Saturday, May 31, 2014

Cilantro: A Flavorful and Healthy Addition

Who knew that Cilantro would be a great heavy metal detoxifier. In fact, it has been used for clearing mercury from the body. In today's society, we are exposed to heavy metals more than ever before. Breathing in pollution, consuming plants that are exposed to heavy metals in water and dental fillings impact this unfortunate reality. In addition to metal detox, Cilantro is a powerful antioxidant, protecting the heart from damage and it may assist in lowering blood sugars in those with diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance. Most of us know Cilantro in Mexican cuisine, but it can be added to salads and other dishes, providing its distinct flavor for enjoyment. Next time you make a chili or tacos, mince some fresh Cilantro and know that you are feeding yourself a great herb. In taste, Julie

Monday, May 26, 2014


May is a beautiful time with blooming of trees and flowers. It also marks the birthday of my older daughter, Lindsay. As is tradition in our family (and we are big on traditions!), everyone gets to choose what favorite meal and dessert he/she would like for the family meal. Lindsay's choice this year was the crabcake recipe with coleslaw. She also requested a gluten-free yellow cake with some type of buttercream frosting. I have not made the yellow cake in years and of course, went to my Basic Food Preparation cookbook from college days, which is now held together by elastics! I have created a foolproof way to convert regular recipes into gluten free options and I decided to make a mocha frosting with some leftover black coffee and a heaping spoon of cocoa powder. The cake was a hit as well as the meal! I love celebrations and especially the creative aspect of planning the party or gathering. The outcome is usually one of complete satisfaction, as gathering people together is a part of my soul's purpose here on earth. I enjoy feeding people with food, love and a sense of belonging. Today is Memorial Day and this was typically a day that my girls and I would travel to my folks' house for the annual parade and cookout. While this tradition is no longer in place, we are looking forward to July 4th at Red Rock - more to come! With anticipation, Julie Try the Paleo Version of Southern Crabcakes - delicious Paleo Southern Crab Cakes with RĂ©moulade Dipping Sauce Serves 4 10 ounces fresh lump crabmeat 4 tablespoons ground flax seed ¼ cup green onion, chopped ¼ cup non-fat mayonnaise, divided 2 egg whites, lightly beaten or 1 egg 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard, divided ½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce, divided 1 teaspoon olive oil 1 lemon, cut into wedges Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 200°F. 2. Pick out and discard any shell or cartilage from crabmeat. 3. In a medium bowl, combine crabmeat,ground flax, green onions, 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, egg or egg whites, ½ tablespoon mustard and ⅛ teaspoon hot pepper sauce; mix well. 4. Using ¼ of the mixture per cake, shape into 4½-inch-thick cakes. 5. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. 6. Add crab cakes; cook 4 to 5 minutes per side or until golden brown. 7. Transfer to serving platter; keep warm in oven. 8. For the dipping sauce, combine remaining mayonnaise, mustard and hot sauce in a small bowl; mix well. 9. Serve crab cakes warm with dipping sauce and lemon wedges.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Music and The Report Card

This has been an interesting few days. On the one hand, I am anticipating my doctor visits on Monday when I have labs drawn to see how my white and red blood counts will be,along with other standard tests. Since my move to Marblehead two months ago, I feel that I have been gaining strength and have experienced more days in between of good energy, fewer stomach issues and an overall sense of well-being. This has been exciting for me because it will two years in July when I was handed the diagnosis of hairy cell leukemia and a confirmation diagnosis of chronic lyme late September of last year. I've had a few other times when I really thought my labs would improve, but they have remained stubbornly low. As I pondered the upcoming labs, I realized that I have begun to treat these labs as a report card, giving these numbers far too much importance in the big picture. I am seeing other results of wellness coming to me and yet, I have some angst about the results. I decided to call a close friend today who lives in the "alternative world" of healing as well. He was able to help me reconfirm that healing is part of a total package and that our society has bought into the paradigm that if there is a malfunction, it must be blasted or cut out. I just needed to hear my own words echoing from someone else and was able to calm down, putting this piece into perspective. Just before calling him, I was on my way to yoga training, the second to last weekend before graduation. Typically on my hour plus drive, I will sing my spiritual songs, many of which I used to cantor at church. I still love this music, finding the words to offer peace, gratitude and love to me. For the first time in a few years, I vocally blasted one of the songs that required a lot of diaphragmatic breathing, then came into the next song with solid breath as well. Needless to say, I was ecstatic. This was a sign that my oxygen levels are improving. For the past few years, I often would become a bit dizzy when breathing for singing. A few times, I needed to hold onto the music stand briefly in order to feel strong. Today, there was a shift! I find it interesting that these two events have coincided for me, coming to a head this morning. Following my conversation with my friend, I spent a day learning about and practicing restorative yoga - what a fine finish to the ebb and flow of daily life. I feel centered, strong, ready to receive information from all aspects of my being - the physical, emotional and spiritual. With peace and love to you all, Julie

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Power Of Mother's Day

The day was a mixed bag - a beautiful Spring day, my two amazing daughters with me, older daughter's boyfriend who calls me Mama Jules - love him like my own!, and my Dad. This was the first Mother's Day without my Mom and I was unsure how I would feel. It was definitely a more emotional day than I anticipated, but I allowed myself to just be who I was in the moment. A newer stance for me - allowing myself to show the real me, stripped more to my core. I had a turn around today with many ahha moments - moments of messages from Mom - important themes that have been blind spots for both of us for years. My Mom was an amazing role model in so many ways, but there were times when she was unable to let go of feelings that kept her feeling hurt and angry. Having observed this in myself, I have worked on transforming some of these ways of being. Anyone who knew my Mom would talk about how thoughtful she always was - cards, phone calls, always remembering and supporting family and friends, especially during difficult times. She made anyone feel important and was such a caring grandmother to my two girls. The down side of my Mom's constant giving was that she often felt hurt that others did not respond to her - a call, a visit, to be thought of. I think this is not uncommon, but it left her feeling alone and unimportant. As a result, she held onto some anger and resentment. Wow, I wanted to change my trajectory here! I felt a strong presence of my Mom today telling me to not fall into this trap, but to reach out to those with whom I was feeling hurt or angry. I chose to make a few calls and the amazing thing is that I very quickly realized how good it felt to talk with my family and friends, also recognizing that their not reaching out had absolutely nothing to do with me - there were circumstances in their lives that were preoccupying them. I also realized that one of my coping mechanisms in life was to reach out to others, focusing on them rather than focusing on the challenges right in front of me. I have done this often over the years in order to protect myself - if I reach out, then I am not alone with my challenges. I felt so free, so uplifted, so energized! This is what life is meant to be - learning to connect with others because I want to with no expectations. While this blog leaves me in a vulnerable, wide open place with you all, this is who I want to be for you - an example of being real! Peace, Julie

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Blooms, Blossoms and Allergies

This week has surely been one of blooming - plants, trees, flower blossoms. What a beautiful sight, yet the dichotomy is one of many of being plagued with allergies. Why should such a beautiful occurrence in nature affect the human body in such negative ways! All too many people suffer with allergies and asthma and the number affected has sharply risen over the years. In part, our body's defense mechanisms have been very challenged by the overuse of antibiotics and decongestants and another pathogen is playing a major role as well - fungus! While yeasts and fungi are common in nature, the overgrowth of these has caused an imbalance in our body's delicately balanced system. A body overwrought with yeast will have a much harder time combating allergies and other immune-reactive conditions. Read the excerpt below: Mayo Clinic On Sinus Infections "New research reveals that over 90% of sinus problems are caused by an immune response to a common fungus. . . . Antibiotics were designed to eliminate bacteria, not fungi and decongestants are incapable of stopping the spread of fungi in the sinuses." What to do: Use your netti pot daily ,especially during allergy season - helps to clean the cilia (nasal hairs that are a protective barrier. Be sure to clean the netti pot well and use warm distilled water Use a broad spectrum probiotic daily - offers protection to balance the good and not so good "bugs" that inhabit our bodies Now hopefully you can enjoy a fresh start to a beautiful season! In health, Julie

Friday, May 2, 2014

Spring is in the air and more

Today is mostly sunny, warmer and the trees are really budding. There is the smell of Spring, of mulch, the look of Spring, new life and the desire to be out there with less hibernation. I just posted on Facebook the ebb and flow of life's beauty and sadness, all very much in close proximity at times. This week has had many joyous moments - meeting up with friends/colleagues that I used to work with at Joslin Diabetes Center many years ago, attending a wonderful book signing by Dr Jeff Bland, father of functional medicine and a week of truly feeling well - good energy, few stomach-related lyme issues - I feel grateful! On the tail of this was the news that a favorite aunt passed away, not from her recent cardiac surgery, but a freak fall that caused a brain bleed. While still in shock, I recall the conversation that she and I had a month ago. My aunt was always active, in fact, went to her bowling league while we were there, but on a more serious note, she also stated how she was prepared for what God had ready for her - survival or not. She felt at peace with all around her and what a gift to hear her be in this place. What this brings up for me and for those who follow me, is that living each day with awareness and appreciation of the many gifts, being fully engaged and having gratitude, is what life is about. Blessings, Julie