Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Spring/Early Summer Menus

Spring/Early Summer Menus 2011

Citrus Zest and Their Health Benefits

Limonene is found in the oil of citrus fruit peels. Lemons, oranges, limes and tangerines contain large amounts of limonene which fights cancer. Limonene encourages the body’s detoxification system and enhances antioxidant activity Studies have shown that as little as half a tbsp of lemon zest peel a week has decreased chances of getting skin cancer by 50%.

Orange peel contains called hesperidin which lowers LDL cholesterol , triglycerides, reduces the risk of heart disease and helps to regulate blood pressure. Research has shown some correlation between increased hesperidin use and decreasing breast cancer!

The pectin in orange and lemon peel acts as a prebiotic. Prebiotics help to encourage the natural growth of probiotic activity which encourage digestive health and proper immune functioning.

If you are planning to use a lemon or orange zest oil
You should THOROUGHLY wash the rind with soap and preferably buy organic as pesticides cling to the natural oils present in the skin

As always these recipes encourage you to find your own voice when it comes to food. Many of my clients prefer bold taste and many subtle. I prefer you find your own path when it comes to cooking in a healthy way

The basic rule of thumb for the citrus oil is:
Zest 1 medium sized lemon or 1 small orange for ½ cup evo (extra virgin olive oil)
If you prefer a more intense oil, use 2 pieces of citrus.
As you adapt to a lower sodium diet (recommended guidelines are 1500 mg or less) the use of flavors OTHER than salt enhances more than just taste. You improve your health and vitality

Use the oil to drizzle on steamed veg , broiled fish or make a flavorful vinaigrette!

Herbs to Enhance Digestion and Decrease E Coli Poisoning

Spring and summer means a move into lighter meals such as salads. The use of prepackaged blends is easy, but please make sure to wash your produce to avoid E Coli poisoning. Last year 8 clients on The Plan had GI distress from non-organic AND organic spinach that was unwashed.

Herbs and spices like oregano, thyme, cinnamon and clove do more than add pleasing flavors and aromas .The oils from these plants, or compounds extracted from those oils, pack a powerful, antimicrobial punch—strong enough to help quell such foodborne pathogens as E Coli *

Other herbs noted for their antibiotic and antimicrobial and digestive properties are all herbs and spices we use in The Plan- turmeric, rosemary, garlic, onion, mint and ginger etc. So please use liberally as you cut down on your sodium and enjoy the health benefits!

Corn Season

Summer heralds the beginning of corn in abundance- while corn (especially gmo corn) has higher chances of reactivity, it is such a great treat! As you shuck that corn I want you to rethink throwing out the corn silk.

Most people are not aware of the health benefits of the corn silk. Native Americans traditionally used corn silk as a diuretic, to encourage prostate health and for kidney conditions. Cornsilk is also beneficial in the following conditions; gout, cystitis, arterial hardening, UTIs and gall stones.

You can buy corn silk tea or herbal extracts, but why bother with summer’s bounty? While corn silk is not the most flavorful tea, you can take the silk of 4 ears of corn and let soak in 1 liter of water for 24 hours. Strain and add lemon juice to make a wonderful kidney strengthening lemonade. You can also try peppermint for cooling and digestive properties. Add honey or agave to taste.

With the exception of the blueberry sauce all sauces are low reactive

Spicy Blueberry Bourbon Marinade
• 2 tbsp coco oil
• 1 red onion
• garlic
• Chipotle in adobo or sriricha to taste
• 1/2 cup bourbon
• 2 cups fresh blueberries
• ¼ cup homemade tomato sauce from plum tomatoes
• 1/8th cup brown sugar
• 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
• cinnamon

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and just starting to brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and chipotle and cook. Add bourbon, increase heat to high and bring to a boil to reduce appx 5 min(this burns off alcohol as well). Stir in blueberries, tomato sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and cinnamon Simmer appx 20 min.

French Roast Balsamic Marinade
• 1/2 cup strong French roast coffee
• 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 2-3 tbsp tablespoons dark brown sugar
• 2-3 tablespoon evo
• garlic
• fresh black pepper to taste
• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Add coffee, vinegar, brown sugar, oil, garlic, pepper and salt. Use 1/2 cup to marinate beef or lamb. Reserve remaining marinade for basting.

Cuban Marinade

• 2 shallots
• 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
• 1/4 cup dark rum
• freshly grated lemon zest
• 1/2 cup lime juice- Santa Cruz and 365 make great organic lime juice in glass bottles
• 2 -3 tbsp honey
• dash sea salt

Indian Spice Rub

• 6 tbsp salt free curry powder
• 1/4 tsp sea salt
• crushed red pepper or cayenne
• ground cumin
• ground coriander
• clove
• cinnamon
• ground ginger
• 1-2 tbsp brown sugar

Combine ingredients. The ones that don’t have a quantity- use a 6:1 ratio and adjust to taste. Store in airtight container- good for 4-6 months

Jamaican Jerk Seasoning

• 1/4 cup ground allspice
• cinnamon
• nutmeg and cinnamon (fresh if you can)
• dried thyme
• 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
• garlic
• 2 scotch bonnet or chili pepper of choice (option- chipotle to taste)
• 3 tablespoons dark rum
• fresh juice of half an orange
• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt ( do not use salt unless using fresh chili pepper)
• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Toast and stir allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and thyme in a small skillet over medium-low heat for 3min. Add to food processor with scallions, garlic, chilis, rum, orange juice, salt and pepper; blend to a smooth paste.

Cornmeal Fried Fish (or Chicken)

Cut fish (or chicken) into strips. Combine 1 cup coarse grain cornmeal with 3-4 tbsp of seasoning of choice. Dredge fish through spiced cornmeal. Put a large skillet over medium heat; sauté in coco oil which is better at withstanding higher heats for sauteing. Garnish: Lemon and parsley or cilantro.

Spicy Bruschetta

Bread in moderation is a GREAT joy! You are unlikely to have reactivity/problems with food combining with a couple of slices of bruschetta with any meal – it’s especially nice as an appetizer with dinner and a glass of wine

Combine evo with chili flakes, lemon zest or orange zest, shaved parmesan and chopped garlic

Toast baguette slices and brush liberally with spiced evo- great toppings include sautéed shiitakis or sliced grilled veg such as zucchini with fresh basil

Artic Char with Tarragon and Orange Chive Oil

Arctic Char is a wonderful fish and great texture. It's rated a "Best Choice" by Seafood Watch.

~Growing your own herbs (yes city dwellers can do it too!) are a huge, flavorful treat and make every meal seem special. When herbs start to flower use them as beautiful dressings to your meal

~Add chive flowers or oregano flowers to your orange oil 24 hours before marinating

~1 lb of char will need 3 long stalks of fresh tarragon. If there is any leftover tarragon you can add to a balsamic vinegar

Marinate char in 3 stalks worth of tarragon leaves, ¼ tsp sea salt and 4-5 tbsp orange/chive flower oil. Massage gently through fish and let marinate at least 2 hours. Squeeze juice of one orange on fish and broil on high for appx 6-8 min depending on thickness of fish.

Tempeh One Pot

Great for a quick dinner and then you can have the next day for lunch on mixed greens

Tempeh is the healthiest option of the soy family. The fermentation process by which tempeh is made neutralizes phytic acid which inhibits zinc absorption. Zinc is a primary mineral needed for immune and sexual health. If you pass the “chick pea test’ ,you might enjoy tempeh on an occasional basis. Limit soy usage due to it’s phyto-estrogenic properties. Please feel free to add any non-reactive vegetables to this list- I have included the least reactive for everyone’s health.

8 oz tempeh
2 large stalks broccoli
1 head kale
4 carrots
1 large red onion
4 cloves garlic
6 shiitakis

sea salt ¼ tsp

sauté spices, garlic and onion in coco oil for 2 minutes- add all vegetables and simmer with ¼ cup water for 20 min- add 2 tbsp raw almond butter. If you desire this a bit spicier add sriricha which will create a spicy sate feel!


Chickpeas are the least reactive of the bean/pea family. If you have tested “clean “ on another bean/legume please feel free to substitute for this dish.

Spicy Chickpea Spinach Salad

Sauté turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, garlic and onion with dash of sea salt. Simmer for 3 min and add 1/8th cup organic raisins
Add 1 can low sodium chickpeas and simmer for 10 min, stirring frequently. Add to 4 cups baby organic spinach . Let wilt- this will enhance bioavailability of iron content in spinach. Finish with grated carrot .

Brown Rice Salad- a great lunch option- will make 2 servings
1 cup brown rice
1 diced cucumber
3 cups diced arugula or spinach
2 grated carrots
mint OR parsley to taste

veg to sauté
1 small onion, 1 yellow zucchini and 3-4 shiitakis with herbs or spices of choice

Combine raw salad ingredients first- use the heat of the cooked vegetables to slightly wilt arugula or spinach. This will decrease chance of negatively affecting thyroid if there is thyroid dysfunction. Optional- add raisins for iron, sunflower seeds for calcium, pumpkins seeds for immune and/or prostate health. Adding cheese or chickpeas increases chances of reactivity.

Watermelon, Goat Cheese and Arugula Salad

Watermelon is very friendly to the kidneys and a great diuretic- perfect antidote to all those salty bbqs! If you are in the NYC/Long Island area I highly recommend Satur Farms Arugula as it is very spicy/peppery. Delicious!

2 cups diced watermelon
3 cups arugula
3 oz goat cheese
finish with orange oil and fresh black pepper

In addition to this recipe you can try a variation of watermelon, basil and mozzarella on arugula. Mozzarella (fresh unsalted) is one of the cleanest cow’s milk cheeses you can have!

Grill Tips

• Fish Fillet
• 30 minutes
• 3-5 minutes per side
• Chicken Breast boneless, skinless
• 2 hours to overnight
• 6-8 minutes per side; 165°F
• Chicken Thighs boneless, skinless
• 2 hours to overnight
• 6-8 minutes per side; 165°F
• Chicken Thighs bone-in, skinless
• 2 hours to overnight
• 15-25 minutes, turning occasionally; 165°F
• Duck Breast boneless, skinless
• 2 hours to overnight
• 4-8 minutes per side; 150°F
• Pork Chops bone-in, 3/4" thick
• 2 hours to overnight
• 3-4 minutes per side; 145°F
• Pork Tenderloin
• 2 hours to overnight
• 14-16 minutes, turning occasionally; 145°F
• Flank Steak
• 2 hours to overnight
• 6-8 minutes per side; 140°F for medium
• Strip Steak bone-in, 3/4"-1" thick
• 2 hours to overnight
• 4-5 minutes per side; 140°F for medium
• Lamb Loin Chops
• 2 hours to overnight
• 5-6 minutes per side; 145°F for medium
• *All cooking times based on medium-high grill temperature and cooking with the grill lid closed.

*ScienceDaily (July 24, 2008)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

MSM For Allergies

Protection of the Mucosa
MSM binds to the receptor site of mucosa and makes the mucosa impermeable to irritants including allergens and parasites (great if you are traveling to third world countries). MSM alleviates allergies through detoxification and elimination of free radicals, and improvement of cell permeability. Use of MSM used and resistance to allergens is well established.

Studies have shown that if taken for 6 weeks symptoms will improve and will not need to be repeated for several years. Daily dosages of 3,000 to 6,000 mg are recommended based on body weight. MSM is a safe, naturally occurring supplement and has shown no toxicity in clinical trials. A single dose of MSM is usually not effective unless you have already done a 6 week course of treatment. MSM will also help with environmental allergies such as pet dander and dust. Several studies have shown that is also helps with food allergies.

Studies have show that MSM is safe to use for children, but it is always wise to use the most mild course first. I highly recommend Wishgarden Herbs Kick It Allergy for children. Please consult your pediatrician or doctor before considering any supplementation.

Below is a copy of one of many well documented studies

A multi centered, open-label trial on the safety and efficacy of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) in the treatment of seasonal allergic rhintis.
J Altern Complement Med. 2002 Apr;8(2):167-73. Barrager E,. GENESIS Center for Integrative Medicine, Graham, WA.
Numerous clinical observations and case studies have led researchers to hypothesize that MSM may reduce the symptoms associated with seasonal allergic rhinitis. The primary goal of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of MSM in the reduction of seasonal allergic rhinitis associated symptoms. Fifty subjects consumed 2,600 mg of MSM supplement orally per day for 30 days. Clinical respiratory symptoms and energy levels were evaluated by a Seasonal Allergy Symptom Questionnaire (SASQ) at baseline and on days 7, 14, 21, and 30. Immune and inflammatory reactions were measured by plasma immunoglobulin E (IgE) and C-reactive protein at baseline and on day 30. An additional inflammatory biomarker, plasma histamine, was measured in a subset of subjects (n = 5). Day 7 upper and total respiratory symptoms were reduced significantly from baseline. Lower respiratory symptoms were significantly improved from baseline by week 3. All respiratory improvements were maintained through the 30-day visit. Energy levels increased significantly by day 14; this increase continued through day 30. No significant changes were observed in plasma IgE or histamine levels. The results of this study suggest that MSM supplementation of 2,600 mg/day for 30 days may be helpful in the reduction of symptoms associated with seasonal allergic rhinitis.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Can You Run Over The Age of 40 Without Getting Cancer?

When you think of the potential dangers of running is cancer, stroke and heart disease at the top of the list? It should be because after the age of 40 - give or take- running can exacerbate or cause serious health issues. Running causes free radical damage. Plain and simple, accepted fact. The more we age, the more susceptible we are. I advise anyone over the age of 40 to seriously consider tapering down their running unless their supplementation is optimal. I have never been one to be big on supplements, but if you love to run you should consider the risks and know there's a viable answer.

What are free radicals and how is it that they can turn something so healthy (and fun) like running into a potential health risk?

A free radical is a molecule with at least one unpaired electron and it makes itself whole by stealing an electron from a nearby molecule. This attacked molecule, now a new free radical , goes to another molecule and a nasty chain reaction starts. Free radicals bounce about causing damage to nearby cells as they try to make themselves stable. In this process free radicals accelerate the progression of cancer, cardiovascular disease and a host of age-related diseases.

When we're younger we have a defense system known as SOD (super oxide dismutase) that quenches free radicals, but as we get older, we are in a state of low grade inflammation and SOD doesn't work as well as it used to.

So what is the answer? Well, the standard answer has been to increase antioxidants because they can quench free radicals- one potential problem there....Once an antioxidant vanquishes the free radical it turns into a free radical itself. So we can have a very nasty free fall that increases in scope.

Luckily there is an answer and it's name is Alpha Lipoic Acid (APA), also known as the master antioxidant. APA converts these renegade antioxidant -turned free radicals- BACK into antioxidants according to Dr Lester Packer. APA supplementation, especially when taken in conjunction with Vit C, causes a regenerative effect to our whole defense system. You can think of APA as the ultimate recycler. Alpha Lipoic Acid is not only an antioxidant, but also helps with glutathione levels which helps with liver health.

But there's more which is really cool! APA is soluble in both water and fat so....it can move into all parts of the cell to neutralize free radicals . It can even get through our blood brain barrier . According to Dr Packer, "because it's the only antioxidant that can easily get into the brain, it could be useful in preventing damage from a stroke". His research has shown that when APA levels in the body are optimal there is no cognitive damage from stroke.

If you would like more information on how to run safely while incorporating optimal nutrition please e-mail ThePlan@lyngenet.com

I recommend Dr Packer's books and research highly- it's invigorating and hopeful to read his work.
Dr. Lester Packer, the world's foremost antioxidant research scientist, received his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Biochemistry from Yale University and has been a Professor and Senior Researcher at the University of California at Berkeley for the past 40 years. Most recently, Dr. Packer has published over 700 scientific papers and 70 books on every aspect of antioxidants and health