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The Life-Changing Loaf of Bread

What is it about bread?  It's hard to live without. But for so many people bread presents a challenge--the carbs, the gluten, and the yeast can disrupt the metabolism and throw the immune system into overdrive.Sunday morning, Millbrook, New York.

If you want to get back to the comforts and joy of a breakfast bread, the serious health foodie at white-hot-website My New Roots offers this gluten-free, yeast-free, nutrient, fiber, and protein dense "bread" she boldly calls "The Life-Changing Loaf of Bread."

We like it with almond butter, blueberries, and a cup of our latest tea obsession, an Ito En Sencha from the Chiran Kanayamidori estate.

Find the "Life-Changing Loaf" recipe here.


Spice Blends in 160 Varieties, In Person or Online, Recipes Included

Mehmet Oz's HealthCorps (a sort of Peace Corps to tackle America's obesity epidemic) is partnering with Savory Spice Shops, a plucky little Denver based start-up selling fresh ground spices with inventive blends like Southern Spain Pinchito (salt, cumin, paprika, oregano, coriander, garlic, caraway, turmeric, ginger, fenugreek, anise, cayenne and saffron) and Tan-Tan Moroccan (Hungarian paprika, white sugar, cumin, salt, Ceylon cinnamon, black cardamom, parsley, coriander and turmeric.) The blends are an absolute treasure trove of ideas for dinner.Savory Spice Shops' Denver store.

The concept, dreamt up by young entrepreneurs Mike and Janet Johnston, blows away the dull McCormick offerings on the grocery shelf. Not only do they offer more than 160 spice blends, but their spices are ground fresh in weekly batches and hand-crafted in Denver. Even better, their recipe-finder allows you to enter a region of the world (say, Africa) and a type of food (chicken, fish, veggies) in order to find recipes using the blends. The only caveat is the recipes are not always great for the waistline; they suggest serving Chicken Tagine topped with French fries--a completely unecessary indulgence.

Dr. Oz's concept is to take high school students to visit the shops to learn about spices and their particular medicinal properties. Not only can spices add nutritional value to a dish, but they can reduce the need for salt and increase satiety. The shops are currently in ten states, including California, Texas and New Jersey.

We're hopping in the car and dialing up the GPS as we write!


Dr. Merrell's Quick and Easy Immune Boost Soup

Broccoli and garlic are a powerful combination. The former provides plenty of anti-inflammatory omega-3 and -6 fatty acids; lutein, a powerful form of immune boosting carotenes; and vitamins A and C, which boost immune function. Among the many beneficial nutrients in garlic is allicin--a sulphur-containing compound with antibacterial properties shown to be effective against colds and stomach viruses. Coriander has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial activity.

Quick and Easy Immune Boost Soup

From Power Up: Unleash Your Natural Energy, Revitalize Your Health, and Feel 10 Years Younger by Woodson Merrell, M.D. with Kathleen Merrell (Free Press, 2008)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped

1/2 small onion

1 small carrot, cut into rounds

1/2 teaspoon paprika (preferably smoked, Spanish; but regular will do)

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1 small head broccoli, trimmed and coarsely chopped (about 5-6 cups)

8 cups water

pinch of salt

fresh ground pepper, to taste 

  1. In a medium pot, heat oil on medium. Saute garlic, onion, carrot and spices for 3-5 minutes, until soft.
  2. Trim and coarsely chop broccoli. Add broccoli and water to pot and simmer, covered on low for 15 minutes (until broccoli is soft.)
  3. Uncover and cool for 5-10 minutes. Place in blender and puree until creamy.*
  4. Season with salt and pepper.

*Be cautious when pureeing warm/hot items in blender. Hold top down firmly with hand.


Why That Banana or Onion Might Feel Like Three Martinis


Woke up with a hangover? It isn't just heavy alcohol consumption that can bring on a massive headache the next day; some researchers say a range of unexpected foods, from cheese to pickles to citrus fruit, can do the same.A Johns Hopkins neurologist has put a career's worth of advice into his new book. He says food can trigger pain.

The idea that eating, say, a banana or onion can trigger a headache is controversial. What little scientific research has been done on the subject has often been inconclusive. And most studies depend on patients reporting what they ate before headaches set in, data that aren't always reliable.

What's more, the possible biological links between food and headache aren't clearly understood. Some experts believe there may be a chemical reaction that leads to some headaches, while others think foods could trigger a vascular response involving nerves and blood vessels around the head. A newer theory suggests that certain foods may prompt an immune-system response that triggers headache. A possible culprit is tyramine, a naturally occurring chemical in food.

An estimated 10% to 15% of the population suffers from repeated migraines, mostly women, while as many as 40% of people regularly get common headaches. Headaches can be triggered by a range of things, from stress to lack of sleep to a change in the weather, and every person is susceptible to different triggers, or combination of triggers. Experts say food can be another factor that sets off a headache. But a big difference is that people might be able to avoid the foods that prompt the ailment, says David Buchholz, an associate professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University and author of the book "Heal Your Headache."

Read the rest of the story at


Not All Is Nirvana at Teavana

There's a first for everything, and in this post we find ourselves improbably cheering on a Wall Street short. When Starbucks became serious about buying luxury tea purveyor Teavana, a California investment firm called Glaucus Research Group decided to do a little digging. Glaucus shopped at Teavana and then sent the teas off for analysis. They claim to have established that "Independent laboratory tests showed that Teavana’s teas contain pesticides in amounts that exceed US and EU regulatory limits." 

These guys didn't just send off the teas. They recorded salespeople in-store claiming the teas were pesticide free. In its report, Glaucus writes,
"Contrary to the Company’s claims,  100%  of the tea samples contained pesticides, many of which are classified by the EPA as Possible Human Carcinogens. One of Teavana’s most popular and expensive teas--Monkey Picked Oolong [$25.00 for 2 ounces]--was the most contaminated with 23 pesticides."
Teavana issued a press release to diffuse the situation. According to Glaucus, Teavana salespeople no longer claim their teas are pesticide free.
But even though this dogged little investment firm recommended against it, Starbucks did eventually purchase Teavana for $620 million. We wonder if Teavana will use some of that money to clean up their teas, or will they spend it all on lawyers who will clean up their marketing claims?