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Jan 9, 2017

Are you sure you're methylating?

Methylation is a simple biochemical process – the transfer of one carbon atom and three hydrogen atoms (CH3) from one substance to another. 5-MTHF, or methylfolate, is the most essential nutrient involved in methylation. However, 60 percent of the U.S. population have a genetic SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) that prevents the conversion of inactive folates, like folic acid, into 5-MTHF. Genetic SNPs related to folate metabolism and methylation are implicated in numerous health conditions, including:
  • Allergies
  • Anxiety
  • Birth Defects
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Infertility
  • Memory Loss
  • Migraine
  • Recurrent Miscarriage

Dec 9, 2016


  • 4 medium sweet potatoes* (~140 g each)
  • 1 15-ounce (425 g) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp each cumin, coriander, cinnamon, smoked (or regular) paprika
  • optional: Pinch of sea salt or lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup (60 g) hummus (or tahini)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon (~1 Tbsp)
  • 3/4 - 1 tsp dried dill (or sub 2-3 tsp fresh)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 1/2 Tbsp or 9 g)
  • Water or unsweetened almond milk to thin
  • optional: Sea salt to taste (I didn’t need any)

  • 1/4 cup (45 g) cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup (15 g) chopped parsley, minced
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice
  • Chili garlic sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with foil.
  2. Rinse and scrub potatoes and cut in half length wise. This will speed cooking time. Otherwise leave whole and bake longer (approximately double the time (45 min - 1 hour).
  3. Toss rinsed and drained chickpeas with olive oil and spices and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  4. Rub the sweet potatoes with a bit of olive oil and place face down on the same baking sheet (or another baking sheet depending on size).
  5. While the sweet potatoes and chickpeas are roasting, prepare your sauce by adding all ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisking to combine, only adding enough water to almond milk to thin so it’s pourable. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Add more garlic for more zing, salt for savoriness, lemon juice for freshness, and dill for a more intense herb flavor. I found mine didn’t need anything else.
  6. NOTE: If you don’t have hummus, tahini will make a great base substitution for the sauce - just adjust the seasonings to accommodate the lack of flavor tahini provides.
  7. Also prepare the parsley-tomato topping by tossing tomato and parsley with lemon juice and setting aside to marinate.
  8. Once sweet potatoes are fork tender and the chickpeas are golden brown - roughly 25 minutes - remove from oven.
  9. For serving, flip potatoes flesh-side up and smash down the insides a little bit. Then top with chickpeas, sauce and parsley-tomato garnish. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 of 4 Calories: 313 Fat: 5g Saturated fat: .7g Carbohydrates: 60g Sugar: 3.9gSodium: 82mg Fiber: 11.7g Protein: 8.6g

Recipe by the minimalist baker

Dec 2, 2016

Medicinal Teas at Riverwalk Natural Clinic

  • Allergy Support Tea
  • Chamomile Tea: Helps with relaxation, sleep, colic and digestion
  • Cold, Flu & Sinus Tea: Helps rid mucus build up, cough, cold & flu
  • Dandelion Leaf Tea: Helps with mild edema or fluid retention, natural diuretic
  • Detox Tea
  • Licorice Root Tea: Supports adrenal health, energy, anti-viral and respiratory support
  • Mineral Tea: Supports bone health and nervous system
  • Nettle Tea: Helps with allergies, blood cleanser and a good source of minerals
  • Skullcap Tea: Helps with insomnia, nervousness and anxiety
  • Tummy Tea: Helps with colic in children, stomach upset, gas/bloating and heartburn
  • Relaxing Tea

Nov 11, 2016

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Truffles – Gluten-Free + Vegan

  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk (the canned kind)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 10 ounces high quality vegan dark chocolate (70% cocoa) – chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
makes about 24+ truffles (depending on their size)

  • In a double boiler, heat coconut oil and coconut milk over a low/medium heat, whisking until just melted and well incorporated. 
  • Add the chocolate, stirring continuously, not allowing it to heat too quickly. 
  • As soon as it is melted, remove from the heat and stir very well to make sure it is all well incorporated. 
  • Add in the vanilla and peppermint extracts and salt.
  • Pour into a 8″ baking dish or a pie pan and refrigerate until the mixture is mostly set , but still pliable. 
  • Using a 1″ melon baller or a tablespoon, scoop out the chocolate and roll into balls using your hands, set them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. 
  • Once all have been rolled, place the sheet into the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes, up to overnight.
  • Place the cocoa power onto a small plate and roll the balls in the cocoa powder to coat, you can also put the cocoa powder in your hands and roll them around that way. Store the finished truffles in the refrigerator.
  • These truffles will keep up to two weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Allow to come to room temperature for about 15 minutes, just before serving.

Nov 10, 2016

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Cinnamon Butternut Squash, Pecans, and Cranberries


Roasted Brussels Sprouts:

  • 3 cups Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, yellow leaves removed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil 
  • Salt, to taste
Roasted Butternut Squash:
  • 1 and ½ pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed into 1-inch cubes (Yields about 4 cups of uncooked cubed butternut squash)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Other Ingredients:
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 1 cup dried cranberries


Roasted Brussels Sprouts:

  • Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease the foil-lined baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Make sure Brussels sprouts have trimmed ends and yellow leaves are removed. 
  • Slice all Brussels sprouts in half. In a medium bowl, combine halved Brussels sprouts, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt (to taste), and toss to combine. 
  • Place onto a foil-lined baking sheet, cut side down, and roast in the oven at 400 F for about 20-25 minutes. 
  • During the last 5-10 minutes of roasting, turn them over for even browning, the cut sides should be nicely and partially charred but not blackened.

Roasted Butternut Squash:

  • Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease the foil-lined baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • In a medium bowl, combine cubed butternut squash (peeled and seeded),1 tablespoon of olive oil, maple syrup, and cinnamon, and toss to mix.
  • Place butternut squash in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once half-way through baking, until softened.
  • You can roast both Brussels sprouts and butternut squash on 2 separate baking sheets at the same time, on the same rack in the oven.

  • In a large bowl, combine roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted butternut squash, pecans, and cranberries, and mix to combine.

Nov 4, 2016

How to Combat High Cholesterol (without prescription drugs)

  • Reducing SATURATED FAT, trans-fatty acids and cholesterol as well as increasing   monounsaturated fats, soluble fibers and nuts will aide you in decreasing your cholesterol.
  • The level of SATURATED fats in foods are more relevant than their dietary cholesterol content. 
    • What investigators found was that saturated fat in the diet, not dietary cholesterol, influences blood cholesterol levels most, and that for most people dietary cholesterol has very little effect on blood cholesterol levels.
  • Consume NO MORE than 200 mg cholesterol per day.
  • No more than 10 to 15 g per day and ideally even less.
  • Soluble fiber found in legumes (lots of fiber!!), fruits and vegetables is effective in lowering cholesterol levels.
  • The overwhelming majority of studies have demonstrated that individuals with high cholesterol levels experience cholesterol reductions with frequent oatmeal consumption!
  • 35 g of fiber per day from fiber rich foods.
  • Niacin (B3) produces the best overall effect to lower cholesterol. The book recommends (in conjunction with a healthy diet and after speaking with your doctor) 1000 mg - 3000 mg at night for people with initial total cholesterol levels over 250 mg/dl within the first two months reducing total cholesterol by 50 to 75 mg/dl. Once cholesterol levels are below 200 mg/dl for two successive blood measurements ATLEAST two months apart, the dosage can be reduced to 500 mg three times per day for 2 months. If the cholesterol levels creep up above 200mg/dl, then the dosage of niacin should be raised back up to previous levels. If cholesterol is below 200mg/dl, then the niacin can be withdrawn completely and have cholesterol rechecked in 2 months.
  • Garlic has been shown to lower blood cholesterol as well. 
  • Foods to eliminate: coconut oil, pork, beef, cheese, ice cream, butter, whole milk, eggs.
  • Foods to eat(fiber rich): Beans, especially kidney beans and black beans (but most are very high in fiber), oatmeal, oranges, apples, pears, figs, raisins, barley, bulgur, whole grain spaghetti, black bean soup, lentil soup, split pea soup, boiled pumpkin (this is really good in curry or as side), parsnips (boiled), sweet potato (boiled), potato (boiled), yam (boiled).
All information from The Encylopedia of Natural Medicine by Dr. Joseph E. Pizzorno N.D. and  Dr. Michael Murray N.D.

How do your numbers match up?

Cholesterol and fat content of selected foods

Impact of various sources of fiber

Niacin and Lavastatin (commonly prescribed drug for lowering cholesterol) comparison

Niacain compared with Atorvastation (another statin drug)

Oct 28, 2016

The Many Biological Actions of Resveratrol

Biological Action                               Reference

Anti-histamine action (allergy)                           Planta Medica 2004 Apr; 70 (4):305-309

Anti-inflammatory agent J Chemotherapy          2004 Nov; 16 Suppl 4:3-6
                                                                     J Environ Pathology Toxicology Oncology 2004; 23 (3):215-226

COX-2 inhibitor (anti-inflammatory)                  Inflammation Research 2005 Apr; 54 (4):158-162            
Potentially helpful for Rheumatoid arthritis        International Immunopharmacology 2005 May; 5 (5):849-856

Inhibits pancreatitis                                        World J Gastroenterology 2005; 11:3171-3174

ACE Inhibitor properties                                 European J Pharmacology 2005 May 16; 515 (1-3):1-9

Prevents blood clots                                       Blood Coagulation Fibrinolysis 2004 Sept; 15 (6):441-446

Reduces LDL cholesterol                               Life Sciences 2003 Aug 1:73 (11):1393-1400

Reduces triglycerides                                    Life Sciences 2003 Aug 1:73 (11):1393-1400

Raises HDL "good" cholesterol                      J Agric Food Chemistry 2005 May 4; 53 (9): 3403-3407
Inhibits arterial plaque without altering 
cholesterol                                                   Int J Mol Med 2005 Oct; 16 (4):533-540

Preserves or stimulates                                J Agric Food Chem 2005 May 18; 53 (10):4182-4186   
   superoxide dismutase (antioxidant)            Free Radical Biology Medicine 2003 Apr 1; 34 (7):810-817

Elevates glutathione (antioxidant)                 J Agric Food Chem 2005 May 18; 53 (10):4182-4186
                                                                 Arch Biochem Biophy 2000 Sept 15; 381 (2):253-263

Elevates catalase activity                           Life Science 2003 May 2; 72 (24):2741-2750

Prolongs life of cells via Sirtuin 1 gene         Trends Pharmacological Sciences 2005; 26:94-103

Promotes DNA repair (via Sirtuin 1 gene)      Nature 2003 Sep 11; 425 (6954):191-196

Inhibits abnormal new blood vessel formation    J Physiology Pharmacology 2005 Mar; 56 Suppl 1:51-69

Inhibits dietary sugar absorption                      Journal Natural Products 2001; 64:381-384        
Regulates blood sugar                                   J Agric Food Chemistry 2005 May 4; 53 (9): 3403-3407

Normalizes blood pressure                             J Hypertension 2000 Dec; 18 (12):1833-1840

Calms effects of estrogen (estrogen blocker)   J Steriod Biochemical Mol Biology 2005 Apr; 94 (5):431-443

Prevents bone loss                                       J Medicinal Food 2005 Spring; 8 (1):14-19            

Protects retinal cells
 (retinal pigment epithelium)                          Chemical Biological Interaction 2005 Jan 15; 151 (2):143-149
Increases sperm count                                J Nutrition 2005 Apr; 135 (4):757-760

Inhibits viral growth (influenza)                    J Infectious Disease 2005 May 15; 191 (10):1719-1729
Inhibits viral growth (HIV)                           J Pharm Science 2004 Oct; 93 (10):2448-2457


Inhibits viral growth (herpes)                      Antiviral Research 2004 Jan; 61 (1):19-26; 1999
   Oct; 43 (3):145-155

Antibiotic against bacteria (Chlamydia)      Atherosclerosis 2003 Dec; 171 (2):379-380

Antibiotic against bacteria (H. pylori)         Am J Gastroenterology 2003 Jun; 98 (6):1440-1441

Inhibits growth of fungi (yeast, mold)        J Agriculture Food Chemistry 2003 Feb 26; 51(5):1464-1468 
Inhibits initiation of tumors                      Proc Nati Sci Council Repub 
                                                             China B 1999 Jul; 23 (3):99-106
Eradicates plaque in brain
 (beta amyloid toxicity)                           British J Pharmacology 2004 Mar; 141 (6):997-1005

Chelates metals (copper)                       Biochem Pharmacology 1997 May 9; 53 (9):1347-1355
Anti-leukemia agent                               Leukemia Lymphoma 2002 May; 43 (5):983-987

Inhibits prostate cancer                         Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers Prevention 2005
   Mar; 14 (3):596-604

Inhibits breast cancer                           Molecular Nutrition Food Research 2005 May; 49 (5):462-471
Inhibits melanoma                               Neoplasia 2005 Jan; 7 (1):37-47

Inhibits ovarian and cervical cancer      Anticancer Res 2004 Sep-Oct; 24 (5A):2783-2840

Inhibits lymphoma                             Cancer Letters 2001 Feb 10; 163 (1):43-49

Exhibits Viagra-like effects 
(nitric oxide)                                      Free Radical Biology Med 2004 Mar 15; 36 (6):774-781
Novel molecule for organ transplants   World J Gastroenterology 2005 Aug 14; 11(30):4745-4749  
Non-toxic                                          J Nutrition 2002 Feb; 132 (2):257-260

Inhibits growth of tumors                   Drug Experimental Clinical Research 1999; 25 (2-3):65-77
Inhibits spread of tumors                   Proc Nati Sci Council Repub China B 1999 Jul; 23 (3):99-106
Targets multiple genes 
(silencing/activation)                        J Nutritional Biochemistry 2005 Aug; 16 (8):449-466

Protects brain cells                         Ann N Y Academy Sciences 2003 May; 993:276-286

Inhibits hepatitis
 (liver inflammation)                       Hepatogastroenterology 2002 Jul-Aug; 49 (46):1102-1108
Inhibits liver cancer                       World J Gastroenterology 2003 Oct; 9 (10):2341- 2343
Inhibits brain cancer                     Molecular Cancer Therapy 2005 Apr; 4 (4):554-561

Inhibits pancreatic cancer             Pancreas 2002 Nov; 25 (4):e71-76

Inhibits kidney cancer                  Cancer Biology Therapy 2004 Sept; 3 (9):882-888

Inhibits colon cancer                    International Cancer 2005 June 10; 115 (2):194-201