Author: Head Honcho
Moroccan Stew
Feb 2008

A satisfying, simple vegetarian stew served over whole grains. Morocco is on the Mediterranean, but with an African flavor. Lovely!

Feb
2008
red lentil soup
Jan 2008

Georgia, as in the old Soviet Republic… not the state next to Florida! Red lentils provide easy-to-digest vegetable protein. A little coconut milk (not authentic!) adds richness.

Jan
2008
financiers
Dec 2007

Almond flour, egg whites, and raw unrefined cane sugar make this a gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free treat. Cocoa butter adds a richness… High protein, high fiber… Oh my goodness!

Dec
2007
stewed fruit
Dec 2007

Stewed fruit: no cooking, no mess, no sugar. So simple and fruity, you can have it for breakfast, too.

Dec
2007
rhodiola rosea plant
Dec 2007

We have two shelves worth of “brain supplements.” But how much of it really works? We’re going to look at just a few of my favorites — not for people with diagnosable problems, but just the rest of us who could use a little help.

Dec
2007
purple potatoes
Nov 2007

No grains in these dark purple-black, fiber-rich savory pancakes. A delightful holiday treat. You can call them “latkes” for Chanukkah. Or just call them delicious.

Nov
2007
sequential weight loss images
Nov 2007

I last covered the topic for the May, 2001 newsletter.  Yet just recently, it has recently been called to my attention that the first article did not entirely solve the problem…

Nov
2007
apple on a table
Oct 2007

Baked apples stuffed with crumbled store-bought macaroons. They’re simple. They’re wholesome. They’re truly delicious.

Oct
2007
girl with lollipop
Oct 2007

A study published just last month in The Lancet, England’s most respected medical journal, has confirmed that artificial food colorings and preservatives make children hyperactive.

Oct
2007
Sep 2007

Asiago is an Italian company, and we’re pleased as punch to carry their frozen, mixed porcini, oyster, shiitake and nameko mushrooms.  Adam introduced this product to me, and we both love how easy it is to make dinner by just adding a few other ingredients! Mushrooms lack chlorophyll, which means they don’t produce food for

Sep
2007
softgel capsules
Sep 2007

Coenzyme Q10 is found in every cell of our bodies, and is necessary for energy generation. It’s good for the heart, the brain, and even receding gum lines.

Sep
2007
Aug 2007

I fell in love with Kurt’s recipe back in the summer of 2002. Kurt is baking bread at the Orchard Hill Breadworks in VT.  He swings by from time to time bearing the gift of whole grain loaves baked the old-fashioned way.  Kurt writes, “One time Adam asked the Gaia Herb rep what the best

Aug
2007
Jul 2007

A meal in itself with some ripe summer tomatoes.  I’d add olives and those little pickling cucumbers too.  Organic chicken on the grill….. Or Steady Lane Farm hamburgers or steaks…. Seven Oaks Ranch, the maker of Garlic Gold products, is nestled in the Ojai Valley.  The Ranch grows and distributes organic produce such as tomatoes,

Jul
2007
Jul 2007

I keep trying to figure out ways to use hemp and pumpkin seeds because they’re both so healthy, but hemp sounds “sexier”, so it’s in the title here.  I read that hemp is the “next flax” because it’s another rich, rich source of essential fatty acids.  Ruth Shamai of Ruth’s Hemp Foods says, “So that’s

Jul
2007
Jun 2007

Herbes de Provence originated in southern France, and includes herbs found in the region: rosemary, basil, marjoram, thyme, sage, savory, tarragon, bay, fennel and lavender. We have two different mixes in our store, one by Frontier Herbs and Spices, and a second lovely version made by Jean Louis of A Touch of Provence, located right

Jun
2007
statue of emperor Hadrian
Jun 2007

When Debra has a health problem, she does two things. First, she SOLVES it. Then, she write about how she solved it, and shares it with the rest of us.

Jun
2007
May 2007

In May, I feel in transition mode, not wanting heavy, cooked wintry dishes, but not ready yet for summer corn or salads made from ripe tomatoes.  This easy salad, which can be a meal, suits my fancy in spring. Did you know that chard actually came from the Mediterranean and Asia Minor?  That while it

May
2007
a cotton field at sunset
May 2007

We’ve all heard about pesticide and industrial residues in non-organic raspberries, strawberries, spinach, and liver. Here are three crops we don’t normally hear about — but among the worst offenders.

May
2007
Apr 2007

Mother Earth Magazine lists kale as one of the “Thirty-Three Greatest Foods for Healthy Living.”   Grown in Europe since 600 B.C.E., kale was the most common green vegetable, and in Scotland, kale in one dialect meant food, and the expression “to be off one’s kail” meant to feel too ill to eat.

Apr
2007
probiotics under a microscope
Apr 2007

Not all bacteria are “bad” for us. In fact, healthy probiotic bacteria inside our bodies are crucial for everything from immune health to liver detoxification. They may even contribute to healthy mood.

Apr
2007
Mar 2007

Perfect for days that are still cold and often blustery.  We often are able to get peeled, diced organic butternut squash on organic produce day, which makes this dish a five-minute snap to prepare for the oven!  Of course you can halve, peel and cube your own squash, or substitute diced yams. Vegetarian?  Substitute any

Mar
2007
a photo of a woman covered in vegetables
Mar 2007

This is an article about skin.  Not “problem skin,” but skin that glows with health, and ages well.  It’s about thick, luxuriant hair, and strong teeth. The idea here is that our outsides reflect our insides.  Lynne Lori Sullivan, who works with this and other health topics, says she has very sensitive skin and likes

Mar
2007
red grapes in a bowl
Jan 2007

Resveratrol is an antioxidant — and much more — found in red grapes and red wine. Many people believe the health benefits of red wine can be attributed to resveratrol. Some people are even talking “anti-aging.”

Jan
2007
scholar studying at a desk
Dec 2006

I’ve always wanted to write a column on how to find information for yourself. Now, in this last column before the printed version of the Debra’s Natural Gourmet newsletter goes to paid subscription (still free on-line), seems like as good a time as any.

Dec
2006
broccoli in water
Nov 2006

Actually, fiber is for a lot of things.  That title was just to get your attention. This is about a special kind of fiber called glucommanan.

Nov
2006
blood pressure cuff
Aug 2006

The higher our blood pressure, the harder the heart has to work.  Over time, this enlarges the heart, which is not a good thing… but we do have options.

Aug
2006
milk thistle plant in field
Jun 2006

Milk Thistle, lecithin, kutki, and schizandra berries are all useful supplements for the liver.

Jun
2006
Jun 2006

Satisfying trail mix. Try it, you’ll like it! And, of course, the variations are endless. Yes, it’s a little spicy (you can make it to suit your taste buds), but remember that cayenne pepper increases circulation. Nuts like pistachios as part of a balanced diet can lower blood pressure in folks with hypertension. Lots of

Jun
2006
genes double helix microscopy
May 2006

“For me the question that fascinates is:  Are we stuck with faulty DNA and damaged genes?  Is our inherited DNA our destiny?”

May
2006
saffron on a plate, surrounded by saffron flowers
May 2006

As many as 75,000 saffron flowers – a football field’s worth of intensive cultivation – are needed to produce a single pound of saffron.

May
2006
liver
May 2006

Detoxification. Metabolism. Storage and synthesis. Is the liver our most important organ? And what can we do about it?

May
2006
butterbur plant
Apr 2006

Butterbur (Petasites hybridus) has the largest leaves of any plant native to England, as much as three feet across. In olden times, people used to wrap butter in them.

Apr
2006
empty bottles of alchohol
Feb 2006

87% less colic, 50% less booze, 27% more breast cancer, 60% less ovarian cancer, 56% fewer colds (that get better 35% faster); and why spicy olive oil is better.

Feb
2006
Inflatable turkey in our front window
Jan 2006

The day we finally bought our space and became masters of our own destiny, it occurred to me: we have 68 different kinds of lip balm. The day before, when everything was still up in the air, it occurred to me: this place feels like home. On that day, a customer came up to me

Jan
2006
a flower in sunlight
Dec 2005

Yes, we make vitamin D when sun hits our skin. But how much vitamin D do we make? And how much is enough?

Dec
2005
a flower in sunlight
Nov 2005

“If I had written this article on vitamin D just a few years ago, I would have struggled to fill a single page… But the last few years have seen an explosion of research…”

Nov
2005
woman with a face mask
Nov 2005

Pandemic flus are cause for both reasonable concern, and sometimes unecessary panic. We have an herb that has stopped pandemic flus in the past.

Nov
2005
silk tree blossom
Oct 2005

Clean omega-3 fish oils are gaining traction within the research community for their strong clinical trial results; Silk Tree is a traditional remedy from China.

Oct
2005
a baby with clear eyes
Sep 2005

Natural Medicine for Cataracts, Macular Degeneration, & Diabetic Retinopathy.

Sep
2005
blue eyes
Aug 2005

Let’s start talking about nutrition and eye health.

Aug
2005
family portrait of grandparents with grandchildren
Jul 2005

Herbs for longevity is an investment in your future. These aren’t necessarily herbs for “energy” or “vitality.” They don’t necessarily make you feel any different when you take them…

Jul
2005
the many faces of stress
Jun 2005

Everyone has a stressful few weeks now and again. We’re otherwise healthy, well adapted… just those 2 or 3 weeks are kicking our butts! Here’s how to prepare, how to cope, how to thrive.

Jun
2005
passionflower blossoms
Apr 2005

There are a lot of herbs for anxiety. It’s one of the things herbs are actually really good at! But how do you pick one? We go through the options.

Apr
2005
kava leaves
Mar 2005

Anxiety, simply put, is worrying.  And we’ve all done that!  Anxiety disorders, however, are when we worry for no good reason, or the worrying doesn’t go away, or takes over our lives.

Mar
2005
exhausted woman asleep at her desk
Feb 2005

Melatonin is the “sleep hormone.” Cheap, easy, safe, and reasonably effect. It works for most people. We’ll talk about melatonin — and about what do do if melatonin doesn’t work for you.

Feb
2005
Vitamin E capsules
Jan 2005

Is the reports that called vitamin E “dangerous” true? Or was it a hatchet job by mainstream medicine and the pharmaceutical industry? Actually, the truth is a little more nuanced…

Jan
2005
man in bed with the flu
Dec 2004

Adam’s 5-Point Plan to NOT. GET. SICK. Plus a quick-and-dirty guide to dealing with specific symptoms if you are sick: cough, congestion, swollen glands, tonsillitis, etc.

Dec
2004
sneeze
Nov 2004

Adaptogens (the ginseng-class herbs) are especially useful for lowered immunity due to stress, sleep deprivation & overwork. PLUS Antibiotics: the good, the bad, and the unecessary.

Nov
2004
Atlantic blue fin tuna
Oct 2004

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are vitamin-like substances found in food, that regulate inflammation, hormones, mood, and more. But not all EFAs are created equal…

Oct
2004
dairy cows
Sep 2004

Whey protein is nature’s superior protein source — and delicious in smoothies and shakes.

Sep
2004
Weston Price photograph of Gaelic children with good nutrition
Aug 2004

In the early 1930’s a dentist named Weston Price traveled to Switzerland to disprove a theory. At the time, people believed that dental problems had nothing to do with diet, but rather, with “race mixing”…

Aug
2004
Various logos used to show food attributes
Jul 2004

Organic? non-GMO? Humane? MSC-certified…? Food packaging these days can look like a sky full of stars, each star an attribute that’s (ostensibly) important to us.  But what do they all mean?

Jul
2004
First Aid kit
Jun 2004

Because it’s only a matter of time… For bumps, bruises, burns, bites, sprains, broken bones, sunburn, and getting trampled by an elephant.

Jun
2004
a natural killer cell
May 2004

We continue the article by exploring the controversial use of antioxidants in conjunction with conventional oncologic treatments; and then touch briefly on detoxification, diet, and more.

May
2004
a natural killer cell
Apr 2004

This article does not take the place of individualized treatment. But if your head is spinning from all the suggestions you’re starting to hear, it may may provide a framework where it starts to make sense.

Apr
2004
seaweed
Mar 2004

Herbs can help with both hypo (low) and hyper (high) thyroid conditions. If autoimmunity is involved, we can work to get to the root of that, too.

Mar
2004
stinging nettle plants
Jan 2004

PMS is usually bearable. But it isn’t pleasant. Why suffer if you don’t have to? We’ll talk about naturopathic remedies for the mood swings, cramping, water retention, and more.

Jan
2004
U.S. Supreme Court
Nov 2003

Over the past few years, a group of doctors, supplement manufacturers, and concerned citizens have been waging a legal battle against the FDA which will ultimately determine our freedom to receive accurate, scientific information about our health.

Nov
2003
street sign that says Heartburn
Oct 2003

I promised last month I’d talk about the use of antacids and acid blockers for reflux and ulcers as “one of the top-ten health misconceptions” in this country today.  So here goes.

Oct
2003
Sep 2003

“I’m going to have a little fun, get a little preachy, and offend some people. Some people, including friends, people I respect, are going to disagree with some of these (see #3 and #6). But as long as I’ve got this soap box, I intend to use it for all it’s worth.”

Sep
2003
x-ray of arthritic ankle and foot
Jul 2003

Rheumatoid arthritis is more complicated and “harder” than osteoarthritis. That also means there are more angles from which to attack it.

Jul
2003
a bowl of natto
Mar 2003

A few months ago, I wrote that vitamin I was only tangentially important in bone health. Only small doses were required. It didn’t do much. Apparently, I was very, very wrong…

Mar
2003
St. John's Wort
Sep 2002

The herb St. John’s Wort is a reliable and gentle aid for lowered mood. We’ll talk about St. John’s Wort — tradition, and science — and then move to aromatherapy.

Sep
2002
a silhouette of a man in the sunset
Aug 2002

Last month we talked about “lifestyle.” Now let’s start talking amino acids. Did you know that neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine are made by the body from natural amino acids.

Aug
2002
A dark and foggy landscape
Jul 2002

Are people depressed due to what’s going on in their lives (“situational depression”), or is it simply a matter of brain chemicals (“endogenous depression”). Maybe it’s both…

Jul
2002
acne face
Jun 2002

Acne is one of those things that doesn’t really hurt and probably won’t kill you, but it can still make your life pretty miserable. But there are some things you can do about it. Zinc, vitamin B6, and herbal allies to the rescue.

Jun
2002
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