Saturday, January 31, 2015

One Degree of Change #14

One Degree of Change #14

My patients are finishing their last week of the Standard Process Purification Program.  I'm amazed at the transformation in just a few weeks.  It brings such joy to my heart to hear them talk amongst themselves before we start class, sharing recipes, ideas and "Ah ha" moments.  Watching the light bulb begin to illuminate a new pathway of wellness is one of the most satisfying elements of my practice.  Not only for the participants to make the one degree of change in the way that they feed their bodies, but the way they are also feeding their soul.  It is not just about detoxing the liver or losing weight, but watching them take control of how they nourish their body and feed their soul.  I always feel a bit of spiritual energy increase each week amongst my "students".  Most likely because they are empowered and have education as their tool to a better way of making nutritious decisions when feeding themselves and their families.  It makes me so proud and honored at the same time!

In the same way that I attempt to inspire them to make choices of nutrition rich and fiber dense foods, I also give them ways to give back to this amazing planet where we live.  This picture is an example of  how my household gives back to the earth by composting.  This is an azalea bush.  Nothing signals springtime in Central Florida like the azaleas.  Remember I said "spring time", this is winter, I took this picture on January 30th.  Okay, winter in Florida is slightly oxymoronic, but nonetheless, this bush is blooming two months early.  Why?  It is getting all the organic fertilizer leaching from the compost bin.  And if you take a close look, everything around the container is a lush green and the trees in the background are leafless. 

One Degree of Change #14: Buy a reusable collection jar for your kitchen compost!  To compliment last week's blog on composting, I figure it was only appropriate to demonstrate the best way to collect and transport your future fertilizer to your new compost bin.  Once again, I try to make it easy by giving you the top three choices.  These containers are the perfect solution for efficient recycling of kitchen food scraps. Use a compost pail to hold vegetable trimmings, tea bags and leaves, coffee grounds, herbs, eggshells or spent flowers until transferred to an outdoor compost bin.  Remember to  not include any meat or meat by-products, fish, fats or dairy products. These items do not contribute to optimum compost and can attract animal pests to your yard.

Bamboo Compost Pail-  This Bamboo Compost Pail has a 3.25 quart/3 liter plastic liner that has a carrying handle for easy transport to the compost bin.  The pail contains two charcoal filter in the vented lid to ensure an odor-free environment for several days without having to empty the contents. Replace both filters every 2-6 months or sooner if odors are not being contained.  To replace the filters: Turn the lid upside down, remove the square filter and then the round one. Replace each filter with a new one.  It has to be hand washed.
Ceramic Countertop Compost Pail-  Who knew compost could look so pretty! These simple containers  will remind you to compost the little things, such as coffee grounds and orange rinds, and give your kitchen counter an artful touch.  Each compost crock includes 10 1.5-gallon BioBags for easy compost disposal. BioBags are 100% biodegradable and 100% compostable. Additional sets of 50 1.5-gallon BioBag refills available.

Stainless Steel Odor-Free Countertop Compost Container- Again my effort to recycle and be more earth friendly has led me to composting. We eat so many fresh fruits and veggies that it is such a shame to throw it out to the weekly garbage pickup.  We found this for our kitchen. As we cut, peel or chop veggies and fruits, all the leftovers go into the pail. Any past due veggies or fruits we didn’t get to eat get tossed in (makes you not feel so bad for wasting food). We also buy tea bags that can compost. Coffee grounds and egg shells can go in too! This pail has a two carbon filters so it reduces any rotten food smell. We empty our container about every other day.  It is also dishwasher safe.

All of the above choices are in the price range of $50.  Of course, you can use any type of container to collect your kitchen scraps, I just like pretty!  There is also an option, which I am considering, that is a beneath the counter container.  It is built into the countertop and is flush with the surface.  It is very sleek and stylish.  It is also stainless steel, so it fits in with today's modern design kitchen.

Are you ready to begin?  Do you have your composting warrior gear in place?  Remember to make any One Degree of Change, it begins with a decision and then an action.  I have done the research for you, now it is time for you to do your part.  Ready? Begin!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

One Degree of Change #13

One Degree of Change #13

Remember as kids, we had chores. One of the most popular chores was to take out the trash.  Not a difficult task, but it took an act of God to get us to do it.  Have you ever thought about where your garbage goes? Most likely when it is picked up from your curbside it is taken to a local landfill.  Landfills are a complete science. They are a carefully designed structure built into or on top of the ground in which trash is isolated from the surrounding environment (groundwater, air, rain). This isolation is accomplished with a bottom liner and daily covering of soil.  ­The trash production in the United States has almost tripled since 1960. This trash is handled in various ways. About 32.5 percent of the trash is recycled or composted, 12.5 percent is burned and 55 percent is buried in landfills [source: EPA].  Take a look at what the single family throws away in waste per day!  Look at the amount of food and yard waste that we add to the landfills.

 In our household we compost and recycle to the point that when garbage day comes, we barely have any household garbage, maybe one small 2' x 2' trash bag.  We have two huge recycle containers on wheels that are always full to the brim. Since so much of what we eat is fresh produce, it only made sense to start  composting (also on my New Year's list a couple of years ago to reduce my own carbon footprint!).  Especially now, while we are doing our Purification Program, we are eating even more fresh produce than usual.  I surveyed my patients to see who composted.  The patients that didn't compost (90% didn't compost) were asked why they didn't compost. The number one reason was they didn't know how to start!

One Degree of Change #13: Compost your Veggies, Fruit and Yard Waste!  In order to make it simple, I have researched three of the easiest, most cost effective containers to use to compost.  And the winners are:
1. Tumbling composter
I like this composter because it has two chambers.  You fill one side, while the other side is curing.  It is a very efficient and easy way to convert your yard and kitchen waste into rich soil enhancing compost.  You load it, slide the door closed, using the built-in hand holds, you give it a turn every couple of days!  It is made out of recycled plastic and is rodent proof.  

2. Vermicomposting  

This is another favorite and one of  the easiest way to turn your scraps into liquid gold fertilizer is composting with worms.  This worm bin is a kit with everything you need to get started.  Simply put your food scraps into the bin and cover with moistened paper.  The worms will break down your scraps with a little time and no effort from you!  You never need to turn it, and the worms are fine when left alone for months.

3. Super Composter

This is what we use in our household.  My favorite because it is a no fuss, no muss deal. It is constructed from 90% pre-consumer recycled plastic.  It holds 115 gallons. There are doors on all four sides for easy access, open a side put your shovel in and black gold!  Also the doors function as leaf scoops.  It is vented on each side to accelerate composting.  No turning necessary. It has an easy open lid. And simple, no tool assembly.

All of these are in the $100 range.  The last one, to me, is the simplest.  I just keep adding food scraps and alternate with some yard clipping or leaves.  I have it near some azalea bushes, which bloom almost year round because they have the benefit of the nutrients leaching into the surrounding soil.  If you are enterprising, you can build your own.  There are plenty of plans on the internet.  If you are ambitious, you can check out this website that will show you how to DIY four types of bins:  But from my survey, if people are looking for simple, chances are they are not the building type.

I challenge you to reduce your carbon footprint.  Just One Degree of Change from your household will change the direction of landfills.  Do your self the favor!  Your planet will thank you!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

One Degree of Change #12

One Degree of Change #12

Water, the nectar of life.  You could live for more than a week without food, if you had water to drink.  Did you know that your muscle tissue is 75% water? And according to my old textbook Guyton and Hall's  Textbook of Medical Physiology, our body composition is made up of 60% water. Every system inside of our body uses water for proper function. Water helps to flush toxins from your organs, transport nutrients to your cells and provides moisture to the delicate tissues of our eyes, ears, nose and throat.  So, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out just how important water is to the human body.

How much should you drink per day?  There are all sorts of gimmicky water consumption rules. The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate water intake for men is 13 cups and for women it is 9 cups of total beverages.  You have to realize if you are eating veggies and fruits, this would be included in your consumption. Properly hydrating your body has so many health benefits.  I researched several studies on PubMed that indicate a reduction of colorectal cancer (45%), bladder cancer (50%) and possible breast cancer reduction, just from drinking adequate amounts of good ole H20.  For my athletes, dehydration causes weakness, fatigue, electrolyte imbalance and dizziness.  Sometimes when you are hungry, you are really thirsty. Drinking more water can promote weight loss by causing an appetite suppressant effect. Water consumption also helps the joints by hydrating the cartilage to keep it soft.  Get in the habit of having water with you.  In order to do that, you must select an appropriate vessel.

One Degree of Change #12: Find & use a favorite reusable H20 bottle. So I have talked to you about saving the planet from all those water bottles. You know how to filter your own water.  Now that you are reminded of the importance of water, it is time to select the reusable bottle that works for you.  I have done all the research and have selected the top 3 bottles; glass, stainless steel and plastic.

bkr – The bkr is a glass bottle; it comes in either 16 ounces or 32 ounces. The upside of glass is that it leaches nothing into the liquid, so whether it’s water, juice, nut milk or wine, your beverage will taste exactly like it’s supposed to. The downside of glass bottles, of course, is that they could break. However, the bkr is protected with a full-body sleeve made of silicone that also provides a good non-stick grip for the bottle. If you’re a fashionista or you just like variety, buy one bottle but a few different sleeves, which come in a variety of colors.

Kleen Kanteen – These insulated stainless steel bottles and to-go mugs keep contents hot up to 6 hours and cold a lot longer. They have nice wide mouths and you can order tops with straw attachments and sippy-cup tops for kids. You’ll love the colors and fun designs, too.

Square Clean Bottle – If you have to buy a plastic water bottle, this might be the one to consider. Though it claims to be BPA-free, what I really like about it is that it unscrews on the bottom as well as the top, so it’s easy to wash out (hence the name Clean bottle). And you can get an infuser or a filter module to use with the bottle.

I like different things about all three.  They are listed above in order of my favorites.  It is up to you to decide. Start bringing your own.  Do you have a favorite bottle you use already?  Leave a comment to share your favorite!

Dr. B's tips to be Clean and Green in 2015 :
  • Drink approximately 9 cups a day for women and 13 cups for men.
  • Carry a bottle everywhere with you as a reminder to keep drinking.
  • Eat raw fruits and vegetables – they are dense in water. You can get water from food, not just from beverages.
  • Drink water and other fluids until your urine is frequent and almost colorless.
It's a new day on your journey, make your One Degree of Change to go to a new destination of wellness!  Your body and planet will thank you!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

One Degree of Change #11

One Degree of Change #11

Each New Year's Day (for the past 14 years) I have created a ritual of creating my intentions for the upcoming year and review the past year's list.  I take three sheets of paper and mark one page "Personal", the next one "Financial" and the last one "Things".  The "Personal" page will consist of all the travel, commitments to family and friends, hobbies I want to explore, health goals, taking care of the environment. But it is not just for this year, it is everything I desire to fulfill my life, to give me purpose for being on this earth. 
I set a timer for 10 minutes, and then put everything on that list from being the best pet mom to speaking Spanish to creating a foundation to teach nutrition to living in Costa Rica for three months out of the year.  I write like a wild woman, the pen is in a flurry to capture the thoughts that are flying through my head.  The sky's the limit.  I don't worry how I'm going to do it, the details, the cost, or even when it will happen.  I do this for each page.  Sometimes the items I put on my list are so big, I wonder to myself, what was I thinking.  Next I go back to each page and put a time frame; 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years and 15 years.  I take the top three one year items on each page and write a statement about why I am passionate about making that item happen.  If I can't think of anything that jazzes me (which has never happened) then I pick another 1 year item on the list. Now I can take nine items and chart a journey for each.

After reviewing my list from last year, one of my items on my personal list was to be more environmental friendly.  So I wrote a list of all the changes I wanted to create, and for the most part I successfully checked off many things concerning taking better care of our earth. One of the items was using less bottled water. We are doing better in our household, but not perfect.

One Degree of Change #11: 
Filter your own H20!  It's not that hard. Water filtration is the best process to remove the bacteria as well as it maintain the softness of water. I chose three methods priced low, moderate and high end. 
The first is a plain, old, charcoal filter pitcher filtration like "Brita", you pour the water into the container and it filters right before your eyes. Initially, it is inexpensive, but replacement cartridges can become costly. 
The second is a counter top water filtration system.  This type is hooked up to your faucet so all the water that runs thru is filtered.  A better and more cost effective way than the pitcher filters. 
The third, which is what we use in our home, is an  under the sink filter.  We have a designated mini faucet that delivers filtered water to the sink as well as our refrigerator.  It is a little more expensive initially, due to installation, but long term, it does a better job. I like this the best because you always have available filtered water. It is the best long-term solution for in-home water filtration.  Typically, the most robust and effective filtration technology which reduces about 10x more contaminants than the leading pitcher filter. And it is convenient and sophisticated with a dedicated on-sink faucet for filtered water on demand. I like that the system is hidden under the counter.  Typically the longest lasting filters compared to countertop or pitcher options. It has an easy to change filter.

All of the above are still in an affordable price range.  Look around to see what works for you. I will "do" better this year, because I "know" better!  Remember each degree of change you make changes your journey.  The small impact of filtering your own drinking water will save the earth from the billions of plastic bottles dumped into the landfills everyday.   
Happy New Year! 
Be clean and green in 2015!
The Purification Program begins Monday, January 12th in Winter Park and Tuesday, January 13th in Eustis.  You are invited to join the first night introduction to see what it is all about!



Thursday, January 1, 2015

One Degree of Change #10

One Degree of Change #10

One of my old comfort foods was Campbell's Tomato Soup.  Especially great (so I thought) on a night when I would get home from a long day of seeing patients and not feel like cooking.  Or on a cold evening, plop it in a pan, and instant heart warmer. Then I read the ingredients (taken directly off the can):
I was so disappointed that the second and third ingredients are terrible.  See One degree of change #4 about High Fructose Corn Syrup for more information.  And most wheat is genetically modified so that was out of my diet.  And "Flavoring"??? I searched the Campbell's website and the only thing that I could find was that the "Flavoring" is undisclosed animal-based ingredients. What?  For all I know that is probably leftovers of meat production that would otherwise be waste.  A quick google search on many of the vegan blogs will reveal further speculation.  Campbell's won't confirm or deny this information, but will state that they do not have any vegan soups!  And that their only Vegetarian soup is there Vegetarian Vegetable Soup.  And the final upsetting ingredient is Monopotassium phosphate.  That, my friends, is a soluble salt of potassium and the dihydrogen phosphate ion which is used as a fertilizer, a food additive and a fungicide. It is a source of phosphorus and potassium. It is also a buffering agent. Wow!  The same ingredient that is used to make fertilizer and fungicide is in my soup.  Yummo!  Now you know why I get on my "soup" box!

One Degree of Change #10: Use only BPA Free cans and bottles. One of the purposes of last week's blog was to prepare your pantry/cabinets for better choices. To top all of the above off, the cans themselves contain BPA.  BPA stands for bisphenol A. BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s. BPA is found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastics are often used in containers that store food and beverages, such as water bottles.  Nothing wrong with that? The "wrong about that" is it is an endocrine disrupter.  This means that it interferes with the production, secretion, transport, action, function and elimination of natural hormones. BPA can imitate our body's own hormones in a way that could be hazardous for health. Babies and young children are said to be especially sensitive to the effects of BPA.

Most products today are labelled with BPA Free logo's.  This certainly makes it easier.  I do have a few cans in my pantry, all are BPA free.  Mostly I select the boxes which are "tetra pak containers" which are also BPA free and easy to recycle.

Since I spoiled your soup dreams, only fair to give you an easy soup recipe that you can make yourself!  In the One degree of change #6 I gave you a veggie a month list.  December was Acorn Squash.
Here is my recipe for Roasted Acorn Squash Soup!

  • 1 large organic acorn squash, cut in half, scoop out seeds and drizzle with olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon citrus infused olive oil, you can use just olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh grated cinnamon stick, you can use what you have
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt, or to taste
  • 1 medium organic yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of elephant garlic, minced
  • 1 cups unsweetened coconut milk, you can use almond
  • 2 cups organic chicken broth
  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
  2. Cut the acorn squash in half length-wise. Scoop out the seeds and discard them (or you can roast them like pumpkin seeds--they're delicious!).
  3. Place both squash halves (prepped as described above) on a baking sheet, cut-side down. Roast the acorn squash for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the flesh is very soft. Use a spoon to remove the squash flesh from the skin; discard the skin.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until browned, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat. (I did put a splash of cooking sherry in the sauté pan at the end, but that is optional).
  5. Add the squash, cinnamon, sautéed onion and garlic, coconut milk, and chicken broth to a large pot or deep metal bowl.  I used an immersion blender and blend it until it is completely smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper, I use a dash of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes for an extra kick. Heat to desirable temperature.
I served it with a few slices of organic grass fed filet mignon and imported French camembert!
Restock your pantry/cabinets.  Your one degree of change is to begin your journey of eating clean!  No chemicals in your food or food containers.  Another reason why I recommend the Standard Process Purification Program.  Our next classes start January 12th & 13th in 2015! 
Happy New Year!
Eat clean and green in 2015!