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Mar 31, 2017

Sweet Potatoes Studded with Braised Cabbage

A great dish for weekly dinners, the components of this dish can be made ahead of time and assembled just prior to serving. Bake sweet potatoes and cook the cabbage in advance and store them in the fridge for up to four days for a quick, easy dinner that takes minutes to prepare. For best results, make the sauce right before serving and ladle it piping hot over the stuffed sweet potatoes.

4 Sweet potatoes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 red cabbage, shredded
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 lemon

For Sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon raw honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

For Garnish:
4 tablespoons minced parsley

Preheat oven to 400 F. Bake sweet potatoes on a baking sheet for 45-60 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork.

In a large pan, saute garlic and onions in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil over medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and soft. Add the cabbage and sea salt, along with 1/2 cup of water. Cover and cook over medium heat for 30 to 40 minutes until the cabbage is tender, continuing to stir occasionally and adding a splash of water as needed to moisten.

Split open sweet potatoes and mash each side slightly with a fork. Stuff as much braised cabbage into the openings as possible.

For 4 servings, double the ingredients of the sauce, Add all ingredients to a small sauce pan. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat until it bubbles slightly. Continue stirring for 1 to 2 minutes until the sauce is well combined and slightly thickened. Pour over the sweet potatoes. Garnish with parsley, enjoy!

Cilantro Pesto

2 cups packed cilantro
1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until well combined. Scoop pesto into a small bowl and enjoy as dip, salad dressing or sauce.

Lemon Balm Tea

This lemon balm tea is soothing and mild. Having lemon balm before bed will help calm your nerves and give you a better night's sleep.

2 tablespoons lemon balm
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Mix the lemon balm, lemon zest and thyme together. Boil 4 cups of water. For each serving, use 1 teaspoon of the blend per 1 cup of hot water. Steep for 5 minutes or more. Add 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice to each cup just before serving.

*If a stronger, more medicinal tea is desired, use 2 teaspoons or up to 1 tablespoon of the tea blend per serving.

From Life-Changing Foods Anthony William

Berries and Cream

1 cup blueberries
1 cup blackberries
1 cup raspberries
1 cup strawberries
2 13.5 ounce cans full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated
1/3 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon maple syrup
Lemon juice (from about 1/4 lemon)
1 2-inch piece vanilla bean pod, split lengthwise
1 teaspoon lemon zest
4 leaves fresh mint, minced

Rinse berries, mix together , and divide evenly into 2 bowls. Open the cans of coconut milk, being careful not to shake them. Coconut milk naturally separates in the can, leaving a thick, heavy layer on top. Scoop out the solid cream from each can and place it in a small mixing bowl. (You will need 1/2 cup of cream). Discard the thin liquid that remains. Using a fork, whisk together the coconut cream, ginger, maple syrup, lemon juice, and the scraped seeds from the vanilla bean pod.* Whisk until the mixture is well combined and smooth. Scoop a generous dollop of cream over the berries in each bowl. Top with lemon zest and mint.

*Save the exterior of the vanilla bean pod for use blended into a smoothie or dessert.

From Life-Changing Foods Anthony William

Salsa Avocado Boats

2 avocados
1 1/2 cup diced tomato
1 cup diced cucumber
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup minced cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lime, juiced
1/8 cup minced jalapeno
1/8 teaspoon seal salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne or red pepper flakes (optional)

Halve the avocados and remove pits. Combine all the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Scoop salsa into the center of each avocado.

From Life-Changing Foods Anthony William

Apricot Bars

1 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup dates, pitted
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup coconut

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until well combined. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and press the mixture into a large, flat rectangle about half an inch thick. Chill in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before cutting into bars. store bars in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month.

From Life-Changing Foods Anthony William

Cinnamon Licorice Root Tea

2 tablespoons dried licorice root
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
(Makes 4 cups)

Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Boil 4 cups of water. For each serving of tea, use 1 teaspoon of the blend in 1 cup of hot water*. Steep for 5 minutes or more.

*If a stronger, more medicinal tea is desired, use 2 teaspoons or up to 1 tablespoon of the tea blend per serving.

From Life-Changing Foods Anthony William

Apples with "Caramel' Dip

This is the perfect snack to have waiting when your kids get home from school: crispy apple slices laid out alongside a gooey caramel dipping sauce. You may want to double the recipe, because this dish will disappear before you know it.

1 large apple, sliced
6 dates, pitted
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Blend dates and the cinnamon with a splash of water until combined. (If working with dry, firm dates, soak them in water for 2 hours beforehand until they are soft). Spoon the mixture into a serving cup and serve alongside apples.

From Life-Changing Foods Anthony William

Cucumber Noodle Bowl

This clean, cool noodle bowl will leave you feeling light and refreshed. The Asian-inspired flavors of lime and sesame are tossed with cucumber, carrot, and cashews in a beautiful mix of color and crunch. This nice, mild dish can easily be made spicier by adding extra red pepper flakes at the very end to find your perfect flavor. You'll end up with a bowl that is just as beautiful as it is delicious.

4 cucumbers
2 large carrots
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
Lime juice (about 2 limes)
Red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped basil
1/2 cup chopped cashews
(2 servings)

Cut the cucumbers and carrots into thin strips using a julienne peeler, knife or spiralizer. In a large bowl, toss the cucumber and carrot "noodles" with sesame oil, sesame seeds, lime juice, and red pepper flakes. Just prior to serving top with cilantro, basil and cashews. Enjoy!

From Life-Changing Foods Anthony William

Raw Date Granola

This recipe is perfect for anyone on the go. Make a big batch and store it in a jar in the fridge for anytime snacking. The sweet and salty combo will be a major hit with the whole family. It can be eaten by itself or as a snack, or on top of any fruit or smoothie bowl.

2 cups dates, pitted
1/4 cup coconut flakes
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Process all the ingredients in a food processor until roughly combined. Store in a jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

From Life-Changing Foods Anthony William


Tender pears filled with warm maple syrup and toast walnuts- this dish is comforting and perfect for chilly winter days. The aroma of the cinnamon baking in the oven will fill the whole house with warmth, and the end result will leave everyone feeling cozy and full. These are incredibly simple to make and a big hit with kids and adults alike.

4 pears
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Slice the pears in half length wise and remove seeds. Arrange the pear halves face up on a baking tray. Drizzle each pear half with maple syrup, brushing over the face of the pear and leaving some inside the center. Divide the walnuts evenly into the centers of the pears and sprinkle cinnamon over the top of each. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the pears are tender and cooked through. Serve warm from the oven and enjoy.

From Life-Changing Foods Anthony William

Pomegranate Bark

Heaps of juicy pomegranate seeds and a smooth layer of creamy chocolate go together beautifully in this treat. Offer it as a gift, or make it for those moments when you're craving indulgence you can feel good about.

10 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (at least 60% cacao)
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 cups pomegranate seeds

Stir the chocolate chips in a saucepan over low heat until melted. Add maple syrup. Spread an even later of melted chocolate on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Press the pomegranate seeds firmly into the chocolate layer. Place in the freezer and allow to set for at least 30 minutes. Break apart and enjoy!

From Life-Changing Foods Anthony William

All About Supplements

I  C A N  G E T  I T  C H E A P E R  A T . . .

How often have you heard, "I can get it cheaper at GNC ( Walgreens or other retailer)? Let your patients know that there can be problems with shopping for the lowest price. One big problem is that the product may not contain any of the ingredients you think you are buying. In 2015 the New York State attorney general's office accused four major retailers of selling fraudulent herbal supplements. Products from GNC, Target, Walgreens and Wal-Mart were tested. They discovered that most (80%) of the products did not contain ANY of the herbs listed on their labels. The tests revealed that most of the herbal products often contained little more than cheap fillers like powdered rice, asparagus and houseplants, and in some cases substances that could be dangerous to those with allergies. Ginseng pill that were purchased at Wal -Mart contained garlic powder and rice, but no ginseng. The Wal-Mart brand of Ginkgo biloba contained powdered radish, houseplants and wheat, but no Ginkgo biloba. At Target, Ginkgo biloba, St John's wort and valerian were all found to be lacking in the label denoted claims. At GNC Ginkgo biloba, St John's wort, genseng, Echinacea and Saw Palmetto were also being sold without containing the herbs promised on the label. At Walgreens Ginkgo biloba, St John's wort, ginseng, garlic, and Echinacea did not contain the herbs listed on the label. Since regulation of supplements is spotty at best, it is a good idea to buy your nutritional products from a trusted source. Biotics Research is licensed as a producer of pharmaceutical grade nutritional products.


Does the company actually make the vitamin? Many companies do not do vitamin? their own manufacturing, making it very difficult to do any kind of quality control.

Quality of components: Oyster shell has Quality of components: calcium, but the body can’t use it (just like your car can’t use the gasoline in coal). Calcium carbonate is cheap, but is not well absorbed, and it may contain lead. Calcium citrate is much more expensive than the oyster shell or the carbonate. A high quality supplement will use the citrate, a poor one will use oyster shell or carbonate. There are similar quality issues for just about every vitamin and herb. The quality of herbal constituents in a lot of products is often questionable. Herbs contain various active ingredients and if the quality or the preparation of the herb is not good, the product can be completely useless.

Label claims: Are the ingredients listed Label claims: on label actually contained in the product? You would be shocked at how often they are not (see page 1). Many companies don’t actually produce their own vitamins, and they don’t test what they buy. Without testing, you can be misled about the content of the product. Second, by the time the product changes hands several times, anywhere along the line someone can substitute cheaper or even phony ingredients and not be held accountable. The product can be contaminated when it changes hands. Sometimes the label claims are fraudulent. Health care practitioners that deal with nutrition should take the time to find reputable manufacturers—like Biotics Research.

Are the products tested for quality or for contaminants? There is not a or for contaminants? lot of government regulation in this industry. The best way to protect yourself is to find a company that you trust, that makes its own products and tests the quality and purity of its products.
Where did the materials come from? Most of the botanicals from? purchased in the US come from the Far East. There are manufacturing practices in some Third World countries that would surprise many Americans. You want to buy from a manufacturer that checks on their suppliers—like Biotics Research.

How is the tablet or capsule made? Something as simple as how a tablet is produced can affect bioavailability. Many manufacturers use inert ingredients that interfere with the absorption of the nutrients. Capsules generally have less inert material than tablets. Biotics Research makes tablets that are extremely bioavailable, they are made of food. In general, supplements in capsules are better absorbed than supplements in tablets (with the exception, of course, of the vegetable-based tableting mentioned in the last paragraph). But even capsules can contain inert ingredients that interfere with absorption. Sometimes it is necessary to use a little cellulose in capsules that contain very little active ingredient or with nutrients or herbal extracts that will not flow properly in the capsuling machine. When high volume is a concern of the manufacturer, inert ingredients are added to enable the machines to work faster. It speeds up production, but makes the vitamin less absorbable. How long will the product keep its potency on the shelf? This is another “label claims” issue. shelf? Vitamins break down over time. Will the label be accurate after six months? A year? Is there a clear expiration date on the vitamins? If the vitamins (minerals, herbs whatever) are produced in exactly the amounts that are listed on the label, in a short period of time the label will be inaccurate because the nutrients will break down. A good company will put more of each ingredient into a capsule or tablet so that the label claims will be true in one or even two years.

Are the formulations good? Is there research and Are the formulations good? clinical evidence to support the use of a given supplement? Is it a reasonable formulation for the desired outcome? Is there support information that is reasonable and credible? Has the company designed a product that will get results? Many times companies jump on bandwagons and aggressively market substances that really don’t work the way consumers think they will. We can help you know the difference between marketing and science.


While everyone loves a bargain, there are some problems with shopping for supplements using only price as a guideline. The difference in quality between different brands of supplements is often considerable. Also, treating yourself or relying on untrained individuals for health advice is not a good idea. Vitamins are cofactors that help the thousands of biochemical reactions that occur in the body. If they are not absorbed well or are in a form that is not well utilized by the body, they will not produce the desired result.

Does Quality Matter in Ice Cream or Wine? Does Quality Matter in Ice Cream or Wine? Herbs, vitamins and minerals are meant to be utilized by the body, to help with physiology and biochemistry. Think of wine or ice cream. The only physiologic concern with these products is taste, but what a difference between the quality of a cheap product and a good one. Compare the taste of a premium ice cream to the cheap store brand; the difference is considerable. Compare inexpensive wine to Laffite Rothschild. It should be obvious that the difference between the quality of vitamins and herbs should be at least as great.

What is Bioavailability? You need to realize that supplements are molecules that promote physiologic activity in the body. Just as a good ice cream gets a favorable response from your taste buds, a good supplement creates chemical reactions that are favorable to the body. Quality and bioavailability are important. Bioavailability is a difficult concept for some patients to grasp. It has to do with how well the supplement is utilized by the body. There is gasoline in coal, however you just can’t run your car on coal. Similarly, there are ingredients listed on a supplement’s label that are as useless to your body as coal is to your automobile. Let's talk about something a basic as calcium, for example. Some companies use calcium carbonate as their calcium source because it is cheap. Calcium carbonate is limestone, and it is not absorbed by the body very well. Also, some studies have shown that calcium carbonate can be a source of lead, which is very toxic. If you decide to save money and buy a product with calcium carbonate, not only will you not absorb the calcium, but you may be damaging your nervous system with highly toxic lead. Since there is not a lot of federal control over the quality of supplements, it is vital that you become a smart consumer and not make your supplement decisions based on price alone.Basically you have to trust your manufacturer, or at least have checked them out. Many of the best manufacturers sell only to health care practitioners. There’s a lot to know when buying supplements and herbs. Health care is complex and you may realize that the quality of the products you use may make the difference between getting a good result and not having your patient improve. Quality is so important when talking about health.

By Dr. Paul G. Varnas &

Mar 3, 2017

Lifestyle Factors and Immunity

Bastyr alumni Kelly Morrow MS, RD, CD shares some lifestyle and nutrition facts to maximize your immune health

  • Stress
    • Chronic stress and chronic exposure to stress hormones can weaken the immune system by reducing the activity of essential immune cells
  • Sleep
    • According to the CDC, 50 - 70 million adults in the US suffer from sleep disorders and do not get enough sleep. Multiples studies show that sleep deprivation causes a dip in immune cell numbers which can increase the likelihood of contracting a virus or an infection.
  • Alcohol
    • A high level of alcohol intake can also weaken the immune system in a similar way to stress and sleep deprivation.
  • Physical Activity 
    • Physical activity helps support immune function in multiple ways. Increased circulation helps flush out bacteria from mucous passages and helps white blood cells become more efficient. The rise in body temperature that comes from physical activity also helps to slow the growth of bacteria.
  • Vitamin A
    • Vitamin A helps support the protective mucosal barriers that line the digestive tract and nasal passage and is important or the creation of immune cells. Foods rich in vitamin A include green, yellow and orange vegetables.
  • Vitamin C
    • Vitamin C concentrates in the cells of the immune system and is an essential nutrient. Food sources of vitamin C includes oranges and citrus fruits, peppers, broccoli, kiwi fruit and rose hip teas.
  • Vitamin D
    • Vitamin D helps coordinate the immune response and is important for preventing infections. It is known as the sunshine vitamin because we can make vitamin D with exposure to sun - but only in the summer months. There are not many meaningful food sources apart from fortified milk and fish, so it is best to take a supplement.
  • Zinc
    • Zinc is a mineral that helps white blood cells work efficiently and also keeps the gut barrier strong and intact. Food sources of zinc include pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, meats, fish and legumes (especially lentils).
  • Plant Medicine
    • Some plants, including garlic and elderberry have antimicrobial and anti-viral properties. Add garlic liberally to your meals, sauces, marinades, and condiments. Black elderberry has a natural hemagglutinin inhibitor which prevents viruses from entering a cell and becoming ineffective. Typical dose is 1-2 teaspoons per day for prevention and 3-4 tablespoons a day for treatment.
  • The Probiotic Connection
    • Good gut health is essential for immune health, as roughly 60% of the immune system resides in the gut. Probiotic bacteria help regulate the immune response by communicating with the cells and nervous system of the gastrointestinal tract. Fermented foods such a yogurt, sauerkraut and kombucha support a healthy bacteria balance. Eating a variety of high fiber plant-based foods is also supportive.

Comparing Thorne and Riverwalk Mutliple Vitamin

The vitamins and minerals highlighted are those that the optimal health multiple vitamin contain more of, both of these vitamins are the same price.

Thorne Basic Nutrients III (Citrate) [w/o cu and fe]
Serving Size: 6 capsules
Price: $42.00

Amount Per Serving:
Vitamin A ... 15, 000IU
(12, 500 IU from Beta Carotene and 2, 500 IU as Palmitate)

Vitamin C ... 850mg- Optimal health contains 1,000mg 
(as Ascorbic Acid)

Vitamin D ... 1, 000IU- Optimal health contains 2,000 IU 
(as Vitamin D3)

Vitamin E ... 400IU
(as d-Alpha Tocopheryl)

Thiamin ... 40mg (B1)- Optimal health contains 50mg 
(as Thiamin HCl)

Riboflavin ... 11mg (B2)- Optimal health contains 50mg
(as Riboflavin 5-Phosphate Sodium)

Niacin ... 160mg
(130 mg as Niacinamide and 30 mg as Niacin)

Vitamin B6 ... 10mg- Optimal health contains 50mg
(as Pyridoxal 5-Phosphate)

Folate ... 1mg
(500 mcg as Calcium Folinate and 500 mcg as L-5-Methyltetrahydrofolate from L-5-Methyltetrahydrofolic Acid, Glucosamine Salt)

Vitamin B12 ... 450mcg
(225 mcg as Adenosylcobalamin and 225 mcg as Methylcobalamin)

Biotin ... 400mcg

Pantothenic Acid ... 413mg
(as Calcium Pantothenate)

Calcium ... 240mg- Optimal health contains 1,000mg
(as Calcium Citrate)

Iodine ... 225mcg
(as Potassium Iodide)

Magnesium ... 180mg- Optimal health contains 500mg
(as Magnesium Citrate)

Zinc ... 15mg- Optimal health contains 30mg
(as Zinc Picolinate)

Selenium ... 200mcg
(as L-Selenomethionine)

Manganese ... 6mg
(as Manganese Picolinate)

Chromium ... 200mcg
(as TRAACS® Chromium Nicotinate Glycinate Chelate)

Molybdenum ... 100mcg
(as Molybdenum Picolinate)

Potassium ... 60mg
(as Potassium Citrate)

Choline Citrate ... 100mg

Boron ... 3mg
(as Boron Picolinate)

Lutein ... 144mcg
(from Aztec Marigold extract (flower) (Tagetes erecta))

Vanadium ... 100mcg
(as Vanadium Picolinate)

Optimel Health Multiple Vitamin
Serving size: 6 Capsules
Price: $42.00

Amount Per Serving:
1,000 mg of calcium citrate

2,000 IU of Vitamin D3

400 IU of Vitamin E

1,000 mg of Vitamin C

15,000 IU of Vitamin A

100 mcg Selenium

30 mg of Zinc

50 mg of all the B Vitamins.

Vitamin K2 150 mcg

Vitamin B12 100 mcg

Biotin 300 mcg

Pantothenic acid 70 mg

Magnesium citrate 500 mg

Copper 1 mg

Manganese 15 mg

Chromium 100 mcg

Potassium 50 mg

Boron 2 mg

Molybdenum 50 mcg

Vanadium 20 mcg

Choline 70 mg

Inositol 70 mg

Methylfolate 800 mcg