Lemon Ready Anytime

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I think we have all been in the situation where a recipe calls for "freshly squeezed lemon juice and the zest of a lemon"—and you are in a huge rush and you're not quite sure if the lemon you have is, in fact, organic and you can't even use the zest, even if you had the time to get out your zester. And there are other times when a neighbor drops off a case of beautiful Meyer Lemons from his garden and there is no way you can use all these bautiful lemons before they go bad.

And yet, lemons are such a godsent ingredient, we want nothing to go to waste! And so, today, I invite you to join me in the kitchen to see how we can have lemon juice and lemon peel available anytime at all—and soft skin as a welcome side effect.

So, this is what I do: get a great seasonal deal for lemons, limes and even oranges and set half an hour aside for these following steps:

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Lemon for Health

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Lemon tree is an ancient symbol; of cleansing, freshness and healing and lemons have long been a symbol of longevity, purification, love, and friendship.

The lemon is thought to have originated in China, India, Burma, and throughout Southeast Asia, where it was primarily used an antiseptic and antidote for poisons. From its origins, the lemon traveled through Europe and Western Africa before the first century AD, the Middle East around 700 AD, the Mediterranean and Africa after the first millennium, and finally came to the Americas after Columbus’s second expedition to the New World in 1493.

What are the health benefits of lemons?

According to traditional Chinese medicine, lemon’s effect on the body is cooling; it harmonizes the stomach and aids in digestion and replenishes fluids. Just as it cuts grease on counters, it cleanses the liver, kidneys, blood, mouth, and urinary tract while making the body more alkaline in pH.

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The ABC's of Lemon

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To some people, a lemon is just some bitter fruit best used as a drink garnish or to make the occasional pitcher of lemonade. Those people are missing out on a ton of uses for these amazing globes of sunshiny goodness, and it is high time that lemons get their due. You may have heard a lot of buzz about drinking lemon juice and water at the start of each day and why that is awesome. Yes, this book will tell you why that is awesome but it will tell you a ton more information about lemons from tips to clean every room of your house to ways to use lemons for better health. Shockingly enough you are also going to learn some tried and true beauty tricks with lemons. There really is no limit to what these things can do!

By the time you are finished reading this book (maybe even before then), you are going to want to go out and grab some lemons. You might even consider growing lemon trees just because of the amazing benefits that you will get from lemons. There is a benefit from every single aspect of these fruits, from the peel to the juice and the inner fruit. Nothing will ever go to waste!

Here is a preview of what you will learn from this book:

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Three Free NutriPortal™ Memberships!

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In celebration of the NutriPortal™ now being LIVE on the Functional Gourmet site, I am giving away away three complimentary Personal Strategy Sessions with a one-month NutriPortal membership.

The NutriPortal™ is a web-based interface between practitioner and client. No more emailing, scanning and faxing back and fourth intake forms, recipes and other guidelines; no more looking for that email with all the recommendations; no more looking for that recipe when you're in the store or on a trip to Siberia! It's all there in your personal NutriPortal™! All your specific goals, strategies and data—plus your communications trail. 

To access your free memberships to the NutriPortal™ click here and follow the Personal Strategy Session signup. Upon checkout, enter the fGFREE100 coupon code. This will be limited to the first three signups.

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Coconut Oil

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Coconut oil is a functional food, which simply means that it is a food with more than just calories but actual functional health benefits over and beyond the basic nutrients in the food. Coconut oil has received a bad reputation over the past decades due to its saturated fat content, but research shows that not all saturated fats are alike. Slowly but surely we are learning how vitally important clean and unadulterated saturated fats really are.

Coconut oil is unique in its structural makeup – it is the highest source of saturated fats at 92 percent but it also has the highest source of medium chain triglycerides (62 percent) of any naturally occurring vegan food source. Around half of these medium chain triglycerides are made up of lauric acid, the most important essential acid in building and maintaining the body’s immune system. Other than coconut oil, the only other source of lauric acid in high concentrations is in breast milk. Some saturated fat is actually necessary for human health and research has shown that medium chain fatty acids such as lauric acid help to increase metabolism, and they are more easily digested than fats found in other oils. Their digestibility is because they are processed directly in the liver and immediately converted into energy. As they have no opportunity to be stored in the body, they are less likely to cause obesity than other types of fats.

Lauric acid converts to the fatty acid monolaurin in the body. It has adverse effects on a variety of microorganisms in the body including bacteria, yeast, fungi, and enveloped viruses. It destroys the lipid (fat) membrane of such enveloped viruses as measles, herpes simplex virus (HSV-1), influenza, and cytomegalovirus (DMV). Capric acid makes up another 7 percent of the fat content of coconut oil and it also stimulates anti microbial activity in the body.

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The Wahls Protocol

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When meeting vibrant Terry Wahls M.D. at the recent Nutritional Therapy Conference in Vancouver, Washington, I could have never imagined that, just a few years ago, she was wheelchair bound with no hope for recovery. Diagnose with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), an auto-immune disease, Wahls knew that her brain needed significant amounts of nutrients and she was not getting nutrients from her diet or her supplements. She subsequently turned away from pills and supplements to functional medicine and an extremely nutrient-rich gluten-free and dairy-free paleo diet with a colorful dietary daily prescription of fresh, nutrient-dense foods. Within a year she was out of her wheelchair and doing 18-mile bike rides!

Her TEDx Talk below is well worth watching and her book, The Wahls Protocoll, an inspiration and solution for many. The best thing is, she literally MAKES you eat so much delicious foods that there is no room for junk: nine daily cups of vegetables and colorful fruits like berries, grass-fed and wild meats and fish, coconut cream, fermented foods, bone broth and other superfoods like turmeric. 

Read more on Terry Wahls, M.D. website.

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The Paleo Approach Book & Cookbook

SarahBallantyne Auto Immune Cookbook
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Auto-Immune diseases are everywhere: Rheumatoid arthritis, Multiple sclerosis, Lupus, IBD, Type 1 Diabetes, Graves' Disease and Hashimoto's, just to name a few. When your immune system attacks your own body, medicine is often at a complete loss. We can do a lot with food, but the dietary regimen sounds grim: no grains of any kind, no dairy, no nightshades, no processed foods, minimal sweeteners and fruit and no legumes, nuts or seeds. What's left to eat?

Sarah Ballentyne's Paleo Approach Book and Cookbook (these are 2 books) focus on all the foods you actually can eat rather than on foods you cannot. The recipes in this book are incredibly satisfying, tasty an well-thought out. My favorite cracker these days is Sarah's Plantain Cracker and if you think it's impossible to create spareribs without tomato and spices, think again. My husband, as probably most husbands, is a connoisseur of spareribs (the stickier the better!), but he gave Sarah's recipe the ultimate approval with his comment "these are the best ribs I ever had!"

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Grass-fed Ghee

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Ghee is clarified butter. Clarification in butter means that the butter is heated and milk solids (proteins) have been removed. The protein casein in dairy is difficult for many people to digest, especially when they are experiencing inadequate stomach acid levels, which lead to a plethora of health problems. If undigested, casein is a large foreign protein that can pass through the human gut easily, contributing to what is known as "leaky" or permeable gut. When these proteins pass through the gut, they contribute to inflammatory conditions in the body. Many people think they cannot digest the lactose in dairy, but may in fact actually be reacting to the protein casein. Because the casein is removed from ghee, ghee is much easier for many to digest than butter.  

Ghee is therefore the preferred way of enjoying butter if you are trying to heal your digestive tract. Ghee is a stable, healthy, saturated fat. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature. Contrary to what you've probably heard in the past, these are the most beneficial fats for our body! These fats are fully saturated with hydrogen bonds (NOT to be confused with hydrogenated oils). Saturated fats are stable, and do not easily oxidize (break down) or go rancid. In fact, one of the reason why so many cultures clarify butter is to make it stable at room temperature.

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Farmers Markets

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Farmers markets have increased from under 2,000 to over 8,000 in the last 20 years. While markets are as old as human civilization, the last 2-3 generations have become more accustomed to the convenience of supermarkets, packaged and prepared foods. Buying, washing and preparing veggies from scratch had become a rare occasion. The revival of framers markets is definitely here! From novelties at first 20 years ago ("hey, lets walk through this cute farmers market..."), it is now possible to get the bulk of your foods at these beautiful farmers markets found everywhere. Beyond fruits and vegetables, they now also offer eggs, grass-fed and pasture-raised meats, nuts, heirloom seeds, seedlings, cheeses, sausages, olive oil and flowers. You can stock up for the week at a fraction of the cost of shopping at a health food store. In addition there are some noteworthy benefits:

Fruits and vegetables are fresher, and therefore, taste better. In my opinion, fruits and vegetables at a farmers’ market usually taste fresher and better than those bought at a health food chain.It’s healthier and more sustainable to eat food that is locally grown. Eating food grown in the local area cuts down on the money, energy, and resources needed to ship the food to you. By cutting down on the natural resources used to transport your food to you, you’re doing your part to help the environment.It’s outside. Being outside and getting some exposure to the sun can be of great benefit to your health. (If you have any sensitivities or skin disorders that become aggravated with sun exposure, you’ll have to use your best judgement to determine how much exposure is best for you.) The sun is the greatest source of Vitamin D there is. Vitamin D is great for boosting immunity, supporting healthy bones and skin, and increasing serotonin, therefore reducing the chances of depression.It helps to build community in your city or neighborhood. One of the great things about going to the farmers’ market is that you have the opportunity to talk with like-minded, health-conscious individuals in your community.It creates an excellent opportunity to communicate with those who grow or create the foods that you eat. It’s important to know what you’re eating. And what better way to find out what’s in your food then being able to talk to the person who grows it and sells it to you? With the grower right there, you can find out if the tomatoes you’re thinking about purchasing are organic or not. And if the farm doesn't have an organic certification, is it because they couldn't afford the high price of the organic certification even though they don’t spray any chemicals or pesticides on their produce? You can find out all these intricate details by talking to the grower, which you couldn't do by shopping at a chain store. Most of the growers and business owners are more than willing to talk to their customers about their product and educate them about any politics regarding sustainable agriculture, Prop. 37, etc.Instead of giving your money to large corporations, you’re supporting local farmers and small business owners. Local farmers and small business owners need the money more than large health food chains. A lot of times, small farms and small businesses are just getting their start, and don’t have a lot of financial backing. It’s up to the consumer to decide if they like what they’re selling, and support them so that their business will prosper.

Here is a great little video by Michael Pollan.

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