The Grecian Garden

Living a nourished life

   Apr 01

The Nourishing Podcast Episode 6: Doula Jen Chendea

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Today’s interview is with Pensacola Doula Jen Chendea (jenchendea.net).  Nothing was off limits in our conversation, even birthing stories and placenta encapsulation! Emily from Nourishing Mama and I let our guests know in advance that we really want to learn all the nitty gritty details of their expertise, not the superficial topics that would prove sufficient if we didn’t have such an educated base of listeners and blog readers like your wonderful selves.  Some of our our interviews are funny, all of them are informative, but the best word to describe our conversation with Jen is “fascinating”.

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Jen is a certified childbirth educator with BirthWorks International.  She became certified as a labor doula with CAPPA in 2004.  In June, 2012, she attended a workshop with Gail Tully of Spinning Babies on Optimal Fetal Positioning, which is an integral part of her BirthWorks classes and strengthens her work with mothers.  She is also a member of the Doula’s Association of Pensacola and a La Leche League Leader.  Jen has also worked as a breastfeeding peer counselor with WIC at the Escambia County Health Department.

 

 

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   Mar 17

Podcast with Mark Hainds, the “Daniel Vitalis of the South”

Tune in to hear why Emily from Nourishing Mama and I have christened Mark Hainds as a Southern Daniel Vitalis.  You can buy his book and learn all about wildlife at http://www.amazon.com/Year-Pig-Mark-J-Hainds/dp/0817356703

11793304 197x300 Podcast with Mark Hainds,  the Daniel Vitalis of the South

But wait, we didn’t really spend the whole time chatting about feral piggies tromping through Alabama and northwest Florida.  Mark’s knowledge of forestry and the wilderness rivals that of Daniel Boone, and his foraging and farming skills remind us of Joel Salatin and Pensacola’s own Roger Elliot (we’ll be releasing his podcast soon).  Of course, all those attributes come naturally to the fifth generation of Hainds farmers!

 

So what do you think?  Ready to go wildcraft something? Remember that you can also download The Nourishing Podcast for free from the player or access our interviews from Stitcher and the like.

TheNourishingPodcastitunes 300x300 Podcast with Mark Hainds,  the Daniel Vitalis of the South

 

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   Jan 05

The Nourishing Podcast Episode 4: Professional Soccer Player & Author Junior DeSouza

TheNourishingPodcastitunes 300x300 The Nourishing Podcast Episode 4: Professional Soccer Player & Author Junior DeSouza
jr 290x300 The Nourishing Podcast Episode 4: Professional Soccer Player & Author Junior DeSouza

Emily and I have so much fun doing interviews and we are slowly getting them all posted for your  listening pleasure.  Today’s interview is with Junior Desouza, professional soccer player, fitness model, Christian counselor, author, and speaker.  Whether you are an avid athlete or just a beginner, Junior has wise words for all.  Gleaning from his counseling experience he also offers sound advice for those dealing with unsettled emotions that can wreak havoc on mind, body, and soul.  The interview was deep and insightful, so don’t be confused by my simple outline below.  Junior left no stone unturned.

junior 1 300x152 The Nourishing Podcast Episode 4: Professional Soccer Player & Author Junior DeSouza

Here’s what we discussed with Junior:

1. Emily’s career as a semi-pro soccer player and trainer.

2.  Junior’s athletic career, past and present.

3. Performance optimization and how it can be sustained through life changes.

4. Benefits of emotional release work.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Junior’s newsletter through his website.  He has numerous articles and resources, including his book  Be Yourself!

If you missed any of our previous podcasts you can also find them through AudibleiTunes, etc., but the best way to find our future podcasts (besides a time machine) and receive exclusive recipes is by email subscription to my (or Emily’s) website.

 

Happy New Year!

Love,
Melanie
IMG 2484 300x223 The Nourishing Podcast Episode 4: Professional Soccer Player & Author Junior DeSouza

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   Dec 03

The Nourishing Podcast Episode 3: Dr. Bonnie McLean DOM

TheNourishingPodcastitunes 300x300 The Nourishing Podcast Episode 3: Dr. Bonnie McLean DOM

 

Our podcast with Gulf Breeze acupuncturist Dr. Bonnie could have gone on for hours.  She is such a wealth of knowledge in both Western and Eastern medicine.  We’ve been friends for years, and I appreciate her wisdom on a variety of health topics.

IMG 9570 300x225 The Nourishing Podcast Episode 3: Dr. Bonnie McLean DOM

With Acupuncturist Dr. Bonnie on the set of "Tuesday's with Dan".

 

Here’s what we discussed with Dr. Bonnie:

1.  The interplay between Western and Eastern medicine

2. How acupuncture works and who can benefit from it.

3.  Is acupuncture safe for children?

4.  How do our emotions affect our health?

5.  How can we incorporate Chinese medicine into our every day lives?

You can learn more about Dr. Bonnie by checking out her website here.

If you have questions for us to answer on the podcast please email Emily and I at thenourishingpodcast (at) gmail (.) com

 

What are your thoughts as you listen to this podcast? What has been your experience with acupuncture?

 

-Melanie

 

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   Nov 23

The Nourishing Podcast Episode 2 + Garlic Ginger Tea Recipe

TheNourishingPodcastitunes 300x300 The Nourishing Podcast Episode 2 + Garlic Ginger Tea Recipe Emily had the pleasure of interviewing me for our second podcast, isn’t she lucky?! Just kidding.

In this podcast we talk a lot about our immune system and how to stay healthy during the holidays.  One of my favorite teas for colds, sinus infections, the flu, or just prevention is garlic ginger tea.  It has warming properties and is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral! I make it often because not only do I feel fantastic after just one mug, but I love the way it tastes.   I’ve posted on Facebook before that my four year old nephew and 18 month old niece love this tea, so yes you can get kids to drink it.

garlic tea picture 300x225 The Nourishing Podcast Episode 2 + Garlic Ginger Tea Recipe

IMG 0337 300x225 The Nourishing Podcast Episode 2 + Garlic Ginger Tea Recipe

No gingers were harmed in the making of this tea.

Garlic Ginger Tea

Don’t worry, the ginger, lemon, and honey overpower the taste of garlic…

Ingredients:

4 cups boiling water

4 cloves of garlic, chopped

1/2 inch piece of ginger, finely grated

Juice of half a lemon

Honey to taste (at least half a teaspoon)

Instructions:

1.  In a large glass bowl add garlic, ginger, and lemon juice.

2.  Pour over boiling water, cover, and let steep for 20 minutes.

3.  Strain, and add honey to taste.  Kids drink 1 cup per day until symptoms are gone.  Adults drink 1-2 cups per day until symptoms are gone.

 

Here’s a brief overview of our second podcast, which you can subscribe to on the right side of this page or on iTunes, Stitcher, and apps from Blackberry to Blubrry:

1.  My journey from multiple health issues and food allergies to wellness.

2.  The two foods I recommend everyone add to their diet.

3.  Tips to boost your immune system

4.  Several store-bought cultured veggie brands right here in Pensacola if you don’t want to make them yourself.

5.  What is Bioset and Nutrition Response Testing.

Our next interview is with acupuncturist Dr. Bonnie Mclean followed by professional soccer player, author, and speaker Junior Desouza.

Happy Thanksgiving!

-Melanie

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   Oct 27

Introducing The Nourishing Podcast!

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Emily Morgan, MS, from Nourishing Mama and I met this spring at the Pensacola Weston A. Price Foundation chapter meeting.  We hit it off right away and found out we had so many things in common.  We are real foodies, we both do nutrition consulting, and we both educate our local community and beyond about holistic health.  I also became a big fan of Emily’s Facebook page, where she posts pictures of the most creative school lunches you’ve ever seen!  We can all learn from this real foodie mama!

Our desire with the podcast is to be educational in sharing what we know, while hosting guest speakers to further expand our knowledge of everything relating to holistic health.  We already have some awesome guests to interview and I can’t wait to share them with you!

To make sure you don’t miss a podcast, subscribe with your name and email on the right of your screen.  You can also subscribe through iTunes, Zune, YouTube, or the feed.

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This first podcast is all about Emily.  Here is a brief overview:

1. What reaction occurred when Emily’s daughter ate a typical baby food.

2.  A great relaxation tip for us all Emily learned from her CHEK holistic health training.

3.  How to cook real, nutritious food when you’re short on time.

3. Motivation to get moving!

Feel free to email then...@gmail.com if you have questions you would like answered on our next show.

-Melanie

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   Oct 12

Pumpkin Kefir Smoothie (dairy free)

IMG 1507 300x198 Pumpkin Kefir Smoothie (dairy free)
I’m frosting pumpkin spice cookies, aren’t you?

It’s that time again, pumpkin flavored everything!  I’ve been dreaming about making my pumpkin scones all summer. After all, this is the only time of year when your day consists of pumpkin laced lattes, pancakes, and soup.  I’m not one to disappoint, so below is my pumpkin kefir smoothie with all the great pumpkin spice flavor you love and friendly gut bacteria too!  Gotta love me some probiotic pumpkins.

But, before I get to the smoothie recipe I wanted to fill you in on my upcoming class that is all about kefir.

IMG 1789 300x225 Pumpkin Kefir Smoothie (dairy free)

Kefir Class Fall 2012

When: Thursday October 17th, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Where: Esther’s Garden of Healing.

             8184 Navarre Pkwy Navarre, Florida 32566.  (850) 684-3230

Cost: $15

Come and learn about kefir’s probiotic benefits, enjoy samples, and leave prepared to make gut-loving creations with the recipe packet you’ll receive.  I hope to see you there!

Without further ado, let the fall flavored drinking commence.

IMG 1692 300x225 Pumpkin Kefir Smoothie (dairy free)

Pumpkin Kefir Smoothie

 

Pumpkin Kefir Smoothie

Serves: 1

Ingredients:
1 cup pureed pumpkin (refrigerated or frozen in cubes works best)
½ cup coconut milk kefir (recipe below)
1 ½ cups almond milk (or 1 cup water)
1 banana (optional)
½ Teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 Teaspoon ground ginger
1/16 teaspoon nutmeg
2 Teaspoons vanilla
3-4 Tablespoons honey
1-2 cups ice

Directions:
1. Place all ingredients into a blender.
2. Blend until smooth. Serve and enjoy!

 

Coconut Milk Kefir

IMG 1942 225x300 Pumpkin Kefir Smoothie (dairy free)

Coconut Milk Kefir

Ingredients:

1 quart of full fat coconut milk.
1 packet Body Ecology Kefir Starter Culture or ¼ cup prepared water kefir**

Directions:

Heat one quart of coconut milk to skin temperature (92 degrees). Remove from heat and add 1 entire packet of starter culture or water kefir to coconut milk. Stir until the powder has dissolved. Pour the inoculated milk into a quart jar and ferment for 18-24 hours. Refrigerate after fermentation. Save 6 tablespoons from each batch to inoculate the next quart of milk. This can be repeated up to 4 times. Each batch will last about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

**The starter culture contains a trace amount of dairy which is said to be eaten during the fermentation period. For a truly dairy free option use water kefir to inoculate your coconut milk.

 

Do you have a favorite pumpkin dish or drink that you look forward to every fall?  Let me know in the comments!

 

-Melanie

 

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   Aug 22

Preparing for Surgery: The Awkward Clash between Western & Alternative Medicine

I have several clients on specific herbal and supplement regimens about to have surgery. They were instructed to stop everything two weeks before their operation, so I asked my husband, a nurse anesthetist, about his opinion. His response was insightful so we’ve decided to share it with all of you, just like we did with his two guest posts on natural therapies for pain and more recently on the peer-reviewed science blog jove.com.

To begin, I made a video about this very topic on the set Melanie used with Demand Media to create her recent eHow series Natural and Herbal Medicine. I’ll try not to reiterate the fantastic assertions I make in the above clip.  My expertise is based on over a decade of experience in healthcare, assorted research studies, and the textbooks The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety by Mills and Bone and Miller’s Anesthesia

There is really only one type of drug or supplement that matters to your surgeon: blood thinners.  Unfortunately, the list of herbs that affect clotting time, platelets, red blood cells, etc. is quite extensive and includes the vitamin niacin (at 2 grams or more), many herbs beginning with “G” (including garlic, ginseng, and ginkgo), white willow bark, and even fish oil.  This is why I recommend complying without question if instructed to stop taking supplements a week before surgery unless you’re on a specific program for a complex health problem.   Taking a supplement to give you more energy at the advice of a multi level marketing scheme doesn’t quite meet that requirement.  I’ve had several patients with unstable vital signs because they drank a Monster or even a presumably healthy energy drink with large amounts of gingseng, taurine, and caffeine.

So what should you tell your surgeon?  Don’t worry too much about him or her–it’s us anesthesia folk who obsess over metabolism pathways and drug/herb interactions.  Ask to talk to one of us if a nurse or doctor tells you to stop everything not FDA approved days before your surgery.  If you need more information, Google search the half life (how long it works) and side effects of your product.  That way, we’ll have to address your concern on an individual basis instead of the same overarching philosophy that requires you to shut off anything electronic when a plane takes off or lands.  Enlist help from your alternative health provider too.  Chances are, if your product is generic and highly concentrated, you’ll be instructed to stop it two weeks before surgery (and you should).  We’ve canceled cases for something as innocent-sounding as a teaspoon of cream stirred into coffee six hours before surgery.  Surprisingly, Craigslist and Ebay aren’t the best ways to acquire traditional Chinese medicine, and ingesting “natural” plant products in exponential doses of concentrated powders baked into a tablet defeats the whole purpose of gentle, holistic healthcare that works with your body. 

The bad news is that you won’t find much research on proprietary supplements containing trace amounts of minerals, nutrients, and, uh, dessicated animal parts.  The good news about herbs and whole food supplements is just that: they’re edible, hopefully unadulterated substances.  An excellent example is Standard Process products, a brand Melanie often tests her clients for.  Remember that the same dosage from two different companies can vary in potency, depending on the part of the plant harvested, soil, processing procedures, and the phase of the moon during bottling.  Ok, maybe not the last one. 

Obviously you can’t request for me to be your anesthesia provider unless you come to my facility, but some hospitals do have alternative medicine services–locally, Sacred Heart’s Destin campus has a thorough program encompassing yoga, accupressure,  therapeutic touch, and essential oils.  These are all therapies that won’t affect medical procedures, unless you’re irritating your airways by snorting lavender oil to calm your nerves.  The same is often true for homeopathics because you’re comparing apples to oranges.  Just like energy medicine, the effects can’t usually be measured objectively by lab values and vital signs.  For example, substituting a homeopathic for a measles shot isn’t going to work much better than substituting eucalyptus for a MAC 4 laryngoscope to open your airway.   However, chemical and anesthesia detox homeopathic drops after surgery are an excellent idea if your genetics predispose you to certain sensitivities (but that’s a different subject for another blog post).

althealthblog 300x225 Preparing for Surgery: The Awkward Clash between Western & Alternative Medicine

My point is that surgery takes care of problems that alternative medicine can’t, no matter how organic and wildcrafted the herbal poultice placed on a broken femur.  Your surgeon and anesthesia provider have the final say because you’re in their world.  If you don’t like their conclusions, don’t have surgery.  I started having gallbladder spasms at the same age that my father had his gallbladder removed.  The only answer Western medicine has is a cholecystectomy, so I talked to Melanie and started a program including nasty-tasting Swedish bitters.  I avoided surgery because most of us in healthcare know that no matter how simple a procedure, the less invasive route is usually a better choice.

I recommend taking the last dose of herbs and supplements related to hormones one or two days before surgery and resuming them after the procedure.  Stop valerian root and similar mood altering concoctions a day earlier than that, and don’t take anything that alters blood clotting for a week beforehand.  Of course, the usual disclaimers stand that The Grecian Garden does not diagnose or treat medical diseases and that basing health decisions solely on blog posts is as intelligent as multitasking breakfast and hygiene by toasting bread in the shower.  That said, I don’t mind answering your personal questions or vicious hate mail in the comments section for the whole internet to see.  For more of my wit and wisdom, buy How to Succeed in Anesthesia School (And RN, PA, or Med School) and check me out @DrippingEther

 

 

IMG 0458 300x225 Preparing for Surgery: The Awkward Clash between Western & Alternative Medicine

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   Jun 04

Dandelion Mocha Frappuccino–Dairy, Refined Sugar Free

IMG 3951 300x225 Dandelion Mocha Frappuccino  Dairy, Refined Sugar Free

One of my favorite memories from Greece was waking up from a nap and finding all the Greek men of the house in the living room sipping creamy Nescafe frappes with little pink straws.  The hilarious sight of large Greek men with those dainty straws is one that will never leave your mind.  It’s no secret Greeks love their frappe’s!

I’ve written before that I’m not much of a coffee drinker except for a few special occasions every year, but the craving for a cold frappuccino does come calling once the warm summer months show up.  I use dandelion as a coffee substitute due to its mild bitter flavor.  As a bonus, dandelion root is an excellent liver tonic.

IMG 3953 225x300 Dandelion Mocha Frappuccino  Dairy, Refined Sugar Free

Recipe 1 with ice cream

 

I decided to make two versions, one with ice cream and one without.  Although creamier, the ice cream version was a little bit too sweet for my taste.  My favorite was Recipe 2 (below) which just uses cocoa powder.  I’ll let you decide which one to make based on the ingredients you have in your house.  Recipe 1 seems more kid-friendly to me since the ice cream hides the bitter component of the dandelion tea, while Recipe 2 may suit an adult’s palette since, much like a true Frappuccino, it has a slightly bitter taste.

 

Dandelion Mocha Frappuccino Recipe 1

Gluten, dairy, and refined sugar free.

Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients:

3/4 cup cold dandelion root tea (recipe below)

1 cup chocolate coconut milk ice cream (homemade try: Elana’s. Store bought try: So Delicious)

2 T honey

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup ice

Instructions:

Add all ingredients to blender and blend on high until smooth.  Pour into a tall glass, garnish with whipped cream or coconut whipped cream if desired and serve.

 

Dandelion Mocha Frappuccino Recipe 2 (without ice cream)

IMG 3956 225x300 Dandelion Mocha Frappuccino  Dairy, Refined Sugar Free

Recipe 2 without ice cream

Gluten, dairy, and refined sugar free.

Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients:

3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons cold dandelion tea (recipe below)

2 T cold coconut milk

2 teaspoons cocoa powder

2 T honey

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

Blend all ingredients until smooth.  Top with whipped cream or coconut whipped cream if desired.

 

Dandelion Root Tea – Makes enough for 1 serving or 1 Frappucchino

3 Tablespoons dry roasted dandelion root ( I buy my herbs at Old Thyme Remedies)

2 cups water

Combine dandelion and water and bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes.  Strain, discard dandelion root (compost), and refrigerate tea until needed.

 

Happy Summer!

-Melanie

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   May 28

Dewberry Panna Cotta and Upcoming Nourishing our Children Class

IMG 3892 300x225 Dewberry Panna Cotta and Upcoming Nourishing our Children Class

I’m so happy to share this summer dessert with you and also invite you to my next class.  Up first, the recipe!

Aren’t those blackberries?

We were recently on a nature walk with Old Thyme Remedies and I was happy that I at least knew a few of the native plants–or so I thought.

“Oh yes, those are blackberries, we pick them every year,” I said.

“Actually,” said the nature guide, “those are called dewberries.”

Who knew.  I have a freezer full of them.  They taste just like blackberries.

IMG 3894 300x225 Dewberry Panna Cotta and Upcoming Nourishing our Children Class

Panna cotta, my favorite custard

Panna cotta is a soft custard made without eggs that usally relies on heavy cream.  I remember making it years ago, but I think I used to much gelatin because  it was way too thick.  This recipe has the traditional soft texture that is perfect on a hot summer day.  I had it for breakfast, but I know it would make an excellent dessert too!  For the recipe below feel free to use any berry for the topping.  Blackberries, strawberries or even blueberries would be lovely.  I imagine when August comes, peaches will work just fine too.

IMG 3914 300x225 Dewberry Panna Cotta and Upcoming Nourishing our Children Class

Dewberry Coconut Milk Panna cotta (dairy free, refined sugar free)

Berry topping ingredients:

2 cups dewberries (fresh or frozen)

1 tsp coconut oil

2 T honey

2 tsp arrowroot flour

1 tsp lemon juice

Panna Cotta ingredients:

3 1/2 cups coconut milk ( The amount in two cans, I use Native Forest)

3 tsp  gelatin ( I prefer Bernard Jensen or Great Lakes)

1/3 cup honey

5 drops stevia (optional)

1 T lemon juice

2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

1.  In a small saucepan over medium heat add coconut oil and berries. Cook until softened, stirring carefully about 10 minutes.   Add the honey and continue cooking over low-medium heat while gently stirring.  At this point you’ll notice a lot of extra berry juice in the saucepan.  Pour  about 1/4 cup of berry juice into a small bowl.  Stir the arrowroot flour into the extra juice and pour back into saucepan.  Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes or until the sauce has thickened, and looks like jam.  Remove berries from heat and add 1 tsp lemon juice.  Spread berries gently onto bottom of 7 x 11 pyrex glass dish.  Release pent-up emotions prior to this step to avoid smashing the berries.  Refrigerate.

2.  In a large saucepan, pour one cup of coconut milk.  Add in gelatin and allow to bloom for 5-10 minutes.  Heat the milk and gelatin over over medium heat until the milk begins to steam and the gelatin dissolves.  Pour the remaining coconut milk, honey, and stevia into the warm milk and whisk to combine.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla and lemon juice.  Allow the mixture to cool for ten minutes.

3.  Remove the berries from the refrigerator and gently pour the milk over the berries; avoid breaking up the berries or bringing them up to the top.  Refrigerate for 5 hours or until set.  Overnight worked best for me.

 

Nourishing Our Children  5/31/2013

 

IMG 3454 300x225 Dewberry Panna Cotta and Upcoming Nourishing our Children Class

IMG 3455 300x225 Dewberry Panna Cotta and Upcoming Nourishing our Children Class

IMG 3456 300x225 Dewberry Panna Cotta and Upcoming Nourishing our Children Class

Yes, that was my 3 year old nephew munching on raw spinach.

This will be my 7th time teaching variations of this class, and I have to tell you the information never gets old.  With all the changing nutrition information, it’s pleasant to know you can have a firm foundation for wellness.  Have you wondered what is the best diet for you and your children to grow up healthy and strong?  Are you confused about traditional practices such as soaking or fermenting? You will not want to miss this class.

When:  6:30 PM this Friday (5/31)

Where: Pine Forest Estates Baptist Church  2550 West Nine Mile Road, Pensacola,

Cost:  FREE!

There will also be local vendors and farmers at the meet up to connect with.  Roger Elliot, a local farmer from Green Cedars Farm will be sharing at 6:30 and my talk begins at 7:30.

 

I hope to see you there!

-Melanie

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