Saturday, November 24, 2018

Understanding Anti Inflammatory Foods

Understanding Anti Inflammatory Foods

Inflammation is the body's natural protective mechanism that defends infection, illness or injury. The signs of short term inflammation usually occur  on the surface of the body - redness, pain, heat or swelling. Inflammation can also happen on a more serious, chronic basis and is often due to poor diet, stress, lack of exercise, exposure to toxins, or weight issues. Chronic inflammation is persistent, silent and within the body. If this inflammation continues it can lead to more serious health problems including diabetes, heart disease, high colesterol and arthritis.
The foods we chose on a daily basis play a huge role on inflammatory response. Eating a diet high in processed, sugary, refined foods or drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and sodas can increase inflammation. Anti-inflmmatory, plant based foods enjoyed as part of our regular diet  provide the key to optimum health.
Learning which foods can influence the inflammatory process is an important strategy for reducing any long term risks.
Include as much as possible

·     A wide variety of plant based foods - whole grains, vegetables, beans, sea vegetables, fermented foods, nuts, seeds, and berries
·   Plenty of fresh, local, and seasonal food as possible (ones that come straight from the fields rather than processed in a factory)
·   Vegetables cooked in different ways.
·   Whole grains on a daily basis including oats, brown rice, millet, buckwheat, or quinoa.
·   Olive oil as the main cooking oil.
·   More vegetable protein especially from beans and traditional soy such as tofu, tempeh, or natto.
·   Fruits and vegetables from the full range of the color spectrum, especially berries, avocado, celery, squash,      pumpkin, radish, sweet potatoes, and dark leafy greens
·   Organic produce.
·   Broccoli, cabbage, kale, and caulflower often.
·   Sea vegetables. Include them in soups, bean dishes, stir frys, and salads
·   Almonds, walnuts, flax, chia, and black sesame seeds
·   Fermented foods; miso, sauerkraut, kimchee, olives or umeboshi
·   Pure spring water, herbal teas, infusions, kukicha or green tea throughout the day
·   Ginger, turmeric, cinammon, garlic and fresh herbs in your meals
·   Mushrooms especially shiitake in soups, stews, and vegetable dishes

Avoid as much as possible

·         Processed, packaged and fast food.
·         Refined carbs
·         Saturated fats from dairy and animal foods
·         Palm oil, corn oil and mixed vegetable oils
·         Products made with high fructose corn syrup
·         Margerine and vegetable shortening
·         Coffee, energy drinks, and sodas
·         Sugar in cakes, cookies, biscuits, desserts, candy, ice cream
·         Excessive alcohol
·         Processed meats
·         Wheat
·         Food additives and synthetic sweeteners
·         Conventional fruits and vegetables that carry pesticide residues.

In addition to diet it is very important to

Have enough deep and restful sleep. Go to bed before midnight and get up with the morning sun.
Reduce stress by spending time in nature, learning simple meditation techniques, and slowing down.
Do a daily body rub. Briskly rub your entire body with a hot damp towel.
Laugh with friends and family or watch funny movies.
Get plenty of outdoor exercise for at least 1 hour a day. The hour can be divided into shorter sessions such as 4 x 15 minutes or 2 x 30 minutes.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Buckwheat Porridge

I have been enjoying this quick and easy porridge now the weather is getting cooler.

Buckwheat is a wonderful grain - actually more similar to a fruit seed - and has been used throughout the world. It is super high in flavonoids especially rutin which can help to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. The nutrients in buckwheat help blood sugar control and the high fiber content can prevent gallstones. Buckwheat is high in magnesium which improves blood flow and nutrient delivery.

Buckwheat can also make you feel less hungry and more satisfied so great for weight control.

Here is the simple recipe that also gives great energy

Buckwheat Porridge

1 cup buckwheat 
2 cups of spring water
Ground flax seeds - optional
Toasted black sesame seeds - optional
Shiso powder - optional
Chia seeds - optional
Toasted walnuts - optional
1 tablespoon of Sauerkraut - optional

Rinse the buckwheat and place into a bowl.
Add 2 cups spring water
Leave to soak overnight
In the morning bring to a boil on a medium flame.
Simmer for 10 minutes or until soft
Mix gently and serve garnished with a mix of nuts, seeds, shiso powder or sauerkraut

Enjoy Chef Mel xx

At a Glance Home Remedies

At A Glance Home Remedies 

Here is a quick list of some easy yet powerful home remedies and their benefits. 
Enjoy Chef Mel xx


Cabbage -  helps reduce bruising, inflammation, swelling and cools body. Place a crushed, cold leaf over area and replace with another cool leaf when the first one becomes warm.

Sauerkraut - aids digestion, probiotic, contains living enzymes and helps digest fat/protein

Daikon -  dissolves fat and protein - can be used in many ways. Large pieces cooked until soft take out excess salt and generally relax the body. Raw grated daikon helps to break down fat.

Dried daikon tea - ear problems, fever, headache back and sides of head, migraines, SAD, weight loss

Lotus root - coughs, clearing mucus, allergies, anemia - for a tea, grate 1/2 cup and squeeze out the juice. Cook for 5 minutes and add a pinch sea salt. Drink warm

Burdock - strengthens the blood, increases vitality and is a remedy for anemia

Jinenjo or mountain potato - helps overcome emotional and nervous disorders. Good for vitality. Can be used raw and finely grated with a few drops of shoyu and finely cut scallions. Serve over rice or in soup.


Apple cider vinegar - good for prevention of hot flashes, improves digestion, increases weight loss, lower chloresterol, helps prevent diabetes as it lowers glucose levels. Use one tablespoon of ACV to 1 cup water. Also very good for the skin and can use it for a soak or bath.

Apple juice - served warm can help headaches in back of head, detox gallbladder/liver , relax, soothe, and improve sleep. Can use grated apple and squeeze out juice. Apple juice kuzu drink is good for muscle pain, jaundice and stomach cramping from excessive consumption of chips/salt.

Granny smith apple - raw and finely grated can reduce a fever. Lightly steamed is a good detox for the liver.


Aduki, bean tea - helps bone, joints, kidneys, adrenals, constipation - soak 1/2 cup aduki beans in water for 3 hours and simmer with a small strip of kombu in 4 cups of water for 30 minutes. Strain and drink warm.

Black soybean tea - aids digestion, bones, lungs, coughs - use the same recipe as for the aduki beans using the black soybeans instead

Unique Remedies

Umeboshi Plums - food for longevity - strengthen intestines, alkaline, counter affects of sugar, and alcohol, makes absorption of nutrients and other foods easier - immune booster
Ume concentrate - very alkaline, headaches, intestinal issues
Ume vinegar - dilute with a little water and dab on cuts/wounds/tick bites

Kuzu - contains high levels of flavornoids that are responsible for the healing affects to digestion and circulation - starch helps to overcome bacterial infections in digestion and excess water in case of diarrhea. Aids stomach problems, vomiting, food poisoning from fish, shellfish,  or meat

Brown Rice cooked soft into a cereal with umeboshi - aids flu, colds, fevers

Rice cream - soft rice put through a fine strainer is easy to absorb and good for those who are weak from illness or have digestive problems.

Tofu as a plaster - cooling and can be used topically to help ankle problems, burns, front headache, muscle problems, swellings, inflammation, bruises - mash and add enough white flour to bind and a small amount ginger.


Basil - anti inflammatory, relieves constipation and stomach cramps

Parsley - cleans blood, breaks down gall and kidney stones, packed with nutrition especially vitamin C, and iron

Cilantro - detox for heavy metals and other pollutants even mercury, good for food poisoning/bacterial infection, immune boosting, helps production of digestive enzymes, lowers colesterol

Ginger - morning sickness, motion sickness, slows cancer growth cells, migraines, flu, colds, congestion, reduces pain and inflammation, heartburn relief


Ume sho bancha - alcohol, anemia, strengthen blood, regulates digestion, circulation, relieves fatigue, weakness, relief from sugar or acid forming foods

Ume sho kuzu - strengthens blood, promotes good digestion, restores energy, helps with digestive issues - gastric, colds, flu, frontal headache, heart conditions, strengthens organ function - kidneys, bladder, liver, and stomach
Dilute 1 heaping teaspoon of kuzu in a cup of cold water. Place in a pan and heat on a medium flame. Stir constantly until the kuzu thickens. Add 1/2 to 1 umeboshi and 1/2 teaspoon of shoyu. Mix gently and drink warm. Can add fresh ginger at the end for colds and flu.

Sweet kuzu drink - blood sugar/relaxing for mind and body/menstrual cramps/PMT/lower fever/monks used this tea to mellow out so they could study
Dilute 1 heaping teaspoon of kuzu in a cup of cold water. Place in a pan and heat on a medium flame. Stir constantly until the kuzu thickens. Add 1 tablespoon of rice syrup and mix through. Drink warm

Kukicha tea with tekka condiment - offsets excess sugar, diabetes, anemia, bones.
Add 1 teaspoon of tekka to a mug of hot kukicha tea. Stir and drink warm

Shiitake tea - PTST, nightmares, pain, weight control, bronchitis, lowers cholesterol, liver tonic
Soak 1 dried shiitake until soft - Simmer in a cup and half of water for 15 minutes. Add a pinch of salt. Drink warm and eat the shiitake

Agar Agar  tea helpful for constipation and bloating.
Simmer 1 tablespoon of agar agar in a cup of water until dissolved. Add a tablespoon of rice syrup or barley malt and drink warm.

Kombu tea for aches and pain even toothache. Shio kombu condiment helps  bones, joints, food allergies, lyme, or vascular issues
Simmer a strip of kombu in 1 cup of water for 15 minutes. Remove the kombu and drink warm


Pain - kombu tea, shiitake tea, relaxing teas like chamomile

Wounds - calendula cream or rescue remedy for blows, rashes, burns, cuts, razor burn, diaper rash

Tea tree oil - anti bacterial, anti fungal, anti viral - acne, cuts, athletes foot, insect, flea bites

Hot Water Bottle - relaxes tight muscles, increases circulation, helps gastric issues, relaxes tight kidneys, and creates warmth, helpful for menstrual cramps.

Salt Pack - arm, hand problems, earaches, gastric issues, stomach aches