Coconut Collard Greens — From Beachbody Ultimate Reset


Follow this simple recipe to reap the rewards of this cholesterol-lowering, cancer-fighting, antioxidant-boosting, detoxification-supporting, fiber-rich green superfood.

I recently discovered collard greens during my Ultimate Reset detox program. I had heard of collard greens before but had never ventured to try them. This recipe is so simple and delicious I make sure to eat it at least once each week. Not only is this a great way to up your greens, but collard greens are probably one of the best things you can put in your body to lower your cholesterol. In fact collard greens can lower cholesterol even better than the highly touted kale. In addition to the cholesterol-lowering effect, collard greens are a great source of vitamins A, C, K, folate, and manganese. Not to mention the metabolism-boosting coconut milk that adds a subtle sweetness to the greens. This recipe takes only about 20 minutes to prepare start to finish so it’s a great addition to any busy weeknight meal. You can cut your prep time down even more by purchasing pre-cut collard greens. I’ve spotted a large container of organic pre-cut greens in the produce section of Whole Foods. Enjoy!!

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 1½ tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ yellow onion, diced
  • ½ bunch collard greens, washed, stems removed, and cut into ½-inch strips
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • ⅛ tsp. Himalayan salt (optional)

Directions

Heat oil in large wok over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown and very soft. Add collard greens and stir well. Add coconut milk and stir. Sauté another 10 minutes, or until greens are very tender. Add salt. Serves 1.
Nutrition

  • 200 calories
  • 19 g fat
  • 12 g saturated fat
  • 0 mg cholesterol
  • 200 mg sodium
  • 8 g carbohydrate
  • 3 g fiber
  • 3 g protein
  • 286 mg potassium

Lentil-Lime Salad — Recipe from The Ultimate Reset


I couldn’t resist sharing this recipe with all of you. As a part of my detox program, this was on the menu a few times. Since my husband is detoxing with me, I made one large batch of this salad and kept it in the fridge for easy access. I love most of the recipes in this program so far, but this one has got to be number one — even in my husband’s book. He has even requested to eat this salad as a substitute for other meals.

This salad is great as a main course or – in smaller servings – as a side dish. It would be great to serve up at a picnic or barbecue as it keeps well and is served cold. I use dried green lentils (organic) and cooked them myself and opted for the Bragg Liquid Aminos over the Himalayan salt (which is pink and can be found at Whole Foods in addition to the Reset kit). I skipped the herbal seasoning all together because this salad is absolutely delicious as is. ENJOY!

Loaded with protein, fiber, and potassium, this salad is not only delicious, but filling — and the potassium is great for blood pressure, stress, metabolism, and water balance

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked green lentils
  • ½ cup grated raw carrot (a food processor works great for the grating)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1½ tsp. sesame oil (or more, to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (or more, to taste)
  • Bragg® Liquid Aminos or Himalayan salt (to taste)
  • ¼ tsp. ground cumin (or more, to taste)
  • Herbal seasoning (to taste; optional)

Directions

Cook lentils until tender, but don’t overcook. (Or use low-sodium canned lentils.) Add carrots and stir. Stir oil, lime juice, salt, and spices together in a small bowl, then gently stir into the lentil mixture. Let sit, covered, in refrigerator for 2 hours. Adjust seasonings if needed. Even better the next day! Serves 1.
Nutrition

  • 320 calories
  • 8 g fat
  • 1 g saturated fat
  • 0 mg cholesterol
  • 50 mg sodium
  • 48 g carbohydrate
  • 17 g fiber
  • 19 g protein
  • 944 mg potassium

 

For more information on the detox program – Beachbody’s Ultimate Reset, please visit http://myultimatereset.com/CoachMariam

Birdie’s Detox Dairy — Ultimate Reset Day 4


Today begins day 4 of the Ultimate Reset and I woke for the first time in months without a headache – YAY! I’m not sure what was causing these headaches though I suspect caffeine. The important thing is they’re gone now and if that doesn’t make the detox worth it, then the 10 lbs I’ve lost in 3 days definitely does! I still can’t believe I’ve dropped so much in such a short time and not felt hungry or had cravings (with the exception of day 1). The food is still tasty – I even rolled my own california rolls yesterday, which was surprisingly easy. And the best part is that my dearest husband is still hanging in there with me. I give him a lot of credit because he’s certainly not accustomed to this type of food, but he has stuck to it and I have even seen a boost in his energy and little loss in the waistline as well. The main reason I shared this post today is because I had to share a picture of breakfast with you — I’ve never been so excited about fruit in my life! Today was the first time in the program that our meals included fruit with the exception of some blueberries in our oatmeal on day 2.

Join the Ultimate Reset or learn more about the program at    http://myultimatereset.com/CoachMariam

Breakfast of Champions
The Ultimate Reset Day 4 breakfast includes fresh fruit, a slice of whole grain toast, and a half cup of plain yogurt sweetened with maple (or in my case a half cup of almond milk sweetened with maple) — YUM!

Ginger Sesame Miso Dressing — From Ultimate Reset


I started my 21 day detox yesterday and survived without any cheats (except the 4-5 blackberries I ate, but I’m sure I’ll be forgiven for those). The meal plans are very detailed and the food has been tasty so far. After devouring my lunch of Microgreen Salad, I couldn’t wait to share one of the dressing recipes which I tried yesterday — SO delicious, easy to prepare, and tastes nothing like “diet food”. Enjoy!

 

Ginger Sesame Miso Dressing from Beachbody Ultimate Reset

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. miso paste
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Bragg® Liquid Aminos (can be found at Whole Foods)
  • ¼ cup toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. minced ginger root
  • Water (as desired)

Directions

Place all ingredients in blender and blend on medium high for 30 seconds or until well mixed, adding water as needed for desired consistency. Store in airtight container in refrigerator. Makes 8 servings.
Nutrition

70 calories * 7 g fat * 1 g saturated fat *0 mg cholesterol *240 mg sodium *1 g carbohydrate *0 g fiber *1 g protein *10 mg potassium

Want to detox your body and reset your health? Go to http://myultimatereset.com/CoachMariam to learn more.

How To Detox Naturally


de-tox (n.) \(ˈ)dē-ˈtäks\
detoxification from an intoxicating or addictive substance

Toxins are found in our air, water, food, clothing, transportation, homes, businesses, and so much more. After a lifetime of exposure, we can adjust to and even begin to ignore the signs that our bodies may have had a little too much toxin exposure:

– Frequent headaches
– Interrupted sleep on a regular basis
– Feeling drained or sluggish
– Poor complexion
– Hair thinning/loss
– Frequent mood swings
– Addiction (alcohol, nicotine, narcotics, sugar, caffeine, etc)
– Depression
– Weight gain
– Diagnosis of toxin-related diseases such as cancer, hypo/hyper-thyroidism, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc

If you experience any of these symptoms, it could be time for you to detox. With all of the toxins we are exposed to, a full body detox is required from time to time to reset your body and renew your mind. Follow Birdie’s Health Chatter as we begin The Ultimate Reset – a 21-day, completely natural, full body detox.

Ready to detox yourself? Learn more about The Ultimate Reset at:
http://myultimatereset.com/CoachMariam

What’s In Your Water?


Water. It’s equal to 60% of your body weight and 75% of your muscle. It improves your muscle tone, helps you lose weight and improves digestion while reducing water retention. It keeps your skin clear, your organs running smoothly, and fights off chronic fatigue. It is hands down the MOST important thing that you will put in your body. The old standard was always 8 glasses a day, but the actual requirement your body has for water is 2.5 liters per day! By now, we’ve all heard and understood how important water is. Some drink tap water, some bottled water, some use filtration or distillation systems, but what exactly is in the water we drink and what effect does it have on all of the systems and functions of the body that water is so crucial in supporting? And what is the best source of water available to us?

Tapped

Good old-fashioned tap water. It is readily available and convenient. In the US as well as many other countries, it has been deemed safe by passing through rigorous water treatment facilities. In poor countries without the resources, tap water is boiled or treated in-home to make it safe for drinking. Regardless of the state it comes in, tap water is the most accessible drinking water available today. But what about the water treatment facilities? How exactly is our water “treated” before reaching the kitchen faucet? And what effect do these “treatments” have on the people who drink it?

A frightening look at what is being added to our water. The water supply pictured will eventually be made “drinkable” at a water treatment facility and then make its way to your tap.

According to the EPA, drinking water in the US may legally contain (and still be deemed “drinkable”) chlorites, chlorine, chlorine dioxide, chloramines, antimony, asbestos, barium, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, copper, cyanaide, flouride, mercury, nitrate, nitrite, sellenium, thallium, atrazine, carbofuran, xylenes, and the list goes on and on and on. How do all of these contaminants make it into our water supply? According to  the EPA website, some are put there intentionally to kill microorganisms and make the water “safe” for drinking, some enter the supply through run off of factories, fertilizers, etc., and some from landfills. The effects of these contaminants? Again, according to EPA, the effects range from hair loss to liver and kidney damage and even death. All of this information is freely available on the website of the very organization meant to protect the public from harmful environmental threats. By setting limits to the levels of toxicity allowed, they claim they are doing just that. But if we are ingesting 2.5 liters of this contaminated water each day for the rest of our lives, the average person will have consumed 68,000 liters and these “traces” of contaminants will add up and lead us to a lot of the medical conditions that are so prevalent in our society today.

Sprung

Tap water sufficiently (and rightfully) demonized, enter spring water. Fresh, pure water gathered from natural springs around the globe, bottled, and sold at the local grocer. But it turns out pure spring water might not be all that pure either. The bottled water industry, unlike local water departments, is not legally required to disclose results of any testing done for contaminants… so they don’t. They don’t disclose the high levels of toxins – some known to cause cancer – which are found in their products. They don’t disclose that in some cases the water that is marketed as “pure spring water” is no different chemically than tap water. Instead, they print misleading serene pictures of natural water falls and mountains and allow consumers to believe they are getting a high quality water as opposed to contaminated water with a high price tag.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has even published its own tests showing that every one of the ten brands of bottled water tested contained contaminants, averaging 8 contaminants per bottle. The contamination exceeded not only the standards voluntarily put in place by the bottled water industry, but in some cases even legal standards. Basically, most spring waters are treated – the same as tap water – to kill bacteria and remove sediment. And others, well, there’s just no way to know where they come from because the information is not available on the labels or false websites and emails are listed which lead nowhere. Bottom line? At least tap water comes with a mandated report that clearly tells you what is in it.

Filtered

Filtered water comes in many varieties as all filters are different. The most common filter on the market is the carbon filter. These filters are found in counter-top units, sink attachments, specially designed water pitchers, water bottles, etc. A carbon filter will eliminate most chemicals, heavy metals, water treatment byproducts, and bad tastes and odors (i.e. chlorine). These filters do a good job of making your tap water more acceptable for ingesting, but beware that there are two different types of carbon filters – granular activated and solid block. While both are designed with carbon which acts as a sort of magnet to attract the impurities, the granular activated carbon filters provide a breeding ground for bacteria as they become more saturated with impurities. Unfortunately, the point of saturated can be difficult to predict. Overall, these filtration systems are a good choice, but exercise caution with carbon filters and be sure to change them regularly to avoid a higher concentration of impurities from entering your water supply.

Distilled

I saved the best for last here. Distilled water is by far the purest water available. The distillation process involves first boiling water and then condensing the steam into a clean container. As the steam rises, it leaves the impurities behind and when it is condensed into the clean container, all that is left is pure water. Distillation can be done the old-fashioned way with two bottles, a hose, and sunlight, or it can be done using counter-top units that come in a variety of sizes and made of different materials. Without investing a few hours in the distillation process, this pure water can also be found in the grocery store in the bottled water section. There is definitely a taste difference in distilled water – especially for those of us that have been drinking tap water laced with chlorine and fluoride and other countless impurities our whole lives – but if anything, this difference should only make it more clear how impure the water we’ve been drinking is.

The Bottom Line

Clearly our tap water is not fit for drinking – full of traces of heavy metals, contaminants, and loaded with nitrates, fluoride, and chlorine – so what is the best choice? With the ambiguity in the bottled water industry, it’s hard to know which brands are truly from a pure source, and filtration can be helpful, but some impurities may be left behind.  Water is the body’s natural detox. When you drink pure water, you cleanse your body from the inside out. On the contrary, when you drink toxic, chemical-laden water, you can cause severe damage to your body – it can even lead to weight gain and digestive issues. You would not drink a bottle of pesticides or bleach or mercury, but you may be doing just that over the span of decades of tap and bottled water consumption. Distilled water is the most pure water available to us, and when you incorporate a carbon filter (solid block is preferable to avoid bacterial growth), you’re left with what is most likely the purest water you’ll ever taste. Making the switch now can have a huge impact on your health.

Alzheimer’s Disease – What’s Your Risk?


Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia. It can start with simple forgetfulness, but as this fatal illness progresses, the symptoms can progress enough to interrupt the flow of daily life. Eventually, Alzheimer’s Disease claims not only the mind, but the life of the patient who suffers from it. With no known cure, the best way to survive Alzheimer’s is to prevent it. In order to prevent a disease, we must first understand what causes it.

 

Diabetes of the Brain

Alzheimer’s Disease is commonly referred to as “diabetes of the brain” because of the way the brain’s ability to metabolize sugar is affected. In the early stages of the disease, insulin is virtually ineffective in the brain, which reduces the brain’s ability to metabolize the sugars present in the blood so that it can create energy to run and neurotransmitters for communication between neurons.

With the lack of neurotransmitters, the communication between neurons is affected, causing symptoms like forgetfulness. As the situation in the brain worsens over time with less and less energy and neurotransmitters, the patient’s situation also worsens. Alzheimer’s patients overtime can forget names, dates, and even fail to recognize close relatives such as children and siblings.

 

This image compares the brain of an Alzheimer's patient (left) with that of a healthy subject (right). The degeneration of the brain is apparent in the Alzheimer's patient.

Environmental Factors

There are many different environmental factors that can lead to Alzheimer’s, but most of them relate back to one common denominator – nitrates. They are found in water supplies, fertilizers, and processed foods – and an abundance of research suggests they lead to Alzheimer’s over time and with prolonged exposure. The nitrates themselves are not the problem, but the body and/or cooking process converts nitrates to nitrites. In the stomach, nitrites are converted to nitrosamines. Nitrosamines in your body lead to a plethora of illnesses from Alzheimer’s to cancer. In countries with higher levels of nitrates found in drinking water, higher incidents of Alzheimer’s are also present.

In order to avoid environmental exposure, ensure your drinking water is nitrate-free by using a special filter or drink bottled water. Be sure to purchase fruits and vegetables that are organic to avoid contamination from fertilizers and pesticides. And if you are purchasing processed foods – especially cured meats such as bacon and deli cuts, be sure that they are nitrate-free (though that can be hard to find).

 

Food (and Drink) Factors

There are many foods and a few drinks that have been shown to contribute to the risk and progression of Alzheimer’s Disease. In addition to the cured meats and chemically contaminated produce mentioned above, an increased risk is also present in those who consume white foods such as white breads, pastas, and rice. These foods, which have already been linked to a host of other medical conditions, create extra insulin in your body which sends toxins up to the brain. In addition, the increase of insulin can lead to insulin overload in the brain – just as it does in the body – causing a breakdown that leads to insulin resistance. That same insulin resistance which, in the body, leads to diabetes, can lead to the diabetes of the brain as well. Beer is another culprit in the development of Alzheimer’s. Beer is one product not required to have a list of ingredients. That’s unfortunate because many beers contain nitrites. There was a time when all beers included nitrites so it’s impossible to know which ones no longer do without a statement from the manufacturers. As if there wasn’t enough risk involved in dairy consumption, it turns out it also can lead to development of Alzheimer’s. Dairy and beer are not the only suspect beverages. The brain of an individual suffering from Alzheimer’s looks remarkably similar to that of an alcoholic. While the alcohol itself may not cause Alzheimer’s directly, the brain degeneration caused from the alcoholism makes even early stages of Alzheimer’s that much more dangerous.

What’s The Real Risk?

So if so many of the things we encounter in our daily lives can contribute to Alzheimer’s Disease, what’s the real risk of

This graph shows the dramatic upswing of cases of Alzheimer's beginning around 1980 - the same time period when fertilizer use doubled, sales of fast food and processed meats increased eight fold, and grain consumption increased five fold. Clearly the disease sprouted right around the time our exposure to nitrates and nitrites dramatically increased.

developing Alzheimer’s? This one is slightly personal for me. As I did my research for this article, in the back of my mind, I was thinking of my grandmother who suffered from Alzheimer’s before she passed away. The more I uncovered on this topic, the more shocked I was. My grandmother wasn’t a heavy drinker as far back as I can remember, but she did enjoy her non-alcoholic beers (which may also contain nitrites) at all family gatherings. Nearly every day her lunch included a few slices of deli meats and cheeses between a couple slices of white bread. And as for chemical contamination of produce – especially root vegetables – my grandmother usually kept carrot and celery sticks in a jar of water in the fridge. And while I suppose we’ll never know if it was all of these things that caused her Alzheimer’s, I know that at the time none of it was “unhealthy”. In the end, it was not having the information that caused the most harm to my grandmother. And so I’m sharing this information with you and hope that you share it with those you care about – because nobody should have to live with Alzheimer’s.

Milk – It Does A Body Good… Or Does It???


Dairy farming has been around for centuries and has picked up a lot of momentum in the last century, with an even bigger surge in the 1980s and 1990s, when robotic milking systems were designed and implemented.  We have seen the commercials and heard the government tell us over and over again that milk is good for us – essential in a well-balanced diet. Why is it then that humans are the only mammals that continue to drink milk after weaning? And why do some cultures throughout the world also give up dairy when they leave their mother’s milk behind? Does milk really do a body good, or are we making ourselves sicker by the glass? We will examine cow milk and milk products in this article as cows are the primary source of milk products available on the market today.

 

The Organic Trap

There was a time when products labeled organic could only be found in health food stores, but these days organic products are popping up everywhere and more and more people are opting for organic because it is “healthier”. While it’s true that organic products don’t use man-made pesticides and herbicides, the term “organic” can also be slightly misleading. In fact, one “organic” pesticide, Rotenone, causes symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease in rats and is deadly to sea-dwelling creatures when it gets into waterways through the soil. Also, it is only required that a product be from 95% organic ingredients in order to get USDA approval – so where does the other 5% come from? Food manufacturers are not required to disclose that information and it is not they’re common practice to do so. Ultimately, government and the food industry have learned to use the consumer’s desire for healthier options to create the “organic” label which is not only misleading, but also potentially harmful rather than helpful.

 

Hormones and Antibiotics

We might like to think that the milk we purchase in the store comes from a dairy farm where well-cared for cows are milked by hand by a caring farmer, but this couldn’t be further from reality. Most commercial dairy farms can be found feeding their cows a diet rich in hay, grains, and… cardboard? That’s right, commercial feeds have plenty of ingredients that cannot be digested properly by cows including the seemingly harmless – corn. This results in different illnesses in the cows which are treated by pumping them full of antibiotics. The antibiotics – as well as hormones used to get the cows to produce milk even when not feeding their young – are all passed right into the milk we drink as a finished product.

It's common for a hole to be cut in the side of cows so that farmers can reach into the stomach and remove undigested food. Commonly found are corn and cardboard. Occasionally, items such as nails can even be found.

As people are becoming more and more aware of their health and the way they get their food, more attention has been given to treatment of cows and many dairies now offer “hormone free” milk products. On the surface, this is clearly a better choice, but what we’re not being told is that even if the cows are not pumped with hormones, the milk they produce will still be full of naturally occurring hormones – namely IGF-1 which is a growth hormone that is found in both human and bovine milk. The difference is that when humans ingest cow milk, the IGF-1 hormone in the cow milk – due to its different structure – causes cells to grow out of control. This out of control cell growth is known by us today as cancer. The hormone IGF-1 is associated with breast, prostate, and colon cancer. In fact, there is a direct correlation between dairy consumption and development of breast cancer. Countries with the largest per capita rates of dairy consumption like Norway and Finland, also have some of the highest per capita rates of cancer. So, while your dairy might not have any added hormones, that doesn’t mean it’s hormone free – or healthy.

Fats, Proteins, and Calcium

When people think of calcium sources, milk is often one of the first products that come to mind. We have been programmed to believe that milk is the best source of calcium available to us. In fact, it is only the National Dairy Council that considers milk as the best calcium source. It’s actually the leafy green sources of calcium that are best for health as they deliver high levels of calcium with minimal calories. Arugula tops the list with 1300mg of calcium per 100 calories while milk delivers a mere 190. Due to the intense lobbying of the dairy industry, many are convinced that milk is necessary to prevent bone deterioration. The reality? Countries with the highest intakes of dairy also have the highest incidences of osteoporosis.

In the last decade, milk has lost its lure as consumers began to pay more attention to the fat content. With this added attention, the dairy industry stepped up to the challenge and provided alternatives with less fat and even no fat to try to bring back the health-conscious consumer. Many felt that the danger posed by milk was in the saturated fat content. The truth is that many of the illnesses that are linked to milk are not a consequence of the fat content, but the highly touted protein content. We have been told again and again how important protein is in our diet and that milk and other animal products are the best source of protein. Actually, the protein found in cow milk has been linked to a plethora of diseases from diabetes to leukemia and lymphoma. If you’re looking for a good protein fix, try reaching for a much less threatening avocado or even some nutrient-rich beans and nuts.

The Bottom Line

With all of the research available on dairy and the consequences of its consumption, why aren’t more people going non-dairy? It begins in the school system where the National Dairy Council provides most of the literature on nutrition including the infamous pyramid which recommends 3-4 servings of dairy per day (which has increased in my lifetime from 1-2). From childhood we are trained to believe that we can’t possibly be healthy if we don’t consume dairy. Add to that the more active role schools are taking in the diets of students and it becomes more understandable.

In fact, many teachers are required to meet with parents or send notes home if they feel the student is not getting a “balanced” diet at home or for lunch at school. I recently read about a mother who received a note from the school because she and her family had made the choice to stop consuming dairy. The note informed her that her child would be required to eat school lunch which she would be required to pay for so that her child received a balanced diet. In addition, the lunch she packed for her child was thrown out.

Another issue is lack of awareness. I was astounded in doing research for this article to see how many people consider lactose intolerance to be an “illness” or “disorder”. The primary reason is lack of knowledge. In fact it has been shown that 75% of the world population is lactose intolerant. That means that only 25% are even able to digest milk without allergic reactions that include gas, diarrhea, bloating, nausea, abdominal pain, and worse.

Non-Dairy Alternatives

Once people become aware of the health problems associated with dairy consumption, often the only thing stopping them from eliminating it from their diet is not having an alternative. There are plenty of non-dairy alternatives available on the market from almond milk to rice milk to flax milk. The important things to look for are added sweeteners and other ingredients such as xanthan gum which can cause symptoms similar to lactose intolerance. My recommendation? Only buy the products that have ingredients which are easy to pronounce and ones that the average person might have in their kitchen. An even better and healthier idea is to make your own almond milk at home which is extremely easy and inexpensive. Make sure you subscribe to the blog by using the link on the right side of the home page so you can get the recipe in the next article.

Fight The Flu Naturally


Depending on where you’re living, flu season is either right around the corner or just settling in. Your best defense against the flu is to be sure that you are getting plenty of rest, water, exercise, and proper nutrition. When you deprive yourself of one of these four important things, you lower your body’s defenses against all diseases – including the flu.

In the real world, you might find it difficult to always get enough rest, water, exercise, and nutrition. If you are a parent, an employee, or a student, I’m sure you agree. In this case, you always want to be prepared with a Plan B. Most flu medicines have a barrage of side effects from drowsiness to nausea to heart problems. So what about the flu vaccine? Well, even the CDC cautions that the flu vaccine may cause serious side effects in some people. Some suggest that these vaccines and medications have long-term side effects that are not so appealing as well. So why put your health on the line?

The good news is that there is an alternative. Eastern cultures have long been aware of a natural, herbal supplement that treats not only the flu, but cough and cattarh (an infection of the mucus membranes). The recipe has been around for centuries and now is sold in a freeze-dried concentrate that is added to hot water and brewed like an instant coffee. With licorice, eucalyptus, fennel, and more, this drink doesn’t just sooth the throat, but the stomach as well — and it packs a pretty delicious flavor too.

Johar Joshanda is not only popular with the locals in Pakistan and neighboring countries, but also with tourists. In fact, an article on “Joshanda” as it is commonly called, was featured in Time Magazine’s Best of Asia 2008. The article can be found at:

http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/best_of_asia/article/0,28804,1734666_1734664_1734656,00.html

As for Joshanda, it can occasionally be found in Indian and Pakistani stores or in limited availability online as well. Recommended dosage is one packet 3 times daily. If you are interested in having some shipped to you, send an email to birdieshealthchatter@gmail.com. A limited quantity is available at a price of 3 packs for $1 (payable through PayPal) in both original and chocolate flavors.

 

Easy Summer Pasta — From the Kitchen of Nicole Rey


Easy Summer Pasta

I picked up 2 huge red and 2 huge yellow heirloom tomatoes, and a purple pepper at a farm stand in Michigan, but you can find them all over this time of year.  I also have basil and parsley in my garden.  This quick, light dinner is delicious and healthy!

1 pkg whole wheat penne pasta
2 large orange or yellow tomatoes
2 large red tomatoes
1 large red, green, or purple pepper
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
3 tablespoons chopped basil
1/2 cup pine nuts
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons of salt
1 tablespoon of pepper
1-2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese
Crushed red pepper to taste (optional)

Boil a large pot of water for the pasta and add salt.  Meanwhile, heat a pan over medium high heat.  Add pine nuts and toast 2 – 4 minutes, stirring constantly, just until they begin to brown.  Add nuts to large bowl.  Chop tomatoes, garlic, pepper, parsley, and basil.  Add to bowl with the pine nuts.  Add lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper to pine nut and veggie mixture.  Stir occasionally.  Add pasta to water and cook, while stirring veggie mixture every few minutes.  Once pasta is done, drain and put into bowls.  Top with cheese and 4-5 scoops of veggie mixture.

ENJOY!