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Friday, January 29, 2010

Haloua with Raisins

Some delicious baked goods...

A pot of tea, Hmm?

It's Tea Time!

Haloua is a North African cookie made in both Morocco and Algeria. Like any sweet or tea cookie I can think of from these countries, it is delicious. The outside is a butter cookie that hides an interior of raisins and nuts mashed with cinnamon and orange blossom water. There is almost nothing better I can think of save maybe date haloua! Oh, and the only sugar used in this cookie is the powdered sugar in which they are rolled. And one can use Earth Balance buttery spread instead of butter (both are excellent), which renders a vegan cookie. Enjoy with tea or something nice and hot!

Haloua with Raisins:
1 1/3 cups of flour
1 stick plus two tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons orange blossom water

3/4 Cups raisins
3/4 Cups toasted walnuts or almonds
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2-3 teaspoons of orange blossom water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor, place the dates, nuts, cinnamon and orange blossom water. Blend till you get a nice paste. Set aside.

For the pastry, cut the flour with the butter until mixture is crumbly. Add the orange blossom water to pull into a dough. Gently work into a smooth dough. Make quarter size balls and flatten in the palm of your hand enough to place some mixture in the middle. Pull the dough over the mixture and crimp the dough together.

Place the cookies on a baking dish and bake for about 15 min. Allow to cool and rub in powdered sugar or sprinkle through a sifter. Enjoy!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Kate's White Onion Soup

This onion soup is one of those recipes that you keep in your mind forever because it is so easy and also healthful and delicious. I found it on a blog called Serendipity. The original version is made with a rich homemade chicken broth. I just changed it a bit by using vegetable broth and making croutons with olive oil, garlic, black pepper & salt.

I could not get a good photo due to making the soup at night. I am not the best photographer as is, but night photography is the worst. Luckily, Kate from Serendipity very sweetly allowed me to use her picture to give you an idea of how it looks. She also encouraged me to look at another soup of hers to veganize, so I might post that soon.

Vegan Version:
3 onions-sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 heaping teaspoon flour
1/2 cup white wine
2-3 cups of vegetable broth (low sodium)
Salt & black pepper to taste
Bread for toasting (olive oil, chopped garlic, salt, pepper)

Slice onions thin and place in a pan with oil on medium heat. Cover with a lid and turn down to medium low heat. Allow to caramelize for about 45 min. I checked on mine and stirred from time to time. Then add flour and allow it to toast for about 2 min. Add the wine & turn up the heat a bit to encourage evaporation. Once the wine mostly evaporates, add stock and allow to warm through. Salt and Pepper to taste and top with vegan crouton...

Yum! Thank you, Kate, for a delicious dinner! Stella & Adam

The Best Banana Bread

Yeah, I know. Everyone says that their recipe for whatever they are making today is the best. And I'm sure that there are a lot of wonderful recipes out there for banana bread, however, thus far I have not come across a better banana bread than this. You may not believe me, especially being that this bread does not have the rich cream, butter, or eggs that many others do. But all I can do is beg you to try it. So here goes "please make it, pwease!"...

This recipe is also a one bowl wonder, and no machinery or mixers are needed. Oh, and to you vegans, fire up your ovens. Yes, it's vegan and it's better than theirs!

1 1/4 cups of all purpose flour (Arrowhead Mills is excellent)
3/4 cup of light brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup of vegetable oil
3/4 cup of soy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 banana (mushed through your hands)
Chocolate chips, Pecans, Oatmeal, etc for topping (Optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a bread pan with oiled parchment paper.

In a bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon thoroughly. Make a well and add the mushed banana, milk, oil, and vanilla. You can run chocolate chips through the batter if you like. Stir gently till smooth and pour into bread pan. If using topping, add about 15 minutes into baking to avoid burn. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Cool and enjoy!

Photo by Stella at The Witchy Kitchen

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tis Still The Season!

Yes, it is still the season to indulge in a little extra libation. Why? You might ask. Well, being cold is a bit uncomfortable as many of us have been reminded in the last month or so. And a drink or two can actually cause for a warm sensation through our knickers and, of course, can often take the edge off when it comes to most types of stress. The old remedy of gargling with hard liquor is also helpful for those suffering from sore throat and such, and is especially good if you don't like taking medicines until it is absolutely necessary.

You may have some leftover guilt from Christmas indulgence or a New Year's resolution promising to cut calories and fat, but don't feel too bad about the calories or alcohol associated with a drink. Allowing yourself this luxury in moderation just may help your health a bit this winter season. So Cheers Everyone!

Ooh, I just realized I am writing this post mid morning. I promise I'm not getting tipsy-not yet at least!

Photo by Stella at This Witchy Kitchen

Monday, January 11, 2010

Arthritis & Glucosamine

You have probably already heard that Glucosamine is the best remedy for arthritis pain in both the holistic and medical world, but have you tried it? If your answer to this question is 'no' and you have pain or even immobility from arthritis, that is a shame to say the least. Being that arthritis is a wearing away of the protective cartilage between joints and that Glucosamine is the only substance that can stimulate cartilage growth, this all natural product should be on the grocery list of almost anyone with Arthritis.

I really love Glucosamine due to my own experience with arthritis in my knees and ankles. I became so wrought with pain that I thought I was going to be disabled and unable to work at the age of 29. Indeed, I was so upset at the the pain I felt every night after work that I researched arthritis one painful night. Within 20 minutes, I was hobbling to the store to buy this 'Glucosamine stuff'. What I found was a bottle of liquid Glucosamine pills that claimed to promise extreme relief within 7 days. This outrageous sounding claim gave me a feeling of hopelessness. Nonetheless, I bought the brand that made this claim out of desperation.

Despite my doubt, I was a lot better within 7 days. I was not perfect, but I didn't hurt so much and I was able to bounce around my job without wondering if I was going to fall or have to go home. In fact, all I felt after a week was mild discomfort after long hours on my feet, so I continued with the pills till the bottle was gone.

You can get your Glucosamine like a bear does by eating an enormous amount of oysters if you like, or you can go out and buy Glucosamine. The liquid form is more expensive, but really is worth the money due to being easily absorbed by the body. I bought Naturemade Tripleflex liquid tabs, a product by a commercial company, but I stand by it due to the efficacy of this product. I also got a lot of complements on my skin while taking it!

As always, you should discuss this remedy with your medical professional as to whether it is right for you & to learn about a proper regimen. I hope this information helps you as much as it did me.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Mood & Magnesium

Do you notice that you crave chocolate every time something stressful happens? Does a mood swing often send you to the store where you buy and sneakily stash a king size Snickers or some chocolaty treat into your purse? If so, there may be a little more to this habit than the idea of comfort food or even a sugar addiction.

Chocolate contains a good amount of a mineral called Magnesium. Amongst other vital roles, Magnesium aids the body in dealing with stress. In one study, over 75% of severely depressed patients showed low levels of magnesium in blood tests. This may sound trivial due to the enormous amount of vitamin and mineral deficiencies in different populations, but it is not when you consider that almost 100% of those who received Magnesium injections showed complete recovery of symptoms*!

Magnesium supplementation also helps women who suffer from mild to severe P.M.S. Similar studies to the one above were done on women approaching menses, and Magnesium's ability to relieve the symptoms of P.M.S. were much like the numbers above. All of these studies lead to the conclusion that Magnesium is vital for mood regulation and is something in which many of us (2/3 of the American Population) are deficient*. So this mineral certainly deserves our attention when it comes to our mood & our craving for chocolate.

In addition, Magnesium regulates bone health to the same extent as Calcium & muscle function to include the health of the heart! One's blood pressure is also effected negatively by a deficiency in this mineral as are blood sugar levels. And this widespread deficiency has been directly correlated with an increase in certain types of cancers.

If this article has made an impression on you, that is a good thing. Here is a list of foods high in Magnesium:

1. Chocolate
2. Okra
3. Halibut
4. Scallops
5. Black Beans
6. Pumpkin Seeds
7. Squash Seeds
8. Whole Grains

Oh, and it is key to know that this is not an excuse to eat high sugar, low quality chocolate. If you truly want to do yourself and your health a favor, buy chocolate that is organic and dark or at least good quality stuff. I am going to go get some right now!

*Info from The Magnesium Miracle by Dr. Carolyn Dean
Photo by Stephanie at lickmyspoon.com

Winter Chili

With all of this cold weather, we have been brewing up quite a few different soups and stews in the last couple of weeks or so. This chili is what we made last night. It is a delicious and memorable chili made with free range turkey, organic pinto and black beans, as well as an array of other ingredients that bring warmth along with the comforting nostalgia that a bowl of tasty chili brings to so many of us.

Ooh, and a bowl of this is packed with fiber and nutrients. So get stewing!

Here is the recipe:

1 lb. of ground meat (turkey, beef, lamb)
1 can of drained pinto beans
1 can of drained black beans
2 small carrots-peeled and diced
1 onion-minced
1/4 green bell pepper-diced
3-4 cloves garlic-chopped
1/2 can of tomatoes/juice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2-2 teaspoons cumin
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
pinch or two red pepper (optional)
2-3 cups water/broth (start low and add to your liking)
oil for sauteing
cilantro for garnish

First sprinkle meat with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and mix.

In a pan, bring a 1/2 tablespoon of oil to medium high heat. Add the onion, pepper and carrots. Saute for 3-4 minutes. Push the carrots/onion to the sides, and add a bit more oil. Place meat in the hot oil and brown for 4 minutes. Once browned, add 1/2 can of tomatoes, tomato puree, garlic, spices and beans. Mix well and then add the water. Bring to a high simmer, cover, and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes or till ingredients meld together.

Let cool and eat! Serves 4.

Vegan Option: Instead of meat add a russet potato (peeled & cubed small) just as you would have done the meat. Then, when it's time to add the beans and other stuff, use an extra can of pinto, black bean or any bean you like really. White beans would be great! For your liquid, use vegetable broth or water with a vegan bouillon cube or some "Better Than Bouillon". Simmer on low heat just as instructed above (15 min). Enjoy your Vegan Chili!

Photo by Stella at The Witchy Kitchen

Earache & Sore Throat

If you have an earache right now, you probably also have a pretty sore throat. The two cause quite a bit of pain & most often come hand in hand. This is because there is a tube at the base of the ear drum that runs down to your throat. This is the Eustachian tube. So whether the infection started in the ear or the throat, either way it often makes its way to the other by means of the Eustachian tube.

The most effective home remedy I have used for an earache/sore throat is an herb called Goldenseal. Goldenseal is in the Buttercup family and is native to North America. It has natural anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties making it a wise and effective remedy for earaches, sore throats, and sinus infections. This herb is often sold in tea form at your local health food store, and the Alvita company makes a tea I steep and then slowly gargle to kill bacteria on my throat. I then also drink 2-3 cups of it throughout the day.

I proudly gloated in my success with Goldenseal at work a few years ago when everyone came down with a bad earache. Everyone else went to the doctor to get antibiotics. I, at the encouragement of a friend, went to my local health food store and bought Goldenseal tea. I gargled with the tea throughout the day and drank it along with some Vitamin C drops and bowls of homemade chicken soup. Needless to say, my earache pain was mostly gone within a day and a half of drinking and gargling and was completely gone within 2 full days! I did continue with my regime for 5 days though to ensure drying of the infection.

One thing you should know about Goldenseal is that it is drying, so don't let yourself become dehydrated for any extended period. Another key point about earaches is that one should know is that severe pain while clamping down on food is not normal. Neither is an earache without an accompanying sore throat. Both warrant a visit to a medical professional, as does any earache if you feel it is just too severe.

Other ways to ease the pain at home are warm compress and Sudafed (it naturally dries out the ear and all your mucosa). No matter what you choose to do for your earache, I hope you try Goldenseal tea. This herb is just so truly effective and medicinal when it comes to all things cold & flu.

Note: This home remedy is NOT meant for children~!
Photo by Stephanie @ stephanielevy.blogspot.com

Friday, January 8, 2010


If you are reading this post right now, you are most likely in a lot of pain or discomfort to say the least. Burning, itching, and the urge to urinate when there is no urine are all at the beginning of the symptoms list of this very painful ailment. And, like many, you may not know why you have come down with a urinary tract infection or what to do about it.

First, there are an array of common culprits that can cause a U.T.I. in both men and women. Dehydration could be the reason, so an increase in clear liquids is advisable. Many people also develop urinary tract infections from something as simple as wearing tight clothing at the gym to unknowingly wiping from back to front after urinating. The aforementioned is especially common. So next time you 'pee', notice the direction or way you clean yourself. You may be surprised!

This type of infection can also be brought on by sex or a new sexual partner. No matter how you came down with this painful situation, there is a home remedy or routine that will relieve the pain within a day and the infection itself within a week for most people. This routine simply involves about 9-10 glasses of water daily, aspirin, and some type of real cranberry.

When I say real cranberry, I don't mean those juices that are mostly apple and white grape juice, corn syrup, and only a touch of cranberry . I am talking about going to your local health food store or Publix and buying 100% real, not from concentrate cranberry juice! I also recommend an extra daily dose of cranberry from something like Cranactin pills or a fresh cranberry sauce with meals. The combination of slow but steady water intake, some aspirin or your preferred pain killer on a full stomach, and continual yet reasonable cranberry intake will quickly ease pain and knock out the infection in most people.

Now I must, out of responsibility, tell you to see your doctor or talk to her about this routine to make sure it is right for you. Also, if you do the routine properly and are still experiencing symptoms after a week, you may not have a regular old urinary tract infection. Chlamydia and other problems can mimic the symptoms of a U.T.I, hence a visit to your doctor would be necessary. If you are sure that you have a regular U.T.I., this routine is an excellent option.

Routine Cranberry Drink:
Morning: 6 oz. of 100% cranberry juice + a few ounces of a sweet juice like apple, etc.
Night: 4 oz. of 100% cranberry juice + apple as needed
Note: Drink with food on the stomach.

Cranberry Sauce:
1 16 oz. package of fresh/frozen cranberries
1 cup of water
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon orange zest (optional)

Put all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a high simmer. Lower the heat to a low simmer and stir frequently. Cranberries will pop. Cook till you reach desired consistency-sauce or jam.

*Beautiful photo by Alesia17 at Stock.Xchng

Dark Chocolate & Anise Cookies

An Italian favorite and vegan! That means no cholesterol and they are trans fat free too. Oh, and I should probably mention how delicious they are. My love even commented on how happy he was that I made a texturally proper and delicious 'buttery cookie'. In light of all of this, I want to go ahead and unofficially nominate myself for some type of vegan cookie recipe of the year award or decade-whatever...

I'll stop with the day dreaming and give you the Recipe:

1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup semolina flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 teaspoon anise seeds
1/4 cup veg oil
2 tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. vanilla
vegan chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper sprayed with oil.

In a bowl, mix the flours, baking powder, anise seeds and salt thoroughly. In another bowl, mix the sugar, oil, water, & vanilla well. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet mixture stirring gently. Once mixed, add the chocolate chips to the mixture. Spoon out onto baking sheet and bake for 10-11 minutes.

Cool and enjoy!
*recipe can be doubled, etc.

*Photo by Stella at The Witchy Kitchen

White/Light Under Eye Circles

Aestheticians and beauty workers have begun to report a new and commonly heard complaint from many of their clients in recent years. This complaint is about under eye circles and not the dark ones about which we are all so accustomed to hearing people mope. Nope, women and men are complaining about a type of under eye circle that is much lighter or described as whiter than the rest of the face. This white under eye circle gives an unhealthier look than its darker cousin, and also causes for a worn and tired appearance. Being that even skin tone is what most of us strive for, white under eyes that cause us to look like some prehistoric fish or bird on the run are the last thing we want on our faces.

So what is the culprit? Well, you could be one of the lucky people who simply has this due to wearing sunglasses in a sunny environment, which means you just need to stay out of the sun and wear a hat in addition to your glasses when outside. However, for many people with this affliction the culprit is most likely refined sugar, which causes not only white unhealthy looking under eyes but also Diabetes (a much more serious affliction).

Now you might want some scientific data on this, which I just do not have. I am writing about this, because, despite my high fiber and mostly organic diet, I developed these unhealthy white under eyes. I searched the web for help only to find a whole load of info on bags and dark circles. I did, however, come across a health forum where a nutritionist advised another person with this problem to cut her refined sugar. She stated that the white under eyes would fade more and more with time and a low sugar diet.

After reading, I thought about my own sugar intake. And, sure enough, I would certainly describe myself as someone with a sweet tooth and even a weakness for sugar. As hard as it was and with some doubt about the whole thing, I cut the refined sugar in my diet by about 75% along with other forms of sugar. Within about a month and a half, my white under eyes were gone and the even skin tone I was so used to returned! In addition, I have developed a little more self control when it comes to sugar, and my blood sugar is considered low.

If you have the problem of light/white under eye circles, I hope you will take an honest look at your diet and see if you could be taking in too much sugar. Being that the average American consumes a half pound of refined sugar a day*, you just may be!

*Info from Dr. Ann Louise Gittlemen (Taste For Life Magazine, November 09)
Photo by Olga Shelego at PhotoXpress.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Painful Gas

This post is not about too much gas. So for you bean lovers and vegetarians out there, I can't help you much. This post is about painful gas that feels like someone is stabbing you in the gut. If this sounds familiar, keep reading.

Now, I am not going to lecture you too much about the reason you have this gas. You are probably already aware that it was caused by those chicken wings at the bar, the cheeseburger you ate at lunch, or whatever other overly fatty food you ingested earlier in the day. I will simply say that I hope you go ahead and realize these types of foods don't do much for your health and can obviously also cause painful gas!

One of the best and easiest home remedies for this ailment is peppermint tea. Yeah, I know that sounds weak, but I can assure you it is not. An 8 oz. cup or two of real peppermint tea provides extreme relief for this ailment. I usually put an organic bag of peppermint tea in 8 oz. of boiling water and allow it to steep for about 3-4 minutes. A touch of sugar is also nice and enhances the flavor of the mint.

After drinking the tea, I really recommend lying on your side. I don't know how to convey this gently, but it allows the gas to exit a bit easier. If you feel you need a little extra help, have another cup.

Please let me know if you try it....

*Photo by lefebvre_jonathan at PhotoXpress

Dry Hair Relief

This is a remedy for dry hair that you have probably come across before in your searches for what to do inexpensively and naturally for your parched tresses. It is a simple, yet effective mixture of items that may already be in your kitchen or that can easily be bought at the store. Banana, Avocado, and a touch of olive oil are mashed to create a deep conditioner that is to be massaged into hair and allowed to do its thing for at least ten minutes.

I have used this dry hair remedy/concoction many times, and it is so very moisturizing. I recommend it to anyone, and especially to those of us that have dry, curly, or kinky hair. A vinegar rinse is also a great idea after this treatment if you would like some extra shine.

Dry Hair Remedy:
1/2 of a ripe avocado
1/2 of a ripe banana
1/2 tablespoon olive oil

Mash ingredients thoroughly together. Massage into hair and scalp and cover with a towel that you don't mind getting dirty. Allow to sit for at least ten minutes. Wash with a gentle shampoo (one that does not contain sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate or anything that sounds like this). Run your regular conditioner through hair if you like. Enjoy!

P.S.-If you have truly damaged hair, a good trim is most often necessary!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Cold Sores & Fever Blisters

I hate cold sores and fever blisters and, yes, I just used the word 'hate'. They are painful, and mine blow up to such a large size on my lip that I look like I have a beak. That was before I knew what to do about this physically and socially awkward ailment though. It was also before I understood why I get cold sores and what causes them to suddenly appear.

Cold Sores/Fever Blisters are caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus-I or II. They can be found on the inner mouth, lips, nose, face, ears, and genitals. The sores have a yellow or green messy looking center with redness and swelling surrounding the area. Over 90% of the world's population has either or both Herpes Simplex I & II, but only 10% of this 90% get cold sores and fever blisters. So next time you have one and your friend says, "I don't have what causes that", just know that you are not alone and that your friend most likely does have 'that' despite a lack of physical manifestation.

For those of us in the 10% of people that do so unfortunately get these blisters when we are stressed, sunburned, or coming down with an illness, there is some real help. However, time is of the essence as is being aware that your immune system has let the Herpes out of the cage! How do you know this you might ask!?! You know because wherever it is that you normally get that sore there is a tingling or itching that starts. Yes, right at the spot from which it is planning on bursting forth. It might feel like your heart just jumped into said spot due to an odd palpitating in the area.

What to do? Run to your local health food store or Whole Foods and get some L-Lysine and a cream that has real menthol (Blistex). Take the L-Lysine immediately (preferably on an empty stomach) and as often as the instructions allow. Meanwhile, apply the menthol cream every thirty minutes that you feel something is still going on in the area. In the process of all of this, avoid protein as it weakens the L-Lysine's effect. And do not eat chocolate, nuts, or anything high in L-Arginine. L-Arginine feeds the herpes virus unlike L-Lysine, which hinders viral replication.

If you do this, you will possibly avoid the sore all together like I often do. And, if not, it will be so much smaller and heal in about half the normal time. So you know, this routine has always worked for me and all my friends who suffer from this. They regularly call me and scream, "I feel that tingle! What do I do again?"

P.S.-Don't ever squeeze or pick a cold sore or fever blister. You will regret it!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Lice-Oh My!

Since one of my last posts was about dry hair, I thought I would stick to the subject area and embark on another common hair and scalp problem: Lice. This infestation is any parent's nightmare and isn't much fun for the rest of us either due to an itchy discomfort coupled with worries of passing on this highly contagious mite. Luckily, this is one of the easiest problems to treat at home naturally.

This is not a home remedy as much as it is instructions on a natural remedy that is an effective alternative to chemical treatments like 1% Permethrin cream. The remedy is simply a tea tree shampoo plus a bottle of real tea tree oil. The Dessert Essence company makes an excellent shampoo called Therapeutic Treatment Shampoo, which is designed to kill lice and treat other conditions. It can be bought at most health foods stores or places like Whole Foods.

With this treatment, you will wash hair according to instructions and be sure to add about 8-10 extra drops of tea tree oil to the shampoo each time before applying. Wash vigorously ensuring that the shampoo/oil mixture reaches the scalp and covers the hair and neck. Leave on the hair for about 5 minutes before rinsing. Do this until the infestation is gone-usually takes less than 2 days of washing twice a day. The tea tree conditioner is also excellent during this time but optional.

Please let me know if you try this!

P.S.-Remember that bed linens, brushes, & combs should be washed or soaked in white vinegar or bleach. Mattresses should be vacuumed, and items that can not be washed like hats should be disposed of immediately.

Photo by Nick Potter at www.nickpotter.net

Friday, January 1, 2010

Stomach Pain n' Tummy Terror


If you ever suffer from digestive pain, you are most likely already aware of how not fun it can be. And for those of us that suffer from this type of pain and discomfort regularly, we intimately know the harrowing toll it can take on both our physical self and the rest of our existence too. Yes, intestinal distress can sneak up on us and ruin something as simple as a trip to the market or even cause us to miss work. And when being home to spend time with the toilet while downing Pepto Bismol becomes more urgent than getting to work, we know we are in trouble...

I got to thinking about intestinal pain this past week, as I picked up the bottle of Pepto Bismol that my Cauldron Boy seems to be using a bit more frequently lately. I suppose my increased concern with his discomfort along with the fact that I have a papaya tree outside my new front door seemed to warrant a post. If that makes no sense to you, just know that papaya is rich in papain which helps with digestion;-).

My Cauldron Boy comes from a long line of people that just don't seem to have the best digestive systems. Even so, a lot of the distress seen in his family is due to poor diet and individuals who are less than keen on admitting such. Hence an array of pharmaceuticals are used in place of lifestyle and bad habit changes. However, there are also folks in his family that eat quite well while exercising regularly who still seem to suffer with almost constant symptoms of pain, abdominal burn, indigestion, bloating, painful gas, nausea, and mixed bouts of constipation and diarrhea. You name it, they got it and regularly too!

If you also feel like you suffer from regular/chronic intestinal distress and don't know why due to either not ever seeing a professional about the issue or seeing one and feeling you were improperly diagnosed, here is a short list of somewhat common intestinal disorders in which you may want to familiarize yourself. Keep in mind that some of these problems are diet related while others are genetic and/or even just down right mysterious.

1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)-a bowel disorder characterized by chronic abdominal pain, discomfort, and alteration of bowl habits without detection of any organic cause. Note, Dearies, that some professionals believe that IBS is caused by stress and psychological problems.
2. Celiac Disease-a disease characterized by the inability to process the gluten protein in wheat. Symptoms are abdominal pain, cramping, rectal bleeding, undigested food in stool, and often weight loss. Only 1% of Celiac sufferers worldwide are diagnosed!
3. Crohn's Disease-a quite mysterious inflammation of the intestines that can range from the mouth down to the rectum. Symptoms are all of those listed above to include fever, skin rash, eye swelling, mouth sores, and unintended weight loss.

The three situations above are obviously quite serious not only due to pain, but also due to the possibility of malnutrition. They are all also a real possibility for someone experiencing regular intestinal distress. Before jumping onto the Crohn's bandwagon or any other wagon though, consider everyday diet and habits. Do you feel that you eat a lot of fat, for example? Fat wreaks havoc on our stomachs causing pain, burning, and often diarrhea. Plus, we all know what else it does! Or maybe you don't get enough whole grains and whole foods into your diet. If processed foods, white bread, white rice and the like are your staples, bloating along with pain, gas, and constipation will be a regular part of life.

Often, a simple analysis and plan change in reference to diet and lifestyle can set us in the right direction for curing intestinal pain and problems. Be sure to also include your favorite pro-biotic rich foods (yogurt, tempeh, sauerkraut, etc.) in your diet on a regular basis. These foods keep our digestive bacteria rich and balanced, and are especially important after a round of antibiotics. Oh, and here is a tip right from my doctor's mouth, which I did verify through research 'Eat slowly and properly chew your food. Over 50% of intestinal pain and discomfort can be alleviated by this simple act/good habit'. Amazing...!

Amazing this last bit of information is, indeed, my lovelies. I will have to tell my wolfman Cauldron Boy to slow down a bit and chew while also monitoring his intake and personal habits. I hope any of you out there who suffer the way my Cauldron Boy does will do so also while analyzing food choices in reference to pain in the quest for intestinal comfort. Oh, and don't hesitate to see a professional when all else fails. They can be useful sometimes (smile).
p.s. plain, organic yogurt with papaya and whole grain granola is quite a gut tonic;-), Dearies!