Fun fact! Parsley was thought to be sacred by the ancient Greeks and has been cultivated for over 2,500 years. It is a rich, dense source of vitamin C, K and E, as folic acid and iron. And, is extremely rich in the minerals calcium and potassium and has high percentages of carotenoids and flavonoids.
- Parsley contains volatile oils that have been shown to inhibit tumor formation and increase antioxidant formation in the blood.
- Its carminative properties reduces flatulence and colic.
- Parsley is an emmenagogue, meaning it stimulates the menses, therefore be cautious and do not use in large amounts if you’re currently pregnant.
- Does parsley have any other special attributes? Yes. Parsley is an excellent breath freshener!
Adding parsley to your cooking and recipes not only enhance brightness and flavor but it’s also easy and fun to explore new ways to incorporate them in.
Ways to use parsley in your cooking:
- Add chopped fresh parsley to salads, soups, sauces, vegetable sautés and grilled meats.
- Add to pesto sauce for more texture and green color.
- Tabbouleh salad with parsley, bulgur wheat or quinoa, garlic,mint, lemon juice and olive oil.
- Great for juicing or when making broths.
- Easy tapenade with parsley, olives, pistachios, and olive oil: This is one of my FAVORITE recipes and is always a hit at parties!
TIP: Add fresh parsley at the end of cooking to retain its color, flavor and freshness!
Recipe: Parsley Tabbouleh
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup water
1/2 cup bulgur or quinoa
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
2 tomatoes, diced
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 cups finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, (about 2 bunches)
- Combine water and bulgur or quinoa in a small saucepan. Bring to a full boil, remove from heat, cover and let stand until the water is absorbed and the bulgur/quinoa is tender, 25 minutes or according to package directions. If any water remains, drain bulgur/quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool for 15 minutes.
- Combine lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Add parsley, mint, tomatoes, cucumber and scallions to the bulgur. Add the dressing and toss.
- Serve at room temperature or chill for at least 1 hour to serve cold.
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
Recipe adapted from EatingWell.com
I’m very excited to start this Herb Series on various culinary herbs. Each post will highlight a particular herb and easy ways to incorporate it into your daily eating.
Herbs are such a nutritious and delicious way to upgrade your nutrition!
So let’s start with a favorite: BASIL!
Fun fact! There are more than 60 varieties of basil besides the sweet basil we are most familiar, including lemon basil, Thai basil, cinnamon basil and holy basil.
Benefits of BASIL
- good source of flavonoids, particularly those found to protect cell structures and chromosomes from radiation and oxidation
- antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties
- effective in restricting growth of certain bacteria namely e coli and staphylococcus aureus
- good source of vitamins K, A, calcium and potassium and beta-carotene
BASIL in cooking and recipes
- Pesto with garlic, olive oil and a nut (walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios)
- Add to fruit and fruit smoothies for a refreshing twist. Especially delicious with watermelon and other melons!
- Add to water with slices of citrus for a pretty and tasty treat
- Caprese salad of mozzarella, tomatoes and basil
- Add to the top of stir fry, pasta dishes or soups for a fresh taste and added flavor
Tip: Store basil in the refrigerator wrapped in a paper towel in a plastic bag. Can also be frozen. Even better idea is to buy a basil plant! Very easy to grow!
Want some basil inspiration? Check out this Huffington Post article with over 34 ways to use basil in a recipe! Yum!
What’s your favorite way to use basil?
As many of you know, I was trained in Dr. Sara Gottfried’s Hormone Cure program to become a Hormone Cure Coach. I find that addressing people’s health challenges like fatigue, struggle with losing weight, stress, and cravings, it is helpful to include an assessment of their hormones gives me more tools to guide my clients back to a place of balance.
One hormonal challenge many women struggle with is PMS or pre-menstrual syndrome.
According to Dr. Sara Gottfried in The Hormone Cure, “PMS is related to a problem with progesterone, but frosting yourself in progesterone cream does not automatically fix the symptoms in all women. Our best science shows that PMS is the result of the poorly synchronized interplay among four entities: progesterone, allopregnanolone (a derivative of progesterone), and in the brain, the GABA and serotonin pathways. It’s a complicated neurohormonal mix that results in progesterone ‘resistance,’ which is why topping off your progesterone may not be the answer. Your body may respond better to a ‘cure’ that addresses upstream causes—including precursors, such as vitamin B6, that help you make serotonin, or perhaps an herb that alters progesterone sensitivity, such as chasteberry, as well as lifestyle techniques to calm your brain.” (page 50)
Not only can progesterone, GABA and serotonin affect PMS symptoms, but so can cortisol, the body’s stress response:
“When stress is high, cortisol rises and PMS worsens. When progesterone is low, PMS also worsens. In other words, there’s a dance between cortisol and progesterone in the development of PMS, and you want to address both adrenal function and your production of cortisol as well as your progesterone to minimize PMS.” (page 283)
When addressing something like PMS, it often can take a multi-prong approach: food, exercise, mindset and maybe even some complimentary treatments or supplements.
Let’s take a look at some of these suggestions here.
- Exercise frequently: 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes
- Nourishing whole foods eating plan (Not sure what that looks like for you? Book a complimentary Discovery Session with me today!)
- Limit sugar (especially added and refined sugar)–join my next 10-Day Sugar Retreat to banish those sugar cravings!
- Reduce caffeine
- Address cortisol levels and chronic stress
- Increase fiber
- Support your liver (because all hormone processed through the liver)–check out Andrea Nakayama’s Replenish PDX excellent handout on supporting your liver!)
Some supplements can also help but aways seek advisement from your health practitioner:
- Vitamin B6: 50 to 100 mg/day (or if you are on a birth control pill, you may want to consider taking a B Complex)
- Calcium (carbonate or citrate): 600 mg 2x/day
- Magnesium (citrate, glycinate taurate, aspartate or chelated forms like malate, succinate, fumarate): 150-300 mg/day (for more on the benefits of magnesium, check out this great article from Dr. Mark Hyman)
- Vitex (chasteberry): 500-1000 mg/day (take in morning if possible)
What have you found helps with PMS? Have any of these approaches worked for you? Need more personalized guidance, please contact me today!
Did you know that high sugar intake is not only linked to dis-eases like high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and inflammation but sugar can also aggravate other conditions like hormonal imbalance, headaches and migraines, yeast infections, joint pain, and overgrowth of the “bad” bacteria in our gut?
Some of you might feel like you are addicted to sugar. Or maybe you might think you don’t eat much sugar until you decide to really clean it out of your diet (What? It’s in bread and deli meat?). Maybe you are usually pretty low-sugar but you just want to get yourself back on track? Or perhaps that holiday candy is still lingering and you are ready to start with a fresh, clean new year? Maybe you just need take a little time away–a relaxing retreat, if you will–from sugar?
If any of these sound like you, I have the perfect solution for you! Join the next 10-Day Sugar Retreat Group starting Monday, January 11!
What you will get:
A 30-minute one-on-one personalized phone session with me either before, during or after the sugar retreat to help you really get the most out of your experience!
A private Facebook support group with daily suggestions, tips and ideas to address any sugar cravings. You can also post questions, get support from other members, and stay connected to the sugar retreat community.
A live 30-minute call before the retreat starts on Sunday, January 10 from 12-12:30 p.m. to answer any questions and to help you make sure you are all prepared for the sugar retreat. (This call will be recorded if you can’t make it live.)
Three engaging and eye-opening modules on sugar that you can watch any time (or over and over!). I specifically address issues such as Links to Major Dis-eases, How Much Sugar a Day is ok, 6 Tips to Shake the Sugar Blues, Healthy Swaps and Options, and Key Tips for Moving Forward After the Sugar Retreat.
Individualized suggestions to help you come up with a plan that works for you.
Three different levels of “sugar retreat” so you can find the path that works best for you!
Past participants report some pretty amazing results in just 10 days!
- jumpstart to weight loss
- less cravings
- more focus and clarity
- more energy
- less depression and anxiety
- reduction of PMS symptoms
I’m offering a special new year price of only $69 per participant
(valued at over $225)
Plus, I think something like this is always better with a buddy, so you and a friend can join together at only $55 each (over 20% off!)
This is the perfect time to have a retreat from all that sneaky sugar! We all want to start 2016 on happier, healthier, stronger foot! Break free of sugar once and for all!
I want to keep this group small so that you can get personalized attention and feedback, so sign up ASAP to save your spot. This is also great to do with friends for added support and accountability!
To sign up, please pay via PayPal to secure your spot today!
Spaces are limited!
Once you’ve signed up, I’ll send you your welcome package with everything you need to get started!