With the COVID pandemic, there’s a lot of concern about our lungs and their ability to fight off the viruses and remain healthy.
From a Western perspective, supporting our lungs seems limited to breathing exercises and hoping for the best.
But if we look to Chinese medicine there’s plenty of action we can take!
Let’s take a tour through Chinese medical physiology and discover ways to nourish our lungs so they’re balanced and healthy.
I love baking.
My husband loves banana bread.
As you might have guessed, mixing up a loaf has become a regular occurrence in our house.
So much so that we’ll go to the store to buy extra bananas so we have enough left over to get good and brown for bread.
We’re on a bit of a kick!
Which is the perfect time to really dial in a recipe!
I think we’ve nailed it.
Making your own pho broth is definitely not as hard as you think!
All it takes is a little time and the right spices and voila!
You’ve got an unctuous, rich broth that’s the perfect base for this classic Vietnamese dish.
It’s my favorite broth to have in the freezer, ready to pull out if I’m under the weather or just craving some really flavorful, nutrient-dense food.
I started making my own yogurt a few months ago after I learned that I wasn’t sensitive to A2 dairy.
After 15 years of avoiding dairy, it was really, really weird to walk out of a grocery store with milk in my hands.
But I was determined to figure out how to make one of the foods I’d missed the most: yogurt.
A2 dairy products from cows are rare in the US. Currently I can find butter and milk and that’s about it.
So as Ben Franklin once said, “necessity is the mother of invention”, and I dove into honing my homemade yogurt making skills with the help of an Instant Pot.
This week I got some of my baking mojo back and made this super tasty banana bread.
Earlier this year I discovered that I was full-on intolerant to eggs.
Like, I literally can’t break them down.
And oh boy, do I feel it if I have them!
I’ll be honest, I was pretty devastated when I learned about my egg issue because I LOVE to bake and eggs are a pretty essential component of the process.
But I had a few key realizations that helped me move through my grief, anger, and resentment around giving up eggs.
Doctors are now petitioning the FDA to put a breast cancer warning label on cheese.
As a result of the paleo and keto diets, patients come to me thinking that dairy is an inherently inflammatory food that should be totally removed from their diet.
The fear-mongering that we’re constantly exposed to around our nutrition and health needs to stop.
How are we supposed to tell what’s true and what’s not?
I love granola. And what I love even more is making my own. It’s like a choose your own adventure game every time.
Do I want walnuts or pumpkin seeds? More ginger or maybe some dried cranberries or coconut?
It’s a blank canvas to add to your recipe repertoire for your breakfast and beyond. And it’s the perfect crunchy, nutty addition to yogurt and fresh fruit.
BONUS: This recipe is guaranteed to make your house smell intoxicatingly delicious, like spiced cinnamon cider on a fall day.
Chocolate cream pie gives me the warm fuzzies.
It was always on our Thanksgiving table right next to everyone’s perennial favorite, pumpkin pie.
When I discovered I had a dairy sensitivity at the age of 20, my creamy chocolatey forays to PieTown were abruptly cut short.
Over the years I’ve reinvented some of my classic childhood treats, and I think I’ve finally nailed it with this food-sensitivity-friendly version of a chocolate cream pie.
The filling is magically rich and pudding-like thanks to full fat coconut milk and gelatin.
The crust of almond and oat flours is unconventional, but delicious in its slightly crumbly texture and ability to crisp up beautifully.
It’s so good it will fill your dreams with unicorns frolicking on rainbows that end not in a pot of gold, but in GIANT CHOCOLATE CREAM PIES.
A few months ago, Chris and I went camping in Olympic National Park. And when I think camping, I think S’MORES.
Chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows are at the top of my shopping list days before we leave.
When we arrived to purchase our s’more ingredients and other camping comestibles, our local natural foods store was out of the marshmallows I usually purchase on these occasions.
I settled for the ones with packaging emblazoned with "all natural", "gmo free" and "vegan".
Sounds perfect, right?
Wrong. And I knew it.
I wish the term “falling off the wagon” didn’t exist as a seemingly universal way to express that we’ve faltered yet again regarding the way we nourish ourselves. It’s a pretty painful and uncomfortable image that comes to mind, because come on, NO ONE wants to fall off a wagon.
Strangely enough, my mom has had the distinct pleasure (or pain?) of almost cascading out of a buckboard wagon at night in the Arizona desert when the horses got spooked by god-knows-what out in that inky, hot sandscape.
Ok, so “falling off the wagon” should exist in our syntax in the literal sense.
But it has no place when it comes to talking about our food choices and how we’ve inevitably messed them up for the twentieth time this year.
Whenever my patients tell me they’ve fallen off, aka, they’ve failed, I rejoice a bit.
In the world of modern nutrition, the debate between white and brown rice seems long put to bed.
Brown rice is soooo obviously healthier… right?
Why have we come to this conclusion? Let me count the ways:
First of all, something that’s brown in color is always healthier than something that’s white (duh, Dr. Liz).
White means something is refined, devoid of nutrients, and I shouldn’t eat it, like bread and pasta.
So brown rice has more… stuff, right? More nutrients and minerals?
Plus white rice will definitely spike my blood sugar because it doesn’t have much fiber. That’s why I slog my way through that chewy outer layer, right? RIGHT?
These might indeed be the reasons why you feel the need to eat brown rice.
But I’m here to say CUT IT OUT.
Do you eat breakfast every day, first thing in the morning?
Do you “fuel up” before a workout?
Do you grab a snack in the late evening after dinner?
I used to do all of these things and so did my husband, Chris.
A few years ago, we decided to shake it up and we couldn’t be happier with the results.
Well, I shook it up first and Chris decided to see how I fared, haha. Then he joined in with my crazy experiment.
So what did we do?
We started intermittent fasting.
Chocolate. Peanut butter. And wait for it… graham cracker (gluten free, if you like).
Do I have your attention? I hope so!
The holy trinity of flavors in a dessert can be yours in this no-bake, easy to assemble* holiday treat inspired by my Iowa roots!
*Disclaimer: several wooden spoons were broken while attempting this recipe in my childhood. More on that later.
The recipe is straight out of the midwest, but it’s been modified to make it a little more... accessible.
Accessible? I thought you said this was an easy recipe??
Allow me to explain.
When I turned 21, instead of indulging in the alcohol that I was now legally allowed to imbibe, I gave up dairy.
Yes, this is the kind of 21 year old I was.
A fun sidenote to further provide you with context of my youthful reckless abandon: my birthday is near Christmas, and the evening I turned 21 I was at home with the entirety of my mom’s side of the family for our holiday shindig watching Princess Diaries with my 6 and 10 year old cousins. I think I was in bed by 11PM.
I know what you’re thinking. I was, indeed, a wild child. Some might even say a party animal. Ruler breaker. Hell raiser.
But in truth, in the Midwest (I’m from Iowa and went to college in Missouri), not eating dairy was breaking a cardinal food rule.
If I say “sauerkraut”, most people have one of two reactions: they either love it or they hate it.
This food polarizes a crowd almost as quickly as brussel sprouts or liver.
And I have a confession to make: for years I was one of those people who hated it.
I just didn’t understand what was so great about stinky, slimy, stringy cabbage sitting in it’s own juices.
Then, I went to naturopathic medical school, and like so many other things in my life, my perspective shifted.
I learned about how fantastic fermented foods are for your gut health and the health benefits of cabbage, and I decided to give sauerkraut another try.