Saturday, September 22, 2012

Dr. Dae has MOVED her Blog to

Dr. Daemon Jones has moved her blog to!  I have more posts, video and other educational tools to cultivate health and wellness in your life.  Come join me as I continue my healthy living adventures on my new site:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Discovering A Vegetable Brush

The more I learn about food and cooking the more I like trying new kitchen gadgets.  Even though some kitchen gadgets have been on the market for years many are new to my kitchen.  I had heard about the virtues of a vegetable brush. It cleans off the skins of veggies like carrots or potatoes so I can keep the skins of veggies on and cook them.  I love the idea being able to keep the skin on because it contains phytonutrients and fiber.  The first time I used a vegetable brush on some red potatoes I saw how easy it was to get the dirt and grime off potatoes.  It makes cleaning my vegetables so easy.  Who would have thought such a small little gadget would make my cooking so much easier ?

Friday, April 1, 2011

How Yams and Sweet Potatoes Got Confused

One question people ask me all the time is what is the difference between yams and sweet potatoes.  I think this is a great question too so I did a little research and this is what I came up with as an answer for you. 

The similarity is that they are both tubers or fleshy root but they are not related at all.  The confusion apparently started during slavery times when there were two main varieties of sweet potatoes. In order to differentiate between the two types slaves started calling the softer type “yams” because they were the most similar to yams found in Africa.  The mis-labeling has continued to today.  Here are some basic differences. 

Yams are primarily grown in tropical climates predominantly in South America, Africa, and the Caribbean. Scientifically, Yams are considered monocot plants that come from one seed leaf and are part of the Dioscoreaceae or yam family.  Yams are starchier than sweet potatoes so they appear to have a sweeter taste.  They are also drier than sweet potatoes.  Yams have a brown or black skin on the outside and inside have purple, red or off-white. 

Sweet potatoes are dicots. They come from two seed leaves and are part of the Convolvulacea or morning glory family.  Sweet potatoes are elongated with ends that come to a point.  The outer skin can range from white to yellow, red, purple or brown in color.  The inside flesh can also range from white to yellow, orange, orange-red or purple in color.  The most common colors are usually orange or creamy white.  Sweet potatoes have large amounts of beta- carotene.  Beta carotene is the pre-cursor to vitamin A which is important for the repair of all cells in the body.  Sweet potatoes are high in antioxidants which protect cells from being damaged.  Sweet potatoes have anti-inflammatory properties and help to reduce chemicals that cause inflammation in the body.  Even though sweet potatoes are starchy they have been shown to help balance blood sugar levels!  They help release a protein that helps with insulin release.  They are a good source of fiber along with the vitamins and nutrients.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Review for Daelicious! Recipes for vibrant living

Today I received an email with a lovely review of my book by Cara Nitz.  I'm so excited to hear that Cara found the book helpful and supportive to creating a healthy food lifestyle.  Click on the link below to read it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Poached Egg – A Love Story

Foods have many types of textures and sometimes the texture of a food causes people to have difficulty eating it.  I am fortunate I don’t seem to have a problem with textures. Avocado, mussels, tofu-- bring them on. I love them all.  The one food that seemed to stop me in my tracks – poached eggs!  The runniness of the yolk just seemed too much for me so I would pass on them.  Several years ago one of my close friends, who happened to be my naturopathic and oriental medicine doctor, Dr. Joanne Wu, (practicing in Takoma Park, MD) recommended that I eat poached eggs to nourish my yin energy.  When she shared this with me, I thought, I’m not going to be able to eat runny eggs!  I put Dr. Wu’s suggestion out of my mind.  A year ago I worked as a waitress for a few months and we served poached eggs every weekend.  I decided take advantage of this environment to see if I could push my way past the poached egg situation.  The key for me was having the chefs prepare may favorite brunch specials with hard poached eggs on top.  Over time I got to be able to have soft poached eggs – not runny but semi-solid.  The final step in my transition was learning to make them at home.  Poached eggs are so fast and easy.  I serve them over vegetables and have a great combination of protein and veggies.  I shared my process with Dr. Wu and she is so proud of me for figuring out how to become comfortable eating my yin nourishing foods. 

Picture : poached egg over brown rice bread and sauteed zucchini and red bell peppers - One of my favorite breakfast options.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Our Heart Teaches By Example

For the last 7 years I have taught Anatomy and Physiology to nursing student as an adjunct professor.   Interestingly we are studying the chapter on the heart during heart health month.  I have been thinking about the exquisiteness of the heart as a muscle and as a metaphor of how to live our lives. The main function of the heart is to act as an engine or a pump that allows the rest of our body to perform it’s functions.  Our hearts are is the only muscle in our bodies that never rests - it is always working for our good to stay alive.  As an engine it pumps out 4-5 liters of blood to the entire body every minute (that’s two 2-liter sodas worth of blood every minute).  When we choose to exercise it can be five times that amount in one minute’s time.  Its ability to be flexible as the environment changes is amazing.  Our heart provides nourishment to itself first before supplying blood to any other part of the body.  It recognizes without self-care and nourishment it will not be able to keep all the other parts operational.  When our heart’s arteries become blocked it creates new ones to continue to feed the heart.  It has the live-saving ability to change and adapt to correct a dangerous situation.  It has an intricate communication system so that muscle cells can work as a collective to pump at the same time.  It understands the importance of collective work and communication to get a task accomplished with split-second accuracy. The heart regulates itself but can be influenced by positive outside factors from other body systems.  It takes new input to change direction for the good quickly.  The heart does all of this yet it is only the size of our human fist.

Why do I share all this about the heart?  I believe that heart health begin with awareness of how fantastic our heart muscle truly is and how it has so many qualities that we as humans find important.  I think if we can have an appreciation for what our heart does for us perhaps we will treat it better. Perhaps when we get a diagnosis of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or coronary artery disease we might really consider listening to our health practitioner’s advise about how to take better care of our hearts.  Perhaps we will eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole-grains every day. Perhaps we will become willing to exercise 30 minutes 5 times per week.  Perhaps we will manage our stress to reduce extra burdens for our hearts.   Perhaps we will help to extend the life of our heart through changing our behaviors that cause damage to our hearts.  Perhaps with this new knowledge of how exquisite our heart is we can change the statistics that 1 in 2 women will die of heart disease. 

I believe our hearts have a lot to teach us about how to love ourselves better.  Are you willing to listen?

Friday, March 4, 2011

One of my Favorite Sweet Treat Spots in DC

Picture of Quince Fruit

One night a few weeks ago, I was dropping one of my girlfriends off after a dinner party when we approached one of my favorite “frozen” treat shops – Pitango Gelato!  I happened to see a coveted parking space in front of the store.  I saw it as a sign from the universe for me to share this treat with my friend.  I asked if she was up for a heavenly dessert made with high quality ingredients. She was all for it!   I know she, like me, appreciates dairy-free options and all the sorbets are dairy-free which is a bonus to the luscious flavors like hazelnut, mojito and spicy chocolate sorbet.   One of my favorite things about the shop is the customer service they provide as well.  The sorbet scoopers encourage you to try any and every flavor to pick your favorites.  We both got the quince, a pear-shaped fruit that tastes like a cross between an apple and a pear.  She loved the sorbet so much she even called to tell me how great it was the next day.

I have to be honest: Pitango gelatos and desserts are my favorite creamy, lovely, decadent treat!  The first time I ever tasted it was in Baltimore with one of my friends, Dr. Lisa Gengo, who was visiting from her practice in Connecticut.  We tried every flavor in the store and I picked chocolate and mojito and it was a wonderful culinary experience.  What is even better is that Pitango is committed to using organic and local, high quality ingredients.  I often recommend to patients to stop using dairy products to help improve certain conditions.  The dairy-free sorbets are a wonderful treat for them.  I also avoid dairy as much as possible so that is one of the first reasons I wanted to try their products.  I thought the gelato and sorbets were so good I called all my foodie friends and wanted to plan a trip back to Baltimore to get more of their frozen treats.  To my delight my friends told me there were stores in Washington DC and Virginia.  In the last 2 years I have brought all of my friends and co-workers to this wonderful shop and they all love it too. 

When I want a sweet treat I go to Pitango because if I’m going to have a something sweet it has to have high quality ingredients.

Live Vibrantly,
Dr. Dae