Monday, June 28, 2010

Wonderful Watermelon

The last few times I have been to the store I have picked up watermelon….and it has been unbelievably delicious. It’s cool and refreshing on these hot summer days…it’s the perfect balance of sweet and juicy and it looks gorgeous!

It has some pretty good health benefits too! It is packed with Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B1, Potassium and Magnesium….whew….that’s a whole lot of goodness! Watermelon has no cholesterol, and virtually no fat….and did I mention it has concentrated sources of carotenoid lycopene? Studies have shown that watermelon has the highest sources of lycopene over any other fruit or vegetable. The Vitamin C and Vitamin A are powerful antioxidants that travel through your body neutralizing free-radicals. We all know Lymies want nothing more than to ditch those free-radicals!! Out with the bad I say and if it tastes good in the process…even better!

Ok….so if that doesn’t entice you to grab a fresh chilled slice of watermelon….I don’t know what will!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Herb list - Contain Natural Antibiotic Properties

Herbs that Contain Natural Antibiotic Qualities/Properties

The University of Colorado has uncovered certain herbs which exhibit traits and qualities that mimic antibiotic actions in the human body, which include the following:

•    Allspice
•    Oregano
•    Thyme
•    Cumin
•    Cinnamon
•    Tarragon
•    Cloves
•    Bay leaf
•    Chili peppers
•    Rosemary
•    Marjoram
•    Caraway seed
•    Coriander
•    Dill
•    Basil
•    Nutmeg
•    Cardamom
•    Pepper
•    Ginger
•    Anise
•    Fennel
•    Mint sage
•    Mustard
•    Parsley
•    Basil
•    Coriander

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fava Bean with Fennel Salad

2-3 lbs fresh fava beans (also called broad beans), yielding about 1 1/2 to 2 cups shelled beans
1 small bulb fennel, thinly sliced )
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, thinly sliced
10 fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
2 scallions (green onions), sliced
Extra virgin olive oil
Lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper

1 Fava beans need to be shelled twice, first before cooking to remove the outer pod, then after cooking, to remove the tough membrane around the bean. To remove the outer pod, work over a large bowl and squeeze the bean with your fingers, bending the pod so that when it snaps, the bean inside shoots out into the bowl. Remove all the beans from their pods.
2 Add the beans to 2 quarts of boiling, salted water. Simmer the beans for a few minutes, until just tender. Use a slotted spoon to remove the beans from the pan and plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking, and to shock the beans into a bright green color. Let the beans sit in the ice water for a minute or two, then drain them and remove the outer peel.
3 In a bowl combine the freshly peeled and cooked fava beans, the sliced fennel, and onions. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the mixture, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Squeeze some lemon juice over the the salad (about a tablespoon), add the Parmesan and mint, and toss to mix. Garnish with fennel fronds and/or mint sprigs.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Benefits of Grapefruit Seed Extract

Broad Spectrum
Grapefruit seed extracts main advantage is it's extraordinary ability to perform both (internally and externally) against a wide variety of known or unknown infections caused by viruses, bacteria, funguses and parasites.

Grapefruit seed extract is alkalizing.
Grapefruit seed extract helps alkalize the body. It is considered one of the most alkaline forming foods and of all fruits it is the most alkalizing. Alkalizing the body (raising pH) is one of the single most important health regeneration benefits available.
Disease cannot live in an alkaline environment within the body. It is claimed that cancer dies in a pH of 8.0. Countless other conditions are caused by an acid environment within the body. These same conditions are effectively treated by restoring the proper pH.
Grapefruit seed extracts pH is a low 2.0. Don't let this fool you as acid foods have alkaline effects on the body. The problem comes when you eat food that is acid forming such as meat, sugar and most grains. This food creates and acid environment within the body.
Most degenerative diseases are associated with your body pH. Your body pH is one of the most important aspects to consider when trying to overcome a serious illness and to maintain good health. The list of diseases caused from improper pH is a mile long. Cancer and most other diseases cannot exist in an alkaline environment. The pH of the non-deficient and healthy person is in the 7.5.

 Beneficial Bacteria
Grapefruit seed extract stimulates the immune system. (According to Doctors and Veterinarians) grapefruit seed extract (at normal doses) is gentle yet preserves the integrity of your intestinal bacteria. Without these beneficial bacteria life could not be sustained.

 Drug Resistant Bacteria
To date there is no evidence that any type of pathogenic microorganism has ever built up a resistance to grapefruit seed extracts active ingredient. Due to the mode of its activity it is believed that this resistance is impossible as grapefruit seed extract disrupts the organisms cytoplasmic membrane.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mexican Chowder


½ pound organic bulk pork sausage
2 cups pinto beans
1 ½ cups chopped tomatoes
2 cups water
1 small onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon pepper
½ cup diced potatoes
¼ cup chopped green peppers

In a large skillet, brown sausage and drain grease. In a large soup pot, add sausage, pinto beans, tomatoes, water, onion, bay leaf, salt, thyme and pepper. Simmer for one hour. Add potatoes and green peppers, cooking 15 minutes more. Remove bay leaf and serve.

I serve with tortilla chips and cheese sprinkled on top.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Who wants to know me better AND support Lyme Awareness??

Lyme Awareness month may have ended but there is still a whole lot of everything going on…Ashley of and Eric of are working hard to keep things going. They are spreading Lyme Awareness full time these days. I hope you all took the time to join their FB sites and check out their websites….they are loaded with good info! They are two of my “go to” sites when looking for info and what is happening in the Lyme community.

In the spirit of Lyme awareness I am inviting you to join my brand spanking new blog. It is not a Lyme specific blog….but a blog about me. My life, the things I love, what makes me crazy and all the kooky things in between. From June 9th to June 16, I will donate .50 cents to for every new blog follower (up to the first 50 followers). I support Lymenaide and what they are doing for the Lyme Awareness Cause.

Sounds like a good deal to me…you get to hear the ramblings of a kooky Lymie AND support the Lyme Awareness cause. It is a win win situation! Hope to see you on Simply Alyssa Dreaming. Check out the link list on the right side of the'll find a link to my blog and links to Eric and Ashley's sites.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hey Babs....find the nearest exit!

I don’t feel like writing about food today….. I am having a low day and I feel the need to talk about it. I hope you all don’t mind.  I think my Babesia is having a little flare up…I have been doing well since going back on Babs treatment…a gradual and steady decrease in symptoms. Yesterday I felt a little off…and by the afternoon the chest and rib pain was back. That’s always fun….Is it a heart attack or babs? Pretty sure its just those little boogers fighting back and hoping for survival. Throw in the air hunger  by 6pm and the desire to hit the sheets by 8pm and I knew it was cycling. Today…I am in bed feeling like a wet noodle and trying to ignore the chest pain. Oh yeah….and that strange overwhelming urge to cry…yup…its there.

So…is it the worst I have ever been….Nope. Should I be complaining…probably not. I know how much worse it can be….but I get so frustrated. I did not invite this into my body. I did not ask for this. I am adamantly asking Babs to leave. I am tired of dealing with this unwelcome visitor. Please find the nearest exit, Babs, leave and don’t come back.

I don’t feel like putting on the happy face today and pretending I am fine. I plan to sit around with a grumpy face and growl at anyone who expects me to move or be pleasant. I am wearing my cranky pants proudly today…although I promise I will put them away tomorrow. In fact…tomorrow I will make smiley face pancakes for breakfast….but today…I intend to bully Babs a little. I think Babs needs to be reminded that I fight back.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Invisible Illness Questionnaire

Today is Invisible Illness Awareness Day. I am posting my Invisible illness questionnaire.

1. The illness I live with: Lyme disease and Babesia

2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2007

3. But I had symptoms since: 2005 (at least)

4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: How I work and learning how to recreate viable career options. Also learning to function at a different speed.

5. Most people assume: That I am totally fine and that because I take medicine I am cured

 6. The hardest part about mornings are: Is waking up early or having the needed energy to function at a normal physical level.

7. My favorite medical TV show is: House

8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: my laptop

9. The hardest part about nights are: not having the ability to go out and socialize as often as I used to.

10. Each day I take 18 pills. (this varies)

11. Regarding alternative treatments: I wholeheartedly believe they work and have helped me get to where I am today.

12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: Thats a tough call...I like that I don't look sick all the time but it is easier when you have a visible illness for others to understand.

13. Regarding working and career: I am in the process of creating a home based online business and have spent the last 2 years working from home on an obscure antiquarian book project.

14. People would be surprised to know: How hard I have had to work to rebuild my life and that while I appear normal and functioning sometime it is a major effort to get through a day.

15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: my physical limitations....I hate that I am not strong and energetic!

16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: survive

17. The commercials about my illness: non existent.

18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: road trips, having a cocktail with friends, doing what I want when I want....I have a long list of things I miss.

19. It was really hard to have to give up:being in crowded public places (like concerts or festivals)

20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: cooking and learning healthy ways to create good food  for myself and family.

21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: marathon shopping trip in NYC.

22. My illness has taught me: to slow down, appreciate the small things, greater empathy for others, appreciation, patience, respect for my body, love, how to be strong, how to stand up for myself

23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: Nice must be nice to not have to get up and go to work every day (I work hard every single day but in a nontraditional environment...just because I don't punch a clock or sit in an office provided by an employer does not mean I am a slouch).

24. But I love it when people: slow down and go my speed without making me feel bad.

25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: One day at a time....tomorrow may be better so take a deep breathe and get through today.

26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: Get a very good LLMD can work woth them to rebuild your life...there is hope.

27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: How many people refuse to acknowledge Chronic Lyme Disease.....thousands and thousands of people are not all "making up" the same fake disease. It's absurd!

28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: making sure my son was cared for and entertained when I was unable to do it myself.

29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: I want others to be aware that they are not alone.

30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: taking the time to read this you are educating yourself and taking the time to learn about me. Thank you.

Thanks to Ashley and Eric for inspiring me to write this today!!!


Historically, ginger has a long tradition of being very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. In herbal medicine, ginger is regarded as an excellent carminative (a substance which promotes the elimination of intestinal gas) and intestinal spasmolytic (a substance which relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract). Modern scientific research has revealed that ginger possesses numerous therapeutic properties including antioxidant effects, an ability to inhibit the formation of inflammatory compounds, and direct anti-inflammatory effects.

Gastrointestinal Relief
A clue to ginger's success in eliminating gastrointestinal distress is offered by recent double-blind studies, which have demonstrated that ginger is very effective in preventing the symptoms of motion sickness, especially seasickness. In fact, in one study, ginger was shown to be far superior to Dramamine, a commonly used over-the-counter and prescription drug for motion sickness. Ginger reduces all symptoms associated with motion sickness including dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and cold sweating.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects
Ginger contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. These substances are believed to explain why so many people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis experience reductions in their pain levels and improvements in their mobility when they consume ginger regularly. In two clinical studies involving patients who responded to conventional drugs and those who didn't, physicians found that 75% of arthritis patients and 100% of patients with muscular discomfort experienced relief of pain and/or swelling.
Arthritis-related problems with your aging knees? Regularly spicing up your meals with fresh ginger may help, suggests a study published in a recent issue of Osteoarthritis Cartilage. In this twelve month study, 29 patients with painful arthritis in the knee (6 men and 23 women ranging in age from 42-85 years) participated in a placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study. Patients switched from placebo to ginger or visa versa after 3 months. After six months, the double-blind code was broken and twenty of the patients who wished to continue were followed for an additional six months.
By the end of the first six month period, those given ginger were experiencing significantly less pain on movement and handicap than those given placebo. Pain on movement decreased from a score of 76.14 at baseline to 41.00, while handicap decreased from 73.47 to 46.08. In contrast, those who were switched from ginger to placebo experienced an increase in pain of movement (up to 82.10) and handicap (up to 80.80) from baseline. In the final phase of the study when all patients were getting ginger, pain remained low in those already taking ginger in phase 2, and decreased again in the group that had been on placebo.
Not only did participants' subjective experiences of pain lessen, but swelling in their knees, an objective measurement of lessened inflammation, dropped significantly in those treated with ginger. The mean target knee circumference in those taking ginger dropped from 43.25cm when the study began to 39.36cm by the 12th week. When this group was switched to placebo in the second phase of the study, their knee circumferences increased, while those who had been on placebo but were now switched to ginger experienced a decrease in knee circumference. In the final phase, when both groups were given ginger, mean knee circumference continued to drop, reaching lows of 38.78 and 36.38 in the two groups.
How does ginger work its anti-inflammatory magic? Two other recent studies provide possible reasons.
A study published in the November 2003 issue of Life Sciences suggests that at least one reason for ginger's beneficial effects is the free radical protection afforded by one of its active phenolic constituents, 6-gingerol. In this in vitro (test tube) study, 6-gingerol was shown to significantly inhibit the production of nitric oxide, a highly reactive nitrogen molecule that quickly forms a very damaging free radical called peroxynitrite. Another study appearing in the November 2003 issue of Radiation Research found that in mice, five days treatment with ginger (10 mg per kilogram of body weight) prior to exposure to radiation not only prevented an increase in free radical damage to lipids (fats found in numerous bodily components from cell membranes to cholesterol), but also greatly lessened depletion of the animals' stores of glutathione, one of the body's most important internally produced antioxidants.
A study published in the February 2005 issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine sheds further light on the mechanisms of action that underlie ginger's anti-inflammatory effectiveness. In this research, ginger was shown to suppress the pro-inflammatory compounds (cytokines and chemokines) produced by synoviocytes (cells comprising the synovial lining of the joints), chrondrocytes (cells comprising joint cartilage) and leukocytes (immune cells).

Immune Boosting Action
Ginger can not only be warming on a cold day, but can help promote healthy sweating, which is often helpful during colds and flus. A good sweat may do a lot more than simply assist detoxification. German researchers have recently found that sweat contains a potent germ-fighting agent that may help fight off infections. Investigators have isolated the gene responsible for the compound and the protein it produces, which they have named dermicidin. Dermicidin is manufactured in the body's sweat glands, secreted into the sweat, and transported to the skin's surface where it provides protection against invading microorganisms, including bacteria such as E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus (a common cause of skin infections), and fungi, including Candida albicans.
Ginger is so concentrated with active substances, you don't have to use very much to receive its beneficial effects. For nausea, ginger tea made by steeping one or two 1/2-inch slices (one 1/2-inch slice equals 2/3 of an ounce) of fresh ginger in a cup of hot water will likely be all you need to settle your stomach. For arthritis, some people have found relief consuming as little as a 1/4-inch slice of fresh ginger cooked in food, although in the studies noted above, patients who consumed more ginger reported quicker and better relief.

Friday, June 4, 2010

My personal dining out demons....

I made plans to have dinner out with my mother tonight….we needed some quality mother daughter bonding. I love going out to eat but unfortunately there are two things in my life that I am learning how to deal with and control that affect my experience.

My dairy allergy has made eating out a bit of a chore. I can no longer go to just any restaurant but have to choose places that will “accommodate” me. For the most part, I am fine with that. It just means I need to go to higher quality restaurants where the chef is good and knows how to prepare meals for me. Fine by me….I was never a fast food girl anyhow!

I went to The Beekman Arms in Rhinebeck tonight and my meal was delicious! The waiter and chef were beyond helpful and they were able to work with me. Thankfully…a good filet mignon is always an option. Unfortunately, no one can help with my other problem.

My doctor told me 3 years ago when I started treatment that we would have no way of knowing how much permanent damage would be done to my nervous system…that between the brain infection and the Lyme settling into my Central Nervous System....I had better prepare myself for problems down the road.

My nervous system runs “high”….too much sound, movement, and over stimulation makes me sick and has the potential to trigger petite seizures. I have not had a seizure since starting treatment and my goal is to keep it that way. I am trying to build a tolerance to outside stimuli and take medication to suppress my nervous system as I need to.

So…let me take you back to the restaurant this evening….it was wonderful to be out. My food was ordered,  drinks were brought to the table, and then the feelings began. I thought I could manage without my medication…but I was mistaken. Halfway through my meal the sounds became highly amplified, the movement was distracting, and I was losing interest in eating. It was all I could do to sit and try to maintain conversation. I had to finish my meal and go. So much for savoring the moment….but lesson learned. I will take my medications going forward if I plan to be out….why ruin a good moment?

I need to learn to stop pushing myself to be the girl I was before and accept the girl I am now. The people in my life accept it, the waiters and chef accept it …maybe it’s time for me to accept it. So I am a little different…who cares…at least I can still eat great food!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sprouted mung bean taco pancake with coconut avacodo "cheese" sauce and asparagus and green bean bhindi masala veggies - Recipe by Molly Dyche


1 cup organic mung beans
1-2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
ground garlic powder
cayenne to taste
6-7 large basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1 organic avocado
1/4 cup can organic coconut milk
2 cups chopped organic asparagus
2 cups frozen organic green beans
1 package of Arora Creations Bhindi Masala (see link bellow available at most supermarkets)

To Make Taco Pancake
Soak mung beans 24 hours or so. Drain and put beans in blender fill to just below the top of the beans with vegetable stock or chicken stock. (i never measure my spices..sorry! =)) put a few dashes of garlic powder, couple dashes of tumeric, corriander, cayenne, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth. Heat skillet with coconut oil once hot pour batter onto to pan and cook it like you would a pancake..does not make bubbles like pancakes.

In another skillet
heat up coconut oil and toss asparagus and green beans if you want to be fancy you could add chopped garlic and onions. once cooked sprinkle the spice packet in, once fully coated its done. I noticed my veggies needed salt.

Mock cheese sauce
In blender add avocado and a 1/4 - 1/2 cup coconut milk depending on how creamy you want it. Add salt and pepper and garlic powder if you want.

Recipe by Molly Dyche

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Crab Cakes


12 ounces lump crabmeat
6 green onions (scallions) chopped and lightly sautéed
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons of mayonnaise
2 Teaspoons Dry Mustard
2 Teaspoons minced garlic
2 Teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
16 crushed g/f crackers
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 or 3 cups of Panko Breadcrumbs (These are gluten free)

Add all of the above  ingredients, except bread crumbs, into a mixing bowl and gently mix together. Form mixture into patties about the size of your palm. Cover patties in Panko Breadcrumbs (I use a mustard panko breadcrumb).  Place on cookie sheet and chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Heat Olive oil in a pan (apx. 1 inch in depth) and fry the chilled cakes a light golden brown. Place on towel to absorb excess oil.

Last step - Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake the patties for 10 minutes. This just ensures they are cooked all the way through.

This is great because they can be made in advance and then just pop them in the oven when you are ready to serve. They stay well in the refrigerator for several days. Also, you can make them a smaller size and serve as an appetizer as well. I have yet to serve these to anyone who didn’t like them.

Serve with a lemon garlic dipping sauce and side salad.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Roasted Cauliflower with Rosemary

  • 1 head Fresh cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black pepper
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh Rosemary - minced
  • 1/4 cup Capers


Roasting is an ideal way to prepare cauliflower. It's simple and quick, requiring little attention and cooking in about 30 minutes. And the high, dry heat of the oven yields golden-brown, crisp-tender florets with an accent on the sweet, nutty essence of this vegetable - not its sulfurous, cabbagy traits. Roasted cauliflower seasoned with a little salt and pepper, makes a great vegetable side dish as is. But tossed with just a few basic ingredients, a simple dish becomes exceptional.

To roast cauliflower, cut a small head into florets that are about the same size and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper; spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast in a 400 degree oven on the lowest rack, turning every 10 minutes, until golden brown and crisp-tender, 25 to 35 minutes.

After roasting, toss with any of the following:

Fresh lemon juice, minced fresh rosemary, and chopped capers