Prat’s Corner

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My name is Prat Himarao and this is my corner of health! I love writing and trying out new recipes, and when one is a success, I post it on this blog to share with my family and friends. I love experimenting with new foods, flavors, and cooking techniques almost as much as I love cooking nutritious food for my family. I believe in local and organic foods that are cultivated sustainably and responsibly. I also believe that our country needs to return to locally supported food system and a more traditional diet.

My cooking is inspired by the Weston A. Price diet. Weston A. Price was a dentist and researcher who traveled the world in search of the foods that made people healthy. He found that the healthiest cultures ate a diet rich with fresh vegetables, plenty of healthy fats from pastured meat, dairy, eggs, and fish, and fresh fruit, nuts, and seeds. These people often avoided grains and their diets were always completely free from processed foods and white sugar.

I cook with local and organic foods that I purchase from farmer’s markets and food cooperatives. When I do visit the grocery store, I only buy healthy foods that contain less than 10 organic / non-GMO ingredients. I am mindful of GMOs and other chemical contaminants because I do not believe that they are safe or healthful to consume. I don’t know about you, but my family is not a science experiment, and until GMOs are PROVEN safe, my family will not be eating them!

I also try to keep myself and my family moving. Exercise is the key to healthy lifestyle. My husband and I like to hit the gym, but my entire family enjoys hiking, swimming, bike riding, and yoga. There are plenty of fun ways to keep your family moving and healthy. When I come up with new fitness ideas, I will share them with you here.

Another key to staying healthy is staying positive. I am a huge believer in mind-body medicine; when the mind is healthy, the body tends to be healthy, too. We practice mindfulness and gratitude to stay positive.

I’m glad you found my blog and I hope you continue to read and follow my posts! If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Remember, eat mindfully, keep your body moving, and keep a positive heart, mind, and soul. Have a beautiful day!

Add These Green Superfoods to Your Diet

Avocado – These green superfoods are packed with healthy omega fats, vitamins, and minerals. Healthy fats protect your joints, arteries, and brain, and they may even reduce your waistline. Snack on avocados throughout the day to stay full and focused. My favorite way to eat an avocado is straight out of the peel with a little salt, pepper, and hot sauce- delicious!

Spirulina – This nutritious algae is blue-green colored and grows naturally in fresh water. Spirulina is a complete protein that contains all of the essential and non-essential amino acids. Spirulina also contains vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, antioxidants, and contains over 65% protein by weight. I buy spirulina from powersupplements.com.

Chlorella – Similar to spirulina, chlorella is another green algae superfood that can do wonders for your health. Chlorella is packed with a detoxifying compound called chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is what makes plants green but when consumed; it works to pull toxins out of the body.

Kale – Kale has recently taken the health food world by storm, and for good reason! Kale is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is very versatile and can be added to a number of recipes, pretty much anywhere that spinach or another leafy green would be used. You can further increase the nutrient density of kale by fermenting it, too!

Spinach – Spinach is the vegetable that gave pop-eye his strength and it is perfect for keeping your energy up throughout the day. Spinach tastes great in green smoothies, so if you have never added spinach to shake before, it is definitely worth trying! Spinach also tastes great in salads, on pizzas, in soups and stews, in pasta, in grilled cheese, dips, and more. Spinach is one of the most versatile green superfoods around!

 

Eat More of These Green Superfoods

Avocado – These green superfoods are packed with healthy omega fats, vitamins, and minerals. Healthy fats protect your joints, arteries, and brain, and they may even reduce your waistline. Snack on avocados throughout the day to stay full and focused. My favorite way to eat an avocado is straight out of the peel with a little salt, pepper, and hot sauce- delicious!

Spirulina – This nutritious algae is blue-green colored and grows naturally in fresh water. Spirulina is a complete protein that contains all of the essential and non-essential amino acids. Spirulina also contains vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, antioxidants, and contains over 65% protein by weight. I buy spirulina from powersupplements.com.

Chlorella – Similar to spirulina, chlorella is another green algae superfood that can do wonders for your health. Chlorella is packed with a detoxifying compound called chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is what makes plants green but when consumed; it works to pull toxins out of the body.

Kale – Kale has recently taken the health food world by storm, and for good reason! Kale is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is very versatile and can be added to a number of recipes, pretty much anywhere that spinach or another leafy green would be used. You can further increase the nutrient density of kale by fermenting it, too!

Spinach – Spinach is the vegetable that gave pop-eye his strength and it is perfect for keeping your energy up throughout the day. Spinach tastes great in green smoothies, so if you have never added spinach to shake before, it is definitely worth trying! Spinach also tastes great in salads, on pizzas, in soups and stews, in pasta, in grilled cheese, dips, and more. Spinach is one of the most versatile green superfoods around!

“My Stomach Hurts!” Simple Solutions to Common Stomach Ailments

Stomach ailments and digestive discomfort are unfortunately a part of life that we all face from time to time. However common they may be, that does not make them any easier to have to deal with when they happen to you. Simple solutions can help you work to remedy the problem and get you back to feeling better soon.

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Try Ginger. Science is proving that some old wives’ tales actually hold merit. Tales have often been told of ginger’s power for stomach ailments. It has actually been shown to help ease the nausea for a variety of reasons, even motion sickness! Try stocking ginger lozenges at your house for the next time a wave of nausea hits you. You can also shave some fresh ginger over a mild meal to get its potent anti-nausea relief.

Add a Soil Based Probiotic Supplement. Taking a probiotic supplement won’t provide you with instantaneous relief, but taking one on a regular basis can help you with many stomach woes. Probiotic use has been credited with reducing stomach discomfort, quelling nausea, relieving constipation, reducing bloating, and more. Choose a soil-based probiotic like our favorite, Prescript Assist probiotic, for its vegan approved content, 29 strains of probiotics, and ability to replenish the good microflora to the gut. Continue to take the supplement on a daily basis to receive maximum benefit.

Keep a Food Journal. Oftentimes we may have a food sensitivity and not even realize it. Keep a food diary for two to four weeks to see if something in your diet may be causing you stomach trouble. Record everything you eat and drink as well as how you feel after you eat. Look over the results to see if you notice any patterns. If there seems to be a main culprit causing your stomach discomfort, try eliminating this food to see if you notice any improvements.

The Top 5 Medicinal Mushrooms

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Cordyceps – Like many of the mushrooms on the list, cordyceps sinensis is an adaptogen herb meaning that is has the ability to adapt to and correct many stressors on the human body. Adaptogens combat stress and anxiety while simultaneously boosting energy and vitality. Cordyceps is particularly good at boosting energy, endurance, stamina, oxygen capacity, and lung function. Cordyceps also boosts the immune system and overall health. I buy cordyceps sinensis at Amazon.

Reishi – These adaptogenic mushrooms help to strengthen the immune system by fighting off toxins, viruses, and bacteria. Reishi mushrooms also improve circulation as well as lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. Reishi mushrooms are often considered ‘the mushroom of vitality.’

Maitake – Many superfood mushrooms taste terribly, but that is not the case with maitake mushrooms! Those most medicinally pungent when consumed raw, maitake mushrooms can be added to hot and cold meals for a boost of nutrients. Maitake mushrooms are also considered an adaptogen due to their ability to normalize and improve any part of the body that isn’t functioning optimally.

Shiitake – These medicinal mushrooms are loaded with antioxidants as well vitamins A, C, D, and E. Shiitake mushrooms also contains important minerals such as selenium. Shiitake mushrooms are used as an anti-cancer drug in Japan, so much so that it is sanctioned by Japan’s FDA for this purpose.

Chaga – Another adaptogen on the list, chaga mushrooms boost the immune system, detoxify the body, stimulate the nervous system, improve skin, and promote youthful vitality. Chaga mushrooms are packed with antioxidants. In fact, Chaga mushrooms have more antioxidants than the acai berry! Chaga, like cordyceps, is very popular among athletes.

Secrets to a Chemical Free Life

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Chemicals seem loaded into everything today, from our medications to the plastic bottles that hold our water. Though some chemicals cannot be avoided, any health expert will agree reducing our exposure to chemicals whenever possible. Taking a few precautions can help dramatically decrease how much we are exposed to chemicals.

 

  1. Cook at Home.  Switching to cooking at home more frequently can greatly reduce not only the amount of fats and sugars you consume, but also the chemical load you consume. For example, a take-out pepperoni may contain Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), which is also used for fuels on jet planes. Take the time to cook at home, or eat at trusted restaurants that use local organic ingredients.

 

  1. Make an Rx Switch. Some of the prescriptions you use may actually have a natural alternative that works as well or better than a pharmaceutical. For example, Rhodiola Rosea, a potent herb native to cold mountainous regions throughout the world, has been shown to help reduce anxiety levels and regulate blood pressure levels. Both of these problems are commonly medicated with chemical formulations, but a natural herb may do the trick. Always consult your physician before making a change in medication, but it is worth evaluating if a natural alternative could do the trick.  To learn more about Rhodiola Rosea, watch this video.

 

 

  1. Green Your Clean. When you stop to think about it, dousing your home in chemicals to get rid of dirt and grime only exchanges one problem for another. Instead you can easily mix up simple, effective cleansers at home. If making your own cleaners doesn’t appeal to you, greener cleaners are widely available in many stores these days.

 

  1. Think Outside the Box. Many of us have grown up thinking that turning to a man-made solution is the best answer for everything. The next time you do something like reach for an over-the-counter painkiller, evaluate if an alternative solution might work just as well. Peppermint oil has been shown to help alleviate the pain of a headache and garlic has natural antibacterial properties to help fight infections.

 

 

My Favorite Supplements

fishoilIn this day and age, I believe that everyone should be taking vitamin supplements. Even if your diet consists of whole, local, and organic foods, it is likely that your body is still deficient in important nutrients. This has a lot to do with the depletion of our soil and widely accepted yet inaccurate nutritional trends. The following supplements are the supplements that I feel are the most important because they have been the most beneficial to my health.

1. Coconut Oil

I use coconut oil for absolutely everything. I cook with it, I clean with it, I create homemade beauty products with it, I use it on my skin, in my hair, as a mouth wash, to heal cuts, to prevent and heal sunburns, and more. There are so many uses for coconut oil that I could go on forever. The main reasons why I love coconut oil are because it boosts overall health, wellness, and immunity while simultaneously increasing metabolism and contributing to healthy weight loss. Coconut oil is my #1 flat stomach secret.

2. Cod Liver Oil

Cod liver oil is just bursting with nutrients- many of which are lacking from our modern diet. I think of cod liver oil as one of nature’s multivitamins. It contains all of the healthy fats that your body needs as well as important fat soluble vitamins. Cod liver oil, when wild caught and traditionally fermented, is one of the most nutrient dense foods that you can give to your body.

3. Probiotics

Last but not least, I believe that everyone should be taking a probiotic supplements. Probiotic essentially means good bacteria. Probiotic supplements are an excellent way to heal your digestive system, replenish the good bacteria and fight off the bad bacteria, boost the immune system, boost mood, and boost overall health.

10 Tips to Eat More Coconut Oil

550172_84433696If you are reading my blog, you are probably a health nut who is already aware of the many benefits of coconut oil. This superfood boosts immunity, improves skin, hair, and nails, boosts metabolism and promotes weight loss, promotes health cholesterol levels, heart health, and more! I often hear “I’ve heard of the benefits of coconut oil, but how do I include it in my diet?”

Try sautéing your vegetable and meats in coconut oil instead of other cooking oils. Coconut oil is extremely heat stable meaning that it has a very high smoke point. This allows for high heat cooking without burning your food or smoking out your kitchen. Due to its ultra high smoke point, you can also use coconut oil to make healthy fried foods like sweet potato fries.

You can also use coconut oil to make all sorts of salad dressings, marinades, and sauces. Coconut oil is a wonderful replacement for butter if you cannot have dairy, and it is a wonderful replacement for rancid vegetable oils that have been falsely touted as healthy for years.

If you aren’t a great cook, try adding spoonfuls of coconut oil to your hot coffee or tea. You can also add solid or liquid coconut oil to your smoothie- simply blend and enjoy! If you want to avoid cooking entirely, but you still want to supplement your diet with coconut oil, you may wish to try coconut oil capsules. Coconut oil supplements are an easy way to get all of the benefits of eating coconut oil with absolutely no effort!

A Real Eye Opener For Coffee Drinkers

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By now, anyone who watches the news on a regular basis is accustomed to hearing reports on the multiple health benefits that coffee consumption offers. A recently publicized study has revealed a previously unknown benefit from coffee consumption, which is retinal health.

Researchers at Cornell University performed a fascinating research study on lab mice. They found that a powerful antioxidant found in coffee beans seems to help reduce retinal degeneration in the mice. The antioxidant, called chlorogenic acid, is a substance found in coffee beans. Raw coffee beans contain seven to nine percent of this substance and only one percent of caffeine. Cornell professor and senior study author Chang Y. Lee said the findings of this study are “important in understanding functional foods, that is, natural foods that provide beneficial health effects.”

The retina is a tissue in the eye that requires significant amounts of oxygen in order to properly function. Free radicals and insufficient amounts of oxygen in the body contribute to the breakdown of this delicate tissue. Findings from this Cornell study indicate that the chlorogenic acid found in coffee beans may be a powerful tool in battling against this process and preserving eyesight lost or diminished as a result of retinal degeneration.

Because the concentration of chlorogenic acid is greater in raw coffee beans versus roasted coffee beans, it would interesting to see research on whether chlorogenic acid in supplement form would product the same potential benefits as getting the substance from traditional coffee consumption. Since extract from the green coffee bean can provide chlorogenic acid in a more concentrated dose that would certainly be a fascinating research to explore.

Though further research is needed, the results are promising for the potential positive effects that chlorogenic acid and coffee may have on human eyesight and retinal eye health. Coffee consumption was once considered a health risk and a bad habit, but all that is rapidly changing as much exciting new research emerges.

My Favorite Green Superfoods

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If I had to pick my favorite green superfoods, I would have to say kale, spirulina, and chlorella. These nutrient dense greens are equivalent to nature’s multivitamins, yet they all contain their own unique nutrient profile. Chlorella is loaded with detoxifying chlorophyll. Spirulina contains nearly every nutrient known to man. Kale is packed with vitamins A and K. All three of these greens are packed with iron and they are vegetarian sources of protein, amino acids, fatty acids, and more! If you can’t tell, I really love these green superfoods.

I love these superfoods so much that I like to have them in my house at all times. The problem with this is that fresh kale spoils rather quickly, and it’s seasonal. I buy fresh kale whenever I see it at the farmer’s market, but unfortunately, I can’t always find fresh, organic kale. It is also incredibly hard to find a fresh, clean source of spirulina and chlorella. For these reasons, I like to buy organic green powders.

Organic green powders do not need to be refrigerated, and they last for a really long time. Most green powders have a shelf life of over two years. Organic green powders can be easily added to shakes and smoothies to make nutrient dense green smoothies. Green powders can even be used in savory dishes like pesto sauces and pizza dough.

Kale supplements and other organic green powders can be easily purchased online. The trick is to buy pure, USDA certified organic products that do not contain any fillers, flow agents, or any other artificial ingredients. It is important to buy supplements from a company that you know and trust. Always read labels and do your research! Fresh whole foods will always trump supplements, but in this day and age, we need all the superfoods that we can get.

Desiccated Liver for More Energy!

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Maybe you are a new father to twin baby girls. Maybe you are teacher, and a mom of three, who also gets talked into organizing most of the after school programs and school events. Maybe you are a college student who goes to class during the day and then delivers pizza all night. Needless to say, there are a ton of hard working people in our country who could probably use a little extra energy every once in a while.

Grass fed beef liver is packed with iron and energy boosting B vitamins. Years ago, traditional families knew the energy boosting benefits of grass-fed beef liver, which is why liver and onions was once a popular household meal. Over time, people have lost the taste for this food and many people do not know where to find or how to cook beef liver. Luckily, grass-fed beef liver can be easily turned into a quick and easy energy boosting supplement.

To create the best desiccated liver pills, grass-fed beef liver is dehydrated at an ultra low temperature without the use of any chemicals. It is then milled into a fine powder and encapsulated. The best desiccated liver supplements will be entirely free from additives and chemicals. It is also highly important that liver comes from healthy and happy grass-fed cows that never come into contact with GMO feed, hormones, antibiotics, fertilizers, or any other unnatural contaminants.

It is important to find a desiccated liver supplement that falls within the previous guidelines. When liver supplements are not created the right way, they are often a waste of money and can cause more harm than good. When it comes to supplements, do your research and always buy products like desiccated liver from a reputable company that you can trust.