Of Note

Are You Stuck With Damaged Genes?

From a 2005 Debra’s Natural Gourmet newsletter. I still find it interesting, sez Debra!

In Jack Challem's book, Feed Your Genes Right, Mr. Challem says nutrition feeds our genes, which not only are found in every one of our 70 trillion cells, but which contain the basic biological instructions for everything from eye color to the risk of heart disease and other disorders.  “Instructions, encoded in the long strands of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) that form genes, program everything that happens in your body. They tell heart cells to beat rhythmically and brain cells to store memories. But when genes and their DNA become damaged, information becomes garbled and disease can be one of the consequences.”

Olive Oil Sampling

Thanks to those of you who came to our olive oil tasting that snowy February evening! Did you know that real olive oil is simply the juice pressed from the fruit (the olives) of the olive tree? Pressing olives for their juice is the way olive oil has been made for thousands of years.

Why do we eat olive oil? Not only because it makes our food luscious, but because it has so many health properties (one US cardiologist recommends we enjoy at least 2 Tbsp per day).

In this country, we consume one quart per person per year, while citizens of Greece consume five gallons each. Citizens of Spain enjoy 3.4 gallons per person per year. We have a long way to go to catch up, don’t we!?!

Help spread the word!

Our television cooking show, Eat Well Be Happy, is releasing four new shows in March. We are having fun! And we’re happy to announce that Eat Well Be Happy is now airing in Cambridge Sundays at 5:00 p.m. and Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m. We need a resident sponsor for Watertown, Newton and Wellesley. If you live in one of those towns and would be willing to be our sponsor there, would you let us know?

 What's Cooking
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Spring Asparagus & Arugula Salad

Spring Asparagus & Arugula Salad
As always, we want you to be at the top of your game, and one way to do that is to eat food with the highest nutrient value. In my opinion, that means eating food grown without pesticides or herbicides. To me that means “Organic!”

Try the bee pollen garnish here too. Bee pollen is actually flower pollen — but it's gathered by bees, and then we gather it from them. It’s 40% protein and rich in B-vitamins. Dr. Gabriel Cousens MD, listed bee pollen as one of the most energizing foods, and bee pollen can be used to help alleviate allergies, keep the prostate healthy, and help skin conditions. Cousens says it may help correct nutritional imbalances within the body.

Bluebird Grain Farms Farro and Amaranth Pilaf with Cherries

Bluebird Grain Farm grows ancient grains like emmer farro, an ancestor of modern wheat. Said to be the first cultivated grain, farro, a hard wheat from the Fertile Crescent in Western Asia, has 20% more protein than modern wheat and seems to cause fewer allergies too. Its insoluble fiber feeds the friendly bacteria in our gut. If you want to cook farro plain, cook it in lots of water like pasta, drain excess water after 50 minutes. It stays al dente. Use hot or cold; risotto-style; in salads or soups.

And amaranth? Grown by the Aztecs and then virtually eliminated in the Spanish conquest, amaranth is tall and bushy with flowers that contain about 60,000 seeds each! Like its relative quinoa, amaranth is gluten free. Its seeds have, according to the USDA, a third more protein than rice, sorghum and rye.

Adam's Corner
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Natural Medicine for Concussion

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury caused by a thwack to the head.  It’s usually something big, but it doesn’t have to be. Even something as “benign” as an errant soccer ball will do it, if it hits you just wrong.

The impact and following inflammation disrupts neuronal membranes, cell contents “slosh over” into the surrounding tissue, and blood flow to the brain is reduced. Brain cells ramp up their metabolism to try and repair the damage, using up their (now, limited) fuel, leading to a suffocating build-up of metabolic wastes. All of which, combined with the heightened neuronal excitation, suffocates and fries brain cells.

Everything gets thrown out of kilter, and recovery can take weeks or months.

Smoothie Inspiration

Smoothies are great because they’re breakfast in 60 seconds or less, packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients and protein and healthy oils. Plus, they’re delicious if you do them right. Seriously, though, it’s pretty hard to do them wrong...  

The following recipes are meant as inspiration only. Improvise! Each is a hearty meal, or 2 snacks. Most are not too sweet; you can always add something.  [Debra says: Got a Vitamix? These terrific blending machines make every smoothie velvety in seconds. We’ve got the Vitamix 7500, with its lower profile, quieter and much more powerful motor at a great price, $479. Colors? Red, white and black.]