Spice it Up!
People often ask me how I got into this field of holistic healthcare. As you know, six years ago, this month, I had a stroke. Before that I was learning about healthcare, and certainly mental health for 30 years. However, as you, my dear reader, know, it’s one thing to know and another thing to do. After that stroke, which I call “My stroke of good fortune,” (READ HERE) Hashem kicked my bottom to follow what I already knew. (I wrote a song in honor of the stroke of good fortune, called, “I Wanna Thank You for This Lovin’ Life” (CLICK HERE for the lyrics). In this process, I learned some critical things about living a healthier life.
We have spoken about the Wheel of Wellbeing (W.O.W.). There’s an important link to healing that relates in some way to all the areas of well-being, and that is inflammation. Inflammation literally means ‘getting hot,’ like an actual flame. Inflammation can be visible or invisible. There are external inflammatory reactions that we can see. For instance, if a person gets a sliver from a dirty piece of wood, and it’s cleaned out as best as possible, over the next few days, it’s going to become red and inflamed and get puffy. Internally, when we eat things that might have chemicals or that we might be allergic to, there might be some internal inflammation that might cause a gastric upset, an allergic reaction, antibody reaction, etc. Inflammation is a natural process in the body however, chronic, prolonged inflammation is not healthy. Celsus, an ancient Roman physician came up with the four classic signs of inflammation, which are referred to as “Calor, Rubor, Dolor, and Tumor” (heat, redness, pain, swelling). These signs have been used for centuries to recognize and diagnose inflammatory processes.
In my process of self-healing, post-stroke, my personal doctor, Dr. R, has supported me and guided me like no other doctor has before in my life. (CLICK HERE to read) Finally, I feel fortunate, cared for, and nurtured. Through the process of these last six years (five of them working with her), I’ve lost a significant amount of weight. However, more importantly, I lost much of the inflammation that was in my body (visible and invisible). What was recommended to lower the inflammation? Two main ingredients: Milk Thistle extract (Silybum Marianum) and Turmeric (Curcumin). In our next installment, we will elaborate in greater detail, but let’s just start with a few ideas. I had an inflamed liver (NAFLD) for many years. However, using substances such as turmeric with pepper, ginger, as well as herbs and spices, as well as milk thistle daily, my inflammation has gone down significantly. However, not all turmeric (curcumin) supplements (or even the rhizome itself) are helpful alone. It happens that turmeric when combined with black pepper is more bioavailable – better absorbed, and thus becomes much more beneficial for us. There are other foods and supplements that can make turmeric more effective such as: ginger, healthy fats, nigella sativa (black cumin), cinnamon, quercetin, and cayenne pepper.
In the upcoming installment, we will continue with the subject of anti-inflammatory foods, herbs, and supplements. Until then, enjoy my anti-inflammatory ice cube recipe:
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY ICE CUBES:
These can be dropped into hot water to flavor and cool it off or into cold water or seltzer to chill and flavor it. Feel free to become creative.
Into a large blender add:
2-3 large “fingers” of turmeric (no need to peel, just scrub and rinse clean)
1 hunk of ginger (at least the size of a thumb)
½ tsp. Black pepper
Citrus fruits of your choice* (wash the peel, but throw the whole fruit, skin, seeds, and all)
1-2 cups of Water
Stevia to taste (optional)
Other optional ingredients: other fruits, cayenne pepper, rosemary leaves, etc.
Pour the liquid into an ice cube tray and freeze.
*I use citrus since the seeds are anti-inflammatory, and the skin and pith contain quercetin. You can use any fruit for “flavor.”
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