Banana Blackstrap Blood Building Smoothie

If you’re suffering from iron-deficiency anemia, this is just the recipe for you. It may not look the prettiest, but it is sweet & tasty.

Iron absorption is about more than just the iron. Nutrients like vitamin C, copper, manganese, vitamin a, and folate are essential for healthy ferritin and iron levels, and healthy red blood cell counts. Without the proper nutritional balance, you may find that your iron supplements alone just don’t cut it. This is why when trying to correct a nutritional deficiency, utilizing complimentary whole foods in addition to any supplements is instrumental.

This recipe contains some of the best blood-boosting ingredients in an easy to drink smoothie, supplying plant-based iron plus all of the essential nutrients mentioned above for proper assimilation.

39441874_286064065519748_4284078188105039872_n

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 tablespoon black strap molasses
  • ¼ tsp raw cacao powder
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • Handful of spinach or kale
  • 2-4 drops pure vanilla extract

Blend, and enjoy once daily!

Warmly,

Megan Normansell, CHC, AADP, CFH

Certified Holistic Practitioner/Holistic Nutritionist/Herbalist/Wild Edibles Guide

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more recipes and healthy living ideas!

Interested in healing your body naturally?
Get the answers you’ve been searching for, and heal your body for good… naturally. We have successfully helped thousands of people across the country live a healthier life than they ever could have imagined, and specialize in dozens of different health concerns. Curious? Schedule your complimentary consultation with me today! Read the incredible reviews we’ve received over the years here.

http://www.aayushealth.com – megan@aayushealth.com – 920-327-2221

 

Copyright Megan Normansell 2018 All rights reserved. 

Advertisements

The Paleo Diet- It Isn’t What You Think It Is

6197216999_9a324deba3_b

The Paleolithic period, also known as a part of the Stone Age, lasted 2.6 million years ago to about 12,000 years ago and has inspired many an idea of what your plate should look like today. The modern dietary theory called the “Paleo Diet” or “Caveman Diet” professes that ancient hunters/gatherers shared a certain diet during that period, and that diet is still essential for reclaiming our health in contemporary times. While there is variability in the way it is interpreted, the diet typically includes specific vegetables, fruits, nuts, roots, and meat and excludes certain other vegetables, dairy, grains, legumes, certain oils, artificial ingredients, salt, & alcohol.

Now, my profession consists of telling people to eat vegetables. I’m not here to put down any diet that aims to do the same. I’ve been professionally trained in the modern Paleo diet, along with dozens of other dietary theories that I use with my clients. Any diet that says “just eat real food” is always going to point you in the direction of better health. But alas, I am an eternal “vegetable truther.” Where there is misinformation in the nutrition industry, I will seek to set the record straight. Do you follow the modern day “Paleo Diet?” Cool. Keep eating it. Just know it’s not actually Paleo. Many foods that are today being touted as being “paleo” did not even exist during the Paleolithic era. Many foods on the modern paleo diet “no” list were actually staples in a true, historically accurate Paleo diet. Don’t believe me? Keep reading. Are you interested in learning more about the real Paleo diet? Cool. Also keep reading.

Now the wonderful thing about any ancient, traditional diet is that there were no orthorexic rules that our society seems so obsessed with today- it was eat what nature provided, when nature provided it. A true paleo diet can best be described as “opportunistic omnivores.” I like that. Unfortunately today, that same term would translate to going to whatever McDonalds is closest to your house.

image-20150619-3347-1ft7t1t

Using today’s terminology we could describe a true paleo diet as organic (all food was organic until the 1940’s), non-GMO (genetically modified crops were not manufactured and introduced into our food supply until the 1980’s), whole, local, seasonal, and wild. There were no isolated synthetic vitamins and minerals to fortify with, no preservatives, artificial colors and flavors, MSG and synthetic flavor enhancers, pesticides, herbicides, etc.

Paleo people were more well-nourished and had less famine than the Neolithic and more agrarian cultures that followed them. They had a wider variety of natural foods and they were foragers, with no dependence on a small number of crops and cultivated foods like we do in modern times. I can personally harvest over 30 species of wild plants in the park in my suburban village- imagine how much more food a person would have had within arm’s reach back in that period of time.

paleolithic_peoples

Although not quite old enough to be Paleolithic, Otzi the ice man gives us unique insight into what a diet looked like before most of our food was cultivated. As he lived near regions that we’ll be discussing and used most of the same methods to obtain his food, his diet likely would not vary much from a typical version of a true Paleolithic diet.

Otzi, the incredibly well-preserved iceman discovered in 1991, lived in the region that is now northern Italy, some 5,300 years ago. And his last meal consisted of… wild goat (Ibex) and Einkorn wheat.

Now wheat is an interesting one, as it’s been demonized by many different dietary theories today.

As a holistic nutritionist with Celiac disease, I understand better than most how damaging gluten-containing grains can be. However, I also understand that everybody’s bodies are dramatically different, one man’s poison may be another man’s food and vice versa. Unless I work with a client and find them to have a genuine wheat or gluten allergy or intolerance, I will not immediately rush to tell them to eliminate it. When we get into cutting out whole foods without any solid reason other than “I read about it in this book” or “this guy says it’s bad for everyone” or “this person punched this into a machine and the printout says I can’t eat it” then meal planning and eating becomes this stressful, confusing, frustrating, messy, overly-restricted and eventually despised regimen. Common sense gets thrown out the window too many times. Keep it simple.

But I digress.

In some people the culprit may not even be the wheat itself, but what’s been done to it. The modern wheat you get in stores today is not even remotely close to distant cousins like Einkorn. For my wheat-eating clients I recommend ancient, organic varieties of it such as Einkorn or spelt, in the unrefined, unmilled form.

The term Einkorn wheat refers to two different types- the wild form, triticum boeoticum, or the domesticated form, triticum monococcum. As records of domestication of wheat go back to just 8,650 to 7,950 BC, this clearly was not a part of the true Paleolithic diet. However, archaological evidence in Syria found that humans may have started harvesting this wild wheat around 30,000 years ago. That makes this wheat a very paleo treat. Triticum boeoticum has been traced back to pre-neolithic sites in Turkey and areas throughout northern Europe. It is a low-yielding grain, thus was eaten in small quantities. Wheat was eaten in the same way we’d eat it in its whole food form today- boiled in water whole or eaten as porridge, similar to how we make oatmeal today.

Compared to modern wheat, Einkorn has more protein, healthy fats, magnesium, b6, beta carotene, and potassium.

6749722395_81c4979a53_z

wheat! it’s coming for you!

Anthropologists have found that proportions of foods consumed varied quite a bit. You tend to find that chillier areas are more meat-heavy out of necessity. The extra calories, fat, and warmth were needed to thrive in cold climates. When you were hungry, you hunted.

Certain areas have also been found to be far more plant-based, with very small amounts of meat. Other areas were higher in carbs, with tubers being a main staple. So a paleo diet did not necessarily mean lots of meat or low carb, either. It is estimated the average true Paleolithic diet consisted of 3.6-4.2 pounds of fruits and vegetables daily.

So lets compare. How does the modern “Paleo diet” stack up against the true historically accurate Paleo diet?

  • Dairy? The modern Paleo Diet says no. Is it truly Paleo? Yes! There is evidence that late paleo cultures most likely domesticated reindeer for their meat and dairy as early as 14,000 BC.
  • Against the grain? Now we know that the true paleo diet did indeed include grains. One variety of quinoa (chenopodium quinoa var. melanospermum) was believed to be in the ancient paleo diet. But since they were not cultivated they were not available in large quantities. Your plate reflected what you picked. Small servings.
  • Soy free? My research says yes, the paleo diet was devoid of soy.
  • Gluten free? Nope!
  • Sugar free? No! The true paleo diet embraced all fruits that were available to them.
20915451_10101777720690993_5704049832532315559_n

wild grapes would have been eaten during paleolithic times

  • Refined sugar free? Yes! Just say no to refined white sugar.
  • Vegan? No! At least not by choice. Opportunistic omnivores. However if the opportunity was not there or if you were a terrible hunter, you may be a temporary (and hangry) vegan.
  • Alcohol free? Probably. One archaeologist believes fermented wild grape wine traces back to 8,500 BC, which is not quite long enough ago to be considered Paleo. Unless they kept their magic spirits secret…
  • BACON! There is no evidence of pigs being eaten during Paleolithic times. Sorry. Bacon, pork, ham, etc are simply not true paleo foods.
  • Legumes? Legumes have been found in Paleolithic archaeobotanical findings in Kebara Cave, Israel and there are varieties that would have been consumed during the Paleo era including Fabaceaes like peas, vetch, and clover. Archaeological finds have found peas to be a part of the Paleolithic diet in Switzerland. Lentils have been traced back to the Greek diet as far as 11,000 BC, which puts it in that Paleo grey area. But I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that they could have been consumed around 12,000 BC, so we’ll label lentils as a “Paleo maybe-o.”
Vicia americana

vicia americana, American vetch

Foods you think are Paleo that really aren’t:

  • Bell peppers: these are a modern cultivar
  • Kale: came about around 300 BC
  • Broccoli: made from a kale predecessor in the 1500s
  • Cabbage (savoy): dates back to the 1500s
  • Kohlrabi: also from the 1500s
  • Brussels sprouts: first used in the 400’s, the modern cultivar you eat today came about in the 1200s
  • Cauliflower: bred in the 1300-1400s
  • Bananas: the bananas you eat today have been around for less than 200 years. If you lived in Papua New Guinea, you would have eaten banana cultivars beginning around 5000-8000 BC. But still not exactly paleo.
  • Apples: any that are not crabapples. This includes your honeycrisp, golden and red delicious, gala, braeburn, and so on.
  • Chicken: The chicken you’re eating today is a modernized hybrid of junglefowl and would not have been a component of a truly Paleo diet. The first records of the chicken you know and love today being eaten are from 600 BC.
  • Zucchini: this is a pretty new food- zucchini as you know it was developed in the second half of the 19th century in Italy. Summer squashes are native to Mexico and can be traced back to 7,000 to 5,500 BC, so would not have been part of the paleo diet in Europe.
  • Olive oil: Olives were not known to be picked until the Neolithic peoples, and archaeological evidence shows that they were first made into olive oil between 6000 BC and 4500 BC in Israel. Sorry, your olive oil isn’t Paleo.

So while of course there are large variances in the true Paleolithic diet based upon what was available at the time, here’s the rundown of what was really eaten during that time period:

  • Fish
  • Legumes
  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Grains
  • Children were weaned much later than they typically are today, so children had the advantage of breastmilk for many years
  • Animals such as wooly mammoths, deer, seals, elands, shellfish, carrion, & birds
  • Eggs
  • Tubers & roots
  • Fruits
  • Insects
  • Raw dairy
watercress nettles motherwort catmint

ancient wild foods harvested near my home

On top of that there are many of today’s wild foods that we know were around during Neolithic times. I have no reason to believe these were not available 12,000 years ago or longer:

  • Stinging nettles
  • Beech nut
  • Garlic mustard
  • Lambs quarters
  • Acorns
  • Hazelnuts
  • Burdock root
  • Wild grapes
  • Elder flowers and berry
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Wild turnips
  • Crab apples
  • Bolete mushrooms: mushrooms are a difficult food to detect in ancient remains, but we do have evidence of bolete mushrooms being consumed in Spain 18,000-12,000 years ago
29693627_10160406403000195_2125732843_o

boletes like these that my husband harvested would have been eaten

Curious, intriguing, surprising, and inspiring isn’t it? While I’m not telling you to go make this your end-all diet, I do think our modern “diet culture” can take some lessons from the Paleolithic peoples. Eat real food, mostly plants, no whole natural food is inherently bad, and relax. Oh, and eat your nettles.

Warmly,

Megan Normansell, CHC, AADP, CFH

Certified Holistic Practitioner/Holistic Nutritionist/Herbalist/Wild Edibles Guide

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more recipes and healthy living ideas!

Interested in healing your body naturally?
Get the answers you’ve been searching for, and heal your body for good… naturally. We have successfully helped thousands of people across the country live a healthier life than they ever could have imagined, and specialize in dozens of different health concerns. Curious? Schedule your complimentary consultation with me today! Read the incredible reviews we’ve received over the years here.

http://www.aayushealth.com – megan@aayushealth.com – 920-327-2221

 

Copyright Megan Normansell 2018 All rights reserved. 

8 Incredible Reasons to Eat Star Anise

Star Anise is an aromatic, liquorice- flavored spice that is widely used in Indian, Malay, Chinese, and Indonesian cuisine. As with all herbs, it is not only a culinary delight but has some powerful medicinal properties. Find it in the spice aisle of your local grocery store, preferably organic.

1. Star Anise has antibacterial, anti-viral properties and helps to fight infection. Almost all of the world’s star anise crop is used for extraction of shikimic acid, the chemical used in the synthesis of Tamiflu. Can you imagine how much safer it must be to use the unadulterated, whole food form of the medicine? This herb is indicated specifically for the flu, sinus infections and bronchial infections. Take it at the first sign of illness and each day you are ill, preferably in the tea form. See my recipe below.

2. It has compounds such as creosol and alpha-pimene that clear mucus from air passages, soothe a sore throat, and make dry, irritating coughs more productive. The Greeks used to make teas with it to help asthma and other respiratory ailments.

3. Promotes milk production in nursing mothers.

4. It is carminitive (relieves gas) and is good for indigestion.

5. Is helpful for PMS and menopausal symptoms, and gently encourages childbirth.

6. Supplies calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, and five B vitamins.

7. The seeds from this powerfully scented herb have been used as a tea for thousands of years to help treat bad breath.

8. Star Anise contains a compound called anethol, which has been reported to increase sex drive in women.

Here we used star anise to make a flavorful immune boosting tea with a handful of chaga mushroom chunks, 1 cinnamon bark stick, and 1/4 cup of elderberries in a stock pot.

Explore the many culinary applications to get the benefits of this wonderful medicine provided by nature!

Warmly,

Megan Normansell, CHC, AADP, CFH

Certified Holistic Practitioner/Holistic Nutritionist/Herbalist/Wild Edibles Guide

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more recipes and healthy living ideas!

Interested in healing your body naturally?
Get the answers you’ve been searching for, and heal your body for good… naturally.  We have successfully helped thousands of people across the country live a healthier life than they ever could have imagined, and specialize in dozens of different health concerns. Curious? 
Schedule your complimentary consultation with me today! Read the incredible reviews we’ve received over the years here.

http://www.aayushealth.com     –     megan@aayushealth.com    –    920-327-2221

 

Copyright Megan Normansell 2018 All rights reserved. 

Don’t Make These Common Mistakes When Trying to Boost your Immune System

flusignOur immune system is comprised of many biological structures, and is quite a wondrous thing. Give it the tools it needs, and it detects and protects us from potentially fatal invaders including bacteria, parasites, and viruses.  As with anything else if you don’t put the right fuel in it’s not going to be able to perform at its best, so here I’ll discuss how to do that in a way that isn’t counterproductive.

With flu season upon us, “immune boosters” are all the buzz. No one wants to get sick! Nature provides medicine for every ailment – if you have even a bit of influence over whether you get sick or not or how quickly you recover from illness, why wouldn’t you want to take advantage?

However, there is such a thing as doing it wrong.

Let’s look at it as three different categories- immune stimulators, immune modulators, and immune essentials.

Immune stimulators:

Many people refer to these as “immune boosters,” but I much prefer to use the term “stimulators.” These are the warriors you keep in your medicine cabinet to launch an attack when you get an invader. They rev up your immune system for war- they can be used prophylactically after exposure, used to kick out a pathogen at the first sign of illness, or used to reduce the duration of an illness. They are not required for immune function, but they can be extremely effective at helping and most have the research to back that. (See a sampling of available studies below- 111 of them!)

However, you don’t always want to stimulate, or “boost” your immune system! These should only be taken on an as-needed basis, not daily. Think of it as sending soldiers out to war- fighting off the enemy is a really tough job. Imagine if you were to send those soldiers off every day to fight, whether they were needed or not. They’d get tired and burnt out after awhile, wouldn’t they? Generally immune stimulators want to be used for 3-4 days, or as directed for your particular ailment by your naturopathic practitioner or herbalist.  Immune stimulators are not ideal for those with autoimmune disease or those on immune – suppressing drugs.   The following are some of my favorite immune stimulators. But bonus- a few of these do TWO jobs- immune stimulating and immune modulating. Keep reading to learn what that’s all about!

Examples of immune stimulators:

  • Elderberry
  • Echinacea
  • Goldenseal
  • Boneset
  • Pokeweed
  • Tinder conk mushroom
  • Colorado reishi mushroom (also modulating)
  • Reishi mushroom(also modulating)
  • Maitake mushroom (also modulating)
  • Lions mane mushroom (also modulating)
  • Chaga mushroom (also modulating)
  • Turkey tail mushroom(also modulating)
  • Birch polypore mushroom
  • Oyster mushrooms
  • Star anise
  • Andrographis
  • Cats Claw
  • Astragalus
20746223_10101763397908963_2289821929427039476_o

Wild echinacea purpurea near my house

 

 

Immune Modulators:

These are the immune regulators; it is their job to keep the immune system at a healthy baseline. Modulation means being strong enough for pathogens and foreign cells to be destroyed, but also not hyper-reacting to common foods, allergens, environmental organisms,  or your own body cells.  Take these daily as gentle therapeutics, use prophylactically after exposure, or to support your system in fighting off pathogens at the first sign of illness. Some modulators can also help to stimulate, but due to their regulating activities they are safe for autoimmune disorders.

Examples of immune modulators:

  • Colorado reishi mushroom
  • Reishi mushroom
  • Maitake mushroom
  • Chaga mushroom
  • Lions mane mushroom
  • Turkey tail mushroom
  • Shiitake mushroom
  • Panax ginseng
SONY DSC

Dried chaga chunks are used to make a delicious tea. Order my wild Wisconsin harvested chaga here and learn more about chaga at Eden Wild Food

Immune essentials:

Immune essentials are crucial nutrients that are required for functioning of the immune system. They are not optional. A balanced diet should provide most of what we need, however many times a supplement is helpful for filling nutritional gaps, especially if your diet is not ideal. In the presence of illness or as a prophylactic help, higher doses than the minimal amount to prevent deficiency can be helpful. For example, I like to take a gram of vitamin C every couple hours when I’m feeling under the weather. However, more is not always better for many vitamins and minerals- you want daily levels that allow the body and immune system to function at optimum levels, without overdosing. For example, overdosing on the vitamin D via supplementation can cause health issues such as a decrease in bone mass. Too much zinc (over 100 mg/day) can actually suppress your immune system. Consult your health practitioner for doses that are right for your body.

Examples of immune essentials:

  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Selenium
image

Rose hips have 946% more vitamin C than oranges! Read more here.

So to sum up, these natural medicines can be a wonderful, effective way to stay healthy, but be sure to choose the methods that are right for you- rev up and/or regulate your immune system, and of course supply the vitamins and minerals that are the basic foundation of our bodily functions.

Warmly,

Megan Normansell (Kerkhoff), CHC, AADP, CFH

Certified Holistic Practitioner/Holistic Nutritionist/Herbalist/Wild Edibles Guide

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more recipes and healthy living ideas!

Interested in healing your body naturally?
Get the answers you’ve been searching for, and heal your body for good… naturally.  We have successfully helped thousands of people across the country live a healthier life than they ever could have imagined, and specialize in dozens of different health concerns. Curious? 
Schedule your complimentary consultation with me today! Read the incredible reviews we’ve received over the years here.

http://www.aayushealth.com     –     megan@aayushealth.com    –    920-327-2221

 

References & Studies:

  1. Moradali MF, Mostafavi H, Ghods S, Hedjaroude GA. Immunomodulating and anticancer agents in the realm of macromycetes fungi (macrofungi). Int Immunopharmacol. 2007;7(6):701-724.
  2. Vanneman M, Dranoff G. Combining immunotherapy and targeted therapies in cancer treatment. Nat Rev Cancer. 2012;12(4):237-251.
  3. Atzori M, Garcia-Oscos F, Mendez JA. Role of IL-6 in the etiology of hyperexcitable neuropsychiatric conditions: experimental evidence and therapeutic implications. Future Medicinal Chem. 2012;4(17):2177-2192.
  4. Duivis HE, Vogelzangs N, Kupper N, de Jonge P, Penninx BW. Differential association of somatic and cognitive symptoms of depression and anxiety with inflammation: findings from the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety (NESDA). Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2013;38(9):1573-1585.
  5. Graham JE, Robles TF, Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Malarkey WB, Bissell MG, Glaser R. Hostility and pain are related to inflammation in older adults. Brain Behav Immun. 2006;20(4):389-400.
  6. Hart BL. Biological basis of the behavior of sick animals. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 1988;12(2):123-137.
  7. Loftis JM, Huckans M, Morasco BJ. Neuroimmune mechanisms of cytokineinduced depression: current theories and novel treatment strategies. Neurobiol Dis. 2010;37(3):519-533.
  8. Lotrich FE, Ferrell RE, Rabinovitz M, Pollock BG. Labile anger during interferon alfa treatment is associated with a polymorphism in tumor necrosis factor alpha. Clin Neuropharmacol. 2010;33(4):191-197.
  9. Patki G, Solanki N, Atrooz F, Allam F, Salim S. Depression, anxiety-like behavior and memory impairment are associated with increased oxidative stress and inflammation in a rat model of social stress. Brain Res. November 2013;1539:73-86.
  10. Suarez EC, Lewis JG, Kuhn C. The relation of aggression, hostility, and anger to lipopolysaccharide-stimulated tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha by blood monocytes from normal men. Brain Behav Immun. 2002;16(6):675- 684.
  11. Herskind C, Bamberg M, Rodemann HP. The role of cytokines in the development of normal-tissue reactions after radiotherapy. Strahlenther Onkol. 1998;174(suppl 3):12-15.
  12. Seruga B, Zhang H, Bernstein LJ, Tannock IF. Cytokines and their relationship to the symptoms and outcome of cancer. Nat Rev Cancer. 2008;8(11):887-899.
  13. Schubert C, Hong S, Natarajan L, Mills PJ, Dimsdale JE. The association between fatigue and inflammatory marker levels in cancer patients: a quantitative review. Brain Behav Immun. 2007;21(4):413-427.
  14. Ohwada S, Ogawa T, Makita F, et al. Beneficial effects of protein-bound polysaccharide K plus tegafur/uracil in patients with stage II or III colorectal cancer: analysis of immunological parameters. Oncol Rep. 2006;15(4):861-868.
  15. Takimoto H, Kato H, Kaneko M, Kumazawa Y. Amelioration of skewed Th1/ Th2 balance in tumor-bearing and asthma-induced mice by oral administration of Agaricus blazei extracts. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2008;30(4):747-760.
  16. Lin JG, Fan MJ, Tang NY, et al. An extract of Agaricus blazei Murill administered orally promotes immune responses in murine leukemia BALB/c mice in vivo. Integr Cancer Ther. 2012;11(1):29-36.
  17. Gao Y, Tang W, Gao H, et al. Antimicrobial activity of the medicinal mushroom Ganoderma. Food Rev Int. 2005;21(2):211-229.
  18. Gao Y, Zhou S, Jiang W, Huang M, Dai X. Effects of ganopoly (a Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide extract) on the immune functions in advanced-stage cancer patients. Immunol Invest. 2003;32(3):201-215.
  19. Zhang S, Nie S, Huang D, Li W, Xie M. Immunomodulatory effect of Ganoderma atrum polysaccharide on CT26 tumor-bearing mice. Food Chem. 2013;136(3-4):1213-1219.
  20. Wang G, Zhao J, Liu J, Huang Y, Zhong JJ, Tang W. Enhancement of IL-2 and IFN-gamma expression and NK cells activity involved in the anti-tumor effect of ganoderic acid Me in vivo. Int Immunopharmacol. 2007;7(6):864- 870.
  21. Wang PY, Zhu XL, Lin ZB. Antitumor and immunomodulatory effects of polysaccharides from broken-spore of Ganoderma lucidum. Front Pharmacol. July 2012;3:135.
  22. Yue GG, Fung KP, Leung PC, Lau CB. Comparative studies on the immunomodulatory and antitumor activities of the different parts of fruiting body of Ganoderma lucidum and Ganoderma spores. Phytother Res. 2008;22(10):1282-1291.
  23. Guo L, Xie J, Ruan Y, Zhou L, Zhu H. Characterization and immunostimulatory activity of a polysaccharide from the spores of Ganoderma lucidum. Int Immunopharmacology. 2009;9(10):1175-1182. doi:10.1016/j. intimp.2009.06.005.
  24. Yuen JW, Gohel MD, Ng CF. The differential immunological activities of Ganoderma lucidum on human pre-cancerous uroepithelial cells. J Ethnopharmacol. 2011;135(3):711-718.
  25. Martínez-Montemayor MM, Acevedo RR, Otero-Franqui E, Cubano LA, Dharmawardhane SF. Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) inhibits cancer cell growth and expression of key molecules in inflammatory breast cancer. Nutr Cancer. 2011;63(7):1085-1094.
  26. Deng G, Lin H, Seidman A, et al. A phase I/II trial of a polysaccharide extract from Grifola frondosa (Maitake mushroom) in breast cancer patients: immunological effects. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2009;135(9):1215-1221.
  27. Kodama N, Harada N, Nanba H. A polysaccharide, extract from Grifola frondosa, induces Th-1 dominant responses in carcinoma-bearing BALB/c mice. Jpn J Pharmacol. 2002;90(4):357-360.
  28. Masuda Y, Inoue M, Miyata A, Mizuno S, Nanba H. Maitake β-glucan enhances therapeutic effect and reduces myelosupression and nephrotoxicity of cisplatin in mice. Int Immunopharmacol. 2009;9(5):620-626.
  29. Masuda Y, Murata Y, Hayashi M, Nanba H. Inhibitory effect of MD-Fraction on tumor metastasis: involvement of NK cell activation and suppression of intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 expression in lung vascular endothelial cells. Biol Pharm Bull. 2008;31(6):1104-1108.
  30. Kodama N, Komuta K, Sakai N, Nanba H. Effects of D-Fraction, a polysaccharide from Grifola frondosa on tumor growth involve activation of NK cells. Biol Pharm Bull. 2002;25(12):1647-1650.
  31. Inoue A, Kodama N, Nanba H. Effect of maitake (Grifola frondosa) D-fraction on the control of the T lymph node Th-1/Th-2 proportion. Biol Pharm Bull. 2002;25(4):536-540.
  32. Kodama N, Mizuno S, Nanba H, Saito N. Potential antitumor activity of a low-molecular-weight protein fraction from Grifola frondosa through enhancement of cytokine production. J Med Food. 2010;13(1):20-30.
  33. Harada N, Kodama N, Nanba H. Relationship between dendritic cells and the D-fraction-induced Th-1 dominant response in BALB/c tumor-bearing mice. Cancer Lett. 2003;192(2):181-187.
  34. Svagelj M, Berovic M, Boh B, Menard A, Simcic S, Wraber B. Solid-state cultivation of Grifola frondosa (Dicks: Fr) S.F. Gray biomass and immunostimulatory effects of fungal intra- and extracellular beta-polysaccharides. N Biotechnol. 2008;25(2-3):150-156.
  35. Kawanishi T, Ikeda-Dantsuji Y, Nagayama A. Effects of two basidiomycete species on interleukin 1 and interleukin 2 production by macrophage and T cell lines. Immunobiology. 2010;215(7):516-520.
  36. Lu H, Yang Y, Gad E, et al. Polysaccharide krestin is a novel TLR2 agonist that mediates inhibition of tumor growth via stimulation of CD8 T cells and NK cells. Clin Cancer Res. 2011;17(1):67-76.
  37. Lu H, Yang Y, Gad E, et al. TLR2 agonist PSK activates human NK cells and enhances the antitumor effect of HER2-targeted monoclonal antibody therapy. Clin Cancer Res. 2011;17(21):6742-6753.
  38. Ishii PL, Prado CK, Mauro Mde O, et al. Evaluation of Agaricus blazei in vivo for antigenotoxic, anticarcinogenic, phagocytic and immunomodulatory activities. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2011;59(3):412-422.
  39. Chang YH, Yang JS, Yang JL, et al. Ganoderma lucidum extracts inhibited leukemia WEHI-3 cells in BALB/c mice and promoted an immune response in vivo. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2009;73(12):2589-2594. This article is protected by copyright. To share or copy this article, please visit copyright.com. Use ISSN#1945-7081. To subscribe, visit imjournal.com
  40. Chen WY, Yang WB, Wong CH, Shih DT. Effect of Reishi polysaccharides on human stem/progenitor cells. Bioorg Med Chem. 2010;18(24):8583-8591.
  41. Weng CJ, Chau CF, Hsieh YS, Yang SF, Yen GC. Lucidenic acid inhibits PMAinduced invasion of human hepatoma cells through inactivating MAPK/ERK signal transduction pathway and reducing binding activities of NF-kappaB and AP-1. Carcinogenesis. 2008;29(1):147-156.
  42. Jiang J, Slivova V, Harvey K, Valachovicova T, Sliva D. Ganoderma lucidum suppresses growth of breast cancer cells through the inhibition of Akt/ NF-kappaB signaling. Nutr Cancer. 2004;49(2):209-216.
  43. Stanley G, Harvey K, Slivova V, Jiang J, Sliva D. Ganoderma lucidum suppresses angiogenesis through the inhibition of secretion of VEGF and TGFbeta1 from prostate cancer cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005;330(1):46-52.
  44. Jiang J, Grieb B, Thyagarajan A, Sliva D. Ganoderic acids suppress growth and invasive behavior of breast cancer cells by modulating AP-1 and NF-kappaB signaling. Int J Mol Med. 2008;21(5):577-584.
  45. Masuda Y, Inoue H, Ohta H, Miyake A, Konishi M, Nanba H. Oral administration of soluble β-glucans extracted from Grifola frondosa induces systemic antitumor immune response and decreases immunosuppression in tumorbearing mice. Int J Cancer. 2013;133(1):108-119.
  46. Lee EJ, Kim WJ, Moon SK. Cordycepin suppresses TNF-alpha-induced invasion, migration and matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression in human bladder cancer cells. Phytother Res. 2010;24(12):1755-1761.
  47. Torkelson CJ, Sweet E, Martzen MR, et al. Phase 1 clinical trial of Trametes versicolor in women with breast cancer. ISRN Oncol. 2012;2012:251632.
  48. Lee JS, Hong EK. Agaricus blazei Murill enhances doxorubicin-induced apoptosis in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells by NFκB-mediated increase of intracellular doxorubicin accumulation. Int J Oncol. 2011;38(2):401-408.
  49. Wu B, Cui J, Zhang C, Li Z. A polysaccharide from Agaricus blazei inhibits proliferation and promotes apoptosis of osteosarcoma cells. Int J Biol Macromol. 2012;50(4):1116-1120.
  50. Chen NH, Liu JW, Zhong JJ. Ganoderic acid T inhibits tumor invasion in vitro and in vivo through inhibition of MMP expression. Pharmacol Rep. 2010;62(1):150-163.
  51. Joseph S, Sabulal B, George V, Antony KR, Janardhanan KK. Antitumor and anti-inflammatory activities of polysaccharides isolated from Ganoderma lucidum. Acta Pharm. 2011;61(3):335-342.
  52. Pyo P, Louie B, Rajamahanty S, Choudhury M, Konno S. Possible immunotherapeutic potentiation with D-fraction in prostate cancer cells. J Hematol Oncol. December 2008;1:25.
  53. Ohno S, Sumiyoshi Y, Hashine K, Shirato A, Kyo S, Inoue M. Phase I clinical study of the dietary supplement, Agaricus blazei Murill, in cancer patients in remission. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:192381.
  54. Caggiano V, Weiss RV, Rickert TS, Linde-Zwirble WT. Incidence, cost, and mortality of neutropenia hospitalization associated with chemotherapy. Cancer. 2005;103(9):1916-1924.
  55. Lyman GH, Michels SL, Reynolds MW, Barron R, Tomic KS, Yu J. Risk of mortality in patients with cancer who experience febrile neutropenia. Cancer. 2010;116(23):5555-5563.
  56. Zhu XL, Chen AF, Lin ZB. Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides enhance the function of immunological effector cells in immunosuppressed mice. J Ethnopharmacol. 2007;111(2):219-226.
  57. Yao X, Li G, Xu H, Lü C. Inhibition of the JAK-STAT3 signaling pathway by ganoderic acid A enhances chemosensitivity of HepG2 cells to cisplatin. Planta Med. 2012;78(16):1740-1748.
  58. Kinoshita J, Fushida S, Harada S, et al. Local angiotensin II-generation in human gastric cancer: correlation with tumor progression through the activation of ERK1/2, NF-kappaB and survivin. Int J Oncol. 2009;34(6):1573- 1582.
  59. Wenner CA, Martzen MR, Lu H, Verneris MR, Wang H, Slaton JW. Polysaccharide-K augments docetaxel-induced tumor suppression and antitumor immune response in an immunocompetent murine model of human prostate cancer. Int J Oncol. 2012;40(4):905-913.
  60. Ji NF, Yao LS, Li Y, He W, Yi KS, Huang M. Polysaccharide of Cordyceps sinensis enhances cisplatin cytotoxicity in non-small cell lung cancer H157 cell line. Integr Cancer Ther. 2011;10(4):359-367.
  61. Pillai TG, Uma Devi P. Mushroom beta glucan: potential candidate for post irradiation protection. Mutat Res. 2013;751(2):109-115.
  62. Patel S, Goyal A. Recent developments in mushrooms as anti-cancer therapeutics: a review. 3 Biotech. 2012;2(1):1-15.
  63. Eliza WL, Fai CK, Chung LP. Efficacy of Yun Zhi (Coriolus versicolor) on survival in cancer patients: systematic review and meta-analysis. Recent Pat Inflamm Allergy Drug Discov. 2012;6(1):78-87.
  64. Niwa Y, Matsuura H, Murakami M, Sato J, Hirai K, Sumi H. Evidence that naturopathic therapy including Cordyceps sinensis prolongs survival of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. Integr Cancer Ther. 2013;12(1):50-68.
  65. Immune Modulation From Five Major Mushrooms: Application to Integrative Oncology Alena G. Guggenheim, ND; Kirsten M. Wright, BS; Heather L. Zwickey, PhD
  66. Medicinal Mushrooms: A Clinical Guide by Martin Powell
  67. Mushrooms for Health by Greg Marley
  68. Mycelium Running by Paul Stamets
  69. Gray AM, Abdel-Wahab YH, Flatt PR. The traditional plant treatment, Sambucus nigra(elder), exhibits insulin-like and insulin-releasing actions in vitro. J Nutr. 2000;130(1):15-20.
  70. Kong F. Pilot clinical study on a proprietary elderberry extract: efficacy in addressing influenza symptoms. Online Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacokinetics. 2009;5:32-43.
  71. Mikulic-Petkovsek M, Slatnar A, Stampar F, Veberic R. HPLC-MSn identification and quantification of flavanol glycosides in 28 wild and cultivated berry species. Food Chem. 2012;135(4):2138-46.

Rakel: Integrative Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012.

  1. Roschek B, Fink RC, McMichael MD, et al. Elderberry flavonoids bind to and prevent H1N1 infection in vitro. Phytochemistry. 2009;70:1255-61.
  2. Roxas M, Jurenka J. Colds and influenza: a review of diagnosis and conventional, botanical, and nutritional considerations. Altern Med Rev. 2007 Mar;12(1):25-48. Review.
  3. Swaminathan K, Dyason JC, Maggioni A, von Itzstein M, Downard KM. Binding of a natural anthocyanin inhibitor to influenza neuraminidase by mass spectrometry. Anal Bioanal Chem. 2013;405(20):6563-72.
  4. Ulbricht C, Basch E, Cheung L, et al. An evidence-based systematic review of elderberry and elderflower(Sambucus nigra) by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration. J Diet Suppl. 2014;11(1):80-120.
  5. Uncini Manganelli RE, Zaccaro L, Tomei PE. Antiviral activity in vitro of Urtica dioica L., Parietaria diffusa M. et K. and Sambucus nigra L. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Apr 26;98(3):323-7.
  6. Vlachojannis JE, Cameron M, Chrubasik S. A systematic review on the sambuci fructuseffect and efficacy profiles. Phytother Res. 2010 Jan;24(1):1-8. Review.
  7. Vlachojannis C, Zimmermann BF, Chrubasik-Hausmann S. Quantification of anthocyanins in elderberry and chokeberry dietary supplements. Phytother Res. 2015;29(4):561-5.
  8. Wright CI, Van-Buren L, Kroner CI, Koning MM. Herbal medicines as diuretics: A review of the scientific evidence. J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Oct 8;114(1):1-31.
  9. Zakay-Rones Z, Thom E, Wollan T, Wadstein J. Randomized study of the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry extract in the treatment of influenza A and B virus infections. J Int Med Res. 2004;32:132-40.
  10. Beach, B.W. (1851). The American Practice, Condensed:Or, the Family Physician. New York, NY: James M‟Alister.
  11. British Herbal Medicine Association (1983), British herbal pharmacopoeia. Bournemouth U.K.: B.H.M.A. Brinker, Francis. 2009. “Boneset in Dyspesia and Febrile Infections.” Journal of the American Herbalist Guild 9, 1-13.
  12. Felter, H.W. (1922). The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Cincinnati: John. K. Scudder. Gardner, M., & Aylworth, B. (1836).
  13. The Domestic Physician and Family Assistant. Cooperstown, NY: H & E Phinney.
  14. Habtemariam, S., & Macpherson, A. M. (2000). Cytotoxicity and antibacterial activity of ethanol extract from leaves of a herbal drug, boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum). Phytotherapy Research, 14(7), 575-577.
  15. Hall, T B, Jr. 1974. “Eupatorium perfoliatum. A plant with a history.” Missouri Medicine 71 (9), 527-528.
  16. Harper-Shove, F. 1952. Prescriber and clinical repertory of medicinal herbs. Bradford UK: Health Science Press. Herz, W, P S Kalyanaraman, and G Ramakrishnan. 1977. “Sesquiterpene lactones of Eupatorium perfoliatum.” The Journal of Organic Chemistry 42 (13), 2264-2271.
  17. Maas, M., & Hensel, A. (2008). “Eupatorium perfoliatum L.” Zeitschrift für Phytotherapie 29 (05) (November): 249-254. doi:10.1055/s-0028-1102730.
  18. Maas, M., Petereit, F., & Hensel, A. (2009). Caffeic acid derivatives from Eupatorium perfoliatum L. Molecules 14, (1), 36-45.
  19. Maas, M., Hensel, A., da Costa, F.B., Brun, R., Kaiser, M., & Schmidt, T.J. (2011). “An unusual dimeric guaianolide with antiprotozoal activity and further sesquiterpene lactones from Eupatorium perfoliatum.” Phytochemistry 72: 635-644.
  20. Priest, A.W., & Priest, L.R. (1982). Herbal medication: A clinical and dispensary handbook. London, UK: L.M. Fowler & Co
  21. Robinson, G., Agurkis, G. & Scerbo, A. (2007) Medical attributes of Eupatorium perfoliatum – Boneset. (Student paper). Wilkes-Barre, PA: Wilkes University.
  22. Scudder, J.M. (1898). The American Eclectic Materia Medica and Therapeutics (12th Ed.). Cincinnati, OH: The Scudder Brothers Company, Publishers.
  23. Schmidt, T. J., Nour, A.M.M., Khalid, S.A., Kaiser, M., and Brun,R .(2009). Quantitative Structure – Antiprotozoal Activity Relationships of Sesquiterpene Lactones. Molecules, 14 (6):2062-2076Skenderi, G. (2003). Herbal Vade Mecum. Rutherford, NJ: Herbacy Press.
  24. Stille, A. (1874). Therapeutics and material medica (4th ed.). Philadelphia: Henry C. Lea. United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USPC), (1820 through 1900). The Pharmacopoeia of the United States of America. Philadelphia, PA: J.B. Lippincott Company.
  25. Vollmar, A., Schafer, W., & Wagner, H.( 1986). Immunologically active polysaccharides of eupatorium cannabinum and eupatorium perfoliatum. Phytochemistry 25 (2):377-381.
  26. Wagner, H.Proksch, A., Vollmar, A. ,Kreutzkamp B., & Bauer, J. (1985). In vitro phagocytosis stimulation by isolated plant materials in a chemoluminescencephagocytosis model. Planta Medica 2: 139-144
  27. Hao Y, Qiu QY, Wu J. Effect of Astragalus polysaccharides in promoting neutrophil-vascular endothelial cell adhesion and expression of related adhesive molecules. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2004;24(5):427-430.
  28. Shao BM, Xu W, Dai H, et al. A study on the immune receptors for polysaccharides from the roots of Astragalus membranaceus, a Chinese medicinal herb. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004;320(4):1103-1111.
  29. Shi FS, Yang ZG, Di GP. [Effect of Astragalus saponin on vascular endothelial cell and its function in burn patients]. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2001;21(10):750-751.
  30. Burger RA,Torres AR,Warren RP, et al.: Echinacea-induced cytokine production by human macrophages. Int J Immunopharmacol 1997;19:371-9.
  31. Frank LG. The efficacy of Echinacea compound herbal tea preparation on the severity and duration of upper respiratory and flu symptoms: a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled studyJ Comp Alt Med. 2000;6(4):327-334.
  32. Goel V, Lovlin R, Barton R, et al. Efficacy of a standardized echinacea preparation (Echinilin) for the treatment of the common cold: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trialJ Clin Pharm Ther. 2004;29(1):75-83.
  33. Rininger JA, Kickner S, Chigurupati P, et al.: Immunopharmacological activity of Echinacea preparations following simulated digestion on murine macrophages and human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Leukoc Biol 2000;68:503-10.
  34. Shah SA, Sander S, White CM, Rinaldi M, Coleman CI. Evaluation of echinacea for the prevention and treatment of the common cold: a meta-analysisLancet Infect Dis. 2007;7(7):473-80. 
  35. Yamada K, Hung P, Park TK, Park PJ, Lim BO.  A comparison of the immunostimulatory effects of the medicinal herbs Echinacea, Ashwagandha and Brahmi.  J Ethnopharmacol. 2011;137(1):231-5.

107. Antimicrobial properties of star anise (Illicium verum Hook f).

108. Immune Modulation From Five Major Mushrooms: Application to Integrative Oncology Alena G. Guggenheim, ND; Kirsten M. Wright, BS; Heather L. Zwickey, PhD

109. Medicinal Mushrooms: A Clinical Guide by Martin Powell

110. Mushrooms for Health by Greg Marley

111. Mycelium Running by Paul Stamets

 

Copyright Megan Normansell 2018 All rights reserved. 

Creamy Wild Mushroom & Brie Soup

It’s no secret the canned cream of mushroom soup is horrendous for your health. Is there even any real food in there?? Here we have a much more flavorful and healthy alternative- great eaten on its own with a salad, or used as a replacement for cream of mushroom soup in your favorite recipes.

mushroombrie soup

Nom!

To add a wild twist to mine, I chose to use wild chanterelle mushrooms that I had frozen from last summer’s harvest. But you can use any mushroom you can get your hands on and it’ll still be wonderful! In place of the white wine I used my maple sap wine that we brewed with sap from the maples in our yard last winter. (wow that stuff is strong!)

20525677_10101753339830433_4860652186451030059_n

Ingredients:

  • 16-24 oz mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons of gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 6-10 ounces brie, rind cut off and cut into smaller squares
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Finely chop 3/4 of the mushrooms, and then slice the rest into thin pieces.
  2. Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat and add the mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the onions, thyme, and garlic to the mushrooms and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
  4. Add the flour and wine then cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Add the milk and brie, and stir as until the brie fully melts.
  6. Separate the bigger slices of mushrooms, then puree the rest of it in a blender or food processor. Then add in the mushroom pieces for some texture, and enjoy!

Warmly,

Megan Normansell (Kerkhoff), CHC, AADP, CFH

Certified Holistic Practitioner/Holistic Nutritionist/Herbalist/Wild Edibles Guide

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more recipes and healthy living ideas!

Get Even Healthier!
Get the answers you’ve been searching for, and heal your body for good… naturally and holistically.  We have successfully helped thousands of people across the country live a healthier life than they ever could have imagined, and specialize in dozens of different health concerns. Curious? 
Schedule your complimentary consultation with me today! Read the incredible reviews we’ve received over the years here!

http://www.aayushealth.com     –     megan@aayushealth.com    –    920-327-2221

 

Copyright Megan Normansell 2018 All rights reserved. 

Folate vs Folic Acid: Are you being duped?

Folate, or vitamin b9, is a water-soluble nutrient that was first discovered when it was found that brewer’s yeast (a source of b vitamins) could prevent anemia. Folate is essential for brain health, energy production, formation of red blood cells, immune system, protein metabolism, and regulation of homocysteine levels. It’s a coenzyme in DNA and RNA synthesis, so it is important for healthy cell division and replication. Folate is especially important during pregnancy as a deficiency can result in neural tube defects and/or premature birth. Pre-conception nutrition is important, because low folate levels BEFORE conception increases the risk of birth defects as well.  For men, women, and children, low folate levels can cause anemia, digestive problems, fatigue, prematurely greying hair, memory problems, insomnia, paranoia, anxiety, weakness, growth impairment, and depression.

Just a “little bit” pregnant with my daughter, Eliana

Now the big debate: is there a difference between folate and folic acid? The short answer is yes. Folate is the version of b9 that occurs naturally in foods. Folic acid is a synthesized version of the vitamin that will never be found in nature. Vitamins are always best when obtained from real, whole food sources. For some, particularly for those with an MTHFR genetic defect (fairly common), folic acid can mean trouble as it can be difficult to convert the synthetic version over to the usable form of the vitamin.

Now here’s where food & supplement companies trick you:

  1. Even if folate is listed on the nutrition facts, it’s not always actually folate. Manufacturers know ‘folate’ is something consumers are looking for, so they may list it as “folate (as folic acid).” If the nutrition facts list the form as ‘folate’ but you see ‘folic acid’ on the ingredients list, it is indeed synthetic folic acid. If you do not see the word ‘folic acid’ anywhere in those two spots, it should be the natural form of the vitamin.

    26692749_10101947677186813_1384887567_o

    “Early Promise Prenatal” Gentle Multiple

  2. A product labeled “all natural” or “organic” is not always 100% natural and not always using natural forms of the vitamins. Check your labels for ‘folic acid.’ Many “high quality” nutritional shakes, protein powders, and multivitamins tout themselves as being natural or whole food based, when the reality is they’re going the cheap route and using poor quality vitamins. Marketing, marketing, marketing.
  3. Whole foods don’t need vitamin fortification, because they are whole foods. The nutrients are already in there, in the perfect balance nature intended. When you see a food fortified with folic acid, it means it’s been highly processed and is most likely not healthy at all.

    25589836_10101928431425473_1313811579_n

    (real food tastes better anyways!)

Where CAN I get folate from?

  1. Genuinely natural multivitamin or folate supplements. Check out my list of some of my favorite multivitamins that only use the food-derived folate instead of folic acid.
  2. REAL FOOD! Really, this is always the best way. While supplements can be helpful (especially during pregnancy) they can never replace the ample vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that unprocessed food provides. While toxicity risk is low, it’s still near impossible to overdose on folate from foods (who accidentally eats 14 cups of broccoli??), where it’s easy to overdose with a supplement by taking just a couple too many pills. You can’t absorb one vitamin properly without all of the appropriate co-nutrients in balance, and this is where whole food always delivers. For example, the best food source of folate is lentils. Let’s look at the breakdown of the nutrient content of lentils- it’s about way more than folate! 26637747_10101947671173863_641004983_n

    26638072_10101947671158893_1086178407_n

    Data from USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28, via “Nutrition Data” app

The best food sources of folate per 1 cup, according to daily value (DV):

  • Lentils (90% DV)
  • Pinto beans (74% DV)
  • Garbanzo beans (71% DV)
  • Asparagus (65% DV)
  • Spinach (65% DV)
  • Black beans (64% DV)
  • Navy beans (64% DV)
  • Kidney beans (57% DV)
  • Collard greens (44% DV)
  • Beet root (34% DV)
  • Split peas (32% DV)
  • Papaya- 1 whole (29% DV)

    SONY DSC

    My “Fiesta Ranch” salad

If you want more in depth guidance to heal your body naturally, this is what I help people with every day! In my one-on-one personalized holistic health programs, we visit every area of your health in depth to ensure you accomplish all of your health goals permanently. My comprehensive programs give you the step-by-step nutritional changes, personal guidance, support, stress management, recipes, accountability, food sensitivity evaluations, and other tools necessary to make life-changing changes last a lifetime.

Contact me at 920-327-2221 or megan@aayushealth.com for your free consultation!

Warmly,

Megan Normansell, CHC, AADP, CFH

Certified Holistic Practitioner/Holistic Nutritionist/Herbalist/Wild Edibles Guide

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram

for more recipes and healthy living ideas!

http://www.aayushealth.com     –     megan@aayushealth.com    –    920-327-2221

 

Copyright Megan Normansell 2018 All rights reserved. 

Get your Sugar Detox on!

Sugar: the death of many a health goal. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, improve25593216_10101928426754833_1827350616_o digestion, keep your immune system strong, lower cholesterol, manage IBS, lower pain and inflammation, eliminate migraines, improve depression and anxiety, and so on… sugar makes it all so, so much harder. Studies have shown that white refined sugar is even more addictive than cocaine and heroin, so no wonder it’s so difficult to quit! Excessive sugar intake is now considered to be a public health crisis, for many reasons.

And “detox”… a word that some will scoff at. What do I mean when I say you can “detox” from sugar? Detoxification is defined as the process of removing toxic substances or qualities. Yes, white refined sugar is toxic, and yes we’re removing it. Yes, sugar addiction and cravings are toxic to your health, and yes we’re removing them. No, it won’t hurt, you won’t suffer, and you won’t hate me.

20 Reasons Why Sugar Ruins Your Health

  • Sugar can suppress the immune system.
  • Sugar interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.
  • Sugar can weaken eyesight.
  • Sugar can cause hypoglycemia.
  • Sugar can cause a rapid rise of adrenaline levels in children.
  • Sugar contributes to obesity.
  • Sugar can cause arthritis.
  • Sugar can cause heart disease and emphysema.
  • Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.
  • Sugar can increase cholesterol.
  • Sugar can significantly increase risk of cancer.
  • Sugar can contribute to diabetes.
  • Sugar can cause cardiovascular disease.
  • Sugar can make our skin age by changing the structure of collagen.
  • Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.
  • Sugar can increase the body’s fluid retention.
  • Sugar can cause headaches, including migraines.
  • Sugar can cause depression.
  • Sugar can contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.
  • In intensive care units, limiting sugar saves lives.
(Adapted from 146 Reasons Why Sugar Is Ruining Your Health by Nancy Appleton, Ph.D.)

 

LETS BEGIN YOUR DETOX!

We will first want to identify all sources of white refined sugar in your diet. Read the ingredient listing on your labels. You’ll find sugar is lurking in everything from ketchup to yogurt, and there are countless trick names for white sugar. (evaporated cane juice or cane juice extract anyone?) Luckily there are many healthier alternatives. Is there sugar in your ketchup? Try buying an unsweetened version or crushing/pureeing fresh tomatoes instead. Sugar in your yogurt or almond milk? Buy an unsweetened version instead and sweeten with berries and/or a touch of honey.

You’ll find that choosing whole foods over processed foods (eg. oatmeal instead of boxed cereals) will make it much easier to avoid added sugar. Many of the “low calorie,” “low sugar,” or “sugar free” diet and snack foods on the market are chock full of junk that will not support your health or your goal of eliminating sugar. We also want to avoid chemical sweeteners as much as possible (such as aspartame & sucralose/Splenda), which may seem tempting when you are trying to avoid sugar. Not only are they all toxic to some degree, they will likely leave you craving more sugar later and this detox will be more difficult to accomplish. Studies have found that people who consume artificial sweeteners and “diet” foods tend to weigh more. And did you know that about 10% of people actually still get blood sugar fluctuations from synthetic sweeteners?

“Naturally-derived artificial sweeteners,” as I call them, are a no-go too. A sweet yet calorie and sugar free sweetener- sound too good to be true? Well, yes. There will always be a trade off. Highly processed “natural” sweeteners that have been made with chemical solvents, bleaching agents, etc are no longer natural. Stevia for example is wonderful, in its whole food form. The white, crystalline powder we commonly see today in stores is a very far cry from that wholesome green leaf it started as. Ask yourself- could you make this in your yard or kitchen? If the answer is no, question how far removed your stevia, xylitol, etc is from a real, whole food.

Now that you’ve identified the sugars, we need to identify the WHY. Why are you jonesing for it?

  1. White refined sugar is highly addictive. As you replace it with the gentle, whole food sweeteners we’re about to discuss, you’ll begin to escape its grip. When you consume sugar, do you tend to crave it again later in the day? Many do, and that’s the cycle we need to break. Once you’ve eliminated it entirely you can enjoy healthier versions of your favorite sweets, with complete control over your sugar intake, vs the sugar controlling you.
  2. Dehydration = Cravings. Sometimes sweet cravings are a sign of dehydration. Before you go for the sugar, have a glass of water and then wait a few minutes to see what happens.
  3. Eat sweet vegetables and fruit. They are sweet, healthy and delicious. Some examples of sweet vegetables include onions, sweet potatoes, rutabagas, parsnips, taro root, celeriac, yucca root, blue heirloom potatoes, and beets. The more you eat, the less you’ll crave sugar. These foods will give you a subtle sweetness, but are significantly lower in sugar. Your body says- hey, I got the right carbs & sugars I need… I guess I don’t want the unhealthy carbs & sugars as much! And because they are vegetables, they are incredibly nutrient-dense and have a healing effect on your body.
  4. 25589836_10101928431425473_1313811579_nExplore sweet spices & herbs. Fennel seed, star anise, allspice, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, anise hyssop, sweet cicely, cloves and cardamom will naturally sweeten your foods without the sugars. (and they all have great health benefits, some even used as medicines!)
  5. Use whole food sweeteners. Make the switch to the sweets that nourish you. Gentle sweeteners like maple syrup, brown rice syrup, raw honey, or maple sugar give you the flavors you need, but also supply essential nutrients. Honey for example has potent antimicrobial benefits and can be used for treating allergies, and maple syrup is a good source of b vitamins, manganese, and zinc. With this depth of flavor and nutrition you’ll find you need less of them to attain the same level of sweetness white sugar gave you in recipes. There are lots of really nice gentle sweeteners, I just like to look at where it comes from. If it takes lots of processing, solvents, bleaching, and the use of other chemicals to make it, then that’s a telltale sign that it’s not good for you. If it’s something you could easily make in your kitchen (we make maple syrup from the trees in our yard every year, for example), go ahead and eat it. When your favorite recipe calls for 1 cup of white sugar, use ½ to ¾ cup of maple syrup or honey instead. This allows you to enjoy small portions in moderation, without finding yourself desperately digging around for more sugar a few hours later.
  6. Get moving. Regular exercise will help boost mood, increase energy, balance your blood sugar levels, and alleviate stress and tension without medicating yourself with sugar.
  7. Add non-food sweetness to your life. Cravings for sweets aren’t always about food. When you are tired or stressed, your body will crave energy and comfort… and sugar is the quickest, easiest instant gratification that many of us find. Sometimes we are simply craving sweetness from other areas of our lives like relationships or hobbies, or we crave foods out of boredom or stress.
  8. Old habits die hard. Is there a food you just grab without thinking, or that is a part of your daily routine? Maybe a not-so-healthy favorite childhood dessert? Identify, address, and get guidance and support in changing that bad habit to a good one.
  9. Protein intake. Too little or too much protein (yes, as with any other nutrient you can overdo it and it’s more common than you think!) can result in cravings for sweets. This is a problem I help a lot of clients sort out. Some people do great with animal proteins, some need vegan or vegetarian proteins. Too many animal proteins like meat or dairy can mean less fiber in your diet, so portions, balance, and moderation is important for omnivores. Respect your body’s individuality and experiment.

For your first 3 days, indulge in all of the aforementioned foods as much as you need, but zero white refined sugar. Unbearable sugar craving? Eat a spoonful of honey. Or 8. Whatever you need to get through it. (YUM!)

Once you’ve accomplished all of this, your next step is to pare down your total sugar intake. Watch your portions. Even healthy sweets contain sugars that easily add up, so your next goal will be to get your total intake down to 40 grams per day. For a couple days, track your total grams. I recommend the myfitnesspal app, or use this website: http://nutritiondata.self.com/ to get nutritional information. To navigate the website, you will search for your food (or ingredients used to make your food) in the top search bar, locate your specific food, then record the total grams of sugar for your serving.

Some examples of sugar content:

1 tbsp raw honey: about 16 grams

1 tbsp maple syrup: about 12 grams

1 medium apple: about 14 grams

1 medium carrot: about 3 grams

1 medium sweet potato: about 6 grams

Where are you finding the majority of your sugar intake is coming from? How can you replace or reduce that particular food?

Ideally, you should be getting a total of at least 7 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. By aiming for 4-5 servings of vegetables, that will help to crowd any excess fruits you are getting. Did you know that each daily portion of vegetables reduces your overall risk of premature death by 16%, but each serving of fruit reduces your overall risk of premature death by only 4%?

You now have some great tools for beating that nasty little sugar bug! Remember- focus on adding in and creating abundance & variety, rather than focusing on restriction & denial. Vibrant health is a journey, not a destination- celebrate each day that you continue to make progress!

USEFORCOVERhairedit

If you feel you need more personalized and in depth guidance, this is what I help people with every day! Sugar intake is only one facet of health; in my one-on-one personalized holistic health programs, we visit every area of your life and health in depth, to ensure you accomplish all of your health goals permanently. Bad habits can be hard to overcome for good- but our comprehensive programs give you the personal guidance, support, recipes, accountability, and tools you need to make these and other positive changes last a lifetime.

JANUARY 2018: Don’t miss the 2018 Weight Loss Program!  90% of diets fail… do you want  to be one of those 90% or do you want the expert guidance necessary to be one of my success stories?

Contact me at 920-327-2221 or megan@aayushealth.com for your free consultation!

Warmly,

Megan Normansell (Kerkhoff), CHC, AADP, CFH

Certified Holistic Practitioner/Holistic Nutritionist/Herbalist/Wild Edibles Guide

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram

for more recipes and healthy living ideas!

http://www.aayushealth.com     –     megan@aayushealth.com    –    920-327-2221

 

Copyright Megan Normansell 2018 All rights reserved. 

 

 

Mom Stress! Herbal Medicines for the Breastfeeding Mama

This is one I hear all the time- “I’m stressed… help!! But I’m nursing… what’s safe to take?”

Use of natural medicines can be tricky while breastfeeding and I’m always conservative in their use (even if some people disagree with me!). Better safe than sorry is my motto. In a field where clinical studies are not always available and everyone has a different opinion, we must sometimes rely on traditional wisdom and common sense.

The following is a compilation of some of my favorite go-to’s for calming the hearts & minds of the busy nursing mother, in the safest way that nature intended.  I tend to prefer tinctures and teas, as you will begin feeling the effects rather quickly. Each brand may vary in potency, so take as directed on the package.  ALWAYS use the whole herbs- they supply nature’s perfect balance of dozens of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that make the herb safe and effective…. essentially acting as a “checks & balance” system for the plant. Side effects can begin to occur when you isolate compounds of the plant. Do keep in mind if what you’re experiencing is above and beyond normal daily stress (such as severe anxiety, depression, or other mood disorders) or you have other medical conditions to consider, I recommend making an appointment for more in depth, customized nutritional & herbal counseling.

That being said… I hope you enjoy a nice warm cup of calming goodness today!

25114876_10101916633817973_1223156131_n.png

  1. Oat Straw: This one can be used as a quick and easy tincture, but also makes a lovely sweet-tasting tea. It calms anxiety, tension and stress, yet promotes energy and stamina. Good for exhaustion, and can increase libido. May also increase supply!
  2. Blue Vervain: One of my favorites. Not only does it help manage stress, tension headaches, migraine, insomnia, & depression, it also promotes lactation. One client who was taking it daily nearly doubled the amount she was able to pump. Win win! Not very tasty as a tea, I prefer the tincture form.
  3. Motherwort: Eases hormone-related mood fluctuations and PMS, muscle spasms, reduces blood pressure, and calms anxiety. Note- may cause photosensitivity. Not a fantastic tea- try the tincture.
  4. Hops: Another production-helper! Small quantities of hops have been found to help with let-down. Can help with restlessness, anxiety, insomnia, and is mildly sedating. If you feel comfortable with it, you could drink 1/4 to 1/2 of a beer to get the benefits of the hops. Teas have a slight bitterness.
  5. Valerian: A sedative that is good for insomnia, stress, anxiety, elevated blood pressure, & muscle spasms. This is my favorite for “racing mind” syndrome when you’re lying in bed trying to sleep. Some people get headaches with prolonged use, just use occasionally as needed. It tastes like dirty feet if you ask me… go the tincture route. (pictured)Valerian flowers
  6. Chaga: Studies have found this medicinal mushroom to help depression and mood balance. I’d recommend a tea form, used by boiling the dried chunks. With a bit of honey or maple syrup it has an enjoyable (non-mushroomy) flavor.
  7. Passionflower: Its gentle sedating effect calms unease, anxiety, and hyperactivity. This can be used as a tea or tincture.
  8. Chamomile: This delicious tea makes a great nerve tonic. Used for fretfulness, anxiety, and insomnia, and is a favorite of children. Avoid if you are allergic to ragweed.
  9. Linden flower: I prefer to drink this one- with a floral, delicate flavor when made into a tea, it’s a nervine that helps with mild stress, anxiety, and tension.

 

The “Maybe Milk Reducers”

The following herbs can be great for stress, but some mothers have reported a decrease in supply. If you try them, just be mindful and discontinue if you see an undesired decrease in milk production.

25188144_10101916632161293_414005781_n.png

  1. Lavender (whole herb): Some sources say this is a galactagogue, some say it may decrease supply. As a member of the Lamiaceae (mint) family, I’d say just keep an eye on any changes. It helps to improve mood and calm stressful feelings. It’s best to use a small bunch of the dried or fresh plant in a tea.
  2. Lemon Balm : Called the “gladdening herb,” it is good for nervous agitation, stress, anxiety, hormone-related mood fluctuations, and insomnia. It’s mildly sedating and calms muscles. Another one of those controversial ones- some say it increases supply, some say it decreases… just be mindful. It can be used as a yummy citrusy tea or tincture.
  3. Catnip: An antispasmodic and nerve tonic to relieve stress and anxiety. Tea or tincture, and it grows wild in many areas.

Warmly,

Megan Normansell (Kerkhoff), CHC, AADP, CFH

Certified Holistic Practitioner/Holistic Nutritionist/Herbalist/Wild Edibles Guide

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more recipes and healthy living ideas!

Get Even Healthier!
Get the answers you’ve been searching for, and heal your body for good… naturally and holistically.  We have successfully helped thousands of people across the country live a healthier life than they ever could have imagined, and specialize in dozens of different health concerns. Curious? 
Schedule your complimentary consultation with me today! Read the incredible reviews we’ve received over the years here!

http://www.aayushealth.com     –     megan@aayushealth.com    –    920-327-2221

(not intended as medical advice)

Copyright Megan Normansell 2018 All rights reserved. 

Super Immune Chaga Gummies

As we are entering “chaga season,” I thought I’d share one of my family’s favorite things to do with it- super immune chaga gummies!

For those unfamiliar, chaga is a potent medicinal mushroom that grows in the northwoods of Wisconsin. With hundreds of clinical studies behind it, it’s used for strengthening the immune system, balancing autoimmune disorders, fighting cancer and tumors, cholesterol, blood pressure, eczema, inflammation, and many more.

We first make the chaga tea from the dried chunks, then add maple syrup until nice & sweet. Then follow this recipe, simply substituting the elderberry syrup for chaga. Sometimes we will do half & half. They are delicious and help to keep away the colds & flu that are circulating this time of year!

My hand-harvested Wisconsin chaga to make this recipe is available here!

Warmly,

Megan Normansell (Kerkhoff), CHC, AADP, CFH

Certified Holistic Practitioner/Holistic Nutritionist/Herbalist/Wild Edibles Guide

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more recipes and healthy living ideas!

Get Even Healthier!
Get the answers you’ve been searching for, and heal your body for good… naturally and holistically. We have successfully helped thousands of people across the country live a healthier life than they ever could have imagined, and specialize in dozens of different health concerns. Curious? Schedule your complimentary consultation with me today! Read the incredible reviews we’ve received over the years here!

http://www.aayushealth.com – megan@aayushealth.com – 920-327-2221

Copyright Megan Normansell 2018 All rights reserved. 

Decadent Raw Chocolate Chia Pudding

SONY DSC

Raw, unprocessed cacao is as healthy as it gets- and this is exactly what all chocolate starts out as. In its unprocessed form, it contains a plethora of nutrients that are lost during the processing into dark or milk chocolate. Not only are the candy bars you see today devoid of cacao’s nutrients, they have unhealthy additives like white sugar, artificial flavors, and trans fats added to them.

So why not get the benefits of the real stuff and make your own sweet treats? Raw cacao, usually sold as nibs or a ground into a powder, has some really powerful health benefits. According to studies published in “Journal of the American College of Cardiology” and the “Journal of Internal Medicine.”, it reduces your risk of stroke and heart attack. Cacao is rich in polyphenols, which serve as antioxidants and inhibit blood platelets from forming a clot. This superfood has been shown to lower your LDL (bad cholesterol) while raising your HDL (good cholesterol). It is rich in resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant, and phenethylamine, the “love” neurotransmitter, that boosts mood and libido. Cacao’s high chromium and coumarin content help to balance blood sugar, prevent diabetes, and promote weight loss. Do you ever get chocolate cravings? This could indicate a magnesium deficiency- add in some raw cacao to get your magnesium fix!

Decadent Raw Chocolate Chia Pudding

Ingredients:

1 cup flax, macadamia or almond milk (or whatever you prefer!)

1/3 cup chia seeds (heaping)

1.5 tbsp maple syrup (grade B if possible)

1.5 tbsp raw cacao powder

¼ tsp real vanilla extract

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix together the milk and chia seeds. Let sit for about 10-20 minutes, mixing occasionally, until it turns into a gel. Add in the maple syrup, cacao powder, and vanilla. Sprinkle with raw berries if desired. Serve cold and store leftovers in the refrigerator.

*Not a fan of chocolate? Hold the raw cacao and add a bit more vanilla and some fresh berries. (as pictured on right)

Warmly,

Megan Normansell, CHC, AADP, CFH

Certified Holistic Practitioner/Holistic Nutritionist/Herbalist/Wild Edibles Guide

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more recipes and healthy living ideas!

Get Even Healthier!
Get the answers you’ve been searching for, and heal your body for good… naturally and holistically.  We have successfully helped thousands of people across the country live a healthier life than they ever could have imagined, and specialize in dozens of different health concerns. Curious? 
Schedule your complimentary consultation with me today! Read the incredible reviews we’ve received over the years here!

http://www.aayushealth.com     –     megan@aayushealth.com    –    920-327-2221

Copyright Megan Normansell 2018 All rights reserved.