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MARCH 2011

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Natural Health Newsetter

" If we look at the world with a love of life, the world will reveal its beauty to us. "

~Daisaku Ikeda

Spring is officially upon us and while we may not be feeling those warmer temperatures as of yet, change is coming. Buds on trees are beginning to appear and birds are once again chirping outside my window. It has gotten me motivated to begin planning out my vegetable garden. Last year, my husband and I grew tomatoes, green beans, Serrano peppers and cucumbers. No taste can rival that of a freshly plucked tomato.

Next month I'll provide an update on our urban garden plans and hope that each of you will look into growing your own produce this season, whether on your window sill, rooftop or backyard. Lets get America back to growing their own food!

Amy's Photo

Best in Health!
~Amy Crews~

Natural Health

Featured Story

The Best Drinks for Acid Reflux

The Best Drinks for Acid Reflux

This month's feature article is brought to you by Margaret Badore, diets in review staff writer. This article is part of a series she is doing on her battle with acid reflux.

There’s a long list of things you shouldn’t drink if you suffer from acid reflux or heartburn: orange juice, hot chocolate, carbonated beverages, lemonade, anything with mint and any bottled drinks with added acid. Water is really the best thing for people with reflux to drink, along with low-fat milk.

You may know that I have been undergoing treatment for acid reflux for about two months, under the supervision of Dr. Jamie Koufman at The Voice Institute of New York. Dr. Koufman is one of the authors of Dropping Acid: The Reflux Diet Cookbook & Cure. I’m a big lover of tea, and I was happy to hear that there are still several varieties of teas that don’t trigger acid reflux. Some doctors might recommend that patients stay away from caffeine altogether, but Dr. Koufman says that a cup of tea (black, green or white) or coffee with milk per day is fine. It’s the people who drink “a fishbowl” of coffee each day who have a problem. Herbal teas like chamomile and rooibos are good, but any fruit-infused teas will be too acidic.

Ginger is also good for people with reflux, so I like to make a simple tisane with fresh ginger. Boil a tablespoon of freshly chopped ginger for about two minutes, and sweeten with honey or sugar. Use less ginger for a milder flavor.

Homemade smoothies with low-acidity fruits and low-fat dairy are also a great option. You can make a simple smoothie by freezing a banana (be sure to peel it first), and sticking it in the blender with some milk–no ice needed.

Dr. Koufman’s team tested the acidity of many different beverages, to better help patients know what they can and can’t drink. They found that coconut water, without added flavors, is also good for people with reflux, as is Vanilla and Strawberry N Cream Slim-Fast. For more information about what to drink if you have you have acid reflux and Dr. Koufman’s complete list of reflux-friendly drinks, check out the Reflux Cookbook Blog here.

Have a drink that works for your acid reflux? Tell us about it here


“Dropping Acid” Chef Demonstrates Reflux-Friendly Foods

Navigating the Grocery Store with Acid Reflux

Recipe of the Month:

Quinoa Pasta with Creamy Pesto and Tomatoes

Quinoa Linguine Yield: 4 servings
274 Calories/Serving

8 oz. quinoa linguine
Nu-Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
PAM spray
6 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large red heirloom tomato, diced into large chunks
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, about 1 bunch
1 cup fat-free sour cream
1 ounce grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tablespoons chopped toasted pine nuts


  1. Bring large pot of water to boil – season with Nu-Salt
  2. Cook pasta until al-dente, about 7 minutes or follow package instructions
  3. Meanwhile, heat a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat
  4. Spray with PAM and add half of the garlic, Sauté for 1 minute and add diced tomato
  5. Season with Nu-Salt and pepper and sauté for about 3 minutes, or until tomatoes are soft but have not broken down too much
  6. Next, in the bowl of a food processor, combine: remaining 3 cloves chopped garlic with basil leaves and fat-free sour cream. Puree until smooth and season with Nu-Salt and pepper
  7. When pasta is done cooking, drain and toss with creamy pesto sauce to coat; adjust seasonings, if necessary
  8. Spoon tomato mixture on top of pasta and sprinkle with Parmigiano and pine nuts
  9. Serve
  10. Although no actual salt is called for in this recipe, please add it as you see fit

Source: Chef Rocco DiSpiritio for Biggest Loser

In the News...

2009 data on obesity

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released its 2009 data on obesity in the United States, and the results are quite startling. In fact, during the past 20 years that the CDC has tracked it, there has been a dramatic increase in the prevalence of obesity with only Colorado and the District of Columbia coming in at a total population obesity rate of less than 20 percent.

The CDC also found that a whopping 33 states had a prevalence equal to or greater than 25 percent, and nine of these states (Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia) had a prevalence of obesity equal to or greater than 30 percent. What’s even more startling is how the numbers have changed over time.

Read more here.

Giving Back

Direct Relief Direct Relief International provides medical assistance to improve the quality of life for people affected by poverty, disaster, and civil unrest at home and throughout the world. They partner with in-country organizations providing essential resources and medicine. With the devastation occurring in Japan, Direct Relief has been collaborating with the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), a U.S.-based organization with deep ties in the Japanese community to mobilize help to those who are so very much in need. Please help them continue their efforts by giving whatever you possibly can.

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Also, if there is something you are interested in learning more about or would like me to feature in an upcoming newsletter please contact me.

Eat, Live Laugh newsletters are intended for overall general wellness. If you have condition specific concerns please feel free to contact me.