Recipes

The Foods You Eat May Be Killing Your Nerves

As the obesity rate soars in the United States, Americans are more malnourished and mineral deficient than ever before. Obesity has reached epidemic proportions. Soils have become over-cultivated resulting in the depletion of rich mineral sources. This in turn makes the food grown in it mineral deficient.

Let’s take a look at a few statistics from over the last one hundred years:

Sugar consumption has increased from 5 pounds to 158 pounds (per person - per year).

Chips, crackers, and other processed grain consumption has increased by 62 pounds (per person - per year).

Soft drink consumption has increased by 53 gallons (per person - per year).

Cheese consumption, including processed cheeses, has increased by 28 pounds (per person - per year).

The average American eats out between 4 and 5 times per week.

Over the past seventy years, TV viewing has increased to 5.5 hours per day.

Obesity Statistics
36% of adults are obese.
30% of adults are overweight.
17% of youth are overweight or obese.
(Totaling 83% of the population battling weight issues-National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, adults, children)

This trend is the reason that diabetes and metabolic syndrome are out of control. Metabolic syndrome is the name applied when you have 3 of the following findings: elevated – cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL's, blood pressure, fasting blood glucose, Hemoglobin A1c. waist circumference and low HDL's. The presence of 3 of these factors places you at high risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes, which can set the stage for peripheral neuropathy.

A healthy diet is important for maintaining good health in general, but it is especially important for anyone suffering from chronic illnesses, such as peripheral neuropathy. Whole, living foods contain important vitamins, minerals, and coenzymes that promote healing within the body.

Processed foods (any food that comes in bags, cans, jars or boxes, fast foods and commercially prepared foods) are nutrient deficient and laden with toxic ingredients that cause peripheral nerve damage and destroy health. Most people do not even realize that they are being poisoned by toxins used in commercially prepared foods.

Most processed and commercially prepared foods are loaded with the following toxins:

Neuro-toxic sweeteners (aspartame)

MSG (usually hidden under the term...natural flavors)

High Fructose Corn Syrup / Corn Syrup

Hydrogenated oils

Processed table salt (devoid of natural trace minerals)

Artificial flavors (also loaded w/MSG)

Trans fats

Food colorings

Preservatives and chemicals (nitrites, nitrates, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, pesticides)

Nerves undergo a continual process of maintenance and repair. In order for a nerve to remain healthy or for repair to occur over a damaged area of the nerve, it must have an ongoing supply of good quality nutrients. Scientific research has established that many vitamins, minerals, and herbs are strong weapons against nerve damage, and they are irrefutably necessary for nerve repair and healing.

The Mayo Clinic recommends a diet that is rich in nutritious fruits and vegetables for those who experience neuropathy.

For optimum nerve health, your diet should include the following types of food:

Whole grains and beans to provide B vitamins in order to promote nerve health.

Fish and eggs give you additional vitamins B12 and B1.

Green, leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, and other greens) for calcium and magnesium. Both of these nutrients are vital for healthy nerve endings and healthy nerve impulse transmission. As an added bonus, they give your immune system a boost.

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts are rich in vitamin E.

Yellow, red, and orange fruits and vegetables (such as sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, yellow, red and orange bell peppers, apricots, oranges, tomatoes, etc.) are rich in vitamins A and C.

Raw and unsalted seeds and nuts, such as Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, and pecans (rich in vitamins B & E, Selenium, Iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc and copper).

Avocados, sweet potatoes, and fish are rich in vitamins A, B, C, E, and minerals like calcium and magnesium

Recipes To Get You Started

Learning how to prepare healthy foods that taste good at the same time, may be challenging. To help get you started, I’ve included some of our favorite recipes that we share with our patients. Each recipe I have included has received rave reviews, even from our die-hard junk food junkies.

Coconut Berry Granola Bars
"Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food." —Aristotle (384–322 BC)

Coconut Berry Granola Bars

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, raw
  • 1 cup almonds, sliced
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1 cup of unsweetened coconut, shredded
  • 3/4 cup raw honey
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 6 1/2 ounces, chopped, dried cranberries, apricots, cherries or blueberries (any combination)
  1. Butter a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Combine the raw honey, Coconut oil, extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over low heat , until melted.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the liquid mixture, and stir to combine.
  4. Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish.
  5. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  7. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Substitutions: You may substitute dried cranberries with any dried fruit of your choice. Use dried fruit that does not contain any additional sweeteners.

PIZZA CHIPS
"Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food." —Aristotle (384–322 BC)

PIZZA CHIPS

 
  • SERV
    6

Ingredients:

  • 8 cup Kale, leaves from 1 bunch, veins removed
  • 1 cup raw Cashews
  • 1/2 cup (small can) Muir Glen, organic tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast, (Bragg's, Bob's Red Mill or Premier Research Labs)
  • 1 tsp dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp dried Marjoram
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp dried Basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried Rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp Premier Pink Salt (or Celtic Sea Salt)
  • 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes, crushed
  1. Place the cashews (or substituted nuts) in a bowl, cover with filtered water, and allow cashews to soak 3 hours, while in the refrigerator. (nuts can soak overnight)
  2. Drain the water from the cashews. Place the cashews in a blender or food processor.
  3. Add freshly filtered water to just cover the cashews, and process until creamy smooth (may add more water to achieve creamy texture, if necessary).
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the cashew cream with all remaining ingredients except the kale. Stir until evenly combined.
  5. Rinse the kale, and pull the leaves from the fibrous stems. Tear into “chip” sized pieces.
  6. Take a handful of kale and toss “pizza” flavored cashew cream. You may need to rub mixture on kale leaves for even coverage.
  7. Dehydrate the kale chips at 105-115 degrees for 12 hours, or until dry and crunchy like chips – then serve!

Hint

If you don’t have a dehydrator, place the kale chips on a cookie sheet. Turn your oven to its lowest setting (175-180 degrees), and allow the chips to dehydrate lightly until chips are dry and crisp (approximately 2 hours).

 

Substitutions

To increase health benefits of this snack, substitute 1 cup of cashews with 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, 1/4 cup hemp seeds, 1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds), 1/4 cup pecans.

Ginger Salmon & Sautéed Sesame Bok Choy
"Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food." —Aristotle (384–322 BC)

Ginger Salmon & Sautéed Sesame Bok Choy

 
  • SERV
    4

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup organic Tamari sauce (low sodium)
  • 2 ½ tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and minced (in processor)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped chipotle peppers
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest*
  • 3 tbsp. fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 1 tbsp Sesame Oil (preferably dark)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped or minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh bok choy, chopped
  • 4 wild salmon fillets (~ 4 oz each)
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes-(optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
  • * you may use juice of 1/2 of fresh orange instead of orange zest
  1. Preheat broiler
  2. In a small bowl, stir together first 5 ingredients and set aside marinade
  3. Rinse and dry the salmon. Rub with lemon or lime juice. Brush both sides of fish, generously with sauce mixture. Place on baking pan, cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  4. Broil salmon until opaque but moist in the center, basting occasionally with the remaining sauce (approx. 6 min.). Remove from broiler cover with foil to keep warm.
  5. In a large skillet, heat sesame oil over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté, stirring continuously so as not to burn, for 2 minutes. Add red pepper flakes during last 30 seconds of sautéing the garlic (optional). Add the bok choy, 3 tablespoons of the marinade and sauté until heated thoroughly.
  6. Place the bok choy on a serving platter, sprinkle with sesame seeds and top with salmon.
Turkey and Cabbage Skillet
"Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food." —Aristotle (384–322 BC)

Turkey and Cabbage Skillet

 
  • SERV
    3-4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of ground turkey breast
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons of Italian seasonings
  • 1 can (28 ounce) of Muir Glen organic crushed/diced tomatoes
  • 8 cups shredded cabbage (about 1 pound)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of chopped, fresh dill
  • 1 cup of water
  • ½ cup of brown rice, uncooked
  • 2 teaspoons of Ghee
  • 2 teaspoons of Celtic sea salt
  1. Preheat a large skillet or a Dutch oven on medium heat and brown meat, onion, garlic, thyme, and Italian seasonings for 4-6 minutes or until the meat is cooked through.
  2. Add tomatoes, water, rice, cabbage and salt, and stir.
  3. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover it tightly. Cook for twenty to twenty-five minutes, or until the cabbage and the rice are tender.
  4. Add peppers and mushrooms. Cover tightly and simmer for 10 minutes longer.
  5. Remove from heat and let it stand, covered, for five minutes and then serve
Vegetarian Curry (good for fighting inflammation)
"Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food." —Aristotle (384–322 BC)

Vegetarian Curry (good for fighting inflammation)

 
  • SERV
    4

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of ghee
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 teaspoons of fresh ginger, minced in processor
  • 1 cup of crushed tomatoes (fresh or Muir Glen Organic)
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of cardamom, ground
  • 1 teaspoon of Celtic sea salt
  • 1/8 cup sea vegetables (kelp, arame)
  • ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 8 cups of cauliflower florets (approx. 2 heads)
  • 2 cups of cooked garbanzo beans (presoaked)
  • 1 cup of peas
  • ½ cup of parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup of onion, chopped
  1. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add onion, garlic, and ginger. Sauté this for about five minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, water, turmeric, cumin, cardamom, salt, sea vegetables and cayenne pepper, stirring to mix.
  2. Add the cauliflower, cooked garbanzo beans, and peas to the sauce mixture. Stir until it is fully coated with the sauce, then cover the pot and simmer for seven to eight minutes, until the cauliflower is tender enough for your fork to pierce it. Add parsley, stirring to combine, and then serve over rice, quinoa, or millet.
Maple-Lime Roasted Sweet Potatoes
"Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food." —Aristotle (384–322 BC)

Maple-Lime Roasted Sweet Potatoes

 
  • SERV
    6

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Ghee, melted
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch (1/8 teaspoon) of cayenne pepper
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons of lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons of sliced almonds (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine maple syrup, Ghee, coconut oil, salt, cinnamon and cayenne in a large bowl.
  3. Add sweet potatoes and toss until thoroughly coated.
  4. Transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring every 15 minutes, until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Sprinkle lime zest over the sweet potatoes and gently stir to distribute.
  6. Transfer to platter, top with sliced almonds and serve.
Rice Gone Nuts
"Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food." —Aristotle (384–322 BC)

Rice Gone Nuts

 
  • SERV
    4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of short grain brown rice
  • 2 cups of organic chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/8 cup sea vegetables (kelp, arame)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup of carrots, shredded
  • 3 teaspoons of Celtic sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small bunch of fresh parsley, minced
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • ½ cup almonds
  1. Place bunch of parsley (leaves and stems) in food processor and mince, then set aside
  2. Mince the garlic, nuts and juice from the limes in processor.
  3. Combine parsley, garlic, nut mixture in a bowl and set aside, once again
  4. In a medium pot, add the rice, sea vegetables and salt to the broth, and bring to a low boil.
  5. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid, and cook rice for forty minutes or until dry and fluffy.
  6. Mix in the carrot once the rice is cooked. Remove from heat but let it sit, covered, for five minutes.
  7. Remove lid and allow rice to cool for 20 minutes
  8. Add the parsley, garlic and nut mixture into the rice and stir until nut mixture is equally distributed throughout.
  9. Portion and serve.
Beans and Legumes
"Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food." —Aristotle (384–322 BC)

Beans and Legumes

 

All beans, except for lentils must be soaked for 48 hours prior to using them. Beans are high in phytates which most people have difficulty breaking down (thus resulting in increased flatulence). Phytates can also interfere with the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals in the body.

  1. Take raw beans and place in pot.
  2. Fill with water until there is twice as much water as beans
  3. Soak for 24 hours, then drain beans and rinse
  4. Place back in pot and repeat soaking for another 24 hours (48 hour soak time in total)
  5. After 48 hours, drain beans, rinse and you may either cook them or freeze for later use. (frozen beans will last for 2-3 months in the freezer and usually longer if they’ve been vacuumed sealed)

Hint: After grocery shopping, I immediately soak my beans then freeze them for later use. This way, when I want to cook them in a recipe, they are ready to go.

BEAN SALAD
"Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food." —Aristotle (384–322 BC)

BEAN SALAD

 
  • SERV
    8

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dark red kidney beans, presoaked
  • 6 cups of water, filtered
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 2 tablespoons Kalamata olive oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt, course
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  1. Place uncooked kidney beans and water in a pot or dutch oven.  Water should be 1-2 inches above the beans.
  2. Bring the beans to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, partially covering the pot.  If any foam develops during the simmering process, skim it off.
  3. Simmer beans for approximately one and a half hours.  Inside of bean should be tender, while the outside of the bean should be ‘al dente’.  Beans should not split open.
  4. Once cooked, remove beans from heat, strain beans from liquid and allow to cool.
  5. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and toss well; adjust seasonings to your liking.
  6. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Black Beans
"Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food." —Aristotle (384–322 BC)

Black Beans

 
  • SERV
    4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup black beans, soaked
  • 2 cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro stems, minced (set aside)
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (set aside)
  • 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine broth, beans, onion, garlic, cilantro stems, salt, and cayenne and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for forty-five minutes (until the beans are tender).
  3. Serve into bowl and top with cilantro leaves.