10
May

The Sandwich Alternative: Vegetarian Collard Wrap

Collard Wrap

When you are gluten-free and craving a sandwich, this collard greens wrap recipe could just be the next best thing since sliced bread. A Southern staple, collard greens are packed with Vitamin A and K as well as a healthy dose of folate, manganese and calcium. A combination of fresh vegetables, healthy fats, and a tasty spread, like hummus, will make this sandwich alternative a lunch hit.

Vegetarian Collard Wrap (Serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 4 large cleaned and dried collard green leaves
  • 4 Tablespoons hummus
  • 1/2 avocado sliced long ways
  • 8 pieces of cucumber sliced very thinly
  • 2 radishes sliced very thinly
  • 1/4 red onion sliced very thinly
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1/4 cup sprouts

Directions:

Carefully trim the hard stem of the collard leaves  (this will make them easier to roll).
Lay the leaves on a cutting board.
Spoon 1 Tablespoon of hummus onto each leaf.
Layer with the rest of the ingredients, distributing evenly among the 4 leaves.
Fold the top and bottom of the leaf inwards then tightly roll into a wrap.
Check out more collard green recipes and low-carb swaps.

Posted by on May 10, 2016 | 0 Comments
09
May

4 Reasons to Fall in Love with Seaweed

Seaweed

When you were a kid, you were likely told to ‘eat your greens.’ Fast-forward a few decades and all of us in the sustainable wellness community are echoing – and amplifying – that parental sentiment. The difference between then and now is that today more people are embracing diets rich in nutrition-packed plants, enjoying more access to fresh, whole, greens. They now understand that the phytonutrients found in greens play an essential role in helping to support healthier lives, less burdened by disease and chronic illness. And while we’re all pretty familiar with the classic greens like spinach and kale, one of the more recent additions to the healthy greens list is seaweed, an ocean-grown veggie that’s worth getting to know better. Here’s a top line on this health-supporting gift from the sea and of course, how you can enjoy more of it:

1. It’s The New Superfood That’s Anything But New

When you Google the word ‘seaweed,’ you’ll see a lot of headlines proclaiming seaweed the new kale – and they’re right. It’s heavy on nutrition, light on empty calories and comes with an array of superfood benefits. Though some might call it a trendy veggie, in many cultures, particularly those with plenty of coastline, seaweed has been an essential food, and rich source of nutrients, for thousands of years. While it’s been a staple of Japanese and Chinese cuisine, and eaten by many of our ancestors across Europe and the British Isles, until recently most Americans have had little exposure to it, save for the occasional sushi meal or lunchtime bag of SeaSnaks (but that’s starting to change).

2. Seaweed Has Nutrients – And Lots Of ‘em

What’s inside that seaweed? Well, there are many different kinds, each with similar but varying nutritional values but in general, most are good sources of iodine, which many folks are deficient in. This is important because our bodies don’t produce iodine but need it in order to make thyroid hormones. You’ll also find vitamin A and C and the B’s, plus calcium, magnesium, iron, folate, fiber, amino acids and good fats. Add to that antioxidant, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties and this plentiful veggie-from-the-sea is the total package for anyone looking to support their health. Of special interest to women: some studies have suggested that seaweed may be helpful for regulating estrogen, which can help mitigate PMS symptoms and possibly reduce breast cancer risk. (more…)

Posted by on May 09, 2016 | 0 Comments
06
May

5 Nutritious Herbs To Cook With This Spring

Nutritious Herbs

By Be Well Health Coach Amanda Carney

Whether it be from your garden, planter box or farmers market, fresh, nutritious herbs are a wonderful addition to any diet this time of year!  Outside of their beautiful green color, fresh herbs contain abundant amounts of nutrients and healing properties, increasing the nutritional value of your meal along with the flavor.

Here are 5 herbs you may want to try this spring!

Mint

A favorite herb among many, mint is a delightful flavor to enjoy as the weather gets warmer.  Being a hardy and somewhat invasive plant, mint should have its own planter box when growing since it has the tendency to take over gardens.

Nutritional benefits:

Mint is used often to treat indigestion; it can be helpful in relieving cramps, nausea and bloating.  It also contains an abundance of trace minerals and antioxidants and is known for having a stimulating effect on the brain, increasing focus and memory.

Add mint to a fresh pot of boiling water to make your own mint tea!  Fresh mint leaves are great to include in summer salads, and are a wonderful addition to smoothies, like this refreshing Chocolate Mint Smoothie.

Parsley

Known for it’s beautiful bright green leaves, parsley is often used as a garnish to accompany meals, but this little green herb has much more to offer then visual enjoyment!

Nutritional benefits:

Parsley is high in Vitamin C and Vitamin K and offers twice as much iron as spinach.  It can be used as a digestive aid and has a detoxifying effect on the body, helping to purify the blood and stimulate the bowels.

Add parsley to salads and smoothies for a refreshing flavor.  Garnish meats and fish with chopped parsley leaves.  And don’t forget to use parsley as a natural breath freshener – simply chew a few raw sprigs! (more…)

Posted by on May 06, 2016 | 1 Comments

It’s Time to Change How We Talk (and Think) About Cancer

Cancer

By the end of this year, nearly 1.7 million Americans will have been diagnosed with some form of cancer, and almost 600,000 will die. More than one in three Americans will contract cancer over their lifetimes. Those statistics are startling and unacceptable. Yet roughly half of all cancers are preventable, by taking actions in our daily lives that can stop cancer before it starts.

Some of these prevention methods are common knowledge: don’t smoke, don’t drink too much alcohol, exercise, and eat a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables, instead of one filled with red meat and other heavily processed foods.

But beyond diet, lifestyle, and genetic predisposition to cancer, there is another pathway that clearly contributes to this public health epidemic: exposure to toxic chemicals.

The Environmental Working Group has been a leading voice on behalf of environmental health and the impact chemicals have on people for more than two decades.  

Our research has spotlighted the presence of carcinogenic chemicals in everyday consumer goods, personal care products, children’s toys, drinking water, food and even in the blood of babies in the womb.

Last year, EWG released a report, “Rethinking Carcinogens,” in conjunction with new groundbreaking research on chemical exposures and cancer conducted by the Halifax Project. a collaboration of hundreds of cancer researchers and scientists from around the world.

The findings of the Halifax Project add to long overlooked evidence that combinations of chemicals – ones that don’t cause cancer on their own – likely contribute to the burden of cancer.

In response, EWG has launched a new Cancer Prevention Initiative.  On May 3, EWG hosted a symposium in San Francisco focusing on rethinking the role of the environment in cancer prevention and diagnosis.

The Cancer Prevention Initiative website offers the cutting-edge research from leading experts and thought leaders, and provides people with helpful tips to reduce exposure to the chemicals that can trigger the disease to begin with. So much cancer is avoidable, and EWG is working alongside many others in putting cancer prevention within reach.  

Posted by on May 05, 2016 | 1 Comments
03
May

Favorite New Cleanse Smoothie Recipes to Try Now

cleanse smoothie recipes

We recently upgraded the Cleanse Shake formula with organic pea protein and organic fruits and vegetables for added phytonutrients. Like before, it can be easily mixed in our blender bottle with water and/or nut milk as well as blended with nutritious ingredients for a filling smoothie. Whether you are a daily Cleanse shake lover, a 2-week Cleanse devotee, or are trying the Cleanse for the first time as part of our Spring Cleanse Workshop, here are 3 new recipes to enjoy.

Blueberry Avocado Cleanse Smoothie

  • 1 packet Be Well Cleanse shake powder
  • 1  cup almond milk (or non-dairy, non-soy milk of choice)
  • ½ Haas avocado
  • ¾ cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 ice cubes

Blend until smooth and creamy

Superfood Cleanse Smoothie

  • 1 packet Be Well Cleanse shake powder
  • 1 cup coconut milk (or non-dairy, non-soy milk of choice)
  • 1 cup of mixed greens (kale, spinach, chard)
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • 4 ice cubes

Blend until smooth and creamy (more…)

Posted by on May 03, 2016 | 1 Comments
02
May

Q and A with Dr. Josh Axe, Author of Eat Dirt

Dr. Josh Axe
You’ve heard of leaky gut—the sneaky, hard-to-diagnose illness that robs you of your vitality and turns every single meal into a minefield of potential health destroyers. And as a board-certified doctor of natural medicine who’s also a doctor of chiropractic and certified nutrition specialist, Dr. Josh Axe has seen up-close how relatively small gut leaks can lead to huge health problems.

With his revolutionary and targeted approach, Dr. Axe helped his mother heal from cancer, poor digestion and a litany of other conditions, and in his new book, Eat Dirt, he is sharing that same method with the world. Here we discuss the dirty truth of healing leaky gut.

How did leaky gut become so prevalent?

The truth about leaky gut is that we all experience it at some point in our lives, but most of us never even realize it. We may eat something toxic (or that we have an allergy or sensitivity to) that passes through the intestinal lining and into the bloodstream. But when we’re healthy, our bodies immediately dispatch antibodies to neutralize those invaders. The major problem arises when these “leaks” become chronic and the body’s inflammatory response is sent into overdrive, ultimately attacking both toxins and healthy tissues.

What people don’t realize is that many of the modern conveniences that we enjoy—what we consider “advancements” in our daily lives—are actually contributing to the problem of leaky gut. Processed foods that make it so much easier to get food on the table in the midst of our hectic schedules are full of excess sugar, genetically modified ingredients and other foreign objects that the body doesn’t recognize as food. Meanwhile, we are exposed to countless environmental toxins on a daily basis from pesticides, to household cleaners, beauty products and, of course, food additives and preservatives. We are also overstressed (yes, stress and anxiety can contribute to physical conditions) and overmedicated, while our obsession with cleanliness and sanitization has wiped out not only the bad bacteria that would cause us harm, but also the beneficial bacteria that would help maintain our gut microbial balance.

As a result of all these factors, I would estimate that around 80% of people have some degree of leaky gut. It manifests differently in everyone, but the root causes are virtually the same. (more…)

Posted by on May 02, 2016 | 3 Comments
29
Apr

Healthy Food Delivery At Your Door

Food-Delivery-FL
By Be Well Health Coach Jackie Damboragian

In an ideal world, we’d all cook our food from scratch. But the reality is, for most of us, that doesn’t happen everyday. When we’re working with patients in the office, we hear a lot of them say that the fast paced NYC lifestyle impacts their time and bandwidth to not cook any of their meals at all. The problem with this is that most restaurants use poor quality oils, such as soybean and canola oils, and use low quality ingredients, such as non-organic meats and farm raised fish.  If you’re just transitioning to a cleaner diet or on the Be Well Cleanse, using a food delivery service can be quite helpful, especially for those with a busy schedule. Even if it’s to fill some gaps (just knowing your lunch will always be healthy), the option can be valuable when you’re trying to eat well and there aren’t many other options around. Below you’ll find some of our national and local faves.

National Meal Delivery

Pete’s Paleo: High-quality meal delivery that focuses on protein, veggies and healthy fats. You can choose from as little as five meals a week up to the family plan. They have a vegetarian option too.

Premade Paleo: Offers a wide variety of meal and snack delivery, all made from high-quality ingredients. Delivers in a BPA free flash frozen package.

Green Chef: Certified organic, Green Chef is the high quality version of Blue Apron. With customizable meals options such as vegetarian, omnivore, carnivore, pescetarian, gluten-free, and paleo, this is a great option for anyone wanting to prep less but also be able to assemble and cook meals at home.

Local Delivery in NYC

Food Matters NYC: Chef Tricia Williams, who created all the recipes for Dr.Lipman’s new book, 10 Reasons You Feel Old and Get Fat , is our go-to recommendation for our NYC clients. Her food is high quality, sourced from organic, fresh and locally grown food and is gluten free.

Provenance Meals: All of the meals are also gluten, dairy and sugar free. You can place an a la carte order or choose one of their pre-bundled options. They source from local vendors and use organic ingredients.

Again, the meal delivery services can be a great option for Be Well Cleansers. Check out the 2016 Spring Cleanse Workshop starting May 9th for extra support in reaching your goals and eating clean as your embark on the Cleanse journey.  

Posted by on Apr 29, 2016 | 0 Comments

What the Label Claims on Cosmetics Really Mean?

Label Claims

When it comes to cosmetics, similar to packaged food, we see labels like “natural” and “organic” that make us think it’s the healthiest option. Surprisingly, these labels legally mean nothing. Due to major loopholes in federal law, cosmetics can be labeled “natural,” “organic,” “green,” “non-toxic,” and nearly any other word that comes to mind without containing ingredients that accurately meet those descriptions. Here’s the “definition” of these terms so you know when you are shopping cosmetics.

NATURAL

For years, the “natural” sector has been the fast growing part of the $200 billion cosmetics industry. It remained strong even during the recession in 2008. You’ve probably noticed the increase in natural brands, and natural claims. Clearly, consumers are looking for natural products.

But what does “natural” actually mean? Well, it can mean something…or nothing at all. For the companies who are backing their natural claims, it may mean that a certain percentage of their ingredients are mineral or plant-based (they came from a plant and are not synthetic), and that they are using post-consumer recycled packaging to reduce their environmental footprint. There are several different certifying bodies that companies can submit their products to in order to show their commitment to natural (Natural Products Association, NaTrue, BDIH and EcoCert among them). These standards have a lot of overlap, but some are more strict regarding the percentage of natural ingredients, or their restricted substances lists. Most of them take the safety of ingredients into account to some extent, but the source of an ingredient—e.g. if it came from a plant—doesn’t de facto mean that we know if it is safe for use on our bodies day after day.

For some companies, “natural” is merely a marketing claim, and they aren’t concerned with backing up their claims in a meaningful way. These guys are “greenwashing.” Learn more about UL Environment’s “seven sins of greenwashing” here.

ORGANIC

If you’re familiar with the term “organic” from the food industry, you know it means that the crop in question was grown without the use of toxic fertilizers and pesticides, and in a way that conserved natural resources and promoted biodiversity. In the food industry, “organic” actually means something. In cosmetics, not so much.

Since cosmetics are virtually unregulated, companies are allowed to toss around the term “organic” when the products or ingredients are, in fact, not. The only way to know that “organic” actually means “organic” is to look at the product’s ingredient list, and to verify which ingredients have been certified organic by a credible organization, like the USDA or Oregon Tilth.

If the entire product has a USDA Organic seal on it, you know that the products has achieved the “gold standard” for organic certification in the cosmetics industry. (more…)

Posted by on Apr 28, 2016 | 1 Comments
26
Apr

Avocado, The Amazing Healthy Fat

Avocado

I am always looking for ways to help my muscles recover more easily. In addition to supplementation, I get asked what foods will help promote these results. Recently, many of my patients have also expressed concern about hair growth, nail strength and dry skin.  Avocados can help with all of this, and that’s why they’re so popular in the wellness world!

These beautiful and creamy fruits are packed with folate and vitamins B5, B6, K and E, which all help support the healthy growth of hair, skin, and nails. In addition, avocados are loaded with good fats and omega 3’s, both of which help reduce inflammation in the body.

I always recommend avocados for daily smoothies, especially post workout, as they are a good source of electrolytes with their high doses of potassium, magnesium and calcium. This makes them a great alternative to popular, sugary sports drinks and other fruits. Just adding a quarter to a third of an avocado can make your daily smoothie deliciously creamy and green, without all the extra sugar.

To give my patients and readers inspiration, here is the recipe for one of my top post workout smoothies:

Supergreen Superfood Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet of Be Well Sustain Protein powder
  • 1 cup almond milk (or non-dairy non-soy milk)
  • 1 Tablespoon Be Well MCT Oil
  • 1 kiwi
  • ½ cup spinach
  • ½ cup kale
  • ¼ avocado
  • ⅓ Tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 ½ teaspoons spirulina
  • Ice

Optional:

  • Be Well L-Glutamine (You can use the powder of 2 capsules.)
  • ½ – 1 packet of Stevia, if you prefer your smoothie on the sweeter side

For those of you who have not yet ventured into the world of smoothies, try my savory guacamole! It’s a great addition to most meals and a satiating, healthy snack! Just grab a big bowl and mix together the ingredients listed below, one at a time, and enjoy! (more…)

Posted by on Apr 26, 2016 | 1 Comments

5 Things to Know About Inflammation

Inflammation

In my practice, and in my book 10 Reasons You Feel Old and Get Fat…And How YOU Can Stay Young, Slim, and Happy!, I talk a lot about the day-to-day habits that can make or break your health. At the top of the health-breakers list is inflammation. It’s a word my patients become quite familiar with as we work together to tame it. And now people outside wellness circles are also starting to hear about it a lot more too. Trouble is, most of them don’t really understand much about inflammation or just how destructive it is. You could say everybody’s talking about inflammation, but what are they doing about it? Hopefully, they’re learning to take steps to prevent it. To help you do that, here’s a topline on what chronic inflammation is all about and why it’s essential to tame it.

It’s A Killer You Can’t See Coming

When most people think inflammation, they think of the acute kind that shows itself as a bit of swelling or redness – a kind of physical calling card for those minor injuries we don’t usually need to worry much about. Chronic inflammation, however, is considerably more worrisome – and there aren’t necessarily any visible signs that let you know it’s ‘flame-on.’ Instead, you may start to experience warning symptoms like an uptick in allergies, gut problems (bloating, constipation, IBS, etc.) or joint pain.

It Sets The Stage For Disastrous Diseases

A primary culprit behind so many health problems, chronic inflammation has been linked to an increased risk for many of the diseases we fear most, including cancer, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. It’s also thought to play a significant role in neurological problems like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and even mental illnesses like depression and schizophrenia. These are “worst case” diseases, so it’s easy to see why it’s so important that we do whatever we can to tame chronic inflammation.

It’s What Happens When Your Immune System Goes Rogue

Acute inflammation is your body’s natural response to injury. When injury occurs, your immune system kicks into gear to repair the damage. It sends a flurry of chemicals and inflammatory cells to the injured region to protect the vulnerable area and get the healing under way. In time, you’re virtually good as new. With chronic inflammation though, an out-of-balance, over-revved immune system keeps the flow of chemicals coming and tissues – healthy or otherwise – wind up living in a perpetually agitated state. Why worry? Those constantly circulating inflammatory hormones bring with them an increased risk for plaque build-up in the arteries, arthritis, compromised bone health, high blood pressure and heart disease, to name a few.

It’s About The ‘Leaks’ In Your Gut

Most often, chronic inflammation is the result of an immune system imbalance – so if we can redress that and reduce inflammation, we can cut the risk for long-term health problems and help ease many of the low-grade ills you may be experiencing. In my practice, usually the first step is to get the gut into better, healthier, more balanced shape. As the gut is home to most of your immune system, if it’s unbalanced, the rest of you will be too. How do the wheels come off? One of the most common ways is via what we in the wellness community call “leaky gut syndrome”, triggered by alcohol, food sensitivities (eg gluten), certain medications (eg NSAID’s), low grade gut infections (eg yeast, bacteria and parasites) and even chronic stress. These cause damage to the lining of gut or the tight links between the cell wall, letting proteins and bits of bacteria into the bloodstream, setting off an inflammatory response throughout the body. These inflammatory particles called ‘cytokines’ run amok throughout the system, setting off a variety of responses that may include everything from skin disorders, digestive problems and migraines to fatigue, anxiety and mood swings. (more…)

Posted by on Apr 25, 2016 | 0 Comments