Boneless Broth : Moringa Miso quinoa bowl recipe

This is a super easy recipe and is my go-to trick for preparing Moringa Miso.  I generally cook a fair amount of quinoa and keep it in the fridge.  So the first ingredient in this recipe is 1 cup of COOKED quinoa.  You could easily substitute brown rice if you don’t like quinoa.

The other bit of preparation is the vegetable stock, or you can substitute water.  Again, I keep an extra large mason jar of this pre-made in the fridge.  Vegetable stock is easy.  You just save the water from when you steam veggies, or take your leftover vegetable bits and boil them in some water, strain out the veggie bits, and voila – vegetable stock.  This is a valuable commodity and I’ll go into depth about this at a later juncture.

Moringa drawing.jpg

1 cup COOKED organic quinoa (I used a mixed variety of red, white, etc.)

3/4 cup vegetable stock or purified water

1 tablespoon Boneless Broth Moringa Miso powder from the Food Movement

Bring the veggie stock, or water, almost to boil (just want to get the liquid good and hot) in a small sauce pan on the stove. Add the cooked quinoa, and remove the heat. After about 2 minutes, add the tablespoon of Moringa Miso powder, transfer to a soup bowl and eat when cool enough.

Possible upgrades:

  • your favorite herbs and spices – I love to add a dash of cumin and coriander, or some fresh cilantro
  • more seaweed – the Boneless Broth contains Dulse already, you’ll see those nutritious flakes in every bite – consider also adding some Nori flakes, or any other seaweed for more minerals and micronutrients
  • hot sauce – I put this in almost everything but Miso, and my cabinet is full of them. The other day just for the heck of it I added to this recipe a local habanero sauce and wooooooooo! I was glad I did.
  • ALSO – the Boneless Broth – Moringa Miso powder is offered for convenience. But some hardcore Miso connoisseurs like to make their own, or even just like to keep the fresh Miso paste in their fridge at all times.  In this case you could use 1 tablespoon of your Miso paste and 1 tablespoon of Moringa powder.  I’ve been meaning to make it that way (what I did before we had the BB product)

Look for more recipes coming up with this unique combination.  We’re also launching a smaller more kitchen-friendly size of Boneless Broth this Fall, so stay tuned for that.  Enjoy!

Fulvic Minerals and Pomegranate Juice : A Powerful Combination for Good Health

Researchers and health experts are always looking for synergistic combinations of natural health agents that may work together in a powerful way. Fulvic acid and Pomegranate Juice are two substances that have been well researched individually, and have also been shown to work together synergistically.

POMEGRANATE WEB GRAPHIC.jpg

Analysis published in the journal Vaccine found that a combination of Fulvic acid and Pomegranate juice contained EVNCs – enveloped-virus neutralizing compounds, which can be effective in helping the body to neurtralize especially strong and potentially deadly viruses.

Researchers wrote  “Pomegranate juice was previously reported to inactivate HIV and further shown by our group to inactivate influenza, herpes viruses and poxviruses. A formulation consisting of fulvic acid, a complex mixture of compounds was previously reported to render vaccinia virus, HIV and SARS virus non-infectious.

“Recently, both fulvic acid and pomegranate juice have been shown to inactivate genetically diverse strains of influenza including H5N1, further confirming the broad spectrum nature of these agents.” Vaccine. 2008 Jun 6;26(24):3055-8. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2007.12.008. Epub 2007 Dec 26. In the same way these researchers identified anti-viral activity in both fulvic acid and pomegranate, other studies have shown both to have positive effects on sexual function.

In a study published in the Journal of Urology, it was found that Pomegranate Juice may also help with Erectile Dysfunction. “Long-term Pomegranate Juice intake increased intracavernous blood flow, improved erectile response and smooth muscle relaxation in Erectile Dysfunction and control groups while having no significant effect on NOS (nitric oxide synthase) expression. Pomegranate Juice intake prevented erectile tissue fibrosis in the Erectile Dysfunction group.”J Urol. 2005 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15947695Jul;174(1):386-93.

Is a savory super food mushroom combination healthier than bone broth?

Are you looking for a way to get a nutritious broth that is plant-based? Enter Boneless Broth a nutritious blend of fermented food, complete plant protein and certified organic sea vegetables that packs a healthy punch.  It is tasty, warming, and invigorating – a synergy of taste that many have raved about.

MORINGA_MISO_2_750x.jpg

Ever since The Food Movement’s  Boneless Broth launched, we’ve been getting feedback from vegans, and other kinds of eaters, who love the savory nutritious Moringa Miso taste.  Many have said, why don’t you add mushrooms – a known source of super food nutrients and ‘umami’ taste?  The answer is – one man, Paul Stamets, and his brand, Host Defense (part of his Fungi Perfecti company), have done mushrooms so perfectly – there is little to be improved upon.

So we at the Food Movement so as we advise others to do – we soup up our broth with freeze-dried mycelia from Host Defense, and add it to the delicious Boneless Broth Moringa Miso.  My favorite combination is simple :

1 tablespoon Boneless Broth Moringa Miso

3 capsules of freeze-dried Mycelia

add to at least 6 oz. of warm (but not boiling water)

I first worked with Paul Stamets’ mushrooms and mycelia during my time at the Eclectic Institute, founded by the late Dr. Ed K Alstat (God rest).  They truly are the best in the world, and today his brand Host Defense bring mushroom health to many across the world.

We’ve been adding Stamets 7 to our Boneless Broth from the beginning… simply by opening capsules of the fresh freeze-dried mycelia or even drops of the Stamets 7 extract.  But now, I am so excited to announce that to try this amazing taste combination you no longer have to open those pullulan caps with your fingers. That’s right…. it is coming…

Screen Shot 2019-02-08 at 10.15.20 PMSoon you will be able to add Stamets 7, the amazing blend of 7 medicinal mushrooms formulated by Paul Stamets to any of your kitchen creations (including the savory Boneless Broth) because next month Host Defense is launching the famous Stamets 7 formula as a powdered super food!  There are other mushrooms out there, but none is like Host Defense.

Paul Stamets designed this blend of seven mushroom species (Royal Sun Blazei, Cordyceps, Reishi, Maitake, Lion’s Mane, Chaga and Mesima) to support general immunity.* Many use Stamets 7® as a functional food multiple for maintaining peak performance and health.*

ncs760-pdp_1200x.jpg

Coming next month, Fungi Perfecti and Host Defense will be offering Stamets 7 as a freeze-dried organic mycelial powder, along with 6 other innovative mushroom powders.  The mushroom revolution has just begun!

Is coconut oil bad for your heart?

Coconut oil is bad for your heart? Have you heard this one?

The short answer : no, not really.  It may actually be good for your heart because it raises HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol – the kind that can REDUCE your risk of cardiac disease.

First of all – human beings are often by nature contrarian.  I mean, it is good to question things we hear.  But every time something comes out as GOOD for you – there seems to be an inherent backlash – “WAIT! maybe not. It will actually KILL you.” The truth is usually somewhere in the middle and much more complex than the clickbait.

Coconut with jars of coconut oil and cosmetic cream on wooden ba

So it goes with coconut oil. It is insanely popular, being high in MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) which researchers have known for decades to be an efficient source of metabolic fuel, moreso than many other fats.  It is also high in compounds like lauric and caprylic acids which can be anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and generally beneficial to your health.

Recently a Harvard medical doctor made news telling people that Coconut oil is bad for you (I believe the words were “Pure Poison!”) – because it is high in saturated fat.  #1 that is old news and #2, again, the truth is much more complex.

But first, let’s look at science, and not just my, or some Harvard doctor’s opinion.

Whether or not saturated fat is the cause of heart conditions like CHF (congestive heart failure) is up for debate.  One thing that is not up for debate, as far as I know, is that bad cholesterol LDL increases your risk of a heart attack.  HDL or good cholesterol, decreases your risk of heart attack – by 4 times more than LDL increases it.  So, quite simply, raising HDL is a better strategy for heart health than lowering LDL.

One study, published in the journal Nutricion Hospital in 2015, found that patients with CAD (coronary artery disease) when treated with extra virgin coconut oil increased HDL-C and reduced other disease biomarkers. Another study on pre-menopausal women also found “Dietary coconut oil intake was positively associated with high density lipoprotein cholesterol especially among pre-menopausal women, suggesting that coconut oil intake is associated with beneficial lipid profiles. ”  There are other studies supporting coconut oil raising HDL, but you get the point.

Now, let’s look to a study that questions the health impact of coconut oil. Actually, this one isn’t even a study, it is a meta-analysis of 8 clinical trials and 13 observational studies. The researchers noted that ” The effect of coconut consumption on the ratio of total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol was often not examined.” (You think that might be important based on the importance of HDL versus LDL cholesterol?)

The researchers then concluded “Observational evidence suggests that consumption of coconut flesh or squeezed coconut in the context of traditional dietary patterns does not lead to adverse cardiovascular outcomes. However, due to large differences in dietary and lifestyle patterns, these findings cannot be applied to a typical Western diet. Overall, the weight of the evidence from intervention studies to date suggests that replacing coconut oil with cis unsaturated fats would alter blood lipid profiles in a manner consistent with a reduction in risk factors for cardiovascular disease.”

Except that raising HDL shows a reduction in risk factors for cardiovascular disease.  The above is what you would call a “highly interpretive” meta-analysis.  Sure, some unsaturated plant oils don’t affect cholesterol very much at all – but it is soooo important to look at HDL:total cholesterol ratios.  If someone tells you that your cholesterol has gone up and they don’t tell you what type of cholesterol, they really haven’t told you much at all.

No food is “GOOD” or “BAD” – these are highly subjective and limited terms.  The real analysis comes when you look at your overall diet.  To be sure, for most people, coconut oil – especially when used in place of other saturated fats, like butter or lard – is better for your heart and for your overall cholesterol levels. Still, the American Heart Association takes the opposite view, and recommends replacing it with unsaturated plant oils.

One thing to remember – the main thing to look at is your overall diet.  If you don’t eat a lot of saturated fats (the kind in meat and other animal products) you probably don’t need to worry about the small amount you’re getting from coconut oil.  If you have high cholesterol and are trying to manage it, you might want to choose unsaturated vegetable oils. But if you are a vegetarian or low-fat omnivore and cholesterol isn’t a major concern, the HDL boost from coconut oil is just as likely to benefit your health as any small increase in LDL cholesterol.  The healthy part really comes from a balanced diet, which coconut oil surely CAN be a part of.  All things in moderation.  Anyone who tells you it is “pure poison” is being dishonestly hyperbolic. I expected more from Harvard!

 

 

 

Discover blue magic (for your tea and your body) : Butterfly Pea flower tea

Butterfly-Pea-Flower-tea---TFMAhh the magic of nature.  It is truly everywhere we look, if we are looking with the right vision. Is it not?

There are many kinds of amazing and colorful flowers that are made into herbal teas; but one stands alone as a truly unique specimen – until recently rarely seen in the US – and that is Butterfly Pea Flower tea.

The Butterfly Pea flower (Clitoria ternatea) is native to many South Asian countries, including Thailand, Malaysia and Burma.  It has a number of very interesting properties – including its wide range use as a traditional medicinal herb in the Ayurvedic tradition. Medicine Hunter Chris Kilham tells us that in Ayurveda it is considered to be something that “ameliorates the wrath of the god of karma,” as well as a pleasant and commonly enjoyed herbal tea.

One of the most instantly apparent novel things about the tea has earned it the nickname the “color changing tea” – because of just that! Depending on the pH of a solution, whether it is very acid or alkaline, a tea made from the flowers of Butterfly pea can change very much in color.  When extracted in purified water it is a rich blue, then by simply adding lemon juice (with a very acidic pH) we can see the tea make a dramatic shift to bright purple!

The novelty of its vibrant blue (and various other hues) color aside, Butterfly Pea Flower tea has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine.  It is also increasingly being validated by modern scientific exploration.  The plant pigments that make it colorful also make it highly antioxidant, with a higher ORAC value than many plants.  However, the magic doesn’t just stop there.

A 2008 article in the Journal of Pharmacology found that it has been “used for centuries as a memory enhancer, nootropic, antistress, anxiolytic, antidepressant, anticonvulsant, tranquilizing and sedative agent.”  Researchers also concluded that its extracts “possess a wide range of pharmacological activities including antimicrobial, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, diuretic, local anesthetic, antidiabetic, insecticidal, blood platelet aggregation-inhibiting and for use as a vascular smooth muscle relaxing properties.”

Dr Al Sears has written about the herb, called Bunga telang in Bali, and its use in traditional Bali herbal medicine for memory, for eye problems, and even for serious diseases like cancer. It is one of the only plants that contains a chemical called cyclotides. Researchers in the journal Oncology Letters have even researched cyclotides from Butterfly Pea flower tea against certain kinds of drug-resistant lung cancer.

Much more than just a color-changing novelty used in cocktails or food (although that is pretty nifty huh?) behind that magic BLUE color we find that Butterfly Pea Flower tea may have some impressive benefits for the body – and the mind.

In India, scientists have demonstrated that treatment with just 100 mg. of Butterfly Pea flower extract can increase acetyl-choline. The researchers stated “increase in ACh content in their hippocampus may be the neurochemical basis for their improved learning and memory.” Acetyl choline is an essential neurotransmitter and a major factor in central nervous system functioning.

Whole Earth Radio Episode 3

So you say you want a revolution? The battle for the heart and soul of natural living rages on.  Which side are you on and which side will you choose?  The ensuing battle isn’t just about how we SHOP, it is about how we LIVE – and in result about the fate of our PLANET.  What more important revolution could there possibly be? All right! All right!

Listen to Whole Earth Radio now :

WHOLE EARTH RADIO Episode 3

Dulse Sea Vegetable : Amazing Nutrition from the Ocean

Let me just say this – if you’re not eating sea veggies you are missing out.  We talk a lot about super foods; but I can say with absolute certainty there are few foods that rival the nutritional benefits from seaweed.

There are many varieties of sea veggies; Kelp, Nori, Wakame, Irish Moss – the list goes on and on.  Some of them are savory and slightly sweet, others more bitter or earthy tasting.  One of the most beneficial kinds of sea vegetable for my money is Dulse (Palmaria palmata) a vegetable that grows in the North regions of the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans.

0715_Dulse1

Dulse has a really nice umami sort of taste to it, and some folks even use it as a plant-based substitute for Bacon flavoring.  Ever tried a DLT (Dulse, lettuce and tomato) sandwich?  Try it and you might be surprised.

In addition to being a very flavorful food, Dulse has a host of health benefits.  Like all sea veggies, it contains a wide variety of beneficial trace minerals, including energizing electrolytes and the essential nutrient Iodine.  A growing body of research suggests that Americans may be largely deficient in Iodine, some even going so far as to label the deficiency a public health crisis.

But it isn’t just the minerals, like Iodine, that Dulse contains.  Scientific research published in the journal Food Research International indicates that the phycobiliproteins and chlorophyll in Dulse contribute to an anti-inflammatory effect.  Inflammation is one of the leading cause of negative health outcomes, and a major contributor to pain and discomfort in the body.

Another study showed that these same compounds in Dulse can inhibit ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme).  The Mayo Clinic says this about ACE inhibitors “Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors help relax blood vessels. ACE inhibitors prevent an enzyme in your body from producing angiotensin II, a substance in your body that narrows your blood vessels and releases hormones that can raise your blood pressure. This narrowing can cause high blood pressure and force your heart to work harder.”

When you add a sea vegetable like Dulse into your diet, you aren’t just satisfying your taste buds – you also satisfy your hunger (iodine being a major factor in normal thyroid function), you are re-energizing your entire system with trace mineral nutrients that work on every level of the human body to help promote balance.  You’re also quite possibly helping to relax blood vessels and fight inflammation at a cellular level.

In short – if you don’t have Dulse in your cupboard, you might be missing out!

Food Movement Fights Hunger Globally and Locally

The Food Movement Co is an Illinois-based company manufacturing and distributing organic super foods and bioactive dietary supplements.  Part of the Food Movement’s mission is also to donate to hunger relief groups.

gpp_etling_sustain.jpg

In 2015, for the first time, the Food Movement decided to support both a local group (Chicago Food Depository) and Trees for Life, a group working globally to stop famine in Africa and other important locations.  Every purchase you make from the Food Movement  helps to support this mission.

For more information on the important work behind these groups http://www.treesforlife.org and http://www.chicagosfoodbank.org/site/PageServer visit them online and find out how you can further support their work.  Long live the Food Movement!

Which kind of Maca is right for me? US consumers enjoy a rainbow of super food options

big maca root

Maca root, used for centuries in Central and South America, has become increasingly popular in the U.S.  Personally I believe the reason that it is becoming popular is because it has energizing health benefits you can really feel! I don’t mean ‘energizing’ in that it contains caffeine or other stimulants, because it doesn’t.  Maca root provides energy because it is an adaptogen, and in particular it can help to balance our endocrine system which manages hormones in the body.

In recent months a wider variety of Maca root has come to market here, expanding to the culture use of different varieties or ecotypes – Red Maca, Black Maca and the more common Yellow Maca, as well as more specific varieties.  The color refers to the outside of the root hypocotyl (that bulbous stem which looks sort of like a radish); the inside of the plant is usually sort of tan or beige in color.

Scientific research has compared the activities of these different phenotypes of Maca and found that in addition to different appearances, they also have different chemical makeup and properties. I have provided the PMID numbers after the studies mentioned so that you can do your own research on PubMed if you choose.

Red Maca – There is a doctor in Chicago who has had great success recommending Red Maca specifically for women with menopause.  This is not surprising considering Maca’s strongest ability to balance hormones with its natural and safe steroidal saponins. Studies have also indicated that it specifically works to protect the prostate where there is dysfunction.

Black Maca – Black Maca is well-known as an aphrodisiac, and has been shown in studies to be the strongest spermatogenic.  This may be useful for women trying to conceive a child, as well as their partner, to know!

Yellow Maca – This is the most widely available type of Maca, and like the others, has been studied for promoting endocrine system (endogeneous hormones) balance.

How do they compare?  Researchers at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Herediam in Lima Peru found that both Black and Red Maca could be protective of the uterus without having an estrogenic effect. (PMID:20616517)  The same researchers found that Red Maca reduced prostate size and zinc volume in animals with BPH (enlarged prostate). (PMID:2176218).  In another study, researchers found that both Black and Yellow Maca, but not Red Maca, could increase the production of sperm. (PMID:17683465)

In another research review, the overall experimental results were summarized this way “There are different types of maca with different colors ranging from white to black. We have studied the pharmacological effects of 3 types; yellow, black, and red maca. Evidence from experimental studies indicates effects of maca on nutrition, fertility, memory, and mood. Black maca has better effects on sperm production than yellow maca which has only moderate effects. Red maca, however, has no effect on sperm production. However, red maca has been shown to reduce prostate size in rats in which prostate hyperplasia had been induced with testosterone enanthate; yellow maca has shown moderate effects here, whereas black maca has not shown any effects. Randomized clinical trials have shown that maca has favorable effects on energy and mood, may decrease anxiety and improve sexual desire.” (PMID:20090350)

All of this evidence supports the idea that, while there is difference between the different ecotypes; Red, Black and Yellow Maca are all adaptogenic foods which can be used by anyone.  Remember Maca is traditionally used as a FOOD, and we should think of it as a FOOD first. This is not a drug in the pharmacological sense. One may favor the results from taking a certain variety, and many anecdotal reports from super food users support this.  For anyone looking for better health, and hormonal balance, the best Maca is the one you personally enjoy the most. Cheers!