I’ve recently been busy telling patients about the benefits of both chia and hemp seeds and continue to try new variations of ways to use them. Hemp seeds are high in omega 3 fatty acids as well as protein. Try to get a couple of tablespoons in the morning for lasting energy. They are great in yogurt, in a smoothie, on a salad or even right of the spoon. Chia seeds are a little more tricky as they are quite small and will absorb many times their weight in liquid. They make a wonderful pudding. They are also high in fiber, protein and omega 3 fatty acids. I will share with you an easy basic recipe that you can vary to your liking.

Chia pudding

4-5 tablespoons Chia seeds – available at Whole Foods, New Seasons, Amazon.com
2 cups of milk (coconut milk makes a nice creamy base but any milk is fine)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
several drops of stevia or 1-2 Tblsp maple syrup
1 mason jar or container with tight fitting lid

Optional ingredients -Banana, cinnamon, star anise

Directions:
Pour the milk into the jar or container
Add vanilla and stevia
Add chia seeds
Shake vigorously for a minute
Continue to shake intermittently for about 20 minutes (I tend to do this while doing other things around the kitchen – for example, I will shake it up in the beginning and then start unloading the dishwasher, then a few minutes later shake it up again on and off for about 20 minutes.)
During this time the chia seeds will absorb all of the liquid and you will end up with a tapioca style pudding.
If you aren’t one for tapioca you can throw it in the blender and it will make a smooth pudding. At this time you can add the banana if you like – I wouldn’t add any sweetener if you are using the banana. It’s super nutritious and easy to make. To your health. Renee

Now that summer has finally arrived patients are asking what type of sunscreen to use when out in the rays all day long. Despite the increased use of sunscreens over the past 30 years, the incidence of skin cancer continues to rise. There are different views on why this is so including the fact that people stay in the sun longer thinking that they are protected from the harmful rays that cause sunburn. Unfortunately, some chemical based sunscreens such as oxybenzone and 4-MBC are powerful hormone disrupters and should be avoided especially in children. Also avoid Vitamin A or Retinyl palmitate which may increase skin lesions and tumor development when exposed to light. (Hmm I wonder if we might be exposing our sun-screened skin to light?). Mineral based sunscreens are the best options and provide a natural barrier to the harmful UV rays. If you can’t find a mineral based sunscreen such as one containing titanium or zinc oxide then avobenozone (3%) is a safe one that is not a hormone disruptor. There are many available at Whole Foods or New Seasons. A few good brands are Badger and Jason. Be cautious though as even some of the “organic” brands contain the harsh chemicals. For a full list of the good guys and the bad guys refer to EWG Happy Summer!