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Turmeric Ginger Switchel

Turmeric Ginger Switchel

 

Excited to share my new favorite summer drink! Why Turmeric? In botanical medicine it goes by it’s Latin name, Curcuma Longa. It is a member of the ginger family and is a rhizome that looks like ginger, but is bright orange/yellow. The orange color is the carotenoid called ‘curcumin’ which is responsible for the amazing health benefits including high antioxidant power. Turmeric is wonderful for soothing and quenching all sorts of inflammation. We now understand that inflammation is at the root of many common chronic illnesses. It has anti-cancer as well as brain protective benefits. With dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases on the rise, I am definitely looking for prevention strategies, especially ones that taste so good! If you are looking for a way to add delicious supercharged nutrition to your life, you can’t go wrong with Turmeric!

Fresh Turmeric

Fresh Turmeric

It is also slightly bitter, and a warming, stimulating herb which helps with bile production, and can support healthy cholesterol levels. We know it is absorbed best when in the presence of black pepper. In this recipe I use doTERRA black pepper essential oil which is really mild and adds a great balance to the flavor.

IMG_2319If you want to purchase black pepper oil you can do that here. 

 

IMG_2311Ginger is a natural companion to turmeric. Very anti-inflammatory itself, it also helps with digestion, has anticancer benefits too. Ginger has been shown to reduce migraine pain and menstrual cramps. This is powerful kitchen medicine! A switchel is an old fashioned beverage using apple cider vinegar with some sort of sweetener- commonly honey, maple syrup, or molasses. I will be experimenting with using a xylitol simple syrup to reduce the glycemic impact of the switchel. However, the amount of honey used in this recipe is relatively small, and the switchel is diluted with still or sparkling water, so the sugar content is much lower than most commercially available sodas and drinks.

Here is the recipe:

Equal parts fresh turmeric and ginger juice. I juiced them in my champion juicer, however if you do not have a juicer you can grate them on a fine, microplane grater, and then add the freshly grated roots to the apple cider vinegar mixture. When you serve it you will just want to strain it first. So you can scale this recipe as you want, but for this example let’s say we have 1/4 cup combined turmeric and ginger juices. fresh turmeric and ginger juice

To this you will add 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon, lime or a combo of juice.

lemons

Then add 3/4 cup Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Then stir in your sweetener. I used honey in mine and I used 1/2 cup. You may like it more or less sweet and you can adjust to your taste. honey

4 drops black pepper essential oil

Stir all together. This makes the base of your switchel drink. It is very strong by itself. To serve, add 2-3 Tablespoons to a 12 oz glass filled with ice and either still or sparkling water. It is also delicious added to summer cocktails! Be aware that the Turmeric can stain anything it comes in contact with!

Enjoy!

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Ginger, Turmeric, Cinnamon

More and more research is supporting the idea that inflammation is at the heart of most chronic diseases.

A wonderful friend of mine taught me this delicious recipe for an anti-inflammatory tea.  She experienced significant reduction in her arthritis pain after regular consumption.  I decided I had to try it myself!  Not only is it extremely good for you, it is delicious!

Recipe?  In a saucepan full of water throw a few slices of fresh ginger, fresh turmeric, and cinnamon sticks.  Simmer for 20 min or longer.  Add  a small bit of honey and the juice of one lemon.   Drink hot or cold!  It is also easily made with dried, ground herbs as well.  Try 1 quart of water with 1/2 tsp of each herb.

Curcumin, the potent anti-oxidant in Turmeric has been found to be as effective an anti inflammatory as prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in a trial with rheumatoid arthritis patients.  It is an effective free radical scavenger, and holds promise in prevention of cancer and alzheimer’s disease.  In nutrition, it seems that the deeper the color of the food the higher the nutritional value.  So when you are shopping, look for deep green greens like kale, dark berries, and bright yellow pigments like turmeric for nutrient dense power.

Ginger has been used traditionally to quell arthritis pain and has been shown effective in trials comparing it to NSAIDS.  Ginger is also a warming, digestive stimulant.

Cinnamon is rapidly earning its reputation as a blood sugar and lipid regulator for folks who struggle with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.  Besides this, cinnamon is also anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, warming and delicious!

Do you need any more encouragement to go put on a pot of water for a batch of turmeric, ginger, cinnamon tea?

DSCN2535Celebrate the abundance of Summer!

Come join the community that has become Rose Cabinet Medicine!  Saturday June 21st 2014 from 11-5 drop in to visit, eat delicious food, relax with a foot bath, mix your own custom flower essence, and receive a shiatsu massage!  Learn about my passions: Nutrition, Brain Health, and Stress Management!  Visit, relax, and enjoy the company of others who share your interest in health and wellness.

 

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Receiving a Neurofeedback treatment

Why Neurofeedback? By guest blogger Austin Rose

Do you ever feel like who you are limits who you could be? Have you ever felt negative thinking influences how you live your life? Political theorist William Connelly describes the activity in our brains when he says, “to think is to move something. And to modify a set of brain/body connections helps to draw a habit, a disposition to judgement, or a capacity of action into being.” In other words, thinking creates patterns of thought which become actions and ultimately form habits. These patterns create a framework, or reference, for the things we can think and do. As we think, we can modify or strengthen these patterns, in turn making our thought processes more flexible or rigid. These patterns of thought are deeply rooted in ourselves and the multitude of experiences we encounter throughout our lives. They can be very difficult to change. We do not have much control over how these patterns are created as we live our lives. Our brains are organs of survival. Bombarded with so much stimulation day in and day out we can often feel lost and powerless to change our thoughts, reactions and habits. However, contrary to what scientists previously believed, new research in neuroscience is finding that the brain is malleable. This is referred to as “neural plasticity.” It turns out that we have the capacities to establish new patterns of thought, rework old manners of thinking and unleash previously hidden potential.

Neurofeedback (brainwave biofeedback) is a therapy which capitalizes on this plasticity of the brain. Neurofeedback as a therapy has been shown to be useful in treating ADD, ADHD, anxiety, insomnia, depression, anger, traumatic brain injuries, and chronic migraines. It has also been shown to increase performance in athletes, and can enhance energy and brain functioning in healthy individuals.

Neurofeedback is a treatment to aid our brain in deciding which pathways it should strengthen and which to modify. A metaphor I return to frequently when thinking about neurofeedback comes from Grant Rudolph, who describes it as, “a rainstorm blowing dead leaves and branches out of a tree – the living branches stay connected and new growth accelerates.” By sending weak electrical signals to our brain (feedback), signals which are weaker than those emitted by a watch battery and are akin to micro-voltage in the brain itself, neurofeedback stimulates increased neural flexibility. The brain decides which pathways are useful (healthy branches) and which pathways are limiting us in our current experience (dead leaves). With increasing neural flexibility, we experience more space, or thinking power, to develop new habits and growth in our brains.

My Experience with Neurofeedback

A little over a year ago I stumbled across LENS  (stands for Low Energy Neurofeedback System) neurofeedback thanks to Dr. Louise Rose who suggested I might find similarities between it and the political theory that I was immersed in at Marlboro College. I also have a history of head injuries. As an active young man I throw my head around a lot and sometimes it hits things.

My first neurofeedback treatments found me with considerably more energy and creativity. I was able to utilize this new energy for my thesis work at school and my procrastination dissolved. I also experienced my hand-eye coordination increase dramatically, becoming three to four times what it used to be. After several treatments my senses were working at a much higher level than before. It was as if a dial had been turned up heightening my perception. Not only was I perceiving more, I felt the need to share these perceptions with the world. I began to make music, write poetry, have long engaging conversations, and I even began to start on my school work…before school even started. I felt great and wanted to share it with others.

Back in Vermont during the fall term I felt these effects begin to wear off. My motivation declined as school picked up momentum and creating began to feel like a chore. I found things I enjoyed writing about but felt like what I wanted to say was no longer important to me or had already been said. Where was the heightened energy and creativity that I had felt in August? I was still feeling heightened awareness of my surroundings but found myself falling back into old patterns of thought.

When I returned to Portland for winter vacation I jumped at the opportunity for more neurofeedback. However after the treatments I felt little to no change in my body or mind, although my brain map did look considerably different from the previous one. I didn’t really think too much about it as there were many other things on my plate. I was distracted and wasn’t surprised when I didn’t feel anything new.

When I settled back in at school, I began to think about why neurofeedback had worked so well for me in the summer yet not after my winter treatments. Also, why did other members of my family not see the same results I had? Soon I realized the major difference lay in my meditation practice.

When I first started neurofeedback I concurrently began to meditate using Dr. Les Fehmi’s Open Focus meditations. Open Focus works to increase ones awareness of the body and it’s surroundings. Open Focus meditation is a practice designed by Dr. Fehmi a pioneer of neurofeedback technology, and is similar to some eastern meditation practices. As I returned to regular Open Focus practice, I found many of the effects I felt from neurofeedback begin to return. At first I wondered if what I had felt originally were only the effects of Open Focus. However as my practice matured, I began to see parallels between the two and how one strengthened the other.

If neurofeedback works by “blowing dead leaves and branches out of a tree (the mind), leaving the living ones and encouraging new growth,” then the question becomes, what can I do to stimulate this new growth alongside my neurofeedback treatment. By merely continuing through my daily routines after neurofeedback, I was not moving my brain to think in new ways. Though I may have begun to see some changes in my habitual thought patterns, without the support of the active retraining of meditation, these thoughts seemed not to have long lasting effects. Caught in my routines, I was still thinking in habitual patterns that were consequently reinforced. My hypothesis is that If we push our minds to experience new things, we will create new frameworks of thought and capitalize on the neural plasticity provided by neurofeedback. Since we do not know the myriad of ways wecould feel, being open to new experiences gives us the opportunity to develop these new frameworks. This is how I see the flexibility resulting from neurofeedback combined with Open Focus practice; an increased ability to immerse myself in my own body and it’s surroundings, while distancing myself from unhealthy deep neural patterns that my emotional baggage has created. Since I began to practice meditation concurrent with my neurofeedback treatments, I have seen incredible leaps forward in my thinking, and productive changes in my brain maps produced by the LENS Neurofeedback software. While in my experience, meditating dramatically increased the effects of neurofeedback treatment, Dr. Rose has many patients who have benefited by neurofeedback alone. In my experience, when attempting to move my brain in new ways, the catalyst to long lasting effects of neurofeedback lies in an openness to new experiences. If, after a treatment you feel inclined to clean out a closet, or begin your memoirs, don’t hesitate, act on it. If you do not feel many changes after a couple appointments, think about how you can stimulate changes in your routine. This could be as simple as brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand, shaving in a new pattern than before, or taking up a meditation practice. Also, if changes are not immediate after treatment, do not be dissuaded. Sometimes the brain is stuck in very rigid habits requiring time for neurofeedback treatment to gently rock it out of these patterns. By being open to new experience, we stimulate the growth of living, strong and flexible branches in our minds and bring a new capacity of action into being.   -By Austin Rose

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Reporting here from Los Gatos, California where I am soaking in the latest research and developments in the field of LENS- Low Energy Neurofeedback.  So far we have learned about a fantastic program in Colorado that is using LENS with their in and outpatient addiction treatment.  The success rate has jumped exponentially after adding neurofeedback.  Healing the brain is at the root of addiction recovery.  I have also talked with folks who are using Low Energy Light Therapy  to treat brain injuries and other mitochondrial dysfunction.  Exciting information on how to work with our most sensitive patients gave me lots of ideas.  We learned about the new data tracking component of the new Lensware 3 system which will support much needed research in the field.  Looking forward to two more days of learning- the gut/brain connection, treating multiple sclerosis, meditation, and ADD.

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