Steven Masley MD, LLC https://drmasley.com Tune up your brain, heart, energy, waistline, and sex life! Tue, 16 Oct 2018 02:53:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 https://drmasley.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/cropped-PAN1360re-32x32.jpg Steven Masley MD, LLC https://drmasley.com 32 32 Should you throw away your aspirin? https://drmasley.com/should-you-throw-away-your-aspirin/ https://drmasley.com/should-you-throw-away-your-aspirin/#respond Tue, 16 Oct 2018 02:53:00 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=6030 Last month, media headlines claimed that aspirin had more risk than benefit for older adults, and a few media articles went so far as to suggest that people throw away their aspirin.  The truth is that the recently published studies didn't make this recommendation. It does bring up an important point since everyone should know […]

The post Should you throw away your aspirin? appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
Last month, media headlines claimed that aspirin had more risk than benefit for older adults, and a few media articles went so far as to suggest that people throw away their aspirin. 

The truth is that the recently published studies didn't make this recommendation. It does bring up an important point since everyone should know who might still benefit from aspirin therapy, and who is likely to be harmed by it. 

Aspirin is derived from the bark of willow trees. It has been used for centuries for pain, fever, and inflammation.

Baby aspirin has also been used for decades to reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke. Yet, aspirin has been shown to carry both benefits and risk for people taking it.  The established benefit has been reducing the risk for a heart attack or stroke by blocking clot formation in arteries. The known risk of taking aspirin has been from spontaneous bleeding, with sometimes fatal or disabling consequences.

For the past 20 years, standard medical recommendations have been that people at high risk for a heart attack or stroke have had more benefit from taking a baby aspirin daily (84-100 mg per day). In contrast, people at low risk for a heart attack or stroke were more likely to be harmed by bleeding and should avoid using it.

Last month, The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), published three research articles with findings from the ASPREE trial.  These publications have achieved worldwide media attention, and due to this broadcasting sensation, several of my patients have called my office confused and seeking advice. After reading the articles in detail, here is the information that I shared with them.

What was the purpose of the ASPREE trial?

The Aspirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE) trial was a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial (RCT) that investigated whether the potential primary prevention benefits of low-dose aspirin outweighed the risks in healthy older adults.

Participants were randomized to two groups; one group received daily aspirin (100 mg per day) and the other received daily matching placebo that contained no active ingredients.

The study was designed to answer one primary research question: Would daily use of aspirin for 5 years prolong disability-free life in healthy older adults?

The secondary research questions from this study aimed to see if daily use of aspirin for 5 years would impact death rates, heart attacks and strokes, cardiovascular procedures, cancer, dementia, memory loss, depression, physical disability, and clinically significant bleeding in healthy older adults.

The main hypothesis of the study was that daily low-dose aspirin would extend disability-free and dementia-free life in these healthy elder adults.

To understand the results of this trial, it is important to know who was excluded and who was included in this trial.

The subjects in the ASPREE trial were healthier than the average general public of similar ages. From 2010 through 2014, they enrolled community-dwelling persons in Australia and the United States who were 70 years of age or older (or ≥65 years of age among blacks and Hispanics in the United States) and did not have cardiovascular disease, dementia, or disability. Participants were randomly assigned to receive 100 mg of enteric-coated aspirin or placebo.

The following people were excluded:

  • Anyone with significant chronic disease that would likely limit their survival to <5 years, excluding people with lung disease, kidney disease, or a history of cancer.
  • Anyone with any history of cardiovascular disease
  • Anyone with a major physical disability, including memory loss

What did the ASPREE trial find?

Of the 19,114 persons who were enrolled, 9525 were assigned to receive aspirin and 9589 to receive placebo. A total of 1052 deaths occurred during a median of  4.7 years of follow-up. The risk of death from any cause was 12.7 events per 1000 person-years in the aspirin group and 11.1 events per 1000 person-years in the placebo group; this means taking aspirin in this subject population increased the risk of death by 1.6%.

A surprise finding was that cancer was the major contributor to the higher mortality in the aspirin group, accounting for 1.6 excess deaths per 1000 person-years. Cancer-related deaths occurred in 3.1% of the participants in the aspirin group and 2.3% in the placebo group, a 0.8% increase.

The bottom line is that for healthy adults over the age of 65-70, taking a baby aspirin did not prevent death rates. And in these healthy, older adults, they had a higher risk for a major bleeding event and death from any cause. There was a slight decrease in heart attacks and strokes, but this was offset by a greater risk for bleeding and/or cancer, in particular, colon cancer.

The findings from the ASPREE trial support prior recommendations that healthy adults experience more harm than benefit from taking a baby aspirin daily.

Keep in mind, the ASPREE study did not evaluate the benefits of aspirin for adults that are at high risk for a cardiovascular event (heart attack or stroke), who have already had a heart attack or stroke, or who have a history of colon polyps or colon cancer.

For patients with a past history of a heart attack or stroke, or those who are high risk for a cardiovascular event and have excess arterial plaque (such as from a carotid IMT study), then I still recommend that they take a baby aspirin daily.

Also, for people with a history of colon polyps and colon cancer, prior studies have shown that taking low-dose aspirin reduces the risk for recurrent colorectal adenomas compared to placebo and that they are less likely to suffer from metastatic colon cancer as well.

Summary

If you are healthy there is more harm than benefit from taking low-dose aspirin daily long term. If you are high risk for a heart attack or stroke, or have had prior colon polyps or colon cancer, then you might benefit from daily low-dose aspirin therapy; therefore, talk to your doctor to clarify if you would have greater benefit than risk from taking a baby aspirin daily.

I wish you the best of health!

Steven Masley, MD, FAHA, FACN, FAAFP, CNS

References

  • McNeil JJ, et al. Effect of aspirin on disability-free survival in the healthy elderly. NEJM. 2018. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1800722.
  • McNeil JJ, et al. Effect of aspirin on cardiovascular events and bleeding in the healthy elderly. NEJM. 2018. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1805819.
  • McNeil JJ, et al. Effect of aspirin on all-cause mortality in the healthy elderly. NEJM. 2018. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1803955.

The post Should you throw away your aspirin? appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
https://drmasley.com/should-you-throw-away-your-aspirin/feed/ 0
Roasted Chickpeas, Bell Pepper, and Cauliflower with a Lemon-Yogurt Sauce https://drmasley.com/roasted-chickpeas-bell-pepper-and-cauliflower-with-a-lemon-yogurt-sauce/ https://drmasley.com/roasted-chickpeas-bell-pepper-and-cauliflower-with-a-lemon-yogurt-sauce/#respond Fri, 12 Oct 2018 18:01:02 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=6024 The post Roasted Chickpeas, Bell Pepper, and Cauliflower with a Lemon-Yogurt Sauce appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>

Here is a quick and easy dish, loaded with brain and heart-healthy ingredients. Curry spices reduce inflammation and have essential health benefits. If you’d like to add a bit of heat to the dish, add your favorite spicy chili sauce, or a dash of ground cayenne pepper.

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Baking Time: 35-40 minutes

Ingredients:

¼ cup avocado oil

2 teaspoons ground curry spice

1 teaspoon ground paprika (optionally, add ¼ teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper)

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

2 pounds (1 medium head) cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 medium onion, sliced into thin strips

1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

30 ounces cooked garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

Sauce:

1 cup organic, plain low-fat yogurt

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon dried dill weed (or 1 tablespoon fresh dill weed)

¼ cup fresh mint, chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400° (F).

In a large bowl, whisk oil, curry spices, paprika, salt and black pepper together. Toss mixture with cauliflower, onion, bell pepper, and garbanzo beans. Place on a baking sheet, and bake for 35-40 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile, combine yogurt, lemon juice, dill weed, and mint in a bowl.

Spoon roasted vegetables onto a serving plate, and drizzle lemon-yogurt sauce over the dish and serve.

Enjoy,

Steven Masley, MD

The post Roasted Chickpeas, Bell Pepper, and Cauliflower with a Lemon-Yogurt Sauce appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
https://drmasley.com/roasted-chickpeas-bell-pepper-and-cauliflower-with-a-lemon-yogurt-sauce/feed/ 0
Sautéed Fava Beans with Olive Oil and Garlic https://drmasley.com/sauteed-fava-beans-with-olive-oil-and-garlic/ https://drmasley.com/sauteed-fava-beans-with-olive-oil-and-garlic/#respond Fri, 05 Oct 2018 15:45:32 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=5996 The post Sautéed Fava Beans with Olive Oil and Garlic appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>

While traveling this summer in Spain and Portugal, fava beans were one of the most common vegetables we encountered in local markets, and they were often featured as a side dish in restaurants. Fava beans (also called faba beans or broad beans), are super large green beans, and they are loaded with nutrients, including:  vitamin K, vitamin B6, zinc, selenium, magnesium, folate, and of course fiber. They are also a very good source of lean protein.

You could shell and discard the pod and just eat the inner beans, but far more traditional is to cook the whole bean, similar to serving whole French green beans. Many people notice that they are tough when only sautéed. The trick is steaming or boiling them for a few minutes, before they are sautéed, making them tender and delicious, just be sure to avoid overcooking them.

Serves: Two

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

½ pound whole fava beans (200 grams)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

½ medium red onion, sliced thinly

¼ teaspoon sea salt

2 medium garlic cloves, diced

2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, diced

Directions:

Remove stems from fava beans. Add to briskly boiling water for 4-5 minutes, until beans become fairly tender but still very al dente, then soak in cold water for 1 minute, drain, and set aside.

Heat a large sauté pan to medium heat, add olive oil, then red onion with salt and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion starts to soften.

Stir in fava beans, cover, and sauté with an occasional stir for another 2-3 minutes until fava beans are tender and still al dente.

Reduce heat to a simmer, stir in garlic and basil and cook about 1 additional minute. (Avoid overcooking until the beans are soft, as they lose their flavor and texture.) Serve immediately.

Enjoy,

Steven Masley, MD

The post Sautéed Fava Beans with Olive Oil and Garlic appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
https://drmasley.com/sauteed-fava-beans-with-olive-oil-and-garlic/feed/ 0
Should You Eat Figs? https://drmasley.com/should-you-eat-figs/ https://drmasley.com/should-you-eat-figs/#respond Fri, 28 Sep 2018 16:55:20 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=5932 The post Should You Eat Figs? appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>

There are over 600 species of fig plants that produce fruit across the planet—yet despite their diversity, they all have one thing in common—their fruit is naturally sweet, flavorful, and highly nutritious.

Figs have a fairly short market life as they don’t store well and we typically see them sporadically in the grocery store at the end of summer. Because they don’t have a long shelf life, they are a bit more expensive than other fruit. Yet, they are easy to grow in many regions (I’ve grown them in Washington state, Arizona, and Florida), so consider planting a fig tree in your yard with the right species for your region.

Most figs are sold as dried fruit (dried figs), yet when you find fresh figs, they are a great treat. Dried figs, like most dried fruit, have concentrated sugar and a medium-high sugar content (glycemic load for a serving of dried figs is 16), yet fresh figs have a fairly low sugar load per serving and are loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and other nutrients. They clearly should be encouraged as part of a healthy diet.

Caution when picking figs. First, because they don’t last and if they are ripe you’ll want to consume them within 1-2 days. Second, if they are overripe, they may have firm seeds that are dry and crunchy and makes them less desirable. Overripe figs are also prone to mold and will need to be thrown away if they go bad.

Over the last two months, Nicole and I have been sailing along the coastlines of Spain and Portugal, and the figs in the markets have been amazing. I’ve been working on an easy-to-prepare dessert recipe.

If you are lucky enough to find fresh figs in your market, try the recipe below.

Figs with Port, Yogurt, & Orange Rind

I’ve tried this recipe with different figs, including small and large varieties of purple figs, and small green figs. My favorite are small purple figs as they tend to have the most flavor.

As I’ve been testing this recipe here in Portugal, Port wine has seemed like a good ingredient to go with figs. I prefer Tawny Port, which is more complex and nuttier, although you could use Ruby Port which is more fruity and sweeter. Simmering Port wine creates a luscious syrup, and with cooking, it becomes essentially alcohol- free.

Prep Time: 15-20 minutes

Serves: Four to Six

Ingredients:

1 cup Port wine

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

16 figs, sliced vertically into six thin slices

1 cup organic, plain yogurt (divided into four portions)

3 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted (or you could use sliced almonds or chopped filberts)

1-2 tablespoons freshly grated organic orange rind

Directions:

In a saucepan, combine port wine, lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt.  Bring to a gentle boil, then simmer for 4 minutes uncovered. Add sliced figs, cover, and simmer on low, stirring occasionally, until figs have softened, and the sauce has thickened about 4-6 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small sauté pan over medium-low heat, toast nuts until warmed and remove from the pan; don’t heat until browned.

Spoon yogurt into small bowls. Pour fig sauce over yogurt, and sprinkle toasted nuts on top.  Lastly, grate orange rind as a garnish over the bowls, and serve warm.

Enjoy,

Steven Masley, MD

 

 

 

The post Should You Eat Figs? appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
https://drmasley.com/should-you-eat-figs/feed/ 0
Why is food less expensive and better quality in Europe than in the US? https://drmasley.com/why-is-food-less-expensive-and-better-quality-in-europe-than-in-the-us/ https://drmasley.com/why-is-food-less-expensive-and-better-quality-in-europe-than-in-the-us/#comments Mon, 24 Sep 2018 18:22:09 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=5927 For the past 8 weeks, I have been amazed while food shopping in SW Europe, including France, Spain, and Portugal. Fruits and vegetables are 30-50-70 percent less expensive, and usually, they are organic and much better quality (flavorful and aromatic). Poultry has been 30-50 percent less costly, and seafood is extremely fresh, with much local […]

The post Why is food less expensive and better quality in Europe than in the US? appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
For the past 8 weeks, I have been amazed while food shopping in SW Europe, including France, Spain, and Portugal. Fruits and vegetables are 30-50-70 percent less expensive, and usually, they are organic and much better quality (flavorful and aromatic). Poultry has been 30-50 percent less costly, and seafood is extremely fresh, with much local variety, far better quality, and 50-75 percent less expensive.

How is this possible considering Europe’s cost of living is higher or equal than the US?

I should add that processed food seems fairly expensive in Europe. If you buy something in a package or prepared, it may cost as much or more than I may pay at home.

There are a couple of factors an individual cannot control, such as:

  1. There is more competition with retail food sales. Many small producers, and even the large European producers, are committed to keeping prices low and competitive.
  2. European governments subsidize fresh, wholesome food production. In the US, the government subsidizes mostly big farm production, for sugar, wheat, flour, corn, dairy and soybeans, with limited if any support for seafood, organic animal products, or fresh produce.

Yet there are several factors that we can impact, as in Europe:

  1. People eat what is produced locally. The markets and the supermarkets offer locally grown and produced products. The fruit and vegetables, the seafood, and even the dairy products are all produced locally and often by small farmers. They don’t have the expense of shipping food across the country when people eat locally.
  2. People eat what is seasonal. When peaches are in season, everyone seems to know that they should buy peaches. The same is true for most of the food here. People are aware of the seasons and buy their food when it reaches its peak.
  3. Local farmers sell their products to local markets. They don’t have massive food farms producing food on a national scale. The money flows locally. This eliminates many of the middle-level buyers who are buying and selling food.
  4. European food doesn’t have set sizes and color requirements. Generally speaking, Europeans care far more about the freshness and quality, than how it looks. It doesn’t have to have a standard appearance, specific size, or single color. An apple is acceptable if it has spots, a tomato is fine if it has bumps, and it is fine if things come in different sizes. In the US, food producers throw away vast quantities of food that don’t meet a pre-set standard appearance.
  5. Buyers in Europe expect fresh, excellent quality, and they won’t settle for less. They won’t buy inferior products, in contrast in the US in particular, where most of our food sold in the grocery store seems to be perfected shaped and colored, but of marginal flavor, we have become used to buying inferior fresh food products. Most of the time, our peaches are hard and without flavor, melons have almost no fragrance and little taste and tomatoes have the perfect shape and color, but almost no flavor. In Europe, people expect their food to be fresh and flavorful or they won’t buy it. In the US, we seem to care too much about finding the perfect color and shape, causing tons of food to be thrown away, and not picky enough about the flavor of food, and our quality suffers as a result.
  6. If you are able to shop at the local market in Europe (which exists in every small town) instead of a large grocery store, the food is often less expensive.

When you add all the factors together and shop in stores and markets, you’ll find that you get far more food in Europe at a lower price than what we spend at home.

What steps could we take to reduce our food expense and quality:

  1. Buy fresh food that is grown locally.
  2. Buy food that is seasonal.
  3. Buy direct from local growers. For seafood, look for sources of locally caught seafood options (lakes, rivers, and sea as is feasible with where you live).
  4. Accept food of varying sizes, colors, and shapes.
  5. When you can, support your local organic markets.
  6. Insist upon high-quality food, or skip it.

I wish you the best of health!

Steven Masley, MD, FAHA, FACN, FAAFP, CNS

The post Why is food less expensive and better quality in Europe than in the US? appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
https://drmasley.com/why-is-food-less-expensive-and-better-quality-in-europe-than-in-the-us/feed/ 11
Asturian White Bean Soup https://drmasley.com/asturian-white-bean-soup/ https://drmasley.com/asturian-white-bean-soup/#respond Fri, 21 Sep 2018 16:19:23 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=5920 The post Asturian White Bean Soup appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>

Large white beans are popular in Asturia, Spain, a northern region with an extensive coastline along the Bay of Biscay. They use local faba white beans, (the best beans are hand selected) but if you can’t find them easily, you can opt for large white kidney beans, lima beans, or cannellini beans. The region is known for its cold, wet climate, making a hearty soup heart-warming. It has been beautiful sailing in and out of multiple scenic ports along this amazingly rugged coastline.

You could use pre-cooked canned or jarred beans, but I find them always a bit overcooked, lacking the proper texture and flavor. Ideally, you would soak them overnight, rinse them in the morning, and cook them the following day, details below.

Traditionally, the people of this region use bacon or pork sausage (chorizo) in their soup, but my personal preference is to skip it. If you do use pork products, be sure to buy organic and pasture-raised, with about 1 pound of spicy sausage and 4 strips of sliced bacon for this recipe.

 

Bean Soaking Time: 10-12 hours

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Simmering Time: 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours (depends upon the type of bean you choose)

Express Version: You can make the express version with pre-cooked beans start to finish in 30 minutes.

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups large dried white beans (soaked in water for 10-12 hours) (For the express version, you will use six cups of cooked beans, rinsed and drained (or four 15-ounce cans)

2 medium white onions, chopped

4 tablespoons extra-virgin Spanish olive oil

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

2 medium carrots, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon ground paprika

1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)

1 teaspoon dried thyme

8 medium garlic cloves, chopped

½ cup parsley, chopped

2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

4 cups water

Directions:

In a large bowl, add enough water until beans have an extra 2 inches (5 cm) of water covering them, add more water to keep covered as needed. Soak overnight (preferably 10-12 hours), drain in the morning, and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Heat a large pot over medium heat, add oil, then onions, salt, and black pepper, and sauté stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes, until onions soften, then add carrots, green pepper, bay leaves, vinegar, paprika and thyme, and heat another 3-4 minutes with an occasional stir. Add garlic and parsley and heat another 1-2 minutes.

Add pre-soaked beans, broth, and water, bring to a gentle boil, then simmer on low heat for 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours, until beans have softened, but are still slightly al dente. Discard bay leaves and serve. (If you are making the express version, add pre-cooked beans, bring to a boil, simmer for 10 minutes, and serve.)

Enjoy!

Steven Masley, MD

The post Asturian White Bean Soup appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
https://drmasley.com/asturian-white-bean-soup/feed/ 0
Camel’s Milk???—A low allergenic alternative to cow’s milk https://drmasley.com/camels-milk-a-low-allergenic-alternative-to-cows-milk/ https://drmasley.com/camels-milk-a-low-allergenic-alternative-to-cows-milk/#respond Mon, 17 Sep 2018 21:25:11 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=5907 The post Camel’s Milk???—A low allergenic alternative to cow’s milk appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>

If you gave up drinking cow’s milk because it made you sick, or because you were worried about hormones and chemicals that are in cow’s milk, and you’ve missed having an occasional drink, or a dab that you can add to your coffee or tea, there is a new intriguing alternative.

I was recently re-introduced to camel’s milk while attending my quarterly mastermind meeting, which I share with other medical providers with an online business. A friend and colleague, Walid, shared his new brand of camel’s milk, and to be honest, I was quite curious, so I drank some plain, put a bit in my tea, and even tried some in coffee—it was pretty good! So intrigued, I researched the potential benefits of camel’s milk.

When I say “re-introduced” to camel’s milk, I should clarify, because the last time I had tried camel’s milk was back in the 1970’s. During a break from college, I was traveling across Asia via local buses, in route to work as a volunteer in a hospital in India. During this six-week bus ride across Asia, we got a flat tire in the middle of rural Afghanistan, which took an entire day to get fixed. Nearby was a group of local Afghan herders with camels. I walked over to visit and was greeted with bowls of camels milk and yogurt, and I remember being surprised at how good it tasted—fresh from the camel. I paid them back for their generosity by entertaining them as I held on for dear life while riding a camel around their campsite. They laughed themselves silly.

How Is Camel’s Milk Different from Cow’s Milk?

It turns out camel’s milk is as different from cow’s milk as a camel is from a cow, by a great deal.

  • IT HAS DIFFERENT PROTEIN: While both are high in protein, camel’s milk does not contain Casein A1 and lactoglubulin (which are responsible for dairy intolerance in many people)
  • IT HAS DIFFERENT FAT: The fat is different too, as it has smaller fat molecules and camel’s milk does not need to be homogenized. Homogenization is the process by which milk is blended to create less curdling. However, the milk gets oxidized in the process, which creates potential harmful free radicals. The fact that camel’s milk does not need to undergo homogenization makes it free of free radicals, which is a benefit when comparing it to cow’s milk. Camel’s milk has less saturated fat and cholesterol content.
  • NUTRIENT CONTENT IS DIFFERENT –Camel’s milk has a greater concentration of:
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Vitamin C
  • Organic copper
  • Manganese
  • Zinc
  • Protein
  • CAMEL’S MILK IS LESS ALLERGENIC THAN COW’S MILK. In a study published in Allergy Asthma Proceedings, researchers showed that in children with cow’s milk allergy as shown by skin prick testing, only 20% of them reacted to camel’s milk.
  • CAMEL’S MILK HAS MORE IMMUNOGLOBULINS. Camel’s milk is closer to the makeup of colostrum in human breast milk than is cow’s milk, with a rich supply of immune supporting whey based immunoglobulins.

Are there Risks to Drinking Camel’s Milk?

  • One thing that both camel’s and cow’s milk have in common is lactose. If you are lactose intolerant, you won’t tolerate either, so avoid both.
  • If you are allergic to cow’s milk, there is a 20% chance you’ll be allergic to camel’s milk as well. To be sure, consider a skin prick test with your allergist. Or if you have a mild reaction to cow’s milk, then you could just drink it to experiment and find out.
  • It isn’t a risk, but as you can likely imagine, when you add shipping expenses, camel’s milk isn’t cheap. It is 3-5 times the price of cow’s milk (not counting shipping). If you only use a bit in your tea or coffee, that shouldn’t affect you greatly, but if you are planning to substitute camel’s milk for cow’s milk and consume a few glasses per day, you will clearly notice the difference in price.
  • Some forms of camel’s milk are sold as raw milk, which is unpasteurized. While this improves the nutritional content, it does mean that there is a rare risk for bacterial contamination. Therefore, if you have an immune deficiency or other complicated medical problems, either I suggest you talk to your own physician or avoid drinking raw milk products. Be sure to clarify what type of milk you are buying if you order camel’s milk.

What Does It Taste Like?

My impression is that camel’s milk tastes a great deal like whole milk, creamy and satisfying. Although I like using almond milk in my smoothie, I can’t say I like drinking almond milk or coconut milk plain, nor do I like the flavor of almond milk, coconut milk, or soy milk in my coffee or tea. So for someone looking for a cow’s milk alternative, camel’s milk is a good option.

Bottom Line:

If you are looking for a cow’s milk alternative, without the hormones and allergic reactions, consider giving camel’s milk a try. Below is my link to sample it.

Where to Get Camel’s Milk?

You likely won’t find it on the aisle of your local grocery store, nor at your local health food store. Since camel’s milk is not produced from a hoofed animal (such as a cow or goat), it isn’t regulated by the same laws and is available online.

The best source I’ve found for camel’s milk is from Desert Farms, pasture-raised, hormone-free, and is available for shipping anywhere in the continental US and Canada. Click here, to receive 4 sample bottles of camel milk, just cover the shipping & handling.

I wish you the best of health!

Steven Masley, MD, FAHA, FACN, FAAFP, CNS

The post Camel’s Milk???—A low allergenic alternative to cow’s milk appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
https://drmasley.com/camels-milk-a-low-allergenic-alternative-to-cows-milk/feed/ 0
Strawberry Gazpacho https://drmasley.com/strawberry-gazpacho/ https://drmasley.com/strawberry-gazpacho/#respond Fri, 14 Sep 2018 15:19:56 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=5898 The post Strawberry Gazpacho appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>

I had this delightful dish with friends in a restaurant on a warm evening in Porto, Portugal. The chilled soup had an amazing flavor and was very refreshing. We spent time guessing the ingredients and here is my version of this wonderful recipe.

Serves: Four

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Chilling Time: 10 or more minutes

Ingredients:

1-pound (400 grams) strawberries (divided in half)

1-pound (400 grams) cherry tomatoes

¼ cup fresh herbs (basil, parsley, mint, thyme)

¼ teaspoon sea salt

¼ cup port wine

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 medium cucumber, diced

½ cup fresh organic mozzarella cheese (1/2-inch balls, or cut into ½-inch cubes

1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped

Directions:

In a blender, puree half the strawberries with cherry tomatoes, salt, port, fresh herbs, and lemon juice. Dice the remaining strawberries into ¼-inch pieces, then in a serving bowl, combine diced strawberries and cucumber with the puree, and finally stir in mozzarella cheese and mint. Refrigerate for 10 minutes or all day. Serve chilled.

Enjoy!

Steven Masley, MD

The post Strawberry Gazpacho appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
https://drmasley.com/strawberry-gazpacho/feed/ 0
Little Grilled Squid (Chipirones) https://drmasley.com/little-grilled-squid-chipirones/ https://drmasley.com/little-grilled-squid-chipirones/#respond Thu, 06 Sep 2018 16:49:30 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=5887 The post Little Grilled Squid (Chipirones) appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>

Little grilled squid is a highly popular dish here in Spain. They are delicious and very easy to prepare and served either as an appetizer or as part of the main meal. This dish is similar to the traditional calamari dish we have at home, except these are tiny squid in contrast to the large squid served at home that are cut into rings, and they don’t bread the squid.

The challenge is finding fresh squid, as often frozen squid have a fishy smell and taste. At night, we have noticed families fishing along the docks, jigging fishing lines with fluorescent lures, or a hook and line with fluorescent glow sticks, joyfully filling a bucket with fresh little squid.

If you ever happen to travel to Spain, especially along the coast, I highly encourage you to try Chipirones (little-grilled squid).

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Marinade Time: 10 minutes

Grill Time: 8-10 minutes

Ingredients: 

2.2 pounds (1 kilo) small whole squid, cleaned

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

6 medium garlic cloves, finely diced

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

½ teaspoon ground paprika

½ teaspoon dried thyme

4 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped

Directions: 

Clean squid, drain, then dry with paper towels.

Combine ingredients and marinate for at least 10 minutes, up to 2 hours refrigerated.

At least on my boat, after marinating the squid, I add 2 sheets of aluminum foil to the grill. Set the grill at medium heat, and place the squid tentacles and bodies spread over the grill with space between them.

Sprinkle garlic and herbs over the squid, then grill on each side for about 4-5 minutes until lightly browned and serve.

Enjoy,

Steven Masley, MD

The post Little Grilled Squid (Chipirones) appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
https://drmasley.com/little-grilled-squid-chipirones/feed/ 0
Southwestern Europe Travel Update https://drmasley.com/southwestern-europe-travel-update/ https://drmasley.com/southwestern-europe-travel-update/#comments Mon, 03 Sep 2018 20:00:32 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=5862 Nicole and I are four weeks into our trip around the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal), departing from Les Sables-d’Olonne in France and aiming to reach southern Spain over 8 weeks. After months of preparing for this trip, we are underway. To get ready, I passed my European boating captain’s license with Nauticed.com, obtained a […]

The post Southwestern Europe Travel Update appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
Nicole and I are four weeks into our trip around the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal), departing from Les Sables-d’Olonne in France and aiming to reach southern Spain over 8 weeks.

After months of preparing for this trip, we are underway. To get ready, I passed my European boating captain’s license with Nauticed.com, obtained a practical sailing certification on a 47-foot catamaran offered by the Royal Yachting Association out of the UK, and completed a radio operator course with the FCC. Fortunately, my past experience made the studying easier, as I have well over 300 days of sailing experience from over the last 40 years.

We spent 10 days provisioning the boat with supplies, sailing equipment, and wiring electronic gear in Les Sables-d’Olonne. Not only was our boat baptized in this town, but coincidentally Nicole’s father, Jean Vidal, was also born in this same town. We were up early and got to bed late reading manuals and getting used to all the new equipment.

We had some awesome meals in town and were amazed the by the quality of fresh food. The seafood has been incredibly fresh and delicious. The produce is excellent quality and 30-50% less than what we pay at home in the US for the same items. Our favorite dish in Les Sables-d’Olonne was Moules Meuniere. (Mussels steamed with onions, garlic, parsley, thyme, butter, and white wine.) This same dish can be called Moules Marinara, as there are many ways to make the latter.

Fortunately, our Swiss friends, Beat and Hildegard joined us and helped to prep the boat and were with us for the first two weeks. Beat and I worked together during residency training in a hospital in Geneva, Switzerland 35 years ago. Six months later, I randomly ran into him again in a small restaurant on the beach in Bali, Indonesia (my next work stop was Australia and he was on vacation with his wife, Hildegard). We have children with similar ages, and we have been friends ever since. They have extensive sailing experience, which has come in handy.

Our first day was surprisingly calm, sailing south on the Bay of Biscay, an area known for storms and huge waves. During the second day, we had 2-4 meter seas (6-12 feet), 15-25 knot winds, and were unable to enter the narrow inlet we had intended in the evening, as surf was breaking over the entrance. We were forced to sail all night offshore to the next port in an agitated sea, 10-12 hours away, dodging fishing boats along the way. We got all our emergency gear together and took two-hour shifts with two people together watching for boats as we bounced along.

At dawn, we were very happy to sail into St-Jean-de-Luz, one of the last French ports before arriving in Spain and moor on a buoy with a splendid view of the town. St Jean is packed with tourists in August, children sailing boats and paddling kayaks, and families wandering the streets. We walked along beautiful narrow streets and enjoyed the mixture of Basque and French cuisine, unique to this part of the world. My favorite dish was chicken a la Basquaise prepared with a Basque tomato sauce, and for vegetarian followers, I suspect the same sauce would be wonderful with grilled seitan or Cannellini beans.

A week ago, we sailed into San Sebastian, a charming Basque town on the northern coast of Spain. Again we had 15-25 knot winds with 2-4 meter (6-12 foot) waves and it was a short but choppy sail.

Unfortunately, our generator, which we use to produce power for plugs and appliances has yet to work, and now the battery for it is dead and won’t charge, so we went searching the streets looking for a battery booster. We hope to have this issue solved in the next few days, and have the wiring changed so that its battery will charge when we run our two ship engines.

San Sebastian is situated on a beautiful C-shaped bay, with a historical old town, loaded with restaurants and tapa bars. Here we had the same Basque tomato sauce with very fresh squid—simply amazing. It’s unfortunate how hard it is to find good quality fresh squid in the US, but they don’t seem to have any trouble here.

Back on the sailboat, it has been mostly gorgeous days with sunny skies, a rugged, green, mountainous coastline as we sail west along the Spanish coast. The last few days, the seas have been gentle, and we have had a moderate following wind. We have had several good sailing days as we cruise through the regions of Cantabria and Asturia, more than we could have hoped for.

Follow me on Facebook to see pictures and videos of my travels as well as recipes on YouTube.  Be sure to like and subscribe so you get notified when I post pictures and videos.

Wishing you fair winds and following seas.

Steven Masley, MD

The post Southwestern Europe Travel Update appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
https://drmasley.com/southwestern-europe-travel-update/feed/ 13
Chicken Basquaise https://drmasley.com/chicken-basquaise/ https://drmasley.com/chicken-basquaise/#respond Fri, 31 Aug 2018 18:50:33 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=5865 The post Chicken Basquaise appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>

Here is a delicious sauce with chicken from the Basque region of northern Spain, which is renowned for its fantastic food. Easy to make, flavorful, and you can change the protein options as desired. We had this in a restaurant with squid and it was fabulous. For a vegetarian option, this is great with seitan. Piment d’Espelette is a popular spice in Basque country and similar to paprika but it is mildly spicy. If you don’t have piment d’Espelette, you can substitute paprika with a touch of cayenne pepper.

Serves: Four
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Simmering Time: 20-30 minutes

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons avocado oil
4 chicken legs and 4 chicken thighs
1½ medium onions, chopped
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon dried thyme (or 2 teaspoons fresh thyme)
½-1 teaspoon piment d’Espelette (or use ½-1 teaspoon ground paprika and ⅛-¼ teaspoon ground cayenne)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
½ cup dry (75 ml) white wine (or low sodium broth)
3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
4 medium garlic cloves, diced
4 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped

Directions:
Heat a skillet or large sauté pan to medium-high heat, add oil, then sauté chicken for 8-10 minutes (or other protein option), turning occasionally until all sides are lightly browned.

Remove chicken, and in the same pan, sauté onions with salt, pepper spice, and thyme until onions have softened over 3 minutes, then reduce heat to medium, add olive oil, bell peppers, and sauté another 3 minutes.

Add wine to deglaze and stir gently for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, garlic, and lightly browned chicken to the pan and simmer at a gentle bubble for 20-25 minutes, until chicken reaches a temperature of 170 degrees F (76 degrees C) and half the liquid has evaporated.

Garnish with parsley and serve.

View me cooking the recipe here!

Enjoy,
Steven Masley, MD

The post Chicken Basquaise appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
https://drmasley.com/chicken-basquaise/feed/ 0
Vine-ripened Tomatoes, Avocado, Heart of Palm, and Cannellini Bean Salad https://drmasley.com/vine-ripened-tomatoes-avocado-heart-of-palm-and-cannellini-bean-salad/ https://drmasley.com/vine-ripened-tomatoes-avocado-heart-of-palm-and-cannellini-bean-salad/#comments Fri, 24 Aug 2018 16:35:57 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=5793 The post Vine-ripened Tomatoes, Avocado, Heart of Palm, and Cannellini Bean Salad appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>

Summer is a great time for a salad with vine-ripened tomatoes and avocado. This dish is loaded with nutrients, fiber, and flavor.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

Garlic-Basil Vinaigrette:
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 medium garlic clove minced
1 tablespoon basil leaves, minced
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Salad:
3 medium tomatoes, sliced into ½ inch wedges
1 medium Haas avocado
15 ounces heart of palms, drained and sliced into quarters lengthwise
15 ounces cannellini beans, cooked, rinsed, drained
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves cut into thin slices
¼ cup goat cheese, crumbled (optional)

Directions:

Combine vinaigrette ingredients.

Gently toss sliced tomatoes, avocado, heart of palm, and cannellini beans with vinaigrette dressing. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and goat cheese. Serve.

Enjoy!
Steven Masley, MD

The post Vine-ripened Tomatoes, Avocado, Heart of Palm, and Cannellini Bean Salad appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
https://drmasley.com/vine-ripened-tomatoes-avocado-heart-of-palm-and-cannellini-bean-salad/feed/ 1
8 Reasons Why the Spanish Live Longer than Americans and other Europeans? https://drmasley.com/8-reasons-why-the-spanish-live-longer-than-americans-and-other-europeans/ https://drmasley.com/8-reasons-why-the-spanish-live-longer-than-americans-and-other-europeans/#comments Mon, 20 Aug 2018 18:38:52 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=5844 The post 8 Reasons Why the Spanish Live Longer than Americans and other Europeans? appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>

Not only do the Spanish live longer than Americans, but they live longer than Canadians and everyone else in Europe giving them the longest lifespan in the western world. They are second only behind Japan for life expectancy on the planet:

Lifespans for Men & Women in Years, by country: 

USA: 78.7     

France: 82.7        

Spain: 83.4          

Portugal: 81.5           

Canada: 82

As you are reading this blog, I am sailing across northern Spain with my wife Nicole, visiting ports and villages along the way. Not only are many of the towns gorgeous and loaded with history, the people are beautiful and healthy looking as well.

What are eight key reasons that make people live longer in Spain?

1. People walk more. They often walk to work, to shop for groceries, and to get around the neighborhood. They are far less dependent on their cars.

2. Their food is typically unprocessed. People buy real food with basic ingredients and that makes their food taste better. And they are exposed to fewer toxins and hormones in their food than we are as well. They cook, instead of buying prepared meals. They do have prepared food, but it is relatively more expensive than in the US.

3. Eating is a pleasure. People don’t eat alone in front of a TV, or at their desk. They socialize over meals and enjoy food with family and friends.

4. They follow a Mediterranean diet, with more vegetables, fruits, beans, and seafood, with lots of spices and herbs, and of course, plenty of olive oil. They enjoy fresh fruit daily, although one area even the Spanish need to improve on is to eat more green leafy vegetables daily—only half of the Spanish eat a green leafy vegetable every day, but that is double of what we do in the US. Eating one serving of green leafy veggies daily makes your brain 11 years younger than someone who doesn’t eat them.

5. They also appear fitter and more active than the average person in the US, with more than 60% of people reporting exercise beyond walking. They also enjoy being outdoors, and they walk extensively. They even eat their meals outside, soaking up some sunshine and making more vitamin D.

6. The Spanish have one third less obesity than we have in the US, (2016) with only 23.8% of the population listed as obese, compared to 36.2% of Americans.

7. Spain also has very good health care. Far more people have access to good quality health care; only 1% of the Spanish report that their medical needs were not met, compared to the US where 59 million Americans do not have health insurance.

8. Having traveled across many areas of Spain, they generally seem happy. In fact, they have one of the lowest suicide rates in the world.

When you add it all up, it’s no wonder they live longer.

I wish you the best of health!

Steven Masley, MD

The post 8 Reasons Why the Spanish Live Longer than Americans and other Europeans? appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
https://drmasley.com/8-reasons-why-the-spanish-live-longer-than-americans-and-other-europeans/feed/ 8
Mussels Meuniere https://drmasley.com/mussels-meuniere/ https://drmasley.com/mussels-meuniere/#comments Fri, 17 Aug 2018 16:14:35 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=5835 The post Mussels Meuniere appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>

Here is a classic French dish with fresh mussels steamed with onions, thyme (I am using Herbs de Provence instead of thyme), butter, and olive oil. This is easy to prepare and fantastic. The key is finding fresh mussels—they should smell like the sea.

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 20-30 minutes

Ingredients:
4-5 pounds mussels
2 tablespoons organic butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 small onions, sliced
½ teaspoon Herbs de Provence dried
½ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped (divided in half)
2 medium garlic cloves, diced
1 cup dry white wine

Directions:
Scrub mussels. Pull off beards, the brown tuft of fibers emerging from the shell. Discard any mussels that do not close when you handle them and any with broken shells. Set aside.

Heat a large pot to medium heat, add butter, olive oil, onion, and sauté for 3 minutes until onions soften, add garlic and half the chopped parsley and sauté another minute, then deglaze by adding wine (or broth).

Bring to boil. Lower heat and cook 2 minutes. Add mussels, and cover. Stir every 1-2 minutes. Cook just until shells open, 3 to 4 minutes. Do not overcook. Remove mussels from the sauce, and place in bowls.

Strain liquid, and return to pot. Add remaining butter and parsley. Heat until butter melts. Pour over mussels.

To watch me prepare this dish, click here!

Enjoy!

Steven Masley,

The post Mussels Meuniere appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
https://drmasley.com/mussels-meuniere/feed/ 1
Grilled Wild Salmon with Lemon and Dill https://drmasley.com/grilled-wild-salmon-with-lemon-and-dill/ https://drmasley.com/grilled-wild-salmon-with-lemon-and-dill/#comments Fri, 10 Aug 2018 15:55:30 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=5798 The post Grilled Wild Salmon with Lemon and Dill appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>

Summer is a great time for grilled wild salmon. My favorites include king (chinook), silver (coho), or red (sockeye)—if they are fresh, they all taste fabulous. Salmon fillets should appear moist, the red-orange flesh should be intact (not cracked), and the fish should smell like the sea—it should not smell fishy. I prefer fillets with the skin for grilling. If you are buying a whole salmon, look at the eyes—they should be moist and plump.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Marinating Time: 5 minutes

Grilling Time: 8-10 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:
1.5 to 2 pounds salmon fillet (likely skin covering one side)
Juice of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
½ teaspoon paprika
Garnish: 1 tablespoon fresh dill weed or parsley and 4 lemon wedges

Directions:
Preheat grill to 450° (F).
Rinse salmon fillets in cold water. Marinate in a bowl with lemon juice for 5-10 minutes. Lay fillet skin side down on a plate, and sprinkle sea salt, black pepper, dill weed, and paprika over the fillet.

Grill salmon fillet initially skin side down for 6 minutes. To turn, separate the skin from the meat with a metal spatula. Flip the fillet, keeping the skin on the grill and placing the flesh over the skin. Grill another 2-4 minutes until cooked.

The USDA recommends an internal temperature of 145° (F), which is medium done. Most chefs prefer 125-130° (F), with the center a bit translucent and it will flake easily, as it is more moist and tender. Whichever temperature you choose, don’t overcook past 145° (F) or the fish becomes dry.

To serve, garnish with fresh herbs and lemon wedges.

Enjoy,

Steven Masley, MD

The post Grilled Wild Salmon with Lemon and Dill appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
https://drmasley.com/grilled-wild-salmon-with-lemon-and-dill/feed/ 1
How do the French consume cheese, bread, & wine yet stay healthy & slim? https://drmasley.com/how-do-the-french-consume-cheese-bread-wine-yet-stay-healthy-slim/ https://drmasley.com/how-do-the-french-consume-cheese-bread-wine-yet-stay-healthy-slim/#comments Mon, 06 Aug 2018 20:05:59 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=5785 The post How do the French consume cheese, bread, & wine yet stay healthy & slim? appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>

Not only do the French live longer than average Americans, they are slimmer, too. How can this be possible, especially when they eat lots of bread and cheese and drink wine nearly every day?

Researchers have been talking about this French Paradox since the 1970s, back when we realized that the French ate lots of saturated fat from dairy products and meat, yet they had a low rate for heart disease, while the British and Americans with the same saturated fat intake had a much higher rate of heart attacks and strokes.

Amazingly, the obesity rate in France is just under 10%, while in the US it is more than 30%–we have 300% more people who are overweight.

Some researchers have attributed this French health paradox to red wine consumption, and likely some of the health benefits of moderate red wine consumption play a role, but that’s likely only a small factor, and the reality is that the French drink less wine now than they did in the past, in fact, Americans now have the highest wine intake per person.

Yes, there are benefits to consuming 1-2 servings of wine per day (a serving is 4.5 ounces or 150 ml), as the pigments in red wine block oxidation and lower inflammation. Although drinking more than 3 servings of any form of alcohol, including red wine, is clearly harmful.

Likely more important than wine consumption is that the French eat more of the best foods. If you’ve been following my blogs over time, I’m sure you’ve heard me sing the praises for eating more fiber, especially from vegetables, fruits, beans, and nuts. The French eat nearly twice as much fiber as Americans, with the average French citizen consuming a bit over 20 grams every day. This clearly plays a positive role.

The French are also more active, as they walk more than the average American as well.

Although the French do eat bread regularly, they don’t consume GMO bread like we do in the US. They have resisted the GMO grain movement and still produce wheat from original strains, and non-GMO wheat likely causes less inflammation than the wheat produced in the US.

The French also consume more probiotics foods. While cheese in the US is largely pasteurized and has far less flavor, French cheese is often raw, unpasteurized, and loaded with beneficial bacteria and fungi, providing a beneficial load of probiotic-rich microbes to support our gut microbiome. The French also eat lots of yogurt and many other fermented foods.

Not only do the French eat more beneficial foods, they use far less hormones, chemicals, and pesticides in their food as well. When they do eat meat or dairy, it is essentially organically and pasture-raised, never given hormones, and if they have steak, they eat a small 3.5 ounce portion.

But it isn’t just the food that is healthier. My final observation regarding the French Paradox is that the French appear less stressed than average Americans. They enjoy long, unhurried meals, they have closer connections to family, and they clearly express that sense of “Joie de Vivre”.

It shouldn’t be overly surprising that the French are able to eat more cheese, bread, and wine and live longer, healthier, and be trimmer than we do in the US when you consider their higher activity levels, greater fiber and probiotic intake, cleaner, less toxic food, and lower stress levels.

As I’m spending the next two summers exploring ports and researching how Mediterranean foods are both healthy and delicious, stay tuned for updates and recipes that will help you to live longer, healthier, and be trimmer.

 

I wish you the best of health!

Steven Masley, MD, FAHA, FACN, FAAFP, CNS

The post How do the French consume cheese, bread, & wine yet stay healthy & slim? appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
https://drmasley.com/how-do-the-french-consume-cheese-bread-wine-yet-stay-healthy-slim/feed/ 26
Wild Rice, Quinoa, Mushrooms, and Garbanzo Bean Salad https://drmasley.com/wild-rice-quinoa-mushrooms-and-garbanzo-bean-salad/ https://drmasley.com/wild-rice-quinoa-mushrooms-and-garbanzo-bean-salad/#comments Thu, 02 Aug 2018 17:13:18 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=5776 The post Wild Rice, Quinoa, Mushrooms, and Garbanzo Bean Salad appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>

This flavor pack combo is loaded with nutrients and can be served warm or chilled as a lunch, side dish, or light dinner. Wild rice and quinoa make a lovely texture combination, especially when mixed with sautéed vegetables.

Prep Time: 30 minutes      Simmer Time: 20 minutes     Serves: 4

Ingredients:

¾ cup wild rice, rinsed and drained

¾ cup quinoa, rinsed and drained

4.5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

2 tablespoons avocado oil

1 medium onion sweet onion, cut into 1-inch slivers

3 cups of baby Portobello mushrooms, sliced

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning

2 cups kale, chopped

15 ounces garbanzo beans, cooked, rinsed, drained

½ cup sliced almonds (or chopped pecans)

¼ cup Italian parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

 Directions:

Combine wild rice with 3 cups of vegetable broth in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 45-55 minutes, until rice is chewy and some of the gains have burst open. Drain rice in a strainer and set aside.

Combine quinoa with remaining broth in a medium saucepan, bring to a gentle boil, remove from heat.

Next, heat a sauté pan to medium-high heat, add oil, then onion, mushrooms, salt, black pepper, and Italian seasoning, stirring occasionally. Cook about 3-4 minutes, until onion is translucent. Add kale and garbanzo beans, reduce heat to medium, and cook another 2-3 minutes, stir occasionally until kale has softened. Remove from heat.

In a sauté pan, heat almonds over medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes, until lightly toasted and fragrant, but not browned.

Combine rice, quinoa, and vegetable mixture together in a large bowl or serving plater.

You can serve hot or cold. Garnish with almonds and parsley, and drizzle olive oil on top.

Enjoy!

Steven Masley, MD

The post Wild Rice, Quinoa, Mushrooms, and Garbanzo Bean Salad appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
https://drmasley.com/wild-rice-quinoa-mushrooms-and-garbanzo-bean-salad/feed/ 1
Are you sleeping with toxins? https://drmasley.com/are-you-sleeping-with-toxins/ https://drmasley.com/are-you-sleeping-with-toxins/#respond Mon, 30 Jul 2018 19:45:38 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=5765 If you’re like me, you may not have put a lot of thought into the impact that our laundry products have on our homes, bodies, and the environment. After all, if there’s an entire aisle at the store full of “trusted brands”, they must be safe, right? Unfortunately, the more I research this topic, the […]

The post Are you sleeping with toxins? appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
If you’re like me, you may not have put a lot of thought into the impact that our laundry products have on our homes, bodies, and the environment.

After all, if there’s an entire aisle at the store full of “trusted brands”, they must be safe, right?

Unfortunately, the more I research this topic, the assumption that laundry detergent is safe may be deadWRONG.

Recently, I’ve had the eye-opening experience of getting to know the team behind MyGreenFills – an amazing company with the MASSIVE mission to change the way we think about and do our laundry.

In the time that I’ve known Stephen and his company MyGreenFills, I’ve learned some truly eye-opening facts about the impact that mainstream laundry products have on our health, and these stats are just too important not to share.

DID YOU KNOW that conventional laundry products are one of the highest contributors of household toxicity?

Here’s why…

  • Every minute of your life, (outside of showering) your skin is in constant contact with your clothing, bedding, towels and beyond…
  • +90% of store-bought laundry products are scientifically engineered to leave a chemical cocktail on your fabrics.
  • These chemicals are now in full contact with your skin (the largest organ of your body) all the time. Many of these chemicals have been linked to hormone disruption, respiratory issues, and even cancer.

MyGreenFills is on a mission to change the industry by offering refillable laundry jugs made with plant-based, non-toxic ingredients that work better than the store-bought blue goo.

So my wife, Nicole, and I had a deep discussion about avoiding toxins in our home and we decided to try their products.

Now, for a full disclosure, I have not been very picky about laundry detergent, and truthfully Nicole (my wife) does at least 90% of the laundry in our home. She is super selective about laundry products. So I was pretty amazed that my wife really liked the “quality” of MyGreenFills product.

Their natural detergent was easy to use, the clothes come out clean, and they feel nice on our skin, By using these products, we are exposed to far less toxins, and it is environmentally friendly.

The products are so good that Nicole ordered extras for her sisters, and we are even taking detergent with us to Europe for our summer sailing trip next month.

Pretty cool, right?

BUT WAIT, it gets even better…

Right Now Claim 50 LOADS OF LAUNDRY SOAP FREE!

What is not to like? Non-toxic, eco-friendly laundry products that show up at my door, on my schedule, at a fraction of the cost of other “eco” brands and get my clothes cleaner? I'm SOLD!

Do the right thing for your health, your family, and environment and joining MyGreenFills today for FREE.

See for yourself… I had the pleasure to interview the founder of MyGreenFills, Stephen Ezell. Click here to watch MyGreenFills interview.

I wish you the best of health!

Steven Masley, MD, FAHA, FACN, FAAFP, CNS

The post Are you sleeping with toxins? appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
https://drmasley.com/are-you-sleeping-with-toxins/feed/ 0
Mexican Scrambled Eggs with Black Beans, Salsa, and Corn Tortillas https://drmasley.com/mexican-scrambled-eggs-with-black-beans-salsa-and-corn-tortillas/ https://drmasley.com/mexican-scrambled-eggs-with-black-beans-salsa-and-corn-tortillas/#respond Fri, 27 Jul 2018 19:19:44 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=5728 The post Mexican Scrambled Eggs with Black Beans, Salsa, and Corn Tortillas appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>

A flavorful and filling breakfast, packed with nutrients and fiber. For the chili ingredient option below, I prefer poblano chilies for their flavor, but they vary from sweet to very spicy, and not every store carries them. Alternatives are canned green chilies or bell peppers, which are sold everywhere.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Serves:
2

Ingredients:

1 cup black beans, cooked
4 medium corn tortillas
1 tsp avocado olive oil
½ medium sweet onion, diced
¼ tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground paprika
1 medium chili pepper (poblano chili, green chili, or ½ bell pepper)
Dash ground cayenne pepper (or to taste)
4 large eggs, free-range, organic, omega-3-enriched
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro or parsley
¼ cup prepared salsa
1 Tbsp plain yogurt

Directions:

Heat black beans on medium for 5 minutes. In a separate pan, warm tortillas over low heat, flipping occasionally.

Meanwhile, heat a sauté pan to medium-high. Add oil, then sauté onion, salt, and paprika for 1 to 2 minutes, until onion is nearly translucent. Add chili and cayenne pepper, if using, and heat another 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Whip eggs; then pour over vegetables in sauté pan, stirring occasionally, scrambling eggs gently.

Garnish eggs with cilantro or parsley.
To serve, place eggs on a plate. Serve salsa and beans on the side. Garnish beans with a dollop of yogurt. Enjoy with warmed tortillas, spooning a mix of beans, eggs, and salsa into each tortilla.

Enjoy,

Steven Masley

The post Mexican Scrambled Eggs with Black Beans, Salsa, and Corn Tortillas appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
https://drmasley.com/mexican-scrambled-eggs-with-black-beans-salsa-and-corn-tortillas/feed/ 0
What’s the difference between a statin drug & red yeast rice extract? https://drmasley.com/whats-the-difference-between-a-statin-drug-red-yeast-rice-extract/ https://drmasley.com/whats-the-difference-between-a-statin-drug-red-yeast-rice-extract/#comments Mon, 23 Jul 2018 20:59:19 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=5732 Cholesterol-lowering statin medications (marketed as Lipitor, Crestor, Pravachol, Zocor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, and Simvastatin, and natural forms of statin drugs—such as red yeast rice extract) are widely used. They have clear benefits for men with both high cholesterol and established cardiovascular/heart disease, yet they are less effective for women and they also have a variety of […]

The post What’s the difference between a statin drug & red yeast rice extract? appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
Cholesterol-lowering statin medications (marketed as Lipitor, Crestor, Pravachol, Zocor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, and Simvastatin, and natural forms of statin drugs—such as red yeast rice extract) are widely used. They have clear benefits for men with both high cholesterol and established cardiovascular/heart disease, yet they are less effective for women and they also have a variety of side effects.

Unfortunately, not only do these medications decrease cholesterol, they also reduce the production of compounds in the body that are derived from cholesterol, such as testosterone, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), and other substances that repair muscle.

Most people assume the benefit from taking a statin medication is related to its cholesterol-lowering effects, but other important benefits are due to the fact that statins also decrease artery inflammation and they make your blood less sticky, so it’s less likely to clot.

Statin medications cause multiple side effects, so let’s discuss the most common ones:

  • a rise in blood sugar,
  • short-term memory loss,
  • a reduction in CoQ10 levels,
  • muscle aches and muscle breakdown,
  • liver inflammation,
  • Decreased testosterone levels.

All of these have health and nutritional implications. You can offset some of the side effects by eating less sugar and refined carbs and taking a Co-Q-10 supplement daily. But if you experience muscle aches, liver inflammation, or memory loss, then likely you should talk to your physician about stopping the medication and considering alternatives.

As I’ll discuss shortly, if you have any of these side effects, you may find that taking red yeast rice extract provides some of the same statin benefits, but with fewer side effects.

Memory Loss with Statins

Memory loss often described as brain fog, has also been noted by the FDA recently with statin medication use. Adding CoQ10 may help some people with these symptoms, but clearly, it does not help all. There are no studies linking an increased dementia risk with statins, yet I recommend that if you notice memory loss while on a statin medication, you should discuss with your doctor whether stopping it is appropriate. You might consider other cholesterol-lowering options, such as healthier eating, as a start, but red yeast rice extract is another option.

Muscle Aches with Statins

Perhaps the most common complaint when taking a statin medication is muscle aches. Very rarely, this can progress to major muscle tissue breakdown, leading to kidney failure and/or death.

Much more common are diffuse muscle aches that are associated with decreased muscle repair and muscle atrophy. If you notice these symptoms, which occur in nearly 10% of people taking these drugs, talk to your doctor about potentially stopping the medication. In people who don’t tolerate statins due to muscle aches, red yeast rice has been shown in clinical studies to be better tolerated and still be effective.

Reduction in Testosterone Levels with Statins

Finally, drug companies typically fail to mention that statin medications lower testosterone levels. After all, your body uses cholesterol to make testosterone. With less cholesterol available, testosterone levels decrease as well. This drop has been reported in several medical studies. On many occasions, I have seen a man start a statin medication for a cardiac problem and note his testosterone level dropping 50 or more points. For someone with a completely normal testosterone level, say 700 mg/dL, this is unlikely to be a problem.

But a man with a borderline testosterone level (say 340 mg/dL) who begins a statin could lose erectile function, energy, and drive. This person may need to have his physician prescribe testosterone in order to tolerate the statin. Consider talking to your doctor about checking your testosterone level if you take a statin drug— in particular, if you have noticed a drop in energy, libido, drive, and mental sharpness.

This applies to women as well, as both men and women require an adequate amount of testosterone for a normal sex drive.

What Is the Difference Between a Statin Medication and Red Yeast Rice Extract?

A red-pigmented yeast, called Monascus purpureus, can be grown on rice. An extract from this yeast has been shown in numerous studies in China and the United States to help maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels. The red yeast rice extract produces chemical compounds, called monacolins, which decrease cholesterol production in the liver. The first statin cholesterol medication, lovastatin, was isolated from red yeast rice extract.

In contrast to a drug that contains a high dosage of one type of statin, red yeast rice extract may contain 10-20 or more cholesterol-lowering ingredients. Small dosages of multiple compounds seem better tolerated than a single large dosage of one. In fact, some patients who cannot take a statin medication due to muscle aches or liver inflammation are able to tolerate red yeast rice extract and lower their cholesterol levels.

With my patients, I refer to red yeast rice extract as a cholesterol-lowering drug and I use the same safety concerns as any other medication. The biggest difference between it and a statin medication is that it is available over the counter, while drugs are prescribed by physicians and sold through pharmacies.

Please remember that red yeast rice extract has the potential to have all the same benefits, side effects, and complications as any of the other statin medications if it is given at the same dosage.

The biggest challenge with using red yeast rice extract is finding a high-quality product that is contaminant free and contains the same “drug” dosage with every package. Due to quality concerns with production, my approach is to prescribe a medication first, and if there are side effects, to use the best quality red yeast rice I can find as a second option. An option that I use with my patients can be found here, use code: DFH38082 for 25% off your 1st order.

When Should You Take Red Yeast Rice Extract or a Cholesterol-Lowering (Statin) Medication?

Obviously, I can’t address this adequately here on a personal level for you without knowing your medical history, and the decision to start or continue a medication should be focused on the person as well as the risks and benefits. But below are a few guidelines I use in my practice to help my patients decide when it might be warranted.

  • I invariably recommend that my patients follow my dietary and activity recommendations first and recheck their cholesterol profile. With an optimal eating plan, many people won’t need a statin therapy. I am often amazed at how well optimal eating works.
  • If you have established cardiovascular disease (meaning you have already had a heart attack or stroke, or an abnormal test, such as treadmill stress test), and you still have high cholesterol despite your best efforts, I believe the benefits of using a statin medication, or red yeast rice extract, are greater than the risks.
  • If you have an elevated carotid IMT (intimal medial thickness) plaque score, a high LDL cholesterol level, and your plaque score keeps growing despite your best efforts, talk to your doctor about statin therapy options.
  • In clinical studies, women have been shown to benefit less from taking a statin medication than men, so women should have a stronger reason (such as multiple risk factors for heart disease) to begin this type of therapy, and because of this limitation, they have more to gain from following a healthy lifestyle.
  • A variety of doctors have advocated putting everyone on a statin medication. I think this would be crazy. We need to do more to help people make lifestyle changes so they don’t qualify for these medications. Putting everyone on them would cause tremendous side effects for many people who might not benefit from using them.

I wish you the best of health!

Steven Masley, MD, FAHA, FACN, FAAFP, CNS

The post What’s the difference between a statin drug & red yeast rice extract? appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
https://drmasley.com/whats-the-difference-between-a-statin-drug-red-yeast-rice-extract/feed/ 3
Shrimp Kebobs https://drmasley.com/shrimp-kebobs/ https://drmasley.com/shrimp-kebobs/#comments Tue, 17 Jul 2018 17:59:30 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=5717 The post Shrimp Kebobs appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>

Grilling fish or meat with vegetables on a skewer is easy, and it’s healthier if you marinate it for 10-15 minutes in an acidic solution in advance. The colors are wonderful served with a mixed green salad.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Marinating Time: 15 minutes

Grilling Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 2

 

Ingredients:

Marinade:

3 tablespoons avocado oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon ground paprika

1 teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)

4 medium garlic cloves, minced

Skewers:

1 ½ pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 large yellow or orange bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

8 ounces baby Portabella mushrooms (any small button mushroom will do)

1 medium red onion, skin removed, cut into quarters and separated into thin layers

18 cherry tomatoes

 

Directions:

Set the grill at 450° F, or turn on the broiler. Use 6 metal or wood skewers; if wood skewers, soak them in water while ingredients are marinating.

Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl with shrimp, peppers, mushrooms, and red onion. Stir occasionally. Grease the skewers with avocado oil using a paper towel, then skewer red and yellow pepper, onion, mushrooms, alternating with 3 tomatoes and 1/6 of the shrimp per skewer.

Grill or broil for about 10 minutes, until shrimp is pink and cooked, but not dry, turning every 3-4 minutes. Meanwhile, toss a mixed green salad with your favorite dressing, and serve kebobs over the salad on plates.

Enjoy,

Steven Masley, MD

The post Shrimp Kebobs appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
https://drmasley.com/shrimp-kebobs/feed/ 1
How to Treat Heartburn, without medication https://drmasley.com/how-to-treat-heartburn-without-medication/ https://drmasley.com/how-to-treat-heartburn-without-medication/#comments Mon, 16 Jul 2018 18:48:08 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=5715 Here is a topic dear to my heart, and I’ll share my own personal story below. Heartburn occurs when stomach acid irritates the lining of the esophagus. Symptoms can range from mild burning to severe pain and chest tightness. A little understanding of anatomy helps to appreciate why some therapies work or don’t work. When […]

The post How to Treat Heartburn, without medication appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
Here is a topic dear to my heart, and I’ll share my own personal story below.

Heartburn occurs when stomach acid irritates the lining of the esophagus. Symptoms can range from mild burning to severe pain and chest tightness.

A little understanding of anatomy helps to appreciate why some therapies work or don’t work.

When you swallow food, it passes down the esophagus tube to your stomach. Between the esophagus and the stomach is a valve, called the lower esophageal sphincter. The stomach produces stomach acid, which helps to digest food and enhances nutrient absorption. If the valve closes properly, it keeps the acid in the stomach where it belongs.

The stomach lining is designed to tolerate stomach acid. The esophagus lining does not tolerate stomach acid, and is easily irritated by stomach acid if exposed.

Under normal circumstances, stomach acid signals the lower esophageal sphincter to close. Unfortunately, sometimes this valve doesn’t function properly and opens when it should not. Certain foods impact this valve function greatly.

Factors that cause the lower esophageal sphincter to open inappropriately, allowing acid to pass into the esophagus include:

  • Drinking brown liquids, such as coffee, decaf coffee, black tea, chocolate, and colas.
  • Carbonated beverages tend to weaken the lower esophageal sphincter allowing stomach acid into the esophagus, making a cola a double negative factor.
  • Alcohol, wine, beer, and hard liquor, although beer might be the worse because it also bubbles upward into the esophagus.
  • Highly fatty foods (think pizza, French fries, and fried food)
  • Eating a heavy meal right before going to bed, as the stomach is full, pushing pressure upwards on the lower esophageal sphincter when you lie down.

The perfect storm for a night of dreadful heartburn would be excess coffee with cream in the morning, sodas at lunch, and a beer, hamburger, and fries less than 2 hrs before going to bed.

Some medications irritate your gastrointestinal lining, and make you more sensitive to mild acid reflux, in particular non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). They include Naprosyn, Ibuprofen, Celebrex, Aleve, and Advil. Over time, these types of medications can cause major gastrointestinal bleeding. Generally speaking, although they are commonly used and available over the counter, I ask my patients to avoid them.

Nearly 25 years ago, I injured my knee skiing (damaged my ACL and MCL ligaments). My physician at the time suggested I take Naprosyn for a couple of months, which gave me horrible esophageal pain. My doctors suggested Omeprazole (Prilosec), a very potent acid blocking medication. This helped my heartburn, but every time I stopped it, the heartburn returned with a vengeance, even though I no longer used Naprosyn. The challenge now was to get off the omeprazole because of its damaging side effects.

What is wrong with heartburn medications?

Most of the potent heartburn (acid-blocking medications called proton pump inhibitors) are very effective for treating the symptoms of heartburn and blocking stomach acid production, but the problem is that when you stop them, you get a rebound of acid production, making it challenging to get off them.

The problem with these medications is that while they do block stomach acid, you need stomach acid to absorb nutrients, such as vitamin B12, magnesium, and calcium. The nutrient deficiencies are bad enough that most of these medications now have an FDA black box warning that using them can cause multiple problems, including hip and spine fracture. Taking these medications are also associated with a greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease.

Not only are you far more prone to nutrient deficiencies, but without stomach acid, many bad bacteria pass into the intestinal tract, and you can develop dysbiosis, which is an abnormal accumulation of bad bacteria in the intestines, causing bloating and indigestion.

Ideally, nobody would need these type of heartburn medications, especially not long term, yet they are easy to obtain now that they are over the counter, and commonly used.

And for people with more severe acid reflux, proton pump inhibitors may be the only treatment that works effectively, so not everyone can avoid them. Plus for some people with pre-cancerous changes in their esophagus, long-term use may be absolutely required.

Yet the sooner you get your heartburn controlled, usually the less serve it becomes and the easier it is to control.

Treatments for Heartburn without medication

  • Avoid eating or drinking anything within 2 hours of bedtime.
  • Minimize brown liquid intake (coffee, colas, chocolate) with or without caffeine. As much as I hate to admit it, because I like a cup of coffee in the morning, switching my morning cup of coffee to a cup of green tea greatly reduced my heartburn. (I must share that giving up coffee in the morning wasn’t easy, but it really helped—who knew that one cup of coffee in the morning gave me heartburn all day long.)
  • Avoid excess alcohol, especially before bedtime.
  • Avoid fatty meals, especially before bedtime.
  • Avoid mint, peppermint, and spearmint. Mint relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter allowing stomach acid to escape into the esophagus.
  • Maintain a normal body weight, extra body weight worsens heartburn, as the extra fat on your abdomen pushes on your stomach, pushing acid into your esophagus.
  • Elevate the head of your bed on blocks 3 to 6 inches. If you sleep flat, acid can easily stream into your esophagus at night. Elevating the head of your bed just a few inches keeps acid in your stomach and out of your esophagus. And raising the head of your bed 3-4 inches doesn’t change your sleep much. A website where you can order a wedge for your bed is: http://www.foamandupholstery.com/medical-bed-wedges/
  • For some people, acidic foods induce heartburn as well, so foods you might want to try avoiding include tomatoes, citrus fruits, pineapple, and sauerkraut.

There are a couple natural treatments for heartburn that do not block stomach acid production and aim to heal tissue. These include:

  • Betaine HCL. When you take Betaine (a source of plant-based acid) right before your biggest meal of the day, it helps to close the lower esophageal sphincter and helps you digest your food. Many naturopath physicians aim to restore normal stomach function, rather than block acid production.

Several natural compounds help heal the esophagus. These include:

  • Glutamine (1-2 grams daily)
  • Licorice (400 mg daily)
  • Slippery Elm (200 mg daily)
  • Marshmallow (100 mg daily)
  • There is a product produced by Designs for Health: GI-Revive that includes each of these agents with a one tablespoon serving dissolved in liquid.

Please be aware that long-term heartburn is associated with serious medical problems, including esophageal cancer, and scarring of the esophagus. If you have had issues with heartburn for ten years or more, talk to your physician about whether you should have an upper endoscopy to exclude pre-cancerous changes related to long-term heartburn. If you have symptoms despite taking acid blocking medication, then you need to be evaluated sooner.

If you are able to wean off the most potent acid blockers and shift to a less potent drug (such as Ranitidine or Famotidine) and control your symptoms that would be better.

There are medical conditions when it is appropriate to continue acid blocking therapy indefinitely, such as precancerous changes noted in your lower esophagus, but keep in mind that this will block nutrient and vitamin absorption, making it more important that if you take heartburn medications long-term, you need to ensure you get a high-quality multi-vitamin and take a probiotic source daily.

Heartburn is super common, and the longer you have it, the harder it is to treat.

This approach worked for me and it has helped many of my patients as well. Getting off acid-blocking medications isn’t easy, but you can do it!

I wish you the best of health!

Steven Masley, MD, FAHA, FACN, FAAFP, CNS

 

 

The post How to Treat Heartburn, without medication appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
https://drmasley.com/how-to-treat-heartburn-without-medication/feed/ 6
Asparagus and Carrot Spears with Lemon Vinaigrette https://drmasley.com/asparagus-and-carrot-spears-with-lemon-vinaigrette/ https://drmasley.com/asparagus-and-carrot-spears-with-lemon-vinaigrette/#respond Thu, 05 Jul 2018 21:10:21 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=5704 The post Asparagus and Carrot Spears with Lemon Vinaigrette appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>

Look for thick asparagus stalks and baby carrots in the grocery store. The fatter asparagus stalks are much tastier and have better texture than the thin sticks that appear in the winter and fall.

Prep Time: 15 Minutes       Serves: Two

Ingredients:

12 large, thick asparagus spears

6 small carrot spears

Vinaigrette:

½ organic lemon grated for zest

½ lemon, juiced (about 1 ½ Tbsp)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

¼  teaspoon dried dill weed

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

Trim the base off asparagus spears, and trim carrot tops. Steam in a steamer basket about 5-8 minutes depending upon thickness. (Depending upon the size, carrots might need 2 more minutes.) Stalks should be tender, but still al dente, caution—don’t overcook to the point they become soft and mushy. Remove from the heat and dip in ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, mix or whisk vinaigrette ingredients until smooth.

To serve, combine asparagus and carrot spears with vinaigrette. Arrange spears on a serving plate. Serve.

Enjoy,

Steven Masley, MD

 

 

The post Asparagus and Carrot Spears with Lemon Vinaigrette appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
https://drmasley.com/asparagus-and-carrot-spears-with-lemon-vinaigrette/feed/ 0
4th of July Recipes https://drmasley.com/4th-of-july-recipes/ Fri, 29 Jun 2018 19:02:14 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=5683 The post 4th of July Recipes appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>

Blueberry & Strawberry Crumble

Here is a beautiful, delicious, and nutrient-packed dessert.

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Baking Time: 20 Minutes

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

¼ cup port wine (or substitute with water)

¼ cup maple syrup

2 cups of apples, cored and cut into ½-inch slices

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca

½ organic lemon, rind grated

½ organic lemon, juiced

2 cups blueberries

2 cups strawberries, sliced in half

½ cup sliced almonds

½ cup pecans chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375° (F)

In a saucepan, combine port (or water), maple syrup, apples, cinnamon, and tapioca. Bring to a gentle boil, then lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add lemon rind and juice, 1 ½ cups of blueberries, and 1 ½ cups of strawberries, mix and pour into a pie dish. Bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a saute pan over medium heat, toast the almonds and pecans for 2-3 minutes, until warmed and fragrant, but not browned.

Remove pie plate, and sprinkle toasted nuts over the top of fruit mixture. Then garnish with remaining blueberries and strawberries. Serve warm or chilled.

 

Tomato-Cauliflower Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette

Add this lovely salad to add to your Fourth of July holiday party.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

1 medium cauliflower, sliced into small pieces

8 medium vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced thinly

1 medium red bell pepper, sliced thinly

1 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped

 Blueberry Vinaigrette:

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 pinch (1/16th tsp) sea salt

½ cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Directions:

Boil a pot of water. Blanch cauliflower for 2-3 minutes, until al dente. Then place in ice water for 4-5 minutes to stop the cooking process. Drain.

Combine cauliflower, tomatoes, bell pepper, and parsley in a salad bowl.

Pulse dressing ingredients in a blender until smooth. Toss with salad and serve.

Enjoy,

Steven Masley, MD

The post 4th of July Recipes appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
Should You Have a CT Scan of the Heart, or a Carotid IMT? https://drmasley.com/should-you-have-a-ct-scan-of-the-heart-or-a-carotid-imt/ https://drmasley.com/should-you-have-a-ct-scan-of-the-heart-or-a-carotid-imt/#comments Mon, 25 Jun 2018 19:49:37 +0000 https://drmasley.com/?p=5638 Heart disease remains the #1 killer for women and men, despite that we can prevent 90% of heart disease with lifestyle changes. The primary cause for heart attacks and strokes is the growth of arterial plaque. In an ideal world, you would know the age of your arteries, how much arterial plaque load you carry, […]

The post Should You Have a CT Scan of the Heart, or a Carotid IMT? appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
Heart disease remains the #1 killer for women and men, despite that we can prevent 90% of heart disease with lifestyle changes.

The primary cause for heart attacks and strokes is the growth of arterial plaque. In an ideal world, you would know the age of your arteries, how much arterial plaque load you carry, and whether your arterial plaque was growing, shrinking, or staying the same.

There are several ways to assess for arterial plaque growth.

  • ECG stress treadmill testing
  • CT Heart Scan (with or without angiography)
  • Carotid Intimal-Media Thickness (IMT—performed with ultrasound)

ECG Stress Treadmill Testing

The most common plaque measure for people at high risk for a heart attack, or those with symptoms of artery blockage, such as angina, is a treadmill test with continuous ECG monitoring. Once your arteries are 70-80% blocked, you typically display an abnormal test, as the changes noted suggest blocked blood flow. Once you reach 70-80% blocked, you may also qualify for additional procedures, such as a heart catheterization, designed to diagnose and potentially open a blocked artery. The problem is that many people can have a heart attack, stroke, or even die before they reach a 70% blockage. From my perspective, waiting until a person has a 70% blockage is way too late, as this should have been diagnosed at least 10-20-30 years sooner.

Despite the limitations, I really enjoy performing ECG stress testing with my patients, as it is an excellent way to assess their fitness, heart rate recovery, and blood pressure response to exercise. My goal is that they always have a negative stress test, and we use the results to focus on optimizing their fitness and cardiovascular function.

CT Heart Scanning

A CT scan of the heart is one option to diagnose arterial plaque growth long before someone has a 70% blockage. Chest computed tomography (CT) scan is an imaging method that uses X-rays to create a detailed picture of the heart and its blood vessels. The results are measured as a calcium score of the heart arteries. The higher the calcium score, the more calcified plaque exists. Thus, cardiac CT scanning helps you clarify if you have excessive arterial plaque, and to predict your risk for a future heart attack or stroke.

If you have had a heart scan and your score is high, that means you are at elevated risk for a heart attack or stroke, so clearly you should take action and follow my recommendations to help stop arterial plaque growth, and for the potential to start shrinking your arterial plaque load.

However, there are three reasons that I seldom order a CT heart scan. First, is that each heart scan comes with a dose of radiation. Each heart scan increases your lifetime risk of cancer by about 0.3%. Obviously not a huge risk, but if you had 10 heart scans in your lifetime, you’d increase your risk for a serious cancer by 3%.

Second, CT heart scans do not measure the most dangerous plaque, namely soft plaque growth that can pop like a pimple (called plaque rupture) and cause a heart attack or stroke. Instead, they measure old calcified plaque. If you were to repeat a CT heart scan, you won’t know for sure if your dangerous soft plaque is shrinking, growing, or staying the same. However, if your calcium plaque score increases over time, that does suggest that you are growing more arterial plaque.

The third issue is cost—Heart CT scans are fairly expensive, and most of the time they are not covered by medical insurance.

Carotid IMT Testing:

The plaque in your carotid arteries (the big arteries in your neck going from your heart to your brain) are much easier to measure than the arteries in your heart. Recent studies have shown that when a person has their carotid arteries measured with carotid IMT and a CT heart angiogram (catheterization) of the heart at the same time, 95-97% of the time they produce the exact same results. So this is a super easy, risk-free and effective way to identify body wide arterial plaque growth.

While performing a carotid IMT test in my office, the patient simply lies comfortably on an exam table. I apply warm ultrasound gel on his/her neck over the carotid artery. I gently pass a measuring device from the ultrasound machine over the skin and take pictures of the carotid arteries, which are just beneath the surface. Typically I’ll take 12 or more pictures from the right and left carotid arteries, with different views and angles. The whole process usually takes 10 to 12 minutes. At this point, the patient’s job is done.

I transfer the images to my computer, enlarge them on my screen, and use extremely fancy software to measure the artery lining thickness. These measurements are accurate to hundredths of millimeters. Multiple studies published in major medical journals have already calculated average carotid artery plaque thickness in thousands of men and women. Once I’ve calculated my patient’s score, I can use these figures to project the average age of their arteries. A 50- year- old man/woman, for instance, might have the plaque of a 40, 50, or 60 year- old . . . or someone older, and might never know it (unless he/she was tested).

The cost for this type of testing can vary from $200-$400, depending on the technique and experience of the person performing the test.

I prefer to monitor artery age over time (checking every year or two) to clarify whether my patient’s plaque is growing, staying the same, or (if he/she follows my recommendations long- term) actually shrinking.

The Prevention Group of the American Heart Association considers carotid IMT testing to be an excellent way to assess future cardiovascular disease risk. The group recommends it as a safe and dependable tool. Several studies have confirmed their recommendations.

If performed regularly over years, repeated carotid IMT scans can project the age at which one will become high risk for a heart attack or stroke and, most important, can give us time to recommend the appropriate therapy to prevent and reverse this aging process.

In the past, in fact several years ago, I had the experience of testing my patients with both a CT heart scan and a carotid IMT during a full day comprehensive assessment. With time, and having performed hundreds of each testing modality, my impression was that heart scans did not provide any “extra” useful information. So over time, I stopped ordering heart scans for the following reasons:

  • I have never had an abnormal heart scan and a normal carotid IMT. Plus, sometimes the heart scan missed critical information. As an example, I had a few patients who showed increased arterial plaque growth on carotid IMT testing with yearly repeat testing, yet their Heart CT scan results stayed the same.
  • The heart scan typically costs patients twice as much as the carotid IMT.
  • As noted above, a heart scan adds a dose of radiation exposure that increases the lifetime risk for cancer.

The biggest limitation with arterial plaque measurements is that they are not readily covered by insurance (keep in mind that medical insurance covers the diagnosis and management of a disease—it doesn’t pay for measuring how you age).

One additional drawback of carotid IMT testing is that it isn’t readily available. Though I have people fly from all over the USA and Canada for testing at my clinic, The Masley Optimal Health Center, that isn’t feasible for most. A national company that I think does a great job with carotid IMT testing nationwide is Vasolabs.

Summary

If you’d like to assess your lifetime risk for a heart attack or stroke, especially if you have risk factors for heart disease (such as hypertension, high blood sugar, or high cholesterol levels) I’d highly recommend that at least once, you have a direct measure of your arterial plaque load and hope that your results are normal.

My first choice would be carotid IMT testing. However, if carotid IMT testing is not available in your area, CT Heart Scanning likely is.  I do not recommend annual testing with CT Heart Scans (due to the radiation exposure), but it can be a useful tool when performed once to identify if you have elevated arterial plaque load.

If you do have increased arterial plaque, the good news is that hundreds of my patients have shown that you can shrink your arterial plaque over time by following the recommendation outlined in my 30-Day Heart Tune-Up, and Better Brain Solution books.

I wish you the best of health!

Steven Masley, MD, FAHA, FACN, FAAFP, CNS

 

 

The post Should You Have a CT Scan of the Heart, or a Carotid IMT? appeared first on Steven Masley MD, LLC.

]]>
https://drmasley.com/should-you-have-a-ct-scan-of-the-heart-or-a-carotid-imt/feed/ 23