Dr. Japa K. Khalsa

 

Juniper  Berries

While a few sprigs of juniper can add beauty to your holiday decorations, you can also think of these readily available berries as health helpers. Their components have been known to help reduce and balance blood sugar and reduce appetite. However, pregnant women or those with kidney problems should not consume them. Test 10 of these piney, pungent berries, steeped in a cup of hot water as a tea and adjust as needed. Or add a few crushed berries to a marinade to pick up the flavor. And when the holidays are over, if you haven’t used all the berries from your decorations, be sure to return them to the outdoors for a winter bird feast.

 

A simple satisfying breakfast

Have you ever had a day where you just don’t feel like eating anything and wonder what to have for breakfast? A simple breakfast is to peel an orange, cut up an avocado and throw some cashews or almonds into the mix. Sounds strange but it actually blends together in a very satisfying and nutritious way. The splash of citrus, the moistening fats of the avocado and the nuts act as a base to tie it all together. It takes two minutes to make, fills you up for hours and you KNOW you are getting nutrition with real food. The smell of orange awakens the appetite and the fatty acids and healthy fats in the avocado are very satisfying.

The Citrus Allergy blast

When allergy season looms, it is great to fortify yourself by increasing your daily Vitamin C intake. When we look at Vitamin C through our Chinese medicine spectacles, it is seen as a warming and invigorating substance that reduces “cold” symptoms. Doesn’t that sounds like a good direction to go in when your nose is running and you’ve got the allergic sniffles? A more western way of saying it is that Vitamin C acts as a natural antihistamine. A 1992 study showed that 2 grams a day can reduce allergy symptoms in just one week. You could, of course, always take an extra Vitamin C, but what is the fun in that? How about a pineapple-orange-grapefruit smoothie with a little parsley and garlic thrown in for pizaaz? Try this for breakfast for one week, and if you include the garlic, be sure to bring some breath mints with you or just enjoy keeping the vampires away for the day.

Delicious soups and an internal spa for you…

A super easy cleansing drink AND tastier soups all with this easy trick: Save all the vegetable parts left over from chopping and preparing food; just stick them in the freezer in a baggie instead of composting. Then, once a week, boil them for about two hours with a few bay leaves or allspice berries and wow–you have decocted an amazing mineral drink for yourself–a bath for your internal organs. Save it, have a hot cup every morning or use it in a vegetable stew to make all your soups taste amazing.

Food coloring

If you are like me and grew up anytime around the dawn of the Pop Tart you probably consumed your share of food dyes like Yellow 5 and Red 40. Already the FDA is debating stricter regulation and Great Britain has banned many dyes from their food supply. We are still waiting for scientists to determine if food dye is connected in any way to cancer, hyperactivity or allergies. We can choose to delete fake rainbow colors from our diet and eat a diet that supports cleansing and detoxification.

Some of the foods that love us from the inside are raw veggies, homemade salad dressings and fresh fruit. Make a simple salad dressing with lots of cilantro and parsley. Real green veggies are one of the most powerful ways to nourish your cleansing organs (kidney, liver, intestines). The body has the capacity to cleanse itself of lingering toxins, but we can certainly offer plenty of assistance to hasten the work.

Oyster mushrooms locally grown

Oyster mushrooms are great in changing seasons. This beautiful, unique food has been touted for millennia in ancient China as a helper to the immune system. Food scientists recently figured out that they are full of essential minerals and nutrients like Vitamin B and Zinc. The best part is that oyster mushrooms hold onto their antioxidant and antibacterial properties even while sautéed in butter or olive oil. Add a pinch of garlic and salt and you have an amazing topping for omelets or vegetables.

Winter is the time for beets

Just steam them for 45 minutes, let them cool a bit and then rub them under running water so that the skin slips right off. These beautiful gems from under the earth can help build your blood during the winter months, protecting and building your immune system because of their rich vitamin and mineral content. They smooth out troubled digestion and have been suggested for years as a remedy for hemorrhoids, as they are rich in potassium, fiber and antioxidants. For those of you afraid of beets because of those canned ones served years ago at your childhood Thanksgiving, this is to remind you to be fearless and have a go at trying out fresh beets with careless abandon!

Apple Cider

There are apples galore this fall, and so what can we do with the crisp frozen leftover apples still clinging to treetops? Get yourself a tall ladder, harvest a bucketful and chop them up coarsely. Be sure to cut out any worms or dark parts. Then cover your chopped apples with water and add a little cinnamon and nutmeg. Boil for half an hour, then simmer covered for an hour and a half. You will have a delicious apple cider that is golden or even pink colored. Have a cup before going to bed!

 

 

 

Dr. Japa K. Khalsa received a Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University and completed her Master of Oriental Medicine at Midwest College of Medicine. She is a Board certified and licensed Doctor of Oriental Medicine, and practices in Espanola, NM. 505.747.3368, drjapa@gmail.com, http://www.drjapa.com