As we head towards the damp and colder months of winter, many people complain of aches, pains and discomfort in their joints. They tell me that the problem is ‘that they are just getting old’. My answer?
Food is the Problem and Food is the Solution! This weekend at my ‘Marlene Cooks Macro’ workshop, we made some delicious dishes to alleviate inflammation and bring the body back into balance. We literally have our ‘health handed to us on a plate’, well that’s how I see it. Such sense and sensibility has been lost. This is one of the many reasons I adore Macrobiotics. It is such a common sense and uncomplicated approach to living a life filled with joyful good health. It is so easy to embrace the philosophy of the lifestyle recommendations and avoid the so called aging aches and pains.
Eat a diet high in fibre using grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds and you are onto the winning combination. It’s important to remember that you can’t change your life, without changing your life, so ditch the junk, processed foods and stop eating poison. When you stop the source of injury (diet) that causes the inflammation, you will be amazed at the healing capabilities of your miraculous self. It’s important to note here that for inflammation to be present, dehydration is present. Animal foods dehydrate the body, AND there is ZERO fibre in animal food, always good to share that gentle reminder with you all.
Soothing Sweet Potatoes
Garlic & Onions are loaded with Quercetin
How fibre relieves arthritis pain. Dietary fibre, say researchers at the Federal Research Center for Nutrition in Germany, lowers C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker in your bloodstream that indicates the presence of inflammation. CRP levels are measured to determine the effectiveness of inflammation treatments for RA. The German scientists found that men who boosted their consumption of fibre-rich foods from two to eight servings daily drove down their CRP by more than 30%. The reduction in CRP was primarily caused by eating carotenoid-rich foods–orange-coloured vegetables and fruits including pumpkin, carrots, sweet potatoes and squash, you can literally ‘squash’ (pardon the pun) your arthritis pain’.
Creamy Sweet Potato & Watercress Soup
There are a host of delicious sweet potatoes and squash recipes in my book ‘Macrobiotics for all Seasons’ available world wide on amazon or try some delicious recipes on my website. From soups, lunches and mains, delicious burgers and desserts, the list is endless and my recipes are so easy to make. My Magic Mineral Broth is a ‘no brainer’ for alleviating inflammation, do make some. You will find the video on my you tube channel.
Quercetin in onions inhibits inflammation. Research suggests that Quercetin is a potent anti-inflammatory. Not only does it neutralize free radical molecules but it also inhibits the actions of histamines and other inflammatory mediators in both osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Begin preparing soups, stews and sauces by gently sautéing a chopped onion along with its healing cousin, garlic. Here is the recipe for the barley stew that we cooked this weekend. Enjoy.
Vegetable Barley Stew
Rice or barley stews seasoned with miso or Umeboshi are the Japanese mother’s cure-all. Maitake mushrooms add its healing and rejuvenating qualities to make this an even healthier dish.
2 cups barley
3 or 4 dried maitake or shitake mushrooms
3 litres water
6 inch piece of kombu seaweed
1 tsp.sea salt
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp tarragon
1 onion, diced
1 leek,thinly sliced
2 large carrots, cut into small dice.
2 sticks celery, sliced
2 cups finely chopped kale or other leafy greens, such as chard or savoy cabbage
2-3 tablespoons brown rice or barley miso
Chopped fresh parsley and coriander
Wash the barley and put in a large saucepan with the maitake, water and kombu seaweed, soak for 1-3 hours. Remove the maitake, chop them finely and put them back in the pan.
Bring the liquid to the boil over a medium heat, and add salt. Lower the heat and simmer with the lid on but ajar, until the barley is tender. This will be about 45minutes or an extra 20 minutes or so for a creamier texture.
Add oregano, tarragon and all the vegetables except the greens. Simmer 10 minutes. Add chopped greens and simmer for 15 minutes more. Remove from heat. In a cup dilute the miso in a little bit of hot water, add it to the stew and stir in the parsley and coriander. Sprinkle with toasted flaked almonds and serve.