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Archive for the ‘alternative medicine’ Category

“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Continuing our series with recipes using diabetes-friendly herbs which diabetics should be paying attention to! Diabetes does not mean unimaginative food, at all. Look at these great recipes to help prevent diabetes and to improve it, if you are dealing with the condition.

In the Reference section, please find the previous parts of this series.

Now I continue with more recipes using the herbs best for pre-diabetes, Type 1 diabetics and Type 2 diabetics: Turmeric, Garlic, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary, Chili, Cinnamon, Ginger, Basil and Lavender!

(Dill seed is also good, as are organic maple syrup in moderation, organic coconut products and organic dark chocolate, in moderation.) Now, back to Lavender, the least known of the group of herbs.

Lavender is part of the  same botanical family as many of our most popular herbs – the Mint family — a cousin of mints, sage, rosemary and thyme. So, it is not surprising that lavender is edible and that its use in food preparation is also returning, as a refreshing “new” flavor, even though it’s been used in food for centuries (especially in European Medieval cookery)!

Lavender’s flowers and leaves can be used fresh, and both buds and stems can be used dried for cooking purposes. The stalks are much more concentrated flavor and should be used in soups and sauces (don’t overcook, as they can become bitter), whereas the fresh flowers give an ambrosial and delicate palate delight. The potency of even the lavender flowers increases with drying.

Lavender is best used alongside fennel, oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage, and savory.

And, as I noted last time, English Lavender (l. angustifolia and munstead) has the sweetest fragrance of all, and is the one preferred in cooking as it has a sweet, floral flavor, with lemon and citrus notes.

Cooking with Lavender:
In cooking, use only 1/3 the quantity of dried flowers if you do not have fresh, if the recipe calls for fresh blooms.

Harvesting Lavender:
Harvest flowers only from organic, unsprayed plants.  Select only those stems that look most perfectly ready, with the fullest color. The fresher the flower, the more flavorful its taste, so pick your flowers as close as possible to food preparation time and one’s picked in the morning will be better than those picked on a hot afternoon — so gather in the moring and place in water, in a cool place, until using later that day for cooking.

All blooms should be thoroughly rinsed as little critters may hide. Immerse the stems in water. Then lay the flowers gently on paper or cloth towels, dab dry, or gently spin dry in a salad spinner; then place vertically in shallow water until using. You can also, layer the blooms carefully between moist paper towels in the refrigerator until meal time.

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LAVENDER OATMEAL

This is a tasty way to add oatmeal and an extra dimension to your diet, especially if you eat oatmeal most days, as you physician likely recommends.

2 servings

2 C      boiling filtered water
1/2 t  crushed lavender buds
1/8 t  Celtic or other sea salt
1 C    organic  oatmeal

Cook as directed on package and remove from heat.

Stir in:
1 t organic cinnamon
equivalent amount of Stevia to 1T of sugar or to taste

Other variations-
Cut up half an organic banana or organic apple (with its skin — which contains chromium — a vital mineral for diabetics).
Add organic walnuts (excellent for Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids) or organic raisins once it’s cooked.

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HERBED CHEVRE WITH CROSTINI

8 oz. mild chevre (goat cheese), crumbled
2 T  Herbs de Provence  (which already contains lavender)
8 cloves garlic, peeled and thickly sliced
1 t pepper flakes
1 T cracked peppercorns
3/4-1 C extra virgin olive oil

Taste the mix by making about 1 Tablespoon sample. Add more lavender if needed (and make sure your Herbes de Provence actually contained it!).

Then, prepare the rest as follows, in a glass serving dish, to accent the colors and the layering effect.

Begin layering one third of the crumbled chevre, then one third each: Herbs de Provence, garlic slices, pepper flakes and cracked peppercorns.

Continue to create the three layers until all ingredients are utilized.

Pour a layer of oil ton top, to dip through or get onto the spreader.

It is best prepared ahead of time so all the flavors can blend. Refrigerate, and then bring it to room temp one hour before serving.

For Crostini: Slice crispy crusted French bread thinly, brush with olive oil. toast in 350F degree oven until light brown and crisp. Let your guests apply the chevre mix or do it for them ahead of time.

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SCRUMPTIOUS SINGLE SALAD

makes 1 serving

1 organic nectarine – pitted and sliced
a large handful of organic baby lettuce leaves
a few fresh basil leaves – slice rolled-up into spaghetti chiffonade
thinly sliced red onion, to taste
2 – 4 thin slices of a hard goat cheese (approx. 2 oz. of cheese)

Dressing:
2 t  organic apple-cider vinegar
1 t organic grapeseed oil or extra-virgin olive oil
a pinch of minced Culinary Lavender Flowers
a pinch of Succanat, natural sugar
chopped mint leaf to taste

Make the dressing and let it sit out at room temperature while you prep the greens, plate them and then drizzle on at the last moment.

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HERBAL RUB

Use for sustainable-fishery seafood and fish OR for organic poultry. It can also be applied to grass-fed meats – bison and lamb being best.

1 t crushed Certified Organic Jardin du Soleil Culinary Lavender
3 t chopped fresh rosemary leaves
4 t chopped fresh thyme
4 t minced garlic
4 t minced, fresh onion
2 t Celtic or other sea salt
1/2 t crushed black pepper OR a little organic cayenne pepper
1/4 C white wine Worcestershire sauce OR Coconut Secret’s Aminos
1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil

1)  Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor, and pulse well until blended.
2)  Cover, and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes before rubbing onto flesh or injecting it into the meat, as desired.
3) Marinate the protein at least an hour in the refrigerator, or even overnight, before cooking.
4) If desired and appropriate, consider serving with the potato recipe which follows.

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HERBES DE PROVENCE ROAST POTATOES

10-15 med organic red potatoes, whole (MUST be organic!), washed and dried
1/3 C extra virgin olive oil
2 T  Herbs de Provence (check label that it contains lavender) or add a pinch
1-2 T Celtic or other sea salt

1) Preheat your oven to 400F.
2) Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, and then toss to coat the potatoes.
3) Place all into a  9×9 oven-safe glass baking dish.
4) Bake 40-45 minutes, or to desired tenderness.

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MARCIA’S GLUTEN FREE CHOCOLATE FUDGE BROWNIES

6 T unsweetened organic cocoa
3 T organic coconut oil *
6 T unsalted organic butter *
2 organic, free-range eggs, room temperature (cold eggs harden the oil)
1 t organic pure vanilla extract
¼ C + 2 T Nutiva’s organic coconut nectar
¾ C  Coconut Secret’s  coconut crystals (a low glycemic sweetener)
1/8 t Celtic or other sea salt
½ C  sifted organic, fine-grind coconut flour (measure after sifting)

*You can use 9 T of Coconut Oil in place of 6 T butter for a dairy free version.

— Preheat your oven to 350F degrees. Prepare your 8×8 baking pan.

In a medium pan on very low heat, melt the butter and coconut oil together, stirring constantly. Remove from heat as soon as mixture is melted.

Add the organic cocoa and mix until thoroughly blended to a paste.

Add Coconut Crystals, Coconut Nectar and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly.

Add eggs and mix well until they are thoroughly blended into mixture.

Next,  add sea salt and coconut flour and blend until all dry ingredients are incorporated.

Pour this batter into well-greased 8×8 glass pan. Bake in the preheated 350F degree oven for 28-30 minutes or until top looks evenly baked and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry.

Cool and cut into 16 squares. Can be frozen. If not used within 2 days, please refrigerate well-wrapped.

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LAVENDER CHAI

3 organic black tea bags (orange pekoe or Assam)
1 stick of cinnamon          (make sure it’s not cassia)
around 8 allspice berries
2 t organic Cook’s vanilla extract
2 C filtered water
about 1/4 cup* organic honey
Stevia or Coconut Secret’s crystals = to 3/4C sugar*
1 t Jardin du Soleil Culinary Lavender**
1 t + fresh grated ginger
dash nutmeg

*total sweetener equals taste of about 1 cup of sugar, more or less to taste.
**Lavender can be finely ground in a spice grinder or in a throughly cleaned coffee grinder.

Drop the tea bags, cinnamon, allspice, vanilla, ginger and nutmeg into the 2 cups of boiling water.

Simmer until the mixture is a rich reddish brown. Take off the heat. Mix in the sweeteners; and strain out all large ingredients.

Pour this Chai concentrate into a  heat-safe glass or mug — making 1/3 full.

Fill the remainder of the glass with warm milk or warm water …  serve hot.

Or, for cold Chai, after the concentrate is cold, then add 2/3 cold milk, non-dairy milk, cold spring water — or a combo into your mug or glass.

Refrigerate the brewed Lavender Chai Tea Concentrate  for later use.

This stores for up to seven days and makes 3 – 5 servings, depending on the size of the mugs / glasses used.

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If changing a rosemary recipe to a lavender one, then use 3 times as much lavender as the rosemary.

If using fresh lavender buds in place of dried asked for in a recipe, use half-again the amount of fresh.

Enjoy making the recipes.

Best to all — Em

REFERENCE:
Diabetes – Herbs that Help — Lavender
Diabetes Recipes – Herb List
Diabetes Medicine Alert
Diabetic Concerns - marjoram and nutmeg
Diabetes – Low Thyroid Connection
Thyroid Connections to Diabetes
Herbal Help Diabetic GI Problems

Diabetics and Essential Fatty Acid Omega-3

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar. The extra page links are at the bottom of the first page.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Last time you learned that certain herbs can be helpful for diabetics when using them directly for the condition or for likely companion concerns. Today, here’s some recipes to help with the fabulous 10 – Turmeric, Garlic, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary, Chili, Cinnamon, Ginger, Basil and Lavender!

After visiting beautiful lavender fields in California and Oregon, I have to say that I want to speak about this time-honored herb first, as it is the one which you are least likely to be familiar with (although you may already have some in the famous herb mix called Herbes de Provence).

The owners of Hood River Lavender Farm provide some great recipes for their Organic Lavender as well as a place to purchase it dried.  The link is in the Reference section.

Every time I have tasted lavender in food, I have been intrigued. As with all food-stuffs, I recommend only organic produce, so if you are just grabbing lavender at the nursery or from a friend’s garden, please be sure that it has not been chemically-sprayed (as outside France or England, it’s not likely to have been regarded as a food plant).

The Farm site gives a little history of the herb:

” While most of us know about the beauty and fragrance of Lavender, somehow we have forgotten that it is indeed an herb. An herb that may not be common place in American spice cabinets, it has been in use as a culinary herb for centuries … One’s imagination is the only limit when cooking with this varable herb.

Lavender varies in taste just as it varies in appearance and aroma. The English Lavenders (angustifolia) are the prefered lavenders to use as culinary as they are milder, sweeter, and do not over-power the dish. Within these varieties there is still more variation when used as a culinary herb. Provence lavender, a hybrid known as a lavandin, is an exception to the rule. Because of it’s milder flavor it is often used when English Lavender is not available, and some cooks even prefer it above angustifolia.

Our personal favorite is a pink-flowered English lavender known as Melissa. It has a sweet, yet floral note, and enhances dishes from soups, to meat, and even drinks and deserts.

All culinary lavender blends very well with citrus, mint, rosemary, sage, berries, fruit, meats, drinks, and one should use some caution to not use too much.

Lavender should be a background flavor, not in the forefront, and when used in proportion enhances foods with a distinctive and mysterious flavor, while adding a lovely color to your dish.”

Here are some Lavender recipes to try!
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Honey Lavender Shake – Rockin’ Raw-style Vegan

2 T Raw almond butter
2 T Raw honey (not for use for children under 3 years old) *
3 vanilla beans (use vanilla extract, if more flavor desired; less expensive, too)

1 t organic Lavender – minced

1 tray of small ice cubes
1/2C spring water (to desired thickness for the shake)

Blend until smooth. Serve in tall glass and garnish with a little of the Lavender

Variation: Almond milk can be made with soaked almonds and
water in a blender. Then strain it through a nut milk bag. Omit the 1/2 cup of water in recipe above if using almond milk.

You can also purchase almond milk in cartons (and the protein content of this recipe will be better than when just using water).

This is a useful recipe for those with sensitivities to dairy.

* Raw honey is not acceptable for the immune systems of children under 3, so use pasteurized honey in this case.

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Lavender Grilled Salmon or Steelhead

3 pounds of wild salmon (filet)*
4 T raw honey
6 T organic extra-virgin or virgin olive oil
1 T organic Lavender, crushed or run through a spice grinder
1/4C white wine
1 T Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
1 T lime or lemon juice

* do NOT use farmed fish!

Place all ingredients, except salmon, in a saucepan over moderate heat, stirring with a wire whisk at all times until the ingredients are reduced by 1/3, to create a sauce.

When sauce has cooled slightly, divide the sauce into halves. With one portion, baste the raw salmon filet.

Grill or bake salmon until flaky (don’t overcook), about 10 minutes, basting with the same portion of sauce, if desired.

Use the second sauce portion to pour on salmon just before serving, as it has not been in contact with the raw fish at all.

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Sweet Potato Pie with Lavender

This recipe also uses Cinnamon, another one of your diabetic-friendly herbs and spices. I did not use the sugary topping in the original recipe, but rather added the lavender into the pie itself. Sweet potatoes are also a fabulous food for diabetics!

2 medium, organic  sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ cubes
4 T unsalted organic butter, melted
2 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 t freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt or other sea salt
3 lg free-range, vegetarian-fed, eggs, separated
1/2C sugar (better: use the equivalent of Stevia! Check the box for the amount.)
2 T all-purpose whole-grain flour OR ground quinoa
3/4C organic buttermilk

1/2t organic lavender, minced (or use a spice grinder)

1. Preheat your oven to 375 F. Pour 1 1/2″ of water into a medium stockpot (with a strainer basket) and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Next, add the sweet potatoes to the basket, cover, and steam until fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Strain the sweet potatoes and place them in a large bowl. Let them cool to near room temperature, covered with paper towel to absorb the steam.

Mash the potatoes to a smooth puree, (about 1 1/4 cups). Add the organic butter, lemon juice, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt; mix after each addition.

2. Then, in a small bowl, beat the egg yolks lightly with a whisk for about 30 seconds. Add sugar/ Stevia and beat until they’re a creamy lemon-yellow color, about 1 1/2 minutes.

Add egg mixture to sweet potato mixture and then stir until the eggs are thoroughly incorporated and filling is consistently bright-orange in color.

Next, add flour a little at a time, stirring after each addition, until thoroughly incorporated.

Finally, add the buttermilk and lavender. Stir until mixed in.

3. With a clean, dry whisk and in a clean, dry, separate bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, about 1 1/2 minutes or use your mixer until results are achieved.

Gently fold egg whites into sweet potato-buttermilk mixture until blended, using a vertical figure-8 motion with a spatula.

Pour the mixture into a prepared piecrust. Bake on the middle rack of your oven until the center is firm and set, about 35-40 minutes.

4. Remove pie from oven and cool completely on a rack. Enjoy!

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Lavender Infusion

This can be used in other recipes — as varied as cheescake, sorbets, ice-cream, lemonade and more.

Measure 2T Lavender buds for each cup boiling temperature liquid (water) or (organic milk // organic cream).

Steep for 30 minutes.  Strain the lavender from the liquid.

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Lavender Tea

Steep 1 t lavender in 1 cup of water for 3-5 minutes.
This is a good recipe for insomnia, or when relaxation is the goal.

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Lavender Lemonade

1 quart fresh squeezed or pre-made lemonade
1 t to 1T culinary lavender
1C boiling water

Pour the boiling water over the lavender in a heat-proof bowl and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Strain out the lavender and add to the lemonade. Serve well chilled.

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Lavender-Ginger Apple Cider

This recipe includes Ginger — another one of our 10 helpful-to-diabetics herbs and spices!

1 gallon organic apple cider
6 T organic Culinary Lavender “Signature Blend” (Hood River Lavender Farm)
2 t fresh grated ginger
1 med. culinary muslin bag or some cheese cloth

Bring the apple cider to a simmer, and then turn heat to low. Add the muslin bag filled with culinary lavender and ginger (or several layers of cheesecloth and some thread). Cover, and simmer 15 minutes to infuse. Remove the spice bag. Serve warm.

You can use this as a cool drink, too. The recipe makes 16 cups.

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Lavender, Rosemary, Garlic, Black Olive Foccacia Bread

You struck the Mother-Lode. This recipe includes Lavender, Rosemary, and Garlic and Black Pepper or Chili Pepper — more of those diabetic friendly herbs and spices as well as heart-healthy olives!

Prep time: 20 min.
Cooking time: 12-15 min.
Servings: 6

1 lb fast pizza dough OR 1 pound frozen bread or pizza dough, thawed
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
¼ C pitted, chopped imported black olives – like Kalamata
2t chopped lavender buds
1 – 2T chopped fresh rosemary
2 cloves minced garlic
1 t coarse Celtic sea salt or other sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste OR a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper (better)

Lightly oil a large baking sheet. On a work surface, roll pizza dough out into an 8 x 14 rectangle. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and cover with a clean dish towel, let rise at room temperature for 20 min.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450F.

After this final rising on the baking sheet, gently make dimples into the  dough with finger tips.

Brush on 2 Tp olive oil; then add herb mixture, pressing it gently into the top of the dough.

Herb Mix is:  1 -2t chopped lavender, 2T rosemary, 2 cloves minced garlic and the chopped olives.

Sprinkle with 1 t coarse sea salt and a little fresh black pepper or cayenne. Bake 12 – 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack, then cut into pieces to serve.

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REFERENCE:
Enjoy the recipes and be sure to check out Hood River Lavender Farm.

Best to all — Em

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar. The extra page links are at the bottom of the first page.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Here’s some of the advice that Hippocrates would give for at least a partial prescription for treating diabetes, as he always said “Let food be thy Medicine!”, and these foods are particularly useful for diabetics.

Lavender helps alleviate stress for diabetics.   Lavender

 

 

 

Registered dieticians Patricia Partain, RD and Jamie McDermott, RD list 10 herbs and spices below as some of the healthiest to incorporate into your diet, and many of these are especially helpful for diabetics.

Turmeric

Health benefits: The active ingredient is curcumin. It’s found in most curry mixes (it’s what makes them look so yellow). Turmeric is a calming spice and aids digestion. A 2006 study at Johns Hopkins University suggested that curcumin may also be helpful in reducing colon cancer.

How to use it: Add to curry mixes when making your own, otherwise, use a pre-made mix (check it’s in there on the label). You can also buy it as a single spice (when it is not a hot spice).

Mix it into any curry recipe, soup, or use with scrambled tofu or eggs.  You can also stir it into the water being used for quinoa, rice or couscous – and it will color them yellow as well as be more healthy.

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Garlic

Many people have learned about the amazing “stinking rose’s” health benefits: possibly lowering blood sugar and cholesterol, being a natural anti-viral and more. Holistic physicians use it to prevent onset of heart disease.

How to use it: It is most beneficial when it is raw. You must use it immediately after chopping or mashing withing 10 minutes or coat it in olive oil to give yourself a bit more time. Use in savory smoothies, dips, salad dressings, compound butters and spreads.

People suggest cooking it, but that does compromise it.

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Peppermint

Many diabetics have digestive issues as your overworked pancreas may not be supplying enough alkaline buffers needed for complete digestion.

Mint’s health benefits include:  relieving indigestion and nausea, as well as symptoms from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).  But Partain and McDermott say peppermint is not recomm-ended for people with acid-reflux disease.

Peppermint also has some energy stimulation components.

How to use it:  Most people use Peppermint as herbal tea by steeping it in hot water for a few minutes.

For a summer drink: crush the mint along with some lemon juice as a base for lemonade. Then to sweeten, add diabetic-friendly Truvia or other stevia powder to taste. If you crush or shave the ice, it becomes a cooling granita.

Mint can be used as an edible garnish, mixed in with lamb, added to feta cheese, salt and pepper to use as a dip or spread and more!

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Parsley

This herb is a cleanser. It helps to clean the GI tract and thereby “sweeten” breath. But, it is much more!

Health benefits: Parsley is high in potassium – a critical mineral which can help control high blood pressure and fluid retention. It is also high in vitamins K, C and A (which helps to keep skin healthy — which is also vital for diabetics).

How to use it: Add to basil pesto or tabouli.  You can even make a completely parsley pesto! Sprinkle it over potatoes, quinoa or brown rice. Add to fresh tomato sauces and finely chop into dressings. Use in savory smoothies. Juice it! Make a Mediterranean-style salad with lemon juice, tomatoes, chopped fresh onions and feta cheese. Add it to soup just as you take it off the burner, as long as it is minced (be sure to use the stems, too). Mix into meatloaf or hamburgers (this is a good place to use finely-minced stems as these dishes cook longer).

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Rosemary

This is an herb used in classic European cuisines, as the Simon & Garfunkle song implies “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme”.

Health benefits:  rosemary may reduce potentially carcinogenic HCA levels when mixed with meat before cooking — HCAs are produced during barbequing, especially.

This herb has also been used to cure indigestion.

But, be aware that it can act as a natural diuretic (as can lemons), so keep your fluid levels up by drinking at least 64 ozs. of pure water a day (unless you have kidney disease — in which case, follow your urologist’s recommendation). If you are taking diuretics, you need to make sure that all your liquid intake is water. Other “liquids” will dehydrate you, in varying amounts..

How to use it:  rub rosemary extract or ground rosemary over meat before grilling (it goes particularly well with lamb). Sprinkle this herb over potatoes before roasting. Add it the water when poaching salmon. Bake it into breads (along with some garlic and black, Greek olives). Add rosemary to tomato sauce as you heat it, but be sure you have ground the leaves in a mortar and pestle, as the leaves don’t soften in cooking, easily, whether fresh or dried versions.

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Chili Pepper

Chilis, especially the smallest Asian ones, along with jalapenos, are very good sources of anti-oxidants, and are  nerve pain relievers (usually as a pharmaceutical cream — not as food).

Health benefits:  the component called capsaicin is an anti-inflammatory. This can also temporarily increase heat production in the body, so it helps cool you in hot weather and helps burn more calories for revved-up metabolism and weight-loss. Capsaicin has also been used to help with circulatory problems, which is an issue that many sedentary diabetics have.

However, if you have a sensitive stomach and colon already, use this with great care. Maybe start with small amounts of dried chili powder or a Japanese 7-spice powder, instead of any of the hot, fresh chili peppers.

I would not give this to most children. For diabetic kids, use alternatives.

How to use it: Mix tiny amounts of chilis into mashed potatoes or eggs. Stir it into softened butter, along with a tiny bit of lime, then spread on corn on the cob. Stir a tiny bit in to make Mexican hot chocolate.

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Cinnamon

The word has been out for quite a while about cinnamon’s ability to help diabetics, but actually quite a bit is needed, more than people think. Plus, some things labeled as “cinnamon” are actually “cassia” which is not helpful for this purpose.

Health benefits: real cinnamon has an anti-inflammatory effect and it can lower blood sugar. Cinnamon can also have an anti-cancer effect.

There has been some indication that cinnamon can increase metabolism, but exercise and diet are what’s really needed to make the difference.

How to use it: as a sweeter spice, people are more willing to use it. So, sprinkle cinnamon on oatmeal, sweet potatoes and into applesauce. Even though you can, I don’t recommend eating cookies and pies, but if you do, then be sure to add cinnamon!. Use it to spice meatballs and in drinks when they will be well-mixed.

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Ginger

Ginger is in the same botanical family as Turmeric, so it has many of the same properties. The main one, apart from fabulous flavor (fresh or dried) is that it is a well regarded anti-inflammatory, so it helps to lessen pain, especially for those with osetoarthritis.

Health benefits: Ginger helps to alleviate nausea and vomiting, and is very useful for children on car trips or for sea-sickness!

It also helps nausea when related to pregnancy.

For the rest of us, ginger is good for digestion.

How to use it: Grate it and add to broths or to stir-fry dishes. If you steep ginger in hot water and add lemon and honey this will make a soothing digestive tea. Bake gingersnaps or gingerbread as a way for diabetic kids to enjoy this spice as long as you use a diabetic-friendly natural sweetener like a tiny bit of organic maple syrup or stevia. Personally, I like undyed sushi ginger to chop-up into dressings, smoothies, popsicles and more.

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Basil

Basil is a cousin of mint. Most people only think of it in terms of pesto — an Italian sauce for pasta, but Basil is quite versatile. Thai food uses it to good advantage and the Holy Basil of India is used in Tulsi — an important herbal tea.

Health benefits: Like mint, basil also freshens breath. It is also an anti-inflammatory, and it has an alkaline pH. Basil is a  good source of magnesium and vitamin A — both of which are needed in potent doses for diabetics.

How to use it: of course, we’ll mention pesto sauce, and you can pair fresh leaves with tomatoes and mozzarella in a Caprese salad (which I personally find hard-to-eat and suggest you dice everything up and eat it on a plate instead of how it’s usually presented). Finely mince and immediately sprinkle over fish just after cooking. Add it to lemonade. Make holy basil into Tulsi tea or buy the tea directly (at Whole Foods).

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Lavender

Ah, this is another French secret! They will have the best lavender recipes, and lavender honey is incredible (use just tiny amounts, but you don’t need much as it has wonderful flavor!).

Diabetes is very stressful on your body and psyche, so lavender can be very beneficial to help bring calmness, allowing your body to rest and also have a better chance to rejuvenate.

Health benefits: Lavender is very calming and can aid with sleep.

How to use it: The flowers can be used in a tea (for sleeping, add a few lavender buds into chamomille tea — unless you are sensitive to daisies or other aster flowers. Otherwise, just brew a purely lavender tea.).  Lavender can be baked into cookies – with stevia as sweetener.

In the famed herb mix, Herbes de Provence, is a mix of fennel, basil, thyme and lavender which is used with meat, fish, quinoa or brown rice.

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Fresh herbs may seem expensive, but they are not when you think of the benefits they bring — and with less liklihood of side-effects. They are also easy to grown in your garden, or on a patio or balcony or on a windowsill in winter. You can always benefit from many of these listed above, all year, for reasonable cost. See the Titles Archive tab above for my excellent posts on container and indoor gardening!

Enjoy these useful herbs and see if your Health also improves as you incorporate them daily.

Best to all — Em

REFERENCE:

Sources: Patricia Partain, RD; Jamie McDermott, RD; University of Maryland Medical Center; American Cancer Society; whfoods.com; Prevention Magazine; Memorial Sloan Kettering; Food Network.
(c)2011 Chatanooga Times http://www.timesfreepress.com

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar. The extra page links are at the bottom of the first page.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

I want to revisit low thyroid, as it is a possible source of an incomplete or inaccurate diagnosis for diabetes! Yes, you read that right. Let’s learn more from Dr. Robert Rowen, MD and from Dr. David Brownstein, MD. The first article is here: Diabetes and Thyroid Connection

Dr. Rowen asks in a recent email:

Is your diabetes really hypothyroidism?

If you have hard-to-treat Type 2 diabetes, your problem might not be insulin and your pancreas, but rather, it could be your thyroid!

Research scientists know that both humans and animals exposed to cold temperatures get high blood pressure. Next, they wondered if diabetic mice exposed to cold would get the problem even faster than normal mice.

They placed diabetic and control mice in a constant 41 degrees F environment. The normal mice survived, while the diabetic mice died (in just two hours)!

The team surmised that the diabetic animals died because they couldn’t maintain their body heat — which is regulated by their thyroid gland.

In good scientific fashion, the researchers decided to take it to the next step. They wondered if giving the diabetic animals thyroid hormone might help them withstand the cold.

So, they administered thyroid hormone to the diabetic mice. Those mice increased their body temperature AND even more interestingly, they also had a significant drop in their blood sugar within two hours (and a 50% blood-sugar decrease within four hours)!

The researchers then looked at blood sugar levels at the start of the study, and in the diabetic animals, they found the level had been five times normal! They found that the thyroid levels in these animals were also low.

Diabetes affects at least 150 million people worldwide, and that’s an understatement, as many people do NOT know they are diabetic.

In Oklahoma, where this research was conducted, there are over 268,500 cases of human diabetes. Most of these people, at any age, are obese or overweight;  most can cure it with a proper diet and moderate exercise, alone.

However, Dr. Rowen says that in his practice, he has  seen a number of people resistant to a simple dietary fix. And, there is also a group of adult diabetics who are thin. Yes, you can be thin and be hypothyroid (low thyroid). You can also be heavy, with low thyroid as a contributing factor to that overweight condition — often ascribed to your “diabetes”.

If you have Type 2 diabetes, at any age, then get your doctor to check your thyroid level by blood tests, to include a “free T3, free T4 and TSH” (and Dr. Brownstein insists on these and a few more lab tests: reverse T3, antithyroglobulin and antimicrosomal antibodies … and I think and knowing your Iodine level would be useful). Do not allow your doctor to just order a TSH test (it’s notoriously inaccurate).

However, Dr. Rowen uses the tests and learns a lot because he also compares the results to his patient’s basal body temperature. What’s that?

It’s the important lab test you take yourself as Dr. Broda Barnes, MD, famous endocrinologist in the early 20th century, described.

Dr. Rowen and Dr. Brownstein both ask you to check your “under the tongue” temperature the moment you open your eyes in the morning, three days in a row (several days away from your menstrual period, for women).

You have to have a Basal Thermometer (a special one from the pharmacy — with a numbering scale that let’s you see the tiniest changes in the temperature range that you need to understand).

Shake the mercury down the night before. Have a clock where you register the time. Open your eyes and reach for the thermometer and look at the clock. Do not move, except to breathe, until the 2 or 3 minutes are up.

Your morning, without movement, “basal temperature” should be at least 97.8F. If it’s not, see your integrative physician immediately!

What’s likely needed then? A prescription for T3 (as used in this study) might help your low thyroid and diabetes all in one go. Do NOT let any physician put you on synthetic thyroid preparations! Read more on that next time.

Meanwhile, Dr. Brownstein, MD alerts us to the facts that:
“Your body is composed of 70-80% water, and your brain is closer to 85% water!”

And, thyroid problems, like all illnesses, cannot be solved without getting sufficient water in your diet.

So, here’s how to know if you’re drinking enough water:

Do you have any of these signs of dehydration?

Fatigue
Dry tongue
Coated tongue
Vertical ridges on your nails
Dry skin
Poor skin elasticity

Even if you don’t notice any of these signs, Dr. Brownstein says you could still be water-deficient. It’s extremely common, especially in those with thyroid issues, and maybe that helps to account for that famous “diabetic” thirst!

Here’s an important formula for your recommended water intake:

Take your weight (in pounds) and divide in half.
That amount (in fluid ounces) is your recommended water intake.
That number divided by 8 equals the number of 8 ounce-sized glasses of water you should drink per day.

This process probably works for metric, too, but confirm this with your physician.

I recommend getting a big water bottle and loading it up in the morning. Then, carry it with you, while sipping on it through the day. That’s what I do.

Also, Dr. Brownstein addresses tips to prevent water loss that could lead to dehydration. All liquids are not equal. Only water counts to hydrate you, the rest dehydraye your tissues, in varying degrees. He says:

___   “Don’t overload on caffeine”  . . . (I say, try not to use caffeine, except for 2 cups of green tea a day)
___   “Don’t drink a lot of soda”  . . . (I say, don’t drink any! It’s VERY pH acidic.)
___   “Take it easy on the alcoholic beverages”  . . . ( I say “Why use them?” They are Carbs and do affect your blood-sugar levels, rob you of minerals and vitamins and stress your liver.) Get the “goodness” of wine by eating red organic grapes, instead!

Dr. Brownstein and I recommend that you use a water filter that removes fluoride and chlorine as well as bacteria and parasites. Tap water and bottled water (in plastic bottles) contain chemicals potentially harmful to your thyroid.

Now, I have yet to find a water filter which states that it removes fluoride! So, as my city stupidly voted to fluoridate the water, before I arrived, I go to markets in nearby suburbs which do NOT fluoridate their water and get state-of-the-art commercially-filtered water OR I buy spring water — and decant it into a porcelain crock, immediately.

You need to do all these steps to get baseline information on your health AND to stop the slide on a slippery-slope from these various beverages. More next week.

Best to all — Em

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar. The extra page links are at the bottom of the first page.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Still trying to catch-up after my California trip! Dr. David Brownstein, MD – a long-time holistic physician from Michigan –  sounds the alarm bell and we all need to listen! It’s about how your thyroid’s health is connected to diabetic health, heart health, brain health and more!

First thing — watch Dr. Brownstein’s video at: Dr. Brownstein Explains Low Thyroid and there’s an important FREE OFFER, too. You only pay only $5.95 for shipping and get a DVD and 2 books and 2 editions of his newsletter (I think)! Great help for a fabulous price.

And then read another 2 of his newsletters at the following links!
Diabetics and Low Thyroid – 59 Diseases  — and many of these diseases are: 1) life-threatening and 2) avoidable when you know how.

I’ve discussed the importance of the 2 forms of the mineral Iodine many times — now, Dr. Brownstein connects all the dots and shows you what happens when you are malnourished by lack of Iodine, as most people are in the world, now — either due to poor soils, poor food access or poor food choices. Read  Diabetics and Iodine – A Critical Nutrient.

I found all this information very clear and have taken the free offer myself. I try to keep up with thyroid issues as I think it is a multi-generational problem in part of my family. Even I learned new things from Dr. Brownstein and I expect the 2 books will be worthwhile, too.

Do make sure that you learn all you can about hypothyroidism as low thyroid can be causing or contributing to your diabetes!

While you are waiting for more of his information:

___    start eating sea vegetables and edible seaweeds – they are Nature’s blood-thinners and are a great alkaline source of unpolluted Iodine. (If you are on blood-thinners, consult your physician. You can still eat these, but the dose of meds may need to be adjusted.).

___   You can make sure that you erase man-made foods with nitrates, as nitrates wreck our thyroid!

For example – breads are “fortified” with the synthetic B vitamin Thiamine Mononitrate (make sure your flours, pastas, dry cereals and doughs [and vitamin pills] do not have it! Use natural whole grains, instead.)  Do not use processed meats, sausages, bacon which have nitrates added. Check labels on other processed foods.

___   Iodized salt is NOT a good Iodine source! (Dr. Brownstein explains why it is not). Instead, use a complete, whole sea-salt like Celtic Salt from Brittany, France  OR Eden-brand Sea Salt.

___   Avoid most baked goods, dry cereals, pasta and pizza doughs which are literally killing you, for a second reason. Because of a changed-process in industrial baking made in the 1970s, Bromine was added instead of the long-used Iodine.  Business hasn’t changed even though the problems with Bromine came to light a long time ago.  Sodas also contain a form of this killer, Bromine.

More when I can!

Best to all – Em

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar. The extra page links are at the bottom of the first page.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

I have been overwhelmed during my California trip and like others with diabetes, overwhelm has to be managed smartly. So, I’m late in posting, but am catching up using some important information on medications, conditions and suggestions for the problems described. These will be shorter articles.

1) Read the article at the New York times: New Group of Diabetes Drugs whereby the drug companies are seeking approval from the Federal Drug Administration (F.D.A.) for whole new types of diabetes drugs which sound like they have serious side-effects.

2) If you find your mind wandering (whether from low blood sugar, boredom or tiredness), then get out of that state quickly by watching photos of Nature for 7-10 minutes. There are lots of sites online which offer nature photos. This will not just help you focus (so you can take care of your low blood sugar, if that’s the cause), but also potentially lower your blood pressure and reduce stress hormones (which in turn, favorably affects insulin). Doing this will enhance attention and memory by about 20% say researchers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Another choice to optimize focus and brain function: scientists published in Human & Experimental Toxicology that using the herb marjoram in a salad, dressing etc. is beneficial. Components in this mint-family herb prevent the break-down of the memory neurotransmitter acetylcholine.  This process may also offer protection against Alzheimer’s (senile dementia).  Add the herb to the cooler recipe below.

The herb sage also has some of the same qualities and is used by Native Americans to help brain function.

3) And, if you are feeling stressed-out, be sure to sprinkle some nutmeg onto your food. Researchers at Texas A&M University say that myristin induces you to relax by increasing your levels of the hormone serotonin. Just use a quick sprinkle. It would be even more beneficial in the evening with a glass of milk just before bed. More on helping diabetics sleep — next time.

=====================================================================

WATERMELON SURPRISE

Use your blender and produce this energy-drink!

2C organic watermelon, diced (if you include the seeds, then strain)
1/2C organic mango, diced
1C coconut “water” / “juice” – chilled *
a few leaves of fresh marjoram – to taste
1/2C spring water ice cubes
Garnish: fresh mint, fresh pineapple *

Blend 30 secs on the appropriate speed for your mixer.
Garnish. Use 20 minutes before any other food. Melons are very alkaline and should never be eaten with other types of food.

Many of us need Vitamin B6 to cope with stress and keep healthy nerves. Watermelon is a good source, along with many phytonutrients and lycopene.

The coconut is a source of catalase which helps your liver flush out undigested protein molecules. If you want more fiber, actually add some organic shredded coconut to desired thickness.  Coconut is beneficial for diabetics and everyone else! (See my archived articles about coconut on the upper navigation bar Archive tab.)

The fresh pineapple helps to pre-digest this food and speeds it through with less work for your over-taxed liver.

Enjoy!

====================================================================

Best to all — Em

Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar. The extra page links are at the bottom of the first page.

You can also sign-up for email alerts for when I post to this blog. I try for once a week. The form is on the upper right of the side-bar. Thanks.

(c)2011 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

Please do not use my articles on junk blogs. I will prosecute you. The only use of my copyrighted article is 2 small paragraphs (with my website shown) without further permission, from me, in writing. Contact me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar if you want to share more than 2 paragraphs. Thanks.

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