Recipe: Noodle Free Chicken Pad Thai

Low-Carb-Chicken-Pad-Thai-1

Ingredients

Peanut Sauce
1/4 cup chicken broth or water
3 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tbsp  crunchy peanut butter
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp  lime juice

Pad Thai
1/2 lb cooked chicken breast
2 tbsp coconut aminos
6 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green parts separated)
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tsp chili sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 cups bean sprouts
Unsalted peanuts, toasted and chopped (optional)
Lime wedges (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Peanut Sauce
1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients. Set aside.

Pad Thai
2. In another bowl, combine the chicken with the coconut aminos. Refrigerate.
4. In a wok or large skillet over medium ­high heat, soften the white parts of the onions, the garlic and ginger with the chili sauce in the oil.
5. Add the peanut sauce, egg, chicken mixture.
Adjust the seasoning. Add chicken broth, if needed. Sprinkle or mix with the bean sprouts, the green parts of the onions and peanuts. Serve with lime wedges, if desired

 

Source Adaptation: http://bit.ly/2ruihfe

flower

Did you know you’ve probably pulled, stomped or sprayed a natural super food that grows in your backyard? Dandelion is mostly known as a backyard weed, but it has amazing nutrient qualities and health promoting properties.

All the parts of the plant can be used in various ways though the roots and leaves are the most commonly used as herbs. Who knew that this plant with puffy flowers that grant childhood wishes could offer so much benefit?

Dandelion Root and Leaves

Dandelion is a source of a variety of nutrients and the leaves and root contain Vitamins (like A,C, K and B-vitamins) as well as minerals (including magnesium, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium and choline). The various parts of the plant have a long history of use as an herbal remedy, and every documented population in areas where it grows naturally has used it medicinally.

It also serves as an abundant natural food source, as all parts of the plant can be eaten. The root is often roasted and used in teas or consumed whole. The leaves make a great addition to salads or other dishes requiring greens and the flowers (while still yellow), can be eaten raw, cooked or even made into wine!

Traditional cultures have used dandelion to support digestive and hormone health and it was often consumed to support lactation or to help remedy issues like urinary tract infections.

Benefits of Dandelion

According to the How To Herb Book, this backyard super food is beneficial in many ways, including:

Liver Support and Detoxification

Dandelion has been used for years by various cultures to support healthy liver function and natural detoxification in the body. Though it hasn’t been well studied, many people with hepatitis turn to it to help support the liver. The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that:

In the past, roots and leaves were used to treat liver problems. Native Americans also boiled dandelion in water and took it to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and upset stomach. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), it has been used to treat stomach problems, appendicitis, and breast problems, such as inflammation or lack of milk flow. In Europe, dandelion was used in remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and diarrhea.

flower

 

Female Health and Hormone Balance

Due to its high levels of various nutrients and potential ability to help support the body’s natural detoxification systems, dandelion is often used by those with hormone imbalance, urinary infection and recurrent mastitis. Though not well studied, there is an abundance of anecdotal evidence from women who have used it to help remedy recurring UTIs or other infections.

Clearer Skin

Due to its natural magnesium and zinc content and its potential ability to support detoxification, dandelion is also know as being good for the skin. It can be used topically in applications like tinctures and poultices and many people also take it in capsule or tea form to help support healthy skin.

Good Source of Nutrients

Dandelion is a great source of many important vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants and nutritive salts, which may help support blood health and increase iron absorption. I personally often add dried leaves to teas for a nutrient boost or use dandelion root in place of coffee.

Blood Sugar Balance

The University of Maryland Medical Center also reports that:

Preliminary animal studies suggest that dandelion may help normalize blood sugar levels and lower total cholesterol and triglycerides while raising HDL (good) cholesterol in diabetic mice. Researchers need to see if dandelion will work in people. A few animal studies also suggest that dandelion might help fight inflammation.

Uses of Dandelion Root and Leaves

Perhaps we wouldn’t be so quick to remove this “backyard weed” if we were more familiar with the myriad of uses it has. The entire dandelion plant can be used and if you have a safe (non-sprayed) source in your yard or community, you can consider harvesting it yourself.

Here are some of the ways to use dandelion:

Coffee Substitute

Dandelion root is tougher and more hardy than the leaf and is often used in decoctions and tinctures for this reason. The powder is often added in coffee substitutes . The root is considered a natural diuretic and is sometimes used for this purpose.

Poultices

Dandelion root and leaf are often listed as the ingredients of  teas and poultices for abscesses and sores, especially on the breast and in female health remedies as they can help support lactation and remedy urinary issues.

According to Mountain Rose Herbs:

Chopped dandelion root can be combined with myrrh to make a poultice for boils and abscesses, with honeysuckle flowers to make a tea to be drunk to treat boils and abscesses, with skullcap and/or chrysanthemum flowers to make a tea to be drunk to treat sore eyes, or with heal-all to treat hard phlegm in bronchitis. Can also be administered in capsule or extract form for convenience.

Dandelion Tea

The flower can be used to make tea and even to make some types of wine. The leaves and root can also be used in teas, though they have a stronger taste and are often combined with other synergistic herbs for flavor and increased nutrient absorption.

Salads and Greens

The leaves can be consumed fresh on a salad or in recipes as well as substituted for greens like kale and collards in recipes or cooking. The antioxidant rich leaves are the most diuretic part of the plant so while they can be consumed regularly, it is important to maintain hydration too.

Important Notes:

It is important to check with a doctor before taking this or any herb, especially in large amounts or if taking any other medicine or supplement or if pregnant or nursing. Though it is generally considered safe, those allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigold, chamomile, yarrow, daisies, or iodine may not be able to consume it.

Anyone who gathers dandelion from wild sources (like the backyard) should make sure that the area has not been sprayed with pesticides or herbicides and that it does not come from an area where pets may have eliminated.

 

Source: http://bit.ly/2qdoz29

 

Recipe: Healthier Chinese Lemon Chicken

Chinese-Lemon-Chicken-650x975

INGREDIENTS

Marinade
  • 1 pound chicken thighs, cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch

Breading

  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • ½ cup tapioca starch
  • oil for frying

Sauce

  • ⅓ cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons tapioca starch
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add coconut aminos and tapioca starch to your chicken in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  2. Let marinate for 30 minutes.
  3. While the chicken is marinating add the lemon juice, maple syrup, water, tapioca starch and lemon zest to a small bowl and mix.
  4. Add the almond flour and tapioca starch to the bowl of chicken and toss to coat.
  5. In a pot with oil about three inches deep, heat on medium high to 350 degrees.
  6. Add the chicken in batches so you don’t crowd the pot or the chicken will stick together and it will lower the temperature significantly causing your chicken to be oily.
  7. Cook chicken until golden brown and when cooked transfer the pieces to a skillet (this is where we will be tossing with the sauce).
  8. When you finish all the chicken, turn off the oil, turn on the skillet onto medium high heat and add the sauce.
  9. Coat the chicken pieces in the sauce and cook for just a few seconds until thickened

Learning how to crochet can do more than you think for your mental health and happiness

Smiley-On-Top

Arts and crafts are more than just a fun pastime, they’re truly healing and restorative and are actually very therapeutic. In fact, the healing benefits of crocheting (and knitting) are numerous and range from simply calming you down and easing your stress to potentially relieving depression and reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Crocheting doesn’t just help you if you’re the one who’s sick – it helps the caregivers around you, your friends and family that help you, love you and support you. It’s also a very good craft to pick up as a hobby for group therapy sessions, as you’re healing together in a group without having the focus completely on you. There are so many benefits of crocheting, so whether you’re stressed out and can’t sleep or are doing your part to help slow down Alzheimer’s, you’ll be doing yourself and your health a favor.

1. Crocheting reduces stress and anxiety

When you’re feeling stressed or anxious in your daily life, take some time for yourself, pick up some yarn and your hook (or your needles), and spend some time being creative. By crocheting and allowing yourself to be creative, you’re taking your mind off of whatever’s been nagging you. By focusing on the repetitive motions of individual stitches and counting rows, your mind is able to be more relaxed and free from anxious ideas and thoughts.

2. Crocheting helps with insomnia

By focusing on something that’s easy, repetitive and soothing, like crochet projects, you can calm down your mind and body enough to let you fall asleep. So the next time you’re tossing and turning in the middle of the night, don’t get frustrated, just pick up a work in progress!

3. Crocheting helps ease or relieve depression

When you do something we like, our brains release dopamine, a chemical that affects our emotions and functions like a natural anti-depressant. Scientists now believe that crafts, such as crocheting, can help stimulate that dopamine release to allow us to feel happier and better about ourselves.

4. Crocheting reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s by 30-50%.

Crocheting can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by 30-50%. By engaging in cognitive exercises and stimulating your mind, you can slow down or even prevent memory loss. Whether you plan on challenging your memory by learning a new stitch or technique or simply by reading and working up a pattern, by getting a little crafty, you’ll be helping preserve your memories.

5. Crochet builds your self-esteem.

We all want to feel productive and useful, and by working up a project to give as a gift or sell at a craft fair, we can do just that. Though we don’t craft just for the compliments, a little bit of external validation by someone buying your finished item or your gift recipient wearing that crochet hat you made all winter long can truly give us the self-esteem boosts we need.

6. Crocheting acts as a form of group therapy.

For those who seek therapy benefits in group settings, crocheting can be supremely beneficial. By placing the focus off of the patient and only the crochet project itself, it provides all of the previously mentioned health benefits of crocheting plus a sense of community and togetherness. By working in a craft, those in a group can immediately have some way of relating to the other group members, and it may help function as an ice breaker for more seriously conversations. Even if you aren’t actively seeking therapy, you can benefit from the sense of community that crocheting can bring.

7. Crocheting puts you in control.

Whether you feel helpless as a caregiver watching someone struggle or you’re the one struggling with your own illness or problems, crocheting is a way to put the control back into your own hands – literally. By choosing to craft, you are in full control of everything, from the type of project you’ll be making, the color and type or yarn and even the type of crochet hooks to work with, and that makes a difference in feeling like you have a say again.

 

Source: http://bit.ly/2qfUZZu

 

Tis’ the season: Ticks- How to Avoid and Remove Them

Most ticks do not carry diseases, and most tick bites do not cause serious health problems. But it is important to avoid and check for ticks, and to remove a tick as soon as you find it. Removing the tick completely may help you avoid diseases such as Lyme disease that the tick may pass on during feeding, or a skin infection where the tick bit you.

How to avoid tick bites

  • Learn where ticks and deer that carry ticks are most commonly found in your community. Avoid those areas if possible.
  • Cover as much of your body as possible when working or playing in grassy or wooded areas. Wear a hat, a long-sleeved shirt, and long pants with the legs tucked into your socks. Keep in mind that it is easier to spot ticks on light-coloured clothes.
  • Use insect repellents, such as products with DEET.
  • Clear leaves, brush, tall grasses, woodpiles, and stone fences from around your house and the edges of your yard or garden. This may help reduce ticks and the rodents that the ticks depend on.
  • Remove plants that attract deer, and use barriers to keep deer—and the deer ticks they may carry—out of your yard.
  • Call your local landscaping nursery or county extension office to see if your yard can be treated for ticks with nonchemical or environmentally safe methods.

Checking for ticks

  • When you come in from outdoors, check all over your body for ticks, including your groin, head, and underarms. Comb your hair with a fine-toothed comb, or have someone check your scalp.
  • Ticks can come into your house on clothing, outdoor gear, and pets. These ticks can fall off and attach to you.
    • Check your clothing and outdoor gear. Remove any ticks you find. Then put your clothing in a clothes dryer on high heat for 1 hour to kill any ticks that might remain.
    • Check your pets for ticks after they have been outdoors.
  • Check your children daily for ticks, especially during the summer months.

How to remove a tick

Removing a tick with tweezers

Use fine-tipped tweezers to remove a tick. If you don’t have tweezers, put on gloves or cover your hands with tissue paper, then use your fingers. Do not handle the tick with bare hands.

  • Grab the tick as close to its mouth (the part that is stuck in your skin) as you can. The body of the tick will be above your skin.
  • Do not grab the tick around its swollen belly. You could push infected fluid from the tick into your body if you squeeze it.
  • Gently pull the tick straight out until its mouth lets go of your skin. Do not twist the tick. This may break off the tick’s body and leave the head in your skin.
  • Put the tick in a dry jar or ziplock bag and save it in the freezer for later identification if needed.

After the tick has been removed, wash the area of the tick bite with a lot of warm, clean water. Be sure to wash your hands well with soap and water also.

NOTE: If you can’t remove a tick, call your doctor.

You may cover the wound with a thin layer of petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, and a non-stick bandage. Apply more petroleum jelly and replace the bandage as needed.

Some ticks are so small it is hard to see them. This makes it hard to tell if you have removed the tick’s head. If you do not see any obvious parts of the tick’s head where it bit you, assume you have removed the entire tick, but watch for symptoms of a skin infection.

If you have a rash, headache, joint pain, fever, or flu-like symptoms, this could mean you have an illness related to a tick bite. If you have any of these symptoms, or symptoms of a skin infection, call your doctor.

What to avoid

Do not try to:

  • Smother a tick that is stuck to your skin with petroleum jelly, nail polish, gasoline, or rubbing alcohol.
  • Burn the tick while it is stuck to your skin.

Smothering or burning a tick could make it release fluid—which could be infected—into your body and increase your chance of infection.

There are some tick-removal devices that you can buy. If you are active outdoors in areas where there are a lot of ticks, you may want to consider buying such a device.

Source: http://bit.ly/2oLA2Sd

Using pressure points to relieve migraine pain

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Vascular imbalance and excess muscle tension can cause irritations and pains above the neck. Strain in these areas may also lead to headaches and migraines. Many people rely on OTC pain relievers but these medicines offer temporary relief. However, you can alleviate pain and tension through reflexology and acupressure. It is easy to use these techniques because you can easily access the acupressure points in this area. Keep reading to learn more about the most common pressure points for migraines and ways to stimulate them.

Why Do You Have Migraines?

While there is no clear evidence about what causes migraines, experts believe environmental factors and genetics play a big role in the development of migraines. Some studies show that any change in the brainstem and the way it interacts with the trigeminal nerve may lead to migraines. Similarly, any imbalance in brain chemicals such as serotonin may also be the underlying cause of migraines – serotonin levels usually drop when you have a migraine attack and that makes your trigeminal system to release neuropeptides that may trigger headaches.

Even though there is no clear information about the real cause of migraines, there are certain known triggers to avoid. You may experience migraines when there are any hormonal changes during menopause or pregnancy. Other common triggers include food additives, alcoholic and caffeinated beverages, certain foods, change in sleep-wake cycle, and changes in the environment. Stress and certain medications, such as vasodilators and oral contraceptives may also trigger a migraine attack.

Pressure Points for Migraines

The great thing about reflexology is that you can use these techniques to treat the problems externally as well as internally. In fact, you can get rid of your ailments completely if you stimulate those pressure points regularly. The idea behind stimulating pressure points is to clear the blocked meridians, which in turn helps energy to flow freely through the body. This will also lead to the production of endorphins that act as natural painkillers in your body.

Here are the most common pressure points for migraines:

1. Forehead Region

There are several points on your forehead and face, and all of them are yang points and are full of energy as well. Stimulating these points will make energy to flow downwards and help you find relief from aches and pains.

Third Eye Point

One of many points along your forehead is a point where the bridge of your nose joins the ridge of your eyebrows. Stimulating this point will offer relief from headaches, eye pain, eye fatigue, and hay fever.

Drilling Bamboo

In the inner corner of your eyes is another pressure point that helps find relief from allergy symptoms and sinus headaches. It is precisely located below the eyebrows, and stimulating it will also help improve vision. Be sure to apply pressure for at least a minute on both sides.

2. Temple Region

You can find several pressure points for migraines in the temple region. There is basically a chain of five points:hairline curve, valley lead, celestial hub, floating white, head portal yin. Hairline curve is close to the tip of your ear whereas the rest of the points curl around your ear. These points are located about a finger width from your ear. You will find relief from temporal headaches and migraines by applying pressure on these points. Be sure to stimulate all these points simultaneously for better results.

3. Face Region — Facial Beauty

These points locateon both sides of your nostril, at the bottom of your cheekbone, right below the pupil. It is easy to stimulate these points and proper stimulation will help open sinuses, relieve eye fatigue, toothaches, and reduce migraines and tension headaches.

4. Neck Region

There are a number of pressure points in the neck region. For instance:

Wind Mansion

One of these points is located at the back of your head – the exact location is halfway between your spine and ear. The point is called windmansionand applying pressure here will relieve pain in eyes, unblock nasal congestion, and reduce migraines and headaches.

Shoulder Well

Another pressure point in this region is at the edge of your shoulder – it is precisely halfway between the base of your neck and the point of your shoulder. Stimulating this point will help reduce neck stiffness and relieve neck pain as well. It also proves beneficial in treating ailments like spasms and asthma.

Heavenly Pillar

Heavenly pillar is yet another pressure point in the neck region and is precisely located two fingers below the base of your skull – it is basically on the rope like muscles that are on the both sides of your spine. Stimulating this point will relieve aches at the back of the head, eyestrain, neck pains, insomnia, stress, and stiff nick.

Gate of Consciousness

Gate of consciousness is located below the base of your skull – you will find it in the hollow between the vertical neck muscles. Stimulate this point to relieve headaches, arthritis, stiff neck, dizziness, eyestrain, neuro-motor coordination, and irritability.

5. Hands — Union Valley

On your hands, there is a point located in the webbing between your index finger and your thumb. You need to stimulate this point to relieve frontal headaches, back pain, and toothache. It is important to avoid triggering this point if you are pregnant because any stimulation of this point may cause contractions in the uterus.

6. Foot

There’re also some pressure points for migraines on your foot that can provide relief with stimulation.

Bigger Rushing

On your foot, you can find a pressure point that helps manage your migraines better. It is located on the top of your foot between the big and the second toe. When you apply pressure on this point, you find relief from eye fatigue, headaches, foot cramps, and arthritis.

Above Tears

There is another point on the top of your foot – you will find it an inch above the webbing of your fourth and fifth toes. Stimulate this point to relive headaches, sciatica, water retention,arthritic pains, hip pain, and shoulder tension.

 

 

Source: http://bit.ly/2oNBHqZ

How to Prepare and Eat an Artichoke

If you’ve never eaten an artichoke before, this strange vegetable may present some unique challenges when you finally try to prepare or eat one. The process for eating an artichoke is somewhat non-intuitive – the fruit can’t be eaten in its raw form because its tough fibers and sharp leaf tips can wreak havoc on your digestive system. However, if approached correctly, an artichoke can be a delicious, healthy and unusual addition to nearly any meal.

 

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 or more large globe artichokes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 slice of lemon

HOW TO COOK AN ARTICHOKE

  1.  Cut of the tips of the petals: If the artichokes have little thorns on the end of the petals, take a kitchen scissors and cut of the thorned tips of all of the petals. This step is mostly for aesthetics as the thorns soften with cooking and pose no threat to the person eating the artichoke.
  2.  Slice off the top of the artichoke: Slice about 3/4 inch to an inch off the tip of the artichoke. A serrated bread knife works great for this.
  3.  Remove small petals at the base: Pull off any smaller petals towards the base and on the stem.
  4.  Cut off excess stem: Cut off excess stem, leaving up to an inch on the artichoke. The stems tend to be more bitter than the rest of the artichoke, but some people like to eat them.
  5. Alternatively you can leave the whole long stem on the artichoke, just cut off the very end of the stem, and peel the tough outside layer of the stem with a vegetable peeler.
  6.  Rinse the artichokes: Rinse the artichokes in running cold water. While you rinse them, open up the petals a little so that the water does get inside more easily. (This is where it helps to have cut off the thorny tips, it makes the artichoke easier to open without getting poked!)
  7.  Set up a pot with some water, aromatics, and a steaming basket: In a large pot, put a couple inches of water, a clove of garlic, a slice of lemon, and a bay leaf (this adds wonderful flavor to the artichokes). Insert a steaming basket.
  8. Steam the artichokes: Place artichokes on top of the steaming basket. Cover the pot. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.
  9. Cook for 25 to 45 minutes or until the outer leaves can easily be pulled off.

 

HOW TO EAT AN ARTICHOKE

Pull off outer petals, one at a time. Dip white fleshy end in melted butter or sauce.

Tightly grip the other end of the petal. Place in mouth, dip side down, and pull through teeth to remove soft, pulpy, delicious portion of the petal. Discard remaining petal.

Continue until all of the petals are removed.

With a knife or spoon, scrape out and discard the inedible fuzzy part (called the “choke”) covering the artichoke heart. The remaining bottom of the artichoke is the heart. Cut into pieces and dip into sauce to eat.

***NEVER EAT THE WHOLE LEAVES OR CHOKE

 

How to make an infused flavor olive oil

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Herb-infused olive oil is fantastic for making a special salad dressing or drizzling over a dish of your favorite food. Making it yourself is super easy – and can make a great DIY gift to share with your friends!

Start with the best ingredients you can find or afford. Using good quality olive oil, fresh herbs, and organic ingredients will give you a cleaner and stronger flavor in your finished olive oil.

Wash all the ingredients going into your oil and let them dry as much as possible – preferably overnight. Bacteria can’t grow in the olive oil itself, but it can grow in the water left on the ingredients going into the oil, we want to make sure that we stay safe and not create a bacterial botulism ready oil.

 Also, find a bottle that has a good seal. Canning jars work well, but if you want something more elegant, look for a container that has a rubber stopper.  Old wine bottle work fabulously! Wash and dry your bottle thoroughly.

Bruise your herbs gently to start to expose their oils and put them in your olive oil jar. Spices can be lightly toasted and crushed in a mortar and pestle. Fruits like chili peppers or lemons can be sliced thinly.

Cover the ingredients with olive oil, seal the bottle, and let it sit in a cool, dark place for 1-2 weeks before using it. The oil will slowly infuse over this time. Do a taste test every so often so see how it’s coming along. Strain out the solids and re-bottle the oil once the flavor is to your liking.

You can also heat the oil and ingredients in a saucepan on medium-low heat (cook to 180°), let the oil cool, and then strain out the ingredients before bottling the infused oil. This makes the oil infuse more quickly and reduces some of the risk of bacteria growth, but it can also affect the flavor and quality of the olive oil.

Botulism is definitely a concern when making any kind of infused olive oil, especially with garlic-infused olive oil. Infused olive oil will generally keep for up to one month, especially if kept refrigerated. If the ingredients in the olive oil start to show any signs of spoilage, discard the rest of the oil immediately.

Here are a few infused oil recipes to help inspire!

Rosemary-Infused Olive Oil from Epicurious
Basil-Infused Olive Oil from Epicurious
Chili Oil Recipe from the Food Network
Meyer Lemon Olive Oil from Buff Chickpea

Infused-Olive-Oil