Healthy Holiday Treats

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It’s the week before Christmas. How many cookies have you eaten?

I’ve had a couple of cookies, a slice of carrot cake and a Carvel ice cream cake. [No judgement, right?]

If you work in an office, there is a high likelihood this week will be full of sweet treats because that is just want happens this time of year. Right?

I wanted to share something sweet with my coworkers, and while my mind naturally goes to cookies, that doesn’t seem appropriate for a “health-minded” company and person like myself. Instead, I purchase some individually wrapped dark chocolate with mint and left the chocolate in a tin in the breakroom with a Christmas card. So far, it’s been really well received.

Chocolate

This year, skip the sugary treats and share something that’s just a bit better for your health and your waistline. Here’s a round up of healthy holiday treats to share with your friends, family and coworkers:

Cinnamon-Toasted-Almonds-3

Cinnamon toasted almond via Joyful Healthy Eats [Read more...]

Elderberry Champagne Sparkler

Thanksgiving Menu

One of the best parts about holidays is having festive cocktails or mocktails.

This Thanksgiving was the best one yet because I got to to host it at my house, in my kitchen with my bar cart. And if you’ve ever gotten married and purchased your own alcohol you can understand how excited I was to roll that baby out. [In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, we got married in April 2014 and have SO MUCH liquor left over from our wedding. Gatherings are the perfect time to share!]

Back to the point.

Elderberry Sparkler on Simple Medicine

I was split between serving bloody mary’s or mimosas for Thanksgiving morning. Then I realized those are both good, but not good enough for my first Thanksgiving. Bloody Mary’s can be spruced up with fun garnishes so I kept that on the menu but I switched out the mimosas with an Elderberry/Champagne combo.

Elderberry syrup and Champagne are two of my favorite things, so combining them was a natural thought. Elderberry is one of the world’s most popular folk medicines. It’s highly touted as an antiviral and is usually prepared as syrup. It can be used for the treatment or prevention of cold/flu viruses. There is evidence that elderberry can relieve the symptoms caused by the flu up to four days earlier than a placebo. All those benefits are reason enough to stock your kitchen with Elderberry soda and syrup. [Read more...]

Winter Wellness Broth

Dr. Bill Mitchell's Immune Broth || on Simple Medicine

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: cold and flu season. With all of the added stress of the holidays, it’s easy to get worn down and end up sick. Skipping the sugary treats that are everywhere along with adding in an abundance of fresh vegetables and herbs can help keep you well.

This soup comes from one of the four founder’s of Bastyr University, Dr. Bill Mitchell. Dr. Mitchell’s Immune boosting soup is one of my favorite recipes to share with others. It’s really easy to make and is full of flavor. You can sip it in a mug or use as a base for a more complex soup.

Dr. Bill Mitchell's Immune Broth || on Simple Medicine

Shiitake mushrooms are packed with phytonutrients, minerals, B vitamins and vitamin D. They are commonly referred to as “medicinal mushrooms” and studies have shown they can stimulate the immune system. Garlic and onion are potent antimicrobials; ginger adds warmth which is great if you’re feverish. Fresh lemon and parsley add Vitamins C and A along with bioflavonoids.

Dr. Bill Mitchell's Immune Broth || on Simple Medicine

Dr. Bill Mitchell’s Immune Boosting Broth

  • 1 quart chicken broth (or substitute mushroom or miso broth)
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped (or more to taste)
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 4 fresh Shiitake mushrooms, sliced (or more to taste)
  • 1 tbsp ginger root, grated (or more to taste)
  • 1 fresh lemon, juiced
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

[Read more...]

Puppy Love Holiday Gift Guide

Since I don’t have any children yet, it’s only natural that I use holidays as an excuse to spoil my four-legged friends. How can I not when I look at their tiny faces?

ElleCinderMila

When it comes to holiday gifts for my furbabies, I lean towards natural, dye free, organic treats/toys when possible. I like to keep it healthy for my girls. These days, dog toys and treats are laden with chemicals, preservatives and dyes. Imported toys are more worrisome because of the lack of regulations. Dogs use toys to destress and entertain themselves, often licking or chewing the toys you provide. When a toy or treat is tainted with chemicals, dyes or heavy metals, these compounds are released and ingested as your dog licks/chews.

In addition to toys and treats, we buy our dogs bedding, shampoo, food and water bowls and all of these items can be potential sources of chemical exposure. It really boils down to manufacturing practices and country or origin. For me, it makes sense to think about the size of my dog: a 10lb chihuahua who is chronically exposed to chemicals through toys and treats will not be able to quickly eliminate those toxins. A 60lb dog might eliminate a little bit better, but again, they aren’t going to do it as well as you or I; eventually the dog will reach it’s threshold for toxic burden. [Read more...]

Meal Planning and Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving 2014

Planning a Thanksgiving Meal is basically the most insane thing ever.

Seriously. How is it possible that everything can be hot and delicious and cooked at the same time? Virtually impossible, right?

I have a single oven, so maybe a double oven would have helped.

With Thanksgiving last week and just returning from a trip, our meal planning schedule was a little weird.

But I’ll share it anyway. Because I like to keep it real and I know you guys are just dying to know what I ate.

Thanksgiving 2014

Monday: We ate something but I can’t remember what it was for the life of me.

[Read more...]