RECIPE: VEGETARIAN LASAGNA
Vegetarian dishes are a great way to reduce your environmental footprint. Meat-less (and cheese-free) meals use fewer natural resources from farm-to-table.
24 oz. tomato sauce (fresh seeded tomatoes food processed; organic, roasted tomatoes, or your choice)
Approx 1-2 tsp. each: Fresh (or dry) Basil, Oregano, Parsley (adjust to your taste)
Dash of sea salt
Dash of fresh ground pepper
5 T. Earth Balance (soy free), Kerry Gold Butter, or 5 T. Sunflower Oil
1/4 c. gluten-free flour mix
4 c. coconut milk beverage, unsweetened
2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp garlic powder
NOODLES: Gluten-Free Lasagna Noodles (Tinkyada noodles are awesome)
TOMATO SAUCE PREPARATION
Mix ingredients together and heat up but do not bring to a boil. The longer it sits, the more flavor the herbs release into the sauce.
BECHAMEL SAUCE PREPARATION
Heat butter or oil on low heat until melted (If using Sunflower Oil heat on medium for about 5 min). Whisk in 1/4 cup gluten-free flour mix. Immediately add 4 cups coconut milk. Whisk continuously over medium heat for about 20-30 minutes or until thick. Add sea salt, ground nutmeg and garlic.
Preheat Oven to 350F. Cook noodles as box instructs, rinse and lay out flat on parchment paper right away, but do this right before you put the lasagna together so noodles do not dry out.
Put the Lasagna Together on a 9×11 baking dish.
Place a layer of tomato sauce in baking dish, add a layer of noodles, and spoon Bechamel sauce over noodles. Drizzle some tomato sauce, another layer of noodles, and Bechamel. Continue. Cook at 350F for 30 minutes, allow to sit for at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving.
Quartered or chopped artichoke hearts, zucchini or other squash, diced/shredded onion, spinach or just about anything you like can be added in between the layers. Can also use sheep’s milk Manchego cheese if that is a tolerated food. But you don’t have to use it as the Bechamel thickens up and acts like cheese. Nutritional yeast is optional.
BOOST FOR THE BRAIN? Bacopa monnieri
Bacopa monniera (Brahmi, water hyssop) is an Ayurvedic botanical medicine used to enhance learning, memory and attention span. It has been used for centuries in India as a treatment for epilepsy, insomnia, anxiety, and disorders of memory and attention. Brahmi has not been as widely researched in modern scientific studies as have other Ayurvedic treatments.
Through case studies and long-standing Ayurvedic and naturopathic approaches, it’s worth noting that scientists are now interested in Brahmi as a therapeutic intervention for ADHD, Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and age-related memory loss.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The way medications work, especially those that affect brain function, aren’t always fully understood by doctors. Brahmi is believed to have an effect on certain brain substances called neurotransmitters, which are involved in thinking, learning, mood, and memory.
Some research suggests that Brahmi may have a protective effect on the cells, keeping them from either failing to function properly or helping them resist damage that can occur from infection, toxins, and the aging process. A few clinical studies with healthy adult participants showed an improvement in their ability to retain new information over a period of time. Improvements in memory have also been seen in children from a rural Indian village. Further studies, including long-term studies, are necessary to fully understand these effects in adults, young people, and for various health concerns.
Be careful not to confuse Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) with other natural medicines that go by the same name. It may interact with other medications. Consult your wellness practitioner to determine if Brahmi is appropriate for you, especially if you are pregnant, nursing or recovering from surgery or illness.
- Mars, Bridgitte & Fiedler, Chrystle. Home Reference Guide to Holistic Health & Healing. (Beverly, MA: Fair Winds Press. 2015.), 82.
- Murray, Michael T. “Alzheimer’s Disease” as cited in Pizzorno, Joseph E. & Murray, Michael T. (eds.) Textbook of Natural Medicine (4th ed). (Churchill Livingstone. 2013.), 1196-1197.
- Therapeutic Summary of Clinical Effects of Bacopa monnieri. WellCorps.
- Group, Edward, DC, ND. Benefits of Brahmi (information for patients, with clinical citations linked).
- Calabrese, Carlo et al. “Effects of a Standardized Bacopa Monnieri Extract on Cognitive Performance, Anxiety, and Depression in the Elderly: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial.” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 14.6 (2008): 707ñ713. PMC. Accessed 10 Nov. 2015
- Roodenrys, Stephen, Booth, Dianne. et al. “Chronic Effects of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) on Human Memory.”Neuropsychopharmacology 27 (2002): 279ñ281. Accessed November 10, 2015. doi:10.1016/S0893-133X(01)00419-5
- Uabundit N, Wattanathorn J, Muci- mapura S, et al. “Cognitive enhancement and neuroprotective effects of Bacopa monnieri in Alzheimer’s Disease model.” J Ethnopharmacol. 127(1): (Jan 8, 2010), 26-31.
- Russo, A., Izzo, A. A., Borrelli, F., Renis, M., and Vanella, A. “Free Radical Scavenging Capacity and Protective Effect of Bacopa monniera L. on DNA Damage.” Phytother.Res. 17(8): (2003), 870-875.
- Stough C, Lloyd J, Clarke J, et al. “The Chronic Effects of An Extract of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi) on Cognitive Cunction in Healthy Human Subjects.” Psychopharmacology 156: (2001), 481-4.
- Bhattacharya, S. K., Bhattacharya, A., Kumar, A., and Ghosal, S. “Antioxidant Activity of Bacopa monniera in Rat Frontal Cortex, Striatum and Hippocampus.” Phytother Res 14(3): (2000), 174-179.
- Sharma, R, Chaturvedi, C, and Tewari, PV. “Efficacy of Bacopa monniera in Revitalizing Intellectual Functions in Children.” J. Res Edu Ind Med (1987), 1-12.
CLEAR YOUR MIND WITH SAGE (Salvia officinalis)
Sage, with its woody stems, grayish leaves, and lovely purplish-blue flowers, is a native perennial of the Northern Mediterranean coast and an herbal member of the mint family. If you’re only familiar with Sage for seasoning savory dishes, you’re missing out on a fascinating botanical remedy.
Ancient Greeks and Romans burned sage in ceremonies, believing it would impart wisdom. Early European herbalists used Sage to clear congestion, purify the blood, and cleanse the teeth. In Native American and indigenous cultures around the world, shamans use White Sage to cleanse both persons and spaces of evil influences. Priests still burn Sage in religious ceremonies. Even though we can’t prove Sage will raise your consciousness, many people burn Sage to facilitate relaxation during yoga or meditation.
Today, we know that Sage leaves and flowers contain chemicals with antibacterial, astringent, and antiseptic properties. At your local holistic market, you can find Sage in a variety of products. It is used in natural deodorant, and in mouthwash because it fights bacteria responsible for gum disease. In herbal remedies, a sage tea or tincture can help ease sore throat, congestion, digestive cramping, and support mental wellness. In aromatherapy preparations, sage is most often used as an essential oil in an air diffuser or in candles. Dried White Sage is most commonly burned (known as smudging) as incense with the intention to clear the lungs, ease mental stress, enhance mood, and energetically purify one’s self and space.
Using Sage as a botanical remedy is very different from cooking with the herb. Medicinal preparations and essential oils derived from Sage contain thujones, a naturally occurring chemical in the plant. If you take a higher dose of medicinal Sage than is recommended, it could cause serious health problems such as tremors, rapid heart rate, vertigo and vomiting. Consult your holistic health practitioner for guidance on the safe use of any Sage remedy.
- Mars, Bridgitte & Fiedler, Chrystle. Home Reference Guide to Holistic Health & Healing. (Beverly, MA: Fair Winds Press. 2015.), 30, 143, 203.
- Johnson, Rebecca L. & Foster, Steven et al., National Geographic Guide to Medicinal Herbs: The World’s Most Effective Healing Plants.(National Geographic Society. 2010, 2014.), 90-93
- Sage. Herb Wisdom.com
- National Centers for Complementary and Integrative Health Info Sheet: Sage.
- Smudging with Sage.
- Walch SG, Kuballa T, St¸hlinger W, Lachenmeier DW. “Determination of the Biologically Active Flavour Substances Thujone and Camphor in Foods and Medicines Containing Sage (Salvia officinalis L.).” Chem Cent J. (Jul 21, 2011): 5-44.
- Kennedy, D. O., Wightman, E. L. “Herbal Extracts and Phytochemicals: Plant Secondary Metabolites and the Enhancement of Human Brain Function.” Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal. (11 January 2011): 2(1), 32ñ50.
- MedLine Research Citations Indexed for Salvia officinalis in herbal teas and tinctures.
MEDITATE, IT DOES A BRAIN GOOD!
Amazing changes happen to the mind and body when you meditate. During meditation, there is a physiological shift called “the relaxation response” (RR). This response is exactly opposite the stress response that so many of us have a hard time avoiding in our daily lives. You may think you have lots of ways to relax-sleeping, watching TV, reading-but these activities do not produce the same physiological changes that happen when you meditate.In addition to changes in brain waves, heart rate and respiration rate, meditation results in disengaging from the thinking process. You become a detached observer of the clutter that fills your mind and learn to let go of it all, one breath, one moment at a time. Your troubles won’t magically disappear, but your perspective about them will shift, even if you meditate just a few days a week.
HOW DOES MEDITATION WORK?
When you are stressed, your body releases hormones that can have a negative effect on your health. Research shows having stress hormones (e.g., cortisol) circulating through your body for prolonged periods is associated with certain diseases. Meditation brings about the RR and reduces the levels of stress hormones. Now, your immune system is better able to protect you from illness, recover quickly, and restore optimal well-being.
WHAT CAN MEDITATION DO FOR YOU?
- Reduces tension-related pain
- Strengthens the immune system
- Improves quality of sleep
- Strengthens neural pathways
- Improves emotional stability
- Enhances creativity
- Boosts brain chemicals associated with mood, memory and learning
START A MEDITATION PRACTICE
Begin with 5 minutes a day and progress to 20 minutes at least 3-4 times a week. Use sounds of nature, music, a candle, or a guided imagery to help you get started. Meditation is often done seated or lying down. Use cushions or a chair to support your posture. Eyes closed or open is up to you.
You’ll soon discover that meditation is a state of mind involving awareness and acceptance, that you can do in the midst of any activity.
- Way to Reduce Stress. Mayo Clinic.
- Types of Meditation. Spirituality and Health Online.
- Resources for Learning about Meditation. Institute for Noetic Sciences
- The Relaxation Revolution: Enhancing Health through Mind-Body Medicine. Dr. Benson.
- Kabat-Zinn, J. Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness (Delta Trade Paperbacks, 1990).
- Mehrmann, Craid S., “Meditation: Classifications, Mechanisms, and Clinical Applications” in Naturopathic Doctor News & Review 11:1, (January 2014), 1; 6-9
- What is Mind-body Medicine? University of Maryland Medical Center
- Tang, YY, et al., “The Neuroscience of Mindfulness Meditation.” Nat Rev Neurosci. 2015 Apr;16(4):213-25. doi: 10.1038/nrn3916. Epub 2015 Mar 18.
- Morgan, Nani et al. “The Effects of Mind-Body Therapies on the Immune System: Meta-Analysis.” Ed. Reury F. P. Bacurau. PLoS ONE 9.7 (2014): e100903. PMC. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.
- Chiessa, A. and Serretti, A. “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Stress Management in Healthy People: A Review and Meta-Analysis.” J. Altern Complement Med. 2009 May; 15(5):593-600.
- Boccia, Maddalena, Laura Piccardi, and Paola Guariglia. “The Meditative Mind: A Comprehensive Meta-Analysis of MRI Studies.” BioMed Research International 2015 (2015): 419808. PMC. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.
- Anderson JW, Liu C, Kryscio RJ. “Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-Analysis.” Am J Hypertens. 2008;21:310-316.
- Ospina, M. B. et al. “Meditation Practices for Health: State of the Research.” Evid. Rep. Technol. Assess. (Full Rep.) 155, 1ñ263 (2007).
- Epel E, Daubenmier J, Moskowitz JT, Folkman S, Blackburn E. “Can Meditation Slow Rate of Cellular Aging? Cognitive Stress, Mindfulness, and Telomeres.” Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Aug; 1172:34-53.
- Vitetta L, Anton B, Cortizo F, Sali A. “Mind-Body Medicine: Stress and Its Impact on Overall Health and Longevity.” Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005;1057:492-505.
- Xiong GL, Doraiswamy PM. “Does Meditation Enhance Cognition and Brain Plasticity?” Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Aug;1172:63-9.
First Do not Harm
Identify and Treat the cause
Healing Power of Nature
Doctor as Teachers
Treat the Whole
Prevention is best Medicine
The information offered by this newsletter is presented for educational purposes. Nothing contained within should be construed as nor is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. This information should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet or fitness program. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information contained within this newsletter.