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To Grill or Not to Grill- This is the Question!

Posted on May 20, 2018 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (0)



To Grill or Not to Grill- that is the Question!                                                                       

Ok- really? That is a crazy question! We live in Texas where it is 90 in December. Of course we grill! Here is the thing though- you have to do it right or it is a recipe for disaster. Why is that?

A little thing called HCA’S or Heterocyclic Amines. These are a group of compounds that form when proteins, sugars and creatine in meat react at high temperatures. This occurs when we cook meats at 400 degrees and above. When heated, these compounds combine to form a potentially dangerous reaction that can lead to cancer, increase oxidative stress in the body and they may even be neurotoxic.

Talk about killing the party atmosphere Dana! But wait- I do have some tips to save the outdoor barbeque and make your body happy and healthy.

1. Apply vitamin E directly to your meat- ground or larger cuts. Hint- grass fed beef is four times higher in vitamin E so quality does count.

2. Marinate your meat, veggies or tofu prior to cooking with herbs, spices and aromatics. You can make a marinade or a dry rub. Make sure not to use a tomato based barbeque sauce to marinade as it doesn’t help decrease HCA’s. You can put it on after.

3. Use Dark Beer as a marinade- this results in 90% les HCA’s.

4. Cook meats at temps lower than 400 degrees, mound charcoal off to one side, flip meat frequently and cut off black char.

5. Last- pair your meat with the right guest! Fermented foods like sauerkraut or Kimchi are good due to the fermentation/good bacteria present.

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale and brussel sprouts all contain compounds that inhibit the toxicity of HCA’s. Green tea, red wine, blackberries, red grapes, watermelon and spinach have all shown to reduce the toxicity of HCA’s.

Also know - good old fashioned charcoal and lighter fluid is made from toxic chemicals. Lighter fluid plus charcoal plus match equals a problem. Petroleum-based lighter fluid produces volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and leaves petroleum residue on food and in your lungs. Skip the lighter fluid! Try these healthier ways to get the grill going:

• Charcoal chimney starter ($10 to $35): It looks like an oversized metal beer mug with a grate near the bottom. Put in the charcoal, ignite it with paper, and in 15 to 30 minutes the briquettes are good to go.

• Electric charcoal starter ($10 to $20): This is a metal coil you bury in a mound of charcoal and plug in. In 8 to 15 minutes, the fire's on its way.

That said, it's better to eliminate charcoal completely. A propane or natural gas grill is cleaner and more energy-efficient. Charcoal produces soot that irritates respiratory conditions, such as asthma, and releases the carcinogenic VOC benzene, so stand out of the smoke. Also avoid quick-start charcoal soaked with lighter fluid and charcoal with additives, such as sodium nitrate.

Be safe on this holiday and serve safe food!

Happy Healthy Grilling!


This piece was adapted from the original article found in the Natural Grocers monthly flyer titled Master the Art of Healthy Grilling by Heather Pratt MNT and Lindsay Wilson. Checkout Natural Grocers on West 7th in Ft worth, Tx.


Superfood of the Week- Basil

Posted on May 13, 2018 at 6:30 PM Comments comments (0)


I love all things basil!!

It smells amazing, it tastes great and it is full of healing properties straight from Mother Earth's medicine cabinet.

Here is what Dr. Axe has to say about basil:

Basil is called by many names like sweet basil or even Thai basil, but all of its common names refer to the herb's botanical name, Ocimum basilicum. Basil is a member of the large mint family, or Lamiaceae family, along with other culinary herbs like rosemary, sage, and even lavender. It is believed that basil has origins in India, but the herb has been cultivated for over 5,000 with its reach spreading to all corners of the globe. There are some indications that basil may have originated even farther east than India with ancient records from 807 A.D. suggesting that sweet basil was used in the Hunan region of China at that time. Basil eventually migrated westward as whole plants as it could be grown easily indoors and away from exposure to cold climates and frost.

Did you know there are actually 35 different types of basil? Basil plants come in a range of variety and sizes, but holy basil is the most researched type of basil thus far. Holy basil is the species of basil most known for its powerful healing qualities. To date, at least six different essential oils have been identified in holy basil within its seeds, roots, leaves and stem. Holy basil, which has the scientific name Ocimum sanctum L. or Ocimum tenuiflorum L., is known to be an anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and powerful adaptogen — meaning it helps the body to respond to stress and fight disease.

Scientific studies show the following benefits of basil: (2)

• Anti-inflammatory

• Antioxidant

• Cancer-fighter

• Pain-reducer (analgesic)

• Fever-reducer (antipyretic)

• Diabetes-preventer

• Liver-protector (hepatoprotective)

• Blood vessel-protector

• Anti-stress solution

• Immune-booster

Basil contains antioxidant-rich volatile essential oils, which are considered hydrophobic. This means they don’t dissolve in water and are light and small enough to travel through the air and the pores within our skin. Basil’s volatile essential oils are what give the herb its distinct smell and taste, but they’re also responsible for the healing benefits of basil.

Herbs like basil contain essential oil compounds because these help the plant defend itself from predators like bugs, rodents and strains of bacteria in the soil. When we ingest these protective oils, we experience similar benefits: a boost in immunity and protection from disease.

The most common cooking basil used as a fresh herb in recipes is Italian basil, which also boasts numerous health benefits because of it’s high levels of antioxidants, magnesium and vitamins. Basil extract is also used to create perfumes, household cleaners and in dental-care products since one of the known benefits of basil is its ability to act as an anti-bacterial and anti-microbial agent that fights germs and bacteria.

Homework for the week- eat some basil!

Happy Healthy Eating Dana



The Health and Wellness Corner with Dana

Posted on May 13, 2018 at 6:15 PM Comments comments (0)


Welcome to our blog. My name is Dana Farrell and I am part of the health and wellness program at Wholistic Body Solutions. Here at the studio we are committed to bringing you all sorts of information to help you on your wellness journey. Every week we will add a new blog full of holistic ways to create the happy healthy "you" that you already know and love!

We will be bring information about food and nutrition, healthy body and spirit and amazing essential oils for healing.

You can read about anyone of us on the website as we each have our own specialites and skills. We hope that with our village here at Wholistic Body Solutions you will find a santuary to heal and a family to support you.

Read our blog and tell your friends and family!

Happy Healthy Living,