RECIPE: MEDITERRANEAN SPAGHETTI SQUASH
Spaghetti squash is a great choice for incorporating a tasty, meatless meal into your weekly menu. Although it has a mild nutty flavor on its own, when you combine spaghetti squash with sautéed onions, olives, feta, and juicy tomatoes, it absorbs those flavors, resulting in a Mediterranean dish everyone will enjoy. This recipe makes a hearty, lunch or dinner. If going meatless isn’t your preference, pair this dish with fish or chicken. Serves 4.
- 1 3-4 lb spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 2 tbspn sunflower oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 1/2 c. halved grape tomatoes
- 3/4 c. crumbled organic feta cheese
- 1/2 c. sliced organic black olives
- 3 tbspn chopped fresh basil
- Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheett and place spaghetti squash on the baking sheet, cut sides down. Bake until you can poke a sharp knife into the squash with little resistance, about 35-45 minutes. Remove squash from oven; set aside to cool.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion in oil until tender. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes and cook briefly, about 1 minute. You only want to warm the tomatoes.
Use a large fork to shred the “spaghetti” from the squash and place the strands in a large bowl. Toss with the sautéed vegetables, feta cheese, olives, and basil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.
Recipe Source: Garnish with Lemon.
RESTORING RHYTHM WITH PANAX GINSENG
Ginseng is a herbal medicine used widely throughout the world to moderate the effects of stress and support or enhance circulation, immunity, cognitive performance, and antioxidant activity. In fact, Ginseng is traditionally used in Asian countries to maintain homeostasis of the body and to enhance vital energy, or qi (chi). The herb has received significant research attention in Europe and the U.S, where the effects of stress play a role in quality of life and in many chronic diseases.
Recent research shows that Ginseng has anti-fatigue properties that support the health of cells by reducing oxidative stress (antioxidant activity) and help strengthen the immune system. These properties can explain Ginseng’s use as a remedy to help with recovery from fatigue and physical and mental stress.
There are several varieties of Ginseng but it is Panax Ginseng (Asian) and Panax quinquefolius (American variety) that has received the most attention. Panax is a Greek term meaning “all heal.” Another related root is Siberian Ginseng, which has different effects and benefits for the body. It’s always best to obtain a Ginseng supplement from your holistic practitioner. This will ensure that you are using the proper variety and dose for your particular health concerns.
WILD OATS TO THE RESCUE!
Wild oat (Avena sativa) is far more than a common breakfast cereal or baking staple. Oats are members of special medicinal herb group called nervines. For more than 150 years, traditional medicine practitioners have used nervines, such as Wild Oat, to quell anxiety, reduce stress, support healthy sleep, enhance cognitive function, and settle digestive stress.
As a tonic, Wild Oat extract is considered trophorestorative, meaning it can help return form and function to a particular organ by helping the body “remember” balance and optimal function (e.g., invigorating function when an organ is sluggish or reducing activity when an organ is overworked). Wild Oat is a slow acting remedy that helps calm the nerves, bring relief to emotional instability, and restore a sense of tranquility. It has been a part of holistic treatment for Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome, PMS, panic and anxiety, hyper-reactivity, and for people who are persistently “on edge.”
Commonly used in tincture form, Wild Oat extract is a safe, gentle way to support nervous system health and restoration without the drowsiness associated with sedatives. It can also be prepared as an herbal infusion for tea. Preparation involves steeping in hot water until beverage has cooled to room temperature before drinking. A holistic practitioner can advise you on the specific amount of tincture or infusion that is ideal for your needs. If someone is gluten sensitive or has Celiac disease, Wild Oat must be derived from a gluten-free source.
REDUCE STRESS WITH MINDFULNESS
Can mindfulness really enhance your health and well-being? Nearly 4.3 million U.S. adults think so. That’s how many engage in ‘mindful practices.’
Popular media refers to mindfulness as any generic process of paying attention in life (mindfully doing the laundry). True mindfulness is more precisely defined as “being fully aware of one’s own mind, body, and surroundings by paying attention on purpose, in the present moment non-judgmentally and without attachment.”
Mindfulness as a practice to improve health originated with research by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn. He demystified the traditional Buddhist form of meditation and founded the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR) at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1979. Today, MBSR is used in hospitals, wellness centers, senior centers, inner city schools, colleges, elite sports programs, and rehabilitation clinics around the world.
It’s proven to be beneficial for various health concerns, often as good as, or better than, medication for:
- Lowering blood pressure
- Managing chronic pain and illness
- Enhancing decision-making
- Improving depression and anxiety
- Recovering from surgery, trauma, and injury.
The MBSR Program helps people learn to be non-reactive to stress, pain or other triggers, and to decentralize it from the focus of their lives. This results in a cascade of hormonal effects that take the body out of high-alert mode. When the body and mind are relaxed, immune function is enhanced and healing can take place.
An 8-week MBSR program is led by a certified teacher experienced in related practices, such as mindful eating, breath awareness, gentle movement, and walking. Programs can also be designed for specific concerns such as post-traumatic stress, grief, addiction, cancer or back pain. In addition to a mini-retreat, small, weekly classes meet for 90 minutes. The course is designed to help participants establish an at-home practice that becomes habitual. Habit is what makes for long-term results.
While in-person programs are ideal, there also are excellent online programs. Make sure to verify that the instructor is certified in MBSR.
THE SECRETS TO BOUNCING BACK FROM ADVERSITY
- APA.org. “The Road to Resilience.” Accessed 25 Nov 2017.
- Raab, D. “How to become More Resilient.” Psychology Today online (posted July 22, 2015) Accessed 26 Nov 2017.
- Mills, H. & Dombeck, M. “Resilience: Physical Health Benefits.” MentalHelp.net (posted June 25, 2005) Accessed 26 Nov 2017.
- Richardson, G.E. “The metatheory of resilience and resiliency.” Journal of Clinical Psychology. (2002) 58: 307-321. (print)
- Additional research articles by Professor Richardson
- Pinker-Pope, T. “How to be Happy.” Well: NY Times Online. Accessed 23 Nov 2017.
- “A Positive Outlook May be Good For Your Health.” Well: NY Times Online. Accessed 25 Nov 2017.
- Tugade, M., Fredrickson, B.L. & Barrett, L.F. “Psychological Resilience and Positive Emotional Granularity: Examining the Benefits of Positive Emotions on Coping and Health.” Journal of personality (2004) 72.6: 1161–1190. PMC. Web. 27 Nov. 2017.
SPAGHETTI SQUASH: TASTY & GOOD FOR YOU
- World’s Healthiest Foods “Squash, Winter.” Accessed 26 Nov. 2017.
- TheScienceofEating.com “Benefits of Spaghetti Squash.” Accessed 26 Nov. 2017.
RESTORING RHYTHM WITH PANAX GINSENG
- Al-kuraish, H.M. & Al-Gareeb, A.I., “Eustress and Malondialdehyde (MDA): Role of Panax Ginseng: Randomized Placebo Controlled Study,” Iranian Jl of Psychiatry (July 2017) 12:3, 194-200. Accessed 2 Nov 2017.
- Reay, J. L., Scholey, A. B. and Kennedy, D. O. “Panax ginseng (G115) improves aspects of working memory performance and subjective ratings of calmness in healthy young adults.” Hum. Psychopharmacol. Clin. (2010), Exp., 25: 462–471. doi:10.1002/hup.1138 Accessed 2 Nov 2017.
- Geng J., Dong J., Ni H, Lee, M.S., et al., “Ginseng for cognition. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews”(2010) Issue 12. Art. No.: CD007769. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007769.pub2. Accessed 2 Nov 17.
- Shergis, J. L., Zhang, A. L., Zhou, W. and Xue, C. C. (2013), “Panax ginseng in Randomised Controlled Trials: A Systematic Review.” Phytother. Res., 27: 949–965. doi:10.1002/ptr.4832 Accessed 2 Nov 17.
- Kim, Hyeong-Geug et al. “Antifatigue Effects of Panax Ginseng C.A. Meyer: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial.” Ed. John E. Mendelson. PLoS ONE 8.4 (2013): e61271. PMC. Web. 2 Nov. 2017. Accessed 2 Nov 17.
WILD OATS TO THE RESCUE!
- Winston, D. “Nervines: Complementary Herbs for Adaptogens.” Accessed 2 Nov 2017: (Main Site)
- Red Root Mountain School of Botanical Medicine. Accessed 2 Nov 2017.
- Kennedy, D.O., Jackson, P.A., et al., “Acute effects of a wild green-oat (Avena sativa) extract on cognitive function in middle-aged adults: A double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subjects trial.” Nutri Neurosci (2017) 20:2. Accessed 2 Nov 2017.
REDUCE STRESS WITH MINDFULNESS
- UMassMed.edu Center for Mindfulness. (Teacher and Program locator, research, education and training)
- Mindful magazine (print) “The Science of Mindfulness.” (2017, Dec). NY: New York.
- Kabat-Zinn, J. Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness. (Revised Ed. 2013).
- Brody, Jane E. “Alternatives for Treating Pain.” NYT Well Online. (posted 11 Sept 2017) Accessed 26 Nov. 2017:
- TheMindfulPath.com mobile friendly program
- Online Mindfulness Course
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.