Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Day 1 - 10 Days to a Healthier You in 2012!

Day 1 - Warming the Body
One of the easiest and most effective ways to improve your health is to eat seasonally.  So unless you live in a climate that has daytime temperatures over 70 degrees, I don’t encourage too much raw juicing.  From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective consuming too many raw fruits and veggies in a cold climate can cause the body to become cold and damp.  This gives rise to a lowered immune system, a sluggish circulatory system, overworked kidneys and a lower metabolic rate.

Since most of us are in cooler climates this time of year, eating a diet that concentrates on warming foods can have many positive benefits including a more active metabolic rate, increased circulation and that means a better memory, a balanced immune system and so much more!

So on the first day of this program we are going to concentrate on foods that warm the body.  This would include anything with warming spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg and ginger plus black pepper, chili peppers and anything warm!

The drink for the day is a wonderful high protein warm drink that is reminiscent of pumpkin pie!  I use Garden of Life’s Raw Protein and Raw Fiber.  They both contain lots of naturally occurring proteins, vitamins, minerals, fiber and prebiotics because they are made from sprouts, veggies and fruits.  If you cannot find them locally you can order them on line.  

Use this as a great way to either start or end your day!

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Well, it’s not really a pie or pumpkin, but it certainly tastes like it . . . baked yams, coconut milk, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg will transport you to Thanksgiving with every sip.  Yams are naturally sweet, loaded with fiber important vitamins, minerals and phytoestrogens.  This smoothie combines them with spices that balance blood sugar and coconut milk that contains all-important medium chain fatty acids, as well as protein, making this a delicious way to boost your nutrition for the day!  This smoothie can be served warm or iced depending upon the season. 
Yield – 16 ounces

1 cup baked garnet yams
3/4 cup Thai Kitchen organic coconut milk
1/4 cup hot water or 1 cup ice cubes
1/2 teaspoon Sweet Fall Spice Blend
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger
1/4 scoop Garden of Life Raw Meal
1/4 scoop Garden of Life Raw Fiber

Reserving 2 tablespoons coconut milk, blend on high speed in a VitaMix or other powerful blender until smooth and creamy.  Pour into a glass, top with reserved coconut milk and a dash of the spice blend.  I like to serve it with a cinnamon stick.

If you are making a cold smoothie be sure your yams are chilled.  You may need to add a bit of cold water to get the blending process under way.  When serving cold, I generally top with Coconut Crème instead of regular coconut milk and a dash of spice blend.

Both smoothies are so thick they are almost like a pudding, if you prefer a thinner smoothie just add a little more water or coconut milk.

Nutrition Note:  The phytoestrogens found in yams help the liver to clear chemicals that mimic estrogen.  This allows for proper production of both estrogen and progesterone, which is considered a natural way to aid in the prevention of both breast and prostate cancer.  The Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCT) found in the coconut milk are unusually healthy fats.  They resemble carbohydrates more than fats, are more water soluble, don't require bile to break them down, are broken down more quickly allowing them enter the blood stream faster, are taken directly to the liver where they are used as an immediate source of energy, and since fewer MCTs are converted to fat than their LCT (Long Chain Fatty Acid) cousins, they are considered the ideal fats for raising energy production and balancing body fat.
Here are some additional menu suggestions for this day of warming foods which can be found in my cookbook: 

Texas Style Chicken or Veggie Chili 
Baby Bok Choy in Orange-Ginger Sauce 
Ensalada de Papas Rojas 

Here are some tea/coffee choices to enhance your Warming Day!

Try adding at least 1 cup of Chai Tea with almond milk, Ginger Tea and/or a Mexi Espresso or Latte:

Ginger Tea
To make a great cup thinly slice 1 inch of fresh ginger, place in a small sauce pan, cover with 4 cups cold water, 1 cinnamon stick and a pinch of stevia. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes and serve!

Mexi Espresso
If you aren't fortunate enough to have an espresso machine, you can do what I do - use a French press for good results!  In a warmed French press add 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/3 cup ground coffee beans and 6 cups water and steep 5 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Mexi Latte 
1 1/2 cups Mexi Espresso & 1/4 cup steamed almond milk and 1 pinch stevia powder.  Mix well and garnish with a dusting of cinnamon and cayenne.

Here are a few links to some websites that offer some yoga poses and stretches using an exercise ball to help warm your body as well:

I do hope you enjoy today's day of warming and if you have any questions just post a comment and I'll get back to you as soon as I can!

Dr. P

1 comment:

  1. I never thought of making a smoothie out of yams, but it sounds great. I am excited to try it! Maya