Happy New Year! I just came back from spending the New Years with my family. Eating with my family is a big activity, and big, bold, flavors are a must. Fortunately, my mother is an amazing chef, and has found ways to make dishes that appeal to everyone–including my meat-eating relatives. Whenever my mom makes this dish, everybody devours it within minutes. This year I helped her make her famous pasta, which is delicious with or without marinara sauce. In addition, it is chock full of vegetables and free of added sugars, animal products, and gluten!
Ingredients (serves 6)
1 package of mushrooms, sliced
1 bundle of asparagus, cut into fourths
2 whole broccoli florets, cut
2 red peppers, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
2 handfuls of sundried tomatoes, chopped
2 onions, chopped
olive oil or coconut oil
2 cloves of garlic, diced
adobo seasoning (try the frontier brand–no preservatives)
(Optional) marinara sauce (I like Don Bruno’s)
Heat oil, garlic, and onions in a skillet at medium heat for about 10 minutes or until golden
Add in peppers and sundried tomatoes
Cover and keep at medium to low heat for about 10 minutes or until slightly soggy
Add in tomato and mushrooms–It is important that these come last so that it creates a sauce-like juice
Add in adobo seasoning and oregano to taste
Keep mushrooms covered at medium heat for 15-20 minutes (stirring in between)
Add in broccoli and asparagus
keep covered and cooked for 15 minutes at medium heat
Stir in with 1 and ½ package of quinoa pasta
Hi there! In case you were wondering, I was unable to blog last weekend because I was finishing up my first law school brief ever. Suffice it to say, I was running on very little sleep that weekend—as I’m sure were all of my peers—and now I’m feeling the sniffles coming on to pay me back for it. So that means it is time to get proactive and beat it before it gets worse. Thank you Washington for giving me a full three days to recover! Here is what I’m using.
Elderberry is a very powerful fruit that has several antioxidants and helps boost the immune system. Although I’ve never been able to find it in its natural form, pharmacies produce a form of it called Sambucol, which you can find at any CVS or Duane Reade. I’ll take a tablet the second I feel a cold coming on. Be careful not to overdo it though. Since it doesn’t come in its natural form, there is often added sugar, which in large quantities can counteract the benefits of the extract.
I remember when I was teaching elementary school and feeling sick all the time, my friend and self-studied health expert Amelle would take out a small piece of ginger and tell me to place it under my tongue for half an hour. Sounds crazy, but I’d feel better immediately! This is because ginger has tons of anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that have been utilized by several civilizations for years. The gingerol and shogaol components help relieve stomach pain, while its volatile oils have been proven to reduce the production of mucus. Although I don’t think I have the guts to walk around with ginger under my tongue all day (you elnd up tarking like dis), I drink tons of ginger tea and put ginger in my green juice whenever I’m feeling under the weather.
Garlic is composed largely of a compound called allicin, which acts as an anti-fungal and antibacterial. Unlike prescription antibiotics, your body will not develop a natural resistance to this compound, which means you can eat as much of it as often as you like. In order to make sure you are gaining all of the benefits, make sure to mince it, as the allicin becomes active in response to the deterioration of tissue. I personally make myself a big batch of garlic soup seasoned with cayenne pepper, saffron threads, and cumin. If you’re an egg-eater (I personally try my best to stay away for ethical reasons, but I understand that they have several nutritional benefits) you can throw a beat egg and gluten-free bread in there for extra taste.
Olive leaf has several antioxidants—including Oleuropein, Hydroxytyrosol & Tyrosol. The most powerful of these is oleuropein, which acts as a natural antibiotic. Unlike prescription antibiotics, oleuropein only inhibits the production of bad bacteria, leaving good, digestive bacteria intact. When I’m feeling sick, I take 4 tablets of Nature’s Way Olive Leaf in the morning and 4 at night.
From bad skin to indigestion to sickness, this stuff treats everything! NAC is short for N-Acetyl Cysteine, and is a supplement form of Cysteine, a naturally occurring amino acid. It helps to produce glutathione, which not only detoxifies the liver, but also helps rebuild muscle tissue. In addition, it also lessens the production of mucus, keeping me from coughing up a storm during my 9AM lecture! I like to take two tablets of 500mg NAC in the morning and two at night.
Stay Away From Refined Sugar
Studies have shown that eating too much refined sugar feeds yeast in the colon, which results in an overproduction of yeast, which messes up the digestive system. As a response, your body needs to exert an extra amount of energy to digest food and to fight against yeast that can leak into other parts of your body. This gives less energy for your body to fight against illness. So give your body a break and let it devote its energies to fighting the illness!
Avoid Casein and Gluten
Gluten and Casein are components that are found in wheat and dairy products, respectively. They both have glue-like properties; casein, in fact, is used to bind paint. Studies suggest that casein and gluten have similar binding effects on our bodies by thickening mucus, making it harder for our bodies to dispel it and leaving us feeling congested. Better to stick with almond milk or gluten-free bread if you really have a craving
I know these tips will help you feel better in no time. Happy President’s Day!