Monday, June 25, 2018

got milk? If not, try these other calcium rich foods

Dairy-free Calcium Sources

Not only does calcium build healthy bones and teeth but it ensures your muscles and nerves work properly too.  For each muscle cell to contract it has to pump calcium in and out.  Calcium is important for nerves because they fire their signals by releasing calcium.  This mineral also helps the body maintain healthy blood vessels, regulate blood pressure, and even prevent insulin resistance (which could lead to Type 2 diabetes) . Adults need about 1,000 milligrams a day—that's a little more than three 8-ounce glasses of milk—but what if your Nutrition Response Testing program includes not drinking milk or eating milk products?  Or what if you're vegan, lactose intolerant, or just don't like the taste of dairy products? Here's a little-known fact: there are lots of non-dairy foods with calcium. Here are 15 of them:

1. White Beans

191 mg  in 1 cup canned
Creamy and light, these legumes are a great source of calcium and iron . Add them to a gluten-free pasta dish with veggies or skip the chickpeas and make your own hummus with white beans.

2. Collard greens

268 mg per 1 cup cooked

In addition to serving up more than a quarter of your daily calcium needs, this Southern favorite is also loaded with nearly three days worth of vitamin A, a nutrient that helps keep your eyes sharp as you age. Though collard greens are traditionally cooked with butter and fattening meats like bacon, they also taste great sauteed with olive oil and garlic.

3. Sardines

321 mg in about 7 sardines fillets
There’s nothing fishy about sardines—they are one of the healthiest fish to munch on! Along with calcium, they also provide a hefty dose of omega 3s and vitamin D. 

4. Dried Figs
107 mg  in 8 whole dried figs
For a sweet treat, this dried fruit packs an antioxidant, fiber, and calcium punch . Eat them as a midday snack.

5. Bok Choy
74 mg in 1 cup
This versatile Chinese cabbage provides a hefty dose of vitamins A and C, along with calcium and fiber. Stir-fry bok choy with garlic and olive oil for a perfect side dish.

6. Blackstrap Molasses

172 mg  in 1 tablespoon
When your sweet tooth strikes, it’s best to go natural. Blackstrap molasses is darker in color and richer in flavor than regular molasses, and is filled with calcium, iron, and other vitamins. Plus, it’s a great sweet and flavorful addition to many dishes. 

7. Kale

188 mg in 2 cups raw (chopped)
This superfood is filled with calcium and antioxidants and is perfect to use as the base of any salad when shredded into thin strips or easy to add to a smoothie.

8. Black-Eyed Peas

185 mg in 1/2 cup canned
These beans are filled with calcium, potassium, folate, and more! Skip the mayo and make a black-eyed pea spread to pump up any sandwich or appetizer.

9. Almonds

72 mg in ¼ cup (about 20 nuts)
You’re "nuts" if you don’t grab a handful of almonds every now and then! They’re the most nutritionally dense nut, packing a crazy amount of nutrients per calorie and ounce. Aside from calcium, they also contain potassium, vitamin E, and iron. Eat alone or always good to sprinkle on a salad. Just watch out for portion size!

10. Oranges

65 mg in 1 medium fruit
Full of vitamin C and calcium, enjoy this fruit as a mid-morning snack, or use its citrus flavor to brighten up any dish,

11. Turnip Greens

197 mg in 1 cup cooked (chopped)
This leafy green comes from turnip bulbs, and is filled with calcium, antioxidants, and folate, which could help improve mood. Sautee them as a side dish.

12. Sesame Seeds

88 mg in 1 tablespoon
These unassuming seeds are more than just a hamburger bun decoration. Sesame seeds can help lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and may even fight against certain cancers. Use their nutty crunch in a salad or add to any vegetable dish.

13. Seaweed

126 mg in about 1 cup raw
Fish aren’t the only, well, fish in the sea. Seaweed is full of calcium, fiber, and iodine, which helps with proper thyroid function. Drink your miso soup, eat your seaweed salad or add a little to a green smoothie.  Just make sure the seaweed salad doesn't have artificial colors.  


14. Broccoli

86 mg in 2 cups raw

Believe it or not, in addition to calcium this cruciferous veggie contains nearly twice the vitamin C of an orange. Research also shows that diets high in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli may be linked to a lower risk of certain types of cancer, including colon and bladder cancer.

15. Okra
82 milligrams in 1 cup 

Okra contains constipation-fighting insoluble fiber, as well as vitamin B6 and folate. And don't write off this veggie if you've only ever had a boiled, slimy version; oven-roasting, sautéing, or grilling bring out the best flavor. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Health Benefits of Buckwheat

Health Benefits of Buckwheat
Despite its name buckwheat is not wheat but a nutrient-packed, gluten-free seed that is high in both protein and fiber. Its health benefits include cholesterol-lowering effects, anti-hypertensition effects and improving digestion by reliving constipation.

Buckwheat is usually found as raw “buckwheat groats” or in flour form. Both are highly nutritious staples to keep in your kitchen since there can be used in numerous ways. It's easy to add cooked groats to stews, soups or cold salads.  Have a bowl of buckwheat for breakfast instead of oatmeal and use buckwheat flour in muffins and breads. Buckwheat pancakes is one of my favorites!

Buckwheat is Heart Healthy

Buckwheat groats contain high levels of rutin, which is a type of antioxidant. Antioxidants can help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals, which can cause oxidative stress, affecting lipid levels as well as triggering a variety of diseases. One study that evaluated the heart healthy benefits of buckwheat groats, revealed that individuals who consumed 100 grams of buckwheat per day had lower levels of bad LDL-cholesterol levels, and had higher levels of the good HDL-cholesterol levels when compared to individuals who did not regularly consume buckwheat. The fiber and magnesium content in buckwheat groats makes it a good choice for reducing the formation of plaque in the heart, and improving the heart’s ability to pump blood throughout the body.


Buckwheat helps in digesting food better because it is rich in fiber which adds bulk to bowel movements. It also helps bowels to move slowly and steadily through the digestive tract, and stimulate peristaltic motion. Fiber also helps to regulate bowel movements and reduce the occurrence of serious gastrointestinal issues, and colon and gastric cancer. It also helps lower the chances of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and diarrhea. Buckwheat’s neutral thermal properties help cleanse the intestines and strengthen them. This improves one’s appetite, and gets rid of dysentery and chronic diarrhea.

Balance blood sugar with buckwheat

The dietary fiber and resistant starches contained in buckwheat groats make them a good choice for diabetics. Since it takes the body a longer time to break down the complex carbohydrate, blood sugar levels rise evenly, preventing drastic spikes in blood sugar. Another compound in buckwheat groats is D-chiro-inositol, which helps to lower elevated glucose levels.

Relief from arthritis with groats

The rutin in buckwheat groats contains anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce the severity of arthritis and other inflammatory disease. One study revealed that a dose of 500 mg/day of flavonoids, such as those found in buckwheat groats, provided relief from arthritis that was more effective than the traditional drugs used to treat the condition.

Buckwheat beauty benefits

Buckwheat groats can help promote strong hair as well as healthy looking skin. Buckwheat contains high levels of B complex vitamins, which, when combined with the rutin contained in buckwheat groats, can help to prevent or reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles.  It also has high amounts of selenium in it which is good for strengthening nails and teeth.


Buckwheat is rich in iron, which is instrumental in forming red blood cells. A deficiency of iron leads to anemia, characterized by headaches, fatigue, mental slowness and other serious side-effects.

Blood pressure

Rutin in buckwheat helps cure high blood pressure. Rutin acts as a vasodilator which increases blood flow and reduces the chances of several types of heart problems and stroke.

Immune System Health

Its rich abundance of antioxidants has a great impact on the immune system, thereby protecting the body from disease. Its antioxidant components also eliminate free radicals, like selenium, tocopherols, flavonoids and phenolic acid.

With all its health benefits it's hard to not want to give buckwheat cereal to your babies but wait until he/she is at least eight months old.

We have buckwheat bars on sale at the office for your snacking pleasure.  I have made buckwheat porridge as a substitute for oatmeal.  Buckwheat pancakes are delicious too! So get creative and enjoy buckwheat!

One of my favorite buckwheat recipes is from

Easy Vegan Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins

The best vegan buckwheat chocolate chip cookies! They are nut-free, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, naturally sweetened, and easy to make.


  • 1 cup light colored buckwheat flour (healthiest is to grind sprouted buckwheat groats)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (Enjoy Life Foods makes them with cane sugar)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the buckwheat flour, coconut sugar, oil, water, vanilla, salt, and baking soda. Then add in the vinegar, which will react with the baking soda to help the cookies rise a bit.
  3. Fold in the chocolate chips, then use a tablespoon to scoop the dough into 12 mounds spaced evenly apart on the lined baking sheet. Flatten each cookie with your hands, as these cookies will only spread slightly. Bake until the edges are firm, about 10 minutes at 350ºF. Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

If you'd like to replace some of the oil in this recipe, I've successfully made them using 1/4 cup melted coconut oil with 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce. In this case, please omit the water in the recipe. The resulting cookies will be softer due to the applesauce, like a cross between a cookie and a muffin top. If you'd like them to be firmer, place them in the fridge and serve cold.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Is Your Bra Harming Your Health?

We've all seen them, those television ads showing women how beautiful they can look in those tight underwire pushup bras.  Of course, no one is bothering to tell women that these same bras could be increasing their chances for breast cancer and cardiovascular disease.  Dr. Michael Schacter, MD says in his article, The Prevention and Complimentary Treatment of Breast Cancer, "Over 85% of the lymph fluid flowing from the breast drains to the armpit lymph nodes.  Most of the rest drains to the nodes along the breast bone.  Bras and other external tight clothing can impede flow.   The nature of the bra, the tightness, and the length of time worn, will all influence the degree of blockage of lymphatic drainage.  Thus, wearing a bra might contribute to the development of breast cancer as a result of cutting off lymphatic drainage, so that toxic chemicals are trapped in the breast."

It's important to realize that nearly all underwire bras contain metal under wires, coated with plastic which creates even more potential risk for the wearer.  Metal acts an an antenna which will attract electromagnetic fields.  This can increase risks of cardiovascular disease.  Johns Hopkins performed research showing that there is a direct relationship between exposure to electromagnetic fields and the speed and rhythm of the heart.  To see more on how electromagnetic fields affect your health, read here.

Sydney Singer and Soma Grismaijer, authors of Dress to Kill, conducted a study of over 4,000 women and found that women who do not wear bras have a much lower risk of breast cancer.  There findings included:

  • Women who wore their bras 24 hours per day had a 3 out of four chance of developing breast cancer.

  • Women who wore bras more than 12 hours per day, but not to bed, had a 1 out of 7 risk.

  • Women who wore their bras less than 12 hours per day had a 1 out of 52 risk.

  • Women who wore bras rarely or never had a 1 out of 168 chance of getting breast cancer.

    Singer and Grismaijer also found that about 90% of fibrocystic patients improve when they quite wearing bras.  

Of course while some women would be happy to have any excuse to burn their bras, breasts can be heavy and having insufficient support can cause some women a great deal of discomfort.  Fortunately there are more and more options for women which will give them great support without restricting flows.  There is a whole series of new bras on the market which don't restrict the lymphatic flow.  Some places simply call them "wireless" bras.  Several examples of these bras include the Genie Bra, the Wire Bra and the Ahh Bra, but there are plenty more options like them.  Sports bras also work.  It may take some time to find the right wireless bra but do it for the health of it!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Healthy Benefits of Celery Juice

The Health Benefits of Celery Juice
I first came across the "phenomenon" of drinking pure celery juice, every morning, on an empty stomach, while delving deep into the pages of Medical Medium by Anthony Williams.   His most current book is Thyroid Healing and he has one coming out in October called Liver Rescue.  

I’m sure most of us are familiar with typical green juice, which usually consists of fistfuls of dark leafy greens, such as kale and spinach, along with cucumber and celery, and oftentimes herbs, lemon, ginger.  Usually apple is added for taste. It’s a powerhouse of a drink, with all those deep greens and their antioxidants, phytonutrients and enzymes transferred into a liquid form that can be easily sipped down, thus bypassing the energy-consuming process of digestion.
So when I read about the healing powers of celery juice, my interest was piqued, but drinking plain old celery juice seemed pretty boring compared to the green juice I’m used to. However, Williams, in Medical Medium, says celery juice, "is one of the most powerful and healing juices we can drink. Just 16 ounces of fresh celery juice every morning on an empty stomach can transform your health and digestion in as little as one week."
Celery contains compounds called coumarins, which are known to enhance the activity of white blood cells and support the vascular system. It also helps to purify the bloodstream, aid in digestion, relax the nerves, reduce blood pressure, and clear up skin problems. Celery is rich in vitamin A, magnesium, and iron, which all help to nourish the blood. Celery juice is also rich in organic sodium content, meaning it has the ability to dislodge calcium deposits from the joints and hold them in solution until they can be eliminated safely from the kidneys. Sounds pretty phenomenal right? You'll only know if you try it!

It can help with digestion

The discomforts of indigestion, bloating, and even acid reflux are often caused by low stomach acid. Studies have shown that people with Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism often have low, or lack of, stomach acid, and low stomach acid sets off a wheel of undesirable health consequences. Many of us are all too familiar with the fact that when we’re stressed one of the first things to go out of whack can be our digestion. This is where the superhero of celery juice steps in, as its natural sodium content raises stomach acid, and when drunk first thing in the morning primes you for easy digestion for the rest of the day. Stomach acid is essential for breaking down food, particularly protein. If your stomach acid is lowered, the body then has to step in using more resources to try to digest that food, thus making you tired. This also leads to liver backlog, so there’s less chance your liver will be able to keep up with the onslaught of toxins it has to process from mere everyday life, as well as its job of balancing blood sugar and recycling and producing new hormones, among its many other tasks. If we don't give the body the nutrition it needs it never has a chance to reset, heal, and thrive. 

It can reduce cravings. 

Oftentimes, cravings are the body's way of calling out for nutrients that we are low or depleted in. For instance, if you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue, I've found you'll crave all salty foods. This is not a mistake of the body, as the adrenals need minerals to function at peak performance—like the minerals that are found in high-quality salt. Unfortunately we can often confuse this craving for wanting a bag of potato chips. Since celery juice helps with digestion the body can soak up all the goodness and nutrition now and cravings will subside.

More focus

Since stomach acid is essential for breaking down proteins, the amino acids from the protein can be broken down better after drinking celery juice. This allows the body to absorb the nutrition better.  Amino acids are precursors for creating neurotransmitters, so in theory, the simple act of drinking celery juice can make you smarter.  The surplus of energy one can get from food being digested better can also help feeling less overwhelmed.  This helps to reduce stress, thus creating a happy, healthy, natural cycle.  Celery is a major alkaline food.  This means it helps to purge the body of acid and toxins and cleanses the liver and bloodstream.
Want to try it out for yourself? Here's a quick and easy recipe for celery juice (no fancy juicer required!).

  • 1 head of organic celery.  Should make 16 ounces of juice.  
  • Splash of filtered water
  • High-speed blender
  • Nut-milk bag
  • Large bowl
  1. Wash and roughly chop the head of celery into rough chunks.
  2. Add to a blender along with a splash of water (to help the blades spin).
  3. Blend for a few seconds until broken down.
  4. Pour into a large bowl through a nut-milk bag.
  5. Squeeze through the juice, and compost the remaining fiber in the nut-milk bag. Drink immediately for the most nutritional benefits.
To help detox heavy metals add a half cup of cilantro to the blender.