Sick Again! Supporting Your Immune System When It’s Down

I don’t know if it has been the same in your house, but since the Fall, my little guys have been sick with a cold or stomach bug, what seems to be, every few weeks.  Masking and social distancing over the past 3 years has left our immune systems vulnerable.  Successful immune function is shaped by microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, and fungi) we encounter in our environments.  By being exposed to a broad variety of organisms, the immune system learns to fine-tune the balance between attack and tolerance mechanisms and can develop the regulatory pathways needed to avoid increased immune responses to self or harmless allergens. Nature is one of the richest sources of microbial input, and reduced exposure to natural environments adversely affects the good microorganisms in the body and its capacity to regulate the immune system. With a reduced exposure to common microorganisms over the past 3 years, our immune systems have suffered, resulting in more frequent illnesses.

Although the key to a more efficient immune system is time for natural exposure to common microorganisms, the following are some things you can do to support your immune system in the meantime.

  • Probiotics – a high dose, multi strain probiotic helps to replenish the healthy gut flora.
  • Immune support – St. Francis Deep Immune – This is a herbal combination that contains Astragalus and Codonopsis.These immune enhancing herbs help to increase the production of white blood cells and enhance immune attack.
  • Spirulina – An algae that is high in protein, which is an essential part of immune system and is nutrient dense, high in B vitamins and minerals. All these features of spirulina help to significantly improve the immune system.  Try mixing it with apple juice to mask the taste : )
  • Decrease sugar and processed foods and increase greens in the diet. Harmful bacteria flourish in the presence of sugar. Eating a diet rich in green leafy vegetables promotes the growth of the beneficial gut flora, improves the immune system, and replenishes a healthy gut environment.

Holiday Menu

From our homes to yours, we would like to share our favourite recipes as you prepare for your holiday feast.  

From all of us, we wish you a very happy Christmas season and many blessings in 2023!

With love, Allison, Brittany, Garret, Julie and Michelle.

Vegan Mushroom Wellington with Rosemary and Pecans

I am all for a hearty Beef-Wellington Christmas meal, however after a few days of holiday eating and socializing I enjoy a flavourful vegan dish for dinner.  ~Garret Woynarski

 INGREDIENTS

1 box -2 sheets vegan puff pastry, thawed in the fridge overnight. (Use cold-not at room temp)

2 tablespoons olive oil (or butter)

2 pounds mushrooms, sliced, stems OK (except Shiitake stems)

1 large onion, diced

4–6 garlic cloves, rough chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary (or sage, or thyme)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup sherry wine, red wine or white wine

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1 cup chopped, toasted pecans (or feel free to sub hazelnuts or walnuts)

½ teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons truffle oil (optional)

OPTIONS

-If you want to add cheese, add ½ – 1 cup grated pecorino, gruyere, goat cheese or cream cheese- or use a meltable vegan cheese- or make vegan ricotta!

-Egg wash – use nut milk, cream or melted coconut oil to brush on the pastry.  If you’re not worried about it being vegan, whisk an egg with a tablespoon of water.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Make sure the puff pastry is thawed before you start – cold, but thawed. (Note if it is too warm, it may fall apart, if too cold, it will be too stiff to roll.)
  2. Preheat oven to 400F
  3. MAKE THE FILLING: Heat oil in an extra-large skillet or dutch oven, over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onions, garlic, salt and rosemary and sauté, stirring often, until mushrooms release all their liquid. Turn heat down to medium, and continue sautéing until all the liquid has evaporated, be patient, this will take a little time! Once the mushrooms are relatively dry in the pan, splash with wine and balsamic vinegar and again, sauté on medium heat until all the liquid has cooked off. This is important- you absolutely do not want a watery filling (it will turn into a mess!).  Add the toasted chopped pecans, pepper, truffle oil. Taste, adjust salt to your liking. At this point, you could fold in some cheese if you like.
  4. Let the filling cool 15-20 minutes (you could make the filling a day ahead and refrigerate).
  5. Fill 2 Puff Pastries:  Carefully unroll the puff pastry onto a parchment-lined baking sheet (if it seems stiff, let it thaw a few more minutes until pliable).  Place half the filling in a mound along the center (see photo) and working quickly, roll the pastry up, and over, seam side down. Fill and roll the second sheet.
  6. Brush with the egg or eggless wash.
  7. Score the pastry using a razor blade or sharp knife with your choice of design – cross-hatch, herringbone, leafy vine or just simple diagonal slits.
  8. Bake: Place the sheet pan on the middle rack in the oven for 35 minutes, checking at 20 mins, and rotating pan for even browning if necessary. Let the pastry bake until it is a really deep golden colour – to ensure it’s done and flaky all the way through. You may need to add 5 more minutes depending on your oven. Convection will help achieve a golden crust, (use it for the last 5-10 minutes).
  9. Cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving. Garnish with Rosemary Sprigs. It’s OK to serve at room temp, but warm is best.

Adapted from: https://www.feastingathome.com/mushroom-wellington-rosemary-pecans/

Wild Rice Pilaf

From Allison Ziegler’s kitchen

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ cup diced celery

½ cup carrots

¾ cups diced onion

1 ½ cups wild rice blend

2 2/3 cups vegetable broth

1-2 tablespoons fresh parsley

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat a large skillet to medium-high and add olive oil.Add celery, onion, and carrot to the pan.  Sauté, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent and the vegetables have softened – about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the rice and stir to combine.Allow the rice to toast until the oil is absorbed.
  3. Por in the broth and cover the pot.Bring the rice to a boil and then immediately reduce heat to low.  Allow the rice to simmer for 45-50 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and allow the rice to set for 5-10 minutes to allow the rice to absorb any remaining liquid.
  5. Fluff the rice with a fork and garnish with fresh herbs before serving.

Cranberry, Goat Cheese, and Pecan Salad

Julie Zepp’s pick

INGREDIENTS

For the Salad:

4 cups baby mixed greens or spring mix, arugula, spinach (about 2.5 oz.)

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup candied pecans*

2 oz. soft goat cheese (chèvre)

For the Dressing:

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1.5 tablespoons mayonnaise

1/2 tablespoon pure maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

black pepper to taste

*For the candied pecans:

INGREDIENTS

2 cups pecans

3 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup coconut sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 pinch sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Melt butter (3 tablespoons) in heavy bottomed skillet
  2. Add pecans (2 cups); stir to coat
  3. Add coconut sugar (1/3 cup), and cinnamon (1/2 teaspoon); stir to coat.
  4. Continue stirring until sugars caramelize- they should not be grainy anymore, and begin to darken in color (about 3-4 minutes).
  5. Spread nuts out on a parchment covered baking sheet, sprinkle with sea salt, and allow to cool for at least ten minutes. If nuts are difficult to separate, you can break them apart after they’ve cooled for a bit.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In the bottom of a large mixing bowl, whisk all the ingredients for the dressing together until well emulsified.
  2. Add the baby greens (4 cups) and toss together well with tongs to coat in the dressing.
  3. Add the sliced red onion (1/4 cup), the dried cranberries (1/4 cup), and the candied nuts (1/4 cup) to the bowl on top of the greens. Use the tines of a fork to crumble the soft goat cheese (2 oz.) directly into the bowl.
  4. Toss everything gently together. Divide into two serving bowls or plates and serve.

Beverage: Beet Kvass

Brittany Wolfe’s Specialty

This unique and mineral-rich beverage is great for digestion. It equal parts salty, tangy, warming and satisfying.
Note that this is a fermented beverage so if you’re interested in adding it onto the menu, start prepping now! Due to the fermentation, it is also naturally high in probiotics giving you and yours a sweet little blast of gut health this holiday season.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups beets, rinsed and roughly chopped

2 tbsp fresh ginger, roughly chopped

4 cups filtered water

2 tsp sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Sanitize your jar and lid with boiling water.
  2. Place beets, ginger, salt and water in the jar.
  3. Stir until salt is dissolved.
  4. Cover with an airtight lid and store in a dark place at room temperature.
  5. It should ferment for 4-15 days.
  6. Strain and store in the fridge until you are ready to use.

Healthy Sugar Cookies by Vani Hari

Michelle Sthamann’s holiday treat

INGREDIENTS

2 cups blanched almond flour

¼ cup coconut oil melted (or grass-fed butter at room temp)

½ cup coconut palm sugar

1 egg

1 tbsp vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix all wet ingredients together and combine well
  3. Slowly pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix well
  4. Drop a tablespoon of dough on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet
  5. Bake cookies for 8-10 mins (until edges are golden brown)
  6. As cookies are cooling, sprinkle with a little coconut sugar after baking if desired
  7. Cool cookies for at least 5 mins before serving
  8. (Alternatively, if you are cutting out shapes, refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour and then roll out using a rolling pin and additional almond flour and bake the same way)

Expanded IV Menu

Come check out our IV suite and optimize your health this winter! 

In order to offer you more choices to fit your lifestyle and to help you meet your health goals, I am now offering an expanded menu of IV services. To learn more about intravenous therapy, click here.

To learn more about ozone therapy, click here.

 

The Importance of Self-Care

This summer my husband and I welcomed our third child into the world.  Although having a third precious little guy to love has been so wonderful, it is easy to get overtired, impatient, and overwhelmed with the demands of a busy household.  It is easy to forget about myself as I prioritize the needs of my family.   This summer I came across the following quote at the perfect time!  It is a beautiful reminder of the importance of taking time for myself and in doing so, it has allowed me to be a better mom and better doctor.

 

“Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.”

– Katie Reed

 

Self- care is an essential daily practice! Self-care is taking steps toward caring for your physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental health. In doing so, it allows you to better cope with daily stressors, reduce anxiety and depression and improve overall wellbeing so you can be healthy, do your job, and care for others without becoming burnt out and exhausted.

Whether you are a new parent, a businessperson working long hours or simply wishing to improve your health, the following 5 simple tips are for your self-care.

 

  1. Move Your Body

At least 20 minutes of physical exercise a day is one of the best things you can do for yourself.  Among improving cardiovascular health, regular exercise improves mental clarity and focus, reduces anxiety and depression, and improves sleep and energy.  If you are finding it hard to fit it in, try going for a brisk walk at lunch.  Not only will you get your 20 minutes of exercise, but you will also have more energy for the afternoon.

If you are postpartum, the Pregnancy and Postpartum TV channel on YouTube is a wonderful resource for appropriate physical activity to help you feel like yourself again.

 

  1. Stay Hydrated

The brain requires adequate amounts of water to make energy.  Chronic dehydration leads to fatigue and poor concentration.  Dehydration also leads to muscle stiffness and pain.  Aim for half your body weight in ounces of water every day.  Your body will thank you!

 

  1. Prayer/Meditation

Prayer and meditation increase serotonin, achieves relaxation, and reduces the amount of time your body is in the sympathetic nervous system/fight-or-flight state.  Furthermore, prayer/meditation strengthen spiritual health which gives a sense of purpose, happiness, and joy.

Some apps that you can try are Headspace, Calm and Hallow.

 

  1. 3-Gratitudes

Write down 3 new things each day, for at least 21 days, that you are grateful for.

This helps the brain transition to automatic positive thought instead of focusing on the negative or what went wrong.

 

  1. Eat Well

Eating good quality food allows nourishment for energy production, reduced inflammation and improved mood.

Avoid processed foods and eat a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, protein, and whole grains.  A good rule of thumb is ½ your plate should be veggies, ¼ of your plate protein and ¼ of your plate whole grains.

If you are having trouble transitioning to whole foods from a processed food diet, the 100 Days of Real Food website is a great resource.

Freshness of Spring Recipes

Spring is finally here!  With warmer temperatures comes the excitement and desire to spend more time outdoors. This beautiful season is rich with the growth of plants and offers us a wider selection of fresh foods.  One of my families favourite Spring things to do is spend time on our backyard patio BBQ’ing and enjoying the freshness of what Spring has to offer.   I’d like to share some of my favorite Spring-time recipes with you. Enjoy!

 

Honey Mustard Chicken Kabobs

(from Real HouseMoms)

Ingredients

Kabobs

  • 1-1/2 lbs chicken cut into 1-1/2” cubes
  • 1 lb red potatoes cut into 1-1/2” cubes
  • 1 large red onion cut into 1-1/2” chunks
  • 2 medium zucchinis cut into ¼” slices
  • Salt and pepper

Honey Mustard Marinade

  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon Tamari
  • 1 teaspoon EACH parsley, paprika, garlic powder and salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  • Whisk all the marinade ingredients together EXCEPT olive oil (“Reserved Marinade”)
  • Remove ¼ cup marinade to a large freezer bag or shallow dish. Add chicken and 3 tablespoons of olive oil and turn to coat.Marinate in refrigerator for 4-6 hours.
  • Add potatoes to a large microwave safe bowl.Add 2 tablespoons of water.  Microwave covered, 4-5 minutes or just until fork tender; drain.
  • Add zucchini, onions, 3 tablespoons of reserved marinade, 2 tablespoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper. Toss until evenly coated. Refrigerate.
  • All the remaining unused Reserved Marinade will be used for basting.
  • If using wooden skewers, soak for at least 30 minutes in water before grilling.
  • When ready to cook, thread chicken and veggies onto skewers.
  • Grease grill and heat to medium-high heat.Grill chicken kabobs for approximately 8-10 minutes, rotating a few times until nicely browned and slightly charred on each side and chicken is cooked through, basting halfway through cooking.

Nectarine, Pistachio and Goat Cheese Salad

(from Vanilla and Bean)

Ingredients

Salad

  • 8 cups fresh tender mixed lettuce greens such as read leaf, romaine, beet greens, spinach, bibb
  • 3 nectarines cut into wedges
  • 2 oz goat cheese crumbled
  • 6 tablespoons pistachios roasted and salted; shells removed

Dressing

  • 1-1/2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons champaign vinegar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon poppy seeds
  • Pinch of fine sea salt

Instructions

  • Add all dressing ingredients into a lidded jar.Shake until well mixed.
  • Add greens to a large bowl.
  • Arrange the nectarines on the salad and top with goat cheese and pistachios.
  • Toss with dressing just prior to serving.

 

Frozen Yogurt & Berry Ice Cream Pops

(from Clean Eating with Kids)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups coconut milk yogurt
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 cups of your choice of mixed berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, black berries, cherries)

Instructions

  • Add yogurt, berries and honey to blender and blend until smooth.Stop halfway and scrape down the sides if needed.   It’s nice to leave chunks of berries.
  • Pour into popsicle molds.
  • Freeze for 3 hours until firm.
  • Remove from mold and serve.

Dr. Allison Ziegler’s Maternity Leave Update

I am excited to announce that I am due to have my third child in June 2022!

I will be taking three months away from the office starting July 1st-October 1st, 2022. There will be no disruption in IV therapy while I am away as Dr. Lynn Chiasson has graciously offered to continue them for me.

Due to the inconvenience this may pose to my clients, I wanted to let you know sooner rather than later so you have ample time to book an appointment if needed.

To book please call 306.757.4325.

Who do you know that is self-employed, runs and integrative health care business, or is graduating soon from any of the following fields that would be interested in an affordable office space in an established multidisciplinary clinic to rent on a monthly basis? I have a beautifully furnished room available for individual use while I am away on maternity leave and on a part-time basis when I return.

  • holistic nutrition
  • counseling
  • lactation consultant
  • psychology
  • bodytalk
  • reiki
  • chiropractic medicine
  • massage therapy
  • acupuncture

Our goal is to ensure our community has access to as many integrative health care resources as possible, under one roof, as well as to promote the extensive number of healing professionals that Regina and the area boasts.

Reception is available if required, for additional rental fees.  Contact me by email at allison@zieglerhealth.com if you are interested in discussing our options and touring the available space.

Pre and Post-Natal DHA Supplementation

Optimal nutrition during pregnancy is one of the most important gifts you can give you and your growing baby.  All the nutrients required for healthy development and growth of the baby are passed on through the mother’s diet.  Certain nutrients are required in higher amounts then can be obtained from the diet alone.  One of these is an omega-3 fatty acid known as DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).

DHA is the most important of the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids when it comes to pregnancy.  The majority of DHA supplementation comes in the form of fish oils, which consist of two omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid).  During pregnancy ensuring a higher content of DHA is essential for the following reasons:

  • It provides the fuel for baby’s developing brain and retina, improving visual acuity;
  • Increases cognitive function, intelligence, and IQ;
  • Reduces the risk of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD), dyslexia, dyspraxia and other developmental disorders;
  • Increases gestation time and birth weight; and
  • Reduces severity of allergies.

 

During the first three months of the baby’s life, the brain is developing at a significant rate.  The DHA levels within baby’s brain triple during the first 3 months allowing for development of the brain, spinal cord, and the neurological system.  During this time, DHA makes up about 11% of the dry weight of baby’s brain.  Furthermore, come the third trimester, even more significant brain growth occurs averaging 400-500%.  Needless to say, it is so important that mom obtains adequate levels of DHA throughout her pregnancy.

 

Not only is DHA important for baby’s development, it also helps to support mom’s health as well.   DHA is stored in the brain, tissues and red blood cells.  The placenta takes the stores from the blood and directs it to the baby as it needs.  If mom does not have adequate levels of DHA, the placenta will draw all of moms’ stores for the developing baby leaving mom deficient.  In fact, women’s brain cell volume actually decreases during pregnancy, this is the reason for “baby brain”.  DHA deficiency has been strongly linked with postnatal depression, poor concentration, memory and learning difficulties in the pre and postnatal period for mom.  Ensuring adequate levels of DHA during and after pregnancy helps to improve concentration, focus and mood.

Perils of “the Pill”

The oral contraceptive pill (birth control pill) was originally introduced to the public in the 1960’s as a way to prevent female fertility.  Since that time, the amount of women using the birth control pill has significantly increased to an estimated 100 million around the world.

Natural Menstruation

The menstrual cycle naturally occurs by fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone.  Estrogen levels rise in the first half of a woman’s cycle to prepare ovarian follicles to release an egg and to thicken the uterine lining.  High levels of estrogen prevent the release of another hormone called luteinizing hormone (LH).  Mid-cycle, when the egg is matured, estrogen levels rise even higher reversing its inhibitory effect causing LH to be produced in large amounts.  This LH surge is responsible for the release of the egg, known as ovulation. The second half of the cycle is then marked by rises in progesterone, which helps to create a uterine environment suitable for implantation.  If fertilization and implantation, as in pregnancy, do not occur, estrogen and progesterone levels decline and menstruation occurs.

Birth Control Pill

Birth control pills work by keeping estrogen levels at a sufficiently high amount to prevent the surge of LH and thus ovulation.  If ovulation is prevented, a mature egg is not released and pregnancy cannot occur.  The pill also prevents pregnancy by making the uterine lining inhospitable to a fertilized egg, limiting the sperm’s ability to fertilize the egg and thickening the cervical mucus to hinder sperm movement.

 

Misconceptions About “the Pill”

The Pill Balances Your Hormones

The birth control pill/patch is often prescribed for hormonal issues; however, it does not balance hormones.  Other factors are the cause of hormonal imbalance and they must be investigated.  Birth control pill/patch use promotes a continually high level of estrogen.  Some pills are designed to allow a period only 4 times a year or to be taken continually, which eliminates the period for years at a time, without a break from the estrogen blast.

When the body is under estrogen dominance, as seen when estrogen levels remain high without being balanced by progesterone, the following effects are seen:

  • Breast tenderness
  • Nausea
  • Irregular bleeding or spotting
  • Fertility concerns
  • Weight gain
  • Mood changes
  • Increased risk of breast cancer
  • Increased risk of blood clotting, heart attack and stroke
  • Migraines
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Gall bladder disease
  • Benign liver tumors

 

The Pill Makes Your Period Return

Some women experience a cessation in their period for various reasons and the pill is prescribed to “regulate” it.  Taking the pill only appears to regulate the menstrual cycle.  Withdrawal bleeding occurs during the week break from the active pills or sugar pills, simulating the average period (28 days).  The only reason one bleeds during this break is due to the drastic decrease in estrogen levels, causing the uterine lining to shed.  Birth control pills suppress the normal cycle. The hormonal events while taking the pill are significantly different compared to the natural ovulatory cycle, as ovulation does not actually occur.

 

There are no Long-Term Effects from Taking the Pill

In addition to the risk factors caused by estrogen dominance as listed above, taking the birth control pill depletes several nutrients.  Oral contraceptive pills deplete all B-vitamins, magnesium, selenium, zinc, tyrosine and coenzyme Q10.  Without these nutrients, ailments such as depression, low libido, lack of energy, focus/concentration and insomnia can result.  It is recommend that women who are taking oral contraceptives also take a high-potency multi-vitamin as well as additional B-vitamins to prevent nutrient deficiencies and promote optimal health.

It is important to understand how oral contraceptive pills function in the body.  Being aware of the nutrient deficiencies can aid in preventing the effects of long-term oral contraceptive use.  Understanding the effects and taking a proactive approach can help you be healthier and feel better.

Immune Boosting Tea

Cold and flu season is here! As we move into the coldest months of winter, I want to share my go-to immune boosting tea.  Whether you are treating a cold or flu, trying to prevent one all together or simply looking for a healthy warm beverage, this tea is delicious and is packed full of nutrients that will keep your immune system strong during the winter months and all year round.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 organic lemon, rind intact and cut into wedges
  • 1 fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 cups of water
  • Unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • Raw honey or Manuka honey

 

Directions

Add the lemon, ginger, cinnamon sticks and water to a pot. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 10 minutes.  Add 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of honey per cup of tea and Enjoy!

 

Lemon

Lemon is rich in vitamin C, an essential nutrient for optimal immune system functioning.  Lemon also has antibacterial and antiviral properties.  Ensure you use an organic lemon as conventional lemons have wax and other chemicals on the outside that should not be ingested, especially if your immune system is already weakened by infection.  If you do not have access to organic lemons, peel the lemon prior to adding it.

 

Ginger

Ginger has long been classified as a super food due to the many medicinal properties it exhibits.  Gingerol is the main natural oil found in ginger that is responsible for most of the medicinal properties found in ginger.  Gingerol is a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.  The antioxidant effect of ginger helps to increase immune function by reducing the amount of oxidative damage to the body.  The anti-inflammatory effect of ginger can help to soothe a sore throat during a cold and reduce body aches experienced during a flu.

Ginger also has antibacterial and antiviral effects to help prevent, as well as reduce the severity of a cold and flu.

 

Cinnamon

The delicious aroma and taste of cinnamon is only a fraction of what this super food has to offer.  Cinnamon has significant antioxidant benefits-superior to most super foods.  Antioxidants are important because they help the body reduce oxidative stress, which damages cells, reduces immune function and contributes to nearly all chronic diseases.  In addition, cinnamon is an anti-inflammatory.  Cinnamon has traditionally been used to treat sore throats as it reduces the associated inflammation and aids in repairing tissue damage.  The antimicrobial benefits of cinnamon also make it a nice addition to any infection fighting tea.

 

Apple Cider Vinegar

Unfiltered apple cider vinegar contains the “mother”, which is a mix of yeast and bacteria that work as probiotics.  Probiotics have immune-boosting properties that can effectively help to fight influenza-like respiratory infections and the common cold.

 

Honey

Raw honey and Manuka honey are very nutrient dense and exhibit the most antimicrobial action of all honey. Honey has a very low concentration of water and high concentration of sugar.  This combination creates an environment that is difficult for bacteria to survive in. Honey naturally contains hydrogen peroxide, which increases in concentration when honey is added to water.  Both properties contribute to the antimicrobial property of honey and is the reason honey is such an effective antibacterial agent.

Holiday Menu

From our homes to yours, we would like to share our favourite recipes as you prepare for your holiday feast.  From all of us, we wish you a very happy Christmas season and many blessings in 2022!

With love, Brittany, Michelle, Julie and Allison

 

Apple Cider & Herb Brined Turkey 

From Nourishing Meals, one of Dr. Ziegler’s favourite cookbooks.

You will want to have your turkey thawed and ready for brining 24 to 72 hours before you plan on cooking it. Pictured here is a 15-pound turkey. The larger the turkey, the longer it will need to soak in the brine. I add all of the ingredients to the pot, except for the water, then add the turkey and add water to cover. It will be about a gallon, give or take some, depending on the size of your turkey. If you add more than a gallon of water (say for a larger turkey), you will want to add 1/4 to 1/2 cup more salt, otherwise the brine may not be strong enough.

1 gallon apple cider
1 cup coarse sea salt
2 onions, chopped (I leave the skin on)
2 oranges, sliced
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
1 small bunch fresh rosemary
1 small bunch fresh thyme
1 small bunch fresh sage
2 to 4 bay leaves
1 to 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
1 whole turkey (12 to 24 pounds)
1 gallon filtered water (or just enough to cover)

Place the apple cider, salt, onions, oranges, garlic, rosemary, sage, bay leaves, and black peppercorns into a large pot or container, stir well, and then place the turkey into it. Cover with filtered water. Place a weight on top of the bird to keep it submerged in the brine (like a glass bowl with a rock or a bag of water in it). If you don’t use a weight you will need to flip the turkey once or twice during a 24 hour period. Cover and refrigerate for 24 to 72 hours.

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Pull the turkey out of the brine and place into a roasting pan. Pull some of the onions, herbs, and orange slices out and stuff them into the cavity of the turkey. At this point I like to truss the bird with cotton butcher’s twine (you should be able to find this at your local kitchen or grocery store).

Next, remove the remaining solids from the brine and place them around the turkey in the bottom of the pan. This will flavor the bird even more during cooking and create an amazing gravy! Take about 4 cups of brine, along with about 2 cups of filtered water, and add it to the bottom of the pan.

Season the top of the bird with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then drizzle the top with extra virgin olive oil.

Place in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes. Then reduce heat to 325 degrees F and continue roasting until juices run clear. I like to baste the turkey a few times during cooking as well. Brining can reduce total cooking time by a little, but you can use these guidelines from FoodSafety.gov for average cooking times (since I am not fully stuffing the cavity, I use the guidelines for an unstuffed turkey). Use a meat thermometer if needed to test for doneness. It should read about 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, though I usually take it out of the oven when the temperature is a little lower to prevent overcooking.

8 to 12 pounds: 2 3/4 to 3 hours
12 to 14 pounds: 3 to 3 3/4 hours
14 to 18 pounds: 3 3/4 to 4 1/4 hours
18 to 20 pounds: 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 hours
20 to 24 pounds: 4 1/2 to 5 hours

Once the turkey is done, let it rest in the pan for about 30 minutes before carving. This allows for the juices to go back into the meat. You can then remove the turkey and place it on a large cutting board to carve. Pour the pan juices through a fine-mesh strainer into a 2-quart saucepan. Follow these directions to make Gluten-Free Gravy with them!

Once you have pulled all of the meat from the bones, use the carcass to make a rich, nourishing Turkey Stock

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Cranberry Brown Butter

One of Dr. Zepp’s holiday favourites

4 pounds brussels sprouts, halved lengthwise
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted organic grassfed butter
1 large shallot, minced
1 teaspoon chopped thyme

Preheat the oven to 400°. On 2 large rimmed baking sheets, toss the brussels sprouts with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 40 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the sprouts are tender and browned in spots.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the cranberries, maple syrup, ginger and orange zest. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until the cranberries break down and thicken, about 10 minutes.
In a medium skillet, cook the butter over moderately high heat until deep golden, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the shallot and thyme and stir into the cranberry sauce. Transfer the butter to a bowl, add the brussels sprouts and toss. Season with salt and serve.

Festive Kale Salad

From Oh She Glows, Dr. Wolfe’s pick

SALAD

2 bunches of finely chopped green curly kale
Hefty sprinkle of pecan parmesan (see below)
1 cup pomegranate arils
Optional additions but highly recommended: goat feta, one apple peeled, cored and finely chopped
DRESSING (Sweet apple cinnamon vinaigrette)
6 tbsp apple cider vinegar
~4.5 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
PECAN PARMESAN
1 cup pecans toasted
3 tsp nutritional yeast
3-6 tsp olive oil (start with 3 and work up slowly)
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Spread the pecans onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes until fragrant and lightly golden.
Remove the stems from the kale and discard. (Save the stems for a stir fry, broth or smoothie!)
Wash the kale and spin dry. Finely chop the leaves if needed otherwise place them in a large bowl with a glug of olive oil and a splash of lemon juice then massage the leaves until softened.
Make the dressing in a small bowl by mixing all of the ingredients together.
For the Pecan Parmesan: Add the pecans into the processor and process until the pecans are the size of peas or a bit larger. Now add in the nutritional yeast, oil, and salt and process again until it has a coarse crumb texture. Go slowly on this one so as not to overprocess into a fine powder.
Arrange your salad by adding all ingredients into the bowl, top with a hefty serving of the parmesan and serve the dressing on the side.

Super Seed Chocolate Bark

Dr. Sthamann’s delicous dessert

2-3/4 ozs dark chocolate
2 tsps cocnut oil
¼ cup pumkin seeds
¼ cup sunflower seeds
2 tbsps hemp seeds

Line plate or baking sheet with parchment paper.
Fill a medium pot with an inch of water and place a small pot or heat-safe bowl on top ensuring the water is not touching the bottom of the smaller pot or bowl. The smaller pot or bowl should rest tightly on top of the pot and any water or steam should not be able to escape. Bring water to a boil then reduce heat to low.
Add the chocolate and coconut oil to the double boiler and stir occasionally until the chocolate has melted completely.
Remove the bowl for the double boiler and stir in the seeds. Mix well until the seeds are completely covered in the chocolate.
Transfer the chocolate and seeds to the prepared parchment paper and spread into an even layer. Place the bark in the freezer for about 30 minutes or until solid.
When solid, break into pieces and store in an airtight container in the freezer or fridge until ready to eat.