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Crazy Carrot Cake Porridge


I love carrot cake and this breakfast bowl of Zen is one of my favourites, with all the tastes of a crazy carrot cake, carrot, walnuts, cinnamon, rock sugar cane, along with the sweet, vitamin-rich nutritious carrots. It’s the sweetest and yummiest way to get an entire serving of vegetables in early before anything else happen. And while it may sound a little crazy, it really is just a slight creative development on the traditional flavours of breakfast oatmeal porridge, especially sweetened with rock cane sugar. Shredding the carrot and cooking it until tender relaxes its flavour and emphasizes its sweetness, making it a most welcome addition to sweet oatmeal, at least for those of us who love carrot cake.

Want to express your culinary creativity, then why not change or add some other heaven sent seeds, nuts or ingredients.

Total: 10 mins
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 1 carrot
  • 100 grams rolled oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon (crushed) cane rock sugar (plus more to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (plus more to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts (toasted, chopped)
  • A dash of milk

How to Make.

  • Peel the carrot and grate it into a small saucepan.
  • Add 1 cup of water and the pinch of salt.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Stir in the oats, vanilla, cinnamon, and raisins (if using).
  • Adjust the heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until the oats and carrot are tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Take the pan off the heat. Stir in the brown sugar.
  • Transfer to a bowl.
  • Dot the top with bits of the butter.
  • Sprinkle with more brown sugar, if you like, and top with the walnuts.
  • Serve hot.

The flavours and benefits of everyday foods as seen with the concept of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Carrot: Clears heat, Benefits the eyes, Lubricates the intestines, Promotes digestion. Oats: Nourish the Three Treasures, Warms Yang, Tonify Qi and Blood, Circulate Qi, Calm the Shen (mind). Raisins: tonify blood, moistening, red ones good for bones, diuretic. Cinnamon: relieves abdominal pain from cold and treats diarrhoea, builds Heart Qi and Yang, supports Spleen and Stomach Qi, builds Spleen Yang, and resolves Phlegm. Butter: calms Shen. Soothing and comforting, this recipe will delight the taste buds while regulating digestion. Cane Rock Sugar: Clear heat, Moisten dryness, Harmonize the spleen, Remove toxicity. Walnuts: Nourish the Three Treasures, Jing, Qi, Shen. Tonify Kidney, Benefits the Brain, Warm the Lungs, Moisten Intestines and Unblock Bowels.



James O’Sullivan - that's me, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving my patients, my students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.
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Why Drink Green Tea


Why drink Green Tea

It is said that the ceremonial practice of drinking Chinese green tea can bring the wisdom and spirit of human beings to a higher path.

The legendary Shen nong, a Chinese scientist and doctor who lived 5,000 years ago, greatly influenced the Chinese to drink boiled water for hygiene purposes. One summer day, while resting near a bush, he noticed that some dried leaves from a bush fell into the boiling water and a brown substance was infused into the water. Shen nong, as a curious scientist, was interested in the new liquid, drank some, and found it very refreshing.

Camellia sinensis, a beautiful plant that produces the fragrant and healthy leaves, that go on to become Green tea.

Green tea is the healthiest beverage on the planet.

It is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body.

This includes improved brain function, fat loss, a lower risk of cancer and many other incredible benefits.

Here are 10 health benefits of green tea that have been confirmed in human research studies.

Green Tea Contains Various Bio active Compounds That Can Improve Health

Green tea is more than just green liquid.

Many of the bio-active compounds in the tea leaves do make it into the final drink, which contains large amounts of important nutrients.

It is loaded with polyphenols like flavonoids and catechins, which function as powerful antioxidants.

These substances can reduce the formation of free radicals in the body, protecting cells and molecules from damage. These free radicals are known to play a role in aging and all sorts of diseases.

One of the more powerful compounds in green tea is the antioxidant Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), which has been studied to treat various diseases and may be one of the main reasons green tea has such powerful medicinal properties.

Green tea also has small amounts of minerals that are important for health.

Try to choose a higher quality brand of green tea, because some of the lower quality brands can contain excessive levels of fluoride.

That being said, even if you choose a lower quality brand, the benefits still far outweigh any risk.

Bottom Line: Green tea is loaded with bio active compounds that can have various beneficial effects on health.

Compounds in Green Tea Can Improve Brain Function and Make You Smarter

Green tea does more than just keep you awake, it can also make you smarter.

The key active ingredient is caffeine, which is a known stimulant.

It doesn’t contain as much as coffee, but enough to produce a response without causing the “jittery” effects associated with too much caffeine.

What caffeine does in the brain is to block an inhibitory neurotransmitter called Adenosine. This way, it actually increases the firing of neurons and the concentration of neurotransmitters like dopamine and nor-epinephrine.

Caffeine has been intensively studied before and consistently leads to improvements in various aspects of brain function, including improved mood, vigilance, reaction time and memory.

However… green tea contains more than just caffeine. It also has the amino acid L-theanine, which is able to cross the blood-brain barrier.

L-theanine increases the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, which has anti-anxiety effects. It also increases dopamine and the production of alpha waves in the brain.

Studies show that caffeine and L-theanine can have synergistic effects. The combination of the two is particularly potent at improving brain function.

Because of the L-theanine and the smaller dose of caffeine, green tea can give you a much milder and different kind of “buzz” than coffee.

Many people report having more stable energy and being much more productive when they drink green tea, compared to coffee.

Bottom Line: Green tea contains less caffeine than coffee, but enough to produce an effect. It also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which can work synergistically with caffeine to improve brain function.

Green Tea Increases Fat Burning and Improves Physical Performance

If you look at the ingredients list for any fat burning supplement, chances are that green tea will be on there.

This is because green tea has been shown to increase fat burning and boost the metabolic rate, in human controlled trials.

In one study in 10 healthy men, green tea increased energy expenditure by 4%.

Another study showed that fat oxidation was increased by 17%, indicating that green tea may selectively increase the burning of fat.

However, I’d like to point out that some studies on green tea don’t show any increase in metabolism, so the effects may depend on the individual.

Caffeine itself has also been shown to improve physical performance by mobilizing fatty acids from the fat tissues and making them available for use as energy.

In two separate review studies, caffeine has been shown to increase physical performance by 11-12%, on average.

Bottom Line: Green tea has been shown to boost the metabolic rate and increase fat burning in the short term, although not all studies agree.

Antioxidants in Green Tea May Lower Your Risk of Various Types of Cancer

Cancer is caused by uncontrolled growth of cells. It is one of the world’s leading causes of death.

It is well known that oxidative damage contributes to the development of cancer and that antioxidants can have a protective effect.

Green tea is an excellent source of powerful antioxidants, so it makes perfect sense that it could reduce your risk of cancer, which it appears to do:

  • Breast cancer: A meta-analysis of observational studies found that women who drank the most green tea had a 22% lower risk of developing breast cancer, the most common cancer in women.
  • Prostate cancer: One study found that men drinking green tea had a 48% lower risk of developing prostate cancer, which is the most common cancer in men.

Colo-rectal cancer: A study of 69,710 Chinese women found that green tea drinkers had a 57% lower risk of colo-rectal cancer.

Multiple other observational studies show that green tea drinkers are significantly less likely to get various types of cancer.

It is important to keep in mind that it may be a bad idea to put milk in your tea, because it can reduce the antioxidant value.

Bottom Line: Green tea has powerful antioxidants that may protect against cancer. Multiple studies show that green tea drinkers have a lower risk of various types of cancer.

Green Tea May Protect Your Brain in Old Age, Lowering Your Risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

Not only can green tea improve brain function in the short term, it may also protect your brain in old age.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neuro-degenerative disease in humans and a leading cause of dementia.

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neuro-degenerative disease and involves the death of dopamine producing neurons in the brain.

Multiple studies show that the catechin compounds in green tea can have various protective effects on neurons in test tubes and animal models, potentially lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Bottom Line: The bio active compounds in green tea can have various protective effects on neurons and may reduce the risk of both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, the two most common neuro-degenerative disorders.

Green Tea Can Kill Bacteria, Which Improves Dental Health and Lowers Your Risk of Infection

The catechins in green tea have other biological effects as well.

Some studies show that they can kill bacteria and inhibit viruses like the influenza virus, potentially lowering your risk of infections.

Streptococcus mutans is the primary harmful bacteria in the mouth. It causes plaque formation and is a leading contributor to cavities and tooth decay.

Studies show that the catechins in green tea can inhibit the growth of streptococcus mutans. Green tea consumption is associated with improved dental health and a lower risk of caries.

Another awesome benefit of green tea… multiple studies show that it can reduce bad breath.

Bottom Line: The catechins in green tea may inhibit the growth of bacteria and some viruses. This can lower the risk of infections and lead to improvements in dental health, a lower risk of caries and reduced bad breath.

Green Tea May Lower Your Risk of Type II Diabetes

Type II diabetes is a disease that has reached epidemic proportions in the past few decades and now afflicts about 300 million people worldwide.

This disease involves having elevated blood sugar levels in the context of insulin resistance or an inability to produce insulin.

Studies show that green tea can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels.

One study in Japanese individuals found that those who drank the most green tea had a 42% lower risk of developing type II diabetes.

According to a review of 7 studies with a total of 286,701 individuals, green tea drinkers had an 18% lower risk of becoming diabetic.

Bottom Line: Some controlled trials show that green tea can cause mild reductions in blood sugar levels. It may also lower the risk of developing type II diabetes in the long term.

Green Tea May Reduce Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke, are the biggest causes of death in the world.

Studies show that green tea can improve some of the main risk factors for these diseases.

This includes total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

Green tea also dramatically increases the antioxidant capability of the blood, which protects the LDL cholesterol particles from oxidation, which is one part of the pathway towards heart disease.

Given the beneficial effects on risk factors, it is not surprising to see that green tea drinkers have up to a 31% lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

Bottom Line: Green tea has been shown to lower total and LDL cholesterol, as well as protect the LDL particles from oxidation. Observational studies show that green tea drinkers have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

Green Tea Can Help You Lose Weight and Lower Your Risk of Becoming Obese

Given that green tea can boost the metabolic rate in the short term, it makes sense that it could help you lose weight.

Several studies show that green tea leads to decreases in body fat, especially in the abdominal area.

One of these studies was a randomized controlled trial in 240 men and women that went on for 12 weeks. In this study, the green tea group had significant decreases in body fat percentage, body weight, waist circumference and abdominal fat.

However, some studies don’t show a statistically significant increases in weight loss with green tea, so this needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

Bottom Line: Some studies show that green tea leads to increased weight loss. It is particularly effective at reducing the dangerous abdominal fat.

Green Tea May Decrease Your Risk of Dying and Help You Live Longer

Of course, we all have to die eventually. That is inevitable.

However, given that green tea drinkers are at a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, it makes sense that it could help you live longer.

In a study of 40,530 Japanese adults, those who drank the most green tea (5 or more cups per day) were significantly less likely to die during an 11 year period:

  • Death of all causes: 23% lower in women, 12% lower in men.
  • Death from heart disease: 31% lower in women, 22% lower in men.
  • Death from stroke: 42% lower in women, 35% lower in men.

Another study in 14,001 elderly Japanese individuals aged 65-84 years found that those who drank the most green tea were 76% less likely to die during the 6 year study period.

Take Home Message

If you want to feel better, lose weight and lower your risk of chronic diseases, then you might want to consider making green tea a regular part of your life.



James O’Sullivan - that's me, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving my patients, my students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.
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A Bowl of Superfoods


What superfoods we have in the little fruit we call ‘berries’.  Our hunter gather ancestors would have had such pleasure from eating these mostly sweet little fruits and it would have alleviated their symptoms of ‘fight or flight’ syndrome or as we call it today Stress.

They may be little but the thrust of benefits derive mostly the high antioxidant levels. Antioxidants are powerful little substances that can prevent oxidative stress damage to cells in our bodies. Cell damage occurs in health conditions such as cancer and the aging process where free radical activity damages the body at a cellular level. I advise eating a nutritious diet rich in antioxidants, as a prevention against certain diseases, they also assist in improving overall health, protecting skin and hair. Nearly every fruits and vegetable in our grocery store contains antioxidants, but nutrient rich berries are some of the complete best sources.

We find several powerful antioxidants in berries, including vitamin C, anthocyanins, and quercetin. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant found in berries. It is mainly responsible for the health of collagen, which helps maintain cartilage stores and aids in joint flexibility. Eating vitamin C rich berries will result in radiant skin and healthy hair and may reduce the risk of arthritis, cataracts, and macular degeneration.

Anthocyanins bestow the vibrant color of berries. They also reduce inflammation, and may help prevent and manage arthritis. Anthocyanins work together with quercetin to help slow age related memory loss. Quercetin can also decrease the inflammatory effects of chemicals in the synovial fluid of the joints for people with inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.

We know that berries are “juicy” meaning that they contain high levels of water. Juicy foods are especially beneficial for losing weight because you feel full quicker and since their high water content increases the volume they also decrease the calories. Berries also contain fibre and folate. A health weight benefits from fibre which also helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Folate has been shown to protect against cardiovascular disease and age related memory loss, and it also contributes to the production of serotonin, so it may help to prevent depression and improve your mood. IBS sufferers should note that some people with IBS experience discomfort after eating berries.

Berries should be a part of your diet because they’re loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, plus they’re rich in antioxidants that can protect your cells from free-radical damage. And best of all, they’re low in calories, so they’re perfect for weight-watching diets.

Beautiful, delicious, and good for you. Read on to learn more about these perfect nutritional gems.

Sleeping Aid

When your sweet tooth needs satisfying, you can’t beat a bowl of berries. Besides being loaded with fiber, which helps fill you up, berries contain magnesium, a mineral that relaxes nerves and muscles to speed slumber.

Serve your berries plain, or add some chopped nuts or granola, or a splash of milk.



James O’Sullivan - that's me, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving my patients, my students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.
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Pumpkin Pie Porridge


Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It activates or metabolism and tells our body that the day has begun, and sleep is over.

Preferably Hot but you can eat this Cold (room temperature) too, when we are looking for a healthy and quick breakfast recipe, oatmeal porridge is often the answer and this recipe is one of the most delicious and healthiest, you can eat. It transforms the traditional porridge into a festival of healthy ingredients full of essential antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and other phytonutrients.

A bowl of warm oatmeal is our family favourite way to welcome in the chilly mornings.

All the delicious comforting flavours of a sweet pumpkin pie, but in some breakfast oats. Pumpkin Pie Porridge is also a great way to sneak some extra fruit into your diet.

Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes
Servings:  people
Calories: 304kcal

Ingredients

  • 60 grams jumbo rolled oats (old fashioned oats).
  • 350 ml Skimmed milk
  • 3 tbsp Pumpkin puree
  • A sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg and ground ginger (to taste)
  • 2 tbsp Flax seeds (linseeds)
  • 2 tbsp Pure maple syrup
  • Pecans and dried cranberries for serving (optional)

Instructions

  • Firstly, put the oats and milk in a pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for around 4 minutes, until starting to thicken.
  • Next, add the pumpkin puree and spices and mix well. Simmer for 1-2 minutes.
  • Finally, divide between bowls and drizzle over maple syrup and top with Love Arctic flaxseed blend, pecans and dried cranberries

The Traditional Chinese medicine concept.

Oats: Nourish the Three Treasures, Warms Yang, Tonify Qi and Blood, Circulate Qi, Calm the Shen (mind). Pumpkin: Tonify Qi, Circulates Blood, Disperses Cold, Clears damp, Resolves phlegm. Cinnamon: Warms the Spleen and Kidneys, Tonifies the Yang, Expels Cold, Warms the meridians, Promotes circulation of Qi. Nutmeg: Warms the Spleen and Stomach, circulates Qi. Protects the Intestines and stops diarrhoea. Ground Ginger: Warms the Spleen and expels Cold. Restores collapse of Yang and expels Interior Cold. Maple Syrup: Warms the Lungs and assists expectoration of Cold Phlegm. Stops chronic bleeding caused by Cold. Flax seeds: Nourishes Yin, Promotes lubrication, Dispels Wind. Maple Syrup: Strengthens the Middle Jiao, Moistens the Intestines, Tonify Qi. Cranberries: Clears Heat, Resolves Damp.

A pure healthy meal in itself, with enough nutrients to get you to the next bite.

The Three Treasures

The ancient Chinese who developed balancing, tonic and sedation herbals said that a human being is composed of three “Treasures.” The “Three Treasures” are called Jing, Qi and Shen.

Jing – is the first Treasure and is translated as “Essence.” Jing is the primal energy of life and is closely associated with our genetic potential, it is associated with the aging process. Longevity is the nourishment of Jing – our capacity to age gracefully and healthy.

Qi – is the second Treasure, and in the Three Treasures system includes both Energy and blood. This is the aspect of our life that involves action and movement, our ability to exercise and contribute to the world we live in, to work and help ourselves, our family, friends and community.

Shen – is the third Treasure. Shen is our Mind, our Spirit, our Soul, everything about our ability to reason and understand and think. Our intuition, our capacity to feel and love. To nourish our Shen, means cultivating our inner wisdom and smile. Shen is ultimately the most important of the Three Treasures because it is the basis of our higher nature as human beings.



James O’Sullivan - that's me, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving my patients, my students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.
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Flour less Peanut Butter Cookies


These cookies are the healthiest snacks available and they are made at home with natural healthy ingredients. Peanut butter and eggs combine surprisingly well to form a dough that gets nice and crunchy when baked.

The final low carb peanut butter cookies recipe is even better that any shared here before.

Bake the low carb peanut butter cookies for 15-20 minutes, until they are golden. Do not forget to let them cool completely, so that they get super crunchy!

Calories 94 kcal

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes

Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 300 grams Peanut butter* (creamy, salted)
  • 2 large Eggs*
  • 110 grams Erythritol* (or any granulated sweetener; use 1/3 cup for less sweet cookies)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp Sea salt (or 1/2 tsp if you like salty-sweet!)
  • 170 grams Peanuts (measured whole and shelled, then coarsely chopped)

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place the peanut butter, egg, sweetener, vanilla, and salt in a food processor. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides if needed.
  • Pulse in the peanut pieces until just combined. (Don’t overmix – you want some pieces left for crunch.)
  • Use a medium cookie scoop to place balls of dough onto the prepared cookie sheet. Press the cookie dough into the scoop tightly before releasing onto the sheet. Flatten using a fork in a criss-cross pattern. Between cookies, dip the fork in a cup with cold water and then wipe with a paper towel. (This will prevent sticking.)
  • Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until very lightly golden. Cool completely before handling. Cookies will become crisp as they cool.

*Eggs: Please support your local organic free-range free-grazing egg farmer. You are supporting your local economy too.

*Peanuts: Look at the back label and the ingredients should ONLY read Peanuts and salt

*Erythritol is a sugar alcohol used as a low-calorie sweetener. It provides only about 6% of the calories found in an equal amount of sugar. About 10% of ingested erythritol is not absorbed into the blood and travels down to the colon. For this reason, a very high intake of erythritol may cause some digestive side effects. Erythritol does not raise blood sugar levels. This makes it an excellent sugar replacement for people with diabetes.



James O’Sullivan - that's me, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving my patients, my students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.
Please share! Help the word get out. Pin the graphic too.