Issue 46, April 2012
Welcome to Issue 46 of our Newsletter
Happy Allergy Season!
My heart goes out to you if you are struggling. But it can actually be a happy time of year for you too. Think of getting the benefits of anti-histamine medications without the drowsy, foggy-brained side effects. Keep reading to learn more about the natural power of quercetin, our next stop on my newsletter tour of top plant-based remedies. My mother loves this stuff. The pollen down in Atlanta can get quite thick.
I am so delightfully busy with classes and clients and retreats! My next walking nutrition tour of Whole Foods Market in Framingham will be on Saturday, May 12th at 9am. Other exciting events are coming up in May (note: it will be last offering of these classes in Massachusetts). Please join us!
- If you want to know more about reversing Type II diabetes, blood sugar control, insulin resistance, and losing unwanted belly fat, consider joining us for the Diabetes Be Gone! A New Beginning seminar on Saturday, May 5th from 9-11am in Ashland.
- A fun combined seminar-and-cooking-demonstration will focus on how to retain bone density naturally. Join us for Osteoporosis Myths and Truths on Saturday, May 19th at 6:30pm in Ashland
Eat on Purpose. Live on Purpose. Savor the day.
Quercetin: Allergy and Asthma Quieter?
Bless you! Gesundheit! Thanks to the explosion of beautiful plant life, we are once again entering another allergy season. Like many, you may suffer from seasonal sneezing, nasal congestion, sinus headache, weepy eyes, or post nasal drip. Our immune system can react with alarm to the protein in a particular type of pollen and develop antibodies to these “foreign invaders”. Think of antibodies as your body’s “Most Wanted” criminal list. Exposure to them then causes your mast cells to release histamine, triggering swelling of mucus membranes and the flow of mucus. Despite your discomfort, your immune system really does have your best interest at heart ! Mucus can flush unwanted substances out of the body and protects delicate tissue. The problem is that your immune system can get overwhelmed, especially if we are chronically stressed and/or not well-rested.
For relief from seasonal allergies, you might reach for an over-the-counter anti-histamine and/or decongestant formula. But for many, these medications leave you feeling drugged, sleepy, or foggy-brained. They also can have other potent (but not often publicized) side effects such as dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, or making an enlarged prostate or a yeast infection worse.
Give quercetin a try (pronounced kwehr’-suh-tin). A natural extract from plant foods like onions, apples, berries, buckwheat, and citrus fruit, quercetin is technically a flavonol. Remember from prior articles that these polyphenols help to determine a plant’s color – in this case, a bright yellow. Quercetin is a natural anti-histamine without the side effects of many medications! Quercetin actually calms the immune system to reduce or prevent histamine release. Several clients of mine over the years with chronic seasonal allergies or asthma have found great relief.
Quercetin is also being researched for circulation and cardiovascular health too, as it’s been shown to increase blood flow via artery dilation, promoting the release of nitric oxide. This action creates greater tissue oxygenation, nutrient flow, and waste removal. For this reason, it may also improve symptoms of fatigue and malaise due to poor circulation.
In a supplement, quercetin is often combined with bromelain, an extract from pineapples that is a potent anti-inflammatory that also calms the immune system and increases the effectiveness of quercetin. If you have seasonal allergies, I recommend you start using it right away to build up levels in your body and continue throughout the full allergy season. Consider starting with 1000 mg, taken twice daily on an empty stomach. Allergic reactions to quercetin are virtual unheard of; I believe this is a safe supplement to explore. Be well!
Too Easily Black and Blue?
Hi Tracy -
I’ve noticed the past few months that I seem to bruise really easily. Even a pretty mild ding to my hard or arm or leg seems to cause a bruise. They don’t hurt particularly, but it makes me think maybe something is not right in my body? Maybe some kind of deficiency in my diet? What do you think?
A Little Black’n'Blue
Good for you for paying attention to your body! Indeed, frequent bruising can be a sign of specific nutrient deficiencies. Vitamin C is critical to the health of collagen which allows soft tissues to withstand impact without damage. And we often eat fewer C-rich fruits and vegetables during the winter. Try taking just 1000mg/day of extra Vitamin C for one month (e.g. a 500mg chewable twice a day) and see if your symptoms improve (it will help your immune system regardless!).
Vitamin K is a critical fat-soluble nutrient that controls healthy blood clotting in the body (and prevents hardening of arteries by keeping calcium out of arterial walls). Most of the vitamin K in our bodies is made by beneficial bacteria in our guts; thus, regular antibiotic use can deplete it (and a daily probiotic might help). But we can also get Vitamin K from our food either in heavy leafy greens (e.g. kale) or high-quality animal fats (e.g. organic, grass-fed butter and egg yolks). In supplement form, make sure you look for the MK-7 form of Vitamin K2 only (100 mcg/day on a full stomach is fine for most, unless you are taking a prescription blood-thinning medication like Coumadin).
Date Night Chocolate Truffles
A huge favorite in Nantucket this past weekend (and a definite selection for my new cookbook!). A small, satisfying indulgence.
- 1 cup brazil nuts, toasted in the oven
- 2 Tbsp almond butter
- ½ tsp seasalt
- 3 tsp raw cacao powder (available from Whole Foods or use high-quality cocoa powder)
- 9-10 dates, pits removed
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 15-20 drops stevia liquid (optional)
- Extra cacao or cocoa powder on a plate or wide-mouthed bowl (for rolling)
Put brazil nuts in food processor and grind until the texture resembles coarse meal. Add all remaining ingredients (except stevia and rolling cacao) and process until well mixed and dough starts to come together. Taste and, if desired, add stevia drops for sweetness. Pulse a few more times to blend. Form 1” balls in the palm of your hand and immediately roll in extra cacao or cocoa powder. Store in refrigerator, covered. Flavors will be best after a day of storage.
Fun and Food with Friends on Beautiful Nantucket
What a wonderful weekend! I just returned from a four-day weekend retreat on Nantucket island where twenty women gathered for meditation, massage, long walks on the beach, rest, laughter, and plenty of delicious food (prepared by yours truly!). It was a potent reminder for many there that we often live most of our lives “in our heads”, monopolized by our thoughts. The body follows the mind. And it is often just a matter of time before chronic, negative thoughts manifest as dis-ease in the body. Listening to the teachings of Eckhardt Tolle, we focused on the importance of being present for each moment of our lives and being truly “in” our bodies mentally. Touching, seeing, smelling, tasting…being present with the reality in our lives.
What Inspires Me, Issue 46
“Another benefit of keeping your focus in the physical realm (vs. your litany of thoughts) is a great strengthening of your immune system – which occurs when you inhabit the body. The more consciousness you bring into the body, the stronger the immune system becomes. It is as if every cell awakens and rejoices. The body loves your attention. It is also a potent form of self-healing. Most illnesses creep in when you are not present in the body. If the master is not present in the house, all kinds of shady characters will take up residence there. When you inhabit your body, it will be hard for unwanted guests to enter. “
- Eckhardt Tolle