Kale Chips

Homemade Kale Chips: a great snack, and easy to make!  Simply tear up a head of kale into pieces and toss with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.  Arrange on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until crispy (approximately 20 minutes).  Enjoy!

Pesto Recipes (Dairy and Non-Dairy)

CLASSIC PESTO (Dairy)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups basil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

In a food processor combine olive oil, basil, pine nuts, salt, and garlic. Blend until paste forms. Add the Parmesan cheese and pulse until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste if needed.

KALE WALNUT PESTO (Dairy Free)

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups packed kale
  • 3/4 cup toasted walnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon white or yellow miso
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Place the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 6 to 7 minutes, until lightly golden. Blend all ingredients together in a food processor. Taste and adjust adding more salt, olive oil, and pepper as necessary.

 

CILANTRO PESTO (Dairy Free)

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups packed cilantro
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup soaked almonds
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

In a food processor pulse cilantro, olive oil, almonds, lime juice, lime zest, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Recipes by Francesca Alfano 

Dry Brushing for Health

One of the best ways to keep the lymphatic system healthy is to do daily dry brushing, which is a simple and easy technique.

Dry brushing cleans the lymphatic system. Lymph is considered part of our immune system and is made of white blood cells called lymphocytes and the interstitial fluid that bathe our cells, bringing our cells nutrients and removing their waste.

Proper functioning of the lymphatic system is critical to the body’s ability to detoxify and regenerate tissues, filter out foreign substances, and maintain a healthy immune system. If lymph circulation stagnates, toxins accumulate and cellular functioning is compromised, opening the way to physical ailments.

What You Need To Do Dry Brushing:
To dry brush, use a soft natural fiber brush with a long handle, so that you are able to reach all areas of your body. One with a removable head with a strap for your hand is a good choice. Here’s a picture of what you are looking for

*A short-handled brush works just as well.
Available from health food stores or your local co-op. Rite Aid sells a great and affordable brush made by Eco Tools.
Earth Therapeutucs can be purchased at Bed, Bath & Beyond or online at www. earththerapeutics.com.

How To Dry Brush:
• Always dry brush before you shower or bathe because you will want to wash off the impurities from the skin as a result from the brushing action.
• Brushing in circular motions, starting from the bottom of your feet upwards, from the hands towards the shoulders, and toward the heart on the torso to help drain the lymph.
• Use light pressure in areas where the skin is thin and harder pressure on places like the soles of the feet.

Dear Vibrant Health Community,

It is our pleasure to share Superfoods with you that will help contribute to a vibrantly healthy life. Our Superfood of the Month is Kale.

Few greens can compare to the magnificent nutrient panel of kale, making it a highly nutrient-dense food. One cup of fresh raw kale supplies approximately 10,000 IU of vitamin A, primarily in the forms of beta-carotene. It also contains the other carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin.  These carotenoids have antioxidant properties that protect the body from free radicals. Eventually, the damage caused by free radicals can cause several chronic illnesses.

Lutein and zeaxanthin have been studied rigorously for their roles in eye health. Playing various protective functions, these two carotenoids that are established within the human retina not only scavenge free radicals, thereby protecting individuals from developing age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, but also guard against the damage caused by blue light. Fluorescent lighting, computer and video screens, cell phones and even alarm clocks emit damaging blue light that contributes to modern eye degeneration. This superfood is a necessary dietary supplement to combat the impairment committed by everyday technology.

Kale is also an excellent source of amino acids. It contains all nine essential amino acids making it an indispensable food source for vegans and vegetarians. It is also supported by several non-essential amino acids and contains all but two of the twenty amino acids present in protein. Another unique nutritional quality of kale is the presence of omega-3 fatty acids. Generally thought of as a nutrient only found in fish, seafood and flax, kale takes its place among omega-3 foods. Kale actually contains more omega-3 fatty acids than omega-6 fatty acids, which is rare among vegetables.

Kale also provides an impressive amount of vitamin K, containing 547 micrograms per one cup serving. Vitamin K is most often associated with blood clotting, but it has also been studied as an influential nutrient in bone mineralization. Postmenopausal women with risk factors for osteoporosis have presented with deficient vitamin K levels, contributing to bone loss.

Kale is a macronutrient-packed superfood that contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids and a hefty supply of fatty acids. These attributes make kale a remarkable addition to any healthy diet.

Here are some great Kale Recipes:

Homemade Kale Chips: a great snack, and easy to make!  Simply tear up a head of kale into pieces and toss with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.  Arrange on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until crispy (approximately 20 minutes).  Enjoy!

Kale also makes a great addition to smoothies.

Kale Coconut Green Smoothie Recipe:

  • 1 banana, peeled (may use 1/2 cup of mixed berries instead)
  • 1 orange, peeled and seeded
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 3 cups curly kale, stems removed
  • 8 ounces unsweetened coconut milk

Remember, knowledge is powerful, so please share this information with everyone who will benefit from it.

Yours in Vibrant Health,

Dr. Salzarulo and Megan

Staying Grounded During the Winter Season

The late fall and winter period corresponds to the Ayurveda mind-body principles of “Vata season” because it is comprised of the same qualities that characterize Vata: cold, moving, dry and changeable. If these elements are in balance, then it is much easier for a person to thrive in the fall and winter season. However, an individual can easily accumulate too much Vata if they do not engage in practices to maintain the balance. Imbalances may manifest into physical and/or emotional symptoms, such as dry skin, anxiety, depression, insomnia and a general feeling of not being grounded.

Since we are all susceptible to too much Vata, we need to be particularly vigilant about staying in balance during the fall and winter seasons. The following are a few, simple ways to help keep you balanced and grounded during these colder months.

Diet:

It is recommended that you increase your intake of root vegetables and drink plenty of warm fluids in the form of teas, soups, and warm water.

Some Common Root Vegetables are:

  • Beets
  • Burdocks
  • Carrots
  • Celeriac (a.k.a. Celery Root)
  • Daikon Radishes
  • Jicama
  • Onions
  • Parsnips
  • Radishes
  • Red Potatoes
  • Rutabaga
  • Sweet Potatoes (yam)
  • Turnips
  • Yuca (cassava)

These vegetables can be added to just about any dish including soups, casseroles, or by themselves.

One of our favorite soup recipes is this Roasted Parsnip & Garlic Soup. It is great tasting and chock full of root vegetables. You will find this recipe and others at the following link:

http://blog.drsalzarulo.com/2012/11/12/roasted-parsnip-and-garlic-soup-with-mushrooms/

Sipping warm tea is another activity that greatly helps to reduce excess Vata. There are many companies that make Vata balancing teas. One of our favorites is Vata Tea by VPK.

Another great Vata balancing drink is an Ayurvedic recipe called Ghee Milk. It is warm, delicious, and easy to make. You will find this recipe at the following link: http://blog.drsalzarulo.com/2012/11/29/ghee-milk/

My final recommendation is daily abhyanga (oil massage). It is best to perform this massage in the evenings right before going to bed. Ayurvedic medicine recommends sesame oil, but a mixture that includes coconut or almond oil is also fine. Massage each foot for 1-2 minutes with approximately 1 teaspoon of oil. This will help ground the Vata energy that you accumulate throughout the day as well as help you to have a more restful sleep.

Remember, the best defense is an early defense, so use these tools to proactively care for your health.

Please share this with everyone who will benefit from this!

Yours in Vibrant Health,

Dr. Salzarulo

Recipe: Raw Hummus

1 cup chickpea sprouts (sprouted overnight)

Juice of 1 lemon (I prefer lime)

1 clove garlic

2 T. raw tahini

Sea salt to taste

Optional seasonings: ground cumin, chives, paprika, cayenne pepper

Blend all of the ingredients. Add water to thin to desired consistency. Very delicious spread on leafy greens, celery or carrot sticks. Enjoy!

If you would like more frequent holistic information such as this, we invite you to join our Vibrant Health Newsletter.

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Yours in Vibrant Health,

Dr. Salzarulo

The Viral Scare: How Can I Protect Myself In the Wake of the Ebola Outbreak?

Dear Vibrant Health Community,

Recently many patients and parents have contacted me about viruses in the wake of the Ebola outbreak. They have been inquiring as to what they can do to protect themselves, their families, and loved ones from viral infection. It is true that viral diseases are on the increase. Almost all recent pandemics are of the viral kind.

By no means do all the people who come in contact with a virus encounter the disease.  However, someone with a weakened immune system is much more vulnerable to viral diseases. The key way to protect yourself from any viral disease or pandemic is to strengthen your immune system.

How Do I Strengthen My Immune System?

The following are my top recommendations to strengthen your immune system.

1. Kalium Muriaticum (Kali Mur) 6X is a homeopathic cell salt.  Cell salts help to reorganize the way tissues function, often lifting them out of their pattern of dysfunction.  I recommend Kali Mur 6X because it helps to protect the integrity of cells against viral invasion.  This includes almost every cold and flu, as well as more serious viruses.

Dr. Rudolph Ballentine, master homeopath and one of the most influential doctors in the alternative health movement, discusses Kali Mur 6x in his book, Radical Healing:

“…when smallpox used to sweep India, health workers would go from village to village ahead of the epidemic, handing out Kali Mur 6X.  Where this was done, it is said, the epidemic passed over or there were only mild cases.”

2. Vitamin D is an equally important tool in your vibrant health arsenal. In October of 2007, Epidemiology and Infection presented some very important findings concerning the epidemic levels of vitamin D insufficiency in the United States. The public health impact of this observation could be great, but more specifically:

  • Over a 3-year period, taking 800 IU of vitamin D3 reduced the incidence of colds and flus by 70%.
  • Taking 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 reduced the incidence of colds and flus to nearly zero (only one person out of 104 had a cold or flu while taking 2,000 IUs of vitamin D. That one person only had ONE COLD all year out of all 104.)  The people in the control group, also numbering 104 members, suffered an average of 3 colds/flu per person per year.

Additionally, a 2009 report in the journal Pediatric Research stated that infants and children appear more susceptible to viral rather than bacterial infections when deficient in vitamin D.  Based on the available evidence showing a strong connection between vitamin D, infections, and immune function in children, vitamin D supplementation may therefore be a valuable therapy in pediatric medicine.

3. Takuna is the herb I prescribe most often in my practice to help strengthen the immune system . It is an extract produced from the bark of Cepropia strigose, an herb which has been traditionally used by indigenous tribes in Peru. Takuna has been found to have very powerful antiviral properties.

4. Lastly, I recommend a daily intake of probiotic supplements. They are live “friendly” bacteria found in the microflora working to keep a healthy intestinal balance, reducing the amount of harmful bacteria while replenishing and maintaining beneficial strains.  Maintaining this balance is critical for overall good health and prevention of colds and viral infection.

Remember, a strong immune system is key. It is important to note that the addition of Kali Mur 6X, Vitamin D, Probiotics and Takuna does not supplement a healthy lifestyle. In addition to a non-inflammatorywhole-food diet, your life style should includeplenty of water, sufficient rest and exercise, as well as avoiding sugar whenever and wherever possible. With a healthy lifestyle as a foundation, these homeopathic remedies and nutritional supplements will help to strengthen and balance your immune system.

The best defense is an early defense, so use these tools to proactively care for your health. Please share this with everyone who will benefit from it!

Yours in Vibrant Health,

Dr. Salzarulo and Megan

Please note: In addition to the above mentioned products, there are many other nutrients that can be helpful to meet the individual needs of each person. In our practice we are committed to empowering our patients with information and inspiring them to lead vibrantly healthy lives. It is important to keep in mind that symptoms are our body’s cry for help. They are our body’s way of letting us know that it needs support. If you or anyone in your community are suffering from persistent symptoms, feel free to give us a call at (212) 475-2222.

If you would like more frequent holistic information such as this, we invite you to join our Vibrant Health Newsletter, follow us on Tumblr, Facebook as well as Twitter.


What's In Your Morning Cup?

What was the first thing you drank this morning?

If your answer is coffee, I have news for you about conventional coffee. Even if you only consume organic coffee, you might want to know why it’s a healthier choice.

Coffee is one of the most traded products in the world – with over 12 billion pounds of it being produced annually – and as a result, conventional-grown coffee is among the most heavily chemically treated ‘cash crop’ in the world. Research has shown that conventional coffee can contain upwards of 500 added chemicals, some of which are toxic to our bodies. Why are these chemicals used on cash crops to begin with?

Our economic system is driven by mass production in order to meet a demand. Therefore, farming methods have been developed to maximize production. Farmers spray synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and insecticides (many of which has been banned in certain nations) on their crops. What results from this is the non-organic conventional coffee that many of us are used to drinking on a daily basis.

Not only does the consumer suffer from drinking conventional non-organic coffee – especially on a daily basis – the farmers who have to live around it do too. They are exposed to high levels of chemicals while spraying and handling their crops. Furthermore, surrounding communities are exposed to a high level of chemicals which have passed through their air and water supply. Overall, this mass-production, chemical method is detrimental to our personal health and to the health of the environment.

What Can I Do?

For those of us who are consummate coffee drinkers, we recommend the following:

1. Drink Organic Coffee – There aren’t any chemicals used in producing organic coffee. These beans are grown with organic fertilizers, like coffee pulp or compost. Additionally, these beans have many healthy antioxidants.

Choosing this option has the additional benefits of emitting less carbon dioxide into the air. All in all, your health, the health of the farmer and our environment benefits from purchasing and consuming organic coffee.

*Side note* To guarantee that the farmers have been paid fairly and treated well through the trading process, choose ‘Organic Fair Trade’ coffee beans whenever possible.

2. Consider Green Tea – Green tea does contain caffeine however it has about 35% less caffeine than coffee. It is also extremely rich in polyphenol compounds, which are antioxidants that help to protect the cells of our bodies from the damage caused by toxins in our food, water and air.

*Side note* When choosing a green tea, it is also very important that you choose an organic brand.


Remember, knowledge is powerful, so please share this information with everyone who will benefit from it.

Yours in Vibrant Health,

Dr. Salzarulo

If you would like more frequent holistic information such as this, we invite you to join our Vibrant Health Newsletter.