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Archive for July, 2013

basil2by Nicole Perriella

It’s basil season, and I can’t get enough. This fragrant and delicious herb makes any meal feel alive and fresh. This week I made a Spinach and Basil Pesto using produce from my Tiny’s Organic CSA bag. The recipe is so easy and goes with everything. First I put the pesto over quinoa pasta. The next day I put it over mayacoba beans and broiled asparagus. I’m excited to try it on pizza and other grilled veggies. The major hit of nutrients (calcium, fiber, folic acid, magnesium, lutein, vitamins A & C) explains the happy glow after eating. For a fun, fresh dose of summer, just add ingredients and blend.

Spinach and Basil Pesto
2 cups spinach leaves (more…)

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Why is it that so many of us are so stressed?  It is the minority of patients who come to me and say, “My stress level is very low.”  Most feel overwhelmed juggling the responsibilities of work, family, finances, relationships and home.  Especially the most caring and giving folks tend to overextend themselves and put themselves last.

Our adrenal glands do lots of things, and one is to react to stress.  Our bodies are supposed to react to stress- that’s a good thing.  But when it is daily or almost daily for years, we just wear out.  This process, termed the General Adaptation Syndrome, happens in three phases over time.

  • In the first, we are “wired” or “high-strung”.  We have adrenaline (you know- fight or flight) pumping into our blood stream, which leaves less stored up.   During this phase, you might be underweight/undernourished, develop ulcers, experience insomnia, anxiety, or have frequent colds due to decreased immune function.  You might start to see problems with female hormones, thyroid and blood sugar because stress hormones directly interfere with these.
  • In the second, you seem to adapt to the stress.  You make more reserves of adrenaline and the other adrenal hormones and seem to coast through.  You may gain weight during this time.
  • In the third, you become exhausted.  Your adrenal glands don’t react like they used to, and fatigue is extreme.  You may find yourself to be more irritable and jumpy, depressed, anxious, less able to handle conflict, unpredictable things, or even daily responsibilities.  You may have insomnia even though you are exhausted.  You may find that you have gained weight over the years that the body was in survival mode.  “This is an emergency.  Better store all the fat possible,” says the lizard brain.

What do I do? (more…)

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