Easy Recipe: Fruit Fries

This is a fun, nutritious dish to make for children of all ages. It’s based on a yummy recipe (Papaya Smoothie Bowl) I got from the Medical Medium website. Every time I made this, I was amazed how much it looked like ketchup. So I played with the presentation, and here’s what resulted. Isn’t it fun?

It’s super healthy–just fruit! I encourage you to click on the original post (linked above) to read about the ingredients’ health benefits. It would make a great breakfast or snack if you’re trying to get more fruit into your kids’ life.

Here’s how I did it.

1 large papaya (I prefer the Maradol variety)
2 Medjool dates, pits removed
1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

Remove and discard the papaya’s skin and seeds. Cut it into chunks and place in a blender. Add the next two ingredients and blend until smooth. Peel one banana for each person eating. (Note: the photos above show half a banana on each plate.) Cut each banana in half, then slice the long way into thin strips, approximately the size of French fries. Arrange “fries” on a plate and serve with the papaya “ketchup.”

Tips for success

  • Try to find bananas that are as straight as possible. If there is a curve in it, feel free to cut it cross-wise at the curve and make some shorter fries.
  • Pick bananas that are ripe, but not overly so. Your fries will be too droopy if they are too ripe.
  • If the dates are very hard, soak them in some water for half an hour. Drain the water before adding to the other ingredients.
  • If you are making this for a picky eater who is bothered by textures, you may want to strain out the raspberry seeds.

Have fun with this and enjoy!


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Medical Messiah Has Answers to Mystery Illnesses

A couple of months ago I made a very exciting discovery: someone who really knows what’s going on with the many chronic illnesses plaguing society today. It’s Anthony William, a.k.a. the Medical Medium. medicalmedium

At the age of four, Anthony began receiving health-related guidance from the spiritual realm–specifically, from the Spirit of Compassion, who helps him see what’s physically wrong with people, what caused the problem, and how to heal. Mr. William has made it his life’s mission to spread this information to help relieve suffering and give hope to all those afflicted with “dis-ease.”

William’s website, medicalmedium.com, contains a blog that addresses various topics from specific illnesses to healing properties of certain foods to healthful recipes. It also hosts a free online course that teaches the basics of how to stay well. His book Medical Medium goes into depth on various illnesses such as autism, cancer, autoimmune disease, diabetes, and more. The best part is, he presents sensible and easy to follow guidance for healing: lists of healthful foods and supplements and above all hope that you can improve your condition. His second book, Life Changing Foods, will be out in early November.

One very interesting fact that I took away from his book is that if you add some fresh lemon or lime to your drinking water, it will “awaken” the water and be more hydrating for your body. Another thing I learned is that not all blueberries are created equal. While the cultivated blueberries in most stores’ produce departments have blue skins but are white or clear on the inside, wild blueberries are blue all the way through and contain many more antioxidants. In fact, they are one of the most healing foods on the planet.

So if you or someone you know has a health challenge, or even if you just want to take better care of yourself, check out the Medical Medium website.

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The Power of the Mind in Healing

Many of you have been working to improve your health. You’ve overhauled your diet, eliminated bad habits, and added supplements. You make sure to get eight hours of sleep, you exercise, and you try to manage your stress. And while these changes have brought about some positive results, you’re still not where you want to be. You haven’t gotten down to your target weight or rid yourself of whatever disease ails you. What do you try now?

How about searching your mind for the answers.

The mind is the most powerful part of your body and an ally in your healing. It can also be the cause of your illness. All day and all night it directs your bodily processes. It tells your heart to beat, your lungs to breathe, and the alimentary canal to digest your food. So it stands to reason that the mind is responsible for what’s going on with your state of health, too.

If you have tried everything else, examine what is happening in your life. What is your mind telling your body?

As you read this story, think about what this man’s mind was subconsciously telling his body.

Brian’s* wife was deployed to Afghanistan, leaving him with three small children at home. He worked full time, took care of the home and finances, and cared for the children. He felt relief when her tour of duty ended, but then she signed on for a second deployment. He began to resent that he had to carry the brunt of their family life alone. Barely able to hold on until her second tour was over, he was looking forward to her picking up the slack around the house–but then she returned with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Now, instead of getting some much needed help, he had one more person to take care of.

Suddenly Brian was struck down with a mysterious illness that left him weak and with massive headaches. He could no longer work. He couldn’t drive. He spent most of his days in bed. He went from doctor to doctor, but none of them could figure out what was wrong with him.

When I learned about Brian’s story, it became clear to me what was going on. He was angry at having to carry more than his share of the load. His mind probably told his body, “I’m tired of having to do everything and take care of everybody. I want someone to take care of me for a change!”

Well, his body created exactly that scenario. His wife was forced to do more around the house. Relatives pitched in to help with the kids. Neighbors provided meals and drove Brian to doctor’s appointments. He got exactly what he asked for.

Sometimes the body heeds the mind’s message quite literally.

A very caring psychologist developed debilitating back pain, for which there was no obvious cause. It’s not a big stretch to see how this empathetic doctor, who probably tells her patients, “I feel your pain,” might have manifested this ailment. Every day she listens to others’ problems, absorbing the pain in their stories and internalizing it.

So what can you do if you find you’ve been unconsciously sending such messages to your body?

Tell your body you want it to get well. In Brian’s case, he could tell his body he wants to be able to care for himself. He should then express his frustration with the situation to his wife and together they should work out a plan for how to manage their home life so he is not so overwhelmed. It may mean asking for help from others or cutting out some activities to simplify their lives.

Change your belief system. This doctor felt the need to share in her clients’ emotions in order to relate to them. Can she find a way to help them without taking on the negativity of their lives? It might mean adopting new therapeutic techniques; perhaps she could encourage them to find what is good about their lives, rather than dwelling on what’s wrong.

Stay positive. Above all, think happy, positive thoughts. Happy thoughts raise your vibrational frequency, facilitating healing. Cancer patients have cured themselves with laughter by watching funny movies and engaging in activities they find fun.

So the next time you hear yourself saying—or thinking—something like, “I feel bad that you can’t come to the party” or “it pains me to have to do this,” you might want to find some other words that don’t wish illness upon your body.

* Name changed for privacy

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What is a Paleo Diet?

In my last post I mentioned the term “paleo diet.” Paleo is short for paleolithic, and refers to the type of diet our Stone Age ancestors ate.

Credit: cavementimes.com

Credit: cavementimes.com

Following a paleo diet today means we eat the modern-day equivalent of what a caveman ate. For example, rather than dine on pterodactyl, we might eat chicken; and beef or bison, rather than wooly mammoth; collard greens instead of tree leaves. You get the idea.

The rationale is this: while modern foods (think Little Debbie snack cakes or Big Gulps) have changed radically in the last 100 years, the human body has not. It works essentially the same way as it did in the Stone Age. So ingesting things like sodium benzoate, red dye #2, or GMOs is confusing to it. Our bodies don’t know what to make of these foreign substances. At best they excrete them; at worst, they find them toxic and store them in fat cells (to insulate them from the rest of the body) or the immune system attacks them.

Our ancestors were hunters and gatherers, so a paleo diet focuses on meats, fish, seafood, and vegetables. Anything that was introduced during the agricultural revolution (grains, legumes, dairy) is out.

Benefits of a paleo diet include weight loss, relief from allergy symptoms, and healing from disease, for many. Interested in learning more about a paleo lifestyle? To get started, read this or check out these excellent blogs: www.thepaleomom.com and http://nomnompaleo.com.

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Every Body is Different

It’s a confusing world of health advice out there. If you have an interest in wellness or nutrition, you may be frustrated by all the conflicting guidance available in publications, on TV, and online. A svelte former model claims she maintains her youthful appearance through a strict vegan diet and yoga. A famous actress eats only raw food and swears by weight training with a personal trainer. Testimonials from an Olympic athlete claim a paleo diet is the key to his success and stamina.

Fresh_cut_fruits_and_vegetablesWho’s right?

Answer: they all are.

When it comes to an optimal diet, there is no “one size fits all.” Every body is different, with a unique genetic make-up, past health history, and specific physical demands that contribute to the body’s needs.

What this means is that finding an eating plan that your body responds best to will probably involve some trial and error. You want to lose weight? The diet that worked for your co-worker may not give you the same results. Heck, even the diet that worked for you in your twenties may not work anymore once you hit your forties.

My best friend Harmony simply glows on a vegetarian diet, but when I tried it, I felt weak and hungry all the time. My body craved meat and works best when I feed it that.

You may want to start with an assessment of some kind – nutritional typing or the doshas, for example – and then go from there, tweaking your personal diet.

One thing I can recommend for every body is whole, natural foods. Real foods. Sure, people may lose weight eating pre-packaged diet meals and powdered shakes, but it’s almost never a long-term solution. Highly-processed items with artificial, unpronounceable ingredients are not good for any body.

You may find that your needs change over time. A damaged body, given the proper foods as medicine*, can often heal; and when that happens, the optimal diet for that person may change.

For example: someone with severe intestinal damage (like ulcerative colitis) may only be able to eat well-cooked, pureed vegetables until their gut heals enough to tolerate raw fruits and vegetables, which contain more nutritional value than their over-cooked versions. But if that person tries to eat these healthy raw foods in his debilitated state, they will do more harm than good! It all depends on where you are, health-wise, at the moment.

Someone with an autoimmune disease may do best on a restrictive Paleo diet; but perhaps someday, after years of remission, they might be able to exist on a modified vegetarian eating plan.

So don’t be discouraged if the latest eating craze isn’t working for you. Keep searching until you find the fuel that’s right for your chassis–at this very moment.

*Hippocrates, the father of (Western) medicine, is often quoted as saying, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

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Easy Health Tip: Chew the Fat…and the Carbs

Want a super easy tip for improving your digestion and losing weight? Chew your food!

I’m serious. Very few people really chew their food well. Digestion starts in the mouth with saliva, which contains enzymes that break down carbohydrates. Molars are designed to crush and pulverize food. Together they ensure that when the food hits your stomach, it’s a liquidy mush.

If you rush through a meal, swallow large chunks of food, and wash bites down with water or soda, you are circumventing nature’s plan.

A Better Way to Eat

Take small bites and chew each mouthful 30-50 times – more, if you think it needs it. This will also serve to slow down your meal, allowing your satiety center to catch up with your mouth and help you feel full before you’ve gone back for seconds or thirds.

Try not to drink any liquids with your meal…or only a small amount of water, if necessary. Not only does it wash away the enzymes in the stomach intended to further break down the food, but it makes it too easy to wash down pieces that aren’t sufficiently lubricated with saliva.

Good luck, and let me know how it goes!

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Be Your Own Health Advocate

It’s just not normal.

Many of you may be thinking this about some aspect of your health. Have you become more forgetful? Are you bloated after every meal? Eyesight worsening with age?

Just because others around you are complaining of similar maladies doesn’t mean it’s normal. Medical doctors may even tell you it’s part of the aging process; but it doesn’t have to be. There are people—and even whole ethnic groups—that stay vital, strong and healthy well into their 90s and beyond. Physical deterioration and disability does not necessarily come with age.

In the U.S., I believe it’s caused by our lifestyle. The Standard American Diet (better known as SAD) is high in substances that promote inflammation in the body, causing it to age prematurely. Things like beaucoup grains, processed sugar, food additives, and trans fats.

Likewise, our high-stress lifestyle and isolation from nature put us at risk. We spend most of our time indoors, trying to do it all, skimping on sleep to pursue our career goals. It’s no wonder our bodies start to show wear and tear.

Have you noticed it? Now’s the time to take action. Don’t wait until a “cardiac event” or cancer diagnosis comes as your wake-up call. Listen to the gentle whispers now. Those creaky knees…forgetfulness…or frequent bouts of diarrhea are trying to tell you something.

If you bring your concerns to your doctor and she dismisses your complaints, or rules out a few things based on some basic lab tests, don’t stop there. Be your own health advocate. The great thing about the age of Internet connectivity is you have lots of resources at your fingertips. Look up your symptoms online. If you already have a diagnosis but your doctor says you have to live with it, join an online support group to see how other sufferers are managing their symptoms.

Make these a priority: a proper diet, meditation or a spiritual connection, adequate rest, and even play time (a.k.a. exercising for fun). Make some healthy changes today to ensure a vital, active tomorrow.

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