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Belfast Natural Medicine (Dr. Kerri Vacher)

Kerri Vacher

dr-kerri-vacher

 

Belfast Natural Medicine has discontinued its Blue Hill hours.  This may be a temporary move for the winter but most likely will be permanent... I still hope to serve my Blue Hill friends in Belfast!  See you in Belfast! MWF 9 to 3 Tues 12-5 by appointment.
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dr-kerri-vacher

 

An excellent article on the risks of pharmaceutical drugs!
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dr-kerri-vacherA whole foods diet is a balanced way of eating that promotes life long health.  Whole foods are foods that are as close to their whole or natural state as possible.  To determine if you are eating a whole foods diet, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Can I imagine it growing?  
If you can, than it is probably a whole food.  Imagine that chicken, carrot, fish, broccoli growing…they are whole foods.  Can you imagine olive oil growing?  Nope, but you can imagine the olive growing.  Olives are a whole food.
2. How many ingredients does it have?
By choosing whole foods, you are keeping additives, preservatives and flavor enhancers (not health enhancers!) out of your body.  These substances can contribute to many health problems ie. MSG is a flavor enhancer found in many foods, including processed “health foods”.
3. What’s been done to the food since it was harvested?
Whole foods do not have any parts removed and they don’t have anything added to them.
4. Is this product “part” of a food or the “whole” entity?  
Oils, starches, juices are all examples of a part of a food.  For example, juice is just the liquid part of a fruit or vegetable.  But eating the whole fruit or vegetable gives you the fiber that you need to slow down the rate of absorption of fruit sugar into your digestive tract.  White rice is rice without the germ and bran.  White flour is only part of the whole wheat berry.  

The basic guidelines to eating a whole foods diet is to emphasize fresh, raw and cooked VEGETABLES, fresh, raw and cooked GREENS (spinach, kale, chard, lettuce, etc), fresh and seasonal FRUIT, WHOLE GRAINS, BEANS, plenty of WATER and small amounts of meats and dairy, natural sweetners and unrefined oils to enhance the meal with flavor and nutrition.  Balance a healthy diet with plenty of sunshine, exercise (especially outside) and a deep breathing practice and you will be well on your way to greater health and vitality!

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dr-kerri-vacher

I am a doctor who practices what she preaches.  I had a delicious beet salad with my breakfast this morning.  I made it last night so I could just serve it up today with my eggs.
Luscious Beet Salad with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds-
From Cynthia Lair's Feeding the Whole Family Cookbook
Salad:
4 Large Beets
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
1 bunch beet greens (I used 1/2 bunch of kale because my beets were from my storage down in my garage without the greens attached.  Cynthia Lair also suggests watercress, collards, raw spinach or arugula leaves)
2 scallions, finely chopped
1/4 lb. feta cheese (optional- I left this out as I am allergic to dairy)
Dressing:
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3/4 Teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 Teaspoon freshly ground pepper ( I left this out- I don't like pepper)
1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
Wash beets and remove tops.  Place in large pot filled with water and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer until tender (about 1 hour).  Set aside to cool.  Peel and cut into cubes when cool.
Toast pumpkin seeds by placing seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat.  Move the skillet back and forth over the heat with one hand and stirring the seeds with the other hand using a wooden spoon.  When seeds begin to pop and give off a nutty aroma they are ready.  Remove seeds from skillet and set aside.
To prepare greens, bring a large pot of water to boil.  Wash the greens and chop inot bite-size pieces.  Drop greens into boiling water and let is cook for about 30 seconds (I cooked the kale longer since it is thicker- maybe 1 1/2 minutes) until the stems are tender.  Place in a colander and run cold water over them to halt cooking.
Place all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well. 
Put beets, greens, pumpkin seeds and scallions into a salad bowl.  Pour dressing over salad and toss gently.  Crumble feta on top if desired.  Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Enjoy!

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dr-kerri-vacher

We have made it almost to February which means we have survived the holidays!  I hope they were fun, festive and healthy!   I know it is cold out there but we all need a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity a day.  Here are few fun ways to stay active this winter:
1.  snow shoeing
2.  sledding
3.  skiing
4.  walking
5.  skating
6.  swimming at the YMCA
7.  playing hoops, indoor soccer or other activities at the YMCA
8.  Hoola hooping (if you have never met Judith Tingley- then you must seek her out!  She has a class at the YMCA on Wednesdays but also volunteers all over the place spreading the word about the benefits of hoola hooping!)

We tend to forget in the winter about the importance of vegetables!  They are still as important as ever so don't forget to get as many as possible.  Every meal should include at least one vegetable- even breakfast.  Try cooking up some spinach with garlic and sesame seeds- a big batch- and warm them up in the morning with your eggs or grain for breakfast.  Soups and stir fries are a great way to get lots of vegetables into every meal (these can be warmed up to be eaten with breakfast the next day).  I recommend striving for 7-11 servings!!!!  I know...sounds like a lot... but if you are eating 1-2 servings at breakfast the rest of the meals are easier. 
Make sure to eat lots of warming foods and AGAIN don't forget to eat your vegetables!!!  Some examples of warming foods:  soups, teas, stir fries, other cooked (rather than raw) foods that emphasize warming spices such as ginger and garlic. 
Stay warm out there!!!  AND Be Well!!!
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