Foods, Uncategorized

Homemade Kit Kat Bars

homemadekitkatbars2

Best Homemade Kit Kat Bars

 

Homemade Paleo Kit Kats that are gluten-, dairy- and refined sugar-free. Now you can have your candy and eat it too!

With a buttery, coconut-based crust reminiscent of a shortbread cookie, a sweet, gooey caramel sauce in the middle and rich dark chocolate on top, these magical bars come together in one delicious crunch! Chewy and crispy all in one bite!

Now these bars do take a little elbow grease to make; however, each layer is pretty simple. Just be sure to follow the method in the instructions carefully. But I guarantee these decadent treats are worth the wait.

 

 

Homemade Kit Kat Bar Recipe

 

With a buttery, coconut-based crust reminiscent of a shortbread cookie, a sweet, gooey caramel sauce in the middle and rich dark chocolate on top, these magical bars come together in one delicious crunch!

 

Ingredients

 

For the crust layer:

 

1 cup coconut flour

½ cup coconut oil, melted

3 tablespoons raw, organic honey

 

For the caramel sauce layer:

1 cup dates, pitted and soaked in water

1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

For the chocolate layer:

 

½ cup dark chocolate

½ teaspoon coconut oil, melted

Instructions

 

Place dates in a large bowl and fill with water to soften 1-2 hours.

Drain water from dates and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine melted coconut oil, honey, and coconut flour until it becomes a gooey mixture.

Place the dough in plastic wrap 20 minutes to set. Do not place in the refrigerator or the coconut oil will harden and separate from the dough.

While the dough settles, preheat oven to 350oF. Line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, allowing the paper to hang over the edges for easy removal.

Transfer the crust mixture to the pan and spread into an even layer into the corners of the pan.

Place crust in the oven to bake 10 minutes until slightly raised and browned. Cool the crust 30 minutes before proceeding.

Add all ingredients for the caramel layer in a blender, placing the dates in first. (Ideally, warm the dates first by placing them in an oven for around 5 minutes).

Blend on high until the ingredients are broken down and becomes a sticky, smooth mixture.

Spread the caramel sauce into an even layer over the crust. Place in refrigerator for 2 hours.

Once set, make the chocolate layer by melting chocolate and coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat.

Spread the chocolate into an even layer over the bars. Place back in the refrigerator to set 1 hour.

Remove from the refrigerator and gently lift the bar out of the pan with the parchment paper and place on a hard surface. Slice into 12 bars using a large knife.

Pro Tip: When slicing the bars, be sure to slice the bars in one stroke versus rotating the blade front to back, as that will break the chocolate.

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

312-972-WELL

Uncategorized

How Ginger Destroys Prostate, Ovarian and Colon Cancer Better Than Chemo

ginger

How Ginger Destroys Prostate, Ovarian and Colon Cancer Better Than Chemo

 

Ginger is one of the most widely used and loved ingredients in culinary dishes worldwide.

 

Its unmistakable zing gives everything from beverages and deserts to veggie and meat dishes a fresh and exciting taste.

 

 

 

But ginger is much more than a spice to liven up your recipes. This root plant has been used medicinally for over 2000 years for its broad-spectrum antiviral, antibacterial, anti-parasitic and antioxidant properties. In fact, ginger has more than 40 powerful pharmacological actions. (1)

 

What is even more exciting is that studies now also confirm this spicy root has potent anti-cancer properties that can be up to 10,000 times more effective than conventional chemotherapy for targeting cancer stem cells, preventing new tumors from forming, and even keeping healthy cells alive, something chemotherapy cannot do. (2)

 

Ginger’s Anti-Cancer Compounds

The most commonly used part of the ginger plant is the rhizome—the root-like stem that grows underground similar to a carrot.

 

The rhizome contains a variety of trace minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc. It also contains numerous vitamins, including thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), vitamin B6, folate, as well as vitamin C and E.

 

Apart from these valuable vitamins and minerals, the rhizome is also a significant source of antioxidants including gingerols, shogaols, zingerones and paradols, all of which give ginger its potency and unmatched anti-cancer properties.

 

To date, studies show that ginger is effective as both a cancer preventative and a therapeutic agent. One 2012 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition clearly revealed that whole ginger extract (GE) exerts significant “growth-inhibitory and death-inductory” effects in a wide range of prostate cancer cells. In fact, the study suggests that GE can inhibit the growth and progression of prostate cancer cells by as much as 56 percent. (3,4)

 

Other studies show that ginger is a key factor in defeating hard-to-treat cancers such as skin,(5) lung, (6,7) ovarian,(8) colon,(9) breast,(10,11) and pancreatic cancer cells.(12)

 

In the case of ovarian cancer, this type of cancer is often deadly because symptoms typically don’t appear until late in the disease. So, by the time ovarian cancer is diagnosed, it may have already spread well beyond the ovaries. In fact, in over 75 percent of women that develop ovarian cancer, they are not diagnosed until they are already in the advanced stages of the disease. (13)

 

These numbers are not only scary, but unacceptable in a day and age when known preventatives are available. In a 2007 study published in the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, ginger was shown to not only inhibit the growth of ovarian cancer cells but to also modulate the secretion of angiogenic factors in these cells. What this means is that ginger can stop cancer tumors cells from stimulating nearby normal cells from creating new blood vessels that “feed” growing tumors with oxygen and nutrients, which allows these cells to invade nearby tissue, and to move throughout the body to form new colonies of cancer cells—metastases.  (14)

 

Other studies show that a daily dose of ginger may reduce inflammation in the colon and ultimately help reduce the risk of colon cancer. One study in particular showed that people who took ginger supplements had a 28 percent decrease in colorectal inflammation, a key risk factor for developing this type of cancer. (15) Ginger inhibits growth and modulates secretion of angiogenic factors in ovarian cancer cells. The use of dietary agents such as ginger may have potential in the treatment and prevention of ovarian cancer.

 

One of the primary reasons that ginger is so effective against these hard-to-treat cancers is that while cancer stem cells only constitute up .2 to 1 percent of the entire cellular makeup of any tumor, these cells can be extremely difficult to kill. This fact is significant because unless the stem cells are completely destroyed, they can and will eventually create more cancer cells that can travel throughout the body (metastasize). Ginger is able to target the root cause of cancer—the cancerous stem cells.

 

What researchers also found is that ginger can help prevent a number of toxic effects caused by other substances, including cancer drugs. As such, according to researchers, ginger is not only a useful treatment option on its own, but it may also be useful in conjunction with conventional cancer treatments.

 

One of the other issues with conventional chemotherapy drugs is that apart from suppressing the inflammatory markers of the cancerous cells, these harsh treatments can also cause cancer cells to become resistant to the effects of the very therapeutic drugs needed to kill these cells. But a study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan revealed that ginger may be especially beneficial because the cancer cells that were exposed to ginger in this study did not in fact, become resistant to ginger’s cancer-destroying effects. (16)

 

Some might even say that ginger is the Holy Grail of anti-cancer agents. It not only prevents and treats the hard to kill cancers but it assures it will continue to work without the often deadly side effects of traditional cancer treatments like chemotherapy.

 

Forms of Ginger

Ginger is available in several forms—whole fresh root, crystallized ginger, honey-based ginger syrups, supplements such as capsules containing powdered ginger extracts, ginger teas and water or alcohol-based extracts.

 

You can buy whole fresh ginger at your local market. You can use it immediately or freeze it and simply grate what you need.

 

You can also buy crystalized ginger at your local market or health food store. This type of ginger is great for upset tummies or nausea.

 

Ginger syrups are also available in most health food stores and are a good option for colds or other viruses.

 

When looking for an herbal extract, you can buy one with either a water or alcohol base. Water-based extracts are typically okay with most herbs but studies show that an alcohol-based ginger extract is more effective.

 

You can also buy a variety of ginger supplements, however, as with any supplement, always make sure it is a quality brand that ensures the efficacy and potency of its therapeutic ingredients.

 

If you prefer a tea, you can buy a commercially made brand or you can make your own using whole fresh ginger. If you decide to make you own, simply cut about a cubic inch of ginger from the root and then gate it or slice it thinly. Boil it in about 1½ cups of water for about 10 minutes. You can also add some honey or stevia to sweeten it.

 

When using ginger, it is recommended that you do not take more than 4 grams per day.  You should also be aware that ginger is a known blood thinner, so if you currently use any type of anticoagulant, speak to a medical professional before adding ginger to your daily health regime.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

312-972-Well

 

Foods, Uncategorized

Homemade Mayonnaise

homemademayonnaise

How To Make Mayonnaise with an Immersion Blender

 

Makes 1 cup

What You Need

Ingredients

2 egg yolks

1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (optional)

1 cup canola oil, olive oil, or any other oil

 

Equipment

Measuring cups and spoons

Immersion blender

Immersion blender cup or wide-mouth canning jar

 

Instructions

Combine the yolks, lemon juice, salt, and mustard: Combine the yolks, lemon juice, salt, and mustard in the blender cup or canning jar. Pulse with the immersion blender a few times to break up the yolks. You may need to tilt the cup so the blender blade reaches the yolks.

Add 1/2 cup of the oil a little at a time: With the immersion blender running, add the first 1/2 cup of oil a few tablespoons at a time. Make sure each addition of oil is completely blended before adding the next. The mixture should start to thicken and lighten. (Once you’ve made this a few times and have a feel for it, you can try going more quickly, or even try pouring all the oil on top of the eggs and then blending all at once — going slowly at first is just an extra level of insurance.)

Add the remaining oil in a steady stream: Once the first half cup of oil has been added, you can add the rest more quickly. Add as much of the oil as needed to reach the consistency you prefer; the more oil you add, the thicker the mayo will become. You may not need to use all the oil. If the mayo becomes too thick and you’d like to thin it out, blend water, 1 teaspoon at a time, into the mayo until you reach your desired thickness.

Store the mayonnaise: Transfer any mayo not being used immediately to a storage container (or leave it in the canning jar and seal it with a lid). Homemade mayo will keep for about 1 week in the refrigerator.

 

Please share one of your homemade mayonnaise recipes with us.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

312-972-WELL

Foods, Uncategorized

Homemade Ketchup

homemade-ketchup-jpg

Homemade Ketchup

 

Ingredients:

 

1 x 12 oz. can tomato paste

1 cup water

2 tablespoons vinegar

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon curry powder

½ teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions:

 

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to boil on medium-high heat.

Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer while stirring frequently until flavors have blended. (Add more water for thinner ketchup, add less water for thicker)

Transfer to a glass jar and cool before serving.

 

This is a second homemade ketchup recipe we have sent out.  Do you have a favorite?  Please go ahead and post on if you do,

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

312-972-WELL

Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Your Heartbeat can Warn us of a Stroke

heartarythmia

Many With Common Irregular Heartbeat Unaware of Stroke Risk

 

Nearly one-third of Americans newly diagnosed with the common heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation (AF) don’t realize the condition puts them at increased risk for stroke, a new study finds.

 

The irregular heartbeat in AF patients can cause blood to pool, which can cause blood clots that can lead to stroke, researchers explained.

 

The study revealed misconceptions some patients had about atrial fibrillation.

 

“This helps us see gaps in knowledge and understanding,” said lead author Emily O’Brien, from the Clinical Research Institute at Duke University in Durham, N.C.

 

O’Brien and her team surveyed 1,000 people diagnosed with atrial fibrillation in the past six months. Their median age was 69. About 63 percent strongly agreed that stroke is a major risk factor of atrial fibrillation. However, around 32 percent believed that heart attack is a major risk factor of AF, which is incorrect, the researchers reported.

 

Sixty percent of the patients said they understood the role of blood thinners to manage their disorder. Yet only a minority said they understood their options for blood thinners (30 percent), drugs that control heart rhythm (16 percent) and ablation, a procedure to destroy tissue in the heart causing abnormal rhythm (12 percent).

 

Just 13 percent of patients said their main source of information about atrial fibrillation was the internet, while nearly 73 percent said it was their doctor, the study revealed.

 

“We thought in this day and age, we would see a higher proportion relying on the internet or family and friends for information,” O’Brien said in a university news release. “But an encouragingly high proportion are relying on their provider.

 

“We really want to make sure we avoid any misconceptions about the condition and how it’s treated. This provides a good starting point for future interventions and education for patients in this group,” she said.

 

The study was scheduled to be presented Monday at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association, in New Orleans. Findings released at meetings are usually considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

312-972-WELL

Uncategorized

A Very Common Canine Ear Problem but It Is Easily Avoidable

doggettingears

A Very Common Canine Ear Problem but It’s Easily Avoidable

 

Chronic ear infections are a fact of life for many dogs, which is really unfortunate, because it’s pretty easy to prevent them if you know what to do (more about that shortly). I suspect many persistent ear infections in dogs are treated, but never actually resolved.

 

I also believe there isn’t enough emphasis placed on routine ear maintenance for canine companions.

 

There are two basic causes of ear problems in dogs: chronic inflammation and infection. Untreated inflammation can lead to infection. If your dog’s ears are warm to the touch, red, swollen or itchy, but there’s little to no discharge, chances are the problem is inflammation.

 

However, if one or more of those symptoms is present along with obvious discharge, it’s usually a sign of infection.

 

3 Causes of Ear Inflammation in Dogs

 

  1. The most common reason for ear inflammation in dogs is allergies. An allergic response to food or something in the environment can cause inflammation throughout your pet’s body, including the ears.

 

A dog with allergy-related ear inflammation will sometimes run his head along furniture or the carpet trying to relieve his misery. He may also scratch at his ears incessantly, or shake his head a lot.

 

If your dog is doing any of these things, be sure to check his ears for telltale signs of redness and swelling.

 

  1. Another cause of ear inflammation is moisture, also known as “swimmer’s ear.” We see this primarily during the summer months when dogs are outdoors playing in lakes, ponds and pools.

 

Wet ear canals coupled with a warm body temperature are the perfect environment for inflammation and/or infection to develop. That’s why it’s important to thoroughly dry your dog’s ears each time he comes out of the water.

 

Dogs who live in high humidity areas, play in the rain or snow or get water in their ears when they visit the groomer are also at risk.

 

  1. The third major reason for ear problems is wax buildup. The presence of earwax is normal, but dogs have varying amounts just as humans do. Some dogs need their ears cleaned of wax daily, while others never have a buildup.

 

Certain breeds produce more wax than others, such as Labradors and other retrievers who tend to love the water. If you have one of these breeds, you should get your dog accustomed to having her ears cleaned while she’s a puppy.

 

Other breeds, such as Bulldogs, Cocker Spaniels and Poodles, can also produce an abundance of wax that needs regular attention.

 

Triggers for Ear Infections in Dogs

 

Ear infections in dogs typically involve the outer canal, which is quite deep. The medical term for these infections is otitis externa. If the infection recurs or never really clears, we call it chronic otitis. There are a number of things that can cause otitis including:

 

Foreign material in the ear, such as from a plant like a foxtail

Water in the ear that creates a moist, warm environment perfect for brewing an infection

Excess glands in the ears that produce wax and sebum

Narrowing of the ear canal

Heavy, hanging ears (think Basset Hound or Cocker Spaniel)

If your dog has an ear infection, it’s very important to identify whether it’s a bacterial or fungal infection, or both, in order to treat the problem effectively.

 

Is the Infection Fungal or Bacterial?

 

The most common cause of fungal ear infections in dogs is yeast. Yeast is always present on the bodies of animals, but when the immune system isn’t in prime condition, the fungus can grow out of control and cause an infection.

 

Most dogs prone to yeast infections need to have their ears cleaned and dried frequently. If the problem seems chronic or there’s a persistent infection that just won’t resolve, there’s probably an underlying immunological cause that should be investigated.

 

For more information on the general subject of yeast, including how to deal with yeasty ears, view my video and article on yeast infections in dogs.

 

Bacterial infections of the ear are actually more common than fungal infections. Bacteria are either pathogenic or non-pathogenic. Pathogenic bacteria are abnormal inhabitants of your pet’s body, picked up from an outside source, for example, contaminated pond water.

 

Non-pathogenic bacteria are typically staph bacteria that are normal inhabitants of your dog’s body. Occasionally these bacteria can overgrow and overwhelm the ear canal. Any normal, helpful bacteria can grow out of control and cause an infection in a dog with a compromised immune system.

 

An Accurate Diagnosis and Appropriate Therapy Is Essential

 

Veterinarians diagnose yeast infections with cytology, which means looking at a smear of the ear debris under a microscope.

 

An accurate diagnosis of a bacterial ear infection requires an ear culture. Your veterinarian will swab your dog’s ear and send the sample to a lab to determine what type of organism is present, and what medication will most effectively treat it.

 

Never let your veterinarian simply guess at what bacteria is causing your pet’s ear infection. Instead, ask them to find out.

 

It’s very important to finish the medication your veterinarian prescribes, even if your dog’s ear infection seems to clear up before the medication is gone. Stopping the medication early can lead to regrowth of resistant organisms.

 

In addition, while your dog is being treated for an ear infection, be sure to keep his ears clean and clear of gunk so the topical medication you put into the ears can reach the infected tissue. Otherwise, you’re just adding more fluid to warm, sticky ear goo, and the bacteria will continue to thrive.

 

Unfortunately, an ever-increasing number of ear infection culture results are showing the presence of bacteria that are resistant to many (if not all) conventional medications. These are cases in which holistic therapies are not only a last hope, but can provide highly effective, non-toxic relief.

 

Manuka Honey and Green Clay: Alternative Treatments for Bacterial Ear Infections

 

Interestingly, a recent study tested the effectiveness of manuka honey in treating bacterial ear infections in 15 dogs. The dogs were given 1 milliliter (mL) of medical grade honey in the ear daily during the 21-day study. The researchers reported the honey “promoted rapid clinical progress,” with 70 percent of the dogs achieving a “clinical cure” between seven and 14 days, and 90 percent by day 21.1

 

In addition, the bacteria-killing activity of the honey worked against all bacteria species tested, including multiple strains of drug-resistant bacteria. The study authors concluded, “Medical grade honey was successful in both clinical and laboratory settings, thus demonstrating its potential of becoming an alternative treatment for canine OE [otitis externa].”

 

It’s important to note that it doesn’t appear the antimicrobial activity of honey is enough on its own to resolve every ear infection. Most of the dogs in the study had complete symptom relief by day 21; however, several still had bacterial infections.

 

Applied zoopharmacognosy expert Caroline Ingraham suggests using green clay in cases where other natural treatments have failed to completely resolve resistant ear infections.2 Green clay has been documented to effectively treat a variety of bacteria that have been implicated in chronic ear infections, including pseudomonas and MRSA.3

 

Preventing Ear Infections in Your Own Dog

 

Some dogs are much more prone to ear infections than others. If your canine companion is one of them, I recommend checking her ears daily or every other day at a minimum. Remember, wax, moisture or other debris left in the ear canal sets the table for an infection. The solution is simple: Clean your pet’s ears when they’re dirty. If there’s lots of wax accumulating every day, they need to be cleaned every day.

 

If your dog’s ears don’t produce much wax or collect much crud, you can clean them less often, but check them daily and address issues as soon as you see the ear canal isn’t 100 percent clean and dry.

 

If you think your pet might already have an ear infection, it’s important to make an appointment with your veterinarian before you begin a cleaning regimen. In many cases, an infection leads to rupture of the eardrum, which requires special cleaning solutions and medications. For taking care of healthy canine ears, my favorite cleaning agents include:

 

Witch hazel

Organic apple cider vinegar mixed with an equal amount of purified water

Hydrogen peroxide, a few drops on a cotton round dabbed in coconut oil

Green tea or calendula infusion (using tea that has been cooled)

One drop tea tree oil mixed with 1 tablespoon coconut oil (for dogs only — never cats)

Under no circumstances should you use rubbing alcohol to clean your dog’s ears. It can cause burning and irritation, especially if there’s inflammation.

 

Use cotton balls or cotton rounds only to clean the inside of the ear canal. You can use cotton swabs to clean the outer area of the ear, but never inside the canal, as they can damage your dog’s eardrums. The best method for cleaning most dogs’ ears is to saturate a cotton ball with cleaning solution and swab out the inside of the ear. Use as many cotton balls as necessary to remove all the dirt and debris.

 

Another approach is to squirt a small amount of solution directly into the ear, then follow with cotton balls to wipe the ears clean. Be prepared, however, that this method may make your dog shake her head wildly, flinging ear cleaning solution all over you and the surrounding area!

 

Just a Few Minutes of Cleaning Can Keep Your Dog’s Ears Healthy

 

Cleaning your dog’s ears really isn’t difficult, but you do have to remember to do it consistently (as often as your individual dog requires it). Just a few minutes spent cleaning and drying your pet’s ears as necessary (this means daily, in many cases) will make a huge difference in the frequency and severity of ear infections — especially in dogs who are prone to them. You can advance the following video to 12:05 to watch me clean my own dog’s ears after a bath.

Can you believe we can help with your dogs allergy problems.  Yes, we can!

 

Health and Wellness Associates

C Becker

312-972-WELL