Blood-Building Gazpacho

Blood-Building Gazpacho

I am always looking for healthy recipes that taste really good.  This one was inspired by the raw borscht recipe in the book “Eating Without Heating” by Sergei and Valya Boutenko.  It looks beautiful in the bowl and tastes great!

Directions:
Place the following in the blender, blend thoroughly, and set aside in a large serving bowl.  (If you have a small blender, you may need to divide it into 2  batches.)

1 C water
2 medium beets
1 1/2 -inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced
2 large cloves of garlic
2 fresh bay leaves

Place the following in the blender, blend briefly (30 sec.), and pour into the same large bowl.  (If you have a small blender, you may need to divide it into 2 batches.)

1 C water
1 medium carrot
1 stalk of celery
1/3 C raw walnuts
1 T apple cider vinegar
2 oranges (remove peel and seeds)
1/2 T raw honey
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
sea salt to taste

In a food processor, chop the following into confetti-sized pieces and add to the blended mixture and stir.

1 medium carrot
1/4 of a small head of red cabbage
1 small handful of fresh parsley

Serve this delicious gazpacho chilled or at room temperature.  Do not heat.

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Reducing Infant Mortality

Reducing Infant MortalityOn Wednesday evening at at 11:00 PM Reducing Infant Mortality, Improving the Health of Babies went LIVE!!!

The video can be seen and downloaded at the website:
www.reducinginfantmortality.com

This is a free film. Please use it, show it, put it on your website, link to it, and most of all, send the link to policy makers. Send it to your State and National Senators and Representatives. Until the end of August, your representatives and senators are in their home offices. This is the perfect time to make an appointment to see your legislator and talk to them personally. Can you imagine if 10 people from your district insist on having an appointment to talk about maternal/infant health care20in the next 2 weeks? What if we continue on,. making appointments and showing up to talk to their aides after they return to Washington? What if they each have many copies of Reducing Infant Mortlaity on their desks, and showers of emails with letters about the rights and needs of infants and women and links to the film? I can imagine this. Can you? This is one way we can make a material difference.

Send it to your local Health Department. Send it to your local Hospital. Send it to your State  Department of Health! (In Georgia, they requested a copy!) Link to it on Facebook and My Space! Post it on your favorite networking sites. It is open source which means you can use it any way you like as long as you don’t change it or delete the credits. We are counting on you to use this film to help your voice to be heard.

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Dark Green Leafy Vegetables for Pregnant Moms

Side-Lined Long Enough! Leafy Green Veggies to the Rescue!

Women who are looking towards pregnancy and those in the midst of pregnancy have a friend just waiting to get involved: dark leafy green veggies. Spinach; kale; collards; mustard greens; turnip greens; broccoli; Brussels sprouts; red leaf lettuce; even yard greens such as dandelion; there are many to choose from. Don’t confuse these with any old green vegetable, such as green beans, or with iceberg lettuce or celery. These have leaves – one way or another and they have to be dark. With the large variety available, there’s likely to be at least one or two each woman likes. These power-packed vegetables help keep the body healthy and with growing a baby in the womb. Though many of the nutrients and benefits I’ll discuss are also found in other foods, I want to focus on the amazing benefits of this class of food.

Look at quality prenatal vitamins and then check the nutrients found in dark leafy green veggies: calcium; magnesium; molybdenum; vitamin K; Riboflavin (B2); Folate; most B vitamins except B12; vitamin A; vitamin C. These foods are chock full of what we want to have for our growing babies, but in a much tastier, easier-to-assimilate package.

Variety of nutrients/Variety of benefits:

Though most grain products are now supplemented with the artificial form of folate, folic acid, we can get all the benefits of folate from a great source: dark leafy green veggies. Personally, I think natural is best. So, to me, simply choosing foods naturally high in folate, such as leafy green veggies, is a wise choice. Folate has been shown to prevent spinal cord birth defects, so as a woman looks toward pregnancy, she wants to eat plenty of foods with this nutrient. In pregnancy, our bodies use this nutrient to actually build genetic material. If ever there was a nutrient that women in the child-bearing years should love, it’s this one.

Vitamin A and C are known for their work in helping our immune system and vitamin A is known for growing healthy bones and teeth. One study even showed that women in SE Asia who had good levels of vitamin A had lower maternal mortality rates. But, we don’t want to get too much vitamin A because there is an amount that becomes toxic and too much vitamin C can cause the opposite problem as constipation. So, what’s a pregnant mom to do? Eat dark leafy green veggies! They have both and are balanced in such a way that it’s nigh on impossible to overdose on these vitamins from this source, because you’ll be full way before the overdose.

Calcium and magnesium are known for helping our bones, but did you know they also help in keeping your blood pressure normal and are needed to help your blood clot normally? And, calcium and magnesium work together to turn our food to energy. ENERGY! What pregnant woman doesn’t want more energy? When thinking of calcium and leafy green veggies, think first of broccoli or alfalfa. Alfalfa actually has both calcium and iron in it, but they can both be assimilated and don’t ‘fight’ each other as normally happens when eating foods with both. Another wonderful benefit of magnesium is that it’s used to build genetic material. Women who are low in magnesium may get nauseous. That’s not saying all pregnancy-related nausea is due to lack of magnesium, but we sure don’t want to encourage it, do we? So, you know you want these nutrients. How to get them? Don’t think first of a pill; think of your friends: dark leafy green vegetables. They are designed with these nutrients in the right balance that’s needed in order for your body to use them. You need twice as much calcium as you do magnesium. Otherwise, they’re out of balance and can’t work as well.

We all know how iron is recommended for pregnant women. But, did you know that the iron present in the foods you eat is easier absorbed when you eat it with a vitamin C-rich food, such as leafy green vegetables? And, eating vegetables along with meat will help your body get more iron out of both of these foods. It’s a synergistic dynamo! Hopefully you already knew eating iron-rich foods with foods high in calcium, such as dairy, can cause a competition where neither nutrient is taken in as well as we wish. One answer is to eat dairy foods separate, but since this article is about dark leafy green veggies, look towards alfalfa, as I mentioned in the paragraph above.

Energy. When we think of nutrients to give us energy, we often think of B vitamins. Well, if it’s B vitamins you want, it’s dark leafy green veggies you’ll be eating. Taking in any B vitamin in a mega-dose can actually cause a deficiency in other B vitamins, so – once again – we need a balance here. The best balance, in my opinion, is to take them in the way we were designed to assimilate them: in food and the foods with a great balance of B vitamins are our friends. The darker the leafy green, the more B vitamins it has left in it. B vitamins are destroyed by high heat, so think raw.

Vitamin K is what our bodies use to help our blood clot. This is important because we want our blood to clot well after we give birth. We also want our babies’ blood to clot well after birth. Dark leafy green vegies are jammed packed with this. Although women are often told that they can’t raise the levels of vitamin K in their preborn babies or in their breastmilk, I wonder whether this is really true. CNM Bernice Keutzer, in her article “Q & A about Vitamin K” talks of a study where women who took high enough levels of vitamin K DID raise their breastmilk levels of vitamin K to the same level as fortified formula. And, I keep remembering that vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin. So, it’s stored for the long haul. Surely, if we ate good levels in pregnancy with optimal amounts of fat and continued to eat well after birth, our bodies are designed to give our babies what they need.

Molybdenum is a nutrient most of us don’t think of often. But, we use this nutrient to store iron and to make enzymes we use for metabolism. Sluggish metabolism? Think molybdenum and where to get it? You know the answer, don’t you? An wonderful side benefit of molybdenum is that it may even help our bodies fight off cancer.

Instead of Side Effects, Think Side Benefits:

In pregnancy, there may be varying complaints that can be easily avoided with a diet high in dark leafy green veggies. Let’s look at some of those:

Helps Resolve Constipation

Because the growing womb may press on the lower intestine and rectum and because many women work now, with little time to eat or drink as they need to, this is a commonly heard complaint. Leafy green vegies provide fiber and fluid in the diet. Even simply taking alfalfa capsules regularly (a wonderfully easy way to up the dark leafy green veggies!) with a glass of juice and good bowel habits, is a great way to have this problem go away naturally.

Lowers risk of UTIs

Just keeping your vitamin A at healthy levels can help lower your risk for this. This is important because asymptomatic UTIs are implicated in preterm birth and other problems.

Good-bye Leg Cramps

Because of the wonderful balance of calcium and magnesium in dark leafy green vegies, these are wonderful for combating those painful, nasty leg cramps, especially if you’re eating salt to taste.

Crave Something besides Ice

Craving ice may be a sign of anemia. To be on the safe side, eating leafy green veggies with protein-rich foods may help deal with this. Choose crunchy foods, even crunchy dark leafy greens!

I Kissed Anemia Good-bye

Women of the world, unite to prevent this! Eat those leafy greens! Anemia is not always caused by nutritional deficiencies, but it often is. And, when it is, reach for your leafy green friends. If it’s due to lack of folate or iron, either way, leafy greens have part of what you need. If you suspect or have been told you have anemia, up your consumption to 3-4 times a day with a protein-rich food. Remember what you read above? The folate, C- and B-vitamins in leafy greens help your body assimilate the iron much better without all the problems that can occur from pills. BUT, don’t over-cook your friends. Keep them dark green, crunchy and tasty. That’s how you know they still have their nutrients.

Go Green to Support Skin Changes

Our bodies were designed to change to birth our babies. We often see a variety of changes in our skin as we and our babies grow in pregnancy. Some are due to hormones, but in every body system, proper nutrients are needed in order for them to function as they should. This includes the skin. Leafy greens are a skin’s friend. Eat them before pregnancy so the skin is healthy going into the pregnancy and keep on eating them so it can stretch and change as needed.

How Much?

Think at least two servings a day. Find your favorite two or three dark leafy greens and keep them in the house all the time. You may not like them frozen, but may find you love them raw, or vice versa. You’ll get more nutrition out of them raw or juiced, but eat them daily. Keep them in the highest humidity place in your refrigerator. Don’t forget to consider alfalfa or broccoli sprouts to your list of choices.

If you have trouble getting these in because you are so busy, consider keeping alfalfa capsules in your purse so you can eat them with your food on the go. Look for restaurants with dark leafy green vegetables or salads and tell them this is important to you.

I hope I’ve encouraged you to make friends with dark leafy green veggies. They were designed to meet your needs, pregnant momma!

By Debby Sapp http://www.blessedbabiesandfamilies.com
 http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/notes.php?id=37992301867

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Beneficial Herbs For Pregnancy

Beneficial Herbs For Pregnancy


Nettle (Urtica Dioica)

For those who have wandered into woodlands near water, stinging nettle will be a familiar memory. Nettle is a popular table green still today, eaten much the same way as cooked kale or spinach. Rich in chlorophyll, nettle is a world favorite for all urinary tract problems.

Contains: Chlorine, chlorophyll, formic acid, iodine, magnesium, potassium, silicon, sodium, sulfur, tannin, Vitamins A and C, protein, iron, copper, histamine, glucoquinine, and facilitates absorption of Vitamin D from the sun.

Nettle is a gentle yet powerful tonic to the adrenals, and is known to rebuild the adrenal cortex, improving energy levels. It has been used with great success in the treatment of adrenal exhaustion, one of the primary underlying causes of Chronic Fatigue and a host of other auto-immune disorders. As the adrenals are the fundamental glands of immune health, Nettle is used to improve general immune function, increasing resistance to illness caused by viruses or bacteria. With its strong affinity to the adrenals, Nettle is used extensively to eliminate allergy and hayfever symptoms. It has been used throughout time to restore kidney function, eliminating edema, cystitis, incontinence, and urinary tract infections. Improving liver function, Nettle reduces jaundice. The high Vitamin C content of Nettle ensures that dietary iron is properly absorbed, reducing headaches. By improving nerve signal to the muscle, Nettle helps increase muscle response time, reducing incidence of postpartum hemorrhage. By improving elasticity of the skin, Nettle helps prevent tearing of vaginal tissue. Combined with burdock root, Nettle is extremely helpful in the treatment of eczema. Nettle is an excellent promoter of abundant breastmilk.


Oatstraw (Avena Sativa)

Oatstraw, as any livestock breeder will confirm, builds the strongest possible body, with the greatest resiliency. Used extensively in European cultures throughout time for health and beauty, the United States has let this valuable herb slide into disuse.

Contains: Starch, silicic acid, calcium, Vitamins A, C, B-complex, LE, G, phosphorus, potassium, mucin, and protein.

Oatstraw contains Avenin, an amorphous alkaloid which is highly nutritive to cells, improving normal cellular reproduction. Its calcium is so easily absorbed that oatstraw is considered the premier food/herb for the nervous system. Working directly on the brain and endocrine system, oatstraw reduces nervous disability, anxiety, and epilepsy. Due to its ease of absorption, oatstraw has been used with great success in addiction recovery. As calcium is responsible for the enzymatic process by which nutrients are laid down in the muscle, oatstraw improves muscle tone throughout the body, reducing leg cramps and heart palpations, improving digestion and elimination. Improving muscle tone allows the cardiovascular system to function more vigorously, improving circulation to the uterus and placenta, and therefore, to the baby. Its high levels of minerals make oatstraw invaluable in building excellent bone density and enamel on teeth. Oatmeal’s high levels of silicic acid are responsible for its international fame for helping heal skin disorders such as acne and relief from topical inflammations such as chicken pox and poison ivy. Oatstraw, in cases of allergic reactions, seems not to affect the individual to the same degree as the oat grain and is often used without aggravation by those who cannot eat oats.


Red Raspberry (Rubus strigosus or idaeus)

Likely the most well-known pregnancy herb, red raspberry has been used throughout Europe and the Americas for centuries as the premier herb for the childbearing years. Growing easily in almost every environmental condition, even the youngest country child can identify the wild, briary canes as they overtake everything in their path.

Contains: Fruit sugar, pectin, citric acid, malic acid, Vitamins C and B2, niacin, carotene, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, and improves Vitamin D absorption.

Red Raspberry is a specific muscle toner, working on the smooth muscle of the body, including the uterus. As it soothes spastic muscle behavior, it improves contractibility of the uterus during labor. The particular properties of the herb tone and nourish the ovaries and, by relation to the pituitary, reduces nausea, morning sickness, and intestinal spasm caused by excess progesterone. This same relationship has made red raspberry a popular herb for menstrual cramps and hot flashes. Due to its astringent qualities, it is used for mouth ulcers, bleeding gums, hemorrhage, hemorrhoids, and cold sores. The unique mineral blend in red raspberry promotes healthy nails, bones, teeth, and skin.


Alfalfa (Medicago Sativa)

One of the richest mineral foods in the world, alfalfa’s roots grow as deep as 130 feet into the ground, allowing it to reach minerals not available at higher levels. The name “alfalfa” is Arabic and means “father of all foods”.

Contains: Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, chlorophyll, biotin, choline, inositol, iron, PABA, sodium, sulfur, tryptophan, Vitamins A, B complex, C, E, G, K, P, and U,

Alfalfa is a restorative tonic which promotes pituitary gland function. It contains 8 enzymes known to promote a chemical reaction that enables food to be assimilated properly, helping to normalize weight, reduce incidence of ulcers, diabetes, and other digestive disorders. It alkalinizes the body, reducing arthritis symptoms, neutralizing uric acid, improving kidney function, and reducing edema. A toning agent to the intestines, it improves peristaltic action of the bowels, improving colon disorders and normalizing bowel movements. It contains anti-fungal properties. Alfalfa’s tryptophan levels help improve sleep patterns. In tablet form, alfalfa has been used successfully to reduce heart disease and improve arrhythmia. Alfalfa has been shown, in laboratory trials, to reduce cholesterol levels by reducing plaque.

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Ways to get Kids to Eat Healthy Foods

IT ALL STARTS BEFORE THEY’RE BORN

My first child was a very picky eater.  Even to this day (he is now 21 years old), he doesn’t like vegetables.  For years I assumed that some kids are just born picky and that there’s nothing you can do about it.  Now, however, I know that while it is true that some are born more particular than others, there are a number of things that can be done to positively influence a child’s food choices.

This will be the first in a series of posts I write about what I have learned over the years from the hundreds of families with whom I have worked, from the studying I have done, and from what I have discovered in the little laboratory of my home with my own children.  (I’m very happy to report that my other 3 children have much better eating habits than my first!  More about that later.) 

Children’s food preferences can be influenced
even before they’re born! 

It’s true!  What a woman eats during her pregnancy flavors her amniotic fluid… and baby drinks that fluid.  So, if you want a junk food junkie, then eat all the sweets and fast food you want.  But, if you want a child who loves vegetables, start introducing him to a wide variety of veggies before he is born by eating them yourself.   

This fact is backed up in scientific literature and has proven itself true with my own children.  My first was born when I was 17 and clueless.  I probably ate a little better when I was pregnant than I would have otherwise, but I still ate like a typical teen– certainly not healthy by any stretch of the imagination.  The other three, on the other hand, were born later in my life when I was much more aware and educated.  My first, as I already mentioned, was (& still is) a “picky eater” who, for the most part, won’t eat anything that grows on plants.  The others, however, eat almost exclusively foods that grow on plants– and thoroughly enjoy their food! 

Of course, what we eat during pregnancy is only the beginning of influencing our child’s food preferences.  It takes more than a healthy diet during pregnancy to have the greatest possible impact. 

I will share in future posts about what can be done during a child’s infancy, early childhood, and even into his teens to help him develop a lifetime love of the kinds of food that will keep him healthy for life. 

I’d love to get your feedback about this (and any of the other posts on my blog, too).  Feel free to comment!  🙂