Be Well Kitchen: 3 Simple Dry Rub Spice Recipes

03
Apr

Spices and Spoons

I am always exploring ways to make it easy to prepare meals, and one of the simplest tricks is make a batch of different spice rubs that can used on fish, meat or chicken. Rubs can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to 6 months (remember to date the container) so don’t be afraid to double or triple the recipe.

Rubs can be spicy or “herby” and are a great way to impart flavor to foods. You can also turn them into a marinade by mixing some of the spice rub with a little extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice (these should be used right away).

To use the rub, simply rub the spice mix onto your food until it is lightly coated, cook right away or it can sit for a few hours covered in the fridge until you are ready to cook.

You will need about 1 1/2  to 2 teaspoons of dry spice rub for every pound of meat, fish or chicken.

Recipes:

All-Purpose Spice Rub Recipe: Makes about 3 Tablespoons

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 3 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 3 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)

Blend well and store in an airtight container in the fridge

Cajun Spice Rub Recipe: Makes about 5 Tablespoons

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 Tablespoon paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard powder
  • 1 Tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Blend well and store in an airtight container in the fridge

It’s nice to rub a little extra virgin olive oil onto the fish, chicken or meat before using the rub.

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Posted by on Apr 03, 2014| 1 Comments

6 Foods People Think Are Healthy But Aren’t

Whole Wheat Bread
By Be Well Health Coach Jenny Sansouci

There are a lot of foods out there that people eat because they think they are a healthy choice. Here are a few that are not as healthy as you might think!

Soy Milk

Soy milk is a highly processed product. The soybeans are heated at high temperatures and acid washed in aluminum tanks, so the aluminum may be transferred into the soy milk. Almost all soy in America is genetically modified, and is grown with high levels of pesticide contamination. Processed soy in general has been shown to disrupt endocrine and thyroid function and may negatively affect hormones as well. If you do choose soy, choose a fermented option like tempeh or miso. Read more about the downside of soy.

Granola

Although it may look and sound healthy, most granola on the market is loaded with corn syrup or sugar. Your best bet? Make your own granola at home with gluten free oats and sweeten it with raw honey or pure maple syrup. Or try this delicious raw muesli recipe!

Agave

Agave nectar has become such a trendy sugar substitute, but the truth is that most agave in the US is highly refined in a process similar to making high fructose corn syrup. Agave is high in fructose, which can contribute to insulin resistance and obesity. Read more on agave. Instead, choose more natural sweeteners like raw honey, maple syrup or dates.

Fruit Juice

With the juicing craze in full swing, people everywhere are guzzling bottles of fruity juices – which is like liquid sugar to the body. If you’re going to drink juice, go for the green ones with minimal fruit. Your best bet is to make it at home or get it from a fresh juice bar! Check out this mojito green juice recipe.

Frozen Yogurt

Frozen yogurt is another one of those foods that pretends to be healthy when it’s usually a big heap of sugar, dairy, artificial sweeteners and chemicals. Next time you’re at your local fro-yo place, ask to see the ingredients list. You’ll probably be shocked! Learn more about the sneaky ingredients in frozen yogurt. Still in need of a frozen treat? Check out our favorite healthy smoothie recipes!

Whole Wheat

Even for people without celiac or a diagnosed “gluten sensitivity,” wheat can be a big trigger for digestive distress, skin issues, immune system suppression and inflammation in the body. Dr. Lipman says “I believe there is no greater drain on one’s energy and trigger for inflammation than gluten.” Read more. Curious to know if removing gluten would help you feel better? Give it up completely for 2 weeks and see if your condition improves. I promise, it’s not as hard as it sounds! Here’s a week’s worth of gluten-free meal ideas.

What are some other foods people think are healthy but really aren’t? We’d love to hear your input!

Posted by on Apr 02, 2014| 15 Comments

Letting Go of Your Fear of Fats

Nuts
By Be Well Health Coach Laura Kraber

For the last several decades, we have dutifully heeded the advice of doctors and health experts regarding limiting dietary fats. Compared to our parents and grandparents, our consumption of fats is dramatically lower, and dramatically different ­— thanks to dubious inventions such as margarine and canola oil.

Only recently has the medical establishment reversed its prohibition of saturated fats and debunked the 1950s hypothesis that saturated fat causes heart disease. But the ideas we grow up with can be hard to dislodge. Most of us have been drinking skim milk since we were kids and choosing non-fat and low-fat options wherever we find them.

To change our script, it is helpful to remember the important role that fats play in the human body – as building blocks of our cell membranes, precursors to our hormonal system, and essential for the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A,D,E, and K.  Additionally, fats provide long-burning energy, modulating the entry of glucose into our cells so we don’t need to eat as frequently. This is why foods high in fats such as nuts and avocados make great snacks. Fats give us a feeling of satiety, and we are less likely to reach for a sugary treat when we incorporate healthy fats into our diet.

Fats are genuinely confusing — Omega 3 vs. Omega 6? Saturated vs. unsaturated? Here are a few simple rules to guide you:

  • Avoid low-fat and non-fat food products such as yoghurts and salad dressings. Food manufacturers typically add sugar or other unhealthy additives to make up for the loss of flavor from removing the fat. Not to mention that you won’t get the satisfaction that full fat food offers, nor the benefits for vitamin absorption.
  • Strive to balance your omega-3 and omega-6 fats: we need both types but most of us are getting many more omega-6s in our diet due to our high consumption of vegetable seed oils in packaged foods such as crackers, cookies, chips and restaurant food.
  • Consume foods rich in omega-3s to reduce inflammation throughout your body; take krill or fish oil capsules, and eat more salmon, sardines, flax seeds, walnuts,grass-fed beef and eggs from pastured chickens.
  • Avoid highly refined, processed seed oils such as soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil and canola oil, which are produced through chemical processes using harsh chemicals such as hexane. Avoiding these oils is yet another reason to minimize or eliminate packaged foods.
  • Incorporate healthy oils into your diet,such as coconut oil, olive oil, ghee or butter from grass-fed cows

Here at Be Well, we’re loving adding a tablespoon of MCT Oil to shakes and smoothies in the morning for a good dose of healthy fats. Here’s a great recipe for a Chocolate Whey protein smoothie that includes MCT Oil, chia seeds and avocado — all great sources of healthy fats to fuel your day!

Posted by on Apr 01, 2014| 1 Comments

The Pursuit of Healthiness

Pilar Gerasimo

None of the positive changes we hope to make as a society can be sustained without the energy and resilience of a whole lot of healthy, vital people.

By Pilar Gerasimo, Founding Editor, Experience Life

I have often remarked that one of the best things about editing Experience Life is hearing back from our readers that the magazine is making a difference for them as they pursue a healthier way of life. I also love hearing that they appreciate the conscious choice we’ve made to be different from a great many other health-and-fitness magazines.

I think a lot of that difference comes from our relentless, passionate pursuit of what we see as the most central truths about health, and what it really takes to become and stay healthy in a less-than-healthy society.

Every day, our whole team is noticing and talking about this stuff: the things that complicate or obstruct our own healthy choices; the support systems and insights that really help; the stories from families and friends who are struggling to get healthier; what we can do, write, research and share that will help them stay strong and determined.

Over the past few years, we’ve gotten some wonderful affirmations for our efforts in this area. One I’m especially proud of: A Folio award for my Manifesto for Thriving in a Mixed-Up World — the tear-out chapbook that ran as part of my larger feature: “Being Healthy Is a Revolutionary Act: Renegade Perspectives for Thriving in a Mixed-Up World.” (Both the feature and manifesto are available at RevolutionaryAct.com.)

Perhaps more than any other award, I think this one reflects of our magazine’s whole underlying “tell the truth” ethic, and our zeal for sparking a healthy revolution on a grand scale.

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Posted by on Mar 31, 2014| 0 Comments

6 Reasons to Put Infrared Saunas On Your Must-Do List

Sauna

Saunas. They’re relaxing, rejuvenating and can even feel a little indulgent. But did you know a regular sauna routine is also a very pleasurable way to enhance health? As you’re probably aware, I’m a big believer in engaging in as many good-for-you activities as possible, and saunas, particularly infrared saunas, are high on the good-for-you-to-do list. Why infrared? Because its radiant heat is known to penetrate the skin more deeply than traditional saunas, better aiding in a number of restorative body processes. Here are just a few ways infrared saunas can benefit your body – and why I encourage many of my patients to make them part of their health-supporting routines:

1. You’ll flush out toxins

Saunas, infrared or otherwise, make you sweat. Sweating helps flush out toxins from the body and in so doing reduces its toxic load. With infrared saunas, the sweating is deeper and more profuse, enabling your body to excrete a higher percentage of toxins than with a conventional sauna. Infrared saunas are also a great alternative for those who don’t like high temperatures or need to avoid them for medical reasons. The gentler heat of infrared saunas runs roughly 20 – 60 degrees lower, making them easier to tolerate. But no matter which type you choose, remember to get the OK from your doctor first before diving into a regular sauna routine 

2. Blood pressure will lower and muscles will unwind, without a pharmaceutical assist

You don’t have to sit in an infrared sauna hours for on end to reap the benefits. For most people, all that’s needed is a few 15-20 minute sessions a week. During your sauna, as you sweat, you’ll be stimulating better flood flow and circulation throughout your body. That increased circulation will help lower blood pressure, and make you feel good all over, relaxing tight muscles and easing minor aches and pains to boot. If you’re troubled by muscle or joint pain, or more chronic conditions like arthritis, infrared heat from the sauna can provide drug-free pain relief, reducing stiffness and inflammation.

3. Cut a cold or flu off at the pass

Feeling like you’re on the verge of getting sick? Then head to the nearest infrared sauna as early as possible. Why? Because the infrared’s radiant heat will stimulate circulation, rev up the production of white blood cells and rally your immune system’s response to invaders. All that action will make your body a much less hospitable environment for germs to grow – and a great place for them to die. Even if you’re not on the verge of coming down with something, remember that infrared saunas, and the increased circulation that comes with regular use, are also great for speeding muscle recovery too.

4. Look younger, no “beauty” creams required

Infrared saunas offer a wonderful bonus for the skin: they help improve skin tone and reduce signs of aging by stimulating better circulation, blood flow and increased collagen production – all of which improve the look of your skin. The increased circulation, elimination of toxins and flushing out of cellular debris enhance overall skin health, giving it a more radiant appearance, without a trip to Sephora!

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Posted by on Mar 28, 2014| 3 Comments

From the Be Well Kitchen: Kale Avocado Salad

Kale Avocado Salad
By Be Well Health Coach Jenny Sansouci

If I ever get stuck on a deserted island, let’s hope it’s overgrown with kale and avocados. I’m borderline obsessed with kale avocado salads. They are the easiest thing to throw together, and if you do it right it’s incredibly delicious. Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods available, and pairing it with creamy avocado makes the perfect healthy salad. I make kale avocado salads in lots of different ways – so experiment with what works for you – but here are the basics on how to make it taste great.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch kale, washed and ripped into pieces
  • ½ avocado, cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts or pumpkin seeds

Massage olive oil, lemon juice and salt into the kale with your hands for a few minutes until the kale becomes soft. Add avocado, nuts/seeds and cayenne.

Do you have a favorite way to prepare a healthy, delicious salad? Share with us!

Posted by on Mar 27, 2014| 0 Comments

Natural Treatment for Headaches

Headache

By Be Well Health Coach Kerry Bajaj

One of the most rewarding things I’ve seen through working with Dr. Lipman is when he tells a patient with headaches or migraines “we can help you.” Here are 2 causes of headaches that you may not have considered:

1. Tension in the Neck and Jaw:

If you hold tension in your neck or jaw, it may be causing or contributing to your headaches. All the pain medication in the world won’t help to release the tension. One way to release the tension is through acupuncture, and another way is through Active Release Technique (ART) which is a form of deep tissue work.

Dr. Keren Day, our Active Release Practitioner at the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center says that “90% of patients who come in with headaches and migraines have muscle tension in the neck and jaw. The jaw is the most overlooked muscle group in the body — stress, clenching and grinding cause extreme tension that can trigger headaches.”

Dr. Day says that if you have headaches that repeat, you are likely doing something that’s causing repetitive stress. This could be looking down at your tablet, your cell phone, or your laptop. “Doing work on your laptop in bed is a big problem, because you have to look down at the computer,” Dr. Day explains. It’s best to work on a computer that’s at eye level. “Sleeping on your stomach with your head turned to the side can also cause tension in the neck.”

2. Food Sensitivities:

Often migraines are linked to food sensitivities. The best thing to do is follow an Elimination diet where you take the foods that most commonly cause allergies and sensitivities out of your diet for 2 weeks. These include gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, even citrus, strawberries and nightshade vegetables. The Cleanse diet is an elimination diet protocol. After 2 weeks, you can re-introduce foods and see if any affect your symptoms. 

Do you have any tips that have helped you relieve headaches? Please share!  

Posted by on Mar 26, 2014| 0 Comments

Spicy Shocker: You Will Not Believe What’s in Conventional Spices

Spices

Last year I was invited to an editor’s summit in New Mexico hosted by Heel Inc. While out for dinner one night, I was sitting next to two people I had just met hours earlier, Suzy and Sam Cohen (Suzy is America’s Pharmacist and a best selling author and Sam is her amazing husband, a chiropractor and president of her company). The waiter took our orders, and when my meal arrived I reached into my purse and pulled out a tiny salt shaker that I carry around with me because I refuse to eat bleached white table salt. My salt shaker had high quality, air-dried sea salt which contained 75+ minerals. When I looked over at Suzy, she had a huge smile on her face, and not a moment later, pulled out her own tiny salt shaker that contained the same salt as mine! As you can imagine, we became instant friends.

Although salt is technically not a spice, but rather a mineral, it’s still something we add to food to improve its taste. I’m very picky about the salt and spices I add to my food. Like salt, spices are used to provide and enhance flavor in the food we eat. Many of us use spices in place of salt to reduce our salt intake. I learned a long time ago that spices were at the top of the list of foods we should choose to eat organic because of their high concentration of pesticides. However, as if pesticides weren’t enough of a reason to buy organic spices, I recently learned that there are others reasons to buy organic spices as well.

According to Thomas Fricke, co-founder and president of ForesTrade, an organic spice company in Brattleboro, Vermont, “Virtually all conventional spices sold in the United States are fumigated [sterilized] with hazardous chemicals that are banned in Europe.”

Why am I not surprised?!

Sterilizing Spices with Toxic Chemicals and Radiation

When spices come in from the fields to be dried, they can be contaminated with all sorts of junk, like insects, mold, yeasts, and pathogens like salmonella. It’s for this reason that conventional spice producers choose to sterilize their spices with toxic chemicals. One particularly scary sterilizing agent used is called ethylene oxide, a gas that can leave behind a residue that’s carcinogenic.

And then there’s irradiation, which was approved for use on spices in 1983. This is another method for killing bacteria and food borne illnesses like salmonella. Foods are irradiated by being passed through a radiation chamber on a conveyor belt. The spices actually pass through a radiation beam. Spices are currently regulated by the FDA for the highest allowable radiation amounts of any food.

Because harmful chemicals and irradiation are not allowed to be used for certified organic products, organic spice companies, on the other hand, use steam to sterilize their spices rather than toxic chemicals or radiation.

Yet another reason to choose organic over conventional.

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Posted by on Mar 25, 2014| 0 Comments

12 Natural Ingredients to Calm and Soothe Skin Suffering from Eczema

Eczema

According to a survey published in 2007, a substantial proportion of the U.S. population has symptoms of eczema—31.6 million to be more specific. Most of these cases are not diagnosed by a physician, which shows these conditions are often undertreated.

Eczema (also called atopic dermatitis) affects both kids and adults, and is more common in cities and polluted areas. It’s also linked with asthma and allergies, and causes symptoms like itching, redness, and rashes.

Those with the condition can help reduce flare-ups by avoiding triggers like dust, fragrances, detergents, sulfates, irritating fabrics, and even dust. Meanwhile, there are natural herbs that can help calm and moisturize the skin. Try these, as they may help improve the condition of your skin and reduce your reliance on other treatment methods.

  1. Evening primrose oil. This herb is a rich source of gamma linolenic acid, which can help your skin retain moisture and may protect it from environmental oxidative damage.
  2. Borage oil. This oil contains gamma-linolenic acids as well, which can help reduce inflammation and eczema flare-ups.
  3. Sea buckthorn oil. Studies have found this oil to speed wound healing and regenerate skin tissues. A test specifically on humans with eczema showed that those who took sea buckthorn internally (as a supplement) experienced a significant improvement in their eczema.
  4. Aloe vera. It naturally counteracts inflammation, which can help reduce rashes. It also has been shown in studies to speed up wound healing, which can promote the formation of new, healthy skin cells. It’s moisturizing, as well.
  5. Fenugreek. This herb is recommended by the German Commission E, the leading authority on herbal solutions, to treat eczema-related inflammation. You can make your own poultice by mixing the powdered seed with hot water to form a thin paste. Apply to the affected area, leave for 10 minutes, and rinse.
  6. Calendula. Research on this herb shows that is antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral. No bugs will stay on your skin when you’re using this herb! According to the NYU Langone Medical Center, calendula has wound-healing effects as well. CV Skinlabs Body Repair Lotion uses this restorative ingredient.
  7. Tea tree oil. This powerful antimicrobial oil is being studied for its potential in treating eczema. Be sure you’re not allergic before using it, but then it’s worth a try.
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Posted by on Mar 24, 2014| 3 Comments

5 Easy Ways to Keep Alzheimer’s at Bay

Alzheimer's Disease

When it comes to preventing Alzheimer’s disease, there’s some good news. Mounting evidence suggests that the changes you make now can have a significant positive effect on what happens to your brain later. In other words, we may be able to slow or even stop the development of this devastating illness, in part by making lifestyle choices that support long-term brain health. So if you’re interested in keeping your brain in tip-top shape for the long haul, here’s where to start:

1. Keep Moving

Exercise – it’s not just for keeping trim anymore! Not only does regular exercise boost mood,improve memory, and help slow the rate of cognitive decline, it also increases blood flow to the brain, which helps support brain health. Better yet, regular exercise cuts the risk of developing the disease by half, according to the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation, and frankly, we like those odds. Tennis, anyone?

2. Feed Your Brain

OK, so perhaps a bowl of salad for breakfast isn’t your idea of an indulgent, good time, but neither is a deteriorating brain, so eating healthfully is, to say the least, a no-brainer. Be sure to fill up daily on those (preferably organic,) all-important:

  • Healthy fats
  • Leafy greens
  • Colorful veggies
  • Dark berries
  • Quality protein

All will help protect your brain by tamping down the cell-damaging inflammation that’s considered a key contributor to the development of Alzheimer’s. Eating healthy will also support the health of your glial cells, which are believed to offer protection by sweeping toxins out of the brain.

Also, when you’re prepping all that good food, stick to non-reactive materials like ceramic, enamel-coated cast iron, glass or silicone, instead of aluminum or non-stick cookware. These have been tied to possible long-term health problems, including Alzheimer’s.

Other ways to eat for better brain health include:

  • Minimizing your sugar intakethis is probably the most important step to take! Excess sugar attaches to proteins in the body, which increases the production of both free radicals and chemicals involved in inflammation, so limit your daily dose to no more than 15 grams (or roughly 3 teaspoons).  In fact, many researchers are starting to call Alzheimer’s, type 3 diabetes because of the strong link between blood sugar and brain health. If you do need to treat yourself, grab the occasional small square of dark chocolate, which offers brain-boosting benefits.
  • Cutting carbs considerably– anything that turns into sugar is a problem as elevated blood sugar triggers insulin spikes, which in turn lead to memory-robbing brain inflammation.
  • Drinking tea – up to 4 cups a day of organic Oolong or Green helps slow aging of the brain, so drink up!
  • Skipping the spirits – heavy drinking can cause permanent brain changes, so swap hard liquor for the occasional glass of red wine, not more than 3 times a week. 
  • Quitting cigarettes – as if you needed one more reason: smoking can increase Alzheimer’s risk by as 75% or more – so quit now to help save your brain.

3. Make a Good Diet Even Better With Supplements

Eating healthfully is absolutely essential to supporting brain health but I also believe that dietary supplements can help fill in nutritional gaps and strengthen the body’s ability to prevent the development of Alzheimer’s. Among my favorite brain-boosting, heavy-hitters:

  • Omega 3 fish oil
  • Coenzyme Q10
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid
  • L Carnitine
  • Vitamins B 1,2,3 and 6
  • Vitamin B 12
  • Vitamin D
  • Magnesium
  • Astaxanthin

Taking the Be Well Energy Formula, Krill Oil, Co Q10 and Vitamin D, covers most of your mitochondrial needs. To establish the appropriate levels for your needs, work with your doctor to develop your supplementation plan. Be sure to factor in your prescriptions, as some commonly prescribed drugs, such as statins, can drain the body of key nutrients, making supplementation even more essential.

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Posted by on Mar 21, 2014| 1 Comments