 40 sluggish metabolism or a thyroid issue, then follow these 5 Radical Rules to lose weight and feel great! In new book "Radical Metabolism," Ann Louise shares with readers how to be successful on this plan.

    Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, "Premenstrual Syndrome: Nutraceutical Relief." Twenty to 50 percent of all women are believed to experience at least one symptom of PMS regularly; only five percent of these women are estimated to have symptoms severe enough to interfere with normal activity. Whether a woman is in the 50 percent or the five percent Bruno gives us a number of nutraceuticals which have been found to be helpful.

    Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, "Recovering From Fibromyalgia—Am I Crazy?" Having worked with thousands of severely ill patients over the last thirty-five years, I have found there are three steps that will leave you feeling happy, no matter how ill you are: 1. Be authentic with your feelings. 2. Make life a "no-fault" system. 3. Learn to keep your attention on what feels good. Read on for a detailed explanation of the three steps and more information on CFS and Fibromyalgia.

    Sherrill Sellman, ND reports "How To Choose The Most Effective CBD Hemp Extracts." Sellman says "I am always searching for the very best products to recommend to my patients. For the past year, I have been researching all aspects of the Hemp Extract story." Sellman includes information on the health conditions this product may be helpful in treating, how it is grown and harvested.

    Gloria Gilbère, CDP, DAHom, PhD, presents "Colorful Holiday Beet Salad Recipe Extraordinaire!" This Beet and Red Grape salad recipe is sure to be a winner during the holidays and beyond. Be sure to read the options, this salad is so versatile you can make it with your own signature. The extensive list of the health benefits of beets is included.

    Shawn Messonnier, DVM, this month brings us Part 2 of "Arthritis In Pets." The focus is on Glucosamine and Chondroitin constitute the major GAGs in the joint cartilage: glycosaminoglycans serve as major components of articular cartilage. If your pet is showing signs of arthritis you'll find this series helpful.

    Thanks to all the authors who make TotalHealth possible.

    Best in health,

    TWIP—The Wellness Imperative People

    Click here to read the full November 2018 issue.

    Click here to read the full November 2018 issue.

  • If you're looking for a healthy, colorful, tasty and quick salad, this is it...assuming of course the corn is organic.

    Summer Corn Salad...South American Style, that is!

    Ingredients
    • 1 cup organic canned or dried black beans, well rinsed (soaked and drained)
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 small yellow onion, cut in half (if you're cooking the beans)
    • 1 small red onion finely chopped (if you're using canned beans)
    • Kosher or Pink Himalayan salt
    • 1/2 cup very finely chopped cucumber
    • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 4–5 TB. fresh lime juice
    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 to 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1 TB. Lakanto™ natural sweetener
    • 1 ripe avocado cut into small cubes
    • 1 cup organic fresh corn kernels, canned, or thawed frozen
      (slowly roast lightly in heavy skillet and cool—may use just a touch of coconut oil).

    IF cooking the beans...
    Best when raw beans are soaked overnight. Rinse well and then in a deep, heavy-based pot, cover the beans with 6 to 8 cups cold water. Add the bay leaves, onion, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, skimming any foam that rises to the surface. Cover and cook until the beans are tender, about 75 minutes; let cool in the broth. (Refrigerate the cooled beans in the broth if holding for more than a few hours; bring to room temperature before assembling the salad.) Drain the beans, discarding the yellow onion and bay leaves then follow directions below for using canned beans to assemble your salad.

    IF using canned beans...
    Drain beans well, in a serving bowl, combine the beans with the corn, red onion and scallions. In a small bowl, stir 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper and 1 TB. Lakanto sweetener into the lime juice and then add the olive oil, whisking to combine. Add this dressing along with the cheese, avocado and cilantro to the bean mixture, stirring gently until well combined. Let sit for 15 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed. Serve at room temperature.

    Serving Suggestions:

    • Serve in standard tortilla or mini shells
    • Serve without the cubed avocado in a half-avocado
    • On top of a hamburger or veggie burger
    • Stuff small baked squash with salad
    Health Benefits of Ingredients:
    • . Black Beans.a.k.a. turtle beans, frijoles negros (Spanish)

    These small, glossy purplish-black beans are one of hundreds of varieties of the common bean. They're especially common in Latin American and Caribbean cuisine, and are widely available both dried and canned. Choose dried beans that look plump and evenly colored. Pick over dried beans before using to remove any small pebbles.

    Equivalents: 1 cup dried beans = about 2 cups cooked.

    The black bean's fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin B6, and phytonutrient content, coupled with its lack of cholesterol, all support heart health. The fiber in black beans helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and decrease the risk of heart disease.

    Nutrition in Brief:

    Black Beans help protect against cancer, improves digestion, boosts energy, stabilizes blood sugar, loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, are high in protein and helps with weight loss.

    Pink Himalayan Salt—Regulates water content throughout the body, absorbs food particles through the intestinal tract, supports respiratory health, promotes sinus health, helps bone strength, supports libido.

    Scallions—Known as spring onions (scallions are onions harvested before their bulbs form) are plentiful in B-complex vitamins as well as some essential minerals such as copper, iron, manganese, and calcium. The leafy greens contain several vital vitamins such as pyridoxine, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin in healthy proportions.

    One hundred g fresh leaves provide 64 mg of folates. Scallions are nutritious with each part almost entirely edible, except the roots. With the rich taste and health benefits, you may want to start adding scallions to your menu.

    Bay Leaves—Some of the most impressive health benefits of bay leaves include their ability to detoxify the body, slow the aging process, speed wound healing, protect the body from bacterial infections, manage diabetes, improve heart health, reduce inflammation, alleviate respiratory issues, optimize digestion, improve health of hair follicles, and help lower stress hormones in the body.

    Onion—Onions are part of the allium family of vegetables and herbs, which also includes chives, garlic, scallions and leeks.

    Consuming onions could lower the risk of several types of cancer. Onions are believed to be beneficial because of their dense source of the strong antioxidant vitamin C. Vitamin C helps combat formation of free-radicals known to cause cancer as well as a compound called quercetin, known to play a significant role in cancer prevention, improve mood and maintain the health of skin and hair. Additionally, onions contain chromium, which assists in regulating blood sugar and have been used for centuries to reduce inflammation and heal infections. NOTE: Researchers from Cornell University studied 11 varieties of onions and found that shallots and Western yellow onions were the healthiest for their phenolic and flavonoid content.

    Corn—Contains abundant antioxidant activity, which helps protect the body from cancer and heart disease— antioxidants are increased when corn is cooked. Nutrition in Brief: Sweet corn is loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin, two phytochemicals that promote healthy vision. A midsize ear also offers a helpful 3-grams of dietary fiber. Other key phytonutrients include ferulic—vanillic—caffeic—syringic and coumaric acids, and beta-carotene are other key phytonutrients provided by corn. Corn is a good source of pantothenic acid, phosphorus, niacin, dietary fiber, manganese and vitamin B6.

    Cucumber—Following is a short list of the impressive health benefits that a cucumber imparts: an excellent source of vitamin K, molybdenum and pantothenic acid. Additionally, they're a good source of copper, potassium, manganese, vitamin C, phosphorus, magnesium, biotin and vitamin B1, and nail health-promoting mineral silica.

    • Keeps you hydrated
    • Fights heat, both inside and out
    • Flushes out toxins
    • Nourishes you with vitamins
    • Aids in weight loss
    • Revives and nourishes the eyes
    • Cuts cancer risk
    • Supplies skin-friendly minerals: magnesium, potassium, and silicon

    Lime—The health benefits of lime include weight loss, skin care, improved digestion, relief from constipation, supports eye health, treatment of scurvy, piles/ hemorrhoids, peptic ulcer, respiratory disorders, gout, gum disorders/inflammation, urinary disorders, regulates sugar absorption in diabetics, helps prevent heart disease, relief from fever and congestion, eliminates dandruff from hair follicles, etc. The first fruit that comes to mind in terms of medicinal uses is, and has been for centuries, the lime.

    Cilantro—Historical Perspective: Both cilantro and coriander have been used throughout the world to add flavor to dishes, and for natural holistic healing. Cilantro has been found in the Nahal Hemar Cave in Israel believed to have been inhabited over 8,000 years ago.

    Tutankhamen's tomb was found with coriander seeds sprinkled throughout. Cilantro was grown in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and is one of the first herbs to be cultivated in North America. For thousands of years, cultures across the world have taken advantage of cilantro's health benefits...AND... great taste enhancement.

    For over 5,000 years, Ayurveda medicine has used both coriander and cilantro to support liver function, fight bacterial infections, encourage digestive enzymes, detox the liver and kidneys, support memory, soothe skin rashes, and to stimulate the secretion of insulin.

    Another very important function of cilantro is it rids the body of heavy metals that include arsenic, cadmium, aluminum, lead, and mercury. These toxic metals can become resident in our tissues leading to heart disease, hormonal imbalances, neurological conditions, infertility, and so much more. Cilantro, also known scientifically as "Coriandrum sativum," has been shown to bind these toxic metals together, loosening them from tissue, and facilitating their elimination from the body.

    One study found that Coriandrum sativum significantly protects against lead induced oxidative stress, while another study found that cilantro actually accelerates the removal of heavy metals from the body.

    Dr. Omura, director of Medical Research at the Heart Disease Foundation, found in this study that antibiotic use is linked to the buildup of heavy metals in the body. He believes that antibiotics can protect the heavy metals causing certain infections to relapse, even after an entire course of antibiotics. In this study, cilantro was used to help remove stubborn heavy metal deposits that continued to plague patients; even after initial infection symptoms had faded.

    Results of the study showed that by supplementing antibiotic drugs with cilantro, cilantro is able to rid the body of the heavy metal toxins, and keep the infections from arising again. Cilantro's superior detoxing ability is why I include it in my heavy metal detox regimen as part of my worldwide programs for Wholistic Rejuvenation.

    Feta Cheese—contains 0.3 milligrams of riboflavin—19 percent of the RDA, and 0.6 micrograms of vitamin B12—11 percent of the RDA. It also contains Vitamin A, thiamin, vitamin B6, choline, niacin, folate, vitamin K, pantothenic acid and vitamin E.

    Made from sheep or goat milk (often combined), feta cheese is a nutrient-rich option for getting the flavor you're looking for, without the guilt. Feta is easier to digest and much less allergenic and inflammatory than cheeses from cow's milk, which is encouraging to those of you who may be sensitive to dairy products.

    An important protein found in feta cheese is called histidine. This protein was initially considered important only in infant health, but later was found essential in adults as well. When histidine is combined with vitamin B6 (found in feta cheese), it undergoes a molecular process to become histamine—a compound that is part of the inflammatory process. Although it is generally important to remove foods that cause inflammation from your diet, a small degree of inflammation is what allows your immune system to fight disease.

    Eating foods like feta cheese sparingly, combined with a diet high in antioxidants to protect from the damage of excess inflammation, can ensure a healthy immune system ready to fight disease the way it was originally designed.

    BONUS: feta cheese contains probiotics, which also help your immune system fight infection and disease!

    The Way I See It... Ecuador's history really does pack a dramatic punch, especially in culinary traditions and trends. The cultivation of corn began on Ecuador's Santa Elena peninsula and this agricultural progress is still one of their main crops and dietary mainstays. I never consumed much corn when living in the states except maybe summer outings or BBQ's. However, in Ecuador it's a different story because there's such a variety of genres and methods of preparing I had never experienced. Remember, the main concern is to insure the corn is organic because worldwide it's one of the most polluted crops as well as much these days is genetically-modified. This salad is my take of a delicious corn salad that has been served to me many times and is a favorite for the hot summer months—although hot in northern Ecuador means high of 75 degrees. (Cotacachi, where my health sciences and research center is based enjoys spring weather ALL year.) But, keeping in mind we're on the center of the world, at 8,000 ft. and on the equator...that's HOT from about July thru October during what the locals call the windy season...hot and dry. This dish is perfect for any weather but especially when you don't choose to heat-up your kitchen.

  • A Dairy-Free South American Delight

    If you love coconut and treasure its taste and health benefits as I do, this dessert is one you'll add to your list of easy favorite healthy treats.

    TEMBLEQUE gets its name from the Spanish word tiembla which means to shake—also likened to the Spanish word temblor which is used to describe an earthquake or trembling—very appropriate for Ecuador known for its earthquakes. It's a pudding thickened with cornstarch resulting in a slightly firm pudding with a custard texture that has a little jiggle when shaken—similar to Mexican flan but with its own unique flavor and texture.

    This healthy (and admittingly habit-forming) delight is creamy, cool and most of all intensely coconut. The pudding can be poured into individual molds or into a 9 x 9 square pan and served in slices. I like to do the individual servings if I'm making them as a daily snack or serving to dinner guests. However, if I'm taking it to a party I make it in a pan for easy slicing and serving. It's very versatile because you can top with any fruit.

    Tembleque (Coconut Pudding)—Serves: 6

    Ingredients

    • 4 cups coconut milk (canned works best)
    • 1/2 cup of cornstarch or arrowroot
    • 2/3 cup of Lakanto (monk fruit).natural sweetener
    • 1/2 teaspoon fine natural salt
    • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier liqueur or essential oil of orange or tangerine
    • Ground cinnamon to taste (I use 1 heaping teaspoon)
    Directions
    1. Lubricate the inside of six 4-oz ramekin molds with softened coconut oil, set aside.
    2. In medium saucepan, combine all ingredients except cinnamon and whisk until well blended.
    3. Place over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a slow boil and is smooth and thick, about 5 minutes. DO NOT allow it to reach a roaring boil.
    4. Pour the pudding into prepared molds.
    5. Cover and refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight.

    cinnamon


    Health Benefits of Key Ingredients:
    Coconut milk—Coconuts are highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous.

    Unlike cow's milk, coconut milk is lactose free so can be used as a milk substitute by those with lactose intolerance.

    Cornstarch—strictly used as a vegetable source for thickening, has little food value and is a carbohydrate; doesn't essentially add food value. If you are avoiding corn products you can use arrowroot.

    Lakanto (Monk fruit) Sweetener—an all-natural sweetener used in the same quantity as sugar in a recipe. It comes in Original (white like refined sugar) or Golden (like brown sugar). Over a thousand years ago, in remote mountain highlands of Asia, a group of Buddhist monks, called the LoHan, achieved enlightenment through meditation, prayer and pure living. On the slopes of a primeval forest, the monks discovered and cultivated a rare fruit prized for its sweetness. This sacred fruit was named Monk Fruit, or LoHan Guo, after its devoted caretakers and was used in elixirs to increase chi, or life energy.

    Monk Fruit was used for centuries in eastern traditional herbalism to increase chi and well-being, earning it the nickname "The Immortals' Fruit." We still grow and harvest Monk Fruit for LAKANTO® in the same pristine area and according to traditional and environmental methods.

    Born from a proprietary mixture of the high-purity Monk Fruit extract and Erythritol, LAKANTO® is a delicious, all-natural, zero calorie, zero glycemic sweetener with the sumptuous rich taste of sugar. Unlike most fruits, whose sweetness comes from fructose, Monk Fruit's sweetness comes from natural mogrosides that are much sweeter than sugar. Modern research shows that Monk Fruit extract does not elevate blood sugar or insulin, making it a perfect sweetener for blood sugar and weight management. And it does NOT feed yeast or induce inflammation as sugar does.

    Grand Marnier—an orange-flavored liqueur created in 1880 by Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle. It's made by blending cognac brandy, distilled essence of bitter orange, and sugar. Yes, it's liquor. If you are avoiding liquor you can substitute pure essential oil of orange.

    Cinnamon is a powerful spice used medicinally around the world for thousands of years. This ancient spice was once so prized that civilizations went to war over it. History dates the use of cinnamon to over 4,000 years. In the 1800's, supplies of cinnamon were discovered and planted in the Indonesian islands; later, trees were successfully grown in South America where it once was the spice of the elite. Today it is used daily in many cultures, specifically Latin and Asian cuisine because of its widespread health benefits, not to mention its distinctly sweet, warming taste and ease of availability and use.

    According to researchers, out of twenty-six of the most popular herbs and medicinal spices in the world, cinnamon actually ranks number one in terms of its protective antioxidant levels!

    The unique smell, color, and flavor of cinnamon is due to the oily part of the tree on which it grows. The health benefits of cinnamon come from the bark of the Cinnamomum tree—the bark contains several special compounds responsible for its many health promoting properties—including cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid, and cinnamate.

    cinnamon health benefits


    Researchers concluded that the health benefits of cinnamon can be obtained in the form of its pure bark, essential oils, in ground spice form (which is bark powder), or in extract form when its special phenolic compounds, flavonoids, and antioxidants are isolated. These compounds make cinnamon one of the most beneficial spices on earth, giving it antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, antimicrobial, immunity-boosting, cancer and heart disease-protecting abilities.