Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Happy New Year!

Dear Readers!

As yet another year is coming to its end, I would like to thank you for your ongoing support. I wish you all a very healthy and happy New Year. No matter what your current situation, make 2015 a magnificent one! I, on the other hand, promise you to provide inspiration that will help you to stay healthy. And I will definitely make you eat your greens! Happy New Year!


~ In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique ~

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Raw Parsnip Spaghetti With Orange Peel Pesto

I hope all of you had a magnificent time during the Holidays. I imagine you had freshly made juices flowing in streams and mountains of fresh salads made with wholesome, raw ingredients. And plenty of fresh fruits, raw nuts, and raw chocolate, of course!

There can never be unhealthy snacking if you stock up on healthy food choices. My blog is full of  wholesome recipes and I hope some of them inspired you to create your own raw treasures. 

Raw Parsnip Spaghetti With Orange Peel Pesto

My Parsnip Spaghetti is the last raw recipe that I will share with you in 2014. The dish still has a slight touch of Christmas and you can bravely serve it to you New Year's party guests. 

I used orange peel to make the pesto. My oranges were organic and they were not treated with chemicals. I used the entire peel, but left enough white pith on the oranges so that I could still easily squeeze the juice out of them. The pith is a bit bitter. I you do not like the bitter taste, use the zest only.

Most people throw the orange peel away. This is such a pity since orange peel has many health benefits. It contains fiber, Vitamins C and A, citrus flavonoids such as tangeretin and nobiletin, and the flavonone hesperidin, among others. Orange peel can be used to fight common cold, prevent variety of cancers, improve digestion and balance cholesterol levels.

If you are not sure about your oranges, or cannot obtain organic, untreated ones, use only freshly pressed orange juice and add more nuts to the recipe. The taste will be a bit different, but you still will be able to enjoy this delicate winter dish.

Parsnip Spaghetti 

Ingredients: 
  • 2 medium large parsnips, washed and peeled (makes enough pasta for 4 people)
  • peel of 1 untreated organic orange, chopped 
  • freshly pressed juice of 1 orange (add more if pesto turns out too thick)
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds, soaked in water overnight
  • 1/3 cup raw pistachios (they do not need any soaking)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt
  • handful of basil leaves for garnish

Raw Orange Peel Pesto

Method:
  • Spiralize the parsnips. Add pinch of salt, one tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of orange juice. Mix gently. Set aside to tenderize a bit. 
  • In a food processor combine almonds, pistachios, orange peel, orange juice, and garlic into a slightly coarse paste. Add olive oil and chopped basil. Mix well. Add salt and pepper. Mix again. Adjust the taste to your personal liking. 
  • Mix half of the pesto with the parsnip noodles. 
  • Portion out the noodles. Garnish with a dollop of pesto and basil leaves. Enjoy in good company!

Raw Parsnip Spaghetti With Orange Peel Pesto

Tip: If you are making almond milk on regular bases you can use the leftover almond pulp to make variety of raw dishes. You can use it to make pesto of any kind, for instance.

In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique


Dominique Allmon©2014

      

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Beet, Pomegranate And Cranberry Juice

Right before Christmas I'd like to share with you a gift from nature: purple superfood juice that is loaded with vitamins,  antioxidants, and other phytonutrients that are incredibly beneficial to health. All three ingredients are in season now so you will have no difficulty obtaining them in your local grocery store. Remember to buy organic ingredients whenever you can.


Ingredients:
  • 3 large beets (thoroughly washed, leave the peel on if your beets are organic)
  • arils of 2 pomegranates 
  • 2 cups cranberries


Method:
  • Pass all the ingredients through a juicer. 
  • Pour into glasses and indulge in good company! 

~ How to De-seed Pomegranate ~ 

Wash the pomegranates. There are a few ways to de-seed a pomegranate. I use the water method because it is not only the cleanest one, it also saves most arils intact. To do this, prepare a large bowl of cold water. Cut away both ends of the pomegranate. Next, cut the fruit vertically into quarters. Gently break the fruit apart and submerge each chunk under water. Using your fingers gently remove the arils from the membranes that are holding them in place. You will notice that the arils sink down in water and the light, white membranes float on top. Remove the floating membranes. Strain the arils using a sieve or a colander and transfer them into a clean bowl. Remove any remaining membranes. Set aside. 

Christmas kitty - rescued during storm
from a tree in the front yard only yesterday

~ Wishing all my readers a merry and peaceful Christmas ~ In radiant health ~ passionately raw ~ Dominique




Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Eggnog Recipe

I have wonderful childhood memories of the time before Christmas. Our house was filled with exotic scents. My mother converted the kitchen into an alchemist's laboratory and we could not wait for the goodies to finally appear on the Christmas table. 

Alcohol was never a big thing in my parents' home, but from time to time they would have a small amount of cognac to improve digestion. There was champagne on the New Year's Eve, and on very cold days they would make mulled honey wine (mead). Sometimes there was eggnog made with eggs, of course.

I am sharing with you raw version of a classic recipe. I use raw eggs in this recipe. If you are a vegan or do not want to eat raw eggs, you may want to add an extra banana or a scoop of a rich raw protein powder. However, if you decide to add raw eggs, make sure that you are using the freshest, free range, organic ones to avoid such health hazards as the salmonella infection. The store-bought organic eggs are not ideal! Visit a farmers' market or a farm if you can. I have been eating raw eggs since my early childhood and never got sick, but I can understand if you have some objections. 


Ingredients:
  • 3 cups freshly made almond milk 
  • 2 ripe bananas, peeled and chopped
  • 2 raw eggs (use only freshest, certified, free-range, perfectly organic eggs)
  • 5 Medjool dates, soaked in water overnight
  • 1/3 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • pinch ground cloves
  • pinch ground cardamom
  • pinch Celtic sea salt
  • 4 cinnamon sticks for garnish

Method: 
  • Blend all the ingredients until velvety smooth. (Vegans skip the raw eggs!)
  • Pour the eggnog into glasses and decorate with cinnamon sticks. Enjoy in good company!

Tip: To make an adult version of this recipe add a shot of good quality rum and blend again. Serve right away. If you do not want to use alcohol but still wish the eggnog to have a warming effect on a cold winter day, blend in a small jalapeno pepper and a pinch of turmeric powder. Easy on the turmeric, though.

In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique

Dominique Allmon©2014

To learn about the health benefits of raw eggs please click here

         

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Best Christmas Gifts For Raw Chefs

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, this time of the year is a time of mindfulness, generosity and giving. The gifts do not have to be big, expensive or extravagant to make someone happy, but they have to be thoughtful, sustainable and useful. For many people the best gifts are those that were made by hand, or prepared in the kitchen, but if you are deciding to buy a gift, choose glass, wood or metal over plastic. Buy products that will last a bit longer. The throw-away lifestyle takes a real tall on our environment, so be thoughtful.


If you know an aspiring raw chef or someone who only recently discovered raw food you may be wondering what to give them. Like any other person who loves to prepare food, your raw chef probably loves recipe books, kitchen tools and useful ingredients that can be turned into delicious raw recipes. 


Consider buying an attractive vintage set of measuring spoons or some other kitchen utensils. Look for an exotic spice mix, or a large bag of organic raw nuts or superfoods. Get them the latest raw recipe book or an attractive salad bowl. A raw chef can never have enough of these things and will be grateful for any such gift. At least, I would be!


Once you have wisely chosen your gift, wrap it up nicely. Again, think about the environment and use gift wrapping paper that was either made from recycled paper or one such that is pretty enough to be reused again. Support small local businesses and online networks such as Etsy. And whatever you do, always give your gift from the heart.


Remember that the good vibes you are sending out will get back to you multiplied by the joy you have given others.

In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique

         

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Raw Lemon And Rosemary Cookies

If you are a healthy person on a raw food diet you do not normally have unhealthy cravings, but even a healthiest person can have a moment of weakness and desire a really sweet treat. A raw desert is always a better choice, so why not make one?


This is such a simple recipe! Everybody is using cinnamon, cloves and such in their Christmas cookie recipes. I decided to use something different this year: lemon and rosemary! Lemon and rosemary blend into unforgettable flavor that will keep you thinking of summer even on the coldest winter day.

This is another frugal recipe that helps you save money. I used almond pulp that remains after making almond milk. Depending how moist is your leftover pulp you may have to adjust the amounts of ingredients used in this recipe. You may, of course, skip the almond pulp altogether and use raw almond flour or increase the amount of raw coconut flour used by me. Experiment. It really is such a fun!

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup almond pulp from leftover from making almond milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded raw coconut
  • 1/3 cup raw coconut flour
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/3 tsp ground dried rosemary
  • pinch Celtic sea salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted in water bath
  • 3 Tbsp organic maple syrup (add more if you prefer)
  • 1 Tbsp shredded fresh rosemary for garnish (hard twigs removed)

Method:
  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor an mix into a firm but very smooth dough. It shouldn't be too moist, but it should not crumble either. Allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes or so before working with it.
  • Roll out the dough between two sheets of waxed paper. This will prevent the dough from sticking up to you rolling pin. You can leave as thick as you like, I rolled it out to a bit less than 1/4 inch thickness. 
  • Using a cookie cutter of your choice cut out cookies. Garnish cookies with fresh rosemary.
  • Dehydrate cookies for up to 12 hours at 115°F. ( You can use the oven if you do not have a dehydrator. Make sure you are not baking them if you want them to be raw.)
  • Store cookies in an airtight jar. Keep the jar in the fridge to prevent spoilage. Indulge without guilt!

Tip: As with any raw dessert, this cookies should be eaten quickly. You may freeze them if you prefer, but I would suggest that you rather made smaller batches and always ate them fresh.

In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique



To learn how to make raw nut milk please click here

Friday, December 12, 2014

Juicing in Winter

For many raw food lovers living in the Northern hemisphere winter poses a dilemma of sorts. Organic locally grown products become a bit scarce, but there is still a lot to chose from: cabbage, kale, root vegetables, winter squashes, persimmons, pomegranates, citrus fruit... 


When temperatures move towards zero degrees and below, many people crave warming comfort foods. Juice or a salad is not always the first choice when you feel like having a bowl of steaming carrot-ginger soup.

I do not believe that you have to give up juicing during the cold winter months. Quite the contrary. You can continue your juicing routine, but you have to chose the ingredients wisely. For instance, cucumbers are fantastic when you want to stay hydrated, but they are considered to be cooling not warming vegetables. If you want to use cucumbers in your winter juices you will have to add something warming to your juice. Say, something like hot jalapeno pepper and leeks.

My winter juices are mostly made of root vegetable, cabbage, kale, apples, and citrus fruit. I add fresh ginger root, fresh turmeric root, and hot chili peppers. I also add cultured vegetables, fresh herbs and spices to make my juices taste different every time I make them. And I always add a few drops of virgin olive oil or a cold pressed flax or hemp oil. Fat is necessary for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. It also add energy for the body to burn. 

~ Winter Juice Recipe ~

Ingredients:
  • 2 large beets
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 parsnip
  • 2 apples
  • 1 orange
  • 1 hot pepper
  • 1 inch fresh turmeric root

Method:
  • Pass all the ingredients through a juicer. 
  • Pour juice into glasses and add 1/2 tsp cold pressed hemp oil to each glass. Mix well and enjoy in good company!
Tip: Save the leftover pulp! You can use it to make raw crackers or raw burgers. Add it to smoothies or make a raw soup.
    In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique

    Also of interest: How to Stay Raw in Winter

    Dominique Allmon©2014


          



    Monday, December 8, 2014

    Pink Pomelo Salad Dressing

    Pomelo (Citrus maxima) is a large fruit from the citrus family native to South and Southeast Asia. Like all the other fruits from the citrus family, pomelo comes with countless health benefits. Rich in Vitamin C, bioflavonoids, fiber and potassium, pomelo is a useful home remedy:
    • it can help boost the immune system
    • it can help improve oral health
    • it can help improve digestion
    • it can help manage weight
    • it can help contain urinary tract infections
    • it can help lower the blood pressure 
    • it can help prevent various cancers


    Pomelos contain carnitine pamitoyl-transferase - a fat-burning enzyme - that may help obese people loose weight.


    Ingredients:
    • 1 cup freshly pressed pink pomelo juice
    • 1 cup virgin olive oil (use flax or hemp oil if you prefer)
    • 1 Tbsp pink pepper berries
    • 1 tsp pink Himalaya salt


    Method:
    • In a blender whiz all the ingredients into a creamy dressing. Add more juice or purified water if the dressing turns out too thick. Enjoy in good company on tossed winter salads!

    Tip: If you cannot find pink pomelo use white pomelo or a pink grapefruit. Pink grapefruit is not as bitter as the white grapefruit, but it is much more bitter than pomelo - pink or white. Your salad dressing will taste a bit different than mine, but you will still be able to enjoy the refreshing citrus taste. 

    In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique


    Dominique Allmon©2014

    *Information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.


    Saturday, December 6, 2014

    Spicy Sauerkraut Recipe

    Raw, cultured vegetables are one of the healthiest foods available to mankind and sauerkraut is probably one of the most popular ones.


    Sauerkraut is often associated with the German culture, but the Germans were not the ones who invented it. Written records dating back more than two thousand years show that sauerkraut was consumed in China by the laborers who constructed the Great Wall of China. Shredded cabbage was naturally fermented in rice wine. How sauerkraut arrived in Europe is not known, but scholars suspect that it was brought by the Mongol hordes in the 13th century.

    Naturally fermented sauerkraut is a perfect living food. It combines the health benefits of cabbage with the health benefits of probiotics. 

    Sauerkraut is rich in the immune system supporting vitamin C and you should consider adding it to your winter diet. The beneficial bacteria in sauerkraut not only supports healthy digestion, but may also prevent cancer of the colon.


    Ingredients:
    • 1 medium large white cabbage, shredded (save two outer leaves)
    • 1 large carrot shredded
    • 2 Tbsp hot chili flakes
    • 2 Tbsp fine Celtic sea salt 


    Method:
    • Place shredded cabbage in a large bowl. Add salt and massage cabbage with clean hands until cabbage is soft and you see juice in a bowl.
    • Add shredded cabbage and chili flakes. Mix well.
    • Transfer the massaged cabbage into a jar. Work in layers. Tightly press each layer of cabbage to remove excess air. Fill the jar with cabbage leaving about 1 inch space between the cabbage and the lid. Cover the packed shredded cabbage with two folded outer cabbage leaves and press them down. 
    • Close the jar and place it for 3-4 days in room temperature.
    • Carefully open the jar and taste your sauerkraut. If you are satisfied with the acidity you can place the jar in the fridge to slow down the fermentation. If you prefer your sauerkraut to be more acidic, allow the fermentation to go on for another day or two. Enjoy in good company as often as you can!

    In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique


    Dominique Allmon©2014

    Also of interest: Purple Sauerkraut

          

    *Information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

    Saturday, November 22, 2014

    Raw Apple Sauce Recipe

    When I was a child raw apple sauce was my favorite dessert. My parents used to make it quite often. We loved apples and ate them straight up with the skin on. There were hundreds of varieties you could choose from when you went to the farmers' markets. And they were all organic! 


    Things changed over the years and now even organic apples are coated with a wax substance that is supposed to prevent spoilage. The wax doesn't come off easily with a simple washing so it is sensible to peel off the skin. This is a bit unfortunate since the vitamins and bio-flavonoids such as quercetin have the highest concentration under the skin. Also, apples oxidize very fast. They not only turn brown during the oxidation process, they also loose nutrients. So, why make apple sauce at all? 

    I must admit, I do not make it very often and if I do, I make it only during the cold season. It definitely is a better alternative to a store-bought apple sauce used by many households. It is even better than the traditionally made apple sauce. It is better because it is raw and healthier despite the loss of nutrients.


    Ingredients:
    • 10 ripe, sweet apples (I used organic Cox Orange)
    • freshly pressed juice of 1 large lemon
    • 1 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar (optional)
    • 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 tsp gingerbread spices (nutmeg, mace, cloves, star anise)
    • 1/3 tsp grated raw ginger (optional)
    • 1/3 cup raw honey (add more if you prefer)


    Method:
    • Peel and core the apples. Work as fast as you can to prevent them from turning brown too fast.
    • Puree apples in a food processor together with lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Lemon juice prevents apples from turning brown right away.
    • Transfer apple puree into a mixing bowl. Add honey and spices and mix well. Chill for about 10 minutes before eating. 
    • Also this apple sauce stores well in the fridge for a few days, I suggest you eat it as soon as it is made to prevent further loss of nutrients. Eat is as dessert or in lieu of the traditional cooked apple sauce. Enjoy in good company!
    I radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique


             

    Tuesday, November 11, 2014

    Raw Pumpkin And Persimmon Smoothie

    Did you know that pumpkin actually is a berry? Did you know that there are more than 800 different kinds of pumpkins? 

    Pumpkins belong to the oldest cultivated plants on earth. They are incredibly healthy and good for you. Both, the seeds and the flesh contain compounds that can prevent various types of cancer. Dark-orange colored winter pumpkins and squashes are loaded with carotenoids, especially beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a potent antioxidant that prevents free radicals from causing havoc in the body. 

    Take advantage of the fact that pumpkins and squashes are abundant right now. You can store uncut pumpkins for a few months. You can also freeze chopped pumpkin flesh for a later use.

     

    This recipe is an experiment of sorts. Most recipes use pumpkin spice that is a mixture of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice. I decided to try something different. I used fresh ginger and vanilla bean. No sweetener of any kind was added since I used very sweet persimmons and very ripe, very sweet banana. I added a little oil to the recipe since fat is needed for the absorption of vitamin A that is produced in the body from the beta-carotene in pumpkins and persimmons. Both ingredients are also rich in vitamin C badly needed for immune system support during the cold season. Since it is rather cold outside, I did not add any ice cubes.

    Ingredients:
    • 1 1/2 cup chopped, raw pumpkin flesh
    • 2 persimmons, peeled, seeds removed and chopped
    • 1 very ripe banana
    • 1/2 inch fresh ginger root, grated
    • 1 vanilla bean
    • 1 1/2 cup freshly made almond milk 
    • 1 Tbsp cold pressed oil of your choice (I used evening primrose oil, you can use flax or hemp)
    • pinch pink Himalaya salt


    Method:
    • Cut vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds with an edge of a knife. Do not discard the bean. You can use it to scent freshly made nut milk.
    • Place all the ingredients, including the vanilla bean seeds, in a blender and whiz until very smooth. Adjust the taste to your personal liking. Add sweetener of your choice if you think it is needed.
    • Pour the smoothie into tall glasses and enjoy it in good company!

    Tip: If you do not have a vanilla bean at hand, use organic vanilla extract. 


    In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique

    Dominique Allmon©2014




    *Information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

    Thursday, November 6, 2014

    Wasabi Spiced Kale And Savoy Cabbage Chips

    Something green, something hot. And definitely healthy! My new dehydrator recipe meets these standards. My kale and savoy cabbage chips are not only wonderfully green, they are wonderfully hot because of a generous dose of wasabi powder I used to spice them. And they are very healthy and good for you because all the ingredients used in this recipe come with wonderful health benefits:
    • kale and cabbage are rich in vitamins K, C and A, minerals, especially potassium and copper, and powerful cancer-fighting compounds;
    • green tea is loaded with antioxidants;
    • wasabi, which is a Japanese variation of horseradish, contains anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer compounds;
    • lemon is rich in vitamin C and flavonoids that have been shown to have antioxidant and cancer fighting properties;
    • virgin olive oil, which is on of the main ingredients of the Mediterranean diet, is one of the healthiest oils out there. it comes with a unique combination of essential fatty acids and phenolic antioxidants, and the vitamins E and K;
    • Celtic sea salt is rich in minerals and trace elements.
    Add these ingredients to your diet as often as you can and remember that prevention is better than cure.


    Ingredients:
    • 2 cups kale leaves, torn into small pieces (hard stems removed)
    • 2 cups savoy cabbage leaves, torn into small pieces (hard stems removed)
    • juice of 2 lemons
    • 2 Tbsp virgin olive oil
    • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
    • 2 tsp wasabi powder (add more if you can tolerate the heat)
    • 1 Tbsp matcha powder
    • 1 tsp Celtic sea salt


    Method:
    • Place kale and savoy cabbage in a large bowl.
    • In another bowl whisk a dressing using olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, green tea, wasabi and salt.
    • Pour the dressing over the greens and mix well making sure that all the kale and cabbage leaves are well covered.
    • Spread the dressing-coated kale and cabbage leaves on dehydrator trays and dehydrate at 115°F for at least 4 hours. Check if they are dry and crispy and dehydrate some more if needed. You will notice that kale dries much faster than the Savoy cabbage.
    • Store in an air-tight container to prevent the chips from moisture. Enjoy often with a cup of green tea!

    In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique


    Dominique Allmon©2014

          

    *Information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

    Monday, November 3, 2014

    Beet And Persimmon Salad With Kumquat Vinaigrette

    We are very lucky in Roswell, but depending where you live, November may be a very dark, grey month. Colorful food can definitely compensate for the grey tones nature has to offer with each leaf falling on the ground. Rain and fog may affect our emotions and many of us resort to comfort foods that are not always best for us. 

    Sunset in Roswell

    I strongly believe that food can affect our emotions and this is why I use very colorful produce during the cold season: beets, carrots, pumpkins, persimmons, pomegranates, purple cabbage, citrus fruit and kale. Use them often and your plate will never look boring. Experiment with textures and flavors, and use spices wisely.

    Kumquat

    Ingredients: 

    for the salad
    • 2 medium large beets, peeled
    • 2 firm persimmons 
    • 1 kumquat, sliced for garnish
    • 1 Tbsp micro-greens for garnish
    • freshly ground black pepper


    for the dressing
    • 4 Tbsp freshly pressed kumquat juice
    • 8 Tbsp virgin olive oil
    • 1/3 tsp kumquat zest
    • pinch pink Himalaya salt


    Method:
    • Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, cut beets and persimmons into thin slices. Arrange the slices on individual platters.
    • Whisk a vinaigrette and pour it over the sliced beets and persimmons. 
    • Garnish platters with micro-greens and sliced kumquat. Add fresh pepper and enjoy in good company!

    Use organic ingredients whenever you can!

    In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique


    Dominique Allmon©2014

    Saturday, November 1, 2014

    How To Boost Your Immune System


    Preparing For The Cold Season

    For those of us living in the northern latitudes winter may be a very challenging season. With lower outside temperatures we may experience colds and flu as well as other unpleasant illnesses and symptoms.

    There is, however, a way to protect yourself from infections. You simply have to boost your immune system and implement a few simple strategies that will help you stay fit and healthy during the winter months.

    By preparing your immune system and strengthening your immune response, you will be able to pass through the cold season without an infection and if you catch a cold, your symptoms will be less severe and you will recover much faster.

    Your immune system acts like a protective shield that thwarts harmful pathogens from attacking your organism. In contact with pathogens a series of reactions are taking place within your body. Cells, organs and tissues of your immune system are mobilized to disable the pathogens. The symptoms you may experience (fever, for instance), although very unpleasant, are the signs of a well functioning immune system. Using medication to suppress these symptoms will only weaken your immune system. Instead, you should support your immune system with herbs and natural remedies, get enough rest, and let your body recover from infection all by yourself. You may want to take natural supplements to ease your symptoms, but as the common wisdom goes, it takes a week to cure the cold with drugs, but only seven days to recover without them.


    In order for your immune system to function properly, you need to support it with proper nutrition, nutritional supplements and herbs. It is important that you eat more fresh fruit and vegetables (preferably organic) that are rich in vitamins, esp. vitamin C, and minerals, esp. zinc. Zinc may be the most important micro nutrient for your immune system. It is needed for the stimulation of the white blood cells that are important elements of your defense system. People who are deficient in zinc are more susceptible to infections. Zinc works in synergy with vitamin C and in order to be effective in your body it must be taken with its co-factor amino acid Histidine. Taken alone, zinc may be ineffective as the foods you eat interfere with its absorption, especially when you are a vegetarian. The recommended dose is 15 mg per day with up to 1000 mg vitamin C and 100-500 mg Histidine. The other important vitamin for the immune system is the vitamin D3 which works in the body as a potent antibiotic. Vitamin D3 helps the body to increase the production of body's own antimicrobial peptides. The body uses these peptides to destroy pathogenic organisms, including the influenza virus. The suggested dose is 2,000 IU. Another very effective supplement is the polysaccharide beta glucan. The insoluble beta glucans 1,3 and 1,6 derived from medicinal mushrooms and from yeast are very effective immune system modulators and do not overstimulate the immune system. There is no established daily dose of beta glucan, but manufacturers suggest 500-1,000 mg as an effective dose for the enhancement of the immune system.

    The Nature supplied us with very effective herbs and power foods that have the ability to boost the immune system and help us stay healthy during winter. They have unique immune enhancing properties and can be used in many different situations to support our overall immune response. They are time tested in many cultures and can be purchased in form of capsules, teas or tinctures in any health food store or pharmacy. Some can simply be used as foods and may be used to enhance your winter cooking.

    Here is a list of my favorite winter remedies. You may already know most of them, or maybe you wish to try something new this winter:
    • andrographis
    • astragalus
    • apple cider vinegar
    • German chamomile 
    • lime flowers
    • citrus fruit
    • colostrum
    • eleutherococus
    • echinacea purpura 
    • Umckaloabo (South African Pelargonium Root)
    • garlic
    • onions
    • lacto-fermented sauerkraut
    • ginger
    • turmeric
    • hot peppers
    • raw honey
    • propolis
    • royal jelly
    • elderberry
    • rose hips
    • seabuckthorn 
    • medicinal mushrooms, such as reishi, maitake and shiitake
    • essential oils of cinnamon, thyme, eucalyptus, mint and lavender

    The list does not end here. These are, however, the best known and most widely used and time tested winter remedies. Some of them are to be taken as tinctures or infusions, as pills or capsules, others are simply added to your daily meals, or used in aromatherapy and for inhalations to clear the sinus congestion. They all have strong anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties and are known to activate and support the immune system. Chose the ones you feel comfortable with and take them systematically to build up your immune system.

    If you catch your first cold, remember to never ever take antibiotics. Antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria not viruses, but common cold and flu are caused by viruses that are unresponsive to antibiotic treatment. There are about 200 different viruses that cause the flu symptoms!

    Antibiotics will only weaken your immune system as they destroy the flora in the small intestine which is the seat of the immune system in the body. You will only end up in a vicious cycle. Instead, take a concentrated action to boost the activity of your immune system. Do not wait for the symptoms to fully develop to a flu. Take time to heal your infection, rest and relax as much as you can. Sleep is vital as our immune system recovers during the night.

    In addition you may want to implement some lifestyle changes during the winter:
    • Wash your hands as often as you can, especially when you come home from work.
    • Avoid sick people.
    • Dress up for winter - keep you body warm, especially your hands and feet.
    • Keep your blood circulating! The idea of taking alternate warm and cold showers in the morning may sound outrageous, but you will soon notice that your body feels warm even in the coldest weather. Use ginger and hot peppers to spice your meals and drink spiced chai instead of ice tea.
    • Put as much fresh fruit and vegetables on your plate as you possibly can. 
    • Reduce the consumption of mucus producing foods such as diary and white bread.
    • Exercise moderately and spend some time outside.
    • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
    • Supplement with best possible immune supporting products.
    • Take high quality multivitamin and bio-available minerals formula.
    • Rest, relax and pamper yourself.
    • Get enough sleep. Remember that your immune system recovers during the night.
    • Reduce your caffeine and alcohol consumption, and if you smoke, stop smoking as this habit deprives your body of the vitamin C which is so important to your immune system.
    • Take precautions not to pass your infection on to others.

    Preparing your immune system for winter and implementing a few simple strategies will help you enjoy the beauty of this season and pass through it without infection.
     

    Take time to relax and contemplate the changes in nature. And no matter how cold and dark it may be outside, always let the sun shine from the inside out.

    By Dominique Allmon

    Dominique Allmon©2014

       

    Also of interest

        


    *This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.


    Friday, October 31, 2014

    Immunity Booster Smoothie

    This is one of my favorite health smoothies! It combines the healing power of bee products - raw honey, propolis, and bee pollen - with the refreshing taste of citrus fruit. And of course, citrus fruits are not simply tasty. They are loaded with powerful nutrients: Vitamin C, folate, potassium, and flavonoids such as quercetin, among others. Fresh ginger was added for additional immune support since it has powerful anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties.


    You may wonder about the taste of this smoothie, but when you consider that it is supposed to be your medicine, the whole thing makes a bit more sense. I agree that it takes a little practice to get used to the taste of propolis or bee pollen, but you must know that there are few other substances in nature that come with comparable healing potential.

    Drink this smoothie during the cold season as often as you can. Start slowly. Add only small amounts of propolis if you do not like the taste. Once you get used to it it will not bother you that much. Just keep in mind that it will help you stay healthy.

    Ingredients:
    • 2 cups freshly pressed citrus juice (I used pink grapefruit, Mandarin oranges, lemons, and limes)
    • 2 very ripe banana
    • 4 Tbsp raw honey
    • 1 Tbsp bee pollen
    • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger root
    • 1/3 tsp liquid propolis


    Method:
    • Blend all the ingredients until smooth.
    • Pour smoothie into glasses and garnish with bee pollen. Enjoy in good company!

    Tip: If liquid propolis is too strong for you, use proplis infused honey. Add two table spoons of it and two table spoons of raw honey to your smoothie.

    In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique


    Dominique Allmon©2014

             




    *Information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

    Purple Sauerkraut

    The days are getting shorter and colder. It is time to do something for the immune system. Many people are unaware that the small intestine is a vital part of the human immune system. Researchers call it the innate immunity. To stay healthy we have to maintain intestinal homeostasis, or a balance between the beneficial macro-organisms and the pathogens that inhabit the intestines. Our lifestyle often interferes with this balance. However, many nutritionists believe that this balance can be restored with changes in nutrition. Consumption of fermented foods and supplementation with probiotics can help us restore and maintain intestinal homeostasis. This in turn strengthens our immune response.

    Purple Sauerkraut

    Homemade, unpasteurized sauerkraut is full of life. It contains beneficial microorganisms that will help you strengthen your immune system. Sauerkraut is also considered to be a superfood. The process of fermentation increases its nutritional value and makes the nutrients more bio-available.

    Sauerkraut is full of enzymes and unlike raw, unprocessed cabbage, it does not contain goitrogens that could interfere with the thyroid function. 


    Ingredients: 
    • 1 medium large purple cabbage
    • 1 small white cabbage (or 1/2 of a large one)
    • 2-3 Tbsp pink Himalaya salt
    Tools:
    • cutting board
    • sharp knife
    • large mixing bowl
    • 1 jar with clamp lid (at least 1/2 gallon)
    • wooden stomper 

    Ready for the fermentation!

    Method:
    • Remove the outer leaves from both cabbage heads and save them for later use.
    • Cut both cabbage heads into halves and remove the hard stems (the hard central core of the cabbage) and save it for later use.
    • Cut the cabbage halves into quarters. 
    • Chop the cabbage into thin slices. You can use the food processor or a mandoline if you want to, I used sharp knife.
    • Place shredded cabbage in a large bowl. Add salt and massage the cabbage with clean hands until the shreds start to soften and produce brine. This make take up to 10 minutes. 
    • Transfer the massaged cabbage into a jar. Work in layers making sure that cabbage is tightly packed and that there is no air between the layers. Use a wooden cabbage stomper or a similar tool to press the cabbage dawn. This will allow the juices (brine) to rise and cover the cabbage. 
    • Work your way up leaving about 1 inch space between the brine covered cabbage and the lid.
    • Fold one one of the cabbage leaves and place it in a jar making sure that it entirely covers the cabbage. Fold another leaf and place it on top. Place the cabbage stem upright on top of the cabbage leaves and press it dawn as you close the lid. 
    • Place the closed jar in a moderately warm place and allow it to stand undisturbed for up to 4 days. 
    • After 4 days, carefully open the jar. Remove the stem and the covering cabbage leaves. Taste your sauerkraut. It should have a nice, homogenous purple color and a slightly tangy, but not overpowering taste. If you prefer it to be a bit more acidic, continue the fermentation process for another two or three days. 
    • Once you are satisfied with the degree of fermentation and acidity, place the jar in the refrigerator. This will stop the fermentation process. You can store your sauerkraut for a few months, but I truly doubt that you will be able to do this. It is simply too delicious to keep it in the fridge. Enjoy often!

    Fully fermented purple sauerkraut

    Tip: This a basic recipe. You can add spices to enhance the taste. Once you massaged your cabbage add one table spoon of allspice berries or juniper berries. Mix well and proceed as described in the recipe. Also keep in mind that the jar might leak a bit during the fermentation. I place mine in a small bowl. In this way the liquid collects in the bowl and does not stain my kitchen furniture.

    In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique



    *Information in this article is for educational purposes only and it not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

    Dominique Allmon©2014

            


             
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