Breakfast Casserole (Shakshuka)

You will need:

3 T Olive oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds*
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 small bunch kale (central rib removed) or spinach, shredded
1 tsp. sweet paprika
¼ tsp. cayenne or crushed red pepper (optional)
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ c crumbled feta cheese (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste
6 eggs
Parsley / cilantro (optional)

Directions:
Heat oil in large non-stick skillet (or heat-proof casserole) on medium heat.
Add cumin, onions and garlic; saute until softened.
Add peppers; saute until softened.
Add tomatoes and spices; simmer for about 10 minutes until thickened and fragrant.
Mix in shredded greens and let them wilt in the sauce.  Time will vary depending on your taste.
Stir in crumbled feta cheese, if desired.
Make six “wells” in the sauce with a spoon or ladle, and crack an egg into each one.
Cover and cook about 8 to 10 minutes, until eggs are set.
Sprinkle with minced parsley or cilantro, if desired.

*Can substitute ground cumin; if so, add with the other spices

posted in Breakfast, Recipes, Uncategorized

Get a Good Night’s Sleep!

Mother sleeping with childWant to make 2018 your most productive and happiest year ever?  Start by giving your body and brain the repair time you need.  A refreshing night’s sleep boosts your metabolism, sharpens your edge, improves your relationships, and keeps you on track with your life goals.

So don’t shortchange yourself!  Use these simple guidelines to get the rest you need:

 

Refresh your bed:

Rotating your mattress will keep you from sleeping in a ever-deepening rut.  That’s bad for your mattress and for your back.  Give your neck a break, too: make sure your pillow fits you*, and replace it every 12 – 18 months.

Set it at 65:

We sleep much better when it’s not too hot and not too cold.

Embrace the dark:

The blue light emitted by tablets and smartphones disrupts the pineal gland’s ability to produce melatonin, so keep technology out of your sleeping space.  Even better, limit their use in the hour before your bedtime.  Light-blocking curtains are helpful, too.

Rest, don’t digest:

Eating within 2 – 3 hours of your bedtime forces your body to be metabolically active, just when you need it to focus on rest and repair.  Hydrating during the day, rather than the evening, will help you sleep all night without needing to empty your bladder.

Limit caffeine:

If you are routinely powering through the day on caffeine and sugar, your adrenal glands are in trouble.  Distressed adrenal function leads to overall hormonal imbalance and progressive system failure.  If you need help breaking that cycle, please call us.

Stick to a schedule:

Your body loves predictability!  Sticking to a routine for when you eat, exercise and sleep is one of the most productive and healthful habits you can give yourself.

Get physical – and spiritual:

Regular exercise is just not a luxury.  If walking around the block is all you can fit into your day, be sure to do that every day.  Connecting with nature and your inner voice is powerful: you’ll manage stress better, enjoy your day more, and sleep better at night.

Enlist gravity:

Posture always matters, even while you’re asleep.  Your body’s lymphatic system is a vital maintenance mechanism that drains away accumulated toxins and inflammatory cells from the brain.  Side sleeping on a supportive pillow optimizes that drainage.  Back sleeping is next best.  If you are used to sleeping on your belly, now’s the time to develop a better habit.  Using a body pillow can help.

An added bonus: sleeping with your left side down is the most relaxing position for your hard-working heart.

Don’t suffer needlessly:

If you are consistently having trouble getting to sleep, or staying asleep, please reach out for help**.  You have too much to be and do in the world to operate at a disadvantage.

*I routinely help patients evaluate their existing pillows, so they Little girl sleeping in her bedknow what to look for when they go shopping.

**If the suggestions above don’t help you get to sleep, your circadian rhythm and adrenal output may need to be regulated.  If you are regularly waking up during the night, it may be that a particular organ system needs to be supported.  Please call us for an evaluation!

A PDF of this information is available here!

 

posted in Healthy Living, Healthy Sleep, Uncategorized