Chocolate Brownie Recipe

Perfect for the chocolate fix and high in magnesium, fibre and prebiotics.

Gluten, dairy, egg free & dreamy!

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Convect bake. (Bake will work too, it just takes them a little longer.)

First step:

Melt the following in pan on low heat while stirring constantly. Takes less then 2 minutes.

1/2 c coconut oil

2/3c unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp almond milk

Set aside… or put directly in food process in next step:

In a food processor place the following ingredients:

The chocolate from above

1 cup *black beans (drained if using from can). See below on cooking idea.

1/2 c almond meal (I make my own by processing whole almonds)

4 pitted Medjool dates

2 tbsp ground flax seed OR chia seeds

1/8tsp ground sea salt

1/4c dark gluten free dairy free chocolate chips

Puree  in food processor until smooth. Takes about 3 min. You may have to scrape the edge to get it to all mix entirely.

Prepare 8×8 or similar size pan with parchment paper. Cut to size. Place contents and press into pan.

Bake for 15-18min or until edges appear dry. Sprinkle with sea salt while still warm.

Store baked brownies in fridge for up to 1 week.

* I like the less processed version of soaking the beans over night versus using the canned. Place a couple of cups of the black turtle beans in a casserole dish and fill with water. Change the water out a couple times during soaking if you can. Soak for 8-12 hours. Cook on stove in 3x as much water as beans.  Lightly boil for an hour or until tender. Rinse. This recipe uses 1 cup.  Extra beans are great to mix up with quinoa or brown rice for other meals. They can also be frozen for future use.

From the heart and kitchen of Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND

Fatigued? Could your Iron be low?

Fatigued?

Low iron could be part of the root cause of your fatigue. It could be a matter of absorption, health of the red blood cell, or compounding factors like thyroid, poor sleep, and related heart issues. ™There is preliminary evidence that iron supplementation might improve unexplained fatigue in non-anemic women. Low iron is one of the top reasons for fatigue, but it is not the only reason. Dr. Laura M. Brown ND can help you dig into the root cause of your fatigue.

Get help now.

Who is at Risk?

  • menstruating women
  • vegan and vegetarians
  • high performance athletes
  • those with Celiac, gluten sensitivity, Crohn’s or colitis
  • long term use of proton pump inhibitors
  • H.Pylori infection
  • internal bleeding of any kind

Food Sources of Iron

™Food Sources: meats of all kinds, liver and organ meats (animal sources best absorbed), kelp, legumes, tofu, whole grains, molasses, nuts and seeds, wheat, millet, dark leafy greens, sardines, prune juice and oysters.

Iron Absorption

Iron absorption depends on proper stomach acid and the ability for the gastrointestinal (GI) tract to absorb. The body will only absorb what iron it needs, and pass the rest along in the stool. Animal based heme (iron) is best absorbed. Vegetable based iron sources are absorbed at a fraction of animal based sources. If there are stomach acid issues, like an H.Pylori infection or prolonged use of Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI’s), or issues with the GI lining like in Celiac, Crohn’s or Colitis, then absorption of iron and other vital nutrients may be impaired.

Your iron could be low if you have these symptoms:

™Fatigue, weakness

™Dizziness, especially on rising quickly

™Shortness of breath on exertion, chest pain

™Headache

™Coldness in your hands and feet

™Pale skin, tongue, conjunctiva

™Brittle nails

™Swelling or sore tongue, cracks at side mouth

™Enlarged spleen, frequent infections

Why do I feel this way?

™Iron is also a cofactor in the synthesis of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. This is why low iron has the potential to contribute to low mood.

Iron deficiency may affect selenium absorption, which could then affect thyroid hormone production. Low thyroid function can can contribute to a state of fatigue.

™Iron deficiency can also cause restless legs, contributing to poor sleep, which means less healing in sleep, more hormonal imbalance and compounded issues of fatigue.

If you don’t have enough hemoglobin-carrying red blood cells, your heart has to work harder to move oxygen-rich blood through your body. This can lead to arrhythmias, murmur, enlarged heart, or even heart failure.

Iron is used to make the hemoglobin complex on the red blood cells.

™If your red blood cells are breaking down or not enough are made, you will not have the ability to use the iron to make the hemoglobin.

™There are four “parking spots” for Oxygen and carbon dioxide on your red blood cells – this is the iron binding capacity or “TIBC” you see on your blood work.

™When the TIBC is high you iron might be low.

Sometimes serum iron is fine but the ferritin is high. The body squirrels away iron when there is an infection. This is because virus and bacteria use iron to help replicate. What a smart body we have!  Inflammatory factors of infection and low iron contributes to fatigue.

 

Diagnosing Low Iron

Clinical presentation (your signs and symptoms) are the first clue to low iron. A simple blood test including a CBC and Iron Panel will help dig into the root cause of your fatigue. Further exploration and tests may be required to diagnose other contributing factors of health as mentioned above. A naturopathic doctor is always on the look out for the true root cause of your health concerns.

™CBC – complete blood count

–Number, size of red blood cells (RBC) (iron def. anemia red blood cells are smaller than normal)

–Number, size of white blood cells

–Number of platelets

–Reticulocyte count – immature RBC – tells if bone marrow production rate of RBCs is normal

–Hemoglobin- iron rich protein on your red blood cells that carries oxygen to your tissues and carbon dioxide away

–Hematocrit – measures how much space your red blood cells take up in your blood

™Serum iron – amount of iron in your blood. Not always indicative of the total amount of iron in your body.

™Serum ferritin – think tin is something you store things in– this is your iron storage.

™Transferrin – trans for transfer – this protein carries iron in your blood

™TIBC – measures how much of the transferrin is around and not carrying any iron

Dr.  Laura M. Brown, ND 

Beat the Bugs: Tips for Outdoors

™Avoid bug bites

 Black flies and mosquitoes and fear of tick bites can quickly drive you indoors. –

The theoretical risks associated with wearing an insect repellent should be weighed against the reduction or prevention of the risk of fatal or debilitating diseases including malaria, West Nile, Zika,  Dengue/Yellow fever, Lyme and filariasis.

botanicalforesticeland

Cover Up!

Best way if you have to go out doors is to wear loose fitting, light coloured, full length pant and sleeve with tall socks or pants tucked in. Nets are available for over the head and face.

Dangers of DEET

If you are in the deep woods and are at risk for disease,  you may consider the very strong (and poisonous) option of DEET, but be sure to avoid the face, eyes and mouth and wash your hands afterward in order to additionally help avoid contact with nose, eyes and mouth. After you return indoors you are best to wash completely with soap and water. Know that the long term exposure to DEET can lead to memory loss, headaches, weakness, fatigue, muscle/joint pain, nausea, tremors, and shortness of breath. This is because DEET is actually  a pesticide and your skin will absorb it.

What are some alternatives to DEET?

–Mozi-Q  I have seen this in health food stores around Guelph.   http://www.mozi-q.com

Picardin: Structurally based on chemicals in pepper, it appears to interfere with the mosquito’s ability to smell its prey. The chemical is extremely effective for some species of mosquito (including important disease-carrying mosquitoes such as A. aegypti), but is less effective for other species that don’t appear to rely on smell, so overall it may be somewhat less effective than DEET. A 20% Picaridin formulation has been shown to repel mosquitoes for 8-10 hour.

–Vitamin B1 – Thiamine – Take a dose of B1 daily and mosquitoes avoid you when you smell like a vitamin!

–Natural insect repellent recipe:

™Combine in a 16oz spray bottle:

– 15 drops of lavender, clove, thyme, or geranium oil

–10 drops of lemon eucalyptus or citronella oil

–4 Tbsp of vanilla extract

–1/4 cup of lemon juice

Fill with water and shake. Apply & re-apply as needed.

KEEP ESSENTIAL OILS OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN

Itchy bites

Mix Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) with water to form a paste and apply to bee stings, poison ivy rash and insect bites.

Oatmeal: crush up oats and make a colloidal oatmeal paste with a little water and apply to itchy rashes or insect bites.

Calamine lotion: you can buy it at the store or make your own with recipes from http://everydayroots.com/homemade-calamine-lotion

Apis ™Homeopathic 30 C 2 pellets under tongue every 15-30 min until relief, up to 3 hours. Then as needed 2 pellets /3x per day up to 3 days. ™Indicated in conditions hot, red, inflamed, swollen, itchy insect bites & bee stings.

Removing Ticks

Always do a check for ticks on your skin after trail walks and hikes in long grasses. Carefully remove from the skin at the tick’s head and mouth area using a pair of tweezers. Save the tick for testing. Wash the area with mild soap and water. Ticks have the potential to carry Lyme, Rocky mountain spotted fever, Tularemia, Ehrichiosis, Relapsing fever, Colorado tick fever and Babesiosis.

Feeling Ill?

In any case of bug or tick bite followed within a few days of feelings of flu like symptoms, fever, headache, nausea, vomit or fatigue, see your health care provider immediately as you may need a course of antibiotics to prevent long term sequelae of insect borne diseases.

 

Information in this post does not constitute individual medical advice. Readers apply this information at their own risk. Please seek care from your health care provider for professional and individual advice.

Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND.