Niagara Gazette — I’ve learned a lot about staying healthy since contracting Lyme disease and cancer 20 years ago.
Back then, after much research, I created a diet that has kept me free of arthritic pain and inflammation that Lyme disease brought on and has kept me full of energy.
I learned that inflammation is usually the source of pain and imbalance in the body. If it isn’t created by injury then it’s created mostly by diet, dehydration and emotion.
It’s important to realize that your emotional state is very significant to your health and wellbeing. Analyze your thought patterns and consider healing any underlying grief, anger, fear or other negative emotions that you might be holding onto in your subconscious. These emotions greatly affect your organs and digestive systems.
Coupling a good emotional attitude with eating foods that support a healthy body is a big part of the prescription for a longer healthier life.
Since healing myself of Lyme disease and cancer, as well as a crippling spinal injury, utilizing both a good diet and emotional healing, I became dedicated to helping others. I studied herbal remedies, nutrition, meditation, emotional and energetic healing work along with eco-psychology for more than seven years and have been helping others for nearly 20 years.
The first, and most important, thing you need to know in order to begin your journey into healthy ingesting is to always drink at least 3 liters of filtered water a day — the ideal combination is 2 liters of filtered and 1 liter of alkaline water daily. Drink water 20 minutes before meals or between meals. The more water the better. Your body is made up primarily of water that needs to be replenished constantly.
As you get started on rethinking your diet, I suggest utilizing two uncooked or live meals a day with one cooked meal. Cooked polenta for breakfast is nice as are fruit smoothies. You might also start your day with singular fruit servings like watermelon, which has more iron then beets. Fruits, especially melons should be eaten before other foods or in the morning for easier digestion. If you don’t have fruit, or are beginning a detox diet, a hummus wrap makes a nice start to the day, as does a live carrot ginger soup. Live salads or cooked veggies and quinoa for lunch, or a fish dish with a salad also makes a great lunch. Always prepare a fresh-squeezed green juice for a mid-day snack between meals.
Please don’t mix your starches and proteins, they digest differently — don’t eat potatoes, pasta, polenta, quinoa, millet or rice with fish. Try sticking to eating greens and salads with your fish dishes (or any animal protein).
Potatoes can create a little inflammation so it’s important to pair them with veggies like kale, arugula, chard, spinach, collard greens and asparagus, when in season, daily.
Chewing your food well will allow the enzymes that are in your saliva to begin the digestive process of breaking down proteins and carbs turning your food into energy. Take your time and eat like it’s a meditation. Keep food there chewing it to allow these enzymes to work for you.
Don’t forget to exercise daily. Hike, walk, ride a bike, play tennis, golf, basketball, baseball, surf, swim, walk up the stairs, you’ll start to get into it more as you do it. Moving your body will make you feel better. Remember you don’t have to spend a chunk of time exercising, even if you only spend 10 minutes here and five minutes there so that they add up to 20 to 60 minutes each day you will still feel the benefits.
These diet tips worked for me. I trust they will do the same for you as you self-heal through eating right, exercising and reaching out for emotional support. The following simple recipes are just a few from my book.
By following the simple recipes and guidelines I hope you will enjoy preparing these foods as much as I do, and that they will inspire you to create some of your own.
Luscious lemon cream pie
Juice of 3 medium to large lemons
3 large avocados
3/4 cup organic coconut oil
1/4 cup raw tahini
1 tablespoon raw honey
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shredded coconut
Macadamia crust recipe (below)
Open and pit avocados and place meat in a blender, add juice of three lemons, coconut oil, tahini, lemon zest, honey, salt and blend until rich and creamy.
Mix should be fairly stiff. Pour into pan with crust and sprinkle 1/4 cup of shredded coconut on top. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
1 cup macadamia nuts
1 cup Medjool dates
1/2 cup shredded coconut
Soak dates in a glass jar with two cup of water for 6 hours and soak macadamia nuts in a glass jar or container for 8 hours in twice the water to nuts. Rinse both.
Peel the skin from dates and pit them chop them into four square pieces.
Place dates, nuts and 1/2 cup of shredded coconut in a food processor, chop starting and stopping to scrape mixture from sides until the nuts are evenly sized small pieces and dates are blended in.
Smooth the crust into either an 8- or 10-inch pie pan or rectangular pan and dehydrate for 1 hour using toaster oven or oven at lowest setting if you do not have a dehydrator.
Asparagus fettuccinein spicy cream
1 large bunch of fresh asparagus
1/2 bartlett pear
2 stalk of chives
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla
White pepper to taste
Add vanilla and white pepper to spicy peanut-free peanut sauce (recipe below).
Wash asparagus and trim off hard base of stalk by bending until it breaks. Place the tender stalk on a mandolin, adjusting the blade to the thinnest possible position and gently ease the asparagus through the metal.
Place the asparagus in a large glass bowl of filtered water with 1/2 teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt. Let stand for 15 minutes.
Pour 1/2 cup of olive oil into a glass jar add 1 teaspoon each of fresh chives, tarragon, thyme and sage close the jar and let stand for 10 minutes. Slice the pear into thin pieces and then in half.
Drain the asparagus by lifting it out of the water carefully so you won’t break the strands and pat dry. Place in a serving plate or bowl crossing a few pieces horizontally over the others. Add pear pieces and spicy peanut-free peanut sauce, drizzle with infused olive oil, lemon juice garnish with chopped chives and a dash of cayenne.
Peanut-free peanut sauce
1/2 cup of fresh raw coconut milk
1/4 cup of chickpea or white miso
1/2 jalapeno pepper
1/4 cup of almond butter slightly roasted
1/2 cup of raw tahini
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro
1/4 cup of water more or less for desired consistency
Dash of cayenne
Blend the above ingredients until smooth continuously pushing it down from the sides of the blender until it is the desired consistency.
Live pumpkin souffle
1 medium to large cantaloupe or hami melon. Reserve three to four melon balls for garnish.
2 tablespoons raw tahini
1 cup coconut water
1 tablespoon organic psyllium husks
1 teaspoon Irish moss gel
Blend ingredients above and pour into a glass bowl or jar to refrigerate for 4-5 hours. Serve in small bowls with a small ball of melon and sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg.
Kathleen Downey is a former Niagara Falls native and Miss New York State. The preceeding was an edited excerpt from her book “Healthy is Delicious.” She can be reached at www.corelevelhealing.net.