Love Your Liver

Why should I love my liver?

Liver is the most important organ after the heart.  It performs hundreds of essential functions :Cranberry Apple Dessert

  • Liver stores and regulates blood. It is responsible for circulation and nourishing every cell in our body.  Every part of the body depends on blood from the liver for nourishment and sustenance.
  • Liver helps the body to digest food, absorb nutrients, and eliminate toxic substances.
  • The amount of sugar in our blood is carefully controlled by the liver.
  • Liver is connected to proper eye function. Diseases involving the eye are closely related to a liver imbalance.
  • Liver also regulates emotional and mental state. A healthy liver ensures patience, endurance and the ability to maintain a strong spiritual center.

How does my liver communicate to me that it is not nourished? 

When the liver is overworked or under pressure, it generates too much heat within itself. One might feel hot and sweat excessively. When there is heat in the liver, the eyes are likely to be bloodshot, or feel a painful or burning sensation. When the liver blood is deficient, you might experience blurry vision, color blindness or dry eyes.

If liver is stagnant, we feel down or even depressed; it is hard to get started in the morning. Liver is responsible for anger. People with tired liver are quick to anger and have so called “short fuse”.

A weak liver expresses itself in deep insecurity, irritability, frustration, anger, excitability, and stubbornness.
Sometimes we can read right on our face if our liver is too tight – it manifests by deep vertical lines from nose going up between the brows.

How can you love your liver?

Get good night sleep

Liver likes to have a good night sleep on empty stomach. Liver rests and rejuvenate between 1:00 am and 3:00 am. In order to nourish your liver, it is best to go to bed no later than 11:00 pm. It gives you 2 hours to get to the stage of deep sleeping.

Do not eat late at night

Eat your last meat by 7:00 pm. Late night dinners, especially with hard to digest foods like meat and chicken, will send our liver to work most of the night. You might find yourself tired when you wake up in the morning and not willing to get out of the bed. Your mood in the morning also could be not the brightest.
Torah tells us that it has to pass 6 hour after eating meat before one can eat dairy. 6 hours is time it takes to digest meat.

Eat healthy and do not overeat

Eat plenty of organic vegetables and beans. Add complex carbs to your daily menu ( whole grains ).  Minimize consumption of processed food, fruits, honey and sugar which contain 50% of fructose. Just like alcohol, fructose is metabolized directly into fat. So eating fructose is really like eating fat—it just gets stored in your fat cells. Healthy liver can process no more than 25 grams of sugar a day.

Liver likes sour taste – lemons, Granny Smith apples, cranberry, sour cherries. If you crave sour taste, that might be your liver is talking to you.

GrannySmithcranberries lemons

In return, your nourished liver gives you bright happy energized mornings; handles your stressful situations; maintains fit body, radiant young-looking skin, healthy eyes, nails, and well-circulated, oxygen-rich blood.

Your liver would be happy if you chose this dessert to complete your early dinner 🙂

Cranberry Apple Dessert

Acquired Taste

Blanched Kale Salad

Blanched Red Kale Salad with Seeds and Pecans

I grew up on a very different diet than I am eating now. From the childhood I loved bread, pastries, cheese, eggs, chicken, tomatoes and fruits. ( At that time I believed tomatoes are vegetables 🙂 ). Coffee was my main drink – I had a cup of strong coffee for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a late night out.

I enjoyed my food while struggling to normalize my digestive system and lose extra pounds. Though I was traumatized by being overweight, I had no idea it is possible for me to lose weight and maintain it without going on a strict hunger diet. I had gone a long way through trying all kinds of rather damaging diets until I learned about macrobiotic balanced approach to lifestyle.

I read about it and went to many classes. I met people who got cured from terminal cancer by following macrobiotic diet. I believed in the system but I was very skeptical that I would be able to adjust to eating porridge, beans and cooked vegetables. Even more, I could not imagine my life without cheese, pastries and coffee.

When I got the list of recommended food I was surprised by so many different names I have never heard before. I took the list and went to the Whole Foods store. I asked the store employee for assistance to locate these strange foods.

I was determined to try this system and see what effect it will make on my health.

I lost 10 pounds in 2 weeks by eating lots of porridge!!! I could not expect that! It was an additional benefit I was not even looking for. My digestive system started working on its own and I dropped supplements that I believed I was doomed using for the rest of my life!

I was so pleased and excited with the results while being busy learning how to cook a basic miso soup and blanched kale that I did not think about cheese. I stopped drinking coffee and started drinking kukicha tea. It has very mild taste and very easy to switch to.

A few months later I was enjoying baked Brussels sprouts, sautéed Portobello mushrooms and brown rice rolls.  I started questioning what if I have a little bit of food I ate before that gave me so much pleasure in the past? A new unexpected experience took place – I did not enjoy that food as much – it tasted too salty, too heavy, or too sweet. Every time I eat out, I feel that homemade clean plant-based food is so much more delicious and satisfying. It pleases my palate during eating and leaves me with very enjoyable taste. I feel energized, light and nourished.

I discovered amazing natural taste of kale, collard, rutabaga, parsnip, daikon, leek, mushrooms, millet, lentil and more…. They are so delicious by being simply cooked! I learned that cooking healthy is EASY! Natural taste does not call for complex long cooked fatty or hot sauces. It inspired me to start creating my own recipes of delicious simple dishes.

It does not take long to acquire taste for new food. Our taste bites follow the food we eat!

This salad is rich with calcium, vitamins, fiber, protein and uplifting energy. It is a great vegetable option for breakfast to accompany soft grain dish. During Spring or Summer it is perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner due to its cleansing properties.

Kale salad


**Health Tip: A high-fiber diet has been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels. It helps normalize blood glucose and insulin levels. It promotes regular bowel movements and prevents constipationFoods containing fiber are helping to maintain a healthy weight and lowering your risk of diabetes and heart disease.  We get fiber from unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and beans.


Healthy Kosher made EASY journey

Arizona - one of a kind experience

I, like a lot of people, live a very busy life. Sometimes I wonder where my day went and I try to pack my schedule for the next day with list of tasks I would like to accomplish for my job and my family and hopefully for myself on the bottom of the list. Guess what, I am usually very proud that I managed the majority but rarely get to the nourishing myself part.

The company I work for declared a winter break – 4 days off. In the middle of extremely cold Chicago winter! This is an opportunity to get to always omitted bottom of my list – I am booking Yoga & Spa resort in a warm place – Arizona – for 6 wonderful days!

Miraval 2015

It was an amazing experience. In addition to perfect weather, beautiful surroundings, delicious food, ample activities and spa choices, the most important benefit I got out of it – clear my head and created space for new ideas.

My new idea to start blogging! I know, blogging has been around for a long time. Everything is right at the right time .

Where to begin???

I was born and lived till 24 in Latvia. It is a small independent country in Western Europe – beautiful with ancient architecture that went through many different political regimes including devastating Soviet Union during my times.

Riga Old Town

Riga Latvia Old Town

Everything was limited – money, food, freedom, opportunities and information.

When we moved to the United States, the first thing surprised me – huge number of seriously overweight people. I could not believe that the best country in the world with the most advanced medicine and freedom of choice, unlimited access to information and food, people do not eat healthy.

But time went by, I got busy with building my successful carrier and joined the majority of population – eating out, drinking coffee to stay awake, and drinking more and stronger coffee to stay focused. I was buying frozen dinners and spent time looking for the tastiest frozen dinner…

Until it became too obvious – if I want to live a vibrant, healthy, dynamic life and enjoy it for many, many years (having good memory, sharp mind, positive optimistic outlook, capable dealing with stress, control my weight) – I‘d better spend a little more time in my kitchen and a little more money on Organic food now instead of on ever growing list of regularly used medication and supplements in the future.

I was looking for information that would make sense and I found plenty. I started cooking my own meals and my family embraced it with great pleasure.

What’s for breakfast?

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It sets our sugar balance for the day, it defines our energy level. It has to be satisfying, nourishing and delicious.

Steel Cut Oatmeal with fresh cranberries, blueberries and mango

Oatmeal with fresh fruitOrganic Kosher Irish steel cut oatmeal is cooked for 30 minutes ( no prior soaking is required)

Ingredients:

1 cup Irish Steel Cut Oatmeal, 3 cups of water and a pinch of sea salt.